Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Clean Up

Decorating for the holidays seems to take quite a bit of effort, but there’s a certain amount of excitement and anticipation that goes along with it. That is certainly not the case with cleaning after the holidays. I’ve been working on my apartment in little shifts over the last few days, and it’s really slow going. I won’t take down the tree and outdoor decorations until after New Year’s Eve, but the rest of it seems rather to grow than to diminish. I think it has something to do with the fact that I’ve been so tired lately, and I had another day of a low grade fever the day after Christmas which confined me to the couch. Ah, it will all get done. The good thing is that Chris isn’t concerned with the clutter; all the pressure comes from me. At least now that the presents are no longer under the tree, Bella has reclaimed her new favorite napping spot. She likes to be partially under the tree and partially on her doggie bed. Strange dog.

For some strange reason, we stayed up until 1 AM this morning. While I am on holiday vacation, he is not, and he had to be at his first appointment at 8:30 this morning. I really hope that he doesn’t have to work late tonight and will have the opportunity to regain some of the rest he missed last night.

We keep the blinds on our balcony open during the holidays to showcase our lovely tree, and I just noticed the mailman strolling up the walkway. This somehow caused Bella to rouse from her deep sleep and begin to wander around aimlessly. Seeing the mailman made me realize once again how much I miss letter writing. I used to write such lovely letters to my friends and relatives before email became the primary method of communicating. Email is convenient, but it could never hope to compare with the beauty of putting pen to paper to express one’s thoughts for another. Letter writing is a lost art, and I’m afraid that I’m just too tired to try to revive it.

And right now, being that it’s lunch time, I’m hungry.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Day at Home

Today I’ve been lounging around the house all day. I had intended to get a lot more done, but I’ve feeling a bit ill. A headache and upset stomach along with a low grade fever has kept me primarily confined to the couch. I hope that this is just one of those 24 hour bugs. I’ve had my flu shot, so I should be OK in that area. Most of my Christmas shopping is done, and all but a couple of the gifts are wrapped and nestled comfortably under and around the tree, so I’m not too worried about that today. I do need to go out and get one more little thing for Chris’s cousin, Kim, and I’m still working on something else for his mom. However, I plan to take care of that either tonight when Chris gets off of work or tomorrow when I hope to be feeling better.

Bella is sleeping next to the couch on the floor beside me, and she’s dreaming. In her sleep, she often makes little whimpering noises, grunts, and snores. Just like Chris and me, she can be a noising sleeper. We both talk in our sleep; I guess the whimpering, which she is currently doing, can be seen as her way of talking in her sleep. I often find her with her paw over her eyes in an apparent effort to block the light, and, strangely enough, we’ve discovered lately that she occasionally sleeps with her paw in her mouth!

OK, I’m tired. I’m going to rest a bit.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

‘Tis the Season

I don’t know if it’s just this time of year or if it’s just the way my life is going right now. However, I’ve been struggling quite a bit with getting rather stressed out lately. I know that my general health and well being is greatly affected by this, and I am trying to find ways to calm down a bit and get a handle on all the craziness as of late.

Speaking of crazy, here’s a recap of my week…. Monday and Tuesday were normal school days, and I tutored. On Wednesday, I had the day off, but I ended up going shopping with Mom and Aunt Ruby. After leaving them, I needed to run to the grocery store and by a couple of ingredients for a dish I was making for my community group dinner that night. I ended up having to go to three different grocery stores to find strawberries. When I finally arrived home, I took care of Bella, did a quick clean-up around the house, and then started working on the three dishes I was making for the dinner. I made a poppyseed dip, a pineapple casserole, and a strawberry tiramisu. Chris was supposed to arrive home at 5:30 so that we could make it to the dinner by 6. However, he ended up having to work late, and I went by myself. In fact, his call went so long that I went to the dinner, stayed for over two hours, came home, put away the leftovers, cleaned the kitchen, washed and folded clothes, and changed into my pj’s all before he made it home! On Thursday, I gave my exam. One of my students actually took 3 ½ hours to take it! I even had to miss our annual middle school teacher’s brunch at the Loveless Café in order to stay with the student. Afterwards, I tutored another student and then headed to my parents’ house where Mom and I graded my exam until 8 PM! On Friday, I had to supervise the students while they took their science exam, and then I tutored once again. Afterwards, I headed home and spend four hours cleaning. On Saturday, I was once again at the school, supervising students for Saturday school. Thankfully I only had to be there for three hours instead of four, and then I went home and once again resumed the cleaning and laundry before a migraine confined me to the bed. Chris was so sweet in trying to take care of me and did a wonderful job except for his failed attempt at making me some macaroni and cheese. Bless his sweet heart! This is definitely one of those cases where it’s the thought that counts.

As of this next Tuesday afternoon, I will officially be on my Christmas vacation. I generally try to find some extra work during vacation, but with all the other busyness of the holidays and my need to de-stress, I think I’ll pass on extra work opportunities. I know that, given our need for extra money, passing up chances to made a little extra cash may not be the most logical course of action, but it may be the wisest.

Last Thursday, I took at short detour on my way to my parents’ and dropped by the Green Hills movie theater to purchase advance tickets to Eragon; I wanted to surprise Chris with them. We’ve both read the book and its sequel and were looking forward to the film. After church today, we dropped by Walgreens to pick up Twizzlers and M&M’s, and then we went to the theater where we added hot dogs, popcorn, and a large Coke to share to our little lunch smorgasbord. We both thoroughly enjoyed the previews and the movie. As a side note, I observed today that the Christmas season is my favorite time to go to the movies; somehow the whole experience feels more eventful and even magical at this time of the year. Afterward the movie, we wandered around the mall, spending most of our time in Davis Kidd bookstore. The entire day has been near perfect for us – time spent together doing things that we enjoy and being happy with each other’s company. Hopefully, this day will end just as perfectly with a peaceful night of sleep.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It’s Good to Have a Goal.

Every weekday morning, it’s the same thing. I get up at five, workout to a video or walk on the treadmill, eat breakfast while watching the weather, get ready for work, wake Chris up, walk to the front door with him in tow, give him a goodbye kiss, and try to make it to work in time to get one of five prized parking spaces. These parking spaces are close to the door, and I always back into them, enabling me to make an easier exit at the end of the day. My daily goal is to make it to work at or before 7 A.M. and secure one of those precious spaces. Most mornings I make it in enough time; however, there are those days….

Today was one such day. I tossed and turned all night long; oh, that elusive sleep! I didn’t get up to work out this morning and instead talked to Chris for a while before getting up. He just happened to be awake; perhaps my restlessness prevented him from sleeping as well. When I emerged from my shower, he was watching cartoons. I love to see him watching cartoons in the morning, but it does slow me down a bit. I cannot help but stop for a few minutes to see what those crazy Fairly Odd Parents are up to. However, I still made pretty good time getting ready, until I discovered two things: my completely frosted over truck and the missing buttons on the shirt I needed to wear. Kick into high gear. I throw on a sweater and go to warm up the truck while Chris goes to work on the shirt, both tasks taking longer than expected. When all was said and done, I was leaving the house fifteen minutes later than usual! I just knew that any chance for one of my beloved spaces was lost.

As I approached the school, there were cars waiting to turn in from the other direction. As I am a kind and polite Southerner, I waved them in ahead of me. Then, as I was traveling down the long driveway to the school, I spotted one last space, and a feeling of relief began to spring up within me. However, it was short lived. One of those cars I waved in whipped cleanly into the space! My space! Alas, today, I failed in my goal.

Maybe you think I’m being strange about a silly little parking space, but I refer to my title. It’s good to have a goal. Sure, I have much loftier goals, but it’s the tiny, generally accomplishable goals, which keep the days moving forward. Other such goals for me are getting the ironing finished, finishing a stack of grading, or refraining from eating dessert during the week. But in getting that parking space, I’m competing against time and my colleagues (even if they don’t know they’re in the race), and it’s the possibility for a tiny victory each morning.

Tomorrow morning, I will triumph!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

On to Bethlehem

The title of this post is taken from a song by the Vigilantes of Love, my favorite band. I have to say that I haven’t been listening to them as much lately as I used to, and I don’t have anything recent. It’s been years since I went to see a show with Bill Mallonee. VOL actually no longer exists, which really doesn’t make sense to me since it really was just Bill and a revolving door of bandmates. Anyway, I have been listening to a Christmas CD lately which contains two songs by them. With all the other distractions at this time of year, I hope to focus more on the reason for the holiday. I greatly love the Christmas season for all that it is. I love the endless Christmas songs in the stores and on the radio, the shopping, the decorating, the presents, drives to see other people’s decorations, the recipes, and so on. Even as I write this, I’m sitting in front of my heavily decorated Christmas tree, and I can see my icicle lights glittering merrily on the balcony. I think it’s beautiful. However, as we draw nearer to Christmas day, I plan to draw even nearer to Christ. On to Bethlehem….

I suppose when I was looking ahead to the last day of November, I thought that a good way to live it would be to bookend my day with medical treatments. I started the morning getting two shots: flu and B12, and then I had to leave work early in order to go and see the dentist. Three old fillings needed a little work. For as much stress as these things cause me on the front end, each experience ended up not being all that bad. I’m really excited about the B12 shot; I’m planning on getting them once a month. They have been proven to help tremendously with both allergies and migraines; as much as I loathe needles, relief from those two ailments will make it all worthwhile.

