11.29.2011

baby bump: 22 weeks


dear baby, you continue to amaze me, sweet daughter. just when i need a pick-me-up you squirm around or kick me in the gut and it is just the "hello!" that i need from you to remind me how blessed i am. every once in awhile i'll say, "hey, sweet baby…" and ask how you are doing. can you hear me? supposedly you can-- which i think is pretty cool because that means you get to hear me read my favorite book out loud to my students every day ["to kill a mockingbird"]… it also means you hear when i say, "i love you." because i do. deeply and fully, i do.

speaking of that, one thing i am loving right now is that i get to take you everywhere with me. i know i'll still do that, essentially, once you're born, but it will be different. i won't get your secret hellos and i won't know all.the.time that you are safe.

everyone still tells me that i don't look very pregnant, but i have a feeling you're going to make that perfectly clear in the next couple weeks. i'm praying for you and pray that you continually feel secure and protected. keep up the big work of growing, little one. i love you.

love, mom

11.23.2011

celebrating brent


Brent turned 26 on Monday. TWENTY. SIX. I can't even believe it. We're so old. :)

Brent gets his birthday off [paid vacation…what a perk!], so he used that time to finish painting our laundry room. It looks fantastic and after I clean it today I'll try to get some pictures up.

Monday evening we went out to my parent's for a supper of soup and Brent's parents were even able to come spend some time with us as well. We even had root beer floats for dessert! [Again, it's nice to be in our "Maycomb" so close to our parents at times like this :-)].

One of the highlights of the day though was that Brent got a video message from our sweet Caroline. We've watched over and over again :-) The quality isn't great [it's from a phone], but it's still worth sharing! [And at the end she is saying, "I wanna see Caroline…" too cute! ]

video

Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Brent! You are still the man of my dreams in every way. :)

11.22.2011

baby bump: 21 weeks

dear baby,

you just keep growing and growing! keep it up! i can't even believe that it's already been almost 5 months since you first began to form.


the big news this week is that your dad finally got to feel you kick. one night after supper you were persistent in your punches, and i was nearly certain he should be able to feel you from the outside. and sure enough you gave a big one on my lower right side and he looked at me and was smiling from ear to ear. please be that tenacious more so he can feel you again.


people are starting to feel the need to touch my belly more now too, but i don't really mind. i'm awful proud of you already so you can just flaunt yourself all you want, okay?


i hope you like thanksgiving food because i plan on treating you right this thursday as we celebrate our first one together. for the time being though, keep whirling and twirling away in there for as long as you would like!


love, mom

11.19.2011

a tired old town

As I mentioned recently, I'm reading/teaching "To Kill a Mockingbird" again with my sophomores. As I've said before, I'm slightly obsessed with this book. I could probably come up with 80 reasons why I love it. [And if you delete "slightly" and "probably" then those sentences are true]. However, when I came home from school/work, I looked out my front window and saw this:


They are totally stopped in the middle of the intersection at the corner where I live. And they sat there for approximately four or five minutes, just resting and talking and pointing [and being watched, little to their knowledge :-)]. They are maybe 8 or 9 years old. Finally, when whatever they were trying to accomplish with their stop was accomplished, they road again, all the while in the middle of the street.

Now what does THAT have anything to do with why I love "To Kill a Mockingbird?"

Scout and Jem Finch get to meander all over their neighborhood. At the beginning of the book Scout is a mere 6 years old, and Jem is almost 10 and yet they are all over the place with their sidekick, 7 year old Dill Harris. Their "summertime boundaries (within calling distance of Calpurnia) were Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose's house two doors to the north of us, and the Radley Place three doors to the south. We were never temped to break them. The Radley PLace was inhabited by an unknown entity the mere description of whom was enough to make us behave for days on end; Mrs. Dubose was plain hell." The adventures they are able to have within these parameters are formative, and they are many. Which brings me back to the bike boys outside my house the other day.

