Friday, August 28, 2009


(click image to enlarge)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Heading into nature. Hoping to return a bit more cheerful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

grumpy (you've been warned).

I am grumpy today! I wish I weren't. There were some really good things about today (like meeting most of my preeeeecious kindergarteners...more on that to come!), but I'm still grumpy.

My last Kindergarten screening on the day was crap. The little girl is one of the more strong-willed children I've interacted with. She cried & covered her face with her hands for a solid 40 minutes, refusing to hold a pencil, count outloud or even look at me. I finally just gave up and told her mom to take her home. At that point her mother had to carry her out of the room. Yay for the first day of school with her. NOT.

I also am gettin overwhelmed with planning. I know it will out juuuuust fine, but its hard planning for 5 year olds that are more like 4 year olds when school first starts. It's fun to plan cute projects designed around back-to-school books like these:

but then i worry that i need to "get on the academics" more quickly.

my parents still live in texas. that's still really far away.

our good friends are moving to chicago tomorrow. that is also really far away.

sleeping in until whenever is better than sleeping until 6 am.

we're going camping this weekend & seeing james taylor live (which, really, i've been looking forward to since may) but honestly, camping is better with my parents.

ok, gripe session over. sorry. i'm not "holding on" very well. cast of (world's cutest) kindergarten characters to come soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Holding On.

I feel like I am holding on to the last of my summer days. I need to squeeze out every moment of laughter, every feeling of being carefree and every second of no-stress. But then again, at this, the end of the summer, for the first time, I feel like life might not be ending. I usually anticipate with dread the coming of a school year which means the ending of my life outside of school. It doesn't have to be like that, though.

My goal for this year (among others) is to hold on to my life outside of the 13 five year olds that fill most of my waking hours. While I love them and my school, I can still be a person that is not only a teacher. I can still be a friend, I can still be a wife, I can still be a daughter, I can still be a sister. Being a teacher is one special role I have. Its not the only one.

(I am embarrassed to upload this picture for more than one reason, but I am because this is me. This is me not stressed out, not tired, not ceaselessly thinking about my teaching. This is me on a sunny day, hiking with my husband and simply enjoying life. Its hard for me to do that sometimes, but I'm gonna try to keep it up)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More School!

I've been busy, busy at school this week. After a summer of doing very little, getting up so early and working hard in the heat has worn me out! But I know, this level of being worn out is nothing compared to what is to come with the kids arrive! 13 boys and girls! Yikes!

My classroom is just about ready for the little bits to come. I still have lots of planning to do, but physically the room is just about finished. So, here are a few more pictures :)

General look at the room. I love my hanging stars :)

My hallway bulletin board based on this book. I still have the add the words "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Look Who's in our Room!"

These are two new things I'm doing this year. One is a sign-in spot for the day and the other are mailboxes for their work. Have I told you about my old, gray monstrosity of furniture I used to use for cubbies? Well, either way, its gone and I couldn't be happier. So, I got these mailboxes to hold their work.

I'm really excited with how the room is turning out. Still not quite ready for the children to come, but I'm getting there :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to School

No kids yet, but lots of cleaning, furniture moving and sweating! Today was day #1 of prep for the new school year. It was great to be back. After two full years of working there, the place has become a home away from home. Lovely co-workers, not so lovely co-workers. Smells, messes and noises all familiar.


Still lots and lots to do, but at least it looks like a classroom a little bit :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

An open letter

Dear Summer,
How are you almost over? It's like you've barely arrived and you are leaving again. What you've done this season is like stopping by at your best friend's very special birthday party. Only "making an appearance" when what you are supposed to do is stay for the entire shindig. Sure, there are other fun things going on, but the main attraction-you- as the best friend is absent.

At your best friend's birthday party you are supposed to almost overstay your welcome, hanging out long enough for your best friend to be faintly relieved when you leave. Grateful you came and made some memories, but willing to accept that the party is over.

But not you, Summer, you were a bad friend this season. You hardly showed up and now you are leaving before the good gets going. Thanks a lot.


ps. you better step it up next year or we are SO not best friends anymore.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Writing Workshop

Over at Mama Kat's blog its Writer's Workshop day and I've finally chosen to participate.

The Prompts:

1.) Your trip to the ER...spill it.
(inspired by Stephanie from This Blessed Life).

2.) "Why are American's obsessed with weight? Why are we always fighting or complaining about what is natural for our bodies?"
(inspired by Jenn from
Jenny Says What?)

3.) Describe one of your 'God Moments'.
(inspired by Jordan from
Wide Open Spaces).

