thought-2123970_1280

the space of hospitality

***This post is part of the June synchroblog that invited bloggers to write about hospitality.*** When I think of hospitality, I think of my mother-in-law: or Mom as I call her and know her. Upon arriving to her house, it is clear she has taken the time to lovingly designate space for us to be, comfortably and naturally. Furniture is moved so that our bed is accessible. Sheets and pillows are purchased and placed so that our skin is greeted warmly. Cups and beverages, with the appropriate spoon, are laid out on the counter so that our morning is seamless. Read More

thought-2123970_1280

the puzzle of a positive learning environment: 10 pieces (glue included)

The adage goes something like this: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to play with that concept a bit: Ask me a question once and I don’t have an answer–shame on you. Ask me the same question twice and I still don’t have an answer–shame on me. Part of our district’s teacher evaluation system is how we build the learning environment for our students. I am grateful that I tend to score effective to distinguished in these categories. Once I was asked the question by my observer: how do you Read More

thought-2123970_1280

the silent heartbeat

When I was young, innocent, and embarrassingly naive, I would sit in disgust and judgment at the older couples who would slide into a booth nearby, look over the menus briefly, interact politely with the waitstaff, and then promptly fall into a silence so loud I’m afraid the bus boys couldn’t gossip over it. And I thought, with my chin high and my experience low, I’ll never be like that. I’ll always have interesting and profound conversation to carry with my future-husband-to-be, precisely punctuated with flirty giggles. I’ll always look at him with my chin tipped ever so gently downward Read More

thought-2123970_1280

my valentine

Irregardless of Hallmark’s imposition and/or your take on a commercial holiday, today is a day to celebrate love. Isn’t every day? So today, I celebrate my valentine, Dave. His day consisted of what his life does: selflessly and generously taking care of other people. He is surprising his mom for her birthday (also today) by showing up at her door in Illinois tomorrow morning for a quick weekend visit. Before he left our home, he picked up. He also spent the day working on my computer, trying to fix the turtle-speed Internet which has been driving me up the wall (and Read More

thought-2123970_1280

Scissors and Saints: The Story of My In-Laws

In-laws. The phrase, a common topic of pop culture, sends shivers down many people’s spines: For the first time ever I was taking the family on the road. We stayed with my in-laws, which on life’s list of experiences ranks right below sitting in a tub full of scissors. (Jeff Foxworthy) I feel so fortunate to be blessed with in-laws that rank high as compared to Foxworthy’s joke. Since falling in love with Dave, I have found an additional family in which to give and receive love. They will never replace my parents…but the beauty lies in the fact that Read More

thought-2123970_1280

The House That Built Me

Today is November 20th, 2013. Today is the day my childhood home sold. Tonight, tomorrow, this week, another family will be moving throughout the same halls in which I laughed, cried, stomped, fought, spun, broke through the plaster with my butt (that’s another post), lived and loved. Another family will be cooking in the kitchen. In the kitchen where I silently watched my Dad ritually end his morning routine: shower, shave, a bowl of Totals at the table by himself, hat/coat, leave–all while reservedly listening to morning talk news on his portable radio. Will they smell the Old Spice lingering in Read More