Thursday, December 29, 2011

fun on break

I love making the most of our Christmas break. Fun mixed with REST. I haven't set my alarm for a week, and don't plan to until Tuesday morning.

So yesterday's agenda was roller skating with a group from church. We cleaned the living room in the morning, then headed out. Macy got her skates and was off--didn't see her much for the next two hours. I stayed with Kaylin. We hadn't even made halfway around when she fell, grabbing me and pulling me down in the process. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I forced to finish the loop; can't exactly stop on a skating rink. She sat down on a table and cried. After a bit, this mean mom forced her to go back out, and she cried through another loop. Eventually she settled down and went around a couple times by herself. Later Bobby mentioned that she might have gotten a concussion due to the size of the knot on the back of her head. Felt a little guilty when he said that, but oh well.

Today was a beautiful day for December 29, and we went hiking with my sister and niece. Went farther than we had intended, but it was fine. Kaylin stopped frequently for "pretzel breaks", but it was a beautiful day and a nice hike.

Tomorrow's agenda? Not sure. Macy wants to go fishing on Saturday with the new fishing pole Santa brought.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm still here!

Well, well, well. Who was going to be a better blogger? Oh, that's right, me.

How do you catch up on the last month where you have basically not blogged at all? You really can't. But I will try a bulleted list, in no particular chronological order.

1. Macy was a reindeer in her drama club play. Cutest little reindeer.
2. Girls had a choir performance at church. Macy had a solo. She has a sweet little voice.
3. Bobby's been working a lot, between the winery and the fire station.
4. Bobby surprised me with the newest iPhone for Christmas. I am in love with it--old one was soooooo slow and updated. Love this super fast new one!
5. Girls had a great Christmas. Spending time with family is so important, and we did a lot of it!
6. Basketball practice has started for Macy. Yeah.
7. Basketball practice for Kaylin has not started yet. Yeah.
 8. New Year's Eve is at our house again. I'm thinking of just making things from Pinterest.
9. I haven't ran since the half-marathon. Time to get back on the wagon!

That's it for now. Once again, setting a goal to keep this updated. See, my students found this for a bit, and that was awkward. But they have short memories, and have moved on. Also, I like to tell funny stories about the girls. However, they are getting old enough that they recognize this, and I respect their privacy. We'll see what happens as we move forward.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting our Christmas tree

One of my favorite family traditions is going to the tree farm to chop down our tree. Even though Bobby wanders all over and takes 20 hours to find the tree, it's fun. This year, though, we found it quickly and were in and out fast.
The girls and Santa. The same Santa has been there for the 7 years we've been coming here.
Lots of horsing around while picking the tree

Macy and Bobby on the hayride up to the field
Me and Kaylin on the hayride

Even though we found the tree quickly, and it is outwardly pretty, it has been my least favorite tree. Something is different with the branches, and the ornaments keep sliding off and won't stay on. We keep finding ornaments at the bottom of the tree. Oh well, it's still pretty, and I would take it and the experience over a store-bought tree anyday!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Day...way late

Here's Macy with the shot I get every Thanksgiving--- watching HER parade.

We spent the day with my parents. While it was quiet and I usually like busy, it was a nice, relaxing day and I think grandparents and grandchildren both enjoyed spending time together.  Here's my mom instrcuting Macy about the parts of a turkey.

Showing her some part of the turkey...
Macy picking out the innards of the turkey. Yes, that bag with turkey innards is still in our freezer.
Kaylin had a nice round of basketball with my dad in the driveway. It was so nice to see him able to go out and play with her outside.

Macy showing Grandpa the bag with turkey guts..

Macy and the turkey heart
Kaylin and Papa planting a tree in a flowerpot.

Kaylin and Papa planted this tree when it was tiny, and so was Kaylin.

It was a great day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful for a nice relaxing weekend

Bobby worked overtime on Saturday and his regular day today, so the girls and I were on our own this weekend. We did pretty much nothing--cleaned up around the house, decorated for Christmas, and just chilled. They had friends over last night and I graded papers. Today we went to church (I got to hold a 3-week-baby for 1.5 hours in the nursery! Ahhh for a my baby fix!), I took a nap, and we hung out. They didn't hardly fight at all. It was a great weekend with nothing pressing so we could hang out. I'm so thankful for time with my two girls!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for the trip to MN!

Long overdue pictures from Kaylin's trip to Minnesota!

With her wings from her very first flight. After the flight attendant handed them to her, she said, "Oh. I thought they would be pieces of the actual wing." Oh, Kaylin. You crack me up.

