Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Letter

To my future students,

There are a few things you should know about me. I love Carolina. I like Mountain Dew. I laugh hysterically when I’m really tired. I’m a Type A person – I like organization, structure, and cleanliness. I am deathly afraid of cockroaches. Really. I don’t believe in being politically correct, but I always expect courtesy, politeness, and respect.

But, the most important thing you should know about me is that I have high expectations. I set my standards high. I expect a lot from myself and I expect a lot from you. I know you can succeed and I know you have unlimited potential. I will not stand by and let you “get by” – it is simply unacceptable not to use your talents and gifts. You can do so much that I bet you could surprise yourself. As a minimum, I have two major expectations:

1. Act like a decent, respectable person.
You will treat others with respect. You will take care of your own and others’ belongings. Dress respectable. Apologize when you’re wrong. Have a firm handshake. Boys – don’t undress girls with your eyes – that is someone’s daughter, sister, and perhaps future wife. Girls – don’t lower your standards to include guys that you wouldn’t want your mom, sister, or future daughter to date. Be someone that makes you proud.

2. Do good work.
Do your work. Turn it in on time. Do it neatly. I expect you to make good grades. Failure is not an option. If you need help, I will be there. If you don’t ask for help, I’ll still bug you. I have high expectations, and I expect that you meet them. I want you to be proud of your accomplishments – especially when you work really hard for something.

We are going to learn for the sake of learning. It’s so much better that way. Even if you hate history, you might be able to use the information when you’re on Jeopardy one day – or maybe beat your friend at a board game (smile). Either way, we’re going to learn. History is just one big story with lots of characters and scenes and plot lines – I promise, it’s not that hard.

So that’s what you need to know about me from day one. Act like a decent, respectable person. Do good work. And (God forbid) if a cockroach finds its way into the classroom… please kill it.

With my love and loyalty,
Your future teacher

laura ann

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Not Me" Monday!

"Not Me" Monday is a blog carnival started by MckMama.  To join the carnival, all you have to do is tell of all the embarassing things you did not do this week.  Faked being asleep so not to be bothered?  Didn't answer the phone cause you didn't feel like talking?  Its OK - you can 'fess up to all the things you did not do over the week.  For example....

I did not bake brownies this weeked at my parents house... and eat almost half all by my lonesome.

I also did not see the dead ladybugs by my bedroom window and think, "Oh I'll just leave you two down there to serve as a warning to all your friends that might happen to crawl in through my light."

I definitely did not have a major headache last night, proceed to sit up in my bed, misjudge where the wall was behind me, lay back down (or so I thought), and bang my head (HARD) against the wall.  A worse headache ensued.

And finally, I did not have a super productive day (grocery shopping - check, check deposited - check, laundry - check, reading - check, cook dinner - check, clean kitchen - check).  I also did not think, "I should sweep the kitchen too, but I'll just leave it for later"... and then moments later I sat a glass pot lid on the counter, watched it roll off, tried to catch it, and witinessed it shatter into millions of tiny, tiny pieces all over the kitchen.  Don't worry, I "did not" sweep the kitchen then. ;-)

Ahhh... What did you not do this week??
laura ann

Sunday, January 24, 2010



Have you heard about this?  I found it so moving and I wanted to share it.  What a challenge to listen to God's call - whether we know what to expect or not.
laura ann

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good News, Good News

Hey y'all! There's lots of things going on!  First and foremost...

Mom's MRI of her brain today showed SHRINKING of the 4 tumors!  (No treatment since the last MRI, which also showed shrinking post-Gamma knife... so to God be all the glory!!!!!!!!!)  The neurosurgeon thinks they'll continue to shrink in the coming months and he is turning her over to the oncologist to monitor the shrinking.  Praise God!

