Friday, May 27, 2011

Extra Long Weekend


Today marked the beginning of my 4 day weekend, which Keith and I will celebrate tonight with beers at the Yazoo Taproom, mmmmmm. We're hoping for a super relaxing weekend working on some things around the house and catching up with friends, which I COULD NOT be happier about.

Here are some things that have been going on recently:

- Today I went on a shopping trip with Chelsey and splurged on this beautiful patterned skirt from Anthropologie. I love it :) It so soft and swirly and I want to wear it every day this summer!

- Also today, I went with Chelsey to her midwife appointment and I got to hear her sweet baby's heartbeat. He is coming so soon!!

- I no longer have to work until 7pm! The kids only have a day and a half left of school, then we get a week off, and summer camp begins. I'm not crazy excited about essentially being a camp counselor those 6 weeks, BUT it requires hardly any prep/planning and I get to wear shorts everyday haha.

- Because I no longer have to work until 7, I can start taking yoga/pilates classes!

- This one is a bummer: my camera isn't working anymore :( It got a little wet in my bag this week when my water bottle spilled, and now it just won't turn on. That coupled with my phone that died this morning after listening to half a cd, I'm starting to believe that technology is not on my side this week. I have had that camera for about 6 years and I've been griping about wanting an upgrade, but it's not exactly in the budget. For now, you'll have to deal with iPhone photos (from my phone that only stays alive for an hour at a time, fml) Anyway, I'm still carrying it around in my purse because I'm in denial about it actually being dead. You never know...

- On a lighter note, I got two huge bags of frozen strawberries from work yesterday which I definitely plan on turning into strawberry daiquiris at our Memorial Day BBQ... because that is the American way ;)

Hope you all have a great long weekend!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Field Trip Lessons.

Here are some tips from a professional field tripper:

1). A 4 hour drive will easily turn into a 5 1/2 hour trip when taking a school bus.

2). If you're already sweaty, letting a child lay on your lap only makes it more unbearable.

3). If you give one kid a piggy back ride you will never let it down and will be the subject of relentless requests hereafter.

4). In reference to the sleeping on the lap part -> kids will tell you that you look pregnant all year long with their little unfiltered brains- until they want to sleep on your shoulder. At which point they may say, "Ms. Richards, I wish you had more pudge... you're uncomfortable!".

5). Take any complements you can get.

6). In reference to piggy back rides -> don't send a 7 year old on a field trip in flip flops. Their feet will start hurting before they have even taken a step. Or they will lose them.

7). When kids smell food, they will immediately become hungry and useless regardless of their hunger level before smelling this food.

8). Learn to tone out the phrases "are we there yet?" and "Ms. Richards, I'm so hungry I could die!".

9). When you're on a trip to view animals at some point in the day the students WILL witness an animal pooping. This will cause them to scream in disgust, but will not stop them from complaining of hunger.

10). Your students will inevitably push and shove other kids/adults/handicapped people out of the way to be in front and there will always be someone who will mistake you for the mother of the children in your group. The only proper response to this is: "yes of course sir, all 12 of these African American children are mine- I don't know what I was thinking! Do you want one?!"

11) At some point in the day you will think to yourself, "I was NEVER this bad when I was a kid!". This is not true. Call your 3rd grade teacher and apologize.

12). Regular headphones do not block out the sound of screaming children- invest in noise canceling headphones.

13). Regardless of how many new cool things your students saw- if asked they will ONLY remember the poop.

14). Children are gullible and it is your duty to take advantage of that. Here are some easy lines that will send them into an instant panic: Before arriving at your destination, "Oh you though we were going to the aquarium? No, we can't go inside, we're just going to ride the bus all day!" After a phone call, Ok guys, the aquarium called and they said that kids aren't allowed. We're going to leave you here on the bus... but I promise we'll take lots of pictures for you!" After your trip, No no no no no! We aren't going home! We all live in Atlanta now. Didn't you say goodbye to your mom this morning??" and you can always make up stories about child eating bears that come out of the forest to attack the buses and eat the kids. WARNING: These do not stop the students from talking incessantly... this is simply for your own amusement.

15). Don't try and sleep on the bus. This is the equivalent to falling asleep with your shoes on at a college party. I guess I should preface this with "don't let your students borrow your pens".

16). Kids are not easily trainable- save your breath and get over it. They are not going to sit down.

17). Regardless of how great the song is- resist the urge to sing along with your headphones on. You will be made fun of because your music is "so beyond lame, ew".

