I've moved!

I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


word of the day: irony \ī-rə-nē\ the opposite of what is expected

In ninth grade, we read “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry.  In case you’re not familiar with the story, let me give you a short synopsis.  Jim and Della are a young, married couple with very little to their name.  The story begins with Della agonizing over the $1.87 she has saved for Jim.  She makes a quick decision to sell her hair and is able to buy Jim a gold chain for his prized pocket watch.  The irony enters with Jim as he returns home from work to see Della without her beautifully, long hair.  He had sold his pocket watch to buy combs for her hair, and thus, both gifts are rendered useless.   

O. Henry has something to say about that, though, and he closes out the story with his own words of narration.  He says,
Our Christmas Eve service tonight was centered on irony.  The theme was carried throughout the night as we looked at all the events surrounding Jesus’ birth.  It is ironic that the birth was foretold to a simple, peasant girl.  It is ironic that the baby was born in a dirty stable.  It is ironic that the angels announced the birth to outcasts of the town.  It is ironic that the Magi weren’t even Jewish. 

The magi were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Baby Jesus. They invented the art of giving Christmas gifts. Being wise, their gifts were wise ones. And here I have told you the story of two young people who most unwisely gave for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days, let it be said that of all who give gifts, these two were the wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.  

That’s not the irony that stood out to me though.  I was reminded multiple times throughout the service that the birth of Jesus actually happened.  An angel really appeared to Mary.  She and Joseph literally couldn’t find room in any inns.  Barn animals actually surrounded Jesus in his first moments on Earth.  The shepherds and the Magi are not just characters in fictional tales.  They are purposeful people in God’s story. 

It seems a silly epiphany to have.  Of course the birth of Jesus is real.  I just don’t remember the last time I really stopped to think about it, and to me, that seems especially ironic. 

O. Henry says Jim and Della are the wisest.  They loved the other more than their most prized possessions.  Because of the sacrifices they made, O. Henry likens them to the Magi.   My prized possession is time, and I know that I don’t sacrifice that as willingly as Jim and Della.  The irony is that I’m not willing to give up something for the One who gave up everything for me. 

And so, this Christmas I find myself especially thankful for that silent night so long ago.  For a night that actually exists in history and paved the way for the future.  I am thankful to be reminded of the irony of it all and the reality it plays in my life on a daily basis. 

Monday, November 28, 2011


word of the day: purpose /ˈpərpəs/ something that one hopes or intends to accomplish

I taught my ninth graders about author's purpose today.  We talked about how every writer has a reason for writing, and that every writer brings a unique perspective to the craft.  We talked about word choice and the fact that writers very deliberately choose words to extend their tone.

I always love a good discussion about words.

So, here I sit, five hours after my discussion on purpose has ended as a writer seemingly without a purpose.  There's not a coherent plan in my mind, just the desire to let my fingers tap, tap across my keyboard because the rhythmic sound is therapeutic to my ever-buzzing mind.  The tap, tap reminds me that it's ok to slow down. 

It's quiet in my house right now.  Jake's headphones are plugged into his ears while he listens to the latest med school lecture, but every now and then he'll whistle whatever song is playing in his mind.  I don't really notice the whistling anymore--white noise I guess.  I'm not even sure he notices.

Jake and I are really good at appreciating breaks.  Last Christmas break, we watched two entire seasons of Parks and Recreation in three days.  We didn't reach such an impressive feat this year, but we did manage to get through twelve episodes of "Friday Night Lights" in four days. 

I'm a sucker for drama.  There's something about watching what seems to be another person's real life that glues me to the screen.  The pilot episode of FNL (what real fans call it apparently) had me crying already.  And apparently that's not even the most emotional episode. 

Good grief.

I've been trying to look at my world as Jesus looks at my world.  I've been trying to take a moment each morning in my classroom to ask Him to let me see my world through His eyes.  I'm learning that my lens and God's lens are often very different.  I'm also learning that they don't have to be.  When I look through my world through God's lens, ultimately the tone and purpose of my day becomes drastically different.

There we go.  I wasn't sure if I was going to make it full circle this time. 

