Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Let There Be Light

On Saturday afternoon (5 long days after Sandy hit) most of my close family members had power back. With no cable/internt, and a ration on gasoline, cabin fever was really hitting hard.  But at least we had electricity.

My cousin and I decided we needed to get out of our respective houses before going crazy.  And so the question arose: What does one do on a Saturday during a state of emergency? Our original plan to go to Loverboy's football game was destroyed in Sandy's path (his University is located along the Jersey Shore ... alas, game canceled.) Well, with our power back and a determination to "get out" we did what any logical person would do.  We drove to another cousin's house to start a bon fire.  

Yes, we left the warmth of our homes to go sit outside on a frigid November evening in front of a wood-burning fire.  The luxury of heat we hoped and prayed to gain for five long days was forgotten as we set up our s'mores and spiked ciders around the fire.  And I wouldn't trade that night with my family for any amount of the electricity we missed the week before.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life After Sandy

We are all aware of the devastation brought on by Hurricane Sandy.  Over 110 people lost their lives, thousands more lost their homes, millions remain without electricit/hot water. Personally? As a resident of Central New Jersey, I was merely inconvenienced for one week of my life.  My family did not suffer any tragic losses, and for that I thank God.  Luckily, the only thing I can say Sandy took from me was electricity, cable, internet, and as of today, tap water safe enough to drink.  Even so, during this time of inconvenice I had a lot of time to mourn those affected much, much worse than was my family. (The 11-day weekend without work/school left a lot of time for thinking.)
Sandy left her mark on the Flag on my front yard. 

What else did I have a lot of time to do? Eat.  My mother would not stop cooking. About a dozen meatballs, even more cookies, a couple bowls of homemade soup, and approximately five pounds of pasta later, I can officially say I am at my heaviest of weight gains. 

On our fourth day of stuffing our faces hoping for our power to return, my aunt suggested we attempt the Daniel Fast once we had the opportunity to get fresh food.  For those unfamiliar, the "Daniel Fast" is a biblically-based partial fast that follows these guidelines: 

  1. Only Fruits and Vegetables
  2. Only Water
  3. No Breads/Sweeteners 
Oh, and it lasts for 21 days. With every meal for these 21 days, you are supposed to pray for a purpose you determine before the fast. Each time you eat, you are denying certain foods for this spiritual purpose.

 Those who know me know that I am not the most spiritual person in the world. However, I believe in a time of disaster many of us seek answers from a higher power.  With the hurricane affecting so many people close and dear to me, coupled with my recent unhealthy eating habits, I agreed to sacrifice my sugars, caffeine, meat, dairy, and breads for not only my health but also to remind myself to pray for those whom have lost much more than me due to Sandy.  

Wish me luck as I attempt to eat like a vegan for the next 19 days (I'm already on day two) ... And say a little prayer for the State of NJ as we get through this disaster.   

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's OK...

... to go to the movies on a Monday night with your little cousin, just because.

... to cry during the film version of "Perks of Being a Wallflower." And then proceed to go home and read it again.

... to buy a pack of gum, and finish four pieces of it within an hour of purchase.

... to raise your voice in preschool.  I have learned that what I once thought was an infinite supply of patience, is actually a limited reserve that can be easily drained by a classroom of rowdy four-year-olds.  Luckily, four-year-olds bounce back incredibly quickly.  5 minutes after you raise your voice, they are running to your arms to tell you they love you.  Thank goodness.

... to begin thinking in tweets ... 140 sweet characters at a time.

... or is it?

Its Ok Thursdays

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I've been a little MIA lately, and for that I apologize.
Currently, I am in the middle of baking, laundry, photo uploading, and lesson planning, but I came across this gem that was too good to not share. 

It should be noted that these little hands cannot write their first name.
 Imagine the shock I felt when I rolled out a piece of easel paper for my students to color on at the end of the day, and my little man started writing "LOVE" everywhere.
  I asked Little Man how he learned to write that word, and he told me, 
"My brudder teached me. I have so much love I had to know." 

And then I melted into a puddle on the floor.

