Her Name Is Joy

They’re furry, they’re fluffy, and they’re playful. I’m sure you’re already speculating, guessing, or maybe even confident that you know what I am referencing. And if you are thinking that perhaps I’m referring to a family pet, you are correct.

In our home, we call them our fur babies. Yes, they are our pet rabbits, but they are so much more than just pets.

They bring us joy!

We have special little voices we use when we talk to them. Oh yes, I have a certain inflection in my voice that I use when I announce it’s snack time. When I go to the store I’m sure to purchase their favorite treats. And I know if you have a cat or a dog, you most likely do the same thing. Why, why would we do this? Because…

They bring us joy!

In our house it’s not uncommon to have a conversation that revolves around what the rabbits were doing when we got home, how much food they ate while we were away, and well, if they pooped! I send Snapchat pics of my rabbits to my family and friends, just to keep them updated. I know; it’s weird! We care for them just like we care for a child. And we do this because…

They bring us joy!

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Our little fur family began in 2014 when we became empty nesters. In fact, we adopted a new member each year since 2014. That’s right, our first rabbit in 2014, our second rabbit in 2015, and our third rabbit in 2016. Rest assured though, there will not be a new member in 2017! I know that some people don’t understand and perhaps find it odd, but our fur family gives us a purpose.

They bring us joy!

When we adopted our third rabbit at Christmastime in 2016, we couldn’t help but to name her Joy. She was our first female rabbit and she bonded with our sometimes grumpy male rabbit.

She brought him joy; she brought us joy!

Animals are amazing in the way they unconditionally love humans – the way they make us smile and the way they help relieve our stress. They are there for us day in and day out. They are therapeutic.

They bring us joy!

Her name is Joy and we love her dearly!

 

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What does JOY mean to you? What brings you JOY? How do you sprinkle JOY in your day? Write about it and share your post with the #TeachWrite community by linking up to our blog here.

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The #TeachWrite chat is dedicated to supporting teachers of writers and teachers who write. Join us for our next chat on Monday, September 4th at 7:30PM EST. You can sign up for the Remind here.

Thank you Jennifer at #TeachWrite for hosting this platform!

 

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the best part of my ( ____ ) world

the best part of my RUNNING world…

Race day! It is right around the corner. As a matter of a fact, it’s Sunday! I will lace up with more than 40,000 runners from 49 states and more than 20 countries to run my 10th 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles). All this will go down in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. I’ve planned. I’ve complete my training. Some of my training runs I nailed. Some of them I bonked, and some were right where they were suppose to be. What’s left? It’s time to get my mental game on and, of course, pick out which sneakers I will wear.

the best part of my READING world…

Poem in Your Pocket Day! My readers and Mrs. H.’s readers gathered the perfect poems, jotted them down on a pocket, and cut out all those pockets! Our school celebrated by passing out 600+ pocket poems! It was a day centered around sharing and celebrating poetry. Smiles and poetry galore were everywhere!

the best part of my ROCKIN’ MOM world…

This girl! Since we are running in her city, her city of Pittsburgh, I’ll be spending some time with Maddie this weekend. Matt and I will be pounding the pavement and sailing across the bridges as Maddie cheers us on for race day. And, of course, we will try to squeeze in a little celebration for the end of her junior year at college.

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the best part of my RABBIT world…

Story time! Two of my fur kids, Joy and Buddy, enjoy story time. My little Yoshi, on the other hand, decided to just hang back. There’s always one in the crowd who doesn’t participate.

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Joy reading Wally: The Life of a Punny Bunny

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Buddy reading snacking on Wally: The Life of a Punny Bunny

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Yoshi…just chillaxing

So there you have it!

The best part of my world!

Now I’m wondering, what’s the best part of your world?

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sol

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This Is Me

Ricochet out of bed at 5:00 AM:

Blogger & Writer: I wake up early to proofread my blog post and publish it. Then I spend some time reading other blogs and leaving some comments. I’ll do some journaling if I’m not working on my blog.

Teacher: I’ll read my school emails, take a look at my teaching schedule, and put any finishing touches on my lesson plans.

Mom: I’m a “mom” to my little fur fam. I’m busy getting their breakfast, cleaning their cages, and letting them run around and wreck havoc on the house.

It’s 8:00 AM:

Teacher/Colleague: I arrive at school and step right into teacher mode. Everything else is pushed aside! I’m busy suggesting books, asking my readers what they are reading, fostering the love of independent reading, and teaching readers to be strategic about their reading. I also a support other teachers in the school by addressing pertinent reading questions and concerns.

School’s out 4:00 PM:

Runner: It’s time to put the rubber to the road and knock out a training run or cross-train. This could be anywhere between a 3 mile run to a 5 mile run, depending on where I am in my training plan. Cross-training consists of strength training, core work, or yoga.

