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Happy New Year

31 Dec

As it is the last day of 2010 (as well as my friend Megan’s birthday), I am refraining from a post about getting happy or doing good. Instead, lets reflect on this year, shall we?

2010 was probably one of the more turbulent of the 24 years I have been on this earth. So, here’s to hoping 2011 is not a repeat. 🙂

What follows are purely my opinions and recommendations for this year: music, movie, and memories (obviously my own). The ranking is in no particular order, just as they popped into my head.

MUSIC (singles + cds)

  1. Bruno Mars, Doo-woops and Hooligans: standout songs- “Grenade” and “The Other Side” (which features Cee-Lo and B.o.B.)
  2. Drake, So Far Gone & Thank Me Later : let’s be in agreement that Drake has been everywhere this past year and half. Favorite songs: “Show Me A Good Time”, “Houstatlantavegas” and “Fireworks” (with Alicia Keys)
  3. Rihanna, Loud: this girl got her thing on and recovered quite well from the publicized incident with C-breezy (Chris Brown).  Her cd is quite the grown-up tone (sex, drinking, killing a guy) but its catchy. Standouts: “Love the Way you Lie Pt. II”, “Fading”, and “Cheers (drink to that)”.
  4. Taylor Swift, Speak Now: If I could be friends with Taylor, I would be pretty happy. Plain and simple, I just think she is amazing. After Shay burned me this cd, it was in heavy rotation in my car and on my computer. It is hard to choose a couple songs but they are: “Long Live”, “Haunted”, and “Enchanted”.
  5. Glee Christmas cd: clear standout on here is “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
  6. Diddy-Dirty Money and Skylar Grey, “Coming Home”. Absolutely love, love, love this song.
  7. Katy Perry, “Firework”. Just motivational and inspirational. 🙂
  8. Pink, “Glitter”. Pink is just amazing- whether  it is a ballady song or rock-esque song.

Movies:

  1. Toy Story 3 (plain and simple…its a classic)
  2. The Town (literally on the edge of my seat the entire time)
  3. The Social Network (funny, intense, dramatic…who knew facebook was so interesting?!)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  (minus that odd Harry/Hermione scene)
  5. Valentines Day (super cheesy, yes, but also super cute)

Memories

2010 was exciting as I skiied for the first time (terrible), made two trips back to Pittsburgh, and went to a Pumpkin Patch in Las Vegas. 🙂 Below are some of my favorite images from the year.

*huge margs with Megs in Breckenridge

*at Daydream pool

…and lunch break from skiing

*spy on vegas night with some pals

…and back at home with some of my friends

*Elle and Laur came to visit. 

*My wonderful TFA Sped Cohort with the best PD ever…

Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful (safe) evening & that 2011 is a blessed, joyful, and fun year!

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
– Anne Frank

#304 part II: domestic violence awareness

9 Oct

Teen Mom is a good show. No matter what anyone says, I like it.  It’s real because it deals with actual real life situations that everyday people would face: not necessarily being a teen (or young) mom BUT relationships. Not just couples but the dynamics among families and friends. 

If you have ever seen the show, or even a preview, there is a girl named Amber and her sometimes-boyfriend Gary. Amber is usually flying off the handle, screaming and/or hitting Gary. On the episodes when this happens, MTV puts up a little PSA about domestic violence and asks you to check out a website (www.loveisrespect.org) .

Coming out of a relationship that became abusive at points, I really felt for Gary and I really wanted to check out the website. When I looked at it, I was surprised to find that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month- that’s another cause the NFL should be supporting this month and raising awareness. Remember domestic violence is not always physical- it can be emotional/verbal, and/or sexual. It tends to be a taboo issue, especially if the male is experiencing the abuse. Raise awareness for yourself and then educate your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to speak up- your friend will appreciate it. Promise. Until tomorrow…

“”Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
-St. Augustine

#649 build a support network

29 Sep

The past few weeks have been pretty rough. I’ve been pretty tired, stressed, and exhasuted from the multitude of things going on. A lot of different things have been occupying my mind: my ex-Jose, my former student Tony who was shot, bills, tutoring geometry on the fly, plus not to mention everything going on at school.

Luckily for me, I have a great support network. I have amazing friends and family who support me through everything! 🙂 It’s important that everyone have at least one person they can call when times are rough- or even when times are going good! Even the strongest person in the world needs a support network. Today my mom surprised me with a card, jellybeans, and jewelry package in the mail. It really made my day and put a smile on my face- thanks Mom!  

Make a list of the first five people you would call with a problem and thank them- maybe a little personal note or email.

Then, make a list of five more people you would call and thank them- maybe a phone call or text.

