today, yesterday, and the day before

Thursday, June 28, 2012

1) as of tuesday, there is only one person still alive from my 'perfect dinner' scenario. i'm not sure what this says about me, but i really am sad about nora ephron. what an incredible woman! she'll be dearly missed.

2) i was completely hooked on all things scotus today. i love seeing history unfold...monumental things happened today and i loved getting to see it! the varying viewpoints are fascinating, i enjoyed reading about both sides of the situation. i realize it's a sensitive subject no matter which side you're on, so i'll leave it at that for now.

3)  i just had one of those parenting moments where i'm still trying to process things...for now, i'm a little scarred. and startled. and surprised. whoa. we will definitely have a family talk in the near future (as soon as i find the right words).

4)  yesterday the girls and i went on a new adventure: jersey barnyard. we weren't sure what to expect, and it was completely fabulous!! they fed chickens, rabbits, goats, a pig, mules, sheep, and cows. awesome!

cee's calf was a week and a half old...

jay's calf was two weeks old...

since it's a working dairy ranch, the calves only nurse for 12 hours before they're moved away from their mom to these little huts where they can be more closely monitored and bottle-fed several times a day.

we also got to see the milking process at the dairy. this farm provides all the milk for the blue bell factory, which is just a few miles away! my favorite part? the whole business started when the farm owners (who are both nearing the century mark) got a cow for a wedding gift...forever ago!

jay and i milked one of these two cutie pies (cee didn't want any part of it)...

if you live anywhere near la grange and want a fun place to spend the morning (or afternoon if you're exceptionally brave in the summer), i highly recommend the jersey barnyard!

5) we drove through bastrop on our excursion, and although i'd heard about the damage left from the fires last september, i really hadn't seen the aftermath. it was both sad and beautiful at the same time: destruction and new growth; the old and the new. this isn't the best picture, and it doesn't even begin to capture the magnitude of the damage, but it reminded me that things there will never be exactly the same.

6) we had 'the family talk' about 'the parental moment' about half way through this post, and all i can say is my girls make me proud. often. i love that they aren't afraid to ask me questions, i love the level of honesty we have, and i adore them from head to toe, inside and out.

7) i hope you've had a wonderful today, yesterday, and the day before...and here's to a great tomorrow!!

sweet dreams...


two little troopers

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

thing one used to fear the dentist like nobody's business.

last summer there was a moment where i actually thought she was going to bite the dentist's fingers out of spite. thing one is the typical first child who wants to please and do good things and set a good example for others.

except at the dentist.

at the dentist, it was claws out, game on for her.

what a difference a year makes...she has a new dentist and we all love her.

a year ago, cee held her breath as a way to boycott the laughing gas (seriously - so out of character for her)...this year she learned that it can be her friend.

she was a goof ball and she was cracking everybody up - which is perfectly aligned with her character.

what a trooper!! and now we're off to our next appointment. in perfect alignment with jay's summer routines, she has had a whopper of a fever for the last two days.

hopefully we'll get her feeling back to par pretty soon...


don't be a hermit crab

Saturday, June 23, 2012

for the last two weeks, i've followed along with the sandusky trial. once i heard the jury reached a verdict last night, i planted myself in front of the tv...i really thought it would be next week before they made a decision.

(aggie kenny / associated press / june 22, 2012)
there was something very redemptive about seeing him convicted and handcuffed for all of the disgusting things he did to innocent kids. what resonated with me the most was knowing that he was eligible for over 400 years in prison.

400 years.

obviously he's a monster, and i really don't want to give him much more attention in this post...our justice system did its job in this case, and i, for one, am pleased.

however, there was something else i noticed last media brought up another very interesting aspect: what about dottie sandusky?

she seems like a pretty intelligent person, and i would have to think she had a smidge of info about the things that went on under her own roof. how could you not? one cnn correspondent said, 'she was an enabler, in a way, to the heinous activity that took place in her home.'

the general consensus on several threads i read could be summarized by one in particular - 'now i hope they go after those who enabled his horrific crimes and covered them up. they need to be in prison right along with him.'

my thoughts? you have to know what goes on in your own home. sometimes the truth might hurt, and it might be easier to deny yourself the truth, but that doesn't change the truth in any form or fashion. addressing those truths head-on, beneath your own roof, is part of what makes a house a home. you acknowledge the ugly truth, and you problem solve.

