March 19, 2021 ~ A Case for Lip Gloss

Each morning I have the same routine from my shower to my hair to my makeup. I’m not a big makeup person… a little eyeliner, a little mascara, and some lip gloss.

When the pandemic hit, I skipped much of the makeup routine; however, whenever I would go onto a meet, I would give my lips a little swipe of lip gloss.

My colleagues sent texts ribbing me on the application prior to meetings… “Really with the lip gloss?”

Yes, really. I like lip gloss. I feel like it brightens my face. Leave the lip gloss out of it.

So this fall as we returned to work, I resumed my regular morning routine including applying the lip gloss. Now, I REALLY did not need the lip gloss. It would be covered up by the mask. But each morning, I still gave my lips a swipe.

Tuesday as I prepared for my afternoon conferences, I pulled a tube out of my desk. (I have tubes everywhere. I have purchased my shade in bulk. I will never be without if they cancel my color- that’s another story for another day, REVLON!) I gave my lips a swipe.

Wednesday… same drill. I was going to be maskless… this was a time for lip gloss.

Thursday… my teaching partner, Karen, said she needed to take my picture for the yearbook.

“Hang on… I need a swipe of lip gloss.” She laughed.

“Of course you do!” She may have been one of said texters above!

So just because we must cover our mouths for most of the day, don’t neglect the lip gloss. It will make you happy (and your lips will thank you)!

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March 18, 2021 ~ A whirlwind

I can’t find an appointment for him.

A friend gets an appointment for him 1.5 hours away. I keep it wondering if I should bring him home for this.

His dorm goes into lockdown due to a large number of cases in the building. The cases on campus rise from 80 to 88 to 100 to 151 today.

A friend stops by. Asks how he is. I share my worries. She shares her trick.

15 minutes later I have an appointment for him tomorrow… 15 minutes from home.

I text my girlfriend whose daughter is also eligible and at school with him.

I text my husband that we need a plan.

I call my husband and make a plan.

I text my son and share the plan.

My husband texts he is on the road.

I call my son to review the plan.

I help my girlfriend get her daughter an appointment.

I text my husband to tell him to bring her home with him.

I shift back into work mode. I work with colleagues, meet with parents, drive home, order dinner, pick up dinner.

They walk in the door. I sit down at the table with my family and breathe.

March 17, 2021 ~ My time with L

He walks into the room the same way each day- with a spring in his step, but the swagger of a pre-teen, seemingly unsure of what he wants to be. He drops his backpack on his desk- one of the closest ones to my desk (his request).

“Good morning,” I say without looking up from my work. He doesn’t like direct attention on him.

“Good morning,” he says with clarity and confidence.

“So I chatted with grandma yesterday,” I continue.

“Yeah I know,” he says, “I know what you said to her.”

“So what do you think of what I said?” I ask unsure of his answer, but praying it’s the one I want.

“I think I can do Level 1 for both math and reading,” he says with the same confidence he carries with him each day even when he isn’t so confident, “and I think I will get really good grades,” he continues.

“I agree,” I confirm his thoughts trying not to exhale too loudly, “I think you will be great in Level 1 and I think you are going to do great things next year.”

“Yeah,” he pauses as he begins to make his way to the door and his locker letting me know he is done talking about it, “Yeah, I got this.”

Oh yes, I know you’ve got this, L, and I could not be more proud of the student you have become over the course of the past 2.5 months coming off of a year of distance learning and challenge after challenge. You’ve got this!

March 16, 2021 ~ Crockpot for the win!

The day started at 5:45 AM. (or 4:45 if you are not truly adjusted to the time … which I’M NOT!)

By 6:30 AM, I was peeling potatoes and carrots. My stomach turned as I lifted the big hunk of roast out of it’s secure plastic wrap and foil. No one should be making dinner at 6:30 in the morning!

I plopped the beef into the crockpot. I tossed the potatoes on top and threw the carrots haphazardly on top of them. I grabbed random spices from the spice drawer, closed the lid and clicked on ‘low’.

8:00-12:15 PM: I taught children

12:40-4:00 PM: I talked with ten families about their fabulous children (truly, they are amazing) without five minutes to spare!

4:00-5:15 PM: I attended a webinar with Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts on using Demonstration Texts with kids. (That I signed up for weeks ago BEFORE realizing it would be a parent teacher conference day.

5:25 PM- I stood up from my desk. Exhausted. Made my way to my car.

5:45 PM- I walked up the stairs into the kitchen. The smell hit me first. Oh my gosh… I already made dinner. I dropped my bag and climbed the next flight of stairs to put on my pajamas.

Thank you Crockpot… I truly needed you today.

March 15, 2021~ Dear Leggings,

Dear Leggings,

It is a Monday morning and there you are at the ready like you are each and every Monday.

You bring me comfort when I really don’t want to dress for work.

You help me get dressed quickly because I might have stayed in bed a bit longer.

You give me options… tall boots, ballet flats, cute sneakers… you name it, you match with them.

