Saturday, December 24, 2016

You Touched My Heart You Touched My Soul. You Changed My Life And All My Goals.

    The title of this post was taken from the song Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt.

      I think about Mike everyday, but this last week I've thought about him in almost everything I do. Mike hated being wasteful. I remember us wrapping Christmas presents together and he would constantly get on me about how much tape I used. He'd seen a documentary on gift wrapping and how if you wrapped a gift perfectly it could be done using one piece of tape. I always called bull hockey. I like using a lot of tape. This week every piece of tape I placed on a gift kept him in the forefront of my mind. He would also organize things so that they would take up the least amount of space, including trash. As I organized our recycling, I broke down boxes and put boxes inside of boxes so that it took up the least amount of room. He would have been proud. In December 2009 I graduated with my second Masters degree. Mike threw a party for me. He was so glad I was done with school because it consumed so much of my time. He was not amused when I joked about going back to school. Nine years later he's gone and I passed my BCBA exam. I had a panic attack the other day, because I just can't fathom not being in school. My self worth is so tied to my education that I can't imagine not formally working towards some kind of educational goal. I can picture Mike rolling his eyes.
      It's Christmas Eve and I've also obsessed about not having enough gifts for the kids to open tomorrow. I do this every year, and every year I yell at myself for giving in and thinking that it's the gifts that make Christmas important. Yesterday my family got together. It was incredibly crazy and my house isn't nearly big enough to hold everyone, but we had such a good time. Dad brought a Christmas movie for us to watch and it was just what I needed to remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. I'm so grateful for the memories I have to cherish and the future I have to look forward to. I'm really looking forward to watching It's A Wonderful Life tonight as we finish wrapping gifts. I'm looking forward to going to church in the morning and listening to Sebastian and Tyler sing with the church choir. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Only One Thought Of Mine. Only At Christmas Time

The title of this post was taken from the song Only At Christmas Time by Sufjan Stevens.

     It's been an incredibly stressful couple of months and I've struggled with all of my insecurities about everything I do. Sebastian has struggled with Governor's School and I have worried that maybe I pushed him into it when he wasn't ready for it. Tyler has struggled with her honors English class, but I'm the one who pushed her to challenge herself. Jaxon is three and when he tantrums I wonder why in the world I can't handle my own child. It's just been a long couple of months.
     On November 29 I finally took my BCBA exam. My original goal had been to take it in May, but I didn't get my paperwork ready in time. I could have taken it in August, but I was terrified and felt totally unprepared. I pushed it all off until the November testing session and then took it on the last possible day. I studied in spurts. I would do really well for a few weeks and then life would happen and I would slack off a little. I'd beat myself up for being a slacker and then study some more. The test was on a Tuesday. There were 160 questions and I had four hours to complete the test. I walked out of the exam feeling really good about how I had done, but as I analyzed questions I started to second guess myself. I was then sure I had either passed or failed miserably, but honestly I was okay either way. I knew I had given it everything I had and if that wasn't enough I was okay with it. I was expecting the scores to come out the week of Christmas so I've kept myself busy with other things. I've been focusing on the kids, work and catching up on things I had let slip through the cracks. This week I had a lot going on and I've been extra stressed. Sebastian has his final exams, Tyler had an SOL test, I had several things going on at work, and I haven't done much Christmas shopping. Yesterday, I picked up my phone to see I had six emails. One of them was from the BACB. I had passed my exam. I immediately went to my desk and opened up my BACB portal and sure enough it said passed beside my test date. I cried. I called John. 

"Hey, guess what?"

"What?"

"I passed my exam!"

"I know."

"No, seriously. I just got the email. I passed it...it's official."

"I knew you would. I'm not surprised."

I'm glad he was so confident :) I keep logging into my account to make sure my pass hasn't changed to a fail. I'm still in shock. Now I'm nervous about being able to say I'm a BCBA. I still don't feel like I know enough. I never feel like I know enough.
     On top of this good news Sebastian texted me yesterday to tell me he got a 568 on his history SOL. He passed with an advanced score. He also made an 82 on his college chemistry final and will finish with a B in that class. I'm so proud of him. Tyler got in the van yesterday to tell me she passed her algebra SOL. She was so excited. I'm so proud of both of them. We all had something to celebrate yesterday.
     I'm ready to wrap up these last few days of school before Christmas break and then enjoy some family time. Maybe now I'll let myself relax a little.