Friday, October 28, 2011

One of Those Days


I actually woke up three minutes before my alarm. Which is rare considering my alarm goes off at 5:42 AM and it always comes entirely too early.  Surprisingly bright-eyed and well-rested, I got out of bed immediately and began to dress in one of my most professional and teacher outfits - more time means a more put-together Ms. Y.

My coffee was brewed early enough to enjoy an entire cup instead of the third of a cup I typically have time for, and I was out the door nearly fifteen minutes before usual. I was really looking forward to extra planning time before the students arrived.

With umbrella in hand, I high-heeled my way through the ten minutes of rain it takes me to walk to the parking garage at which my car is parked. Once I made it to the dry shelter of the parking garage, I hiked up 5 flights of stairs to my extremely inconvenient parking spot. (Have you ever walked up 5 flights of steps in heels and a heavy school bag before the sunrise? It is miserable. Don't do it.)

Eventually, my car was in sight and I could not wait to finally have a place to relieve my shoulder from my 200lb bag.  

And almost instantly my smooth morning transformed into an unbelievable series of bumps. 
I forgot my car keys.

Not only did that mean I had to walk down 5 flights of stairs, walk uphill to my distant apartment, but it also meant that with my car keys were my apartment key and my building swipe, locked hopelessly in my bedroom.

With no other options, I shouted profanities at myself, swearing I would forget my head if it weren't attached, and jogged as best I could in my Nine West heels back to the building.  I banged furiously on the first set of locked doors for someone to buzz me in, and when I was let in, I requested to check out a spare key for my apartment.  Soaking wet and breathless, I succeeded.  With keys in hand I jogged back, got in my car, and hit infinitely more traffic than I would have thirty minutes earlier.  About three days later (exaggeration, but still) I arrived at Hollywood ES not 15 minutes early like I hoped to be, but actually 10 minutes late.

And then because there was no point in pouting, I carried on with my day like a big girl.  Except for the fact that I think all the early morning running left me unusually swollen, so the pencil skirt I thought was a good idea in the morning was terribly uncomfortable and border-line suffocating for the remainder of the day. No bueno. 

I made it through 7 hours of pencil-skirt discomfort but could not wait to get home and unzip myself to freedom. I parked my car in the metered lot immediately behind my apartment (Lord knows I wasn't making that 10 minute trek in high heels for the 4th time) and got out to pay the electronic meter only 50 yards away from my spot.  By the time I paid my fifty cents and returned to my car, a rent-a-cop was printing my ticket for $15.
Me: "Excuse me, I just got out of that car to PAY the meter. Literally two minutes ago."
Cranky Meter B*&^h :"Oh I'm so sorry, you'll have to write an appeal to the company telling them that."
I couldn't tell if she was genuinely sorry for so terribly screwing up, or if she just genuinely was too dumb to realize her mistake. Either way I stormed off, angrier than I was 9 hours earlier. 

Thankfully my day never got any worse, my preschoolers were adorable as usual, and although I had to teach 3 hours straight of fitness classes after the CYC, I was more so therapeutically tired than exasperatingly enervated.  

This morning I decided to wake myself up only after a full 9 hours of sleep, cut up a little banana to go with my heaping spoonful of peanut butter, and enjoy a peaceful jog around the lake wif ma bff Kate. After a refreshing shower, I picked up some last minute things for Halloweekend and worked my shift with my favorite kids in the world, the Yellow Room.  Let's just say I'm looking forward to a weekend that should be much better than the day my week ended

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Word of the Day Wednesday

Sycophant (noun):
a person who uses flattery to win favor from individuals;wielding influence; toady.

---

Part of my 6th graders' daily morning work is to define a curriculum mandated vocabulary word.  Today's word stuck with me for a multitude of reasons.  

First of all, at their first chalkboard glance my kids pronounced the Word of the Day (WOD) "psycho pants" (and for those of you who may be unfamiliar with this term as I was prior to this week, it is actually pronounced "sic-e-fent.")
Imagine the giggles this particular pronunciation conjured up. It was one of those times not even I could hide my laughter.  

Secondly, as we learned the definition of the WOD, examples seemed to pop up with unbelievable frequency.

Example A:  
Thanks, Karla, for giving us all the perfect representation to study our new vocabulary word. 

