Sunday, December 19, 2010

Soul Food

Early this morning, after three hours of sleep last night, I hopped on a plane and flew to Rhode Island. Within an hour of landing I was at my parents house drinking coffee from Dunkin Donuts and laughing with my family. As a teacher, there are only two times through out the year that I am able to travel to see my family. Last summer I was only back for a weekend and so this is really the first time in a year that I am able to relax and enjoy my family and boy do I need it. The last three weeks of school were filled with students conferences, holiday activities, grading grading and more grading, working on my house, some awful tagging incidents at work, and multiple late night/early morning combinations. My husband is extremly supportive of my need to spend time with my family (as we live near his) and so he has always encouraged me to head east as soon as can any time that I have a break. Several of my friends will be back in the area and I am looking forward to seeing everyone, catching up on their lives, and meeting the first baby born into my circle of friends. I am blessed with a group of friends that I have stayed in touch with since high school, some since elementary school, and being home with them is always a great part of Christmas.
While I have planned out the next few days: a girls night out with some of my oldest and dearest girlfriends on Monday night, school with my dad on Tuesday (he teaches first grade) a shopping/mani/pedi/lunch date with my mom on Wednesday, and an all-day-yet-undetermined-day with my sister on Thursday, tomorrow is the beginning of my rejuvenation and relaxation. My parents are both working and my sister has school tomorrow so I have a day of lounging, a dvr full of real housewives and office episodes, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to occupy my time. A major benefit of spending time at my parents house is that I can completely relax - there are no papers calling out to me to be graded, no projects around the house to work on, and no cleaning to take care of.

Now I just need my hunny to be able to make it out here to relax with me in a few days

image courtesy of

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby it's cold outside

Today is one of those days where I cannot seem to get warm. I am sitting in my class, holding individual conferences with each of my students on their grades and I am freezing. I was hoping to run out a lunch time for some soup or some coffee but there have been kids here nonstop so I haven't been able to venture out yet. Here are some of my go to items for warming up: Ghiradelli's Hot Chocolate, Paula Dean's soup, Old Navy Fleece Pants, and Boots - of course my favorite thing to keep me warm will be home from work soon!
What helps you warm up?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sounds of the Season

The past few weeks I have been on a music frenzy and have bought several Christmas cds. My little brother won't have his leave until the spring and so he will be overseas during Christmas this year so I am making him a cd of all of the music that we used to decorate our trees to - How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph,The Muppets Christmas Carol, Charlie Brown, and the Chipmunks.

I have also purchased the Glee Christmas Album and will be getting the new Mariah Carey this weekend. I did resist the irge to play everything as soon as I got it and wait (per request) until after Thanksgiving and so now they are all on full rotation in our house. I am always looking to add to my collection - what are your Holiday must have sounds?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankful all year long!

Is anyone else is complete shock that today is the first day of December? While the month of thankful posts has come to a close it helped improve my attitude each day as I looked at the blessings in my life. Here is a list from the sweet Natalie over at The Bobby Pin - her blog is one of my absolute favorites and a definite daily read

Things I'm thankful for

1. Husband
2. Puppy
3. A roof over my head, a quilt on my bed and food at the table (totally putting three things on one here)
4. Friends and Family
5. Blogging. It brings me such joy.
Thanks Natalie

As we head into a new month, the last one of 2010, I am thankful for another year, for a supportive family that spans both coasts, for a principal who cares about his students and staff, for a youth group and church family that challenge me to constantly grow and become better, and for my best friend who loves me unconditionally - I could not ask for a better husband and teammate.

