Thursday, December 30, 2010

December: Highs and Lows

A mom I used to go to church with said each night before she kisses her babies goodnight she asks them what their highs and lows for the day were- what was the best and worst part for them, personally.  Here are mine for the month of December.

We got our picures taken with TJ's sister and her family.  They turned out super sweet were great gifts for TJ's parents and grandparents.
Faith loved her guitar from Santa.  She actually told him that's what she wanted when we took her to see him.  She's been walking around singing "Wock and Woll City" (I have no idea where she got that) for days now.
Spending Christmas Day at the fire station was fun and felt like home to me.
Having my two best friends and their families over was a great night.  I just feel so comfortable with those two and always end up crying to them about things that really matter to me that I won't tell anyone else.
My baby turned TWO!  Her buggy birthday party was so much fun.
I've been out of school for two weeks and its been wonderful!
Fine tuning my resolutions list has been fun (and alot more work than last year.)
I turned 29 this month.  TJ took me to my favorite restaurant (he's totally addicted now and that was my plan all along) and for a little shopping.
TJ bought me a sewing machine for Christmas!  I've been sewing up a storm.  Next project- Anthro inspired duvet cover. 

I haven't weighed in at WW since Dec. 11th due to sick babies and holidays.  I haven't followed my diet each day since around Dec. 15th or so due to stress and a lack of will power.  My weigh in should just be wonderful tomorrow. 
I've been struggling with some major feelings of not being loved.  This probably is addressed a few posts ago, but its hard to give that to God daily.
I have to go back to work Monday.  I love teaching young children, but I love my child and sometimes feel like I'm really missing out on the day to day of her life.  It sucks.
Sometimes I feel like the people around me and their lives are imploding, therefore my life is imploding.  It makes me sad, angry, and occasionally I want to slap them.  I never do, but I want to.
Christmas makes me feel icky sometimes.  I try so hard to make it about Jesus and  giving to other people, but I still get wrapped up in the craziness of it all.  I think its probably because my anniversary, birthday, and Christmas are all within a month of each other.  I just get so much and by the end I've got a laundry list of "haven't gots" that I still want.  Yuck, huh? 

Think about your highs and lows this month and see what you come up with...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kiss It, Lady!

If one more person tells me my job is "basically babysitting" I am going to go ballistic.  First of all, diminishing another person's chosen profession is rude.  Secondly, you (and yes, I mean YOU) couldn't even begin to do what I do on a daily basis. 
When your day consists of teaching 20 5- and 6-year-olds to add, subtract, read, write, be kind to others, empathize, share, be creative, follow directions, compare and contrast literary works, sort and organize sets, see and create patterns, and do the job some parents don't do of loving on their children, instilling self-worth and value in their little hearts; THEN, AND ONLY THEN will we ever discuss my profession again.  Until then, go make your doilies, jerk wad.

Take a breather, Amanda.

I'm okay now. Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Love Me Some Firefighters!

Firefighters go from this

to this
in a matter of minutes.

We spent Christmas Day at the firestation.  They seriously made a fire while we were on our way to the station.  They pulled in the station honking their horns, jumped off the rigs and starting kissing their babies and cutting up potatoes for dinner.  Black soot on their faces and all.  It melted my heart.  (And made me want to have my way with my husband in a broom closet.)

I know everyone thinks their husband is amazing,
but I seriously would challenge anyone to put 'em up against those guys. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Under Pressure

There are times when we can put so much pressure on people to fill us up.  We want our family, our spouses, our co-workers to anticipate our voids, needs, desires, and baggage from our past and daily life, then miraculously fix it.  But here's a thought, if a human could possibly fix it, don't you think we would have figured it out by now and fixed ourselves up real pretty like?  I mean, we are the strongest of the strong, right?  So, if by some tidbit of a chance that a human could do it were possible, WE would have been the people to figure it.  But here we are- unfilled, broken, unkempt children with snot on our noses and skinned-up knees. 
Then when people actually can't fill us up (and we're surprised by this?) we find the one person that is working their ace off to show us love and just drain the life out of them.  We make them feel inadequate for not being able to do the impossible.  It's really a shame, if you think about it.  Think about the implications of this in our lives- how much pressure we put on our parents, our siblings, our spouses, our friends- and how in our desire to find meaning we are driving all those people away.  I honestly cannot imagine the pressure I've put on my husband to fill me up.  He outdoes every other husband I know and, still, I ask for more out of him every day.  Jesus, change me.
I've thought about this in relation to being a teacher before.  People almost expect you to be perfect when their children are involved.  You are expected to make the right choice EVERY time, to never have a bad day, to be prepared to the nth degree, and to know how to handle any situation at a moment's notice.  You can never, EVER have a spelling, syntax, or punctuation error in your newsletter or else.  (After reading this blog you know I've been raked over the coals for that one.) And you better never send home another child's work in someone's Thursday folder or you're in volation of FERPA, mister.  It's almost as if there are people, then there are teachers.  Teachers are not people, they are beings made to interact perfectly with young minds.  It's suffocating, really. I've talked several times with colleagues about this very feeling, but never, ever did these two ideas meet until today.
So that's the thing I'm learning.  People are human.  Humans aren't perfect.  And even on our best days we can only offer the best of our humanness, which is still less than 100%.  I'm learning I can't rely on a set of people to make me feel adequate or loved.  That is not their job. That is not my job.  That is His job. 
And I don't know exactly where this fits in, but it's important too.  Even when you offer your human best to a person or a group of people, it doesn't mean that they're going to get that and respond accordingly to it.  They don't know supernaturally that you are putting all your stupid little eggs in a basket and tossing it to them.  They don't know to catch it and keep them safe.  And if they do, sometimes they still don't choose to cradle your eggs like a Home Ec project you're depending on.  Sometimes they drop them on accident, sometimes they throw them on purpose. 
So I'm also learning that I need to be aware of the people around me.  To begin to train myself to see people as humans, not "Amanda filler-upers."  To not distance myself from people who truly do love me because they haven't met my unrealistic expectation.  To not expect so much from my husband, but to fill him up with God's love.   To purposely love people with God's love, not the "best I can do."  My best is not enough, His is. To not be so involved with myself that I end up with someone else's egg at my feet.  I never want to do be that person again.
God is good. He teaches me, even in my hurt. When I'm venting to Him in anger and sadness, He is still, in love, molding me into something better than before.  I want to learn to rely on His unending, always pure, love.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Holy crap!  I cannot believe that a year ago I made ten haphazard resolutions for 2010.  I thought about them, but I didn't search my soul or anything.  I'm actually really proud that I kept almost all 10 of them throughout the year.  Here's the rundown. (My original post is in bold.)

1. Invite someone over to the house, at least once a month. This may seem silly, but a huge step for me.  I don't think I did this EVERY month, but we invited people over so much more than ever before.  One of my favorites was when Corrie came with the girls.  And when Corrie and Emily came over right after Emily got married.  This month we had TJ's sister over for the Big 12 Championship game, 2 Thanksgivings, and Faith's 2nd birthday party.  Busy city, fo sho.

2. Start playing guitar again.  I've actually been fretting a little about this one.  This may be saying the same thing I've said a trillion times, but- when we left 12 Corners I went from leading 2 or 3 times a week to ZERO.  It was nice and needed... and a little lonely.  At our church now there are so many musically gifted people and I haven't fallen into that job yet.  I've resorted to playing in our closet (not even joking) after Faith goes to sleep so I don't wake her up.  BUT God is good.  He's recently given me the opportunity to help with music at my friend's church for a women's crisis center's Bible study.  If I can shift a few things, I'll be able to use that gift again.  I'm excited.

3. Lose weight. I'm not saying how much, don't let your mind wander too much, though.  This one had been such a load off. (Pun mildly intended.)  September 1st I started Weight Watchers with a friend from work.  We have both lost weight and are commited to keep going even when we have a bad week.  Which is good because I've done horribly this week.  Between family stress, birthday parties, and Christmas I'm incredibly STRESSED OUT.  I mean, stress-induced migraines, exhaustion, the whole bit.  And when I'm stressed I eat.  I'm trying not to, but I've done a poor job so far this week. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm hoping to salvage the week with at least no gain.  Wish me luck.  Overall weight loss- 25 lb.

4. Start a blog. This blog has been so good for me.  Sometimes there are just things I want to say, things  I want to scream it from the rooftops just to say I got it off my chest.  This has been a place for that.  I'm sure I've offended people at work, in my family, from my church, and I don't necessarily like that.  But this blog is an honest look at me.  I've blogged (on average) at least once a week. 

