Sunday, August 10, 2014

Coach Kelli

Well, here we are at the end of another week, and I yet again neglected this little blog. It was one L O N G and F U L L, but very fun, week. I'll fill you guys in on as much as possible, so let's start with volleyball. Tryouts began bright and early Monday morning, with a 7am arrival time for the coaches. Bellaire isn't just right up the road the way Stratford was, but it is really easy for me to just hop on the Westpark Tollway in order to get over there.

We started out with lots of paperwork - getting the girls checked in and making sure they had both an updated physical and insurance before giving them a number and four safety pins, as that was how we would be posting who made the volleyball program. I was responsible for about 40 freshmen, which was a bit overwhelming, but come 3:00pm I knew who I wanted on my team.

We posted the list of who made the program right around 3:15pm, and I can tell you right now that that is going to be the very worst part of coaching. It's not that the girls who didn't make it weren't good, it's just that you can't field 90 players on three teams. And when you think about it, we're lucky to have so many good players who want to be a part of the Bellaire Volleyball program. It keeps it competitive for everyone, and we can choose from some of the best in the city.

I have 16 on my team, which is a lot, but I know that each one of them will vie for playing time, especially after watching them in the scrimmages on Friday and Saturday. I always loved the scrimmages when I was a player - four to six 25-30 minute games that just allow the girls to play. No referees, no keeping score, and everybody gets ample playing time. I am on the hunt to find a setter, and I threw about six different players in at setter, just to see how they reacted to the position. I find myself being especially hard on the setters, or at least focusing on them the most, and that can probably be credited to the fact that I heard a majority of these comments repeated over and over and over again to me when I played. Square up, don't release too early, release all the way to the net - who would have thought I would one day be repeating these things to my own players?

Ms. Tomlinson

On Thursday, I received the keys to my classroom! I attended as much as I could of a new teacher orientation in between practices, where we were introduced to many importance faces within Bellaire, were given parking passes (apparently parking is the number one complaint from teachers about Bellaire), and lastly, the keys to my very own classroom. I was relieved to learn that I would in fact have my own classroom, because in a school as big as Bellaire, some teachers are bound to be floating, meaning they float around the school and teach out of a new classroom each period. It requires a little extra organization, that I probably do have, in all honesty, but I don't even know what that organization would look like, and I'm looking forward to decorating my classroom. Come on, what first year teacher isn't looking forward to doing that?

I had about ten minutes before I needed to be at practice, but I just had to see my room, so I ran around the school trying to find it, found it, and started dreaming up different classroom setups. I could have up to 40 (!!!) students in my classroom at one time (fingers crossed that isn't the case), so I'll be working with quite a few desks. And Bellaire is an old school, so these are the old-timey desks. I'm still thinking of how I can arrange them into groups!

And not only did I get a classroom, but I got a classroom with a window. And you can't ask for much more than that. And the reason I even mention this is because my own high school is known for its lack of windows. And that's even after they added in windows the year it was rebuilt. A room with a view? I'll take it!

Royer's Pie Haven

Do y'all remember my Summer 2014 Bucket List? Well, as it turns out, I can still cross things off even when I'm not in Austin. I was out in Katy for my scrimmages yesterday, which cuts off about 30 minutes of the drive to Austin. I was going to just head up to Austin after the scrimmages and spend Saturday and Sunday with Dylan, but I had a couple of things going on Saturday night, and he had something going on this afternoon, so me driving to Austin didn't make much sense. We compromised, though, and decided to meet halfway for lunch. We started driving at the same time, and found ourselves in La Grange.

We enjoyed lunch together at The Back Porch BBQ, agreeing that one of the best things about Texas is that you can drive around any small town and find a great hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint. The Back Porch certainly didn't disappoint, but we made sure to save room for one slice of pie apiece. Dylan mentioned that we were really close to Round Top, so naturally we knew we were going to have to go to the original Royer's Pie Haven - the one that inspired the Royer's on Guadalupe in Austin. We never made it over to the one six blocks away from where I lived (and two away from where I worked everyday), but we did make it to the one in Round Top. Go figure.

Royer's Pie Haven was absolutely precious, as was the little town of Round Top itself, and the pie was just delicious. I was in the clear because both their peach and cherry flavors are vegan, so obviously I wasn't going to pass up this opportunity. I used to think I wasn't a pie person, but one bite of peach pie later and I was converted. It was so fresh and so warm, and absolutely worth the hour and a half drive. Not that the company had anything to do with it.

I can already tell you that I will surely be returning to Royer's Pie Haven, and if you ever find yourself antique shopping in the little town, I would recommend that you do the same!

