joan pbh


Hey leucocrystal!

I know you're a Gillian Anderson fan, and a Jon Stewart fan, so I was wondering if you had seen Playing By Heart? It used to be one of my all-time favorite movies, and I recently rewatched it. See, I used to adore Joan and Keenan. But now that I'm older I loved Meredith and Trent (Gillian and Jon) way more. Firstly, they are the more realistic of the two couples. I mean, it's a movie, so everyone falls in love in a week, except Trent, who may be in love but at least he doesn't say it. But they are just adorable and young Jon Stewart is just so cute I could put him in my pocket.

So anyway, I was thinking about them and it made me think of you.
best to you

LIfe Changes

About three weeks ago I found out I didn't get a job we were nearly certain I was going to get. The principal told me I was the front runner and we really hit it off. Then someone came in with 30 years experience and a master's degree and I got a rejection call. This was devastating because the reaction both Jordan and I felt was "Well, now does this mean we can't go to St. Louis anymore?" and it started me feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed. So I went to my therapist (almost the next day, because she had a cancellation). She helped me to see that I was so anxious about finding a job because moving was dependent upon that circumstance, and every rejection meant that maybe we wouldn't move, and we really wanted to move. She helped me to realize that it's okay to go ahead and make the decision to move even without a job. She also helped me realize that there are other things I could do even if I don't get a teaching position, too.

So that night I went home and talked it over with Jordan and the next day I finally resigned from Redeemer. With no jobs yet both Jordan and I decided that we were going to go ahead and make the commitment and move.

That brings me to now. I have had a few more noes since then, and am still hearing back from some places. I was very disappointed when a path my therapist suggested I take proved impractical next year--she suggested going back to get my master's degree, and while at first I was scared, it started to really appeal. I thought it would be neat to go back and do it full time in between jobs right after we moved and just get it all done--and then I found out I would have had to pay out-of-state tuition and that was about double what the in state tuition was and I couldn't even figure out how to rationalize that so I had to let that door close this year. I am considering working for a year and then once I've established residency quitting and still doing my master's for a year. But I also want to have another baby sooner rather then later. So, a lot is up in the air right now.

So as of now, Jordan is still waiting to interview for the position at ESIC, I am interviewing and waiting to hear back from interviews, we have contacted a realtor about selling our house, and we're trying to get it clean so we can actually move forward with that. While making the decision was a way to take control over the situation, it's still a little scary to relinquish control on the job-side back to God and trust that He will put me in the right place. But, that's where we are now. We are really excited to move back closer to family and I'm trying to focus on that right now and leave the worrying for later.
s60 harriet half smile

Job update

I had my first interview today. It was a short phone interview, but the principal had her cook call in sick and had to help serve food for lunch, so she could only talk about 20 minutes.

She asked about my classroom management, and I gave some specific examples and included intervening with repeat offenders to help them take responsibility for their own learning.

She asked about my homework philosophy, which I felt I explained and reasoned well.

She asked about communicating with parents and I talked about our school's system (probably not the best answer since it's school specific) and I also mentioned that while the system automatically sends out notifications I used to do that on my own as a teacher, to email at the end of the day parents whose students were missing homework. Also, while I said I often use email, when a parent brings up a concerns my first go-to is "we should talk about this in person" because email can cause miscommunication. So not the best answer possible but I think I did alright there.

I think the last part was about how I help struggling students and I emphasized my knowledge of the grade level by mentioning that students will often not admit to struggling. I talked about how to check each day to look for students who did not understand the concepts and I talked about how I offer math help and make myself available before and after school.

So, anyway, that's my first interview. At the end we did not have time for me to ask questions, but she mentioned briefly the salary/benefits aspects of the job, and said she might contact me again if she needs additional information and hopes to know by the beginning of May.