image courtesty of

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where the Heart Is

Last week I got a suprise package from my mom containing a new Vera Bradley purse. The other day, when I was talking to my little sister, I laughed so hard that I cried. I am already in the Christmas mood because I am equating that with heading back east. I have lived here in beautiful San Diego for over three years now and I am finding the fourth year to be the hardest. When we were making out plans before we got married, we decided that we would start out on the West Coast and settle down back East. Fast forward 3 1/2 years and we own a home and have great jobs in our career field when both are relatively scarce and it wouldn't make any sense for us to just pick up and move somewhere else where we most likely would not have either. I love the life that we have built here, I just have to convince my family to move out here rather than the two of us moving there. Despite the fact that we will have spaces missing at our thanksgiving table on Thursday, I am thankful for my family and even for the fact that I miss them. So many people don't have a loving family or have a family that they do not love or miss and so as hard as it can be to be 3000 miles apart, I am thank for them and for the love that we have together.

what are you thankful for? Email me 5 things that you are thankful for at - I'd love to feature your list

Monday, November 22, 2010

Break Glorious Break

This week I have a to do list that is about 10 miles long and I am so thankful for a few days off from work. We get the entire week off and I need it! We have a long stretch from when the kids come back to school (I've been in since that end of August) until Thanksgiving break and then we start rolling down hill. On Friday I had to kick two students out of class (the first time all year) for constant talking, singing loudly, and playing on their cell phones. I got so frustrated when I was trying to read something out loud that I flipped my book down on to my desk and told them that they had to leave. This was a sure sign that we only had 3 more periods until break - they are always a lot more wild before a break. On the good side, both students came to me before the end of the day, apologized, and told me that they would come back different next Monday. We shall see. Thanksgiving break, I am thankful that you are here and I will make good use of the time off that you are giving me!
What are you thankful for? Email me 5 things you're thankful for at - I'd love to feature your list

Monday, November 15, 2010

Comfort Friends

What thoughts (or maybe more importantly what smells) come to mind when you think of comfort foods - home made mac and cheese? peanut butter? ice cream? apple pie? freshly baked chocolate chip cookies? Whatever it is, we all have those things that we love to eat when we are upset, overwhelmed, cold, or exhausted at the end of a long day. We often crave them and when we eat them they never disappoint.

At the end of this great weekend, I am so thankful for our 'comfort friends'. We had our very best friends over and it was such a fun night. My husband and I are blessed with best friends who are also married to one another. They are our comfort friends - the ones who fly across the country to be in your wedding and spend the entire week getting to know your family and helping out, the ones who don't bat an eye if there's still folded laundry on the back of your couch, or judge at even the most embarrassing situations or stories, and who you jump from a serious conversation to laughing so hard you can't breathe in a matter of seconds, the ones where you watch a movie and at least two out of the four of you end up asleep on the couch, and as was the case on Saturday night, the ones who think that eating homemade pizza around the dinning room table is the best way to spend a double date. As I continue to reflect this week on things that I am thankful for, I am especially thankful for my fresh-out-of-the-oven-homemade-chocolate-cookies-best-friends
what are you thankful for? Email me 5 things you are thankful for at - I'd love to feature your list

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Home of the Free, Because of the Brave

Today, and everyday, I am thanful for those brave men and women who risk their lives to keep our great country safe, as well as for those who are left behind, loving and supporting them. One of my brothers is currently stationed in Afghanistan and this week has been a particulary rough week. I found myself choking up on my way in to work on more than one ocassion this week after listening to different commentaries about Veteran's Day and the War. Last week we were lucky enough to be able to talk to him and despite the fact that he was thousands of miles away, we laughed like we were sitting around my parents table. I held it together during our conversation and thought I was fine until I was praying with my husband. I was saying a prayer of thankfulness for being able to talk to him and his safety and just lost it. I look forward to the day when not just my brother but all of our men and women are home. We are a country that is truly blessed with their willingness to defend it. Thank you to all of our veterans.
what are you thankful for? Email me 5 things that you are thankful for at I'd love to feature your list
image courtesy of

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Morning After

Thankfulness the morning after the rain
What are you thankful for? Email me your list of 5 things you're thankful for at - I'd love to feature it

