Sunday, November 29, 2009

There is no "I" in "Team"

I completed my second half marathon today!  WOOOHOOO!!  Yes, I walked it.  Yes, I finished it.  And yes, it took longer than the last time. 

The first reason my time was slower was because we didn't run as much as I anticipated.  My running partner's ankle hurt and we decided that walking would be better for her.  At one point, we were able to run about 2 miles across the bridge, about the same time that the mathon runners blew by ran past us.  We tried to blend it with the runners but it didn't take much to realize we were overdressed for a marathon run...and we were WAY slower than them!

The second reason was simple - a teammate was down and we were not going to leave a woman behind.  So, our  pace definitely slowed as one of our own struggled to keep up. The good news is that she did finish and we are so proud of her for pushing through the physical challenges she faced today.  I will admit (with a twinge of guilt) that two of us pulled away at the end, simply because our muscles hurt and walking slow actually hurt more.  And by mile 11, ya just want to be done.

There was a point when my pace slowed and I looked out over the waterfront, when I realized that being a teammate has always been more important to me than the competition.  I was an athlete in high school but never at an elite level.  I didn't have the competitive fire.  Well, I have the fire but I ALWAYS chose to put the team before myself.  I suppose thati is why I was the setter and the catcher for my teams.  I could direct and lead but I could also take the blame, even if it wasn't warranted, in order for my team to succeed.  Don't get me wrong - I do not like to lose.  I do not like being the weak link.  And I do not like being in last place.  Ever.  But I want others to feel good about the experience and I suppose that is why there never has been an "i" in "team" for me. I just couldn't ever feel good about being so competitive that it caused others to have a terrible time.

I wanted to run today.  I wanted to be that runner who was being cheered on by the crowd (they don't really cheer for the walkers, like they should).  I wanted to cross the finish line at a run.  I didn't like feeling that walking was less than running to the people on the sidelines.  I want to know I can set a goal of 13.1 miles and complete it at a full run.  I absolutely have the fire to succeed and I have a desire to train and run the half marathon next year.

However, being with my friends, supporting them through the aches and pains, and choosing to be by their side was more important to me than a fast time.  At any point today, I could have run ahead and my team would have supported that decision.  But a fast time isn't why I do this event.  I love the girl time, the gossip, the laughter while we train and then sense of accomplishment when we cross the finish line.  Together. 

I guess if I want to run, I should sign up by myself.  Because we all know, I'm going to put the team first.  Every time. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!

If you look over to the right of your screen, you'll notice the ticker for the half marathon.  That's right people;  it is the EVE of the half marathon! 

I'm done carb loading.  I've taken it easy today (this actually describes the past 3 days).  The troop is scheduled to leave at 5:45AM for downtown, for a 7:45AM start time for the walking crew.  The weather is predicted as cold (30's) but dry.  Since we've prepared by walking in rain, we are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us!  And the thought of a Dicks burger and fries waiting for me at the end will be enough of an incentive to push through anything!

Someone asked me today what my goal was for the event.  I know I want to finish closer to 3 hours... I think we finished the last one around 3:30.  I'd like to say that I will run 5 or 6 of the 13.1 miles and last time we ran 3 or 4 miles.  But I don't want to leave teammates behind and my running partner is injured.  And I left my watch at school so interval running is going to be hard to keep track of.  So, I guess we'll take it as it comes.  Rumor has it, the energy will be high and adrenaline will pumping and I'm eager to experience another challenge.

Ready, set, GO!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vaccination Freak out

I hate vaccinations.  Wait a minute before you start thinking I'm somone who doesn't believe in vaccinations.  That assumption couldn't be further from the truth.  I work in a cesspool school.  I know vaccinations are important and necessary to protect my son.  I'm not opposed to protecting my child against childhood diseases.  I just don't like having them done.  I may have freaked out about autism every time we had them done.  The idea of injecting a virus into my perfectly healthy child doesn't seem natural to me.  However, underneath all my issues about vaccinations, I knew they were the right thing to do and trusted my pediatricians advice.


