Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

This has pretty much been the longest week ever, because I have a lot to look forward to this weekend (essentially three days of birthday parties, followed by actual birthday on Monday).  As always, you can join Amber and Neely's party by clicking on the button above.

It's Okay....
  • to believe in not wishing your life away, but really hope today scoots on by.
  • that you can't stop listening to the Mumford and Sons album, and you insist on talking about it all the time to anyone, regardless of if they will care or not.
  • to renew your love for Twitter because this week you "talked" to one of your favorite actresses. (Melanie Lynskey, who has a new movie out, Hello I Must Be Going, but is probably most recognizable as Rose on Two and a Half Men or as the girl who brought her baby to a bar in Sweet Home Alabama.) *** Editor's note:  Pardon me while I fangirl all over the place!  Also, I have "talked" to Nichole Nordeman and Stacey Ballis, brilliant author and BFF to my hero, Jen Lancaster this month.  Oh, Twitter, where else in the world could this happen since I am not a crazy stalker.  Mostly.***
  • to love your birthday, but not want it to come because it means sending your visiting friend and her darling daughter back to the East Coast.
  • that you had to double wash a load of laundry because you forgot about it two nights ago.  Whoops!
  • to feel an extra measure of pride when your middle schoolers ask you not to have the sub read the story you're working on to them because "He doesn't do all the voices like you do, Ms. M."
  • to believe that 31 is going to be your best year yet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/26

1. The Wednesday Hodgepodge this week falls on John Chapman's birth date.  He's more famously known as Johnny Appleseed...what's your favorite variety of apple? 

I'm a Granny Smith girl, myself.  I love the tartness, especially in oatmeal or with my favorite apple dip!

2.   When did you last say 'ick'? 

I had to use a plunger on the kitchen sink this week.  Trust me, ick was the least of it.

3.   Do you think there's a generation gap?  Explain. 

Yes.  I think it's probably technology based at this point, but I don't think you can really understand the generation ahead of you until you get closer to that age yourself.

4.  What's on your computer screen saver?  Do you leave it alone or change it often? 

I don't have a screen saver, my screen just goes black.  On my computer wallpaper is a picture of one of the tulips from Mildred's garden.  It's yellow and purple and just gorgeous!

5.  If you had the attention of the entire world for two minutes, what would you say? 

Love one another, because at the end of the day, it's all that matters.  And since, I'd still have one minute and fifty seconds after that, I'd probably mention something about taking pictures of yourself in the mirror and posting them on Facebook.  Because that's annoying.

6.  Four fashion trends to try this fall are-brocade/jacquard (fancy printed fabrics), peplum, lace, and printed pants...which of these four would you be most likely to wear? 

I would have to go with lace.  The rest of them are a lot to deal with, even for someone who likes patterns and prints as much as me.  And the peplum is not going to do me any favors.

7.  What can make your bad day better?

Good friends.  Not taking life too seriously.  Great music.  Playing with my niece.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

The new Mumford and Sons album is like their own little birthday gift to me!  It's just awesome.  I will be making everyone listen to it this weekend, whether they like it or not.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Last week, I was stressed.  Like had a full-blown panic attack for no real reason stressed.  If people only knew what it was really like to be a teacher.  I love the kids with all my heart, and if that was the only part of it, things would be fine.  But the sheer amount of planning and paperwork and just stuff in general sometimes makes me wonder if I am in the right place, the right profession.  I don't really know what I would do if I wasn't a teacher, but I go through phases of feeling really adrift.

But my weekend was pretty much the best remedy ever for all of that.  Being with some of my favorite people in the world, particularly with The Chicks, is that kind of restorative.  Maybe it's just that laughter is good for the soul.  Maybe it's the middle of the night grilled cheese making dance parties.  Perhaps the Wheat Thins or singing along with the band.  The wine didn't hurt.  But from the moment we were all together again, that weight lifted off my shoulders.

It didn't hurt that it wasn't just a reunion of my favorite girls.  There were some of my other favorite people with us at various points, as well.  I got to talk to Crys and find out about Little Navajo.  Tara's brother and sweet girlfriend were in.  Timmy showed up.  It was enough like old times that it was fun, but it's also fun to watch everyone grow up too.  There's something to said for the familiarity of old friends, old stories, new memories.

It was just what I needed.  And we aren't done yet.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Chicks!

