Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year in Pictures

We rang in 2010 as a family, at a delicious french restaurant on Newbury St.

February took me to NYC with my mom. We got to see a taping of The View as well as see The Little Mermaid & Wicked on Broadway.

March saw my cousin get married in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was a special weekend filled with family I hadn't seen in way too long.
In April we got new furniture and as a result a bigger feeling apartment. Hooray!

Chris graduated in May! Hip-hip-hooray!In June, Chris and I went on a whale watch with my parents. Very cool experience.

As my parents moved away at the end of June, Chris and I made a week long getaway to Martha's Vineyard. It was one of the best week's of our lives. We slept, lounged and ate.

Also in July we ventured north to Burlington, VT for the Vermont Brewer's Festival. We had the company of good friends and the taste of yummy beer.

At the very end of July I went to visit my parents in their new home, Abilene, TX.

In August, we enjoyed a camping trip in NH with Chris's family and some other good friends.

During the last weekend of August, we journeyed out to Tanglewood to see James Taylor perform. It was a magical experience. I'm hoping baby Traganos will be up for the show next summer.

September saw the start of another school year. A bigger, louder class but still just as cute.

At the end of September I said good-bye to birth control.
On a beautiful October day, I ran my first 10K with my mother-in-law!Also in October, a big, fat positive pregnancy test :)

Days after finding out we are going to have a baby, I got to see my oldest friend get married.
A beautiful bridesmaid by ctraganos.
best friends by ctraganos.

I have very few, if any, pictures of November. This is plain and simply because November was the month of morning sickness and crazy fatigue. We did very, very little.

December was a welcome time with family down here in Abilene. The perfect way to end a very interesting year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'll be home for Christmas,
You can count on me.
Please have snow (yeah, right) and mistletoe (doubtful)
and presents under the tree (guaranteed. have you met my mom?).

It's funny how my sense of home has changed over time. I grew up right outside of Atlanta. That feels like home in some ways. I've now lived in Boston for 8 and half years and it feels like home. But nothing can compare to being with my family. My parents now live in a city I have never lived in and probably never will (sorry, mom). Despite this, I am bursting with excitement to board a plane to head there today. And even though Texas is kind of like a foreign country with its state pride, guns and cowboy hats, the second I walk through my parents' door it will feel like home. The puppies will greet me with kisses and wagging tails. The hundreds of Santas in my mom's collection with smile down at me from their shelves. I will sink into my daddy's hug and probably share a tearful smile with my mom. I will greet my brother and sister as if I have only just seen them because the familiarity never seems to fade. I will make myself comfortable, looking forward to a week of many times sitting on the couch figuring out what to do (that's our style), watching Christmas movies, opening presents in our PJs, enjoying a Christmas feast with hearts of palm as well as lots of laughs and loving teasing. I will crawl into my brother's bed (thanks joe!) and fall asleep tonight knowing I am home.

Monday, December 21, 2009


With 2009 drawing to a close I thought I'd revisit my resolutions for the year. I haven't looked at them since the summer so this could be a little rough.

Here they are:
Washington, DC-no
Road trip to Atlanta- well, we flew there for my best friend's wedding!
Shreveport, LA for my cousin's wedding-yup!
Asheville, NC-no
Disney World :)-no :(
*I did go to Abilene to visit my parents, spent a week in Martha's Vineyard, enjoyed a weekend in New York City and a weekend away in Portsmouth, NH. So, nothing terribly new and distant, but very satisfactory :)

-Make new friends- definitely am closer to some important people to me now than in january.
-Keep (rekindle) the old- feel like I definitely did this with some essential people.
-Lose weight (10lbs)- ha! don't think so. maybe more like a couple pounds.
No dieting, but instead healthier decisions- i would say i did better at this in 2009.
Working out 3x/week- ran a 10k. that was awesome.
-Less facebook, more reading- i enjoyed some good reads this year. also facebooked too much!
-Get pregnant (late fall/winter)- done!

so, all in all, when it gets down to the nitty gritty of my goals i fell a bit short. in the big picture, though, 2009 was a good year, especially considering that my parents moved away. i feel like i've grown as a person. some of the things that were constantly nagging at me at the start of the year feel like a distant memory now. i feel much more at peace.

