Tuesday, June 2, 2015

the one where she retires

After thirty two years of teaching small children, my Mom retired today. 

Thirty two years. Thirty one of those in the same school, same classroom. 

Her school has always been one of the lowest income schools in the city, which brings along additional challenges. She's personally purchased thousands of dollars worth of Angel Tree gifts over the years for kids in her school. For years she wrote a letter to each new student in her class; hundreds of kids in the area received their first piece of mail from Mrs. Breese. She let kids know that they mattered.

She demanded a lot from her students. Good behavior, listening, and basic manners were expected. Her "teacher look" terrified many a child (or unruly adult) into realizing that someone expected more out of them. She taught kids to realize that their actions mattered.

She made learning fun. Kindergarteners filled the hallways each January during Chinese New Year with their paper dragon and noise makers. They ate with chopsticks, did fun science experiments, and always had a classroom that was decorated with whatever theme they were learning about. She showed kids that learning wasn't limited to books and papers.

She's held students having seizures, bloody noses, and (basically) severed fingers. She's wiped noses, washed hands, and applied sunscreen for students. She let students know that someone would always be there for them.

She's taught the children of her former students. She's taught my friends...and most likely one of your friends, too. She's taught interns and acted as a mentor to her colleagues. She has single-handily  impacted hundreds of people in Northwest Arkansas.

You made a difference even when you didn't think so, Mom. 
Thank you.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

the one where I'm a total mom

Growing up, I always said I wanted some absurd-when-not-a-fundie amount of children. The number always varied, but was never less than four.

Don't worry, this isn't a "SURPRISE! IRISH TWINS!" post, so y'all can relax (I'm looking at you, Ryan). Three is a great number of kids for our family, and I'm stoked that I get to be the Mom to these three rad kids.

The oldest kid, Jonas, turns six on Friday.  I think that the first baby you have always holds a different place in your heart because they're the one that made you a parent. They're the one that you'll probably make the most mistakes with because every single day is uncharted territory. Sometimes you're too hard on them because you want them to be perfect-something you realize isn't possible because they're just tiny humans...and they need grace and space, too. 

Jonas is one of the sweetest boys I know. He has the uncanny memory, able to recall things that happened once years ago. He's funny and so, so smart in a way that I will never understand.


The second kid, Noah, turns four in July. When you're the baby of the family for almost four years, you have this way of entertaining those around you. He's seriously one of the funniest people I know...his comedic timing is spot-on. He flips from being incredibly extroverted to hiding behind my legs when around new people. He's affectionate and very opinionated about everything.


And then there is the baby, Tallulah. God, she breaks my heart in a way I cannot begin to describe. The thought of going back to work is unbearable. She's the sweetest little baby, and wants to snuggle with her head under my chin...and I'm more than okay with that. 


Being a Mom, being THEIR Mom, has been the absolute best thing I have ever done. 


I wouldn't change a thing.



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

the one where I'm an expert

Have you ever heard of Klout? If you haven't, don't feel too bad. Ryan introduced it to me a few months ago. Which shouldn't mean much because at least twice a week he shakes his head at me because there's something I'm apparently the last person on earth to know about.

Anyway, www.klout.com let's you see where you rank in regards to influence on the interwebs. Have enough klout, and you get perks (aka free crap). I log in every couple of days to see if I'm eligible for any free stuff, and was pleasantly surprised to see the following:


That's right. 

I'm an expert. 
In health.
And sandwiches.

It's rewarding to finally be recognized for my strengths, you know?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

the one where Tallulah arrives

We arrived at the hospital for our scheduled induction on Sunday, April 12th around 8:45pm. After getting checked in and settled, we managed to get a little bit of sleep after taking some meds to get it all started. 

Sometime at an ungodly hour they started pitocin, and the contractions started to pick up slightly. Our OB came in around 6am and broke my water, and the contractions began to actually be uncomfortable to slightly painful at that point. 