5. Get a camera that doesn't make me cuss everytime I pick it up. (Maybe stop cussing should be in here somewhere. Just kidding, I'm an angel.)  We had to put on our rally caps for this one.  Just last month TJ and I got a new point and shoot.  And we love it.  It takes great pictures and is quick. 

6. Complete lesson plans weekly. Its really a necessity, really. Nothing exciting to say about this one except I did it.

7. Grow a garden. Ya know, veggies for the fam?  No reason to beat this dead horse.  Next year we have big plans, though.

8. Be consistent with getting my hair did. It makes me feel better, and dangit, I'm worth it.  This is probably the biggest failure on the resolution list.  I decided just recently I'm probably going to stop getting my hair colored for a while.  I think that might be the reason I put it off so much, because adding color costs so much more money than a style.  We shall see, though.  This might be a carryover resolution. 

9. More water, less Happy Hour DDP.   Totally rocked this one.  I've slipped up this past month and I can tell a difference.  Another carryover resolution for sure.

10. Decorate our bedroom. Its supposed to be cozy and romantic, right? Right now there isn't a dang thing on the walls and its a downer. And we all know how I hate downers.  We worked really hard on this one.  We've made tons of progress, but I just have to keep in mind making a house your own is a process.  Yes, I could go buy all new stuff and fill my house with objects, and sometimes I really want to do that.  But that's not my style of decorating.  I'd rather find treasure and fill my house with those.  And treasures take time.  I guess I'm willing to dig and wait for them. 

IN ALL,  A HUGE SUCCESS, PEOPLE! (Yes, the all caps means I'm yelling.)  I can't wait to reveal my 10 for 2011.  I'm sure you're waiting on pins and needles. :)

Have a great December.  School's almost out for Winter Break and I plan to do a whole lotta nuthin.  Join me, won't you?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An Open Letter to the World

Dear Everyone in the Entire World,

Here's the deal- not a single one of us decided what family we would be born in to.   Not a single one of us decided if we were going to be first born, middle children, the baby of the family, or even an only child. Even for blended families like mine, I fully believe THOSE THINGS WERE CHOSEN BY GOD.

None of us chose who we were going to be raised by.  Someone else chose if our parents we were going to be loving or unloving, supportive or not, involved or nonexistent.   We didn't choose if we were going to be spanked, switched, timouted to death, ignored, or grounded as punishments for our bad choices.  THOSE THINGS WERE CHOSEN BY OUR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS.

What we can choose is how we treat the members of our families God gave us and how we respond to the families raised us.  THOSE ARE THE THINGS WE CAN CHOOSE. 

God actually carefully considered each person that is in your family when he crafted it together.   Instead of being resentful for the family that God chose for us, we should be excited to know that no matter what God thought we were best for each other.

And instead of blaming everything on our parents and sabotaging every relationship from junior high to our adult life for how someone else made choices for your family, know that all those things made us who we are are.  If we are trying to get revenge or get even for the way we were raised, we are actually hurting others and that will never heal us.  We can either move forward and learn to love or end up lonely because we're afraid to love.

We can't take back the past.  No one has that power but Jesus Christ and he has never done that, that has been recorded anyway.  Let's start new today, for heaven's sakes.  Let's show love to our family and friends whether they are wonderful to us or hurt us today. 

With honest and sincere love,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Well, I did it again.  I showed up for something on the wrong day.  Today I skipped into Lollie's Beauty Bar to get my hair done.  I walked in and everything about it is cool and funky and way out of my league.  I happily announced I had a 4:00 with Erica.  (Erica is a girl at my church that has the coolest hair around.  And all the girls at housechurch that get their hair done by her have cool hair too.  And I know I sound like  a jr. high girl that has to get something everyone else does, but I don't care.)  The girl looked at me a little weird then said, "Are you Amanda?"  I smile and nod. "Your appointment is tomorrow," she said.  WHAT. AN. IDIOT. 
The problem is we are getting pictures taken tomorrow with TJ's sister and her family.  So I couldn't do it tomorrow.  Thankfully a girl had an opening and took me as a walk-in.  She was crazy nice and did a great job.  I was hesistant not going to my sister-in-law, but I hate bugging her with my last minute appointments. Plus, I am trying really hard to meet people at church (except that didn't work because I didn't even see Erica).  In all a win-win by the time I walked out.

So here it is.  My haircut.  Don't mind the bags under my eyes.  It's been an h- of a two weeks around here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I've Got A Secret

I bought the wrong deodorant.

I didn't know I bought the wrong deodorant, though.  It's package is so similar to my own it should be a sin.  Or at the least copyright infringement. 

On Wednesday I realized mid-day at school that I had forgotten to put on deodorant.  This may be TMI, but my armpits started itching a little.  And that only happens when I forget to wear deodorant or when I get pulled over by a cop.  (Does that happen to anyone else besides me and Sarah?  When I get scared or nervous my armpits itch like a mother.  Anyway...) Thankfully I had worn a jean jacket so I just kept it on all day.  Kindergarteners are extremely blunt and will tell you in a heartbeat if you have any time of flaw.  I'm sure they can smell BO from a mile away.  When I came home from work I walked into the the bathroom and saw the culprit eyeing me from the counter.  I knew at that point I had indeed worn deodorant or it would have been put away.  Then I saw the REAL problem. 

Suave, you little bastion, you.

I am a Secret girl.  Always and forever, amen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Sometimes things go exactly the way you planned them and it turns out to be a great day.

Sometimes things go exactly the way you planned them and it turns out to be a crappy day.

Sometimes things get all f-ed up and you want to cry like a baby in your plate of turkey and stuffing.

Then sometimes you get a text message from your neice thanking you for a great day and it makes your f-ed up day worth it.

God bless her.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A week in the life...

  • Two day work week.
  • A three-page, single-spaced, to-do list to finish before Wednesday. 
  • Two full Thanksgiving dinners at our house. 
  • Try desperately to get a picture of a child that never stops moving for her birthday invitations. HA!
  • Our EIGHT YEAR anniversary celebration.
  • Celebrating my friend's engagement.
  • Hopefully seeing my besties.
  • Having fun!
  • Enjoy time with whoever shows up to our house.
  • Not worry if things aren't perfect.
  • Being thankful for the ridiculous amount of blessings God continues to give our family.

Looks like a crazy, busy, wonderful week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November to Remember- A Few Resolutions Resolved!

Today I'm extremely thankful for a few resolutions that have been resolved.  Both have been hard for me, for very different reasons. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and caring about what I care about.  You give me and my family more than we can imagine.  Seriously, thanks Jesus.  Love you.

Camera that doesn't make me cuss- For our anniversary we bought a point and shoot.  Its really small, really stylish, and takes AMAZING pictures for a point and shoot.  And to be honest, I don't have the time or motivation to learn all the tricks of a dSLR so its exactly what I wanted.  And I won't cuss about it again.  Just a side note- if you're going to buy a camera anytime soon, is an amazing website.  They do quick video segments that review every make and model of camera.  TJ and I felt like we knew the guy and girl before we finally decided.  And they don't mince words- they tell you exactly what you need to know and what you feel like you never really can get out of sales people.  TJ and I laughed several times because they guy is just so blunt about what the camera could or couldn't do.

Weight Loss- First of all, this is probably the most vulnerable you'll find me.  All of this is hard to say and in some ways I feel like I'm jinxing myself by saying anything.  But for some reason, I feel like I need to say this today. 
As of today I have lost 22 lb. since September 1st.  If you see me, you might not even notice; probably depends on how long its been since you've seen me.  I'm not really thin and I probably won't ever be. 
I'm going to Weight Watchers with some girls I work with.  I know, you think I'm a dork.  I am.  I wake up early on Saturday morning to go to a fat people meeting.  And yes, the meetings are just like you probably imagine they are.  But really, I don't care what people think about me or my weight anymore.  I gave that to God right around September 1st as well.  Mostly I want to be thankful for what God made me to be and I want to be the most healthy version of what God made.  Don't get me wrong, I like being thinner and I love going to buy clothes in a smaller size.  And there is still more work to do in the weight loss department, at least 15 or 20 lb more.  And I still struggle with other things about me that I don't like or want to change.  But God has done something in my that has changed me mindset. I have no idea why it is working for me this time. Chubby people try weight loss all the time, I'm no exception.  It just seemed to click this time. One of my friends lost weight and told me she felt like something broke in her with believing the lie about herself being fat forever, being unhappy, being unhealthy.  So I guess I'm in that category. 
I'm asking you this- pray for me. I would like to maintain my weight through the holiday season and continue to lose after that.  I do not want to go backward and gain weight over the holiday season. This is going to be a struggle for me, I'm sure.  This is just honesty coming out here- its uncomfortable for me to say, really.
I think that's enough awkward weight conversation for one day.  By the way, since I asked you to pray for me, let me do the same.  If you want me to pray for something for you, let me know.  My family will totally pray for you each night as a family when we put Faith to bed.  She loves praying for others. And buggies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

November to Remember- A Song

Ya know, sometimes you feel something and you feel so alone in that feeling. That really, eventhough you know there have to be other people in this world that feel the same way, nothing about that feeling can be expressed adequately enough for others to understand your exact feeling.

