Sunday, September 29, 2013


I am so glad it is fall!!

It has always been my favorite season. When I was little it was because my birthday is in fall.
As I have gotten older it has more to do with the season of food!

But I really do love fall for all its wonders. The cooler weather. The beauty of the trees. The smell of burning leaves. All of it... and my brithday.

I guess that is an only child thing.

Anyway- Happy Fall Y'all

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just a little

I just had a moment.

There was something on pintrest about turning 30.

And I had a moment.

My stomach got tight and I though... 1 month...

I have never been worried about age. A teacher I worked with when I was in high school was a very smart woman who was worthy of looking up to.

She talked about how she was determined to grow old with grace. She found out early in her marriage that she would not have children. She was blessed with many nieces and nephews that she loved like her own. She had an aunt (I think) that died quite young, and this particular aunt was very obsessed with looking young. When she passed, this teacher said that she would embrace age. God has given her every year, and she is going to appreciate all that he is giving her.

I really took that to heart, and I too want to age with grace*

So I am taking this moment, putting it to the blog, and then letting it go.

I am turning 30. I have always acted like an old lady, so 30 is not that big of a deal.

Monday, August 19, 2013

a kinder soul

Our pastor gave us a set of little red dots. They to simply remind us to pray. I put one on the corner of my phone, and I feel like I have done a pretty good job at sending up a small something when I see it.

I heard something on the radio this morning that made me want  to more.

It made me want to be a light.

I don't think I have been a light lately. I have been so stressed and it has made me quite egocentric.

My husband has been amazing. He has done laundry. He has done dishes. He has been kind.
I just let him.

I need to be better to him, our home, our boys, my students.

I need to be a light.

I need to be a light to my coworkers.

I need to be a light and warm place for my students.

I need to be a light, warm place, and open arms for my husband.

I will do more, I will do better, by the grace of God, I will be the light.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Our home cleaning strategy

So we have a new strategy for keeping our house in shape-
 A steady stream of guests.

That is is- fear of embarrassment. Social Pressure.
 Because internal motivation sure isn't doing it.

So we have been making plans for every weekend and so far it has worked- AND we actually get to see people.

So we will see how this grand plan continues to carry out.

Along those same lines. I had a dream that a teacher from work was over at my house and she spilled a glass of water in my bathroom. So she took it upon herself to clean the ENTIRE bathroom. These things are called dreams for a reason right?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It is either going to be very good or very bad

I was asked to do some Bou Dior pics for a girl whom I did her engagement pictures not too long ago.
She was mostly concerned if I would be comfortable with doing them. That is not a problem.

The problem is I don't know how I will do.

I put in a google image search for them. I always do this for new ideas. I was prepared to get some raunchy pics.

Actually the pics were soooo great... or soooooo bad. Just bad photography, bad lighting, bad angles.

When I see senior portraits or newborn pics- I see a range. Some are just bad, some are ok, some are great, some are AMAZING- I WISH I COULD DO THAT AMAZING.

but the bou dior pics... just great or AWFUL. like no one should have put their trademark on them bad. They should not be on a website. I would not make someone pay for them bad.

No middle ground.

Oh lord. let me be good at this genre.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I am terrified

So I am so scared. I am so scared I will not "do" this year right.

I have moved grade levels.

I am now the special ed host for the new grade level.

I will be departmentalized.

I will have gifted kids at the same time.

I am scared parents are after me already.

I am getting e-mails already, and I am afraid I will answer them wrong.

I am afraid I will tell them the right thing, but then everything will change (possibly getting another teacher on the grade level, who is teaching what, our over all scheduel,) and I will look like I didn't know the right answers, so I made them up.

I am worried that the teacher that will be getting my special ed babies for the other subjects will not be nice to them. (he had a reputation)

I am sad that I will not see my work wives as often.

I am worried, I will not be good enough, prepared enough, or just plain ready.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Confessions of failed gardener

These are my confessions:
The total haul from my garden so far is 5 beans. Those were the most expensive beans I have ever eaten. 

My neighbor gave me my tomato plants, and he has huge juicy tomatoes. I have pretty yellow flowers that never turn into tomatoes. 

When my neighbor made a special trip to my house to show off his cool looking tomatoes, I kinda wanted to show him a green bean. And then shove it in his nose, but then I would only have 4 green beans. 

When people show their amazing veggies they are harvesting from their own gardens, I realize that I should have more than yellow flowers. I seriously still thought I should still be waiting for veggies/fruit. 

Every time I buy tomatoes it makes me slightly violent. Inside my head violent. Like throwing a 2 year old style tantrum in the store, throwing tomatoes against the wall and yelling "It's not Fair!!" 

The biggest confession of all, I should have put my garden in the middle of the yard like my mother suggested. Sigh

Monday, July 8, 2013


Little man is with his grandma today and tomorrow so I am getting things done. 
Changing some old drawers into shadow box shelves. Redesigning baby boys part of our room to be a closet/storage area. Laundry, of course. Feeling productive today. Sometimes it is easier with only 1 kid. I feel like I am channeling one Queen Lucy with my creativity and  goals. It doesn't hurt that I got a box full if books today from the hubby in Chicago.  New books always remind me if her. There is something about a box full of books that boosts my spirit. 
Back to it!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


This is a summer of healing and mental preparation.

I am healing from the emotional beating I took from my classroom this year. I did not realize how much it affected me until I was completely removed from it all. I think they call that perspective. 

