Friday, January 29, 2010

Thankful for the moment.

For a content, peaceful, quiet, and cozy house. At the moment, snow is falling quietly outside. Patrick is asleep and snoring quietly on the couch with the cat curled up at his feet. I'm snuggled into our oversized chair with my second cup of tea for the evening and finishing up my latest read, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The dishwasher is purring in the background, cleaning up from the pizza dinner we had delivered earlier and ate in our PJs.

I love cozy Friday nights.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some random things:

1. I went with Cinderella Man. Good choice. My students need to see a strong father figure like Jimmy Braddock and the images of the Great Depression are spot-on what I wanted them to see. So many connections that we can make to To Kill a Mockingbird!

2. I have not eaten carbs in 2 days.

3. It's supposed to snow this weekend and, while everyone else seems to be sick of the snow, I am thoroughly delighted. I guess I'm a winter baby. Bring on the coziness.

4. I'm actually looking forward to running today since I have not gone in 3 days. Also, I had one of my cheerleaders volunteer to run with me and train me. I do not know whether I should be embarrassed by this or flattered.

5. I survived 1st semester of teaching 9th grade for the 2nd time. Officially today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's a movie week.

The end of January.

Everyone seems tired. I'm tired. My students are tired. I've worked their little minds to the bones 1st semester and this week marks the transition to 2nd semester.

So, I'm giving them a break. End of semester projects are due today. Plenty of students do not have theirs. Typical of my 9th graders. I'm showing a movie today to finish up class, since presentations are only taking half the class. We're finishing up Stranger Than Fiction, a Will Ferrell movie where the main character, Harold Crick, hears a voice narrating his life and discovers that he's the main character in a tragedy and will soon die. Words like "dramatic irony," "third person narrator," and the like are thrown around. Plus, we recently read Romeo and Juliet and discussed the nature of a tragedy.

Thursday and Friday I would like to show a movie set during the Great Depression, because our next novel is To Kill a Mockingbird. Last year I showed Seabiscuit. I'm think of either showing that one again or maybe Cinderella Man. What do you think?

I think we just need a quiet week and a reward for working so hard first semester. Sometimes we could all just benefit from slowing down. Even at school.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Good Day:

  • a house full of praise music as we get ready for church
  • strong, steaming coffee brewing to take with us
  • a lesson on the will of God in Sunday School with good friends
  • a convicting, gospel-centered sermon
  • leftover homemade mac and cheese and a salad for lunch
  • meeting a new friend at the gym and laughing through a tv show together on the treadmills
  • an invigorating run where I wasn't out of breath after the first mile!
  • reading and resting on the couch with a cup of tea
  • family dinner at my granny's and talking with the girls around the kitchen table
  • clean laundry folded and ready for the week
  • not having to grade papers
  • the cutest kitty in the world asleep at my feet

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Last week I finished reading Wuthering Heights for the third time in my life. It was eery and thrilling and delicious.

I'm on to my next book from my Reading List, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Ironically, one of the characters talks about her love of Wuthering Heights:

"I don't believe that after reading such a fine writer as Emily Bronte, I will be happy to read again Miss Amanda Gillyflower's Ill-Used by Candlelight. Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."
-Isola Pribby in a letter to Juliet

I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here goes.

So, I call Patrick at work today to update him on various topics (I have a basketball game tonight, I will not be making dinner, my 6th period class was bad, you know, the usual). He responds with his usual listening voice, "Uh-huh, uh-huh... oh by the way, I signed you up for some run thing." Pause. "You what?" "This run thing. Like a race or something. Part of a marathon? I'm not sure..." "YOU DID WHAT?!?!" "Well, I don't know! You said you wanted to run and all! It's around 4 miles or something. It's like, you do part of a marathon, everyone runs a raise money. I thought you'd be happy!" Another pause. I am thinking about this. Continual pause. "Do you want me to cancel it???"

This is the part where all the excuses start going through my head:

I run slow.

Like, real slow.

What if I don't finish?

What if I am really really far behind everyone else and they just laugh at me?

