Saturday Sharing…

So things have been lazy around the ole MR homestead. Two snow storms, a car accident, syllabizing for the three classes I am teaching this upcoming semester and just hanging out with my baby girls. It sounds busy, but it has been a slow and steady (even lazy sometimes) pace.

I did get in a car accident but I am okay. Grateful because it could have been much worse than it was. We have spent most days trying to figure out if our car is worth repair or if I am due a new one. But sounds like it is worth more fixed and then we will do a trade in. I dread  a car payment again, but I am taking the accident, the multiple small car issues as a sign it is probably just time for something a little more reliable given my drive to work.

Movie Sharing….

So MJ and I went to the movie last night. I am such a sucker for Judd Apatow and his movies. I love Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy and these two kill it in this movie. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. The outtakes at the end of the movie were so worth sticking around for. MJ and I laughed most of the way home courtesy of MM. So anyway…Here is the trailer. I wish I could say I couldn’t relate but I so can. There are parts of this I am quite sure came from my marriage.


And this is Melissa McCarthy Clip…another movie MJ and I giggle about still.

And the girls and I want to go see Parental Guidance with Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. We have made our way to the movies a bit more since I got a job. Although, we have a a movie theatre in the little town by us that is cheap. That is kinda nice!

Recipe Sharing…

Today on Food Network there is what Pioneer Woman dubbed a PW block. A short mini marathon I call it. The breakfast episode has me hungry and googling her recipes. The first was her iced coffee. And you know what MJ makes a stellar iced coffee. I don’t drink it all that often but whenever I am at her house I kindly ask for it. And PW’s Eggs Benedict.Something I know I would just love, but I have never made. I may just have to try it soon! And her breakfast burritos to go. NOM NOM! I don’t make all that many recipe’s of PW, but she certainly inspires me to cook which my family enjoys.

And lastly, my favorite potato soup recipe is this one. I was thinking of it cause my mother in law was asking me about it. And because I cannot stand to leave anything alone I change it. I do not throw everything together while the potatoes boil. I saute onion and celery in butter and add then after the potatoes boil I add them to stock and cream cheese stuff. Sot it is more a base. I also don’t add red pepper. Mostly cause my family wouldn’t touch it then.

Germaphobe Sharing…

Found a cool social networking site to add to my germaphobe issues. Also know as sickweather.com. You should go now! They look at your social networking feeds, and illness trends in different areas and keep you aware of what is going on in your area.

It was a bad day.

If you are my facebook friend pass on by. You likely already read this. But I am reposting for two reasons. 1) I didn’t post it here first and it accidentally became a MR post on Facebook and 2) Because I am grading finals like a mad woman. Early college high school teachers have to cram grade….WHAT WHAT? Actually, it will feel good to have it done before the holidays and so when I go back for our teacher day I can work on next semesters classes. Creative Writing, Composition and Success Strategies (part of our FYE).

I apologize for the incredibly long post, but I shut my blog down for a few days. Yesterday was rough for multiple reasons. I sat down to write a status and this is what came. I apologize for it’s length, but I feel better having said it.

Today was a bad day. One of those days that pushes you as a teacher that makes you question why you would put yourself out there in such a vulnerable way. No other career I have had have I literally felt like my heart was on my sleeve for everyone to pick apart as they choose. Most days I shoulder the burden quite well. But yesterday wasn’t one of those days. I found myself questioning my own decision and purpose in this field. And those who are teachers understand exactly what I mean when I say that.

Then during lunch I hear of the horrible tragedy and I just know it is going to be a too much kind of day. At school I can shelter myself and keep busy. But at home I know what awaits me there. Three girls who want to know why. So I came home and waited to see if they knew and thankfully they didn’t. They were full of giggles and bickering. “Momma, can we please watch the Muppet movie?” Without hesitation I squeak out yes. Buried in a movie versus every news channel running the same feed over and over. A feed I had yet to succumb to.

They are all settled and I do what I do. I turn it on. I take it in the small little five minute segments because I just can’t handle it. It is too easy. I flash to my classroom and my kids. I am touched by the vulnerability of the day I had coupled with the sadness for my unknown fellow teachers.

