Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Mileage + Road Trip Snacks

This post will be short and sweet, as I am about to hit the road to Dallas for Sarah's wedding. But it is mainly to hold myself accountable for the miles that I hope to run before the year is over.

By the way, is anyone else having a hard time believing that January is already over? Where in the world has the time gone? I know they say the spring semester moves much slower than the fall, but I'm honestly having a hard time believing that. I'm sure things will slow down once the dreaded STAAR test is over and done with, but for now, I feel as though things are moving 100 miles/minute!


I thought about leaving for Dallas yesterday. But I just couldn't justify missing a day of school with just TWO months (yikes) left until the STAAR test. That, and getting a sub is often more work than just showing up to school. And leaving Friday after school would have put me in more traffic than I was probably willing to put up with, so leaving early today was truly my best option. And I knew that between driving home from Dallas after what should be a fun wedding weekend, and Super Bowl Sunday, a workout probably won't be happening. So I am happy that I was able to log a couple of miles this morning before leaving.

So, I went to sleep nice and early last night, with the intent of waking up early to get my run out of the way so that I would be sure to have enough time to get all of my belongings together for a night in Dallas. I woke up around 7:30am and went for my usual 5.2 mile run around my neighborhood, a little faster than usual this time. As much as I loved the warmer temperatures this week, the cooler weather is ideal for running, especially in the morning. So, it felt great to stretch my legs a bit before sitting in the car for over four hours.

January Mileage

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is mainly to hold myself accountable for the miles that I told myself (and Amira) I would run. If I make myself report my mileage on the blog each month, then hopefully I won't check in with something low like 25 miles, because that certainly won't see me hitting my goal of 1007.5 miles. So, the total number of miles that I ran in January is ... drumroll, please ...

113.3 miles

That's a bit more than the number of miles I hope to hit each month (84), but I am glad to be starting out ahead, rather than in the hole. Because it's inevitable during those summer months, as well as volleyball season, that I will fall behind a little bit. So I may as well build up the mileage while I have the chance.

Road Trip Snacks

Because I am going to be in the car for around 10 hours (ugh) this weekend, I made the conscious decision to be smart about my road trip snacks, so that I wouldn't be tempted to stop at McDonald's or the first place I saw on the side of the road when my stomach was twisting with hunger. Not that McDonald's doesn't have any redeeming qualities, because it does. But fast food combined with long periods of sitting doesn't always sit well in my stomach. In order to remedy that, I made sure that my car was stocked full of healthy snacks, that are easy to eat while driving, of course.

We have:
  • Cuties
  • Mini Honeycrisp Apples
  • No Bake Energy Bites*
  • Luna Minis
  • Grapes
And of course, a CamelBak filled with water, plus a few additional water bottles as well. Can't be getting dehydrated now, can we?

Granted, I don't plan on eating all of these snacks in one sitting, rather, I hope to spread them out throughout the course of my trip. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so this list is exactly how I plan to avoid that. Other great snacks would be nuts of any kind (a great chip replacement), as well as carrot and celery sticks (but because I prefer to pair those two snacks with hummus, I'm leaving them at home this round).

*I believe I have put a similar, or maybe this exact, recipe on the before, but because I know it has been awhile (I promise that one of these days I will get my blog organized by pages and tags and I don't know, maybe update my age?), so I'll post it again for you guys. These recipes are all over the Internet, so I'm just joining the ranks of many, many others, and many, many variations. 

*No Bake Energy Bites

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I have tried making these with almond butter, and they just don't hold as well)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cinnamon
1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and stir.

2. Place bowl in the refrigerator and let chill for at least half an hour.
3. Remove from refrigerator and roll into little balls - you can make these as big or as small as you would like.
4. Store balls in an airtight container kept in the refrigerator for up to one week (if they last that long).
5. Enjoy!

To me, these things always taste more like dessert than something healthy. But isn't that the ultimate goal? These are perfect to pop before a workout, and they're absolutely acceptable to eat just because. The oats provide some healthy carbs, the peanut butter some healthy protein, and the chocolate, well, what's a day without chocolate?

I hope you guys enjoy your weekend. See you for Survey Sunday!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Things I'm Loving Friday XX: Wish List

Another Friday is here! Another work week is almost in the books. And tomorrow I am headed to Dallas to celebrate the MARRIAGE (!!!) of one of my college roommates. She also teaches high school English, and I could not be more excited to celebrate the life that she and Patrick have ahead of her. Sarah is wise, funny, and just a fun person to be around. If I hadn't had her during that last year of college, well, I'm not sure that I would have kept my sanity.

