Monday, December 03, 2007

School Days

I woke up this morning and felt sick to my stomach at the thought of going to work. I promised myself I wouldn't get so stressed this year, yet here I am. It seems like every school year brings new challenges. This year is bringing many. I have a tough little group on my hands. Between oppositional behavior, one child who runs out of the classroom whenever she wants to, frequent bathroom accidents, and tough social situations, I have my hands full. Everything happens for a reason though and I am meant to learn something from this experience. Perhaps I will come out of this school year with better classroom management skills. The wonderful thing is that the powers that be just decided to send me help. Starting tomorrow I will have a full time helper in the classroom. I am optomistic that it will make a difference. Here's hoping.

Dear Beth and Maggie- Thanks for Christmas shopping and munchies with me on Saturday, I needed that! :o) I had so much fun.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tis' the Season to be Jolly...

What is it about this time of year? Christmas is magical. I love, love, love this time of the year. I am a sucker for carols and twinkle lights. As I was guiltily putting out our Christmas decorations, a week before the official start of the season, my thoughts wandered as they often do and I realized that Chritmas is so special to me because it holds so may sweet memories.

Ryan proposed to me in front of my parent's Christmas tree, and just sitting in the soft glow of these lights reminds me of that moment. One of my ornaments is a little fuzzy dog in a basket. I have had it since, well... as long as I can remember, and hanging it is like holding my childhood in my hands. I hang up old stockings and remember my sisters and I sneaking down the stairs long before dawn to see if Santa had come yet and filled them. I wear cozy flannel pajamas and think of the tradition in my family of opening one gift on Chritmas Eve which was always new jammies.

I think what touches me most though are all the things at this time of year which remind me of my Nana. I have my Nana's silver sleigh bells, and when they ring I can see her house in my mind. I smile when I hang up the stocking she crocheted for me, knowing that my hands are touching something that hers once touched. When we used to go visit her on Saturdays we would drive home at night and count all the houses with Christmas lights on them. My mom later confessed that she did this to keep my sisters and I awake, but it is still one of my favorite memories. All these little things help me to feel connected to her even though she is no longer with us.

What is one of your favorite Christmas memories?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Time for a Challenge...

Not that this past week wasn't challenging... lol. It is always hard to come back to school in September and help a new class learn the ins and outs of how school works. This year it seems I might have a tough bunch on my hands, so I realize now more than ever I have to dedicate time to myself as well as school. The last time I had a class like this I became so wrapped up in the difficulty of work that I made myself sick. I literally would feel like throwing up every morning. Granted that was many years ago, and I have learned a lot since then, but I refuse to do that to myself again.

To work toward some dedicated "me" time I am going to try a Jamie recommended challenge.
The idea is to break a bad habit in 21 days. Mine is not exercising daily which I must begin to do. Ever since my mom got sick in August I have lost some of my focus toward healthy living. I was doing really well so I need to get my focus back. I am hopeful that the inspiration from this challenge will help. Here it goes!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Leaping in...

At the expense of jumping right back into this, I forgot how theraputic it can be to vent here, and even just to write. It has been a really crazy week. A lot of really negative stuff has happened, though I have faith that everything happens for a reason. The only good thing about all of this happening at once is that it puts things into clear perspective. You quickly realize what your real focus should be.

My mother is in the hospital and I am so worried about her. She isn't facing anything life threatening at the moment, but this incident has made me realize in stark reality just how fragile her life is. She isn't taking good care of herself and I feel like no amount of effort on my behalf or my family's behalf can force her to do so. At the end of the day she has to take care of herself. How can I help her to do it? She is the kind of person that has such a big heart that she is always focused on being kind and helpful to others. She forgets about herself. She dealt with pain for a week before being admitted to the hospital because she was focused on my uncle and our family. She is an incredibly selfless person. I love her more than words can say.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I just realized how long it has been since I blogged. It isn't for the lack of material as much as for the lack of time. Life has been hectic. It always is when the school year winds down. The house is looking better since the flood waters have receeded and we learned some good lessons on what not to keep downstairs. My dear friend Erica had twin boys. I am so happy for her, they are beautiful. Margaret asked me to be Sydney's Godmother and I am honored. There have been many things happening here and there and thankfully they are mostly lovely.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

