29

I found myself in a weak moment today.

I was interrupted from my morning lesson planning

by a knock on my classroom door.

A former student and her two younger siblings.

“Mrs. D,” she said.  “I brought you this note I wrote you.

I didn’t know yesterday was your birthday.”

She handed me a folded sheet of binder paper,

decorated with purple hearts, my favorite color.

I’ve received notes from students before, but none like this one.

I’d like to consider myself a tough teacher.

I hold in my laughter and sense of humor often.

I try to be strict.

My parents would tell you I’m the teacher who never smiles.

But as I stood and read this note,

the tears welled up and there was no stopping them.

I hugged her and thanked her,

and almost accidentally shooed her away and closed the door.

I wasn’t ready to let a student see me cry.

29 was a good birthday, but not the best.

After that note though, it was better than good.

Thanks to students like Alexa, a little extra sunshine brightened up this birthday.

I hope I never forget this day.

alexa

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Speedy Quick

Holy bananas!

My, has it been awhile!

Life has been busy – with getting married, buying a house,

and training for a half marathon.

Yep, I said it.  I’m back in the game!

I signed up for a half marathon in late November,

which is dedicated as my “comeback run” after being basically injured for a year.

Training has already had its ups and downs.

This Sacramento weather just can’t make up its mind.

One day it feels like summer, another feels like fall.

So my after work runs have been a little hot and slow.

But I’ve been crossing miles off the training schedule,

and that’s all that matters!

Last weekend I nearly had a crying fit because I missed my long run,

so this morning I had a little more amp in my step.

Well!  What a glorious long run it was!

Sometimes you need a little motivation to push yourself to your best,

and today it was the girl who was running faster than me up ahead the trail.

I consider myself a medium speed runner – usually a 10 minute mile,

so people who pass me usually don’t get to me.

But for some reason, today I was a little irked,

so I pushed myself to go faster.

Long story short, I finished my run with 9:15 splits!

Who knew I had it in me?  I certainly did not.

My best half marathon time was 2:02,

but just after that is when I injured my knee.

I’ve been dying to get back to that kind of shape ever since.

Maybe my comeback really is here.

And it feels damn good.

The end of an era

photo-31So, great news!

Chris and I are officially homeowners!!

The process was actually quick and painless.

We looked online, chose a list of houses,

and our relator took us through them.

House number 6 out of 7 was the one

so we put in an offer – and – long story short,

it’s ours!!

Of course, yesterday when we got the keys

I was out the door loading boxes into my little Honda.

But after the last load for the night was packed,

I looked around my apartment

and was met with unsuspecting tears falling from my face.

It’s the end of an era.

This apartment was a symbol of my independence.

And though I am ecstatic to start my newest journey and adventure,

it is a little hard to say goodbye.

5 years ago when I moved in to my first and only apartment without roommates,

I had no idea what adventures would come my way.

This apartment has seen me through the ups and downs of starting a career.

I subbed in every nearing district, praying for a job, but soon,

the downturn of the economy and lack of teaching jobs led to a stint of unemployment.

But this apartment also was the scene of the phone call

with news I’d been hired for my first teaching job.

This place was my safe haven during a crazy breakup,

a place to party during my single party girl phase,

and the place Chris picked me up for our first date.

I feel like so much has happened here.

I feel like I’ve grown up into the person I want to be in this place.

They say, “When one door closes, another one opens.”

Well, the door to my single girl life is closing,

and the door to an exciting future as Mrs. DiPlacito is opening.

When I look at it that way, it makes it hard to be sad.

The era of my Q street apartment ends here,

but may the memories never fade.

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?

The best days of my life

I am in a cloud of bliss.

Pure bliss.

I feel like all my life I’ve been waiting,

looking towards the next benchmark in my life.

Hoping, praying, wishing.

I feel like there was always so much waiting.

Dreaming of what life would be like

after I graduated college, found a real job, met an actual nice guy,

started my real life.

