Friday, May 31, 2013

On the Menu: Green Smoothies!

Is it sad that I have been looking forward to this for a while??? I am so excited about trying this green smoothie recipe, and I love any preparation method that will prepare my breakfasts for several days (or a month) in advance, all at once! All Things G&D featured an awesome recipe for green smoothies in February. Not only is the recipe great, but the preparation suggests that you freeze the appropriate portions for future smoothies. Genius.

I am sharing the recipe and my own process here, but please give credit where it is due, and visit All Things G&D to see the original recipe and ideas. I am so grateful to have come across this awesome blog, and especially this post about green smoothies!

Ingredients:

1 c. Kale (stems removed, coarsely chopped, firmly packed)

1/2 c. Parsley (loosely packed)
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Banana
2 1/4 c. water

(Recipe source: Whole Living)



This recipe actually makes two servings, so I cut the recipe in half to make a portion-size that is suitable for me. By the time I did that, I actually put together enough portions to make 8-10 full smoothies. That's 8-10 breakfasts, all bagged up, and ready to be thrown into the blender along with water when I am ready to make them. So while the prep work is a bit time consuming, it will be much easier to have a quick, tasty green smoothie on those pushed-for-time mornings. Also, as previously noted, you could do the prep work only once or twice per month and have all of your morning smoothies prepared ahead of time. That's my perfect-world plan! ;)



Directions:
Combine kale, apple, banana, parsley, and 2 1/4 cups water in a blender. 
Blend until smooth. 
(If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water.) 
Note: This recipe makes 2 servings. 


Nutritional Facts:
Per serving: 105 calories 
0 g saturated fat
 0 g unsaturated fat 
0 mg cholesterol
 26 g carbs
 32 mg sodium
 2 g protein
 4 g fiber.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Few Things on a Thursday... Or Maybe One Simple Thing Today

It seems I have been unable to escape this idea of gratitude. I previously wrote about it in my post "Thank God for Grace, Gratitude, and Fruit" but the concept of being grateful keeps coming back to me in little ways each day. I think that sometimes we shroud our lives with a blanket of phrases that imply we are grateful. We mean well, but how often do we actually name things that make our life so full, so blessed? It's easy for us to say "thank you" for "family, home, health, job," and we certainly should be grateful for those things... but since when did our blessings cease to be specific? At the end of the day, we (definitely I) expect to feel some degree of satisfaction if we take a few minutes to thank our Creator for those basic blessings. How many God-breathed gifts bless our daily paths, without the slightest regard from us, their intended receivers? Maybe I'm the only one guilty of this, but I feel like blessings often get buried among the countless other things we have to do, notice, be, or obtain each day.

Less Stress, More Living
My favorite part of this quote is the last sentence, "Gratitude is not about ignoring the hard things in life..." How often do we feel almost overwhelmed with the idea of gratitude because there are so many hard things jumbled into our hearts that it seems gratitude cannot possibly coexist with the struggles in life? But maybe this is not a competition for space in our hearts. Maybe gratitude is supposed to coexist with the tough times. Maybe those struggles are actually there to help fuel our gratitude.

Handmade in the Heartland
Am I the only one who has felt this way?  

One of my guilty pleasures is making lists. LOTS of lists. Lots of things to do. Lots of places to go. Lots of lists to keep it all in order. Lots, lots, lots. This morning, I stumbled upon this image, and the following thought crossed my mind: What if each day revolved around a list like this?

Source unknown
That's all I have today -just one thing, really. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On the Menu: Tacos with Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

"Laughter is brightest in the place where food is." - Irish Proverb

I have pinned ideas for several new recipes lately, and I am so excited to start with a new recipe tonight: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers! I came across this recipe at Easily diY, and it just looked too good to resist. You can also see the detailed original recipe at Jo and Sue. My recipe is a bit simpler than the original, but I really just tried to work with ingredients that I have in the cabinet. I don't keep a fresh stock of water chestnuts, so that ingredient (and a few others) were neglected on my part. I have so much fun using colorful bell peppers in recipes, and I quinoa has been one of my favorites for the past couple of years. Combining those two items just has to create a winner, right? I'm thinking so.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup water
1/2 can black beans
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Sea salt & pepper seasoning

3 Sweet peppers, any color
1/4 cup cheese blend, shredded

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
Cook quinoa with water until done. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, mix black beans, peas, corn, tomatoes and green chilies, and all spices. Cook over medium heat until veggies are soft. 
Stir in cooked quinoa.