2010 is going to be an amazing year. Though a year with a growing (not shrinking) tummy, much less sleep and a tighter budget, it will be a year with more love than i've ever experienced before.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bloggie Birthday!

Happy Birthday, dear blog! I have loved having you this past year, as a place to share funny stories, vent or just post general (& maybe boring) updates about my life. Readers, thanks for sharing in this journey.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Mrs. T

A note I received Monday morning, fresh from the weekend:

Dear Mes. T.
I love the way your vos soews.
Love S

Can you figure out the last part?


I love the way your voice sounds.

So sweet. And honestly, amazing, with the amount of yelling that takes place in my classroom these days. The little things are what make this job oh-so-worth-it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The other favorite.

Last week I wrote about Breath of Heaven, one of my favorite Christmas songs. Grown Up Christmas List is tied. It's corny. I know. But, seriously, its a good list. So, listen and enjoy.

To see the actual video, go here. It's perfectly cheesy in every way.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Torture Chamber

I never knew the grocery store could torture me, make me cry. But for the past few weeks, it does. I go in, determined to get through my list of groceries, but its never easy. Most of the time I struggle through it, maybe grabbing a clementine to keep the nausea at bay, maybe buying foods only five year olds should eat because they sound so good. But today, that was not happening. I started in the dairy aisle, which I thought would be better. No gross looking raw meats, or sandwich meat slicers that usually cause the nausea. As soon as I has grabbed by first few items (shredded cheese, cream cheese, lemonade & cranberry juice) I started gagging. I tried to just keep my head down and get through the list, but by the time I made it the six more steps to the milk cooler I couldn't control the gagging. Defeated, I rushed out of the store, plopped into the car and called Chris, sobbing.

It's the weirdest thing, having trouble completing the most ordinary of tasks. I don't have any idea why I was gagging. Nothing I saw grossed me out. I guess it was the sheer amount of food. I continue to be so grateful for the growing baby inside me, but I'm ready to be able to do basic tasks like grocery shop or eat my breakfast without feeling sick.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New York City Bound!

Chris and I are headed to New York City with our very good friends this weekend. The main reason is to see Cate Blanchett (love her!) in Streetcar Named Desire. The show is in Brooklyn, which will hopefully give us a peek at a whole new area. We are also, of course, going to check out the Rockefeller Christmas tree and meander about the city. I'm praying the nausea and migraines will take a break this weekend so I can thoroughly enjoy this weekend away.

ps. heading to an appointment to hear the baby's heartbeat! details monday :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Favorite Christmas Song

Happy December!!!
christmas & my birthday. good month :)

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been rocking out to Amy Grant's Christmas CD. It is my very favorite. I really love every song. Today, I'll share with you what might be my favorite song from the CD. It's tied with another, which I'll share later. If you don't own this CD- you should! I love the song and the words. So, here are both.

I have traveled many moonless nights

Cold and weary, with a babe inside

And I wonder what I've done

Holy Father, you have come

And chosen me now

To carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer

I am frightened by the load I bear

In a world as cold as stone,

Must I walk this path alone?

Be with me now

Be with me now

Breath of heaven

Hold me together

Be forever near me

Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven

Light in my darkness

Pour over me your holiness

For you are holy

Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face

If a wiser one one should have had my place

But I offer all I am

For the mercy of your plan

Help me be strong

Monday, November 30, 2009

Small Victory

Tonight has been a good night. No nausea. At all. It's a miracle. Nausea has this funny way of knocking you out without you even realizing it. Tonight I made chicken noodle soup and sang my way through the Amy Grant Christmas CD (much to my husband's embarrassment). After a rather long rendition of "For Unto Us a Child Is Born" Chris pointed out the energy I was spending on that song had not been spent in total over the past three weeks. And he's right. I have had no energy. So, while I have no reason to believe the nausea won't return, I am choosing to celebrate this break. It's good to be reminded of what it feels like to feel good.

please enjoy this song. it sounds better than my version i put chris through :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thankful Thanksgiving

There is so much to be thankful for this year, as with every year. This year it just feels especially important to list some things I am thankful for.