4.) List ten things you would say to ten different people in your life...if you had the hutzpah.
(inspired by Cassandra from

5.) Why is your kid in time out?
(inspired by Sera from
Laughing Through The Chaos)

I'm choosing #4. And to quote the originator of this idea,
"Don't assume to know who is who. You might be surprised."

1. You need boundaries in your life. Learn to say no. You'll be amazed at how the world continues to go 'round when you do.

2. I miss you very, very much but cherish all the times we have together. And while I hope one day we can be what we once were I don't really believe its possible. Even still, I cherish our memories.

3. I hate your rotten guts. Fortunately I no longer waste time thinking about that. You aren't worth it.

4. Do you like me? Because I really like you and consider you to be a very good friend. Not sure you feel the same way.

5. You're a catch. I believe that. I want you to as well.

6. I'm sorry I was mean. I wish I could take it back, but that was a long, long time ago.

7. You are one of my very favorite people in the universe.

8. It's ok if you aren't always right or "in the know." I will still love you just as much. Maybe even more.

9. Thank you for taking the time to love me, listen to me and make me feel like I matter. Years later I still appreciate it deeply.

10. I hope we are friends forever and that our children will be friends forever.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Running update

Earlier in the summer I announced that I would be running a 10k in October, but then have failed to ever mention it again. The race is exactly two months from today (see my two new tickers at the bottom of the page!) so I thought today would be an appropriate time to mention it. The summer started out slow. I ran for a couple of weeks, but then got my wisdom teeth out. That put a major damper on any urge to be physically active. Then, shortly after that, we went on vacation. And, as you've seen, we ate. We ate a lot. We ate a lot of junk. So, after only running once that whole trip, i returned with a renewed zest for training.

That was mid-July so, for about a month now, I have run three times a week without fail. I have increased from running two miles at a time up to five. I ran five miles Monday and today, and will again on Friday. Then, next week my goal is 6 miles, which is actually the length of a 10k.

Speed isn't a major focus of mine right now, though I am trying to push myself not to just toddle along the whole time. If I could finish the 6.2 miles in an hour I would be super pumped. I think that's feasible because right now I am running 5 miles in about 50 minutes give or take.

So, we'll see! This whole running this really gives me a sense of accomplishment and has increased my confidence. It has also made me extremely grateful for the blessing of health. I know that, through no doing of my own, I have a healthy body that can be pushed physically and will respond. I also know that others, through no doing of their own, have bodies that are weak or sick and therefore limit their levels of physical activity. Every time I run I find myself thanking God for the health I have and praying it will continue.

img cred:
ps. those are the running shoes I have :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dr. Quinn Medecine Woman

I thought last summer when I worked my way through all the seasons of One Tree Hill that I had reached the pinnacle of embarrassment. I would hang my head in shame as I walked through the doors of the video store. The owner soon learned who I was and what I had come to rent, occasionally teasing me for how quickly I was able to move through a DVD. My embarrassment was so strong that I would sometimes pay more to buy an episode online just to avoid seeing the video store people. Though clearly, I wasn't ashamed enough to stop watching.

No, no, in fact I think my shameful levels have reached a new high as I've started re-watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Dr. Quinn is a blast from the past, in more ways than one. I cannot even begin to describe the love that my brother, sister and I had for this frontierswoman and her Sully. We eagerly awaited each episode on Saturday night and quickly became absorbed in the tumultous lives of people in the Wild West. And so, while I am slightly embarrassed to admit my love for this show, it is so nostalgic that I just can't deny it.

What show are you embarrased you watch?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stop #3 in the Cupcake Crawl

Today I went to Petsi Pies in Cambridge. The Globe article I've referenced for my summer cupcake extravaganza recommended their Whoopie Pie Cupcakes. I was really looking forward to trying once since I love both whoopie pies and cupcakes. But, alas, there were none to be had so I ordered a coconut cupcake instead.

My first thought about this cupcake was, "man, these are dense. my fork is having a hard time passing through the cake." once i managed to gather a hefty piece onto my fork and shove it in my mouth, my second thought was, "hmm. cream cheese frosting with coconut topping. who knew?" but then, soon after, my third thought was, "wait! i love cream cheese frosting! who cares what it's paired with!"

Those three thoughts basically sum up my review of Petsi Pies. Wicked dense cupcakes, which isn't altogether bad. The flavor of the cake was good, though very light. The highlight was the frosting. Very flavorful, not grainy and just the right amount of sweet. The coconut flakes on top were an extra little treat.

Rankings so far:

1- Kickass Cupcakes
2-Petsi Pies

Happy Birthday to my Hubby!