So, I'll be sure to post a full recap on what is sure to be a wonderful weekend. Not only do I get to attend her wedding, but I get to reunite with (almost) all of my roommates! And that is something to get excited about.

Clubhouse ladies
But because it's Friday, let's get going on our weekly rendition of Things I'm Loving. And because my birthday is less than a week away, I'm doing something a little bit different this week. I didn't exactly make a birthday list, but these are just some of the different things I have been saving up to purchase in the coming weeks or months. Maybe you'll be inspired to send some of these things my way next Thursday. I am totally kidding about that, by the way.

Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle and Headphones
It's no secret that I love to swim. I love that it's a full-body, yet low-impact, workout. Running isn't exactly easy on the joints, and it's nice to mix some swimming in with all of the running I do. Music truly does make a workout easier, and I would love to be able to listen to music as I swam back and forth down the length of the pool. The only stipulation is that I would have to update my iTunes playlist, as there is no way, that I am aware of, to put Spotify on an iPod shuffle. Worth it?

Fujufilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera
I was wandering around City Centre (shocker, right?) when I found myself in Urban Outfitters. Though it is a sister store to Anthropologie and Free People, Urban is less of my style. But I do love the books and trinkets they have near the register, and I found myself falling in love with this pink Polaroid camera. I love photos, and though I am not the most skilled at the art, I do think it would be fun to have this instant picture-producing gadget. Better nail that smile the first time with this camera, right?


Kitchen Basics Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer
Zucchini noodles are all the rage these days, and I am itching to jump on that train. But I am not about to take the time to spiralize (is that a word?) vegetables by hand. Is that even possible? Anyway, this vegetable slicer slices vegetables perfectly in a matter of seconds. The foodie in me gets so excited thinking about all of the new recipe ideas that this appliance would make possible!

Passion Planner
Okay, I understand that this might not be the most ... productive purchase to make right now. After all, we are almost done with the first month of 2015. HOWEVER, word on the Frequently Asked Questions page is that they plan to release a 2015-2016 academic planner. I am a planner. I love writing down assignments, I love creating (and crossing things off of) to-do lists, and this planner, described as "the one place for all your thoughts" might be a dream come true for someone like me. There are appointment calendars, to-do lists (one personal and one work-related), inspirational quotes (this kickstarter gets me), a weekly "good things that happened log," blank space to be used as you desire (hello, blog thoughts), and so much more. Perfection.

Asics Gel Kayano 21
I know I said that my next pair of running shoes would likely be Mizuno, but I have had success with Asics in the past. I overpronate when I run, meaning my feet roll inward more than the ideal 15 percent, aka, injuries waiting to happen. Especially knee injuries, which I already have to watch thanks to many years of volleyball. Anyway, to supplement this overpronation, I have to purchase running shoes that offer with motion-control or added stability. Aka, the more expensive running shoes. But knock on wood I haven't had any major injuries yet, so I'll gladly shell out the extra bucks if that means staying injury-free! Plus, what's not to love about this pink and emerald combo? Look good, run good, right?

And that's all I have for now. I hope your Friday is wonderful, and full of excitement for the upcoming weekend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Student Quotes II

Wednesday! Middle of the week! We can do it! And what's even better is that I have early release today. Which comes at an especially great time because I had my first sand volleyball game last night, and what time did that game start? 9:50pm. That's almost 10:00pm, people. A time when this girl is typically already in bed (or perhaps already asleep?). But I had a lot of fun playing, even though I learned I'm just as competitive as I was back in high school, and I'll be sure to recap that soon. Anyway, thanks, HISD for letting me off the hook today!

And because my Student Quotes post was such a hit, I'm back with another round of student quotes. New semester, (mostly) the same students. You better believe I still stop and write down the funny and cute and okay, sometimes inappropriate, things that my kids say. They keep me laughing and up on the teen lingo, that is for absolute sure.

