Thursday, August 8, 2013


Today, I am hosting a pity party for myself--really it's because I'm feeling bad for my kids. When we moved out to Seattle well over ten years ago, I had this idea in my head that I would make lots of new, close friends and life would be amazing. We would hang out on the weekends, go downtown, do fun things and eventually, grow up, have kids, and continue to strengthen our social circle. The truth is, I did make some pretty darn amazing friends, but most of them have moved away. A few are still in our lives, but often times, we don't see each other like we used to because, well, life gets busy--work duties, plus kids and their activities begin to consume us. The thing is, despite the fact that we do have some wonderful friends here, we don't have a circle of people we do things with consistently. My kids don't have that little group of friends they do things with all of time, like play on the same teams, or hang out for a BBQ, or neighborhood gatherings...maybe it's because we live somewhere different than most of them. Maybe it's because we all go to different schools. Maybe it's because they're just not quite old enough to have that consistency yet. Maybe it's because we didn't grow up here--we don't have roots--no real connection to family or childhood/school/college friends. But I'm still sad because I feel like they are missing out. Our soccer coach decided to step down this season from coaching so many teams and focus on his older boys' teams, which I totally understand. That meant my kids would have to find a new coach, new teammates, and possibly new friends. Then another dad from one of his teams agreed to coach...when I inquired about it, I discovered that his team was already full--because those people are connected--they have a circle. We were left out probably not on purpose but because we just aren't part of that group. And that is the part that breaks my heart a little. Because now, my kids are left out--and it's not like they even know about it and probably don't even notice. But I do. And now we have to start all over again and find a new team and play with a bunch of kids they have probably never met before. Defeat is a difficult emotion to let go of--it feels heavy and cold and frustrating and empty, but I know in my heart that this feeling will eventually pass. Heck, some might even say this stuff is all trivial in the grand scheme of life. I know my husband will tell me it's silly and not to worry about it. But at least for today, I'm allowing this feeling to happen and for at least for today, this pity party is in full swing.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fitness Check-in

I should preface this blog entry with three words: I hate running. The ironic thing is, running has changed my life and for that, I am forever grateful and must remain loyal to this form of exercise. Approximately two years ago, I decided to get serious about setting some fitness goals and actually stick with them. It wasn't necessarily about losing a certain amount of weight or changing my diet entirely, but about making smarter eating choices, controlling food amounts, and most importantly, establishing a regular exercise routine. I started one May afternoon running as many laps as I could around the track outside of school. I remember just about dying but that I covered exactly one mile according to my Nike Plus App and iPod. We all have to start somewhere, right? From that day forward, I continued to return to that track and run lap after lap. Eventually, I built up to two miles, and then finally three. By the time I reached three miles, I joined the YMCA and continued on my fitness journey. Eventually, I was training for a 7-mile run and couldn't believe the progress I have made in what seems like such a short amount of time. Admittedly, I have had my ups and downs when it comes to working out--especially when the school year is crazy busy, Dj is traveling, the kids have a hundred things going on, and I am exhausted. Despite the struggle, I have committed myself to continue on this path and it has become a habit that I am proud of. I started out playing the comparison game. If I was as skinny as this person, then I would feel good about myself. Or, if I was as muscular as this person, I would be completely happy. The thing is, no matter how "thin" I have been in the last two years, there are days when I feel unhappy. There are days when things just don't fit right or I can't find anything to wear. We all have our insecurities and I have my fair share. But things started to change when I stopped comparing myself to others and their bodies. Once I realized that my body is MINE and that I have to work out a certain way or accept my curves for what they are, I became so much happier. It wasn't about what size she was wearing vs. me. It was about doing my own thing and finding happiness in my own accomplishments. And that is what fitness goals are all about--finding that place where we can accept ourselves and our bodies yet challenging ourselves when we want to see certain results. It is about working hard and celebrating the small and the large victories as they come. So I guess I was a little surprised to see 818 miles show up on my Nike Plus App today when I was syncing my iPod...two years--818 miles--SAY WHAT? This is huge and yet, I shouldn't be terribly surprised. I have covered a lot of mileage. I do run quite a bit. This is a moment I must cherish. Yet, despite my victory, I have a lot of summer and a lot of running left to do. I have committed to an 8K at the end of this month--I have set a long-term goal of running the Rock-n-Roll half marathon by next June--I didn't reach the goal this year, so it's still something I would like to accomplish before I am too old and my knees decide they don't like this running business anymore LOL. Running has changed my life. I am thinner, I feel better, I feel stronger, and I feel empowered. I get to listen to kick ass music everyday. I wear smaller clothes; I have special fitted soles & shoes that are making a big difference--these are little things, but important. There are days when I feel sluggish and tired and worn out--but I return to the pavement or that treadmill to make sure I am running at least a couple of miles...because I am committed--and because we are old friends. This form of exercise is awesome, but it's not the only thing that keeps me entertained. Running can get that's why I add in strength training classes, Jillian Michaels DVDs, kickboxing classes, sometimes Yoga, and hopefully this Friday, a Barre class. I throw in races now and again just to make sure I am training and setting certain distance goals--it's not about time--just the # of miles. So the running and working out continues. It is not easy and there are many days that I would rather just not exercise and wish that my body would remain in the same shape even without sweating. But, as my serious swimming students tell me, it takes only three days to get out of shape--and that statement haunts me often. Alas, I run on and have hope that it will continue to nourish my body & soul in ways that I can only begin to describe.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy in CT

