Tuesday, April 21, 2015

{the sandbox} #sol15


Slice of Life hosted at the
Join in and share a slice of your life.
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It was a long, cold winter.  We have been teased with glimpses of spring and even a couple summer like days of sunshine, blue skies, and a warm breeze.  Last Saturday provided us one of those days.  It was just beautiful, so we made our way outside as soon as we could.

We worked in the yard all morning: raking old leaves, picking up sticks, trimming plants, and mulching.  Lots of mulching.  The yard looks fresh and new and ready to grow!

The girls eyed the sandbox all morning.  "When can we open up the sandbox?" was the question of the day, repeated over and over, hoping that the answer would be "Right now."

"After lunch.  Then you will have the whole afternoon to play in it." Then I quickly added, " ... as long as the sand is clean and not too wet!"  Sometimes there needs to be a disclaimer.  I wasn't sure what we may find when we opened the sandbox.

After lunch finally came, and Daddy removed the bricks holding down the double layer of tarp that protected the sandbox all winter long.  One layer peeled off.  Two layers peeled off.  Then finally the sandbox cover was removed to reveal the sandbox just as it was left many months ago.  

Full of sand and toys. Toys of all kind: cars, trucks, shovels, buckets, sand castle molds, and bridges.  And the building and making began.  And the sharing and imaginations ran wild.  

For over four hours -- with maybe one bathroom break -- the girls played endlessly in their sandbox.  They built roads and mountains and lined up all the cars and trucks.  They built castles and houses and pretended to live in another world.  I had just as much fun listening in on their sandbox conversations and watching them create all afternoon.

It was dinner time with bath time planned right after.  After all the possible warnings that I could give, it was time to end the sandbox fun.

"OK, girls. Time for dinner.  We need to come inside and wash our hands," I called to them wondering how many times I would need to make this request.

"OK, Mommy.  But, can we come back out to play in the sandbox after dinner?"  M. asked ever-so-sweetly with a little cock of her head.

I smiled and thought:  Who would have known the day the sandbox opened up for the season was so magical?  

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

{life happens} #sol15



Slice of Life hosted at the
Join in and share a slice of your life.
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I had a difficult time deciding what to write about today.  I noticed that over the month of March, when I was writing every day, I could easily see stories all around me.  They shouted in my ear, "There's a great slice. That's a perfect story to share.  I can't wait to capture this moment."  The writing began in my head and then scribbled on sticky notes.  Because the stories were always there.  However, the vision of storytelling has faded with the opportunity of writing every day, even though stories are here for me to tell.  And, so, today, this happened ... because I still decided to just write.
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Life happens 

The stories are always there, 
waiting to be written ...

Because life happens and in life
there are stories to be told.

Then life really happens.  
Busyness.  Everyone.  Even me.

And life moves 
in fast forward.
Projects at work 
date night 
dance class 
meetings 
birthday parties 
playing outside
and all the every day things
to do in life
like laundry 
dishes 
paying bills 
picking up and 
oh, sleep.  

Because life happens and in life 
there are stories to be told.

Then life really, really happens.
Sickness.  Everyone.  Even me. 

And then life stops.  
Just like that.  
No projects at work 
date night 
dance class 
meetings 
birthday parties 
playing outside
and all the every day things
to do in life
like laundry 
dishes 
paying bills 
picking up and 
oh ... lots of sleep.  

Because life happens and in life -- 
and in sickness and in health -- 
there are stories to be told.

Then life really happens.
Healthy.  Everyone.  Even me.

And life begins to slowly 
return back to normal.  
A few projects at work 
date night 
dance class 
meetings 
birthday parties 
playing outside
and all the every day things
to do in life 
like laundry 
dishes 
paying bills 
picking up and 
oh, back to a regular sleep routine.

Because life happens and in life
there are stories to be told.

The stories are always there, 
waiting to be written ...

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

{40 reasons} #sol15


Slice of Life hosted at the
Join in and share a slice of your life.
_____________________________________________________

Today my husband celebrates a big, BIG birthday --
and I'm so lucky and thankful to have spent 
the last sixteen years learning about everything that he loves
the last (almost) twelve years learning about everything that I love about him
the last (almost) five years learning with my daughters why we love our Daddy.

Created at canva.com
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Happy, happy 40th birthday Jon!



Saturday, April 4, 2015

{#celebratelu this week} #digiPoetry


I'm here to {celebrate} with Ruth Ayres and YOU!
Finding the little moments of joy in life.
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Today I am celebrating: {this week in verse}


{challenge}
writing and writing every day in march
five years of the solsc complete
celebrate with *confetti* but then keep writing
and writing and writing and celebrating
celebrate the habit of storytelling

{presentation}
attending an all day meeting monday
the first day after a relaxing spring break
planning for a wednesday training that
was an enjoyable stress i needed
celebrate relieved presentation exhaustion

{difficult conversation}
the anticipation (and stress) of
a conversation that was necessary
led to many opportunities of
relationships, learning, and moving forward
celebrate new beginnings

{a day off}
after a long-only-four-day-busy week
an extra day of family time
was just what was needed
even though little was accomplished
celebrate the ordinary

{Jesus}
a "non-attendance" day off
full of irony because it is so much more
Jesus died a brutal death for me and you and our sins
there is nothing about failure to be present on Good Friday
celebrate God's greatest gift to us

Taking time to celebrate -- BIG or little -- is truly fulfilling...even in poetry form!

