give thanks...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

today really has been a blessing in disguise for me. this is my first thanksgiving without the girls. they are with their dad and his family until sunday. not to be a negative nancy, but i really anticipated yucky, empty feelings today.

while i do admit that the day was completely different from any other thanksgiving i have experienced in the last seven years, i did manage to find lots and lots of things to be thankful for this year.

and i mean lots.


i give you my top ten list.

10.) i am thankful for diet cokes and wine. if you know me even just a little bit, then you already know this and further explanation would be redundant.

9.) i am thankful for facebook. yes, i am serious. i have reconnected with so many friends who i grew up with and it is really a huge blessing to me to have each and every one of them back in my life. God really does work in amazing ways.

8.) i am thankful for my job and i am blessed to work with such an incredible group of people. i *finally* understand what it means to have a job that i love.

7.) i am thankful for my friends who helped me get through the last year of my life. my dearest friends are my rock and they own a very big portion of my soul. the last year of my life might have turned out differently without their love and support. *muah*!!!

6 1/2.) i am thankful for all the new babies who have made their way into the world this year...especially sophie, blake, and ellis.

6.) i am thankful for the roof over our heads. sometimes money is tight, but it is always comforting to know that i have a safe place for the girls and me to live (aside from mischievous, roaming oranges). there are days that i wonder why i bought a 3/2 house when it seems like we might have been better served in a 1/1 condo, and then i realize all over again how lucky i am to have girls who want to be with me all of the time. i wouldn't change this for anything.

5.) i am thankful for our health. we have had a remarkably lucky year in the sickness department. the h1n1 stayed with us very briefly. knock on wood - we have all been relatively well, and i certainly appreciate that a whole, whole bunch.

4.) i am thankful for the blessing of being a mom. i have this really cool allegory in my head that will go down in writing some day about the circle of love that radiates between a mom and her babies. i love that i have witnessed it between my mom and my granny, between my mom and me, and between my girls and me. it's really difficult for me to wrap my thoughts around the enormity of this relationship.

3.) i am thankful for my mom - she rocks. she is giving and gentle and kind and really, really funny. i just can't allow myself to imagine what my life would be like without her in it.

2.) i am thankful for my faith. my church is absolutely amazing. my pastor is my guardian angel, and i mean this in the strictest sense of the word. she is a God send. how cool is that?


the number one thing i am thankful for this thanksgiving...

1.) duh. i am thankful for my sweet love bugs. if you know me even just a little bit, then you already know this and further explanation would be redundant. :)

this year proved itself to be one of the toughest in my life, and i am very happy that i can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the doors that are opening to new chapters in my life. i am, as i have said many times before, blessed beyond measure by all that has been provided for me.

thank you, thank you, thank You!!!

happy thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night.

xoxo - me

agent: orange

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

well, i called 911 tonight for the first time since i have been living solo with my baby girls.

i heard a very, very loud and solid *thunk* against the side of my house. the girls were asleep, and so was hank. hank popped up and started growling and barking. good boy, hank!! i am so proud!

the sweet 911 guy told me to secure my children (he accepted the word 'thunk' for my official description of the noise).

o.m.g. - i have always thought of my girls as secure in their own beds until tonight. i'm going to look into one of those panic rooms now. since i don't currently have a panic room, i took them into my room because it has a lock on the door. in retrospect, it also has a window that could easily be broken, but that was my first momma bear instinct.

after 10 nerve wracking minutes, i finally got the guts to peek out the window in front of my house. guess what: 3 cop cars, 3 teenagers, and lots of flashlights. i instantly felt sane. at least i am not hearing things.

an officer came to my front door. i intercepted him so the doorbell wouldn't wake & terrify the girls. he informed me that the kid across the street was having a 'get together' which is a nice way of saying 'a wild party whilst the parentals are out of town.' he asked if i had looked in the area where i heard the noise.

ummmm, no. i was too busy protecting my offspring in my make-shift panic room.

two officers went to the side of my house. they came back and reported the official extent of the damage to me: a large, juicy orange had been chunked at my house. it didn't look like the orange was going to make it into anyone's fruit compote this year.

