Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving morning. I'm reflecting on the past year as I wait for the spectacle that is the Macy's Parade. I'm a sucker for traditions.  The past several years have been spent running the Turkey Trot this morning, however this year, injury has kept me from the starting line. I'm going to do a walk, trot to the park and back when Sean gets up. I'm hoping to convince him to swing through Safeway for a cinnamon roll on the way back home since I forgot to buy our traditional Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I've been out of it the last few days working way too much. Time got away from me and I lost track of what is important. This is the post to remind me.

Last night we had happy hour with friends. It had been months since we saw them. That was ridiculous. Good friends should not go for months without seeing each other. We will remedy that one and already have a December date for a meet up. Friendships are one thing I'm very thankful for. Melinda and I finally got back on the meeting up for the Sunday coffee run. I'm so thankful for that!
Family. They make you insane. They pick you up and carry you when you have nothing left to give.They get your dumb jokes, they give you crap and call you on your bullshit. I couldn't ask for a better group to call my clan and I love them more than they will ever truly know.

OREGON. The most beautiful state of them all. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Seriously. Enough said.

Finally, the thing I am most thankful for in the world. LOVE. This man is the first and last thought I have every day. He gives me strength when I need it and space when I don't. We have an ideal mix of opposite and aligned tastes and I can't imagine navigating this life of mine without him.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Count your blessings, eat your pie and pour a second glass of wine. This really is a wonderful life. (Sorry George Bailey, your season starts tomorrow!)


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Random Thoughts

It's been a long week. It's parent teacher conferences again and while I love the opportunity to meet the families and share my experiences thus far in the year, it's always a little like preparing for the unexpected. So far, they have gone well. There are two more days to go so we will see how it all pans out.

I've been over worked and over stressed and let my toxic attitude seep out of my pores this week. I feel ashamed for that. I had a sharp tongue and let thoughts that should have been filtered and stay in my head escape my lips. I hope I have not damaged friendships. It was a very long week, but time does not excuse bad behavior. I will not let that happen again.

Last week I tried jogging for the first time in three months. It was only for a block or two and only a couple of times during my walk, but you would have thought I just completed my first big race. The amount of joy I felt at the end of that exercise session was ridiculous. It could have something to do with the fact that I was also reunited with the most amazing exercise buddy I know, but honestly the running, how ever slow and how ever little, felt like coming home. I sure hope that my foot finally heals up or I decide to go for the surgery so I can feel alive every day again.

Last night I went to an after work crafting party. I didn't want to go. I'm not crafty. I grabbed my knitting bag and went anyway. It was the best decision I've made in a long time. It ended up that there were only three of us and what was supposed to be crafting turned into three hours of snacking and deep, thoughful conversation among friends. It was one of those perfect storm moments where had we tried to plan something like that it would have never happend. Souls were bared, stories were told, advice was given and taken and at the end of it all I felt more whole than I've felt in a long time.  I hope I have the good fortune to experience that again some day.

The weather has been beautiful this week. Cold, bone chilling cold for the valley, and clear. I love this kind of weather. This weekend will be spent in the yard finally cleaning up the death of summer. I'm ready to let it all go. There are many parts of my life, house and yard that need cleaning out and letting go. I'll start with the yard and go from there.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Writing is Hard

Today we started the first of three district writing assessments. It was painful. The same kids who pour out pages of stories in their journals cry, stomp and flat out refuse to write when required to do so. Why is that? I think it is because writing is such a personal endeavor that even kids know it's no fun to put something out there with the sole purpose of being judged proficient or not.

It is ironic to me that the rules that we work so hard to drill into students' heads, go out the window when one becomes a successful writer. I spend weeks each year teaching my students not to start sentences with "and" or "because", yet their choice library books have counteless examples of such rules being disregarded. We practice over and over writing complete sentences, only to read fragments and run on sentences on websites, in brochures and again, in chapter books. "Artistic liberty" I tell them as I explain that once you know and understand the rules that you may choose to break them. They look confused as I become one of those adults that I didn't trust when I was their age. Do as I teach, not as I do. Oh, if they were ever to read this blog, what would they think of my careless disregard for the hard and fast rules of my middle school language arts teacher? What was her name anyway?

I fear writing is becoming a lost art form. I miss the days when letters were written and received. Even my presence here in post form is becoming few and far between. Posts get pushed to the side as I respond to texts and e-mails and close the computer before pounding out the thoughts in my head onto my keyboard. I should try to get back to writing more. I love to do it. I only hope that some of my students can overcome their insecurity and put themselves out there. Not for me to judge, but to be heard, for through the writing process, some of the best insights are found.

Write on friends, write on.