Me and Kaylin overlooking the falls on the Mississippi River. During the summer you can do rafting trips on it. How cool would that be????
My newspaper kids and Kaylin, before we started riding the rides.
They had 2 of these gigantic trees inside the Mall of America. Can you spot Kaylin? She's pretty small compared to the tree!
I couldn't ride this one with her--it was like a giant seesaw, and those circles on the surfboard turned. Barf city for me, much excitement for Kaylin. She rode it about 6 times in a row.
And this roller coaster...can you tell from the picture it goes STRAIGHT UP? Yeah, it does. Then flips upside down over and over. I rode this with her a couple times, then my head couldn't take it anymore. Anyone remember how the old Orient Express at Worlds of Fun would bang your head around? That's what this one did. She rode it 15 times probably total, and EIGHT in a row. Sheesh.

She has been begging for fake glasses, so I finally caved and bought her some.
Me and Kaylin in front of that giant tree.
Our first trip to IKEA!
Kaylin and her buddy Savana; poor Savana. I owe her some special for putting up with Kaylin the whole trip. All I've heard since we've been home is "I miss Savana!" They are in one of the skywalks that Minnesota has--love those things! You can see the snow on the ground.

Saturday we had to go to the awards ceremony. It was over 2 hours long, and she sat perfectly still playing on her DS for over 2 hours. Love it!
Mary Tyler Moore statue, with snow coming down. We had to explain to the kids who Mary Tyler Moore was!
On the way home, the pilot let her sit in the cockpit!! So cool!
It was a fun trip and I'm very thankful I was able to take her with me. That said, I'm also very thankful that both girls have been on journalism trips with me and that I don't have to take them anymore.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I'm thankful for a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. Bobby was working, my sister's in-laws were in town, and my brother's family was in Atlanta. Mom cooked like the whole family was still there, and the girls and I had a great time hanging out with Mom and Dad. Mom and Macy washed dishes, and she instructed Macy on the different parts of the turkey. (Side note--My crazy daughter now has a ziplock bag in the freezer with a turkey tail, neck, innards, and a heart.) Dad and Kaylin played basketball in the driveway for a bit, then planted a little tree in a pot. I took a nap and Mom took the girls to the park. It was a beautiful day! Thankful for time with my Mom and Dad!

Now...only 4 hours until we depart for Black Friday craziness!! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for 3 days off!

One of my favorite things about teaching are the days off. Like three days at Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, a week off for spring break, and the glorious summer off. I LOVE teaching, love inspiring students, love being there for them, but ohhhhh are the three days off worth it.

Three days of rest, three days of time with family, three days of sleeping in.... can't wait!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for an awesome work environment.

Tonight I'm thankful for some amazing co-workers. Oh, sure, we have our fair share of bad ones, but who doesn't? They don't count. Since we are a relatively small school, we have a small staff. That makes it easier to get to know one another, and makes it easier to get to know one another. I work with some amazing teachers, who try really hard for their students. That makes for a wonderful teaching environment. I also work with about 5 or 6 teachers on a committee whose sole purpose is to bring fun and positive vibes to the faculty and staff. We are currently planning some Random Acts of Kindness for the month of December, and it's been fun to plan together. When you work with fun people, it just makes the day so much better. It's also great when they have your back and are there for you when you need them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful for home

Tonight I'm thankful for a safe flight home, a great trip with great students, and the peace that comes with being at home.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful for a soft hotel bed

Thankful for a soft hotel bed,  a dark room, and a sweet 7-year-old snuggled up against me for a good night's sleep. Yesterday and today were long days...lots of time at Mall of America, then took 3 girls to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn, then presented a session this morning, plus another one tomorrow. Having fun in Minneapolis, but boy, am I thankful for this soft hotel bed, a dark room, and my sweet 7-year-old

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful for brave kids

Spent a great day at the Mall of America. Day started with a lockdown drill--are we at school still????-- then shopped, rode rides, ate lunch, went to the aquarium, rode more rides, came back to hotel. I've seen about 1/8 of the Mall of America, and that's generous. Tomorrow night we're going back for some "serious shopping," according to the girls. Wonder what that will look like, since what they were doing today looked pretty serious to me.

Today, I'm thankful that my KK (and Macy too, but I'm talking about KK here) is not afraid of things. She rocks on the light rail, then did not think twice about any of the rides. There were some pretty extreme one, and she didn't bat an eye. One roller coaster went STRAIGHT UP, flipped up over and over and over and over, and she rode it EIGHT times in row. Ran straight from exit to entrance to ride again. She also can make friends with a brick wall, and started talking to a little girl. They rode a bunch of times together.

