Thursday, October 26, 2006

Favor, Please!

In our Writer's Workshop, we are supposed to be collecting entries and writing about life experiences to model for our kids. While I know that I have TONS of memories, I am drawing a blank when it is time to write. Therefore, I am trying to compile a list of memories to "cheat" from when my brain farts. Basically, I am asking for a few memories that you have of you and me together. They can be light hearted or serious, major or everyday moments. Both are needed. You can either post them here or email them to me. I think all of you have my email address or myspace address. I am listing (yet again) some things I have already collected so there are not any duplicates.
  • Seeing Wicked for the first time
  • Going to work wearing two different shoes
  • Playing Wall Ball after church in Jr. High
  • Hitting ice on the way home from Big Spring
  • Collecting coins with Dad
  • Mom and the wheat noodles
  • Meeting Sean Devine
  • Various concerts and shows
  • Weekends at barbershop contests
  • Chopping of my hair and seeing Jamie's reaction
  • A night driving through Austin and deciding to find a church home
  • Singing with Sugar and Spice on the fly
  • Talking in the airport on a layover
  • Annie
  • Fighting over identical dolls
  • Erin's corn on the cob dream
  • The cattle guards in New Mexico
  • Erin's Wedding
  • Waking Mom and Dad up at 4:30am on Christmas morning
  • Arriving in NYC and freaking out
  • Mom and Dad's surprise anniversary party
  • Taking Mom to Midnight Yell
  • Talking Erin into sneaking into the A&M/Notre Dame game instead of studying
  • Swinging with Sean in the backyard
  • Staying in the Tissue's pop up trailer in their driveway
  • Getting my cousin to freeze his tounge to the milk area of HEB
  • Filling Caleb's truck with peanuts
  • Jenn's birthday scavenger hunt and field party
Wow! That is longer than I thought it would be! Hope it brought back some good memories for you as well! In advance, thanks again!

Smelling the Roses

Tomorrow I am being observed in guided reading by my Balanced Literacy coach. I brought the book home to plan and was going to get right on it after church. Oh well.....

A friend came by that I haven't really seen in a while. I had some extra tamales so I thought I would share with him during his incredibly busy week. I got home about 8:45 and he stopped by about 9:15. We started talking and the next thing I know, it is late. How late? Well, the clock on my computer says 1:22 a.m. as I type this blog & he just left. Have I planned anything? Nope. Will I regret it in the morning? Maybe. Would I change visiting with him if I could? Not a chance!

Sometimes, we just need to catch up with friends. We need to stop running like chickens with our heads cut off and just be real people. We need to see how each other is doing, laugh, and just relax. I'll read the book tonight and get up in the morning to finish the plans. It will be fine because I stopped my chaotic life for a moment to actually live.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Silver Lining

While this is not a bad week, it sure is crazy! Here's the schedule:

Monday - Meetings until 5:00 and make it to the bank before it closes.
Tuesday - Two meetings that ran until 6:00 and work until 8:00
Wednesday - Church (Finally - a normal day!)
Thursday - Coaching with my Balanced Literacy coach and Fall Festival until 7:30-ish
Friday - Leave for Corpus

I know, that Friday thing doesn't look too bad but it is the third in about 6 weekends where there is something planned. I am being reminded heavily that time is most definitely NOT my own. So what do I do when I feel that nag to complain? Look for the moments that made me smile along the way. Thanks for indulging yet another list!

  1. A former student emailed me saying that "I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!" - the wisdom of a 7th grader! :)
  2. The city lights of San Marcos as seen from my classroom window at 8:00pm.
  3. Opening the windows and turning the air conditioning off.
  4. Writing units of study for the team
  5. Watching growth in people
  6. A student running at full force to crash into me for his version of a hug
  7. Reading the book at the end of the long day that I will most certainly blog about later.
Sometimes its the little things that get you through and keep you in check!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Found It!

So often I find myself reflecting back on my past. You know, choices I've made, things I've said, places I've gone. I am a very retrospective person and that can have its pros and cons. I can see growth and change. At the same time, sometimes it is easy to dwell in the past. Recently, one thing has been made abundantly clear. God does not call me to look back.

