Well Wishes...a homemade card shared on Wednesdays.
For six out of my seven semesters teaching I have made a class planner. It started when Mac asked me to make him one for high school...little did I know his request would end up being one of the best things I could do to help myself be a better teacher.
In the past, I have had the covers laminated and the book spiral bound. But the last couple times it hasn't been done very well, (even though I tried more than one place to have it done) which left me wondering how to solve the problem.
Right behind the cover I usually have fun with a title page. I discovered this design from Drew Ellis and loved the humor that in a year where my dream of a full-time position was a bust, it's time to re-focus on creating coursework for my students.
I print out my syllabus for each course with a few extra pages to keep track of participation assignments and office hour meetings. Then each week of the semester has two pages...one to brainstorm class plans and the other to write all the things I need to get done.
The index tabs take me to the course schedule for each class.
And of course there had to be a patterned paper bookmark too. I also bought the clear Arc planner pockets to store my notes and worksheets for class. Before I always had a file folder for each course, now it's all together in one item in my school bag. I just put in what I need for the day.
I always print note pages for each power point lecture where I add all the extra bits I want to tell my students...you can see a pink and blue lecture on gender tucked away.
In the past I was at the office supply store the night before the semester started begging to have this spiral bound with no time to spare. Now I can put in whatever extra things I can think of (or don't want to forget) and I can take out whatever I am not using.
So not to be overly dramatic or anything, but this class planner switch has been life changing.
During the school year, I prep a couple of dinners on the weekend and we switch back and forth between the two. This has been one of our meals this week and is a new favorite. Since it's taken me well into adulthood to start liking tomatoes, I never understood the tomato soup & grilled cheese combo. After concocting this, I totally get it...and it's amazing.
Creamy Tomato Soup
In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven melt butter over medium heat and cook onion and garlic until tender. Add canned diced tomatoes, sauce, paste and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender) to blend until smooth. Bring soup to a light simmer again, add bullion, sugar, heavy cream and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan. Serve sprinkled with remaining parmesan and a grilled cheese sandwich.
I made one last January and I made one for the summer that I never shared...oh and I made one for my new school planner too.
Now I've made one for fall. There really is nothing better than a fresh combination of patterns and colors.
We ended up with an hour on Sunday night to sit in the backyard and read. Mac started at the community college (first day of school photos forever). I have to make dinners on the weekend if we want to eat during the week and left Mac instructions to get it started in the oven. Sean turned 39, and since I couldn't stop by his school as I have been able to in the past, I mailed him a helium balloon and birthday decorations with a lot of washi tape on the box. And the joy of a Cal State...parking full, full, full.
I am halfway through the second week of the semester and so happy to be back in the classroom with a really great new batch of students.
Part of the reason it's so fun to be back is because my college courses almost always include an activity or two during class time. It's usually a lighthearted way to explore the concepts we are learning together, something like analyzing our favorite songs or brainstorming ideas while you draw with crayons.
For the last couple of years I have used sticks that I have been painting and stamping as a way for students to gather into different groups each day, but this summer I designed cards and had them printed.
The cards all have the same back (more stripes) and then I made forty different front designs. Students will pick up a card on their way into the classroom and whenever we are going to get in a group I'll let them know if it's by color, letter, number or symbol.
These cards get students into groups of five, which I have found to be enough minds working together that not everyone feels pressure to have to talk (in case they are more comfortable listening), however there are not too many people in case everyone does want to jump into the discussion.
While they work together, I continuously move from group to group, so my first trip around the room is to collect the cards back up for the day. It is extra awesome to get to consistently interact with students throughout the class time.
I had the cards printed through Moo since you can upload as many as fifty different designs in one batch of printed cards. They are just business cards that are thick and glossy with rounded edges so they stand up to being used by a over a hundred students.
If you would like to order cards you can get $15 off your order with this link (this is an affiliate link, so I would receive credit towards my next batch of cards). I am also happy to send you the file of the cards I designed. Either comment here (and make sure you've linked a current email address) or send me an email.
We had a few summer projects around here like we always do. I have already shared the closet and next up is our upstairs hallway.
For years we have had a very mismatched gallery wall full of family photos and I was eager to clean it up. Here's how it looked before...
