Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Friday, September 25, 2015
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
You know you've been too busy for too long when your husband's text saying he will be taking a week off causes you to burst into tears.
They were Hallelujah, I Was About To Drown tears.
I hate that feeling of it's all just too much. And I hate how it kind of sneaks up on you. You start to feel like you're losing control of little areas here and there, and then all of a sudden you're in a full-on tailspin. The kids are crazy. The house is overwhelming. Nobody likes anybody. I know I'm not the only one.
But Been Here. Done This. I got it.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
I have to admit, it took me a little time to accept the fact that my kids weren't going to be DRAGONS. I live with my own
And that took me a minute.
Rivalries between next-door schools are everywhere. Everyone has that same feeling when they talk about their rival schools. Somewhere deep down, our innards are chanting our school song when we see their school colors. It's just ingrained in us as part of the high school experience. Part of building a healthy dose of pride begins with the ridiculousness of 'my team is better than your team.' It's normal growing up stuff. But when you're forced to join the other team, as an adult, that inner kid stomps their feet and crosses their arms. It's a 'Hell no! We won't go!' moment.
But, of course, we went.
When our first two were in their first year or two of school, we still thought our school placement was only temporary. We'll start as a Hornet, but eventually we'll be Dragons. But as time went on, and we realized school boards don't just allow people to move around in corporations on the simple fact that 'We used to be Dragons! D-R-A-G-O-N-S!' There were school crowding issues, and no one was going to make any exceptions for the former school athlete and his former 'make-out with school athletes' wife and their seven kids.
As enticing as that sounds.
So we had to embrace it. We had to get over our Dragon selves, and be all-in Hornets. We bought the shirts. I put the magnets on the van. And we decided we better start making friends in this new community. I really thought that would be the challenge. Because a lot of Hornet kids have Hornet parents and Hornet grandparents. And here were a couple of Dragons cementing themselves into their community. I knew it would be hard. Because those Hornets are tough and protective and loyal. They don't want Dragons coming in and messing up their nest.
Weirdest thing happened. I was all wrong.
We started talking to other parents....and they smiled and talked to us, too. Weird!
We got the courage to confess our Dragon history....and they could have cared less. Wait...what?!?
And when we accidentally wore an old Dragon shirt out in the community....they laughed at us and said, "Nice shirt!" and then asked about our kids. Crazy.
The Hornet community is awesome. I'm sure the Dragon community is awesome, too. I know a lot of people in the Dragon community, and I know firsthand that they are awesome. But I've finally taken the opportunity to learn what the Hornets are really made of. With seven kids, I have many opportunities to see the people of the community. I see them at Open House....I see them at the ball field....I see them at the basketball camps....I see them at the 4-way stop. And I see people I like. I see people with whom I want to be friends, and who I want to be involved in my children's lives. I see fiercely devoted parents. I see volunteer after volunteer after volunteer. I see older students who take younger students under their wings. I see athletes spending their time teaching younger athletes. I see teachers pouring into and investing in their students. It's a truly awesome group of people.
And now I realize, these people are everywhere! They are in every community! All I had to do was stop being annoyed that I wasn't in the midst of those awesome people, and start enjoying the awesome people around me. Because the Hornets are
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Tomorrow is September 11th, and most adults remember where they were 14 years ago. Just like my parents remember when JFK was assassinated, and I remember when the Challenger exploded, we all remember 9/11. Whether as a parent or as a child or, like me, as a teacher. I was a young 24-year old, teaching fourth grade. I remember those sweet little fourth grade faces. I could cry just thinking about them and how much I loved them. My own personal 'baby boom' had not yet begun, so I was particularly maternal towards them, even though I really had no clue what maternal really meant. That Tuesday was a busy one in my classroom. Tuesdays were the days that we had Computer Lab. Unlike Library or PE or Art or Music, where the students go to another teacher for a short period of time, 'Computer Lab' was the special class for which I was responsible. I was the teacher for their computer lab, so my students didn't leave me at all that day until they went to lunch. By the time I was out from under my pile of fourth graders at 11:30, much had already happened in making September 11th the tragedy that we all know it to be. I went to the teachers' lounge for my own lunch and came upon a shut door. Upon entering, I noticed a swarm of teachers around the television. It was a big box TV that had been wheeled in from the library, and sitting around it with sick stomachs and in somber silence were some of my fellow teachers. There were teachers who were parents, anxious to get home. There was a Vietnam vet, clearly in the grips of anger and frustration, with horrific memories written all over his face. And there was me...a sort of adult, not really knowing what to make of all of it. I was naive enough to hope that it was all just some fluke accident, yet mature enough to suspect that everything was changing. And boy, everything changed.
As the day progressed at school, my students remained in their pre 9/11 world. Throughout the day, they remained oblivious to what was going on outside of our little classroom chatter about possessive nouns and long division and the upcoming science fair. I think the decision was made by our principal to not discuss what was happening with the children until after they had been home to talk with their parents. And I think it was definitely the appropriate decision, because that 24-year old teacher would not have even known where to start. A couple of students were pulled out of class early that day by their nervous parents. I remember thinking at the time that it was silly to take them home early...because we certainly weren't in any danger. But as a parent now myself, I know that nervous feeling deep down in the pit of your stomach that requires you to have your children in your presence. I refuse to go against that feeling now, and I also refuse to apologize for it-even when it seems irrational. My children's school had a tornado hit it a few years ago, and I was nervous that day about the weather. I did not expect that a tornado was truly coming, but I was nervous enough that that feeling was in my gut, and all I knew was that I wanted all my babies home with me. I picked them up early from school, a couple of hours before the tornado demolished the school. Tragedies and miracles happened all around our community that day, and I'm glad I didn't have to face any consequences for not listening to that feeling.