1- The baby growing inside me. Not a day goes by that I don't feel overwhelmed by God's generosity with this blessing.

2-My husband who treats me like a princess everyday, even when I definitely don't deserve it. I could talk forever about my gratitude for him and it still wouldn't be adequate.

3- My health. Its something easy to take for granted, but I feel more in tune with the blessing it is with this pregnancy. I got pregnant easily. I rarely get sick. I spend minimal time visiting doctors. I have a fear of needles which in itself reveals how rarely I am in need of a needle to give me medicine or take my blood. I am grateful for my health.

4- My family and their health. They are far away now, which I hate, but they are still just a phone call away. I can talk to them, skype with them and facebook them whenever I feel compelled.

5- A car that works. Just a year ago we bought our new car. It has been heavenly to only deal with the car for filling it up with gas and getting the oil changed. I haven't missed our old, crappy Hyuandai once.

6- A place to live. Our apartment is little. After nearly three years living there it sometimes feels tiny, but it is our home. Our first home together. I am grateful for all the meals we've shared in the kitchen, the cuddles in our bedroom and movies & chats in the living room.

7- We have chosen not to have cable and I am grateful. But, I like three shows: Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Brothers & Sisters. I'm glad I can still watch those for free :)

8- Having a job. I moan and groan about my job a lot, but really, it is a joy to work with children each day. I am also grateful that the pay cut we were supposed to get before Christmas is going to be held off until the new year.

9- The hope of being a stay at home mom next year. I am thankful for my job experience thus far, but the chance to be a mom as my job feels like my calling. I am so grateful for the chance and for my husband being so supportive.

There are so many, many more. Those are just the big ones.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Break.

It has arrived, ushered in with my first actual puke of pregnancy (tmi, i know). Despite it's start, I am welcoming it with open arms.
My main goal:sleep.

My second goal:
being lazy (and christmas-y!)

other goals:
make a scrumptious pumpkin pie
decorate our home for christmas (not until friday, don't worry)
see a couple movies (new moon, the blind side)
work a bit more on my crochet blanket

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

9 weeks.

Today I am 9 weeks. When I first found out I was pregnant I felt like time would move in slow motion. And while morning sickness makes certain moments feel like an eternity, overall it has flown by. I can't believe I will have known about our baby for 5 weeks tomorrow. It's amazing how quickly life can change. I know life only has more changes to bring our way, especially once our little one has actually been born, but changes are already evident.

Life has rapidly changed pace. We have spent the weekends since we found out sleeping amazing amounts. We do dramatically less than we used to. And I love it. Every minute. Chris has become an even more amazing care taker of me than he was before. He is always ready to get me ginger ale, crackers or a blanket. He doesn't get annoyed when at 3 on a Saturday afternoon I'm ready for my second nap of the day (after waking up at 9...). He smiles and kisses me goodnight when I consistently go to bed before 8 pm (the record is 6:45 last Thursday). The way he takes care of me tells me he is going to be a truly amazing father. The changes taking place are so very welcome and exciting.
The only change I'm ready to see pass is morning sickness. I really try not to complain because while its unpleasant it is oh-so-worth-it. I can't say I have had it horribly bad (no throwing up yet). It is generally mild, but lasts all day. I have had very little appetite and have trouble finding something that sounds appealing. And as far as the kitchen goes, I think I've cooked only two meals in last two weeks. Yikes! So, while I'm trying not to wish for my pregnancy to just fly by, I will not be sad when this phase is over.

