Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Day of the Ego Boost

For whatever reason, today was good for my ego. So if you will indulge me, I am going to share. I promise that this isn't an "Oh the greatness of me!" time but just a feel good day that I want to share.

There are just some days when a girl feels pretty. Today was one of those days. The funniest thing about it was that I am just wearing a big, bulky sweater and brown slacks. No bright colors, no fancy jewelry, no stylish clothes. Just some blah colors that are working today. Apparently, it's not just me. I went up to school after my training and all of the kids and co-workers were very complementary. It feels great! Yep, I'm pretty conceited at the moment.

On a less superficial level, I had training at one of the Jr. High schools today and I ran into a student I didn't have last year. She was the bully who ran the school. When I say school, I don't mean the kids...I mean the teacher too. (She was leaving the office from getting a referral for calling a teacher Barney. She was nice to that one!) For some reason, there were about three people who she thought were worth listening to. I happened to be one of them. We hugged and talked for a minute. I told her that I still had our picture on the computer and her face showed extreme shock. I asked why she was so surprised. She though I would have torn it up. It seemed to blow her mind that anyone would keep her picture around. The funny thing about it is that girl is one of the reasons that I stay in this career I have chosen. She grinned pretty big when I told her that. It pretty much made my day. :)

Thanks for indulging my good day and big head.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

'Tis the Season

For some reason, this year I am really in the Christmas spirit. Not the monetary stuff but just the beauty and comfort that comes from this time of year. I know that some are not into the holiday as much as I am but that is just fine. To each his own. The distraction and festivities slow me down and make me reprioritize by ever increasing workaholic state. It calms me down.

I put my tree up on Sunday night while The Polar Express played in the background. I REALLY like my tree. I love to plug it in, turn on some Christmas music (or movie), and sit on the couch under a blanket with hot chocolate. The only thing that could make it better would be no work and real Christmas weather. Well, come tomorrow evening, I will have the cold weather too. I cannot wait!

Hope you are enjoying the season too!

Monday, November 27, 2006


So my guilty pleasure for the past couple of months has been watching The Bachelor. I know that it is cheesy but so am I. I have laughed at some of the girls because I don't believe that a relationship can be strongly forged in such non-realistic circumstances. I am disappointed in his choice but it was his to make. However...I have to admit that I grinned from ear to ear as Jenn realized that she was chosen. She lit up and glowed from the inside out. Happiness radiated from within her.

There is nothing more beautiful than watching someone fall in love.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Over Analyzing...Again

Hi. My name is Dana and I over analyze everything. Now for those of you who just chuckled, I agree...this is the understatement of the decade. For those of you who didn't, stop and thank God above that you have dodged the bazillion questions that I ask almost on a daily basis.

I say all of that as a note before this blog. Now...on to what I am here for.

Today I was at my parents' house packing up the car before heading to the Hutton's for lunch and a movie. I was thinking about a few major things that have dominated my thoughts for the past few months. You, relationships, work....the usual. As my mind was racing through some questions and attempting to come up with some sort of answers, something inside of me slammed on the brakes. I had a major "AH-HA!" moment! Here is the gist of it.

Do the whys, hows, whats, and whens really matter!? NO! Sure, they are nice to know but in the grand scheme of! All that matters is that life is what it is. God allows things to happen and it is up to me to work through it in faith. And what is faith? Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Nowhere in that definition do I see a promise of complete clarity and understanding. Nowhere do I see a guarantee of questions answered.

So what does that mean for someone like me who analyzes everything? For me, it means peace. It means letting go of a lot of stuff that really isn't mine to hold on to. My "AH-HA!" is this: I know what happened on my part. I know my concerns for others. I know how it appears things are falling into place. I know that certain health concerns are out of my hands and some are up to me to work with. Basically, I know truth on my part (my perception of a situation). That is all I know. Do I need to know everyone else's thoughts and concerns? Nope. Will my ability to understand other people change? Not always. So why spend so much energy on it? Why let my mind dwell of the unanswered questions that, sometimes, I truly don't want the answer to? That's dumb! I just won't stay there anymore. It doesn't make me healthy, wealthy, or wise (let alone happy).

Then I realized that I was over analyzing over analyzation.....Oh well!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Shhhh....It's a Secret

Every weekend, I give my kids a random, fun "homework" to do while they are out. Sometimes it is sweet (Hug everyone in your family) and other times it is silly (See how many times you can spin around before you fall down). It seems to be something that they look forward to getting because they really never know what they will get.

