Impossible To Beat

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Valentine’s Day really isn’t my favorite holiday, but I’ve said that before.  It just never lives up to those movie-made expectations. I’m always left feeling sort-of bah-humbug. But this year I didn’t have a bad Valentine’s Day…

I didn’t sit around and write 65 cards for my kids to pass out. I sort of hate that tradition because I know where those cards end up. I also didn’t spend 19 hours perfecting the most amazing Pinterest cupcakes ever. Because I also know exactly where those cupcakes wind up. Instead the ZooCrew requested “Fruit Rollup Valentine’s”… AHHHH! The best of both worlds! A cool valentine + a snack for the party rolled into one! I’m loving the Type B personality that has taken over my life. Simple AND impressive: that’s how I roll! (OK, that’s how I’m learning to roll. Better?)

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Dear Daughter: Here’s Why I Didn’t March For You

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Dear Daughter: Here’s Why I Didn’t March For You

I love every word!

A Future Free

Dear daughter of mine,

You are so young and precious and innocent. You pass your days amidst sippy cups and Cheerios; amidst Minnie Mouse and your beloved dolls and toy kitchen.

But someday—sooner than I’d like—you’re going to grow up. And you’re probably going to hear a lot about something that’s happening right now.

You’ll learn about the unprecedented election of President Donald Trump, and you’ll learn about the thousands and thousands of women who came out to march all over the country in protest.

They were very loud. Some screamed; others gave speeches. Many carried big signs; others locked arms together. Some even wore “funny” outfits.

What were they upset about? I’ll tell you, sweet one.

They’re mad because we women don’t make as much money as men. They’re mad because we women don’t have full rights over our bodies. They’re mad because we women have to pay…

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Let Love In

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Let Love In

As parents, it’s easy to see where our children need love. They need love when they’ve had a bad day at school. They need love when they missed the ball at practice. They need love when their brother tore the head off their favorite baby doll. And they need love when the dog won’t play with them after they spilled their noodles on the floor and when they lied about finishing their homework. The job of a parent might include the roles of chef, chauffeur, nurse, counselor, teacher, preacher, laundry-doer, and referee; but no matter which role you’re taking on, being a parent always involves dishing out love.

As moms and dads, we’re consumed with the needs of our children. We want to build their self-esteem and their character. We want to foster creativity and inspire faith. We try to teach them to play fair and share. We spend every waking moment creating this list of things to do just make sure we’re hitting the mark. But there is one thing we sometimes forget, and it’s really simple. We’re people too!

Just because we’re parents doesn’t mean we don’t have our own inexplicable bouts of grumpiness. Being moms doesn’t make us exempt from overwhelming loneliness or feelings of failure. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to stop ourselves in the middle of our own destructive patterns and just let love in.

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Say Hello To My Little Friend

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There is something really wonderful that happens when your daughter becomes a mother. You get smarter. Really!

For 5 years past their expiration date I heard “If you had just let me go to this party” and “well you should have let me do that instead” and now that Ms. Presley Layne has hit her not-so-terrible two’s, it’s all “I’m so glad you didn’t let me do that” and “how did you know I’d go there?”

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We Can’t Make the Grade

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I’m not surprised to see many central Texas schools receive failing grades on the new report cards the State of Texas sent out Friday. When will we learn? This is not the way to educate a smarter generation.

Here’s the result for my local school district:

Campus District School type 2016 Rating D1 D2 D3 D4
ROCKDALE ELEMENTARY ROCKDALE ISD Elementary Paired campus
ROCKDALE HIGH SCHOOL ROCKDALE ISD High School Met standard* D F D A
ROCKDALE INTERMEDIATE ROCKDALE ISD Elementary Met standard* C B D A
ROCKDALE ISD ROCKDALE ISD District Met standard* C C D A
ROCKDALE JUNIOR HIGH ROCKDALE ISD Middle School Met standard* C D C C

The new report rates schools and districts in four domains:

  • D1: Student Achievement
  • D2: Student Progress
  • D3: Closing Performance Gaps
  • D4: Post-secondary Readiness

It’s no wonder that state teacher groups are calling for the legislature to repeal this new letter grade system, that will markedly affect most Texas schools. The question I have is why do we keep sticking a square peg in a round hole? Read the rest of this entry

Ready or Not, Here We Go

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I’m not sure if I’m going to sit down and make any iron clad resolutions this year. Instead I think I will vow to count my blessings every single day. This past year I really learned how to let go and let God. I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel with the cutoff notices in my hand and no idea how I was going to manage them and instead of freaking out I folded my hands together and at every turn He provided for my every need. It takes a lot for a control freak to give into blind faith and trust that everything will be ok, but I’ve lived in this house 17 years and so far we’ve always had food and lights and clothes and gasoline in the car so if I’ve had to swallow some lumps, that’s ok, it was all part of the journey.

20141209_083117I know 2017 is going to bring a lot of new changes. In just a few short months my first born son will graduate high school and move on to new things. This house will change. I won’t have my Mr. FixIt all the time. And when he goes, Hercules will go with him, and I’m gonna miss his big sad eyes riding shotgun every morning. Read the rest of this entry

Hurry Santa, before these cookies disappear! 

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There are some things you have to supervise kids very closely with!  Fireworks, science experiments, painting, and COOKIES!  Trust me on this,  never ever leave the cookies unsupervised.

This year I have really tried to bring back some of the simpler joys of Christmas.  We’ve been decorating and making things and avoiding the hustle and bustle that inevitably tries to steal my joy every year, but I have a confession to make.   Read the rest of this entry

A Legend, A Bug, and a Disaster

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The past month or so I have been doing some remodeling in my bedroom, which led me to decide I needed to declutter the entire house. You see, I’ve lived in this house for nearly 18 years. I haven’t moved from house to house so I haven’t dug out every closet and purged every cabinet the way a true Martha Stewart wannabe should. With Christmas around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to just do a major toss out.

Little did I know that one thing would lead to another and this project would take me nearly two months to complete. To make matters worse, one day my little grandbaby lost my cell phone just when the kitchen sink decided to leak and the dog chewed up a library book while I had made a pile of junk to get rid of in the front yard. I got really frustrated that day. I went into the laundry room, where the mountain lives, and tears started to pour out of my eyes. For a minute there I thought about quitting my job, but who would I give my letter of resignation to?

Dear washing machine, You’re on your own. Start if you want to, spin if you feel like it, rust for all I care… Read the rest of this entry

We All Have Scars

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had so much to say that I’ve posted 4 days in a row, but this week my heart is so full of wonders and worries, questions and thankfulness, nostalgia and heartbreak, and I just can’t seem to stay focused on anything.

One minute I’m thinking about the election and what it means and the next minute I’m praying over my little sister who is dead-locked in a battle with the Big C and then I find myself sorting out unresolved feelings from the unexpected death of my step-father which prompted me to think of the other veterans in my family and what I’ve come up with is this: we all have scars. Read the rest of this entry