Thursday, May 31, 2007

And I feel like I can finally be ME again.... Is that weird?? Normally, I have been able to balance "me" and my working life and manage to give enough to both.
But since I've been pregnant/exhausted/physically changing, it has become really hard to find that balance. I use ALL my available energy and creativity just to get through the school day or church or any other requirement, leaving me with little to NO motivation/energy to do the things I really love-- things like art, music, making my house more lovely and/or orderly, communicating with loved ones and friends, etc.
I have really missed ME.

This evening, while still fighting a WAVE of sleepiness at about 7 p.m., I finally felt like I had permission to expend my energy on MY LIFE, and sat down to do some Creative Preservationism (i.e. scrapbooking.) It felt so GOOD-- like I was back. Like I was "home". Like I was ME.

{New Layout #1: this is my cute mom and dad, being silly last sumer}

{New Layout #2: A page dedicated to as many memories of sewing , both by my mother and myself, as I could fit on the page. My mom is AMAZING with her sewing machine. I so admire that.}

{Below: My little crafty birthday party invitation I whipped up last night for the trivia nite we are holding for my 30th. If you are in town, email me and I'll give you the specifics! You can totally come!!}
And so...
I am so excited for summer. It is really here. I am really free.
To celebrate, here is one of my very favorite layouts from last summer-- a time of decadent naps and Sim City computer games and festivals and scrapbooking every day. May I find a slice of that same life in the weeks to come.

{p.s. if you wanna read any of the details on these pictures, click on them to see them bigger.}

We Love the Gypsy Caravan!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's a one-day flea market/fair in downtown St. Louis every Memorial Day, and it is becoming a tradition for us to go treasure-hunting each year...
Have I ever said that treasure-hunting is one of my favorite activities in the world?

Last year we got a chipped red farmhouse ladder, an aged red grain bucket (where we put books and magazines near our couch) rusty sign letters for decorating our home, and antique buttons and ribbons... The year before, we got an antique printer's tray to make art with. This year, we got a really cool birdhouse, of which I will have to take pictures of later.... I also got an antique camera (a brownie), so I can be like my favorite photographer Katie, who decorates her home in antique cameras...

and it was a perfect morning, with Beckie and Kyle joining us. we started off at the Gelateria for breakfast, did the Caravan, then relaxed at a patio table in the Central West End for lunch, then lazed around the apartment in the air-conditioning for a few hours.... Ending the day with a jaunt to Borders to reserve the seventh harry Potter book (is Snape a friend or FOE?) and coming back to the apartment to play "hearts" with Beez and Kyle before they had to go back to Columbia.
We even got to see Melody for an instant, at the Caravan!


Now, I just have to get through two more days of work and I can be FREE!!!! to be me!!!!! for a while!!!!!

Thanks for loving me in spite of my internet break. It was PERFECT. I am really detoxed and I love it.

More later!

I'm Fasting From the Internet This Week.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

{which version do you like better? "Regular" or "Acidic"?}
So... I've been doing some soul-searching. Kinda in the "end-of-school-year" mode, "Mom-to-be" mode... and I have been feeling stagnant and complacent... selfish.
And I think that a LOT of the true valuable things in life have fallen to the back burner while I have been in coping mode, especially during this first trimester (though it has been going on long before that).

So it is time to make some changes. Goals?
1. less distractions (t.v., internet, shopping, etc.)
2. less fluffy reading, more faith-building reading
3. less dining out, more home-cooked dinners
4. less ACQUISITION, more purging of JUNK.
5. less ME ME ME, more sacrifice

and it is easy to want these things, but hard to implement them, so I am going on an Internet/T.V. fast this week... None. Nope. Sorry, Charlie! Also, no couch this week. I know, that one is a funny one, but dang it, as soon as my bum hits that couch, I am lost. Hopeless. Either a nap, a DVD, or a book keeps me from maybe throwing a load of laundry in the wash, unloading the dishwasher, or even making a scrapbook page or practicing the banjo!! (See? Even the FUN things suffer with my complacency...)

Okay. I LOVE connecting with all you out there. I love being able to vent and explain and such, here online. But I can do all that in other ways, at least for the week. So forgive me. I'll be back.