But seriously, how beautiful is that? Add this to one of the many things I love about four year olds. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hate clothes, love chocolate.

Is it weird that the first thing I want to do when I step through the door in the evening is take off all my clothes?  

For some reason, at the end of the work day I just want to completely strip myself of the constraints of clothing and the germs, sweat, snot and magic markers that accompany with them.  Seriously, nothing feels better than taking a bra off after a day of teaching.  What? Sorry. Forget I said that. Moving on. 

Also, I think...there are a handful of students who are trying to drive me to drink.  

I'm not sure what my breaking point will be: 
Using permanent markers to doodle on the beloved white board?
Asking to go potty four times in one hour?
Sharpening one's index finger in a crayon sharpener?

Eh, not so bad I can't deal.  For now, I may just succumb to severe chocoholism. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

First Monday Down...

One Monday in the books for Ms. Maggie.  
My real person full-time job started today. I am officially putting that degree to use and teaching pre-kindergarten! 

I'm exhuasted, overwhelmed, and purely happy.  

Here's to the next 30-something Mondays as Ms. Maggie of the Star Room.  May they be just as exciting, if not less chaotic, as this one.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In Other News

I told Loverboy I wanted to go apple picking this week. I want to pick my own apples and wear fall clothes and hold hands and drink cider. 
He said, "I'll take you to Wegmans and you can pick whatever you want." 

Man, am I one lucky girl or WHAT!? ;)  
(We are going apple picking. For real. Not an option.) 

In other news, I got a job! A real full-time job.  No more nannying for me (although I am so so so so sad to leave my girls.) More to come. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

This Weekend

This weekend, I had a job interview. 

I baked a lot of brownies. I also brought said brownies to the MU tailgate prior to their spanking of the Sacred Heart Pioneers  ;)  They were football shaped ... the brownies, not the Pioneers.  C said they were one of my "better creations." 

(not my picture. as soon as my darn iphone decides to sync with my computer I will upload my own and not use google.)

I had my first bite of Popeyes Chicken. 

This weekend I also wore my brandy new Tory Burch sneakers. They were dark blue of course, because that's the only color I sport from August through November.  

It officially became Fall on Saturday, so I thought I would allow myself to wear closed shoes to the football game.  They didn't last long though, I changed into my flip flops by half-time. 

(I miss summer already.) 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Make Me Wanna Roll My Windows Down...

Around 8:35 this morning I was standing in line for my iced coffee behind a particularly grumpy woman. When the very polite young man behind the counter requested her order, she curtly demanded her latte. She tapped her pointy kitten heeled toes and grimaced for the entirety of her 50 second wait.  Even with latte in hand, she marched out the door sulking the whole way. 

The sun was shining, she began her morning with a coffee and hey, it's Thursday - the weekend is just around the corner.  Why the misery?

My only explanation (besides perhaps she was upset about her hideous shoes) is that she must not have had her windows down on her morning commute today.  Because how could someone be so gloomy on a sun-shiney day with the promise of a 75 degree high?! 

Yep,  I bet her windows were up on her way to work this morning. Just saying.

I am just going to come out and say it: if you are driving anywhere in the central New Jersey area this week with your windows up, AC on, I am judging you. 

It is beautiful in Hometown, Jersey today. I woke up chilly, donned my favorite outfit of shorts and long-sleeves, got in the car to go to work and immediately put my windows down. Bliss. 

The feeling of driving down the highway with fresh air blowing through your hair is euphoric.*  Especially this time of year.  You cannot argue that the air tastes the freshest, and feels the crispest as the seasons transition from summer to autumn.  So why are your windows up? 

There is no reason to not be blissfully content on a day like today if you are getting some fresh air. Am I right? Or am I right? 


Coincidentally, I can't get enough of this song from Florida Georgia Line. 