The baby itself is making rapid changes. This week it is nearly an inch long and about the size of a grape. It's eyes are fully formed and are covered by eyelids that will be fused until week 27. This week the heart finishes dividing into four chambers (so i can hear it next week!!) and tiny little teeth start to form (seriously, this kills me). So amazing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Start spreading the news..."

Today I told my school about the baby. I had initially planned to wait until right before Christmas break, but opted for today instead. First, I haven't been feeling 100% and I wanted them to understand why I've maybe been grumpy and definitely been tired. Second, its hard to keep a secret! I was ready to be freed from the burden. And man, a weight has been lifted. I have had a major extra skip in my step today knowing that everyone knows and knowing I can be free to talk about my pregnancy.

Bonus: this quick, 20-second video. So amazing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm back and better than ever!

First of our weekly pregnant pics. 4 weeks. Clearly no bump yet, but time will change that.

Apologies for my long absence. I have missed blogging, but have had lots on my mind that I was not yet ready to discuss in such a public forum. But, after an afternoon nap, I woke up feeling like the time had come. So...

I'm pregnant! We're going to be parents!

I couldn't be more excited, feel more grateful or be more amazed by the blessings God has given me. This pregnancy, and the little baby growing inside me, has nearly consumed my every thought since I found out about 4 and half weeks ago. It is truly a miracle.

Details to come (maybe more than you're interested in...) over the coming 7 months and beyond!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday, I'm in love.

It's Friday. I'm in love. Two days of no loud five-year-olds. Two days of no one saying my name on repeat until I look their way. Two days of no green boogers running down faces. Two days of sleeping past 5 am. Two days of snuggling with my hubby. Two days of no school. It's Friday. I'm in love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This past weekend.

I told you about the 10K, but I didn't tell you how incredible the rest of my weekend was. I was really hoping for a long drive to see some beautiful foliage. Chris agreed, but we needed a destination. So, we chose Amherst and I'm oh, so glad we did.

We started by driving out the Pike which help up our hopes and had many breath-taking views. Once in Amherst we started at the UMass Bookstore to get Chris a sweatshirt he's been wanting. After that we headed to downtown Amherst for a yummy brunch at Lone Wolf. It was scrumptious.
Following that, we went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Eric Carle is my favorite children's book author/illustrator and I've dying to visit the museum for quite sometime. And while the museum is small, it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the original drawings and words for The Very Hungry Caterpillar (originally, Willi Worm- who knew?!) as well as some of his unpublished illustrations. Chris most enjoyed some of the original illustrations for Winnie the Pooh.After the museum we drove around, enjoying more scenic views of leaves and farms, and ended up in Northampton. Such a fun town. We enjoyed lots of nice shops, got a cute set of owl salt & pepper shakers and I discovered an Caramel Apple Spice at Starbucks. OH MY GOODNESS! That drink is so delicious. It is dessert in a cup, I tell ya. Try it! But only if you like reallllllly sweet things.

The day was perfection. More than what we did, it was getting to spend the day, undistracted and de-stressed, with my husband.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mission Accomplished: 10K

I woke up this morning with the sun shining through the wind and a cool breeze causing our curtains to flutter and just knew it would be a good day. And it was. It really, really was. We drove into the city with Chris's parents (his mom was my running buddy) and everything we very smoothly. We got our numbers, put our timing chips in our shoes, got our freebies, checked our bags and then headed over to the warm-up. The warm-up was great because it was coooold this morning! It also reminded me why I like running better than aerobics classes- too much coordination needed for that.

They started seeding around 11:30, precisely when I realized I needed to go to the bathroom again. So we waited in a long line that seemed to not be moving. Finally, when we were second from the front, we saw the race start moving, so I freaked out and decided to just hold it. We made it up to Beacon St in time (people we just moving in closer, not running yet). Waiting for the start was amazing- so many women in one place.

