Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 328: New Addiction

There aren't very many shows that Chris and I like to watch together. But, thanks to the recommendation of our friend, Sam, we have a new addiction: Sons of Anarchy. Holy crap, this show is amazing. We've been glued to Netflix streaming as we have immersed ourselves into this series. It's a fun way to spend time together and I love the conversations that it sparks between us. :)

For this new addiction, I am thankful.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 327: Z's

Winter break is nearly done, but I finally accomplished one major goal today: a nap. By the grace of God, both of my children fell asleep for their afternoon nap at the same time leaving a quiet few hours for me to catch some z's.

It was awesome. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 326: A Little Motivtion

There's nothing like guests coming to your house for the first time that can light a fire under your butt to get things clean and organized. Post-Christmas always feel so overwhelming to me because of all the new toys and general stuff that suddenly has no home within our home. Despite these feelings, it usually takes weeks to get everything organized and settled.

But not this year! I was DELIGHTED when we got the call saying our friends Lisa, Joel and Liam would be in town to visit! Not only were we going to be able to catch up with our dear friends, but they were also going to come over for dinner which would force us to clean and organize all of the Christmas goodies overtaking our house.

Long story short: Our house looks amazing and it was absolutely wonderful getting to spend time with our sweet friends this evening.

And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 325: Trifecta

Date night to celebrate Chris's birthday. Brazilian steakhouse. Good friends.

Simply awesome.

And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 324: A Little Escape

Today I had a first. I went to a movie all by myself. I know, lame. After noticing that I had spent 6 straight days with the kids without a break, Chris suggested that I escape for a little while and go see the movie I have been anticipating since I read the book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I willingly obliged and the movie didn't disappoint. I loved it! But, the best part about the entire day was the feeling when the movie was done and I was driving home. I felt rejuvenated and was really looking forward to spending time with the kids again to eat birthday cake and put to bed.

We all need breaks every once in a while to remind ourselves what it is we get to come home to. And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 323: Christmas Birthday Part 1

Whew! What a day! We realized today that it was the first time in 4 years that we woke up on Christmas morning in our own house. It was such a special morning with the kids and we had so much fun soaking up all their exciting and giggles.

Before we knew it, it was time to transition into Chris's birthday. We lounged, ate, napped, played and just enjoyed one another's company.

There was so much joy today and so many more details to share. That's a nice way to feel at the end of a day! And for this, I am thankful.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 322: Clausin'

Chris and I had SO much delivering the magic of Santa. :) We are definitely going to have a fun morning when we wake the kids up and show them a special message from Santa and all the funny things he did around the house.

I love that we are going to bring a smile to the faces of our children in unique ways in the morning. And for this, I am thankful.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 321: Wrapped

For the first time ever (and I do mean EVER) all the gifts are wrapped before midnight on Christmas Eve. I guess I'm officially starting to grow up. :)

I love the season of giving. And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 320: Santa's For Real

Sofia has really gotten into Santa, the North Pole, elves and all of the stories surrounding Christmas this year. She and Nico have taken to rearranging their Little People Nativity Scene almost daily and even brought Frosty in for a visit to Bethlehem. She's creative. We just go with it.

The funny part about Sofia's obsession with Santa and all his magic is that she wants nothing to do with him in person. This means no mall trips, no sitting on laps at holiday parties, no cute Christmas photos. Oh well! I'm not going to complain for missing out on standing in long lines each December at the mall.

But today, Sofia stopped me in my tracks. She walked into my bedroom as I was getting ready this morning and told me that she knew why Santa was real. When I asked her why, she responded, "Because he's magic. And, when you believe in magic, that means Santa is real. OH! And, I hear his bells on the reindeer!"

I love this child and I love her logic. I believe.
And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 319: Last Dance

We have a little tradition before the kids go to bed each night and it includes dancing. After all bedtime routines have been completed, the last thing that we do is sway to the music playing in the kids' room. It's just long enough to have a moment or two of one-on-one time before the day is done. I love it...and so do they.

And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 318: Snuggle Songs

Only the Christmas lights lit up the living room tonight as Nico, Sofia and I sat cuddling in the recliner. Nico was a little restless so I started humming. Both kids looked at me and smiled. My hum turned into Away in a Manger followed by Sofia singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Nico was no longer restless and instead began rubbing his eyes and rested his head on my shoulder. It was awesome and beyond priceless.

And for this, I am thankful.

Day 317: Redemption

Two nights of sick kids and no sleep sucks. But a day where I got to hang out with my good friend, go Christmas shopping and then have dinner with a group of girlfriends was a delightful redemption for two nights of solid hard work. :)

And for this, I am thankful.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 316: In and Out

We were up much of the night with Sofia. After a few days of saying her ears were bothering her, infection officially set in and an ear ache was in full force. Thus, we piled into the car this morning and headed over to Kaiser's after hours urgent care. I was dreading this visit. I've never had a quick visit or a remotely pleasant experience on weekend visits.

But today was different. 

We arrived to find no line at reception, a relatively empty waiting room and a nursing staff that was smiley and super kind to Sofia. We were back in the exam room within 10 minutes and back out with a prescription 10 minutes after that! Sofia was brave and articulate and we were super proud of how well she handled herself. She practically did all of the talking to the doctor herself! 

There is much to be thankful for today; medication to aid in quick healing, a daughter who knows her health and a super fast visit to urgent care that allowed us to still make it down to Highlands Ranch to spend the afternoon with Matt, Stacey and the girls. 

We're two doses of amoxicillin in. Please keep your fingers crossed for a good night's sleep...for us all!

Day 315: California Connection

It's funny where blogs will take you. Over the years, we've encountered several people that we've made and kept connections with. Once such couple is the Tangeman's, a family from California who reached out to us several years ago after following our blog for quite some time. While we haven't ever actually "talked", our internet lives have crossed paths frequently via comments and blog posts. And, each year, we send Christmas cards. They are the most adorable family and each December, we smile at the memory of the first time we heard from them upon seeing their card.

It's nice to know that there are people out there in this big world that have felt a connection with us. And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 313: Now THAT'S Giving

I love my school and the people I work with. They are unique, brilliant and above all else, kind. This week, it came to the attention of my teammate that we had a staff member in need of some help. His mother is ill and living in Las Vegas and airfare on a moment's notice was simply outside the realm of financial possibility. Quietly, our staff collected over $450 to help this man, the man who helps takes care of all of us by fixing anything that needs it. He received the envelope of cash in the early afternoon and within just a few hours had a plane ticket and rental car booked.

Giving has never felt so good. And for this, I am thankful.

For a more detailed account of this story, head over to From The Sidelines, a blog hosted by my teammate. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 312: Observations

I spent my evening observing an undergraduate methods class at Regis taught by my former teaching mentor. It was wonderful to see her in action after she had provided me with such sound advice so many times at the beginning of my career. Tonight was the last session of the semester and the last class before this group of students would be going off to student teach. They had so many questions, looked terrified and ready to take on the world all at the same time. With complete gracefulness, Margaret calmed each of them down and I watched the world lift from their shoulders before my very eyes. It was incredible.

It's a pretty powerful feeling to be in the presence of someone who is so skilled in her profession. I learned so much tonight and can't wait to begin working with college students of my own!

 And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 311: Red Kool-Aid Mustache

There's something reassuring about watching a 12-year-old walk into my classroom at 7:55 in the morning with red Kool-aid stained above his top lip. With so many pressures on our youth to grow up quickly, it's nice to have a reminder that there are some essences of childhood that will remain timeless.