My lens is clouded.  It's clouded most often, I'm learning, by pride.  Pride affects the way I look at my world because it inevitably focuses the lens on myself. 

When I view my world as Jesus views my world, the people who frustrate me are the people who need love the most.  The people who aggravate me are the people who need grace the most.  The people who would generally go unnoticed suddenly become placed at the forefront of my mind.

Because God notices the unoticeable.

It's a scary prayer to pray, "Let me see the world through Your eyes," but I'm glad my pastor encouraged me to pray it.  It reminds me on a daily basis that it's not enough to simply go through my day hoping God uses me in some form or another. 

It involves me in the purpose, it provides me with perspective, and it reflects the tone of my heart.

Friday, November 11, 2011


word of the day: carry \ˈka-rē\ to move while supporting
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
                                      e e cummings
We all carry with us someone else's heart.  And when we carry with us someone else's heart, our own heart becomes vulnerable.  My friend, Laura, always says that your heart resides outside of your body when you bring new life into the world.  While I don't understand that statement firsthand, I am reminded tonight that there are many people in my life whose hearts are aching.  They carry the heart of someone who is not with them.  Someone they long for or pray for or just can't quite reach.

I'm reassured that e e cummings isn't the only one who has something to stay about carrying someone else's heart. 
“Like a shepherd he tends his flock: he gathers up the lambs in his arm; he carries them close to his heart; he leads the ewes along.”
                                      Isaiah 40:11
And, here is the deepest secret that isn't really a secret(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than a soul can hope or mind can hide)

God carries us in His heart(He carries us in His heart).

Thursday, November 10, 2011


word of the day: musings \ˈmyüz-ing\ to become absorbed in thought; especially : to turn something over in the mind meditatively and often inconclusively

It's a stream of consciousness sort of night. 

Actually it's an I-should-really-have-been-in-bed-30-minutes-ago kind of night, but writing beckons for no other reason than to still my mind.

There are three glass containers on my coffee table.  There is a cold mug of coffee, a warm glass of wine, and a small, empty, glass bowl that, not long ago, housed a handful of chocolate chips.  Clearly my priorities are in order.

If you could measure the rate of speed that a mind can move, I feel as though mine would measure off the charts.  Like as if it's already completely unmeasurable, mine would be even more completely unmeasurable.  Even my musings are having a hard time taking form because the thoughts are so densely embedded in every free space of my mind. 

I have rediscovered my love of learning.  Lately, I have been spending my weekend nights with a highlighter in one hand and a book on some sort of Educational topic in the other.  Grading practice.  Inquiry Circles.  School Improvement.  Alternate Assessments.  Homework.  You name it.  I've been reading it. 

Sometimes I get lost in the cloud that is my thoughts.  All the aforementioned topics float around begging to be put into practice and I find myself having to remind myself that I don't have to solve all the world's problems in a day.  Kids are learning.  I'm closer than I was yesterday.

Viruses attacked my computer this week and all those times I said to myself, "Just back up all your files next week," turned into a very real regret. 

I introduced the concepts of theme and symbol to my ninth graders today, so I suppose a current theme of my life could be, "Don't wait until tomorrow what could be done today."  The symbol, then, is probably all the perfectly organized files that are now lost in cyberspace.  What do they symbolize? For lack of a better word, laziness, I suppose.

I've been reading through Philippians sporadically this week.  I find myself continually reminded of the following:
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
                                       - Philippians 2:3-4

I'm getting pretty good at Twitter.

The clock just turned 11.  That means if I don't take a shower in the next ten minutes, I'll be awake when Late Night with Jimmy Fallon comes on, and it's nearly impossible for me to go to bed if I stay up almost late enough to watch his show.  Because almost late enough is basically late enough and then I might as well just stay up through the opening monologue. 

But really, I-should-have-been-in-bed-an-hour-ago, so shower it is. 

Happy musings!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


word of the day: why \ˈhwī, ˈwī\ reason, cause

I finally understand what a hashtag is.  My ninth graders tried to teach me awhile back, but I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the concept.  I actually had to see one in practical use before I could grasp the purpose (how's that for a classroom parallel?).  