This H1N1 vaccination is a whole different ball game.  I spent most of the fall, trying to schedule an appointment for Alexander.  I finally schedule one for November 24 and don't think about it again.  The day arrives, we have to leave at 1:15 and..I FREAK OUT.  I know I should have had my thoughts clear about this weeks before our appointment.  I guess I thought I did.  I need to protect my child and this vaccination is supposed to do just that.

But when the moment came to leave the house, I freak out.   No joke.  Exorcist-head spinning-FREAKED OUT.  I'm crying.  I'm babbling insecurities about not being a good enough mom to my son.  I'm frantically searching the internet for any type of information that will put my mind at ease.  I am yelling at Eric to make the decision for me. I start text messaging friends who have three year olds for advice.  I even text message a high school friend who is a OB/GYN in California to ask his advice (Michael is a saint for patiently dealing with my neurosis issues over the past 20 years!).  Keep in mind, this is all being done so I can sabotage the appt by leaving late and have the decision made for me.  Turns out the doctor office has a 15 minute grace period.  Who knew?

My logical husband isn't much help because he thinks Alexander will be fine either way because he is a very healthy little boy.  But he lovingly supports whatever decision I make - which is the problem!  I can't make a freaking decision!   I have a nasty habit of thinking "what ifs" and freak myself out even more.  I feel I have no control over this issue and that freaks me out even more.  There is no guarantee.  Of course, there are no guarantees in life.  But a parenting manual sure would be nice.

In the end, Alexander had the shot.  BUT he is not getting the booster shot in 30 days. 

Of that, I am sure.

Damn H1N1.  I think I hate you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

True Story Tuesday

I was carded last night.  Honest.  The waitress then says, "I've never seen a minor fake an ID that puts them at 38 so I guess it must be true." 

True Story.

I love, love, love the idea of having four days at home with my boys.  I'm looking forward to playing with trains, reading books, watching my son's imagination grow, and giving my loving husband a break from full time childcare.  Plus, if the planets align just right, I'll be spending the long weekend re-doing Alexander's room!

True Story.

I am looking forward to challenging myself during the half marathon on Sunday.  And eating greasy fries and a burger at Dick's afterwards.  Delicious.  And well earned.

True Story.

There is no better meal than a Thanksgiving meal.  And spending the day with loved ones.

True Story.

The other night, I told Eric I wanted a baby (I blame the red wine for my honesty that night).  His response - "I know.  I'm sorry." and gave me a hug while we had a moment about no more babies.  We didn't notice Alexander watching us from across the room but he toddled right over, climbed up his Dada, wrapped his arms around both of us and said "love you mama.  love you dada."  The sadness melted away.

True Story.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lovin' this week

I love the week of Thanksgiving.  First of all, I teach three short days.  There are multiple absences in my classes to bring my classload down to under 40 - totally manageable!  Former students are back from college and I never know who is going to walk in on any given day, during any given class period.  Today, there were two from the Class of 2004 and, for the life of me, I could not remember their names when they walked in!  I felt terrible but I was able to cover it well (btw, this happens to every teacher eventually).  Tonight, my favoritist kids from the c/o 2006 are meeting me for drinks/dinner.  Last year, when we met up, the bar tab was $150.00 and I didn't feel very good the next morning!  

And then there is Thanksgiving itself.  DELICIOUS - even at room temperature.  Not only will there be the traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatos, salad, pies, etc BUT the infamous "cheesy brocolli casserole" will be on the table.  Talk about artery clogging!  But when I think holidays, this dish is at the forefront.  About 20 of us will be at my grandma's house and then cousin Jodie is staying the night with us.  All around, good family fun!

Still working on details for the remainder of the weekend...

Should I hit the Black Friday sales and finish Christmas shopping?  Or should I attend the semifinal football game instead to watch my students play (and, I fear, lose)?  Should I plan on staying home so I can sleep and nap every afternoon?  Will we finally clean out my parents garage?  Will the Cougs beat the Huskies in the Apple Cup?  Will I break three hours on Sunday during the half marathon?  Will I be able to move on Sunday after the half marathon? 