In those two boys I saw someone else: First, because I had just been immersed in the book that day, I saw Scout and Jem. But then, I saw my sister and I riding those same streets, not afraid to park in an intersection, and not afraid of being a couple blocks from home. We were safe. And we were always being watched…in a good way. Just like I was looking out my window at the boys, others looked out their windows at us, and if anything were to happen they would have been there for us, just as I would have jumped to those boys' rescue.

Once I made this connection, I realized there were so many other parts of the story of "Mockingbird" that I could relate to from my own childhood, and I began to understand even more my deep connection to the characters.

Like Maycomb, the town I grew up in and the town in which I now reside seems to be stuck in a simpler time. Scout describes Maycomb early in the book:
"Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks; the courthouse sagged in the square…People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with…closed doors meant illness and cold weather only."
And this is why two years ago Brent and I sat down and began talking about our dreams for our future. More than just I-would-like-to-be-here-in-my-job-then and I'd-like-to-have-this-much-saved-for-this-by-then, we talked about what we envisioned our daily lives to look like. When we began thinking about our children, we inevitably came back to the images, smells, and adventures of our own childhoods. We wanted open screen doors and a town square, and a slower pace, and larger boundaries for our kids to roam. Though we didn't express it this way, we realized we wanted them to be able to have a Dill Harris in their life and a Radley house surrounded with mystery on the outskirts of town. We wanted them to be able to walk to school and stand up for a Walter Cunningham because they knew where he came from. We wanted them to be in a town where people came out of their homes at one in the morning to help out when a neighbor's house caught fire. We wanted them to be able to walk next door and have cake with a Miss Maudie. And ultimately, we wanted them to learn about the human dignity that unites us all, and that most people are "real nice" once you get to know them.

And so we loaded a Uhaul and moved. We moved away from a lot of convenient things, and a lot of great friends, and an excellent job. We moved away and returned to "Maycomb," where we felt our dreams for our future children could take flight in its pot-hole filled streets and cracked sidewalks; where the courthouse sags in the square and people are a lot more likely to amble through life.

Are there days that I miss Louisville and the city? Yes. Are there times that I wish there were more people from my generation for Brent and I to spend time with? Absolutely. But then I think back to these dreams we discussed, which were such a big part of what brought us here. I realize that though we may feel like we are sacrificing having more people our age around, our kids will have the opportunity to learn that real courage is knowing "you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what" from a "Mrs. Dubose" in town. They will get to learn that a "Boo Radley" may just be the one to save them. And I hope they will also get to learn from an "Atticus Finch" who is still worth standing up for when he passes.

I surprisingly don't know who those two boys were on their bikes the other day, but I'm glad they chose to take their rest in front of my house and remind me of my memories so that I could remember my dreams.

11.17.2011

hopes & dreams

I just want those of you that are concerned to know this: I do not plan on ONLY blogging about the baby/pregnancy from this point forward. Sorry for two posts in a row over the topic. Those of you that don't care...read on!

Brent and I knew even before finding out the sex of this child that we wanted to pray for specific characteristics for our son or daughter to develop. In October we went for a stroll one evening and talked about our future hopes and dreams for this baby, and then we each picked two traits on our own if we were having a son, and two other traits if we were having a daughter. Then we shared with one another, discussed, and came up with our final list for each.

Last Thursday when we found out we were having a daughter, we pulled out that list and have begun praying. I wrote the traits on our bathroom mirror as a reminder to us everyday. We pray that the following adjectives will one day be used to describe our daughter:

joyful
modest
compassionate
hospitable

I've included the dictionary definition for each of these, but also a little bit about why we chose these specific traits for our daughter... in case you're curious.

1. joy·ful
adjective
1. full of joy, as a person or one's heart; glad; delighted.
2. showing or expressing joy, as looks, actions, or speech.
3.causing or bringing joy, as an event, a sight, or news; delightful:

Joyfulness was one of the first things we talked about for our daughter. We want her to always be full of joy, with a happy and full heart because she knows she is loved by us and her heavenly Father. But more than that, we pray that she will be a joy to those around her; that others' hearts will be lifted simply by being in her presence.

