Friday, May 20, 2016

Is This Life?

Photo Credit: cea+

This week has been exhausting. There has been good stuff that happened too. My son and husband went to Monday Night Raw this week. It was one of those lifetime memory moments. I was so happy for him that I actually teared up. It was just so special. I got to finish a great book and start another one. And those two things have kept me up late and it was good. I have seen Ben playing and Drew coaching youth soccer games. They both do such a great job! It is a joy to spend my Tuesday and Thursday nights watching them.

However, my daughter is teething and it has been raining all week, which has thrown off my dog's bathroom breaks. Those two things have combined to make sleeping through the night nearly impossible. That hasn't been good. I've also had a cough for about 3 weeks. It was probably a virus that turned into a cold or allergies because I have also had some drainage. That hasn't been good.

The good stuff and the bad stuff have combined to make me exhausted. It is also the end of the school year with testing and special days abounding. So taking a sick day isn't going to happen. I'm getting a half sick day today. I might be calling the doctor as well because coughing for 3 weeks probably isn't a good thing. Then tonight I'm going back to be house manager for the drama musical production tonight and tomorrow.

I keep thinking someday things will slow down. I think I won't be this busy forever. At some point in time this week, I stopped myself. I thought maybe it won't slow down. Maybe life will always be this full and this busy. Maybe it will always be this exhausting. Maybe I should stop praying for God to make this easier and pray for God to help me do this well.

What do you think?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday the 13th

I think Friday the 13th has started creeping into the other days of the week. Monday was a sick day because everyone in the house was sick. Wednesday there was a lockdown at the high school. I think that is obviously stressful for many reasons. Everything turned out fine. Everyone involved was amazingly professional. Thursday the wheel bearing in my car was bad and the soccer game was rained out, as in it started pouring about 2 minutes into the game. So far today has been quiet. I have to say that I'm suspicious of the quiet.

Photo Credit: Frédéric BISSON

With all of the stuff going on this week, it would be easy to become discouraged or angry. It would be easy to write a post to complain about all the bad stuff happening.

But it hasn't been a bad week.

There have been low lights, but there have also been highlights. I have listened to Ben and Lily laughing together as they played. I have listened to Ben laughing shortly after he wakes up. (That's an amazing feat because that little boy is not a morning person.) I have listened to Lily laughing as Ike licks her face all over. I have gotten to cuddle with my husband. (Again amazing feat with two little ones in the house.) We have all sat down together and eaten dinner. We have given hugs and kisses. We got caught in a spring rain storm. I have had deep conversations with my son about his worth. I have had conversations with my daughter about her school day.

It has been a good week. So bring on Friday the 13th. I'm ready for you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

When You Can't Dress Yourself

Not only am I getting older, but I really think my mind is starting to go. I am finding it harder and harder to remember things without writing them down. Sure we all have some issues like that, appointments, meetings or other things out of the ordinary need to be written down. This I'm not particularly worried about because that happens to everyone, young or old. It's when I forget to do the obvious things that I start to get worried. As such today is a day that I'm starting to worry about myself.

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day and a part of Teacher Appreciation Week. As a teacher, I look forward to this because I normally get a special lunch or two. As a parent who is also a teacher, this week stresses me out a little. I feel like I should be an expert gift giver because I see behind the scenes. Not only do I need to get a gift for my son's teacher, but what about his extras teachers? They are normally forgotten about. I know because I'm an extras teacher. So I can't forget about them or the teacher's assistants. They need to be appreciated as well. So my gift giving is now up to 6 people. Finding gifts for them isn't a problem. Wrapping said gifts is a problem. I don't have enough bags for all of those and my wrapping paper is all for Christmas. So I wrap it in tissue paper and tie it with a ribbon. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself. But how to do I say the to and from? It's paper, so I just write on there with a Sharpie. Not the nicest thing ever, but it's 6 gifts, 8 including Lily's teachers. And it's the thought that counts, so I write the names on the paper. But what if Ben or whomever is delivering them can't tell who it is for? I'll just go in to the office first thing in the morning. I can point out where the names are and the gifts can go in their boxes. Maybe it would mean more if Ben delivered them, but that seems like a lot for a first grader to do.

