Saturday, December 31, 2011

out with the old; in with the new

As a teacher, I gauge time by the school year calendar.  Daily life is lived through back to school days, grading quarters, spirit weeks, vacation weeks, standardized testing dates, and end of year festivities.  Thus, New Years Eve has never ranked high amongst holidays to be celebrated.  In fact, we usually celebrate it with east coast time and Alexander and I are in bed by 10. 

That doesn't mean I haven't set my fair share of resolutions.  One year, I resolved to lose to 20 lbs and I did it (2000).  One year, I resolved to run a 5K (1997) and ended up running a 1/2 marathon (2010)...13 years later!  Truthfully, once I'm back in the school routine and counting down days until mid-winter break in February, resolutions are quickly forgotten and I'm back to my old ways.  Something about the daily grind keeps me from focusing on a list of events or behaviors.

Sooooo, this year, I'm choosing something different to celebrate the new year.
As I was blog hopping yesterday, I came across the blog of a woman who chooses a word for the year.  The idea instantly resonated with me because it involves MY choice and is under MY control. 

I choose

Now, I'm going to go search for wall decals so I can decorate my bathroom to remind me to choose joy each morning.  I think I'm also going find pictures of friends and family that fill me with joy and hang those up on my mirror, too!  Oh, I do love a fun project!

As you bring in the new year, what word you would choose for 2012?


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review - Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

This one surprised me. 
Months ago, this book was suggested to me on FB when I asked what people were reading.  At the time, I put it towards the bottom of the list.  I didn't have any interest or time for reading what I call "a heavy book-club type book".  When my mom recently loaned me a bag o' books, this one was in it so I figured, "what the heck".

I was wrong to think I wouldn't enjoy this book.  It is so well written that I didn't want to put it down.
The story follows the lives of orphaned twins, Marian and Shiva Stone and how fate leads each of them down a different path to a life in medicine.  The author provides vivid description so the reader truly can picture themself in Ethopia, amongst the smells and sights of the convent where most of this book takes place.  Interwoven are stories of betrayal, hope, and the deep love between siblings.

   I truly enjoyed this book.  For what it is worth, it has a slow beginning so be patiend.  Don't put it down until you work through the first part to about where the twins are born.  THAT is where it gets really good.  I'd love to know what you think of it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

my muscles are soooooore!

My body may have had no problem running 2 miles yesterday but TODAY?

Holy crap.  Muscles are hurting!   Feels like I had volleyball tryouts, conditioned like a fiend...and didn't make the team.

Maybe I should pull a Jodie (I'll have what she's having) and start a Pilates program.

Or find a yoga class.

Let's face it.
These old muscles are going to be sore, no matter WHAT I pick up!

Monday, December 26, 2011

why wait until January 1?

I went out for a run today.  2.0 miles.  It has been over a year since my last run (18 months, I think!) so I was curious as to how I'd feel while running.  It took about a half mile for the kinks to wear themselves out but the ol' muscles remembered just what to do.  There weren't many people out on the trail, the weather was perfect, and I felt TERRIFIC when the run was over.

Wanna know why I started running again?

Because, like an idiot, I agreed to join my bozo friends at the Survivor Mud Run in June.  Yes, I was drunk when I agreed.  No, there is no way they are going to let me out of this commitment...especially once they offered to give me their free beers at the end. 

Check it out. 

I may need a beer before we begin.

Monday, December 19, 2011

checking in

I thought I would have blogged more now that I'm on vacation.
Turns out, being on the computer is the last thing I want to do.

The weekend flew by.  Eric has a new computer game so he hung out upstairs.  Alexander and I spent most of the Saturday, hanging out and working on a new puzzle before getting ourselves together for a holiday party with friends, playing rockband and eating delicious treats (and drinking delicious cocktails with whipped cream vodka!  NUMMY!). 
Naturally, Sunday was low-key...until Alexander and I started this...

Apparently, after a few cocktails on Saturday night, I agreed to play LEGO Star Wars with my almost-5 year old (who is WAY better at the game than I am) on Sunday.
WTH was I thinking?  I don't game.