none of us are perfect, no house is problem-free. but you can't just sweep the bad stuff under a rug and pretend it never happened.

i think it's a shame that some of those who were abused waved their red flags for help years ago - only to be rebuffed. i try my hardest not to judge people, but in this case i really can't help it. i think anyone who knew this was going on and did nothing to stop it is guilty, too. including mrs. sandusky.

one of the hardest parts of my job as a teacher is hearing one of my kids tell me about something awful that happened at home. it's my legal obligation to report these incidents to cps. it isn't fun, and sometimes no action is taken, but i know i've done my part.

so why doesn't this same logic translate into society? if you see a kid being harmed, it's your responsibility to call for help.


for future reference, any time you hear about a creepy man having bizarre relationships with kids, you should question it. heavily and thoroughly.

in this case, nobody questioned it. nobody did anything to stop it. i really have a hard time with this kind of thinking...or lack of thinking.

okay, i'm going to hop off of my soap box now, but if this ruffles your feathers as much as it ruffles mine, i hope you'll take a second to read anne reeves' piece about why our society needs to stop being so hermit-crabby.

hopefully the magnitude of media coverage for this case will open the doors for policy change...but only time will tell. until then, it's up to me (and you) to do our part.

don't be a hermit crab. you have a voice; use it.

the end.


windows of opportunity

Thursday, June 21, 2012

'choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.' 

it's no secret - i love teaching sixth graders. i really, truly do.

each summer for the last three years, i've also been blessed with another role: i get to help train other teachers on how to work with gifted & talented students. i happened to be in the right place at the right time a few years back, and i was asked to help present the trainings. i'm so thankful for the friendships i've made because of it and the path it has created for me.

an unexpected outcome of this week? several conversations that really have me thinking about what i want to do 'next' in life. obviously i can't be a solo mom and a classroom teacher for the rest of my life. i mean, i totally could because that's how much i love it, but realistically, i also have to think about how i'm going to put my cutie pies through designer jeans, trendy shoes, and college...all whilst providing for them the life experiences i want them to have while they're still under my wings.

which is part of why i wanted to get a graduate degree in the first place.

as if one graduate degree wasn't enough, now i'm tossing around the idea of two. my first one will take 18 months by the time all is said and done (in *november*!), and my second one would only take 8 additional months. online. from the comfort of mi casa.

really, how could i pass up that kind of chance? the way i see it, i'm already in 'student' mode, and if i've done it for 18 months, why not tack on a few more?

that's where i am right now: 'why not?'

decisions, decisions, and one more day of training this week (with an incredible group of people who are funny and responsive and great sports...and have not launched any tomatoes yet)!!


(oh, and p.s.: those moscow mules are really good!)

by way of moscow

Saturday, June 16, 2012

a new drink has bleeped on my radar, and i am dying to try one.

ever heard of a moscow mule?

it sounds a little campy. and a little awesome. plus, any drink that requires its own special vessel automatically gets high marks in my book.

picture courtesy of amazon
aren't those some to-die-for mugs?

the girls had a blast with the garage sale today and ended up walking away with some spending cash. after the big event, they were ready for some down time.

cee worked on father's day crafts...

(why yes, that is painter's tape all over my floor. they've been playing gymnastics, and apparently tape is part of the deal.)

and jay's new favorite place to be is burrowed. sometimes she's playing her ds, and sometimes she's working in her magic secret password journal. i'm still getting used to the view...

so i have a confession to make: i love writing. i like blogging. something about it is semi-therapeutic to me. but then i read things that other people write and i second guess everything. anne lamott has been posting a lot lately on her facebook fan page. she really has the magic touch with words.

what takes her maybe 10-20 minutes to write and post would take me a life time. i'm glad i get to read her work because i can learn from it, but it's also kind of frustrating to realize how far i have to go.

if you like her work and you haven't already liked her on facebook, you should. she's poignant. and funny. and real.

and that's that.

alright - it's bedtime...i have so much on my mind right now, and luckily there is a tiny, white ambien calling my name.


dear deer

Friday, June 15, 2012

we have been busy this week!

