Happy Halloween!

The Man in costume.


Friday Fragments

1.  It's been a long time since I've put together a Friday Fragments list. Since July in fact.  Yikes, I feel like such a slacker.

2.  The Mountaineers play UConn tonight.  I wrote a whole post about how I feel about this season at HailWV.  There's nothing quick about my opinions on Mountaineer Football.

3.  My friend Nicole and her baby little girl are coming to visit this weekend!  I'm excited to have our first over-night guests since moving.  Though I will need to stop at Target after work and get some sheets for their bed.  When I packed to move out of our house in Martinsburg, I apparently didn't think that keeping the sheets for the spare bedroom was important.  Yes, I am super smart (just in case you were wondering).

4.  Last night, we had our first Pet Behavior Change session with Kali.  I'll have to go into detail about her 'issues' someday, but these are meant to be quick so I'll just say that while she is very well behaved, she is not super friendly.  Our first session went very well and I'm hoping Nicole is up for helping us with our homework this weekend.

5.  Last year in May, I bought a new camera.  Out of necessity.  Who knew that beer puddle + digital camera = fail?  Well, this week, I bought another new camera.  Out of necessity.  Who knew that camera + hitting the ground (because I dropped it) = broken lens?  I will say it once again.  I love new technology, but I'd really rather choose to get something new than be forced into it.  I'm thankful that I was able to get one so quickly.  Now to just figure out how to use it.

6. I love the blog design that Kelsey did for me earlier this year.  But, I've been thinking about changing it up a little bit and she is having a give-a-way for a Blog Makeover.  If you are looking for someone easy to work with that has great prices, head on over to Kreated by Kelsey.  But don't bother entering the contest because I'm gonna win!

7.  Last, but not least, thank-you for all the answers to all of my questions and your kind words.  I'm feeling very content with the decisions that I've made so far.  There will be no major changes immediately, but there will be changes.  As the time gets closer, I will share them here.

Have a great weekend!



Thank-you all so much for the prayers and answers to my many questions.  It's amazing how time and more information can change things so drastically and also how when we venture down the wrong path, God finds a way to nudge us back toward the right one.  And after much prayer and thought, it became clear to me that I was being nudged.  Again.

Yes, it's not the first time that I've been nudged.  Nor the first time that I tried to go down the wrong path.  In high school, I took American Sign Language as an elective and loved learning not only the language, but also all about the ear, communication, and hearing loss.  But, I was good at Math and Science, so it only made sense that I start college as a Chemical Engineering major.  A year and a half later, as a professor was explaining the importance of the Engineering problem we were working on, I found myself thinking 'I don't care.'  And I quickly realized I was in the wrong field.  Nudge.

After much thinking and realizing just how much I had enjoyed everything about my Sign Language class in high school, I changed my major from Chemical Engineering to a double major in Speech Pathology/Audiology and Early Childhood Education.  I figured between the two, I could somehow work with children with hearing loss.

A year later, I was sitting in a class and the teacher was polling us to see which of us were planning to go to graduate school for Speech Pathology and which of us were going for Audiology.  Only this time, she gave us a third choice:  Deaf Education.  I didn't know exactly what it was, but I knew it was what I wanted to do.  Nudge.

I researched graduate schools and found that most schools for Deaf Education focused on the use of sign language and that it would take me longer to complete my Masters' Degree because I would need to work on my fluency.  Well, I'm not gonna lie, the thought of 3 more years of school was a bit overwhelming and I began looking for more options.  I found a program for families of children with hearing loss called the John Tracy Clinic and I learned that it partnered with the University of Southern California for a Master's Degree.  Each year 7 students were accepted and granted a full scholarship.  Nudge.

After a year of working as an Itinerant Teacher in WV, I began to search out a job working exclusively with Pre-K children.  I applied for and was asked to come for an interview for a Kindergarten position at the Maryland School for the Deaf.  I accepted, but was disappointed to learn a day later that the position would be a contract position with hourly pay (instead of salary) and I would not be eligible for benefits.  I decided I couldn't take a position that wouldn't pay me when school wasn't in session and followed up with another resume I had sent out.  It turns out, Loudoun County Public Schools was looking for a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing to work with their Oral Pre-school children.  Nudge.

It was four years later that The Man and I decided to move back to Morgantown and I would have to leave the job I had grown to love.  I knew it was for the best, but I knew that I didn't want to go back to being an Itinerant Teacher.  I'd come to realize and be confident in the fact that my skills lie in working with young deaf/hard of hearing children who are learning to listen and talk.  It was this that led me to a 'if I can't do what I want, I won't do anything at all' sort of response and I opted to only have my Party.Lite business when we moved.  For about 8 months, this was enough.  But then, I started missing the world of hearing aids and ear molds and implants and young children.  I faced some difficult months, and started looking to see what I might do.  I went on three interviews and accepted my current job as a Director of a child care center.  But, over the summer I received an e-mail from a colleague wondering if I'd be willing to do a training for teachers creating an oral deaf/hard of hearing pre-k classroom.  Nudge.

