Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plowing Through...

I suppose there is something very magical about this time of year.  The end of the year.  The end of a decade!  It's especially magic-like when we get snow! 
 (we have never had a white Christmas before.) 
 It can also be a little depressing. 

I have been desperately trying to find time to write lately!  But every time I find a moment something else catches my attention.    I finally sit here, uninterrupted, and ready to roll.

The last couple of weeks have been up and down.  That is pretty normal around her during the winter holidays.  Kid's excitement, family issues, shopping to do, meals to plan, ornaments to make, presents to wrap, photo shoots to finish, cards to mail...the list goes on.  All of that excitement usually spirals out of control...and then...finally explodes!  By a day or so after Christmas, all is quiet, sad, and warzone-ish.  I used to HATE the day after Christmas when I was a child. 
Dead CALM  = Painful  and BORING

As an adult, however, I really kind of like it!  I feel a sympathetic sadness for the kids but MAN what a relief for us grown folk.  (I can hear the Halleluah Chorus right now!)  It's taken me 41 years but I finally get why the adults are so boring after the holidays. 
 A vacation this time of year would be AWESOME.  I'm going to add that to my bucket list...Go on magical vacation day after xmas and return Jan 1st.  Or 2nd.  Or 3rd.  Whenever.

So anyway, now that I am older and have lost the ability to be bored, I have been thinking about this past year and the new year to come.  Last year, I chose a word to help guide me through the year.  My word was BELIEVE.  And you know what?? It WORKED.  I swear it did.   Belief makes things real.  2010 was the year I figured that out.  I didn't write about it as often as I promised, and I didn't think about it each and every week...or even every month.  But I truly believe it shaped my year in a positive way! (so it has to be true. because i believe it's true)

My new dilema is my new WORD for 2011.  Now that I have discovered the secret power of the chosen word, I feel the need to chose carefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully.  What word is calling out to me?  
I think that this year needs to be about ACTION.  I have done TONS of reflecting, waiting, watching, and listening.  (listening is the hardest for me..for sure.)  What word will keep me motivated and charged to accomplish all that I want to accomplish this year??

HERE are some of the things I hope to do:

1.  Turn this photo hobby into a real business...License and all.
2.  Get married.
3.  Work harder, better...make a difference.  My school kids don't need someone who half-asses it. 
      (lots of people at my school half ass it.  i don't wanna be one.)
4.   Cook dinner most nights of the week and be happy about it.  
5.   Stay creative...even through the yucky stuff.
6.   Be a good leader/role model.  (i want my kids to be proud of their mommy.)
7.   Go on a family vacation to the beach this summer.  ( and maybe one in the winter.    somewhere snowy.)
8.   Enjoy family time when we can get it. Make the time we do get to spend together memorable. (schedules are insane in the spring and fall)

I am sure there are other things too.  But this is all I can come up with for NOW. 

What will my new word be??  WHO KNOWS.  Stay tuned.  I have to figure it out by Jan 1st!

I hope  you are all enjoying your winter holidays!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Love Notes from don Miguel Ruiz

This was the first email I read this morning and I thought I should share it!

Love coming out of you makes you happy. The Whole world can love you, but that love will not make you happy. What will make you happy is to share all the love you have inside you. That is the love that will make a difference.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mortality Issues

I am having a hard time right now.  It's no real suprise because I lost a sweet friend on Sunday.  She is the mother of two of my students.  

When I first came to CCS, I was re-entering the teaching world after being a stay-at-home mom for about 6 years.  Ms. T was my first real support system.  She was the first parent to volunteer in my class that year.  She was a board member who wanted to see our little charter school succeed.  She was the first to give me the run down of how things seemed to be at this new school of mine.  She brought in snacks and supplies and she even did science experiments with the children about once a month.  She questioned my philosophy respectfully and shared her thoughts and concerns peacefully.  I grew to love her pretty quickly and depended on her  a lot.  That first year was a tough one for me, both professionally and personally.  I had a hard time leaving my kids and I had a hard time getting back into the academic flow.  I have often said I may not have survived that year without her support. 

