Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Club recap! (plus lots of other miscallaneous other info... )

Hello, hello! How was your Monday? Mine was just okay. I didn't feel as inspired as I did last Monday and I'm just ... tired. Tired of school! There is only 40 something days left and, it feels impossible, but at the same time, I feel SO READY for summer. I need another break.

The day did get better though. We started a persuasive writing unit today and I began with an example piece of writing in which I wrote a letter to the principal stating why RECESS should be eliminated or cut in half. The looks on my kids' faces was priceless and I had to turn away from them to keep myself from laughing. As far as I know they still believe it is true (gosh, I'm mean) and I'm so impressed with the counter-arguments they came back with. Cannot wait to see them put it into writing! We just might have to show the principal. ;)

Well, tonight we met for book club, and it was such a great stress-relieving time for me. I think I needed to vent about a few things in a healthy way with my girlfriends and it felt good! Everything that is going on this year just gets me sometimes, and it seems to be dumb things that make me break. I didn't really break per se, but I did need to talk about it.

Planning a wedding is fun, but can also be disappointing at times. It's the disappointment that I don't want. Disappointment when things do not work out the way you want them, disappointment over not being able to afford what you want and (most of all) disappointment when people you care about won't be there. I was pretty disappointed this week by that last statement and I'm trying hard to remind myself that the people that matter will be there. I am so lucky for the great group of friends I have. I know what I have is rare and I need to remember that. I am so lucky.

Anyway, back to book club. I wish I could talk about the book, but ... only on of us read it! No, that one person was not me. :::hangs head in shame::: We read The Last Letter from Your Lover Jojo Moyes and I got to around page 90 and just put it down. I couldn't get into it. I still can't decide if I want to try and finish it or not. I have so little time for reading that I really want to be sure I'm reading something that I really enjoy!

However, I did recently finish a book that I really enjoyed!! Recently I was sent Sarah Pekkanen's newest novel, Catching Air and I was SO EXCITED to read it! It was probably the reason I put TLLFYL down (in fact, yes it was!)

Sarah's books almost always include multiple viewpoints and characters that you just cannot help but love! I automatically wanted to know more about several of the characters and read every chance I got! If you're a fan of Jane Porter, Emily Giffin, or Jane Green, I think you would really like Sarah Pekkanen!

Definitely check out Catching Air or anything else on this author's backlist. I assure you, that you will not be disappointed! 

What was the highlight of your day? Mine was Zumba, book club and the amazing class discussion about cutting recess in half or eliminating it (I couldn't pick just one!)

Workout wrap up

Hello, friends! It is Monday and time to wrap up my workouts last week. I had a great week for workouts and I'm super excited to share.

Monday - 16,760 steps. 30 minute run in the morning (about 3 miles I believe ... I didn't write it down), 30 minute core strengthening class and 60 minute Zumba class. By the end of this 2 hour workout I was *dripping* with sweat and felt awesome!

Tuesday - 12,322 steps. 30 minute run in the morning (also about 3 miles). Tuesday night I met up with a friend for sushi, and I had planned to do an AM and PM workout, but that did not happen! I'm glad I gave myself a small break though.

Wednesday - 17,911 steps. Hour long 5:30 AM Body Pump class (taught by my good friend, Chandra!) and hour long Zumba class at night. Solid day for me and I'm glad I got in strength training two weeks in a row! Hopefully I keep my streak up. (yes, two weeks is a streak).

Thursday - 12,552 steps. 30 minute run after school (3 miles). Thursday night was our monthly "Foodie Night" which is hosted by my good friend Manon, and is basically about 20-30 of us that want to check out a restaurant in Des Moines, eat good friend and enjoy adult conversation over dinner! I love this monthly tradition. :) 

Friday - 11,516 steps. 30 minute walk at an 8% incline in the morning. Getting myself to the gym Friday morning was HARD. I could NOT drag myself out of bed and it was a huge battle to actually get there because I was just so tired. I knew running was not going to happen once I did finally get there, so I settled on a walk and kept increasing the incline. It was actually a decent workout and my butt was sore!