The principal of our school at the time of 9/11 was Mr. B, and he was everything this teacher could ever want in a principal. He was fun and supportive, perfectly allowing me to teach my way, while helping me along the way. The second the students were all out of the building on that Tuesday, he called us all to the teachers' lounge. I don't remember what all he said, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. I was living three hours away from my own parents, and while Brandon and I were already married and living our lives as 'responsible adults', tragic moments like 9/11 are when you just want to curl up on your parents' couch. But Mr. B was a surrogate father figure for me the whole time I taught at that school, and he said just enough to calm my fears and guide me through the upcoming days of questions and concerns from my students. He ended our meeting with "Go home and hug your babies." Remembering that brings tears to my eyes now. He was an exceptional leader.
The next few days were spent in a weird sort of limbo. We tried to get back to business as usual in the classroom, even though there was nothing usual going on anywhere. The news had taken on a new life of its own, beginning what we now know as the 24-hour news cycle. Parts of the world were at a complete stand still, and there was an air of uncertainty everywhere we went. My students had so many questions and were trying to deal with the images they were seeing on their television sets. There were a lot of candid questions and a lot of candid answers, and a lot of I don't really know's coming from their teacher. At the end of each school day, my students would line up for either a hug or a high-five as they left the classroom. They all got hugs for a while, whether they requested it or not.
My 9/11 story is not particularly dramatic or traumatic. It's like thousands upon thousands of other stories. But when you're 14 years out, it's easier to see the people who really made a difference in your own life when it came to dealing with the craziness of the situation. And you can reflect on how you handled it, and be prepared to do it differently next time. Because the truth is, there will be a next time, on some level. Tragedies happen all the time, whether it's on a personal level or a world-wide level. I've heard this saying before, and I said it to my own children once when we were driving past a horrific accident....Look for the heroes. Look for the helpers. I think it's easy to be angry in the midst of terrible situations. It's easy to be distracted by and drawn to the horror. It's really easy to point the fingers at those to blame. But looking for the heroes and the helpers can change the way your heart looks at the world. Don't you think? Mr. B was a hero to me. The parents who pulled their kids out of class certainly taught me something. And those sweet students of mine helped me to focus on a way to be helpful to them. And the images of heroes and helpers were also on the television, in the midst of the horror. I suspect there will be more of that on the TV tomorrow, as our nation reflects on this tragic anniversary. And I'm certainly thankful for that.
I found the quote after I finished this post, and of course it comes from Mr. Rogers. It's definitely one worth remembering. :)
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
no child cooperated tonight. None of them.
Here's a Mommy Tip for ya:
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Oh my word. Finally a free day! We spend our days going here, there, and everywhere, but every single person has been home for every single minute of today. And now, all seven of my babies are downstairs with Daddy watching a movie, while I make chocolate chip cookies. It's 100% my favorite kind of day. We used to have these kinds of days almost every weekend, but our new norm is rush, rush, rush almost every day of the week. I loathe it. But whaddya gonna do? You're gonna take advantage of the free days when you can get them, I guess. The kids spent most of their mornings with their faces in their screens, and then did some swimming this afternoon. Brandon and I cooked meals and cleaned house...and then repeated that several more times. It wasn't the picture perfect family day, but all nine of us being in each other's presence makes the day awesome, chores or not. So I hope you're all enjoying some time with the people you love this holiday weekend! And make some cookies, while you're at it!
|Cookie recipe from my friend Kelly.--->|
Super easy and super yummy. I keep it
taped inside my cabinet door because I
make them All The Time.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
My delivery, however, came like this:
Henry helped me bring it in.
So be forewarned....the following pictures are #1 self-taken...with the help of the iPhone timer, a file cabinet to hold the phone and a wooden spoon to keep it in place, #2 terribly focused and lit because of #1, and #3 kind of sad & pathetic in a frumpy, stay-at-home mom kind of way. Welcome to Sara!
I'm a jeans kind of girl. Typically, I pair with it a tank top and cardigan sweater. I went wild and crazy today and put on a sweatshirt.
Here it goes.
Soooooo not funny.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
I've finally tired of seeing my seven-baby belly popping up as the first picture on my blog, so it seems it's time to write something new. Plus, I've started having conversations with various people...all in my head...which means it's time to head back to my therapeutic writing. We'll see just how long this therapy fits into my crazy schedule.
Today didn't start out as smoothly as I prefer. I came across a homework assignment that Kyle was supposed to turn in Friday....crap! Then we realized Annie left her trumpet at home....ugh! Then we came across Josiah's forgotten glasses....sigh. Josiah, who is in super-emotional seven-year old mode, wouldn't be able to have a productive day without them, so Brandon had to make a drop-off to the school with all the left-behinds. I usually have a general rule that whatever is forgotten stays forgotten, as I am not running things to school that the kids should be remembering themselves. But we're cutting Mr. Joe some slack. I love the quote:
face!" about 20 minutes later, so instantaneous miracles don't always occur. But the moral of the story is: A little lovin' is always a good thing. ;)