THIS Has Gotta Be The Good Life

Well, folks. It's true. It happened. It finally happened. 

If you wait for it, it will come. 

Or is it, if you give up, when you least expect it, something good will come your way?

Eh, either way, I have no clue. 

But I am FINALLY employed, BEFORE the school year begins. 

You heard me correctly. After 5 years of teaching, after waiting each summer and wondering whether I will begin in the fall with all of my other teacher friends or not, after watching all of them begin and me sitting on my bum, after going through interviews with nothing to show each summer, I finally have a contract before August 1st. 

After being a kindergarten teaching assistant for two years, student teaching and long-term subbing for a year, teaching 1st grade for a year (as a part year hire), and teaching EIP for a year (as a part year hire), I am entering my sixth year of teaching. Only this year is my FIRST time beginning on my own from the very beginning. Can you believe I am nervous? I am more used to six different teachers handing me kids and saying, 'here you go, we'll talk!' Only now, they are all mine. I have to figure it all out. It's kind of scary. But, I am also excited because it is 2nd grade and I worked with 1st and 2nd last year. When I saw my class list I have some of my kiddos I worked with last year. Yay! 



Oh, did I leave that part out in all of my joy? I am at my same school as last year (so this is actually my third year there), my principal was able to get me back! I love her to pieces. I nagged her all summer (just like last summer, but I told her I was going to). 

Ok and here is the best part. When I got the call - my whole family was together waiting in the hospital to meet my brand new niece. I got a new job and a new niece in the same day. All just one week ago. 



I don't know who was happier me or my dad! But I will say this, on the way home from the hospital that night (with my two and a half year old niece in the car with us) we did stop to buy a lottery ticket - just in case! ;) 

Lessons Learned:
This was one of the best summers I have had in a long time and until a week ago all I knew was that my last paycheck was coming on July 31st and on August 31st I would have no more insurance. Ironically, I wound up in the ER this summer with 6 stitches and also took my first vacation in 3 years on my own. 
I am as broke as ever. 
I did not go on a single interview. 
In a way, I had given up. I had resigned to the fact that perhaps I really was not meant to reside in the teaching profession. 
I suppose sometimes we have to let loose, live a little, a trust that in the end things will work out the way they are supposed to. 
I was surrounded by family when I got the news. Exactly how it should have been. 
Now to learn the art of saving. 



10

If You're Going to San Francisco

Be sure to wear a flower in your hair! 

My hair doesn't look super pretty because this was taken after 10 miles of bike riding (to the Golden Gate Bridge and across and down to Sausalito), a little walking around, and a very windy ferry ride back to the Bay. In fact, bless this man's heart who took this picture. The poor woman who tried first, had she told me to hold down my hair maybe there would not be "blooper pics for some future wedding video."



The ride across the Golden Gate was definitely a check off my ole' bucket list. It reminded me of when I biked 22 miles across Tuscany. However, from this bike ride, I learned that I am no longer 21 years of age. At the end of the day, my bum and legs were just as sore from 11 miles as they were from 22. 

My legs were sore. I walked all over the city the day before, at least 6 miles (as I mapped it on Google maps). 

Clearly I was preparing for a triathlon. 

Thank goodness I left my wetsuit back in the east so there would be no swimming. 

Oh wait, there is NO wetsuit, whatsoever. 

who knew I had photographic talent?


from the other side, riding down to Sausalito
  
along the bridge for the ride

Happy 75th Anniversary Golden Gate Bridge!

There's something to be said for having done this on my own. I went to the bike place, Bike and Roll. So appropriate right? Got my map and my helmet. I felt like the Indigo Girls, "Get out the map, get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down."

Maybe not. The lady in the bike place was awesome. She told me exactly how to go, though she could have just said, follow all the other fools out there who look like lost tourists like yourself. Yet, she kept telling me I could do it, no problem. 

All she needed was my credit card to hold the bike should something happen to it. Well guess what folks. I'm as broke as a joke, and that's exactly I told her. What she wanted to hold on my credit card was a minimal amount in hindsight, but it wasn't going to be approved by my bank. (dear goodness please don't let my parents read this). She asked if I had cash or a debit card and I said of course, but neither had that much money. Yep, sunshine. I'm as broke as a joke, but I've got money to rent a bike for a day. I said it with a huge smile on my face. She looked at me, smiled, and said "please just bring the bike back!" Not only did I bring the bike back but the next morning, I took her a bag of cookies from the best bread company ever! 