All these questions and more (and maybe some pictures?) will be answered at the end of my favorite week!!  Stay tuned.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happiest Girl on Earth!

One day, I'm wondering why I'm in a funk.  The next thing I know...I've never had a better day.  Funny how life works.
  • Yesterday, my family (8 of us) planned a trip to Disneyworld in March to visit my brother and sister in law (who aren't coming home for the holidays)!  With Dad's health issues, I'm personally looking at this trip as a way to celebrate his life. No better way for him to celebrate than having ALL of us around him. 

  • Six weeks BEFORE our trip to Disneyworld, the three of us are going to be in Disneyland with Eric's family (9 of us).  The last time we went to Disneyland (Nov. '08), Eric and I said we wouldn't go back until we brought Alexander.  Little did we know what 2011 would have in store for us. Two trips to the Happiest Place(s) on Earth makes me the Happiest Girl on Earth!

  • I taught the leadership class today. I loved being there.  The kids loved having me there. And my heart didn't hurt.  Progress!

  • Our football team is playing a quarter final state tournament game tonight!  The school/community hasn't seen this level of Patriot Pride since...well, since I was a senior (20 years ago!)! I admit, it is pretty surreal.  It fills my heart with joy that my students are learning to love blue, green and silver as much as I do. It is wonderful to wacht them experience the energy.  Especially when I can recall that football playoff fever like it were yesterday.

  • I've been running for about three weeks and the effects are starting to be noticed by others!  Today, I had several compliments from staff members and I'm not gonna lie, IT FEELS GOOD!  The half marathon is next weekend and I am looking forward to it

  • Weekend plans include:  the last training walk and I think we are going to do 11 miles.  We're cleaning out my parents garage and I'm giddy with the idea of throwing things away.  I love to throw things away.  Laundry, laundry, laundry. 

  • And next week is a 3 day work days before we spend Thanksgiving with the least I get to rub a belly bump!  No, not mine, people. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Could be

I feel like Alexander acts when he wakes up badly from a nap.  Only I'm 38, not almost three, so I can't cry, rant and carry out a tantrum like I want to do.  I suppose I could.  And probably should. 

I can't even put my finger on what is bothering me.  Which may be the worst part of it and exactly why I fear this post is going to be a rambling rant of nothing.  At least I have one of these by my side...

Is it starting Weight Watchers again (for the hundreth time?) right before the holidays?  Could be.
I am NEVER very fun when counting points, no matter how EASY the program is for me.  I lost 20 lbs on this program in 2000 and now I'm struggling to lose the last 5 of my pregnancy (that ended 3 years ago, btw).  Having a toddler and stay at home husband means the house is FULL of treats and snacks.  And I have no willpower.  Although, I must have some willpower because I haven't eaten after 6PM the past three weeks.  And my latte was a skinny vanilla instead of the egg nog or pumpkin spice that I wanted to order! 

Is it the weather?  The rainy, windy, nasty grey days?  Could be.
Being inside ALL day does have a tendency to make me crabby.  I crave fresh air and the outdoors.  I even ran on the track yesterday, in the cold., simply because it wasn't raining.  Unlike today. 

Is it my father's health and understanding this stage in life?  Could be. 
Or maybe it has more to do with me having patience with my mother to help her accept the changes.  Could be.
But we're working on it as a family and that's progress.  I'm blessed that they taught me the communication skills to share my opinions and that they listen to my opinions.  And I'm really blessed that they agree to listen to my husband's logical point of view, leaving me to emotionally rant to my brother who lives 3000 miles away.

Is it dreading going to work because I know there is nothing exciting waiting for me when I get there?  Could be.
But I'm thankful for this job and it allows my son to be raised at home, rather than in a daycare.  I have awesome students.  Remember that student who brought me scones last week?  She just left another pile on my desk...which I will share with my department members, so I don't eat them!  And our football team is in the playoffs for the first time since I was a student here so it's a pretty fun place to hang out.