Everyone has a favorite bible verse. They hold it as almost a mantra. I think that I have found mine.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people
belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out
of darkness into his wonderful light. - I Peter 2:9

This verse reminds me of so many wonderful things. First, I am an Old Testament junkie. Honestly, I would rather spend time there than the New Testament. This verse pulls in so many references to the Old Testament but also ties it to the New. Beautiful! It is also a perfect snapshot of looking at our true identities. No matter what we might have been so far, this is who we are today. It gives us our new name and our new purpose.

So today remember one thing - You are chosen, royal, holy, and a belonging of God. I don't care who you are, that should make your heart smile!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

So much to say...

OK...This has been an amazing weekend thus far. There is much to tell so I'll try to make sense without writing a novel.

Friday night and Saturday morning was our Ladies Retreat. Despite some apprehension on my part, it was AMAZING! Healing is actually a better word. A lady from our congregation that unexpectedly lost her husband in June was our first speaker. She was absolutely inspirational. Think "Beth Moore meets Betty Rackley". OK, now you have an idea of this lady! She started off her session by having us all write down a few of our storms (past, present, and anticipated). Then, without our knowing, she posted them on the walls around the room. She spoke and touched all of our hearts. I took a few minutes at the end of the evening to read the walls. It was very humbling and sobering to see what all of the women were working through. It really put things in perspective. I didn't get to thank Sandy for her words until this morning at church. I hugged her and had a very moving short conversation with her. I cannot tell you how excited I am to know her. I hope she is added as a more permanent part of my life.

On the more fun side of the weekend, Alissa and I had such a great time! We found a couple of ladies that were closest to our age and kept them up until 3 a.m. with us. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a LONG time! Very good times!

After the retreat, I went to see my sweet friend Julie. It was SUCH an encouraging and uplifting visit! We talked at the Oasis under a beautiful clear sky and cool breeze. We took a quick nap and then saw a WONDERFUL movie called One Night with the King. It is based on the life of Esther. I have a new view of her and the woman that she was. For my home readers, it is in five San Antonio theaters and I would be more than happy meet any of you for another viewing! GO SEE IT! Ok...back on track...We went back to her place and had dinner with Charlie and visited some more. There is nothing better than having time with special friends!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Watch the Shelves!

Today on the radio, I heard that Wheaties is coming out with a new box featuring the Aggies and Longhorns! WHOOP! I will most definitely be buying a box a cereal in the very near future! Check it out!

This is from the Austin Statesman. We can forgive them for their bias this time. :)

Wheaties box features Longhorns and Aggies
By Staff Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 10:32 AM

The Aggies and Longhorns might want to eat their Wheaties before the next installment of their yearlong Lone Star Showdown series.
General Mills this week is rolling out its first-ever cereal boxes honoring a college rivalry.
One side of the box focuses on the Longhorns, the other side the Aggies. The cereal’s catch phrase, “Breakfast of champions,” adorns both sides (which might raise some truth-in-advertising questions for the A&M side).

It’s the Longhorns’ second Wheaties box this year. They were also featured in a special-edition box after the football national championship.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October 18

Do you every have one of those days where there was a nag in th back of your mind that you were forgetting something? That was today. I kept looking at the date and knowing it was significant for some reason. As I read Jenn's blog, it hit me.

I was in 5th grade and it was after school. For some reason, we were at the Bryan's house. I think... Anyway...Dad came, picked us up, and took us home. This was highly unusual because Mom usually met us at the junior high. When we got home, he told us that Papaw had been in a wreck. He was riding his bike down the highway and a car hit him, knocking him to the ground. Since he wasn't wearing a helmet, the damage was bad. I don't remember much about how I felt. We didn't get to see him because Mom was at the hospital and my parents had lots of wisdom about what little girls are or are not ready to see.

That was the nag in the back of my mind. That was 16 years ago today and I was the age of some of my students. Wow.....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I am not a quitter. I hate doing it. I don't give up on people or quit jobs - no matter how hard they may be. I feel like a failure and a disapointment - even if only to myself.

