Tuesday, March 30, 2010

meditating on a friend

I have the whole house to myself right now.

I have enjoyed this absolutely beautiful Colorado day....the sun was shining, it was very hot (I was actually sweating my bootay off), the breeze was blowing, and the birds were singing outside my window.

I can't even really express how wonderful it is for me to start hearing birds chirp in the spring...there's something about it that brings back a lot of memories but just embodies warm weather and calm beautiful mornings to me. I only hope that Mr. Squawk will again visit...as annoying as he may be, it's nice to have a companion that you can count on...even if he is a bird that screeches terribly loud.

Right now I'm typing at the computer in the den...I get to watch the sunset out the windows as I sit here and reflect, and it's incredible.

Today my heart has been content and restless all at once. I want to go and do something but at the same time it's my spring break. I think tomorrow might be an adventure for The Tattered Cover downtown and a park....with my camera in tow.

I was talking to my mom this morning about a lot of my passions in life and she mentioned a few things that I should think about....and that's what's on my mind. I don't want to even get into them because I'm afraid to let my heart desire such wild dreams but I can't help but really start to feel that God really has great things destined for me if I just learn to have faith and let myself fall into these adventures of a lifetime.

Alyssa is leaving for the Peacecorps soon and I'm met with some really mixed emotions....I've been meditating on a lot of thoughts all day. Tonight will be the last time I will see her, for a couple of years....and I've been reflecting on our friendship over the past couple years.

I have Alyssa to thank for helping me to find myself in a lot of ways. She has encouraged and supported me to look within myself, discover my own passions and heart, and to run with it. She has helped me to fly....and now I have to let her fly. I have to put our "in person" friendship on hold while she goes to another side of the world to help others. I don't want to be selfish but I am because she's been so influential. I don't want to let go of one of the people who has let me start becoming myself. But at the same time, I'm so excited for what's going to be going on in her life for the next two years....she'll be helping villages in Guatemala.

It's just hard letting go of someone who understands and supports such a huge part of what you are.

But I have been blessed by our friendship. And I know it will still be there when she gets back in July of 2012....but I wonder....where will we be?! Who will we be?!

And holy crap, that's going to be a marathon of catching up!!

Continuing Evolution

Yesterday I went and had Jenni do my hair again.....this time I had her color it a bit darker and put some purple in it....and then on the spot I decided to have her chop it all off.

This is the new me!!

Another new tat will be added to my body in two days!! :-)

And then my third sometime this next month.

Wowzers....transformations all around for a new season I guess.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Art

I went to the BEP concert last night and it was phenomenal. It's also amazing how most of the Black Eyed Peas' songs have a very positive and uplifting message or feel-good message.

I forgot how much I loved the song Where Is The Love? until last night but since then I've been very moved. And I decided to express it in a new way other than with my camera....instead with a canvas and paints and other materials. The above is the almost finished product....when it's finished I'll post a pic of it :-)

Dan and I represent how different people can be but still love each other for who they are....a perfect example of why we shouldn't have to ask Where Is The Love?

One World, One Love

Where is the Love?!

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
Now ask yourself

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Sing wit me y'all:
One world, one world (We only got)
One world, one world (That's all we got)
One world, one world
And something's wrong wit it (Yeah)
Something's wrong wit it (Yeah)
Something's wrong wit the wo-wo-world, yeah
We only got
(One world, one world)
That's all we got
(One world, one world)

One World, One Love

Friday, March 26, 2010

Epic Job

So I have been thinking a lot about my future....oddly enough not in specifics but just in terms of what does it hold and what do I want it to hold?! And wondering what role my education plays in it and trying to figure out what direction I need to change.

I know I feel as though I'm not where I'm supposed to be right now. I just can't help but feel that I'm not anywhere near what I want to and need to do with my life. I also am not sure that I'm exactly on the path God wants me to be in terms of figuring out my future.

I LOVE reading Travel and Adventure magazines....and not travel as in resorts and whatnot. National Geographic and it's sister publication Nat Geo Adventure and Nat Geo Travel....well I LOVE reading them :-) They give me glimpses of a world I want to be in but as of right now only see from my suburban lifestyle.

I watched Disney's Earth tonight and it only fueled that I think God has been calling me to other countries to either help with the care of others or care of animals or something of the like. All I know is I have a VERY keen urge to see the world. And I mean all of it. The forests, desserts, cities, wildlife, nonprofits, etc.

I think one of the most amazingly epic jobs would be to work with National Geographic in which I got to travel and document with a camera and a journal and use the pictures and words to share with others and along the way interact with other cultures and people and help out their communities.

I guess it would be perfect as I'm comfortable with not being comfortable.