I'm so thankful that KK is not afraid of much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tonight I am thankful for:
  • a safe flight
  • 13 miles of skyway to avoid walking in the cold
  • Uggs to keep my feet warm
  • free hot chocolate in the hotel
  • awesome high school students to travel with
  • free wireless internet at the hotel
  • being able to text Macy at home

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful for trips

As I take a break from packing to update this, I am thankful for the opportunity to travel. In case you didn't know, I love-love-love to go-go-go. Rare is a night when we stay home--we are always going somewhere. And I love to get away for the weekend! We can't afford to travel as much as I would like, but that's okay.  That's one reason I love my job--2 times a year I get to take high school students on fun trips--a mixture of journalism convention and sight-seeing. Tonight, I am thankful for the opportunity to take Kaylin on this trip to Minneapolis with me.

I am thankful that 2 years ago, I took Macy to Washington D.C. with me. I had her keep track of our adventures in a journal, and tonight I pulled it out to read some. Here are my excerpts--not edited by me, keep in mind she's 7 at the time.

"We went on a tooer of the capatl and it was boring. Then we got to see the wight hous! We saw the lencin mumorel. The stachu is hewmongs! We saw the reflecshin pool. It is longer than I thot."

"We went to teh Washington Munumant. It was cool because I tuched it!"

" We saw the toom of the on knowed sulger."

So thankful for that trip with Macy, the memories we made, and the memories forever captured in her journal. Hopeful the trip with Kaylin is just as great!

Back to packing...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful for my momma

Today I'm thankful for my mom. She's always there to help me--whether that's to sew something (because I can't), patch my daughter's jeans (because I can't), tell me exactly where in Walmart some cooking item is (because I can't find it), pick up my kids because I'm sick/busy/out of town/working, drive my kids somewhere because I'm sick/busy/out of town/working, or fix me something special (just because I'm hungry), she's always there for me.  She raised me to care about others, to be honest, kind and caring, and to love Jesus. Especially when working with high school kids whose mothers are less than stellar, I'm thankful my childhood was "normal" and that my mom raised me right.

On another note, we had a "real" fire situation at school--nothing ended up happening--but we were outside for a while. My newspaper kids were taking pictures of the fire trucks arriving and tweeting it out. Love those kids!

We're watching Kali and Giselle tonight--it's been a while since my kids were that little, and it's funny how quickly you forget what it's like to have little ones. And I love watching Macy and Kaylin with the little ones. They are so good with them.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful for church

Today, I am thankful for an awesome church community. I love that I WANT to go to church, not HAVE to go to church. I love our small (but growing!) Sunday School class. I know if we needed anything, they'd be there for us. I love having a class to go to every Sunday morning. Our church is big, and I for sure don't know everyone, but that's okay. I love that the girls have a place where we fit in--they do church choir on Sunday evenings, GA (Girls in Action) on Wednesday nights, and numerous other fun activities where they are able to be with their friends while strengthening their faith at the same time. We just hired a new youth pastor, and I can't wait to see him develop the youth group even more.  I love feeling refreshed when I leave church, like water on a parched soul, and I am thankful for time to spend studying God's word.

Countdown to Minneapolis--3 days. We leave Wednesday morning. So, so, so excited.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful for provisions

Today I'm thankful for a house that keeps us protected, two cars that allow us to drive to work and drive our kids around, that we can provide food for our family, and that we have love.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful for many things

Tonight I'm just going to make a list.

I'm thankful for all the veterans who have served our country in the past or are currently.
I'm thankful my dad is finally feeling better. It was so nice to see him laughing and horsing around with the girls tonight.
I'm thankful I have great students. A few bad apples in the bunch, but mostly good kids.
I'm thankful my newspaper kids have embraced writing for the web and are doing awesome at updating our website every day.
I'm thankful for finding 2 neat dresses that Macy actually likes.
I'm thankful I was able to take Macy to D.C. two years ago, and Kaylin to Minneapolis this year.
I'm thankful selling Girl Scout cookies has been easier this year.

Today, we were in 4th hour at 11:11. We stopped what we were doing, and all made a wish. Some of the kids took it pretty seriously...looked like they were praying with their eyes closed and heads bowed. I was glad I took the time to stop...this was such a once in a lifetime opportunity, and they will always remember that we stopped to wish, even after they have forgotten my name.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful for opportunities

Tonight I am thankful for opportunities. The girls have had amazing opportunities to be involved in so many things--both are in Girl Scouts, both have done dance and soccer, and both are involved in GA's (church group for girls) and church choir. Macy has done basketball for 5 years, played volleyball this year, and is involved in Drama Club and is a Library Assistant, and took guitar lessons. Kaylin has done cheerleading and karate, and is playing basketball this year. I am thankful not only that we can afford to do this for them, but also thankful that their community, school and church offer these opportunities. The girls are forging life long friendships with girls in their community, developing social skills, increasing their self esteem, and having fun at the same time. Both are discovering what they like and are good at, and that will help them as they get older.  I'm thankful they will look back at their childhood and realize we let them try lots of different things, instead of limiting them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful for friends and good technology

Tonight (and last night and today during the day) I spent an insane amount of hours trying to jailbreak and unlock an iPhone for a good friend of mine. This friend does a lot for me, is always there if I need her, always helping out with my kids, and I  am very thankful for that. She needed help, and I was willing to help. I'm so thankful for great friends.