The bond of education is not all that different than the miscarriage club, mommy club or divorce club. Fill in whatever club you want. We all got a ticket to one or two and we know the kinship that exists there.  But teachers do this thing every day that has us bonding with your children. Spending more time with your children than sometimes we do our own. We often stand in war together against a society of politicians who want to accuse us of not doing enough or not doing it right. We collaborate about ways to help your children learn or be the best student they can be often in a climate that tells us that is just not enough. We have the funniest stories of little Johnies or “Oops I said this.” The feeling I get when your child gets it is not all that different than my own children get it.

Every occupation is rough. Every occupation has it challenges. But what is wrong in a world where a teacher is gunned down in her classroom. A principal and a leader in the school gunned down for no reason. Or in a world where teachers are so fearful for their lives and livelihood?

And we have to question why? I never question what I would do. In fact, this tragedy made me think even harder about how to do what I would do better. I would stand in front of your child and plead for their life. I would comfort your child and try and convince them they would be okay. I kind of do that already every day. But I do ask why?

Is it all for naught? Can I provide more to my field as a researcher, a voice or activist than I can as a teacher? It takes a crazy man shooting up a school for us to realize a teachers value? And even then we question, “Did they let him in?” And what does a glass window and a penetrable door do to stop someone with clear cut intentions to kill? Regardless of who is on the other side of that door? It does absolutely nothing.

I love teaching. I love the rewards of teaching. I don’t love the vulnerability I feel. The ability of knowing how easily it can happen or how easily I am at the mercy of others who it often seems like words count more than my own even though I am the one doing it. Living it. Seeing it. When I say I struggle being vulnerable I mean more than at risk of a masked gunman. I mean what I do is very public and very in the moment. I make 1000 decisions a day I question and reflect on better ways I could have done it.

There are no magical answers here folks. The answer is that we take responsibility for our actions. We teach our kids to take responsibility for theirs. Stand up and realize that education is across the board done by all of us. Not just teachers. We can’t stop what happened yesterday. But we can prevent what will happen tomorrow through education.

“Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” ― Jodi Picoult, Second Glance

It is too much.

Some may wonder why I shut down my blog on Friday. And even I did for a bit. I came home from school and I walked right into my computer and I sat my settings to private. It was an innate act that I did with little thought for the consequences.

I got into bed and pulled the covers over me and cried. I did what most OCD suffers do when they realize sometimes this medical issue overtakes. I gave up. For less than 24 hours I gave into OCD and I realized that I control very little in this life. I can wake up and be a good person and have faith that the people in the world are good people and in a matter of seconds I am reminded that both of those things are in flux constantly. The ebb and flow of anxiety causes me moments where I just gotta be.

Therefore, I shut the blog down because it wasn’t about me. It isn’t about how these types of situations make me suffer from my OCD. I would have given you all a post proclaiming how awful OCD is and it is so hard. And it is. But I will take that any second over what the people of Newtown are going through. The poor parents, the poor teachers and the poor town.

Life is not supposed to happen that way. I know this. I had two perspectives that just placed it a little too close to home. I am a mother and then I am a teacher. It is devestating. The day it happened my students came back from a passing period and said, “Did you see the news?” I had a student teacher in there and my classroom full of students looking for my reaction. They don’t know my OCD and they don’t know my anxiety. I responded no. I googled it. They asked if they could watch the live feeds on their ipads. I said for just a few moments. I needed to process and so did they. We watched it together. We discussed it briefly and  then I ushered them onto other tasks. Not because I am careless or didn’t think they needed to talk. I decided they needed things to be normal.

But how in the world if you are student do you read and hear that a mass murderer gunned down that many small children and their teachers and deal with it? That is not normal! They wanted to know why and there really is no answer. In that moment, I decided they needed me to be consistent. I assured them that they were safe at school and that we all would do our best to take care of them and then we moved on.

I sat at my desk in befuddlement. It was just too much. Normally, the obsessive side of my OCD would have come home and glued myself to both the net and the tv listening and figuring out why. But I just could not. I tried even because that is how I feel back in control in these instances. But this was too much. It is just isn’t possible. Even still over a week later I refuse to even let my thoughts of it come in. I turn the channel, skip the news story and ignore the facts.

