Monday, December 27, 2010


If ever a life was full of blog fodder, my life was the past few months. Funny though, there's been no time to blog! And so today is catch up and blog time!

Let's see...the last time I blogged was August and as most of you know, WOW-OH-WOW has my life changed!! just about every way I can imagine.

In October, my boyfriend proposed to me on a beautiful beach in Naples, FL. THAT was a story worth blogging. But not today.

In November, just six weeks later, my fiance and I got married in Staten Island...or should I say ON Staten Island? I don't know, but THAT was a story worth blogging. But not today.

In December, my husband and I went off to the British Virgin Islands. THAT was a story worth blogging. But not today. Oh wait, I AM going to blog about one little bit of minutiae. In a word, "Popeye."

What do you think of when you hear/read the word, "Popeye?" I think, "he's strong to the finish 'cause he eats his spinach, he's Popeye the sailor man."...."Toot, toot!" You too?

But I think of more, MoRe, MORE!

One day (on our trip to the BVI's) we were sitting down for breakfast at a restaurant at a marina. A waiter approached and told us he'd be serving us. His name? Popeye. Seriously. And so the song began to play in my mind....which also made me think of Robin Williams, who played a DANDY Popeye...which made me think of my father, who LOVED that movie and laughed hysterically throughout...and who used to watch the cartoon with me every morning before Kindergarten.

But that's not all, oh no, that's not all! One more thing that comes to mind when I hear "Popeye" is my wonderful friend Kristen's little girl, Savannah. Why? Take a look at this ...

Go ahead and say it. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Note to self: MUST get more popeye shots. (I thought I had a good stash of her popeye smiles. Now where did I put them Hmmmmm...)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Woooshee Tube

You can't have an afternoon like I did and not blog about it. You just can't. Some of you saw the skeleton of this post on Facebook. Prepare for the full fleshed-out blog version now...or click that little x up on your tab, lest you be bored.

The last week I've worked long hours at school and not even begun to be caught up. There's just a mountain of work to teaching, especially at the beginning of the year. But today was different. I knew I needed to get home because the afternoon and evening would be rush-rush-rush! So I took off only an hour after quitting time. I got home to take over the care of my girls. Mom had things she needed to go do. When I got home I realized I needed to pay my car payment TODAY so Mom agreed to delay while I ran and did that. No problem. I'd rush to the bank, get back, and Mom could go. Easy.

Or not.

I went to the bank. Everything went smoothly. I drove home, turned into my drive, put the car in park, turned off the engine, pulled out the key, and turned to the passenger seat to snatch up my purse, when what to my wondering eyes should appear? Why it was this little thingamabob...
It's the little cylinder that goes in the woooshee tube at the bank's drive-thru. I cracked up and ran in the house with my woooshee tube to show my mother. Alli met me at the door with, "WOW! THEY LET YOU KEEP THOSE THINGS?!?!!" I told her no and ran on past to confess my deed to my mother.

I don't remember if Mom laughed. I was laughing too hard to know, really. She recommended I take it back immediately, lest they come after me, lol. So I did. I called them on the way to let them know what I'd done and that I was on my way back with the woooshee tube. I didn't want them sending the police after me, lol. Great headline: Local teacher steals bank woooshee tube. The lady on the phone sounded pretty amazed that I had the tube. (Imagine no one else has done that before???) So anyway. I head back to the bank, pull right up to the woooshee thing and put the tube back in. I glanced at the window and couldn't believe my eyes. Not ONE person looking. I thought for sure there'd be half the bank employees with their noses pressed up against the glass to see who the ding-dong was that took off with the woooshee tube. I was wrong....and very relieved, lol.

I can only wonder what my next great feat might be.... Stay tuned!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Days and Heart Strings

Remember your child's first day of kindergarten? When my first was ready to go, I was okay with it. It was hard to believe my baby girl was big enough for kindergarten, but she was in my school, so I could cope well enough.

