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.


A Mistake

When we got home after dinner and I decided to check my credit card statement. We just passed the middle of the month so it was a good time to check it. I scanned my purchases and my heart sank.

A mistake! I was charged twice for something.

It’s not a huge deal and I’ll straighten it out tomorrow. The extra calls and the time it will take to fix it are annoying. Why can’t I be available during business hours? How long will I have to be “on hold” tomorrow? Does that mean I don’t get to eat lunch?


Thank You Brownies

I wanted to thank my neighbors for helping us clear the snow from our driveway last week. I made them brownies. When I looked out the window on Friday, I saw the family get into the car and drive off.

On Saturday I was out until 7pm and when I looked over at their house there were 2 additional cars in the driveway.

On Sunday they got an early start and seemed busy. When one car came back, the other one went out. Finally things seemed to settle down. It was dinner time and I sprang into action.

I was so surprised how much adrenaline I felt as I crossed the street and walked up their path. I could see their silhouettes in the kitchen and heard movement, which meant they spotted me. I hopped up the step to the front door and pressed the doorbell. A dog barked and I heard quick footsteps.

I could feel my heart beating as I waited for the front door to open. Their little dog, Remy, greeted me first with some joyful licking.

As I walked back to my house, across the street, I took a deep breath. I’m so glad I finally found the time to drop off those treats and say thank you. “It was really no problem!” we both said regarding the snow blowing and brownie making. These are such small things, but they make such a big difference.

The After Party

Yesterday we all gathered for our friend’s baby shower. It was lovely, but it is hard to get enough time to talk to everyone. We all have such busy lives, and we don’t live in the same city. Afterwards we decided to all go out for a drink. We arrived and were seated. Then our waitress came over.

I can’t even remember her exact words. They were so perfect in the moment. As I think about it now, it doesn’t even really matter what she said. She just made us all laugh and laugh with her. We were in such high spirits we stayed for a second round. Maybe it was because of the delightful waitress, or maybe it was because we didn’t want to leave each other quite yet.

I meant for this slice to be about our quirky waitress, but instead it’s turning into my love for my girl friends. We do a good job getting together twice a year, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. When we are together we laugh until we feel like we will rip open or run to the bathroom in fear of peeing our pants. Conversations pick up where they left off. We listen to the tough stuff and offer support.

One of my friends sent us this article last week called “Don’t Put Off Your Girls Weekends”

It says, “But what old friends know is the soul of the true person underneath all of the daily details, and maybe that’s the best part to know.” It’s true with these girls. I’m glad we turned the 3 hour baby shower into a 6 hour extended event instead. Even the mom and dad to be joined us for this impromptu after party.

I always have to make myself not be sad to say goodbye, but make myself get excited for the next time we will be together and instead say, “see you soon!”




Poetry Party?

A co-worker invited me to dinner at her apartment. She mentioned that a few other people were coming and she and her roommates would be serving make-you-own spring rolls. Even though my husband couldn’t make it because he was working overnight, I said yes.

The kitchen smelled marvelous and gradually different bowls appeared on the table. When it was time to dig in, my co-worker leaned in and said, “oh by the way, this is our 3rd Annual Spring Equinox Poetry Party.”

“Wait what?” I ask.

“Yeah, that’s why everyone brought a book of poetry with them.”

Oh gosh. I thought. I feel comfortable making small talk with new people, but this? Poetry party? I am not prepared! Will I have to recite a poem?

After we finish eating, one of the women passes out a poetry book to each person. I open my book in the middle, not knowing where to start. One guy reads a Pablo Neruda poem. It was a rather explicit poem and my giggles chipped away at some of my panic.

Another person shared a poem. Then another.

I flipped through the Mary Oliver book that I was given. I landed on a page with the poem called “The Sun.” I heard myself say, “I have one.” I began to read. I felt my face flush as I got to the half-way point. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at me. When I made it to the end of the poem I heard “Ooooh” and then snapping.

After 3 more poems were read I offered to read another poem. This one I liked better than the first. It was called “Lilies” My 2nd graders are currently studying and writing poems. The other day I had modeled writing a poem about grass blowing in the wind. In “Lilies,” Mary Oliver did a much better job than me. Her words are so beautiful. She wrote the words that I couldn’t find.

Then another girl started reading “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes. We each read 2 stanzas and passed the book to the next person in our circle. I smiled to myself. All I could think about was Anne’s performance of this poem in Anne of Green Gables. My mom and sister will laugh when I tell them this.

As I got into my car to drive home I smiled. I didn’t expect this dinner party to turn out like it did. New friends! The surprise Poetry Party! A poet with a new admirer! And a new Amazon purchase!



The Sun

by Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?