#3. He knows how to get the ladies.
Me too. And I wish every student here would come to the same conclusion.
My heart just melted.
Yes, F-R-I-E-N-D-S is absolutely an appropriate reference.
10. We were discussing the different between capital and Capitol, so I asked, "For example, what is the Capitol of Texas?" When a student responded, "Houston," I couldn't even quiet the kid who snapped, "It's no wonder you're failing world geography" at her.
9. I do remember doing this when I took biology freshman year of high school, but I still looked at my students at surprise when one student said to another, "You gave me HIV!"
8. I was walking down the stairs to the gym during a passing period (which happens to be the bane of my very existence) when I got to overhear this exchange between two students:
Student 1: "Hey, he wants to ask you something."
Student 2: "Oh shoot, she's a teacher, dude."
That is definitely a young teacher problem.
7. A student had missed my class for a number of days in a row, meaning he missed out on quite a bit of work. He caught me in a moment of snappiness when he came up to me and asked, "Miss, am I missing any work in your class?"
Well, DS [darling student], you currently have a 4 average. Don't work yourself too hard.
6. We are currently reading Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying and we had the students do a pre-reading research project. One of the iconic figures students could choose to research was Jackie Robinson. While doing his research a student turns to me and asks, "Miss, is shortstop a sport?"
I wasn't even sure how to respond to that question.
5. I'm honestly not even sure how we got on the topic of swimming, but a student informed me very seriously that "[He] swims for [his] life, [he] doesn't swim for fun."
4. We were reading a poem by Emily Dickinson that conveys the idea that it's the small acts that make a difference, though they won't necessarily make you famous. To get the conversation started I asked students to think about the following question:
"If you were famous, for what would you like to be famous?"
I got the normal responses of athlete, singing, acting, etc., and then, from both of my reading classes, I received this answer:
I'm influencing our future one kid at a time.
3. I was writing definitions on the board (how old school does that sound?), and a student commented on my left-handedness. The following conversation ensued:
Student: "Miss Tomlinson, you're left-handed?"
Me: "I sure am!"
Student: "But you have such pretty handwriting!"
Defying the lefty stereotype since day one.
2. It was Monday when I asked my 7th period class how their weekend was. And mind you, I also have this student in my 1st period class, and I did not get the same enthusiastic response. Our interaction went something like this:
Me: "So, how was y'all's weekend?"
Student: "Oh, I ate at lots of good restaurants, I went to Moody Gardens ... it was Gucci."
I know that's a thing, but it makes me laugh every single time. Especially in the nonchalant way that he said it.
1. Now, this one wasn't my student, rather a stray student in one of the classrooms that I float into. She loudly lamented to a friend that, "Prom is definitely more stressful than applying to college."
I might have to agree with that statement, especially when someone in your prom group is 50 minutes late to pictures, but we won't go there (today, anyway).

And for a bonus, a student [whom I don't even teach anymore] walked into my room this morning and immediately asked me, "What's with the bun?" Sidenote: I wanted to sleep in a few extra minutes this morning, so I threw my hair up on top of my head (once deemed the "Kelli Bun" by many of my friends). Today is the first day I have worn my hair up in a ponytail, and as of 7:43am, I have already had four students comment on it. Anyway, said student told me he didn't like it. After I thanked him for insulting me he said, "I wasn't insulting you, I was just being totally 100% honest." Teenagers, right? For the record, the other 20 comments I received throughout the day were positive. So there.

Wednesday's final tally
I hope this provided you a couple of laughs today. See you guys for Things I'm Loving Friday, if not before!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mother Dearest

This post will be short and sweet, but I couldn't let the day pass without giving a special shout out to who I believe is the greatest person on this earth.

I could post a picture on Instagram, that she would never see, and I could share birthday wishes on Facebook, to her nonexistent timeline. So instead, I decided to take these birthday wishes to something she would see - my blog.

Happiest of days to my forever proofreader, because you just never know who is reading my blog. To the woman who proofread every single college paper I ever submitted, so maybe she should have walked across that stage with me. To the one who faithfully attended every single volleyball game or tournament I ever played, and had a pretty impressive attendance record at the games I coached, too. Who said yes to my request to play club volleyball at a club that practiced 30 minutes away from home, three nights a week. Who, before I had my license, drove me out there with her stack of mail, sitting off to the side so as to not interfere with my practice.

Who cheered louder than anyone at our playoff send-offs, who jumped out of her seat when I was named Outstanding Setter at the Spring Branch tournament my senior year. Who promised not to tell my dad when I was hitting the volleyball against the side of the house, because every repetition mattered.  

