Monday, August 29, 2011

A Time for Everything


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
 
I've shared over the last couple of weeks that my grandpa has been in the hospital.  He's been in the hospital for over two weeks, and he has not improved. We are dealing with what the doctors call "end of stage heart disease". His heart is no longer strong enough to keep the fluid off his body. He originally went into the hospital with congestive heart failure and pneumonia. He has suffered from congestive heart failure for years, but his heart is much weaker now. My grandpa was fully aware of the situation when the doctors discussed his options for treatment and recovery. The doctors have requested that the living will be on file because his body is frail. They have also told him him that they are limited with what they can do. They have tried the medications that they think can help him improve and those medications have only shown slight improvement. The problem with fluid build up has not been corrected and it will only get worse with time.

I've never had to deal with the death of someone this close. I lived with my grandparents since I was a baby so this is essentially like losing a parent even though he is my grandpa. Dealing with death is difficult. I try to think about positive things and I'm grateful for all of the good in my life, but I am still very sad. Last night I started crying, and I couldn't stop. God's created us with such a capacity to feel joy and love and now I understand that we can also feel tremendous sadness and grief.  Once I heard a pastor talk about why dealing with death is so difficult. He said it's because you lose a part of yourself when that person passes away. I can feel that right now.

I feel very sad for my grandpa. He's amazingly alert and coherent. His mind is still sharp, which is a blessing, but at the same time it makes it hard because he comprehends what the doctors are telling him. It's upsetting for him even though he is 95. In his words, "It's hard on your nerves when you know you're not going to make it much longer." Bless his heart. As I said, he's been blessed for 95 years, but his time on this earth is coming to an end.

In a couple of days, he will be moved to a nursing home once he is released from the hospital because he is too weak to go back to his assisted living facility.  In the near future hospice will be involved.

Please pray for his comfort and peace of mind during this difficult time.  Please pray for our family as we take care of Papa.
Thanks so much for your prayers already. I truly appreciate it!  Your prayers and concern have meant so much.

Much love,

Michele

Friday, August 26, 2011

Still Friday

It's still Friday...

I'm barely getting this InstaFriday post together before midnight.  While a rerun of Mad Men plays in the background, I'll throw this together. (By the way, did you know that AMC is showing the entire Mad Men series from season 1 to present?  Three episodes are shown on Sunday and we DVR them and watch them throughout the week.   It's such a well written show.  The characters are so dynamic, and the acting is phenomenal.)

I'm still holding on to the last memories of summer.  I let the boys play in the splash pool one last time before school started.  I think I shared photos of this on Monday, but here are some from my camera phone.




Looking cool while doing a little shopping at Target. 

Friday Night Lights
I live in small town Texas and this is what it's like every Friday night. 


My favorite pizza place.

The boys get to play with pizza dough while we wait on our pizza. 



Another food photo.
Chipotle has the best guacamole.  Ever. 

The boys were awesome last Saturday when we visited my grandpa in the hospital.  Here they are drinking juice boxes and watching Peanuts on the computer.   

Cutie! 

Cutie! 

Yum-O! 

Someone is enjoying his ice cream cone! 

life rearranged

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday 8/24/11


What I Wore Wednesday
8/24/11

I'm back to work full-time. School started back this week! Very exciting and exhausting, all at the same time.  I think it's going to be a great year with my 7th and 8th grade students.


Sunday (i think)
Gray linen pants: Old Navy
Top: Ann Taylor LOFT
Sandals: DSW
ring: Sundance
earrings: Charlotte Russe
 Another photo of the top and my new hair do :)

First day of school:
Skirt and flower flip flops: Old Navy
Purple layer tank: J Crew
White cardi: Gap outlet

Tuesday: School
Ruffle top: Banana Republic outlet
Capris: Gap
Bracelets and earrings: Old Navy
wave ring: Sundance
Slides: Ann Taylor LOFT
Love ruffles


Ben 

pleated poppy
I plan to slow down the WIWW post.  I'll try to keep up with it every other week instead of every week.  It's a little bit overwhelming going back to work and keeping up with being a mommy.  I still love my WIWW friends and I look forward to see what you wear each week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday through Friday

I didn't think I'd write a Misc. Monday post today because it was the first day back to school, but I decided to because I thought it'd be a good way to relax after a long day of work.  It's always an adjustment leaving the carefree days of summer and getting back into the Monday through Friday school routine. 

{ONE}
As I mentioned above, I'm back to work full-time.  We completed our teacher inservice/professional development last week and today we welcomed students back.  It's always hard for me to sleep the night before we start school.  I guess it's anticipation for what the new school year holds.  Endless possibilities and potential.  Can you believe that this will be my 11th year teaching?  I can't!  I'm lucky to have a great group of teachers to work with and super classes this year.  I miss the boys like crazy, but the day goes by pretty fast when I'm busy teaching.

{TWO}
I was going through my SD card and found these photos of Ben and Will playing in the splash pool.  I miss summertime fun.  If you look closely in the kiddy pool you can see we made some sponge balls.  I followed a tutorial online.  We stopped by Dollar Tree to get the supplies (everything is a dollar you know!).  The boys had a good time playing with the sponge balls.  I guess I didn't secure the strips tight enough because the sponge balls came apart.

Ben has the biggest grin.  He had such a good time throwing the beach ball in the water.

