Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 in 2010

A list of my top moments of 2010... in order of time, not importance :)

1. The first time I saw the beautiful Red Rock of Sedona. It was like nothing I have ever seen before, with a small hint of my beloved Australia.



2. Exploring the red rocks. Eric and I took a couple of really cool hikes into the red rocks. We also went on a "Pink Jeep Tour" which was a thrill in itself, though the views made it the most amazing.



3. My Bachelorette Party. My sister and my best friend worked their butts off to give me the best bachelorette party ever. Friends have always been a big deal to me (blew all my money on them in a sixth grade adolescent issues aution, in hindsight I probably should've considered buying myself some more money or at least a career, but hey!) and I've spent a lot of time picking the very best friends I could ever want or need. Therefore, it was a very special moment in my life to have most of my friends in one place.



4. Our Rehearsal Dinner Day and Night. I'm not going to lie, this was definitely a stressful day and I was really nervous all day, mostly about how my stomach was going to handle the next day! However, there were some amazing moments in this day that have to be recognized. The rehearsal dinner itself was just what we wanted; amazing people, amazing view and a gorgeous view of the ocean. Also, we got to listen to Katie's amazing speech (for more details click back to my rehearsal recap) and watch a slideshow created by Tiff of pictures of us. At the end, we got to head to the Welcome Party to see tons of people. Probably my only regret from the wedding is that I did not enjoy this day more because I was just antsy to get to the next day. But you know me, I don't do regrets so life goes on.



5. The Wedding. Well obviously the ceremony and reception were going to be on my top moments of 2010, right?

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6. The Day After the Wedding . I know, I know, enough moments about the wedding already, but I think I might be in the minority when I say the day after the wedding was amazing, so I'm gonna say it. I loved eating breakfast with friends at the hotel, going over to Eric's parents hotel to recap the weekend with them, going back to my parents house to recap the weekend with them, tailgating at our own house so Caroline could take a picture of Eric carrying me over the threshold. Awesome.


7. Swimming with the manta rays. Still 6 months later I can't find the words to describe this experience except for absolutely zen. Ask anyone who knows me, I don't find zen easily- I get impatient in yoga class and getting my nails done and yet, in the cool Hawaiian water with giant manta rays swimming all around, I cared about nothing else in the world.


8. Helicopter and Hike the Volcano. The volcano was definitely the second coolest part of our honeymoon. Between the doors-off helicopter experience and the hike into a volcano, this is definitely one of my top moments of the year.


9. Crossing the 5K finish line with Eric . Obviously it meant a lot to me that my knee allowed me to run again towards the end of this year. But it meant even more that Eric decided to put aside his dislike of running and actually start to enjoy running with me. Wahoo! I'd also like to add all the times that Eric and I walked or ran around the reservoir near our house, beautiful.


10. Gingerbread house making with the kiddos. This was one of those instances where you do something for someone else and it ends up being the best for you as well. Like I always say, in the day to day teaching can be the most annoying, non-rewarding job ever... but once in awhile something happens and you are like, oh yeah- this is why I do this.



There were many other top moments this year, and overall it was a good year :)

What were your top moments this year?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goals for the 2011 Year

I know it seems like every year goes really fast, but 2010, whoa!!! I can hardly believe I am writing 2011 goals!

I feel like it's really important for me to have some goals in 2011 because it's the first year that I don't have a planned milestone already in mind. In 2006 I graduated college and became a teacher, in 2007 I searched for my first apartment, in 2008 I moved into said apartment. 2009 was craziest of all...I bought a house, got my master's degree and became a tenured teacher all in one year. This year I got married, which is pretty crazy in itself. In 2011 I have no planned milestones and I'm hoping for no unexpected milestones if you catch my drift, haha. I think that's good though to have a year of relaxation... ha ha, even as I type this I know there will be very little relaxation involved. Oh well, might as well have some fun goals then.

But first, a recap of 2010 goals and how I did:

1. Embrace exercise without running. Between my Groupon membership to Healthworks where I took Urban Rebounding (trampoline) and Hula Hoop classes, and my pretty good attempt to commit to yoga, I'd say I did this. DSC03354.JPG

I also seriously committed to weight training early in the year until I realized it was making my arms look huge (actually they looked fat truth be told) right before my wedding. I think overall I did well with this, and now I can sort of run again in a very limited way.

