The Muncher Family

The Muncher Family
Thanks to Karla Burton from Karla Burton Photography

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Last Hugs

So tonight, 363 days ago, I was sitting at my sisters wedding reception.  I was enjoying watching Dad and Zoey cut a rug and had no problem sending Abby on to the house with Mom.  Looking back, as I have often over the last year, I wish I had more photos from the reception of Mom and Dad.  I wish I would have listened to Mom and gotten a sitter so she and Dad could enjoy the night, but we didn't.

Sunday morning rolled around and it was time for Mike and I to pack up the car and head back to Alexander City.  Dad called to say he would be dropping by before he left to go visit some friends and catch his flight back to San Antonio.  Dad, like always was running late, and I like always, was madder than all get out.  I had the girls dressed and ready and everyone was exhausted from staying up late the night before. The girls were ready for a nap and since Mike and I were going to have to drive back separately, I wanted to get on the road before the girls had a breakdown.

Dad finally arrived as we were loading the cars to head home.  He tried to get Zoey to give him a hug, but she was to engrossed in Mickey at the moment.  Abby just wanted milk and a hug so she sat with him for a few minutes and then the blasted phone started ringing.  Mike and I finished loading the cars and gave the girls a snack.  In between phone calls Dad asked if we had a good time and if I had any of Jenn's travel arrangements.  I told him I made her swear she would at least call someone to tell us when they landed in Mexico and when they were leaving to head home the following Saturday.  He asked if we had gotten to try the cake and I told him not really, but we had a good time and we really enjoyed watching Zoey have a good time.  I told him the it was a nice day and everyone was going to be okay.  Dad looked sad, and exhausted.  At the time I thought he was sad because Jenn's mom wasn't there to share the day with use.  Though I will say Jenn's friends found the perfect way to honor and remember Sharon and it will not be forgotten.  I told Dad I couldn't wait to see the photos because I was sure there were lots of them.  I told him that I had enjoyed the week with him and was counting down the days to Chad's wedding, because he would be home for good.

My conversation was short and broken with Dad.  I asked if he wanted us to stay for a few more minutes and he said no to head on out, it would only be a few weeks before he saw us again.  He helped Mike and I down with the girls. On the way down the stairs he told me to change the oil in the car, find out if Mom was okay, and that he was really really proud of my new car.  I told him thanks and I would.  I told him I would let him know when I heard something from Jenn.  He told Mike by, hugged the girls and walked over to give me my hug goodbye.

Dad gave me my hug and told me how much he loved me.  He said I hope she's happy.  I told him that she was, and that he should go home and pack his bags because for the first time, we were all in a place we could take care of ourselves, it was time for him to see his grandchildren. He told me he would be home soon and to remind Mom she was supposed to go look at some houses that week.  He hugged me one more time and I got into the drivers seat.  I waved to him as we drove off and let the girls call their goodbyes from the back seat as we headed down the road.

A year later, I never would have thought that would have been my final hug from my Dad.  I never dreamed that this was the last time I would see him alive and somewhat happy.  Dad was exhausted, one wedding down, one to go, a job that was wearing him out, and a never ending house hunt to get back home to his family.

Over the next three weeks I would talk to my Dad on the phone everyday.  I would tell him how the girls were and the things that were going on with work and school.  I would have a lot of moments on the phone with him and I talked to him everyday for the next three weeks.  I'll talk more about my final conversation and April 5, 2011, at 9:18 PM when I looked at my phone and said to myself, "I should call Dad, oh I'm tired, I'll talk to him tomorrow."  I never talked to Dad again.  I gave up my last potential conversation for selfish reasons and have thought about it for a year.  But for now, I will remember the hugs and the final moments, and the last I love yous that I got to say in person.  I can always be sad tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Never Take Work Home with You

Never take work home with you. I'm a teacher by trade and that has been my philosophy since my first year of teaching. Never take it home with you, because, it will never make it out of the car. Knowing me I would have an accident and legal documents would be laying all over the highway. For nine years I have been able to hold to this sage advise.

