Monday, October 27, 2014

Funeral Flowers!

Have you ever had to buy funeral flowers? It's hard! It shouldn't be, but wow! I know these things: Mamaw gave white flowers for other people's funerals, carnations are taboo, I have a budget, it matters because it matters to my mother in law. So I went with roses and lillies. White. It's pretty and we loved our Mamaw. That will have to do.

Here's why it's so hard:  I love color! Give me Gerber daisies and crazy arrangements. Flowers are some of my favorite things ever and they shouldn't cause stress. But alas, it's a week of stress. Saying goodbye is like that. Even when it is expected and a welcome relief to know she is out of pain.

So, we will say our goodbyes to the lady who helped Chris become the amazing man he is. We will talk, chat, eat, and endure awkward family moments. That's what makes our family roll.

So here's to you Mamaw! Thanks for years of love, care, acceptance, and great Sunday dinners. You will be missed by many.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

IT's my 400th post? really?

So I realized today that I could use some therapy. And then I remembered that I like eating out occasionally, not sweating the bank account monthly, and the kids needs shoes. So, I came here. This is my nook that is kind of public, so I can feel like it's a public airing of life that I actually share with people. But it's also kind of safe because I am pretty sure that my mom is the only one who reads it.

On my 400th post, I'd like to list 400 things I would change if I were the boss. Not really. 400 is a lot and I don't have that much imagination.

Here's what's been happening in Willingham's World: I am trying to finish my Master's degree. That's all. Well, all that I'm thinking about. Oh, and school started. And I really want another job. It's not the place, or the people, or the actually work. No, it's all the other stuff.

I want a job where I can be respected for the 20 years of experience I have in my field. I want a job where I don't feel like every conference is an attack on my abilities and performance. I want a job where performance isn't rated through data boards and menial numbers that only give a piece of what is going on.

I want to teach kids stuff. I want to grow their love of reading and writing maybe too. I want to see them play with ideas and learn how to interact appropriately in social settings. I want to feel like a hero when they finally get it and I don't want to feel like a bandit when I have a crazy idea and just go with it. I don't want to explain my reason for everything I do.

Oh, and I want a 4 day work week. And inclement learning days when the weather is too nice to be inside so everyone must go outside all day. And I want some cream cheese icing.

So, that's where it is. I'm working hard, hard, hard on coursework. And I'm trying desperately to figure stuff out.  Thanks therapists. That helped.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Heart

Within every amazingly good institution there is an individual who is the heart. In exceptional places, there are several. They exemplify what is unique and lovely and powerful within the context of that place. The heart not only keeps things moving, but carries the memories and cultural traditions. They inspire and lead and encourage and guide without even knowing what they are doing sometimes. And when the heart is gone, for whatever reason, the work environment mourns. It will eventually change and a new heart will emerge to fit the new culture and work will continue. But those who were there before always remember and poignantly feel the loss. Phrases like "remember when" and "I sure do miss..." echo in their minds on a regular schedule.

A couple of years ago, the heart left abruptly for health reasons. It was the right thing, but it still hurt. Our family mourned and moved on slowly because we knew it was for the best. A new way of getting things done began to grow in fits and starts.

Then, just as a new culture was forming, another heart was needlessly removed. Here one day, gone the next. Careless and untrue accusations rocked our piece of the world and we wondered if things would ever be right again. Unable to move forward and impossible to return to life before, our family accepted, grudgingly, the new status. Our heart was missing and we didn't know if it would come back. We were incomplete and the loss affected us all. A new normal emerged that was a shadow of what it should be. And we waited. We prayed. We snooped. Then we prayed some more. And we waited, always wondering if our heart would come back to us, or if we would have to create another new way of operating.

Today, our heart returned. It was a glorious surprise that was the perfect uplifting end to a hard first week. The return was answered prayers and patient waiting for justice. It was a beautiful thing. I don't know what it felt like to have over 700 people on their feet chanting your name, friend, but from where I was standing it was the best!

Welcome Home!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I took the summer off

Yep,I did, I took the summer off of blogging. I might even take the fall off. Who knows.

This week has been a little nostalgic for me due to heading back to school and all. son #1 and Baby boy have been amazingly sweet and kind. In return I give them free reign on computers.

But I looked over the other day and got a sentimental. Son #1 is offically a man-boy. He has fuzz on his chin and hairy pits. His voice is strange and he can touch the ceiling without standing on his toes. But he still came over and said "I need a hug". He confessed that he had trouble going to sleep last night because he was missing Blazer. He alternates between physically rough housing with the little brother and giving him unasked for advice about middle school. He opens my doors and lays his head on my arm when we sit close together. He is turning into a beautiful young man. And it made me stop and thank God for a great kid that I get to parent through this life. I took a moment and just felt the joy and sadness of being a mom to boys.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

And..She's back!

The semester is over and I don't have classes for another few weeks. So, I might want to update this. I know you've been dying to hear what has happened. Lets work backward in time....

2 hours ago my son asked how babies came out if they weren't cut out of the Mom. A conversation ensued. The mystery of female biology is no more. Husband, you OWE me. What good is having boys if I have to explain these things to them??? My one perk, and it's gone. At least it wasn't awkward or anything.

5 hours ago, I got Mother's Day flowers 3 days early. And they are pretty! I am so blessed to have a husband who thought ahead enough to order flowers in time that I can show them off to my fellow teacher AND he didn't have to pay prime delivery fees. He's thoughtful like that.

Yesterday, I found out I won an award! I haven't won an award since I was in 7th grade. I received the Outstanding Student Award from SHSU Dept of Library Sciences. So nice to be recognized. I am honored. Truly.

Just before I went to get the mail and find my surprise award, I booked a trip on Expedia to London for the summer. AHH! It's going to happen now for sure because those suckers are nonrefundable. I am so excited. 8 days in Germany for baseball camp and 4 days in London. Traveling the world. I never thought it would happen, but I can't wait. The planner in me is on hyper drive and I am trying to relax about the packing and the paying (right now we can get there and have a place to stay, but not eat or go anywhere), and the being away from home for 2 weeks, and the paying, and finding the right shoes to walk around Europe without having my feet kill me, and.... I think I need to relax a bit. So I'm going to smile awkwardly at my shiny award and figure out what to cook for dinner.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Best VBS promo ever!

VBS Volunteers Promo 2014 from Crossroads Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 5

Oh my Spring Break. Today was a doozie. I drove about 8 hours today. To and from East Texas. Mission accomplished. Treasure found. But boy am I tired. I got home. And there was no pie. It is Pi day. So Dear Hubby just left to get pie. And milk. He's a good man. I think he was so eager to go get pie because he was with the boys all day. All. Day. Or maybe he is thanking me for not having to drive all day. I'm glad to be home. And sad that Spring Break is about done. But there is still tomorrow. Right?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 4

I felt a little lost today. Woke up with a headache, but was feeling better by noon. The children were frighteningly willing to do anything I asked. The weather was gorgeous. I got to finish a good book. It's a middle grade novel with some great elements. Not quite right for a 3rd grade read aloud, but it will certainly make it to the shelves.

I also got a haircut. Talk about big adventure. My stylist was Chinese (I think), a bit older, and had a very different way of doing things. It all came out in the end just fine, but was a little scary getting there. She didn't ask what I wanted done until she had already washed, conditioned, and combed out my hair. Scissors were in hand. I can't wait to make the newish cut mine.

All in all it's been a great day after I found my way.