I love all of these crazy girls!  Being reunited has been just as much fun as we thought it would be!  And we've still got a whole week (and a birthday celebration for yours truly) to go!  Here are a few scenes from the weekend to hold you over until I get around to writing a proper post later this week!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

It's time for another installment of It's Okay Thursdays.  Confession is good for the soul, my friends.  If you want to join in the fun, click the button above.

It's Okay....

  • to refuse to take your picture on School Picture Day because your face is broken out.  It's better to gamble on how things will be next month than take an ugly picture this one.  (And why can't they just use last year's picture on the teacher page anyway?)
  • to pretend your lack of depth perception is totally normal.  ("Yeah, I hit my head (arm, shin, etc.) again.  Wanna make something of it?")
  • that what may happen this weekend is of much more interest to you than anything that happens today.
  • to get a little damsel-in-distress-like when you have a flat tire. 
  • to have a moment of glee when something crappy happens to someone who was unkind to you.  
  • to schedule your day around your favorite TV shows.  (No DVR, no problem..)
  • that you occasionally break into song out loud instead of just in your head.
  • to be a grown woman, and still miss working with your mom.  (She's happily retired, but I've never not worked in the same building with her.)
Okay, pony up.  What do you need to be okay this week?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/19


  1. What's the best and worst thing thing about growing older? 

The best is that I am truly more confident in who I am, and I don't worry nearly as much about what everyone else thinks.   The worst thing is a toss up between I can no longer eat whatever I want without heartburn and I can't stay up for long periods of time with no sleep like I once did.

2.   Autumn arrives this week in the Northern Hemisphere...what one thing do you love most about the fall season? 

Oh, I would have to say MY BIRTHDAY!  Which will be here in just a few short days, October 1, but we will be celebrating long before and long after!  I cannot wait!

3.  Speaking of fall...pumpkin seems to be flavoring everything these days-are you a fan?   What's your favorite pumpkin flavored food or beverage? 

Nope.  I am not a fan.  I want pumpkin as far away from me as possible.  Unless it's one for carving, then I'm all in.

4.  Since we're on the subject of fall...what's the worst fall you've ever taken?

Oh, I fall all the time.  At my parents' house, the stairs are wooden with no carpet.  I have fallen down all thirteen before.  I also used to trip up them and hit my shin all the time.  Oh, and once, I came in to the house from the pool, hit the wet tile, and fell onto my leg, leaving a horrible welt that you can still feel.  I could go on and on...

5.  If you could own a prop from any film what would you choose? 

This is so hard.  I love movies.  I've seen Dorothy's ruby slippers and they aren't that cool in real life.  I think I would choose James Bond's Aston Martin.  Of course, I would terrified to drive it and would just sit and stare at it in awe.  But how cool would that be??

6. What's the most interesting word you've read or learned in the past week? 

Pamplemousse.  It's central to Stacey Ballis's new novel, Off The Menu, and it's just so fun to say!

7. When was the last time you locked yourself out of your house, car, or office?  Was it a big deal?

It's been a while (knock on wood) but I lock myself out of my car on a fairly regular basis.  But once, I locked myself out of the house on the day of a friend's wedding.  I was in a huge hurry, so it's possible that I busted the door open like they do on TV.  It was kind of awesome really.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about the next three weekends!  Tara's going to be here with Macy and all of my various girls and I have get-togethers planned.  It's torture getting through the week when all I can think about is the weekend!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Year In The Life Review

In slightly less than two weeks now, I will be 31.  I'm not entirely sure how that happened, but I'm not really going to complain about that either.  It's certainly better than the alternative, right?  It just seems like it was five minutes ago I was playing dress-up and Barbies.  Maybe those of you who are older and wiser can answer this, but is there ever a point where you finally feel like you're an adult?  Because I haven't hit that point yet.  I mean, I get that I am one.  I have bills to pay (so many bills), can drive, vote and I don't have to ask for permission to stay out late.  But I may as well be 15 again for all I feel like I know about the world around me and how to live this crazy life.  (Of course, at 15, I thought I knew it all, so maybe that alone would help.  ha!)  Anyway, just feeling as close as I get to philosophical.  If you have any insights, comment away.

This has been a wonderful year for me.  Let me recap a few highlights:

There are so many other events big and small that made this year one to remember, but whether I feel like an adult or not, I think my 30's are going to be where it's at!  And I think 31 stands to be an even more outstanding year than the last.