18) ... until they find out you that you have the Jonas Brothers on your iPod. You are instantly elevated to hero status once more.

19) Even though it seems like a good idea at first- don't try and teach your students spanish as a way to pass time. Unless you bought those noise canceling headphones, seniorita.

20). Children are just a strange breed of wild animal- they require NO sleep and they always have to pee.

21). Oddly enough one of them will surprise you with a hug saying "today was really fun!". Which will usually be followed up by another students' snarky comment, "that was so dumb, all we did was look at fish."

22). Riding on a bus with the windows open on the highway is the equivalent to driving in a convertible and your hair will be the evidence of this. DON'T under any circumstance let a child help you fix this- it will only bring you pain and grant you "crazy teacher" status.

23). Not all chaperones will be as committed as you or understand that this is not a chance for them to take a fun trip and that it's not ok to take their own tour separate from the group. Resist the urge to hit these people or publicly berate them. This may be more difficult than dealing with the kids.

24). If left to their own devices kids will always make a terrible concoction out of the things they find on a restaurant table. This usually consists of water, lemon, anything in a packet, salt, pepper, half and half etc. There WILL be a slightly dim child that will be convinced to drink this, which may or may not cause them to puke. We've all done this. Or tried to.

25). Nothing will go the way you planned. Bring super glue just in case.

Enter the highlight reel, these smiles may be fake:






I love whale sharks :)


Oh yeah, 26). No one smiles during a group picture. 




Friday, May 20, 2011

Just Checking In...

Flowers that have been brightening up our table this week.

This has been SUCH a crazy busy week, and our weekend is definitely not slowing down either. As an example: we've been running around so much this week that I honestly can't remember what we did on Monday. Tuesday we had Caroyln, Isaac and Sage over for dinner, which was such a nice treat. We were pleasantly surprised by how much Theo was interested in the baby, he was determined to smell everything that she touched but he was also super gentle and didn't attempt to jump on her/anyone else. Wednesday we had our small group and then last night we had Trent and Jordie over for dinner. It was so nice to get a chance to hang out with just the two of them since we regularly hang out with a large group. Today is our only real day with some down time, which means date night! Then Saturday morning I head to work at 6:15am to board a school bus along with 15 of our students headed to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Yep. 5 hour drive, with elementary aged students, on a school bus. Please pray for my sanity. THEN! Sunday morning Mom and Joe will be here! We're so excited for them to come visit us in Nashville and see our new place and to get to spend the day with them. I'm really hoping for good weather.

All of that is to say... next weekend? I will not be making any plans.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grown Ups

This Sunday I don't really have a review of our week because we happened to be doing a detox cleanse and didn't do very much besides eat a lot of vegetables and pretend we weren't hungry. It went really well despite the whole not eating anything but vegetables thing and we are both feeling very energized, healthy and ready to head back into a summer exercise routine.

Yesterday after our second trip to home depot I looked at Keith and said "we have done WAY too many grown up things today." I feel that we've reached the unfortunate part of our lives where buying a lawn mower counts as an exciting new toy haha. I shouldn't say unfortunate because obviously this was our own choice and we love our lives the way they are, but it is super weird to admit that we are no longer kids. After that statement, I immediately suggested that we find a bounce house to jump in to compensate for all our grown up errands. We didn't actually do that, but in the mean time we now own a lawn mower and a weed whacker, so we no longer have to be "those people" in the neighborhood. We also finally got air conditioning for our house, recycled all our glass bottles and got a membership at the YMCA. Next week though... bounce house!

After all our Saturday errands we headed down to Franklin with Ryan and Chelsey to see Isaac, Carolyn and baby Sage. We were also joined by Trent, Jordie, Tytus and Jamie and had a really nice night catching up, eating and playing games. It is so nice to have such a caring and supportive group of friends here in Nashville (even if it makes me miss all my Florida/Philly friends, boo).






She is growing up so fast!

