Summer Lovin’

It’s been TWO MONTHS since I last posted on here! Eeek. June, July and the beginning of August flew by so quickly. I feel extremely blessed because I spent the summer months back in PA getting my fill of time with family and friends. I stood beside two of my best friends as they married the loves of their lives. I spent many days with my dear friend’s baby girl, Molly Mo. I finally can say that I feel comfortable feeding a baby! I went to the beach 3x- once for my friend’s bachelorette party, once for a day trip with my ma and once for girl’s week with my aunts, ma and grandma! I went on daily walks/runs with my ma, mowed my grandma’s yard each week and spent time with my high school friends around town at our local brewery. I also visited Pittsburgh, my grad school friends and attended an SLP conference. PHEW- it was a busy summer, but a great one. See below for highlights of the summer!

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Early birthday celebration dinner with my parents and Gma!
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On the beach in OCMD for Katie’s Bachelorette Party weekend!
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4 days in Pittsburgh with Emil Lee Kennedy- running, eating and exploring together! Oh and Bella!
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Girl’s Week at the beach with Mom, Grandma, Aunt Kim, Aunt Robin!
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The current love of my life–Molly Mo! The happiest and sweetest baby around. Susan and Matt are doing such a great job with her.
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Some of our group at Katie’s wedding! Got to see Nick for a few days this summer when he flew in for the wedding.
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Katelyn got hitched!!!

On Tuesday, I flew back to St. Louis, Missouri and traveled back to my little town of Union. My townhouse and car were alive and well. My classroom was in a state of disarray. My mail was piled up high. I hankered down and spent Wednesday and Thursday cleaning, running errands, paying bills, getting groceries and getting my classroom in shape. I really did not cook much over the summer since I had my dear mother doing most of it, so I also got back into the kitchen these past few days. See below for 2 recipes that you have to try! Then check out my classroom (Super-hero themed this year)!

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Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa (recipe on http://juliasalbum.com/2014/06/spinach-and-mushroom-quinoa-recipe/ )

 

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Baked Oatmeal Cups for On the Go! Recipe at http://thefoodclick.com/all/2013/08/08/individual-baked-oatmeal-cups

For this recipe, I swapped canola oil for the coconut oil and honey for maple syrup!

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One bulletin board from my classroom. OUR SPEECH IS SUPER!

Yesterday was our first day back to work, staff only. This week we have staff days Monday and Tuesday and then the kids come in on Wednesday. A brand new school year with new challenges is daunting. The physical prep in my classroom is not nearly as important as the mental and spiritual prep needed to face another year! I know a new school year equals new changes as well. From PA back to MO, from a first year SLP to a second year CCC SLP…changes are plentiful. I am currently finding peace and joy in knowing that despite all of these changes and challenges in my life…

” Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8

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Oh Happy June!

Sweet, sweet summertime has been amazing so far. I flew back to PA late last week after wrapping up work and making sure that my house/car was OK before I left. Since I’ve been back on the east coast, I’ve spent time with many of the people I love (and have missed dearly!). I’ve mowed my grandma’s yard, which has been a summer job for me since I was 12. I’ve slept in, gone for runs by the river, taken walks with my mom and given Tigger a lot of treats. Home feels like home.

shower4A Cafe Latte from Grand Central Bakery and a mindless read on my Kindle is a great start to the break!!

The main event of my time home so far was the Bridal Shower for a best friend, Katie Shelley. My other best friend, Rachel and I were largely a part of putting the shower together on Sunday. The shower was for guys/girls and we had great weather. Katie and Derrick got so many great things and really enjoyed themselves! It was a success.

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It was a great day with our friends celebrating the soon married couple-to-be!!! Another shower is headed my way this weekend as well as celebrations for my dad’s 61st birthday and father’s day! Oh Happy June!

 

Bittersweet Summer Begins…

My first year as a Speech-Language Pathologist, track coach, Missouri resident and living on my own is crawling to an end. 3 more days of work and I will be PA bound for the summer to spend time with family and friends and for wedding related activities for two friends. Time flies when you’re BUSY! The past few days around here have been strange for me. First off, Nick left for the Dominican Republic on Saturday with our college friends for a week long vaca. Darn those snow days or I would be soaking up the sun with them. But not having him here for my last weekend before the summer has been strange. I have done a lot of little things on my own that I wouldn’t usually do such as organizing my drawers, laminating (I bought a laminator!) school projects that I’ve made over the year and making S’mores bars for my co-workers to enjoy as we wind down the week.

june1 june5 june6This past week has brought my last days with my students and my last days a track coach for the year. It was a fun week with the kids because they were all so excited. We had a water play day outside and I forgot how easily the littlest things entertain kids for hours! A few of my students brought me cute little end of the year gifts like this basket below that said “It’s o-FISH-ually summer” with a bag of swedish fish! So thoughtful. I will really miss some of my kiddos headed to Kindergarten in the fall.

