Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to Reality

Summer vacation ended last week and now it's time for me to get back to this blog as well.  I have plenty going on at school to write about and Sarge being home should leave plenty of inspiration for posts as well.   We are re-learning our lives together and while it's mostly fun there have been, and I'm sure there will be more, bumps in the road.

Since there is a new school year starting I figure this is as good a time as any to start writing again.  Here's what's coming soon to this blog near you!

I have almost 400 students....when will I ever learn their names?
I haven't bought new shoes since June, it's time to change that!
I am joining my friends Stacy and Heather as a yearbook adviser...hopefully we'll still be standing at the end of the school year.  
We are working towards a house, complicated at this point but more info to come.
 ...and who knows what else life will bring our way!

Happy New School Year!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

So...haven't written in a while because Sarge is home!!  We are running around to see family, friends and trying to catch up with each other, too.  We have many exciting and happy events to look forward to and I'm glad to have my buddy back to share things with.  So, things are good and I'm happy that this last year is over!

 I'm sure I'll have more to write as we wind down the summer and real life starts up again!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nerd Humor

There is nothing like waking up the 2nd day of vacation with a cold!!!  UGH!

Anyway, it does mean that I can lay around with a little less guilt than usual watching the 2nd season of Big Bang Theory.  It's my newest obsession...this show is hysterical!!  Sheldon is so clueless that I can't help but laugh out loud.

And in case you couldn't tell, I have ZERO inspiration for today's post.  Back to tea, soup and nerd humor!

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Addition

The new addition will look something like this
After a ton of research (mostly Sarge) and some tears (all me) I bought a car this morning!  Sarge and I will be the proud owners of a blue Subaru Forester sometime in the next week.  Yay!

I would like to add that this is the last time I want to buy a car ever.  From now on if we need a new car he needs to do everything because I HATE this process.  I feel good today but have had doubts at every step along the way.  The pressure, the anxiety and the fear that I will hate whatever I buy a month after I get home all make me crazier that usual.

I did really like the salesman I worked with which helped.  He was former Navy so he was good at relating to my current situation.  Genius on the part of the dealership!

Anyway, I'm excited and nervous and relieved that it's all over with.  Happy summer vacation!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Running from Car Shopping

Happy summer vacation!!

I am sitting here getting ready to go for a run while I finish my morning coffee.  I want to start off my summer on the right foot and I have been letting the workouts slide lately.  Parties, celebrations and oppressive heat have all given me good "excuses" for avoiding taking care of me.  3 miles is my's hoping!

Later today I am doing some car shopping, which I have discovered I hate more than anything.  Sarge and I need a 2nd car for when he gets home and I am HATING having to do this.  I know I should be exited about it and feel fortunate that we have saved enough to afford a new car for the first time in my life but I just want to avoid it.  I have serious stress over spending a ton of money on a car and am afraid I'll get it home and regret my purchase for some reason or another.  Gas mileage, size, visibility, potential for growth...AAARRRGGHHH!!!!  It all makes my head spin.

Hmmm...this is interesting.  Going running to procrastinate other things I don't want to do?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heat Wave

It was over 95 here in NY today and I spent my morning finding as many air conditioned spaces as possible.  It made me wonder what people did before AC...because today was tough.  The hallways and classrooms were miserable as were the kids who came to school.  I predict that we'll have fewer kids tomorrow, because who wouldn't choose to stay home when it's supposed to be over 100??  It was nice that we gave the kids who were there ice pops that were left from an celebration earlier this month.  Our district was changing moving up and graduation ceremony times and locations to help keep everyone comfortable.  No one wants to be passing out in the hot sun in those polyester hats and robes!

Tomorrow, more heat, last day with kids and some new car shopping...just have to find something comfortable to wear for all of that!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Almost there...

This was the start of my Friday afternoon.  A beautiful Stoli O and soda.  It's summer in a class.  Light, refreshing and it definitely signals that I'm outside of a school building!  I have my cousin Jessica for starting me on these when I visited her in Florida a few years back, they are my go-to cocktail.

