Monday, March 31, 2014

Slice of Life Day 31 Is this Really the End?

For the last 31 day I have been participating in the 30 (31) Day Writing Challenge hosted by the wonderful team at Two Writing Teachers.  As I accepted this challenged I knew it would be a challenge and a great learning experience.  In my first post I wrote~

I accepted this challenge with trepidation.  Not because I don't know what to write, I have lots of stories swirling in my head and if you know me you know that's true.  I love to write and when I sit down to write (most days, but not all days) words I didn't know I had just seem to find there way to the paper.
Well it turns out that the words won't the only surprises I found~

Madi discovered she was a writer and learned to take risk!

Our Weekly SOL lunches were so important Mason Skyped in while his family was driving to Disney!

The energy of the kids has been amazing! Some blogged, some wrote in their notebooks, some made videos of their writing and we all supported each other. 

Reading the kids daily writing has strengthened our relationship and help me to know them as people and writers.  My instruction has been more purposeful and the kids have been more motivated to write and write and write! Today I congratulated the kids for making it this so far and the challenge the room instantly erupted in groans and moans.  Then Grace bolts up and asked~

"Can we make our own challenge? We want to keep writing!"

Well what teacher would say no to this? Certainly not me!  As soon as kids were off to Writer's Workshop I couldn't help but notice the line forming at the easel, Grace had created a sign up sheet for our challenge! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

SOL Day 30/31 Writing Challenge~ The Gift of TIme

Well, it's here, the last day of spring break.  I have been fighting the Sunday blues paired with the final day of break and retreated into a book which led to a nap.  Great way to spend my last day, right?  Well, that depends on your perspective.  After I woke up I scrolled my feed on Bloglovin' and found a post from Cathy and Stella.  Both put that positive spin on the final day which helped me to see that my choice for a nap and reading were perfect choices for the day!  So borrowing their perspective and format here's my break in review.

The freedom of time and lack of schedules helped me be home with my husband as he slowly recovers from back surgery.  He requires medication around the clock to keep his pain manageable and knowing I didn't have an alarm the next morning made this easier on both of us.

Our oldest daughter who is in college came home a bit more often to help with her dad and spend time with the family. It's always great to have everyone under one roof!

With the support of my mother-in-law and my daughters I did manage to sneak out and enjoy a few hours to have lunch with a friend.  We explored a few new places and landed on a great chocolate shop! I am sure we will revisiting this stop!

My husband and watched a few movies we've been wanting to see for while now.  We also discovered our favorite Chinese places DELIVERS! This might have been my favorite  discovery of the week!

My youngest daughter and I went away for 2 days, just us!  I don't often get untagged time with my youngest, so this was a special time for both of us.  We traveled to a few universities  just a few hours from home.  Although neither university seemed to fit her just right we had a great time just begin together.  The hot tub at the hotel and open conversations were the highlights of our time together.

I did find time for more reading and commenting than I typically have, I did read a bit of a book (my daughter insists I read it, but honestly it's moving s-l-o-w, it actually puts me to sleep, shh!) and I have more time to write.  I finally completed a math post I had been working on for over a month!  

After reading Stella and Cathy's post I am resisting the urge to lament here about how it could've should've been more.  Instead I am glad to have found a few moments for me in the midst of mom, wife and nurse.

So as today turns into to tomorrow I am packing the perspective shared in Cathy and Stella's blog into my pocket to pull out and use again tomorrow as my class and I rejoin for sharing and learning together.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

SOL 30 Day Writing Challenge 27/31 Crystal Balls & Hope

 With the help of our oldest daughter and my mother-in-law playing nurse to my husband Livi and I are doing a little in state college visiting.  It's a bit of a bitter sweet mini vacation for the two of us, but not for the reasons you may think.  Sure it's tough watching your youngest child grow up and move on to college, but what we are really grappling with is finding the right fit for her heart and our budget (and maybe the apron strings are a bit in play here).

Livi plans to double major in marketing and fashion merchandising with some involvement in dance.  Well, finding a college that suits these dreams is a challenge at best, but to find a school in state        (remember that budget and those apron strings...) is extremely challenging!  So today we set off to an in state school that offers two of the three.  Livi knew the minute we reached campus that this wasn't the fit for her, sadly and privately I knew it too.

