Monday, August 15, 2011

Perfect Monday?

Today actually was pretty perfect.  I had the most amazing birthday weekend that I can remember.  Mostly simple, which is totally me.  D did the most perfect job surprising me with a trip to the beach and some awesome gifts.  I came back super happy and relaxed.

Easing back into the work week and Mondays are never fun.  But I did start my day off with this simple, yet encouraging email...

You may have to enlarge it to really see.  That was a weekly update I sent to treatment professionals, parents, etc.  Then my principal's response.  I've been rambling off tons of reasons to D why I love this job so much more.  This email is just another to confirm.  I feel really lucky to have landed this opportunity.  I talked a lot about my lack of reassurance at my other school.  While I shouldn't rely on that reassurance from others, it sure as hell feels wonderful knowing that others see the hard work I am putting in to this.  I'm definitely still loving this position.

**All names/school/etc. redacted for privacy.**

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weighing-in Wednesday :: Lifestyle & confidence.

It's that time again, and I made it on time.

Well, this week was sort of a let down.  I got right back on track (as evidenced by my half training update) and unfortunately lost nothing this week.  I haven't been eating wonderfully, but I've been counting calories and eating tons of water.  I'm not overly bummed though.  Why?  Well, I've made this more of a lifestyle change.  I like to chart/blog my progress not because this is a "diet," but because it's encouraging to see my progress.  I still eat a lot of what I want, while being conscious of the calories I put in my body.  I'm aware that on days that I do not work out, I often eat over my recommended daily caloric intake.  I know that if I want to stay at a "happy" weight, being active will be a necessity for a lifetime.  That being said, I've been consistently running since April.  That's probably the longest I've ever stuck with running or working out.  I've been less consistent with counting calories to actually lose weight, but that activity saved me.  I feel confident saying that I have made a lifestyle change.

Now what is my "happy" weight?  Well ideally, I'd love to be down to 120 (which is healthy for my 5'2" stature) with 115 being the ultimate fantasy.  I think that ideal has changed over the past few months.  After losing some weight and being active on a regular basis, I feel way more confident and comfortable in my skin.  I like wearing shorts and skirts a bit shorter.  I don't mind going out in a bikini.  I don't necessarily mind taking off my shirt and looking at myself in the mirror.  I'm proud of the athletic (yes, ATHLETIC!) girl I have become.  I flaunt the fact that I call myself a runner.  I'm proud and feel superior telling people I'm running a half marathon.  I don't love every part of me and will continue to work to get down to that original "happy" weight.  I have been a size 10 for as long as I can remember.  Back in Georgia two years ago, it was a lose 10, and barely an 8 in some items.  When I went shopping (like really shopping and trying on a lot) last weekend, I picked up 10s.  They were WAY TOO BIG.  I fit into 8s and even some 6s.  Honestly, this almost makes me cry talking about it.  I certainly can't remember the last time I fit into a 6.  While the pounds lost doesn't sound like a lot in my head, the clothes say it all.  I got a major boost of self-confidence and it spurred me to work hard all week to get more results.  Even though I didn't see those results, I know what works and I'll keep up this lifestyle!

Ps. Sorry this is so wordy!  These posts are mainly for me but if you read through...thanks!

PPs.  Wow.  I am dying for a massage.  I haven't gotten one since I started running and I can tell there are knots galore in my body!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Instead of a Weighing-in Wednesday...

I'm giving you my link to my half marathon training update (I'm two weeks in!):

And showing you what I've been up to...

Cleaning out and organizing my closet (sort of my 5 goals for August)

Shopping! It was no tax weekend here in NC.

Finally breaking out my friendship bracelets. They honestly made me so happy all day Monday.

Obsessively reading The Hunger Games and can't wait to finish!

And hanging out way too much with the pets while D has been gone.

While I've been super productive since he's been gone, I don't bring home work anymore so I don't have much to occupy my time. I'm getting lonely without him. I'm SUPER excited he'll be back to celebrate all of my birthday weekend with me :)

-BlogPress post

Travel itch :: Holiday vacationing.

