Monday, September 25, 2017

People are Surprising

I am constantly amazed by people.  Normally not in a good way.  I get a LOT of emails from parents that think I am little more than a servant.  I get a lot of  "Send home...."  Not a lot of please or thank you.  They ask me to do time intensive tasks, when my day is planned down to the minute.  I don't have time to take an unscheduled potty break, let alone get all the papers together that their student decided to crumple in the backpack and then throw away instead of turning them in.  I'm sorry that your student didn't write down their homework and ripped up the newsletter, but texting me on the weekend because you have my number from church is really not cool.

 Sometimes they are down right rude, but most of the time parents just don't realize that I am BUSY.  I don't always have my papers copied for lessons a week in advance to accommodate their last minute, week long trip to Disneyland.  I don't have time in the week to re-teach every lesson their student missed, no matter how much they think I should.

Today I had the opposite.  It was actually very needed.  I've been feeling down about my job and it was just a happy moment to kind of help me through.  One of my students is the son of one of the Vice Principals at the Junior High.  She met Ethan and Ella at my school after the first day of school and has kind of kept an eye out for them.  Being teenagers, it's probably not their favorite thing, but they think she's nice, and say hi to her.

For back story: Ella is still struggling with anxiety, but for the most part she is managing.  We talk through her anxious moments and try and talk about perspective, but it's still there.  Her big triggers for panic attacks are being late and meeting expectations.  She's been doing really well, and is luckily really good at time management.

Today that was tested.  She was let go from a class late, because a student was giving a presentation.  When she got to her locker, it wouldn't open.  She needed a notebook in it, because the notebook was due for grading.  She zoomed to class, left her backpack hoping the teacher would see she wasn't absent, and went back to try her locker again.

As she struggled with her locker, I'm sure very close to a meltdown, the Vice Principal rounded the corner.  Seeing Ella's distress, she offered to open the locker with her key.  They got the locker open.  She could have stoped there.  She could have sent her on her way, but she went the extra mile.  She walked Ella back to her class so she wouldn't be counted as tardy.

I know this is little.  It's not a big deal to be late one time in your entire school career (because it would be the first time), but to Ella it seems insurmountable.  It would not only ruin her day, but she could end up spiraling, dread a similar thing happening again, and give her self anxiety every single time she has to leave a class and open her locker.

I am so thankful for this mom, who took 2 minutes out of her day to help Ella.  It was 2 minutes for her, but a week saved for us.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Failing Downward

I will never be one of those people that fail upwards.  My mistakes don't make me more endearing and my job will never get better if I do it poorly.  I'm not traditionally "lucky" like my brother-in-law who wins every drawing that he enters.  I won't suddenly have a windfall that solves all my problems or have a million dollar idea after trying for years and failing.

I plod.  I plod like the old farm horse that has been plowing the same field year after year.  Things get very slowly better for us, because we work our tails off.  My students are successful because I work 60-70 hours a week teaching and preparing lessons.  My kids are nice because I have spent years drilling in manners.

Today was one of those hard days.  The type that make you want to move to Australia.  The kind that make you want to quit everything and give up.  I sat here thinking about writing it all out, complaining about how hard it was, yelling at how bad today sucked... but then I thought of a conversation I had yesterday.

I was sitting next to a woman from my ward and I shared a story with her and she told me I needed to write it down in a book of remembrance.  I don't have a book of remembrance so I guess I will write it here.

We were talking about our sons, who are both in young mens.  Ethan is about a year and a half older than her son and was Deacon Quorum president when her son came into young mens.  She said she was so appreciative of Ethan because he came over that Sunday to talk with her son and walk him through all of the things they do.  She said he taught him what to do when passing the Sacrament, and how they do fast offerings.

I laughed and told her about how shy Ethan is.  How it has been physically painful for him, at times, to go out of his comfort zone.  I shared that Eric and I were both worried about how he would handle being president and having to talk and coordinate so much.  We were happy for him, and thought it would be a learning experience.

It was, but for us.  The minute Ethan was set apart he was different.  When it came to his calling he was confident, proactive, and organized.  It was amazing to see the immediate change, and to watch him grow so much in that calling.  He is an amazing young man.

I didn't think about it last night, but my friend from the dance place comes every week to church with her three kids, and her husband isn't there.  I have known he was inactive, and I've admired her for her faith.  What I didn't think about until just now was that Ethan probably filled in, in a place that she needed a little help.  Ethan had Eric to walk him through all that stuff.  I'm proud Ethan was there for her son.

We aren't "lucky."  We won't win the lotto.  But man, we are blessed.

Monday, April 24, 2017


I had a nightmare last night and I wanted to write it down.  I'm not sure why.  No one reads this anymore since I've only written once in almost 2 years, so this is just for me.  I don't want to post it on Facebook and have people commenting on it.  It's too personal, but I do want my grief recorded.  For me, for my kids.

I had one of those horrible dreams last night.  The kind where it feels so real that you would swear it was happening.  Not the floaty feeling, time has no meaning dream, the kind where every minute is accounted for and it is happening in real time.  The kind you wake up from and you don't realize you've been dreaming for several minutes.

I dreamt that a beloved family member was sick and getting sicker.  I dreamt that I couldn't accept that it was real and happening.  I refused to believe that she was just sick and I needed to accept it.  I traced down medical records, interviewed people, contacted the police over and over again, and risked my life in an undercover operation to reveal the culprit.  Things got hairy, but in the end the villain was revealed and taken away into justice.

Walking away from the scene, I ran into my cousin, and bruised and bloodied I was able to tell her I had fixed the problem.  I had found the horrible monster and he wouldn't be poisoning our wonderful family member any more.  We hugged and turned to walk down the street together.

Then I woke up.  I felt elated.  I felt invincible.