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The track season ended yesterday at the Missouri State Track and Field meet in Jefferson City. We traveled up early Friday morning and our athletes competed in the prelims on Friday and then the finals on Saturday. We came home with 4 state medals. Our one female senior athlete, Anna Houston, brought home 3 herself! She is in lane 3 below in the 100 m hurdle finals. I will miss these kids so much! Coaching was daunting in the beginning and I wondered if I would make it through 3 months. It was a lot of time committed but was well worth it. The time spent with the kids was something I actually looked forward to each day.  They didn’t know my first name until this weekend and one girl on the team thought my name was MARY! Haaaa..!

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As the school year comes to a close, I realize how thankful I am for great co-workers. Moving from another state and starting a new job meant that I knew no one when I started. I can say now in June that the ladies I work with have become like family–sort of like mom and sister figures for me! Last week we celebrated the retirement of our one coworker with a wine and painting party. It was so much fun to be with these ladies outside of the school setting. They are always so supportive and caring and that makes coming to work each day a little bit easier.

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It’s bittersweet to head back to PA this week. Bitter because I am leaving Nick and my townhouse that has become home behind here in Missouri. Sweet because I will be seeing my family and friends who I miss so much. There is a lot ahead for me this summer–bridal showers, bachelorette parties, weddings and beach trips! I intend to enjoy all the little joys of summer and the freedom away from work. I know that I will be back in Missouri in a blink!!

 

Keeping calm and carrying on..

I haven’t posted for the past 2 weeks, which is sad to me because my goal was to blog weekly. However, the end of April and the start of May has brought an increased amount of paperwork, meetings and craziness at school and more high stake track meets after school.  It is easy for me to feel a little overwhelmed at this point because May is going to be extremely busy. Just when I started to think about all of the things I need TO DO this week, I opened up my mailbox to find a card from a friend….

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This saying has been popular recently and it made me smile when I saw it. It’s my mantra at this point. Keep calm and just keep carrying on. That is what I have done up to this point and look where it has brought me…to May and the end of my first year working as a speech pathologist and living in Missouri. 4 weeks left. That is very doable.

Highlights of the past weeks include:

1.) BABY CHICKS HATCHING IN MY CLASSROOM: The local 4-H club donated 12 eggs and an incubator for my classroom (and 3 other classes) in my building. We had eggs for a week and last Monday–the eggs began to crack, peeps could be heard and a few hours later, I had 10/12 chicks! This experience was amazing for the kids to see first hand. This experience also taught me that I am not ready for motherhood-ha!! I was a nervous wreck about the welfare of these little birds.

may1 may22.) TRACK, TRACK, TRACK: We are in the final 1/3rd of our season and our schedule has picked up. The past two weeks have included up to 3 track meets and practice on our non-meet days. The exciting thing is that our athletes are doing pretty well at the right time. Today was our Conference meet and our girls landed first place. Check out our partial team photo below from Conferences.

may53.) SOAKING UP SHORT WEEKENDS: Increase in track meets have meant a decrease in time spent with my favorite guy. It has also meant that I’ve started to appreciate my time I do have with him, more. We have spent a lot of time feeding the baby ducks in his development lately. The geese just had babies and we even have a name for this one ugly goose that lives in the pond. Nick and his roommate had a lot of friends over for a boxing match Saturday night and I made some grub for the group. I decided to make dirt dessert only to find out that Nick doesn’t like chocolate pudding. (Crazy that there are still things I don’t know about him after almost 10 years??) We went to this cute breakfast spot over the weekend called ‘The Egg & I.” The pancake I ordered was about as big as a basketball. Love the real smile Nick turned on in the last picture here.

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It’s funny how….. a little sunshine, an increase in daylight hours, lots of ice cream, a shorter countdown until summer and fun weekends spent making memories…. can put a BIG smile on my face.