D and I have been thinking about doing an international vacation during the holidays this year.  I have an extended holiday break from school since I'm on the semi-year-round schedule (I'll have an extra week at the end of the break).  Due to some extra money we've gotten, we think and hope we're going to be able to make it happen.  I've been doing some research on cheap flights, and I've narrowed down my hopes to two places.


Yes, technically Puerto Rico is not international since it's US-owned (correct terminology? I don't care...), but we can get cheap flights to San Juan.

[Although at $895/night, we will not be affording the W Hotel in PR]

I'm thinking PR could be a wonderful getaway.  For another $200 we could fly from San Juan to the Isla de Vieques, which is a small island of PR.  It's where the grand W Hotel is located.  It has lots of house rentals and stuff.  I'm not sure if it would become a necessity for us to rent a car if we stayed on the island.  The more pictures I see of San Juan, I know I'd be just fine staying there as well.  I'm sure there's benefits to staying on the mainland as well as the secluded island.


Source: via Nancy on Pinterest

[Both Madrid]


We would spend about the same amount on a flight to Madrid as we would to PR + flying to the island.  Obviously, we couldn't go to Spain and only stay in Madrid.  We're thinking of staying 10 days where ever we decide to go to.  We'd most likely spend some time exploring Madrid and Barcelona.  I do think it would be fabulous to spend some time in Europe in the winter.  There could be the possibility of exploring Portugal, but we would likely need to fly into somewhere other than Madrid since it would be the middle point between Portugal and Barcelona. 

Both places hold much appeal to me.  I'm utterly obsessed with Europe, and surprisingly adore the idea of going somewhere cold for our winter vacation.  I do think we may end up spending less money in PR (especially if we stay in San Juan), and since I'm a budget traveler, that's important.  So send me your tips, advice, etc. on making my decision and any places you've visited, stayed, in PR or Spain. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The job.

Random side note, the first song on my Pandora Mumford & Sons radio was Murder in the City by the Avett Brothers.  I'll take it as a sign.  Still not a day goes by that I don't think about BFW.  D is with BFW's husband for the week and it breaks my heart to hear stories.  My heart is heavy every day for him and the family.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my new job!  I really have no pictures of anything to correspond with this, so I'll make it brief.  I am a "therapeutic learning" teacher.  Essentially this means that I work with kids with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities.  My classroom basically pulls elementary aged students from all over the county who can not be successful in an SED (emotional disability) self-contained classroom.  I think I was chosen based on my social work degrees/experience.  I was and still am loving the ability to bridge my two passions, teaching and social work, into one career.

Right now, I have three students in my class.  Two are on modified/half day schedules.  Many of my teacher friends do not understand that this does not mean my job is "easy."  Three students, only one being on a full day schedule, does not equate to easy because I only have to grade for three students.  My students can't succeed in even the smallest self-contained special education classrooms.  We have a therapist come in to work with the students.  Academics is not our main focus because it can not be.  The negative behaviors/management of disabilities does not allow academics to be our focus.  I do have to plan for multiple subjects for multiple grade levels (my students are in three different grades now), but my students can't handle 30 minute lessons for each subject.

It has been one full week with all three students being present.  I'm tremendously proud of the kids!  While one of them has a history of violence towards teachers (read: attempting to stab a teacher with a pencil...long story), he had no "episodes," or as I like to call them "adventures," this week.  We only had two adventures and they occurred with the same student.  I'm not surprised based on her disability.  The first one resulted in myself being accidentally scratched and bruised and purposely spit on (hate ending in a preposition, sorry!).  After getting to experience one adventure, I knew much better how to handle the next which occurred Friday.  While this sounds terrible, I've really enjoyed it so far.  The only frustrating part is trying to understand how to teach the students to cope with & manage their anger before it turns to a full blown adventure.  This particularly baffles my mind since,specifically in the one student, the adventure comes on so quickly and unexpectedly.

