Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Whine Fest

So, you know how you feel when you have to do something significant in your life and you just don't want to?  That's where I am right now.  If you know anything about National Board Certification for teachers, you realize it's a pretty big deal (or it can be, depending on how you are compensated for having it).  I've been board certified for almost ten years and it has been worth it.  (Although, a friend who went through the initial certification with me has reminded me I did say back then that I would NEVER do it again). That certification is going to expire and it is time for me to renew.  I can do it this year OR I can do it next year.  Doing it this year gives me the opportunity to retry next year if I don't succeed the first time around.  That, and it could possibly be off my plate after this year and I can stop obsessing about it.

Let me say... It's torture.  I am not having a good time.  I am dragging my feet and whining regularly to anyone who will listen (thank you for listening, if you have made it this far in to this post).  I just have to put it out there... I DON'T WANT TO DO IT.  It's too hard.  I don't have the time.  I haven't done anything worth talking about in the last eight years since my initial certification.  I don't want to think about my professional practices and how I have grown and developed as a teacher.  I hate being videoed; I don't want to do that either.  It's too much work.  I'm not smart enough.  Blah, blah, blah.  I'm basically being a big baby.  

It's coming down to the final decision; the deadline for the application payment is looming.  It IS hard work and a big time commitment.  Being a list maker, I've weighed the options... the pros (long term) outweigh the cons (short term).  I've gone back and forth with the decision... after all I do still have a year.  BUT, is it going to be any less sucky next year?  Am I going to be in a better place?  More motivated?  Less stressed?  Probably not.  I've even promised myself this will be the last time (even though I will still be teaching when the renewed certification expires).  I need to find the motivation to Just. Do. It.         

I've talked myself all around the issue and I guess the bottom line is this...

 Thanks for listening.  I just needed to say all that "out loud". 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

And Again.

Here we go again.  For the past couple months I have been watching the weight creep back on.  I have toyed with the idea of starting Weight Watchers again.  But, ugh.  Really? Again?  Get your act together, girl.  I have the app to track the points (haven't used it).  I know what to do (not a big secret...let's not eat and drink everything in sight, Every. Single. Day.)  I think my biggest frustration with myself is... If I actually do the program?  IT WORKS and yet, still no.  Until yesterday.  I decided I would hop back in the saddle again.  It's time.  So, y'all know what happened ....

I went back to WW last night.  (The program changed again, did you know that??)  I actually committed myself to 3 months.  I am *hoping* it will motivate me to go to the meetings.  I'd like to get back into the clothes I bought at this time last year.  25 pounds to lose.  I apparently have had a good time for myself.

And so it begins.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thinking of You

Ah, I miss you.  Some of those feels are just as raw as they were two years ago.  Just over two years.  That's how long this huge hole has been present in my life.  This holiday season has certainly had its ups and downs.  When does it get easier?  I don't have an answer.  But I sure wish I knew.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful friend.  Still missing you.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Celebrating the Season

Linking up with Love Made My Home
Linking up with Love Made My Home
 ONE week??  How can that be?  I'm ready.  Just kidding, no I'm not.  These past few weeks have been a whirlwind.  Work is crazy... After Thanksgiving?  When that first tree goes up?  Yup, it's all over in kindergarten.  Ready or not, the celebration begins!  So, what have I been doing to celebrate the season... Let's see....

1)  I went to see Straight No Chaser.... I LOVED IT!!  If you haven't had the opportunity to check these guys out, you must!  What a great show.  I am a fool for a cappella and this show was so worth the time and money (7:30 show on a Tuesday night?  A school night?  Yikes, living on the edge!).  My favorite songs?  The 12 Days of Christmas.  Makes me smile Every. Single. Time.  And, Oh Holy Night?  Just beautiful. 
Love them!
Picture/Link brings you to 12 Days of Christmas... You're Welcome :)
2)  This year we bought a new tree.  It's smaller than any tree we've had in the past.  We've gone from a 9 foot tree down to a 6 and half foot tree.  The bigger tree was just getting to be too much.  With downsizing, there came a dilemma.  There was just no way to put all the ornaments that we have on a smaller tree.  Sorting through the ornaments to only use those most meaningful was somewhat bittersweet.  So many good memories.
Sentimental.  My bff is no longer with us.
Silly.  Makes me giggle.
From my childhood.  It will always remind me of "home".
3)  Paying it forward... Last year I started what I hope to be an annual tradition.  I am a little late posting this wrap up, but I was a little late starting it too.  November is considered a month to be thankful.  I have SO MUCH to be thankful for.  Over the last four weeks, I have donated to four charities that support goals that I believe wholeheartedly in.  It is my way of being thankful for what I have and hopefully helping someone else out during a time of year that is typically challenging for some both financially and emotionally. 