As I read the articles, watch the news and think about the tragedy that occurred today, my own children immediately come to mind. My daughter is in Kindergarten. She is still a baby--a bright little light in my life. Tonight, she experienced another first: losing her first tooth. The excitement in her eyes cannot be recorded in a book, but is forever imprinted on my heart. The innocence of a child is something we should covet and hold onto for as long as we can. I will never understand why someone would want to take that away from a child and rob them of all of their firsts yet to come. I just don't understand why these kinds of things have to happen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's almost November

Where have I been? In the trenches. Literally. I knew it would be busy once Brynn hit Kindergarten; I had no idea it would be like THIS. Our life consists of the following:

-Homework (Brynn's)

-School paperwork

-Soccer practices

-Soccer games

-Birthday parties GALORE (for BOTH daycare friends and new school friends + Baylen's friends' parties)

-Dance 1x a week

-Grading 115+ assignments every time something is due...which is ALL of the time in my world/classroom

-School events

-Parent meetings

-MY school events

-Dj traveling

-Time to breathe


WOW...that is all I have to say. I can't imagine what it will be like when B2 are older and have more activities/homework than they do now. I am barely treading water here. Anxiety has kicked in moreso this year and I think it's because we are all still adjusting to all of the changes school and new schedules bring.

Brynn has been more of a grump this year esp. after school when I pick her up. She is just simply exhausted. I cannot blame her. I am trying to be patient but sometimes it is very difficult when she says certain things or cries constantly. It is obvious that is adjusting school, new people, new friends vs. old friends who are still together at a different school--she is all by herself. B loves school...she is just so tired and needs time to decompress. Crying, being grumpy, refusing to talk; that is how she is coping. I know it just takes time.

The ironic thing? Time feels so limited these days. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Transitions are hard

Brynn was ready to go to Kindergarten. I knew this. I have accepted this...slowly. However, I did not realize how much of a transition it would be for all of us. It's emotional; physically difficult, and mentally challenging...and I'm not just talking about Brynn's adjustments...I'm referring to my own. Wrapping my mind around Kindergarten didn't seem this hard two months ago. But, at this point, we're knee deep into Kinder and it hasn't slowed down since. Between organizing outfits/uniforms for the week, making and packing lunches, shopping for food and planning out meals in between parent meetings and trainings and open houses and sports practices, dance, school/ASB errands, and finding time to have energy to work out/run, grade papers, plus keeping up with everything else has been quite difficult. One other small detail I didn't think enough about was having two kids in two different places...I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, but, it's turning out to be a more challenging. As soon as 9 p.m. approaches, all I want to do is climb into bed and slip away into a sweet slumber. Brynn loves school and is doing very well. I think things are quite easy for her; Mrs. H. already knows that she's a pretty strong reader and B. is quite excited about this. She is so tired by the time 7:30 rolls around and is ready for bed. Sometimes she comes home from school grumpy...long day. Then there's the homework and the challenge homework and the reading every night; the paperwork we need to fill out, and all of the little details we must keep track of or remember. My calendar has never been so full. Will it ever get any easier? It has to, right?!

