Friday Favorites [Race Edition]

 I have called myself a runner for the last eight years, but my running for the first four years looked a lot different than my running of the last four years. For a lot of reasons, this is a good thing, but I am definitely not as speedy as I once was, and as I think about my upcoming race this weekend, I am feeling a little defeated before race day is even here. This is all my own doing…I always mentally think I am better and faster than I am. I think this train of thought means that I can go big places with my running, but I still need to be realistic about where I am right now instead of holding myself to previous goals. And in the end, I will still have another awesome race memory. For now, I’m going to highlight my five favorite things about racing!

– Gear –

Clothes, shoes, fuel, belt, headphones, charged devices, bib, safety pins, ponytail, headband…it all needs to be laid out and ready the night before. Race morning usually comes at early o’clock and I like minimal thinking to happen when I roll out of bed. But picking out my outfit is always so fun. Dressing for success and all that. 😉

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– Start Line Anticipation –

Getting warmed up, finding my corral, double knotting my shoes, singing the National Anthem, and hearing the gun go off…it’s the little moments leading up to the race that make you feel so excited about being part of the running community.

– Spectators & Signs –

Crowd support is the absolute best. When you are running along and feeling your best, those cheerleaders make you feel like a million bucks, and when you hit a wall, the crowd is still there pushing you along. I love when someone I don’t know reads my bib and calls out my name or cheers my on by the color of my shirt. Even if you mentally know where your friends and family will be along the course, a stranger’s words of encouragement go a long way!

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Sarah and I spectated the Marine Corps Marathon last year, and this is the race we will both be at this weekend! I am running the 10K, and Sarah is running her first marathon, along with two of our other friends who are basically marathon pros at this point. 😉 But two of my other running friends and I got together last night to make signs for this weekend and I am so excited to cheer once the 10K is complete!

– Race Photos –

I might be in the minority on this, but I love spotting the race photographer and doing something silly. They can catch you at the worst of moments, but I can’t deny that race photos are some of my favorite. You will always have memories of the happy/sad/hard/awesome times during the race. Plus, putting a smile on your face can totally change your attitude and we have to remember why we’re out there running in the first place…because we love it.

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– Digging Deep –

Whether you’re running for fun or trying to get a shiny new PR, there are always moments that feel harder than others. Pushing past mental or physical barriers that you put on yourself is the best feeling, and probably why so many of us continue to run day after day. We all need to feel like we’ve accomplished something, and nothing feels better than leaving it all out there on the race course.

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At 7:45 AM on Sunday morning, I’ll be toeing the start line of the Marine Corps 10K and reminding myself of all of these reasons that I love to run and race so much. My running has changed a lot in the last 8 years, so while I won’t be chasing a PR in the 10K distance, I will be chasing a 10K PR for me where I’m at in my running right now…and if I can do that with a smile on my face, then mission accomplished. 🙂

Linking up with Five on Friday and Friday Favorites 

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Day In The Life

So many things have changed since I last wrote a “Day In The Life” post, including where I go to work each day, so it’s time to catch up with what’s happening on a normal Thursday. 🙂

Thursday, October 12

7:15 AM

My alarm goes off and I go to the kitchen to make my coffee and breakfast, which is almost always Shakeology. I also throw my lunch together at this time if I haven’t done that already, and then I go get myself ready. I find it easier to do breakfast/lunch things first because I’m not making any decisions…I’m doing the same thing every day. When it comes to makeup and getting dressed, that’s a whole other story. 😉

 

8:00 AM

Grab my umbrella from the car and walk over to the metro. I live approximately 25 steps from the metro stop, so there’s really no reason for me not to ride it every day, but I still love my car on some days.

8:20 AM

Get off the metro 3 stops away and start my walk to work. There’s a metro stop before Georgetown and after Georgetown, so I get off before and have a nice 1 mile walk across the Key Bridge each day. I don’t really walk around at my job unless I’m making tea or going to a meeting so these extra 2 miles of walking to and from work are probably good for me. 🙂

8:45 AM

Arrive at my office and start getting settled for the day. I work as an Online Course Coordinator, so I work on the design and development of online courses. On this particular day, I have someone who is working with us to design a course come in with two interviewees to record lectures for her class. That means up first today, I am reviewing her questions and printing them out for her. Then I start working on a document about tools used in online courses for a meeting I have later in the morning.

9:30 AM

I meet everyone who will be recording in our media studio and get them set up with the videographer. Then, I get on a virtual call to check in with a graduate assistant. After that, I am back to the media studio to listen in on the recordings and do a little work in the background!

