Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2010

a really cheap birthday present

The 19 year old version of myself didn’t make too many good decisions and was a pretty big mess. Yes, I had great friends and was involved with some pretty great organizations and loved Jesus…but it was no secret that I often skipped class, drank too much, signed up for credit cards I shouldn’t have, drove too fast and chased after all the wrong boys.

I’m 32. And I still do some of those things. But the last one I can scratch off the list.
Because, surprisingly it is something my 19 year old self managed to get right.

Thirteen Octobers ago, this shaggy haired guy with a goatee asked me to go to a soccer game with me. I had just broken up with a great guy, pretty much for being great, and the last thing I wanted was a new boyfriend.
But he was cute. And so I said yes anyways.
And he has been stuck with me ever since.

He was some magic combination between the good guys that I wanted to like and the bad ones that I always ended up falling for. He liked good movies, live music, soccer, Ro…

the waiting game

Lately I haven’t felt very productive in most areas of my life.

I have been going to all kinds of work trainings and I always leave a little conflicted.
Like I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
That maybe I should quit and really try to write or serve in some bigger ways.
That maybe I should teach at a rougher school down the road.
Loving bigger and harder.
Or that maybe I should be just doing my current job better.
Because really, I kind of like where I am at.
But maybe start actually getting papers graded on time and getting lesson plans turned in for a change.  That I should be the ones teaching the workshops, rather than sitting in them, and using that Masters degree of mine.
I keep waiting to do something with my life,
And the writing is always at a stalemate.
I still have no idea what I want to do with it.
And so I just keep doing the same things.
And the same things are good things.
And my kids are little, and probably the most important investment of my time …

a repost and a playlist

This morning my kids walked out the door as Jango Fett and a butterfly.
I'm not really sure who Jango Fett but it has something to do with Star Wars and requires a light saber. And well, Tess isn't too thrilled with the butterfly.

So here is to costumes and my annual Halloween repost from when he was 3 and spiderman:
Owen just scooted out the door for the day dressed as spiderman. His school is having a halloween party......but I am not sure he was supposed to show up ALL day in costume. I also considered the fact that they are serving lasagna for lunch, and the outfit is a one-piecer making "potty time" a nightmare. I thought maybe just taking his costume to put on at party time would be a better idea. However, I could not convince my child of this.Before leaving he asked me a question that has stuck with me ( well maybe because he asked it about a dozen times in a span of 5 minutes).

"Who are you going to be today mommy?"
First I tried responding with someth…

from the water

Last weekend I made a quick run to the lake to visit my family.
I dreaded the drive. It’s close to four hours, which isn’t too bad.
But it had been a long week.
I hadn’t slept great.
And it was just me and my 2 year old.
My 2 year old that screamed a good portion of the way there.

But not long after exiting 45, the last stretch, a long windy road that takes me up the back side of the lake, I started crossing bridges.
And the second I hit the water something in me began to settle.
My husband comes from mountain people.
And I do love the mountains.
But I come from the water.

My annual family vacation growing up was always the beach.
I was wading in and out of waves, boogie boarding and collecting seashells and throwing back oysters on the half shell long before kindergarten.
Somewhere around middle school my parents bought a sailboat.
And dragged me down to the bay almost every weekend.
I was at the age where I wanted to spend my weekends on the phone or meeting boys at movies.
Instead …

slightly old school friday playlist

The ipod connector in my car isn't working, so I have had to drag some old cds out of the attic. I haven't bought cds in ages so my playlist is a little dated. just like the photos. The pics could have been better if:
a) I spend more than 2 minutes on my lunch break picking them out
b) I actually scanned them in rather than just taking pictures of pictures on my phone.
Sorry...I'll try to make up for it in commentary!

ok, guessing about sophomore/junior year of college at a soccer banquet. My hair cut is the same. His not so much. And I think that might be the last time I saw him wear a tie. Freshman year. Bad purple hair. I have on a lamb name tag. And my hot pink lipstick and bad jumper aren't doing me any favors. Just glad someone else had on a bad plaid dress too. You could possibly sell advertising space on my forehead. 9th or 10th grade of high school school photo. That shirt was silk, Esprit and I loved it. AND HORRIBLE. But my hair has never looked better. And pos…

Turning the question

My school has been sending me to some inquiry training.
The “i” word has been thrown around since my education classes in college.
It is one of those things that is really good as a concept but kind of hard to pull off in the classroom well.
For lots of reasons.
But the big one number is because teachers are reluctant to let go of the control.
To let the kids loose with a concept and see where they end up.
Let them discover, own it and share out all on their own. Without intervening.
Then push them a little bit further and clear up any misconceptions that they are holding onto before they slip out your door.
This is supposed to be the most meaningful way for a kid to learn.
For them to discover rather than memorize.

