Happy New Year

Just got back from my morning run.   It was a gorgeous morning.  Here’s a picture of the view from the top of the hill where I turn around to head home.


I figured I should take some time to post this morning because I won’t have much time to write this evening.  We will be celebrating with friends.

The first thing I did when I returned home was look at my Twitter.  I read two posts that caught my eye.  One was by Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax).  He posted today about the top 10 things he did in 2013.  He called it Reflecting on 2013:  Life’s A Blur-Make a List.  I thought it would be fun to think of a Top 10 list, but I didn’t do that many things this year.  He said one of the reasons he blogs is so that he can record what he was up to this year.  I did that, but I don’t have 10 things on my list.  Instead, I will go with my top 8.  🙂  #8)  Partipating in the #nerdlution challenge  #7)  Beginning work on my administrative credential  #6)  Celebrating an hour of code with my 2nd graders  #5)  Participating in the Mentor Text Challenge (SDAWP Voices)  #4)  Celebrating National Day on Writing with my 2nd graders and Twitter friends  #3)  Participating in SDAWP Photo Challenges (SDAWP Photo Voices)  #2)  Starting my blog  #1)  Becoming an SDAWP fellow.  Even though I only have a Top 8 list, that sure was a lot accomplished!

The other blog post I read was by Michelle Haseltine (@mhaseltine).  Her post was entitled, From Still To Risk, 2014 Word of the Year.  She said,

I don’t make resolutions. Resolutions make me feel less than and I don’t
want to start the year feeling like a failure. In 2009, I discovered One Little
Word as an alternative. I’ve been picking a word of the year since 2009.

I thought that was a great idea.  What would I pick as my word of the year?  I decided my word will be love.  Everything I do has to be grounded in love.  It should be present in everything I do.  I will also have to remember to show my love in words and actions to the people I deal with every day.  I realize love is what keeps me going.  I also know that if I give love, I will get love.  It all makes sense to me.

With that I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings.  Most importantly, I am excited to see how love will show itself every day.


Lazy Monday

I am ashamed to say that I didn’t do anything productive today.  Well, I take that back.  I did do some laundry.  But, other than that, it was a lazy Monday.  My husband and I have been off from work this week.  My husband has been spending most of his time at the beach, surfing.  He announced to me today he just needed to not be working so he could get all his projects done.  I second that emotion.  However, the reality is that we have 3 children.  Two are in various stages of orthodontia.  One is hopefully college-bound.  We need to work or win the lottery.

In the meantime, my husband and I are enjoying our time off from the rigors of work.  We are appreciating every moment until we have to get back to our regular grind.  Tomorrow, we will be celebrating the New Year with friends.  Each year we do a progressive dinner.  This year we are in charge of appetizers.  Easy enough.  My husband went to Costco today for various finger foods.  I think we are ready for tomorrow.

On New Year’s Day, we will go to my mother’s house to celebrate the New Year and Christmas.  She was gone for Christmas taking care of my aunt.   We will get together with my sister and brother and their families.  I am grateful that I get to spend time with my family this vacation.  Life is definitely good.  🙂

The Chargers Win!!!

Oh my gosh.  I just got done watching the San Diego Chargers beat the Kansas City Chiefs to advance to the playoffs.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  My daughter, Allison, was worried about me.  I told her to be ready to call 911 if I suddenly passed out.  I am happy to report that we won!  Our next game will be against the Cincinnati Bengals.

This was a wild and crazy game.  All during the game, I am texting my friend, Heather, and my brother-in-law, Joel.  The game went into overtime and I thought I was going to lose my mind.  When we finally won, I was so elated.  My family thought I was going crazy.  I was just so happy.  It was a great game.

The best thing is that the Chargers are still alive.  Amazing.  I didn’t think it was possible.  My friend, Heather, never lost the faith.  She’s a lot better than I am.  All I know is I am looking forward to the next game.  I hope we win!  Go Chargers!!