Today we went to look at a couple houses and a condo. I’m really trying not to get too anxious about finding a place; it’s just so much closer than it was previously. I long to leave our apartment behind. In all likelihood, we will be moving within the next couple months. Of everything that we’ve looked at, we like the condo the best. It’s 1800 square feet, had 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a fireplace, tons of storage, and a two car carport. There’s a nice size yard in the front, and we’re directly across from the pool, clubhouse, tennis courts, park, and basketball goal. I know that ideally we’d rather live in a house with a fenced in yard, but at this point this really may be the best option for us. It does need new flooring, and all of the walls need to be repainted. However, for the price, there is simply nothing better unless we want to live an hour away from our parents, our church and our places of business, and just about every other place we go. I’ll let you know how things develop.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hitting the Highlights

I’ve been wanting to catch up with a few highlights from my life as of late.

Last week, Chris and I stopped by Starbucks to pick up a caramel apple cider for me and then took our telescope out on the Natchez Trace for a gaze at the night sky. I really should have bundled up as it was rather chilly, but that seems to be the best condition for stargazing. It was a clear night, and we journeyed about an hour down the trace to one of our favorite spots. On the way there we saw plenty of deer and even a few bucks with large racks. When we finally arrived at our destination, we found that we were not alone in our endeavor; another man, Chip, was there with a much larger, more powerful telescope. He had been there over an hour before we arrived and planned to stay long after we had gone. On our own, we would not have been able to pick out so many of the wonders of the sky, but Chip showed us quite a few cool things. After about an hour, I was sufficiently chilled, and it was time to get on the road back home.

It’s been quite busy here lately.

On Monday, after tutoring, I went straight to my parents’ house. After lunching with Chris’s parents on Sunday, his mom cut my hair for me. It’s now just below the top of my shoulders. Monday afternoon, my mom colored my hair for me. The name on the box was Cinnamon Stick or medium mahogany brown. It’s a medium brown with red highlights. It turned out to be a bit redder than I had anticipated, but I really like it. Chris thinks it brings out my brown eyes. (I’ll try to get a good picture taken to post here later so that you can check out my new ‘do.) Anyway, after we colored my hair, I found that Chris was still working, so I stayed to have a little dinner and finally left to go home to take care of Bella. I fell asleep on the couch and barely woke up only when Chris came in at 9:30. He made me go get in the bed. Around 12:30, I awoke once more to find that he was not there; this, for some strange reason always gives me a momentary panic. I wandered into the living room and found him playing video games. I merely utterered, “Oh,” and went back to bed, falling asleep immediately.

Yesterday, after school, I tutored for an hour, ran home to change, and then went with Chris to move from his old office to his new one. Both his dad and brother were meeting us there to help out, and I was concerned that I might get in the way. However, I ended up being able to help quite a bit, and after the actual moving was over Chris and I stayed to organize the furniture, supplies, and other odds and ends. It was around 8 when we finally finished, exhausted and famished. I don’t generally like to eat after 8, but we’d been working pretty hard and would not be able to sleep well as hungry as we were. I remembered the Ruby Tuesday’s across the street, so we stopped by there for soup and salad for me and a bacon cheeseburger for Chris.

Then today, Chris came to pick me up from work so that we could go to meet with the mortgage broker. We were actually pre-approved for a loan and can get really serious about house hunting. We are so excited about this and can’t wait to finally find a new home. After our meeting, we had an early dinner at one of Chris’s favorite places, Jason’s Deli. Finally, we headed back home, changed into sporty clothes, and took Bella out for a walk. We were about ¼ of our way into our walk when we realized that we had Community Group tonight. So we rushed back home, changed again, and made it to group just a few minutes late. Tonight, as always, provided great conversation and good fellowship.

After school tomorrow I have another appointment and have to leave work early once again. I had planned on mailing my brother’s Christmas present to Iraq this week, but I have not been able to make it to the post office. I’m going to try to remember to bring it with me to work tomorrow and take care of that little task during my planning period.

OK, I guess that’s enough of an update for now. So, how are you?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wide Eyed Enthusiasm

Two of my favorite things about Thanksgiving yesterday were listening to my nephew Jack talking about his what he wants for his birthday and then watching Mom play Don’t Wake Daddy with Jack, Rhett, and Chris. Simple fun.

I am a holiday girl. I love participating in the festivity of it all, but sometimes Thanksgiving starts to feel a bit hectic. Christmas gets stretched along a couple weeks, but Thanksgiving is packed into one day. Chris and I celebrate it twice, lunch with his family and dinner with mine.

Yesterday I got up and fixed breakfast for the two of us, just some cinnamon rolls. After that, I made a poppy seed dip and a sunflower shaped spice cake with a light glaze to take over to Chris’s parents house. Chris kept himself busy cleaning the bathroom, making a last minute trip the market for me, and taking care of other little odds and ends around the house. Around 10:30, we left for the Reeds. People started arriving there around 11:30, and when all was said and done about 35 people in all showed up. We stayed for about four hours and then went home to take care of Bella and load up the car for our next destination. Finally, we arrived at my parents house around 4. Though most elements of the meal were either already prepared or well under way, I was able to help Mom a bit. Around six, we sat down for dinner. And a couple hours later, we were on the road once again home in order to take care of Bella. The day ended with a little walk with Bella and zoning out in front of the TV.

Tomorrow we’re going to decorate our home for Christmas. Last Sunday afternoon Chris and I spent several hours trying run a major cleaning operation on our apartment. The effort was successful for the most part, but I do have a bit of work left. After the place is laden with Christmas decorations, it’s difficult to do much more than a general cleaning, and I wanted to have our home in order for at least the beginning of the holidays.

Today is just for me and Chris. Pancakes for breakfast, lounging around, hanging out… and we might even leave the house!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Modern Conveniences

(I had hoped to post this yesterday, but that just didn’t work out for me. So, I tried to post at 5:30 this morning. I just happened to be awake. Well, that didn't work either, so here I am once again. This time I think it will be successful.)

We turn a knob or flip a switch and assume that something productive will happen. However, for the first half of this week, I was not able to wash dishes or do laundry or take a shower at home. I depend on modern conveniences, and I’ve come to see that I really like it that way. I like my routine. After showering away from home for three days, we finally were able to have the hot water heater replaced on Wednesday afternoon. The company classified our situation as an emergency, and yet no one showed up until Wednesday. Does that make sense? The whole thing was quite an ordeal, and it really made me thankful for the ability to shower at home. I was finally able to run the dishwasher yesterday, and this weekend I will attack the mounds of laundry that have built up. It’s one thing to set off into the wilderness to “rough it,” but I don’t like the feeling of camping at home.

In addition to heaps of housework that are waiting for me, I also have tests and essays and projects that I need to grade. I keep reminding myself, “Just breathe.” It will all get done. Stressing about it will do no good, but if I continually work it will get done.

This weekend I also have Saturday school duty. I have to be there a bit before eight and supervise about 35 children until noon while they pay for their crimes. They will be cleaning inside the building and doing various chores on the school grounds, including raking leaves, pulling weeds, and picking up trash. I also plan to stay afterwards to catch up on some work and grading in my room. Then I’ll go to the 2:00 showing of the middle school fine arts show for which Chris plans to join me. Maybe I can talk Chris into staying a little after the show in order to help me put up my Christmas tree in my classroom. Finally, I’ll be able to come back home and resume my laundry work and cleaning the bathroom where the hot water heater is. Of course it was left filthy after the repairman left. I would really like to do a major cleaning of the entire apartment before I set everything up for Christmas which I plan to do the weekend after Thanksgiving.

I don’t know if my sister is spending much time on the computer lately, however, Thursday was her 23rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Petunia Baby! I love you! We need some sister time soon.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Troubled Water

10:30: a typical Sunday night. I was winding down my evening, folding a few loads of laundry, watching a little Friends, and preparing to make Christmas lists to send to Mom and Chris’s mom. I heard a quick knock on the door, very strange for that late in the evening. Chris answered it and found our neighbor, a short hairy man looking much like an aged Beatle with the 50’s haircut or perhaps Bilbo Baggins, standing outside. He asked if we had a leak; water was coming in through the light fixture in his bathroom below us. Sure enough, after checking the linen closet in the guest bathroom, we discovered that the hot water heater was leaking. Water had already filled the pan spilling onto and completely soaking the surrounding carpet. Various other items stored in the closet were also soaked.

Immediately, I started grabbing storage bags full of sheets and comforters, I grabbed several beach towels and tried to sop up as much of the water as possible, but it became evidently clear that the volume of water far exceeded the absorbency of the towels. Even after Chris turned off the water, the water continued to spill out of the top of the tank. No amount of effort seemed to help, and the bailing of the water in the pan commenced. We tried emptying the tank, but water just kept on coming. Calls to the landlord, Brad, and emergency repair men were fruitless, and Chris ended up bailing water until around 3 A.M. Finally, Brad and Chris found a way to duct tape a hose to the spigot on the tank and ran the hose through the house to the balcony as a temporary solution and so Chris could finally get some sleep. You may wonder why we didn’t just run the hose to the bathtub; that’s where I threw everything that was previously stored in the linen closet. It was packed, and at three in the morning, you take the easiest route possible. I had gone to bed long before that, but I was not able to go to sleep. It wasn’t until Chris came to bed that I finally feel into a sweet, deep sleep.

Of course, with the malfunctioning water heater, there was no way to bathe at home, so I left for my parents’ house at 5:15 and prepared for work there. Mom was wonderful. She sweetly greeted me that the door; I had called her last night to let her know that I might be coming. After I concluded my shower, I was delighted to discover the smell of bacon wafting through the house; she made me a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and raisin toast. What a woman!

Chris stayed home for most of the day waiting for the repair guys. When he finally received a call around one saying that they would not be hear until four, he passed the baton off to me. I rushed home after my after school tutoring session and have been waiting with no word for the last two hours. A message on my voicemail assured me that they would be here today, and yet here I am still waiting. I really don’t want to have to go somewhere else to shower again tomorrow morning.