Happy Birthday, Chris! Here are a few photos documenting some of our birthday celebrations together.

So grateful for you, the man you are and the husband you are.

Lynch Park
Beverly, MA
21st Birthday Party
21st Birthday
Norman Rockwell Museum

Portsmouth, NH
Border Cafe
Burlington, MA

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer's End.

Summer isn't totally over yet, but my mind is drifting into school mode. I've had a few back-to-school dreams over the course of the summer, but in the past couple of weeks they've increased in consistency. I've had dreams of being super teacher and I've had dreams of being suck teacher. My daily thoughts are becoming more and more filled by classroom arrangements, lesson plans, classroom management techniques and smiling faces of five year olds. I'm dreaming of things to throw out, items to buy and new things to try. And while I'm sad to see summer drawing to a close, I am grateful that yet again my excitement for school to start has returned. I was made to be on a school schedule. I love having summers off, but I love back-to-school season just as much.

ps- you can be excited too because you are about to meet 14 new adorable 5 year olds who will fill your hearts with glee and the air with laughter. you just wait. get pumped.

Friday, August 7, 2009


One of my absolute favorite bands is Dave Matthews Band. I've seen them live over 10 times and love listening to their music as I run. This morning on my run the song Pig came on. I love this song and think its message is a challenging one. The line that always sticks out to me is:

Wash out this tired notion
That the best is yet to come

While sometimes its nice to dream about all that the future holds, it really is a way of thinking that can be hurtful. I remember when Chris and I were dating I longed for the day we would get engaged. Once we were engaged I couldn't wait until our wedding day. Now that we are married, I dream about babies, houses and traveling. Just this morning as I ran, right before the song came on, I had been feeling slightly jealous of one of my facebook friends that announced her pregnancy. I frequently get carried away by thoughts of the future and while, for the most part, it is all fun and good, I do think I can forget to live in the moment.

This time of being married, financially stable, and without children is a unique and special time. One that I can cherish and appreciate instead of wishing away in my excitement to be a mother. I don't mean this to be a downer of a post and hope it doesn't feel that way. I was grateful for that song to come along on my iPod this morning as I was feeling sorry for my un-pregnant self when really there is so much to appreciate about my life as an un-pregnant person.

ps- if you don't know this song, you can go here to hear a clip.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Reading

I love to read. During the school year I find it hard to muster up the energy to read very much. I mostly fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow. During the summer, however, I become a reading machine. I don't necessarily read classics or anything to terribly intellectually challenging, but instead enjoy getting lost in a easy to read story. So, I thought I'd share my list with you, in case you are looking for a last-minute beach/going-tobed read.

1-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling(re-read after seeing the 6th movie; soooo good; had forgotten most of the story since i power-read it when it was first released)

2-Vision in White by Nora Roberts (first in a series of novels about a wedding planning business; super cute)

3- To Have and To Hold by Jane Green (easy read, somewhat sad seeing that it is based on a cheating husband)

4-Love, Rosie by Cecilia Aherns (suggested here; really sweet story about childhood friends-boy & girl- and their lives as adults)

5- PS. I love you... by Cecilia Aherns (might've seen the movie; again, easy read; emotional)

6- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (not quite finished with this one; story of middle school friends and their 30 year friendship)

7-My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (amazing read; incredibly emotional)

8- Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger (like her other novels, not terribly deep at all but still an entertaining story about friends and lovers)

9- Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Nifenegger (thought-provoking, very emotional, probably my favorite read of the summer)

Currently Reading: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

Now tell me, what's your favorite book from this summer?

Done traveling!

So, my summer traveling is all done. My absence has been due to a visit to the happening town of Abilene, Texas where my parents just moved. I had a fantastic trip. It was great to see my parents house, my dad's new job and the town they now call home. I'm glad I'll be able to picture them as they talk about things they do.

I expected my trip to be pretty mellow because they kept saying how small Abilene is. I was surprised, though, by how much there was. I'm sure it gets old quick, but it made for a great visit. I got a tour of ACU's campus and the town as a whole. We also went to a museum about the Texas frontier as well as a children's illustrated literature museum. I enjoyed barbeque brisket, fried chicken, steak from a working ranch and sweet tea. We also took nightly walks around the campus.

So, overall, I loved Texas. I feel I owe Texa(n)s at apology. Chris and I had a bad experience on our honeymoon with loud, rude and obnoxious Texans, but this past week was great. People are friendly and warm, the skies are endlessly expansive and beautiful and the pace of life is a bit slower.

I'm sad to be back and even more sad that I might not see my parents until Christmas, but I"m really glad I got to go.