Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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 activities while I, the one who used to make a living working out and who has spent much time trying to figure out how to motivate Scott to be more active with me, have settled into a much more sedentary existence. My mood, and the waist band of almost every pair of pants I own, are starting to indicate the need for change in that fact.

* * *

Saturday afternoon I had a few free hours to myself unexpectedly. I found myself downtown DSM in the East Village just browsing shops after visiting my 2 main destinations, Allspice and Hill Vintage & Knits. I love hanging out downtown, especially in the EV. Sometimes I daydream about living in a small loft downtown with big windows overlooking the State Capital, Principal Park, or the DSM River. After leaving the KC metro area 13+ years ago because we wanted to get back to small town life, and given how I used to feel about DSM when we first moved to Iowa, I find it interesting how many times Scott and I have talked about our future downtown "empty nesters" loft space. In the end I'm guessing an acreage would still win out given a choice. But one just never knows.

* * *

I had a shop owner hand me her business card on Saturday. She commented on the fingerless handwarmers I was wearing and I thanked her, explaining that I had knit them. She invited me to consider selling them in her shop as she is always looking for locally made, natural fiber items to feature and could see them selling well next winter season. It was an interesting comment I keep rolling around in my head. (See random bit #1.)

* * *

It's January, which means too much time spent inside, and in darkness. Literally and figuratively speaking. I have already started the countdown to the light of spring.


Friday, January 11, 2013


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 conversation with 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 really easy to get down about having to face tough issues with one of our girls an age when life should still be relatively carefree. The mother bear inside me wants to gather my cubs and pull them into our den to protect them from the evils of the world for just a little bit longer. I occasionally find myself thinking about how nice it would be to have the ability to turn back the clock to a time when I, much as my classroom teacher, was focused on the tough decisions of which diapers to use, how many onsies and burp clothes I would need to get through the week, and what bottles would be best to use with my breastfed babes. My-o-my have my parenting worries changed since those early days.

As much as my heart is broken over the conversations of the last 24 hours, it is also filled with much hope. We are lucky to have fostered a positive, trusting relationship with our daughter to the point that she felt comfortable coming to us to ask for help in her time of need. I feel confident in the care and support she gets from trusted adults at school when tough situations arise. The past 2 years have started to show us they will arise, whether we like it or not. I am thankful that in addition to being my awesome co-workers, those trusted adults listen to our concerns as parents with compassion and work to keep lines of communication open with all parties involved.

As the old African proverb says, "It takes a whole village to raise a child." Without family close by, I sometimes worry about if we have chosen the right village. For now this is our village, and I am thankful for the members of our community who offer their support as we take those unknown steps on our parenting journey.

These two little ladies...

they are the world to me. I know we are going to need the assistance of our village to help them continue to blossom into the amazing human beings they have already started to show they each are. They have taught me so much about the goodness of the human spirit, and the power of deep, endless, truly unconditional love. I can't even imagine what lessons parenthood has left to teach. I'm trying my best to be a good student.


Thursday, January 3, 2013


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.