Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Five

Happy Friday! After check out at work, I'm officially on summer vacation!
As if that wasn't a favorite enough, I've got a couple more highlights up my sleeve for you!

Friday Favorites // Friday Favorites // Oh Hey Friday// 5 on Friday
{1} Thank You
Thank you to everyone who sent such sweet, supportive messages on Wednesday about our fertility appointment that's happening this morning. We are really hoping that today goes smoothly, and that this is finally our time to get to become a mom and dad. If you have any extra room for us in your prayers this morning, send them our way! 

{2} Girls Nights
Monday I had a girls night with 3 other friends to watch the Bachelorette, and last night we had a girls night/bridal shower get together with a Mexican theme for another friend from work. This week has been packed with friend time with my girls and I can't say that I hate it.

{3}Video Clip
Did you guys see the kid who did his 8th grade graduation commencement speech with all of the impersonations of politicians? If not, find it here.
Then Jimmy Fallon did a clip with him the other night and it was hilarious:
{4} Summer Read
I just got an email from Goodreads yesterday announcing Lianne Moriarty's new book coming out this July and I'm super pumped. She's one of my favorite authors--I always enjoy reading her books! I'm hoping that this one lives up to all of her others and I'll definitely be getting this one once it comes out!
{5} Funnies
How getting to Friday feels some weeks
When someone unexpectedly gives you a compliment
When you're a teacher, it's the last day of school and you see a fellow teacher:
When your plans for Monday morning look a lot like this:
Hoping your Friday and weekend are fabulous!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

Happy Thursday friends! It's almost the end of the week, but today is a super special day!


In addition to that exciting note, I've got a few other thoughts and confessions swirling around in my head!

~The Kindergarten classes have had Camp-Learn-A-Lot all week at work complete with a HUGE tent in each classroom, tie-dyed shirts, and when the kids walk through the hallways they chant little campy type of chants about the things they learned this year. It's beyond cute!
~I can't believe that this is my 9th year of working in the schools and today it's complete. Next year will be the big 10! How in the world did that happen? #imold

~Speaking of being old, on Monday I moved my neck a certain way and felt like it was the equivalent of throwing my back out but with my neck. It hurt to shrug my shoulders or move my head side to side or back. Not sure what the heck happened there, but I used a heating pad on it that night when I got home from work in addition to taking Ibuprofen. Like seriously, why am I getting old? #stopit
~I have a one hour massage scheduled for Tuesday in the middle of the day. Because I can. I might schedule a facial too! #pamperme
~Not to get too political here, but I can't hold it in. Why the EFF did  the Senate veto banning people who are on terror or no-fly lists the right to buy guns? Uhh hello...if we don't want them flying, why in the freaking world would we want them to be able to purchase guns? I'm so sick of politicians being all talk and then when it comes down to it, no action! #noflynobuy
~My boss complimented me in front of the entire group of SLP's at our meeting on Monday, for how I dealt with the tough parent at my school, and for the tremendous progress the kid had made in the past year (going from only grunting, to being able to use clear words and phrases). Everyone gave me a round of applause and it was definitely a proud moment for me as a school SLP #communicationforlife
~Travelocity STILL has not resolved our issue with them cancelling our flight and not telling us. Despite many promises via Twitter messages that they will call us to work it out, it's been radio silence. I'm about to go to the Better Business Bureau and report them for holding $1300 of our money hostage because they're stupid. NEVER book with them for ANYTHING!!!! #travelocitysucks@$$
~MG and I have had almost opposite schedules all week. Monday night I got together with friends, Tuesday night he had a late work dinner, and tonight I'll be at a friend's house for a bridal shower. Looking forward to some time to catch up since it's been like two ships passing in the night (or the morning in our case) this week. 

That's it for me today. I need to go finish up last minute packing in my office, and then get ready to send the kids off to Summer! Hope your Thursday is smooth and easy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday? {#46}

It's Wednesday and you know what that means! Time to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!
It's been a bit since I did a Currently post, so here goes!
Reading ...
I'm happy to say I'm back on the reading train! I just finished a book called A House for Happy Mothers last weekend (I really liked it), and then immediately started Jennifer Weiner's book Goodnight Nobody which my mom gave me a couple of weeks ago. I'm only about 20 pages in so far, so the jury's still out. 

