Monthly Archives: March 2016

“No, Dada!”

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I may be biased, but I am convinced that I have the two sweetest, most adorable nieces on the planet. They can do no wrong in my book…

My sister Kelli and poor brother-in-law Chris, on the other hand, might not agree so much.

Little Miss Emersyn is rapidly approaching her third birthday and has developed such a distinct personality. She knows what she wants, what she doesn’t want, and how passionately to ask (or demand) for it. She has a certain “sass” that rivals her mother’s sass as a child.

Recently, she has settled into this  phase of “No, Dada…”

As her father enters her room to tuck her in at night, he is ordered out of the room with a scrunched up face, pointed index finger, and a stern command of “No, Dada!”

As he picks her up to kiss and hug her good-bye before leaving for work, she claps one hand over her mouth and passionately, with the other, moves her dad’s head the opposite direction muffling a cry of “No, Dada!”

Helping her get dressed…out of the question!

Preparing her lunch? No way!

Dropping her off at preschool… nope!

Calling her by her nickname love bug…nope- “Dada is a bug, not me!”

Unfortunately for Dada, it seems as if he has been kicked to the curb…at least for the time being. Hopefully, this sassy “No, Dada!” phase ends soon…I’m not sure his ego can handle too much more, “No, Dada!”

 

 

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Twenty-One Years Ago…

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Twenty-one years ago today, you entered this world- red faced and chubby cheeks. Ousting me from my position as the “baby” of the family…a position I held in high regards for almost 8 years.

You joined our family as a ball of feistiness- from running around on your chubby little legs full of “rolls,” to learning the word “NO!”- a word that has always been your favorite, even now.

Running around the backyard playing with your little boyfriend, Nick, you were fearless and brave- sliding down the tallest (of toddler) slides, swinging so high in your swing- your giggles floating through the air…up and down, up and down…

You grew up into a pint sized nugget- full of sass and emotion. You knew exactly what you wanted, or didn’t want to be more exact. You were strong and passionate- a lover of school, and friends, and following your big sisters around.

As big sisters, we of course loved having you around. You were our “get out of jail free” card so to speak- when we may have done something wrong. From broken vases or trinkets to bright red Kool-Aid spilled on brand new cream carpeting… you were blamed. Hey, can you blame us? As the baby, you could do no wrong (and frankly, we spent enough time grounded as it was)!

Even in our sisterly fights, you came in handy. You were a human shield- “You can’t pinch me, I’m holding the baby…”- you were an instant safety net. This worked until you were a good five or six years old and much too heavy to hold anymore.

You entered your teenage years with a fierceness hard to label and energy that would few else could have…Independent and determined-wanting help from no one. You embraced what was thrown your way- life definitely had its ups and downs. You made mistakes…and learned…and made a few more along the way- but have grown into a bright young lady who has seemed to finally found their way.

Twenty-one years ago, you entered the world. Today, you are twenty-one. Officially an adult. To me,though, you will always be my red faced, chubby cheeked, feisty, human shield of a little sister.

Twenty- one or not, you’re still a little kid to me.

Happy Birthday, Emmie! xoxo

 

me and em

 

I’ve Got Nothing…

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I’ve got nothing…nothing at all to say today.

My mind has been in overdrive…searching for inspiration that just isn’t there…

PARCC testing, tutoring, job number 2…

Feet sore, head pounding from the changing of seasons outside…

Reclining on the couch, trying to catch my breath from the day,

Listening to the slow rumble of thunder on the horizon, lightening flashing, my curtains dancing on the current of the wind as the first droplets of rain begin to fall…

I’ve got nothing…nothing at all to say today.

 

Hand Me Downs…

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Last week, I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone with my 7th grade class (sadly, most of them have yet to try out this amazing book series) and we broke off into a discussion about hand me downs…

In the novel, Harry rarely is given anything new. He is constantly being handed down used belongings- including clothing that is often too big, over worn, or just not his style. Which led to several students sighing in agreement, and frustration, that they too are often handed down things from their older siblings when they are done with them.

This made me think back to my childhood…As the middle child, and just a year and half younger than my older sister, I was often at the receiving end of her hand me downs. It drove me insane…we definitely had different styles, she was more sporty to my girlie, but it just didn’t seem to matter.

I can remember one morning when I was a little and my mom produced the ugliest shirt I had ever seen in my life that my sister had grown out of. It was the texture of long underwear, 3/4 inch sleeves, a starched collar held closed with three large, yellow buttons. The shirt was covered in geometric patters- circles, squares, triangles- scribbled in with the primary colors of the rainbow. It was horrible…ugly…itchy…and NOT my style.

My mom refused to listen to reason, or the tantrum and foot stomping that ensued in protest. Thus, resulting in me wearing the shirt…for a few moments at least. That quickly changed as I hurried down to eat my breakfast and “accidently” spilled orange juice all over the front. “Oops, I guess I cant’ wear this shirt now,” I remember telling my mom trying to hide my smug smile. She was furious…ordered me upstairs with the promise of cleaning it so I could wear it another day. Unfortunately, the shirt just happened to rip (okay…this may have been intentional), as I was “carefully” removing it from my body.

Needless to say, that horrible shirt quickly found itself hidden in the bottom of the trashcan…no longer wearable to my relief.

After a time, my mom stopped trying to force me into my sister’s old clothes-understanding that we were two very different individuals with our own style…Too bad Harry’s aunt and uncle never afforded him the same understanding!

 

March Is…

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March is… long awaited with such anticipation. Hints of spring begin to dot the air- sunshine begins to peak through the dreary cloud laced sky and bright green stems begin to break through the damp earth.