It’s nice to have a support system- and at the same time, it’s nice to feel appreciated! Until tomorrow…

“”A friend is one who walks in when others walk out”
-Walter Winchell

#912 be appreciative

21 Sep

appreciation (noun): gratitude, thankful recognition

10 Things I appreciate (in no particular order):

1. being able to read books and magazines at Borders, with never having to actually buy something.

2. thunderstorms and the subsequent smell of rain (especially in Vegas when it’s so far and few between)

3. the love and support of my friends and family

4. a good book

5. pens that write nicely/sharpies

6. the excitement that comes with football season (STEELERS)

7. the fact that all my hard work and dedication have paid off

8. good manners

9. the sheer joy that little kids have in life and their surroundings

10. you, for reading my blog! 🙂

What do you appreciate? It’s good to think back and count our blessings. The quote I found below is really true; think about it! Until tomorrow…

“We have no right to ask when a sorrow comes, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way.”

-Anonymous

#709 start a book club and discussion group

18 Sep

I have been slacking my friends; slacking of course in the sense of blogging, because I am still trying to keep up good deeds as I go. The past week was busy with school (grammar, spelling, what is a sentence lessons are really draining) and meetings and appointments. Also, unfortunately, my stomach has been hurting BAD the past two days…. I think it was due to drinking caffeine/eating unhealthy and not taking my medicine. That happens easily when I am busy/stressed so I really need to pay more attention.

If you know anything about me, I love to read. I often tell the story of the reading chain in 2nd grade. That school year, for each book we read, we got a paper chain and wrote our name on it. We then hung our chains across the ceiling in the room. Mine went back to front, side to side, and was starting to make it’s way back again. And these werent just picture books my friends, they were Goosebumps, BoxCar kids, Babysitters Club, Little Sister, Sweet Valley High. Any chapter book I could get my hands on, I read. Or there’s the time in 4th grade when we were in the library and I was reading Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret. Mrs. Rose, the librarian, came over and told me that book wasn’t appropriate for my age. I was pissed that I had to put it back. Once I got home, I marched right up to our bookshelves and pulled it off the shelf and read it (Amy had a copy). Finally, I will relate the evening of the final Harry Potter. Yes, I went to Borders at midnight. Yes, I was reading as many pages as I could each time I was at a red light. Yes, I stayed up until roughly 6 am so I could read it all. Yes, I love to read that much.

Earlier in the summer, my dear friend Shay mentioned a book club on facebook and many were interested, but we didn’t pull it together. After a reminder from my friend Erin, we pulled it together and last Sunday, Shay, Cece, and I met at Borders to choose the first book. We chose Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Cece read it before and said it was amazing, and Shay and I had always wanted to read it but didn’t yet. A great perk is that there are book club discussion questions in the back of the book! I am really excited for our first discussion and to get back into reading! If you are reading this, start a book club! Even if it is with yourself: make a promise to read 20 minutes each day and then reflect about the book when it’s over! 🙂   For me, the great thing about reading is the escape it provides and the stimulation of your imagination. It really makes me so sad to hear my students say “I hate reading”. Ideally, at the end of the year they will be saying “I LOVE reading.” Until next time….

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”
~ Maya Angelou ~

#915 pray for the prosperity of others

6 Sep

Updating this blog everyday is a lot harder than I planned. I’ve been coming home from school around 4 or so: I eat dinner and do work until I start falling asleep on my couch at 7:30. Yikes! The first week exhaustion hit me hard friends. Anyway, after a long weekend thanks to Labor Day, I am back in blogging action!

Prayer looks different for everyone: what it is, when it happens, and why it happens. When I was little, I always prayed this prayer before I went to bed “As I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And in the morn, if I don’t wake,  I pray the Lord my soul to take.” As I got older, if I prayed it was usually in church- before mass began and after Communion. Usually I thanked God and asked him to keep my loved ones safe.

Since moving to Vegas, my prayers have taken different thoughts. I still pray in Church- and when I remember, I usually try to pray before I fall asleep. Now I pray for my friends and family in Pittsburgh, my friends as they travel (a lot of my friends I made in Vegas are quite the travelers), my friends who have moved out of Vegas (Megan, Erin, Becca), my kids (my school kids: both past and present. During summer, I pray especially hard for them that they are kept safe and out of trouble), and my friends here in Las Vegas. I thank God for blessing me and I ask him to help guide all those who are lost, lonely, sad, angry, hungry. I’ve also begun to pray before meals (when I remember). My ex-boyfriend Jose started this ritual with me: before every meal we ate together, we would pray- no matter if it was at my house or out to eat. During this prayer we would ask God to bless our food, thanked him for letting us be together, and asked him to keep watch over our friends and family, as well as those in need.