It is too much. I am super thankful for my family and friends who called me constantly and reminded me to fight and take my own power back. And thank goodness for my shopping trip with MJ. I was able to keep my focus on what matters and that is my girls, my guy and my students. They need to see me together and strong. But none of it is right!

Thank goodness for Mike Posner who wrote this amazing song. It makes me cry so hard because I could have written it. That is exactly how I feel. I will never regret entering my profession for the fear of this. Ever. Ever.

And it isn’t really a political thing for me. I know how I feel about guns. I know the things I support when it comes to guns. I have no interest in throwing them out there for others to criticize or argue with me. But I do think we have to address some serious issues that we have with guns in the US. I don’t believe these things will completely eradicate this sort of violence. If someone is determined laws won’t stop them. That is why we have prisons. But instead,  I actually think we need to address how mental illness is addressed in our society. Maybe some of that is gendered or in a video game. I don’t know. All I know is we aren’t talking about it enough.

Saturday Sharing….

Sorry guys, I was on hiatus. I was dealing with some huge issues at work. I needed one hundred percent focus on that and my family. So……Here I am.

Last weekend sharing….

mj3So last weekend MommyJargon and I went away for our annual Christmas shopping getaway. We started it last year and continued it this year. Remember I had some long rambley post about my anxiety and the trip. Amazingly, there were none of those issues this year and it really let me let my guard down and relax. Maybe it was because we went to my old stomping grounds and it felt more familiar.

We kind of even went without a real plan of attack. We just decided to get a hotel in this area and shop till we were sick of it there and matriculate out. Well the matriculating did not happen. This mall area is incredible and we didn’t even come close to going to every store we wanted too. And we shopped hard.

But a few of the highlights of our shopping trip were good enough to talk about. First, at Tiffany and Co. a place that had a waiting list for shoppers to talk to their representatives. A list that was carried by a guard at the store and that let us pass by without asking us if we needed added to the list. So I guess they were making assumptions. It was only on our way out a guard recognized MommyJargon’s Detroit Redwings sweatshirt and made small talk.

Then the going rate for normal every day clothes at this mall was 300-400 dollar shirts that I found similar the next day at Kohls for a 10-12 bucks and even cheaper with my 20% coupon. It was neat to see the things and people we saw at this mall. I think at one point MJ said, “This is how the other half lives.” Even the food court was ‘high class’. Not that that is a bad thing. It is just so different than what a normal Indiana mall has. We FRY everything and we don’t serve lentils in a regular rotation.

sammyBut no worries there was plenty of bad food to be had. Especially when we visited the Cheesecake Factory which was straight out of Las Vegas if  you ask me. TALL, GRAND and INDULGENT surroundings. And maybe that is how they are every where. It has been years since I have been to one, but I know I would remember that kind of set up and I completely do not remember that kind of grandness! But the food was so yum! And even if my fries felt a little fancily served I still remember I was a born and breed Hoosier.

A cool store we did find (well there were a few I will share) was Hot Mama. A store we originally passed thinking MATERNITY. But after seeing the mannequins in scantily clad chemises we did a u-turn. Okay not really, we just realized there models were not pregnant. They had some really expensive stuff but their sale rack was fairly awesome! I didn’t buy anything, but I wanted too. I just couldn’t find anything. And then there was Madewell which was an extremely awesome store and pretty much how I dress. I wear fairly muted colors, suttle designs and earthy tones. Plus they had some super cool toys for kids. I did buy something there to stick in the kiddos stockings. 😉  I also think MJ thwarted a shop lifter there. The girl dropped something out of her purse. A purse which I noticed was considerably mj2empty except for rows and rows of earrings, jewelry and bracelets. She dropped a hair thing and MJ gave it back to her. She acted goofy and then abruptly wanted to get out of line and leave. West Elm was a super cool store. Think Crate and Barrel meet and marry Pottery Barn and had a baby. West Elm would be it. It was a fun store, too! And last but not least Urban Outfitters was a super fun store that all kinds of ‘adult’ stuff. And I don’t mean adult like that. I mean adult like bad words, gifts that make you laugh and they had cool hipster clothing. I could have spent hours in that store looking at everything, but it was super packed. And I don’t play well with others so a quick buzz through and a few giggled shared between MJ and I and we moved on vowing to come back at a less busy time.