At the time, I knew I was stressed. I knew I was frustrated. I knew I felt like crying from those 2 factors. I knew my kids' parents did not raise them well. I knew I did an excellent job at teaching them. My scores showed that, their kind letters told me that and their hugs and tears showed me that. But, my body's reactions to normal classroom suggestions tell me that I did not handle my stress well.

When we were given iPads, my first thought was- there is no way I can give this to kids. They will break it, look up bad things and misuse it in every way.
No- No they won't. You had a few kids last year who wouldn't be trusted to breathe in the same room as the iPad, but you don't have those kids anymore. In fact you are going to have sweet babies who will benefit from these iPads.

One of my favorite things it to set up my room. I NEED to do this. My room was packed and moved in about 25 minutes on the only day of pre planning. So yeah- it NEEDS to happen. In fact it needs to happen with a committee of about 3 people. But alas- It will be me feeling overwhelmed... so I don't want to. I don't want to because I am afraid it will cause me anxiety. .

More healing- Time- More healing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New York, New York

New York City, uh huh
Center of the universe,
sing it girl  
Times are shitty But I'm pretty sure they can't get worse, I hear that.

Give my regards to Broadway
Remember me to Herald Square
Tell all the gang at Forty-Second Street
That I will soon be there

Loving one who loves you,
And then taking that vow...
Nice work if you can get it,
And if you get it --
Won't you tell me how 

I was in New York last week. It was an amazing time! I was up there to study the gilded age, immigration, and industrial revolution. We had lectures from some of the best professors at Harvard and Yale. And one guy from the iron works who nearly put us all to sleep with a lecture, on a bus, in the rain, talking about obscure boats that were built a long time ago, before the place nearly shut down. 

We had LOTS of good food and even better company.

I was famous on Good Morning America. Totally.  Josh Elliot totally hugged me. That. Really. Happened.
We were show stoppers on Broadway. No really we stopped the show and made the company laugh. Mathew Broderic looked right at us. We laughed at a joke about the south- really loudly- and clapped- an whooped. and Matthew Broderic stopped- looked at us and then couldn't get his line back. While the rest of the cast proceeded to crack up. It took him nearly a minute to get to the second part of the joke. We. Were. Show. Stoppers.
I am the master of the subway. As long as it is the 1 line. 
I saw people act like New Yorkers and felt like a cultural anthropologist. 

I felt cool.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Long life

So last month's National Geographic had a baby on the cover who was about the same age as my baby boy. The cover line was "Will this baby live to be 120? Science says probably."

120? That is a stinking long time. The article show that genetic sociologists have identified communities with people who are quite old and quite healthy. Through that identification they have found specific genes that prevent diabetes and heart disease. The implication is they will be able to "fix" other people's genes to prevent these types of diseases and therefore they will live longer.

All that aside, it got me thinking about do I want to live to be 120? Do I wish that for my children?

I look at my mother who is not yet even 60 and she has had 2 knee replacements and has a myriad of physical and health issues that make living quite painful for her. The things she has wrong are totally non life threatening, but life is not so awesome with them. I don't think she wants to live another 60 years with those things. I don't want her to suffer with diabetes or heart disease, but my question is not here. It lies with the other factors that make life stink. Now if this research finds ways to get rid of dementia or alzheimer's, then I will quite satisfied.

With the exception of a few, most people can not work past 65 or 70, especially if they worked in physically demanding fields. Mentally, your brain starts to diminish its capacity around the same age. It is a natural part of aging. So do we want to live in a world where we still exist 50-60 years after our bodies and minds stop functioning at top capacity and begin to diminish?

This world is hard, heaven is a promise. Is it a good thing to put off seeing the glory of God for sooooo long?  My mother has told me on many occasions she is praying for the end of this world and the second coming of Christ. I used to not like that idea. I wasn't ready. I wanted to get married have kids, see the world. But now that I know a little more about the bible and about the hardships of life, if I could spare my children the difficulties of life and give them Heaven instead- yes. Absolutely.

Feeling philosophical lately. Maybe it is my quiet moments...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quiet time

I find myself seeking out quiet moments.

I haven't ever NEEDED quiet times.

I don't know if it is the chaos of 2 boys under 3.
I don't know if it is the obscenely stressful teaching year I have had.
I don't know if is the uber connected-ness of social media.

I walked the dogs out yesterday and sat down near the end of the driveway. The hubby poked his head out the front of the door, laughed, and asked what in the world I was doing.

I didn't have a good answer. I mean, I know what I was doing, but I didn't want to tell him. I didn't want to admit that I wanted to be away.

Just figured that out...

I feel bad that I want some time, but I shouldn't.

but I do.

So I'll tell you what I'll do. I will continue to take my moments, but now that summer is here, I will get an extended version during nap time. I'll get some moments while they play in the pool.

I'll go for walks in the evening (with bug spray of course.)

Until Baby Boy decides to sleep past 5:30 am, I won't be getting up before him for that time.. nope.
Sleep is higher up on the Mommy-has-needs chain than "quiet moments."

Some things don't change I suppose.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

update on Grace

Well I failed miserably... two words. Field Day...

I lost my "grace mantra" when a student just wasn't listening and nailed another student with a mini lacross stick at a water game.

it was the 3rd station.

and then it was downhill from there.

Let me go back- I LOVE field day... usually.

This year I was not looking forward to it and it lived up to all my expectations. All of them...


