It is official.
The worst has happened.
I have become… crafty.
My mom gave me a big bag of photos from our family, never one to put them in albums they’ve been in a box for a long time.
I decided to unearth them, sort them into four stacks, and make photo collages for my three brothers and mom for Christmas. I got some frames at Goodwill and then spray painted them silver. Turned out pretty cool.
I made four cards tonight. Three are for friends that follow this blog, so I can’t show you the others.
This is for a friend that moved two weeks ago.
Remember how Ainsley was the Swedish Chef for Halloween? Well, we found a Christmas ornament at Target of the muppet himself!
Sure sign you’re deep into parenting: the colors in your hall closet have become much more vibrant. And by vibrant I mean it looks like a candy store vomited in there.
When I feel the first early winter wind strip my heat away as it tumbles the remaining dead leaves across the street, I start to think. It’s the sort of harsh wind that shows up in early December and warns of bitter ice and snow to come. As I tuck into my coat tighter, and wrap my kids up fluffier, I begin to ruminate.
Maybe that just happens to me.
I think back on the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year. I did, um, none of them. I did not memorize any scripture at all. I didn’t get a tattoo. I didn’t get down to my goal weight. I didn’t run a marathon. I didn’t learn to drive a stick.
There were other goals. I didn’t read 24 books, but I think I did get in over a dozen. I didn’t get the VBAC for which I’d hoped and prepared for at great lengths. I meant to call my friends and relatives and have actual phone conversations, not just texts or emails.
By those indicators, the year of 2013, my 33rd year of life, was an utter failure.
But there are other benchmarks to take into consideration. I lifted weights all the way until 42 weeks of pregnancy. I brought a life into the world. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, and then had to wrestle with the idea of medicating myself through it. I have fought my weight like I have for every year since I was probably 15. I started writing stories. I started going to counseling regularly and it has saved my (mental) bacon. I started acting like my 33-year-old self around my family, as opposed to my 16-year-old self. I have been honest and frank with my mom and my brothers. I said what I needed to at my dad’s graveside at the one year anniversary of his death.
I have a better appreciation now for myself as a wife, a mother, a friend, and a leader. And as a follower of God.
And I think perhaps most importantly, I’ve realized how much everyone in my life needs me to act like an adult. When my kid screams at me because she’s three and that’s what kids do, I don’t scream back. When a 27 year old friend has trouble with her marriage and she comes to me for help, she needs me to be an adult. When my 25 year old friend talks about how horrible her friends are, she needs me to tell her to WALK AWAY, DUDE. The world needs people to act their age. And I need to act 33.
Not to say that I’ve ever been a terribly immature person. I have a long history of making the “right” choices in life (although I’ll chalk that up to God’s grace). It’s just that I’ve never really thought of myself as the mature older person, in any situation. But when I look around my life, the vast majority of people God has led me to be in relationship with are younger. And they need to know what life is like at 33. And I want to show them that it’s work, and that it’s awesome.
So did I accomplish all I set out to do in 2013? Have the bitter winds of the oncoming winter come to accuse me or acquit me?
What I am certain of is that I grew through a lot of difficult things this year. I grew when it would’ve been easier to shrink, to go backwards, to stick my head in the sand. And maybe some times I did stick my head in the sand. But as I think back, I have to say I’m proud of most of the choices I made. It was a onerous year. But it has been a good year.
Onward. Face into the wind.
My husband teaches at a ghetto inner city school, and it was simply a matter of time until this day would come…
We’re going to take in one of his students for a while. Miserable sob stories are the M.O. of his students, but this one is special. He has a certain spark. He has the potential to go far. And he even has a complete family, a rarity in his world. But his friends are crap and going nowhere and he sees himself going with them.
Enter bleeding heart Briggs. We’re going to put him up in our office and Peter will drive him to school with him every day and we’ll take care of him. We’ve already talked to his parents about it, and my husband is talking to the principal too just to keep everything on the up and up. It’s for two weeks, but it might turn into more. The kid is a senior so it can’t last forever.
There are lots of kids Peter would take home for us to care for, which is why he needs me, because I temper his bleeding heart. But this kid is special, and like the whole sea star story, he’s the one we’re trying to throw back into the sea.
Maybe it’ll help. Maybe it won’t. But we’ve got to do what we can. This is a small thing that we can do to help. (And don’t worry, we’re being careful.)
Ever wanted to keep a photo just because it was a good shot?
This was my substitute teaching ID from the one month I attempted to sub.
Subbing sucked, but the photo was great.
13 year old Karla was soooooo awkward. Fitting that 8th grade was the age I ended up teaching.
At least my older brother Scott in the background was just as bad.