Number 98 – Drew Taylor


Drew is the oldest of the next generation of my family. My sister Jen had Drew almost 4 years ago and it’s been so much fun to see how our family has changed since his arrival.  Steve and mom changed from being parents to being grandparents – Jen and Kyle were all of a sudden parents – the rest of us became aunties and uncles.  We have since added 3 more little people to our family, and it continues to amaze me how our relationships and identities are able to bend and grow so gracefully.

Drew is a goof.  He is a silly little man with a snappy sense of humor.  He can have an attitude at times, but I think it’s fun to watch him try on some adult-like mannerisms and see where they take him (I’m sure his parents feel a bit differently about this).  Drew is a wonderful big brother (when he’s not trying to blame his mistakes on Logan) and quite a delightful nephew.

I often wonder what the rest of Drew’s childhood will be like – I’ve never seen someone grow up being the first of their family.  He’s the first son, first boy, first cousin, first grandchild.  It will be so interesting to see him take on the roles of protector, antagonizer, trail blazer, rule breaker…

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Number 97 – Jesse Robert Williams

So, new year.  Love it.  I wanted to let you know that I haven’t given up on this 365 Days Until 30 project.  I’m just going to change it a bit.  I really want to complete this, but know that it will be very difficult to get it done before my birthday, so I’m changing it to 365 Days Until of 30.  So, during my 30th and 31st year I will write about 365 people and things that have affected me and brought me to where I am today.  Revised goal, still a goal, still achievable.
Without further ado…

Jesse Robert Williams

Jesse has been my husband for 5 years, but we have been a couple for almost 10 (!).  When I first met Jesse I was drawn to his humor and his zest.  He is still one of the funniest and zestiest people I know.  We don’t lack laughing and zestiness in our relationship, let me tell you.

The summer we started dating (2001). Gotta love the hair, Jesse.

Jesse is perfect for me.  He is supportive, generous, tidy, loving, amazingly affectionate, wonderful.  I can’t imagine spending the amount of time we spend together with anyone else.  Even during Peace Corps when we were together almost 20 hours a day, I never got sick of him.  I don’t think I would have made it through that experience without him.  Actually, I know I wouldn’t have made it through without him.

Everyday I love Jesse more and more.  We have our moments, but I’m always proud of how gracefully and gently we are able to handle each other during those times.

Jesse is now in his 30th year as well, so I figured it would be a good way to get back into the blog.

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Number 96 – Oskar Schell

I have already written a post about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer,  but I also wanted to write about Oskar Schell, the main character.  He is a 9 year old boy, but oh so much more than that.  There are so many things about Oskar that are incredibly endearing.  He’s an inventor who invents things that will make all our lives easier.  He’s a Francophile who is constantly describing his raison d’être.  He only wears white and is always playing his tambourine.  He is a brave little boy who travels far and wide to solve a beautiful mystery.  He is a vegan and a pacifist.  You need to read this book.

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Number 95 – Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

As I’ve said before, I loved Reading Rainbow when I was a kid.  This was one of my favorites.  It’s an African folk tale, but is surprisingly similar to Cinderella – I suppose this illustrates the universal theme of pride before the fall.  Mufaro has two daughters who are very beautiful but one is rude and the other is generous and kind.  The story is well written and quite lovely.  The illustrations are beautiful.  I love the rich, vibrant way the illustrator recreated the African landscape.  I probably checked this out of the library a dozen times and I even bought myself a copy a couple years ago.  It’s a great book, but you don’t have to take my word for it.

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Number 94 – Val King

During grad school I had quite a few instructors.  I took more classes than anyone else in my program (in addition to getting my Language Arts endorsement, I also got my ESL endorsement and a Cultural Competency Certificate… I think I ended up with almost twice the credits as my classmates) so I had the benefit of learning from additional talented teachers and professors.  One of my absolute favorites was Val.  While I learned a lot of things about education in most of my classes, I learned how to teach from Val.  She had such a wonderful classroom presence and taught us in a very organic, hands on way.  When she taught about a method, she actually used the method.  This was a great strategy because we got to see how these ideas worked as students.  This makes it so much easier to translate these ideas now, as teachers.

While Val was an incredible teacher, she was also a very lovely person. I would love to have the chance to work for her someday as she is also a principal in Springfield.  I’m sure she runs a successful, respectful and fun school.

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Number 93 – Sally Yazwinski

Yes, people do ballet in the Peace Corps. Duh.

 

Sally was one of my Peace Corps friends.  I liked her from the first day.  She had a really cute scarf (which isn’t why I like her, but it helped).  When Jesse and I were rescued from our first host family in Sumgayit Station (I will get to this in a later post), we got to go live with Sally’s cluster in beautiful Corat.  Corat was a sweet little beach town compared to The Station.

Sal is a very funny lady.  She cracked me up all the time (and cracked up at everything I said, thus making me feel very good about myself (I bet she’s laughing now if she’s reading this (are you laughing, Sally?))).

Sally and Kelsey came to visit (before the roses were blooming) last spring and it was so, so, so great to catch up with them.  Although we only lived in the same part of the world for a very short time, I know that Sal will always be a great friend who will always mean the world to me.


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Number 92 – Teaser Firecat Frosaker

Teaser was my first dog and she was the best darn soccer player who ever lived.  She would run full steam round and round our backyard dribbling the soccer ball with her nose.  She was truly amazing.  She was a  Welsh terrier and she was a good little dog.  She could bark and jump with the best of them.  Teaser loved our backyard on Ridgeway (but not our garage on Spyglass).  When I was in middle school she ran away to become a TV commercial star and to live in the lap of luxury.

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