Of course all of this is nothing compared to what one of my friends went through on Friday night. She had just left our high school’s football game, which happened to be about an hour away, with her husband, daughter, and two of her daughter’s friends. They decided to stop at Wendy’s for a bite to eat, and a pit bull actually pulled the window down in his car, jumped out, and attacked one of the girls! My friends’ husband jumped in the middle of the fray and pulled the bulldog off of the little girl. She sustained two bite marks but will be OK. However, my friend and her family did not get home until around 3 A.M.; they had to talk to the police and even go down the police station. Pit bulls have a bad reputation, but I have known very good ones. The owner determines the behavior and demeanor of any dog, especially pit bulls. My sister and her husband as well as some very dear friends of mine have very sweet and well- behaved pit bulls.

And on to more waiting….

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tanks and Tractors and Deer! Oh my!

My drive to school/work is often interesting. As I have oft mentioned here, I generally talk to Mom on the way to work, and that’s entertainment enough. However, I drive through a park on my way in and generally see some sort of wildlife: deer, wild turkeys, beavers, coyotes, bunnies, skunks, etc. I only get nervous when the deer or wild turkeys get too close to the road or start to cross or just happen to be standing in the middle of the road with no apparent plan to move on. Lately, I’ve been seeing a few more deer “napping” next to the road; I suppose they’ve been getting a little too bold.

This morning was a little more interesting that normal. As I was sitting at a red light, I was jolted out of my morning calm by the appearance of a small tank turning onto my street and then zooming down the road. What’s up with that? It had regular wheels but had the same design and army green color and was about half the size of a normal tank. It was strolling along with the rest of traffic as if it was a normal everyday occurrence. Then, as I continued on my way, pondering what I had just seen, a large tractor coming from the opposite direction made a sharp turn, without any warming, right in front of me and went storming across a field.

The holiday season is upon us. I really think it all starts with Halloween. Now I just keep thinking about how soon I can get my Christmas decorations out; of course that won’t be until the weekend after Thanksgiving. For now, I still have my jack-o-lantern and pumpkin lights on our balcony, and my dining room table is adorned with various sized pumpkins, figurines of Pilgrims sitting on oversized turkeys, decorative placemats with colorful leaves, and multicolored fall votive candle holders. Tonight as Chris and I went for a walk around the neighborhood with Bella, I reveled in the fallen leaves and longed to romp through the brightly colored piles of them in others’ yards. Some day I’ll have a yard of my own, and I can do that.

Perhaps it’s part of the teacher in me, but I love dressing the house according to the seasons and holiday. Christmas is the best because it’s the time when there seems to be more license to put a little extra flavor in all corners of the house. I also have a beautiful, full-sized tree I put in my classroom and decorate with a purple, silver, and white theme, and I line my whiteboards with lights. The students love it. Yes, I am one of those people that actually enjoys hearing Christmas carols and seeing all the grand décor in the grocery stores and shopping malls at this time of the year. I’ll save all my other thoughts on Christmas for another time.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I’m Not Dead.

Depending on what dictionary you use, electrocuted can either mean dying from an electric shock or simply being injured by an electric shock. I opted for the latter meaning. I realize that some people would take opposition with my use of the word, however, I could not think of a word that meant more than just being shocked. That sounds to me like nothing more than someone scooting across a carpet and touching you causing a tiny spark of electricity; this experience was much more than that. I don’t know if the two are related, but the day after the jolt I’ve felt pretty great, lots of energy.

Today, when I arrived at work, I found a brand new lamp on my desk with a note that said, “Dear Mrs. Reed: We bought U a lamp, hope U like it! P.S. if you don’t like it, we have receipt. (We bought it w/ our own money!)” It was signed by three of my sweet seventh grade girls. Later, when I saw two of them in the hallway, they told me that they preferred that they not be given any recognition for the deed. So, I must keep their identities a secret: superheroes of the 7th grade.

Yesterday we had a service project day, and I went with about eight students to the Baptist Children’s Home here in Nashville. My little team spent time moping, cleaning bathrooms, clearing out old furniture and trash, and removing piles of wet, packed down leaves from a drainage ditch that was causing the driveway to flood. I was so proud of how hard the students worked and how willing they were to do whatever was asked of them. They even thanked the director for letting us help.

I don’t know if it’s the changing seasons or the fact that it’s darker so much earlier or what, but I’ve been getting so sleepy early in the evening. Last night I crashed on the couch at 8:30, and I think I’m going to make it an early night tonight, not nearly as early as last night but early just that same. I hope you have a good night.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Who could have known that my day would take such a strange turn? The morning started out rather normal. I arose at 5 and walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, and then I proceeded to get ready for work. Before I left I woke Chris up, and, as he does most mornings, he walked me to the door to see me off. On my way to work, I made my usual call to Mom. Just before school started my advisory students were milling around in my room while I was making some last minute copies in the teacher workroom, and somehow the lamp on my desk was knocked off and broken. When I returned and saw my lovely little broken lamp, I reached for it in order to inspect it for any possibility of repair. If each day is a journey, this is where the path took a hairpin turn. As soon as I touched the lamp I felt a surge of electricity rush up my arm and through my entire body. Even as I was holding the exposed metal, I was confused about why I couldn’t jerk my hand away, but I was simply unable to do so. This morning, around 7:50, I was electrocuted!

During the morning hours, my right arm felt warm, somewhat lifeless, tingly, and slightly numb, and there was a strange hot spot on my shoulder. Oh, and of course, as always happens when I get flustered or nervous or overly emotional, my chest and neck became red and splotchy. For the rest of the day, I just didn’t feel quite right. My body was a paradoxical mix of weakness and tiny flashes of energy. Also, as if I needed another reason to get headaches, that jolt seemed to cause one.

I toyed with the possibility of going home. However, after spending about an hour on my boss’s couch, I felt a bit better and decided to stick it out. I don’t know if anyone thought, or currently thinks, that I was being a baby about the whole thing, but it really was quite a shock to my system

However, the day did have a couple bright spots. Being in my boss’s office ended up getting me a tutoring job a couple days a week. That will help with a little extra Christmas money! Later Mom came to visit me at work and to help me grade, and we were able to run a couple errands together after the workday. Getting a visit from Mom is like having fresh flowers in the room or walking outside on a cold winter’s day and suddenly finding that spring arrived early. Oh, and I do feel perfectly fine now.

OK, time to attend to a few chores around the house.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just Babbling

We only had two days of classes this last week. On Monday we had parent conferences; I’m so glad those are over. I’m not sure I could ever be an administrator; talking with parents often makes me very nervous. I’m better with the kids; they were there with us on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday the entire middle school staff went to the Opryland Hotel for the National Middle School Association conference. Schools from all over the country sent about five thousand teachers, counselors, and administrators. I really do not enjoy being in large crowds. Each day as I got back in the car to come home, I realized just how tense and stressed I had been wandering around the maze of hallways surrounded hundreds of people just as lost as I was. Before the conference started, I had thought that I would go on Saturday as well as they other two days. However, after enduring two days of crowded, hot conference rooms, fighting through throngs of people while being constantly knocked around, showing up at most of my sessions just as they placed the “Session Full” sign on the door, and enduring other sessions which were boring at best, I decided to stay home and try get my house in order. I did manage to make it to a couple good sessions. Though I was able to walk away with some good information and a few new techniques, I did not feel like it would be worth another day of stress. Good thing. I ended up spending a good part of the day in bed trying to recover from a three day headache.

Speaking of stress, I am so tired of all the mudslinging, opponent bashing, issue avoiding, loud talking nonsense that is going on with the political commercials. Who believes what? I don’t know about other places, but the campaigns here in Tennessee have been particularly nasty. They’ve been getting national recognition for how vicious the candidates have been. I’m sure that there are really good men and women who are politicians, but I guess this could be one of those cases where you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Currently I’m watching the CMA awards. Kimberly Williams Paisley is so cute; I wonder how far along she is in her pregnancy. One of that great things about this particular awards show is that they actually have quite a few performances; it’s not just a bunch of boring presentations and mindless banter. How strange it is that I would actually enjoy watching anything country. Just a few years ago I abhorred country music and desperately wanted people to know that many people in Nashville didn’t like like that type of music. However, I was converted, and now I listen to country music as much as if not more than any other type of music. So strange. I can place a good portion of the blame on my husband, but Mom, my sister Eva, and my former roommate Christina all share a bit in that as well.

Couch lounging time. Have a good night!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Crazy Parents!

How crazy are your parents? I have to be careful here because I know that my mom reads my blog. Last night I went over to my parents’ house to visit with them while they handed out Halloween candy. When Chris and I arrived, my Aunt Betty Jo and Uncle Andrew were there having a ball with my parents. Mom had prepared over 130 treat bags, and Dad was busy handing them out, even to the point that he was calling people over and chasing them down. Truly, he was thrilled with the act of giving. Amazingly enough, he told me that before we had arrived he had even given away a turkey my mom was saving for the upcoming holidays! I know that might sound bizarre, but that’s just the way they are.

We were only there for about a half an hour, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time. I didn’t bring any candy home, and I didn’t get to wear a fun costume. (I love being in a costume.) However, I enjoyed laughter that was free and easy, and I went away feeling much better than I had all day. Even as I left they were on the front porch awaiting late trick-or-treaters and waving gleefully at us as we pulled away.

I don’t always get along with my parents. Isn’t that true of any relationship? However, I appreciate them so very much, and I do like spending time with them. I really look forward to my weekly visits from Dad at work and the scriptures he leaves on the board in my classroom after church on Sundays which I find on Monday mornings. I talk to my Mom every day; I don’t know what it is about her voice, but it just makes me feel calm. She really is my best friend; she’s the person I call when I have news or just want to run my ideas past someone. I am very good at keeping others secrets. However, when I have one of my own, there are two people from whom I cannot conceal the information: Mom and Chris. I am certainly one who wears her heart/emotions on her sleeve, but even when I can mask my feelings from others, I can’t hide from them.

