"I felt a nice, fresh breeze a moment ago. Where has it gone to?"
- Tennessee Williams, in 'The Glass Menagerie'

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Simply goodbye.

I should totally be packing up the car right now...

...but instead I'm sitting here on the couch, procrastinating.

Tomorrow is my last official day at work,
my last official day living in Gulf Breeze.

Tomorrow when I get off work at approximately 4:00 P.M.,
I will exit Kids Discovery Learning Center,
get in my car,
and proceed to drive from Gulf Breeze, Florida to Birmingham, Alabama.

(and yes, I will more than likely cry periodically on the way there)

I still haven't figured out how to say goodbye tomorrow...
...and I've succumb to the fact that I probably won't know how.

...not even when the time comes.

I will simply hug my friends and kiss my babies,
and leave.


Just like I have every other day.

This time there will be tears as I realize that this will be the last time I see most of the babies for possibly the rest of their lives (and yes, I know that they won't remember me, but that's not the point.).

This time I will be saying goodbye, not 'see you Monday!'.

This time I will be leaving (and not coming back)...

...but this time will also not be the last time that I will be seeing them.

It's not goodbye forever.
It's simply goodbye.

So, for now, I will quit procrastinating and go pack.

...and tomorrow, I will simply say goodbye and smile...
...for (as hard as it will be to believe in the moment) God really does have a fabulous plan for what happens next.  :)

(and I smile, timidly)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

...and with that, my heart smiled.

I woke up this morning feeling like poop.

My throat was swollen.
I couldn't breathe.
My head was stopped up.

So, I text my dear friend Paula to get some suggestions about what to do to make it feel better (I didn't want to keep Bells while I was feeling icky today.) - and I also text my mom.

They both, of course, share their tips, and I run to the CVS on the way to Paula's house.

Turns out, it didn't matter how much medicine I got at CVS, the one thing I really needed was going to come out of Ruth's mouth the moment I walked into the house.  It went a little something like this:

I walked up to the front door and rang the bell.

Ruthie peeked her little head into the window on my right and smiled her cute little smile.

She yanked the door open and literally flung her arms around me.

She then looked up at my while still hugging me and says ever so quietly:

"We decided that you're a part of the family."


I stopped, looked at her, and smiled.

"My mom and I were talking.  We decided that you're officially a part of the family now."
(and she smiles her very BEST Ruthie smile)
...then she runs back to watch the show she was watching on Nickelodeon.

...and with that, MY HEART SMILED.

It didn't matter how sick I was or how much I felt like poop.

I was just told that I am considered a part of the Sides (with a side of Lay) family.

That was all the "medicine" that I needed...
...because my heart was smiling it's own very best smile.

It doesn't get better than this.
(and I smile)  :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What if's...

Sometimes I think that I literally think too much.

I go through every possible scenario of every possible situation before it is necessary.
...and sometimes wind up getting myself so worked up that I can't stop thinking about it.

I really get worried about things that haven't even happened yet (and probably won't!).

It's ridiculous.

I know living in the present is what I need to be doing, but I think about things that have happened in the past, people I have met...

...was he "the one" and I just missed out?  Is it too late?
...should I have said something different to that person?  Would he/she still not like being around me?
...what if I would've done just this one thing differently?  Would I be finished with school yet?
...what if we'd never broken up?  Would I be happy or miserable by now?
...what if I'd told her I loved her the last time I talked to her?  Would she have known for positive when she died?

I literally "what if" myself to death...
...and let me just tell you...
...it gets exhausting.

The problem is that I have absolutely no idea how to turn off the "what if" button in my brain.

I'm currently sitting here staring at the computer, at Facebook, just thinking...
...what if I get back home and I feel like I've failed all over again??

...then what??

I know, I know...
I pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward.
Sometimes it just doesn't feel like it can be or is that easy...


I think for now the only thing I can do is get into pajamas and go to bed.

Perhaps tomorrow someone will say or do something to give me an answer...
...or perhaps a clever little seven-year-old will share something with me that she finds hardly any significance in that will just make things click (she tends to do that sometimes)...

...or maybe...
...just maybe...