11:00 AM

I meet with someone who is designing an online class to go over new content that she has developed for her course, then I get pulled into a bunch of random errands. Get someone set up in a meeting space in our main office, answer a question about how a web-based polling tool works in a PowerPoint, make a note to add a final assessment to another course I’m working on, make a cup of hot tea, and after passing the same student 3 times, give her directions about how to leave the building. 😉

1:00 PM 

Finally time for lunch! I read for a bit while I eat and then I log onto another virtual call. My day is always a random mix of talking to actual people and meeting with them online! And sometimes while I wait for others to log on, I will take a Snapchat selfie. #whynot

2:45 PM

I’m getting restless and have yet to be outside all day! I am working on updating final details in a course that launches in a few weeks, so there are lots of little details to pay attention to like adding specific dates, updating the syllabus, and adding video transcripts when they are sent back from captioning. I decide to take a walk to Saxby’s coffee shop, which is a greedy two blocks from my office.

Saxby’s is all decorated for fall, and that’s about as much fall as DC has seen so far! It’s still pretty humid each day, although it was a bit gray and rainy on this day, and the leaves that are falling are hardly even colored! Also, fun fact: the famous Exorcist steps are the staircase that lines one side of my office building. I have never seen this movie, but do you see that group of people wayyy at the bottom of the steps? They were tourists taking pictures. 🙂

3:00 PM

My friend recommends a new podcast that is a musical! It’s perfect background music while I work on updating videos that got “lost” somehow in cyberspace. The podcast’s story is easy to follow along with too. It’s about a couple who is trying to get their relationship back on the right track using 36 questions that supposedly make people fall in love. I haven’t listened to the end yet!

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5:15 PM

Time to go home! It’s raining mist, which is just enough water that I worry about my laptop in my bag, so I open the umbrella I found in my car that I realize belongs to Joe and is rusty…and blows inside out when the wind gets too strong. #fail

I’m still amused that I walk across the state line to and from work each day. 🙂 I get right on the train when I get to the metro station, which is my favorite way to ride. No standing around on the platform!

5:45 PM

Get home and immediately change into running clothes. If you leave real clothes on for more than five minutes after arriving home, I suggest you adopt the quick change to comfy clothes. I feel slight motivation to fold my laundry, so I do before the feeling goes away and catch up with my roommate about our days.

Then I decide to go meet Joe at the metro. He gets off at the stop after my house, so I decide to run down. It would have been a good idea to take his broken umbrella back to him because it was still misty raining, but I forgot, so we got wet!

6:30 PM

Arrive at Joe’s apartment and eat his candy. I have eaten more Sour Patch Kids since I started dating him than I have in my life, but I can’t say no to watermelon! Then we decide to work out before dinner, so I finish my run on the treadmill in his gym because now it’s raining and officially dark outside.

7:15 PM

Make dinner! I’m pretty sure Joe didn’t know you could eat spaghetti squash before he started cooking with me, but I make him try all sorts of new foods. We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner with Trader Joe’s Autumnal Harvest creamy sauce. It has butternut squash and pumpkin in it and it is perfectly sweet and delicious. We also watched some playoff baseball and contemplated a Scrabble rematch. Joe was still mad about his loss the night before. 😉 We settled on the new episode of Grey’s Anatomy instead. I loooove TGIT!

10:00 PM

Back home at my house and ready for bed! I would like to say I go to bed at 10 or 10:30, but in reality I go to sleep around 11 PM each night. I like to read and relax before sleep! I bring both of my current books to bed with me because I never know what I will feel like reading…maybe one or a little bit of both.

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Then it’s lights out!

No two days at work look the same, and no two evenings after work look the same. Each week I meet up with my small group on Tuesday evenings, sometimes I want to run outside, and sometimes I just want to stay home and do nothing! But no matter what happens during the day, I am so thankful for my job and the little every day moments.

Linking up with Seven Graces + The Daily Dime

Currently [October 2017]

Currently reading:

If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey
I’m on the launch team for this title! The book comes out in January and I am so excited to share more about it. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, but I am reading it on my Kindle right now and I love hearing Jamie’s story of fully embracing her relationship with the Lord. It’s also fun to “hear” her voice…since I listen to her podcast every week, reading her book feels like talking to her! 🙂

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
I read A Hundred Summers last fall and it was my favorite book of the year. I haven’t really loved another Williams’ book until this one! I’m savoring the last few chapters.

Currently indulging in:

Scarf weather! Two 60* days in a row this week. I’ll be wearing all the fall clothes until the humidity comes back!

