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Showing posts from November, 2010

reluctant advent - hope

I have a confession.
The Christmas decorations that came out before Halloween kind of pissed me off.
And I like Christmas.
And I have little kids that I want to make it special for.
Which would require me to be excited and intentional and probably bake things.

I kept thinking I'd be more into it after Thanksgiving.
But. Still not so much.
I did get Shaun to lug the tree out of the shed.
But we haven't decorated it yet. Despite my son's begging.

Friday night I took my kids and nieces and nephew to look at lights.
And was mostly tired and full and ready for bed.
Although I did manage to spin under my favorite big tree of lights until I was dizzy.
Like I do every year.

I even did a little Christmas shopping today. But mostly I was trying to get it over with. Toys R Us doesn't exactly put me in a spirit of cheer.
And to my sister who sent me home from Thanksgiving with wrapped presents. A big fat thank you and please try explaining to my 2 year old why she can't open t…

skipping thanksgiving

One of my favorite thanksgivings wasn’t even a thanksgiving at all.

I didn’t eat turkey and no one had the day off.
The weather was miserable. Cold and rainy and gloomy.
I never seemed to get warm or dry and slept for a week on a tiny twin bed. With Shaun.
In a flat with about 4 other people I didn’t know at all.
And one I did.

We skipped work for few days, emptied out our bank account, cashed in a few old savings bonds and traded in our dollars for pounds.
And flew across the pond.
And spent the week in London.
And skipped Thanksgiving entirely.
And loved every second of it.

It was a time in my life where at parties the conversation was always steering to breastfeeding and birth control and babies.
Which was odd because we were all married with no kids.
We took  our dogs to dinner parties.
Played ultimate Frisbee on the Kimball lawn every Thursday.
Watched HGTV and decorated our new homes.
We scrapbooked and redecorated and went to late movies.
We packed up and went to the beach on …

90 to nothin

This week I went home for a few days for Thanksgiving.

And going home is always a little bit weird.
I am from a college town which means it is always different. Under construction. Updated. With newer hipper places to eat and shop and drink coffee.
And my parents don’t live in the same house I grew up in, or even on the same side of town. I live close enough, but don’t go home often because we usually do family stuff at the lake. And I’ve reached the age where I don’t really call my old friends the second I get into town. Most of them are elsewhere or we are too busy trying to cram in family stuff and put our toddlers to bed to go out for drinks, wrap houses, climb the band practice stand, steal street signs, sneak into apartment hot tubs or smoke cigars on the football field...not that I’ve ever done any of those things  :) …
Instead I hung out with my family, ate too much, and went for some really long runs.
On Friday, after a few pieces of pie (yes for breakfast) and put on my snea…


I ate my turkey over 6 hours ago. And still fell stuffed and like puking.The head count was over 20 and food covered every available surface.And both of my parents are known for their cooking.They have both had a lot of hobbies and phases while I grew up. They learned to sail, and took country and western dancing, took classical guitar lessons and just recently they took up golfing again. But they have always been able to cook.Really really well.
I blame them for my double digit size pants and for being a food snob. My dad keeps a pad and paper by his recliner to write down recipes while he watches the food network. (I keep trying to tell him about this crazy thing called the internet, but he is old school like that). He cooks crazy fancy things that I have never heard of, follows his recipes to the letter, and spends hours destroying the kitchen. And it is almost always amazing. My mom also knows her way around the kitchen. I rarely see her use a recipe and she sticks to more classic …


For almost a month in July they were mine. A few dozen 15-16 year old girls.

They came from some of the best neighborhoods and private schools to group homes and everything in between. And somehow, magically, the guards and labels and cars and boyfriends and social status didn’t seem to make it very far past those slamming double screen doors.

And it only took a few nights on those hard bunks hearing each other snore and cry and fart and giggle for everyone to start getting real. And no one put on their make up in the morning. Hair air dried or immediately went up into a ponytail and it was one big community closet.

And during the day we swam, fished, crafted, walked up a lot of hills and stole ice from the ice machines. After lunch they read the newest Harry Potter books on their bunks and passed around the latest Seventeen magazine. Or shaved their legs with spray bottles. Dug through their caboodles. Listened to their Discmans. Wrote their friends or boys and occasionally even their…

a picture i love. and 20 intense minutes.

Yesterday a  friend sent me a few pictures from Tess's birthday party...and i loved this one.
And this morning another friend posted this video on her facebook. and it is kind of long (20 minutes), and pretty intense maybe a little too much for me to swallow early on a tired Saturday morning. But I think she is pretty right on.

almost thanksgiving

I'm not going to lie.
I like Thanksgiving better than Christmas.
I mean, I like the meaning of Christmas the best...but there is so much pressure.
And so much to buy. And lots of parties and places to be.
Thanksgiving is just the food. And the people you love the most and even a few you don't even like gathered around the table.

In a handful of hours I am going to be off for an entire week. And in a few days I'll be heading home. And my family can cook and drink and swear and laugh. Alot. Which is filling and entertaining and occasional uncomfortable. Which makes me want to watch my favorite  disfunctional  holiday
movie of all time.....and there are so many to choose from (the Family stone, 4 christmases, Dan in Real Life...etc)....but Home for the Holidays wins hands down. I mean you just can't go wrong with Robert Downy Jr, Holly Hunter and Claire Daines.  So instead of a playlist....I'm gonna leave a few clips.

and be warned.
there is some language.
and when …

the catch

A number I don’t know on my cell.