4)  I love the holiday glitz and glitter.  This is a picture of a house in my neighborhood.  The tree has been dubbed "The Tree to See".  I just love it.  It makes me smile :) 
That house is not small!  The 40' tree just dwarfs it in all its glory!
 5)  What would a post be without some kind of yummy treat?  This holiday season would certainly not be complete without cookies.  I often joke that I am "keeper of the flame" in my family.  Tradition is important; THINGS can be important when they evoke special memories.  Peanut butter and jelly cookies (my husband's declared favorite), peanut butter blossoms, spritz cookies, and Russian tea cakes (or snowballs, as they are also known as) are all an anticipated part of the festivities.  As of right now, I am the only one in my generation who makes the spritz cookies (which, in my opinion are the easiest!)  I hope that changes eventually; I'd like to be able to pass the recipe (and cookie press) on someday!  Anywho, here is my tribute to cookies....
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
Peanut Butter Blossoms

Yummy Snowballs
Hope everyone is finding a little bit of sanity with all the hustle and bustle the holidays bring! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Little of This and That...
Yay!  It's Friday!!  I could have skipped out of work today, for the sheer joy of it!  I am now home, relaxing, with a nice glass of pumpkin spice liquor.  The day has been drizzly and gray but I am so glad to be looking forward to two days of nothingness. (It doesn't mean I am going to do nothing, but it does mean I have a choice about WHAT I am going to do.  That just makes me happy inside.)  Without further ado... my Five Things Friday is just a compilation of my week...

1.  Last weekend, when I was out and about with a friend and I saw this adorable sight...
Back in the day, in another life that is far away, I would have TOTALLY rocked this.  My daughter says it's ridiculous.  I disagree.  If I wasn't sending all my money to college to pay for her education, I would consider getting those "ridiculous" eyelashes for my car, because I'm THAT mom.  

2.  If you've popped by my blog, even one time, you may have noticed that I like to eat (and drink).  This amazing pie was made by my own Bubba :)  He is in the vocational/culinary program at his high school and he brought this home for me us.  The boy has skills.
Apple pie with a little vanilla ice cream on the side?  Yum!
3. I am really not that girl.... You know, the one who has the Christmas cards signed, stamped and ready to mail weeks before the big day?  But this year... I have to confess, I have started shopping... 
"before" Halloween.

It wasn't much before Halloween, it was technically Halloween Day (Halloween isn't until night, right?)  My friend talked me into it and she wants to go AGAIN, tomorrow.  I just don't know if I can.  I like denial.  It's a great place to be.  I'm not ready. 

4.  My daughter suggested a new show that she is addicted to.  Have you heard of it?
I'm watching.  I'm not sure how much I love it, but it's enough to keep me entertained.  If you've seen it, I'd love to hear what you think.

5. Lastly... I'd love to do better in this area of my life.  There just seems to be too many of "them" and not enough of me.  My husband and son just don't care, at all.  They leave their stuff everywhere and, if I am being honest, I am not the tidiest person either.  I work hard to fit it in during the week, but alas, there is just so much that needs to be done.  While there is no official "plan" for the weekend, the struggle is real and I will continue to try to make it better.
Story of my life.
Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Linking up with Love Made My Home
Lordy Lou has it been a LOONNNGGG week.  But it's amazingly finally Friday, and I have survived.  I really don't know where to begin, there's just been SO MUCH.  So, we'll start with the good...

1.  I really needed a pick me up last weekend, so I let my hairdresser work her magic and now I have an adorable new "do".  I don't know what happened to me.  I got into a rut and have been stuck there for a couple years.  My hair was often the topic of conversations.  We had a on-going joke that once we started a new year, I would have new hair.  Each start of the school year I would show up with something new and different.  New style, new color, straight, curly, etc.  My philosophy was: "It's hair.  It'll grow back.  If I don't like it, next month I'll change it."  Until I got tired of it short.  Once it started to grow, that's when the rut began to form.  Well, I'm back to it being short and, while it's an adjustment, I'm loving it.  It's cute and sassy, two things that... quite honestly... I'm not really feeling right now.

2.  This week has been bad (that's coming next).  So, I did a little self medicating with this fabulous cheesecake.  It's just one of the little things (along with wine and chocolate) that has helped me cope.