Baby you a song, make me wanna roll my windows down, and cRuUisSeee ;)  

*OKAY so maybe I'm a little biased being the driver of a convertible vehicle all year round, but still. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Photo Fun

I said I was going to attempt to jump back into blogging full swing, so why not post twice in one day? Linking up with Savanah to start slowly but surely start publishing my life on the internet ;)

Wheras I used to complain with the rest of the world come Monday morning, being a Stay At Home Daughter (which I will endearingly refer to as SAHD from here on out,) Monday mornings are really just an extension of Sunday.  My days are all blurred together and Mondays don't feel as bad as they once did.  However, I can still reminisce on the fun I had with the rest of the people in my life who live for the weekends. Here's what's on my phone as of recently:

 Our last night at D'Jais: the dance club at the beach where I frequented at least once a week between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  A favorite locale to shake your butt for free over-sized t-shirts and cheap light up jewelry.

 Celebrating a big MU Football win over the University of Rhode Island at a local college bar with C, his partner in crime and teammate, Mike, and Mike's girlfriend Erin.

Sandy toes.  The girls I nanny live at the beach, so this is just a snapshot of one of our September days in the sand.  

I can never get enough pictures of this boy in uniform!  He rolls his eyes every time I ask him to take a picture after a game, but I don't care.  :) 

Another big win for the Hawks!  MU won their first conference game vs Wagner this past weekend. Couldn't be more pumped!! 

Happy Monday! 

Back in Action.

May 9th, 2012 marked my last post on this blog of mine.  Since then, I progressed to terp alumnus status, moved in and out of my beach house, moved back home and claimed title of Stay At Home Daughter, and began a series of exciting/depressing weekends at which I pretend to still be a college student during C's football games. I also have not worn pants since May 9th, which is irrelevant but nonetheless encouraging.  

I missed blogging, but to be completely honest, I had way too much fun at my beach bungalow to even think about opening my laptop. To my surprise, I had a few people tell me they missed my blog. While this was flattering, it was not enough for me to leave the beach and find a wi-fi hot spot.  However, now that Fall is right around the corner and beach weather is slowly diminishing, I find myself with the time to enter the blog world once again.  

Prepare yourselves for an ambush of pictures and anecdotes from days on the beach, nights at the bars, and the times in between where I pretended to be a nanny and productive member of society.  

Summer went by way too fast, but alas, I have re-entered reality.  I am job-hunting, body pumping, football-watching, babysitting, and finally, blog-writing.  Bear with me while I warm back up to writing and catch myself up in the blogosphere. Also, while I consider maybe taking my long pants out of storage.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sixth Grade Comes to an End

Only one more 5:45 am wake up call left of student teaching! 

I am so excited to no longer have to return to our overpopulated, windowless prison cell classroom with smelly hormonal sixth graders. Yep, over the oppressively stuffy classroom.  
I am also pretty stoked to be able to stay up later than 11pm and not want to die midday.  
Oh, I'm also tired of not getting paid.  


I am going to miss the compliments from my girls first thing every morning.
I am going to miss the immature jokes that made me laugh at, if not always with, my students. 
I am going to miss the "aha" moments when a hovering light bulb almost literally turns on over their heads. 
I am going to miss the endless loose-leaf doodles "To Ms. Yelensis." 
The smiles when we start something new.
The notes on the floor.
The music performances.

I wish I could stay a little longer to watch them "Graduate" to the middle school.
I wish I could stay to join them on their sixth grade picnic.
I wish I could be there when they make the realization that the recess drama that is so momentous now is actually petty nonsense in high school.  
I wish I could see all my sixth graders grow and mature even more than they have in the past ten months.

But I guess that's my first lesson in teaching. I will get a new group of students every September without fail, and without fail I will probably fall in love with them.  And without fail they will move on in the spring.  I will have to learn to love and let go. Although I don't think I will ever forget these 22 sixth graders - the sixth graders that made up my very first class.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Here's to the Nights

My tongue is still slightly berry-stained from the cheap bottles of red wine I shared with my roommates last night. I overslept by twenty-seven minutes and I'm still feeling drowsy.  My eyelids are just slightly pink, yet obviously puffy, and my voice is noticeably more raspy than usual.

So here I am, feigning composure in my wrinkled white J.Crew cardigan, pretending to do work, but really reminiscing on last night's "final supper" of sorts.

My roommates and I decided to cook a homemade meal of entirely too much Italian food and consume entirely too much wine as a final girls' night prior to our moving out.

