Tuesday, June 30, 2015

#180: A Sunny Morning in Galway!

This is the first morning I've been here that the sun is shining in Galway!

#179: A randon Euro

I joined the gym for the month here in Galway.  It's a great facility (called the KingFisher) that has a pretty good weight room, a huge pool, lots of cardio machines and classes. 

The trainer I hired right before I left wrote me workouts to do while I'm here, so yesterday I got to it.  The first exciting thing that happened is that I got a barcode card that I get to beep on the scanner when I arrive (Last year I just had a paper card that I showed to receptionist to get in).

But I took my bag and didn't have a Euro for the locker.  I left my stuff in a locker but didn't lock it, and hoped for the best.  About 10 minutes later I moved a mat and found a Euro!  WooHoo!  It presently went to secure my locker, and my anxiety diminished.

THEN....I got my Euro back when I returned the key!  So now I have a Euro to use at the gym every day.  Woohoo!

Monday, June 29, 2015

#178: Strange coincidences

Walking back from the grocery store in Galway last evening, a couple with a girl of about 9 stopped us and asked us how to get to Eyre Square.  As I am giving them directions, the woman says, "Joy?"  I say, "yes..."  She tells me who she is...from high school.  Actually that's not true.  We are going back to elementary school.  We had sleepovers together.


What are the chances
  • That we'd both be in Galway at the same time?
  • That I would need to use the restroom before leaving the grocery store that would delay us just enough to be on the same corner as my high school friend at the same time?
  • That we'd be on the same corner in Galway at the same time?
  • That they'd as us for directions?
We're going to try to hook up later in the week for coffee!!

#177: Reunited for Year 2

Today at 4 my Masters program officially began with an opening task and yummy dinner. I am forever grateful to my friend in Boise who gave me the idea of "Educational Technology" as an area of study, and to Google for bringing up Michigan State's Masters of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) overseas programs as the first suggestion when I punched in 'masters degree educational technology overseas'. 

Being here again I re-remember what a life-changing event it was and is to do this program.  I also realize how uncomfortable and anxious I was last year now that I feel so comfortable with everyone here. 

Finally, I feel how much everyone in my cohort means to me.  Living and working so intensely with 13 other people for a month bonds you togetherness in unique and strong ways.  They have become a small part of me, though I didn't realize it until I arrived this year.

i am so blessed to be able to do this program!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

#176: I found my purse!

There are so many great things that happened today, but by far the winner is that my purse was located.  Which means, of course, that I left my purse somewhere.  Specifically on the the train after I arrived in Galway.  I got to Corrib Village where we are staying, waved to my friends, dropped my stuff in my room and reached for my purse to go get food from the market.  PANIC!!  I ran back to reception who called the cab companies and the train depot for me, with no luck.

I went into the room where most of my class had gathered long enough to say hi, control some tears and ask if anyone wanted to take me back to the train station.  Our "Campus Life Director" went with me back to the station.  We were directed to the Train Supervisor's office.  When he opened the door I said, "I think I left my purse on the train from Dublin in Coach B!"  He didn't say anything.  The longer he paused the more I thought he might have it.

"Katherine Zaher?"  I cried.  I hugged him.  He had just hung up with the American Embassy in Dublin.

People are so wonderful!  And honest!

Edinburgh Castle- it doesn't get more beautiful!
Before this, I saw the Edinburgh Castle, the Crown Jewels of Scotland, and a parade in honor of Armed Forces Day in Scotland--this included a band of Highland Bagpipers in full regalia that brought tears to my eyes (this also happens to be where I learned how to NOT video on my phone.  I now have some great shots of the cobblestones in Edinburgh with distant bagpipe music in the background).  I ate a healthy salmon filet for lunch; the sun came out and was beautiful over Edinburgh; and I got to ride a train across Ireland!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

#175: An amazing day in Edinburgh

My first visit to Edinburgh (pronounced Ed-in-bor-o)!  Just a few of the places I visited.  I also toured the Britannia, the Royal Yacht, took a ghost tour, navigated the bus system at night, and ate a fantastic steak in a nice restaurant.
Holyroodhouse Palace- closed for a Royal Visit next week.
Scottish Parliament Building - Amazing!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

#174: The generosity of friends

The Main Light at the Isle of May
I am here in St. Andrews with friends from Boise.  They were generous enough to offer me a bed in the house they rented for the family during the week of their daughter's graduation from St. Andrews.  Because of them, I am saving some money (okay, a LOT of money) but more meaningful to me is the sense of belonging I have being here with people I know.

