Monday, December 27, 2010

Working out while being snowed in

happy blizzard 2010!
I would have had no school today even if it weren't Xmas vacation... We're getting over a foot of snow outside right now! I had planned a gym trip today, but got too impatient to wait til tonight- I hate just sitting around waitiing to work out, so I suited up in bike gear and jumped on the trainer. I'm still biking- yes multitasker! I'm at the 1:40 mark, going to get to 2 hrs, then maybe a little more?
It's definitely mental. I use the tv to keep me entertained, but also played a game of scrabble on my phone withy sister! I may not really be focused right now, but when I speed up I zoom in Aand focus on the ride. It's not the best workout, but Mondays are easier days, although I usually lift, so I'll have to make up for that tomorrow.
I'm hoping the roads clear up so I can do errands later. I have lots to get for my apartment so it can be up and running at the end of the week.
Enjoy the rest if the snow day if you're snowed in too! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

school and christmas parties and moving!

so i know that i am terrible about blogging... here's the excuse (s) this time:
1. the end of school before a break- so many things going on that had to be finished up means priorities aren't writing on here
2. the end of a semester- i had to finish my course work/ do a final project/ paper and presentation... once again very time consuming!
3. squeezing in "holiday" stuff- from shopping, to wrapping, to holiday parties, the time just gets filled up!
4. (most time consuming here)- moving! it takes a lot of time and energy to pack up everything, move, and then try to clean and unpack at the new location!

ok so while those are my excuses, i still enjoyed every one of them... that's why i don't feel guilty. i think that blogging should be fun, not a chore, so i don't mind not writing here because i am off living a good life to the fullest!

anyways, the holidays have been great... while i have found that i have been busy, i think i've been able to take a step back, enjoy it, and realize how lucky and blessed i really am.
our first family party was last weekend, and sad to say, i think this is pretty much the last time that our pepere will share a christmas with us. he is fading fast and will be passing soon. while it's sad to see, i also think that it's great that he's lived such a long life- 86 years! while there's been some tough times, he surely has had a great life and has a large, loving family to show for it. it's at the point now though where his quality of life is so poor that i really wish he would just pass on. he will be deeply missed; however, he hasn't known me know for over 2 years, so i think it's time.

more family time was shared on christmas eve with my dad's side of the family. this is one of my most favorite nights of the year!! now i don't mean to brag, but my family is pretty awesome. my dad is one of 11 kids- which led to 29 grandchildren--- get us all together and we're a good time! what other family has a sing along on xmas eve that lasts an hour and a half! (yes, it actually was a little too long this year..
christmas day was spent at home, just with the fam. i am happy to say that my surprise for my parents was a success! my bro, sis, and i collaborated to buy them airline tickets to bermuda next year! it will be their 30th wedding anniversary next summer, so now they can revisit their honeymoon site! my mother got all chocked up, in a good way! :)

also over the past week i've done a lot of packing and moving and cleaning. you don't realize how much stuff you have until it all has to be put into boxes and bags and bins! here's some photos (taken with iphone since my camera is in a box somewhere...)

here is the kitchen before much moving... just during the cleaning phase

today my cousins, parents, and sister helped me move larger things... couch, futon, bureau, desk, table, chairs... starting to look more like a home!

happy i can use my couch again!! :)

and i can use my futon too!... the kitchen table and kitchen are in the background... bad lighting though

my bedroom is still a mess...

but it will have to wait until after the blizzard! i didn't move my bed yet, so i could have a place to sleep at the rents' house while i get through the storm. the bed will get moved later this week and hopefully over the next couple of days i can unpack and really make it like a home to start 2011 off right! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10 days until santa comes

Yes, the countdown has been on in my classroom and tomorrow it gets to single digits. As of today there are 10 days until Santa comes; apparently my kiddos look forward especially to Christmas eve because that is their opportunity to see Santa after he comes down the chimney, seriously how cute. I love that this year I think I have 100% believers in my room! (or if not, I have no one who is coming forward to spoil it for the bunch!)... I've had that happen before and had to have a little 1 on 1 conference with kids asking them please don't ruin it for others! I say that I still believe, so the kids tend to follow my suit.

Even though it's fun being with the kiddos during the holiday season, I don't mind a break from them, which I will get for two days! Tomorrow and Thursday I will be going to Ashburnham MA for the second half of my category 4 training for ELL. It's not fun to have nearly an hour commute to get there, but it's definitely nice to be there and get to be the student and not the teacher for a change. Tomorrow I actually get to be a double student- learning about how to teach ell's for the day and then learning how to be a reading specialist by night! Tomorrow is the final evening of my 5th course on route to my CAGS degree! I also gave my presentation and turned in my final paper last week, so I am ahead of the game and don't have any work due tomorrow night- I just get to soak it all in and listen to other people's presentations, so nice!! I guess that's one of the reasons I haven't blogged lately, but let's not get into excuses now...

So I have no races coming up, but my goal is going to be to build up my base over the winter and get myself set up to partake in some Spring races. While last week I only managed to run 3 days, I still got in over 20 miles. (I did work out every day, for some reason my head just hasn't been in it- so much going on that I've "slacked off" on the elliptical instead.) So I'm going to really try to make a conscious effort to get in my 4 runs a week- preferably Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday... then elliptical Monday and Friday and bike Wednesday. When I am in that routine it works well for me, it's just a matter of getting back into it! The knee seems to be handling some miles ok- I still ice nightly just to be safe. I think that now it's just mental... I need to focus, which is hard when I'm not training for something in particular, but I am going to try. I don't like racing over the winter (my body hates working out in the cold, I know I'm a wuss).

This week is off to a good start on the workout front. Yesterday I got my 80 minutes elliptical in. I followed it up with some upper body lifting- I only do this on Mondays. Also did abs. Today I fulfilled my day 1 of running for the week. 5.54 miles on the treadmill. I started off at an easy 7:40 pace, then slowly got a little faster. I had set the treadmill for 40 minutes and figured I'd just run whatever distance that time took me.... which ended up averaging at a 7:13 pace when all was said and done, not too bad. I feel like I was just getting warmed up, but don't want to burn out on the treadmill, so I hopped over to the elliptical and did another 40 minutes of cardio.

Tomorrow is the early wake up call- but I don't mind it, since it's almost like a day off. An hour on the trainer is pretty easy, plus it's nice to pay a visit to my lonely bike in the cellar! Tomorrow's added incentive is to get my workout in early so I can relax as I sit through hours and hours and hours of class!!... literally 10.5 hours of class tomorrow, yikes!

It's nice knowing I don't have to go into school tomorrow; I can totally relax tonight! Time to catch up on some r and r and perhaps a little tv!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

the end of the long weekEND.

It's crazy how going into a 5 day weekend it seems like such a long time off from school, but now that it's Sunday evening already, it's crazy how fast it flew by!
Not only was Thanksgiving restful and enjoyable with the fam, but also the days after it were quite wonderful, despite fighting off a cold.
Friday I was actually productive- I managed to venture up into the attic and start to pull stuff down for the big move!... which isn't for a few weeks, but I want to get stuff ready and see what I need to buy/ ask Santa for so I am ready to go on my own again :)
I managed to spend about an hour going up and down from the garage to the attic taking down boxes of things, from plates to pots to linens! I also got school work and grad school work done and managed to carve out some time to watch Elf :)
Saturday's main event was the 10 year high school reunion... which I was in charge of. My friend and I were class officers so we had to plan it. We had it at a local Irish pub in the city, which worked out well. I was most worried that the money I had to put up wouldn't get paid back, but it did and then some, so we were in the clear! Only about a third of our graduating class came, but according to the feedback we've received, a good time was had! It was good to see people... interesting to see others; it's kind of true I guess that some people don't change much... we'll leave it at that.
As for today, I started it up with a morning run at the gym... longest one yet- 8.1 miles in 60:00! Although I have to say my legs are a little sore right now, since I ran just over 6 yesterday too. But I don't think it's anything a little ice and heat won't cure. I went out to lunch today too at Qdoba and was excited to see that a Panera is being built in the Millbury plaza! I am not a huge fan of food chains, but love Panera.
It's back to the grind tomorrow, which means I probably should get some more work done tonight and look over the week's plans so I am ready to go! How crazy is it too that it will be December this week... and there's less than 4 weeks until Christmas! (And I haven't done any shopping!!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

dinner time

the table is set!

my wheat bread stuffing... with some butternut squash on the side!

time to dig in!... mom and kelster are starting to get some food! even though I love my huge family, it was nice to have a big dinner with just my immediate family and a couple of family friends!

Happy Thanksgiving! :)


Not very original, but seeing how today is Thanksgiving... it's really a day to realize just how thankful I am. Truly I am blessed in so many aspects of my life; sometimes life just gets so busy that I forget to stop and realize just how lucky I am.

I am thankful for a healthy, happy family. Sure I may argue with my siblings every now and then and I may not always agree with everything my parents always say... but I love them and wouldn't trade them for the world.

