Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just Keep .....

My worst fear in life is that I'm going to become one of those crazy story-telling grandparents.  You know, the ones who spout off lengthy parables to their grandchildren when all little Joey really wanted to know was whether or not he could have one of grandma's cookies!  And it just so happens that these story-telling genes are ever present in my family bloodline.  I tell you this as a disclaimer before I share my experience.  At the risk of unleashing my parable-esque story telling skills, I share with you, "The Bike Ride."  

There was a time in my life ( 2 1/2 years ago, to be exact) when I was feeling rather ambitious.  I was a 1st year teacher and needed an active hobby to help me manage the stresses of my job.  I decided on cycling since that's what many of my close friends did and had been trying to get me into for years.  I bought a bike; a fairly nice road bike.  Ignorance was bliss in this hobby because I just jumped on the bike one day after school and went... without thinking about whether or not I was ready or in shape to go the distances that I intended to go.  And then I went again.  And again.  And I kept going when I had the chance to go.  I never reached any level of experience past the intermediate-novice level in cycling, but I got to the point where I could go good lengths without much effort.  I really enjoyed my bike. And my bike enjoyed me.  We had a good run there for a while and my choice of hobby had turned out to be everything I'd hoped it would be.... and sometimes more!
Then life happened: I got super busy, a brain-less boy broke my heart, and I somehow managed to be the youngest person on record to have a protruding disk in their lumbar spine.  I wasn't able to ride because of my back and I didn't seem to have the time to go even if I had been well.  Months went by, that crazy protruding disk finally ruptured, months of physical therapy filled my afternoons, and my poor bike became a permanent fixture in my garage.  
Fast forward to today.  My back is great (Not really, but don't tell my mom.  She'll just worry), My new job frees up more of my time, and that crazy ambitious streak has come back.  I got my bike all tuned up, slapped that sexy spandex on, and set off to conquer the world on two wheels.  I still loved my bike. And my bike seemed to love me.  I couldn't believe how much I was enjoying my ride.  I pedaled with ease and took in the scenery.... until mile 6.  I soon became pain-stakingly aware of just how out of shape I'd become.  The temperature of 95 degrees didn't seem to help much either.  I pulled over for a drink but the still air made me feel worse.  I reached for my phone and wondered who I could call to pick me up that wouldn't tease me.  After considering every single person in my family and realizing that "Tease Always" is our family creed, I chose to tough it out!  "Go me!" I just kept telling myself between each street sign I stopped at for the next mile.  Finally I made a decision: I was going to get on my bike and pedal.  I was going to keep pedaling until my bike was in the safety of my driveway.  I got on and began to pedal.  About a mile later I found myself coasting for an unnecessarily long period of time.  As I began to pedal again I noticed that I had lost my momentum and it was even harder to start pedaling than it was the time before.  This happened once more and that was enough for me to realize that I JUST COULDN'T STOP PEDALING because it was worse to try to start up again than to just keep pushing my tired legs.  It was at this moment that I made a profound gospel connection, profound for me anyhow.  This is just what it's like being a pro-active member of the church.  It's so much easier to just keep doing all the good things we're supposed to be doing.  If we get lazy, tired, distracted, and stop.... it's MUCH harder to start up again.  But we don't realize this until we get lazy, tired, distracted... which we've all experienced at varying levels, I'm sure.  Anyhow, this is what's been on my mind all day and I wanted to get it out of my head so I could start worrying about really important things like what to wear tomorrow.  Thank heavens I knew where my end goal was and what great relief it would provide me so I'd have the motivation to make it home... which I did.  And I plan to again.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


