Friday, March 31

my march favorites.

my march favorites.

Here's what I've been loving this month...

1. American Shakespeare Center - Did you know that the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, the Blackfriars' Playhouse, is in Staunton, Virginia? I went with friends to see a production of the parody The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in college, but hadn't been since. My co-teacher's parents got tickets for our whole English team for Christmas, and we had a wonderful day driving up to see The Merchant of Venice and eat dinner at the Mill Street Grill.

2. The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima - Several of my male students had recommended this fantasy series to me, so I was surprised when I finally got around to checking out The Demon King from the library, with its super-masculine cover art, and finding out that one of the main characters is a feisty princess! The other MC is a streetlord who's basically a combination of Aladdin and Han Solo. These are definitely time-consuming books to read (each one weighs in at over 500 pages), but I really enjoyed getting lost in the unique fantasy world Chima has built, which includes a matrilineal society that feels medieval, an indigenous culture based on eastern Native American societies, and a magical college.

3. Old Navy Clover Necklace - I picked this dainty necklace up around St. Patrick's Day, but it's also perfect as a 4-H necklace for me :)

4. REN Evercalm Rescue Mask from Sephora - When I got back from my business trip to Indiana last month, my skin was a mess from staying in a hotel and air travel - I had acne on my cheeks, which is really unusual for me. I had a little sample bottle of this mask from Sephora, which is a little thicker than a normal day moisturizer. I used it morning (under makeup) and night (after washing my face) for about a week and it made a huge difference. The full-size version is a pricey product but I feel like it'll be worth it if used sparingly for skin emergencies!

5. Indoor Rock Climbing - The Bible study I've joined tries to have a fun activity in the community each month, and this month we visited a rock climbing gym in Roanoke. I hadn't done any climbing since I worked as a 4-H camp counselor in college and was surprised by how easy it was to pick back up. I didn't realize how much my upper body strength had improved since I've become a yoga junkie! It doesn't hurt the fun factor that the River Rock gym shares a building with Wasena Tap Room!

Tuesday, March 28

pinspiration: niagara blue

So far 2017 is shaping up to be such an exciting year in my life, and I keep feeling like so many of my little steps along the way have led me to precisely this season. In November, I was hired as the instructional coach and coordinator for a new school-within-a-school, the seeds of which were planted long ago. I would not have taken the chance to even apply for the job if not for the confidence I've gained from working with the most amazing team of all-new-to-8th-grade-English teachers this year. All the best things I've done in life have come from choices I've made when I had nothing to lose.


Two weeks ago, my forward momentum came to a grinding halt and balancing two jobs at once became too much for me to bear. Teaching has never been an 8:30-3:30 job for me - it's not just my job but my calling and passion and I am a self-identified workaholic. I love what I do. But adding a lot of research, paperwork, and tasks that delved into the PR and HR fields on top of planning three differentiated lessons a day for 70+ hormonal tweens, scoring 70+ essays on a regular basis, and dealing with all of the IEP progress reports, RTI forms, gradebook deadlines - oh, and being the 8th grade English department chair - my body finally said "nope." What I thought was just a good cry after a stressful conference call and one dropped ball on my part was actually the first sign that I was sick.

I woke up at 3 a.m. the next morning with terrible pains in my stomach. A few hours later, it became abundantly clear that I had norovirus - fever, chills, and all. I had to miss two days of work and lived on saltine crackers and Pedialyte for a week. Through it all, my team - the 5 beautiful ladies I've been mentoring this year - were there for me, helping make sure that my substitutes had the right plans and materials, that my students were behaving and on track, and, once I returned to work, that I really had talked to the powers that be about my workload.


These girls - our group Snapchat name is "Teacherladies" - aren't just my coworkers. They've become some of my dearest friends. I was so heartbroken about my old English team breaking up, but I don't think I've ever connected with a new group of people so quickly. One of the greatest gifts this group of women has brought me has been the invitation to a Bible study consisting of a handful of English teachers, several young pastors, and a handful of other folks in their late 20's and early 30's from a variety of denominations. Oh man, has this group been a blessing for Mr. Q and I. Sitting in a friend's living room last night, arms still sore from an indoor rock climbing adventure we shared this weekend, talking about Jesus and taking communion and cuddling with dogs, I was just so thankful that the Lord restores my soul - even if it takes getting knocked down by my immune system to know that restoration needs to happen.

Monday, March 27

this week's clicks.

get your week off to a colorful start...

SWOON.
Topshop via Refinery29

SMILE.

FLASHBACK.

Monday, March 13

Monday, March 6