Friday, August 19, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago this week, I was sitting in a workshop for new teachers, trying to concentrate on the speaker. Thoughts swirled around my brain and kept me from paying attention. I had so many questions at that point, so many unknowns, so many plans. Two weeks from then, I would be standing in front of a room full of students, and as it turned out, many of their parents.

Wow, how much has changed in a year.

This year I have had the luxury of getting into school earlier than last year. I have also had the luxury of being in the same room two years in a row. The work that my mom and I did last year before the start of school paid off. Over the past couple weeks, I have gone into school a handful of times to get things unpacked and organized. Yesterday I hung my bulletin boards and got the room pretty much ready.

I still have some summer left and I'm going to squeeze every last drop out. On Sunday, my Mom and Rich are coming to visit. We have a family reunion of sorts in Chicago the following week. But until then, we'll be up north. I'll bring some teacher books, and I'll bring some books and magazines for pleasure. I'm hoping the latter reading material will be read most. I have a week of teacher meetings and set-up to help me prepare for the start of school. Until then, I'm going to do my best to enjoy.

I look back to last year and smile. Thankful for the preparation, thankful for the experience, thankful to be where I am. Time to look ahead. When I need to.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Where to begin? There's so much I want to talk about. So many great memories, such beautiful scenery, such wonderful people. The food, the wine, the leisurely way we broke up our days of travel. Lunches, wine breaks, dinners that lingered for hours. Oh, Italy, I miss you.

I will recount the trip with pictures and sights that we saw in another post. This post is dedicated to Stein.

You know from the other posts I wrote that he had been saving for over four years for this trip. During our Italy trip, he blurted out, "I WILL go skiing this year!" to Chris and me. In the past four years he hasn't taken a vacation. Meanwhile, Chris and I have gone on two ski trips and to New York together. Ooops.

Before we left for the trip, Stein explained to me that nothing would stop us. "If we want to take a cab instead of the metro, we will. If we see a nice restaurant and want to eat there, we will. If we like a bottle of wine and want another one, we'll have it."

I can't tell you how much of a treat this trip was.

Most days started at 8 or 9 in the morning, and didn't end until we literally dropped into bed at midnight. There were cabs instead of trains, dinner in nice restaurants, and many second bottles of wine (don't worry, Chris was there for some of the trip too). On any trips prior to this, I would find myself hemming and hawing about the price of something or whether or not we could do something. Not this time.

This was one of the best vacations I have been on, and no doubt was due to the generosity of my husband. Above and beyond is where he went. And the vacation followed suit.

Reason number 9,678 why I married him.