Example B:
Just as a class of kindergartners were getting praised by the principal for being so silent and orderly in the hallway, a little boy toward the front of the line jumped out of place to reach out to me and confess "YOU are beauuuutiful." (I was beyond flattered by his five year old charm. His teacher was less than impressed. Oh and the principal bit her tongue for praising too soon.)

Example C:
K: "Ms. Y you are so pretty. Like, so so pretty."
Me: Thanks K, you are too.
K: I know. Can I go sit with my BFF KB now? 
Me: Um no. Just because you are a sycophant does not mean you will take advantage with me. Go sit in your seat.


The sad thing is, my last sycophantical example came from my peers. You know those few classmates that just can't seem to get their heads up their teachers' butts far enough? I have three words for these people: Get A Life. 
No one really likes, nor wants to listen to a sycophant, and if you are still a sycophant at age 21 I'd give my 6th graders the approval to call you a "psycho pants." Because you're annoying and a little bit crazy. And we all get by without being a "suck up" as my students use synonymously with their new vocabulary word. So stop. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Surprise, Surprise!

My close friends can attest to the fact that when I get excited it is nearly impossible to shut me up. It's my nature to want to share good news and enthusiasm with anyone that will listen. 

With that being said, imagine the mere torture it was for me this week to not blog, tweet, nor facebook about my excitment with not one, but THREE thrilling surprises lined up for this weekend! Torture, I tell you. Pure torture. It was probably also tortuous for my close friends at school who had to hear the same thing come out of my mouth over and over again because I had no one else to tell. Sorry guys. 
And now you, my loyal bloggies, can hear what all the pent up excitement was all about:

Saturday I drove up to CT to surprise my Christopher at his football game. The drive up north was totally worth it because not only did he play one of his best games this season, but the Hawks WON and he literally jumped over the fence in front of the bleachers after the game to give me a kiss. It's times like these I wish I had paparazzi following me so someone could have captured that moment... I love surprising that boy. 





---
 Directly from Connecticut we rushed over to Hoboken to celebrate C's sister's engagement!!!!! Her boyfriend of nearly 3 years (whom we all adore) gave her a ring earlier that night in NYC and a group of us surprised her afterwards for tear-filled celebration. I'm so happy for you guys! xoxo


And now I have Wedding Fever, but that's neither here nor there because C already told me I better "go get medicine." Oh well, I'll just have to live vicariously through his sister ;) 

---

On Sunday came Surprise #3: Aunt Boo Boo's surprise 50th!  

        

Success.


And then we celebrated, ate, drank and carved pumpkins. Because what else would you do on a beautifully crisp Autumn Sunday?


My simple heart carving :o)

Hehe, get it? 
And the night was ended with the lighting of some of our pumpkins. How cute are they? 


I decided not to go back to school right away, because I wanted to buy some more time with my loverboy. Surprise, teachers! No Maggie in class today. Instead of driving back to school at the buttcrack of dawn, I let myself sleep in (and made my boyfriend check my tire pressure.) Later C made a pitstop at Nordstrom with me and we treated ourselves to a classy IHOP breakfast! A relaxing ending to our nonstop action-packed weekend.
 Love you, Chris.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cheers

This week has been   l o n g.

Which seems to be a common theme this semester.

Another common theme? Exciting weekends. This one happens to be one for which I am most excited. So so excited.

 {Details to come...}

Cheers to a very, very happy weekend. 


Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Momentous Day

I proclaim that it is actually OK to protest wearing pants until the temperature drops below 60 degrees.

I can see how this first sentence could potentially put me in a poor light to those who don't know me.  Allow me to explain (and defend the fact that I'm classier than I sound.)

I am a summer girl by nature. I feel more comfortable in attire conducive to acceptable tan lines.  The moment the weather changes, forcing me out of my cover-ups and tanning oil, I tense up like a cat in cold water. Every bone in my body tries to resist approaching colder weather, and I think that's why if I try on the jeans burried in the dark corners of my closet before October strikes they are violently pulled off before even being completely zipped. The act of closing the thick material of denim (or even cotton) around my legs is as if someone is tightly closing a vital airway. I feel like I might pass out and die if I try to cover my legs before the thermometer reads 60 degrees.  Exaggerate? I do not.

Maybe it's just me, but I see a direct correlation between leg coverage and butt comfort.  For some reason with pants comes uncomfortable undies. And wedgies are just impossibly inconvenient in pants.

