Tuesday, September 28, 2010

i'm not proud

okay, so the following is a list of things that bother me about myself. we all deserve a moment to feel sorry for ourselves right?
my weight--today I went to the gym and got on the scale. the six pounds I needed to lose is now 14! 14 freakin' pounds. it was the kick in the butt I needed. I can't believe I've gained 14 lbs since June 2009. What is wrong with me?
my face--um so my face is officially a grease ball. New pimples pop up each day. Yesterday, Mr. Soup goes, "Wow you're glowing." I told him to rub his hand across my face and when he did his hand was oily. "Ewww," was his response.
my stepdaughter--I hate that I can't let go of the situation. I hate that after almost of four years of dealing with her neglectful, unstable mother and enabling maternal grandparents I can't let it go. I hate that my inability to let go, hurts my husband and ultimately my marriage. I have to remind myself that he went through this all 7 years ago when he found out about his daughter. He relocated to her small town in hopes of getting custody, only to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees for nothing. I am thankful that my husband wants to spare me the pain he felt. I know I have to let go and accept that. he is a better father for it and I hope to get to that point.
my baby--okay, so no I don't have a baby, but I feel the first two things are a direct result of trying to have a baby (hormonal body changes --weight gain and oily skin). I hate that after four months of hoping for a baby, Mr. Soup and I are getting discouraged. Both of us have talked to various people with kids (aka parents). Some of them waited years, some a year, some 6 months and some a couple of months. I guess I thought we'd fall in the "2 month" category (I mean my hubby already has a daughter and I was an accident--I figured being overly fertile was in our genes). I know everything happens when it should. Maybe God is waiting for me to drop the L-Bs before I get pregnant (because we know Mr. Soup won't hear any of that "I'm fat" talk)? Let's hope!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


i spent most of last night and today watching classic movies, television and reading (I need to hurry and finish Hunger Games so I can move onto the next book!) This weekend was one of those rainy weekends. Yesterday after work I skipped happy hour (shocking, I know!) and went to the gym. I came home ate some leftovers, settled in to grade papers and take care of household things. Mr. Soup wanted to discuss our budget. Once he graduates we'll have more income, but more student loans. Right now our short term goals include putting more in savings and paying off debt. Right now we're doing both really well, but it's time to increase everything where we can. We really want to start pulling up carpet and putting down wood floors, but we're scared to touch our savings especially in this economy. I think we'll feel better with more in there and less debt. We definitely live comfortably and we're not struggling, but you just never know! Our long term goal is to double up on our mortgage payments.
So after all our discussions about boring grown-up stuff, I settled in to do some grading and curriculum mapping for my college course. I turned on the television and was greeted with a classic! CLUELESS! This was one of my favorite movies when I was in 8th grade. Watching it last night reminded me why I loved it so. I remember thinking Cher (Alicia Silverstone) was the coolest and she still is. After watching Clueless, I cuddled up with Hunger Games and fell asleep to the rain. I awoke at 4am when I heard roaring thunder outside. I guess I'm not used to our house because I immediately thought someone was in our home. When I looked at the foot of the bed and on the floor, I was immediately relieved. My sleeping guard dogs put my worries at ease.
I woke up a few hours later to get ready to teach in McKinney. I drove in the rain, taught an drove back to Plano in the rain. I started on laundry and began cleaning the master bathroom. As I embarked on my tasks, I turned on the television and was greeted by another classic: Forrest Gump! Tom Hanks is such a talented actor!
I spent the rest of the day grading papers, watching Law & Order (who knew that show could be so good?) and helping Mr. Soup with his research proposal. He promised to take me to brunch tomorrow if I helped him. We got lots done today so that we can enjoy a yummy brunch at Iron Cactus and then head to the local Eagles bar to watch the Eagles play. Oh, and the Jayhawks won today! Not bad! Let's keep it up!

