Thank you, Mom

Day 31! It’s here! We did it!

Last year I used my 31st post to thank the person who had the biggest impact on my success in the Slice of Life Challenge. Thank you again, Molly, for introducing me to this great community of writers!

This year, I want to thank my mom.

My mom reads this blog every day and says she gets excited in the morning to check it. Knowing this helped me on the days when I didn’t feel like I had anything to write. I love the texts she would send that gave me such positive comments about my writing. Thank you for cheering me on.

More importantly, my mom always read my blog to her mom. It’s incredible to think that my writing spans 3 generations! Many of my posts were about teaching 2nd grade, and my grandma was a 2nd grade teacher for most of her long career. I’m so happy that she loved hearing the little stories about my classroom and kiddos.

After a tough few months, my grandma is finally doing better. I’m so glad my blog was there so she and my mom could giggle together and have something new to talk about. It makes me feel like I’m closely connected to my mom and grandma, even though I live so far away.

Thank you mom for giving me a reason to write everyday.


Home Depot Remedy

It was a bad day. I got home and plopped down on the couch. It was after 6:00, and I was hungry- a perfect combination of cranky.

“So, do you want to go to Home Depot?” my husband asked.

I sprang up.

We got in the car and drove off.

We arrived at our Home Depot and I immediately felt my shoulders relax. We first started in the garden section. Bulbs, garden furniture, and onions galore! My smile appeared. We moved to the lighting section and browsed potential chandeliers for our bedroom. We then took a look at the floor rugs and debated which one would look the best. As we rounded the last corner, we separated my husband eyed the miter saws and the air compressors, and I made my way to the grow-your-own mushroom kits.

In the end, we left the check-out line with the 2 items on our list.

It’s planting season, baby!

IMG_1712(I’ll just ignore the 5-8 inches of snow we are getting tomorrow)



Pep Talk

I have a big meeting today and I have to deliver some not-so-good news…


Deep breaths

Speak slowly


Be direct

Eye contact

Share the facts

Don’t fill the silence

You don’t have to sugar coat this


You can do it!

A New Family

I got home at 8:00 last night after many parent-teacher conferences. Exhausted, I went into the bathroom to take a shower. I saw our new family that moved in on Friday and my mood brightened.

It is a little family of succulents. They are perched on the bathroom counter basking in the moisture from our hot showers. We now have the extra chore of making sure the bathroom shades are open each morning. It is nice to have 3 new little buddies. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.


The Trifecta

There are 3 things that are needed in a weekend: Fun, Productivity, and Rest. Usually a weekend holds only 2 out of 3 of these things. Lately it seems like only one thing dominates my weekends.

Since we moved to Maine a year and a half ago, we are further from our family and friends. We have to make plans that usually take up the whole weekend. These weekend trips are so much fun. Sometimes it is the 5 hour drive to visit Joe and Lindsay in New York, the 3 ½ hour drive to my parents, or just the short 2 hour drive back to Boston. These weekend are FUN, but are not typically restful and definitely not productive.

Some of my weekends are incredibly productive. When I am training for a marathon, the long runs seem to take up all of my weekend time. 20 mile run? Ok, well I better carve out 3 ½ hours! I’m also taking 2 graduate classes and my school is a 1 ½ hour drive. It is exhausting but incredibly productive. Fun? Well not the word I would use.

Finally there are the restful weekends. My husband has to work many weekends and sometimes I find myself alone. These are usually peaceful, quiet weekends full of exploring new places and Netflix. These are definitely not too productive, and would be more fun with a buddy.

What we all really need is the trifecta, or simply, a 3-day weekend with 1 day dedicated to each of the 3 essential things: fun, productivity, and rest. Moving to a new place offsets the balance of these things and it takes time to put it all back together.

I was lucky enough to have a 3-day weekend. It was glorious because I finally experienced the trifecta! With new Maine friends we didn’t have to travel far which gave me a productive morning and a fun evening. My sister met us half way between Boston and Portland, which gave us fun and rest on Sunday. The list goes on.


Wishing you get the experience a trifecta weekend soon!

Signs of Spring

When I opened my eyes this morning I was so excited to see bright sunshine. I could hear the birds singing despite my closed windows! I looked out the window and saw a perfect blue sky. But then I peered down and remembered that there is still SO much snow on the ground. I guess Maine didn’t get the memo that it is spring.

