Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankfulness: Days 25 and 26

I am so thankful that I was able to spend the last 4 days in Cambria with most of our family. My parents and sister, Kortney, came up to celebrate Thanksgiving at Ed's mom's home, along with Ed's brother Keven and his wife, Noemi.

It was a wonderful trip, full of delicious food, gorgeous scenery, and lots of time spent outdoors. I'll share more later (hopefully I can beg pictures off of my family), but suffice to say, it left me with a lot to be thankful for.

Today, I am thankful that Ed and I went out and got our Christmas tree, and our house has been mostly transformed into Christmas-time. For the first time, we have a genuine adult sized tree (taller than me!) and it's lovely. We also got stockings for the first time, which is also very exciting. I still have a few things left to finish decorating, but it's certainly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas :).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulness: Days 23 and 24

Making this quick, but I'm so thankful these past few days for family. For being together with almost all of my loved ones (which makes me really look forward to the next holiday season with we really all will be together).

I am also really thankful for the beautiful 3.6 mile run we had down by the ocean this morning - our own personal Turkey Trot!

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 22

It's Thanksgiving break!!! I am feeling very thankful for 5 days with family, a nice last day with my students, and some upcoming quality time with Ed. 

I am also thankful that today marks the start of something special. 

Today is Week 1, officially, of my marathon training. Today's run was fine, though I definitely don't feel any any shape to run 9 times that. I know that over the next 18 weeks, I'll need to refine my diet to help this process to better health. I'm also thankful to have a friend going through this process with me, and I am thankful to have a new, very challenging but exciting goal to keep me motivated through these sure to be cool, wet months.

Looking forward to run number two tomorrow!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 21

Wow, only 1 more day until Thanksgiving break! I am thankful that I had a pretty good day of teaching, full of "games" (funny how basically drilling/quizzing students under the guise of a game is really fun for them, and great for keeping the hyperness down during a holiday week). I'm also thankful that tossing a beanie baby at students when I call on them makes even the most reluctant student beg to share his writing with the class. It's those little things that really do help keep kids motivated and in focus when their minds are so ready to be on vacation.

I'm also very thankful that I only have one pretty well planned out day between now and Thanksgiving break!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wintery Crafts (and Thankfulness: Day 20)

(Totally forgot to do this - I am thankful that I like doing crafts, and that we're getting a bigger Christmas tree this year, which means I'll need to make some extra ornaments to fill out our tree :))

Even though I have two more days of teaching, my mind is already thinking ahead to the holiday breaks coming up in the next month, and "all" the free time I'll have (of course, I never really have that much free time, but one can hope!)

I've been having fun looking around online at some wintery crafts I can try. Here are some of my favorites:

Pinned Image
Pinned Image
Winter wreath

Pinned Image

Home Decorations:
Pinned Image

Pinned Image
white dish with white candles surrounding by peppermint candies
Christmas Decorations #christmas #diy
Pinned Image

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 19

Today, I am thankful that we had a good day of apartment hunting. It's so exciting to think about my sister moving up here. We're even thinking of all taking a Spanish class together, which would be a lot of fun.

I'm also thankful that I tried a new recipe: Pioneer Woman's French Onion Soup.





Seriously, it was worth the 2 hours of cooking. While we couldn't find Gruyere, Gouda and Parmesean seemed to substitute quite nicely. It was filling, decadent, and yet just the perfect thing for a cool fall evening meal. I can definitely say that this won't be the last time I make this recipe.

I am also just thankful that I'm an adult.

Hear me out.

There are so many acts that I always quantify as being "adult."

I.e. - cooking, cleaning, making the bed, keeping the house picked up, doing my school work in the evening, etc.

Now, oftentimes, especially when I'm in a bad mood, or tired, the last thing I want to do is, "be an adult."

However, when I have visitors, especially family, it seems like this "adult" role is easier to fill. I like being someone who loads the dishwasher after breakfast, or who wipes down the counter after a meal. Being with others (who aren't Ed) make me want to be the adult I feel I always should be.

I was wondering today whether a child would instill in me the same desire to be "an adult" that visitors do. I hope so, since being a parent will be the most adult act I'll take, and, while it's not in the immediate future, I am certainly looking forward to it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 18

Today, I am thankful that my sister, Kortney, is visiting from out of town, as we plan her long overdue exodus up to the Bay Area :). It will be a weekend full of apartment hunting and good sister time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 17

I'll be honest. At the end of my teaching day, I wasn't exactly feeling thankful. The 6 days between Veteren's Day and Thanksgiving are always a bit rough, as the kids are a bit more keyed up with the prospect of all the days off. Added to that, I've been teaching algebraic equations, which have been really challenging for the kids (they can totally solve for a variable, given an equation, but they can't create an equation from a word problem. We're on day 3, and I feel like I'm just banging my head against the wall).

