Tag Archives: Sentiment

Day 20

Happy Father’s Day!
To celebrate this year, my dad and I went to see the Dixie Chicks and the Eagles at Soldier Field. To say the show was amazing would be an understatement. The Eagles were insanely incredible.
If the prompt asking about 5 of the best bands I have seen would be asked again tomorrow they totally would be number 2 on the list. I don’t think I stopped dancing the entire event. And to hear 50,000 people sing Hotel California was just ridiculous.
So good.
To finish Father’s Day, Dad and I rode back from Chicago on the Harley. Which is pretty big time… Considering the first time I rode the bike was just last Father’s Day. Although I still get butterflies in my stomach right before we ride, I am getting a little less scared each time.
So, it was a happy day of fathers.
I am of course a little biased, and happen to believe that mine is one of the best. I am a lucky daughter.

Days 11, 12 and 13

Whoa! I am WAY behind… so today is a 3 in 1.

Day 11: Tell us about your first kiss.

Okay, when I first read this I was all, “Oh man… I can remember going to see the movie Blue Chip, holding hands with Trenton and our first kiss during the credit.” Because really, who stays to watch all of the credits anyway? No one. Unless they are waiting for their first kiss.

But rather than just those boring details, I decided to pull out the old pink diary. You know, the one that chronicles my love for pink stretch pants, skating parties and Bryan? Well, you know I wouldn’t miss writing about my first kiss in that same diary. So here is the actual (cringe-worthy) memory of my first kiss:

“Dear Diary,

Well, I’m still going with Trenton (for almost 4 months!) We’ve gone to 3 movies together. On the 3rd movie we kissed! Every nite on the phone he tells me he loves me. He wants to french kiss me. I don’t know if I want to though. I mean I think I want to but I don’t really know how. Anyway, we hold hands at recess. I really like him a lot. He means so much to me. He’s such a sweetheart. For Valentine’s Day he got me a stuffed animal and a box of chocolates!

Love, Kari”

I don’t even have anything more to add about that one…

Day 12: What is your first/earliest memory?

I can remember when my brother was born. I don’t remember who I was staying with, or even having a thought about a new sibling. But, I do remember my dad getting me dressed in purple pants, and a t-shirt that had a “Cousin It” look alike on the front. I remember getting a little upset, because I knew that the combination of pants and shirt was not what mom had ever put me it. (Seriously, I had style. Even at age 3.) I can’t remember getting to the hospital, but I do remember first seeing Vic, and being a little frightened.

Sometimes I wonder if I really remember this, or if it is a story that I have heard many times before that it just became a “memory.” Either way, it’s first.

Day 13: My favorite time of the day is:

I can’t lie. Even though I had admitting this, my favorite time of the day is when I first wake up and am getting started in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I actually hate the getting ready process. Nothing is more time wasting than taking a shower.

But, what I love about that time in the morning is how quiet and alone it is. I love that Derek is still sleeping. I love that I don’t have to talk to anyone. I love that I can think about the plans for the day. Most of my (usual) day is spent on the go; constant noise, constant movement, constant “on stage.” The morning is such a nice break from all of that. It’s good alone time.

Plus, it’s a great time to write a letter, clean the kitchen or organize my desk.

Day 10

I have a really hard time with the prompt for today.
If you could go back in time and meet your 16-year-old self, what three things would you tell yourself?
I mean obviously there are a million things we should tell our 16-year-old-selves. But what fun would that be? It’s hard to look back and think of things you shouldn’t have done. Because how would you ever have learned? I am a real believer in the idea that we learn from all of our experiences… good, bad or otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things that I can think of that probably would have saved a lot of stress, heartache or concern at the time. But, in the end (I think) I am a better person having gone through most of my life.
So all that being said, I think I would not let tell myself to avoid anything. I think I would just need to remind myself to cherish time, and get ready for good things ahead:
1. Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. They are some of the greatest people, and they are the link to your past. And within 8 years, you won’t have any of them. And the older I get, the more heartbreaking it is for me to have lost all my grandparents by 24.
2. Hang through the awkward times, they really are going to be a funny story sometime in life. And relish in the idea that you made the absolute right choice when it comes to college. You are about meet some of the greatest friends, experience an amazing education and really get to know who you are and what you stand for at Cornell. Get ready, because your college experience will be like nothing you can imagine.
3. You will spend a lot of time in some heartache, and that’s alright because in the end it makes who you will spend the rest of your life with that much better. You will meet your best friend, who later will become your best love. There is nothing that compares… he’s that good.