I ate the whole thing.  No regrets.
The Bad....
3.  I have no words.  I almost didn't post today because, well, there haven't been many good days this week.  At all.  My husband's uncle passed away unexpectedly, so hubby went out of town to help deal with his possessions and pay his respects.  The day after the news of his uncle's death, I got a call saying my father's cousin had passed away after having a stroke.  63 years old, married with 3 kids - the youngest being 13.  And then, this morning I went into work to hear that a colleague passed away.  28 years old.  No details, just that she is gone.  All this and the anniversary of my best friend's death.  I am just wrung out.

4.  No more badness... Number 3 was enough.  

The Ugly....
5.  This week was a full moon (GORGEOUS moon!!), combine that with it being the week before Halloween and you have a whole lotta ugly.  I don't often mention my work world.  I NEVER talk about the kids I have in class, nor do I talk about the myriad of things that occur during the day that leave me shaking my head.  I am going to let go and say it out loud... THE CHILDREN HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS.       
Phew.  Thank you.  I needed that.  Next week will be better, right?  (Please don't mention this weekend's changing of the clocks or the upcoming sugar highs that will put my kindergartners into orbit for all of next week.  I know.  Sadly, I know.)

Here's hoping for a good weekend.  That break that I talked about last Friday?  Yeah, any time now would be great.
For anyone who is stopping by, looking for the happiness that Friday usually brings. 
I am sorry for being a downer :(  

Thursday, October 29, 2015


On this date, two years ago, my life changed in a way that I never saw coming.  The result is an emptiness that can not be filled; an ache that just doesn't go away.

Missing you, my friend.  Today and every day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Friday!!

Linking up with Love Made My Home
What I'm Reading:
I NEVER give up on a book.  It's my thing.  Read it... love it or hate it.  Well, it use to be my thing.  I officially, reluctantly, sadly tossed in the towel this week on Demelza by Winston Graham.  I tried.  I REALLY tried.  But it was just a fail for me.  I LOVE the Poldark series that aired this past summer and I can't wait until season 2 to air.  I even resisted starting the books until after seeing the show because usually a book is better for me than any tv show or movie.  Not this time!!  So, I am moving on....

I just started The Girls of Mischief Bay and I am thoroughly enjoying it!!  It's not hurting my brain at all and the characters are easy to relate to.  It's nice to look forward to ending the day with a chapter or two.

What I'm Watching:
I am not a big tv fan, but there are times where something grabs my interest.  Last Christmas, my friend gave me the first season of Call the Midwife.  I was reluctant to watch it; it didn't really seem to be something I would enjoy.  I was so wrong!  What a great story line.  I have watched all of the first season and have moved on to other seasons (thank you Netflix!!)  I am going to be sad when I am all "caught up" and have to wait for the show to begin airing again in "real time".  If you are fan of Downton Abby, all things British, or shows that take place in a "simpler" (but not necessarily easier!) time, you should check it out :)

What I Tried This Week:
Okay... One more thing Pumpkin!  I had stopped at the store to pick up some wine (because, well, yeah.) and there was a bottle of this on the counter:
It just called out to me.  I couldn't help myself.  Best. Decision. This. Week.  When I asked about how it should be served, the guy at the store said to put it over ice.  When I brought it home, my husband suggested that I try it over ice cream.  Mmmmm.  So Good!  I would highly recommend it :)  

What I Need to Complete this Weekend:
SCHOOL WORK.  I am drowning in paper work.  Every day I have tried to pep talk myself into being a productive person after the regular school day is over and every day I have failed in that mission.  Once I straighten out my classroom and get ready for the next day, answer some emails, finish up odds and ends, and hit the road, it's usually 5:30-6:00 before I get home.  Then there's laundry... and dinner..  and dishes... and my own kid's stuff...  and... and... and.  Who wants to sit down and start working again at 9:00?  Not me.  I'm exhausted.  There is just SO MUCH to do.  I would be a happier, more relaxed person if I could just catch up.  *sigh*

What I'm Craving:
Some me time.  A break.  I need a break.  A GUILT FREE break.  Ah, if only.
Have a Happy Weekend, Everyone! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It’s All About Pumpkin

It's taken me a while to join the pumpkin craze.  I'm not sure why, because I LOVE pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake.... I could go on and on.  Last year I got into these.... 
I bought them because the name cracked me up!
I can't find them this year because they have been sold out.. Every. Single. Time. I have gone into the store.  If you haven't had them yet and you can find them, try them.  You're welcome.

Then there is this delightful addition to all things fall...
Limited Addition?  Aw, come on!
I stumbled upon them in the grocery store just as they were being put on the shelf.  I've been able to snag a couple of boxes since then, but now?  Either other people have discovered that pumpkin goodness can be had in a breakfast cereal and are buying them up, or.... the "season" for them has sadly come to an end.  I haven't given up yet.. I hope to score at least one more box!!