You can see this hallway from downstairs, so I wanted to paint the wall a fun color. We actually now have this same color over the hood in our kitchen, on our bedroom dressers, and one wall in our family room.
I thought of hanging a new gallery wall, but really wanted something easier to switch out. After a bunch of brainstorming and Pinterest-ing, I came up with magnetic frames. I bought three big barn wood frames and we bought sheet metal at the hardware store. I wanted this to look cuter than that though, so we stretched some fabric over the metal and taped it down before popping the metal into the empty frame.
When we took down the photos we scanned in a ton of them since they were from the pre-digital era, then I had some of our very favorite photos reprinted.
Love that our favorite family memories are still there and can be easily switched out and added to anytime I want.
For the last year or so, I have been pretty obsessed with putting together a stripe of colors. It started when I was making a banner image (one of my favorite class planning details) for one of my course's online website and now pretty much all my courses have them on their homepage. They have been around here too...like the current banner and I am sure there will be more.
I decided to take the stripes I made for this semester's courses and make myself little notes for my class planner. Here's the file in case you'd like to print some out... download don't forget striped notes
I made a big change in class planners this summer and it's working so much better. I'll share more soon.
Truth be told, I get a little sad and overwhelmed when the school year starts. And by little I mean it usually includes at least one full-scale freak-out.
So, maybe it's not so little.
When Sean headed back to school last week I decided that, instead of wallowing, I would celebrate the new school year by decorating our mantle a little bit.
I also crafted up another fabric wreath (here is are two others I've made over the years: one, two). I pinned red fabric scraps around the styrofoam form. Then, to try to make it look like an apple, I roughly cut out a stem and leaves out of felt. I glued the felt pieces to card stock to help them stand up better.
So now any sadness or worry is totally cured. Woohoo the school year! Bring on the endless emails! The working all weekend! The grading, grading and more grading! The feeling of barely ever being caught up no matter how hard you try!
Okay, so maybe I am not quite cured...but the cute mantle does help.
Sean started school this past Monday and I have just over a week before classes start. However, I have five syllabi to write and five course websites to put together, so I have been working all week to start to get it all done.
Now hopefully we can find some time to continue all of them this fall...
Over the last few months, I have uploaded photos into a bunch of blog posts that I have just saved as drafts (including several recipes to write). These birthday thank you notes are one of them.
I stamped a new favorite thanks stamp and then used a pencil eraser to make the dots.
I made one card and realized it would be a fair amount of work to stamp over and over. So, I scanned it in and printed out what I needed.
I have done it before and I will definitely use this trick again.
Here's a PDF of the notes in case you want to avoid stamping at all... Download thank you note sheet
It was so good that there are no words, but I will find them anyway. This trip was my dad's idea and he booked a ranch that he and mom had first gone to before I was born, a looooong time ago. I had been here once with my Dad and sister for a family reunion on my dad's side when I was seventeen. My mom has talked about Montana all my life, so we asked Dad if she could come along. My brother came too and my little sister and sister, her husband and my nephew & nieces.
The first night we were there we went out on a "wild life" tour when our hosts took us on a long drive to try to spot animals at dusk. The other highlight was my mom getting up on a horse...no small feat since her knee has never improved from her surgery last summer and pretty much will not bend...but nothing stops my mom.
Speaking of horses, Mac was uncannily natural on them. He hopped right on and rode around like it was no big deal.
I was uncannily natural at taking photos. I will spare you images of how I was on a horse...it was very, very far from natural for me.
Instead I obsessed over nature. Trees, wide open vistas, empty roads, wild flowers and the sky filled with stars late at night.
P.S. There were 1.2 million grasshoppers hiding in here and when we drove back down the hill, in an open vehicle, they all came flying up at our face.
Sean and I took a day to go on a long drive from where we were staying, just outside Helena. We headed towards Great Falls to just wander and stop to see a Lewis and Clark museum (and we stopped at the world's smallest river where we took this photo). Sean, the history major, taught me about all Lewis and Clark details I ignored in school and by the time I got there I was really into it.
But before we got to Great Falls, we stopped a few times to look out on the side of the road. One of those times was to teeter around as I waded into a crystal clear creek running down from the mountains we drove through. The water was so crisp and clear. I carefully selected a handful of these stones to bring home with us.