Their homework over the break was to think about what they are most thankful for (predictable - I know). At 10 years old, it is easy to become self absorbed ('s easy at 26, too) so I'm hoping they will see something outside of themselves. Something outside of their PlayStation, jewelry, and wrestlers.

Today, I think I know what one of mine is. One of the things that I am most thankful for in this world is inside jokes. I know that it sounds silly and superficial but just hear me out...

Inside joke are FABULOUS! Think about it - They are born when you are with someone special, someone you want to spend time with. They often stem from very ordinary moments. Then anytime you are with that person and the joke is triggered, you immediately look at each other and laugh. They always make you smile - no matter what circumstances you are in. It is a special secret that only you share. They are about relationships. They are intimate.

So today, if I share an inside joke with you, I am thankful for you.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What's in a Name?

This afternoon, I spent some time with my minister. We were talking about a lot of things and several really touched my heart and opened my eyes. I thought I would share one that was particularly wonderful. I hope I can share it with the power it has on me. Hope it blesses you as well.

God created the world in seven days. He would create something, name it, and then declare it good. On the sixth day, he did something very special. After he created and named man, he gave man a job. He told man to name the creatures of the earth and gave him dominion over them (Gen 1: 26-30; 2:15-20). God basically gave over to man anything that he could name . If he can name it, he can control/rule over it.

When Moses saw the burning bush, a lot of dialogue took place but his first question was about the name of God. God's response is very telling. He answers with a very simple but very strong "I AM". It is almost as if God is saying, "You cannot name me and, therefore, cannot have control over me.

Abram became Abraham. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter. Saul became Paul. One day, God promises a new name to those who overcome.

It seems that in naming something, you gain control and power over it. Parents name children, owners name pets, lands were claimed in the name of a country. You get the idea. The same can be said for emotions. I have always believed that whatever emotion you feels is yours. There is no right or wrong. You have the right to feel how you feel - from anger to sorrow to joy. must control how you feel. Not in the suppressive sense but in the "what you do with it" sense. If you can name how you feel and embrace it, you can rule it. Then you decide if you move on or let go. You decide whether how you react to it. You own it, it does not own you. You are the master.

I hope that makes sense. Above that, I hope it gives you the strength to handle whatever is thrown your way today.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Woo Hoo!

I have been asked to be one of two people to represent our campus on our district's Academic Council! Work is crazy right now but I couldn't pass this one up. I'm not sure what will be required of me but I'll know more on December 5. Looks like I'm in the right place for my career right now! Just thought I would share the good news! :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Everyday I think I am learning something new about love. The lesson that God is pounding into me right now is that love is hard.

I have a difficult class this year. Their attitude and motivation changes literally moment to moment. Most of the time, it hinges on the behavior on my FOCUS students (FOCUS is the program for students labeled emotionally disturbed). They rule the room and they don't even know it. My whole day depends on how they feel.

One of them had a BAD hour yesterday. He had his Pokemon cards picked up at lunch and given to me. I told him that he could have them back at the end of the day and he LOST it. I'm talking grabbing my wrist and yanking me around, hitting me, ramming his body full force into me, etc etc etc. He had to be removed into intense FOCUS for the remainder of the day.

Today he was fine. He even had an apology note that he gave to me of his own accord. We had a great day until writing. I still haven't figured out why but he cut his eyelashes with his scissors. He was SO embarrassed and upset. We spent a while just chilling out and relaxing so he could go to PE.

Just about everyday he loves on me with leaning and hugs. Then, he turns about and tells me that he hates me and calls me names that would have gotten my mouth rinsed out with soap. Then an hour later, he is apologizing and leaning his forehead on my shoulder. Then he does something to that makes my head hurt.

I can see why most people stay angry at him. He says and does hateful things. He is disrespectful and mean. He doesn't know how to handle his emotion so his impulse control needs lots of training. There are some teachers from his past that have never gotten over him. They haven't allowed him to change and grow. But I am not that person. I love this child to death. He is the one I will wonder about in years to come. He can't 100% control what he does so you have to look beyond his behavior and see into his heart. He is doing the very best that he can with all that he has. I love him for it.

That's the thing about love. Most of the time, it is not easy to love this child but despite that, I do. It is hard to be called names and treated like poo. You don't chose who touches your heart. There is no rhyme or reason to it. There is no explaining why people do what they do or are what they are. You just love and accept people where they are. You just love the best that you can with all that you have - no matter how hard it is.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Revelation Song

My good friend Danielle is the worship leader at her church. About a year ago, she lead worship at a youth rally and she had to learn Revelation Song. I spent quite a bit of time in her classroom while she was learning the song and I fell in love with it. One of my two favorite New Testament books is Revelation so it struck a chord in my heart. Tonight I found the song on my cousin's website. Here are the lyrics. If you want to actually hear the song, go to Select Revelation Song once you get there. Enjoy!


