Sunday, January 30, 2011


I don't do change very well.  I do better when the things changing are within my control and better yet when I am given the time and space to adapt.  but lets be honest, most change does not fall into these categories.  most change is not within our control.  and most of the time, we don't get time or space to adapt.  right now, I'm on the edge of experiencing both types of change - the self-initiated and the "it's just coming, hold on for dear life" kind!

1.  I have not been feeling like I've been an effective parent.  I am busy, we're busy, they're busy and I just am not doing a really great job.  and no, this isn't guilt talking, just a reality check.  my kids are pretty decent kids but I am not liking some of the habits they've picked up due to my laziness/business/tiredness.  so with all the other change happening in the next bit, I feel like it's an opportunity to change how we do business in our house.  and it's going to start with each kid having some chores.  they are old enough to pick up all their crap.  and old enough to keep their bedrooms clean.  they've been old enough to do these for a long time now, but I've just been too lazy, tired and busy to reinforce it.  I know that self-induced change needs to come with some internal motivation, and I don't have a ton of that, but it's change that needs to happen or I'll have THOSE kids.  the kind that don't know the value of work.  or that think their mother does everything.

2.  john starts his new job this week.  well, he has orientation on wednesday and begins "for real" next monday.  this new job is shift work.  and although I know that I can adjust to a different schedule, I also know that my schedule [specifically at work] has no flexibility to it.  I am worried.  more about my ability to change than about john's ability to handle working nights.  he'll be doing four days on, two days off, four nights on, six days off.  repeat.  ha!  I know I can do this, but I feel like I have no control over this and what if I go nuts being home with the kids by myself when he's doing nights?  it's a bit irrational, I know.  hence the reason I need to do a bit of a parenting overhaul.  I need the kids to be able to go to bed at a decent hour so I can get things done around the house, since potentially, I could loose a couple of my saturdays.

on the flip side, there is much to be grateful for:
1.  john got a job fairly quickly.
2.  this job is only five minutes from our house.
3.  the kids and I will be forced into a bit of a routine - we have one now, but it's a bit lame!
4.  all of this will force me to say no to some things, just due to scheduling.  not a bad thing.
5.  and I am super grateful that we have extended family {and most excellent friends} that can step up when it gets to be too much or when there are scheduling conflicts.

so I may be worried.  I may be apprehensive and generally cranky as of late, but once we get into the swing of things, I'm sure this change will be a good one.  and hey, I'll have someone looking out for me when I climb the back fence and walk to the casino!!!  LOL

Thursday, January 27, 2011

walter reed

so there were some serious eyebrows raised this week when I just happened to mention that I owned two prime minister action figures.  they live on my desk at school and they come out to play when I'm teaching canadian history.  this week, I was teaching my kids about sir john a. macdonald, so he came off my desk to oversee the whole process.  most of my colleagues know that I'm a geek, but apparently some of my friends are just getting confirmation on this fact.  I have a fine collection of action figures on my desk at school.  I don't keep them at home because what would be the point of that.  my kids would make them their own.  so I suggested that perhaps I take some pictures of my desk friends and share them with the world.  so, here I go.  don't judge.  I think I'm cool.  and we're just going with that.

 {mace windu, the matryoshka doll from russia & emergency crime scene tape.  you never know when you need to tape off a crime scene, right?}

 {luke, yoda & the army guys from toy story}

 {and throw a very concerned green m&m in there}

 {the view from above - extra lego pieces in my paper weight & a rubber band ball}

 {sir wilfred laurier surrounded by the jedi master, and a staple remover}

{and sir john a macdonald, apparently making a presentation with brainy smurf as a mini cooper rolls by. a little tokidoki cactus pup sits at the feet of our first prime minister.  of course.}

yes, I am a geek.  I'm okay with that.  my desk may be difficult to dust, but it is always a party.  a well-organized-big-mess of a party!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

spice up your life

okay!  book review time.  between yesterday and right now, I've managed to read a book.  seriously.  and no, it wasn't a book in my pile.  typically I don't do sci-fi as a genre, but this book was AWSOME!!