Of course, Sean was a natural on both a horse and taking photos. His specialty were panoramic ones. Especially love the one he took at dawn as he was about to go for a run on the ranch.
I told Sean we are buying a house and spending our summers in Montana. It's so peaceful. You cannot help but take a deep breath and slow down. You can drive and drive without a stop light or sometimes even a person in sight. Granted, it would be the slimmest of chances that we would ever actually end up with a house there, but the lifestyle really needs to come home with us...especially at the beginning of a school year. We need to be outside, take a deep breath and slow down way more than we have for the last several years. And, house or not, we really will need to go back to Montana...
"I'm ready to go..."
Traveling means I sing "Leaving on a Jet Plane" over and over...it's a very charming trait.
Early tomorrow morning we are getting on jet plane, which has become a rare event around here (only once in the last eight years), to travel to Montana. My dad has rented a ranch for this week and my whole immediate family is going. Actually, they are already there. We will be the latecomers tomorrow afternoon.
As I am sure you know far better than I do, flying has changed a holy heck of a lot. So we have each carefully packed our carry-on luggage and quart size bag. I also have some favorite travel items like my luggage tag and super soft blanket (that's ten years old and in great shape after a million washes). My Kindle has too many books loaded and my iPad has magazines and I have alligator socks to wear through security since I'm perpetually a flip-flop girl this time of year.
"Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again..."
Actually, I'll be back next week.
I was twenty-years old when I met McIntosh twenty years ago tonight...just for a second though, because he had to rush off to the NICU.
All two pounds three ounces of him.
That night he started proving he's one of the cutest, most perseverant people you'll ever meet. Twenty years later it's more true than ever.
Love you so much Mac...Happy 20th Birthday!!!
These keys are for my shared office space, now that I will be working at a third school this fall.
Earlier in the summer, I was asked to teach a couple of classes next fall in the Women's Studies department I am a graduate of. I loved every single one of my professors and now they will be my colleagues. This chance to join a warm and enthusiastic department is exactly what I needed this year and I am feeling incredibly lucky and super excited.
And a little overwhelmed, since there is a lot of pre-semester preparation looming before me.
There is one last detail of Mac's graduation party that I haven't shared yet. Dessert. He asked for Oreo cupcakes, but with over fifty people to feed I knew we wouldn't be able to store that many cupcakes in the fridge. So I used the same idea I used with our Homecoming picnic dinner this past fall.
Instead of cupcakes, I actually ended up making individual trifles. I made an Oreo crumble crust to sprinkle in the bottom, layered some chunks of chocolate cake and then used a cream cheese & cool whip mixture for the top with even more Oreo crumbles.
Then I punched some circles that I quickly stamped with a dotted background stamp, then used foam tape to adhere a glittery punched star.
Even though there were a lot to make (we ended up with around ninety) it was really easy to put everything together.
It's definitely an idea I'll be using over and over again. Right now I'm thinking they would be cute for a first day of school snack decorated with a punched patterned paper apple.
We were all standing on the Newport Beach pier looking around and I saw it...
The shadow of us in the waves below.
I asked everyone to gather together as I pointed down to it. Taking photos with my phone, in the bright afternoon sun, meant that I wouldn't really know until later if I was able to capture the image.
And I got it...the seven of us together.
We had a week full of Disneyland, board games, naps, a concert in the park and the beach, beach and more beach. It couldn't have been better.
We are lucky to have a big bedroom in the front of the house that we've jokingly named the, "guest-wrap-gym", since it's our guest room, my place to wrap gifts and we have a treadmill with other little bits of exercise equipment in there.
We also had a pretty messy closet...
But not anymore! I worked hard to clean it out, categorize and organize the contents, then Sean worked hard on rebuilding the shelves and giving the closet a fresh coat of (white) paint. There are white curtains that usually hang on the rod you can see at the top, but we took them down so I could get pictures of our pretty, pretty closet.
The left-side corner has a shelf holding exercise stuff and the right corner has a shelf that holds extra frames for when I switch stuff around the house (usually the mantle)...
Then the middle is holding extra craft supplies, our family files, and new document boxes I got to hold keepsakes. I use the baskets and hounds-tooth rolling bag when I am taking lots of stuff with me for my students to use in class. I think my favorite part might be the mini shelve Sean installed to hold weights...now I should maybe lift them more often.