We went on with the visit and I tried to keep our spirits high.  Afterwards we went to a campus pizza place and discussed the visit.  With tears welling up in her eyes Livi again pleaded to go to school in New York.  She's found several schools that meet her dreams in New York.  In her eyes the only thing holding her back is us. 

When I look at the situation from her perspective I am screaming, "Seize the moment, you're young talented and beautiful, follow your dreams."  Then the nagging voice in my head says, "Wait, that's a BIG scary city for a young girl, the education cost is triple the cost of a state school, not to mention the cost of your education v.s your future earning potential." 

Then I look across the table at those big brown eyes filled with tears.... I really wish I had a crystal ball to see how this will work out but for now I am hoping tomorrow's college visit offers more (in state) hope! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SOL30 Day Writing Challenge- the final days...

As you know I have been participating in the 30 day writing challenge hosted by the team at Two Writing Teachers.  Now here we are only 3 days left in the challenge.  I am not sure I have said all I have to say but, I know I have learned a few things in this challenge... 

I can make time each day to write.
Even when I think I don't want to write it weighs heavy on my mind until I do. 
My best writing comes easily and it comes straight from the heart.
Comments mean more than they probably should. 
I write for myself, not for the comments. 
Often my story takes a turn from my initial goal.  
Sometimes, after I write a draft or jot ideas in my notebook my passion for the idea deminishes. 
Writing helps me discover my inner thinking and feelings. Writing is therapeutic.
I can write with humor!! (yay, I love to make people laugh)
My writing has strong feelings. 

I wonder how my final pieces will spill out onto the paper, I wonder what else I have to discover, I wonder when I will write when this challenge ends. 

SOL 30 Day Writing Challenge Day 26~ 15 Minutes Tops!

I am participating in the 30 Day Writing Challenge hosted by the team at Two Writing Teachers.  Only 6 more post (5 after this one) and I can't believe we are so close to the end of the challenge, I will be back next year, I still have more to discover about my life and writing! 

Yesterday as I was browsing through the many posts posted at Two Writing Teachers I saw a comment by @Betsy_Writes asking us to play a game with her.

The idea of playing a game intrigued me so I clicked right on over to Betsy's link.  Well, I am glad I did!  I found a few new blogs and left a few more comments than I usually do.  But, that's not all!  Betsy encouraged her readers to visit her friend Robin's Slice but, only if you're brave enough!  Did Betsy say If you're BRAVE ENOUGH??  Oh, game on, I love a challenge, a dare or whatever you want to call it!  I clicked on over to Robin's blog and laughed and laughed!  Go ahead, you know want to… click on the link but, make sure you come back because I have a TMI story too.  I even won a radio contest by sharing this story!  OK, I have probably have set your expectations too high, lessen your expectation and read on if you dare.

One day I ran a quick errand to our local mall with my 7 month old first born daughter.  As I pulled into a parking place I debated taking in the stroller.  It's so much to lug it out of the trunk and then back in, did I really need it?  I decided no, I was only ordering a wedding gift for a friend, I wouldn't have any packages and if things go well I will only be in there for 15 minutes tops!

So, I lifted my daughter out of the car seat and walked into the mall, confident that this shopping addicted mommy would be in and out in 15 minutes tops!  We walked into the mall, right at the women's clothes and make-up counters. The color of the new spring clothes and  the smells of the perfumes and clothes took over my senses and the next thing I knew I was browsing through the new spring clothes.

I'll just walk through and enjoy the spring clothes, it's on the way to housewares anyway!  Then it hit me,  I was pregnant last spring.  This spring I could get back into REAL clothes, no more panels, no more roomy smock tops WOW!  I could probably stand a small update to my spring clothes.  So I allowed myself to browse a little deeper…

The next thing I knew I found myself in a fitting room with a dress.  I sat my daughter on the floor, careful to make sure there were no pins or anything she could put in her mouth.  The bottom of the fitting room walls were open, I knew I would have to be quick, I knew it was a risk, but my daughter is pretty mild mannered, I am sure she will stay put.