Lessons Learned: 
Get up and go, because your feet may never cross these paths again.
Be kind to everyone you meet, and wear your smile. You never know where it may get you. In the end only kindness matters (and no, I am not quoting Jewel). 
Stop. Take it in. Enjoy the sights, the sounds, the smells. They are the little things. cherish them.
Please, wear sunscreen. I say this more for myself, because you'd think I would have learned this lesson by now.  
The world is definitely waiting for you when you return. 
Maybe from time, to time, wear a flower in your hair. 



3

Born to Run

 We gotta get out while we're young

`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run walk. 




made this shirt for my niece two years ago for the 4th!


Sorry Springsteen. I never could keep up. I tried. I hit it with my best shot. I went the distance. I really did. But this girl was not born to run. 

I woke up early when I lived in NYC. My roommate ran/walked with me a mile in the morning to help me. On the weekends I hit Central Park. I have 'Running Mix' and 'Run 2010' on my ipod, the latter of which tells you how long it has been (and also an indication of why 2009 and 2010 were truly my skinniest of days). 

When I lived in NYC, I ran several 5Ks, including the Race for the Cures and any other ones I could sign up for. I always wrote my time on the back of my rae bib, improving with each one. There even may have been one race where I actually did run the entire thing and not have to stop. 

When I moved back from NYC in 2006 it was also a year marker from my dad's triple bypass surgery. He wanted to celebrate. How? With tens of thousands of his nearest and dearest in the US's largest 10K. That's right folks. Here in the south we do it large, loud, and proud on the 4th! 

The Peachtree Road Race! 

My brother, myself, my mom, and my dad all signed up. My dad and brother ran it together and stayed together. I walked it with my mom. I got her to run just a tad in the beginning, and of course at the end to cross the finish line. It was a great day and a wonderful way to celebrate his health.

 all 4 of us in our race t-shirts at a pool party afterwards, 2006

That Peachtree would be my parents one and only. The whole we did it once, we can say we did it. We live in Atlanta. It's hot. It's July. You're young. You can go be crazy. The next tear we were in town again on the 4th was 2009 and my brother and I signed up. This time we had J with us and she was 6 months pregnant. I was pumped. Finally. They would walk with me. I mean yeah, yeah, she's fit, and in shape, and she's been running, but it's HOT! And did I mentionshe's pregnant with my niece or nephew?! 

Next thing I know, I'm saying "fine I'll meet y'all at the finish at line." I finally find them. She has a bottle of water in her hand for me when I find her and a "guess what? I ran the whole thing!" 

Ugh! That alone was enough to make me sick. 

Wouldn't ya know it the same think happened the following year. Except she wasn't pregnant, she just had a 8 month old baby! She still ran the whole thing. Me? I walked. Don't you just love them? They still wait for me at our meeting spot. They're the best. 

me, my brother, J, and my niece sleeping after The Peachtree Road Race in 2010

Last year, I left them on their own. Not because I had become some accomplished runner, but because I was truly that lazy that I had forgotten to sign up. Genius that I am, it's true. Them? They still ran the whole thing, those stinkers. 

This year? Well, I purposely didn't sign up. I'm out of shape. Or maybe it was one of those, everything happens for a reason things. 


The sight of this still gives me the heebeejeebees! (yes, Friday will be 5 weeks)

As for them - they sold their numbers this year - a baby is coming in 16 days and we are in the middle of a heatwave. 

Lessons Learned: 
It doesn't matter if you walk or run, just get out there. 
Stay in shape. (clearly do as I say, not as I do).
Have a meeting spot. 
If you're waiting for someone, it's a nice touch to have a bottle of water also waiting for them. 
If you're 9 months pregnant, don't run in a heatwave. 
Likewise, if you're out of shape, don't run in a heatwave. 
If it's been a year since major surgery - celebrate that in a big way. 
There's always next year - but don't wait too long. Remember to live in the moment, cause baby you're a firework (sorry, I had to, mainly for my niece) ;) 
2

I've Gotta Feeling

 that it's gettin' a little hot it in here:

yesterday's temp at approx. 5 p.m. 

that we're gonna cool off today: 

hello, pool in the backyard

that the sun will come out today and tomorrow, more 103 degree days, at least. 

so we'll watch this also to stay cool. My 2 and 1/2 year old niece is learning the songs. I couldn't be more proud. We both have curly red hair. 

Yep. It's July 1st. 9:00 a.m. and already 85 degrees. I better get crackin so can I get the Little Miss and head over to NanaPopi's (my parent's, but when my niece is involved, it becomes on giant, excited, jointed word.) We're giving her parents a break. Why? Well, because they're moving in two days and need to pack, they're having a baby in 19 days, and basically we'll take any excuse we can to have her. I've gotta feeling it's gonna be a good day. It may even include a fabulous summer beverage inappropriate for my niece. ;) 

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