Food Sharing…

In the face of all that luxury I suppose you can say we found our way back to our roots withmj dinner at Friday’s. Where the food seemed fairly Hoosier like (or American I suppose). We had the most awesome spinach flatbread that was smothered in cheese that I ‘deconstructed’ (MJ’s words all weekend I am a deconstructionist on the food). But the best part of the evening was MJ and I placing mint leaves on our teeth and talking because you gotta be super cool to pull that off and we did. We both  had really good meals here too! I would definitely eat there again. Although our first pick of P.F. Changs was a one and half hour wait.

But I must admit there was nothing better than the breakfast we had the next day at Cafe Patachou and their broken egg sammy was one I have been making at home for years. Who would have thought making a restaurant out of it would work so well?  But it does and they do that by luxurious breakfasts that make you feel comfort and goodness. So much so I served Cafe Patachou sammys for dinner last night at home just to recreate the yumminess! Down to their perfect cinnamon toast. All recipes I will share eventually!

And today I doing Christmas shopping with my guy. Now who wants to venture to guess it will not be as fun as it is with MJ? Who wants to guess how many fights we get into? He is so simplistic in shopping for girls. Just get it and go. I gotta think about present sizes, amounts of money I have spent on each one and proportion it all so it looks equal. He just says, “Are we done?”

__________

Wanna see my other Saturday Sharings? Go here.

Yesterday was a bad day.

One of those days that pushes you as a teacher that makes you question why you would put yourself out there in such a vulnerable way. No other career I have had have I literally felt like my heart was on my sleeve for everyone to pick apart as they choose. Most days I shoulder the burden quite well. But yesterday wasn’t one of those days. I found myself questioning my own decision and purpose in this field. Can I contribute to it when I am literally dealing with the other bullshit of the day? And those who are teachers understand exactly what I mean when I say that.

Then during lunch I hear of the horrible tragedy and I just know it is going to be a too much kind of day. At school I can shelter myself and keep busy. But at home I know what awaits me there. Three girls who want to know why. So I came home and waited to see if they knew and thankfully they didn’t. They were full of giggles and bickering. “Momma, can we please watch the Muppet movie?” Without hesitation I squeak out yes. Buried in a movie versus every news channel running the same feed over and over. A feed I had yet to succumb to.

They are all settled and I do what I do. I turn it on. I take it in the small little five minute segments because I just can’t handle it. It is too easy. I flash to my classroom and my kids. I am touched by the vulnerability of the day I had coupled with the sadness for my unknown fellow teachers.

The bond of education is not all that different than the miscarriage club, mommy club or divorce club. Fill in whatever club you want. We all got a ticket to one or two and we know the kinship that exists there.  But teachers do this thing every day that has us bonding with your children. Spending more time with your children than sometimes we do our own. We often stand in war together against a society of politicians who want to accuse us of not doing enough or not doing it right. We collaborate about ways to help your children learn or be the best student they can be often in a climate that tells us that is just not enough. We have the funniest stories of little Johnies or “Oops I said this.” The feeling I get when your child gets it is not all that different than my own children get it.

Every occupation is rough. Every occupation has it challenges. But what is wrong in a world where a teacher is gunned down in her classroom. A principal and a leader in the school gun down for no reason. Or in a world where teachers are so fearful for their lives and livelihood?

And we have to question why? I never question what I would do. In fact, this tragedy made me think even harder about how to do what I would do better. I would stand in front of your child and plead for their life. I would comfort your child and try and convince them they would be okay. I kind of do that already every day. But I do ask why?

Is it all for naught? Can I provide more to my field as a researcher, a voice or activist than I can as a teacher? It takes a crazy man shooting up a school for us to realize a teachers value? And even then we question, “Did they let him in?” And what does a glass window and a penetrable door do to stop someone with clear cut intentions to kill? Regardless of who is on the other side of that door? It does absolutely nothing.

