Leslyn's Lovely Life: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

The hardest part...

"The hardest part was letting go, not taking part.... [it] really broke my heart..."

A lot of people have asked me what my tweet earlier today was referring to. So here is my explanation. But first, I need to give two little background stories.

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with a disease called ulcerative colitis. And I'm pretty sure that it all began because of a situation in my life that "just wasn't the way it's supposed to be". Anyhow, if anything in my life isn't the way it's supposed to be, it affects me, and the ulcerative colitis gets really bad. Before I got married last summer, I had a check up, and I was in remission. I was thrilled.

Background story #2: DJ got hired at an accounting firm in Monticello. Therefore, I had to find a job in the area. I applied at McGehee and DC. After my interview at McGehee, I knew that I wasn't supposed to be there. After touring DC and interviewing there, I felt like that was where the Lord wanted me. I desperately wanted to work there, and was genuinely shocked when I found out that I had gotten the job. There were many people who were much more qualified for that position- but somehow, I got it. I was so excited about my new job, and I spent the 2 weeks before my wedding getting ready for the school year. Then I got married, went on an incredible honeymoon, and started work 2 days later.

From the first week of school, things weren't the way they were supposed to be. I mean, I knew that anybody's first year at any school is supposed to be difficult. However, this was different. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle all year long. And it took a toll on my health. I won't share what specifically has happened over the year, but it wasn't because of my students. The colitis came back with a vengeance. At one point, I lost 15 lbs in just 10 days. I was taking my medicine, and steroids weren't helping. My doctor was concerned, and I went back for a check up. I was no longer in remission.

Ulcerative colitis is something that I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life. And I've come to terms with that. However, in order to stay as healthy as possible, I have to be extremely cautious about the situations that I put myself in to. This includes career choices.

Today, I announced to my students that I wasn't returning to DC next year. It was announced on the local news website last week, and individual students approached me regarding the situation. The media made it sound like I was leaving immediately, and offered no explanation for my resignation. Therefore, I felt that I should tell my students the truth. I was able to hold myself together until I told my 4th period class.

This extraordinary group of students has been the reason why I drive to school every day. They have encouraged me every day, worked so hard for me, and they are the reason why I KNOW that I love to teach. On days where I felt worthless, they would laugh at my dumb stories and instantly cheer me up. On days where I wanted to quit, one of them would simply give me a hug, and I knew I could make it through the rest of the day. Today, when I told them that I was leaving, I couldn't hold back tears. It breaks my heart that I won't be there to teach them. They are so incredibly talented, but more importantly, they are some of the kindest people I have ever known. I was so afraid to tell them, because I felt that they would be disappointed in me. They went through a lot last year, and they were abandoned by their teacher. I didn't want them to be under the impression that I was doing the same. This decision was not an easy one to make. As I was telling them, they started to cry. Which made me cry more. After I finished telling them about the situation, they all surrounded me, hugged me, told me they understood, and that they loved me.


Today was hard. I don't want to leave these kids. But I know that I need to stay healthy. And I know that I have to leave in order to do just that.

So what's the next step? I was accepted into the Master's program in Music Education at UCA in Conway. I am very excited about this next step. I will begin online courses this summer. As I mentioned earlier, these students have TAUGHT me that I love to teach. It's always been a dream of mine to teach at the university level. I am getting one step closer to my goals, and I can't wait to see what else God has in store for us.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Finally Friday.

Well this has been one heck of a week. BUT I can definitely find 5 things that made me happy this week.

1. My husband and I had an escape weekend in Little Rock this weekend. Please let me show and tell a few of the items that we got... I'm really excited about them.

This beautiful J.Crew top... instead of $90, it was $40.

  Originally $60... I totally got them for $14. I also bought them in black. J.Crew
5x7 rug, $49, Garden Ridge. Awesome.

These three items are from Banana Republic. Had I paid full price for them, I would have paid $350. I got them all for $150. Boom.

2. I bought some incredible patterns from Pattern Runway. Look at what I'm going to make!

3. I had 2 people send me encouraging notes... One was a parent of a senior, and the other one was from a senior.

These happy moments are so few and far between, but they always seem to happen when I need them the most.

