January 30, 2014

Lately...

*I've seen these types of posts of other people's blogs and they are some of my favorite to read so I thought I'd try my hand at my own version*
Lately I've been... 
Munching.. these mini turkey meatballs by Giada. I use her recipe mostly as a base, it is very good!
Sipping.. tea, tea, and more tea.
Reading..  The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2). I love a good series and while this one does feel a touch like a Harry Potter rip off, I'm intrigued and its easy to read. 
Looking forward to..grad class starting tonight! You guys, I am so excited! I never thought I'd have such a strong inclination towards doing school work again.
Hoping..My body feels less achy soon. I fell off a desk at school 2 days ago while trying to put basketball hoops down. I am thankful I didn't seriously injure myself but damn, every muscle from neck down is stiff, achy, and in pain.
Thinking..I should probably give up carbs but the cranberry cheese I just bought tastes so good paired with bread!
Wanting..winter to be OVER.

January 29, 2014

On failure.. and success


http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9e/a1/aa/9ea1aa00926344cad0f70a98d3eb3a5d.jpg
Three weeks ago in my Lately post I wrote that I was hoping for a letter I've been waiting for to arrive.. it arrived last week and it said exactly what I was hoping it would say! I got into a Master's program for School Library Media and Educational Leadership. I am beyond thrilled. With the arrival of this letter, I started thinking about how I got here. The road here was not easy.

To say that I didn't do college right would be an understatement. Looking back now, I never should have gone to college right away. I had no idea what college meant, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I was in a very precarious state in my life. My first stint at college was abysmal. My poor grades from those first two years have followed me everywhere. For the record, none of this was a result of partying too much or staying out too late. The precarious state I was in was the result of coming out of a horrendous breakup that left me floundering and unsure of myself for a long time. I also struggled with a series of illnesses at the time (sinus infection, pleurisy, strep throat, mono) that kept me out of school and led my physician to declare me the "sickest young person he had ever seen", during my bout with a serious case of strep throat. Regardless, had I been doing what I should have been doing returning to school after being sick would have been fine. But I hadn't been doing what I was supposed to be doing and being sick made finishing out the year successfully virtually impossible.

I moved home. I went to the community college in attempt to salvage my GPA and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. But I couldn't get anything to stick. I was still lost and reeling and at this point, felt pretty poorly about myself since I couldn't hack it a 4 year university like everyone else I knew. I had basically given up that ideal college life that everyone talks about -- I didn't experience college the way other people did. In between the dark moments, I made two lifelong friends and have some wonderful memories but mostly, that part of my life is filled with a lot pain and regret. I spent a couple of years at the community college and tried to get into various nursing schools but because of my previous grades, most schools weren't having it. I was rejected a total of 5 times. And it sucked. I felt truly lost and at times, I wasn't sure if I was ever going to amount to anything. It sounds dramatic but when all of your friends are graduating and moving on to law school, or grad school, or the real word and you still haven't figured it out, it takes its toll.

Eventually, I took a semester off. Just one. It's not true what people say that you'll never go back or you'll never start if you don't go right away. That one semester off did wonders for me. When I went back to school at a four year university the next year, I finally got it. I had a major I loved, in a field I was excited about and I truly felt capable to do what needed to be done. I worked my ass off and graduated with 3.8 GPA, Magna Cum Laude, close to the top of my class. After years of failing, trying, and then failing again, it felt great. 

I'm writing all of this because the process to get into this program was a bit rough  and it reminded me not only of the painful years I had leading up to a fantastic ending, resulting in a job that while challenges me, has grown on me significantly but also of these truths:
1. Choices you make in life can seriously affect choices you want to make down the road. I tell this to my students who get privileges revoked, "if you want to have choices, you need to make the right choices".
2.  Pursue that which you wanted to be as a child. Seriously, I distinctly remember my grandmother gave me a copy of  Dr. Seuss's My Book About Me when I was little and just learning to write and one of the pages said, "When I grow up I want to be... " and I wrote librarian. Life coming full circle right there. 
3. "I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I ended up where I intended to be.." {Douglas Adams}. I'm often struck by these words when I think about how choices I've made, both good and bad, have led me to my life now. A life for which I am incredibly grateful. 

If you made it to the end, cheers! It feels cathartic to write this down and maybe this post might reach someone who is also feeling lost and unsure. To those, I say keep on keepin' on. There are good things to come, I promise! 

Happy Wednesday, friends!

January 21, 2014

Snow day... again

This makes us want to go sledding. What's your favorite winter activity?
//via//

My school district has another snow day. Normally, I'm all for snow days but today was professional development and a day for getting grades finished so I would have liked to be there. It is so nice to have a whole day at school with no students, it gives teachers a time to catch up as well as plan ahead. 

This is exactly what happened the school year I got married. I didn't want it to snow at all so I could have the week off before my wedding and it snowed a ton and I ended up having to take off the last two days of school. The following school year was really tough for me and I was desperate for snow days and I think we got one. This year, we are scheduled to leave for Italy on June 17th and I would love the week off before we leave but with the snow days piling up, that's not going to happen! Oh well, it does give me ample to play catch up on all my housekeeping! 

