Sunday, January 30, 2011

Girls Weekend

As I drove away from the boys on Saturday morning, I felt guilt. Terrible guilt about leaving my boys to enjoy a weekend with girlfriends on Camano Island. It probably didn't help that Alexander was in tears and Eric was recovering from the flu when I left them.  However, Eric knew this sleepover was important to me so off I went.  By the way, I did de-escalate Alexander well enough to stop the tears before I left the driveway.  Phew.

The guilt was strong. 
But the need to spend time with a fantastic group of women may have been stronger.

Granted, not all of us could make it.  Jo-Jo was at her son's wrestling tournament (he placed 2nd in state!), Kristen is in AZ, Amy is in CA, Cori stayed home to plan her husband's deployment, and Tira was busy with school activities.  But we texted or called each of them and heard their voices.

Eric once asked me why spending time with this group is so important to me. 
Simply put, time spent with them makes me a better person.  And who doesn't want that in their life?

 I'm grateful for the time I spend with them.

I appreciate that my sweet husband entertained Alexander for two days so I could rejuvenate my soul.

And bring balance to my life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Truth

The Good: 
I had the priviledge of recognizing a student for leadership accomplishments at a local Rotary luncheon today.  This student is a true service leader and deserves the award.  Ironically, another student who was recognized for leadership by a different school was a former student of mine (did you follow that?).  Had he remained at our school, I would have had to choose between him and my selection.  Fortunately, both won, both had the chance to have someone sing their praises, and both made me proud. 

The Bad: 
Yesterday I handed out four Saturday schools, five detentions, called four parents, and emergency expelled a kid.  And that was all before noon.

The Truth:
I need the good and the bad days.  Either end of the spectrum has its challenges.  I'm learning if I spend too much time at either end, I lose perspective.  And everyone needs perspective.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Saturday Night

Saturday night.

I'm sitting at the kitchen table.

Grading papers.

Drinking Capt and Diet Coke.

Turns out, I greatly dislike grading papers. 

However, I don't want to go back to teaching PE.

I just miss the days of no-grading. 

And the days of "parking lot lesson plans".

But I wouldn't go back.

Nope.  Wouldn't go back.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fingers Crossed! And maybe the toes, too.

A few months ago, I had a brainstorm about finding a speaker for our MLK assembly.  It didn't work out for various reasons.  I was very disappointed.  And I wasn't about to give up.  I had it on my agenda to call the company back this week to schedule a different date.  You see, I believe strongly that all schools should have Rachel's Challenge present to their student body.  I first heard about this group at leadership camp and it just kept gnawing at the back of my brain. 
Imagine my surprise when I picked up my voice mail today and someone from Rachel's Challenge had left me a message.  It seems as though the group is pairing up with a local news station for a week long promo and need a local high school to provide the assembly.  He said that Liberty immediately came to mind due to my enthusaism and then my pure disappointment when we couldn't make it happen.  He explained everything to me and with each word, my excitement grew.  He finally asked if we were interested and I think I leapt out of my chair and screamed in the poor man's ear, "YES!". 

A description from the website:

Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her acts of kindness and  compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries have become the foundation for one of the most life-changing school programs in America.

Powerful video/audio footage of Rachel's life and the Columbine tragedy holds students spell-bound during a one hour school presentation that motivates them to positive change in the way they treat others.

Rachel's Challenge Mission:
We exist to inspire, equip and empower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.
How could I NOT want this message brought to our kids??
Awesome message.
Half the cost. 
 Rachel's dad presents.
 PR for the school.
Changing lives.

You bet we are interested.  Now, we wait to find out if the dates align with our schedule.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and my school.  I gotta believe we can make this happen.  It's good for kids.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best Four Years of My Life

January 18, 2007

3 months old
6 months old

9 months old

Family Photo 2007

1 year old

Big 2 year old
Family Photo 2009


Family Photo 2010

Funny 3 year old


Monday, January 17, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm improving at this birthday party planning thing

Year One of Alexander Birthday Extravaganza:

Michelle made too long, unrealistic to-do list, invited every single person we knew (and probably their neighbor) and busted ass to create perfection get it all done the day before the party.  In the process, I consumed too much wine, yelled too much at my husband, and ended up overly tired and hungover with a house full of people on my son's first birthday.

Lesson Learned - be realistic about what you can accomplish.  Even if putting your kid in a costume for his birthday is really, really cute.

Year Two of Alexander Birthday Extravaganza:
Michelle made a shorter list of things to get done, tried not to do it all the day before, invited less people and spent too much money on decorations she didn't like.  As a result, the food prep was still too much and I still drank too much wine even though I had less of a hangover and enjoyed th party more than the previous year.

Lesson learned - Less decoration is more as long as the decorations are big.

Year Three of Alexander Birthday Extravaganza:
Eric helped Michelle with the to-do list because she made the list earlier in the week.  Family was recruited to help with food, we ordered a cookie cake, recruited students to help with decorations (posters count as decorations to an ASB advisor), and drank Captain and diet, instead of wine the night before the party.  As a result, I loved everything about this party.  It may have also helped that most of the guests couldn't make it due to illnesses so it was a super small party.

Lesson learned - Lighten up and have fun with this birthday thing as long as your kid is loving it.

Year Four of Alexander Birthday Extravaganza:

Eric helps Michelle with the to-do list without being asked and surprises her with a clean home.  Michelle brillantly extends the birthday party to include Seahawk playoff game so guests bring snackie foods and spend all day with us.  Ask Alexander to pick out the decorations and help you hang them up so you see his excitement as he talks about his birthday for three days so you don't really care what they look like, even though you still recruit your students to make a few posters. And definitely drink Capt and Diet tomorrow night.