*** two notes-- the photos are of my baby sister Kirsti, who was my model for "practice senior photos" to put in my portfolio. She and Beckie came on Wednesday and we had SO MUCH FUN!! Isn't she lovely??

#2-- the new video/music on my blog is "Goodbye is All We Have" by Allison Krauss and Union Station. The images in the video are SO in tune with my authentic life cravings... especially lately. My farmhouse... an overgrown garden, summery dresses... bluegrass music... *sigh* I want it all.

So... I'm Having a Baby...

Thursday, May 17, 2007


As of today, I am thirteen weeks along. We had our fourth appointment and our fourth ultrasound today. (My doc is SO amazing-- we get an ultrasound on each visit!!) Today's picture was the first where you can really begin to detect specific parts. The backbone was the most obvious part, followed by the rapid and constant heartbeat.

Our doc also scheduled our "formal ultrasound" for six weeks from now, when we will get to find out the gender and all that fun stuff. It will be a birthday present for me, since we find out the day after I turn thirty.

As of today, I also get to stop taking progesterone pills, meant to help support my pregnancy in the first trimester. This hormone has been contributing to my daily queasiness, so as I finish up the first trimester AND the hormone, I am crossing my fingers that this relentless stomach-turning will end. I HAVE been lucky, though, in that I haven't actually thrown up. I just HATE thinking about food, and most foods make me gag.

I have been REALLY tired. I have come to rely on hour/hour-and-a-half naps at least 4 times a week, when I get home from school. I just took another big one today!

Anyway... that's my big news! We are due on Thanksgiving Day, November 22. Kind of a fun day!!

I will be teaching this next year, and will be taking about three months off when we have the baby, only going back for the last three months of the year to finish up. After that, I will not teach for a while.

so... um. Right now, I'm needing a popcicle. One of the only things I have actually craved so far. Fresh, cold, not too heavy... Perfect.

Thanks for sharing in our happy news!

The Best Saturday Ever!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sleepin' in...

Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair...
(frozen lemonades, fresh guacamole, & art purchases that felt like wonderful splurges...)

Matinee movie...

Picnic food at the Grand Basin in Forest Park as the sun went down...
(mmm... brie and grapes and french bread and other tasty foods...)

Curling up on the couch at the end of the day and watching a video with my cute, lovable, kissable hubby...


Happier Moments....

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

some more of my bro's engagement photos.... Cute couple!

And these are pics of my latest hairstyle-- professionally straightened at Mary's spa the other day in a pampering session complete with manicure and pedicure... yay! (Note the cool hidden blonde streaks! My peek-a-boos)

and this is us this last weekend, heading to my faculty banquet... Lookin' HOT.
I love being a part of this duo...!

Okay. See? No more sad moments for today! I'm goin' to bed.

Mason Angst-- Or, Do I Really Deserve to Live Here For Free?

Sometimes I really feel guilty for the amount of blessings we get from living here for free... because we don't do nearly as much work as you'd think we'd have to in order to deserve this.
THEY want us to keep it clean... keep it secure... serve them food twice a we don't even make.
So we vacuum. Sometimes. We dust... every so often. We sweep. We mop. We take out the bathroom garbage and scrub the two toilets that maybe get used six times a month. We shovel snow and salt sidewalks.
We do the whole rounds MAYBE once a month, because frankly, it is a gently used building. The most work we ever have to do is on meeting nights, and then, we only have a 3-hour chunk of time where we set tables, make beverages, set up food, and then clean up after the whole thing. Not a lot of work.
But this building, though gently used, DOES sometimes need a little more. Like floor waxing. Or hedge trimming. Or hardwood treating. But we're never exactly sure when or if THEY need us to do those things. Sometimes, other people will come in, and Voila! the floors are done when we come home. Do THEY resent us for not taking initiative to do it ourselves? Do THEY plan all along to do it? Do THEY talk about us and wish we were harder workers? Do THEY resent us for living in THEIR building for free, at only 10 hours a month of work?

Are we doing enough?

