Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Friend Makin Monday

FMM: Makeup Favorites

  1. Do you wear makeup everyday? Yes. I do a full face of makeup everyday! 
  2. Does your routine change if you’re going out with friends/on a date/to a party? I will add special party like products like an illuminated blush and powder for slight shimmer.
  3. Are you loyal to one brand, or do you use different brands for different things? I love L'Oreal but have recently been using Rimmel and Hard Candy products too.
  4. Do you wear primer/concealer? If so, what’s your favorite kind?  Always. Iwear a face primer and under eye concealer as well as eye primer so my shadow doesn't crease throughout the day.
  5. What’s your favorite brand of foundation?L'Oreal is my go to foundation but recently I have been using the Rimmel brand too.
  6. Do you use blush and/or bronzer?  I use blush never bronzer
  7. Do you wear eye shadow/eye liner?  Everyday!
  8. What’s your favorite kind of mascara?  Maybelline Great Lash in black
  9. Lipstick? Lip gloss? Both? Favorite? Everyday lipstick is usually NYC in English Rose but I have an entire collection of glosses and lipsticks!!!
  10. Do you wear nail polish regularly? If so, share a few of your favorite brands/colors. I just started doing my own nails (tips--since I am such a nail biter!) and I love the OPI brand --I usually stick with a french manicure or do a red or deep purple
  11. How do you remove your makeup at the end of the day?  Ivory soap.
  12. Do you feel prettier when you’re wearing makeup?  Yes,I always have.
  13. Do you have any beauty tips that you could pass along? Line your waterline with a white eyeliner it will make your eyes look so much more open and big <3

Holy Crap What A Week!

I do not want to whine but o my goodness what a craptastic week we had here at Casa La Pea Pod. 

It started last weekend when hubby had the beginnings of a toothache. Now, most normal people would make an appointment but no, not my husband. He just started a new job and the health insurance has not kicked in yet. So in his mind this meant push through the pain and be EXTREMELY cranky all week until we get to Thursday and he can not take the pain anymore and calls out of work for Friday. Then he tries to get intothe dentist on Friday but they haveno openings until Monday morning. Oh joy. 
                                         ***Oh Woe Is Me!!***

It was a horrendous weekend. Hubby was miserable and the Sweet Pea joined in on the fun by being overly miserable herself. Mommy has more gray hair than necessary now.

The sweet Pea had her four month vaccination shots this past week and it really threw her for a loop. We had to give her baby tylenol for the first time.. It was just a week and weekend from H-E- double hockey sticks!!

Hubby went to the dentist yesterday and the one tooth was so bad it had to be pulled and he has to have root canal on the other. Oh lovely. But he feels better today and was not a miserable shell of a human so that was a good sign. that and he went back to work! Yay! I have to admit I hate it when the hubby is home and sick. He is so unbelievably miserable and he makes a mess that I have to clean up and did I mention hie is CRANKY and snappish with everyone when he is sick?? Fun times, fun times for all this week.

Now on top of all that the dishwasher died. Ugggg. I HATE washing dshes by hand. But withthe way things are right now there is no money for a new dishwasher as just two weeks ago the clothes washer died and we had to buy an new one. So now no dishwasher. Just adding to the fun here let me tell ya! 

Honestly, I wanted to be able to stay home with the Sweet Pea until she turned 1 but the way things are going, I might need to find a job sooner. Plus I applied for Unemployment almost a month ago and haven't heard squat. So job hunting is on this weeks agenda as well.
Which makes me sad because I don't want to put the Sweet Pea in child care yet. (And my thoughts on that are another post entirely)

So that is my update from the trenches. Here's hoping this week is much, much better!!

Much luv!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Listicle: 10 Things Before I Die

Today I decided to link up through The Good Life blog http://www.northwestmommy.com/ for a Monday Listicle on the topic "10 Things Before I Die". I love lists and these types are right up my alley!

So here are ten things I would like to see or do before I die:

1. To watch the Sweet Pea grow up into a lovely young woman and enjoy all the "mommy milestones" that entails.

2. To travel to Italy and Greece with the hubby.

3. To write my book and have the courage to see it published.

4. To take the Sweet Pea on a year long RV trip to see the USA.

5. To open my own business.

6. To move to a small town somewhere in rural America where everyone knows everyone.

7. To learn to speak Italian fluently.

8. To take ballroom dance lessons with the hubby.

9. Learn how to shoot a crossbow

10. See the wild horses run in Montana.

Much luv!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Instagram Love

Having had my iPhone for about a year now you would think I would have figured out how to do everything on it, right?? Nope...the iPhone is an endless wonder and I do love, love, love this phone! But because it is such a wonder and it is full of App heaven goodness it took me awhile to get on the Instagram bandwagon.