I am thankful to have always had a nice home to grow in, sleep in, live in, never having to worry that I would ever be hungry or have some of my needs left unmet.

I am thankful to have a secure job where I can truly influence 19 8 year olds lives on a daily basis, where I can be having a bad morning or not feel well, only to see at the end of the day a homemade card by one of my students saying that I'm the best teacher in the world. (that may be an overstatement.)

I am thankful for a strong small group of friends who I know I could turn to if and when I need them... love them like sisters.

I am thankful for my body. I may sometimes try to push it to its limits, but it usually lets me know when enough is enough. I am thankful that I was able to use it this morning to get a nice 6 miler in.

I am thankful that I will have the opportunity to be moving in a month. I have been thankful for living in this house with the parents, but know that it's time again to have a place of my own.

I am thankful to be able to wake up every morning and know that I am free to do whatever I want. I am lucky that so many men and women have given up their lives or put their lives on the line on a daily basis, just so I can have the privilege to live freely in this country.

I am thankful to be able to share this day with my parents, brother, and sister. Yes, there will be a lot of good food (I made the stuffing this morning!), yes there will be a lot of football watching, yes there may or may not be a post meal nap, but those are the small things. Today is about taking time to stop the craziness of the hustle and bustle of the busy work days and sit around the table with those you love. Enjoy your meals and family time everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

easy as pie (crust)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
And a happy one it's been.. who wouldn't love the entire day off from school, that's right no school today, tomorrow, or Friday... we're talking 5 day weekend people, I could get used to this.
What to do on your day off? Sleep in. And by sleeping in, I mean sleep in until 7:45. That is sleeping in to me!
After a relaxing breakfast, and making breakfast for my brother too, I caught up on laundry and then hit up the grocery store for some last minute ingredients pre-Thanksgiving cooking/ baking.
Then it was gym time! It was so nice to be able to relax there, not a lot of people and I kind of lost track of time (is that possible on the elliptical?)... and wound up on it for an hour and a half! Then I did some abs to round out the workout. Didn't run today because I ran 5.15 miles yesterday and plan to run tomorrow! :)
This afternoon was slightly lazy, but I'm okay with that after nearly 2 hours spent at the gym. I watched tv (Rachael Ray) while having lunch... then it was pie time! (hence the title of today's post.)
My mom is no baker by any means, but this is one recipe she's taught me that's pretty fool proof and super easy... a pie crust with only 3 ingredients.
-2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
- 1/4 cup milk
All you do is mix them together; then form it into two even balls with your hands and roll em out baby! So simple.
The filling is easy too...
macintosh apples, peeled and cut
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
dash of nutmeg
cinnamon-- don't really know the amount, i just sprinkle and stir til all the apple pieces are coated.

Put the filling in the crust, pop it into the oven and voila- Thanksgiving dessert is done about an hour later. Unfortunately with a pie you can't really taste test it, but I've made this so many times, I know it will be good.
I put foil around the edges for the first 20 minutes so it doesn't burn!

The rest of the afternoon I spent helping my mom set up for tomorrow... we're having people to our house for Thanksgiving dinner, so the usually cleaning and prep had to be done! And yes, of course I had to go to the store again for yet something else we forgot... I really hope that's the last time, although seeing how the stores are pretty much closed tomorrow, I don't think we have a choice but to be ready!

This evening I am laying low... I still have no voice and feel so-so. This cold/ laryngitis isn't getting the best of me, but it's still making me a little more tired than usual; partially because I'm not sleeping well since I cough all night long! My body knows I'm on vacation so it figures, ok now you can get sick!

Looking forward to tomorrow... I am a sucker for watching the Macy's Day Parade- partially due to tradition, but will be watching part of it at the gym in the morning- my gym is open 7-11, so the plan is to get there by 9ish and get a solid workout in (with a run) and then come home to help cook!

Another great thing about today is I don't have class tonight; usually Wednesday evenings are spent sitting at a desk... bonus to be in my pj's instead! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

lucky 7

As I've said before... 7 is my favorite and therefore, lucky number.

This all started back when I was a freshman in high school and I had to pick my soccer number. Since I was a frosh and a low man on the totem pole, I kind of only had a choice of the "leftovers"... 7 looked good and it was lucky 7 ever since for me.
I was #7 for all four years of soccer in high school, then kept the streak of 7 alive and was #7 for four years of college soccer too!

Now I just like the number 7... even though I no longer wear it on a daily basis. 7 is pretty much the ideal number of miles I'd like to run daily, just for a fun run. Clearly it's not super far, but getting back into training due to the patellar tendonitis problems over the summer, 7 miles is another milestone in coming back. I am really trying to make a conscious effort not to increase my mileage too much too soon, but believe me it's hard. I've found a way to fix this wanting to go farther by setting the treadmill for a certain amount of minutes before I begin to run, then the belt will stop and I can't go more. (unless of course I reset it.)

Yesterday I managed to run just over 6 miles, so today I wanted to do a little more- Sunday is supposed to be the "long run day" isn't it? So I thought, if I had it in me, then I was going to top yesterday's mileage. I set the treadmill for 41 minutes... knowing that there would then be an added 5 minutes on there for a cool down, and knew I could bang out a little more than 6 in that 46 minutes... which I did: 6.16. Then the belt stopped. I thought I should do a better cool down, so I ran an 8 min mile to cool down... daily total: 7.16! My logged running miles was less this week than last; however, I only ran 3 days, so that's expected. I am fighting off getting/ being sick, so I am happy to have done what I did. ( I even added 30 minutes easy on the elliptical after running!)

Other good-ish news is that my voice is making a comeback today- sort of. Yesterday it sounded like I had laryngitis, which I very well may have; however, today the squeaks coming out of my mouth resemble more of a voice and I am able to hold a somewhat normal conversation.-- Let's just say I had a really hard time ordering at the deli yesterday!! I have tried to up the vitamin c and have had a lot of tea- this definitely seems to help; breathing in the steam seems to clear my head too!

I am grateful for only a 2 day week coming up, especially since I am sort of sick, I know I can get through just two days! I am ready for this week as far as work goes, so I think the rest of the day is going to be some tv watching. Usually I am not so lethargic, but I think my body is in fight mode. I was even able to sit through a movie "The Holiday" and plan to watch "The Amazing Race" tonight, in addition to "The Next Iron Chef" marathon that's on now, with the finale this evening!

I'm going to play chef in the kitchen in about an hour; my mom brought home some fresh basil, so I am going to make a whole wheat veggie pizza! It's the chilly type of day when having a nice warm oven sounds like a plan. Plus homemade veggie pizzas are super delish and taste even better after getting a run in!

Time to check in on the Pats, then a little nap before mustering up the energy to get cooking in the kitchen!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

finally a run this week

I've been trying to get back on track... or on the treadmill, but only 3 or 4 times a week.
The plan was to run Tuesday and Thursday, but I just wasn't feeling it on Tuesday! I woke up with a sore throat and felt run down, so I thought an easy elliptical might be a better option. Not having a real training plan right now is allowing me to be more flexible in my workouts, I'd like to get back on track full time, but I'm taking it easy with my knee. The workouts have been decent this week nonetheless...
Monday: 75 minutes on the elliptical, upper body lift
Tuesday:75 minutes on the elliptical- easy
Wednesday: up before school for an early hour on the trainer (bike)
Thursday: run! 5.1 miles... 37 minutes, elliptical 40 minutes.

I don't consider myself slacking off by any means, in fact sometimes staying focused on the trainer or elliptical is harder than focusing on the treadmill.

I'm happy that I got through the week; Wednesdays are so long when I go non stop from 5 am until I return around pm. Squeezing grad school into the mix really stretches my time, but I know it will be worth it next fall when I have my CAGS and I'm a certified reading specialist! I really hope I am able to advance in my career and provide reading interventions to those kiddos who really need intensive instruction to learn/ improve reading skills!

Well I am calling it a lazy night, after my productive afternoon. I managed to get all my plans set for next week (thank you 2-day work week coming up!! woot woot!) It's time for some quality hgtv (I am so addicted to this... and may check in on Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving special on the side....something about quality, classic cartoons for the holidays that I watched as a child, it really brings me back to my childhood and makes me happy! :)
Maybe this time Charlie Brown won't miss the football?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

signed my lease!