I managed to get her iPhone jailbroken (able to add renegade apps, etc.) but couldn't get it unlocked (hacked so she can use TMobile instead of AT&T). I was proud of myself for getting it jailbroken--wasn't easy to do. Wish I had been able to get unlocked for her. I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty good with technology and am able to do a lot of things others can't. Some of that comes with teaching high school, some of that comes with just being good with computers. Either way, I'm thankful I can be the one people turn to when they need help, and that I can help. I'm thankful I'm able to keep up to date with technology and not confused by it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful through frustrations

Here it is again, almost 10:00 pm and my eyes are tired and I realize I haven't done a thankful post or a daily post. I start racking my brain for what I'm thankful for....things should come to my mind easier than they do. I know there are a million things I am thankful for, should be thankful for, but once I start typing, all of them fly right out of my head and all I can think about is the blank computer screen.

Tonight I'm aggravated that our school vote didn't pass. Failed by 280 votes. Now I'm stuck in my stupid temporary room where things don't work right, I don't get to move into my new journalism room, and freshman won't be at the high school, solving some major curriculum problems. We will continue to play Jewell an ungodly amount of money to play football. Classes will become overcrowded. As I sit here and fume about the vote failing, I remember...

I am thankful for the right to vote and express our opinions, even when those opinions differ from mine.
I am thankful for a great job in a fantastic school district, regardless of overcrowding and silly room arrangements.
I am thankful for wonderful students, even if I have significantly more in my class from now on.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for rain

Thankful for the rain God has sent. While I HATE being cold and wet out in the rain, it is much needed. Nothing better than listening to the rain hitting the windows, creating a great sleeping environment and taking care of the drought.

Now, off to sleep to enjoy the gentle rain!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful for my dogs

I know it sounds silly, and that there are more important things to be thankful for, but hey, I still have 24 more days!

Kobe is our sweet black lab we got in April 2000, before we had kids. So she's coming up on 12 years...and it's showing. She's losing weight, her spine is sticking out, her legs aren't sturdy, she has sores and bumps on her body. We've started calling her "old lady." Yesterday she slipped on the hard wood floor and couldn't get her footing. She sleeps a lot. But I'm very thankful for her...she was the first dog I ever had. I taught her all sorts of tricks when she was a puppy, and she will still (begrudgingly) do them. When I was put on bed rest with Macy (for a MONTH) I laid in bed and read, and she would lay next to me. I talked to her, and she kept sane while I was slowly going crazy from laying on my left side for a MONTH. She's a sweet, sweet dog and I'm thankful for her company.

Gabe is our hyper American Eskimo we got a few years ago. It was just after Bobby had started at the fire station, and him being gone at night was causing me stress. I couldn't sleep. Enter Gabe: the barking dog. I knew if anyone tried to get in our house, that dog would bark his head and let me know. He brought me piece of mind, and I'm thankful for that. He follows me around, and is never far from me. One of my favorite things to do is leave a room and go downstairs with Gabe following, then go right back in that room, just to make him follow me. I'm thankful for the piece of mind he has given me.

I'm also thankful for the joy these two dogs have brought the girls. Watching the girls interact with my two other babies is a joy. 

You non-dog people won't understand the above post, and that's okay. You dog-people will. And I have 24 more thankful days to talk about the deep stuff.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful for extra sleep

Tonight I'm thankful for the extra hour of sleep I will get. Seems like I can't get caught up on sleep, can't take naps during the middle of the day, so I'm looking forward to this extra hour. The girls had friends over last night, so they stayed up late and woke up early.

Good night! Enjoy your extra hour of sleep!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful for health

Tonight, as I listen to the girls and their friends run, scream, jump, laugh, fake barf and fake seizures, I am so thankful they are healthy. They rarely get sick (I just tempted fate, didn't I?) and if they do, rebound quickly. I believe very strongly this because we are not germaphobes. They are healthy, strong, well-cared for and I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful for my sweet Macy

As Macy gets older, her bedtime is getting later. Gone are the days when I could send them to bed at 8 and watch TV/grade papers/have computer time. Kaylin will fall asleep relatively quickly, but Macy struggles. On the nights Bobby is at the fire station, she will sometimes stay up with me until 10 or 11. I'll take my computer or papers upstairs, and she'll lay in bed with me and read.