Enter music. Musicians and songwriters can put into words or chords or riffs what you've been trying to explain for year. And you find a song that expresses everything you feel about a certain person, place, or thing. This song feels like it was born out of the depths of my soul about a certain thing.

Public education.

I love you and all I want you to do is just hold me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November to Remember- Dishwasher

I am thankful for the dishwasher.  I am NOT thankful that my daughter can stealthily turn it off without us knowing resulting in dishes with food so dried on them I want to throw them away like Chinet.  But alas, I am thankful for the dishwasher.
I never had a dishwasher growing up.  My mom would say she had 5 because she had 5 girls.  I NEVER found that funny.  When my sister and I got older it was our chore to clean the kitchen after dinner.  We would fight every night about who was going to wash, who would rinse, who would dry, sweep, clean the stove, etc.  She would fill the sink with water and bubbles then drop a plate in so the suds would go in my face.  I love her, but I NEVER found that funny either.  My mom ended up having to split us by days and we would have to do it by ourselves every other day. 
When TJ and I got married with got several sets of dishes, silverware, pots and pans, etc.  We were little piggies.  We would use every dish until they piled to the ceilings then break down and wash them.  Finally, per our old youth pastor's funny advice, TJ took out all the extra dishes so that there were just enough for us plus one.  I NEVER found that funny.
My house has a dishwasher now. And I am thankful.

Those stories have no real point, just thought you might like to know.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Resolution Check- November

Only 1 1/2 months left until my new set of resolutions are put into place.  I already know one or two I'm going to make, but the rest are up in the air right now.  But that doesn't matter right this second, because we are living in the present. A very bright present, I might add.  Read 'em and weap, people!

1. People over- impromptu chili night while my neice was in town last month.  Two thanksgivings at our house in two week.  Yipes!  TJ's family on Thanksgiving Day and my family on Saturday, I think.

2. Guitar- nope.  I hate to say it, but i think this one is going to have to be put in the "Not Right Now" category.  Time, money, and mommy guilt.
3. Weight- down 18 lb!  Are you fu-reaking kidding me?  I can't believe I'm actually doing it.

4. Blog- check.

5. Camera- We are going to get a point and shoot for our anniversary this month.  Thanks the Lord because I seriously am having to rely on other people to give me pictures from Halloween this year.  Bummer city.

6. Lesson Plans- check.

7. Garden- check.

8. Hair- No.  Anyone know if the barter system still works?  Your child needs a tutor and you do hair?  Let's make a deal...

9. Water and DDP- check.  (I quit drinking DDP 100% due to a killer stomach virus making its way through Norman.  But I fell off the wagon.  I still drink more water than DDP so this is a success.)

10. Decorate the House- This one was actually decorate our room, but I modified it.   Our room is about 75% where I'd like it so I feel like I need to move on.  Faith's room is about 90% done, I just need to hang some pictures.  I have vision out the wazoo for the living room, but no resources at this moment.  And the kitchen is mediocre at best.   I would call this resolution a 50% success. 

November to Remember- Date Nights

TJ and I have a weird life schedule.  Our life rotates in 24 hour shifts-weekends in the middle of the week for TJ, I have breaks off with TJ working holidays often, finding babysitters for an hour or so when I leave for work until he comes home, the list goes on.  I will have to say that this part of our lives has been the hardest to get used to since we had Faith.  Before Sis, I would work until 7 or 8 at night sometimes when TJ was working, it just made sense, and my hard work paid off in my classroom.  He would spend his off days resting, hobbying, and cleaning the house.  Our weekends, whenever they fell due to TJ's schedule, would be free to hop in the car and go wherever the wind took us.  (Not that the wind took us very far, but it could if we had wanted it to.)   Its not that I miss life without Faith, it's mostly that I just miss rest and quality time with my husband.  TJ now comes home from sleepless nights to corral a little girl who, I swear, NEVER sits down except to eat and watch Movers.  I rush home from work on days he's working because my mom has been here since 6:30AM and leave ASAP on days he's home to give him a break and hopefully get a little family time in.  Our weekends are full of laundry, dishes, and un-fun life stuff.  And when we're both home and could actually get a sitter and go out, we feel guilty for leaving Faith with someone AGAIN so we stay home.
TJ decided last week we needed Netflix.  I'm still not sure if that's the case, but alas, we received our first DVD in the mail.  We sat down after Faith went to sleep last night to watch our movie.  I made the comment to TJ that it was pitiful that at 8 o'clock we were in our pajamas, watching a movie as our first date in a month.  The movie started- Date Night.  And lo and behold, the premise of the movie was our life.  Two busy, normal people who want a little more than the normalcy of day to day life with family.  Art imitating life, isn't that what it's called?
It made me thankful for the times when the planets and stars align and we spend time together- just me and my best friend.  It doesn't happen often, but when it does I love it. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November to Remember- My Child

Obviously these posts are not in any particular order.  If they were my child would have been somewhere up there with TJ and not after cheddar cheese. 

I honestly don't even know how to start this post.  Let's just go back in time a bit.

When TJ and I found out that we were expecting a baby, I didn't know what to think.  Obviously, that was not the time to think if I wanted to be pregnant or not- that would have been a few weeks prior, but that's neither here nor there.  We sat on the porch of our, literally, falling-apart trailer house in my parents front yard and looked at each other thinking I thought it would take longer than that!  Notsomuch.
Once it sunk in that the same TJ and Amanda that met at 13 were going to bring a child into this world, we decided to keep it a secret from our families for as long as we could so that we could revel in the idea that we were finally going to a family.  It was the best time of our lives, but the scariest too.  I'm sure any parent would attest to that.  It probably would have been a secret for much longer, but my blabber mouth husband told some guys at the station that blabber mouthed to some girls in our youth group when I took them up to see the station.  Basically, two of our youth knew MONTHS before our families knew.
Then she was born.  A teeny, tiny little thing.  It was a dramatic birth story and that should've been my first clue she'd be a handful.  She kept us up all night- probably the real the reason I started reading and writing a blog.  I read Pioneer Woman's entire love story series at night over several weeks when she would keep me up at night. 
She is feisty-loving-smart-lippy-funny-music lover-verbal-a great spinner-loves her Papa John-cute as can be-loves outside- animal lover- buggy lover- coloring book scribbler- overall as close to perfect as you can get in a ALMOST TWO YEAR OLD! (How did that happen, by the way?)  I am thankful for all the things that make Faith who she is, even if she has traits in her that I had that drove my moma crazy.  Taking her shoes off in the car before we're even out of the addition.  Secretly grabbing food out of the cart and biting through the package like I used to do with cheese. I thankful she has traits like her daddy- shy at times, but crazy most of the time, a crazy bad dancer that makes me laugh, and amazingly sweet. 
I like her alot.  I think I'll keep her another week or so. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November to Remember- Cheese

I like cheese.  And am thankful for it.  It's yummy with DDP and Lays potato chips.
That's all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November to Remember- A Promise

So there's this little white lie enormous, huge, whopper of lie I tend to believe that really screws me over.  Its the lie fed to that I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. It goes a little something like this:
You're not a good enough mom because...
You're not a good enough teacher because...
You're not a good enough wife because...
You're not thin enough and that's why...
You're not pretty because...
You really should be better at ...
If you was as thankful as you should be then...
If you did _____ then you'd have friends.
In just about every aspect of my life there's a lie I hear about me and my lack of dedication, motivation, determination, ation, ation, ation, ation. 
What I ultimately end up believing is because I'm not enough, because I don't work hard enough, because my end result isn't what it should be, that I don't deserve to be happy.  I deserve to be sad, depressed, lonely, and always wanting more. 
But there is a truth, a promise, that God gives me, that if I choose to believe it instead of the lie, can break through all the bullshit that gives me bags under my eyes when I'm only twenty-freakin'-eight.
This is the truth:
The promise is that God created me.  He created me in His image.  He created me with a purpose.  He chose for me to be in His family knowing I wasn't perfect and that didn't keep Him from choosing me.  He doesn't dwell on the things I do wrong, in fact He delights in His children.  He's a good father and doesn't withhold from me just because I'm human.  He thinks I am enough.  He loves me. He loves me. He loves me.
I don't believe this every day of my life.  But I am thankful for it today.  I declare it for myself and for you.  (Which could actually be you or no one, based on my comment section lately.)  You are enough.  You don't have to get bogged down in your humanness.  God loves you and thinks you are the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Because He loves His babies. And we are His babies. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November to Remember- The Weekend

