Thursday, March 31, 2011

rainy thursday


Whoops, shouldn't let the rain determine my mood.

It was rainy yesterday, too, and probably will be tomorrow.

School is hard right now. One kid's mama decided to get herself hitched about two weeks ago. The kid had a hard time with that, and is currently having a hard time with the honeymoon. And his hard time means a hard time for me, too, as he acts out aggressively and hyper-actively and ridiculously all day long.

It's getting close to testing, too, and the other third grade teachers are gearing their teaching towards the skills that will be on the tests, rather than trying to finish out the math series we've been using. I don't have anyone to compare notes with, anymore, about how the math series is going. I'm feeling a little isolated in this regard. And science -- well, we've been off on science all year, all doing something different. I'm hoping my wild bunch have learned and retained anything at all. I think the most likely thing that they've learned is about how sound is produced -- the most fun experiments are the sound experiments. Too bad we're on rocks and minerals now -- not my favorite. Plants are coming soon, though. Hopefully we'll be able to plant some -- want to help? Plants can be fun to learn about, if we have pots and soil and seeds. I'll probably end up having to do it all out of pocket again -- so on a much smaller scale. Less fun.

My dad went to yoga with my mom and me yesterday. It was kind of funny. He didn't really get it -- I think he was really surprised that it could be such a workout, or that there could be so many things to think about all at once, or that we didn't just sit there saying "ommmm" the whole time. My upper back and legs are extra sore -- I think it was good for me to have something to break up all the running.

10k this weekend -- it should be interesting. My friend who was inpatient thinks she is going to run with me. I don't think she is going to run with me. In fact, I don't want her to run with me because I am a horrible person. Ok, maybe not a horrible person. But I do feel guilty that my friendship turned out to be so conditional. At the same time, she did some very hurtful things to my other close friend, who is still living at my house. That makes my position more complicated. The one who wants to run with me on Saturday is moving out of their house tomorrow. I don't know when roommate will be moving out of my house. I sincerely doubt that she will return to their shared space for more than packing up and cleaning out. I know she has been looking at other places, but I don't think any of the ones that made the cut are within walking distance, like the current (abandoned) residence.

I'm excited to be near the beach this weekend. I think it will be nice to have time away from home, as it always is, but this will be weekend #3 in a string of weekends away. I'm excited for the run, and to see if I can finish it without walking, and to spend time with good friends. I hope that my friend doesn't end up sleeping in my room. Although I think it is extremely likely.

We interviewed someone for the 5th grade immersion spot for next year this afternoon. I liked her, but didn't feel like she really answered any of the questions we asked. I'm not sure I would want to work on a team with her, like we have planned for next year. I'm hoping that I like the next candidate better. And also that the ELA partner likes the next one better. I was so blessed when my partner teacher chose me.

The kitty is sleeping on my lap. She's a sweet one, that little snuggler. Soft and fluffy, too.

Wow, that was a lot of random on my mind.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I am...

snuggled up in my pjs, with a cup of hot chocolate by my side, and a bag of orange toast. Yum.

watching the 5:00 news. It's early for me to be home, especially in my pjs.

hoping my mama doesn't call to go to yoga tonight, but hoping she will call and tell me she saved me some soup today.

glad the school day is over.

feeling unprepared for all that life has to offer, which is uncharacteristic of me.

feeling prepared and unprepared for school tomorrow, even though I couldn't think of anything else to put on the to-do list after school today.

wishing the kitty cat would come snuggle.

thinking that I might burst into tears at any moment for no reason at all.

just feeling blue today, but know that tomorrow will be better.

hoping for resolution of a few things that seem to be swirling around in my life.

feeling settled and content, for the most part, with where I am in life, and where I think I am going.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

excitement and celebration!

Tomorrow marks five years.

Five years of laughter,

of head scratching,

of tears,

of goodnight kisses,

of figuring out who does what parts of the housework,

of paying bills,

of school, and more school, and then more school,

of sitting together at church,

of passing the thankfuls,

of singing silly songs

and of holding each other close.