Thanks to my recent immersion into the world of Twitter, I'm seeing hashtags everywhere.  #assessment.  #lamemathjokes.  #lovemesomecomfortfood.  #edchat.  #leadership.

The one that really got me though? #whyiwrite

Today happens to be National Writing Day, and the going thread in hashtags is an answer to the question "Why do you write?"  Some common responses I've seen today are:
Because it's the little moments in which I find a little piece of my soul.
It saves me from doing useless things.

Because I know it's what I was meant to do.

Because I discover myself while doing it.

To tell stories, hear stories, see stories, to share the stories I see behind my eyes

Because it's cheaper than therapy.

I write to reflect, learn and grow both professional and personally.
It's hard for me to think of an answer to that question because the answer changes so often.  Some days I write because it's the only way to make sense of the listless thoughts spinning around in my head.  Some days I write because all I want to do is hear the rhythms that words can make when you put them together just right.  Some days I write because I feel like my voice is powerful.  Some days I write because it's easier than talking. Some days I write because it quiets my soul, eases my mind, and slows my pace.  Some days I write just because.

Looks like I just created a few more hashtags. #whyiwrite

In any case, I can't help but overlook the fact that words come with great power, and as a writer, I suppose I have willingly become a steward of that power.   When I think of the sphere of influence this blog has, I'm reminded that I have the ability to influence at least 22 people with even the slightest word.  Shoot, maybe even more when you take into account all the people who couldn't figure out how to become a member.  Here's to the 6 of you.  #justkidding.

While we're on the subject of writing (to roughly transition), in honor of National Writing Day (or not since I only found out about it today), I have officially submitted something to be published.  I ran across a children's story publishing contest via Twitter (the common theme here apparently) the other day and decided I didn't have anything to lose.  So, "Carter, Ty, and the Rainy Day" is officially "out there."  I could care less if it wins--I'm just thrilled to have taken a baby step.

To continue today's theme, I promised a writing think aloud and I'm going to make good on that.  So if there are any teachers reading this blog, this think aloud script may be of interest to you.  I'm thankful to have been taught the value of a composing think aloud.  After only one attempt, I'm no expert, but I'm definitely a believer.  One of those personal 'aha' teaching moments I guess.  The script is a rough version--it worked more authentically than it reads because it changed with every class as I typed straight through the projector.  I only wrote the script because I wanted to get a handle on what exactly I really was thinking.  

In closing (because everyone knows that's the best way to end a piece of writing), I'd like to wish you a happy National Day of Writing (or what's left of it at least).  I'd also like to know why you write.  Even if the only answer you can think of is because you don't want to forget your grocery list. #leaveacomment.

Friday, October 14, 2011


word of the day: skeleton \ˈske-lə-tən\ something shameful or kept secret

I have some skeletons to clean out of my closet. 

I have been eating more Ramen Noodles than I care to admit in the past month.    Now, I'm fully aware of the fact that the Ramen should still be in the hot pot of my college dorm room, but when you have hours of schoolwork ahead of you and a husband-less house, sometimes it's just the most obvious option.   

It feels good to get that out in the open.  

I spent the last two days learning professionally about the close connection between reading and writing.  I spent the last two days feeling like a sponge; you could have wrung me out multiple times with all the information I was trying to soak in.  If only I had cared this much in my undergraduate and during my reading endorsement studies.

Skeleton. Closet. Taking my recently saturated sponge to the dusty remains.

I can vividly remember sitting in my Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum class as a sophomore in college with my fellow education majors.  I happened to be the minority as an English emphasis and most of my friends were math majors.  We had our Vacca and Vacca (names I recognize as experts anymore) textbooks out in front of us and were talking about what a pointless class it was.  I shudder at the comment I remember one of them making: "I'm a math major; My students are never going to be reading in my class." 

Fast forward four years to my work towards a reading endorsement.  I was serving as a substitute teacher at the time and had no real classroom experience to cling to.  So, the classes became something I did to push me toward a teaching job rather than something I actively engaged in to be a more dynamic educator.  Great information.  Lack of passion.  Bad combination.

So, it would seem that I've been given another chance to make the most about the learning before me, and let me tell you, it's hard to leave an experience with Emily Calhoun less than invigorated (at least if you're a part of the educational world).  

