- My amazing husband Daniel. He works so hard every day at his job as a teacher, is fiercely loyal to his family and friends, is ridiculously passionate about sports – both watching and doing, adores animals as much as I do, and watches all the same TV shows as me (unless they are about crime). He is my best friend and the love of my life.
- My awesome family. Not only do they give provide me with role models to admire and be inspired by , but I am especially grateful for all the help and support they’ve given me during this first year teaching at a high school with a new school model AND with my knee injury and surgery. I love spending time with them – they are always on my side, they always make me laugh, and they will always watch crime TV shows with me.
- My kick-ass friends. They put up with all my random, silly, and long text messages, non-stop Snapchats of coffee and pets, my early bedtime, and my weak sarcastic ability. They are hilarious, creative, sweet, caring, fiesty, and fun. I love them to death and can’t imagine how I’d get along without them.
- My wonderful co-workers. I have been blessed to have truly great colleagues and mentors almost every place I have ever worked, but this year having a staff that supports each other as much as this staff does is absolutely essential. I don’t think any of us would have made it this far, trying to implement his new school model and make positive changes in school culture, without each other. No one “pulls rank,” no one refuses feedback, no one is unwilling or too busy to help anyone else. We are truly a team and I am so grateful.
- My pets. I don’t have kids, and no, my pets aren’t like my kids. My pets are my pets – they are animals who love unconditionally, harbor no bitterness or ill will toward anyone, and find happiness in all the small moments. They brighten my day and the day of everyone who interacts with them.
- The “basics” that aren’t really so basic – a place to live with working heat and a sound structure, located in a safe neighborhood. Clean, running water I can get by walking two feet to a faucet. Enough nutritious food to eat and the ability to choose what I want to eat. Shoes, a winter coat, gloves, and hat that are all in good shape. Clothes in general that are in good shape. Safe transportation. Access to the Internet and a computer in my own home. All the things so many of us take for granted on a daily basis.
- Health care – including vision and dental. I know this is a sore point for some people in this day and age with Obamacare and all, but I can’t imagine not having it. I have maintenance prescriptions I require for health conditions, I get sinus infections a couple times a year, I hate cavities, and you never know when an emergency or a random accident will occur – like tearing your ACL on a trampoline on a school field trip. I am so grateful I have insurance to help my family and I afford the care we need.
- My college degree and job. My job that is my dream job. It truly feels like every experience I have had, particularly since I was in high school myself, has lead me to this teaching position. A lot of the experiences were challenging, but they all prepared me for where I am right now, which is exactly where I want to be. Not only is my job, despite its intensity, emotionally and intellectually fulfilling, but it is also contributing to my family’s financial security. I am grateful for that because I know how difficult not being in such a positive situation can be.
- And of course, the random, little things that seem silly to be thankful for but really enrich every day life: COFFEE, funny TV shows, interesting podcasts, good books, really good books, an evening spent cooking and baking, a hot bath, that thrill you get when you’ve had an extra productive day or when you get an unexpected compliment, a cold beer after a long week at work, finding a coupon for your favorite grocery item, a sunny day, easy traffic on your morning commute, killing it in your workout, catching your new favorite song on the radio, making someone else laugh without expecting to, beating that level of Angry Birds you’ve been stuck on for weeks, a fantastic night of sleep, no line at the gas station or drugstore when you’re in a rush, a clear night sky so you can see the stars, the existence of HGTV, listening to music while driving by yourself in the rain, seeing someone do something nice for someone else for no reason but to be nice or polite, hugs from small children, kisses from dogs, and so, so much more.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Here we are, on snow day #5 of the school year (2nd in a row of this week). This winter has been brutally cold! As a teacher, I of course enjoy the snow days (any teacher who doesn’t enjoy them, even a little bit, is lying to themselves and to you). However, as a high school swim coach, I’m not a great fan of snow days getting in the way of practice. Since I can’t control the weather or the district’s calling of snow days, though, I try not to stress out about it and fully enjoy my snow day. A key component of that enjoyment, for me, is watching Perry Mason reruns.