March is… filled with warmer temperatures. People begin heading outside- time to clean up the yard, chase the kids around the park, joggers and bikers begin dotting the roads as they avoid the overcrowded and much too warm gyms.

March is… filled with excitement and the start of my Girls on the Run season…my FAVORITE time of year!

March is… filled with 12 nervous, 9 year old girls ready to conquer a new challenge- running their very first 5k race. Ready to overcome their fears, to overcome their insecurities, to find out what strong young ladies they truly are.

March is…filled with new friends being made, giggles and smiles, teamwork and inspiration, “you’ve got this” and “Keep up the hard work!”

March is…filled with new beginnings and exciting fresh starts. Long awaited and filled with such anticipation as a new spring begins.

A Relaxing Saturday Night…

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There is nothing better than a relaxing Saturday night…

No pressing plans or errands needing to be run (for the moment at least)…

Lounging on the sofa, nestled between overstuffed pillows and soft, down blankets…

Sore feet scooped up off the floor, glass of wine in hand…

A Netflix marathon playing in the background with a sleepy kitten purring next to me…

No worries…no concerns…no pressing issues to think about…

Just a relaxing, Saturday night.

A Magical Profession…

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Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. In my mind, there was no one better.

Teachers were magical…Their rooms held millions of books- adventures just waiting to be taken. The days were filled with learning- something new and exciting each day. Scented Mr. Sketch markers littered the room (and would later lead to my insane obsession with them years later) just waiting for smaller hands to create masterpieces with them.

Teachers were an inspiration…They encouraged students to always give their best attempt. That their past did not define their future- they could do whatever they put their head, and heart, into. Hugs were dolled out and smiles were given freely, daily.

Teachers made a difference…They provided stability, to all students. They were an extra pair of helping hands, listeners of exciting news and frustrated rants, a smile on a cloudy day, tutoring sessions after school for extra help. Teachers didn’t give up, they were full of love.

Now, years later and a teacher myself, I still find myself in awe of this profession…and feeling so lucky to be a part of it (most days!)

I teach a wonderful group of 7th and 8th graders that are constantly keeping me on my toes- laughing with (and at) me, cracking jokes, sharing snippets of their day, trusting me to help solve their problems when they are maybe just a bit too large for them to tackle themselves. In my classroom, we are a family.

Teaching is a humbling experience…an opportunity to reach out to students in need. Make connections, build lasting bonds that help lead students down the right path. To teach students that they are so much more than where they may come from- that their past doesn’t have to define their future- that they have power and control to decide what their futures will hold.

Teachers are magical…they inspire…they make a difference.

 

It Has Been A Week…

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It has been a week…a very, very loooooooong week…
Of PARCC testing, students rotating in and out…

It has been a week… a week of snippets of spring blowing through the windows, the sun peaking out…
Of students going stir crazy, cabin fever hitting hard…

It has been a week…of rough mornings crawling out of my all too comfortable and cozy bed…
Of rushing to get ready, head out the door, avoid hitting the inevitable traffic I know is waiting for me on 55…

It has been a week…of being a scatterbrain…
Of running a million last minute errands day after day, rushing from one job to the next…

It has been a week…of trying to find relaxing moments to slice away…
Of writing with my students, sharing with one another, hearing about their days…

It has been a week….of delving in deeper and digging for ideas…
Of learning even more about my students, myself…

It has been a week…. a very, very looooooooong week…

 

 

 

Oh, Target!

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There is no place I love more than Target…

The way the doors swish open as I approach…as if they were waiting just for me…

The aroma of the sweet smell of Starbucks…drawing me in…calling my name…

The aisles and aisles of merchandise, as far as the eye can see…

The clothing, home goods, jewelry, and furniture draw me in…

Capture my attention and take hold…forcing me to lose track of time…

Days turn into night…my sunglasses no longer needed when I exit…

My bank account significantly lighter than when the trip first began…

As I succumb to the magic that Target holds over me…

A sweet addiction that I am not willing to overcome just yet…

The Good Old Days…

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As a kid, my older sister Kelli and I would wait for Friday afternoon to come with such anticipation. Forever watching the ticking hands of the clock, the day would seem to drag on, and on, and on….

Finally, the bell would ring and we would be headed home- our eyes bright with excitement as we rushed off the bus, eager to arrive home, load up the car, and be on our way to our favorite place in the world…

Marseilles Campground…

Here, our parents had a seasonal spot… our pop-up camper was nestled among hundreds of year old oak, pine, and spruce trees…pine cones and sap covered needles littered the ground, an old tire swing moved gently across the ravine in the “back yard.”

We had the perfect spot. Quiet and secluded in a cul-de-sac surrounded by strangers that later became close friends… A giant bonfire pit in the center of the circle- perfect for  relaxing nights and catching up with neighbors.

It was here, where my sister and I received our first real taste of freedom. We knew everyone in the campground- everyone had been there for years- and as such, my parents allowed us to wander.

We would team up with our neighboring friends and chase one another through the park, race our bikes up and down the paths through the woods built exclusively for golf cart rides (and prayed we didn’t get run over)…We created  “haunted woods” and charged other campers to walk through, swung over the ravine on a knotted tired swing, and built sandcastles on the beach…

Saturday nights were nights spent as a community- bingo in the great hall, a giant bonfire roasting marshmallows and listening to live music, fish frys, and scary camp stories.

These were the nights we treasured. Spent together as a family, nestled in the woods- away from t.v. and distractions, work and school, enjoying one another’s company…spending time together as a family…the good old days…