And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 310: Clockwork

Sometimes there are days that seem to run themselves. Today was exactly that. Before I knew it, the clock said 10 pm. Busy and smooth, the day had passed me by. And today, I'm okay that. Sometimes it's nice to breeze through a day. And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 309: This Makes It Easier

Tonight, I had the pleasure of singing at our church's Festival of Lights. The choir sounded fantastic, the kids' skit was hilarious and the overall experience was simply delightful. When the night was done, I began making the rounds of hugs and hellos to friends I hadn't seen in a while. I was reminded instantly why God puts certain people in our lives when I managed to catch up with my friend Kerry. She conveyed how much I had been missed in the choir and at services. I explained to her that we have simply been swamped with work, family and well, life.

She smiled and said one, simple thing: "This makes it easier" as she gestured to everyone around us.

She's right. When you don't live near family, your friends and church become your support network. It's time to dive back in and shift some priorities.

Tonight, I am thankful for you, Kerry.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 308: One Fun Night

We had a great time at the MYC Holiday Party. And for this, I am thankful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 09, 2011

Day 307: Oh, Christmas Tree!

I'm sitting here, staring at our glowing Christmas tree. It really is of the best we've ever had. I like it especially because it is a White Pine and it reminds me of my front yard when I was a kid growing up on Monroe Road in Michigan. We had five of them in our yard. It's weird the things that stick in your mind. Looking at this tree brings back lots of great childhood memories and a fondness of the holidays that is certainly worth being thankful for.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Day 306: A Little Landslide

Tonight, our school held a talent show to raise money for new computers in our building. It was a huge success! There was standing room only and the kids did a fantastic job. To encourage attendance, the show was also opened up to staff members to perform. After all, what student doesn't want to see their teacher make a fool of themselves in front a large, live audience?

So of course I performed! :) My friend, Beth, and I sang "Landslide" while our friends, Bill and Tim played guitar. We worked really hard and enjoyed every second we had on stage. And for this, I am thankful.

And for your viewing pleasure...the beginning of our piece. ***Note: Beware. This is what happens when teachers walk onto a stage in front of their students.*** :)

Day 305: Hammer Time!

I find that as a teacher, one of the most annoying things about my job getting assignments turned in without a name on them. I mean, come on, take credit for the work you did people! So, as I went through the stack of no names on my most recent assignment trying to match up familiar handwriting, I came across what would be one of the best laughs I've had in a while.


This was all that was written in the upper left corner of the assignment. Huh? TL2Q? What the heck is that? I approached the student who I had guessed the paper belonged to. He immediately recognized it and, realizing that his returned paper meant he wouldn't have a missing score in the grade book, he very excitedly (and apologetically) accepted the sheet from me. 

"TL2Q? What's that mean?" I asked.
"Oh yeah, that" he smiled. "'Too legit to quit.' It's kind of my signature; my thing." 

I had to turn around right then and there to avoid cracking up in his face. All I could see in my mind was MC Hammer and his giant pants dancing across a stage calling, "Hammer Time!" 

Flashbacks and a great chuckle in the middle of the day...for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Day 304: Just In Time

I kind of had one of those days. And "those" kinds of days don't get better with crying toddlers who won't go to sleep. With Chris working late, I was seriously on the verge of tears after 30 straight minutes of whining, crying, bedtime-defying Nico.

But then the bedroom door opened.

I hadn't heard Chris come in but it didn't matter. He got home just in time. He swooped in and worked with Nico until he fell asleep so I could take a break.

I know that Chris had a long, hard day as well so I more than appreciated his help when I needed it. It's good to have a partner who knows my breaking points. And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Day 303: Three Suns and Changing Winds

Chris and Sofia decided to play a little game during this holiday season that would be just between the two of them and could last until Christmas. It's essentially a convoluted form of hide and seek....but with two nutcracker ornaments. Each night, one hides the two ornaments around the house and the other has to locate them the next day.

Tonight, while Sofia was on her quest, we laughed so hard! She is such a little stinker in ability to weasel out the hidden treasure locations from Chris. At the same time, she's super smart! Chris's hint to her was you will find the nutcracker near the three suns and the changing winds. 

Seriously? Even I was confused. But, Sofia was not! She looked right up toward our light fixture (with 3 lights on it!) and found the ornament hanging from the center! She has yet to find the other ornament sitting on top of the ceiling fan in the living room, but she'll get there.

I love that Chris and Sofia are playing this little game. It's fun to watch them interact and it's awesome to see her little brain try to problem solve Chris's wild riddles. It's going to be a fun three weeks! And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Day 302: Sofia's Santa Wish List

Today, Sofia asked if we could write out her Christmas wish list for Santa. So, after we finished decorating the tree, we sat down to talk about what she might like to ask Santa for. Here is what followed...

My favorite was the toy she asked for. It's quite possibly the most random and hilarious thing I've ever heard. She is SO our child! And for this, I am thankful. :)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Day 301: Team Gingerbread

I have loved my 7-2 teammates this year. We all have so much in common and it goes far beyond the walls of our classroom. Tonight, we all got together to have dinner with our families and make gingerbread houses. It was beyond fun! I am truly thankful to have such wonderful people in my daily life. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Day 300: Done

This week is done.

It was a hard week no matter what angle it was looked at and frankly, that sucked. But now, I'm moving on and that's important. Tonight, I found the place where I can just throw my hands up and let go of it all.

And for this, I am thankful.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Day 299: Cozy Car

It snowed last night. A lot. But this morning my car was not under a pile of snow. Instead, it was tucked neatly away in the garage; the garage my husband spent the weekend organizing so I could park there. I so appreciated not having to scrape and warm up the car with two little kids in tow on a day that began with temperatures in the teens.

A cozy car and quick get away...for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 298: An Unexpected Treat

As I held a squirmy toddler on my lap to read a bedtime story tonight, I couldn't help but yearn for the moments not too long ago when Nico (and Sofia too!) would simply cozy up and snuggle for as long as humanly possible. This child does not hold still. Ever.

But, nearly an hour after we had put him to bed, Nico woke up and was in need of some calming down. This resulted in a quiet few moments of mother and son snuggled up in the living room chair until sleep finally returned to the little man.

An unexpected cuddle just when I needed it most. For this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 297: Honesty

Today was a day filled with moments of honesty. There were tough conversations with students, teachers and even my family. Day's like this aren't always the easiest, but they certainly do serve as a reminder that we owe it to ourselves and others to remain open and accepting of ways we can improve on ourselves and the lives we lead.

I am glad this day is coming to a close but thankful I have relationships in my life where honesty is held in such high regard.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 296: I am home.

Home is where the heart is.  Now that I am home with my thoughtful husband and two adoring children, I am no longer in two places at the same time.  My family makes me feel complete and are my reason and inspiration for life.  It is great to be home and to be one with my family.

And for this, I am thankful.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 295: Connections

My trip to NOLA has been nothing short of interesting. From the sights, smells, melodious sounds and people watching, I have been thoroughly entertained each minute I've been here. The connections I have made with new family members and random encounters have been, by far, the best part of this trip. Each of these stories deserves a proper "telling" and I promise to do so in the next few days when I have a little more energy. :)

New family. New friends. New connections. All moments worth savoring and for this, I am thankful.

Day 294: At Ease

It's hard to be the only parent home with two young children. It's even harder when single parenthood stretches for 3 days. Tonight, I am thankful for my sweet husband who is home with Sofia and Nico all weekend by himself so I could attend my step-sister's wedding reception without a single worry. It was a beautiful night and my mind was at ease thanks to him.

I love you, Chris. And for you, I am thankful.

Our new step- niece and nephew at the reception. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 293: Hello NOLA

It's my first time in New Orleans. I'm here to celebrate my step-sister's new marriage to a wonderful man and his two children. It's always a blessing when families grow. :) My mom, step-dad, and sister are also here from Michigan, so it's been a ton of fun hanging out with them today as well.

