Saturday, August 20, 2011

Complaints not wanted

I was recently told by someone very close to me that I complain too much. And that person was right. I have a healthy child, a happy marriage, food on my table, and a roof over my head. No one close to me is sick, my parents are still married, and I have a great relationship (most of the time) with my siblings. My husband and I are about to start the process of buying a house, and while I am really tired of life in an apartment, I am hopeful that having lived in apartments for SO LONG will help us make the right decision when we buy a house, and not buy something that is completely wrong for us. I have a job, and while my job makes me crazy A LOT, it is more of a job than a lot of people have in this economy, and I should be grateful for it. It wasn't that long ago that I was unemployed and didn't think that anyone was ever going to hire me, despite having an education. Speaking of education, I also have a husband who is working 50+ hours a week, just completed his bachelor's degree, and will start his master's in October. Sure, he's doing it for himself, because it's something that he wants, but it will ultimately benefit all of us. As an added bonus, if I still have the itch to get my master's when he's done with his, he is totally supportive of taking on that debt too.

SO yes, I am blessed. Incredibly so. And I have been taking it for granted in a big way lately. Now, I've never been a Pollyanna. I simply do not see the world through rose colored glasses. And I really don't want to. If I were, the "funny (read: sarcastic)" part of me would be gone. And I don't think that seeing the glass as half full all of the time is healthy. Because sometimes it isn't. BUT I'm seeing it as more than half empty lately, and that's bad too. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking its ok to whine all the time. Or to always think that someone is out to get them (which I don't, I swear, but I'm headed that direction). So I'm praying on it. Every time I have a bitter, negative, "my life sucks" thought, I'm praying on it. And I feel better. A lot better. Physically and emotionally. Spiritually, I'm talking to God more, I'm reading the Bible more, and THAT helps most of all.

I also realize that what started out as a blog to share my thoughts, maybe write a little, and keep my friends and family updated on our life has become an outlet to complain. And not all that interesting. So much so that I've been writing less and less on it, because truth be told, it's not even that interesting to me, and more than a little bit embarrassing to go back and read later. So this is the last post to complain (although in this case, I think I'm coming clean). And if anyone can suggest a good writing "group" to give me topics, I'll be happy to take suggestions. Then maybe I can hone my writing skills instead of complaining all the time. In the meantime, I'm going to try to get help from above with my attitude about life down here, instead of boring my friends with it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


As my good friend Danae would say, "Meh." In other words, I feel a little blah about things right now. It's blasted hot outside (high today above 110), and while I've fixed my sleeping problem, I'm just a little malcontent right now. Not happy with my job, can't find a teaching job (evidently when the city closes 12 schools, "experience" is a big thing...), can't find just "another" job, etc etc etc, ad nauseum. Did I mention that it's hot outside? That's probably the biggest problem right now. There's just not quite enough air conditioning anywhere. Just when you cool down, it's time to head back outside. No rain or end in sight, either. I'd take either one at this point.

Anyway, I just needed to complain. I'm praying about this stuff (including the heat, TRUST ME), and that helps. Still kind of a grump though.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Playing catchup

I have gotten so behind on blogging...or even reading other people's blogs. I used to check every day for new posts, lately I check once a week if I'm lucky. As for posting on my own, I think my last post was in February? I was never good at posting, but sheesh...and as usual, this is going to be a quick catch up on my life, time to celebrate all of my family's accomplishments kind of blog. I would like to think that I can write, and at night when I'm struggling to fall asleep, I do write blogs...I just don't have a computer there in front of me.

At any rate, here's the rundown, and then maybe tomorrow I'll post something serious. Chad's gotten promoted to general manager at White River Fish Market (trust me, if you're ever in Tulsa, and you like seafood, you HAVE to try this place, it's amazing!). Along with that came a significant raise...AND significantly more responsibility. Which means more hours (although it really only probably increased by about 4 hours a week, so I guess I shouldn't complain). He fake graduated from college, which means that he walked across the stage to get a diploma cover for a diploma that he won't actually receive until July 28. Doesn't matter, I am SO SO proud.

I started running, and guess what? I actually like it! Especially the part where I'm losing weight. Funny thing, I still can't fit into my pre-baby clothes...apparently you can't make hips narrower, no matter how much you run. *Sigh* Also, I officially have my teaching certificate. Just in time for Tulsa Public Schools to close 12 schools permanently. I have found some job leads, and I'm applying wherever I can (even if there are no openings) in the hopes that someone will be desperate enough to hire a teacher with no experience! (Teacher friends, if you have any advice, I'll take it...)

