simple realities

Saturday, May 25, 2013

today i had lots of reality checks, except i'm not sure 'reality checks' is the correct way to say it.

i think my dad would refer to them as moments of clarity.

regardless, all of these moments of realizing reality or check-ins with clarity revolved roughly around this exact scenario, and at some point in the five or so minutes that said scenario occurred, i thought to myself, 'you need to take a picture of this because it's going to matter.'

so here were are, or there we were. the aftermath of a rainy day - it was time for the girls to get outside and play in the sun (after playing in the rain), and it was time for me to plop in the chair with my glass of goodness and watch over them. and what would a party be without browning in tow?

while i sat, watching them playing & timing them on bike rides/runs/scooter scoots around the block, several things solidified for me, and by several, i very specifically mean three.

1) the nouns (people, places, things) i've always thought are bad for me actually are, and i need to make sure there isn't room for them in my life.

2) the nouns (people, places, things) i've always thought are good for me actually are, and i need to make plenty of room for them in my life. 

3) the offspring will always be my number one straight shooters, and i need to make sure they are 100% aware of how much i appreciate their honesty. 

while we were huddled halfway in our driveway, halfway in our garage, talking about this and that (some of it important, some of it not), something amazing happened before i even realized it. 

mid-conversation, my children started picking away at my hair - without missing a beat in our conversation. 

what are you doing, i interrupted.

well, have some gray hairs, cee said.

not some, but more like a lot. and they aren't gray, they're white, jay explained.

get them. get them all, hitler ordered.

and that's when i snapped the picture that i knew would matter, and bless those sweet girls for picking our conversation back up exactly where we left off without missing a single beat.

a few minutes and a few plucks later, things were done, and life resumed to normal. 

and to me, that's the great thing about reality and clarity: it hits you when you very least expect it to. but when it decides it's your time, you may as well pay attention.

in the end, you just have to appreciate life's timing because it's almost always pretty perfect, and it's almost always out of your control.  

and that's my lesson for you for today...hope it's relevant. :)


frayed emotions

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

a month ago, our country endured the boston marathon bombing.

five months ago, we watched a massacre unfold in front of our eyes in connecticut.

six months ago, we watched hurricane sandy devastate massive regions of the east coast and ultimately cancel the new york marathon as it destroyed way too many lives.

a non-news-addict friend of mine once said that they should stop calling it ‘the news’ and instead they should just call it ‘the bad news’ so people know what they're getting themselves into.

and somewhere in the midst of all of this, i very specifically remember saying it’s easier to forgive a natural disaster than it is to forgive a terrorist.

yesterday i realized i may have spoken too soon.

moore, ok.

what a nightmare.

i cannot imagine the pain and the loss. i can’t imagine the suffering, and i can’t imagine how you even begin to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together again.

what i do know is that people have very generous hearts, especially in times of need. of course you know you can donate to red cross to help provide immediate relief to families.

i stumbled across another way to donate today, and as a teacher, this seems like a pretty thoughtful way to help - something that will be a necessary and important effort in the coming months. donors choose does amazing work for classrooms! the amount donated on this page has increased by $10k in just an hour. i think that’s a pretty strong testament to the kindness and generosity of strangers.

and just in case neither of these options float your boat, p-dub has an additional host of options for you to peruse. she's prettty awesome.

i know people are strong and resilient by nature, and i know that the people directly effected by this disaster will persevere, but i also know they can't do it alone. in the wake of such an unsettling event, i hope the people in moore and the surrounding areas are able to find a calm moment or two tonight – i know they need it, and probably so do we.


obsessions, compulsions, and catching up...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

at the onset of the tail-end of a fabulous weekend, i have just realized that my girls have both contracted a strange and unusual form of o.c.d.

if you haven't seen pitch perfect, you should at least half way mildly consider it. maybe...if that's your thing (and if not, then i totally get it - not for the faint of heart).

if you have seen pitch perfect, then you'll get what i'm talking about right now: my girls are obsessed with the cup song.

this isn't new - they've been doing 'cups' since february.

but this weekend, i realized that they have something bordering on a disorder. they cannot go for more than five minutes without spontaneously busting into their own rendition of the cup clapping fiasco. sometimes it's on their lap, other times it's on any available flat surface. there's always an imaginary cup, and there is never any singing.

my knee-jerk reaction is to tell them to stop because i can only imagine what it's like to have them in class with this current ailment. it's nearly epidemic - we've got to act fast.

these are the things you realize about your children when you have the luxury of spending an entire weekend with them for the first time since april 5th. that is seriously how long it's been since we've all three been home, together, with no obligations, and let me tell you - this weekend has been lazy and it has been glorious!

i have really missed my time with them between soccer, girls weekends, conferences, tournaments, and sleepovers, and it was so good for us to just be. at home. with no distractions (other than random bursts of clapping and slapping).

we played yoga-ball soccer to celebrate cee making it into the select fusion league for next year.

we swam (well, two-thirds of us swam and the other third of us tried to rectify the farmer tan acquired at last weekend's soccer tournament).

we stumbled across taylor swift's trucks (rumor has it: her tour has 26 semis and 18 prevosts - that's a lot!), which is the next best thing to having $400 worth of tickets to her show this week.

we slept in, we made bows, we watched movies. we cooked, we cleaned, we did laundry. we grilled, we baked, we napped. a weekend like this is exactly what i needed to get ready for the last stretch of the school year, and i have to say that the same is probably true for my little ladies, too.

