Month: November 2014

Good Food, Best Friends

For the past six years my friends and I have been together for second Thanksgiving together. It started out as a big thing with all of us and our guy friends and boyfriends, but as the years went on we decided to make it a “girls only” night. With busy schedules and different zip codes, it’s hard to find time to get together, but we can always look forward to our Thanksgiving together; it’s a priority. This year we celebrated in my best friend’s new apartment. What a sign that we are growing up (scary!)!



20 Things I Learned From My Dad

rp_1466142_10151872911803940_1988175929_n-300x292.jpgThe older I get, the more I notice how much I’m like both of my parents. My mom is sensitive and caring, and she won’t hesitate to stay up all night if you need a shoulder to cry on. I see her in myself when I put someone else’s needs before my own, when I worry about doing my best, when I’m honest about my feelings, and when I choose to stay in over going out dancing. My dad has a big heart, he gives good advice, and he enjoys his time alone. I know I’m like him when I tell my friends what they need to hear, when I face problems head on, when I go out of my way to make things easier for someone else, and when I am comfortable sitting alone on a park bench.

While I have learned so much from them, my dad is the lecture type (and good at it, too!). So, feeling inspired by Amy Poehler’s book, I created a list of everything my dad has taught me. I hope you can take from it as much as I have.

  1. If you’re not happy, let someone know. This goes for relationships, family, dining out, and bad customer service.
  2. Work is work. It’s hard, but we have to do it.
  3. It’s polite to pay the check or pick up the tab for people who are hosting you.
  4. Apologize when it’s your fault.
  5. If the car gets you from point A to point B, it works.
  6. Always send thank you notes.
  7. It’s never too late to take a deep breath and start the day over.
  8. Meditation, in even the simplest form, is important and healthy. Take a few minutes each day to count your blessings and ask for help.
  9. Starbucks has the best coffee.
  10. Travel often. Don’t wait for anyone to come with you, or you might never go.
  11. Sometimes all you need to feel better is a big bowl of ice cream.
  12. Worry about money, but not too much. Don’t let it hold you back from experiencing life.
  13. No one has ever died from being tired.
  14. Exercise is important.
  15. Tell people what you want, no one is a mind reader.
  16. Save, save, save! (I have trouble with this one)
  17. Nightmares can be cured with a pinch of food coloring in a glass of water.
  18. Drink a lot of orange juice if you’re feeling sick.
  19. Don’t be so focused on the destination that you forget to enjoy the journey. Pull the car over. Take a moment to enjoy the views.
  20. Never be too afraid to ask for help.

Sick Days: 1

Oh my goodness! It’s so good to get back to blogging! I apologize for my mini hiatus, but it has been a crazy week (like, crazier-than-usual-crazy). The students were on a trip the week before Halloween, so when they returned it was a rush to teach! teach! teach! I had to substitute fifth grade while my kiddies were gone, and boy did I miss them! Being in the fifth grade really made me appreciate my sixth graders. What a difference it is from one grade to the next! So, I was rushing to wrap up our imagined narratives, and finally jump further into Bridge to Terabithia before Halloween, when life hit me with a big, aching, coughing bump in the road. I got sick.

I started to feel it on a Wednesday night, but my temperature never went above 99, so it just didn’t feel right to stay out of work. Despite feeling icky, I put on my big girl pants on Thursday morning and dragged myself to teach! teach! teach! But it turned out to be a mistake, because by the end of the day I was aching all over, all the while smiling at the kids pretending I felt great. Which sounded a lot like this: “Okay, turn to page four. Isn’t it cold in here? Is it cold in here or is it just me? I’m so cold!” By 3:30 I was climbing (more like crawling) into bed with a thermometer in my mouth that read: 102.7, wonderful.

It killed me to miss Halloween. I was really looking forward to seeing all the costumes (I was going to be Hermione), and hearing the scary stories we had worked on the day before. To make things worse, my dad was flying in from Florida that night. I had been excited about his visit for months, and now I wouldn’t be able to do anything but sit on the couch covered in layers of blankets and wallow in my misery. Okay, I’m being dramatic. My dad and I ended up watching a few movies, but we were planning to go on a road trip and have “Thanksgiving” at our favorite diner, so movies felt kind of sad in comparison.

Being sick as a teacher is the absolute worst. Don’t get me wrong, being sick isn’t fun for anyone, but when you’re a teacher it takes significantly more work to be sick. I remember wishing my teachers would take a sick day when I was younger. I couldn’t understand why they never seemed to be absent, it was so much fun to be absent! Now, I get it. Not only is planning for a substitute difficult, but then you worry all day about how things are going: Are the kids behaving? Does the sub understand my plans? I hope they aren’t forgetting that we have a test tomorrow! Who is going to remind them that we have a test tomorrow?! It’s exhausting. And it doesn’t stop when you feel better, because when you return you are greeted with piles of student work, and tons of catch-up planning to do. I know I sound like I’m complaining, but that’s because I am.

Anyways, I’m happy to be back on track! I had parent-teacher conferences this past week, and they went really well. Going into conferences you see it as a very one sided meeting: You’re there to tell the parents what is going on, and they are there to listen; but it’s not like that at all. The conferences ended up being a productive exchange and great conversation. At the end of everything I learned so much about my students, and gained an understanding of them that I wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. I really wish I had made more conferences than I did!

I have a lot of lessons I’m excited to share with you, so be sure to check back soon!