Emily Graduates

Isn’t she lovely? Last week my baby sister graduated high school. When I was in fourth grade, Emily entered our lives. She was my human baby doll. It was hard to see her as a real person, she was just this thing that entered our world. The thing grew and developed a unique personality. Emily has always been someone who does things the way she wishes to do them.

The morning of her graduation, I went to the grocery store to get a few things. I saw giant balloons and teared up. My baby sister needed a giant balloon. My baby sister wasn’t a baby anymore. When I graduated high school and went off to college, Emily was eight. Emily is a wonderfully creative young woman now. While Michael and I grew up together, we watched Emily grow up. When I watched that girl cross the stage, I shot up and screamed with pride and joy. I am so proud of the person she has become. I love her lots.

My Classroom

A year ago today, I was setting up a classroom. I was trying my best to get a room ready for 26 kids who would show up Monday morning. I was an absolute complete wreck, it was terrifying. I froze when asked where I would teach from. I froze when they asked where they should put their backpacks. I froze when parents asked what my name was. Preparing a classroom takes time, and time I did not have. Things worked out beautifully. I loved the kids and they didn’t seem to realize I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to have been.

This year I had time. Last week was mandatory back to work, but for the 2 weeks before that, I went and spent time in my room. My sister and Mrs. Oswalt came to help me. My mom and JMO came up to see all I had done. Time is a gift I am grateful for this year. I am also extremely grateful for the amazing support system I have in my life. The people I love gave me gifts for the room and worked hard to help me. I couldn’t be happier with the result.

This is a pop up shark, he is now the treasure box. Kara found him at Target. Thanks Kara!
Treasure BoxRoom

My mother and I spent half a day at JoAnn’s fabric looking for something for these curtains. I had fully intended to make them myself, but my momma took over. Moms are good that way. Emily helped me put up all my boards and border, helped me make letters and die cuts, and then decided she would free hand cut ‘Pickert’ out of fabric and fix it on my desk cover. Emily is an awesome little sister.

Desk and cubbies

Mrs. Oswalt took it upon herself to buy me shelves! Don’t they look great? JMO came up and put them together for me. Mrs. Oswalt also sorted all my books for me. She’s a nice lady. Emily also cut out “What are you reading?” out of construction paper, glued it to more construction paper, and broke my laminator trying to fit it through. It looks pretty great (laminator was then fixed by JMO). My Aggie Cheerleader bear was a gift from a kid last year; I think she looks perfect in the corner.



So, after three weeks of doing a little here and there, my room is done. Lots of people helped me, and I am so thankful to have such fabulous people around.


Emily is pretty

Today is the 15th anniversary of the birth of Emily Claire Pickert. The night she was born Michael and I went to the neighbor’s house and slept. The next day my dad took us to meet our sister. We have pictures of the three of us in the hospital in one chair for a staged new baby/new family picture. Michael and I did not understand the way in which this baby was going to change everything. I was 10 and Michael was 7, Emily might as well have been raised by different parents her life was so different. Michael and I moved every 2-3 years and our sister has been in San Antonio since the first grade. Her idea of “change” is being asked to clean up the crap that has accumulated on her floor.

Michael always picked on her, probably passing down my cruelties. Emily is athletic and spends most of her time playing volleyball and Michael and I never seemed to succeed at any sport. We rode bikes and she’s never owned one. We spent our entire summers at local pools and Emily goes to athletic camps. Due to the differences in our ages, I almost never get what is cool or hip just 10 years after I was 15 (it does change rather quickly). For a family that talks as much as ours, Emily and I have had difficulties finding common ground to discuss in the past. We were going through high school and college while she was in elementary and middle. The things any of us wanted to talk about, ourselves, never seemed to interest the other sibling.

As Emily ages, the gap is beginning to close. I am impressed and intrigued by the person she is becoming. She still isn’t like me. Emily is competitive and smart and doesn’t fool with same girlish drama I always seemed to find myself in. Emily has a sense of self that I envy. I could not be more proud of Emily and I’m excited to be a growing part of her life. She now lets me into her world in a way that didn’t seem possible at the age of 10 when I held her in my arms. Emily’s impact on my life long ago meant taking my mother’s time and energy. Now I see a young woman who will always impact my life because she will always be part of it, always sharing her triumphs and struggles. So thanks Mom and Dad, for giving Michael and I a sister, it was a good idea.

I like Giants. Especially Girl Giants.

Emily is GiantShe said ‘I like giants
Especially girl giants
Cause all girls feel too big sometimes
Regardless of their size’

When I go for a drive I like to pull off to the side
Of the road and run and jump into the ocean in my clothes
*I’m smaller than a poppyseed inside a great big bowl
And the ocean is a giant that can swallow me whole

So I swim for all salvation and I swim to save my soul
But my soul is just a whisper trapped inside a tornado
So I flip to my back and I float and I sing
I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything
I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything

Say I am just a speck of dust inside a giant’s eye
I am just a speck of dust inside a giant’s eye
I am just a speck of dust inside a giant’s eye
And I don’t wanna make her cry
Cause I like giants

Emily’s height reminded me of the Kimya Dawson (of Juno soundtrack fame) song, “I Like Giants.” I googled the lyrics and have found some highly entertaining videos, I do suppose that this music would inspire some interpretive dance.

Emily Rocks.

I spent my weekend at Emily’s volleyball tournament at the George R. Brown. It gave me some opportunities to try some different functions on my camera. The “burst” mode which takes pictures one after another, which is nice for action, but also if you take enough pictures, your bound to come up with a few decent ones. There was an action mode as well, these modes, combined, provided many photos of Emily about to hit a ball or 2 seconds after she hits a ball. I seem to miss the actual moment of Emily to ball contact. Credit for the action shot below goes to JMO, he was far more patient than I, you can pick out the ones he took by the amount of action actually occurring in the shot.

Now I may be biased, but Emily is damn good. She’s serious, she serves amazingly, she is tough, she hits the ball hard or to an uncovered area on the other side. I am not athletically inclined, so talk up from me doesn’t really say much, but she is AWESOME. I have never been, and probably won’t ever be as athletic as my sister. I lack hand – eye coordination, not to mention the determination it takes to make you an actual athlete. I don’t know my sister as well as I would like too. We live in different cities and are 10 years apart, but I like the person I see. I like the girl I talk too. She isn’t petty and girly like 14 year old me. I was busy trying to figure out how to fit in with Mississippi girls, maybe I needed a sport. I’m not sure Mississippi was classy enough for club volleyball though, or club anything beside football.

These girls are in sync as a team. They are cohesive. They are confident. Teenage girl athleticism sounds like a good start to solving the world’s problems (at least the one’s that originate from female self esteem issues). Watching teenage girls and observing them 10 years after you’ve been through the horrific preteens, was a good reminder of that former lil me life. Emily doesn’t seem to mess with as much of the teenage girl drama as I did; I’m glad and I’m sure my parents are too. She doesn’t need it, SHE IS FABULOUS. Above: Emily serves the winning point.