Halloween is the mark of the beginning of the holiday season. Now that November is here I long to begin preparing to deck the halls and break out my Christmas CD’s and movies. Tonight Chris and I watched The Santa Clause on the Disney Channel, and my shower songs have become Christmas carols. I love this time of year!

Ah, well. So tired again…. I need to take care of a couple things before I start my bedtime routine.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy….

I don’t know why I keep getting tripped up, but I just can’t seem to stay on top of anything. My desk at work is piled with papers to grade, file, and organize. At home, things seem to be in a constant state of disarray. However, as soon as I start to make headway in one direction, I turn around to find that chaos has crept into another area. I need significant blocks of time at both work and home to catch up. Today and tomorrow I have parent conferences at school. With those ending around 12 – 12:30 each day, I have the rest of the afternoon to work in my room. Woo-hoo! I can finally catch up! With any luck, this weekend will afford me the time to knock out the chores I have awaiting me at home.

You may be wondering. “Kay, if you’re so busy, why are you taking the time to type this?” My response to that would be that I’m waiting. I have about fifteen minutes before my next conference starts. Yes, I’m typing this at work and will post it later when I get home. I can’t view my blog from work. Any site which has blog in the address is blocked, and this is one more area where I don’t want to get too far behind. When I’m finished typing this, I’ll e-mail it to my home address, retrieve it after I get home, and post then. I want to keep my blog relatively current. Since I have a limited amount of time for any task at this moment, there’s not really enough time to become fully engaged in any of my other duties. Writing my personal thoughts is easy. That flows quite naturally; it’s the rest of life that seems to carry more obstacles and interruptions. It’s not that those things are necessarily bad; they certainly have their positive points, but I need to find a time to hunker down in my classroom and to be alone at home to just whirlwind my way through all those chores which are now looming over my head.

Despite my lengthy to do list, I still found time to go shopping yesterday, and Chris went with me! It was raining heavily, and he just didn’t want me out alone in it if he could help it. He spent most of his time sitting in one of those little seating areas in the mall and playing games on his phone. Whenever I ask him if he is annoyed with waiting for me, he always reminds me of the song “Waiting on a Woman” by Brad Paisley and tells me that he never minds!

Anyway, yesterday I was able to buy a couple pairs of cute pants at New York and Company and some good smelling body cream and shower gel at Victoria’s Secret, and thanks to my sister-in-law Laura I’ve been turned on to the tarts from Yankee Candle Company. I had to load up on those yesterday. Chris actually went a couple weeks ago and bought me a tart burner and a few tarts, so I replenished our stock yesterday. Oh, and wonder of wonders, I started my Christmas shopping yesterday. I plan to do a little more on Saturday. I have to return to the mall because, after checking my receipt, I discovered that they overcharged me for my pants. However, I’m not bothered; I’ll just get reimbursed and do a little more Christmas shopping.

Two minutes until my next conference…. I better pull myself stuff together and move on!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Speaking of Bugs

Today I came home and immediately put on my walking shoes in order to go for a stroll with Bella. We took off for a few turns around the complex. With the wind whipping up and the questionable skies overhead, I didn’t want to take any chances and get caught in the rain like I did a few weeks ago. Besides, each lap is about a quarter mile, and there are varying degrees of incline… not too shabby of a walk.

I decided to take Bella down to the front of the complex where there’s a large field affectionately (?) referred to as Pooh Corner. (I’m not sure where the name came from; the only thing I can figure is that’s where most of the residents take their dogs.) In the middle of the lot is a stone which lies level and can’t be seen from the road. As we neared the stone, I decided that it would be a good place for me to stand while Bella explored and ran in circles about me.

I noticed a dark, deep hole just beside the rock, and I recall thinking, “I wonder what could be down there?” Instead of continuing my train of thought, I turned my attention to Bella, always the entertainer. After a few moments I started to feel a strange eerie feeling around my right ankle. I look down in that direction, toward the hole, and noticed two long spindly legs reaching over the side of the rock and lifting a plump black body over the ledge. Immediately my mind leapt towards memories of Harry Potter and Aragog, the humongous spider. As she came continued to move back and forth over the tip of the stone, I noticed the red sphere just under her abdomen. I began to slowly back away, stepped away from the stone, and headed back across the field. Though I was fascinated with the black widow, I had no desire to stay and tempt her to defend her abode.

My other encounter with an insect tonight was after Chris and I left Walmart. After a very simple dinner of sandwiches made with toasted slices of his mom’s delicious sour dough bread, we ventured out for a quick grocery shopping trip. When we prepared to put the groceries in the back of the Rover, Chris pulled out something rather large and furry and red, pitched it towards me, and said, “Do you want this?” I was surprised to find in my arms a ladybug, about two feet around on all sides. It has, like the black widow, black legs, but it’s not at all scary. I have not idea what I’m going to do with this gigantic love bug, but for now it does make me smile. I wonder if there will be room for Chris in the bed tonight!

Here it is! Isn't it cute?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wrap Up

Let me see… what has happened in the last few days? The beginning of the week was pretty normal, but it becomes increasingly noteworthy.

Monday: Chris’s birthday. We went to his parent’s house for dinner. His mom, Donitta, always makes the most delicious meals and prepares enough to feed a platoon! There is never any lack of interesting conversation, and now that we have a small one at the table, our nephew Gavin, who is nearly a year old, there is no end to the entertainment.

Tuesday: In order to fulfill my attempt to celebrate Chris’s birthday all week, I made him lasagna and enough chocolate chip cookie dough so that I could make him cookies all week. He loves my lasagna; I don’t use ricotta cheese. It’s just meat lasagna. Feed him meat, and he’s happy.

Wednesday: I woke up around 4:30 with one of the worst migraines of my life. I’ve had ones that last three days, and yet this one that only lasted for nine hours was worse. I could hardly see, hear, breathe, or speak. When I get migraines my five senses often become super sensitive, and when intense pain is involved that sensitivity only enhances the pain. It’s a vicious cycle. Needless to say, the pain was quite severe. I was barely able to reach over to brush Chris’s hand and whisper his name so that he could help me. He had to call my boss early in order to let her know that I would not be able to make it to work and needed a substitute which apparently worried her a bit. I guess it’s not normal for a spouse to call in sick, but I could not talk at that point. Finally, I was able to get myself together enough so that he could help me get to the school to leave lesson plans. Finally, around noon, I broke down and took a pain pill, the ones I only take in dire situations, and finally got some relief. So wonderful! I started feeling so great that I got up, cleaned a bit, did some laundry, and baked the rest of the cookie dough making two huge platters of cookies. Later, I was able to make it to my sister’s baptism! Eva and her husband Matt were baptized last night at the church in Portland. At least I think it’s in Portland. Anyway, it’s near to where they live. Apparently the church doesn’t have a service on Wednesday nights, just choir practice. So, we interrupted their practice and held a semi-private baptism, such a precious evening. Their pastor baptized Matt, and Dad had the distinct privilege of baptizing Eva. She was sweetly tearful and yet playful, as, of course, was Dad. He actually baptized me when I was a little girl; I’m sure that he was able to play such an integral role in that special event in each of our lives.

Thursday: Thankfully, today I woke up feeling fine. Today was our annual trip to the Parthenon here in Nashville. If you don’t know, we have a full sized replica of the Parthenon in Greece, complete with a 42 foot gold plated Athena. Anyway, we take the 7th grade class, and then we play “Olympic” games on the front lawn. Actually, the students make up these totally crazy games, and each of the homerooms compete against one another. About half way through the games, the sky opened up, and a light yet steady rain began to come down. We all proceeded to get wet, but nobody really cared. Finally, we finished the games and headed to the mall for lunch. As soon as we arrived back at the school, I had a meeting, and then I had to leave that to go to the dentist. I hate going to the dentist. Really, I hate it. The entire time the hygienist was cleaning my teeth I had a firm grip on the arm rest, and I tried desperately to concentrate on anything but the awful scrapping noise and the strange pointy utensils poking at my teeth and gums. Finally, after the stressful ordeal at the dentist, I made my way back out into the rain and started on my journey home. But I didn’t really make it there right away. As I drove away my windows started to fog up a bit, so I rolled down my window a bit in order to help defog the truck. When I tried to roll it back it, it just fell out! Thankfully it didn’t fall completely out of the truck; it ended up getting stuck at a weird angle hanging half way out the door. I didn’t know what to do, and after calling Chris I ended up making my way over the Rover shop to see his brother and dad, hoping that they would help me fix the door. Of course they helped me but only managed a temporary fix, and about an hour and a half later I finally headed home. It’s been a long day, especially since I ended up breaking the shower head when I was cleaning the bathroom, and we ended up having to go out and buy a new one.

I really hope that tomorrow is calm and uneventful. Who am I kidding? I teach 7th graders, am married to a wonderfully crazy man, and am part of an always interesting family. I don’t have many commonplace days.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What a weekend!

First, we went to see The Crucible on Friday night, performed by the high school students at the school where I work. We have an excellent drama department, and the productions are truly extraordinary. They have won the mid-state competition with the play and will be going to compete for the state in two weeks. I would not be surprised if they won. I did not sense one dishonest moment in the entire rendering of the piece. By that I mean that the actors were committed to their characters and truly inhabited their roles. I was engulfed in the action and quite deeply moved. On the whole, it was quite intense. Most of those actors were either in my class when they were in seventh grade or were in plays I directed while they were in middle school; I was so proud of them. Since I am no longer involved in theater at work, it won’t be long before there are no more students who once were in my plays.

