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Showing posts from 2013

Dear Blog...

Hard to believe it's been 4 months since I last wrote a post. What can I say? Life has been a bit of a whirl wind since mid-July and non-essentials have been cast aside. Sadly, blog, you are a non-essential right now.

I miss you and the way you help me think through the many conversations about life's challenges and opportunities that swirl around in my head. I do hope that someday I have time to visit with you again, to share life's little blessings, joys, and bits of celebration with you. Until then, I will be thinking about you.

peace

You'll Find Me in the Stacks...

On June 12th I posted this thought to Facebook:
"I have questioned where the future of my professional life lies many times over the past 3 years. I've stressed. I've tried to force. I've cried. I've been angry. I've recently decided to stop wasting energy trying to figure it all out, and instead put more energy into being the best I can be where I'm currently landed. That decision has brought much peace to my heart, which I think is a pretty good indication that I'm doing exactly what I need to be doing right now in my life." A number of key events had happened in the weeks leading up to this point that influenced this thought.
I had taught my last scheduled yoga class in Carlisle and cleaned out the studio space I was renting...for a second time. Class attendance numbers, while steady, were small and it was getting increasingly more difficult to juggle my teaching schedule and family activity conflicts which seemed to be occurring more ofte…

The Soundtrack of Summer...

Lexi has recently become a country music listener. As a result, we've all started listening to more country both at home and in the car. While our home music collection boasts a large amount of country, southern rock, and folk music, generally the tuner on the car radio (and our most played Pandora stations around the house) are pop/rock based.

Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Kenny Rogers...all familiar names from my childhood. Growing up we had this HUGE old console stereo. It had a tuner, it played 8-tracks, but in our house it was a stack of vinyl that most often provided the beat. My Mom would load up the turntable, crank the volume and we would dance around cleaning or cooking or working on the task of the day. I loved the deep, rich sound that old wooden box provided. It's the same reason Scott and I still own the, by modern standards, huge stereo we bought the winter before we married. I'm a sucker for the big base its sub-woofer cranks ou…

Fun with Animals...

I had a hard time deciding which camera to pack for our quick trip this past weekend. My old Rebel is smaller and much lighter, but since upgrading to my 60D a couple years ago, I'm spoiled with the ability to still get good quality images in low light settings. In the end I went with the 60D knowing some of our photos would be taken in darker, interior locations. Turns out I didn't take near as many photos as I would have expected to take due to the rainy day. Thank goodness for my old, water resistant Eastpak backpack that comes on most ambulatory adventures with us. As you can see, rain or no rain, we had a good time bumming around with the animals.

These two are practically attached at the hip when they are together. It's hard to remember sometimes that almost 4 years separate them. It also cracks Scott and I up with how comfortable Lexi is with her older cousin because she is scared to death to talk to the volleyball players that Scott coached this past year who are t…

Just Cheesecake Please...

Traveling with family with whom you don't normally travel can be a fun treat. And a little stressful. It is quick to point out how uniquely we all approach things on the road. This is one such story...

We took a short trip to Omaha this weekend to meet my mom, my brother, my aunt, and my cousin with a goal of hitting the zoo on Saturday. Zoo it we did, despite the rain. Thankfully it was nice rain. No lightning. No wind. Mild temps.

After a long, moist day at the zoo, we headed to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. My Mom had never eaten at one, and had mentioned that fact several times during planning our gathering, so to the Cheesecake Factory we went. I realize there were a couple of factors that contributed to my near meltdown once we got seated in our booth and I opened the menu.
I was tired. I do not sleep well in hotels, especially the first night. I finally turned off the light to settle in at 11:45 Friday night after a full day. I remember seeing 3:00 on the bedside clock.…

Summertime...

Summer officially started last Thursday at 11:00. Our home now houses a 2nd grader and a 6th grader. Sixth grade means a move to the middle school. A certain 11 year old is pretty excited about that fact. Her parents are a little more nervous, but at the same time confident she'll do great.