This upcoming week the room will be a guest room since Sean's dad, brother, sister-in-law and niece arrive tomorrow from Iowa. We have seen Sean's dad every couple of years, but we haven't seen anyone else in six years. It doesn't feel like it with the four of us constantly emailing and texting, but it has been long, long time. Our family is pretty different than it was six years ago, but it is filled with a happiness, love and strength that I am really grateful to be a part of...and we cannot wait to spend the next seven days together.
I am sure you have been anxiously waiting to hear how our tomatoes are doing.
Because who would want to see crafts or organizational project, when you could see a plant.
So, yes, for some people tomato growth updates could be like watching paint dry or waiting for a pot to come to a boil, but I love to see the flowers turn into teensy-tiny tomatoes that change color and grow bigger.
And then the harvest happens...a colander full every few days. This means you can pile them on the kitchen table to take pictures before sharing them with family, friends and neighbors.
Roughly calculated, this blog has been around for 4,150 days (almost eleven and half years) and I noticed last week it was just about to pass three thousand posts.
I spent Sunday afternoon tinkering around here...a new banner, a few updates to sidebar images and reorganizing categories a bit.
Now it's on to 4,000. In three to four more years...
For my birthday at the beginning of May, Sean and I took a long weekend and drove north to see the redwood trees and then stayed in San Francisco and Half Moon Bay before driving home. It was an amazing trip, so I really wanted to save the details together in a little book. I started this on NSD (you can see that I changed the design in the bookplate) and worked on it a couple of times before finishing it up last weekend.
My favorite thing with the last few mini albums I've put together is documenting the day I finish making it, so that's the last page of this little book.
I decorated our mantle this morning with previously crafted projects and prints I've gathered.
This year we are happy to be hosting our annual barbecue and fireworks and we are happy that we will not be spending the day before working a cheer fundraiser allllllll day long. After three years, that's going to be a big (wonderful) change.
Hope you have a great 4th of July too!
Fabric Banner...1776 print (I edited it a bit)...America the Beautiful Print (have to scroll down to find it)...Let Freedom Ring Print (I printed it out small to clip in the frame)...and the Patchwork Paper Flag I made a few years ago.
One of the tasks on my graduation party prep list was the guest bathroom door that had an empty hook for month and months...and probably a few more months than that. I took a pile of fabric scraps and stitched together 1x6 inch strips end to end to wrap around a foam wreath. And then I moved onto much more important party planning tasks like food and stuff.
At the beginning of the month, I passed on a file box, a stuffed binder and fifteen other boxes of cheerleading supplies to the new cheer booster president. However I had not finished the littlest, biggest thing yet. I needed to pass on all the electronic files on a flash drive.
I wanted to clean out the duplicates and non-essential files and then take the time to write up "how-to" notes for meetings, fundraisers and events. I finished last Friday afternoon...it was just over 1,000 items including around twenty single-spaced pages of notes...that was longer than writing up the final project for my master's degree.
And then I needed to craft a little chain of wood beads for it, right? I loved these keychains made with leather cord and this tutorial for painting wood beads is a brilliant idea. I was all sentimental that this was my last time crafting with school colors...where did the last four years go?
So this is it...the very, very end of the high school cheer. Thankfully we have a new set of school colors and more cheerleading in our future.
Sometime early in Mac's senior year, I decided I would ask our family, friends and his teachers to write a note to include in a book to give him for graduation.
In early April I printed "Dear Mac" notes on card stock, put together a letter explaining the gift, and asked a friend if she would be willing to have all the notes mailed to her house. Each mailing envelope had the blank note, the letter, and a pre-addressed and postage-paid return envelope inside. For Mac's teachers I went to the school and asked to put them in their mailboxes and everyone else's was mailed to them.
My original plan was to have them all printed into a bound book, but there was a delay with several of the letters, so time for that ran out. Instead I purchased a binder and stack of page protectors.
The notes from everyone were all so incredibly sweet. I put them all together to surprise him when he got home from the graduation ceremony. Then, after we took down the "Mac Wall" graduation decorations, I included all the photos in the book too.
I only planned one homemade-ish decoration for Mac's graduation party. No banners, no crafts...just a bunch of mylar gold star balloons from the dollar store and covering the empty wall in our dining room with photos from Mac's high school years.
