Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fruits, Strengths, and Personalities..

So, today at church our priest talked a little bit about prayer and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.  He said that often people will tell him that they find it hard to find time for prayer.  He then told us talked about how prayer doesn't just have to be those quiet moments where we are reciting our traditional prayers, giving thanks, or asking for help.  We can "pray" by doing what we do every day, IF we do it with Him in mind and for His glory.  We can "pray" by living our lives in a way that uses the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in our work and in our relationships and interactions with others.  But you can't just be lazy about it.  You must be intentional.  I thought it was an interesting take on prayer, and I thought it was a great reminder about using these fruits as strengths in our lives.

Speaking of strengths:  I've been meaning to blog about strengths for more than a year now.  Last school year, our school district started a "strengths" initiative.  All of the DISD staff members and select grade levels took the Gallup Strengths Finder/Clifton Strengths test.  Through extensive research in countries all over the world, the Gallup company has found 34 strengths that all people (regardless of age, race, gender, religion, etc.) possess.  This test will rank the presence of those strengths in your personality and give you your top 5.  Everyone I've talked to seems to be amazed at how accurate the results are.  But the idea is that "your greatest room for overall personal improvement isn't where you're weakest, but rather where you're strongest".  Below is a summary of my Top 5:

  • Developer You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. 
  • Empathy You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear the unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need.
  • Achiever Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself.  No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. 
  • Relator Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people, but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship
  • Positivity You are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Some call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be. You celebrate every achievement. Somehow you can’t quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one’s sense of humor. 
And if I think about using the Fruits of the Holy Spirit as strengths as well, I think that all 9 of them fit right in with my top 5...and probably with everyone's top 5.  

In researching the idea of strengths (especially knowing that Hannah, as a freshman, would be taking the strengths finder test at school), I also came across another test.  This one is the Myers/Briggs Personality Test.  You can take a free (knock-off) version of the test here:  https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

I don't know how much that free version lines up with the official version, but I was pretty pleased with my results (ISFJ):  
That website will also tell you some famous people that have the same "personality" as you.  But when I Googled mine to try to find out more, I came across these cool things:



Neville, C-3PO, Wolverine, and Ned Stark?!  I'm in pretty good company...I'll take it!

If any of you have taken the Gallup-Clifton and/or Myers-Briggs tests, I'd love to know your results.  Here's to using the Fruits to strengthen our Strengths and enhance our Personalities all to the glory of God.  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

#RelationshipGoals...


I don't have a Twitter.  I have an Instagram, but I don't post.  So, I don't hashtag.  But today I'm feeling inspired.  2 TV shows have me inspired:  Friday Night Lights and The Office.  Kevin, the kids, and I have watched The Office multiple times.  We tend to just have it playing almost non-stop at the house, and it never gets old.  We are just now working our way through Friday Night Lights (it's the 3rd time for Cakes and me).  Now, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that there are multiple moments when each of the couple on LOST could have been though of as #relationshipgoals, but there isn't one that was a steady standout.  

So if there are any of you out there who still haven't watched these shows, you should really remedy that situation.  But in the meantime, let's just enjoy how wonderful these couples are.  And then afterward, we can see how well Kevin and I are living up to the #relationshipgoals that they have set.   :)

The Office - Jim and Pam


video
....I know...they're amazing.
  • Now, you need to go start binge-watching the whole show.  