Our summer schedule is filling up quickly. Summer looks a little different for us this year as the girls and I will be spending a couple days each week hanging out at the house of one of Lexi's classmates while his parents are at work. The girls were a bit concerned about how that would cut into our pool time, but I assured them we'd still have plenty of days to splash around in the sun. Plus, a little summertime employment means a less stressed family budget, and that's a good thing.

We're doing our best to make good on ourdoing plan for the summer. So far we have a family weekend to Omaha for visiting the zoo, a quick solo trip to KC to enjoy time with a friend and see Mumfor…

Doing...

"I just don't want to put things off anymore."

Words written to me by my Mom as we make plans for a short weekend gathering in June that has tentatively been planned for someday for several years. This fall we learned first hand that sometimes somedays cease to be a possibility long before you expect. In many ways, the pain of Rod's sudden death is still very raw, but it is also pushing us to not put things off any longer. It's just one of the many small blessings that has come through the great pain of loss. Life is sometimes contradictory like that I'm learning.

I'm feeling a bit restless about summer. I have an itch to pack the girls up in the car and hit the road visiting friends. We WILL be camping this summer, not saying we SHOULD take time to go camping. Scott and I ARE going to take some time to get out on our road bikes...together. I WILL be spending time dancing, barefoot, outside, to live music this summer.

This summer we will DO.

It's so e…

Accidental Discovery...

We decided to do spring break a little different this year. It included 29 hours spent in St. Louis. The weather was less than springy, but we had a great time anyway. We drove into the city right around the lunch hour and decided to exit the interstate at a random gas station just to get a sense of where we were and find a bite to eat. Totally by accident we found the Schalfly Bottleworks, a micro-brewer we knew about because of a printed beer pint in our cupboard, but not a planned stop on this trip. Unplanned discoveries are awesome.





Brea and Scott had DELICIOUS buffalo burgers. Lexi and I enjoyed vegetarian fair.


Beer was sampled and enjoyed.


Much laughing was done. It was a great way to set the tone for the rest of our trip.

Next stop, the St. Louis Science Center...


 peace

Creative Writing...

We've been projecting around here, and I've been writing about it over on my new dedicated craft/photography/creative blog. The problem seems to be the more we make, the more I want to make, the more I have to write about about, the fewer hours that seem to exist in the day. Weird how that happens. My most recent post over there...the creation of a flannel duvet cover for Lexi's new down "fluffy comforter".


I love that the girls are showing signs of having caught the crafting bug. Oh the projects I'm sure we will tackle in the years to come...


peace

Sick Day...

Brea woke up early this morning with an icky tummy.


This is not how she had planned to spend her day. In PJs, yes. At home, no.

Today at school kids are celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday. PJs, slippers, and silly socks are being worn. Stories are being read. Birthday cake is being eaten.

Brea's words to me mid-morning were, "It makes me mad that I'm not at school today."

It reminds me of the 2-3 years in a row when I was about her age that I was sick on my birthday. It made me mad. And sad. I just wanted to share birthday treats ON my birthday with my classmates. Was that too much to ask?

After a pukey morning, my little monkey seems to be feeling a bit better. She's eaten a piece of toast, has built a cave fort with the couch cushions, and is watching toons as I type.


Since neither of us are joining in the fun of silly sock day at school, we decided to have our own silly sock day at home.


Silly socks and PJs...our way of brightening up this sick day.


peace

Still Snowing...

Yesterday, as our house was waking for the start of the day, it started to snow.



90 minutes later I white knuckled my 6 mile drive to school on a single cleared (a term I'm using loosely here) east bound path on the divided highway I drive each day.

At 1:00 school dismissed early, I drove home (on wet, but clear roads), and spent an hour clearing the walks and drive of our corner lot. The girls built tunnels, forts, and threw snowballs.

30 minutes later, the snow resumed.



Last night I cancelled yoga to encourage people to stay home once there. Sporting events, classes, and meetings were cancelled or postponed all across the state due to the weather.

At 10:30(ish) I went to bed. It was still snowing.

At 6:02 am this morning my phone rang with the notice that school would be on a 2 hour delay.