I see that many many bloggers use it and the pictures are so cool. Now I am not 100% sure how to use it other than getting pictures posted to my Facebook page. But I am a very quick study and have been playing with Instagram all weekend. So here are some pictures I have done using the wonders of Instagram! Enjoy!!

                                         *Looking cool on her 4 month b-day**
                                            *Puckering up for kisses!*
                                            *The Sweet Pea loves looking in the mirror!*
                                            *Rocking my new short do!*

                                          **Black and white on the Baptism photo*
                                           *Its so tiring when you are 4 months old!*
                             **Nom nom I like to eat my hands!**

This is so much fun!! Will definitely be using Instagram more!! But if you have any ideas and or tips or advice on how to get the most out of this App I would certainly appreciate it!! Thanks!

Much luv!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Just One Of Those Weeks

Did you ever have one of those weeks where you feel like nothing got done despite your best efforts? Yeah that was my week. 

Sweet Pea is seemingly going through a growth spurt and this week she was all about Momma. I mean if I walked out of the room or even out of her line of sight in the room she started to whine. Not a cry, no tears or anything but a persistent "Waaah" sound . She did it all week and do you have any idea how hard it is to do dishes or get laundry done with a four month old strapped to your hip? (Well if you're a mom I guess you do! )

Anyways the whole week went like that and then on Thursday I discovered a whole world of old TV shows on Netflix and instant streaming.Huzzah! It was like a whole new world was opened up to me! Why had no one shown me the vast array of old TV shows I could watch??! Shows I watched when I was young-- Shows like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries and Murder She Wrote. I am a total sucker for mystery shows but mystery shows that seep nostalgia from my childhood--hot diggity!

I was sucked in and completely lost Thursday to the TV and Jessica Fletcher's exploits. The Sweet Pea and I pretty much camped out in the living room and watched the residents of Cabot Cove, Maine try to solve murders. And question here- Did no one ever find it the least bit strange that it was Jessica who was always finding these bodies?? Still it was fun seeing all the guest stars from the 80s on the show--everyone from Rue McClanahan to George Clooney was on that show at one time or another. Yes, I admit it I spent the ENTIRE day watching it and I still have about 80 episodes to go. Oh boy.

Then yesterday I spent the day trying to play catch up from my lost Thursday. Although I do admit to Googling a bit of information on Maine to see if there were any towns that were small and cute like Cabot Cove. I know! I know! I am a dork. However, given the chance I would totally move to a tiny little town where everybody knows everybody. I love the idea of small town America. I mean I moved from the big city to the suburbs but truly what I would like to do is move to an even smaller town somewhere!

So this weekend is all about catching up on the stuff I couldn't get to because of the Sweet Pea and her needs or more likely because I spent an entire day watching TV. Has anyone ever done that before? I am feeling a bit guilty now! But, I suppose every once in a while one can do that. I guess the same applies to staying in one's pajamas all day too. (I am guilty of that too!!)

Like I said in the title it was just one of those weeks. So now I am off to finish laundry, do dishes, and clean the house all while having the Sweet Pea attached to my hip! And maybe,just maybe I'll sneak in another episode of Murder She Wrote...Shhhh don't tell the hubby!

Much luv!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Link Up

Joining a Wordless Wednesday link up from http://hardlyahousewifeblog.com/ . I love her blog --its awesome! So here is my Wordless Wednesday Picture

                                The Sweet Pea looking very serious after her Baptism. <3!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baptism Luncheon Recipes From the Hubby

The Hubby made ALL the food for the Baptism on Sunday and it was just sooo yummy! I thought it would be nice to post the recipes since the food was such a hit. Hubby is an amazing cook (he actually went to culinary school) and all the dishes were to die for! So here are the recipes for some of the biggest hits from the party.
                                                           **My hubby the chef!!**

Braised Brisket Recipe


  • 1 (4 pound) beef brisket, first-cut
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 head garlic, cut in 1/2
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed (recommended: San Marzano)
  • 3/4 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Drizzle brisket liberally with olive oil then season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.