But it makes me wonder, how do I get there?! How do I go about figuring this out?! Is this in fact the path God wants or is it what I want?! I can't help but feel such an intense desire isn't just solely me....it's from God.

Hmmm.....I need to figure out more about my life it seems.

Find Your Freedom In The Music

Dan is going to get this tattooed on his body. And on one hand I sort of feel like I should too.

Because it's the truth.

I find my freedom in many places, but none so much as God, nature and music. That's where all my freedom lies.

Music touches my soul in a way absolutely nothing else can. It says the words I can't, the beats move my soul to dance and dream and live. That's where I find a lot of my freedom to express myself and let loose. Just simply listening to music. Of all shapes, sizes, genres, variations, etc.

If it weren't for music, I wouldn't be able to keep my sanity.

Find Your Freedom In The Music.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic

So I'm watching Confessions of a Shopaholic. And I'm sort of laughing on some hands because her shopping habits are just hilarious.

But I'm also not laughing on one hand because in some ways I can relate all too well.

I'm sitting on my bed right now with a closet full of clothes to my right and a dresser full of more clothes in front of me. Honestly speaking, I have more than enough clothes. Though I will say on some standards I have much less than a lot of people my age.

But I find myself asking "Why do I constantly have the urge to buy something new(er)?! And I was able to answer that right off the bat.

It stems from a continuing struggle with self-image. For years and years and years I was never comfortable with my body. I didn't know style. I didn't know what worked well with my body. Now that I'm learning, I'm finding that making outfits that I look good in and feel good in costs money.

And I've also found that instead of one look, I wear pretty much everything. So when you get into my closet, you will see a little bit of everything, though nothing that really would pop out as "that's the look this girl rocks". If that makes any sense. And I can't wear certain things to certain places.

For instance, when I go to work, I like to still have a little bit of my own style....my flair that includes bright colors and more contemporary pieces....but I also have to wear certain jeans and certain shirts....when you work with special ed kiddos and are up and down off the floor all day and split/slobber/boogers/paint/glue/scissors are a regular every day occurrence I'm not going to wear those jeans out with friends....they become worn out and colored on, etc. But at the same time, only certain jeans fit me so when it comes down to it, I can't wear cheap jeans....the cheapest jeans I can find that fit me are american eagles....and those are still $40/piece.

And well, I have indulgences. Granted most of what's in my closet is stuff that's on clearance racks.....because well, that's how I shop. But while I spend too much on new clothing, I also find that I'm continually trying to find something that fits better, looks better, and better expresses myself.

I'm just ridiculous.

God help whoever decides to marry me. Because I'm going to need a closet of my own.

But I've decided I need to give myself a monthly budget for retail and a monthly budget for entertainment. Because I need to get my spending under control.

Having $600 on my credit card eats at me.

And really, that's not that much but it's enough to make me gawk.

Confessions of a shopaholic.....I need to get my shopaholic tendencies under control pronto.

But of course that will be after I order my Tom's shoes :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Ode to Irish Heritage

Last weekend was WONDERFUL for me :-)

I went up to FoCo and spent some much needed time with friends.

Eamonn was having a house party friday night and invited me up to drink. When we drink it gets classy. We drink PBR. Most disgusting beer ever but so completely classy. HA! I'm actually being a smartass. His band Paddywhacked played, and Graham's band The Cheap$kate$ played, and then another band called the Road Agents. Punk rock shiz. Go good.

Oh and let's not forget Irish Car Bombs. It was rad. Totally loved the night!!

My best friend Dan came and got me and I crashed at his place.

Then the next day I slept in though he had to work and I snoozed then showered at his place.

That afternoon/evening I spent with my bros Marsh & Kev. Kev got the Kerr (my Irish family heritage Carr descends from the Scottish family Kerr) family crest on his chest. Oddly enough, the Kerr and Carr shield of arms are exactly the same. It was pretty badass. It's getting it finished in a few weeks. He's getting our heritage flags and our family initials added in the form of a chain for a necklace that comes down from his collarbones. I'll post a pic when it's done. It will be pretty sweet!!

Then that night Dan and I drank wine til 5am and had some really deep and intense conversations that included (but not limited to) friendship, politics, religion, love, relationships, the death penalty, dying, heaven and hell, God, the power of being touched, old age, and we wrapped up the last few hours of the night listening to music and sharing our passion for Lady Gaga, great music lyrics, and sexy powerful voices. It was exactly what my heart needed!!

It's amazing how much Dan and I DON'T agree on but how much we love and respect each other.

That's what it's all about people.

If we can be SO different yet be best friends, why the hell does the world have so many problems?! I don't get it.