I slipped off my jeans AND top. I turned to grab the dress to see the bottom of my daughters shoes just passing under the open wall!  OH NO!  Here I am in my underware  and my daughter is escaping the fitting room!  I had no choice, I ripped the dress from the hanger and held it to my front side and went to grab my daughter.  Well, being like her mommy she was in awe of the pretty colors and somehow had made in about 100 ft from the fitting room before I caught up to her!

Yep!  There I was in the MIDDLE of the store (near the mall entrance) in my undies chasing a crawling baby!  My daughter and I tried to make it back into the fitting room unnoticed and to this day I have no idea who may or may not have seen me but, it felt like the WORLD was watching. I never did try on the dress or go buy that wedding gift!
                                                                       So all-in-all we were out in 15 minutes tops!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Slice of Life Day 25- Searching for the Balance in Independence and Healing

I am participating in the Slice of Life 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Writing is reflective and a great way to discover more about your life.  To learn more about the challenge or read other Slice of Life posts visit Two Writing Teachers.

Little did I know the hard part was just beginning…

Thursday my husband was released from the hospital 3 days after having a five hour surgery on his back.  When the doctor asked "Are you ready to go home?"  My husband smiled for the first time in weeks. (He was very nervous about having the surgery and in a great deal of pain prior to the procedure).  I was excited to see him smiling and to be bringing him home, no more trips to the hospital, no more hospital food, no more tubes and no more insatiable beeping machines!

Home will be quiet, Tim will rest quietly and I will catch up on reading, writing and a few chores around the house. Tim and I can stay up late chatting and watching movies. This will be like mini "staycation."  Friends will come to visit and I will cook a few big meals that we can munch on thorough the week  and we will just sit back and rest, both of need to rest, this is going to be perfect.

Well, I wasn't entirely wrong…

 I am doing more writing, I am actually reading a fiction book for pleasure. (I am only on page 100 after 3 days… are you starting to see where this going?)  Tim is resting, and resting and resting.  He's too tired to even finish a 30 minute sitcom- so no movies.  We are having trouble getting the pain under control so I am setting an alarm for every 4 hours (yes, 24 hours a day) to make sure we keep his medication at the correct level to keep him comfortable.  So as you can imagine all these meds make late night conversations very one sided, I do get the best answers this way!

We do have friends and family dropping by to visit, bringing us food and keeping me balanced!  I am thankful for this because the homemade meatballs I planned to make Friday are just now (9PM Tuesday) simmering in the pot!  It seems just as I begin a task for the house or myself I need to be nurse. As I am working as a nurse I am not being an empathetic wife and as I work to be more of an empathetic wife I am acting like  I am his mom.  Where is the balance in making sure he is doing what he needs to heal and allowing him to have his independence and showing empathy?  I feel like the only approach I have is tough love.

I don't mean to be motherly or strict on him, it's just so difficult to see your anchor down when you both want him to be up on deck.  Maybe this isn't tough love or motherly maybe it's just necessary to bring him back to better than he was prior to surgery.

Working to find the balance~ taking each day slowly and lovingly.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Slice of Life~ My Lost Love 24/31

I can't believe we are already on the 24th day of the 31 day writing challenge.  My gratitude to the team  at Two Writing Teachers for hosting. 

I just LOVE a trip to the office supply store, or at least I did. All the pens, notebooks, post-it-notes, and organizational tools fill my head with endless possibilities. I could spend hours browsing the aisles of any office supply store. With each aisle I find another item that I didn't even know existed and now MUST HAVE!

A few weeks ago my class asked me for a large plastic envelope type tool to hold math tools.  So after school I headed to the nearest office supply store and browsed the aisles for just the plastic pocket.  First I went to the aisle where I expected to find the type of tool my kids were requesting.  I quickly found a plastic envelop and then decided to browse the other aisles.

For the first time it really was a quick browse.  Everything I saw that I would have once tossed in my cart didn't seem to appealing.  I kept thinking, I use Evernote for that or I can do that on my iPad. Don't get me wrong I still find myself reaching for a pen and paper every once in a while and probably always will, but there's something about having everything all in one place and usually only an arms reach away, no matter where I am.