Only 5 days left and I can't wait to be done.  Between teaching, internship, deployment, blah, blah, blah, I want vacation to arrive!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Last Full Day

As the school year is coming to a close I know that it means that deployment should be over soon, too.  This is coming with a host of emotions.  I'm excited, obviously, but also a little nervous.  It will be an interesting adjustment as we get used to living together again.  Is he going to like the little changes I've made around the house?  Are we going to get on each others nerves and bicker constantly?  What are we going to do next?

We were married for 3 months when he left.  A year later we have talked often and in some ways gotten to know each other better.  We have worked on the friendship parts of our marriage because so much of the rest has been on the back burner.  I can't wait to have my best friend home again!  I want those lazy weekend mornings, lunches out and home cooked dinners together.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Testing, Testing

Last night I got my test results for my School Building Leader exam and I passed!  Yay!  I can now be certified as both a building level and district level administrator.  Now I just have to wait for the right job to come along...

Today is field testing day in our school.  There is a lot of controversy about these tests and I've heard rumors that many students will be kept out of school or will refuse to take the test.  It will be interesting to see how this all falls out.

I can understand how the parents are frustrated with the state exams and I know the kids are too, especially after all the mistakes that were publicized this spring.  The teachers are stressed, the kids are a little fried at this time of year and none of us want to take this time.  But tests are a part of education, whether we like it or not.  I'm over 30 and still taking standardized tests for school...there's a little part of me that wants to say "get used to it" no matter how much we hate it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Long Distance Book Club

I read a lot.  There are very few things that make me as happy as curling up with a book I can get lost in. It is definitely as escape from reality.  I read a wide variety of book and this year I've read YA novels, historical fiction, romance novels, fantasy and have read a few books with Sarge.  These have been the biggest stretch and the one I'm reading now is the first non-fiction book of the year.

Our mini book club started with the Game of Thrones series and we've worked to continue it.  We don't often have the same taste in books but it's been fun.  I talked Sarge into reading the Hunger Games books and I've read a zombie book that he recommended.  (Nightmares have prompted me to say that I won't read another until he's home for me to wake up in the middle of the night as needed!)  I am currently reading American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle.  I never would have picked it out myself but I am enjoying.  I think I like that Chris has included small writings from his wife's perspective.  I like to think that the parts about reconnecting post-deployment are helping but I won't know that until it's actually happening.

What books would you recommend we read next?

Friday, June 1, 2012


Happy June!


One month closer to homecoming, only 3 weeks left of the school year and since I have done almost nothing in the last 2 weeks for workouts it's time to find a new gym and get motivated again. 

I have 2 rehearsals and a concert this weekend, is that a good excuse to skip cleaning?

Happy National Donut Day!  Just saw an article that informed me that DD didn't invent this holiday, but that it celebrates a group of women Salvation Army volunteers who handed out donuts to soldiers during WWI to improve morale.  Now I am far more tempted to participate...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

15 Down!

My school week began with me trying on a skirt that I ordered a year ago that was too small. I missed the window of return and so ended up keeping it and was finally able to wear it yesterday!!! Slowly but steadily I've lost about 15 pounds over the last 6 months and it feels good to have tangible changes.  I'm not at my final goal yet but it's now in sight instead of feeling like an overwhelming task.  Yay!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Last night I went out to the local watchfire for Memorial Day.  It's a very poignant and emotional memorial tribute to local fallen soldiers.  There is a ceremony that begins at 11:30 with the local police and fire departments providing an honor guard where the names of fallen soldiers from the Vietnam and Iraq wars are read.  It ends with Taps and a lighting of a HUGE bonfire.  The watchfire serves as a beacon for soldiers to find their way home, literally and figuratively.