Happy Tuesday, friends.

January 20, 2014

Hello

hurry up weekend!
Welcome to Monday, friends. Hopefully you have the day off but I know many do not which is completely not cool, in my opinion. 
If you are working today, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Our weekend was lovely. One of those perfectly balanced weekends that I was definitely sad to see go last night. I didn't take any pictures so all you get today is words!

Friday we did our usual routine of sushi and red wine at our favorite neighborhood BYOB sushi spot. It is so good its unreal and with it being BYOB we usually get out of there spending less than $30. This makes the husband incredibly happy. 

Saturday we woke up early and did adult things like renewing our parking permits and vehicle emissions testing. After that, we had lunch with some friends of our friends who came down from Philly for the day. It was nice to catch up with them and baby Miller was in attendance, which is always a highlight! Saturday night it was pizza at another neighborhood favorite. We sat next to a newly engaged couple and I couldn't help but eavesdrop on their conservation... such a fun time in their lives! I may or may not have given them some unsolicited advice about the day of coordinator situation they were discussing (my advice: definitely have one)!

Sunday, I worked out with a friend in the morning and then it was off to a birthday party for my sister-in-law. It was nice to see the family and the pup got to run around with 2 children so she was happy and exhausted. Sunday night consisted of G doing work on the couching and me doing Prissy's Ponytails work at the kithcen table and True Detective viewing in bed. 

And now here it is Monday morning and "busy season" is officially here as G will be in and out all week. Early mornings and late nights will be the norm around here for awhile.

Wishing you all a great week!

January 10, 2014

Five on Friday!



Linking up for another installment of 5 of Friday!

1. Social Manor on Etsy. I used Social Manor this summer to purchase a monogrammed makeup bag for a bridal shower. The bag was so cute and I instantly wanted one for myself. Fast forward a few months and I was perusing Etsy for throw pillows and saw the monogrammed bowler tote and knew it had to be mine! Should be heading to yours truly at the end of January- can't wait!
Navy Monogrammed Bowler Bag 

2. J.Crew bathing suits on sale. I purchased the two swimsuits below for a great price-- the black one isn't the exact one (no tulle) I got but very similar. I'm thinking they'll look just lovely on the beach in Positano. On that note, I don't wear bikinis anymore. Even if I got in bangin' shape, my stomach is not my strong point and I'm so much more comforable lounging around the pool in a one piece.

Double-stripe underwire halter tank
Tulle underwire tank
3. Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Gloss in Boom Boom. I bought this lip gloss awhile back and I love it. The color is magnificent and it stays on so well! This picture is what tipped me off to this lip gloss.  How beautiful is Keri Russell? I adore her. Does anyone else watch The Americans? Sooooo good. Intense, but good. 
 keri-russel-austen-premiere-new-york-wavy-hair-biright-lipstick-makeup

4. Pickling. Last year the husband gave me a pickling kit for Christmas and I've been too scared to try. I decided it was best to research first and have been reading these two books below for reference. Anyone out there into pickling? Any tips?

Saving The Season

5. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel Squares. I have a serious obsession with dark and chocolate and sea salt caramel. I love the ones from Whole Foods but there are only 5 in the container and sometimes they don't last on the drive across town from WHM to home. These were on sale at Target last week 3 for $10. They are individually wrapped so I can just grab one when I have a hankering for something sweet. Although, last night I ate like 5. Woops. 

Happy Friday, lovelies!

January 8, 2014

Lately...

*I've seen these types of posts of other people's blogs and they are some of my favorite to read so I thought I'd try my hand at my own version*

Lately I've been... 

Munching.. this roasted poblano beef stew by My Baking Addiction. Slighty spicy and sooooo good.
Post image for Roasted Poblano Beef Stew 

Sipping.. Cozy Chamomile Tea by Celestial Seasonings. 

Reading..  The Happiness Project. Pretty sure Gretchen Rubin is my spirit animal. We have so many similar traits and think in very similar ways.
 

Looking forward to..the weekend. I'm seriously lacking motivation at work and the days are dragging! Plus I'm thinking about making these  by I Heart Naptime this weekend for a little get together we're going to. So yeah. Can't wait.
 

Hoping.. for a letter I've been waiting for to arrive!

Thinking.. that I need to head back to Bikram real soon!

Wanting.. warmer weather!

January 3, 2014

On 2014

do better 
I love the new year. I love the idea of a clean slate. A fresh start. Another chance to get it right. I don't shy away from resolutions and rather enjoy making them. I have A LOT of goals for this year that can simply be summed up by the image above. I want to do better. Better at teaching, at learning, at eating healthy and exercising, at blogging, at kicking old habits to the curb, at following through. I want to be better. A better wife, daughter, sister, friend, puppy mom, teacher, blogger. I don't really have a specific plan for how to achieve these things but I'm hoping having "do better" as a motto will help me do just that. 

What are your goals for 2014?