Chilled Wine and Grilled Fruit. A Beautiful Spring Weekend.

After a horrific annual review meeting on Friday, I REALLY needed a relaxing weekend. Horrific might even be the understatement of the year. I have immense respect for all of my students’ parents and feel like they absolutely know their … Continue reading

My Mother, My Role-Model

As Mother’s Day fast approaches and it has been another year where I see my mother less and less, I find myself reflecting on all of the wonderful things that encompass being a mother, especially my mother, and how much I miss her.

When I was a child, my mom was the most beautiful, yet terrifying, human being I knew. We were fortunate that she was able to stay home with us girls- all four of us within 5 years of each other. I’m sure she doesn’t think she was the perfect mother and remembers specific moments in raising us that she regrets, but I can’t say one bad thing about my childhood with her. She was playful and fun, but also laid down the law when need be. I grew up when spanking was completely acceptable and am confident that I am better for being whacked on the backside a few times. I even look back at getting my mouth washed out with soap as a learning experience. Today, I’m not sure what I said to earn such a punishment, but I can assure you I never said it again. I can still taste the Dial liquid hand soap as I type. Blech. But really, I was never punished to a severity that was abuse, only to put me in my place and remind me who was boss.meme

As a teenager, of course I thought my mom was too strict. I wanted to stay out later, go out more frequently, basically just be free. I don’t think I really had the balls to do something truly badass, but my mom sure as hell didn’t let me find out. Thanks, mom. Now, I truly appreciate this.

I wish I had understood the value of her coming to every single dance competition, softball game, school event, etc. and showed her more appreciation. She worked insanely hard to remember each and every thing all of us didn’t like to eat and make meals that we all would enjoy. Her personal life and desires took a back seat to being a mom. I don’t think I ever saw her shop for herself until I was about 14. As I grow into adulthood and learn about my mom as a person and not just “mom,” I love and respect her even more.

I look up to the way she raised my sisters and me.

I look up to the way she always starts conversations with strangers.

I look up to the way she spent hours listening to trivial drama, but still was genuinely interested in my life.

I look up to the way she always finds a good deal.

I look up to the way she works hard at everything she tackles.

I look up to the way she is a great friend to all those in her life.

I look up to the way she can be assertive in any situation.

I look up to the way she is patient with everyone.

I look up to the way she demonstrates a selfless love in all her relationships.

I am beyond blessed to have such a wonderful role-model in my life. When I grow up, I want to be just like my mom.

Mom and Me

Mom and Me

– C

My 21st Kiss- A Love Story

To understand the back-story for this one, you should check out my guest blog. I was delighted when a very talented fellow blogger, Daile, asked me to do a guest post for her while she is away and was excited to write a post about dating. Since I’m not on the market any more, I don’t have any current dating quips, but the way I met Ryan is pretty unique. Check out my post, 28 First Kisses, to see where this one begins.

…….

It was a Tuesday night in June, 2011 and I had had a particularly stressful day. I was questioning my pathway in life and seriously contemplating quitting grad school to move to a patisserie in France and get fat on croissants. I’m not kidding- that was actually my plan.  So after class that went until 10:25pm (what jerk scheduled that?!), a few of my classmates and I decided to hit up one of the local bars for dollar beer night.

It was not unusual for us to wear crummy clothes to class and go to dollar beers and commiserate about our classes . So with my ripped jeans and hoodie on, I was in no mood to be pursuing this first kiss contest of mine. That is, until I saw him. For the next hour or so, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was nicknamed sexy man by my friends and we had a grand old time talking about all of the dirty things we wanted to do to him.

Something about him made me terrified to initiate a conversation, so when my friend, E, and I got up to go to the bathroom, I told her to grab his butt. She refused my juvenile request and told me to do it myself since I wanted to talk to him so badly. Obviously, I chickened out. Moments later when we exited the ladies’ room, I could no longer spot him.

Damn, did he leave? I missed my chance with sexy man. I thought. But no, there he was- right in the spot I had just vacated to go to the restroom. Oh crap. No excuses, now. I HAVE to talk to him.

So I strolled on over and spit out the first words that came to mind.

“Excuse me, sir, you stole my seat.”

Whaaaaaatttt?!?! Could I have been any less smooth?? What a horrible introduction.

Luckily, he was a good sport. Sexy man slid over a couple of inches, patted the bench and said there was just enough room for me.

Swoon.

For the next couple of hours we talked non-stop (even though I thought his name was Brian for a time). He kept smiling at me and making my heart melt more. Eventually when he told me he wanted to kiss me, I decided to play coy and say, “I don’t kiss boys in bars.” HAH! What a crock. Sexy man ever so smoothly replied, “Then let’s go outside.” So we did.

After 20 tries, I found the best kiss yet. Three years later I still think so and just can’t get enough of him. Between the first kiss bet and possibly my worst pick-up line ever, we have a pretty unique story. Definitely one to tell the grandbabies 30 years from now!

How did you meet your S.O.?

– C

28 First Kisses- My Guest Blog

Hey there, lovely readers!

While my friend, Daile, is out gallivanting across the globe for a few weeks, she so kindly asked me to write a guest post for her wonderful blog, KISSMEOUTOFDESIRE. I was flattered and SO excited to be featured on her page because I love reading all of her posts. Please check out her page (and while you’re at it, click that little follow button). Daile is quite hilarious and has some especially witty dating quips, so I’m sure you will love her.

For my post, specifically, click 28 First Kisses to read the story leading up to the night I met Ryan and my life changed forever (swoon). Next, I will be posting about that fateful night we met over dollar beers at the local dive bar- so romantic, I know. Stay tuned!

– C

Oh Oreo, Oreo! Wherefore art thou, Oreo?

In my belly, that’s where! Yup, I just housed six Oreos and feel no shame. But where did this sudden craving come from? And why does society tell me it’s not okay to do this?

I was at the local grocery store yesterday and was cutting through the snack/cookie aisle to get to the registers- this is never a good idea. Why don’t I ever remember I should go down the organic aisle or produce or something until I’m already staring at the glorious, blue packages of Oreos? They’re a guilty pleasure of mine that I find extremely difficult to resist if my mind so much as hints that I should have some. Yes, I have been told and am well aware that they’re processed garbage that I should not allow to enter my body.

I relented and gave in to my sudden salivation tossing a pack of double stuffed into my cart. They looked strangely out of place next to my granola, fat free yogurt, and pile of veggies. Yet, they were all I could think about as I cashed out, drove home, and put away my other purchases. As soon as everything was in its proper place, I tore into the package of Double Stuf Oreos like it was my freaking job. You would think I hadn’t eaten all week to see me inhale those cookies.

Dip in milk, bite, repeat. Oh, the deliciousness!

So, where do these sudden, intense cravings come from? Apparently there’s a crazy mix of biological, chemical, and brain action that leads to cravings and affects more women than men (surprise, surprise). Considering I am not PMSing, I’m not sure of the reason for the immediacy of this particular craving, but I am okay with it existing. There is no reason to feel guilty for indulging in an inexplicable need for a certain food once in awhile. Sure, I wish I craved things like broccoli; however, what’s the fun in life without giving into your primal need for pleasure every now and again? It just so happened that the pleasure I desired involved my taste buds.

I plan to finish this whole package by myself. It may take me a week. It may take me two months. But I won’t allow myself to feel one drop of embarrassment or guilt for enjoying every last delectable bite.

Why Everyone Should Have a Spring Break

I know I have been doing a lot of lists lately, but this one is pretty essential. One of the biggest perks of working in a school is the time off throughout the school year. I have been loving my vacation so far and was very sad when Ryan had to return to work this morning. Everyone should have a Spring Break! And here’s why:

  1. We all need a mental break from work once in awhile.
  2. Vacations reduce stress which, in turn, increases productivity.
  3. Who doesn’t like to travel?
  4. Or just sit on your butt for a few days?
  5. The house needs a good cleaning after being closed up all winter.spring-cleaning.jpg
  6. Winter was horrendous this year and I think we all need a little time in the sun right now.
  7. If you have kids, there’s quality time to spend as a family.
  8. Or if you work with kids like me, there’s quality “quiet” time without kids around.
  9. Sleeping in once in awhile is essential to human sanity.
  10. Your health can improve from reduced stress.
  11. Work, work, work with no play makes for a lame day.
  12. Time to catch up on all of your favorite shows.
  13. Or binge watch movies if it’s rainy that day.
  14. You might remember why you liked your job in the first place.
  15. Work on developing a new or existing hobby.
  16. Enjoy the afternoon sunshine for once!GIFSec.com
  17. Cook a fancy meal without rushing to prepare it after work.
  18. Forget your road rage by avoiding rush hour traffic.
  19. You could finally clean out your wardrobe of 10 year old ill-fitting clothing.
  20. You can get in touch with yourself again and find what makes you happy without the pressures of a work week.

Why do you need a Spring Break?

– C

Missing in Action

It’s the week before Spring Break here at school and all of my motivation to complete annual reviews, reports, and IEPs has gone out the window; it’s missing in action. You know how kids mentally go on vacation before vacation actually begins? Well, I have discovered the same damn thing happens to teachers. Technically I’m not a teacher, but I work with children in a school and they refer to me as their speech teacher, so I’m going with it.

It doesn’t help that today is pajama day as part of our Spirit Week celebrating Autism Awareness Month. Mondays are hard! This morning I realized that convincing myself to do work while I am in pajamas is even harder.

20140407-092154.jpg

 

So, I am daydreaming about all of the glorious relaxation that I will be experiencing in only 96 hours when I am done with work for the week. I can’t wait for a mini getaway with Ryan to Burlington, VT. It’s one of the coolest little cities with great craft beer and farm-fresh food! Once we get back, I will be spending some quality time with the couch and probably doing a little cleaning.

Where’s your mind this Monday? Anyone else have Spring Break coming?

– C

21 Things I Absolutely Love

Happy Monday! To follow up on my post from Friday, 21 Things I Absolutely Can’t Stand, I want to go the happy route and spend some time gushing about things I love. Just an FYI, any products I happen to mention are not paying me in any way (I wish!).

  1. My man. I have to start with this one. He’s just such a blessing in my life. With him I have learned what mature love is like and can be my 100% authentic self.293252_10151163667367223_1183993985_n
  2. My family. I have such wonderful parents and sisters. Sure, we had our fights and rough times, but we have always supported one another. My parents are two of the most amazing examples of lasting love and exceptional parenting. I look up to them more and more as time goes on.
  3. Reading. As a child I had such a passion for reading that my parents had to hide my books from me so I would eat dinner and do my homework. Luckily they also fostered my habit by providing me with frequent trips to the library. Nowadays, I am really into mysteries, thrillers, some historical fiction, and fantasy. Game of Thrones is about as fantasy as it gets for me, though.
  4. Game of Thrones. I have read all of the books and am dying for season 4 to begin next week. It’s about to get serious.
  5. Red Wine. Pretty much every kind of red wine, ever. I prefer a dry, bold red, but will take just about anything.
  6. Pole Fitness. Yup, I’ve been promoting this pretty hardcore lately. I can’t get enough!
  7. Wen. Especially the sweet almond mint scent. Makes my hair feel amazing! So soft and shiny! Try some Wen for yourself.

  8. Scented candles. I’m not a brand snob; if it smells great, I’m in!
  9. Throw pillows. I have entirely too many. It’s so much cheaper to have neutral furniture and jazz it up with new pillows when I feel like a change.
  10. Harry Potter. I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. After reading the first four books in one week, I pre-ordered each following book and begged my dad not to hide them from me. The movies were done quite well, too.
  11. My iPhone. This is my first smart phone and I’m probably a little too attached to it.
  12. Fou’ Foune. From Brasserie Cantillon, a true whale. This apricot lambic is extremely difficult to come upon and I have been lucky enough to experience a few bottles in the past three years. One was a gift from Ryan’s friend for my graduation from graduate school. What a gift!

    Ryan enjoying a Fou' Foune.

    Ryan enjoying a Fou’ Foune.

  13. Watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Just don’t eat too many at once or the sugar burns your tongue. Clearly I discovered this through experience.
  14. Binge watching TV shows. Finding a new series and watching all 156 episodes in a few weeks is something everyone should do at least once.
  15. Chocolate. I’m a woman. That’s my excuse.
  16. My Mini Cooper S. Go turbo or go home.
  17. Heated Seats. Really the best invention ever and a necessity in upstate NY. I don’t know how I lived without them. Now if only I could afford a car with a heated steering wheel…
  18. Shoes. I know, typical female. I wish I could wear heels to work, but that would be dangerous when chasing around my little peanuts. I also have an obsession with shoes I can’t afford, such as Brian Atwood and Christian Louboutin.
  19. Massages. Who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing rub down?
  20. Cooking and baking. This is a huge stress reliever for me. If I have had a rough day, I want to prepare a meal while sipping on a glass of wine and listening to music. I don’t want to be talked to while I do this.
  21. Myself. I have had to learn to love myself, but I think it is hugely important for all women to do. I am flawed and weak at times. I am stubborn and sometimes a little selfish. I am reactive and can be unorganized. Despite all of these things, I also have some pretty great qualities that I have been more willing to focus on in my twenties. My mom always said, “You cannot love another until you truly love yourself.” The truth of this has become more blatantly obvious the more I have grown and has contributed immensely to where I am in life today.

 

Have a great week, everyone! Focus on the positive 🙂

– C

 

21 Things I Absolutely Can’t Stand

I recently read a post titled 21 Things I Irrationally Hate.  I loved the idea of it and, since I have been trying very hard to keep “hate” out of my vocabulary, decided to write about things I can’t stand (not all irrationally). I would like to follow up with 21 things I love, so stay tuned!

Without further ado:

  1. The word lisp. As an SLP, I think this word is just plain mean. What asshole decided this?
  2. Mouth sounds, especially chewing and sucking. During meditation at the end of a yoga class the woman next to me popped a cough drop. Instead of focusing on my inner peace, I contemplated punching her in the face for ten minutes.
  3. Computer illiteracy. It is completely unacceptable in this day and age to not know how to attach a document to an email. Especially after you’ve been shown five times.
  4. Clowns. They’re just really creepy.
  5. Needles. I hate shots and blood draws, but I have a tattoo and plan to get more. I realize this doesn’t make much sense.
  6. Bad drivers. I think everyone can relate to this one with me. I also think everyone has been a bad driver at one point or another.
  7. The cost of tampons. I swear they cost more every month.
  8. Endometriosis. Refer to my post If Endometriosis were a person…  for reasoning.
  9. Dry feet and hands. I can’t sleep if my feet or hands feel dry. There’s this icky feeling of them being up against my nice soft sheets that forces me out of bed to put on lotion no matter what time of night.
  10. Mosquito bites. Another itchy feeling. I’ve actually gone to the pharmacy at 2am to buy anti-itch cream after waking up several times scratching.
  11. Lipstick. It’s one of those fashion things I really wish I could get into. I see it look great on so many people, but I just look like a 10 year old playing dress up with mommy’s make up. Maybe I just need to find the right color?
  12. People who spell/say my name wrong.  I get it, Carolyn and Caroline are very close. However, if I sign an email with my name and you respond with the wrong spelling, I question your intelligence. And when you call me Caroline after I have corrected you 30 times, I think you’re a jerk.
  13. “Sweet Caroline.” I can’t tell you how many drunk boys sang this to me in college. Ugh!
  14. Confusion of you’re/your, there/their/they’re, and to/too. I’m not really the grammar police because I certainly make mistakes, but these ones really drive me nuts.
  15. Unprofessional dress at work. Leggings are not pants. Period.
  16. Being tall. This one is pretty irrational. People often say they wish they were my height (just shy of 5’8″), but I wouldn’t mind going down a few inches. I love heels, but never wear them because I feel like I tower over people.
  17. Fad diets. I’m much happier in my “I’ll eat whatever I want in moderation” state of mind. Seeing all of my Facebook friends rave about their latest Paleo or low-carb diet kills me.
  18. Daily Selfies. Sure I do a selfie here and there when I’m having a good hair day, but  I really don’t need a day-by-day account of your various flattering angles.
  19. Hipsters. What does that even mean anymore?
  20. People hating on my pole dancing class. Broaden your horizons, folks. It’s great exercise!
  21. Losing my pens at work. Good thing I keep extras in my folder at all times!

What are some things that drive you crazy? I would love to see your list.

Next up, 21 thing I LOVE!

– C

Pole Fitness vs. Exotic Pole Dancing. A Biased Opinion.

In light of last week’s open house at Lorraine Michaels Dance Centre, I felt the need to express my opinion on the two pole dancing classes offered at the studio. Keep in mind that I am highly biased because I take Heather’s class and it is the perfect fit for me. I stress for me because everyone is looking for something different in a class.

I have never taken the Thursday night classes offered by another instructor and was looking forward to the open house so I could see how hers differed. They were scheduled to perform and I was very curious! I sat down at the front of the dimly lit room with no expectations.

Dressed in black clothing, the women took their respective places by the four  poles and two chairs set up. I was surprised to notice the instructor standing by a chair in the performance area occupied by a man (not many men are typically seen around pole class). As the rock music played, I was transfixed and somewhat appalled. It took a serious effort to keep my mouth from gaping open in surprise. The instructor was giving a legitimate lap dance to this man in the chair (who I am assuming was her husband?) and the whole room had transformed into a strip club, luckily no removal of clothing was happening. A painful 8 minutes of discomfort was about all I could handle when watching this performance. I could feel the awkwardness in the air coming off of the other viewers who had just come from watching a beautiful waltz performance in the other studio. That sealed it, the other class was definitely not for me.

I would like to thank my instructor, Heather, for making the women in her class feel empowered, sexy, and strong without teaching us to grope ourselves or slide our hands provocatively up and down the pole. I feel like I am taking an aerial art class, not How to Be a Stripper 101. Had I gone to this other class the first time, I would have left before it was over and never returned. Instead, I found a great new hobby that works out all of my muscles and makes me feel more confident.

20140325-154431.jpg

That’s me doing my “I’m tired” version of a flag. Do you have any experiences with pole dancing? I would love to hear them!

– C