ten for tuesday {gratitude}

There’s no doubt about it, I’m a list lover! I love to create lists, revise my lists, and well, live by my lists. Heck, I could devote an entire post to my love of lists! Today’s post, however, is dedicated to the top ten things (in no particular order) I’ve been grateful for lately. And, a shout-out to my blogging buddy over at Wondering and Wandering for inspiring this post!

Number 10: I finally had the opportunity to plant a few annuals around my house. While they still look young and aren’t bountiful, they bring a smile to face as I peer out my window or sit idly by their side.

~I’m grateful to the sense of serenity that the simplicity of flowers can bring.~

Number 9: I created a my #cyberPD list. (Yes, another list!)  There are three books on my list: Disrupting Thinking, The Writing Strategies Book, and From Striving to Thriving. Disrupting Thinking arrived in the mail last week, The Writing Strategies Book will arrive this week, and From Striving to Thriving is pre-ordered and will arrive on August 9th. Since I’ve created my #cyberPD list, I’ve added two more books to my list! Imagine that, me adding to a list! I’ve added Mentor Texts, 2nd edition and Joy Write. Both of those are slated to arrive next week. Yes, reading for professional development is on my list!

~I’m grateful for budget money from my school district that allows me to purchase these books and devote my summer reading to becoming a better educator.~

Number 8: I was absolutely awestruck to find my Twitter handle on a post written by Kimberly Moran at We Are Teachers. Her post, titled 36 Twitter Accounts Teachers Should Follow, included my account along with many Twitter accounts that I’m proud to say I follow and that blog right here at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life.

~I’m grateful for my PLN and the educators I have “met”. You inspire me to be my best!.~

Number 7: Matt and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on May 25th. Twenty.six.years! It blows my mind! I can’t even believe how quickly time moves. We had a splendid dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Left Bank, and we enjoyed a delightful lunch with my mother-in-law at another favorite restaurant, The First Post.

~I’m grateful for 26 years of marital bliss. Here’s to another 26+ years!~

Number 6: I got a “big girl” camera compliments of my father. I’ve been wanting one for awhile now. My blogging buddy Molly over at Nix the Comfort Zone is partially to blame for this fancy. I love her photography. It inspires me slow down, look around, and capture the simplicity yet breath-taking aspects of nature. I also am just a wee bit anxious to use this “big girl” camera on our upcoming summer vacations. I can’t wait to capture the moments and memories that will unfold over the next few months.

~I’m grateful for gifts, the making of memories, and capturing those memories.~

Number 5: So it is, as I sit and write this post it is another rainy and cold day! While this rain has turned me into a bit of a curmudgeon, I have to admit that it has allowed me the opportunity to sit down to read and write. I am hankering for the warm sultry days of summer, but I’ve enjoyed my reading and writing moments on these rainy days.

~I’m grateful for my many passions that can fulfill my days.~

Number 4: As of this post, there are only one and a half student days left in the 2016-2017 school year. I created a list (Yes, a list! Insert a wink, wink here! ) called Cheers for This Year to help me reflect on all the reading awesomeness that went down during the last 180 +/- days. It brought a smile to my face and allowed me to create some new goals for next year.

~I’m grateful for culminations and commencements.~

Number 3: I stumbled upon a great book that I immediately downloaded onto my Kindle. It’s called Only Love Today. I swear this book is speaking directly to me. I find solace in it each night as I wrap up my day. A shout-out to Michelle @litlearningzone for tweeting about this one.