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rainy November

This morning I woke up to a fairly foreign sound here :rain (although we've had more rain in the past 2 months than in the 3 1/2 years that I've lived here). Despite the fact that it's Monday and the rain makes it even harder to get out of bed and I now have to leave for work an extra 45 minutes early, I am so thankful for it. We desperately need it and all too often there are dangerous fires this time of year so I, along with my vegetables, flowers, and grass, am very thankful for the rain today. - Plus, we are both going to be home tonight and this makes a perfect movie-and-breakfast-for-dinner-indoor-date-night

What are you thankful for? Email me your list of 5 things you're thankful for to I'd love to feature your list

image from

Friday, November 5, 2010


Today I am thankful that it is Friday because that means 5 classes and it's the weekend! Friday is one of my favorite days of the week - it always just seems like such a hopeful and happy day, especially if it's been a long week. I woke up with a smile today and can hopefully spread that on to my students to. Have a wonderful weekend!

What are you thankful for? Email me a list of 5 things you are thankful for at I'd love to post your list

image courtesy of

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Don't blame it on the sunshine

My husband always tells people (mainly my family when they are trying to convince us to move back east) that we live in a place where millions come to vacation. While this is generally true, I do miss the fall. I miss the colors of the leaves changing and going apple picking and the cool, crisp air. What I tend to forget is that after the leaves change they fall and there is a gray cloud that tends to hang around from November to February that brings cold raw weather. This I do not miss and I was reminded today, as I was ridiculously overdressed in a sweater and long pants, how thankful I am for the sunshine and gorgeous weather. It was almost 90 degrees in Novemeber and there was not a cloud in sky. I do love the cooler weather but I am thankful for a sunny November day
What are you thankful for? Email me your list of 5 things that you are thankful for at I'd love to feature your list
image courtesy of

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let your voice be heard

This morning I woke up to work out before heading to work but didn't quite make it. I made the mistake of turning on the news and became enthralled in all of the election talk. I'm leaving early for work this morning to hit my polling site. I am so thankful that I live in a democratic country where we the people have a voice in everything from local propositions to national congress. While the system is flawed and the vote doesn't always swing my way, I am thankful for our ability to vote and to choose.

What are you thankful for? Email me 5 things that you are thankful for at I'd love to feature your list
image courtesy of

Monday, November 1, 2010

Give Thanks

As much as I try to reserve the weekends for playtime, Sundays have ended up as chore day lately and I've been ok with it. Yesterday, as I was trying to get through my massive to do list, I thought about how challenging it is (for me at least) to keep up with our house. It seems that no matter how much I do there is always laundry to be done and a few stubborn dishes that pop up in my sink. I was thinking about this while I was elbow deep in soapy water but then I began to think about how grateful that I am that it takes work because I am so blessed to have a home. I am thankful that I have all of that to do because this is a time when foreclosures and homelessness is a huge issue. Looking at it this way made the work go by a little bit faster and so I began to think. It is November 1. Thanksgiving is a mere 3 1/2 weeks ago. While it can be so much easier to complain, my entire attitude changes when I look at things that I am thankful for. Rather than waitinging until Turkey Day to give thanks I am going to write each day about something that I am thankful and start Thanksgiving Month. Today I am so thankful for my home and our ability to live here. What are you thankful for? Email me 5 things you're thankful for at I'd love to feature your list