I got to see some of Sarges buddies from work who are also veterans.  It was good to connect with those guys and hear how they are thinking of him and us.  Offers to help out and one offer of a wife to talk to before Sarge returns were very sweet and much appreciated.  These guys probably don't talk all that often but they are always there for each other.  It's a friendship and comraderie on a level I will never truly understand but am thankful for.
Army wife wear for a rainy night

Watchfire and Memorial

Our veterans

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beach Weekend

I was lucky to spend this past weekend with 3 of my girls down at the beach.  It was 2 days of sun and sand and plenty of doing nothing.  We had Mango-ritas, fresh seafood, Kohr Brothers and Bethany BBQ on Saturday and Sunday  We ended our trip with a morning at the outlets, lunch at the Dogfish Head brewpub and then a long, traffic-y drive home last night.  Lots of laughs, great story telling and a good chance to get to know things about each other that we don't talk about at school, happy hours or wine nights.

I am ready for deployment to be over.  This weekend was a much needed escape but when I sat down last night it all hit me.  Reading the posts on Facebook, seeing all the media coverage and being here alone was just too much.  I miss Sarge, I want our life together at home again and I want this to be over.  I am thankful he is safe so far and know that the end is in sight and maybe that's why I'm so easily upset these days but I can't help it.

Today, back to school in an un-airconditioned building when it's supposed to be 90 out.  Yuck.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Completed Concerts!

I have been teaching for 11.5 years and finished up my performances for the most recent last night.  Happy, exhausted and thankful that my kids pulled it off and for the other teachers and musicians who came to play for us.  4 groups in 2 nights....totally wiped me out.

I am really looking forward to the long weekend, I need the time to recover and gear up for the last month of school.  I always think it will be breeze and it never truly is.  Moving up ceremonies, proctoring for finals and a building without air conditioning, all are challenging and put the kids to the test and their teachers.  Goal: stay positive and have fun with the kids as much as I can for the next few weeks while still teaching some music!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10K Recap

My run turned out a little better than I anticipated though I'm always disappointed that I'm not faster than I am.  Sunday's 10K was pretty good though I'd come up with long list of "reasons" it wasn't before I got to the finish line!  The photo below was from the end of mile 2 and in going through the selection of race photos have realized I am NOT cute when running.  The mile 5 photo (at the same spot) was just unfortunate in many ways!

I started out a little too fast for me and ran the first mile with my friend Niamh in under 10 minutes.  I slowed down at that point and averaged out just over 10:40 which was my goal.  I only wanted to puke once, after picking up a gatorade at mile 3 instead of a water.  Blech!  I really do not like that stuff.  So, 10K in 1:06 and the goal for the next one is to be closer to 10 minute mile average.  Next planned run is a 5K so I'll be focusing on speed the next few weeks.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Concert Music Choices

It's concert week!

This means I have concerts for the next two nights and then I get to breath a little bit.  I have a couple of groups who are completely ready and at least one that I'm still nervous about.

I really like the music I've picked for this semester and that doesn't always happen.  There have definitely been performances where I felt that I NEVER wanted to hear the songs again, I seem to have done a better job of that this year.  Middle school music is tough to choose.  The kids want to sing mostly pop and I want them to sing very little of it.  It's always a struggle to find a balance between keeping them motivated and choosing quality pieces with the musical elements that I want to teach.  8th graders are the most difficult and have the least issue with sharing their view on what they do (and do NOT) want to sing.  They don't always understand that chorus is a class with objectives and learning goals...many think it's a "free period."  Drives me crazy. 

 I've promised the kids a couple of Karaoke days post-concert to sing all the music they would choose if they could and I think that this will be an appropriate post-concert celebration for I go through the lyrics for all of the songs they've suggested!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Graduation Day

The graduate!
 It's official, I have graduated!  (Again)

I now hold a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership and NEVER have to go to school again...unless I lose my mind and decided to do something more.  We shall see...right now I just can't wait to begin the next stage of life when Sarge gets home.

A beautiful day for a graduation ceremony

Thanks to the wonders of technology Sarge got to watch the ceremony streamed online in Afghanistan and send me some very cute emails and photos.  I am a very lucky wife!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sooo busy!

