Teacher Week, Day One...

Today I'm linking up with the ladies over at BlogHoppin' for their annual Back to School Teacher Week blog hop. Each day there's a different question to answer about who we are, our classrooms, or our teaching.  There are dozens of bloggers participating so if you're a teacher - I encourage you to spend a few minutes hopping around this week. There should be some really great ideas shared!

Today's question is who? So here's a bit about me...

First, I am a Christ follower. I'm the kind of kid who grew up in the church - we were there every time the doors were open and most days when they weren't. For many years, my dad was the music director and my mom the church secretary. So it seems we were there every day. But it wasn't until I was in college that I truly learned what being a Christian or Christ follower meant. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I do try to live a life worthy of bearing that name. 

genre creative

genre creative

I love this man. He came to me later in life... and I often wish I hadn't wasted so many years on someone else. But, that can't be changed and I'm thankful for what I have now. We've been married for almost four years, but it feels like I've known him my whole life. He's the kind of guy every girl wants - kind, supportive, listens to your same long story every day about how work was terrible or a kid is driving you nuts or you feel like you're a terrible teacher, and yadda yadda yadda, on and on. And he actually listens - not the pretending kind of listening where you can see the eyes glaze - but really listens, asks questions, and gets incensed on your behalf. He's also the kind of guy that pushes you to accept an opportunity he knows will take time away from him, but will do great things for your career in the long run. Or encourages you to take that leap of faith and quit your job so that you can do what you really love. Even though you have two houses - one you live in and one you can't get rid of - and the thought of two mortgages on one salary is a little scary.

Right now we're the proud parents of two furry kids. We never intended to be "those" people, but our efforts to have babies haven't been successful. Maybe that will change one day, but for now it is what it is. 

All About the Teacher: Jennifer Martinez | everythingjustso.org

I love my family. We're broken, flawed, and messy - but at the end of the day there is love. This is one of my favorite family pictures. It was taken several years ago and much has changed since then. As a side note, we don't normally stand around throwing gang signs. We're not the kind of family who sits for stiff, posed pictures. My sister, Robin (the skinny one in the middle) who is a graphic designer and photographer, wouldn't be caught dead in a 1980's-Olan-Mills-family-pose. So we were clowning around, as usual, and decided to throw up w's for my dad's business, Worthington Realty. I swear we're not trying to show allegiance to the westside...


All About the Teacher: Jennifer Martinez | everythingjustso.org

I love my siblings. I really don't know that I'd be here without them. We've been through a lot together, were separated for a few years, but always hung on to each other. We don't see each other as often as I'd like. Life is busy and tends to get in the way. But they're there when you need them.

I'm the oldest of four and am a bit motherly. Can't help it. On the left there's Diane and her husband, Jason. They're amazingly talented with young people. They have hearts for service and are obedient to their calling even when it hurts and their world falls apart. I'm humbled by their "all in" approach to life. John, my only brother, is the funniest person I know. He can make me laugh until I either cry or go silent. (You know when you laugh so hard no sound comes out?) He's also incredibly smart and could sell you anything. He has that kind of personality that draws people in and everyone wants to be his friend. Then there's Robin. She's crazy talented and creative. She takes the best pictures I've ever seen (for real) and can do anything she puts her mind to - from starting her own business to completely renovating her house. There's no fear in that girl. 

I love animals. I'm a dog person and always had them growing up. This is Bella. She's a German Shepherd mix and has been with me for almost ten years now. Hard to believe. I am not a cat person. And honestly I can't stand them. But Littles came with the man and I've grown to love him. That face kills me - he does not like his picture taken. 

My family calls me Martha. I love everything about decorating, old homes, and organizing. I make my own curtains and pillows, arrange flowers, and bake amazing chocolate cookies. I'm obsessed with colored glass and anything turquoise. Although grey is a close second. 

All About the Teacher: Jennifer Martinez | everythingjustso.org

I'm drawn to the ocean. I'm most relaxed and at peace when I'm sitting on the beach listening to waves and smelling the salty ocean air. Which is somewhat hilarious to me because I absolutely hate the heat. Like I become a hermit in the summer kind of hate. But somehow it doesn't bother me when there's an ocean staring back at me. Bucket list #1 - one day live by the ocean. 

I love to travel. I've been fortunate enough to travel to a few amazing places. Several within the U.S. and a few outside. St. Lucia and Northern Ireland being two. I could move to either place in a minute. Bucket list #2 - travel full time. Italy being my first stop. 

All About the Teacher: Jennifer Martinez | everythingjustso.org

I love food. A little too much. I wish I were the type of person who followed the whole "eat to live" rule rather than the "live to eat" bit, but I'm not. I love cooking and learning how to do so without a recipe. My grandmother was amazing at that. Fernando and I enjoy discovering new restaurants. The kind that aren't chains, but the result of one person's hard work and pure passion of food. When we travel our days are often scheduled around where we're eating. Like our recent trip to Vegas where we skipped the gambling for visits to Scarpetta and Mesa. 

I sing and love music of all kinds. OK, maybe not all kinds. Southern bluegrass? Sarry. Acid rock? Um, no. But almost everything else between. My playlist on any given day includes Fred Hammond, Rachmaninoff, Jill Scott, Tupac, Bruce Hornsby, Mary J. Blige, Adele, Charlie Wilson, Erykah Badu, Lisa Page Brooks, Rascal Flatts, Roberta Flack, and Harry Connick Jr. (that makes me laugh just typing it). Right now I'm obsessed with Sam Smith's Stay with Me and Sia's Chandelier. I'm a little ashamed to admit that last one... I'm not really a pop girl, but that song makes me want to take on the world and... swing from the chandeliers. When Fernando leaves, I turn it on repeat and let it fly.  

When I started school I was originally a vocal performance major. Then I got smart, realized I didn't need a degree if all I wanted to do was sing, and changed my major. I wanted to pursue architecture and interior design, but that's another story. 

I'm an introvert. I was once asked if I were mute. I've come a long way since then - but I still prefer being with a couple of really good friends over a large group. 

OK - that's enough for now. Come back this week for more on me as a teacher. And be sure to hop around too!


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