Good news today- I'll officially be moving in about a month! I signed my lease this afternoon and will be moving in about a month! Technically the lease doesn't begin until January 1st; however, I should be able to move in the week of Christmas break. Can't wait to visit IKEA again and make the apartment fun and cozy!
I went over to look at the apartment this afternoon, which was good, although seeing how I lived in the same complex a couple of years ago there weren't any surprises, I knew my way around quite well! It comes with all appliances- still looking pretty new, they're from 2007 when the building was built- a washer and dryer right there in my unit (major selling point, I'm not about saving quarters!), a nice large bed room, then a living room/ dining area. I like the kitchen too because the main counter is kind of like an island with an overhang, so I can use my bar stools again. Another perk of this unit is that it is on the ground floor, two doors to the left, so it will be a lot easier moving! Last time I was on the third floor. While it was nice to be high up and have a good view, it was also a large haul when I was moving in. Fortunately there was an elevator, but I won't miss using it! While it's not a super-hip place downtown, I kind of enjoy the area because it is more quiet and peaceful. I used to wake up to wild turkeys when I was living there before. However, there is an airport nearby, but it's really never used, so I am not too worried about air traffic.
I guess location, location, location is true. I got this apartment because of it's location. I will now be 5.5 miles from where I teach, (estimated 12 minutes driving time), 5.5 miles from where I take classes- in the other direction though (about 13 minutes driving time), 5.6 miles (14 minutes driving time) from my parents' house, and 5.8 miles from my gym (14 minute drive). (Yes I google mapped them all.)
Aside from signing my paycheck away for the next year, I also went to the gym this morning. I was able to run again today, 5.95 miles in 43:00. Then I went on the elliptical for another 30 minutes. My knee is a teeny bit sore right now, so I am icing it; however, I don't think it's anything major, in fact it may just be because I am thinking about it.
Unfortunately, I now have to buckle down and get some work done; becoming a reading specialist takes a lot of work! I need to analyze some testing and do a case study, fun fun.
This week is looking like a busy one; 5 day week along with grad school. I am already looking forward to next week though, only a 2 day week of work and no grad school! Plus it will be Thanksgiving! Well time to get busy, have a good end to the weekend... go Pats! (Why are they on so late tonight? Yes, I have a 10 bedtime, so I probably won't see the whole game!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

broke 5!

Ok so a few months ago 5 miles was a wicked easy day; 15 miles was more like a good run. However, coming back from an injury can be tough and breaking the 5 mile mark today was a big success, especially because it felt good.
First things first... I could really get used to having Thursdays off; going to school Friday was a breeze knowing the weekend was almost here again! Woohoo!
Today has panned out to be a beautiful day, in more ways than one. I was able to get a good night's sleep, then got some errands done this morning.
Then it was gym time. I was able to run 5.3 miles in 39:00! Not only is that a decent pace for my 2nd week back, the fact I was able to break the 5 mile mark today was a good accomplishment. I am about to ice my knee, it's not bothering me, but plan on doing so more as a preventative measure. The new shoes are feeling good too; love my asics. While it would have been an awesome day for a run out in the sunshine, at least I had the sun shining on my back while I ran on the treadmill! :) After being a rat on the mill, I shot over to the elliptical for another 41 minutes... total of 80 minutes of cardio today, not too shabby! Then it was lots of stretching and abs before calling it a day at the gym.
This afternoon is going to be filled with icing, work, and church. Not too exciting; however, what is exciting is that I may be signing a lease tomorrow! I am planning on moving and have been searching around... and may end up moving back to where I used to live! I have an appointment to see the exact unit tomorrow; however, probably won't be able to move in until the last week of December, as someone is moving out, then they paint and clean it, etc. Still, it's exciting to think about, although I'm not going to lie, I will miss being able to save mucho dolares each month! But... I think I need to face the music- I'm 28 years old and really don't want to be living with the rents any more! It's time to be a big girl again! Fortunately I still have most of my furniture from before and will just need to pick up a few minor things to furnish the apartment- but this means I need to think about collecting all of my belongings which are being stored here, there, and everywhere!
Well it's ice time kids, have a great second half of the sunny Saturday! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

happy veterans' day

Today has been a happy day. I am thankful for those that have served or are currently serving!
Here's a quick recap of my good day :)
-Slept in until 8:00 am.
-Breakfast along with the paper/ crossword puzzle.
-2+hours of work report cards= DONE.
-GYM!... Run 4.68 miles in 35 minutes- no knee pain :) Elliptical 40 minutes- 5.1 miles, feeling goooooood.
-Made lunch for the rents... grilled cheese and tomato soup, I know nothing gourmet, but it was their request after being outside in the chilly fall air!
-Read for nearly 2 hours... got a good chunk of this week's text read for grad school!
-Going out to dinner soon with some of my best girlfriends!
It is a good day! :)
And tomorrow is already Friday... which will feel like a 1 day workweek at school! Almost the weekend again, during which I am super busy with work, but that's okay! :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

mid week blog? whoa.

Yes, I know I am surprised to have carved out a few minutes o' time mid-week to blog, but I am actually caught up with work (well minus the report cards I haven't started yet, but plan on doing that later and finishing them up on Thursday/ this weekend; gotta love the holiday in the week- Thank you veterans!!
Anyways, I wanted to update that I went to the orthopedic yesterday and he gave me the go ahead to get back into training, woohoo! I told him the update on my recent runs and he seems convinced that as long as I am diligent with icing and just slowly getting back into running, then I can go ahead and do it. I have totally kept in good shape throughout this multi-month running drought; so trying to run isn't a probably cardio-wise, but it's amazing how my body isn't used to the pounding and jostling! I love it, but I ran again today and my back is now a little sore and can feel some pain in my shins; after I fold some laundry I will be icing my legs- knees AND shins. Although the knee feels good, I am going to ice it regardless for a while, just in case there's an inflammation. I am also being good about wearing the strap; it seems to help! Today's run was nothing crazy, just 4 miles in 30:18... so around a 7:35 pace, but I started around 7:51 and got as low as 7ish at the end. I don't want to go too hard and mess up my legs, but at the same time cardio-wise my body is like "Julie, would you move it you slow poke!" Haha, but I am trying to be good and keep things under control. I followed it up with a half mile, wicked slow, around 9:22 pace just to let my legs slow down. Then I hit up the elliptical for 45 minutes! I probably wouldn't have done as long normally, but I am going to get back into Wednesday being my off day or really easy day, just to give my legs more of a rest and this is the day that I am booked solid, so it works out. The plan is just do an easy 45-60 min bike ride tomorrow am on my bike before school... of course then I have a full day at school and 4.5 hrs of class! BUT- I get to sleep in on Thursday! Again, thank you veterans!
Well nothing else special to report, but a funny story- one of my students today was working on a writing piece and came up to me to say..."I know my family went to Plymouth and we saw a special rock with a special name, but I can't remember what it's called," me- "Do you mean Plymouth Rock?" student- "Hahaha, oh yeah, I forgot!" too cute and funny; I wish some days I only had to worry about my own class and not the petty politics that goes on in the rest of the school; still frustrated with the lack of correspondence of my colleague and my other colleague was out today too, so once again I was the only third grade teacher in the building, so I was commanding the show and helping out 2 subs... makes for a long day!
Well I gotta get my laundry folded so I can get icing... and then treat myself to a full hour of a new episode of Glee! :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

happy world run day!

Ok so usually Sunday is the day of the long run... but I'm happy to just say I was able to run on world run day! I may have only done 4.3 miles... but I RAN! Second day in a row. Hope you all took advantage of world run day, if you could and got out (or in at the gym) and spread the running love!
Wondering why I am so happy? Well, I've had a bout with patellar tendonitis, so I've had to basically take the summer and beginning of fall off from running, something I LOVE. But the good news is with the addition of a patella strap and lots of ice, it seems to not be flaring up right now.
In addition to the extra hour of sleep last night, I also am thrilled that my gym pushed the am spin class back an hour! So I was able to run, then do spin!
I haven't mounted the bike since my accident, so I figured just getting back into on the spin bike is a safe bet... really no way I can crash! My bike is fixed now though and plans are to try to put it on my trainer today so I can ride it during the week in a safe spot... aka my cellar.
After I'm done icing it's going to be a fun trip to Market Basket. I made my weekly stop at Trader Joe's yesterday, but find that some things are just cheaper at MB and I am all about saving a dollar or two!
Then it's going to be homework for the afternoon in addition to probably checking in on the Pats as well.
This week is only a four day week... Veterans' Day on Thursday!
Also, tomorrow is an orthopedic appointment... we'll see what he says, then I can kind of get in my head a better plan for where I'm headed with regards to my training program.
In other news, I can not wait to move again... I'm really hoping that even though my apartment should be repainted, etc. by Jan 1st, that it is ready by Christmas break week... I'd love to be able to move when I have the week off, otherwise, it's going to be busy squeezing it in with school, class, and life! (I'd also like to move in asap because even though I love my family, when everyone is here and home- like this weekend, plus my bro's gf... the house is just too full. AND too loud. I am not a greedy person, except when it comes to sleep... and when the house is noisy and I can't get my zzzzzs, I am not a happy camper! Looking forward to being able to go to bed at a decent hour... a quiet place where I can actually read/ research for class without having to wear headphones or turn my tv up really loud to drone out the noises around me... a refrigerator where I can stock it with good food that I know won't get eaten on me... and just my own space again!
Oh well, 7 more weeks... I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. (On the plus side, it's 7 more weeks of rent-free living?!) While it's definitely nice to not have to pay rent, I think I'm ready to make the sacrifice and not save a ton a month for the exchange of more of my own freedom!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

