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Showing posts from 2012

Bibliotherapy: What if we read more?

I know I'm not alone at trying to process the soul-crushing events of last week. Last Saturday morning, I was straightening the girls' playroom and writing in my head (that's what I call thinking). I had just read some heartless comments on a Facebook thread about WHY this happened and who is to blame. It had not even been 24 hours.

As I slipped into the hearts of those grieving parents and families and tried to imagine what they were feeling at that moment, I grabbed the closest writing utensil--a purple crayon. I jotted down what was in my mind and heart, and then I texted my friend Karen. She is a rock star public librarian with an awesome blog who has posted some of my writing in the past. "I have an idea that I think would work for your blog. I just wrote some of it in purple crayon." She quickly responded, "So should I call you Harold?"

Well-played, my librarian friend, well-played.

On Thursday, Karen posted my piece. I share it out of my sincere …

Double Digits: Another Milestone in My Moments of Motherhood

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I know that I'm not the first Mom to feel utter astonishment as her first-born turns ten years old. I know that I'm not the first Mom to grow misty-eyed as she flips through the pages of the baby book. I know that I'm not the first Mom to embrace her child and silently pray that God freeze this moment in time. But when these universal experiences happen to me, they become surreal rather than real. 

I admit that I've been a bit emotional as we've prepared for Landry's birthday festivities. All of this sentimentality reminded me of a piece that I wrote in 2006, (pre-Peyton) while teaching the Abydos Writing Institute. "Moments of Motherhood" perfectly describes my feelings about becoming Landry's mom, and her 10th birthday seems like a perfect time to unearth it and share:


The moment happened in an instant. The “it” became “she”—the nameless baby inside of me suddenly gained an identity: Landry Elizabeth Bailey. And in that moment, when the sonogram te…

Come Together

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In Pursuit of Greatness

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Like most of America, my family has been under the spell of Summer Olympic Magic. For the past two and a half weeks, we sat in front of the TV and cheered on TEAM USA. Usually, Jason and I limit the amount of TV time for our girls, but all regulations flew out the window in honor of this occasion that only happens every four years. It didn't matter the event--Mountain Biking, Rowing, Wrestling, Gymnastics (my personal fave)--we sat enthralled, awe-struck by the effort and dedication that it takes be an Olympic athlete in any sport.

Our girls not only enjoyed the unrestricted TV time that the Olympics brought to their lives, but they also embraced the Olympic Spirit in other ways. The Olympics broadened Landry's horizons to new countries, continents, languages, time zones, and the rules of various sports. (I justified all of the extra time in front of the TV with the fact that it was educational, after all).  Landry's kind, compassionate spirit showed every time the cameras…

I Choose LOVE.

I love Jesus. It is my deepest hope that this comes as no surprise to anyone. I love gay people--straight people, too. I love Chic-Fil-A. I would bathe in CFA sauce if I could. But yesterday a line was drawn in the Chic-Fil-A parking lot. Until last week, I didn't know that I had to choose a side.

The fact that many people feel compelled to "pick a side" in this debate represents so much that is wrong with our world today. We live in a polarized culture fueled by cable TV news channels, the internet, and social media. Are you a Democrat or a Republican? Are you Conservative or Liberal? Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? There seems to be no middle ground left in America, and our politicians prove this point with their inabilty to compromise--each side refusing to give an inch for fear that they will appear weak, or Heaven forbid, Moderate. Our politicians are not the only ones guilty of this deep need to pick a team. Facebook and Twitter make it too easy to fire off our …

My Time in Detox

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Hello, my name is Amianne, and I am a Facebook addict. (As if you didn't already know that). According to new research, I am not alone in my addiction. I think many of us are hooked on some form of social media or technology. Thanks to our handy-dandy smartphones, it has become WAY TOO EASY to constantly check email and/or our favorite social media site(s) while waiting in line at Wal-Mart. Many of us use social media to "creep"--to check up on others with only an occasional contribution to the Facebook/Twitter-Verse. Some of us are over-posters (ME!) who share every thought that comes into our heads (well, not EVERY thought--be glad for that). And others use social media to farm imaginary land and play games that clog our friends' news feeds (no judgement). Whatever your purpose for using Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Blogger/Tumblr/Instagram, the truth of the matter is that social media appeals to our basic humanness-- that need to feel connected with one another--th…

A Tale of Two Books

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So I finally read that book...you know the one that has most women buzzing and fanning themselves? I resisted it for a while, but ironically, I felt like one of the only people who had NOT read it. Because it is my librarian duty to stay on top of the current literary trends, I succumbed to the peer pressure and read the book. Wow.

Since I know my mother and possibly my in-laws are reading this, I will refrain from including the details of Fifty Shades of Grey. If you have read it, you understand why. If you have been living under a rock for the past few months and have no idea what all of the fuss is about, then let me just say this: the book is graphic. Well, that's an understatement. It's explicit. And erotic. And sometimes downright disturbing. It contains lots of S-E-X. Stop, Amianne. Your mother is reading this.


Now that I have gotten that uncomfortable detail out of the way, let me just say this--I did not like the book. If you have followed my blog, then you know this…

The Porch

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This is the piece that I submitted to the anthology for the 2012 Abydos Writing Institute. For eight summers, I have had the privilege and pleasure of being one of the co-trainers for this life-changing course. The core philosophy of Abydos (formerly the New Jersey Writing Project in Texas) is that as teachers of writing, we must be writers ourselves. Therefore, we must read a lot and write a lot. I have the reading part down, but I still struggle with making time for writing in my daily life. (That is one of the reasons that I started this blog--for accountability in my reading AND writing life.) 
     A few weeks ago, I traveled to Fredericksburg with my two best friends, and that trip inspired this writing. Even though it will be published in the anthology, I wanted this memory to be posted on my blog because my friendship with Emily and Tracie is a huge part of the person that I am today. 


On a front porch in the Texas Hill Country, I sit in silence with my two best friends. Night s…

Practicing What I Preach

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As a school librarian, I have been challenging my students to read AT LEAST FIVE books this summer so that their brains won't turn to mush. Research shows that students who do not read over the summer will return to school behind the reading level that they reached at the end of the previous school year; this is known as the "summer slide."

It's time to practice what I preach and throw down a summer reading challenge for my own family. Rather than focus on quantity of books, I want our focus to be on making TIME to read. The biggest complaint that I hear from people (kids AND adults) is "I don't have time to read." Well, actually, you do. The truth is that we don't always MAKE time to read, so that's the challenge to the Bailey family: Make time to read EVERY DAY!

Here's our Challenge: We will read for at least 30 minutes each day. Time of day does not matter, and three of our five members of the family must be present for it to "count.&…

Our Family of Five

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It’s been exactly a year since Barbie came to live with us. Most of you know our story, but this is not about us. This is a story about God and his amazing love.
As Barbie’s Pre-AP English I teacher at Poteet High School, I got to know her as the bright, bubbly girl that everyone loved. We bonded over after-school tutoring sessions where Barbie begged me to get her schedule changed so that she could get out of my class—the first honors course that she had ever taken. I refused because I saw something in her. She shared with me that she had dreams of going to college even though her mom called it a “waste of time.”  I knew Barbie was “college material,” and I remember thinking in that moment, “I am going to do everything in my power to make sure this girl fulfills her dream.” Ironically, God had a plan for us: I would be the one moving Barbie into and out of her dorm room at SFA five years later. I left Poteet to become an elementary librarian at the beginning of Barbie’s senior year,…