Listening to...
Not much. But I can tell you that I'm luckily NOT listening to the band practice next to my office. After FIVE WEEKS of the torture for 3+ hours every morning, it's finally stopped. Of course I'm no longer seeing kids this week, so I get silence while I pack up my office. 
I'm sure those of you who were watching on Snapchat are thankful for me not to be sharing the torture anymore also! haha

Watching ...

The Bachelorette, Southern Charm finale (wahhh why is it over?), RHOC is back!! and I had recently gotten into the series on TLC called Single Dad Seeking. Anyone else watch that one? And also, Teresa's baaaaaaaaack, at least in promos (shows airing in July)!

Yesterday I shared my chicken cakes recipe that I made a couple of weeks ago. And tonight I'll be making those Crab and Salsa stuffed Avocados that I shared a bit ago. So easy and SO tasty!!

Looking forward to ... 
our Greece/Turkey trip! it's 2 weeks away and I can't believe it's so close!
that our next fertility procedure goes well on Friday. Please send us good vibes and prayers that day. This is our last attempt before we move on to IVF, so please please please send us some baby dust and pregnant vibes!

Enjoying ...
spending time with friends. On Monday, two of my friends and I went to our friend's house who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She'd gotten her MRI results that day, and she had asked us if we wanted to come over that night to watch the Bachelorette together. On a tough day, it was nice to be able to spend time together, focusing on light hearted things, which is what our friend said that she had needed most. 

that tomorrow is the last day of the school year!!!!!!! Bring on Summer!!!!

Wanting ...
to see the movie The Secret Life of Pets once it comes out. And I'm waiting to see Finding Dory as well! #gimmeallthePixarmovies

that reminds me...I need to schedule a massage! ;)
Wearing ...
does sunless tanner count? I can't sing the praises of the Rodan +Fields Sunless tanner enough! I need to get myself another bottle STAT!

Add caption
Grateful For...
all of my friends who reached out to me on Father's Day to make sure that I was ok, and let me know they were thinking of me. When it comes to my dad, sometimes I just don't talk about it because it happened a few months ago, so sometimes I just deal with it quietly myself, or with MG and my mom. So it was nice to have people reach out and check on me without me initiating it.
It was a really hard day, emotionally, and knowing that so many people were there for me was honestly pretty magical. 

Now it's your turn to link up and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

{Recipe Files}: Chicken Cakes w/ Chipotle Mayo Sauce

I have a super tasty treat for you! If you like crab cakes, you'll love this one. And if you aren't a seafood lover, you'll STILL love this one!
This is like a traditional crab cakes, except you're using chicken instead! It takes a bit of prep work (cutting all the veggies, etc) but they come together super easily and they are mega tasty! I adapted this recipe a bit, and changed the sauce that the original site had recommended to a less complicated one.

What You Need:
For the Cakes
~Olive Oil
~1/4 C red pepper, finely chopped
~1/4 C yellow pepper, finely chopped
~1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 fresh cloves, minced)
~2 12-oz cans chicken breast, drained well
~2 large eggs, slightly beaten
~1/3 C mayo (I used low fat)
~1 Tbsp lemon juice
~1 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
~1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
~ 1.5 tsp Old Bay or Creole seasoning
~1 tsp dried tarragon
~2 C Panko bread crumbs, divided
For The Sauce:
~1/4 C light mayo
~1-2 tsp chili powder (depending on the heat you like; start with less, and add more)
~1 tsp lime juice

What You Do:
1.Using a pan, add in 2 Tbsp olive oil and let it heat up. Then add in the red and yellow peppers, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until tender, and then add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute or so. Remove and let cool.
2. Add the chicken to a large bowl. Then add in the lemon juice, Dijon, mayo, tarragon, parsley, old bay seasoning and 1 Cup of Panko breadcrumbs. Add in the sauteed peppers and mix until well combined. Add in the beaten eggs at the end and mix to combine.
3. Add the remaining Panko bread crumbs (1 Cup) to a bowl. Picking up about a handful of the chicken mixture, shape into a ball and coat each side with the Panko. Flatten to desired thickness and place on a pan. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Using a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil and then cook cakes evenly on both sides until browned on the outside.
5. Top each cake with the sauce mixture and enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekending Highlights

It's the start of the last week of school! This week is gonna be packed with meetings, and packing up my office, and then saying good bye to the kids on Thursday!