Place a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot over medium-high heat and add a 3-count of olive oil. Place the brisket in the pot and sear on both sides to form a nice brown crust. Remove from pot and set aside before adding carrots, onion and celery. Brown vegetables, then add the garlic, tomatoes, red wine, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Add the brisket back to the pot, cover and roast in the oven for 3 hours until the brisket is fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes. Strain out the vegetables and pour off some of the excess fat, then pour over the brisket.

Slice brisket across the grain and serve over parsnip puree with roasted red onions and garnish with parsley.

Vienna Bread


Serves: 12
Units: US | Metric

Sponge or Biga



  1. 1
    Biga or Sponge:.
  2. 2
    Make the sponge the day before 12 to 20 hours before.
  3. 3
    1 tsp yeast sprinkled over the one cup warm water, let it become foamy and bubbly, that way you know the yeast is good and active. Add in the one cup flour, and stir well to combine, it will be soupy. Cover tightly with saran wrap and place on counter top overnight. I place in my microwave out of the way, and out of drafts. This biga will bubbly and come up to the top of your bowl but then will fall back down into the bowl after a while, so just make sure your bowl is a larger one to begin with.
  4. 4
    When baking time is ready the next day, or 20 hours later, I then proceed.
  5. 5
    First step one: sprinkle the 1 teaspoon yeast over 1/4 cup warm water and let stand until bubbly about five or ten minutes. This shows that yeast is fresh and active.
  6. 6
    In your large mixing machine bowl, place yesterdays biga which is bubbly and soupy looking again, and very elastic into the bowl with flat beater.
  7. 7
    Add 1/4 cup cold water with the beater going slowly just to mix .
  8. 8
    Add after the five or ten minutes of resting the new yeast mixture, and continue with the flat beater slowly combining well.
  9. 9
    Add the remainder 3/4 cup cold water and blend.
  10. 10
    Add the 1 cup all purpose or bread flour, and combine, still using just a slow speed.
  11. 11
    Change now to the dough hook and add the other 2 1/4 cups flour and table salt.
  12. 12
    With the dough hook still on low speed .
  13. 13
    You will have a sticky dough.
  14. 14
    The dough will be soft sticky but holding itself around the dough hook, while at the same time cleaning the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  15. 15
    If at that time its still puddles at the bottom of the bowl while kneading on number three or four speed, add in the tablespoons of flour, one at a time kneading all the while. I have added two to three tablespoons as listed in ingredients for this purpose. Remember just add until its cleaning the bottom and sides of bowl, this must be a wet and sticky dough, not firm and heavy. Weather is an important factor with flour.
  16. 16
    Sticky to touch the dough, but yet doesn't stick gobs of dough to your fingers.
  17. 17
    It will be sticky, elastic and soft.
  18. 18
    Knead a good ten minutes with your hook.
  19. 19
    Oil bottom and sides of a very large bowl.
  20. 20
    With wet fingers drop the dough into the bowl and turn dough over so all is oiled well.
  21. 21
    Cover with saran wrap and then a towel, and place out of the way of drafts.
  22. 22
    Rise until it is 2 1/2 to 3 times its size. It will look blistered and soft.
  23. 23
    Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly flour, set aside.
  24. 24
    Place some flour onto the bread board or counter top and with wet fingertips, scrape the dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl gently.
  25. 25
    Slightly stretch dough brushing the flour off the bottom and out of the way.
  26. 26
    You just want the flour there to keep it from sticking, you are not adding more flour into the risen dough.
  27. 27
    Place shaped stretched loaf onto the floured parchment, lightly flour top so that saran doesn't stick.
  28. 28
    Cover with the saran , again with a towel, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, until doubled.
  29. 29
    It has risen sufficiently when you poke it with two fingers gently and it leaves the impression, it doesn't spring back. If it springs back then leave a little while longer to rise.
  30. 30
    Place in hot preheated oven 425 degrees, and bake 30 minutes, turn upside down and continue another 10 minutes, until golden brown, and hollow sounding when tapped.
  31. 31
    Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  32. 32
    Do not cut and eat -- Let cool Completely this will give you a better flavoured bread.
    Olive and Sun Dried tomato Bread

