Monday, September 15, 2014

Thirty One.

When you Google "31" the first thing that comes up is the ever popular Thirty-One bags that every brings their lunch in, or takes to the pool. When you Google "31 years old" you learn a lot about what other people who are 31 are doing to screw up their lives. Suddenly I feel so normal and smart. Why did I Google this? I don't know. Maybe last year (at the time) seemed like a big deal. Thirty. Milestone. But thirty one, who really cares? I mean it's not a big deal to turn thirty one, but I sure am glad to have a new number.

Thirty was not my best year. It wasn't my worst either. I would say that was 23. Don't get me wrong. Thirty had some high points. I completed my first half marathon, we took some fun trips, I had the summer off, day-to-day living with family and friends was great. Let's just sum the low points up as a lot of 'life is not fair' lessons learned. While I'm completely sure that no matter what number I am, life will always have it's challenges, I am excited to begin a new year. Here's to birthday wishes coming true and a better year ahead!

Oh and PS, in case you are wondering...I made my 31 miles by thirty one goal. I finished with 37.87 :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bull Run Mountain

I've lived in Virginia for eight years now. Six of them in Northern Virginia. And I'm at the start of my seventh year working for Prince William County Schools. I've heard a lot about Bull Run Mountain, but I've never really seen the mountain. It's possible that I have said that I didn't think Bull Run Mountain actually existed, but I have also been in love with Bull Run Mountain for a long time now. It is our best bet for getting a snow day! Well yesterday I decided that we should spend some time today hiking the mountain as a little birthday activity.

It was only about a twenty minute drive from our house. It was super easy to get to the trail entrance, but I was a little nervous because there were no maps available. We just decided to go with it. We also later figured out that all the trails pretty much loop into one another. And somehow we took a different way down than up, but it all worked out. The hike was pretty nice. It had about a half mile stretch where you thought the incline might never end, but most of it was pretty easy. The view from the top was nice and there were some good rocks to sit on and take in the view.

It was also nice to do another form of exercise other than my usual walking or running around my neighborhood trails, streets, and sidewalks. This fall I would also really like to try to do the Old Rag hike in Shenandoah, but I have heard it's quite a bit more challenging. Has anyone done it? Anyone want to do it with us? 

Monday, September 8, 2014

31 by Thirty-One

One of my favorite things about this summer was the weather. Typically Virginia summers are brutal. Hot. Devastatingly humid. Overall miserable. This summer, though, was a total gem. Bearable heat, little humidity. Perfect. Don't you know that back-to-school rolls around and the weather gets miserable. Mostly I care about this for two reasons. One, bus duty. Not pleasant. Though it doesn't quite beat the opening week four years ago when it poured down rain with hurricane like winds for three days straight before they just closed school on the fourth day. And two, naturally this is when I started to get back into a running routine. 

The heat has been hard. I trained for the Pittsburgh half mostly through a brutally cold winter (which I really don't think I will ever complain about again), so this has been an adjustment. I still haven't signed up for that race I'm considering, so I decided to set a short term, small goal to keep myself in line. I'm calling it 31 by Thirty-One. I started it last Sunday. I decided I would try to get 31 miles in by my 31st birthday. So far I am at about 18.6 that means I have 12.4 more to do between now and next Monday. I'm hoping to drag myself out of bed before work twice this week to make a dent and then finish over the weekend. I think I'll make it :)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Love

It's the first {Friday Love} of back to school and guess what?!? I'm so tired! I've been tired all week. In fact we are just about to leave to go to dinner because who could possibly cook after a four day work week :) So this will be a quick post.

Only one thing this Friday...this article has appeared on two blogs I follow this week and I love it. It's about a Friday night dinner tradition...spaghetti and meatballs. It's no secret how much I love food and social events. Read it. I want to start it! Who is with me? I'll make the meatballs...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Motivation Monday

Happy Labor Day! Last week I was laboring away...both being back to school and trying to get my walk/run life back together. I am actually pretty excited about how many miles I did get in last week. After learning a lesson about running in the heat last weekend and early last week I decided that it might just be worth getting myself out of bed early in the morning and getting miles in before work. I told myself Tuesday would be my first morning.