The take away point? Writing and reading can't exist in isolation from one another, and both are primarily internal processes that must be modeled out loud in order for student growth to take place.  

In layman's terms?  Looks like I've got some 'splainin to do.

I did some reflecting on my own journey as a writer today though, too, and I was reminded of the fact that I have less to say in writing when I'm involving myself in less reading..  So, it's my new goal to reintroduce reading into my life as a priority that takes precedence over the newest episodes of "Modern Family" (although that recent discovery is a good one).  

And, if you're a lover of anything related to English, education, writing, or think alouds.  Stay tuned for my next blog post: I'm envisioning a written example of my own process as a writer.  

But before, I get to that, there's one more skeleton you need to know about.

I just want to clarify that this is not a Halloween decoration. Clearly there is no better place to store something like this than right inside your front door.    

Friday, October 7, 2011

radio song.

word of the day: radio song \ˈrā-dē-ˌˈsŋ\  the song you wish to hear every time you turn the radio on. 

 Everybody has a radio song, right?  It's the song that you don't own but hope to hear every time you flick that radio on.  I have two current radio songs: "Arms" by Cristina Perri and "All your Life" by The Band Perry.  My all time, never to be changed radio song?  "Mayberry" by Rascal Flatts.  

They are the songs that you immediately stop on or that you feel a great sense of disappointment if you only catch the end chorus.  They are the songs that brighten our days and force us to drive that extra lap around the block so we don't have to cut the lyrics short.  They are the songs that we crank the volume to and sing with abandon because, let's face it, you've got to take advantage of their presence.   

I was about 3 minutes from school on Tuesday when "Mayberry" came on the radio.  Such a small thing, but such a day brightener.  Then, when I was driving home in the afternoon I had one of those radio-karma kind of days.  You know--where you never have to change the station because great songs keep on coming.  I'm always thankful for those kind of radio days; they don't happen ALL that often.

Then there are other days where you don't even feel like you can get a song to play on the radio.  Everybody's talking instead of playing music and the sound just sort of turns into white noise.  Those are the days that you only catch the end of the radio song because you forget that the radio is even on. 

Isn't life kind of the same way?  I've found lately that I have a lot of radio song kind of days where things go my way and I feel a sense of peace about where I'm at.  But then there are those white noise kind of days where you press forward in a daze because there's so much going on around you.  

But, the white noise days don't define me. If anything, they make me more thankful for the times my radio song plays with perfect timing or force me to turn the radio off and appreciate the quiet.  

It reminds me of an excerpt from Forgotten God by Francis Chan:
"...as I write, the Spirit of the living God is inside me.  I might wake up on a particular day feeling physically tired or stressed or impatient, and humanly speaking, those things would probably define my day.  But the reality is that I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  And because of this reality, stress and tiredness and impatience don't have to define my day.
If you have received by faith the promise of the Holy Spirit, you are also His temple.  As you drive your children to school.  As you go to work every day.  As you embark on a new, unknown season.  As you go to school.  As you face tragedy and pain.  As you buy groceries.  As you give of yourself in relationships.  As you walk the dog.  As you make decisions.  As you life your life, the Holy Spirit is dwelling in you" (110-111). 
 I'm so thankful that the trajectory of my day isn't contingent upon the songs that play on the radio.  In the same way, I'm thankful for the constant reminder that stress doesn't have an power over me. 
I'm always interested in what other people choose as their radio songs.  Think about it...which song do you always hope to hear when you turn your car on?  I'd like to know.  Comment box is open :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


word of the day: update \ˌəp-ˈdāt\ to bring up to date

The last time I updated my book list via this blog was right after I finished The Help.  That was in July, so it seems fitting to bring you up to date.  Since August 1, all three books in the Hunger Games series:

 My cousin, Emily, first suggested these books to me about 3 years ago, but I wasn't captured by their allure initially.  I wanted an easy read for Cancun, though, so I threw The Hunger Games into my suitcase.  Then, I proceeded to read it non-stop until I finished it 2 days later.  Then, I discovered that electronic books cannot be purchased if you are out of the country.  Then I was unable to involve myself in any other books because I was so anxious about what was going to happen to Katniss and Peeta.  And that's why I wait to read series until all the books are written.