Then a few years later, her baby sister, my BABY was off to her first day of kindergarten. She was in the class next door to mine and it was still REALLY hard. I had wanted so badly to spend a year home with her, but had lost them all to day care (although she was with THE BEST, a very close, very dear friend.) So she was off to school and my heart was sad. Still...I don't think there were any tears.

Today was my girls' first day back to school. Meg went off to 7th and Alli began 4th grade. Meg in 7th BLOWS MY MIND. But 4th grade? Just another year. Not a major landmark in my thinking. But for whatever the reason, Alli was nervous. Her first day of 4th grade and she was SO nervous. She would go from talking ninety-miles-a-minute to laughing, to complaining that she was feeling sick. I'd tell her she was going to be fine and to just breathe slowly so her tummy would calm. The usual stuff. She was clearly not sick, but had some nerves.

We start driving to the school. About a block, maybe two, down the road, she's telling me she's carsick. I assure her she couldn't be carsick, that it's just nerves, and to keep breathing like I'd told her. Nice and slow, etc. Again she vacillates between excited talking and nervous complaints. At one point when she was feeling good, she told her sister to keep track of whichever kids weren't nice to her and to let her know...implying that she'd take care of the situation and those kids would KNOW to be nice to her big sister. It was very cute.

We get to school and I tell her to get out of the car. She doesn't move. So I look at her and she's holding a hand to her mouth, trying to will herself not to get sick. I wait and try to reassure her. Finally she gets out, gives me a big smile for my camera, walks around the car and then...well we won't be graphic, but let's just say it wasn't pretty.

So I I take her home? I mean, she just got sick. But then, I think it's only nerves, so maybe sticking it out would be better...get beyond the nerves, you know? Well she starts looking better and tells me she's feeling better. I walk her into her class, let her teacher know she's been sick from nerves. The teacher is reassuring to her and Alli starts settling in. Now what happens to Mom???? I start to cry. Not wailing, mind you, but I'm choked up and fighting back the tears.

How does that work? How is it that our kids are tied so tightly to our hearts that seeing my little girl nervous over her first day of school shook me to the point of tears. I don't know how it works, but you know...I'm glad it does. I'm glad for those heartstrings and wouldn't have it any other way.

So anyway, I gave her hugs and kisses and saw she didn't need me and off I go. THEN the tears really came. So what did I do??? I called my mommy. (Apparently those heartstrings are still intact, too.)

Before I called her though, I thought, "You know,'re not going to win. This is going to be a positive day whether you like it or not. Because this is going to be a great year, whether you like it or not!" Then I called my mommy, finished crying, and pulled in to my school.

And you know what? It WAS a positive day. I can't remember a first day in years where I haven't felt really overwhelmed...frustrated...even somewhat panicked. I didn't feel that at all today. And this evening? I wasn't a major success. Things ran later than I'd like, but kids' homework got done, food into bellies, hugs and kisses passed all around, and now they lie sleeping peacefully, recharging for another day of learning and growth...and loving.

I can't believe how blessed I am. If I lived the rest of my life without another blessing besides that of two little girls that have been entrusted to me, I could still say I am blessed beyond measure.

And one more thought occurs to me. About those heartstrings.... If we feel so strongly about our own children, can you begin to imagine what God feels for us. His heartstrings were so tight He sent Christ to provide salvation for us.

Incredible. WAY more than hmmmmm....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

God is Good

You know...there were no big thunder-cloud revelations today. There was no lottery check or instant success or suddenly sparkling house (that WOULD BE a miracle). It's just a matter of relationship. In my heart, I KNOW that God is good. There is so much that comes to us in life that I can't explain. There are times in life where I understand why people ask "Why?" I am blessed to not be a "Why?" asker. It would be my undoing, I fear. I think scripture says that it rains on the just and the unjust, no?

But today I've felt hope and peace in my heart and I know where that comes from...or rather WHO that comes from. I can remember as a child singing, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart." There was a verse that said, "I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart." Experiencing that peace...interestingly enough, leads to that joy. It does. I know it does because I feel that right at this very moment.

