Monday, March 31, 2008

BSM: Can You Handle These Truths?

The truth is I am always in too much of a rush to take such an early morning photo.

The truth is I am not certain that I am brave enough to share the above mentioned photo with the world, or honestly even the few people who stop by this blog from time to time.

The truth is I really am more of a morning person, though lately I can NOT seem to rise from my bed as early as I need to in order not to rush every morning.

The truth is I wish I could take a nap every day. (I LOVE to sleep. It could almost count as an illness!)

The truth is I often sleep with the husband and AT LEAST four of our five cats in our bed.

The truth is my pajamas are my most favorite clothes in the world...(baggy, flannel bottoms and any random t-shirt.)

The truth is I just started back to work TODAY after a week of spring break, and I felt depressed and comatose all day.

The truth is I wish summer would start tomorrow, and I did not have to go back to work until August. (This is my LEAST favorite time of year- state mandated standardized testing soon, and then hormonal chaos until we call it officially over for the year around the end of May)

The truth is right now this very minute, I wish I were back on the BEACH with my very best friend in the whole wide world...
If you can handle more truthiness, wander over to
Mother May I and have a look!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Seeing Spring Break 2008

Destin, Florida

Our last glimpse of the churning sea...the constant ebb and flow of tranquility, the soft sinking sand beneath my feet, the cry of the gulls, the chill of the salty breeze, burying our troubles in the sand, one last look with my best friend in the whole wide world...bliss.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

BSM: A Day Early

Note: I am off with my best friend in the whole wide world on our annual spring break excursion (We are heading to Destin, Florida first thing Monday morning), so I am technically posting late Sunday evening...(almost my best shot Monday!)

Easter is such a colorful and vibrant celebration of New Life...and I can not resist little girls in their Sunday best. This is my precious neice, my heart, MEB (pronounced like mee-bee; this is what my mother calls her). She is five, and she steals my heart each and every time I am near her. She does live in the same town as I do, but we are all so busy that I do not spend as much time with her as I would like. I was thrilled that I was able to see her today at my parent's house, as we all gathered there for the traditional family egg hunt and dinner. She makes me laugh; she makes my heart sing, and I am convinced that she will grow up to do something COMPLETELY amazing when she gets big! Just look at those sweet, chubby toes...that is the only thing on her that still says 'baby' to me. Everything else speaks 'big girl' all the way!

Today, the family egg hunt was HILARIOUS, at best! My nephews, MEB's much older brothers, gave her a great competition. (Keep in mind that the oldest is 16, the middle brother is 12, and as I said, she is 5!) They hunted eggs SO FAST that I could barely snap photos, and she managed to keep up with them so well. (By the way, the daughter, at 18, has finally graduated up to helping hide the eggs!LOL) The final score was 31 eggs (16 year old) to 27 eggs (5 year old) to 17 eggs (12 year old). Yes, with this lot EVERYTHING is a competition!

And they are off..."Don't let her knock you down!"

B wants a recount..."How could I have only gotten 17 eggs???"

And the winner is...."No one can compete with the master-egg-finder!!!"

Here's hoping that you had just as much fun with your family this Easter...hoping your weather was perfect and that you were able to laugh, love and celebrate this wonderful life that we are So blessed to live! For more BSM, check out what Tracey has in store for you on Monday!

(OK...have a wonderful week! I will return refreshed and ready to once again face the world after some much needed best friend therapy and some girls-week-out adventure!)

Happy Easter!

He is risen!
Have a wonderful time
with your families today...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Theme Thursday: Self

Freckled face, chubby cheeks, stringy hair, fat girl...

These are the things that I see most immediately in my self...these are the images that I always strive to avoid seeing. However, I have learned in my thirty-six years on this earth that I am so much more than these things...coming to terms with who I am, striving to be comfortable in my own skin, and accepting the blessings that God has given me- these are the lessons that I am learning each and every day.

These are the things that I wish wholeheartedly I could teach my 7th grade girls, my students. I see so much disappointment and sorrow in them at times; in our society we value thin, beautiful, often what we are not- we should be allowed to be REAL, and these girls, like myself, have to work hard to become real in spite of the pressure to be plastic and artificial. I work so hard to instill good self-images in my girls, complimenting them and not allowing them to practice self-loathing...7th grade is the worst though- hormones, emotional roller coasters, peer pressure, ugly and awkward- I see such beauty, such fresh faced honesty...I hope that they do not have to spend thirty-six years to learn the lesson of self-worth!

Thank you, Stacy, for today's most uncomfortable subject, but it allowed me to explore a bit more of myself...for additional thoughts on self, click here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Old Photo Friday: If the girl in this photo could talk...