This is one of the most challenging weeks of my school's concert prep!  It makes me stressed and cranky, poor Sarge took the brunt of it the other day.  It's complicated this year by a field trip for each of my 3 grade levels, NYSSMA prep for many students and a busy weekend ahead.   (I could rant about NYSSMA for days but will refrain for your sakes.)   Graduation for me  Friday then my 10K Sunday morning and a birthday party that afternoon.  Saturday is clean my house's a disaster here. 

I just want to quit all of it at this point...but that's just not an option.  I can make it, next Thursday I'll be a whole new woman!  So, if I continue to be non-posting until then, I am returning I just don't have any inspiration that would be appropriate.  All good things ahead, just too many in one week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

To my mom, my mother-in-law, Granny and all moms, happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Marathon Memories

I was so happy!

I was cleaning up files on my computer yesterday and found my marathon pics.  San Diego Rock 'N' Roll in much has changed in the last 4 years!

I am pretty sure I have never shared these, mostly because they are AWFUL.  But, I got a kick out of looking at them and remembering how insane that whole experience was.  Seriously, I ran 26.2 miles...what was I thinking????  But, I finished and there is proof.

So have a little chuckle with me.  I actually gained weight during the training and these pics are hysterical and something I am very proud of. 

My goodness, that singlet is NOT flattering

I did finish!

They gave me a medal and then took the most awful pic ever.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Celebrate Saturday!

Happy Birthday Erin!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Derby Day!

Who are you betting on in the Derby?  I pick my horses almost entirely by their names.  I think I'm set with I'll Have Another which I thought referred to wine.  I saw this morning that it was because the owner's wife makes awesome chocolate chip cookies and he always says "I'll have another."  Wine, cookies...both great reasons for choosing a horse, don't you think?

It's a super Saturday for celebrating, most of which I'm spending doing housework.  I have some work to do around the house that I have been procrastinating so I'm going to get moving on a lot of that. 

I am finally finishing the spruce up we started on the bathroom a year ago and am tempted to paint our living room.  It's a very basic cream right now and I want some color but it's so big that I'm scared.  We shall see, I may get brave before the end of the weekend.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Whooooole Chicken: Part 2

BBQ Nachos!
Last Friday night was a great night out with my school buddies.  I am so fortunate to have found people that I work with that I can also count as friends outside of work.  I think that's a rarity. 

We returned to the scene of the WHOOOOLE chicken (Holy Smokes in Mahopac), though none of us ordered it.  I still ended up ordering a meal that was enough to feed me 3 times.  But I got some great photos and had a good night out. 

Beer sampler

Big boy smiles

Because this was their dinner
Worst picture ever of all the girls...but the only one I have

smoked chorizo, pulled pork, mac & cheese and creamy spinach

Monday, April 30, 2012

I guess I do like logo print

As long as it's on sneakers?

I went outlet shopping last month and decided, again, that I don't care for the Coach logo print.  I have no logical reason for not liking it, I just don't.  I prefer their plain bags with the discreet little hanging tag.  I was actually carrying a Coach bag that day but since there was no logo even my sisters didn't know. 

Saturday...all of that changed!  I was at TJ Maxx and these just called to me.  They are not my usual style in any way, but they had to come home with me along with a pair of peep toes that I'll share another time.  So cute!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Finishing up

On Monday I'll take the last exams I should ever have to take for 6-8 hours.  Tuesday I have my final meeting with my internship supervisor to turn in my project and portfolio.  So...this weekend is INSANE work/study weekend.  I have a lot of it done, obviously, but it needs organization and some written parts.  I finished today's run (8 miles!) I have a couple errands to run and then I'll be glued to the couch, computer and printer until tomorrow night.  I'm sure you have now figured out that this quick post is just another element of my I'm going get moving so that I can have some fun before the weekend ends.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Congratulations Michelle and Hector!