Currently working on:

I just finished an online class on the platform edX and I feel accomplished! It was about Instructional Design, which largely relates to my job, and I loved learning and sharing with my coworkers. Plus, I had to create an online portfolio, so that was fun. 🙂

Currently craving:

An apple fritter. I went to a pumpkin & apple farm yesterday and refrained from purchasing the apple fritter mix in their market. Then, this morning, my mom sent me a picture of an apple fritter she was eating…and now I’m wondering if I can refrain from walking to Saxby’s for my favorite donut.

Currently eating:

Vanilla Shakeology with cookie butter, banana, cinnamon, and ice. This is actually shake #2 of the morning because I poured cumin instead of cinnamon into the first one. #monday

Currently feeling:

Happy! And ready to take on the tasks of the week. Although I wouldn’t mind staying in bed and having another weekend day.

Currently thankful for:

The girls in my small group and our adventure to Homestead Farm yesterday!

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Currently dreaming about:

A fall or winter weekend trip to New York City. I’ve gone each year for the last few years and I’m already dreaming about Central Park and the Radio City Rockettes. 🙂

Currently obsessed with:

Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice hot tea!

Currently listening to: 

Milky Chance. I like a lot of calm, indie music playing in my headphones unless I’m working out!

Currently drinking:

Hazelnut coffee with a scoop of collagen peptides. Maybe this will make my eyelashes grow nice and long. 😉

Currently excited for:

Tomorrow, Joe and I are going to D.C. Improv after work to see ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast live. We plan to wear Steelers jerseys and get boo-ed by everyone who doesn’t know what’s good for them. Ha!

This coming weekend is the Marine Corps Marathon & 10K. I’m excited to race the 10K and then chase my crazy friends around the marathon course!

Currently praying for:

My friend Alicia, who just started an after school reading program at her school and is in need of picture books and chapter books. I’m praying that God provides for her and her students!

Currently wondering:

The less serious: how much longer I will go without getting my nails done.
More serious, holiday related: how to carve my pumpkin next weekend. 🙂

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A Weekend In My Life: Workin’ It Wednesday

One of my favorite posts on this blog to look back on is one of the most recent (even though that was more than a year ago!) because it tells all about a day in my life. I love rereading that post because it takes me back to that time in my life. I have yet to do another day in the life post, but I should because no two days are ever the same and I have a new job now! That post is in the making…but for now, I’ll share a recent weekend in my life and link up with Erika and Shay. Fair warning: I extended my weekend into Monday because I had family in town, and also ate out for almost every meal which is very atypical!

– Friday –

My Fridays begin at 5 PM, and I usually like to have dinner plans. Waking up early for work makes it hard for me to want to be out super late! Plus I like enjoying the morning on Saturday. On this particular Friday, Joe and I were talking about going for a run on a new-to-him trail. He just moved to D.C. so pretty much everywhere we run is new to him! At the last minute, I had a change of heart and told him we should run to Shake Shack…because what’s better than running and dinner all in one?! From Arlington, you can run across the Key Bridge and through Georgetown down a nice little path before you have to hit the streets again.

By mile 3.5, I think Joe regretted his decision to run to dinner. But we made it and the fries and lemonade were SO worth it. Joe had the Chick’N Shack, and I had the ‘Shroom Burger…the cashier made sure to tell me it was a vegetarian burger. I knew that, but I guess some people who order get confused by the name! After dinner, we walked half a mile to Farragut Square. All summer, different outdoor areas host free movies on Friday and Saturday evenings. The only flaw in our plan to run to dinner was that we didn’t bring blankets or anything to sit on at the park!

I can never say no to Melissa McCarthy, so our film for the evening was a good one — Ghostbusters! I have already seen this in theaters, but it was so fun to be outside surrounded by a bunch of other people just enjoying summer. It was also fun to see people walking through the park who were unaware of what was going on…one guy on the phone said, “Hold on…I’m walking in front of a movie screen right now!” Another guy biked past with three boxes of pizza on the back of his bike! Ha! After about an hour, our legs were itchy from sweating while running and sitting with all the bugs in the grass, so we ducked over to a park bench and it was perfect! Once the movie was over, we took the Metro back to Arlington and called it a night.

