Sunday, December 30, 2007

364 Days of Resolutions

Its funny that I am all for making promises or setting goals to better myself, but I am so against New Years resolutions. In the past, I have found that I just can't keep them. Because of this, I end up disappointing myself and then become hesitant to set any more goals. So, this year I am giving myself more than just one day to make resolutions. I proclaim this year to be the 364 Days of Resolutions. I will set goals for myself on any day of the year except New Year's Day. In many ways, this might actually work better for me. I am never the same person January 1st as I am at the end of the year. With every year, and sometimes every month, my life changes. For example, this time last year I was miserable in a marriage that I knew was not working. I put on a superficial smile for the holidays, and then spent New Years by myself. I have spent so many New Years promising that I would take back control of my life. Well, this past year, I did. But, I made this promise to myself not in January, but in May. This was a spring resolution that I did keep. Now, I am so much happier, and am spending this New Years so hopeful and very optimistic of all the wonderful things the new year will bring.

So, for those of you who have a hard time with New Year's resolutions, please feel free to join my mini-movement. I am a butterfly fanatic, not only because they are beautiful, but because they have the ability to evolve and change. I got my butterfly tattoo for this very reason. I wanted a constant reminder that no matter where I am in life, I can transform and make myself better. Good luck!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Little Christmas Miracle

I received a phone call from my client yesterday at around 3:00 in the afternoon. I highly anticipated this birth, not only because of the beautiful event that would transpire, but also because this was hopefully going to be my certification birth. I had a very small window of time left in order to finish. I arrived at the hospital at 6:30pm. My client was a first time mom, so they had many questions as the process unfolded. They were actually already at the hospital visiting her sister on the seventh floor that was recovering from brain surgery, when her water broke. For those that know what this means, my client went from two centimeters dilated to ten in only six hours. I was amazed how wonderful she was doing, and how fast the laboring process was proceeding. She only pushed for around an hour, and then her beautiful baby girl made her appearance into this world.

This was the sixth birth I have attended, and while the process is never the same, it will always be one of the most miraculous events I have ever witnessed. It is such an honor to be able to participate in such a special and intimate event. I watch as each story unfolds, and a family is instantly born. The love that fills each delivery room can not be harnessed, as tears of joy flow freely. Two of my favorite aspects of a delivery are the mother's reaction the moment her baby is delivered, and the father's instantaneous love for his little one that is formed right at the warmer.

Every birth I attend adds another beautiful mark on my heart. I grow and learn about the beauty of birth, and the strength of human nature joined as a couple. As tired as I am right now, I am glowing...because I just saw a Christmas miracle.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Where do I find a friendship rule book?

A friend of mine posted a new blog entry on MySpace. As I have not had much time to catch up with everyone, I enjoy reading their blogs to see how people are doing. His blog was harsh, and I know it was partially directed at me. He is disappointed that his friends are not calling back or keeping in touch as he would see fit. He ended the entry saying that if those people (including me) didn't make an effort then they can consider themselves no longer his friend. I was pretty shocked, hurt, and mystified. I know its hard for everyone to keep in touch, especially this time of the year. I will sometimes go several weeks without talking to some of my close friends, but when we do chat its like no time has passed. I was not sure what to say in response to his entry, and I am sure that my witty yet snide comment probably will not be taken well. But, in my heart, when people are true friends, time is not a factor. If my friends are too busy or have a lot going on, I am not going to punish them or say they are no longer my friend just to make myself feel better. Am I wrong? Does a true friendship have guidelines, rules, and/or restrictions? Are we all labeled with expiration dates? My first instinct is to lay this friendship to rest, and not think twice about it. But, I have never been considered a bad friend to anyone (that I know of) and trying to understand his accusations is disheartening.

Here's the silver did make me think of a friend that I really do need to give a Pache, listen out for your ringer! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