I'm so thankful for the special time I have with her--sometimes I have to remind myself not to get antsy and get mad at her for staying up late, but to be thankful that she wants to be with me and wants to talk. She can be snotty, but those tender moments at night when it's just me and her, with her feet pushed up against mine, she'll let me know what is bothering her, what happened at school, what she's looking forward to, or just read to me funny parts from her book.Not a snotty word out of her mouth when it's just me and her like this.  One of these days she won't want to do that anymore, so I'm relishing the time I have with her, and am thankful for those precious stolen moments.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful for caring students

In addition to blogging every day to get myself out of this blogging rut, I'll be posting something I am thankful for. It's killing two birds with one stone, and I'm all about doing two things at one time to save time. And I'm all about old vague aphorisms like "killing two birds with one stone" and "the early bird gets the worm" and such.

Today was my birthday, It was nice day. Bobby sent me roses, several co-workers gave me treats, and we had dinner together as a family. I'm thankful for that.  I'm also thankful for the wonderful students I have. One reason I enjoy teaching is the close connection I get with the students. While most people can't stand teenagers, I (for the most part) get along really well with them and have a lot of fun together. Today they really made my day special.

A student texted me at 6:01 am to say she was going to QT before school and would bring me a Coke for my birthday.

My newspaper kids had a surprise party for me, complete with cookies, brownies, a chocolate sheet cake, a homemade card they all signed, and a gift certificate for $70 to Dick's Sporting Goods.

I received tons of emails, cards, and tweets from them, and all day anytime a current or former student saw me, they told me happy birthday, complete with yelling it down the hallway in front of everyone.

7th hour sang to me about 4 times, loudly, off key, and more of a round than a normal song.

I'm thankful for such wonderful, caring students who care about an old teacher like me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Here's my Black-Eyed Pea and Hermonine, Halloween 2011.

And here's the crew that went trick or treating together. It was awesome having such a big group--kids got to be with their friends, it was easier to keep track of the kids, and parents had someone to talk to. I LOVE that we have so many kids in our neighborhood about the same age--there were many that weren't in this picture.
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

SOC--October 30


Could we have packed more in this weekend?

Friday, school parties and trick or treating downtown, dinner at fire station with Bobby and his dad

Saturday, Boo at the Zoo with Bobby's dad and 1000 of our closest friends, dinner with Bobby's dad, sister and her family, then took them to winery to see Bobby hard at work

Sunday, girls baptized at church, lunch at Chili's, a surprise party at the winery, Macy's volleyball dinner at CiCi's, grocery shopping at Walmart.

Whew. I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.

Amazingly, our football team made the playoffs for the first time EVER (of course, our school is only 2 years old :) ) so I'm anticipating a crazy hyper week from the kids.

I noticed it has been a week between posts again...think I'm going to have to do the blogging every day in November thing again to get me back in the groove. I've done it the last two years.

Is it too early to go to bed? My 5 minutes are up.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.
1. Grab the button
(it’s over in the sidebar)
2. Write your post.
3. Link up here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Busy weekend!

It's been a busy weekend!

Friday: Dad was admitted to the hospital for some tests. He'd been in pain since his gallbladder surgery 2 weeks ago. My sister had taken the girls to CoCo Keys since they were out of school, we met at the hospital for the exchange. Then I took the girls to the winery to work with Bobby, and I headed to Zona for a much-needed Girls Night Out.

Saturday: Macy had her last volleyball game. They won their first match! The improvement the girls made from start to finish was INCREDIBLE. So proud of her and her teammates. She really likes volleyball, which is good. Basketball evaluations are coming up soon, though, so time to switch gears. After her game, we went to the hospital to find out Dad was being discharged with physical therapy starting next week. We came home for a bit, then got all dressed up for Rachel and Kyle's wedding. You could not have asked for better weather in October for an outdoor wedding! Bobby was a working guest. We stayed until 11:15 when the bride and groom left. Kaylin, just like at my niece's wedding, followed the bride around. Always about 10 steps behind her. Poor Rachel. :)

Sunday: I did my once-a-month work in the nursery at church. We had several visitors, and we had 11 babies!! The girls stayed and helped with some of the older babies. After lunch was our mandatory Sunday afternoon nap, then we headed over to the Mulkey's for a pumpkin carving party. She's done this for the last 3 or 4 years, and the number of kids has grown quite a bit. Always a good time! I carved my first pumpkin, a ghost for Kaylin.

This week doesn't look to be much calmer! Life is busy with 2 kids. Couldn't imagine having 4 or 5!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SOC Sunday--5 minutes to myself


I have 5 minutes till I need to pick up the girls at choir...5 blessed minutes to myself. When does that ever happen? Never.

