Sunday, August 18, 2019

Graduations, Transitions, and Traditions!

You guys, this has been a HUGE week! Each highlight deserves its own post, but given that some of them didn't even get their own day, that's obviously not happening.

First up, I took my written yoga test on Tuesday night! We were allowed one 3x5 note card to bring into the test and the combined acts of studying and cramming tiny words onto a tiny note card were deeply enjoyable to me. A cheater note card! The last time I made one of those was for some of the formulas in my high school AP physics class. I made it over the weekend and then took it everywhere with me all week like a tiny little Sanskrit covered security blanket.

So on Tuesday I went to work, went to yoga, went to the restaurant next door to yoga to study, took my test- writing diligently until my hand turned into The Claw and I had to shake it out and give it mini massages and then writing some more, and then met some friends for drinks and french fries at a little neighborhood restaurant afterward. Tuesday was an excellent, if incredibly long, day.

On Wednesday we woke up to the sound of rain on our skylights! Rain!! It took a second to figure out what the sound was.

As we all know, Maggie does not like rain. She does not like its drops hitting her head and she does not like its wetness touching her delicate toes. Luckily, we have a solution.

Maggie in a rain jacket is brave and adventurous and full of zoomies!

She is prepared to protect and defect the house from the scary water drops.

Then she is going to take a VERY long nap to recover. Good job, Maggie.

Also on Wednesday, I had my practical exam for yoga teacher training! We were paired up with another trainee and then, under the watchful eyes of our instructors, taught a full hour-long sequence to our partner, in breath-posture-cue formula, correct cues, and assists and adjusts. Then you switched and were the student for your trainee-partner's teaching. It was more intense than I expected. I knew the sequence and had practiced with my friends multiple times, but knowing it was the end and you were being watched and graded had sweat rolling down my back the whole time I taught. But I did it! And I was done! And I got a little thumb's up from my instructor as I was heading out.

Heading out with my graded exam with a big 100 on the top! Obviously, it's hanging on the fridge now. And then I came home to a bottle of champagne (James) and the timely arrival of a new shirt that I'd ordered when I saw my instructor wearing it in class last week. I drank my champagne in the bathtub and felt giddy at the fact my training was essentially done. Wednesday was also a great day.

Thursday donned early as I got ready for work with bleary eyes and lots of helpers underfoot. I worked my lawyer work and then raced home to pick up Landon at 5:25 for Meet the Teacher Night at his new middle school 6th grade campus!

It was total chaos and SO hot, but he got a corrected schedule (now with computer science instead of theater; he is MUCH relieved, and middle-school-me completely understands) and was able to walk to each of his classrooms. He had little to no interest in meeting the teachers (I'll meet them all on Monday mom and then we can remember each other better), but spent MANY minutes perusing the bookshelves of his Accelerated English teacher and the library. Then he tried to check out books at the library and I was like Landon, school has not actually started, and he was very disappointed. He's going to do great.

We got home from that sweaty adventure at 6:30 and then I forcefully shimmied my way into leggings (leggings over sweat is a killer workout that no one seems to be monetizing) to drive to my very last yoga teacher training class while our nanny, who had stayed behind with the girls during MTTN, stayed on.

Meeting in the studio for YTT one last time was a little emotional. I've grown so close to my classmates- never mind that I'm a million years older than all of them, it's been so fun learning and growing with every one of them.

We posed for pictures and practiced our parts for the "Friends and Family Night" round robin sequence we'd be teaching. Then my Friends and Family arrived!

I was so excited to have them there!! My section was the "Sun B - Slow Flow" which is towards the beginning. I didn't forget anything even though the giant room crammed with people was WAY DIFFERENT from our little RR studio or the practice runs I've done with friends, but it was so much fun. I practiced my adjusts and assists, which are quickly becoming my very favorite part of teaching.

James made kissy faces at me whenever I walked by him, attempted to hit our friend Kim in the face with his extremely wide-reach tree pose, and then super inappropriate noises under his breath during his supine twist adjustment I gave towards the end. My lead teacher was cracking up sitting next to him in the back corner.