My friend Michelle got married on Saturday!  It was a great day with a few bumps along the way...but the outcome was fantastic.  I was the maid of honor and sang at the church, too.  I had a great time and my feet were still achy on Monday-proof that I danced the night away!  I'm thrilled for Michelle and Hector and wish them all the best in life.

I am swamped with school work this week so s few pictures from the wedding will just have to do for today.  Enjoy!

The new Mr. and Mrs.
Me with the happy couple...not the best pic but the only one I have of me.

My parents!

Friday, April 20, 2012

BBQ with Granny

Last night I had dinner with Granny, Sarge's mom and their friend Ruth and a BBQ place around the corner from our place.  We had a very good time!  We talked about school and the state tests (MiL and I are both teachers), plans for when Sarge gets home (yay!!) and had a delicious dinner.  I had pulled turkey with a yummy apple salad and macaroni and cheese.  For those of you don't know, macaroni and cheese is one of my favorites and it's perfect as a restaurant side dish because it keeps me from eating a whole box by myself.

Granny and me

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Sarge (with the help of some "elves") surprised me on our anniversary with flowers and teddy bear from Build-a-Bear.  I will admit, I broke into tears at work.  There isn't too much to say other than I was thrilled.  This is WAY outside our normal life and it was absolutely perfect.  I'm a lucky wife and am looking forward to spending the rest of our anniversaries together!

Something for both of us :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Break in Review

Spring break has changed a lot in the last 10 years for me and is now more about relaxing than partying.  This year it was a good combination of productivity and laziness.  I went running 4 days this week, cleaned out our 2 closets, put up new curtains that I found in the clean out, went to work one morning and did some prep for the wedding I'm in next weekend.  I also did lots of reading, TV watching, seeing the girls and even went to the movies!

I saw the Hunger Games with week with Linda for part of her 30 days to turning 30 celebration.  We went and had pizza for lunch and then heading to the movie.  I had heard some mixed reviews but really wanted to see it after reading the books.  It lived up to all of my expectations and the visual was great.  They costumes in the movie are amazing and the contrast between the people who live in the capital and those who live in outer districts was really well done.  I could have used some more names of the characters...I had a hard time remembering all of them and they didn't get used often.  Also, I'm not sure that someone who hadn't read the book would entirely understand the whole premise.

Saturday afternoon was drinks by the river with the girls...and perfect sunny afternoon.  It was after a not-so-great run in the morning but it saved the day.  A little sun, yummy drinks and delicious pizzas, perfect!  Here are a couple of pics of our I have to go back to work tomorrow???
Hudson River view from Haverstraw marina


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family Easter

When I don't have to sing, I spend Easter weekend with my family in Delware.  I play my annual 9 holes of golf with the family and go outlet shopping with my sisters when our parents play a round of a real golf with my brother-in-law. We hit the casino (aka: an ego boost almost as good as buffet restaurants!) took a walk down by the boardwalk and did lots of reading, eating and even watched some of the Masters.  You have to love a man with a pink driver, congrats Bubba!
The newest addition

 This year the shopping highlight was the Kate Spade outlet with purchases at Banana Republic, Nike and Crocs.  Erin recommended some new running pants I tried out today and love.  She's a great runner so I wasn't surprised that she was right about the new pants.  :)

And some more highlights from our weekend away.

Katie, Mom and Stella on the beach

Me in my Easter dress

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Feel Skinny

Not really today, but in comparison to most people at a restaurant I was in on Sunday...absolutely!
Anyone who needs to feel good about themselves should visit a buffet on Sunday during what would be known as "after church" hours.  I met a friend in Herkimer, NY at around 1:30 on Sunday and boy was it an ego boost.  We were supposed to meet at this amazing pizza place but they were closed so went to an alternative that we used to have in the town where we went to college.  I don't usually feel that others misfortune should make me happier but this Sunday was an exception.  There I was, in sweats, post-run with my hair in a bun and I felt like a supermodel!  Uh-mazing. 