what a difference a day makes

Ok so it's a good think I didn't write yesterday, because this would have been very negative; however, after sleeping it off and waking up feeling refreshed, I've had a much better day today than yesterday.
I've had a major stress-filled week at school, not with my class, but with my grade. Here's the thing, one of my colleagues has been calling in sick, and didn't come to school at all this week. Now she's apparently taking a leave of absence for who knows how long; I really hope she's okay, but I am incredibly frustrated because her plan book has been EMPTY! So I've had to copy, plan, help the sub (her room is adjoining to mine, so the subs just pop in and ask questions). I really don't mind helping out, but I've tried to contact my colleague and still am in the dark with what's up... so basically I've been running two classrooms- now report cards are coming up too which adds to the mess and parents are starting to talk.... That's it in a nutshell, but I met with my principal and assistant about it yesterday, leaving school in a wicked fury. End of rant for now I woke up and was able to forget it all....
I started my day with breakfast and enjoying the crossword in the paper, perfect start to the day.
Then I started the productivity.
I first went to the bank... it's nice to see my account growing, although that will be put to a halt when I move out again... but it will be worth it!
Then it was off to get gas... and then to borders. I had to buy this book:

We're starting a new unit in writers' workshop and I'm going to be modeling it after Cynthia Rylant. A lot of the beginning lessons deal with this book. In the past I went to the library, but figured I should just buy it.
While I was there, I saw this book too and figured I could also work it in, so I bought it as well. I already have a lot of the "Henry and Mudge" series she writes, so I didn't get any of those.

Then I stopped at Trader Joe's for a few essentials, and finally went to pr running in Westboro for new shoes.

Then it was gym time!
I have orders to try to run this weekend... so I RAN today!
Nothing crazy... but I did run for 25 minutes... 3.3 miles. And the good news is my knee really didn't bother me, although I'm not sure if this was long enough to judge, but still I was happy to run! :) Although my foot is sore?? I think I've just been on them a lot, so I am currently icing my knee and my foot too just to be on the safe side.
Well, it's only 2:30 and I feel like I've already had a full day... but time to get a little work done before church at 4.
Today is a much better day and hope the weekend only continues to get better! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

hello novembrrrrrr

And yes, I do mean brrrr.... the first day of November came in as a chilly one!
So once again I feel like I am falling off the blogging bandwagon... but it seems as the year gets going I have to prioritize and sometimes that means putting this on the back burner so I can teach a full day of school, get in a good workout, go to class or do work to prepare for grad class, attend mentor meetings and pt appointments, and try to have something of a social life if there is any time left. Easier said than done.
Let's recap... I'm still ellipticalling daily; however, at the end of this week I need to run, and yes NEED, as in the doctor has ordered it. I go back to the orthopedic on Monday, so I need to have a couple of short runs done so I can report to him on how the knee is feeling.
In other news... when I last wrote I was thinking of moving; well I've also taken on house/ apartment hunting more aggressively. I love my family dearly, but it's time for me to be on my own again. I've called/ looked at places in Auburn, Holden, and Worcester, but realize that for location purposes and in order to try to limit the amount of driving I'd have to do to get to school, gym, grad school, etc. it makes sense to stick to the Worcester- tatnuck area. This is a really nice part of Worcester AND it's close to one of the best places to eat in the area... CORNER GRILLE! So after searching around and thinking, I realized I think I may decide to move back into the old complex I was living in 2 years ago. Although, I have decided to get a smaller apartment, since I know it's just going to be me living there, which I don't mind, in fact I like being on my own... although in the future I would like to have someone to spend life with!
So there's a picture of the kitchen... before I moved in last time (although I won't be in the same apartment, it will look the same without the loft above it.
Here's another view of the kitchen... although with some teammates during our new years party in 08... I'm looking forward to being able to have people over again; it's kind of strange/ hard to have company when it's at your parents' house! I still haven't signed a lease or given a deposit; but since the owner knows me and knows I am good tenant he welcomed me back... unfortunately the apartment size that I want (855 ft) isn't available at the moment... someone is going to be moving out at the end of the month and into a larger unit, then my unit will have to be cleaned, painted, etc.... so he said at the very latest the apartment for me will be ready on Jan. 1st. Ideally, I'd love for it to be ready the last week of December so I can move in during my Christmas break... either way it will be a nice Christmas gift to me!

Also, I got my bike fixed, so now I am able to ride her again! Too bad the weather is getting chilly... but at least I can still put her on the trainer and not have to worry about crashing and falling off!
Well, even though I have a professional development day tomorrow, I still have some work I need to get done. At least I wrote something though... perhaps a new year's resolution will be to increase my blogging? Even though I really don't have anything of much value for others to read here, it's a nice outlet for me! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

another week in the books... and hitting the books again.

Last Wednesday I finished course #4, which means this past Wednesday I began course #5... which means today I had lots of fun reading to do, and yes that is sarcastic; while I love learning, today's reading from a textbook wasn't exactly pleasure reading. But nonetheless, I love learning and the other homework I have to do for the week isn't bad. I have to do some student profiles/ case study stuff which will lead to a larger project. The good news about this course (Advanced Analysis of Reading and Language Arts) is that there is no midterm or final! I've had several courses with midterms and finals during this degree... I hadn't taken a midterm or final since undergrad at Stonehill! While I'm used to the testing thing again, the idea of a course without a test for this half a semester sounds nice! After this course, I will officially be half way complete with my CAGS degree... although I technically will only have 3 more courses to go, then a practicum :)
As for this week, other than grad school, it was busy. I have to say my class this year is a lot easier than last year. I think all of the needs in the room, plus the chemistry of the group just made for a challenging crew that drained a lot of my energy. I find myself enjoying being in my room a lot more this year, which is great.
Unfortunately still no running this week... but I've been an elliptical machine. (haha, literally.) I use it as my daily cardio... ranging from 60- 90 minutes on it. I went to the physical therapist again this week, which meant more ultrasound, plus another iontophresis (sp?) patch put on my knee for 24 hrs. The pt also gave me more exercises to add to my routine. I can add weights to my lunges and she has me doing some squats now too. I feel like my knee is getting stronger... but am not going to push it with a run yet. I don't have the ortho again til the second week in November, so I am going to wait til a few days before that to try a couple (easy) runs.
Other than that, I really have nothing exciting going on. I feel like I am at a point where I am ready for a change... possibly moving sooner than I thought? I don't know, but recently I have the itch to move out again. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that my parents are letting me live at home again, but at the same time sometimes it's just too busy here and I feel like I can't do my work or relax. I also feel like I really don't have much space to call my own, other than my room, which I hate living in all the time, but at the same time when I am home I'm usually in here... or the kitchen, or the bathroom!
I've started to look at places... I don't think I want to jump into anything yet, but feel like maybe I should be thinking about it for the spring if I find something I like? I know I said I didn't want to rent again, but at the same time, I don't really want to invest in a house/ condo if in a couple years I could relocate depending on the uncertainty of my future. So in a way I don't see renting as wasting money, but rather buying myself a little more time until I definitely want to commit to a certain location for many years.
I've managed to save a considerable amount... and could save more, but feel like why should I just keep saving and saving? I mean you know the old saying "you can't take it with you?" Why not live and enjoy someplace while I'm here- I don't know, I guess I'm in a carpe diem kind of mood right now! Either that or I watch way too much hgtv- house hunters, property virgins, my first place... it's all making me want to be back on my own again!
Well it's time to go make some dinner, then perhaps some more apartment hunting online!
Baby shower tomorrow! :) Maybe I'll remember my camera and actually post some pics! I know blogs with pictures are more fun, but when I'm somewhere having fun I really don't like to take a lot of pics... I'd rather live in the moment... but a baby shower has a lot of sitting around, and my family is huge so there will be a lot of present opening, good time to play photographer!

Monday, October 18, 2010

yes, i qualified for the boston marathon... and no i am not running, by choice.