P.S.  Speaking of really outstanding things, did you see Crystal's latest post?  Because if you want proof of how awesome God can be, it's right there.  He is always faithful.  The end.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Is Here!

I know that technically fall doesn't arrive until later this week, but the weather here recently has been amazing.  (This morning not withstanding, since it's rainy and humid as all get out!)  I made the most of it this weekend, for sure!  Even though I have no pictures to show for it because I am a terrible slacker who left her camera at home.

Friday, I went over to my parents' and hung out.  We had chili and BBQ and watched movies, which was a really nice and relaxed way to end an otherwise hectic week.  Saturday was probably the most unexpected but fun day I've had in a while.  I got up early to set-up the concession stand for a baseball tourney.  The weather was gorgeous and the boys won, so no complaints here.  (Other than the whole getting up early on a Saturday thing.)  After my shift was completed, I headed home for a quick nap and to freshen up, then met Casey at the winery for some wine and our favorite local band!  Another friend (Cynthia) was already there, so we visited and ate spinach-artichoke dip and drank way more wine than we intended.  It was a blast!
Casey's family was a player short for their charity trivia team, so I  ended up joining that party.  I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time!  We tied for first place (though by our records should have won), though I guess that shouldn't matter because all the money was going to a good cause anyway.

Sunday, I was a basically a slug from all of Saturday's festivities, but I did manage to go get the groceries that I've needed for more than a week and have dinner with my little sister.  (Who will be starting her first big girl nursing job within the month.  Yay!)  The best news is that this fun weekend stands to be repeated over the next three with the arrival of Tara and the coming of my birthday!  And I promise I will bring my camera from now on!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?  Please share with the class in the comment section.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another Installment of Celebrity News

I realize that cool people aren't supposed to care about what celebrities do.  Lucky for you (or maybe unlucky for you), I've never really been that cool.  Which brings me to another installment of celebrity news...

  • Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds get married! --- Please tell me I'm not the only who gets irrationally happy for seemingly nice celebrities like these two crazy kids.  This is definitely the best thing to come out of The Green Lantern!  I'm glad they were able to have a private day without all the paparazzi insanity, and they couldn't have chosen a more beautiful city to have it in (Charleston, SC).  Also, I'm pretty sure they owe it to humanity to have a bunch of really genetically gifted babies.  (Beautiful, funny, and fashionable--it's just too much!)  Good thing Blake says she'd have 30 if she could!
  • Britney Spears makes the best comeback since Robert Downey, Jr.--- Who is that well-dressed, sometimes bespectacled woman now judging on the X Factor?  That's right, it's Britney!  She's back and she's fantastic, if a little brutally honest, in her new role.  This is what a successful comeback looks like.  (Lindsay Lohan, are you paying attention?)  I don't think anyone thought this was going to be possible with Brit was shaving her head and wielding an umbrella.  But, she's got this with class to spare.  Speaking of...Hey, Christina A., you hear with your ears, not your can put the girls away and still judge vocal talent. 
  • The X Factor --- I was not a fan of the show last season, but I have to admit that I am loving what I am seeing so far this season.  The new mix of judges was sheer genius and some of the talent has been amazing.  Did you see the 13 year-old who sang Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" ?  Because I teach 13 year-olds and I can tell you right now that is not normal, but it's pretty darn amazing.
  • Fall TV Premieres ---- The fall TV season has begun and I am loving it!  The Glee premiere has been so very good (Parenthood broke my heart on Tuesday night, too), and there are so many great premieres to come.  (I've been pouring over my Fall TV Entertainment Weekly since it came!)  What new or returning shows are you excited about?
  • Jessica Simpson's post-baby figure --- I definitely think that we are entirely too tough on new moms to kick the baby weight the minute they move off the birthing table.  But I have always had a soft spot for Jessica that defies reason.  While she may not be as thin as Hollywood would like to see her, I think she is already looking pretty fantastic by regular woman standards.  
C'mon, I know I'm not the only TV watching, celebrity following, just trying to amuse herself through a Friday girl out there.  There's a lot of really terrible things going on in the world, I get that, but sometimes you just need some fluff.  Join me in the comments to share your opinion on the stories I've mentioned above, or to get my thoughts on ones you have been thinking about!  Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

It's time for another It's Okay, Thursday.  And who doesn't need to be reminded that they really are doing alright?  Join the fun by writing your own and linking up (see above button).

It's Okay.....