I'm pretty sore from yesterday's half marathon. Mainly when I stand up and start to walk, but after I've been walking for a bit, I loosen up. It's my calves and hamstrings, and my right shoulder. I am still in shock that I trained for and ran a half-marathon. Sorry that is all I have talked about this week.  People have asked if I am going to do another one, and I think so. Verdict is still out on which one and if I really will. I have really enjoyed running so far, and running a race like that is exciting.

Last week with my student teacher, and next week I'm back to teaching.

That's it for I said, sorry my half-marathon has monopolized so much time this week. Moving forward, I will focus on something else now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My first half

The alarm went off at 4:40. I got up and went about my routine to get ready. Only hangup--something happened to my big toenail and we had no bandaids, so I wrapped a paper towel around it and taped it. Makeshift bandaid.

Kathleen picked me up at 5:30 and we headed downtown. Met up with Jody. It was COLD and dark--lots of shivering while we waited. We visited the bathrooms twice, met up with my running buddies Marsha and Gynetta, and waited. Kathleen and Jody are faster than us, so they moved up a little. We'd meet up at the end. I tried to ignore the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. I ate a few energy chews--more on that later.

Race was awesome. Such a cool feeling...all 8,000 of your closest friends all running down the streets of downtown.

Miles 1-2: great. Cruising right along. Running at a pretty fast pace (for me at least). Enjoying the brisk cool morning air. This stretch was through Power and Light.

Miles 3-4: Holy Hills Batman. Two pretty steep ones around the Liberty Memorial. Tried my arm pulling the rope thing and it didn't work so well. Gynetta and I would yell when we got to the top--felt good to yell. Even with the hills, still moving at a good pace. Feeling good.

Miles 5-6: Sun coming out now, warming up. Legs feeling pretty good, no shin or ankle pain. Bobby and the girls had come down with Kathleen's family, and they were somewhere between 5-6. It was so neat to see their signs and hear them cheer for us! This stretch was through Westport. About this time my stomach started hurting..won't go into details, but it did not feel good. I think it was the energy chews.

Miles 7-8: Rolling through the Plaza. Legs still feeling good, stomach still not feeling well. A friend from college of mine and Gynetta's was along this stretch. It was good to see friends cheering! A former student was supposed to be along here, but she got confused and sat over by the full marathoners, waiting for me to run along. Oops. Gynetta pulled away a tad from me and Marsha at the end of 8. This was a nice stretch.

Mile 9: Bobby, the girls and Kathleen's family had moved over somewhere along this stretch. Legs still good, stomach still not good. I had to walk at the end of 9, and Marsha pulled ahead a little. I was on my own. Hyde Park was this area, an area of town I've never been to.

Mile 10: Was a big blur. I remember one really, really long gradual hill. That's about it. It was not a pleasant mile.

Mile 11: Really cool DJ at mile 11 marker who was strangely inspirational. Somewhere at the beginning of mile 11 I was passed by the full marathon leader. Yep, I was passed by someone running 26 miles while I was running 13. That really helped the spirits. NOT. Somewhere along here Eric ran with me a tad. He had already finished his half (1:27--seriously!!) and was going back to walk with his dad.

Mile 12: mostly downhill. Made up a little time from the horrid mile 10. Legs slowing down, but still not in pain. Stomach still hurting. This stretch ran through the Paseo...yikes.

Mile 13: I swear this mile was actually 3 miles long. Seemed like I'd never reach the finish!! It was mostly flat with a slight uphill by the finish. Bobby and the girls had moved over by the finish, and again, it was SOOO nice to see them cheering. I think Macy yelled "Faster" but I couldn't move any faster.

Afterward, got water and food, visited the port a potty, took pictures, cheered on Eric and his dad, Bobby got us lost in the parking garage trying to find the car. Got my official time: 2:42. A personal record since this was my first half marathon. My goal had been 2:45, so I was 3 minutes ahead of that!

I was pretty pleased with my first effort. I had been worried about shin and ankle pain, and I had NONE. I am kicking myself for eating those energy chews--really think they were the root of my stomach pain. Marsha finished just 2 minutes ahead of time; wish I could have caught up with her.

What a fun, fun experience. Can't believe that at age 35, I just ran my first half-marathon.

Here's me, Marsha and Gynetta before the race. Not the best pic.

Here's me, Jody and Kathleen after. I wish I'd gotten a picture of
Marsha and Gynetta too. At that point, I just wanted to get in the car and get food.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's here.

