Wednesday, January 30, 2008

So Far, So Good

Nate woke me up with breakfast in bed today. :) He came down- in his suit before work with a plate of eggs (over-easy), toast (completely covered to the edges with butter), bacon (extra crispy), a cinnamon muffin (yummo!) and coffee (with a bit of milk)- EVERYTHING just the way I like it. He knows. He knows how I like my eggs, that I pass up limp bacon, and exactly how I take my coffee. Megan let him in this morning and he made everything at our house- then the two of them came in my room singing "happy birthday". What a beautiful way to start my day!

My lunch plans with James fell through because they needed at designer to be at a meeting at work, so he couldn't get away. So instead, I tried to meet Megan at school. I was running later than I planned and I was only going to have about 20 minutes with her before her students came in for class. SO, I met Nate over his lunch break at his house- which was great.

Now I'm relaxing for a bit and off to work for a couple of hours this afternoon. One of our girls called in sick and I don't have any plans for early afternoon- so I thought I'd better take advantage of the extra hours and visit some of my friends at good ol' Scoots!

So far, my step into two dozen years has been pretty darn good. :)

BY THE WAY~ my mom started a new blog with recipes....she's super cute and you'll probably see a strong resemblence between the two of us when you get used to her writing. We're one in the same.....and she's an amazing cook, so try out some recipes. The french onion soup is FAB!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

i'd like to change the world. instead, i sleep.

Anytime there is anything to think about, I have trouble sleeping. Tomorrow is my 24th birthday. I'm having dinner with Nate and a couple of friends. I'm meeting my brother for lunch. I'm curious about who I will see, what I will do......and the package that is to be delivered since I missed the FedEx man today. I'm wondering if it will snow, what I will wear, and if I'll get a call from LPS about teaching. I'm planning out my trip home on Friday to see my parents. I'm thinking about medium-sized dogs, I'm considering options for activities when my best friend comes to visit on Thursday. I wonder how packing the crate went today for Chris, Brian and Jamie. I'm wondering if I'll run out of water in my bedside mug.

It's funny how our minds race at seemingly inconvenient moments....maybe funny is the wrong word.

In any case, I am looking forward to tomorrow (or today). I always love my traditions have led me to celebrate quite heartily. When I was young, I'd get breakfast in bed and everyone (mom, dad and james) would come in to wish me a happy birthday before I went to school. I'm sure mom made sure we had snacks to take to school to share with everyone. We celebrated that evening with my grandparents and I almost always had a DQ ice-cream cake... The thing that meant the most was being with people I love...and this week, I know this will happen. So, now starts my birthday week..... :)

all we can do is keep breathing.

I think it's important to note the titles of my blogs.

More often than not, I'm listening to music when I blog (or when I'm doing almost anything, for that matter). Post titles are generally the first thing I write when I'm moving into a new post. For a bit of inspiration, I stop and listen to the lyrics of whatever song I'm listening to. Then, whatever sticks out at me, I type. Nate has known this for quite some time, so he knows to try to match the title with a song he knows. Others of you, however, I haven't told this to and sometimes people have come to me asking about the titles. Sometimes they fit in with the rest of the blog, sometimes they do not.

So, I choose my words, but not all of them should be "read into".

Monday, January 28, 2008

i can't explain why

I've been reading a lot since I've been back in Lincoln. Mostly because I love literature and also because I'm finding myself with a plethora of free time to do such things. I've been reading current fiction such as "Water for Elephants" (Excellent), "History of Love" (not-so-good), and "The Time Traveler's Wife" (one of my all-time favorites) and now find myself wanting to delve into some of the more classic literature. I have a great friend, Meg, who, in my opinion, is a very well-read individual. Her mother is an English teacher here in Lincoln and I find myself in awe of their knowledge when it comes to classic literature- or any literature, for that matter.

SO, I stopped by the library today and picked up a copy of J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" upon Meg's recommendation. I also grabbed a copy of "Of Mice and Men" by Steinbeck. Somehow, I seemed to "sneak" through these sorts of books in high school and early college. I didn't find my love for literature - or good literature, until late in my college career. Now it's time to play catch-up.

So, I've got a loaf of bread waiting to bake- it's a cheese-herb bread, one of Nate's favorites. He's stopping by for dinner before I go to work tonight.

Until then, I'll sit with my new (very funny) novel, some steeping Japanese green tea, and I'll wait for the aroma of baking bread to bring my man to me after he gets off work. Can't wait!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'll Meet You by the Mill

I haven't been great at posting. In fact, I haven't even been GOOD at posting since I've come back from Milwaukee. I'm not sure what my excuse is. It certainly isn't a valid one.

I've been brewing coffee in the evenings and am really enjoying the growing comfort in my part-time job. I'm starting to build relationships with regulars and am becoming more confident in "my place" at Scooters, which inevitably causes me to be more confident in striking up conversations. I enjoy the people I work with and am very thankful to have had this job in my transitioning stage from college to teacher.

Speaking of which, I stopped down at the LPS booth at the Job Fair yesterday afternoon. It was an encouraging stop and I was informed that there will be MANY new positions opening up for the 2008-2009 school year with new schools in the area. I checked once again on my status with LPS and they're waiting for my fingerprints to clear- I had to do them because I moved to WI for a short bit. Other than that, everything is set to go. It's a bit frustrating because I sent the fingerprint cards in in OCTOBER and they're still not done.... but the woman on the phone was very helpful and said that by the end of next week, we should be good to go.

I know many of you faithfully pray for me and the process- and I am very thankful for that. For now, we just wait patiently and continue praying for an opening for me in the school system- hopefully soon! Nate's mom nailed it one day when she said (more or less), "Heather, these other jobs have been a great blessing for you, but that's not where your heart is. You are made to be a teacher- that is where your heart is and that's where you belong." Reminders like this are great to hear- gives me the little extra push I need to continue calling and stopping and checking on my file.