And finally I am here.

Bragging makes me feel uncomfortable,

but honestly, I can’t hold myself back in this moment.

Because I feel so damn lucky to be in this moment right now.

DSCN1374

On December 20th, near the steps of the state capital

and in front of a beautiful Christmas tree

my deepest wish came true.

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Parts of that night are seriously a blur,

because I was just so happy and excited and emotional.

“We’re going to have the best life,” I remember saying tearfully.

But whenever I think of that night

or my future ahead of me,

my heart becomes so full, as if it may burst.

I never knew it was possible to feel this happy,

to contain this much joy and feel so much optimism for life.

Maybe all that waiting and wishing was worth it.

Tears of frustration and pouts of anguish.

Totally worth it.

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Cheers to the start of 2013.

Which I am convinced is only the beginning of

the best days of my life.

Bliss, I tell you, pure bliss!

May it never end!

Shopping Carts

So we’re halfway through December,

and I’m doing my best to complete my list of Random Acts of Kindness.

#23 – Actually walk my shopping cart back to the store

instead of leaving it in the parking lot for one of the clerks to come collect.

My initial idea was to complete each item on the list once

and complete 30 total acts of kindness.

However, my plans have changed just a little.

Seeing as it’s the 19th and I’ve only completed 7 items on my list,

I’ve realized that that’s okay because

I’ve found myself being more aware of this idea

that December is my month of kindness

and it’s motivated me to do some of these kind things on a regular basis

rather than just once.

 For example, take shopping carts –

The first time, it was easy.  I felt good.  I was lightening the load for someone else.

But each time after, when I visited the grocery store

I felt guilty if I didn’t walk my cart back to the store.

It’s like I’m breaking the rules if I get lazy

and don’t feel like walking it all the way back

when really, it’s no big deal.

I know that this is no world peace spreading act,

but I’d like to think it’s just one way to remind me

to be a little more thoughtful of others this month

and to continue on with my Acts of Kindness list.

Acts of Kindness

Well, December is here,

and with that, I’ve begun my month of Kindness project

as a part of my 30 before 30 bucket list.

I finally finished making my list of the 30 things I will do this month

in order to spread a little extra kindness to strangers

and the ones I love most.

I have to say, this took some research.

I wanted to keep this project low cost,

and I wanted each item to be easily attainable.

Now, I’d love to shell out a ton of money to brighten a stranger’s day

but that would leave me broke and not feeling so kind and cheery.

So though some of these tasks seem minor,

to me, they are enough to push me out of my daily routine

and do something nice and/or thoughtful for someone else.

Day 1: Send a note in the mail to a friend, just because.

Easy enough, right?  Shockingly, the hardest part was deciding who to send it to.

I have so many great friends that it was hard to choose just one person.

I have to admit, it felt a little funny writing a note to a friend

when it wasn’t her birthday, and she wasn’t getting married

or having a child.

But honestly, who doesn’t enjoy getting mail?

Like, actual mail, not bills, credit card offers or a catalog?

Here’s hoping this brightens my friend’s day.

Day 2: Surprise grandma with a visit, just to say hello.

My abuela has been on vacation in Miami since the beginning of November,

and it’s been strange not having her around.

She got back last night, and I knew a call to welcome her home

would have been sufficient.

But I knew an unexpected visit would have been that much better.

So this morning, I drove to her house and didn’t call her until I was around the corner.

Greeted by tons of hugs and kisses and squeals of delight,

I knew this was much better.

I showed her the skirt I sewed all by myself weeks earlier

for her to admire and praise with her ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs.’

She shared all the adventures of her travels

and I ‘oohed’ and ‘aahhed’ in jealousy.

Before we knew it, an hour had passed.

A phone call probably would have been quicker,

and probably, still, would have made her day.

But this meant more.

I could have gone to the hot yoga class I wanted to attend,

and called her on the way,

but this was more important.

Welcome home, Abuela!  You were missed!