Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tuesdays With Miss M

The last couple Tuesdays, I've gotten the chance to spend the day with The Divine Miss M!   She's getting so big and is finally at the stage where she smiles and laughs and recognizes us!  It's so much fun!  And I look forward to each new stage (Lulu and I are already checking out Barbies and dress-up costumes!) 

You know that if I was there, I was certainly taking pictures of that sweet face, so here are a few of the more recent ones!  Here she is on her mama's first Mother's Day.
 Check out those big blue eyes! 

How could you not love a smile this sweet?
One of my signature accessories are my giant sunglasses.  I have a million pair and the bigger the better (I have a big head and a round face, so it works)!  So you know that Aunt Kate had to make sure that her niece had some rocking sunglasses too!  Here she is giving her best Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada look.
I just love this kid!  I can't wait to spend more time with her this summer! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 5/30

1. What can the average citizen do to honor a military veteran and/or those currently serving?

I think there are so many things.  You can donate time or money to the USO or other organization like Operation Homefront.  You can write letters and send goodies to those who are serving.  You can visit the local veterans' home and just listen.  It doesn't have to be something extraordinary.  The simple things work just fine.

2. Besides a flag what is something you own that is red, white and blue?

I have a really great recruitment poster reprint on my living room wall.  I loved the ad a long time before I actually owned the poster, and it's extra sweet because my Grandpa Gus was in the Navy.  You can read about how Amber got it for me at my favorite antiques place by clicking here!

3. Does love really conquer all?

I think it does.  I don't think that love is always enough, but I think that real love stands the test of time.  My parents are celebrating 36 years of marriage today, and they have been together for nearly 40 years.  Both of my grandparents had long happy marriages as well.  I have seen some of my friends who are married survive unimaginable sadness and come out on the other side stronger.  I know next to nothing about what love really is, but I have a lot of superb examples to look to.

4. Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?

Strawberry shortcake!  I don't care for blueberries.  And there's nothing better than fresh, juicy strawberries, homemade pie crust and a little whipped cream!

5. Do you share personal stuff with your hairdresser?

My hairdresser has done my hair for the whole of my 20s.  She is a dear friend and we do share personal things.  Hairdressers are like bartenders, they are there to listen to your secrets.  Besides, if I will let you cut and color my hair, you have my trust!


6. Does money lead to selfishness?

I think it can, but I don't think it has too.  Some of the people I've met with the most money are also the most generous with it.  And not just for the tax deduction.

7. What piece of furniture in your home most needs replacing or refinishing?

If you come here often, you know how I am with my big ideas.  Right now, I really want to replace my TV stand and end table in my living room, and the side table in my bedroom.  And my bedroom dressers need refinishing.  And I would really love to refinish the chairs that match my kitchen table.

8. Insert your own random here.

Vacation Week Two is going swimmingly.  I'm not particularly productive, but it's been a pretty good time so far.  (By the way, are you guys watching Hatfields and McCoys?  It's fascinating.)  There is shopping and wineries coming up yet this week, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

You know me, I love any excuse for a bunch of old pictures, but today my parents celebrate their 36th year of marriage.  So, this is an extra special occasion!

 If this doesn't say 1970s prom, I don't know what does.  My grandma made that dress too!
 I always say if I do get married, my bridesmaids are going to wear the pastel rainbow with matching hats.  One more reason to hope that never actually happens, ladies!

I love everything about this picture--the fake nature, the Farrah wings, the patches on Dad's jacket--all of it!
 Here they are with baby me!
 At Matt and Mel's wedding

Happy Anniversary!  Here's to many more! 

Over The Weekend

I have a million things to share with you!  But in order to avoid information overload, I am going to try to pace myself.  I didn't have big plans over the holiday weekend, but I managed to stay pretty busy!  Plus it was the kick off to my last week of official vacation, which I'm allowing myself because we aren't going to get to go to Virginia after all.  (Total sad face, but it ended up working out for the best.) 

On Friday, I went shopping with my sister and scored the cutest purse for $10.  I was so excited I squealed!  If you don't know, JC Penney's runs special sales on Friday and they are pretty awesome!  Saturday I stayed at home and pretended to clean my house yet again. 

