Thursday, December 10, 2015

I *MIGHT* have let the cat out of the bag...

I think I just dispelled the mystery of Santa for my 10 year old son, Sam...
Some of you might think he is much too old to still believe in Santa, but that too, you can blame on me.
I love the thought of my children believing in something so whole-heartedly and without question.

So... yes, I have played up the Santa card quite well...

... until tonight.

Tonight, I left the present I bought for Sophia, Todd's daughter, sitting in the hallway.
That doesn't sound like much of a problem, right??

Well, it wouldn't be, except I bought her the thing she asked Santa for...
and Sam looked at me with eyes squinted and said, "Why would you buy that when Sophia asked Santa for that?"

I didn't have a good answer other than I saw it and knew she would like it.

Yeah.
I think I blew it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.

This quote just oozes into me...

Any time I wanted my students to know that they were REALLY in trouble, I whispered. (You're MUCH scarier when you whisper.)

Any time I wanted them to know it was something SO important I didn't want the whole world to know, I whispered. (I'm a loud talker by nature.)

Any time their tiny heart broke mine due to things beyond their control, I whispered. (Because I knew that loud voice of mine would crack with emotion if I didn't, but I still wanted them to know how much I cared.)

Yes... Those whispered words... they speak volumes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Looking up

As I stepped out into the cold brisk night tonight, I stopped and looked up.
The Big Dipper glistened in the cold winter air.
... and I realized that is what I have forgotten to do lately...
to look up.

To say that I have been overwhelmed lately would be an understatement.
I have definitely been down.
This, in turn, has caused me to be cynical with others around me and to just curl up inside myself... If I could have cocooned myself, I would have by now.

But tonight, as I stood outside (much longer than I normally would in these freezing temps), I realized that is what I had forgotten to do lately... Just to look up.

At the beautiful sky.
At all of my family and friends around me.
At the fact that I am ALMOST done with this master's degree and it actually hasn't killed me.(I turned in my thesis paper tonight... So, yes, that helped in not being hunkered down any more. :)
At all the positive things this life is offering me.

Yep, things are looking up.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Who wants to book me some place sunny?

Lately, I have felt like all of my nerve endings have been on the outside of my body.
I know it is because my stress levels have been so high... but I have never had this sensation before - my body tingles, almost like I can feel the vibrations from the air.

I walk around like a zombie in my own body.  I have been trying to sleep more, but I am waking up exhausted from dreaming all night about the things that I haven't finished during the day.

My body aches.  My upper arms have always ached when I was fighting off something... that's how I always knew to boost my Vitamin C. My arms have ached for the past month. Vitamin C is no longer cutting it.

I keep telling myself that this too shall soon pass, but I'm tired of being tired and not feeling like my happy cheerful self.

I feel like anything that anyone asks of me is too much - this isn't like me - I'm the multi-tasking queen.  The planning of Thanksgiving... all I can say is... Ugh.  (This is normally my favorite time.)

I know it is because my brain is consistently on. If I'm not thinking about my thesis, I'm thinking about lesson plans, or my presentations.  I have 3 cakes that I have coming up next month that I refuse to even look at the designs because I can't add that to my thought process right now.

Todd asks me what he can do.  I tell him that I don't know what to do myself much less tell someone else how to help me.  He hugs me, but right now the hugs aren't tight enough or long enough... because they don't take away the tingling... and I just need to feel like me again.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Believe so forcefully that you make others believe it too

So this afternoon I had to go meet with my professor over my department to get him to approve my new thesis topic.

To say I was nervous was an understatement.

You see, my degree will be in Educational Technology.

My new thesis topic is along the lines of preparing students for technology but not them actually utilizing technology... Which meant I had to convince my professor to let me change my topic.

There was LOTS of explaining... and more explaining... and even MORE explaining about how and why this is and will be beneficial to students (and to us teachers).

I seriously was dripping in sweat!