Then it hit me.  It was a dream.  I didn't save anyone.  My aunt is still gone.

And I cried.

I cried because I miss her.  I cried because I didn't see her much in her last year because I was always sick from having to work around 8 year olds.  I was mad that I couldn't go to Thanksgiving to see her one more time before things got bad.

I cried for the sound of grief I heard come from my grandpa at her funeral that I will never forget as long as I live.

I cried for my cousins that lost their biggest cheerleader and champion.

I cried that my kids would have so few memories of someone who helped shape me into the responsible hard working person I am, and loved me even when I wasn't.

And I'm still crying.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Daddy Daughter Dance

It's been a weird year.  I will just leave it at that for now.  Here is the Daddy Daughter Dance.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Music Recital

We were lucky enough to find an amazing art center less than 5 minutes from our home. It started when I emailed about dance, and found out they would let the girls join so late in the season. I then found out they offered piano lessons. When we went to our first dance lesson I asked if the owner if she knew of any saxophone teachers. Turns out her daughter just graduated with a Masters in Oboe Performance and was going to start teaching woodwinds. So one-stop shopping for all our art needs. We really like them and are excited we will be able to continue to take advantage of their many offerings (and I'm so relieved I don't have to "break up" with so many teachers at once if I didn't like them!).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Pick(le) Me Up

We've had a crazy week.  I should be posting about everything that has been going on, like moving to a new state, but I have a final tomorrow and I have to pack and sell a time! 

Last time we went to Disneyland Ethan and I were talking in line about random things.  We talked about the "old" movies my parents and aunt and uncle made based on Indiana Jones.  That got us  talking about how funny it would be to make beloved movies (Frozen, Star Wars, etc) entirely out of pickles. 

Even though this is the worst possible week, and we are all super sick, the kids really wanted to make it happen today.  They had spent all day coughing while packing up, so for the last hour of daylight Eric calmly sit and taped them do take after take.  I edited as soon as they were done, and here is the first Picklemation production:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Livi is Thankful

What it says:
I spend Thanksgiving with (picture of our family including Tonks)
My favorite thing to eat at Thanksgiving is: cinnamon rolls and pumpkin squares
Before Dinner we: wash our hands
After dinner, we: watch Doctor Who together (it's a Tardis on the tv)
One tradition my family has is: play together

I am thankful that the things that are important to me I've seemed to successfully instill in my children.  I am thankful there wasn't video games, or yelling, or frowning faces.

Saying Goodbye

I've put off writing about this because it has just been a little too raw. We found out in May that the Bagleys were going to move. Everyone was devastated. It has been a very hard transition. Months later Livi will still break down and cry about missing Carter. Ella seems a little lost with out Maddi in her classroom. They had been in every single class together since preschool. We don't have people to invite over for birthdays, or Thanksgiving. I don't make friends easily and very rarely share my deep emotions with those outside my family and I lost the one person I had here. There are wholes in our hearts, and we are still trying to heal.

Before they left we made sure we got together and spent some quality time playing:


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not Much Dignity Left

While waiting for Ella during her piano lesson I got to talk to several other parents and our teacher's wife.  I mentioned how unhappy I was with my professor's lack of actually teaching, and that I sometimes get a little stressed out doing my homework. 

Livi chimed in, "Mommy cried and yelled and screamed when she did her homework."

Everyone stopped and looked at me.

Thanks Livi.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Keep It Classy Scottsbluff

Thank you random citizen for allowing me the opportunity to explain to my 5 year old why someone would put a picture of a giant naked woman on their truck.  Truly, thank you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Place She'd Rather Be

Eric was here first.  Tonks plopped down and promptly fell asleep.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Break Out The Diamonds, Livi's A Preschool Graduate

The title above refers to the ridiculous tradition here of getting kids gigantic gifts for graduating from the most basic of things. I only saw smaller things like balloons, toys, and candy at this one, but I fully expect bikes and clothes after Kindergarten.
Saying goodbye to Mrs. Freelove.  She moved to Texas just a few weeks later and we miss her!

Livi and Carter.  Looking at these pictures is a little bitter sweet.  The Bagleys have moved to Wyoming and we are all still coping.  Livi and Ella are especially having hard times since they had never been to school without their best friends.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Talent (???????) Show

Every year there has been an end-of-the-year talent show for the K-2 and 3-5 grades. This was the first year any of my kids wanted to participate so I "got" to go. Ella played a very pretty piano piece that she had been working on. It's had to hear since they had the piano facing entirely the wrong direction, and the air was on, but I am so proud of her for going up and performing in front of all her peers! Besides Ella's piano, their friend Leilani's near professional singing, and a few other great performances, most of them where a little...tedious.
Ethan's friend doing what we all wanted to at this point.

Ethan was in the audience silently and immobile-y cheering Ella on.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Feel Like We Are Just Going Around In Circles, or Race Day

Every year the 3-5 grade students have to run in the end of year races against the other elementary schools. Last year was not the most fun time ever since Ethan was at the peak of his asthma problems. This year Ella got to run and Ethan was (is) doing much better. They both ended up getting ribbons and feeling very proud of their accomplishments. Ella got first and Ethan got second in their heats!
Ella on the field hearing the instructions.

Ella with her relay team; Austin, Maddi, Ella and Clara.



Ethan and Elijah waiting their turn.

Ethan at the starting line. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ella Turns 9

Ella and her spoils.

Casey is getting more brazen in his attempts to claim his spot in the family.

We had our end of the year Activity Day gathering at our house where Ella got to hang out with friends and eat junk food while watching a movie.  Fun all around.

The Bagleys were nice enough to come over after to celebrate Ella.

We had a cupcake bar where the kids were able to decorate and pile on as much candy as possible.