the girls are beyond excited for our neighborhood garage sale and they have been working furiously all week to get their things together to sell. this has prompted them to thoroughly clean their rooms, and i've had to keep a careful eye on things they've tried to sneak into the garage...very little has been safe because they're excited to make some spending money. 

we went on a little surprise adventure wednesday...we headed south and they were full of guesses: new braunfels?? san antonio?? mexico?? south america??

no, no, no, and no...

we passed the snake farm, and if you know me at all then you know that i am not okay with animals who have no legs or more than four legs. they of all people know this, but they still begged and begged and begged to stop at the snake farm.

i tried to use logical reasoning with them by asking, 'what if they escape? and they're fast? and they try to get us?'

without missing a beat, cee said, 'not a problem. i don't have to be faster than the snakes, i just have to be faster than you!'

this is actually very wise reasoning on her part, and i decided that i wasn't willing to sacrifice my well-being to legless creatures.

instead, we opted for the four legged these cuties...

this was our first trip to one of those drive-thru-our-ranch-and-feed-our-friendly-animals things, and it reminded me of an adventure i went on over a decade ago (minus the ranch. and drive-thru concept.).

a few weeks before i got married, we went on a trip to key west and stayed a couple of nights at little palm island (which was truly spectacular). do you know what i remember more about that trip than anything? the key deer. they didn't live on little palm, they lived on a neighboring key. the waters there are shallow - maybe 2-3 feet deep tops, and at night the deer would wander over and they were so friendly and sweet and tame.

i used to have a picture of it, but i don't know where it is...i had a picture of me feeding a key deer pieces of melon and it would even let me pet its head while it nibbled was so docile (i may have wanted to bring it home with me). and that's what i remember most about little palm (that, and the spa. and the suites. and the amazing boat that takes you there. and one of the best restaurants i've ever experienced...and pig snapper - it's a real thing, and it is delicious.).

so i always love getting to interact with sweet animals (not mean ones - like snakes). there was also a time i fed a blow pop to a deer at my friend lacy's lake house, but that was slightly less classy than the key deer and that was way more than a decade ago.

the girls had a ball on our drive-thru-the-ranch-and-feed-the-friendly-animals adventure (and we had an impromptu lesson on the difference in dangerous and endangered...with regards to animals as in 'wait. you're taking us to feed dangerous animals?'). i'm going to have to find more of these places...

because these smiles make me happy!

okay - it's assignment time (shocking that i'm writing instead of reading?).


the sweetest of dreams

Sunday, June 10, 2012

no matter how much i miss them when they're gone, it's good to know i'm not alone. i can't exactly say that he misses them more than i miss them because i'm pretty sure that's not possible...

...but i think he misses them almost as much as i do.

in his own special way, of course (translation: they give him their leftovers and he's a huge fan of leftovers. win/win.).

peace and bedtime stories...


Saturday, June 9, 2012

i watched the bucket list tonight. whenever i watch movies, i generally go into them with absolutely no expectations (because i'm not a huge fan of disappointment).

i took a little break during the movie to snap a couple of shots of browning since his voice-sake was part of the cinematography (and also because i needed more wine)...

setting my expectation barometer at zero means that i never really go into a movie thinking, 'i will probably cry,' or 'i will probably laugh.'

therefore (even though it has been out for over three years), i was totally caught off-guard by the onslaught of tears during the last fifteen minutes of the movie. good grief - rip my heart out. or maybe i should have seen that coming...

regardless, i got to check something off of my life list tonight. 



things you didn't know you didn't know

Friday, June 8, 2012

my weekly reading for grad school started with this:

and all i have been able to think about for the last ten (scratch that) twenty-two (scratch that, too) thirty-eight minutes is 'i didn't even know lithuania had proverbs. what else do they have that i don't know about? do they believe in complete sentences (because that proverb isn't well constructed unless you're yoda)? is this sort of like an-eye-for-an-eye, a-tooth-for-a-tooth? and where is lithuania?'

this is where my mind gets the best of me and procrastination wins.


lithuania is actually part of the baltic states in northern europe (something else i didn't know).

