Sunday, May 31, 2009

Funny things and pretty things

Lest you thought that I was only ever going to write about running and fundraising on this blog, some "isms" for you:

Skyler, telling me why she hopes she has a daughter and not a son someday:
"Girls are my very favorite type of children."

Reed, when he gets in trouble for something, puts his head in his hands and says this:
"I really tired. I really sad too."

And my personal favorite: Reed calls all birds "chickens," and when he sees a bird, he says "Wook! Chicken!" This morning, we were watching a robin in our backyard and when it flew away, he stood on the deck and yelled:


Onto pretty things. In preparation for my pie baking, I went to my friend/colleague Tori's house and she cut us a pile of fresh rhubarb from her garden, and took Skyler by the hand for about 30 minutes of walking around her garden to choose the flowers for a bouquet that would be just perfect enough for a gift for Daddy.

The tragedy here is that I made 3 pies and gave them all away. Smart! So, our house smelled ridiculously good, and we had narry a bite. I'll have to remedy that this week.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Team in Training update

Even though my fundraising website doesn't show all of the recent donations yet, I have several checks that have come in and I am now over the $1000 mark. This is SO exciting to me and I am so grateful to all of your support. I am more than 1/4 of the way to my goal.

Click HERE to watch an explanation of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. It doesn't make me emotional at all. Not even a little.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pie Challenge! {no pies left}

Thanks so much to several of my friends and family; I have already made 10% of my fund raising goal for Leukemia and Lymphoma.

A few things have to happen in order for me to raise the money that I need to raise:

1. I need to shamelessly ask for money, which is hard to do (stop laughing, Mom).
2. I need to come up with creative ideas and incentives.

So, here I am, asking for money. I have a long way to go (90% to be exact).

If you need a little bit of incentive, I have it right here, but you have to be a local, and I have no idea how many of you who read the blog are local, so we will see if this actually works.

The first three local people to donate to LLS will have a Strawberry Rhubarb* pie delivered to their house warm from the oven. You just have to leave a comment here saying that you are donating for the pie challenge and I'll contact you for pie delivery.

*If Strawberry Rhubarb pie is not your favorite, I can make whatever you want, because I aim to please you, people. It's just that rhubarb is ripe and ready and just so darn good.

It's a win, win, win situation:
You get to give money for cancer research and feel good about that.
I get to bake pies.
You get to eat a pie.

Just click here to make a donation.

I'm still working on thinking of a good incentive if you aren't in pie-receiving distance, but right now, I don't have a good way to mail a pie. More incentives coming. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reed and Rozzy

Check these two out:

Reed and Rozzy were both so dirty toward the end of our barbecue this weekend. Their faces were covered with dirt, food, and snot. We were not bothering to keep them clean at all. We didn't care. I'm actually a big believer in dirt. The dirtier the kids, the better the day.

Reed recently started kissing people a lot. Rozzy is the kissingest child I've ever known. And if you look at these photos, there seems to be a special thing going on in Rozzy's eyes.
They had a little kissing session, dirt and all, that looked like this. We thought it was funny. We hope you do too.

Memorial Day Stuff

This weekend had everything good and summery woven through it: bright blue skies, lilacs in bloom, early-morning runs, barbecues, a backyard fire, bug spray, and a parade.

Part I: Barbecue at the O'Reilly House

Boys and toys and a paved driveway = heaven for Reed

Rozzy, a little bit dirty.

Beckett collecting wood for the fire.

Killian and the sun

Meredith and Jason

If it's not entirely obvious, Sam is saying: time to put the camera away for once in your life.

Part 2: Memorial Day Parade in Bangor with Suzanne, Ella and Maya

Good old Bangor. Aren't small city parades the best place to be on Memorial Day? Yes, they are.

I swung by the Carvers on my way and said: "I'm here to take you to the parade." Suzanne (she who loves a schedule and a plan) even skipped Maya's nap in order to spontaneously come. Good job, girls!

no idea whose lawn chair that is.

This is the point when it might be appropriate to get a little teary, seeing all those veterans coming up the hill. I did so right on cue. But when they just kept coming and coming, and I looked into their faces? Forget it.

Reed lightened the mood when he tried to march INTO the parade, and did a few breakdancing moves I'd never seen him do before on the street.

And home for lunch!

What? I have to go to work tomorrow? WORK? (3.5 more weeks)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Breaking News: Students experience pure joy when released from classroom walls.

(it's okay if you want to double click on this photo and laugh at my mid-air expression)

Mid-week field trip to Acadia National Park with Outdoor Lit and Outdoor Leadership!
And, it happened to be the first true summery day, 90 degrees (but not atop the breezy mountain!) and sun sun sun.

We climbed.

We looked at the ocean.

We sat and wrote in journals.

We did some yoga at the top.

And then we started jumping.

And flexing our muscles while jumping.

And then we hiked down, and we jumped into the lake.

And then everyone laid themselves out on the rocks like seals to dry in the sun and then we drove home happy and sun-kissed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Now I've gone and done it.

Today I officially did something big.

You knew I was thinking about running a marathon, right? Or trying to? And you knew that I was having second thoughts and feeling nervous about it?

Well. Today, I officially registered for a marathon. In San Francisco. With Team in Training, who fundraises for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As in, I have to (am delighted to) raise $3900 towards cancer research. Oh yeah, and I also have to run 26.2 miles.

