Monday, September 3, 2018

Confessions of a regular girl

You might be wondering about that photo. The tan, brown, and white floral isn't exactly the most amazing image to lead off a blog post... but I'm putting it out there. It's our kitchen tile, desperately in need of a demo day, a sledgehammer, something! Vintage 1987, along with our A/C unit, and our microwave. And today I was loving the time to be in our regular kitchen.

I love to cook, but most weeks I am a serious shortcut chef and rarely make anything more interesting than a bagged salad and chicken. Today as I was chopping and measuring and picking things from our garden, I was also thinking about capturing my day. I took a few pictures. I thought about writing a blog post. But baking and making salads seemed so... well... regular.

And so, I'm writing a post... true confessions of a regular girl. I write when I feel like it, when I'm happy, or inspired. I like to write, but I don't feel like I'm really a writer. My posts are the voice inside my head getting out every once in awhile-- so many more posts are drafted in my mind but never make it to the page.

I think about what I've read about social media and how people only put their best face forward online. I don't know if I agree with that-- I like a good filter as much as anyone. But I do enjoy posts about beautiful places, views from anywhere, families, friends, pets, inspiring quotes, and vacations, filled with positivity.  Having said that, I also enjoy reading raw reflections and admire people who share their inner struggles even though I am not very brave like that.

Today I'm happy. I slept in until 8. I had time to start a new book (have to finish before book club next week!) and discovered it's historical fiction with Johnny Appleseed! I had time to bake zucchini bread. I made a tomato, pepper, and cucumber salad. All with ingredients from our yard. 

My life is not exciting. I love Food Network but a fancy chef I am not. Today I'm finding joy in the little things, the fresh tomato, the first zucchini bread I have ever baked, and the view from our deck.

Just for today, I'm going to ignore the fur on the floor,  the dust, I will hug my puppies, and wait for my chicken to come out of the oven. Tonight, it's a custom dish with Lawry's for Sam and Bacon Chipotle rub for me and Jordanne, separated by a super fancy wall of foil.

Cheers to a three day weekend and finding joy living a regular life! No filter here. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Back to school love! #wearestoneridge

First day!

I love being back to school! This summer I truly only had one week off between finishing in June and coming back to work in late July, and yet that one week when my daughter got married was just what I needed to recharge me for the new year!

I love the quiet busy of summer before the year kicks into gear, and the powerful hum of our custodial team as they wax and shine and sparkle everything! This is also when our front office team gears up with just about everything in preparation for the first day! And teachers begin to arrive, ready to create just the right learning spaces. 

Only missing Silvia, this team rocks!

I love the first day! This year we welcomed almost 100 new students and families to our school, bringing us to almost 650 Timberwolves. The kids, big and small add an energy you can feel, a lightning strike, a burst of smiles and hugs and tears and running and love. 

It's the best. 
And it's a little crazy. 
Figuring out the lunch line, the bell schedule that is new, the parking lot, and line up spots. And yet, three weeks in, it already feels like home.

I think it's my 23rd year, and yet it's still as exciting as year one. New things to learn, from tech tools to student names and more. 

I love everything about it even though it's the busiest time I can imagine. Work life balance in August doesn't exist, but there is always the three day weekend in September when we catch our breath. 

Every year I have hopes and dreams, and this year is no different. Things I am SUPER excited about?

Awesome house points board, thanks Jill!
  • Our second full year of Houses, connecting students across the school and across the grades!
  • Being our school's chief storyteller, celebrating our kids and staff everywhere I can! This year you can find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and in our family blog! We have always been there, but finally, this year I have connected our social media tools so that I can cross post and share the #wearestoneridge #rcsdchampions story with our school community and the world every week. IFTTT recipes all set up!

  • Being out in classrooms at least two full days each week. I have always loved being out and about with kids and teachers, but this year I am intentionally scheduling both office and classroom days so that I can be out where the action is happening and still carve out time for the other work of being a principal that requires my door be closed for a bit.

  • Time for reading and exercise! I love to read and I'm excited for more books! I'm also looking forward to adding yoga and hip hop to my routine in 2018-19, and still finding time to walk a few days a week. 

Wishing you the best year ever! What are you excited about in the new year?

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Refllection #travelunplugged

In my previous post, I shared with anticipation my plans to take my Spring break vacation to the coast -- totally unplugged. You can read that post here. Truly, I couldn't wait. I had books to read, waves to see, and things to write. I needed time to just be, to rest, and to recharge. And I did just that. Here was the challenge from AFAR magazine:

"Commit to taking a trip between February and September and promise not to use your phone or computer. A trip of any duration to any destination, and the idea is truly to disconnect from technology. And then, when you reenter the digital realm, tell us about your experience via the hashtag #travelunplugged."

And so, as we left Petaluma, my last connection to the digital world was find ing my way to Bodega Road with my Google maps app after spending some time downtown Petalauma-- Sam visited a little comic book shop and I got a latte at a cool little non-Starbucks shop downtown.

Once we found Bodega Road, I switched my phone to airplane mode and planned to use it to take only pictures. I also had my journal in hand and really wanted to notice what changed, what I missed, and how I felt. A little experiment of sorts!

As we headed out to the ocean, passing farms and herds of baby sheep, I took a deep breath and enjoyed the ride. I knew the road would lead to Bodega Bay and we planned to grab a late lunch when we got there. A few hours later after an amazing cioppino we were on our way to Fort Ross.

I love Fort Ross, and it's a great place to unplug, There is no cell service, and the wifi in the lodge really doesn't reach to the room we stayed in, the one farthest from the main office and closest to the ocean. I didn't care, Sam would have liked a little wi-fi but he survived:)

As we drove in we wondered about finding tide pools and I said we could just ask in the lobby rather than googling it. Turns out the paper from the lobby had a list of tides, places to visit, places to eat, and more. It was fun going old school with just the paper!  During our trip we just meandered along highway 1 and discovered as we went along. It was the best!

I did try to take note of the things that I missed without being connected-- and it really wasn't much. Mostly I just found myself wanting to google stuff! I was missing the Naked Lady flowers that I normally see along highway 1, and I wanted to know when they bloomed.

So I wrote it in my notebook to google later. Late summer it turns out!

We ate scallops, and we talked about what the shell looked like. #googleitlater 

What about the underwater cable connecting California at Point Area to Hawaii? #googleitlater

We visited placed and it reminded me of people I know and love. Mendocino and the trips with my family each spring. The many bookshops and seeing The Art of War and Freakanomics and thinking of Jon Corippo.

I saw whales out the window of our room.

I read a big stack of books.

I took lots of pictures!

We raced to see the sunset each night as it dipped into the ocean.

Turns out, I didn't mis being connected at all, and was surprised how anxious I felt driving through Novato as I clicked my internet back on. 

Truly, it wasn't bad. Two messages from friends and one from a teacher wanting to know if the custodians were working over break.

Aaah, back to the real world. 

#travleunplugged I love you. Until we meet again. I can't wait!