My 2nd year was much better.  I still had her son in my class (I taught a 1-2 Multi Age class) and I still got to see her a lot.  But that was the year she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  As soon as she was diagnosed, her chemo started and we saw a little less of her.  She still sent emails of support and gratitude.  She never complained about her cancer and she never once let me know that it was more serious than some cases of cancer.   She took her chemo and wore her wig and volunteered whenever she had the strength.

My 3rd year, last year, I got to teacher her daughter!  Little A was in Kindergarten last year.  She'd visited my class so much with her Mama that she transitioned beautifully into Kindergarten.  Ms. T came in a lot at the beginning of the year but she had been given some bad news.  There was a spot in her neck now.  She said her faith was strong and she soon began her 2nd round of chemo.  We saw her less and less.  She was getting weaker and weaker.  At the end of the year, her son and daughter performed in the talent show.  She showed up with her whole family (her mom and dad too).  And I cried.  She barely had the energy to walk but she made it.  On the last day of school she hugged me and said, "Well, I made it another year!"  This was the first time she ever indicated that not making it was even possible.

As summer started I thought about her a lot.  In late July I woke up in the middle of the night one night and sat straight up in bed and thought, "Ms. T is going to die.  I can feel it."  I spoke with her before school started and she said in her ever positive voice, "It was a rough summer but I'm feeling better."

She missed the beginning of the year picnics and open houses this year.  So unlike her.  I know she hated missing all of that.  When I saw her husband and asked about her his response was, "Just pray Ms. Suzy.  Please just pray."  So I did.  A lot.

She held on for a long time but eventually her body and soul were too tired to keep it up.  She passed away Sunday morning at around 3am.  The children were both at school on Monday.  I managed to keep myself together while I worked with each of them.  I can't imagine losing my Mama.  And I'm 41.   

I will continue to work with her precious children every day that I can.  And I know that wherever she is....she's as happy about that as I am.  I loved her.  She was a great mom and a wonderful person. 

(I love you Ms. T!  I will miss you soo much.  And I have a favor to ask...while you're up there, will you check in on a little tiny baby boy for me?)

Now I am left with all kinds of fears.  I keep waking up in the middle of the night and checking on my kids.  I keep feeling anxious, like something isn't quite right and I can't figure out what it is. But what I have come to realize is that I feel a little guilty or something.  Because I am about as happy as I've ever been.  I have everything I need.  I feel soo fortunate, blessed, content.   And while I have been feeling so good about life, others are suffering out there.  And now, I'm feeling an overwhelming urge to help people who need it.  Where do I begin??

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Fever

WE are THHIISSSSS excited about Christmas this year!!

Tree is up.  Lights are on.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!!! 

 I have had a hard time trying to decide what to write about lately.  There are so many topics rolling around in my head.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to attach any really great words to any of these ideas of mine.  In the mean time, I will continue to illustrate little bits of our lives through photos! 

 I have been on some kind of wild roller coaster ride throughout the fall, and things are starting to settle again.  A little.  I think.

In a nutshell, here are some of the things that have happened in the last couple of months:

1)  got my first huge photo job (school photos.  arpx 160 kids) and survived!
2)  stella turned 4 and finn turned 9!
3)  maddy made her junior high basketball team!!  we think she's starting point guard!!
4)  told my stepfather all the reasons i've been mad at him for the last couple of years. 
    *yeah.  big one.  still haven't recovered completely*
5)  just lost a great friend (and parent to 2 of my students) to breast cancer.  she fought long and hard.
      it was her time.  and it sucks.  bad.
6)  i've had 4 photo shoots in the last 2 weeks.  very happy about that.
7)  got engaged.  officially.  :)

That's the big stuff. 


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gratitude Month

On this last day of gratitude month, I am grateful for...

a new RUBY ring and the question that went with it...

"Will you marry me?" 


Saturday, November 27, 2010

This weekend I am Grateful for...

 I have seen all kinds of love in the past few days.  Old love, young love, new love! It's everywhere.  And for that I am eternally grateful.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I decided to add this photo today too...a whole separate post. 
Because I love her. 
 And because I keep coming back to stare at this photo. 
And becuase there is just somthing about her presence that makes me feel calm on the inside. 

Today I am grateful for...