Saturday - 24,853 steps. Ohhhhh, yeah! Record step day, everyone! I don't know where my energy was coming from (perhaps the sweet potato hash and eggs I made for breakfast that was delicious??) but I made it to my normal 9:30 AM Saturday morning Zumba class annnnnnnd a two hour Zumbathon in Ankeny! I felt amazing and like I could keep going! What is also exciting is I could tell how much I have improved since the last Zumbathon. A month ago, I was really irritated at my gym's Zumbathon because there were so many instructors from other gyms and I didn't know their choreo and I just so .... lost. This time, I could follow all the routines really well, and for those that I couldn't see (there was a lot of people there) or didn't like, I just made up my own choreo. It was SO fun! I cannot be more grateful for Zumba. It has done SO much for me this year.

Sunday - 17,259 steps. After Saturday, I honestly was very worried about today's "long" run, but I knew I could do it and I had to at least try. I set out planning to do 8 miles and run an out and back on the trails near my house. I got about 3.5 miles away and decided to turn around. It was windy as hell and I could feel my legs getting heavier and heavier. I am actually quite proud of what I did end up achieving. I ran 6 miles at an 11:00 pace and walked about 1 mile to "cool down." I know I made the smart choice and I'm happy with what I accomplished.

You might be wondering what I mean by Zumba doing so much for me this year. I know my body is changing and I am loving it. Saturday morning I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrors and I did not recognize myself. My arms looked toned, and skinny. From behind, I looked like a girl who knew what she was doing. Then, a friend of mine came up to me and also said almost the exact same thing. She saw me in the crowd and couldn't tell if it was me! Holy moly. This feels so good, and I am so excited to see where I am at when July rolls around.

What I really need to get a handle on is my eating. I literally eat whatever I want. Since giving up sweets for Lent things have gotten a tad under control, and I almost always eat salads for lunch and a healthy breakfast, but for dinner I am all over the place. Starting April 7th I am participating in Amber's Dietbet challenge, and I am determined to do well.

Basically, this challenge is a bet to see who can lose 4% of their body weight in 4 weeks. The cost is $25 and those that complete the challenge split the pot. I knew that to do this, I would need to clean up my eating drastically. So, Bill and our roommate, Cody are thinking of doing the Whole30 challenge. My friend Emily just finished the challenge (successfully! Yay Emily!) and some friends of Cody's have done it. I like the idea of a lifestyle change with my nutrition and I know I need it. Honestly, my only source of anxiety is the cost of all this food. Whole30 is A LOT of meat and that gets very expensive, but hopefully between the three of us, it won't be that bad.

How did you move last week? Have you tried any "fad" diets? What are your thoughts on them? 

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Wow, how is it Friday already?

This week (obviously) flew by for me, which is weird considering it is the first week back from Spring Break. But, really, this entire year has flown by for me and I am in awe that my first year of teaching is almost over. It is just so surreal!

Anyway. It's Friday and I have a weekend of nothing planned, except yes, I do have things planned! Do you know those weekends where "nothing" is really "planned" but it still ends up being a full weekend? Yep, it will be one of those. Tomorrow night my group of friends are awakening our weekly Friday happy hours and meeting at The OP in West Des Moines for some friend time, beers and the Iowa State game! My team made the Sweet 16 and I am hoping they kick butt tomorrow! They play UConn ... so, my fingers are crossed and I'm thinking positive thoughts! Go State!