– Saturday –

Saturday morning was for lounging around. I probably should have been running, but I ran a lot of miles last week, so I figure it worked out just fine. By lunch time, I was ready to get moving for the day, so Joe and I ate at Silver Diner. This is not your average diner — they are all about fresh, locally sourced food. They have delicious breakfast, but I was feeling the chopped Cobb salad on this day…I love the tangy ranch dressing, avocado, and the fact that it is chopped…duh. 🙂

My friend Sarah invited me to go to Stone Tower Winery with some friends, so I went on over to her house to get ready to go. Most wineries are about 45 minutes to an hour from Arlington, so we all piled in her friend Amy’s car and headed out. Side note: Amy drives my dream car. A white, four door Jeep Wrangler with a hard top. #bestillmyheart

On the drive out, Amy had the best idea…

Stop and eat some Chic-Fil-A. I can never say no to their chicken nuggets or their lemonade! Are you sensing a theme here? Lemonade is where it’s at all summer long for me. We also got these perfect cow hats to be put to use on Tuesday, which was Chic-Fil-A day. Who wouldn’t dress up like a cow to get a free entree?! Although I do have to be honest, on Tuesday I was cooking buffalo chicken dip to take to small group. Whoops!

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Stone Tower was absolutely beautiful. I have heard great things about the views at this winery, and I was seriously impressed! You pull up a long, windy drive to get to the property, and first enter a large barn where the wine tastings take place. There’s an outdoor area for families and dogs nearby, and then across the way is their event space, and another outdoor space for those 21 and above. We first did a wine tasting — for the flavors, yes, but also so we could spend more time in that barn!

The worker talking with us was so knowledgeable, and spoke about some of her other favorite wines and let us try those as well. The tasting menu includes 3 whites and 3 reds…I liked the very first white, Wild Boar Sauvignon Blanc, and the very last red, Estate Wind Swept Hill. And then I ordered a glass of rosé to enjoy outside, because of course I did.

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We had the best time sitting on the outdoor couches and talking about everything under the sun. A perfect girls’ day!

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After we made the drive home, I took a nap and ate a late dinner at Rockland’s BBQ since it’s about ten steps from my apartment. I don’t usually eat out during the week, nor do I usually eat every meal out on the weekend, so you’re looking at a very unusual time for sure. 🙂 The best item on the menu (in my opinion) at this restaurant is Rockland’s Pearl. It’s a bowl of mac and cheese, baked beans, chopped pork, and Rockland’s barbecue sauce. I’m sure the description doesn’t do it justice, so you should try it if you’re ever in the area!

– Sunday –

This day started bright and early at church. I love my church and it will be one of the places I miss most if I ever move away from D.C. I have always served in children’s ministry, so I’ve been praying about working somewhere else in the church.

On this day,  I was shadowing those who work on the hospitality team. They serve coffee and donuts, welcome people in, pass out the weekly bulletin, take the offering, and just generally give everyone a happy face to find if they need something during service. I helped pass out programs, give directions, and take the offering. The 10:30 AM service is very low maintenance because you don’t have to set up or clean up since there are services before and after, so once I shadowed for a bit, I headed into church to hear the message for the week.

Since I entered a bit late, I sat by myself, and that was just fine since I was catching up on what was going on. 🙂 To be honest, I felt like I missed the most important parts at the beginning, so I listened to the podcast of the entire service again on Tuesday!

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After church, Joe and I headed to a nearby cafe to sit outside and wait for my mom and my aunt to arrive in town! I called my little brother, who had just gotten his college schedule via email, and Joe looked up stocks or some other very interesting thing like that. 😉

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Somehow, the GPS directed my mom and Aunt Sheila to the middle of nowhere Maryland instead of Capitol Hill. They found us eventually and we had lunch at Ted’s Bulletin! I love their homemade pop-tarts and just the general feel of the restaurant. It’s very old fashioned and there is always a black and white television show playing on nearby projectors. After lunch, we were ready to walk around and headed over to Eastern Market. During the summer, they have even more vendors than they do during the winter! We spent some time looking at local art and jewelry made by the most creative people.

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I had to show them Capitol Hill Books, which is a used bookstore in an old row house that has absolutely everything. The owner has non-fiction downstairs, fiction upstairs, and other genre titles on shelves…but beyond that, you have to do some serious searching! I love the prices here because they are always at least 50% off. His prices are written right inside the cover, so they’re easy to find! I found a hardback copy of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult for $12! And I also picked up Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (for $7!), because I have heard great things about both the book and the movie.

The heat was really getting to us by this point, so we headed back home! My Aunt Sheila is visiting my family in Pittsburgh and has never been to my place in D.C., so it was fun to show her around my favorite parts of town. We lounged on the balcony for a few hours, then grilled burgers and corn on the cob for dinner at Joe’s apartment. I have grills at my apartment, but they look like they belong on a campsite so I’m not a big fan. 😉 We fell asleep early because I had to work for part of the day on Monday.

