one of those moments

So I currently have 5 minutes of my lunch break left and am shoveling down pasta I made last Saturday afternoon in a few moments of freedom. It was after a JV softball tournament in the rain which was after a week of homecoming festivities. Little did I know then.

I have not had time to make a meal since. Sunday Kali arrived and so did practice [unusual for a Sunday but you'll understand why we had to on a Sunday in a moment]. So did cleaning for Caroline's big first birthday that would be at my house [which I couldn't attend which you'll understand why in a moment].

Monday came and so did a meeting in the morning and away Varsity and JV softball games. I made it back in time to see the tissue paper being put away and the dishes being done after Caroline's party.
Last night were more away games and I made it home in time to jump through the shower, throw in a load of laundry, not see Kali, Caroline, or Aunt Linda, and crash in bed.
This morning I had a faculty meeting and we have another away game tonight.
We have a home game tomorrow and a tournament on Saturday. [My softball girls are 14-2]

I haven't used the restroom since 6:45 this morning, I have bandaids on my toes to prevent blisters, and a student just asked me last hour, "Have you graded our personal narratives yet?"

I didn't slap him because I'm a professional.



I have been driving away from home for a long time. 6 years. It started the fall of my freshman year of college and continued through last spring.

I hated it. I hated driving the turns and curves knowing I was driving away from the land that made me. So, over the 6 years I built up a pretty thick wall. I taught myself how to not think, how to hold my breath in those moments of leaving. Eventually this spilled over into the driving-towards-home. I didn't let it sink in because if I did the driving-away would cut that much more.

So I stopped breathing and kept driving.

Last weekend I made a quick and last-minute trip to visit a friend up north. She was stressed, I was stressed; grades were due for her, grades were due for me; and we both thought what the heck! Better to be stressed and grading in the company of a good friend than alone! So I threw a few things in a bag, filled my car with gas, and headed down the road.

This road was the road that led me to college for four years. A road that had mixed and blurred the lines of happiness and sadness.

But as I drove I looked at the land. Bright, golden yellow wild flowers sprinkled the ditches like a tube of spilled glitter. The trees , holding onto the last summer green of their branches, painted shadows on the pavement before me like a carpet. Cows munched grass in the pastures, not caring that I drove so close to their fence rows. A gust of wind swept through the hills and the cattails, standing like soldiers, bent in its power.

And I breathed it all in. Through my mouth. Through my nostrils. Through my heart.

I breathed it all in because as I felt the beauty of the land curving and dipping beneath me I knew I would be returning. The past tense WAS and the present tense IS blurred together. This was my home. This is my home.

I will continue breathing in the land that made me and let it become the land that is making me still.


oh me oh my

Remember my resolutions back in the blistering cold of January?

Yeah...apparently neither do I. In my defense, on January 16th when I wrote these I did not realize that over the next 7 months my life would change drastically and become busier than it ever was before. However...I do realize that is justification. So, mainly for me, here my update on my new year's resolutions:

1. I want to get to know Jesus again. I mean, I know him, and love him, but I want to get back to the point in our relationship where I always feel his presence. I just feel like I've been missing him recently. [And yes, this is the one resolution that is NOT in random order. This is number 1 for 2010]. Okay. This is difficult. I kept this resolution... until May. And then when life got the craziest, and when I should have been seeking Him the most, I let the ball drop. Brent and I are also still trying to find a church here where we can really get plugged in and find community amongst peers our age. Not having a church home yet is really having a toll on both of us, and the post-Southeast mindset is difficult to overcome. However, we are praying and know that God will be faithful. But church or no church, I need to make time for Jesus again. No excuses.

2. Do something intentionally everyday that is completely, and unselfishly for Brent. I want to have a more serving heart, and this is where I feel it needs to start. This could be a variety of things: buy pineapple [he loves it, I don't], write him a note to find in the morning,wash and fold his clothes AND put them away without being slightly upset that he didn't help with one of the steps...etc. He is the most selfless and serving person I know and I feel so loved by the ways he serves me daily. He deserves the same. And my heart will be better for it. Oh goodness gracious. 0 for two. I have bought an occasional pineapple or gallon of ice cream for him and written an occasional note...but... It's so difficult to intentionally step outside of myself on a daily basis. I will work on this one too.

