Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas

from our family to yours with love, 
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

friday morning...

As I drove to work on Friday morning I thought about the plans for day, the activities my kindergarteners would do, and was thankful it was Friday. I noticed a lady who seemed to miss the turn on a back road and got herself stuck in a ditch. I was thankful a man stopped to help her and I thought to myself that I need to add the local police department's phone number to my phone. As I entered the building I began my morning routine; turning on computers, starting up the projector, sharpening pencils, saying my hellos. This Friday morning added a bit of excitement and joy because there were treats in the lounge. Fridays are always better when there are treats.

Little did I know that as I was preparing for my kindergartners to enter my classroom another school across the country was facing a horrific tragedy. Little did I know elementary teachers were facing their worse nightmare. Teachers were praying for their students and doing anything within their power and control to try and keep their students safe. Little did I know...

I learned about the events in Connecticut from a parent. She had e-mailed me to let me know how much she appreciated all I did for her son and all the students in my class. Unaware of what had unfolded I quickly checked our local news website and read in shock about the events. As I read I think I went numb. I did not let myself cry and truly process the events. As a teacher I had to keep some composure. I could not fall apart. I could not allow my students to see me shaken and not be able to explain why. I breathed. I prayed. And I began to think about what I would do if that happened to me, to my school, to my students. As my students walked out the door on Friday afternoon I gave them an extra squeeze and reminded them I loved them.

On Saturday morning Eric was watching coverage of the Connecticut tragedy. I was only standing in the room for a minute or so when they began to talk about the teachers who had lost their lives protecting their students. With tears in my eyes I had to walk out of the room. I could not stay. I could not listen. I could not watch. I have not read any more about the shootings. I have not watched any of the news coverage. I have seen bits and pieces of new details on social media. I have had a few conversations with others. I am heartbroken. Heartbroken.

As a teacher I have thought about those teachers. The fear they faced. The faces of their students looking at them. Wondering. Terrified. As a teacher this is the worst thing that could ever happen to your school and your students. We train for this. We have drills, discussions, and more drills. We play the scenario out in our minds. We stare at our classrooms and wonder where would my kids be the safest. And we pray the day will never, ever, come. For these teachers the day did come. These teachers and administrators did everything right, they did what they were trained to do, they told their students they loved them, they protected them. They gave up their life for their students.

I love my students. I would do anything to protect them. I have told them countless times that they are safe. I have told them that I would do anything to keep them safe, anything. Without a second thought I would protect my students to my death. Just as I would my daughter. They are my children. They may not be my flesh and blood but they are mine and I would do what ever it took to keep them safe.

As I walk into my classroom on Monday morning I will fight the tears. I will whisper my thank you's for being able to teach another day. I will keep Sandy Hook Elementary and it's community in the forefront of my thoughts and prayers. I will give hugs without reason and I will let me students know how much I love them.

Monday morning will not be easy. Monday morning will not be without tears. Monday morning will be tough. On Monday morning I will be greeted by 29 faces eager to learn, eager to play, eager to be a part of their school community. Monday morning will come...
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

without words

The events of the past week have left me without words. I am heartbroken, I am angry, I am confused, I am uneasy. I fight the tears as I drive to work, I become nervous when anything seems out of the norm, I am obsessive about locking my doors, I find sadness in the constant police presence in my community. I find the news, social media, and some conversations overwhelming. I want to turn back time and wish this never happened. I want my community to feel safe again.

This world is a fallen, broken, place. I cannot turn back time, I cannot change things out of my power and control. I can pray that justice is served. I can pray that the person who has turned this community upside down will be caught. In the end he will have to answer for his actions. May it be here on earth or in hell, he will be held responsible.

I stumbled across this video this morning. It is a beautiful reminder that God is always near.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

summer swimming lessons

Summertime means one thing for certain: swimming lessons.

This summer Kate participated in both of the summer swimming lesson sessions through our local parks and recreation department. Although she did not pass to the next level she has become far more comfortable in the water. She is now willing to get her whole head wet, can get herself in and out of the pool all on her own, wants to be first to try everything, and tolerates being splashed. We are so proud of all she has accomplished and her increased comfort level in the pool.

We are looking forward to more swim lessons and watching her gain all the skills needed to be a proficient swimmer!

(This was my first attempt at putting together a video using iMovie. I am pretty impressed at how well it turned out. Enjoy!)

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Sunday, August 12, 2012


Loving: My new Saltwater Sandals. I believe these will become a new summer-time staple in our house. They are comfortable, classic, and go with anything. 

Reading: I finished reading Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin about a week ago. It is a beautiful, touching, memoir about a man who lost his wife 27 hours after she gave birth to their daughter, Maddy. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made truly think about what matters most in life. I have just started reading Bloom by Kelle Hampton this week. Bloom is another beautiful memoir about the birth of Kelle's second child, Nella. It is a story that pulls on my heartstrings and reminds me to find the everyday beauty in life. 