Review


This Friday, Keith and I got out of the house to go and see Bridesmaids. I don't normally go to see movies on opening night, but we had free tickets and nothing else planned, so we decided it would be a fun treat. It was SUCH a good time! I would definitely recommend it. I absolutely adore Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph so I had a feeling I was going to like it, but I was presently surprised with the mix of absolutely hysterical parts with the adorable sentimental parts. I mentioned this on Facebook, but I have this absurd paranoia about going to the movies and paying for a ticket and then having to sit in the first row because it's so packed. I like to get to the movies early because of this, and get super antsy if we're running late. Friday, we weren't running late by any means, and showed up the the 9:50 movie, at well... 9:50. Me being the crazy person I am though, I insisted that we get tickets to the 10:20 showing instead since it was opening night and in my head it was bound to be sold out. What happens when we walk into the theatre? Totally empty. Of course. My wonderful husband held back his "I told you so's" and we passed the time reading Damn You Autocorrect and practically peeing ourselves laughing (if you have never seen this site, please take a moment of your time to read through a few pages. It is absolutely amazing).

In short... if you're planning on going to the movies, I would suggest seeing this one. It's not just one of those "ehh it's pretty good, but you can wait til it comes to Redbox" kind of movies.

Also, am I the only one who is a stickler about being early to the movies?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Roller Derby

Last Saturday Keith and I drove up to Clarksville to hang out with our beautiful friend Jackie who was in town from Florida for a bout for a roller derby team there. Keith and I have seen the movie Whip It, but aside from that had no idea what roller derby was really about and I can say with confidence that we definitely had a blast. The rules are fairly simple, there is screaming and pushing involved and we got to buy beer out the back door of the skating rink. There are lots of things to laugh about in Clarksville, but that was my favorite haha






It's hard to tell, but Jackie is in all of those skating photos... I promise haha. The team Jackie played with ended up winning by more than 100 points and we were the crazy people there cheering for the random Florida visiting team haha After the bout we headed to downtown Clarksville for the after party and got some more time to catch up with Jackie. Overall it was a GREAT way to spend our Saturday night, and we were so thankful to be able to see a good friend. Also, I would highly recommend finding some local roller derby to watch, it was such a blast!

Backtrack

So our internet is FINALLY fixed after more than a month of being down. I have LOTS of things to share, so bare with me :) These are some pictures that I meant to share weeks ago, but never got around to it, so here I am backtracking all the way to our Easter weekend.

Friday before Easter, Keith and I went on a date to Las Marachas and he got our favorite: the triple beer!

You can't really tell how big the glass is until you see it next to a normal sized glass haha

Saturday Chelsey and I took Theo to the vet and did some shopping at the mall. When I went to pick him up they had put this really funny bandana on him. He looked embarrassed haha

Later on Saturday we had some people over for a pre-holiday BBQ. We don't have patio furniture so we just had to bring our regular dining room stuff outside... still gets the job down. Keith made some fabulous turkey burgers (which I'm craving really hard right now). It was great to see some friends that we don't see very often, and Keith is always looking for an opportunity to use his grill.


Bennett and Dan came!


Easter Sunday we had a pretty packed day. We started at church, had brunch with our friend Carolyn's family, lunch with Tytus and Jamie and ended the night with a BBQ at Steve's house. It was a great day, long, but great AND we ate more food than I thought was possible haha
Julia and Bennett!

Heres and added bonus: the day before my parents got to town my students did a community service project and picked up trash around the center. Can you tell how excited they are? It was a long night...

And this was their sad attempt at a group picture... no ones paying any attention :) story of my life haha

**sidenote: after we picked up all that trash, they threw their gloves on the ground and walked away. #thedontlearnanything!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Funny Stories

Sometimes I hate to admit this, but my parents are some of the funniest people that I know, and it seems that strange/funny things surround them endlessly. Here are some stories from our week together that could not go unshared:

Wednesday night we're leaving the concert and lots of people were trying to get on an elevator to the parking garage and mysteriously the doors wouldn't close once everyone had smashed in. Keith held back and when a women got off, we coached him to hop on, not realizing what the hold up was. The elevator still would not budge but Keith embarrassing understood the issue... the elevator was over the weight limit and he was the tipping point. He stepped off amongst cheers of "way to take one for the team" from strangers, and a weird lady who told him  to "go jog a lap" haha. We died laughing, because we're mean, for the entire time it took for him to catch the next elevator... and then some. I love you Keith and you're not fat... there were just 12 other people on that elevator, and you were the unfortunate target. 

Fast forward to Saturday at the Horse Park... we were standing at the top of the course watching horses run and jump over things when all of a sudden a women who has just purchased a hotdog trips on the little white piece of string roping off the course and proceeds to drop it in such a way that the top and bottom parts of the bun separated from themselves and sent the dog rolling. We held our laughter for this part because we're decent, but did not necessarily hold back our judgement when she proceeded to put it back together and eat it. 