Also, pants are miserable in the rain. Even when it's only damp on the ground, the edges of my jeans always manage to get slightly wet enough to be irritating for the entire day.  And don't even get me started when it's actually raining. Is there a worse feeling in the world than drenched jeans, weighing about 20 pounds from dirty rain water, making the most trivial tasks utterly depressing.  Like sitting.  Sitting stinks in less-than-dry pants.

Unfortunately, I reached the point in my wardrobe where re-wearing worn "dry-clean only" dresses was no longer an option without looking like a hobo.  I had to resort to the inevitable: pants.  Mind you, I had to borrow a pair of khakis from my roommate because teacher pants have not yet made their return from their summer vacation to the attic.  Seriously.  After groaning for the complete 3 minute period between pajamas and departure in long khakis, I walked to my car...in the rain.  Imagine my excitement.

I've been in my placement since August and yesterday was the first day I arrived in pants.  A momentous day, indeed.

Today, I had to give myself a break and reverted back to my favorite wrinkled pencil skirt. It was 58 degrees outside and I was cold, but my legs were happy.  And that's OK, right?



Its Ok Thursdays

PS - If I had legs like my girl crush Carrie I'd NEVER wear pants!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wednesday Lovin'

I'm Loving ...

... That my first formally observed lesson went oh so well last week! My students were so receptive and I felt really confident :) Woot woot!
---
... Memories from this past weekend.  My friends are the bomb.com and I can't wait for more shenanigans. 

---

... Leather jackets this season. I think I need one, especially after seeing the lovely Black Lively pair hers with her Burberry Scarf. 
I could totally rock that. I will totally rock that. 

---

... My preschoolers.
"Ms. Alensis did you know my birthday is November?"
Really? How old will you be?
"I will be 4. I will be a man."
(Stifling giggles..) Oh wow!
"Yes. Yes, I will be tall but I will be a man but I will still be me."
I'm so happy to here that, little one.
"Yes because I like me I will just be me even if I'm old and big."

I love, love, the three year old perspective on life. Wish we all were so profound. 
..And I love this picture. 
---

What are you loving today? Go ahead and link up with Jamie

Ten on Tuesday - Travel Style

1. You’re packing for a week long vacation, do you pack ahead of time or wait until the last possible minute to pack?
Considering it takes me for.ev.er. to pack - I am compulsive about trying on every single outfit before it goes in my bag - I start packing a couple days ahead of time but usually don't end up finalizing until the very last minute. Neurotic, I know.

2. Are you a light or heavy packer?
Anyone that knows me can answer this question.  C had his family buy me mid-sized Vera Bradley luggage bags for my birthday this year so that I would stop bringing a large rolling duffel bag to go visit him for less than an entire weekend. (I've since kept my rolling luggage for only longer trips, but that doesn't mean I don't bring all 3 of the bags I got for my birthday. Sorry I'm not sorry C.)  So yes, I am an over-packer.(And yet somehow I still never have exactly what I want to wear...)
I'll never get rid of my rolly. 
But I LOVE my new tote, use it for everything!



3. What are your favorite road trip snacks?
Pull and peel twizzlers, diet coke, and some monster trail mix (preferably with an overwhelming chocolate to any other ingredient ratio.)

4. Do you take any reading material along?
Yes! Usually light reads like Glamour or People mags if I'm driving. My heaviest reading of novels is usually done while traveling by plane, however. I definitely prefer reading over listening to my ipod on flights. 

5. Do you prefer to drive or fly to your vacation destination?
Fly, please! 

6. What is your favorite time of the year to take your vacation?
Let's be real here, I'll take a vacation any time of the year.  Although I think a trip to a warm sunny beach in the middle of a frigid mid-atlantic winter is ideal. Too bad I never do that...

7. Where is your favorite place to vacation?




Hmm..again, not picky. I love Disney World in the fall.  And I obviously love the Jersey Shore in the summer. But I think the ultimate vacation was during my study abroad trip; a long weekend in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Costa Brava was breathtaking, exciting and totally relaxing. I almost didn't come back. 







With my beautiful friends in the crystal clear waters of Costa Brava


8. You are vacationing in the mountains, what is your favorite thing to do while there?
In the winter? Snowmobiling and skiing! And snuggling with hot chocolate afterwards...ha. 
In the summer? Water sports on the lake for surrrre. 
Hunter Mountain 2010

9. You are at the beach for your vacation,  do you like to take it easy on the beach or play all day in the water?
I do my best to lay out as long as possible for ultimate bronzing, however, when I'm with my cousins I could play in the water for HOURS. 

