Archive for December, 2015

The wild ride that was 20-one-five

I began 2015 between jobs, but prepared to begin a new one negotiating airplane entertainment contracts a couple of weeks into the new year.

I was excited to begin that job. I’d be working on airplane-related contracts! For all my flight anxiety, I found that exhilarating. Add to that the fact I’d be traveling internationally for my position and I was stoked. I spent my long commute studying Spanish and Portuguese in my car.

Just as I began to find my groove in that position, my sons’ school closed its baby room at the end of February. I had to scramble to find a place for my Littler J, apprehensive about the impact to my already long drive.

Before the close

Before the close

I didn’t even make it a week driving to Littler J’s new daycare before realizing I couldn’t sustain my lengthened commute. I took a contractor position with a company nearer the new daycare to shave most of an hour off my daily drive time.

I gave blood for the first time in years, prompting me to finally understand what my mom meant when she once told me I had beautiful blood.


Soon after, I wrote my favorite post of the year: my bulimia / my beautiful body. Read more…


A perfect afternoon

My friend Ra is visiting this afternoon.

I’m an introvert. I start each visit with almost any friend attempting to entertain. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Entertain?

Quickly enough each time Ra visits, I realize she doesn’t need to be entertained. I can chat, read blogs, or do my laundry. All of it’s fine. She’ll keep herself entertained any which way.

Right now, she’s watching Shark Boy and Lava Girl with my six-year-old, Li’l D. They’re snuggled together on the couch and laughing.

auntie ra

My husband is talking to his computer while my toddler drags toy swords around the house.

It’s the perfect afternoon for this introvert: I’m surrounded by people I love, basking in the warmth of getting to be here with them … without my having to say a single word, except when necessitated by my offspring’s shenanigans!

Categories: Family, Friends Tags: , , ,

Merry Christmas, Mr. Jones!

The first post in my reader this morning sent me tumbling back in time.

I once lived and taught English in Japan, where I called three separate towns home.

In my first home, I had roommates in a smallish but bustling ocean town. A couple of cats would leap through open windows to visit me.


In my third home, I lived in a small town-subsidized complex with many of my students. I loved working in a little garden out behind my apartment, and would open the apartment’s front and back doors so my students could run through during their playtime. The town was incredibly rural, but it felt anything but to me!

So, so many hours of work to clear the plot by hand!

So, so many hours of work clearing the plot

Read more…

60 things o’ thankful

I read Goldfish’s 50+ things of gratitude last night, and then promptly wrote my own timed list. I set it aside without reading it. Here’s how it originated:

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list (the timer doesn’t matter for filling in the instructions, intro, etc). The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog at Tales From The Motherland. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 15, 2015. After that date, no blogs can be added.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise; I will remove it. Aside from that one caveat, there is no such thing as too much positivity. Share your happy thoughts, your gratitude; help us flood the blogosphere with both!

I read Ra’s list soon afterward and was touched, but still didn’t peek at my own list again.

I read my list tonight and decided I wanted to post it. It’s not earth-shattering stuff, but … gratitude’s gotten me to where I am today, and I’m happy now to not only think quietly but reflect aloud upon the things for which I’m grateful. Read more…

Categories: Family, Friends, Reflections Tags: ,

Maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be different

As Christmas nears, many strangers find my blog searching for “first christmas without mom.” This post leads them here. This later post probably contributes to the traffic.

Today I’m home with a sick toddler. He’s alternately screaming and babbling. Some moments he wants my comfort; others he wants to be left completely alone. In his leave-alone moments, I’m tidying up what little I can as I listen to him babble. More and more of his words makes sense in combination.

“No more outside!” he exclaimed as we walked back inside earlier. “Is a nose,” he said sagely while pointing at Black Widow’s nose on a gift bag.

As I listen to him, I think of my mom. She must have had like mornings with me when I was little.

I think of my godmother, Anna, who snuggled with both my sons while we were in Oregon last weekend. Read more…

Something (inevitably) better

Categories: Personal, Women Tags: , , ,

To Big D with Love

A decade and a half ago, my brother dropped out of high school.

Today, he received his M.Ed.

I’ve never seen him smile so wide for so long.


With or without any piece of paper touting any accomplishment, I am proud of him.

Today, I am proud and thrilled, seeing his smile and knowing he will inspire many students in the years ahead.

I am so proud.

We are so proud.


Categories: Education, Family Tags: , ,
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