so I borrowed all three books in this series from a lady I work with just yesterday.  and just mere minutes ago, I finished book one.  L-O-V-E.  it's teen fiction, but unlike the twilight series on so many levels.  first, the heroine is a sullen, bitchy, naive, yet fierce teenager.  she's a hunter and a survivor.  fierce.  I liken it {kinda} to twilight just because it's got that same hook.  the one that just drags you in and doesn't let you go.  the story lines are intense and compelling.  but unlike bella, katniss is not told a million times a day how beautiful she is.  although there's a bit of a love story, it's not so much the central focus.  it's like watching survivor on steriods, not like watching days of our lives with vampires {although I'm sure back in the 90's someone was stranded on an island by victor kiriakis, surrounded by vampires!}.  know what I mean?  okay, so I am cutting this short so I can start book two.  and no, I do not like it as much as I liked the girl with the dragon tattoo, but I would get my kids at school hooked on this one, that's for sure!!

how was your day?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

stripmall religion

I am a proud mama today.  ty was asked to be a part of a photoshoot for a local magazine back in november.  my friend Irene {I've tried to link her facebook page - if it doesn't work, you can find her via my facebook!} was taking the pictures for the winter edition and she needed my brown child!!  well ty and I went and he was totally uncooperative.  he cried.  he fussed.  he needed to be bribed.  it was generally awful, but somehow she managed to get some really great shots of my kid!

urban infant is a free magazine that is distributed around the edmonton area, so if you're leaving safeway and see all free mags sitting there {yes, with the bargain finder and the reality mags!}, grab one of these!!

 {that's what the cover looks like - NOT my kid!!}

 {yes, that's him looking at the camera and that's also him POUTING!}

{great smile!  fingernails need a re-do!}

Monday, January 24, 2011


I typically like mondays.  after today, however, I may just change my mind on that.  just today.  challenging.  interesting.  CRAZY!  and not at all boring.  this was my monday.  until I got home.  night one of club.  good, good times!  no seriously, I look forward to this every month.  and although I sometimes have a hard time coming up with new and fresh ideas, and sometimes I don't feel very creative and interesting, but really, it's not the stamping and scrapbooking that keeps me going with this business.  it's the relationships.  I am extraordinarily grateful for that.

{the inside of tonights project} 

 {the outside, still unfinished}
{and the sight that made my day}

and now I'm just sitting.  alone.  I kicked the girls out, made some hummus, made lunches, and now just sitting.  and in this moment, mondays are still okay for another week.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

country roads

I passed a grater as I was driving home this afternoon.  am I asking too much for them to do right in front of my house?  you know, get rid of the deep, deep ruts?  yes.  apparently I am asking too much.  however, the change and temperatures has meant that the kids are outside way more.  and the sun has been out.  super happy!  I got a new lens and film for my hipstamatic app on my phone.  not too sure if I love it, but I have a strong like at this point!

I really don't have much to write about today.  feeling better but not great and I'm abnormally tired for a sunday afternoon.  I had to be at church at 830 this morning for rehearsal, then went to my mom and dad's for part 2 of my dad's birthday party.  while there, I did a brisk walk on the treadmill - two and two's - only this time the first two was a brisk walk and the second two were at a good sized incline.  repeat.  repeat for 30 minutes.  LOL.  felt good, but the walk combined with the hour of shovelling I did yesterday is making for some sore muscles.  sore in a good way!  I wonder if taking a nap for an hour would throw me off...probably, but it may be better than coffee.  I'll let you know how it goes...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

riders on the storm

can I just stay home today?  and do nothing??  just hang out in bed with this kid?  imagining that we didn't get more snow last night?  dreaming of what I can create in my craft space, knowing I need {and want} to spend some time there today?