On Saturday I have my regular Zumba class in the morning and then a Zumbathon that I would like to attend in Ankeny ... that is three hours of Zumba. Wonder how many steps that will be!? #stepobsessed #ILoveMyFitBit

Saturday night we usually go to church. Which, I love! Next week starts pre-marital classes at our church. Like a nerd, I'm looking forward to it. ;)

Sunday, I am hopefully going to get in a long run and then I know there was something else, but I am blanking. This isn't good. Gah. Hopefully it isn't something important!! I will probably get some grading done (I didn't get as much done over SB and this stuff multiplies faster than flies. I swear.)

Maybe Sunday we'll figure out more wedding invitation information. I need to get them ordered, but we haven't decided who will be invited to the ceremony AND reception and who will just be invited to the reception. I hate the thought of having to choose and I'm hoping we can invite everyone to both, but we really need to sit and figure it out FOR SURE. Planning a distance wedding is harder than I thought!

What are your plans this weekend? Anything fun? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Workin' it out!

My spring break was great and I am so thankful for a much needed break! Although I was very productive over break, I know I also got some great R & R time as well.

Anyway, here's how I moved last week!

Monday - 60 minute Zumba
I tried a class with a different instructor because it was offered during the day. She was okay, but I was bummed when she cut the class short by about 15 minutes. I told myself I would go to my regular Zumba class in the evening, but then that didn't happen. Womp, womp.

Tuesday - 4 mile run/walk and 45 minute Piloxing class
This was my first Piloxing class and I loved it! She got the intensity up really high and was extremely energetic. I'm definitely going to this class again!

Wednesday - 60 minute Body Pump, 30 minute walk on the treadmill, 60 minute Zumba
 Ay yi yi. Was I ever sore after this! Luckily, by Friday I pushed through the pain and I think I just stretched it away! Haha! That horrible soreness is a sign that I *need* to do more pump and strength training.

Thursday - 30 minute bike ride
Due to the intensity of Wednesday, I skipped Zumba and did a 30 minute bike ride (on the new bike!) instead. I was still incredibly sore and the bike ride didn't help that, but I'm glad I got some activity in.

Friday - 75 minute Zumba "happy hour"
My gym does Zumba happy hours on Fridays every so often and they're kind of like mini Zumbathons. They are so fun!!! I was really sore, and honestly, worried about making it through this class, but once I warmed up I was fine! Afterwards all of us Zumba regulars hung out that gym celebrating one of our favorite instructor's birthdays and drinking beer (yes, our gym serves beer! I was surprised!)

Saturday - 60 minute Zumba class and 30 minute walk on the treadmill
This class was tough. I was just so tired!! I powered through and then hopped on the treadmill to get my steps up to 10k. I usually get a small run in after this class, but the thought of exerting much energy sounded awful.

Sunday - 60 minute Power Flow Yoga class and 30 minute walk on the treadmill
Gah, sometimes yoga is so hard for me. This class was hard for me. I could not get into tree pose for the life of me and felt silly making pathetic attempts the entire time. After the class I did feel good though. I needed a good stretch.

My steps for this week are lower than they normally are due to being on spring break. I was hoping I could make up for those steps by working out a little more and keeping myself busy, but that proved hard than I thought it would be!

I really need to get in more running. I only ran once last week and that is pathetic. I have a 10k coming up at the end of April and I would really love to pull off a good time, but if I don't get my booty out on some quality runs, that is NOT going to happen!

How did you move last week? What do you do when you're no longer motivated to run? (if you're a runner) 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mailbox Monday

I know it's only Sunday, but I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday a tad early! It has been ages since I have participated in any of these link-ups and due to the way I look forward to others' posts about what they have received to read, I then figured I should participate too!

It has been a good week for me in books. Now, hopefully I can pull myself out of this reading slump that I have been plagued with! Life has been so hectic and I just cannot seem to focus for very long. I know this is normal, and I am trying to cut myself some slack but I really miss the relaxation I get out of a good book!

Recently I began using Netgalley again and I am so excited about these titles I was approved of!

From Netgalley:
Catching Air by Sarah Pekkanen
Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany
That Night by Chevy Stevens
Disconnected (a novella) by Jennifer Weiner
Little Lies by Heather Gudenkauf (a fellow Iowan!!)