Friday Night Lights - Eric and Tami Taylor
Real Life - Kevin and Tracy Prickett
  • First, you need to check this out:  A week or so ago, after just over 15 years of wedded bliss, Kevin, the kids, and I went to CiCi's for lunch with my mom, my sister, and her family.  After eating our super healthy and super classy food, Kevin and I went into the "arcade" with the kids.  We mocked each other, our kids, and our nephews just having a grand ol' time.  As we are laughing and hugging, Kevin pulls up my shorts and gives me the wedgie of a lifetime.  Then I look at him and see that he has a little something in his nose.  I lovingly point it out to him, and he takes his napkin to try to handle the situation and just ends up making it worse.  Being the loving wife that I am, I continue to tell him where his boogers are and he continues to try to fix it...all the while, we are both laughing hysterically as my mother watches and laughs in the middle of the CiCi's.  Finally, he gets himself all cleaned up and shoves his napkin in my open laughing mouth.  I squeal, reach for my drink and exclaim, "Ew!  I can't even rinse my mouth, because you put food in my drink!"  While I take a drink of his water, he lets out a gut-busting, high pitch laugh, which causes me to almost do a spit take and maybe more than almost pee a little.  
  • Now, how's that for #relationshipgoals?

This whole post also reminded me of those sweet old couples from When Harry Met Sally, so I'll end with them.  Enjoy your relationships, everyone!



Friday, August 4, 2017

A Case of the Definitelies...


So if you've ever watched The Office, you know that the two people below are not a couple.  Pam is married to Jim, and Andy is a bit of a mess.  Anyhoo, in this particular episode they go on a sales call together and the person they are trying to sell paper to assumes they are a couple and are soon to be parents.  Well, Pam is quick to correct the person "Oh. No, no. We're not together. No, no, no. Definitely not. Definitely not. No. We just work together."  Andy then gets a little offended and says, "Looks like somebody's got a case of the definitelies."

Image result for pam and andy sales call


Well lately, I think I've got a case of the definitelies about a few things:

1* I'm definitely not ready for school to start.
2* I definitely have the world's kindest friends.
3* I definitely have a daughter who's playing high school volleyball.
4* I definitely don't feel old enough to have a daughter in high school.
5* I'm definitely a little jealous that Mason chose to take Kevin to the Queen concert tonight over me.
6* I have definitely started biting my nails again.  After years of not.  Maybe I'm a little stressed.
7* I definitely have old looking hands (despite 4 and partially because of 6)
8* I'm definitely married to an amazingly funny, handsome, and loving guy.
9* I can definitely barely tell the difference between him and Nathaniel Rateliff 😊:


10* I definitely think that if you've never heard of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, you should give them a listen.
11* I'm definitely a little nervous about my doctor's appointment on Monday.
12* I definitely work with some incredibly helpful people.
13* I am definitely thankful that my mom is able to come watch the kids for us.
14* I definitely have a cute new puppy whose big brother is still a little unsure.


15* I am definitely enjoying being able to order groceries online and just pick them up.
16* I'm definitely not relishing the idea of getting Mason to school at 6:30 in the morning for football practice each day.
17* I'm definitely thinking I can add that to my ever-growing list of reasons why NOT to workout.


That was definitely more definitelies than I realized.   😄


Friday, June 2, 2017

Emotions...


As you know, I am a very emotional person.  Some might say I wear my emotions on my sleeve.  Others might say I wear my emotions on my sleeve, collar, hem, pant legs, and everywhere else.  But whatever.  I didn't earn the title of runner up in the "Most Likely to Cry" competition at work for nothing.

Well, the last 10 days have brought a lot of emotions with them.  This blog post will be dedicated to a few of them:

Amazement, Joy, Sadness, Pride, Awe, and Excitement:  Hannah had her last day of middle school yesterday.  That's right, folks.  Kevin and I are the parents of a High Schooler!  All of the cliches are true:  time flies, they grow in the blink of an eye, it'll be over before you know it, it just gets better, etc.  She has grown and changed so much.  But she is still our sweet, sassy, funny, spit-fire of a girl.  She work so hard in school and had another year on the A/B Honor Roll.  She got a commended score on the Math STAAR test for the first time, and earned an achievement award in math class.  She published a novel, is one of only 4 freshman to make the "varsity" choir, and is going to work diligently to try to earn herself a spot on the high school volleyball team.  I am so sad that the years are going by so fast, but I am so excited to see what her future holds!


