Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Pixar's Brave movie poster
Hey! Did y'all know that I was brave.  Once or twice, at least.  Not bungee jumping or skydiving brave.  Ordinary brave.  I moved away to college.  I moved back.  I got a tattoo.  I gave birth to 3 boys.  I started writing a book.  I teach middle school.  See?  Brave, right?

Then last week, I realized I hadn't been brave in a while.  My awesome sister in law took my older boys, her own three kids and two other friends to a water park.  I saw all those kiddos loaded in her car and thought, "Man, she is brave."  She's brave A LOT.  She's run a marathon, that's how brave she is.

So, I started thinking...What's stopping me from being brave?  I did a lot of self reflection and discovered why I had stopped.  Having your world turned upside down by a job loss and a 'special' kiddo will do that to you. I functioned effectively but I did all the safe things.  I worried a lot about belonging.  Did so and so like me? Am I wearing the right thing?  Seriously, my self doubt was at an all time high.  I don't remember feeling this self conscious in middle OR high school.

Last Thursday, I did something brave. Something I've been wanting to do to for over a year.  Something I thought I would get ridiculed for.  I got a blue streak in my hair.  And you know what? I love it.  And other people loved it.  I realized that when I am myself, I brave. Here's a not so glorious picture.  How brave is that?  To post a maybe not so flattering pic ;)

In the midst of doing something else brave yesterday (taking a 2 year old who had not napped and 2 7 year olds to the community pool), I got to spend time with my fabulous sister in law again.  We talked about belonging and she offered this sage advice: "I belong to the ones who like me.  Be nice to everyone but then don't worry about them."

So, in addition to my year long quest to be goofier, I'm now being more brave by being myself.  Wearing what I want to wear.  Doing the things I want to do.  What makes you brave?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Out of the Cave

I woke up last Friday and felt like I was walking out of a cave.  It may have been that I finished this Spring's librarian courses.  It may have been that school's almost out.  It may have been a million things but I'm glad it happened. The Spring has been a tad rough but, as always, filled with blessings.  Here's a recap.

Here we are at Easter.  Almost everyone looks great so that's a WIN! Brennan looks cute, just not at the camera.

RYAN - is back at Pep Boys!  It's totally a GOD thing to bring him back to the place that laid him off 2 years ago. He's back doing what he enjoys and what he's good at!

SAM - has idiot parents who allowed him to be signed up for 3 sports at once this Spring.  NEVER AGAIN.  He's exhausted. We're exhausted.  I've forgotten how to cook a proper dinner.   Right now, he's anxiously awaiting his state testing scores and his trip to NASA this Friday.

ZAC - may have found his sport - Soccer. I didn't have to drag him or bribe him or threaten bodily harm to get him any game or practice. That's what Momma calls a WIN. He's also obsessed with LEGO.  He builds the most amazing things. 

BRENNAN - as usual, Brennan remains a mystery.  We know that he has no hearing loss (thank you sedated hearing test for that info, I think).  He's been healthier this Spring than in the past.  And he's speaking more.  He repeats a lot but sometimes he'll bust out a clear sentence on ya. Like this morning he told my mom to "stop that this minute" (actually "ninute" he doesn't say m sounds) when she started signing to him. He does not like signing - preschool's gonna be a blast.

ME - this Spring was busy and distressing to me.  I took two more librarian classes (only 2 more to go in the Fall!) that kept me busy.  I didn't read much and I didn't write at all.  That's the distressing part.  I didn't even attempt to write.  Do I still remember how or has that gone the way of dinner prep?

Not matter what, I'm still outnumbered and loving every minute of it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Huffaker Project

Last week, the world lost an outstanding educator and all-around awesome man - Mack Huffaker.  Mr. Huffaker was my high school economics teacher.  I have no idea what he taught me about economics.  However, I know what he taught me about being a better person and teacher.  He always had a smile. And most often, a goofy joke.  He could whistle like a freight train.  And he was full of school spirit.