I still don't feel all that great - the sore throat has turned ugly and brought along his friend mucus.  eewww!  john and nate are at soccer.  ty and I slept right through the wake up, get ready bit of that one.  I officially do not like 830 games.  this is why I am not a hockey mom.  630 on a saturday morning would kill me!  so, as I sit here in the sun, and see all the dust and fingerprints, I'm thinking that perhaps some cleaning may be in order!  and a pot of coffee to go with that.  ty has a little friend coming over today - that should be good distraction for the kids.  they've been seriously cooped up for the last two weeks.

and I haven't forgotten my promise to do one book review per month - I am reading three books right now and will make my selection shortly!!  off track, but the dust in my bedroom is so bad that I may just dust before I go and make coffee.  so sad.  :o)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

relax, take it easy

so I am feeling a bit better than last night, but still not great.  blah.  had I not felt the need to stay close to the water closet [tmi, I know], I would have gone to school.  but honestly, I just can't leave my class at any time.  so I've been stationed on the couch for most of the day.  and I am contemplating a shower.  in the meantime, I tried my hand at making some irish soda bread.  I never have time for this.  I got the recipe HERE and basically followed it to a t [okay, except I used regular whole wheat flour, not pastry flour.  I'd try it the "right" way next time.  a little less grainy perhaps...].  regardless, it was super easy and super yummy.

not too bad for my first go, eh?  okay off to hop into the shower.  I might feel a bit better if I didn't feel so grungy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

peace of me

okay, so it looks WAY better in real life!!  my new obsession - sweet potato fries.  of the homemade variety.  super yummy.  and yes, that is a big ol' blob of ketchup on my plate.  I have yet to find an alternative.  all I do is slice up some yams or sweet potatoes, throw some olive oil, salt, pepper and cuban spices on them and bake them in the oven for 40 minutes, pausing at the 20 minute mark to turn them.  40 min at 400.  THAT easy.  'cause you know me.  I don't like to spend a ton of time making food.  I like quick and easy.  and yummy.  these meet all three requirements!

and I'm sick.  I have my fingers crossed that a day away from the germs [school] and a bunch of cold f/x will cure the nasty sore throat that I have.  we'll see.  a day with a pot of coffee and pvr'ed tv.  it's all good.  right?

Monday, January 17, 2011

paper planes

the view from my classroom window.  it's finally gotten to me {the snow, that is}.  I am usually okay in the winter with the bitter cold, the snow, the super-duper short days.  but now I'm done.  it could be the major spin out I had on my way to work this morning.  a full 360 that nicked oncoming traffic.  I didn't hit anything, but I cried.  it could be that the snow just keeps falling and falling and falling.  two entire weekends of this.  I don't want to drive anywhere.  I don't want to leave my house.  I don't want to move.  I have no motivation to do anything at this point.  this is foreign to me.  I know this is a combination of not enough snow and general driving/road issues.  BUT STILL!  the sun is suppose to shine tomorrow.  we'll see.

and in other news...
I am hesitant to share this, mainly because I'm worried that I'll jinx something.  and mainly because my success with weight loss has been mediocre at best.  I have a bit of a fatalistic attitude towards this topic, mainly because although I've experienced some success {I lost around 20 lbs in 2009 and kept about 12 of it off my arse}, I spent almost all of 2010 not caring.  I didn't move and I didn't really take weight watchers very seriously.  so, coming into christmas, I found myself on the scale, not loving the number.  and I wasn't liking that my pants were just a wee bit too tight.  but my motivation has been at an all-time low, so I just haven't been able to conger up the energy to do a whole lot about it.  HOWEVER, I did read the Eat-Clean Diet book back in november, and I think I told you that my mom had bought me the cookbook for christmas.  I was trying before christmas to eliminate fake sugar from my diet and successfully weaned myself off of soda.

needless to say, about two weeks ago, I started to follow this way of eating {or tried!!} and made a few changes.  first, I've been cooking.  a lot.  and baking.  lots of muffins! and I've been trying to wean myself off of sugar.  and second, I am planning out my lunches.  I leave the house at 630 in the morning and often don't walk in the door until 5 pm.  planning all my meals and snacks is a bit CRAZY!  I invested in a freezable lunch kit {you put the lunch kit in the freezer and the ice packs in the walls of the lunch kit keep food cold for 8+ hours!  pack-it!} and have been packing it all with me!  I've not felt like I was being super successful {after week 1 the scale hadn't budged!!}, but there are some significant changes that are now beginning to happen.  I am reaching for sugar less and less.  I am still totally grabbing a small amount of my vegas m&ms after supper, but the handful is getting smaller.  I am eating more good-for-me food and less bad-for-me food.  my cravings are starting to go away.  and yesterday morning I got on the scale and I was down 6 lbs.  I still have another 8 lbs to go before I am at my lowest weight.  and really, 11 lbs off my biggest mental hurdle, but for the first time in a long time, I have some hope.  and some encouragement {via the scale!} that perhaps I can actually do this.