  • to decide what you want to wear to work based on how much of your legs it requires you to shave.
  • to shed a tear when it's time to get up.  ("But I JUST went to bed!")
  • to be addicted to SongPop on Facebook, even though you consistently get schooled.  (Hey, I know my female singers, but my 90s Alternative, not so much.)
  • to look forward to the weekend, if only for cool weather and the possibility of naps.
  • to just not care about the "painting fancy things on your fingernails" trend.
  • to put off going to the grocery store as long as possible.
  • to have chocolate cake for breakfast.  (It's the kind with Greek yogurt, so it's practically good for you!)
What do you need to allow yourself permission to think, feel, or do today?  Share your own in the comments or join the fun on your blog!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/12

1.  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?  The NFL is back in action along with all the college teams.  Are you a fan?  Who do you root for?  If you're not a fan what do you do while the rest of America watches Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and now Thursday night games? 

I don't really watch football.  I love all sports though, so I do usually like to know what is going on.  And I think Tim Tebow is cute and had good morals.  Jury's still out on the whole football thing.  If you haven't caught on, I watch a lot of TV, so finding something else on isn't normally a problem.  

2. What's something I'll always find in your closet?

Cardigans.  I love them with all of my heart and wear them for all seasons.

3. Share one of your earliest memories.

I remember being a very little girl, maybe three, and my dad trying rocking me to sleep and giving me Gatorade from a green Tupperware glass.  I was sick a lot when I was young and if my parents wanted to sleep they had to work in shifts.  Guess it was his turn.  I have no idea why I remember this, but it's a clear as if it happened a minute ago.

4. What circus act best describes your week so far?

The trapeze.  Or one of those giant metal balls of doom, where a girl stands in the middle and the motorcycles drive around her.  It's been a whirlwind and it's only Tuesday night...

5. What's a food you disliked as a child but you love now?

Tomatoes.  I have been eating grape tomatoes like they are going out of style this summer.  I love them and I wouldn't have touched them before.  I also will eat some salad dressings and I didn't like any when I was little.

6.  Describe your summer in three words. 

Restorative.  Hot.  Short.

7.  Where were you on September 11, 2001? Will you do anything special to mark the day this year?

I was on campus in my junior year at university.  I watched the plane fly into the second tower and listened to Matt Lauer and Katie Couric try to explain in real time what in the world was happening as the world was falling apart.  I didn't really do anything special to commemorate.  We talked about it in my history class, as I am now teaching students who were toddlers when it happened.  They really don't understand that day, and how in the world could I ever really convey it?  I imagine it must be like how my grandparents and parents must feel when they try to tell me what it was like when Kennedy was assassinated.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My brain is so mushy I'm pretty sure all of my thoughts are random at this point.  I'm incapable of a linear thought pattern because I keep trying to do fifteen things at once.  But I wouldn't know how to act if I wasn't.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Holes, Trees and Sweetness

I promised a weekend recap, so here we go.  After a long, dry summer, we have been getting so much rain here recently.  We had two days of pretty nasty storms.  This was one of the results.

What is it you ask?  Well, according to my father, it's a ground hornets nest that was washed out by the rain. There were a few hornets lingering around the morning I discovered it, but they have since moved out.  I didn't even know that was a thing, but all I could think about were those horrible tracker jackers from The Hunger Games, which is completely insane because they are imaginary.  But, welcome to my brain.  Oh and speaking of things I didn't know, there was this.

Let me tell you a little story.  On Friday evening, my mom called and said that she and Dad had seen the tree down in my yard, and that Dad would go over and talk to the guy who owned the business next door to get the removal all worked out.  I said something to the effect of, "What are you talking about, Crazy Lady?"  Long story short, apparently Thursday's storm knocked down the tree.  It was dark and raining by the time that I got home from my other job, and I couldn't see it, which makes perfect sense.  However, I went to work and came home from work, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, on Friday and never noticed it.  Wow, little concerned for my powers of observation.

The rest of the weekend, I spent with this little darling.  We took her around and showed her off to all of the people in town for the festival.  And took in the talent show, which  And got in a million cuddles and snuggles.  Here she is just hanging around, playing in the floor.  She grabs everything with her hands and toes.  It's so funny!

Speaking of, here's a picture from her six month photo shoot.  They were taken by my friend, David Michael Webb, who is a complete genius when it comes to photography.  He took Matt and Mel's wedding pictures and Miss M's newborn pics.  I'm biased, but I think she's awfully cute!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Well, Hello There

You have a weekend recap coming your way, probably tonight, but I didn't want to let another day go by without talking to/at you.  We finally have cooler temps here, so that's done great things for my mood.  There are things I enjoy about summer, but constantly being sweaty and gross is not one of them.  And this summer was a doozy.

