I think it starts around the time you become incredibly self-aware. All you see is you and your problems and you also think you can see how everyone else can see you.

And with that self-awareness comes your awareness of everyone else around you. You compare and barter with yourself deciding what pieces of other people you want to pick up and what pieces you want to leave behind.

Eventually, you get to an age where you start saying things to yourself, mostly in your head, but sometimes out loud about how "you would do it."

It may not seem like you're planning, but you are. You subconsciously start to plan your life. How you'll "do" college, how you'll "do" relationships and friendships. You make mental notes of things you will definitely buy when "that time" comes. How you'll decorate or build when you have "your home." Everyone does this, for a certain amount of time in their lives. I'm sure some people do it until the day they die.

But when your plans are rejected by something you don't control or can't adjust, your mind starts to shift.

All of those times you would have automatically said to yourself "When I..." and filled in the blank with your subconscious plans, instead of filling in the blank you stop yourself. Because what you thought would never be your reality, is currently your reality. The possibility doors close one at a time and as those doors close the light that once lit your perceived future progressively dims.

Strawberry Days

Maybe it's because strawberries are our favorite fruit. Maybe it's because you can't beat that mountain view. And maybe it's because it's on our "where we fell in love" list. Or maybe we're too lazy to find a new rodeo.
Whatever it is, we haven't missed Strawberry days since we've been together and now we'll be missing it for the next three years. But I'm sure there are other rodeos out there that we will grow to love--maybe. Here's to our last Rodeo, in Utah at least.

Smoothie Pants

This is a story I tell my students in order to encourage them and make them feel better about all of the terrible things that happen to you when you're a teenager. And all the terrible things that still happen to you when you're an adult, despite your efforts to prevent them.

And it goes like this.

Generally on a school morning, I zombie myself to the bathroom to get ready while Tyler hits snooze several times. Then as I dress by the light of my phone flashlight, Tyler zombies out of bed and goes upstairs to make my breakfast and lunch. I know what you're thinking--that is so sweet of him. And the worst of me, because how lazy am I that I can't make my own meals? The answer is v lazy. It is v sweet of him, but it's also because if he didn't I would legitimately waste away slowly and be shriveled into nothing by graduation.

Generally, lunch is one of three: oatmeal, PB&J, granola bar.
Breakfast is also one of three: toast, cereal, smoothie.

On this particular morning, Tyler made me PB&J for lunch and a smoothie for breakfast. He was especially tired so I sent him back to bed with a kiss and a spank.

I sat at the table drinking my smoothie. I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to grab chapstick (it's a necessity and an addiction). I promptly stood up from the table and as I sidestepped out of the bench my pants caught the tablecloth and began to rip it from it's resting place on the table. I foresaw the disaster with my psychic-like abilities and froze in just enough time so that the smoothie glass didn't move.

"That was close, self," I told myself as I made a mental note not to do that again.

I came back from retrieving the chapstick and continued to enjoy my smoothie. As happens frequently in the morning time and throughout most of my day, I remembered something else I needed to take to work with me that day. I leapt from the bench and quickly sidestepped out of the table. I know what you're thinking, "NOOOOO, the TABLECLOTH! the SMOOOOOTHIE!"

I'm sorry to say that my mental notes often get written on a notepad in my brain titled 'Forgettable' and are promptly forgotten. So I think you know how the rest of this story is going to go.

It looked like a magic trick gone wrong. The one where the magician pulls the tablecloth out from under all the stuff with not so much as a wiggle from the items on said tablecloth and everyone at the table cheers and throws money and flowers at the magician. Yeah, it didn't exactly go like that.

Magic trick from David Ginn Magic-check out his YouTube channel!

