Closing a book

Today is my last day as Children’s Librarian at Marion Public Library.  This is the part that makes me sad.

When we moved here almost seven years ago, the library was the first place I visited.  I stopped in to ask where the post office was.  I turned to go out and saw a book I’d like to check out.  I turned back around, got a library card, not knowing that was only the beginning.

That summer the library saved me from loneliness.  We joined the summer reading program and had a fantastic time.  I got to know the librarians, and my kids and I enjoyed checking books out every week.  I made friends, friends who happened to also have their kids at St. Martin.  Being at the library helped me feel not so alone in a new town.

At the end of that summer, I told Dan that I would love to work at a library someday.  In fact, I would love to work at the Marion library someday.  Wouldn’t it be fun to be the Children’s Librarian?

In May of 2012 that dream came true.  I’ve been here for almost three years, and have loved every minute of it.  Reading to children, playing with them, being silly with them, singing and dancing with them–what a gift to do something I love.  I’ve made so many connections and friends through this wonderful place I can’t even begin to thank everyone.

This job showed me I could be a working mom.  This job gave me the opportunity to work full time and contribute to my family’s finances.  This job brought out my leadership skills.  This job gave me my passion for early literacy.  

This job is the one thing I don’t want to leave.

One thing that is a constant in life is change.  And one thing that is a constant in reading is finishing the book.  Sometimes you’re disappointed when that book ends, because you would have loved to keep going–to see what the future brought for the characters.  That’s how I feel about leaving the library today.  There’s so many things that have been started here that I’d love to see the finish of, but my book is ending.  So I have to close it, and start a new one.  

I just hope it’s as good as the one I just finished.

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To Grammar!

To Funny

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Moving- by the numbers

12- Trips to Goodwill

7- Trips to the dump

(Can you tell we had TOO MUCH STUFF?)

3- Days left of work at the library

2- Weeks until I move my dad

1- (Just under) one month until we are completely moved

9,000- Things I have left to do

7- years since we’ve done this

The end is in sight!

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Jimmy Fallon Day!

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When you’re a working mom, you have to know where to find balance in your life.  It can be very difficult to work 40 hours a week and still balance the kids’ school, homework and activities, let alone the laundry, cleaning and cooking.  I’ve learned, in the past few years, that I can’t simply do it all myself.

I used to be quite the control freak in my kitchen.  I didn’t like Dan to cook, and if he did, I was usually in there, telling him what to do and going crazy when he didn’t do things MY way.  It was just easier to do it myself.  When I started working full time, though, I had to work every Monday evening.  So I had been choosing easy things for Dan to make, like chicken nuggets and fries.  Somewhere along the way, though, he took things into his own hands and started rooting through the freezers and cupboards for dinner ingredients.

Now, I can happily say, Dan and I share the dinner cooking.  Sometimes he’ll make up a recipe–like his chicken gumbo soup that turned out delicious–and sometimes I’ll give him a recipe.  There are times like this past Tuesday, where I will put a roast in the crock pot and he’ll come up with the sides and make those before I get home.  Last week when I was working on packing all day he cooked dinner, because he knew darn well if I had a choice we’d be having take out.

Let me tell you, this is the best thing ever!  After I let go of my control issues, I realized having a cooking husband took my stress levels after work way, way down.  I know that if I’m running late or have to run some errands, Dan is getting dinner ready.  The house may still be a mess and there may be 6 loads of laundry waiting for me, but dinner is made, and that’s a start.

It’s all about teamwork.  You have to see what works best for your family–and this works great for mine.  As a working mom, though, you have to remember that you can’t do everything yourself.  You have to enlist your family members for help, or you’ll only get 2 hours a sleep a night.  When you’re a working mom, life is about delegating, and realizing it’s ok if you don’t do it all.

Any working moms out there?  What’s your favorite teamwork tip?


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Life is changing

Hello, readers.  If I have any readers left after my month long absence.  What happened?  Life happened.