Today I sat with a school supply catalog searching the catalog for classroom supplies for next year. again, I found myself moving quickly and not even tempted to linger.  Maybe technology has crept into my life in more ways than I realized, but my iPad will never capture the heavenly smell of a office supply store!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Slice of Life 22/30 I Got You Babe!

I have been falling a little behind in reading and commenting lately. So tonight I decided I wouldn't write, I would read and comment. I read lots and left several comments then I stumbled onto to a post at Merely Day by Day that really made me pause and remember my childhood obsession, Sonny and Cher!

I had every album, magazine, 45 and poster ever made with Sonny and Cher!
I would spend hours combing through photos, watching The Sony and Cher Show and even writing fan letters to the duo!  My parents saw my obsession and gave it their blessing!

I will always remember the year Sonny and Cher came to the state fair. My dad dropped me and my mom off at 630 in morning
for an afternoon concert! My mom tried to work her magic and get me a backstage peek. We never got our behind the scenes peek but I KNOW Sony was signing right at ME for the entire concert.

After the concert my mom pulled out her sewing machine and made me a costume just like one of Cher's.  I remember wearing this costume, holding a Lincoln Log (with yarn attached for the cord) as a microphone and singing at the top of my lungs!  I had the hair flip,  the wrist drop and the lick of the lips down to an art, I was CHER!

I miss these simple days for myself and Sony and Cher, I cried when they divorced, but I will always have fond memories of those days pouring over magazines and belting out I Got You Babe!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Slice of Life Day 21

Tonight my life seems just right, sigh! My family is on the mend, my class is on spring break! Time for all to rest, reenergize.

Someone just seems to know
when we need rest
when we need a hug

Someone just seems to know
when we need a quick chat
when we need CANDY

Someone just seems to be right there
ready to lend a hand
ready to offer kind words
to offer just what I need

                                                                               I don't know how you know
                                                                               but I am sure glad you do!

Thanks to the teachers of Two Writing Teachers for letting me play, take risk and have fun! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Class Room Rocks Star(s)

My class is full of amazing kids!  I have been out the last few days for my husband's back surgery. During my absence I have been blessed with guest teachers and an AMAZING team of first grade teachers that have all worked hard to help make sure the kids have what they need. My amazing team could be an entire post alone, but not today, today is about the kids!

Today I returned to my classroom to teach! I can't even tell you how great it felt to be back in our classroom. I looked around and found many little things out of place. Typically this is a button pusher for me. The kids know the routine and they know they should take care of our space. 

As I looked around and I could tell who had been where, what they were working on and how they were making the best of different situation. It was clear the kids had been working to solve their own problems and they did!  Things weren't actually out of place; they were where the kids needed them.

Later as the kids came in I heard a few of the cutest greetings, "You look different Mrs. Frazier, I haven't seen you in so long."  "I got you a card, I am glad I did, you need one."  "I made one for you too, it’s still at home." "Yeah, me too" (don't you love that one!) and I received a hug that must have lasted 30 seconds! I was a rock star! I hope the kids really know I needed to see them more than they needed to see me, they are the true rock stars! 

As we gathered together on the carpet, they shared their last days in the classroom and I shared my days out of the room.  We looked at our Slice Of Life post and talked about our lunch tomorrow. Everything was as it should be, talking sharing and planning together. 

Then M a super sweet young man raised his hand to share he would be out tomorrow because his family is heading to Disney!  The class oohed, and ahhed, 20 voices all clamored together to share their own Disney dreams. M waited patiently and then politely said,  "I won't be here for the slice lunch." Fast-forward a few hours (9 hours actually). M's mom emailed me to say M would LOVE to Skype in on our lunch! How sweet is this? Our SOL lunch is so important he wants to Skype in on his drive to Disney! 
Keeping my hopes high for a solid connection! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Taking Turns, Sharing & NO THANK YOU!

Taking Turns, Sharing-NO THANK YOU!

My turn-
Stomach flu

My husbands turn-
Back surgery
He wins!

My oldest daughter's turn-
Asthma complications

My youngest daughter's turn-
Stomach Flu

      NO turns, NO sharing, NO Thank You!