And I get a taste of family.  We reunited for dinner last night: myself from sightseeing and the family from graduation.  It felt like home watching the family dynamics between brothers and sisters-in-law!  No swanky hotel room could replace that!

I would not have come to Scotland at all if it weren't for my friend suggesting I join them, and because I'm here I have walked the "Old Course";  seen what was once the largest cathedral in Scotland;  stood underground in the [no longer] Scottish Secret Bunker;  been attacked by nesting birds on the Isle of May; and tomorrow I'm going to visit a castle.  Oh, and I have 4 new friends in this family now, too. 

Thank you, friends!

An attacking bird

The Cathedral of St. Andrews. What's left of it that would fit in my screen.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#173: A little star sticker

This day has been unbelievably wonderful!  Or it may be the last two days, I lost count somewhere in there.  My plane left Boise at 7 on Monday morning and although it is officially Tuesday afternoon here in Scotland, I'm pretty sure my body thinks it's late Monday night. 

My flights were all on time.  My ride to the airport arrived early, just as I was beginning to get anxious about leaving at 7 a.m. on a Monday morning.  At the scanner machine at security, I ran into a friend I ski with whom I haven't seen since winter.  My bag arrived with me.  The flight to Glasgow from Philly wasn't full, so the flight attendants moved people around so that no one sat 3 people in a row unless they wanted to.  I sat next to a very nice Scottish gentleman who told me all about how Glasgow and St. Andrews.  I easily found transportation from the airport to St. Andrews, and when I found the house of my friends, they were there.  I've seen the castle.  I've had a snack.  I'm super grateful I packed my winter coat-it's cold here.

I've been marveling all day at how full I feel, in stark contrast to last year's trip.  I am absolutely amazed and thankful for my life.

And the I ordered an English Breakfast tea at the Starbucks in St. Andrews, and the woman behind the counter said it was free because there is a star on the cup.  Really?  Yes, this is really happening!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Blessing #172: Being true to myself in Ireland

I'm finally excited!  I'm leaving tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.  My ride to the airport is coming at 5:45, and I'm pretty closed to packed (note: it's 11:54, way better than last year).  Everything fell into place today; I got everything I think I need from Gu Chomps for long runs to Ziploc Space Bags for packing.

The great thing about today, however, is that I did NOT devote the entire day to getting ready for my trip.  I went to breakfast with my usual Sunday morning crowd;  I went to church;  I went on a walk afterwards with a friend; and this evening I went to the gym and did the workout my trainer gave me.  Oh, and I'm taking time to write this blog post.

I realized a few days ago that in the past, these trips overseas were opportunities to escape myself and my life.  While I was gone I didn't work out regularly (I realize many of us do this), I largely ignored my food allergies, I stayed up late even when I was tired, I drank caffeine even when I knew it would keep me up until 2 a.m.  The list goes on and on.  I realize that these are things most of us do on vacation, but what I discovered is that I did these things not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to fit in or because I wanted to make sure I saw all the "right" sights in places or because everybody else was doing it.  [sidebar: Brene Brown says that the #1 barrier to belonging is "fitting in".  See The Power of Vulnerability]

And so my intention this trip is to be myself, to live in my own life, to do the things I want to do because I want to do them, and to take care of myself while I do it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

#171: I'm ahead of the game!

I leave for Scotland/Ireland/London on Monday at 7 a.m. and though I am not completely packed, I am so far ahead of where I was last year at this same point.  My friend that took me to the airport last year reminded me that the morning she picked me up last year to go to the airport, I was still packing!

Now it's over 24 hours from my departure and I already have a lot of stuff taken care of that in the past either didn't get done at all or I did by staying up till 2 the night before.  Both ways, though, I was completely anxious for days before I left! 

I've already begun packing (see picture)!  My method is to haul out the suitcase a week before I leave and throw things into it whenever I think about it.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

#170: Flowers & snap peas!!