Tonight I quit Sugar and Spice. Time conflicts and priorites keep interferring with rehersal times and practice. I feel bad about it because I feel like I am letting people down. Yet, with not being able to attend rehersals or practice, I would be doing that anyway. Basically, my choices were to 1) let people down and be honest about it or 2) let people down and pretend that I am 100% committed to it. Lose/lose is how it looks to me.

Quitting - it stinks!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Living in the Gray

I don't do well with things being uncertain and undefined. I know some that are but I am not one of those people. I like to know where I will be in a year, how relationships stand, why things happen, etc, etc, etc...

The funny thing about life is that it is not black and white. It doesn't fit in a box and sit neatly on a shelf. It is messy and unpredictable. It is gray. I am overanalytical by nature so I would really like the black and white. It would be more comfortable and peaceful.

Gray can be exciting and scary at the same time. It opens doors to provide so many opportunities. It makes life a roller coaster instead of a merry-go-round.

I think that life is gray is because, from our basic human understanding, God is too. While he knows the outcomes, my tiny mind can't wrap my mind about who he is or why he does what he does. In order to live life to the fullest, I've got to put ALL of my trust in the gray - and that is hard!

Here is a song by my favorite Christian group right now. It fills me with peace when I hear it because it gently reminds me of who and I am who God is. That's pretty black and white to me!

Let Me Be Lyrics
by Caedmon's Call

Lord, You are the maker of my heart
The framer and reshaper of my soul
Master and Creator
Healer and Sustainer
I will put my trust in You alone
Teach me to be faithful to confess
In this way my spirit will be blessed
Though my sins are daily,
You have loved me greatly
Removing them as far as East from West

Let me be open
Let me be humble
Let me find the joy of my salvation in Your cross
Let me be broken
Whenever I stumble
Let me remember the great mercy of my God

Give me the full measure of Your grace
As it is reflected in the Word
Faith and reassurance
Mercy and endurance
Carry these to those who haven’t heard


All I have needed is laid at your table
All my achievements, I lay at your feet
Alive in your spirit, I’m willing and able
You make my joy complete


Make my joy complete

Friday, October 13, 2006

Grey's Wisdom

There are only a few of you regulars that might have a true appreication for what I am about to post. I LOVE Grey's Anatomy! I think the reason is that I feel very connected to there character of Meredith - not by experience, mind you, but through her views on things. are three of her quotes from different places in the show. They express what I have been feeling/thinking lately so much better than I can. Enjoy!

"Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate."

“Who gets to determine when the old ends and the new begins? It’s not on the calendar, it’s not a birthday, it’s not a new year. It’s an event, big or small, something that changes us. Ideally, that gives us hope, a new way of living and looking at the world, a way of letting go of old habits, old memories. What's important is that we never stop believing we can have a new beginning, but it's also important to remember that, amid all the crap, there are a few things worth holding on to."

"You know when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales? That fantasy of what your life would be -- white dress, prince charming who’d carry you away to a castle on a hill. You’d lie in your bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa clause, the tooth fairy, prince charming -- they were so close you could taste them. But eventually you grow up and one day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is, it’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely because almost everyone has that smallest bit of hope and faith that one day they would open their eyes and it would all come true."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Hijacked Brain

After a semi-frustrating day at school, I was talking to Mom when I arrived home. I don't know how I sounded to her because I brain was completely hijacked. Someone changed the colors of my apartment. I hope you can tell what the current paint job of my apartment looks like. Basically, half is tan, half is chocolate, the trim is the opposite of the siding, and the doors and stair rails are red or chocoolate.

I made up a reason to go to the office and in the midst of the conversation brought it up. Turns out that the complex wants a new paint job but can't decide on color combinations. Therefore, they are mixing and matching on different buildings until they make a decision.

WOW! Am I lucky or what!?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rude Awakening

One thing that I looked forward to every year of high school was Camp Blue Haven. A week in the mountains to praise God and be with friends. Very few things can even begin to compare. There was only one thing that I dreaded - the shower house! Here was the routine: get up with the weather in the 50's, go to the shower house, and follow the water rules. Get wet and turn the water off, lather up, and turn the water back on to rinse. The rule of thumb (that I remember) was water on for a total of two minutes. As annoying as it could be, I actually was semi-alright with it because it was cold and I don't do cold well (understatement of the day).

