Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Movies and Books

For awhile now, I haven't had an overwhelming desire to read.  That was odd too, because I have been an avid reader since I was 7.  Recently though, I have picked up and started reading again and I think I know why.

Part of reading is about angst.  There has to be a tension, a conflict, a connection with the reader, and without that, a novel just isn't any good.  But that was the problem.  I didn't need any more conflict.  Or angst.  Or pull in any direction.  I was already being pulled in too many directions.  That is why I read the end of the final Harry Potter long before I was even half way into the book, why I couldn't deal with reading anything too deep, and why I couldn't bring myself to see any movie other than children's animated flicks or comedies... and even those might have been too serious.

And now, I am reading again.  In the last two weeks, I have read  Goodbye Mr Chips, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Awakening, Cane, Other People, and I am now working on We the Living.  I can handle a little bit of angst again, and that, beyond anything else, is a good sign.  Maybe I am coming back.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trying Hard not to Complain.

Work starts tomorrow.

And I don't want to complain.  Good Grief.  I am a teacher.  I love what I do.  I work 186 days a year, and right now, 7 of those are furlough days.  It couldn't get much sweeter.  And I love my students.  And I love my job.

And I love to write fragments, I suppose.

But here is the thing:  more than anything else, I want to be a mom.  A full time, stay at home mom.  I love it.  I don't mind difficult days.  I enjoy finding things to do and ways to teach Penelope about the world.  I hate leaving her.

And tomorrow I have to.  And it sucks.  And I am really having a rough time with the thought of working full time again.

Thank you for reading my rant.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cell Phone Use

We live in an age of convenience, and isn't it nice?  If we need directions, they are at our fingertips.  If we need to reach someone, we all walk around with a cell phone glued to us.  If we need a phone number the internet is a few clicks away.  And yet, that convenience has led to inconvenience and a feeling of being connected when real connections are ignored.

Once a month, I gather with some of my closest girl friends for a night of food and talking.  Not once has anyone had their phone on the dinner table, and only rarely does someone answer their phone.  On those rare occasions, it is a mom or someone who has already expressed that there is something urgent going on that might need to be tended to.  Shocking isn't it?

It is so sad that this mutual respect I speak of is rare in a young group of twenty somethings.  Would you like to know the most earth shattering part?  We have no cell phone rule.  None.  Nada.  Zip.  We just get it.  We all understand that if we are going to spend time with friends we value, that time is special.  Phone calls can wait.  Texts can wait.  Facebook comments can wait.





We need, desperately, as a society, as young people, as professionals, and as friends to start showing mutual respect to the person we are with at the moment.  It is only fair, and it will only lead to better, deeper, stronger and more lasting friendships that we can count on.  If we don't change our habits soon, our social media and text driven lives may soon destroy what real relationships we do have.  I don't know about you, but when I need to cry, I'd rather have a hug that a text: <3, and when I laugh at something funny with friends, a real laugh together is so much more valuable than a delayed "lol."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Little talking girl

I love watching Penelope grow up.

I love watching her talk more: "'mon mama, more run my momma!"

I love watching her develop humor: "Who is this?" (pointing to big bird)  "Abby, Elmo, Cookie (giggle)" You know who this is!  Who is it?"  "Big Birds-- Abby!"

I love watching her learn: "whas tha?" "Who's that?" "wha's this"

I love watching her personality flourish.

I love being a mommy, and I love my little girl.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Terrible" Twos Here We Come!

This party was brought to you by the letter P and the number 2.

We had so much fun today and all of my hours of prep wok over the last 4-6 weeks came out just the way I wanted!  I had pictures of characters three feet high up all over the place, Sesame Street cake pop holders, and a few fun games to play.

And here is my army of cake pops inspired by Bakerella. They weren't quite as good as hers, but I was happy.  I filled them with different flavors... Elmo was funfetti, Big Bird was lemon cream cheese, Oscar was chocolate ganache, and Cookie was my creation of "chocolate chip cookie dough" cake.  I even had fun figuring out which filling was right for which character.

Here is the birthday girl wearing her Elmo overalls that I scored on sale from Sears:

...always so serious!  You should have seen her right before the party started, you might have thought she was at a funeral or something.

Fortunately, she finally lightened up.