I'm still writing ... poetry!
Join in and share! #digiPoetry
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April is National Poetry Month.  I will dabble in celebrating with others by writing and sharing poetry this month.  Participants can follow along and share on Twitter: #digipoetry.

Friday, April 3, 2015

{spring & believe} #digipoetry



I'm still writing ... poetry!
Join in and share! #digiPoetry
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Inspired by Leigh Anne ... a little book spine poetry!
I used some books from my enormous piles of library books waiting to be read.
Let me know if you see a book title you suggest I read first.
It wasn't as easy as I remembered to create!


Spring

      The Thing About Spring
So Many Days
Early Bird
Up in the Garden and 
Down in the Dirt
Thunderboom!
Finding Spring




This I Believe

This I Believe
Cinderella Ate My Daughter
You're Going to Be Okay
Breathe
Positive
The End of the Rainbow
Happily Ever After

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April is National Poetry Month.  I will dabble in celebrating with others by writing and sharing poetry this month.  Participants can follow along and share on Twitter: #digipoetry.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

{everything was right in my world} #digipoetry



I'm still writing ... poetry!
Join in and share! #digiPoetry
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it was a beautiful morning
sun shining, blue skies
still a little chill in the air

everything was right in my world

a quick stop on my way to school
"large ice tea of caffeine, please"
for a refreshing pick-me-up

everything was right in my world

i paid and quickly asked,
"how much for the order
for the lady behind me?"

everything was right in my world

something i have never done before
"i'm going to pay for her too"
and i handed over a five dollar bill

everything was right in my world

i'll never forget the memory 
the contagious smile on her face
and the feeling inside my heart

everything was right in my world

my smile created a joyous
interaction with the server
making each other feel like we matter

everything was right in my world

and then the message of the day
sang in my ears on the radio
ephesians 5:2

everything was right in my world

'and walk in the way of love, just
as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us 
as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God'

everything was right in my world

it was only a gift of a little breakfast
love for a stranger that i'll never know
all because for me at that moment

everything was right in my world


©Michelle Nero (2015)

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April is National Poetry Month.  I will dabble in celebrating with others by writing and sharing poetry this month.  Participants can follow along and share on Twitter #digipoetry.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

finding my happy again



And so here I am ... 
 finding my happy again on day thirty-two

my mom's morning TFTD
also known as Thought For The Day text

new colorful not-so-clicky pens
to brighten my writing and my day

olw 'breathe' bracelet
to remind me daily

warm sunshine and sixty degrees
finally another bike ride

colleagues' undeniable support
for a presentation today

five of my students completed the SOLSC
writing for 31 days with minimal support from me

plus one more student that isn't in any of my groups, but we've connected and she wrote too 
- look at her reflections!

my understanding husband, grumbling all month,
and now today hints at possible slices to write

reading final slice after final slice
inspired by your words

i tell myself to rest, to stay away,
but after thirty-one days ...

i just can't ... i still need to share my happy again. 


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Stacey shared this with me after I wrote about "finding my happy" on Monday.  
Go on ... Sing along!  Find your happy today!




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

{#sol15} new beginnings 31/31


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join us for a month of writing!

I was trying to think of some clever way to share my thoughts about the month long writing challenge today, but instead I decided to just write.  Here's how I'm feeling right now ... 
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{celebrating the end}
It's the end.  The end of another Slice of Life Story Challenge.  And I did it.  I wrote for another thirty-one days.  And you did too!  The Slice of Life Story Challenge party was packed -- and that is exciting!  Teachers, mothers, fathers, daughters, grandmothers, authors, poets -- all coming together to be writers and write for thirty-one days in a row ... 

Sharing story after story. 

{celebrating story}
I started this blog because of a nudge from Ruth.  (I thought she was really just talking to me, but I have many other friends who started this journey five years ago too!)  I was being brave and going to show the world myself that I could write, even if it was really just for me and my mom.   I thought this blog would be dedicated to writing about my life in the classroom, but I quickly learned that writing about my life at home and with my girls was where I wanted to share my words.  They were nine months old when I started this journey, and this May, they will turn five years old ... 

That's a lot of stories to remember.

{celebrating remembering}
So many stories that I don't remember writing.  Thankfully, my Mom and Dad have given me a gift that will live on forever ... for me and for my girls.  For every birthday and Christmas, I receive my slices and blog posts in a published book.  Just a couple days ago, I received volume 8 of my writing.  I now own eight published books of my writing and stories and slices of life.  I flipped through book eight forgetting all that I had written and ... 

Eight volumes of my slices!
All your thoughtful comments.

