Sunday, May 31, 2009

book club

Tonight, I will be attending my first ever book club. I've never been in a book club, and I only kind of know one of the other members from work, so I am a little nervous about going; however, I'm also pretty excited!

One of the PE assistants at our school is a friend of mine on Facebook, and she was always writing about what book she was reading in her status. This led to me commenting on most of her book choices, as I had already read them. She eventually invited me to a book club she's in, and tonight's the big night. I just finished reading THIS fabulous book a few days ago, and I'm excited to discuss it tonight.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is actually a children's book, but it's so beautifully written and tells such a sweet tale. I am considering using it as a read aloud in my class next year. Kate DiCamillo is a fabulous author (she also wrote Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux), and she makes this simple story about a porcelain rabbit seem so real and genuine. And more importantly, the book has a powerful message.

I am also making a fabulous little dish to take with me tonight to share. I'll share that recipe tomorrow! It's so simple, delicious, and fairly healthy!

Friday, May 29, 2009

flashback friday

Growing up, I had one main love in cabbage patch doll Lorie. Lorie (a Christmas present) actually came with the name Rorie, but as a three year old, I thought that was a horrible name and went with Lorie instead.

Lorie has been many places with me through my life. She's been camping. She's been to many states. She's been on plane rides. She's had her stomach painted with nail polish (not one of my brighter ideas). She may have been used as a tissue a time or two (I know...ewww). She even spent many a nights in my dorm rooms in college. By the time she and I made it to college, she wasn't as clean and fresh as she appears to be in this picture from our younger days. Instead, she's filthy. Filthy from all the love she's gotten through the years.

Lorie now sits in a closet in our apartment. J isn't so fond of keeping a cabbage patch doll in the bedroom. But that's okay. She's still here. And she's still special, even if she's stained and gross. I doubt I'll ever have the heart to get rid of her.

Oh, and yes, that is also my Rainbow Bright doll in the picture above. RB was also a special doll in my childhood, but nowhere near as special as Lorie!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

epic walks AND scary state tests

Day one of scary state tests went well. No students puking onto their test documents. Not that this sort of thing happened to me last year. OH WAIT. It totally did happen. Tomorrow we've got one more test. This one has me a little more stressed. But the good news is...only 16 more days!

And because, what's a blog post without pictures, here are two from our "epic walk" tonight. J & Layla have created the perfect two mile walk around our neighborhood, which we've coined the "epic walk". The name is very fitting!

Hope you've had a lovely Wednesday. Anyone else loving the fact that the weekend is just two days away? I love short work weeks!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

jam packed weekend

Our weekend was so busy and fun. From visits with far away friends, to family time, to cookouts with delicious food, to a sunburn at the beach, to a beautiful was all great. I could write lots to sum it up, but with the stress of scary state standard tests tomorrow, I will just leave you with a few pictures...
My mom and me before going to see WICKED!

Long day at the lovely, but I should have used a higher SPF

My fourteen year old brother and Layla. He's one of her biggest fans

J and me at the wedding

The happy couple...was she a gorgeous bride or what?

Two very dear college friends!

Hope your week was off to a good start. Mine began today with my car dying on the interstate. Great way to gear up for the week. Thanks to AAA, my fabulous husband, and coworkers who covered for me, it all worked out. Just waiting to hear back about the car now. Here's hoping tomorrow is a little bit better!

Friday, May 22, 2009

rainbow trout

For those who don't know, my husband and I spent our honeymoon on the Oregon Coast. Being East Coasters, we wanted to spend the week somewhere relaxing, and somewhere neither of us had been. How we finally decided on the Oregon Coast, I don't really remember how or why that was our final decision; however, it was the perfect location for us.

We stayed at a charming B&B, and in our little cottage, we found a binder full of local attractions. The binder ranged from beautiful day hikes, to romantic restaurants, to a rainbow trout farm. Yes. Rainbow trout. As in a farm of fish.

Being the adventurers we are, we had to make a trip. Actually, let me go back. J saw it in the binder. I thought it sounded like the dumbest honeymoon event ever. Feeding rainbow trout on my honeymoon? This is not a story I want to share with my grandkids one day. But alas, I sucked it up and went on the adventure to the rainbow trout farm. And an adventure it was!

We pulled up, and there was (obviously) no one else there. I was whining and complaining, but J just ignored me. We walked through the small fence to find gumball machines full of rainbow trout food and empty tuna cans. We filled the cans with food and I threw a pellet into the lifeless pond.

Nothing happened. I complained some more about this dumb event. We were wasting time throwing smelly pellets into a smelly pond.

