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Showing posts from May, 2010

DFW to LBB

I was waiting on a short flight to Lubbock,
And there were some kind of maintenance problems and the flight was delayed.

These flights to a place where the flight attendants usually don’t even pronounce properly Are small. Tiny. Puddle Jumper flights where there is hardly even time for drink service.
Loud prop planes that make me a little bit nervous.
So the crowd waiting it out, in the sub-terminal wasn’t that big either.
Many of them started to chat and complain because it was before the time of iphones.

I was sitting away from the group. Mostly immersed in a book and partly people watching.
And I heard one of the women from the group awkwardly say she needed to get back today.
Soon.
Her father had passed away and she was anxious to be with her family.
The group awkwardly tried to comfort this stranger, but mostly she sat in silence.

After a long delay, the finally let us board the plane.
again it was tiny, with 2 on one side of the aisle and a single on the other.
I was hoping for a single or…

The Friday playlist: Summer Reading

So, this isn't really about music at all. Feel free to skip to the end if you are only here for some good tunes.
Soon I’ll be heading to the mountains for a few weeks. Summer and vacation means one thing: books.
Lots of books.
I average about 5 a week on vacation. And 3-4 for a usual summer week.
Really.
My books need their own suitcase.
I know I should breakdown and get a Kindle to save packing space….but. I like turning pages and getting a little carsick on those winding roads.
So in preparation for my trip – I haven’t packed. I haven’t thought about how to entertain my kids on that horrid 12 hourish drive. I haven’t thought about hiking boots and fishing poles and wool socks.
But, I have spent my mother’s day $ (thanks mom and dad) on amazon.com.
And everyday I come home to a joyful little brown package in the mail. With a book inside that I will sneak into someone's diaper bag or tackle box so I can take them all.

School is almost out. (well for some of you it is, but I have 6 more …

her bite is meaner than her bark

I know it might be hard to believe but.
This sweet little thing
Is a biter.
Like leaving marks on other kids in her class multiple days this week.

They haven’t threatened to kick us out yet.
But I’m afraid it is coming.

And I’m not really sure what to do.
She bites.
We say no.
We put her in time out.
She screams.
She hits.
She bites again.

I have one of the mean girls.

So tonight I searched parenting websites for advice on how to stop biting.
And they all pretty much stunk.

Suggestions?

and don't worry, that's spaghetti sauce on her face, not blood.

imaginary friends

Recently I had a friend disappoint me.
I didn’t tell them.
And I didn’t write about it when it happened.
Instead I seethed a little and got angrier and slightly resentful and finally dumped it on my husband.
(who had some great advice that will come later)

And. I have hesitated to write this piece because a lot of my real life friends read this.
Maybe even the one I’m writing about. Maybe not. Actually I’m not really sure.
And to be honest the best pace to work this out would be with them.
Just them.
And not on line.
But.
It’s not really about them. It’s more about me. And I don’t think there is so much to work out anyways.
So, if you are my real life friend and are reading this and wondering, hesitantly or fearfully if this is about you.
It might be.
But it probably isn’t.
And again. Even if it is. It’s not REALLY about you.
And if it isn’t. It could be. If we have been friends for more than five minutes, we have probably had a moment like this.

So, back to me venting to my husband.
I forced him to…

second best

Early in our marriage, I made the mistake of trying to let my husband teach me a few things.
Like skiing and golf.
I thought these would be fun things that we could do together.
Only I forgot that I am a horrible student.
That I don’t really like being told what to do.
I hate the frustration of trying so desperately to hold my arm straight or not swing to the left or keeping my skis in line. Without success.
I get more frustrated.
He tells me again.
And he tells me about a dozen things I need to fix or change or do and I don’t even know where to begin.
And we end up yelling or cussing (usually both) and not having any fun at all.

Eventually he has learned, to only offer advice when I ask for it.
Or to limit it to one thing every five minutes.
And also we learned that when we learn something we have two entirely different goals.
My husband wants to do it properly.
To have good form. Skill. And to do well. Maybe even win.
I just don’t want to suck.
I just want to be able to play.
And have a good time.
A…

The Friday Playlist: The Saturday Edition

I have never felt confined by rules. Silly things like speed limits or posting Friday playlists on Friday.