The funnier part of this day came soon after the hotdog incident when we all looked to our right to see a swarm of bugs headed our way. At first they looked like gnats, then maybe flies but once they got closer we realized it was thousands of bees. Yep. a SWARM of bees. Most bizarre thing ever. The laughter came from the couple standing next to us who when they realized it was bees, screamed louder than necessary to "GET DOWN! HIT THE GROUND" and to "HURRY AND GET DOWN". They then proceeded to drop to the ground and army crawl away in fear. I absolutely lost it because they bees quickly flew past and it was really no big deal, yet they severely overreacted as if we were being shot at hahaha. When we were all safe and bee free, the couple got up and Keith nonchalantly looked at them and said, "great job guys, just they way we practiced it. this was not a drill". I laughed for about 20 minutes. 

This isn't really a story, but at open mic night we say a husband/wife duo who played kids songs; her name was Whiskers, and his was Pouchie. They sang songs about their pets getting married and it felt like it was straight out of a movie. Crazy town. We sniggered softly to ourselves. 

We lead pretty hysterical lives :)

Photo Recap

Hold your breath... the internet is currently working, and I don't know how long it will stay that way so I'm typing as quickly as possible :)

Here is what we've been up to this week that my parents have been in town:

Wednesday we went for a run at Shelby Bottoms, had lunch at Jersey Mikes, relaxed at the house, had dinner at Savarino's and headed to the Ryman to see Jeff Beck. It was a great night... which also included drinking wine out of to-go cups in the parking garage. Win.

Thursday someone I know turned 60! and we started with another refreshing run, headed to Cheekwood to check out the beautiful gardens and an art exhibit I had been looking forward to. It was AWESOME! It couldn't have been a nicer day to be outside. We were throughly impressed.
The mansion was beautiful, and so were the views.

Someone in this photo is 60.


This is Keith doing thai chi (which looks a lot like he's casting a spell on someone)
After Cheekwood we took the long way home through Brentwood and checked out where the rich people lived, took naps and then headed to the Yazoo Brewery for some drinks and present opening then to Flyte for dinner. It was so freaking good, we all ate every little thing on our plates haha.
They had to relive their Stevie Wonder photo from our NYC trip in January.

Friday morning we woke up early and started our day with a trip to Pancake Pantry before getting on the road to visit some family friends in Lexington, KY.

When we arrived in Kentucky we headed straight to Keeneland to watch some horse racing. This was a first time for Keith and I and I would by no means say that we are now professionals at betting on horses, but we did have a pretty good time.
My dad was showing Keith how to study the stats on the horses before we placed our bets.

Here we are with my dads childhood friend Richard.

Go horses!

Dad cheering on his horse

and he wins! or I should say.. the horse he bet on won.

More running horses... we were VERY close.

AND WE WIN! ($14.00)
Saturday we woke up and then headed to the Kentucky Horse Park to watch a cross country horse race. It was pretty interesting and nothing that we've ever seen before (and I got a sun burn on my forearms, ugh).
yes we both wore plaid.

Keith found a stand that sold giant pickles. Sold.

and the rest of us ate those ridiculously delicious sugary almonds that always smell so good.

This is the fatefully awkward horse photo that I chased with a daiquiri.

We watched horses jump over things.
After horsin' around all day (dads joke) we had a delicious italian dinner and then Keith and my dad made some music in the living room with Richard's daughter Madelyn.

Sunday we drove back to Nashville, relaxed and grilled on the Big Green Egg. It was wonderful to have a day to play catch up.

Monday my parents and I had our last run at the park, and then picked up Keith for a renegade tour of RCA Studio B. It's a historic old studio here in Nashville where many classics were recorded and also happens to by owned by Belmont. If you wanted to take a tour you have to buy a $30 ticket to the Country Music Hall of Fame which we were certainly not going to do, so we drove over, knocked on the door, said we were Belmont students and got to go in and look around for free. Awesome. I would recommend it.

I need a wig like those.




Then we took a quick tour of Belmont, went home for a nap, had dinner at Burger Up and then went to open mic night at the Bluebird Cafe. It was really entertaining... we saw some pretty good musicians and some really terrible/humorous ones and were overall pretty interested in witnessing how many people come to Nashville from around the world to "make it big".

It was a GREAT trip. We loved having them in town and we enjoyed being tourists in our own city. We had some amazing food, and more bottles of wine than I can count... such a treat. Can't wait to have them come back and visit again. Feel free to come and visit us as well! We are now professional Nashville guides haha