Which leads us to today.  There is no formal, full-time job offer.  There is contracted work.  The door to re-enter the field of Deaf Education has been pushed open, wide open.  And for the first time, it is not my job that our medical insurance benefit depends on.  What I need to contribute to our family finances is income, period.  Is this another nudge?  It feels like it.


Weekend Wrap-Up

For the first time in I don't know how long I woke up when my body was ready.  There was no alarm clock to tell me that my sleep must cease.  The Man and I went to the vigil Mass last night, so there was no need to wake up early this morning.  It was like a little slice of heaven on earth when my eyes opened at 9:55 am to nothing other than a quiet room filled with The Man, Kali, and Max.

I'm thinking I need to start taking a journal to Mass with me.  I remember very clearly loving what our Priest had to say last night, but as I'm not an auditory learning 24 hours later I've forgotten most of it.  I've never seen anyone at a Catholic Mass take notes during the homily - is there any reason why I can't?

Being that it is Sunday night, there's been a lot of football on in our house today.  And with football today, there has been a lot of talk about legal and illegal hits in the NFL.  Now, I understand the need to keep players as safe as possible, but it is football.  A contact sport.  What I do not understand is how a play that did not draw a penalty flag during the game can end up costing the player a whole lot of money in fines?  I understand James Harrison's frustration and concern that he's not sure he understands how to play the game of football.  If he had been flagged for the supposed illegal hits, then a fine makes sense.  But to impose the fine after the play was deemed legal on the field sends a mixed message.

Yes, the Mountaineers lost yesterday.  I'm still too upset about it to even discuss it (yes, I'm aware that I did not actually play the game).  I can say I shook my head a lot on Saturday and there may have been a time or two (or ten) that I threw my hands up in the air while shaking my head.

I've hit a plateau in organizing our new house.  There's still SO much to do, I just need to pick the next place to start and get it done.  What do you think - dining room, spare bedroom, office - what's next?

How was your weekend?


A Question or Two (or Five)

How do you discern whether it is your will or God's that is leading you in a new direction?

Are there specific prayers your pray or do you just pray?

Is there a Saint to pray to for career-related issues?

What about Scripture?  Any specific passages to go to, to seek assistance in figuring out if it is the Spirit that is guiding you?

Any answers you have will be appreciated.  (And maybe a prayer too?)



I'm writing about Purple today.  Not because it's my favorite color or because I want controversy, but because a Facebook status really struck me.

Let me back up a bit.  A girl on Tumblr named Brittany McMillan posted that today should be Spirit Day in memory of the recent suicides by homosexuals after being bullied.  She tells that she chose purple because on the LGBTQ flag, purple is represents Spirit.  From this blog post, today was a day of wearing purple in remembrance.

Now, I tend to think we've gone a bit overboard on the remembrance colors, ribbons, magnets, walks, etc.  I'm not saying we shouldn't remember or have symbols of the things that are important to us, I just think we've gone a bit far sometimes.  But, I digress.  So, today, when I got dressed, I didn't put on a purple shirt.  Not because I didn't care but because, frankly, I don't own one - personally, I'm not a fan of purple.

So, why then am I writing this tonight?  It's back to the Facebook status I saw.

It said:  I didn't wear purple today. I chose not to. Suicide due to bullying doesn't just affect "gays" so, why would you only honor them and not the many other not "gay" suicides that result from bullying? I honor them all - I wore pink.

And well, when I saw this status, I wished I'd gone out and bought a purple shirt just for today.

If this were a friend and not one of the Teachers who works for me, I would have commented right on her status.  But, that would not be appropriate, so y'all get to read my response (and then some) instead.

I would've said:  First, why do you put the word gay in quotes?  Is it because you believe being gay is a choice?  Because really, do you think homosexual people chose to be the punchline to jokes, punching bags, and ostracized?  And yes, you are right, there are plenty of other suicides by heterosexuals who are bullied.  And yes, you are right, we should honor them all.  But, your wearing pink didn't honor them at all, in fact the color for suicide awareness is yellow.  And your posting of this status only bullied homosexuals more.

What you don't know about this person is that she frequently evangelizes her Christian Faith on Facebook as well.  So, once again, in my opinion, a Christian has given us all a bad rap.  Instead of offering prayers or kind words for all victims of suicide, she took the opportunity to minimize a real problem.

So, while I didn't wear purple today.  I will say a prayer for the bullying that led these young people to take their own lives.  I will say a prayer for all victims of bullying.  And I will say a prayer for understanding and kindness.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such is as good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
~Ephesians 4:29


In Memory

This was originally published on Oct. 24, 2009.

Today, I remember, Jasper Howard.

The cloudy skies seemed appropriate on Saturday.

Sure, it was game day.  Homecoming even.

But it was a day surrounded by clouds.

It was a day of sadness.

It was a day of questioning why.

It was a day of realizing how brief and fragile life really is.

It was also a day when the best of being a Mountaineer was on display.

It was a day when respect for our opponent was more important than the outcome of the game.

It was a day when the opposing team was greeted with a standing ovation instead of a chorus of boos.

A standing ovation to let them know our hearts were breaking with theirs.

A standing ovation to let them know we understood how hard it was to take the field on this day.