It's all true inspiration in just the past 5 days!
We have all had our turn with the drama ~
                                                         and I say NO MORE!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Helplessly Waiting


The door creeks
Then closes gently
It wasn’t for me

The phone rings
Doctors walk past
It wasn’t for me

Near by conversations
And mumbled prayers
Not meant for me

Random day-time TV shows
To ease the wait

Magazines scattered
To ease the wait

The hours pass
TV gets louder
Conversations fade
The room grows cold

Waiting, praying, helpless

Today's post is inspired by waiting in the surgery recovery room. Waiting to here the outcome of surgery is a helpless feeling. My husband has been enduring back pain for over a year. Despite his many attempts to decrease or rid himself of this pain here I sit, praying and waiting for the day he renters his pain free life! 

Please excuse my novice attempt at poetry, just seemed to fit the way I feeling today. I hope tomorrow's post will be about the successes of today! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

SOL Day 15/31~Family Weekend

This weekend has been reserved for family! Sadly our college girl heads back to campus Monday and my husband Tim will undergo back surgery.  Knowing the upcoming week(s) will be difficult on us all we have all locked down our calendars for family only! 

So what fantastic things do we have planned?  Nothing!  Yep, I said nothing!  We are playing it by ear, hanging out and just being together. Today started out as we watched as Livi walk in the St. Patrick's Day parade with her dance studio. After the parade we stopped by to visit Grammy and Papaw and then headed out to lunch. After lunch we went home and started cleaning! 

Yep, our exciting, play-it-by ear day led us to cleaning. We cleaned the house (the key word here is WE)!  Working as a team and conquering the enormity of cleaning the house (which seems to grow the minute you take out the cleaning bucket) seemed like what this family needed to do on family weekend.  Is it possible we are all nesting in preparation for the weeks to come?

Of course, we were all to tired to cook after all this collaborative cleaning so we headed to favorite restaurant downtown.  We have eaten at this restaurant many times and it's always been great. Tonight was especially nice.  We lucked into a window table!  I just love a window seat and this table was in a corner of windows! The neighborhood was busy, the local homes were gorgeous, and the coming and going of the customers along with the basketball game on the TV kept this family lively in conversation and enjoyment. 

Now that we are settling in for the night in a fresh house, with clean laundry and new sheets we can wait to see what tomorrow holds!  Lets hope something more fun seeps into our day tomorrow! (*Smiling*) 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Daughter I See SOL Day 14

Some traditions with our children never go away, they may change along the way, but thank goodness they don't go away.  One tradition that my girls and I shared was a conversation journal.  The conversational journal was a special tradition between my girls and me.  I started these journals with each of girls when they were in first grade. The thought was this would be a good writing strategy to build writing skills and we would just have fun!  

The way the journal worked was whoever had the journal would write to the other. Once you had written your message the journal was then placed on the pillow of the other.  I always loved coming to bed at night to find the journal on my pillow. The original notes were filled with hearts, rainbows and I Love Yous! It was always gushing love of the other and wishing the other more rainbows, and hearts and XOXO's.  These were the easy days, days when the hard part of parenting was the physical exhaustion. 

Fast-forward about ten years.  The conversation journals have been replaced with hours of homework, hours at the dance studio where she pours out her passion and erases the pressure of the day, occasional table chats and text messages.  Text messages and table chats  keep us connected and are still filled with I love you and XOXO's, but they aren't regular and they don't great me as my head meets the pillow.  These are the challenging days of being a parent, it's disjointed, it's emotional. 

Just the other night Livi, left me a note on my pillow. This note was there as I my head hit the pillow and it came from Livi's heart, it contained an I love you, but something had changed.  Unlike the rainbows and the XOXO's this note was filled with self doubt and an apology for not being smarter in school and warning me that her life would be less than desirable because of her academic performance. 

Livi is an amazing young woman! She dances about 15 hours a week, assist her teachers at school, works with her dance company to provide community service and all along maintains honor roll status each grading period with a schedule full of  honors and AP classes.  Livi measures herself only by academic numbers (that our schools and society give daily). 