I don't see mine as often as I'd like
 I sure am glad I have them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Today I am grateful for...

finding the courage to try new and scary things. 

Stella desperately wants to climb trees like her brother.  Today, she found the nerve to climb...really climb with very little support.   She kept telling us to take our  hands away, leave her alone, and let her do it.

I get it Stell.  I feel the same way about my photography business right now.  It's time to put fears to rest...bury the "I'm not good enough" crap and GET ON WITH IT.  I don't need help anymore...I just need to do it.

(Thanks for the inspiration Stella Grace!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today I am Grateful for...

(when I can sneak it in!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fall Sky

Today I am grateful for the view outside my window!! 
I love the colors and the fall sky!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grateful for...

Today I am grateful for family.   This weekend was the best I've had in a while.  I had the perfect combination of family time, quiet time, and alone time with Nick.  When we all came back together today, I made them go outside to take some pix.  They weren't thrilled but they knew it was important to me so they did it.  After some grumbles and hair fixin, they settled in and had a good time.

Thank you little bundles.  You are the four chambers of my heart!!

We also witnessed some pretty cool kindness yesterday.  Nick and I were on our way to dinner and we saw a scene that looked really sweet and kind.  We couldn't hear the words so my version of their story may not be 100% accurate but here is how I choose to believe things went down: 
What appeared to be a homeless woman was walking down the street with a shopping cart full of stuff. (clothes and things)  She appeared to be pretty content as she walked steadily along the sidewalk. The sun was going down quickly and she wasn't wearing a  coat.  Suddenly a car pulled over and the woman driving got out of her car, ran quickly to the back of her car, and opened her trunk.  She pulled out what looked like a big coat or a blanket and gave it to the woman.  Both women were smiling.  The woman in the car drove off and the woman with the cart walked away.  It took less than a minute to stop and get that blanket.  And I pray that woman walking was warm all night.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekend Gratitude

I am grateful for the weekend!
I am happy to have an unscheduled day! 
I am happy for play outside weather and sunshine! 
Yahoo for Saturdays!

Kindness came early this morning when Nick let me sleep in.  He got Stella, without waking me, and gave her breakfast.  He also took me to lunch today.  Thank you Honay!!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Yesterday I was grateful for a rainy day to make me remember how much I love home, my bed, and warm, cozy jammies!  After two rainy days with an extra chill in the air, however, I am so so happy to see the sun today!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Today I am GRATEFUL for Fall Colors!

Kindness came in all shapes and sizes and colors today.  I received many, many sweet hugs from my students (both new and old).  Their smiles made me feel loved, warm, and fuzzy.  This day started out in a coffee deprived fog but as the day went on my spirits lifted.  When I left school today it was just starting to rain.  As I studied the nice Fall drizzle, I noticed huge splashy drops of red, yellow, and orange.  The colors sailed through the air and then hit the ground peacefully.  The voice in my head said, "Look Suze, it's raining colors today!"  
  And it was really pretty awesome.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today I am grateful for....GIRLS!

I got to listen to these girls laugh all afternoon.  There were many kind moments between them.  They are all VERY kind to Stella too.  Even when she follows them around and drives them a little nuts...they are very patient with her.  For that I am full to the brim with grateful!

In Addition...

Grant, our next-door neighbor, came over this afternoon.  He offered to stay home with Finn while I went to pick Maddy up from school.  Finn loves to have him over so it worked out very nicely.  While I was in the dreaded pick-up line, Grant called me and said, "Ms. Moore did you know that your oven is on?"  Sweet kid.  I didn't know it was on.  He turned it off for me and played with Finn until I got home.  AWESOME.  Then he watched Stella outside for a bit!!  Love that kid. 

**I can promise you those wise people of Africa knew exactly what they were talking about when they made up my favorite proverb.  It REALLY does take a village to raise a child of mine.  I would be lost without my village!  :)**

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kindness and Gratitude Month

A couple of days ago, I wrote about my plan to record the many acts of kindness that I get to witness each and every day.  Just yesterday, I was reading curiousgirl's blog and she has declared November GRATITUDE MONTH!  I have decided to combine the two! 

