a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, August 16, 2014

in which I CELEBRATE unpredictability

celebrate with Ruth Ayres and friends on Saturdays
one | bulletin boards

My creative process, no matter the end product, always includes drafting in my head.  Sometimes my vision is manifested in the final creation.  Other times, there is a bit more problem solving needed along the way. 

Each of the display cases below began with a mental picture and some sketches (one of them began with a literal vision when I found this idea on Pinterest).  All of them required unexpected problem solving and ended up looking much different than my original plans. 

Nonetheless, I am choosing to celebrate how wonderful these look in comparison to the dusty displays that had been there for the past three years rather than dwell on how different they are from my initial vision.

two | weather

Mark and I intentionally planned a trip to see my dad and Jane one last time right before school starts.  In the days leading up to our trip, the weather forecast predicted four days of straight rain during our five-day visit.  Instead we had four days of beautiful lakeside-worthy weather. 

three |  a special delivery

The puppy in this picture has fleas.  She also has worms.  That might have been enough to make some people pass her by, but not my dad.  This week he rescued this pup from a local shelter (giving more than the required adoption fee). 

I was lucky enough to help out by driving the pup from here (a Chicago suburb where Dad works during the week, near my house) to Indiana where Jane was home to take care of her.  My friend Michelle joined me for the journey.  Her company was an added gift.

four | sale

Mark and I started our own Etsy store this summer.  We work at the same school (in fact my classroom is directly above his) and wanted to work together on something completely unrelated to school.  It has been a learning experience to work on our products and set up a mini-business.  Since we are really doing this more as a hobby than anything else, we were surprised to get our very first order already!

five | archiving

When Ruth invited me to co-host a Twitter chat with her, I didn’t even consider declining.  I really had no idea what it would mean and how much or how little work might be involved, but whenever Ruth opens a door of opportunity, I am willing to charge through with bright eyes. 

I did my homework ahead of time and learned everything I could about moderating a chat and archiving.  I felt prepared.  I felt confident.  Then the chat arrived. 

I tweeted without the hashtag.  Everything I knew about archiving backfired.  And yet, I am celebrating how much I learned—from everyone who participated (especially our experienced guest host Katherine Sokolowski) and about how these chats work behind the scenes.  I am celebrating all this experience has taught me about Twitter and taking risks. 


  1. Love the display case! Easy to see where your generous spirit comes from - your dad is kindhearted and that's a lucky pup. Missed the #TandCWriters Twitter Chat. Haven't had time to look up the archives, but hoping to soon. Good luck with the new business that you and Mark launched together!

  2. What a creative spirit you have! Those display cases are amazing. Now you and Mark share that creativity through Etsy. I was lurking in the chat and thought you did a great job :-) We always learn more from mistakes. Glad you had some beautiful days at the lake. A good place to take a deep breath before the year starts.

  3. Look at all that creativity what an artistic flair you have added to your classroom living space! Beautiful. It is a joy to read about your journeys. The pup headed in a new direction, time with a friend, a lovely lakeside visit, and new learning adventures!

  4. Wow, Christy, the bulletin boards are wonderful. I looked at Pinterest too & can see why you were inspired. How great that you've created an Etsy shop with your husband. I hope it goes well. And I enjoyed the twitter chat very much, look forward to the next one. Hope your school year is a wonderful one!

  5. Love the displays--maybe you should come and create some for me :) Here's to a great school year and more connecting. Looking forward to the next chat, where hopefully I can be more involved.

  6. Unpredictability and celebrate are not words that naturally go together. Cool that you chose to celebrate it. Your displays are amazing. I love the colorful hanging dots and the paper crafts. Your creative juices are flowing strong. I like that you accept that displays and twitter chat didn't go exactly as you envisioned and celebrate the positive in both of them. I missed the chat. I hope that I will have many other chances to connect with you this school year.

  7. I am so grateful that you did the display cases and boards. You knows the heartbeat of your colleagues...and the kids. The theme of every board relates to social-emotional learning...something that has been pushed aside as we focus on rigor and testing and data (oh, my!). They are works of art and I have serious display-case envy. Believe me, the pictures don't do justice to the work you did.

  8. The bulletin boards/displays are fantastic! Wow!
    I am so happy for this puppy! Melts my heart!
    Twitter chat.
    Etsy. (I don't know what that is! Must look it up!)
    ,,,So many wonderful celebrations for you!