I Ran Out of Words

It’s been a little while since I have been in this space. I wish I had some exciting reason why I was absent, but, simply, I ran out of words.

Life has a way of just taking the breath of a person. Daily life can be filled with little joys and triumphs, and sometimes, I feel so excited an happy that I feel like I can’t even breathe. But, hanging over all of those little joys are the big, hard, obstacles that feel so overwhelming. Sometimes, I feel like Wyle E. Coyote, waiting for that Acme anvil to come crashing down on my head.

But, aside from all of that, things are moving right along in our day to day lives. Last night, I registered for my first semester at Kent State, working on my Master’s of Library Science. That seems a little surreal, and I’m excited to move past these first few boring classes and get to the electives. I am so excited for those electives.

We’ve had some fall adventures, including a trip to a co-worker’s orchard to help stir apple butter, and we  fell into some piles of leaves.

We also started watching “The Office” again, and every single time we watch, I feel like I am in college again. It’s been good.

Thanks for letting me use a couple of my words. I hope to be back here again soon.

On patience

When I was little, I remember being told that I was a very patient little girl. I can remember getting praised for patiently waiting to open a present, or I remember being rewarded for sitting quietly at the doctor’s office. I feel like patience flowed effortlessly through my person…until I got married. I don’t think marriage itself was the catalyst that made my patience disappear. Instead, I believe that adulthood rocked me and changed my perception of patience.

When I was younger, so much of my life revolved around school. I was a good student, and it was easy to plan every single detail of my day. Even through college, I would rehearse my next day’s activities, and I would sleep well, knowing that everything was accounted for and planned for. I feel like long-term patience sometimes came into play–I often wondered if a boy would ever like me, or I felt like I would never get through a particular college course. But, in general, my daily patience served me well, and I felt like life was in control.

But, adulthood is a totally different animal than academic life. It’s been almost five years since I graduated from college, and I feel like I am still trying (and failing miserably) to stay patient in so many areas of life. It’s really hard to continually remind myself that one day, Danny’s student loans will be paid, and we will never have to think of them. It’s hard to think that someday, I might have some sort of career that makes sense, and I will view my teaching years as a time of learning and growth. It’s hard to stay positive and think that someday, if we just work hard enough and wait patiently, Danny and I might own a home and raise a family. When faced with the prospect of all of the details in life that I am just consistently waiting on, I often fell overwhelmed and hopeless. It’s hard to think of the light at the end of the tunnel when you have been slogging through the deep end for a long time.

I think the thing that is the hardest, patience wise, is not being assured that the things that I wish for and wait for will ever come to fruition. There’s no guarantee that I will find a job that pays well and makes me feel fulfilled. There isn’t a promise that Danny and I will find a dream house to play in and make our own. And, there certainly isn’t a guarantee that we will ever feel financially safe and comfortable. Because I don’t have any guarantees, I feel sad and overwhelmed.

In the past, I’ve tried really hard to find joy in the present day. I will find joy in a bouquet of flowers or a book I am reading. But today, I stand here and think that while finding that bit of joy in the day to day is worthwhile, for me, right now, it’s not cutting it.

So, right now, in my thoughts about patience, I admit that if patience were a person, I would try to round-house kick it in the face. I would yell at patience and tell it that it’s not my friend and it’s not fun to have around. I would cry and tell it that I wish it had never been invented.

In this time of feeling like all I do is wait, I wish for action. But, for now, there’s nothing to be done. So, I will continue to wait and continue to wrestle with my ability to be patient. And, I will continue to fight through those feelings of hopelessness, even when they don’t feel conquerable.

I know tomorrow will be a brighter day–even if it continues to rain and our backyard continues to fill up with water. I hope tomorrow finds you feeling a little bit brighter as well.

Valentine’s Day

When Danny and I were first dating, we didn’t celebrate corny holidays like Valentine’s Day. He was too cool for things like that. But, if my memory serves me (and, of course it does, because I am like an elephant–nothing escapes my old noggin), I did send Danny a My Little Pony Valentine when we were just friends. I was a pretty classy lady.

I think I made him a huge card on our first Valentine’s Day full of silly pick up lines and such. Of course, we weren’t celebrating–the card was just a joke. Except for me, it wasn’t. I always wanted to have a Valentine when I was in high school, so when I finally got one, I really wanted to celebrate, even if that was dorky.

And, now that we are married, I can celebrate Valentine’s Day however I please. For the past two years, that has meant that I print off free pop culture Valentines from the internet and bombard Danny with them. It’s great. I can’t really explain how much I like this funny little tradition. I have already given Danny four Valentines, I think. I am unstoppable.