It's grades 5-8 so it's not my ideal (high school) job but it's something I would be comfortable doing.
s60 time remaining


So Jordan is possibly going to receive a call to a church in St. Louis. If he does we probably won't know until it's too late for me to look for a job. So last week I sent out nearly 50 resumes to private schools in the greater St. Louis area. I have received a few replies, most of them saying they have no openings currently. However, today I received a reply from a school that said: "Mr. Harris [the principal] received your resume. When will you be in in the area for an interview? We will have an opening next year for a teacher in calculus, precalculus, and trigonometry."

My initial response, my first reaction, was: Are you freaking kidding me!?! This is like my dream job. I love upper-level math, I think trigonometry is awesome, and it's at a Catholic high school which means I should have fewer problems with classroom management, And I still get to teach in a Christian setting. Also, the cool thing about Catholic high schools is that they don't expect all their teachers to believe in Catholic teachings. They expect you to teach Catholic beliefs to the students, which is fine, but I don't have to feel like I am living a double life as much as I do now.

So after the initial amazement wore off, I'm starting to feel a little more nervous. One of the cool things is that Jordan said if I do get this job and he doesn't get the church position in St. Louis, we could probably still move anyway. I am so psyched that I might get to teach upper-level math. Looking at job openings in the past month, many of the high school positions required a Masters degree and/or previous high school teaching experience, neither of which I had. I was starting to think that it was going to be a while before I could work my way up to these classes in a school where I started out teaching something lower-level. To know that the possibility is out there is very, very cool. I know of course that it's just an interview and I am I don't have the position yet, but I'm still pretty darn excited about the possibility.
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chosen gathering


For those who don't know, I decided to grow some willpower for Lent. I gave up sweets. It wasn't about not eating the sweets, it was about having the willpower to not eat ALL the sweets. For instance, I never ate one cookie. I ate 3. I rarely had one piece of cake. I had 2 large pieces (or three small ones, cause they were small, right?) On Wednesdays there are always snacks for the teachers. I couldn't just have a brownie, I had to also have the cookie (one of each flavor, otherwise how will I know what is best?)

So I decided that I just needed to stop. Like I said, it wasn't about giving up sweets, it was about developing the ability to say NO, because I was basically acting like an addict. And I've done pretty well. I have pretty much walked away from any sweets when faced with them. This week, though, Satan has seriously been at work on me! There are some chocolate covered pretzels in the kitchen. I keep hearing "You've been so good you can just have one. You've learned to be able to limit yourself. You'll just eat one and it's okay," in my head any time I walk in there. I nearly opened the container and I was like "Self, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You can wait one more week."

Anyway, it's just been really significant for me, even though it probably sounds pretty shallow.
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    good good
vm daddy daughter love


Had a dream about my dad last night.  He was sleeping on the pool table in the basement of my childhood home, and I was living there in my old room.  I came out, and we talked for a short while, I don't remember about what, and then I woke up (in my dream) and realized it was a dream.  This is how I dream: the weirdest shit can happen but when something doesn't mesh with my subconscious, I have to either end the dream suddenly or rationalize it somehow.  Dad sleeping on the pool table?  My subconscious is cool with that, even though it's totally unrealistic.  Me talking to dad?  Oh, sorry, he's dead so can't have that.  Silly mind.
hp harry sirius hug family

Big huge road trip

So about four weeks ago we embarked on our first major road trip with Callum.  We started by driving to Jordan's Aunt Susie's house in Dallas.
*Callum swam in Susie's pool, and had a blast, even though he was a little cold and terrified of the dog.
*Their dog would bark and he would CRY!
*LaToya made a great fish, and was amazed at Callum doing things like standing up and EATING.
*Callum really really really liked LaToya.