...the "what if's" will gradually go away and my life will be happy.

(That is, after all, what I have learned recently - that life is happy.  Life is just as fabulous as we actually want it to be.  We just have to recognize the good parts and quit dwelling on the bad. -- someone needs to look in the mirror when she says that, right??)  ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...(gulp) for ME???

Tonight, I got this for Christmas:

...a "pocket-sized Ruth." :)

This little girl can read my mind...
(...even if there may have been some help from her mom in this one - although it wouldn't surprise me in the least if she came up with the idea all on her own.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

...do I have to say it?

You pack one box...
...and then you pack another.

You fold one shirt...
...and then you fold another.

You lay pair upon pair of shoes in the box...
...then pair upon pair of sandals on top of them.


...the one part that I can't seem to figure out??

...how to say goodbye.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I have had a wonderful weekend with the Sides women
(not counting getting sick Saturday night).

We started our good times off with a little Christmas jingle, courtesy of Ruthie and her fellow classmates.

Bells was so incredibly good through the whole thing.  She sat through the entire performance in a complete trance by the singing and dancing.  It was so cute...

...it even helped her to get to sleep on the way home (as it was beyond her bedtime).

...is that not the absolute sweetest thing you've ever seen???

Friday night, I babysat the girls while Paula went to the squadron Christmas party.

After I got to see this adorable smile (courtesy of bath time):

We watched 'Elf' and Ruth thought it was the greatest movie she'd ever seen in her entire life.  
(...smart girl, right?)  ;)

After a late night, Paula and I still somehow managed to peel ourselves from our beds and take the girls to Breakfast with Santa at GBUMC.  Ruth got to participate in some fun activities, but she neglected to know even a single thing that she wanted for Christmas...

I'm not quite sure that Santa is used to hearing that response from a seven-year-old, but it sure made me laugh a little.  :)

After breakfast, we took Ruth to make her very first "big girl purchase"... she bought her very own DSi with her own money.

(no, seriously.)

She sold all of her worldly possessions via ebay, collected and saved her allowance, and consequentially saved enough money to purchase the Limited Edition Super Mario Kart DSi...

...I've never seen a smile so big.  :)

It was a very good weekend for me with them (as I hope it was for them with me, too).  I have learned one thing, for sure:

I'm going to miss them more than words can say.

...but, God-willing, my "remembory" (much like Ruth's) will serve me well enough to hold memories of times like these forever.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tickle Me Lindi

As Ruthie began tickling me in the floor of my classroom today, I couldn't help but think about how much I'm going to miss that little girl when I move back home...

...her silly faces...
...her crazy dances...
...her smart antics...
...her cheerful laughter...

...and all of those things don't even come close to helping you understand the magnitude in which this child can have an impact on your life.

Good thing they have me "booked" all weekend so I get to spend as much time as possible with them.  ;)

Until then, continue to tickle me, Ruthie...
...til I'm blue in the face with laughter.
I'll let you.
I promise.  :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010





...you know, someone told me that counting backwards from one-hundred would help you fall asleep. 

Tonight, that trick is failing miserably...

...so is counting sheep.
...so is laying in bed with my eyes closed (no television, no noise, nothing).
...so is constant movement of my feet - which generally works like a charm.

...and to top it all off, it's about 30 degrees below zero in this house right now.

Good thing I've always loved popsicles...

I need to...

I'm sitting here, surrounded by text books and school assignments, and all I can think about is all of the other 3 million things that I need to...

I need to start packing my stuff (but that makes the moving back home seem all too real right now).

I need to shower so that I can get ready for some Deer Chili with Sherrie, Lisa, and their families (but that would require me to stop doing homework and playing on the internet when I take my breaks - not to mention that that too makes the moving back seem all too real because these next few weeks are going to be jam-packed with time being spent with the people I love most here in Florida).

I need to go to the grocery store and get some snacks for work and gifts for Secret Santa at work (but that would require the shower, which I already explained why I'm not doing just yet).

I need to unpack my bag from Lisa's house last night (but that makes our little adventure from yesterday truly come to an end).


...is there going to come a point where I stop making excuses for the inevitable, suck it up, and be a "big girl"??

