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Monday, July 17, 2017

look the other way

It's summer and I love it.

But every day I feel a little bit of guilt.



Because I have done ZERO work for this upcoming school year.
ZERO.
I think about it, briefly, then skip off to whatever fun summer thing I have to do.

And reading? I've hardly read anything this summer.
Even blogging every day in July - missed two days.

But I have been to Spain. (My fave trip abroad yet.)
And there is a new guy. (More details to come, he's pretty amazing!)
And my niece is here. (Auntie & Monkey's week of fun!)

The weather is perfect.
It's summer in Chicago with so much to do.

So why do I have to feel the guilt?

Anyone else out there feel the same? Tell me I'm not the only one.

Friday, July 14, 2017

public service announcement

I don't eat many hot dogs. But if I do, you have to do them right. Let me break it down for you so you know what is acceptable and what is not.

#1:

That's cheese wiz with ketchup and mustard under.


Let's try another.

#2

Alright, well, better with tomatoes and pickels, but ketchup on a hot dog.....?


There shall be no ketchup on a hot dog.

#3

Almost perfect, just missing the neon green relish!

#4

This on is almost perfect, too, just missing the celery salt.

If you're going to eat a Chicago style hot dog, do it right:


Tell me how hot dogs go in your neck of the woods!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

#chi love cool people

I was on the train one day going... well, I can't remember actually. But, the girl who was sitting next to me had this cool pin:


I turned and asked her, "Hey, where did you get that pin? It's so awesome!" It was pinned on her bag right next to a Rolling Stones pin, and so it made sense that she got it at one of their concerts. She was friendly enough, but soon there after, she went back to her phone with games or texts, and I did the same.

A few stops later, as she was standing up, she turned to me, holding out her hand and said, "Here, you should have it. Just make sure to put it somewhere where people will see it."

I smiled and took it, asking her name.

"Thanks, Alice."

That pin stayed on my backpack all through Spain, so it was perfect time to represent our hometown while abroad.

I have a definite affection for this city, as most of you who read this blog regularly know. But also, after this incident, the people who call it home.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

be quiet, be still

My niece is here! She came two years ago, then not last year, but now she's back for a week to spend with her favorite auntie / Godmother. We have lots of plans: yoga, shopping, eating, aquarium, beach, visit my dad in the UP and play games. I love to make her try new things, and today the new thing was yoga.

Caitlyn is very athletic. She's been playing soccer for years! So when it came to chaturanga, easy peasy with a little bit of prompting. And her side planks were ON. POINT.

But then there's the stillness and quietness. Let me break it down for you. Caitlyn is a motor mouth. My sister and I used to joke around when her elementary teachers would say she talked to much and we'd look at that meme that says something like, "Go ahead and move my seat, I'll talk to everyone!" So for her to be quiet and be still in yoga, that's the big accomplishment, and she did a great job!

Taking her made me remember how much yoga I've done, how I'm able to cue myself to release stress (this is going to sound strange if you don't practice) but release stress in your face by softening it, releasing your tongue from the roof of your mouth, and just be still. It takes practice but makes you feel so great!

If you want to try yoga, come try with me... and Caitlyn!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

currently

Not quite Farley's but fun nevertheless!

Making - awesome plans for my Goddaughter who comes for a week tomorrow!

Cooking - sure my dad will be cooking something awesome when I visit him this weekend

Drinking - Coke, delicious but so bad for you


Reading - What the Lady Wants (still......) and thinking about reading the other books on my list but not reading as much as I should be


Wanting - to travel the world with my favorite people


Looking - forward to a week with a teenager of my own!


Wasting - easy days of summer vacation being so so lazy


Sewing - I am not a person who sews.


Wishing - I could spend more money on things like clothes and shoes


Enjoying - binging on shows like Friday Night Lights and The Leftovers


Waiting - on my next trip to see a new city


Liking - the warm weather, especially when it's a little cool, enough to sleep with the windows open


Wondering - when I'm going to get some energy to get some reading and work done this summer


Loving - Summer Michelle who sleeps in as long as she wants, takes a leisurely stroll to yoga, and has lunch with friends


Hoping - next school year is a little lighter than last


Needing - to eat better the next few days

Smelling - grapefruit of Arbonne's Spa line that I've tried today (It's amazing.)


Wearing - pajamas, the best!


Following - friends adventures on social media


Noticing - that in summer I'm so unproductive and...


Marveling - at how much I get done on any given day during the school year

Knowing - I need to be much more productive than I have been lately


Thinking - about school supplies and also that it's tooooo early!


Feeling - restless


Bookmarking - pretty dresses


Giggling - at the thread of messages with my best friends


I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!


Monday, July 10, 2017

that's friendship


On a trip, and in sharing a room with your bff, you ask if you can leave your light on a bit longer, and she says sure. And follows two minutes later, "I'm never going to sleep, just so you know."
It's authentic and real, so you laugh hysterically.

That's friendship.