I gathered forty favorite photos from the last four years, edited them into black & white squares and had them all printed as 8x8 photos from Costco. while I arranged the order of the photos on the dining room table, Sean made sure a long piece of blue painters tape was level on the wall so we had place to start, and then we stuck each one up with more painters tape on the back.
Mac was less than thrilled, since he decided several of the photos were, "Sooo embarrassing, Mom!", but I knew it would be fun for all of our friends and family to see.
All the photos were then tucked into the other only idea I had for Mac's graduation that I'll share tomorrow.
Mac's graduation party was the largest celebration we have hosted in four years and the largest by far that we have ever cooked a meal for. Mac requested a spaghetti and meatball dinner, so Sean and I made the sauce, meatballs, salad dressing and croutons, garlic bread and assembled ninety desserts. We started prepping on Tuesday and worked every day until Saturday, an hour before the party, when the electricity went out.
As we went outside to see if it was an isolated incident at our house, we heard the transformers blow at the local power station.
Uh oh. (except add bad words)
Saturday was the start of a heatwave and apparently everyone had a little too much power going.
Sean went to the grocery store to get more ice and I started pacing on our front porch as I made phone calls. My sister and her husband, our friends, Mac's dad, his sister and brother-in-law and my brother all came to our rescue. Thankfully all the food was cooked and just needed to be warmed. We had already borrowed several crock pots to serve from, so if we could get them plugged in we figured we could still feed everyone. We gathered a generator, a gas can, an extra ez-up, more coolers with ice and extra hands to help.
Then the power came back on just minutes before the party was supposed to start. My brother helped Sean and I get everything ready to serve, Mac and his dad greeted everyone as they showed up and we had ourselves a party.
Up until now, I think our best worst party story was when the police showed up several years ago. No electricity and almost sixty people to feed now wins the nightmare hosting story contest...may it never, ever have more competition.
I made notes to send to everyone who helped us. Hopefully you'll never need these, but just in case, here's a sheet you can print...electricity thank you notes.
Mac graduates this Thursday so we are in full party-prep mode for a celebration this weekend. This card isn't for him, it was actually for our neighbor who had a college graduation party last weekend. I copied the super cute idea from Kiki and Company and just added school colors. This will officially be my graduation gift for every party until 2020.
Here is the file if you still have grad gifts to give...graduation card.
I would have never guessed that sharing about my recent blogging education going awry, that I would get the chance to read such kind words. Thank you so much for taking the time to say something. I have no intention of changing a thing.
Well, I take that back, I like changing lots of things (it's another one of my one hundred hobbies), but any little change I would make, now or in the future, would be just for fun.
I just wanted to get rid of the neurotically, self-induced "this isn't a purposeful blog" guilt and get back to complete and total sporadic, random details, like the a BLT with the first ripe tomato of the summer.
Oh and sharing good projects too...I just have to finish them.
I have developed a guilty pleasure. Listening and reading about blogging and creative business.
However, I have absolutely no aspirations to have a creative business or to put the efforts into a thriving blog with a significant following.
Actually, the few hundred people that follow along on here are really significant to me already.
So, this new little learning more about blogging past-time has completely backfired. After 11 years of having a blog, I have been feeling as if I am doing it completely wrong.
I am supposed to have a catchy title for each post, I am supposed to use keywords for SEO (still don't totally understand all that stuff), I am supposed to teach you something with long, informative posts, I am supposed to focus in a niche, and I am supposed to build an email list of followers.
Over the years, I have genuinely enjoyed making little blogging-focused improvements like banners, organizing the sidebar, trying to take good photos or having an "about page" because when I find a new blog I love heading to their about page. This is all just a hobby for me though...add it to the list with card-making, cooking, crocheting, scrapbooking, gardening, planners, house decorating, and gift-making.
Not going to lie, seeing a project you crafted up being pinned more than 135,000 times is pretty cool. But, I would never be able to crank out projects with a goal of popularity in mind. In fact, that usually ruins my mind. I will also never be consistent...sometimes there might be one party, organizing idea, or craft project after another. Most of the time it will be just one inane detail after another with just a handful of words...a leaf changing, photos of tomatoes growing or a photo of my desk buried in schoolwork.
