Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

You can tell that school started! I told you I didn't know when I would have blogging time. This week was the first week with kids, so when I got home, fed everyone, and got Brynn in bed, all I felt like doing was lying on the couch and watching a half an episode of Star Trek Voyager before falling asleep myself.
One night I did go to the grocery store. That was just so I could feed everyone and THEN go to sleep.
I have a lot to be thankful for though.
I LOVE my new position. I got into special ed in college because I wanted to teach resource, and 5 years later, I'm finally doing it. I'm very thankful that it is all I hoped it would be. I've got to figure out how to cut down my planning time. I stayed until 5:00 Friday just getting ready for Monday. I'm not used to planning for 7 groups of kids. It is so worth it though! I love that I'm getting to work with more of the teachers too and not so secluded in the way way back of the school. I really hope I'll be able to make a measurable difference in these kids' academics.
Totally changing subjects and possibly rambling...
I think I'm going to look into The baby steps about cleaning my house...Erick helps a lot while I'm working, but I've never really known how to keep my house nice and neat. I just read what you're supposed to do on Day 1, and it's about making your sink shiny. The only thing is I don't think I even have the stuff she says to use to clean it. Like bleach and an SOS pad. Is that a bad sign? I just hung up the phone with my sweet grandmother, and she was talking about this morning going around with her flashlight checking for dust and spiderwebs.
I'll never be that person.

Dear future grandchildren of mine,
I promise I will always make you feel better about how you keep your house. Please don't talk too badly about the condition of my house after I die.

I'm in a really weird mood apparently. I think I'll go find something to wash, if not the sink.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ready to celebrate a new year already....

Excuse my language, but this has kind of been a sucky year. I enjoy leading a somewhat boring, uneventful life. There has been too much drama this year. I don't like being on every prayer request list I can find.
First I lost my baby. My father-in-law has had three eye surgeries and still isn't in the clear. Just this week I lost my Papa to Alzheimer's.
They say bad stuff comes in threes, so maybe this family is done.
Even as I say that, there have been some great things happening too. I unexpectedly got the job I've wanted since I switched majors to special education in college. I'm really excited about starting this year and have great ambitions to finally get better at the paperwork I've been muddling through for the past 5 years.
Brynn is growing into a real live person who doesn't (always) pitch an all out conniption fit at every request. Just last night in the car she asked for a juice box, and usually telling her I don't have one leads to a useless tantrum being that I cannot create juice boxes out of thin air. Instead she grunted once and then started talking about something else. I was so happy!
The events of this year so far have changed me. I feel weathered. Like I have been forced to grow up a little faster than I was ready to. I pray that God will give me opportunities to make the best of the sorrows I have experienced, and I hope He will be pleased with how I'm coming through this time.

My family and I will be walking in the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to Remember in memory of Papa. Please support us with a donation at Thanks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Change is good. Right?

So today was my first day back at school this year. I was most dreading the imminent "get-to-know-you" activity. Remember those from school? "Find someone who has a dog with the same name as you and get them to sign your paper in their favorite color."
I hated them then; I hate them now.
The one today wasn't too bad. We just had to go to one side of the room or the other according to our preference of a given option. (Coke or pepsi, boxers or briefs)
I don't mind meeting new people. I was looking forward to meeting the new folks at school. I think I just hate being forced into a situation that already makes me a little nervous. Why is everyone always forcing you to get out of your comfort zone? It's called a COMFORT zone for a reason. Haha.
I'm guessing it's because nothing would ever change without a little discomfort. I'm not arguing the validity of the get to know you games--I still think those are still ridiculous. But actually meeting and talking to someone for real is a good change out of your comfort zone.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thoughts on marriage by a still pretty newly-wed

Let me preface today's blog entry by saying for some reason my contacts are refusing to settle, so I have a bit of double vision. If I have weirdo typos, I apologize. I can't see.
Erick and I celebrated our 6th anniversary yesterday. Yay! It's very sad to me that many couples who got married around the same time we did have already parted ways. I have never thought of considering the d-word in our 6 years, but there have been some very tough times that I believe has given us experience beyond our years. Why is marriage so hard?
Well, for starters, life is hard! I know my tendency when things around me start going wrong, I look for trouble everywhere. Does that make sense? Like in high school (Erick and I started dating when I was 16) when I would be bogged down with tests and papers and band, I would be absolutely certain Erick was going to break up with me. I would beg him for reassurance. Poor guy.
Problems change after high school, but they just get bigger. That's hard to deal with by yourself. But it's even harder to deal with problems with each other. Erick and I have gotten some help communicating with each other in the past couple of years. It's the best thing we have ever done. We now have a tool when something needs to be discussed between us. We have used it to settle issues from who should clean the toilet to why one of us is depressed. I'm by no means a psychologist, so don't take this as official advice, but dialoguing goes a little like this:

Person 1: I want to talk about ...blah blah blah. pause
Person 2: I hear you saying..blah blah blah (they don't give any advice or interpretations, just say what they heard) Is that right?
Person 1: No, I meant.... or Yes, that's all.
Person 2: That makes sense to me because......
How I think that must make you feel is.......

