5.29.2011

My Arch Nemesis

Annoying. Relentless. Ruthless. Vindictive.
MOSQUITOES.
Leave me alone.
All I want to do is enjoy my back yard, and by mid-July they will make it virtually impossible.
So now it's on.
It is my mission to get rid of them.

And don't feel bad for the little pests for a second.
I have warned them to stay away.
I have invested in bug spray, cortisone cream, calamine lotion, bite Md, citronella candles, medicated moisturizer and lawn spray.
But do you think they've taken the hint? 
No.
It's as if I'm sweeter than ever.
So it's time to up the ante.
it's time to show 'em who's boss.

Enter my newest purchase: the Black Flag 40 watt Bug Zapper.
That's right- it's come to this. And I can hardly wait to see if it works.

Ironically enough, my installation of the zapper is what just inspired this post.
Because only mosquitoes would try to eat me alive as I'm unwrapping something to kill them.
I mean, not that I would have changed my mind, but you'd think they'd give it a shot. 

So mosquitoes, if you're reading 
(which if you're not, it'd be the first time you've left me alone all day),
I have a shocking surprise for you in the tree.
Take your friends and family, and go check it out!

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5.25.2011

*LOVE*

I saw my first lightning bug of the season tonight.
I was riding my bike and singing Wicked at the top of my lungs (a given)
and I spotted it. 
and stopped my bike and caught it. 
and wished on it.
and then I let it go and grinned like a wild woman.
Because I love lightning bugs-
I always have.
They remind me of running around my front yard as a child, laughing hysterically.
And I have caught the first one I see each spring for as long as I can remember.

Have I said before that I love this time of year?
In the blink of an eye April seamlessly turned into May, and it is officially beautiful in Washington DC.
Our pace has picked up,
the schedule's packed with adventure, just the way I like it.
and I can only be dragged inside after dark.
it's perfect.

I spent last weekend sailing with great friends~
This is a BiG love.
as in I would willingly accept donations to the 
Buy Jessica a Boat so she Stops Talking about Wanting a Boat fund.
We drove to the Northern Neck and spent the night on our friends' boat. 
We sailed, laughed, read, relaxed, and played Hoopla until the wee hours of the morning (11:00 pm).

My garden is in bloom, and I love it.
While not everything's here,
(always waiting on the lilies...) 
it is bright and colorful, and full of life, and
I created it.
and that feels really good.


It's no secret I love a great wine festival, and last weekend we went to one of the best of the year at beautiful Mt. Vernon.
Owners of 25 local wineries came to the south lawn and popped their corks, 
right on the Potomac River. 
We picnicked by the water, listened to live Jazz and talked for hours.
My kind of night.




Now, while I do love eating crab legs, I have recently learned that I in fact do not love eating whole crabs.
Whiiiich is an understatement.
Because I have one question for you: where's the payoff?!
 I mean the picking and prodding and cracking and cleaning for an insignificant amount of meat that wouldn't feed a small child.
It's for the birds.
If I'd known how it would turn out I'd have cut my losses and gone to Red Lobster.
And it's not like we didn't give it our all.
The set up alone took a good 1/2 hour. 
And don't be fooled by the iPad tutorial and my smiling face-
we had no idea what we were doing, and weren't having tons of fun doing it.
The smile is for my crab companion behind the camera :).
And for Kenzie, of course,
who took it upon herself to dig up a few things I've planted.
Guess she didn't like my placement.
Last but not least, I also love getting a good night sleep, so I better get a move on.
Big day of SOLs (and crying over Oprah) ahead.
Sleep Tight!

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5.22.2011

Thanks A Lot, Oprah


2 absolutely enormous things are happening this week.
The SOL tests start tomorrow
 and
 the last Oprah show will premiere. 
How will I ever make it to Friday?

I mean seriously~
Didn't Oprah know this would be a really stressful week?
That I'd be counting on her to keep me sane?
How could she leave me hanging on Thursday and Friday without a life lesson or an Aha Moment?

And never mind enjoying the shows at the beginning of the week either.
Because all I'll be thinking about during the 2-day star-studded spectacular,
is that when those 2 shows are over there will only be the final show left.
And then clearly I might as well start Wednesday's show with tissues, because it is the 
last show EVER 
and I've tried to act like this isn't really happening.

So basically Oprah has already let me down in advance for the whole entire week.
After all I've done for her.
I watch her show
I subscribe to O
I press the like button on her Facebook wall
 I promote Season 25: Behind the Scenes on OWN (Sundays @ 8!)

And yet in a time of great anxiety, when all I need is a little
when you know better, you do better
or
I always knew I was destined for greatness
or 
Please Welcome! ToMM CRRuiSSZZZE!
she goes and ends the freaking show.