I had coffee today with a new friend who brought me flowers and snap peas to share from the garden.  The flowers were in a vase purchased at the rummage sale from church. 

I don't know how he knew I love flowers so much, because we only recently met, but the flowers and conversation made my day!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

#169: Another fear overcome!

I am so proud of myself!  I have been wanting to go biking on a Thursday with a group I found online called Boise Community Bicycle Rides for the last 3 months or so.  At the same time I was scared to go: what if I can't keep up, what if all my gear is wrong, what if they are mean, what if what if what if...

After lots of thinking and talking about it and many strange coincidences where other things came up on Thursday nights, I finally drove to the ride last week.  They were meeting behind Hillside Junior High and the calendar said they start riding at 6:15.  I drove up at 6:10 and there were no bicycles to be found.  I drove away a little relieved and a little disappointed and a little irritated with myself for more or less sabotaging the ride by showing up so late.

But tonight there was no sabotage, and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit how anxious I was all afternoon leading up to 5:45, the time I had decided to leave for the ride.  I spent the afternoon getting stuff done, but had to take a couple of breaks to be with people just to get my mind off of my anxiety.

Finally it was time, and I headed out.

I thought of what I heard Brene Brown say in The Power of Vulnerability: if I am there to show up and be seen, then my worthiness is not on the line.  My worthiness is not on the line.  Just show up and be seen.  I kept repeating over and over.

I reminded myself that all I had to do was drive over there and get out of the car.  I easily found a group of bicyclers, got out of the car, walked over to them and asked if this was the Boise Community Rides group.  That alleviated most of my fear because they talked back!

I have this huge Camelback day pack that I wear biking because I haven't yet figured out how to carry the gear I need without it.  Several people kindly said it looked heavy and asked if I really needed it, and I found myself not being defensive and only a little self-conscious about it.  Show up and be seen.  Show up and be seen.

The bike ride was fun and the people were kind!  I met some new people, I conquered some fear and biked a beautiful route.  Best of all, I grew my soul just a little bit today!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

#168: New toys!

I have a new phone and a new computer!  I've been playing on both of them all day!  I want to put a picture on of my Texas sticker on my computer, but I can't figure out how to get the picture from my phone to my computer via the Bluetooth. 

I'm so grateful I'm not living in survival mode anymore, and that my problems today are these new toys and not how to get myself out of terrible relationships or overcoming fear or anxiety.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

#166: Cadillac Problems

Last night I spent a few hours on the phone with T-Mobile, Samsung and Google (yes, Google has actual people to talk to!).  My phone was still broken at the end of it.  I was frustrated.

Today I went to turn on my brand new computer and couldn't get in.  I spent an hour on the phone with Apple which ended in tears.

Ten hours, 1 Facebook rant, 1 coffee meeting with a friend, 1 "coincidental" running into a friend in the parking lot of Winco with whom I exchanged "sob" stories of the day, and 1 trip to the Apple Store later, my computer works and I have a brand new phone!

One of the comments I got on Facebook to my whining was to be grateful for the "problems".  I forgot that I'm in a hurry to get this stuff done because I am leaving for Ireland for 5 weeks shortly.  Not exactly an earth-shattering problem!

So not only am I grateful for my Cadillac Problems, I'm grateful for the person who reminded me to be grateful!

Monday, June 15, 2015

#165: Self Acceptance

I'm a 1, I'm a 1! 

Yesterday when I heard Suzanne Stabile go through the nine types of the Enneagram there was a particular types that sounded so horribly bad that I was starting to cry by the time she moved to the next number.  Some of the things I heard were that people of this type:
  • are continually frustrated with themselves & the world
  • struggle with terrible feelings of being unworthy or not enough
  • notice right/wrong everyone
  • have one thing they are trying to perfect
  • compare themselves to others
  • compulsively worry about making wrong decisions
  • will sacrifice their personal selves to do what "should" or "ought" to be done
  • spew anger out sideways because they don't allow themselves to be angry
  • can get obsessed with little things
And here is when I really started feeling uncomfortable - not in a good way:
  • have a relentless internal critic that never, never stops 
  • these voices are so loud and unending that sleep is challenging
Furthermore, he unconscious childhood memory for this types is it's not okay to make mistakes; the lost childhood message is "you are good".