This picture confirms your suspicions; I lead a double life........  Although sometimes it feels more like a triple or quadruple life.  I am an ex-school teacher, gone curriculum writer by day, and an aunt who's a sucker for her nieces and nephews by night.  My sister Hollie made this dress for me per my request when I was a junior in college (still much too old to be requesting Halloween costumes like this). Being the doll she is, she made it beautifully!  So beautifully, in fact, that her friend heard about the dress and called me up hoping to hire me for her daughter's birthday party.  Well, I was a hit!  Or at least the dress was and a little side-business sprang up involving me, this blue dress, and a lot of star-struck little girls.  I enjoyed every minute of the parties I went to... I feel like I've fulfilled any curiosities I've had about what it would be like to be Angelina Jolie.  Anyhow, I got super busy after college and had to give up the dress.... and the glass slippers.  Until now.  
My little niece Lauren has almost convinced herself and everyone around her that she is a princess. And who did she want at her birthday party? You guess it.  Yours truly.  So I did it for her.  And it was SO fun to celebrate at the party with my own niece.  It took everything in her not to tell her friends that I was her aunt.  By the end of the party, we had them all convinced that I was the REAL Cinderella from Disney Land.  Of course I am!  Why wouldn't I be?! ;)  Happy birthday, Lauren!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Now I know what you're all thinking.... this picture sure resembles that Lindsay Lojan character.  I know, I know... but it's me.  I turned 25 and transformed into this super young-looking, super hot gal.  It's amazing what time can do....  Now to look at some of my interests and favorites from before to see how they've changed.  You may be surprised by some of the results:

Some of My Favorite Things at Age 25:

Sleeping in... but not too late
Peanut M&M's in small doses (I was showered with M&M's on my birthday)
Playing the Piano (when it's in tune)
Easy or Medium crossword puzzles
Swimming (just about anywhere besides Lagoon -A-Beach)
Bike rides when I don't crash
Classic rock and roll
Being right
Finding a 20 dollar bill in your pocket unexpectedly
Having the cute boy actually call when he says he will
Green clothing
Thought provoking books and movies
Quoting my favorite TV show in a moment of comedic timing and having someone get it!

Some of My Least Favorite Things at Age 25:
Dating (all parts of it)
Being wrong (which I've only experienced once)
Eating too many peanut M&M's
Sleeping in when you shouldn't have
Unnecessarily annoying people at Lagoon
Commercials on the radio
Missing my flights
Being told what to do by younger people
Smelly people
Mean and boring people

Current mood: anxious

Current thoughts: " I sure am sleepy! I hope not to hear from certain boys tomorrow!"

It's amazing to see how much more specific my interests have become in just a matter of days.  Age will do that to you, I guess.  It must be true what they say,  some things just get better with age.  And I'm living proof!! :)

Monday, June 9, 2008


It seems like every birthday that you have, someone inevitably asks you the question, "So do you feel older?" Or, "Do you feel different?" Well it just so happens that tomorrow is my 25th birthday. In an effort to answer these age old questions truthfully, I am going to conduct an experiment. I will collect data to see if I do feel older OR different after my birthday. Above you see a picture of me that I took in some of the last moments of my 24th year (not necessarily one of my finer moments). That is what I looked like BEFORE the big turn of events. Below I am going to list some things about myself at age 24. In the next post I will have a newer, more exciting, updated picture of me at age 25 along with an updated list of interests and what not. The results should be very telling in this experiment. Let's begin!

Some of My Favorite Things at Age 24:

Sleeping in
Peanut M & M's
Playing the piano
Crossword puzzles
Bike rides
Nieces and nephews
Classic rock and roll
Being right
Finding a 5 dollar bill in your pocket unexpectedly
Getting a surprise phone call from a cute boy
Thought provoking books and movies
Quoting my favorite TV show in a moment of comedic timing and having someone get it!

Some of My Least Favorite Things at Age 24:
Persistent goobers who keep calling and don't take hints
Being wrong
Running out of Peanut M & M's
Getting up super early
Unnecessarily loud people
Catching only the end of my favorite song on the radio
Sleeping in airports
Being told what to do
Having conversations before 9 a.m.
Smelly people... at any age...
Mean people

Current mood: content

Current thoughts: "I sure am sleepy. Hope to hear from cute boy ____ tomorrow."

Friday, June 6, 2008

So Much for Rest & Relaxation....

