Sunday, November 13, 2011

Roller Derby

I believe the main idea of roller derby is to allow people to be themselves without judgement.  It doesn't matter your age, pants size, hair color, or background.  And with cool nicknames and clever get-ups, what a cool sport! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The new "7 minutes in heaven"- mom edition

It's not what "7 minutes in heaven" meant in high school. (Not like I even played it. I was a tad geeky with no interest from boys until 11th grade.)

As a mom, those 7 minutes in heaven give butterflies in my tummy and tears in my eyes for a miriad of reasons.  These moments have been happening a lot lately. Moments where I say to Gage or whisper to Brady, "This is a moment...."

Moments such as,
     * Looking deep into my child's big brown eyes while brushing our teeth together.  Not saying a word. Just staring into each others eyes with him mimicking my toothbrush movements with his own.
      * Watching my child color a picture so carefully, tongue sticking out, a smile creeping across his face periodically.
      * My newborn's babbles. Making no sense, yet complete sense at the same time.
      * Cuddle time with my children. Rocking in a rocking chair in a dimly lit, silent room.  I whisper into their ears, "This is a moment."
      * Cooking with my child. Yes, it may last longer than 7 minutes, but every minute makes a mother's heart swell with joy.
     * My baby's smile. Less than 7 minutes, but lasts a lifetime. I whisper to him, "This is a moment."

My days are filled with these moments and these are what makes this life worth living.   My 7 minutes in heaven that I will cherish as long as I live. What are yours?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Little Blessings

Yes, I realize my previous babble was about negativity.  But it had a positive ending, therefore leaving me with more positive thoughts. In November, I have my students write something they are thankful for every day to share with their family on Thanksgiving.  So, my brain is already cranking them out. It's a good exercise for anyone.

Okay, so to start, of course I am thankful for a house with heat, a car with money for oil changes and gas, and clothes on my back.  Now onto the juicy stuff....this may take awhile, I hope you have some time.

1) Every new day on this Earth to be with the people I love.
2) God & Jesus Christ for blessing me in so many ways.  My family was/is a huge family of pray-ers.  I don't think I would be where I am today if God was not a part of my life. I have my conversations with Him. We talk. He calms my fears.
3) A husband, who although may do things that drive me nuts, I know he is my partner in this life for life and he loves me with all of my quirks.  He knows what to say, and when to say it. He is a great man.
4) My first son who brings so much joy to my heart that tears come to my eyes every time I think about him.  He is bright, loving, funny, quirky, and so creative.    My world was changed for the better when he entered it.  Gosh I love that kid.
5) My second son who makes me so proud to be a mommy again.  He snuggles into the nape of my neck, grins and giggles, watches and learns, listens and conversates. I just can't whisper "I love you" enough to him. 
6) My sibs.... God put you in my life for a reason. We are the four muskateers and to this day I would lay down my life for you.
7) My family... Grandparents I was lucky enough to grow up knowing, aunts and uncles that wouldn't miss big events, and awesome cousins that unfortunately are not seen near enough. I have been blessed with awesome in-laws, that welcomed me into their hearts.
8) My friends, near and far.... I have been blessed with meeting some amazing people and being able to call them "friend" is so awesome. I have learned, the older I have gotten, that quantity doesn't matter, it is quality.  And surrounding my family with those quality friends is one of the most comforting feelings of all. 
9) My job.... I rant about the frustrations of teaching, but to  know that I can make a difference in lives is unspeakably amazing.  Kids coming in for hugs in the morning and even just to talk about their lives. Amazing.
10) The color yellow...  Truly I am thankful for this color. It symbolizes happiness and I can't help but smile when I see it.
11) The sense of sound.... I may not see those I love, but can hear their voices on the phone (albeit, not as often as I would like). I can hear the sound of laughter.  That is my favorite sound.
12) The sense of sight.... To see the smiling faces of the people around me. To see the sad faces, so I can offer a hug or consoling. To see the colors of Autumn blazing across the horizon.
13) The sense of taste. I heart food.  Period.
14)  Hoodies.... My favorite thing to wear in a chilly day.
15) Television... For moments when I don't want to use my brain after a long day.
16) My family's health... They are healthy and thriving. What more could a woman ask for??! It is something I pray for daily. 17) My health... I've had two healthy pregnancies and only minor aches and pains.  My thyroid is out of whack, but I'm able to wake up every morning and move, work, drive, run, eat. Whatever I want. What a blessing that is!
18) My dog... How can I forget my Homer J? He is the smartest dumb dog I have ever known. A great pal. A brave protector.  A loving "big brother" to his non-furry brothers. <3
19) Trees. Have you ever looked out your window and just watched the trees? Have you ever stopped to listen to the trees?  When Gage was younger, he and I would sit on the steps and I would make him listen for minutes at a time. To the rustling and fluttering.  The creaking of branches. Music to my soul.
20) Christmas... It symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ, but it also floods my memory with such memorable moments with my family.  It is by far, THE best time of year in my opinion.
21) Music- No matter my mood, or what I am doing, music is there as a sort of sound track to my day. Sometimes it may just be a song in my head, other days it may be a sing my students are singing or Gage is singing, but its always there. 22) Memories. Those that know me, know I am a woman of a million stories. (And you possibly may be able to tell that from reading this blog.). Memories are what keep the spirit alive and the heart content. It's what keeps people alive spiritually, when they are not physically. Memories bond people together like glue. 23) Dunkin Donuts coffee- Since falling in love with it back 2003, my coffee drinking life hasn't been the same. 24) Sunrises... Many people are fans of sunsets, and don't get me wrong, they are fantastic. However, I feel that nothing beats a picturesque sunrise....hues of orange glistening off of snow capped mountains. 25) Courage. I admire so many people for possessing this quality. Who have faced insurmountable misfortune, but have the courage to fight and move forward. There are those moments where I put myself in some people's shoes and think, "I would just give up." 26) Honesty...To live in a world that is full of dishonesty and unfaithfulness freaks the crap out of me. I am thankful that there are still a few people in this world that possess this. 27) Rainstorms.... It wasn't until I lived in the desert for a few years that I realized just how much I depended on real weather and seasons. Rain playing lullabies on my roof at night was something I grew up with and missed when I didn't have it. 28) Chocolate. It's a love/hate relationship really, but I don't think I could completely live without. 29) Cameras- It goes along with memories, I know. But I love taking photos and putting those photos into books. Yes, I am a psycho that pulls out random photo albums all the Tim.e and takes trips down memory lane. Last, but not least, 30) Smiles...Sure, cheesy. But think about it. Today I called a friend and sang a song into the phone for her just to make her smile. I smiled when she said she laughed. It's like this every day. Not just with her, but with everyone. I love to make people smile. I feel like Buddy the Elf in saying this, but, "I love smiling. Smiling is my favorite." :) There you have it folks. Yes, it took a few days to brainstorm, but 30 things to be thankful for, for the 30 days in November. Why don't you take the challenge?