This is just a little bit of it, but enough to say that I really, really, really did NOT want to be a 1.  After stewing over this all night long, I realized I most likely AM a 1.  After the workshop today I asked Suzanne what she thought and without hesitation she said I'm a 1 (it turns out 1's need lots of reassurance)!

Now I'm grateful.  What relief and how awesome to realize that parts of my personality that I thought were innate defects like the relentless critics in my head are not mental illness (I've wondered) but a trait that lots of other people share!  I've found an explanation for some behaviors I was beginning to think were hopeless broken pieces of myself.  I've actually wondered in the last 6 months what IS driving some of my compulsive behaviors, because I've been "working" on them for years and I don't always see growth. 

I'm not alone anymore.  And now I not only have permission to not listen to the voices, I have a way tool to use to help myself escape the compulsive behaviors that have driven me thus far.  Woohoo!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

#164 for 2015: The Enneagram

I spent today in a workshop on the Enneagram given by a woman named Suzanne Stabile, a master of this spiritual tool.  I don't really know how to explain it (even after 8 hours of listening about it), except to say that there are 9 personality types, or numbers, into which everyone falls.  The numbers are not in any priority ranking, they are just labels used to identify the different types of personalities.  It gets complicated quickly and I have yet to identify my own number but 1) I get to go back tomorrow and 2) the knowledge I have gained about myself and people in general is priceless! 

I almost didn't go to this workshop, and I'm so so so glad that I got over myself and went.  I have learned so much!  Even though I'm not sure where I fall, I heard characteristics about myself that I didn't realize are more or less universal.  I didn't know a significant portion of people, for example, have an internal critic that can be utterly paralyzing.  I just assumed I am close to mentally ill and need to do more work on myself.  (As I'm writing this, I think I'm figuring out my number!)

I wish I had had this training before I worked at the alternative school;  I think it would have enabled me to understand my students better from a more compassionate frame of mind.  Yes, I will be able to use it at my new school, but those alternative kids need an understanding adult in a bad way.

On an even more personal notes, Suzanne was born in Texas, has a thick accent, says "ya'll", calls people "Darlin'", understands the importance of the Red River Rivalry (and knows which team to root for), went to SMU like my father and a smattering of cousins, and she and her husband live in Dallas near where my family is.  Joe is an Italian former Catholic, similar to my family (though the Italian men in my family cannot sing AT all, unlike Joe!). I felt comfortable and at home and homesick by the end of the day.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

#163: M*A*S*H

I love M*A*S*H! You know, the show about the MASH 4077 during the "police action" in Korea?  It is the only show that I can see over and over again and laugh out loud every single time.  I remember watching the series finale with my parents and crying with my mom.  Thank you channel 12.2 for continuing to show the reruns!

Here's couple of clips.  The first one is Harry Morgan as General Steele before Colonoel Potter came along; the second one is just a quick funny with Radar. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

#162: The courage to do something different

I'm tired eating bags of popcorn for dinner then feeling like crap the next day, resolving to not do it again only to eat all the leftover cookies later in the afternoon.  I'm tired of working out with no results; being lazy and making excuses for not moving around; of hearing myself say how much I want to improve my Robie time and qualify for Boston but not taking action on it.  In short, I'm really, really tired of hearing myself complain. 

So on Monday, I got brave.  I got excited that I said "no" to working this week (see post) and used that momentum to make another change, this time about my body. 

I have been watching this guy train people at the gym for years, and I met him once at Bogus Basin.  Ever since then, I've been wanting to ask him to be my trainer, but I was afraid of the changes I would have to make if it happened.  He's not really a take-excuses kind of guy (or so I told myself). 

About a month ago I'd gone to the gym fully intending to ask him but I chickened out when I got there (he doesn't smile a lot and is super focused on his clients therefore I concluded he didn't like me).  I approached him once but just stood there like an idiot as he didn't even notice me walk by.  When I left I stopped at the desk and got the card for the person in charge of personal training.  It was a small, small victory.

The card sat on my desk for a month--until Monday!

I emailed in the late morning and within the hour had a reply.  She assured me the trainer would be in touch soon, and he called at 8 that night.