The buzzer started us and it took about five minutes to reach the start line. Once we did things picked up a bit, but it was hard to stay calm because it was packed. It took until about mile 2 to feel like I was really going at a good pace. The entire race was filled with passing people and watching out for people's feet in front of you.

Overall, I felt awesome. All the training really paid off and I was able to finish right around my goal time and didn't feel dead. Chris's mom was a great running partner and very helpful motivator.

The course was breath-taking. I really wish I could've carried a camera without it being a nuisance. We ran over the Longfellow Bridge (or Salt&Pepper) and then along Memorial Drive down to the BU Bridge. There we doubled back to the Mass Ave bridge and ran across. This whole part had amazing skyline views. The race finished back at Boston Commons.

I really could not have asked for the day to have gone better. It was a really incredible experience. I'm sure we'll do it again next year and we're even hoping to do a half-marathon in November.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This Day in October.

October 11, 2008

One of the best days.
Joe was here for a visit.
My parents still lived here.
The weather was perfect.
The apples were ripe for picking.
The cider donuts were freshly baked.
We took one of my favorite pictures of us together.

Inspired by Nie Nie.

Friday, October 9, 2009

embracing the chaos.

sometimes you just have to roll with the nuttiness that is kindergarten. this morning, with it being friday and all, i decided i would. we have playtime first thing friday and legos were a huge hit this morning. I ended up being attacked by "Darth Vader," multiple spiders, a horse-house able to travel into space and multiple lego guns aiming for my eyes and neck. It was loud, crazy and one little guy kept saying there was a spider in my butt (what???) but it was good. those moments, when i stop caring about the noise, make me love them more.

happy friday :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Summer

It's Writer's Workshop time again over at Mama Kat's blog.

I chose the prompt:
2.) Find your one very favorite picture of Summer and write a poem about it.
(inspired by me)

While I can't say its necessarily my very favorite ever, this picture is one I really like and I'm writing a haiki about it.

Sitting on the sand
A sunset to toast the day
Fall, one day closer

Because, after all, they are cute.

I haven't shared cute stories with you and really should. Today I have two fruit-themed stories. We have been studying our five senses and finally today we got to our sense of taste. We tasted one sweet, one salty, one bitter and one sour item. Our sour item was a lemon. I gave the children a small slice and told them they only had to lick it. After the children had some fun making silly sour faces, I checked to see if we were ready to move on to trying our sweet item. As I did so, I looked over to see the Dopey's lemon was gone.
"Where's your lemon?" I asked.
"I ate it!" he replied proudly.
"The whole thing?!"
"Yeah, it was good. My lips are burning, though."
I'm still in shock that he ate the lemon peel.

Just minutes before this, as I was cutting the lemons I was thanking the kids for being patient because it was taking a while for me to take out all the seeds. Smiley said, "Oh my gosh I swallowed a cherry pit once. It almost went down to my stomach and grew a cherry plant out of here" as she pointed to the top of her head. The kids, understandably started laughing. "No, guys" she interjected, "I almost DIED."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Problem: Identified

This school year has been off to a somewhat rocky start. I have been very tired, fighting a cold and struggling with how to handle my 13 new students. This weekend and today at school I think I have identified my problem(s).

1- Like I've said before, 13 students is a heck-of-a-lot more than 9. That's enough to make a huge difference on my energy and motivation levels.

2- Potty Mouth and the Only Child spend the day making each other laugh. At inappropriate times. And by saying things that aren't funny. GAH! Calling someone eyeballs isn't funny. Neither is drinking your water in, only to spit it right out. Saying things like goo-goo, wee-wah really isn't funny because you are NO LONGER A NEWBORN. ok, enough. clearly those two are a big part of my problem :)

3- The Grown Up, as I mentioned in my Cast of Characters, is reading at at least a second grade level. So, obviously, all the alphabet review, work with rhyming and beginning sounds is more than a slight waste of her time. I am feeling a lot of stress to differentiate her work so that she is being challenged everyday. I've had advanced kids before but nothing like this.

