I had a dream last night.

Dusting: To dream that you are dusting symbolizes that you are clearing out all your past mistakes and starting fresh on a new slate.

Antique Furniture: To dream of antiques represents your time honored values, tradition, wisdom and inherited personal characteristics. It symbolizes something genuine or proven. Some things in your past are worth holding onto or worth keeping.

Islands: To dream that you are stranded on an island suggests that you need to get away from the demands of your daily life. Or perhaps you are running away from a situation instead of trying to confront it. Alternatively, you may feel cut off from society. You are in a rut and do not quite know what to do with your life.

Sharing: To dream that you are sharing something symbolizes your generosity toward others. Perhaps you need to be more generous with your feelings. Alternatively, the dream may be a metaphor for the "shares" you have in the life. You are expressing concern over your finances.

Rushing: To dream that you are in a hurry suggests that you may be unprepared for a situation. There is a lack in your planning of things. Alternatively, you may be feeling out of place. This dream may also be a literal reflection of your daily life where you feel that you are always in a rush and that there is not enough time to do all the things you want to do. The dream may occur due to this type of stress.

Well, this is interesting (but not surprising).


My stomach is growling.

It's probably about time I update this guy.

Here's the thing - I'm still somewhat in this whirlwind of transition, so I'm finding that the details are still kind of hazy.

In general, everything has been going better than expected. I don't want to go too in depth, but all in all, the Foster's are great. They respect and appreciate me to the point that they're going out of their way, on a regular basis, to bridge me with connections that could help my teaching career next year. They treat me like the teacher I am, and value my knowledge and input to an incredibly high degree. They're genuinely nice people, and I'm thankful that we have such an open, honest relationship going.

The kids are...kids. The oldest, Elizabeth (13), is a typical pre-teen and has an incredibly sweet heart. The youngest, Katharine (9), is active and sporty, yet still manages to be alllll girl. She's adorable. Then, of course, there's Wells (11). He has a diagnosis that puts him on the Autism spectrum; therefore, life in the Foster house is always a bit interesting. He's a sweet kid with a lot of passion - very intelligent and perceptive. It's been great experience, even after only a few weeks, working with Wells individually, as well as within the dynamic of his relationships with others (especially his sisters). Patience, time management, conflict resolution, problem solving...These are things I could never learn enough about. Anyways, the good moments are outweighing the bad :)

One of my first nights here, Melissa and I met some of her friends for a barbecue on a beach a few towns over. When we walked up to the spot where we were going to sit, we noticed that, across the water (the Long Island Sound), the New York City skyline was visible. I can't explain what I felt - It was just so incredibly strange. I wasn't there, I was here. I wasn't beneath the buildings, I was beneath the trees. I wasn't in my comfort zone. Instead, I was in a place where objects are things to be desired, and status is something to be gained. I was frustrated and terribly sad. Hurt. What had I allowed myself to do? Why had I chosen to be here, and not there? No one could have thought me a bigger hypocrite than myself.

It's really hard for me to balance this passion of mine with what I feel I am being lead to do. My heart aches to be in a certain environment, yet I couldn't be more far from it at this point. And yet, I'm here with complete peace. Complete peace. I rest assured that I'm hear for a reason or two, and that becomes more apparent to me with each passing day. You wouldn't guess it, but this truly is the strangest thing that's ever happened to me.

With that said, I'm learning. I'm learning how to accept what I'm given with a grateful heart, and to do so with the understanding that there is a time and reason for things that, God forbid, I may not understand at the time. Sounds simple enough, but I think it's so easy to say we've gotten things mastered when, in all reality, the knowledge has never been tested. We like to think we're smarter than we really are, don't we? Try getting hit with a death in the family, divorce, illness, a deviation from the "Five Year Plan". We're not as strong as we think we are, either. If we were, where would be the need for reliance? At the same time, though, we've all got a strength in us that exists unconditionally. A beautiful paradox.

I'm rambling at this point, but I can say one thing - I never, in my life, have felt a deeper desire to be submerged in urban ministry and teaching than I do at this very moment.

