Quick Peek

I am down at Kali and Dan's visiting my little squeeze of a niece! She is my little chub. We took some pictures in the beautiful fall setting and then put Caroline into her Halloween costume:


thoughts from my fall break:

* I remember 2 years ago when fall hit. In Iowa we usually got a very timid fall that lasted a week and then the snow would hit hard and the leaves would die on the trees. However, 2 years ago this was different. It was my senior year and I was beginning to wonder about a lot of unknowns in my future. I had some stress regarding jobs, a place to live some day, wedding plans, and all the to-do's that come with being a senior in college. I was busy. I was too busy to notice that fall was actually happening around me that year. One day I was driving back from a kids club I volunteered at and in that moment I remember seeing the beauty that was surrounding me and this prayer escaped my lips: LORD, I NEED THIS KIND OF BEAUTY TO HAPPEN IN ME. Driving back to Missouri last week, I again saw the beauty and peace in the trees' colors. I remembered this prayer I prayed two years prior, and felt it anew.

* There is nothing like driving down a country road that you know like your favorite song with the windows down. Every twist and turn is a part of your past. Experiencing this over the break, I drove past my entire childhood, past the hillsides that I'd sled down each winter, past the little white church that used to be so much smaller, past the grocery store which hasn't changed a bit, past the stores on main street, with their windows painted for the season by school children who attend the same brick school in which I used to slam lockers. I drove past the spot where dad used to drive Kali and me to get ice cream cones, and could almost see us sitting on the open tailgate, sweet sticky messes on our tanned faces, but blinking I realized that a fast food restaurant had taken its place. I drove onto gravel, caught a snake slithering into the grass along the roadside, and rolled down my windows to see if it all still smelled the same. It did. Like fresh laundry, and sweaty summertime children, and rainbows...but mostly it smelled like peace.

* After I returned to Kentucky, I washed the scent of home off of me and wrung my hair free of Missouri's highlights. I then picked up my current book and read this quote:

Your absence has gone through me
Like a thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color. (W.S. Merwin)

How true that is of our pasts.

* Thanks family1 and family2 for making our trip home another wonderful one! We miss you deeply and are slightly amazed every time we walk through your doors that we are still received just as warmly as if we were still your bundled children just leaving the hospital for the first time. Thank you for loving us despite our inconsistencies, or many failures, or impatience, our prides, and our immaturity. We always spend part of the trip home reflecting on just how blessed we are to be able to sit around a family table with each of you.


a teaser

I don't have time to write a real post or post all my pictures...so take this for what it is worth...a teaser if you will of our week home:

My sweet nephew Henry
Henry and his wonderful mama

Oh to squeeze a newborn and smell them...
Uncle Brent
No longer our "little nephew" Hawkins
Shhh my sweet little chunky
oh this is so good
and paige and torri fit in my wedding dress? what? we had fun.

And it was great to have a little vacation with my wonderful husband. When I'm home everyone says, "He is too good to you." I must concur.



Brent and I made it home. I was in a relative state of comfort. The pain in my mouth is hit or miss at this point. There is a constant pressure, but it's usually something I can withstand.

We made it back in town soon enough to drive up to our nephew's basketball game.

We have since slept in, enjoyed toaster strudels and waffles with family (I have had a work out nibbling those with my front teeth), and currently Brent is outside chipping golf balls in his back yard.

I've obviously already taken some pictures, and will write more when I have a chance later.


A two wisdom tooth tale...

Icing with frozen peas
This picture was taken a few hours after the surgery. I have swollen much more since this picture, but am not in the mood to take the picture nor do I really want to have the picture out there for the public :)

How to have your wisdom teeth removed.

When you are a teenager, go in for a routine checkup with your orthodontist. He will say, "You have a beautiful smile. We did a great job with those braces, but you need to have your wisdom teeth removed or they will begin to push them all back."

Smile, gratefully, and say, "No thanks." Run like heck to your car and cancel all future appointments.

Later in high school begin to wonder if you should maybe have it looked into again. Take your friend Brandon to have his out, see how he reacts to the gas and see him spitting blood the entire drive home and again say, "No, thanks."

Live a happy college life with your two wisdom teeth every once in awhile making an appearance and then returning below the surface again.

Get married. Notice in a few of your pictures that your teeth are getting a bit more crooked, but again think, "No, thanks."

Live another great year of your life with two wisdom teeth.

One day wake up and notice a pain in the back of your mouth. Take Tylenol. Take ibuprofen. Ignore it.

Wake up the next day and still have pain. Call for a dentist appointment. Get scheduled that day.
Take xray, talk to dentist, hear the inevitable: "It's your wisdom teeth. Let's schedule a day that you can have those removed."

Weigh your options. Permanent pain and headaches? Surgery? Surgery.

Local anesthesia or the more expensive completely knocked out? Remember that you're tough. Local. Schedule appointment for the Thursday before your fall break.