I did manage to keep my grace mantra with my moody diabetic student. He was angry because he couldn't play the water games, he was angry because there wasn't a nurse at break time to get the carb count for the Gatorade. I talked him into playing the other games, talked him out of anger at other students for absolutely nothing, and I didn't scream yell and drag him out of the lunch room when he called another student's mother a Bitch.

I got an administrator to do that.

I did show grace when mom was treating us to McDonalds yesterday.

There was a car stopped before the drive through and people were slowly getting out.. Like SLOWLY.

In the mean time a woman started backing out of her parking place and was going to hit my car. I tapped the horn to let her know I was there, so she would stop. One of the guys getting out of the car gave me a dirty look, so I pointed to the lady backing into me. I don't think he understood.

When the older guy who was moving slow got out- he gave me the finger... with both hands.

Here is where my grace came in- so proud of myself...

I rolled down my window...

thought about my grace and my kids in the back seat

and told him that I was sorry, but I wasn't honking at him, but rather the old woman who nearly backed into me.

He apologized and asked for forgiveness. I said thank you and pulled into the drive through.

Where I lost my grace with the woman who had no idea how to work a double lane drive through and caused 3 cars to get ahead of us while the boy screamed for fries.

So 1 out of 3... better than none right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013


It is easier to bestow grace on others, when those others show grace to you.
That is a true story.

So an addendum to my last post, the person I was disappointed in has been quite kind to me lately. I started to think that maybe I was too hasty in my blog rant. But as I stepped back and took a look around, I realized she has just redirected her attention to the teacher who just was honored as teacher of the year.  Lots and lots of little snide comments. Everything she says or does is "ok teacher of the year." "thats because you are teacher of the year..." We all can feel her heat, we just ignore it.

So I realized at that moment, it is easy for me to start to show grace to this teacher when I thought she was getting better.

And I also realized that I was not being true to my character that I believe I have.

Yes, maybe I should remove myself a bit from that person, but I should make sure that she knows that she is loved and appreciated. I shouldn't be angry with her (even for my friend's sake.)

I just received some news at work that is going to dramatically challenge me as an educator. Nothing bad, just really challenge me. I am still processing it, and I don't have much liberty to discuss it right now. But I promise it will be a topic worth exploring.

Back to being a better me.

I need to remember at all times I am example to children and my peers. My personal children, my students, my friends, my professional community all see me. I want them to see me as the Christian I know I can be. So my new mantra until it becomes a part of my soul is Grace for everyone. Be the light.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


So I know how I just wrote this whole thing on how my personality type thinks the best of people and they tend to bristle if they think they are not going to reach my expectations and how that is not how it really is. I will just lift them up if they fall short in my eye- which isn't even the right way to say it. Most people don't fall short- I just see opportunities to help, not to look down on.

So that is not entirely true. If someone does something that is WAY below them. If someone I trust and expect the best out of does something truly low, I do become disappointed.

So my grade level has a leader who is our "go to" person. They have bi monthly meetings with administration, they lead our team meetings. They are supposed to be organized and set the tone for our group. Sounds like a general description of anyone in a mid level leadership position.

When I first met this person, I felt we had a lot in common. She stepped up when my car broke down and I needed a ride to work for a month.

Over the last 5 years, she has slowly slipped lower and lower in my rank of people I want to be in the same room as. Here is another thing you have to understand. I will stick with someone, even if it is not good. Boys always break up with me, I am not the one to break up. I will hold on the scraps of a friendship because I feel there is always something worthy in that friend, even if we have drifted. But, I think I need to distance myself as much as possible, or I may be the recipient of her wrath very soon.

Her personal life is kind of mess. Her hubby is a loving man, but he doesn't keep a job. Consequently, they are behind on their bills. She has 2 older boys but then had 2 miscarriages before having her youngest boy who is the same age as my baby boy.  She has a rocky relationship with her mom and sisters. So she takes this stress out on us.

It started with me when I was in a different grade level and announced I was pregnant. This was after her first miscarriage (which was later in her pregnancy.) I was then told that she had a second miscarriage and to stay away from her. She was angry with me. This I TOTALLY get. for real. She must have been in a lot of pain and seeing me made it fresh again. I completely avoided her, didn't wave in the hall. I didn't make a big deal of myself, down played when others did, and she was around. I didn't want to be the cause of her pain.
 Shortly after she found out she was pregnant with her youngest, I found out I was too. I thought it was something we could share together. Apparently not. I quickly found out pregnancy made her grouchy and snappy. I wasn't always susie sunshine, but everyone was always wrong and in her way. I think she was resentful to me because she wasn't getting all the pregnancy attention.  She felt she deserved it more because of her 2 losses in the past 2 years. Now here I was again, getting the attention also. So I had to avoid her again. Only this time we were on the same grade level. Much more difficult. When she went out on maternity leave at the end of the year, we carried on. When she came back at the very end of the year, she was surprised that we didn't call her for anything. But the way she said it, she was pissed that we didn't call her for anything.

One of my personality things  said that I will confront people if I feel slighted. More than once I had to tell her that I felt she was unduly snappy with me. Her response wasn't "Sorry, blah blah blah" it was "Oh, you always think I am picking on you." ok...