Yesterday morning, after partaking from the breakfast bar at Shoneys, Chris and I set out for the mall to get him a few new things for his birthday. So, this was the rest of our day:
• bought him three flannel shirts, two thermal shirts, and a cool new motorcycle jacket (We’ll have to wait a while longer on the actual motorcycle.)
• popped in for a visit with his mom, ending up staying a couple hours just chatting, sipping on Cokes, and getting new Mary Kay makeup
• dropped by Office Depot for a few supplies for Chris’s office
• wandered around in Steinmart and ended up losing our minds and purchasing a rather large 4’x5’ print (But it was on sale!)
• came home for dinner and watched Glory Road
• checked our bank account online and discovered that once again we are broke!
• went shopping for pants for Chris (using the birthday money from his mom) and groceries (using my birthday money for Chris)
• ran home, dropped off our purchases, and headed back out to meet my parents at Logan’s for appetizers, soft drinks, and conversation
• came home, crawled into bed, and fell asleep watching The Little Mermaid

Today we went to church and endured a rather intense and confusing sermon. I think we’ll be thinking on this one all week. After church we decided to grab some Sonic sweet tea and come back home in order to get a few things around the house. After lunch we proceeded to hang the rather large print we bought yesterday over our couch. Being that we already had art hung there, we had to rearrange a few things. When all was said and done, we moved around artwork in the living room, office, and our bedroom.

Here’s the print over the couch:

What do you think? Isn’t it huge?

After our wall hanging ordeal, we did laundry, ironed, baked cookies for Chris’s birthday, and stripped and remade the bed while Chris gave Bella a bath, vacuumed, and did a little ironing of his own.

I’m exhausted, and now you probably are too after reading all of this!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Revolving Around Movies

Well, Chris actually came home earlier than expected last night. I guess it was around 9:30. However, by the time he returned I was deep into a migraine and ended up falling asleep while he tried to unwind by playing video games in the living room.

Out of the blue, he emailed me today to let me know that he had gotten a surprise for me, but he wouldn’t tell me what it was. I had to endure half of my workday in suspense. Though it was difficult and frustrating; it was also fun. I love stuff like that.

I had to work late again today; I’ve been buried under a pile of grading for week. I know people say, “Why don’t you just give less work?” That’s not really up to me. Believe me; I would love to grade fewer essays. Anyway, I really thought that Chris would beat me home. However, I made it home just a few minutes before he did and was walking Bella when he pulled up. When I made it back upstairs into our apartment, he was standing beside the dining room table, and there was a copy of The Little Mermaid on the table. How sweet and thoughtful! He knew that I really wanted it since it came out on DVD last Tuesday. I loved my surprise.

After receiving my surprise we had to take a trip to Staples and ended up going by the video store to rent Click? Have you seen it? It actually has a really good message, and we both enjoyed it. I laughed so hard during one scene that I snorted! I wish that I could laugh that hard more often; it’s not that I enjoy the snorting just the good feeling losing myself in laughter. On a side note, it really made me want to dig out my old Cranberries CD’s. Anyway, I grilled some chicken and put it in salad for dinner, and we enjoyed a quiet evening at home eating dinner and watching a movie. Now Chris is playing video games, and I’m getting ready to resume my never ending chore: laundry.

Tomorrow night looks like it’s shaping up to be a busy one. We have community group first, and then we’re supposed to meet Chris’s old friends for dessert at Blackstone Brewery downtown. I’m sure that I won’t be posting tomorrow night. Hopefully I’ll have a colorful anecdote or two to share from those experiences. I guess it remains to be seen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Latchkey Wife

I know that I’m being silly. My sister-in-law has to be away from my brother who is in Iraq for a year. My sister has to be away from her husband for days at a time when he travels for business. I only have to endure Chris working pretty late a few nights a week. I’m not like some of the women at work who commented today about the convenience of their husbands being away from home and how much they can accomplish when they’re not around. I do work more efficiently around the house when Chris is not here. That can be nice on a Saturday or for a couple hours in the afternoon, but I suppose it’s just that I hate going to bed without him here. Even if we’re busily working on other projects in opposite sides of the apartment, it’s nice to feel his presence near by.

On our little trip to my old stomping grounds this past weekend, we were able to enjoy some time together. We drove to Chattanooga to visit with my college friends. On Friday night there was a little party, and we stayed up late with our hosts, my wonderful friends Steve and Lesley, and a few others reminiscing about the old days. It was so much fun sitting around the dining room table and perusing old yearbooks while we recounted our stories of crazy times and ridiculous relationships. I know that it wasn’t as much fun for Chris as it was for me, but I think that he was able to see a little different side of me. The next morning we went up to Covenant College to wander around campus and purchase some new apparel. We spent most of the time at the overlook gazing at the valley and the mountains beyond and enjoying rare moments of peace. It wasn’t glamorous or super exciting, but it’s moments like that I cherish the most. The crazy thing about the trip is that we both were really sick, me from a monster migraine and him from a serious cold, and yet we were still able to really enjoy time with our friends and each other.

So… what do I do now? I could walk on the treadmill, clean, work on my painting, or find something else productive to do. I brought grading home, but I stayed late at work today grading, and my brain is a bit mushy. I have the washer, dryer, and dish washer going. However, I’ve already had a highly productive day, and I’m very tired. I’m actually doing well to sit here working on this. Maybe I’ll just read a book, flip through a People magazine, or just watch a little TV while I wait for Chris to return. I miss him.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I seriously did not want to go. Before I even left the house I missed Chris. I knew that it was only going to be one night. However, on Monday night, Chris was so busy that he did not get home until after 2 AM; therefore I was not able to spend any time with him. I did not relish the thought of being away from Chris and trying to sleep in an old barrack style building with thin mattresses and squealing 7th grade girls. Tuesday afternoon I left with seventy-nine seventh graders for Camp Easter Seals in Mt. Juliet, TN. The purpose of the retreat was to get the kids away from school for time to bond and to grow closer to God. Of course I could not be opposed to the reasoning for going, and yet I still did not want to go.

As soon as we pulled up to the campsite dozens of memories, like a flowing stream, rushed in on me. I had journeyed to Easter Seals about fifteen times before, and each of those trips has special memories and tender moments that find me only upon returning to the site. For the duration of the trip I’m caught between living in the moment and forming new memories and being lost in reveries of those times gone by. And still I did not want to be there.

Of course there has to be a turning point. In any good story, there is a turning point or an “Aha!” moment. For me there were a few. First I will start with the more shallow points of persuasion. On any retreat there are competitions, and I tend to be quite competitive. The students were divided into four groups: Aslan, Gandalf, Nacho Libre, and Obi Wan Kenobi. I led the Gandalf group, and I must say (with very little humility) we rocked! We dominated! There were three group games: a water balloon relay, a name that TV show theme song competition, and an obstacle course relay. We won all three! Despite the fact that I suffered with a migraine for most of the time, I rallied long enough for these games and enjoyed our victories immensely! Other than the phenonminal victories, here are a few other positives about the trip: seeing my old friend John Moessner and learning that his sweet wife is pregnant with their second child, relaxing in front of the large stone fireplace, and late night chocolate milkshakes.

During praise and worship that first night we sang “Sweet Adoration,” a song that I don’t recall singing in years. In years past, that song has been quite successful in drawing me closer to God. On the whole, our times of praise and worship were great. Ryan Doyle, our 7th grade Bible teacher, gave a couple of really good talks that really helped the students to examine their hearts and motives. We had time in small groups to talk about what they had heard and learned, and my handful of girls had some very insightful observations and tender reactions to what they had heard and seen. I loved listening to them; it was quite wonderful.

So despite the list of protests that kept reeling around in my head prior to the trip, it was well worth my time and attendance.

Last night after I returned Chris and I went to our first community group. I think there are about fourteen people in the group, but only half of us were there last night. We were all supposed to bring 2-4 things to share that represented who we are or who we are becoming. We greatly enjoyed our time with this new group of people, and we both are looking forward to going deeper with these people and hopefully building some new friendships.

Tomorrow night we’re traveling to Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain for my college homecoming. Hopefully I’ll have some more interesting things to share with you after that little trip.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Dog Rescuer

Earlier this week we received word that a family had decided to get rid of their dog, a pit mix named Max. If they didn’t find an owner right away, they were actually planning on putting him down! Well, Chris and I couldn’t stand the thought of that happening. He had been moved to a farm owned by a man who rescues dogs. So, yesterday we took a little trip up to Joelton, TN with our sweet Bella to see Max. He was beautiful and playful but simply did not get along with Bella. Being a male pit, he wanted to dominate, and Bella wasn’t having it. She’s a strong woman! Since we could not bring Max home with us, I was relieved to find that the dog rescuer was not going to let him be put down, so we left feeling both disappointed and relieved.

I know some of you are thinking, “What were there thinking? They can’t have another dog in that little apartment?” Trust me; we know. I suppose it’s just that we have soft hearts for dogs and couldn’t bear the thought of him dying simple because the family’s children weren’t responsible enough to keep the door closed allowing Max to escape into the neighborhood where he happily hunted the neighbors’ cats!

The great thing however about being in that area was that we were so close to our friends, Christina and John. After a quick call to Christina, we were able to pop in for a little impromptu visit. Bella even had a companion to keep her company: their dog Marley who is a full blooded female pit bull. Marley is very sweet and a bit intimidated by Bella; that may be due to the fact that Bella is double the size of Marley. However, as soon as Chris started playing ball with them the fun began. After John returned from work, Chris and I stayed for a dinner of fried chicken and fixin’s. Good southern food and great friends: what could be better?