One thing that students may not realize is that their teachers are just as excited for the summer break as their students... if not more! Miss Stewart is a good friend of mine who taught third grade last year down the hall from me. One day near the end of the school year our students had all been particularly evil and we met in my classroom after school to eat chocolate and vent about the naughty little darlings. On a whim we decided that the cure to our teaching woes would be to book a trip to sunny San Diego with a couple of friends. So we did. Scheduled departure date: last day of school as soon as all the cute little stinkers are out the door. (Let me pause to give a shout out to Marcie for driving us to the airport!)
However, this trip that was meant to rest and relax me was more of a nightmare than any other I've experienced. I woke up the last day of school with a throat so sore I could barely swallow and a pounding headache that made me feel like hurting someone everytime they talked to me. My poor friends spent the better part of the trip babying me, going to the store for medicine, taking turns giving me back massages, and offering up compliments to brighten my mood.:) Finally, the last day of the trip arrived! I couldn't wait to get home to a doctor and then to my bed to stay indefinitely... or at least until I felt better. We dropped the rental car off, took the shuttle to the airport and headed to Delta's desk to check our bags. When we arrived, we were surprised to see that NO ONE was at the desk. We waited for a few minutes only to be greeted by a robotic, cold-hearted Delta employee. "You're too late," she told us. We argued that we were there in plenty of time to check our bags according to the many posted signs indicating arrival time. She refused to let us check our bags despite the sky cap who was standing near, ready and willing to take our bags to the plane. We sent the boys on ahead to the plane because their bags were small enough to be carried on. Apparently men don't have the genetic defects that cause you to involuntarily over-pack despite your better judgement. Miss Stewart and I were left behind rebooking our flight for 6:00 the next morning. The heartless employee began to explain the hundred dollar fee that my friend and I would each be charged for changing our flights until.... I pulled out all the stops.... I burst into tears! Anyone who knows me knows I'm not much of a crier, especially in public. But if there was ever a situation worthy of tears, this was it. Once the Delta robot saw how upset I was she retracted the fee from our accounts.
After that was taken care of, my friend and I began our hunt for a non-scarey, nearby hotel to sleep at. But our search was in vain. The only hotel with an opening that was nearby was some hostile style building which we'd have to take the city bus to get to. I've never been on a city bus and I never plan to.... yes, I'm a transportation snob. So we spent the night in a corner of the 24 hour Mc Donald's huddled up on the only bench in the airport that didn't have arm rests, right next to the dumpsters and tables with gum from 1973 stuck underneath them. Longest night of my life! But now I'm home in my bed and awaiting for the moment when enough time has passed that I can look back and laugh at that experience. Maybe next year....

School Teacher Has-Been

I am no stranger to the world of blogging. I have posted on 2 previous personal blogs and helped my 4th grade class to write and publish on a classroom blog last school year. Why then did I delete my personal blogs? Well, I have always loved writing..... writing anywhere and on anything. But when it comes to letting people read my pieces that I've poured my heart and soul into, it feels a little like the time the boy you had a crush on in 7th grade found and rummaged through your underwear drawer. But I like to think that my first 2 blogs were practice blogs that prepared me for writing publically.... for all of my MANY friends and family members who I'm sure are waiting with bated breath to read my postings! :)

Just last Friday I spent my very last day as a public school teacher. I taught the third grade for 2 years and the fourth grade for 1 year. I loved every minute of teaching! But I didn't always love the stress. One thing led to another and I accepted a job opportunity that came my way to work with a publishing company starting next week. This was no easy decision to make and I second guessed my choice to quit teaching all the way up to the last day of school (when I cried like a baby). However, I am very excited for the change and overall I know it was the right thing to do! I will be working in the state history textbook department. (I know what you're thinking: Nerd Alert! Which is why this job is perfect for me.) Once I am assigned a state, I get to study that state's history in depth and write the teacher's edition text books and develop all of the learning and enrichment materials. I will also have the opportunity to travel to some of the states and provide professional development to school districts on how to best teach with our materials they've purchased. Yikes.... I can't believe somebody's entrusting me with that much responsibility!

That is the very much abridged version of where I'm at in my life. Many posts will follow soon to recap some fond memories of education, vacations with friends, and undoubtedly some stories of love and romance!