It was a "happy-sad" feeling: laughing about all of our antics since freshman year, and crying over the fact it will be much harder to continue those antics after we are no longer sharing an apartment.

Last night was just the first night of a string of events leading up to our graduation.  I'm preparing myself for the next week and a half of "happy-sad" moments.

Here's to all the nights we have had together, and all the nights the next chapter will bring.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Five Years Ago Today

my best friend called me his girlfriend for the first time.  

In 2006 I had the biggest crush on C, like ever. Look how little we were at my Sweet 16! 
 Less than a year later I was at his Junior Prom and was officially his "girlfriend." 

 Senior year we spent as much time together as two high schoolers going to different schools possibly could. 

I was heart broken when he had to leave me to go to college in August of 2008. 
Still in love in 2009.
 ... And 2010. 
... And 2011.

 And I never thought I could love anyone more than I did last year or the year before that, but here I am five years later, with my high school sweetheart and I wouldn't have it any other way.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sixth Grade Conversations...Overheard

Diva: I played softball yesterday. It was so fun!
Ms. Thang: Huh? You play ball? You on a team? 
Diva: Yeah but they named us the worst name, like, I can't believe they would name us after a team that is like so, so bad... We the Orioles."
Ms. Thang: That is a stupid name! Who would name a softball team after a COOKIE?!
(Lord help us all.)

Mr. Know-it-All: negative three times negative four (-3 x -4) has to be positive because I remember Ms. Y saying two negatives equal a positive.
Ms. Smarty Pants: Don't you know anything?? Two wrongs don't make a right.  
(I'm worried about how I am going to explain that one tomorrow...)

Shy Boy: Will you sign my year book?
Diva: OK, my picture is ugly but it's ok I'm SEXY AND I KNOW IT. 
(...gotta love Pop Culture.)

*FYI: All of these dialogues were overheard outside of instructional class time.  They actually have these conversations upon their free will. I can't make this stuff up.  

Happy Thursday! Exactly one week left before I leave my sixth graders and I cross the threshold from student intern to (unemployed) certified teacher on the hunt for a job! Yikes.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ten on Tuesday, It's been awhile.

Sharing ten random facts about myself because a) it's fun and b) I have nothing better to share.
Enjoy ;) 

1. Would you rather give up pedicures or flat/curling irons?
You would have to pry my hot styling tools from my cold, dead hands.  I can paint my own toes, thank you very much.  
2. Does your middle name have a family meaning?
Indeed it does. It's my Momma's first name :) 
3. Do you like to sneeze?
I don't hate it.  
4. Do you think kids should need to learn cursive?
Yes. Simply because it is easier for them! I write in cursive primarily to save myself time.  The less you have to take the pen off the paper the less time you waste! 
Also, because I think it is embarrassing for my sixth graders when I write a note to them they cannot decipher it unless I translate into "print."  It must be a shameful feeling to feel temporarily illiterate, no? 
5. When you go to the beach for the day, what do you take?
My beach chair, two towels, tanning lotion, a book, sunglasses, and water. And I am a happy girl.   
6. Which decade had the best music?
I want to say anything else besides the 90s because I know how talented artists from other decades were .... but I just can't deny my love for LaBouche, Whitney Houston and NSYNC! ;) 
7. Are you a good hand-shaker?
I'm sure my shake is fine, but my hands only run on two temperatures.  Disgustingly hot and deathly cold. No one wants to shake the extremity of a sweat machine nor vampire. 
8. Do you have a go-to meal for when you are at a restaurant and you can’t decide?
Some sort of salad with grilled chicken. 
9. Do you have slippers?
Yes! And a robe. And yes, I wear them constantly. 
10. Are you easily grossed out?
Not per say.  At least not by the typical things that one might be grossed out.  For instance, pimples? I could watch videos of them being popped all day.  Dead, flaky skin? One of my top favorite things to peel.  However, mayonnaise? I could barf just thinking about it.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Recent Happenings

Once again I have found myself absent from the blog world.  I almost typed, "from the world of writing," but that is not true at all.  In fact, all I have been doing in the past week since I last blogged is writing. I have written lesson plans, countless emails, job applications, scholarship profiles, and most begrudgingly, a seemingly endless term paper on student teaching.  