So, tomorrow is FRIDAY! Pardon me while I do a little dance of joy! (Yes, I did my little dance and distracted Chris, so he died—in the video game he’s playing. Sorry, Chris.) Anyway, I have been under such stress, and I feel like I’ve barely been cutting it at work this week. The one comfort I have is that every teacher at my table at lunch today was feeling the same way. There have been so many meetings and so many details to attend to that it hasn’t left much time for grading and other organizational tasks. But I have just one more day left in the work week to endure before I get to have a change of pace and a chance to catch up on a few things. I love Thursday nights and the anticipation for Friday which leads to the weekend.

Next Tuesday I’m going on a little overnight trip with the seventh graders for a little spiritual retreat in Mt. Juliet. Stay tuned for a report on that!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Monday Blahs?

I don’t know why I’ve spent less and less time at the computer over the last few weeks. I think that by the time I get home from work I just don’t feel like doing much thinking, so I go into cleaning mode or cooking or relaxing in front of the TV. I simply haven’t felt very motivated to sit and type or chat or anything. And as I start to think over my day I can’t really come up with anything interesting to talk about. I’m tired of talking about the bad things that seem to keep happening all around me. I have this little voice inside my head saying, “If you can’t say anything nice…” You know the rest.

I wish that I had some sort of intriguing tale, but there’s just nothing noteworthy to report. This was my day today: had meetings all day for in-service at school, went to the tanning bed, came home, walked Bella, worked out, started laundry, cleaned both bathrooms, mopped the kitchen floor, cooked dinner, ate with Chris, fed Bella, cleaned up the kitchen, walked Bella with Chris, and came to type on the computer. Seriously, that’s not very interesting.

Hmmm, thinking….. I guess I could tell you that my next painting will definitely be a lighthouse. Chris’s business is Lighthouse Inc., so I thought it would be nice to paint one for him. I’m thinking about starting on it tonight. I gave the sunflower to Mom, and she’s planning to hang it in her breakfast room. It matches the décor in there surprisingly well. I really want to just do folk art type of stuff. I never studied art history, and I don’t know all of the modern techniques. And I’m really not painting for anyone but myself, but I would do a painting for friends or family if they really wanted me to. OK, so I’m rambling.

I’m going to work on something more exciting for you in my next entry. Really, it’ll blow your mind. Just wait!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Lack of Timing

After a fairly normal day at work I came home ready to work out. I did The Firm routine while I watched a rerun of the Gilmore Girls on the Family Channel. Then I was ready to harness Bella and take her out for a long walk in the neighborhood. However, the rain started, and I feared that I would not be able to take her. Still, a half hour later the rain had abated, and I set out with “my little pony.” Fortunately I decided just to take laps around the complex, staying close to home in case the rain started again. We started on our first loop, and I took her down the big field at the front of the complex so that she could do her business. Well, I guess my timing was a bit off. Once I got down there I felt a small drop of water and then about 10 seconds later I felt another. The next thing I knew the heavens gaped open, and Bella and I were drenched! I tried to seek shelter under a large tree, but the torrential downpour only thwarted my efforts. By the time I got back to the house my hair was plastered to my head and my clothes were hanging heavily on my body. I didn’t want to take my soaked dog into the house only to have her shake off all the excess water all over the furniture and carpet, so I closed her leash up in the door leaving her outside in the breezeway and ran to the bathroom to get a big beach towel to dry her off.

After all of that I still did get to walk tonight, but I had the pleasure of my sweet husband’s company. When he arrived home from work, I ran down to the car, and we went to Burger Monday at Calhoun’s. On Monday’s they have burgers for half price. Somehow the fact that they have a silly name for it makes it feel like a real event for me, and I was very excited to go. Anyway, after dinner and a not so quick (or cheap) trip to Walmart, Chris and I came back home, changed clothes, and ventured out. Thankfully we were able to stay dry and had a great time getting some exercising and chatting.

I have so much laundry and ironing to attend to, but I am not sure that I can face it tonight. This is definitely one task that I feel like I can put off until tomorrow. Relaxing for a bit sounds like just the thing for me!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Grease anyone?

As far as I know I am not pg. I haven’t taken a test, but if it would make anyone feel better I’ll get one. Who knows? Anything could be possible, but I doubt it. The funny thing is that saying that makes me feel like Rizzo from the movie Grease when she shouts out to Kinickie on the ferris wheel, “I’m not pg!” Have I seen that movie too many times? In case you’re lost in this entry, this is a response to comments made on my last post. It wouldn’t be very exciting, but we don’t have room for a baby where we live. Still, if that were God’s plan for us, I’m sure He’d make a way for us. But, to be clear, I really, really don’t think that’s something I have to be concerned about right now.

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted more this week. I’ve been very busy and haven’t really been on the computer much this week. After I get home from work, work out, figure out /fix dinner, run errands, and accomplish a couple other chores around here I’m wiped out. The good news is that nothing overly dramatic has happened this week. We’ve had enough of the drama around her for a little while. The most exciting thing for me right now is that Chris and I have plans to stay in tomorrow night! We’ve had to go somewhere every night this week, and I just want to kick back and do nothing. We’re actually going to use the word “no” tomorrow night. After I work out tomorrow afternoon I may just change right into my pj’s and hit that relaxing mode as soon as possible.

As for this weekend, I really want to start on a new painting, but I’m waiting for the proper inspiration to hit me. It’ll come; I just hope it doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night. I also want to get a little shopping done this weekend. Oh, and I think I’m going to have to bring grading home with me. But maybe I can temper that with watching fun movies while I grade. There’s almost always a way to make an unsavory task a little better.

Monday, September 11, 2006

End of the roller coaster?

I was thrilled to find an email from my brother when I got to work today. I guess he doesn’t have my home email address, so he just emails me at work. Anyway, he said that it’s 130degrees and hard to breathe, but other than that he’s doing well. I want this year to soar by for my family so that we can be at the other end welcoming him home. I want him here playing with his boys and hugging his wife and teasing me. He’s a great brother and a great man; I’m so very proud of him.

Saturday night Chris and I went out with our dear friends, John and Christina. For five years, she was my roommate, and then I met Chris and she met John. They got married the week before we did, and then we played a little musical chairs-apartment style. I moved across the hall into my husband’s apartment after we got married, and John moved into Christina’s. Now they live about 45 minutes away, and we see them whenever we can. Every time we go home after spending time with them, Chris and I gush over how much fun we had and how we so enjoy their company. Last night was no different. We started with dinner at a really swanky place: Waffle House! I’m so glad they chose it; Chris and I love Waffle House. After lingering for a while over our dinners, we drove across the street to play putt-putt. It started raining a bit, but none of us cared. And yes, even though I did not play as well as I would like, I still had a lot of fun. (Sometimes I have to really work to keep that competitive streak in check!) We ended the evening with drinks from Sonic and a short visit at our apartment. Nights and friends like that are indeed rare.

My cousin’s funeral was also Saturday; it was really… strange. For those of you who know me well, I’ll tell you about it at another time. Other than that I don’t really want to talk about it. Really, I’m just glad it’s over.

I wish I had more to report on or some pictures to share, but I’m a little tapped out tonight. I’ve been so sleepy lately. I wonder what the deal is with that.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to Good

So, yesterday was Uncle Fisk’s funeral. The officiator read comments from Fisk’s children and grandchildren about their fondest memories and what he meant to them which provided such sweet laughter and also heart wrenching tears. How do you sum up a person’s life and the important place he shared in yours?

If everything works out, my cousin’s funeral is will be Saturday. His family truly has no money and no insurance, and my Dad has been busily trying to raise money to cover the costs. It’s amazing how much these things cost. The funeral home has been so gracious and given a very nice price, but it’s still really expensive. Dad has talked to a few people and told them if they want to donate the money to his ministry in care of the funeral costs, they can claim it on their taxes. We’re trying to come together to get this taken care of; every aspect of this situation seems tragic to me.

For the most part people have been very kind to me as they hear about the strange turn of events from this last weekend. However, I must say that I have been a bit shocked by some of the off color, insensitive, and inappropriate comments that I’ve heard. I don’t know if people just aren’t thinking or don’t know how to react or what. I know that these things pop into people’s heads, but there’s no need to share when it’s not going to be something that’s helpful.

Want some good news?

My Mom came back today! She’s been out of town for a week, and it’s so hard for me when she’s gone, which has been quite a bit over the last month. She really is my best friend, and I usually talk to her every day. But while she’s been out of town our conversations have been short and infrequent. So many times I’ve wanted to call her and get her opinion or share little tidbits with her, but that just hasn’t been possible. When she gets back I think I’m going to have to tell her that I need some “Kay time” with her. Tonight Chris and I got to have dinner with her and Dad at Calhoun’s. I loved sitting there just sharing the details of our week apart. All in all, it was a quite enjoyable evening.

Now Chris is in the living room finishing up some work from the day. Bella is running back and forth from there to the office to check on the two of us. And I am just about ready to snuggle up with a good book for the rest of the evening. I am looking forward to Saturday evening when all of these trials will be behind me, and I am able to find something really good to look forward to. I’ll let you know what that it as soon as I figure it out.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Pedicure Therapy for a Drama Queen

Why does having pretty nails give me a more positive outlook on life? Yesterday when I told Chris that I really needed a mani-pedi, he readily offered me the money to do it. He understands me. What a man! So after the crush of yesterday’s news, I spent the morning at the nail salon flipping through O and Real Simple magazines, listening to the manicurists as they conversed in Chinese, and watching as my rugged fingers and toes were transformed and tipped with shiny cranberry polish. I know I just took a detour from reality, but sometimes that’s what you need.

Thank God it’s Labor Day. This is a much needed day off. I can’t believe I have two funerals this week. Uncle Fisk’s will be on Wednesday. I think I’m holding these situations at arms length; I don’t want to take the time to really deal with how I feel. I guess once I’m standing there at the funerals I won’t really have much of a choice.

