It was a lovely Easter. We started at church, where we celebrated not only the resurrection of Jesus, but also our last Sunday in our current Buckhead location. They were so serious about it, they started tearing the name off the building at the conclusion of the service. Out with the old, on with the new! It was bittersweet. The service itself was lovely, featuring baptisms, a choir (we never do that) and Matt on the guitar that I helped him drill holes in the night before so he could install an amp pick-up. 

New location = new name. See ya, Buckhead!
Big girl got to hang in the service with me.
Then it was home to see what the Easter Bunny left and have an indoor egg hunt, thanks to the yucky weather. The girls didn't seem to mind, though. Violet declared Easter her second favorite holiday, right after Halloween (can you figure out what those two have in common?) I got exactly zero decent pictures of the two of them in their cute dresses (um, Costco for the win!) because they were far too occupied with stuffing their faces with candy. All the grandparents came up to celebrate the day with us and it was lovely to see everyone. We kept it low-key, just the way we like it.

Dessert. Very patriotic, don't you think?


Itsy-Bitsy Spider

Do you ever get the feeling someone is watching you?

Today in the shower, a bleary-eyed 5:30 a.m. post-holiday Monday, I randomly happened to look up as I was shampooing my hair and noticed a rather large black spot on the ceiling above my head. This black spot had eight legs. And it moved. My least favorite type of black spot ever.

I should pause in my story at this point to let you know that this is not my first experience with spiders above my shower. When we lived in our shack in Midtown, our tiny bathroom was home to entire legion of daddy long leg spiders. They would hang out on the ceiling directly above the shower. Then as the steam would rise, their little legs would give way and down they would come onto the unsuspecting human below. I would spend the first 10 minutes of my day filling a cup with water and hurling it skyward, splashing the ceiling, trying to hit the spiders and knock them into the tub where I would promptly douse them with a glug of water, drowning them as quickly as possible and sending them to their drain pipe graves.

I swear those suckers would dive bomb me on purpose. I had nightmares of them vindictively climbing out of the drain to get me. It was horrible. (We also had a rat, but that's another story.)

So, with that history in mind, you can imagine my thoughts on this Monday morning. I watched that black spot like a hawk, craning my neck and contorting my body to try and get through my shower routine without taking my eyes off the spot. I calculated the odds of it falling into the shower (100 percent) and looked around for anything I could use to defend myself. Let's face it, there's not a lot to arm yourself with when you're naked in the shower.

Slowly it started crawling away from me. I risked closing my eyes to wash my face, and opened them just in time to see the spider cast off from the ceiling, dropping a gasp-inducing two feet on his web, two feet closer to me. (To be fair, we have really high vaulted ceilings in the bathroom, but still.) I tried not to throw up at the daddy long legs flashbacks and only started breathing again when the thing slowly climbed back up to his upside down perch. I turned off the water and grabbed my towel, only to catch him dropping again! Thoroughly fed up with this display of gymnastics, I hightailed it out of the shower and retreated a good ten feet from the drop zone.

I took my eyes of the spider for maybe ten seconds, just enough time to grab my moisturizer, and when I looked back up (ya'll, I'm going to need a neck massage) the thing was gone.


On trembling feet, with quaking heart, I tiptoed back to the shower. Taking a deep breath to steel my nerves, I ever so slightly pulled the door open...

There is was! In the shower! Right where I had been standing not a minute before! IT WOULD HAVE LANDED ON ME. You guys. I can't even. I feel like there are tiny legs crawling on me even as I type this. Can you feel them? There on your back? GAH!

So, happy Monday folks. Four more days until spring break.


It was Teacher Appreciation Week this past week at school. Each day had a theme... write a note, send flowers, bring a special treat, give a gift card. The kids were so excited to present their items to me each morning, and it was heart-warming to see my desk fill up with homemade cards and huge bouquets of flowers. One morning a little friend surprised me with a fresh bagel and cream cheese for breakfast. Another student brought me an entire (!) chocolate cake! How she carried that thing on the bus I'll never know, but the entire first grade team was happy to help me eat it!

Having a child in the same school means I get Teacher Appreciation Week from both sides. I have to give as good as I get, right? And from the parent perspective, I can see how it can be a bit stressful. I had to remember to send the right item in on the correct day. It took multiple trips to the store to get everything because I kept forgetting what all the requirements were. And we had three teachers to take care of (never want to leave out the speech teacher!)

But speaking as the teacher, let me tell you. If you have a chance to tell your child's teacher how awesome them are, do it! Teaching is one of those strange professions where we mother other people's children for more hours in the day than they do, and yet we hardly ever get the feedback we need. Oh sure, we hear about it when things aren't going right. But it's almost as though a "no news is good news" policy seems to prevail. And it's not like I need these kids and families to like me, but it sure would be nice to hear that they do. Teachers pour out so much of who they are onto their students, and we do it for the awesome bonus structure because we love it and we know we are doing something important and world changing. (You can fill in the blank here about how we do it for longer hours, higher expectations and less pay every year that goes by.)

This year, I thanked my daughter's teachers for taking care of her, mothering her, and standing in the gaps when I cannot be there. I know they are handling the academic stuff because they are stellar professionals. But I really wanted them to know that it's the other stuff, the models of kindness, the lessons on how to be a good friend and examples of teamwork... that's what I am grateful for this year.

And then I slapped a gift card onto that thank you note like it was nobody's business!


Sunday is Coming!

Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here; he has risen just as he said.
Matthew 28: 5-6



I know spring is a time for newness, rebirth, changes... but I'm a creature of habit. I do not like change. It takes me a while to wrap my mind around it. Once I'm there mentally, I can quickly commit and get onboard and go forth with gusto, but it takes me more than a moment to arrive there.

The weather recently decided to just... become spring. We had a couple days of teasing warmth, enough that we all busted out the teeshirts and flip flops. Things returned to winter with a vengeance later that week. But for an entire week now, we've watched trees bloom, we've awoken to birds chirping, and with this weekend's time change, I think it's safe to say and feel like spring has sprung.

But the turning of the seasons has not been the only big change around here. I'm coming off of what has to be one of the most turbulent two weeks in recent memory. There have been huge changes in my professional life, in our church life... and to top it all off, three of my friends had babies this week! (No, I will not be making a drastic life change in this department. Two is plenty for us, thank you very much. So if you were reading hoping for news along these lines, I guess you can go back to your regularly scheduled facebook stalking, sorry to disappoint!)

Scheduled for demolition. Because what Buckhead needs is more highrises.
First up, our church is moving. Christian Church Buckhead, right down the street from Lenox Mall, has been our lovely little home for a couple years now. It's been a commute, for sure, but worth it. It has really become our home, and the only church our kids have ever really known. It's the right size for right now. Matt plays in the band every week, I'm volunteering in nursery, getting to know other parents and families. It feels like home. Except now that physical home is schedule for demolition and we've been forced to pack up our tents and follow God's call into the wilderness, Abraham-style.

In our case, it turns out the wilderness is downtown Atlanta, on Marietta Street. A cooler destination (we can see the Aquarium from the windows, we could stop by the Children's Museum before heading home, etc etc) but a bit more of a drive. And in nomadic fashion, our worship space calls for a complete set up and tear down every week. So that's a hassle. And I've told you how I feel about change, right. But still, if Abraham can do it and be blessed, I guess we can suck it up and drive down the road a few more miles. And maybe even get excited about it. Easter Sunday will be our last in the old building. Fitting timing.

An even bigger change is happening when it comes to my job. For my entire teaching career, I've been in the same wonderful school, in the same fantastic first grade. I started as a parapro, floating from class to class, getting my feet wet, learning the ropes. Then I got my own classroom. Each year our grade level has looked a little bit different as it has grown bigger some years, smaller in others. But the same core of women have been there, slowly becoming my village. I feel like I've been raised by these women and we've become incredibly close and incredibly strong. I'm proud to consider our team one of the tightest in the school. We plan together, share resources and responsibilities, we open our doors for each other, we pull seamlessly together towards our common goal. I know I'm bragging and I sound big-headed, but I truly believe we're the best.

Which is why no one ever wants to leave. And which is why, when we found out that due to rezoning, our school had to lose two first grade spots, we all pretty much looked at each other and collectively threw up a little. We were told on a Friday afternoon that by Monday morning there would need to be two volunteers or random names would be drawn. Uuuuuuugh.

Now, for some perspective. There were two spots open in another school, one that is actually a bit closer to my house. So at least we would get to take one of our friends along. It could be worse. We could have been cast off into the wilderness of "good luck finding a job" or placed at a school far away or where we don't know anyone. Or in my opinion, we could have been given an even worse fate of being sent to a different grade... Teach fifth grade? The horror! So, it was nice to know we would still be in first grade, going with a friend. Oh year, and the principal of this other school? Was going to be none other that our current assistant principal, someone I really, really like professionally and personally. She got the promotion to principal, and she wanted to take two of us with her. So, there was relief in knowing who we would be working for. But still... leave the team? Leave the well-oiled machine I've been a part of for my entire teaching life? They are my family! Going to a new team is walking into the unknown. What if they don't plan together? What if they don't like me? What if they do things differently? What if I don't like the way they do things? (Remember my general opinion on changes, right?)

But for whatever reason, I felt a peace about it. Dare I say, I was even a little excited about the possibility? And it turned out, my friend who teaches in the classroom next door felt the same way. So we made the call, volunteered for the spots, got two big thumbs up from our soon-to-be new principal, and just like that, it turns out that I'll be teaching at a new school next year. I'm still nervous about the unknowns... I've never taught anywhere else before and I have no idea how things are done elsewhere. I know some things will be better and some might be worse. But I have a friend, a great boss, a rising first-grader who seems pretty cool with the change in venues, and I'm excited about the year to come.

Doing a drive-by of the new school. Watch out, the Loughmans are coming!


February Birthdays

I'd be remiss if I let February pass me by without mentioned that this sweet girl missing her two front teeth just happens to have turned six! It's been a month of celebrations due to everyone's schedules being what they are, and we're still not done. There's a movie theater party with friends coming up still. Violet got herself a sassy new 'do for her six-year-old self, totally her request and so awesome it makes me wish we had cut it long ago.

She also randomly mentioned one afternoon on the way home from school that what she really wanted for her birthday was a "sleep table". Yeah, I was just as confused as you are. She continued that it is a table where you sit and get ready for bed and keep your crowns and your "eye holes". That would be a sleep mask. And this would be the new vanity table she was talking about! (I had to call a fellow mom to ask what it was that Emma had in her room that Violet could possibly be talking about!) Thank goodness for Amazon. They might be out of take over the world, but they got Violet's present delivered in two days just in time to surprise this girl.

So pretty!
Violet's wasn't the only landmark birthday we celebrated in February. My dad turned 70 with a lovely gathering of 30 of his closest friends and family. There were speeches, jokes, songs, a slideshow... it was a lovely tribute for this man who certainly deserves it.

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