I took my first stroll down the famed Bourbon Street tonight after dinner with the family and had an absolute blast. We found a great blues bar with a live band (ironically not playing anything close to blues) and danced like crazy. It was so fun!

It's rare that I get to hang out with my sisters. We had such a fun night and I am so looking forward to the rest of the weekend's festivities.

And for this, I am thankful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 292: Simply Grateful

It was an absolutely delightful Thanksgiving this year. We spent the day with a group of friends down at Matt and Stacey's where we ate the most incredible food, laughed a lot, drank delicious wine and enjoyed the 68 degree weather with our families. It was simple and absolutely perfect. 

This Thanksgiving, I have much to be thankful for. So many changes have taken place in the last year; personally, professionally, emotionally, psychologically. Not all of them have been easy but I can honestly say I am ten times the woman I was one year ago because of them all. I have been able to take time to reflect and grow. And so, on top of the deepest gratitude that I have for my family and friends, I am grateful for the personal growth and health I have achieved over the past year. 

I take one day at a time. It's simple and that works for me. And for this, I am thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 291: Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get a good night's sleep.

Falling asleep with a book on her butt. :) That's my girl! And for this I am thankful!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 290: Yoga and Burpees for Three

Sofia has become quite interested in the massive increase of physical activity that Chris and I have partaken in. When either one of us gets home from working out she'll ask, "So um, what kinda exercises and moves did you do today?"  and follows up with "can we do them?" Her favorite, by far, is the burpee -- a series of  movements that involve squatting, push-ups and jumping. I think a lot of her inquiry about physical activity has come from the different programs that she participates her in at school -- Fun Bus (yup, you read that right), dance and yoga.

Tonight, after Nico went to bed, Sofia asked if we could do some burpees and yoga. Umm, ok! She carefully arranged all the furniture and delineated our space with her jumprope so we each had a place. Then,  we did 10 burpees together (NOT easy!) followed by Master Yogi Sofia leading us in several yoga poses to stretch our bodies. It was awesome. And we giggled. A lot.

I love that our daughter is falling in love with being healthy and active. This is beyond fantastic and for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 289: Wicked Kiwi

When I was in college, I performed with an a cappella group called Wicked Kiwi. It was, by far, the most talented group of women I have ever sung with in my life -- with nearly each of the 8 members doing something semi or completely professional with their musical abilities. We're talking serious talent. It was quite a ride filled with memories that will share with my own kids someday.

Each Monday, Chris and I watch NBC's The Sing-Off and I can't help but feel like I am 21 again, ready to sing as if my life depended on it. I loved that time of my life and I love this show for bringing back those wonderful memories.

And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 288: MSU vs. Victoria's Secret

I'm so thankful this shirt was pulled. Seriously.

Apparently your secret, Victoria, is that you know nothing about college sports. Stinks too...the design is cute!

See Yahoo's! story for the ridiculousness that took place.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 287: Saying When

It's the middle of the night and I've woken up on the couch. Apparently I was exhausted! It's been a long few weeks with work, sick kids, faculty prep work and well, life. So on this middle of the night post, I am thankful that my body knew when to say when and helped me rest when I needed it most. Oh, and for a husband that quietly prepared tomorrow night's crockpot meatloaf so I could enjoy my snooze. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Recently on GlassHeel...

Been over to GlassHeel lately? There's some great stuff going on!

The Art of Being Thankful

Kudos to you, Ghostwriter

Day 286: A Little Visit

As a teacher, there are few moments that top former students coming back to visit. This happened to me today. Two students, who I taught during my first year of teaching 7 years ago, appeared in my classroom door after the bell rang today. These two boys were hilarious then and just as funny today. I was proud of the young men they have become and thrilled to hear that they have plans for their futures.

I also suddenly felt really old.

Oh well, feeling 10 years older was totally worth being reminded of why I am a teacher. And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 285: Professional

I'm a professional when it comes to detecting ear infections. I swear it. Unfortunately this is because we have a ridiculous occurrence rate of these nasty little events in our house. And now, with the weather changing and schedules heating up, it is inevitable that the season of ear infections will be upon us as well. Starting today.

But I caught it and I caught it early. And for this, I am thankful!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 284: A light! I see it!

For the past 12 days, I have been busting my butt reading, writing, responding and thinking about how adults learn. I am now, just 2 days away from completing my Affiliate Faculty Prep Course at Regis University. In two days, I am officially allowed to teach college courses. Me! Teaching at the college level is something I have always dreamed of. Granted, it's nothing fancy but, I'll be teaching about technology in education -- a field I love and have quite a bit of experience in. Should be a natural fit!

Having a two week course has been both a blessing and a nightmare. The timing has been difficult with the various other commitments I have at work and home right now. And, I'm just plain tired. I've been running on about 4-5 hours a sleep each night for the last several weeks.

So yes, there's a light. A very BIG light just two, short days away. And for this, I am thankful!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


In our living room tonight four people stood armed and ready for action; pillow fighting action! Squeals, laughter, running, ducking, dodging and FUN. I hate to say it, but the pint-sized participants gave the adults a run for our money! At one point, Nico ditched his pillow and went straight to just using his body as amo. He's such a boy!

I loved every second of our family time tonight! And for this, I am thankful!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 282: Four is Better Than Two

I've been waiting years for this...a morning routine where my husband gets to be involved. Thanks to a little shifting around his office, Chris will be working out of the office and not on a site for a while. This means, he won't need to leave before the kids and I are up and he will actually be around in the mornings to help get them ready and say hello to the day with us.

Today was our first day with our new routine and I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Four hands were so much easier than two when it came to getting two squirrelly kids out the door by 6:15 a.m. I am really looking forward to this new schedule!

And for this, I am thankful. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 281: Shrimpy

Long ago, my friend Kate and her family coined the word "shrimpy". Instead of asking someone if they are grumpy or crabby (which inevitably sends them into an even worse mood), ask them if they are shrimpy. It's totally lame and will make them laugh. I know you did just now! :)

We use "shrimpy" exclusively in our house and have for years... and it works like a charm. Every time. Including today when I was the master of all shrimpiness. I was standing in front of the refrigerator handing food to Chris as he called off ingrediants for the lunch recipe he was putting together. I was handing him items without thinking (or really listening, for that matter) and by about the 5th ingrediant, he caught on. With a quick wit he asked for the cocktail sauce. A split second later, I realized what he was doing as I turned around and he had a smirk on his face and the response, "goes great with shrimp!" to go with it.

And I laughed.

I am not perfect. I can be grumpy. I can be shrimpy. But, at the end of the day, I have a husband that I can laugh about it all with. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 280: Double Booked

Chris and I had such a fun night tonight. We had two groups of friends celebrating different occasions and we decided several weeks ago that we would somehow make it to both places.

Thanks to our super sweet and flexible babysitter, we did!

We had such an incredible time catching up with so many of our dear friends and celebrating milestones with them. We feel lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives that want to share their special moments with us.

We are happy. And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 279: Friday Friday Friday

It was a long day of Parent Teacher Conferences. And now, it's Friday night.

Thank. The. Lord.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 278: Checked Off

Today has been a day filled with to-do's. I'm happy to say that at 9:09, I have completed nearly all of them and will actually get to go to bed at a decent time tonight.

Now that is something I am seriously thankful for!

Day 277: Room B225

I'm tired. Really tired. But today, I'm thankful for a few moments where I was able to laugh while I was teaching. The laugh was mostly out of disbelief of what had just been said, but none the less, I cracked up. And so did my students.

We have a good time in Room B225. And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Day 276: Multiplicity

Today I am thankful for a number of things. Shall I begin?

