Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Old Friends

On our drive down to Atlanta this weekend, we stopped and spent Friday night in Greenville, SC with a long time friend of my mom's, Nan. When I was in kindergarten my family moved to a new neighborhood and my mom became friends with Nan. There were so many afternoons when I'd come home from school and ride my bike to her house to hang out with her and her (then) 1 year old while she cooked dinner. When she moved away to NC when I was in 3rd grade, my sister and I would go to spend a week with her and her family for a week each summer. Some of my favorite summer memories were at her house. In a lot of ways, she was like an aunt to me, and I feel really grateful to have her in my life.

We had a short amount of time with her, but she was a fabulous, Southern hostess for us this weekend. I'm hoping it's not long before I get to go back for another visit.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wedding #8 for '09

Like I mentioned in my last post, we were away for another wedding this weekend! This one was a little far being all the way in Atlanta, but it was a great time. This was wedding #8 for us this year. We still have one more in November. Even though we've been to so many, they don't get old! I love the food, the dancing, the drinking, the celebrating. I don't mind the fact that we've been to eight weddings since April.

The beautiful bride and me!

I loved these lanterns that were hanging in the ballroom!

Only pic I got of the two of us. Blurry but I still like it!

He matched so well...tie, shirt, and pocket square.

And now it's back to the work week! We had a long drive home yesterday, but it was pretty uneventful, which is a good thing in my book! We left Atlanta at 9:45am and were back in our apartment by 7:30pm. That left just enough time to work on some school stuff last night.

ALSO...one more thing...VIRGINIA BLOGGERS! Lis Loves is organizing a Southeast VA blog meetup. If you're interested, comment here or over at her blog! We'd love to have you join us!

Friday, September 25, 2009

jury duty & another wedding

I had no idea that so many of you were American Girl fans! It sounds like there are a lot of us who are still very proud of our dolls!

Yesterday, I had jury duty. I've actually had it for the whole month of September, but yesterday was he first day I actually had to go. It was a big pain, because that meant Wednesday night, I had to throw together sub plans and make about 15 phone calls to arrange for everything to be ready the next morning. Very annoying.

I showed up to the courthouse a little before 9am, watched a terrible informational video, graded some papers, and at 10am they came in a let everyone know they could leave because both cases had been moved. I thought about going to school, but at that point, I had already arranged for a sub, who was getting paid for a full day regardless or not if showed up. So I came home. Took the dog to the park, watched some tv, and tried to nap off my cold. I guess jury duty might not be the worst thing in the world.

We leave today for Greenville, SC where we're staying the night with a family friend. And then we'll wake up in the morning and drive to Atlanta for a wedding. It should be a lot of fun, but I'm dreading the 9 hour drive back on Sunday. It'll be worth it, to see lots of friends, though. Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

American Girls

I've always been a reader. After first grade I began reading Babysitter Club books, and within the next year, I was reading any chapter book I could get my hands. Preferably chapter books in a series.

In the summer of '92, my parents and I came up with a deal where I earned 50 cents for every book I read. Every penny I earned went to my American Girl doll fund. I had recently read the Molly series from American Girl, and I was dying for my own Molly doll. After reading enough books to pay for half the doll, I remember coming home from school that fall with my mom at the door with a video camera and the Molly doll on the table. One of the best surprises of my life!

A few years later I got Felicity for Christmas, while my little sister got Kirsten.

I believe it was also at this Christmas that I got this hot American Girl sweatshirt-baseball hat combo plus a subscription to magazine. I was the coolest girl in school.

I wish I had pictures of my dolls, but sadly, I've got nothing. However, both of my dolls are sitting in a box in my parents house in pretty good condition. I hope that one day I'll have a daughter of my own to pass them on to.

So my dear readers, well female readers, did you own an American Girl doll? If so which one? Why did you want that doll - did you read the books?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September Saturdays

With school being back in full swing, I am cherishing our quiet weekends while the weather is beautiful out. It was in the 70's with a breeze today, and we decided to take the dog to a local park for a big walk. Since we live near the beach, it's very flat here, but this park is actually an old landfill that has been covered in grass and now resembles a "mountain"...and by mountain, I really mean it's just a big hill. They have some nice trails and it's fun to run up the hill with Layla.
Lately, I've been reading up on Pioneer Woman's Photography section on her blog. Today I played around with shooting manually. My ultimate goal would be to shoot in just manual, but I'm not sure when I'll be ready for that! For now, I'll just keep playing around!