In the end, I not only convinced him that it was a good topic - he was trying to figure out what conference would be a good one for me to share my findings at.  (Not exactly sure I'm ready for that kind of exposure!!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This kind of tired

When I was a kid and my mom had headed back to college to finish her degree, she seemed to always be tired.  She would pull up to a stop light, tell us to wake her when the light changed to green, lay back and close her eyes.  Within seconds, she would be breathing loudly.  I wondered how she could be to sleep so quickly...

When I was hitting my growth spurts in high school and would come home from school, collapse on the couch, sleep for a few hours, eat and go back to sleep... I thought I was tired.

When I was in college and stayed up half the night because I had procrastinated TOO long and I refused to turn my paper in late and I knew I HAD to make that 8 am class because I couldn't risk my scholarship... I thought I was tired.

When I had newborns and I was up half the night with midnight, and 2am, and 4 am, and 6 am nursing sessions... I thought I was tired.

But this semester - this semester is about to do me in...
I realize that I am teaching and working on a thesis and trying to be the best mom and girlfriend out there and (occasionally) cake decorating... BUT this kind of tired ... this kind of tired makes me want to sleep at stop lights.

Just sayin'

Thursday, October 22, 2015

If you're gonna do it, make it worth your while

Back a year ago, my supervising professor and I sat down to discuss my thesis topic.  I really had no idea as to what I wanted to do and I can now say that my brain was not prepared at that time to answer that question.

So, she suggested a topic and I went with it.  It was something I could easily observe in my school district.  I didn't love the topic, but it had components that interested me.  (At the time, I also didn't know I needed to love my topic...)

In my class last spring, I did my literature review as part of a class I was in.  I had NO idea what I was doing or for that matter WHY I was doing it.  I was given criteria and I followed them.  (I was definitely playing the "schooling game.")

Here comes this semester...  I'm taking a research methodology class... It explains WHY I did everything last semester and why I was wrong with a good portion of it. :/

So, I revised... and revised... and revised some more.

Tonight I sat down with my professor to talk about my topic - He asked me why I was passionate about my topic.  I explained.  Then he said, "So if your passion is technology and elementary school students, why are you going to observe high school students??"

I explained that it was because my students hadn't received the technology yet...
I told him everything I am doing this year to get them ready for it for next year... How most nights I don't sleep because I am up researching just trying to find any information I can about it.

He looked at me and smiled.  "I think you have your research topic right there."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

40



Today I turned 40.

There.  I said it.
(It happened whether I said it or not.)

You know how you have this envisionment in your head about how a BIG birthday like 40 should be...  but also as a forty year old, you kinda have to roll with the punches...  

So, I decided to rock out my 40th by bringing 40 cupcakes to school.

Today was a sure sign that I randomly bring cupcakes to school for no reason too often...  No one was like, "Hey!  What's the special occasion??"

And you can't exactly be like, "Hey have a cupcake and celebrate my birth, damn it!"

So, I quietly set them in the lounge like I normally do and waited.
Nothing. 
Only one teacher remembered. Great guy that he is.
Even my bestie forgot.
By mid-day, word had spread and, of course, people came and gave their well wishes.

It just kinda felt like a let down...
I mean, I have had some EPIC birthdays!

But then I made the decision that this was silly to be expecting something from others...  
So I decided that I would do 40 random acts of kindness for this birthday of mine...

And I would start with my 40 cupcakes :)

Funny, how when you make a decision like that things turn around.

It started pouring right around noon.  Colby was supposed to have a cross country meet, but because of the rain, it got cancelled.  Which meant we could go out to dinner like we normally do for birthdays.

It just so happens to be Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster - So I made it my goal to eat 40 shrimp for my 40th. LOL  
Crazy, I know. 
I let the waitress know right after I pushed my salad aside and didn't touch it (or the cheese biscuits).  I could tell she was getting worried something was wrong.
She did a fantastic job and kept the shrimp coming!