I can finally take a moment to sit and gather my thoughts. To make a very long story short our house was majorly flooded Sunday night due to the Noreaster. We knew we might encounter some trouble when we heard the weather reports, but we never thought it could ever get as bad as it did. We decided not to go to sleep Sunday night, and that was a good thing. Around midnight the water started to creep into Ryan's home office, so we quickly moved upstairs some collectibles and DVD's. We decided to move as much as we could from that room to higher ground. Around 2:30 am I sat down to rest a moment when all of the sudden the cats bolted from the living room with their tails poofed up. I walked toward the corner they ran from to see what scared them came the deluge. The next thing I knew our whole downstairs level was covered in about 6 inches of water. It turns out that a dam up the road from us broke and the lake wound up overflowing into our development, which explained the big rush of water.We quickly worked to bring what we cared about most in the remaining rooms upstairs, but at that point a lot of the damage was done. So much for my little room.

At first I felt such despair. I knew I had lost a lot of memorabilia because my scrap book room was soaked. Ryan lost some of his things too, memorabilia he had hung on to over the years, not to mention our carpets and furniture. I cried my heart out because I felt so overwhelmed. How does one clean up a mess like that? I didn't even know where to start. Then the waters receeded and left us with 4 very wet carpets and a lot of damaged furniture. I felt such saddness...and then I got a chance to watch the news and I realized that it truly could have been so much worse. Seeing the damage that many other unfortunate people had to endure helped to put my mess into perspective.

So now we are working on drying out and cleaning up, with some much appreciated help from my daddy, Laurie, and Veronica. We threw out so much stuff today, which was a step towards normal. I'll just pretend it's spring cleaning and not parting with things we otherwise would not have wanted to part with. My body aches from all of the stress we have endured, both physically and mentally. I have to remember that at the end of the day the important thing is that we are okay. No one was hurt, thank God. What we lost were things...they were just things...and they don't matter...not much anyway.

Friday, April 06, 2007

New Hair

Just before leaving for Arizona I decided it was time to cut my hair. It was getting to be so long it was hard to manage. I also decided that I wanted to donate it, realizing that such a gesture would help someone like my Aunt Janet who I lost to breast cancer in 1995. I didn't realize until now though how much it would feel like a sacrifice. As Jo said of cutting her hair in "Little Women," "It will be good for my vanity, I was getting too proud of my wig." I miss my long braid but find comfort in knowing that my hair was not swept up by the hairdresser's broom but instead will be used by someone in need.

Arizona was different this time around. It was wonderful to see Winkie married and happy. This time the trip seemed rushed, with a check list of things Carrie had to do. I knew this would be the case since it was her sister's wedding. She also had to work many of days we were there. Still, we had the chance to lounge together at night and chatted away as much as possible. Meanwhile Ryan and I explored the area in our rental car by day and enjoyed some nice alone time of our own. We also spent a day up in Sedona, which was beautiful and relaxing. We had massages and then ate lunch at a cute little Mexican Cantina. It was picturesque. Every day we had the pleasure of enjoying 85-90 degree weather so it was a shock to the body to return to 50 degrees. We left Phoenix with some new memories and the rejuvination that comes from vacation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Indigo Girls

I can't believe I forgot to write about the Indigo Girls concert we went to on Wednesday. See, that's what getting angry gets you! All those mad thoughts running about in my mind blocked out a few things I wanted to write about. We had such a great time. They sang every song we hoped they would, but the cherry on top of the sundae was when just before singing "Closer to Fine" they said, "We would like to invite our special guest onto the stage, Lisa Loeb." AHHHH!!! I jumpued out of my seat. Ryan said I lit up like a Christmas tree. I love Lisa Loeb as much as the Indigo Girls if not more so it was such a treat for me. Margaret, remember on Sunday I wanted to tell you something but forgot what it was? That was it! A big hug and kiss to Ryan for buying the tickets for me and treating me to a Kelly night, I know that one was all about me and I really appreciated it.

I got to go visit Maggie and family in their new house on Sunday. It is going to be so beautiful when they finish rennovating. It is beautiful already, so I can only imagine when they are done. It is always nice to see Grandma Debbie too, and of course Miss Sydney and Corey (can't leave Dad out.) Thanks for a fun day, I miss you now that you are so far away.

