Monday, April 18, 2011

So Tell Me Again?

 "So tell me why again you do that?" he asks me after I mention that I count gifts.  
He glances up at me, a half~smile curling his lips and I sense that he just wants to hear, to watch me speak.  
I smile also as his hand finds mine, feeling like Ann as I explain, "I count so that I see God in everyday moments, so that I'm thankful and don't miss all the gifts that point back to Him."  Eyes meet and... breathe... "This moment is a gift..."  

:: friends who draw out my hidden & latent spontaneity
:: hands covering eyes during a scary movie, an arm beside me to grasp
:: peach glow fringed with slate clouds, backdrop to mountainous skyline
:: a quick visit that turns into 6 hours
:: dense fog giving way to muted luminance of murky lights as I drive toward the city
:: baby smiles at the coffeeshop, little ones who beam into face and rub each other's bald heads
:: white tree blossoms blown across the street, bouncing like popping popcorn on the pavement
:: spring photoshoots with future suitemates

Counting at Holy Experience today:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Anything but my Age

Why I'm Young at Heart

::  I look young.
My age was always overestimated throughout my childhood and teenage years. Perhaps because of my height?  Or astounding maturity? ; )  But currently, my sister & I are asked who is older and she was born two months after my fourth birthday.

::  I eat dry Cheerios.

::  I {heart} goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, animal crackers, candy necklaces, & ring pops.

::  I can't hold back tears.  My emotional regulating abilities can be a bit... lacking.

::  Sometimes I wear my hair in a high ponytail and whip my hair back and forth like Willow Smith.

::  I thrash around in foaming ocean waters, ride the waves & let my hair become whipped and salty, never sunbathing on the shore with sunglasses and perfect hair like the other early twenties girls women.

::  My profs still refer to my peers & me as "the kids."

::  Sometimes I just want my mom.

:: My idea of a mixed drink involves Ginger Ale & Cran~Grape Juice.

::  I attend birthday parties at the local Bounce~Plex; jumping, running, sliding...

::  I wear jingle bell earrings at Christmastime.

::  I lack self~control around chocolate.

Why I'm an Old Soul

::  I read mommy blogs.

::  I probably have stronger opinions regarding Gary Ezzo & Dr. Sears than  any other non~mother my age.

::  I can't stand cartoons.

::  I contemplate life while sitting in coffeeshops.

::  Noise & chaos wear me out.

::  I need several shots of espresso in my system throughout the day, coming from delightful sources such as mocha frappuccinos & chocolate chip mocha crunch coffees topped with mountains of white chocolate drizzle & more chocolate chips. 

::  I read theology books for fun. 

::  I keep a baby names favorite list. 

::  I'm fascinated by local history and family genealogy. 

::  I'm a "cute dress w/ leggings, sophisticated metropolitan fashion" enthusiast.

::  Flashing lights and rock music in church aren't my style; I attend a  small, reflective/contemplative, service~oriented, hipster~influenced church.

::  I feel most "myself" in a teacher~caregiver~mommyish role.

{What about you?  Are you young at heart?  Or an old soul?}


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What So Much Depends Upon

We're sitting in history class and professor clicks to the next powerpoint slide.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
 ~{William Carlos Williams, 1923}

The air is aWkwArD. It feels....
too simple.  Uncomfortably so.

I scan the class from my perch in the back of the classroom, --{I always sit here to survey... I watch.}-- upholstered bucket seats & stadium seating fall in terrace below my lookout.

My eyes stop on slouched basketball star, his hair braided in thick rows.  He frowns at the poem, no doubt unimpressed, re-reading, thinking there must be more.

I shift in my seat, half-waiting for someone to say what we're all thinking.  "Yes..and??"

Lectures on the 1920s & Modernism showcase this period's willingness to "risk a certain amount of incoherence and experimentation in order to challenge preconceived notions of value and order."

Professor says, "I wrote my entire dissertation on this William Carlos Williams poem."
But how to eek out meaning in sixteen words of apparent randomness describing an arbitrary scene? & exactly what "depends upon" it? 

Yet, isn't this a lesson to learn?  This challenging preconceived ideas of beauty, of significance, of ways of life?  Taking each moment as meaningful & each breath as bread?

I feel the moment suspend, one moment of life that I could let pass and forget for it's assumed insignificance. 

In the margin of my notes I scratch down:

so much depends

a brow knit

perched on tiered

searching for meaning
in quotidian.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fudge, Steak, & Pimples

This semester I have a practicum in a second grade classroom four mornings a week.  Since I'm used to 2, 3, & 4 year~olds, these mid-elementary students seem like BIG kids to me!  Nevertheless, they've supplied me with some fun tiny talk snippets!