I'm not sure how the next part went down because I tend to be in a bubble when my boys and I are out together...  But when it came time for our ticket, she kept bypassing our table.  She had been SO on top of everything and then it came time for us to go.., and she just wouldn't stop at our table.

Finally, I caught her and said, "Could we go ahead and get our ticket?"
"Nope.  It's been taken care of."
"What?!!??  By Who?"

She pointed to a table two tables away.

I walked over and shook their hands and told them, "Thank you." and then, "Why would you do that?"
"It's your birthday isn't it?" I nodded. "And the waitress wasn't supposed to tell you!!"

Random strangers.

And I thought *I* was the one who was supposed to be doing the Random Acts.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I hate the internet because it lies

It was my last class of the week... Full of 2nd graders who take half of the class period just to log in.
We have been talking about how to make secure passwords for the past 2 weeks.
So, I gave them a short quiz to see what they had learned.

I had this one little boy who wasn't answering the questions as I read them.
I kept coming by and encouraging him to keep up with us.
It didn't work.

So, I asked him to stay after.
I asked him why he wasn't doing the quiz. (I thought maybe I was going to fast for him to follow along)

"I hate the internet!"

What?!  What did that have to do with where we were at in our class??

But I knew I couldn't have him hating my class all year, so I asked, "Why?"

"Because it lies!"

I told him I understood.  That there are websites that say things that I don't agree with, but that the wonderful thing about the internet is that if you don't agree with something a site says, all you have to do is close out of that site.  It's that easy.

You know that light bulb moment that teachers long for?  It happened right then.

His eyes lit up.  He put on a smile and said, "Hey! You're right! Will you help me with this quiz now?"

I know this wasn't some big revelation like when algebra FINALLY clicks, but it made my week when I really needed a smile.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Out of place

Normally by the end of the 2nd full week of school, I'm back in the groove of things...
But not this year.
This year, I feel completely out of place.

I don't feel part of a team any more... because I'm not.

Sure, everyone in my building is a friend of mine.  I get along with them fine.  But there is a difference when you struggle the same struggles and rely on others around you.

I am the only one in my boat.

People keep asking me how I like my new position.
All I can say is that I'm adjusting.
No one wants to hear that I feel like I've been dropped off the cruise ship in a little row boat and I'm out in the vast ocean rowing alone.

No, they want me to say that it is great!  That it was the best decision ever made.

So, I keep telling myself that it will get better...
That I will enjoy all of this extra time...
That good things will come out of this.

But right now, I feel a little out of place.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Things that don't stick with you... Or Maybe they do

I was an awesome algebra student in high school and college!! (We won't talk about geometry.)

It just made sense to me.

In fact, in college, I had an 8 am algebra class where the professor took the first 30 minutes going over the homework from the class before.  I started showing up at 8:30 because I didn't need the extra explanation, but I could always use the 30 minutes of extra sleep. (Still can.)

However, I can honestly say that I don't sit around figuring algebraic equations for fun now days.

So, when my son, Colby sends me a text all in a panic not knowing how to do his homework (He was at his dad's), I wasn't worried.

...Until I saw the problems...

...and I drew a COMPLETE and utter blank...

(So much for KNOWING this stuff...)

Thankfully, I am a tech savvy woman that knows the answers are online if you search... and searched, I did.

But guess what?

Once I found the answer, I knew I couldn't just give the answer to Colby (the teacher in me wouldn't allow it.)

So, we Skyped.

I walked my brain down a path that used to be well trodden.
I admit... The weeds had definitely overtaken it. I had to look hard to even see that a path was still there; it was so overgrown.
As I pushed my way through though, it slowly revealed itself and I was explaining those equations to Colby without hesitation.
...And it felt good...Knowing a part of me that I used to be so proud of, was still there, buried deep inside.

I know that pathway will continue to be cleared out throughout the next few years of middle school and high school.

I wonder what other things I haven't thought about for over 25 years will need to be pulled from my dusty files???