I love teaching. I love the rewards of teaching. I don’t love the vulnerability I feel. The ability of knowing how easily it can happen or how easily I am at the mercy of others who it often seems like words count more than my own even though I am the one doing it. Living it. Seeing it. When I say I struggle being vulnerable I mean more than at risk of a masked gunman. I mean what I do is very public and very in the moment. I make 1000 decisions a day I question and reflect on better ways I could have done it.

There are no magical answers here folk. The answer is that we take responsibility for our actions. We teach our kids to take responsibility for theirs. Stand up and realize that education is across the board done by all of us. Not just teachers. We can’t stop what happened yesterday. But we can prevent what will happen tomorrow through education.

“Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.”
― Jodi PicoultSecond Glance

 

Songs I kind of love right now.

Makes me swoon a little. Or cry. Take your pick!

This one, the video is a little weird but I love the song. It reminds me of a close friend. I always kind of think of her when hearing this song.

And because I always am good for a Rhianna Song.

And I am always obsessed with a good be-boxer. I seriously love them.

And because I love KARMIN and the message in this song is awesome. She is a mighty fine rapper!

Sausage Rolls

I do believe Sausage Rolls are a Northern Indiana thing. They love their sausage rolls up here. I have lived in Indiana for most of my life minus about 18 months of my life and I never had one or heard of one till I met my guy.

Then when you come up here everyone says of various restaurants, “Oh they have  the best sausage rolls.” And usually they do. I admittedly don’t love sausage. I actually hated it till pregnant with # 3 then I kind of craved it like A LOT and then after she was born I eat it more than I did.

My family loves it. There is one problem with sausage rolls. They are boring. They are just a pizza type dough with pizza sauce and sausage wrapped in a ball of dough. And because I can never leave any recipe along I tinker with my recipes till they are less boring to me.

I made them tonight because they are fairly easy to throw together and I was quite proud of the finished product. And I realized that I basically made a pizza ball. But whatever….they were good. So want me to share the recipe?

Buy the Pillsbury thin crust dough (or whatever you prefer…sometimes I will go all out and do from scratch). Then buy breakfast sausage and squeeze out of casing or break up the patties. I do that because it doesn’t have heat that regular tube (that sounds so gross) of sausage has. Breakfast sausage is usually seasoned with just salt and pepper.

Get one can of Chef Boyardee but mostly because that is a preference of ours. Spoon cooked sausage into dough. Pour preferred amount of pizza sauce on the sausage. Now in a typical sausage roll you would seal that puppy up. In mine, I add whatever we like. Tonight it was just cheese but sometimes we will do mushrooms or pepperoni.

Then seal them and then I butter and sprinkle them with garlic salt and lightly tap Parmesan cheese or pizza cheese on them. Then bake on 375 for 25-30 minutes and eat. I like a little of the warmed sauce on the side. So yummy.

sausagerolls

And if you are as lucky as I am….You have helpers….

IMAG0198IMAG0199Sorry for the blurry shots, they are on my phone.

The Good Stuff Is On the Short List.

The older my girls get the more hesitant I am to share, but that is mostly because it is their stories. Not mine. Sure as her momma I have great power in where this story goes, but I have to remind myself it isn’t my story to change.

# 2 is doing incredibly well but there are just things with her that aren’t what they can and should be at school and we wrestle with fixing it and even questioning if we should. There isn’t a fix and what message is seeking out that fix. Are we trying to change who she is and is meant to be.

Or by giving her the best chance are we providing her with the opportunity to be the best her. I know the answer to that. But therapy is fired back up again and the therapy makes me question every little move I make as a mother.

If I said it this way or did it that way or if I could have handled that better. It is my fault. Oh my god, should I have even had children. I found myself saying, “But I started a new and demanding job” and “But I really want this for myself.” As if I have to validate to some stranger I am allowing to peek into my life for a brief hour and wonder if she is picking apart my family.

And I know better. I have been there. She isn’t doing that. She is listening, she is providing that outside ear with everyone that is on the inside. As I am sitting there the teacher side of me sees her issues so differently. She is a smart kid and struggling with the identity that comes with that. This push and strive for an unattainable perfection. Did I push her there? No. I would take her however she came. But maybe I do? Maybe the tone or the message was received differently by her.