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9 short years

image via
Nine years later and I still can't fight the tears while I watch the news and memorials after the attacks of 2001 that changed our country and our lives forever. I was a freshman in college in Arkansas. I am from New England and the events literally hit home for my roommate and I who frequently went to New York. That morning she had decided to skip chapel and sleep in. The president of the school got up and told us that we were releasing after a time of prayer. He said that a plane had flown into one of the twin towers in New York City. My very first thought was that it was an accident and I hoped that no one had been hurt. It took awhile for the magnitude of the events to sink in because I knew those towers and I knew that city and never in my life would I imagine anyone attacking our country. I ran back to my room, shook my roommate, who had been my best friend since we were 11, awake and turned on the tv. We watched in shock and immediately called home. My mom was nearly hysterical and kept telling me how much she wished I was home. She had already been in touch with the parents of a good friend of mine because he went to school in Brooklyn and wanted to make sure that he was ok. This day was the beginning of my world changing. The bubble that I lived in was popped and there was a great sense of innocence lost. We became a country that was grieving together, questioning together, and coming together. As difficult as those times were right after we saw a unity that we hadn't seen in a very long time. That unity has since been ripped apart as we are now a country more divided than ever and we need to get back to that. We need to remember, when we are torn apart by political differences, that we are Americans above and beyond party affiliations. I have since had two cousins, several very close friends, and my two brothers who have all joined the military to protect our great country and to prevent this from ever happening again. My baby brother is currently serving in Afghanistan and while there is a part of my that is missing until he returns I am so grateful for all those that haven't forgotten and continue to pray for and support the men and woman and all of their families that are risking and giving their lives for our freedom. We are stronger than the actions of September 11 2001

Thursday, August 26, 2010


This summer I have caught a few reruns of Glee and am seriously contemplating buying the previous seasons before the new one starts. My sister tried to fill me in on the plot line but hearing or reading an explanation is not the same as hearing these kids sing and any show that can do this with one of my favorite musicals ever is worth it in my book

any fellow gleeks?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Snickerdoodles - Home and Garden Style

One of my favorite cookbooks that I received before I got married was by Better Homes and Garden. The recipes are simple and easy to follow, use simple ingredients, and come out great! These snickerdoodles were my go to when I didn't have much time but wanted to send my husband (who is currently working nights) off for the night with warm sweets.

Monday, August 16, 2010

You get a line and I'll get a pole . . .

On Thursday I surprised my husband with a day of deep sea fishing for his birthday. We went out on a charter boat down to the Mexican coast. We had a lot of fun (minus the sunburn and getting sea sick) and came away with almost 15 fish betweent he two of us and his best friend. The crew fillets the fish right on the boat for you and so we have several fresh fish steaks in the freezer for our next night off. I'm looking for good grilling recipes and fish taco recipes if you have any!
The view on the way there and back was amazing - we even saw several dolphins early on

This is the coast of Mexico in the distanceFlock of Seagulls anyone?This island had a light house off the edge - very Shutter Island

we had a little seal that followed us the entire way

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - a Newport Wedding

On June 26, 2010 my sweet friend Katy married her soul mate. We've been friends since we were 7 and we have one of those friendships where we sometimes go for awhile without talking but never lose the closeness - we somehow end up talking about everythings - and share a bond that transcends distance . Our lives are very similar and it was such a wonderful wedding. Given the fact that we live on opposite sides of the country, I didn't get to meet her husband until their wedding day. After seeing the raw emotion and love (see below) on his face, I know that she's in good hands. The wedding was at the Hyatt on Goat Island in Newport Rhode and beautiful doesn't begin to describe it. Katy's photographer was the amazing Carla of Carla Ten Eyck Photography. We first met Carla at my brother's wedding in Connecticut in October 2007. She is amazing. I had stalked her blog since the wedding and she just released some photos. Here are some of the moments that she capturedI cannot look at this shot without choking up here myself - take good care of my girl Kyle!Loved this cake!The flowers were by the fabulous Gity of Busy Bee Florist who was my florist 3 years ago. She knew that I had recommended her to Katy and she waited at the ceremony until we got there to say hi and thank you ! She's amazing - she took both of our visions and gave us exactly what we wanted our most important day. Also - the details at the wedding were awesome - those purple bracelets were in memory of "Margie" a dear aunt of Katy who had passed away when we were in college.

I happen to love this shot as it is the hands and feet of my oh so fashionable baby sister

Cheers to the new Mr & Mrs Gibbons - love you both

check out the whole blog post here