God's word on joyfulness: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 "Be joyful always." and
Psalm 5:11 "But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy."

2. mod·est
adjective
1. having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.
2. free from ostentation or showy extravagance: a modest house.
3. having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent: a modest neckline on a dress.
4. limited or moderate in amount, extent, etc.: a modest increase in salary.

Brent decided modesty was something he emphatically wanted on the list. As he began to explain why, this trait cemented itself in my heart as well. In a society in which flashy clothes, fast cars, and big houses are becoming the norm, we want our daughter to be content in her material possessions, no matter how few or little they may be. We hope that she would know the pleasure of simplicity, and not gravitate towards extravagance. We also pray that she is modest in her behavior: not only in the way she dresses but also in how she speaks and shares herself with those around her.

God's word on modesty: Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

3. com·pas·sion·ate
adjective
1. having or showing compassion: a compassionate person; a compassionate letter.
2. granted in an emergency: compassionate military leave granted to attend a funeral.
com·pas·sion- the noun
1. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

I have always admired and respected compassion in other people, so I knew this must be on the list for our daughter. When I was a counselor at church camp one summer, a guest speaker explained to the kids in very simple terms what compassion is-- he said it is when someone's heart hurts, that your heart hurts too. We are praying that our daughter would feel compassion for others when they are hurting, and seek to comfort them in their hurt and need.

God's word on compassion:
Matthew 9:36, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."

4. hos·pi·ta·ble
adjective
1. receiving or treating guests or strangers warmly and generously: a hospitable family.
2. characterized by or betokening warmth and generosity toward guests or strangers: a hospitable smile.
3. favorably receptive or open (usually followed by to ): to be hospitable to new ideas; a climate hospitable to the raising of corn.

The gift of hospitality is something that has always been displayed to me very clearly by the women in my life: my mom, my grandmothers, and my aunts all carry this gift well. And so it has become a prayer that my daughter would learn to be a hospitable person as well. We pray not only that her home would eventually be a hospitable place to those she welcomes into it, but we also pray that she have a spirit of warmth and generosity that receives others well; that others will feel continually welcome in her presence.

God's word on hospitality:
1 Peter 4:9 "Show hospitality to one another without grumbling." and Hebrews 13:2 "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels."

*all photos courtesy of google images

11.15.2011

baby bump: 20 weeks


Woah! I almost missed this week!
dear baby,
this was a big week for you and me. it marks our halfway point! can you believe it? in another 20 weeks we finally get to meet face to face.
this was also a big week because we got to find out if you are a boy or a girl…and we are so, so very happy that you're a girl! you did awesome for your first photo shoot: you moved and flipped around like crazy, making sure we could get a good measurement of you from every angle. i think this means you're going to be a bit like your daddy-- he likes to move around a lot too!! you two will be able to entertain each other for hours.
i also finally caved and bought myself one of my favorite treats: oreos! when i ate them you kicked like crazy, which i think is a good sign that you're my girl :-) [and don't worry, even when we don't have these in the house your aunt kali will ALWAYS have these on hand]!
i read something the other day that made me think: you are the ONLY one who knows what my heartbeat sounds like from the inside. i think that is pretty cool. i love you with everything and will continue to keep you safe.
love, mom

11.12.2011

when you wish upon a star...


…it makes no difference who you arrrrreeee!!!! You know the song, right?

Well, Brent and I have recently gotten a big kick out of what has happened since THIS POST about my unending love for Olive Garden.

Doesn't that picture make your heart SING!!

Moving along…

After I wrote that post, I couldn't believe how many people said something about it. People I didn't even know read my blog had a comment about Olive Garden, or my slight obsession for it. Well, little did I know what was going on behind the scenes.