If the girl in this photo could talk, she would tell you all about her Senior Year:

1989...Big hair, loud music, loads of friends, thoughts of graduation and the coming freedom, Senior English class, a term paper, "Will she pass math?," pep rallies, football Friday nights, sorority sisters, club meetings, community volunteering, loitering in parking lots, Don't worry...Be Happy, hanging out at the Loft, riding with her friend in the old VW, driving like maniacs, hanging out of the window to feel the cool air, listening to live local music, falling in love, feeling exhilaration at the slightest thing...

An unplanned pregnancy, petitioning the board to see if she could stay at school, first pregnant girl in school, maternity clothes rather than the uniform, stares and whispers, doctor's visits, telling her father, feeling like a disappointment, upsetting her oldest brother, who could not have children and had such high hopes for her, not comprehending the emotional and hormonal changes going on, a lifetime of tears in several months, eating for two, learning more and more about the father of her baby, and falling more in love with him each day, drowning in the deep brown pools of his eyes, a "B" on the term paper titled "The Sexual Revolution" (she wrote about what she knew...), surprise baby shower from the girls in her senior class, anticipating the arrival of a new life, a new little person to love, breastfeeding classes and lamaze, not fitting in the desks anymore at school, taking finals at home, not attending prom OR graduation, all of her friends going seperate ways, a rocking chair for a graduation gift, laboring through a 6 1/2 hour delivery, meeting her daughter for the very first time...a changed life.

She would tell you that this was THE BEST YEAR in her life because of what joy it brought...she would laugh and cry at the memory of all of this...she would tell you she still feels stings of shame at how public her mistakes had been, for all the world to see, comment on, and judge...she would say she would NOT CHANGE A THING. She would welcome questions and comments now...She would thank you for allowing her to share such a story!

I know she would tell you all of this, because the girl in that photo is me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thursday Theme: Change

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'..."

"Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a changin'..." - Bob Dylan

(1990) -From chubby baby fingers, stuffed "dummy labbits," frilly dresses, sweet pierced ears, Eskimo kisses, sand box playtime, the innocence of childhood..."I love you to the moon and back again..."

(2007)- To a devilish smile, holding on to secrets, tan lines from spring break, a nose piercing, wisdom beyond years, first love, random snuggles, making art, driving away, the heartbreak of becoming an adult...

The times they are a changin'...checkout other changes here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

BSM: Things that Make Your Heart Hurt

(Disclaimer: This is NOT a photograph that I think will lead me to the Photography Hall of Fame or anything, but this fits Tracey's theme for today so well for me....keep reading, you'll see.)

Tracey wrote the in her post for today..."Just when you think you've hit your stride, one or both of your kids will slide into some new phase and you're caught not not looking and loose your balance. Sometimes you're left reeling only to struggle to regain composure while other times you find yourself flat on your face..."

As a mother, I can not confess the actual number of times when this has happened to me, completely without warning...taken me so off guard and rendered me not only speechless, but also painfully inept. I used to menatally remind myself (as if I'd forgotten or something) that I was an exteremely young mother, and if things went wrong, what did I know?! You can only use that for so many years, and then mothering is supposed to make sense, right? We are supposed to know what to do, how to answer, when to step in, and when to leave it alone...right? Well, I learned long ago, early in my eighteen years as a mother, that there is no survival guide or how-to book. The stages in a child's life are inexplicable and nebulous at best. This journey that I have been on with the daughter has been more like a roller coaster than a day at the beach. Seeing a daughter for who she is, not for what I want her to be (as Tracry mentioned) is such a tremendous step, a LEAP, into finding our places in this present life. But, just when I get used to that placement, she changes again...and I am forced to constantly reassess my role. My dear, sweet mother told me once that it NEVER gets easier...I really thought I might faint at hearing that. I argued with her claiming that she and I have progressed into such nice places, where, as adults, we are more like friends now than like mother and daughter. She told me that it still isn't easy for her...she worries about me, cannot control me, does not have authority over me, and has to let me go to lead my own life, no matter what, but that she never stops aching for me, worrying about me, praying for me, and hoping for the best for me. My mother will turn 70 years old next year...I guess she is right; it will never get easier and it will never end.
But, would you want it to? Isn't being a mother, especially to a daughter, the BEST job in the ENTIRE world? What would I give for the daughter's presence in my life? Absolutey nothing!