In any event, I was more than ready for the end of the day. Thankfully, once I got home from work, I had plenty to be thankful for. I am thankful that Ed went on a run with me (meaning 3 days of running in a row!). I am thankful that I had time to cook a delicious meal (polenta, chicken and kale) with a ton of garlic, and I'm thankful that Ed doesn't have any issue with my adding probably around 10 heads of garlic into the dish (between the kale, chicken and polenta). It was delicious.

I am also thankful that my report cards are heading out tomorrow - 3 more months until I have to go through that again!

Hopefully tomorrow will be a fun, wonderful teaching day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 16

Today, I am thankful that I went for a run with my friend, Dana. She came over to my work and we ran a route I haven't run in a couple of years, through the neighborhood around work. While we both were hurting a little, since neither of us have been great about training, it was nice to catch up and help motivate each other. Our marathon training officially starts next week (eek!) so it's good to get back in the habit of running this week.

Now, it's time to get to sleep. I am exhausted!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankfulness: Days 14 and 15

My reasons for being thankful today connect to why there was no post yesterday. After school yesterday, my computer randomly stopped working. However, today I learned that it was an all district computer glitch, and my computer was thankfully fixed. So, I am very thankful to have a working computer!

I am also thankful to have Ed home. He took a quick trip down to San Diego for work and, while he wasn't gone long, it's always a bit lonely when he's away. In celebration of him being home, we're having steak, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans and watching Terra Nova.

Thankfully enjoying a lovely Tuesday,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 13

I think I'm starting to feel this posting every day - almost halfway there, though, right? I do like being so reflective, though, so maybe when this month is over, I'll still do something once a week about things I'm thankful for.

Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to take a great trip this past weekend. The last 3 days, I've been up at Tahoe with Ed and some friends, celebrating Ed's birthday and enjoying this "secret" time to visit Tahoe. The week before "winter season" begins, Tahoe is quiet, relatively inexpensive, and gorgeous. Leaves changing to vibrant hues, enough snow in the mountains and on the side of the road to get that wintery feel, but none on the road to make it dangerous, and just the right crispness in the air to make curling up inside seem like the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

I'll share more about the trip later, with lovely pictures, but for now, I'll just be thankful for such a wonderful opportunity as I transition back into the real world of work.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 12

Today, I am thankful for my husband. Specifically, that 31 years ago, in a lovely hospital in Burlingame, the world became a better place because of the birth of an amazing person - Ed. It's been the perfect birthday (really birthday weekend), that I'll write more about at the ending of it.

Suffice to say, there has been great time with good friends, far too much delicious and decadent food, spectacularly gorgeous hikes and scenery, and plenty of lazy time relaxing.

I am so very thankful that my husband is here, in my life, and making every moment infinitely better.

Happy Birthday, honey!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 11

Today, I am thankful for the seasons changing. On our drive today, we saw so many beautifully colored  trees. Vibrant yellows, oranges and red lit up the towns, the hillsides, and it was just lovely. I feel (like I often do) , so very thankful to live in such a spectacularly gorgeous part of the country.

Thank you, Fall.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 10

Today is the eve of a 3 day weekend, for which I am very thankful! Today was actually a pretty good day at work, and it made me thankful that even if I start the day in a less than stellar mood, my students will invariably cheer me up, just by being themselves. I'm so grateful that I have a career I enjoy, and that I genuinely like my students this year.

I am also very thankful that Ed and I can have really great discussions about education. Tonight, as I was grading science assessments, Ed was talking with me about the role of assessing language within the realm of science, and the importance of teaching proper writing within science; that to be a good scientist, you have to be able to communicate via writing effectively. It connects to a lot of what I've learned about teaching, but the way he explained it just put teaching science in a new light.
I love that we're both interested in working with English Language Learners and finding the best ways to give them the best possible education. I am so excited about Ed's great research and can't wait to see how his research changes the way we teach science in the future.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 9

Today, I am tired. Which doesn't make a lot of sense since we went to bed at 8:30 last night. I think it's just this time of year - report cards are so draining!

Nonetheless, I have a lot of things to be thankful for. Today, I was very thankful for time.

I was able to work on grades during art/music, during a prep period I forgot I had, and during the afternoon, thanks to our canceled staff meeting. While I have a lot of work, I also have been gifted with the time to get it done.

And, while I'm somewhat overwelmed by all this work, I am thankful that my report cards should be done by tomorrow evening.

I'm also thankful that this tiredness will help me to sleep well last night.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 8

 20 minutes.

That's how long it took me to get home today. You can bet I felt thankful that whole drive!

I am so thankful that my training today ended just after 3pm, which meant I was on the road by 3:10 and able to have a traffic free drive home. Lately, my commute has be taking 40 minutes to an hour (on the best days it's 30 minutes after school).

Today, I got home at the time I am normally allowed to leave campus.

With all this extra time (and extra energy - traffic is so tiring!), I'm going to go for a run, and try to get most of my report cards done.

Thank you thank you, for the traffic free commute today.