2. Stop feeling guilty. Yeah um... perhaps this one isn't in the cards for me. I mean sure I did say no more this year... but I wouldn't say I didn't feel guilty.

3. Explore the USA. Eric and I did an awesome trip to Arizona in February, and Hawaii for our honeymoon, so we definitely explored the USA. However, one of my sub goals within this goal was to see one other new state besides Arizona and Hawaii, and unfortunately that did not happen.



4. Just Ask. I kind of forgot about this goal... and suck at asking. However, I have been considering trying to negotiate down my cable/internet bill (I'm sorry but is it just me or are TV/internet bundles absurd?) so maybe this should be a new goal for 2011.

Now for 2011 goals...

1. Get Back Into Running. I know I got back into it in September with a 5K, but since then my running has been a little all over the place. I have specific goals for 2011 including the Marathon Sports 5 Mile CityRun (Sunday April 3rd) and the Great Hyannis Road Race 7.2 miler (Memorial Day weekend). 7.2 will be a personal distance record for me, so if it starts to bother the knee I can do the 5K that same weekend.

2. Stick With Yoga...Maybe For Free. Amber gets her yoga for free by working for her studio. I thought this would be hard with my studio because it's been open for awhile and they already have studio assistants. But, I am going to try. Even if it doesn't work out, I still want to try to go to yoga 1-2 times a week. I also want to do yoga at home as often as possible. I feel like this is probably my #1 way to combat knee problems in running.

3. Spend Less Money on Food. In general, Eric and I are good with our money. However, when it comes to food, we are not the best. When we first moved out a few years ago I tried to budget, cut coupons and visit the insane (but lower priced) grocery store (in addition to other grocery stores in order to get the best food/prices...oh boy). Unfortunately, this made me hate every single Sunday and honestly in the end, I don't think the hassle paid off in the bank account. We still make a list, try to buy products on sale and use some coupons, but I don't feel like as much of a crazy person. However, I'd really like us to up our savings and the only possible place I feel we can cut is from our food spending. Stay tuned for some blog posts about how I plan to cut our food spending while still enjoying restaurants and my Sundays.... (ps. if I sound like I have a plan that's a lie, send tips my way!)

4. One Post Per Week on She Teaches. I kind of neglect my teaching blog because after a long day of working with kids, I'd rather talk about food/fitness/life...most anything except teaching. However, I'd like to be able to gain a teaching following that could perhaps lead me to bigger and better things in that genre... so, I'm going for 1 post per week. Hopefully I can stick with it.

5. Become a College Teaching Assistant. This is something I really want to do, but I have NO idea at all if you can really do this without being in a graduate/doctoral program at the college. So, I need to find that out, and go for it if it's possible. If not, maybe I'll try to get a student teacher next year instead.

Not to mention some ongoing other goals including: eat more veggies, host parties without getting stressed (is this possible?), read more books, plan and go on trips, go ice skating more often, try snowshoeing, try to hate winter less, you know, that sort of thing :)

What are your goals for 2011? Do you have any planned big milestones?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snapshots of Florida

I always love vacations because I have a lot of time to blog compared to normal work weeks where I'm lucky if I check my e-mail at all before 5pm. However, I don't have a ton to blog about on this vacation, it's been mainly relaxing. Have I mentioned I don't miss one single thing about snow, cold weather or work at all... vacations really need to be longer.

Some Delicious Eats:

miso glazed pacific black cod with brown fried rice, edamame ragout, pea and mint emulsion


seared yellowtail snapper with pumpkin ravioli, sweet corn puree, and crispy sage


Some awesome Christmas decorations (I have an obsession with Christmas decorations in warm places):




Outdoor heaters are nice too... cuz obviously I need a fleece jacket in Florida


But I promise it really is Florida:




We've basically been doing a lot of relaxing... the boys have been playing golf, the girls have been reading, going to the gym and playing tennis. Last night we took the whole family to Cirque du Soleil, Kooza in Miami. That was Eric and my present to everyone and I think it worked out well. Everyone loved the show, and it was really crazy to watch. If you haven't been to Cirque du Soleil show you really should... honestly nothing can compare to the ridiculous stunts they can pull off. I'd love to show you one but the "anti camera" people inside the tent took their jobs very seriously, there was no hope of me getting a picture. So, you'll have to go yourself. You won't regret it.