From Goodreads First Reads giveaways
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

From the library
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

I'm reading Catching Air right now, and so far it's really good! I have loved everything that Sarah Pekkanen has written and I have a feeling her newest will be no different!

What did you get this week? Do share!

Friday, March 21, 2014

5 on Friday

Happy Friday! I wish I was excited it was Friday, but I am actually not.  Friday means that my spring break is almost over and on Monday, I have to go back to work. Womp, womp. It has been a very nice staycation and I have quite enjoyed the relaxation and alone time. Don't get me wrong, I was very productive this spring break, but I also made sure to get some "me time" in too.

Well, since it's Friday I am participating in Five on Friday again! What a simple, yet fun post to do each Friday!
1. I am so excited to see Divergent this weekend! We are going to see it tomorrow night and I am dying in anticipation! Bill is even a little excited too because he actually thinks it looks good! Gasp!
2. As many of you know, one of my best friends is a Zumba instructor and she's always doing fun events at our gym. Tonight she and one of the other instructors is having a little Zumba happy hour with a small get-together afterwards for some of the regulars and I am pretty pumped! 75 minutes of Zumba and then some girl time after? Yes, please! I am excited to get to know some of the other regulars better. I'm not usually a chatty person at the gym, I'd rather get in and get out and I'm often in my own world at the gym. I hope I don't appear to be snobby. Anyway, that is why I'm looking forward to this!

3. Yesterday I decided to skip Zumba in favor of a bike ride out in the gorgeous weather we had! This was the first ride on my new bike and I loved it! There is definitely some getting used to it though ... she for sure needs to be broken in and I need to learn how to use her. I honestly have very little knowledge of how to use the gears properly. Yesterday was interesting, yet exhilarating!

I ended up buying a Trek Lexa road bike and I just love her, she's so pretty! I know that what we spent on a good bike is relatively inexpensive in the bike world, but whoa ... a little part of me thinks that we should have bought .. oh, I don't know, a new couch instead? However, we both want to ride RAGBRAI this year, and to do that, I need a good bike. At the end of the day, I know we got a good deal, I am just a stingy sister. ;)

4. I am currently sipping on my first ever homemade smoothie. I know, where have I been? A blogger that doesn't make smoothies? Crazy. I have to say though, it's pretty good. I used some strawberry Chobani, fresh strawberries, blackberries, spinach and chocolate protein powder with some ice and a splash of milk. I'm a fan! If it is filling and keeps me full till lunch, I may have to make them more often. Sorry, no picture. It's not the prettiest of smoothies!

5. On Wednesday I decided it would be a good idea to a Body Pump class, followed almost immediately by an hour long Zumba class. Whoa, am I ever sore. Ay yi yi .... I am not going to use it as an excuse though. I took yesterday to rest a little (just took a 30 minute bike ride) and I'm hoping that tonight's Zumba event goes well and the soreness goes away once I'm warmed up. Fingers crossed!

That's it for me! Tell me what your plans are for this weekend! Anything exciting?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wedding stuff

Warning: this is probably going to be a random, rambling post, because I'm exhausted but mentally still "going". Know what I mean?

Well, wedding planning. I believe it is going well... we have a couple big things that I feel should be done by now, but it is what it is. For example, we do not have an officiant yet. I have been playing phone tag with my brother-in-law's pastor in Spencer. I'm beginning to think he is avoiding me, but as Bill logically pointed out, we are probably just not high up on his priority list. Luckily, we have a couple "plan Bs" if he doesn't work out.

Last night we finally hired a photographer. I am super happy with what we are getting, the price, and most importantly, who it is. He is a friend of a friend whom I have met a few times, and he has the exact personality I am looking for in a photog!

This week I also have the Save the Date's ready to be assembled and set out. We're still waiting on a couple addresses, but we have about 95% of them and today I bought stamps, so tomorrow is assemble day! Fun times ...

