Thursday, December 31, 2009
There are many folktales about the moon. One of my favorite moon stories states that a Blue Moon is a magic moon. The moon comes to life on the night of the Blue Moon! Once alive, it has the power to communicate. The Blue Moon can speak to all who stand in it's light.
I am in North Carolina in the middle of a cold, yucky rain cloud. Not even an inch of blue sky seeping through the think layer of gray. IF that gray mass should break apart... and if I find a way to see that Blue Moon...here's what I will tell her:
Hello there lovely lady. You and I go way back. I have seen you control the ocean tides and I have felt you pull and tug on my emotions in that same special way. Thank you for your timing and consistency. Thank you for your gentle light. Thank you for snuggling up with that American flag that's been with you since the summer I was born. Thank you for captivating me with your magic and mystery. Thank you for inspiring so many to use you creatively. Thank you for sticking around...even though we go days without seeing each other. I admire you so...the way you use all of your talents to make your own mark on our universe while playing ever so nicely with the sun. May I learn to be a little more like you in the future!! Good night Moon! And...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Once again, the land of blog has given me a little hope. I haven't been very creative with the photography lately so I have been checking shuttersisters daily (along with many other photog favorites). Today's entry got me thinking again. Today's entry is about putting your focus on one new area/idea for the year. Today's entry led me to this wonderful article about choosing ONE word to focus on for the upcoming new year.
That really got me thinking. IF I were to choose ONE word to remember as I walk through all areas of 2010, what word would I choose? I could choose from the obvious...PEACE, LOVE OR HAPPINESS...but what one word would I really be able to think about, meditate on, and actually use in my day to day life. One word to remember when things are happy AND when things are sad??
I will continue to think about my one word. I will choose and post on Jan. 1st. If you could choose just one word to focus on in 2010...what would your word be?
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It makes me laugh a little because it seems so cliche to say, "I have a fear of commitment." It sounds like it should fall from the mouth of a single male...in his 20's...and not from the lips of a 40 year old woman with 4 children.
When I go back to my childhood, I remember so many talents that longed to be developed. I was a gymnast, an ice skater, a dancer and even a cheerleader. I made good grades and was usually a "teacher's pet" type. I had many interests and excelled academically. At least that's how it looked on the outside. I tried many things and quit many things....as soon as they became more challenging that I expected. When so many things come easily, you get used to it. You get used to the praise, "Good job!" or "This seems so easy for you!" "You are so lucky you can do that!" I got so used to it in fact, that I couldn't stand the idea of NOT hearing it. So when my gymnastics coach went from saying, "I have got a real bars girl here!" to "We are going to have to really push you to be ready on vault" I got the hell outta there. Fast. What?? Really work on something? Me? This is not supposed to be hard work. Everything is supposed to be easy. So I pulled the "I don't really enjoy this anymore. Mom, I wanna quit." I did that over and over with EVERYTHING I ever tried. Things got hard. I quit. There even came a time, in high school, where school got hard...and luckily I didn't quit...but I decided that being popular was more important...because I was also good at that. I put all of my focus on my social life. Apparently, when you are in with the popular girls...you can make B's and an occasional C...and no one cares.
When I got to college, I heard a quote that stuck with me for a long time. I heard my dad say that someone we knew "sure knew about a lot of things but didn't know much about nothing". I couldn't quite shake that thought. For many years I had no idea why I kept that quote tucked deep down inside my soul. I felt a strange attachment to it. I sort of "got" it. I didn't like the fact that I got it. So I threw myself into my child development classes and I made a commitment to dedicate my life to the education of young children. I was determined to know a LOT about something dammit!!! I knew I could be really good at something I loved, right??
I majored in Child Development, got certified to teach elementary ed, and got a job right out of college teaching first grade. I worked for a few years, got married, had the first two kids, and then quit to be a stay-at-homer while the girls were little. ( I never forgot my commitment to young children, I just figured that being dedicated to my own was enough!!) Had a baby boy and baby boy made 3. I was sailing along just fine, focusing on the children and then my marriage started to get a little stale. The idea of being with the same person for the rest of my life caused a whole new kind of panic and anxiety. I tried to ignore the panic for a while but I eventually gave up the fight and divorce was inevitable. At the same time, being a stay-at-home mom was getting to be WAY harder than expected and I was wanting a change there too... so I went back to work part-time, delaying full-time work until divorce was final. While I was working part-time, I met Nick. Not long enough after that, Stella made 4. (He wants to get married and that scares me silly but that's a post for another day.)