Who taught me how to fight my own battles, stepping in only when it was absolutely necessary. Who was more excited than I was when I got hired at Bellaire (probably because I was still in shock), who always answered my every call when I was walking to and from class my freshman year of college. Who would come up to Austin in an instant if I needed her. Who lets me plan the vacations we take together, never complaining when I make our to-do list a little too long.

Who introduced me to the wonder that is The Nutcracker Market, and let my friends tag along as well. Who always encouraged the importance of making good grades, but never put any pressure on me. Who told me that as long as I did the best I could, that's all that mattered. Who stayed up with me when I was stressed out, asking what she could do to help. Who still stays up with me when I'm stressed out, asking what she can do to help.

Who told me to "bring home all my laundry" when I told her I was coming home for the weekend, and who does my laundry for me still to this day. Who makes grocery store runs when I claim I don't have the time, who makes my bed the mornings that I don't, because she listened to Admiral McRaven's speech, too. Who tastes tests my baked goods, and cleans up all the remains without my even asking. Who still waits up for us at night, because we're still her children and that's her job.

Who worked full-time, but still managed to find the time to be my homeroom mom, and chaperone just about every field trip I ever took. Who took on the daunting task of being on of the three moms in charge of my sophomore year Sweet 16, to ensure that I would be able to go that year. Who let me buy a too-expensive dress that I would wear only once, because it was beautiful, and the dress of my dreams.

Who always made sure she won the birthday marquee at the auction, and then made me go take pictures with it. Who knew living at SRD would be the best decision I ever could have made. And who always knows best, anyway. Who always told me to "blame it on her" if I ever didn't want to do something with friends, so that she looked like the bad guy.

Who loves sports - all sports - more than most people I know, and who has strong opinions about most players. Who sees the good in every person, but isn't afraid to gossip a little bit, either. Who, when I call her debating between two different shirts, tells me to just "get them both." Who still has an iPhone 3 because she gives her upgrades to her kids (mainly her son). 

Who epitomizes the picture of a mom who gives up everything for her kids, and puts her family first. Who never tells me that any dream is too big. Who encourages me and supports me and who would let me live at home forever if I wanted to (don't worry, I won't). Who listens to my stories about my students, who has given me more freedom than I ever could have asked for, but raised me to know the difference between right and wrong. Who loves the 8th Wonder of the World that is the Astrodome, and is a most devoted George Strait fan (even if she didn't use the tickets I bought her). Who taught me to speak up for myself, and to stand up for what I know is right. 

Who is deserving of a blog post that goes on for pages, but would probably have liked it if I had stopped before I had even started. So, happy birthday to you, dear mother. Thanks for loving and caring for me so unbelievably well. This phrase is probably used far too often, but if I grow up to be even half the woman that you are - wife, daughter, mom, friend, and sister, I'll know that I'm doing alright in this world.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A to Z Survey

Another Sunday, another survey, this one focusing on the alphabet. Enjoy!

A. Age?
22, going on 23. There’s a whole blog post to come on my thoughts and feelings about that!

B. Best friend?
I’ve got many best friends, or who I consider to be best friends. From different stages of life, from different places, for different reasons, but here are a few of them.

C. Cake or pie?
I’d have to go with pie. As long as it’s dairy-free, of course!
Royer's Pie Haven in Roundtop
D. Day of choice?
Either Friday or Saturday. Friday, because even though I still have to go to school, I can breathe a little easier knowing that it’s the last day of the work week. And Saturday because, well, I’ve got a whole day to myself and the next day is still the weekend!

E. Essential item?
I’m going to have to copy the answer before me – a water bottle. I almost feel lost without my CamelBak.

F. Favorite color?
Pink! But I love most colors – red, orange, yellow, gray. I don’t discriminate!

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Worms, particularly sour gummy worms.

H. Home town?
Houston, Texas. Born and raised. And back here again.

I. Favorite indulgence?
Frozen yogurt, naturally. Pinkberry is at the top of my list, and I am glad to see that another location has since popped up in Houston (next to Whole Foods – a match made in heaven).

J. January or July?
July. I love the prospect of a new year, but the cold, dreary January weather automatically gives July the edge. Plus, July means summer vacation, and you know I won’t be complaining about that!