Cut tops off of peppers and place in 9x13 pan. 
Note: I didn't not use cheese in all of my peppers, so you may omit this part if you choose to do so. However, if you are using cheese, sprinkle shredded cheese onto the bottom of each pepper.


Fill peppers with the quinoa and veggies mixture. 
Sprinkle cheese on the top of the mixture (again, this part is optional).
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes (depending on oven) until peppers are browned on top and softened around the edges. Serve hot!



While the peppers were baking, I whipped up a batch of tacos to complete our meal.
Viola!


I was really proud of my quinoa stuffed peppers. My husband, however, was extremely proud of the smiley-face he made with his pepper and a taco...


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boxes for the Attic

So the first sign of summer is that I no longer really keep track of the days of the week. The fact that yesterday (Monday) was a holiday makes it even stranger to think that today is Tuesday. But it is, or so the calendar tells me.

A couple of interesting things happened over the weekend. First of all, I went to visit my parents and found that my old bedroom has now been converted into a handy home-office. Apparently, it is official that I am no longer expected to return home, ever. Should I need to stay for an overnight visit at any point, I will have the lovely option of sleeping either (a) on the couch or (b) on a desk. I am more than welcome on either one of those, of course.

I only pretend to have my feelings hurt; they really should have done this a long time ago. ;)

In addition to the transition, the belongings I did still have at home were conveniently packed up and ready to be loaded into the car to return home with me. There's now a rather large cluster of boxes, full of pictures, yearbooks, and other keepsakes, taking up space in my living room. My parents couldn't be happier, I'm sure. As for me, I have been trying to sift through it all and condense my life into a slightly more manageable cluster. A cluster that can be moved into a corner of the attic.

The interesting part is that actually sorting through old keepsakes is like watching your life all over again. It's funny how certain snippets don't really look like I remember them. Then, there are other snippets I don't remember at all. I know that moment happened -I have the picture to prove it- yet I don't actually remember being in that moment, that place, with those people. It makes me wonder...

How much of life do we just... forget?


In all this, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to preserve so much of my life, even if it is packed away neatly in a box (or several boxes) in a corner of the attic. It's still there, stored as a tangible reminder of everywhere I've been, every person I've loved, and every memory I've made. I think we lose so much of life as it moves along, mainly because we get so caught up in keeping up with the million to-dos and must-haves of life right now. If we're not careful, those little details that may not seem super important now, will be forgotten without a chance to mean something later on.

So I am spending a few days this week digging through boxes of old "stuff" before it's all moved to its resting place in the attic. It might sound a bit nostalgic, but I have learned a lot from the faces and friends that will be forever treasured there.


P.S. Apparently I kept most of the negatives along with photographs; what do you do with those in these digital days??? A little humor for thought...


Happy Monday Tuesday!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day Favorites

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I thought I would share a few of my favorite Memorial Day finds. Whether you are in need of ideas for books, clothing, or food to supply your weekend, the following links may be helpful.

Ladies, not that we really need a good excuse to put together a new outfit, but holiday weekends are great justification for going on a mini shopping spree. I love this hues-of-blue idea pallet.
The Style Treatment
Let's face it, when it comes to holiday weekends, we southerners love a good opportunity to indulge in a tasty spread. I came across two awesome recipe collections that specifically cater to healthier eating options for the holiday weekend. I couldn't decide on just one, so here; have both!
DAMY
foxes love lemons

Last, but not least, for those lucky lake- or beach-goers, there's nothing better than a good book (or 20 great books) to keep you entertained while you soak up a few first-of-the-summer rays. 
Great Thoughts

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finally Friday!

It's finally Friday, and with it comes the official beginning of summer. Teachers everywhere are letting their hair down, kicking their shoes off, and taking their first deep breaths since early August. I'm right there with them! For the rest of the world, summer vacations are a distant memory of student-life-gone-by. I understand that teachers are slightly annoying when it comes to summers off, and I would probably hate us too if I didn't have a summer vacation. Still, I think it's fair to allow us this one little perk of the teaching profession. I'm pretty sure I couldn't hold up through August if we didn't have it.

