Friday, May 29, 2009

things to like on a friday . . .

*sitting with the littles during snack and asking them to go around the table and tell one thing they'll really miss about pre-k (playground, art projects, etc) and unprompted (i promise) they all said me.  wow.  i almost lost it.  they are sweeter than sweet.  sweetness with a cherry on top.  
totally made my day.

*impromptu lunch with jen & grant

*leslie dressing jack up in doll clothes that i brought home from school (just like when she was a little!  some things never change)

*driving lou to school this morning & getting to do the morning chat thing - love that & i always miss it cuz dad does the morning thing

*chatting with char & feeling a little better about the enormity of the move (it helps that she is going through it too!)

*the whole weekend stretching out before us - love that

Monday, May 25, 2009

We received an offer on the house today.  We counter-offered and haven't heard back from them yet . . . Not sure if I am elated or deflated.  hmmm.  If we do indeed sell the house then that propels us into some sort of a decision.  Action is needed.  But what action?  Which is the best action?  You know me, lover of comfort and familiarity.  I do realize that inaction is making a decision of sorts.  It is deciding to do nothing.  So, I leave myself in God's hands.  And everything seems to be coming together.  But still I am stuck in this limbo of indecision.  Stay or go?  

Leslie is so brave.  She says that going is a new adventure.  She is not afraid to venture into the unknown.  (Yes, I know that Michigan is not exactly an unknown for us.)  We have lived in Florida for exactly half of her life.  What impact will our decision now have on our future - her future?  It will probably help to determine where she will go to college.  Certainly it will change who her first boyfriend is.  Where her first job is.  Where she hangs out with friends after school.  

This is so hard.  Harder even than when we decided to leave Michigan to come here.  Back then I was naive enough to believe that it would be easy to undo any change we made.  Just pack up and move back.  Yeah, right.  

Today we all made pro/con lists for staying and going.  I will miss my friends here.  It will be hard to be so far from my parents for most of the year.  I will hate leaving my job without the knowledge that I have another job with littles to look forward to.  I do know that whatever we decide I will be melancholy with regret for which ever place we did not chose.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

happy birthday to me

46 good things about being 46:

not afraid to talk in front of a crowd
not afraid to stand up for myself or my daughter or what i believe in
not afraid to be alone
i understand myself and my motivation better
understand motivation of others better
not easily upset by the little stuff that happens anymore (unless i have pms)
i do things because i want to and not because i have to
understand that i have a responsibility to give back (looking for more ways to do this)
don't overly obsess about a clean house
remember to do what's important:  tell leslie i love her everyday, be in the moment with the people that i love
have learned to listen more and talk less (really working on this as i am a chatterbox by nature)
am becoming a better teacher because i'm stepping back and listening more
really trying to be a better daughter and sister by not taking my family for granted
realizing what really matters to me
feeling content
feeling brave
feeling confident that things will work out as they should
making sure i get my 12 hugs a day (leslie and the littles really help here)
taking time for quiet, time to just be and reflect and not be on
trying to make time for creativity
pushing myself to do things i don't necessarily want to do because they are out of my comfort zone
trying not to mindlessly chatter to fill silence
embrace silence
being comfortable in my body and accepting it with all of it's attributes and flaws
knowing my limitations
listening to my body and taking better care of it
trying to be conscious of what i'm putting in my body to nourish it - not eating for comfort
realizing that not everyone is going to like me and realizing that that is okay
discovering how much i like to blog
feeling like i still have time to do something big
loving my relationship with my teenager who is a really lovely human being
feeling strong in my marriage but also realizing that a marriage is only as strong as the work you put into it
remembering to share my memories and stories of my grandparents with leslie so they can be a part of who she is too
learning to forgive
learning to move on
remembering to be kind
trying hard not to be judgemental and to put myself in someone else's shoes
strengthening my relationship with God
taking responsibility for my actions
trying to help and not hurt
trying to learn new things
trying to push myself
trying to put myself out there more 
remembering to be thankful
accepting the fact that i am middle aged! (wow, that was hard)
embracing the fact that i am middle aged (okay, that one is going to take some work . . .)

happy birthday to me.  i think 46 is a nice even number.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

have you ever loved a song so much that it almost hurts to listen to it?  you have to play it over and over and over.  it speaks to you for some reason - you may not even be sure what that reason is.  okay - so then you get a little obsessed.  you have to find out about the band or singer or whatever.  what else do they have out there?  and maybe you buy something else they've done.  but probably whatever it is is not going to measure up to that first thing that really got to you in the first place.  this phenomenon usually happens to you when you're maybe 13 or 14.  the song probably has something to do with guys.  unrequited love.  something like that.  but if you are really lucky and you really love music then maybe this happens to you over and over in your life, no matter how old you are.  my new obsession is called 'light catches your face' and it's by bell x1.  listen to it.  it may not speak to you like it speaks to me.  but maybe it will.  (the song that's playing is not 'light catches your face' - couldn't find it to post - sorry.)