I admit, we had a pretty good time.  So much so, that Eric finally told us to go to bed at 11PM! 
Vacation rocks.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

24 hours to go...

...until I have TWO FULL WEEKS of vacation!

You see, lately, this is where I can be found most nights.

Sound asleep by 8pm.

I had forgotten how a short month of work is more exhausting than a long month with five weeks.

10 hour days. 
Evening events. 
A spirit week.

Add all the homefront tasks that come with the holidays...and I'm more than ready for the break!

Speaking of all the holiday tasks, we did put decorations up a few weeks ago.

Christmas cards have been mailed and holiday packages have been sent,
which means all we have left is SHOPPING!
My favorite part!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ugly Sweater Day

Or, as I like to call it,
"Take your mom's sweater to work" day.

Don't be offended, Mom.  The sweater was a big hit!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

random acts of christmas kindness (ROACK)

My super awesome Aussie friend Sarah came up with the idea of doing a random act of kindness for twenty-five days.  My first thought?  "Yes, please!".  Sarah's one of the Seven Strong (read about them here) and is one of the most compassionate, caring, generous people...I have never met.  Right now, one of the seven is especially on my mind, as she spends her days at the Children's Hospital in Texas, fighting with doctors for what is best for her young son, Cael.  You can read about Liz and Cael here

Sarah's vision is for everyone to participate in a Random Act of Christmas Kindness in the days leading up to Christmas.  No grand gestures or acts are necessary.  Just think about being kind.  Here's what I've done:

Day 1
Gave 1 month's worth of lunch money to the school coin drive, which will be donated to the local food bank.
Day 2
Gave a poinsettia to my ASB bookkeeper, whose infinite knowledge keeps me from making mistakes and getting fired.
Day 3
Alexander and I helped a mom carry out a HUGE order of food from the gluten-free bakery to her car so she wouldn't have to make multiple trips in the cold.
Day 4
Alexander and I are going to bake cookies for my ASB kids, who spent all day Saturday decorating the school for Snowcoming.

Pretty simple gestures that go a long way to make someone else feel good.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

i'm so vain

I admit it.

I am vain.

Luckily, I have this blog to blame when I pull my camera out of my purse.  And I'm lucky enough that my friends and family have come to accept it and have become used to posing with me.

Well...most have.
This week, I set a goal to wear my new pretty shoes to work. 

Super cute, right? ! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!   The problem is I haven't been able to convince myself that I can wear them.  It's a combination of 1.)  I'm too old to wear them and 2.) the lack of an outfit. 
This week I was bound and determined to figure this out! 

 I decided I would take a picture of myself and what I wore to work each day, in the event of finding the right outfit for the best shoes.  I saw the idea on another blog and thought it was pretty creative.  And we all know how I like to steal others creativity.

I may not have found the outfit but I definitely found my favorite new way to justify my vanity.
Excuse the TERRIBLE quality of photos - I used my phone.

Every Monday, I wear some sort of dress/skirt/tights/boots combination to work.  I'm only on year two of grown up clothes so I'm slowly working new pieces in as I find them.  I found this cute sweater tunic at Fred Meyer, of all places, and thought it looked pretty cute with leggings and boots.

In hindsight, I think this sweater would have looked great with a black skirt.
And maybe the new shoes.
I'll have to try it another time.

I used to think I could never wear skinny jeans. 
I have since changed my mind and love to pair them with boots.

I wore the shoes!  Under a long pair of jeans but hey, I did it.
BTW, I orginally had this top paired with a long scarf and no cardigan. 
Once I took the picture, I saw ginormous hips so off went the scarf and on a whim, I threw on the cardigan and long necklace. 

Typically, Fridays are dress down days.  However, I had to dance in the assembly and didn't want to look dumpy in front of the entire student body.
I TOLD you I was vain.

Oh, how I love the cardian, skinny jean and boot look!
AND these jeans have been sitting on my shelf when I bought them 10 lbs ago. so BONUS to a new pair of jeans!

So, there you have it.  One week of what I wear to work and my vanity at it's finest.