I've wanted to write about this for a couple of weeks now...to acknowledge that this little tiny blog will never have any purpose in this great big world. Yet, it's always been purposeful in my world. It's one of my favorite hobbies and, no matter what I learn about how it should or could be, it will be a place where I just make stuff....occasionally.
This week flew by. Five small house projects are each about halfway done. We have Mac's graduation party next weekend, so all the party prep ideas we have need to start real, real soon.
But I figured colors and patterns are more fun to look at than an Ikea aisle. The triangle fabric is being used for a project in our upstairs hallway. The paint samples are for a piece of furniture downstairs, although I decided to go in an entirely different direction. And the other fabric has no purpose other than I just couldn't resist it when I was shopping for the triangle one.
One of the many, many organizational projects involved in the great closet clean-out of 2016 was going through the three boxes where I stuffed everything Mac has made over the years. In addition to school projects, he has made so many cards and crafted up lots of wrapping paper designs (he still does) and I have saved them all.
Now I have just kept my favorites (which is about 3/4 of everything I tucked away since he started preschool sixteen years ago) and cannot wait to reorganize them into themes from over the years.
My favorite finds were the card he made before leaving on a trip with his dad. He decorated the front with the word "bye" except he spelled it "buy". I also loved the "Welcome to Back to School Night" letter he wrote one year that said his favorite subject was art and that he did not like math or science or any of the other subjects. He spoke the truth when he said that, so thankfully he decided to work hard in school despite only liking one subject.
I finish school this week and was not offered a summer school course like last year. Sean's school year shifted three weeks earlier, which means he is officially on summer break. Sadly, since he loves it so much, he did not get a summer school position in his district which means he will be home.
So last summer we had a total of five days off together (while Mac was recovering from wisdom teeth surgery) and this summer we have about seventy.
You know what that means...house projects!
The first project is a whole house clean-out. This weekend we started tackling the closet in the guest bedroom. For years it has kind of felt like Monica Geller's secret messy closet, so I cannot wait for it to be perfectly organized.
Seventy-five graduation announcements were mailed to our family and friends last week. At the beginning of the month Mac and I went to scout out a possible place to take photos. What was intended to be a practice run actually ended up being the super-duper official senior announcement "portraits". I put together the front and had a stack of 5x7's printed, they were then adhered to printed card stock.
Sean and I went back and forth on whether or not to share the little high school summary. Ultimately I sent a text to a group of friends I knew would be brutally honest with me, "Is it okay to list some of his high school accomplishments? Does it read like 'That's pretty cool...way to go Mac' or does it make you think 'get over yourselves Griffin family...pompous asses' " They all voted go for it and I am happy we did. Bragging or not, Mac has done an amazing job in high school and we are so lucky to get to celebrate him.
The announcements went out in metallic envelopes and everyone who lives around us had party invites tucked in there too.
Cannot believe he graduates three weeks from today.
Mac went to prom this past weekend with the same group of friends he went with last year. And, just like last year, I made some decorations. This time the dinner was hosted at someone's house (and the prom theme was Midnight at the Oasis) so there was lots and lots of teal, purple and magenta patterns sewn into table runners and a banner to hang up. Then there were spray painted jars stuffed with flowers. I had a little too much fun with all of this.
Thankfully Mac had lots of fun too.
We have everything (ten feet of a two-sided banner, two seven-foot table runners, one three-foot runner and one smaller one-sided banner) that we won't need again and would love to see someone be able to use. So if you would like some (or all) of it, please leave a comment and I will email you to find out where to send it.
This was the way I had my planner supplies "organized". I used each zipper pouch to group together similar items like stamps or sticky notes. And then everything else was tossed in there.
So I bought a big storage box and divided trays. Now all cute planner items are truly organized. Stamps are not in here, I have another box for them and an organizational idea I have not made happen yet, but everything else is and it makes the box super fun to dig into. Now if only life could be a little less busy, so I could spend more time planning it.
Part of this whole reorganization project was gathering a few bunches of supplies to share since I could never use it all. I have three pouches filled with various items to send to three people. If you would like one leave a "pick me" comment by Wednesday evening. Please make sure the email address linked to your comment is current since I will email three people for their addresses.
