Friday, April 30, 2010


1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate.

When you know in your heart that the decision (s) you made is the right one, and an act occurs that establishes the soundness of said decision, does that not feel so good?

I think so.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prom - 20 years later

I teach in the high school where, 20 years ago, I was a student.  More specifically, 20 years ago, I was a senior in high school.  A cheerleader.  ASB President.  Voted Class Clown.  When I first started teaching here, it felt surreal to walk the halls without familiar faces.  To see different teachers in the classrooms who didn't know me.  In the past seven years, that surreal feeling has faded and I've found my place as a teacher, rather than the student in these familar halls.  And no, I've never worn my cheer uniform a single day since I packed it away 20 years ago!

In high school, I was VERY loud.  Obnoxious.  And a whole lot of fun.  I didn't party.  I didn't have a boyfriend (Miss Socially Awkward).  Ever.  My students never believe me when I tell them these two facts but they are true.  I just had fun.  I didn't experience a lot of high school drama because I hung out with the guys and guys don't do drama.  My drama-filled days were spent in middle school.  Blach.  What a terrible time.  I was so glad to walk into high school and leave that drama behind. 

But high school?  Oh, glorious freedom and life with very few responsibilities with a hated curfew.  Many of us can remember those carefree, reckless days.  When it seemed the biggest problem was who would be your homecoming or prom date (I'm sure there were relationship issues involved but again, I never had a boyfriend) or could you gather enough kids together to help decorate for dances so you could get home and shower before the dance.   Would the pep assembly be flawless or flop?  Would our football team win the state championship (it did!). Where would we end up on weekends, watching movies? Would we be able to get back to said house before the group who's houses we just covered in toilet paper (t.p'ing) would catch us in the act?   BTW, in hindsight, having a curfew wasn't great but it was a solid move by the parental units.  And we never got caught T.P'ing.  By groups or parents.

Why is it we lose that sense of freedom as we grow older?  Does the weight of responsibility really need to weigh that heavily upon our shoulders?  I mean, do we really need to work to pay the mortgage or bills or run kids around to countless activities?  I know the answer to these questions is yes and it is part of this chapter in my life.  I'm not saying I want to go back to high school because I firmly believe every chapter has its place, its time, and ends when the time is right.  But there are times when I miss the carefree, social, secure feelings that came with being a high school student.

Teaching in my high school is wonderful.  I have amazing students who never fail to make me laugh on a daily basis.  I have spent more time in the past two weeks, helping girls choose the right prom dress (length is long and color is hot), helping boys ask girls to the dance, and helping groups find locations for dinner than I did for my own prom!  I know kids party so the adult in me reminds each and every one to be responsible and show up to the dance sober.  Since I'm the class advisor, I really don't want to be in a position of telling a parent their kid was dumb, ya know?  And then the goofy high school girl in me giggles at their antics and remembers a time when she was ready to move on but still wanted to hold on, for just one more day, to life in high school.

P.S.  Miss Socially Awkward girl did go to Prom.  My dear and super-cute friend, Dan, asked me in science class one day.  We had a wonderful evening with our group of friends at the Space Needle for dinner, the dance on the Pier, and camping afterwards.  Still not sure how I was selected Prom Queen or convinced my parents to let me go camping but it was a great way to finish up high school.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Betsy - this one's for you!

My mother-in-law reads my blog.  Every day.  

Me, Alexander and Betsy 
Summer 2009

She wrote this to me in an email today

Michelle, your saying being a working mom lets you screw up on many levels makes me sad every time I read it.  You are a human juggler and doing a might fine job in my opinion.  Plus you are raising the happiest little person I know.  What a joy he is to visit, I'm so lucky to be able to walk with them both each day.
Well.   That made me stop and think.  One of the greatest blessings in my life is the relationship I share with my mother-in-law.  From the very beginning, there has been a bond of honesty and trust. Not to mention, we are both clean freaks who love to organize (she might be a bit more compulsive than me).
I know I am VERY lucky that my mother-in-law is a friend and as a second mother to me.  Even though I have never called her "Mom", I'd like to think she knows how I feel about her.
We have created endless memories over the years.  Drank many bottles of wine together.  Talked our way into a private casino in Italy together.  Walked miles and miles together over the past 10 summers.  And the list goes on and on.  She is a fantastic Umma and a great playmate for Eric.  Of course, she knows her sons flaws better than anyone so I know she considers me rather saintly for putting up with him as long as I have.  She's right.  I'm awesome.
Anyhow, Betsy, the new header is for you.  Thank you for your honesty and trigger to make me think about what I'm writing.  This blog is about me having solitude to put down my thoughts in self reflection so I hope this new quote doesn't sadden you. 


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'll use any excuse...even the National Boards

I love school supplies. 

