Saturday, February 28, 2015

Time Flies By.

I went to visit my 92 year old grandparents a couple nights ago.  I've talked many times about how much I adore and love them.  My little brother Chad knows if he wants to make me cry all he has to do is make me talk about them and tears will be rolling down my cheeks in no time.  It's of course very difficult to watch them age.  Watch my grandma who used to be sharp as a tack repeat the same things over and over again.  Of course what she kept repeating was how she didn't send Jason a birthday card.  Yes, Jason, my husband.  Yes, she remembered my husband's birthday.  So not only does she remember all 36 of her grandkids birthdays but now all 32 of their spouses and every single great grand kids birthdays..... Jason said after we left, "When she apologized for not being able to send me a birthday card (because she broke her hip and was in a facility) I thought she was confusing me with someone else.  But I realized she really knew who I was and really knew when my birthday was!"  So that sharp tack.... still in there somewhere.

Anyway, of course I adore my grandpa too.  Probably more than any other human being I've ever met.  When I talk about him I cry because I am just so sad that not more people had the opportunity to experience his wisdom and kindness.  But that's a whole 'nother blogpost. Anyway, he made a comment that hit me pretty hard, "It's not that bad getting old.  I mean of course I wish my body worked like it used to, but most of the time I still feel like I did when I was 60."

 We visited my grandparents on the way to the high school state basketball game.  I knew that this game could possibly be their last and so even though it was 75 miles away on a school night, I knew I couldn't miss it.  My team, although the season started a little rough, after the first round of the state tournament, were predicted to win it all.  They had the talent to be state champions.  They were on fire.

The game.  It was perfect.  The excitement and thrill of high school basketball.  For me, there is nothing like it.  I know it's probably me trying to relive my glory days of high school, but honestly part of me thinks this is even better.  This group of kids I honestly feel like have become like my little brothers.  And as Craig or Chad can attest, I am a pretty dang protective older sister.

The game was fun, we were ahead, we were celebrating, things were going perfect, and then of course the wheels came off.  Jason had to pull me down a few times because I was stomping and screaming too much when the ref wouldn't call a foul.  I curled up in a ball with too many tears as I realized they were going to lose.  I watch those kids play their little hearts out.

But my favorite part of the whole night was when Jason turned to me and said, "You know, I'm not sure our kids can play high school sports.  I'm don't think your heart will be able to take it!"  I laughed.  How true that statement probably is.  He said, "For sure our grandkids can't.  It'll kill ya for sure!"

But I'm sorry, everything I've written so far.  That wasn't the purpose of this post.  I almost want to select it all and delete it.  The purpose of this post was yesterday 4th period I watched those boys walk into my classroom like they had 100 times before and I couldn't believe how much time had flown by.  How my room has stayed a constant.  How the kids I am dealing with are exactly the same, but time has change so much.

It was the most precious thing to me.  Yesterday was their first day of "freedom".  If you ever played a high school sport you'll understand.  That sport consumes your existence.  Your every waking moment is about it.  And then all of the sudden it is done.  It is gone.  And you feel so empty.  So yesterday was their first free day.  And that is really hard especially when they weren't planning on it ending.  They thought they would have 2 more games.  They thought they would have a championship.  But it ended.  So they had no where to go.  I had to smile when I watched them walk through my door, almost having to duck as they walked through the entrance.

It was crazy how they towered over my students, 6'5, 6'4, 6'6, and 6'1.  It was fun to watch my students eyes get huge like they were seeing celebrities.  One of my students said, "Wait, aren't you (insert the name of one of the best basketball players in the state)?????" Riley just humbly laughed.

I thought it was so sweet that coming to visit me was the first thing they all wanted to do.  Of course I wanted to rehash every second of the game.  (Of course I had already rehashed to Jason and then in my head all night long and then again with the teachers at lunch) but still I wanted to hear it from them.  I wanted to hear WHAT THE HECK was the coach thinking?  But I realized that was the last thing they needed.  They needed to talk about other things.  I am so ridiculously proud of these kids.  One deferred his full ride basketball scholarship and already has his mission papers in just waiting for his call, one applied to BYU and is currently finishing his mission papers, and the other two are doing the same.  It is crazy how much more mature I feel like they are than the seniors of my generation.  These kids have their stuff together.

We pulled out a picture one of their moms took and gave to me at their freshmen championship basketball game exactly 3 years ago.  It was shocking to see how different they looked.  It was crazy how little they were.  But what wasn't shocking one bit was when one said, "This feels like yesterday!  I still feel like I am still a freshman."

It's crazy how fast time flies by.  It's crazy to see these kids grow up.  But what I need to focus on sometimes is my favorite thing one of them said, "I can't believe how terrible I was in jr high.  I was such a jerk."  It's really good for me to remember that.  To remember these punk kids I'm dealing with all day every day will one day grow up and be decent human beings.  And it helps me to sleep at night knowing that just maybe I helped along the way.

I'm sure you are wondering.... why does it seem she is always writing this down?  Writing about how they really are good kids, writing about how happy it makes her feel to like she makes a difference, writing about how there is a purpose to this constant battle.  Doesn't she get it?  We know already...

I write this down more for me than for anyone else.  Because as soon as I am jazzed about being a teacher again, as soon as I am pumped that I feel like my students are mature enough to handle deeper concepts and real life changing lessons..... literally as soon as I finished writing this blog post class started and I walked over to see new freshly written bold letters on one of my brand new books, "PENIS".  And as quickly as I was lifted up, I am smashed back down to reality.

And then I dream about a day so different from now.... a day when I can spend all my energy, effort, and emotion on my own kids.  Sure they will be idiots too.  Punks that don't get it.  But at least then as time flies by and they mature and grow they won't leave and forget me.  They'll be mine forever.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Current Obessions.