: :  Standing in line waiting to leave the classroom, glasses hanging on the tip of his nose, Boy Ba announces, "I wish I had some chocolate fudge right now!"

You & me both, boy!!


: :  Returning from our field trip, Girl M spots animals grazing in a distant field.  "I want steak!  Are those horses in that field?  If they're cows, I want to stop and kill one to make my steak."

What a lovely thing for a vegetarian teacher to hear! 


: :  Boy Br volunteers to turn out the lights so the class can see the SmartBoard projection.  Returning to his seat, he grins at his tablemates, declaring, "My pimples are getting big!!"

He, of course, means "pupils."

{After teaching in the education field for a few years, will I finally stop feeling the urge to laugh at inappropriate comments?  Doubtful.  I just hope & pray no one decides to fart out loud in class.  Student teacher laughing at farts = not a good look.} Linking up with Mary for Tiny Talk Tuesday.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gifts {139-148}

| Amish apple pie and cinnamon rolls with buttercream icing

| dashing through warm spring rain

| first crocuses of the year

| 2nd graders on picture day

| "That was kinda fun.. working with you," after one-on-one instruction with hard~to~reach boy

| eager raised hands to volunteer answers

| waking up at 8 am & feeling like I slept in

| white chocolate mocha crunch in the morning

| "I miss you" text in the still of night

| dreams, anticipation of summer

And finally, just slipping this in here.
My photo was one among the featured at the Bloom Book Club
at Incourage in this final post of the series.
Five of my munchkins & I are on the second slide.

So appreciative and honored to have been a part of reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts with a community of readers.

& the counting continues. . . 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Multitude Monday

I try to count and realize I've lost track.  Haven't recorded since. . . Christmas?  I check back and oh, of course -- picking up at 130:

{130}  ..  roadtrip to friend's hometown & shopping weekend

{131}  ..  crackling of spring thaw

{132}  ..  chocolate chip bagel in booth corner

{133}  ..  a moment of quiet in pitch-purple stillness of late night

{134}  ..  speaking with only a gaze

{135}  ..  hilltop view of city lights

{136}  ..  instantaneous connection between stranger {& no longer stranger} and I

{137}  ..  heart~to~heart with young mentee-friend

{138}  ..  stampede of tiny feet, jump-&-cling hugs

Giving thanks with Ann today:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Threes About Me

I was looking through my drafts folder and found this little diddy that I wrote several weeks ago but never ended up posting. 

Three names I go by:
1) Miss Leah
2) Leah Bonita
3) Leah Boo

Three jobs I have had in my life:
1) Daycare teacher
2) Babysitter
3) Pianist/violinist for special events

Three places I have lived in the past:
1) Morgantown, WV
2) Grantham, PA
3) Philadelphia, PA

Three favorite drinks:
1) Mocha Crunch Coffee (Java Cooler) from Organic Grounds
2) Cake Batter Shake from Coldstone Creamery
3) Starbucks Mocha Frappuccinos

Three shows I watch:
1) The Bachelor/ The Bachelorette
2) Supernanny
3) What Would You Do?

Three favorite foods:
1) Lentil casserole
2) Arroz con habichuelas rosadas {Puerto Rican rice & beans}
3) Chocolate cake

Three things I am looking forward to:
1) Graduating college w/ degree in elementary education & Spanish
2) Becoming a teacher in inner~city Philadelphia
3) Adopting a child from foster care

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Joyful ~ {faces}

This sweet little girl was being feisty, giggling & dodging my camera.  I captured her joyful face in the middle of a side-to-side fake-out.  She's a two year-old of 1,000 expressions.

But of all 1,000
I love to see her joyful
most of all.

One Word Wednesday at Aspire

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hot Off the Press: Tiny Talk

This week is my spring break, so yesterday I went into the daycare center to visit some of my kiddos!  Truly, whenever I feel as though no one really cares, all I have to do is pop in and love on those little ones.  Getting stampeded upon my entry speaks volumes. : )

Inevitably, any time I stop in, I'm bound to glean a few tiny talk snippets.  

I was holding little Announcer {not pictured} while we were watching an episode on the Dora DVD that I had bought them for Christmas when I noticed her hair smelled a little....different.  "Announcer, did your mommy spray something in your hair?"

"Yeah." *grin*  "Bug spray!"

Evidently, .....she was getting over lice.  

{A few minutes passed.  This time, Announcer was still on my lap but facing toward me.}

*Huge smile*  "Miss Leah, your earrings are big, big, BIG.  They're bigger than your cheeks!!" she said as she held my hoops to my face.  *Pause*  "But, you DO have big cheeks!!"