Watching: We have been watching the Olympics and a little pre-season football. 

Anticipating: The start of the school year. My classroom is done. The year is laid out. Now its time to plan the first days and meet my students.

Listening To:  A variety of music. I have had The Nadas, The Gaslight Anthem, and John Mayer blaring through my speakers lately. 

Planning: Still working on the start of the 2012 - 2013 school year. The ideas have moved from thoughts floating around in my head to paper. Now they to move from paper to a digital, easy-to-share, document. 

Working On: Making the most of the day. The noisy moments, the quiet moments, and the in-between moments. I am also working on finding a way to carve out time to write and edit photos. It is something I love but not something I make regular time for. 

Wishing: To make the most of the last two and half days of summer and a wonderful start to the school year. 

What are your currently loving, anticipating, wishing?

The inspiration and idea for this post came from the beautiful Danielle at Sometimes Sweet.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

roller coaster ride

As the summer comes to an end and the school year is days away a question is frequently asked... how was your summer? Every other year I have been able to answer it was great, we did this and that, we had fun, etc. This year I have dreaded being asked that very question. How would I respond? I want to be honest but not negative. I decided to say that it had it's good moments. Not completely negative but leaving the door open to allow those who asked enough understanding that it was not all rainbows and unicorns.

This summer has been a roller coaster ride. It has had highs, lows, twists, and turns. Unexpected drops and lots of anticipation. Nothing could have prepared me for this summer except the experience of it all. I would have never expected Kate to recover the way she did, I would have never expected to be stretched so emotionally as a mom. I would have never guessed that Kate's speech and temperament would be worse, much worse, after having her tonsils removed. I was so unprepared. I felt as though weeks of fun, relaxation, easy going life had been robbed of me. I was angry and a little bitter. I was supposed be deciding what adventure we would be going on not trying to defuse a major tantrum because I asked her to get dressed.

I could have easily stayed stuck in this place of bitterness and disappointment. I could have stayed in the mindset that nothing great came out of this summer. But my perspective has changed (in large part due to this book and this book.) I need to focus on the small moments that made the summer wonderful. Kate played in the ocean, we saw sea lions in their natural habitat, Kate finally put her whole face in the water, and I have read more books than I have in years.

These small moments remind me stay focused on the positive. They remind to look for upside, the thrilling side, of life's roller coaster. For the past two mornings Kate has asked to stand on the front porch to look for constellations. These are the moments I will cherish for a lifetime. I will remember standing on the porch before dawn breaks with my sweet girl pointing at the stars. These moments are tucked away in my heart forever.

This summer was a roller coaster ride. There were moments of great joy and excitement and moments of fear and anxiousness. When someone asks I have choice. I can focus on the joy or the lows. I will share the joys, the fun moments. I will share my thankfulness that Kate's surgery was successful and her speech is slowly coming back. I cannot ignore that fact that Kate's recovery took us on an unexpected turn but I don't have to dwell on it.

This summer will end with a little girl searching for constellations, a trip to the zoo, swimming lessons, splashing in the sprinkler, and s'mores. These small moments will turn into thrilling joy that will stay in my heart for a lifetime.
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p.s. I hope to flood the blog with pictures of our summertime adventures very, very, soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

pre-k art show

She painted her relief sculpture all black.
I wonder if she is trying to tell us something.

A pipe cleaner spider!

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Friday, July 13, 2012


Loving: That Kate is finally feeling better and we are slowly getting back into our old routine. I am also loving the small changes Eric and I made to our back patio. It is more inviting and I actually don't mind sitting out back and reading a book or magazine.

Reading: Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This book has been a blessing. It has helped me realize that a lot of Kate's actions have nothing to do with me and there are other children in the world like Kate. The two books I am looking forward to reading next are Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

Watching: I hardly ever watch TV. The last thing I did watch was Wimbledon. I love watching the two week tournament every summer.

Anticipating: An upcoming week away with Kate.

Listening To: Dave Matthews Band and the Banana Pancakes station on Pandora.

Planning: The start of the 2012 - 2013 school year. Right now it is all in my head. The ideas will move to paper, lesson plan books, and my classroom before I know it.

Working On: Seeking quiet moments during the day. I need the quiet to recharge and regroup. I am also working on writing/blogging more. I have a ton of posts in my head.  I just need to carve out regular time to edit photos and write.

Wishing: Summer would slow down. I can't believe it is already mid-July!

What are your currently loving, anticipating, wishing?

The inspiration and idea for this post came from Danielle at Sometimes Sweet.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

rodeo parade

This was our second year attending the rodeo parade. Kate had a blast watching the floats and collecting candy. I simply love the spirit and energy of the small mountain town. And nothing beats a beautiful summer Saturday.

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