I did manage to finish another book while in Mexico, but I'm embarrassed to say that it took me 5 months to get through I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

I'm a fan of memoirs and anything that depicts someone's coming of age.  For some reason this one was slow goings for me at the beginning, but I think that's mostly because I took so long to get through it.

Maya Angelou's story is alarming, but her honesty is moving.  I'd highly recommend this read. 

What's next?  Oh, well, let me tell you... The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, and When We Were Friends by Elizabeth Joy Arnold.

It's also worth noting that effective as of September 7th, 2011, I have officially banned myself from Half Priced Books until January 2012.  The fact of the matter is that I can't be trusted inside those doors; reason flies out the window when $2 books are everywhere you look.  It's such a beautiful place.

In other news, I turned 25 a few weeks ago and actually found myself looking forward to the quarter of a century mark.  Jake and I celebrated at my favorite restaurant, Centro and with a round of miniature golf--a first in our marriage.  It shouldn't surprise anyone that Jake beat me.
How did we spend my ACTUAL birthday?  A planned study date at Starbucks: Jake studying for behavioral medicine and me grading English quizzes.  Put that together with the inaugural Pumpkin Spice latte of the season and it was actually a really wonderful evening.  The older I get, the more I realize that it's not so much about the day itself but the time you have to spend. 

One of my dearest and longest friends, Sami, is getting married in a few weeks, so we celebrated her on Friday night.  It was my first experience in a karaoke bar and I have since decided that it will not be my last.

You'd be surprised to know that this is the best picture we took the whole night.
What else is new? Well since you asked, I've taken up yoga in my living room, and I joined an intramural volleyball team at DMU.  Jake and I have been consuming more Ramen noodles than you probably should once you graduate college and have doubled our coffee consumption since the summer's end. My newest radio song is "All Your Life" by The Band Perry and I'm still trying to figure out a way to incorporate the meaning of "radio song" into a blog post.  

Oh yeah, and Ginny got a haircut.
And, that about covers it.  Consider yourself up to date.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


word of the week: spiral \ˈspī-rəl\ the path of a point in a plane moving around a central point while continuously receding from or approaching it

In the education world, we throw around the term "spiral" quite frequently.  It means that once we teach a concept, we don't leave it behind entirely.  Instead, we continue to "spiral" back to it in order to keep it fresh in the minds of our students. My students, for instance, just took a test on the structure of plot. One of the terms they needed to know was foreshadowing.  Now it doesn't do them any good if I never mention it again in class.  In fact, they will almost certainly forget it.  But, if I continue to incorporate it wherever possible, the lesson is more likely to stick.

It struck me this week that the same is true of my life.  

One of the defining moments of my life took place during my freshman year of college.  Those who know me well know that I spent that first semester in my dorm room crying behind my closed door almost every day.  I lost the sense of who I was that semester and God spent quite a bit of time refining me and reminding me where my identity is actually rooted.  

I was a busy bee high school student who dipped my toes in every pool I could.  I danced, I played volleyball, I sang in the show choir, I served on student council, and I thought I was pretty important.  However, when I had none of that to identify with that first year of college, I lost myself.  I began to believe the lie that I was unimportant.  

Then I read pages 51-53 in Neil T. Anderson's book Victory Over the Darkness and I was reminded of the truth.
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am righteous and holy (Eph. 4:24)
I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Col 3:12)
What a difference it made when I let God define who I was as opposed to the things I was involved in.

Fast forward five years.  I wanted to be a teacher, but I couldn't quite convince anyone to hire me.  My sadness came from the fact that I wasn't able to do what I felt God had called me to do.  But my identity isn't in the fact that I am a teacher.  The lesson spiraled back and met me exactly where I was.

Fast forward two years. People ask me quite often what it's like being "the wife of a medical student".  While the description is true, I am reminded again that that is not what defines who I am.  

It's funny how such a small truth can have such a profound impact.  

