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?

All I wanna do..

Lately my motivation for the day

is that I have an afternoon run waiting for me.

Most people would read this and think

that maybe I’m stressed out or that life has been a little hard lately.

But it’s really not that.

It’s more that I’ve missed running so much, and I’m finally able to run again,

that it’s really all I want to do.

And when I’m not running, its on my mind most of the time.

I feel like a seventh grade girl who can’t stop thinking about her crush.

When I wake up in the morning and realize it’s a running day

there is an instant buzz inside me.  An anticipation.

Though it’s frustrating knowing the run distance is minuscule

compared to my runs of the past,

I’m just happy to be out there.

I thrive on the feeling I get when a workout is complete

and I wholeheartedly believe in the “Runners High.”

There’s nothing like it.

Running clears my head, brings positivity in my heart

and makes me feel like a champ.

There’s nothing I’d rather do.

My next scheduled running day won’t be for a few days.

After all, I am trying my best to ‘take it easy.’

(Easier said than done.)

But maybe this slow and steady start

has allowed me to appreciate my sport, and cherish it, that much more.

A Runners take on Boston

Aside

 Running for me is about the challenge.

It’s about those moments when I overcome the thoughts of “I can’t”

and replacing them with, “Yes, I can!”

That surge of energy when the finish line is near

when I can see it, and I push myself to get there.  Faster.

As I was camping this weekend,

I read all about the Boston Marathon in the May edition of Runners World.

It was really the first time I ever read about the race and thought,

Man, wouldn’t that be kick ass if I could somehow qualify for that?

The thought never even crossed my mind.

Hell, I’m just trying to get strong enough to finish my first marathon.

But yesterday, when I read those horrible news stories about

the tragedy in Boston, my heart dropped.

It’s hard for me to imagine

training for months and months to even qualify to run the Boston Marathon

then train even harder to be sure I crossed the finish line with pride in Boston,

THEN have it all ruined by a horrible, horrible ending

or not even an ending at all.

It leaves a pit in my stomach.

People are cruel.

And sometimes they ruin the fun for everyone.

Let this not ruin the camaraderie that races bring.

The “We can do this!” attitude

and the idea that we all look out for each other on the course.

Races are supposed to bring people together.

Let’s stick together and not let that fade.

Whoever did this should not take all of that away from us.

The next time I cross a finish line, I’ll be thinking of those runners.

The ones that crossed the finish line,

and sadly, the ones that didn’t.

Those that ran the race, and then had the strength to be a hero and give blood.

I will run for them.

Talk about something to push me across that finish line faster.

Let it not be the Last

 April 13th, 2011

is a day I remember pretty vividly,

yet the parts of the day that stick out most

are the early morning and the late evening.

It was the “Last Game” that the Sacramento Kings

were supposedly going to play in Arco Arena

ever.

My day began listening to old Kings memories on the radio

as my old favorite morning show (that is no longer)

reminisced the days of old, the Good Times with the Kings.

Tearfully as I entered the parking lot to work,

I just had to call Dad.

My boyfriend and I had tickets to the game

and so did my brother and his girlfriend.

But Dad’s plan was to sit at home and watch the game.

It just didn’t feel right.

I couldn’t imagine that the team he’d taught me to love

would be playing without him in the seats watching.

Flash forward –

That night, I took in every moment.

Would this really be the last time I’d cheer my heart out for this team?

I sat in the upper deck, with a perfect view of our season ticket seats.

As the warmups began, I couldn’t help but replay memories

of my childhood memories in that place.

The game turned out to be a nail-biter, with the Kings losing in the final minutes

to our eternal rival, the Lakers.

But it was a good one.

And when it was all over, I had a hard time leaving.

How could I get up and leave?  Leave these memories behind?

Two years later,

and the story isn’t much different.

Tomorrow is the season finale for the Sacramento Kings.

Yes, they’re still here.  But our future is still unknown.

We’re still waiting for an answer.  For clarity.

Still waiting, for the confirmation that our team is here to stay.

The newspapers around here report a different story every day.

We really have no idea.  There are still so many questions that go unanswered.

Yet tomorrow I know there won’t be tears,

because this time I go to the game with hope.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m a fan of the underdog

and I’m pulling for the underdog in this case.

I’m hoping that the nation and the NBA will finally wake up

and see what an amazing franchise the Sacramento Kings really is

and that they will let the team stay where it belongs.

But the most important thing, is that if it really is the “Last Game”

everything will be okay,

because Dad will be in the stands with me

watching our team to the very end.

Go Kings!

Friday Joy

 This day began with a horribly bad mood.

A grumpy cloud loomed over me,

just as Eeyore’s.

Annoyed in more ways than one,

today began as a terrible day.

I even have to admit, I had two mini freak-outs

before the children even arrived this morning.

But let’s not dwell on that…

Let’s talk about the numerous ways this day was made well again!

Ahhhh Friday…

You bring joy to my heart on a weekly basis.