Rushing around at 5:00 PM:

Housewife: I empty the dishwasher, put the trash out, place some laundry in the washing machine or put the laundry away, and pay some bills. I’m going to be truthful here, I rarely start dinner. That’s Matt’s area of speciality. If he doesn’t feel like cooking, I just roll with it and we eat leftovers or eggs.

Winding down from 6:00-7:30 PM:

Wife & Friend: I spend this time chit-chatting with Matt about his day and enjoying dinner, usually over a glass of wine. In between I will be texting or Snapchatting with my family and friends about whatever. I usually send a pic of the scrumptious dinner Matt has prepared. Some nights Matt and I might have a date. Our date would be at the gym attending a yoga class. I know you’re jealous!

Back to my little fur fam from 7:30-8:30 PM:

Mom: Once again I let the fur kids out to frolic around and get some exercise. I do my best to capture some of their antics and post it on their Instagram account. Usually, I’m touching base with Maddie too about her day via text or Snapchat.

Winding down for the day from 8:30-10:00 PM:

Whatever Me: You’ll find me writing in my journal or creating rough drafts for my blog. I *love* to make lists, so I’ll probably be preparing a to-do list, an exercise schedule, or a grocery list. Or perhaps you’ll observe me “reading”. (I have a tendency to read with my eyes shut. ~sigh) I catch up on social media during this time too. Best of all, I’m just chilling with Matt.

This is me. Just little ole me.

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Those Treasured Photos

Growing up, I was a normal kid. I lived with my mother and father and my sister. We always had two dogs and two cats. 

We were a normal family.

Then I got married.

There were no dogs and there were no cats. Zilch, nada, none!

But there was an iguana (actually two of them), a chinchilla, a hermit crab, some goldfish, and a beta fish. Of course, today there are rabbits.

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Meet our green iguana, Monster. 

His name was appropriate for him. He was as large as a monster, and truthfully, he looked like one too!  When friends and family came to visit you could see their eyes enlarge. You could espy them taking in a deep breath and pulling back away. For you see, Monster was allowed to “rome” the house when we were home. He sat on the back of the couch, he had a special “lizard door” so he could go outside and sun himself, and he went up and down the stairs. 

It’s always fun to browse through those old treasured photos. And when I came across these, all I could do was wonder what in the world were we thinking?

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What Worked for Me in 2016

It’s that time of the year when reflections are in full swing! I’m usually reading reflections of others, but this year I decided to write and share my own. So, here they are.

  • Journaling & Blogging: I ordered an Erin Condren journal at the end of 2015. I really didn’t have high aspirations for it when I purchased it. I just knew I wanted one. As I moved through 2016, I started to dabble in writing morning pages. Once I saw how rewarding my journaling was, I decided to challenge myself and fill the entire journal. While finding time to journal can be difficult and perhaps a deterrent at times, I always enjoy going back and rereading what I wrote. I even branched out and added some cute little doodles here and there in the journal. I’ve found it is a great way to capture those magical moments and celebrate all that is marvelous in my life. Likewise, blogging has worked for me in 2016. Not only do I enjoy reading the blog posts of others, but I have enjoyed sharing “slices of my life” right here on my blog.
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Erin Condren Journal

  • Essential Oils: Yes, I love them! I was originally introduced to them by a dear friend who is no longer with me. He would always be telling me which ones I needed for this or which ones I need for that. I’ve since expanded my collection to include a diffuser and a wider variety of essential oils. I love to use them at night for a peaceful rest or if I feel a cold is lurking inside of me. I also enjoy using my diffuser in the bathroom. It gives it a “spa-like” feel and well, makes me feel special!
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My diffuser and doTerra essential oils

 

  • Volunteering at the SPCA: In 2016 I spent more time volunteering in the Small Animal Room (SAR) at the SPCA. The SAR houses mostly Guinea pigs & rabbits. My work in the SAR pretty much consists of cleaning the poop out of the cages and feeding the animals. And while this may seem minuscule, it means a world of difference to the animals who have traveled a challenging road in their short life. I’ve also had the opportunity to volunteer for the Meet & Greet adoptions sessions at our local PetSmart. But the most rewarding part…the kisses and loves I get to give to these precious animals!
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SPCA

  • Instagram: This is my new social media go-to or should I say time-waster! One of the main reasons I have enjoyed it so much it the positivity of my IG feed. I enjoy the many positive quotes I capture, the inspiration from others, and the book recommendations that are posted. Oh, and yes, I adore following all those crazy rabbit-loving folks that share countless photos of their fur babies!