Fast forward. More of the same. One of my best friends on our grade level received Teacher of the year. I can not tell you how much she deserved it. Beyond deserves it. THe grade leaver was pissed.. Visibly angry that her co worker that she has worked with for 5 years, and seen how hard she works, won and not her. The coworker left right after the announcement for a luncheon. Our grade leader canceled our meeting that afternoon and left right after school. She then started giving the, very deserving teacher of the year, the cold shoulder and was snappy at her. When my friend stated that she hoped that only 6 of her special ed babies was going to fail the standardized test (this was a good thing, 14 of them failed the year before.) Our leader responded with "Why so many?" When my friend explained that number is actually very low and a good thing, the leader responded under her breath thinking no one could hear "teacher of the year, huh?" I wanted to smack her in her face. I was so furious. and I don't usually have that impulse to hit...

Last week her son was the ONLY kid in a different teacher's class to fail the writing test. In fact that teacher had 6 exceed (more than anyone else in the grade level combined.) She waited until that teacher and I were at a history grant to rant and rail against that teacher claiming that the history grant was the reason her kid failed. We have been doing this grant for 3 years. She never claimed the History grant was a problem for our writing scores before. In fact the other teacher's students did all the grade level writings AND 3 additional papers. So her son got more writing instruction than the rest of the kids. Before they took the writing test, he had told her several times he was concerned with his writing because he doesn't write enough. She admitted she had not worked with him at all. Then when that teacher told her when they took the test, her son did not write enough. Her response was "Oh well, he made that decision. If he fails, he fails." Then he did. And now, it is the other teachers fault.

What bothers me the most is she ranted for over a half hour when she knew he was gone. I am sure no one stood up to her. If I had been there I would have said something. I would have shut that down and now it is too late. I am just furious. No one is safe. There is no trust. It is gone.

And here I am- Disappointed. Disappointed in her leadership, her choice to bash her co workers, her not owning her child's choices, her not helping her child when she was asked to, in her not living up to my expectations.


Saturday, April 27, 2013


So I have taken MANY personality quizzes over the years. For different jobs, for college, for fun. I took one today out of a book. Like the WHOLE book was about this specific personality test. It is similar to the Briggs Myers, but asks questions about long term and personality where Briggs Myers is more for "this time in your life."
So I almost always have the same results. A leader, a teacher, open to listening, optimisitc... blah blah blah. So I was not anticipating much else. However, this was a whole book on the 16 personalities, whoa. I had 3 pages of explanation of my personality type, as opposed to the 2-3 sentence summary I have been given in the past. It was so much better able to express what I have known most of my life and more specifically what I have learned about myself in the last year.

So firstly I was classified as a "Teacher." However, it emphasizes that they are not assigning jobs, but rather personality classification. Even more importantly, less than 2% of the population falls into this category and, in fact, most teachers do not go on to be actual teachers, even though they are very well suited for the job. Many go on to be great orators: media personalities, ministers and the like. So basically, I should have been Pope, but you know, I don't do hats.

It did blather on about things I did know. Highly interpersonal and intrapersonal.  I can read others and I am specifically good at reading myself. Which I am. Even if I can not put my finger on it, I know when something is off with someone. Probably why I notice when people are preggers before they announce, or even know themselves. (so I am not psychic after all, just observant to the tiniest changes hmmmm.) I can always figure out why I am reacting the way I am, sometimes not right away, but I can always figure out my emotions afterward. Even when I start to get depressed, I sit an analyze myself and get my butt up and going before it gets too bad. I always know when an anxiety attack is coming and can head it off with medication and meditation. Not always both are needed though...

One thing it did say was that my personality type believes that they are "instinctively understood and communication is naturally accepted. Because of this they are surprised and often hurt when their intentions are misconstrued. Most of the conflicts they find themselves in are usually resulted from being misunderstood and these conflicts are often resolved quickly because they are so good at communicating for themselves."

Boy is that true. There are many benign things that I have said, that I meant them the way I said them. BUT, people read way more into it and I end up the bad guy. Completely blind sided. Now, there are times when I was snarky and bitchy, but those times NEVER result in the confrontation that my benign things do. I know when I am being bitchy and I usually apologize. My hubby is usually the recipient of that.

One thing that is dead on is that this personality type is deeply empathetic. So much so that they become over involved in others personal issues and take on the emotional state of others. I do. I hate to see those I am close to go through any emotional distress and I become their personal therapist. BTW that is another one of the jobs, this personality type should go into.

Overall we (my personality type) have high expectations of everyone. Not the kind that no one can live up to kind, but rather that everyone is going to be their best person. A positive side of this is that the people around them strive to live up to that expectation unconsciously (I think this applies to the Hubby.) The negative side is that people assume I will be mad or upset if they don't. The book says it perfectly of how others react to my expectations. "... (they) doubt that they can live up to such and exulted conception of themselves, unaware that Teachers are their boosters, not their critics." And that is it. If someone didn't do their absolute best- I wouldn't be mad or disappointed, I would lift them up, encourage (and probably try to fix it.)
 I think I realized this last part within the last year. There are some people in my life that don't tell me when things go wrong, or if they mess up. And I wasn't ever able to figure it out. Why do they hide things from me? Why didn't she tell me they broke up? When did they quit their job? I always assumed it was because I was untrustworthy or not a close enough friend. (Which hurt my feelings.) Now I realize that I have somehow exuded that I expect perfection or excellence and will be disappointed in less. But how exactly do I do that? How do I make someone else feel bad, when I am really trying to lift them up by telling them how wonderful they are. How do I stop doing it? Even being aware that it is happening- I can't pin point it. What do I currently say or do that I should stop doing or saying?
I think I do this to my sister-in-law. I think she is incredible. They fell in to a hard place. They live with my in-laws. But, they are doing everything they should. Working hard, trying to find a good home for their son, they love and take care of each other. But she says the most awful competitive things. Going as far as to say to the hubby "I will get a better house than you." She made it sound like she was kidding, but she wasn't. I even asked her if her goal was to make her brother jealous. She said yes. I wanted to tell her that it wasn't going to work because he wasn't a jealous person. And mean it just that way. Even if they both got Ah-mazing jobs that paid out the wah-zoo, bought an amazing house and their kid grew up to be a rhodes scholar- her brother would simply be happy for them. But I knew if I said that It would be interpreted as "It won't work because we will always be better than you." She is insecure, but she isn't (for the most part) the -lash-out-at-you-becuase-you-have-what-she-wants. She is more the sibling rivalry kind of insecure. The hubby has always been more book smart than her and that is all she can focus on. She is very smart, she is gorgeous, she is a wonderful mother and aunt to the boys, she is a very hard worker with an amazing talent for leadership. I wish I could make her see that with out making her feel like she is going to fail if she doesn't do all those things all the time.