Can we say holy craziness batman? The Boston Marathon opened today for registration at 9 am and by 5:03 it was full! That's nuts!
I qualified for boston in my first marathon, running a 3:21... and the plan was going to be to run Boston in 2011; however, I decided over the weekend, that this is not meant to be. I am not ready to focus on training for another marathon right now. Instead my goal is to finish my physical therapy for my knee, let my injuries from my bike crash fully heal, and then focus on getting back into a running/ training program again. Don't get me wrong, I haven't skipped a beat relative to overall fitness; however, being able to log real miles again instead of all x-training stuff will feel good.
I think at this point my body is best fit for the half marathon, so after I am fully healed, I plan to build up to focus on this race. Ideally I would like to talk to a coach/ have someone help me to train smarter, not necessarily harder. I work very hard; however, sometimes I know a shorter and quicker track workout may be better than a 10 mile run. At first though I am going to ease my way back into running- before I start any hard core training.
I am really shocked though that the marathon sold out in 8 hours today and part of me thinks it's absolutely crazy. I know it's a great race and full of tradition, but still I don't think any race should be this selective- and part of it is they reserve so many numbers to make people raise money for charity. I fully support raising money for charity, but this seems like backwards thinking... hmm I didn't get into Boston, but if I raise $1000 then I can run? If I were to run a race for charity it would be thinking the other way... I'd like to raise money for x organization, and this seems like a good way to do it. My family actually did this for the Crohn's and Colitiis Foundation a couple of years ago, although it was for a walk in Boston, not a race.
Well I guess that's the end to my Boston rant... I still wish good luck to everyone who's running it and probably will run it someday myself too; however, I don't think the marathon bug is in my body right now. Breaking 1:30 in the half was a pretty good feat for me and I think with a little training and coaching I could creep down into the range near 1:25... so that's going to be my next focus when my body allows me! (Listen to your body... I've learned this over the years!)
As for today, it was a decent day at work... busy of course, but good! I made my trek to the gym after a quick stop at home to change and banged out 75 minutes on the elliptical. Then I did some upper body lifting! And my back didn't hurt while doing it!!! I've had some knee physical therapy exercises to do, which I did, and did some abs... they didn't hurt my back either!
But just to be safe I am now heating my back since it's a little sore and icing my knee- the doctor wants me to do this daily, so I am trying to be a good patient!
Randomness of the day... I got a letter to be a part of a study for people who have recently taken pain killers, I would have gotten paid $50 to do it... but have to decline because you have to have had taken the drugs for 3+ months and I only had to use them for 3 days :) Oh well!
Time to get some work done before finally resting for the evening!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

a numbers game

I am all about numbers, I've love math my whole life and actually wanted to be a math teacher when I was younger... of course that was until I was a senior in high school and took AP Calc... that kind of turned me off from math for a while. However, I do love it once again and get to teach it every day (of course it's a lot easier than ap calc!)
Not only do I teach math daily, but also I am doing math daily in my head... usually while running. I have a habit of looking at time and calculating splits in my head. I am also super-schedule oriented, so I'm always planning the day and dividing up the time I have left. I think teaching little ones makes you value every minute; my school day is pretty much divided into 15 minute intervals- you have to consistently mix the day up or you lose their attention!
But today I am not talking about running, schedules, or teaching, I am talking about shopping.
Ok so this isn't that big of a deal, but I really played the numbers game today at cvs. Here's the thing- I needed to buy body wash and a baby shower card. I was planning on going to Target, but found in my purse two coupons for $3 at cvs... only catch I had to spend $10. I also saw a $1 coupon in the paper for the body wash I needed. Now I am no big coupon clipper, but today I had fun trying to save money and think I may look for these deals more often!
So I went to cvs and picked up the bodywash I needed... originally $5.99, on sale for $4.99, plus I had $1 off! Then I found a card; however, I hadn't spent $10, so I figured I'd buy some more vitamins... I'll use them sooner or later when my bottle runs out! AND score... they were buy 1 get 1 free! So I got 2 bottles for $7! I also had to pick up a bag of mints (nobody likes a teacher with bad breath!).... Ok so here are the numbers after the cashier rang it up: $23.98... gave her the 3 coupons I had, then she scanned my rewards card, and like magic the number went down to $7.15! I felt like I got a real steal... I mean that's like way over 50% off my original sale!
Ok so maybe I am way too enthused for that savings spree; however, small things make me happy. I still haven't completed all of the errands I need to do... next stop is Target- cvs is too expensive for certain things!
The other number I want to mention today is 97. That is the number of minutes that I ellipticalled today! This is the longest I have done since the accident. I did this at a slower clip and ended up doing 12 miles, so that was around 8:05 pace. This isn't quick, but I got a good sweat out and didn't leave too fatigued. I think there's something to be said about going a little longer at an easier pace. Obviously I would have rather run this length and not ellipticalled it, but like I said yesterday, just gotta keep going on the road to recovery and stay positive!
It's looking like the numbers aren't going well for the Pats...
As for the rest of the day it's looking like more school work to get down in addition to my Target break, plus getting stuff ready for another busy week! I start my 5th course in my CAGS program this week too! When this one is done it's the half way point, woohoo!
Happy Sunday and end to the week! --If only tomorrow was a day off too!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

a bumpy month

I know, I haven't posted in nearly a month. I think I kind of strayed away from blogging because I didn't want to face reality; I wasn't happy. I have been frustrated with the whole patellar tendonitis deal, but had a positive attitude and thought ok, no biggie, I will treat it and be running again in October.... let's just say things have a way of changing.
As a part of my cross training routine I have been riding my bike more, which I love. It's a fun, great way to exercise. It's also neat/ different from running because you get to cover more terrain than in a run. A long run may be 15 miles, but a long ride may be more like 50.
Speaking of 50 milers, this was the cause of my trouble. A couple of my uncles and I have done Hub on Wheels before in Boston; it's a 50 mile ride to benefit Boston Public Schools. A good cause, a fun ride, spending time with relatives; a great day, right?! WRONG. Ok don't get me wrong, it started off as a great day, up at 5 am, heading to Beantown, riding Storrow Drive which was closed to traffic, fun times.
(having fun-pre crash)
However, this fun soon turned to fail. 20 something miles into the ride I crashed. I don't mean like I just felt or slipped up... I was going too fast down a hill, lost control of my bike and wound up off the road on the ground, bleeding and sore. MAJOR OUCH. I totally knocked the wind out of me, I stood up and tried to compose myself, but was hurting and crying because I was confused and didn't know what to do. My relatives didn't know I had crashed and I was screaming for them, but to no avail. I had no choice, I had to walk for help... 15+ minutes later I managed to walk out of the woods and find a volunteer who called an ambulance.
In the meantime I was lying on the side of the road calling my fam to tell them of the accident and ask them to head out to Boston; I tried to remain calm, but my back and side hurt so bad I didn't know how badly I was hurt. The men in the ambulance wanted to take me to the hospital, but I asked not to go, I'd rather go closer to home. So they cleaned me up and let me lie on a stretcher while I waited for my aunt (who lives in Newton) to come pick me up.
My parents met me at my aunt's house and then brought me to Worcester to the ER. I have never been to the ER before (well for my own injury) so this was a first.
I went right into triage (the Pats were on so maybe that's why it wasn't busy?)... they actually thought I had a concussion because my pupils weren't responding appropriately? Not sure, but I think this expedited my trip in there. Turns out no concussion, but they did want x-rays, as did I. I had 9 x-rays done... at this point I was already visibly bruising and you could see the cuts on my back to show where I had hit first. The only major cuts were on my forearm-- I skidded on a rock, so they bandage that up. They x-rayed my upper chest, back, lower back, leg, and arm... amazingly I hadn't broken or fractured anything. However, I did have some bad bruising. I could barely walk and taking off my shoes was a huge challenge. They also checked my kidneys- apparently where I fell first was right near that area, but no kidney damage either!
I am not one that likes to take medication; however, the doctor insisted that he write up a prescription. So I took it, but vowed that I was going to try not to use it. I didn't for the first 2 two days, just took some ibuprofren to ease the pain; however, day 3 it was too much. The doc was right when he says that sometimes it's a couple of days later that it will hurt more. Getting out of bed/ getting in bed/ moving in general was just torture. I missed 4 days of school and basically spent those days confined to the recliner and heating pad. It's amazing how long the day seems when you can't do anything but sit/ lay down. Unlike feeling sick when you just want to sleep it off to feel better, I wasn't tired, didn't want to sleep and felt like a complete slacker for feeling like I could really teach if it weren't for the fact that I could barely move!
Taking the meds on day 3 was an interesting experience. I had some thing called "Tramadol" which according the paper that they give with it, it is frequently prescribed for people with back surgery or c-sections. Either way, I only started with taking one and it totally made me "loopy." I'm pretty sure this is the reason I very rarely drink, because I hate not feeling like I am in control of my body. A little less than an hour after taking it I really just felt silly. Like my head was spinning, I was talking to my brother and would just start laughing. I could lay in the recliner and I felt like I was moving, but I was sitting still. It didn't ease all of the pain, but it totally chilled out my head! No wonder why people get hooked on those things; I can understand why if you're so hopeless and want to just lose control of your mind then you'd pop a pill- kind of scary if you think about it though.
My accident was on a Sunday and by Friday I was determined to make it to school. I went in, thanks to a colleague who drove me because I was taking pain killers and couldn't drive! My kids were super good, I kind of conducted the day sitting in my chair a lot, but got through it and was happy to be there!
It's been 3 weeks now since that accident. My back and ribs are still not healed, and the accident has lengthened my pt with my knee injury. I ran last week because the ortho doctor told me to... let's just say it was not a fun 6 mile run. I didn't feel knee pain, but I think that was because my backs and ribs hurt so bad. Sneezing still feels like I may explode and as I type I am on the heating pad again. HOWEVER, I am going to try to be positive again. I am able to workout again and worked out everyday this week. I have been doing the elliptical and today did it for 75 minutes, covering about 9.6 miles. Tomorrow I am going to try to do 90 minutes on it.
I have yet to get on my bike again; however, this is partially because it's broken. I need to bring it to Bicycle Alley to have it repaired... my handle bars are kind of broken and the alignment is off.
I think that I haven't been on this blog in a month because I was in denial. It's hard to want to write when you feel like a failure. Over the past couple of weeks I just felt all around like I was a failure... couldn't run, couldn't work, basically helpless. But I shouldn't have felt that way. I was able to walk (barely)away from this accident. So many people aren't that lucky. I may set high standards for myself that I may feel like I am not meeting right now, but I guess I am giving myself a kick in the pants and have to say that I am lucky. I am hopeful. It may be a couple more months before I am back to where I was running before, but I will get there. I have just finished my 4th course in my CAGS and start the 5th this week. So far I have a 4.0 gpa, not too bad. I may be single and living back at home with my family; but I am lucky to have such a loving family who is there to support me in so many ways. Someday I will find that special someone who I want to spend the rest of my life with, someday... I am ready if you're out there and want to come walking by anytime now! I am lucky to have a great class and a secure job, but am hopeful to be forwarding my career in another way in the future. (Maybe even next year?)
Well I guess this post was more than I intended to get out when I first started, but I think I needed this. I felt like I was hiding from myself from not updating this, but I think I was afraid to face reality. But in reality, it's not so bad, I have overcome challenges in the past and feel like I am on my way to getting back on track.
It may have been a bumpy month, but there will always be bumps in the road... I just know that now I need to slow down to get through them, before I lose control! :)
Since I am now back to reality, I have to get some necessary weekendish things done... namely grocery shopping! I have already been to Trader Joe's earlier today, but find that some things I can just buy cheaper at the grocery store, so I'm headed there now. For some reason I find walking up and down the aisles very relaxing! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