  1. After a long night and lots of tests, my dad has been declared OK and has been released from the hospital. This is a huge relief and an answer to many prayers!
  2. Sofia has been sick for a few days. When she woke up this morning with a fever for the second day in a row, I panicked a little -- I could not afford to take the day off and Chris had already stayed home with her on Monday. I decided to pack up her backpack with her sleeping bag, a few books, her erasable writing tablet and my laptop for some Netflix streaming and we high tailed it to my classroom for the day. Sofia was SUCH a trooper and made herself a little comfy corner behind my desk where she enjoyed her special day as both a sickie and my helper. My students were outstanding with her and she returned their enthusiasm in kind. 
  3. I discovered today that my daughter has quite the quick wit. While sitting at my desk coloring while I taught, she stated very matter-of-factly (and loud enough for my entire class of 31 to hear): Excuse me Mommy...but students should not be talking when you are talking and they can only answer a question when you call on their hands that are in the air. Stinker. 
  4. This week, we actually planned out our meals before going grocery shopping. It has made the start to our week so simple and we've both been able to pitch in during the dinner-making process. Chris made the best burgers and sausages tonight. Accompanied with a side-salad and some hilarious dinner conversation, it was a fantastic dinner.
Today was better than yesterday on many levels. And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, November 07, 2011

275: Stupid, Dirty Jokes Are Always Better on Facetime

I really don't like this phase of life we are entering; the phase where our parents are aging and getting sick in ways that a cup of soup or a heating pad can't help any more. Even worse is not being able to be at their side when emergencies arise. So, tonight, I am thankful for resourceful doctors, Facetime, and the stupid, dirty jokes that my dad tells to make any situation light.

Love ya, Dad.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Day 274: Trading Spaces

We live in a tiny house. As our family has continued to grow over the last few years, that has posed an interesting challenge for us. And we have taken that challenge by the horns!

We realized pretty quickly that utilizing the vertical space our home has to offer was the way to make our tight quarters work for us. So today, we made that happen! We took on the kids' room to make it a space for sleeping, playing and reading.

The crib is on wheels and slides in and out from under the loft!

 Chris made a ladder from scratch that not only made easier for Sofia to get up into the loft, but it made the bed sturdier to boot!

Lots of room to play and have fun now!

We feel really good about the changes we made to the room today. The kids have their own space and so do we now!

And for this, we are thankful. :)

Day 273: Movie Night

Chris and I watched Bad Teacher tonight. While it certainly exemplified some stereotypes of teachers, it was worth the series of laughs it offered up.

It was nice to have some adult time and laugh the night away. And for this, I am thankful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Day 272: Magic Music

I love that our kids are already falling in love with music. Both of them have incredible rhythm and great ears. But my favorite thing is that they actually have decent taste in music too.

They have a little bedtime mix that they listen to each night as they go to sleep made up of Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, and Harry Connick Jr., to name a few. Sofia was instrumental in picking the songs, of course! As I pass by their door periodically in the evenings, it always makes me smile to hear such great songs soothing them to sleep.

But there is one magic song; a song that propels sleepiness to overcome their little bodies and calm down for slumber. This song can be played at ANY point during the day or night and Nico will instantly settle and smile. It's quite unbelievable, actually. The song is called Fireflies by Owl City. It's simple, sweet and the perfect tune to end the day.

I love that we have a magic song. And for this, I am thankful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 04, 2011

Day 271: First Finish

Tonight at CrossFit, I completed my entire workout for the first time. Because workouts are set to a timer, the intensity and pressure is high to get all reps and rotations done within the time limit. It felt awesome to finally finish before the buzzer.

I'm feeling stronger and healthier by the day. And for this, I am thankful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Day 270: Yay for Snow Days!

I'm not sure who gets more excited about snow days: students or teachers. Today, I might go with teachers...especially with it being our first week back after break. It's always a long haul getting back into routine and that first week can seem to drag endlessly. A Wednesday snow day was just what we all needed, in my opinion. :)

I took the opportunity to take the kids outside once the blizzard (and I do mean BLIZZARD) passed. Sofia couldn't get enough of the the snow; immediately tossing herself into the 8 inches that were already on the ground. Nico, wasn't as much of a fan and cried most of the time. Ah well, it will get better.

I am thankful that it snowed, thankful that I got some extra time with the kids despite going batty by the end of the day and thankful that my long, 5-day week was unexpectedly shortened! Thank you, Wednesday. You didn't disappoint!

Day 269: Hey There, Wednesday

...I'm really glad you will be here in a few hours. It's been quite a day and I'm very much looking forward to a fresh start for kids and hubby tomorrow. I'm also looking forward to a possible late start or snow day tomorrow.

Fresh starts are good and a good night's sleep definitely helps! And for this, I am thankful!

Off I go to snuggle up and listen to thunder snow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Day 268: I May Be Biased

...but, I think we made pretty cute kids. :) 
It was a great night. And for this, I am thankful.

Happy Halloween!
The Bumble Bee Princess and The Little Ninja




Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 267: Back to the Basics

I'm all for change and trying new things. When I noticed the traffic to AOW was increasing so much, I decided to take a gamble and put some ads on the site. But, in the last couple of months I've felt like the feel of the site has changed and it just wasn't me. The flow from day to day was broken up with ads after the posts and the nuance of daily thankfulness seemed to get lost in Full Sail University or Papa John's latest deal.

So I'm done. There's an ad on the sidebar but no more in between posts. Change is good, but sometimes, keeping it simple is the best solution. I'm glad I tried and I'm thankful I reflected.

And for this, I am thankful.

Day 266: The Old College Try

It's impossible to grow up in the midwest and not love college football. Going to a Big Ten university and having a seat in the student section for 3 years only solidified this love. 10 years later (yikes!),  I guess what keeps me still interested in the game year after year is how much I continue to learn with each game I watch.

Chris and I watch most games together and he always helps me to understand the game in a way I never would have on my own. I always have so many questions and he is so good about helping me understand and view plays as a player or coach would. It's pretty cool.

Saturday's are a bonding day for us. And for this, I am thankful.

Go State!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 265: Perfect Timing

Today I am thankful for perfect timing. Last night, as I was getting ready to go to sleep, I heard a weird noise coming from the kids' room. I opened up their door to find Sofia moaning and in tears because she had thrown up. Everywhere.

It was gross.

BUT thankfully, because I am on fall break, I was able to keep her (and Nico, just in case) home from school and not miss any work or scramble to figure out subs or daycare. That was a nice feeling.

Today I got to be a full-time caretaker. It wasn't what I had anticipated for my last day of vacation but any unexpected days with the kids is always special. And for this, I am thankful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 264: CrossFit

Today I completed my first CrossFit fitness class. I have made a commitment to get in shape and be healthy. Taking this class is my first step...and it kicked my butt hard core. It is intense, powerful and empowering. Even better, several of my co-workers are taking the classes too! The built in support and accountability is priceless.

I'm really excited to get back into shape again. While I lost all of my baby weight from my two kids, I just haven't felt like myself in a long time. I'm squishy. I don't like squishy.

Working out for me has so many benefits beyond just getting in shape. It is good for my mind, heart and soul. I'm glad to be getting back on this path and taking care of the ones I love by taking care of myself.

And for this, I am thankful.

BTW -- I am supposed to be able to see results in 2 weeks. While they won't be dramatic, they will be noticeable if I am consistent with the workout. I would appreciate any and all encouragement as I navigate the most difficult time frame of getting (and committing!) back into shape. 2 weeks. I can do this! A better, healthy life awaits!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 263: Not So Snow Day

I love the snow. Thus, each October as bets are made by the local meteorologists on when the first snowfall will be, I'll be honest and say I get pretty excited. There's something about running to the window the morning of the first time it snows. Everything looks so cleans and fresh and soft. I just love it.

