Thursday, March 27, 2014


  As far as I can think back my sister has been my best friend.  Sure there were times that we argued and I wanted so bad to ball up my fist and hit her, but hey I grew out of that.

  It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I realized how much I needed her.  It's not easy being a girl and we all have those days when we feel like we don't have a friend in the world, but I can honestly say I've never felt that.  Not because I have so many friends, but because she's always been there.  No matter what is going in my life, she always knows what to say.  She always makes me feel like whatever it is I'm dealing with is completely normal.  ( which I know isn't always the case)

Ever since she left home in 1997, we haven't lived in the same town.  Most of our conversations are either on the phone or through text.  Just this morning I text her and her response was right on... Exactly what I needed to hear.  Throughout the first 3 months of Liza's life, she is the one who kept me afloat.  I can remember calling her sobbing and not sure why, and she cried with me.  She told me it was all normal, and it would all be ok.. And she was right.  One day it was all ok.  Liza is 2 now and things are just fine.  I didn't break her, or mess up too bad ;)

Today we went and spent the day with she and the boys.  We went to Build-a-Bear... Had lunch at Chick-Fil-A... Played at Barnes and Noble... And finished up at Kris and Sams.  As Liza and I got in the car to leave, Liza wanted to hug and kiss everyone.  We got to the bottom of the driveway and Liza said "Mom, I love Honey."  It was the most sincere statement she's ever made.  I looked at Liza and said "I love her too Liza, more than you'll ever know." It hit me right then... Where in the heck would I be without her.  How would I have ever gotten over all those silly breakups? How would I have made it through those terrible baby blues? How would I have gone back to work after having Liza?  She has supported me through it all.  Even when she knew I wasn't making the right decision.

With all that being said, thank you sister.  Thank you so much for being my best friend.  I am so lucky to have you.  I strive to be more like you every day. Although you have no idea, you are the strongest, kindest, most sincere person I know.  I pray that Liza is half the big sister you have been to me, one day.

We love you Honey.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Let it go...

As a Christian my biggest struggle and letting go of things and handing them over to God. I like to think that this is common with others.  I wouldn't consider myself controlling at all ( Tyler might disagree:/) , but there is a part of me who likes things a certain way.  Maybe that's why I became a teacher.  I like for things to have order.  I like routine and schedule.  I like these things because then I know what to expect.  The older I get the more I realize this isn't realistic.  Sure, I can keep order in my classroom, and our home can run on a schedule and be organized. BUT I cannot control things that will happen.  One of my closest friends is fighting cancer.  I refuse to say she is sick with cancer, because by gosh she is a FIGHTER if I've  ever seen one.  I find myself praying for her and for other people in my life and in those prayers I tend to "ask" God for things.  That's normal right?!?! Then I find myself discouraged because whatever it is I asked for didn't happen.  It didn't happen soon enough for me.
This morning in church our preacher began his sermon with this "Prayer is one of those mysterious things in life.  Think about it.  We tend to ask for things.  Prayer wasn't designed so that we could ask God for things.  Instead prayer is our way of getting on the same page as God." HELLO Spencer... It hit me like a ton of bricks.  The sermon was based on Romans 8:26-30.  He went on to say " we as Christians must acknowledge our weaknesses and ask God for help.  Ask him for help in understanding what is going on in our lives.  In times when we are so desperate for words, when we are praying and can't even seem to form words, God already knows our thoughts.  Romans 8:26 says " The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." So like I've said so many times why do I worry? Why do I try to control it all? It is so comforting to know that no matter how bad it may seem and how speechless I may become, HE'S GOT THIS!!!
Verse 28 says "And we know tht in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Does this mean everything will be good, nope! BUT what it does mean is that the end result is good! God will reveal his good through whatever we may be going through.  The preacher gave a wonderful comparison.  We call it Good Friday.  Is it really good? Not for Jesus it wasn't, but the end result was so much more than good.  Verse 29 says " For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son..." In order for us to be an image of his Son it may be a painful process.  We must suffer. He did and we will too, but not for long. He wrapped up his sermon by saying "When we find ourselves in prayer not knowing what to say,know that glory awaits us." HOW FREAKING AWESOME is that!!!! I needed this. I needed to hear every single word.  None of this was new information, but I always need to be reminded that no matter how bad I want things to work my way... I am not in charge AND as hard/evil/sick  this world may seem at times heaven awaits me! A heaven with no cancer!!!!!! And for this I am so thankful!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Looking back...