putting the new laptop to good use

I think I am getting my money's worth out of my new macbook... I have been on it like crazy this weekend to do my final paper/ presentation for my theories of learning disabilities class. I know the class isn't over til October, but I volunteered to present on Sept. 29th and I have a busy weekend next weekend, so I was determined to work this weekend. Yesterday I managed to take a 5 pager (I made last week) and stretched it out to 11 pages :) That was after more research of course. I just finished the basics of my powerpoint now, probably should add graphics, but I think I'll put that off til later, I am tirrrred. Before I rest my tired eyes for a bit here's the week in recap form:
Monday (9/13)- am gym workout- 50 min on elliptical-school- parents night/ crazy hail storm
Tuesday- school-pt (got a dexamethosone patch- steroids sent into my knee, don't notice much of a change- went to gym, elliptical again- 1:22
Wednesday-am gym workout- 1 hr on elliptical- school- grad school(midterm!-thought i did well though) made it home by 9 and caught the big brother finale- bummed that survivor is on Wednesdays now though
Thursday- exhausted- school- gym-elliptical 1:25 (somehow i feel so much better and invigorated after working out! but didn't do spin, wanted to go home to eat dinner, i was hungry!)
Friday- finally! - easyish day at school, but magazine drive rally made it a little more nuts... went to the gym afterwards for 1:17 on elliptical- called it a night early
Saturday- couldn't sleep in, got up and went to spin at 8:30- should do this more! then followed it up with an hour on the elliptical- banged out my paper, did errands/ shopping, church with fam, more work/ tv/ resting :)
Sunday (9/19)- slept in! didn't wake up/ get up til 9... went to gym after bfast, did 1:25 on elliptical, with lots of stretching and abs. just worked for nearly 3 hours on grad school stuff... i think i earned a nap! probably will lay down and maybe catch some of the Pats game in a bit. Then thinking about starting up another week tomorrow! Oh yeah, and I registered for a 50 mile bike ride next weekend with my uncles... haven't exactly spent a lot of time in the saddle, but I am still in decent shape. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

lots of stuff in a list

Ok so now that the school year has begun, my blogging has taken a back seat, as it should... I have more important things going on that I need to be doing; however, I find that blogging has helped me reflect on things, so I want to keep track of what's going on in my life and what's on my mind... however, with the lack of time this weekend, I am going to bring the weekly recap in a list/ bullet form.
- busy as usual, used my flip cam- kids love it, would post videos, but can't do it online of my kiddos
-parents' night tomorrow night- made a powerpoint, ready to speak to the parents, i hope
-mentoring going well, found out this week i am getting paid for it too :)
-loving my class, with the usual busy bodies of course, but not as busy as usual
-picture day was this week, I forgot... fortunately they only do a head shot, but I usually plan a better outfit. :/
-Grad School
- ahead of the game, got a start on my paper on nonverbal learning disabilities
-midterm exam this week, yikes! but it's open book, so i bookmarked tons of pages last night for quick looking up!
-need to study/ review a little, will do that tuesday night
-can't believe it's halfway through the course
-basically ellipticalled every day last week- ranged from short days of 45 min to longer days of 90 min
-feeling pretty good overall, been icing the knee and wearing my strap
-starting pt on tuesday (finally)
-hoping to get back to spinning, but meetings/ parents night messing it up for this week
- still plan to do the 50 mile ride on sept 26th
-don't have time for much of a life outside of being a teacher and student right now, but trying to when i can
-went to nh yesterday and bought a new laptop...macbook :) which i am on right now... love the fact that i don't have to wait about 12 minutes for it to start up, the old dell from 2004 is on it's last leg
-spent hours today transferring files from my old dell, want to get everything off of it before it dies

So that's about all I got for the week... I feel like I am working a lot lately, but I don't mind it, I'm enjoying school, both teaching and learning and the extra work is helping with that. I really like being in my classroom a lot more this year than last, it sounds bad but the aide in my room last year was such a debbie downer that it got annoying.
As for the rest of this evening, I think I need to give myself a break from the computer and work... good thing big brother is on! Oh yeah, and how could I forget the pats won today? Not like I am a superfan, but I do like it when the hometeam wins. Although I must say that if I ran into #75 on the street I think I would run fast in the other direction, that guy is a beast!
Here's a pic of my new toy/ tool :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

1st week back recap

Due to my lack of blogging action you could assume I was super busy, if you assumed this, you were correct. Even though I've had many first days of third grade, every year is different. The kids always bring different things to the table and it takes a little to get to know their strengths and weaknesses as well as their likes and dislikes.
Day 1 started off well, there's something about the first day that is so fresh- a blank slate for all complete with the essential "first day outfit"... Yes i did debate over this for a while, but settled on a new blue skirt and black top... And due to 90 degree weather flip flops were in full effect too.
As always, the kids are cute. We pick them up in the gym where they file in off the bus or are dropped off by their parents. Of course, some parents stay there and take pictures and try to get to know me, which i don't mind.
Being in a new hallway, you'd think the kids were on a new planet, they lack the ability to realize where they are relative to the rest of the school, so as always, i gave them the "tour" and how to get to parts of the school from where we now are. It's really important to use the beginning of the year to set good routines and rules. This creates a lot of talking from me, which i hate being the one doing all the talking but it's necessary.
As the day went on the kids settled in and one boy asked me how old i was. Very seriously I answered- 55, he said okay and went on snacking. I had to stop him and tell him i was kidding--- there's no way me, 28, could pass for 55.
Days 2 and 3 were similar to 1, although i had grad school from 4:30 to 9 the first day of school which made me work out in the am that day, i goy up and was at the gym at 5:30! I need to do this weekly. Thursday and friday i went to the gym after school and thursday i managed to do a strength training spin class which was killer- in a good way.
It's nice having the gym close to home. I can come home and change here without wasting time. By the time i got done working out last night i was beat. But i managed to do some grad school work before calling it a night. I did sleep a little late this morning though, like 8:30 before i woke up, that's a little over 9 hours sleep, guess i needed it. I made pancakes when i got up and hit the gym around 10. I was on the elliptical for 80 minutes, which was a lit over 8 miles. Ive been busy since- food shopping, lunch, and lesson planning. I need to go to church soon, then gotta go to target for a few forgotten school supplies and a new hair dryer. Then will probably do more work after dinner! Planning to have some fun tomorrow though, so i don't mind working tonight. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Goodbye summer vacation