4. I had pretty nails this week. Italian Love Affair by OPI.

5. I had my 100th post, and I am STILL having a giveaway to celebrate! You could win this awesome painting! Oh, and you get to pick the colors. Woohoo!

How was YOUR week?



The Nail Files
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Yay for Friday!

Well this has most certainly been an interesting week- but it has been really good! Let me tell you why! :)

1. Easter! The proof that love will always win. How can that not give you hope (or make you happy)? Here's an Easter picture.

2. My precious nephew got a bunny for Easter. And he named him "Cow Bunny" (this is no lie.. He thinks his rabbit looks like a cow. Do you agree?).

3. I'm wearing a happy nail color, and it's called "Koala Berry" by OPI. Pretty pretty!

4. This is my husband's last full week of tax season. I get my hot husband back!!! Woohooo!!!

5. I've started my fundraiser through mixed bag designs. So let me give you some details about everything (and here are just a few of the items that I will be selling this month!).

My husband and I are going to Brazil for a mission trip. We will be there June 29th thru July 10th. We are going with my parents' church (Tallowood Baptist Church), and it's an incredible opportunity. We will be reaching out to groups in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. In the evenings, we will be giving concerts (where we share the gospel with the people there). We are so thrilled about this opportunity, but we need support. Here is how you can help us out!

- As always, prayer is the biggest thing. There is nothing more powerful. Pray as we prepare to go, and pray for the people of Brazil.

- We need financial support. Tallowood has been so generous to assist us with the costs, but we each need to raise another $1,000. In order to raise that money, I am doing a fundraiser through Mixed Bag Designs. Any items that you purchase from them, we will receive 50% to go towards our mission trip. In addition to selling through that company, with any artwork that I sell (or crafty things... which will be posted soon! I promise!), all of the money will go towards the trip. So either way, you will have a great benefit in supporting us (both prayerfully and financially). :)

Here are a few pictures of my paintings:

If you have any questions about the trip (or anything else!), PLEASE e-mail me (leslynjacks AT gmail DOT com), or comment! I LOVE hearing from you, and reading your e-mails/comments totally makes my day! :)

Happy Friday, friends!


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Antique Desk

Have you ever had one of those pieces of furniture that means a lot to you? Well, my husband and I inherited this fabulous piece of furniture shortly before we got married. It belonged to his precious grandfather, who passed away a year and a half ago. We always get compliments on this piece of furniture, but we didn't always use it to our advantage.

For about 5 months, it was one of those things that collected a bunch of knick knacks, and it didn't have much of a purpose (besides being stunning, of course). Then I got on my big organizing kick and realized that something had to be done with this space. So I made it over and it turned into our little business center.

First of all, it holds all of our coupons. My couponing skills are way below average, but I clip coupons anytime I see them. I have three envelopes that I decorated with scrap paper. They have the following labels on them: "Stores & Restaurants" (for the specific places where I have to use the coupons), "Coupons" (for the manufacturers coupons), and "This Trip" (for the coupons that I will take with me on my next shopping trip). I sort through my coupons on a weekly basis, and whenever I have them all ready for my shopping trip, I just tuck my envelope into my planner (which contains my shopping list), and I'm set!

Next, I have a binder that manages all of our finances. I have a chart that lists all of our monthly bills and when they are due. Then I keep all of our monthly bank statements in the binder as well. As soon as we get any bills, I write the check and put them in the envelope (and I write down when each bill is due so I make sure it is sent a few days in advance). On the right side, we have our "mail center" with envelopes, stamps, etc.

Lastly, we have a small accordion file that holds deposit slips (that get sorted out each month), receipts, and miscellaneous items that need to be filed.

We only use our pull out drawer for one thing- our Scentsy stuff. :) We actually JUST ran out of scent bars, so we need to order some more very soon!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of organizational bliss. It's something that makes my life so much easier, and I'm sure that having a space like that would benefit anybody! Do YOU have a little area in your house that makes you heart happy?


IHeart Organizing
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