4- Similarly, but opposite, Freckles doesn't even know her letters. So, I have to modify everything for her so she can learn her letters. Such a huge range in this class. Its a great challenge, but geeesh!

I'm glad to have finally figured out my major sources of stress are coming from. The next step is to solve this problem. My first goal in that direction is to simply focus on my children that are right on level and have made great strides in following directions, using inside voices and raising hands :)

Another Monday

This kind of describes how I'm feeling today.

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday

Happy Monday to you. Hope its a good one.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Oh. my. goodness. It. is. Friday. Teaching is sucking my dry at this point in time. I'm sure it will get better. I don't remember wanting to bust out of that school so badly ever before. and trust me, that was not just at 3pm. it was at 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm and 2 pm as well (and maybe a couple times in between). Those kiddos are wild! Soooo, happy weekend! My mom and sister are in town so I am a happy camper!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Busy, Busy.

I have been gone too long from this here blog! Sorry :( My little stinkers are zapping me of energy. I think they are getting the swing of things, but we've still got a ways to go until my throat doesnt hurt and my eyes dont burn with fatigue at the end of each day.

Today we did one of my favorite projects. We start the year studying our fives senses. Today we talked about the sense of smell. We got to talk about smells we like (roses, grapefuit, watermelon to name a few) as well as smells we don't like (dog's poop, pee and garbage- lovely).

Then, we made smell-y playdough. A kindergartner's ability to be easily amazed is amazing. We mixed up the flour, oil, salt, water and cream of tartar and as we added a few drops of green food coloring, you would've thought i'd performed a miracle. They all cheered, "AWESOME!!!!" Once the playdough was warmed through, I added a few scents (banana, peppermint and rose). The children have to guess the scent. It's super fun and this class was my first to only guess the peppermint correctly. For banana, they guessed bubble gum, trash (seriously!? trash!? i wouldn't do that to you) and an assortment of other completely off-base items. The kids each get to take a piece of smell-y playdough. It's quite fun (and messy). I am now home, tired, from all the energy it took to calm them down.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I woke up this morning to the sun streaming through my windows and a cool breeze reaching my skin. Today is a perfect fall day in New England. Stop and look for a little life miracle today. Here are my miracle moments from last weekend.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall :)

Happy First Day of Fall!

The Kindergarten Teacher in me

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The way of the day.

Almost every morning, around 8:12, mere minutes before the children walk through my door I sit at my desk trying to muster up the energy for another day. I want to be at home in my bed, or at least still in my PJs. It feels at though 3:15 in the afternoon is a lifetime away and I doubt that I can make it.

But then, miraculously, everyday at 8:16, my little guys walk through the door, faces grinning broadly, greeting me with a hug, and then I know I can do it. I can teach for another day, another 7 hours. I do have the energy, because of them, to teach.

This cycle is one I am now familiar with, but one I still seem to forget every morning at 8:12. I am grateful that 8:16 always manages to come around.

My Fall Favorites

Over at Mama Kat's blog its Writer's Workshop day. I get to write about my fall favorites, which I would love to do even if it weren't one of the prompts.

My absolute fall favorite is the cool, crisp air that fills New England, pushing out all the summer humidity and heat. I love the changing colors of leaves. I love pulling out old sweaters and my trusty Birkenstock clogs, setting aside sandals for awhile. I love rediscovering clothes I forgot I had during the warm months.
I love, love, love apple picking and the cider donuts that meet me at the end. I love baking apple pie, apple crisp and apple dumplings when I get home.

I love going to Parker's Maple Barn, enjoying the scenic drive and stuffing my face with scrumptious breakfast treats like pumpkin pancakes.

I love carving pumpkins and I love decorating my house with fall themed items. I love filling my home with the smell of pumpkin rolls baking. I think I am going to love cooking and devouring these for the first time.

Fall is my favorite season. Even though it is the end of summer, it seems so filled with hope and the promise of many happy times in the holiday season.