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.