One of the other problems with inquiry and science is that kids have stopped learning how to ask questions.
My son bombards me with whys all day long.
Why are owls nocturnal? (which comes out a lot more like “not-turtles”)
Why do I have to take a shower?
Why does that clou…


A few months or so ago we were at the lake.
The cousins were all on the dock floating and jumping off the sides.
The older boys were doing gainers and cannonballs and even the occasional belly flop.
And by older I am including some in their 30s and 40s and possibly even me.

Owen was a little more cautious.

He was floating and splashing happily enough in the water.
But he wouldn’t have anything to do with jumping in.
You could tell he wanted to join in, but I couldn’t convince him that his life vest would hold him up.
And that even though it might be a little scary at first.
That it would be fun.
Eventually I talked him up the ladder, and he was staring over the edge.
But not jumping.
I nodded to my brother to give him a little push.
And he looked back at me, like are you sure?
And I insisted.
And it didn’t take much.
Just a little nudge.

And Owen went flying over the side.
Screaming and gasping a little.
Only to scurry up the ladder and do it at least another 40 times before I final…

reluctant dinner party

Early in the week, I had big plans to have people over.

Shaun and Owen were going to camp out and I thought it would be a perfect excuse for a cheap girls night.
And then the week took it’s toll on me.
Not sleeping well, behind at work, stomach hurting, emotionally drained.
By the time Friday night hit. I just wanted to put on my pjs and crawl into bed.

Add on to that the fact that the boys didn’t go camping.
And I had a screaming headache from unintentionally sniffing glue at school all day (long crazy story that could be a blog post in itself).
But some of my friends still wanted to come over. 
And I figured I might as well.

I love having people over.
I even like to cook.
But I hate to clean.
And my house and my mess and my lack of seating and matching china embarrasses me.
So we usually don’t.
Especially not when I’m super tired and haven’t picked up or done dishes or even gone to the store.

A few families were coming over and I warned them I wasn’t picking up a thing. Which I us…

not so different.

Sometime last Spring I went to Bible study like normal.
We had just read a book about the author’s pursuit of justice that uprooted her family from the suburbs to the city and eventually sent her on a short term mission trip to Africa.
The book felt like a journey that I was just beginning.

I read a lot.
And lately I have been reading more books on justice and poverty and compassion.
And I am growing tired of my suburban mediocrity.
And I am starting to read less, and do a little bit more.
Not much. But a beginning.
I’ve been asking a lot of questions.
And my faith has started to feel slippery and loose beneath me.
Lines are graying. Theology is being examined.
The only thing that feels solid is love.
And I figure that is enough.

So I get to bible study, and I love this book.
because of what is says about community and justice and all those questions that are finding their way into my head.
And some others in the group. Not so much.
And as the discussion progresses some of my state…

the shockingly on time but I 'm too tired to write anything so settle for some pictures playlist.


Last week I saw a picture of a guitar.
And ever since then I've been aching to get it out of the closet.
To tune it up.
And play.

The only problem is, after an almost decade hiatus,
It's not that easy.

After wiping the dust off.
My chords were clumsy.
The few that I remembered.
My fingers were raw and uncalloused and tender.
And my songs didn't really sound like songs anymore.

Let me be clear.
I was never a rock star.
I could barely even play bar chords.
But I knew a binder full of songs.
And could make music from those six strings.
Thanks to 8 slightly embarrassing years of orchestra, I could do even better on four.

I am out of practice.
I am rusty.
And for the last decade my guitar has been serving the purpose of holding up sweatshirts in my closet rather than making music.
Still doing a job.
Just a really boring one.