and maybe if the snow will stop, I could actually talk myself in to doing some moving...!!  okay, enough for today.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

the parting glass

so it snowed some more.  as pretty as it all is, I'm kinda tired of it {see picture #2!}.  I don't often wish that I lived somewhere else, but today I wish I lived somewhere warm.

so we had a party tonight for my dad's 65th birthday.  just under three months ago my dad was admitted to the hospital for emergency open heart surgery.  today he celebrated his birthday with a room full of his closest friends and family.  I am so incredibly grateful for this.  I had a bunch more that I was going to write today, but I am tired {SHOCKING!} and all my words are just gone.  poof!  I'll try again tomorrow!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

fairytale of new york

does that help?  no one entered my contest on tuesday.  so sad.  LOL  it was the word "homemade" wasn't it.  I don't blame you.  I would have done the same thing.  I would have known the answer and not commented.  okay, I would have googled the answer then not commented knowing that the smartie pants writing this damn blog would be hip to me.  HA!

so john got a job.  it's a bit of a "while-we're-wating" job since he really wants to be a firefighter.  however, we officially made it through two weeks of unemployment and he starts his new job on monday.  I really, really hope that it's something that he likes and that it's good for our family.  it's shift work, so it's going to be a huge change for me.  I am accustomed to having john home in the evenings.  and he drives the kids in the mornings.  there are going to be days that I have to do both drives.  and be home alone on the weekends with the kids.  or worse, having to keep them quiet because john's on nights.  I know I'm worrying in advance, never a good thing, but these are the things that cross my mind. a bit selfish, but just being honest.

anyways, a short post.  it's been a long week and I have tried, tired kids.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

dirty old town

{where am I?}

I escaped!  they were in the bath and I kissed john and left.  why is it that they come home in such foul moods on tuesdays?  why do I?  I am in a tired funk.  irritable.  cranky.  blah.  I'm going to totally blame the weather.  why take any personal responsibility?  why own what I can blame?  {are you hearing my slight tone of sarcasm?}  today, I am blaming the snow.  the mountains and mountains of snow proceeded by the bitter cold.  stressful driving and indoor recesses.  no wonder I'm cranky.  no wonder the kids are too.  so, I am meeting susan for coffee and I escaped early.  with my computer.  sigh.  it's lovely!  and warm.  and the peppermint hot chocolate is perfect.

so with all the blogging I've been doing for the last few months, I've realized how grammatically challenged I am on a regular basis.  like seriously.  I know that I use no caps {intentional} and short-fragment-like sentences {also intentional} and I, in essence, write how I talk {totally can't help that!}; however, I am putting some strange words in strange places as of late.  or just plain old omissions.  it's almost like I think faster than I type {SHOCKING!}.  well I've been re-reading posts and editing them.  I can't just let the mistakes stay.  and I have discovered that I start sentences with "and" ALL THE TIME!  it's not acceptable!  okay, so maybe it's a little acceptable.  can I just call it artistic licence?  please?  it's really how I talk.  I think.  see, not taking responsibility...just blaming!  total cranky funk.

okay {my other favorite word to start sentences with!}, skill-testing question:  who sings the song in my post title?  {NO, you cannot go to google!  either you know it or you don't...}  comment {by clicking the comment button below...yes, THAT one!} and post your answer.  I will put all correct answers in a draw and make you a prize.  yes, it will be homemade.  of the paper variety.  see, it's good that you read to the end...right??

Monday, January 10, 2011

was it something I said

yes, a song title [brandon flowers!], but also where my head is at.

