Friday, November 19, 2010

Best Coffee Ever - And Company

You would have laughed at me if you'd just seen me, friends

I have spent the last 15 minutes trying to get a good photo of myself holding a cup of coffee, using my cell phone camera, which for some reason, has a fuzzy film on it I couldn't get off.  I then made it worse by scratching at it, although for a minute it did make it a little less fuzzy.... but that moment was short lived. 

Upon realizing that 15 minutes had gone by and I had no good pictures to show you, I decided it was so funny I'd just upload the ridiculous and fuzzy pictures I took.  And then I just realized that, because I had to get a new phone last week (my old one broke), I don't have this one set up to send my pictures to my email, and I don't have the converter that makes your small memory card fit into the memory card slot on the computer.


All I wanted to do was show you my favorite cup of coffee ever.  Wait, this is a blog, right?  And, while I know that a picture is worth a 1000 words, I should be able to paint you a word picture.....we'll, I'll try.

It's the season I wait for all year long.  It brings me joy, puts me in a good mood no matter what else is going on in my life, and, I think, is God's personal gift to me, Beth.  I love the decorations each year, the sweet and spicy aromas that waft my way, the warm, fuzzy feeling I get.

I am, of course, talking about the Gingerbread Latte season at Starbucks.  You knew that, right?

I kid you not.  With a Gingerbread Latte in hand, nothing can stop me.  I'm unflappable, un-phaseable, un-depressable.  I hoard (not an exaggeration) any gift cards given to me the rest of the year and never spend any money at Starbucks until sometime in November, when the signs switch from orange and brown with the words Pumpkin Spice to elaborate drawings of coffee cups topped with whipped cream and the words Holiday Favorites are written in golds and reds.  I then go through those gift cards at what might seem an excessive rate, but really isn't, as I know I want to make them last until the new year.

A student brought me my first Gingerbread Latte of the season the week they came out, not long ago.  In the middle of a meeting, I glanced up and saw out the window that she was standing there, latte in hand.  No words of explanation needed, I quickly and quietly left the room, thanked her profusely, and almost reverantly sipped my first delicious sip.  Contentment.

I've postponed writing about it, because I've wanted to find the perfect day and have the perfect photo to accompany my post, but today I decided that you, my friends, need to know that I am happy.

This morning I went in for a Venti (a big splurge - but it's the last day of school before Thanksgiving Break), and the card scanner would not read my giftcard.  She tried three times.  I offered to let her try another card. Instead, like an angel or a Christmas elf, she replied, "Oh, it's fine. Just enjoy."

The barista then read the label on the cup wrong and made a Creme Brulee Latte (cbl) instead of a Gingerbread Latte (gbl).  Taking an extra minute, she made me a new latte and put it in the cutest Christmas cup ever.

Whether it's the fact that it's Friday and it's the day before a break, the fact that the coffee was free, or the fact that she made it extra special, this Gingerbread Latte is without a doubt ...

... the best cup of coffee ever.

May your day be merry!

Disclaimer: I know I'm a little out of control.  Like me anyway.  I do think God gave me the Gingerbread Latte as a gift, but the season I love more than the GBL is, truly, Christmas.  More to come on that after Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

5 Minutes in Which I Catch Up

Days go by without my blogging, but that doesn't mean I haven't had things to say or created posts in my head.  I just haven't done it.

So tonight I'm going to put into practice a new practice - the "do it for at least 5 minutes" system - because hey, 5 minutes is better than no minutes.

Let's begin.  It's 9:08.

It's finally gotten cold, which makes me happy, and we have even had our first two snows.  I use the word snows sort of loosely, since neither one resulted in much snow on the ground or a two-hour delay (it's true, teachers love delays just like students).  The first storm was bigger than the last, and I do have some pictures to show (but I fear that would cut into my 5 minutes).  It brought a huge smile to my face - I LOVE snow.  The second snow, today's wasn't much of anything, but still, I LOVE snow.  Did I mention that yet?