I am thankful for the weekend.  Being a teacher, I get a nice summer break.  (Don't even get me started about how you wish you had one too, blah, blah, blah, or I'll get my friend Amber on you.  She'll tear you apart and you CANNOT win that one.)   Anyway, sometimes you for get just how amazing the weekend can be because of that.  But when you get back into the swing of things, the weekend is there to keep you sane.  To let you know waking up doesn't have to be to the frightening sound of the alarm.  To let you eat something for breakfast besides a granola bar and a DDP.  To let your butt know it can actually find a seat, sit down and relax even when its light outside.  To find the kitchen floor underneath all the crumbs.  And to wash laundry so you don't have to put your child in a shirt with dried God-knows-what on the front from God-knows-when. 

God bless Saturday and Sunday. 

I wonder if I came up with another word that started with "S" and ended with "day" if we could add it to the weekend.  Just a thought...

Friday, November 5, 2010

November to Remember- My Moma

First of all, just let me say I know most of you spell moma "m-a-m-a."  I would say 1)you're spelling it wrong and 2)if you've heard me say it, you know I'm spelling it correctly.  I don't say mama, I say moma.

My moma is amazing.  She has raised 6 children with consistent love and honesty.  My mom does not beat around the bush.  She doesn't hold in her opinion.  And even though we range in age from 28 to 42 she always is truthful with us about our lives.  At times it can be hard to hear such blunt honesty, but its probably the most pure form of love I've ever been given.  I still get in trouble for sassing, I still think she'd smack me if I really needed it, and she has taught me how to be a mom to Faith. 
Speaking of that, another reason I'm so thankful for her is that she watches Faith when we're at work. Or want to go out on a date. Or have d-group. Or want to go scouting for hunting season. (Whatever that is.) Or want to go to Sonic without a child yelling "french fries" at the carhop. She does things exactly like we do with Faith, the only exception being she makes Faith amazing breakfast meals with REAL butter and syrup because she thinks we rip her off.  She does my dishes while I'm at work, is patient enough to let Faith sit on her lap while she's sewing, and made Faith not one, but two Halloween costumes FROM SCRATCH SANS PATTERN because I changed my mind a week before Halloween.

My mom never really yelled at us, she whispered at us.  If we got a whisper we knew we were in big trouble.  She also could put us in our place by simply placing her pointer finger on our arm with gentle ease.  She didn't apply pressure at all, and just putting it there still gives me the chills.  She took a gaggle of us grocery shopping EVERY SATURDAY my whole life. I've watched my mom drop everything to run to any, and all, of us at the ring of the phone.  I don't even know if I should write this, but my mom will sometimes stay up all night praying for one, two, or all of us.  She's given us every dime of her money, every minute of her day, and every ounce of who she is to make us who we are. 
I am grateful, thankful, and blessed to be one of the few Perkins-Luckinbill-VanRosendale-Wallace-Jernigan-White-Aragon family members that gets to call Hope Perkins "moma."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November to Remember- Belly Laughs

Today I had two good belly laughs and they made me so happy.

1.  A student of mine came up to me just laughing his little blonde head off.  When I could finally understand him he told me he had had an accident and needed to change his pants.  Laughing isn't the typical response you get from a five year old when they have an accident so I was a little confused.  He went on to tell me he had an accident because one of his friends said something so funny he laughed hard enough to pee his pants. He was just laughing and laughing and thought it was the funniest thing.  I couldn't get the smile off my face.  Sometimes you just need someone to make you laugh so hard you pee your pants.

2.  I have, hands down, the best book buddy ever.  Yes, I know it sounds completely nerdy to have a book buddy, judge me if you must.  She reads my blog, she's an AMAZING teacher, she's always positive even when he has reasons to not be, her baby is due on my birthday, and her husband makes killer food.  Anyway, she makes the most mundane things hilarious.  I laughed so hard today while she was in my room I thought I might pull a #1 too!  Because sometimes you just need someone to make you laugh so hard you pee your pants.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November to Remember- Babies

Today one of my long time best friends had her baby.  I would put up a picture, but I don't know how she feels about having pics of her little beauty plastered on here.  All I can say is she's gorgeous, Emily is amazingly strong and calm, and I now have baby fever.  Again. 

Babies are life changing.  Or they should be at least. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November to Remember-Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes.  I'm thankful for nursery rhymes.  They are one of the leading factors in reading success, ya know.  Well, if you didn't now you do.  And the reason I'm thankful for nursery rhymes is because they're already teaching my daughter. 
Tonight she was "reading" her books and used all her might to get down her big nursery rhyme book.  All three of us starting going through the book looking at the pictures.  Some pages I would ask her questions and she would "tell me about them."  She turned the page and before either of us could say a thing she blurted out "Peter Piper!"  And sure enough, there was Peter Piper picking his peck of pickled peppers.  Peter Piper?!?!?!?!?!?!?  She's not even 2 yet, people!  (And just as a gift from God the videocamera was rolling, which really consisted of me and TJ freaking out after she said it because we were in shock.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

November to Remember

I have decided I'm going to try to post something I'm thankful for each day for the month of November.  Mostly so that I can focus on my blessings instead of what is crazy in my life each day.  I really want to get to it each day so I hope I can stick with it.

Today is obviously a given-TJ.  I like him, I love him, I want some more of him.  (Tim McGraw, anyone?)  If you wanted just one reason why I love him it would be his integrity.  He continually does amazing kind and thoughtful things for others and our family and never compromises who he is.  He is the BEST dad ever, even when he gets no sleep at work and comes home to Faith for the entire day.  He packs picnic lunches for just the two of them and takes her to the park. 
This story typifies just how amazing TJ is.  When we were in high school there was this elderly lady at our church that just loved TJ.  Her daughter, not too young herself, also loved TJ.  He would do things they needed done around the house just to be kind to them, they had no male person to do things around the house, and basically just because he's amazing.  One day after work or football practice or something he was on his way home.  He drove past their house and suddenly decided he should swing by to see Goldie and Jenny.  So he turned his car around and went back to their house.  When he got there Jenny came running out of the house thanking God TJ was there. (Sound familiar? If you read this blog you'll  remember another post about people praising God for TJ.)  She told TJ that her elderly mother was in the bathtub and couldn't get out.  Okay.  At that moment I would have hightailed it outta there to avoid the inevitable situation looming.  But not TJ.  He went into the house, covered her in a sheet so she wouldn't be embarassed and carried her out of the bathtub like superman.  To this day Goldie's daughter calls TJ her moma's angel. 
He's amazing, I don't know how I scored him. And he looks ridiculously cute in bunker pants.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just in case I forget next week...

Faith is fast approaching two years old.  And she is a tad fiesty.  She's full of vinegar, as my Papa Pete would have said.  She wears me slick most days, but I have to tell you these sweet stories in case you see her sometime soon and think I have failed in the parenting department. 

All three of us were laying in her bed a few nights ago.  I read the books and TJ prayed with us.  After we prayed Faith said, "I pray."  She put her little hands together, closed her eyes, and started mumbling something.  TJ and I were looking at each other because we couldn't believe she was "praying."  Then as clear as day she said dada.  We looked down and she was still just praying away.  She wasn't "praying."  She was praying, for real.  Of course, we both teared up that she was choosing to pray and was praying for her daddy.  I can just imagine God listening so intently, knowing exactly what all those little mumbles were. 

Last week was a long, crazy week.  TJ was incredibly busy and we ended up seeing very little of him.  Faith woke up Saturday morning imploring me to "find daddy."  Thankfully, TJ's station is amazing about family being there and are super nice to us so I called TJ and told him I would be finding him sometime that day.  On the drive up Faith was incredibly needy.  She wanted a snack, she didn't want a snack, she wanted a drink, wait, not so much.  She called for her "padi," but turned her nose up to it when I finally dug backwards to find it driving 70 up I-35.  She wanted music, but not anything on CD, my iPhone, or the radio.  I finally got all of her little needs met and fell back into driving mode.  It was quiet in the car then a little voice said "Thanks, mom."  I just about died.  It was an honest thank you from her. 

