"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. ;)