79% of its population is roman catholic (another tidbit i didn't know). but to me, this is the beginning of the explanation as to why there are lithuanian proverbs.

in general, men live to be 70.7 years old and women live to be 80.7 years old. they have the highest homicide rate in the eu (i wonder if women are the homicide culprits and that's why they live 10 years prison?).

also - i'm no greek (or latin?) expert, but based on the word 'homosapien', shouldn't it be 'homocide' instead of 'homicide'? 

the infant mortality rate is 6.2 per 1,000 births (maybe this will be a trivia question one day).

now i finally understand why it takes me twice as long to complete my assignments as it should and why, despite my best intentions, my word document looks like this (after 45 minutes). and suddenly i have a new appreciation for my kids who sit in class and don't do their work...they're just inquisitive.

so many questions, so little time, and so much more to do.

peace and random ponderings...

a good time was had by all

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the girls and i went on an adventure yesterday, and i think they got to do a few things they never thought they'd get to do...

drink two sodas in one day (which is more than they normally have in a month)?


get your picture made with a bradley cooper-esque rock star?

check!! (after this pic, cee vowed to never again wash her back.)

throw paper airplanes at rock stars in the middle of their show?


own the best seat in the house?


there was only one song that the girls really wanted to hear, and as luck would have it, that was one of the very last songs the band played. i knew there would be a time when they were ready and willing to stay up later than me...i just didn't think it would be yesterday.

it was a great day and a fun experience...but how am i supposed to top this little outing for the rest of the summer? i have absolutely no idea.

alright - it's nap time.


done with the dc's?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

one of the things on my life list was to fall out of love with diet cokes. i was just getting ready to cross it off of my life list because it feels like i haven't had one (intentionally) for at least twelve days.

in reality, it's only been four days...

..four long, lonely days without any carbonated, caramel-hued, aspartame-infused, bubbly happiness. i'm surviving, sans headaches.

i decided to give them up because i always have people telling me how horrible they are for me and how harmful they are to my health. like always. like daily. like ad freaking nauseum.

before i sat down to write this post, i googled 'bad ingredients in diet cokes' and guess what...there isn't actually any specific ingredient that is truly, scientifically bad for you. they are brimming with sodium, which isn't ever ideal, but i didn't find anything as harmful as i was anticipating (i guess i was expecting to find: 'if you have one diet coke a day for a year, your life insurance policy will be terminated.').

it's a decision i made, and i'm going to stick with it because there are obviously healthier things i can drink (like wine, vodka and water). i wonder how many days i should be dc-free before i can cross it off of my list?

photo credit (before my awesome paint skills)

and speaking of the list, another one of my goals was to read a book a month outside of grad school. i'm right on track to conquer that goal, too. i made a new page to keep track of what i've read (and inadvertently added something else to my monthly to-do list). it's not very book-reviewy or exciting, but it's an accountability thing for me (translation: if i don't write it down, i will forget).

the girls and i have been soaking up lots of rays and enjoying our school-free days, and we have big plans tonight...stay tuned for more details and (hopefully) some pictures!

until next time, peace...

june 14th update: i tried a diet coke today just to see if i was legitimately 'done' with them. guess tasted so gross!! so i've officially crossed it off the list. woo hoo!

they're here.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

today my barn swallows seemed to be a little more anxious than usual. after our trip to the pool, i noticed something on our porch when we got home. it was cee who was the first to discover the eggshells...

i am 100% sure the parents despise me, but i have to share a baby picture (spoiler alert: they are not cute...yet):

so...i think we can agree that they're not cute (yet), but can we agree that they're tiny and super fragile?

now i understand why the mom and dad were a little keyed up...they have delicate cargo to protect.

after i took this picture, jay was ready to rip the camera out of my hands to see our new little friends. when she saw them, she got a little teary. and then she said, 'mommy, you're a grandma!!!'

and then they fought over who got which half of the egg shell (which is a little bit gross).

i put lots of fresh water out for the proud parents, but they're going to have to catch their own bugs.

i think we can all be reminded from this picture that life is very dear and extremely precious.

our babies grow up quicker than we intend. before you know it, these little guys will be sprouting feathers, spreading their tiny little wings, and flying back to mexico for the cooler months of the year.

we should never forget how incredibly dependent they are upon us and how we need to teach them all we can while they're still in our nest.

alright - wine time.


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