Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thought Sundays

Another Sunday is here already!  This week was super busy and then Thursday night we were bit by the summer cold bug and we’ve been more or less down and out ever since (although I tried to do my scheduled activities yesterday and I think that actually made me feel worse today – I needed rest – so today is nothing but couch).  Hoping to feel much better to start the Fourth of July week off tomorrow!  Here are some of my Stray Thoughts from this past week:

1.  Helping others helps me.  Last Sunday, I went to the opening activities for this year’s Summer Bridge.  I started participating as a faculty mentor last year and plan to continue every summer that I am available.  The first activities we do are team building activities/games and I think I learn as much about myself as the students learn about themselves!  I love the unity and support and investment that both the staff, volunteers and students make in this week and a half.  There are workshops to prepare students for college, English classes to bolster their writing preparedness, math workshops to boost their scores on the math entrance exam (where needed), and bonding activities to give them a built in cohort when they arrive at school in the Fall.  Last year, I was a little intimidated and felt like I was not really much of a help (luckily, since it was my first year, I was paired up with someone else and that helped take a little pressure off of me).  This year, I feel much more prepared and ready to be there for these students.  I go to a few activities over the course of the week and a half and serve as a resource for them in the Fall.  It is a lot of fun, but also emotionally tough.  These students come from some seriously bad pasts.  They are survivors and fighters and incredibly inspirational to me.  But, it also makes me hurt for them.

2.  This definitely is something you have to be of “a certain age” to understand.

3.  Another great photo that included one of our local Sierra Nevada beers!

4. Seeing all these sleeping photos from my Instagram last week makes me think this summer cold my daughter and I are now suffering may have been brewing for a while.  She does not usually sleep this much during the day!

5. Instagram was really good last week!  This one is for the cat lovers (and haters) out there!

6.  The vaccination controversy is heating up even more.  As the mother of an immune-suppressed child who can not get the MMR vaccine because of her transplant, I have some pretty strong opinions about this.  I believe in public health and I believe that crises can be averted through vaccination.  So, this decision in NYC is very interesting to me…

7.  One word for the new Paddington Bear movie – Creepy.  And I’m a Paddington Bear fan, but whatever they are using to animate him in this movie just made him look really creepy!

8.  Some really educated and impressive people talking about a really difficult but important issue – Science and Religion.  Check it out.  I heart Bill Moyers.

9.  Sports confluence.  My favorite baseball team’s pitcher, Tim Lincecum pitched a no-hitter last week and his teammate, Hunter Pence gave some of the credit to the US Soccer team, who sent both Pence and Lincecum jerseys – read about it here.

10.  Our city has a lot of issues with homelessness right now, so this bench design is definitely something that would be controversial here.  What do you think?  I would love to hear thoughts in the comments!

So, those are my top ten Stray Thoughts for this week.  I would love to hear some of your thoughts about these thoughts in the comments!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Sick Edition


Summer colds are decidedly NOT cool.

Feeling miserable.  As is my DD.  We both have runny noses, coughs and heads full of snot.  Ugh.  And today I have a hand-off meeting for my mother’s club Steering Committee (I get to hand off the website responsibilities to someone else…thankfully) and then I have to head into work for an EOP mentoring session for three and a half hours.  I woke up at 5:45 a.m. because I couldn’t breathe through my nose, so I’m going to be going on reduced sleep too.  Sigh…

I am hoping we both can kick the colds this weekend, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope.  I know the cough has been hanging around for quite a long time for others.  So, I’m expecting it to continue into next week.  Sigh…

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Lost

Five Minute Friday


I am joining Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday again this week.  This week’s writing subject is “lost”.  So, here goes!

I often feel lost.  Lost in the whirlwind of my life.  Lost in my to-do list.  Lost in a bleak view of things to come.  But, this week, I have lost something else.  This week, I was lost in love.  Not the type of love that leads you to serious relationships, but the type of love that makes you feel worthy.  It isn’t often that I feel lost in love anymore.  But, this week, I felt like those around me were truly loving on me.  They weren’t hugging me or saying they loved me.  But, they were showing me love.  They were inviting me to be a part of “them”.  They were sincerely interested in me and how I fit with them.  They were appreciative.  They were inviting.  They were friendly and attentive.

I like this feeling of lost.  I like being able to feel comfortable and safe and belonging.  Being lost in those things is being lost in grace and love.  Being lost in those things is being lost from all those stressful things in life.  And being lost in those helps me to find myself again.

Done…your turn!

Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #18


This week’s Thumbs Up Thursday goes out at the end of a busy, busy week for me and my daughter.  I feel like enough has happened this week to fill the whole summer!  But, we have a lot of summer left and we plan to use it well.  But, before I run out of time and energy, let’s jump right in to this week’s Thumbs Ups:

1.  Vacation Bible eXperience at our church.  

I really can’t say enough good things about the church we attend.  I like so much about it.  But, they do VBS like no other.  Their youth program was actually one of the things that really attracted me to the church in the first place.  I want my DD to have a good church experience.  I was lucky enough to grow up in a church with a strong youth program and it really brought me a lot when I was growing up.  When I felt out of touch with my classmates or changed schools or just didn’t “fit in” anywhere, I always was made to feel like I fit in at my church.  We had a fantastic youth leader who was so good at making us feel valued and loved.  And that is what I get from our church here.  The focus at VBX Jr (for the 5 and under set) was God Made Me, God Loves Me and Jesus will always be my friend.  And the days were so positive, for both my daughter and I.  I volunteered on the craft team and met some incredibly nice women, got invited to the Women Experiencing the Bible group and another small group, went to lunch with one of my daughter’s preschool friends and her Grandmother who was also volunteering at VBX and was able to witness Bean experiencing the love and joy of the program.  It was AWEsome.  I’m sad that it is over.