But it's Sunday that gets the photo feature.  Amber's dad was playing in a band opening for Jake Owen, so we got tickets to go!  It was outside and it was hot (96), but it's always nice to do something a little different with people you actually like. 

 If you ignore the fact that we were basically just giant pools of sweat, we are pretty cute!  Especially these girlies who have all been besties since their high school days. 
 This is what happens when you leave your camera unattended at the picnic table, however.  I love these girls!
 This is as close as I got to the actual concert stage.  We could have gotten closer, but I don't really like to be in the middle of wall to wall people, in the still very prevalent heat.  And I'm short, so mostly I was just going to be looking at the back of someone else's head instead of Jake Owen.  I will say this though, he sounds like his songs on the radio, which is a pretty high compliment. 
I didn't get in until late and was wound up when I did get in, so it was late when I went to bed.  And I woke up feeling like I had a hangover, even though I didn't drink a single drop.  But I think that sometimes you have to sacrifice a little sleep for a good time. 

How was your weekend?  Do anything really exciting?  Tell me all about it!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fun

It's Friday, and that's a day you should treat yourself to something wonderful, right?  Especially before a long weekend!  (Who I am kidding?  I'm on one long weekend until the middle of August!)  Anyway, since I am short on time (going shopping with my sister) and convinced you need a fun break, you should totally watch these videos.  If you don't know who the heck these kids are, they were on last season of The Sing-Off.  And they are completely and totally awesome!  Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!  I am going to try to pop in and tell some stories, but you know how that's been going! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 5/23

1. What's something you miss about the 1980's? If you're too young to miss the 80's how about the 90's?

What I miss about the 80s?  I miss the TV shows (see:  The Cosby Show).  I miss just being a kid.  I miss big hair not only be accepted but applauded and encouraged.

2. Do you have a library card? If so, how often do you visit?

I don't have a library card because there isn't really a library locally.  I wish there was!  I'm a total book nerd!

3. What's the secret to success?

Not taking no for an answer!  I think there's something to be said for persistence.

4. This is National Backyard Games week...what's your favorite backyard game?

If you are a reader, you know that I don't really spend a great deal of time outdoors.  But if I had to pick one, I would say Bags.  (Some people call it Cornhole.)  That looks pretty fun.

5. If I dropped by today what would I find on your coffee table?

Delilah, some nail polish and whatever DVD I'm watching.

6. Do you own a bicycle? When was the last time you rode a bicycle? Is that something you enjoy?

I do not own a bicycle, but I have said recently that I think I would enjoy riding again.  I did when I was a kid.  I used to ride up and down the road my parents' live on all the time.

7. What's your favorite cheese?

I love cheese.  Not as much as some of my friends (Casey), but I love Cheddar, Brie, Swiss, whatever.  Cream Cheese is especially near and dear to my heart!
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Unstructured time is not my friend.  I've got another week to get my act together (I said I would give myself a break until the beginning of summer semester), and then I have to get to work prepping for next year's classes and actually working out.

More First-World Problems

I was without my Internet for less than 24-hours.  It was pure hell.  In the meantime, I have also pulled a muscle in my back, and have none of the good painkillers in the house.  And I am too sore and lazy to drive the 40 minutes round-trip it would take to procure some.  I don't know how I will ever survive it. (Probably by reading more Jen Lancaster and watching more TV). 

Anyway, I say all that to say that I will be back soonish with full updates of what I am reading, listening to and buying (can you say ceramic seahorse and a set of cocktail plates?).  I promise it will be worth the wait!  (Well, as much as anything that happens on this blog is!) 

Hugs!  You are all my favorites! (Maybe the painkillers I had are working better than I thought!)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Being Elmo

It's the first full week of summer and I am already failing at using my unstructured time wisely.  Have I accomplished a clean house?  Nope.  Have I signed up for Netflix and ordered a few more things off Amazon?  You bet.  No one who knows me is actually surprised.  (Including me.)

During my exploration of Netflix, I found that a documentary I've been wanting to watch for some time was available.  Being Elmo is the story of Kevin Clash, who through a lot of hard work and big dreams became the voice one of the most recognizable Muppets. 