I'm off to a yoga class at our hotel. I'm a little nervous because I usually don't like anything but my studio at home, but I'll let you know.

How is everyone's week going? Do you prefer relaxing vacations or sightseeing vacations? Have you ever seen Cirque du Soleil?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Greetings from Chilly Florida

Greetings from Florida :)

The shocking this is I actually made it here at about the exact same time the blizzard of 2010 was hitting Boston. Whew. The airport was so quiet as we left, I think we were one of the last flights out before the cancellations kicked in. I know a lot of people who's travel plans were messed up because of the weather so I'm not rubbing it in, just saying we are very lucky.

To be honest, it's actually cold in Florida. Yesterday I think it was around 35F during the morning. It got a bit better with the sun around noon, but by 4 or 5 it was back to cold. It's amusing to see what people here wear in that kind of weather. Yesterday a woman walked into breakfast and I swear she looked like skiing was on her agenda for the day. We are talking down puffy jacket, winter hat, gloves, and boots. Her pants bordered on actual snow pants. It was funny.

I wanted to post a few highlights from Christmas since I haven't posted in a few days :)

Eric and I opened our presents first thing- but all the pictures came out terrible, so I'll just say I got him a Bose Sound Dock for his ipod and he got me gift cards to my favorite place to buy purses and Lululemon. I couldn't be any more excited about these since I absolutely LOVE both stores and having carefree money to spend at them is going to make me very happy in early January. I've already been plotting how I cam make the most of "my" money at Lululemon... yoga pants? yoga towel? new headband?

Then it was time to bring massive amounts of leftover food from Christmas Eve over to Eric's parent's house :) And more present opening...


Remember Snuggles?


Well, he's BACK!!! Meet "Big Snuggles"...


He is just as soft and cuddly as ever. Yay :)

Other highlights of the day included the game "Hide the Pickle"- try not to think about it too much...



Josh found the pickle- which by the way, is an ornament :)



The rest of the day was spent eating, opening more presents and watching dogs play...


Isn't it always a bit sad when Christmas is over? So much time is spent preparing and then it's over in a flash. Leaving for Florida the next morning is a great way to beat the Christmas blues though...

I have a few pictures already but I'll save them for the next post since it's almost breakfast time. I hope everyone has a great day!


(gingerbread men created by Caroline)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Good morning and Merry Christmas everyone :) It doesn't quite feel like Christmas yet because Eric is still asleep but I do know that lots of little kiddos are opening lots of presents from Santa right now! I'll add that as +1 in the have kids column that Christmas would be a lot more fun (that puts me somewhere near negative 10, oops)... oh and my kids would not be like that child who has a famous youtube video of him saying, "books for Christmas? what the heck is that?!" and neither will Emily's little girl, we decided!

So Christmas started for me on Christmas Eve Eve. We went to my parents to do our annual Gingerbread House decorating and celebrate Caroline's birthday.

Obviously we took the annual "we are eating our gingerbread house" pic...



And we ate a delicious Christmas dinner, complete with honey baked ham- my favorite Christmas treat :)

Last night Eric and I hosted our first Christmas Eve.


Lots of yummy treats!

Eric's parents normally host Christmas Eve but we moved it to our house this year and my family joined. I was a little nervous because #1- I'm a reluctant hostess always, and I really like Eric's family's Christmas Eve so I was hoping it would be just as fun at our house. But in the end, I think it was!





Like the hat Jake got me?


Yeah, obviously he stole it back.

On a random note, if you didn't send out holiday cards yet or you are looking for some awesome thank you notes, I highly recommend ordering these awesome holiday cards created by children with autism.