Today we had our first snow. And it was a REAL snow. None of this light dusting stuff that melts by 10 a.m. We got a solid 6" at our house. Perfect for snow angels and catching flakes on the tongue of a certain 5 year old. :)

There were flurries all day and into the evening. I was thankful that we got this storm while we are off of school but more thankful that I had some time to revel in the giddiness that comes with the year's first snowfall.

...and drink some hot chocolate too!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 262: The Art of Doing Nothing

This week marks one of my favorite times of the year as a teacher: Fall Break. It is one week of pure, unadulterated relaxation. So today, in between a lunch with one friend and a walk with two others, I did nothing. Literally nothing.

And I loved every second of it.

I know that spending days like this is a rarity and not the highest on the productivity scale. But it's ok. It's all the more reason to be thankful.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Lesson From Peter Pan

Miss last week's GlassHeel Post? How we find balance in our lives is important. This week, I focused on a few of the things I do. Check it out here. :)


Day 261: A Simple Evening

We had such a wonderful weekend. :) And now, our house is quiet. The kids went to bed without an issue, toys are picked up, pumpkin seeds are roasting with cinnamon in the oven and my cute hubby is sitting cozily on the couch. These are nice nights. Simple and nice.

And for this, I am thankful.

Day 260: New Paths

We had the most unbelievable day! We took advantage of the amazing trails that Colorado has to offer and made our way into the foothills to give Lindsey and Jaffer a real mountain experience. 

The weather was absolutely picturesque and perfect for exploring. Above all else, Jaffer was able to do his first ever mountain hike and we felt so honored to be able to share the beauty and exhilaration that is our backyard.


It was an awe-inspiring day and one that brought a new meaning to the word determination to me. 

And for this, I am thankful.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 259: The Perfect Day

Beautiful weather, a trip to Boulder, happy kids, hilarious conversation, a Spartan VICTORY and a night out with Lindsey and Jaffer = the perfect day.

And for this I am thankful.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 258: Safe Arrival

Tonight, I am thankful for the safe arrival of my dear and hilarious sister-in-law and her husband. Lindsey and Jaffer arrived safely from Ohio to two non-stop chatting children and list full of activities that they have been requested to partake in during their visit. Sofia and Nico are in hog heaven. :) It's so much fun to take a step back and watch their relationship grow. :)

Gotta love the aunts and uncles. We sure have been blessed with them in this family! And for this, I am thankful!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 257: My Mother's Resources

In honor of my mom's birthday today, I chose to use one her best skills: maximizing resources. If there's one thing I've learned from her, it's that finding balance in life is crucial. Whether it's home versus work life or even figuring out the best way to divi up household chores, finding a way to make it all fit together -- and in a sane way -- is the key to feeling good.

So, after several super busy weeks at work for both Chris and I and company on the way Friday, I called a cleaning service. Instead of stressing out to get things around the house spic and span, all we did was pick up a few things tonight and call it good. No stress...with just a little mess that we won't have to clean up! :)

A little more free time and peace of mind to go along with it...for this, I am thankful.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 256: Up To My Elbows

Friday marks the end of first quarter. It's been quite the transition going back into the classroom. Some days, I feel like I'm the best teacher in the world. Others, not so much. Right now, I'm up to my elbows in grading. But there are only 2 days left. I can do this. There is an end in sight.

And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 255: Good Hair, Good Day

So this is totally vain, but I don't care. Today, I had a really good hair day. Any woman can empathize with the ups and downs that are associated with "good hair".  No joke, I have had entire days ruined because my hair (Greek and with a mind of it's own) chooses to do what it wants and not what I want. Good hair days are serious business, my friends.

Today was a good day. I was productive, in a good mood and ready to take on the world...and I am sure it has everything to do with the cooperation of my hair follicles. :)

And for this, I am thankful.

...oh, and really, this wouldn't be the most vain of vain posts without a self-portrait! :)

Day 254: 4

The number 4 is holding a special place in my heart today for two reasons: one, there are only 4 days of school left until (a much needed) fall break; and two, Chris's sister Lindsey and her husband Jaffer will be arriving on Friday as well.

There are four long days ahead with four awesome days to follow. And for this, I am thankful!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 253: My Dear Sofia, You're 5!

I will never forget the day our daughter was born. She has touched our lives in ways we never could have imagined every day since then. Sofia is kind, smart, sweet, beautiful, empathetic, courageous, thoughtful, loving, creative, funny and adventurous. Her spirit is contagious and it's all we can do to keep from squeezing her like crazy each day.

Today, we celebrated Sofia's 5th Birthday with our families via Skype and a few of her closest friends here at home. We decorated pumpkins, ate sloppy joes, decorated some more pumpkins, ate a ridiculous Dora the Explorer castle cake (decorated by Miss Sofia herself) and opened presents. She was insistent upon wearing her Rapunzel dress and for most of the afternoon, had the belt from my bathrobe tied into her hair so that it would be "long".

Sofia's smile was present from the minute she bounced into our bedroom at 7:30 to announce, "It's my birthday! Wake UP, Mom!" to the minute she closed her door to go to sleep tonight. This, of course, was followed by a quick run back out into the living room to ask when her next birthday is. She wasn't a fan of my response, "365 days."

Needless to say, it was the kind of day that I didn't want to end. My darling little girl is growing up and it is the most incredible honor to be a part of.

And for this, I am thankful.

Happy Birthday, Sofia! We love you SO much!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 252: Welcome Back Dad!

Today was absolutely jam packed. It was one of those Saturdays filled with errands and lists but had a little bit of fun built in. Chris got home late in the afternoon after being gone for two and a half days at a conference. We were all glad he returned. :) I feel like we were all a bit off kilter without him home. It's funny how quickly we got used to having him around all the time again! It will be nice to get back into a routine this week again.

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 251: Grooving to my Soundtrack

This week, my article on Glass Heel was about finding the soundtrack to your life. This article felt really good to write. It was actually easy to write. That was a first. In talking with a friend of mine at work today, I realized just how much of an outlet these weekly posts on daily motivation are for me. I've gained a new perspective and found a new way to encourage balance amongst all the crazy day to day events.

All my life I've enjoyed writing but over the last 251 days, I've fallen in love with it. And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 250: Grand Plans

Tonight I had grand plans to get all kinds of things done for work and around the house. Instead, I got both the kids to bed by 7:30 and cozied up myself shortly after. With Chris in the mountains for a few days at a work conference, I realized that shortening my to-do list tonight was probably the grandest plan I could put into place.

Sometimes you just need to slow down and put your pajamas on before dark. And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 249: Just Ask

Today I had some pretty open and honest conversations with my students about how they learn best. I have been doing quite a bit of research on the "flipped classroom" model -- allowing kids to do some of the learning at home and doing the "homework" during school. It's pretty incredible actually and caters to the idea that not all of us learn the best in a specific space during a specific time. Sometimes, pajamas, a hot chocolate and some soft music are what one needs to really be able to master a new concept. 

Frankly, it's quite incredible what kids will tell you when you just ask them. They are so much more insightful and reflective than we often give them credit for. We can definitely learn a lot from them if we open up our hearts and minds. 

And today, I did. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 248: Spit That Stitch!

Ok, so I've got this weird thing happening. It appears that my broken belly button does not like some of the stitching that was done during surgery and now, a MONTH later, my body is beginning to reject it. I'll spare you the details but it's seriously the most bizarre thing I have ever experienced. The doctor referred to the action as "spitting a stitch" to which I immediately started cracking up. Apparently, not only do I have a broken belly button, but it can spit back at you too! Ha! I knew I was talented. :)

It's important to be able to laugh at the wild and crazy adventures your body goes through as one ages -- and I'm certainly an expert at this! And for this, I am thankful.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 247: One-on-One

Tonight I was able to spend some girls only quality time with my dear friend, Kate. I loved it.