10. While your on vacation do you prefer to eat out every night or cook some of your own meals?
We usually eat out for dinner but pack our own lunches.  This past summer I went to Cape May with loverboy for a long weekend, and if you know my boyfriend, you know our first stop was at the grocery store.  We got enough food to make sandwiches and snacks for lunches on the beach, fixings for a gourmet breakfast on our last morning, and then ate out every night for dinner. :) 

Now that' you're all off day dreaming about vacation, enjoy your Tuesday! 

Link up!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This Weekend...

...There was a lot to be proud of.  First and foremost, I'd like to say that this weekend was awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I spent a lot of time with three of the most fun, beautiful and genuinely amazing girls you could ever wish to meet, my roommates. I was so happy to be able to spend an entire weekend in College Park without traveling if for no other reason but to be able to spend every waking moment with all three of my roomies.
 Love them, and before I get too sappy, let's recap.

 I went all out showing my Maryland pride this weekend, making appearances at three of our Division 1 athletic events donning red and chanting "M-A-R-Y-L-A-N-D" to the point of vocal exhaustion. On Friday we made our way to the Men's Soccer game against Duke (boooooo). We showed up a little late due to much needed gab sessions and Halloween costume planning, but we made it right before the end of the first half to contribute to the largest crowd Ludwig Field has ever seen! Not to mention, we WON! Talk about Terp Pride baby. 


Directly from the game Kate, Sarah and I made the trek over to Comcast Center for the annual kick-off to basketball season,
.
The nearly three hour event was composed of the Gymkana troupe jumping through rings of fire (as seen on America's Got Talent during the semi-finals!), the cheer squad performing their totally impressive routines, an alumni game with returning Terrapin superstars and an introduction of the Men and Women's basketball teams. 


They always leave me on the edge of my seat
Tired Terps. 
Sean Mosely making a grand slam-dunking entrance 
Our brand new Coach Turgeon - can't wait to see what this season has to offer!
On Saturday I decided to treat my body to a short jog and an early morning yoga class before putting it through a marathon of tailgates and football cheering.  Our first stop on the road to bodily destruction: Pig Roast. Let me tell you, it was delicious. And my stomach paid for it later. Beer and pork...Talk about being full all day!




Next up we roamed over to the parking lots mingling between a whole bunch of tailgates. Something about Homecoming makes the hardcore tailgaters come out to play and makes the day that much more fun.

When we finally made it into the game, the Terps were leading Clemson steadily. For awhile I thought we were going to see a HUGE upset.  Unfortunately, no such luck.  The Tigers pulled out a win in the last quarter, and although disappointed, did the loss slow us down? Heck no. 



We left the game and walked over to the newest College Park Sports bar for some post-game remediation. The bar was PACKED with dancing Terrapin fools, which just goes to prove the quote on the back of this year's homecoming t-shirt: "Booze even if we loose." 
Inspiring, I know.

I have tried to dedicate Sunday in its entirety to recovery...and Sunday is coming to an end yet I still have much more work to do to get there. At least Jill and I were able to walk over to Bobby's Burger Palace for a savory meal of all the unhealthy foods I wouldn't allow myself to eat if not totally disillusioned by the effects of a long weekend: A juicy burger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake. 
  
Ah, the price we pay for an unforgettable college weekend.

Can't forget the overwhelming pride I had for my Mama this weekend; she completed all 39.3 miles of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer AND even walked some of those blocks with the beautiful Reese Witherspoon!

 My Mom is seriously inspiring and I love her. You go Mama!

I hope you all had a weekend to remember, I know I did.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's OK ...

Its Ok Thursdays


... that we didn't exceed our goal of 1220+ people at UMD's largest Zumba class.  Over 900 people still came to participate (impressive, indeed) and we had a BLAST!!
Thanks for coming girlies!


... to blame the cashier for not giving you one of your bags after checking out. You'll feel better cursing someone else out on your second trip to Target at 9pm after leaving groceries behind during the first trip.


... to cry at one point during every episode of NBC's "Parenthood"


... that you're ready for lunch at 10:45am.


... that you can't help but giggle during the first interrogatory phase of my preschooler's "study." The Yellow Room is going to study farms this unit, and after visiting the campus farm had some humorous intuitive questions:
- "If you put your finger in the horses mouth will he bite? -Guidette, age 3
- "Why is it so stinky in there?" - Blondie, age 4
- "Why the cow have bugs on his feet? - Little Man, age 4
- "Why their little poops smell so big?" - Diva, age 3

... to hate being a poor college student but admit that you wouldn't change a damn thing.