A standing ovation to let them know that, on that day, we were all Huskies.

On that day...
A moment of silence.
Two teams meeting at midfield, embracing.
A jersey hanging on a sideline, softly blowing in the wind.
A helmet without a face inside it.
A game that was closer than it should have been.

On that day, our celebration was bittersweet and fueled more by emotion than the final score.

On that day, a coach pulled his team together as a family to thank its extended fan family for their support.

On that day, the scoreboard showed a winning score at the end of the game.

On that day, the scoreboard remembered a lost life.

On that day, there was crying in football.


I Wish I Had Pictures

Well, I do have pictures, I just can't get to them at this moment.

I know I promised a post on Sunday about my brother's wedding, but instead of blogging, I got caught up in a fantastic game of Laser Tag with my brother and the rest of the wedding party/guests as we enjoyed an evening out the night before the wedding.

So a recap, without pictures, it will be.  (The SD Card Reader is still in its 'safe' place from our move, so the pictures are stuck on the camera.)

We arrived home about this time last night from a fantastic weekend in Texas.

On Saturday, the awesome staff at the restaurant where the rehearsal luncheon was held making sure that we not only got to watch the WVU-UNLV football game but also got SOUND!  (Seriously, they changed their rules so about 15 WVU die-hards could listen to the commentary, it was much appreciated (more on that later)).  Also on Saturday, the Mountaineers pulled out a great win.

On Sunday the day started with up-dos and mimosas; was followed-up with photos and dancing; and ended with a certain newlywed couple's car being wrapped tightly in Saran Wrap.

My little brother is a married man.  And I'm so happy for him I spent most of Saturday wiping tears from my eyes.  I didn't even cry that much at my own wedding.  Maybe it's because 6 1/2 years later I have a better understanding of what marriage is.  Whatever it was, the beauty of the events of Saturday kept bringing tears of joy to my eyes.

The entire day seemed to go perfectly - the bride was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the fun was overflowing.

I don't know if M and J read here, but if they did, I would thank them for an amazing weekend and wish them more years than they can count of happiness.  Their wedding day is one that will be etched in my memory as one of the best ever.


8 Years

No, it's not an anniversary (we've been married 6 1/2 and together 12 1/2 for those of you keeping count).

And no, it's not how old Max (12) is or Kali (6 1/2) is.

And no, it's not how long we've had our car (3 years).

It's how long it's been since I have missed a WVU Home Football Game.

The fall before The Man and I got married, I had a Season Ticket with my mom and step-dad.

And then The Man and I started getting our Season Tickets together.

And since Aug. 2003, I have not missed a single home game.

This season is the 8th season since I moved back to WV and this weekend will be the first missed game since then.

I suppose it's for a good cause.

My brother is getting married in Texas on Sunday.

I am so excited for him and his fiance.

But it was so hard to hand those tickets off to Kate.

I know she and her husband will do us proud as they enjoy our seats.

So today, the Mountaineers play at home and I am having rehearsal for a wedding tomorrow.

But, do you know what my brother arranged?

A casual rehearsal luncheon at a place that guaranteed the WVU-UNLV game will be on the TV.

So, I won't be at the game, but I will get to watch and cheer on the 'Eers.

(And I'm not a cold, heartless, you-know-what, I'll have a post all about the wedding for tomorrow!)


Doing Laundry in My Own House

Why hello there!  I know it's not necessarily unusual for me to go a week or so in between posts, but this time it wasn't because I haven't had much to say, but rather because I haven't had time or means to say it.

Last Sunday night at this time I was feeling very overwhelmed.  We'd had the keys to our house for all of 4 hours and the packing had barely started.

Fast forward to Thursday evening after 4 days of packing/moving craziness and my mom and I were sweeping up the entry way and locking the apartment door for the last time.

And today, I sit in a living room twice the size of our last living room, next to our dining room, listening to the hum of the washer in the basement.  (It's soooooo nice to just have to lug the laundry down a set of stairs instead of across town.)

I still can't believe all of the stuff we had crammed into our tiny apartment (and at my mom's and my in-laws and my dad's).

And wow, there's nothing like an end of the month move to show you how blessed you are.  We truly couldn't have done it without the help of our families.  They brought their cars, lifted, tugged, pulled, tossed, and carried more than we could have imagined.

Today, I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I tend to like to have everything done and in order.  I feel like I've lived on the edge of chaos for the last 2 years and I'm ready to have everything in it's place again.  Yet, there are not places for everything just yet.  Sure, there is plenty of room.  But that means there needs to be furniture to fill that room.  The list is growing ever longer and my desire to have it done now is one that will not be met.  This patience-thing is a lesson I am continually being taught.

So for now, there will be rolling carts in place of matching shelves; a mattress on a floor instead of in it's frame (because of a too small stairway + a too big box spring); an empty place in a dining room; a too small couch; and clothes in neat piles in a room.  And it is going to be ok.

When we have visitors, I will resist the urge to explain everything that is not perfect.  I will not detail the 'what will bes'.  I will enjoy and be thankful for what is.

Now, for the first time in 2 years, I will go move laundry from the washer to the dryer, in my own house.