I have a firm policy that Christmas decorations can't go up before Thanksgiving, but I do confess, I saw that the neighbor's have started putting theirs up, and I am feeling a little wishful that next week were already here.

School has been good, but nuts.  This week (and last) Student Council has been partnerning in a food drive with a local organization.  Tomorrow night we're having our first annual dodgeball tournament  - we have 15 teams signed up and hope to have a lot of spectators.  It's going to be crazy, but ridiculously fun.  We're also selling cotton candy tomorrow.  I have no idea how to make cotton candy, but we rented the machine.  Hopefully it works.

There has been some hard stuff for me recently, particularly pertaining to how I feel about church and some struggles I'm having with feeling alone, but that will have to wait until another post, because the clock has just struck 5 minutes.

It's 9:12. 

Stay tuned for another 5 minute post where I continue catching up.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Perhaps one of nature's constants is the changing of the seasons. Each year spring blooms into summer, summer morphs into fall, fall withers into winter, winter melts into spring.  Of course, where I live, our seasons are often jumbled together - it might be winter and summer in the same week.  And, of course, we could then get into the argument about whether or not global warming is messing up the climate and destroying the seasons.... but that conversation would just irk me and ruin my blog post. 

"What's your favorite season?" people often ask. 

I love them all.  I did write a post on why I do love fall, and you can read it here, but truly, I love seasons.  I love the crispness and colors of fall, the spirit and snow of winter, the thawing and newness of spring, and the warmth and fun of summer.

And I love how, each year, they come, and they go.

People are always telling me that this stage of my life is just a season, and that the season will change.  I'm not sure I really believe them anymore. I mean, I do believe that the particular circumstances of the season will change, but the season itself?  I don't see an end in sight.

Busyness is my life.  Sure, you could say it's because I choose to do too many things.  Trust me, though, I have already cut some things out and still am runnning to an end nowhere in sight.

The next season (kids, perhaps?  No annoucement being made, just a logical thought) surely will not be any less busy.  I will still have my job, and I will still want to be a teacher who is invested in her students.  I can't spend every free minute of the day working, not engaging, just so I can go home "empty handed."  I don't think I want to quit Student Council, because I think it's something that, not only do I do well, but that I love.  I would lose one of my favorite parts of teaching if I let it go.  I won't get to be a stay-at-home-mom, not when my kids are little, and not when they are at school.  Instead of taking things out of my busy life, I'll be adding more.

I hear you now.  Kids are worth it, and it is different, because they're you're kids, and you love them, and it changes everything.  And while I don't totally get it, I get it a little.  I do want kids, and I'm ready-ish for that new type of busy season.

I just keep thinking that there isn't really an end in sight.  I'm looking, but I can't see a season where there is a little more time to do other things, to rest, to read, to go on hikes, to exercise.  Perhaps it was my naivety and wishful thinking that led me to believe that all these women who have gone before me and keep telling me that "it's just a season," meant that the season of busyness would change.  Perhaps they really just meant that the circumstances in the busyness will change.

I think I'm having a bit of a 28-year-old-crisis.  I love what I do, and I don't want to not do it, I just want there to be a little more time in the day or the week.  I want to not be behind all the time.  I want to not feel guilty when I blow off work and do something for me.  I want to be healthy. 

Enough.  Please hear me - I do love what I do, and the problem probably comes from the fact that I refuse to do these things less than the best I can.  If I could cut out grading, then I would be golden, but alas, that's a pretty major part of teaching.  The only other thing that could go would be time spent investing in kids, and I refuse to do that, too, because that is what I actually love about my job. 

So season, although you appear to be a very, very, very long one, bring it on.  Perhaps my seasons are all jumbled together, much like in the Colorado way, with a little bit of winter and spring and summer and fall all at once, and I just need to learn to look for the differences in each day, or week, or month, or year.

Well, here's to living the seasons, whatever they may be.
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