One of my fondest memories of late August/early September is looking at the supply list teachers provided, knowing I was about to embark on a grand trip of organization.  I'm sure my mom would share a different vision of a wide-eyed girl gazing at supplies, taking her time in handpicking the perfect eraser tops for her pencils, notebook, reams of paper, and pencil pouch while her mother stood screaming at her siblings patiently, waiting for the eager girl to pick out the very notebook that was sure to bring academic success

School supplies always symbolized the start of something new and undiscovered..  Projects yet to be designed.  Pages and pages of paper to be filled with adolescent thoughts (i.e. notes to friends).  Pencils that begged to be sharpened.  And the organization of it all brought a thrill of euphoria that is best described as

Pure Nerdiness.

Sadly, I don't have much excuse to use school supplies as a PE teacher.  But I do love to create a list of supplies that I think I will need just to experience the excitement of their arrival before school starts.  Secretly, there is a small part of me that believes I went into teaching solely for the use of school supplies.  
My inner nerd lives on.

So, yesterday after my first National Boards meeting, I faced the task of organizing this ENORMOUS stack of paperwork (yes, that is close to 300 pages of INSTRUCTION for this program!) into some semblance of order.

I hit Staples after my meeting and found these lovelies just waiting for me.  
5 notebooks, packets of dividers, pocket pouches (for collecting evidence of work, dontcha know), and paper.  I could have browsed that store for hours.  But I had a run to fit in and a man waiting at home for date night so I grabbed my purchases and was out the door.

This morning, my bestest helper and I put ourselves to work, organizing "Mommy's school".

We laid it all out in front of us.  We stacked papers into piles.  We hole punched pages and pages of paper.
We opened and closed notebooks (and never pinched a finger!) and placed dividers just right.

And when all was said and done, we experienced the utopia of organization!  I don't know if Alexander will inherit this school supply nerdiness from his mom.  I'd like to hope he will have some sort of self organizational system because of what I see with students who don't.  Without organizational skills, so many students struggle within the school system.  
Even he doesn't, I know at least one nerd person will be excited to see the school supply list every fall.

National Boards. 
Let the games begin.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Living Vicariously Through Others

Is it human nature to live vicariously through others?  To believe "the grass is greener on the other side"?  I don't know how you can exist and not live vicariously through others.  I try to make choices that keep me from living vicariously through others but I don't know how you can completely avoid the thoughts.

For example, I think of those who can/have...
  1. Sleep in every weekend.  Waking up on your own, feeling rested, without knowing you could use and would enjoy a couple more hours of sleep.
  2. Shop, shop, shop.  Being able to shop guilt free because you have two incomes or one very healthy income.
  3. Time.  Having time to go to the gym, for a run, or a couple of hours to yourself to do exactly what you want without any demands on your time.  Having time to yourself without feeling guilty or as though you must negotiate for time to yourself.  Have time to sit on the couch with a good book, laptop for blogging, or even a half hour to watch the Real Housewives of Somewhere without any interruption.
  4. Cleanliness.  Deep clean of spaces in your home that you are lucky to tackle more than once every few months.
  5. Spontaneity.  Meeting co-workers for a drink without having to check your calendar.  Going away for a girls weekend guilt free.  Planning social events that don't require asking the grandparents to help you, with the feeling like you are dumping their grandson on them (I KNOW they don't mind but I STILL feel guilty)
Those are my top five.  I suppose you could say those are things I miss most...
but then I look up and see what I DO have...

and those five things drift away.

Except for that sleep thing.  That I envy. 
What do you live vicariously through others for in your life?  
And what are you doing about it make it happen for yourself??

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This and That

Some days I feel like blogging and other days, I don't.  Some days I'll blog on Alexander's blog and some days on here.  On same days, I won't bother. 

Right now, there just isn't a whole lot going on in my life to report.  How many more posts can I possibly write about running, losing weight, or the boring mundane details of my life?  Hmmm...apparently one more.  Oh, you must be faithful readers if you are willing to sit through these type of posts!
  • I ran twice this week.  Kinda lost my steam for running in the past week but then I took my measurements.
  • I'm smaller than my last visit to Curves!  That means over 20 inches lost since last summer!  
  • The running has officially been validated and will continue.
  • I am officially cancelling the Curves membership.
  • That's 40 bucks back in my pocket each month.  Hello dark gray Vans.
  • Still waiting for Fidelia to have baby girl.  Waiting sucks.  Probably more for Fidelia than for me.
  • Fidelia is at 3cm and at home.  When I was at 3cm, I had my fingers wrapped around the nurse's neck BEGGING for an epidural.  
  • I'm taking tomorrow off.  I may or may not be getting my hair done.
  • My first National Board meeting is on Saturday.  8-3.  I may or may not be dreading it.
  • My parents have Alexander Saturday night.  Date night - here we come!
And that's about it.  Happy 3 day weekend to me!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

True Story Tuesday

WORKOUT:  35 min run.  Abs/bun/thighs workout with class

I'm obsessed with Friday Night Lights again.  Season 4 rocks.