I ran across this collection of images, and I thought it seemed appropriate to share here. In all honesty, I almost couldn't post it, because it contains such an annoying typo. However, I'm subduing the grammar police and trying to look past it. I'll admit that the final outcome contradicts my previous post about summer goals just a bit, but don't be fooled: I will take time to rest this summer too. That is a much-needed component of summer.
What People Think I Do 
To all you teachers out there: Happy Summer! To everyone else: Happy Weekend! Regardless, be happy today. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Few Things on a Thursday

  • I have managed to squeeze in treadmill time each day this week. This has led me to two personal revelations: 
    • (a) The Ellen Show is a new favorite. I have always loved it, but this week, I have become rather committed. Ellen's generosity is inspiring, and besides that, the show is simply hilarious. (First grade teachers who understand shades of meaning will immediately recognize that the use of this adjective means the show is beyond just funny.) Sophia Grace and Rosie were featured during an episode earlier this week. Watch this clip to enjoy a laugh. 

    During the commercials, I switch to Dr. Oz. All in all, this has probably been one of the most beneficial 30-minute time periods of my days this week. Exercise + laughter + learning + inspiration = a good time. 

    • (b) Running, or exercise of any kind, is such a healthy habit to maintain. You know what isn't a healthy habit? Drinking carbonated beverages, like Diet Coke. I have been drinking too much Diet Coke lately. Once upon a time not so long ago, I hardly ever drank carbonated beverages. In my mind, I had maintained that status, but today I came to realize how unhealthy my habits have been lately. So this summer, in with green smoothies and (back) out with Diet Coke. I've posted it here: I have to stick to it. 
  • Yesterday, the few students I did have at school helped me clean out my filing cabinets. At some point, they stopped helping me clean and began "playing school" with the discarded items. I was so proud when I heard one of them say, "Ok. I want to be Mrs. Tally." Then, the little sweetheart quickly followed that statement with, "If you hear me scream, Jacob, come running so you can kill the spider, okay?" Should I be embarrassed that my first-graders are braver than me in the presence of a spider? Hold your judgement, please. 
  • Tomorrow is my last working Friday until August, which means it's the last Friday I will truly appreciate until August. I'm okay with that; my appreciation for a day is spread evenly throughout the weekdays during the summer.
Happy Thursday! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The kids are gone... now what?

Today was the last "official" day of school, which basically means that the students are finished while the teachers still have a couple of days of cleaning, packing, and other wrap-up work ahead. After all of that, summer will begin for us too. I wish I had a dime for every time in the past couple of weeks that someone has asked me, "So. What are you going to do this summer?" I usually act as if I'm not totally certain and respond with a casual "Oh, this-and-that" response. The truth is, if I launched into a full, detailed description of everything I hope to do this summer, each listener would probably think I'm some over-achieving, high-maintenance lunatic that can't just take a little time to relax. Since you, reader, can simply close the page if it becomes too much, I can share all the gruesome details here.
  • First of all, there are a few little house projects I would like to tackle. For example, there is one wall in our living room that I am quite certain needs stripes. It just has to happen. I'm thinking chunky vertical stripes of varying sizes with a few thin, sparingly-allotted pinstripes will create a nice accent wall.  I have found a few images that are somewhat similar to what I have in mind, but I'm pretty sure our end result will be just a bit different than these. 
Apartment Therapy

OHMY! Creative

Interiori

Nursery Notations
I do not plan to use any these colors, but you get the idea: I want stripes on a wall.
  • We are currently preparing to landscape our yard. By "we" I mean "we" are paying someone else to do the work. Nonetheless, I sure will appreciate their effort when I can sit on my front porch and admire those pretty new rosebushes.  
  • Travel is definitely on the agenda. The specific details of our first big "family" vacation have yet to be decided, and I'm pretty eager to narrow down those details. However, a few other small trips include visits to Nashville, Atlanta, and possibly the coast. 
  • Exercise! I am so ready to have a consistent running/exercise regimen again. Summers seem to be the best time to enjoy a little consistency. Once school starts back again, I always feel like my exercise routine fluctuates, depending upon the demands throughout the school year. 
  • I want to perfect a green smoothie recipe. Also, in a recent episode of Dr. Oz, he described cooking with various no-carb flour substitutes, including almond flour, coconut flour, and flaxseed flour. I would really like to tackle a few new recipes and make these items staple ingredients in our kitchen. 
  • I plan to spend a great deal of time writing, and I will certainly share some of those efforts here with you along the way. Believe it or not, this might be the part of my summer about which I am most excited...
  • Unless you consider the reading list that I have been unable to tackle for a while now. I am so ready to dive into some long-awaited books, so this will consume a greater portion of my "free time." (I know, I'm a nerd. Whatever.)
  • Of course, I cannot completely abandon the "teacher tasks" throughout the summer. There is much organizing to be done in preparation for the next school year. I would also like to create some additional TPT products, so look for those to pop up from time to time as well. 
That's my summer to-do list at this point. We'll see how many of these tasks are fully accomplished by the end of July! 

