Thursday, December 18, 2008

I heart Anna Quindlen

I tend to go through periods of literary obsessions... Lately I have been transferring my Hemingway affections over to another of my favorites, Anna Quindlen. I have a journal with inspiring quotes, and it is filled with pages and pages of hers. Here's one:

"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."

Any of you who have been to my home know that my walls need instead to be built-ins... I believe that a home should feel warm and cozy to its inhabitants, and, therefore, should be filled with the things most cherished. For me, it is books. Patrick has actually put me on a "book-buying freeze" in reaction to the "technology freeze" I initiated. But, I digress.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sadness at my second home

To all the Auburn faithful and any real sports fan, watch this video. I LOVE Paul Finebaum. The last line is priceless.

Like so many of my dearest friends, I too "believe in Auburn and love it." I cherish my 5 and a half years there more than many others, but in recent weeks, it has been so sad to be an Auburn Tiger. I love Tommy Tuberville. I love that he believes in Jesus; I love that he wins football games; mostly I love that he is NOT a good ole' boy. But that exception ultimately got him fired.

I hoped and prayed that the Auburn powers that be would redeem themselves and make a good decision regarding our new coach, but the corrupt board of trustees have muddied the waters again. I know nothing about Gene Chizik except for his 5-19 record. I know nothing about Turner Gill except that the Auburn fan base was behind him and he is in a biracial marriage.

There are many issues I could discuss at length here--the corruption of the BOT, the incompetency of Jay Jacobs, to mistreatment of Tommy Tuberville, the horrible timing of it all, the underlying issue (as the media is claiming) of race... I am still getting my thoughts together, so I'll just briefly share my thoughts...

As an Auburn loyal, I am behind Gene Chizik and hope that he has a successful career at Auburn. I am sad, however, in what is being discussed as a result of this decision. What is the saddest (well maybe not, but in my heart it is really sad.) is that none of this would have been discussed had Tuberville not been forced to resign... Jay Jacobs and our BOT looks a-fool.

Racism is such a sad condition. Living in Montgomery brought me face to face with it in a way that I had never before been exposed... I thought that I developed a broader world view there, but with personal case-by-case issues, I have since realized that it is not a black and white issue. Pun intended... What will it take to overcome our biases and truly just love humanity...?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Being Gentle

"Be gentle with yourself," wrote one of my assistant principals in an email to me after I had met with her to talk about the balance of being a working mommy--a balance that she seems to be on her way to mastering. It was one of many encouraging remarks made to me upon my return to the working world. I returned to this world not as the AP3, HONORS2 English teacher who had so proudly left her treasured role for a bit, but rather as a MOMMY who also teaches. I choose to work outside the home, and I value my career-- feeling grateful to be able to contribute to my family while also hopefully touching lives and enriching knowledge. But it is crazy how in a matter of 10 weeks my priorities have changed... and how steadily the tears flowed as I left my little girl in the arms of another that first day.

The challenge I am currently faced with is how do I balance my roles. I love all of them: Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, writer, colleague. I don't know if I can do them all well at the same time, and it makes my perfectionist self a little scared. Scared to fail at any of them. I do believe, though, that if I can figure it out--even just a little bit--I will become a better mother for it.

One of my dilemmas has been the decision about whether to continue nursing. After I got over the trauma of having to cut dairy out of my diet, I decided to keep at it for a bit more--making a deal with myself to take the pressure off and just go feeding by feeding, day by day. With the help of my aforementioned assistant principal setting up a curtained area in her office and my hooter hider*, I am figuring out my pumping schedule. I even am able to take bottles down to the nursery and play with my Addy-girl at breaks during the day--her smile keeps my heart soaring through the rest of my classes.

One of the things I am learning is that I WILL become efficient at managing my time. When I am at work, I will work. When I am with Patrick and Addison, I will play, and laugh, and love fully. When I write, I will write. The rest of my roles, I'll just try to figure out as I take each day one at a time.

My first day back to work was last Wednesday. I completed my 3-day week fairly well, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my weekend. I'm ready for Monday--as ready as I will be. I'm just going to be gentle with myself

*Hooter Hider:

Monday, December 01, 2008


Well, our whirlwind of Thanksgiving festivities is over, and I'm thankful for time spent with family, but I'm also thankful for some quiet days to recoup before I go back to work on Wednesday. I have all sorts of mixed emotions about that, but it will be good to resume life and get on a more routine schedule with my new family. {Plus I'll be supervising a student teacher next semester, so while she teaches my classes, I plan to stop by the Eagle's Nest to check in on my little Addypillar.} Addison turned 2 months old on Thanksgiving Day, and we found out at her appointment that she weighs 10 pounds, 14 ounces which puts her into the 50th percentile for weight, and she is 24.5 inches long which puts her into the 97th percentile for height. She is LONG!

Anyway, we spent Thanksgiving Day at my parents', and with my mom's help, I was able to prepare "dairy free" dressing and sweet potato casserole, giving me my annual feast fix. It was pretty tasty too, and dairy free living is still working out for me and Addison. We enjoyed a day spent with both sets of grandparents and watching the little girls discover each other. Savannah was walking all day, and she LOVED sweet potatoes, emphasized by her pointing and saying "peese" {please} repeatedly. Adorable.

Friday we enjoyed spending the day with P's family in Decatur. There, Addison discovered her cousins Hanna Claire and Haley Beth, but pretty much slept off and on all day being held in everyone's arms.

Saturday we watched the Iron Bowl...

Last night, we closed out our holiday by going to a Jason Mraz show with L and D at the old Ryman Auditorium downtown. He seriously is an incredible performer and entertainer. It was amazing! It was good for Patrick and me to get out and feel "young." :) {I'm closing in on the big 3-0 in a couple of weeks afterall...} Jaydee and Bear kept the girls, and we returned to find them in matching "Life is Good" Love bug pajamas. I'll post that picture soon.

Wednesday it's back to the grind! Be praying for all of us as we adjust...

I'll close with one of my favorite quotes that my friend Micah recently reminded me of:

And by the way, everything in life is worth writing about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. - Sylvia Plath