Secondly, Jonah's first birthday is coming up!  To celebrate his birthday, the blog world is having "Jonah's EB Auction" February 23-27.  The auction is a fundraiser for DebRA, an EB organization.  Jonah is my friend/former teacher, Patrice's son, that I know you've "heard" me mention before.  He has a rare genetic skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa which causes his skin to be super sensitive/blister easily.  Katie, another friend/former teacher, is running the auction and posted this message to the Facebook event:
Help us celebrate Jonah's first birthday by raising money to help find a cure for EB! We will be auctioning off lots of great goodies and gift cards and all proceeds will go do DebRA (www.debra.org). AND all auction purchases are TAX DEDUCTIBLE! How 'bout them apples?!  Help us spread the word and fight EB! Join us from 12:01am Feb 23 to 11:59pm Feb 27 and bid on your favorite item. Or items. :) Visit the auction site for more details - www.jonahsebauction.blogspot.com. Be sure to bookmark it! It is totally online, so it doesn't matter if you live in NC, DC, the OC, or heaven forbid, Canada (just kidding Canada!) you can still take part!
So check it out, spread the word, do your thing so this can be a success!

Other than that... Game vs. Wake Forest tonight... look for me, I'll be there!  I hope the Basketball God's are lining up in our favor (we could use it)... Go Heels!
laura ann

Friday, January 15, 2010

Update on Mom

In case some of you haven't heard the whole story of my mom's journey with breast cancer...

In 2006 (my junior year of high school), my mom was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. We had all hopes that it was a one time thing, easily cured. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2007, she found a lump under her arm. With Stage 4 (recurrent) breast cancer, she had six months of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation, and a year and half of preventative treatment, called Herceptin. We were thrilled that scans showed no signs of cancer. Then, this past summer (2009), after having trouble with her arm/finger movements, severe headaches, and a trip to the ER (as a result of very high blood pressure), we found out that she had 4 spots on her brain. Because chemotherapy and Herceptin (preventative treatment) do not break through the blood-brain membrane (and therefore don’t protect the brain), she had to have several radiation treatments, followed by the Gamma Knife procedure. Those tumors have shrunk in size or remained stable. She was on another preventative treatment called Tykerb (a pill) that protects the brain. At the end of 2009, following regular check up scans, we learned that she had spots on her liver and lungs. She has completed half her chemotherapy treatment and started Herceptin again.

Last week she had scans to check the spots on her liver and lungs. Everything remains stable – no growth or spreading. The radiologist that read her scan is not convinced that these spots are metastatic lesions (though what else could it be?). She has 2 more months of chemotherapy. Next week she has an MRI, which will include her brain and show the spots that had stabilized.

She has gone to UNC for a second opinion, and doctors there are on board with her doctors at home. While at UNC, she also did gene testing. Those tests would show whether she carried the gene for a particular type of breast cancer, which could tell us whether my aunt and I could carry the same gene. My mom, mom’s maternal aunt, and mom’s paternal aunt had breast cancer, as did my paternal grandmother and paternal aunt. She did not test positive for the gene, though there was a mutation on another gene. Research has not been conclusive as to whether the mutation is significant in breast cancer or not. They recommended that I start having mammograms at age 35 (duh).

So that’s where we are now. She has chemo once a week for three weeks followed by a week off. Please pray that these spots are resolved without complication, the MRI results are positive (perhaps shedding light on the lung/liver lesions), and we all keep a positive attitude. We know that God is the Great Physician and there’s always a way with Him! I’m totally open to answering any questions about her journey or what I’ve learned about breast cancer over the last few years (which is a lot).

We have great friends and family that have been so supportive and generous. We are so grateful for each of them. Please pray that God will bless them as He has blessed us.

laura ann

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A dose of "Weston-isms"

Weston-ism: [noun] cute and/or funny quotes spoken by Weston, also known as my 11-year-old brother

Recently, my mom was talking to Weston about something, and the subject of Santa Claus came up. The following conversation ensued…

Weston: So you’re admitting that Santa Claus isn’t real?
Mom: Well, do you believe in him?
Weston: No, everyone knows that an old man can’t fly around in a sleigh and give presents to every kid in one night.
Mom: Well, just don’t ruin it for anyone who still believes.
Weston: Mom, everyone knows that he’s not real. There’s no way he could actually do all that.
Me: Well it’s more believable than the Easter bunny. He supposedly hops around the whole world and drops off Easter baskets to all the children.
Weston: He does?