Dear Liza,
     This morning I was looking at pictures on my Timehop app and thinking back to what our life was like 2 years ago.  You were one week old and as my Facebook post said , I was a nervous wreck.  When the sun went down my anxiety got really really bad. I wanted Cookie here with us the minute it got dark.  I can remember sitting down on the couch  attempting to eat a bowl of potato soup that some wonderful friends had brought over, and the minute it hit my mouth I knew I couldn't eat. I was a ball of nerves.  At the time I wasn't sure why, but today looking back, I know exactly why.  I can remember your sweet daddy saying "I won't eat if you can't" and "What's the matter babe, have you been crying?" and "What can I do to help". He was the best! He still is. We hit the jackpot on daddies!

I remember a time not long from this that I was rocking you in your room, and your Grandmother came over to get something.  I had been rocking you and crying and crying for quite some time.  A part of me was embarrassed, but another part of me wanted her to help.  I'm not sure what she was suppose to do, but I wanted someone to take away all of the fears I had.  I was so scared of messing up.  So scared that I would do something wrong, and no matter how many people told me that this wasn't possible, I was terrified!  I bet I called your Honey 50 times a day just to hear her voice and hear her say "I know exactly how you feel." This was what I needed, I needed to know that she had these same fears and that eventually they went away.(somewhat)

When you were about 8 days old I received a phone call from my doctor who delivered you. At the time we weren't close friends, but she made me feel so much better.  I remember her saying "How do you feel? How is Liza? That is all normal!" One thing she said that I will never ever forget was "You are doing wonderful, and everything you are feeling is completely normal." She continued checking on us often, and today she is one of my best friends. Just the other night when you had your meltdown at Honey's house she sent me a text saying "This is no big deal, Liza's just flexing her muscles and being a two year old.  I promise it's ok!"

Looking back I know everything I did was just fine, but at the time I was so unsure.  Today you are 2 years old.  You are full of life. You love to laugh and make us laugh all the time.  Every day more of your personality comes out. Your manners are wonderful.  You always say mam' (to men and women) and thank you and please.  I still have fears and anxiety, but its not the same kind.  I have grown so much more confident in myself and my ability to care for you.

Yesterday one of my best friends was hurt.  She was hurt because of what someone said.  This person was suppose to be a good friend, but as you will learn throughout life, sometimes those who we think are our friends, really aren't. Life can be so hard Liza, especially as a girl.  There will be a time in your life when you are hurt... Many times... Just the thought of it makes my stomach turn, but just as Honey wrote in  her letter to you, we must surround ourselves with kind people who love us.

So today January 4, 2014, I'm not a nervous wreck like I was 2 years ago.  I'm not emotional.  I'm not staring at you every minute making sure you're breathing.  Instead I 'm praying every single day that I raise you to be kind.  I pray that you see this in me.  I pray that one day when you are hurt, I will be able to comfort you.  I love you more than I ever knew I could love.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My prayer for Liza

Today I witnessed something that not everyone will experience in their life.  This isn't that unusual since I do work in a school, but today was different.  As I walked out into the hall I heard crying and turned to see one of our precious handicap students attempting to use her walker.  I don't know much about this student, but I do know that she is in a wheel chair 90% of the time.  As I stood and observed what was going on, I realized that she was attempting to make it down the hall using her walker only.  This is very difficult for her bc she is very weak and becomes exhausted quickly.  Her aide was on her knees, holding her hand, trying to motivate her to make it just a few more steps.  By the time I reached her side, she had drawn quite the crowd, including her entire class, who had joined her in the hall.  All 19 classmates were cheering and saying things like "You can do it!" and. "Look how far you've come!"  The tears continued flowing , but she pushed herself right through that doorway and there she sank onto the floor.  By this point I was crying my eyes out.  The kids surrounded her and continued bragging on her.  I walked over to her and said "You are so strong and I am so proud!" She looked up at me with the biggest grin and said "Thank you Mrs. Knox" and took my hand...