– Monday –

I took a half day so that I could spend time with my mom and aunt before they left town. It was a quick trip for them, but Pittsburgh is only about 3.5 hours away. They had plans to visit Lakeshore Learning because my mom is a kindergarten teacher who absolutely loves her job so shopping for school stuff midsummer is her favorite task. 🙂 I rode the metro to work and then started my walk across the bridge…

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…and ran into a whole group of tourists at 7:xx AM. WHY were they up this early and where were they going?! I can promise there are no interesting sights right on the edge of the Key Bridge. Ha!

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Monday was a busy morning with two video calls, catching up on emails, and starting other tasks for the week. The most exciting thing to happen: my iPad and wireless headphones came in! I used some professional development funds to purchase these items, and I also signed up for an online class that starts in August, so I am excited to use my iPad for this. I have the 10.5 inch iPad Pro and it honestly feels thinner than my iPhone 7! The headphones are i.am+ Buttons by Apple and I LOVE them because they came with approximately 293480 ear buds to size them to your ear and they don’t fall out. Ear buds with those rubber pieces on the end will never stay in my ear, so I am happy!

At lunch time, I left for the day and walked my mom and aunt around Georgetown’s campus (I work here if you are a new reader!). We visited the school store and bought lots of things we don’t need. 🙂 Then we ate lunch on M Street at Clyde’s. A little salad/sandwich/soup lunch followed by cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake, because you just have to. I honestly never tried a cupcake here until I started working at the university even though I come to this part of town all the time! I enjoy their competitor Baked and Wired more…the cupcakes are bigger. 😉

Then it was a quick drive around town to see some last nights, including what’s down at National Harbor. I love their waterfront and we quickly sought shade because it was so hot on this day! We took turns posing with their many statues, got iced tea at Starbucks, and walked along the water before finding a candy shop and calling it a day. They left around 5 PM and my weekend was officially over!

 

Hello, it’s me…

It’s been almost a year since I wrote on this little space of the Internet, and as I’m sure you can imagine if you look back over the last year of your own life, nothing is the same, but everything is awesome. Life’s funny like that.

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Today I’m linking up with Mel, Shay and Sheaffer for their What’s Up Wednesday series!

I finished my first year of teaching, got a new job, graduated with my Master’s degree, started dating my boyfriend Joe, and traveled to Atlantic City, Wildwood, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Cancun, and New Orleans since we last talked. But here I’m just talking about the last month, thank goodness. 🙂

What I’m eating this week:

Have you had Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower? I’m not going to say it tastes like chicken, but that sauce is so yummy! I served it with some frozen veggies because that’s what my freezer is currently overflowing with, and it was a quick easy meal!

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I’ve also been munching on these Starburst ice cream flavored jelly beans. Flavors like strawberry, orange sherbet, red raspberry, and lemon sorbet. I earned this jar on Easter by guessing how many jelly beans were inside…I think I guessed 187 and there were 357! No one was anywhere close. I wonder how many are left now. 😉 

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What I’m reminiscing about:

I’m reminiscing about elementary school since my Mom is in her final countdown until the end of the year and I remember doing just that! They celebrate the last 26 days of school in her kindergarten class with an alphabet countdown and today is “E” day. They wear things that start with “E”, participate in “E” activities, and eat an “E” snack. One of her students is wearing an Easter dress to celebrate. 🙂 I remember on X day, my Dad was getting me dressed for school and used duct tape to put an X on my back. X isn’t the easiest day to dress for. Ha!

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I’m also reminiscing about my not-so-baby brother. He just turned 18 and he is in his final countdown until the end of the year too…because he is GRADUATING! I can’t even wait to see him walk in his ceremony.

What I’m loving:

Morning workouts, hot tea, and my One Year Bible. I got out of the routine of working out in the morning and I forgot how much I LOVE it! I feel so accomplished going to work with one thing checked off my list already, and I love feeling “free” when the work day is done.

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What I’m dreading:

What I’m working on:

What I’m excited about:

So much is on the horizon! I’ve taken on more responsibility at work and even though that makes my head spin, I’m truly excited about it. Next month, I’ll watch my friend run her first full marathon, go to Rochester, NY to visit my best friend from childhood, and head back to the beach for Memorial Day Weekend! 4 days after Memorial Day Jake will graduate from high school and then we’ll have his graduation party later in the month. I also can’t wait to go back to Wildwood, NJ for our family vacation. I’m in a beach state of mind these days!

What I’m watching/reading:

Joe and I were watching Mad Men on Netflix, and now it’s a toss up between House of Cards and Breaking Bad. We are still deciding which one will be next! I also just finished watching 13 Reasons Why. It was heartbreaking, disturbing, and moving all at the same time. I want to read that book next! I’m also still so in love with Grey’s Anatomy. Scandal has not been my favorite this season.