But you must know having the philosophy, never take it home with you has some consequences. Consequence number one, the child that you can't stop thinking about causes your to arrive at five in the morning work on a solution. The copies you have not been able to make all week because the copier has been broke are finally being ran at nine at night. The papers you need to grade leave you in the building until four almost everyday. The standardized test you are hoping the students can pass leads you to work at six in the morning to create a plan of action. You find yourself watching your husbands band performing their half time show from your classroom on Friday night because you have lesson plans that have to altered to fit the needs of your students. Or my favorite, last night your husband calls to tell you he's taking the children to dinner and you burst into tears because you can finally sit down at four for the first time since you arrived at seven.

Being a teacher is not simple. The planning and the preparation take hours, not to mention the time that is needed to think through the plans of the low achieves that constantly have to be revised. Behavior issues take their toll on your sanity. If you are a sponsor or a coach you find yourself planning your second job as much as your first. There are days you are so dead on your feet you don't know if you can make it. You go to work so sick you can't move because you are responsible for these children. If your a parent your children suffer with you at the after school meetings, eating fast food in your classroom floor so you can finish the last bit of work that will only take five more minutes.

So would my life be easier if I took it home? Maybe, but now it's about my children. I know their teachers feel my pain and sympathisize with my concerns. I know that they are working as hard as I am without a lot of benefits.

I will say this is what I want to be. After the first full day of having my own classroom I ever thought it wasn't worth the sacrifice. My house stays a disaster area, the reastraunts in town worry when we're late for dinner, but it's still worth it. Now that football season is over with my work at home and school won't pile up as much because my husband and I will both be home to get the house back in order. My copies are made, my graphs are complete, I have turned in lesson plans for the remainder of the semester all in the name of, never take it home with you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Those things from high school that I either made you or would break you. During my day, wow I'm old. When I was a sophomore in high school I heard a rumor about me in the bathroom. I was absolutely shocked and humiliated. To further the humiliation I actually conformed to the rumor, I became a product of slander.

I've made a lot of mistake in my life and I plan on doing what I can to not make anymore. Spreading rumors is not my thing, so, why is everyone else still trapped in high school?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If I Eat my Weight in Chocolate?

I often find myself wondering what would happen if I ate my weight in chocolate. I've wonderered whether I would grow a tail, or become obese, or just be happy. Then I find myself wondering how many ounces of chocolate does each problem deserve. Does a fight with Mike equal eight ounces? Is twelve ounces too much when dealing with work related issues? Is it even possible to eat my weight in chocolate?

These are the questions that plague me each night as I go in search for some type of chocolatly goodness. Then I find myself looking at the mirror in disgust after inhaling a king size candy bar. My problem is not a lack of magnesium, or even a lack of self control, it's that I have become to passive. I started allowing people to vent their frustrations and take advantage, because I have become passive. I was so proud of myself for becoming passive aggressive yesterday that I thought I deserved a pat on the back, then I realized that wasn't the answer either.

Is there an answer? No. Is there even a question? Yes, why is it at thirty-one, I find myself still in the same battles I fought in high school?

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 2011

And I made it. I finally caught everything up. It took a while, but I did it.

Keeping up with the family has been difficult because we are so spread apart, but we made sure to do the family Thanksgving again this year and it was once again a lot of fun. I love being in our growing family and can't wait until the girls have more cousins to harass and grow fond of. I was just thankful we were together, and that we didn't all become overly emotional during the blessing of the food. It's been a busy month, and December is only two days away.

October 2011

Pumpkin patches, first soccer games, the coldest October Marching band contest I have ever been to, and what the crap, I have MONO.

if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm the luckies person alive. I mean who gets mono twice in ten years. The person with like five sick days left does. What can I say, I have all the luck.

September 2011

It's been ten years since 9/11. Football is under way, and I feel like something never change.