K. Kids?
Someday, yes, I would like kids. As someone wisely said, “Teaching high school is the most effective form of birth control,” and after teaching for just four months, I would have to agree.

L. Life isn’t complete without?
There are many, many things that are so important to me, but the one on my mind right now is travel. I would gladly live out of my suitcase if it meant that I could see the world and gather up new experiences. Especially being the age that I am – why not travel while I have the least amount of responsibilities that I will ever have?

M. Most valued possession?
Another really tough question. Of course I value my material possessions – my phone, my computer, my clothes – because, let’s be honest, I like having all of those things. They make me feel comfortable, and they sure make life a lot easier. But (and I know this is also a material possession), I value pictures so, so much. I love taking pictures wherever I am because I love being able to look back on them weeks and months and years later and smile at the sweet memories that were made.

N. Number of brothers/sisters?
One little brother who attends that school north of the Red River.

O. Oranges or Apples?
Apples, for sure. I don’t love oranges, but I do love cuties. To me, they taste completely different, and besides, cuties are much easier to peel. They make for an ideal road trip snack. So I guess what I'm saying is, both are wonderful!

P. Phobias?
Escalators. I’ve talked about this on the blog before, and I know this is an irrational fear, but I always have a little bit of fear when stepping onto one, and this is because one of my friend’s dads told me that 70 deaths a year occur due to people falling through loose steps. Not the ideal way to go out.

Q. Quotes?
I love words and quotes and I plan on doing a whole blog post on them one day soon, but for now I’ll share a couple of my recent favorites. And I say recent because I probably find a new quote that I love every single day. I used to be so good about typing them up and printing them out and gluing them into a journal, but for now, I keep them all together on my Pinterest boards.
                1: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
                2: “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – e.e. cummings

R. Reasons to smile?
Wow, this is one tough question. I have a LOT of reasons to smile, even when I think that I don’t. Too many times I will find myself complaining, and the truth is, I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m in good health, as are my friends and family, I have an incredible job that I look forward to doing (most days), I have a whole lot of love around me, and I know that I have opportunities that some can only dream of having. But, some of the little things that make me smile are –
  • Puppies (especially beagle puppies)
  • Walks at Hermann Park and/or bike rides around my neighborhood
  • 90s music
  • Handwritten letters
  • The perfect Honeycrisp apple                        
  • KSBJ Monday Morning Devotional

S. Season of choice?
There are things I love about every season, but I just really love the carefree feeling that comes with the summer season. Bathing suits and shorts and Chacos and swimming pools and beach hair and spontaneous adventures and watermelon and so much more. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

T. Tag 5 People.
I’m going to go ahead and make the assumption that no one I tag is going to complete this, mainly because I don’t have five blogging friends, but I’ll just list some of my favorite blogs to read.
U. Unknown fact about me?
My brother and I were born in the exact same hospital room. And that happened completely by chance.

V. Vegetable?
I really love most vegetables, and that is not something I realized until I went to college and had a vegetable option at every single meal. I am probably most shocked that I love Brussels sprouts as much as I do, after turning my nose up at them for so long.

W. Worst habit?
I hate to admit this, but I have a bad habit of checking my phone while I am driving. I have gotten a lot better about it, but even still I will use the time when traffic is “slowing down” to see who posted what on Instagram. I’m also extremely directionally challenged, so I do look at my phone frequently so I can know where I am going. Having the new iPhone software helps a lot with that, as it talks to you so you don’t have to look down at a phone.

X. X-Ray or ultrasound?
I’ve never had an ultrasound, and though x-rays aren’t exactly fun, I guess I’ll go with x-ray.

Y. Your favorite food?
This is another really difficult question. My all-time favorite food? I’m just not sure that I can give you an answer! My current favorite food is the quinoa salad with salmon from Hungry’s. I’ve had it twice already this year, and I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon.

Z. Zodiac sign?
Aquarius. Though with this new system they tried to introduce, I think it might have changed. I still consider myself an Aquarius, on the rare occasion that I do some sort of horoscope quiz.

It's a bit of bummer that we don't have any football to veg out and watch today, but I guess we have the big game to look forward to next week. Though I can't say I'm that excited about it, after all of the speculation surrounding the Patriots. I'm not sure what I believe, but it has kind of taken the magic out of it all.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Keeping My Word

Happy Saturday! Our weathermen didn't let us down, because the sun has certainly returned, and in full force. It is shaping up to be a beautiful day, which is a nice reprieve from the gloomy weather we have seen these past couple of days. It's still a little bit chilly, but you won't hear me complaining, as it is really the perfect weather for a run. But we'll get to that in a minute.

