Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yes, I cooked... and no one died lol


I don't often cook, because well, I don't like cooking and frankly, I'm not very good at it having never been allowed in the kitchen when my mother was cooking (that's a blog for another time...when I have LOTS of time haha). But I've been checking in with a few cooking blogs lately and dabbling a bit more in the kitchen (Who know that that thing under the stove is a broiler, not just another place to stash those unused pots and pans!).

I decided to try Parmesan chicken tonight with spaghetti and a salad. Hubby was gone all weekend with the Navy and I knew from a cell phone call that he wasn't having the best of times, so I decided to try to have a nice dinner ready for him when he got home. Normally for dinner either he grills or we go out so it is rare that I do anything other than a couple of casseroles that I have under my belt or spaghetti and meat sauce so I thought I'd start easy and just make my old standby of spaghetti and not add the ground beef to the sauce (from a jar lol- let's not get crazy here) then add the chicken as well.

It turned out really well and I'm quite proud of myself :) I'll have to add this to my very short cooking repertoire. Just patting myself on the back here...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Team in Training update

It's been a little while now so I thought I should update you on how I am doing with my fourth season with Team in Training - The 2009 Disney Marathon.
My training could be going a lot better. The team has had 4 trainings so far. Week 1 I only walked because I was going to a Capoeira class afterwards and running a 10K the next day. Perfectly good reasons to slack a bit at group practice because believe me, I worked my tail off at class and in the 10K the next day. That week I trained well on my own as well and got in a few 2-3 mile runs and another capoeira class. Week 2 was a 40 minute group training. I did well. I was running with a bigger group of other alumni doing 4:1's (running four minutes and walking a minute...then repeat numerous times). We even managed to get a negative split. We went out 20 minutes and turned around and were back at the start in slightly under 20 minutes (OK, so it was only about 30 seconds under but it was UNDER making our second split faster than our first by 30 seconds!). That week I was OK for a while. I got in a good run and weight workout on Monday, ran again on Tuesday, and by Wednesday I was Not sick exactly just exhausted and not right. I fought it all week but come time for Saturday morning practice I decided that I really shouldn't push it. It would be better to miss an early practice where the miles aren't too long rather than miss, and try to make up on my own, an 18 mile run! So I stayed home and slept, hoping to fight off whatever it was that I was fighting. It seemed to work and by Monday I felt fine again. I again got in a great run and weight workout on Monday, used Tuesday as a rest day and planned on going to Capoiera on Wednesday. However, I never made it to capoeira (Chris wasn't feeling well, I had a ton of homework, it was storming, excuses, excuses, excuses) and by Thursday I was sick. Full blown, all out, down right sick. Headache. Congested head. Alternating running or stuffy nose. Sneezing. Coughing. Yep, my sinuses had kicked in full force. I loaded up on the nose spray, Clairitin, and OJ and did my best to make it through work the rest of the week. This morning I woke up and contemplated not going to practice again, but despite my body's better judgement, I went "just to see." I ended up walking 4 miles rather than running the 5 miles I should have, but I figure they should just be happy I was mobile at all! Eventually I'll kick this and kick it in gear!

That's me in the middle with my ponytail swinging during week 2 group training!

Unlike my training, my fundraising is going well. I have just over $1,200 so I'm almost 1/2 way to my goal of $3,000! This has been mostly due to wonderful friends and family who have donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on behalf of my Team in Training efforts. I also have raised quite a bit on my fundraising CafePress store ( So far the store has been my only fundraising endeavor other than my letter-writing campaign where I mailed out 100 letters or so to close friends and family, and those not so close whose address I happened to have, asking for a donation. Next week I am planning a car wash with some other members of my team so hopefully we will make some money then too! If you still haven't donated and want to (or if you have but want to donate more) you can always just visit and make a secure online donation (it can even be anonymous!) The site won't show that I am up to $1,200 quite yet because I just mailed the rest of the checks in, so give it a little time to catch up!

Wish me luck with kicking this sinus infection so I can get back to kicking asphalt! Thanks to everyone who has supported me through donations, well wishes, and prayers!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The day I cried

Yes, I cried today. I didn't mean to cry, it wasn't planned, but I am not ashamed of it. My co-teacher and I both cried in front of a classroom full of wide-eyed 6th graders, and for me at least, it wasn't the first time I cried in front of a room full of sixth grade students.

If you look at the date, you probably know what made us cry, it's 9/11, seven years after the terror attacks.

This morning, My co-teacher Jonathon and I began retelling the events that took place in New York, Washington, and PA that day. He was in California at the time and I was in SW Florida. The kids were amazed to see how it affected everyone across the nation in much the same way, even if we didn't know someone who was actually in one of the four planes, the towers, or the pentagon that day. They of course, were too little to remember much of anything about what happened that day other than what people have told them and had many questions. Many didn't realize that there were actually four planes, not just the two that hit the towers. Other's didn't realize that their were passengers on the planes or that some people were able to make phone calls to loved ones before the unthinkable happened. They didn't know that brave firefighters and police risked their lives to help save others whom they didn't even know, or that we all banded together as a nation and waved flags, cheered our heroes, and mourned our dead.

It is interesting to note that in 2001 on September 11th, I was teaching a 6th grade class and here I am 7 years later in front of another 6h grade class telling them about that day. Everyone always says you will remember exactly where you were when you heard the news and I am sure that is true for those of us who lived it that day. I was standing at my classroom door welcoming my homeroom students to another wonderful day of middle school when a colleague came up to me and told me to turn on the TV, that an airplane had just crashed into one of the twin towers. I turned around and turned on the TV that usually just showed the morning announcements. I didn't have to look for a station that was showing it, they were all showing it. Replaying it again and again and the reporters were trying to figure out what was going on when suddenly behind them, a second plane hit the second tower.

I remember feeling such shock, fear, and confusion as I tried to work it out in my own head what was happening all the while knowing that I was responsible for the 6th graders in my room. I knew I couldn't lose it, but honestly, I was in too much shock to "lose it," I just stared at the screen now replaying the second crash. I didn't know if I really wanted the kids to see this, but I couldn't turn it off either.

I'm not sure that the kids really completely got it at first, so two planes just hit a building on the other side of the country...big deal. Some of them though, noticed me and commented that I looked scared or pale. Homeroom was only about 20 minutes long normally, just long enough to get any announcements or details of the day worked out prior to starting the school day. We didn't change classes for a while on that day. I think every TV in the school was on and every student, teacher, custodian, cafeteria worker, and everyone else stopped as we watched in shock as a third plane hit the pentagon then later reports of a fourth plane crashing in a Pennsylvania field.

Personally, I was running a list of everyone I knew through my head. Did I know where everyone was? Could any of them be in New York or Washington? What about on those planes, or another plane? Where were my friends from high school and college that I had lost contact with? Where were my friends in the military? Faces and names whirled through my head and my heart, but somehow I was able to keep it together for my students, although, that was the first day that 6th graders saw me cry.

I am not ashamed to say that thinking of those events still gets to me seven years later. The terror that I felt that day had to be nothing compared to those on the planes, in the towers and the pentagon, and those nearby. I ask myself if I would have been strong enough and brave enough to stand up to terrorist and face my own death to help crash a plane that I knew was about to crash into another unknown American building and kill and injure passably thousands more. Could I have run into a falling building to save people I didn't even know? I don't know. I hope I could have the faith and inner strength to do it, but I just don't know. I am thankful that God has placed people strong enough to do that on this earth. All I knew at that moment was a strong sense to hug every one of those confused sixth graders in my care, for my sake as much as theirs.