Here is one he found in our special note mailbox last night.

audie_1

I know you know this already, but Danny loves NPR…and puns. So, this is perfect.

Danny has another Valentine waiting for him, but he hasn’t checked the mailbox. I wonder how long it will take him to notice this next one?

Being an adult is really hard. 

I think that’s why I connect so much to children’s literature. When I read children’s books, I am immediately transported back to being a little kid. I remember waking up, excited to play and explore. I remember hiding out in my room and imagining. I remember finding book characters and feeling like they were my friends. I remember learning and living in worlds that were so different than my own. I loved every minute of my childhood. And, when I read a good picture book or a good Young Adult book, I remember those feelings. For a minute or two, I am not an adult who is struggling to figure out where to belong. I have joy and peace. 

I want other people to feel this way. I want to help kids discover joy in reading. I want to help them be able to feel imaginative and to learn about worlds that are so different from their own. I want to share beautiful books and surround myself with those life giving things. 

Luckily, for me, children’s books are not the only place where I am able to escape and find beauty. Books of all kinds provide that for me, and I have my childhood of reading to thank for that. If I hadn’t fallen in love with reading when I was little, I wouldn’t have been able to be an English major in college. If I hadn’t read picture books, I never would have wanted to read Shakespeare orJonathan Safran Foer. If I didn’t know that books were magical, I wouldn’t still get excited to go to the library and pick out new books to read. I wouldn’t randomly pick up new reads, like the one pictured above, and live a new adventure for a little while. 

Being a reader has shaped the adult that I have become. And, I know as I move forward in my career, I can’t continue to ignore that little reader who helped me become who I am now. Sharing, talking, and surrounding myself in books needs to be my plan as I think about my dream job. 

Being an adult is really hard, but I keep moving forward. I keep reading and reading and learning more about myself, one day at a time. 

28 years ago today

28 years ago today, in the middle of a raging blizzard, a little boy named Danny was born. 

This little Danny was always ready for adventure, and he brought joy with him wherever he went. 

Eventually, he stopped wearing yellow onesies, and he grew up to be a wonderful, bearded man who is a pie enthusiast, coffee snob, poetry nerd, best friend, and English teacher. Basically, he’s the bee’s knees. 

A year and a half after this little boy was born, a little girl was born in Ohio during a tornado warning. Is it a coincidence that two born under such extreme weather conditions would meet and fall in love? I think not. Here is a glimpse of that little girl. 

This little girl liked wearing bangs and pajamas, and she liked adventures, too. 

And, she could rock a pair of overalls. 

Eventually, this girl grew up, and she met her Michigan boy, and she still can’t believe that she got to marry him. 

So, on this very happy day, the silly Ohio girl is so thankful for her Michigander. And, she can’t wait to spend a lifetime of birthdays with him. 

The end. 

5 Things:

1. Today, we started reading Romeo and Juliet. To celebrate, I wore my Shakespeare socks. I would like to say that these socks protected me from any shenanigans, but they were not full proof. I still had to deal with teacher things, but the socks did make me smile when I noticed them!

2. I gave Danny and early birthday present. 

I don’t know why I encourage his pie eating. I just can’t say no to him. 

3. I am completely obsessed with Scholastic. I am plotting a way to work for them—without having to interact with others or leave my couch. Wish me luck. 

4. Danny got a teapot and teacups. Things are about to get proper in the Kloosterman house. 

5. I started this blog post two days ago, but I had two major migraines, so I didn’t finish. Thanks for letting me finish this one—I will probably write another one today for Danny’s birthday!

The week in wins and losses…

Losses:

1. I scratched my eyebrow while teaching, and a blizzard of dry skin flew off my person.
2. The staff bathroom at work is broken, so I have had to awkwardly make eye contact with students as I head into a stall. Sharing a bathroom space with students has done wonders for my stomach issues, let me tell you.
3. We had to wait in our house for hours, waiting for a plumber to come and fix our sink.
4. My dad came to talk to my class, and he was instantly more revered than I ever will be.

Wins:

1. I went in a bathroom, and there was video footage of a cardinal in the mirror.
2. Sherlock started again yesterday. So good, and I am reobsessed.
3. Danny and I got some trophies at a thrift store, and we are going to spray paint them and turn them into bookends.
4. I went to a stationary store this week and overdosed on beautiful cards.
5. Finally, I made it through the week and am now one week closer to spring break!