What do you have planned for summer? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teacher: Not the mama!


It's true. This happens... this exact situation, in which a child momentarily forgets that the person currently tying shoes, wiping noses, prompting manners, and imploring life lessons is not necessarily his/her mom, but is just a teacher. It really is an all-too-common scenario. The first time a student slipped up and called me "mom," was the strangest experience I had encountered in any of my teaching schooldays to that point. My immediate response was to correct them, with an affirmative, "No, I'm not your mother, dear," because no one can even begin to attempt to fill the shoes of mother in a child's life.  Then I realized that, on that particular day, for that particular child, I really was the closest thing to a mom that she would know. Situations such as this are a grim reality of our society today, and it makes the role of a teacher an even greater weight to carry at times. There are children who walk into your classroom and need you to fulfill some form of a a mom-like role. There will be days when it just feels natural for them to call you, "Mom." Every child needs someone to call by that name, after all. 

Then, there are other children who have perfectly amazing, incredible mothers at home. When these children experience this slip of the tongue, an expression of complete embarrassment immediately follows on their sweet little faces. Those children need no correction from me; they are quick to remind me that I am "not the mama" (please tell me someone remembers that 90's quote...?!?). During one lunch conversation earlier this year, one student slipped up several times and began to speak to me, yet again, by saying "Mom..." She finally slapped her little fist down on the table and said, "Well, you're just so much like her... it gets me all confused sometimes when I get in a hurry to tell you something..." I told her I would take that as a compliment because her mother is a pretty amazing woman. Naturally, this six-year-old responded, "Yeah. She's cool. But you're Mrs. Tally. Now what I was trying to say was..."

By this point, I've grown accustomed to these did-I-really-just-call-my-teacher-mom moments. Depending on the child, these situations can make me sad at times; but in general, they really reflect the strength of a relationship that can form between teachers and their students. Today, I hugged many of my students for the final time in their first-grade year. I wished them well and sent them off into a childhood summer. I couldn't help but think that next year, they'll be another teacher's second-grader. Of course, I'll have new kiddos to adore. I'll have new opportunities to be "mom" as needed. There's just something special about each group of students, and this class, in particular, has taught me so much about life in first grade. They will be missed.

I leave you with a final conversation between myself and one of my students earlier this week:

Student: "Mrs. Tally, have you ever been a mommy? Ever? In your life?"
Me: "No. Once you become a mommy, you stay a mommy."
Student: "Well. Do you want to be one?"
Me: "Eventually... Why? Do you think I should be a mommy?"
Student: "No."
    I have to note that she wasted no time giving that response...
Me: "Really? And why not?"
Student: "Because I love you, and I don't want that baby to take you away. I want to at least be able to see you in the hall next year. If a baby gives you have another job, I won't have you at all anymore."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Unlocking Our Time Capsules: A Year of Growth

What do you do in those final days of school, when the tests are finished and the grades are all documented? Naturally, you reflect on the year past. However, if you are a six-/seven-year-old, you may need a few helpful tools for reflection. Among these include construction-paper cutouts and string from the past. 

On the first day of school, way back in August, each child in our class made a time capsule. The time capsules were a fun way to get to know each other and document our starting points for the year. They included items such as handprint cutouts, strings to measure the heights of each child, and several drawings and writing samples from our fresh-out-of-kindergarten first graders. In these final days of school, we have opened our time capsules to compare where we are now with where we were then. 

The following pictures show a few samples of handprint comparisons. The handprints on the left are from August, while the handprints on the right are the current ones. Most surprising from this little activity was not really the growth in the hand sizes, but the improvement in cutting skills. Many of our August handprints were missing fingers or were slightly misshapen hands. The May handprints are far more accurate in size and shape. Of course, several of the students just assumed that their hands in August were "very chubby." Child logic is so precious, isn't it?


The height-measurement strings proved to be a favorite item from the time capsules. It was so amazing to see that the same yarn that reached the top of their heads in August would only stretch to the tops of their ears now! This wasn't the case for every child, of course, but for most of our students, the growth evidenced from this little piece of string really was astounding. They have grown in so many ways in the past nine months, but this string was the most obvious evidence of that physical growth.



