Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy birthday!

My wonderful hubs turned 29 yesterday, and we spent the day snowed in. I have several pictures, but I've misplaced my camera cord. I'll add them when I find it.

We had big plans for the day-a trip to Chapel Hill and a evening full of friends and birthday cake. I was so very disappointed when I found out that snow was in the forecast. I really wanted his day to be special, and we were looking forward to seeing our friends.

But we went for a walk Friday night as the snow began to fall, which was just lovely and peaceful. It was really nice to be able to relax yesterday as I just finished report cards this week. I was thoroughly exhausted, and Joel probably slept a total of 20 hours the entire week. I can't even describe how wonderful the hot cocoa was after our hour long walk in the morning, and my afternoon nap on the couch was pure bliss.

I baked him a birthday cake with homemade buttercream icing. It fell apart when I took it out of the pan, but he didn't mind. We had beef stew and biscuits and watched lots of TV. I gave him a video game earlier in the week, but yesterday I gave him some HOT running shoes, and some new legal pads (he does not enjoy writing in a journal) and his favorite pens. He went for a long walk at night while I had some time to journal and read my new book:
While yesterday was relaxing, today has the makings of extreme productivity. Joel was really upset yesterday about not being able to go to the gym, so today he walked partway there until a friend could pick him up on a road that's been cleared. I tried to give him some advice on dealing with not going to the gym daily, but he wasn't really interested. I mean, once you have a couple of days without the gym, it's easy to go entire weeks without seeing a treadmill! It just takes practice.
Anyway, his dedication to the health has given me lots of free time to get little things done that otherwise would have been neglected. It's amazing how "quality time" (read: Lilly's Pizza dinners and DVDs of The Closer,) always wins out over cleaning out the fridge, reorganizing the cabinets, and dusting.

Schools are closed tomorrow, and I have dreams of making curtains like this for my classroom:

Maybe I'll go for another snowy walk. Or start a novel. Or try to make edible bread (so far, I've been unsuccessful).

I love days off.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Report Cards

While I had an entire day to work on report cards, I have somehow come home without having completed a single one. I've done my comments a different way this quarter, however. I'm typing all my comments in a Word document, and I've completed all of the reading and half of the writing comments. I spent my day actually organizing my grades. My high school teaching husband was a bit taken aback with my grading system.
Here are my reading and some writing notes: And this is my math chart:

I'm so distracted right now with Anthony Bourdain, who is currently in beloved Istanbul. When they showed the Bosphorus and the bridge Joel and I trekked over on an afternoon when we had nothing to do. I do miss it.
Done with daydreaming...need to get back to these darn report cards!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday is such a beautiful day

It's the end of the quarter. That fact brings with it : stress, exhaustion, and a definite readiness to start next week with new objectives. This happens every quarter...I bury myself in piles of grading and have high, high hopes to have all of my report cards finished early. This has not happened yet. I have, however, done half of my reading comments, which is a big deal. I'm planning on spending an afternoon this weekend in a corner of some cute coffee shop, being productive, while the hubs does his amazing writing across the table. While I drink a skinny latte, he'll have a water. He's not a fan of coffee, a fact I find baffling. How he gets up in the moring, I'll never know.

Speaking of the sweet, I've heard it said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. With my man, it involves a circuitous path around an XBox, sports highlights, Greg Laswell songs, and novels by Jose Saramago. But I tried nonetheless to make a yummy dinner, serving it on my wedding china. The favorite: cinnamon cupcakes for dessert. I realize that there are only 2 of us, but the batch makes 18. Not my fault at all.

It's 9:30 on a Friday. I've been in my pajamas for 5 hours. I plan on going to bed ridiculously early. I love the weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I do realize it's 3 weeks away....

...but I am so excited for Valentine's Day.

And while I realize that my current position on Love Day is odd, considering my distaste for Christmas music and my apathy towards Thanksgiving turkey, I have fully developed my thesis for why I am obsessed.

Here goes:

1) Chocolate . Nuf said.
2) Baking cupcakes (I hope some will turn out like this!)

3) Being a teacher on Valentine's Day! Although I am a bit nervous, on account of the drama going on in my room with ... gag me with a spoon... crushes, I absolutely love making the little paper bags, decorating our names, making a Valentine for everyone (that's the rule) and delivering them "in secret".
4) The entire holiday is so cheesy, there's no guilt in the consumerism of the day, unlike Christmas and Easter. It's just silliness, and I love it.
5) Feeling like I'm 8 years old, too, when I get to make sweets and cards for the hubs and friends. You don't have to confess your undying love or tell your best friend how much she means to you, all you have to do is find a friend, draw a heart, and sent a pink cookie. Love it!
Some of you, at this point, may be feeling very sorry for the hubs. It's true, my love for this holiday does not exactly fall in line with his sentiments. When the display of red, heart-shaped muffin tins, pink serving bowls, and adorable sprinkle sets hit the aisles of Target, my sigh communicated contentment. His sigh, on the other hand, might as well have been complete and utter exasperation. He is, however, tied to me till the end, so he is completely supporting my desire to bake and send cards and generally be a goofball. That's why I love him.
What about you? Are you as in love with this day as I am?