When I had to go back to work full time, I ended up at the charter school where I am currently employed. My school has a great philosophy and a ton of potential. However, it is QUITE challenging to teach there. There are many special needs children and what I like to call "special needs parents". It's a multi-age school so I teach K-1-2! I don't even need to go into curriculum challenges for three grade levels. And guess what? This is my third year there and I am starting to get antsy...AGAIN.
So here's my dilemma now...I feel like quitting...A LOT. It's so hard. Some days it takes every ounce of energy I have and then when I finally get to be with my own four babes, I'm spent. Done. Too tired to talk. Some nights I literally cry myself to sleep.
On the flip side...I love actually teaching. I love to help children learn how to read, how to talk to each other, how to use conflict resolution skills effectively and see the benefits of that. I love love love those little angels that teach me so much about love and life and happiness.
If I do decide to quit, am I completely letting go of that promise I made in my early 20's? Am I a quitter again? Are my reasons for wanting to quit valid enough to actually quit and do something else?? Do I want to quit because, once again, it's gotten too hard for my comfort zone? Too challenging for my ego to deal with??
I love photography and people tell me I should do that professionally and sometimes I think I would LOVE that. I LOVE LOVE LOVE photography. But what happens when clients get demanding? What happens when trends change and it's hard to keep up? What if photography is just another gymnastics/ice skating/dancing experience?
Is it okay to be 40 and still wanna know what the hell I'm going to be when I grow up? Or is growing up simply learning how to commit? Do I need to grow up? Or do I need to move on?
Heavy sigh. Can you see why the quote below speaks to me?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.'
- Marianne Williamson
A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
I stumbled across this quote once before and I love it so much. I am going to get that book tomorrow. Can't wait!
Friday, November 27, 2009
I was a little stressed...OK...a lot stressed to have the Thanksgiving meal at our house this year. But in the end, everyone was happy, relaxed, and perfectly pleasant to be around!
I am thankful for my kiddos and my strangely blended family.
I am thankful for healthy food...and the fact that I learned how to enjoy Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. Never thought that would happen!
I am thankful for my clean house and all of the little helpers that made it that way...just because they knew it was important to me.
I am thankful for this day. A day off. A day of rest. A day to enjoy one minute at a time!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
If I had to call one of my children a WILD CHILD...this would be the one. He is smart and funny and oh so energetic. He talks non-stop. I mean NON STOP. His blue eyes sparkle when he's happy and when he is sad...there is nothing more pitiful. He is also my very sensitive little guy. He doesn't understand why anyone would be mean...ever and he gets crushed when someone is unkind to him. Lucky for him, everyone seems to love him!! His excitement for life is quite contagious!!
Happy birthday to you my little love bug. I love you to the moon and around the world and back.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I have had a hard time seeing clearly the last couple of months. It seems as if everything has been slightly out of focus. I have been extremely frustrated with my attempts to get a clear, sharp image.
Fall is a time of great resistance for me. Even though it happens every year, I still can't seem to remember this time each year that my insanity is only a cyclical thing. ( I sure hope anyway!!) I dislike fall in it's beginning stages because I cannot seem to see the beauty that is there. I view it negatively and view it as a time of endings, departures and deaths. The end of summer brings great sadness for me as the days get shorter, the sun fades faster, the kids go back to school, and I go back to work. Fall also means that cold weather is lurking around the corner and adding a sluggish gray cast to my clear and sunny happy place.
This weekend I was finally able to snap out of it a little! On Saturday, we celebrated Stella's 3rd birthday at the park with friends. On Sunday, we carved our pumpkins and went on a fall photo walk. I had the most fun I've had in months!
While I still dread the thought of cold air moving in and taking over, I am going to try to be present and enjoy the crisp, cool fresh air of fall. I am going to try to see the beautiful colors while they last and I am going to try to spend lots of time outside while the weather is still inviting.
I think I can finally say, "Happy Fall ya'll" and mean it!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Happy birthday sweet little angel baby girl. Three years ago you made your debut in the most polite way possible. You came two weeks early because I was tired of waiting. You kept your weight down so that I might not feel the same stress and discomfort I did with those other three! You nursed well and slept well, so that I could finally, finally get some sleep at night.
Without ever knowing...you helped me to mend a hurt relationship by throwing charms of unending adoration and affection towards my daddy. (You had your Grandpa hooked as soon as you could reach for him. He ADORES you!)
You continue to add to our lives each day by reminding us that little things bring GREAT joy. Thank you for being you baby girl. You add just the right spice to our lives.
We love you so much!!!!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I am desperate to make my "come back" this week. I have been away far too long and I am feeling as if it's time to play some more. I put the camera away for a while. Wedding stress, school stress, family stress...life. But I am in desperate need of some me time so I am going to try and write AT LEAST once a week for a while!