At 6:18 my phone rang again, this time to notify us that school had been cancelled for the day. Scott crawled out of bed to re-shovel his side of the driveway so he could start to make his w…

Spring Cleaning...

Yep, it's that time of year. That time of year when I start to feel the depression of winter's hibernation melting. That time of year when I get restless for a little bit of change and reorganization. This spring I'm sweeping up the annoying cobwebs in my life according to the internet. Email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Linked-In, Words with Friends...it can all get so over whelming. I feel like at times it sucks the life (and hours of time) from my being. So I've made a plan:
This past week I finally sat down and cleaned out my email inbox, which had grown to over 200 emails, and unsubscribed from the daily deal offers and newsletter bits that always came in faster than I could clear them out. Sorry Groupon, you're just not worth that much of my time. I'm happy to say I'm now receiving a reasonable 3-5 emails a day. I can deal with that!Our #1 social networking choice should be time spent face to face with friends and family. I've been in too many social…

First Grade Homework...

I had this random thought the other day walking the hall at work...in a school...

Sometimes the current workings of the educational process feel a little like a manufacturing factory. Raw product in, standardized product out.

I've been thinking about this random thought for a couple of weeks now and wonder why it crossed my mind. Is it because I'm not an educator by training? Or because I work in that system with kids who don't learn the way we traditionally expect them too? Or because as a parent I want my kids to not only excel academically, but to follow their hearts doing what makes them happy in life even if that means thinking outside the box from the path society expects them to follow?

I've found I really enjoy working with some of the kids at school who struggle to understand concepts the way they are presented by the chosen curriculum product. I enjoy the challenge of helping them find a way to make sense of it all through their own best learning style. For s…

Random Bits...

Friday night I slipped on comfy clothes and headed over to a friend's for a casual girls' night complete with take out, wine, knitting, chatting, and a movie. We watched Magic Mike. I've seen better movies, but I've also wasted 2 hours on MUCH worse movies. There was one section of dialogue that keeps running through my thoughts. Brooke, the eventual girl friend, asks Mike what he would choose to do if he could wake up one morning and do what made him the happiest. His reply was to spend all day, every day, making things.

I can relate.

* * *
Scott is off playing picking up basketball while I type this. Lexi is at TKD. Brea and I are quietly hanging at home getting ready to start preparing dinner having returned from a trip to the grocery store. It's a pretty good reflection of our individual personalities. I find it somewhat ironic that over the past year or so Scott has gotten much more involved in our community, and more active with his extra curricular activitie…

Parenthood...

The teacher whose room I work in this year is expecting her first baby in March. While I can honestly say I have ZERO desire to have another baby, it has been fun watching her belly grow and to get caught up in her excitement. She's gonna be a great Mom.

Today I had to make a visit to the Principal's office with a concern. I didn't like going to the Principals office as a kid. (Not that I was a frequent visitor.) I'm not much more comfortable going there as a parent. Never in a million years would I have expected to be dealing with an issue centered around the subject of our conversationwith a daughter who is in 5th grade. As a Mom it breaks my heart to know words were thoughtlessly said by another student that hurt my daughter. As member of our school community, and of the greater world, it saddens me to see the innocence of childhood fade at an increasingly younger age these days.

Parenthood, like so much of life, is an ever educational journey it seems. It would be …

Illusions...

I've decided managing our finances is a lot like practicing yoga. I work diligently at it, knowing it's a slow, gradual growth project. Gradually I start to feel like we're getting on top of things, like we've reached some sense of order and control. Then life steps up and smacks me in the back to the head, reminding me that a sense of control is but an illusion.

Yesterday I went to my 2nd of what will be 5 dentists over the course of 2.5 months. Apparently I'm making up for 5 years worth of absence from the dental chair all in one quarter. In the end I know it is work that has needed to be done to save 1 of my teeth. But when I look at what we will be paying out of pocket by the time it's all said and done, I start to wonder if 1 tooth is really worth THAT much.

I guess I will make a point to smile big more to show off my new investment. Either that or I'm going to ask for naming right to that dental chair.


peace