My goal for the month of November is to recognize kindness each day and write about it.  It may be something that happens right here in my own home, maybe it's happens at work...  or maybe it's a random act of kindness I just happen to witness while I'm out and about.!  (It may even come from an inspiring kindness blog...) 


As I find it and write about it, I hope to reflect and discover/rediscover a never ending supply of gratitude.

My evidence of kindness for the day:

My lovely co-worker (Angela) offered to share her whole rolling suitcase of goodies (FAT FULL with Ocupational Therapy type toys!!) with me ANYTIME.  And I know she meant it.    She also offered to do a mini-workshop with me on a program called Handwriting Without Tears.  I am very interested in the program due to brain-based research I discovered recently AND beacause Angela would only promote activities that are richly appropriate for my part-time babies. 

My gratitude today.......  I am so happy to have my part time position this year, thankful for all that I have learned so far, and MOST OF ALL happy to have extra time with my own 4 love bugs.

Lastly, and most favorite little nugget of gratitude for today (and a quarter of my favorite gratitude for life)....

This little boy turned into a 9 year old today at 1:02 pm! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.

This quote just made my day.  Thank you Spiral Sisters!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I am going to start writing down random acts of kindness that I happen to witness or be a part of...

1.  I was thrilled to be able to join Finn's Fall Party last week.  The theme was outer space.  Each child got a small pumpkin (donated by a kind parent) to decorate like an alien or planet or other space related work of art.  Finn's awesome friend Ava (who has a broken arm in a big, clunky cast) took young Stella under her wing.  She gathered materials for her, explained the project carefully, AND offered to help her poke holes in the little pumpkin for feathers and such...(with only one working arm I might add!)  She was sooo sweet to little Stell that it made me tear up a couple of times. 
Stella was sparkling with happiness and excitement.  Ava made her feel pefectly at home in a class full of big kids!
So thank you sweet Ava!  Your kindness was greatly appreciated!  


My goal is to record kindness as often as possible to remind myself that it's out there.  Everywhere.  Every day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stella's 4th Birthday!

I don't  know how I managed to go so many days past her birthday before posting! 

I no longer have a baby!  I have a house full of big kids!  Happy Birthday sweet girl. 

(you will always be my baby!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

I did it!!

Well....the day is almost over and I survived!  I had fun too!  Several mishaps along the way...but I managed to get some great shot...cause they are great kids!

Here's a sneak preview with a little editing!  I am still playing around with PhotoShop and cropping..but here goes....

Thursday, October 14, 2010



for the first time ever...i am doing our school photos for the year book!!  Here are a couple of test shots from my practice session today!   I'm so nervous.  AND I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Things are looking up!

Photography jobs are starting to come!!  Yippeee!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Caught in the Red

Dear Debt Collector (from that credit card that I had before I got divorced) : 

Please leave me alone.  I'm doing the best I can.  I will pay you one day.  Just not right now.  I'm sorry.  I hate it too.  But this is the way things have to be for right now.

Peace Out,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sibling Love

Lately, Finn (8) and Stella (3) have had a hard time getting along.  Toys have been snatched, shoes have been thrown, words have been flung into the air recklessly.  Finn has made it clear, on more than one occasion, that he is tired of all the girls in this house and that he needs to be treated like a "big kid" who gets to make his own decisions.  Okay.  Point taken.  As long as love and respect are used in his need to take a stand for independence. 
In the meantime, Stella wonders what is going on with her "big brutha".  He has less patience than he used to.  He plays with her sometimes and sometimes he shuts his door in her face and tells her to go away.  And even though she knows how to get a quick reaction out of him when he's in a mood, she really just wants to be around him.  She wants to play what he plays, watch what he watches, go outside when he goes outside.  She even frantically tried to hop up on a skateboard the other day.  She was convinced she could catch up with him. 

So when he makes a demand for some Finn of females and younger kids...Stella has to come up with other interesting things to do.  While he's gone, she plays with his toys,  hangs out in  his room, and even wears his shoes.  (she also likes to sleep in his t shirts now!)

Trying to keep up with big brutha is a tiring job.  Apparently, she's got some big shoes to fill!!

(hang in there sweet stell. he will come around.  he just needs time to be a big boy. and he loves you very much!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010