Tuesday, March 10, 2015

10/31 Slice of Life Challenge: An 8 Step Slice

Step 1: Brainstorming: Re-think your entire life and why you have come to this moment. 
Step 2: Avoidance: Walk away from the blank screen and complete that one household chore you meant to do yesterday. 
Step 3: Illusionment: Sit in your favorite writing space with possible cup of coffee/late and casual music playing in the background and begin typing your life story with the voice of Morgan Freeman and the diction of (insert favorite writer here). 
Step 4: Reality: Erase everything you just wrote. Actually, Ctrl+Z, then save as separate draft under memoirs for another day. 
Step 5: Confrontation: Begin writing absolutely anything on the screen. Anything, "I love potatoes." "I have two cats." "Sally sold sea shells down by the sea shore." 
Step 6: Hope: Begin writing feverously with newfound inspiration or acceptance that this is all you've got. 
Step 7: Season to taste: Add a splash of sarcasm, a hint of humor, a pinch of positivity, and top it of with a dash of doubt. 
Step 8: Exhale: Close your eyes, hit the publish button, and exhale. You've just survived the 8 step slice. (Good luck with tomorrow.) 

Monday, March 9, 2015

9/31 Slice of Life Challenge: Caught Reading


It's the end of the half-block. Not nearly enough time to read what we wanted. 


A student shouts above the ringing bell. Another groans in agony. 

They love the book! They actually love the book! 

I smile in joy that the book is such a success. 

My little class of "reluctant" readers has finally found a book that fits. They want the whole series now, and we are just on book one! 

(The book is called Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

8/31Slice of Life Challenge: A Day of Rest...And Netflix

I love Sunday's for many reasons but one of my favorite things is enjoying a restful day before the big week to come. Knowing that (hopefully) there won't be any more snow days, it's going to be a long week. So today I watched Netflix. A lot of Netflix. I will admit it was a way of procrastinating from a few household chores, but for the most part I basked in relaxation. 
Have you ever felt excited for the week to come? Knowing you were going to get a lot done? Knowing the fresh start of a new week is way more motivating than a relaxing Sunday? 
I'm looking forward to working this week with the kiddos, physical therapy, working out, writer's workshop, and all of those chores I skipped today :). What do you do on your Sunday's? What are you looking forward to this week?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

7/31 Slice of Life Challenge: Setting Goals

I like to set goals. They keep me focused and looking towards the future. So with this awful winter in mind, I have been looking forward to warmer weather. 
5 summer goals:
1. Camping outdoors
2. Sub-2Hr half marathon PR 
3. Train for a full marathon
4. Kayaking trip
5. Save up for a new vehicle (jeep)

Friday, March 6, 2015

6/31 Slice of Life Challenge: I Swear He's Human...

Often times I joke that my cat is human. He has the innate ability to know exactly what will tick you off at 7am until you wake up and feed him. This morning I was expecting to sleep in just a little more than 7am. But Jack had other plans.
The night before I had set my zentangle pens and notebook on the floor by my bed. Jack found them. Jack started to bite the pens in order to pick them up and then drop them repeatedly on the notebook. 
Then I hear him walking away to the dresser on the other side of the room. 
At the dresser he rubs his head against the edge so that it makes this lovely rubbing/scraping sound that in a dead sleep is enough to make you want to scream. 

In a moment of insanity I entertained the idea of finding anything within arms reach to toss in his direction to get him to stop. Instead I cracked one eye open and watched him perform the routine one more time.


At this point, he stopped, and slowly looked up at me and realized he made eye contact. (My cats don't meow, they haven't since we've adopted them from the rescue. Instead they have this chirp that is combined with a cute purr and at the end of the chirp the sound rises in the same way our voices do when we ask a question. It's enough to break your heart--even at 7am.)


"No, Jack. Five more minutes. PLEASE."

I see his paw slowly reach out towards the pens, all while maintaining eye contact with me, and bats it across the floor.


"Seriously?" This is the part where I swear he smiled because he knew I was ticked off and about to get out of bed.


I begrudgingly slid out of bed and fed the cats. Then I washed the dishes, swept the floor, cleaned up the house, took out the recycling and I was just about to throw on my boots and shovel some snow outside when I poked my head inside my bedroom and Jack was--get this!--SLEEPING. This fool woke me up at 7am for his food, and now he's fast asleep. The audacity. The nerve. The--oh, look he just sighed a little and he just looks so cute!
I can never stay mad at him for very long at all. After all, I was productive this morning. Now perhaps I want a little cat-nap. :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

5/31 Slice of Life Challenge: Down Time

Today I realize I'm cutting it short. It is 11:24 as I type this but I must admit, I was caught up in a bit of a tangle--zentangle that is. I find it a nice way to unwind by focusing my brain on the task at hand and in the end, I get to be a little bit creative. Today and yesterday have been slightly stressful and tomorrow's to-do list is extensive as well, but doodling today was a wonderful way to zone out all of the to-dos in my brain.