This morning, I had a flashback to CBH. The boiler in my complex broke so I got to start my day with a VERY cold shower. Needless to say, I woke up very quickly! My teeth were chattering and I was trying unsuccessfully not to cry. (Don't ask. That's just how my body reacts to being very, very cold.) My thought process jumped into CBH shower rules and that's what I did. Get wet, water off, lather up, water on, and rinse. The whole time, all I could think was, "I AM NOT AT CAMP!"

I think I tied my all time fastest shower time.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thoughts for the day

I've thought about going to grad school for a while. I have let nerves and finances hold me back when the truth is, I've not been ready to take that step. I was talking to a co-worker about it after school today and it hit me really hard how badly I want my masters. I love being a student! Especially when it is focused on what I am passionate about and will help me be better in my field.

Therefore, I am setting a goal for myself. I would like to apply next fall to a program and start working towards my masters by the spring of 2008. This gives me time to start being able to afford it and also decide if I want to specialize in reading or in curriculum and instruction. I know that I would like to graduate before I get married. I know myself well enough to know that work, school, and a husband is too much for me to handle at once. Something would be neglected and that would have no happy endings.

So that's the plan for now. Honestly, I'm not holding my breath about it. God has a way of ripping the rug out from under my plans. He does it all of the time. We'll see....

In the meantime, here are two very random thoughts on the lighter side: 1) Origins Charcoal Mask is the greatest thing ever and 2) New toothbrushes make me very happy.

What can I's the little things in life that make you smile!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Even though things have been going pretty well, I felt very lonely this weekend. You know, the “I really need to not be sitting around by myself right now” feeling. I’ve actually been sensing this coming for a while. So, Friday night, I decided I wanted to stop the feeling before it had a chance to start. I called several people and tried to make something happen. Success? – Not so much. Thank God for Mexican food and text messaging!

Saturday was much better. Saw a few of the friends from Pleasanton in the morning and had dinner with a friend from work. (We closed Jason’s Deli. It was great!) If the only good thing that came out of San Marcos was meeting Danielle, which in itself is a HUGE blessing! She is an amazing example of a teacher and a woman after God’s heart. I want to be more like her. We decided to see each other sooner than the 7 weeks it took us this time.

Anyway…When I wasn’t with people, I poured myself into work with a constant movie in the background so I wouldn’t slip into the pity party trap. Of course, I had to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you haven’t seen it, DO! Basically, a relationship ends and they erase each other from their own respective memories. You get to watch the process and, as a result, a relationship from the end to the beginning. The basic message of the movie is that no matter how bad things get, there was something beautiful at the root of it. There was love and truth. The beauty just got complicated but can still be found if you want it. It’s pretty much a movie about hope – hence why I love it.

The message seemed to be the theme of Saturday. Danielle and I talked about how we are both lonely here right now. We are in very different stages of our lives than those around us. It’s hard to be the single one in the midst of married couples. It’s hard to keep the hours of your friends in college when your job is working you to the bone. And, some days, it’s hard to come home to an empty apartment. It doesn’t mean that you love anyone less. It just means that you have to lean upon God to remind that there is beauty in what you are doing and who you are. I am changing lives (hopefully) and in the moments of loneliness, you suck it up and think about the good. After all, that’s what you remember and store in your heart – the beauty of it all. Just start storing it up a little early.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Chewing my Knee

Today was the Buddy Walk for the Down Syndrome Association of San Antonio. Its the third year I have participated and each year, I enjoy myself more. However, today I had one of my "Open Mouth, Insert Foot" moments. They don't come along too often but when they do, they're a doozy.

So we are in the first part of the walk. Daniel points to a random little plant on the side of the track and asks Caleb what it is. Being the yard/plant man that he is, Caleb answers without skipping a beat. I immediately hear myself say (in a completely loving and sarcastic manner), "Are you autistic, Dustin Hoffman? Rainman of plants!" At that moment, I am entirely too aware of where I am and who I am surrounded by. Think about it: Walking with families and friends of people with down syndrome in an effort to educate and raise awareness. And I am suddenly choking on my knee!

