Sunday, September 16, 2012


I had a little chat with my mom the other day.  The subject of God came up.  Sometimes I know my mom worries about my soul.  Every once in a while I have to remind her I'm okay.  I may not be in church every Sunday, or any Sunday for the past four years.  (I did go once with Mindy when I visited Colorado in 2008.)  Despite my absence record in church, my faith has never been shaken. 

I don't quote scripture to anyone, not because I'm ashamed, I just don't memorize anything.  I'm not afraid to share a scripture, but I would be embarrassed if I got the scripture wrong in my attempt to encourage someone.  I make it very clear to whom ever I am talking to that I am not religious.  Make all the jokes you want, but I have a relationship with the Lord.  I once made a very public and in writing statement about something the Lord did for me.  Man did that come back to bite me.  I actually had more than one person ask me if I was in a cult as a result of that letter.  The awkwardness I felt after that letter most certainly kept me from sharing on such a large scale again.  Well, except now.  BUT, my faith stayed the same. 
Agape Banquet

2001 - 24th Anniv.
 I fail God everyday, He NEVER fails me.  

2007 - 30th Anniv.
The way I let people know He's real is by telling the awesome things He has done for me.  Trusting the Lord doesn't mean you will always have a good outcome to a bad situation, it just means you will make it through that bad situation. 
Feb. 2012
I know God is real because my parents are still married.  
My parents are celebrating 35 years of marriage on September 17, 2012.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And she's off!

Why are you waking me up this early?
My Godmother, Mindy sent me flowers!
I can't believe you got me a fish!

She talked to her fish the whole time she ate her breakfa
The time has come.  A new chapter.  A big chapter.  The kindergarten chapter.  I knew this day was coming when Rylee was just several months old.  I had dropped her off at daycare before heading to work.  I was driving by an elementary school I always drove past.  But on this day they had a sign up in front of the school letting parents know the time to register their kids for kindergarten was coming up.  I panicked.  I don't know how to register a kid for kindergarten!  There was nothing about this in the baby books I read.  Okay the one book I read.  Okay, the one book I skimmed occasionally.  Oh no, I should have read the books!  I don't want to be an adult!  I just want to make a u-turn, pick up Rylee, call in sick forever, and cuddle with Rylee.  We can play all day and no one has to get hurt.  I know, I'll call Mindy (aka my best friend who talks me off of the occasional ledge) she'll know what to do.  Mindy proceeds to speak to me in soothing tones and says, "Jess, it's okay.  You've got about five years before Rylee needs to be registered for kindergarten.  You probably are still dealing with hormones being out of control since your pregnancy.  Calm down and breathe."

Logically I know I'm ready.  As far as school supplies, I'm ready.  Emotionally, come on, we both know the answer to that stupid question.  It's not like I'm hiding in my closet curled up in the fetal position crying about the fact my daughter will not be in my sight every minute of the day.  Well not yet.  Realistically it's not the part where she's not in my sight all day that is troubling me, it's the thought that she could be picked on.  She could be teased.  She could say something in front of her whole class and they could laugh at her and she could cry.  What if she falls on the playground and the school nurse calls me but I'm in the bathroom and don't hear the phone ring and Rylee has to wait in the office and she's crying and scared?  Oh my God why do we send our kids to kindergarten!  It's not okay!  I'm not ready!  Let's calm down and be rational.  She's not going to college yet.  I'm not sending her to another country for a foreign exchange program.  She's not running off to travel abroad and find herself, where she meets a creepy guy named Paolo and tells me she's in love.  She's going to kindergarten for almost three hours a day.  No big deal right?  Why is this so scary?

Oh how I loved the Care Bears!
Rylee will encounter peer pressure.  (I'm not thinking anything serious in kindergarten, like drugs, but maybe someone dares her to jump off of something that could result in a broken bone.)  Rylee might have a kid in her class that is mean to her for no reason, or worse, Rylee might be mean to a kid for no reason. 
Mom, what were you thinking when this outfit was chosen?
If I picked it, you shouldn't have let me. If you did, well, you know I'll be sending you the therapy bill.
Becky and I with the girls in September of 2007.
We still can't believe how fast time flies.
My sister in-law, Becky, and I were discussing this milestone the other night and shedding some tears thinking about the big change that is about to happen to our families.  My niece, Makenah, is starting kindergarten as well.  Becky said, "We are about to let more people into our lives.  Kids, parents, and teachers."  Ugh, do we have to?

 We, Rylee's family, won't be the only voices speaking into her life.
This is the most terrifying part of starting school.

Later mom!  I'm too excited to be scared!
I can look back and remember a teacher who influenced me, impacted my life in some intense way that made me never forget them.  Thank you Mrs. Parodi, where ever you are.

My kindergarten class.  Mrs. Linden on the right. 
And there I am on the top right, unaware that red and purple really don't go together.

I remember my kindergarten teacher very well.  I am so blessed to still be in contact with her.  She taught my sister, my brother, and myself.  Her name is Mrs. Lee Linden.  She sent me a copy of "Life's Little Instruction Book" when I graduated high school.  She sent Rylee a copy of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" when she was born.  I have moved a lot in my life.  Fortunately my family wasn't moving when I was in school, so I was able to attend the same elementary school until it was time for Jr. High.  All the teachers I had back then were able to see me grow.  I want that for Rylee.  I want teachers I trust, in her life.  They don't have to have the same religious or political views as me, I just want to trust them.
C'mon Dad! This is the only time I'll be cool
with you riding the bus with me.
Wow, trust, a small word, but a very heavy one.  I have to trust myself.  I have to trust that Rylee will remember the things I've taught her about manners and listening.  I have to trust that she'll make wise choices on the playground.  I have to trust she'll do the right thing if she sees a kid getting picked on.  I know this isn't the end of teaching my daughter, it's just the beginning of finding out if she's been listening to me.