The park was also hosting a STIHL Timber Sports competition which we enjoyed watching for a little while. It was crazy watching these men chop logs and move tires around a course.

It's been a great Saturday. Tonight I'm making Shrimp Fried Rice for dinner. Here's the recipe I'm using, minus the mushrooms, as J and I both do NOT do mushrooms in anything we eat. I don't think I could've married him if he were a mushroom fan. I'm thinking of making some Trader Joe's potstickers to go along with it. And of course, dinner will be enjoyed with the Smuttynose Pumpkin Ales we bought today!

: Shrimp Fried Rice was SO good! This is definitely an easy recipe that I'll be adding to my recipe cards. Very simple and delicious. And best of all, it's low calorie!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ain't Nothing Like

You may or not know the Brad Paisley song...feel free to sing along!

There ain't nothing like:
  • Helping a coworker in her 50's create a blog for her class and watch her giggle at the magic of the interwebs
  • Eating hotdogs and hanging out with 4th graders after hours at a community kickball game
  • Receiving letters in the mail from your grandparents
  • A dog who smothers you in kisses and makes dinosaur noises when you walk in the door at night
  • Finishing a fabulous book and thinking of all the people you want to email and let them know they have to read it because you just know they're gonna love it too
  • Husbands who do the dishes for you when you're expecting to come home to find a mess
  • When a coworker brings in a chocolate cheese cake to share at lunch....just because
  • Days when your hair sits nicely and tamely on your head, and chooses to listen to your requests
  • Discovering a delicious new mint chocolate pudding for just 60 calories
  • Friends who have moved away and fly across the country to come back and visit with their new babies
What are your "There ain't nothing like" lines?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tonight's the Night!

I know I blogged about it a few weeks ago, but I feel the need to restate my excitement! Biggest Loser is back tonight. I've always been a Jillian fan, but I would love to see Bob have a winner this season. Only a few more hours!

So....who else is watching tonight?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall Beers

On Thursday night while stalking reading on facebook, I noticed an old friend's status referring to the return of pumpkin ale. My little heart did a jump for joy, and I told my husband that we would be spending our Friday night reuniting with the deliciousness that is fall beer.

As you can see, we stocked our fridge with some of the best: Saranac Pumpkin & Oktoberfest, and then some Brooklyn Pumpkin and Oktoberfest. If you've never tried pumpkin beer, I have to recommend the Saranac. It is my, hands down, favorite. I have been one happy camper this weekend, and I only wish I didn't have to go so many months of the year without these tasty brews in my life.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Michael Scott

Exhausted doesn't really even begin to describe my emotional and physical state right.

I am a wreck. This week has hit me hard.

So, I have nothing to write to about. My mind is shot. I can't think of anything other than little people, classroom management, and how to stop a student from hitting his head with a water bottle. Really...it's been a long week.

So, I share this with you. The fabulous Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor on the office) who I long to be BFF's with, shared this on her twitter today: Michael Scott in Real Life.

Listen and laugh. Repeat. It cracks me up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mullet Boy

Yesterday I gave my new students an "All About Me" sheet to fill out.

Two of the questions read:

In ten years I plan to...

In twenty years I plan to...

While most the kids wrote about wanting to be in college, or to be married, one quiet boy, who seems a little shy, wrote this as his answer...I just about died:

In ten years I plan to...have a mohawk

In twenty years I plan to...grow a mullet

It looks like I'm gonna have some good stories this year!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1 down, 182 to go.

I survived.

First of all, thanks to those "real life" friends who left me sweet facebook messages, and another thanks to all my "blog friends" who left encouraging blog comments or tweet today. You all were a very bright part of my day.

Day one of school started out rough. Very rough. It was the kind of morning you dream about, only to wake up and say, "Whew, glad that was just a dream!"

Last night after getting in bed, our crazy dog was making bizarre noises under the bed, so I leaned over the bed to see what she was doing. In the process, I must have knocked my cell phone on the floor and it went under her dog bed. Small problem. That cell phone is my alarm for the morning. Fast forward to 6:57 AM when I wake up startled, wondering why I didn't get up at 6 AM, the time I had set my alarm to go off. Oops? Apparently you can't hear an alarm when it's under a giant pillow and a 60 pound dog.

After getting ready in about 6 minutes, I flew out the door.

Next little hiccup of the day, the rain. It was pouring here this morning. Small problem with that; our city loves to flood when we get more than a sprinkling. Our backyard and street had about 4-5 inches of standing water. Lovely. I was so worried the roads would be blocked off and I 'd never make it the interstate which takes me to my school. I somehow made it, and ended up getting to school about twenty minutes before my kids arrived. Not too bad considering how the day began.