The second part of the trip was supposed to be from Dallas to Bernice, OK where we were going to camp.  (We didn't want to travel more than 6 hours of driving a day to make it easier for Callum.)  However...
*It was 105 degrees when we hit Pryor, just outside of Bernice.  
*Callum slept like a champ
*So, we drove on to St. Louis.  
*We made stops for Callum to crawl around at Austin College, the Wal-Mart at Pryor, and the Missouri Welcome Center rest stop.  
*Once we left the rest stop Callum slept the entire rest of the way, AND when we got to Gary and Gale's he went right back to sleep in the house.  I love my child.

Highlights from St. Louis:
*It was over a hundred degrees every day we were there.  This was supposed to be vacation!
*Callum swam just about every day.
*I taught him to swim some in the pool, and to hold his breath some, but we need to work on holding his breath more and also kicking so he can go somewhere when he swims.
*The guy at the St. Louis Art Museum who let his child in a backpack knock over a painting ruined it for everyone else.
*Callum went to his first Cardinals Game (104 degree afternoon game while it was 90 in Austin).  He spent half the game in the air conditioned Cardinals Club where he crawled around until his hands and feet were black.
*Callum made friends with another little kid at the game who gave him a cookie that he ate with his black hands.
*We went to an awesome Chinese lantern festival at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens where we saw all the enormous lanterns during the day and then after they were lit (apparently no one has ever knocked over a plant with a child in a backpack).
*When Jordan carries Callum in a backpack, random people frequently ask for rides too.
*Callum and Kaiser (Gale and Gary's dog) both wanted to investigate each other, but neither one wanted to be investigated.  Callum was also afraid of Kaiser's bark, so Kaiser spent a lot of time in Gale and Gary's room.
*Callum slept through the night most of the time, but also liked to wake up at about 6 for the day.

The third leg of the trip was to Candace's apartment in Hobart, IN.
*Callum wanted to explore Bella, Candace's (much larger than Kaiser and Romeo, Susie's dog) dog, but her bark was loud and low and also scared him.  
*Callum did also want to play in the dog's water and try out his food, and play with Bella's toys.  Bella retaliated by playing with Callum's toys.
*Candace had the AC up really high and it was COLD.  Jordan was very comfortable.  Callum woke up around 5 in the form of a Callumsicle.
*We started to watch the Goonies but Jordan (who had never seen it before!) was too tired to finish it.  It still remains unseen by him.
*IL has installed a lot of new windmills.  They freak Jordan out.

The next leg was to my mom's new place in Clinton Township, MI.  
*Jordan was disappointed to find out that like my mom's old house, her new one still had no air conditioning.
*Mom and Kelsey did however have a pool in the backyard.
"Callum could stand in the pool while he was in his floatie, just for a few seconds, and when he would fall over he would look like an orca whale doing a backflip.
*Callum loved the pool even when he was cold and his teeth were chattering (but he wasn't blue so he could stay in the pool).
*Callum ate nearly every meal on the breezeway and made such a mess of himself it was usually followed by naked baby time in the washtub.
*When you give a baby taco meat, he will look like an orange bearded hobo.
*Callum really wanted to investigate Koko (mom's dog) and Koko would have none of that.  Mostly Callum followed her around as she moved from place to place to get away from the baby who kept smacking her belly instead of petting her.  Occasionally she tolerated being pet on the face.
*Since Koko didn't bark, Callum started to get over his antsiness around dogs.
*We went with Melissa to the Henry Ford Museum, ($60 for both of us).  But it was really great.  We saw the cars, we saw the Titanic exhibit, some of the trains, the history of Freedom Movements in America (including Rosa Parks' bus), we saw airplanes, and Jackson saw a lot of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.  Callum was really good, but at a few points he had to get out and crawl.  Also, a Gillette safety razor nearly identical to Jordan's was recovered from the Titanic wreck.
*Afterwards, we went for dinner at Melissa's mom's house, where Callum chased a softball around a LOT and crawled under very low areas to try to get it, and also ate A LOT of meat.  
*MI had just changed the laws to allow more fireworks and everyone was shooting them off nearly every night we were there (around the 4th of July).  Callum slept through ALL OF THEM.  Amazing baby.

