Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cookie Crazy

As previously noted, I volunteered to bake cookies, a lot of cookies, for the math department's "Food For Thought" night.

So this afternoon, after trying to sleep off the tail end (I hope) of my continuing headache, I tackled the looming task of baking for 300 people. It was much easier than I thought, and took MUCH longer than I thought! I started about 3:00, it is now 8:00, and I just pulled the last batch out of the oven.

Total Count: 9 dozen chocolate chip, 6 dozen sugar, 3 dozen M&M

The hardest part was keeping the kids from snitching. There were many offers to taste test each batch. They were begging for me to mess up cookies, I am sure there were secret plots of sabotage.

Thanks to Summer and Jolene, I didn't have to bake ALL the desserts, they offered to pitch in! THANKS!!!

Learned? I think it will be a long time before cookies sound good again. Hmmm, maybe I should power bake more often, then I will eat less of the goods!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lingering Migraine and a Cheese Nut in the Nose

I don't think that I have ever had the headache part of a migraine last so long. I went to work to try and be tough, but eventually left and returned home before 11 today, then continued to sleep for the remainder of the day. I am finally feeling some relief from the headache and only experiencing the disconnectedness that follows, what I call the Migraine Hangover.

Last night, while attempting to be normal, Maddox starts to freak out and says "I got a cheese nut in my nose!" He had been sitting on the couch eating these mini cheese crackers, that he calls "Cheese Nuts". Apparently one got lodged in his nostril, and he was mining to remove it, and in the process gave himself a bloody nose and a panic attack.

After much screaming, and stern "JUST BLOW"s he followed his dad's advice and blew his nose, and like a rocket, out shot the Cheese Nut!

Learned? Another toddler milestone to put down in the record books! (I don't remember Madison EVER doing anything like this!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

*%!@$ Migraine

Why do migraines have to impose them selves upon me at the most inopportune times? I used to get migraines at least once a month. After some changes to my diet and medication I get them less and less frequently.

Today one struck again with the omnious blind spot, numb fingers, nausea, and excruciating pain behind my left eye that invaded the entire left lobe of my brain. I tried to be tough and wait it out till my 2nd period students left -- that turned out to be a mistake, because I wasn't able to get to sleep before the major pain started, which made it very difficult to fall asleep.

Finally, after loosing a whole day, I am able to get up and move around with only a dull pounding behind my eye. I always feel disconnected and fragil after migraines for the rest of the day and most of the following.

What I didn't get done because of my migraine:

*Grade 6th, 7th, and 8th grade papers
*Import grades into Making the Grade
*Upload grades to Parent Bridge
*Plan lessons for tomorrow and Monday
*Teach (I know this sounds silly, but I was looking forward to teaching today, I was gone yesterday at a class!)
*Enjoy the sunny day outside with my kids.

Learned: Go to bed at the FIRST sign of a migraine, don't try and be tough!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Calling ALL Frineds and Family

So, as usual I have over committed myself... Next Tuesday night the Math department at my school is hosting a food for thought night. This is where we provide dinner for families and get them to partner with the school in some way. We are teaching different math games they can do as a family.

In addition to pizza they (the math team) thought about doing desserts-- cookies, brownies, ect. I volunteered to make the desserts so we didn't have to spend money on it and could provide more manipulatives for the families. This was before I was told that there would be about 300 people!!!!

So would any one be willing to donate and bake a dozen (or two) cookies for me that would be so helpful...

You can only guess what I will be doing this weekend!

Learned? Get specifics, Get details BEFORE you commit to something...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why's The Road Bumpy?

As we were leaving my dad's house on Thursday, and we change from the bumpy dirt road to the smooth paved road, Maddox asked, "Mom, why is this road not bumpy like that road?"

The science teacher in me sprang to life - though the answer is fairly simple. "Well Maddox, " I begin, "the bumpy road is a dirt road, and when it rains the dirt turns to squishy mud. When people drive on the squishy mud it makes puddles. Then when the water evaporates, and the mud dries, the puddles become bumps. The paved road is made of hard asphalt, and when it rains the water runs off of it, so it doesn't get bumpy."

The two year old just accepts my explanation with "oh.." And I doubt that he even understood it.

The next morning we wake up to several inches of snow on the ground. As we are driving to take him to my dads he matter of factly tells me, "Grandma Shell's road is going to get bumpy today."

Learned? He is a little sponge, I was amazed that he could transfer the story and apply it to snow and not just rain! Smart little bugger!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You... just not that good.

Thursday night we went out with my brother and his wife Kristen to dinner and a movie. It was quite enjoyable. I don't think the four of us have done that in... maybe forever. Mom and Dan watched the kids for us (THANKS!!) and we headed to Chile's for the greasy appetizer food Kirsten was craving. We saw my friend Allison there celebrating her daughters birthday, (Happy Birthday Eden!). Then we headed to the theater.