okay. i was in high school once upon a time. i clearly remember throwing cherry limeades at houses and i definitely egged my fair share of cars. i am going to chalk this one up as pure karma.

with each of my girls, i did not know their gender until the moment they were born.

back track 20 (ish) years, and there was a time i got in a really bad fight with my mom. she was going to take the keys to my car away because of some minor curfew offense. i was taller than her, and i held them above her head...yes, i was taunting her, daring her to jump for them. she didn't jump. instead, she said, 'someday i hope you have a daughter and she's...




oh, the curse. we both froze...we knew. the challenge, the threat, had been dealt to the powers of the universe. it was sort of like the moment in freaky friday where the 'transformation' happens, except not really like that at all.

fast forward 15 (ish) years to the moment(s) when the doctor exclaimed, 'it's a girl!!'....

...and that's why the first thought that went through my head both times was, 'oh dear. the curse.'

and here i am blogging at 11:03 pm two nights before thanksgiving about a fanatical orange that found its way securely into the side of my house.

karma, karma, karma.

now, if i were a detective investigating the case of the fanatical orange, i would start with the football and baseball teams because whoever threw it had a pretty good arm. just sayin'. that orange had some power behind it!

i am a forgiving person. i don't hold grudges. therefore, i will continue eating oranges tomorrow.

but not the one that is rotting in my yard.

until next time,

good night.


Monday, November 23, 2009

sweet!! i am bummed no more because i remembered what it was that i wanted to write about so badly!

cee had her first sleepover saturday for her birthday. jay was not very tolerant of the idea of cee getting all the goodies, and jay's aunt graciously took her for a special night of her own. thanks, jenn!! you. da. bomb. or as jay da dog diggity.

you know how lots of times your kids look at you like you are insane, dumb, or ignorant? well, i get that a lot. sometimes i take it a bit more personally than i should, and other times, i roll with the punches. i was humbled beyond words at the sleepover.

these are some of the eye-opening things that cee said that night:

'oh! let's ask my mom. she'll know!'

'let's show my mom. she can fix it.'

'i bet my mom can do it.'

'i think you should talk to my mommy. she can help.'


i felt so special, and at the same time i felt pretty inadequate. she has me on a pretty big pedestal. this absolutely melts my heart. fortunately, i knew all of the solutions to everything that came my way that night.

i know there will be many, many times in our future when i don't hold all the answers and i can't simply fix it. this makes my heart ache.

i have always believed that until a certain age, most kids think their parents hung the moon. they think their parents are flawless, and they think their parents are amazing and invincible. the thing is, it's all relative.

i see it every year as a teacher. the kids who have less than ideal lives don't know that things could be different. some think that hitting is what everyone does. some think that curse words are the only way to express something important. the examples don't even necessarily have to be that bad, either. my girls think i am great, but i am not perfect. i am far from it...yet they have no idea how many shortcomings i have as a parent. it makes me want to be the best i can possibly be.

another thing i think about is the delicate balance that straddles the fence of having all the answers and letting kids figure things out on their own. i keep hearing about the 'helicopter parents' who hover to the extent of being detrimental to their children's growth. i definitely don't want to end up in that category!

i love the challenges presented in the process of parenting. each day holds a new challenge, and i like to think of these as learning and growing opportunities. so this is my newest endeavor: finding the delicate balance between super hero mom and mom who allows her children to explore and learn through their own mistakes.

i am looking forward to this new road of thought and can't wait to encounter each new consideration. in keeping with the spirit of the season, today i am thankful for the blessing of parenting my little love bugs.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

i had the *best* idea last night for a blog topic! i almost got up and wrote it down as a reminder, but then i decided that it was so good that there was no possible way i could forget it.

guess what.

i should have written it down.


we'll blame it on age if you don't mind.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

that's right. cee is seven today. i am totally refraining from telling her, 'seven years ago today, we went to the hospital....'