Is it needing a vacation and/or time alone with my husband?  Could be.

With the holidays, it is difficult for us to ask friends and family to watch Alexander for us so we can get away.  And we don't trust any of my students to babysit him...even though I literally have hundreds available if I were to ask.  The idea of sleeping, uninteruppted, for 2 days sounds divine.  And completely out of the question.

I'm not sure what it is going to take to bring me out of this funk.  Maybe it is enough just to recognize I'm in a funk and tomorrow could be a better day.

Let's hope so.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

True Story Tuesday: It's all about me.

Last night, my toddler spent 4 hours naked.  We're potty training.  I was so worried about him spraying that I must have asked every 20 minutes, "need to potty?".  He went three times.  New record.  And no spraying.  I admit, my parenting wasn't about the potty training; it was about saving my couch. 

True Story.

I bought a new pair of boots from Jen's blog sale and want to be a classroom teacher for a day.  Just to wear the boots.  But I don't want to grade papers.  Ever.

True Story.

I have no patience for matryr's and went on a tirade against one today.  I'm mean like that.  I'm sure I hurt her feelings but in reality, someone should have called her out long ago.  I decided it should be me.  I'm nice like that.

True Story. 

I need a vacation.  With just my husband. 

True Story.

I started running again about 2 weeks ago.   I ran for a year before Alexander was born and was in the best shape of my life.  While I hate the idea of running, once I'm going I don't mind it.  Of course, it may have something to do with burning calories so I don't feel so guilty consuming red wine.  Yea, that's probably it. 

True Story.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Say You're Sorry

The power of words. Think back to the childhood rhyme, "sticks and stone may break my bones but words can never hurt me."  So not true!  Words can hurt. Words have power.  They can strip a person of confidence just easily as build self esteem.  They can make a person's day through a compliment or ruin a moment through insult.

When we were struggling with infertility and drew closer to the three year mark, loved ones started running out of things to say to ease the pain.  In the beginning, many would say, "keep the faith", "you'll be a mom", or the phrase I learned to dread, "it will happen".  As time passed and IT didn't happen, they lost the easy cliches and words of wisdom because they couldn't ease my pain.  I can almost remember the exact point when people said the two words I needed most to hear to ease the pain.

I'm sorry.  Simple.  True.

I use those two words on a daily basis with my students.  You know, high school students can find drama in everything.  Yet, in the past year, I have learned that I may not be able to right the situation but I can help a person in the moment by saying those two small words.

  • when a parent is ailing
  • when a friend loses a pregnancy
  • when a friend has a broken heart
  • when someone loses a child or a parent
  • when someone is struggling with life choices
I believe I'm sorry has the most power of any phrase.  They cannot take away the pain.  They cannot take away the frustration or anger. And they can't  fix the situation.  Yet, these two words can make a person feel heard and validated.  We are taught at a young age to say "I'm sorry"  to right a wrong.  I tell it to Alexander at just about every playdate.  He hasn't quite learned the art of sharing so, inevitably, a toddler starts crying and Alexander is saying he is sorry for taking the toy.  All is well again. 

So, next time you want to try to "fix" a situation for someone, stop for a moment.  Say you're sorry.  There may be no other words necessary.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Choices and Consequences

I live by the choice theory.  I have choices in every situation I encounter and each of those choices has a consequence.  I don't know if that is the actual definition but it's what I believe.  I may not like the choices I face but I still have to make one.  There is power in choice.  I may not have always made the right choices but, for the most part, my life is where it is because of this theory.   I preach the choice theory to my students, every chance I can.  Some get it.  Some don't. But it doesn't stop me from preaching the power of choice and how they need to think of the consequences of their choices.

On my way to school today, I made my first choice.  I stopped at Starbucks to treat myself to a skinny carmel latte.   Today as I stood, waiting for my beverage, I did some people watching.  As it turns out, people who work in the real world DON'T wear sweats to work.  Or jeans.  Or tennis shoes.  Nor did these folks need to arrive to work by 7AM;  seems these folks have a 8:30 or 9AM start time. 

