Friday, February 24, 2012

Growing into a Man

I remember the day he was born like it was just yesterday. How Mark and I parked WAY out in the Kmart parking lot and walked and walked around trying to get something going even though he wasn't due for 2 more weeks. How we went home and I kinda, sorta thought maybe I had a slow leak of amniotic fluid. So we drove to the hospital in Fortuna... I didn't think it was the real thing... just something to kill time on a sunny, January day while we were waiting for the due date. But when I got up out of the car, my water broke and my stomach lurched as I realized that I was actually going to deliver a child sometime soon. We hadn't even brought along the suitcase... The suitcase wasn't even fully packed... so Mark left me, with my heart pounding, and my insides quivering, and drove back home to get everything. I felt the first of those labor pains in a state of panic, shocked by how much they actually hurt. And after 18 long hours he finally arrived. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life up to that point. And as soon as I looked into his dark, blue eyes, I knew it was worth it. As a mother, I have had more of these moments of stark panic... unsure if I was doing the right thing, but he has always been easy to parent... we grew into this together. And Mark has always been a steadfast support, partner and Dad.
Now, it's been 20 years since that day, and we've watched him grow into a man. He is tall. He goes to college and works. He is kind, patient, loyal and hardworking. He is slow to anger. He is all the things I could have dreamed. Someday soon he will leave our house and venture out to create his own home. And even thought this day looms nearer each moment, I have left behind the feelings of panic. He will be OK.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Confessions of a true procrastinator....

1. I really need to post about "the boy" 's birthday... He turned 20 on January 21st.
2. I still (I know, I know, it's hard to believe) have a Christmas tree in my spare bedroom. The decorations are off of it and the blinds are closed so the neighbors don't know, but it's still standing... on February 4th. Yikes! That's gotta be some kind of record.
3. I have about a hundred pictures on my camera to upload from January.
4. I have about a thousand pictures on my computer to get printed... well, they need to be edited first... do you all remember how I feel about editing photos? Also I have these Costco certificates (2 of them actually) for one hundred free photos that I want to use. I wonder if they have an expiration date?
5. I haven't started my classroom memory books yet. I was planning on using the week off in February to get caught up, but now Mark and I are planning to go on a little trip. I am not sure how I will ever catch up!
6. I volunteered to be the creator of my school's yearbook at the last staff meeting. Even as the words were coming out of my mouth, I was thinking, "ARE YOU CRAZY?... YOU BARELY HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO GET YOUR CLASSROOM READY... YOU SHOULDN'T BE ADDING ANOTHER RESPONSIBILITY." But now I am committed. It doesn't look too complicated. Certainly less work than the memory books.

Wish me luck!!
Love, Nancy

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birthday Wishes

Thursday was Kyla's 18th birthday. The day I had been dreading since she proclaimed her intention to move out and try life on her own. We planned a little party for her with family and a few of her friends. A pizza party, just like she had for her first birthday. On Saturday I was sitting right here on my computer checking my email when Kyla came down from her room and said to me,
"How are you doing?"
"I'm OK." I said. "I am pretty sad about how the Saints lost their game to those awful 49ers."
"Well," she said, "Maybe I can cheer you up. I decided not to move out. I think I am just not ready to be on my own."
At those words my heart soared. I jumped up and hugged her and couldn't stop smiling. I actually was torn between dropping to my knees to pray in thanksgiving to God and jumping around hooting and hollering like a crazy person. So much weight and worry was lifted from me.
So on Thursday we had the little party. I made white cupcakes with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting with a fresh raspberry on top. We ate pizza and visited and she opened her presents... a pair of Bailey Button Uggs from us and money from everyone else.
And it just feels so wonderful to know that for now she still lives here with us where we can see her sweet face every day. Where I can hear about her day and ask about her classes. Where I can barge into her room to look for my tweezers or hairspray that have gone missing from my drawer. Where she can tell me about the rude mom who yelled at the girl at work because she couldn't set up early for her kid's birthday party. Where I can read over her debate text and give her advice on it even if it irritates her. Where I can hug her.
I am so thankful for having the gift of being the mom to this stubborn, beautiful, independent 18 year old girl. And, I wish for her every happiness that the world can bring. I want her restless heart to travel to far away places and meet new people. I want her to find a career that she is passionate about. I want her to fall in love with a man who she can build a life with... one who is loyal and caring and makes her heart go pitter patter after 20 years of marriage. I want her to experience the wonder of being a mother.. to have her heart broken open by that love so pure it can endure almost anything. And, most of all, I want her to understand, down deep in her heart, that all of these wonderful gifts were given to her by God who loves her so perfectly that she does not have to hide any part of herself from him... God who knows everything about her and thinks she is a perfect part of His creation... God who sent his Son to die for her so that all of her mistakes would be washed away... God who would have done that for her even if she was the only human to need it.
Happy Birthday, sweet Kyla. Thank you for making our family complete and bring such joy to us. We are so proud to be your parents.
Love, Mama

Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy New Year!