Call Me Crazy

Okay, don’t really call me crazy.  However, I did something that I have never done before.  I ran up Torrey Pines hill two days in a row!  I know.  CRAZY!  Here is a picture of one part of the hill.

TP hill

It’s hard to get the full effect unless you are actually standing there.  And, my iPhone camera does not do it justice.  The hill continues on and curves around until you get to the Visitor’s Center at the top.  Then it eventually levels off.

I already ran Torrey Pines yesterday.  I usually go for my runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  However, I decided to sleep in on Thursday and then my car needed an oil change.  There was just no time Thursday morning to get my run in.  I wanted to go run at Torrey Pines on Friday, but my friend, Heather, was working that day.  She said she could go on Saturday.  I realized that I might need to be available on Saturday to pick my mother up from Los Angeles, so I went for my Torrey Pines run on Friday, without Heather.  When I arrived home, my friend Nicole texted me (and Heather) and asked if anyone was up for a Torrey Pines run on Saturday or Sunday.  I voted Sunday, because I just ran the hill.  Then, we all remembered there was a 1/2 marathon being run on Sunday, and it ends in Torrey Pines.  A Sunday run was out of the question.  I texted them and said I was going to opt out.  I didn’t think I could run the hill two days in a row.  But, you know how it is with peer pressure.  Besides, it would be a fun time spent with friends.  Here is a picture of Heather and Nicole on the Guy Fleming Trail today.


On a good day, I could not keep up with my friends.  Heather (on the left) is a runner.  Nicole is also very athletic.  I knew this, so I brought my earphones with me so I could listen to Kanye West’s Stronger as I ran up the hill.  I just kept repeating that song until I got to the top.  I went further up the hill today than I did yesterday, so I was pretty happy with myself!  I walked the few yards up to the Visitor’s Center because my calves were cramping up.  Not even Kanye West could push me all the way up to the top!  Of course, Nicole and Heather made it up with no problem.  They doubled back to meet me as I was slogging up the hill.  We kept running to the edge of the Torrey Pines golf course before we turned around to run the Guy Fleming Trail and back down the hill to Nicole’s car.  Here is the picture of them running down the hill.  I was feeling nothing but joy to be running down the hill and not up.  🙂


After our run, we were hungry.  We wanted to stop and grab a bite, but no one brought any money, except for me.  I had 20 bucks.  Nicole dug around in her car and found a dollar bill and some spare change.  I remembered I had the Starbuck’s app on my iPhone and I had saved my gift cards on it.  We were able to get tea and coffee at Starbucks, and we had enough money to buy bagels at Einstein Bros.  Here is a picture of Nicole’s money.


I bet the cashier was thinking, “Oh brother!”

It was a fun morning.  I can’t believe I pushed myself to run up this hill again.  I was glad I got to share that with my buddies.  I am pretty sure I am going to be sore this evening.  Luckily, I have already made an appointment to get a massage.  I am looking forward to my next adventure with these fun gals.


#Nerdlution Challenge Update

I just realized this is Day 26 of my 50 day #nerdlution challenge.  That means I am more than halfway through with this challenge.  I started the challenge back on December 2nd.  I decided I would post something to my blog every day for 50 days straight.  So far I have been on track.  It has been a challenge.  Some days I do not know what to write about.  I will sit in front of my computer and realize I hadn’t done anything interesting.  I just went back and read my previous posts.  I am amazed that I have been able to keep up with this challenge for 26 days now.  I think part of the reason I am successful is that I am on vacation right now.  I can sit down at the computer whenever I want and write.  This might be more difficult to do when school starts up again.  However, I am really going to give it my best effort to complete this challenge.  I mean, if I could keep up with my blog while I was at Disneyland, I am pretty sure I can continue posting after school starts again.  Right?

I am also wondering how other folks are doing with their #nerdlution challenges.  When the challenge first began, I saw a lot of tweets on Twitter.  People were sharing what they would be doing for the 50 days.  I wonder if they were able to keep it up.  I wonder how people are feeling now that we are more than halfway through.  I am going to have to do some investigating with this.