Well all I have to say to that is Thanks a lot, Oprah. 

(Call me and I'll forgive you.)
(who are we kidding- I love you.)
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5.16.2011

Precisely Flexible

The job description of a teacher should lead with one word:
~flexible~
the ability to instantly change at a moment's notice.

because plans change,
times change,
moods change,
students change,
and that's all before morning announcements have even ended.

But today marked the one week countdown to our 3rd grade standardized tests, and so now is the time
for complete precision.
When we throw 'flexible' out the window and replace it with 'as close as we can get to perfection'
because it really all boils down to this.
(deep breath.)

I actually have it down to a science-
when exactly I turn looney about them.
It happens 2 days from now- the Wednesday before the SOLs begin.
Every year on this day, I sob to my mom on my way home from school.
I go from anxious, to nervous, to full on crying about how sure I am that my students will forget everything I've taught them.
So every year my mom tells me that this is exactly what I said last year
and that last year my students did exceptionally well.
And every year I tell my mom that I know I said this last year, but that this year it's totally  true.

You'd think I'd recognize the pattern and yet the anxiety is blinding.

So here I sit, precisely planning the next 32 hours I have left with my students,
hoping they'll be the flexible ones this year and show me by Wednesday that they do remember.
It sure would save my mom a lot of consoling.
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5.13.2011

S*A*F*A*R*I


Annnddd...It's booked!
I'm really doing it- I'm going on an African Safari.
This trip has been #1 on my Life List since, well, I made my Life List.
This one's really b.i.g. 

I started dreaming about going on a safari when I was 15 years old, and I have begged my family to go there for literally every occasion since.
But my mom's perfect safari is Disney's Animal Kingdom.
and my dad's ideal vacation spot is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Sooo...I came to realize that I was barking up the wrong tree.

And even to me, planning a safari seemed like a huge undertaking.
Though I talked about it incessantly, I didn't actually know how to organize this trip.
 I mean~ my original plan of just driving around 'til I found a lion didn't even sound good in theory.

But this past winter I started talking through it with my friend Sabrina again.
and after months of searching for a tour that seemed like the perfect fit, we found one.
the one.
we found it and booked it almost in the same breath.
and now we just have to wait for July.
we'll make the 16 hour trek to Cape Town at the beginning of the month.
we'll spend half of our time there, exploring the city, vineyards, and beaches.
from there we'll fly to the Pumba Game Reserve for our safari
and I will refuse to leave until I spot the "Big Five".
I may also come home with a pet giraffe.

Here is a one minute video about the reserve I'll be exploring.
Every time I watch it I get giddy.
And so hooray!
~my countdown begins~
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5.08.2011

Waiting on Spring

Spring has sprung and not a moment too soon...
as in I thought I just might lose it if it didn't get warm. 
2 weeks ago when I left for work and finally felt the sun on my face, I was instantly lighter. 
Happier. Stronger. Free.
I felt like I might as well have been sleeping for the past 3 months in comparison to the happiness I felt, 
and that happiness has since bloomed into full on elation.
Spring is finally here!
Now, I know this might sound dramatic, but I am not a winter person is the understatement of the century.
I spend my entire winter waiting on spring.

Things I do throughout the winter:
take hot baths
drink hot tea
wear fuzzy socks
impatiently wait for it to get warmer
curse while outside in the cold
curse about going outside in the cold
curse about taking my dog outside in the cold
impatiently wait for it to get warmer
bundle up, go to work, make up a lie to my students about why there's no outdoor recess, come home, immediately change into enormous sweatpants 
(well, I do the sweatpants part all year round), 
watch Oprah, eat, sit under an electric blanket, shiver, look up pictures of warm places on the internet, impatiently wait for it to get warmer, and
plan as many trips as I can to get the heck out of here until April.
Thank God for skiing, or I just might go insane.

But now that it's spring, you can't get me inside! 
All I want to do is explore, ride my bike, grill out, garden, walk Kenzie, swing on my hammock and plan springtime extravaganzas.
And in the past few weeks I've done a pretty darn good job of squeezing in as many outdoor adventures as possible. 
 Not to mention I also need to tell you about my 28TH BIRTHDAY, my trip to Palm Springs, the Race for Hope, and all of the awesome projects I've been doing with my students!
But for now (because it's Mother's Day and I can't be late due to gabbing) here are just a few of the sights from my past couple weeks...
It's also springtime in my own backyard! 

...and sometime last week, just as my daffodils and irises started to die, a little something else started to peek through the soil...





...a reminder that the days of wishing for warmth and staying inside are long gone for now.
Which is all I've wanted for months...as long as the sweats can come with me.Photobucket
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