Five years.

So short, so long, so mundane and unforgettable, all at once.

I love you, sweet hubby!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A conflict of wills

(Or, a really long, complicated, and probably entirely boring story that I must tell in order to feel better about myself and the decisions I'm supposed to be making)

Will I listen to my instincts, or will I trust that even when I go against them, God will catch me if I fall?

This is the conflict that I have been thinking of all day....

So a close friend of mine has been inpatient for a week for some mental health issues, which were bubbling up for a while, and escalating, and becoming more and more serious, and concerning more and more of our mutual friends, and generally making more and more people really worry.

Like, serious worries.

Facebook entries about wanting to hurt others and herself.

Really discouraging emails and text messages.

The repeated comment that she just didn't understand why anyone would care about her.

And some really disturbing stories from her past, about the abuses she suffered and was really never treated for, that were haunting her and making themselves more real and apparent than they had been for a long time.

So just before sweet hubby and this girl's roommate left for a ten day trip, my friend was manic. As in, wildly swung from suicidal to thinking she was on top of the world, and could do ridiculous things like drive through trees. (I'm not making this up. She said that.) So the roommate wrote a "behavior intervention team" form at the counseling center on campus where they both have been in counseling, individually, for a while. It resulted in the friend being talked into voluntarily becoming an inpatient.

She didn't like the facility, and after a weekend, was back out on her own.

Sweet hubby and roommate were out of the country. I was at the beach with friends from school.

I didn't call all week. When sweet hubby and roommate got back from their trip, roommate came to relax at my house before going home into the unknown -- she had no idea how she would find the friend at home -- manic, depressed, somewhere in between, drunk and manic, drunk and depressed, etc. The unknown, after 10 days away, was an unappealing welcome home.

They returned on Saturday night. Sunday was a normal day, as far as I could tell.

Monday, I called the friend to offer her a ride to a Bible study group we both participate in. She responded that she wasn't coming, and probably wouldn't ever return.

I led the group, as normal, then went home, prepared for the next day, and went to bed.

While I was sleeping, my world shifted dramatically.

My friend posted some things threatening the people who live in her house with violence and also threatening suicide. Roommate has many friends who called, texted, and insisted that she leave the house (the third roommate, also), and a sister in law who called the police.

When they responded, she was taken in the ambulance to the hospital, but for some reason managed not to be admitted. Roommate spent the night elsewhere.

I received two clues that something big was going on, and received both of them on Tuesday. The first was a text from an out of town friend, asking what was going on with the suicidal friend, since something on facebook looked pretty wrong. The text had been sent the night before, but of course I didn't see it until 7 in the morning. The second clue was a sketched out email from sweet hubby that roommate would be staying with us for a while.

After being encouraged so strongly to leave her home under the threat of immediate danger to self by the friend, roommate had filled out another behavior intervention form. (GOOD PLAN!!!) The friend met with her counselor, who convinced her that an inpatient program really would be the best place for her at the moment.

So she checked in. And stayed in from Tuesday until today. Today is also Tuesday, so one week.

And now she is home.

Her two roommates have begun taking steps to move out, vacate the lease, and pack up. Roommate is staying with me, and the other is staying with another friend. And in the middle, we are all trying to re-negotiate the boundaries that we thought were in place and secure and trustworthy.

And after it all, I feel like a bad friend, because I only spoke to her once while she was in the hospital, didn't call her today even though I knew she was out, and certainly did not invite her to run with me and my running buddy tonight. I feel like I need to be the one to show her that friends don't tuck tail and run, ever. But I want so very much to tuck tail and run, far far away from the drama that has been going on all week.

Is it enough for me to support roommate, and not the other friend, too? What exactly am I supposed to be doing in this situation? I don't really have much more time or energy to support friend, and roommate, and I've been friends with roommate for much longer, and with a much deeper relationship.

I want a panacea that will make it so that none of this ever happened, that friend never had these deep mental issues that I don't know how to handle, and that my ability to step out in faith was never put to the test.