All I know is that I am pretty proud of myself for trying to stick with it.  I wonder what will happen after the 50 days are up.  I believe the end of the challenge is on January 20th.  I remember reading somewhere that it takes about 3 weeks for a behavior to become a habit.  I would say that I am definitely over that 3 week window.  I hope I will just keep on writing even after I am done with the challenge.  Or, maybe I will just have to come up with a new one for myself.

Effects of Santa Ana Winds

It’s the day after Christmas, but it feels more like a summer day in Southern California.  Today, I battled the crowds and went to three different malls to return items for my daughters and my husband.  I know, call me CRAZY!  Actually, I literally “lucked out” in the parking lot department.  I was able to find a parking space within the first 5 minutes of arrival at each of the different malls.  I didn’t have to circle the parking lot, waiting for potential customers to leave, and stalk them in my car until they pulled out of their space.  Even my youngest daughter, Allison, was amazed at how we got so lucky.

There were lots of people at the mall, taking advantage of the after Christmas sales.  I was good and didn’t shop or buy anything.  I was amazed by my self-control!  Lines were long, but I remembered the promise I made to myself.  I remained calm and patient.  The line seemed to move more quickly that way.

When my daughter and I finally got on the freeway to go home, I glanced at my car thermometer.  It read 80 degrees Farenheit!  I had my sunroof open and the windows rolled down.  It was a gorgeous day, but very windy.  We were having what is known as Santa Ana winds.  This is a very strong, dry wind that blows in from the desert.  The first thing I worry about when we have Santa Ana winds are wildfires.  We had a terrible one several years ago.  Many houses were lost.  School was cancelled due to poor air quality.  Here’s a photo of what the sky looked like at that time.


Today, I haven’t heard of any wildfires in my area.  Thank goodness.  I hope it stays that way.

Anyway, when my daughter and I got home from the mall, she went out into the backyard.  Immediately she called to me to come out.  She noticed our table umbrella had a huge rip in it.


I guess it is time to get a new umbrella.  I knew this damage was caused by the high winds.  I wondered what other effects of the wind I could find.  I walked out to the front yard to investigate.  The first things I saw were the trees across the street bending in the wind.


We have a lot of eucalyptus trees in our area.  They often don’t sustain high winds very well.  Sometimes trees will blow over or branches will end up in the road.  It can be dangerous.  I continued my walk up the street and I found these dead palm leaves in the street.  Obviously blown down by the wind.

palm tree

I decided to take my short walk further into the canyon.  I found these beauties next to the path.

tumbleweed 2

tumbleweed 1

They are tumbleweeds.  Tumbleweeds are dead plants that have been uprooted by the wind.  They blow where the wind takes them.  On a windy day like today, it is not unusual to see these guys rolling up and down the street.

I had fun on my learning walk this afternoon.  The best part is I didn’t have to go very far.  In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the warm weather and spend some time outside.  I am certain the weather will turn colder soon.  I will also hope that no wildfires occur in my area while these Santa Ana winds are present.

Merry Christmas!

The presents have been opened. Everyone is happy with what they got this year. There are a few returns in my future.  That means I have to brave the mall in the next few days to return and/or exchange items that were the wrong size or color.  I don’t know if I am ready for that.  Long lines and packed parking lots await me.  I expect the next few days will be worse than before Christmas.  I will need to remember my deep breathing and patience as I am waiting to return items.  In any case, I will worry about that later.  The stores are closed now anyway.

In a few minutes, we are off to my sister’s house to exchange presents with her family.  My brother is on his way, too, with his family.  My sister is making everyone breakfast this morning.  We usually go over to my mom’s house for lunch.  However, as I posted the other night, she is still in Los Angeles with my aunt.  It seems that my aunt has taken a turn for the better.  In fact, she may even be able to go home from the hospital today.  I am thankful for that great news.  We will celebrate with my mom when she comes home.  That may be on New Year’s Day.

Anyway, I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone who celebrates today a happy and merry Christmas.  I hope all your Christmas wishes came true.  Peace and joy to all of you.