Beautiful things don't play themselves.
And gifts and chords and songs get forgotten when no one is singing them.
A cardboard box could hold up sw…


I just watched Waiting for for Superman, which is a documentary exposing the failures of the public school system in the US.
I was warned that, as a public school teacher it would just make me frustrated and angry. Instead it just made me feel sad and helpless.
The narrator talked about how sad he was to learn that Superman wasn't real. And that no one was coming to rescue them.
I sobbed at the end as the kids waited for their name to be drawn in a handful of lotteries, for their chance to go to a good school. For a much better chance at education, college and adults pouring energy into their success as compared to their neighborhood schools with 60-70% dropout rates and even worse testing scores. Their future seemed to come down to their name being drawn out of hat. Or at least a pretty good head start.
Most of them weren’t picked.

And I watched it one statement just kept playing through my mind.
“What can I do?”
And it wasn’t a frustrated, this is too messed up, give up,sarcas…

The let's-be-honest-rarely-posted-on-Friday-playlist plus bonus interview

I skipped a week in here somewhere, but I think my nephew helped me with my last playlist. In return for me helping him with a science project. He needed to interview a chemistry teacher. I tried to be serious as to not hurt his grade. But I just couldn't do it. Here is the interview more or less.

Q1. what degrees do you have, and from where?
A: 1. Interdisciplinary science from Texas Tech (BS degree, really that is the abbreviation...I am not shortening a cussword).
and a Masters in Multidisciplinary Scinece from UTA ( MA degree).
Q2. what are the daily duties of a chemistry teacher?
A. daily duties: light stuff on fire, put it out before the fire alarms go off, fix the copy machine, grade lots of paper, support Starbucks, reply to crazy parent emails, and all that other junk the school makes you do. (or more seriously if your teacher does not have a sense of humor...make copies, set up labs, print MSDS sheets, grade papers, grades some more papers, explain to parents why their kid…

coffee money

Recently my dad has started slipping me a handful of cash as he leaves.

“coffee money,” he says.

And I love this. I mean who doesn’t love a fistful of bills. It is usually far more than enough for coffee, but enough for a nice dinner out, or a new outfit, or a dozen or so trips to Starbucks. And I am particularly bad with money. I don’t have tons of credit card debt racked up. I just never ever balance my checkbook. ever. I am a horrible steward of almost all things, money and time included. I also associate a lot of guilt with money. If I spend 4$ on coffee, I feel bad because it is money that isn’t going to my family or serving the kingdom in any way. And I spend lots of 4$ on coffee….so the guilt and budget deficit tend to add up. So when my dad gives me cash, he is giving me freedom to indulge. A treat. Money that I don’t feel bad about spending or not giving away.
And it isn’t just he cash that I like, but the gesture. And I know that I am far too old to be taking money from my …

sweet relief

We were in a pub.
(And I’m not trying to be all cool and English and hip, it really was a pub)
She ordered an iced tea and I looked at her a little funny.
She spilled quickly.
She had seen the heart beat for the first time that morning.
We celebrated that night, because it had been such a long journey.
And this friend was in some desperate need of good news.

I held my breath with her until she hit the safety mark.
Twelve weeks.

But it wasn’t safe.
And only a week or two later.
There were complications.
Big ones.
A uterine tear.
And she was told all she could do was rest and hope for the best.

And despite the bed rest, and the prayer, and the pleading.
It didn’t heal.

But somehow that baby hung in there.
And there was more praying and pleading and hoping.
And just when I decided to trust.
To believe.
To picture a baby in my arms. And more importantly hers.
And this mom who so deserved it, after one was ripped from hers.
She was back in the hospital. With contractions and bleeding.

you never know until you tri

I had another crazy busy weekend.

Owen had not one but two soccer games (both wins!).
My parents were in town.
My in-laws were in town.
My house got skunked, again (and still smells!)
I threw a fabulous 2nd birthday party for Tess.
My grades are due at 8 am tomorrow
( and still aren’t done in case you were wondering).
Plus, I’m still really tired from my Portland trip earlier in the week.
Exhausting right?

….oh, and I also ran a Sprint Triathalon!

Last night after the soccer game and birthday party and ridiculous amount of food I ate at dinner (thanks dad), I tried to get to bed early. I read a little Born to Run as motivation and wished I had resisted the urge to have dessert at dinner.

And I couldn’t sleep. And it wasn’t just the dog barking, the 2 year old crying or the 5 year old falling out of bed. I was totally nervous.
I have done lots of races. Even hard ones. Like a half marathon and the Mud Run last Spring with Shaun.
But this race, with the swimming and biking had my stom…