Current books: Paris for One & Other Stories by JoJo Moyes and The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower. I read The Residence last year, but a book club I’m in is reading the book now, and it definitely deserves to be re-read!

What I’m listening to:

I have a very random taste in music and I love throwbacks. My most recently added songs are “Kiss By A Rose” by Seal and “Moves” by Big Sean. So yeah.

What I’m wearing:

Lucky Brand jeans on repeat.

What I’m doing this weekend:

What else is new:

I was finally reunited with both of my brothers during the Easter holiday and it was the best. Lemon raspberry cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory has real fruit in it and does not disappoint. 🙂 And Old Town is just as charming as I always thought it was. If you are looking for a good brunch, my friends and I just ate at Chart House this past weekend and enjoyed unlimited trips to the salad bar and 99 cent mimosas along with our meals. Also, you can’t go wrong with the crab and asparagus omelette. 🙂

Favorite spring shoe:

I have white and gray Converse Shoreline shoes that I wear with almost every outfit, including dresses. They are comfy and so cute!

What’s new with you?

What’s Up?! [May]

Hi, friends! How are you on this fine Wednesday? I haven’t forgotten about this little corner of the Internet, and I hope to start a more consistent posting schedule come June. Stay tuned! In the meantime…

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Let’s link up with Mel, Andrea, and Sheaffer to talk about what’s up!

What I’m eating this week:

I suppose I should be embarrassed at my lack of cooking skills, but it’s way too easy to microwave a bag of vegetables and bake two black bean burgers for dinner. Going strong on day 3 over here. Ha! Switching up the vegetables at least keeps me guessing?!

What I’m reminiscing about:

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Last year at this time I was prepping for my first teaching interview! Oh how much life changes in a year. 🙂

What I’m loving:

In no particular order, Season 1 of Fixer Upper on Netflix, Toasted Marshmallow ice cream, 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts, and 80 degree days. Praise Jesus for sunshine and warm weather so my students can run!!!

What I’m dreading:

What I’m working on:

What I’m excited about:

Finishing my first year of teaching! It is a roller coaster of every emotion possible and I’m excited to have this experience under my belt and move forward somewhat more established!

Also, grad school is almost over. I have to teach summer school during the month of July and then I will have my Master’s! I can’t believe it and at the same time, I am so ready to be done. Now everyone wants to know when I’ll go back for my doctorate. I can’t talk about that yet. Hahaha

What I’m watching/reading:

I finished Looking for Lovely by Annie Downs and I loved it! I didn’t love it as much as I loved her other book “Let’s All Be Brave”, but I love her writing because it sounds like she is talking to me. She’s very relatable if you are looking for a Christian read from the point of view of a talkative, honest, 30-something!

I’m also the annoying person who reads multiple things at one time so I’m also in the middle of “Killing Lincoln” (Bill O’Reilly) and “The One and Only” (Emily Giffin). I just started “All The Light We Cannot See” because the WW2 time period fascinates me and even though it’s a long book, the chapters are about 4-5 pages each so you can easily pick it up, add something to the story in your brain, and then set it down and do something else!

What I’m listening to:

I like these songs on their own, but the Spin teacher in me loves their remixes too. 🙂

Colors (Audien Remix) – Halsey
Renegades (Stash Konig Remix) – X Ambassadors
Spectrum (Say My Name) – Florence + the Machine & Calvin Harris

Adele’s recent album has also made a comeback in the CD player in my car and I’ve been listening to Jason Aldean because his music makes me so excited for summer!

What I’m wearing:

The bloggiest of all blog worthy outfits. 😉 I ordered Le Tote for the first time because my friend sent me a free month and I loved wearing this patterned shirt with things I already owned, like my white pants and wedges! I liked the clothes that I recieved and Le Tote’s customer service was great but I like shopping too much to commit to an every month order from them. If you are interested in a free month, though, let me know because I have a few more emails I can send! (<– not sponsored, just something everyone gets upon signing up).

Nordstrom Rack hit it OUT of the park this past weekend with sales. Their prices are discounted from regular Nordstrom prices to begin with, but then when things are on sale…I took 32 items to the dressing room. Just saying. I wasn’t trying to be all name-brandy, but that’s just kind of how it ended up. Some of my tops are random brands. Anyways, I was most excited about a Barefoot Dreams robe for $19 (retail $99), True Religion jeggings for $60 (retail $158), and this in-your-face bright fuzzy North Face for $29! Best Saturday night ever. And I recommend you go to your local Nordstrom Rack ASAP!