School is going well.  I have such great groups of kids this year, which any teacher will tell you makes a world of difference in how your day goes.  Most of my struggles are with switching to student-led curriculum.  Any good resources you want to share, oh wonderful fellow teachers who read my blog??  Because I will take anything I can get!!

My fall is already filling up with all manner of events.  This weekend past, we had our annual local festival in town (which I will fill you in on later!).  The coming weekend already has a baseball tournament and a benefit concert for a former student who has been diagnosed with leukemia.  And weekends after that, Tara and Macy Jane will be here visiting, so you know where I will be!!  Not to mention, my birthday cometh!  So much to look forward to!

Tell me, internet peeps, what are looking forward to this fall?  I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays
I haven't linked up with It's Okay Thursdays in a while, but today felt like a good day to do it.  And we're off....

It's Okay...
  • to go to bed before 10 and still reset your alarm at least twice.
  • to really want to blog, but not to have much to talk about if you aren't really interested in curriculum planning.  (And no one really is...)
  • to be thankful for your side job (yay, extra money!) but to also wish you had that time to do other things.
  • to swear you are going to save more money but buy yourself a treat or two anyway, just because.
  • that you're already working on plans for your birthday extravaganza, even though it's still weeks away!  (SO VERY EXCITED about this year's plans!)
  • to still do your laundry on a "what am I going to wear to work this week?" basis.  (Because we all know it's t-shirts and yoga pants the rest of the time!)
  • to have a to-do a mile wide and twice as deep, and know that you will still choose spending time with your friends or family over checking anything off said list.
What do you need to give yourself permission to feel, think, or do?  Write your own post and link up (click the button above).  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/4

1. In your opinion what's the most important job in the world? Oh, and parenting is a given so besides parenting, what's the most important job in the world?

I'm biased, but I think teaching is pretty important.  Being given another person's child for eight hours, five days a week and being responsible for imparting all the information they need to go out into the world as an intelligent individual...that's a lot of pressure.

2. Share a favorite or not so favorite memory from a childhood birthday.

I love my birthday!  Always have.  One of my favorites is when my incredibly brave mother let me have 10 of my junior high school girl friends over for a slumber party.  We made our own music video and just generally had a great time.  I also had another birthday where they let me invite a whole bunch of friends over to my grandpa's barn for a bonfire and party.  I've had a lot of good birthdays.

3. Peanut butter-crunchy or smooth?

Depends on the situation.  I like both.  Lately, I've been into the JIF Natural Smooth.

4. William Butler Yeats is credited as saying, "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing." Your thoughts?

I think he's exactly right.  Sometimes we don't really see it that way in the moment, but I think that in the end, it's true.  Change is scary and difficult at times (unless you are one of the crazy people who like it), but so many times, the growth is what changes us for the better.

5. What's something that makes you cringe?

High pitched noises, particularly music boxes.

6. Name a song that always puts you in a good mood?

"Good Day" by Greg Street and Nappy Roots.  Every single time it will make me smile, without fail.  And I have no clue why, because I am not exactly ghetto.

7. The answer is yes. What's the question?

Are you ready for fall weather?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am having the best time with my Music Appreciation class.  They are such a diverse group and often know songs that I don't think they will.  We are really having a good time learning together.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cuteness Overload!

I am having a great weekend.  I declared at the beginning that this would be a weekend of doing whatever I wanted, and that has totally been true and included a great deal of sleeping.  The first two weeks of school kicked my butt!

One of the really fun things I did this weekend was go to a special little girl's first birthday and she was the absolute cutest ever!  Don't believe me?

 Seriously?  She's just adorable!  The decorations were so sweet as well.  Everything was done up in a ladybug theme.  The cake alone was a sight to behold!

And if that wasn't enough sweetness, there were these girls!  The Divine Miss M still looks a little scared of the big camera, but that face just kills me!
 I mean, even full of slobbers, she's cute!  Being her auntie is just the best thing in the world!  I can't believe that we are just five short months from her first birthday.  It feels like she's been a part of our lives for just a minute and forever all at the same time!
Hope you all are having a great weekend!  I have BBQ-ing and baby kissing in my immediate future!