I need to order invitations. I wish I was creative enough to make them myself, but I am not, nor do I have the motivation. I just got a few samples from Wedding Paper Diva's and they are cute. I am trying to care, but I honestly don't really care. Does the invitation say what it needs to say? Good. I'll take it. (Ok, it's not that bad, but, pretty much).

We are trying to figure out how guests will get to and from the wedding site. It is about 20-30 minutes out of town out in the country. I want people to have a good time, but I also want my guests to get home safely (obviously). This is a hurdle we will figure out with time, I suppose. I am sure we'll hire some sort of shuttle service.

My first dress fitting is coming up on April 12th and I am excited! I took my dress to a tailor here in Des Moines, and they quoted me 60% of what the dress actually cost. I calmly picked my chin up off the ground, said thank you, left and immediately called a tailor that is near where we're getting married (3 hours north of Des Moines in a small town) and she said she could not guarantee it, but it should be cheaper than Des Moines tailors. Plus, due to where my dress was purchased (a shop she works closely with) I will get 20% off. Worth driving for, I'd say.  Wedding related items are so expensive. For real.

The biggest project I have undertaken though, is dropping some weight. So far I have lost approximately 10 pounds. I say approximately because I do not weigh myself regularly. I have weighed myself twice since the beginning of the year I am happy not being obsessed with that number. Currently my scale is in storage as well, and seeing as I am not hopping on a scale at the gym, it may be awhile before my feet step foot on a scale for awhile. Hopefully when I do, I will be at least 5-6 pounds closer that my long term goal of 30 pounds.

Speaking of losing weight. I know I would lose tons of weight if I could get my eating under control and really get better at eating clean. I have been working out like crazy and I know I am burning more than I am taking in, but I am not eating as well as I could be. I tend to eat out a lot out of convenience. I don't necessarily go for a burger and fries regularly (actually, rarely) but I do eat a lot of fast food salads and quick things on the go and I know that it is not as healthy as homemade meals. 

Well, that's about it for me. I'm off to bed and I did not proofread this. Sorry! :p

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Day in the Life ... of Me!

Since I have begun teaching my days have become extremely structured. Like most people, I enjoy freedom in my schedule and would prefer more choice, buuuut, I get WAY more done when I have a tight, structured schedule.

I thought it might be interesting to see what a "day in the life" of me looks like nowadays... Keep in mind, this is a "typical" day and my days are not like EVERY day. Anyone in education knows that things happen and the day rarely goes exactly as planned.

4:30-5am - my alarm goes off somewhere in this 30 minutes on days I plan on hitting the gym (which is often these days). My goal is to make it out the day by 5am so I can get to the gym, squeeze in a quick 30 minute workout and be back home by 6am.

6am - get home from the gym, make breakfast and my lunch for the day. After that is done, I get ready for the day. I usually have my work bag, and outfit laid out and ready to go so I can be as speedy as possible.

7am - leave for work. My contract time is technically 8:15-4:15, but I really enjoy getting into work early. It's pretty much the only quiet time of the day, plus, I can leave "on time" which is always nice. The other two teachers on my time are the complete opposite of me and they usually get to to work "on time" and leave late.

8:15 - contract time for teachers, so I can pretty much expect something to come up at this time and my "free time" is over. This time in the morning is usually spent going over things with teachers, making copies and lesson planning.

8:55 - first bell. Students may come in now! This is basically "showtime" and after this point of the day, it feels like a whirlwind.

9:05 - final bell. Students must be in their seats. At this time I take attendance, get students going on their morning math, gather lunch count, etc.

9:15 - my special education teacher comes in to co-teach math with me and it's math time from 9:15-10:15. I am so glad math is in the morning.

10:15 - this is my planning time and "specials" time for the kids. There are two specials every day (except Fridays) and today it is Spanish and music. Spanish is taught in my room, so I usually leave and go work on something in the library or lounge.