I have finally been able to admit something that I've been suspicious of for some time now:  I am not a good friend.  okay, well I am.  kinda.  but then I'm kinda not.  I am not good at keeping in touch.  ever.  and I don't know what the date is on the "it may be too late to fix this" kind of disaster, but I suspect that my lack of contact has been perceived as a lack of interest.  in fact, I think regularly about my friends and love them deeply.  I'm just not good at keeping regular contact.  and it bothers me.  over the course of my adult life, I've had six or seven  [okay, maybe ten!] really good soul friends.  the kind of friends that kept my soul refreshed in their presence.  the kind of friends that have seen me at my worst and have celebrated at my best.  I think the problem I have is my general philosophy on friendship - some friends are meant for a season and some are lifers.  those who are lifers are the low-maintainence people.  the friends who get the crazy that is working full time and parenting two small children.  they are the ones who always extend grace.  okay, but now I can't say the opposite for those who have been in my life for a season.  it would be untrue.  see my problem?  really it's me.  my issues.  {note to self:  throw out the general philosophy}

here, at 38 years old. I can't seem to get my head wrapped around my friendships.  ha!  I love my girls.  I love all the laughs and tears I've had with everyone of them.  some I've stayed in contact with, due to effort, proximity, life; others I haven't been in constant touch with.  doesn't mean I don't value what they've contributed to my life.  and it certainly doesn't mean they are less important.  I just don't always let them know that.  I am a talker [we all know that!] and I solve life's problems by chatting them out.  with my girls.  they all enrich my life in a way that is deep and meaningful.  and perhaps my issue is just this - that in having a crazy, nasty, kicked-to-the-curb kind of year {2010}, I have neglected many people.  I just don't know how to fix it.  other than just to say that I'm sorry.  and I'll try better.  and I am as awful at this at 38 as I was at 12.  I have a hard time saying it.  and apparently I'm even having a hard time showing it!  but I'm sorry.

and before some of you get all "is she talking about me"?  NO!  I am just trying to work through some self realizations.  and I am starting to get that it's me.  and that's okay.  and yes, I have some work to do - not at fixing relationships, but just by picking up the telephone and making a phone call.  or two.  and by thanking all of you who just extend grace to me and my crazy.  I am a lucky, lucky girl.  and I know it.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

read my mind

so we've had some snow.  total understatement of the century.  like two feet in the last day and a half.  and the wind is not making it any better.  I have had a serious workout - twice yesterday and then again this morning - every time I go out an pick up the shovel!  and because the mountain of snow is higher than me at a mere 5"3', it was a total shoulder workout!!  and don't get me started about the drive to church this morning.  ha!  the grater's have been out since I left and now there are two lanes on the road leading to our neighbourhood, not just one!  the kids are going stir crazy - two days of inside is a bit dreadful.  so, I kicked them out, yesterday and today.  this first picture is from yesterday, the other ones are from today!

and, it occurred to me last night that today, I am officially 18 months from turning 40.   eeekkkk!!!!  I am having a mini freak out.  not over "getting old" or anything like that, but every transition into a new decade is always a bit mind blowing.  kinda like, "how the heck did I make it through 40 years and still be acting like I'm 17?"  it's just another transition of the old brain, but still.  a little freaky.  it's kinda like I am half way through my life, or at least the good years of life.  anything over 80 is a serious bonus, but I don't anticipate over 80 being full of quality as far as the ol' body staying in working condition!  so, what's the plan for the next 18 months?  do I have a list of things I want to do before I'm 40?  not really.  however, I don't want to be the same person at 40 as I am right now.  physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I want to be at a healthy weight.  and I want another tattoo.  and I want to be healthy.  in an emotional sense.  and I want to just be a different person.  so that's maybe my thing.  just not stalling.  not stopping and not fearing change.  am I asking too much of myself?  am I expecting too much?  perhaps.  but if I don't ever try, I'll never succeed.  I saw a quote recently... "take the first step in faith.  you don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." {martin luther king jr.}  and this one "don't be afraid to fail.  be afraid not to try."  bottom line, I need to spend the next 18 months working on me.  every aspect of me.  so that I don't do what so many do:  leave the decade in the exactly the same state as I entered it.  only 10 years older.  not gonna happen here.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

roll away the stone

it feels like all my blog posts are full of randomness lately.  I think that's because my december blog posts were so focused on one topic {joy} and that theme kept me on topic.  now I'm just in the mundane with january here and I'm struggling to write anything really deep and meaningful, knowing that really, deep and meaningful can't be forced and sometimes random leads my brain to where it needs to really go.  it's like wandering through all the laundry hanging on the line so that you can see the sunset on the other side of it.  all of that to say this:  sorry for the randomness - I'm hoping it leads to some meaning in the short, short while.  I have to say, I am rather impressed with myself with just the sheer quantity of posting I've been able to do.  it does clear my head.  and this is good.