First Grade

 Third Grade





Uncertainty, Relief, Fear, Hope, Peace, Guilt, and Excitement:  I have been having some shortness of breath for a while.  It had gradually gotten worse.  So I was breathing hard when I walked up the stairs (big deal...I know I'm terribly out of shape).  But I now huff and puff going from the parking lot into a building, bending over to pick things up 5 or 6 times, walking at a normal pace in the grocery store, talking for long periods of time (pretty awesome as a teacher), etc.  I had a CT scan done a couple of weeks ago, followed by an echo-cardiogram which showed the right side of my heart to be enlarged.  I went to the ER to have another CT scan and an ultrasound of my legs done to look for fluid on the lungs and clots, and they didn't find any.  Meanwhile, the wonderful ladies I work with were taking care of things for my sub the next day.  After the persistence of my oncologist, the ER doctor called the on-call pulmonologist who said it was pulmonary hypertension.  The ER doctor couldn't really tell me much about it, so while I was waiting to be discharged I started googling.  Yep, my symptoms match.  But holy smokes this thing sounds like a beast.  The life expectancy isn't great.  So on my drive home, all I do is worry about what 7 years would get me and how much of the kids' lives I would miss.  I worry about the stress and anxiety I am bringing on Kevin.  I worry about how worried my parents are.  And as I am crying myself to sleep, I pray.  I pray for peace and to be here for my kids.  I do just a little more googling and see that there is a connection between pulmonary hypertension and the medication I take for my CML...that it could all just be a side effect.  And just like that I have some hope.  God is good.  When I wake up in the morning with a slew of phone calls, emails, and appointments to make, I get a phone call from my oncologist who tells me how likely he thinks it is that this is all just a rare side effect, and that I am to stop taking my CML meds right away.  More hope and peace of mind.  However, after an appointment with the local pulmonologist who is referring me to the experts at UT Southwestern, the only way to know for sure if it is a side effect that will reverse over time, is to give it time.  It could take weeks to months before I notice any improvement.  Weeks to months that I will be closely monitored by pulmonologists, cardiologists, and my oncologist to make sure that my CML doesn't rare back up while we wait.  And hopefully, it will reverse, and I will start a new CML medication.

I am surrounded by the most caring and generous people at work who have supported me not once, not twice, but 3 times now when my health has gone wonky.  I have the most amazing husband who loves me, cares for me, and makes me laugh.  I have the most wonderful kids who help me out, keep me on my toes, and make me laugh.  I have the most loving, thoughtful, and supportive parents, siblings, and in-laws.  And while I am SO incredibly grateful and beyond appreciative for these things I hate being the cause of their pain, stress, and worry.  I can't stand being a burden and having to ask for help.  I feel so incredibly guilty for all of it.

So, while things remain a bit scary and uncertain, I have hope and some peace of mind.  At least for now.  And I am going to go on a road trip vacation to Florida with Kevin and the kids.  I am going to huff and puff my way through the beach at Pensacola and walk slowly & breathlessly through Harry Potter World at Universal.  We are going to have an amazing fun, rain, and laugh-filled week, and I just can't wait!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women...

Today is International Women's Day.  Today, while I would normally be at work (working a job that is both a right and a privilege for me to have), I am honoring the most important woman in my life.  My mother.  She is in the hospital, recovering from a surgery and waiting for more tests to try to get to the bottom of her health concerns.  She is the best woman that I know.  She has shown me what it means to be a woman who: works hard and loves harder, both succeeds and fails gracefully, laughs at herself even more than she laughs at others, is both strong and tender, is hopeful, prayerful, faithful, and joyful.  I strive to be as good as her and fall short of it on a daily basis.

So, in honor of my mom and women in general, here are some of my favorite quotes from or about women (the last of which is a quote from Mom):











Sunday, January 1, 2017

(Another) 25 Random Things...

I've lost track of how many of these "25 Random Things" posts I've done.  Between this blog and the Facebook notes that started it all, I just don't want to can't keep up.  But as I sit here this New Year's Day morning trying to come up with something to blog about, I can't seem to decide.  So, back by necessity and lack of creativity popular demand, is another semi-random list of 25 things that may or may not be slightly New Year's related...