You walk into a spiderweb and almost fall off the deck, and your friends laugh instead of show concern.

That's friendship.

Your friend is new at her job and can't figure everything out super quick, and is apologizing it's taking so long, but also thankful that she's trying everything for the first time on you.

That's friendship.

A tire on your car has a slow leak, so he fixes it and then puts the air compressor in your trunk in case you need it again.
That's friendship.

You get a text that says "IHTP" which is a long standing acronym from one of your funny friends.
Even though you'd rather not know about bowel movements,

that's friendship.

Your friend comes over and needs you to peel the burned skin off her back from a terrible sunburn. And you do, no questions asked.

That's friendship.

Your friend goes into your bedroom for perfume without asking, and you're happy she did.

That's friendship.

A million ways to be a friend - how are yours showing you they care?

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the commens and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

summer michelle

Yesterday I saw my cousin Michael, who is also a teacher, and he was telling me how his friends liked Summer Mike way more than School-year Mike. Which got me to thinking about Summer Michelle.


Summer Michelle's day today was amazing.

Woke up by sunlight around 7:30.
Spent an hour or so in my bed reading on social media and then in a book.
Got ready for yoga, had a friend come meet me around 10:00.
We took a yoga class our other friend teaches at 10:30.
After, we did a little shopping in the yoga studio and then got a latte.
We came back and figured out what yoga classes we will take together this week.
I walked to the other yoga studio, at a leisurely pace, listening to good music, not in any kind of rush.
I did my 90 minute cleaning shift.
I walked home, talking on the phone to a friend.
I showered, ate a salad, watched a little TV and got ready for church.
Went to mass. It was awesome.
Went to Mariano's and picked up sushi and other snacks.
Took it to a friend's house and hung out for a few hours.
Came home and now I'm writing.

I did no work. I did nothing I didn't want to do. There was no stress. I was so happy.

I saw this post on facebook from Love, Teach:


The school day she described - that's 100% how teachers do business, and we get all that done by like 3:30. My day today has been a long time coming. It's great to be Summer Michelle!

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

home sweet home

Of all the neighborhoods in Chicago, I'm happy to live in Bucktown. (I'd be happier if I could afford to buy a place here, but all in good time!) The other day I was out for a walk and snapping pictures of my neighborhood, so I thought I'd share!


Super close, just a few little neighborhood blocks away, is Holstein Park. Here you can see the field house and the lawn out back. In front of the field house is a pool and a park with some equipment. There's always tons of moms and their littles there, and also during the summer tons of kids from city summer camps. Sometimes they have movies in the park, here too!


As you walk thorugh the neighborhood, you'll notice lots of gardens for everyone to enjoy. Next weekend is our annual Garden Walk so everyone is preparing their best for that event when neighbors get together to walk around and check out what everyone created.


It's also nice to have a Starbucks close by, which I don't frequent that much. Mostly when I have to do some work for school, feels a little better with a Cafe Mocha in hand. What I love though is it's super close, walk over, and sit on the patio if it's nice out!


Corepower Yoga is just a bit further. I love to walk there because when you get out of hot yoga, a walk home is a perfect way to cool down.


Also, not pictured but just to the right of Core Power is an awesome hamburger joint - Small Cheval. Great burgers and drinks and also a very nice patio!

We also have quite a few more parks just off the 606 - it's an old train track that was rehabbed into a walking path. You can't see the 606 here, but this is one of the parks just adjacent to it, including a coffee shop (and to go window) right in that beautiful mural.


If you happen to visit Bucktown, here are some recommendations for food, love all of them!

Stan's Donuts
AMK Kitchen
Blue Line Lounge
Small Cheval
Pequod's Pizza (not quite Bucktown but very close!)

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Friday, July 7, 2017

nothing to say

and my post is late.

There are some days you don't feel like writing.
But you told yourself you'd write every day in July, and so here you are, writing about nothing.
Life happens. 
You are sometimes busy with plans.
And other times you find yourself in misunderstandings that only time can heal.
So you're sitting here, staring at a blank screen, cursor blinking.
All you want to do is take a nap, but you must persist.
You scribble some words down on the website.
You click publish,

and remember that tomorrow is a new day.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

what I'm loving

It' summer break and there's so many awesome things I'm loving right now, like...

What day is it?

Eating dinner at 10:30pm! That's crazy... and awesome.

And then, staying up till past midnight.

Stopping for lunch and then sitting and reading a book, as long as my heart desires.

Getting a super cute 1st bday card from a friend at work. "Crash, Bang, Roar, come party like a Dinosaur!"

Summer romance :-) :-)

Sangria. Going to attempt to recreate Spanish Sangria for Saturday's Family Picnic!

Sundays for yoga and church.

When your sister is having TWINS!!

Pretty Princess Time (PPT): skyping your bff when you wake up and are looking awesome.

Traveling abroad - opening your heart and mind.

#D100pride Summer Selfie Bingo - check it out on our hashtag on Twitter!

What are you loving today?