On the kitchen table right now:

Freshly washed socks
GU energy chews
Cliff energy bar for breakfast
timing chip
headphones (after MUCH searching and angst)
bib (number 4523!)
safety pins
anti-chafe gel
super-grip ponytail holders
phone with recently updated playlist

In the fridge right now:

2 water bottles, one for breakfast and one for the car ride

In the bathroom right now:

Sports bra

I seriously NEVER thought I would be doing this. Even after doing the 5k in April, I laughed at the thought of doing a half-marathon. But you know what? I'm doing it. I registered June 15. I followed a training schedule all summer and fall. I pulled myself out of bed at 5:15 to run while it was somewhat cool during the heat wave, and I have gotten babysitters to watch the girls so I can run while Bobby was working. I'm ready.

And scared to death.

It's here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This was on the kitchen table when I came downstairs this morning:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Pictures

how's that for a little alliteration?

On the tractor-pulled-barrel-ride

 Macy and her pumpkin named "Antsy"
 KK and her pumpking, to be named later
 Slingshot-ing with Dad. KK didn't like it.
 On the hayride!
 Ah, puppy love. This is EXCATLY what Kobe looked like, almost 12 years ago.

Rubber ducky races

Searching for a pumpkin. Look at that blue sky!
It was a fun day.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stream of Conciousness Sunday


5 minutes of writing...go.

Today we went to a local pumpkin patch. Had a great time--picked pumpkins, had slingshot competitions, did a hayride, rubber ducky races, and had a great time. Spent a lot of time together as a family this weekend, which is unusual and very welcomed.

Macy is still awake and won't go to sleep. Bobby is doctoring Kobe with some flea stuff; poor dog has been itching like crazy. Gabe is barking outside and I don't want to get up to let him in.

We have parent/teacher conferences this week, so no school on Friday. That's nice with the half marathon on Saturday. It's weird that I have really have no idea how some of my students are doing, since the student teacher has been teaching. She's on her final two weeks, then I'm back on.

I've been interrupted about 4 times in this 5 minute of writing, but that's the story of my life. Bobby is wanting the computer and I need to pick up a little for the babysitter tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Since I haven't been blogging as much lately, I thought I'd offer a little recap as to what is going on in our lives.

Bobby is currently in Wisconsin, doing training on the new fire truck and then driving it home. Yes, driving home a fire truck from Appleton, Wisconsin. It's governed at 72. Should be fun for him and the other 2 drivers.  He was supposed to run the half marathon with our group on 10/15, and didn't train for it. I'm a little annoyed with him about that. :) He's still busy at the fire station, and working quite a bit out at the winery. He'll be coaching both girls basketball teams this winter.

I have another student teacher, so I've been spending my days doing errands for other people (hey, you're not teaching so you can help) and planning for a new class I'm teaching in the spring. I'm training for a half marathon on 10/15 with several people, and am alternating between scared to death and excited. I'm in the tapering portion of my training, so I'm only doing short runs this week and next. I'm sort-of still leading Macy's Girl Scout troop.

Macy is loving 4th grade and her teacher. She has straight A's, and is involved in Library Assistant's Club and Drama club at school. Loves both. She's having drama with Anna again (long time readers will know this comes up from time to time) Macy is trying this volleyball this year, and really likes it. She had 2 serves go over the net last night, and she was so excited but had to act cool, you know. She is also singing in the children's choir at church and in a Junior Girl Scout Troop. She's my emotional girl--one minute happy, one minute upset.  Today she is dressed as a very stylish Alex Russo for Homecoming.

Kaylin is in 2nd grade, has a student teacher, and loves both of them. She makes good grades too (no letter grades yet). No clubs at school for her to be involved with yet, but she's looking forward to Drama Club next year. She's in a Girl Scout troop, and wants to try basketball instead of cheerleading this winter. I'm looking forward to watching her; she's definately improved her dribbling skills since this summer. She is dressed as Taylor Swift today and we did big ringlet curls in her hair.

Kobe and Gabe are still with us, but both are slowing down. We've been prepping the girls for their death, but it's more for me then them.Gabe still likes to eat toilet paper, and Kobe tries to get into the trash every chance she can get.

That's it for now...I am making a vow to update more often than I have been!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Theft

Today I came back to my room after lunch to discover that the super soft, huge green chair in my classroom was missing. In its place was a note on my blue construction paper: "I have flown back to the nest."

People. This chair is HUGE. And it was taken out of my classroom!

I was amazed, interrogated people in the lab, then finally followed the scratch on the door and the scuff marks on the floor to find it hidden in the Eagle's Nest, our little atrium area on the 2nd hour. I made the culprits drag it back to my classroom.

The war has started. Now I just have to figure out a way to get them back!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TSwift review

Written for my free-lance gig...