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  • Running & Cross-Training:  While my milage in 2016 was a bit lower than the previous two years, I actually participated in more races and managed to squeeze out two more Personal Records (PR).  Perhaps I can accredit this to the Yoga/BODYFLOW that I have incorporated into my weekly exercise routine. I’m not sure how or why I am able to accomplish what I have, but I’ll just say it’s working and I’m good with that!
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cross-training

 

  • My One Little Word: For the last three years a One Little Word (OLW) has chosen me. In 2016, my OLW was “practice”. This has helped me maintain some sort of balance in my life by allowing me to focus on what is most important for me and for my family. I’m forever grateful that Matt is always there by my side by supporting me in my endeavors. Stay tuned for my OLW of 2017!
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2016 OLW: practice

What worked for you in 2016?

I’d love for you to take a moment and share!

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SOL

Live Your Why

By fulfilling your why, you may realize that you can have an even greater impact than you have ever imagined. Surround yourself with things that remind you of why you do what you do and find something each day to help you live your why.

~Lucy West

Why I Write:

I write for me. I write because I want to capture my moments that have now turned into memories. I write because I want to tell my story. I write because I want to remember my story. I write because writing is thinking on paper.

Why I Read:

I read because knowledge is power. I read because I know that reading can take me away when I need to stay where I am. I read because I want to share the passion. I read because I believe I should exercise my mind everyday.

Why I Run:

I run because I can challenge myself in ways that I never thought possible. I run for the thrill and I run for the accomplishment. I run to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle. I run for mental toughness and I run because my body was meant to move.

Why I Teach:

I teach for my students. I teach because I understand their struggles. I teach because I want to celebrate their successes. I teach because I believe I can make a difference.

Why I Advocate for the SPCA:

I advocate for homeless and neglected rabbits. I advocate for them because they don’t have a voice. I advocate to show these precious animals that there are good humans in this world of neglect and abuse. I advocate because I believe I can make their world a better place.

Why I Will Always Be a Mom:

I will always be a mom because I have the best daughter in the world. I will always be there when she needs me. I will share in the highlights and lowlights of her life. I will always be a mom because I have been blessed to be given this role.

What Is Your Why?

Live Your Why!

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SOL

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Coffee & Confessions

I’m glad you’re here.

Enjoy your morning, afternoon, or evening coffee

while I share my latest confessions.

Confession #1

First off, I confess I don’t even drink coffee! I love the way it smells, but the taste, not-so-much. So, I’ll be enjoying my favorite hot drink, a chai latte.

Confession #2

Remember that 11 mile run I blogged about last week?  The training run I didn’t want to complete? The one where you gave me all kinds of encouragement?  Well, you would think all that encouragement would be enough to get me through my last long training run, but it wasn’t. I confess, I skipped, passed over, disregarded my 12 mile training run this past Sunday. It’s so not like me to do so, but I did.

Confession #3

Not only did I skip my long run on Sunday, but I confess that for my dinner on Sunday I ate one two soft pretzels and enjoyed a glass of wine with my soft, doughy, salty pretzels. Such a strange combo, I know, and topple it with a whole bunch of empty calories and a few tons of carbs-not the best choice for sure. But, I confess, it tasted oh, so, delicious and I would probably do it again if we ever allow those soft pretzels to enter our house!

Confession #4

To make up for the fact that I skipped my long run on Sunday, I decided there was absolutely no way I was ditching my 4 mile run on Monday. With that being said, I was determined to run those 4 miles as.fast.as.I.could! No excuses! And that I did. I’m pretty sure they were the fastest 4 training miles I ever ran! (It must have been those pretzels!) Since I ran those 4 miles and I ran them fast, I decided I needed a little pampering afterwards. I thought it would be perfect to treat myself to a pedicure at the salon home.

Confession #5

I confess, I’m not one who enjoys decorating for the holidays anymore. It’s kinda a bummer, I know, but I just don’t get too excited about it. However, I kept driving past the local farm market and this giant pumpkin smiles at me every time inviting me to stop, so I did. I decided I would purchase a few three pumpkins and place them by our front door. Yes, three pumpkins are a bit lame, but it is what it is.

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Confession #6

I made dinner on Monday! This is a big hoopla for anyone who knows me personally because I despise cooking and the kitchen. This is partly because Matt is an excellent chef and cooks all the time and partly because I’m lazy when it comes to eating. I could pretty much care less. I didn’t do anything too wild now. Just broke out the crockpot and made Minestrone soup. It’s an Olive Garden copycat recipe and it was quite tasty! Matt even said so himself. And we have plenty of leftover soup for the rest of the week! I must confess, I’m pretty proud of myself!

Confession #7

And last but not least, I confess that this little nugget melts my heart. I could just give him kisses all.day.long. Isn’t it silly how happy a little ball of fur can make me!

I hope you enjoyed your coffee, and thanks for hearing my confessions.

What confessions do you want to share?

~~~~~

SOL

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