I'm feeling awfully lucky to have such a great friend. God is good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just So You Know

I have a new logo! Check out the new Glass Heel Contributor Logo on my sidebar. Click on it to be taken directly over to this incredible site where you can gain resources for life, love, finances, friendship, personal growth -- you name it. The list of phenomenal female contributors continues to grow each week and it is definitely worth a stop by if you haven't done so already.

Each Friday, I contribute an article on the topic of Daily Motivation. Be sure to check them out and leave comments! :) And for you, Dad, here's my list of articles published so far:


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Day 246: Abundance

I feel like I have so much to be thankful for today. It has honestly been a wonderful weekend -- slow at times, jam-packed at times. This weekend was filled with laughter, fresh air, friends and relaxation. We had an extra special treat when my best friend and her family arrived for a visit. We spent a late afternoon at Red Rocks and then grilled back at our house. We took some adorable pictures (I'll promise to post soon) and watched our kids climb, jump in puddles and get dirty. Seems like yesterday that Kate and I were doing the same thing...

It was a good day and for this, I am thankful.

Day 245: Before Our Very Eyes

There are times as a parent that you realize your children are growing and learning right before your very eyes. Tonight, we had just such an occasion...twice.

First, Nico blew kisses goodnight. It hit me like a ton of bricks that Nico is entering a new phase of his little life: actual communication. It won't be long before words, sentences and phrases start spewing from that cute, dimpled face of his. It all goes too fast sometimes. However, his mastery of kiss blowing was awfully adorable and worth savoring. Check it out...

Later on, Sofia was sitting at the dinner table "playing school". She, of course, was the teacher and had spent several minutes writing down names on her very important paper (this is what she had called it!). Minding our own business, Chris and I were instructed to respond to roll call. However, we were not allowed to reply "here!" for our own names. No! Any time the name Stinky Socks was called, that was Chris's cue. Mine was Johnny Helper. The twist came when I replied a resounding "HERE" for Johnny Helper but was told that Johnny was "not here, but on a date." What?!? Chris and I were absolutely rolling.

"Kids! Kids!" Sofia ran over with her pen waving in the air. With a stern look she scolded us for laughing because "it was not funny!"

...and we lost it again.

Oh, the joys of parenting! Laughter and learning all in one night. For this, I am thankful!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Day 244: What's That Sound?

Silence. Whoa. 

Chris and Sofia are at the circus. Nico is asleep. For the first time in a long time, I have some alone time. The house is quiet and calm. 

We have a full weekend ahead with visitors, birthday parties and TONS of grading. But for now, it's nothing but a slow, silent Friday night. 

And for this, I am thankful.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Day 243: Au Revoir

Ya know, I pride myself on not being a person that just lets life pass me by. But I'll tell you what: I am a person that is OK with admitting when I am ready for a day to end and have a fresh start! Sometimes, it's a good thing to say au revoir to the day as you are looking straight ahead to move forward. I suppose in a sense, I'm passing life by instead. As Mary Engelbreit says, "Don't look back. You're not going that way."

Tomorrow is a new day. And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Day 242: Nope. Doesn't Taste Like an Apple.

It's no secret that I'm a techie. I do try to hide my klutziness though. A techie klutz is just no good. Unfortunately, the combination is sometimes unavoidable. Like tonight.

As I sat in my favorite spot in the living room working on my Glass Heel article for this week, I held up my MacBook Pro in excitement for a bowl of ice cream that was soon to be on it's way. As I did this, the lid came crashing down toward my face and slammed into my top lip. A cut, blood and puffy lip resulted followed by a bad, but HILARIOUS comment by Chris.

Did that taste like an apple?

What a punk. But at least he's funny! :)

I was able to laugh through a pathetic moment of complete klutziness thanks to him. He was even kind enough to bring me some ice and my bowl of ice cream to make me feel better.

Loving my funny hubby tonight. And for him, I am thankful!

On a side note, I have been using an Apple since I was a kid. Steve Jobs will be greatly missed by those of us in the tech community. May he rest in peace.

Day 241: Now THAT Was a Good Laugh!

One of the things we have been noticing changing with Sofia lately is her recounting of the day's events. Sometimes, she will chatter on during dinner about a series of activities that took place and it all seems plausible. And then, there's nights when Chris and I look at one another in total confusion. Did she really just say that? I understand that much of her "storytelling" is due to her age, but seriously, some the stuff she comes up with is downright hilarious.

Tonight, Sofia told us that a little boy fell over one of the railings on the playground. Chris and I immediately perked up and began to ask the obvious questions of "was he ok?" and "how did it happen?" but as she began to fill in the details, we couldn't help but laugh. Her story was clearly not real. Before we knew it, a fire truck and ambulance had arrived and there was blood everywhere....and then nowhere...and then everywhere again. The nail in the coffin was her description of the cut that resulted from the fall -- she held out her hands about 3 feet apart. I had to laugh into a pillow at that point.

We either have a brilliant storyteller or major confusion between fact and fiction on our hands. In all seriousness, I will be checking to make sure that if a little boy did in fact fall, he was ok. But here's my definite truth: I'm so loving this stage right now and am thankful for these unexpected moments of chuckles.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Day 240: Nothing Special

There was nothing special about today. No magnificent moments, no upsets. It was just, a day.

When things get crazy around Chez Daniel I need to remember days like today and think about the feeling I have right this very minute: peace

It's good to feel peaceful. And for this, I am thankful!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Day 239: Hello October!

I really love the fall. I love the colors, smells, warm sweaters, all of it! Now that it's officially October, I feel like I'm ready to really embrace the changing of the seasons and cozy up in the cool weather on the way...who knows when! It's been in the 80's for the last several weeks with no typical fall weather in sight. I'm certainly not going to complain and am definitely thankful for the extended summertime feel that October has brought with it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Day 238: Unplugged

Tonight, the computer is being shut off, the phone on silent and apps ignored. Tonight is just about hanging out in person with my husband.

It's important to have some balance. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 237: Predictability

It's been a good week on multiple levels. It felt good to be back at work and into more of a regular routine again. I like routines. It feeds my obsession to be in control. :)

I'm feeling a little better each day and am looking forward to a little more predictability to our daily lives. And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 236: We've Outsmarted A One-Year-Old

We've kind of avoided restaurants lately because Nico is in that stage where he is, shall we say, an absolute dinner guest nightmare. Ok, so he's not that bad, but our time out as a family of four isn't exactly relaxing. Tonight, neither Chris nor I had the energy to cook so we decided to take a gamble and meet up at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants with the kids. This time, though, we had a plan!

Chris and his engineer, Todd, were there ahead of us, so I called shortly before our arrival and Chris placed our order. It was a perfect fall evening, so we had a table outside; ideal for the occasional squeal and fist banging. Our food arrived within 5 minutes and we all dove right in. About 15 minutes later,  I suddenly realized that we had actually been enjoying our meal and our time at the restaurant. We even had time to chit chat a little before the kiddos got antsy and we had to make a stop at the giant painted cow on the way back to the car.

We honestly had a really nice night. I absolutely love spending quality time with my husband and kids on evenings like this. The fact that Nico participated as superb party guest was just icing on the cake!

And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 235: Proud Mama & Papa

When I picked Sofia up from school today, her teacher pulled me aside to tell me about a little incident that had taken place during the day. I had no idea what to expect. She proceeded to explain that a group of kids had told Sofia she could not play with them and that she got upset. After taking a minute to calm down, color a picture and explain to the teacher what had happened, Sofia decided to try again.