We met on Tuesday, Wednesday and today.  I went in with the attitude of "I don't know anything," which is new and good for me.  I haven't tried to tell him what I know (which is nothing compared to what he knows).  He still intimidates the crap out of me, but I have become willing to change my eating habits with his support.  I feel great about my decision and so happy that I became willing to ask for help.

The excuses have ended, and I feel terrific!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

#161: "Evenings" in Boise

I went for a run tonight at 9:10.  This is what it looked like outside:

When I got back an hour later, it looked like this:
10:10 at night and still twilight outside.  One of the many reasons I love living in Boise!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#160: I said no!

I did it.  I said no.

In May I volunteered to write curriculum this summer and our training days were yesterday and today.  When I signed up, however, I didn't give any thought to being in Boise for only 2 weeks before I left for Ireland; I disregarded entirely the need for rest after a hard school year; and thoroughly neglected one of the absolute joys of being a teacher: summer hanging out time.  I also ignored my schedule, which was to drive to Colorado for the Ragnar Trail Relay in Snowmass.  My new commitment meant I would have to finish the race on Saturday afternoon and be back in Boise by Sunday night-an 11 hour drive.

Here's what I did:  I finished the race around 4, stayed in Glenwood Springs Saturday night, then drove all 11 hours back to Boise on Sunday.  I got home at 6:30.  Around 8 I went to Chili's to pick up dinner and realized just how exhausted I was.  The thought of going to work on Monday was overwhelming.  The thought of going back Tuesday was paralyzing and the thought of working into Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was disheartening. 

I had an inkling to call my supervisor and talk to her, but I didn't.  Instead I didn't sleep due to caffeine and anxiety.  In the morning I went to work like I had promised, but with resolve to back out of this once I got there.  The conversation played over and over in my head, though in the back of my head I had a vague sense that I was making too big a deal out of this.

I was right!  By lunch I talked to the woman in charge and she said you totally should have called me last night!  Of course go take care of yourself.

So I did!  And because I did I got to (among other things) sleep in until 11:30 this morning, watch The Water Diviner at the dollar show with a friend and then to the Natatorium today.

Woohoo!!  It feels like summer now!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blessing #159: the piano has arrived!

Shipped all the way from Austin, Texas! I understand that it also went to Montana, Missouri, California, South Dakota, Nebraska and Canada before landing in Boise.  Nana would be so happy to know her piano made it, AND was played today.  My mom learned to play on it, my aunt learned to play on it, and I learned to play on it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

#158: A free night in Glenwood Srpings

We may have paid zero dollars, but our room in Glenwood Springs did have a cost:
  • Un-insulated rooms between the hallway and the bathroom
  • A night without any kleenex for two women with runny noses
  • At least one BIG fight between drunk wedding party participants in the hallway outside our door
  • Approxomately 6 yelling matches between said wedding participants 
  • More or less 819 slammed doors throughout the night
  • One used glass of wine stolen from the hallway (presumably by drunk wedding attendees)
  •  7 calls to the front desk for Kleenex
  • 4 calls to the front desk about drunk wedding people
  • 1 call to police about said wedding people
  • Looking and feeling like death warmed over this morning upon awakening
 However, this is a blessing blog, so I'll end with this:  The money I would have used for the room now went to pay for my SPECTACULAR filet mignon and vegan mashed potatoes last night!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

#157: Friends who know me better than I know myself

I volunteered to do some work for the school district over the summer, which begins on Monday.  This meant that I needed to be back in Boise Sunday night.  Which meant that I needed to drive from Snowmass to Boise (11 hours according to Google maps) between Saturday at 4 and Sunday night.

If we ignore the question of the wisdom of volunteering for said work and disregard the option of skipping Monday at work, my big dilemma was when do I start driving to Boise.  Many of my teammates planned to stay in Glenwood Springs Saturday night for rest and relaxation.  In accordance with my natural tendency to pile too much on, I thought I would leave on Saturday and get a few hours of driving out of the way.  I warned (interesting choice of words!) my teammates that I may or may not stay Saturday night.

By the time our team finished, I was utterly exhausted and D. U. N. (done).  My usually sketchy decision-making abilities were virtually non-existent and I had no idea what to do.  All I could think about was leaving.  Leaving the rain, the wet, the cold and the chaos.