I should know better than to answer,
But I do anyways.

Some guy from an awards claims center promising me my choice of 500$ cash, a Hawiaan vacation, or a new car.
I immediately looked for my out.
But he did have my name and cell phone number and claimed I registered at a Rangers game.
But I did go to a Rangers game.
And when I was little I used to dream of Ed McMahan showing up at my door with a big giant check and a television crew. With balloons and confetti.
I mean somebody had to win the publishers clearning house. Why couldn’t it be me?
So I kept listening.
Little did I know that during my three minute phone conversation with a poor unfortunate soul in a calling center, that my son was coloring all the drawer knobs black with a sharpie in the kitchen.
And he assured me that one of those glorious prizes was mine.
And I didn’t jump up and down.
My heart didn’t race.
I didn’t go to my door and look for Ed McMahan.
All I did was wait for t…

proffesional development

The other day I was in a different city.
At at teaching conference.
Sure I know this city.
And sure I knew plenty of people in town.
And even a few at the conference.
But I found myself with a few empty hours
And I took off.

The conference had me a little panicked.
I used to go to the conference every year.
And came home with all kinds of new ideas, freebies, handouts and especially renewed excitement for what I was teaching.
This time.
It was really really crowded.
The first three workshops I tried to go to were full.
(and no you couldn’t sign up in advance)
I was frustrated and overwhelmed and a little panicked, instead of the excited I had been expecting. So I decided to take off until the next session which didn’t start for hours. Really, I was bolting.

The conference center was in a newly updated really hip part of town.
That usually I would want to explore.
But I kept walking.
For atleast a mile, probably two. Til I didn’t see anyone with obnoxious nametags any more. Ta…

out of office reply playlist

I've been out of town for a few days. I have plenty of things running through my mind, but I'm behind on grading, laundry, snuggles and especially sleep.
No words until I get caught up.
But here are some tunes to hold at least me over...


Yesterday morning my kid crawled into my bed around 5 am.
And that is before you factor in daylight savings time.
I didn’t sleep so good after that.
My brain turned on and I thought about all the things I needed to get done and replayed a few conversations.

Yesterday, I met my old college room mate.
And even though I have hung out with her a half or dozen times since college and it has always been fine.
I had been kind of nervous.
And I often am when I visit old friends.
So I laid awake trying to figure out why.

First, me and this friend were always a little bit shallow. Or at least I was.
We laughed a lot. And drank our share. And occasionally stayed up late talking.
But it was usually about boys and clothes and high school and TV.
And in the end we were struggling a little as friends.
We were both spending more time with different groups of people. We were both about to graduate and getting more serious with our boys.
And most of all I worried that I had misrepresented myself and m…

missing out

Yesterday I made a list of all the things I wanted to do this weekend.
And none of them were good productive things
Like clean the house, rest, or grade papers.
These were all places I wanted to go, things I had committed to, and people I wanted to see.

And it was a good list.
Friday there was play dates, soccer practice and I had a date with my hubs. A movie. just us. And I can’t remember the last time we saw a movie together.
Today there are soccer games, authors speaking, lunch, friends in town, and other friends I just haven’t spent enough time with lately. And tomorrow is church, more authors (Donald Miller even), bands I want to hear, writers group and of course I hope to squeeze in all that stuff I am actually supposed to do…..along with good quality time with my family.

And well. As much as I try. I can’t do it all.
Or even half of it.
And I do very little of it actually well.
I get sick.
My house is a mess.
And my husband has to pull more than his share of the weight.
And s…

second six weeks playlist

I'm a teacher. I think in time frames of six weeks.
And today is the end of my kid's second six weeks in kindergarten.
(and thankfully, i have one more of mine b/c I haven't graded since progress reports!)

But today my son gets out early and is officially 1/3 of the way finished with his first year in school.
12 weeks ago he struggled to count to twenty. Tonight he fired off to 110.
12 weeks ago and I read the bedtime stories. Tonight he read me one.
12 weeks ago I was nervous about him making friends. Tonight I spent a good portion of the evening on the phone working out his social calendar.
11 weeks ago we had our share of ugly notes home. These days he comes home with a lot more stamps and smiley faces.

He loves school. He is totally hot for his teacher and some girl named Whitney in his class. And he can't wait to do his homework.
Tonight we didn't have any homework, but were planning for tomorrow's show and tell. His jumping beans have stopped jumping and …

apparently I take requests

Lately it has been cold and yuck and rainy.

Which means I have better luck running at the gym.
I hate running at the gym.

What I really like is to lace up my shoes.
Plug in my headphones and to take off down the driveway.
And not come back for an hour or more.

And although I like to do almost everything with other people.
And will gladly accept any offer for someone to run with me,
It is something I actually prefer to do alone.
At my own pace.

And I don’t run loops or circles or carefully plotted courses.
I like to get lost.
To run down roads I have never been down before.
To try and get as far away as I can.

But there is one problem.
I don’t always remember to leave anything in the tank to get back.
I run until I can’t anymore.
Until I’m a little dizzy or cramping or can’t push myself any further.
(and before you read this and think I am some super runner…keep in mind I max out around 5 miles..and often I’m not talking super far or anything impressive)
But I run without th…