We ended Savasana by giving little massages to each of our guests and then lining up with all our fellow trainees in the front to thank everyone for coming. I get choked up anytime I try to say it out loud, but I am so beyond thankful for this man. He not only made this training happen for me back when he surprised me with the payment at Christmas, but he has been on on his own with the kids and house, dinners and bedtimes and bulldogs, basically from 7 a.m. Tuesday morning until I woke up on Friday morning, for the last 8 weeks. And he has never complained, never made me feel bad or selfish, just mumbled a "how class went?" when I tip toed into our bedroom at 11 p.m. and let me crawl into bed for sleepy spoons and cuddles.

And now I'm graduated! My 200-hour RYT certificate and I are getting registered on Yoga Alliance, forming an LLC, printing liability waivers, opening a bank account, and securing insurance. Then we're hoping to offer some intro to yoga workshops and other community-type classes while I figure out how/where/when I want to work yoga into my regular teaching schedule. I'm hoping to continue practicing on friends and just continue deepening my own practice. My studio offers a 5-week long extensions program for its 200-RYT graduates, and as much as I would LOVE a deeper dive into some more advanced teacher topics like sequencing, more adjusts and assists, modifications, etc. I need to return to my family. This yoga journey will be a life-long and I know more trainings are waiting for me.

Speaking of family- Friday night was Meet the Teacher night for our sweet elementary school and we've got a brand new Kindergartner in the house!

Cora was BEAMING with joy for every single minute we spent at the school. She marched confidently down the halls, told her new teacher she loved school and hard work, and then worked VERY INTENTLY on the gently suggested "Welcome to Kindergarten" coloring sheet.

We are so excited for her and know she is absolutely going to rock it.

Claire is starting 4th grade and has Landon's old trio of teachers all of whom adored him and are excited to have Claire. She ran around with her friends the whole night, so I don't have a single picture of her, but that seems exactly right. Landon was also in attendance and ran around with his crew and I only caught occasional glimpses of his sweaty face as they came in from outside for a drink at the water fountain. It's hard to believe that six years ago we were starting at this school without knowing a single person. I was 6 months pregnant with Cora and had no idea what was going on or how Landon was going to handle Kindergarten. And now we're pros at the Elementary school game, our children having adored every minute they've spent here, and we are thankful every day we get to support this amazing, diverse Title I school that just earned itself an A rating from the state. A remarkable feat no matter what, but particularly with a 75% economically disadvantaged and "at-risk" student population; we are so proud to be part of this public school community.

We went out with a big group of friends and fellow PTA volunteers for dinner after Meet the Teacher Night and our Kindergartner was quite disappointed to learn that she would not be in school again in the morning. "You mean I have to wait TWO MORE DAYS?!!" she exclaimed with great dismay on our way out, way past her bedtime.

Also, past her bedtime, James opened a package he'd received from a swimsuit manufacturer he might partner with. Without warning, and with a gulp of water in my mouth, he struck a pose in the kitchen wearing this:

I died. It's important that you see the back.

I've obviously seen James in a Speedo a million times, but there's something about the faux-denim that absolutely looks like real denim, in EXTREME cut-off fashion, with about 1" of width along the hips.... it's just really something. Obviously I had to text all our friends and was then shaking with laughter reading the responses and gifs while laying next to him in bed later. He kept shhhh'ing me, like it was my fault he wore a tiny faux denim cutoff Speedo earlier in the evening.

On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to volunteer at Landon's Middle School Field Day Mixer. I am not really a fan of large groups of children that aren't mine, but it was really fun, even if CRAZY SUPER HOT. Landon met many new 6th graders and I snuck a pic during the very serious Tug O War competition.

I was home at 12, drenched in sweat, and no longer at all interested in attending hot yoga. We cleaned up the house, prepared backpacks and cubbies, and made sure everything was ready for the first day. Landon spent the night at a friend's, I got an afternoon beverage with a friend after we both bonded over our messy children, and we watched Ferdinand with the girls after a super tasty dinner (below). Today I'm making poppyseed bread for the teachers and teaching barre, the kids are performing various tasks I wrote down for them yesterday while cleaning up their rooms, and James is feeling powerful while running a rented Rug Doctor over all our rugs. Really, the perfect back-to-school weekend, tiny patriotic Speedo included.

What's for Dinner: Back to School Edition

Saturday: Salmon Patties (these were amazing!!! I skipped the sauce because I was serving them with-), fried rice (TJ's frozen) with extra carrot and cabbage. We will make the salmon patties again for sure.

Sunday, our big back to school dinner and all 3 kids picked: Gigi's Chili, served with Mac & Cheese "ON THE SIDE," and raw veggies. (James and I like to serve the chili over the mac & cheese; the kids like them in separate bowls; it's okay that they're wrong).