    1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
    1 small onion finely chopped
    2 tbsp of olive oil, from a jar of sun dried tomatoes
    2 tsp of salt
    1 package of active dry yeast
    1/2 to 1 cup lukewarm water
    4-5 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp rosemary leaves
    1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed, chopped
    12 black olives pitted and coarsely chopped
    2 tsp of melted butter (optional)
    In a small pan, mix the onion and garlic with 1tbs of the oil and1/4 tsp of the salt, cover the pan
    and cook over low heat 4-5 minutes until the onion is tender, but not browned, remove the lid and
    set the pan aside to cool. Stir the yeast into 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and let stand 10 minutes or
    until frothy. Mix 4 cups of flour and the remaining salt in a large bowl, add yeast, flour, and
    remaining water, and briefly mix
    Add the garlic and onions, the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, and the rosemary, about one third of the
    sun dried tomatoes, about one third of the olives. Mix by hand or in a food processor, adding
    more lukewarm water to create dough. Knead the dough by hand, adding the rest of the tomatoes
    and olives to evenly distribute them.Knead the dough 5 minutes longer by processor until the dough has a silky texture and doesn’t
    stick to your hands or the bowl, shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl, cover
    the bowl with a large plastic bag and let stand in a draft free spot for 1/2 or 2 hours or dough has
    doubled in size. Knock the dough down by slipping it on the counter, knead for 2-3 minutes later,
    then divide the dough into two equal portions form them into balls or ovals, line a baking tray
    with parchment paper, place the loaves on the tray and let proof again 45-65 minutes.
    Preheat the oven at 425 degrees. Make four slashes on the bread, set aside covered for 10
    minutes. Bake the loaves for 10minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 375 degrees, test the loaves
    for doneness by rapping them on the bottom with your knuckles/ If the bread sounds hollow, it's
    done. Remove bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack. This recipe makes two loaves.


    • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
    • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
    • Salt
    • 2 cups/500 ml of low-fat Greek yogurt
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon/15 ml of olive oil
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup/125 ml of dill, chopped
    • 1/2 cup/125 ml of chives
    • Freshly ground peppertkik


    In a sieve set over a bowl, toss the diced cucumber and onions with 1 teaspoon salt. Let it drain at least 1 hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.

    With flat-side of chef's knife, mash garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and make a paste. Add garlic paste to the yogurt mixture with olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and chive. Season with salt and pepper.

    Pat the chopped cucumber dry with paper towels, and add to the yogurt mixture. Keep the mixture refrigerated until ready to use and serve it with fried skate chicken, burgers or as a dip for veggies.

    Cook's Note: You can make your own thick yogurt by letting it sit overnight in paper towel over a sieve.
    **I took the recipes off several websites such as Food network and the cooking channel so you may be able to use the links to go to the sites yourself.**
Now  the Hubby always tweaks the recipes to make them his own so you can feel free to put your own spin on the recipes. But I do assure they were all delightful!!


Much love,

Mommy Milestone Part 2: The Baptism

Sunday was the Sweet Pea's Baptism. It was a lovely day all around! There were three other babies getting baptized as well, and I must say that the Sweet Pea was the quietest and most laid back of all the babies. I was worried that she would be cranky or would be over stimulated with all the people and activity going on in the church. I was especially worried that she would lose her mind when the water was poured over her head but she did wonderfully she was all smiles and coos! She really did very well!

Then we had the reception back at our house and we crammed 30 people with children into our tiny little house! Have I mentioned we live in a little teeny tiny house?? LOL I love my house but it is small. However, it is home. We had a very nice luncheon that the hubby cooked and it was delicious and everyone raved over the dishes. He made braised brisket, homemade olive bread, Vienna bread, homemade macaroni salad, German potato salad, and tzakiki. If anyone wants the recipes, I will post them in a separate post.

Lovely and blessed day all around. It was just an amazing Mommy Milestone!! Here are some pictures from her special day!!

I have more pictures to post too just have to download them from the camera!
Thanks for reading!!

Much luv!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mommy Milestone

The title of this post actually comes from an episode of Tori and Dean(oh I just love them! I think Tori is just so cute with her kids!) I just watched an episode the other day where Tori was talking about the kids first dance recital and how they didn't think it was a big deal but she did. She said and I am paraphrasing here-- those moments when the kids are unaware of how momentous the occasion is really a "Mommy Milestone". I thought that was a beautiful sentiment.

Today is a big "Mommy Milestone" for me. For today is the Lil Sweet Pea's baptism. The Sweet Pea will be four months old tomorrow and having her baptized was important for both the husband and myself. So big day for us around here!