As I stood there, wearing jeans, tennis shoes and my fleece jacket, I noted the woman beside me, wearing dark, grey slacks and a wool jacket. (and super cute shoes).  I wondered what type of job she had that allowed her to be able to make the choice to dress nicely and stop for Starbucks.  What kind of choices had she made that led her to a job that required 3 inch heels?  And why did she order a Pumpkin Spice without whip?  What is the point of no whip on a drink already laden with calories? 

Four hours later, I was sitting next to a convicted felon in the state penitentiary. Like the woman at Starbucks, this man went to work today.  His job today was to talk with 25 students about the consequences of his decisions.  He killed 4 people at the age of 20 in a gang fight. (Yes, I chose to sit by this man; the students were pretty scared of his giant bulk.  But giant bulks don't scare me - you should see the men I grew up with). This is a man who has little choice in his day.  No Starbucks.  No fancy clothes.  No freedom to drive a car to and from work.  He made a choice with dire consequences and now he is living those consequences. 

For over two hours, four inmates shared how they spend their days.  All of them live as positive leaders and role models in their prison community.  They answered every single question our students asked.  Two of these men teach other inmates in the education system.  All have jobs in the system (making .42/hour).  Three have children of their own.  And each face life in prison without parole.  Each of them chose to speak to our group about their lives, in hopes of making an impact on younger people today.  In that sense, the inmates and I aren't very different from one another.  

Minus the prison tats and life sentences, of course.

I'm not foolish enough to think that these men are completely rehabilitated.  I believe justice was served and they deserve the consequences of their actions.  Surprisingly, they would agree. They regret their choices.  But I believe, these four inmates I sat with today, have accepted the consequences of their actions and now make choices to be a positive impact in their community.  It isn't much different than what we all should do in our daily lives.  Make positive choices that lead to positive consequences.  Some choices are harder than others but we must own the power that comes with choice.  And we all should make choices that make a positive impact on those around us. 

Otherwise, what's the point?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Friday Night Date Night

Eric and I had been married 9 years and 10 months when Alexander was born.  Instead of spending our 10 year anniversary touring the Greek Islands (as I had greatly anticipated), we were eating dinner at Torero's, discussing how amazing our less-than-2- month old son was to us.  I bet we were home within an hour to watch our son with he just laid there, wondering what in the hell we were doing staring at him.  By the way, I'm still holding out hope that I'll be spending my 20th wedding anniversary, opening a bottle of red wine, in the Greek Islands.   Enjoying a Friday night date night.

Every Friday, for 9 years and 10 months, we had date night. Be it dinner out, drinks with friends, a movie or a TV show we enjoyed, we spent every Friday night with no computers, no phone calls, no interruptions.  It was just the two of us, spending time together.

Here we are - 12 years and some odd months later.  And last week, we decided that our budget and a toddler will allow us to reinstate date night.  I love that our new date night means renting family movies.  Eating food that we make at home, rather than bar food.  We might have to hit pause to play trains with a toddler or put a toddler to bed.  But chances are good, I'll still open a bottle of red wine. And there will be no computers, no phones and no interruptions. Only this time...there are three of us.  Together. 

Any suggestions for a movie rental this Friday?

New Design

Like the new look?  My friend Kate patiently listened to my high maintenance self and helped me to find the PERFECT look for my new blog!

I know for a fact she is about to make changes to her blog so be sure to check it out!

Thanks Kate!  I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

True Story Tuesday: Opening Day

My friend, Rachel, has True Story Tuesday on her blog.  Since I like to steal borrow ideas from other blogs, I'm adding this one to mine.

My wonderful hubby saw that I was exhausted last night.  He sent me to bed early and I was asleep last night by 8PM.  It was glorious.

True Story.

I cried in my office today.  I'm not a pretty crier.  Nor do I like crying at work.  I was pleasantly surprised and touched by how nice high school kids are to crybaby teachers.

True Story.