1.  The last 4 months since school has started has brought a bit of a change in our sweet Mason.  He has started styling his hair, wearing jeans and pants (instead of just athletic shorts), and caring a bit about brands.

2. How 'bout them Cowboys!

3.  The last 4 months since school has started has brought a bit of a change for Hannah, too.  She has started keeping up with her school work, being more responsible with her homework, and learning a bit about how to study.

4.  The weeks that we get off for Thanksgiving and Christmas always make me think about how nice year-round school would be:  two and a half months during the summer always leads to a regression in learning, but if we took 6 of those weeks and added a couple more 1-week, or 2-week breaks throughout the year there would be less burn-out (for both students and teachers) and less regression.

5.  I love it when I make Kevin laugh...like, REALLY laugh.  It makes me feel like a good wife. 

6.  The  Harry Potter books and movies are still among my very favorite things...finishing an HP movie marathon as we speak.

7.  As the new year begins, I am thinking of the famous line from one of Mason's favorite 90's songs, Closing Time:  "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

8.  It also gets me thinking of the line from one of Hannah's favorite songs from 2016, 24K Magic:  "Hashtag blessed".   :)

9.  So many people just couldn't wait for 2016 to be over, trying to rush the year away.  But being friends with so many people who have lost parents, siblings, and even children; and seeing how desperately they would want even one more day with them makes me want to cling to each day (no matter how crappy) as precious.  So I try very hard to keep myself from wishing time away...TRY.

10.  Hannah has made the top choirs at school for the last 2 years.  She even made All-Region this year.  And we have yet to hear her sing.  I mean I've, of course, heard her sing along in the car and just playing around.  But she's never let us hear her sing for real...legit.  She would wait for us (or ask us) to all be gone at the same time so she could practice in an empty house. 

11.  Mason, on the other hand, is constantly sharing his talents with us.  I think, in an effort, to constantly keep us impressed and proud.  He's always trying to top himself and whatever he did last time.

12.  I stumbled upon this while blogging:

13.  We watched Miracles From Heaven the other day.  I fully expected to cry a few times.  I did not, however, expect to cry throughout the entire movie.  Holy tears, batman!  Make sure you have tissues...LOTS of tissues.

14.  The older I get, the more man-ish my hands get.

15.  Mom gave me a pressure cooker for Christmas.  I'm super excited about it!  I used it for the first time the other night by converting a crockpot pot roast recipe.  I ended up having to add a few minutes, but an hour and a half (start to finish) isn't bad compared to 8 hours.  I've also pinned some Instant Pot recipes on Pinterest (even though mine is the old-fashioned kind), but if any of you have any great pressure cooker recipes PLEASE share them!!

16.  There is a new Pirates of the Caribbean coming out this year.  Can't wait to continue the brother/sister tradition by going to see it with Josh!

17.  I'm in a bit of denial about the fact that Hannah will be in High School next year and will be learning to drive in a year and a half.  YIKES!

18.  As we get this new year started, please keep one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa in mind: 

19.  Mason has stopped calling me Mommy.  It's just Mom now.  And it kind-of breaks my heart.

20.  Despite the fact that we are getting old, Kevin and I managed to ride the biggest and best rides  when we took the kids to 6 Flags on Wednesday.  We may have needed 30 minutes or so in between rides to recover, but we're still pretty bad-a$$, right?

21.  Our new house, while awesome, is a bit of a money pit.  #homeownershipsucks

22.  If you have any appreciation for rap lyricism as an art form, or even if you simply enjoy the music, you should watch The Get Down on Netflix.  It's pretty great.

23.  You should also give Hamilton a try.

24.  Anybody else out there super excited about the new Beauty and the Beast movie?!

25.  On this New Year's Day, I am so very grateful for my family and my friends, our health and our home, the things I take for granted, and the job I get to go back to tomorrow.  So, here's to a wonderful 2017:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bittersweet...