Recnently a friend gave me an itunes giftcard. Because she knows that I needed some happy. And she knows that I really didn’t want to grade any papers during my conference but instead wanted to peruse the itunes store and drain my giftcard in one sitting. Because nothing makes me happy like good music and procrastinating. And doing both at the same time makes me extra happy.

Here are a few things I bought (b/c I’m really too tired to put together any other kind of list).

Small – JJ Heller. I love her and pretty much every song she puts out.

Your Love is My Drug -Ke$ha. Yes you read that properly. I mean it. I do have living room dance parties to host….and it is great to run to. And I do plan on finding my running shoes again this week.

Silver Lining- Rilo Kiley. Because I am in search of one.

Jon Foreman – Instead of a Show. He is the front man for Switchfoot….but I love all his solo s…

me too

I used to never question God.
It was just part of the way things were.
Just like I believed in Santa and the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.

And eventually I grew up and started to wonder.
I always believed,
But occasionally I started to wonder if he was always good.
If he really loved me.
Singular me rather than an all inclusive version.
That he was paying attention.
That my prayers mattered.`

And I didn’t know that I should play by the rules.
That questioning these outloud things in a Bible study or Sunday School class
Will get you bumped to the top of the prayer list.
Because I know.
But sometimes I wonder.
And I didn’t need their scripture memory verses or their books or their prayers.
(but I guess prayers never hurt)
And I was just hoping for someone else to say
“me too”.

And, Jason Boyett’s book, O Me of Little Faith
Is one great big “me too”
And like most books I like he asks a whole lot more questions than he answers.
Hard ones.
Ones without real answers.
Ones that make me want to ask even more que…

what hope sounds like

Lately I’ve had some hard days.
I’ve written about some of it (see last post), other things I’ve left out.
Some of my friends keep asking if I’m ok.
And I’m really not.
But I don’t quite have time to let myself not be.

And I hesitate to say that I’m not.
Because none of it is really my grief.
It is all secondhand.
Losing a student is tough. But it is not like losing a son or a brother or a best friend.
Another friend is in the hospital.
She lost a son in August and is pregnant again with some serious complications.
20 weeks along with a little girl named Piper.

And yesterday, after my day job.
I had a play date and got to see a friend of my own that I have missed.
I made dinner for a neighbor who had surgery.
I stopped by the funeral home to give a girl a hug who just lost her twin.
A girl who happened to be Owen’s first baby sitter.
Who called from her cell phone in the middle of MY class to find out if my baby was a boy or a girl while I was getting a sonogram. And I’m not even sure how she got my n…

Of course I did.

Today I am supposed to be doing my last installment in five for ten and write about "yes". And this is not at all the post I intended. But life sometimes doesn't take the turns we want it to. And yesterday a teacher friend of mine called and told me about a memorial service for one of my former studetns and asked if maybe I would consider saying something. And keep in mind, that as a teacher, I pretty much speak to groups of people all day for a living. But. If I have to say something serious and heartfealt, even to an audience of one, I usually get all mumbly and stare at my shoes and forget what I was going to say. Even though I love this kid....and will miss him terribly I have a hard time imaging myslef on stage talking to an auditorium filled with grief stricken friends and family. I texted another friend about my reservations. And she knows all too well my mumbly shoe staring state.
And she replied, "Did you say yes?"
Did which I typed back. "of course…

lust. and other things i don't post about....

The fourth topic in 5 for 10 over at momalom’s page is lust.
And I have been dreading this post since the list went up.
I have started it and stopped it and taken it in so many different directions that I'm a little dizzy.
A funny little piece about my dad shredding my sister’s david lee roth poster.
A slightly too candid piece about the fact that I still get crushes.
Losing lust. Love being better than lust. Keeping lust.
A funny picture of my husband laying tile this afternoon. complete with kneebads and grout on his face, which is enough to make any girl feel a little lusty.
My intense preteen crush on Fred Savage.
Embarassing junior high first kiss stories.
making out in cars.
getting caught making out in cars.
Stretching it a bit and not applying lust to sex at all.
But really, let’s be honest….that is immediately what we all think of.
And finally, I thought I had settled on a post about wanderlust – an ache for the distance.
I could write pages on my ache for distance.