{random thought #1}
remember how I said a couple of days ago that I didn't really like the movie, the boy in the striped pyjamas?  okay, well turns out that watching the movie without the book is really powerful.  I could find a lot of really great things in the movie this time around just because the book wasn't in the picture.  my kids were stunned after it was all over and I am excited to see where this will take us, and them in their learning!

{random thought #2}
there was almost 15 cm of snow that fell here overnight.  I was suppose to drive to glendon after school yesterday to spend some time with coralee, but decided at the last minute to make the safe choice and not drive in a snow storm.  although I know it was the right thing to do, I'm sad that I wasn't able to go.  however, on the flipside, I was asleep at 8:00 last night.  I think I slept for almost 12 hours.  I needed that SOOOOOO badly.  this week has just zapped my energy and I just haven't been sleeping nearly enough.  so john took nate to his 830 am soccer game, leaving ty and I in bed with electronic devices!  ty is playing lego batman on his ds.  I'm on the computer!  perhaps I should do some laundry at some point.  I just know that I have no real desire to leave the house and conquer the mountains of snow.  blah.  more is coming.  and it's coming with WIND.  good, good, GOOD times!!

{random thought #3}
so this week I've really been focusing on the eat clean diet.  I had bought the book in november and then got a cookbook for christmas.  so I've been attempting to cook more, pack my lunches, eat clean, cut out sugar, etc.  and it's been going really well.  until yesterday.  eeeekkk!  I had a small piece of cheesecake at work.  then another. [and honestly, the two small pieces still equalled a small-ish normal piece] but it kinda just spiralled from there.  some bits-and-bites left over from christmas and hershey's kisses.  yeah.  I was home alone last night and feeling sad about my cancelled visit.  so I ate crap.  because you know it helps.  well, I got the belly ache from hell.  even this morning my stomach doesn't feel so hot.  have I learned my lesson?  the correct answer would be YES!  but let's be honest.  this whole sugar thing is HARD WORK.  and I love sugar.  I love sugary things.  like chocolate.  and baking.  and treats.  sigh.  so, today, it's back up on the wagon.  since I'm home anyways, I think I'll make some more  pumpkin-applesauce muffins and try my hands at some other things...we'll see how it goes!

okay.  enough chit-chat.  ty just told me he was hungry and so am I!  gonna make a pot of coffee and some eggs on toast.

[eta: forgot to add these pics, in honour of starbucks announcing a logo change this week!]

stay warm and drive safely [all of you in the edmonton area!]  xoxo

Friday, January 07, 2011

I gave you all

wow.  yesterday's post was totally disconnected and random.  no real surprise.  I was writing at school while watching a movie.  I don't discuss what I'm doing at school very often - not because I have a thing about that, but mainly because often it's just the mundane.  the ordinary.  I have to say that I am really excited about what I'm doing with my kids with this novel study.  I had opportunity to have a really frank discussion with my kids prior to starting the movie, but I am more excited to see the kind of discussion we'll be able to have after finishing the movie this morning.  they are intuitive, kind kids that are strongly affected by injustice.  they have been, whether they really cognitively understand it, judged by society in a harsh way.  they have been treated as less than due to their cognitive struggles.  they get injustice because they've experienced it.  they are so empathetic in this regard and it excites me to see what kind of conversation we can have as a result of watching this movie.  it's the kick off to the whole unit, so next week they all start reading different novels on the same topic.  and I'm going to be pushing hard to get them to do some persuasive writing on the whole issue around ethics and war.  I've done this unit before and I'm excited to see where it goes.  and the learning that we can do together.

see why I don't write about school very often?  I get super excited but the rest of you just smile and nod and say "that's nice"!!  I get it.  teacher talk isn't so much fun when you're not a teacher!

okay I have no segue for this next bit.  but it's album review time.
I really have been enjoying this album.  for a couple of general reasons - it's super easy to listen to.  it's melodious, full and generally pleasing to the ear.  I love good harmonies and really enjoy good lyrics, but there is something a bit more to these guys.  there's a somethin' somthin' with this band.  just trying to really put my finger on it as I listen to it, and as I write this.  I first heard "little lion man" and "the cave" on the radio.  and yes, "little lion man" drops the f-bomb in it.  the radio version has taken a wee eraser to it and sanitized it for general listening.  but then I'm not very offended by that, considering how frequently THAT word comes out of my own mouth.  however, my kids are often in the car with me and I endeavour to be a better parent...!  okay, I digress.