Anywho, it was wonderful.

By the way, everyone should listen to Dropkick Murphy's "Shipping Up To Boston". It's just fucking rad.

Your feet will bring you to where your heart is. [Irish Proverb]

It Matters To Me

Sam: You think what they think.
Rita: It doesn't matter what I think. It matters that we win.
Sam: No, you think what they think. You think Sam can't take care of Lucy!
Rita: Sam, it doesn't matter what I think!
Sam: It matters to me!
[I Am Sam]

The above is a quote from the movie I Am Sam, which I watched for the first time last night in several years.

Of course I work with special education preschoolers, so none of this is new to me. I see it day-to-day, so maybe that's why the above example is why I was stopped in my tracks.

My little preschoolers are at a time when they are starting to really assert their own independence. They ALL need to be validated and supported and loved and trusted. Above all things, these are hugely important and impactful on the entire rest of their future. Now take that and multiply it by thousands and that's the importance it has in the life of a special ed preschooler.

I was thinking about this a lot last night while watching the movie.

It matters that others believe in us and validate us and care that we are people. But my little kiddos that are not the typical-model kiddos need this more than anything else in life. What I think, how I interact with them, MATTERS!!!!

To Ethie, it MATTERS that though his body is not capable of what his mind is capable of, that I treat him like a typical four-year-old and not like he's dumb. He might have a physical disability and not be able to walk and talk. But it matters that I don't treat him like he's incompetent nor a toddler. It MATTERS that I treat him like the four-year-old boy that he is. It MATTERS that we play catch with him, that our activities are modified for his bodily capabilities but not dumbed down as his mind is intact.

It MATTERS to Patrick that I love him and care about him. It matters to Sean that we keep pushing him. It MATTERS to my kiddos. And it will continue to matter their whole lives that people believe in them and validate them as people. As unique, special, charismatic people full of life, love and character.

What this all comes down to is that as people we matter. It does matter that others love us and believe in us and support us. It always matters. And well, to most of my kiddos, it matters more than the average joe as they are facing hurdles that none of us will or ever will face. My little Ethie has encountered more challenges and more hurdles in his short four years of life that I will ever face in my entire lifetime.

Yesterday I went and hit golf balls with Eric at the driving range. I grabbed my jacket and clubs and ran to the car. I carried my clubs and with ease took my jacket on and off. I unwrapped several candies on the way to the golf course and chewed them without any mess. I easily took swigs of water out of my water bottle. I nonchalantly exchanged conversation with Eric the whole ride. We laughed and kissed. We got to the range and I carried my clubs. I whacked golf balls not with what any golfer would call accuracy but with accuracy none-the-less given it was my first time hitting since September. I didn't need any help and easily did all these actions without any hesitance.

Ethan can neither sit, stand, nor walk on his own right now. It takes every ounce of effort for him to throw a ball straight at the ground.....using every muscle in his body to swing his arm. He cannot put on nor take off clothes. He only has a very small verbal vocabulary consisting of "mom, hey, hi, up, out, off, yes, no". He can sign "please, thank you, mine, me, my turn, sorry, more, all done, out, yes, no". His coordination does not him allow to eat without assistance and his fine motor activity is minimal. He could pick up the candy and attempt to eat it but it winds up in a rather large mess.

However, his smile and his laughs and his hugs are worth the world. He's so happy all the time. Why?! Because it matters to him that despite all of this that we care about him, believe in him, and treat him like any other 4-year-old with the exception of physically supporting/helping him.

I will never face those challenges. So why should I not be happy every single second of every day and count my thousands of blessings?! Why should I not take joy in my life, no matter what happens or doesn't happen?!

The above is the reason that I am so happy and so full of life.

Don't get me wrong. I'm naturally a very happy person. But even if I wasn't, my kiddos show me a million reasons why I should love my life and why I should always be happy and why my smartass smile never needs validation for it being across my face. It's simply there because I have so many blessings and reasons to be happy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This is one of the many reasons I'm such a huge supporter of To Write Love On Her Arms:

"You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you're part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Value of Time

Today I didn't have work. Parent/teacher conferences are this week district-wide and for preschoolers they do conferences Wed/Thurs/Fri during the day. We had kiddos Monday and Tuesday, and then us para's prepped all day on Wednesday. That was actually really nice as we got most of the prepping for all of next month done. We are doing a new unit on dinosaurs that I have a pretty good feeling our kiddos are going to go NUTS over!!

