Saturday, September 30, 2006
People never cease to amaze me.
Not many people will understand why that was a fun moment and that is OK. There is something unique about being a part of this group. I've been associated with barbershop for three years now and have grown to love both the hobby and the people. An instant bond is formed and you have a connection. It's like being at church or running into someone and finding out they are a Christian too. How special it is!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I got a call yesterday that my Erin was in a wreck. I didn't get too many details from Gregg other than she is OK. Tonight, I actually got to talk to her for half an hour. She told me exactly what happened and how bad it could have been. The car is pretty much totalled and she made the news (just to give you an idea of the gravity of the situation). I held it together on the phone but it took everything in me not to lose it when I got off.
I am SO thankful that she is OK. Sore, shaken, overwhelmed - yes. But even better - she's still here. The thought of losing her is beyond what I could bear. I've lost people close to me but to lose my sister would shatter my world. She is my strength and comfort. There's no way I could manage without her. She is the best thing God has ever given me and I am grateful he is letting me keep her a little longer!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
One of my favorite things to remember about my mom is that she was a reader when I was little. She would get a book and devour it so quickly. It set such an amazing example for me and Erin. We would go to the library and get as many books as we were allowed. Trips to the mall were always accompanied with a stop in Walden or Dalton books.
Now, I am falling in love with the written word all over again. My time is not as free to dive in but when I do, my soul stirs. To this day, I find comfort in Barnes and Nobel when I need to relax. I will drive the 45 minutes to spend a few hours surrounded by adventures, romance, comedy, and mystery. I find refuge in books the way that some find it in a quite church.
This is from one of my new favorite children's books Inkheart. It is about the love of books and the worlds inside of them. Read the quote and then read the book:
“Is there anything in the world better than words on a page? Magic signs, the voices of the dead, building blocks to make wonderful worlds better than this one, comforters, companions in loneliness. Keeper of secrets, speakers of the truth...all in those glorious words.”
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Tonight, the cricket that was in her hotel room has settled into my apartment. I don't know where he is but he must be happy because he is singing up a storm! The biggest difference between my coach and I is that I actually like the sound! (Much better than the car alarm that won't turn off!) It triggers memories of sleep outs at Blue Haven, the fields at the Royal's place, and laying in bed listening them outside my window. All peaceful and calming memories.
Funny how one person's annoyances can be another person's comforts.
Monday, September 25, 2006
"This morning as I hit the snooze button, I was taken back in time.
It is a Tuesday morning and the wake up routine has begun. It follows a simple pattern but, like most things simple, it is very effective. First, the door swings open and a voice that I love calls out "Dana-nana". I groan back and Dad announces that it is time to get up. He steps away and I snuggle my cheek into the pillow. Two minutes later, I hear, "One....two....three!" and the room is flooded by the blinding light of my ceiling fan. Thankfully, I am still under the covers so over the head they go. A couple of minutes later, I hear the urgent "Dana! It's time to get up!" followed by the ripping back of sheets. I am immediately in the fetal position in the middle of my double bed - quite possibly the fastest movement known to man. This is a very vain attempt to keep warm under a fan rotating at full blast. Despite my being cold, I have the will power of an 11 year old and stay right in bed until....the sound of the opening refrigerator door reaches my ears. Based on past experience, I am confident that I know what will happen if I am not out of bed in the time it takes him to cross the house. Dad is armed with a loaded spray bottle that he keeps stored in the fridge for mornings such as today. I now have a very short amount of time to make a very major decision - stay in bed and get wet or get up still tired? Not a difficult decision but, unlike most mornings, it isn't made fast enough. I am met face to nozzle with a mist of ice cold spray. All I can think is that a super soaker wouldn't be that different right now. I squeal and am instantaneously awake. Dad grouses about how long it is starting to take to get me out of bed and I just laugh on the inside. Sure I could get out of bed right away but when else are you going to have a water fight with your dad first thing in the morning? Why would you even consider starting your day any other way?
Now, 15 years later, the alarm clock just doesn't beat dear, ol' Dad!"
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Jenn and Lin are still asleep and I am playing with Max. I take that back...I am being attacked by Max. Max is my Lin's cat and he is a unique one. He wears "pet-icures" to take the place of declawing so this time his claws are blue. He is a swatter but it doesn't hurt at all thanks to his "press on claws". He bites but will stop if you thump him. He also tears through the apartment at random times, tries to catch his tail while sitting on top of a book shelf, and has been known to swat at the mouse arrow on the computer. At the moment, my favorite thing about him is that he has a red dot on his back. Lin was dying her hair and he decided to see what she was doing. Hence, a red dot. Spastic is definitely a good word for him.