So the gifts are wrapped and the plan is set. Now I just need to put aside an extra 10 minutes in my morning. 

You would think getting up 10 minutes earlier would be the easy solution. But easy solutions are not my specialty. And I also have some kind cold virus thing. My throat is scratchy and I don't feel great. So that extra 10 minutes was important this morning. I decided to save time in the clothes department. I have a new skirt I've been wanting to wear. So I grab the skirt and a solid color t-shirt. Simple and quick. I make lunches, get Ben ready, make my coffee, and we are ready to go. Ben knows we have to be out early, so he gets his shoes on without a fuss. The only thing left is for me to put shoes on, which I remember after I have picked up all my bags. I don't have shoes on because at one point in time this morning I had thought about wearing flip flops or flats or maybe even the new tennis shoes I got. So without socks on and with all of my gear on my shoulders, there only seemed to be one solution, flip flops. Now we are ready and out the door 10 minutes early. Win!

On the drive to school, it starts to sprinkle. Flip flops in the rain isn't the best idea. No biggie I'm going to be inside most of the day. It's okay, not a huge problem. I get out of the car to go inside my son's school to deliver the presents. Then Ben says, "Mom, what's all over your shirt?" I look down and see.... 

Actual Stain

spaghetti stains. Big ones. I know I just washed and dried this shirt. That means I forgot to put the stain remover on the shirt before I washed it. So it's pretty much a guarantee that this shirt is stained for good. But more importantly, I have to wear a spaghetti stained shirt all day. There is no time to go home or to run to the store for a new one. So I'm wearing this one all day. At school, I realize that I forgot to pray with Ben this morning too. We pray every school morning. Of course I also get dressed every morning. 

So on a rainy day, I have no coat, flip flops, a spaghetti stained shirt, and an unprayed for child. It might be time to worry. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mama Said There'd Be days Like This

A field trip, a class party, two meetings, a soccer game on the day before pay day with Aunt Flo coming for a visit.

OH it is so hard being an adult! Too much to do in one day. Can I get an amen?

The field trip was great because I got to see some of my students in whole new light. We got to celebrate things together, like making some really cool art and eating a whole burrito when you were the last kid in line and it's almost time to go. (Yes we really did celebrate that.) I got to create art. No rules of what it is supposed to look like or be like. Just here are some cool pieces of wood and some wood glue, create. I got see some amazing photography and folk art. I got spend time in a museum. It was a chance to breathe. The class party went a bit wonky. I can't make one of the meetings. It might rain out the soccer game. But it's all good because art and I got to meet today.

What made your day great today?

P.S. I'll post photos of my art when it is done. Today was just step 1.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Getting better inch by inch

Life as a working mother of 2 young kids is busy. When that job is teaching, the proper adjective would be crazy. (Let's not even go into the other stuff that is going on in life.) It is so easy to just get lost in the stream of things that are going on, to let life live you. I have been guilty of that for much of this school year and probably quite a bit of last school year. Somewhere along the line recently I decided that I wasn't going to let that keep happening. I was going to do something about it. So I'm slowly carving out 5 minutes here and there for enjoyable activities as well as 30 seconds of gratefulness here and there. I'm noticing a difference. I see my life getting better inch by inch.

What am I doing more of?

More reading
More baseball
More walking
More playing with my kids
More enjoying  my kids

So when we are out walking and I see the sun shining on Lily's red hair, I stop. I smile. I tuck that memory away. When Lily uses a new sentence and just sounds so cute, I stop. I smile. I tuck away that memory. Last night when Lily wanted to walk around the track instead of sitting to watch Ben's game. She took my finger and said walk. So I walked. She discovered a stand of pine trees at the top of the hill. She saw and adventure and climbed the tall hill. She got stuck in all the roots and was trying her hardest to figure out how to climb further. I stopped. I smiled. I took a photo and tucked away the memory. I just love my adventurous little girl.