Next we went to Port Sanilac.
*The lake was nice and Callum liked it the first day when it wasn't too windy.
*You could go out really, really, really far and it was still only waist/chest high.
*We ate three meals at Mary's Diner and Callum ate from the adult menu (and ate most of the entire meal) all three times.
*One time he was so good and had nearly no food on the floor...until he was done and bored waiting and swept everything onto the floor with one hand.
*We spread Daddy's ashes in the lake on Saturday night (July 7th, the day after his birthday).  All his siblings were there, plus Mom, and all my sisters were there, plus my cousin Freddy, and Jordan and Callum, and Rita's John.  All four girls, Marty, and little Freddy, and Margie helped to spread the ashes.
*Tim Hanley was also there but didn't stay for the ashes.
*We stayed in some cabins at a campground in the next little town over from Grandma's trailer park.  Jordan's favorite part was the AC.
*Callum slapped Jordan awake to show him a sock.
*We went star gazing and watched the neighbor's fireworks.  We saw Cassiopeia, the Dolphin, Scorpio, Ursa Major and Minor, and many more.
*Some family drama occurred between my Uncle Marty and my Aunt Jeanne, but was resolved to a point.
*We left early and Mom and Kelsey and Michele stayed an extra night.

We drove to Sara LaFrance's house to swim in her pool next.
*Jordan remembered to bring the camera to the pool, forgot he had it, then remembered again...about 10 minutes after getting into the pool.
*Callum had a blast and Sara loved playing with him in the pool.
*Sara's pool floatie looks like a giant red condom.
*Suzy and Chase joined us late and then we all went to a build your own burger place.  It was gooooood.

Next, we went back to my mom's again.
*Went out to dinner and Katie Priebe, Sarah Herman, and Melissa and their respective kiddos.  Katie's kids are ADHD crazy.  We went to a park afterwards.  Sarah and Melissa talked about their divorces and I told Jordan I was really glad he was awesome and that I wasn't divorced before I was 30.
*Played Waterfall and some other games with Michele and her friends.
*Michele and Kelsey got into a HUGE FIGHT, more family drama.
*Mom blew off work on the day we were leaving, it was nice.
*To help Michele calm down after the fight, Mom let her go through a box of Dad's stuff.  I went through some of it too.
*I also went through all my old boxes of things my mom still had.  Threw away all my notes from Confirmation, Spanish 1, 2, and 3, and New Testament.  Kept all my Sweet Valley High books.
*I found a German family Bible from 1902 in my stuff and gave it to Jordan.
*Sara LaFrance came over for dinner one night too and it was fun.
*Michele gave me a convertible dress that I get tons of complements on when I wear it.
*We were supposed to go to Canada but I was too tired and I slept too late and we didn't have time. 

We started home, stopping at Candace's again first on the way.
*Candace had a horrible flight back from her interview in Austin and was really tired.
*Callum was much less afraid of Bella even when she barked.
*Jordan got White Castle.
*Jordan was exhausted and went to bed early.  We did not finish the Goonies.  I was sad.

We went back to St. Louis again.
*We went to the zoo.  We pet stingrays, saw lots of reptiles and lots of birds. One of the reptiles we saw was ENGANGERED, but most were just ENDANGERED, according to their signs.
*Callum was less afraid of Kaiser, even when he barked right near him.
*We went to St. Charles, and got awesome coffee, shopped for clothes (Gale bought me a pink dress), Jordan got a lapel pin, a bowtie, shaving brush stand, and yummy English edibles.  We also got awesome strawberry balsamic vinegar.  We need to learn how to infuse our own.  We had really good beer and okay food at a brewery there.
*Callum loved to throw his ball down the stairs.  Of course he didn't have it anymore once he threw it down, but then he would just go and find something else to throw down the stairs, like mom's sunglasses, a water bottle.  The beach ball wouldn't fit through the rails, not for lack of trying.