It's Thursday and totally OK to justify anything you do with "it's OK." It's fine, really. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Word of the Day Wednesday

Nordstrom. 
A proper noun; The name of a reputable upscale department store chain selling all of my favorite moderate to high-end merchandise. A divine shopping escape for the avid shopper. 

Clarification: It's Nordstrom. Not "Nordstroms" (That was even hard for me to type.) Please refer to this shopping utopia as it is labeled by the large, perfectly spaced silver capital letters plastered across the front of every chain.  Like all other proper nouns, do not add an 's' unless you are making the word a) plural or b) possessive.  For example, "The best Nordstroms in the country are in New Jersey" is appropriate. As well as, "Nordstrom's lingerie department is phenomenal." If you ask me, "Do you want to go to Nordstroms tonight?" I will cringe and correct you. And my ears will probably bleed too, so just don't 


A newscaster incorrectly reported a story this morning that was set at a Maryland Nordstrom. His slip-up? He called the specific store at which the story took place "Norstroms." ...Dude! You're a NEWSCASTER! You're an educated journalist. You have a TELEPROMPTER! Nothing sets me off like hearing improper speech early in the morning...

You don't add unnecessary letters to other places, so why is this ignorant mistake made so frequently with this favorite shopping locale? I may never know, but at least I can make obnoxious generous efforts to eliminate the ignorance.  

Phew. Glad I got that off my chest. Sorry if I come off as an anal elitist, but I am sort of neurotic. And I appreciate and respect proper speech. And Nordstrom.

Anyone else have a psychotic grammar-related pet peeve or am I totally alone in my neuroticism? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Think Pink

Can you believe we are already twelve days into October? Holy Moly time flies. And as of recent I have decided that I am a fan of October. If not for this year's unseasonably warm weather, the fall fashion trends, pumpkin flavored treats and all things Halloween, I love that this month is nationally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The NFL does their part in raising awareness with pink hats, gloves, sweatshirts, etc., for the players to don on and off the field. Similarly, many collegiate teams participate. Monmouth, for example, dedicates one home game in October to BReast Cancer Awareness by allowing the players to wear pieces of pink to accompany their navy blue.  C looks forward to this game ever season to wrap his injuries in pink tae, wear pink nike gloves, and, new to this year, show off pink body armor peeking through the ends of his jersey.  ( The blush tone of his body armor starkly contrasts the black and white of his giant half-sleeve of a tattoo - but somehow enhances the look of masculinity and athleticism, or in C's words, "just looks tough." ) Ha. Whatever floats your boat, boy. 

Anyway, I'm all for the pink appearances in football, I just hope the players and fans remember what the color signifies.

October is also the month of charity walks. If you had nothing to do on any given October weekend, I'm sure you could find a walk/run Breast Cancer with ease.  One of the largest is this upcoming weekend; the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is a two-day, 39 mile walk through New York City raising awareness and funds for the fight as well as a cure to help the 178,480 women and 2,030 men who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. 

My mom and her three teammates have been training for months to be able to walk for 39 miles, reminding themselves daily why they walk.  They walk for my grandmother who lost her young life to the disease that was virtually unknown only three decades ago. They walk for the members of our community currently suffering through the torture of surgeries, therapy, and rehabilitation. They walk for our friends who have to sit back, helpless, watching their mothers hair fall in chunks to the ground, having to feign strength for themselves and their impossibly weak family member. 

Together my mom and her teammates have raised close to their goal of $7,000.  I am so proud of them for training so hard, and even more impressed by the amount of money they have raised for such a cause that touches us so personally.

This October I urge you to take a second to remember why our teams are sporting pink, to thank those in support of the cause, to spread the awareness by maybe wearing a pink ribbon on your shirt, join a Breast Cancer walk or generously donate to these four women dedicating months of training and an entire weekend to walking for those who only wish they could. 
Donate here
If you can donate even fifty cents, I ask you to visit this donation website, or at least explore the Avon website.

Whatever you do, Think pink this October...I know I will =]


FYI:
40,460 women and 450 men in the U.S. will die from the disease annually.

  • A woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime.

  • Every 13 minutes, a life is lost to breast cancer.

Make a difference. 

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