Another element to all this that I am realizing that I am pretty smart. I honestly never thought of others as beneath me intellectually.  I am able to carry on conversations with friends from high school, who in hindsight were in the special ed program, and enjoy myself. We laugh, cry, discuss serious things and I was never bored or annoyed. I have engaged in conversation with professors and educators that I would consider highly intelligent and above me on the intellectual level  and been told that they "really enjoyed our conversation." The latter was quite recently and has revealed to me that I can hold my own. I feel like when I talk with "smart people" I am faking it... lol Like I am getting away with something. I am almost scared they discover I am not as smart. However, I am realizing that I am a bit more intelligent than I give myself credit for.

I had a conversation with a long time friend a few months ago about magazines. When they described their magazines, I was jealous because I liked the ones they got and I often eye them in  the check out line but never buy. When I described mine,the response was "we don't get smart magazines like that." I was really taken aback. I never thought of National Geographic or Smithsonian as "Smart." They just sparked my interest. Are these the kind of things that make people think that I think they are not good enough? I don't know.

 I just want people to know that I have no desire to make others feel bad. In fact, it is just the opposite. I want everyone to feel loved and good.

Deep down I am a solid believe in Love.

Monday, April 8, 2013


I bought wrinkle/firming cream today.

What a follower.

No really, my eyes are all droopy and such.

So embarrassed that I even feel I need it.

I didn't even tell the hubby.

Only you guys.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hiding in plain sight

So we have groceries to be put away and cleaning to be done. I gave the hubby the option to clean up or sit with the boys. He chose the boys. So with my task before me, I opened the from door for some fresh air. I Looked outside, and realized that I have not sat in the sun in forever. So, I slipped out the front door picked a sun beam, and here I sit. I have had an incredibly stressful 2 or 3 weeks. That's how stressful it has been, i can't even remember when it started. It was before conference week.
I know that much because I had to tell a parent at conferences that their kid had been in ISS for 2 days. Long story short. Kid stabbed other kid with pen. ISS ensues, parents don't return phone calls, I tell dad at conference. Dad says nothing. Blank stare nothing. So I ask "so, what do you think?" His response "I don't know what to think."
That's it.
The kid, the next day, is telling me that he is getting the hobbit on DVD with Lego men to match.
Way to reward your kid for stabbing, lying and getting into ISS.
F this.
This year sucks and I am ready to be done.
I have never felt this way before.
I am starting to resent these kids and it is not fair to the 22 who behave and are sweet that 5 butt heads are ruining their year.
The shadows of the yard are encroaching on my sun beam. Time to book it inside and what I planned to do originally.

Music will help.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A garden

This year we finally planting a garden. We have talked about it every year, this year we did it. I used some money from our tax return and made the cheapest raised bed planter ever. It is bordered by cynder blocks. They cost less than $20. The dirt, however was huge. About $75 worth of dirt. Sucha  pain. Well, it was dirt, miracle grow dirt, poop dirt, and moss dirt.

The poop dirt- good laugh. It has a huge cartoon of a cow's behind and the motto says "We're #1 in #2" cheesey- but funny. It is one of the reasons I choose it- that and it was cheaper.

So today we put herbs in the holes of the cynder blocks. Tomatoes and Peppers as soon as they are ready.

When that happens, up goes the chicken wire which is labeled in a nice politically correct form as "poultry fencing."

Now the watering begins... I am bad at this in the house- hopefully, I can remember when it is outside...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend off

My mother-in-law took the kids.. all sorts of wonderful plans were made... then I got pink eye...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This time of year sucks

It really does.
Teachers, especially lower grades, feel the pressure of the upcoming testing season. It is open season on my stress and anxiety. Thankfully I have wonderful administrators and co-workers. It truly is the nature of the beast.
I have almost stopped and deleted this post 3 times already because I am so overwhelmed by it all. I really, really worry about my kids every year, this year is especially bad. They are a low group,  I started late, and my support teacher is often sick.

I just want to do everything right by them.