Once I made it through my crazy morning, it was a pretty great day. It's so crazy how young these kids seem, though. Last spring my fourth graders were so mature and ready to be fifth graders. Now I have a bunch of "just barely" fourth graders. It's going to take some getting used to, but it's expected. I've got high expectations and I know they'll meet them.

Now I plan to sit on my sofa with some Shiraz and zone out by reading blogs, listening to "The Climb" on repeat (please don't judge, it's been one of those days), and watch TV for the rest of the evening. I'm exhausted. That might have to do with the fact that I wore heels after 3 solid months of tennis shoes and flip flops. Not smart, Rachel.

Monday, September 7, 2009

So long sweet summer...

Warning: This post is going to be a giant mess of thoughts. Please bear with me!

Our Labor Day weekend has been rather uneventful, but very productive. I did our laundry, went grocery shopping, thoroughly cleaned our apartment, finished a library book...it feels good to have accomplished so much. Especially because I know that for the next ten months, my time will be limited and my energy will be way down.

On Saturday, I got this in the mail from Mojito Maven:

This is the $50 gift card to The GAP that I won over at her blog last month. I am pretty pumped to go spend this. Especially after browsing The GAP website. So many cute things I can use in my closet!

Also on Saturday, J bought Layla a present. A present that is probably half her size...

She's in love. We've been laughing at her, though, as she appears to be a little apprehensive and cautious playing with such a large toy.

I've spent a big part of my weekend prepping for the first day of school tomorrow. I'm as ready as I can be, but I still have butterflies. You'd think that by year three, I'd be a little less nervous,but that's not the case. I got to meet about 3/4 of my class at open house last Thursday, and I know it's going to be a great year, but that still doesn't calm my nerves. At least my room is ready! Here's one last picture I took before walking out the door on Friday afternoon.

Oh and did I mention that we had a gorgeous sunset the other night?
Love it.

And if you made it to the end of this scattered post, I have one last thing...I noticed today that I'm now over a hundred followers, be looking for a giveaway in the next week or so!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Now that my long work week has come to an end, it's time to relax and browse through the wonderful world wide webs for some pretty things to admire to get my mind off all the things I still have to do before Tuesday.

Things I must have:

Rachel over at Heart of Light (a fabulous blog I read daily), just opened a shop on Etsy. I need one of her headbands...

Pioneer Woman's
Cookbook...Note to family members who read this blog: you can pretty much count on getting this for Christmas. I truly believe that everyone needs a copy.

This darling ruffled cardigan, preferably in navy from J.Crew....A teacher can never have too many cardigans and a stylish gal cannot have have too many ruffles, therefore, I must get one....or 3!

And one more fun Etsy find...wouldn't you feel adorable going to your local farmer's market with these? The other shoppers would be insanely envious.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

13 days...

This is my FAVORITE show. Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week because I know I get to come home and watch this show for two hours. I am so excited for a new season!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome, September.

September is here and I hate to say it, but today has been one of those days. It's just been one thing after another and by 4pm, I was done. My plate is pretty full right now, and I'm one who gets a little frantic when I can't quite balance everything. When I walked out the door, I was ready to come home and collapse on the couch. And collapse I did.

Not gonna dwell on the negatives, though...let's focus on the positives, shall we?
  1. My husband cooked dinner for me tonight while a took my 45 minute nap on the couch.
  2. I got a package delivered to my school mail box from my mom, today. A little something to put in the classroom, it really put a smile on my face.
  3. My new "healthy plan" courtesy of my husband, the spreadsheet and numbers king. All I had to do was say I was thinking about losing weight, and he jumped to action. He loves any excuse he gets to play in excel, and for that, I'm very grateful. Not only did he make me a super spreadsheet to track my progress, but he calculated the calories AND fat in all of our dinners for the week (including this DELICIOUS risotto I made last night,which was just 527 calories per serving, in case you were curious!). And then today, my leftovers from Sunday night's dinner had a sticky note with the calorie info on it. It's nice being married to an engineer who was also a double major in math.
  4. Our windows are open and there's a cool breeze blowing in...thank goodness! It's time for that humidity to go away!
  5. I realized today that I have 98 followers, when did that happen? I'm thinking a giveaway will be in order once I hit 100!
I'm thinking of taking a few days off from the blogging so I can focus on the thousands of little things I need to do before next Tuesday. Maybe a little post here and there, but not much 'til I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed by life.