I am sure adventures with the other two students are inevitable.  I have to continue to celebrate our small successes.  One being that M's feeling choice went from being "content" every day to "happy" today!  Having our afternoon students get along, play together, and cooperate is a success.  Having only two adventures is a success.  I hope the successes keep coming....I know the successes will keep coming.

My principal has been amazing, supportive, and very vocal about what a good job everyone (we have lots of county workers in and out of the classroom) feels I'm doing.  I love the people and the school.  I'm still a little scared that I am in the honeymoon phase, like I got in at the middle school last year, and may end up hating this.  With that mentality am I bound to hate it?  Either way, part of me feels that but the other part loves it and feels like it could be the perfect fit for me.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weighing in Wednesday :: I started half training!

Well, well, well.  It's about time, right?  I was nervous to see the number on the scale.  I hadn't weighed in since 7/14 and that was a long time ago.  I knew the number would be up considering the stress and lack of consistent running, not to mention all the food and beer consumed when we headed down to Atlanta and then to the beach.  When I did an impromptu weigh-in on Sunday, I was up 3 pounds and back into the 130s.  That was discouraging, but I knew the whys.  With school starting last week and having no food at our house, I ate particularly bad.  Running won't always eliminate those terrible calories, and I believe I wasn't taking in enough.

This week I am back to counting calories using Myfitnesspal.  I hit up the grocery store and bought lunch and snack essentials.  I'm drinking lots of water as well.  Unfortunately, the official weigh in tells me I am still up by 2.5 pounds.  I'm not bumming too much.  I know stress and stress eating has been a major factor for me.  The first step is identifying the problem, right?  Now I just need to fix it.

I already mentioned it, but I am ridiculously excited to report that I officially signed up and paid for the Outer Banks Half Marathon in November!  I'm already noticing that it is going to take a lot of dedication to keep this up with school going on.  My training plan calls for activity 6 days/week.  I already skipped the strength/stretching on both Mondays and delayed last Tuesday's run to Wednesday (which meant skipping on cross training).  I got right back in the game by running last Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.  It is definitely difficult to rush out of work at 4, drive half an hour to the gym, and not get home until 7ish.  Since the heat is insane, I am going to have to stick with the gym/treadmill.  I will be happy when the weather cools a bit and I can resume training outside like I did in April with my 10k training.

I'll be updating a little more in depth about my training and running over at a little running blog some great ladies and I have started. While I think the three of us are finding it is harder to keep up with half training, two blogs, work, and life, it's an outlet where we can share much more in depth about our running.  This way I don't bombard you all with technical running jargon (because I obviously use it all the time). 

A goal.

Due to the past two weeks happenings, I'm obviously a little off with blogging and definitely off with my 10 things Tuesdays.  Those posts can take quite a bit of time, and I'm still trying to juggle personal life amongst starting back to school.  I promise I have a running list of blog topics and will get to them eventually.

Since it is the beginning of August, I made a goal for myself.  In July, I finally read the Happiness Project.

Kayla had recommended it to me a while back.  Since I've been on a budget, I requested it from my library instead of buying it.  I wish I would have bought it (and of course it's on my Amazon wishlist now).  There were so many things I wanted to highlight and dog ear.  It was a wonderful read with lots of research, quotes, and tips for living life.  Anyhow, it inspired me to think back to my 101 in 1001 list.  I am planning to do a full review once I hit the one year mark of starting the list (September 1), but it has sort of fell to the wayside in my mind.  When moving, all the lists I had posted got taken down and never put back up to stay fresh.  It's time to change this.

The goal?  To complete at least five things off my list within the month of August.  Here are some I am thinking about making happen...

6. Get a new pair of glasses

 [Warby Parker Beckett]

And I couldn't get any other pictures to work.  I've been wanting some Warby Parker glasses for a while (or since Mayra sported them).  I'm thinking I could make the $95 happen with birthday money or by the end of the month on my next payday.

28. Make a photobook of Europe trip

This is totally happening.  I basically have the book almost finished on Shutterfly.  Now it's just completing the final touches and paying for it.

