Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Did I mention Fran was here!?

Since I seem to be talented at NOT posting things in a sensible, timely manner, I figured it would be fitting to blog a little about Fran's recent visit to Birmingham (recent, as in three months ago!).
To fill in some details, briefly: Fran and I have been best friends for over 22 years... and most of that friendship has taken place over hundreds of miles, since she moved to Connecticut about a year or so after we met! Over these few decades, we have been through mini golf madness, late-night conversations, hysterical laughter, weird sicknesses, travels, births, deaths, scary movies, marriages, divorces, broken "boom boxes," dog barfing incidents... wow -- let's just say a LOT of stuff (and not necessarily in that order)! And it's always so much fun to get together and pick back up wherever we left off the last time!
Fran was here most recently to take photos at FarmLinks Golf Club. She is an amazing photographer, and this was a unique opportunity to get her to take some shots where I work! But it was also a great opportunity for us to get updates, eat out at fun places, watch dumb things on TV, laugh until we cry and just have fun being friends.

(Oh, and BTW: be very glad I did not post a photo of Fran and me from those "good ole days." If you're a child of the 80's, you know exactly what I mean... and that's exactly why I'm not going to go there!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall party fun

Jaiden's class had their "fall party" not too long ago, and I stopped by to take a few photos... and eat a few snacks. The class had painted pumpkins, and they passed out lots of goodies, which is just what every child needs when he/she has a load of Halloween candy waiting at home!

Monday, November 10, 2008

There's majesty in simplicity

Ah, coloring. There's not much to it, and yet, it can be such a rewarding experience!
When I was teaching 9th grade English (in another lifetime, eons ago!), I brought a handful of coloring books with me to school. Lo and behold -- several students (guys and girls) wanted to color ... and even sat in my classroom during lunch period to color to their hearts' desire!
There's just something about coloring. It can be quite calming. It can be inspiring. It can be a little escape. I still color with Jaiden. I bet most Mommies do. And I find her, often, in her room, sprawled out on the floor with a rainbow of colors surrounding her. She shows me how she stays in the lines. But I tell her it's ok to scribble, too. And I tell her she can color whatever she wants to.... Sometimes she colors the sky blue. Sometimes she colors the sky pink. And sometimes she leaves the sky blank. Why? Well, as she points out, sometimes it's a cloudy day!

(BTW: Yes, Jaiden IS wearing wings!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Roller "skating"? (More like roller scooting and roller falling)

I'm not very graceful with things strapped, tied or stuck on my feet.
I can't snorkel, and it's not just because I can't really swim (or because I'm afraid of drowning); I just can't wear those fin things. They don't work on my feet. Instead of acting as helpful water-maneuvering tools, they're more like lead weights, pulling me to my watery grave. That being said, I'm not very talented with skateboards, either. I just wobble around for a few centimeters before I fall down. And I've never even tried skis -- water or snow -- and that's for a very good reason. (Can you picture me with two skinny boards strapped to my feet while racing over liquid H2O tied behind a boat or careening down a frozen mountain? Nothing good can happen there. Trust me.)
But while I am mostly a klutz who should really just stick to non-moving flats, flip flops or sneakers, I will strap on some ice skates or roller skates every now and again... and that "again" happened a few weeks ago when my neighbor, her two kids, Sean, Jaiden and I went roller skating!
It was the first time skating for Jaiden, Colt and Cailyn. And it was the first time I'd tied on those stinky, cardboard-brown roller rentals in over 20 years. How sad is that? I think I went ice skating about 10 years ago... but I haven't been on wheels in two decades!
Needless to say, with three young skating newbies and three very out-of-practice adults, we were definitely a sight to see! Our "war wounds" were also a sight -- bloody heel blisters, sore muscles, deep purple bruises from hip to knee... and quite possibly one cracked coccyx... (AKA tail bone)!
And the verdict? We all had loads of fun! In fact, we'll be at the rink again in a few days. I may dress Jaiden in a padded suit. And I'm bringing some Febreeze....

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm a TERRIBLE mom!

Yeah... so... it's the first week of November, and my little J has been in school for nearly half the year... And I am just now getting around to posting about her first day of first grade! AGH!
I had to use Mom's camera to take these first-day photos, so I do have a legitimate excuse. The pictures were on her camera. At her house. And I only just yesterday loaded them on my laptop! *sigh... I guess I am still a bad mom. (Or, at the very least, I am a very untimely blogger.)
So. Jaiden is a big first grader now, and she was VERY excited to head out for the first day of school. Since this is year 2, she was very prepared. No fear. Just walked me right to her classroom, waltzed in, found her desk, said "hi" to the other kids and hung up her backpack. I don't recall being quite that self-assured! (And I know I wasn't that well dressed! The early 80s were NOT that kind!)