10:45 - head back to my classroom to take my kids to music.

11:15 - pick up my kids from music and quickly get started on word work. Traditional spelling is old news and this is the first year that our district is using "word work" which I really, really like. There is still a huge spelling component, but the word parts are taught and it's not solely memorization anymore.

11:40 - head to lunch and recess. I drop the kids off at lunch and then at this time, I either eat in the lounge with my grade level, in the special ed room with my co-teacher, or in my room. It varies by day. Once I sat in the lunchroom with the kids! That was a hit! From 11:40-12:20 I have some free time, except every third week when I have recess duty and have to be outside by 12:10pm.

12:20 - kids come back in from recess and we get started on writing. We just finished an expository writing unit and are now working on a functional writing unit. My co teacher and I are having a fantastic time with this unit and I think the kids are loving it! Think, kids write directions, and we follow them .... our first example was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Gah, I wish I had a video of that!

1:00 - my 90 minute reading block starts. We start with a 20 minute whole group lesson and then break out into reading rotations and I meet with three small groups per day. Sadly, this is my lease favorite time of the day. I am hoping I can change this for next year.

2:30 - This is the time I spend on social studies or science. We never do both, it's either one or the other. We just finished a science unit on the skeletal system and when we get back from break we will begin a social studies unit on the Southeast region of the US.

3:40(ish) - begin to clean up and get ready for dismissal

3:55 - dismissal bell. I high five all the students and they leave! At this time I do a quick sweep of the classroom and make sure everything is in its place. All 28 kids have a "jobs" to do each day (like turn off lamps, water plants, etc.) so the classroom is usually in pretty good order. After this time, I usually begin to get ready for the next day or grade papers.

4:15 - at this time, I may leave. I usually do not though. The work is never done.

5pm - Begin to get ready for the gym. Since it is Monday, I have a gym bag packed and ready to go to one of my favorite Zumba classes, which is on Monday and Wednesdays at 6pm. Right before the class at 5:30 is a core conditioning class that I try to get to as well.

5:30 - 30 minute core class

6pm - Shakin' my booty at a 60 minute Zumba class!

7pm - finally head home for the day. On my way home I usually call Bill and hope he has some dinner ready for me! He usually does during the week since I'm at the gym right after work! He's such a keeper :)

7:30 - sit down and eat dinner. I usually only last about 30-45 minutes before I want to head to bed....

8pm - head to bed to read, watch tv, or grade papers. Usually Bill will join me around 9pm, but he does not go to sleep when I do. Luckily, I can fall asleep with some light or a tv on. However, I do wake up an hour or so later and turn it off.

9-10ish - Snoooooooze.

5am - get up and repeat ...

After reading back through this, it's no wonder this year has flown by for me. I cannot believe there are only about 60 days left of school. I cannot believe my first year of teaching is almost over ... I am going to miss this first group of kids so much. They have really grown up in this year and I am so proud of them! However, I am very much looking forward to teaching next year after having taught everything at least once. It is so scary diving into the unknown almost every day. You never know what is going to happen, and I have been surprised so much this year by how well, or not well, things have gone.

What time does your day start and end? Are you a morning workout person?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Help! I've fallen in a book slump and can't get up ...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Are you celebrating? I'm not that into St. Paddy's Day. I am not Irish, nor am I a big drinker these days, so I'm kind of a St Paddy's Day scrooge this year! Haha. Bill is celebrating by bartending at his friends Irish restaurant up in Ames, so I'll be left to my own devices tonight (which probably means, in bed by 9pm).

Well, I'm writing this post because I am in the WORST book slump. I cannot seem to drag myself out of it. I feel like I have not read anything good since late last year. By no means do I think this is any author's fault. I think it is completely MY fault. Every time I sit down to read, I just cannot focus. I begin thinking about the million things I could be doing that would be more productive than reading. Which makes me so sad. I know I need to take some time for myself.

