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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

All Happy

Sunday we arrived at our campsite. It was the afternoon, and we went back and forth on whether we should start down a trail. 
I’ve been counting the days until we’d get here. Even though I wasn’t sure we’d all enjoy ourselves, I knew I needed the trees, air, and quiet to reset my mind. 

Me, realizing I'm finally in the woods.

As soon as I stepped on a trail, I felt renewed. It was shocking to me how restored and calm I felt. It was joy. I forgot what joy like this feels like, and I was experiencing it for the first time in a very long time. That’s not to say joy has been absent altogether, but this most definitely felt different. 

I think my joy was different because we were all feeling joy at the same time. I'm grateful. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Last Slice

Today has been long. It was a full day of individual meets with students, one after the other. Then I had the last handful of conferences after. It was just one day, but there were not enough breaks today, and I felt it. When I finished, I stood up and could feel the tension just double down. You know, when you finally feel like you can relax, but your body is so conditioned to sitting up ready to go that it almost seizes up with more hostility. 

I texted Shawn and said, "I cannot adult anymore today. I'm ordering Dominoes."

So now, on my last night of slicing, I'm waiting for a slice to come my way. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bird Chatter

After dinner, I went outside with Cassie to throw the ball around. There was a gentle rain that wasn't the least bit annoying. It was just a perfect kind of rain to be underneath. Fresh smelling, soft drops, with large spaces in between. Not enough to even make your hand wet or your nose drip. But just enough to be noticed and heard. 

The birds seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the gentle drops. There was so much chatter and singing it was hard not to search and scan the trees trying to locate the conversations. I felt a bit surrounded, but it was a joyful sound, so I didn't mind. 

The playtime ended, and I went back inside. Cassie stood at the door. 

"Come on, Cass, time to come in."

She stands, staring at me. 

"Cassie, come on. Come inside."

Slight whimper. Stomps one foot and stands there staring at me. 

Eventually, she came along, but not happily. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

A Conference Night Slice

It's one of several conference nights I've had over the past two weeks. One more night to go later this week, and I should be finished. In the fall, I remember conferences going pretty quickly. Everyone had finally fallen into somewhat of a rhythm and knew how to navigate the remote learning environment. I had communicated so much with families up to that point that talking again felt redundant. To top it off, they were all being done on Google Meet. Again, something that was more comfortable at that point but still a bit unusual 

This time has been different. I know these families so well. Better than I've ever known a class of students. That is saying a lot. There are some families I've had multiple years, but this year, the connection I have to my families is so much deeper. I'm in their home every day. They've heard me sing, watched me dance, listened to me teach. I've heard them try and watched them help. It's not perfect, but we have all made it better along the way. 

I love these kids and their families. These conferences have been tough but good. I'm looking forward to being finished and getting to relax these tight shoulders—just a few more days and then a break. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021


You woke up early, ready to open gifts. 

You squealed with joy after each gift.

I sipped my coffee--snapping pictures. 

You wanted a castle cake.

You sent me example photos.

I did my best--snapping pictures. 

You lit the candles. 

You smiled.

I sang along--snapping pictures. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Time for a Change

It started over a year ago—no haircuts for anyone. Then the time came when haircuts seemed okay. At that point, our son Elliot's hair was pretty long. Longer than it ever had been. It was at a point where he felt like he wanted to see how far he could go with it and how long he could stand it. 
He lasted a really long time. 
Then last week, he said, "What do you think of a man-bun?"
I was thrilled with the idea. We started talking about possible styles that might work. 
He experimented and came to a decision to keep the top long and the rest super short. It would be much more comfortable, but he could keep growing out the top if he wanted to. A man-bun could be achieved too—worth a try.
Below are his before photo and several after photos. He loves it. I love it. We all love it!

This one is my favorite. He looks so surprised. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Window Watching

I sat on my couch with the curtains pushed back and watched out the window for a moment today. There were no cars. No one was walking. The rain had stopped. All seemed a bit quiet. 

Looking around, I could see the grass is starting to green up. I love that fresh grass green. Such a hopeful color. A renewed color. A robin was quietly still. It didn't seem to have any plans. I wondered, is it waiting for something? Waiting for a tell-tale vibration from below, or is it just enjoying the peace? A moment later, a squirrel ran through, and I started to wonder if it was looking for a hidden stash of nuts buried from fall. It seemed to zig-zag through the yard erratically. Is that worry...Nah, just normal manic squirrel behavior.  I could hear a dog bark in the distance, but it didn't seem to disrupt the intent of the squirrel or the stillness of the bird—each of them there, each of them competing for something different. Or so I think.