Perry Mason is an American court drama that aired from 1957-1966 on CBS. Every time I have the day off of work and I have the opportunity to catch a rerun, I do so because
- Perry Mason is a smart show. Like a lot of people, sometimes I attempt to take care of things on the computer or play around on my phone while also half-paying attention to what’s on TV. I can do this with Bones (one of my all-time favorite shows), Law & Order, Body of Proof, etc., but I can’t do this with Perry Mason, not without missing a key detail. The show is well-written, with its focus based on the relationships and motives of its characters, rather than on shocking acts of violence, intense action sequences, or emphasis on technology.
- The acting is fantastic. Raymond Burr starred as Perry Mason, earning two Emmys during the show’s duration. Barbara Hale, who played Mason’s secretary Della Street, earned an Emmy for her role on the show as well. William Hopper, the actor who brought Mason’s private detective Paul Drake to life, was also nominated for his work on the show.
- In addition to wonderful acting by the series regulars, Perry Mason often featured guest stars past and present viewers would get a kick out of seeing. Such stars included Dick Clark, Robert Redford, Leonard Nimoy, Cloris Leachman, and Bette Davis.
- Perry Mason is mostly formulaic. Most episodes begin with a scene or two introducing the soon-to-be defendant and victim. Perry somehow gets introduced and linked to defendant. Someone is killed. Perry and the police both begin their investigations. The evidence keeps pointing to Perry’s client. A hearing or trial occurs. Perry presents his case and ends up revealing another person as the lead suspect. More often that not, that person will end up confessing on the stand. The episodes almost always end with Perry, Della, and Paul, and sometimes the client who was just proven innocent, chatting and laughing in Perry’s office or in a restaurant. A lot of people don’t like it when their shows are formulaic, but as someone who thrives in routine, I enjoy it – especially since every show includes a new mystery to fit into that formula.
- It’s a black-and-white blast from the past. I love watching reruns with my dad, who remembers watching them with his late mom when the show was originally on air. The men all wear suits, trench coats, and hats, and the women all wear pencil skirts and have their hair and lipstick perfectly in place. It’s a fun trip back in time to an age that many people view as classy and more wholesome, but via storylines that remind you no time was truly an age of innocence.
Perry Mason episodes are currently shown on MeTV and the Hallmark Movie Channel. You can also find full episodes available for streaming here.
- All the kinds of flavored coffee Dan & I got for Christmas
- Staying safe & warm during this terrible weather, and the fact that my friends and family are, too
- The perfect planner for a new year
- New leggings to wear while rocking workouts at the gym
- Speaking of workouts…I’m loving prepping for my first masters meet and participating in Tone It Up’s Love Your Body series!
- Working ahead to finish the second half of swim season strong
- Cuddling up with Madison, a good book, & a cup of tea
- Sending and receiving hilarious texts with friends
- Marathons of favorite TV shows
- A good night’s sleep
- Only 36 days until pitchers and catchers report!
What is making you happy as of late?
- The photo above, which is my church’s weekly bulletin, because it shows the church’s weekly schedule for this week includes Dan and I’s wedding!!!!
- A good book
- Funfetti cake
- Singing loudly while driving my car
- Early Sunday Starbucks treat
- Visits with and calls from great friends
- Finding a hilarious new favorite TV show
- Sunshine and cool breezes
- A clean house
- A happy Madison
What is making you happy as of late?
For the month of March, I am participating in Fabulous Finds by Tiffany’s 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt: What’s on your iPod?