My life is not perfect. It has its challenges, to say the least. I go through the ups and downs, like any other person. But it isn't circumstances that give us peace. It has been during the most difficult struggles that God has placed that peace that passes understanding in my heart and in doing so has communicated His love to me in such an incredible way. I wish there were some way to communicate that so that each and every person who wanders through this blog could feel and experience it.

But if I can't do it, I'm not worried. God's love is so great that He WILL find the way to let you experience it, too.

He's just that good.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hear that? No? Exactly. It's called...SILENCE.

12 years, 3 weeks, and 4 days ago, my life soooooooooooo many ways. One of my mini-me's was born that day, as you probably guessed. And NO I did not figure out the weeks and days, I found it on an automatic generator thingie-ma-bob. I'm not going to bore you with all the ways my life changed, though. Just one. I think. But sometimes I ramble so don't hold me to it.

From the get-go it was clear: Meg didn't know how to sleep and had no great interest in it. *I* happen to love sleep so much that I would claim it as a hobby if people would let me. Yes, I'm very ambitious. :) Thanks for noticing. ANYWAY, for months I fought with the fact that by 5:30 Meg was ready to start her day. Ready to babble and play and eat and all the wonderful and less-than-desirable things that babies do. Bottom line: MY day was also beginning. Forget about trying to sleep until 6 or 7. It just wasn't going to happen.

Time passed...years passed and things improved a bit. Some days she could actually sleep until 7 or SHOCKER: 7:30, but I'm telling you, people, that took years. And I'm sorry. Despite your own opinion on the matter, 7:30 is NOT considered "sleeping in" on a Saturday. Shoot, it took me a while to concede that 9 is "sleeping in."

But as I sit here blogging, both my girls are still asleep and it's 9 o'clock! That has left me nearly awe-struck, lol. Of course now apparently I'm getting old and "naturally" wake earlier, so I've been up for a while. But my house is quiet and my girls are resting...and there was no one to wrestle the computer away from! :)

Finally got their sleep pattern where I want it. Now we'll get to enjoy the challenge of waking them for school next week...oh well, that's life. But I tell you what: this school schedule better not blow things and start waking them early on Saturdays again.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

You know how you can miss something and not even realize it until you get it back? That's how I'm feeling these days. Like I'm breathing fresh air for the first time in a long time...and didn't really realize what I'd been missing.

It has been so long since I've been excited about a coming school year. Recent years have found me dreading the school year as each day of my summer break passed. I've approached the year with a deep sigh and trudged back into the classroom. I haven't MEANT for my attitude to stink. I've just been stuck somewhere back in some place between struggle and survival. Ever been there? Not a fun place to be. And it's not a place you jump into. You slip into it one step at a time.

My journey to that place reminds me of a story in the Bible. It's one of my favorite stories because it involves my favorite of Jesus' disciples...Peter. I love Peter. He was so real. He was full of flaws (I know all the disciples were, but Peter gets told on a lot.) He lived life with gusto, too, it seems. I love the story where Jesus walks on the water and Peter asks him to call him out to walk on the water, too. Jesus calls and Peter goes! And while so many of us fault him for faltering faith that found him sinking, I like to commend him for having the faith to get out of the boat.

My journey is similar to Peter's experience. Peter started sinking because his eyes weren't focused on Christ. It's not that he wasn't WITH Christ, but his focus wasn't on Him. And with his focus off his Savior, he saw the winds and the waves and started to sink. The same thing happened to me. Over the past several years, I wasn't away from Christ, but my focus hasn't been on Him like it should. I've had my eyes on the challenges and trials and responsibilities of life and what *I* could do to face them and meet them. I slowly sank into a survivalist mode...doing just what I needed to in order to get by. Doing what I had to do to meet responsibilities but only that, nothing more.

But just like He did for Peter, Christ has come through for me. Peter cried out to the Lord and Jesus lifted him from the sea and saved him. One day, just a few months ago, I was wrapped up in a difficult ongoing situation and thinking I should have taken something to calm my stomach so I could face the difficulty when seemingly "out of the blue" came the thought that I wasn't going into the situation alone, that Christ was going with me. With that thought came complete peace. I believe with all my heart that HE was reminding me. And since that time my outlook has changed. There's excitement where there hasn't been in a very long time. There's anticipation instead of dread!