But instead I’m goin…

The Friday Playlist: Silver and Gold

Here is a mish mash of new songs ( at least to me ) and a few old ones that I just wanted to hear this week.

Silver
Photographs and Memories – Jason Reeves (all this memory talk on momalom has me digging this song)
Sugar Tongue – Indigo Girls (they just keep making good music. I especially like the acoustic version)
Trying to Put your Heart Back Together – Slow Runner (my only request is that this song was longer…it is so short and I want it to keep going)
Times – 10th Avenue North (could listen over and over and not get tired. And sometimes I do)
Justice – Sandra McCracken (my favorite on the list…the acoustic version is the best…but I can’t seem to find it for purchase so you’ll have to make do with the itunes version)
Fallen - Jennifer Knapp (she’s back in the game. And yes I did read the Christianity Today article, to which I reply, “So and turn it up”)

Gold
Resplendant – Bill Malonee &the Vigillantes of Love (there is a line “please excuse my crutch” that does it to me everytime.)
Edi…

what we mostly forget

Think back.
Long and hard. Ten Years.
Longer.
At least twenty. Twenty five. Thirty. If you are old like me.
And what do you remember?

If you are like me a lot is fuzzy.
Things that stand out aren’t exactly the kinds of things you find in photo albums.

My earliest memory is being hit in the head with a pick axe by my cousin.
I swear I heard my skull crack.
But it couldn’t have been that bad in real life because I don’t even think we went to the hospital.
Fast forward a bit. I remember my first grade teacher making me cry because I got my greater than and less than signs backwards.
I remember being punched on the playground in second grade. If I sit here long enough and try more memories will trickle in. And some of them are good and happy and wonderful. But most of them aren't.
I’m sure I played lots of games of chase and at popsicles and go plenty of smiley faces on my papers. I’m sure I made new friends and wowed them with my wit and strawberry shortcake dolls, but mostly I remember when one…

kindergarden roundup

Today I registered this little guy for kindergarden.
Ok. So maybe that picture is a little bit old.
But so stinkin cute.
(and yes my boy used to wear a helmet and he made it look good!)
So this is a slightly more recent picture.
But I'm not really sure how we suddenly got from there to here.



And I did feel a bit...
oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I-am-registering-my-baby-for-kindergarden even though I'm not usually that kind of mom.
Is he ready? Am I ready? Will he do ok? Will he make friends? Will he be smart enough? Will his teacher like him? Is he too little? Will he know where to go? Will he be able to put the straw in his capri sun all by himself?
But within minutes my kid had single handedly organized the rowdiest game of hide and go seek with about a half dozen kids that he had never met while I filled out a ridiculous amount of forms and waited in as many different lines. After they had tired and squealing and running and going over and under the cafeteria tables him and his new…

pursue something else.

Americans like the idea of happy. of pursuing happiness.
It is even one of our inalienable rights at least according to the Declaration of Independance.
But I think maybe we should pursue something else. like love or joy or peace or contentment.
and leave happy alone.
Don't read me wrong. I am neither bitter nor cynical. Even my problems are good problems. I am positive. Half full. And most days I laugh a whole lot more than I cry.
And simple things like a dance party in the living room, an hour alone in Barnes and Noble, the yellow pajama pants my son picked out for me for mother's day, potstickers, clean sheets, someone surprising me with coffee, jeans fresh from the dryer, a good song on the radio, or squeals of delight when I walk in the door all make my heart sing.
They make me happy. For a minute.
But when the squealing turns to screaming, my new pants are dirty, the sheets are in a jumble on the floor or the coffee runs out....where does that leave me?
And happy isn't always g…

courage

ok. i love homework....(i'm a teacher what can i say). so when I read about momalon's five for ten project I was in. In short, I have to post about set topics (courage, happiness, memory, lust and yes)...and a bunch of other bloggers out there will be doing the same. So here is my first installment. On courage.


I’ve had a lot of first days in the classroom.
Almost as many as a teacher as a student.

I wish I could tell you that I remember all of my students.
But with 150 or so almost adults a year.
Most of them start to blend together.
I forget names and even faces.

But my first year, those kids I remember the most.
And one in particular.

She was just a freshman and should have been as fearful of her first day in highschool as I was to be her teacher.

