Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Random Memory//Always Kiss the Tiki Statue

Hi Friends!
My students are busy getting ready to write their first narrative paragraphs.  I'm teaching them about topic sentences and answering the 5Ws and the H.  For some, narrative writing comes easy;  they are natural storytellers.  For others, narrative writing is extremely difficult.  I often bring in writing samples for them to critique.  They like it best when I write something for them to comment on, so I wrote this paragraph last night for today's class.  Feel free to critique it in the comments.  : )

I am not a suspicious person by nature, but the next time I’m told to kiss the Tiki god statue, you better believe I’m going to do it. It was September 2006 and I was in Santa Cruz, California participating in The Big Kahuna Half Ironman. I had successfully completed the 1.2 mile swim in the frigid waves of the Pacific Ocean, where every time I had raised my head to site on the landmarks, I had heard the barks of the sea lions who beached themselves on the wooden supports under the peer. The thought of sharing the water with those loveseat-sized creatures pushed me to reach the shore as fast as I possibly could. After a quick change out of my wetsuit and into my bike shoes, I rode 56 miles up and down Hwy 1 over the biggest hills I’d ever been on. The up-hills were excruciating, and the down-hills were a bit terrifying. Training on the flat roads of north Texas did not prepare me for what it was like to go down a hill at 32 miles per hour. I pretty much just tucked my head and prayed that I would not have a blowout. The final phase was the run; 13.1 miles up the bluff and back down to the beach, where I would run across the sand to the finish line, grab my lei, and bask in the glory of my big accomplishment. The run up the bluff was just about as fun as it sounds. At the very top of the bluff, there was a hefty eight-foot Tiki god statue that we were told we needed to kiss for good luck. By the time I reached the turn-around, I was pretty much done with “playing triathlete”. I wasn’t really in the mood to smooch, so I gave him a friendly side hug. The next thing I know, I’m feeling pain. I hadn’t made it more than 20 feet past the Tikki god when my foot started hurting. I slowed down to a jog. It still hurt. I tried walking, but that hurt worse. With 6.6 of my 70.3 miles to go, I knew I was in trouble. I had 6.6 miles standing between me and the finish line, and I was not going to let that Tiki god bring me down. Needless-to-say, my pace suffered. People I had passed way back on the bike portion now passed me on the run. More than one person asked me if I was okay. I kept going, cursing that darn Tiki god statue every step of the way. By the end, it took everything I had not to cry. With about a half-mile left to go, I spied my husband on the course. He had known something was wrong. Of course, the moment I saw him, all the pain and frustration and anger at that wooden statue came pouring out in sobs. Like a scene straight out of a bad Lifetime-for-Women movie, John put his arm around me and promised me he’d get me across the finish line. We must have been quite a sight, run/limping across the sand together. At the very end, John let go of me and watched me cross the finish line into the waiting arms of the EMT’s, who immediately sent me to the emergency room. I still have the finisher’s medal I earned that day. It’s hanging in my closet. Every time I pass it, I swear I see that Tiki god statue smirking at me. I’ve retired from running since my foot surgeries, but if I ever happen to find myself on that bluff in Santa Cruz, I will not pass up the opportunity to give that Tiki god a big, wet kiss. Better safe, than sorry.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Journal

Hello Friends!
I am getting a bit giddy about our first Mother/Daughter book club meeting in a couple of weeks.  I can't wait for all the fabulous moms and their equally-fabulous daughters to meet.  I decided I needed a new book journal to record all the books we read together as a group.
I found an old 5x7 ring binder in my stash and decided it would make a perfect journal.  I intend to fill out the library card in the front pocket with the titles of the books we read.
I cut up some vintage pages from a textbook that had fun, old-timey quotes about books.
On the inside, I punched white card stock and decorated the edge of each page.  I will use the blank pages to take notes & write down book suggestions that come up when we're together.
I'm kinda excited to start filling this journal out.  Can you tell?  : )
Have a great day!


PS  I am reading a FABULOUS book right now, Maud Martha, written by Gwendolyn Brooks.  Ms. Brooks is known for her poetry. She was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize.  Maud Martha is the only book Ms. Brooks has ever written.  Each sentence is so perfect, it feels like poetry.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Best of My Pinterest

Hi Friends!