I feel like I am failing...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Q #2

Do you like your handwriting?
Yes. When I take my time and have a good pen- great handwriting. When I am working on a real white board with a good marker- great handwriting. On the smart board? NO. That, so far, is the only downside to having this great technology. It makes it very difficult to write neatly. It is much easier to write in cursive on the smartboard, but hardly any of my kids can read cursive any more. Sad right?
It is supposed to be taught in 3rd grade, reenforced in 4th grade and required in 5th. Yeah right. There are far more important and legitimate things to be teaching. It really is a dying art anyway. Sad to say so, but in this age of technology no one is going to turn in a handwritten paper past grade school.

Yes, I like my handwriting, does it matter? Not really. Not anymore.

Friday, February 22, 2013


A while ago I posted about the changes in life that we see as we get older. One of those was divorce.
I have a friend who recently separated from her husband. She did the right thing. It was a long time coming and despite her best efforts she needed to leave. He was verbally abusive and did not put his family above his insecurities. Josh Brolin and Dianne Lane are divorcing also. Hollywood is a special place. Where divorce is simply an option. I have no view into their personal lives. I can imagine Hollywood marriages are wrought with abuse. These are people of great power and great insecurities. Those two things make jealousy vicious. I don't think anyone should stay in a marriage that makes them unhappy, truly unhappy. Never going to be happy again, unhappy. I grew up with most of my friends had divorced parents. My parents stayed married until my mother became a widow. One of my best friend growing up her parents are still married.  Another came from divorced parents, but her mother remarried before I met her and has had a long and successful second marriage. The hubby's parent's are still married, happily so.
I heard once that children of divorced parents are likely to divorced themselves. I hate statistics like that. It gives people an excuse. "Oh well, my parents divorced too, it was bound to happen." I know people think like this because every year I hear "I know, It is ok, I was bad at Math too." EVERY YEAR. No, no it is not ok. That is a soap box I am going to avoid right now.
I feel for my friend who just moved into her own place. I don't pity her, no. She is an incredibly strong and independent person who does not deserve "pity" or for someone to "feel sorry" for her. She wouldn't like that. Instead I feel for her emotionally. The little bit she has told me has to only be the tip of the iceberg.
I feel that they were mismatched from the beginning. She is incredibly intelligent and ambitious and he is not. She is fiercely supportive of the people she loves, he is selfish. She is acutely aware of her actions and how they affect the people around her. He has no idea how his actions ripple out and affect everyone around him.

This brings me to my own husband. This experience of seeing the inside of an imploding relationship has made me so very grateful and aware how kind and loving my own husband is. When my sister in law was still in her dating time she dated a lot of fools. Absolute fools. All good looking fools. That is not to say my hubby isn't good looking. I certainly think so, I am quite attracted ti him.  I told her when she was complaining once that "Justin would never do that." Her response is "I am never going to find a guy like my brother, why look?" I told her then, "If you are looking for someone like your brother, be willing to wait for it." She looked at me like I was nuts. She didn't wait, in fact, she ended up with someone like her dad. How cliche. Right? The same things she used to complain about her dad, she now complains about in her hubby. I can say, he is a very kind and loyal person. His flaws are sports and beer related, nothing that can not be overcome. He loves her and their son so very much and it is very obvious. They are simply young and navigating in a tough situation. I have to say they are doing very well at it too.

My own husband is very intelligent and kind. He has quickly moved through the ranks and is now in a management position. Everyone who works for him and with him loves him. Rightly so. He expresses concern for his employees and their families, he encourages a kind work environment, he is considerate of their needs and situations, he handles problems with grace positivity and he prays. All of the characteristics he displays at work he truly embodies. He is all of those things with me and our boys and with my mom. As a rule, he is non confrontational, but he will if he has to. He doesn't hide from it. He is SOOOOOOO good to me. He has never put me down. Never called me a name. Never let things get too far. He is always willing talk through things. Of course he isn't perfect, but God doesn't do it that way.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Do you remember back to the days of aol and e-mail as the primary source of electronic communication? You would get these chain e-mails with a gazillion questions about you? Well,  has decided to post one question at a time, and answer. So I thought it would be fun to do the same.

So I already addressed this shortly in my inaugural post. But, I could give more. My father's mother was Elizabeth and they called her Betty. I really think I would have loved being called Betty, but my grandfather remarried after he death and my parents (my mom really) did not want to offend the woman I knew as Grandma. In the years since, I have learned that my Dad really didn't care for his step mom and would have lept at the opportunity to piss her off. So if he had it his way, I would be Betty. As it came about I was called Beth. My grandpa always called me Bet. I assumed it was his old man Chicago accent that changed the ending, but maybe he was calling me Bet as in short for Betty. I will never know. Growing up with about a thousand "Beths" (thanks in no small part to a new version of Little Women being released shortly before my brith) I was yearning for some individuality. When I went to college I changed my nick name to Eliza. It was really easy. At orientation, I asked for a new name tag that said Eliza, and it all fell into place. The problem with this really came after college when I reintegrated into a community that knew me as Beth and Eliza... I really wish I had just switched back to Beth after college. It would be a lot easier. OR changed to Eliza in High School when we moved here. oh well... 

My middle name is Harriett. I was named after my Father's cousin and my God mother.  Overall my name is very Brittish and Regal sounding. Elizabeth Harriet. My maiden name kinda screws that up though. Mrazek. 

So was I name after anyone? Yes- very much so.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

BS- I call BS

I saw an article on FB about how the latest Sports Illustrated model was being called "border line chunky." I call BS. A healthy curvy woman is soooo much more attractive to men than super skinny with rock hard implant hanging off the bones.