Sitting still is hard for me.  So is focusing for more than five minutes at a time.  But I was riveted by this amazing story!  I didn't want to miss a second of it, and maybe it's just because of my lifelong love affair with the creations of Jim Henson, but I don't think that's the only reason.  Kevin Clash is proof that if you work hard enough, and simply believe that failure is not an option, you've already succeeded.  And I dare you not to gasp out of wonder like a kid when Clash takes you inside the Sesame Street/Muppet workshop! 

If you haven't seen it, check it out.  It's worth the time, I promise!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Summer, Summer, Summertime...

It's finally here.  The first day of summer vacation.  And I was wide awake at 5:00.  Seriously?  That's not even fair!  Especially not after all the mornings I had to drag my butt out of bed after mulitple reset alarms just to make it to work on time.  But here I am.

It's actually good that I went ahead and got up because I have my work cut out for me.  My house is in a state.  And no, Sheena, I don't mean how it normally looks.  It is much worse than that.  It would seem that having spent the last four weeks in almost constant motion on work things, I kind of forgot about my house.  And messy doesn't even begin to cover where we are.  So, I'm going to start with a deep cleaning and move on to some summer renovations that have needed to happen for some time, but now I have the time and resources (thank you, second job!) to do something about them.  Some of them are simple and some will require my dad or a lot of YouTube and Young House Love videos.  But I feel like good things are on the horizon for this old house.

I will be updating you on the changes I'm making this summer as we go along.  Last summer, it was my bedroom (which still needs a few minor touches) and this year it's my bathroom.  Mercifully, it's small and should only take a week or so once I get started.  But that's not the end of my big ideas...stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Somehow it's Thursday again and I haven't really had a chance to post since last Thursday.  I'm not really sure how that happened, but here we are.  A couple more days and I will be on summer break, and you will be sick of my constant posting. 

Its Ok Thursdays
It's Okay... be completely overwhelmed by next school year before this one has even officially ended.  It's never too early for a panic attack!

...if you plan to use that extra money to pay a couple bills and the rest to renovate your bathroom, even though you could live with things the way they are. (and by you, I totally mean me.  And by the rest, I mean most of.) buy a couple more plants for the front room because you are pretty sure you can keep these alive.  (If I could just remember to water them in a timely fashion!) spend most of your downtime watching old episodes of Designing Women and Gossip Girl.  (I want to be Julia, but will always skew a little more Suzanne.  Who is just a hop, skip and a southern accent from Blair Waldorf, when you think about it.) be a little sad about not getting to the beach this year.  The ocean is my favorite place in the world, but it will still be there next year.

What are your "it's okays" for the week?  Share with the class!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

We all need to know that it's okay... justify a spending spree with "It's a gift" or "I won't need to buy another one for months."  (At least I hope so, because that totally happened!) check to see if your instructor posted grades every three minutes until it actually happens.  (That's for LuLu, who is waiting on her last nursing exam!) just not feel dress up clothes for the last week of work.  (You're just going to sit at your computer and input grades all day anyway!) get really excited about the Teacher Appreciation Week goodies!  Blizzards on Friday?  I do believe I will! dance around the living room, in your car and in the aisle at Target if the mood strikes. not be able to contain your excitement about Target expansion at your local store!  Seriously, I may never leave the store again.  And I am having my checks forwarded directly.

What's going on in your world you need to know is okay?  Let me hear them in the comments or link up!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 5/9


1. What is a pet peeve you have when vacationing?

I hate being overscheduled.  There's nothing worse than having a vacation that's more planned than work.  However, I also like to have some general plan, with extra time scheduled in for adventures as the mood strikes.

2. Would you describe yourself as a light packer or do you need everything in your closet plus the kitchen sink?

I am decidedly not a light packer.  I panic and think I am going to need things that I would never actually use in my everyday life.  But at least I am always prepared!  (right?)

3. What's the best lesson a child ever taught you?

Oh my goodness.  It sounds shmaltzy but I really do learn things from my students every single day.  Some lessons are more useful than others, but I think that any time you spend with a child is mutually beneficial.  (Speaking of, guess who gets to spend a whole day hanging with Miss M next week?  I am so excited I can hardly stand it!)

4. Share one piece of advice you'd give a recent graduate as they attempt to enter the job market?

Good luck!  Ha!  I really think that the best piece of advice is that sometimes you have to do things you don't necessarily want to do before you get where you want to go.  The key is not to compromise your values and to work your tail off!