We put her in her Christening gown and bonnet last night to take pictures and oh my goodness she looked so sweet and so adorable I almost cried. I will be posting pictures as soon as I can get the camera from hubby. He is using Photoshop to create a poster of the Sweet Pea for everyone to sign at the Open House we are holding after the baptism.

Oh, did I mention that we are having about a gazillion people coming to our little teeny tiny house today?? Oh yes, yes we are. I have no idea where all these people are going to sit, let alone eat! This whole thing seemed like a much better idea a month ago when we planned it. Today my stress level is just through the roof!

We are not fancy people. We do not throw extravagant dinner parties or large get togethers. We are just an ordinary hang out and be comfy sort of family. So large events like this in my home make me nervous. I am by nature extraordinarily shy so I really have to push myself out of the bubble to be Miss Super Social. 

Then there is the mixing of the hubby family with my family. We have never in the five years we have been married ever needed to have both sides to a party. (Don't ask about the wedding because there was some blow up on the hubby's side of the family at that time and no one was speaking to each other--hence no one from his family came to our wedding. Weird, I know.)So it will be a big meet and greet for both sides of the family. Yikes!

Anyways, I am going to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off soon but I wanted to get in a post before the madness ensued! I am hopeful that today will go well and everyone will enjoy themselves. I am also hopeful that my Sweet Pea won't lose her mind when the priest pours water over head because I know she sure doesn't like it when I do it to her during bath time!

But this is a huge "Mommy Milestone" for me and I want it to be precious! I will definitely post pictures and tell you all about it later on tonight or tomorrow. (I will have to steal the camera from the hubby though LOL) 

For now here is a picture of my Sweet Pea to hold you over.

Much luv! (And wish me luck today!!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kindle Love

One of my goals for 2012 is to get back into reading daily. 

I have always been voracious reader. I love books passionately and enjoy curling up on the sofa and getting lost in a new world. I am someone who can read an entire book in one sitting.  Reading a good book is one of my all time favorite past times.

I had long resisted the Kindle or the Nook because I am such a "book" person. My house is filled with books. I have bookcases filled with books throughout my tiny little house! I have tomes stored in totes in my loft above the garage. I have books on my end tables, my nightstands,my desk,my husband's desk and even supported by book ends in my front window I have them everywhere!

My book obsession was so bad that my husband would not drive by a Barnes and Noble anymore because I would get all excited and hyper like one of those tiny little dogs! I started taking old paperbacks to a trade-buy-sell bookstore so I could get credit and purchase more books. Honestly, when it came to books I was like an addict jonesing for a fix.

Then this past Christmas the hubby surprised me. He bought me a Kindle. I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean how could this thin piece of gadgetry possibly compare to the joy of holding a book in my hands?? It couldn't right? WRONG! 
O my was I wrong. Can I tell you how much I love my Kindle?? This thin, light as a feather piece of electronic gadget goodness holds 30,000 titles! Never again will I have to lug around 2-3 big books on a long car ride (always more than 1 book because I always finish the book and then would have nothing else to read) or packing a separate bag for my books when we go on vacation. Here in my hands I now hold all the books I could ever need! 
 **Not my bookshelf--blogger is not uploading my pics--grr**

It reads just as well as a book, plus I can make notes, highlight passages, archive things,and organize titles anyway I want. Ohhh the Kindle is just heavenly! I can not believe I resisted and poo pooed the Kindle for so long. There are a million FREE books to download on Amazon plus library books can be downloaded just as easily. Plus ebooks on Amazon are not that expensive so if need be I can feed my book addiction cheaply! Ahhhhh happiness!!

Why did I wait so long? I have no idea truly. I mean I love technology--I embraced the iPod and abandoned my Cd's, I adore my iPhone beyond what I think is socially acceptable(if you don't have an iPhone I am telling you -GO GET ONE!! That phone does EVERYTHING!!! I could go on but the iPhone should really have its own post, that is how phenomenal it is!)I have an awesome netbook and love techie things so my wait on jumping on the Kindle bandwagon is just at odds with what I usually do. However, I can say that the Kindle is beyond awesome-it is life changing for me! Plus my hubby now no longer has to worry about where to put another bookshelf in our little house and his even bigger fear of being squeezed out of the house by books is abated ! Fear no more my love! The Kindle has answered your prayers. (Although I do think that was his ulterior motive in purchasing the Kindle for me!)