I think so, but I can't help trying to avoid certain things right now.

Until the time comes (which will be within a week or so) that I have to face the things ahead of me, bite the bit, and just do it...

I think I'm more content simply loving what I have right now, rather than dwelling on the future.

(and I sigh with slight relief)

I might just like taking a few minutes to not be a "big girl."  :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

I would hug you right now, but I have glue all over my hands.

Try sitting across the table from the most spectacular seven-year-old you've ever met in your life and telling her that you're having to move away from her, as she looks back at you with a stare of disbelief...

...that's what I had to do tonight.
(not counting all of the awesome playing and laughing I got to do with her before or after)

It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

To begin our night, Paula 'cooked.'
...this means she ordered pizza. :)

Ruth's cheesey bites tasted like "tiny little cheese sticks" (go figure.)
and it was even more delicious than she had imagined it to be, just "fluffy enough" for her liking.

After pizza and a short tickle fight,
she and I proceeded to create her Christmas mitten for school...
...which means we ripped up just about any wrapping paper-type stuff that Ruth liked and glued it all to the poster board mitten... it was very entertaining.
(and ironically reflected her personality to a tee).

As we're gluing as many ripped up pieces of glittery tissue paper onto this mitten as possible,
Ruth continues to say...

"I will never forget this night in my whole life."

I then have to proceed to tell her about my devastating news...


...I thought I was going to cry, but her end response??

"I would hug you right now, but I have glue all over my hands."


I tell her I will never forget her, I will give Mommy my address and we will write letters and send pictures, and I even tell her that I will be visiting whenever I possibly can.

...and you know what?

I think she really does love me, too.

...and you know what else?

"I will never forget this night in my whole life."

Neither will I, Ruthie.
Neither will I.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...silly me...

As I sat across the table from her, I knew without a doubt in my mind that Ruthie was about to put on an extra silly show tonight.

...and as much as I want to say she does, the child never ceases to amaze me.

She is ever so loudly squishing her leftover pancakes into her mouth
and drinking her milk out of her super awesome alligator cup,
as she slowly puts down the pancake triangle and listens...


Paula is singing to Bella...
...and talking to her...
as she wraps her up in the magic blanket (the swaddle blanket, for anyone who is curious). 

Upon hearing this, Ruth looks up from her Santa plate at me...

...back down at her plate...

...and then slowly forward and says...

"Mom, you know the baby will never go to sleep if you stand there and talk to her."

With that, Paula and I laugh as Paula then laughingly argues with Ruth about the importance of talking to Bella as she is being put to bed (as she does quite the same thing with Ruth while getting her in bed at night, too).

(and here I am baffled... do I sigh?... grin?... or just laugh?)

The seven year old knows just how to take care of the five month old.

Silly Paula...
...for that matter, silly me...
I always talk to the baby when I'm putting her to sleep. ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

She's not in love with you at all.

On my lunch break today, I was texting with Paula about taking the girls to Breakfast with Santa.

She throws this random bit into our conversation-

PAULA:  "Oh and by the way, I overheard Ruth talking to Bells this morning..."
ME:  "Oh goodness... What was she saying?"
PAULA:  "She actually told her, 'when you see Lindi you can just let her know I'll be hogging her when we come to your room this afternoon...' it was the cutest thing ever"
ME:  "Awwe... I literally just giggled out loud like a small child. :)"
PAULA:  "She's not in love with you at all"

Sometimes, hearing how much a seven-year-old loves you is just what you need,
at precisely the right moment.
(and I grin)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Much to my own dismay...

Much to my own dismay, I have recently discovered that life certainly does not work out in precisely the manner that we think it will.

People change.
Life goes on.

Somewhere in the middle of people changing and life moving forward, I have forgotten to stop and, well, smell the roses.

I have forgotten about doing the things that make me the happiest,
the things that I need done the most in my life.

(deep sigh)

...and I think to myself, 'why must I always be worried about being such a people-pleaser?'


I don't have an answer, other than...

That's just who I am.

Optimism and pessimism are running such a close race for me right now.
And I detest that.