Monday, January 18, 2010

A long weekend musing

Our "staycation" has ended and here is my report:

We headed over to the Renaissance around 5:30 and felt superbly fancy when we turned on the T.V. that is in the bathroom mirror, but promptly turned it off when a basketball game came up. No sports on a staycay.

After running an errand at Target (come on, it had to happen), we started looking for dinner places. And something about a $30 entree that I couldn't pronounce made me feel nervous, so we walked to the Hot Point Cafe and enjoyed: lasanga (his), a Thai curry salad (hers), and a fabulous server who we chatted with for a while (with whom we chatted-the hubs is an English teacher.) I highly recommend this place. 'Tis delish.

We saw Sherlock Holmes, but I fell asleep in the middle of it, on account of me feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. I'd seen it before, so I awoke happily to find I had missed my least favorite part of the movie. I'm not a big fan of fight scenes.

We had a great date night, but then the hubs forgot his sleeping meds and I had a cold, so I wouldn't say we were well rested at morning light. Exhausted and a bit cranky, we headed home early in the morn, forgoing our planned breakfast in favor of a 4 hour couch-sitting marathon.

Our mutual agreement: we enjoyed the dinner and a movie, but we'll do this again in the summer (when I'm not around sick children) and when he brings a sleeping pill.

But I felt better around 5, so after washing my hands several times I made:

-roasted tomato pasta with sausage

-carrot, raisin, and banana whole wheat muffins

-cheddar and sage biscuits

Thanks, Martha Stewart, for these fab recipes.

On an unrelated note, JACK BAUER IS BACK!

I stayed up too late for the 2-hour season premiere. I am currently welcoming back another few months of feeling paranoid everytime a helicopter flies overhead, but I have made this decision: I will DVR each episode and watch it during the afternoon. Otherwise I will start off the week having stayed up late for Jack and not be able to sleep because some mole in the government will assasinate the prime minister of a fictional country. 24 makes it hard to separate reality from awesomeness.

OK everyone: go enjoy 60 degree weather!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Africa and the Renaissance

I'm sure that title made you think I was going to post something extremely academic.

I'm not.

This morning, I went with some wonderful Meredith College girls to greet Meredith, a good friend who has spent the last few months in Uganda and has just returned! You can read about her adventures here. (I donned a puff-painted/glittered tshirt with the words, "U-gand-an done it! Welcome home!" I wish I could take the credit for the wit, but 'twas the brilliant idea of a fellow teacher. This is what we discuss at recess.)

After her warm, and loud, welcome at the airport, I went home to make myself some lunch. I am not lying to you: my chicken breast was in the shape of Africa. I'm just sayin'...

This afternoon, Joel and I are heading out for a little staycay at the Renaissance at North Hills. I'm extremely excited. The plan: a cute outfit, dinner where my salad makes me feel like I have a Roth IRA, and a movie. Can't wait!

On a random note, has anyone noticed how funny it is when someone from Eastern North Carolina says the word "Cheetos"? It's the over-enunciated "t" that makes me giggle.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

I've been thinking about them anyway...

I've made lots of goals lately and really don't want to call them resolutions, but Kelsi did it so I must too.

I will learn to sew a sundress.

I will cook more vegetables in a way that I'll actually enjoy them.

I will let my students be kids more often.

I will maintain my weight, and I'll be ok with where I am.

I will go to BELIZE and take lots of pictures!

I will not commit to anything and everything because somebody asks me, and I won't feel guilty for saying "no."

I will support the hubs more in his love of writing, even if that means more time with him mentally "checked out."

I will try really hard to understand football.

I will read more fiction, and allow myself to be swept up in a novel. I will think it's ok to read and not learn a new fact all the time.

I will not force myself to like sushi, indie music, or Sundance films. I will accept the fact that I like Miley Cyrus, and you will too.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Why I Love Vacation

-Sleeping in. How is it that we function so much better on a 1am-10am sleep schedule?
-Reading. Being able to check out books from the library and actually read them, in addition to having time to casually flip through magazines is just priceless.
-Quality time and alone time. Having the whole day free means being able to spend time with Joel and do my "solitary" hobbies: cooking, reading, and, most recently, sewing.
-Not preparing for anything. Normally, weekends revolve around catch-up cleaning, sleeping, and friend time, as well as preparing meals, laundry and plans for the upcoming week. So vacation is nice because I don't have to prepare for anything.
-Renewal. I love that I can spend lots of time walking around the lake, starting a new Bible study, and napping. Oh, napping.

But...I am ready for school to start tomorrow. I'm comfortable in a routine, and I'm looking forward to seeing my class and getting started on some new ideas.

I have a bunch of new books to dig through with my class during reader's workshop. I also have some new writing/reading interventions to implement that I think will be helpful. And math...I'd love to have a math center that students can use during free time. I have a classroom library and a writing center that my students use a lot, so I'd like to give them another option.

I think if the only thing I'm really not looking forward to is waking up early, life is pretty good :)