~I am grateful for books that validate my feelings and bring me comfort.~

Number 2: Matt and I gave our rabbits a “spa” treatment on Saturday. Truthfully, it was more like a wrestling match, but whatever. The boys got haircuts and all three had their nails trimmed. The boys look so cute! They look like baby rabbits. I said they got “puppy” haircuts just because I didn’t know what to call a baby rabbit. I wondered, what do you call a baby rabbit anyway? So, what’s a wonderer to do? Google it, of course! Unbeknownst to me, I learned that a male rabbit is called a buck and a female is called a doe. I think that is kind of weird, don’t you? A baby rabbit, on the other hand, is called a kit. There you have it. My boys look like kits. Um, okay…

~I’m grateful for the sense of curiosity.~

Number 1: I’m glad this post is wrapping up. My word count is way above usual and it’s truthfully more than I wanted to write and probably more than you wanted to read. Regardless, I had fun reflecting and I’m glad you came along for the ride. I heart readers and comments!

~I’m grateful for the Slice of Life writing community.~

~~~~~

sol

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This & That

March was the month of
writing
    publishing,
writing,
    reading,
writing,
    commenting
all on the BLOG!

Then it came to a sudden halt, STOP! And April arrived.

No longer am I wondering what do I write. No longer I am wondering which rough draft do I dust off. No longer am I wondering what post to publish. No longer am I frequenting my favorite blogs or discovering new ones. What to do with my time, what to do! Then I realized I missed a little of this and a little of that!

I missed this One Line a Day journal.

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In theory, I am to add one little line a day in the journal over a period of five years. In March, did this happen? Not so much. My line a day turned into 15 lines on one day to make up for the deficit. ~sigh!

I missed these training journals.

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This cute little Fit Happens journal is where I jot down what I eat and how my regiment of cross training is going. So, how’s that working for me? It’s not. I’ve been eating way more junk than I should and my cross training has drifted away. On a good note, I have been tracking my training runs in this Believe Training Journal, but I haven’t been filling in any of the other areas of the journal. ~sigh!

I missed this catch-all journal, my personal journal.

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During March I only used this journal for planning blog posts for the Slice of Life Story Challenge. It was a dumping zone of randomness that captured my ideas for the blog. I’m ready to resurrect this journal and get back into my daily writing and doodling.

I missed that reading I would do at the end of the day.

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Two books have been somewhat patiently waiting for me. One Amazing Elephant has been quietly slumbering on my night stand while The Sun Is Also a Star was summoned back to the public library. I’m happy to report that the latter is back in my hands.

April is here and I’m finding a new balance. I’m learning, however, this is how we roll in life. A little of this, a little of that, and everything in between.

~~~~~

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Date Day

Two Sundays ago Matt decided to take me on a date. A real date that was just us, not a trip to the gym for a workout or out for a training run for our upcoming race. A real date!

As you can see from the photo, the sky was a brilliant crystal clear blue and the snow was still on the ground from our March Madness blizzard. The air was crisp and cool. It was a perfect day to go to the Dissolve Float Spa, and, well, float!

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So what is floating???? That is what I was wondering when Matt told me about it. Basically you get in a “pod” the is filled with epson salt and warm water and you float. Honestly, it reminds me of a tanning bed only with water and without the harmful lights.

Truthfully I’m not one for a massage. Something about having a stranger rub his or her hands all over your barely dressed body just is not me. But the floating, that’s a different story. It’s therapeutic, it’s warm, and it’s peaceful. It’s also surprising how you just float in the water. My session was for an entire hour and it was just what I needed to break the winter blues. It did take me several minutes to settle into my float, but once I truly relaxed I enjoyed it. I think that the next time I go for a float the experience will be even better since I know what to anticipate.

After our float we headed out for brunch. We went to a new restaurant called The Handsome Cab. Our good friends introduced us to it a few weeks ago and Matt and I really enjoyed it. When he saw they offered a brunch, he made the reservations.

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We started off with a cheese tray and Matt ordered the European Staycation wine flight. I had a refreshing Lady in Red to drink.

Then our meal arrived. Matt had Lox Toast Points. His entree was cured smoked salmon, shredded potato leeks, tomato, and caper cream cheese. My entree was a bit more simplistic. I ordered the Eggs Benedict Oscar. It was two poached eggs on top of a delicious Maryland crab cake. It was amazing!