By the way, how exciting is it that fall is here? Pumpkins, orange Mums, falling leaves, apple cider, cinnamon coffee cake candles, sweaters and hoodies, the smell of the heat in your car...so great.




Tattoo #2 (as I so fondly refer to it as), is in the works! I have a general idea of what I am looking to get and its location; however, the exact details are TBD. I could sit here and chronicle how meaningful and personal Tattoo #2 (like my first) will be to me; however, words probably could not do it justice (that, and there's beauty in symbolism and I appreciate holding some meanings on a personal level).

Below are some of my ideas and inspirations.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
- The Beatles

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,and never stops at all.
- Emily Dickinson

Love is anterior to life,
posterior to death,
initial of creation,
and the exponent of breath.
- Emily Dickinson

Each verse has a unique take on the meaning I would like to capture. We shall see.


100 Piece Cookie Cutter Set and Peanuts

Two incredibly blog-worthy moments happened to me today. They are as follows:

1. While browsing the shelves of a local thrift store (props to you, thrift stores, for your consistent support and supply to crafters and creative minds everywhere), I stumbled upon a find unlike any other. After passing through seas of silverware and fields of frames, the "find-to-end-all-finds" was there, glowing like a nugget of pure gold. What was it? What was this "find-of a century"? A boxed 100 piece cookie cutter set. Two words: Preschoolers and Play-Dough. Alright, I guess that's three.

2. [Clears Throat] I am officially a registered student at Bank Street College, Graduate School of Education. You know how I know?
Username: 234503
Password: It's a secret.
I also know that students, under no circumstances, are allowed to bring any nut products onto the Bank Street premises due to severe nut allergies. Insider information.

I'm sure you're as excited as I am.



'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --"

Well, I received direction for the upcoming year - just not the direction that I had initially anticipated. And why should this surprise me?

To say that this decision was a difficult one would be an understatement, as would be saying that describing it to people hasn't been the easiest task.

A great deal of thought, prayer, and time has gone into my plans for the next 12 months. I could (and will, if requested) go into the deeply rooted details; however, for blogging purposes I will choose to stay simple and to the point - A challenge, but one I should be up for!

On September 6th I will be leaving for Connecticut where I will be living with and working for a wonderful family, the Fosters, for approximately one year. The Fosters have three children, Elizabeth (13), Wells (11), and Katherine (9), whom I will be helping to care for during my stay.

Leaving Michigan again will not be easy; however, I am confident that this will be a rewarding experience through which I will gain a deeper understanding of myself, others, and perhaps even where I am supposed to be as a teacher.

As far as teaching goes, to say I am excited and eager to be in my own classroom would also be an understatement. During my time in Chicago, as well as at the Head Start program in Jackson, an incredibly deep passion was built upon the existing passion I've had for awhile - to teach a certain population, in a certain location. I thought that pull was strong before - it's gotten stronger, and continues to strengthen by the day. A year ago I would have likened this desire to a fish tugging on its bait. Now, I think it's safe to say I feel like my heart is being submerged by massive anchor.

So why am I not teaching this year? This is where the "simple and to the point answer" challenge presents itself. Here it is.

These past two years have brought me through extreme highs and extreme lows. My heart and mind were challenged in ways I never thought imaginable. Through these times you just have to push and fight for what means most to you. I never stopped. Now that I am equipped and ready to go out I'm finding that, in order to do so successfully, I need to take some time to catch my breath. In order for me to give my ALL to the children that have caught my attention, I need to gather myself together emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Maybe it is unnecessary for me to do this, but I can't seem to shake the feeling that I need to dive in with my whole heart, rather than just pieces of it.

So, am I excited about Connecticut? Yes. I'm excited to build some meaningful relationships with some great people. I'm excited to explore a part of the country that has always intrigued me. I'm excited to make connections on a professional level and pursue my career in education. But mostly, I'm excited for that passion to strengthen and for this wonderful means to lead to an incredible end.


Ode to Preschool

Shoelaces and tissues
Toys that you misuse
Snotty noses and sunburns
Gotta touch that worm!

I love you, three-year-olds,
You and your incessant colds.

Four-year-olds, don't fear,
Your tantrums, I will always hold dear.