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.



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Beekeeping - 1 week in

So... I have become obsessive about beekeeping.
I read about them consonantly.

I figured if I'm going to do this, I'm going to be good at it.

My bees are going through 1 quart jar of sugar water every 2 days.

They have started to make and fill cells...
From my beekeeping group, they tell me that the cells shown are filled with pollen and honey.



I didn't know to take pictures down by the bottom which is I guess the babies will be... I will do that next time...

But I did find my queen!!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beekeeping - Day 1

I had never planned to be a beekeeper.

Sure, I love it every year in May when I call my beekeeper friend on the phone to invite him to come to summer school and he says, "I've been waiting for your phone call."

I love all of the cool things he has taught me about bees...
But I never planned to be a beekeeper.

Todd back when he was planning on buying his land would bring up different topics:
Pigs.
Fruit trees.
Goats.
Berry bushes.
Chickens.

On all of them, I just smiled and said how much work they would be... or how he didn't know what he was getting himself into (esp. goats).

I know he was just trying to get me as excited about the future he is planning as he was.
I've tried to explain the none of my futures have panned out and I'm done planning for them... what comes, comes.
So, he jumped on the beekeeping bandwagon when he saw how excited it made me.

Really, truly, it made me excited because I had learned so much over the past 5-6 years with my beekeeping friend and I wanted to share my knowledge...
Never did I think it would land me in charge of 10,000 bees.

But here I am...

So, to prepare myself, I painted the hive.

Then, I tried on my bee suit.

So, today I drove to get the bees...
When I stopped to take this picture, the people selling the bees asked if I was second-guessing my decision to get bees...

I didn't have an option... Beekeeping, here I come.

First, I opened the nuc box.

Then, I pulled out the queen's box.  Her servants were surrounding her.

Then, I poured them in... Who knew you could pour bees...

I was happy that things went smoothly.

They quickly started coming in and out of the hive.

I stood in awe.
The buzzing.
Buzzing. Buzzing. Buzzing.
The calmness the buzzing brought.
I could have stood there all night.
Bees coming and going around me.
Not caring that I had just moved them to a new home.
Not caring that I kept peeking inside.

Yes.  I had no plans of becoming a beekeeper...
...but now, now there is no going back from it.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

it hasn't been easy

People see how R and I act around each other and they say, "Wow. You guys make divorce look easy."
Most of the time, I just smile and say, "We're doing what's best for our boys."

However, it hasn't been easy.
The pain.
The hurt.
The crying.
The questions.
The guessing and second guessing.
The insecurity.
The feeling of worthlessness.
The stone face to prove that you are fine.
The pulling yourself up because up is the only direction you can go.
The belief that you will make it through.
The forgiveness.
It hasn't been easy.

So when a friend is wanting to divorce his wife and tells her, "It will be fine.  We will be fine.  Divorce is easy, just look at R. and Dawn."

It takes ALL of me to not shake him and tell him that it is ANYTHING but easy.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

You can't put toothpaste back in the tube

Ever since the Random Act of Kindness, I have been in a weird funk.

It was like emotions that I had bottled up had been knocked loose... and now I can't catch them and successfully push them all back in, like too much toothpaste that has been squeezed out.

I know these emotions are because of the uncertainties in my life.
I don't like uncertainties.

You see... I will no longer be teaching third grade next year.
I keep saying it, because I honestly am trying to convince myself that it is true.
I feel like I'm losing a bit of myself.
I'm so VERY proud to be a teacher.
I know I will still be a teacher... it just won't be the same and I am finding myself relishing in each thing that I know will be my "last"... and fighting back the tears.


Todd has been great.
He keeps telling me how wonderful this new position is and how they picked ME for a reason... because they knew I had the mind-set and the out-of-the-box thinking that is needed.  That I shouldn't be scared and to keep moving forward.

