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Location, Location, Location...

December 1998...the last time I was home for the holidays.

December 2002...the last Christmas we spent with my Mom and Rod here in Iowa.

This year, weather permitting, I will be going home for Christmas. I hate that there has to be that disclaimer about the weather, but we live in the mid-west, it's winter, and we must be realistic about the possibility that safe travel across Iowa and Nebraska may not be an option come December 22nd. I'm trying not to waste too much energy thinking about the weather spoiler. There are too many other things needing my attention right now!

Planning has begun. I'm making a mental list of what gifts can be taken along with us during our travels, and which need to be, for secrecy sake, mailed ahead of time. Given the expense of extra travels and unplanned, unpaid days off this fall (one of the joys of having a job with no benefits), we won't be needing to make much room either way for very many gifts. Not that I'm complaining, as in return we are getting the best gift of all, that of time to spend with loved ones. (Besides, the only THING on my Christmas list this year is a new, functional garage door. One to match the thing on Scott's list. Wrapping 2 full sized garage doors to fit under a Christmas tree would be a real pain in the arse as it is, so it's probably better that we won't be getting them this year so we don't have to also worry about transporting them over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house for Christmas morning.)

Emails and texts have been exchanged discussing food plans, celebration schedules, gift ideas, travel plans, and conveying the vast spectrum of emotions that will be part of our holiday togetherness this year. This could be a very emotionally Christmas visit, yet my heart is the lightest and most festive it has been for many a holiday season. As I type this, occasionally sipping on my glass of red wine, the girls are making paper snowflakes and Pandora is playing us a mix of holiday tunes. It's December perfection.

I will be home this year for Christmas.

I hope my heart can keep from exploding into a thousand tiny pieces as it tries to contain the joy of that simple statement.



My Most Read Thoughts


Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.

Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today. 
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning. 
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspec…

DIY: Reusable Produce Bags

With Earth Day festivities gearing up for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to post a short DIY tutorial on making your own reusable cloth produce bags. (Tutorial inspired by my favorite crafty mom blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Produce bags inspired by running into my friend Laura at the grocery store while she was stuffing her produce into these.) This is my next step in the fight against the excessive use of plastic bags.

Our family has been making small environmentally minded changes in our daily lives over the past few years. We use reusable shopping bags. We've stopped buying/using Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. I'm trying to commute around town via bike more. I'm being more mindful about where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced. We more often hang our laundry on the line to dry in the spring and summer instead of just throwing it in the dryer. (Which is convenient at the moment since our dryer has decided to quit drying.) As we use up chemically clean…

Sunday Morning Silly...

Once in a while Dando's curiosity urges him to venture off the bookshelf so he check out other toys in the house.

I think he thinks Froggy is missing a few marbles.