-edit: I also had to come back to add in that I am very thankful that I went for my run today. I was reflecting on the run that it had been about a month since I've gone on a run, out of my own motivation, for any lenth of distance. I just did 3 miles today, but it felt great (though in full disclosure, the first mile felt a lot greater than the rest).

I may or may not have mentioned that I've signed myself up for a marathon, that I'll be running in March. Now, it's been a long long time since I've run more than 13 miles,
Old Me, back when I was quite the awesome runner :)
and I'm a bit apprehensive. But, I've signed up with a friend, and we're planning on training together.

A month ago, I had a lot more confidence, as I was maintaining that 13 miles at a time base. Now, I'm a little less sure, but ready or not, the training will be *officially* starting my training at the end of the month, so I better get back into a running routine.

So, hopefully all the runs in my near future, will be as lovely as today's.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 7

Busy day, so ever so quickly...

Today, I am thankful that my students are finally starting to understand multiplying decimals, and give me hope that they will do better on their re-testing of the concept this week. I am also thankful to be going to a hopefully very beneficial training tomorrow - anything to make me a better teacher :).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankfulness: Day 6 (and Barefoot Running)

Before I get to my thanks (and of course, there are many), I had to share something special that I tried today.

Now, if you are at all a member of the running community, you've most likely heard about the "barefoot running" movement that seems to be sweeping the country. A good deal of it can be tied to two sources:

the odd looking but increasingly popular Vibram 5 fingers

The persuasive and popular book (given to me by my Brother in Law) that makes a very strong argument for ditching the heavily padded footwear.

I've been reading a lot about barefoot running courtesy of one of my favorite running blogs, Running and Rambling, which gives great accounts of runs and, over the last few years, has developed a focus on barefoot running and all the different kinds of shoes that can help you join in on the minimalist movement. 

Less than a year ago, Ed decided he wanted to give some minimalist shoes a try, and picked up a pair of merrells. 

Unlike the Vibrams, these look remarkably like "normal" running shoes, with the exception that they are very lithe, light, and conform nicely to the foot (this is becoming more common with minimalist shoes, which seems a good thing, in my opinon). Ed, going against all advice, did his first run with these as a 5 miler (you are supposed to ease into them, with very short runs first). In true Ed fashion, he had no issues, and soon was using these almost exclusively for everything from 3 milers to 30 milers and loving them. He was faster, running stronger, and regular shoes now seemed to him heavy and burdensome. 

So, with the perfect advertisement for minimalist shoes living with me, I have been eager to give them a try myself.

But, there was still one major factor that held me back. 


These shoes are expensive! Granted, running shoes in general will run you upwards of $100, so minimalist shoes aren't really any worse, but I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on a shoe that might not even work for me.  Thankfully, while I was at science camp, the stars aligned to bring me my own pair of shoes, in the form of a steeply discounted sale at The Clymb, which had these lovely shoes,

(Terra Plana EVO shoes) normally $160, for only $50. I was sold, and in about 10 minutes, I had placed an order for my very own pair. It helped that Donald (on the Running and Rambling blog) had a thorough review of these shoes, saying, "they may be the most dependable all-purpose minimalist shoes I’ve tested." which made me feel confident about the choice. 

I eagerly awaited their arrival, which took about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, by the time they arrived, I was down sick, so, while I wore them to work a bit to break them in, today was the first time I had a "barefoot" run (or as close to barefoot as I'm willing to get when running on the roads). 

As I laced them up, their lightness really hit me (moreso than when I just wore them to work). They feel like nothing, compared to regular shoes, which was a pretty fun sensation. 

I had a goal of running down to the end of the block and back, which all told would be about a mile. However, as I began running, I decided to cut that in about half, as I could feel how hard different parts of my feet and legs were working. Unlike Ed, I am not impervious to injury and really wanted to be careful. 

Just like I had read, my running style was drastically different in these shoes, as the lack of cushion in the heal meant that I had to strike down on the forefront of my foot instead. I was wishing part way out that I had done a bit more research about how exactly I was supposed to be running, but I think I was close. 
I few times I tested running "normally" with a heel strike, and felt the force with which my foot hit the ground. It was pretty easy to tell that that was not how you were supposed to run in these shoes. 
After just about 5 minutes, my first minimalist run was done; I had barely covered any distance, but I finished with calves a little sore and excited to try again soon. Eventually, I hope to be like Ed, using them all the time, and loving every minute. 

For now, I'll take my barefoot adventures in 5 minute intervals.

Thankfulness: Day 6
I am thankful that....

  •  I got to try out my new shoes, and had a nice, but short, run
  • The house is still relatively clean from my efforts on Friday, so I didn't have to do a lot today to tidy it up (it is so nice to have a clean house - I must remember this!).
  • My biggest thanks is that Ed is returning after being gone this weekend at a conference. While I certainly enjoyed some alone time, I do miss him when he's away, and I cannot wait to have him home. 

Now, time to stop procrastinating, and finish sub plans for Tuesday (I'll be at a hopefully good all day training), and reading student narratives. So far, zombies is the topic of choice.. you can tell these were written in the month of October :).