Day 9

Japanese lore suggests that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, your wish will come true. What would your wish be, and what would you be willing to do 1,000 times to get it?
I am pretty sure this is a new way of describing my job.
How many times do we say, “H, “hhh,” hat?” How many times have we sang (and acted out) If You’re Angry and You Know It? How many times have we worked on automatically recognizing the words “the” and “of?” How many times do we practice walking “quiet like mice” to the cafeteria?
Probably not 1,000 times… yet. But, do remember that I have the same students from kindergarten through 2nd grade. So I am sure we get to 1,000 at some point.
Would I change that? Never. How boring would our world be if we could teach kids something one time and never again?
And it’s the feeling, around that 1,000th time, when something finally catches, and my kids don’t pause when they see the words the and of, they remember not to hit or throw things, they walk by themselves to the cafeteria or have no problem remember what H (or any other letter of the alphabet) says. And my wish of getting them just a little closer to healthy, productive members of society is granted.

In which Nicole should take Tia’s advice (from Derek)… and de-friend me.

Nicole and Nick are planning a wedding for July. This really has nothing to do with me except for the fact that I am so very excited that two friends I dearly love are (finally!!) getting married.
… That and the fact that I love weddings. I love the planning, the party, the photos, pretty much all of it.
So today, during my usual afternoon nap (judge if you wish, I take a nap after school everyday. And I am, in fact, counting down the days until I can spend my entire FIVE WEEKS OF SUMMER VACATION to nap whenever I want. I know, it’s an easy job, being a teacher. But I like to think the little summer break is to say thank you for being spit on, kicked, punched and called a “punk ass bitch” the other 40 weeks of the year.)
Anyway, back to the nap today… during my nap I had a dream I was helping Nicole with wedding planning. We were trying out different candies that she would like to have served at the reception. And she decided that she wanted those little dot candies that are stuck to the paper.
You know the ones. They don’t even really taste that good… and besides, who eats candy off a long strip of paper unless they are visiting Willy Wonka?
Anyway, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I thought those candies served at her wedding would be just crazy.
No one likes them!
They taste gross!
They don’t even match her colors!

After I woke up in such a distressed state, I realized two things..
1) Nicole would never do such a thing!

Whoa! When you dream about the important events in your friend’s lives… It’s definitely time to stop living vicariously.
… But, seriously, I am really excited!


I’ve had a little bit of “writer’s block”-
… it started out as a heart block (broken heart),
leading to a mind block (brain clusterfuck),
and has resulted in writer’s block (depression).

It’s hard for me to to ever admit feeling down, blue, upset –
but as it turns out, feeling sad isn’t just for the Betty Fords.
(Or maybe it is and I am now one of them… and by “them” I mean my mother.)

My dog died… and even though it happened 2 months ago, I am still sad.

Just like a parent thinks their kids is the smartest, cutest or brightest –
Ninja, my dog, was obviously the best.
He was my dog and had the loyalty to me that a son has to his mother. A fierce protector with the gentlest of hearts; Ninja was a lover and a watch dog all in one. He was a 90 pound lap dog that never left my side.
Having Ninja made me a little less afraid of the dark. He made me not want to be gone from home for too long. Ninja made me love snow days with him curled on my feet while reading a book. He made the alarm clock seem not so bad. He gave me companionship on sunny days outside (especially while mowing the lawn). Ninja made coming home from vacation something to look forward to. He made my bed a little more cozy. He made my house a little less quiet and my life a little more routine. Ninja made stories (and photos) for naughty kids to love. He made watering the lawn seem like less of a chore, and taking a car ride more like finding gold. He made old dogs find their youth, and young dogs find their obedience. Ninja made my husband a bit jealous at times, but never held a grudge for the accusations. He made my heart melt with his wildly beating tail. Ninja made my life a lot more comfortable and a little less sad.

I miss my dog terribly. He made getting through life’s blocks a little easier.

possibly out of character.

