Thursday, June 30, 2011

Doing big things...


After much procrastination....My Iced Tea Blog now has a page on Facebook!

If you're a "booker" I'd be so honored if you'd stop by and "like" my page as well as leave a comment. Slow but surely, I'm learning to leverage this thing called technology.

The next few weeks may bring a few changes to the look and info on my blog. Be sure to tell me what you think.

Also! What are your most favorite topics?

Yes, this is a blog all about the innards of my head, but I'd like to know what areas other people would like discussed as well :o)

Thanks so much so reading, following, commenting, and subscribing. And now liking!

You all are the best :o) Here's to refreshing ourselves and our lives!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Said and Done

My cousin and I (President and V.P.) waiting for everyone to arrive.
This past weekend I celebrated 10 years out of High School. And nothing, nothing has gone according to plan.

At this point in my life I was to have completed my Bachelors degree in Communication. Be working as a Journalist or Newscaster. And finding a mate to marry and start a family with.

Instead, this year will mark my 10th year of marriage to my Dramatic Duet partner of High School fame. The continued pursuit of my Social Studies degree for grades 5-12. And the 5th year of life for the youngest of our three sons.

And I'm finally at peace with that.

Our reunion turnout was remarkably underwhelming. Especially because so many graduates still live in the area. But I couldn't help but wondering if it was shame that kept some of them away.

The same shame I tortured myself with when things did not turn out exactly as planned? I think sometimes we can be our own prison. We lock away our joy, peace, and well-being because life has not been packaged according to our specifications.

Specifications that many of our ordered in grade school...and who the hell knows what they want out of life in the 9th grade!!??!!

No, the 10 year goals that graced my yearbook covers aren't realized, but other new and lovely ones have taken there place. So, I'm free. Free from blame and shame.

Life is what it is. And that IS what I make of it now :o)

Friday, June 24, 2011

See you at the Cross-Roads


If I want this, I mean
REALLY want this. Well, then things
are going to be a little
different around here. A little more
FOCUSED. Perhaps a little more selfish.

I mean, ultimately, its us against
the WORLD. Our little clan, together.
We're at the crux of so
many things. But if we really
want this, I mean REALLY want
this. We may not be able
to say, "Yes" to everyone who
needs a favor. Or answer the
phone for every call. If we
want this, things will have to
change. This is some next level
best life stuff we're talking about.

That "What I want to be
when I grow up..." is just
around the bend. And if we
REALLY want this, then they'll just
have to understand. Cause we're at
the cross-roads, and it's our time.

~Another Six Word Friday is upon us. The prompt was: IF. The possibilities are endless with If.

And right now I feel as though my family is on the cusp of many things, we just have to "step our game up" in order to achieve some of our highly sought after goals. In reality, that's the story for most people. You come to a point where you can plateau and stay comfortable, or grind and elevate. Its all about what we  are willing to do to maintain progress.

If you'd like to join in for Six Word Fridays, you can find out more here. Have a great weekend all :o)~

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Opportunity Costs


College is funny like that. Classes you think you will never ever need in real life have a funny way of showing themselves quite relevant.

I'm currently taking an Economics course. Opportunity Cost  (OC) is a significant term that must be understood when dealing with economic policy.

When I first heard the phrase, I thought OC was what something costs in order to experience it. Like, if I want designer jeans that costs $72, (I thought) that price would be my OC.

Well......not quite. 

My OC would really be the purse, earrings, and shoes I am not buying because those jeans are too damn expensive.

In economist-speak the opportunity cost is what you lose or exchange in order to fulfill a need.

For example, if I want a strong marriage, the Opportunity Cost is my pride, protective shell, independence. Meaning what I'll actually be paying into our relationship is my attention, trust, and heart. But what I'll be losing is the pride, etc.

Or if I want to complete my B.A. by May 2013, the Opportunity Cost is much of my free time and my tendency to procrastinate. So the "fee" for my on time degree completion is a social life put on hold, laser-like focus, and tenacity.