Then I think what I have I been trying to do for the last 11 years of my life? To prove I am better and smarter than what I see in the mirror. I cannot accept my hard work or success. I always see the bad or compare myself to someone or something that is honestly incomparable.

At what stage in life do we become comfortable with ourselves? Sure right now I am quite satisfied and comfortable in my skin in certain areas. But in others I feel incredibly weak. Have I been the best mother? Have I been the best academic? Could I have done this better or more differently? I really could go on. But the good stuff…it is on the short list.

I held you in my arms: Just Write.

75435362477956901_BYlNxLAO_cWell we did it again. I saw that moment you recognized you needed to say it. “Mom, I just need a break. Can I take a break?” Our words. Our signal that life just handed you too much and you are gonna crack. I sat back and the momma in me wanted to run. But 18 months of therapy says to wait. But it is hard. I want to fix it right now. I busied myself for a moment or two and then I went back there.

Your sniffles could be heard coming down the hall way and I peek in and see your sad eyes. I want to say words, but they don’t mean much now. So I climb into bed and hold you in my arms. I rub your back and hair, not all that different than my mom did for me. I listen to you cry your eyes and heart out and I want to fix it. But I can’t.

And we have that conversation again that just being you is enough. But I know you don’t hear me. You look in the mirror and see something different than what I see. You see what the cruel girl at school says and you see that score on your test. You see the you compared to everyone else. But it is you doing the comparing and what you see is not near the person that I see.

Those that know you, love you we see the amazingness that is you. The beauty of your 351912441018897_Pr69k8zY_cuniqueness, the smile and the eyes. The sensitive heart that is okay with just fitting in and the one who will eventually know you are a better you than you are at being anyone else.

I can’t make you feel better tonight or even fix it tomorrow. But I can be here and remind you that you are enough. You will always be enough and anyone that treats or tells you different is wrong. Remember tonight, this hug and my reminder that a different you is better than the same old somebody else. ALWAYS!

_____________

Attitude Truly Is Everything.

There are a lot repetitive time mantras in my classroom. My students giggle at them because I say them over and over and over. Some like: Be Open and Be Kind. I refuse to allow them to ever say shut up because it is so degrading sounding. I recently have added “redonkulous” because it is a horrible no good word, right?

But one lesson that I teach with the utmost seriousness is that, “Attitude is everything.” Sure it is always something I felt and believed was important and teach it to my girls. In our home we don’t have lots of whining because I really try and teach them to focus on the good. I just never realized how pivotal it was to me until I was teaching for many long hours.

attitude

But after many bouts of complaining about tests, quizzes and homework or friends, life or even the weather. I realized that attitude is truly what makes a person. People don’t want to be around a negative Nelly. They don’t want to constantly feel like all someone does is complain. As well, positive attitude gets you places. People like to be around positive people.

And we have to ask ourselves why. I am guessing it is mostly because they see the good in the world. They see the good in people. I would like to think I am one of those people. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments (days, hours and weeks) of sheer negativity or that I just get tired of always being so positive. But usually I have found that most of the negative I tend to dwell in are things I cannot change.

quotes-about-attitude-2

For instance, I have to finish school while working full time and being a full time student. I signed a contract that said I would do just that. I hate that it takes away so much from my family and work. But….I cannot change it.

I hate that sometimes my OCD takes over and I turn into OCD MR and she isn’t always fun to deal with. But at least I am good at recognizing it and giving others a heads up. I also know that it is short lived and based in anxiety not reality.

And no this doesn’t mean my life is a bed of roses. I have had crappy things happen to me, around me and I have done crappy things. But I choose to forgive myself, others and the world. That is an attitude. That is a choice and I make it and choose the good.

Not really sure why it felt important to write this but it did. I was in the grocery today and maybe it was the holiday season or just plain ‘wal-mart rudeness’ but I just got to thinking my life is pretty good. I can choose to be grumpy back or I can choose to smile at them and assume that it could help their day.