Yeah.  I've missed them. ; ) 

Linking up today with Mary's Tiny Talk Tuesday.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Sampler of Diamonds, Engagement, & One Thousand Gifts

 1~Belly Bling & a Growing Up Thing.~1

Look what I did:

Yep, that's a pic of my bedazzled belly!  Much to the chagrin of certain family members, I got my navel pierced just over a week ago.  No, I don't plan on walking around with my midriff showing all the time now.  I got it pierced mostly for myself; I'm learning that it's usually worth it to "go for it" & try new things that I've always thought, "Wouldn't it be neat if..."  
Two years ago I decided to have a sideswept bang cut into my hair.  I met resistance with that idea, too.  However, I am SO GLAD that I got my hair styled the way I wanted, and so far I'm very happy with my belly piercing, too.  I think a 22 year~old can decide these things for herself, especially since they are rather inconsequential! ; )
 & if you're offended by my picture... join the club! ; )

2~My Gift Girls.~2

One blog that I read faithfully is A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp.  Ann recently authored a book entitled One Thousand Gifts.  There's a book club over at (in)courage for this book; I'm following along with the book club in a semi~participatory fashion as I seek to keep up with reading the chapters on top of all of my required daily activities.  
Under the "meet the readers" section of the One Thousand Gifts website, there is a slideshow of readers with their One Thousand Gifts books.  I don't think mine has been added yet, but I submitted the picture shown above, one of me with the book & five of my blessings.  I look ALL KINDS OF CRAZY in this photo, but I love love love how sweet these five little girls look.  Each one's personality is so apparent simply by viewing this photo.


My brother is now engaged!  I will finally have the big sister that I always wanted!
I didn't get permission to post their picture on my blog, but surely a pic of the bling is in order since that seems to be the theme of the day!

 The wedding will be in October.  Yay Tyler & Bethany! : )

4~Sacred Time.~4

It's easy to tell what ancient cultures held as their sacred objects of worship.  My prof said something during a lecture the other day that really made me think.  He said that if future societies were to analyze our physical artifacts and our patterns of life, they would think that we worship. . .


Think about it.  What governs our day?  What do our schedules revolve around?  
When is the only instance an otherwise well-meaning person would deny another person proper acknowledgement/attention/concern?  Probably if time was running out!
Even the expression referring to time "running out".. being depleted... shows how valuable time is to us.

What is placed at the highest, most prominent place in most rooms?  Not a religious symbol of any kind!

A clock.

Sometimes I have to stop & remind myself that here is now.  
Breathe.  I am here in this moment. 
Right now.

Linking up with Miscellany Monday today.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Space Between

The song admits, "I always fall for your type" & it's true.
You are mine, you wounded yet strong
you soiled yet redeemed.
Ours is a Romeo & Juliet saga,
Star-crossed though our paths crossed
from different worlds that couldn't quite fuse.

Yours is a life that spins on revolving door.
I'm different than any you've had before
I intrigue you, but how do you know I won't leave like the rest?

Mine is a life of privilege and formal academia
but with a heart for the downtrodden,
a heart that beats in rhythm with the hurting.

May we ever meet in that place,
the place where black & white make gray?
where an ages-old chasm rejoins?
where you and I make a we?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Accents/Dialect Vlog

Disclaimer:  I can't STAND to watch myself in movies.  I apologize in advance!

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

▪ What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
▪ What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
▪ What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
▪ What do you call gym shoes?
▪ What do you say to address a group of people?
▪ What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
▪ What do you call your grandparents?
▪ What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
▪ What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
▪ What is the thing you change the TV channel with?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Heart Hurts

I've been silent for a while, & I'd be lying if I said it had everything to do with the start of a new & busy semester.  That is certainly part of my preoccupation, but there are other things that are causing me to struggle. 

I fully intended to write a post on my 2011 word of the year, 


but as I introduce you to my word of the year, I can already say that it's been more of a stretch than I had ever anticipated.  When I chose "Release" I had specific things in mind of which I knew I had to let go.  However, I've been asked to release things already that I never thought I would have to say good-bye to.  And it hurts.  I thought these were good things, & maybe in some situations they are, but at least for a time... I have to release them.

Even when it breaks my heart.

A non-related, heart~happy moment.


Letting go of certainties.....
......grieving the loss.....

Monday, January 3, 2011

~::Counting the Multitude of Gifts::~

|a peek into the manger. . . dare I behold?
|new perspectives on Christmas
|22 years of life
|42 facebook birthday wishes
|new life
|terrycloth sleepers
|baby coos
|piano & guitar improv
|cookie dough
|melty, spreadable chips

|a silent night
|chocolate drizzle
|my toast to 2011, given 3 minutes before midnight
|"happy birthday baby girl!" text buzzed in 15 seconds before the ball dropped in Times Square
|my virgin appletini with sugar crystals on the rim
|a Light burst forth in the darkness