He's Just Not That Into You

This is a book that my mom had purchased for my sister awhile ago, and was handed down to me when I started dating again. Keeping with my whole "tough love" theme, this book's title sounds harsh, but the words are actually refreshing and somewhat empowering. Its empowering because women can actually learn the warning signs and not act like an ass pursuing a man that is not interested. I would actually also recommend this book to men, partially so that they realize women are onto their lame excuses, but also because women actually use many of the same lines. The authors (male and female) give very different viewpoints on the same topics which helps to analyze both what a man and a woman are thinking. Two of my favorite lines in the book are; "Don't you want a guy who'll forget about all the other things in his life before he forgets about you?" and hard hitting advice such as "The word 'busy' is a load of crap and is most often used by assholes...the more you uncover, all you're going to find is a man who didn't care enough to call. Remember: Men are never too busy to get what they want". WHERE WAS THIS BOOK TEN YEARS AGO??? :)
* A friend read this post and was surprised that it was not as upbeat as my other posts. I did not mean for it to not be. I thought this book was a great read, and very powerful for women to have a look into a man's mind. I saw it in both a positive and negative light. I have already mentioned the harsh realities of dating, but the positive side can be shown through dating as well. If a man that you are with is not exhibiting these signs, then it becomes very exciting because you know that he "is into you". That will defer a lot of questions or things that may be built up in your mind. Sometimes women, including myself, make excuses for certain behavior because we do not want to face reality. How hard is it to admit to yourself that someone is just not into you? So, the excuses build and the wool fully coats ones eyes. I liked this book because it tore the wool off, and allowed women to see things much more clearly. Why waste time with someone when a person could be waiting right around the corner that is really interested in you? So, my own bluntness was mandatory so that I could move past my own disillusions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tough Love

I have wonderful friends that express their sympathy and give me a listening ear when I am in need of someone to talk to. But, sometimes I need the tough love that only my friend Scott can give. I have been tossing some things around in my head for awhile now, not really wanting to face my own realizations. So, I presented my problems to Scott last night. As always, he gave me the story straight, and forced me to see what I already knew, but didn't want to see. I know that he loves me, and his bluntness is not meant to hurt my feelings. I do have that stubborn yet dreamer side to me, and I sometimes need to be grounded. Everyone needs a variety of different friends, but I truly believe that all of us need a Scott.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Will it be better?

I finally had a meeting this morning with a parent that I had needed to see since the beginning of the year. I knew that her life is not easy, so I did not fault her for having limited availability. We discussed her child's behavior and academic issues, and then the conference took an unexpected turn. She said that they are planning to move back to Mexico in January or February. Her husband and the father of her children had been deported last year, which forced her to start working to support three children. The father was physically abusive to the children's mother on many occasions. All the children were witnesses. I can't imagine how difficult her life must be here to even consider going back to the man that treated her in such a way. So here is my question...will it be better? I am not the one to answer, nor could I, so my heart just aches for her heavy decisions.

Here are my thoughts for her...

Be strong in your decisions,
as they sometimes can not be taken back.
Continue to hold on to your little ones,
as they will shape our future.
Know that your struggles,
were never in vain.
Rest with a peaceful heart,
as home hopefully takes away your pain.

* Thank you M.C. for helping to make this family's Christmas bright*

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it SNOW!

I woke up this morning with the hopes that the weather people were drastically wrong, and I could witness the first blanket of snow for the year. Alas, they were right. Although, I could smell it in the air. The day progressed without as much as a snowflake. The kids came off the bus, and we got settled into our morning routine. One of my students brought in a book for me to read this morning called, "The Big Snow". I began reading the story, and as if on cue, I caught the first sign of snow out of the corner of my eye. I glanced briefly at the window as I was turning the page, and a child (who never pays attention) actually followed my gaze, and yelled, "IT'S SNOWING!" Then the insanity of the first snowfall began. I couldn't even mask my own excitement, as I tried to lasso my class and pull them back into the story.

As a teacher, the excitement of the possibility of snow never fades. I doubt that my enthusiasm would wane even if I were not a teacher. I relish in watching the quiet snowflakes fall to the ground, and create a beautiful stillness. The past two years have been such a disappointment, as I would be content with just one good snowfall. In college, the first snowfall brought a whole other type of excitement. My sorority's mascot is a rabbit, so for the first accumulating snowfall we would all meet in front of the sorority dorms at 6:00am, and become "snow bunnies". This entailed all of us in the snow in our bikinis. The local paper, and about every fraternity showed up for this annual event.

There is something so magical with snow, and this pitiful snowfall today only increased my desire. So, from one snow lover to another, LET IT SNOW!

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Silent Prayer

My friend Patience's sister, Jen, is an amazing blogger, and a genius with words. I was recently catching up on some of her entries when I stumbled upon a candle that she had designed. The words on the candle spoke directly to my heart. I immediately envisioned the candle sitting in my window and lighting it when I needed a silent prayer. One of my friends is going through a tough time right now, and as the words on the candle brought me strength, I hope to "pay it forward."