We are off to AZ on Friday for Winkie's wedding. I am bummed that Beth isn't going. I hope that she is feeling better soon. I will write about this trip as soon as I can.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Little Rant

Sorry everone...this is a long one... I am annoyed.

About a week ago we started having trouble with the electricty in my house. I noticed that when I was using my dryer at the end of the cycle when it was just about to shut down it would cause a circuit to trip. Now, this could be a sign that my dryer is on its last legs, or it could be a sign that my house is electrically imbalanced and overloaded. (I think that it could be a bit of both, we have a list of 12 things that are electriaclly askew in our home...something is not right.) Anyway, all of this prompted me to search for an electrician. Have you ever done this? Good luck! The first person I called was recommended by a friend. When I got him on the phone he did not want to come because he thinks it is the dryer. I still wanted the house checked out though so I called electrician number two.

The second guy is the reason I am ranting. This one, recommended by a family member, gave me the complete run around. At first he said he would come on Monday at 5:00. Great, I left school right away and hurried home to be there for him. 5:30...5:45....6:00... you guessed it, he didn't show. No phone call or anything. So I call him up and ask him where he is and he said, "Oh..yeah (as if he has forgotten about me completely) I am running behind schedule. I can't come today. How about Friday?" I am thinking, okay now I will go a whole week worrying that my hose might burn down. Fine Friday it is, what time? 5:00 of course. So yesterday I race home again, leaving a "to-do" pile at school to meet up with this guy. Well 5:30 came and went with no word from him. I called him at 6:00 and he mumbled something about having to go to Newburgh and could he come at 7:30? Fine...7:45, 8:00....UGGGG!!!! I called again at 8:00 PM when there was once again no sign of him coming. I got his voicemail. What a shocker....the sure sign that someone is trying to avoid talking to you. I left him a voicemail reinterating my address and saying perhaps he is lost. 9:00 comes around and he still hasn't called or shown up and I call again, this time leaving him a not-so-nice message about his business practices.

The thing that really bothers me here is his disregard for me as a human being. He has an expertise that he knows is in demand and he thinks because of this he can take advantage of other people. I HATE being taken advantage of, it is one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate feeling upset and helpless, like I can't do anything about it. If this guy didn't want my business all he had to do is say so the first time I spoke to him. Instead he gave me the run around and caused me to rush home from work twice and sit around and wait for nothing. Why does he think my time is any less valuable than his? Why do people find it so easy to walk all over me? I could cry I am so frustrated. So now I am going to try the "ask all my neighbors" route and hope I find someone that way. If not I will just turn to the yellow pages and do a blind hunt. I'm sure they won't call me back either. It seems to me that if you aren't having your whole house wired then you aren't worth an electrician's time. What if you just need your dryer to work? Does anyone know a good electrician?

Monday, March 19, 2007

What are you grateful for?

I have decided to work on a gift album before my next trip to AZ which means that I will be using the celebration journal prompts as my blogging prompts for now, and I will transfer them to my journal later. Thoughts on feeling grateful:

I am grateful for...
Having a husband who loves me with all of his heart.
Sisters who make me laugh and smile.
Having a mother who I can also call a friend.
Friends who feel like sisters.
Our beautiful home.
A career that I love, and collegues who make work feel like play.
Cats that let me cuddle them and stare at me with love in their eyes.
Being asked to be a Godmother for the first time.

There are just so many things I am grateful for, I can't begin to list them all. I feel so blessed.

I thought I would share some pages from my AZ album. I am giving it to Carrie as a gift when I head out for Winkie's wedding. That is provided I actually finish it. Thank you so much to those of you who keep leaving me comments! I love feedback.

This is going to be the first page on the album. It has a pocket which will hold all of the extra photos I printed but didn't use on pages throughout the rest of the book. The quote says, "Side by side or miles apart dear friends are always close to the heart."

I love this page!! Aren't the colors beautiful? This are the pictures I took when we were lost. I used a lot of definition stickers on this page. I am a sticker addict, once I start it is hard to stop.