Out of nowhere, around 15 rainbow trout fly into the air in a battle to eat that pellet. All of the sudden, rainbow trout farms became cool. We stayed for twenty minutes watching this crazy spectacle. We'd throw in a piece, I'd freak out as I waited for the madness to happen, and J would laugh.

And this, my friends, is the story of the time we visited a rainbow trout farm on our honeymoon. I'd highly recommend it for your next vacation.

Wicked Review

Our show was incredible last night. We were in the middle of the first balcony, and we could see so well. I've had the soundtrack from Wicked for several years, so I knew the music, but this was my first time seeing the show. The costumes and the set pieces were amazing. My mom and I were just in awe of it all. And the leads (Glinda and Elpheba) were stunning. Each girl had a fantastic voice. And Glinda was very funny.

I leave you with one of my favorite songs from the show. Siiiiigh. Idina Menzel's voice gives me chills.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

drug abuse resistance education

Did you do DARE as a kid? I remember doing it in 5th grade and enjoying it. I mainly liked the free tshirt we got at the end because at the end of the year we all signed each others shirts. It was this cool thing I looked forward to all through out my elementary years.

My students are in DARE and every Wednesday we have a visit from our class deputy who talks to us about all the reasons we shouldn't smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol, or join gangs. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work on the teacher, as she sits and types this post with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in her hand. At least she's 21.

Today the kids read aloud essays they wrote, stating why DARE has been important to them. One student read...

"I will never smoke, do drugs, join a gang, or drink alcohol in the state of Virginia. Never ever."

Let's hope she never moves to Texas. Or Missouri. Or South Dakota....etc.

Kids + DARE = one hour of entertaining essays.

Monday, May 18, 2009

it's been five years

5 years and 1 day ago, I met my husband. He was underneath my desk at my summer job hooking up my computer. He was wearing a bright blue shirt.

I was a summer intern at a civil engineering firm doing administrative work. He was an IT intern. As I was being walked into my office by my boss, he was climbing out from underneath my desk. It may not have been love at first sight. But I was certainly smitten. It took about seven more months for our relationship to really blossom, but we both still love to tell the story about that day.

I debated about which photo to post here. A sweet wedding photo. Or maybe a photo from one of our vacations? Oh no. The only appropriate photo would be from the summer we met. This was our first ever photo together taken at our "Intern Olympics"; a horrid event where all of the college kids were forced to do dumb activities (ie. egg toss, transporting water in helmets on our heads). Despite the silliness of this event, I still thought he was cute. And, let's be honest. I am also sharing this photo to show off our medals we won. It was a proud moment in our lives.

Hope your week started off well today! Any 24 fans out there? I still have mixed feelings about that finale.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

raining on sunday

Rainy Weekend Recap:
  • Went to my school's spring carnival. Insanity doesn't really describe the madness and over the top-ness of this event.
  • Did about 4 loads of laundry.
  • Bought 2 new pairs of earrings!
  • Had some Mexican with J and had an uncomfortable run in with a former coworker.
  • Slept in 'til 10 today...a very rare occasion.
  • Listened to my Wicked soundtrack about a dozen times in preparation for the show my mom and I will be attending on Thursday. I am so pumped!
  • Sat on the couch and caught up on TV and movies while listening to the rain. The perfect weekend activity.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

my waistline hates me

For a few weeks, I have been promising J monkey bread for a Saturday morning breakfast. Today, that promise finally became a reality. A sugary, gooey, delicious reality. I used this recipe from Pioneer Woman's blog, but ended up using a little more brown sugar than she did. If it weren't for J, I would have thrown in some chopped pecans, but since he detests nuts, I was kind and held back. But for the record, pecans would have made this even more heavenly.

In the process of taking these photos, I made the dumb mistake of turning the pan up too much, I was trying to give J a better angle of the monkey bread, and in the process, I spilt hot butter all of my hand. Nice one, Rach. I now have blister between my thumb and pointer finger on my left hand. But don't worry. I forgot all about it after my first bite!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

magnolia and daisies

On Sunday night, I sent my husband to the store for two things: dinner rolls (to go with the lemon cream chicken pasta I was making) and red wine, preferably shiraz. That's it. Two things.

He came back with a bag of kaiser buns instead of rolls, and while he did buy a great bottle of shiraz, he also bought a bottle of white wine. But not normal white wine. Oh no.

He bought magnolia wine. This was not the brand, this was the actual type of wine.

I don't hate white wine. Not by any means. But this was not wine. It was like a cheap grape juice that had been bottled for way too long. When I asked what in the world motivated this purchase, he told me he bought it because it was a local wine and it was cheap. We are by no means fancy wine people. I love a good bottle of wine that's only a few bucks. But magnolia wine doesn't fall in this category. It's in a category all by itself. The category of wine that I will never drink again.