My dad isn't feeling well.  I don't like it.  But I do like that my sweet toddler can make him feel better.  So, my parents are coming over tonight (Eric, if you are reading this, we need to clean tonight!) so Dad can have an Alexander fix.

True Story.

One of my sweet students brought homemade scones to me today.  I didn't have the heart to tell her I'm on Weight Watchers again.  I only ate 1...ok, maybe I ate 2.  SO delicious.  And I didn't want to hurt her little heart and NOT accept them.  Yes, I added the points in.  And yes, I will run longer on my prep to make up for the points!

True Story.

Hmmm...that was an easy post.  And fun.  I should do this every week. 

True Story.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Know when to fold 'em

I love teaching.  I love being a teacher.  I don't always love education and the politics involved. 

I am struggling this year to find my love of teaching.  I just feel...blah.  I'm going through the motions and sadly, no one really knows it because I'm good at what I do.  So good that a department head from another high school in our district visited my classes today because she wants to incorporate what we are doing into her program over there.  And they are considered the better high school so the irony of it is not lost on me.  I'm good.  But God Almighty, I AM BORED.

When I returned from maternity leave, I had the fortune to work with the ASB student leadership program, teaching the leadership class.  With this assignment, I found my place.  It fulfilled me to the core to work with student leaders.  The pace.  The energy.  Problem solving on the fly.  Facing challenges and learning how to make something work when everyone said it couldn't.  Above all else, it was an opportunity to serve others and give back to the place I grew up. Service leadership. 

However, in the second year, the program was being led in a direction by administration that I did not and could not support.  It simply wasn't best for kids.  I did everything I could to make it work.  I used my voice and stated I was either going to run the program by myself or I was going to walk.  When the dust settled, my principal picked the person to lead ASB who will lighten his load by doing work that I don't believe the position entails.  It's a philosophical difference that has us "agreeing to disagree".  Let me be clear, I could have stayed in the position.  It was my decision to fold the cards and walk away from the table. 

I keep thinking I will find my new normalcy teaching P.E.  But who am I kidding. I've always been a leader.  If I wasn't a leader and didn't believe in student leadership, would I REALLY spend a week each summer, teaching leadership students (well, yes, but that's beside the point)?   I LOVE working with students to help shape and develop their leadership skills.  I SHOULD be doing that job.  And I'm NOT.  Am I jealous?  Hell yeah.  Was my pride hurt that I didn't receive the job?  Hell yeah.  But did I deserve that job?  Hell yeah.   I have been a class adviser for 8 years, have taught at a leadership camp the past 5 summers, and have taught thousands of students the past 15 years .  Why wasn't that enough?  Why did he give it to a person who has LESS THAN 2 YEARS TEACHING EXPERIENCE? 

Deep Breath.

I really do try to not feel sorry for myself.  I simply didn't realize was how hard it would be to continue to go to this building and face that my boss thought someone was better than me. Or to watch students I care so much about struggle with simple tasks because they aren't being given the tools to succeed.  So, call it bruised pride or jealousy, if you will.  Either way, it hurts.

 I can say that physically and emotionally I am better for folding this hand.  My husband and son are happier because I am home more.  My amazing family and friends love and support me as I heal from this pain and are patient as I rant (yet again) again and again.  I sleep at night.  I'm eating healthier and working out on a regular basis.  And my liver is a whole lot happier without all that red wine. I can hide in my office in the bowels of our building and unless I chose it, I can avoid face to face conversations with the "leaders" in my building.  And I'm being true to the leader in me.

But don't count me out of this game.  Not just yet.  I'll have my turn to deal the cards someday.  And then we'll see who's the last to walk away.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Seven Strong

I received a text from a good friend tonight, announcing the birth of their third son.  The first sentence was "it's a hat trick" and made me laugh...