I love to use quotes and sayings on my pages. This one says, "It doesn't matter if it takes a long time getting there, the point is to have a destination." and also "Nature does nothing uselessly."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sandpaper kisses
On a cheek or a chin-
That is a way
For a day to begin!

Sandpaper kisses
A cuddle, a purr-
I have an alarm clock
That is covered in fur.

By Bobbi Katz

Gizmo did his best to help me out with the time change this morning by repeatedly pouncing on my head while I tried to press the snooze button. What would I do without him? The weather was just warm enough to make me start to smile today. I even went so far as to prepare a very summer-esque dinner on the grill. It takes so little to get me outside once it is warmer. I am thinking warm thoughts and looking forward to another little trip to AZ, this time completely planned and for Winkie's wedding. Carrie has moved into her new place and i can't wait to see it. Here's hoping with fingers crossed that Beth can still come too. I'll do a vacation dance for you!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Finally! Some time to create. I finally had the chance this weekend and play catch up with my celebration journal. Thank you to Jamie who is such an inspiration to me. You are so dedicated! As promised here are some pictures of some of my work so far.

This is my cover. Simple but sweet. I decided not to hold out on using my favorite papers for this journal. So often I buy paper I love and it sits on the shelf because I don't have a project that I feel is worthy of using it. So Friday evening I looked through all of my paper and pulled out my favorites. I love "Wild Asparagus" paper which is why I chose it for the cover. The metal tag in the lower right corner reads: Journal- Penning emotional thoughts or facts on paper for the express benefit of future generations; an account of events.

This one was my refelction on how the weather effects me. Anyone who knows me well is aware of the way winter gives me the blahs. I am so looking forward to warmer weather coming soon. For this page I added watercolor to the cardinal to make him stand out. Cardinals are a bird close to my heart. Whenever I see one I think about my Nana who use to be able to whistle their call. Seeing their bright red color brings warmth to the drearieness of a winter day for me.

Last but not least this is a picture of my favorite page thus far. I loved the idea of reflecting on changes I need to make in my life and choosing one word to set off in the right direction. I chose the word dream, because it seems to me that a lot of what I want is still a bit distant in the future but holding on tightly to them keeps me focused and inspired. I used a beautiful blue vellum with daisies throughout and chalked some bassil cardstock to make it look worn. Each pocket represents a different aspect of my life I hold dreams for. They are labeled family, home, friends, and me. I wrote my thoughts on the back of each pocket insert so I can pull them out and read them. Thinking about dreams I will end with one of my favorite little poems.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow

By, Langston Hughs

Friday, March 02, 2007

One of the little boys in my class today brought in a show-and-tell that he spent hours making himself. It was a poster board covered from top to bottom with photos from his family vacation to Cancun. He was pointing to each picture and saying a bit about them. Then he came to a picture of the sun hanging low above the ocean peeking out from behind the clouds. There were rays stretching from the clouds and touching the water below. As he touched the picture he said, "Look! It is like God is coming down from the sky. You can see him." Isn't that beautiful? I love the little glimpses I get of the world through the eyes of my students.

This week flew by in a flash. Have you ever felt so busy that you almost had to remind yourself to stop and sit down for a minute? This is the first day I have checked my e-mail in three days. I feel so disconnected. I know it is going to be a busy week when I have something keeping me out late every day. Such was the case this week. I am thankful that our kindergarten orientation meeting is over. I think it went really well this year, aside from some intense parent questions at the end. I feel like I talked too much. Sometimes I wonder if people think I am pushy...I hope not. I don't mean to be. Now that it is Friday I am taking a deep breath. I stayed in my classroom until about 8:30 tonight just cleaning up and getting reorganized. I had to focus myself before next week. I am looking forward to starting my celebration journal tomorrow. I need some creative time. I am so inspired by Jamie and Maggie and all of the girls who have been posting so far. I will post photos as soon as I have some.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What goes up must come down. I started to get a sore throat yesterday and knew that I would get a cold. Perhaps I picked up some germs on the plane. No big deal, just a little case of the sniffles to remind me that it is back to the cold weather for me. Oh well, at least I got the blessing of a snow day today to sit and relax. Back to reality for me tomorrow.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

How small do I look?

