Last Great Book I Read

The Boys in the Boat - have you read it? Perhaps I'm partial being a University of Washington alum myself (the setting for this true story).  Also, I did have a brief stint on the UW Women's Novice Crew team, so I can literally picture where much of their rowing occurs.  The author weaves much of the story through the lens of one of the oarsmen from the epic boat, Joe Rantz.  Joe's difficult childhood and upbringing cast a light onto what life looked like for some in the early 1930's in rural Washington.  The author also does an exceptional job of depicting a pre-depression Seattle (fun to read as a Seattleite).  

He goes on to describe the other eight oarsmen and coxswain, and describe the genuine trust and camaraderie these boys were able to harness together to fulfill their dreams.  I love a good sports story, and this book captures the heart and spirit of these athletic, strong-willed, and lion-hearted individuals in their quest for success.  Cons: there is a lot of crew jargon, which at times is tedious, however, the overall book is a solid read.  One of those books I wanted to make time to finish, always a good sign, right?

Coolest High School Teacher Ever

Where was this teacher when I was in high school?  My colleagues and I joked we should attempt our own elementary rendition of this dance at our end of the year assembly (only to top our flash mob of "Happy" at last years).  Only time will tell...

Movie Review: Wild

A few weeks ago, I went out with my girlfriends to Thai food followed by a showing of Wild starring Reese Witherspoon. The movie is based on the book of the same name, by Cheryl Strayed.  Her journey of self discovery hiking the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Northern Mexico to Canada.  Despite its catchy plot, I enjoyed, but didn't love this book.  

Now I rarely think a movie is better than the book, however, this might be one of the few exceptions.  The story of Cheryl's journey navigating the lengthy trail is told through snippets of her present day adventures pieced together with flashbacks of her tumultuous past.  In no particular order, the narrative flashes back to her childhood, her effervescent mother (by a show-stealing Laura Dern), the discovery of her mother's terminal cancer, and the string of events in which Cheryl unravels, destroying her marriage and reaching out for anything she can hold onto.  The movie portrayed an emotional element that I just didn't find (or feel) when reading the book.  Overall - two thumbs up!


Monday was my birthday.  We were jet setters and spent the long weekend in the Grand Cayman celebrating our close friends' wedding.  My birthday was spent eating fish curry at a roadside shack right on the beach, swimming in the blue waters of 7 Mile Beach, searching for sea glass, and toasting with chilled CayBrews among friends.  Aside from the fact that I was thousands of miles away from my sweet daughter, it was pretty perfect.

While I'm already an ankle deep into my thirties, but this seems like a good quote to have in my back pocket for the rest of the thirty something journey.

"I was once told, when you turn 30, you turn French...  When one hits her 30's, she knows where she's going in life and what looks great on her."  
~ Casey Keasler


Quote of the Week

"Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress."
~ Charles Kettering


Diagnosing Ear Infections on Your Smart Phone

Have you heard of this?  As a parent of a toddler who has had 3+ ear infections in her 16 short months of life thus far, I am thoroughly intrigued by the Oto Home.  This handy dandy device attaches to your smartphone, where it takes a video of your child's ear drum.  Then, without visiting the doctor, you can send the video in for a diagnosis.  

What will they think of next?!


Goals for 2015

Following my own traditions, I prefer to make goals for the new year instead of resolutions. 

+ worry less
I worry about everything.  I worry about my daughter, my husband, my parents, my friends.  I worry about illness.  I worry about my students.  I worry about the emails I get from their parents.  I worry about what could happen, did happen, or won't happen.  I've been told I worry more than the average person.  I am so sick of worry.  Time and time again I'm told "don't worry," and I wish it were that simple, that I could just flip a switch and my worries would vanish, or at least be dimmed and muted.  Hence, this my goal for 2015, do whatever I can to worry less.  I would say "don't worry," but I know that's inevitable.  Baby steps.

+ read more books
I used to read all the time. Then I became a mother and my reading quota declined significantly.  Which is expected of course, but I do truly enjoy reading and would like it to become a more frequent activity.  According to my goodreads account, I only read 2 books in 2014.  Gasp!  That is peanuts for me.  The moral of that story is read more in 2015.

+ get outside
With my darling now walking - more like running - I want to take advantage of our fair weather and get outside more often.  Whether that be a stroll around the neighborhood or a hike on a nearby trail, my goal for this year is to spend more time outside as a family than we did in 2014.

+ try and shop/spend locally
I feel like this is a buzz phrase right now, so bear with me.  And one might argue, well in Seattle, Starbucks and Amazon are local…right? But seriously, when I think about my year, I recall way too many frequencies in the drive-thru Starbucks line.  I'd like to change that.  This year, I'd like to strive to buy produce at Farmer's Market during the Spring/Summer months when the pickings are better.  Aim to try and buy coffee and snacks at local establishments rather than always relying on Starbucks to stifle my hunger or thirst with a quick fix.  

+ other random goals and ideas
…successfully make a poached egg
…memorize a recipe for homemade pie crust
…wait to get to work to check email (i.e. not right when I wake up)
…drink more water
…finish baby book 

What are your goals or resolutions for 2015?

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Past goals for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Dinner Last Night: Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

I love it when images I pin become realized!  Another Pinterest dinner in the books - this time, mushroom and wild rice soup.  The recipe calls for the addition of tofu, but I've never been much of a tofu fan so I left that out.  However, I don't think it's really necessary, as the soup is surprisingly creamy considering it's dairy free.  A healthy vegetarian soup for a rainy day.



I'm sure you've seen this circulating around the internet, but it was too good to pass up in the event that you haven't.  I love Taylor Swift's new album, 1989, and these two croon a pretty superb mashup of "Style" and "Blank Space."  Take a listen.