So...I broke my "No Christmas before Thanksgiving" rule this year.  I went and bought a tree (okay...two trees) (okay...three trees).  But in my defense, the third tree is just a little 4-footer for the game room upstairs.  (And they were all on sale.) (And we have a bigger house that has more room for more Christmas joy.)  But anyway, I bought trees, and I got so excited that I just had to get them decorated.  But I refused to listen to Christmas music.  Afterall, it's not even Thanksgiving yet, and I had to draw the line somewhere.  Plus, I still have my fall decorations out, so I didn't really break my rule all that badly.


But it was in all of the excitement of decorating these trees that all of the bittersweetness came out.

First, the tree on the right.  This one is a totally new addition to our family, and as such is mostly sweet.  He lives in our entry way/front room/mud room.  He is an omage to the first Christmas tree that Kevin and I ever had.  That tree was smaller and less decorated, but no less special.  For some reason, he wanted that tree to be blue and white/silver.  Maybe it was his love of the Dallas Cowboys, maybe it wasn't.  And even though it went against every "Christmas is red and green" fiber in my being, that's what we got.  And it was a perfect first tree.  It only lasted 3 years before I traded it in for a real tree in our first real house and a color scheme that suited my idea of Christmas, since he didn't really care anyway.  But that's what this guy represents:  Our sweet beginnings, made even sweeter by the fact that Hannah and I sang and danced to everything from AC/DC and Taylor Swift to Macklemore and George Straight while decorating it.  It is now our Winter Tree, and it will be surrounded by snowmen, snowflakes, and other wintery delights.  AFTER we get back from Thanksgiving.


Now, the tree on the left.  While the tree itself is new (and artificial), the theme is the one I have stuck with since that first real tree in our first real house:  red, white, and silver...and semi-homemade (and on a green tree to fulfill my "Christmas is red and green" requirements).  And I think it is magical.  I can't look at it without smiling...and occasionally getting teary eyed.  Thus, the title of bittersweet.  Hannah and Mason both helped me decorate this tree.  We made quick work of the store-bought ornaments (going biggest to smallest to make sure they were evenly distributed), and when those were on it was a very pretty tree.  But then the fun began as we got started with hanging memories, which turned it from a very pretty tree to a spectacularly beautiful and magical tree (at least in our eyes).  These ornaments, we lingered over.  We reminisced, and we laughed.  We talked about (and oohed and aahed over) the ornaments we used to make and give out as gifts.



That is just a small sampling above.  And we talked about how fun that used to be, but how their little fingerprints aren't so little anymore (sniff sniff), and how they've moved on to making their own crafts now: 
Then we shared precious memories while hanging ornaments they made at school over the years (which they don't do anymore, either).



We talked about other ornaments, trying to remember who gave them to us:  grandma and grandpa, former sweet students of mine, fabulous teacher friends, and Santa.  Mason giggled uncomfortably as Santa was mentioned, and he came clean about not believing anymore.  He has suspected since last year, no one ruined it for him or gave anything away, he just kind of realized, and he was OK with it.  (NOWHERE NEARLY as heartbreakingly devastating as it was when I crushed Hannah with the truth 3 short years ago, but I still got teary-eyed and we hugged each other as we silently said goodbye to a little bit of innocence and hello to a little bit more maturity).


Hannah helped me hang my personal ornaments:  detailed cross-stitched ones that my mom and her sisters made, plastic canvas ones I would help my mom make when I was a kid, and salt dough ornaments that were made for me when I was too young to be of any help.  


As we hung them, my heart smiled.  And just as I was about to gripe (only a little) at Hannah for not spreading them out, she says, "Just wait.  Look!  You two go together at the top, and then Mason and I can go together underneath.  A happy little ornament family!"  And my heart smiled a little bit more.



So, here's to childhood memories (my own as well as Hannah's and Mason's).  Here's to growing up.  And here's to the most perfect Prickett Family Christmas Tree yet.



HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!