However, the end is near and soon enough I'll be free of writing papers, but I'm not even so sure I'll be grateful for that once I enter the "real world." 

But that's for another post. 
 Here's a quick glimpse into what I've been doing between all the non-blog writing:
Took the Sixth Graders on a tour of the University of Maryland.

Enjoyed an outdoor happy hour with my bestest friends.

Took the Sixth Graders on an "African Journey" at the Baltimore Zoo.  

Two more weeks of Interning and then it's graduation time.  Between now and then I will cram in a 12 hour Relay for Life, some more fun trips with the Sixth Graders and hopefully many more happy hours with my best friends.

Until next time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Breakfast Sensation

I woke up this morning with two very different breakfast-related cravings.  Some may see this as a major edible dilemma, but I think this is exactly the type of problem that occurs right before great things are made.  Like peanut butter and jelly.  And fried pickles.  And spinach smoothies. And chocolate covered... anything.  The union of two unlike things are oftentimes innovations to be marveled, especially in the kitchen.

Oatmeal or Eggs?  That was the question.

I hate making decisions.  So I chose both.  I put a 1/4 cup of oats and milk in one bowl.  I cracked one egg and one egg white in another.  Together, they were unified in the frying pan.

  5 minutes, a dash of cinnamon, a teaspoon of honey, and a sliced banana later I had a delectable, healthy, and filling meal that I shall call "French Toast Eggs." Because that was was it tasted like:  French toast, minus the toast.  Plus a whole lot of nutrients.  And I wasn't even hungry before lunch.  That in itself was a miracle.

And there you have it.  My impromptu breakfast sensation that has had my mouth watering long since my second cup of coffee.  A breakfast so good, I felt inclined to share it with the public. Happy eating. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Very Glitz Easter

Indeed, my arts and crafts motto.  

Also, apparently my Easter motto:
Egg Dying Day #1 at Loverboy's 
Gold Eggs, anyone? 
Egg Dying Day #2 at my Momma's

By the way, my eggs were never hidden. Things this beautiful need to be visible at all times ;)
Loverboy got a Glitter-Egg in his basket too :) 
Now the question is, how long until the next holiday I can get a little glitter-happy??

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


She was called "Mommom" I think as a parallel to "Poppop." Coincidentally, only "Pop" stuck for my grandfather, but "Mommom" was never anything else to her seven grandchildren.  And fittingly so.  Pop pronounced it as "Mom" repeated: "Mom-Mom," but we always say it more like "Mummum" - I think it's more endearing that way.  
Now that I'm thinking about it though... "Mom-Mom" carries the perfect connotation for my grandmother; she was an amazing mom to four daughters, but she was double that to a generation of seven more.  

In the few short elementary years that I knew her I loved her more than most.  I don't remember much from before the first grade, but this I know.  She must have been a massively significant part of my early childhood with the way the few memories I have of her seem to make appearances constantly. 
 I remember her blue night gown. 
Her tiny smile and the huge way it lit up a room. 
 The way my mother and aunts sought her advice for everything and more. 
The sweet smell of her chair - it was right next to Pop's, offset from the TV, but still the best seat in the house. 
The wig she resented.
 The cancer that required it. 
 How beautiful she was in spite of it all.  

I was too young to know it at the time, but I'm certain she was the glue that held her family together.  
Actually, I think she still is.

When she passed, each of her daughters received a piece of her lily plant.  To this day, it blooms only when we need her most.  Aunt Doe's bloomed the night before her wedding last month. Ours? Our plant has two full blooms and one blossom on its way. The past month has been beyond stressful, and our beautiful flower is definitely an indicator of that fact.  Stress and sadness is part of life, and I know that. But knowing we have an angel looking out for us puts me slightly more at ease. 

I don't always put my faith in 'Guardian Angels' but it's small beauties like these that remind me we're not alone.  A presence in an absence truly is a beautiful thing.  I'll never stop missing my grandparents but I don't think they want me to.  

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