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New Year’s Eve!

Positivity posts are a little slow for me lately.  It’s not that I’m not positive–actually, the opposite is true.  I’m off work, spending time with my family, and my masters work is finished.  I’m happy about everything right now.  I want to write positivity posts about every single thing I see, from the Christmas tree to the carpet.

But to avoid nauseating myself, I will pause on the posting for a day or two, and catch up in the new year.  Happy 2011!!

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Positivity Post 4: Snow

As I write this, I am lying on my couch, watching the snow fall.  It drifts to the ground in tiny flakes, or whooshes by in huge bursts of wind.  It frames my pretty Christmas tree standing in front of the window, and there aren’t enough happy words in the whole English language to describe just how much I love it.

I know, I know–it’s wet and messy; it makes roads treacherous; it causes runs on milk and bread; it traps people in their houses; it basically causes problems galore.  I had to leave Louisville last night at 8:30, instead of on Sunday morning, and bring a busload of kids back home so we could beat the storm.  Believe me, I know snow is trouble.  But none of that matters on a cozy Sunday afternoon, my sweet husband and daughter snug with me in our own little house, watching the world outside transform itself into a Christmas card.  Our very own winter wonderland.

This is the kind of day I’ve waited for during the past long, difficult semester.  I could not be more content than I am right now.  Let it snow.

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Weekend is here!

I haven’t written much lately, but I’ve gone back to work and life has been hectic.  Good, but busy.

My list of things to do for the weekend:

1.  Sleep.  After spending the entire month of July asleep, my body is having a hard time adjusting down to six hours a night.  Any more is just not feasible for me during the week.  I have too much stuff to do.

2.  Read Glamour.  It came this week and I haven’t had time to read it yet.  If you know me, you know how unusual that is.

3.  Read more in the Twilight series.  I just read Twilight this week and am hooked.  Totally didn’t expect to like it–I’m not big on the genre–but it was engrossing.

4.  Spend some time with my husband.  He’s been really good this week while I got myself back to work–buying dinner, mowing the  yard, waking me up when I napped too long on the couch.  As a reward, I won’t force him to go see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with me.  I’ll watch something for him.  (Sigh.)

5.  Sleep.  In case I haven’t mentioned that already.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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The aftermath

The worst part about going on vacation is unpacking when you get home.  It takes forever, and with me anyway, it always seems to lead to more problems.  I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to dump the damp bathing suits out on the laundry room floor.  Despite brushing my feet off every time I leave, I am pretty sure I have managed to track sand into every corner of my house now.  I see little white gleaming particles everywhere.  Guess I’m going to have to vacuum too.  There is no food to eat in my house, but, inexplicably, there is a bag of leftover snacks on my front porch.  I have no idea how it got there.  I know we brought everything in last night.  I’m leaving it there until Joe gets home–maybe he can explain it.

The trips are always worth it though, even if I can only get away for a long weekend.  And while I love to fly, I think my preference will always be driving.  I’m not a morning person, but I love getting up just before daylight to load up the car with beach towels and bathing suits, toss a bag of ice in the cooler, and pile in my favorite snacks.  Joe and I generally make road trip CDs, trying to outdo each other with a cool mix of fun songs to sing along with and a few guilty pleasures to make each other crazy.  I usually do better with the latter–I have a huge collection of crappy country and pop that makes him want to cut off his own ears.  For this trip, though, I listened to Springsteen albums on my iPod as we rolled through Tennessee and Georgia.  You get a totally different perspective on the Boss when you listen to him while driving through this gorgeous countryside rather than while sprawling on the couch browsing websites.

I’ve always loved long-distance car trips, although my husband says it’s because I’m generally not the one driving and have time to enjoy it.  I disagree.  After I graduated from high school, my family and I took an epic road trip out west, to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone, and then down to Las Vegas and over to the Grand Canyon.  I’m not going to claim that I drove a ton, but I have fond memories of speeding through Montanna with everyone else in the van asleep.  We were in the middle of nowhere, so I couldn’t pick up a thing on the radio.  I simply drove and drank in the scenery.  It was awesome.  You can’t get that feeling hundreds of feet overhead in a plane, where the clouds are lovely, but they block out everything else.

I just got home last night, but I’m ready for the next trip, where and whenever it may be.  But I have to stop for now.  This load of laundry has just finished, and I guess it’s time to start cleaning up the sand.  (Sigh.)

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Born in a small town.