I walked into the kitchen and smiled at my new pot of daffodils. At least I can bring spring inside my house.IMG_1708

Before I got in the car to go to brunch, my husband urged me to look at something near our front stairs.

“Quick! Come quick!” he whispered.

I jogged over and sure enough I saw my first sign of spring!


Treat Yo Self!

treat yo self

I was watching an episode of Parks and Rec while on the elliptical this morning. In the episode, Tom and Donna were having “Treat Yo Self” Day. It seemed like the perfect theme for my Saturday.

At 12:30 I scheduled a massage. For Christmas my husband got me a gift certificate and after a busy few weeks, it was the perfect time for one. When I made the appointment I felt a little guilty spending my time on this luxury since the only other massage I had was on my honeymoon. When I was driving to Maine Bodyworks, the guilt melted away when I heard Tom’s voice in my head saying, “treat yo self!”

Before my massage I decided to stop at my favorite bakery, Standard Baking Co. At first I couldn’t find a parking spot so I had to do a loop around the block. Suddenly I saw a car back out right in front of me! Yes! I got the perfect spot.

When I asked for a chocolate croissant, the clerk said they were already sold old. I ordered a blueberry oat scone instead. “But wait,” the baker said, “We have a fresh tray of chocolate croissants!”

This is perfect! Yes, I’ll have both the scone and croissant. I felt like I could hear Donna chanting, “Treat yo self! Treat yo self!”

My massage was perfection. My treats were scrumptious. Sometimes you need a little “me time” and an excuse to “treat yo self!”


Chocolate Milk Nostalgia

Yesterday there was an extra chocolate milk left over at snack time. Our class “milk manager” asked every single student if they wanted it. When he came over he asked, “What should I do with this extra chocolate milk? No one wants it.”

“What about me? I’ll drink it!” I answered.

The look of shock on his face was priceless. Yes, teachers can drink chocolate milk too. He silently got me a straw and watched, wide eyed, as I peeled open the carton, unwrapped the straw with one hand, and took my first sip.

My eyes closed and I was immediately transported back to second grade. It was sweet, rich, and exactly the same taste as I remember. I think it’s the same carton too. It felt like it was just another day when I brought my 40 cents of milk money to school in a change purse. Usually it was a quarter, dime, and nickel.

Wow. I haven’t thought about my own elementary school experiences in such a long time. Teaching 2nd and 3rd grade for 8 years seems to replace my own memories with my day to day tasks. Chocolate milk nostalgia- what a great gift on a Thursday morning!



My husband is on vacation this week and I’m not. Yesterday I left school as soon as I could to maximize our free time together. I managed to get home at 4:15!

“What do you want to do?” I ask, “It’s so early!”

“Yeah this is great! What do you want to do?” he replied.

“Hm, let’s go downtown!”

“Yeah! It’s perfect time for happy hour! Where do you want to go?” he asked.


Our conversation went on like this. We went back and forth on so many ideas. I was on Yelp trying to find the best spot for our early dinner and drinks.

Then our conversation changed when I mentioned, “At the same time, we should eat the food we have leftover from dinner last night.”

“Oh yeah, my homemade chicken alfredo,” he said.

“And we have plenty of wine and beer here.”

“You know, it is so cold outside. I think it feels like 7 degrees”

“I should start my workout.”

“We should save the money.”

We ended up staying in. We made the responsible choice. We’ll see what happens tonight!




There is always a student or two in a class that has a BIG personality. These are the students that are NEVER absent. Without fail, they will be at school.

Until yesterday…

When I saw the email from the child’s parent I let out a sigh. I felt bad that she was sick. But I also felt a little relief. Today will be smoother. I thought. I won’t have to repeat my directions 3 times!

But after the first 10 minutes of school, I realized we all missed her. She adds so much positivity and energy to our team. Without her, our team feels a bit lost. She’s the one that says, “Let’s do it,” and “Yep! I’m ready for this challenge!” or “I have a shout out for…” Of course there are times when she drives me crazy, but I realize that these are merely moments in time. She does have a big personality, but she also has a big impact on our team.