Well Matt's alarm went off and I immediately started thinking about how I should probably just go back to sleep, but then I gave myself a little pep talk about how I can't quit on the first day. It worked. I got up and did it, and it was great. The weather was so much cooler and all day I just kept being so excited that my miles were already done for the day. It went so well that I did morning miles again on Thursday.

My favorite day of running was Saturday. I set my alarm to get up early again. Penn State was playing in Ireland so the game was being televised at 8:30 and I wanted to be finished by then. I also made a deal with myself that if I got up and did the miles I could have real coffee while watching the game. It worked, and the miles actually weren't as terrible as some of my others this week.

So I guess you could say that things are getting back in line. My goal for the next few weeks is to keep getting up in the mornings until this awful heat and humidity leaves town. I am feeling more motivated to register for a half marathon, but haven't quite bit the bullet yet. Hopefully with a few more miles and some cooler weather I will make the commitment.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Love

Here we are. The last Friday before school officially starts. I have already been back to work, but it's not quite the same as real work until we have students. I have decided to do a little summary of the summer in this {Friday Love}...just kind of reviewing all the things that were so lovely about this summer. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! I know I will savoring every last moment!


NO WORK! It's what made this summer possible. It's the first summer I have taken off since my first year as a full grown, employed adult. I don't think I will even go back. It's been so nice to have my days to myself. Even going to the grocery store is better when you can do it whenever you want to.


Vacations & Pool Time. This summer we traveled to the beach in Delaware. We went to Boston to celebrate Matt's sister's wedding. We played tourist in our own town a couple of times. We also made a very quick trip to Pittsburgh to visit my family and attend another wedding.

In the same category as vacations falls my visits to the pool. If you read my blog any time during any summer you know just how much I LOVE to go to the pool. I love the people watching, the reading time, and this summer, the friend time that the pool has brought me this year. I think I'm even starting to get Matt to like the pool. So sad it's closing this weekend.


Friends. A good portion of my friends have the summer off too! It's nice to have the option to have people to hang out with since poor Matt still has to work in the summer. I have enjoyed the extra bonding time. I wrote a couple of Fridays ago about 'real conversations' and remembering the value of face to face, or at least phone conversations with people instead of getting caught up in texting and social media. I mentioned I wanted to get better about these after having a few good, real conversations this summer. I am keeping this as a goal as we start the school year...relying less on social media to keep up, and making a conscious effort to talk less about work and school drama to focus more on having conversations that matter with the people who matter.


Summer Food. I just love summer food. Nectarines, berries, summer squash, and so many more. Using the grill. It's all been so fab. I'm really going to miss it in a few weeks. We also lucked out with our tomato plants this year as well. We also had a bunch of peppers from my potted garden. I am still waiting to see what becomes of my brussel sprout plant. It is starting to look more promising.


TV & Books. I have done so much reading this summer. At one point I was reading a book every day or two. It was awesome. My favorites of the summer include: The Book Theif, Secret Daughter, This is Where I Leave You, Whistling in the Dark, The Silver Star, Then Came this list is starting to turn into all my books. I'm cutting myself off. I read a lot of books I loved...I'll leave it at that.

As for TV...I very slowly (on purpose as to not be distraught when I finished) watched season two of Orange is the New Black....I really don't know how I am going to wait until season three next summer. And we are still bingeing on Breaking Bad. I also, on occasion, tuned into the Price is Right just cause it was summer and you have to.

{That's my best condensing of the highlights of Summer 2014!}

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Room 278

Last Friday I wrote about being excited about having a classroom to use this year. I also promised some pictures, and I remembered to take some today. I still have my office (which always looks the same more or less), so this will only be used when I am teaching classroom guidance. It's looking pretty plain, but I didn't want to drag all my belongings upstairs because having my own classroom will probably be short lived. I just hope it's K-5 friendly and stays clean.