What I’m doing this weekend:

I might go and stay.

What I’m looking forward to next month:

Fewer rainy days! A girl can dream. And I don’t have anything huge on the calendar yet…I’m not going on vacation until August, so hopefully I’ll just do lots of fun outdoor things here in DC!

What else is new:

I auditioned to teach Spin at one of my favorite studios around here and it was WAY different than any interview I’ve ever gone through for Spin before. Needless to say, I did not get the job but I’m going to pursue other gyms in the meantime and try at that studio again the fall. 🙂

5 miles was my go-to, favorite distance in college. I ran 6 miles yesterday and it was hard, friends. I just want running to be easy again, but that’s not going to come with all of my complaining and none of the work. I want 5-6 miles to feel good by the end of summer and then I’ll start training for the Army 10-miler! I signed up with my friends this morning. I think my up and down running over the past year is the reason for all my random injuries and complaints about how hard it is, so here I am putting ClassPass on hold and getting back on the trails. Yay for summer and running 🙂

What’s new with you?

Day In The Life

I LOVE day in the life posts. They are my very favorite to read on my favorite blogs, so I guess you could say I’m kind of nosey. It’s also the reason I like survey posts because they ask random questions and you get to find out random tidbits about someone. I always forget to take pictures of my own day, but I want to remember the days of my first year of teaching…so here is a random Wednesday in the life of me!

April 20, 2016

It’s 6:50 AM and I’m up for the day. I usually hit Snooze, so I was proud of myself. 😉

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As soon as I stepped into the bathroom to put my contacts in, my roommate came flying back into the apartment because her car wouldn’t start…so off I went to the garage to get my car and my jumper cables.

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Her car has been having issues and the battery was actually dying while we were trying to jump it (the headlights kept dimming until they were totally off), so she called AAA and I came back upstairs to put my makeup on and get ready.

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Wednesdays at my school are “Workout Wednesday”. Our principal’s philosophy is if we are already in our workout clothes, we will be more likely to go to the gym after the school day ends. The guidance counselor gets the kids involved by doing some kind of workout with them on the morning announcements each week and I enjoy wearing yoga pants. 😉

It’s actually very hard to get dressed on this day because I don’t want to look like a hot mess! The sweatshirt and running shoes weren’t doing it for me, so I changed into a wrap and flats and suddenly got 5 compliments from coworkers who liked my outfit and wanted to know why I wasn’t in workout clothes. Hahaha

I throw my lunch together while I make coffee and then I’m out the door. I used to leave by 7:30 AM, now I’m usually walking into the kitchen at that time. #oops

Listen to my current jams (Let It Be Known and On My Way) and love my life as I notice the other side of the highway. 😉 I have a reverse commute so I am leaving DC when everyone else is driving in for work. I never sit in traffic (at least on the way to work) unless it’s Friday afternoon.

I do sit in traffic when I pass the Catholic school down the street from my school because it’s their drop off time, but I’m always in my classroom between 8 and 8:15 AM.

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Turn on my laptop, check emails, and then make sure everything is copied for the day.

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My coworker gave me the idea to do my Morning Message and attendance check-in on the Smart Board. My students have to come in, move their character, put their belongings away, read the message, and do the morning work assigned at the bottom. It keeps them busy in the ten minutes that exist between arrival and the bell signaling the beginning of the day. And my classroom is not always that dark…I just leave the lights off for as long as possible in the morning. It keeps me calm. Hahaha

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The bell rings at 9:10 and we get started. We have Morning Meeting on the carpet, then I teach a whole group reading lesson, and then I teach small groups in reading while the rest of the students go to different stations around the room. On this particular Wednesday, we had Morning Meeting and then we headed off to the cafeteria to see the 4th graders Wax Museum. They were all dressed as a different famous American and on each of their posters, there was a circle that said “Press Here”. Only then did that 4th grader turn around and start talking to you. The rest of the time, they were a statue! It was so cool.

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When we came back, I had rearranged our schedule a bit and the students had some silent reading time. I also graded a few personal narratives. Then I combined my reading and writing lesson and we worked on writing poems! Some of them love it, some of them hate it. But that’s usually how it goes with poetry!

The definition of #teacherproblems. Outside for recess duty and my morning cup of coffee is still half full! I teach math for an hour when we go back inside. While we begin class together doing a “Number Talk”, the rest of the time the students are at stations and I teach small groups the same lesson in a few different ways. They learn so much better this way because they are more focused and I can tell if they actually get the concept.