I wouldn't be a very good teacher if I expected my students to understand a concept the first time around.  So, it makes perfect sense that the things God wants me to learn would be spiraled throughout my life again and again and again.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow if your wings.
Psalm 17:8

Sunday, August 28, 2011


word of the day: \ˈpi-tē\  sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy; something to be regretted

 I love a good pity party.  I have never had a problem playing the victim, feeling sorry for myself, or thinking everyone's out to get me.  I can wallow with the best of them and wear the distress on my face like it's a thick layer of foundation.  If Much Ado About Nothing were a Shakespearean tragedy, I would have been the protagonist and pity would have been my tragic flaw. 

On that note, this is my new reality:
The mirror in my house looks like a scene straight out of Good Will Hunting (thanks for the line, Timmy), and Jake now spends more time at the DMU library that he does in our home.  I find myself talking to Ginny like she's a real human being just to hear words spoken out loud when I'm home alone.  I have redefined my idea of quality time to mean sitting in a cubicle reading next to a very focused first year medical student.  I find myself being unproductive during the school day just so I'll have work to bring home with me at night. 

The other day I caught myself giving Jake the cold shoulder just so he would know that medical school is really hard on me too.  

That [she] is mad, ’tis true. Tis true, ’tis pity,
And pity ’tis ’tis true—a foolish figure,[1]
Boo hoo. The only beneficiary of self-pity is the makers of Kleenex, and let's be honest, my middle school building alone should keep them going for a long time.

Everyone's got something.  I seem to be reminded of that when I'm tempted to succomb to the self-pity.  Everywhere I turn in my life I seem to face someone who's dealing with something that makes their life difficult on a daily basis.  And it's when the hardships loom that I have to believe there is always good to find.

And there is so much good in my life. 

For the first time in our three years of marriage, I see Jake's joy in feeling as though he's exactly where God wants him to be.  He has an energy in his voice when he tries to explain the chart on our mirror that I never heard when he was nailing chair rail to the walls of apartments.  How can I feel sorry for myself when he's finally doing what he's worked so hard to for?

The answer to that question is because self-pity is rooted in selfishness and so often it's easier to be selfish than gracious.

But the good is there, and when I watched Jake walk across the stage in his white coat on Saturday, I was filled with a sense of pride that I have not known until now.  A pride that filled my eyes with tears and reassured me that this change in our lives is good even though it's hard.

I'm a firm believer that if I choose to look for the good, I'll find God's grace.  And in God's grace is peace, encouragement, and joy. 

And really,
How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping! [2]
I don't want to be a tragic hero.  Instead I want to be a believer and receiver of God's goodness on a daily basis.  It's there, and I choose to see it.

[1] Shakespeare, Hamlet
[2] Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


word of the day: class \ˈklas\ high quality
My classroom is student ready.  My plan book isn't, but the room itself is ready to welcome new students with class.  Here's a sneak peek (moving clockwise):

DIY dry erase boards on either side of the magnet board.  All you need is a painted frame and scrapbook paper behind the glass.  Thanks Pinterest.com.

The reed diffuser is a must have in my classroom.  I went from Vanilla Cupcake last year to Island Hibiscus this year.  We'll see how it goes over.
I stole this idea from another teacher I know.  Haven't quite decided whether or not I'm going to leave the paper blank.  Thanks for your help, Katelyn!  Couldn't have made this without you!
The answer is: I'm not sure why I put black paper around my white board.  I do know that I like it.
My favorite corner of the room and I managed to take a blurry picture!  There is really a fish in the fishbowl.  His name is Doodle.
My favorite part of the room--Also Pinterest inspired.  Special thanks to Jake and Nate for cutting the boards and to Jake for nailing it all together.  Extra credit if you can tell me what stories all 10 settings belong to without Googling.
Pretty excited that I got to keep my chalkboard.
There you have it. My plan book may be blank at the moment, but my walls are brightly colored.  I hope that counts for something. :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


word of the day: blink \ˈbliŋk\ in an instant

I blinked and July was over.  How is it that June went by at a reasonable speed while July seemed to be in a road race with August?  (I can only assume that August will rival July in its passing).  

It's safe to say that July flew by because it was so jam-packed. 