I am feeling a little sentimental now.
This usually does happen to me around this time of year… my life never seems to run years from January to January, but instead the beginning of each New Year happens in late August and the end happens sometime around the beginning of June.
(Never mind the month of July that one is just for fun… one whole month of recovery and preparation.)
This happening is naturally because of the fact that I have lived the “School Year Life” since I was 5 years old. I remember being in 5th grade and signing yearbooks on the last day of school. We took photos of our crushes, and our favorite teachers. That is the first time I remember this sentimental feeling beginning in the dreaded season of summer. This feeling became a little intensified each year… with the end of 7th grade being especially emotional. It is comical to think back on now. But, damn. At the time, that day was so terrible. I don”™t really know what the point of being so emotional was, I knew that things would change briefly but not indefinitely.
Fast forward to the end of my freshman year at Cornell… after my room had been packed, good byes had been said, and my parents were already on the road home with the majority of my stuff. I sat in the parking lot sobbing. Did I know that I would see most of these people again? Of course I did. But the change was so overwhelming for me.
A few years later Derek left college. A year later, graduation, and we all left Cornell.
Always happening at the end of my year…
But as it turns out, those celebrations of “out with the old year and in with the new” have not ended terribly. I have not completely lost anything. The important has stood the time and for the less important, there are good stories.
Again, fast forward to the end of my year now… a few things seem a little more permanent. I am leaving my first teaching job. My grandpa is leaving us.
The first of which, leaving my first teaching job, might seem less important… but actually has turned out to have a pretty significant emotional impact. Turns out, I am in love with my students, and I would love to find a way to keep them with me in each school setting that I was in from here on out.
The second of which, my grandpa dying, is not second by importance. It is second by my ability to process the event at this point in time.
Again, happening at the end of my year…
It is interesting to think that both of these things are happening around the same time. My grandpa would understand my sentimental approach to leaving my kids. A long time ago my dad told me that my grandpa knew I would be a good teacher because I reminded him of his mom who was also a school teacher. I hadn’t ever thought about what my grandpa’s thoughts of me being a teacher were, but I do remember thinking that was such a good thing for me to know.
I suppose there is some odd comfort for me in the timing of things at the end of this year.
Or maybe that is just easier to say…


awhile back I complied a list of “fun facts” about me… and apparently out of those 100 some facts, something about my father only got mentioned one time. although I am sure no one was counting… I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of 100 new things that I have learned from my dad…
So, here’s to a guy who always seems to teach a life lesson whether he comes right out and says it or not.