It's so simple, but means so much. You're validated and really heard. Usually you switch once the first person has finished.
It feels really silly when you first start, but then it's a more natural way of talking.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
James 1:19

Again, I'm not an expert on marriage, I just know this has helped us. One of us needs to be reminded when to keep the mouth shut, the other needs to be reminded when to open it. I'll let you guess who is who. :) That's another thing that makes marriage hard--it's run by imperfect humans. Those imperfections tend to try to drive people apart. I believe you have to have some, uh, God Glue? to hold you together.

Marriage takes work. If you aren't moving forward, then you're moving backward. I am blessed to be with a man who is willing to do that work, and to have God on our side!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Greatness גדלות

'O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours?
Deuteronomy 3:24

I kind of segued nicely into today's topic at the end of yesterday's post about there being a lot we still don't know. Know-it-alls are excused from reading today's entry. It's for those of us who don't have it all figured out.
If you're still reading this, I'm glad I'm not alone. You know the phrase about if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans? The first person who said that knew me.
I have diagnosed myself with adult-onset ADD. I'm crazy disorganized, at least to the naked eye. Just ask either of my principals. I wish I had a picture of their faces when they come into my classroom. It's that look that you get when you see a booger in somebody's nose and you don't want to tell them so you kind of overdo the eye contact. Anyway. In spite of my apparent disorganization, I'm quite the perfectionist and really like to know what my future looks like. Erick is always hesitant to tell me about jobs he applies for, because once he mentions it, as he says, "In your mind I already have the job!" I just like to imagine the whole scenario out. When something happens to my little life path I have laid ahead of me, I don't really handle it well.
I especially struggled with this through college. I was not one of those who changed majors "just cuz." It was a really difficult, although much needed change.
As I've gotten into this different phase of life and there aren't so many huge decisions I have to make (college: check, marriage: check) God is having to resort to different measures to show me just how big He is.
Two things have always been constant reminders to me how vast God is: the ocean and thunderstorms. Two things that men cannot tame or predict with 100% accuracy that are ever-present in our lives.
I didn't realize how much I still took everything for granted though until the doctors told me that dreaded phrase during my last pregnancy, there's nothing we can do.
Excuse me? You're a doctor. You're where I have always gone when something is wrong to get it fixed. I'm sure there is a pill or a shot or operation you've forgotten about.
"I'd tell you to stand on your head for the next 7 months if I thought it would help, but sometimes this just happens."
My baby still had a heartbeat when he told me that. It just felt like a death sentence. My baby was not going to survive and all I could do is wait? What a horrible answer. But it was true.
Unborn babies aren't the only ones who get this answer. Many diseases and medical issues remain enigmas. There is nothing we can do.
God is still bigger. Even with all of our advancements and technologies, there are some things we haven't begun to touch. I learned in the face of that terrible time all I could do was pray. I prayed for a miracle. That somehow the doctors were wrong, my little guy was a fighter and this would just be a cool story to tell later in his life.
Before it was all over, I heard God telling me my way was not how his story would end. I had to pray what has got to be the hardest prayer for a mother to pray--that God would take my child and keep him safe in Heaven, and to please let him know how much he is loved, even though his time on earth was so short.
God is bigger than life itself. I have promised myself I would learn from my experience. I have been humbled. I know so little about how God works that I just have to trust him all the more. If we knew everything He knows, He wouldn't be much of a God, would He?
I am blessed to be in the care of such a great God. I am blessed to know that He has a plan for me even though I don't always know what he's up to.
My experience also made me that much more thankful for my precious baby girl, and that my pregnancy was so uneventful with her. She was always special, but I really do look at her with new eyes.
God, help us to trust you and know that your love is greater than anything we can imagine.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just say no to drugs! (Unless you really need them,)

Just a side note (before I even get started with my head-on note!), I don't usually have a clue what I'm going to write about until my wonderful blog time of day comes. Which I'm trying to figure out when that will move to after school starts next week...Anyway. SO let's see how this goes.