True Story.

This obsession can only be met after Alexander goes to bed so my bedtime is later and later each night.

True Story.

The lack of sleep leaves bags under my eyes.  Unattractive.

True Story.

But I love me some Friday Night Lights so my vanity will take the hit.

True Story.

And now you know why I haven't been blogging!

True Story.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Night


Yard work.  As a family.

Cocktails.  Just the parents.

Dinner.  As a family.

Cartoons.  Just a toddler.

Cuddling on the couch.  As a family.
Even if the toddler would rather sit on the floor.

Friday nights have never been better.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another List!

WORKOUT:  5 mile run

I've been on thyroid medication since 2006. In fact, the entire reason we have Alexander is because of that medication (hypothyroidism can be linked to fertility issues).  My wonderful doctor, Dr. M., has pushed me to eat foods that are good for hypothyroidism but I have ignored him.  After my last visit and frustration with my metabolism, I decided that it can't hurt to look up a hypothyroid diet.  And then I started thinking:  with all the running I'm doing, I'll make a list of foods that are good for runners AND hypothyroidism. 

After all, I do love making a list.  Especially on an Excel sheet when I can cross-reference a runner list and hypothyroid list for foods that make both list.

I've found a few good ideas, did a little grocery shopping for good foods, and ordered a couple of books from the library, Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way 200 High-Flavor Recipes and a 7-Step Plan to Stay Slim Forever  and  The sugar solution : your symptoms are real-- and your solution is here.

 I'm not sure if these foods and my levels of exercise are going to be the right triggers for my metabolism.  
But I'm ready to try to put the pieces together.
And now I'm going to bed.  I ran 5 miles today and I'm tired.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Count Me In

WORKOUT: ran 1 mile, weight lifting 1 hour

Despite being awoken by my sick child at 4:30 and being unable to fall back asleep, I stuck to my commitment and worked out before school today.

If you know me, you know I hate to show up anywhere late.  Turns out I was 15 minutes early this morning so I was able to run a mile before the girls arrived (I had to unlock 3 gates which took more time than it should have!).

They definitely have a game plan when lifting weights.  Me?  Not so much.  I just bounced from machine to machine, added weights until there was resistance, made up the numbers of sets/reps, did some lunges and squats, and jabbered the whole time.  Strength training has a different feel afterwards than a cardio workout but I liked it.  And I enjoyed hanging out with my friends.

So, I'm officially adding a Wednesday morning workout to my routine. 

Even if I need a nap when I get home from work!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shaking Things Up a Bit

WORKOUT:  ran 3.25 mi/32min

For weeks, two of my co-workers have been training to climb Mt. Rainier.  No, No.  I'm not going to climb any mountains.  Are you kidding me?  I am scared of heights!

They have been working out, twice a week, in the weight room at school at 6AM and then using my office/shower to clean up before school.  Each week, they kindly ask me to join them.  And each week...I laugh.

But not this week. 

Tomorrow morning, I'm joining them.  I figure it's time to shake things up a bit and kick start the metabolism with strength training.

Wish me luck.  The very idea of being at school so early makes me want to throw up in my mouth. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Being a Girl

WORKOUT:  Half hour cardio - Total Asset CardioBlast

There are days when I'm so happy I don't have a girl.
As much as I'd love a daughter, I give a sigh of relief that we won't have to parent a girl.
Don't get me wrong.  We'd love a daughter and would do our best to parent her.
But I really love that we have a boy.

It is no surprise that I struggled with having a positive body image. 
Or should I say, I still struggle.  Every day.
And depending on the day, the body image issues can make or break my day.

I am glad I don't have a girl who would see this cycle and may end up following that path. 
I wouldn't know how to begin to break the cycle to create confidence in self in my daughter.
It's bad enough that I think I'm going to screw it up with a son.

I don't blame my parents or anyone in my life for my thoughts.
They are mine.  I own them.  I create them and I have the power to break them.

It's perception.
It's false beliefs.

It is something I struggle with every day.
It's my reality.

Today I sat with students and we talked about this issue.
How much is media based?
How much is peer based?
How much is created by ourselves based on perseptions?
Why do we give negative body images power over our thoughts?
Why do we hate ourselves for body image issues when we have many wonderful qualities too?

And how do we break the cycle so we don't carry it to our children?

We don't have the answers. 
However, we have committed to meeting once a week and talk it out. 
Nothing formal.  No fancy club name or motivational speakers.

Just a bunch of girls talking about being a girl.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reward the Good Things.