You five-year-olds, tricky as you may be,
Can never, and will never, ever fool me!

Running, jumping, kicking, screaming,
Biting, lying, falling, peeing.
Greasy, dirty, smelly, wet,
You are, by far, the messiest children I have ever met.

I love you, dear sweet ones,
Now please, for the love of God, tell us if you have the runs!
Perhaps I'll go join those nuns...


Round II

3 days down, 29 to go. It's been interesting. Here are the basics:

20 children
2 IEPs
Age span of 3-5
2 head teachers, 2 assistants
2 field trips a week
2 hour nap time daily
9 hour days (for myself)
3 weeks of full control

I won't have as many technical requirements (lesson plan write-ups, unit plan, portfolio, assignments, etc); however, I will have to complete daily journals and a weekly reflection (ahmm...CAKE compared to this)

Considering the "breaks" throughout the day and the nature of a Head Start summer program, I am not left as tired as my six hour days in 2nd grade were leaving me; however, I also don't have an hour commute on 2 CTA buses and a train, in addition to never ending streams of grading, planning, reflecting, and researching to navigate. I'm missing it all, though. Probably more than anyone knows.

It will be an interesting placement. I was able to chat with the two assistant teachers today during nap time (assistant, despite a combined 20 years with the program). I'm hoping relationships can build...soon. I was fortunate before, but so far all is good here.

We'll see :)


Good Reading

Considering the fact that my next student teaching placement is still in the works, I am looking to snatch every opportunity I can to relax and enjoy this time of "vacation". Last night, while pondering whether or not I would go to sleep or stay awake a little while longer [it was one in the morning], I happened to glance over the books on my book shelves and was immediately drawn to one in particular. I've had this book for well over six years; however, I've never made it past the preface. The book, well written and respected by many, has always been on my list of desired books to read. Why haven't I started? The story is one that, for awhile, I did not want to hear. Yet, I still own the book. I heard about it, made the purchase, and then proceeded to tuck it safely away between some Jane Austen and Donald Miller [a likely pair, I like to think]. So, rather than pulling my pillow close and resting my eyes at one in the morning, I chose to embrace this story that, for so long, I had neglected.

The story chronicles the life and love of Elisabeth Elliot who has a story to tell that I am relatively certain I need to hear.

Below is a quick chronology of a particular albeit significant segment of her life:

1947: Jim and Elisabeth are students at Wheaton College. He visits her home in New Jersey at Christmas.

1948: Jim confesses his love for Elisabeth before she graduates. They have no correspondence between them that summer. In the fall, he decides to begin to write to her when she moves to Canada.

1949: Jim graduates and goes home to Portland. Elisabeth is still in Canada and later visits Jim's home.

1950: Jim is home, working, studying, and preparing for missionary work. Elisabeth is in Florida. They spend two days together in Wheaton when her brother is married.

1951: Jim and Elisabeth meet again when Jim comes east to speak in missionary meetings in New York and New Jersey.

1952: February, Jim sails for Ecuador. April, Elisabeth sails for Ecuador. They spend several months in Quito, living with Ecuadorian families to learn Spanish by immersion. In August, Jim moves to Shandia in the Eastern jungle to work with Quichua Indians. In September, Elisabeth moves to San Miguel in the Western jungle to work with Colorado Indians.

1953: January, Jim and Elisabeth meet in Quito. Jim asks Elisabeth to marry him. The engagement is announced. In June, Elisabeth moves to Del Rios in the Eastern jungle to begin studying Quichua, fulfilling the condition of his proposal, "I won't marry you till you learn it." They are married in October.

1955: Jim and Elisabeth have a daughter, Valerie.

1956: January, Jim dies by Acua spears.



Idrealism: The state of being both an idealist and a realist to which I aspire to be.

I wrote an entire post last night on idrealism; however, as per usual, my blogging aspirations were blown when it all, in a matter of a second, deleted. I really am OK with it since I am fully aware that the post was written at one o'clock in the morning and, simply put, did not contain some of my best thoughts-put-to-writing.