But the story gets better. Monday night J left for a fishing trip with a buddy of his. I told him to take the wine and drink it on the trip and to never bring it back. I wanted nothing to do with this wine. When I got home from work Tuesday evening, the bottle was sitting again on our table. But this time filled with daisies. While on his trip, he picked daisies for me. And to bring them home, he put them in the bottle. I guess I'd allow the magnolia to come back into our home, but only in exchange for some flowers.

I have nothing to complain about. He may not be great at choosing wine. But he does pick me flowers. That makes up for the magnolia! But we still need to work on distinguishing dinner rolls from sandwich rolls.

Oh....and notice the pink counter tops that I first wrote about here. I told you they were hideous!

Monday, May 11, 2009

pink room

Once upon a time, I was in college. While in college, I spent the last two years living in a house with seven other girls (crazy, I know). In this beautiful old home, I shared a room with a wonderful girl (who was super skinny and fabulous, as seen in photo below). The summer before moving into our room, we made the decision to paint our room pink. I had the honor or picking out the actual paint color, and for some crazy reason I went with bubblegum pink. I wasn't into a subtle touch of color. I wanted the real deal.

Looking back now, I laugh at the crazy color I chose. But we loved it.

And I am pretty sure it defined each of us for those two years. I like that. But I'm also glad that I don't have walls that are this color today!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

my wedding wardrobe

Wedding season is upon us. Between now and November, we have six (possibly seven) weddings to attend. I am excited to see and celebrate with old and new friends, however, my poor wardrobe is not ready for this!

With the internet, whatever I wear to wedding #1, all friends will see, courtesy of facebook. This means that if I wear the same dress to wedding #2 or #3, all will know. It also doesn't help that three of the upcoming weddings will have very similar guest lists, meaning I need at the very least, three different dresses. Insane! My poor checking account isn't up for this! I love looking pretty and wearing a nice dress, but I need to find a way to look different at each wedding or rehearsal dinner, while not breaking the bank. All suggestions are appreciated!

I did buy this today, from LOFT, as all of their dresses were on sale for $40 this weekend. LOFT is my friend. Not only because of this weekend's sale, but also because they love teachers and give us discounts!
So...share your thoughts. Should I stop caring? Is it okay to be seen at more than one event wearing the same dress, even if those events are one weekend after another? I know I am probably being silly. I just want to look good!

happy mother's day!


Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you and can't wait to celebrate when you come down to see Wicked with me in two weeks!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

a pretty great feeling

Today was one of those days where I just felt like it was all "right". I know that I am still finding my way as a teacher, but today was just one of those days where it all felt like I was in the right place at the right time. I (most definitely) have my trying days in the classroom. Believe me. This job pulls me apart some days. But today, I left feeling so inspired and motivated. Now, part of my feelings stem from the fact that I was teaching in HELL a year ago (really...everyday from September to June was complete pain for a number of reasons). If you go back and look at my posts from this time last year, I couldn't wait to be out of my old school. I really have it good at my current job and I need to remember that.

My classroom back in September...

Here's to hoping that you have a job that you love as much as I do. It's a pretty great feeling!

Monday, May 4, 2009


I am not a serious Vera Bradley girl. Over the years, I've received some items as gifts, but I could never justify spending so much on one of her bags. The prints are beautiful, but let's be honest...I am a cheap handbag kind of girl. I have no problem buying all my purses at Target.

Last weekend, the church across the street from our building was having a yard sale. I went over to see if I could find some things for my class (which I did...lots of books and Yahtzee for a whopping 25 cents!), but I also found this...for $5!

This is a deal to me! And I love how summery it is! Any other yard sale fans out there?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

reason #3,451...

...I love my husband:

Not only did he make me pancakes after church...he made me an "R" pancake. What more do you need?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

spring cleaning

I have done some SERIOUS spring cleaning this morning. Our tub is now white again (eww). Our sink is sparkling. Our floors are shiny and free of dog hair (for the next five minutes). The mirrors are clean. And our furniture has been polished. And I vacuumed. And now I smell like bleach and sweat. It's great.

On an unrelated note, ever heard German Wheel Gymnastics? Yeah, neither had I, until Thursday when my school had a team of teenagers from Germany come demonstrate their amazing athletic abilities for us. This was insane. And the students thought it was the coolest thing to happen to our school since Lunch Karaoke Fridays*. Here's a youtube clip to give you an idea of this crazy sport...

* Yes. Starting back in March, our music teacher started this crazy idea and the kids spend lunch waiting in line by the stage so they can sing songs from High School Music (I, II, and III) or Camp Rock. Occasionally with some Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers mixed in. Makes for a very peaceful lunch and a very calm class after lunch...