1. always be the bigger person
2. it is your civil duty to vote
3. no matter how bad the situation is, always be honest
4. it is okay to cry like a baby when your heart is broken
5. in fact, you are never too old to cry to your dad
6. lectures really are better than being spanked
7. although I apparently should have been spanked more as a kid
8. things may be rough with your spouse, but the vow of marriage is the most sacred of all
9. you don’t have to be “religious” to have thoughts about life after death
10. family traditions should always be held close to the heart
11. always keep a toothbrush in your car
12. good wine doesn’t have to cost a lot, it just has to taste good to you
13. family vacations should be taken as often as possible
14. sometimes you just have to do things you don’t like
15. to believe in myself unconditionally
16. be passionate about what I believe in
17. education is one of the most valued characteristics in society
18. it is okay to “make statements,” even though you might change your mind about that belief 5 years later
19. always keep a dictionary close, in case you need to “look it up.”
20. never stop believing in Santa
21. sometimes being too emotional can get in the way of logic
22. but, don’t lose touch of those emotions (see number 16)
23. fragranced candles, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, body spray, etc. is truly annoying to some people
24. food is an art
25. life should be enjoyed now
26. there is not a milestone that shouldn’t be acknowledged
27. black should not be worn to funerals, funerals should be a celebration instead
28. time spent with family should be a number one priority
29. chewing bubble gum on airplanes really does help
30. you are never too old to be a “daddy’s girl”
31. birthdays are a time to be truly spoiled
32. high school reunions are overrated
33. you can learn a plethora of new words if you read “Reader’s Digest”
34. people might not hire you because of the ring in your nose… that’s just the way the world works
35. while making homebrew, you should always be drinking a homebrew
36. being too skinny is not pretty
37. there can never be too many oatmeal pies in a cookie jar
38. you should always have a can of spinach in the cabinet
39. nice dress clothes should always be dry cleaned
40. when a good band is playing, the people are celebrating, and the drinks are flowing you should dance until your knees hurt
41. beautiful, expensive cars are not a high priority in life
42. good customer service is expected
43. always honk to say goodbye when you are leaving a visit with family or friends
44. its important to have a realistic outlook on life
45. money is only something we have here in this life… we can’t take it with us
46. passive aggressive is not the best way to handle things, but it can be very funny at times, and often “teaches a lesson”
47. you should buy a souvenir key chain from every city you visit
48. some things really are just better left unsaid
49. it is important to make time for a good book
50. knowing historical facts can be very powerful
51. most movies are worth watching at least once
52. thanksgiving dinner should be a huge production
53. you can get angry with someone and even yell at them, without ever loving them any less
54. starting the day with bacon, eggs, coffee, and the newspaper is very grown up
55. you might fail a few classes/tests along the way, but keep working and you will eventually walk across the stage
56. tequila should be shot… never sipped
57. it is okay to be a little bit conservative on some issues
58. keeping a plant for 35 years, naming it, and nursing it back from the pearly gates of heaven time after time is completely sane
59. if you have the recipe to a great homemade raspberry ice cream you should treasure it like gold
60. a dog really can be a great companion
61. if you truly love someone, engraving their initials in your parent’s basement is rational
62. your dad may love you, but if you end up in jail one nite, he will let you sleep there
63. too much make-up is not natural looking (“do you think anyone really believes that your eyes naturally have that thick black line around them?”)
64. corporate world is very different from the world in which teachers work
65. if the food is really that good, it is worth the price
66. it is not always a good idea to post every intimate detail of your life on the internet
67. going to the doctor should only be in limited instances, the world is filled with hypocandracts
68. Hillary Clinton should not be our next president
69. when faced with a dilemma, life is too short to be wasted deciding what to do… the answer is either, “shit or get off the pot”
70. there is always time for just one more drink
71. when leaving a visit with family, you should always determine when you are going to be visiting with them again
72. saving every boarding pass (even when you fly weekly) will provided for some great discussion one day
73. graciously accepting a compliment with a humble manner can be a very powerful statement of your character
74. celebrating life’s milestones (weddings, graduations, etc.) are only done once and should be done with that mentality
75. being truly open to your children’s lifestyle will create a meaningful relationship for a lifetime
76. Christmas shopping is done best on Christmas Eve
77. a hug is best when one person is lifted off the ground and squeezed so tight its possible breathing stops for a few seconds
78. speeding tickets are inevitable
79. your life story should be told… only after you die
80. a good family man works hard for the money that his wife and kids enjoy
81. everyone should ride a motorcycle at least once in their lifetime
82. money is meant to be earned and then spent
83. the “to-do” lists in life never really get completed… and that’s okay
84. discovering family history can be an overwhelming task, but is very important in keeping your roots
85. the fortunes found in fortune cookies are quite magical when a father reads them to his child
86. Iowa is the Hawkeye state
87. it does not matter what you are wearing when going to visit your baby brother in the hospital for the first time
88. driving with a flat tire, even if it is only for one block, should not be done
89. a good, dark beer can be drank all year long
90. sometimes you really do just have to learn things the hard way
91. although it isn’t a fun task, we all eventually need to take care of our parents someday
92. most things in life should be tried at least once
93. some of the best vacations can be taken in a beat up, “purple-people-eater” pick up truck, with just a tent and a cooler packed in the back
94. Minnesota really is a beautiful state
95. the saying “do as I say, not as I do/did” is very applicable
96. it is a good idea to indulge every now and then
97. the best cure when sick is to get lots of rest
98. a good story teller makes great conversation
99. there should always be peanuts at a baseball game
100. you do not have to have the career title of “teacher” to be a true educator in life.

a little preview of what is to come..

okay.. because i am a person who thinks that a good embarrassing story has to be told i am sharing some of my greatest with you. awhile back i had to clean out my closet at my parents house.. something about not living there for 5 years and getting married.. they were ready to move my things along. among the greatness that i found there (old love notes, the most time-warped photos, and priceless jewlery from old boyfriends..) i found gold…
if by gold i mean.. my old diary.

i dont know how else to say this … but its priceless.. just hilarious! i brought it home and shared it (cover to cover) with a captive audience of derek, nicole, and nick… and we sat on the couch literally in tears, sometimes not breathing, and even having a little pee come out.. all because of the laughter.
soon i will “publish” this little book o’ mine for entertainment purposes.. but for now i will just leave you with one of my most favorite entries:

Dear Diary,
I am going to go skating. Bryan looked so cute today. And Mike just acted so cool. I told Elissa to wait for me by the food stand. But now my dad will most likely be late. Bryan told us he was going to skate with us. Just between you and me, Elissa and I love him, (Bryan). Oh well, we changed places today. Nick sits in front of me. And Jill sits behind me. And Matt sits beside me. We had Skills for Growing partners. I got Chris, (big geek). What should I wear tonite? I want to look good for Bryan. For sure I will wear my pink streach pants. I might skate with Victor. Got to go fast. BYE.
Kari Reynolds

more to come on the “bryan/mike love of my third grade life and how my hot pink stretch pants affected their entire third grade exsistence” saga soon..