Monday, September 20, 2010

some quotes from John Ciardi

love this guy's quotes. I don't even know who he is? Maybe I should look him up. I have this one on my teacher bulletin board in my room:
The classroom should be an entrance into the world, not an escape from it.
I think this pretty much sums up why I teach. Each year it is a struggle to make lessons exciting and fresh for students, especially when I'm essentially told what to teach (more on that in another entry), but I do it to open a world for students. Maybe, just maybe they'll discover a dream or become inspired in my classroom. On Saturday mornings when I dread driving out to McKinney to teach those "developmental" writers, I remind myself that they're already on their journey toward their dream (or maybe they're rediscovering it or maybe it's changed). I get to help them find their voice and be heard. I help them discover the world around them. They (junior high and college) help me do the same. I've learned so much about the world from them. I think there are so many times that I assume that everyone had the same supportive parents that I did. I think my definition of what a good parent is changes too. I no longer look down on those parents who don't call me back or show up to parent night or send their kids to school in dirty clothes. They are parents and 90% of them are doing the best that they can with what they have. My job is to support them in school and open up a world they may never know.
There is nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation.
My job is tough and the rewards are few. I like to have fun....in moderation.
Intelligence recognizes what has happened. Genius recognizes what will happen.

Gentility is what is left over from rich ancestors after the money is gone.
So much of who I am is because of my family. Even though my paternal grandparents are gone, I am who I am because of the time they invested in me. The lessons they taught me are invaluable.

A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in the students.
This is why I love teaching at a community college. It's all about the students!
Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.
I don't know what the future holds with my stepdaughter. Even though we can't be a part of her life. I will never give up hope. Parental Alienation Syndrome is a bitch, but I hope in my heart she will beat the odds. I hope she will rise from her circumstances and shine. I don't consider her a prodigal in the truest sense (she's barely 9, let's be real), but I will never give up hope.
Poetry lies its way to the truth.
doesn't it?
Written by a sponge dipped in warm milk and sprinkled with sugar.
That's me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

another rainy day

it's raining. I'm waiting on Mr. Soup to come home so we can cuddle up and watch TV. Our new flat screen TV is perfect for days like this.
today was kind of rainy with my heart too. my stepdaughter's mother told us that she no longer wants us in my stepdaughter's life.i guess us calling, sending packages, sending cards of encouragement was hard for her mom. even though my stepdaughter cried that she wanted to be able to talk to her daddy, her mom said she didn't want it. it's sad. we could fight it, but our lawyer said we would invest thousands of dollars and we still would probably lose. it's hard to prove neglect, especially in that small town. our only way would be to get my stepdaughter to testify against her mother and we hate to do that to a her. no matter how messed up her mom is, it's still not fair.
i really wish that we could've been a perfect blended family. my hope was that she would benefit from both families. i still have some hope that things will change, but i have learned not to get my hopes up. i've also subscribed to the theory that everything happens for a reason. maybe this experience will make my stepdaughter stronger. i know it may shape her negatively, but i hope she can channel this into something positive. i hope the universe will protect her.
maybe mr. soup and i needed to be free from this for a while so that we can heal and prepare our hearts for the family we will have in the future. i think we focused too much on fixing something we couldn't rather than allowing what we have to grow. And I think it is time to "grow" our family. In fact, Mr. Soup and I are hoping that some day soon we'll add to our family. Lately, I've been thinking of things I want to do before we have more kids and I can honestly can say there is nothing more that I want to do, because I realize I can do many of those things while being a mom. Although, Mr. Soup did tell me we need to be prepared to go into debt so that we can attend the super bowl this spring in dallas. not sure of how i feel about that one, but I'll take it! okay, so below is a list of my regrets, accomplishments and goals:
1. not studying abroad in college. i think i was too scared to do it. i should've traveled more. it's something i hope our kids do. incidentally one of my goals is to travel more. Mr. Soup and I are passionate about traveling with our kids when we have them. we want to show them the world and teach them to appreciate different cultures.
2. okay so that's really my only regret. because let's face it, i had a blast in college! i loved it and i miss it, but i have no desire to go back. oh not being in love with a stupid ex-boyfriend for two years of college..that would be a regret, but i take it as a learning experience. prepared me for the one who would cherish my heart!
1. meeting a guy at a totally random place and then marrying him. this is pretty cool for me because i'm not a risk taker by nature. most people marry someone who they've known for a significant amount of time. marrying someone who i met an airport is pretty kick-ass!
2. teaching at a community college. it was one of my long-term goals and i think i reached it in a fairly short amount of time. i absolutely love it! I'm glad I did it!
3. making kids enjoy reading....uh big time accomplishment if you've met this generation's youth.
4. i'll have to think of some more, but i'm sure there are tons. oh having not only one master's degree, but two. yep that's right. between mr. soup and me, we have 6 and half degrees: me- 1 bachelor's 2 master's and him: 1 associate's, two bachelor's and he's almost done with his master's. i'm glad i got my first master's (English Ed.) and I'm glad I got my 2nd (Educational Admin.), but getting the 2nd one helped me realize how much I don't want to be principal. In fact, I'm hoping to either stay in the junior high classroom, move to HS or teach full-time at a community college.
1. travel
2. get a new car in the next few years. I really want a mazda cx9, but I'm leaning towards a mazda 5 (minivan)...it actually doesn't look like a mini-van (it's small and sleak) and it starts at $18,000 (I can't justify spending $35,000 for a car), so I could pay it off quickly!
3. plant a garden in our backyard...i've been procrastinating mostly because I'm afraid the dogs will poop in it.
4. i need to think of some more goals
so that is this rainy day post in a nutshell. it's a little sad. a little optimistic. but it's all me!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My little cousin