And so I left.  I didn't say goodbye to most of my team, I just got in my car and drove away.  I drove to Glenwood Springs and still couldn't figure out what to do.  Oblivious to my impaired state of mind, I couldn't figure out if I should stay or go.  To buy myself time, I drove past the hotel in Glenwood Springs found a gas station.  It was kinda like Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off:

I began to get a little clarity: I kinda wanted to stay, but felt like an idiot for being so indecisive and rude about leaving.  I saw their vehicle parked outside the hotel.  I parked in the parking lot, got out and started walking towards the entrance.  My pride got the better of me and I turned around, got back into my car and found my phone.

I called.  I told my friend that I am an idiot and would like to please stay the night with them if they'd have me.  Without hesitation she said: you're in room 406 with Coop.  Go park behind the KFC.

I was a little disappointed in the lack of drama.

At dinner, however, I found out that this friend had told everyone else that I would say no then change my mind.  Right before she answered the phone she told everyone, "Joy's here."

How did they know?

To be known so well and loved anyways....

#156: Ragnar Relay Snowmass

Friday morning team #isthereapubontop set up camp for the Ragnar Trail Relay in Snowmass, CO.  Our team consisted of 8 runners and one volunteer.  Each runner ran each of the three trail loops once, for a total of about 15 miles.

It was an incredible experience!
  • I ran in a beautiful place
  • I ran in a beautiful pace at night
  • Trail running at night is my new favorite thing 
  • I made 6 new friends
  • We camped in the rain
  • We ate in the rain
  • We did everything, actually, in the rain
  • We were cold
  • We were hot
  • Many of us got super muddy (I was spared the mud by lucky timing on my legs)
 We finished around 3 Saturday afternoon to a drizzling rain but amazing spirits!  It was an experience of a lifetime!
Before- clean, dry, sunny
After: dirty, wet, elated!

Friday, June 5, 2015

#155: My first visit to Snowmass

I made it, safe and sound to Snowmass, CO and met up with my teammates.  The drive from Salt Lake to Snowmass is beautiful, and as a bonus I got to talk to my parents for an hour on the last part of the drive through Glenwood Springs!
Picture from http://www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities/summer-activities

Thursday, June 4, 2015

#154: Safe travel to Salt Lake

I'm on my way to Snowmass Village, CO, to run the Ragnar Relay on Friday with a stellar team of women.  Some of the team is coming from Denver and the rest of the Boise contingent left yesterday before I even got to school.  After sleeping in till 8:30 and lounging around until noon, I left today at 4 (2 p.m. Joy time) and rolled into SLC around 8:30. 

I didn't feel rushed and/or panicked about leaving, which was new and good.  I have a history or freaking out over things that don't matter at all; a category into which today's travel would fit.  I used miles for my "motel" room.  I saw a sheep and an alpaca out front of a "convenience" that had a sign on the door:  Welcome to the middle of nowhere.

I've learned so much today!  Once you get to the Wasatch Front there were many more miles to go to get to Salt Lake.  It gets dark WAY earlier in Northern Utah than it does in Boise.  It was practically dark at 9:15!!!  I've only just driven through and have not gone driving into downtown.  They really, really like solid white lines on the streets--and I have no idea how to drive them!  I think I'm in a lane, but suddenly I'm hitting a curb.  The downtown area is lovely and clean (in sharp contrast to the trash and graffiti I've seen in Utah public spaces).  It must be relatively safe--I saw a couple people out running at 9:30, one a woman alone.  Oh, and Chick-fil-A's waffle fries are gluten free!!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#153: Yearbooks!

FINALLY, the last day of school!  With the end of school comes yearbooks.  Some good ones from this year:

Monday, June 1, 2015

#151: Borrowing other people's children

I want to be a mom one day to my own children, but until then I a content with my students are borrowing other people's.

Today I borrowed my neighbor's two daughters and took them the see Cinderella!  It was so fun!  One hasn't learned to whisper; the other can't sit still for more than 2 minutes and has a wide array of pretzel-like positions she is capable of twisting into in a theater seat.  They fought over the popcorn and the Slurpee and I taught the younger one how to shake the Slurpee so that everything goes down to the bottom when you want a drink.  I saw her later shaking the hell out of that glass!  There were other people with their restless, loud children, too.

I loved every minute of it.

 P.S. Ever After is still my favorite Cinderella story ever.