All good things come to an end, but with every ending there is a new beginning. As this summer comes to an end I'm excited for a new school year. Each school year comes with it's challenges but it also comes with it's fun times, getting to know a new group of kids, and trying to make the year better than last one.
I definitely think this year will be better than last. I know that I have 18 kids this year which is fewer than last and in those 18 the case load is less. The ieps I have to adhere to aren't as heavy as last year. That's not to say I don't like a challenge but I'm happy that this year I won't have a 1 on 1 aide in my room. I don't mind collaborating with another person, but she was needier than my student last year which got to be very frustrating.
To end my vacation today I really didn't do anything too exciting. I started the day with a slow and easy wakeup around 8:30, but managed to stretch out breakfast and reading the paper for about an hour, and then it was gym time. Today's workout was 90 minutes on the elliptical with a 2 minute cool down... Totaling about 11.65 miles today. Then I tried to focus on the abs aftter that. Not a super hard workout, but enough.
This afternoon i did some dusting, fun fun, then hit the books. I was determined to get my homework done for my grad class before school begins, so I enjoyed the nice weather outside while doing work. It's definitely warm out, but there was a good breeze in the shade, very relaxing for some reading about disabilities.
Tomorrow is technically the last day of vacation, but it's pretty busy, so Im going to try to relax for the rest of today. Tomorrow I have an early appointment with the orthopedic doctor, finally I will learn more about my knee. Then I plan on going to the gym and will go to school to tie up some loose ends after that. Tuesday is full of teacher meetings and trainings so I want to make sure my room is good to go before that. Then Wednesday I will meet the new crew and start up the three day work week! My body is not used to working, its going to be rough getting back into the routine, but I know I will adjust!
Time to veg out for a bit before dinner! Good bye summer.... Hello year 7 of teaching!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

the early bird gets the worm

I was an early bird for a Saturday today...
not super early, but up at 7 so I could have breakfast before going to spin at 8:30. Ginny lead us through an endurance ride this morning! These rides seem a little easier because you don't go super hard for little spirts, it's more just increasing your resistance over the hour class to keep your heart rate in a certain zone... today she wanted us to be burning some fat, not glycogen storage. I've learned a lot just going to spinning classes about heart rate and I'm excited to be taking a heart rate/ heart monitor class on Sept. 7th. Jen will be teaching it and I'm eager to learn about the zones that I should be in.
After spin this morning I hit up the elliptical for an hour, didn't push it, but kept the sweat up! I was seriously a sweaty beast after that. I did lots of stretching followed by some crunches on the ball and on the mat. And more stretching. Came home... love the 2 minute commute home, and put ice on my knee. It really wasn't bothering me at all, but I am following my doctor's orders until I see the orthopedic on Monday morning. Eager and anxious to hear what the doc has to say for sure.
Although I was super active this morning, I think I've balanced it out by being lazy this afternoon. I literally laid on my bed after showering this afternoon and just watched tv, although there really is nothing good on. I need to get changed up now so I can go to mass. After that I really should be a dork and so some grad school work... such is the life of a student and teacher!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fresh air Friday!

today is the last Friday of summer vacation, and that's okay! I am ready for new beginnings, the first of which will be the new school year. As the years go on i feel like it gets easier on the first day, especially because by now i've had many of my students siblings in previous years. Being familiar with the families of kids I'll be teaching makes it easier.
Originally i was going to go into school today and finish up my room, but I decided to actually give myself a vacation day. I found out my sis was coming home for the day to go shopping with my mom, so i hit up the gym early this morning so i could do some back to school shopping with them. I was in need of so me new cardigans/ sweaters... I find that layers are key at school, with my building you never know if its going to be warm or chilly, so i like a versatile wardrobe! We hit up the usual stores... Old navy, gap, ae, Anne Taylor loft, and we got a few things. I was surprised to then actually find some cardigans at target! I've never reslly looked at clothes there, i mean i know they're not super high quality, but when i spend half my time on the floor next to 8 year olds who accidentally write on you and spill frequently, i hate spending a lot of momey on clothes.... I may be frequenting target more often for some pieces to add to my wardrobe!
Not only was it fun shopping, but it is so beautiful out that it was great just to be out and about in this wonderful fresh air! I saw a few other teachers from my district out there shopping too!
This afternoon i can't really enjoy he weather, i need to go sit in Honda and get my oiled changed. But i am going to kill two birds with one stone and bring my homework from my theories of learning disabilities class to get done!
Oh yeah almost forgot to add that i went out with some of my favorites last night. It's great to have close friends that you can not see for a month and get together right where we left off. Were going to to try to make it a once a month dinner meet up... Once the school year starts we seem to get crazy busy especially since most of us are teachers.. Although one is on maternity leave :)
Other good news as of late is in the news... Check out this week's edition of The Landmark, here's the link to the story about me:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And the rain continues

While we really needed the rain, I think I have had enough now. Rain makes me sleepy and I can't be sleepy today, lots going on!
Currently I am at the new teacher training but I am not presenting right now, so I'm putting my iPad to good use and recapping the day, or what's happened thus far.
I slept well last night but felt refreshed this morning, it was a lot easier to wake up! I even managed to have extra time to fold laundry hill waiting for my tea. I was out the door and in sterling by 8:30. I should only be out here until noonish, then I'm hoping to get some lunch before hitting up the gym. Then I have class tonight! Starting up course 4 this evening. This course is dealing with special Ed which should be interesting.
Well I should be paying attention now...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

training some new teachers

I had a flashback today to 7 years ago... because the people I was speaking to were in the same seat, literally, that I was sitting in 7 years ago.
Today was the beginning of new teacher training in my district. This year I was a presenter, not a receiver of information! I am one of the coordinators for the mentor program, so my partner and I were there today to speak to the newbies and inform them about the program that they will be in. It's strange to think that 7 years have gone by since I starting teaching, although I must say that I have learned a lot in those 7 years.
I think it was beneficial for my body to have to be present at these trainings. It sounds bad, but having to be up and in the shower by 6:45 this morning was a shocker to my body. I think this week will be a good training to get back into the school routine!
In order to stay in the schoolish routine I worked out later today, as I would after school during the school year. I noticed that my energy level was lower going to the gym at 4, but after about 15 minutes on the elliptical I perked up a bit and was good to go. I ended up doing 75 minutes on the elliptical and finished just in time to make the 5:30 yoga class. It was really nice tonight since there were only 5 people in the class, so the instructor was able to walk around and really make sure that we were doing the poses accurately. She also answered our questions as we went, which is really helpful. Sometimes you think you're doing something right and you're a little off, which makes a big difference.
I am definitely more tired right now after a full day, compared to some of my lazier days this summer, but it's a good thing... I like having a busy schedule and feeling like I fill my days :)
Tomorrow is going to be another busy day... I am training new teachers for the morning, squeezing in a workout early afternoon, and then starting grad classes again at 4:30 until 9:00... wicked long Wednesdays are coming back!
Time to iron and get ready for tomorrow! Hopefully tomorrow is the last of these chilly days too... I just had some tea to warm me up!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

muffin mania

Ok not really muffin mania, I only made a dozen. Here they are finally! (Good thing I took these yesterday, because the dozen is nearly gone today! No, I didn't eat them all, I am a good sharer with my family :)

oops, I guess I didn't get the whole dozen... taste tester already removed here!

Remaining muffins cool down...

A closer look!

sunday (no)long run day...

Well Sundays are usually started with the long run... but since I'm not running until I see the orthopedic next week I did a non-run long run... meaning I did 12.7 miles in 1:40 on the elliptical! I feel great! Even though it's not running it still feels good to be able to work out like this and not have my knee hurt. Granted, the doctor has me taking an aleve daily so I may be masking a bit of pain, but still it feels so much better than weeks when I have tried to run and stubbornly battled through the run. I'm really eager to talk to the orthopedic and have him asses my situation and hopefully give me some answers or at least get me started on some pt and the road to recovery!
Other than the gym this morning it's a rainy dreary day here in MA. The rents are in flight now on their way home from DC where they went to a wedding last night, congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Canning, I'm sure Cristina was a beautiful bride and it was a great event.
Although I said I was going to get some school work done yesterday I kind of managed to skirt around that issue, aside from making my kiddo's birthday chart for the classroom. Instead I played in the kitchen a bit more and made a pasta salad, figuring there'd be leftovers for the hungry travelers when they get home this afternoon. I also went into the garden and of course there was another crop of tomatoes to be picked... leaving the kitchen full of dozens of tomatoes again. So I decided to use more of them and make a homemade tomato sauce! I love the smell of simmering sauce... something about the smell I think of the oregano infusing with the tomatoes that just smells soooo good. Making a pot of it is super easy and then it's in the fridge for some easy meals during the week!
Here's what I did:
Sauted three garlic cloves with half a yellow onion
Added a small can of tomato paste
Took that mixture and added it to a pot with one can of sclefani crushed tomatoes
Added 6 large diced frest tomatoes from garden
For seasoning I put in about a teaspoon of garlic salt, about 1+ tablespoons of oregano, 2 bay leaves, a few dashes of pepper, and a tablespoon of sugar- you could use a little honey here instead, but it helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes, good trick!
Stirring occasionally, I let it simmer on low for about 40 minutes... you can just reheat it in the pot when you're ready for some pasta! My fam also makes roasted veggies with the sauce on it too, very good.