As I walked back to my classroom, my mind went to Liza.  I thought of how she would've reacted to this situation.  Of course she is only 2, but I feel like even at a young age she would've reacted in some way.  My prayer is that Liza will be one of those cheering for her classmate.  I pray that she will be the student that teachers can rely on to help others and always be kind.  I pray that she will embrace differences.  I pray that she will love others because of what is on the inside.... Most of all, I pray that she will learn from others who aren't just like her...they have so much to offer.

Liza's Mom

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Slooooooow Down...

In just 6 weeks Liza will turn 2.  I've never been one to freak about age, turning 1 didn't really seem to bother me at all.  As a matter of fact I prefer a 1 year old over an infant any day, but it has hit me all of a sudden that her second full year of life is almost coming to an end.  I'm not sad that she is growing up, because I absolutely love this age.  I love the talking, the personality, the conversations we are able to have, and the comprehension she has.  What make me sad is that it has flown by.

 If you know me, or Tyler, you know that we are both fast paced people.  We don't do anything slow.  We get stuff done, and we don't waste time doing it.  If its time to clean the house, we are on it and done in no time.  Liza of course is us times 2.  She is absolute non stop, unless she sleeping.  She doesn't walk, she runs...everywhere! If something bores her, she is onto something else before you can blink.  With all of this being said I've realized we have got to slow down and take all this in.  This wont be easy for me bc slowing down is hard for me.  I have several friends who are so laid back and go with the flow, I wish I could be more like them.

This morning while we were getting ready for Sunday school, and I was trying to get dressed and gather up Liza's clothes at the same time she wasn't exactly cooperating.  She wanted to sit on my stool and "put makeup on." I picked her up and attempted getting her dressed all while she went completely limp.  At this point of course I was sweating and about to lose it.  I told her to straighten up if she wanted to go to church and play with kids.  She grabbed me around the neck and said "swooooow down mom...hold me" that did it.  I sat down on the floor in the closet and just held her.  She squeezed my neck for a solid minute I bet, which is VERY long for Liza.  Then she was fine.  Perfectly fine.  And got dressed with no problem.  I looked at Tyler and said "she is exactly right, we've got to slow down." What would it have hurt for me to let her sit and pretend to put makeup on for a minute, but instead I thought I was in a hurry.

So my goal is to try and slow down, because before I know it Liza will be grown.  No matter how organized and on schedule I think things need to be, I just need to slow down.  The same thing goes for my kids at school.  If you're a teacher you know how those little stories always go.  They always need to tell you a story right in the middle of something.  I always try and stop what I'm doing to listen, because lord knows some of my babies don't have anyone else listening to them.

So in the words of my "almost 2 year old" just slow down...and hold me!

Liza's mom

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My job(s)

Two weeks from tomorrow school starts and so my days at home with my sweet girl are put on pause until Christmas. Somehow she will turn 2 then and I will cry big crocodile tears.  Of course I'm going to miss her like crazy, mostly our mornings in the bed. I've said this before and I'll say it again I think working makes me a better mommy in some ways. I seem to have more patience and our time together becomes precious.

Our summer has been wonderful.  Every day wasn't a party, but every single day I learned something from her.  Whether its patience...or learning to take a deep breath and hold her sweet little hand while  SHE walks down the stairs (even though we are 10 minutes late leaving the house.)