Yesterday I was pretty quick to leave school (but let's be honest, I usually am), but instead of heading straight home, I headed over to the Museum District to check out The Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall, as part of The Menil Collection. I'm almost embarrassed that I thought this was a limited-time exhibit (nope, it's been at this very location since 1996), but it did me over there! I'll be the first to admit that I am not one for art. I'm no good at art, and even The Louvre didn't do much to impress me. I know, I know. But I was inspired to stop by when I saw it featured on 365 Things Houston. And while I can't necessarily say that I saw the art in this grocery-store turned room-with-fluorescent lights, it was colorful and fun and has an oddly calming effect. I can see how it could be a very reflective space for some people, but I'm probably missing a lot of the deeper meaning behind it. But at least I felt cultured, you know?

I hit a little bit of traffic on my way home, but I managed to make it home before traffic started getting really bad. I made a quick pit-stop at HEB to get a couple of ingredients necessary to make these Black and White Baked Doughnuts, recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker. I came across this recipe while reading a BuzzFeed article (ugh, this confession happens far too often), and though I actually don't like doughnuts in the least, I wanted to try my hand at them, because they could be a fun and aesthetically-pleasing treat to give to other people. 

I ordered a Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan (honestly, best $10 I have spent in a while) from Amazon, and I was thrilled to learn that it would be delivered on Friday. What's better than baking after a long (but short) week at school?

I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous about one thing: browning butter. I have seen other recipes that call for brown butter and passed them up because it seemed like too many added steps. But I'm not sure why I had that idea in my head, as browning butter is actually pretty easy. Because butter can go from brown to black real quick (ha), I have a couple of recommendations.
  • Brown your butter in a light-bottomed pan. This way you will be able to keep your eye on the color of the butter.
  • Stir, stir, and keep stirring. Browning butter takes but a few minutes, so I would just focus on that rather than trying to tend to other tasks at the same time. This advice coming from the queen of multi-tasking.

And now that I have successfully learned how to brown butter, I can't wait to try other brown butter recipes! Another thing to be remembered about these doughnuts is that they are baked instead of fried. Meaning they will taste a bit different. But you can take solace in the fact that they're a little bit healthier than a doughnut from Shipley's, right?

And the wheels are already churning with other potential doughnut recipes. You may be seeing them pop up on the blog pretty frequently. You have been warned!

The doughnuts were probably the most exciting part of my evening, and that was perfectly okay with me. I went to sleep not long after 10:30pm, and my body clock must really be on that eight hours a night timeline, as I was up and at 'em at 6:45am. I made myself stay in bed for a little while longer, before deciding it was time to make good on my eight-mile run promise. Like I said, it was a little bit chilly, but it was the p-e-r-f-e-c-t running weather.

I ran just over eight miles through my neighborhood, which resulted in quite a bit of looping around and backtracking, but I did it, and I felt great. No IT band tightness, and though I ran it a little bit slower than my usual pace (maybe this note from my principal isn't always true), 

I am still glad that I got out there and crushed those eight miles. All I need is a little bit of hill work, and Austin here I come!

After some breakfast and a shower, I crawled back into bed with the intention of grading my student's short answer responses that I had intentionally put off to the weekend. I remember writing (and struggling with) these short answer response questions when I was in school and taking the TAKS test, so it is no surprise to me that my students struggle with them, too. They are making progress, though, as slow as it may be, and that's about all that I can ask for. We are going to be giving them at least one short answer response a week, and probably two as the test gets closer, so I'm hoping they will start to become second nature. Anyway, working from bed is never a good idea. Not only did I get extremely distracted, but I ended up taking a two-and-a-half hour nap. Whoops! I then decided that it was too pretty of a day to spend inside grading, and I needed to go somewhere without wifi, that I loaded up my backpack and hopped on my bike over to Wilchester Elementary school, where I sat myself down and finished that grading.

It was a little bit windy, which is always tricky, but it's amazing what a little bit of sunshine can do for your motivation. And now I'm hoping to get a little bit more school work done, so that I can fully enjoy what I hope will be some more beautiful weather tomorrow!