Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Working part-time

My boss approached me recently about taking on some extra work at school to help her out. I started doing it and have now taken over managing our school's social media. She asked me if I would be interested in doing this next year as well. (I currently teach Mon/Wed/Fri and then do the social media stuff from home). We agreed that I would talk it over with Will and get back to her.

After talking it through with Will, we both agreed; if the work was similar to the amount of work that I am doing now then I would be happy to continue, but we both felt that we needed to protect my schedule and stay on a part-time basis.

I never envisioned myself working part-time without kids and in this stage of life. In fact, I almost didn't apply to this job because it was part-time, but the Lord knows what is best for us. Part-time has been such a help for both of us. It allows me way more flexibility while Will is working to get all the things that fall completely on me done; and when he is off, it gives us two extra days to spend time together and enjoy every minute of the time when he is around. Also, it allows me the opportunity to serve in ways that I had always desired, but due to work schedules I wasn't able to make them happen.

It honestly was such a strange switch going from 40 hours a week to 20 (ish) hrs a week and I felt bad for having extra free time. I felt guilty that Will was working like crazy and I was working just three days a week, but then I saw how it improved our marriage. Will mentioned frequently how helpful it was for him that I was able to run errands and keep things in order while he was working. He also mentioned how much more he enjoyed being off when I was around to hang out. It made transitions back to work for him much easier because we knew we would at least see each other on Tuesday/Thursday mornings since I would be around & I could always pop in to set for a meal as well.

I'm sure many people think it is crazy for a 24 yr old to be working part-time when I'm fully capable of working full time, but I just have to remind myself of what works for our family. I am thankful that we are able to swing it financially and for all the positives that is has brought about for us. I don't know if this is how it will always be, but for now it is right and that is all that matters. 

Tuesday morning reading/journaling with a side of earl grey & banana muffin.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Update on triathlon training.

Update on triathlon training: it's going (kind of). 

Right before we left for Mexico, I somehow hurt my knee. I went for a run and it was totally fine, but by the end of the day, I was wincing and walking around with a slight limp. It felt like my old running injury from high school (knee issue that took months to heal) was back and any time I bent my knee or straightened it completely, I felt a shooting pain. When we woke up to drive to Raleigh for our flight, it was killing me and I was a bit bummed that we were headed on vacation in this state; Will had a bad stomach ache, and sinus stuffiness/head congestion and knee pain had hit me hard. We were a pitiful crew. The knee pain continued on our trip, but seemed to improve daily. The bike ride we did across the island didn't seem to bother it and I figured resting from running was going to be a good thing.

Well, we got back and I intended to test out my knee and go for a short run within the first few days, but that didn't happen. Today, I started back at the exercising thing and had a great swim workout this morning (it's funny how great you feel after a good workout, but then how quickly you forget & dread it again the next day). 

I still have yet to sign up for the race, but am feeling more confident than I was a week or so ago. Yesterday, I happened to talk to one of my student's mom who has completed quite a few triathlons. She really encouraged me to give it a shot and boosted my confidence about my ability to do it. So ... I'm back at the training & hoping to stay more consistent and avoid any injuries. 

During my small group (we are still finishing up the book Boundaries), we discussed our "out-of-control soul" and some common issues that people face. Some being greed or food addiction, but one really struck me: task completion. The book talks about how people that struggle with this have an inability to delay gratification (they want to the pleasure right away) and struggle with lack of follow-through. I think I struggle with this a bit. Often, I get really excited about tasks and I get started, but I have difficulty completing them. I am seeing this with this training plan as well; I desperately want the satisfaction of completing a triathlon, posting pictures of me at the finish line and that proud feeling that I DID it, but I can't seem to muster up the strength & commitment to complete the daily grind of workouts and training. I want this to be motivation for me to really stick with it, to do the hard workouts and train daily so that in two months I can have that gratification that I completed it! Hold me accountable, y'all, I'm going to do this.

**Also, side note... it's funny how many excuses I can come up with daily to prevent doing a workout. Here are a few for your enjoyment. Maybe you can relate.
--I'm going to run before going to work today ... (alarm goes off) ... eh... I'll do it this afternoon, it's better for me to get rest.
--I've already showered today and it would really be a pain to have to shower again
--I haven't had enough water today ...
--Oh it's windy?, yeah... I think I'll go tomorrow...
--Oh it's below 60 or above 80, eessh that's not good weather for me...
--I DID work in the garden today, that's physical activity, right? (no lie, that was my excuse on Tuesday)
--It really ruins my morning routine of tea/breakfast & my quiet time if I run...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More of Mexico

We'll it's back to the grind over here. School started back yesterday & despite a bit of difficulty getting up in the morning, it was a really good day. While sitting and drinking my tea yesterday morning, I fell asleep and woke up to hot tea pouring all over me ... whoops! I had gotten too used to island life and sleeping in!

I'm sorting through our pictures and reliving the warmth & joy of Mexico (why is it so cold here?!). Here are a few pictures from the trip, more to come once I've sorted through all of them.

^ Check out that blue water!!

^^ sunset on Playa Norte (about a block from our hotel)

^^ We rented bikes for a day & rode across the island (only about 5 miles each way). It seemed like we picked the hottest day for the ride, but we took some breaks for pictures every so often!

^^ and we breaked for lunch & drinks :)

^^ Hotel Las Palmas, where we stayed. They had an awesome set-up... lots of hammocks and shady spots for reading and hanging out. This was right beside our room, but they also had hammocks on the rooftop too.