{celebrating you}
This community is amazing.  So supportive.  Always knowing just the right thing to say.  I still smile every time a new comment is left behind.  I'm always so thankful that you stopped by, leaving your thoughts and letting me know that you were here, especially during this challenge during a busy, full life we all live.  Me?  I stayed in my comfort zone this year.  I feel with so many participants, it was harder for me to venture out and connect.  Also, time to read your slices was limited between teaching full time and being a mom the other full time.  I felt comfortable reading my friends' in real life and friends' in the real world that have been with me on this writing journey ...  

Push me out of my comfort zone. (Next year, I need to sign up for the welcoming committee.)

{celebrating writing}
writing 
31 days
for the month
for 5 years
and every Tuesday in between
is all about
finding my happy 

bittersweet and sad
writing this last slice
habit formed
itching to write
more stories shouting out to me
but i need to {breathe}
and rest and live in the moment

It's the end ... but really a new beginning.  I hope I'll see you back here on Tuesdays. 

{celebrating new beginnings}


Monday, March 30, 2015

{#sol15} my happy 30/31



The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join us for a month of writing!


Sunday was just a gray, cold, rainy, windy day.  
It was also my birthday.  And there was a little sunshine.

My parents left to return home after a weeklong visit,
I found my happy in all the new memories made.

After a weekend of celebrating with my family,  
I found my happy in a nap on the couch.

My husband went grocery shopping this afternoon,
I found my happy in only having to put the food away.

We ordered in Chinese food for my birthday dinner, 
I found my happy in the delicious crab rangoon.

I watched a half an hour "birthday" circus show presented by my two girls,
I found my happy in the singing and dancing of "Happy Birthday" on the high wire.

After an enjoyable but busy nine days home with my girls,
I found my happy in transitioning back to our routine ... and early to bed.

As we return to our schedule, think about the next birthdays to come,
I will continue to look for the sunshine and my happy in every day.

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Thank you Stacey and Kim for the "find your happy" slice inspiration!  Some days we need to dig deep and find our happy ... to celebrate, write a list, even if it's the little things.  Even on a gray yucky day that happens to be your birthday, there is so much to be happy about!



Early to bed preparing for a new week

Sunday, March 29, 2015

{#sol15} For Me 29/31


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join us for a month of writing!


Every year of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, for the last five years, slice #29 is just for me.  I celebrate my birthday today usually with a list that grows by one each year.  In previous years, I have shared the joys in my life, what I am thankful for, and birthday wishes that have come true.

This year I decided to share a  love, loathe, worry, wonder  list.  I have to mix is up a little bit for my own pure enjoyment and fun!

1.  I love my husband, Jon.
2.  I loathe that I don't always tell him how much I love and appreciate him every day.
3.  I worry about what I would ever do without him.  He's my soulmate.  He's my one.
4.  I wonder what will be our next adventure together.  We make a great team.

5.  I love my almost-five year olds daughters.  More than almost anything.
6.  I loathe that they are growing up so fast.  Too fast.
7.  I worry about them every day.  Wishing to protect them from any little hurt or worry.
8.  I wonder who they will become as they grow older.

9.   I love my Mom and Dad, who support me in all that I do.
10.  I loathe that they live so far away.  Too far away.
11.  I worry about them as they grow older, even though in my mind they do not age.
12.  I wonder where they will live and what they will do in their next chapter of their lives.

13.  I love my brother and sister-in-law, who would do anything that I need.
14.  I loathe that even though we live close to each other, we live busy lives.
15.  I worry about not spending as much time as I would like to with them.
16.  I wonder what their future holds together: a dog? children? a new home? 

17.  I love being a teacher and working with super students.
18.  I loathe the additional stress and drama that is created in education today.
19.  I worry about not meeting the needs of all my students every day.
20.  I wonder how schools and education will change in 5, 10, 15 years.

21.  I love eating healthier and eating less food. 
22.  I loathe taking the time to exercise, even though after I exercise, I feel better.
23.  I worry about not setting a good example of being healthy for my girls.
24.  I wonder if I'll ever drink a mocha frappe again.

25.  I love being on vacation far away from real life.
26.  I loathe planning for vacations and packing -- everything before the real vacation.
27.  I worry about how much vacations can cost, lots of savings before too.
28.  I wonder where our next trip will take us.

29.  I love learning and reading and writing.  This equals me time.
30.  I loathe never having the time and energy for all three every day.
31.  I worry that I have too many book when I can't read them all ...
32.  I wonder when I'll have more me time again to learn, read, and write when I want to.

33.  I love being in my home that was built in 1950 by Jon's Grandpa.
34.  I loathe always being on the go, go, go and the to-do list is always too long.
35.  I worry about keeping my house clean and organized and always trying to stay ahead.
36.  I wonder if we will ever decide to move ... to a new home ... to a new city ... to a new state.

37.  I love gaining knowledge and experience as I grow older.
38.  I loathe the idea of being ...  I can't say it ... yet. 
39.  I worry about turning {cough} next year. 

So,  I wonder  if I'll enjoy this year and embrace this number 39.

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My previous birthday lists ...