58. Go to the dentist regularly (every 6 months)

Don't judge me.  When I was on my parents' health insurance, I had always gone to the same dentist.  Once I got off, I didn't know where to start.  Then I moved to North Carolina.  This one is particularly important to me.  I need to ask around to friends and such who they use/recommend.  This needs to start ASAP.  I think I'm a little nervous about going back after not going.  But it's now or never.

85. Bake a new dessert from scratch

While I'm not sure either of these desserts are technically from scratch, I'd count them.  I typically shy away from making desserts at home due to the calories just lingering and waiting to make me fatter.  Regardless, it's something I've really been wanting to do.  I talk to D about it all the time, yet I still haven't done it.  Time to make this happen!  Also I'm trying not to pick five things that actually involve lots of money spent.

30. Make homemade sangria

I've talked all summer about making a homemade sangria.  It still hasn't happened.  It's happening this month.  Caitlin posted a super easy recipe that I hope to use!

36. Eliminate all clothes that I haven’t worn since moving to Raleigh and donate them

Gretchen Rubin talks about tackling a nagging task.  This is definitely one for me.  I started going through my clothes when we moved to our new house in Raleigh.  Yeah, that stack of clothes is still sitting on my chair in the spare bedroom.  I guess my problem is that fashions come and go.  There are a few pieces I can remember getting rid of and kicking myself when they come back in fashion.  I am not even going to try to tackle a closet makeover this month.  I just need to weed out a bit.  I keep a lot of clothes knowing how much money I spent on them and not wanting to "waste" that money.  At the same time, I'll get so much more wear out of pieces I love (and feel better about buying more) if I clean out a bit. 

So that's six options.  The most expensive option would probably by buying glasses (ugh or the dentist?!), so I don't have much excuse for the rest.  I got this!

Monday, August 1, 2011


I usually don't make a big fuss about my birthday.  I'm not much into all eyes being on me.  I adore a good surprise (as you know) but not in party form.  I like a low-key dinner date and presents :)  My birthday will be in 14 days.  I'm lucky enough that this year D is forgoing the annual beer festival so I can spend my birthday not in a hotel room and surrounded by the beer industry.  In honor of the big 2-6, I figured I'd make a wish list.  I'm not fancy enough to put them all into one picture, so here goes a list.


[The 405CX with a heart rate monitor]

I've mentioned this a few times on closet craving posts.  I'd love to have it prior to the half marathon in November, but it's hard for me to think about dishing out that kind of money on one item.  I'm obsessed with having the heart rate monitor and something to accurately gauge my speed.  


I've loved Tom's for a while now, but again it's just not something I've dished out the money for.  I know I would get my money's worth since I'd probably wear them a ton to school.  I've been obsessed with the wedges since they first came out.  I remember having a conversation with BFW about how much I loved them but was curious about their comfort level.  She ended up purchasing a pair and loved them and their comfort!


Another thing I've been dying for.  I know I am going to need it with my increased running.  I even had a weird soreness in my lower back after running last week.  It went away after a day, but I can tell my body just needs some TLC. 


[The official sticker/magnet for my car]
[Running for Women by Kara Goucher]

[I love this Don't Stop shirt]

[GU Chomps for my half training]

I have officially become a crazy person.  I would have never thought I would actually WANT running stuff for my birthday!  It's not all fun (and admittedly I'd probably be a bit bummed if that was all I got), but I am excited about it.  Since I officially signed up for the Outer Banks Half Marathon in November, I really have to up my running game.  I want the magnet as motivation.  I've heard great things about Kara's book and have been dying to read it.  Since I rotate the same training clothes all the time, I'm dying for the C9 High Impact Sports Bra  ($18.99), C9 Reversible shorts ($25), and the C9 Singlet Running Tank ($9.99) And of course, I still haven't purchased anything from my last running wants list.  


[Different color that I love found here]

I've been wanting this bag for ages now....seriously since like 2008.  Nothing has changed.  I still want it, but I still can't/won't pay the price.  I guess I should considering I've wanted it for 3 years now.  I even remember having a conversation with BFW about this bag (which she later purchased in another color too!).

Now I'll be happy to pass on my shipping address and sizes ;)


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