3. Stop thinking about where I want to be and live where I'm at. No matter where I'm at. This is something I've written about before, and something that I struggle with a lot. Ever since I began college this has been difficult for me, and after every change I regret the way I lived in the places I was placed. Yesterday I had a brief meltdown about my time here in Louisville...crying out of sheer frustration with myself for not investing more. A friend told me that those are tears of unexpected blessings...I didn't expect to be blessed by living here. I just started reading "Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God" [from the same friend who told me the previous statement], and in the introduction the author says, "[We often] just sit and wait for "normal" life to resume. Don't we sometimes feel we are treading water until our "real" life and ministry begin?" Thus this resolution. I don't want to tread water any more, no matter where life brings me next. Oh how prophetic this resolution...if only I knew where life would take me next. I have often thought of this in my time here. I am trying to dig deep where I've been planted, and as you have read previous posts I have again struggled with change. I am determined to not let it own me. I feel like in the last few months of our time in Louisville, I did invest as much as I could. I even took a brief trip back in July and I have been intentional about keeping up with the relationships there. But now, I am HERE. And I am trying my best to live here and be here. Not treading water anymore.

4. This is post number 247 since I began blogging. My fourth resolution is to have written at least 500 by the time 2011 rolls around. I want these resolutions to be realistic, and realistically I will not be able to write everyday. So, 253 posts this year seems more doable. 2 days ago I said that writing is cathartic for me, and it truly is. So I want to do it more. I also think that the more I write the better I will become at writing. Like I always tell my students, "If you write everyday you get better at writing everyday." If I expect this of them, I should do this myself. So I want to "become big and write with the whole world in my arms." I think you can be the judge of my failure on this one... will work on it, but it will require my life to slow down a bit.

5. This is connected to number 2: wanting to have more of a servant's heart. I want to go on a service project or mission trip this year. Whether that means going downtown to help out at a soup kitchen or going overseas to help build houses or love on orphans, I want to be available. This was in the works in Louisville...our small group committed to doing a "fourth saturday serve" [every fourth saturday] somewhere in Louisville. And then we moved. Lame. Any suggestions?

6. I want to complete p90x. Last summer Brent and I started, if you remember, what I deemed "the devil's workout." But I felt so healthy. It is not a workout to necessarily lose weight, but to build muscle and strength and endurance. Something I have missed since my days of high school basketball. We are wanting to start at the beginning of February, and I want to finish this time. [Last time Brent hurt his shoulder about 45 days into it, and without him to help me stay motivated I stopped.] HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Nope. [Sidenote: Brent is doing fantasic with this one! :)]

7. I want to be less of a budget nazi. See post from a few days ago if you have not been introduced to this alter ego of mine. This doesn't mean that I still don't want to be frugal and wise with our money; I believe that is biblical. I just don't want to feel controlled by it, because that is NOT biblical. I want to find the balance. [Soon I will write about my first step in this process]. Okay...I actually feel like I have done a good job on this one!!! YAY for the first resolution I feel I have actually accomplished! I don' t know if this was intentional or if buying a new house just automatically forces you to loosen the purse strings, but I'm slowly finding balance. I think part of this stems from me realizing how crazy I am/was [the budget nazi me is a real deal!], and the other part stems from me wanting to make this place a home for us. I also realized that we have a savings account so that when our blue car poops out we can actually replace it without going into debt. Even though it means taking some money from savings, we are okay. I am proud of how much we have been able to do and how we haven't gone into debt [except our house loan...obviously, I mean, come on people!]. And before you think I've totally gone off my rocker you should still know that I haven't gone completely crazy--- I mean, I still tear my gum in half pieces so that the pack lasts longer :) [Oh and the first step was that Brent and I bought tickets back home to see Paige and Torri on the courtwarming court...it was a surprise for them and worth every penny!]

Well... as you can all see... I have failed miserably. I will get to work on this. I promise you.

And a mini update:
- my softball girls are 11-2. Awesome.
- I have roughly 45 minutes of free time a day [if you count eating free time].
- school is going fairly well. I'm getting in the routine of having three different classes more and more. I still miss my community at my old school every day, but I still enjoy teaching none-the-less.
- Brent is still liking his job.

Now, if you don't mind, I have some resolutions to attend to. Have a great weekend!


how to..

...clean a car the way my mother taught me. [Be sure you have set aside at LEAST 4 hours.]

1. Carry LARGE trash bag to the car and begin removing all foreign objects [shoes you wore when you were 17, granola bar wrappers from last winter, water bottles with foreign substances caked to the side, and a variety of church bulletins from 1993].

2. Leave doors open and air out the vehicle.

3. Return later with three different rags and two buckets of "as-hot-as-you-can-stand-it" water-- one with soap, and one without. You will also need a toothbrush. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a toothbrush. NEVER, EVER throw away your old brushes... they will come in handy shortly.

4. Scrub every visible and hard to reach surface with soap "as-hot-as-you-can-stand-it" water. Dip toothbrush in soapy water and scrub in the cracks.