Because if I truly have faith, I will trust that I can begin to reestablish contact with my friend, in a nonthreatening and non-committed manner (meaning, not committing to be the one who receives the call when she is considering suicide again, not listening to stories of the past horrors she has lived, and things like that), but reestablishing contact in a way that helps her to know that this, too, can be moved past, and through, and made into a story of transformation and patience and redemption and peace, even though at the moment it feels anything but peaceful.

And that, for now, is my conflict.

Do I trust my instincts, and run far, far away from all contact? Or do I trust my Jesus, and treat her as the least of these, offering another chance even when she probably doesn't actually deserve one, with the full confidence that how I treat her reflects whether Jesus actually lives in my heart or not?

I hope I choose Jesus.

And to think, this post came in place of a picture of my new pink shoes....

Time will tell.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Right now I am waiting for a bunch of things.

I'm impatient. I'm trying not to be too impatient about most of them, and just enjoy the ride.

A list:
1. For sweet hubby to wake up. He looks so peaceful when he sleeps, but he sure knows how to snore!

2. For the school year to be over. I like working, but I have a tough group this year, and want to move on.

3. For summer. I love summer. I love walking around in a bathing suit and sleeping late and playing in the water and summer dresses and sandals and going to the ice cream shop...

4. For a friend to figure it out. One dear friend of mine made some serious mistakes lately that will affect our friendship. I think she has already realized this, since I haven't called or visited her in the hospital where she is seeking psychiatric treatment. I am waiting to feel like a better person for not calling and not visiting, too, but somehow that doesn't seem like a good thing to have on my list.

5. For donors, for my classroom. For all I complain about how hard this year is, I do still want good things for my kids. Want to help? You could make the wait shorter.

6. For my family to grow. I hesitated before writing that, because I think it is an extremely personal thing, to be waiting for a family to grow. Sweet hubby and I still answer to friends and family that we are not ready for a baby, not trying to have a baby, that we have a cat (hahaha). We will wait for God's timing. But we are not actively impeding that from happening, either.

7. For a surprise weekend away, next weekend, to celebrate 5 years of marriage to sweet hubby. I know we are going away, but I don't know where we are going!

Oh, the waiting. I'm trying to enjoy it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

these are the signs

These are the signs that will be hanging in my newly organized closet....

They will be at the beginning of each type of clothing. Once something has been worn, it will get hung back into the closet in front of the sign. When it is fall, and time to clean out the closet again, anything that is still behind the sign will be added to the "donate" bag. If I don't wear it, there is no need for it to be in my closet!

I think this will go one of two ways. Either I will find a way, on purpose, to wear everything at least once, just so I don't have to get rid of it, or sweet hubby will get confused when he is doing the laundry and accidentally not help me implement this new system.

He was duly impressed with the sight of the six bags of clothes for donation, and with the (slight) increase in available space in the closet.

I think his side is next....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

too much stuff

There is too much stuff in my closet.

Too, too much.

And under my bed.

And above the washing machine.

And scattered about the house in other random places, too.

And I don't just mean random things that need to be stored....

I mean too many clothes.

The excess is ridiculous. Yet today was hard for me. And looking at the results is hard for me, too.

I woke up thinking about what I might do today, with several different project ideas in mind. I could set out early for a long run, or work on the vines in the backyard some more (trying to get rid of some more of them before they go bonkers growing this spring), or I could tackle the closet.

It was chilly this morning. I opted for the indoor project.

I decided that in order to do my closet the right way, I would need to start with everything out and decide piece by piece whether it was worthy of being put back in.

I pulled armload after armload of clothes onto the bed. I wrestled the two plastic bins of clothes that I store above the washing machine down, and added them to the mess on the bed. I pulled out the under-bed boxes. There wasn't any space for this stuff on the bed, so I just opened them up. I pulled the drawers out in the chest of drawers.