I think the real reason I like this album is because it reminds me of england.  okay, honestly, I've never been to england, but it embodies what I think england is like.  earthy.  organic.  passionate.  historical.  poetic.  like not twangy [like a country song!], but celtic without being irish.  I'm not putting good words to this.  it's full and passionate.  I am listening to "I gave you all" and it just has such amazing dynamics and build.  and then ends with some guitar [where you can here fingers sliding on the strings] and piano.  super quiet.  and then the next song kicks in with full harmonies, on a song that I think screams politics - of the working class; makes me think of movies like billy elliot or calendar girls.  my favourite song is "awake my soul"; lyrically it just makes me happy.  or it just connects with where I'm at.

okay, enough rambling.  it's a good album.  my current number two.  sorry, but brandon flowers is still in the number one spot.  and someday when I go to england, I'll let you know if my impressions are correct!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

dust bowl dance

so last night I sat down to blog only to have some serious issues with blogger.  grrr.  instead, ty and I took some pictures with photobooth!  ty has such a hard time falling asleep at night so sometimes he just comes and hangs out on the couch with me.  although I wish he was sleeping most times, I kinda like the time we get to spend together after nate's asleep!

see, and now I can't remember the profound and interesting things I was going to write about last night.  I guess they were neither that interesting or that profound!  well and honestly, my head is in a different space this morning.  I have started a new language arts unit this week with books and writing based on the holocaust.  one group of kids is watching the movie, the boy in the striped pajamas.  I don't love this movie.  mainly because I love the book.  I understand how movies have to be altered from books, but this one was altered a bit too my opinion!  needless to say, I am just showing them the movie and not reading the book at all.  I'll just get frustrated!

so yesterday I had my counselling session.  I go every two weeks.  lots of times I leave feeling good - like I had a major "all about me" hour.  and sometimes I leave feeling completely angry because she's called me on stuff.  yesterday I left feeling like I had made some connections.  some big connections.  and like maybe all my talking is somehow paying off.  and I'm thinking this is a good thing, on a lot of levels.  self analysis is never easy, but I am hoping that it'll start to change my perspective a bit.

Monday, January 03, 2011

after the storm

I am still stuck in mumford & sons mode.  BLARED it on my computer this morning as I was prepping for my first day back at school.  it set a good tone for my day - mellow and harmonious!

and we've survived day one of unemployment - okay, I survived the onslaught of daytime text messages!  I like the midday texts from my husband.  kinda fun!  and honestly, I am taking advantage of him being at home.  one kid went to the dentist, he picked the kids up this afternoon so I could stay late and get a bunch of stuff done, and he fed them as I raced in the house, got changed and left again for my walking class.  he's a good man.

so I had this idea.  I was thinking that I'd like to do a book review once a month or so.  this is making a big assumption that people care.  I know my two readers care ABOUT me, and therefore are my biggest fans [right, suz?  erika?] and just absolutely love everything I write [ha!].  those two lovely people would just so enjoy my opinion on books I've read.  right?  then I started thinking this whole thing through.  it would mean actually reading a book once a month.  let's be honest.  you don't want to read "strategic teaching" or even hear about it, for that matter.  I suspect that "the moral imperative of school leadership" would not be a big hit either.  I am shocked.  truly.  but on the flip side, it may force me to read at least a book every month.  I do love to read, but I just don't always make time to do it.  I do have a stack of books sitting beside my bed.