I’m not ashamed to admit my first concert was New Kids on the Block at the Missouri State Fair. I can’t remember much about that night, but I have grown to love concerts. My two daughters, ages nine and seven, have watched me for years get ready for concerts, and have begged to go with me. When I first heard that Taylor Swift would be coming to Kansas City, I knew immediately: this would be their first concert. Tickets were purchased in February, and the girls flipped out when we gave them the tickets. All through the spring and summer, talk of the concert would creep into our conversations. ”I wonder what songs she is going to sing” or “I wonder what Taylor is going to wear” was frequently heard. Her latest CD, “Speak Now,” was purchased, and listened to repeatedly on our family road trip, and even my husband knew all the lyrics by the time we returned home.

Finally, Saturday, September 24 arrived. Weather was perfect for an outdoor concert at Arrowhead.  Our group of seven girls and four moms met for some pictures and a quick dinner, then headed out. When got out of the car, the littlest ones began screaming in excitement, and didn’t stop for quite a while. I had not planned on buying shirts for my girls, but the other five purchased shirts, so I shelled out the $50 for two. We headed up the ramp—up and up and up the spiral, concrete ramp to the upper level of Arrowhead. When we walked through the concourse to the seats, the look on the girls’ face, to see all of Arrowhead in front of them, was enough to make ticket price worth it.

Through the opening acts, we took pictures, ate cotton candy, talked with friends, and waited anxiously for Taylor Swift to come out on stage. It was worth the wait when Swift came out in a gold dress, fringes spinning as she sang “Sparks Fly” At this point, my daughters were standing on their seats, screaming and singing as loud as they could.

Swift’s show was not just her and her guitar—she brought a whole crew of dancers and actors so there was always something to look at. The girls were mesmerized by the dancers hanging suspended in air, by the wedding dress of the bride in “Speak Now”, and by the giant bells that popped up from below the stage then slowly raised to the ceiling for “Haunted”. Their favorite part was the mime on stage, pushing a broom and making lights turn on before she performed “Mine.” My daughters noted every costume change; there were 10 during her 17 songs. All of the “side shows” did not detract from Swift’s performance but added a visual element to keep the audience entertained.

As this was Swift’s first stadium tour, she seemed to be in awe of the crowd. Several times throughout the night, Swift repeated “I can’t believe 50,000 people paid to see me sing,” and she also appeared to have tears in her eyes as she looked around the stadium. Call me na├»ve, but Swift appeared to be genuinely shell-shocked at her success in selling out a stadium. Most of the 50,000 fans were young girls and their mom’s (with a few dads, boyfriends, or little brothers scattered throughout) and they sang along with her on every song for two hours and fifteen minutes.

Swift ended the show with two favorites. “Fifteen” was performed in a large cream-colored ball gown from a velvet couch, and for the crowd-favorite “Love Story,” she was carried over the audience in a balcony. My girls did not take their eyes off her while she floated over the crowd. It was a stunning finale to a show full of story-telling songs.

Like Swift, my daughters seemed in awe by the stadium and the entire atmosphere of a big name concert. Just judging from this one experience, I would say they are hooked as well.  In the middle of the concert, my seven-year-old suddenly gave me a huge hug and said, “Mom, thank you for the tickets and the t-shirt.” She also did not take her t-shirt off for three days.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pictures until I can gather my thoughts

Last night was the girls first real concert experience. If you've read here for a while, you know I am a concert-lover. Last night we went to Arrowhead for the Taylor Swift concert. I'm too tired to put into words the night, so for now, enjoy these pictures with minimal commentary and tomorrow I'll fill in the gaps.

All the girls met at my house for pictures, and went to Rancho for dinner. They all look very unhappy here, but I promise you they were excited.
 My sister and niece. Her first concert and trip to Arrowhead too.
 Me and the girls. This picture showed me two things--I need a haircut and Macy is seriously almost as tall as me.
 Macy pretending to fall off the upper level of Arrowhead. Our seats were in the 7th row of the upper deck. Really, not bad at all for the cheapest tickets. (Cheapest being $57 apiece. Yowsers.)
 All 5 girls doing the "heart" symbol
 Macy and Kaylee
 Me and Amy (Kaylee's mom) This was the 3rd try. Apparently I like closing my eyes in pictures.
 My sister and niece on the complete opposite side of Arrowhead. She's on the phone with me. :) Amy was pretty impressed with her camera's ability to zoom that far.
 Macy, Kaylee and Tess.
 Taylor's encore...she flew over the audience in this balcony thing. Pretty cool.
 I think this was "Mean"
 Hannah and Macy in parking lot
 These two (and Hannah) screamed from the moment they got out of the car until the concert started.
 Macy's first visit to Arrowhead.
 Me and Kaylin. She literally has thanked me about 25 times for the tickets and the shirt. She is so sweet.
 Me and Macy.
 Enjoying her cotton candy immensely.
That's our night in pictures. Tomorrow, I promise, I'll tell the details.