We had Pizza, corn dogs, guacamole(13 avocados worth!) veggies, fruit, and drinks.  We had story time, threw Oscar's trash into his can, and found Ernie's rubber duckies (which he kindly let us take home).  Penelope's grandpa Steve even made balloon animals for all the kids, and a few of them even got Elmo!

What kid doesn't like opening presents?

Especially when she gets stuff like this homemade sesame street quilt from her Grandma Gerry?

Ahh, the Elmo laptop, definitely one of the hit gifts.

What a great party!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bratz etc

Today, I heard a sound bite on the radio that interested me.  While I don't remember the exact quote, I do remember that the sometimes snarky host implied that the female host didn't dress up her barbies thinking that they would stay home.  So here is the context: they were discussing a news story about all the copy-cat bratz dolls and how the presence of the dolls promote inappropriate dress in young girls.  I couldn't agree more.  And here's the thing, when I did play with barbies, I did not actually have a "mature" imagination about what they would do that night.  They often were, in fact, all dressed up with nowhere to go.  Sure, my barbies "kissed" Ken as they got older, and those two did sleep in the same bed, but after all, so did my parents.

There was recently an article about how parents allow their little girls to dress, like miniature adults.  I wore make-up to a restaurant a couple of times before I was 13.  I was dressed up in some random wrinkly dress-up clothes, and probably looked like a clown.  What I looked like was a little girl.  But it's not all about me.  I have a two year old daughter, and I want her to grow up with the same innocence that I did.  I want her to learn about life as necessary, not prematurely.

But here is my big big problem.  While I don't want to shelter her from the world, I feel like there is some element of those her age that I will be forced to shelter her from.  Why?  Because their parents will allow them to watch rated R movies at 5, because they will be wearing make-up at 8, because they will not have a childhood.

A childhood is valuable, innocence is valuable, and youth is valuable.  I hope that my generation, that my daughter's peers parents can value that as much as I do.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank You

Penelope, come say "Thank You" to Grandpa.

Pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter

Can you say "Thank you?"


Say "Thank you."

Smile.  No!........... More!

If you say "Thank you."


Thank you can be hard to say.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Invitations: Check

I couldn't help it.  Once they are in the mail, I won't see them again.  But I couldn't help it.
This party has been brought to you by the number 2 and the letter P.  So who gets air time?  Big Bird, Penelope's favorite?  Of course!  Bert and Ernie?  Duh!  Oscar, how can you not love the grouch?
And what about Cookie and Elmo?  Well, I love cookie monster, and the kiddies love Elmo, so, there it is.
So I cut out the card stock, got out the sharpie and the googlie eyes, did a little gluing and voila, invitations.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


I have very little to say on the matter right now but this:

Success is sweetest when the perceived outcome is doubted by the vocal, and when it involves achieving good for others.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Big Decisions

So, for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a stay at home mom.  I have always valued the sacrifices that it takes to have a stay at home mom, and I believe that no one will care for your child the same way that you will.  I also know that it is not always possible for that to happen.

David and I have been really struggling for the last 3 years.  He has been struggling to find consistent work in his field, and I have been struggling with my desires to work part time or not at all and the conviction that I could be and should be doing more for my family financially.

Then it hit me.

Someone at church said that because of the nature of escrow, his mom had been in and out of work for the last 17 years.

A good friend made a fleeting mention of David being a stay at home dad.

And he would be a good one.  To be honest, he probably does better housework than I do.  He loves and plays with our daughter.  He is great with infants.  And he has never gone to school.

This could be our chance.

Sure, I don't want to give up my dreams of raising my children from birth, day in and day out.  Sure, he doesn't want to give up the idea of working full time.  But it seems so clear.  So. Very. Clear.  I can support our family.  He can get his bachelor's degree and special ed teaching credential (a job he would be a rock star at, a job that is stable, and a job that has summer off and a good retirement).  In the 8 year time period that that would take (part time student)  our children would have a stay at home parent.

Problem solved.

Except now I have to get my heart in the right place.  So does he.  But God is working.  God is faithful.  And this all just makes sense.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Family can be a blessing.  Family can be difficult.  Found family, however, is different because it has been chosen, and because it fits just right.

Tomorrow, we lose our Tina, our grandma Tina.  She goes back to Denmark.  She goes back to her family, her son, her mother, her brother and niece.

She is the grandma that my mom would have been.  And that warms my heart. 

I will miss her.

Penelope will miss her.

We won't see her for at least a couple of years.  But no matter.  We have had her here, and will always have her in our hearts.