Usually when I want to unwind I run. I love running because it is a physical exertion that allows me to focus on just one thing at a time and usually that is just the miles passing by. Since December I have been out of commission due to tendonitis in my left ankle. I didn't listen to my body and overexerted my weak ankle. I am angry at myself now for that, but I can't do much about it other than continue to go to physical therapy and ice it when I can. It has been a tough thing to accept (not running) since I ran 13 races last year, six of them half marathons. And now, I'm practically sedentary. I believe I am going stir-crazy. Doodling for the past two hours allowed me to not (entirely) focus on the pain in my ankle. So for now I will pick up knitting, doodling, slicing, and sitting. But I do look forward to the day I can lace up my shoes and run outside.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

4/31 Slice of Life Challenge: My Day in 5 Memes

I woke up this morning at 3:30am and for the first time today have just sat down at 8:41pm to relax. I'm sure many of us have days like this. Days where you can't turn your brain off. Days where you can't wait to face plant into the couch and bask in relaxation. I reflected back on this very busy day and decided, there was no one single moment that was "slice-able" so I instead thought to create a short montage of my top 5 moments...in memes!

3:30am Wake-Up Call is definitely way too early. I reached my maximum cups of coffee but boy, did it help!! You gotta love the little routines in life. For me, making a cup of joe with my co-workers and catching up at the Keurig is a moment I look forward to each morning. Some of our best ideas come about then, too!

 Today we finally saw our B-Day children! Yay! I have a lot to grade, and I am motivated to get it all done! WOOHOO! :)

Today was a reverse-schedule day and I got to see the students at three very different times today. Sometimes that can throw off the flow of things, especially when we haven't seen our B-Day kiddos in a few days. But, it was one of those awesome days where you hit you just hit your teaching groove. The lesson is flowing, the students are engaged, and the timing is perfect! These are the great days (among many many more) that I am so thankful I have a job with great people and phenomenal students. 

 A wonderful Wednesday isn't complete without my 695: Writing Across the Curriculum class. The teachers that gather all bring something different to the table and it is such a fun experience to collaborate and share. I often walk away with my head bursting with ideas for my next class. It is so exciting and also reinforces meme number 3, I love my job!

There is no better way to end a busy, busy day than to know ahead of time that school for the next day is a snow day. While I may be wishing for warmer days, I do look forward to sleeping in tomorrow! 

While I was typing this I realized, this could be a fun way to formatively assess! What if students had a pre-determined selection of pictures, and could create their own memes on lessons? Exit-Memes? Perhaps I will experiment next class! Thoughts?

** All above memes were used with a meme generator: https://imgflip.com/memegenerator **

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3/31 Slice of Life Challenge: Rising with the Sun

I love waking up in the mornings (sometimes...most of the time...it depends). For the most part it is a refreshing feeling knowing that coffee will be made and then inhaled, the sun will rise, and a day of positive possibilities awaits. The past few days have just felt...off. The snow days (as much as they can be a wonderful reprieve from busy days) have left me discombobulated and I yearn for some regimented workdays. So waking up this morning, I felt great! I was excited to get to work. I was excited to drink as much coffee as humanly possible. I was excited to see the children's faces and teach our next unit!

I wanted to share a picture I took (safely!) this morning because I was completely taken away with the beautiful sun rise. It reminds me of warmer weather and I so desperately want it to be warmer!

On my way into work, I took a moment to reflect and think about all of the things I am so grateful for and the possibilities today would bring:

  • I am grateful for hot coffee in cat-decorated tumblers with amaretto creamer.
  • I am thankful my Jeep started this morning--the 13 year old engine doesn't like cold weather!
  • I am thankful for great music that keeps me singing along while I drive. 
  • I am grateful for a job that allows me to work with awesome people and brilliant students on a daily basis.
  • I am incredibly grateful for the people closest to my heart because of how often they are there for me. 
  • I am thankful for beautiful mornings that remind me how wonderful life can be despite the down/off days.

I hope you all had a beautiful morning too! How do you start your mornings?

Monday, March 2, 2015

2/31 Slice of Life Challenge: Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty

I thought I would be able to hold off a little longer into the month before I let my Crazy Cat Lady flag fly high, however, with a cat this adorable, how could I not write about him?!

Everyone, meet Jack. Aka: Boom Boom Ga-Doodle. He often goes by Jack and only responds to Boom Boom Ga-Doodle when my voice hits that lovely high octave most of us are familiar with when we dote on our fur-babies.

He is a womping 20 pounds and is my special ball of love. In our family we are often singing along to songs or coming up with silly tunes to amuse each other. And in one particular moment I was calling Jack multiple times and he wouldn't come. So naturally I came up with a song specifically for him. It is to be sung with the same rhythm and tune of ragtime gal.

Boom Boom Ga-Doodle, 
You are my noodle, 
You are my sunshine!

Won't you come to me
And snuggle so dearly
And love me all the time!

As I type this slice of life up, I acknowledge how crazy I truly sound. However, if you have not created a short jingle for your fur-baby, then you are missing out! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

1/31 Slice of Life Challenge: A Cheesy Start

I didn't want to post something along the lines of, "I have no clue what to write". But I must say, I have no clue what to write! I am staring at this blank post with the curser blinking intimidatingly and I keep thinking, "I was an English major, I should be able to write something!"

The same four words continued to dance in my head from earlier when I dappled with a new recipe from Pinterest: cheesy broccoli quinoa bites!

So I attempted a brief poem of my newfound obsession for a "healthy" snack I will definitely continue to make!

Cheesy broccoli quinoa bites 
fill my tastebuds with delight!
May I please, may I might, 
have more cheesy broccoli quinoa bites?!

Was that as painful to read as it was for me to write? I feel as if I should have a delicious poem unravel on the page, and yet my mind is preoccupied with to-do lists, lesson plans, grading, family, tax season, and cleaning. I can't seem to focus, but do hope--desperately--that the next 30 days come with a bit more organic grace.

Side note: The original recipe may be found here. I highly recommend trying it! :)