Friday, October 26, 2007

Much Love

I realize that I am very lucky to be close to my family. I've always loved each member unconditionally, even as a teenager. My parents are wacky and wonderful. I have an older brother and sister. They are one year and two days apart and I came five years later. I'm the baby.

When bad things happen, we band together. I mean really together. There is much love. It comes in the form of care packages, phone calls, babysitting, spending money on each other, cards, more phone calls, and lots and lots of "love yous".

We don't live in the same town. We're spread out over two hours of Interstate. But when we need each other, it just doesn't matter. We rally.

It's not overkill either. It's pure. Genuine.

The first people I call when I need help or a shoulder? My parents.

The second? The big sis.

It's amazing, to think that some people don't have this.
This f-a-m-i-l-y.

It's happening again. As we help my brother and his family. We grieve, we cry, we help.


While I wish that no one ever, ever had to be sick. Especially not my sweet, beautiful makes my heart swell with pride.

I am part of a family.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Swallowing Flies

On the way home today (sort of home, really on the way to the free babysitting at parent-teacher conferences, which both Hubs and I had tonight until 8:00, which leads to one more week of never-ending tiredness, but that's another story entirely) on the way home:

B: Mom, today we heard a rhyme about an old lady. She swallowed many things, until she swallowed a horse and died.

Me: Wow. That's really sad, and pretty gross.

B: I'm sorry I talked about it, but it was quite 'portant.

Me: Yes, it's an important story. Did you like the story about the old lady who swallowed a fly?

B: Yes! But...I was so nervous while I listened. Really nervous.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my kids?

Wow, I really do.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Apparently, turning 30 has killed the writer in me.


What has killed my will to write (besides this whiny Monday morning post...written while waiting for much needed coffee to brew) was the 7 students I had last week who found themselves in the principals' office. Five of whom who got themselves suspended. One of whom made big, big threats. The kind that other kids made good on around the country, with guns and grenades stored in their bedrooms.

I wrote two IEPs, one MDT, and filled out ten behavior checklists for kids who were going to see psychiatrists.

I ended the week with a smile.

I was relieved it was over.

Then I spent an overnight at a nearby hotel/casino with 15 girlfriends, half who will be turning 30 in the next year (a few of us already have). That was fun, but exhausting.

I've had 9 hours sleep in the past three days.

It's Monday.

I hope you have a great week.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

This week I am grateful for:
  • I had a great birthday. Hubs got me a digital picture frame, which will be so fun to have at work! I also received cards and phone calls from people who mean so much to me.

  • My parents came to town yesterday and stayed with the kids while Hubs and I went out. He had the homecoming dance at his school to supervise, so we had a lunch date. We went to Dave & Buster's. Ever heard of it? It's like Chuck E Cheese for adults. We had lunch and drinks and then played. I beat hubby at air hockey and video car racing. That was fun! We also played Skee Ball, basketball, and those horse races where you roll the ball. It was fun to act like kids again and spend some quality time together.

  • Our new chair. We went to a clearance sale at a local furniture mart after our lunch date and ended up with a huge chair and ottoman.

  • I'm so glad our new carpet is getting installed this Thursday! On Sunday, I think a few friends are going to stop through, so it will be nice to have our tile/carpet project finished.

Today is a day of rest. We're seeing my parents off and then taking a day off. I'm picturing lots of new chair time. Maybe some chips and salsa.

Some much needed R&R.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Birthday Mama

Born October 3rd, 1977

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." ~ Oscar Wilde

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Twenties.

The Roaring Twenties.

An omniscient account: A Decade of Growth. They say hindsight is 20/20.

At twenty: I've been in my first apartment for exactly two months. Splitting rent with two other girls. One is my best friend. One is her acquaintance. I'm learning about how you make rent, how you split kitchen-duty, and how you concentrate on taking 18 credit hours (stupid) when you're in a newly long distance relationship with a guy who's just not that into you. (You cling really tightly, in case you're wondering.)

At twenty-one: Still in that long distance relationship. We've now broken up twice in the last year. He's broken my heart TWICE in the past two years. But I take him back. My friends forgive me for being stupid. I maintain a 4.0 GPA and am well on my way to becoming a social worker. Which is what I set out to do.

At twenty-two: Two weeks after I'm twenty two. I finally say good-bye to Mr. He-is-not-that-into-you for good. But only because he made me. Only because he was a no-show when he really should have shown. He gave me the "maybe some day we can really make this work" speech. And I gave him the teary "I can't do this any more my heart is breaking" speech. Then I took a walk in my sweat pants and smoked cigarettes. My heart was broken. But broken hearts can mend.

At twenty-two: I meet a guy! I once described a man that I hadn't met yet to a friend. I was dating Mr. Aforementioned A-Hole and described this guy to my friend, when I whispered thoughts of how I might not end up with Mr. A-Hole. I mentioned a guy that was literate, looked a little like a Ken doll, and that would do homework with me in the library. I questioned to this friend how do you spend your life (yes, I talked at length with Mr. A-Hole about lifelong commitments. Stupid. Yes.) with someone who is not all that intelligent, who does not read, who does not know much beyond his own...self? Do you know what I did with my future husband the second weekend after I met him? I ran into him at our university's library, studied with him, and walked out with him after he wrote me an impromptu poem about running into me at the library. Love. And yup, he looked a little to me like a Ken doll.

I graduated. First generation bachelor's degree. Social Work Student of the Year. With honors. And a medal to match.

At twenty-three: Career social worker. Civil servant. New wife. Dog owner.

At twenty-four: More of the same. Fixing up our starter home. Loving my husband. Perhaps starting my 401K.

At twenty-five: Man, that felt like a milestone. A quarter of a century. Still fixing up house. Talking babies.

At twenty-six: Having a baby. Brenna Michelle. July 2003.

Started grad school. I'm gonna be a school teacher. For kids with disabilities.

At twenty-seven: Grad school. Raising daughter. Working full-time. Living the dream.

At twenty-eight: New job. Moving to Omaha. Finishing grad school. Whoops! Pregnant with #2. And happy.

At twenty-nine: I now have a son. Mason David April 2006. I teach high school special ed. I learn about the fragility of life. And gratitude for my own. I have two kids. And still have a husband. I'm realizing that I did marry young. And that's okay.

Saying goodbye to my twenties. I thought it would be hard. In a day and a half, I'm beginning my 30's. Which they know. That's crap. I want my 30's to be my 30's. I've earned it. I've earned the right to not be the baby any more. To not be the youngest at everything I do.

I have been working with people with disabilities for 11 (!) years. Which is surprising to me. Because it is but a blink. My eyes are wide open though.

What is next: I can't wait for chapter three.