Bell X1 Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, May 17, 2009

sunday morning: what inspires me today

*design sponge blog - i love that the world is so small when you have the web 
*sunday morning t.v. show- they always have such interesting segments, reminds me of visiting my grandmother for some reason
*fresh simple food- we ate lunch at cafe normandie yesterday & i can't wait to recreate the salad 
*leslie's creativity- she is always up for trying new materials and a new project - we're going to buy some ink and real caligraphy pens and play today
*organization- thinking, thinking, thinking of some new ways to organize all of my children's books
*black ballet flats that i spied in the window of a shop downtown yesterday
*a clean house
*the photos on 3191 miles apart
*nyc, asheville, portland, philadelphia, vancouver . . . lake orion

Friday, May 15, 2009

a little sad

The end of the school year is always a bit bittersweet.  I love, love, love the lazy slow days of summer vacation but it's always hard to say goodbye to another year.  I'm sad that Leslie will no longer be in middle school.  I'm sad that my littles, my mini-friends, will be moving on to the next step in their lives - kindergarten.  Tonight I saw an old little (Anna) at our favorite restaurant.  So sweet to see her and her lovely parents - but again, sad.  She proudly told me that she read 250 books this year and she's so tall and grown up looking.  Just wish I could keep all of my littles with me!  Why does time have to pass so quickly?  

Getting ready for our end of the year program.  It's not too bad.  I don't really have to do anything except hand out diplomas and stand near the stage while the littles sing.  I don't know why, but when kids sing or perform on stage it always makes me want to cry.  I was holding back tears the entire night of Leslie's final performance last week.  Jen wants to do the "goodbye" song from Sound of Music for our program this year.  We just introduced the littles to the song today.  Yikes.  I told Jen that it's going to be her singing (I can't seem to remember the words!) and crying.  But maybe it will be her singing and me crying and the littles just standing there looking cute.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Team Teaching

I'm loving the team teaching thing.  I forgot how much I love watching other teachers.  And how much I can learn from them.  Jen does a great job reading to the littles - she really gets into the story and they love it.  Today she read Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed complete with monkey props and a doll bed!  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

what i'm reading in all of my spare time :)

I have 3 books going right now.  The first is actually from a blog.  Or two.  It's called A Year of Mornings and it's by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes.  It's a collection of photographs taken by these 2 women every morning for one year.  They really only know each other from the internet.  And they live 3191 miles apart.  But their photographs are so simple and beautiful.  I'm hoping it's going to inspire me to take better photos for my blog.

The second book I'm reading is New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver.  Her poetry is so accessible.  I love this line:  
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

And, last but not least, a little fiction to round things out. Testimony by Anita Shreve.  I loved The Pilot's Wife but never picked up her other stuff for some reason.  

So, hoping to have some time to read soon.  Last summer I read 50 or 60 books.  Really.  (Yes, I did other things, too.)  Seems like during the school year I'm pretty consumed with teaching so I don't make it through too many books.  But summer is all about recharging and relaxing and reading.  For me anyway!

Project Based Learning: Lions, and Tigers, and Bears . . .

Jen & I have been very interested in project based learning and all of the Reggio inspired stuff that's going on.  We decided to jump into it (well, wade in really) for the last few weeks of school.  It's difficult to break away from theme teaching, though.  We've been trying some team teaching this week and we're letting the kids work in both classrooms.  That has been pretty successful, I think.  The other stuff will come.  It's just going to take some time to break old habits.  I think it's so interesting that my philosophy of teaching continues to change.  I could never be a teacher that does the same thing year after year.  That's why this project based learning has me so geeked.  

Sunday, May 3, 2009

should we stay or should we go

Things seem to be coming together with our liquidation of assets.  Which is exhilarating and frightening at the same time.  Now comes decision time.  What do we want to do with the rest of our lives?  Do we stay here?  Move back home?  Is this home now?  Will I miss it terribly if I leave?  

At this moment I am sitting on our porch and it is a lovely temperature.  A really strong breeze blows in from time to time but it's a warm breeze.  At this moment I can't imagine being anywhere else.  

I'm afraid my parents are not having an easy time embracing the idea that we may vacate Florida.  And it would be very difficult to not have them close by.  But we really need to decide what is best for the three of us in the long run.  And maybe there is no best.  When I used to look back on our decision to move to Florida I always thought it was a mistake.  I spent my first two years feeling homesick and out of place.  Now, I'm not so sure.  It's been really nice for Leslie to grow up so close to my parents.  And Florida has taken me out of my safety zone so I guess that has forced me to grow.  

Still, if I imagine myself as a little old lady, it is never here in Florida.  I'm in Michigan.  In a little house with a garden.  And a porch.  And I'm happy.  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

my weekend eight

*the farmer's market (for olive oil soaps that smell other-worldly and the best pasties i've had since bret's finnish grandma passed away)
*a long nap that totally changed my perspective and helped me escape this pregnancy-like tired i've been feeling of late
*my crazy girl who finally finally finally talked us into RED hair (& she looks so cute, by the way)
*finishing lesson plans and newsletters and prep for school & feeling pretty good about where all the kids are for the end of the year
*two new outfits from j jill and j crew last night (and they made the list because, while they might not make me look skinny, they do not make me look fat)
*some good dvd's from the 50% off sale at borders that we'll all watch as a family tonight (which leads into . . .)
*having leslie at the age where i can share some of my favorite old movies with her
*anticipating an evening beach walk

Friday, May 1, 2009

she's driving!!!

Such a funny thing to watch your little person become a big person before your eyes.  It sneaks up on you.  Mostly, you don't even realize it's happening.  Until they pass over some threshold.  Tonight my girl had her very first driving lesson.  Except for a few very abrupt stops it was pretty smooth.  And pretty awesome.  A glance into what the future holds.  Oh and is she so ready to run right into that future - full speed ahead.