I moved Dad to Wisconsin on January 23rd.  The Saturday before that, Dan called to tell me he had received a call to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Osseo, MN.  I won’t tell you exactly what I said when he told me this, but I’ll bet you can gather that I wasn’t happy about it.  Here I was, finally moving my Dad closer to me in Wisconsin, while Dan was deliberating whether or not we’d be moving back to Minnesota.  

A week later, my Dad got very, very sick and ended up moving to a skilled nursing facility.  He was so bad that at one point, I told him he had my blessing if he wanted to go to Heaven to be with Mom.  I was looking at losing both of my parents in the span of six months, and it was very, very scary.  To say that I was stressed would be putting it lightly!

And through all of this, Dan was deliberating the call to Minnesota.  I went through the classic five stages of grief:

1.  Denial and Isolation

I told people at church that I wasn’t going anywhere.  I stopped talking to Dan, to the point where I would try not to be in the same room with him, and go to bed before he got home at night.  I wasn’t a pleasant person.

2.  Anger

Things got even more unpleasant.  I blamed Dan for messing up my life.  I blamed myself for moving my dad, and his subsequent illness.  I lashed out at Dan in anger, and to be completely honest,  even thinking about divorce.  (Not that it was ever an option for me, but in my anger, I saw it as the only way out of this call.)

3.  Bargaining

Oh, the bargaining.  This was mostly with God, but had a lot to do with Dan, too.  If we can just stay here I’ll…. you fill in the blank.  

4.  Depression

Did I mention I was unpleasant?  I certainly was.  I would have to say I hit the rock bottom while my dad was sick.  I sat by his bedside for two days, praying to God about his illness and Dan’s call.  I cried most of the day.  

5.  Acceptance

I would have to say that Dad’s illness was probably a blessing to me.  After those two days of prayer, I began feeling peace.  Peace with the call, peace knowing everything would be ok if we stayed, but it would be ok if we went, too.  Dan visited the congregation, and I found myself excited to find out how it went.  I went from digging my heels in to looking at real estate websites.  It’s amazing to look back and see how God worked on my stubborn heart.  And He really did.  The night I told Dan I would support him if he accepted the call–and that I wanted him to accept–I could feel his tremendous relief.

Ultimately, Dan accepted the call.  We are in the thick of the moving process.  I’ve got a job at Target in Minnesota waiting for me, and we have signed the lease on our beautiful rental house.  The movers are booked and we’re packing like crazy.  We’ve made 8 trips to Goodwill and trips to the dump.  I move my dad again on March 25th, and he’s excited about it, and doing better than ever.  Life is changing.  

We never know the plan that God has for us.  I had no idea this was His plan for us.  But we’re excited, and I can’t wait to see how His plan unfolds for the future.  


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Read With Me Wednesday

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So….how are you enjoying Mom’s Night Out?  Poor Allyson just can’t seem to get herself a nice night out, right?  We’ve all had those times when nothing seems to go right.  

And when you DO get to go out, how hard is it to switch off the “Mom” button?  Pretty hard when you’re riding in a minivan with the radio blaring out Elmo…

She pounded the dashboard over and over again, but it didn’t help. It didn’t stop. Allyson felt invaded . . . by Elmo. Could she ever leave her role as mommy behind, for even one night?

Once you’re a mom, it’s hard to let that go.  You have to squelch the urge to ask your friends if they have to go potty before the movie.  You have to refrain from cutting your husbands’ meat or ordering the chicken fingers.  Sometimes it feels like you’re losing an uphill battle.  So far, that is the very same battle Allyson is fighting.

How about you?  Do you ever have trouble leaving your mommy role behind?

See you next week for chapters 9-12, and be sure to stop at to join in on Pam’s discussion!

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Menu Plan Monday

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You Guys.  Why did I ever stop using eMeals?  Do you know how wonderful it was last week to have my menu written out for me, then look ahead and see what meat I needed to defrost?  And these meals are not boring!  No more pancakes!  Hooray!

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

-Cheater’s Lasagna

-French Toast Bake

-Crescent Roll Taco Bake

-Rosemary Chicken and Veggies

-Grilled Pork Chops

-Greek Meatballs

-Black Bean and Chicken Tostadas


What’s on your menu this week?

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Happy Pooh Day!


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