 I absolutely love their little faces in these pictures. You can see how excited and proud they were to actually see their growth. Sweet moments.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Very Special Thing on a Thursday


Last week, I mentioned the lovely blog community Mississippi Women Bloggers. Guest posts for the site focus on a central theme, and the theme changes each month. Currently, the theme for May is "Women Who Inspire Us/Mothering Advice." I am very excited to share that my guest post, titled "Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This" is being featured today. I hope you will take a few minutes to visit Mississippi Women Bloggers and read my post. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Author's Share Update


If you haven't visited our Author's Share tab recently, please take a moment to do so now. We have two new additions to the page: The Lost Butterfly and The Five Small Rats. Unfortunately, a blog post fails to truly convey the quality of these pieces. They were not just stories written on paper (although I am never disappointed to see one of those!); these students took time to create the books. I just had to include images of some of my own favorite illustrations to coincide with the story. You can see previews below, but the full stores are featured on the Author's Share. I might also add that these weren't even school assignments; these projects were created entirely at home, just for fun. It is quite possible that I have some future authors in my classroom! :)












I get so excited when children bring things like this into the classroom, not only because they have invested their time and creativity into projects like this, but also because they are so very eager to share their creations. I hope they always bring that enthusiasm into their classrooms as they grow older. It adds a pleasant grace to the teaching profession. 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Reviewing story elements

Today, we reviewed story elements by creating book posters that featured characters, settings, and plots for some of our favorite stories. The students worked in groups, and each group created a poster that represented the book assigned to their group. Overall, our finished posters featured six different texts we love, including: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Giving Tree, The Very Hungry Caterpillar; and Where the Wild Things Are. They had so much fun with this, and I loved watching their ideas take shape in the classroom. We have some creative kiddos, and I just turned them loose with these little projects today!

This afternoon, one of my sweet girls asked, "Mrs. Tally, was today supposed to be a fun day?" 
"Well, that depends." I replied. "Have you had a fun day?" 
"Oh yes, this is awesome! Can we do this again tomorrow?"
I consider that to be a bit of quality feedback. 

In other news, two of our tadpoles sprouted front legs over the weekend. The kids are very excited to see them lose their tails. We have seven days of school left, and I have a feeling we will see some hopping action before the school year officially ends. 

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Preparing for Mother's Day (with a freebie!)



Warning: If you are a mother of one of my students, please wait until after Mother's Day to read this post! I don't want to spoil their surprises for you! ;)

This has been a delightful Friday, in spite of the gloomy weather. We have had so much fun preparing for Mother's Day. The students have been looking forward to making things for their mothers all week long. I even had a couple out sick today, and when their parents contacted me, both of them said their child was worries about missing "Mother's Day stuff" at school today. We really do have some sweeties in our class.

We worked on two special gifts for our mothers today! The first activity was this adorable Mother's Day coupon booklet, complete with personalized coupons that could be redeemed by mom anytime. Some of the coupon ideas my students created for their mothers were: make the beds; hugs and kisses; a massage; pick a flower; and a handmade gift.  
The students designed the woman shape to look like their own mothers and then attached the coupons as a booklet in the center. The final products were so precious!

I found this activity through The Mailbox, and the printable is completely free! You can access it here.


The next activity was this butterfly-themed card. The students created a three-flap foldable and placed their hand-written poems inside the flaps. Then, on the outside of the flaps, they attached the body and wings to create a butterfly. Naturally, we added personalized decorations to make the wings look authentic. ;)

I honestly cannot remember where I came across the idea for this activity. I'm sure I didn't invent it myself, and I wish I could remember the original source to credit. My mind is blank, so maybe I'll have to come back to this one later. It is definitely Friday.

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A few things on a Thursday...

So glad I am on the correct day this week...

Also, SO glad it's Thursday. Almost there! :)

Now, on to the important stuff...

