Monday, July 13, 2015

The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page

Today, my boys and I started on an epic two week vacation to the northeast United States.

I asked my brother, Tim, to join us.

Tim and I have always been close and the fact that he became a teacher this year gave us both the luxury to be away for 2 weeks.

It started out normal.  We got up early. The car was packed to the gills.  We were ready to drive 800 miles and only stop for gas.

Thirty minutes from home, we ran into dead-stopped traffic - a wreck on the highway.

No worries (we thought), we will just take some back county roads.

The first crossroad looked like this...

Again, we thought, no worries...
Until the next 5 crossroads looked like this...

I started to wonder if someone didn't want us to go on this trip...
But thankfully, after these few set backs,  we made it all 800 miles without a hitch.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

My chapter as a classroom teacher is closing.
Tomorrow will be my last day that I hold that title.
Part of me thought that I would retire with that title...

I'm sure I will eventually be able to honestly say that I'm happy about this change...
But today is not that day.

Today... today, I am overwhelmingly sad.

My room is bare - no more whimsical frogs.
All of the drawing and letters and pictures from kids accumulated from the past 8 years have been taken down.

Even with my room getting emptier and emptier by the day, it really didn't hit me that I was done until they called a third grade level meeting today... and I wasn't invited.

Then, Jennie (my student teacher -  who is taking my place) had her mom come by to show her the room.  Her mom started crying because she was just SO happy.

After Jennie introduced her mom to our students, one of my little girls, K, came up to me and said, "It was really nice that Miss S's mom came to meet us."
I smiled and nodded and said, "It was. Wasn't it?"
She then looked questioningly at me and asked, "Then why has your mom never came to meet us?"

It was innocent enough, but I still had to pause and swallow hard to be able to answer. "Because she is in heaven... I know if she were here though, she would have love getting to know you guys."

Man.  If this wasn't hard enough.
That buried thought was immediately brought to the surface.
I turned... to give myself time. To allow the tears to blink back to where they belong.  To catch my breath so I wouldn't drown in the emotions that wanted to overtake me.

Today, I am overwhelmingly sad.
Tomorrow, I can already tell you... I will be a complete and utter mess.

After that??...
Well,  I know that new things can't start until other things end... So here's to this beginning's end.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Great leaders don't set out to be a leader...they set out to make a difference

My principal told me in a meeting today that she is resigning due to health issues.

To say I lost it, would be an understatement.

When she first came... I sat doe-eyed assessing every move and every word she spoke.  I had dealt with administrators before that came in both guns blazing... but she didn't. She came with a sweet voice and a soft smile.

She offers hugs instead of handshakes.

She can assess people and then just know which words of wisdom you need to hear.

After one of the first meetings I had with her, she asked me if I ever planned to go into administration.  I think I actually laughed and told her no.

Then you said these words to me, "Why not, Dawn?  You are such a natural born leader."

I honestly think she was the first person to ever say something like this to me.  It actually took me back.  I left thinking, "She doesn't know me... that's why she thinks that."  but it changed something inside me that day.

Ever since that day, I couldn't help but think that's what she thought of me... and that I needed to uphold that image.

She planted a seed in me, and I'm just overly sad that she won't get to see it grow as I take on a new role that she helped to develop.  

She is truly a great friend and leader and I will miss her more than she will know!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Beekeeping - 2 weeks in

So... like a proud momma, I was SOOO happy to check on my bees today and see that the queen is successfully doing her job!!

Look at that larva!!

And then I pulled 2 frames apart and saw the MOST amazing thing... a bee bridge!!
This is where bees hold onto one another to allow others to pass.
Crazy awesome!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My 940 are slowly slipping away

I used to cherish these evenings by myself.
They helped me refocus and get back centered with the world.

However, lately... they just feel lonely.

Today is Mother's Day.
I had the boys most of the day.
In fact, I had them all weekend until this evening.
Todd took us to the Lake and spoiled us with great food and friends.
We were engulfed in fun Friday and Saturday.
So, today, we just relaxed and caught up.

But as I dropped them off with R., it took all of me to drive back home...
...because I knew the house would be empty.
... and somehow, being alone doesn't refocus me any more...

It makes me realize how short my time is with my boys and I now feel every second I am not with them is a second I am missing out on.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Our lake weekend getaway

I prayed for this...

I prayed for a weekend of no baseball and sunshine.

The forecast all week showed that this weekend was going to be nothing but rain clouds and storms... and despite the fact that I was glad that we finally had time to get away to spend time together as a little family of five... I was disappointed with the weather.

So, I prayed.

Because my momma taught me that God listens to even the littlest prayers.

We woke to rain softly falling outside.
I had prepared for this... I had packed card games, just in case.

The rain lessened but it was SO cold and damp...
It didn't stop the kids though.

Richard then took us out on the gator... and was crazy enough to let the kids drive!

We found a beautiful little bird's nest.

Then Todd and Lois started their craziness of cooking...

Course 1
Crab Cakes and Saffron Risotto served with Mango/Pineapple Salsa and Grilled Sausages.

Course 2
A lemon cake with lavender buttercream that I made...  Some chose to eat it with Vanilla bean ice cream.

Then as if it was planned... the clouds went away, it got REALLY warm... so we headed out on the lake. (Thank you dear Lord for hearing small prayers)
The kids had fun!

And then we all just laid in the sun

We headed back to eat more...
Todd out did himself once again...

Course 3
Chicken Roulade stuffed with Prosciutto, Gorgonzola, Asparagus, Sweet Bells and Sage served with Caramelized Cremini Mushrooms and a Marsala Cream with Sun Dried Tomatoes. Garnished with Chive Blossoms and Crisped Sage.

We had a wonderfully relaxing (filling) weekend!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

This day in history

It's a day I don't think of anymore.
It's a day that once held such significance to me and one other.
But once you are divorced, this day, that was once celebrated, is just another day.

Sixteen years ago, on a Friday much like today, I was a young bride...

One who got a speeding ticket on her wedding day because no one she knew owned a cell phone and her brother had arrived at the airport but no one was there to get him, so she jumped in her car and raced to get him...

One whose bridesmaid cousin missed not one, not two, but THREE flights out of Wisconsin and is lucky she didn't get replaced...

One whose florist decided to cancel on her 3 weeks before her wedding when the florist realized it was the same weekend as Mother's Day...

One whose best friend's mom stepped up and made sure all was taken care of, especially when it came to the flowers and the photography...

One whose new mother-in-law got lost and called from Springfield, Illinois thinking she was in Springfield, Missouri...

One who walked down the aisle with a smile beaming across her face until she saw her soon to be husband bawling and then lost it as well.

One whose dog was not allowed in the church so they took pictures with him outside...

One whose bridesmaids and groomsmen filled her car with birdseed and found pieces of it in her car 12 years later... (Yes, the birdseed outlasted the marriage)

One who was so young and so naive and believed that once you got married, things got easier.

So, you see, in another life, this day meant something...
...but, today... Today, it is just another day.