I'd better get moving. Have a great Thursday, everyone- and I'll try to start posting on a more regular basis..... :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

fact and fiction work as a team

It's snowing here. Big, fat flakes flutter through the piercing Nebraska winds- seemingly confused as to which direction they are to go. Some go up, some go down, others decide on up or down, and a small few circle around and around on the horizon of my window before they make a final decent.

My dear friend, Meg, recently moved to San Diego. Her writing beautifully captures a season called "winter" in California- which looks (or sounds) like our best warm spring day. I cannot wait to visit. As I visit with her on the phone or read her entries on her blog, I am reminded of my time in Milwaukee. 5 months away from everything I knew and loved.

(Side note: I called my aunt in Milwaukee last night during a commercial break for "Biggest Loser" to see what she thought of the new season. She was recording the show at home and was currently surrounded with "our" Bible study ladies. I used to attend that Bible study every other Tuesday. I miss them and I miss my aunt and uncle even more...)

But now, I'm "home". I'm reminded of being comforted; of being in a place where everything is familiar. I run into people I have since forgotten and often people I have greatly missed. I can schedule coffee dates. I can "just stop by" someones house. I can wander through Target for hours because I know this store- it's my Target. I find myself longing for these places. Weekly I stop at Target or Super Saver- not necessarily because I need things- but more because I find so much comfort in being home.

And today I'm off to deliver final documents to start subbing here. I cannot wait for the day I find myself unlocking my own classroom. For now, I'm going to touch lives one day, one classroom at a time. Cheesy- perhaps, but unrealistic- no.

And to my dear friend, Meg, who finds herself far away and in a season of temporary loneliness, be encouraged, girl. You're starting a new adventure- and you're already doing a great job. Take great care of yourself.

Friday, January 11, 2008

offically a barista

Today is good. I worked this morning- passed my "barista test" with some not-so-flying colors. I didn't do too bad, but I had to laugh when Brook asked me about my answer to this question: Why do we use Colombian beans for our flavored coffees? My answer: because they are the best. What a lame answer! I wrote that and meant to go back to add more- but completely forgot. Whoops....ah well. So now I'm official. :)

My great friend, Lindsey, came over today for lunch and coffee and hours of catching up from the past six months. She spent her time in Peru and learned so many new things! Sometime, check our her blog- definitely worth your time.

I'm off to the library- one of my favorite places. I have a list of titles to look at- and a travel mug full of coffee. I plan to spend quite a lot of time there. I've been reading through the book of Numbers for Bible study, and I'm reading "Louder than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living" by Andy Stanley, but I always like to have a good fiction book to read as well- you know, something a little lighter. So that's what I'm on a quest for today- something light and comfy.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. Grab a mug, some coffee or tea- (or whatever you want to drink) and find yourself taking time to rest and rejuvinate. It's important- and I'll always encourage it. Take time for YOU this weekend.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I am: beautiful disaster

Today I made a fantastic mess. In the midst of juggling my new job at a coffee shop, which entails so much more than the following: memorizing drink names (scooder-doodle-carma-what? non-fat, sugar-free, light on the syrup with two shots of toddy- not espresso, please, oh and a 20 ounce, not 16. put ice with red and white not black or green), learning new recipes (how many pumps of this; shots of that), understanding terms, remembering a new cash register system- every day my head is spinning in tune with the steaming milk- (listening for the air- like this, not like that and with this much or no foam at all)- oh, and would you like whip with that?

So....I was trying my darnedest to focus on what I was making- and mentally preparing for the next 3 cups that were lined up, ready to be made- all while attempting to carry on a conversation with a regular- (you've got to get to know those regulars).....set a full latte aside- (not, mind you, on the counter where it goes, because Mr. (very kind) Customer was leaning on my counter where I should have placed the finished beverage)- so the full latte was waiting for it's mint mocha partner to be delivered to the same woman, with 5 people lined up and another three through the door- my manager was (very briefly) grabbing something from the back room. I turned to reach for my next task and caught my elbow on the (very finished) latte- and then the floor caught the latte. And the front of the counters. And my shoes. And the giant mat that we stand on. Latte was everywhere, except in the customer's hand. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked to the floor trying to remember how many shots and what kind of milk were now all under my feet. I will say that I reacted very coolly- (for the moment). I will also say that my manager asked multiple times if I was ok. "Shake it off, no big deal..." and "are you sure you're alright? You can't leave if you don't feel ok about yourself. This stuff happens." I assured her I was fine. "Yeah, no big deal. I'm great..."....only to get into my car and lose it on the way home, between jobs. I was frustrated.

However, the events turned as I quickly changed out of coffee-stained clothes into others for an afternoon of babysitting for a new family. I watched three children under the age of 5 for six hours this afternoon- and had a great deal of fun. I learned about shark repellant, that I was wearing a bear-proof t-shirt today, that "Superheros don't take naps", and that if you crack a cheeze-it in half, "you really can see the cheese inside!"

Children have an uncanny way of bringing me back to reality- and I love that. I love the perspective; the things they do and do not worry about. I love nap times and the way they look when they're littered across the livingroom floor, snuggled up with their favorite blankets; the way their eyes are so softly closed and their breathing so gentle.

I expected to come home exhausted after today. I'm close to it- but so thankful for both of my jobs now. I know I can make coffee. I know today will make tomorrow look glorious. I'm learning, I'll continue to spill and make mistakes. But I'll also continue to love my "regulars" and learn from the kids what it looks like to love life and not "cry over spilled milk"... and, undoubtedly, I'll continue to live my life, a beautiful disaster, because there's beauty in every "teachable moment".