Then, watching them race, I catch myself just as I am about to yell across the track, "Run, Forrest, Run!" as Caleb sprints lankily around a curve.

What is it about being in a situation where you must be aware of your words? It seems that the more control and political correctness a situation requires, the higher the chances that someone will blow it. Gotta love being that person!

Friday, October 06, 2006

You have GOT to be kidding me!

So basically, I have a question that I need as many responses to as I can get. Feel free to put in your two cents (or more if you feel the need). I will take all that I can get.

How do you deal with someone that you are losing respect for? There is someone that I know whose heart is in the right place in all they do. They are hard working and respectful of everyone they come in contact with. However...the more I see this person in action, I want to slap my head and say "You have GOT to be kidding me!" Each time this happens (and it is becoming a few times a week), I feel myself losing respect for them and because of that, I am also losing trust. I cannot afford to feel this way.

Help! What do I do!?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I just finished doing yoga for the first time. Offically - I love it! It was harder than I was expecting but so worth it! I haven't felt this relaxed and still in a while. Everything feels as it should be - physically and mentally. I was so aware of my body and its capabilities. I felt like as soon as I gave it my full attention, everything else started melting away around me. During the deep relaxation, all I could think was that it was all very beautiful.

I'm also trying to get back on my diet. It's hard but I know how good it is for me. It makes me so much more aware of what I am putting into my body. I physically feel better and clearer.

I've noticed that, lately, I say things are beautiful quite a bit. It makes me smile to see the good and beauty in the world around me. Looks like I'm seeing it more and more each day. I find it all very cleansing and my breath is swept away.

Wow - I sound hippie-ish. That makes me smile. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Yeah for scars!

Recently a friend blogged about the healing of relationships. In it she used the analogy that watching a relationship mend is like watching a bruise heal. My mom responded that we should learn from our bruises and not be hurt that way again. She added that in additions to bruises, scars are reminders to keep us from getting hurt in the future. Mom, I have to disagree.

I think that scars and bruises are signs of life. After all, how do you get a bruise or a scar? By living, taking part in something, not sitting on the sidelines. Why would I want to give something up because I got hurt? That is the beautiful thing about injury - it goes away. The bruise is gone and if there is a get a reminder of how you have grown. If anything, it allows you to give glory to God for the healing and the change you have undergone.

The way I see it, we all have a choice. We can either be careful and watch life pass us by so we don't get hurt OR we can heal and jump back in the midst of things. Personally, I like the idea of actually living my life. In other words...Bring on the scars!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Reading Between the Lines

For so long, I ached for New York but now, I find myself missing our cabin in Colorado. The river was such a comfort - I wish I would have spent more time there. I miss the quiet and stillness. I long for it. I think that is where I see God best. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when Elijah askes to see God and after many big events, he appears in a gentle whisper. That is where I meet God. In the small moments. Sure, big things definitely get my attention but it is in between the lines that God takes my breath away.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I got up early to get some work done but got distracted looking at some pictures. They made me think about my ride to church yesterday so I thought I would do this first.

I live in an area that is growing so much right now. Most people see that as a good thing - you know, economic development and such. As I was driving over a bridge, I looked to my left and saw a sea of roofs in an area that used to be a rolling hill. Part of me became very sad. The green grass and trees that were there before had been replaced by various shades of shingles. Home next to home are going up.

Then, on the way to Pleasanton, I saw DR Horton signs for new properties about every 5 exits. I have a friend who works for DR Horton and provides homes for those who need them. He loves his job and I am happy for him. However, I was overwhelmed by the number of projects his company has going right now. I had never noticed it before.

I am proud of where I am from partly because of the beauty of the state. Yesterday, I realized that soon, this area won't have the hills that are the invitation to the hill country. Instead, we are seeing construction sights on top of bull dozers next to gravel piles. It made me thankful for the beauty of people because, as I see it, the beauty of the land won't be here much longer.