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Then we eat lunch, and on this day, I ate in my classroom with a student. Our school gives “Cardinal Cash” for good behavior and in my classroom, you must earn 10 pieces before you choose a reward. Most of them ask to bring in an electronic device or a toy of some sort, but this girl wanted to eat with me. 🙂 Because we eat lunch so late, this is my first true “break” of the day, so I only offer the option to eat lunch with me once a week/when I’m in a good mood. Hahaha

When I pick them up from lunch, we come back to the classroom for a short block of time. Some students go to another classroom for support or enrichment in certain subjects, while the other students in the classroom are reading, writing, or playing a math game. I teach a small group of students from another second grade class and right now we are doing double digit addition and subtraction with regrouping.

Next, I have an hour of planning time. My students head off to specials (think library, gym, etc.) and I listen to music, grade and organize papers, and basically get a whole bunch of things done! Once a week, I plan with my team during this hour, and once a month, we meet to discuss other relevant topics, but most days this hour is mine to plan as I please. On this day, I was eating Hershey’s kisses and listening to music on YouTube –>  Work From Home = weird but catchy.

I usually run around and talk to my coworkers during this time (because hello, adult conversation) and then I get ready for my students’ return. They have 10 minutes of quiet time as part of our school’s Responsive Classroom approach and then we start our science and social studies block. Right now, we are learning about the migration of Monarch butterflies, so on this day we talked about where monarchs are in their migration (approaching Texas, if you’re curious;), watched a BrainPOP Jr. video about animal classification and then they did a cut/paste/sort activity in their science journals.

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My students have community supplies, which means no one keeps any school supplies in their desks except for folders, notebooks, and a box of crayons. Instead, there are several caddies on the top of each table (because there are 8 kids at a table). Inside, there are the appropriate number of pencils, erasers, scissors, and glue. Except there are NOT. EVER. ENOUGH. SUPPLIES. I swear every time we cut and glue, someone is complaining that they don’t have scissors and I am constantly opening new packs of glue sticks. On this Wednesday, I was OVER IT. I made sure all 23 students had scissors and glue and then when science was over, I made two classroom helpers go around and collect every pair of scissors and every stick of glue. They were so offended that I was taking the supplies, but HONESTLY WHERE DO THEY GO?! I’m getting angry talking about this again a week later lol. Hopefully this new system works. 😉

At 3:45, dismissal begins. A student brought me a cupcake during this time because it was their birthday. I licked the icing off and threw the rest of the cupcake away because I’m five years old. Then one of my coworkers had to go and ALSO have a birthday so I had a gluten free, dairy free brownie that was actually so good! Wegmans for the win.

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I’m usually starving when school is over (because I usually don’t have dessert during dismissal hahaha) so I drink my Shakeology when I get in the car at 4:15. Usually I am on my way to somewhere…I had two night classes this semester, and if I’m not doing that, I’m usually going to the gym…so this is a good time to drink my shake because it holds me over until dinner, which usually doesn’t happen until 7:30 or 8. #oops

On this day, I actually got to come home after work, and I arrived to a package from my mom! Some snacks, some teacher supplies, some books…just a few goodies. 🙂

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I was meeting Kristen to run at 6:00, so I decided to be a productive human and fold the pile of laundry next to my bed…conveniently placed on the side that I don’t sleep on so I didn’t have to see it. Ha!

The high school near us was having a track meet, so we went to a nearby trail that we knew had quite a decent flat, straight stretch to do sprints. We ran one mile to the trail and did 8 400m sprints with a 200m jog in between. This workout was actually SO hard. It was taking me about 1 minute, 50 seconds to 2 minutes to run the 400m and I could get like 1:10 into it before I hit a wall. Every. Single. Time. I wanted to do the workout, but my lungs hated me…so I worked on my mental and physical game big time with this run!

Kristen made me lay down on the trail after we were done, and we caught some other gems on her camera while we were walking around being silly. 🙂 We laughed at the thought of running one mile back home, so we walked. #imtrainingfornothing #idowhatiwant

Dinner and comfy clothes. Although I guess I can’t complain since I wore comfy clothes to school, but you can’t exactly rock a towel on your head and Ugg slippers in public…

FAVORITE TIME OF NIGHT. Bed and book reading or blog reading. Here, chai tea and signing up for Le Tote. I like to shop, so I don’t know if I’ll actually keep ordering from this service, but my friend Audrey sent me a free month, so I had to try it!

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Trying to cut out the night time snack, but #hangry. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, friends. My coworker got me hooked!

Then I’m out between 10:30 and 11.

A day in the life of me. 🙂