Lesson learned:  To be determined.  But I think it's gonna be awesome.

I can't believe my baby is turning 4!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Enough of this weather talk!

In the next 48 hours, they are telling us to expect
4-8 inches of snow...

...and then they say it will rain?

Either way, I hope Mother Nature makes up her mind soon. 
I'm tired of living in a perpetual state of weather confusion.

Especially when all I really want is...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Time to grab the running torch

I start training tomorrow for a half marathon that I'm running in May. 
I'm not even certain I'm running the half marathon.

But I am certain I need to start running.
If only because I feel so good when the run is done.

It's going to be painful. 
It's going to be worth it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I think I'm in love.

Eric pulled the trigger.
Our former neighbor (shout out to Neighbor Ann!) told us they have Virgin Mobile and haven't had issues with service. 

We've been fiddling and playing with our phones all night.
I'm starting to wonder why we waited so long to make the change...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Two days back

And I'm exhausted. 

Guess it's going to take a few days for Chelle to get her groove back on.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January Goals

Despite setting all of two resolutions (I'm such the overachiever, right?), I still plan to set goals for each month.  It is an interesting process from creation to completion in goal setting.  They sit in the back of my mind, I'm accountable to no one but me for their completion, and yet, I still want to make them.

December goals evaluation:
1. Write Christmas letter, print Christmas cards and address all the envelopes before December 20.  CHECK!  Thank you Snapfish, Eric for watching the boy one afternoon, and the UPS store for being open late so I could purchase stamps!

2. Figure out what to do for additional Christmas decorations for our house.
Kinda done?  I did one little project but other than that, the house was still lacking in holiday cheer.

3. Mail a personal card to a family member or friend at least once a week.  Hmmm...I think I did this one.  I sent a Hanakauh card, Christmas cards, and a get well card.  And Christmas presents. 

4. Stay on Weight Watcher points over the holiday break and commit to sticking to my points at every holiday event!  Did I really think this was realistic?  Ha!

5. Run 4 times over winter break.  Again....realistic?  I did 10 days of the 30 day Shred and that was good

6. Recommit to update our finances and stay on budget in 2011- using budget spreadsheet.  I should move this to January goals...

7. Plan Alexander's birthday party, including the purchasing of all supplies. CHECK!
January Goals:
1.  Recommit to staying on budget.  No extra spending for me.
2.  Wake up at 5AM to work out until I complete the 30 day Shred program.
3.  Run once a weekend.  And sign up for the half marathon in May.
4.  Be in bed by 9PM (if I'm not supervising an evening event with school) so I'm not as tired at work or at home..
5.  No alcohol during the week.  Oh boy.  That's a big challenge!  My liver will thank me.
6.  Call the kidney donor center about donation of kidney to Dad.
7.  No cheating on WW points so I can be down 5 lbs by the end of the month.
What do you like about goal setting?  If you don't do it, I challenge you to try it in the new year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


It's that time of year again.  Do I or don't I set New Year's Resolutions?   I wondered if I set any last year.  Turns out I did (not a huge surprise since I love to make a list).  You can read about it here.

I held surprisingly well to this list.  Ok, except the diet and exercise thing.  And Friday night date nights were on Wednesdays.  And I ran the half marathon in June, not November. 
Whatever.  It was a long list.

This year, I decided I'm only making three resolutions.  Jen, at A Daily Dose of Davis, only posted three and I thought it was brilliant of her.  BTW, if you haven't checked her blog out - you should.  Especially on Friday's when she posts about Eco-Friendly green ideas.  Fascinating.

Anyhow, I have been thinking all day what three resolutions I would set for myself.
Since I was shopping and spending obscene amounts of  money today, naturally one of the resolutions is about money.  As a side note, if you have never been to the mall on New Year's Day, I HIGHLY recommend it.  There is NO ONE there and you can spend loads of time browsing through the racks until you find THE ONE or dozen outfit.

Ok, back to resolutions...

Be Financially Responsible  
I am the spender in this family.  I can find any excuse to spend our money.  However, the budget belt needs to be cinched a knot or two.  We live off of a teacher's salary.  We're starting a 1500 square foot remodel and have already spent thousands preparing for it.  We pay for preschool and other misc child-related activities.  Fortunately, we have very little debt and have a healthy savings account.  In all honesty, I absolutely fear living paycheck to paycheck.  I would rather cut back and force myself to budget than live with that fear.
SO, the plan is to maintain our budget with an excel sheet.  Did I mention I am the one who pays our bills?  So I'm the one who keeps the budget. 
And ends up drinking a lot of red wine to ease my misery.

Find an exercise routine that I can consistently maintain for the year
It may seem like a bit of a repeat from last year's resolution.  I am doing Weight Watchers and after three months, the lifestyle has become a habit.  Ok, the holidays might have blown it but it has been easy to jump back on the wagon the past few days.
So, what am I going to do about finding exercise?  I have little time for working out with 10 hour work days.  I. Am. Tired.  And I have very little interest in waking at 5AM to fit in a workout.
HOWEVER, I have to do something.  When I wore sweats, I could put on a few lbs and no one would know but me.  Uh, that doesn't quite work in grown up clothes. 
So, I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.  But I'll come up with something.
Probably another half marathon or something ridiculous like that.

Turns out I can't come up with a third resolution, which is fine with me.  These two are going to take enough of my energy 

Happy New Year!