Monday, Cora's choice: Caprese Gnocchi (gnocchi tossed with pesto, small mozzarella balls, and cherry tomatoes), maybe grilled chicken if we're feeling fancy. Maybe just with a trip out for frozen yogurt to celebrate the first day.

Tuesday, Claire's choice: BBQ Quinoa Salad, because, as both her siblings said, OF COURSE (quinoa, bbq shredded chicken, black beans, corn, diced tomato, diced avocado, cheddar cheese, swirl of bbq, optional swirl of ranch).

Wednesday, Landon's choice: Crockpot Meatballs (recipe in this post) in Hawaiian buns with optional thin slice of provolone cheese, orange bell pepper slices, oven tater tots.

Thursday, Dad's choice: Happy Hour at HG Sply, one of our favorite restaurants we never get to hit for happy hour because James is always coaching. Half-price apps and specialty drinks here we come!

Friday, Mom's choice: Pool party with 50-ish friends, all the snacks, and Frosé spinning in the margarita machine.

Gigi's Chili
(A little different, but so, so delicious)

2 lbs. ground beef, cooked with garlic and diced onion
2 cans Tomato Soup
1 lg can red enchilada sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans Ranch Style Beans
1-2 Tbl chili powder

1. Brown the beef with garlic and onions, drain fat as needed
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to a large pot, bring to boil, then simmer for as long as you have until you eat.

And of course, there will be the traditional loaves of Gigi's Poppyseed Bread with Orange Glaze for the teachers on the first day. I hope everyone has a fabulous week!


  1. Great job and Congratulations!!!! Awesome! I was cracking up about the speedos; thank you for sharing. HG Sply has a fried rice, which is fried cauliflower. I'm still mad about it and it's been 6 months. I'm sure it's good fried cauliflower, but it isn't good if you were expecting fried rice. However, the drinks and desserts almost make up for the disappointment. -Liz

    1. Thanks Liz!! And your comment made me crack up because their Fried Rice bowl is my FAVORITE thing on the menu! It says it's cauliflower "rice" in the description and it comes with the egg and those amazing Brussels Sprouts... I will 100% be ordering it on Thursday :P. (Along with the amazing drinks and desserts and every app on the menu ;)- have you had the nachos? They're James's favorite item.)

    2. LOL. I may have had a few of the adult beverages and did not read the description as far down as I should have. I had a brownie sundae, so that made up for it.

    3. hahaha, and I do LOVE that sundae!

  2. First of all, your dog in a rain coat - to DIE for!!! Secondly - congrats!!!!! You're a badass.

    1. Thanks!! (And yes, I love the rain because we need rain, but also because I love Maggie in a raincoat :).

  3. Where did you get those cubbies your kids' backpacks are in? We are moving into a new place and I long desperately to have a cubby for everyone's stuff. (Including the grownups'!)

    1. Hi Sarah! We had them built in when we renovated our kitchen. It wasn't an expensive add (just some wood and paint!) so if your new place has a blank wall or corner, a carpenter or general contractor could put them in for you! This post (Kitchen Completion) has a few pics from when they were being built!)

  4. CONGRATULATIONS! What an amazing feat. And seeing James show up to be there for you your last night (plus all his other support) made me cry. You've got a good man there. And Maggie... I just can't even... she needs her own insta account. : ) So happy for you!

  5. Congratulations on finishing your yoga training!

    Maggie is so adorable in that rain coat.

  6. Congratulations! Reading about you learning about yoga makes me so happy.

  7. Congratulations on being a yoga teacher! What a lot of work that was - i can't imagine how you got it done.

    I love how each kid gets a night during back to school week to choose dinner. :)

  8. Congratulations on finishing the yoga training! So impressed by your dedication and JP's support.

  9. Congrats to everyone- big milestones! I also have kids in K and 4th! I wanted to comment on removing/putting on leggings. Reminds me of the Friends episode when Ross is in the bathroom at his dates house and cannot get his leather pants back on! LOL

  10. Many, many congratulations to you and all the best to yoga-teacher Rebecca, I think your wish to make yoga available to many is awesome and I wish you the best!
    Also, I think fate wanted you to keep this blog alive after your break earlier this year so that the entire world could see James' new speedo. Thank you fate, I needed it.
    Have a nice Week end!