5. Empty and renew your water frequently. Unfortunately, frequently means about every 5 minutes.

6. Be amazed at not only how long it takes you to scrub all the surfaces, but also just how much crud can hide in the crevices of your vehicle.

7. Repeat step 4 and 5 with "as-hot-as-you-can-stand-it" plain water and fresh rag. You don't want soapy residue on your dashboard, now do you?

8. While the surface is still wet from step 7, wipe off with a clean, dry rag to ensure a spotless shine. I have also found this prevents dust from settling in the future...even more than Armorall.

9. Take a break. Eat some string cheese or something equally refreshing.

10. Return to the already-fresher-smelling car with shop-vac in toe [or vacuum with various random attachments]. Begin sucking up dirt to your hearts content. Be sure to take out floor rugs and beat them 28 times each before vacuuming them. Lean seats forward. Vacuum. Lean seats backwards. Vacuum. Vacuum some more. Be so sick of vacuuming that you must be finished.

11. With what little strength you have left, clean the windows on the INSIDE. This requires leaning awkwardly over seats and steering wheels and hoping the neighbors aren't looking.

12. Take it to the car wash and wash the outside because, Lord help us all, we don't have the kind of strength required to wash the outside by hand at this point.

13. Be amazed at how new your car looks, and remember to save your toothbrush.

13b. Notice on the way to work the next day that you didn't get the inside windows very clean in your famished state and be very discouraged that you have to return to the beast again.


on headbands, cooler weather, three day weekends, and a bed in the living room. [But mostly on headbands]

Let me just say this: We slept with the windows open last night and Brent said this morning, "I think it may have gotten just a little bit too cold last night." What a beautiful statement. I love fall. One of my rather eccentric, loveable, and talkative 8th graders started class today by saying, "I woke up to a beautiful day for a football game. 10% chance of cloudiness with a slight breeze. So come on out to the game tonight but remember to bring a light jacket or hoody, and there is a slight chance the bugs may be out a little so wear jeans too. 100% chance for a win." [Seriously, he said that...in a weatherman voice. It was quite funny.] So yes, I'm excited that fall may be knocking at my door, that it's football season, that my students have the ability to make me laugh, and for LABOR DAY WEEKEND! Beautiful.

And, Brent and I got new carpet which is exciting, but have yet to move our bed back to our bedroom. So we have been lounging on it in the living room and think it's quite possibly the best thing ever. We may leave it for awhile.

However, and that is a big however, I am getting slightly tired of wearing headbands. For you gentlemen reading this, please don't take it the wrong way when I say: you have NO IDEA what it is like. "Torturous" comes to mind as a word to describe it.

Now you are most likely thinking, "Then don't wear a headband...problem solved." Problem NOT solved. If you don't remember or never knew, I lost my brain at the beginning of June and chopped off nearly a FOOT of hair. That's a lot of hair for anyone, but especially for a girl that has never had a short haircut. The night of the haircut was awful. I held in the tears for a long time, tried styling it multiple ways for a couple hours, and then finally crashed in a defeated heap on the couch. The first commercial that came on had a girl with long hair ... and I broke into a puddle of tears. Poor Brent.

Anyway... that was 3 months ago. I can finally, FINALLY, pull it very tightly into an-almost-not-there-ponytail. However, this requires at least 6 bobby pins and a headband. If I don't wear it in a ponytail, I still must use multiple bobby pins and still must wear a headband because it is in a horrible "in between" stage...or as Brent would say, "tweener stage." [Sidenote: this word was created when we were engaged. He said we were in between dating and marriage...we were tweeners.] Now, for you women that have ever had a short haircut, and then decided to grow it out, you know the agony that this can cause. Well because of the choppy layers and my curly mane, a headband has become a staple.

Now, for those of you that have never taken the time to actually examine a headband, please take a moment to do so now:
You may be distracted by the shiny colors, or the bow adorning the top, but what I really want you to look at is the bottom...the ONE INCH space. Now, please put your hands just below your ears on both sides of your head. Now, without moving them closer together, move your hands in front of you. I don't know about you, but the space between my forefingers is at least 4 inches, if not more...and it is DEFINITELY NOT the same space as in the picture above. So you may now understand my daily discomfort. [I did find some headbands that are much softer at Kohl's, and they have helped... but still... ]

So whoever invented headbands and thought that the human head is the size of a ping pong ball..you were sadly very, very mistaken. It may be safe to say: I hate you.

The good news in all of this is, my hair is getting longer by the day and I can get in a ponytail, even if the ponytail requires a headband and causes others to giggle.