Her days with Sharon will begin again in two weeks and that's part of what makes it easier too. She loves being at Sharon's house. She loves the chickens outside, the good home cooked lunches, and most of all those two sweet people who without a doubt love her like their own.  Liza has continued going to Sharon's every Wednesday this summer, and she's always ready to jump out of her seat when we pull up. Sharon is truly a blessing to us.

I also miss my school family.  I've been there 8 years and they are so much more than coworkers. I miss the kids and our conversations. I always look forward to new fresh groups of kids.  The kids become mine after just a few weeks. After all I spend more time with them than their mommies.

It wasn't until I held Liza for the first time that I really realized how much trust those parents put  in me. Of course I'm suppose to prepare their babies for that lovely test we have to take in the spring, and of course I must prepare them for the 5th grade, but its sooooo much more than that.  I remember going back to work when Liza was 4 months old and walking into that room with a completely different outlook.  I want those parents to feel as sure as I do when I drop Liza off  at Sharon's.  Sharon's not only feeding/changing/playing with Liza, she's loving her and hugging her and helping her grow into a sweet little girl...who shares and loves others unconditionally.

So not only am I teaching/assessing/disciplining my kids... I'm responsible for teaching them to be kind...and confident...and fair (Being a 10 year old girl isn't easy :)

I read a wonderful blog last week about "teacher moms" it was right on.  Although many would like to think we live inside a Pinterest house and our lives are all organized and together...  That is SO wrong.  The combination isn't an easy one.  It's tough some days.  Like the post said "some days we resent those classroom kids bc we spend more time with them than our own babies... and more than once I've been guilty of changing dates on lesson plans bc I'm too tired to write new ones...and sometimes kids who remind us of our own babies become our favorites...and somedays we are out of patience when we get home to our own babies"

All of that is so true, but its doable.  It's more than doable. It's what I was meant to do on this earth. I believe that with everything I have.  Be a mommy and a teacher. After all it goes hand in hand.

Liza's mom

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Challenge

So today is July !st and I swear yesterday was May 24th and we were getting out of school.  Time flies when you're having fun, right?!  Somehow June is over and I'm not sure how.  So, I've decided to try something.  Starting today I am going to "attempt" to do something new with Liza everyday.  Not a big something, but just something she hasn't done before.  I have a few ideas... and some are as simple as collecting rocks...others involve glue. (which makes me sweat)

 We started today with finger painting.  Not a big deal at all, right?  Ummm, wrong...huge deal! She loved it, but I was sweating the whole time.  Even though in the back of my mind I knew it was washable.  When she started slapping her hands together and screaming... I began to panic.  It was flying everywhere! Somehow I managed to let her finish and she absolutley LOVED it! Mostly she just did her own thing, but I did attempt to get one 4th of July project out of it.  In the end there was paint everywhere, but it all came off easily.  While she was slinging paint, I was trying to snap a few pictures.  She got up out of her chair and walked over to me and kissed me right on the mouth.  In the process she got paint all over me, but who cares at that point!

After we got it all cleaned up and I was putting her down for a nap I had this thought.  We should do something like this every single day this month.  I don't mean paint, but something she hasn't done yet. My summer will be over before I know it and I dont want to look back and think "what did we do all summer"... I'm not one to pretend we live in fantasy world over here.  Just yesterday we had to leave a restaurant because she was flipping out and attempting to knock over anything in sight! So yeah, its not all roses.  Our days are just like everyone elses.  Some are great, and some days I want to get in my car and run away...far away.  One thing I don't want to do is regret not spending enough "quality time" with her.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and 2 days have gone by and you realize the most you've done for your child is changed their diaper or fed them.  It's easy to turn Dora on for long periods at a time.  Believe me...I am guilty!   I have 31 days ahead of me to fix this.  Of course I will still turn  on Dora, and of course I will still hand her the ipad while I'm cooking supper, but I will also try and do something interactive with her every day.  This may come really easy to some, but if I'm being completely honest with myself it's not always easy for me.  So here we go... I may need Xanax by August 1st, but Liza hopefully will remember our summers at home together (even when I act like a crazy person and lose my patience)