5. What's your favorite lemon something?

Lemon bars.  Because they look like Gooey Butter Cake and I will no doubt get a mouthful before I notice the difference.  And there's nothing worse than tasting something you didn't intend to taste.

6. Flat sandal, wedge, heel...your favorite footwear?

It depends on what I am wearing, but I usually go for the flat heel. 

7. What do you like best about a beach holiday? If you're not a beach lover (GASP!!) what do you dislike the least?

I love everything about being at the beach!  There's just nothing better than the sand and surf, the salty ocean smell.  And I pity the person who finds no joy there!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am just a handful of days from the end of the year and I can't wait for the moment of relief when I finally get to a whole summer off!  It's just like being a kid again.  Of course, I'm hoping to work a summer job (I know I said I wouldn't, but money's money.) and work on curriculum for my classes, so it's not like I am just going to be sitting around.  I will, however, be sleeping in!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Entertainment Round-Up

Last night was the Met Gala.  If you aren't somewhat obsessive about celebrity fashion, let me break it down for you.  The Met Gala is basically celebrity prom.  (If you don't believe me, here are the pictures!)  Everyone is there and it's all about who can be the most fashion forward.  My official summary is that there were some beautiful dresses and there were some really ugly dresses, and blondes should not wear plum lips unless they are in a vampire movie.  But I'm anxious to hear your thoughts...

Also, can we talk about The Voice?  I will be the first one to say that Christina Aguilera has a good voice most of the time, however her inability to dress for her body type or basically not say something narcissistic every five minutes pretty much makes me dislike her more with each passing week.  Despite what she thinks, this show isn't really about her.  I don't know about you, but I think Tony Lucca should totally win this thing.  Yes, yes, Chris Mann has a beautiful voice, too.  But I just don't think opera is that marketable.  Plus I already loved Tony Lucca from back before he was on the show.  (Seriously, look him up on iTunes!)

I feel like I am way behind on all of the season finales this year because I haven't really watched much TV in the last couple of weeks, even if it was on.  One show that never fails to crack me up is Duck Dynasty.  Did you see when the Duck Commander took his daughter's date hunting?  I laughed the whole episode.  Plus, I might have started referencing Phil in my daily life.  I know, I know, my redneck is showing. 

Then there's Smash.  I want to love this show.  But at best, I am intrigued by it.  However, I can't seem to stop watching it, so I guess that's saying something.  I officially can't decide who I want to be Marilyn either.  Megan Hilty's Ivy is a showstopper (all of the songs I've loved are hers) but I get that we are supposed to be sympathetic to Katherine McPhee's Karen, who may be the whiniest, most helpless character we are supposed to love ever.  I'm torn.  But I am thrilled that Uma Thurman is gone, so that's something.

One thing I am prepping for is my yearly summer reading blitz.  I just ordered a set of books last night and I still have a bunch on my wish list.  Let me save you the suspense, I don't reread the classics.  It's mostly memoirs, preferably from really funny ladies.  (So far, I'm reading Jen Lancaster's JenerationX, Mindy Kaling's Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?, and rereading Tina Fey's Bossypants, because she is the funniest woman on the planet.)  My next order from the wonder that is Amazon will include some Chick Lit from Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green and Emily Giffin.  And yes, I know I should be reading these in ebook form.  I've just not broken down and gotten one yet.  Even if it is cheaper, there's something magical about holding a book in your hand and placing it on a shelf with all of your other shiny books to look at and enjoy.  I doubt I will hold out much longer on getting a Kindle or a Nook, though.  Maybe for my birthday...

Okay, your turn.  Share with the class all of the things you can't stop rambling about in the comments!  I can't wait to hear them!

Monday, May 7, 2012


I survived last week!  Everything went as planned and there were no surprises and I can't even begin to explain the relief I feel!  Another set of hurdles are done for the year, and there are only a few things (and days) left until summer vacation! 

Of course, this week and next are still plenty busy.  There are finals to give, the state track meet to attend, another class of 8th graders to graduate.  I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little bittersweet.  It's not like they go far in my district, and I see the high schoolers every day, but there are still some I will miss having in class.  But, onward and upward, I suppose.