It all happened like this:

- I wasn't sure about training for a marathon at all. I was worried about the mental part.
- I thought about it, and emailed some friends who are marathoners.
- My friend Kathy (from my Michigan childhood!) wrote me back and said a few things that stuck with me. "You know you want to do this" (how true) and "Now is the time" (indeed, I'm not getting any younger here) and "You have me thinking about marathons again and I'm going to check out the SF women's marathon website and see if there are still spots." And I followed her lead.
- 30 minutes later, I had decided I was going to do it, and I had a few days to let that all sink in.

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought: "WHAT DID I DO?" And then I said the words that have gotten me out of that panic every time I've had it: You can walk a little bit if you have to. Okay.

The benefits for me of doing this particular marathon (which is in October) are many.
- It's all women, 20,000 of them, many first timers.
- I get to go to San Francisco, where I lived very happily for 4 years and haven't been back in 8.
- I get to see my brother, who lives there, and my mom and sister are planning to go out for the weekend too.
- Every finisher gets a Tiffany necklace when they cross the finish line.
- It's in San Francisco!
- With Team in Training, I get a running coach and a mentor and a lot of team mates and support (help with the mental part, see?). There will be coaches stationed throughout the course to help me when I'm feeling low (oh, and I will).
- The burrito I'm going to eat at Balazzo after I finish the race ( a whole blog post about this topic coming soon).

Some crazy/scary things?
- HILLS (yes, it's a hilly course. duh!)
- JET LAG (what can I say. I'm adventurous.)
-Raising a lot of money! (You'll be hearing more about this too!)

Because my dad died of lymphoma, this is a cause I obviously feel strongly about, and I'm all ready to roll up my sleeves and get creative with the fundraising ideas. Saving people from the evils of cancer? Yes please.

In the meantime, I'd like to get a little bit started toward my goal. Want to be the first to sponsor me?

If you go there, you'll see that I have made 0% progress toward my goal! Hey, I have to start somewhere, or nowhere, right?

Dear blog readers: If you donate a little bit of money toward my goal, I'll love you forever.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

First walk on the bog of the season.

Or shall I say "run" on the bog. The kids ran the whole thing, over a mile.

Reed stopped to rest several times, saying "I really tired."

Snacks to re-energize!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

i love this child

Friday, May 15, 2009

Look, ma! I'm running!

Here are two pictures of me crossing a finish line. On the left, last weekend. On the right, my first half marathon last May, when I was just barely getting my feet off the ground high enough to slightly inch myself forward. I feel much better about the left. I don't even look like it hurt (it did).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

on my summer list

The countdown has begun. Summer is about 5 little school weeks away, about the time I start jotting down lists of things I really want to do once I'm free. I'm so ready to stop thinking about the week-night worries (papers graded? lunches packed? kids' outfits ready?) and start eating ice cream, reading books, and watching sox games, even when the game goes way past 10 pm.

I acknowledge the fine line between planning too much and planning too little. I don't want to be hurried or stressed, but I also don't want to get to the end of the summer and have nothing to say for "what I did on my summer vacation."

Some items are the same from last year's summer list:
- bake bread every week
- cook a lot of fresh food with our farm share vegetables from Fisher Farm
- complete one big sewing project (yet to be determined)
- stay true to my running training program, plus add situps and pushups every night
- bake pies and scones (inextricably linked to the goal just above)

Some new goals:
- create and order photo books of Skyler and Reed's pictures
- find and adopt a puppy that could maybe even slightly live up to my Charlieboy
- complete the correspondence course I have to take on teaching gifted and talented students as quickly as humanly possible. ugh.
- transform our back yard/driveway into a patio and garden. Right, Sam?
- make Skyler an art/writing desk
- cover the seats of the dining room chairs with pretty fabric
- paint the living room. Right, Sam?
and, last but not least,
- Read this pile of books (my recommendations come from my friend/ former colleague/ mentor Carol who has never given me a title I didn't adore, and from a great article in Real Simple and from various friends/students telling me what I must read:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Triangle by Katherine Weber
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Orpheus Lost by Jeanette Hospital
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, by Sally Koslow
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells

(These are all fiction, because I've been reading almost only non-fiction lately. I'm trying to get back to my roots).

Book reviews of the above list will be forthcoming. Wishing you all a joyous season of summer anticipation.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

These kids are getting the best of me

This happened to me:

I had to give Skyler a time out, and I said: "GO into the living room for a time out!"

And she calmly said:

"Mom. This is the living room."

So I sent her to the dining room, and then noticed that Reed had wiped his spaghetti sauce hands on the new couch pillow.

I needed to regroup. I went to the fridge and made a heaping spoonful of whipped cream and then poured chocolate syrup on top of that and when I had my mouth wide open about to indulge, Skyler came into the kitchen to tell me there was a spider in the time out corner, and she said. "MOM?! What are you DOING?!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mama's Day

When I came home from the race on Saturday night, I saw this sign on the dining room door.

In the morning, I was allowed to look inside. Check out what time Skyler and Reed wanted to wish me a happy mother's day.

Look! Plants for the garden, drawings, wine, and uh, maple syrup (?!).

The beautiful gift that Skyler made at school.
The flashy purse-shaped card says: Happy Mother's Love Skyler Day
It's perfect.

I didn't know until yesterday how badly I wanted a blue box covered in buttons.

Happy mother's day to all my mommy friends, to my sister Liesel who is my mommy-mentor (at least once a day, I wonder "how would Liesel handle this?"), and to my very own super-smart, pretty, capable, active, strong, fashionable mommy. I am a lucky, lucky girl.