Have you ever noticed how much drama my life seems to have? I promise that I am not trying to create the drama. Really, I’m not in denial; I know that I can sometimes overreact and be somewhat of a drama queen. I am quite expressive. But there still is a lot that happens that is dramatic without me making it so.

Other than my salon appointment this morning, I didn’t really have much going on. I did laundry and ironed. I took the time to make both lunch and dinner for Chris, and we were able to spend some time together today. We actually got out and went for a drive, but most of the time was spent on the couch watching the Extreme Makeover Home Edition marathon on the Family Channel. I absolutely love that show, and so does Chris.

I feel a bit disconnected right now. I think I’m going to go get something to drink, get in bed a little early, and watch episodes of Friends until I’m too tired to keep my eyes open.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Are you kidding me?

What a week! I had a migraine almost all week. But that doesn’t compare to the bomb that dropped today. Both Chris and I have been struggling with migraines, but that’s only one brand of our pain today. This morning as we got ready for church Chris received a call that his Uncle Fisk was not doing well and probably wouldn’t make it through the day. On the way to church we received another call; his uncle was gone. So we decided not to go to church, and we just went to breakfast to talk. On the way home, I called Dad to tell him what had happened, and he told me that my cousin Raymond was on his way home from the Hank Williams Jr. concert last night when he was hit on the interstate, and he died. Is this real? There has been so much tragedy in our lives in the last year. These things often happen in threes so we decided that Wayne leaving for Iraq so early was shock #1. The passing of Uncle Fisk and Cousin Raymond are #2 and #3. We’re praying that God will bring blessings… BIG BLESSINGS. We really need it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Youth vs. Bob Dylan

Last night Chris and I went to have dinner at his parents’ house. And we took Bella. I can’t figure out if this was a mistake or not. I don’t know how everyone else felt, but she totally drove me crazy during dinner. She’s a loud breather, and she wanted to be right there at the table next to our elbows. I like listening to jazz music or watching a little TV while I eat; I most certainly do not enjoy listening to loud, heavy breathing! I don’t think I can adequately describe just how loud the breathing is. On the way to dinner Chris was on the phone with his mom, and she asked him what was wrong. She thought that he was scrapping something, but it was just Bella that she heard.

There’s really not much else exciting going on with me. I think that’s good though. The last few weeks really drained me, and I could use a few days of nothing exciting. Chris and I went to dinner the other night at the Green Hills Grille, and then we wandered around Davis Kidd Bookstore. Nothing spectacular happened; we were just happy to be together. Maybe that is spectacular: having the opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of your spouse.

The school year is progressing well. I like the routine of being a teacher, and I like my students. But I am starting to feel older around them than I used to. The kids were naming all these different dances the other day and asking me if I knew how to do them. First of all I hadn’t heard of many of them, and when they demonstrated them I thought they looked stupid. (Of course I didn’t tell the students my humble opinion.) Doesn’t the older generation always see things the younger people enjoy as stupid or a waste of time or strange? In his younger years, Bob Dylan said that you should never trust anyone over the age of 30. A few years ago a student reminded me of that quote and told me that he could still trust me because I was still in my twenties. Well, what now? Have a progressed too far to be a teenager’s confidant? In my defense, I still like a lot of the same shows, movies, music, and products that the kids like. Chris always says that he will grow old, but he will never grow up. “I don’t want to grow up; I’m a Toys R us kid!” I’ve seen a lot of people retain that youthful exuberance and yet also grow wiser. That’s what I want.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Strange Days

I really have not been myself for the last couple of weeks, and my husband is very glad to have his wife back. But in this mini voyage from myself, I have made a couple of self discoveries. First, my personality is significantly altered when I gain weight. Secondly, my personality is significantly altered during times of great stress. In both of these cases, I tend to shift into some sort of self protective mode, and major fortresses are built in record time. I become withdrawn and tend to fixate on work. I am not very personable.

My brother left for Iraq yesterday. More than any time before when he’s been deployed, I have struggled with his departure. While it’s true that this has happened at a particularly stressful time in the year for me with the school year starting and Chris starting his own business, I still think that my brother’s situation has weighed heaviest on my heart. He is leaving behind his wife and four boys, and I have known the pain of not having a father at home. I was very young when my dad was gone, but it had a great effect on me. These are terrifying times we live in, and without my faith in God I don’t know how I would cope. I can assure you that the last couple weeks would have been far worse than they were.

Yesterday I had some time to rest and decompress. And then last night Chris and I went to see The Sound of Music at the school where I teach. During the intermission I smiled brightly at people and sought out friends and acquaintances for a bit of conversation. I have been laughing and just being goofy with Chris. I went shopping with my Mom today. (A little aside: I tried on some clothes at a store and didn’t realize until hours later when I returned home that I had put my shirt on inside out in the dressing room. Neither Mom or Chris noticed either!) Life is beginning to take on a bit of normalcy, and I am breathing regularly.

I still feel a piece of my heart holding tightly to the desperate yearning to change the circumstances and bring Wayne home. But this is our life for now. Hundreds and perhaps even thousands of people will be praying for my brother while he is gone. Mom is wearing a set of Wayne’s dog tags until he returns. It reminds her to pray for him and the others in his unit and, indeed, for all those men and women who are serving, and it also gives her a little piece of him to feel a little closer to. How well I understand that. I too have a set of his dog tags, and holding them between my fingers while I whisper a prayer for my brave, strong brother I can see his smile and feel his presence.

A year, depending on your perception, either passes by far too quickly or trudges on testing your strength and hope. He’ll be gone a year. May that year pass quickly, and may we all be strengthened by the hope we can find only in Christ.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


For most of the weekend I’ve felt like I was wandering around in a fog. On Friday I stumbled through my last day of in-service with a migraine, and then Chris and I went up to Fort Knox to spend the weekend with my brother Wayne and his family before he deploys to Iraq. I had to climb into the back seat half way there in order to sleep, and by the time we got there I was rather disoriented. My Mom had been staying with my brother’s family all week, and my sister and her husband would join us the next day. With the realization of my brother’s impending departure and the arrival of my new students on Monday, my brain hit hyper-drive, and I was not able to go to sleep until around 3 AM, and so on Saturday I somewhat lethargic. That night we all traveled an hour further north to my nephew Brent’s football game. It was supposed to start at 8:30 which is already a late start for a high school football game. However, another game was already in motion and was running late. Then after we all endured a rain shower which quite sufficiently soaked us, Brent’s game finally started around 10 PM! While it was a good game, sadly Brent’s team lost, and he didn’t even get to play. We didn’t get back to Wayne’s house until after 2 AM, and once again I didn’t get to sleep until around 3!

Chris and I came back to Nashville today, dropped of our luggage, and went to work in my classroom for a couple hours. When I left, I felt like I was as prepared as I could be for tomorrow, but that doesn’t stop me from being very nervous. I’m really excited to be back on the job, but beginnings are often scary. The days and months ahead feel like an epic saga waiting to be written, and I’m just one of dozens of authors jockeying for position to fill up those pages. However, tonight I plan to get in my pj’s early and hop into bed and read until I can’t keep my eyes open. I really hope that my nervous energy and overactive brain don’t keep me awake tonight. I need sleep.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ending at the Beginning

I am sorry that I haven't posted in so long. I haven't even had a minute to be on the computer. Life has been REALLY crazy this week. Tons of stress. Among other things, I've had inservice all week; I've been trying to get my classroom together (actually accidentally stapled my thumb to one of my bulletin boards!), and we found out that my brother Wayne is being sent to Iraq about a month earlier than expected. He's leaving this week. I am actually in Fort Knox right now visiting with him and his family. Chris and I rushed here after work yesterday, and we're going to hang out here for the weekend. I'm so grateful that I have the time to see my brother before he leaves. Tonight we're going to my oldest nephew Brent's football game; my sister and her husband are supposed to come up as well, and I think Dad may be able to make it as well. Mom was already here; she spend this last week up here.

On Sunday Chris and I will go home, finish my classroom, and then go and pick up Bella from Chris's parents' house. And Sunday night I will try to get some sleep, but I usually don't get much the night before the first day of classes. That's not good because lately I don't seem to be able to sleep much at all. Sleep deprivation: that's a good thing to add to the mix. I just have too much on my mind. I think it's time to take that last Lunesta that I've been holding on to.

I don't really have much more to add at this point, but I do promise to try to post more this week. I'm sure I will have plenty to say after the first day of classes. I really am excited about seeing my new students on Monday.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Finding Peace

The world does not feel like it’s getting smaller to me. Sometimes people say that it is because of email and connections to people through other people and the ability to get almost anything you want at any time of the day. But then I watch TV or read the paper, and I start to feel very small in a dark, scary place. On the news: high alert because of terrorists, people dying because of the heat, a vast majority of people naively denying that there’s any reason for our military to fight babies drowning in swimming pools, and so on. And in my own life I have seen so much sickness and death and hardship. The world overwhelms me. So, I find that I have to pull in and focus on the immediate things in life: call my mom, wash the dishes, kiss my husband, walk my dog, play on the computer…. In order to maintain sanity, there has to be some sense of normalcy for me. Oh, and I just remembered, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) And I sigh. Sometimes I forget God’s promises. I think that I’ve mentioned this before. I’ve been meaning to find a way to remember them better. I wish that I could think of a way to do a border around the top of the walls in my apartment that would not be difficult to remove. I’ll keep brainstorming.

I only have two and a half days of freedom left. On Sunday night I have my first faculty meeting, and then the school year will be in full swing for me. I love my job, but I am trying to drain every bit of vacation from this week that I can.

Today I went to Portland, TN with my parents to have lunch with my sister at Five Chefs. I enthusiastically recommend this charming restaurant. But good luck with finding it. They don’t advertise, and the sign in the front is tiny and inconspicuous. It’s all by word of mouth, and it seems to be doing quite well. They only serve breakfast and lunch, and there is also a lovely attached store called Occasions which holds an array of knick knacks, décor, furniture, and accessories. Delicious food, fun shopping, quaint atmosphere. I loved it. And of course I know that my companions lent quite a bit to the experience.

