Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School


Well, Glennon does it again!  So many times she puts my thoughts and feelings eloquently onto paper (er, computer screen).

She wrote this letter below to her son and offered that we remove his name and insert our child's name (and grade).  I read it to my kids tonight.

from Momastery, originally published 2011

Dear _______,
Hey, baby.
Tomorrow is a big day.   _______ Grade – wow.

_________ – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.
I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, __________! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team – we are on your whole class’s team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.

When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
___________ – We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.

isn't that the truth

Monday, August 20, 2012

What I'm Reading...

Photoshop Classroom in a Book

While my girlfriends are reading... Gone Girl.  They say it's addictive!  I hope to take it on vacation.


Updated:  I did read Gone Girl and it is a quick, good read.  I find marriages/relationships fascinating and there were definitely some thought-provoking moments.  I was very curious to get to the end and sort out the mystery.  But I find that I still prefer non-fiction.  No contest.

One major disappointment, I didn't really care about any of the characters.  And that's kind of a first for me???

Still, it's a fun one to discuss with girlfriends- maybe a good book club pick?

Amazon Review:
Marriage can be a real killer. 
   One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 
   On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
   With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dining Room Inspiration II

After actually looking at that last post, I realized that I didn't LOVE any of them!  While most of my house is blue, my china cabinet has warmer toned china so I knew I needed to rethink the color palette. After looking around, I think I have a plan.

Here are my inspiration pictures...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dining Room Inspiration


When we redo some finishes in our kitchen, we also want to bring the dining room from our last house "feel"(greens, golds, and a little cranberry) to our new house full of calming blues.

Pinterest didn't help me that much this time, but here are a few photos that I've saved so I can refer back.  I like the photo above but my chairs are all fabric and I'm not sure about that light color + food.

This photo's (above) color scheme would bring together my green, blue, and brown furniture.  The chandelier, though, would not work with my rectangular table.

I think this is my current chandelier... Looks like they painted it???


Always trying to figure out my style... I have determined that I prefer solid color silk panels with a lighter shade on the walls- like photo above.


OR, forget the grown-up colors and stick to turquoise and orange!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Easy Side Salad


Last weekend it somehow worked out that we had families over every night!  It was great fun, but to keep things easy and focused on the people and conversation (as opposed to the food), I made the "menu" in the most casual sense of the word simple and prepared-ahead.

Adam grilled hamburgers or BBQ chicken and I made a a green salad (greens, scallions, avocado, your favorite dressing) with this White Bean Tomato salad... my new favorite!  Another great Pinterest find.

2 cans white northern beans, rinsed
a pint or 2 of grape tomatoes, halved
1 Tb. rosemary, chopped
olive oil
squeeze of lemon or lime (I had only limes)
salt & pepper

Date Night

We saw this last night with another couple and it was pretty funny!  Definitely had the raunchy laughs (Oh Lawwwd!)  but I loved hearing my husband's contagious laughter! Also liked the underlying message!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bicycle Nostalgia

Because I had such a great time riding bikes at the beach, I got home, had Adam's bicycle tires pumped up, and have been riding in the neighborhood almost daily.  Wouldn't I love a cruiser with baskets like this one!

Usually I wait until evening/dusk when it's cooler outside; but it never fails, I feel like a 12 year old with new-found freedom.  I specifically remember my uncle taking my cousin and I on a LONG bike ride from our old neighborhood, past a llama farm, to a small little mom & pop store where we got to pick a treat (I chose a Snickers bar) and rest before heading back home.

On a day when it was just Davis and me, I thought a fun, little ride would be a special activity.  But it backfired.  He started complaining about being hot and tired, and that took away from my peacefulness so I'll just keep my evening rides to myself :)