I ran this weekend.
Six miles yesterday (interval training 6 min run, 1 1/2 min walk)
Three miles today.  No walking.
I'm sore but it's a good sore.  The type that lets me know I did good.  I also followed each workout with a yoga routine for 30 minutes to keep the muscles stretched.  I really am noticing a difference.  Which reminds me...Dr. C wrote a 10wk prescription for massage therapy.  I really need to sign up for those!

The half marathon is a little over 2 months away.  ACK!!

I need to start increasing my distance.  I'd like to be at 6 miles without walking by the end of the month and interval training at 10 miles.  Since I think I should get a reward when I meet my goal, I thought it would be fun to ask my readers (whoever you might be *hi Kristen's mom and sister*) to give input on my reward.

Sooo...what reward should I receive if I met my goal at the end of the month?

Have a great week!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Belated Easter

Since my family was recovering from our flights and vacation on Easter, the extended family graciously offered to postpone Easter.  Yes, yes.  We know that Jesus rose on Easter Sunday and that we really can't just rearrange the calendar but come on.  Even YOU have to admit that Easter came early this year.  And Easter isn't REALLY Easter unless we are looking for plastic eggs, filled with coins.  As we search for these plastic eggs, we come across our Easter plates hidden in my grandparents playroom.  The eggs may be in the same spots every year but my amazing dad STILL manages to hide my plate in an area that makes me the last one to find it EVERY SINGLE TIME!

I'm thinking of Easter baskets for my boys again this year.  Last year, I created these small treats at the local Big Lots...that is now closed!

I'm going to go to Target after work tomorrow to look for a few treats...any ideas??

I'll Take It!

I'm not flexible.  Period. 

Think back to your high school PE classes when the teacher would force you to do the Sit and Reach test for flexibility.  If you can touch your toes, you can reach 25 cm (give or take).

I've never reached past 10 cm.  IN MY LIFE. 

Every year, I demonstrate the test to my kids.  In part to show them how to do the test but mostly to boost their self esteem because really, if you can do better than the teacher, you rock.

Soooooo...I've been doing yoga and stretching every night since the doctor told me it would improve my running and help keep injuries at bay.

I reached 16 cm today! 

I'll take it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


It's been a long time coming.

A year of
Tears.  Anger.  Frustration.  Soul searching.

Now there is acceptance.

And joy.

I am happy at work.

Simple.  To the point.

What a difference it makes to be happy about going to work every day.

I love my kids.

I love spending my lunches in my office, surrounded by 3 or 4 teenagers who want to talk, laugh, and ask for advice. Every day.

In the years before Alexander, I was that person for many students but often feel like they were my kids.  Kids that took the place of the one I didn't have at home.

But now I have my own kid.

It's different now. 

I am not their parent.  I am their teacher.  I am a role model.  I am a listener. I give advice when asked but mostly, I listen and let them figure out the answer on their own.  I surround myself with their laughter, their stories, and their issues but I don't bring it home.

 At the end of the day, I can't wait to go home to my boys.  And leave work at work.

There is balance.

And peace.

It feels good.

It's been a long time coming.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

True Story Tuesday: Family

My grandmother's sister died on Easter Sunday.  My heart hurts for Grandma.  I can't imagine how it must feel to lose your siblings, especially your favorite sister.  I'm sorry, Grandma.  I love you.

True Story.

My cousin Jodie spent the night with us last night.  It was awesome.

True Story.

My cousin had a baby two weeks ago.  Sydnee is happy and beautiful.  I wish I lived closer so I could hold her.  Congratulations Amy and Matt!

True Story. 

My cousin and his wife are expecting a baby this month.  A pregnant Fidelia is the vision of beauty.  However, we are all very anxious to meet the little one.  I cannot wait to hold the baby and breathe in the baby smells.   

True Story.

All this baby talk makes me want another one.  Sigh.

True Story.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

And we're back.

What a fun week in Florida!  The weather was PERFECT and I'm pleased to be a lovely shade of brown that I only see during the summer months.  I can't speak for everyone in our family, but I think everything went as smooth as it could be with ten people involved in a vacation!

Since my son decided to wake me up at 3AM, I'm a little sleep deprived today.  Rather than babble on, I'll just post a few pictures from the trip. 

Us at Epcot

 My brother and sister
Eric and I after a few drinks at the Brown Derby.
Oh, how I love their Cobb Salad!

Eric and Alexander on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad...sneaky boys found a way to work around the height requirement!

Family on Mainstreet
It was awesome to hang out with my brother.  I do miss him.  

We were able to steal him away and spend an afternoon at Epcot.  He and Eric drank their way around the world, playing Kim Impossible.  Alexander and I followed and laughed at their crazy antics.  I love these boys. 

So, now we're home.  I've spent the entire day washing clothes, linens and cleaning the house.  I don't really feel the jet lag all the much but I'm sure I will tomorrow.  The good news is that the kiddos will be just as tired as their teacher.  
Only, I'll be tanner!