I think it's always fun to write down my current obsessions.... because it almost seems as quickly as they come they fade away and sometimes are forgotten.  Like this amazing picture my old roomie sent me.

 It made me smile to remember how obsessed I was with tomatoes.... I wish all my obsessions were that healthy.

So here's to my current obsessions:

1. This version of Over the Rainbow is really hitting the spot right now.

2. I'll confess the bad foods... I blame it on my lack of Diet Coke.  I am more addicted to sugar than ever before.

A blue Icee.... not a slurpee, just Icee.  Particularly from Target.  Heavenly right now.

Strawberry Poptarts.  Embarrassing how obsessed I am right now.  Poptarts have not even been a part of my diet..... ever.  Well besides as a snack at girls camp 20 years ago.  Jason bought some the other week.  Ever since, it's pretty much all I can think about.  ugh.  It's the dang sprinkles.

But don't worry I still am getting in some good nutrition.  My current favorite vegetable is mixed with curry and coconut milk and served with quinoa.

Ok.  Enough food.

3. The tv show Suits.  I love this show.  I'm trying to think of a show I have loved as much as this.  Honestly, I can't think of one since I discovered Grey's in 2007 or The OC in 2004.  The current episode doesn't air until 11 PM here... yes.  3 hours after my bedtime.  Sometimes I go to sleep and Jason wakes me up to watch it.  But last night I was too riled up from the basketball game.  So I was awake.  It was the best episode ever!  The ending.... amazing.

4. I have a new favorite flower.  Ranunculus 
5. I am obsessed with trail running.  I don't know what it is about jumping over rocks and being in the middle of no where that my heart soar.

 My favorite trail runs.

6. and of course the thing I get obsessed with every end of February.  High School Basketball.
The Agony of Defeat.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Feeling Alive.

It's crazy how different we are.  The things that make us feel "alive".  Monday on an extremely gorgeous run I was listening to one of my all time favorite songs, "Motorcycle Drive By" by Third Eye Blind.  In the climax of the song it says, "I've never felt so alone, and I've never been so alive."

I smiled.

I think it's a really valuable thing to discover what makes us feel alive.  And also of course to realize and recognize how different it is for everyone.  So I've been thinking about exactly what makes me feel alive.  So here's what I came up with.  I saw this somewhere and I can't believe how true I feel it to be:

1. Long hard physical activity in nature.  Typically by myself.  Surrounded by beauty.  Powerful moving music is an extra bonus.

2. Philosophical discussions.  Typically on road trips.  Often including my dad or Lars or even Jason is getting pretty good at them.  I think the road trip is important because we are stuck in one place, we are all seeking entertainment, and we can still watch the beauty outside as we drive.

3. You knew this had to be on the list.  No explanation needed...
4. A good soul searching and discovering session with a kindred spirit.  My last good sessions was with this girl.
I love her to pieces.  Our lives started so similar.  2 months and 2 days apart in the exact same hospital.  Almost the exact same family.  Dads with the exact same careers.  Heck our first periods started 6 days apart.  Yes, crazy right?  (TMI, I know sorry) Exact same dreams of the future..... But it's crazy how differently our lives have turned out.  But because of our beginnings it's always wonderful to soul search with her.  We have different perspectives but value the same things.

5. I wish this wasn't the case....
BUT!!!! I have to brag.  I have not touched a Diet Coke since Jan 18th.  Exactly 1 month!

6. This is the one that I probably hate to admit.  But probably the thing that makes me feel more alive than anything else is that rare moment when I am teaching and I know I am changing kids.
I have a real purpose and meaning.  I know I've written about it a million times,  but here is a post I wrote on it a few years ago I like.  But like I've previously mentioned as quickly as that feeling comes it fades away and I am left beating my head against a brick wall fighting everything there is about education.  How's that for feeling alive??? ;)

What makes Jason feel alive you ask?  Well here is an example from this weekend.
 As Jeanine said when she saw this picture, "I really wish this picture showed how cool this climb was."  It's true, it was an awesome climb.  And the thing I love most, getting to watch Jason feel alive.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's Alright I was Raised by the Bell.

Maybe I grew up in a bubble.... okay, actually it is probably already a fact, I grew up in a bubble.  A world where I never knew of divorce, where families ate dinner together every night, where moms stayed home, where dads worked hard to support the family, where kids got together at night to play night games, where the biggest fight every night was who was going to sit by the TV and change the channel during the commercial or what one show we would all watch together.  I think my life bubble of the 90's looked a lot more like the 50's than most.

I just watched this clip from Jimmy Fallon and I seriously was on the brink of tears the entire clip.

Why did I almost cry you ask?

Well first of, it's pathetic.  Yes, it's true.  I have seen every single episode of Saved By the Bell so many times that I would challenge anyone to a Saved By the Bell trivia competition and undoubtedly win.

Something I probably shouldn't be so proud of.  The hours and hours of TV I watched every day after school switching between TBS and WGN based off of what episodes I wanted to watch that day.

But as I watched that clip, saw these characters that really honestly, pathetically helped mold me into who I am today and honestly I had nothing but absolute gratitude. I am just sitting here thinking of how unique that show was compared to the garbage I see my teenagers are watching today.  I grew up in a world where there was "No hope with Dope", heck even caffeine pills were way too dangerous to use.  You shouldn't lie to your parents, you should help homeless people, you should get a summer job, you shouldn't waste money on a dance when your dad just lost his job.

Clearly I grew up in a bubble.  Probably still do.  But looking back I am so grateful that even TV producers back then thought it was a good idea to create a show that helped kids be good kids.

So for that I just need to say Thanks.