And then we just sort of sat there and waited. 

I had made the decision pretty quickly after finding out that we were having a baby that I wanted to try to do it without any sort of pain relief. I knew that this would be my last pregnancy and delivery, and I just wanted to experience it all. 

When the contractions began to get more intense, I wasn't really prepared on how to distract myself from the pain. 

So I sang.

I belted out off-key versions of the Golden Girls theme song, Achy Breaky Heart, and Lean on Me during each contraction. 

Until I hit that moment where shit got real, and instead of singing I found myself clawing at Ryan's neck. There was a point where I just looked at him and told him that I had made a huge mistake because there was no way I could do this.

Ryan just comforted me, telling me that I was doing such a good job and that I could do it. He was incredible and such a positive person; I'm so lucky to do life with him.

The doctor arrived soon after, and ten minutes of pushing later, Tallulah was here on April 13th at 10:06am.

And it's been pretty fantastic since then. It's been the easiest recovery, and she is just the sweetest thing. Ryan has fully embraced the new craziness, and the boys love her an awful lot. 


Friday, April 10, 2015

the one where I'm in a glass case of emotion

Hi, I'm Wendy and I'm 39 weeks pregnant, having contractions regularly for the past week, and not sleeping more than a couple hours each night.

And I just had a breakdown over a slushie.

It's not to be confused with the time I had a breakdown because Ryan said that a shirt would fit me perfectly now because it's 2XL. 

Or that time I was so exhausted I just sobbed because I had to take the boys to the grocery store with me alone. 

Or that time we watched The Wire, and I realized where exactly Wallace was.

To say that I've been a little emotionally on edge throughout this pregnancy might be an understatement. While I'm sure I was the same way with the boys, I am positive that I absolutely bat-shit insane right now.

I am Ron Burgandy in the middle of his glass case of emotion.



Sunday, March 8, 2015

the one where i woke up

have you ever woken up and can't exactly remember how you got where you were?

...

in a few hours, it'll be the second anniversary of when my (now ex) husband told me that he was leaving our marriage. i spent so many months mourning the loss of that life, a life that now seems so foreign and cold, that today it is hard to understand exactly why i was so heartbroken.

that sounds horrible. the end of a marriage IS something to mourn, regardless of how happy or unhappy it was. disrupting the lives, the normalcy, that our children had because of reasons they will never fully understand...that is something that is worth mourning. having to explain to my five year old son why daddy no longer lives with us, why he has a different house, is a conversation that i have had to have more times than i can bear. that is worth mourning.

...

i was talking to ryan a few days ago, and asked him if he ever thought a year ago that his life would be where it was today. of course his answer was no; who could imagine that within a year of meeting someone you'd not only be engaged to be married, expecting a child, and acting as a step-father to two little boys?

yet he has opened his arms to us so graciously, providing for us without a second thought. he's gone to school events, birthday parties, family gatherings...just because he loves us.

just because he loves us.

...

sometimes we sleepwalk. just going through the motions of life because that is all that we are capable of doing. living in a fog because living any other way is just too much.

then one day we wake up, miles away from where we thought we were going to be.

and it ends up being a better place than you could have ever imagined.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

the one where everything changed.

We took the test together, waiting in the  room while 3-5 minutes passed. I got up prematurely, just to check on it when I saw it.

Pregnant.

Big, fat black letters that were just so blunt.

Pregnant.

I let out a curse word, and by the time he made it to the bathroom door I was weeping. 

Pregnant.

While he'd later admit to being terrified, he held me. He stroked my hair, rubbed my back, and whispered the most beautiful words of reassurance. 

And then he asked me if it was okay that he was scared, but so excited to be a daddy.

...

A year ago, I didn't think I'd find a happy ending. I was in the depths of depression, trying my best to keep a smile on my face and everyone at arms length. 

Then when I met him, I just knew, man. He was it. He was the person I had always looked for. I opened up, and let him in. 

And it was the best decision of my life.