Ben is now 7. He is growing so fast and conquering so many things. First grade has not been easy for him. His writing was behind and general expression of ideas as well. So we have worked so hard with him and he is doing fabulous. His allergies have gotten the best of him this past week. So he went to the doctor Monday and missed school. So yesterday he had extra work to do. Last night he did 2 worksheets that he missed and 4 spelling assignments! He didn't need to do all the spelling assignments, but he was willing to work. So he just kept working for me. What kid does that much work just because you ask him? Mine does. Last night after the game I saw a video of the dolphin in Shedd's Aquarium giving birth. I called Ben over and we watched it again together. He just kept oohing and ahhing over the baby dolphin, talking about how cute it was even when it was just a bit of tail sticking out. Again, I stopped. I smiled. I tucked away the memory. There's more I could say, but I'm not sure I'm ready to publicly share it. Suffice it to say, there are many times in these last few months that have been special. I stop. I smile. I tuck away the memory.

A little bit more good stuff in my day and life looks a little brighter. Actually it looks a lot brighter. So if you need some brightness in your day, look around. Stop. Smile. And tuck away the memory.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I Should be Writing

Photo Credit: Wonderlane

I wrote a post last weekend and had every intention of writing one this weekend. I knew something would come to mind and I would have words to share on here. I've had plenty to share in passionate conversations the last couple nights. And now here I am on Monday morning with the weekend past and the passionate conversation gone. Maybe the late night conversations and early morning wake up calls which contributed to my lack of sleep have also contributed to my lack of wordsmithery this morning.

So I should be writing, but more than that, I should be thinking. I should be capturing thoughts to expand on and stories to share. I should be reserving a space in my mind to start building these posts. Why?

Because I miss this.

I have written very sparsely this school year. In part because of the massive amount of work I had to do. In order to accomplish a textbook-less, paperless classroom, I have had so much work to do. I have more that I need to do, but it is work that requires quiet and therefore is reserved for work days. So for now, I find myself 'done' with all this extra work. I'm settling into a better paced routine. I'm finding extra minutes in my day. Extra minutes to think and extra minutes to write. I've been thinking that I wanted to get back on here regularly, like once a week. Then last week I even had a few ideas floating around my head. I actually thought of things to say! So I was prepared to be writing. I thought I would be writing. And I look at the blank screen and nothing comes to mind. So I'll be back next week with something better, hopefully.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Family or Career: What is having it all?

Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski

The world tells us that we can have it all, family and career. What it really means is that we can have a career and be successful, powerful, rich, and have some family on the side. That isn't having it all because when you keep trying to do both one of them will end up leaving. So we need to decide which one we want.

We see so many examples on TV, both fictional and non fictional, of people choosing career and losing family. But the media, doesn't focus on that. They don't tell the story that way. They focus on other things, so we don't see the truth. How many times have you heard of a cop, chef, business person, musician lose their family because they are working too many hours? Again in fictional or non-fictional stories. How many times have you heard the story of dad being hard on me because he was a military man or he was a pastor or he was a professor? They aren't defining that man by family terms. They are defining the man by the career.

Maybe it is just an easy story to tell. Maybe fiction writers in books or on TV or in the movies just go to those stories for convenience.

Or maybe they tell those stories because they are the most believable. Those stories are most like us. We don't tell ourselves the truth. We tell ourselves that we are doing okay. We can have a career and family. We tell ourselves that even though others failed, we won't fail. We can do what others can't do.

Let me be one to say, that's a huge lie! You can't have it all, so stop trying.

Actually, redefine what you mean by having it all. Going after a career isn't a bad thing. Dragging other people along, so you can pretend like you have a family while you are going after a career, I think that is a bad thing. Be honest. Do you want to be on top of your career field? Great! Go for it! Do you want a happy healthy beautiful family? Great! Go for it! But don't expect to be on the top of field. Do a job well (because doing a crappy job on purpose isn't cool.) and then go home and do family great!

Redefine what having it all means. Don't listen to what society tells you. They lie a lot. Listen to what God is speaking to your heart. He doesn't lie. Actually he can't lie. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.