Whatever you do
Hold on To hope!
The Tiniest thread
will twist into an
unbreakable cord.
Let hope anchor
you in the possibility
that this is NOT
the END of your story,
that change will
bring you to peaceful
~Jen Lemen

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Into the mix again

Its strange when you enter a part of your life that you have already lived before. It has been a long time since I have dated, and dating brings me back to a time I had since forgotten. Dating is something that encompasses all of you because of its anxiety, anticipation, and sometimes regret. It is never easy to put yourself out matter how confident you are. When exiting a marriage you feel vulnerable, but at the same time zeroed in on what you want your next mate to be like. Sometimes I wonder if I am only focusing on the traits that my ex lacked, and not what would truly make me happy in life. People I am mildly attracted to find me very intriguing, while those I find very intriguing are not attracted in the same way. Animals have mastered the art of body chemistry...regardless of the fact that most are only looking for a procreation partner. Some animals, such as the emperor penguins, are very choosy in their mate. What makes them decide that this is the one? I wish that life resembled a fairy tale, and when I kissed my prince charming the bells and fireworks would sound. I would know, without a doubt in my heart that I had finally found my soul mate. I have not lost hope, nor will I, because having a partner and a family has always been in my cards. I just wish that the process was less analytical, and more emotional in nature. Why isn't my heart guiding me?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Conference day...from a teacher's viewpoint

This post is a bit delayed, but I felt it was important enough to write. We held conference day not that long ago. I usually dread this day. The parents you need to see never show up, and the ones you do not need to see always come. I work in a low income school, so getting anyone to come is a blessing. Most of my conferences needed a translator which made me regret my inability to speak Spanish fluently.

I stayed pretty grumpy for most of the day, until one little boy's mom came in. She is a single mom, only 23, and moved here for a fresh start for her and her son. She speaks English remarkably well, and lives her life for her child. I was amazed at her strength, determination, and her willingness to press even further, despite the fact that her son is doing great. I felt her struggles for finding a babysitter, and working long hours without much pay. It was evident through our conversation that she is not able to interact with other adults very often. She viewed me as her child's caregiver, almost like a parent when she can not be there. Her admiration and compliments took me off guard. There were so many words not verbally spoken. Most of our communication was done through our eyes.

At the end of the meeting, she got up and gave me a long hug. She thanked me for being such a good teacher, and then walked out the door. Thankfully I had a few minutes to pull myself together after that meeting. In her heart, she feels weak, and stretched to her fullest capacity. But, in her, I saw a wildfire of strength. That hug was what she needed, but little did she know how much I needed it too.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ever ready enough?

I am sitting here with some extra time on my hands, because I forgot to set the clocks back last night. It has been awhile since I have felt like I actually had extra time. Most of my days are spent rushing from here to there, and then finally crashing into bed at night. On Wednesday, I will be picking up my cousin from the airport. It is that time of year again for the annual cousin reunion. I look at my busy week with nervous anticipation. Am I going to be able to get everything done? Will my house be clean enough? Will I find time to go to the grocery store between now and Wednesday? I am a perfectionist by nature, which can be a good thing, but at times when I am expecting company, it can be rather stressful. I am not sure if a friend has ever seen my house as the complete disaster it can be at times. Why am I not able to just let go? I am beginning to realize that the cousin reunion is truly just a precursor to the busy holiday season. Last year I pretty much had all of my shopping done by now...and this year all I have done is order my Christmas cards. I have been neglecting emails, and phone calls that need to be made. When times would get stressful at school, one of my teacher friends would say.."everything will get done". She was right, everything always got done. It is just hard to see that at the time when the "to do" list seems too long. I do not make New Years resolutions because I can't handle the disappointment when I do not follow instead I am going to make a holiday resolution. Tis the season to let perfection slip to the wayside, be comfortable if the house is not clean enough, make smaller "to do" lists so that they can be completed more quickly, and most importantly remember that EVERYTHING WILL GET DONE.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A late night with cold medicine and wine...

I don't waste much time with TV, but when I do, I hope to come out of it with something. I have indulged myself with several Showtime programs that always leave me thinking. "Californication" was on the menu for tonight. These past few months have been a whirlwind of emotions. This type of a roller coaster life is not normal for me. The episode of "Californication" focused on the way we treat other people, and the ramifications of saying things too late. Many of my actions were so delayed that I missed potential opportunities.

Every aspect of my life these days seems exaggerated and busting with meaning. I have always been the type of person that looks for "signs," which can sometimes be false confirmations for what I already wanted to do. I say false because I was looking at what I wanted to see, not what was really lying in front of my face. I feel like I had on rose colored glasses, and was viewing my world as something it was not.

They say that a person's eyes are windows to their soul. There were points in my life that I would have believed that statement. But, now I realize that behind those eyes, you must look deeper. Something lies under the surface of people that nobody can fully understand. It reminds me of a colorful package with the most ornate bow, but when opened..piece by piece...the inside is empty. It feels so cold.