I met Sarah six years ago.  Wow.  Six years.  The beginning of a chapter and I was lucky enough to find friends to turn the pages with me.  Sarah, along with six beautiful woman, were the stars that kept me sane as I struggled with infertility.  I often grin when I speak of these friends because well, we've never met.  Ok, technically, Lizzie, Linda and I have met.  One time.  Summer of '06 in a coffee shop.  It was awesome.  For years, I made fun of Eric for having online friends, would play the good wife when he wanted me to meet someone in real life, but never, EVER thought I would make friends of my own, from an internet forum.  Oh, how he loves to remind me of the day he waved goodbye to me when I left for that coffee shop to meet my very own "make believe" friends!

I met these women on; a forum for woman related pregnancy "stuff".  Little did I know how much I would come to need these women in my life. The summer we decided to start trying to have a baby, I found my way to a board that was frequented by these ladies and one by one, we struck up conversation that took us out of and into our real lives.  Eventually, we moved away from the forum and formed email conversations that would last for weeks.  And now it's Facebook, with our own private group. 

Over the years, we celebrated the births and losses of babies, supported one another when our husbands weren't exactly being overly stellar (in the moment, of course), fretted over career decisions, complained about sleepless nights, bad doctors, and family issues, gossiped about ugly people, and loved one another through it all.  There was a time when each of us thought we would never conceive children (each struggled one way or another) and there are now 14 little ones!  Three of us have twins.  Two of us have two kiddos, Sarah owns the hat trick, and we have Alexander.  Amazing women.  Amazing mothers. 

Sarah is the glue of the group who holds us together when we drift apart.  Lizzie is the fire who inspires us to fight against the wrongs in this world.  Wendy is our gentle mother, whose nurturing soul makes us strive to be better.  Colleen is laughter and grace, all wrapped up in a beautiful package.  Susie is the motivation to do more than we ever dreamed possible and still fit it all into a 24 hour day.  And Linda is the wordsmith who articulates our thoughts and dreams as women and mothers.

 I love these women as though I have known them my entire life.  I have cried for them and to them (more times than I would like to admit).  I have laughed and giggled and done happy dances of joy for them.  When there are good and bad moments that require a hand to be held or a glass of wine to be poured, my heart aches because the distance keeps me from being beside them.  But I think they know I'm there.  Just like I know they are there for me.

So, dear Sarah, on this night that brings another precious gift into our group, know that we are holding your hand, wiping your tears of joy, and dancing a little happy dance in your honor.

I lift my glass to each of you.


Blog Design

I already want a change to this layout.   Something that is uniquely me.  But with the holidays coming, the extra money isn't available for a new design.

Jen?  Kate?  Want to help a sista out?

Why blog?

Actually, the title should say "Why Blog...Again?". In the fall of 2007, I created
a blog for our son so family and friends, near and far, could follow his crazy antics. Little did I know what a blog would bring to our life. Family and friends I never suspected email about a particular post they enjoyed. I take better more pictures so I can chronicle events. And I've made connections with other bloggers, who I am convinced would be close friends in real life.

For some time, I've felt the urge to blog my thoughts. Narcissistic? Yes. And that's the point! I can focus on me ON HERE so I can give more to others OUT THERE. I want a place to chronicle my thoughts as a woman. Wife. Mom. Teacher. Daughter. Sister. I can imagine my family and friends are cringing as they think of possible events/situations I may reveal with blunt honesty. I'll be kind. I promise.

Since starting Alexander's blog, I've discovered a sisterhood. No offense to male bloggers, of course. With one click of the mouse, I can travel from the adventure of a new mom to a new bride to a single woman and learn something from each one of them. Many are phenomenal writers. Even more have a skill with a camera that I envy. But we all have this blogging thing in common. Sharing our lives. Sharing experiences. Giving support. Celebrate joys and grieving losses. Together.

I am starting this blog for me. I haven't a clue where this blog will travel. But one could say the same about life. Does anyone know what each day will bring? Will I have the ability to maintain it for longer than a week? I may discover that my son's life is more exciting (not anticipating a huge surprise with that discovery, by the way).

Kate, I blame you for starting me on the blogging path. And I thank you.

Dad, you've probably realized by now that the name of the blog comes from you. So much of who I am comes from you and Mom so I figured starting a blog with one of your sayings would bring good karma.

See, I told you I would be nice.