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

paella for days

Prior to going to Spain, I watched a few Rick Steves travel videos. What I came to learn is that ham is super popular in Spain. Check out this spot, just off the city center in Madrid --


Ham Museum? No gracias. I'm not a huge fan of ham. I'll have a bit on Easter and that's enough for me.

Another popular cuisine in Spain is Paella. Paella is this grain - sometimes like rice, sometimes more like a noodle, cooked in a huge... frying pan, maybe like a cast iron one? and then you add different things to it - seafood, chicken... dare I say it... ham?

I ate Paella for the first four days in Spain...



Paella in Valencia was a bit different, the grains were more noodley...


And I tried crawfish...sweeter than I thought it would be!


By the end of all of this, I was ready for tapas. And also missing pancakes and a burger back home, both of which I have had since my return!

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

gratitude lately


Thankful for the cool breeze blowing through my second floor apartment windows.

Thankful for new love and a lifetime of possibilities.

Thankful for fourth of July flowers.


Thankful for America the Beautiful to close out a perfectly timed mass on Sunday at church.

Thankful for the easy, slow days of teacher summer.

Thankful for American food... like tacos from an authentic Mexican restaurant :-)

Thankful for clean sheets and a bed that is actually made.

Thankful for visits from family that involve coffee and donuts in the kitchen.

What are you thankful for?

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Monday, July 3, 2017

barcelona

I was all excited for Barcelona, especially after Ed Sheeran's new album dropped and this song:



Here are the highlights from my visit :-)

Park Guell - amazing park done by Gaudí - our tour guide wondered aloud if he was a genius or mad man... since he began designing parks and buildings in totally new styles. At Park Guell, he used all this recycled glass to create beautiful landscapes and also benches that were aerodynamic (I think that's what she said!) Gaudí said, "I want to capture God's architecture into geometrics," and so he did.

Here Max and I are at the iconic benches that overlook a little plaza with temples.



Gaudi also designed Casa Mila with sculptures on the roof - La Pedrera:



To give a point of comparison, check out what other architects were doing at the same time:



And so you can see how his work was totally new, inspired by nature, beautiful, original - GENIUS :-)

Look at the sculptures at the top of Casa Milá:



Take a stroll down Paseo de Gracia, see all the fancy stores, make your way to Placa de Catalunya, and then to Las Ramblas. This is a tree-lined street with tons of little outdoor shops for souveniers, flowers, food, art, and much more! On the outsides of that street are restaurants and shops, including a Nike Store that all our kids had to stop by...


We also visited La Sagrada Familia, super amazing church designed by Gaudí. I can't even remember all the symbolism with all the differnet parts, but it looks amazing. Next time we're totally going inside, didn't get to this time though!


Those were my favorite parts of Barcelona, but it wasn't even my favorite city of the trip, so can't wait to share more about it with you!

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

expectations

Things never go as planned.

You think your flight will leave on time.
It gets cancelled.

You think your luggage will show up at your destination.
It doesn't.

You are unsure that you will have a good time.
You realize you could have never envisioned the amazing time you were about to embark on.

With teaching, you have to always maintain unwavering, high expectations for your kids, but in life? I think maybe it's best to let a bit of that go.

Case in point - Everyone told me how amazing Barcelona was going to be. Park Guell. The beach. Las Ramblas. La Sagrada Familia.


But we were late getting in, missed a day of sightseeing, and didn't even go into Sagrada Familia, and so Barcelona was just okay for me.

On the other hand, no one mentioned Madrid much, and so I was not really even interested in visiting. And then we go there and it totally exceeded my expectations.

The city center was named Puerta del Sol and the streets that ran out from the center of the city actually made it look like the sun. The days we were there it happened to be the annual worldwide Pride Festival, and there were signs all over the city saying, "No matter who you love, Madrid loves you." There were all kinds of shops and restaurants, a beautiful mercado, and tapas and churros and... joy. It was just amazing and I can't wait to go back.

So expectations. I say keep them high in the classroom, keep them high for yourself, but for everyone else? Let stuff go.




I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

10 days time

I just got back from Spain yesterday. I went with another friend who is also a teacher, 6 of her students, and one of my former students. Max and I are in Chicago and Heather and her kiddos are in San Diego, we all met in Barcelona 10 days ago.

It's amazing what can happen in 10 days. Take a look at some of the kids' Instagram posts on Heather's hashtag, which all came through at the end of our trip:






These kids named themselves Spain Squad around day four, got matching henna tattoos and bracelets, and essentially, became best friends staying up all night playing Twister.

Max had said to me when we were at the airport that he thought he'd mostly be bored and in bed by like 9pm every day. Instead he got 16 new best friends.

Maybe that's what new culture, a different language, exploring a new place, and being open to others who are different from you can do.

Maybe that's what traveling can do.

New friendships. I'll take it.

I can't wait to read your posts for BigTime Blogging Challenge 2017! Leave your permalink in the comments and feel free to share on SM with #btbc17!

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