I want a cat. Something to love and play with at home. At the same time, I am NEVER at the apartment. It seems mean to get an animal and then never see it. I guess I'll settle for a nice plant. Yea, that will be fun...
Friday, September 22, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
At 2:45, his good day ended. He entered the door and in the matter of 10 minutes, I was called dumb, stupid, retarded, and poor. He grunted at me and stuck his tongue out. A part of me was waiting to be hit. He refused to leave a nook in the room and then stormed out, knocking things off desks as he went. I let the behavioral specialist deal with him and turned my attention to the 15 other kids in my room waiting to work on the 5 foot puzzle they earned for the day.
After school, I was erasing the board when I saw what the boy was doing while he was in the nook. On a white board, he had written “I like Ms. LaMore” and signed it “Love,…”. I grabbed the board and ran to the behavioral specialist. He smiled and told me that the boy cussed him out all the way to the bus. Then, as he boarded the bus, he told the specialist that he is scared. You see, I am going to be out tomorrow for training and a sub will be there. He is nervous and acting out. He likes me and trusts me. That will be gone tomorrow and he doesn’t know what to expect or how to express his feelings.
My heart melts…
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Yes, this is the second blog for today. However, I must preface it by two things. First, please do not suddenly worry about me. As stated, this is writing therapy. Secondly, please do not comment or respond to this. I love you all but will delete them. This is truth at its rawest. I don’t need validation, justification, or negation for the way that I feel. It is what it is.
I just got back from church. Lately, it has been hard to go because it brings up memories of things I have lost. It is getting better but tonight again, it has surfaced the feelings I have been pushing down so I can look for the good. Yes, my laughter and smiles have been increasing and real, but I have also been feeling these underlying emotions all the while. They don’t go away. They hide until something triggers the surface key.
I feel like I have single handedly killed the one thing in life that made me the happiest. I have never regretted a thing that I have said or done until now. Each day that regret grows and I kick myself for it. If there were any way for me to take back, I would in a heartbeat. I would throw myself on the floor and sob from the core of my being to show how sorry I am, knowing that would be inadequate to how I truly feel. I would share how I am unable to read the Ladies’ Retreat book about healing from the storms of life because I don’t feel like I deserve it yet. I would tell about how I pray everyday that one day this will be forgiven and the hope I have that God will be faithful. Basically, I know what I've done, I am sorry, and I hurt.
So since I can’t do these things, I do this: Stay away and stay quiet. Just as I was asked. It is the least I can do. Until I hear other wise, I sit and wait – biding my time. Until then, I have made this decision. I won’t be going to church with the folks for a while. I’ll come visit the family and those who will want to see me but not at church. Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.
This year, I have a group. I thought my classes last year were hard but the truth is, this one takes the cake. Yet, I already love these children more than any other group I have ever had. They are pushing me to be a more patient, considerate, well rounded teacher who multi-tasks and juggles more balls than I ever knew a teacher could ever be thrown. For example, my classroom has literally eight behavior plans going on at all times just to be able to function minute to minute. That is campus wide all the way down to individual. You would think that would drive me nuts but when I get to pull one of my low babies aside and reward him with the sticker that he earned, it is a highlight of my day. Racing another student in bike club makes giving up the 20 minutes of lunch worth it. All they want is to be known and to be loved completely. What an honor to have that relationship with someone. It fills the void in my heart.
We are reading a Hank Zipzer book as our read aloud and we are all enjoying it together. The subtitle is "The World's Greatest Underachiever". Hank is an ADHD, learning disabled, "open mouth, insert foot" kid that you just have to love because there is a bit of him in all of us. The truth is, there is a LOT of him in my students. For once, a book where they are the heroes and not the background character or the "bad guy".
The truth is, working with them helps me find purpose and love each day. Some days, that is hard to come by but knowing that I am going to spend my day switching between pulling my hair out and falling in love makes getting out of bed a little easier every day. They help me find love instead of fear. They help me learn love instead of selfishness.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
My whole life, my bedroom has been my sanctuary. It has been a place of comfort, relaxation, and escape. I used to hole myself up in there for hours on end. I would just be alone and dive into the writer's side of my imagination. I never wrote anything down but I always had a story going in my mind to just take a break from life. I'd dream of what I wanted out of life and it was safe in there. No one could burst my bubble or disappoint me. I could shut the door, turn on a cd, and everything outside those four walls would melt away. Even if things weren't always put in their place, it was my room - set just as I liked it.