blah, blah, blah

cee changed my life in ways that are too big for words to encompass. she is my little trooper. she wakes up happy as a lark every single morning. she loves to laugh. she has the greatest laugh in the whole world, and she likes making other people laugh, too. she is smart, witty, articulate, snuggly, inquisitive, thoughtful, and amazing.

i took cupcakes to her class yesterday. all the kids sang happy birthday to her (the cha cha cha version), and she beamed from ear to ear.

we are having a party later and a sleepover tonight. i don't think i have ever seen her so excited before.

jay is being a trooper. it took every last bit of silence that she could muster *not* to tell cee what her gift was before she opened it. they are best friends. they are so sweet and gentle with each other (most of the time).

and since cee isn't interested in this part, then i will tell you, sweet blog readers of mine. seven years ago today, at 9:06 am, we welcomed our six pound, 4 ounce, 18.5 inch long beautiful baby girl into the world.

i honestly don't remember what i did before i had her in my life.

happy birthday, cee!!! i love you (more).

12 (ish)

Friday, November 13, 2009

when is the last time you spent *quality time* with a twelve year old?

if you said, 'all day, every day for the last year of my life...' or anything that might similarly be associated with being a parent of or a teacher to a 'tween', then there is a pretty good chance you won't laugh at my daily funnies.

i am only asking because i have spent a big part of the last three years of my life with them by choice. i teach them. i love teaching them. they make me laugh every single day. my sweet friend pointed out to me today that sometimes we take the insane amounts of humor that life as a teacher provides to us on a daily basis...well, a little bit 'for granted'.

for instance, she is grading papers tonight (that's what we dorky english teachers do on friday nights).

one started with, 'once a pond a time...'

then there is the eloquence of the hyperbole 'i was so high i was about to cream in my pants.'

another used the genius simile of 'my legs were shanking as a vibrator.'

and those are just the ones about the holocaust.

here are a few fun facts about the kids i teach each day.

(and they are guaranteed to make you feel old...unless you are under the age of 16. if you are under the age of 16, there is a pretty good chance that your parents should be monitoring your internet usage and screening your sites a little bit better. i'm not judging your parents, i am just stating an opinion that lots of other people happen to share...which sort of makes it a fact, but not might just be peer pressure.)

-computers have always been a part of their lives (and i don't mean the kind that you hook up to your 12' t.v. with a keyboard and no mouse)

-the internet has always been a part of their lives (as opposed to my favorite college course, 'welcome to the world wide web'...3 credit hours!!)

-90% of them have cell phones

-50% of them have cell phones much cooler than mine

-most do not worry about spelling because word has spell check

-most can text faster than they can type

-most think that they are the first generation to love vans & converse, even though they are at least the third generation to love these fashion icons

-lots have handwriting that is less than desirable

-think michael jackson's thriller was the greatest thing to ever happen in summer '09

-all take dvr for granted

-the majority don't know what a vcr is

-the majority don't know what a 'floppy disk' is

-few have ever had any use for a cassette tape and wonder what the little rectangular hole is in cars

well, this could so go 'you know you're a child of the 80s when...' very quickly; therefore, i will stop because i have forgotten what i was writing about in the first place.


there's a yellow string tied around my finger.

i feel like i am supposed to be doing something important.

i can't remember what it is.

oooo! look - something shiny!!

oh wait. it's just another gray hair.

thumbs up...

Monday, November 9, 2009

and over and down and around...

how long can a person possibly twiddle their thumbs until their brain implodes?

that's my question for today.

my kids are taking day down, one to go.

all i can do is sit and stare (monitor) to make sure they are on task.


and stare.

and stare.

hour after

hour after

endless hour.

wednesday cannot possibly get here fast enough!!

i hope they are more entertained by their tests than i am by watching them look at their tests.

please, oh please, let them do well.

well done

Friday, November 6, 2009

i am *so* over today.


i quit this day. totally quit it. and i am not a quitter. but i totally give up on today.

today i learned that i am below average. now - i am not trying to be uppity, but i have never been below average in my whole life.

i was good at sports. i made good grades all through my elementary, intermediate, middle school, and high school years.