Then there's this...
Who knew?!
I FINALLY tried pumpkin pancakes and I have a new love.  I actually made them for lunch this weekend.  They are my new favorite pancake and I see myself making them lots this winter.  So, that brings me to my final pumpkin "thing".  Pumpkin coffee...
Girlie: "What?  It's good!"
I tried it.  I can officially say that I am not a huge fan.  It looks all yummy and creamy, but meh.  Overall, I am not a flavored coffee fan.  I guess, in place of dessert, I may choose this... if I were full and couldn't possibly eat a piece of pie.  

What about you... Is pumpkin a Yes? or a No?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Parents' Weekend Recap

Linking up with Love Made My Home
Last weekend was a busy one.  It was parents' weekend at Girlie's college, so I got to spend the weekend with her :)  It was so nice being away from home... Someone made my bed for me everyday, I didn't have to cook or clean up, and there was no pressure to clean, vacuum, or whatever other mundane things I usually do over the weekend.  There were a few places she wanted to go, so I taxied us around to see the different sights.  A quick recap of the weekend...

1. Insomnia Cookies.  Yum!! This place is open from 12 noon until about 3am (hence, Insomnia Cookies).  The cookies were fresh from the oven and absolutely delicious.  The one on the left is s'mores, the one on the right is m&m.  They even deliver!  I may have to check that out for when Girlie has exams.  She and her roommates will love me forever!
So Good!
2.  Since we were in the neighborhood, we visited Yale's Art Gallery.  What a great experience.  They have a little bit of everything and it was totally worth stopping by.

 Here are two of my favorites! (There were many favorites...I could go on and on!)

Lane in Voyer d'Argenson Park at Asnières by Van Gough
The Ballet Rehearsal by Degas

3.  Hiking on Mt. Carmel at Sleeping Giant State Park.  We aren't doing fall well, at least not in our part of the state.  Everything is just sorta brown.  While many trees are still green, those leaves that have turned aren't very vivid this year.  I was excited to see pops of color everywhere we looked.  The scenery was beautiful! 
Ah, New England.  Just love the changes in the seasons.
4.  Dessert for Breakfast?  Why not?  Doesn't this look decadent?  We ended my stay with breakfast and this is what Girlie decided to have!  I was a little jealous totally coveting her food and wanted to switch plates with her!
Next time.  There will be a next time!
5.  Back to the real world.  When I got home, I decided to add a few fall touches around the house.  I love this little Fall Angel.  She's one of my favorite decorations for this season.  Someone very creative made her out of tiny flower pots.  So cute :)

Happy Fall!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Finally Friday!

Linking up with Love Made My Home
It's hard to believe it's Friday, and OCTOBER, already!  I figure I should wrap up my week with a Five on Friday post.  There have been many things to smile about this week.  It's the little things that get me through!

1.  My husband and I go out for breakfast most Sunday mornings.  This week, this little gem was parked at the restaurant.  I LOVE antique cars.  They have such personality!

2.  All things domestic... I don't cook.  Pretty much ever.  That being said, the fall changes are making me crave some yummy, apple goodness. I like having a snack before going to bed and this hit the spot!  I may actually have to make more (I have to be careful here.  I don't want anyone in my family thinking this is going to become a habit!)
Apple Crisp... A Fall Necessity!
3.  Being the mom... Every once and a while I am forced to do things that really make me cringe.  Sewing is definitely one of those things.  I sew less than I cook.  This week, I had to do the grown up thing and hem Bubba's pants for his culinary class.  I am happy to say that the end result was successful!  The pant legs are the same length and they are neither too short, nor too long.  Yay, me (it's nothing short of a miracle!)
Not my forte!
4.  I love taking pictures, especially when trying to push the limits of my understanding of my fancy camera.  I love taking pictures of the moon, especially when something cool is going on "up there".  I am SO envious of the great shots people are putting up of the Lunar Eclipse that occurred Sunday night.  These two shots were a couple of my "best". 
Right before the eclipse started

Blood Moon

I worked hard for the Blood Moon picture.  It's definitely not as high quality as I would like, but it was not an easy shot to get.  There was much trial and error, but I am excited to have anything at all (most of the shots came out black, not a moon or star in sight!... very frustrating!)  

5. On the theme of "all things fall", I picked up some new scenty things from Bath and Body.  Mmmm, I love new fragrances!  I got a new "wallflower" too, because why not?  My new favorites of the moment are these:

The grapes are cute at night... it doubles as a night light :) 

So, I guess I made it through another week.  Looking forward to a busy weekend.  I'd like to get my house a little more in order.  We'll see.  Sometimes that's just a dream that never becomes a reality.  Have a happy weekend!