I have been taught so many important lessons in this short amount of time. My family has proven that they will stand by me, no matter what choices I make. For all the years they protected me and I didn't understand...I am happy that in my adult life I can. My grandmother, whom does not understand the emotions of a separation (over fifty years of marriage), sent me the most beautiful note of encouragement. Life does deal us many different cards, and it is always our choice how we play the hand. I have taken risks, tried bluffing, and have put all my chips on the table. No matter how the game is played, the important part is how things are when the game is over.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Family birth stories revisited

I finally finished compiling my family's birth stories. It is such an excellent read! I was always amazed at the strength of the women in my family, and these stories confirm what I already knew. Whether the stories ever find their way into publication, I have created a family history that most families never have. I want to send out a special thanks to Penny Simkin for seeing the importance in this project, and helping me to see it through. Also, thanks to my friend Patience who was the electricity for my light bulb.

As the saying goes...

"Fool me once shame on you,
Fool me twice shame on me".

Shame on me.

You have no excuses left. But, thank you for making me a stronger person, thank you for opening my eyes to human nature, thank you for reminding me how to protect myself, thank you for bringing me closer to my family, thank you for paying your debt, and thank you for shamefully exiting out of my life.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A wolf in sheep's clothing

* I had previously removed this blog because I thought that I made the wrong assumption about someone. Alas, I was wrong. I was one of those people that was fooled twice...shame on me. One of the pitfalls of being a caring, and trusting individual is that you try and see through the uncertainties, and the questions. I had been hurt so much in my past, that I really began to stop trusting everyone. It took me a long time to get back the ability to trust other people. Now, I am sitting....trying to make sense of something that never did make any sense. This was more than the average amount of deceit, or culmination of white lies. This was thinking you knew almost everything about a person, only to find out that NOTHING was true. As difficult as it is not to, I find myself doubting my ability to judge people, and follow my instincts. This story (when told) resembles a Lifetime movie, with all its twists and turns. I still have so many unanswered questions, and I doubt I will be able to move into acceptance without first finding the answers. It will be a sad day if I become unable to think with my heart for fear of it always being hurt.*

I met a wolf in sheep's clothing not too long ago. How innocent and loving one person can seem. The excuses, the blame, the belittlement...all with a plan and purpose. Selfish Personal Gain. Then, that person revealed his true self...lucky for me I realized. Beware of these sneaky wolves for they come in such nice packages...aiming to tear out your heart.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Drowning it all in my wine

That tear, and the next one,


My strength dwindles,

as I begin to lose myself.

Traveling in a dream-like state,

looking to be grounded.

Hurting those around me,

because I can't find myself.


Another sip, and another...

I won't call for support.

As Tori once said,

"I thought I could hold back glaciers,"

now my tears are too strong.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Slowly, now faster,
Loving me again,
Reflective mirror...
Apathy, and
Inside and out,
Dizzy, and still

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Endless Ocean

I went to the beach this weekend for some much needed R&R. Lately so much has been going on that I have felt overwhelmed and unsure of what is out there for me. There have been points in my life when I was positive I had everything figured out. I could "see" exactly what was laid before me. Now, I can't begin to envision what my life is going to be like, and where I am headed. I felt communal with the ocean, as if I now have an endless sea of possibilities. But, with every ocean, there will be rough waters, storms, and the unknown. While sitting on the beach with my toes digging in the sand, I stared out at the sun glistened waters. Something as vast as the ocean begins to make me feel so small, as well as, all my problems. I just hope that my journey is calm and purposeful...never looking back at the shore.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4, 1776

Happy Birthday America! As a history buff, I felt the need to recognize one of the most monumental days in our country's history.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The knowledge of the young...

I am always amazed and impressed with the wisdom of children. I think I have been grounded more by one sentence a child has told me, than by many hours of adult conversation.

This is one of my favorite poems, Taken from Ten-Second Rainshowers: Poems by Young People compiled by: Sandford Lyne illustrated by: Virginia Halstead

That Cute Boy

That cute boy is driving me crazy,

he is so cute. He is the kind of boy

that a girl would like to worry about.

So what I'll do is just look at him

until he thinks I am full of beauty.

-Emily Miller

Grade 3

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More deep thoughts...

I wrote this last night while sitting in bed, although I am already following my plan of a more active day, I felt I needed to publish this...

When Robert Frost wrote:

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference."