So, please remember when you see us anytime soon that we are in fact raising a sweet girl that is polite and is learning great things, and that sometimes she's just full of vinegar.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Moo-mers, Moma. Moo-mers."

Everyday, at least 5 times, I heard "Moo-mers, moma, moo-mers."  And I have been feeling almost embarassed that Faith likes a certain show.  The show is... Imagination Movers.  Grown men, singing and dancing, together.  A lot of people think that's creepy. But you know what- they're ACTUAL MUSICIANS, they're acting isn't deplorable, and their motto is positive.  So we watch Moo-mers.  Alot. No, a little.  No, a sizable amount of moo-mers comes across our screen.  There. I said it. 
Basically the premise of the show is these 4 guys job is to help solve people's problems. Being that Faith isn't even 2 yet, I was skeptical that she even knew what was going on, but when she watches it, she will come up to us and tell us the problem.  For instance, "baby cying" or "foot guck (stuck)."  Yes, that had me a little intrigued, but then she started coming up with solutions for the problems.  (Genius, I know.  She gets it from her dad.)  She actually walked up to the tv when the baby was crying with her cup and said "Wanna gink?", "Hungy?", and "Seepy?" during the show.  Okay, something in my mind tells me this show is headed in the right direction. 

But today, TODAY, I was looking for their tour dates (remember, a they're musicians) for this year and found an interview with them.  And now I unashamedly say I LOVE THE IMAGINATION MOVERS!  First of all, they were in real clothes, not their jumpsuits.  That was my first thumbs up.  I loathe when you see people interviewed in their costumes.  Secondly, they're educated men that were approached about what they were already doing, not a group of teens they found at a casting call to meet some specific lists for a show someone wanted to put together.  And best of all, the quote: "We want to challenge, not pacify, our audience."  I am swooning.  I may take that on as my motto for my classroom. Seriously, I might steal it.

So go watch some Imagination Movers!  And Imagination Movers, if you're reading this: we would LOVE to meet you.  Seriously.  I would probably kiss one or all of you.  Not that that's going to sell you on the deal, I'm just saying. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I will be completely honest.  I haven't sacrificed much of anything lately.  I mean, some would say I sacrifice my days to teach children, some would say I would sacrifice my husband that works 24 hour shifts, but I don't really think those things count.  We like being able to pay our bills, have running vehicles, and live in a house without wheels (I can say that because my last house had wheels) so I don't know that working is a sacrifice. 
But today, TO.DAY. I sacrificed something to God.  As an act of obedience.  And it was hard.  I almost didn't do it.  I've been so out of practice with sacrifice it hurt.  But God reminded me of something someone at church said.  He may have got this from someone else (so I don't want to get in trouble for not posting the MLA, APA, or Chicago-style formatting,) but it spoke to me and I'm holding fast to it:

When you trust in the Lord and walk in Him, the outcome becomes HIS domain and you can walk in wreckless obedience. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Resolution Check

Okay, everyone.  Can I just say this real quick?  It's Octoooooooo-ber.  If you didn't know that's the TENTH month of the year.  Two more months and I will have a whole new set of resolutions.  Well, to be more honest, some will probably stay, some will go back to the H-E-double hockeysticks they came from, and some will go into a little folder I like to call "success."  That's right, you heard me- S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Let's get to the run down:

1. People over- not this month.  Too busy.  Maybe October.  Chili anyone?
2. Guitar- not so much. I have played this month, but I will admit I have taken NO steps to improve my ability.
3. Weight- down 10 lb, thank ya very much.  And no, I'm not giving out my secret. Well, I might.  But not yet.
4. Blog- yes.
5. Camera- no.  I've checked out some cameras, but the house keeps needing my money for silly things like a leaking roof, a running toilet, and a new kitchen faucet.
6. Lesson Plans- going well.
7. Garden- it was wonderful while it lasted.  And we learned so much about how to improve it next year.  The tomatoes didn't produce to the extent I wanted them to, but I still got to give some away and that was my real plan for the garden.  I also got to give pickles away, banana peppers, and cucumbers. 
8. Hair- no and I need it somethin' fierce.  Roots are NOT in style anymore.
9. Water- going well, I guess.  I drink my 8 glasses a day, and probably less DDP some days.  I think this is just going to be one that I have to let myself have.  It could be worse- drinking, smoking, DDP.  I choose DDP.
10. Decorate- Someone tell me where to get GREAT sheets?!?!?!?  We go from sheets that shrink up and won't fit on mattress to sheets that come off the corners and end up in a wad underneath us.  They're driving me crazy!!!!  I don't want to spend a fortune, any suggestions would be great.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Babies Having Babies

It's officially an end of an era.  The last of the trio that is Amanda/Corrie/Emily had her baby shower last night.  Let me just tell you, it was a tad emotional for ol' Amanda.  Corrie and I sat in the back teary-eyed as Emily opened her presents, almost in disbelief that we are old enough to have families and lives.  The word that kept coming into my mind was momentous- a moment of great consequence.  Emily unwrapping onesies while Corrie's little one crawls around, Faith tears around the corner, and Corrie's oldest tells me about kindergarten.  It is the end of an era, but the beginning of an extraordinary one.  Let's go back in time a little...

[Dream sequence begins]

Emily and I were friends at the church where we grew up.  Corrie and Emily were friends at their school.  Somehow in an amazing act of God we all met up at Emily's birthday party where I tricked Corrie into thinking my name was Jolene for the majority of the night.  Corrie's family decided to try another church (they went to a nearby church) and came to ours and we've all been friends ever since.  I remember a very distinctive night when I knew we'd all be friends eternally when Corrie told us about her cows humping in the front pasture when her bus dropped her off one afternoon.  (Her storytelling captivated me, what can I say?)  We have been through thick, thin, college, break ups, deaths of friends, arguments, good choices, HORRIBLE choices, countless tennis games, bike wrecks, camping trips, and scars together.  And we still are friends.  We live apart and can converge and take control of any restaurant, bar, or dive in a matter of minutes.  They make me feel at home instantly.  I don't feel comfortable with really any friends but them.  They are THE BEST. 

So, back to last night.  And babies having babies.  We're actually not babies.  All in our mid to late twenties, a completely acceptable age to have families and yet, I was still so surprised.  I still want to think of us giggling at church camp during the service, going to Pizza Hut after church almost every Sunday night and imagining us re-doing the "Sin Wagon" video in Corrie's little silver car.  (I would still like to do that though.)  Change is really hard for me, so I've always been a little sad that those aren't still our present days, but memories.  But I'm learning to embrace where we all are instead of pining away for days gone by.  We are all in amazing places, places God intentionally put us in at this particular time.  So I guess we're all in momentous times, and getting to share in them with each other makes me just about the happiest girl in the world. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

40 Weight

There's this song called "40 Weight" by The Violet Burning. It echoes Lord, my cup is empty. Won't you come down and fill me up. If I wasn't in a house where I am the only one awake I would scream this right now. I feel like my low fuel light has been on for miles and I'm hoping I'll make it to the gas station before I end up on the side of the road. I can't pinpoint one specific, huge thing; I can pinpoint at least 5 specific, huge things. Its odd because I've been spending more time with Father than usual so you would think I would be full to the brim. And what's beyond understandable to me is that if you asked me last week how I was feeling I would have said I'm in an extreme season of joy. I just can't seem to shake the feeling of overwhelm-ment. I feel like I need to hire a cheerleader to walk behind me and encourage me all day. Sick- the flesh speaking in that is ugly. And what an unrealistic expectation for me to have about my day. That I can only be joyful if someone is encouraging my every move. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Today was so eye opening to me. I ate a donut for breakfast. I haven't had a donut for breakfast in forever. I just didn't care this morning. I wanted the ding dang donut and I was going to have it come hell or high water. Work was hard. I've had a difficult time connecting basic ideas in meaningful ways to my students this and last week. I came home from a less than fufilling day of work to a dirty house. Through the garage to the laundry room- piles of clothes. Into the kitchen- piles of dishes. Turn to the living room- piles of toys. Bedroom- more piles of clothes. Grrr. I have to get dinner done, play with Faith (who is napping, by the way because of a late trip to her grandma's I knew nothing about), get ready for school tomorrow, workout and get to d-group by 8pm. Ha! I was feeling more than overwhelmed. I feel justified in that being an okay feeling to have. Even Superwoman must feel at times like she wants to get all the dirty laundry, throw it in the dumpster and start over. I mean, I do have some friends that seem like they never tire or are exhausted by those things, but they must drink more caffeine than even me to come off that way.