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's been a long time since I last blogged. It might be several months before I post again because it feels like life is starting to close in on me. After viewing our calendar for the next 3 months (Aug., Sept., Oct.), I noticed we are busy pretty much every weekend already with something going on...either for soccer, Brynn's school activities, my school activities, or birthday parties. EEK!

This summer has been really awesome. We spent about a month in Iowa and helped celebrate Mary's wedding, which is so much fun. We came back to WA only to find rain and grey clouds. Luckily, they only stuck around for about a week, and now, we are enjoying sunny, hot weather. The kids have enjoyed going outside, riding their bikes, playing whiffle ball, kicking the soccer ball, and shooting hoops. We've spent a lot of time working on reviewing our letters, reading, math skills, and writing so they don't forget too much by the time they start school. B2 just finished a week-long soccer camp w/ the Sounders, which they loved. I spent most days there working on curriculum planning while they played...just wasn't ready to leave them on their own quite yet. We went to Chuck E Cheese's last week, spent time at a fun beach birthday party, watched lots of Olympics & Big Brother, and just enjoyed the last few days before it's really time to get to work.

We start school on 8/30 and already I can feel my blood pressure rising. Seriously. I am teaching all LA this year, and this requires a revision of all of the curriculum so it not only meets the national Common Core Standards,(which most of it already did) but also, that it aligns with our new district scope & sequence, plus stays true to what we want our students to learn and walk away with by the time they finish 10th grade.

I am scheduled to meet with my partner teacher (who teaches 9th grade) on Monday and so far, I only have one unit finished. It is not easy to accomplish an entire year's worth of curriculum with children at home or when we're off running to soccer camp or working at school getting my room ready/working with ASB kids. *Sigh* In addition, somehow, I need to fit in time to meet with the new teacher who is taking my teacher partner's place (10th grade History) sometime before 8/30...when the hell is that going to happen???? I am feeling stressed already. Not cool. I guess that means this weekend, it's time to buckle down and figure this stuff out...

On the bright side, there's much to look forward to these next few months...I'll be going to Vegas with some of my girlfriends next weekend, which is going to be fabulous. We have been saving for a trip to Disney Land after Christmas, and the kids are so excited about it. We are planning another trip to Italy for Spring 2014 with students, and this time, Dj is hopefully going to join us. Dj's birthday is next week and I have planned for him to go on a personal (airplane) flight around Seattle. It's going to be amazing. The kids will be starting soccer soon and they are really looking forward to playing again. Brynn is starting Kinder soon. She's totally stoked. We have had a great summer...just can't believe how fast it's gone.

Friday, April 27, 2012


How did six years pass by so quickly? I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to France and Spain after a six-year hiatus. How did I forget how much I love Europe? Paris? And, even better, during this trip, I was introduced to my new favorite European city....Barcelona! Many might think that traveling with students is something they would never do, but I disagree completely. They are easy to work with, responsible, and eager to learn. They have endless energy and are willing to travel/tour/go anywhere. They never get grumpy and they can keep going unto the wee hours of the day. Indeed, they are the perfect travel companions. What I love about our tour company is that we get a tour guide who accompanies the entire time. He takes us all over the place and suggests new places to try out. Highlights of my trip included: going to Montmarte, visiting Barcelona and enjoying all of the art this city has to offer, experiencing the night life in Barcelona, riding on public transportation, passing as a 17-year-old to see Napoleon's tomb, and revisiting all of my favorite landmarks in Paris. could I forget everything I love about this city? It was definitely a tranquil trip in so many ways.