Which brings me (finally) to the BSM photo....these belong to the daughter. Does your heart ache at this sight, the mere thought of it, like mine does? Regardless of the reason for these birth control pills, I still can not wrap my brain around it all. At the moment, I WANT to turn around and see my precious toddler in diapers squealing out in joy at some new experience...I LONG to have her climb up in my lap for a bedtime story...I ACHE for her to give me that to-die-for-grin that could simply melt my heart with one look...I have asked this question so many times in this space, but what happened to all of those years? When did she turn this corner and have this new more adult life? What was I doing when this happened?

For the times of metamorphosis, for the face offs, the hang-on-to-your-hat moments in mothering...even the times when you are falling flat on your face...PLEASE still savor even those might have a day, not too far from now, when you long for even those times! Just know that no matter what stage of life you are in with your daughter, a new beautiful relationship is waiting to arise from it all.
Don't forget to check out Tracy's story and photo, as well as other BSM.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday Theme: Spirited Cowgirls and Cats

Note: I have two photos for today's theme...neither photo is especially good, but they both really represent the notion of "spirited."

My best friend in the whole wide world and I go to the rodeo every year on her birthday. This blurry horse is not spirited at all, but the ladies on the other side of the camera most certainly are! "YEEEEHAAAW," Woo Hoo," and "Rope that calf!! Get 'im...Hurry!" and the like can be heard from all around when WE are at the rodeo. I never in a million years would have imagined how very MUCH I like this event...I thought I would humor the best friend in the whole wide world and go because I knew that she really wanted to attend on our first year. I imagined that I would watch politely, cringe a bit at the cruelty of it all, and then go home happy to be done with it. But, on the contrary, some seriously feisty spirit overtook me, and I hooted and hollered with the best of them! I had THE most fun! Now, it is a tradition...the boots, the chaps, the cowboys hats...oh, what fun, what fun!

This little fellow...this is Norton. He is our youngest. He might actually be THE most playful and spirited cat that I have EVER witnessed. Not only does he HIDE is silly places like the daughter's purse, but he LOVES to jump out and scare you as he is doing here. He LIVES to frighten our most skittish cat, Vivian, and it is the most humorous thing to see. (Poor Vivi!) He runs, gallops, jumps, investigates, hides, seeks, antagonizes, plays, and generally LOVES life! He is a Scottish Fold by the way, which means his ears are folded...and his face has the look of a snowy owl, which makes him deliciously ADORABLE! This cat will most likely never be a laptop cat, which is what the husband so desires. This cat was purposeful and intentional on the part of the husband. He bought me a cute book one year for a Christmas stocking stuffer called The Cat Who Went to Paris by: Peter Gethers. This book was about a Scottish Fold named (you guessed it...) Norton. The husband and I both fell IN LOVE with the idea of Norton, and years later, we have one. The husband wants our Norton to behave like the Norton from the book, and is disappointed when he does not. He does love our Norton, and he has rather gotten used to being amused by the lively nature of this precious creature. Our Norton is just so charming; we even have guests that really do come by the house...just to see Norton! LOL.

Thanks for allowing me to share some of the spirit in our lives today. Get spirited away...check out other people's stories and photos here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

BSM: Reflections of Time Spent Well

From the excursion that the daughter and I took on Saturday (read all about it below). This shot makes me realize that we'll have fewer and fewer days like this one- perfect weather, an interesting place with such great sights, and the two of us enjoying each other's company! Her life will get more hectic, and as she will eventually go away to college, these memories will be harder and harder to make. (Makes me want to sob!) I will not (at least not right now); I will focus on the lovely day that we had this weekend, and the fact that I have such a wonderful daughter. What are you contemplating today? For more reflections, check out these great shots.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Saturday Sunshine

The Earth Lodge
Me wandering aimlessly about
The lovely rays of sunshine
Our first glimpse of the swampy wetlands
Me and the daughter

Yesterday, the weather was BEAUTIFUL here...not too hot, not too cold- PERFECT. I was feeling pasty white, like the sun had not touched my skin in so very long, and still a little fragile, but frantic to get outside! The daughter and I decided to venture out into the world to seek the rays of the sun. We decided to go to a place called Ocmulgee National Park. This park is a memorial to the Native Americans that lived in this location and built these mounds for religious uses. The park is a long, winding path through the mounds that ends up on a path called the River Walk- a boardwalk through 800 feet of emergent wetlands.

This was a lovely way to spend our day! (Thankfully, I found frequent park benches on which I could rest when the walk became too much for me.) We took some nice photos, got some exercise, soaked in the sunshine, and found ourselves amazed at this place teeming with life. Spring certainly seems on the verge of bursting forth here!

Hope you enjoy these shots...and that your weekend weather has allowed you to do something just as nice!