And what do I do? Get my keys, get in the car, and go get a Diet Dr. Pepper! Whaaaaaa? Ask I'm pulling out of the store I just about lost it. I figuratively, (and literally, ha) was filling my cup with something other than the Lord. When I needed God to put strength in me I rushed to find something tangible to make me feel better. When I needed to find stillness and resolve I made myself busy with passing things. And I still feel overwhelmed.

God, please fill my cup with you. Take away my human nature that yearns for a person or thing to make me feel better. God- my only strength is in you. Lord my cup is empty. Won't you come down and fill me up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My First Love

Before TJ.

Before chocolate. 

Before Diet Dr. Pepper. 

Before Jesus came into my wittle bitty heart. 

There was football. 

Football was the first thing I loved enough to learn anything about. I watched games when I was little and asked so many questions my parents bought me an official rule book for the NFL for my 10th birthday.  I studied that manual so I would know exactly what each penalty meant and how much it was worth in each situation. Play formations, positions, etc.  I knew more than your average bear.

Then I met TJ.  And he loved football. He WAS football, for heaven's sake.  I wore a t-shirt for the majority of my junior high career that said "Be nice to animals.  Kiss a football player."  with the words "I AM" written in Sharpie at the top.  I spent every Thursday night at Noble High School stadium watching the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade games.  Fridays was reserved for HS ball- we traveled with church friends to each away game- and watching my sister march in the colorguard.  When we got into 9th grade TJ started playing JV and HS ball so he played in 3 games a week- Mondays, Thursdays, and Friday.  During the summer it was traveling to watch him play in summer league, (which is bore-o, snore-o, by the way.) TJ was good- way good.  And is still one of the fastest white boys I know. :)

We were sure TJ would play college ball.  He started getting letters EARLY and it was really exciting.  He blew out his knew our senior year and THAT WAS THE END OF THAT.  It changed our plans fast.  I know that you're thinking "our plans?"  But remember, we knew we would get married early so we had a loose plan of what our lives would look like.  There was no way TJ could have surgery, rehab his knee, and get enough playing time for colleges to invest in him. 

Future plans changed, but there was still football in other ways.  OU was rockin'.  TJ and I had sideline passes to TONS of OU games through an awesome church friend.  We literally got to stand on the sidelines, feet touching the endzone for tons of games.  We took this picture.  I think its one of AD's first touchdown celebrations. My favorite part is the Oregon player walking away in shame.

Then you have MNF.  A tradition at our house.  We settle in each Monday night to cuddle and watch guys hurt each other while Hank Jr. screams at you in sing-song.

I probably wouldn't say "Football is life- the rest is just details,"  but I would say football is one of the major details. 

And Brett Favre's face doesn't hurt either.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Resolution Check - September Style

1. Guests at the house- We have A LOT of our family over for the first OU game.  My sister and my neice came and spent Labor Day weekend with us too!  Faith was so cute with all our family.  She only remembers some of their names so she just calls them whatever one she can remember at the time.  My sister Heather was walking down the hall and Faith was posed in a stance yelling, "She-uh!  Nomie!  Emmy!  Shea!"  If you don't speak Perkins that's "Sheila! Nonnie! Emily! Shea!" 

But by far her favorite is Un John!  She loves that guy- maybe because he dotes over her every minute he's with her.  They're also birthday buddies and have matching eyes!  I SWEAR she belongs to TJ though, she's got his attitude.

2. Guitar- School started.  Enough said. I couldn't even tell you where my guitar is right now.  I think our closet.

3. Weight-  I have great news for all of you who don't care about my weight.  I am losing weight.  So you don't have to hear my whine like a baby anymore about the plight of the chubby girl.  I don't want to reveal my plan just yet, but its working.

4. Blog- Done and done.

5. Camera- trying, but its such a bitty of a camera.

6. Lesson Plans- 4 weeks in and we're still going strong. 

7. Garden- Done and done.

8. Hair- I got roots, man.  No time. 

9. Water- This is part of #3 so I won't beat a dead horse.

10. Decorate the Bedroom- Its as done as its gonna get for now.  I'm going to make a duvet cover sometime.  Maybe over fall break.

Oh, and just in case you've forgotten my child is adorable:

Monday, August 30, 2010


I saw two things today that really made me wonder about people:

1.  A computer store named "Puter Place."  I can't put my finger on it, but I just don't like it.

2.  A guy standing outside an office building on his smoke break with a shirt on so tight it was gaping between the buttons.  He had to have weighed 110 lb. soaking wet and looked rather stylish, but his shirt was entirely too tight. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

You're Not Going To Believe This!

Remember when I said I wanted this purse...
Well, you're not going to believe this!  I was reading about it more on etsy and it's only 15 inches across.  Which means the bag is probably smaller than your computer screen!  And you're never going to believe what the seller says.  And I quote: "The pictures shown on model may vary from what you expect due to the size of model(s)."  It's made in Malaysia, but are the people there really THAT small?  I never knew. 
I think I'm just going to make one.  Or attempt to make one.  Which means I'll be making my own pattern to some extent.  This should be an adventure!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blunder of My Life

 I lost my keys almost a month ago.  I actually have a post saved about losing them, but I kept typing cuss words so I thought I better just cool my jets and not post it. Here's the short version- one of my best friends was having her wedding reception.  I was the one putting together the days relaxation for her- pedis, lunch, then getting ready together while munching on little snacks.  I ran to the mall to check in with the nail salon and grab a cami for my dress.  I really only stopped in two stores, breezing through a few more asking if they had a certain cami then heading to the next shop. When I got ready to pay I realized my keys were gone.  I backtracked through the store so sure I would find them.  But they weren't there.  So I backtracked through the mall- for about TWO HOURS looking for them.  I was in a panic.  The silver lining was that the automatic key had fallen off the week before so I could get in and out of my car.  No problem- one quick call to my bestie and they were pulling through the parking lot to pick me up.  Day salvaged.  I smiled all day (on the inside freaking out that I had lost every key known to man including keys to my school.)  So the next day I called the mall security but still no keys.  I actually called them so many times they got short with me.  I was freaking out by then, but I had a few errands to run for TJ so out I head with TJ's keys to my car.  The day was going just fine until I got home.  The house key was on the side of TJ's keys he had kept- in OKC- at the fire station I had just driven to to take him homemade chocolate chip cookies.   Enter my moma- she had a set of house keys to our house and she brought them after a very long layover for me at Subway with a baby past her naptime. 
These kinds of situations have gone on continually for a month.  TJ and I had honestly almost forgot they were gone.  Yes, it was annoying, but bareable by this point.  Until Wednesday.  During our staff meeting our assistant principal announced she has a great story.  She proceeded to tell how the district office had called her and said there was a set of keys that Sooner Mall had traced back to my school district.  The keys were then traced back to my school.  They were then traced back to my room number.  I have no idea how all of that played out, but I am so thankful that someone decided to work so hard to get my keys back.

So the prodigal keys have returned! Bring the fatted calf.  We're having a party! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm not usually like this...

but I want this.  For no reason other than I WANT it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Streams of consciousness

Today was the first day of school. My feet are aching.  And I'm blogging.  I should be working on my seating chart layouts and tweaking my lesson plans for tomorrow, but I need a minute to just be Amanda and not Mrs. Aragon.  But first I'll say today was wonderful.   Maybe the best first day I've had.  The little ones were delightful, everyone got on the right bus, and they loved The Kissing Hand. 

I feel like I have two (or three) personas in my head swimming around.  There's Mrs. Aragon, the teacher, the moma, and then Amanda.  I love them all, but some days it's really hard to be true to all three of them.  Of course, if you're a moma you know that the "just you" version of you fades into the background.  Someday you love it, some days you loathe it.  Then there's the whole stay at home mom vs. working mom debate.  Truthfully, I think everyone wants a piece of what they're not doing.  Kinda like the straight haired girls all want curls and the brunettes want to be blondes.  It seems the grass is always greener on the other side and I will admit that last night I cried like a little baby that I was leaving for work today and leaving Faith with someone else to watch after her.