Hailey and I made our first trip of the summer to the splash park last weekend, it was awesome. (And COLD!) She had a great time, and got to wear her new bathing suit for the first time. She's great, growing like a weed (apparently she did NOT get my short genes), and smart as a whip. We're in TROUBLE with this kid.

So that's the Brinson family update. Maybe tomorrow (oh who am I kidding, three months from now, probably) I'll post something serious and important. Or not.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm posting today with a heavy heart. I spent the weekend in Temple visiting family and friends, and until Sunday morning, it was a normal visit home. Good food, drinking in the driveway with my siblings, and hanging out with a best friend that I never get to see.

Sunday morning, I woke up and went downstairs to find that my mom had left the house early to go to our friend Deedee's house. Deedee is this AMAZING woman who has 7 (yes, 7) children. Two teenage boys (one is hers, the other is her husband's), an 11 yo (hers), two more who are around 7-8 (adopted foster kids), one who is about 6 (another adoptee), and an infant who is biologically hers and her husband's. All these kids are home schooled. And the four middle kids are/have been special needs kids. Three of those she adopted. ONE of those (the six year old) she "found" in a hospital like a stray cat. Her parents had basically abandoned her because of her health issues, and Deedee took her in. Without question. And the six year old was the reason my mom went over there before we got up. She got a call from Deedee's husband, Joe, that Bethany had passed away that morning.

Bethany was a beautiful child, with (according to my mom) at least FIVE "cephalies." For those of you who are not into medical terminology, cephaly means that it relates to the brain. One is bad. FIVE means that you "should" probably be dead. This little girl should not have responded to anything. She should have been a vegetable. Now, she didn't speak, but she laughed if you tickled her. She recognized her nurse's voice, and she had a preference for men over women. She also had seizures, big ones, that lasted for minutes at a time. Her obstacles were not ones that most biological parents want to deal with, and yet this woman (she wasn't married to Joe yet when the adoption took place) took her on.

I am regularly amazed by this family, who is so mixed. (In addition to having special needs, two of the adopted children are black in a white family.) They also donated all of Bethany's usable organs, in addition to her hair. And so I ask you, my 9 blog followers, please pray for this family in their time of loss. To add insult to injury, today is Deedee's birthday, and the 27th would be Bethany's. They will bury her on the 26th. SO keep them in your thoughts and in your prayers. Please.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow. Again. It's never ending.

It's snowing again. The weatherman is predicting 3-5 inches. On top of 14 we got earlier this week. Oh yeah, and more on Sunday. Only a few inches again. "Only." And again on Wednesday. For Wednesday, they're predicting 10 inches. Great.

I have not left my apartment complex since I got home from work on Monday night. I have left my apartment, but only to walk the dog. We have not gotten mail since Monday, nor does there seem to be much chance of it coming before next weekend.

Hailey's third birthday is next Saturday, and while we don't have a big party planned, I did plan on having our families and a few friends in for a little party at Fuddrucker's. Gonna be tough to do if they have to drive through SNOW. COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF SNOW. I know, I know, New England has been going through this all winter. Small comfort, since we're in Tulsa, and can't be let out of our houses in this stuff, because we can't be trusted to drive in it.

A friend of mine called it "snow hell" on Facebook. And I think it is. Cabin fever has set in, our routines have been disrupted for an entire week, and we have had to eat more leftovers than we care to think of. I am winter's biggest advocate, at least among my friends. I love the cold, love the white stuff, and yet, I am READY. FOR. WINTER. TO. END.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow. Everywhere

Most of you have heard by now of the great blizzard of 2011. This is the third blizzard I've ever experienced, and it has been by far the most inconvenient. For me, anyway.

The first one happened on our way to Aspen when I was four and a half. Not really a big deal for me, I wasn't driving, and I didn't have to work. It merely meant an extra night in a truck stop with my parents, siblings, and grandparents. My mom probably didn't like it, since my sister was less than ten days old, but she didn't air her concerns to me.