Your color matches with everything in my closet.

If I want to dress up because I have a meeting on Monday, no problem. A pretty long sweater is at the ready to hang with you!

If I want to be warm because the unrelenting winter will not go away, I can throw on my oversized poncho and you are a dynamic duo.

My dearest leggings, thank you for making Monday mornings a bit more bearable!

A grateful gal

March 14, 2021~ Memere’s Popcorn

His friends were arriving in 15 minutes. All kids in his cohort at school so I felt ok having them in the house, in the basement, and I would remain feet upon feet away from them since I feel like a walking petri dish!

He grabbed multiple bags of chips, two boxes of Capri Sun, and headed to the basement.

Within a minute he was back upstairs.

“Mom, can I make popcorn?” he asked.

“Sure, you know where it is,” I replied without looking up from my book.

“No, not microwave popcorn, Memere’s popcorn,” he answered.

“Absolutely, grab the handled pot,” I answered getting up from my chair.

He reached into the cabinet and pulled out the pot.

“Thanks, mom,” he said making his way out of the kitchen.

“Hang on,” I called before he could place his foot on the top step, “you asked to make the popcorn. Let me show you how. I already know how to make it, you don’t.” He sighed and turned and made his way back to the stove.

He pulled out the popcorn and oil and took my direction easily.

As the first kernel popped, he began moving the pot on the burner, while holding his phone in his hand.

“You may need to put the phone down,” I encouraged knowing that moving the pot was the most critical part to avoid burning the kernels!

Reluctantly he placed it on the counter. The popping continued and the lid started to rise off of the pot.

“Mom, it’s going to overflow! What did you do?” he called. I walked over calmly and stood beside him with the large bowl at the ready.

As the popping slowed, he gently kept moving the pot on the burner. He lifted it off of the burner and put it towards the large bowl. I slowly lifted the lid and he dumped the popcorn into the bowl.

“Aah… this is the best. Just like Memere’s. I wish we could see her. I miss her. ” he said quietly looking into the bowl.

“Me too. Me too” I answered.

March 13, 2021 ~Yesterday

Yesterday- I pulled all my work into my bag without it being finished BECAUSE it was a gorgeous spring day in March and I wanted to go home.

Yesterday- I skipped my workout BECAUSE when I got home my husband asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner- just the two of us- and we haven’t done that in a long time.

Yesterday- I climbed into bed at 8:00 only to realize I had not written and I did not climb out BECAUSE I was exhausted, it was a long week, and I physically did not have it in me.

Yesterday, I gave myself the grace that I give to all those I love each and every day. Yesterday, I took a step in the direction of putting myself first.

March 11, 2021 ~ What am I doing wrong?

I need to know. I have tried everything and I truly can not find a solution. Here’s my problem…

I arrive at school each day between 6:45 and 7:00 am. I am usually the second car to pull in (behind the custodian). The third or fourth if the dog needed a little extra attention.

I work for an hour. My contractual day starts at 7:45… my kids arrive at 8:00.

I leave my building each day around 5:00 pm. Not because I’m done, but because I have to due to COVID cleaning protocols.

I work a ten hour day most days. And I’m still not done. I still have more to do. I still have a list that is not all crossed off. Most weeks, it carries over into the weekend with hours on Saturday morning ‘finishing up’.

So, what am I doing wrong? How do people arrive at 7:45 and leave at 3:15? (Some not carrying a bag)

I know everyone has their own routines, but I am truly trying to find out how I can manage my time better. How do I keep up this pace? But how do I stop? I can’t ‘not’ do the things that I do… that will bring about stress on a whole different level.

I truly just want to know… what am I doing wrong?

March 10, 2021 ~ My five year old

My five year old does not like the phone. She is fine when it rings. She is not alarmed by it. She will watch people on the phone without much of a care.

She will watch my husband talk on the phone for long lengths of time… for work, for family, for business.

She will watch the boys talk to their grandparents without so much as a peep.

But then there is me. The minute I put the phone to my ear and sit in a chair (any chair for that matter), it begins.

It might be a whine. It might be a request. Sometimes she can get loud. So loud that the person on the other end of the line asks, “Is she ok? Do you need to go?”

To which I always respond, “No, she needs to learn. This is a new behavior and I don’t know why it bothers her so much when I talk on the phone.”

Sometimes she will relax. Sometimes she is relentless. When I finally get off the phone, she wags her tail. She rubs her head on my legs. She reaches up for a loving pet. She knows she now has my undivided attention.

March 9, 2021 ~ A plan

I’m a planner.

I love a plan.

I make plans.

I make plans to plan. It makes me happy. It motivates me. It helps me stay on track.

SO… as I have been working on working out, I thought I might need to take my planning skills and put them to good use.

I made a plan. I mapped out my week. I mapped out spin classes, core strength, weight strength. I did it all.

I put it on a giant, bright yellow post it. I placed it behind my bike.

I’m ready for the plan. Two days down… four to go! Then rest day. Let’s see how this plan works out!