Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Up to bat...

I could write a novel right now based on the recent events of my life. I feel like every day throws some sort of curve ball at me. Now I'm not too baseball savvy (although I would be kidding myself if I said I didn't like watching the players), but I'm pretty positive that's the one where you think the ball's gonna go one way; and then before you know it, it takes an unexpected turn & you're left thinking "What the [insert word here] just happened?" That, my friends, is a thought that has crossed my mind numerous times lately. I should have a journal solely called "Curve balls" where I write down everything that was unexpected and out-of-the-ordinary that day. That might be interesting! I have to disclaim, though, because not all curve balls are bad. I think curve balls are God's way of giving us a little break from a seemingly routine life. Sometimes they're minor bumps in the road (or potholes... "Did I do thaayut?"), and sometimes they're those minute things that make your day a little brighter. They can temporarily transform your mood, or they can change your life forever.

Now in my case, these particular baby curve balls have only reiterated the fact that life is anything but boring and predictable. Let's count these suckers...

Curve Ball #1: Victoria is finally sharing her secret with me...
In lieu of the [hopefully] beautiful weather in Destin next week (feels good to say that!) and the upcoming sunshiny days, I have already purchased my bulk of swimsuits for now. While I was picking out mix-n-match itsy bitsy bikinis, I noticed that Victoria's Secret was having a few special offers. Special offer #1: Free swim tote with purchase of certain swimsuits. Well, you slap the word "free" on something and I'm all over that ice cream... like sprankles. Special offer #2: Free VS Reward Card (worth at least $10) with any purchase. The card could be one of $10, $50, $100, or $500! I love me a good mystery :). Here's my thought process: Purchased separately, 4 swimsuit pieces = 4 free swim totes = 4 free reward cards ($40+). So I make 4 separate orders. Swimsuits come in, and 3 of the bags have not one but TWO reward cards!! For those of you that failed Advanced Math for the Not-So-Advanced-in-Math, that's 7 cards = $70+! You can imagine my excitement to get a) new swimsuits, b) 4 beach bags so we Auspies will all be chic on the beach, and c) not 4 but 7 gift cards! If that wouldn't throw your average day for a loop, then just stop reading now.

Curve Ball #2: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie disaster...
This pitch has 2 parts... Part 1. I decided to bake cookies last night to bring to aphasia group today. I get out the recipe and all the ingredients and mix them accordingly. After I finish filling up one cookie sheet, I look to the left & notice a bowl of pre-measured flour. Oops... forgot that! So I scrape the dough back into the bowl and get the beaters out, again. After the flour was all mixed in, I emptied the dough onto the cookie sheets & let them bake. With 3 minutes left, I take a little peek in the oven, and what I saw made my jaw and eyebrows part ways. I had apparently done 2 things wrong: too much dough per cookie and not enough space between each one! Each cookie sheet looked like I was making one big OCC cookie cake. (Not to mention they sort of tasted like plastic...) *Just a quick Q for all you bakers out there: how important is 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda? I didn't have either ingredient, so I just left them out. I didn't figure 2 tsps would be missed in the grand scheme of things...*
Part 2. Sweet, simple, & bake-free. I open the Quaker Oats box to pour them in the dough & I see 4 brown things in there that look like rocks. They were no-bake cookies from last summer that I hid from myself... & now they are paperweights. I must have thought it was brilliant: I'll hide these in here so I won't eat them so fast.(Notice the one on the bottom left that looks like a pancake... yep.)

Curve Ball #3: Just a classic case of the giggles...
I was about to work on auditory comprehension skills with one of my aphasic clients today. The plan: read a short story and have him answer "wh" questions about it. Take note: I hadn't looked at these stories prior to therapy, so I was unaware of what I was about to read to him. I start the first story: "Mac and Bell are brothers. Mac and Bell have a big house. The house has a big yard. The big yard has a big fence around it. Mac and Bell have a dog. The dog's name is Sam." It's safe to say my auditory feedback is well intact and I was fully aware of how stupid this sounded as I was reading it out loud. (Seriously... you read that quote out loud to yourself & see if you can refrain!) Every ounce of my being tried to hold back laughter, but I couldn't help it. I started cracking up... in the middle of therapy... & I'm covering my face with the stimulus book as I'm doing so. I apologize & return to the story: "Mac and Bell like to play with Sam." Oh no, here it comes again... Laughter. Middle of therapy. Covering my face again. Another apology where I acknowledge my lack of professionalism while secretly hoping Hutton isn't watching. I return to the passage: "Mac and Bell..." That's as far as I got before I started laughing again. This time even harder because by now I know that I can't control my laughing! And I'm talking full-out unstoppable giggles! I finally just closed the book and said, "We're not doing this today."

I'm out. ;)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's past my bedtime...

This is so long overdue I honestly don't even know where to start or what to say without rambling like I always do. We're doing teacher evals in our classes this week- do we always do them this early? Is it really March already??

My "I'm gonna get in shape for Spring Break/summer starting Feb. 1" has been pushed back to "I'm gonna get in shape for Spring Break/summer starting March 1." Me & my procrastination habits... Why do I always find something to occupy myself when I am fully aware that I should be doing something more productive? Even something as pointless as organizing my binders from undergrad has kept me from doing what I need to be doing in the moment, such as SOAP notes, lesson plans, studying... you name it, I'm not doing it!

Glancing through "Having a Mary Spirit..." This book has changed my perspective on so many random things & I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good book that will really initiate a change in them. Just about the whole section called Faith is Our Withdrawal Slip from the chapter "Dying to Live" is underlined. Here it is in a leetle nutshell:

A lot of Christians are like the hitch-hiker carrying a heavy load. The driver of a passing wagon offers him a ride, and as he joyfully accepts, he keeps his pack on his shoulders. The driver asks why he doesn't lay down his heavy load, his burden.
"Oh, I feel that is almost too much to ask you to carry me," the man said. "I could not think of letting you carry my burden too."
Like the man in the story, many of us continue to let this accumulated weight of the world bear down on us to where we are practically crawling. When, all along, Jesus has been waiting to bear our load.
Faith--believing that what Christ did on the cross was enough for me, for my life, for my situation--is our withdrawal slip. It is the debit card that accesses our account. For to settle for so little when Jesus provided so much is like having a billion dollars in our bank account and never using a penny.
It's as if God is telling us this: "Give me all. I don't want so much of your money and so much of your work--I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good.... I will give you a new self instead. In fact I will give you myself, my own will shall become yours." (C.S. Lewis)
It's the great exchange. Christ's life for mine. The original holy makeover.

This chapter said a lot to me because so often do I think that no one wants to hear about my problems day-to-day. When in reality, there is One who wants to take them on... all of them! It's hard to fathom how I have any right to put all of my burdens on God, for He has already done so much for me. But, He is willing to let me cast all my cares on Him. He wants to take them from me- how cool is that?! I would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to hand over my worries to the Creator. It makes me think of the Cares Chorus: I cast all my cares upon You. I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet. At anytime I don't know what to do, I will cast all my cares upon You.

It is now officially March 4... one day closer to SBOneOh! I neeeeed/really really really want this break! To say I'm frickin ecstatic would be an understatement!! Can't wait to fill a few frilly pages in that "Auspie QB!!" :)


"This then is how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." -1 John 3:19-20