“Educated in a small town / Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town / Used to daydream in that small town / Another boring romantic that’s me.”  –John Mellencamp, “Small Town”

“Small Town” is my favorite Mellencamp song.  I love almost everything about being from a small town.  I love sitting on my front porch overlooking farm land, and moving to the back porch to see the thick stretch of trees bordering the yard.  I love waiting in line at Subway and chatting with the guy behind me, whom I’ve known absolutely for my whole life because we went to church together, and our parents still do.  I love how quiet it is out here and how people still wave when they pass you.  If I ever get bored, Louisville is just a couple of hours away; Nashville is even closer.  I feel like I live in the best spot possible, if I could choose from anywhere in the entire world.

But small town life does have its disadvantages.  You can get so used to your small-town routines that sometimes, without realizing it, your vision can narrow until all you focus on is the predictable patterns and experiences that define your little corner of the world.  My husband, who didn’t grow up here, is obsessed with eating breakfast at a little diner on the edge of a nearby town.  When he first mentioned it, I was shocked.  “Why can’t we eat there?” he asked.

“Well…I’ve never eaten there before,” I said.  My husband thought it was stupid, and he was right–I honestly could come up with no better reason.  Why shouldn’t we stop in some Saturday morning and have breakfast on the way to the grocery?  I didn’t know.  All I knew is that I had never, ever eaten breakfast there, and so there must be something wrong with it.  Right?

Part of the reason that my husband and I moved back here is that we were hoping to have kids quickly, and this is an excellent place to raise them.  We’re still hoping.  I’m excited at the thought of raising my children in a small town, where they can run down to the store for a Coke or take off on their bikes without my freaking out that they’re going to get kidnapped.  But I worry about the smallness of mind that can accompany small town living, the ruts you can get into where you won’t try a diner because it’s not your habit, or you won’t accept someone because they behave or look differently from you.  It doesn’t have to be that way though.  I hope that my children, whenever they arrive, will be able to sink their roots deep into this place and always have it to call home.  I hope they can experience lazy summer days lying in hammocks and long hot evenings catching lightning bugs.  But I also hope that they always keep their minds and hearts refreshed and renewed, that they stick to their faith in Jesus, and that they experience the great big world outside this place and all it has to offer.

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Popsicle Post

I am not a popsicle person. I will occasionally flash back to my childhood and buy a box of Jello Pudding Pops, but most of the time I eat the vanilla ones and then throw the rest away. But yesterday Joe and I went to Nashville, because he had heard of this place called Los Paletas, apparently renowned for the best popsicles in the world. I wasn’t as excited as Joe was, but I agreed to try it out. Los Paletas is located on the ground floor of a mauve-colored building on 12th Avenue, and there’s no sign, so naturally we couldn’t find it. I was thinking they must have gone out of business, but this place really seemed to matter to my hsuband, so I popped into a neighborhood drum shop to ask for directions. The guy couldn’t figure out what I was talking about, which pretty much shot any faith I had in the fabulousness of these legendary popsicles, but when I said, “They sell popsicles?” his face lit up and he instantly pointed me down the block. The shop is completely nondescript. It’s just a counter with a freezer case in front of a chalkboard listing all the day’s flavors. They have the most creative assortment of popsicles imaginable–from the traditional strawberry and chocolate flavors all the way to cucumber and hibiscus. They must change flavors all the time, because they were missing a basil flavor I’d heard about, which had sounded disgusting, but I was assured it was delicious. I was a little apprehensive at the idea of weird popsicles, but again, Joe was thrilled with the possibilites, so I behaved myself.

Joe had a chocolate and banana pop, and I had a mango. To my surprise, the popsicles WERE amazing. I’m not the sort of person to wax poetic (or write a blog) about popsicles, but this was like nothing I’d ever tasted. My mango pop was sweet and just slightly spicy. It tasted like the real thing, not like a frozen juice box. Joe’s had small chunks of banana, and the flavors were artfully mixed in each bite. At $2.50 each, these popsicles aren’t cheap, but they are definitely worth it. I wanted to buy a dozen and take them home with me, even though they would have melted in the car. Now I can’t wait to go back and try other flavors. If you’re in the Nashville area, go by and try Los Paletas. And bring an extra back for me.

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Hello world!

I’m not sure why I’m doing this.

Maybe because I love reading blogs–or anything else, for that matter.  I love finding out what other people have to say about everyday matters.  So I thought I’d throw my voice into the mix.

Maybe because I love writing.  I just finished participating in WKU’s Writing Project, which was an amazing experience.  I’ve always been a writer, but now I want to share what I write with others and get some feedback.

Maybe because I’m a teacher.  My students’ technological expertise is so far beyond mine that it’s embarrassing.  It would be nice to broaden my own experiences with the Internet and technology.

Or maybe because I just like to talk.  Like I said, I’m not really sure, but maybe as I write I can figure it out.  Either way, I hope you enjoy what you read.

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