Before we get to that, let's chat about the highlights from this weekend!

~Got in a pastel mood and painted my nails with my new Essie color, Go Ginza (and then proceeded to accidentally wear more pastels)
~My Loft shipment arrived, and the Ikat dress was amazingly soft and fit perfectly (it was still on sale yesterday so go get it if you were interested) and the shell tank I immediately put on with my patterned J Crew shorts that I got a couple months ago.  The crochet top was a bust.
~Went out to dinner on Friday night with my friend from work and her husband
~Grabbed some drinks beforehand and enjoyed the weather outside on the water before we sat down to eat
~Went to an eye doctor appointment Saturday morning and got some more contacts for the year. Exciting stuff, I know.

~Went for a 5 mile walk along GW parkway toward Mount Vernon. It was a really nice day for such a long walk.

~Finished the book I was reading, and moved on to the next one!

~Went on another double date with another couple friend of ours and tried out a new restaurant that just opened up recently called Barley Mac. The food was SO good (I had the pesto salmon and shrimp), and we splurged with the bourbon glazed apple crisp with ice cream at the end. Mouth watering-ly delicious!!

~Came home and watched 13 Hours--totally intense! Can't believe that actually happened!

~Woke up, had strawberry pancakes a la MG for breakfast then ran errands

~Drove to Quantico National Cemetery to visit my dad on Father's Day. The weather was so pretty--the sun was shining and it wasn't humid at all. It was surreal seeing my dad's name on a headstone, and really emotional. I was glad we went to see him on Father's Day.

~Had a late lunch with my mom and MG and spent some time together afterwards back at our house, where she got to love up on Cooper

~Met up with my sister-in-law and niece and had a coffee as they were driving back home from a lacrosse tournament in VA and took a pit stop
~Started OITNB....only watched one episode but not so sure about this season

~Told MG's dad over FaceTime about our surprise family trip for him for his birthday to the lakehouse in a couple of weekends--he was so surprised and seemed excited about it (but he doesn't know everything we have booked there yet!)

The rest of the night was low key, resting up for a busy week!
Hoping your weekend was filled with love and family!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tough Days

As Father's Day's been approaching these last few weeks, and especially in the days leading up to this weekend, I've had an ever-growing pit in my stomach. I see the posts about "must have Father's Day gifts" or the ads on tv about spoiling your dad and taking him out, making him feel special. 

And it's hard. 
I have a dad who I love and adore, and owe so much to. But I don't get to celebrate with him this year. My dad isn't here to give a hug, and tell him how much I love him. I can't spoil my dad and make him feel special. He's gone.

This is my first Father's Day where I don't have my dad here on Earth with me. And it sucks. It hurts. It doesn't feel fair.

I know that this is just one of many milestone days that will come and go, and that I'll have to push through. But it doesn't make it any easier. And I have a feeling every Father's Day I'll have feelings like this.

Instead of getting sucked into the emotional pit that I could easily let wash over me (and have on occasion during the last couple of days), I'm going to try and focus on the positive. How lucky I am to have had a dad who loved me unconditionally. A dad who took the time to make sure I had everything that I needed. 
I cherish memories with my dad during the summer where he would take me (and sometimes a friend) into DC to see the museums--the Air and Space Museum being one of our favorites. I remember the excitement I had over eating the museum cafeteria food with my dad and talking with him about the exhibits that we saw.

I remember the man who took me out for driving lessons in empty parking lots before I even had my learner's permit because he wanted me to get good experience before I got out on the road (God bless him for not fearing for his safety, or at least hiding it well if he did). I remember the man who didn't yell at me when I accidentally parked the car against a sign post and dinged the front of the car.