The second one was Christmas of 2009. Not really a "blizzard," there wasn't really enough snow, but it was blizzard-like conditions (which just means the wind blows the snow a lot and makes visibility practically nothing). I wasn't working at the time, although Chad was, but since it was Christmas Eve, he got off work early so we could drive to Temple to see my family. How far did we make it, you ask? Oh, about 45 minutes down the road to this little town called Okmulgee. Only it took us like two hours to get there. After we watched another car on the northbound side of the highway spin into the median (they were fine), we turned around. It was actually the best Christmas I've ever had, since it was just my little family. By some lucky chance, I bought a saucer sled for Chad for Christmas, so we played on that, made stuffed rock cornish game hens, and just hung out.

This year, I have a job. Not one that I'm particularly crazy about, but it is a job. I can't get to it. My car does not have 4 wheel drive, and since we live in an apartment, we're pretty well blocked in. We got fourteen inches, and yesterday it was so miserable outside that we only ventured out three times between the three of us. Once for Chad, and twice for me, just so we could walk the dog. Today has been better, we did get out, but it's cold, and Hailey can't really walk on the icy parts of the road well, so she falls a lot, and so she hates it. Which means we're home bound. Again. And probably will be again tomorrow. Chad is going to get to work, but Hailey's day care is closed, and I'm not interested in wrecking my car to get to work.

Anyway, we moved to Tulsa for this kind of weather. Sort of. We thought we'd get a little snow here and there. The other day, my best friend (who lives in Philly at the moment) asked me how much snow Tulsa got annually. Nine inches was the average that I saw a few days before this conversation. She then asked if living here might require a snow blower. I told her that if she thought she wanted to own a snow blower, perhaps Tulsa was not the place for her. Sure do wish I had a snow blower right now...

But hey! At least I'm not in Texas, where they're iced in and experiencing rolling blackouts...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why I Want to be a Teacher

So I just got my packet of stuff that I have to fill out for TCRP (that's Teacher Competency Review Panel, for those of you who are not in the know...). Not quite the thick packet I was expecting. Seems that I don't have to actually go BEFORE the panel, like I thought. Which is good, because when I have to do stuff like that, I get nervous, and say "Um..." a lot. No, this "packet" had only 4 sheets of paper. An application of sorts, another sheet with the list of things that are required to be sent back (along with a breakdown of the necessary codes for eye and hair color, in which they felt it was necessary to clarify that auburn was only for hair, and hazel was only for eyes. UMMM...). (And hopefully they don't read my blog as part of the investigation, because I think that last sentence alone disqualifies me from ANY job teaching English.) Also included was two sheets of cardstock, for fingerprinting. Evidently there will be a thorough FBI background check.

On the list of things to send back were of course my application for licensure, my fingerprints (right and left), and an essay. Now, I have a degree in English. I ADORE writing papers. Okay, maybe not adore, but I do actually like it. And I'm good at it. One of my most proud moments in college was receiving a paper back from a much admired professor with a note that said, "Good syntax." I still have that paper, and yes, I do pull it out from time to time when I need a pick-me-up. I also read that paper and am amazed that my brain put that together. Probably the night before. With research pulled fully from the internet.

Back to this essay, though. They want me to tell them WHY I want to be a teacher. And I'm not really sure. I mean, I drifted through college, taking five or six different majors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in record time-and by record, I mean a record for the longest EVER. Seven and a half years, to be exact. And the only reason I got a degree in English? Because I like to read. And always have. And when you get a degree in English, the first thing people ask you is, "So are you going to teach?" My response was always a resounding NO. So here I am, being asked to write a paper on why I want to teach. A paper that will determine whether or not I get to teach. And I'm not sure what to say.

I could write that the vacation time sounds great, but I don't think that's what they want to hear. I could write that I want to be able to choose my kids' (because eventually there will be another one) school based not only on geography. Again, probably not the right answer. I could tell them that I've fought this tooth and nail, and that I've only recently been convinced (by God, no less) that this is the right path. Maybe. But with the current stance on God in school, I'm not sure that is the right response, either (although I'll keep it in mind if I apply to a parochial school!).

I do know that I want to share my love of books. All books, whether its Dickens or Patterson, Shakespeare or Blume. And of writing, although I don't think I'm great at it without being given a topic of research. And that in every job I've had since I was 16, I've taught in some capacity, whether it was a job as a Sunday school teacher, or a job waiting tables.

The good news is, and I'm going to cut this off abruptly because it's bathtime, that since the fingerprints have to go in with the essay, and will take some time to get done because I have to go to the police station during business hours, I have time to think this over. Chew on it a little bit. And maybe post it on my blog for proofreading purposes.