Gaaaawd- You get shit for being "A tractor sized hippo" and " borderline chunky" but in real life I always took shit for being skinny. There really is no winning. Women can't win. It is bs.

The 19th amendment is given one sentence in my students social studies book. ONE SENTENCE. Women get the right to vote 40 years after slaves were given the same right. With the risk of sounding racist I have to ask REALLY?! People who were considered cattle and simply property were granted the right to make political decisions before women... As horrible as slavery was I just can't get over it. Men (you know, who made the laws) had so little faith in the intelligence and strength of women that they chose to give the right to vote to former property first. Now, I don't think black people are any less deserving, and I am incredibly impressed at the swiftness they received their vote.

Let's go back to what set this off. One sentence in my social studies book. ONE- there is not enough emphasis I can put on this word to show my rage. I started off my lesson by asking the kids if they knew the idom "On my soap box" or "Getting off my soap box" Some did. I explained the history of "soap box" I then explained that I was going to get ON my soap box. I told them some of the more mild things that happened to women who tried to vote and get the vote. There are many things I left out because their poor little 5th grad psyches don't need to know about the torture and rape.  But they did need to know about being put in jail, being divorced, being shunned in public places, they needed to be shocked. They needed to be inspired to become registered, informed voters.

I kindly stepped off my soap box to shocked faces and hopefully some inspired girls. One can only hope.

The funny thing is, I am not really a feminist. I like to be taken care of. I like my car door opened. I like wearing my bra, I like letting my husband be the head of the household.

But I am. I have a career that is important. I am raising boys to be independent and self sufficient. I get bent out of shape about women's rights. I am a registered republican- but my own party pisses me off when it comes to women. SOOOOOO much. So maybe I am.

Identity crisis? Nah

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I don't have a whole lot of one thing, but a lot of little things.

Saw a man at the Wal-mart pharmacy who looked like my dad. Really, his hair looked like my dad's hair. About the same height and same build. It made me incredibly sad.

I got to hang out with an old friend on a road trip. It was so very nice to catch up.

I am surrounded by balloons. Elmo head balloons. Everywhere. Disembodied Elmos. Parenthood.

Nails- I need to do my nails.

I am really loving How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.

There is no good chocolate in the house.

I am just realizing that these are a bunch of FB posts...

bah- bah I say

Thursday, January 31, 2013

kiss my butt goodbye

You know that scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is sucked into a tornado and she is all "I am laying on my bed because the window busted- oh woe-sigh pass out" And there is that unpleasant music and a slight roar of deep stringed instruments. Yeah- Bullshit.

Scene: Darkened skies, blowing wind, and 27 ten and eleven year old students working diligently on a science study guide. My phone buzzes ominously in my pocket. I pull it out and as I read " A tornado warning has been issued for your area." Simultaneously an announcement " Teachers and Students please assume your weather saftey positions." We file out for the second time that day. As I sit the students in the hallway, our DARE officer says "My phone and raido just blew up with calls, this one is serious" -awesome....

We have the kids in duck in cover mode, the wind picks up, it gets dark. The principal comes over the walkies and tells the teachers to GET DOWN NOW!
 UM_ HOLY COW. I am suddenly very glad I took my license out of my wallet and put in my bra- for real. not kidding. put my ID in my bra. Paranoid much? I also thought to bring my leather jacket. I figured if there was glass or something, it would protect me. As I sat there in the duck and kiss your ass good bye mode, I prayed. I prayed. I prayed. I shook, I shook, I shook. I was sure I was going to throw up. The Music teacher was next to me, and she had to pee. I told her if I throw up, she HAS to pee herself so everyone will look at both of us, and not just me.

We sat there and at the very end even the principals sat down in a safe area. Even the police officer sat down. I prayed for my home, mother and kids. I prayed for me and my students, I prayed for my husband and his library.

Things calmed down outside. And after a few more minutes we were told we could get up and go back to our rooms.

End Scene.

It was a glass a wine kind of night.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


So we all went to the Goodwill today. I LOVE people watching at the Goodwill.
First and Most importantly- I saw a 10 pointer. That is right folks- a 10 point mullet. It was beautiful.  And by beautiful, I mean HORRIBLE. Quaffed on top. Long, grey and stringy down the guy's back. It was only topped by the fact that he was was rocking a Hover Round. You know the one that Tom Cruize pitches on TV. He was playing with his grandkids. They were running around and around the Hover Round. He would rev it up and stop short of running them over while they went squealing around the racks. That part was sweet. The mullet was ah-mazing.
Little Man made it his personal mission to say Hi to everyone he encountered and turned on the charm. At the same time, he managed to be a whiney pain for me. He is good like that.
There was a lady in a hat that was reminiscent of Crocodile Dundee. I couldn't decide if she wore it TO the store or found it and was wearing in the store. Both are scary options.

There were so many tiny babies. They were so sweet and cute. NO- this is not drumming up desire for another. I am happy with my 2 boys.

I found the most fantastic prom dresses from somewhere in the 80's. It makes me wish I had somewhere to wear them... I would have bought them IN. A. HEARTBEAT.

I left empty handed, while the Hubby spent some of his birthday money and got some work clothes.

Fun was had by all.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

video games are yucky

So The Hubby got a new video game- This brings our number of games to a grand total of 5. One of those came with the system, one is my Zumba game the other 3 are the Hubby's.

They all suck.

They all are shoot 'em up blah blah blah complete a task blah blah blah slash a horse with a sword because it is fun blah blah blah pickpocket blah blah blah.