We celebrated Harry Potter (as you well know by now)

We celebrated Jake getting his cast off AND our three year anniversary with an all inclusive trip to Cancun, Mexico.

All smiles and all sun-kissed for the three year pic :)
We even carried the celebrations over into August with marriage of Jake's brother, Jeremy, and his lovely bride, Kelly.

Summer wasn't meant to last forever though. So here I sit with the reality of summer's end staring me in the face: My unfinished syllabus minimized at the bottom of the screen and Jake studiously studying hemoglobinopathies to my right. 

Hello real world.  I hope your vacation was nice.  Make yourself at home and hit us with everything you've got. We're ready.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011


word of the day: three \ˈthrē\ the third in a set or series

I wrote a really long anniversary post yesterday but didn't quite get around to finishing.  I went the deep route, per usual, and couldn't bring myself to type up the last few paragraphs today.  Maybe I'll get around to it next week...

In the meantime, I'm feeling nostalgic.  And so, this anniversary post is fairly wordless.  

Three cheers for three years of marriage!  Tune in next week for a more comprehensive reflection. 

Monday, July 18, 2011


word of the day: success \sək-ˈses\ favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

It has now been a full 24 hours since I have seen a Harry Potter movie.  I haven't been able to say that since last Wednesday.  

That's right.  Eight Harry Potter movies in four days.  In addition, somehow I managed to reread the last ten chapters of The Deathly Hallows on Sunday alone.  Luck was on my side though because without those two overtimes and my basic indifference to soccer, I don't think it would have been possible.  

I took a few things away from the weekend.  For instance, Butterbeer is pretty tasty, albeit a little rich for more than one glass at a time. I think it was the cream soda.  Or the butterscotch.  Or possibly the combination of the two... 
Ginny doesn't mind scarves.
But, she's not so thrilled when you throw a pair of pipe cleaner glasses in the mix.
However, it makes for a fun picture.
Licorice wands...
...are more fun to play with than to eat or make I think.
Oh and everything's always better when there are really great people involved.
All-in-all, it was a successful weekend.  And, due to my lack of sleep from the festivities and thought-provoking discussions, that's all I've got for tonight. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


word of the day: book \ˈbuk\ 

noun: a long written or printed literary composition 
verb: to schedule engagements for; to set aside time for

I found the following quote the other day on Pinterest (my latest obsession and time sucker):

I get absolutely and undeniably attached to book characters to the point where I cry and laugh with them, and physically miss them when I finish reading the book.

 Have you ever felt that way at the conclusion of a book?  I'm terribly sorry if you haven't.  I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett today and stared at the last page feeling sad that Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minny were now out of my life.  They had become so real, and I almost didn't want to believe that they weren't.  Their story in its simplest form reminded me to be kind.  At a deeper level, it provoked thought about people in general in a way that I'm still muddling through.  In any case, I really do literally miss those three fictional women.   My only consolation is that we'll meet again when the movie comes out in August.  

If you haven't read the book: read it.  

It's wonderful and disturbing and riveting and beautiful.  

There's only one other book in my library of read books that has elicited a similar response: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.  She even gave me a "19 years later" epilogue, but I still found myself at a loss knowing that I would no longer get to take part in Harry, Ron, and Hermione's adventures.  Instead, I had to settle for knowing that they all settled down to live ordinary lives.  I am presently feeling that similar sense of disappointment because, as you may know, the final movie hits theaters on Friday.  For the last time, I will journey the big screen with those whom I both cried and laughed with throughout the book series.  

Of course we're going out with a bang.  It should really be a well known fact by now  that I love any chance I get to make much ado about nothing (or something pretty awesome in this case).
 The weekend is booked.  Nate is here (obviously).  The menu is set and we will be consuming butterbeer, treacle tarts, cauldron cakes, and licorice wands in mass quantities.  Oh, and we'll be watching a lot of movies.
The times have since changed, but the goal still stands: Seven Harry Potter movies plus the premiere of the newest in 4 days (we added Thursday night in case you're doing the math).  

Maybe I feel like I owe it to the characters for letting me take part in their journey for so long.  Maybe I'm just a big nerd.  Either way, hold your hippogriffs everyone, this weekend has all the fixin's for something pretty great.