And so I'm facing this school year in a way I haven't in years. It feels like a breath of fresh air. I didn't realize what I was missing. I didn't know *I* could feel like this.

And it occurs to me: Christ gives us hope. Not just hope for eternity with Him. He gives us hope for today and tomorrow, too. My heart is thankful...and enjoying the breath of fresh air.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Trash or Treasure??

Blogging on my phone today...

You know the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure.". I'm hoping it's really true, because today is garage sale day. Ha ha. Early this morning as I sat watching people slowly drive by, eyeing all my "trash," I thought, "Ah, drat it! It's their trash, too!" Then a couple hours later, when I had melted into a sweaty little puddle and begun dreading moving all the trash back into the garage just to drag it out again tomorrow, the treasure-hunters arrived! Yay! I began wheeling and dealing like a pro! ("Pleeeeeease take it! Here! Have this too! My kids will carry it for you!)

Funny how not too long ago all these pieces of "trash" were treasures to me. What is it about us people? We see things and think, "Ohhhhhh I need that!" or "I HAVE to have that!" And we do what we need to do to get it. Time passes and we find ourselves throwing it out or selling it...whatever we need to do to get rid of it.

Confession: I have some strong packrat tendencies. Know what that means? It means that I have difficulty designating old treasures as trash. Which also translates to the fact that I'm struggling to regain some order in my house. Some people are okay with being that way but it frustrates me. I want my home to be beautiful and peaceful. I think a home reflects on the person who cares for it. Right now my home says I'm a chaotic mess...not quite the message I want to send. Not the person I am or want to be.'s on. I WILL conquer it.

So come on people and claim these treasures!! I've got a battle to win!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Up From the Grave

What a triumphant thing, Christ's resurrection. Hope for eternity! Sin was defeated and Christ lives!

I don't make light of that at all, but I'm going to share my thoughts...which wandered to the silly. NOT silly about Christ. Silly about words.

When I thought "Up from the Grave," (of course it was set to the hymn's melody in my head but I don't know how to make the little music notes so we'll go with plain text)...when I thought those words, my mind grabbed at the irony. The concept of someone coming up from a grave USUALLY is spooky or creepy, isn't it? The ONLY time it doesn't strike me as scary is when it's in reference to Jesus. And then there's this wonder and awe and bursting hope.

But back to the spooky version.... Anytime someone very near and dear to me passes away, I dream about their funeral and they ALWAYS sit up in their caskets. It ALWAYS scares the bejeebers out of me! NO MORE UPPY!!!...not in my dreams anyway. Yikes.

And now back to the good "up from the grave,".... I cannot imagine the grief and utter desolation Christ's followers must have felt, having watched him die such a brutal death on the cross. I can't imagine their confusion, their Messiah gone when they had to have felt things were just getting started. But He was gone and how their hearts must have broken.

I also couldn't begin to imagine their joy when they went to His grave so early Easter morning and found that their Messiah wasn't "gone" gone...but was risen and alive and triumphant over the grave.

Can you imagine?? I think of something I can really relate when my dad passed away. The next day I was on a plane, full of grief, and on my way to my parents' home for all the funeral proceedings. If I'd walked into the house and Dad had been there to hug me again and to tell me that he'd defeated cancer and was alive and well, I can't imagine how delighted I would have been.

It had to have been similar for those who went to Jesus' grave, don't you think?


It's my prayer that the same Jesus who defeated sin and the grave will fill each of your hearts this Easter season and give you hope for this life and for eternity.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Harry Potter, That Age, and Vision

Somewhere around nine years ago I had long hair. I also had a two year old and a new baby. The hair became a nuisance and I decided it was time to get it cut. So I went in to the hair dresser and had her work her magic. I walked out of the salon with that GLORIOUS I-just-got-my-hair-drastically-cut-and-feel-so-fresh-and-chic feeling. You know the one I'm talking about. ...unless you're a man, in which case, I'd guess I just lost you. Well...farewell then. On with the story....

