Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action... As We Reflect on Our Words

My friends and I have been posting together once a month as we reflect on the words we chose to focus on in the beginning of the year. When I began to think about a video that would appropriately reflect my thoughts on faith and joy, I immediately thought of the artist Akiane Kramarik. Her faith is the foundation for her art, and I can't help but feel joyful (and in awe) every time I look at her work.

Below is a CNN clip of an interview with her...

Peggy teamed up with The Moody Blues to convey her thoughts on "balance:"

Octamom shares the work of Kari Jobe whose video of her song, "I'm Singing," includes viewers' experiences, the result of which she says is "excellent... really amazing people continuing to walk with joy, even in the midst of some tough times."

Annemarie gets kudos for creating this original video to showcase her word, "discipline."

And AVTCoach gives us a video on "abundance." (I must have been the least techno-savvy one in the bunch because I couldn't figure out how to get the code over to my blog....) So please click HERE to watch her video, which features Akeela and the Bee.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Boot Was Made for Walking....

I always find it a little difficult to pack up my summer sandals at the end of the season. Our summer temperatures linger into fall, and while I may switch from capris to full-length slacks, I can usually get away with wearing sandals for several more weeks.

Yet the time has come a little early this year. I've actually been advised to switch from this strappy little number ...

to something more in line with a boot. And they weren't talking about an up-dated Ugg or a cute little faux fur-trimmed number. More like this one in classic gray ....

And, no I'm not going snow skiing any time soon either. That's a top-of-the-line air cast. Big and heavy and not enjoyable to wear at all.

It seems that I may have a stress fracture in one or more of the metatarsal bones of my right foot.

Last time I had a stress fracture it was in my tibia after running a 20-mile marathon training run. The current stress fracture is a little more of a mystery. The physician's assistant said that I may have begun the process during my four-mile walks this summer and compounded the problem when I took my strappy-sandaled feet back to the hard, cold floors of the classroom.

Whatever the cause, I'll be sporting this boot around for the next three weeks.

And you know what? That's okay because my foot sure was hurting before I started wearing this thing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Year to Celebrate!

According to the Days Alive Calculator, I've been breathing 17,530 days so far. That's 48 years. 48! Can you believe it? And I'm not the only one.

It was a year ago this week that AVTCoach and I struck up a conversation and discovered that, of all things, we are birthday soul sisters. Not just celebrating the same birthday. We were actually born on the same day in the same year. How cool is that?

It took a while to put it all together, but when we did, we had fun comparing notes about our lives. You can read all about my birthday here, what it means to be a Libra here, and her birthday tribute to us both here.

This year, we decided to post a photo history of sorts, showing us at the ages of 8, 18, 28, 38, and ... um, 48. Just so you know, I had to dig pretty deep to find these. (Note to parents of three children: Please keep taking pictures after the third child is born!)

Being from a military family, I'm constantly adding up the years and trying to figure out exactly which state or country I lived in at that time. Now, I can positively say, that at least for part of 1969, I lived in a brick house across the street from my grandparents. Here I am hugging the teddy bear I got for Christmas. I was probably my happiest living here and would gallop imaginary ponies through my grandparents' yard and tie the ponies to the foot of my bed each night.

By the time I was 18, I had graduated high school and had already been working full-time as secretary to the librarian at a junior college. I took classes at night but stopped once I went to work as a secretary/paralegal at a law firm. Here I am celebrating my 18th birthday with my grandmother, Queenie Anne, whose birthday was the day before mine.

By the time I turned 28, a lot had happened. I had become a skydiver and a pilot and was working my way through college. I finally had to leave the law firm because the classes I needed were only offered during the day. I did keep working, though, as a radio DJ and news anchor. The biggest news of the year was that Craig asked me to marry him... at an Alabama football game! After saying "yes," I promptly locked the game tickets and the keys in the car. (And he still married me!)

By the time I was 38, I had become a mom! Hannah was three years old by then. She's definitely my greatest accomplishment. Being her mom is an absolute blessing.