The movie had funny bits, but overall I thought it was kind of sad. Nathan summed it up pretty good saying, "They are getting really good at making movies look good in previews."

Friday night we went to my mom and Dan's for Taco Bar, and then went to the Brian Regan show at the Avalon. A whole group of us went: Dan's sister and her husband, Dan's nephew and his wife, Dan's daughter in law (her husband was doing pep band that night), Nate and Kristen, and Art and Rhonda. Mom and Dan were supposed to come but we encountered a dilemma when thinking who could watch all the kids, so they offered to stay home and watch them. Kara, Dan's daughter, was supposed to come, but she is about to hatch a baby and decided it would be safer to stay home -- there is too much empty desert between where she lives and here.

It was quite funny, and the opener for Brian Regan was HILARIOUS!!! Poor Brian (my Brian) had to work the next day, and two late nights made him super exhausted.

Learned? It has been a fun beginning to the weekend! I am looking forward to the rest of it... My kindred spirit, Vycci, is in town and it was Twilight opening weekend since I last saw her. (Way too long)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Plum Spooky!

If you are a Janet Evanovich fan, and have come to love the hilarious conundrums that her characters seem to find them selves in, Plum Spooky does not disappoint! Only Stephanie could get into trouble with monkeys, meet the retired Easter Bunny, invite a fire farting friend to dinner, and save the world from a sycophant trying to take it over, and it not seem the least bit absurd!

I gave this "between the numbers" novel in the Stephanie Plum series a rating of (4). (See side bar for my rating scale)

Learned? I never cease to be amazed at the creativity of the many authors I read. It is one thing to come up with an idea, and a completely different to be able to write a whole novel!

Monday, February 9, 2009


"A dull ache - that try as you might to think it away, to convince yourself that she wasn't really the right [house] for you - just won't leave you in peace."
- Eric Weiner from The Geography of Bliss

Looking back at my whole life I can honestly say that I have no regrets. There have been plenty of mistakes, each of which I have learned a great deal from or in the end have turned out to be tremendous blessings.

I actually used to say the above with absolute certainty, but currently I am experiencing one regret that I just can't seem to shake. I can't reason myself out of it. It consumes my thoughts as I drift off to sleep or in the few moments before I come fully awake.

Lets get one thing out of the way, I am selfish, I know I am selfish. I want it to be all about me all the time. Ironically this regret comes from one of the few moments that I made a completely selfless decision. I chose to put my one greatest, longest lasting desire aside so that my family would be happy. And I now regret it... WOW that sounds so horrible!

So, what is this great regret...

It all starts about 24 years ago. I was almost six, and I loved spending time with my Grandma Barron. Her house was a kids greatest play place. I remember walking through her massive yard and asking the most innocent question, "Grandma, when you die can I have your house?"

My love for her home only grew over the years. Due partly to the growing love for my grandma that only maturity can bring, and partly by the fact that I was able to appreciate the peace and serenity that it exuded.

Years later when I was planning my wedding, the only place that would be perfect enough would be her house, and what a wonderful setting it turned out to be!

A few years later, my grandma decided that the house and yard were too much for her, and she was ready to move to something smaller. After my aunt decided that she did not want to buy the house, the offer was extended to Brian and I. It was an offer that would have, should have, been impossible to pass up.

My dream was coming true, I was going to have the house I had always wanted!

After much discussion with Brian and Madison, it was clear that neither shared this desire with me.

It would require complete remodeling, the yard would require an enormous commitment, the ponds were a hazard to a toddler. We would be married to the house and yard, giving little time for the out door excursions that the family so enjoyed. We would live on the opposite end of town from the schools we wanted Madison to attend. We still had work that needed to be completed on our house before we could sell it. All of this and the fact that Madison and Brian did not want the house made me commit one of my most selfless acts. I decided to put my desire to the side, and choose what my family wanted instead.

We did not buy the house. A few short months later it was sold to a family with 4 children, forever securing the house and I's separation.

As we moved my grandma out of the house, it seemed that I was ok with the decision. That my attachment to it was not really an attachment to the house, but instead an attachment to the memories I had vested in the place. Walking through it empty, if felt different, it felt less desirable.

I have thought that I was really ok with this decision. Until we started looking at houses in the small town where we (all of us) have wanted to live. Any house that is in our price range in that area is one that will require complete remodeling and an enormous commitment to the yard. And they are priced 50,000 more than what we would have bought my grandma's for...

The cocoon that I had hid the regret of not buying my grandma's house in, has been shattered.

The opening quote is from a section where the author is talking about homesickness, and the desire to return home. It fully captures my current state of being. "A dull ache... that just won't leave me in peace."

So how is it that a choice of selflessness could continue to bring me such discontent. Maybe that is the truest form of selflessness. Can a decision truly be considered selfless unless it cost you dearly? If so, how long must I suffer??