Stay tuned for another post - this a quick one featuring a 20-minute treadmill workout I squeezed into a very full day this past week. It's been a while since I've shared a workout with you guys!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

25 Things You Don't Know About Me

It's happening. My blog is about to get seriously neglected for the next three months. Tonight is my last official night of summer, because volleyball tryouts begin tomorrow. When I met with the varsity coach for the first time to discuss the schedule, she said to me, "August 4th, you're mine," and I absolutely believe that. So, forgive me if my posts are somewhat sporadic throughout the month of August. Between volleyball, inservice, and the first day of school, I'll be lucky if I have time to breathe! So, hang with me, fitness & fro-yo followers. I promise I will not abandon this little blog forever.

Anyway, I had one fantastic last weekend of volleyball freedom, starting with a delicious lunch on Friday with Amira at Ruggles Green

and continuing on with a little visit from Dylan who came in from Austin for the weekend. He arrived late Friday night, but I told him I would wait on him to eat dinner, so I dragged him to my all-time favorite restaurant (all together on this one - Hungry's), where I enjoyed a salmon quinoa salad, followed by our fourth round of complimentary dessert. It must be because he's so good-looking, am I right?

We stayed up probably too late talking and catching up (okay, I know it had only been eight days since we had last seen one another, but we're easing into this whole long distance thing) on our respective weeks, before waking up to do some shopping at The Galleria, and then heading to Friendswood for the night. I'm lucky that he's from Houston, because a visit home doubles as a visit to see me as well. I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend with him, and I am about to meet up with him for a quick dinner before he heads back to Austin.

But because I've neglected the blog, and you guys know how much I love surveys, I found this little survey on Julie's blog at the beginning of this week. And like she prefaced in her post, you guys might know some of this about me, but I still enjoyed filling it out. Enjoy!

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

1. I’m happiest when… I'm listening to people share their stories. I love learning about all of the different dimensions that make up other people.

2. …Especially if it… Involves something totally unique about them. I've been told that I'm a pretty good listener, so I love it when people share special information with me.

3. I’ve always wanted to… Travel to all 50 states in the United States.

4. My family and I… really enjoy watching game shows together, for one reason or another. Family Feud, shows like Wipeout and American Ninja Warrior, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire are among some of our favorites. 

5. I was (am) a terrible… Artist. Seriously, art class was almost my only B in high school.

This might have been one of my only A's on our weekly drawing tests
6. My first job was… A volleyball scorekeeper at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church.

7. I could probably eat chocolate everyday. However, there should not be a “probably” in this equation (because I already do eat chocolate every day).

My current chocolate obsession (Source)
8. I stole… A cookie from Randall's. When I was younger, they used to give away freshly baked cookies to kids who were grocery shopping with their parents. One day they stopped doing this, but that didn't stop me from indulging in my free cookie!

9. I was born on the same day as… Hank Aaron and Cristiano Ronaldo.

10. My all-time favorite film is… This is such a hard question! Remember the Titans will never get old, though.

11. I do a pretty mean… left-handed serve? I spent far too long trying to answer this question, and I keep coming back to my middle school principal who told me I had a "wicked left-handed serve." Unfortunately, that serve does not transfer over to the tennis court.

12. I’m still mad… That we lost the game to go to the state tournament my senior year. And now that I am back in the high school volleyball world, I'm really not ever going to get over it!

My last high school volleyball game, as a player! (Source)
13. I met my husband… Can't quite answer this one yet, but I met by pretty awesome boyfriend in college. Dressed as a hipster zombie, to be specific.

14. I always knew I wanted… To become a teacher. Ever since the third grade, in fact! And while I am nervous as all get out, I am also so excited the new adventure that begins on August 25th.

15. I’m not afraid to… Go skydiving! I am very much a thrill-seeker in that I love the straight-down water slides at water parks and upside-down roller coasters at theme parks, though I will be screaming the entire time, guaranteed.

16. I make the best… Slutty brownies. They're my specialty.

17. I have almost no… Flexibility (I'm copying PBFingers on this one, because it's sadly so very true).

18. I always cry when… I watch videos of soldiers coming home and surprising loved ones. But it's always happy tears!

19. I’m (now) a member of the "real world", but I will never stop learning (nor will I ever truly grow up).

20. I spent 12 years… Playing competitive sports before making them a bit more recreational when I went off to college. 

21. I wish my folks… I can't really think of anything for this one. I'll change it and say "I am glad my folks have always supported me in everything that I have ever done or attempted."

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with soccer and the book "Go, Dog, Go."

23. I believe if everyone smiled at one another and told one another that they care, the world would be a better place.

24. I can’t stand… Tardiness. How many times have I answered this question again?

25. Whenever Boy Meets World is on, I’ll watch it.

Feeny Wisdom is absolutely still applicable (Source)
I hope your weekend was just wonderful, and that you are ready for the start of another great week! And happy August! Fun fact for all of you - this month will feature five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays, which won't happen again for a very long time.