Friday was my last day at the state college. We have a Monday/Wednesday 9:30am course, which has the super unlucky Friday at 8am time slot for our final. Silver lining is the usually stuffed parking lots are empty. My final exam is pretty simple, so by about 8:50am I was on my way out of of one of the best classrooms I've ever had at the school...perfect for all the group work we do. When I got to my office I thought it was funny my office mate had accidentally left the "I'm here" sign we have up all week when no one was there. May 13th is my mom's birthday (she was born on a Friday the 13th), so we went out to lunch at one of our favorite places. I had been looking forward to that Chicago hot dog and fries with cheese sauce all week. We ordered a piece of chocolate cake and I proudly had matches and birthday candles in my purse like my mom always brings if we are eating out for our birthday. The letter board is being used for our countdown to summer. We spent Friday night at Joann's picking out fabric for the decorations for Mac's friends prom dinner next week. And using the PicTapGo app at the end of the night this week editing my photos for this.
Mac took the initiative to start some more strength training. For some reason he was willing to do it in our front yard and he told me pretty much everyone of our neighbor's drove by, but he was embarrassed when I went to snap a photo while he was taking a break. My weekend breakfast...half a piece of extra sourdough toast (with too much whipped butter) three pieces of bacon and iced coffee. I decided my stack of 6x6 patterned papers needed to be cleaned out and reorganized into rainbow order. I had a dozen things that needed to be done right away, yet I took 45 minutes to listen to a podcast and do this...and felt much, much better. Sean grabbed strawberries at the farm stand. The flower pots on our front porch right now. They are the leftovers from my mom's gift. While Sean is grocery shopping there are at least three phone calls and/or texts double checking about something...this time it was shrimp. Wrote and mailed my birthday thank you notes. And speaking of notes, we went to Paper Source for the envelopes for Mac's graduation announcements. All these cute colors and he wanted black. Which they didn't have (would have never guessed it would have been that popular) so we both happily agreed to go with metallic gold.
Sunday I can sleep in. I was wide awake at 6am. So I quietly worked on graduation announcement address labels. The fabric from Friday night was being cut and sewn into a banner. After breakfast Sean and I headed to the local garden store with a 20% to get a dwarf avocado tree. He was laughing at me as I gently rubbed it's leaves and whispered, "Guacamole" over and over to it. Then I got a few more things since we had a coupon and all. My favorite little gift shop was closing it's doors today so we had to stop by. At home I was texting photos with a friend discussing changing-out the door to our coat closet as I dream of turning it into a pantry. The late afternoon was spent cooking a ton of stuff for the week, including dill dip to take to a teacher appreciation event at Mac's high school. One of the other things we cooked was dinner. I made Sean stop eating so I get a photo of his plate before I forgot. We made marinated top sirloin, roasted broccoli with freshly grated parmesan cheese and hasselback potatoes which looked cool, but we all decided we like baked potatoes better.
This project certainly takes some extra time, but it is so, so cool to look back at a bunch of details and how they have changed over the last six years. Cannot wait for the next installment.
Skimming lots of magazines on my iPad while getting a pedicure is my mini vacation every three weeks or so. I keep various necessities in my car's center console...a notebook and pens, hand lotion, kleenex, a glass cleaning cloth and a lint roller...today I was reaching for the lint roller for my black t-shirt. Waiting for an estimate on our car since we were rear ended on our trip...it meant that I got to see the Price is Right showcase showdown for the first time in about a decade. Sean sent me photos today, the first one was him on the roof of the junior high gym tossing eggs for a science class. I stopped to grab a sandwich on my way home from the car place. Sean sat at his desk with his super cool lunchbox and CNN...which is why I often hear, "I saw on CNN...". One of my high school intro classes had a test today and snapped a picture of the sixty year old flooring (thankfully you can't see how dirty it is). And that photo means you now know that I will often wear the same thing to different classes during the week, since this the same skirt I had on Monday. The trick is to remember what I wore to what so I don't end up wearing the same thing to the same class. Sean and I ended up waiting for photos at Costco tonight since the super nice person in the photo center was helping me get Mac's grad announcements printed correctly. That meant a little wandering that we hadn't planned on. I snapped this photo of Sean picking out a watermelon before he could smile. Thankfully I also snapped it before he started acting like he was making out with the watermelon thinking I would want to document that.