Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simple Pleasures..

One of our local radio stations does a segment every Thursday morning titled, "Simple Pleasures". People call in and share things that are very small but make a huge impact. Every week I listen to the things people share and think about how blessed I am. This was a huge eye opener today, of all days.
It seems every morning I have been driving to work nearly in tears because of a song or a Christmas miracle that was shared on the radio. This morning? Instead of playing Pity Party of One, I realized I need to count my simple pleasures, especially during a time of year that is so painful because of my father's passing. You see, this will be our first "official" Christmas without my Dad. Last year we were all just in a dark hole and cancelled Christmas. This is also our first family vacation without my dad.
While I've spent many nights anxious about what is to come, I now have a renewed sense of peace. While my dad will not be with us physically, he will be with us in our hearts. A place he will never leave. My family and I are so very fortunate to travel this Christmas to the sunny beaches of Curacao (off the coast of Venezuela, if you're wondering) and we will be together. Together. Something many families cannot do, whether it be due to miles, work commitments, or deployment. We will be together.
And that, my friends, is my simple pleasure. Togetherness.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Little Big Man came in with a new t-shirt today. It was, uh, a little inappropriate.

It said, "I love my wiener" with a picture of a wiener dog. The best part? Trying to explain to him why the shirt was inappropriate. I said something to the effect of, "Your shirt is talking about wiener dogs, but not everyone understands that. Someone might think you're talking about your, uh, well, uh, privates."

When he went to time out (in another room with another adult), he told the adult, "My shirt is appropriate. It's talking about wieners. Your wiener is your private." Yes, he totally meant inappropriate but said it wrong. The adult was all sorts of confused.

Um.. hello? You sent your child in to school with a shirt referencing wieners? Wow. Klassy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

365 days...

One year ago today, I lost my father.

My mom put it well when she commented on Facebook about the things she had learned through this. Besides the crazy emotions, she mentioned the importance of time and compassion for others.

Please take time to tell those you love how much they mean to you. Have compassion for others, as you don't know what they are going through. If anyone would have crossed paths with me today, they may have mistaken my crabby attitude for someone who is just plain rude. Instead, I was having a hard time keeping my emotions in check. But to the cashier who smiled and told me to be blessed, I thank you. Your kind words reminded me to count my blessings. While I can't hug my dad physically, or hear his laugh, I can remember the hugs we shared and the jokes he told.

I am still grieving and will be for some time, but I'm thankful to be surrounded by those who care for me. I'm thankful for a roof over my head and food on the table. I have heat that works and will have a wonderful Christmas. I'm luckier than a lot of people this Christmas because of that.

And because I have a guardian angel looking down on me.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Presents and Sand

My little man was upset today because his dad made him eat broccoli. He was practically devastated his father would make him do something so horrid. I began explaining that it was not corporal punishment, especially because I happen to love broccoli and if someone forced me to eat it, I would happily oblige.

That was when Christmas present ideas began flowing.

"Ms. L, I'm going to buy you broccoli for Christmas because you love it so much. I have $15, how much broccoli can I buy you?"

Um.. that's a whole lotta broccoli, my friend.

"Or, I could buy you a DS game that has puppies instead of shooting. I know you don't like shooting. But you love Zoey, so a puppy game would be cool."

Yeah, well.. I don't have a DS.

"I'll buy you a DS and a puppy game."

And later on? In the middle of math, "I can't skip count by tens when I have sand in my ears! It's impossible!"

Yes, skip counting and other great mathematical endeavors are impossible when sand invades your ears, rendering you unable to complete math tasks.

I LOVE my job.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Or, the story of how a 10 year old has forever changed my outlook on life.
I'm not sure if I've told you all this, but I'm a coach for Girls on the Run (GOTR). GOTR is a program that encourages young ladies in grades 3-5 to believe in themselves, through running. We spend 12 weeks learning about ourselves, others, and our community, while training for a 5K. Each of the girls participates in the 5K with a running buddy- an adult who completes the 3.1 miles by their side.

Enter "Jill". Jill is a 5th grader who is very overweight. She signed up because "why not?" (her words, not mine). Her family encouraged her, but doubted her ability to actually run the 5K. And I'll be honest, I did, too. In practice, she worked to the best of her ability, but never could run a whole lot. She encouraged her teammates, but always doubted herself. If one of the other girls spoke poorly about themselves, she was the first to give that girl a compliment. She believed in everyone but herself.

Today? She completed a 5K. It wasn't pretty. There were tears. We walked, walked, and walked. It was blood, sweat, and tears for every inch of those 3.1 miles. At mile one, I was full of doubt. I couldn't see any other girls and I knew we were headed for dead last. At the first water station, we started to see the front of the pack. They were minutes away from finishing. We were MILES away from finishing. At mile 2, we didn't see anyone except race volunteers. At mile 2.5, one person asked us if we were the last ones out there. We were. But we weren't going to stop. At mile 3, she asked me what the point was in finishing because no one would be at the finish line, we were the last ones out there. She cried for a moment and asked to stop. She told me she couldn't do it.

But SHE did it. SHE finished.


I am forever changed by the courage it took for Jill to finish that 5K. She could have given up. But she didn't.

She finished that race, and changed my life.