Until recently, we have felt pretty happy here. We love Carl, Bill, Bill, Joe, Page, Rex, Greg, and so on... Until recently, we have felt like THEY enjoy our company and appreciate our work, light though it may be. But there is a new round of guys these days. Adding to the old ones. And these new ones (still old, mind you), are not so warm and fuzzy. Okay, actually it is ONE man. And he is not so nice. Seems to be looking at us critically, all the time. And while of course my first reaction is to get defensive and come up with all the ways we are doing okay, it makes me step back and wonder if we really ARE doing okay. Have the nicer guys just never told us we're lazy P.O.S.? It this new one pointing out the truth? Does he have a right to be mean and critical and standoffish and displeased all the time?

Are we failing here?

And if so, what to do? We had planned to be here another two years. Carl, our favorite and our one-on-one Mason liason this entire time, seems very pleased with that. He is such a good, kind, dear man. But this OTHER Mason, Mean-Man... he seems so resentful and disliking of us. Will he be a very real reason not to stay here?

I HATE feeling not good enough. I hate feeling criticized. I wish... gosh. Honesty? I wish we could still get by with what we have done for the past two and a half years and it be good enough. I wish Mean Mason was gone. But it seems that those two wants are not likely to happen, so instead, here is what I have to do, in order to reconcile myself to the idea of living here for two more years (if THEY even let us, which might become a fear later):

1. get over the Mean Mason.

2. Start doing more. I don't even know what that means. But MORE, nonetheless. Be flexible.

I mean, we're living here for FREE. Can't I just get over my own expectations and do MORE to deserve it?*sigh* Sorry this post is so boring. But Mean Mason just growled at me before I came upstairs today, and it has been stewing and brewing, and I've been crying, and I really needed to vent...

Better than me charging back downstairs to confront the guy and demand an apology for his hurting the feelings of a sweet, hardworking lady like myself. I might accidentally swear at him, and that would ruin the whole "lady" image I'd be trying to convey.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Did your Barbie have chewed-up feet, too?
What is WITH that? Ours were from a dog... but little brothers were the culprits, too...

I Used to Be a Writer....

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Then I became an English teacher, and all drive to write and wax eloquent flew out the window in the desperate struggle to just stay afloat. Words, words, words....SO many of them throughout my day, and most of them by better writers than I'll ever be... {Exhibit A: Walt Whitman, above...} Though, I need to clarify that-- I'm talking about the incredible work I teach, NOT the less-than-incredible writing skills of most kids these days. (Though there HAVE been a few exceptions.)
So now, I'm no longer a writer. Just an appreciator of writers. like my kid sis Sarah, who daily improves and amazes me with her depth and scope and view of life.

{Exhibit B: excerpt from Sarah's blog...:
"I want the warm nights with symphonies of the earth. I want camping and fireworks and lazy, do nothing days. Movies with friends, leisurely breakfasts, waking up and realizing that you have no obligation to be a human being and the cosmos wont be thrown out of alignment if you morph into sloth and spend the day hanging from a tree sleeping. I want good books that I can finish in a week rather than a semester because I have time to read..."}

Now, I am a sometimes artist... dribbling out a few good photos, (plenty of mediocre ones), making a few good collages and pieces of memory art (though I haven't really dug into that art form in WEEKS...)... and mostly just trying to make my day to day life feel okay.

I love the warm weather, but with it has come a draining of inspiration.... I know who I used to be. I even kinda still know who I am, for the moment. But for the life of me, at this very second, I am really really having a hard time grasping who I WILL be next, and what she'll be like. I WANT her to be so many things, but it begins to feel like most of that is not really going to be so....

I am not sure what the future holds, and while that has been an exciting thing for me in the past, full of dreams and ideas, right now, it just feels empty. Bland. Unfulfilling. I don't know what will end up filling that blandness, and how it can possibly get as good in the future as it has been so many times in the past.

I know, I know.... this too SHALL pass.... And inspiration will come once again.

I just miss being a writer, for some reason.
And a dreamer.

So since I don't have any of my own greatness to share, here's a little Walt:
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am; 
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary;
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head, curious what will come next;
Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it.

that last part reminds me of my thoughts today...

You don't have to understand him fully to love him. At least, it's never stopped me.
Okay. I'm out. Bye.
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