2.  Swim lessons.

I taught swim lessons from the time I was 16 until I was about 24 or 25.  I could easily teach my DD to swim.  But, you know what?   I love having her take swim lessons.  First, she listens to them much better than she listens to me.  Second, I get 30 minutes of time to read each evening while she is in the pool.  I’m already a 1/3 of a way through Gone Girl and I hope to finish it next week.  I could obviously find some time to read while at home probably, but this time is built in time that I have committed to reading and I love it.  In addition, she gets to play fun games with other kids in the pool.  That is difficult to provide when she is an only child and we go to the pool.  I can’t have her do swim lessons the next couple of weeks because we will have to go to my mom’s in the Bay Area for a chunk of days both weeks.  But, I’m hoping to get her in one or two more sessions before the summer is over.  The hope is that she will be a swimmer by the end of the summer (safe in the water swimmer, not competitive swimmer).

3.  Pine Sol.

I know…this one is weird.  But, I have just started using Pine Sol to deep clean my kitchen today.  I ran out of my other cleaner and I had some Pine Sol that I’ve had sitting around for a while and I decided to bust it out.  Pine Sol always seemed like my mom’s cleaner, if you know what I mean.  I need new stuff.  Better stuff.  But, then I started using it and the smell reminds me of my childhood home.  My mom used to use it to mop the floors and clean the sinks.  I love that it kills 99.9% of germs.  And, in our house, something that works on hard water is key.  And, when I went over to their website to check out some info on the cleaner, I was happy to see their support of empowering women.

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday – Busy Week Edition

Attempt at a selfie pre-movie in the park.  I was happy with this totally thrifted outfit (well, the scarf was bought at the Farmer's Market and the shoes were bought new).
Attempt at a selfie pre-movie in the park. I was happy with this totally thrifted outfit (well, the scarf was bought at the Farmer’s Market and the shoes were bought new).

Singing Let It Go pre-movie.
Singing Let It Go pre-movie. Frozen in the park!

Bring it, swim lessons!
Bring it, swim lessons!

Loving being back in the water!
Loving being back in the water!

A quiet after-dinner evening with a friend.
A quiet after-dinner evening with a friend.

Vacation Bible eXperience - Olaf gets to experience summer!
Vacation Bible eXperience – Olaf gets to experience summer!

Summer 2014 Library Reading Log first entries.
Summer 2014 Library Reading Log first entries.

Summer is hard when you do what I do!
Summer is hard when you do what I do!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

Seven weeks of single parenthood starts today!

In recognition of the difficulty of single parents everywhere, I do realize that my husband traveling for work is NOT the same as being a full-time single parent.  I also realize that you all do God’s work in the life of your children, being their everything all the time.

But, today begins my annual foray into temporary single parenthood.  My husband works camps during the summer and is gone for seven weeks usually.  This year, he will spend the first three relatively nearby (three hours) and then the next four half way across the country (Michigan).  We are considering going out for a visit while he is in Michigan, but that hasn’t been finalized yet.  This has been our “normal” since before Bean was born.  The year she had her transplant, he had to fly back from Michigan for the actual transplant (we were expecting a much longer wait for a heart and we knew we would need the income), so it is nothing new to us, but it still hits me hard every year.

So, it will be me who will have to entertain her endlessly (it seems), clean up after her (endlessly for sure), transport her to the activities we have planned (swim lessons, camps, etc. – if not for these, the first duty would drive me insane), sleep with her, eat with her, give her meds twice a day, etc.  At first, it doesn’t seem all that bad.  She is only one child after all.  Many people have two or three or four or five.  We don’t do too many activities, so my transporting is relatively limited.  But, sometimes, her energy drives me to the brink of exhaustion.  Her constant questioning and challenges drive me to the brink of of insanity.  Her ability to make messes in a split second and NOT clean them up drives to the brink of anger.  And her typical five year old lack of focus is a real challenge.  But, we’ll get through.  I will do my best to not feel bad if she complains of being “bored” every once in a while.  I have a schedule that will allow us to do some fun stuff, some educational stuff and some relaxing stuff each day.  I will do my best to stick to that schedule despite my tendency to let it go to the wayside too often.

So, here’s to summer.  I am happy about the no work, but also not looking forward to the temporary single parenthood status.

Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Drab is an understatement – waiting room at my mom’s CT scan.

A fun day to follow the CT scan – Discovery Kingdom with friends from preschool. Bean and her BFF!

Then a trip to my in-laws to visit them and Bean’s favorite cousin!

Visiting with Gigi and Papa and cousin is a tiring ordeal. She said she had a case of the “sleep eye” when she woke up.

Gigi reads the new Rio 2 book she got for Bean while Bean snuggles with Blue.

Today, I accessorized with Cat and Bean scarf. 🙂 Sorry about the glare, the blinds were open behind me.