11 Feb

My blog continues on over at http://ashantasticlife.wordpress.com, where you will find these posts plus more! Please stop by!

This Week’s Reading

26 Jul


This week I’m reading two books simultaneously (glorious!): No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming: How to Make Behaving Positively Possible for People With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities by Bo Hejlskov Elven and The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I’ll wait to comment on the Grossman until I finish, that being the way with fiction, but I cannot stop talking about Elven’s book. It is a revelation. The book talks in depth about how we, the caregivers, need to think about the people who are in our care. The book is about letting go of power and relinquishing control, about understanding that the way people with disabilities look at the world might be different than the way we (as caregivers) do, about finding ways to create positive manipulation rather than resorting to power struggles. In short, it’s really good. I’d highly recommend to anyone who works or lives with someone with a disability. The book is empowering, a caring, thoughtful way for us to look at the people we love–as the unique, fantastic individuals that we know they are. Rather than getting frustrated we must think, and Elven gives us a great paradigm to look through. I’ll keep talking about this one for a while…


25 Jul







Wow, what a thing this is! My first summer as a teacher. This summer, I’ve reorganized everything I can get my fingers on, volunteered where I can, traveled on vacation with family, watched a best friend get married, cuddled with dogs, walked dogs, read books, worked a ridiculous puzzle, sewn quilt blocks, taken trips to the zoo, knitted socks, planned for school, and deep cleaned our house. I’m not wasting any of this precious time.

Dinner Party

21 Jul

Listening to Simon and Garfunkle as I clean this evening.


We had two friends and their toddler over for dinner. Andy made lasagna and I made oregano knots, cabbage salad, and tart cherry pie.


We ate, and I showed my friend a secret project I’m working on for my hubby, and we smiled and laughed at their little one and the way he is developing language–following directions, pointing to ‘Mommy,’ ‘Daddy,’ saying ‘no’ quietly to himself as he plays.


There was a time in my life that I forgot about the greatness of the small moments, the tiniest part of my life–two hours of an evening–and I longed to do great things. To save the world.

But I am pleased to have the life I live. To have this summer to bake bread and pie and to sit with friends for an hour. And to have an hour to myself when the three members of my family have gone to bed to right things, to put everything in order.


I used to listen to these songs alone on my mom’s old record player. The needle was a little scratchy and the speakers decrepit, but i still absorbed them into my skin. And with all that I imagined what kind of future I would have, I never imagined this one.

But it’s… perfect.

Time it was, and what a time it was…
Preserve your memories, for they’re all that’s left you.

A Year In Pictures

18 Jul

















That’s how fast it’s all gone by anyhow.

Since last year, I’ve student taught, “for real” taught Intervention and am now about to be a teacher in a class with kids with moderate to severe disabilities (my dream job).

The husband’s family has grown with the addition of an already beloved niece that I make more things for than necessary. Many of my dear friends are also growing their families, keeping me creating a constant supply of burp cloths and small blankets.

Our little house continues to be a place of joy and warmth and I continue to fill every corner with as much beauty as I can. Our creatures continue to fill our little house with as much dog hair as they can.

I’ve spent this summer cleaning and organizing and creating and cooking. And welcoming friends over. I’d say life is pretty grand…

What I Would Do

6 Sep

A couple of weeks ago, I spent an evening with a couple of good friends from college. We talked until five in the morning, slept for three hours, and then talked for three more. It was silly, great, fun. And also deep. It’s interesting to look at our sociologically similar and yet very different lives: we’re the same age, got married within four years of each other, live in the same geographic area, went to the same school and took many of the same classes. But we have very different lives: different religions, different professions, different types of marriages. This provides for differences of opinions and lots of opportunities for learning and teaching each other.

But why mention this as the first post on this blog in, oh, two and a half months? Because of a little question my friends asked me. They said: “If you didn’t have to work, what would you do?”

For some reason, I was struck dumb (and this is a rare thing for me). And then, the strangest thing poured out of my mouth. I said, “I would have a clean, organized, beautiful home. I would cook dinner every night. There would be a place for everything and everything in its place.” That’s all I could think of for several minutes. How, if I could stay home, I would. This summer has been so busy for both of us that our home, our sanctuary, had gotten disorganized and it was making me feel frantic.

My friends looked at me in shock. I felt shocked at myself. Look at me, abiding by traditional gender roles and stereotypes. So I tacked on, “…and I would paint. And knit. And sew.” And then we laughed and moved on.

That statement, of course, isn’t a true reflection of my innermost desires about being independent from money (I have other dreams… being the teacher I’ve been training to be, studying literature more deeply, learning to create beautiful things… ), but it is an accurate statement about my needs at that moment.

I needed a day off. A day to restore order, to create order in our new home.

So that’s what I’ve been doing this week. And my, it feels nice.

Hello, again, world!


(AND…Next week, I begin twelve intense weeks student teaching in an elementary Structured Learning Classroom. I’m anxious and excited!)

A Word on My Sabbatical

17 Jun

Well, hello Internets!

Since last I typed a post, we’ve had a whirlwind of activity in our world.

I got a part-time job that’s become full-time for a while. And it’s working with kids. And I love it. So far this summer, I’ve: tie-dyed, created paper-mache, made homemade soda and ice cream, taken field trips to children’s theater and a pizza joint, and played uncountable games of “Land and Sea.” It’s a blast.

Also, we’ve been out, visiting family. Loving this as well.

So that’s why I haven’t been at the computer.

Oh, and also this one more small thing:

Where we'll be moving.

We bought a house.

After weeks and weeks looking in the breaks between my work schedule, Andy and I were inspired by this little 1925 two bedroom bungalow in a historic “inner-loop” neighborhood (i.e. close to downtown). We are so excited.

Wonder Woman

30 Mar

We can have a female super hero, but we can’t get past her outfit. So many conversations to have here, so many many things to say. We could even discuss why women in power positions must be over-sexualized. But this blog post is ridiculous fluff that barely grazes the surface of the issue it purports to be discussing. And the comments are equally silly. I’m so disappointed in you, NPR. Shame.