Anywho, so today I didn't technically work and the mother of two of my favorites asked me to babysit. So of COURSE I didn't refuse :-) One of my favs is autistic but I am not above admitting that he's my favorite of them all. His hugs are like the sweetest candy you can imagine and his smile is to die for. He's so cute and though he has his needs and can't talk quite yet, he's just one of the cutest and smartest little boys you'll ever meet.

I actually can't wait until he starts talking. He chit-chats ALL the time but he hasn't quite fully caught onto words yet. He's saying more "real words" more and more but it's amazing to just watch him talk and talk and talk. I want to hear his voice. I want for me to be annoyed that he won't shut up. Much like his brother Duggan who is another fav.

Duggan is a typical boy. He loves anything dirty and boyish. He knows more about cars than most 20-year-old men do. He can point out almost any car on the street and tell you what it is and of course his opinion on whether it's cool or not. He's too smart for his own good. He's a negotiator to the core (I'm sure influenced by his lawyer father) and he's stubborn. He has holes in his pants, that smirk that tells he's going to try to get in trouble somehow, and an adventurous spirit. He never stops talking and the only qualm I have with this is his adament refusal to say the first 's' in most words....not that he's not capable, he'd just rather say 'top it' instead of 'stop it'.

I love these two. And I got to spend the afternoon delightfully babysitting them.

Of course Patrick was super excited when I walked in the door....playing shy and then proceeding to spin and do tons of cartwheels and jump on the couch and cuddle up next to me.....his special way of showing his excitement....with that ever present cute smile. Duggan was super excited to tell me all about his new cars. I played Clue with Duggan, Connect Four with Duggan and then Patrick, Cariboo Island Treasure Island with Patrick and then both, and then Elefun, and then we went outside and played soccer and I pushed {atrick around on this tonka truck backhoe thing which he was THRILLED on. We had a snack halfway through my 3.5 hours there, Patrick of course had fig newtons (he only eats goldfish, applesauce, chicken nuggets and fig newtons) and Duggan and I enjoyed Oreos with ice cold milk.

It was simple yet fun. Especially since it was a peaceful, bright, sun shiney, warm day today!! It was perfect.

When Lora and Henry came home, they paid me well as they usually did. But almost too well. They paid me $80 for 3.5 hours!! Which of COURSE I'm happy about, especially since my financial situation is SO tight this month. But I feel guilty about taking their money.

Lora and Henry love having me. I'm one of Patrick's favorite people, I play with the kids the whole time I'm there, I love em and hug em and kiss em. The boys actually want me to stay and play afterwards!! And Lora and Henry really seem to appreciate that. But it made me wonder, is my time really that valuable?!?! Am I really worth that money?!?!

Time is a valuable thing. And I hate that time always needs to be measured by money. But at first I didn't feel that I warranted that much value for my time spent with the kids. But at the same time it's a testament to how good I click with the kids and how valuable it is to have me there with them. It makes me feel good that my time is valuable in that way!!

However I did tell Henry that he could have paid me $40 and I will still jump at every chance to come back and babysit the boys. He told me I'm a horrible negotiator and I shouldn't say that to anyone because I am great with the boys and they love having me come to babysit.

Henry is also going to write me a reference letter for my application to volunteer at Children's Hospital :-) Considering they spend so much time there (due to all of the therapies) I'm excited to have such a great reference!! I really want to get my foot in the door there!!

Time is valuable but most importantly is what you do with that time. Such an important lesson. And the funny thing is, my time spent with those boys wasn't work nor a chore for me....it was fun!! Sometimes my life is just pure bliss :-)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Love this pic

Eric and I are complicated, yet blissfully complicated.

I've learned that for whatever reason he's afraid of relationships. I don't know if there's some sort of undertone that he associates with them or if he's just so afraid of getting burned he doesn't want to be in one. But I've come to find out that he's not afraid of me. He actually enjoys his time with me and he's getting much more comfortable around me.

We're not in an "exclusive" but we're exclusive to each other if that makes sense. Obviously there's something there.....he has kept coming back around to me since April and he always says how glad he is that we met and whatnot.

But it's still complicated. It's definitely hard being in a relationship where it's so obvious that I care more about him than he does about me. It makes me question a lot of things and makes me wonder but I'm also just trying to be content with now.

I'm not looking at this relationship right now as dating for marriage. If that was the case I wouldn't date. Heaven only knows marriage is years down the road in my future and is not something I'm looking to start looking at anytime soon.

But I do know I love Eric and he has the potential to completely break my heart. And to be honest, I can't answer whether he will or not.

I find it amusing that he's so scared of him getting his heart broken when it's only been hurt once.....and I've been in abusive relationships and had my heart broken quite a few times....yet my heart is completely out on the line and his not-so-much.

It's interesting....and all I can do is hand it all over to God.