Time will pass and you will try not to think about the surgery. You will hear many wisdom tooth tales. The day will come all too soon.

A coworker will drive you to your dentist appointment so your husband can pick you up afterward. Coworker will realize you are unusually quiet. Coworker will say a quick prayer for you before you go in.

They will call your name and will be started in no time. After the shots of local anesthesia you will think he is just "prepping" the area. You will then see the blood on the tool he pulls from your mouth and make a vow with yourself not to look at anything else going in or coming out. Before you know it, he will begin pulling. You will be okay until you hear him say to his assistant, "This thing does NOT want to come out! She has really strong teeth."

You will make Geneva proud and begin reciting a verse from bible drill you memorized in 4th grade, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee," Psalm 56:3. You will clinch the chair handles even more with your fists.

Eventually tooth one will be out. They will then begin stitches, a part of the process you had not even thought about until this very moment. Side one will be done.

They will begin side two. All will go according to plan except that you will start to feel a little more pressure as the anesthesia begins to wear off. Before you know it, they will begin the struggle of pulling again. The bloodied tooth with them emerge, and you will raise your fist in victory and muffle out a "masdfji" which means, "Yeah! It's over!"

You will then realize the slow, painful road to recovery.

You will emerge from the chair, take a glance down and see your chin and cheeks! Yikes. You will pay the receptionist, wonder why you have to PAY to endure something like that, and glance at your husband who will give you a sympathetic, loving look in return.

You will then go to the store, stock up on soup, yogurt, applesauce, ice cream, and snapple. You will pick up your pain meds and muffle out your date of birth to the lady at the window: "appprreel fortheenth..."

Return home, kick up your feet, begin to actually feel the pain, place frozen peas on your cheeks because this was some of the advice you had heard from many others, and pray that you don't get the dreaded "dry socket."

You will unfortunately get used to the taste of blood in your mouth, only break down in tears once, and learn to sleep slightly propped up. The next day you will want to laugh and cry when you see yourself in the mirror, and will sleep the entire day away. The next day you will wake up and wonder when the face will return to normal.

You will then get on the computer and write a blog entitled, "a two wisdom tooth tale..."


puberty ruins everything

Today my writer's notebook invitation for my students was about dreams (for those of you that don't know, I give my students an invitation everyday and they write for ten minutes, because "if you write everyday you get better at writing everyday"). I should have known better than to give a group of 8th graders a prompt about dreams.

Today was a long day and the following was one of the highlights, not just of today, but I may even venture to say of my entire teaching career.

Warning: The following may be a bit pg-13. Don't say I didn't warn you. :)

From one of my student's notebooks came this entry entitled "Always in every dream." Enjoy.

"My girlfriend is in every dream I have. No matter what kind. We actually dream of each other every night. She once had this dream we were kissing at the ---- Park while the sun was rising. She actually wishes that it will come true, so do I. I just need tic-tacs. My breath stinks in the next minute after I brush my teeth (even if the toothpaste is very minty). But that's puberty.

I'm only 13 and you can smell my b.o. 20 feet away. But I'm going to put on deodorant. My deodorant is powered by baking soda for very bad armpits. So put on deodorant every morning."

It's true...that IS puberty. Alas is the life of a stinky 13 year old. The only thing that would make this better is if you knew this student. I also like the way he starts with a narrative that hooks us, and then leaves us with a little moral to the story: put on deodorant every morning. There is nothing about this that isn't awesome. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

One other thing, while I'm divulging school stories (again, this may be a bit pg-13 and not to be read while eating): Yesterday after lunch some undisclosed male student decided to, I don't know how to put this any other way, defecate on the floor in the boy's bathroom. Only as a teacher, and maybe a nurse and a mother, can one say that this is part of their "work day."

Hopefully next time I'll have something ELSE to write about :)




If you didn't happen to see the post I wrote about my slight obsession with pens, you may not understand my thank yous :)

A few days after I posted, I received a box FULL of a variety of pens and pencils. All with the familiar "Independent Farmer's Bank" logo :) Thanks, Russ!
A few days later I received a package with what I thought were princess dolls. Turns out, they too are pens! I don't think these will get stolen :) Thanks Aunt Linda! Hilarious!

One of the wonderful ladies I work with at school was celebrating her birthday on Friday. We all take turns on birthdays making dessert to bring for lunch. She was the one that set up the schedule and said she specifically wanted me to make her birthday treat!

I made 2 cheesecakes: a New York (my personal favorite), and a chocolate marble. It was my first attempt and I was quite pleased with the results... it didn't even crack!
I did have one mishap while making the cheesecakes though...I got my finger caught in the beater of the mixer!!! It was ON! Long story short, I plugged in the mixer and was then putting the beaters in and while I hit the mixer with my palm to make sure the beater was in tightly I hit the "on" switch. My finger was wrapped up in the beater and the momentum twisted my arm around. I composed myself enough to turn it off, worked up the courage to look, gingerly got my finger out, and then proceeded to sit on the couch and cry for about 5 minutes before returning to my baking. I have a bruise and a knot between the joint of my left middle finger, and I couldn't fit my wedding ring over my knuckle of my ring finger for a day or two. I don't think anything got broken though, which is a miracle, and everything is operating correctly (although the beater is ever so slightly bent!) Crazy. I learned my lesson though: put the beaters in BEFORE plugging in the mixer.