So last week when I was home with my mom we got to talking about Christy's upcoming shower that I'm planning.  I was telling my mom all about how I have dozens of inspiration photos stuck to my Pinterest boards of things I'd like to do/serve/make for the shower.  It didn't take me long to figure out that my mom had no idea what Pinterest is.  I know I've referred to my Pinterest boards on this blog before...but I guess she just didn't know what I was talking about each time.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Pinterest, it's a place to make on-line inspiration boards.  When I see something on someone else's blog, or run across a beautiful picture or cool craft idea, I "pin" it to one of my boards.  In the old days, I would just cut inspirational things out of magazines (I still do this sometimes), but for the most part, now I just pin it on my Pinterest page.  I love that I have all kinds of inspiration boards right at my fingertips.  As an added bonus, Pinterest links the photos back to their original source.  This helps when I need to go back and look for tutorials and DIY tips.  When Pinterest first started, getting an invite to join was kinda like getting invited to the royal wedding:  in other words, hard.  There were actual waiting lists.  These days it's easier, but you still need an invitation.  If you'd like an invite, let me know;   I'd be happy to send you one.

Anyway, I'd thought it might be fun for you to see what is inspiring me these days. I picked one photo from each of my boards to share with you.  The picture above is from my "Time to Redecorate" board, and shows what we're planning on doing to our master bedroom.  I'm kind of giddy about the window seat.  I've always wanted one! 

This is from my "I Love Mail" board:
 I'm loving this quote from my "Magical Quotes" board:
 I totally want to recreate this photo pinned to my "Photography Inspiration" board with my girlie-girls:
 Right now Jack's trying to figure out what kind of Valentine's he wants to send.  I like this idea, which I pinned to my "Holiday Magic" board:
 I am definitely going to make this "Cesar Salad Slow-Cooker Sandwiches" recipe that I pinned to my "Recipe Love" board:
 This cute idea from my "Party Goodness" board makes me want the girls to host a sleepover, ASAP:
This gorgeous arrangement posted on my "Wedding Shower Magic" board has me thinking pastels:

 Amy and I want to recreate this magazine cover I pinned on my "Swim" board (she gave me a floral swim cap for Christmas last year--love it!):
 I'd love to own this print of Chicago I pinned on my "Products I Love" board:
 I think I need to start a collection of vintage hair clips like this one I pinned on my "Vintage Goodness" board (I especially like the cat eye glasses clip!):
 I pin all kinds of book-related fabulousness on my "Book Love" board.  This picture makes me grin:

I want to make a variation of this project, pinned on my "Crafty Goodness" board, which shows all the places John and I have lived since we got married:
 I think this may be the world's most perfect ampersand, so I pinned it on my "Letter Art" board:
 These colors are swoon-worthy, so I pinned them my "Color, Color, Color" board:
 One day I'd love to create this bedroom, pinned to "Little Cottage on the Lake":
 I thought this idea rocked:  Write down memories throughout the year and put them in a jar.  Read the memories on New Year's Eve.  Pinned to my "Love this Idea" blog:
Next summer I want to make dill pickles, too.  Pinned to my "Digging in the Dirt" board:
 Giving frozen cookie dough as a gift so they can make the cookies whenever they want=brilliant!  Pinned to my "Gifts I'd Like to Give" board:
 The cutest little cafe in Chicago, pinned to my "Road Trip" board:
Want to see more?  Feel free to follow all of my Pinterest boards.  I have 945 other pictures for you to look through (Yes, I know; that's a whole big bunch of inspiration).

Have a fabulous day!



PS Click on over to my boards for complete sourcing of all pictures!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fall 2011//Mini Album

Hi Friends!
In the spirit of "better late than never," I present to you my completed fall mini album!  It's filled to the brim with all kinds of bits and pieces of what made that part of the year special for me.  It's so chock full of goodness that I had to swap out my origional rings for bigger ones so everything could fit.  : )
I did a quick summary of the month on the printed pages.

I stuck to my plan and only used what I brought in that little basket.  The only thing I needed from my office once I returned was a white pen.  Not bad.

The card on the left came with an order from Monica over at "I Love it All".  I love that quote.

Inside the gold envelope are a couple of very special letters;  one from a swimmer, and one from her mom.

I heart handwritten thank you notes.

Participating in the "Happy Day" project was definitely a highlight from last fall. 
I tucked a couple of the blogs from that week inside the envelope.  The cute green tag was attached to one of the prizes I won.

Another awesome thank you note:

Pictures from the big game;

A Starbucks card and note from one student and a picture of the flowers I got from another one of my students:
And there you have it!  All caught up.  Time to go out and take more pictures! 
Have a great day!