What if I can't do it???

"No, don't cancel," I say. "I think it's good. It will make me do this. I'm going to do it. Thank you for thinking that I can!"

And so, that was that.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Even closer to 30...

Yesterday I celebrated my 27th birthday! I am one who happens to love my birthday and treat it as a holiday. My gracious husband knows this and began wishing me Happy Birthday on Monday! I told him it wasn't my birthday yet and he said, "Well, don't you celebrate, like, all week or something?" Yes, I do! Yesterday was a great day!

One of my cheerleaders brought me a birthday cupcake :) I heart cupcakes.
And it was chocolate. I especially heart chocolate cupcakes.

My students sang Happy Birthday to me all day long. I'm glad the majority of them are not in the choir. It was silly and funny! And really off key.

The department head, with whom I lunch (doesn't that sound sophisticated?), brought me more chocolate (<3) and a sweet card.

I went to the gym and ran. Even though I said I would take the day off, for once, I felt like running! I wanted to! And since that doesn't happen a lot, I thought I would seize the moment. Plus, I consumed an unspeakable amount of chocolate at various times throughout the day, as previously mentioned.

Patrick took me to dinner at my favorite pizza place, Grace's. We even splurged and ordered Spinach Artichoke Dip which was to die for! Then we came home, made coffee, and did lots of schoolwork like the nerds we are. This was my present from Patrick, as requested:
That's right. New running shoes. Purple, shiny, sparkly running shoes, which my husband did not understand. "I just don't understand you girls...with your sparkles and your complexities!" was his exact quote. I told him, if I'm going to get new running shoes, why not have them be pretty ones?! ::Sigh:: was his only response.

I've decided that the only way to stay on track with exercising is to bribe myself with little treats, like new shoes, along the way. Plus, I didn't want to spend my other birthday dough on them, but I needed them. So a gift! That was the best way. See how materialistic and conniving I am? I'm not proud of this.

He also got me new drawer and cabinet pulls for my kitchen! This present he understood. "What? I can use my drill? Yesssss...." I think I heard him say this as we picked them out. These are only half installed. I'll post a picture soon. They make my kitchen look instantly newer :) Apparently, I'm now officially a grown up.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Year of Good Books

Because it's a new year...

because I'm an English teacher...

because I don't make enough time for it...

because I miss being nerdy at William and Mary...

I have pledged to read more books this year. Someone told me that it is better to have goals that are measureable, so, in an effort to make sure I meet my new goal, I've made myself a reading list for 2010. I tried to mix up my list with some new stuff and some good classic literature because, well, I'm just a nerd and like reading classic literature.

The list is long and I'm a slow reader. So no promises, ok? Ok.

1 The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis done!
2 Home by Marilynne Robinson
3 New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
4 Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
5 Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
6 The Prodical God by Tim Keller
7 How to Read Literature Like a Professor
8 Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
9 The Known World by Edward P. Jones
10 Wuthering Heights (again) by Emily Bronte almost done!
11 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
12 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
13 Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
14 Glenn Beck's Common Sense
15 Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
16 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Steven Covey
17 A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper
18 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer
19 A Prayer for Owen Meaney
20 Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
21 Possession by A.S. Byatt
22 Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller
23 Prodical Summer by Barbara Kinglover

Friday, January 1, 2010

How we spent New Years:

  • Watching our Vols play at Patrick's parents
  • Laughing at our niece's funny faces and watching her dance in the middle of the living room
  • Being impressed by my nephew's elaborate display of army men (they were taking over a football field...the game was cancelled because the war was on! Can he be any more BOY than that?!)
  • Coming home and turning on the Christmas lights
  • Dancing in the kitchen (Forever by Chris Brown and Say Hey by Michael Franti are good for this)
  • Beating Patrick in Wii Tennis
  • Him beating me in Wii Baseball
  • Watching the ball drop
  • Praying together and giving this new year over to the Lord
  • Writing down our New Years' Goals and taping them to the bathroom mirror.

A good time was had by all.

Happy New Year!