Not much else is going on here. Quarter grades are due tomorrow (I can't believe a quarter has already passed!) I have a class and a half worth of Art Narratives still to grade...so I better get started. Unfortunately it has turned into a beautiful day here, upper 60s and sunny, and I'm stuck grading- yuck! I may move out to the porch though for good measure.

Upcoming events:

A week long fall break during which Brent and I will be meeting our new nephew, Henry.
Wisdom teeth are coming out on Thursday...ahhhh!


It's like....

It's like looking into the Grand Canyon and finally realizing the saying, "It took my breath away."

It's like the first time you realize you are really in love and understand, "'Til death do us part."

It is like standing in the rain during a warm fall day, and letting the water soak you through.

It is like that moment you realize, "This is what I'm meant to do with my life," and you realign all your goals to meet your dream.

It's like a teenage girl looking in the mirror and finally and truthfully realizing she is beautiful.

It's like a slice of your mom's cheesecake, and letting that first bite absorb in your mouth for an entire minute.

It's like finding that perfect pair of jeans, and knowing they will only fit you better over time.

It's like riding in the country with the windows down and feeling the fresh wind pour over you.

It's like singing that favorite old hymn at church and remembering all the words by heart.

Yes, holding a newborn is like all these things and in that one precious moment everything makes sense and everything is beautiful once again.



Tomorrow marks a very significant day. Tomorrow marks a day that is burned in my memory. Tomorrow marks a day that will forever make me say, "I love you," before I hang up the phone with those that are closest to me.

Tomorrow marks 10 years since Missouri State Highway Patrolman Sgt. Bob Kimberling was killed in the line of duty. To me and my family though, he was just "Bob."

It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that it has been 10 years since I received that phone call as I was washing dishes. I was babysitting and I remember dropping to the icy tile floor in complete and utter desperation as my heart cried the prayer, "Please God, please! Help..." I didn't know what else to say.

The rest of that week was a blur of noises and colors...I remember thinking that everything and everyone around me should have been in a state of chaos, just like I was. But the world marched on, and this just didn't seem right.

I often think about Bob, and I love that my memories of him are the daily memories: him in his short shorts doing yard work, crawling under the house to "check things out" with him, the spanking I got as if I were his daughter after Katie convinced me that they "always jumped off the headrest onto the waterbed." I remember being read bedtime stories after bath time in the Kimberling house. I remember making him a medal out of tinfoil as he "saved the day" and the town from the escaped inmate. I remember moments around the table, and the smell of coffee on his breath.

Of course there are things I still wish we could have shared with him. I would write a list, but the pain is too great, and the list too long.

Mostly though I wish I could understand. But I know that God is bigger than my understanding. And I may not know the path he has chosen for me or for those I love and have loved, but I know I don't have to understand to believe.

I know I can still praise God, even when I question. I know that life here is not our ultimate destination, and I know it wasn't Bob's either. I pray that, for all of us, in times when we remember and ache, that we would be able to cling to our hope and sing "It is well with my soul..." even when we don't have the power with our own voices to sing.

Lord, hold each of us this day as we remember. Thank you for the memories we do have and for the moments we were able to share. Lord, especially hold the Kimberlings close this day. May they feel your love in real ways, and may their hurt and doubt in this time be turned to praise. And together Father, may we join in singing...No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul...Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul....




This weekend I decided to make a trip down to Nashville. My mom was still in town, and Caroline was celebrating her first week! Of course, I couldn't miss this.

I ended up snapping a few million more pictures. These will probably be the last for about a month, so enjoy.

And yes... I may be a bit obsessed.

She was making the funniest faces. I think she knew she was posing. She was also about 10 minutes away from her next feeding, so she was doing really well for being hungry.

Eventually she got a little upset, and I think here she is saying, "Hey Lady..I need to EAT! Do you want to answer to this fist?!"
And then she gave up the tough guy act and tried her luck at a sweet baby scream...it worked. I snapped this picture, stopped, and then picked her up and loved on her until Kali was ready to feed.
Look at that sweet mouth!
I think she is one smart cookie. Look here as she is signing a "C" for Caroline.

After a quick clean up
Here was my final labor of love for Caroline and Kali for the time being. Kali wanted me to create something for the blank wall in the nursery, so I took some close up of all of Caroline's sweet little parts and printed them in black and white.
I loved the way it turned out.
I can't believe how much she looks like Kali in this picture. She especially looks like Kali's baby/toddler pictures.
Brent wasn't able to make the trip this time, and Caroline thought she should let him know that he was missed.

Hilarious "snake eye"