i am pretty sure i never made lower than a c in college, and i graduated cum laude from college. i was on the president's list. the dean's list. mortar board. cardinal key. and all of those other things.

and now i am...labeled.

below average.

i. am. not. a. happy. camper.

in fact, i am pouting.

i feel like i robin hooded my students from last year.

i feel like i owe them an apology for my educational ineptness.

i hate when all the bars on a bar graph go head first into the downward position instead of skyrocketing towards the stratosphere & space & universes unknown.

my school is on a grant program and teachers are paid bonuses based on their classroom performance.

i feel like i personally owe the grant my own pocket change this year. there is no reason that they should be paying me money!!

more than anything, i feel so so badly for everything i could have given to my students last year, but i wasn't even able to meet my bare minimum.

so to all of my kiddos from last year: i love ya, and i wish you a much, much better year.


father time

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

father time totally believes in tough love.

i can attest to this.

i am getting a serious dose of tough love right now.

tonight i found three gray hairs and i saw my crow's feet for the first time.


if you have seen my crow's feet before, then please just fake that you haven't and let me have my senior moment. thanks in advance. :)

hello, 35.

welcome into my life.

i know you are here to stay, so i begrudgingly accept you with a more than just a hint of a smile.

i kinda liked seeing the crow's feet.

isn't that sick & twisted?

i had a wonderful day with lots and lots of love and spoiling from my sweet baby girls.

have i ever mentioned that they are my rock and my oak?

love those sweet girls a million ga-zillion times over.

life is good. very, very good.

i am not going to lie to you.

i am thankful to put 34 to bed.

the previous 365 days of my life were filled with the most enlightening revelations,the deepest depths of soul searching, and the most lonely hours i've known. the last year was hands down the toughest year of my life. i am pretty sure that i proved truth behind the theory of 'that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.'

i am happy and thankful to bid my 34's good riddance!

and here i am to welcome in the newest year of my life.

(with a surprisingly big smile on my face)

i am blessed.

very, very blessed beyond measure.

the end.

funny guy???

Monday, November 2, 2009

dear mr. time change,

you are hysterically funny.

(in a quirky sort of way)

cee & jay woke up at the tender hour of 4 this morning.

did you have kids?

if you did, did you like them?

did you like your wife?

in the wee hours before the sun even thought about rising, did you get up with your kids during the torment that we call 'falling back'?

what is your favorite color? mine is the color of the back of my eyelids.

if i was a betting woman, i would bet that your favorite color is evil berry.

what is your favorite food? mine is whatever makes me sleep for a solid 8 hours.

if you found a magical lamp with a genie in it and you could have any three wishes in the whole wide world, what would they be?

i'm only asking because one of mine would for sure be to erradicate the concept of daylight savings time. sleep is a very huge big deal to me.



what time is it there?

it is 8:51 here.

what's your favorite animal?

i like bears, especially when they are hibernating.

just curious to know a little more about you and your pathetic, vicious, psychotic motives.

clearly, i am not even slightly amused with you.

write back soon.

that's the end of my inquiry.



my basket runneth over...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

with gobs and gobs of candy!

the girls had their trick-or-treat baskets brimming full and spilling over after only 30 minutes & two blocks of walking. it was absolutely fabulous!!

while the girls were getting ready, jay decided that she did not want to trick-or-treat because she was feeling shy. by the time we got to the second house, she could not contain herself from running full speed up to each house! so cute.

other funny comments from the night:

'oh, mom! that kid's ugly!'

'oh mom! that lady has some gunk in her trunk!' (she really did...balloons)

'this is the most fantastic halloween *ever*!!!'

'i wonder when the fellas are coming to our house?' (who says fellows??)

'guys!!! *we're* home! come get candy from us!!!'

the girls offered curb-side service for our candy. they would literally greet people with the candy bucket at the curb. they were so stinking excited to be on the giving end for the first time.

it was truly wonderful. the sugar highs were unsurpassed, and fun was had by all (especially by the cheerleader and hannah montana).

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