Right now, my bedroom is a place to sleep. I never take work in there so that part of my life is the only thing not affected by the job. But a place for relaxation and escape? Not so much. All that is in there are the essentials. The walls are white and naked. I have a mirror and the word "dream" hanging on my walls. That's it. No pictures, color, or reflections of me. Just a place to close my eyes each night and throw my clothes at the end of the day. Maybe if I could get that place of solitude back, I could make all of the stress fade away (or at least pretend it does).
Those Beach Boys were pretty smart guys.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
A few months ago, a friend asked me a very important question: "What do you want?" At the time, I thought I knew but the more I thought about it, the less certain I was about what I truly desired out of life. I have been thinking about it for about a month now. I realize now there is so much to want out of the short time we have. Erin recently posted her life list not knowing I was about to do this. Here is the beginning of mine. The list grows each day and is in no particular order. I've already crossed some off of the list so this is what I have yet to do. They range from the predictable and serious to the fun and surprising. Enjoy!
- Visit all 7 continents
- Visit all 50 states
- Get married
- Be published
- Live in a loft
- Live by a river
- See Barenaked Ladies live
- Go hand gliding
- Go parasailing
- Act in a play
- Get a master's degree
- Own a house
- Learn to parallel park
- Learn to give a good massage
- Take part in a protest
- Go on an archeological dig
- Learn yoga
- Meet Michael Buble
- Learn to tap dance
- Camp in a tent
- Hug someone involved in 9/11
- Speak at a Ladies' Retreat
- Go to Disney World
- Kiss in the rain
- Work in children's ministry
- Work with an adult literacy program
- Live somewhere cold
- Skinny dip
- Be well read
- Go to the Smithsonian
- Go to a clean, beautiful beach
- Have the classic grace and elegance of Audrey Hepburn
- Learn to make chicken and dumpling and homemade apple pie
- Go to as many musicals and theaters as I can
Monday, September 04, 2006
But that is the funny thing about the word "if". It doesn't change a thing. What is done is done and there is no going back. You accept it and move on praying that you didn't screw things up royally. You hope that one day, you look back and don't regret. After all, what good does it do? None. So here's to no regrets - May your hope be fulfilled and your doubts silenced. Time to have faith and learn to fly - without looking back.
College football began to a great start! My Aggies won! WHOOP!!! Overall, the Big 12 looks good (minus Baylor and Colorado). It was a beautiful day. However...I have to admit something terrible. I'm beginning in to enjoy Texas football. I KNOW - I think that hell just froze over! I think that living so close to Austin is having its effects. Yet, what's the harm in enjoying raw athletic talent? Well, at least I know one thing for sure - I'm bleeding maroon every Thanksgiving!
Ok Ladies, this one is for you. (I specify ladies because I don't think that men have this problem. If y'all do, let me know!) I own two pair of jeans. One hangs on by the belt so they don't fall off and the other is so faded that they look discolored (and they are turning into high-waters). So I looked at my budget and decided to go get new jeans yesterday. Talk about a nightmare! Outlet malls on Labor Day weekend - shoot me now! But anyway...Does anyone remember the days when jeans did NOT have stretch material in them? I detest the stuff but they were in EVERY pair that I tried on! (If you have seen the outlet malls here in San Marcos, you would understand just how many places there are to try on jeans! The only place I didn't go was to Cavendars but let's look at this thought - me in western clothes - ha ha ha! Sorry, that created a funny mental image.) I usually don't buy something that I don't like but I did yesterday out of sheer neccessity. Maybe some company somewhere will realize that not all women want their jeans to stretch! GRRRRRR!!!!!! Why can't people just get it right?
Anyone who knows me knows that I have this thing with smells. In the car, in my apartment, at random places...I am aware of the way things smell (so if you are curious about a smell - let me know). I think one of my favorite smell memories was about a year ago. Jamie and Todd took my car to get the oil changed for me and Jamie picked me up from work. I opened the door and the very first words out of my mouth were, "What's that smell?" Not "Hello", not "How are you", not "Thanks for taking car of my car today". It was about the smell that Todd's left overs left in my car. It's a sickness - I know! So this doesn't just work with food smells. It's everything. My neighbors smoke so I can't open my windows in the apartment. I like candles but don't use them often. I don't have a car freshener because they are so strong. I love my perfume but I forget to put it on. I said all of that to say this. I made brownies for a pot luck yesterday and the smell hit me as soon as I got home (OK that one wasn't so bad!). What is wrong with me that even the sweet smell of baking is unwanted!? Usually I like that greeting when I get home but not yesterday. I know...I'm a weirdo.
OK...enough revealing my quirks for one day. Have a good Labor Day!
Saturday, September 02, 2006
So I am excited!!! Now you will have to excuse me, I have a game to watch. And if anyone is interested in watching, give me a call. I’ll be there!