So we have mostly been celebrating soccer on the weekends. Maddy's team is undefeated. She is playing her best soccer ever. Finn's team is undefeated too!! He is so focused this year. They are both loving soccer this year and I have to say...it's the most fun I've ever had watching. I know it's not about winning...but man it's exciting!
Tuesday is Stella's birthday. She is so excited and happy about it! She wants pink presents and a pink cake. She is anxiously awaiting her "Pink Park Party" this weekend where she will have all of the pink she's been dreaming of!! Will have lots of photos post party...I feel certain.
I am taking all 4 to see Where the Wild Things Are. You know this movie is very special to us because Finn played the lead in the school play last spring. He was Max in all of his wolf suit glory. I have tried to let him know that this Hollywood version will probably be NOTHING at all like the book....and NOTHING like his play...but it still should be very enjoyable. Nothing like larger-than-life characters and tons of popcorn! (I will be sure to tell you what I really think of the movie later.)
So...we're off to see the movie! Back soon. For real.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I haven't written in quite a while. Not only has school been crazy busy, but I have also been preparing for Jennifer and Robert's wedding. I am so glad I got to be a part of their special day. I hear photographers say that a lot but it's really true. Just as Jennifer was about to go down the aisle, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm so happy! Thank you!"
Of course I had to tear up too, making it difficult to take pretty photos. Weddings are a pain. Weddings stress people out. But in the end...these two seemed so relaxed and at ease with each other that it had to soften me a little. Maybe weddings aren't THAT bad!
See what you think! Keep in mind that I have done very little editing! Just wanted to get some up!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I was comfortable last year with my nice little 1st/2nd grade combo. This year we added a third grade to our multi-age mixes and I now teach a K-1-2. Adding 9 Kindergarten students to my class of 24 REALLY spiced things up a bit. They are all sweet and precious individually...but when you put them all together on the floor for "group time" WATCH OUT. Rolling on the floor, feet in the air, poking neighbors, talking to friends, getting up and walking around cause I'm tired of this place, she's looking at me so I'm gonna yell out loud, time for a nap so I think I'll go to sleep....all in under 5 minutes too!
Today, I got a 20 minute class meeting out of them. They gave each other compliments and they thanked one another. The clouds parted and the sun did shine. Halleluah. We might just make it!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This week was crazy busy but I did manage to get some great shots of my new class! And that makes me happy. They made me happy too. They are loud, ask a million questions, haven't yet learned how to follow rules and directions...BUT after five whole days, I was hooked. Little rascals!
I look forward to learning more and more about these little souls.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Eating out makes me happy. I wish I could say that cooking makes me really happy. I do like to cook. I enjoy finding yummy new recipes. BUT no two members of my family seem to enjoy the same kinds of foods and that makes cooking quite challenging. SO I absolutely LOVE to eat out.
Here is one of my favorite meals these days. Veggie spring rolls and edamame from CREATION. ( a lovely little restaurant in Plaza Midwood)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This summer has been great, but it has also been very sad. I have lost both of my Grandmothers this summer. My maternal Grandmother died on Thursday and we spent the weekend in Boone, NC saying goodbye.
School starts TOMORROW and I am a little stressed out.
So Happy Week could not have come at a better time! Please check out the other happy folks here! Thanks Lisa for being such a lovely host!
We spent a nice long time in the TOY STORE today and I'm so happy that I had my camera because as I was standing there, looking at all of the wonderful things, I suddenly thought
I LOVE TOYS!
Toy stores always make me feel happy! I get new ideas for teaching, see gift ideas for my kids, and I always see something that makes me think..."When I was a child...." Nothing jump starts the imagination like TOYS!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Kindergarten orientation is Friday morning and we haven't have one single second to work in our classrooms. Our principal scheduled a workshop ...Every. Single. Day. By the end of the day today, I wanted to claw my eyeballs out (instead of listen to things I have heard over and over and over) and we still have three workshops to go. NOT GOOD. I am trying not to cry about the fact that I will be at school ALL DAY tomorrow and tomorrow night so that I can get my room ready. (Should I mention that I already have a parent conference at 2:00 on Friday AND that we have a FAMILY PICNIC at school on Saturday?) AAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!
So here I am at home. I am sitting on the couch preparing for a nice long walk that I hope will restore my soul. I am going to try and ground myself first so that I might actually be able to hear the birds and smell the grass.
BREATHE. JUST BREATHE.
Friday, August 7, 2009
But no. I have been in a slump for days. A big fat feel sorry for myself selfish slump. All because I feel old and ugly.
I have got to snap out of it!!!!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I admire all of those multiple moms out there. One birth at a time was a challenge. I have a hard time imagining any more than that! Lots of warm wishes my friend!