And so where do you think the smoothie went? I'll put it in list form in order to speed this up a bit.
There were smoothie smatterings on all of the following in varying quantities:
  • table
  • tablecloth
  • bench
  • pants
  • shirt
  • inside of my shoes
  • floor
And in the process of trying to stop the catastrophe midair:
  • cabinets
  • countertop
  • various rugs
  • sink (which sounds like it would be a positive thing, but at this point it really wasn't)
I stood there, smoothie-clad and fuming and didn't know what to do first. So I laughed. I laughed at how stupid it was that I had mentally informed myself not to do something and then did that exact thing. I didn't have time to change so I wiped myself down and ran out the door. Smoothie pants and all. 

And you know what? The rest of the day was fine. Better than fine actually. I got to see hundreds of my students (a.k.a. best friends, their words, not mine) and they didn't care that I had smoothie pants. I got to teach, and be creative and come home to my wonderful husband who makes me meals. 

One day, despite all your efforts to make your life perfect, you will have smoothie pants. And you know what? It will be fine. It might not be fine in that moment or for a lot of moments after that, but eventually it will be okay. And no one will care that you made a mistake, or forgot something, or weren't perfect for a little while. It will be okay, and that's what really matters. And life is better lived believing that one day it will be okay. 

Student Sense

Maybe students have something of a sixth sense.

I had recently sent in my resignation and was feeling pretty sad about it. I love the students part of my job. Anything that has to do with them is what I enjoy. Mostly. Sometimes I hate that they ignore me, or don't turn in assignments, or don't come to cla--okay, that's enough. They are what makes my job worthwhile and enjoyable.

That is why I was feeling sad about leaving. I thought of all the students that I had cared about for so long and all the ones I would miss in the coming years by not being here teaching, and it made me sad.

Now, to their sixth sense. I think they can sense when I'm feeling sad, even from far away. Within a week of handing in my resignation the following went down:

One former student emailed me from across the world and reminded me that I did do something good last year and I had made a small difference in their life.

Another former senior randomly came to visit me after school one day. To say hi and catch up. Awwwww. My heart.

And then I ran into a few of my former seniors at the grocery store (mostly embarrassing) and we hugged and chatted about life recently and the haps.

And then two more seniors came to see me after school one day. At this point I stopped wondering and called Dateline to pitch my student-phenomena theory and the episode they could do on it. They did not return my call.

You see. They must know. They could sense that I didn't want to go and that I felt sad and they came to my rescue! Even though they didn't know they were rescuing me. They reminded me that I had been doing good things the last few years. It wasn't a waste and it was worth all the crap that came with it.

So to those of you who came to my sadness rescue in person and email and spirit, thank you. Thank you for reminding me that it was worth it. You made the last years worth it.

Karate Kick your Face off

And that's pretty much all this post is about.
I have serious RBF. See below:
Also, rat-tail. 

This was a selfie. Obviously I hate the mirror. 

Taking engagement photos. Blurry, but it's still clear what my face is saying.

This was a cheerful day, I promise.

Okay, maybe not. Too many to be a fluke.

Until you see me laugh, this is what you'll most likely get from me. And you probably just think I hate you. And not just you, but everything about you. Clothes, face, voice, personality. Because that's what my face says. And it says it hard.

But what lies underneath that cold, unforgiving exterior is a really funny, fun, laughter-filled, mostly cheerful person. The person that loves to laugh, and laugh loudly, is who I feel like most of the time. Even when I look like I'm about to karate kick someone's face off, I'm usually thinking of something that made me laugh recently, or plotting how to make everyone else laugh. 

Which leads me to believe that if you've never laughed with me, then you don't know me. All you know is that I am quiet (plotting jokes in my head), disinterested (trying to remember what was so funny the other day that made me {almost} pee my pants), and cold (people make me uncomfortable, okay?). 

But as you can see, parenthetically, I'm actually just trying to find a way to make you laugh and not sweat so much because I'm slightly uncomfortable. 

You may now officially change your mind about who you think I am. I am funny! I am nice! I love to laugh!  Here is some proof:

See! Laughing!


Chasing Geese!

That seems really sad that this post was just to make you think I'm not a stone cold Bey-oncé, but I guess that's all it is. Cool.