I was overwhelmed. Where did all of this excess come from? (Um, I can answer that. It was accumulated over many, many years, from bargain buying and shopping with my dear sweet mama, who shows love by buying things. The two of us are both learning to say no when we are out shopping together.) How had I let the clothing pile get this high? How had I not noticed?

So it was time to start. I sorted through some of the easy categories first. Dressy jackets. I love them, on other people. I bought some at one point. I think I wore one of them once? They were easy to say goodbye to -- went straight into the giveaway bag. Closely followed by hanging pants. A few pairs that I didn't wear all winter, and still know exactly how they don't fit me right -- easy to let go of, too. Most of the pants went right back into the closet for the rest of spring, since I wear them to work almost every day.

Then it got a little harder. Sweaters. Here we are at the end of winter, and sweaters were a little tougher. As a relatively crafty person, I had a hard time letting go of anything cashmere, even if I hadn't worn it in over a year. It took me so long to find anything 100% wool at Goodwill when I was ready to make slippers for sweet hubby, let alone cashmere for the lining. And sweaters always seem like such an investment -- never as cheaply acquired as tee's and tops. But about 15 sweaters made it into the giveaway bag. The rest will go above the washing machine for the summer, but not as tightly packed as last year. I'd like to think of it as slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

Dresses. Oh, dresses, why are you such a weakness?

My strategy was to count the Sundays. How many Sundays will I be in town and want to wear a dress to church? I have too many dresses. I have twice as many dresses as Sundays to wear them. And I don't really go out to fancy places very often, or wear dresses to school very much, so I have no reason to have so many of them. I just like them so much....But a few (at least five) jumped out of the closet and into the giveaway bag.

The dresses were followed by the tops. How many different white tops do I own? At least one for every day of the week. Same with black, and blue, and pink, and teal, and on and on and on. Many tops jumped into the bag. Many more jumped themselves right back into the closet. But when they did, they jumped in behind the sign.

What sign?

The "everything in front of me has been worn this season, and gets to stay longer" sign. Introduced to me by my sweet friend and neighbor, who also has a hard time cleaning out her closet.

Tee shirts were easier -- since I've been pulling some out to make into a T-shirt quilt for a while -- I just added to the stash. It feels like cheating. And some will make the journey to the beach, to live a new life there, always available, and making it so that I can pack less.

In the end? About 80 different articles of clothing jumped into my bag.

Um, make that my 6 bags.

Goodwill, here I come.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five min. Friday -- I feel the most loved when

I feel the most loved when I am wrapped up in sweet hubby's arms, him scratching my head, me with my face barely poking out of the sheets and my arms wrapped just as tightly around him as he is wrapped around me. It sounds dirty, maybe, but this is just what I would love to have every single night as I fall asleep. Strong arms of the man I love, trusted to hold me safely as I sleep, offering me the greatest comfort I can imagine.

I love that man. I feel the most loved when he mocks up our conversations before they actually take place, accurately predicting what I will say and how he will respond, and then laughing with me when we don't need to have the conversation because it's already done.

I feel the most loved when he cooks me dinner, and makes sure to serve something different than we had the night before and the night before that, too, since he knows I have a hard time with leftovers for lunch and for supper, too.

I feel the most loved when he will turn off the TV at my bedtime, so that he doesn't get to watch any more than I do, even though he doesn't really have to go to bed yet.

I feel the most loved when he tries to talk me into buying things that I want but don't need, just because he thinks I would so hard and therefore deserve a little bit of what I want in my life.

I feel the most loved when he will play the Just Dance wii game with me, even though he doesn't like it that much, but knows that I have more fun if he'll dance too.

I feel the most loved when he will dance with me at weddings, even though he thinks he's a bad dancer. I disagree.

And that, my friends, is five minutes.

I'm sharing this with Five minute Friday at thegypsymama.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Would you?

Lots of people at my school are posting projects on Donors Choose. I'm thinking about posting a project of my own.

I teach 3rd grade. In Spanish. To native English speakers.