The next stop in my day was the pharmacy. As I was leaving the pharmacist's window, an elderly man, with a smile that can only be described as mischievous, said to me, "Hi Harry!" Confused, I just looked at him. Not missing a beat, he clarified, "Harry Potter...just forgot your glasses, right?" I couldn't help but laugh and walk away.

Talk about bursting a woman's bubble. RIGHT after a brand new haircut...being mistaken for an adolescent boy. Dang it.

Sadly, I have a history of similar incidents.

In grade school I got my haircut really short and my dad called me, "Scott." (Reference to Scott Baio.) Just what I wanted to be...a teenage boy heartthrob.

Same haircut, walking through the grocery store...produce aisle if anyone cares...I overheard two elderly ladies talking about me (obvious by the staring). "He looks like Albert on Little House on the Prairie!"

Those were the glory years.

Back to the Harry Potter story. Fast forward about three years and I'm sitting at the opthalmologists's office. I'd had a change in my vision, but apparently it wasn't significant enough to require glasses. The doctor's explanation? "You're getting to 'that age.'" I SO wanted to say, "We're not talking about my mother here, ya know." But I didn't.

Well, bad news. The transformation is complete. I AM Harry Potter. And I have reached "That Age."

Let's hope I use my powers for good.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Farewell 2009...a Reflection

Stolen from Sunshine's blog...

What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Rode on the back of a chiropractor's Harley.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
If I made a resolution, I can't remember it. I don't think I made one.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year, thankfully.

What countries did you visit?
No visiting this year...oh wait. I went to New Jersey/New York with Guy. But that's not another country, is it?

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Love for a lifetime. Is that greedy?

What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 1. My wee lil ol' heart broke.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I don't know if I "achieved" anything big this year. I started dating again, but don't know if that counts as an achievement, per se.

What was your biggest failure?
I don't know. (Aren't I being informative?)

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Oh I had a GREAT stomach virus in November.

What was the best thing you bought?
A little black dress.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'd deserve an award for pointing fingers and naming names here, wouldn't I??

Where did most of your money go?
Credit card bills...which actually shows that the question about whose behavior made you appalled and depressed should have answered "mine." Ugh, if only I could get out of debt!

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Dating again.

Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

a. At the moment, it's a draw.
b. Same.
c. Again, same.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing. And devotional time. And cleaning.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

How did you spend Christmas?
With my girls and mom.

Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes...maybe too quickly???

What was your favorite TV program?
Grey's Anatomy

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I try really hard not to hate anyone. But there IS one new "difficult person" on my list.

What was the best book you read?
I don't think there was a single book that left me wishing for more...unless I read a new Lori Wick book. She always rocks. Wait...let me go peek because I think she had a new one this year.... Oh great. Can't find it, but googled and found she's had one out since March that I haven't read! Well, now I have something on my wish list, lol.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Josh didn't know I discovered him, did you?

What did you want and get?
Help. My mom came to stay with us and help me with my girls.

What did you want and not get?
Committed Looooooooooooooooove

What was your favorite film of this year?
Was Mama Mia this year? Because I looooooooooooooooove it. No? How about All About Steve?

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don't recall. You know...they say that memory's the first thing to go.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Dreams come true?? Answers??

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Folks don't usually use the word fashion and Hillary in the same sentence. In fact, it's so foreign to me that I don't even know how to BEGIN to answer this question. I just try to keep the important stuff covered. :D Yes I just said that.

What kept you sane?
Who says I'm still sane?

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Greg Page. Always.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Hmmmmm....could it be the newly elected Obama and his "health bill?"

Who did you miss?

Who was the best new person you met?
Lyla. I got to hold her for hour...when she was only a day old. ::siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh::

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Maybe I learned that one shouldn't trust too quickly. It doesn't hurt for people to prove themselves. And it's not like I suffered a real betrayal, per se. But I jump into everything with both feet (and my heart) and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. That can really lead to hurt sometimes.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Do you know where you're going to? Do you like the things that life's been showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know?"

Happy 2010!