Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Homemade Teacher Christmas Gift: Hot Chocolate Mix

Christmas time: time of giving gifts.  I think that I have mentioned before that in another life (back in my 20s), I was a high school teacher. I always enjoyed the gifts given to me by students that were something that I could use and/or were homemade.  As my children have gotten older, they have acquired more teachers (currently I only have two of four in school) for a total of thirteen teachers (that is A LOT) this year.  I know that is a big number, and it will only continue to grow through the years, but I do think that it is important to give all of their teachers gifts to show appreciation for teaching my children.  With that being said, I decided to make the teachers a homemade gift this year. We (the children can help too) made hot chocolate mix in a mason jar.  This makes a big batch which made it an easy choice for making for several teachers (and we get to keep and use the mix that was leftover). 

Here is the final product:

Hot Chocolate Mix

See directions below.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bird Watching on Dixie Street

I never posted the blog below when I originally wrote it because it was too much.  Too much of real life and real feelings.  I feel as if now, almost two years later, I can finally post it and be "okay" with people reading this.  I know that everyone in life, eventually at some point, goes through a hard time. That is what life is, going through different experiences and trying to find some way to string them all together to make sense so that you can keep moving forward.  Sometimes these experiences define who you are and sometimes you try not to let them define who you are, but the reality is that without our experiences we would not be who we are.

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Regrets, they make the world go round.  Some of us live our life with them.   Others live life without them, or at least they attempt to.  Regrets have a funny way of coming out of no where and blindsiding you on a random Thursday.  "I should have done this" or "I should have done that" seem to fill everyone's head at one time or another.  But, to live life with the weight of regrets on your shoulders will eventually break you.

I will be honest, I have regrets.  I regret that I did not try harder at sports when I was a kid.  I regret that I did not forgo the big bangs trend.  I regret that I was not always a good friend.  I regret that I did not study harder my freshman year of college.  But most of all, I regret that I did not call my father back.  I had the selfish thought that I could call him back later because there is always a later, right?  I still have his voicemail on my phone.  I have his voice saying my name, telling me how he was doing, he wanted to know how I was doing, and that he would talk to me "sometime."  That last word, "sometime," struck me as odd when I heard the voicemail the first time.  It still strikes me odd when I hear it today because he didn't say "later," but inferred some unknown time in the future. 

I cannot call my father back now.  Even though I have his number on my phone.  Even though more than anything I want to pick up the phone and hear his voice on the other end.  However, if I call his number now, nobody will answer.  I missed my opportunity because I selfishly thought there would always be "sometime" later that I could call him back, sometime when I was not busy.

It has been four weeks since my father passed away.  It was sudden with no warning, no goodbyes, and thankfully no suffering.  People are not perfect, and he never expected me to be, so I have to let go of the regret.   But, I still do not know how to let go of the sadness.  I know eventually it will seep from me, leaving me little by little until I can talk about him without feeling as if I have had the wind knocked out of me.  He once told me to always hold onto a good memory about someone because you never know when you are going to need it.  I know it will never be the same again, but one day it will hopefully be okay.  And until then, when I think of him, I will be picturing me at three years old lying on my back on a blanket beside my father watching the birds in the backyard of our house on Dixie Street.