My good childhood friend Katie, who used to live in the house Brent and I now own, read my blog. "Aha!" she thought. "I should send this to Travis, the general manager of the Olive Garden here in town whom I just so happen to know since my husband used to work at that Olive Garden. Yes, indeed I will do it right now." [Or something like that. I'm not actually a mind reader and I don't know her exact train of thought]. So she sent him the link to this here little blog o' mine, copied me in the message, and poof it was done. I laughed at her silliness and said, "Well, maybe I'll get a coupon out of the deal!"

The next day I get a message from her: "Kelsey: Travis, the GM, wants you and Brent and Devin and me to come in for a dinner on him sometime! What works for you?"

And so our free meal was in the works. I couldn't stop giggling at the craziness of the whole situation. My words were going to provide food for my family [did that sound dramatic enough for you all?]. And last Sunday evening we met Katie and Devin at the place that makes time stand still, makes worries disappear, and makes pregnant ladies oh-so-happily-fed: Olive Garden. We shared an appetizer and salad and those delicious breadsticks and each ordered an entree of our choosing. We were too stuffed for dessert though Travis tried to bribe us into some. And when the time came to get our bill, our waitress simply said, "Travis has taken care of it." What a guy! What a place! What a meal!

It was a fun evening and great to catch up with Katie, and obviously great to fill up on excellent food. [Thanks for passing the blog along, Katie. And Travis, if you're out there, THANK YOU!]

And on one final note: Also since that post Brent and I have received two gift cards in the mail for Olive Garden [One from my sister and the other from my friend Joanna, both "claiming" they had sent them before reading the blog. Mmmhmm]. Thanks, guys! Also, Thursday when we had a reason to celebrate the news of our DAUGHTER, Beck and Joan [Brent's parents] treated us to a meal at…you guessed it…OG!

Oh sweet succotash, life is good! :-) Now if you'll excuse me I must clean the computer. I seem to have salivated while reminiscing.


*photo credit: www.metrocreativeconnection.com

11.10.2011

drumroll please….

After a fitful night of sleep, tossing and turning and full of anxiety and excitement for the next day, Brent and I woke up and began the countdown to 3:20 p.m. when we would get to see our baby for the first time in a sonogram.

Brent decided to wear this today: A blue shirt with a pink tie. What will the sonogram reveal?

Torri showed up at school and brought me this tray of cookies:

Even though some arms and legs had fallen off, and they included a dog just to make me laugh, it was a really cool gesture [and the cookies are delicious!]

In 2nd hour some of my girls brought me this cupcake with blue and pink sprinkles:

I didn't snap a picture of my voting sheets I had in my classroom but will tomorrow. My students were very excited which still amazes me at how sweet they are and how much they care about me.

Finally after waiting ALL DAY, at quarter after two, I walked to my car and my nerves and excitement just kept rising. I picked Brent up from the bank and off we went. In the car I was either jabbering or we were silent. We got to the doctor's office, I checked in, and five minutes later we were in the little room and I was having jelly rubbed on my belly [I was so glad I didn't have to sit and wait!! They got me in 15 minutes BEFORE my appointment time! Awesome].

The technician flipped off the lights and then began explaining the images we were seeing of our baby. Oh. My. Goodness. And some people think there is no God? These images were unreal and seeing our baby's heartbeat was simply incredible. Brent and I just held hands and smiled at the miracle on the screen.

Our technician, Kristin, was chatty, but very sweet and just kept showing us different parts. FINALLY, about five minutes in she asked if we wanted to know the gender. YES YES YES, I screamed at the top of my lungs [Okay, so it was more like a mild, "Yes, please]. And then she said nonchalantly with a smile…as if it weren't changing our lives forever…

"You're having a girl…"

I squeezed Brent's hand to keep from busting. He squeezed back. "Are you sure," I asked. [I just had to check]. And she said, "I'm positive. She's been flipping around and shown me about 6 times!"