My student teacher has also been great.
To start off, she seriously got mad at me when I told her I was leaving the classroom.  I know that doesn't sound like it would be helping, but it affirmed that *I* really was making a difference where I was at.
It also showed me that I could make a difference on a bigger scale.

It has made the twinge of pain just slightly less when my principal told me today that she was going to hire my student teacher to take my position.

I don't know why... but knowing it will be her makes this transition easier... Maybe because I know she will let me come visit any time... and I know my partner in crime, SD, will be treated well.

Anyhow, if you see me anytime soon and my eyes are red and puffy... Let's just say it's because of allergies, okay?

Friday, April 3, 2015

When you least expecting it

I'm a firm believer in Random Acts of Kindness.
I teach it to my children.
I teach it to my students.

I tell them, "Keep your eyes open. LOOK for that opportunity.  Look and look hard!  Find someone that isn't suspecting it.... and then rock their world!"

Well... for all the preaching I do... I definitely didn't see this afternoon coming!

I had to make a quick, last minute run to the store for things to finish up my nephew's birthday cake.  I needed more powder sugar and Oreos to crush to make look like dirt.

There was an elderly woman in front of me.  She had paid for her groceries and it was taking her some time to put her money away.  I wasn't really paying attention other than I knew she wasn't done and I didn't want her to feel pressured to go any faster.  I wasn't in any type of hurry.

The cashier than said the total.  It was $6 something.

The elderly woman pulled out a ten dollar bill and handed it to the cashier.
My brain kind of went into slow mode.
I really didn't process what was going on other than I thought she was making a mistake.
So I started to say, "Oh..... No. No. that's my stuff. Sorry."
I really thought that she also hadn't been paying attention.

She looked at me and smiled.
"I know," she said.
I spattered out, "uh... oh.  Thank you. You didn't have to... Happy Easter."

I didn't make it out of the store before I started crying.

It wasn't one of those situations that I needed financially, I could have easily paid for my two items...but I learned I definitely needed it emotionally.
To know there are still good  great people out there.

Not only that...but,She had done it.

She had done what I preached all along... She looked for someone who wasn't suspecting it... and she rocked my world!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Every. Single. Day

My teaching partner in crime aka SD came over into my room today.
I don't even know now what she came over for... but us popping into each other's room to chat isn't uncommon... and you never know what the topic will be.

Today, we began talking about how unfortunate things propel life in different directions.

She told me how her mom dying of cancer fast forwarded her wedding.
I told her that my mom dying in a car wreck kept R. from breaking up with me and instead we eventually got married.

Then she paused and looked and me and said, "Do you miss her?"
Overwhelming tears filled inside me.
I nodded... It's all I could do.
She responded with, "I know... Every day. Every. Single. Day.  Being a mom to my kids without her there..."

That was it. I lost it.

She said exactly how I felt.

Most days I keep it buried within me... it's safest there...Where no one else can see the pain.

But I miss my mom SO, SO  VERY MUCH...
Every. Single. Day.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday the 13th

I'm not superstitious.
I'm really not.

However, I do believe that you should never plan too far ahead and be completely flexible... because things will always ultimately change... no matter HOW much planning you have done.

Todd and I started planning a trip to Alaska two weeks ago.  We had a friend that told us that he could help us out with tickets.

I was hesitant to tell people because that sets plans in stone (the very thing I don't like...).  Todd happily posted it on FB.

Today I learned that what my friend meant was that he could get us put on the waiting list.

That's all well and good... except we don't want our Alaskan trip to be spent in the airport... and since we will go in the summer which is the MOST popular time to go...

We have decided to just bite the bullet and pay for it ourselves.

YIKES!

I feel bad that I was the one with the friend and got us all giddy with excitement to go to a place we both have always wanted to go...

So... here's to believing everything will work out... because I'm not superstitious.
I'm really not.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It doesn't matter how you say it

Sam & My conversation tonight...