Learned? My hope is that sometime in the future I will find myself living in the home that is the dream of my entire family, and I will look back on my selfless decision and be able to say with confidence "I have no regrets."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How Do I Know That He Really Loves Me?

He treks across the frozen waste land, through the winding valleys and summits dangerous mountain peeks, in order to get me what I need. (AKA braves the cold floor of the garage, and the many toys we have crammed in there, to retrieve TP or contact solution at midnight.)

He daringly eats suspicious food to ensure that it is not poisonous, before I even take a bite. (AKA he always offers the better looking, tasting food to me; like this morning his waffle looked better than mine, and he offered to trade me.)

He is able to hold together a super nova just by wrapping his arms around it and holding it tight. (AKA He can calm me from a fit of anxiety, just by encompassing me in his arms.)

He will secretly put my wants and desires above his own.(AKA he will order something from the menu just because I said it sounded good, and am too chicken to try something new, then let me try it, and possibly trade.)

As if all this doesn't prove his love, Yesterday he gave the clothes off his back to protect the life of the woman he loves. (AKA, I forgot my snow pants -again- when we went snowshoeing, he gave me his and hiked through the snow in just a single layer fleece pants.)

Learned? I have some definite ground to cover before I even come close to showing him the same amount of love....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gearing Up For Spring Soccer

Last night Madison had her first soccer practice for the spring season. With only the first night finished, I can clearly remember the race life turns into during soccer, especially the spring season.

This is what my life will look like for the next few months.

Monday Night: GOTR till 5:15
Tuesday Night: Soccer 6-7:15
Wednesday Night: NOTHING :)
Thursday Night: GOTR till 5:15 and Soccer from 6:00-7:15
Friday Night: NOTHING
Saturday: Games at any time from 9-3.

That is just Madison's athletic schedule, she still has homework to do too! Throw in there me needing to run/work out and get dinner made before - or between - practice, AND keep up with all the house work! It puts me on the verge of an anxiety attack just typing it!

Thankfully I have a great husband who will help out, he has offered to take her to soccer practices, which is great since it is still C-O-L-D at that time of day.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is so important for Madison to be active and healthy, so I am not complaining -- really. I just have to mentally prepare for what is ahead.

Learned? It is amazing how much more we seem to be able to cram into an already full day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 3rd? More like April 3rd.

Today I took the day off to take care of Madison, who came home sick from school yesterday. And what a great day to stay home! If felt like spring and it is only the beginning of February.

I thought Madison might be able to go to school today, so I got up at 5:00, did an exercise video, and got ready for work. When she got up, she looked pale and rosy cheeked, and had a fever, so I ran into work to get plans together for a sub.

Once I was finally home we all ran over to the video store and rented some movies, and grabbed a few groceries for lunch. Finally we settled in on the couch, Maddox in my room, and watched a movie. Then we all took a great nap!

When we got up it was absolutely beautiful out side, so the boy and I headed out to do some yard work, while Madison relaxed on the couch. Maddox helped me clean out the flower beds in front (something that needed to be done early fall). It looks so great now. Little tiny green nubs are poking through the dirt, a promise of some beautiful spring flowers.

Then we went and played in the back yard, swinging in the swing, and digging in the sand box. We were able to play in the yard wearing only light jackets till 5:00 when the shadows slid over the fence.

When Brian got home I just couldn't pass up a fair weather run, so I headed out. It was so nice to run outside with out being bundled up and breathing icy air. I got in a great 4 mile run in less than 36 min! Yeah!

Learned? This warm weather makes me eager for spring, but it is awful early to be getting this warm and makes me concerned for our local produce and fruit trees!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shack Pondering 2: Pain

"When all you see is your pain, perhaps then you loose sight of me." God speaking to Mack.

This statement reminds me of the footprints poem that has always seemed way too religious to me.

When I read this it made a lot more sense, and applied to a much larger issue I am having in my life. When life sucks (and lately it seems to suck more than usual) I need to adjust my focus. When I am in the midst of life sucking, I feel like it is a downward spiral, a vortex, or black hole, sucking me further and further. It seems easier to just give up and let it consume me. I feel alone, I feel abandoned by everyone, even myself -- if that is possible. At this point, I have lost sight of God. I have let my focus turn to my own troubles (and the troubles of those I care about). And yes, all I see is how dark and terrible life seems to be.

It is as if this tiny pebble is blocking my view of the rest of the world; though it is so close that I don't see it as a tiny pebble, but a huge mountain. It has caused me to loose sight of God.

The problem is I am in a state of mind right now that I can rationalize and understand all of this, but when that pebble becomes the mountain in my line of sight, none of it makes sense anymore.

Learned? More accurately "Working On:" Remembering that God is still there in the midst of life sucking, and that I can and will escape the black hole, spinning vortex.