I always thought that I had taken the road less traveled as well. I stood for what I believed in, never went with something just because it was popular, and most certainly did not use my creative outlets in a conservative, rigid, or expected pattern. But, with so many things, I was wrong. I have been following the worn, and frequently traveled path and that has made all the difference (not positively). I followed what was expected of me in my personal life, academically, and professionally. Maybe my inner confidence is still masked by my insecurities about life's decisions. I often wonder what my life would have been like had I chosen the less traveled paths. What if I had taken more risks, and chose to just live, instead of cautiously abiding by what is "safe". Every now and then I would dip my toe in the sea of the unknown, only to pull it back out because the water was too cold, and lonely.

Maybe my new found strength and interdependence should be my catalyst for change. Maybe this year will be the year I travel on that rocky and overgrown path, and not look back with regret. Maybe now is the time for me to not question all my decisions, and just follow my heart. Maybe I finally found my inner compass to guide me.

Robert Frost must have lived vicariously and strong. He must have grabbed life by the horns, and danced. Maybe he wrote "The Road Not Taken" when he finally discovered is own inner truths, as with me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Be Careful What I Wish For...

Its 9:45 on a Wednesday night, and I don't know what to do. It takes me a little while to get used to the summer schedule. Its not as tough when I start teaching summer school, but now I am not sure what to do with myself. I usually do not have this much free time during the school year, because I move from one thing to another. Now, here I am filling my extra time with deep thoughts...

I love having deep conversations with friends and family, and even enjoy the time I spend lost in my own creative thoughts. But, there always comes a time for me when those creative thoughts turn to me over analyzing them. I am always my own worst critic, and when I am busy...I just worry about getting sleep. But, now with all this free time I begin to worry, and doubt myself. I do not remember that famous person who shares my thoughts, nor do I remember his exact words...but I know he expressed the danger of idle minds wandering.

So, tomorrow I will not spend my day glued to the computer getting way too far ahead in my school work, nor will I run around the house trying to clean when I'm NOT into it. I will venture out on a long walk in the park. Nothing is a better cure for me than the great outdoors! Hopefully it will not lead to more time being spent in my own head, because frankly...I need a vacation from it! :)

As excited as I was for this year to end, I am regretting what I wished for. All my friends and family are working normal hours, and here I am wanting to hang out on a week night, with nobody to hang out with! Well, I guess that's the way things go...the grass is never greener.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Visual description of previous post :)

Good day at school...

Where I mentally go on bad days...

Blue Ridge Parkway




Cancun, Mexico

I think I used all of them this year! :)

Freedom of summer...

I finally made it to the end of the school year! There were many times when this was questionable. I remember the last day of school my first year of teaching...I cried as I waved to the kids leaving on the bus. Oh have those times changed... I am not sure if it is because of my VERY difficult class this year, or because I have changed. I can go on for hours discussing everything that is missing from education these days, as well as, the plethora of problems. I am planning on doing a research project for my master's degree on behavior in schools, and the possibility that it stems from the imperfect NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Maybe that will shed light on my ever growing mystery...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Too many red dots...

I sat at my desk filling out placement cards for my students for the next school year. I am expected to put a red dot on each card where the student poses a behavior issue. I began separating them into two piles, those who need red dots, and those who do not. I was amazed...I had seven! At that point, I took a deep breath, and tried analyzing them again. I didn't want to label so many kids as "red dots" but, I could not send any of them on without one. These are the times when a teacher truly feels frustrated with themselves, the parents, the students, etc. Seven is just too many...

Friday, June 1, 2007

What happened?

There are those times in your life when a course of events happens that is somewhat beyond your control. When one thing happens after the other in a rigid snowball effect. I recently had one of those times. I am still trying to fit together the pieces of the puzzle. I am not one to think something happened when it did not, nor am I one to blow things out of proportion. I keep searching for an answer either way.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The love of pets

This has been a very sad few days for family dog will be put to sleep tomorrow. It is amazing that I knew it was going to happen in the near future, but I was still so hurt with the news. She is almost 19-years-old, so she has lived a wonderful, full life. I went over yesterday to see her. She wasn't the same, which make it slightly easier to let go...but I am having a difficult time anyway. I have felt that the last few days were surreal. This is the time when I am most certainly praying...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Getting worried...

On Friday, I attended a birth doula workshop with Penny Simkin. To make a long story short, she asked me to send her the birth stories I had collected from my family for possible publication. I couldn't believe it! I compiled a mass email and sent it to all of my family. Do you know how many people I have heard from? Nobody! I am not sure what to think...I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but I am a worrier by nature. I am so thankful for this opportunity, but I can't do it without my family's approval and support. Sheesh...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

First Blog

I have spent a good portion of this weekend reading some of my friend's blogs. I think that I may have finally realized the importance of having one. I guess everyone can use a place to vent, share, and dream. I am off to the Indigo Girls concert, so hopefully this will be a habit of mine.