i'm not normally the countdown type, but 11.5 is the magic number right now.


it's time to hibernate (just for a couple of days)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

whew, what a week it's been for me!!

i am not big on tooting my own horn, but the last seven days were some that i really needed to get through, acknowledge, and process. i have these types of weeks about two times every year, but the last week was one of the best i can remember.

last tuesday, i went to an amazing luncheon. delicious food, wonderful company, and a few surprises to boot.  now that i've had a week to process things, i'm feeling incredibly honored and not entirely worthy.

last friday, some of my students had a major hurdle to leap. i've had the honor of piloting a program for the sixth grade gifted and talented kids at my school this year, and friday was their day to shine and show off all the hard work they've done this year - all twenty-two of them. i wish i could tell you about every single one of them because they are incredible and brilliant and brave and determined, and they each have a cool story to be told...but i value their privacy, and i love my job, so i won't divulge too much. they definitely rose to the occasion that their presentations required, and they made me exceedingly proud.

on saturday, we packed up all of our soccer stuff onto a tour bus and headed north for our end of season tournament. we may have set an unrealistic precedent for future tournament play by carefully delivering cee, jay, and friends from point a to point b in a tour bus, but we are all okay with that for the time being.

this group of ladies put on an impressive performance and earned 2nd place!

and these little ladies were some incredible cheerleaders for their older sisters. we won't talk about the fate of my favorite gray sweater on an unseasonably cool mid-may morning, but it was all worth it!

all in all, this soccer season has involved some personal growing pains for me. we moved up a level. there were more practices, there were more demands, and to be honest, there was more gratification than we've ever experienced in a team.

if you asked me in february how i felt about the move, i wouldn't have had an entirely favorable answer for you; but now that the season is over (and i officially fulfilled my final commitment of the season at 7:32 pm last night), i will tell you that i am so glad we decided to move to a tougher league. an amazing coach/manager/trainer/parents, incredible kids, and a solid team have a way of changing one's perspective on sports.

sunday was a wonderful mother's day, and i was so happy to be back home gearing down with my little love bugs (who were both asleep before 8:15 that night). these flowers, the vase, and the other gifts were the icing on the cake to an off-the-charts-fabulous week.

when i got home today, i had another surprise to enjoy...wood planks have never looked as beautiful to me as they did today, and i will argue until the end that this is quite simply the most breathtaking fence in the entire universe.


please, please don't argue with me on this - i'm really tired, i'm extremely over-socialized, and i will win. :)

and now, in true introvert style, i want nothing more than to crawl into my bed and hibernate for a minimum of ten solid hours. tomorrow, i will go back to school, and i will administer a standardized test to some very capable and very nervous children.

before they start, i will tell them how much i believe in them, and i will tell them that i know they can do it (because i do, and because they can).

and then i will come back home and crawl back into my welcoming bed for ten more hours of solitary hibernation.

after that, i will most likely be ready to face the world again.

until then - peace...

wonderful and happy news!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

a couple of months ago, i had a total debbie-downer post about cancer - it was lymphoma: one diagnosis for a dear college friend and one diagnosis for the ten-year old son of a dear college friend.

somewhere between here and there, a co-worker was diagnosed with breast cancer and maybe it was the immediate proximity, or maybe it was the concept of things happening in threes, but i started really thinking about how harsh, careless, decisive, random, and mean this disease can be.

this morning i woke up feeling like a complete panicky mess - my co-worker went in for a double mastectomy early this morning, she opted for reconstruction immediately after the mastectomy, and when i talked to her last night, she sounded...overwhelmed (and who wouldn't be?).

what made me even more panicky is that she has such an amazingly sweet family, and her children absolutely adore her. she is typically a beacon for positive energy, and knowing that her entire family was having their whole world rocked today was honestly almost more than i could handle.

but let's get back to the title of this post: wonderful and happy news!!

she is now out of surgery, everything appears to be going well, and i couldn't be any more elated (or relieved) about this!!

and on top of that, my friend from the original debbie-downer post had a pet scan last week and she is now completely cancer-free. double the elation!

as for my other friend's son, he is still very busy fighting this messy fight, and i have full confidence that he is waiting for just the right moment to take the bull by the horns and show it exactly who's boss!

in the meantime, i have to admit that two pieces of incredible news is a pretty great thing to have happen all in the same week, especially when it has to do with great people overcoming cancerous obstacles!


oh deer

Thursday, May 2, 2013

monday after school, jay mentioned something to me that i completely disregarded because it made no sense to me.

'mommy, i saw where the deer got a shot.'

tuesday morning before school, jay mentioned something to me about band aids.

'mommy, you might want to stock up on band aids next time you go to the store.'

yesterday when i got home from work, i had a moment of clarity.

this is our dead pet deer. he is nameless, and he is kind of like our own personal version of 'where's waldo.' usually he hangs out in the front room of our house and guards our donation items, monitors our internet usage, always startles me when i walk in that room.

but sometimes, he goes free-range and i find him in different places in our house. not your traditional toy, but still loads of unexpected fun.

when i first received nameless deer as a gift, i thought i might hang him somewhere. obviously i still haven't found a just-right-place for him, but i hate to get rid of him because i have big plans for him during the month of december. maybe i'll spray paint him an off-white color. or a new orleans street performer.

either way, i'm pretty sure this indirectly puts me well within the range of six degrees of separation from the amazing jenny lawson.

happy friday eve, everyone.


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