Unfortunately, I never bothered to tell Mr. Huffaker any of that.  I went to visitation at the funeral home and told his widow.  It may have comforted her.  I can tell you from experience, that you hardly remember what people actually say at the funeral home but you remember them being there and feeling comforted by the words.  I also ran into several of my former teachers at the funeral home.  Several of them were pleased to know that I am now a teacher. One said, "I saw that in a bubble over your head your whole life."  When I left I thought, I hope I have that kind of impact on my students.  I should tell my former teachers what they mean to me. 

And so was born The Huffaker Project - dun dun dunnn!  I'm going to make a list of teachers who positively impacted my life, hand write them a note or letter and mail them. 

Here's my starter list:
Bobbie Gournay - first grade - she loved me unconditionally and accepted all my goofy gifts
Patsy Lamb - third grade (I think) - she encouraged my love of reading. She had a clawfoot tub you could read in
Nancy Taylor - middle school - drama teacher, need I say more?
Coach Lokey - high school - lived out a Christian life in public and lived it well
Steve Hardin - not a school teacher but a youth pastor - taught me you could be goofy and funny without putting people down
I'm sure there are more but those four popped right into my head. I'm going to get my yearbooks out and really make a list.

Hit me up in the comments if you want to join me in the Huffaker Project!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hot Chocolate Run

One of my best friends in the whole wide world, Jen started her own blog this week.  After many months of making fun of those who blog.  Then she has the guts to email me and call me out for not posting in a while.  So, Jen...this blog's for you - literally.

The back story: around Thanksgiving sometime, Jen texted me and said she wanted to do a 5K with me.  Awesome! I replied (as this is my most used word, followed by bummer).  I proposed the Hot Chocolate 5K on January 15.  We agreed this would be awesome because: 1. we had enough time to train. 2. we could still get the early bird registration fee 3. you got free hot chocolate at the end AND 4. the shirts were long sleeved.  WIN all the way around!

Jen and I live in the small metroplex area but it might as well be a million miles apart for as often as we see each other.  So, we would not be training together.

In December, we had our annual girls dinner.  That sounds really fancy but it's me, Jen and Diana eating, griping and gossiping for a minimum of four hours.  At our dinner Jen mentions that she wouldn't be running - she'll be walking really fast.  WHAT?!?  OK, whatever ;)

Fast forward to race day >>>>>> it's freezing and raining slightly.  I haven't been training for a variety of reasons (actually 3 reasons - laziness, coldness and illness).  And I was on day 6 of what would become a 9 day headache.  Parking was a bear.  Jen left her race number in the car and had to go back for it.  Here's a picture of us before the race.

We had a great start.  Jen did start out running.  She did great.  When she started walking, I was still able to run because she's so much taller than me.  After a little bit, a decided to push myself and took off.

I made my usual raceday mistakes.  I started too fast.  I was passing people left and right.  At mile 3 I wanted to walk.  But I didn't, I ran.  Really, really slowly.  But I ran the whole way.  My time was my slowest time yet (34:59) but not too bad considering the weather, my head and the lack of training.  I'll also mention that an extremely buff and awesome looking lady finished the 10K ahead of me.  I was in awe.  Seriously!

After the race, we got our hot chocolate mug and went inside to partake of the chocolatey goodness.  I guess I misread the race info because I thought we would be sampling all kinds of hot chocolate.  I was wrong.  It was regular mix it yourself hot chocolate.  But there were colored marshmallows.  And the hot chocolate was warm and delicious.  We cruised around the vendors and pretended they were going to call our name for awards. 

I had a great time, as I do every time I'm with Jen.  And we are signed up for the Mardi Gras 5K in March. Stay tuned....I'm planning on training for that one.

Jen would like me to mention that she is NOT, in fact, pregnant.  She is simply wearing a large sweatshirt.