But, again, the OC are the hours I'm sacrificing in order to receive said degree.

And ultimately, if I want to ensure my children will receive a solid education while living in a failing school district, the Opportunity Cost is no longer seeing an outfit and grabbing it, hitting up Wendy's on the way home, or driving (using up gas) just to sight-see.

Their rigorous parochial education will be paid directly from our wallets. No more BravoTV or ESPN, we are sponsoring our sons' educational equality with basic cable and Netflix.

Our OC is our extra cash or the time I could be spending doing something other than carpooling and volunteering at their new school.

Everything comes at a price. And everything we love/want has an opportunity cost. The only question is if we are prepared to pay it.  

Tons of enlightenment from Econ101, and I haven't even finished the class yet. Who would have thought I could use economic concepts to understand my real life?

Have you ever taken an "abstract class" that ended up making perfect sense in a different context? Do tell :o)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On letting go

I am beginning to realize, more and more, that you can only do so much. Really. Then you have to step back. Whether it's with opportunities, relationships, children...

You can only do your best and then let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes we want things so bad/strongly for  someone else. More than they want it themselves. Or perhaps we want more for ourselves than we're ready for.

And our desire for this thing begins to consume our thoughts and ultimately our actions. We may want to manipulate the person/situation in order to reach the desired end. But even if we did get the "goods". Snag the relationship. Get the job. Secure the wealth....

Will it last? Can it blossom?

Is it feasible for someone who was not motivated/educated/dedicated enough to strive for individual achievement to MAINTAIN after all is said and done? And I not taking about simple "hand-ups", like giving scholarships or dispensing requested advice/wisdom...

I'm thinking more along the lines of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (for example).

On the show a particularly charitable or suffering family gets a complete home makeover. The only problem I have is that the new home is lavishly bigger and more intricate than the demolished one. Why not give the family a new home comparable to what they had? 

How can they realistically handle a brand-spanking new "toy" that they've had no previous experience with? What about taxes and increase utilities? They haven't been prepared for this new lifestyle!

I used to be so apprehensive of failure, of mistakes, of long unbearable waiting periods. But I've come to realize, that as sucky as they are, mistakes are just practice sessions for success. If there is no trial and error, how will I  handle tough hang-ups later.

And long wait times are meant to be filled with activities, like living!

Without failure there would be no experience to draw from.  And without delays one can not fully appreciate the rewards.
 So, I suppose, I'd rather be prepared for the next step, (and it truly be my time to shine) than be thrust into a "blessing" prematurely.

What are your thoughts? Can you push a person along toward lasting success or is accomplishment a lonely road? And is patience truly a virtue? Let me know your take in the comments ;O)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ode to my Baby Daddy


I'm feeling kind of reflective this Father's Day. Thinking of all the dads I know and the one's who've been the most influential in my life.

My #1 had to fly out and will miss this Father's Day with us. Luckily I was able to get him the running jacket he coveted ahead of time.

But I do wish the boys and I could have made him breakfast in bed, or hot chocolate chip cookies before he left. He's worth way more than a LIVESTRONG windbreaker, that's for sure.

Its pretty easy pinpoint the other beloved man in my life, Grandpa. My Grandfather not only told/tells great stories, but he and my Nana took us girls all over the country.

Strong, consistent, reliable. 

Granddad always made sure his children and children's children were taken care of.

He's is the one man that's been present from the start. Sometimes the strong/silent types get over looked, but I will always appreciate the steadfastness of my papa.

It was the mirror image of his character traits that sold me on my husband. A strong, dependable, family man.

So what do I love most about my babies' daddy?

Its knowing he'll hold it down for us, making sure there's never lack. And the fact that he takes his word seriously, if he agrees to do something, its as good as done. Our sons love him beyond words, and knowing how easily they can talk him into a visit to Meijers Superstore doesn't hurt either.

Perhaps most importantly, my husband is totally committed to our family and our union. I love him for that.

Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there. Especially those that are
Army Strong! ;o)

Friday, June 17, 2011

That kind of love


O magazine arrived in the mail.
It held another Martha Beck gem.
"How to get your Loved Ones
to do what you want". And
the answer? By loving them
no matter what. It takes a
certain kind of discipline and heart
to say, "I love you, and
I don't care what you do!"

This type of love is foreign.
But here's to learning new languages!

In living my best life, I
must let you live yours, with
no strings attached. I love you
best when I just love you,
no matter what. Its a new
kind of love I'm trying, love.

~~ It rained last night, so the air is mighty fresh. A new KIND of air, if you will....:o) Happy Six Word Friday! You can join this meme over at Melissa's place.~~

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you


Apparently I have not posted on my beloved blog since the 5th of June! What have I been doing with my life?!?! :o)

Its seems as if I been ripping and running for two weeks straight...so there's plenty of "absence blame" to go around :o) We're doing an ala carte summer with the boys this year, which requires a considerably higher amount of effort than just setting them up at a Camp.

And while all that planning was under way, I helped pack up our classroom, watched the fifth graders graduate, saw one of my grannies off to the Virgin Islands, and organized two closet spaces for my family.

Oh yea, and I'm still in the throws of planning my 10 year High School Reunion. (One question: Why didn't any one tell me that Facebook has made in-person reunions all but obsolete?!?) sigh....

All that aside, I wanted to take a quick inventory of what I learned this school year (both in college and the classroom where I worked). Wondering if any of you gained new insights this year as well.....


1.) You can't judge a book by it's cover.

I already knew this, but I experienced its truth on a deeper level this year. We just don't know a person's story, and should reserve judgement until we do; or perhaps until forever.


2.) Dance with the one that brought ya!

Whether its my husband, who is quirky, but is always worth his weight in gold (and donuts), or my family that is becoming more FUN and less dysfunctional; you should not turn your back on the people who have supported you the most. Because when the chips are down, its those clowns who will always have your back.


3.) I like small children.

I'm in a Teachers' College, work in an elementary school, and have three young guys of my own. But I've always wanted to work on the middle or high school level. I thought those kids were more my speed, since we could most likely have deeper conversations. But working with Special Needs elementary children taught me that connections are everywhere, we just have to be plugged in.

4.) I am passionate about education. I can do this!

Amid times or self-doubt, or those days when I am counting down the clock to 4p.m., I still want to teach. My neck hair still raises every time one of my kids "GETS" a concept, or masters problem. This is me, a learner, teacher, gather. And I know I can do this.

Right now, I'm still dog-tired. But also excited for summer, and all the places we'll go :o)

So tell me, tell me, tell me.....what has 2011 taught you so far? And what will you do with your summer?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Runaway

 
Here's a story...


of a lovely mother...


whose was busy with two boys of her own....

I read a blurb about a book, Hiroshima in the Morning, which so sounded beautiful, that I downloaded it on my Kindle and devoured it over the weekend.
(Five weekends ago to be precise, and for some reason this post was in my draft pile and never published. But that's another story.)

Author, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto , wrote a memoir about traveling to Japan in search of the Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors.

Along the way she learns about herself, her choices, and subtly her entire paradigm shifts.

Rizzuto relays the experience of leaving  her two young boys and spouse for 6 months to pursue her passion.  Many felt she was negligent, and her support network from the States shrunk dramatically.

Post-trip and post-divorce, her husband was not interested in the "new" her, Rizzuto gave custodial rights of the boys to the father.

But despite remaining an active parent Rezzuto has still been tagged by some as a selfish mother.

What ensued after her book's release is a huge debate on motherhood and parental responsibilities. Which, I believe, is much needed.

Over the years my thoughts on child-rearing have evolved, and so have my traditional opinions on motherhood. Parenting is a two person/or more job. Mom is not the be-all, she's just part of the team that should be lovingly surrounding a child.

I'm sure there are many thoughts on motherhood, what's your take?



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