So Carrie and I finally arrived at the Grand Canyon. We took in the I-MAX film, confirming our status as tourists and proceeded to the canyon's many scenic view points. Words can't even describe its beauty and vastness. Standing on the edge makes you feel so very small. Here are some pictures:

The next day we headed down to Sedona. If you have never been there and happen to find yourself in AZ won't regret it. It is a magical place. We spent two nights there surrounded by red rocks that glow in the sunshine changing with intensity with each passing hour. Our hotel had an awesome hot tub that no one seemed to want to take advantage of so we had it all to ourselves. We talked it up and then went to bed. The next day we got massages and Carrie tried accupuncture, braver than me. We then got lunch at a crazy little diner with an alien theme where Carrie insisted we order the strange delicacy fried pickles. I know...eww right? Actually they weren't so bad. Very spicy and tangy.

Then we went to have our auras read by a psychic. How new age. We ate dinner at the wildflower cafe after snapping these beautiful pictures during sunset.

The next day it was time to head home. We spent my last day in AZ hanging out with Carrie's friends and just relaxing. Overall I had a wonderful trip. I so needed this time alone with Carrie. We talked so much I lost me voice! We talked, we bonded, and we are closer than ever. I love vacation! Thank you Ryan. You always know what I need the most.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Road Trip

Arizona is breathtakingly beautiful and so different from the landscapes I see back east. Yesterday Carrie and I set out on our road trip to the Grand Canyon and we are still making our way there. Mapquest can truly stink sometimes. The route they gave me took us 3 hours out of the way to the 1 horse town of Meadview, AZ. If you look it up you will find it is a speck of a town on the far western rim of the Grand Canyon and pretty much in an Indian reservation...oops. We talked and laughed the whole way there though. We finally realized how lost we were when the town we wound up in had no stores or hotels, not a tourist trap in sight! What is it about me that craves the comfort of a Holiday Inn? Corporate America feels safe to me. I was looking for the tourist trap. What can I say? I wanted the guard rails and souvie shops. So we bought a map and called Ryan on the cel phone to get him to be our navigator. We trekked our way back to the highway and took some beautiful pictures of the sunset. We were lost but having a blast and I wouldn't trade the conversations we had in that car and the laughs we shared for the world.

Once on the road again we made the first stop we could for gas and what did we see in the distance? A Chili's! Bonus... civilization. We ate and refueled and were on our way again. Two hours of Elk crossing signs and highway curves later we arrived at Flagstaff. That's more like it. Here we are at the Fairfield Inn...ahh sweet sweet Mariott...and to the South Rim in the morning. I'll let you know how it goes.

What faith are you?

From Maggie's blog. Interesting results but not all that surprising. The quiz is long and thought provoking. Here are my results.

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Reform Judaism (91%)
3. Orthodox Judaism (90%)
4. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (90%)
5. Bahá'í Faith (90%)
6. Liberal Quakers (86%)
7. Orthodox Quaker (84%)
8. Sikhism (79%)
9. Jehovah's Witness (77%)
10. Unitarian Universalism (73%)
11. Islam (71%)
12. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (67%)
13. Neo-Pagan (61%)
14. Eastern Orthodox (58%)
15. Roman Catholic (58%)
16. Seventh Day Adventist (58%)
17. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (57%)
18. New Age (57%)
19. Mahayana Buddhism (54%)
20. Theravada Buddhism (52%)
21. Secular Humanism (50%)
22. Jainism (49%)
23. Hinduism (43%)
24. New Thought (43%)
25. Taoism (42%)
26. Scientology (41%)
27. Nontheist (25%)

In case you want to try it yourself

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I am sitting in my big comfy chair looking out my window watching the winter birds come to visit my bird feeder and they make me feel so peaceful. Today I have seen chickadees, a tufted titmouse, sparrows of all sorts, a flock of blue jays, and one brilliant red cardinal. I decided to move around the furniture in my little office on Wednesday so that I can look out the window easily. Now I find I hardly even want to leave this room. Don't you love that about rearranging the furniture? I love my little room. I love the organized scrap book spaces, I love the sea foam blue walls, and I love love love my big comfy chair. My little room is my favorite part of our new home.