One I thing I didn't survive very well was our Cinco de Derby party.  My spirit was willing, but my body was still exhausted from the staying up all night.  I did go (I'd bought a new outfit after all!), but I only made it an hour and a half until I was falling asleep at the table.  The rest of the weekend was all about taking it easy.  And I got to see my niece, the Divine Miss M, who I was missing terribly!  (Don't worry, baby, we won't go two weeks without seeing each other again for a long while!)

That's my weekend.  How was yours?  Tell me all about it in the comments!  (I really missed getting to visit with everyone last week!)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Constant Reminders

Sometimes, I forget why I do what I do.  The days get too long, the results discouraging, or interactions with others stress me out.  There are days where the fruits of my labor seem to either rot on the vine or never come at all. 

And then days come like the last couple days.  On days like these, every single thing I give up or work for or put up with is worth it.  I had five kids qualify for the state track meet.  FIVE!  In the absolutely sweltering, near 90 degrees at the first of May heat.  Five is more than I ever have had in five years of coaching.  The joy on their faces had me tearing up at the finish line.  It was pure bliss.  I have never been more proud of a team, of every last kid. 

Tonight, I had parents come up to me and tell me how much their child enjoyed my class, how their child came home and talked about my passion for the subjects I teach, how much that meant to them as parents.  And I could barely hold myself together.  I so rarely get to hear that from parents, even if they think it.  Teachers usually only get to hear from a parent when something unpleasant happens.  I don't think these parents could ever really know how much that few minutes of conversation means to me.  It's huge!

And if that all wasn't enough, I was walking out with one of my seniors, talking about how great Project Graduation is going to be (it's beyond my imagination kind of good) and he looked at me and said, "I'm gonna be so blessed tomorrow."  I get jaded.  I get frustrated.  I get tired, stressed, whiny, and downright bitchy.  And this kid, who has survived more than any kid should have to, is choosing to be blessed. 

Teaching isn't for the weak of heart.  But may my heart always stay tender to the kind of joy and blessings that are possible.  And me?  I'm gonna be so blessed tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 5/2

1. My daughter2 is graduating from university this month and plans to teach elementary school. What are three qualities you most want to see evidenced in a teacher?

Passion for the subject matter, Compassion for their students, and Organization.  (I'm still working on that last one.  And some days on the other two...)

2. You can tell a lot about a person by______the way they treat other people_______________.

Particularly other people who will not help them advance in their lives.  There's that old story about the professor whose final was not about the subject matter of the class, but said "What is the name of the lady who cleans the building?"  Life is not about only being kind to the people who "matter" but to every single person you come in contact with.  (I'm still working on that one too!)

3. What song makes you think spring?

The first one that came to mind is "Brighter Than The Sun" by Colbie Caillat.  It's so cheerful!

4. May 1st is Mother Goose Day...share your favorite nursery rhyme.

Georgy Porgy, pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry.
When the boys came out to play,
Georgy Porgy ran away.

I had to Google this to even remember which ones were Mother Goose.  (Guess I better brush up for Miss M!)   This one cracked me up!  Let's just say Georgy had some issues!


5. What makes someone unforgettable?

I'm going to focus on being unforgettable for the right reasons, because it's easy to be unforgettable for the wrong ones.  I would say that someone who honestly cares about you and shows up for you when you need them.  Sassy people also endear themselves to me.  And people with a strong sense of who they are, whether was are talking style or personality.

6. Should music and/or art be part of a well rounded education?

I'm sure no one is going to be shocked to hear me say yes.  Studies show that kids with music studies do better in the core curriculum.  Too bad that states are forcing schools to choose between the two and make cuts.  I don't know how someone could consider themselves well-rounded without having music or art knowledge.

7. What social situations make you flustered or nervous?

All of them?  Because I am not good with new people.  At all.  I get all shy and weird.  Which is hilarious, since I am normally noisy and all over the place.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Ever had a day go along all normal and then all of a sudden things get crazy for a minute.  That was Tuesday.  I hope it's as crazy as the rest of my week gets.  Saturday can't get here soon enough!  (And not just because of Cinco de Derby!)  Also, today is Regional Track and I am just praying that is doesn't get a hot as they say it is going to get!  (And safety for all those out in it all day!)