I teach science. I like teaching science. Teaching science is fun. We get to do fun experiments, like putting sweet tarts in water and seeing how it dissolves faster, if you shake it or if you don't, and comparing it to the weathering that rocks get when they bounce along in a stream. We also get to put tuning forks into water to see the vibrations, and make pieces of paper hum, and tickle our cheeks. We get to plant things and watch them grow, and talk about how they make seeds and such fun business.

Except we don't have anywhere to put the seeds, other than baggies or plastic cups. There are a couple of raised beds at the front of the school, that a different teacher somehow got dibs on at the beginning of the year, and doesn't want to share. So here's my question.

If you were interested in giving money to someone you didn't know, to use for her classroom, would you ever consider financing the purchase of some huge flower pots, maybe some small fruit trees, lots of dirt, and seeds? These are the things I'm thinking of asking for.

What would you do?

Monday, March 7, 2011

when I look like this....

The best thing that ever happens to me is that someone super nice, patient, loving, and kind sees me, and waits a few seconds longer at the stop sign so that I don't have to stop, but can keep running (ok, jogging at the brink of tripping on myself) as I cross the street in front of them, doing my best to manage a wave when really I think that my arms and legs are about to fall off as I cross in front of them.

To the nice lady who waved enthusiastically at me today, as I crossed in front of you, I would like to say Thank you. You truly made my day a little bit brighter. I ran the rest of the way home thinking about how wonderful it was of you to help me out that little bit, those few extra seconds, and made it so that I wouldn't stop too soon, as I am wont to do when I slow down for even just a few seconds.

Thank you for making my Monday a little bit lovelier.

I'm having a hard time making the pretty picture work, but I'm sharing today at Blessed Little Nest.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am

Waiting for the alarm guy to come. The alarm system at the beach decided to go off five times on Thursday evening, getting my dad out of an important meeting five times, to talk to the alarm people and the police, who went by the house three times to see if there was any particular reason for the alarm to be going off so frequently. They didn't see anything unusual, and the house looked completely normal and unused, so I decided not to worry too much about it and bring my friends down with me for the weekend as previously planned. I talked to the alarm guy briefly yesterday, and he said he is going out of town today, so could only come by super early. Like, between 8 and 8:30 on Saturday morning, of girls' weekend.

Thankful for woo woos. Never had one? I love them. Orange vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice. Drink as many as you like and don't feel sick in the morning. My friends agree. They are practically the only thing I drink anymore -- all the fun but none of the hangover.

Looking at the marsh. And the wind blowing in the live oaks. And the sun reflecting off the water. And wishing it were just a little bit warmer so that I would rather be sitting on the front porch than inside on the couch, looking out through the window.

Feeling dirty. But I don't want to shower until after I go for a run. Which I am determined to do. At some point, after the alarm guy finishes up whatever he plans to do when he gets here. And maybe after going back to bed. It is girls weekend, after all, and I stayed up late and got up early.

Excited about a surprise gift for my mama. A flamingo tervis and some nutrageous candy bars. In a flamingo bag. With paper that actually coordinates, but didn't come together. Sitting on top of the buffet for her to find when she comes down in April with her friends, and not for any particular reason, other than she likes these kinds of things. I think giving and receiving is part of her love language, and more often than not I am on the receiving side. So this time I saw something that made me think of her and decided not to save it for the next time I *need* a present for her, but to just surprise her with it because I think it will make her happy. And the intention is for her to have the cup at the beach, so I'm making it easier by putting it here for her. One by one we will fill the cabinet with plastic cups, much to my grandmother's chagrin, I am sure. The classy glass version of tervis just doesn't hold up well to beach living. I accidentally pushed one off the table while sewing over the summer, and because of the pressure between the two layers of glass, when it hit the floor, it exploded everywhere. Like, to the four corners of the open plan gigantic room I was sewing in. The floor has probably not been so thoroughly cleaned in years. And we still find tiny shards of glass.

Still waiting, even though 10 minutes have gone by. I will be annoyed if the alarm guy doesn't show up and doesn't call.

I think he just pulled up.