We had a delightful afternoon and I’m thankful that Matt planned this time just for us. I am looking forward to doing something similar again soon!

~~~~~

 

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What’s Your Marathon?

I’m a runner.

I’ve planned, trained, and completed 4 marathons (26.2 miles). The training plan requires 72 days of training over a span of 18 weeks. It’s an enormous commitment.

And then race day arrives. My mind plays mental games. “Trust in your training, trust in your training,” I whisper to myself again and again. I step up to the starting line and I run. I run up the hills. I glide down them. I use the flat road ahead for recovery.  It’s a roller coaster of emotions and a ping-pong of thoughts the entire time. I exhaust both physical and mental energy. Consequently, this saying that I stumbled upon couldn’t be any further from the truth.

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Enter the Slice of Life Story Challenge. It’s a marathon of writing. Thirty-one days of blogging and sharing life stories during the month of March.

I’ve blogged throughout the year so I’ve trained. I created a rough drafts here, there, and everywhere. I’ve spent time planning what I will write. Some are content rich and some say less but perhaps mean more. Yes, I’ve planned. And I showed up at the starting line on March 1st and have blogged for the last twenty-five days.

On March 23rd I pretty much felt like I was at mile marker 20. I have the topics. I actually have more topics than what I need to complete the challenge. But I’m tired. This marathon of writing is taxing on my mind. I feel like my writing is dead.

Today, March 25th, I feel like I’m at mile marker 22…I’m ready to quit. I’ve told my husband to remind me not to sign up next year. It’s been a balancing act to say the least. But just like running my marathon, I keep.on.going. I keep.on.writing.

Why do I keep on going? I keep on going because next week I know I will have crossed the finish line…too tough to kill. Undoubtably, I will forget about the anguish. What I will have is thirty-one days of memories and thoughts captured and shared, always here to relive and enjoy. I’ve come to realize that we all face marathons in our life in one way or another and we keep plugging away. This month, this challenge has been a marathon of writing, a marathon of writing for me. What’s your marathon?

~~~~~

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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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a little bit of serendipity!

Serendipity, such a fun word if I don’t say so myself!

Such a fun word that I think I need to say it again,

serendipity,

and again,

serendipity,

and again,

serendipity!

School began three weeks ago and while some people were feeling the serendipity, others perhaps not so much.  Me, well, I was somewhere in the middle. I guess you could say I was betwixt and between.

Then the students arrived with new backpacks, new sneakers, new outfits, and all smiles! ~serendipity!

Then the readers entered my newly redecorated room and they noticed the big and not so big changes. And they said, “Mrs. Warntz, our room looks awesome!” ~serendipity!

Then they started to browse the bookshelves and ask,

“Can I borrow this book?”

“Can I place this book in my book bin?”

“Oh, I read this book, it’s a great one!”

~serendipity, serendipity, serendipity!

Then it was time for independent reading, sitting in a comfy chair and choosing that just right stuffed animal to read along with them. ~serendipity!

And the excitement was building when it was time to add our book recommendations to our “LOVE THAT BOOK” wall. ~serendipity!

~~~~~

~serendipity~

And last but not least, we’ll end it with the message board that reminds us we all can use a little bit of…

~ser~en~dip~i~ty~

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SOL

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goodbye, hello

 

goodbye to a fun-filled summer vacation,

hello to the hustle and bustle of school days jam-packed with learning.

goodbye to Maddie once more,

hello to her junior year at college.

goodbye to the ARC ten miler race,

hello to Hershey 1/2 marathon training.

goodbye to our family vacation by the lake,

hello to a beach get-a-way for just the two of us.

goodbye to the fireflies lighting up the night sky,

hello to the cicadas singing in the trees above.

goodbye to summer reading of nine ten, riding freedom, and booked,

hello to the thing about jellyfish, moo, and because of winn-dixie.

goodbye to you again as i start the school year without you here,

hello to the memories we shared and your words that echo in my ears.

goodbye to the sizzling days of the august summer,

hello to the crisp days of september and fall.

SOL

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