I'll just be completely open and decide when I'm done if I actually want to publish this or not.
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. (I think GAD is a really funny acronym for some reason, btw.) I just looked up on the Mayo Clinic website to find an official definition, but everyone knows what it is, because I'm pretty sure everyone has probably felt like it at some point. I'll just tell you my story.
My anxiety started when I was young. I threw up a lot for no apparent reason, and my mom took me to the doctor several times for it until I was diagnosed with a "nervous stomach." I don't know when GAD became a popular term, but I guess not in the early 90's. I had some pills to put under my tongue when I started getting nauseated to help me relax. I know now they were just sugar pills, but at first they did help some. Yay for the placebo effect.
What was I anxious about so young? Oh anything really. A test, what to wear, and endless what-if's I came up with.
I managed it well in high school and college as I loved being with my friends and I loved school. Then the real world came *dun dun DUUUN!* I got my first "real" job as a teacher and my anxiety reached an all-time earth shattering raucous high. I no longer just had butterflies in my stomach and a few worries, I literally got sick every morning and couldn't go to sleep at night. I cried on the way home from school every day to the point I couldn't breathe. Sunday nights were terrible. I would melt into a terrible depression by noon. One day at school I completely lost my voice because I was in such a panicked state. I still don't know how I survived that day. Something had to change.
I went to a therapist who was absolutely wonderful. She totally validated my feelings and made me feel like I was normal instead of a crazy lady. I was totally opposed when she mentioned medication though.
"Why?" she gently asked.
I gave some lame-o reasons that don't make sense when you say them out loud, like I don't need it, I can cope without it (yeah, I was doing a GREAT job of that..), I don't like swallowing pills..
Then I went back to what I had told other people I love in the same situation--I believe God gave people knowledge about medicines to help people get better. Why suffer if you don't have to? Who is going to be impressed? Nobody gets a medal at the end for the fewest pills taken. (Unless you're an addict, but we're not talking about that side of things, lol.)
So I gave in. My doctor described my medicine as this: it makes you like a pan with Teflon. Stuff doesn't stick so much. It's easier to let it slide off.
I still had normal anxiety when I started on it, but I wasn't throwing up every day and driving with tears in my eyes. Isn't that better for everyone?
I know there is the opposite argument and not all drugs work for everyone, but I know it has helped me. It doesn't keep me from feeling things, it just brings them to a more manageable level. I can see reality rather than a world of what-ifs. I have gone off the medicine at times, like during my pregnancies, but when I see those symptoms creeping back, I know I need help.
Thank you, God, for giving people the knowledge to create medicines that can help people live longer, happier lives. Thank you for getting my pride out of the way and giving me courage to ask for help for myself. Please continue to fill the right people with wisdom to improve the medical field, because there is still so much we don't know and can't do. (but that's for another blog....) :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Orange toes, green neck

Brynn and I went to Hearts of Clay a couple of weeks ago (formerly known as Flying Saucers). It is one of my very favorite places to go, and I was ECSTATIC that Brynn loved it too. I didn't know how she would do with us each working on our own pieces, so I just let her choose one and I sort of helped her. (Mostly I just got her what color she asked for.)
Notice her tongue in the picture. Since she was itty bitty we've said she has Mema's tongue. My grandmother does that when she's doing anything from ironing to cutting tomatoes. That's how you know that she (and Brynn) are concentrating.
Brynn chose her lion and said she wanted it to be "ya-ow." She carefully painted every speck of white she could find yellow and put her paintbrush down. "Are you finished?" I asked, secretly disappointed that was it.
"No. I"
So I went to get red and she painted his eyes and tongue red. After that she would name another color and paint his toes or his tail, his back, whatever she thought needed a splash of color.
Maybe some mothers would have preferred the all yellow lion, but I LOVE her lion how she painted it. It shows every color she knows right now and all the body parts she could name. (We're working on "mane.")
Now to tie this all up and make it appropriate for my future devotional book I've been told I should write. :)
I am so glad that God doesn't stop when he starts making people. We're not plain yellow. We have everything that he could think of that we needed to make us unique. Just like you may think Mr. Lion's blue back is a little weird, I think it's beautiful. I thought the red eyes were a little evil, but Brynn thought they were perfect.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. --Psalm 19:1

I am so thankful that I am God's handiwork!

Monday, August 1, 2011


My blessing today is sleep.
Absolutely nothing else makes me into a monstrous crazy-lady faster than me being sleep deprived, and apparently my daughter took after me as well.
Because of some fun stuff happening the last few days interfering with her normal schedule, she apparently has gotten a little off. She is never unbearable, but all this morning she was a little more spastic and wallowy than usual. (If you are a mother you know that wallowy is a word!) After a trip to Costco went just a wee bit too long this morning, she was starting to grow horns. She doesn't make sense when she gets tired and EVERYTHING is a tragedy.
This was one of our conversations on the way home from said Costco trip:
Brynn: He gave me a smiley face! (referring to a drawn smiley face on the receipt)
Me: Yes! Wasn't that nice?
B: Here you go Mommy.
M: You don't want it?
B: It's a smiley face!
M: Yes it is!
M: I can't get it while I'm driving sweetie.
M: What would you like to watch?
B: (silence)
See? Makes no sense.
Thank goodness, she didn't fight her nap AT ALL and is still sleeping now about 2 1/2 hours later. Hopefully she'll wake up back to her pleasant, intelligent self. Thank you, God, for making sleep that re-focuses and mends our tired brains!