So, friends, what should I pick up that would capture my attention and make me want to sit down, relax and get some serious reading done? I really think it would only take a couple of really good books to pull me out of this.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five on Friday

Oh, heeeey! I'm alive! I have been MIA since ... well, lets not even look, because it's been a LONG time.

Buckle your seatbelt because this Five on Friday is going to be jam packed, but how else do I get everything in if it's not a good ol' fashioned list, eh?

1. My fiance and I have been co-habitating for two weeks now. We're living in his friends house in the lovely Beaverdale area of Des Moines (conveniently one of my favorite neighborhoods!) annnnd, we just made an offer on a house and they ACCEPTED! If the inspection on Monday goes well and everything else goes well, we will likely close on April 14th and be in the house by early May. I AM SO EXCITED! Right now I am feeling so cramped with half of my stuff is in the garage and sharing a bathroom the size of a closet. Living together has been wonderful though. I am still getting used to it and sometimes, especially when Bill asks me when I'll be home, I don't think it has completely sunk in.

2. Spring Break 2014 has officially started! I need this SO BAD. After winter break, I was feeling good. January was fine, I was keeping up with EVERYTHING. Then, February happened and I got my ass kicked. The first half of March, all I could think was, "I. NEED. A. BREAK." So, visions of spring break clouded my head and I was just trying to stay afloat until then. Then, last Friday happened.

Let me explain.

My district has to cut six million dollars in the next two years. Six. Million. Dollars. We knew this was coming and I always worried, but so many people said not to worry, we are a no-bump district and I should be fine.

Then, they decided to close an entire school. Yes, the school is rather small, but still ... Where would all those workers go? They have to be placed somewhere. Then I began to really worry. Others said not to, it would be fine.

Then, last Friday, we had a meeting at the end of the day and our principal (who is an interim principal that came out of retirement to work with us for a year and is WONDERFUL) gathered us together for a meeting to tell us what the administration was presenting to the board. It was ... shocking. We knew the small school would close, as that would save over one million dollars, but the cuts they proposed to the special education department was infuriating.

Anyway, long story short, we attended that board meeting, said our peace and made them see the light. Things have worked out in our favor. It looks like I should be able to keep my job due to new positions we are opening for instructional coaches (with a grant) and all the people retiring (due to a more attractive retirement package).

Hallelujah! I can take "find a new job" off my already insane list for things I need to do in 2014.

3. Working out 7 days a week is still going strong! Sometimes I do skip running or going to the gym for a "rest" day, but I always get in 10,000 steps, so I am still meeting my Pact. Yesterday I ran outside for the first time since November, and ... it kinda sucked. I'm not in running shape right now. The treadmill has hurt me. I know I am in cardiovascular shape, so I'm not too worried. It will come back, but yesterday's run outside was not a confidence booster! Doesn't help that I am running in a new area, I suppose. (excuses, excuses)

I also recently re-committed myself to See-Us Run Des Moines for another year, which is a student-mentor running group in Des Moines for the IMT Des Moines Marathon. I participated last year and loved it! I will likely do the half again, as I do not think a full marathon is ever in my future.

4. Wedding planning is going ... okay. We still have a lot of BIG things to do. Like book an officiant and photographer. Luckily I have leads on both and I hope they work out for us! I am taking my dress to the tailor today. The bridesmaids have bought their dresses. The men know what they are wearing. We have secured tables and chairs and have food and booze figured out. During spring break I hope to get my save the dates out in the mail and get invitations ordered! Sometimes I feel like such a slacker, but honestly, when do I do this stuff?? This year is going to kill me! I am frequently reminding myself that this is fun, and I need to enjoy it. That usually does the trick, because it IS fun!

5. Why did I jam so much into 1-4? I cannot think of a 5. This will have to be Four on Friday. :) 

Have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for reading!