With her chin held high, Sofia went and told the three kids that how they had acted had really hurt her feelings and that their words were unkind. A few minutes later, the three kids came and found her over by the teacher, apologized and asked her to play. Her teacher told me that Sofia was so thoughtful and sweet and immediately said, "It's okay, guys! Sure, I"ll play with you!" and ran off.

I'm not sure that I have ever been more proud of my little girl. Being at a new school can be really hard in so many ways and negotiating the path of new friendships can be especially difficult. The fact that she knew to handle the situation in a way that was so mature way absolutely blew my mind and touched the heart of her teacher.

Chris and I am one proud mama and papa tonight. And for this, I am thankful!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 234: Ramen in a Beaker

This morning, I woke up thinking about work. I went to the grocery store at 4:30 this morning to buy plastic cups for a DNA lab. I stirred my coffee with a pencil (on accident). I heated up my Ramen noodles in a 600 mL beaker (left my bowl at home). I sat through student meetings, parent meetings and co-worker meetings. To put it frankly, this was a day where every thought and action was work oriented.

And it is done now. I love my job but I also love days that have a little bit more balance. Tomorrow is a new day that will run at a little bit of a slower pace. And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 233: Yup, I Flooded My Classroom

It's true.

Tomorrow the kids will be doing their first major lab and so we had to review safety standards. This included me showing the kids how the chemical shower and eye wash station worked. I typically just talk about it and move on. But not during 7th period. Not today. In a moment of epic teacherness, I pulled the lever and let the water pour out.

And it kept pouring.

I suddenly realized that it wasn't stopping! So I climbed up on top of the counter to reach the piping and manually close the valve. By the time I looked down and across my room, the entire floor was covered in about half an inch of water. Once I calmed all the kids down, I made the necessary calls to get the room taken care of and took them out in the hallway to finish class. What I thought was a huge disaster, the kids thought was awesome and I was instantly catapulted into "coolest teacher ever" standing.

While today certainly wasn't one of my finest moments of my teaching career, there were definitely some amazing people and memories to be thankful for. Our building engineers were so kind and helpful, the kids quickly and flexibly relocated AND I have a drain in my room. I lovely, big drain that allowed for all that water to be cleared quickly despite the floor sloping in the wrong direction.

What can I was my first day back and I like to make an entrance. Oh, and my students will never forget how to use the chemical shower! :)

Day 232: Easy To Do 'Do

On Friday before I spent the better part of my day at the DMV, I stopped by my hair salon for a cut and color. After the really fantastic two week stretch we had at our house, I honestly was looking forward to my time in the chair with Kiko more than ever before. I always leave feeling so good!

Two days later, I am still feeling grateful for my time at the salon. As women, we all know the dreaded feeling of standing in front of the mirror at home after the first hair wash post salon 'do. I'll never be able to style it like they did at the salon! Thanks to Kiko, this is not a worry. And, as a Greek woman who has hair with a mind of it's own, this is a seriously big deal.

It's nice to have a hairstyle that is easy to do and still makes me feel young and stylish. Thanks, Kiko!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 231: Passports Please

It's a standing joke with our friends, Matt and Stacey, that they live so far away we need passports to get to their house. Truth is, they really don't live that far. They just aren't down the street like they used to. Regardless, we were able to go spend some time with their family and a group of people to watch Ohio State play Colorado on tv as the as the "we-know-you-didn't-go-to-OSU-but-still-went-to-a-Big-10-school-and-we-like-you-anyway" family. In short, we've made a great group of friends through "The Skimmy's" who are all major OSU fans and tons of fun to be around on a warm, fall Saturday afternoon.

I love college football this time of year. Spending the day with great friends who we don't get to see very often due to distance was the perfect way to spend the day! And for this, I am thankful.

Oh, and Michigan State won too. :) Go Spartans!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My First Step in Glass Heels

This morning my first article was published on Glass Heel. If you haven't had a chance to check out this amazing site for women, you should!

...oh, and while you are there, you can read my article too. :)

I will be contributing each Friday to the Daily Motivation section of the site. My first  piece was on taking the time to say "thank you" out loud. Enjoy!

***Logo courtesy of Glass Heel***

Day 230: Marvin and the DMV

Is there ever a quick trip to the DMV? I'm not so sure and I always dread having to go. Today was no different. Having to purchase new license plates for my car due to a freak highway semi-truck tire versus my minivan exchange, I was hoping I wouldn't have to spend too much time in the most comfortable waiting room in the world. But when I discovered there were nearly 100 people who had numbers to be called before me, I kind of lost all hope of being able to enjoy any part of the rest of my day off.

I found a chair, pulled out my iPhone and began reading one of my favorite online newspapers. The elderly man next to me sighed and I looked up. I knew from that moment I would be OK with waiting when he leaned over and said, "I know I told my wife I'd grow old with her, but I might just age next to you instead." I laughed and what ensued was a 2 hour conversation where we shared stories of everything from our spouses to children to careers and even travel. It was absolutely delightful and a great reminder that unique, kind, wonderful people can be found in nearly every corner of our world -- even the DMV!

Today, I survived what could have a long, unbearable afternoon thanks to a gentle spirit named Marvin. I will never see him again, but that's ok. It was a nice afternoon. And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 229: The File

Today I got an email with the subject that looked like this:

Attached is a file I saved on my work computer titled "Meg a roo" - I'm not kidding

I immediately knew I was in for a treat from my friend Christie. There are few people on this earth who can make me laugh like her. Her file, which was a letter composed over what seemed like a few days, did not disappoint. It even came with pictures! 

I laughed and I laughed hard. It felt so good! Thank you, Christie, for the hilarious and heartfelt letter you sent to me today. I am SO thankful for you as my friend. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 228: It's For Real!

Recently, I was offered an incredible opportunity to share my thoughts about gratitude in a weekly format. A new website geared toward woman and the 10 million hats we wear has asked me to contribute a articles focusing on finding daily motivation based off of this blog. I am seriously pumped! My first article will appear on Friday! I hope you'll find a moment to jump over to The Glass Heel and check it out. :)

Learning to open my heart and live each day with intention has forever changed my life. I am so grateful that I will be able to share some of my thoughts and stories more in depth to a whole new section of readers. Here goes nothin'!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 227 - Home (again!)

Daddio writing here for our favorite exhausted blogger who is all medicated and about to drift off. Today we are thankful for healthcare and getting home...again!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 226: Preemptive Strike

This may be a long shot, but I'm going for it. Last Monday, before my surgery, I got a HUGE dose of antibiotics. I'm assuming this was for preventative measures. And I'm hoping these preventative actions are still going strong...

Today was my first day back at work. My students were unbelievably kind and my co-workers  offered overwhelmingly to help wherever and with whatever I needed. I really felt loved. :) But at 10:00, my phone started ringing like crazy -- first Sofia's school and then Nico's daycare. Both kids were sick and blowing out both ends. Ugh. My poor kids...and on my first day back. Crap. Literally.

Luckily, I was able to get coverage for my last two class periods and head home with the kids. Chris made his way home too so that he could help. On the phone, we decided that he would stay home tomorrow so I wouldn't miss any more work. But, when he walked through the front door, I knew he wouldn't be staying home just for the kids. Flushed, feverish and hollow-eyed, he would be taking a "sick day" too. 

I definitely went through a pity party moment tonight. I mean, let's be honest: the timing of all this couldn't be worse! My sweet kiddos and husband all sick and I can't help them. At all. I can't lift my children to comfort them. I can't cook and clean and carry little trays of food to Chris or Sofia. I can't be the caretaker that I love being so much. Not to mention, Chris is swamped at work and I've already taken five and a half days off! Seriously?!?! Seriously.