So with the Kindle by my side I will be able to read, read, read and never worry that I don't have a book with me! So, for 2012 I am going to be reading more and have compiled a list of books I want to read this year.
Here is my 2012 Reading List:
1. Around the World in 220 Days
2. An Innocent, A Broad
3. The Hunger Games Trilogy
4. The Stephanie Plum series
5. It's Not Really About the Hair
6. Bram Stokers Dracula
7. Mommywood
8. STORItelling
9. You the Owners Manual
10. Michael Connolly's Mickey Haller series

That is what I have so far. I am sure I will be able to add to this list after I have a second cup of coffee! 

Much luv! Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Think I Am Getting Hints From God

So yesterday I wrote about my career future and what path I should take...I wrote this whole part in the post about my love of hair and makeup and fashion etc  (which for some reason was deleted when I published it --wth Blogger?) But I digress...today I saw the Empire Beauty School ad on television three times! I have been home with my sweet pea for over three months and have never seen that commercial once...today 3 times! 

Then I was flipping channels while the baby is sleeping and I discovered a new show on SyFy called "Face Off". This is a show about theatrical makeup artists. It is pretty darn awesome! I am currently parked in a chair watching it while the baby is asleep. I should be cleaning the house since we are having a slew of people over this weekend for the baby's baptism this weekend. Instead I am still in my pj's watching this fascinating show. I feel only slightly guilty right now. 

But back to my original thought for posting this...is this a hint, a nudge to start looking down a new path? I have always been interested in the beauty industry but is it where I want to go career wise?? It would mean more schooling...getting liscened in my state so that I would be able to work in the industry. But do I want to take on even more loans? I have a BA and an MBA already. Can I just move forward in some way without going to school? Plus I have the Sweet Pea now so if I did go to school, it would have to be at night. That in itself would be hard. It would only be for a year and a half but still that is a long time when you have a newborn to take care of. 

I suppose all I can do at this point is put it in God's hands and let it go. But still I am open to the nudges and hints as they come :-)

Much luv!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Musings on My Career Future

I have been a teacher in the catholic school system for ten years. For eight years before that I was a preschool teacher in a child care center. I love my career choice. I love teaching. I love that everyday was new and different from the day before. I loved that the children had so much more to teach me than I could ever teach them. I loved that I woke up excited everyday, ready to get in the classroom and start the day. I loved planning lessons and creating units to present to the class each week. I loved going in an hour early to set up for the day and staying an hour late to prep for the next day. I loved every minute of everyday.

But then something changed. There were rumours and murmurs that schools would be closing. Each year schools close to the one where I taught closed their doors as a catholic school only to open in the fall as a public charter school or the building was sold. Students and their families were moving out of the city. Things began to change within the system. There was talk of "regional" schools, of shutting down almost all the schools and leaving only a few. Rumours swirled. As teachers we feared losing our jobs and the schools we loved.

I believe this fear and uncertainty permeated our beings. There was fear yes, but also anger. Anger over not being able to do anything to save the schools we loved. Then the biggest blow of all--the priest sex abuse scandal broke in our Archdiocese. Devastating to all.

I will not defend those priests who committed such acts or the way the higher ups within the diocese allowed it to continue. That is another blog post entirely. I will say that this news along with the prevailing air of changing catholic education within the system hurt my heart in such a way I can only say I was and still am just heartbroken.

I have not lost my faith in God. I still believe in being catholic but as far as teaching for the Archdiocese--I fear my time may be done. A year ago our diocese enabled a commission to do a study on the state of the diocese's catholic schools and make recommendations on how to make the system more viable moving into the future. As a teacher I knew this meant closures and moving towards the "regional school" model the Archdiocese had been speaking about for the past few years. And that is exactly what happened.

On Friday the commission released its report. The commission recommended the closure of 44 elementary schools and 5 high schools. This was a much larger size and scope than anyone thought would be recommended. As one higher up put it "We are not closing schools-we are closing buildings." Well, yes I guess that is correct on a technical point. But the reality is that my school is closing or rather "merging" with another and we as the staff will need to resign and then reapply for a position in the school. Also, teachers may only apply for a position at the school they are merging with. There are not enough positions for all the teachers to have a job. There are going to be alot of teachers out of a job come September and I am going to be one of them. 