Worthy is the... Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song... to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will... adore you

Clothed in rainbows... of living colors
Flashes of lightening... rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
to You the only wise King


Filled with wonder... awe struck wonder
At the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power
Breath and living water
Such a marvelous mystery... yeah


Saturday, November 11, 2006

My Mecca

Mom once called College Station an Aggie's Mecca. She was right. Today I spent the day at Kyle Field and LOVED it! It was seriously like coming home. It was familiar but still 100% exciting. We had some of the best seats I have ever seen (first deck, row 12, 45 yard line - seriously, look at the picture - no zoom!)! The band was fabulous! And then came my boys...what can I say, they break your heart just about every time! They tried so we have to give them some credit.

Before we went to the game, we stopped at Jeff's grandpa's house to get the tickets. He is class of '42 and was wearing his Aggie Ring. It has been worn down over time but it is still there, loud and proud! I got the warm fuzzies seeing it. :)

While we were there, Alissa and I got to talking about our seats. We put together that we would be sitting in original seats from the original stadium. I have to admit that this crossed my mind as we sawed the last time. How many people have stood where I was standing and yelled for the Ags? It was a little humbling to know that the love and respect for our school's traditions have withstood the tests of time. It made me feel proud to be a part of the Aggie family.

Maybe Mom is right...this is a bit like a cult!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Table for One

People often say that "Ignorance is Bliss". You know, how can you know any different from your life unless you have been exposed to other things. Sometimes not knowing is wonderful - you just don't know it at the time. Tonight, I completely understand!

I've often prided myself on being pretty independent. I don't make insignificant decisions easily but can be pretty determined when my mind is set on something. I've never needed anyone to define who I am or to validate what I do. If I want to do something or go somewhere, I do.

I've taken part of the conversation about eating out alone or going to the movies alone several times. That has never been something that has bothered me. Take a book or just people watch. No big deal. Until tonight...

You see, its been a while since I've gone out by myself and in about 30 minutes, I'm gonna do it again. There is a movie that I want to see and everyone already has plans. So it is either go alone or don't go at all. The second choice is stupid so it is off to get a bite and to the show - by myself. I'm not used to that anymore. Suddenly it feels like a big deal (even though I know its not).

Maybe it will be like riding a never forget how to do it. Just jump on and go.

***Update: Go see Stranger than Fiction. Totally different role for Will Ferrell but WONDERFUL!***

Thursday, November 09, 2006

On the Lighter Side

I don't like having my last blog be a sad one so I've been sitting here trying to come up with something to write as a replacement. So far, all yucky ideas. Instead, I thought I would share some quotes frome one of my favorite authors, Mitch Albom. I quoted from his newest book a couple of posts ago but here are some from his other two books that I love. Enjoy!

Tuesdays with Morrie

  • The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.
  • Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too - even when you’re in the dark.
  • Love wins. Love always wins.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven

  • Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.
  • Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else.
  • Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.
  • But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

At a loss

Lately, I have been watching human behavior. A very sad conclusion that I have reached is this: People are mean.

If you look back at your days in school, there was a kid in your class that got picked on. They were singled out and picked on. Now we call it bullying. My class has one. We will call this student "Sam". Sam is sweet and enthusiastic. Sam loves to learn and is relatively naive to the things of this world. It is refreshing to visit and talk to Sam. Almost reassuring that not all kids know too much too fast.

The other kids are mean to Sam. Excuse me...ruthless. They touch each other and pass on "Sam germs". They look straight at Sam and call Sam ugly. They laugh in Sam's face and call Sam dumb and gross. They talk behind Sam's back, steal Sam's things, and purposefully seek out ways to make Sam cry. It is almost a game. I know...I've watched it on a daily basis.

The kicker is that I have tried everything I legally can to make it stop. Nothing has worked. It has reached the point that Sam was recently diagnosed as having Trichotillomania. In case you don't know what this is, it is a condition where you pull out your own hair to release anxiety and stress. At 9 years old! What is wrong with this picture!?

What kills me is this - where did a group of children learn to be so mean!? What have they seen and what is life like for them? I mean, think about it. They are looking for ways to make Sam's life miserable - on purpose! I've never had the feeling of Me vs. Them. No one else in that room is fighting for Sam, so it is up to me. And I am losing. What do I do? This is not rhetorical....