There are only two resolutions I have done a really crappy job with- drinking less DDP and losing weight.  They're related, I'm sure.  In my defense I do drink A LOT more water, usually more water than DDP.  But the losing weight part has wholly sucked.  I'm teaming up with a friend at work and we've created a plan.  A secret plan.  A plan that's sure to work (cross your fingers) to make my final resolution come to fruition.   I'm sure pumped and it starts September 1st.  Look for a more slender version of me coming soon.  Because now I've said it out loud.  And I don't want to look like a big quitter so I have to stick with it.

Last night Faith fell out of her bed.  And not just fell out of her bed.  We woke up to her screaming last night.  TJ ran in and all he saw was her little feet- she had fallen in between her bed and her nightstand head first and was wedged in there!  How scary!!!!  She is fine, not even a bruise, but it was definitely one of those "hold your breath" moments.

I think thats it.  I cleared my mind and got it off my chest.  Now back to seating charts. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mr. Sandman, Bring Me Some Tissues

Ladies and Gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true.  Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

A little girl named, let's call her, Paith, suddenly became scared to death of her bed.  She woke up one morning happy as a lark and at 2:00 that afternoon went into fits of hysteria as her daddy, we'll call him CJ, put her down for a nap.  He followed her routine, the routine she had set herself, but to no avail.  She wailed.  She screamed.  She cried out "Whoa Baby" in moments of delirium (not kidding, she really did).  Her parents, CJ and Namanda were unnerved and perplexed.  How could their little Paith have had a change of heart so suddenly about her wonderful bed?  See, you have to understand, little Paith had slept through the night 98% of the time since she was FIVE WEEKS OLD.  She told us when she was tired, got her cozy (blanket) and baby and stood at her bed at nap and bedtime on her own.  And worse than that, little Paith's parents had slept through the night 98% of the time since she was FIVE WEEKS OLD.  They were accustomed to and relished in their child's sleep patterns.  And now, NOW, little Paith was creating a hitch in their getalong.  And they had no idea what to do.  So Namanda, little fickle Namanda, turned to a social networking site, we'll call it LaceBook, with a cry for help.  And boy, did she open the floodgates.  People from every end of the parenting spectrum gave their 2 cents (sometimes their nickels and dimes, as well) as to how Namanda and CJ should gain control of this situation.  And truthfully, they tried them.  Pretty much all of them.  They rocked, they sang, they swayed, they forced he to cry it out, they turned on a nightlight, they used music, etc.  But again, no dice.  Paith just wasn't going to sleep in that little jail cell of a crib any longer.  She would sleep in the guest room, in her parent's room, in her room on a mattress, but not that darn crib.  That darn crib that cost a pretty penny, an arm, and a leg and that converted into a toddler bed that she wasn't having either.
Namanda and CJ quickly realized that the only people that knew little Paith well enough to make a decision about her was them.  They had been a part of her evolving patterns since the beginning.  That it was more important to listen to their child's needs than to adhere to a certain parenting style that required an A+B=C method.  So that's what they did.  With the help of another website, we'll call it Pegslist, they were able to obtain a big girl bed for Paith, who doesn't seem so little anymore, sadly.  They laid down with her at night and started a new routine that made her feel safe and comfortable.  They did stay with her until she fell asleep and sucessfully (and sometimes not so successfully) rolled out of her bed and tiptoed out to the living room.  Because Paith wasn't trying to control or manipulate them.  She was scared.  Of what?  They don't know.  But they knew their daughter enough to know the difference.  And because Paith will only need or want them to read bedtime stories and sing to her for so long.  Then she'll be too old or too cool for that.  And they choose to cherish those moments, even if they rearrange CJ and Namanda's evenings totally.  And the house doesn't get picked up.  And they trip on Diego and Dora when they get up in the morning.
And guess what?  Three days ago, Namanda read Paith the Bible, sang her a song and walked out.  She expected waterworks, screaming, and banging on the door.   Little Paith got out of bed, walked to her door and stopped.  She turned around, crawled back into her bed, and fell asleep.  I cried.  I mean, Namanda cried.  Because she was doing it on her own.  She was overcoming something that even she thought she couldn't.  That we weren't sure if she could.  How brave of my little 19 month old angel.  I don't know that I've ever been prouder of her. 
And if I can be honest, I cried  because now she doesn't want or need to be rocked, that now she climbs up into her twin sized bed with a real quilt and pillow and says "Bible" and waits for me to read to her.  That she's no longer a baby, that she can "pee bee" in the potty and tells me "no way" and "I want one, pretty please."  I cried tears of joy for her and mourning for myself. 
So, do I think all those people on Facebook were wrong?  Do I think all the things they did or tried with their babies was just BS and they need to adhere to our method?  No.  I just think that you are the expert on your little Paith.  And they are the expert on their little Paith.  And that we should all give ourselves a little more credit than we do, cut ourselves and our babies some slack, and breathe.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Resolution Check

Here's the short version of my resolutions so far this year:

1. Guests at the house- had our best friends (Corrie and Brent, Emily and TJ) over and go to know the new TJ in our life, Emily's husband! So much fun to watch the girls play together.  I can't wait until Lundyn is here!  Here's a little back story- our house still doesn't feel like our home to me very much.  We've lived her almost a year, but it still seems like a rent house, almost. I'm trying to fill it with love, but I don't want to just fill it with furniture and call it good.  It's hard for me to find a balance.  Corrie's house (and the house she grew up in) makes you feel at home the minute you walk in.  When we lived in the Quorum when we were both newlyweds our apt looked like a dorm room and Corrie and Brent's made you wanna sit down and talk with friends.  Yesterday when Corrie came over she said that our house really felt like a home.  It made my heart happy. 
2. Guitar- we've been jamming a little.  Practicing just worshiping God with songs that flow out of my heart.  Awkward at first, but I've had some amazing time with God doing this.  And, I just found out our long time friend's dad owns a guitar shop in the next town over.  New strings?  Don't mind if I do.
3. Weight- I bought that really popular book, Women, Food, and God.  I'm not buying it.  But the author said "Alot of people won't buy into this" so I feel like I have to keep reading.  I don't want to be her stupid statistic.  While we're on the topic, I feel like this is going to be my downfall forever.  I have been chubby since I was like 2 years old.  Part of me knows that I'll be overweight no matter what so I don't ever care if I weight more than slightly overweight.  The other part of me knows I could stand to lose a substantial amount of weight and gets discouraged by that.  The other part of me wants to lose weight and do what it takes.  And the other part of me wants to eat chocolate cake.  I'm contemplating doing WW again, but I hated those meeting so much I don't wanna go there.  I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight which is good, but my pre pregnancy weight was a lot so that's not good.  And while I'm on this topic even more, chubby girls don't want to work out.  Ya know why? Because no one wants to be pitied while they're sweating like a dog on a treadmill.  Admit it- you see a little skinny chic working out and you think "wow, she's really in shape, pretty, hot, etc."  You see a chubby woman working out and you think "oh, poor thing." I could go on forever on this topic.  I wish I could just be happy in my skin.  But my skin ain't lookin' so hot, so there's that.  Whatever.  I'm over it.
4. Blog- yep.
5. Camera- trying, but its such a bitty of a camera. 
6. Lesson Plans- back to work next week.  I'm going to rock this one out.  I don't have a choice.  When you have a class of 25 5 year olds organization and planning is imperative.
7. Garden- amazing. wonderful. the best resolution ever. 
8. Hair- just got a cut a few weeks ago. I typically go to my sister in law to cut my hair (Shana at Finesse in Norman) but I freaked out right before our 10 year reunion and had to get my hair cut right then.  I went to Great Clips by Target and this girl did an awesome job.  And better yet, it only cost $15!!!  I've decided she's going to be my go between when I can't afford my sister, but need a trim.  Oh, this is a funny story that put me in my place.  The other day we were driving down the road and TJ lovingly embraced my head and said, "You're hair looks so nice.  You brushed it, huh?"  Ha!  I laughed and laughed, but I was offended a little on the inside. So I bought a new flat iron.  I think the one I had was the original patent product from the early 90s. Its not a her-styler from the mall, but its amazing.
9. Water- yep.
10. Decorate the Bedroom- yep.  We were thrown a little off track because we had to get Faith a new bed (that's an entirely different post) so we dove in head first and got her an awesome bedroom suite off of Craigslist.  She sleeps in a twin sized bed now.  Everytime I see her little body in it I die a little. Stop growing, little one.

I will say it again, I've never made resolutions before this year.  I feel like I'm doing well.  When school starts I know I'm going to have to work dilligently to continue blogging (although I'll have great new material with the crazy things kindergarteners say) but I'm hoping it will be a change of pace and new inspiration on the weight-loss journey. 

Most Moms...