There is so much going on already in 2012. Despite my depressing post from last month, things are going fairly well. I had a nice Christmas. I enjoyed a great staff party, fun family events and some much needed visits from out of town friends. I did not get half of what I expected to get done over the break, but for me that is pretty typical.

I did get to pick up my giant red Zen Bowl from Fire and Light before Christmas. I really love, love, love it. I tried it here on the coffee table for awhile, but now it is hanging out on the dining room table. Yay!

I had a pretty eventful "back to school" week with a new student moving into my class on Wednesday. His behavior has become successively worse each day. Even as a first grader he has been in 3 classrooms, and each move was made because of his behavior. I think he is just testing my limits.... seeing what is OK, what is not.... how much attention he will get, etc. I have been praying as often as possible for insight, wisdom and patience on how to reach him. I really want him to know that I value him. I also want him to know the joy of learning. Right now he is missing that desire to learn. I find it interesting that I just finished reading "A Circle of Children" by Mary MacCracken. It is a biography of a teacher of emotionally disturbed children. Many of her insights have helped me to get through this week. Thank you Mary, and Thank you God for putting that book into my hands at just the right time.

My goals for the weekend are: to take down the Christmas decorations (I took down the ones outside and closed the blinds so my neighbors wouldn't judge me on my late un-decorating)... to get my classroom prepared for a week of fun with first grade... to work out twice... to do the laundry... to rest thoroughly enough to get rid of my tired, old lady eyes and achy head.... to go to church.... to read. (If I get half of that done I'll be happy.)

Wishing you a glorious weekend! Love, Nancy

Friday, December 23, 2011


I remember the year before I was baptized... maybe 1998, advent was the most wonderful of seasons. I was fully engrossed in my classes as a catecumen (sp?) and it was so magical and full of wonder. I was learning so much about myself and God and my relationship to God through Jesus. I was growing as a person, a mom, a wife, a teacher. I was feeling acceptance and love beyond anything I had ever experienced. I was learning to accept and love myself. It was my first year with a teaching job in Kindergarten. I adored my class. I loved my coworkers. There were many complications and some challenges that year, but things just seemed to be coming together.
This year at advent I feel like things are coming apart. I am torn in so many different directions. I am loving my new job, but it is taking up so much of my time. For the two weeks before vacation I was busy from morning to night. I arrived at work by 7:45 and worked at school until 4:30 or 5:00, then came home made dinner and unpacked my bag and worked until 9:30 then looked at the messy kitchen and felt like curling up in a ball and retreating from the world. Then vacation arrived and I started to get caught up again. Then one day my daughter made a poor choice... a very poor choice... and she became grounded for a month in a declaration not spoken by me, a fair consequence, but one I would've liked to discuss. And now chaos has returned. There are angry words and hate-filled looks. Today she announced she will be moving out. She wants to do it immediately, but I have insisted she wait until January 19, when she turns 18. I had been thinking (somewhere in my brain) that I might throw her a surprise party for her birthday this year. Now, I am dreading the date. Will she really go? How will I feel not seeing her each day? How will I sleep at night not knowing where she is or if she's safe?
So in this time of struggle, I turn to the beautiful song that I sang each Sunday in church back in 1998...

For you O Lord, my soul in stillness waits...
Truly my hope is in You.

Please pray for my girl.
Love, Nancy

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kitchen Remodel

After much debating and many trips to local stores and picture surfing on the web... I finally decided what I wanted to do in my kitchen. Last Monday we started with some demolition. Here is the old tile and backsplash during the demo...
The little area of counter that we cleared stayed plywood for a while, then on Friday Mark put it together with the new materials. I picked a yellowish granite tile with lots of brown in it. It's called Giallo Amalfi. For the backsplash I chose recycled granite in the color 'espresso'. Here it is without the grout in it....
Here it is with the grout.....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday... The Thanksgiving Edition

1. This evening as I was facing some unexpected turmoil in my day, I decided to take a few quiet minutes to myself and read the Bible. I picked some quotes used at a retreat I went to a couple of months ago. I read each one (savoring it) until this one stood out to me...

1Thessalonians 5:18-In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I read this over and over, and I pondered it. I took time to give thanks for the person who brought the turmoil... for having them in my life. I took time to give thanks for the love and forgiveness God shows me every day. And I also prayed for the strength to interact with this person gracefully and with love.

I am so thankful for God's Word in my life.

2. I am thankful for a week of rest and catching up and working out and rejuvenation.

3. I am thankful for the little bit of scrapbooking I got done today.

4. I am thankful for finishing the editing of the pictures for my cousin's son's wedding I took in August. It was a late night last night, but I am happy to be finished.

5. I am thankful for the delicious food I will get to eat tomorrow, and for the nourishment I am blessed with each day.

6. I am thankful for the opportunity to remodel my kitchen... to pick for the very first time exactly what I want... just for me.

7. Finally, I am thankful for all of the people in my life... my family, friends, colleagues, students, acquaintences. Each is a blessing to me. If you are reading this, thanks for being YOU!

Love, Nancy