And now, I'm 48. During the past 30 years, I've worked as a paralegal for 11 years, in public relations for 11-12 years, and I've been teaching for nearly five. I wonder what my future holds?

But, more importantly, here's hoping that I have another 17,530 days to live! A happy, healthy ninety-six isn't too much to ask for, is it?!

... that goes for AVT Coach, too! I wouldn't want to celebrate such a big day without her. And if you want to wish my friend a happy birthday, click on over to her site. She's the other Partridge Family fan...!
Happy birthday, Wendy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's a Balancing Act

Sometimes, I feel like I'm on a tightrope. If I lean a little too far one way, I'm sure to find myself dangling, barely hanging on, until I can regain my balance and stand up straight again. Regretfully, the balancing act is here to stay, and I find myself keeling over one side then the other as I try to balance out my life. Work and home. Family time and me time.

I have never been able to go to work at the scheduled time and leave when the work day is over. Oh, how I want to... how I envy those who are packed up and ready to leave when the last students walk out of the building. Yet I simply cannot do it. Instead, I find myself working late every day and even later on some days than others. The janitor knows me well, as I've often left just as he's getting ready to turn on the alarm system. Three and a half hours after our "official" work day has ended.

So, that's where I've been lately. Either at work or at home doing work it seems. And althoughI had so much fun blogging and visiting during the summer, I knew it would have to end, or at least slow down, when school started.

I was so right.

During the school year, I become so wrapped up in teaching that I have little time for anything else. Cooking? Walking? Out of the question. Just late nights grading or creating or just getting ready for the next few days. There's also more running around with Hannah now that school's back in session. And homework that creeps on hour after hour.

On January 1, I'm claiming Peggy's word, "balance," as my very own. I'm in great need of balance right now. Always have been really.

"Balance" has not been an adjective for how I live my life.

So, here I am squeezing in a little time here to say hello and let you know that I've missed visiting all of you and having you visit me. And even though I have plenty to do right now...

I'm going to hit publish and then spend a little time in your company. That's what I need right now. A little company... at least before I climb back onto that tightrope of mine.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mosaic Monday: All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go

When Hannah was a baby, she smiled and laughed a lot. When she was a toddler, she would put her sweet, little feet in my high heels and try to walk around the house in them. When she was in pre-school, she would wear my scarves, my hats, and my jewelry and look in the mirror and smile at herself.

When Hannah was in elementary school, she would play in my make-up, brushing colorful eye shadow over her eyelids and eyebrows.

When she began middle school, she would twist and twirl her pony-tailed hair into a messy bun on the top of her head and fall out of her desk and trip on the stairs.

Then, this past Saturday night,

Hannah artfully brushed a subtle shade of eye shadow over her eyelids and combed mascara through her naturally dark lashes. She styled her friend's hair in cascading curls before styling her own hair into a sleek, sophisticated look.

She slipped into her first little, black dress and stepped into her first pair of high heel shoes.

And she went to a friend's Bat Mitzvah and smiled and laughed a lot.

She danced with her friends and forgot to eat because she was having so much fun.

And I sit here now, both proud and wistfully sad.

Proud that she is as sweet as she is beautiful... that she is wise and silly and graceful and clumsy. And a bit sad remembering her toddler days and that she's not my baby any more, yet always will be.

God gave me the gift of motherhood, yet it's a gift that tugs at my heart and coaxes happy-sad tears down my cheeks...

on a Saturday night when she's all dressed up with somewhere to go.

XOXO Peanut... I love you
For more photo mosaics, visit Mary at Little Red House... the generous host of Mosaic Monday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

52 hours spent at school

7 1/2 hours available for planning

4 1/2 of those spent in meetings

93 students to teach each day

93 essays to grade

93 tests to grade

93 review sheets to grade

93 universal screenings to grade

25 literature tests to grade

1 giant notebook to compile

1 school Web page to update

4 days of lesson plans to complete

Sitting on my deck with Scout on a Saturday morning.... priceless!

So, how was your week?

(I've missed you guys!)