A good friend of mine is what she refers to as so "zen," and I am trying my hardest to be that way with my own life, but yet again...

Much to my own dismay,
it doesn't seem to be happening the way that I want it to work out.

I turn 24 in a little over a month, and I have accomplished next to nothing of what I thought I would have by now:

I have lived 24 years (nearly) of my life, and I feel like I have nothing to show for it.

I'm not finished with school (yet, but it's coming to an end soon - thank goodness!).
I'm not dating anyone, so heavens knows that means I'm no where near marriage or a family.
I'm not teaching in a classroom yet or working in a library as I'd hoped.
I don't own my own home or rent my own apartment.

Life is not at all what I thought it would be.


(and again I sigh, quizzically)

...if life was exactly how I expected it to be, would it be nearly as fun??

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An exact replica.

Today is my great-grandfather's 93rd birthday.

That's a lot of life to live.

The best part about it is that...
he's healthier than I am.

The world would be multitudes greater if there were more people in this world like him.

He's a mechanic and still does all of his own home repairs
(at his ripe old age).

He drives himself to all of his doctor's appointments.

He's more self-sufficient than anyone I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Something cool about him??

My own father is basically the exact replica of this tiny, wrinklie-faced little man...
and a girl couldn't be more thankful at this time of year for someone so wonderful.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Couldn't we all be so happy?

As I sit here on Thanksgiving day wrapping Christmas presents and helping my mother cook, it really is impossible not to think about the things that I am thankful for.

I will say it again: my life has changed so much in the past year.

(which has been a good thing in most ways)

Because of everything that has changed, I have become more aware of the little things that I am actually thankful for:

-the sunlight coming my through window early in the morning.
-the laughter of a bubbly seven-year-old as she entertains herself with a balloon for nearly an hour.
-the smile put on my face by walking into work.
-the warm embrace of my family when I return home from Florida.
-the love felt when our tiny little 10 pound dachshund climbs up in my lap and curls up as I write this blog.

All of those things are small, but they mean so much more.
(and there's multitudes more of things that I am thankful for, but these are the things that have just recently popped into my mind)

Of course, then there's the typical things that I am thankful for:

-other loved ones
-the love of our Savior

Somehow, the small things seem so much more.

Our families will always be there.
Our friends will always be there.
Our Savior will always be there.

Those little things, though?

They aren't always there.
They come and go as our lives change.

Last night when talking and catching up with someone special to me, John Lennon's quote, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," kept coming up in our discussion.

That's what initially got me thinking about the little things to be thankful for.

The small things dissipate as life changes.
We make other plans as life moves on.

I think sometimes,
(and I nod to myself)
we tend to under appreciate these little things when we should be grasping to them with all we've got.

Perhaps we should all take a cue from the seven-year-old and
enjoy the thrills of life as if we're bouncing a balloon off of our fists for hours at a time.

After all, she seems beyond content and happy.
Couldn't we all be so happy with something so small?
(and a sly little grin creeps upon my face)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I think I'll stay this way.

This is my first blog.
 Not ever.  Just on this site...

and I'm pretty excited about it.

I have had a lot of new, fresh beginnings in my life in the last six months, and this is going to be my next adventure.

What all have I done in the last six months, you ask?
Well, let's see...

- I quit my job.
- I packed up my entire life and moved to Florida.
- I started a new job.
- I made friends (oh, did I forget to mention that when I moved to Florida I knew no one except my aunt and uncle and their kids?  Yeah... not the most exciting thing in the world).
- I started going to a new church.
- I lost three of the most amazing people I have ever known in my 23 years.

All of that may not seem like a whole lot to some people, but to me...

it was an eternity of impossibilities and uncertainties.
I knew no one, and I feared I would never make any real friends.
I made new friends, and I lost old (lifelong) ones.
It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but...


I have a plan for my life for the first time in a long time.
I don't constantly feel a nagging question in my mind of if I'm ever truly going to be who I was meant to be because I know the answer now.

Am I perfect, you ask?
By no means what-so-ever.

But I like the perfectly imperfect person that I am...

I think I'll stay this way.
(as I sigh, satisfactorily)