Look baby- Slash

Ohhh look what I can do- BANG


Make sure it is gone and out of the house by the time our boys have any ideas of playing video games...

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Just give in...
For the love of all that is holy and good. Give in.

Baby Boy has figured out how to roll over. From back to belly. He HATES being on his belly. Yet- he continues to roll over from back to belly.

This puts a kink in our let him cry it out plan.

He will lay there.

Squeal and laugh

roll over



Put him back


Finally, Finally after doing this about 5 times. He crashed... on his belly.

Silly boys.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

playing grown up

Even as a kid- I knew grown ups had it hard. I had a keen sense that I had it good.

I did want to hit those milestones-
later bed time
learner's permit
driver's license
right to vote
legally drink

I knew that my parents hated paying bills, they were stressed over finances, and they had to take care of my aging grandfather.

There are things I never expected to encounter-
friends divorcing
friends loosing pregnancies
friends loosing children
friends committing suicide

The latter happened to me today. A friend from college. He was an acquaintance. If I ran into him at wal-mart we would spend 5 minutes catching up, and then move on. I was friends with him on facebook.

His wife gave birth to twin girls just a few months ago. He posted sooooo many pictures of those girls. So many.

He was a pastor at a church.

He shot himself in the head.

There are so many more tragedies I will encounter. I knew those things listed would happen- statistical inevitability, but I didn't realize I was the age when these things would start happening.

At what age do you stop playing grown up and become an actual grown up?
When you have children?
When you get married?
When you turn 29?
When you get a real job?

The first time you stop and realize you are a grown up.
I think that is the answer.
I had that today.

I have kids (almost 2 years.)
I have been married for 6 years.
I am 29- since October.
I have had a real job for 7 years. 

Today I am a grown up. What else comes with being a grown up? Friends with cancer. Friends dieing. Friends getting divorced.

But what else comes with it? The good- So much good.
Friends having sweet babies.
Triumphs and successes of our children.
Triumphs and successes of friend's children
Job promotions
New ventures
Books to be written
Dances to learn
smiles to be shared.

The good far out weighs the bad. Always remember this- The GOOD far outweighs the bad- ALWAYS.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

my loves

Feeling the love today.

Loving my husband.
Who got up early with baby boy even though it wasn't his turn yesterday morning.
Who loves his job.
Who is good at his job.
Who supports me no matter what crazy idea I come up with.
Who wants me to get my PhD.
Who wants to read my book.
Who loves our boys.
Who will do the dishes when I feel crappy.

Loving The Boy.
Who put himself down for a nap today.
Who decided that he wasn't ready for a nap, so he got a book and read to himself for 20 minutes.
Who when he was done reading, called "Mama! Mama!"
Who when I entered the room he smiled and laid down. and whispered "mama."

Loving the Baby Boy
Who nuzzles me when I pick him up.
Who gives the most bright smile that radiates through the room.
Who turned over today.
Who has the most squeezeable cheeks.

Feeling the love today.
Also- they are napping.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a book

So I have had the idea for a book bouncing around in my head for about a week.
I am full of random fancies like this, but this time this idea did not go ahead and bounce itself out of my head.

The concept is to tell a story completely through facebook. Wall postings- private messages- photos shared- checking in- games played- profiles- It is going to be YA fiction. I have 9 pages written. I have never been this motivated to write before. I have had 100 plot lines I have thought through since I was 3, and this one really is blooming.

I was inspired by these support group pages. When super storm sandy worked its way through GA a few months ago, the only person hurt was a small boy named Tripp Halstead. He was critically injured when a tree fell on his head at his day care. His parents set up a "Tripp Updates" FB page. When I discovered it, I went all the way to the beginning, and read it straight through . I did the same with a woman who's husband has set up a page when she had a seizure, fell into a coma,had to have her baby delivered via c-section, and he had to return from Afghanistan early.  There are months worth of updates on her support page showing her steady improvements. I was completely engaged.

So I thought- What if there was a whole novel written this way. Where the reader was challenged to fill in the gaps. What if they were surprised when they were wrong, affirmed when they were right? So much of our lives are played out in social media. My main character would be an average high school girl, maybe a little kinder than the rest. divorced parents. evil stepmother, game obsessed brother. Balancing job, college decisions, boyfriend, friends and family. Then there would be an accident. Not sure if it is going to be her fault via txt and driving (avoiding that b/c I don't want this to be a morality play on the woes of txting and driving- plus Glee already did that) or if she is going to be hit. If she is hit, then what of the other person? Should they have been drunk? Or texting?  Will they live? Will they die? All of these decisions are going to dramatically effect my main character. I know her injuries are going to potentially paralyze her. She will walk again- but it is going to be a very long journey and the book will not end with her walking across the stage to graduation. More likely it will end with the reader knowing she will walk again.

I need to do research. I need to know what hosp do when they have someone with a spinal injury. I need to know what the rehab is like.

Before that I need to be more aware of how teenagers talk and use FB. I have a few teenagers on my friends list, but they are far from typical.

I can develop the characters. I can make you like them and hate them. I can make you go- what the heck are they thinking. But I need to hash out this plot.

This is a very big undertaking and I am fully aware of the time and energy I am going to need to put into this. That is why I am giving myself a year. Once a week I will write. On breaks. I will write more often. You will be my accountability partner.

I think starting a blog has given me the fuel to write. Thanks Lucy.