Will was behind these inflatable palm trees in most photos.  This is one of the few where I can see his face. 

This tutorial shows you how to make the sponge balls.  Very easy! 

The boys still enjoyed playing with the sponge strips even if they weren't sponge balls. 

{THREE}
If I could only get inside the mind of my two-year-old, I know it'd be fun to see it at work.  Ben has the cutest ideas.  He wanted to put his toy vacuum in the closet where I keep the steam cleaner and vacuum (and the winter coats, Mark's drill, a small space heater and fan).  He'd watched me steam clean the carpets before school started and I guess he thought his vacuum needed to be with the others.  Adorable!

Do you see his little red vacuum on the right? 

{FOUR}
This photo of my front flowerbed was taken in May.  I just wanted to include it because everything is so dry and brown.  The lack of rain has made it impossible to keep any flowers alive.  I guess I should show you some images of my garden. I decided to try to grow a garden on one of the hottest summers on record in Texas.  Very bad timing.  I'll have to try again next year.  I know it will rain again, and i will have beautiful flowers to look forward to, but for now things are brown and sad.

{FIVE}
Please continue to keep my grandpa in your prayers.  His recovery is much slower than we'd all like, but he is showing gradual improvement.  Mark, the boys and I spent the day with him Saturday at the hospital.  Will and Ben were awesome!


Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bookstore and Haircut


Mark and I were back to work this week--Wednesday through Friday.  We had to squeeze something fun in early in the week to enjoy the last days of summer.  Monday we took the boys to a bookstore.  It's a really cool independent bookstore about 45 minutes from where we live.  It has an awesome children's section.

Ben is running through the house that's the entrance to the children's section.


Playing with the abacus. 


Will was very comfy on this giant beanbag pillow.  These pillows were all around the children's area for kids to sit and read.

Reading some of his favorites--Curious George and Winnie the Pooh. 

Ben had a great time looking at the DK tractor books with wheels.

Some of our favorite books. 



The boys love the Berenstain Bears books as much as I did when I was kid.

My new haircut! I like the choppy lob.  It's very easy to fix.  I forgot how much work long hair is and how easy short hair is.

This was taken by Mark after a long day of work so if I look tired, it's because I am :) 

life rearranged

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Post: Kathleen from Simple Silly Life


Color Me Beautiful
Hi, loyal Michele readers! I'm Kathleen and I blog over at Simple Silly Life. I am so excited to be sharing a little with you about why I wear lots of color and how my style sense has evolved.

As a youngster, color was not part of my wardrobe at all. You see, I attended private school and my uniforms for 12 years were comprised of navy, maroon, gray, white and a dash of pink. Needless to say, once I started college, I was completely intimidated by color, but I knew I wanted some of it in my life.
That obsession for finding a balance of color initially led to extreme overload. There was one summer (admittedly, it was a one filled with fashion don’ts) I owned Jcrew polo shirts in nearly every shade they made.  And I had shoes to match (loafers mostly).  I wanted color so much that I overcompensated for the lack of it in my life. But it was still boring. I mostly just wore solid colors and a necklace.
When I started my ‘big girl job’ six years ago, I met a gal named Paige and she completely opened my eyes to a whole new world of looking great. She became my work fashion icon (and one of my favorite people on Earth).
She wore colors when they were in season and was the first person I ever met who wore a flower pin. Like seriously, how cute yet professional does she look?! She wore a jacket 3-4 days a week with fun patterns and long necklaces (other trends that I have tried to copy)and also taught me the importance of  wearing clothing that fits well. I quote her “you’re not a work to find a man, so don’t wear tight pants.” I still use this rule when I buy new pants. If they’re too tight, I leave them in the store. I think seeing others and admiring their boldness is the first step to trying out a new look. Without Paige, I know I would still be in a blue polo and black pants every day.

Since I began participating in What I Wore Wednesday over at The Pleated Poppy’s blog, I’ve learned to balance color and appreciate it more. I’ve also branched out of my color comfort zone by wearing colors that were once terrifying or that I was told I couldn’t wear (how I spent 28 years of my life without yellow items is a mystery). What really inspired me most was seeing how fellow bloggers wore shades of mustard, pomegranate and orange and did it with confidence. This challenged me to move away from just wearing tons of color to combining it with neutrals (think bright green with navy or mustard with khaki and brown). Now I wear color because it makes me happy, calms me down, or energies me. It’s less frightening and more invigorating. And I love it.

But wearing bold colors and patterns can be scary. My advice? Just focus on one color you've never imagined wearing. Maybe someone said you're too pale for that shade of yellow or you don't know that color to match purple with. Just try one accessory or a simple tee that is out of your comfort zone and pair it with items you already own and love (a great pair of jeans and a khaki jacket) and see the magic that comes from dipping your toes in a new shade of something. If you hate it, try another color. Eventually you'll find colors you love and are comfortable in. And then you can move onto bolder combos and patterns. 
Thanks to the support of my new blog friends (and as we know, Michele is right when she says blog friends are real friends), I’ve continued to go outside the box of simple solids and try new looks filled with paisleys and stripes. In the past year I’ve managed to try every shade of the rainbow. It’s been a colorful, wonderful, fashionable year.

And thanks to Michele for allowing me to guest post. It was my first ever and it was a true honor!!

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