We did stop at Bernice, the smallest State Park ever, to camp on the way back.
*Jordan was still too hot.  He didn't fall asleep until three and had to take two cold showers. 
*Eventually moving to a colder part of the tent and sticking cold cans of juice all around him worked.
*Callum's one desire in the morning was to wake Daddy up and play with him!!!

We stopped once more at Aunt Susie's.
*LaToya made all sorts of crazy good food, but ended up not feeling like cooking dinner and kept apologizing for it, even though we insisted that all the appetizers were great and that we were full.
*We ate Conch fritters.  Jordan loved them, me not so much.
*Callum ate a whole chicken breast (and he ate it whole. too) at Braum's.  It took so long I took a nap in the car. Also, Braum's ice cream is awesome.
*Callum was still not too fond of Romeo, who probably had the loudest bark of all the dogs despite being the smallest.
*Callum's (first) cousin (once removed) Warren liked him.
*On the way home from Susie's we went through Waco and Jordan finally got to take me to the Clay Pot which was very good.

Then we came home.  And unpacked just about everything right away.  And went out to dinner one last time with leftover gas money at a really neat vegetarian restaurant here in Austin.  We didn't know it was vegetarian until we got there but it was very good.  And, that was our trip!  It was mostly awesome, Callum was so good, and loved by all.  It is good to be home though, especially since Cal sleeps so much better (especially napping) in his crib.

  • Current Mood
    busy busy
flowers in weeds

Being Pro-Life in 2012

So I’ve been pro-life since I found out what abortion was in 6th grade confirmation class.  I was shown horrible pictures of aborted fetuses and I was of course appalled.  I became very adamantly pro-life and very vocally anti-abortion.  In high school I was the kind of person who was involved in politics to the extent that if a president was pro-choice I didn’t think he should be president.  I would have been a single issue voter if I could have voted.  (In high school I was also extremely socially and religiously conservative.)  I thought that anyone who got an abortion was doing the wrong thing.  There was always adoption, and so many people wanted a baby who couldn’t have one.  Even for victims of rape, I felt that surely two wrongs couldn’t make a right.

My freshmen year in college, I did a research paper on abortion.  One of the things I learned about was some of the history of abortion pre-Roe v. Wade.  I read about back alley abortions without any pain medication.  I read about self-induced abortions with coat hangers.  I read about women becoming sterile and I saw the statistics of women who have died from botched abortions.  (And those were only the numbers that they knew for certain.)  I started to think, perhaps abortion shouldn’t be illegal.  I mentioned this to someone who I knew was involved with the pro-life group on campus.  His response was that those women had chosen to have an abortion knowing the risks; an unborn baby had no choice in the matter.  (At the time I felt kind of humbled.  Now I know people who would have laughed bitterly at his use of the word “choice”.)

I still think abortion is wrong.  I also think divorce is wrong.  But sometimes, a family doesn’t really have a choice and it is a necessary last resort to end a marriage.  I think in those cases, (especially cases of abuse and adultery) divorce needs to be legal in our country.  I used to think abortion was black and white.  Then I became pregnant.  Then I had a baby.  They were the two hardest things I have ever done in my life.  Nothing about either of those things is black and white.  Abortion, pregnancy, beginning of life, these are areas that are shaded with grays. 