It’s important to pray for ourselves, BUT even more important to pray for others. This past weekend was a very exciting weekend for two of my friends…and I am going to keep them in my prayers, especially this week, and I ask maybe that you reading this can too!

1. My good friend Maggie got engaged this weekend!!! We have been friends for about 8 years:we met at Dairy Queen and worked together for about 2 summers. Maggie is one of the sincerest person I know- she truly is both beautiful in and out! We have had a lot of good memories together (drinking in hope’s basement, SLF, trips to RMU, beauty pagents, DQ horror stories) and I could not be happier for her and her fiance Patrick! They will be getting married in March, so they need prayers as they plan the wedding! Also, prayers for Patrick as he plays for the Tennesse Titans (ex-Steeler, just got picked up by the Titans on Sunday) this season: that he is kept safe and successful. Maggie also keeps a blog: read all about her engagement/see pictures here!!!http://maggierosekutschbach.blogspot.com/2010/09/day-ive-always-dreamed-of.html

2. My friend Becca and her husband Matt celebrated the baptism of their son John Sterling Alleman (what a strong name!!!) this past Sunday. Becca and I met through TFA- she also taught Special Education (middle school) and was in our Sped 08 Cohort. She too, like Maggie, is amazingly sincere & sweet. She invited some of her close TFA friends to the baptism at their church, followed by a lunch at her house. During the ceremony, it was really awesome to see how much LOVE Becca and Matt have for their baby boy.  I am grateful that I was invited to partake in John’s special day. 🙂 Please pray for John and his parents as they continue to grow in God’s love, healthily (is that a word?!) and happily! Becca and Matt blog as well: check it out! http://allemanantics.blogspot.com/ 

Whether you are religious or not, sometimes its nice to throw a prayer the way of someone who needs it. There are a lot of people out there who would be grateful to know that someone is thinking of , and praying for them. Until tomorrow…

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

-Ghandi

#572 let others experience your travels

16 Aug

As many of you know, I have traveled back to my hometown Pittsburgh, PA. I have spent almost a week here and have enjoyed every second. It’s hard to believe tomorrow at 2:12 pm I will be boarding a plane to Newark, NJ where I’ll hang for 4 hours before heading back to my current home city of Las Vegas, NV. 🙂

Additionally, I have been so busy running around town that I haven’t had time to blog. Does that mean I’m lacking on my deeds? Nope: I’m still being kind to strangers and courteous to those serving me. Loving my body? Not exactly for the sole fact that I’ve consumed alcohol everynight since coming to the burgh- in addition to not going to bed before midnight any night (except tonight, after this post I am passing out!).

So readers what were my travels while in the Burgh?-well it was a lot of traveling (Erie and Washington) and a lot of food (eat n park 3x hahah).  Let me just take time to shout out and THANK those who came out to see me, despite sometimes short notice 🙂

weds: Ellen thanks for picking me up; Amy thanks for a delicious lunch despite bad service; Steckel and Messmer thanks for the good 2 hours reminiscing about the summer of AE store 782 over beer.

thurs: Mom for lunch at enp (senior special yummy); Elle, Laur, Eddie, Tammy, Sam, Alysse for an enjoyable and memorable trip to Bar Louie, Melting Pot, Southside, and Pizza Sola

fri: kat for meeting at bobs (five years of service!!!) to enjoy our sandwiches; my mom for bingo (won more games in Etna than I have in the two years in Vegas!); and Ali and K. Susany for late night margs and chips at Mad Mex

sat: aly, adam, steph, kayla &bill for an AMAZING, ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL wedding and reception followed by pizza and beer with kayla’s family- seriously my friend Kayla looked so beautiful as she got married to her love Bill. I am so happy for both of them

sun: cookout/sleepover at the kelly household with some of my best friends: alysse, lauren, rachel, ellen, alyssa (plus mr& mrs kelly and mrs kennison). reminded me how LUCKY i am to have met these wonderful girls at st. vincent.

mon: nikki mo thank you for lunch at enp (yum senior special again) and thank you to amy, eric, dave, and my mom for a nice family dinner at chilis- I really enjoyed recalling memories. bakey thanks for the beers beforehand 🙂

tues: this is tomorrow. I will be enjoying breakfast with my mom, than heading out to the airport!

I loved coming back to PGH and seeing everyone. It was so jam packed and I consumed more beer and ranch than I have for a while but it was so worth every second. Truly everyone who came out to see me, thank you  so so so much. Everyone else, I’ll be back in Decemeber! 🙂 Until tomorrow (or maybe Weds)….

“You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

~Desmond Tutu