What do I do!?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Count, Count, Count, Counting the Days

I was walking through Target after work and I got a little annoyed that the store already has out Christmas stuff. Then I realized...Thanksgiving is in two weeks! Christmas is actually out later than normal! No forgetting my favorite holiday of the year! Family and friends surrounded by a meal lovingly prepared. Aggie Football and lots of games! Then, because of the way that the calendar fell, over a month of the Christmas season! WOO HOO!! I am suddenly all kinds of excited and looking forward to it!

Tonight, I am filled with anticipation. It is the holiday season. I know that many people don't like the commercialism of the next six weeks but I have to admit, this is my favorite time of the year. Minus the shopping, everyone is nicer and more relaxed. Everything is beautiful. I look forward to coming home to sit on the couch with a blanket, hot chocolate, and book to read while the tree sparkles by the window. Maybe some traditional Christmas music in the background with a little Harry Connick Jr thrown in here and there. Finding the perfect gift for that member of the family. The kids getting excited and sharing good seasonal stories with them. Grandma's chocolate letters. Christmas Eve dinner with the family and lunch the next day with tired, excited cousins that got up way too early. Laughing with the aunts and uncles. Yep - I'm excited!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Home, Sweet Home

I am ready for a house. Not just any house but MY house. A place that I can make my own. Nothing big and fancy - just enough for me. A place where I can open my windows without worrying if the smokers below me will make my apartment smell like nicotine. My own walls where sounds don't travel from unit to unit. A place where the water isn't turned off every couple of weeks. A place where the college students aren't getting going just as I am trying to fall asleep. A place to establish and take care of myself.

Here's the catch...I've always said that I wouldn't have a house until I was married. A house feels very permanent so why invest in something so huge and then have to possibly change it when that time comes? I know...very over analytical but that's me. So I am going to compromise. I can't afford to buy a house right now anyway so I'll rent until I can. As long as I am out of an apartment, I'll be a happy girl. Get my feet wet in the whole house thing until life really settles down. Besides, there is no telling where I will land next.....

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My Pretty Ring

I have a pet peeve at work and my kids learn it very quickly. Because of past experience, lots of my students call me Mrs. instead of Ms. I correct them until I can't stand it anymore and then I pull out the ring lesson. I hold up my left hand and say "Look. No ring, no 'r'. Ms. NOT Mrs." Usually this works but a confused baby will always point to my Aggie Ring and say that I do have a ring. The other students give them the "DUH!" look but I love it. I get to have the talk with them, especially the girls, about the importance of my ring.

To me, my Aggie ring stands for so much more than my academic education. I stands for four years of personal growth and learning. It represents independence and intelligence. I tell the girls that it is more important than any other ring that they will receive because no one can give it to them. It is something you have to earn.

Since I picked up my Aggie ring, my fingers have changed and it doesn't fit quite right. The truth falls off. I have "lost" it a few times when it slipped off and I didn't feel it. Well, the time has come, my friends, for that to change. I have decided to get it resized. I've made contact with the Association of Former Students to get all of the information I will need.

However...there is not so wonderful news. I have to MAIL it in. They want me to put my ring in a box and drop it into the US mail. I might be overreacting but I think not. It is bad enough that my finger will be naked for weeks until it is returned but it is also floating around out of my care!

This is not a happy thought!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Book Review

About a week and a half ago, I made an impulse purchase. I was at Target and about to leave when I decided to take a walk by the books. Much to my surprise, I saw a new book by one of my two favorite authors. Sitting on the shelf was For One More Day by Mitch Albom. Without giving it a second thought, I walked to the register and paid for it. The goal was to read it in a week but that didn't happen. So, tonight, the goal was to read for 20 minutes and again it did not happen....Seventy pages later, I finished the book.

The book is about a man who is allowed to spend one more day with his mother who has passed away a few years before this story is set. It is about understanding why things happen and the healing that comes when the questions are answered.

Just like Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the book left me thoughtful and reflective. Albom is one of those authors that just cuts you to your innermost being. He makes you stop and think about what you are doing and why. He has two resounding themes in his books. 1) Your actions have consequences. What is more important than your consequences is what you do next. 2) The "little things" are truly important in this life. Treasure them.

I love quotes. There are several that ring true to me in this book. The two that stand out significantly to me at this point in my life are as follows:

You need to keep people close. You need to give them access to your heart.

You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.

Read it. Read anything by Mitch Albom. You will be better for it.