Negativity....almost as contagious as a cold.

So, here I am this week feeling terribly negative. I despise Halloween. I despise surprises involving monetary issues. This week, as you can guess, involved those two things.

Why must we deem it necessary to vent our negativities and frustrations? It may make us feel better for a short while, but really....what good comes of it? It makes others crabby with you when perhaps they weren't crabby to begin with.  

So, while on my rant of frustrations this week, a friend expressed HER frustration regarding someone who was being negative about a certain task we had to do. She said how it feels like they aren't part of the team and she wished they would just suck it up because no one was happy.  I know what you are thinking, "Are you sure she wasn't talking about you?". She swears she was not.   But she got me thinking. I don't want people to perceive me as this. I love being part of a team.  I love the people I am on said team with. I love helping others. So....I sucked it up. Today went swimmingly better. I smiled. I laughed. I enjoyed my day. I was a team player.   It felt so good. 
Other despise note....when a financial bomb gets dropped on you, one must truly think. First instinct is to get upset.  Second, one ponders the other point of view. Third, a decision of some sort must be made.  I think these kinds of things completely tick us off because things aren't going the way WE want them too.  Then, its easy to get other people upset along with you. Almost to the extent of "rally the torches and pitchforks" upset.   Again, what good comes of it? Now instead of just you fuming, you have someone else upset too.  Great. You have now single handedly created world war 77. Okay, so that's a bit dramatic, but you get my drift.  In the end, is it worth it? Probably not.  In the end, it doesn't matter.  Again, I sucked it up. Still smoldering slightly, but in the end, when I reflect, the good outweighs the bad and that is all that matters.

So in closing, a quote that I think of often and quote to my students frequently.  "Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?". Some days/weeks mine may be closed for repairs so to speak, but I sure as heck hope it is most other days. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Seasons

I am terribly disappointed in our seasons.  Seriously...

Summer drags it's feet to leave.  It's like the severly intoxicated person at the bar.  PLEASE JUST GO!  We can't stand you anymore! 

Winter is similar to Summer.  Just when you think it's safe to break out your warm weather wardrobe, BAM, it blizzards.  What the heck is up with Winter?

Spring, dear Spring.  I love your gentle rains and your raging thunderstorms. Why can't we have 3 months of that?

I left Fall for last. MY FAVORITE.  Stupid Summer keeps impeding on your "time to shine".   Why isn't there Season Security that can escort Summer out as soon as it gets a bit out of control?  Poor Fall.   The leaves change so quickly that you hardly get a chance to stop and admire them.  Oh Fall.  Hang on just a bit longer!!! Winter will be here before we know it!  Hang on!!!!!