There is a lot on my iPod. I listen to several different genres of music. I make playlists and then listen to them ad nausem. I get on kicks where all I listen to is a particular album. Still, there are certain songs I listen to more than others, mainly for comfort or because I am pretending to perform. It also summarizes the type of music I enjoy most pretty decently, though of course some things are missing. These are the top 25 most played songs on my iPod:
- Vienna – Billy Joel
- Feels Like Home – Chantal Kreviazuk
- Desperado – The Eagles
- Bless the Broken Road (acoustic) – Rascal Flatts
- Let It Be – The Beatles
- Heartache Tonight – The Eagles
- Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ – Journey
- The Boys of Summer – The Ataris
- To Make You Feel My Love – Billy Joel
- Brand New Day – Joshua Radin
- Good and Broken – Miley Cyrus
- Hotel California – The Eagles
- Hold On – Michael Buble
- Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) – Mamma Mia! movie soundtrack
- Up Around the Bend – Creedence Clearwater Revival
- The Climb – Miley Cyrus
- Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls
- Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
- Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
- Weeping – Josh Groban
- The River of Dreams /Keeping the Faith/Only the Good Die Young – Movin’ Out soundtrack
- Lost – Michael Buble
- Summer, Highland Falls – Movin’ Out soundtrack
- Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams
- Hallelujah – Rufus Wainwright
What songs are in your top 25 most played?
Hey, guys! Are you enjoying the 31 Day Blog Challenge? Is anyone else doing it, too? Today’s prompt is favorite movies you never get sick of watching. I am a BIG movie fan and a total sucker for $5 DVD deals (so much so, in fact, that I have had to create a DVD wish list I keep on my phone and only allow myself to buy deals from the list!). That being said, here are some of the movies I enjoy the most or have had the habit of watching over and over.
What movies have you watched over and over?
Hello, all! I hope everyone’s March is off to a fantastic start : )
I recently discovered this 31 Day Blog Challenge via my friend Danielle’s Instagram. I was instantly drawn in. What a great way to jump start my posting after a busy season and time away!
Luckily I discovered this only a couple days into March, so there’s not too much to catch up on. Here’s Day 1: Self-Portait and 5 Random Facts!
- I am double-jointed in both of my pinky fingers.
- My favorite colors are green and purple.
- I didn’t learn how to tie my shoes until second grade.
- My dog means the world to me.
- I have a tattoo of Ohio.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review: I greatly enjoy chick lit, and as of late, have become hooked on mysteries, as well. I recently discovered the chick lit-style “Death and Taxes” series by Diane Kelly, which are mysteries about Dallas resident Tara Holloway, a special agent with the IRS who loves gardening, tax law, the second amendment, and manicures. I got the first book, Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure, on a whim from a Kindle Daily Deal, and I’m super glad I did! It was a little cheesy and romance novel-like at times, but it was also hilarious, kept me guessing, and entertained and inspired me with excellent portrayals of strong women. Kelly doesn’t shy away from giving plenty of detail as to what rules and regulations the white collar crimes are violating, but explains the financial concepts in readable and engaging terms. Tara is an extremely likable character, a heroine you can root for without reservation: intelligent and quirky, responsible yet daring, and tough but girly. Each of the supporting characters are well-developed and entertaining, including Tara’s love interest. I wanted to buy the second novel immediately after finishing the first, but I managed to restrain myself by using the purchase as motivation for achieving some goals. I am definitely looking forward sitting down sometime soon with Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte and some Starbucks of my own!
Have you ever read the Death and Taxes series? Are you interested in it? What books have you read and loved recently?
Monday evening I fell ill and was sick all day Tuesday. This morning I’m still not feeling my best, but I’m definitely doing much better, thanks to a (safe) combination of medication and other little comforts, such as:
- Ginger ale
- Naps with Madison
- Sweatpants and blankets
- Texts from great friends
- House Hunters and Arrested Development
- A long, hot bath
- A warm pasta meal when I felt up to eating
- Laughs with Dan, who took care of me so wonderfully
What makes you feel better when you’re sick?
…feel like summer has been moving way too fast?
…feel strange with unpainted fingernails?
…have trouble sleeping without their dog (or cat) cuddled up next to them?
…wish the summer Olympics happened more frequently than every four years?
…love kicking back with a bowl of popcorn and a funny movie after a long week?
…think it’s just as fun to go through the drive-thru as an adult as it was as a kid?
…enjoy starting the day with a big cup of coffee and morning news and talk shows?
…feel like they could eat Mediterranean cuisine for every meal for the rest of eternity?