She doesn't see what I see-

I see an incredible young woman
    who follows her dreams no matter the cost. 
I see a young woman 
    determined to be independent and strong. 
I see a young woman
    intelligent in ways our schools don't measure.  
I see a young woman confused
    measuring her value in ways that don't count. 
I see a woman with resolve-
    to make a difference in our world. 
I see you my daughter
    creative, beautiful strong and loved. 

Tonight the young woman I see was inducted into the National Honor Society, tonight was the night when others saw what I see. 

Tomorrow night Livi will get this post on her pillow. 

Thank You TWT for hosting this challenge

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Slice-by-Slice Building Writers Day 12

My class and I have slicing for 12 days now and I think it's fair to say we are all obsessed with #SOL14!  Today our class had a guest teacher and tonight I found 11 #SOL14 post! Yesterday, we had only 3 computers in our room and still we had 10 participants!  Our writers are writing in notebooks, on blogs and even in writing folders.

We write versus stories and we write about food, MineCraft, families, vacations, missing teeth, pets and recently I've even seen a few non-fiction stories and poems beginning to emerge.  In our room the #SOL14 is a way to write and write and write and write for an audience. Its a way to put your work out where it can been shared with an audience outside of our classroom and these writers get it, and they L-O-V-E it!  Thanks TWT for hosting this amazing event!  I introduced the challenge to my class with the hope of having a few writers join and increasing their writing and audience. I was happily overwhelmed when 19 of 21 writers jumped on board!

I am learning so much about my students. I am seeing first hand what interest them, what motivates them, what writing tools they have control of in writing.  As I watched my writers write and read their post I noticed the writing they were doing for the challenge was different from the writing I see in the classroom.  I tried to tell myself, they're writing and that's great. I found myself fighting the urge to jump in and nudge them forward, help them write with all the craft and interest they use in the classroom.

Finally, I could resist no more!  I decided to nudge… as our focus lesson in writers workshop I wrote my #SOL14 post on MY KidBlog!  (Yes, so I am participating on THREE LEVELS!)  I showed the writers how I use color, print size and various punctuation choices to add craft and interest.  I showed them how I visit the "Get Inspired" section of the TWT blog for ideas. The writing that has come for these modeled lessons is beginning to emerge and I like what I am seeing!

Jordan- When I Get Freaked Out! (Jordan has posted a video to read his poem to you, a real treat!)
Jonathan- Wiffle Ball

You can visit even more on our blog!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My SOL To Do List Day 11~

AFTER I reluctantly accepted the 30 day writing challenge my friend (and the catalyst behind my membership in this amazing community) Cathy warned me there would be days it would be a challenge to find make the time to write.  I am afraid to say I am feeling this tonight. All day I have been planning a post that I am eager to write, but I have demands tonight that limit my writing time-
3 day lesson plans for  a guest teacher
Comment on student blog post
Analyze assessment data
Write SOL post   (I added this just to cross it off, doesn't that feel good?)

So tonight my post is my TO DO list. Don't let the length of it fool you, I will be up LATE, which begins the cycle of my pervious post about getting out of bed in the morning…such a vicious cycle!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Perspective of TIme

It's funny how little bits of this and little bits of that all come together and change your perspective.  My post today is inspired by Elisa's comment on Just Like That, Morning Routines and @CathyMere's more recent post, Sacred Time

In my post, Just Like That, Morning Routines I belabored my ability to pull myself from the bed. This was a fun post to write, but as @terjeakka commented, it isn't fun in the morning. Getting up really is my biggest challenge of the day, and not just on cold days or school days but on all days.

As I read the comments that were posted on my blog I realized many readers had difficulty getting out of bed with the colder weather. This made me pause to consider my challenge. Was it the cold weather? Well, that would make this problem temporary and out of my control. Whew, that would be easy! Then there was this comment from Elisa~

Elisa made me think about why I am having so much trouble getting up and just how much time I really need to get ready in the morning.  Maybe I am allowing myself this lazy morning because I can. These thoughts swirled in my head throughout the week as I lay in bed, snoozing through alarms and reading social networks the problem was acknowledged, it didn't go away and I knew I wasn't alone in this sleep vs. the alarm clock challenge. 