For some 6th grade reason, Weston and his friends enjoy exchanging “Yo Mama” jokes. I’m not sure where the extreme joy of these unoriginal comebacks originates, but he gets a kick out of them. It is not unusual for him to come home and update us on the most current and “most hilarious” “Yo Mama” joke of the week. Recently, he was telling my dad one…

Weston: This guy at my lunch table said, “Yo mama is so fat, when she goes to Wal-Mart, they have to put a weight limit sign on the door.”
Followed by Weston’s hysterical laughter.  Then followed by:
Weston: But I don’t really get it.

Need some more?  Check out this or this.  You can even check out a few "Mark-isms" from my dad for some extra giggles.
laura ann

Monday, January 11, 2010

Speaking of books

This semester my books cost WAY too much.  It is outrageous really.  See?

Art History: A View of the West - $117.35
Short Guide to Writing about Art - $48.80

Boyhood - $14.00
Netherland - $14.95
Associate - $9.99
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone - $6.99
My Father’s People - $25.95
March - $14.95
Saturday - $14.95
Year of Magical Thinking - $13.95
Da Vinci Code - $7.99
Falling Man - $10.50

Captives as Commodities - $23.40
Sacred Hunger - $14.95
Rise & Fall of the Plantation - $27.99
Atlantic Slave Trade - $46.35

Songs of Jimmie Rogers  - $21.95
Country Music USA - $34.95

State & Local Government - $32.00
State & Local Politics - $114.65

Total + Tax: $665.94

Crazy huh??  I did some research and found 2 at the Art Library, borrowed 5 from Amanda, 6 at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 1 in the Music Library, 1 in the Sloane Library, and 1 is Optional**. With all that, the remaining books cost $251.62. Total savings = $414.32

Suh-weet!  Don't you love it when you save money????
laura ann

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to the books...

Well, starting tomorrow.

laura ann

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

But my kids will be different!

Don’t you just hate it when you go out to a nice restaurant and some little kid is screaming and throwing forks? I mean, why don’t the parents do something about the child’s behavior? What about the kid flailing around on the floor in Target? Sometimes I just wanna go over there and yank ‘em up and set ‘em straight…

Because my kids will always be on their best behavior.

They will always have cute, matching outfits and clean, brushed hair. They will sit at the table and eat without making a mess. They will make funny comments and everyone will think they are just so darn cute.

They will sleep through the night their first month and be rosy cheek babies that coo and giggle all day. Did I mention that labor is going to be quick and easy? And no stretch marks for me!

My sweet, well-behaved children will have that baby smell and never mess up their clothes. They might drag out all their toys, but it’ll be so cute, and they’ll put everything back in it’s designated place – because the house will be perfectly organized – absolutely no clutter.

When they girls are older, we’ll bake yummy treats together and they’ll wear the cutest dresses and matching bows. The boys will play catch outside with their daddy and roll around toy trucks and trains and tractors.

Ok, I know that I’m loony boons. But, a girl can dream, right? Right? RIGHT? Ok, good.

laura ann

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ten "To Do's" for 2010

I usually make resolutions each year, and I’m generally pretty good about sticking with them. So, without further ado, my "2010 To Do List" in no particular order…

Cook more often each week

Be a smarter spender

Graduate with at least a 3.5 GPA

Plan blog posts in advance

Drink less caffeine

Get back into scrapbooking

Learn to sew better

Create an ongoing list of teaching ideas

Memorize more scripture

Stay stress free as I start planning the wedding

What are yours???
laura ann

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Day

On Christmas day, we woke up and Weston & I got to see what Santa brought us.  The four of us opened presents and then we got ready for my Aunt Kay's family & my Granddaddy to come for lunch.  We had heavy "snacks" and opened gifts and had a great time talking and laughing.  Parker & I spent the afternoon with his parents and then we went to my Grandma's for dinner.  As usual, she cooked a huge (and yummy!) dinner and we opened a ton of gifts.  It was crazy this year with one cousin's 3 babies and another cousin's toddler (Weston's the next youngest, and I'm the next, so we haven't ever had this many kids around at one time).    The picture above is of my Grandma's tree (she loved her stocking, by the way).  We took other pictures from Christmas morning, but they are on my mom's camera, which is at my Grandma's still.

So I guess that wraps up Christmas!  Coming soon: A New Year's Post (As you can tell, one of my resolutions is not to post about holidays promptly, haha)
laura ann