Introducing Our New Every Woman Bloggers: Meet Ashley Whisonant

Ashley WhisonantAshley Whisonant, here! I am so excited to be chosen as one of the newest Every Woman bloggers! What a huge honor!

 I just turned 31 years old this past May and have been married to my better half, Matt, for seven years. We have two inseparable little guys, Weston and Gray, and a rescue fur baby, Charlotte. I graduated from the University of South Carolina and went on to teach elementary school in both Lexington School District Five and One. After my youngest was born, I realized I needed a different career path.  

Fast forward two years, I have been an Office Manager for Capital Office Products, Inc. since then. I absolutely love my job and the balance it gives me with my home life.  Much like the education field, each day is different and brings new challenges. I am constantly learning while pushing myself to be better. None of this could be possible without such a supportive husband. Matt takes the primary responsibility of taking care of the boys during the day while I work. He does the preschool drop-offs, meal preparations, bills, etc! It is certainly not a “traditional” family dynamic, but we compliment each other well.

I am hoping to blog out the struggles of working mothers, toddler life, fun recipes, vacationing on a budget, and DIY home ideas. I can’t wait to share my life with you!

Introducing Our New Every Woman Bloggers: Meet Azure Stilwell

AzureMy name is Azure, it’s a color blue. I got it from my hippie parents. I am wife to Jay and a stay-at-home-mom of two boys. My oldest, sweetest, and laid back child, Steven, is going to college in two weeks so I will be very emotional for a while. My youngest and funniest, Jake, is entering fourth grade, and everything with this child is an adventure.

I am excited to begin this journey on the Every Woman blog! I had the pleasure of meeting some of the other winners a few weeks ago at Pitter Platter and I look forward to reading my fellow bloggers’ upcoming posts. I was surprised when I got the email letting me know that I was a winner. I really didn’t expect it – so it was one of the most exciting things that has happened to me lately.

I am diagnosed Bi-polar, and I struggle with my weight, so you will probably read a blog post or two about those topics. I love to eat and travel, and I’m pretty crafty, so I anticipate some words about those topics as well. I recently started my own blog (a work in progress), peckedbychickens.com, as a creative outlet for all of the things I go through in life.

Realize This is the Real World

By: Shannon Boatwright

So there’s this video circulating on Facebook. It’s been out in the web world for over 6 years now. But it’s resurfaced, rightly so, since we’re in total back-to-school mode. I’d seen it before but I recently watched it again, getting a good chuckle. As a good, hardworking teacher, you certainly get the point of the video. Any school employee that deals with craziness from parents will get this video.

Sure, there are unworthy people out there in the education system who should not be granted the privilege of teaching or even be in the presence of students. Sadly, passionless, burnt out, sad sacks exist in the education world. Sometimes you just can’t avoid those types. But the truth is, they are far and few between. There are millions of truly passionate teachers and dedicated folks who do care so very much and try their hardest to do everything they can do to provide the best education for our children.

 

Watching this video again reminded me of the great privilege I have to inspire, educate and hopefully create outstanding, respectable, hardworking individuals that will contribute to society. All that said, as you watch the video and chuckle too, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, guardian or supporter of children and education in any form, please remember that all the weight does not fall on the shoulders of the teachers, administration or support staff. An enormous part of creating, building, and molding a successful student must come from a student’s support system at home AND must be met with an individual student’s own effort and dedication to doing their best.

Like the school voicemail message states, this is the REAL world and “your child must be accountable and responsible for his or her behavior, classwork, and homework.” The answer to why a particular student is failing at anything, may not be due to a teacher’s fault. Always stop to consider this and make sure that your student, your child, is making an honest effort.

My personal mantra for the new school year, as a passionate, Arts-loving Drama teacher, is one of Brendon Burchard’s many fabulous quotes,

“Grant me the strength to focus this week, to be mindful and present,to serve with excellence, to be a force of love.”

Here’s to a successful new school year that will hopefully produce a sea of inspired, educated, standing-ovation-worthy students that will move on to do great things in their lives that will make a positive difference in this crazed world of ours!  🙂

Be a Good Neighbor

By: Chaunte McClure

Let’s face it: Life is hard sometimes. No matter who you are or where you’re from, there are circumstances and challenges that make life difficult. We get frustrated, angry, mad, and sad, even to the point of tears. Of course, we question why those trials are our reality. They happen with our job, family, friends, associates and even people we don’t know.

During these encounters we may think we are the only ones who feel the weight of our burdens. Today, I learned differently. Actually, it’s best to say I was reminded that’s not the case. Last week I became overwhelmed from all the bricks that were thrown at me, but thankfully, I realized that I needed to step back and regroup before I made some poor decisions.

Pick Me UpSomeone saw my struggles, felt my burdens and thought I may need a pick-me-up. So what did she do? She gave me these freshly picked flowers and a note of encouragement.

 

Acts of kindness always sweeten bitter moments. Her gesture reminded me of a day during my last semester at USC. I remember going out with a couple of classmates to a florist in West Columbia to cover a story on Good Neighbor Day. The assignment was part of the semester-long practicum where seniors produce a daily newscast. It was a light-hearted, fun story about a West Columbia florist that distributed a dozen roses to residents to share with 12 neighbors. It was all part of National Good Neighbor Day to remind us to be a good neighbor.

Thank you, my friend, for being a good neighbor.

I encourage you to be a pick-me-up to someone. One day you’ll need one too.

Has someone brightened your day lately? Spread some good cheer and share your experience in the comments.

By the way, according to NationalDayCalendar.com, Good Neighbor Day is September 28.