Then, just like that, Friday I got after only 2 snooze cycles (20 minutes) and got ready for the day. Surprisingly, I found myself ready to go in about 30 minutes.  I went downstairs to feed the cat, grab my bag and jump in the car. Then it hit me, I have a few minutes here, I COULD sit down at my island and have breakfast! I am a BIG breakfast eater and my obsession with the snooze button has limited breakfast to weekends only. 

I pulled out my favorite breakfast food, poured myself a glass of milk, pulled my iPad close and sat down at the island. I sat for a minute I looked out the window; I talked to my cat, thought about my days and browsed a few blogs. Was this the quiet before the storm? As I headed for the door I felt balanced, taken care of and ready for 21 first graders and all they could throw my way. 

As the day began the challenges stared coming my way,  I maneuvered smoothly through and around them all.  It's funny how these short 10 minutes (one snooze cycle) gave me the gift of time. Time to balance myself for the day, time to be alone with my thoughts and time to be ready for my day. 

This weekend reading @Cathy Mere’s post, Sacred Time I reflected on how that one morning had come to be. 

Was the time important enough that I had made the time, hitting snooze a few less times?  Was it this wonderful community of writers helping me know I am not alone?  Was it a fluke, to not be repeated?  As I weigh the possibilities that made this time available to me I know I do have the power to find more wonderful mornings just like Friday.  Today was close, but tomorrow will be better. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How do you Write? Bravely and with Reckless Passion SOL Day 8/31

Today's post actually started in 10th grade Creative Writing Class.  I have always loved to write, but typically if I wrote anything I just kept it somewhere, who knows where, but I definitely did not share my writing.  I remember when I discovered the joy and passion of writing in my Creative Writing Class.  Of course at that age I was a lovesick poet.  I wrote poetry about love and jealously and thought I was a rock star poet.  Fast forward to my sophomore year in college when my English professor called  me into his office.  I was anxious to see why he had called me to his sanctimonious office (I went to a private Catholic school no tone or sarcasm implied here).  As I walked into his office, he held my paper out to me, my first college paper, and then he  abruptly said "Miss you have a lovely voice but your writing is littered with grammatical errors." OUCH!  As desperately as I tried to hang on to the "lovely voice" piece of this encounter it was lost in his final word- LITTERED.

I tried to continue putting my thoughts and feelings into print, but the reckless abandon that had once allowed my passion to spill out of me and on the page was lost. I was now paused with worries of commas, fragments and run-on sentences.  My enjoyment of writing had turned to angst. The power words have over us is untouchable.These words had scared my core and halted my writing all together.

It wasn't until @CathyMere of Merely Day by Day and Reflect and Refine nudged me ever so gently to start blogging that I was able to rediscover the passion I once felt for writing.  I have tremendous respect for Cathy and this community of writers, your nudges, questions and comments have helped me rediscover the passion and connections between words and paper.  I still have trepidations about commas,  run on sentences and fragments, but I forge on because this writing community is safe, this community of writers and readers read deeper than grammar mishaps and read for message.  I don't know the words to assemble here to thank Cathy for what she has given back to me or the readers who so kindly look past the mishaps of blog writing, but I hope you know I now sit down to write with passion and much less worry.
   Although, worry will always be there, words are forever.

So when Trish of Today I Love asked "How do you Write?" I answer~ bravely and with reckless passion. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Moms Happy Heart~ Celebrating a Slice of Life Day 8

Each week I join Ruth Ayres for her #Celebratelu.  Check out all of the posts linked up on her blog HERE

Slice of Life is sponsored on Tuesdays by Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March I have been posting a slice each day on our blog. I have enjoyed writing each day and I love the way my writing surprises me! 

Today I am taking a liberty to Celebrate and Slice in this post~ 

Today's celebration is sweet and simple, I don't want to take the chance of of allowing my words to take away from the celebration.  My youngest daughter is a young 17, she has been in the "Mom you're embarrassing me stage." You know, the one you dread, the one that makes you beg for even a hug. Well, I say has been because recently I have witnessed a  few glimmers of hope that this dreaded phase is over! 

Amidst the hints of this stage coming to pass was last nights encounter. I went in to say good night and force  give her a hug. When I entered her room she was laying on her bed, I bent down to say goodnight and give her a hug. As we hugged she said, "I love you mommy, I know I don't always act like it and sometimes you wonder , but I do, I love you and I appreciate all you do for me."  