I ordered them and I swear they came the next day in the mail! All proceeds go to Autism Speaks, which funds autism research. There are some seriously amazing children out there with autism and any research that can help them as they grow up is key. I'm going to use them as thank you notes this year :)

Okay, time to wake up Eric and start the Christmas festivities... hopefully Santa managed to make it into my no-chimney house :)

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Final Rush

Good morning! Guess who has today off? THIS girl. Yay :)

My district restructured our professional development this year to get rid of Curriculum Days (days where the kids stay home but we go to school). Instead we are doing more meetings before/after school. Of course this has been annoying all year (there has also been a ton of outside work to go with it), but today when I have this "Curriculum Day" off... I don't mind at all! I really can't emphasize enough how key it is to have a day like this to get organized for Christmas, there is a lot of preparation to do.

What's on tap for me today? Well #1- I woke up to snow outside. Can I just take this moment to say I've officially decided I really don't like snow? I used to be kind of apathetic about it. I've decided now I just don't like it. Sure it can be pretty, but mostly it's just an annoyance. It's going to take me longer to get places today and I'm going to have to give up time to shovel the driveway and walkway. Also I should probably find my scraper at some point. So #1- shovel. #2- go out and get stocking stuffers for Eric. I have 2 things but I want a couple of more. This is very typical Kelly to leave one tiny thing for the last minute. #3- lunch with my friend Susanne. #4 clean the house because we are hosting Christmas Eve tomorrow night! and #5 start packing for Florida trip on Sunday, or should I say hopefully Sunday since snow is in the forecast. Wah.

Anyway, sorry for the short post but lots to do today :)

What is everyone up to for Christmas (if you celebrate)?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Revenge of the Anti-Ugly Sweater Girl

I'm happy to say that I officially got revenge on ugly sweater themes everywhere on Friday afternoon. I managed to come tie for second place in a contest for "most festively dressed" without an ugly sweater at all! (I promise I changed out of this outfit except the uggs before attending a normal 30th birthday party after).


Take that ugly sweater parties. Apparently, a dislike for ugly sweater parties runs in the family. My brother says he'll never understand why we host parties that put pretty girls in ugly sweaters. And if that doesn't rest my case, I don't know what does.

The rest of the weekend was spent mostly on Christmas related tasks. Eric and I stocked up at the grocery store for our Christmas Eve party. While Eric started some of the cooking, I wrapped the rest of the presents.


Today, I finally used this baby for the first time...


I was a little scared at first, but using the mixer wasn't nearly as scary as my kitchen looked after the baking experiment...


And by baking experiment, I mean Mama Pea's Dough Balls. Eric calls them "Hippie Cookies" because they are vegan (well, except the ones with milk chocolate chips in them haha). Whatever you want to call them, they are amazing and I only care that they are vegan because that means they don't have eggs, and no eggs = safe to eat the dough. Not that it matters because they taste like you ARE eating the dough anyways. Sadly, my stomach does not agree with my enjoyment of these cookies, but I'm glad others will enjoy them.

I packaged them all (well not all...) up for the office/custodial staff at my work.


I didn't really grocery shop this week for much other than the party, so I had to get a bit creative for my lunch...


Yup, that's 2/3 of a pizza dough I had leftover from last week + some random veggies/beans also leftover + a sprinkle of leftover mooshi chicken from Chinese dinner last night. Interesting combo I know, but I plan to make random meals like this all week as part of operation use all food in the house before Florida + save money because Christmas is seriously cutting into my trip fund and/or bill paying fund, whichever comes first :)

In other news, it's officially engagement season again (Eric and I got engaged 2 years ago today!). Last weekend my cousin Kristen got engaged and yesterday Eric's good friend Dave got engaged. I'm so excited about all our weddings for next year and really hoping somehow they can all be different days! Engagements seem to come in my life in threes, so I'm wondering who is next out there...

Finally, I spent a lot of time this weekend scanning some of my old pictures into my computer... two photo albums worth. It's a very time consuming process but at least I can bake, cook and wrap at the same time. Let's just say I may have engaged in ugly adorable Christmas sweaters as a child...


Well, that and cute Christmas dresses...




How was your weekend? Any festive attire?