But then I remembered the antibiotics and what my job really is for the next 24 hours: stay healthy. That's it! Stay healthy for 24 hours. I can do that. I am hoping and praying that those antibiotics are still in my system -- even if it's the tiniest, tiniest bit to fight off whatever nastiness is floating through this house. By staying healthy, I can be the one to smile and laugh for my family. I may not be able to carry things or do things for them, but I can love them and love them happily by not being sick. 

Alright antibiotics. I'm thankful for you tonight. Don't let me down! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 225: Little Dreams

Today, Sofia said things like, did you realize and specifically and I was thinking about...

I suddenly realized that my little girl is turning into a little person who thinks and dreams and wonders. It's quite amazing to witness and I'm so thankful to all of the people in her day-to-day adventures that are helping to cultivate these new passions. I'm so excited to see where her little life will take her!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 224: Welcome, Mr. Wood!

Last night, two of my dearest friends gave birth to their first child. It was so much fun participating in the series of texts, Facebook posts, photo exchanges and phone calls! Actual "birth days" are such an exciting time and to be able to share in those moments was especially meaningful.

There's something about a new little life that can put everything into perspective. During my visit to the hospital today, I didn't care about my pain or my own worries. Watching my friends smile and look at one another in ways they never have was absolutely wonderful. Beautiful and perfect in every way,  I couldn't think of two more deserving people to be this little man's new parents.

Congratulations to Dawn and Chad! Welcome to to parenthood and a lifetime full of thrills, happiness and endlessly falling in love. 

Being witness to such joy... for this, I am thankful!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 223: Dry Run

It was almost like I was 16 again; buckling my seatbelt in the driver's seat for the first time in 5 days. Here we go! Today was my first time behind the wheel, my last day off on medical leave and the kids needed to go to school and daycare so I could rest.  My neighbor met me upstairs to carry Nico out to the car and Sofia was in charge of her backpack (a very important job!). Everyone was in place. I was ready. I could do this! I had a slight tingle in my fingers as I turned the ignition. I'm actually driving again! 

And then I made my first turn. And hit the first bump. And slowed down suddenly in heavy traffic. OUCH! 

So my first driving experience wasn't the best. In fact, it was quite horrible. I'm seriously not a wimp but today's adventure sure made me feel like one! I absolutely cannot believe how much this 1-inch incision in my abdomen has affected my life. But it has and I need to focus on how I can use it to work for me and not against me. 

Despite the pain and the feelings of wimpiness, I'm definitely thankful that I was able to do a dry run and practice getting out of the house. Monday is a big day and my nerves have certainly lessoned now that I know what to expect out of my new morning routine. Oh, and now I know I should wear an ice pack on my stomach while I drive! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 222: Addition

Today was a day filled with tiny moments -- moments of quiet snuggling with my daughter, quiet conversation on the couch with my mom, phone chats with friends and cat naps. It was just the right kind of day to be stuck at home recuperating. It's these kinds of moments that are important to remember when I'm feeling overwhelmed and anxious about returning to "normal" life. All these little moments sure add up into something grand.

And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 221: Mama's Girl

Sometimes you just need your mom. Even when you're 31 years old. Yesterday, my husband got on the horn and was able to figure out a way to get my mom here to help out while I'm out of commission this week. By dinner, she was here and already takin' charge. I love that about her. :) Mom was so helpful today and didn't allow me to move a muscle -- which was helpful considering every single muscle in my entire body hurts!

My mom has been incredibly busy in her own adventures lately. For her to drop everything to come and take care of her grown daughter is something we are truly grateful for. Thanks Mom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 220: Mr. Fix-Me

My husband has been the most incredible caretaker today. I don't think either one of us realized the pain or recovery involved with a broken bellybutton...err umbilical hernia. My ice pack stayed full, he kept track of my medication schedule, groceries were gathered, the house picked up and he even arranged for my mom to fly into town to help out (YAY!!!!). He has simply been the best support I could have ever imagined. 

I am truly at a physical low and my husband has been a rock the last 24 hours. I am one lucky girl. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 219: Are you there, God? It's me, Meg's bellybutton.

I never thought that when I left my house at 6:15 this morning that I would return at 11:45 pm after having an unplanned operation! Needless to say, this won't be long as the powers of prescription pain killers are taking deep effect as I write. 

Long story short: I had a really bad stomach ache with ridiculously painful shooting pains. Worried about appendicitis, my doctor's office told me to skip them and go right to the ER. The result was not appendicitis, but an umbilical hernia. I seriously thought only babies could get those! The ER doc could not push the hernia back in and I was whisked away to surgery for repair. 

Before I knew it, I was coming to in the recovery room where I was blessed with the most incredible recovery nurses to take care of me. The pain was out of this world and Rhonda, Anya and Blake anticipated and took care of my every need.

There were so many factors that went into today's successful surgery from my teammates covering my afternoon classes at the drop of a hat to the swiftness of getting into surgery to the exemplary care of the docs and nursing staff at the hospital. 

Today, many hands, hearts and minds were at work to ensure my health. And for this I am unbelievably thankful!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 218: Never Forget

September 11 weighs heavily on my heart each year. Like most, I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when I discovered a plane had crashed into the first tower. It is a feeling I will never forget.

Today is always a day that I am grateful and honored to be an American. To those who have defended our freedom and continue to do so, we are deeply indebted.

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 217: Anywhere

Chris and I have just returned from a date night where we met up with some friends and were able to celebrate my birthday. We had so much fun! While we were out though, I couldn't help but think about the kids and wonder if they were able to settle down and fall asleep at our neighbor's house where they were being taken care of. My worry was irrelevant. After nearly a year of traveling between two cities, my kids can sleep anywhere and everywhere. They are champs. :) We arrived home to find both kiddies asleep and happy. Sofia is finishing out the evening in slumber party fashion at Hayley's and Nico is comfortably in "high hiney" position in his crib.

It's nice to be able to have an adult evening and not worry about our kids. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 216: A Listening Ear

I've never really known what signal beams out from my forehead that notifies people that I will listen and help them. Maybe it's because I'm a mother. Maybe it's not. This week, however, this signal was in full beacon mode as I felt more like a counselor than a teacher, wife, sister, friend or mother. It was simply wild and by the time the kids went to bed tonight, I was pretty well spent. It wasn't but a few moments later that it hit me how lucky I am that people trust me to listen and help with challenges they are facing. It really is an honor and one that I will always be grateful for.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Day 215: They Say It's My Birthday

Today I am 31. Geesh, that feels old! I was especially reminded of my wiser years when I explained in detail to Sofia this morning why we would be driving the extra block down the street to make our turn at the light because it was safer at that time of day. Yes. I really did that. What has happened to me?

Aside from my old geezer moment, today has honestly been one of the best birthdays to date. The kids woke up cheery and even though Sofia was very concerned that we did not have balloons and cake in the house, she was eventually convinced that my birthday could still proceed. My students "surprised" me in two class periods by hiding under the science tables and turning off the lights as I stood outside the door pretending I had no clue what they were doing. It was priceless. They were so proud of themselves for pulling one off on their teacher. My husband began and ended my day with coffee: my morning cup and my very own Keurig as a gift this evening! I've been dreaming of one for years, so I was sooooooooo excited about it. :) And, I hadn't even asked for it...definite points on the "Good Listening Husband Card".

Friends stopped by my classroom, I talked to family, I was overwhelmed by kind thoughts on Facebook and had a quiet (and second) dinner with Chris once the kids went to bed. I am 31 years old today. If this year is anything like the moments that were strung together today, I can already tell it's going to be a great year.

And for this, I am thankful.