Monday, January 25, 2016

Life Continues On

One thing I know about myself is that I am not a good first responder. I've taken CPR and First Aid training but that doesn't mean that I could actually respond in a real situation.  I'm slow to process the events and even slower at knowing what to do.  And I'm like that even when the the crisis is hundreds of kilometers away.  Tonight I let myself read some of the news reports from La Loche, SK.  When I first heard about the incident on Friday, my imaginary protective bubble went up around me and I avoided reading, watching or talking about it until my protective bubble sufficiently numbed me enough to the point where I felt like I could slowly let the details seep in at a controlled pace.  

It hurts to think of the La Loche Community School being added to the all too familiar names of Sandy Hook Elementary, Taber, Columbine, Polytechnique,and West Nickel Mines to sadly name only a few.  Sadness and anger, grief and fear and all the other emotions come flooding out getting all mixed up during all the what iffing.  What if it was me?  What if it was my school?  What if it was my children?  

We practice lock down procedures at our school.  As I'm sitting in the corner of my school office, on the floor, in the dark, door locked and students sitting behind me I think of my girls on the other side of the school sitting in their dark, locked classroom behind their teacher.  I guard my students as if they were my own and I know my colleagues down the hall are guarding my babies.  And as I sit there, planning in my mind what I would do if this was the real thing the feeling is of complete vulnerability to think my only defensive is to stay quiet, stay in front of the students and hope.  None of this was in the job description.  

Despite these recent events, life continues on as we know it must.  As the details seep into our knowledge and we mix them with what we already know, we will work to create improved plans and preventions and to continue to make our True North Strong and Free.  

Life continues on...

Thought and Prayers to all.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

January View

I had many great thoughts come to me over the past week about what I wanted to write about and now I'm drawing a blank.  I promise you though, they were really good ideas.  Yes. I should jot them down when I think of them but I'm always so sure I'll remember.  I'm sure one of those thought was about how difficult it is to uncover the beauty of January when you're coming down off the sugar high from the holidays and our unusually warm winter that we were having has ended and has returned to its regularly scheduled temperatures of -30.  Throw in some sore throats, coughs, headaches, and ear aches and what you've got is...January.  So let's try to find January's beauty in these photos...

1. My view when I meet the girls bus after school.  Mother nature is a true artist.  

 2. The view from Girls Night Out.  Cheering on the hometown hockey team.

3.  The view of big sister's new tooth. It's been a year in the making and it has finally arrived.

4.  The view from my work office.  Lexi is always in my chair because it's comfy and it spins!

5. The view from the kitchen.  Lots of veggies going into the body this month.

6. The view got a lot louder around here since Callie brought her new instrument home from school.

7. The view of Jorge.  He's still alive.

 8. The view from the gym.  Little sister is getting stronger every week.

9. The view of big sister.  Grandma on speaker phone and her jar of Vaseline close by her side.

10.  The view of little sister.  Her favorite new word is... BOOM!

And there you have it.  The view of January.  Boom!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hello 2016

I'm not sure where to start with my words tonight.  Years ago, when I was in university, I was in a class learning how to teach kids to read.  My young brain didn't have much life experience and it was working hard to grasp the concepts of phonemes and syntax.  I remember saying to the professor, "where do you start when teaching something as important as learning how to read?" All these years later, I still remember her response, "you start with a story, my dear."

I guess tonight's story began about ten years ago...

Since I have always loved this time of year it's only fitting that we chose to get married on New Year's Eve.  I've looked at these pictures of our younger selves and was trying to think of advice that I would give to them just starting out but I couldn't come up with anything profound.  For in some ways it feels like it was just yesterday and we are still those same people and in other ways it was a lifetime ago and so much has changed.  Callie saw these picture and figured out the math and said, "if that was 10 years ago, and I'm 8 years old, what did you and dad do for two years before I was born?" Isn't that a great question?  I told her I spent my time dreaming about her and her sister and what it would be like to be their mom.

I dreamed of doing something big and awesome to celebrate 10 years.  I tossed out the idea of the Las Vegas strip to ring in the new year. I dreamed of skiing in the mountains or a secluded spa in wilderness.  I dreamed of staying at home and ordering Chinese food.  Yes, I'm never short on dreams.  What we actually did was take a six hour trip which ended in the farmyard of my BFF!  And as you will see in the pictures, all my dreams extended into reality once again.

When it was time for us to head back home from our two days with our friends, my sweet Lexi's tears spoke for all of us.  Little sister knew what was coming.  Goodbye to our friends and goodbye to the holidays and goodbye to the Christmas magic for another year. She knew it was time to start filing the memories we made into long term storage. She couldn't explain exactly why she was so sad but we all knew what her heart was telling us.

Take a look at what she was saying goodbye to...

I laid down with the girls tonight after packing Christmas and the remnants of the holidays into boxes to be put in the storage room.  Callie had lots to talk about since we slept so late this morning and she was taking a while to feel sleepy.  She told me she's excited for her birthday because it's fun to have something to look forward to.  Then she asked me if I could change one thing about my life, what would it be.  Funny thing,  I couldn't think of an answer.  I told her that there isn't anything I would change.  My life is great.  She told me that her wish wouldn't be to change her life, she would use her wish to change someone else's life so that that person's life could be like ours.  Next, she went on to tell me that if we didn't have sadness then we wouldn't know what joy felt like.  This she learned from watching the bonus DVD from Inside Out.  What I think she was trying to tell me was that just like Lexi, she was feeling sad that the holidays had to come to an end and it is this exact sadness that allows us to truly understand the meaning of joy.

Tomorrow, as we reenter reality, I will try to remember that everything we love about the holidays and special occasions is available to us everyday.  That good friends and family and special moments can happen on a random Tuesday if we want it to.  That we can make any day special if we choose to. We don't have to wait another year, we've got one right in front of us...hello 2016.