A Teacher's Thought of the New Year

To select parents whom this may concern:

Please do not yell at me and tell me I'm not doing my job.  Please do not email me and threaten to tell my boss I am not doing my job.  Please do not be upset about the amount of homework your child gets-it's out of my control, we need "grades" for gradebooks and you would yell at me if your child failed their tests and they had no way of IMPROVING their grade.  Please do not tell me I don't care about your child, when I am spending more time helping YOUR child become a thoughtful individual, responsible citizen, and independent thinker, then spending time with my own amazing kids.  (You make it very tempting to quit and be a stay at home mom).  Please understand that I already put 50 hours a week in my classroom and as much as I would love to get more grading done during my few hours a night at home, I just sit and watch tv for an hour before I go to bed.  I will have you know though that I do spend some of my weekend doing work, as well.  Please understand that although I may seem tough, I am a very sensitive person who has a huge heart and feelings.  Please try to picture trying to keep the attention of 28 children for 8 hours a day when you get mad that I haven't responded to your email from this morning or late last night. Please understand that although bullying seems like a bigger problem now then in the past, it is because we don't teach our children how to COPE with issues.  Being somewhat lovingly tough on kids is good for them. It builds backbones.  Please understand that although these are ranty statements, I truly love my job, hence I still go every day, smile, and greet my students with a huge hug.  I teach every lesson with excitement and encourage my kiddos to do their absolute best in all they do! I just want to make sure everyone understands who teachers are.  Although many teachers wouldn't say this out loud, or even type it in a babbly post, all teachers feel this way.  We are not your punching bag.  We want the same things you want for your child and more!  I understand there are some extremely terrible teachers out there and that stinks, but please understand that we are not all that way.  Have faith in us.  And think before you yell at us or send us nasty emails.  Some of us will go home and cry because of your words.  Thank you for understanding where I am coming from and not getting offended by this rant.

Any good teacher that gets reamed by a parent

Naming a Child

I promise to not babble on such an emotional topic every time, but there ARE times when it needs to be let out....

So, just like getting married, naming a child can have just as much pressure. While reminiscing the day we named our youngest son, I was reminded of the reason of his middle name.  His middle name is Daine.  My father's side of the family wanted John, Michael, or Joseph.  Rightly so, they are "family names" from my father's side.  Our oldest son's middle name is the same as my husband's, as well as a "family name" for his father's side. 

So, back to Daine...When we were pregnant again, I was SO sure and ready for it to be a girl.  I was going to middle name her after my mother, Kathryn.  So, imagine my somewhat disappointment, when we found out it was another boy.  How in the world could I honor my mother with a BOY?  It sounds so stupid, I'm sure, to the random Joe Schmoe that may read it as stated.  But to me, it was SO MUCH MORE than that.  We know/knew we were not having anymore children, so this was it.

My mother was killed in a car accident on December 1, 1996.   It will be 15 years this December.  Almost half my life.  SO weird to think of it that way.  15 years of not having her. Most days are fine, some days are just hard.  I yearn to have a parent relationship.  My grandparents are great, my Aunts are the best around, my father, well, he is a dude, he doesn't get emotions, and my mother in law is the best I could ask for.  All of these still don't compare to having a mother. My mother was in no way, shape, or form, a saint.  Who knows where I would be if she WERE still here.  Sometimes I think that God was watching out for my siblings and me when he took her.  Then I wonder where my "rose colored glasses" came from when I yearn to have her here.  Would things really be fine?  I don't know.  I guess maybe my heart just aches for the unknown.   She was my worst enemy and I hated her a good portion of my high school years, possibly my elementary years as well.  Years of her adventures, marriages, children, new towns, new schools, new friends...over and over again.  Now you are wondering what kind of sick, demented person would want to name her child after this person.  I was prepared for that...

Through all of her faults, she loved us.  I truly believe that she took us through her many marriages for us kids.  She worked so many hours a week.  We shopped second hand, never had any "extras" or grand gifts, we ate welfare cheese that didn't melt quite like the other real cheese slices.  But she loved us.  I know she did.  I can still picture and hear our fights.  They were brutal.  A shouting match of champion loud mouths for sure.  Buuuuuttttt, then I picture the apology.  The hug.  The tears from both our eyes.  The inability to go to bed knowing that we were upset with each other.  Her "snap into action" mentality if one of us kids were treated unfairly or poorly.  She taught me humility.  She taught me to be thankful for what I have (and never could have).  She taught me that life may feel like the sludge on the side of a trash can, but if you have people that love you, that is all that really matters.   In turn, I am teaching my children how to love.  My oldest tells my youngest daily how much he loves him.   My mother died in a car accident after having a huge fight with me.  And not getting the make-up hug after.  And not hearing, "I'm sorry Mom, I love you."  I truly don't know if my heart will ever fully recover from letting that moment slip away....but I'm sorry every day and I still love her every day to this day.

We then find out, no girl, no Kathryn, sorry.  Name him something with a John!  A Michael! A Joseph!  So, what do we do?  Middle name him Daine.  My middle name- Diane, my mom's middle name-Dianne.  Perfect.  Perfect.  Perfect on so many levels to me.   She's there.  I'm there.  We are part of our own legacy of "family names".  Brady will have a story attached to his middle name.  A story of lives that once existed. A story of love and family. 

Rest in peace Mom.  You are gone, but far from forgotten.