My cousin Will and his wife welcomed their first child early, early this morning! Here she is: Kynsley Reighlynn! She is going to be so spoiled. Even though she's technically my cousin, I feel like an aunt. Who knows when (if) I'll get to be an aunt?

9 years later...

Today marks the anniversary of 9/11. Today I had the privilege of being with my college students. We engaged in an "adult" discussion. I have to say that because I'm used to facilitating discussions among junior high students. When I facilitate those discussions, I have to tell them not to use words like, "retarded," "gay," and "stupid." This, on the other hand, was refreshing. I got to be part of the discussion as well. "What is your take on the mosque in NY?" That was the first question. Maybe they just wanted me to start the discussion. I was happy to do it. I crave adult conversation sometimes. Mr. Soup and I have exhausted the mosque discussion. (it's actually NOT a mosque, but a Islamic Community Center) His take: it's too soon and not appropriate. My take: "ain't nobody gonna tell me I can't build something somewhere.' That was pretty much the discussion in class today too. Although, most people agreed with my husband.
As class went on, my view sort of changed too. I still support the community center being built. In my heart and my mind this building would symbolize peace and change. It would bring people together and signal a shift in America. However, building this community center near the place where so many lost their lives is not going bring peace. In fact, it has created chaos. While the bastards who terrorized America 9 years ago are not representative of Islam, Islam and terrorism will always be linked as a result. As my husband, a non-practicing Muslim, pointed out, sparking fear and hatred by building this community center is not going to open anyone's eyes to the beauty that is Islam. He is right. Islam should be understood and accepted, not hated.
I guess I had a hard time accepting this. As someone who's always in the middle (racially, politically, etc.) and always seeking a compromise, I want everyone to get along and to live in harmony. It's a sad realization that it's not possible in this America.
I will never forget the moment I learned of the 9/11 attacks. Not only did we lose lives, but we lost an America that was tolerant and practiced freedom of religion. We now live in fear and it has paralyzed our nation. I weep for the lives we lost and the nation we lost.
I remember when...