Me: do you like the cookies with the pecans?
Sam : I say pea-cans
Me : Pecans. Pea-cans. Tomato. Tomahto. Potato. Potahto. It doesn't really matter how you say it.
Sam: Fart. Fart.
Me : What does that have to do with what we're talking about?
Sam : It's a fart no matter how you say it.
Yes, I am raising boys. SMH!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finding the Light

For those of you that know me, I was raised in the church and was a VERY strong Christian as a child and young adult.

The death of my mom changed my path for a while.  I was mad at God for taking my mom from me.

When Colby was born, I tried to bring myself back to the church for the sake of my child.  I also, deep down, hoped that would be the reason why R. (my ex) would find the desire to start attending church with me.  It wasn't.

I hated attending alone.  I felt like I would have to answer the question of "Where is your husband?" and that embarrassed me, so I didn't go.

After my divorce, I felt like that question could easily be answered and so the doors of the church found the boys and I walking through them quite frequently.  I became part of the Education Committee and I started to feel like I had found my niche.

Then our pastor retired.  Changes began happening at our church.  I would attend church, but I felt empty there... but I didn't have an answer.  I felt like leaving my church was like giving up on someone when they are struggling.

Just recently one of my friends from church said she had started attending our satellite church and they were going to start confirmation classes geared at 9-13 year olds.  Since I had already questioned our new pastor about confirmation classes and he told me that he wasn't going to hold them until the kids reached 8th grade, I knew this was the time for change.  I feel bad that my boys aren't as well versed in the Bible as they should be.  I carry that very heavy burden on my shoulders daily.

So, we had our first confirmation class tonight.  Colby in one group.  Sam in the other.  I fought back the tears repeatedly throughout the lesson.  You see, this confirmation class is not only bringing the light to them... but it is also bringing it back to me.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Just what I needed

You know you have one of those moments where, in your head, you are just like, "Wow."

Yeah... I had several moments like that this weekend.

Let's start out with the first...
I am someone who tries not to be judgmental.  I preach it to my students that differences are the best things about us.

However, I was raised in a pretty conservative part of the country... and even though I speak, "Don't be judgmental." Sometimes... I have judged books by their cover.  I'm not proud of it, just stating a reality.

Dating Todd...Well... dating Todd has open my eyes to things that I needed my eyes opened to.
In the past, I probably wouldn't have dated a guy like Todd because he isn't as fit as he should be... but it doesn't change the compassion in his heart or the way he makes me laugh.

Man, we laugh SO hard!

This weekend we went to stay with his buddy, Wes.
When you look at Wes, what you see is someone who is overweight, bald headed, and completely covered in tattoos.
But what you should really be seeing is the fact that Wes is an amazing guy who is compassionate and hospitable and who is one day going to make an INCREDIBLE counselor to lost teens!!

That first "Wow!" moment hit me pretty hard and fast... and honestly made me feel pretty awful.

The second one came at dinner.  Wes said something along the lines of me being "WAY out of Todd's league." I proceeded to tell Wes that I don't believe in leagues... and that I am slowly learning my lesson to date the nice guys.

... it made me learn that the street runs both ways.  I'm being judged just as much for the outside as Wes is...

The next Wow! came when Todd drove around the block 3 times just so I could get the perfect picture of the opera house that I wanted.  I didn't even ask him... He just knew I didn't get a good picture, so he kept driving around.






Sure, I would do that on my own...
But all the guys in the past that I have been with would have done one of two things:
1. Not stopped at all for the picture
2. Circled once and when I missed the shot, basically would have told me to deal with it.

The last Wow! was just the fact that when either Todd or I saw something that interested us, we stopped.
We had no agenda, no schedule, just fun.  This is how I love to travel,,, and it is nice to be with someone who feels the same.

We took a Boulevard brewery tasting tour. (Even though I don't drink beer, I had fun.)

We ate authentic KC BBQ.

We played darts.

We ate in a quaint little cafe.



We stopped for cheddar mushroom brats and beef jerky.