I still think abortion is wrong.  You know what else is wrong?  It is wrong to take away a woman’s access to birth control in the name of someone else’s religion.  It is wrong to say that it is okay for a doctor to lie to a patient.  It is wrong to force a woman who has been raped and violated to undergo an invasive vaginal ultrasound and to make her look at the pictures.  It is wrong to force an unwanted child to be born when we are not taking care of the orphans and unwanted children who are already here.   It is wrong to redefine rape in order to limit abortions done because you think that women are going to lie about that in order to end a pregnancy.  Yes, a few might, but not enough to warrant a law that tells men it’s okay to take advantage of a women if she’s drunk or high, or dressed like she’s asking for it.  I used to think that “health of the mother” was too broadly defined and that abortion access should be restricted.  Now I’m watching that happen but not in ways that make any sense, and it’s wrong.  We’re not targeting the people who are getting abortions because it’s inconvenient to have a child or because they don’t want to change their lifestyle (not black and white issues either people).  We’re targeting the pregnant poor, the pregnant teens, the abused women who have been used like a hole.  We’re targeting the people who are hurting, who don’t want to have an abortion but don’t want to have a baby and who can’t figure out what to do and who already feel guilty enough. (Gray, gray, gray!)   And it’s wrong.

I don’t want to be pro-life right now, because right now pro-life doesn’t even mean anti-choice.  Those Republicans who are passing these pro-life laws are anti-women.  And it needs to stop.

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s60 harriet half smile

9th Anniversary

With the recent events in the news, I feel like I really want to say something longer than a facebook status.

I am glad to know that most Christians are against what the Florida congregation still plans to do (as of now*) on Saturday, and have a mass burning of Qur'ans.  (*I wrote this originally as a Facebook note and at that time it was still on, but I have read that he has canceled the burning now.)  Because that is completely against what that day should be about.  As Christians we are preaching Jesus Christ.  Here are words that I would like us to think about as we come up to Sept. 11, 2010:

5:16 - "Let your light shine like that in the sight of men. Let them see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven

5:39 - "If a man hits your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well."

6:14-15 - "For if you forgive other people their failures, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you will not forgive other people, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your failures."

I found those just skimming through the beginning of Matthew.  I could post a dozen more, at least.  This country is starting to fall backward.  Hate and anger seem to be rising.  My prayer is that we can start to move forward.  My calling is for Christians especially--let's work at practicing what we preach.  The words of Jesus are hard words to hear and even harder sometimes to follow.  It isn't easy to offer forgiveness to the people who crashed the planes.  Maybe for some of us it feels impossible.  But let's start by forgiving the Muslims who live in America, who call themselves citizens, and who also cried and mourned when the towers fell.  Because some of us are turning our grief into anger against them, and they have truly done nothing wrong. 

If a non-Christian evaluated Christianity solely on the Cursades, he could come to the conclusion that Christianity is a religion where killing of non-believers is allowable and sometimes even sanctioned by God.  It's appaling to me that there are actual people who really do believe this!  It's just as apalling to true Muslims that so many Americans/Christians seem to believe that Islam is really supportive of murdering unbelievers.  If you didn't know, that's not true.  Believing that is the same as thinking that the church in Florida planning to burn Qur'ans is representative of all Chrsitians.  Not even close. 

The Qur'an and the Bible aren't very different.  Of course, some of the differences, like Christ crucified, are major and important, but many of the teachings of Jesus are echoed in the Qur'an.  Read some of it sometime.  Maybe Sept 11.  And do something good to help stop the hate.



I went to the driving range near us on the 4th to see fireworks. It was neat; everyone was launching their own fireworks they had bought. Some were the kind we used to launch as kids, and others were the kind you travel to see (only a little smaller) but they really did shoot up and then burst out. It was really neat to be so close and see them. We bought a couple but I honestly had more fun just watching. I was looking at them and suddenly realized I had a little kid's goofy grin on my face. It was silly but I was so happy just watching those fireworks--it had actually our last Disney trip since I had seen fireworks. It was a lot of fun.

I'm going to try to call a counselor again. I left her a message about a week ago but she didn't call back. Of the three that Roger recommended, this was the only one in my insurance, so I hope she calls back. I don't know what I need to do but I would like to change how I feel lately. I would like to feel more like me again. I wish Jordan was home this summer. We insulted the Cliftons the other day and now I'm worried that things will be weird between us. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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    nostalgic nostalgic