Also made another pasta salad too:

Well I am sweaty still from the gym... probably should go shower now that I've got my icing done! (Icing has become my blogging time... I enjoy multitasking.)
Happy end to the weekend and last week of summer vacation!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

making something out of an overripe banana

Ok I really don't like to be wasteful. While I like to clean my classroom and throw stuff away, before I do so I think if someone else could use something or if I could recycle it somehow. The same goes for food. No, I didn't recycle food, well actually I kind of did.
I was cleaning up after lunch and saw a lonely almost too ripe banana sitting in the fruit bowl. It was past the time at which I would like to eat it, I touched it and it felt mushy through the skin. Unfortunately the banana bread recipe that I've adapted and love needs 3 bananas. So I did a little thinking and looking in the cabinets, i didn't want to go buy more ingredients, but rather use that banana with stuff on hand to make something... Then I got an inspiration when i saw peanut butter and oatmeal, there must be a recipe for a peanut butter-banana- oatmeal bread of some sort. I goggled these ingredients and decided on peanut butter- banana and oatmeal muffins... Which I think should be called Elvis oatmeal muffins. I used a basic recipe from but made some minor changes. If I make it again I probably would substitute some wheat flour for the white and would add more oatmeal- i like a denser more grainy muffin.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
Combine 1 cup flour, oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and baking powder. Whisk together milk, peanut butter, banana, egg, oil, and vanilla. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup flour, melted butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffins.

I baked these for nearly 20 minutes, then they seemed a little bland, so I wanted to jazz them up... i was thinking of drizzling some melted pb on top, but thought they'd then be too messy to eat. So instead I just made a little cinnamon and sugar mixture and sprinkled it over the top. I know, not a wicked healthy topping, but a little sugar doesn't hurt every now and then!
I think maybe putting a little cinnamon in the batter would be good... I also would love some walnuts in there too. But they taste good for first time baking these and i didn't have to throw away the banana!

This morning I was a busy bee at the gym. I was on the elliptical for 90 minutes! And it felt good. I didn't really go hard, just a relaxing gait. Then I thought my abs could use a little attention. I used different ab machines then did various crunches and situps on and off the ball and mat.

I've done a great job at procrastinating school work today, but should probably face the music and get a little of it done before heading to church this afternoon.

Muffin pics to come...

Friday, August 20, 2010

new year, new title

No it's not really new years, but in the life of a teacher the years are different. The end of august should be the time for sparklers as the year comes to a close and a new year begins on September first. Although i don't think i would fare well if I stayed up past midnight to ring in this new year, quite the contrary, it's an early to bed new years eve which leads to little sleep because of excited, anxious, nervous energy for the first day of school. Yes, at the age of 28 I still can't sleepnthe night before the first day.
I was in my classroom again today, surprise surprise, and the new year really hit me. My room is finally back in tact, and today i started photocopying thing for the first week and got the " get to know you" work ready. My 18 students should receive a letter today to let them know I'm their teacher, there's no looking back... Year 7 here I come.
Along with the new year reflections I was thinking about my blog... Its more of my own ramblings, but I think everything really fits into three categories... My life as a teacher, my life as a student, and my life as a runner. Although i guess there's the very little time i have for " fun" so that will be the fourth extra category. Anyways, I really want to use this to keep track of living my life in the healthy way i try to do. I don't intend to teach anyone anything extraordinary here, but rather, use this to reflect at the end of the day, and if someone out there reads something anddp it resonates with them, then great, if not, that's okay too.
As for today's thoughts, i am resting my legs while eagerly waiting to hear my xray results. I had them done on wednesay, and the doc said I'd hear in 1-2 days, so I'm crossing my fingers I heat today, not that it really matters, i am going to an orthopedic in a week, which will have more answers I am sure.
I think my recent knee issues have led me to change the name of my blog too... I really want to be a life long runner, but realize that there are some bumps in the road along the way. I am on a bumpy training road right now, but know that i will perservere. I also have realized that I shouldn't be comparing my training to anyone elses, i am in race with myself and as long as i listen to my body and continue to push myself to my own limitations, then I am fulfilling what I need and want to do. While i am basically committing to not run until I get this knee thing figured out, I have also committed to not let not running hinder my overall healthy lifestyle and physical activity. I love being active and used to associate that with miles logged on the road or treadmill. I have realized that I can get nearly as good a workout using the elliptical or a bike. I have had done awesome rides and have also done spinning classes at my new gym, which is literally 2 minutes from my house, so convenient. At first i was a little skeptical with spin, but have realized that I control the resistance- it's like differentiated instruction on a bike! ( theres the teacher in me). I have also been going to yoga, which I think is more beneficial for a healthy mind, although I know it helps for a healthy body too. I'd be telling a lie if I said I didn't miss running, but i know it's just a long race, so I'll be getting back in the course in time. I am just taking a little scenic detour.
Well thats enough of my rambling for now, i need to venture off to purchase some healthy food so i can make a good dinner, how is the fridge looking so bare again?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trip to the doctors

I had a doctors appointment this morning but I still don't know what's wrong with my knee. I don't think there's a major problem, but I had several x rays taken so I'm anxious to hear the results of those. My doctor also said to ice, which I've been doing but also to take an aleve daily, apparently i have some swelling that i was unaware of. I am going to an orthopedic on august 30th so until then I am not going to run.
I did go to the gym later this am, just to elliptical though. My knee was sore i think from her moving all around and also from my run yestrerday. I just iced it though and im going to cvs this afternoon to get some aleve. I don't like taking meeds but if the doctor orders it, then I listen.
I am not going to my classroom today, i have enough odds and ends at home that have to get done. I need to go there tomorrow though to meet with a colleague about curriculum and also to meet with a photographer. I was interviewed yesterday for a local paper who is doing a back to school story and profiling various teachers in the district and some how i was chosen. So i get to have mug taken tomorrow!
Well I should get cracking on some school work, i can't beleve it's almost here... I also realized that a week from today i also start grad classes again, things will be getting busy around here really soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In "knee"d of an answer

I decided to run today... And ran 7 miles. Good news, but not really. During the run my knee really never felt good. I had about a 3 or a 4 out of 10 on a pain level, it never got worse but the fact it lingered lead me to decide to call the doctor as soon as I got home. I have to go to my primary care in the morning but the nurse said try could take an xray and if need be refer me to an orthopedic, which I'm guessing will happen like it did with my hamstring 2 years ago.
I could have done this a month ago but I tried to fix it myself, now it's time to get professional help to assess the problem, then work on a way of fixing it.
I am anxious to go there because the news may not be great, but I need to know what's happening in my knee!
In other news my classroom is coming along, nearly physically ready. Soon i have to think about curriculum and scheduling and actually figuring out whats going to be taught in the beginning weeks.
Well this is short, but I'm wiped out and ready to rest... I did enjoy an hour yoga class tonight, so I had a happy ending to my day! Now Im going to watch some Glee :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th

I don't believe in superstitions.
I do have some routines though, that I seem to always do for example:
I always put my right shoe on first and have to have double knots.
I'm a believer in pasta the night before a race, just out of habit.
The morning of a race it has to be oatmeal.
I don't like to set my alarm to any 15's... for example I like getting up at 6:22, not 6:25.
I always like to leave my tv on channel 7 when I turn it off, since it's my "lucky number."

Ok I am too tired to think of others right now, but that's just a few.
As for today I am loving the heat relief... I'll take 70s over 90s, although I do enjoy a good hot day every now and then. Allergy relief today too is also a bonus!

I got up early this morning... thanks dad for being loud!... But it forced me to start up the tea kettle at 7:30... I know this isn't "early" but for summer it is!
After breakfast the gym was on the agenda. Today's workout was 80 minutes on the elliptical. Lots of sweat later I felt great!

As for the rest of the day I spent it at my classroom (well only til early afternoon). I pretty much finished cleaning and reorganizing my classroom library! This may not seem like a lot but, I emptied every single bin and sprayed and wiped them down, then reorganized and added more bins due to overflowing bins! I still need to type up some new labels, but as far as the physical organization, it's done!

Science and "series" section...

And all of the others...

Here's a close up:

A lot of my library is leveled based on guided reading. This way after I have my assessments (DRA2) with my students I can target the level at which they are reading and direct them to a letter that is "just right" for them. That doesn't mean this is the only thing that they can read, but they must have a just right book in their folder for independent reading time. This helps to increase their fluency and also various comprehension strategies since at this just right level they should be able to access the material in the book without assistance from someone else.

Well it's time to do some errands this evening. I need to get some good food since I'm running low on some essentials ie: lactaid milk!

My sister is visiting this evening and tomorrow night too I think, so it should be good to see her. As for the rest of the night, I don't have any plans, but think there's a bike ride with some relatives in the am... have to check on this though.

Hope I don't get any bad luck for the rest of the day!