After Eva went back to work, we paid her a short visit at the bank, and then we made our way back to Nashville on Highway 31. I love traveling the old highways instead of the interstate. It’s a most relaxed ride, and there’s always so much more to see and talk about. Chris and I used to spend a fair amount of time driving old highways, back country roads, and down the Natchez Trace. It’s one of the factors of us falling in love. I hope that we’ll be able to take many road trips together in the future.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just Another Day in the Life

For the last couple days I don’t feel like my life has had much substance to it. I haven’t been reading much or writing or painting or doing anything creative or productive. This is my vacation week, so I haven’t wanted to do very much. Also, I’ve had horrible headache on and off for the past week, and today is the first day that I’ve actually felt like myself. So I don’t really feel like I have anything interesting to write about here, but I hate to go too long without a post.

I had to buy a new cell phone yesterday because the one I had was dropping calls or not getting service or having other random problems. I didn’t want anything special, but we got a really good deal. Since we left the store yesterday I have not stopped playing with it. I know can take photos and video, and I got one of those Bluetooth wireless headsets; it was just a basic phone, but apparently they all come with bells and whistles these days. Yea, a new toy!

We took Bella to the vet today. What an experience! Whenever she gets around other people she becomes a nearly uncontrollable, crazy beast and nearly knocks people over because she’s so massive and strong. Plus she sheds a lot, so while we’re trying to hold her down for all the poking and prodding, hair is flying all over the place covering the doctor, technicians, Chris, me, and the floor. It’s like a tornado of Bella hair! Overall she’s very healthy, but at 97 pounds, she’s about 7 pounds overweight. We think that this is mostly because we didn’t really walk her very much during the winter. I guess we just chickened out due to the frigid temperatures. However, we’ve been walking a couple miles with her in the morning this summer, and we will buck up, bundle up, and take her out this winter. So, as a family, we will all be getting in better shape together. She’s actually smaller than she was at the beginning of the summer, so that’s at least some progress. I think the shots subdued her; she's been sacked out on the kitchen floor since we came home. We’re really crazy about that dog.

Ok, I guess that’s it for today. Maybe something strange and wonderful will happen later that I can tell you about.

Monday, August 07, 2006

365 days plus 2

Yep, folks. We made it. It's actually been a year. It's hard to believe. The wedding and all that bright-eyed wonder doesn't seem like it was that long ago. But what a year it's been! Can a year be considered a milestone? After what we've endured it feels like we've really accomplished something great. We arrive tired and a bit battle scarred and yet still happy together and hopelessly in love. And we decided that a celebration was in order. We honeymooned in Gatlinburg, so what could be more appropriate than to return there to mark another special occasion?

A year does make a difference but not as much as one might think. On our honeymoon, we were practically drifting through the streets with dreamy grins on our faces, and we barely noticed the weather at all. This year it was either hot and muggy or storming like God was out to prove a point. Last year everything tasted like delectable food had been brought down from heaven on silver platters by angels themselves; this year I had to send back truly inedible food, and Chris got a little sick from the food. However, there was one significant similarity about our trip. We truly enjoyed one another's company and were happy just to be together. All in all, it was a very good trip, but if you’ve been to Gatlinburg, I can’t really add much to your understanding by describing the weekend.

Instead, I’ll include a couple pictures.

The happy couple:

A view of Gatlinburg:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Caffeine Crisis

I failed miserably. I was not able to relax last night. I ended up straightening up the kitchen, dining room, and living room; washing and folding four loads of laundry; and ironing 15 shirts, two pairs of pants, and a skirt. I sat down for just long enough to eat my dinner, a salad with grilled chicken, before I was up and going again.

But there is a reason for my manic behavior.

I had bought some diet pills at the beginning of the week to help give a little boost to my weight loss. Bad choice. You can take up to six pills a day, two before each meal. I was taking five a day. Last night I discovered that the pills have a ton of caffeine in them. I don’t generally have caffeine and certainly not at night. I may have a Coke on the weekend, but I have to be really careful with caffeine. It really affects me, and I was ingesting the equivalent of five cups a coffee. I knew that I wasn’t feeling quite right this week, but it really all came to a head last night.

Let me lay it out for you….

Around 10:30 last night I crashed… for about five minutes. Then I flipped out! I mean I really flipped out. My pulse was pounding in my ear, and I became very paranoid and emotional. Poor Chris! He was trying to calm me down and help me figure out what was going on. I was completely restless and was not thinking rationally. I was really worried that I was really sick…physically and emotionally. Chris prayed for me and read to me a little from the Bible. Then I remembered that the label of the diet pills mentioned caffeine, so I huffed it to the kitchen to check it out. Problem solved. As soon as I figured out what had happened I started to calm down. I wasn’t losing it; I was just hyped up with too much caffeine. I am sure that you will be glad to know that the pills went straight into the trash. I climbed back into bed, put in a Friends DVD, and grabbed my coloring books and colored pencils. Soothing activities. I wasn’t able to fully calm down enough for sleep until after one. What a night!

Thankfully I have a pleasant weekend ahead of me. First I will take advantage of the tax free weekend in Tennessee tomorrow, and then Chris and I are heading out for Gatlinburg. I’m aiming for a leisurely weekend just wandering around the strip, going to the aquarium, eating good food, and really resting. After this strange episode I’ve had and him taking over his company this week, Chris and I really need a non-stressful weekend.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Busy Relaxing

Yesterday I started the day by walking two miles at 5 AM with Chris, and then I did a little laundry. After a very busy day at work, I came home, walked Bella, went swimming by myself, worked out to the Firm, made and ate dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, went swimming with Chris, and finished out the evening writing and reading. Of course this morning I walked the two miles with Chris again, did some more laundry before work, emptied the dish washer, and then had another busy day at work. Bella has been walked and is resting on the floor behind me. Right now I’m simply drained, and I’m sore from yesterday’s Firm workout. I haven’t done that particular workout in a few months, but I plan to add it to my schedule every other day. I thought about doing Tae Bo or walking on the treadmill this afternoon, but I think I’ll just relax… and do a little laundry.

I have a hard time being idle.

Chris is always trying to get me to relax, and for the first six months or so of our marriage I did start to relax. Now, however, I find that I can hardly sit still. When I watch TV or a movie, I feel like I need to be doing something productive. (I really need to learn to knit.) I used to really enjoy watching movies at home, but lately I feel so restless, like I’m wasting time, especially if it’s a movie I’ve already seen. Tonight I’m going to try to relax a little. Even as I write this I feel something within me start to rebel against that thought. I know there is so much to do. I have visions of the dining room table and the living room with an assortment of items strewn about waiting to be put in their proper places, the pile of ironing that awaits me at the foot of the bed, the load of clothes on the bed and another in the dryer that need to folded, the loads of clothes yet to be washed, the items behind me in the office that need to be organized, the sink that needs to be scoured, and the range of other chores. I know that none of these activities are really pressing concerns, and I know that I could just attend to these things tomorrow. However, I start to think about what other chores will inevitable present themselves when tomorrow comes.

I worry about people thinking that I’m lazy. After reading what I’ve written above, I know that some of you think that I’m crazy. I do keep busy, but what if it’s just not enough? What if I miss something really important and let someone down in a significant way? A few years ago this concern got me into trouble. Among other things I taught 7th grade English and theater, directed three plays a year, orchestrated the Renaissance Festival, and led a discipleship group for high school girls. Often my work day was 12 to 14 hours long, and I would only have a break, spent planning my classes and grading, every other day. I was exhausted. I think I said “yes” a little too often that year. While I no longer direct plays or lead a d-group, I need to be really careful not to overextend myself again, even if it’s only in my personal life.

So, tonight’s goal: rest and watch an entire movie without working on anything else. (Chris will be shocked if I am actually able to do this!)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Three Days to Go

My summer job comes to an end on Thursday. After that I will have a little vacation time before I get back into full swing for the school year. First I will have to endure a week of meetings (ugh!). On August 21, I will welcome a new batch of bright-eyed, nervous seventh graders into my classroom, and a new adventure will begin. Have a mentioned that I love being a teacher?

After a year of trial, romance, heartache, joy, and so much more; Chris and I will celebrate our first anniversary this next weekend. Can you believe that it’s really been a year? We’ll be taking a trip to Gatlinburg next weekend where we had our honeymoon. Returning to the scene of the crime! Last Saturday night, we shared a romantic dinner at Stoney River as a sort of pre-celebration for our anniversary. We were even rewarded with a free desert, an absolutely delicious cappuccino crème brulle, after I mentioned to the waitress that we were celebrating. Chris and I are shamelessly in love and sometimes irritatingly so, but I would rather that be the case than to be the opposite. I suppose we can get some sort of reprieve from judgment being that we are still newlyweds. Still if I use my parents as a model, I can hope to be in love like this for decades to come!

Here's us a little over a year ago:

Aren't we cute?

On Sunday afternoon, we went to visit Paw Paw, my dad’s father, who is now home from the hospital. I wrote about him and his health struggles in an earlier post. While he was in the hospital, he actually died and was gone for eight minutes before coming back. Of course you know that is highly unusual. They actually call him Miracle Man at the hospital, and I wonder what purpose God still has for him to fulfill. Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with him. A few times he became overly excited in talking to us, and we had to get him to calm down and catch his breath. I think he was so excited to see us and really just to have company. Both Chris and I took hold of his hands and prayed with him before we left; I can’t adequately describe for you the sweetness of those moments. I hope that I will have a chance to go see him again soon and take him a pot of homemade soup.