Friday, September 10, 2010

mixed hair and other things

oh this week was not a good week for testing out "mixed girl" hair. However, I did it and I'm glad I did! I love wearing my hair curly. The tornado and rain this week did wreak some havoc on my hair.
last week Mr. Soup and I purchased our first flat screen television. It's very pretty. It's pretty much the only art we have in our family room. Well, that and our Texas stars, black love and laugh wood work and family pictures.
this past weekend my friend Himee came in town. It was so great to have her in town. We all hung out and had a total girls' weekend. Some of the highlights included yummy brunch with bottomless Mimosas at Iron Cactus (my absolute favorite brunch spot), and partying at a bar with a (green) pool, sand volleyball and karaoke. The pool was very suspect. In fact, it bothered me. Why was the pool green? There was also some suspect activity (not by me) towards the end of the night. My eyes saw so much... Overall, it was a great weekend. I struggled to get caught back up this week though. Too much partying. I had to hit the gym hard this week. However, I rarely go out, so a girls' weekend every now and then is a requirement, I think.
I love my job, but it's already kicking my butt this year. Despite this, I am determined to get caught up on grading. Those damn summer reading projects take up so much of my time and weekend. Since I had a wild weekend last weekend, I plan to spend the weekend teaching (tomorrow morning), grading and cleaning out our home office. Mr. Soup wants to buy a futon for it and hook up one our many TVs in there. So, we're going futon shopping this weekend.
I started waking up thirty minutes earlier each day to walk to the dogs. I'm hoping it helps them (and me) get back in shape. It also is a great way for me to prepare for the day. It's relaxing to walk through our little neighborhood together.
Our little Abbygail is doing well in school. She is already ahead of her Accelerated Reading goal and scored 100% on her comprehension test. Mr. Soup and I are trying to reward her for good behavior and academic success. Last year we focused a lot on her negative behavior, rather than praising her for good behavior. This year we're going to attempt to send little gifts to encourage her to keep doing well. We got her some personalized pencils and silly bandz. If you don't know what Silly Bandz are, they're all the rage among tweens and teens. Hopefully, my 8 year old will like them.
Other than that life is good. Mr. Soup and I went to dinner and ice cream tonight and just marveled at how blessed we are. We are lucky to be able to travel, spend time with friends and family and enjoy each other.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

reclaiming my hair

So, recently I stopped taking some meds and my skin and hair have been out of sorts. My junior high acne popped up in full force just in time for picture day (yes, faculty members take pictures as well). I have a lovely pimple on my lip. Not near my lip, but actually on it and guess what else? it's actually two pimples in one! gross. I have to put make up on it so that it doesn't look like I have Herpes. I also now have backne (or however you spell it...bacne?) it's disgusting. my back is literally a pizza. greasy goodness. (there's your metaphor and alliteration...I wonder if my kids would get those literary terms if I used those examples?)
and my scalp...ugh my scalp. it already takes enough abuse from getting a relaxer every six-eight weeks (relaxer = perm for black people...it makes our hair straight). and now I have these big sores that flake and flake...more than you want to know probably. My scalp just doesn't get enough oxygen because I have such thick hair (thanks, mom and dad). And since blacks with chemically straightened hair can't wash their hair every day, my scalp gets lots of build-up. So, I've decided to forgo relaxing my hair and embrace my curly hair. I'll probably still have to have my hair chemically processed every once and a while to loosen my curls (I wasn't blessed with full mixed-girl hair...mine is more black than mixed), but instead of doing it every six weeks, I will probably only do it once every season. I also won't straighten my hair with my Chi everyday. I really want to bring my hair and scalp back to healthy. Fortunately, Aussie makes a great leave-in conditioning mousse which defines my curls and conditions my hair. I love it! I used it all the time in the summer when I wore my hair curly. Plus, if I ever get pregnant, I'll have to wear my hair curly because most pregnant women do not take well to relaxers. oh and did I mention Mr. Soup loves my hair curly? it's evident by his face in the picture above (see my hair looks cute there curly, right?) "Babe, you look more natural with your hair curly. I like it better that way." So yeah, he's all on board. I love this man for always supporting my decisions and still finding me sexy!
I also discovered the mixedchicks hair product line. I'm so buying some of their products! Of course, I still love my Aveda! Now Suave has it's own psuedo Aveda shampoo and conditioner, so I may use that to off set costs. Oh and did I mention I will save $70 a month in relaxing fees? That is a lot! It'll go straight into the savings account! Okay, who am I kidding...it'll go towards clothes and shoes!