Most moms take those monthly pictures of their children and have them forever.  Put a huge stuffed animal by a baby and watch them grow.  Or in their crib and see how long it takes for their feet to stick out the bars.  I, of course, didn't get on that bandwagon soon enough.  I tried, but I forgot so many months that it didn't seem worth it.  But I will have these forever and ever, amen.  We take them almost every time we go see daddy at work.  And not every kid gets to do this.

November 2009
December 2009
 January 2010
August 2010

Can you believe it?
 And just because this is the cutest picture ever....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Converation on Conversation

Let me let everyone in on one of my dirty little secrets- we haven't gone to church consistently this summer.  Wait, I should be more honest.  We've been to church twice this summer.  For various reasons- vacation, sick baby, time changed to Faith's nap time, excuses are a dime a dozen.  To even be more honest, I haven't felt one little bit bad about it.  Coming out of a place where we went to church at least 3 times a week, whether you were running a fever or not, its been nice to just relax and not feel so pressured.  Having said that, last week my heart's desire was to go to church.  I was a little sad to find out we were having an "out" week and would be all meeting at SkateLand.  At the expense of looking like someone who only comes "to the fun things" we went.  I really love those people.  They're genuine and unlike any church family I've ever been around.

Back to my desire.  I really think it was about abiding with God.  Opening a constant flow of communication between me and God instead of a text message in times of need.  So that's what I've been consciously trying to do.  Abide- live with- be with- the Father 24 hours a day. 

Today Faith and I were going around town looking for bedding and I was just talking with God about things.  I start thinking about how He must be so annoyed with me that I think I can just pick back up where I left off with Him.  But guys- HE'S SO NOT ANNOYED.  And better than that, he confirmed that to me by speaking to me in big ways today. Here's how:

1. I was really worried about finding a dress for Emily's reception.  We are working hard to save and pay off silly debt and I didn't want to spend much money on it.  Also, I wanted a purple or blue dress. And a maxi dress. And it needed to be long. And I'm a smidge picky. I hit all my regular honey holes with no luck.  I really felt like God was telling me "Don't pay over $15.99 for a dress.  I have one for you.  Just be patient."  At first I really felt like I may have been making that up because, really, I haven't been abiding and I thought somehow God would punish me for not abiding by making it hard to hear His voice.  But guys- HE SO WANTS TO SPEAK AND BE HEARD.  As I went from place to place I'd look for the blue or purple long maxi dress that was $15.99 or less.  Faith and I hit one last place, TJ Maxx  (where I have never found a single thing that fits these hips) to look for a quilt for her bed and I swing by the clearance rack and there it is- a blue, long, maxi dress and it was $15.00!!!!!!  I know it sounds silly, but I know God did that for me.  Because He loves me, He's rad, and He didn't want me to go to the reception in daisy dukes and a tube top!

2. My niece's friend committed suicide.  I didn't know her, but it was tough on my niece.  All day today I'd been really talking to God about my niece and her mourning and the girl's family.  Honestly, I couldn't get Shea off my mind.  I just needed to be with her.  I was contemplating driving to Enid just to take her to Sonic and hang out for a little bit, but I didn't have the gas in my car and its around 2 1/2 hours away.  I went back and forth about going to Enid today or tomorrow when my phone beeped that I got a text.  It was Shea.  "Do you think I can come visit this weekend?"  Seriously?!?!?!?  I called her right then and I'm picking her up Thursday for the weekend.  Guys- HE SO WANTS TO TALK WITH US!

I was so encouraged today.  God doesn't hold a grudge with me.  Or you.  If you don't believe me, talk with Him.  He'll tell you.  He loves you to pieces.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fingernails: An Unfortunate Tale (or two)

My mom was always the lady that cooked the big yummy meals at church.  Once when I was little the youth were having a special speaker come and the youth pastor asked my mom to cook up something wonderful.  When the speaker got there everyone was talking up my mom's cooking and how great it was (like they always do) and as she put the finishing touches on and the dinner prayer was said she noticed something unfortunate. Very unfortunate.  One of her long pink fingernails was broken off.  She had no idea where it was.  At this point it was too late to start over so she called the youth pastor over and told him what had happened.  And he was forced to do the unthinkable.  He ran the bell (remember the bell for everyone that went to 12cbc?) and announced that a fingernail had been lost in the making of dinner that night and that it might be lurking in someone's dinner.  And who do you think found a bright pink fingernail?  Yep, the guest speaker.  Fortunately he had been around youth a lot and just dug it out, announced to the crowd he was the lucky winner, and kept eating. 
Well, last week I had an unfortunate tell of my own.  I, too, lost a fingernail.  I lost a fingernail in the making of pickles.  I had cut and was chilling about THIRTY, fresh from the garden, almost organic cucumbers.  I sat down to relax, got busy cleaning like a good little wife attended to my screaming child and noticed it soon after.  I thought about just making them anyways.  But I just couldn't.  I was forced to throw away 30 cucumbers and start over.  Thankfully I was able to pick enough for 6 quart jars of pickles in one day.  Read 'em and weap, Vlasic.  There's a new pickle in town.  Some have deemed them the best pickle they've ever had.

Moral of the story- long fingernails are for suckers.  Or the very least, people who don't cook. Or Perkins women.  Or women whose brains go faster than their hands. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blunder of the Week, Part 1

Last Wednesday I loaded up Faith for her first mini concert.  The Sugar-Free Allstars were playing at our library and I knew she would just love it.  I dressed her cute and funky and put her hair in dog ears so everyone would think she was adorable.  (I mean, really, if you've seen the kid you know she's the cutest thing EVER, but I can add at least a point or two of cuteness with the right clothes and hair accessories.) Back to the story, I pull into the library and there are just a few cars there.  I, of course, start bashing Noble and how nothing is ever going to grow there if people don't take advantage of the opportunities that come our way and we look like we don't give a rip about those things when we don't show up and on and on and on.  Now, its just me and Faith in the car so she looks at me like I'm wweird and I move on immediately. "Well, WE are are going to show the Sugar-Free Allstars how cool we are, Faith.  We're going to go in their and rock them out with your amazing intellect and my superior early childhood development know-how."  Again, crickets from the little one in the back.  Tough crowd, I think.  So I unload Faith and walk in.  We're quickly ushered by a nice lady to the "children's program" in the back, but when we walk in there was just a lady with a basket of books.  No guitars, no men in brightly colored shirts, no Sugar-Free Dang Allstars!!!!  I, of course, play it off like nothings wrong at that we're there for whatever is going on.  But I was fuming.  I HAD COME ON THE WRONG DAY!!!!  And it wasn't like they were going to be there on Thursday so all was well, they had been there the day before.  The day when I was sitting at home with Faith telling her about how much fun she was going to have tomorrow when we went to the library!  Faith had fun at story time, and she even got to pick out a book and a bag of goodies.  And she didn't know any different.  So I guess all's well that ends well.  But still, people. Still. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When It Rains...

Faithy is sick.   We came home from NM last Friday and she became sick promptly after that.  Well, I guess I should say that Friday we got home, Saturday we had to re-stock the groceries, Sunday we had an impromptu 4th celebration and Monday she woke up with a fever. I thought the fever was related to teething since she STILL only has two bottom teeth and 7 or 8 top teeth.  But I was wrong.  The fever lasted 3 days then came the congestion.  We went and picked up my niece Thursday and Friday I decided to take her to the doctor.  On the way to the doctor's office I had to pull over and jerk her out of her car seat because she was choking on her phlegm.  I was so scared!  Then she was a TERROR waiting for Dr. Kuhl's, who took his DST by the way.  I mean pulling chairs, throwing toys, and ripping tons of the paper they put on the table into shreds.  I finally got her calmed down before he came in my playing with her in the mirror.  A few minutes before he came in she fell and bumped her mouth on the mirror and that was it.  She screamed, flailed, and all around went crazy while he was examining her. As we walked out to the car in the pouring rain I see that Faith had accidentally rolled down the back window of the 4-Runner and her new box of diapers were soaked.  Then she cried the ENTIRE WAY HOME!  I was thinking she take a long nap, but she woke up 40 minutes later HYSTERICAL with a mysterious bug bite on her face.  I searched her bed frantically for a spider, but I didn't find anything.  She also has blisters on the back of her feet from a new pair of shoes and mosquito bites all over her legs!  She has basically cried, hit, and been a little banshee for a week.  I'm tired.  And ranting.  Tired and ranting.  And oh, did I mention my husband's on a fishing trip that he left for today and won't be back until Tuesday?  Because I would hate to leave that out of my tired ranting.