I am at a crossroads in my life. With everything that happened in the last few years within the archdiocese and at the school I was in...I don't have the all out vigor for teaching I once had. You know how when you do something you love it never feels like a job? Well my last year teaching felt like a job. Oh don't get me wrong--I still love the students and I love teaching. But the way things have been in the Archdiocese it no longer felt fun. It felt like every day was an uphill battle with administration. Everyday was a struggle, it seemed like everyday there was more bad news. There was definitely an air of tension over the whole Archdiocese.

And now it seems like there is no going back to the days when things seemed less like a battle. I don't want to teach in that way again, under fear of closure and feeling like I had to fight everyday for things like chalk or paper. It just exhausted me on such an emotional level. Last year I was just mentally, emotionally, and physically drained from the whole black cloud hovering over not just my school but the whole system.

It was one of the reasons I opted for a year long leave of absence for my maternity leave with my Sweet Pea. I wanted to rest and rediscover my passion for teaching while getting to spend as much time as possible with my first baby. But now with the sweeping closures I am out of a job. And honestly, I am not quite sure how I feel about that situation. 

Is this God's way of telling me it is time to look in a new direction? I have other passions I may like to pursue. But I don't know what to do or where to begin at this point. It is very upsetting to me. I feel very much like I am directionless and I dislike that feeling very much. 

There is alot of fear right now. Change is always scary but it is inevitable. I need to focus on the positive and embrace the journey. Follow my heart and go where God leads me. It is all I can do right now.

Much luv!

Monday, January 9, 2012


It is 2012! Will the world end this year?? (According to the Mayans it will..but this is coming from a culture that did not even predict their own demise so take their call on the impending end of the world with a grain of salt!!)

Well the new year is always exciting for me because it represents a clean slate, a time to change things, try new things and embrace new journeys and adventures. It is also a time for new resolutions but I am not so much into the resolutions as I am into creating some short term and long term goals that I can actually accomplish in the time frame of the year. I have several NEW YEAR'S GOALS which I will share with you.

My Goals for the New Year are as follows:

1. Work on getting down to my pre pregnancy weight. This is not just a lose the weight quickly goal. This is a goal to get back to my fitness routine, my nutrition routine, and focus on my health and well being. Almost four years ago I lost over 176 pounds. And while many have said that is quite an accomplishment while I was pregnant I was freaked out by the weight gain ALOT.  And even though I only have to lose 30 pounds to get to my pre pregnancy weight it is still a long, hard road to get back on track. I am nowhere near as heavy as I was four years ago but I am in a weird size place right now--my maternity clothes swim on me, my pre- pregnancy clothes are still a bit tight, and some of the clothes I bought after the baby are starting to be big. Honestly when I say I have nothing to wear--I mean I have nothing to wear!!! But as I focus on taking care of me again,eating the way I should, excersising daily I am sure I can follow through and accomplish my goal.

2.  Blog regularly. When I began this blog it was to chronicle my pregnancy and life after with my Sweet Pea. However in my naivete (I had never had a child before!!) I failed to realize that once the Sweet Pea was actually here my life as I knew it was over!! I had such grand delusions of her napping and me blogging and chronicling our daily life in photos and witty wordplay on my blog. Epic fail on my part--I did not think of fussy baby, lack of sleep, crankiness, and the tornado of chaos this lil person caused!! She turned everything upside down and inside out and you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way!! But I am committed to getting my butt on the computer and blogging on a regular basis. It is such a wonderful outlet for me when I write and I need to commit to doing it everyday!

3. Make decisions regarding my career path and future. On Friday I found out my school will be closing or rather as the news reported it "merging" with another school. Problem here? I have no job to return to in September and teachers at the closing schools are being forced to resign and reapply for a position. That would be approximately 1600 people laid off competing for a handful of jobs. I am pretty much unemployed right now. To make matters worse several of the school districts are on hiring freezes or have done layoff themselves so the job opportunities in teaching in my area are slim to none. Which leads me to--What do I want to do now?? I have to make a career game plan. I need to decide where I want to go and what I want to do from here on out. Big decision. And while the unknown is scary to me, I do know that the only constant in life is CHANGE. This is a huge change for me and one I need to move forward with and experience and embrace the journey fully.

So those are three of my big goals for the year. I have others too that I will be discussing on here throughout the months but for now those are the three big ones I am focusing on. Of course my number one goal that supercedes all others is to be the best Mommy to my Sweet Pea!

Much luv!