I remember the man who drove me to school every morning because the county expected us to walk 2 miles (through an insane asylum's grounds) to get there and he didn't think that was very safe (agreed!). I remember getting to give my dad a kiss on the cheek every morning before I headed in to school and tell him I loved him, knowing that he'd be there to pick me up at the end of the day.

I remember the man who drove me to every single one of my away volleyball games in high school, and was in attendance for every single one of my home games, too. I remember hearing him cheer me on from the bleachers, and knowing that if I looked over my dad was always going to be there.

I remember the man who was rough on the outside, but had a soft spot for me. I remember that gruff guy who got choked up when he saw me in the dress for my 8th grade dance. And then again when he saw me in my wedding dress and told me how beautiful I looked.

I know my dad's still there, cheering me on. I just wish so desperately that I could run up to him and give him a big hug and a kiss and let him know how much I love him. How much I miss him. And hear him say "I love you too sweetie" like he always did. 

How lucky I am to have had such an amazing Dad. How insanely lucky. We danced to the song Unforgettable at my wedding, and those words rang true then, and they still do now.
That's what you are, 
Tho' near or far....

In every way, 
And forever more 
That's how you'll stay. "
I love you, Dad. Forever and Always.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

The week is winding down and I'm more than ready for the week to be over, and skip to the last week of school next week! The last week (and next) are packed with last minute meetings before the last day of school! Needless to say, it's been hectic!

I thought I'd jot down a few of my thoughts lately since it's been a jumble!

~I was totally multi-tasking the other day at work, typing on my computer when I was on hold on the phone. When they told me to Press 1 for the option I wanted, I typed it on my keyboard instead of the phone. Whoops!
~I had my last session with my crazy parent's kid this week. I see him multiple times a week and on Tuesday I walked in and he said "Go away please" (so much progress he's made since communicating through grunts last year to being able to tell me to go away haha!)  #insertangelssinginghere
~I finally got back on the reading train last week after raiding my friend Trish's online book selection (we share our Kindle accounts with one another so we don't have to pay for books the other one already has), and it's been great! I've missed reading and now that the weather has been nice, I've been doing more of it while relaxing on our back deck. Summer perfection!
~A friend of mine just got diagnosed with breast cancer last week and it was a HUGE shock. She's my age. Young, healthy, active. My friends and I at work have rallied around her and are supporting in any way that we can, checking in on her after doctor's appointments, and have plans to have a fun girls night watching Bachelorette next Monday (at her request). It just totally hit home that nothing is guaranteed.
~I had a dream the other night that simultaneously incorporated Hamilton and John Leguizamo from BloodLines in it. TOTALLY weird and off the wall. Obviously I was watching too much Tony's and BloodLine that night! lol
~I'm making meatball subs for dinner tonight in my crockpot completely from scratch (with homemade sauce and everything), and I'm nervous that they won't be good. Anyone else get nervous when you try a new recipe, that it won't turn out well? I'll keep ya posted!

~I found 3 more things at Loft that caught my eye yesterday (after they sent out that catchy email announcing another sale). So, I took advantage of a credit for free expedited shipping that I had and got all three. We'll see how many of them work out--the last time only 2 things did.
Dress: $29.70;               Embroidered Tank: $32.70;           Shell Tank: $8.50

~I've gotten several compliments in the last two weeks about my tan. But my tan is ALLLLLLL fake. Thanks Rodan+Fields Sunless Tanner. You rock my pale world! :)

~I started taking things down off my wall in my office to get ready to start packing things up for Summer, and it feels so lonely in here with just those things gone. It's amazing what a few posters can do to liven up a space!

~MG had gotten a Costco sized bag of Doritos (aka a bag that could easily fit a large toddler in it) for his friend's bachelor party the other weekend but brought it back unopened. Well, I couldn't control myself any longer and busted that sucker open on Sunday when I had salty bad-for-me food cravings, and it's been down hill ever since. It's like Chad and his meat...except not even that close.
And on that note, I leave you! Hoping your week's going smoothly! 
Blogging tips