milkweed is a kids book - previewing it for a novel study I'm starting next week [all books based on ww2 & the holocaust], I've reviewed the shack - the first time I read it!  the bible - doesn't really need a review, does it?  searching for god knows what.  now I do need to read that.  it's been sitting in the pile for a good long time.  then under that is grace is for sinners.  I did a half-arsed review of it [my review sucked, not the book!] when I was reading it this past summer.  [totally worth getting yours hands on, by the way --- go HERE].  and then a john irving book that I've not had time to read.  sigh.  I *heart* john irving.  a prayer for owen meany is on my top-ten-books-of-all-times list.  see, I digress.  regardless, before the end of the month, I will read a book [maybe one from the pile, maybe one from the OTHER pile] and I'll let you know all about it.

okay, and would one of you just remind me if we get to Jan 29th and I've NOT done what I've just promised?  thank you.

and when you remind me, just remember that this is NOT a resolution of any sorts!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

thistle & weeds

I wish.  I wish I lived in this snow globe.  and not just any snow globe, but THIS one [not all snow globes have coffee and music].  I've owned this snow globe since 1999.  it's eleven years old.  the christmas of 1999 wasn't a great time in my life, if I do recall!  it was also about three months before I started dating John.  and, the world was suppose to end.  remember Y2K?  yeah, I vaguely do.  since then, some pretty monumental things have happened in my life.  kids, marriage, job, house...

today, however, I'd like to run away and go live in my starbucks snow globe.  the glittery snow could fall and I could sit in starbucks.  alone.  enjoy a coffee and just watch the world pass by.  and just be.  in my snow globe world, everyone is happy.  there is no chaos.  only love.  and joy.  and if I kept going this way, I'd finally get to the word boring.  ha!  

I could be friends with the girl playing the guitar outside.  the pike place market is just around the corner.  I could eat fruits and veg and just be happy.  right?  see, we're getting to the boring part!

I think this kinda my view of God.  like he's got me in a snow globe [one far less boring!] and he shakes it occasionally to make it snow [literally!] and there's a solid piece of glass separating us.  and really, there's no relationship.  just a guy.  shaking the snow globe.  although today I am really craving my snow globe world, I am very thankful that this isn't reality.  it's been a strange start to this year.  I've been a bit of an emotional wreck - damn hormones.  and I feel that there is a constant tug.  a calling.  a thing.  asking me just to come.  to be silent.  to be still.  and I am actively attempting to drown out the voice.  and the problem is that in this relationship, there is no big pane of glass.  just my maker asking me to come and rest.  telling me that the end is better than the beginning.  I read THIS last week and it got me thinking - and makes me thankful again for grace.  and for all that it is.  and it's nudging me towards extending grace, since I am hiding upstairs in my bedroom totally trying to be angry but thinking in hindsight that I'm just being a tad stupid.  I don't live in a snow globe of perfection.  I can't run and hide. and I need to start just extending some grace where it's enveloped me.  man, I can be so daft.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

auld lang syne

one word.  turns out my thing [okay, what I thought was susan's thing like two years ago...!] is A thing.  a blog world thing.  so a couple of days ago I started searching.  looking and praying about a word that could be something that would guide 2011 for me.  2010 was a year of enormous upheaval - spiritually, physically and emotionally.  and honestly, I feel like it kinda kicked me to the curb.  and in this moment, I know that if it wasn't for grace - well honestly, I'd be in the looney bin.  so after looking for more exotic words like "risk" or "learn" or "grow", I am going with the word that chose me.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.  {matthew 11:28-30 the message}

and I am choosing this scripture as the guide for my year.  it could be debated that rest should be my word, but honestly, there's too much work that I need to do in order to truly embrace rest.  maybe next year.  or the year after!

so here are some places that you can hook up with for your one word:  ali edwards or grit and glory and my all time favorite place to buy jewlery is also getting involved - I LOVE this necklace.  can't afford it, but hey, I made my own reminder:

got this from john for christmas - thought I'd personallize it.  I LOVE it [although I didn't love how the pen was dried out and how I bought a new one, only in black...sheesh.  it's a subtle look...!!]

we had an opportunity to spend new years eve with friends of ours - homemade pasta & meatballs, skating [the first time ever for my boys] in the back yard on a homemade, amazing rink and way too much wine and laughing!

happy new years, friends.  I hope that 2011 is everything you need it to be - peaceful, adventurous, amazing, restful, joy-filled, and above all --- blessed.