This week has completely consumed my full attention, so I haven't been diligent with blogging daily. I do apologize for that, but now I just get to make up for it in one Thursday post!
  • If you haven't yet heard of Mississippi Women Bloggers, an online community for women to share and grow together, you need to check it out. It is currently in the building stages, but I think it will be fully launched soon; don't miss out! Tally Tales is already signed up, along with many other Mississippi ladies. Check out the North Mississippi regional bloggers list here. I am very excited about this virtual community, and I hope you Mississippi gals will take the opportunity to join in! I can already tell it will be a great venue for sharing blessings with others. 
  • Mother's Day is this weekend. A month ago, I was certain that Mother's Day was in April this year. I get to appreciate two moms on Mother's Day this year, and I think I'm a little excited about that. 
  • We have had tadpoles in our classroom for a little over a week now. Their legs are coming in nicely, and it's a very exciting transition for the students. However, I have this slight fear that I will walk into my classroom one morning to find seven or eight frogs hopping around. I realize this process is not typically an overnight type of thing, and that fear is slightly dramatic... Nevertheless, I feel a little anxious about it each morning. Of course, for the kids, that would probably be the coolest day ever...
  • We had a bit of free time yesterday, (i.e. the kids had free time while I tackled a bit of necessary paperwork) and at some point I looked up to see this...

Do these kids love to read, or what??? In all honesty, I was a bit jealous of them... they make those books look good! 

  • I hope everyone has had a lovely week so far. Tomorrow is Friday. Carry on. 


Monday, May 6, 2013

Thank God for grace, gratitude, and fruit.

I began this morning with so much optimism because only two Mondays remain until summer. I don't even need to count the other days; the Monday's are the ones I like the least, so I just let those dwindle down; the rest will follow soon enough. Something about the last few weeks of school makes it somehow okay to temporarily wish your life away... This Monday, however, packed a more-potent-than-normal punch. It was a Monday after a weekend of traveling after a Friday absent from the classroom. That alone would have been enough, but then there were those little stressors throughout the day that are just typical of any of the last few days of the school year. It's a double-edged sword: we are so ready for a summer break, but so much still remains to pull from so very little time. Teachers understand this. You know this type of day well.

Still, the stress and the rat-race feeling are not the point of this post. The point is that after all of it, when I felt tired and run-down and ill-prepared for a Tuesday, God reminded me that all of these are just details in a day. While focusing on those details, I failed to notice the sweet ones He provided as well.

Last year, I read a book titled One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is a profound text that I recommend reading to every woman I know. Today, as I stood over the sink washing the fresh stock of fruits and vegetables I bought at the grocery store on the way home (one of the after-school errands I was less than enthusiastic about handling after one of those days) I was struck by the unusually bright colors before me. I know this sounds incredibly foolish, but those strawberries were just a particularly pretty red today. Then I noticed a fresh handful of daisy wildflowers, which my husband picked and placed in a vase on the sink for me this afternoon. In all of the simple beauty of those little things, I was reminded of the lessons I learned from that book a year ago. Voskamp writes about the countless gifts with which God graces our lives daily; so many of those just go unnoticed because we are too self-absorbed, or stressed, or hurried, or tired to take notice of them. However, if we can somehow focus our eyesight on those little gifts, it gives us sure reason to "make every moment a cathedral giving glory" to the Creator who gave us those moments in the first place.

It's a humbling moment when you realize that sometimes God has to use fruit to speak to you.

I wanted to share this, because today I really needed that reminder to stop and actually take in those moments in which I feel so frantic. Those moments are touched by grace, should we be so fortunate as to notice it.

"As long as there is a God in heaven, there is grace on Earth..." ~A. Voskamp


Saturday, May 4, 2013

A few things on a... What day is this?

"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind every since..."  ~The Great Gatsby, first sentence

I usually post a few random notes on a Thursday, because by that point in the week a few random notes are the best I can seem to compose. This week, however, has been far too topsy-turvy to manage even that much. For me, Thursday was my last workday of the week. Therefore, Thursday felt more like a Friday, and not being at school on Friday just felt altogether wrong. (I can only imagine how I will manage Monday once it finally arrives.) I am in Atlanta this weekend for a wedding. Correction: I am near Atlanta. The specific town has varied, depending upon the particular festivity. Then, there's the little detail of the time change. My phone updates automatically; my computer does not. I just figured this out. Time is apparently relative at this point, depending on which device I am holding. This can be problematic when adhering to a schedule of wedding events... 

I am explaining all of this to basically justify the fact that, there have been moments in which I have been completely unaware of the day, time, or place in which I find myself. Obviously, I need to travel more. 

To add to the madness, I packed clothes appropriate for May. The weather more closely resembles March. Again, that's just wrong. 

I know this sounds whiny, but I really am laughing over every detail. From the moment I woke up Monday morning, this has proved to be a very roll-with-it kind of week. In the end, I have managed to do one thing right: before rushing out of the house for our drive Thursday night, I snagged my old, tattered copy of The Great Gatsby for a bit of on-the-road rereading. I will be ready for the movie release next weekend.