It was a science class and I don’t remember the lesson exactly.
We talked briefly about the difference between science and faith.
And how they weren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
But that science was something that we could prove.
That we c…

out front

Lately the weather has been amazing.
Which means I usually curse when I pull into the drive.
Because after a long day I want nothing more than to go inside. Shed my grown up clothes. Put away the mail. Eat something. Check real email and facebook and google reader and turn on the tv and decompress before starting dinner and baths and stories and games of CandyLand.
But, I have hardly seen my couch in the last few weeks.
I’m sure it misses me because I miss it.

Instead before I even have my seatbelt unbuckled my son is out of the car, has his shoes and socks off (and sometimes even his shirt and pants) and is halfway down the street on his wiggle car. Or in the neighbors bounce house or is spraying his sister down with the water hose.

For my son’s 2nd birthday we bought him this great swingset-slide-fort for the back yard. My husband and his dad (Grumps) spend hours and hours putting it together for my little ones sliding pleasure. My backyard is amazing. Quarter of an acre easy with l…

prone to wander.

The other day I was talking with someone about Kelli Corigan’s new book. Particuarly the end of the book. Where her friend, who just turned 40, decided that she was going to try and get pregnant from a sperm bank. Because even though she did not have a husband she wanted nothing more than to be a mom.

My friend talked about how she might have done the same thing had she been in her shoes. Or would at least consider it. Because she so desperately wanted to be a mother. And thankfully she is to a couple of beautiful girls. And I stared back at her a little blankly because I have never wondered down this path.
And I felt so unsettled because I don’t think that seed is planted in me so strongly.
The mothering seed.

Don’t get me wrong.
I wanted my babies.
We tried for them.
I talked my husband into them.
I might even want another.
And I love them fiercely.
I would walk through fire for them.
I’d give them both my kidneys. Without a second thought.

But sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I had …

being right

Today we were working on some problems in my physics class. They weren’t all that tough but I was still barraged with questions.
Some of my kids just wanted me to give them the answers.
Some of the others had the answer and just wanted me to tell them that they were right.
And lets be honest, half the kids were just copying each others.
But, I really didn’t care if they were right.
All I wanted was them to learn how to work the problem on their own.
Meaning I am more concerned with them learning a concept and skill than I am about them actually getting the right answer every time.
And giving it to them doesn’t really teach them anything. And copying may get them the right answer once....but they won't be able to use it in the long run.
And yes, this means that sometimes they get it wrong, but that is the risk I take when I really want them to learn something.

Tonight I was at a book club, which is often more like a bible study and we started to have some pretty differing opinions.
The voice…

the L word

This morning I had to write a nice letter for an awards ceremony.
Actually it was due last week, but I’ve kind of been putting it off.
Me, who likes to write and especially likes homework, was totally dreading this assignment.
Because nice words are hard for me.
They always sound a little forced or corny.
Like maybe they belong in a greeting card.
I get all stressed out when someone makes me sign a yearbook or a group card.
I want my words to be clever and touching and not to say the same old lame stuff.
And in this blog I tend to write things that are honest or hard or funny.
But nice. Not so much.

And I am a nice person.
I’ll buy your coffee.
I’ll run your copies.
Give you all my books.
Or watch your kid if you ask.

But I am not so good at telling
(My favorite people especially)
How great they are.
How much I like them.
I completely avoid the L word.
Or try to throw it in all casually rather than with the intensity it deserves.

Recently I tried to tell a friend some nice things.
And it took everything in…

dance party part deaux

Have I mentioned that I broke up with dish network last week. Dave Ramsey is to blame. Besides my middle school boyfriend dumping me for a girl who actually needed to wear a bra...this might be the hardest break up of them all. I'd soothe myself with copious amounts of ice cream on the couch while watching made for TV movies on lifetime. Excpet we no longer get Lifetime, or the Food Network or TNT. And Dora the Explorer isn't exactly bringing me any comfort. However my Spanish is improving. Surviving without Paula Dean and the ability to watch an episode of Law and Order episode whenever I want is going to be tough. I won't even go into how I will miss House and Parenthood and Psych and even American Idol. Don't even get me started about TiVo. It changed my life. And now it is all gone.

Even though we didn't have any premium channels the bill was hitting 70$ a month. And well despite my 5 on the AP Calculus exam back in high school, simple addition and subtraction …