This weekend I have plans to visit a casino in Delaware with my family that will also prove to be an ego boost if last year is any comparison.  Is this right?  Probably not, but it's the truth.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I've Got a Mule Her Name is Sal

15 miles on the Erie Canal!  Okay, more like 6 but that song has kept running through my head since yesterday.

I was up visiting my in-laws and had to find a way to get my long run in for the week so this morning won.  I found a great bike path along the Erie Canal and did a nice 3 mile out and back run.  I felt very good and pushed myself for the first five and back off on the 6th to give myself time to cool down.  I love how running lets me see parts of where I visit I wouldn't otherwise.  I got to see a lock in the canal, something I've been singing about for years and had no idea of what it really looked like.

The weekend was a good one and with all my nephews and nieces there it was fun.  They are great kids and it's great to see them all playing together now that the youngest is old enough to really play.  Here are a couple of cute pics from the weekend, enjoy!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Snow Day for Running

Awake, ready to go out and it's snowy.  Dammit!  So, I'll run tomorrow when my chances of being sprayed by a salt truck and just have another cup of coffee.  This 10K training is just not going as well as I wanted...and yes, I realize that much of that is my own fault.  Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekday Running

I had 2 runs planned for this week.  I didn't do either of them...why not?  I do so well with my long runs on the weekends but have trouble making myself run during the week right now.  The weather has been fine, I've been busy but that's nothing new, what gives?  I am going to aim to do better next week because the 6 mile run this weekend need back up. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I passed!!!

Scores came out just a little while ago and I passed my School District Leader exam.  Yippee!!!!

Test Stress

Tonight between 5 and 10 I get the scores on the first of my administrative exams.  I am very nervous as much as I know there isn't anything I can do now.  I actually feel more stress over getting the score than I did about taking the test itself.  Is that weird?

I think that the days when you knew that the scores would eventually show up in the mail made this easier.  I haven't slept through the last couple of nights because of having this stuff on my mind!!  When I was in high school and college I had no idea when to expect my SAT and then various teaching test grades so there was no stress.  (I am just realizing how many standardized tests I've taken!) Then again, there was less stress in general so maybe that was another part of it.

Tonight's goal is to sneak in a 3 mile run.  A white shirt and staying on sidewalks may be necessary if it's late but I need it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two New Bundles

Less than 2 weeks ago both my SiL and a lifelong friend had baby girls on the same day.  I am very lucky to be an aunt again and am so glad both little girls arrived happy and healthy.  Both girls had excited entrances and weighed about the same.  10 fingers, 10 toes and super cute!  I also love that though the parents don't know each other they gave their daughters rhyming names. 

Welcome to the world Chloie and Zoe!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Relaxation in Many Ways

Saturday was just about perfect.

I started my morning with a walk to the chiropractor and bank and back home.  It was a gorgeous day and I'm feeling much better than I have the last 2 weeks.  I've had a pinched nerve in my neck that has made moving my head and left arm not so fun.  But, I was clearing for a jog on Sunday...yay!

After I got home and showered up I went for lunch and a massage with my sister.  We at Harper's on Main and then it was off to the Oasis Spa.  60 minutes of Swedish massage is like heaven and the masseuse focused on the area in my neck and shoulder where I was still tense.  It was like being back at Canyon wonderful!

There was a WHOOOLE chicken in my half of the leftovers!
When I left Dobbs Ferry I headed up to Mahopac to Dogfish Head Night at Holy Smokes with Heather, Stacy, Frank and some of his friends.  An hour's drive and very much worth it.  I got to try 6 different Dogfish beers and the food was delicious.  My favorite beers of the night were Bitches Brew which is a stout inspired by the Miles Davis album and Noble Rot which is almost a wine.  The rep described it as a "mullet" being wine in the front and beer at the finish.  I had to laugh and the beer is delicious!  I also tired Namaste, Fort, Chateau Jiahu and Saison du Buff.  The Saison stands out the most as it was very grassy tasting...too much for me.