I could probably write a book on everything I've been learning over the course of the last few years (you may or may not know of the reasons), but doing so would be virtually pointless considering the fact that, as of this very second, each thought is so jumbled with the next that I'M POSITIVE that the task would be absolutely tedious - probably to the point of utter exhaustion. Even writing a blog detailing my thoughts on idrealism is painful.

I'm relatively certain that there comes a point where you have to step back and take the Socratic approach to live by re-examining - re-examining your dreams, your passions, your ideals, your values, your convictions, your plans, even your hopes. I've learned that when you fail to do so, getting caught up in those things becomes second nature. It's natural to think and over think to the point of thinking yourself away from the original target, the original roots of that initial thought. Idrealism finds that middle - between crooked and straight, windy and calm, passion and reason, love and logic.

Oh dear Lord, how I could continue on this train! My coffee has yet to officially kick in, so I'm stopping here.



Holly and I are growing an herb garden in my bedroom window. The garden will consist of basil, mint, and chives. The thing we were most excited about? Watching the small dirt pellets (shout out to Target's dollar section) expand in a mere 10 seconds upon being doused with 12 ounces (1 Mountain Dew can) of water.

We may or may not host our own gardening show in the future.

Goodness Gracious

If a train appears in your dream, it may signify that you have a need to do things in an orderly and sequential manner. Alternatively, your dream of trains may be a metaphor that you are "in training" for some event, job or goal. To dream that you are on a train symbolizes your life's journey. It suggests that you are on the right track in life and headed in the right direction. Alternatively, you have a tendency to worry needlessly over a situation that will prove to work out in the end.

school bus
In particular, if you are a school bus driver, then it signifies that through knowledge and learning you will advance rapidly in life. Your dream may be connected with a new learning situation.

To dream that you are crossing a bridge signifies an important decision or a critical junction in your life. This decision will prove to be a positive change filled with prosperity and wealth in the horizon. Bridges represent a transitional period in your life where you will be moving on to a new stage. Alternatively, the bridge may indicate that you are trying to "bridge" or connect two things together.

ship [freighter]
To see a ship in your dream denotes that you are exploring aspects of your emotions and unconscious mind. [true for the moment!]

seats [on train and bus]
To see a chair in your dream symbolizes your need to sit down and take time out to contemplate a situation before proceeding. Or you just need to relax. Alternatively, it indicates that your feelings or ideas are being dismissed or cast to the side. To dream that someone is offering you a chair suggests that you need to be open to taking and accepting advice.

oncoming car
To dream that you are almost hit by a car suggests that your lifestyle, beliefs or goals may be in conflict with anothers.

I tend to have reoccurring symbols in my dreams, but lately they have been intensified. Quite interesting, to say the least!


10 things I am thankful for today.

1. Freshly made coffee at the perfect temperature. Pure bliss.
2. Sunshine.
3. Time with my sister, my best friend, my other half.
4. Loads and loads of boxes that are demanding my attention. I like to be productive...when I have the time!
5. An impending phone conversation that I am anticipating will provide direction for the upcoming year.
6. Twinkle lights.
7. The gracious birds outside my window who are willing to provide my background music this morning.
8. The Lord's unconditional provision and grace.
9. Kleenex, Breathe-Right Nose Strips, and Sudafed.
10. The courage, spirit, and passion that so many display on a daily basis. It often goes unacknowledged and unappreciated, but never forgotten.

Happy Memorial Day.


Dreaming Out Loud

Taking into consideration the transitional state of my very being [hence the ever-so-subtle title], I thought it necessary to share some images that have been appearing in recent dreams of mine. I'll let you decide the degree to which they are relevant.

To dream that you loose your balance suggests that you are having difficulty weighing your options and choices in some situation.

To dream that you are crossing a bridge signifies an important decision or a critical junction in your life. This decision will prove to be a positive change with prosperity and wealth in the horizon. Bridges represent a transitional period in your life where you will be moving on to a new stage. To dream of a run-down bridge, indicates that you should not contemplate any major changes in your life at this time. [Guess I don't have a choice here, do I?]

To see a raging river, signifies that your life is feeling out of control.


And thus my May heading: Keeping Faith.