With this I went to bed with a happy heart….

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ice Cream, It's As if We're Attached~ SOL Day 7

My first love...
Ice cream was there when I was young
The perfect way to cool down a summer day.
As I grew in age my love of ice cream grew.
Soon we weren't  just meeting at the end of meals or on hot days
we had reached a new level.
We were now meeting between meals and on cold days. 
Ice Cream and I realized we were more than food and consumer 
And we were OK with that.
As my life continued on the path into adulthood ice cream stood there beside me, as if it were actually   somehow apart of me! 
Ice cream was a constant, always ready to host a social event, close and meal or commentate a special memory. 
Of course ice cream and I will also have our between meals drop ins-
Some relationships just run deep like that, almost as if you are apart of each other.  

As I accepted this 30 day writing challenge my friend Cathy said there would be post(s) you really hope no one reads—This is it, the post I hope no one reads. I created this post on my iPhone, driving home from an ice cream trip with my family. This time ice cream and I got together to celebrate my daughter being home from college for spring break. There's always a reason for ice cream! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Jr. High Devils~ SOL Day 6

This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. Each day for the month of March I will write about a slice of my life. My first graders are also participating!

This Slice of Life was born back in the days before caller id, when phones were still connected to walls, when teens ran like lighting to answer a ringing phone and then spent HOURS TALKING on the phone. Remember those days? Where they've gone I am not sure, but I do know they have left an imprint on my life. 

Step back into this memory with me. I was spending the night with one of my best friends, Sue. We were sitting in her room talking, dreaming and scheming. Sue and I were good at scheming and quite proud of our skills, (just ask our middle school counselor who fondly referred to us as the "Jr. High Devils")! Well, this night was one for the history books.

Sue and I sat in her bedroom talking about all the things young teen girls do and we planned prank calls for our entertainment.  We loved to call neighbors and ask to borrow bullion cubes, ask for Prince Albert in a can and our all time favorite, Is your refrigerator running… you know that one I am sure. Of course, we called cute boys just too hear their voices and then we  "pretended we had the wrong number."  We were the MASTER of the prank call and all our friends knew just how good we were, we were legendary! 

So this particular night we called Pam (the third of the Jr. High Devils). We knew she would know it was us, this would just be our "warm up" call for the night. 


       "Hi! This is Carol Dempsey from WNCI Radio and if you can tell me the phrase
that pays YOU win the new FRAMPTON COMES LIVE album!" pause… (Sue and I are holding back bust-a-gut giggles-)

     "Oh, Oh, WNCI means more music!" Pam screams eagerly back into the phone! 

  What!!! Did she really believe we were Carol Dempsey? Pam didn't recognize my voice? No way! We talked on the phone all the time! Are we that good that we could fool our best friend? 
     "OK, please stay on the line so we can get your information and we will get the album out to you." Carol replied.

Pause…control laughter…stay in character...

    "OK, I am ready can I get your first and last name, OK good, your street address...  your zip code? Great we will have this out to you as soon as possible! Congratulations and thanks for listening!"  Sue and I are laughing so hard Sue is snorting and I am crying! Did poor Pam really think she had won?  She couldn't have? She knows us!

Wow! Sue and I had reached an all time level of THE MASTER PRANK CALL!  Monday at school Pam shared her "great news" with everyone, Sue and I stood backed and watched. Finally, we pulled Pam aside, we couldn't let our best friend go on anymore, we had to come clean and confess our prank. Pam listened, but held strong, she HAD talked to Carol Dempsey and she had WON the album. 

Jump ahead to Pam's 40th birthday… Guess who was there… CAROL DEMPSEY (AKA as me and Sue!) with Pam's album, Frampton Comes LIve! Sue and I took the microphone and reenacted the infamous call and then presented our dear sweet friend with the Frampton Comes Live album! The hugs and tears that followed were intense; if I pause I can still feel the pressure and warmth of those hugs, hugs that marked 25 years of friendship. 

Sue and Pam and I are still close friends! We have known each other since jr. high and when we start chatting about old times or our lives today that connection is still there, it always will be! 

Love ya both!