We were/are thrilled. We both not-so-secretly were hoping for a girl. When we first got pregnant I whispered a prayer, "Lord, please give me a baby girl to love." Brent has always thought he would have a girl first. And he is going to be a phenomenal dad to a girl.

She printed off some pictures for us and sent us on our way. She said since our girl was moving so much it was tough to get a good profile [that's my child alright!], but here is one of the best ones: Her face is in the bottom right and you can see her nose and lips. The second "blob" on the left is her abdomen. Isn't she beautiful?!


We had given our family members two cards when we told them we were pregnant. #1 and #2. We called and said, "OPEN NUMBER TWO!" Squeals. What is better that already having 2 granddaughters? Having three!!! We met up with Brent's parents and went to supper [at Olive Garden, of course], and they were thrilled too. I thought my dad was going to bust, but instead nearly tackled both Brent and I in hug.

A girl. A girl. A girl. Brent teared up when we were in the waiting room after our sonogram. He's so excited. We can't wait to meet her!


And now I better get this blog posted so you all can stop wondering!!! :-) Thanks for being excited with us!

thoughts

I wanted to just throw my thoughts on "paper" quickly before my sonogram.

In less than 24 hours I will know the sex of the child kicking and squirming inside of me.

I know our life changed a lot when we found out we were pregnant, but I feel like the sex of this child will determine so much more. Ultimately we are thrilled either way. [Minus the fact that if it's a boy I'll have to tell him the "castration story" someday!] But I am anxious none the less. I have had dreams about everything from missing my appointment, to boy, to girl...Brent even had one about twins!

However, this is more than just about the sex of the child. This will be the first sonogram I've had. It could reveal a lot of other "stuff." We have prayed for the health and safety of this child, but this is just one more of the unknowns we haven't seen yet...inside the womb. Is everything okay in there?

Regardless...this is our baby and we love him/her so much [so ready to stop typing him/her! :)]. Don't worry, we won't leave you hanging for too long after we know. Expect the reveal tomorrow sometime.

Also, the results on the voting reveal that most of my "blog followers" think I'm having a girl! [just barely]. However, the majority of my students voted that I'm having a boy [and they get CANDY if they were right!... sorry I can't teleport the candy to you via the blog if you are right, but feel free to exercise bragging rights].

HERE WE GO....!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Prayer requests for this appointment: That my nerves would calm down [I'm so excited yet anxious], that the babe will cooperate and give us a good...ahem...angle so we can tell the gender, that I get a good report health wise
*Also please say a prayer for Jaque if you think of it. She goes in for her first round of chemo.

11.09.2011

Why my students write...

Here it is again. The annual event that began back in 2008. Why my students write. Every year they leave me breathless and so thankful that I have the job of teaching them. I like what I was inspired to write in year two: Why they write...is why I teach.

If you're interested:

Year ONE

Year TWO

Year THREE

And here is year FOUR:

I write because…

- it’s a way to express feelings without saying it out loud

- I want to be better at writing

- You can write what you feel without anyone judging you

- you can express yourself without people interrupting you.

- I can improve in writing if I practice

- my notebook will never judge me

- to tell things I don’t want to say out loud

- I can express my feelings

- I can tell secrets that no one will ever figure out

- it helps me make decisions

- I’m better at telling my feelings than showing them

- I’m bored

- I want someone to hear what I’m saying

- I secretly want someone to read it

- it clears my mind

- it opens my mind

- I learn things about myself

- my thoughts have meaning

- I can be heard

- I can’t be interrupted

- I’m busy

- I want to

- it’s easy

- I have something to say

- I’m good at it

- it is how I can communicate

- I feel shy and lonely

- it inspires me to do more things

- it makes me say stuff no one cares about but I do

- I can feel happy and sad or maybe both at the same time

- there’s only one voice that can be heard in the story

- no one else can have a say

- I have freedom to say what I want

- no one can change what I have down and say “that’s stupid”

- no one else feels the way I do

- it’s getting all the emotions out that I have inside

- no one can push me down

- it makes me feel strong

- I have my own say

- it makes me excited

- there’s things my parents will never know

- some words are too mean to be said out loud

- there’s too many thoughts to have in my head

- I get scared

- I feel like I get beaten down

- I hurt and writing makes it better

- no one sees the real me

- I can try to understand what I’m thinking

- Only I can tell people how I feel and when there’s no time to say it, then there must be time to read it

- One day I will show my mom how I feel and if it’s too hard to say maybe she will read it

- I don’t have the courage to say it

- there is no one to listen

- I have deeper feeling then what’s on the surface

- I can’t cry so I let my tears become the lead I engrave into the paper

- someday someone will find what I’ve written and will hear me

- I believe in myself if no one else does

- I want to explain myself

- I need room to air out my ideas

- I have a story inside of me

- I can’t keep track of my memories

- when I talk I hold back on what really needs to be said

- I hate being interrupted

- someday when someone finally reads this I can actually be heard

- because I’m lost and confused

- I’m afraid my words just aren’t enough

- I’m misunderstood

- I’m angry

- I want to make my dad proud

- it allows me to let out my emotions

- I don’t show emotion

- one day someone will understand

- no one tries to get to know me—they just make assumptions

- I may be different outside of school and I want to show teachers that

- it allows me to say what I need to say

- I am me

- people don’t give me a chance

- I need to say this stuff before going to the army

- I want to make my own choices instead of people telling me my choices

- I’m a jerk

- I want to be heard

- I get to speak my mind

- it brings me peace

- life is unfair

- my mother left me

- my father stayed

- I want to be remembered

- I want people to hear the real me

- it brings me clarity

- I can let others know they’re not alone in their troubles

- it gives me power

- I want to remember

- I’m not afraid to write

- my story has the right to be told

- writing is a joy

- of what I want to say

- it makes me stronger

- it makes me a better writer

- it takes whatever is on my mind, off of it

- it makes me feel free

- it makes me smarter

- I can bring anything I want to life

- all the pain feels better when I get it out of my system

- deep down I want to be a good writer and student but it never comes out the way I want and I want to get better

- I can express myself freely

- someday I won’t be who I am today and I might want to come find myself

- it is like breathing

- it is me, and I can make it my own

- it I’m falling I can give myself a paper ledge to cling to

- I never want to lose myself

- I’m lonely

- I love my nieces and nephews

- I want to be heard

- it is necessary

- if I’m pushed down I can use the notebook as a shield before I’m kicked

- I don’t know how not to

- not everyone can

- stories need to be told, even if there is no one to hear them

- there are things I can put on paper that I wouldn’t dare say out loud

- it sets off my imagination as if I were myself as a kid again

- it’s a good way to remember things

- on the inside I’m an emotional girl dying to let things out but knowing I’ve got to keep a tough exterior

- it takes my mind to a whole different place I never knew existed

- sometimes it’s like talking to myself

- my pencil and heart communicate writing things my brain can’t comprehend

- I choose who can see the writing and I’m not judged for it

- writing can’t be twisted around for rumors—it’s set in stone.

- I’m crazy and creative

- I let my true thoughts escape my brain and express myself

- I have nothing better to do

- maybe my writing will be valuable

- it leaves something of my personality behind when I’m dead and gone

- I’m smart

- I have too many thoughts I can’t say out loud but can’t keep in my head either

- there’s many choices to what, how, when, or why to write

- I’m my own person

- it blocks out everything and everyone

- I feel like I’m nothing and I want to know who I will become

- I’m scared of my thoughts

- I feel like there is nothing I can say that will help people understand me

- I just want my ugly, black hole to go away

- Most of the time I don’t say what I really thing, but what people want to hear

- I’m scared that if I tell everyone what I’m thinking they will cower away and run as if I’m a monster

- Now I can finally breathe just a little bit more

- I can escape the crazy emotions that never stop changing

- I can let go of the anger

- if I don’t nobody will every know who I am

- it makes me feel good

- there are so many things to be said

- nothing can stop me from doing it

- there are so many thoughts in my head

- I worry

- I’m a coward and can’t say my thoughts out loud

- what I write is worth writing

- I have an opinion and ideas

- My biggest fear is forgetting

- when I’m old I want to have reminders of what it felt like to be young

- maybe I can help someone else

- my emotions are ever changing and that frightens me

- I want to be heard instead of ignored

- I want to feel relaxed and let my thoughts flow

- it’s a good way to pass the time

- it’s fun to make stories about things that will never happen in our lives

- things don’t seem to come out right when I saw them

- I’m sad and it makes me happy

- it could be my last day

- I’m embarrassed to speak in front of people

- no one likes to listen to my feelings

- I don’t have enough breath to say everything I want to

- It’s like Autumn leaves falling out of the sky, the words just fall onto the paper

- it could change someone’s life

- I want people to know I’m more than just sports

- I feel like it helps me get through the pain

- I want others to not be afraid of writing

- it helps me calm down

- what I write might be famous someday

- it’s who I am

- so I can help people who need it

- I want to be a journalist

- it’s my way to relieve stress

- people make fun of me

- it’s hard to talk to my parents

- I’m left out

- I comprehend more when it’s written

- I’m a teenager

- I’m a kid

- I want someone to congratulate me for something good I’ve done

- I hope God will write back to tell me what I should do

- no matter how much I scream, no one screams back

- some people aren’t as fortunate

- my best friend loves to write and is amazing at it, but her dad doesn’t approve

- my handwriting sucks

- it’s fun to doodle

- I want to remember everything

- to show what I am capable of doing

- I do not want to remember what has happened to me, so I change the ending to make it happy

- I feel guilty about things I have done that were wrong

- I feel bad that I can’t help someone else be happy

- My boyfriend and I are fighting and I want to think about something happier

- I want my mom to just be proud of me for once, for something, and I don’t care what it is

- it puts my fantasies, imagination, and thoughts into words

- I don’t want to be the kid that gets yelled at

- I’m slightly neurotic and this keeps me sane

- when I write, sometimes I realize things about myself

- it’s so much fun to write

- tomorrow I may not be able to

- I like being creative

- it’s peaceful

- it helps the hurt go away

- it is a part of life that is with you all the time

- I have to; no person is forcing me to, but I have to

- without writing I would never be happy

- on paper, I am a totally different person

- I once read the quote, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

- you don’t know me if you haven’t read everything I’ve written

- it is my escape from reality

- it is my escape from everyone else’s words

- my writing isn’t always pretty or pleasant, but neither am I

- you really want to know what I have to say, read my notebooks full of poems, song lyrics, and stories

- I love what I write about

- my life sometimes needs to be shared to make me feel important

- I have no one to talk to when I have problems

- it’s an escape route from reality and some of the bad things in life

- I think something important happens everyday

- I like to tell funny stories that have happened

- some days I have very nice handwriting and like to see it on paper

- the music makes me want to

- I can see a squirrel in the tree right now

I write…

- so that people will listen

- to give hope to those that are different

- to tell you this

- to influence not only myself, but others too

- to make it final; to make sure it stuck in this unfaithful world

- to help my mind ease even with all my problems and troubles floating around

- in hope that one day I would not disappoint someone

- to embrace others around me

- to get rid of my problems even if it’s just for a second, it’s a second my body and mind don’t take the load from all the past events that took place

- to not me like my mother yet become closer to my father

- to escape; to runaway from the world I know I’ll eventually have to face

- to discover myself, because when I’m on paper I find myself easier to read

- to tell about the past

- to make people laugh

- to make others remember what they had

- to prove myself; people don’t look inside to see the strength that I really have

- to show who I am; there is more to me than ‘the smart kid in the front row’