But today, you brought joy especially!

Here’s how:

1. Hilarious jokes on the talk radio show

I religiously listen to on the way home –

The Grant Napear Show

2. The swatches of the bridesmaid dresses

I want to order came in the mail, except two were missing…

but the joy came when I found the $25 dollar off coupon

they included for the inconvenience.

That’s a way to make a girl smile!

3. Lastly, a date night with my sweetheart that couldn’t have been more perfect.

Beer and Basketball at a local bar

to watch our team, Duke, play in the March Madness Sweet 16.

Not to mention,

we luckily seated ourselves just a few tables away

from a former Duke point guard, Chris Duhon,

who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers

and is in town for the Kings vs. Lakers game tomorrow night.

We cheered with him and Robert Sacre

(including a few fist bumps!) as Duke played to their victory.

So, Friday, I thank you for bringing me a change of heart.

Today wasn’t so bad after all.

Cheers to the weekend, readers!

Dreams of Disneyland

 I spent my lunch with another teacher

and all our students who had earned “Community Lunchbox,”

a reward students can earn for doing their homework all week.

Just as I was about to finish eating,

a group of girls came to my table area and began asking,

“Miss Friedrich, can we come to your wedding?

Can we come over to your house and hang out with you after school?”

(There are two girls from this group that ask me this on a daily basis.

I don’t think they get that teachers and students don’t hang out

and have play dates like they do with their friends.)

Of course I said no to both, but with a smile.

Our banter about them coming over has become a daily joke.

Soon, they began asking questions about my ‘future husband’

and the pictures I had up in the room of he and I.

When I pointed out a picture of us at Disneyland,

they immediately began asking,

“If we can’t come over, will you take us to Disneyland?!”

My quick wits gave me a great idea.

“Sure!” I proclaimed.

Their eyes lit up and smiles spread across their faces,

“Really?!?!?” they asked.

“Yes.  I will go to Disneyland with you when you graduate college.”

My thought was that the likelihood they’ll actually contact me

after their college graduation could be slim,

and it sounded like a fun promise if it ever actually came true.

We laughed and joked about how they’ll need to Google me

to look up my contact information when the time finally comes.

“It’s a deal!” one said.  “But we need to shake on it.”

I complied, shaking on the deal.

As they excitedly ran out of the room to recess,

bragging to anyone who walked by,

“We’re gunna go to Disneyland with Ms. Friedrich!”

My team teacher and I looked at each other and laughed.

She warned me that in about 13 years

these girls actually could be calling me.

And you know what?  I’m okay with that.

If the memory of this pact does anything to motivate them in school

I’m completely okay with that.

I’ll let you know in about 13 years or so if we make it to Disneyland.

And to tell you the truth,

I’d be delighted if this dream really does come true.

Evens and Odds

 2012 was a good year for me.

Even numbered things are usually good for me.

Years.  Birthdays. The list goes on.

Even numbers are just lucky for me.

My birthday is on the 2nd.  Even.

My birthday month is the 10th month of the year. Even.

My soccer jersey number was always 20.  Even.

My apartment number is 2.  Even.

And years that end in even numbers are always good ones!

Take 2012 for example.

My two greatest highlights from this year had to do with even numbers.

Ran my best half marathon time in 2 hours and 2 minutes.

Got engaged on the 20th of December. 

And one important thing that came with this even year of 2012,

I started teaching the best class I’ve ever had. 

From the first week of the school year,

I’ve known this was a special class.

But today was one of those days that I knew they were really special.

It was our first day back to school after winter break.

The students had been assigned a book report project

to complete over the break and bring to school today.

Last year when I gave this project,

the end results were a little disappointing,

so believe me when I say I held my breath this morning

when I imagined what types of disasters could be turned in today.

But instead, I was pleasantly surprised with nothing more than amazing work.

I think the best was their faces as they proudly marched their projects 

from our morning assembly to the classroom.

It’s hard to find words right now to describe how it feels as a teacher

to see that your students really listen to what you say

and start to love what you love when it comes to school.

I harped on them and reminded them each day of December,

“I want to be ‘Wow’ed.’  Create a project that is going to make me say,

“WOW!”

And let me tell you, there was WOW’s all over the place!

The work that these kids put into those projects,

and the pride and satisfaction you could see on their faces of a job well done,

man, that’s when teaching becomes the best job in the world.

 

I ooh’ed and ahh’ed as I looked at each one after school today.

“I can’t wait to grade this stack of projects,” said no teacher ever.

Except for me.  Today.

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I’m telling you! Even numbers ROCK!

2012 was a good year.

This year brought me a class of students of a lifetime.

Today I was reminded that I need to cherish moments like these with my students.

Time will fly.  And then I’ll be reliving these moments in my mind.

So though 2013 doesn’t mark an even year,

it has set me up with a resolution I can live for.

To make this odd year a memorable one:

Enjoy the Moment.