Millikin University - Decatur, IL

Can you smell that? 

Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, now inhale through your nose.  What do you smell? 

Lord help us if all you smell are your own feet. 

In Decatur, it is hard to get past the smell of money (Tate & Lyle and ADM) but if there is a northeasterly wind, you can smell it.  That’s the smell of FALL.

Fall means football, rustling leaves, caramel apples, jeans, and homecoming.


Millikin’s own Student Programs office has been busy this summer preparing for an awesome homecoming.  Check out for more information.  Be sure to get your very own commemorative homecoming t-shirts.


Fall also means a busy schedule for students and PACE is no different.  The Elementary Education PACE students are busy writing candidate assessments and scheduling hours of clinical hours.  This PACE student just got her very first substitute-teaching gig, tomorrow!


Wish me luck.

For those of us in PACE, we said good-bye to summer weeks ago.  We were tan, having enjoyed 6 weeks of spirited outdoor summer activities.  The fourth of July had come and gone but we were still riding high on the hope of continuing our summer of fun.  Sadly, our jubilation was snuffed out by the mountain of homework doled out in our first class.  Many of us fought a good fight but schoolwork emerged the victor.  Now, as we conclude, for some of us, our third course this semester, the pasty pallor of indoor activities has replaced our golden sun kissed glow.  Gone are the tan lines and flip-flops.  Not all is lost.  Seeds of wisdom have been planted and if carefully cultivated there will be staggeringly smart people walking around campus.  Watch out, you will recognize us.  We are the ones who wander the halls at night, who show up out of the blue and take the good parking places.  We may be pasty but we are PACE students.

I bought a pedometer last Monday.  I needed to know just how much I was moving.  I knew I was busy but now there is proof.  I have averaged 13,237 steps a day in the last week.  Trust me, I am not running or walking for exercise.  These steps, they are my life! 

I logged almost 2500 steps at Wal*Mart the other day and another 2000 at Target.  Think I could justify shopping as exercise to my doctor?  I wonder if I get extra steps for trying on swimsuits. It was torture!

I’m heading out now for a quick walk around the block with my daughter.  Later...

Here it is...

Life On Ya (Danny Gokey)
Hey, Soul Sister (Train)
Hip to my Heart (The Band Perry)
Beer on the Table (Josh Thompson) This one's for my mom!
I'm on My Way (Barbie) For Isabel
Home is Where the Heart Is (Lady Antebellum)
Prayin' for Daylight (Rascal Flatts)
Where the Boat Leaves From (Zac Brown Band)
It Happens (Sugarland)
Ants Marching (Dave Mathews Band)
Good Riddance (Green Day)
What I've Done (Linkin Park)

Kinda strange...

I am thrilled; the musical line up for the Illinois State Fair is great this year, especially if you are a country fan.  The State Journal Register,, posted the lineup in Brian Mackey’s blog earlier this week.  The comments of SJR readers are funny.  Some love the lineup and others are upset because we didn’t get Nickelback.

Either way, I’m going to the fair and I’m taking my family with me.  We will get to see Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton & Candy Coburn, and of course Selena Gomez (for my daughter.)

Fortunately, my PACE classes are Monday and Tuesday nights this fall.  I’ll just have to work ahead of the Sunday night concert, no waiting until the last minute to finish assignments, I just pray we don’t have a test or presentation that Monday.


All I'm asking for is just a little time...A little more time.

Its 8:30 Monday night and I have class tomorrow.  Granted, it is not until 6:00 pm but I still have to finish two papers.  I have not procrastinated.  Seriously, I am keeping up as best I can but PACE can get the better of you.  Especially when your husband is busting his tail, working nights and a daughter who is on spring break. I would be even farther behind if not for my pack of friends.  One of them came to my rescue today.  (Maggie, I thank you sincerely.)  I promise to make it up to you...someday.  Let me run you through my last few days.  Try to keep up.

Thursday started a beautiful day.  I dropped my girl off at school then ran into Wal-Mart.  I met a friend at her Pilate’s studio at 10:00 am.  She informed me that she was pushing me this week because last week I did not “hurt.”  Seriously?  At 11:30, I picked up my daughter from school and went to the grocery store.  We got home, put away the groceries, ate lunch, and started our afternoon activities.  This includes worksheets, stories, bike rides, laundry, and fixing dinner.  At 3:00, I broke out in hives.  These were not just little red bumps but the gross kind that could end up on the cover of a medical journal.  I took three Benadryl and finished the day in a haze. 

                Friday morning started a bit hazy but I shuffled through.  I took the girl to school and went to work.  A client was expecting their new art and I had to get that turned around ASAP.  After school, we met a friend for lunch.  I know she was worried because I kept itching and scratching.  Let’s just say I did not get to hold the baby at lunch.  My doctor called me in a prescription and I thankfully filled it that after noon.  Can you believe, one of the medications that were prescribed to me is used to “cause drowsiness?”  Are you kidding me?  I have a life and a family to take care of; I cannot be wandering around dazed and confused! 

                Saturday morning came with a PACE class at 8:00 am.  I had to drop of the girl with my parents at 7:30 because my husband was working all day.  Where am I?  Oh yeah, PACE class.  “Get it together!” I kept shouting at myself.  I was heavily medicated and struggling to pay attention.  I owe my classmates and professor an apology for being such a lump. When I got home that afternoon, it was back to work.  Saturday is cleaning day.  I pay myself to clean the house and do laundry.  I did not earn my money this week.

                Sunday morning I woke up covered in hives AGAIN!  Really?  Are you kidding me?  That is it!  I went to Express Care; that is Springfield’s walk in emergency clinic.  The techs, nurses, and doctors were flummoxed.  No one knew what was wrong with me.  I received a shot in the bum and was sent on my way. 

                Now, 24 hours later, I am itch free but still on meds.  Oh, and I have to finish two papers for class tomorrow.

Music plays an important part of my life.  It's my soundtrack.  You know, if my life were a movie, it's what's playing in the background.  Here's what's playing now...

Gunpowder and Lead (Miranda Lambert)
Feel That Fire (Dierks Bentley)
Little Goodbyes (SheDAISY)
Home is Where the Heart Is (Lady A)
Chicken Fried (Zac Brown Band)
One Blue Sky (Sugarland)
That's How Country Boys Roll (Billy Currington)
Kerosene (Miranda Lambert)
Take Me As I Am (Sugarland)
Something 'Bout a Woman (Lady A)
Life on Ya (Danny Gokey)
How Far Do You Wanna Go? (Gloriana)
It Happens (Sugarland)

 There is no time to slow down.  Life is right on my heals and if I stop for any reason I will be trampled.  Each one of my responsibilities is a different charging animal.  My house is the Tasmanian devil.  Keeping up with daily chores is a full time job, especially with a preschooler at home.  My job is the elephant, slow and steady, but when things go wrong or if I get behind it is happy to stomp me into the dirt and keep right on going.  My family is full of monkeys, pulling me in every possible direction.  They play tricks, throw food, pull hair, and make lots of noise, but I love them with all my heart.  I was going to say school is the lion but that is not right.  It is more like the hyena.  It scavenges for every little bit of free time I have and laughs in my face when I cannot keep up.  The lions (lionesses) are my friends; we are a pack and stick together.  We support each other and even though we do not get to spend much time together, we share the triumphs and tears.

I hope in the coming weeks to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to juggle home, family, work, school and life.  Check back often.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL