Go Kings!

My heart is swelling with pride.

I’m glued to local television coverage of the Sacramento Kings

Long Live the Kings Rally.

As a Kings fan, we’ve been in turmoil and a haze of wonder for the past few years.

Would our team stay?  Or would they go?

And finally, I can finally sit here with immense pride

not only for my beloved team, but for my city.

photo-22I have so many amazing memories of this team.

Above is just a small picture of the years I’ve spent cheering for this time

beside my family, and now, my husband to be.

I’ve been attending games for as long as I can remember.

My brother and I made friends with the long time usher in our section,

and we even have developed our own pre and post game rituals.

And if Dad comes with, there’s always the after game jog to the car,

just so we can hear Gary Gerould’s final commentary following the game.

The Kings came to Sacramento in 1984, the year I was born.

And my life has been filled with Sacramento Kings memories since then.

My high school graduation party guests sat glued to the television

as the Kings (sadly) lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Another season, my brother and I found ourselves on the Jumbo-tron

with a giant poster for Beno Udrich – “Beno es Bueno.”

And one of my favorite memories was my first date with

the soon-to-be Mr.

See!  I even saved our tickets from that night.

photo-24

Then there are the memories of sitting in the arena

during the two “Final Games” in 2011 and 2013,

where we didn’t know if this would be the final time

we’d watch Sacramento Kings basketball.

Both were two, very different nights with different emotions, but both held uncertainty.

But the end is here!  The Kings are here to stay!

So, long live the Kings!

For this is only the beginning of more memories to come.

I can’t wait for the day that Chris and I get to take our kids

to a Sacramento Kings game.

Though as a city, we’ve been through a rollercoaster of emotions,

the best are ahead.

Never been prouder to be a Kings fan!

Go Kings!

Advertisements

Beautiful, Beautiful Books

photo-21This picture was my happy place today.

No time in the school day brings me more joy

than our moments after lunch when we read our chapter book together.

My class is about two thirds of the way through our last novel of the year,

Holes, by Louis Sachar.

The best part is, I actually have a class set of this one.

My heart does a little pitter patter every time I see my students

get comfy with their copy as they follow along.

One girl loves to rest her chin on her desk with her eyes on the text.

Another boy likes to rest his forehead on the desk with the book in his lap.

Another is literally consumed by his book because it practically covers his face.

Just when I think I’ll catch one off task, I realize, they’re just getting in their cozy spot.

They’re bonding with their books!

So as we read today, I had a lightbulb moment.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see all the books we’ve read together in one big stack?

As the students traded turns reading pages,

I did a quick rummage around the room to collect them all.

Eight in all, and what a beautiful pile of books!

I wish you could have seen two of my girls who sit in back

oohing and ahhing at the sight.

Those are our books!  We’ve read them all this year! one whispered.

Wait, let me count them! the other joined in.

I’m telling you, books have bonded us together.

As I look at each title, I am reminded of a different time frame of the year.

It reminds me of the journey we’ve taken through this school year.

And it makes my heart feel so full.

There’s already a countdown in the teachers lounge

for number of school days left until sweet summer begins.

And I’m not going to lie, I’m more than ready.

But today, that stack of books brought me the bit of joy I needed.

Be tough. Be strong.

This evening’s run was not one of my favorites,

but it was definitely a good one.

I only ran 3 miles and did intervals of 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking.

It was hot, my lips were mostly chapped,

and my pre-run half a bagel was probably not the best snack choice.

Due to the weather, there wasn’t much people watching today either.

Most of the time, when the beeps sounded for my walks,

I was thankful.

But I promise, it was a good run.

Starting from scratch isn’t always fun,

but today I was reminded how much running disciplines me.

It toughens the mind and makes the heart feel strong.

On runs like today, when I am mostly coaching myself to keep going,

it is the end of the run that is the most satisfying.

As my stomach ached and I licked my chapped lips,

my mantra became “Be strong. Be tough.”

For I could remember days long ago when I was just a running newbie,

and may have given in to the negatives surrounding this run.

These are the runs that train me so I can have the best runs.

The hard work of today will pay off tomorrow.

This evening’s run was not one of my favorites,

but it was definitely a good one.

Nothing can stop me now

I felt like a little girl on Christmas Eve.

I knew it was well past time for bed,

but I just couldn’t sleep.

For the excitement for the coming day kept me awake,

but then again, so did the never-ending question, Is this really a good idea?

Sooner or later slumber greeted me, but morning arrived quickly.

photo-17Since returning to running I’ve been sticking to a slow and steady return.

April and May were meant to be ‘run for fun’ months

so that I could build up a base and really test my legs to see if they were ready.

But when my aunt invited me to run a Race for the Cure 5k with her,

I just couldn’t resist.  I signed up.

It was just a 5k, right?  I’d be fine. I prayed my legs wouldn’t fail me.

race for the cure

Brewing a small cup of coffee, the zing of race day surged inside me.

I couldn’t wait to arrive and be among the people.

Though I always arrive way earlier than I should to races,

there’s something about the atmosphere that calms me.

The pre-race music, the people watching, and the children running about.

As I walked around the sea of people, my nerves became calm.

I started to feel more and more ready.

Bring it on!

This race definitely felt different.

For once, I wasn’t the least bit concerned about my overall time,

rather just curious what pace I could hold.

I decided to let my aunt do the pacing, and I was just along for the ride.

I wanted to take it in, and return to this happy place of mine.

Gliding along the pavement, and letting my mind run free.

The first mile and a half felt amazing!

We were zipping through the course,

and I could tell by my breathing that I was actually ready for this.

Then mile two hit, and I had to really get serious.

I started to feel tired, but I just couldn’t slow down.

I had to reach that finish line and feel good about it.

Push. I’d tell myself. Push.

I reminded myself to push because I knew I could hang on,

not because I wanted to push myself faster.

I just wanted to run, and keep running.

The finish line grew closer and I could feel the relief inside me.

I’d made it and I had no care to even look at my watch.

It’d been a year since I’d crossed a finish line.

But in that moment, I felt more unstoppable than ever.

photo-16

My PR for a 5k is 28:04. Looks like I almost broke a PR on accident! Not too shabby!

The name of the game is still slow and steady

as far as training is concerned.

But it makes me feel good to know I still got it!

Summer Bucket List – Edition 2

 Last summer I made a bucket list

of all the things I wanted to do over my summer vacation

and I have to say – I was pretty darn successful!

There were a few here and there that went left unchecked,

but I’ve decided to make this a yearly tradition.

So here comes the second annual summer bucket list!

2013’s Summer Bucket List

1. Go camping at least once a month.  This includes May, June, and July.  May is included because well, I went camping in April, and we have a trip planned for May.   Why not keep the tradition going?

2. Visit the American River as much as possible. This includes floating down the river, running on the bike trail, and just visiting to skip a rock or two.  Last summer I didn’t do this nearly enough!!

3. Sew a dress for my rehearsal dinner with Abuela.

4. Wedding crafts/projects galore!

5. Try out trail running!    I’ve heard its good for your knees. But I’ve also heard, once you start, you’ll never go back.

6. Sign up for at least one race.  I’m dying to race, but I’m trying to return to running slowly. Man is it hard!

7. Read. A ton.  Same goal as last summer – try to read one book for every week of summer.  7 total.

8. Take a day road trip all my lonesome.  Lake Tahoe, the ocean, who knows!  Just looking to be spontaneous.

9. Run, run, run.  Last summer I wasn’t able to, so this summer calls for lots of early morning runs in the cool air before the temps reach 95+.

10. Spend time outside as much as possible – Friday Night Concerts, River Cats games, Picnics, Bike Rides, any excuse!

11. Eat ice cream at three of the best parlors in the Sacramento area – Vics, Gunthers, and Snooks.  I’ve only had Gunthers before, and as an ice cream lover, I think it’s about time I tried the other two!

12. Make it a baseball summer!  I have fond memories of Abuelo spending time watching baseball on a hot summer day for hours and hours and I never understood why.  Now, I’m loving the game more than I ever have.  Here’s hoping I can catch a few games in person, and if not, cheer from the couch whenever possible.  Go Giants!

13. See The Great Gatsby and Man of Steel.

14. Cross at least one thing off my 30 before 30 list.  Will this be the summer I finally make an ice cream cake?  Who knows!

15. Go shopping for fresh fruit and veggies at a Farmers Market.  Sacramento has such great farmers markets and I never take advantage!  May this be the summer I bike and shop at these fun events!

16. House hunting! Chris and I are on the hunt for our very first house.  Hopefully this summer we’ll find our perfect home!

17. Finally make some homemade salsa.  Sadly I won’t be able to use freshly grown tomatoes from my own garden (there’s no room for tomato plants at my apartment) but perhaps when I complete #15 I can use local tomatoes to make some salsa!

18. Watch SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance)!  What would my summer Wednesdays and Thursdays be without SYTYCD?! It’s only my favorite show!

Summer is inching closer by the minute.

I think this will serve as enough motivation to get me through

these last few weeks of school.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

What will be your Space Jam?

Inspiration comes from funny places sometimes.

This week marks our first week of state testing

and I have to say, I feel just as exhausted as the kids.

Not to mention, stress levels are a little high around campus.

So in an attempt to hide from the negativity and the stress

I hid in my classroom, threw on some Iron and Wine Pandora,

and checked my email.

And there was this happy little gem of inspiration.

The perfect encouraging video to brighten my day.

Today I showed this video to my kids

as a method to lighten the mood amidst the anxiety of testing

and remind my kids life goes on beyond this almighty test.

I have to admit, as I sat at my back table, and enjoyed this video with them

I did get a little teary eyed.

Every kid was glued to these words from Kid President

and genuinely enjoyed every minute of his words.

Sometimes when we feel like giving up,

its the exact moment we just need a little push to keep going.

A little bit of inspiration from an unexpected place.

Thanks, Kid President.  Thanks for your pep talk.