^^ red faces after biking across the island in 90 degree heat, but seriously, for that view? Who wouldn't?

^^ trying "Cazuelas," which are sort of a mix between an omelette & a soufflĂ© 

^^ Sounds a bit strange, but we visited a cemetery on the island. It was really interesting to see cultural differences; I love how bright everything is and all the crosses. The above picture is from a small chapel by the cemetery. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Update from Mexico

I'm currently laying in bed, curled under covers with the little AC unit in our room blasting. Will is snoozing, as he should be since it's only 7 AM here. Recently I've had this issue when trying to sleep in, I can't do it, even when I desperately want to! Also, when the sun is pouring in and there's crystal clear water, 85 degrees of sunshine & blue skies awaiting me, it's a little hard for me to sleep. I'm a summertime girl. Nothing, I'm convinced, fills me with as much joy as sunshine, waves crashing on the shore & the smell of sunscreen. 

We've explored the island a bit, in a very low key way, the way we always travel. Will and I are laid back travelers. We don't make an agenda, plan meals or side trips, heck, we don't even wear our watches. Sometimes we take naps midway through the day or eat lunch at 3:00. Yesterday, we did both. 

After filling our stomachs with cazuelas (mix between an omelette & soufflĂ©), we headed back to load up on sunscreen and throw on our suits. After walking just a block, we were greeted with the bluest water you can ever imagine & bright, white powdery sand. Our morning was spent there, soaking up as much vitamin D we could get & loading up on 50 SPF because we are ghostly right now and because somehow as you get older you become more responsible about these things. 

As it hit the lunchtime hour and more people headed out to the beach, we headed in for a break. Our hotel has a lovely rooftop setup with hammocks & shade, a perfect spot to get a cool
breeze and read a few chapters of a book. I endulged in a mexi coke, because is there really anything better in this world?, and settled into a hammock with my book. We read for a few hours, ehm, Will read for a few hours, I read a chapter and then snoozed for a bit. By this point we were feeling a bit hungry so we headed across the street to the mercado. It seemed to be a hot spot among the locals so we figured it was worth a shot. Will ordered fish tacos and I got shrimp tacos instead. They brought them out with glass bottle cokes (pretend I didn't tell you I drank one earlier too, vacation.. Right?!?). My shrimp tacos were delicious, slightly garlicky with the taste of fresh lime spritzed on top. They were served in fresh corn tortillas with a little beans, tomato & avocado. The coke was bubbly and super sweet & the people watching was even better. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon back at the beach, watching the sunset from there. It was beautiful, perfectly orange and the contrast between the crystal clear water was incredible. We skipped on showers for a bit longer and ventured down to where the ferries come in for some more seafood (that's what they're known for here). The ceviche was perfect, lots of lime and cilantro. Also, the pico de gallo tasted so fresh and left us wanting the recipe. We called it a night after drinking a glass, or two, of red wine & sampling fresh bread & cheese (from the market) on the rooftop of our hotel. It was a good day yesterday, one for the books, no doubt.

Monday, April 7, 2014


An elderly neighbor said to me recently, "where you grew up will always be home, no matter how much time passes." I've been thinking about what she said and I think she is right. Despite how comfortable I am in Wilmington and how much I love our life here, going back to Charlotte and staying at my parent's house will always be "home." There are so many familiar things there: the 1960's style neighborhood full of a strange mixture of families and elderly couples, the smell of my mama's kitchen (there's always something good cooking), the yellow & blue plaid chair Grannie sits in most days, completing crossword puzzles & sudoku that no one else can figure out, the creaking of the stairs up to the bedrooms and the bright, yellow room where sleepovers with friends took place for so many years.

We visited my parents this weekend and all the feelings of home rushed back. I so enjoyed our visit, catching up with my family, eating good food and spending time outside. It was relaxing and refreshing.

On Saturday, we walked part of the greenway and then grabbed lunch. The rest of the day we spent sitting outside, talking & reading. My dad loves to grill so he fired up the Weber and cooked some delicious steaks & grilled veggies. While the food was cooking, we all sat outside with a glass of wine & enjoyed the last bit of warm sun for the day. I am so thankful for wonderful parents that welcome us in & love us well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Open spaces & bright colors

The weather has been incredible here, highs in the upper 70's and today in the mid 80's.  One of my favorite things about spring is that the first few warm days, everyone is outside, soaking up every minute of sunshine. Our neighborhood was filled with kids playing football in the yard, moms pushing strollers down the sidewalk, old men walking dogs and couples cruising on their bikes. I love that warm weather after long winters brings so much joy.

We, too, have been outside every moment we can get. Today I even took my students outside because between standardized testing and spring fever, they were itching for some fresh air & sunshine. Yesterday, Will & I spent the day working in the yard. He cranked up the chain saw and cleared out some dead bushes and limbs, while I planted flowers & herbs in some pots on our back steps. I also started clearing out a space for a veggie garden and getting the soil ready. We worked really hard, but it was so rewarding and refreshing to be outside all day. With pink cheeks and tired arms, we retreated inside as the sun started setting for a good, hearty meal (stuffed shells). 

It's been sunny and warm the whole week & I'm praying it stays like this. I've realized a few things these past few days; open spaces & bright colors do wonders for my heart. Waking up to light pouring in the bedroom windows, vibrant purple flowers on the dining room table and a backyard thats blooming makes me so joyful!