Yep.  This weekend was just what I needed in so many ways...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I wish I had a crystal ball

I was presented with something today and I don't know what to do.

You remember a few years back when I was told by my district that they had created a position just for me, but they needed to just jump through the necessary hoops before giving me the job?  And then I didn't get the "made-for-me" job?

Yeah... well, it hurt (needless to say), but in the end, things worked out for the best.
I had an amazing year the following year with an amazing student teacher!  (Which I really needed after my first student teacher experience)  It really re-sparked my fuel for my love for the classroom and I honestly haven't looked back.

I have, however, been working on my Masters and looking forward.  The thing is... I don't know what my future is looking like.  Up until today, it was me continuing in the classroom doing my thing... continuing to have student teachers and share my love of teaching with them. (Yes, I have another one... she started last Monday - so far she is great!)

But now I have been presented with a possibility of another position for me to apply for... and I don't know what to do...

Because, you see, I'm happy where I'm at.  I love the kiddos and love teaching! Also,  I see all of my friends who used to love it too and who that have now moved to district positions wish they were back in the classroom, but the district has put too much into them so they don't really have that option... and I am worried that I would be stuck in that place too.

But I also know this position would be a stepping stone for things bigger and better right in line with my masters...
Ugh!!  Decisions - How I loath thee!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Frazzled


This is the perfect description of me since returning to school here in January.

You see, my student teacher started the first day back - a week ago Monday.
It was great for her because she is so very excited, but for me it meant going in the last couple of days of my break to feel somewhat organized since she wasn't supposed to start until this Monday.

Since then, things have not gone smoothly for me.
I'm sure she thinks I'm a complete and utter dingbat and wonders why they would place her in world of a crazied scatterbrain.

I'm really trying to show her how to be prepared and things to do, but my overfull plate keeps making my "ideal organized example"  a complete and utter mess.  I think today was the first time I didn't have anything go wrong with the lessons, or my copies, or the kids just being ...well, unpredictable kids.

So, if you see me and I look like I've been through the wringer, just smile and help me fix my hair... cause chances are it's crazy like the rest of me.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The fast and slow of it

My relationship with Todd has been fast and slow.
We just seem to get each other... Many times we are thinking the same thing or react at the same time.  Things just seem easy.
Tomorrow is the 4 month mark for us... Yet it feels like a year.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is still new.
Tonight was one of those times.

Today was a weird day weather-wise.  It started out icy. Then it was just rainy, but they were predicting more icy weather.

My mom died on icy roads.
I don't normally drive when it is icy... and when I do, it is only out of necessity.

I was talking to Todd earlier in the day telling him how I wasn't sure if I would be getting out.  That several neighbors had posted on Facebook about how there were cars that had slid off.   Todd made a comment about how people around here are just overly dramatic when it comes to winter weather and that from where he is from in Illinois this weather wouldn't stop them.

I tried to explain that once he slid off a road he would change his tune.

Later we were heading out for dinner.  He mentioned that maybe we should drive separate so he could leave straight from the restaurant to get his daughter home and in bed on time. I froze.  Just for a second. The thought of driving on what could possibly be icy roads caught me.  He caught it... Maybe it was subconscious, but he caught it and said, "Nevermind. We'll come back here.  Let's ride together."  I was relieved.

Driving to the restaurant, I asked him how the roads were coming down. He said, "Oh, you know, every few hundred feet we did a doughnut, but nothing that we couldn't handle."

He was joking, but I tensed up.  

"You didn't really. Did you?" I asked.
"No, but what's a little ice?" he responded.
"My mom died on "a little ice." I retorted.

He apologized profusely.

I felt horrible for the snap of my tongue... 

It wasn't his fault.  I have told him that my mom died in a car wreck and that my brother was driving. I haven't gone into all of the details...We have only dated 4 months... and even though it sometimes feels longer, times like this remind me that it is still new and we have a LOT of getting to know each other still.