Monday, March 21, 2011

13 Rays of Light

1. It's snowing out, but it's officially spring--and that's all that really matters.
2. Comedy club with good friends on Friday night = much-needed belly laughs.
3. Yoga on Saturday morning with BFF followed by a trip to Lucibello's pastry shop for zeppoles in honor of St. Joseph's Day. It's all about balance, right?

Mmm...zeppoles. Guess which one is mine.

4. New sidewalk chalk.
5. Saturday night in my jammies early with a 100% comfort-casserole for dinner, a bowl of Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide for dessert, freshly painted toenails (orange!) and Due Date on onDemand (cute, amusing, not overly awesome but still fun).
6. New magazines.
7. Long solo walk with the dog on a chilly and bright Sunday morning.
8. Reading an intriguing article about Mike Tyson in this week's NYT magazine in the sunshine on the front porch, warm bevvy in hand.
9. My kids playing outside with their friends until dark.
10. Our front porch = the neighborhood living room.
11. Afternoon hoola hooping (aka, just "hooping") class with the BFF. My hips are bruised after two and a half hours of hooping, but I have a new orange and pink hoop and new skill. Whee!!!
12. Watching AFV with Ian and the kids on Sunday night. A beloved family ritual.
13. Today marks two years that Ian and I have been married. In that two years we've held hands through more rollercoaster loops than some people experience in a lifetime. He yins, I yang. Or maybe I yin, and he yangs. Whichever. It works. And that's all we care about.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So Long, Snirt

The snow finally melted. Sometime late last week, the last wedge of snirt (a word my kids made up to describe dirty, filthy, grey-black snow) melted on our front lawn. So on Sunday, my 38th birthday, I dragged a rake from the garage and gave the grass a nice once-over, like a good back scratch after a looooooooooong winter.

I was thrilled to do a bit of yardwork on my birthday. It was a beautiful day, and a Sunday at that. Each year, when March 13 rolls around, I'm reminded that winter always ends, and crocuses, daffodils, and tulips will always push their way up through the barely-thawed ground to illustrate the point that the most delicate things in nature are also some of the toughest.

I've got a garden plan for veggies and some new perennials this year, and I'm excited to see which plants made it through the winter and which ones might not have fared so well. Some of the peonies are already beginning to poke up through the soil. That gives me hope. Sigh. I love, love, love peonies.

Ian and I are also in the process of planning out our own DIY compost bin, made from chicken wire and pallets. And I see many stepping stones and creeping thyme in my lawn's future, as I try to move us away from an entirely grass-based (and water-sucking) lawn to one that is more drought-tolerant and dog-resilient. As long as we still have our huge square of grass in the second half of the yard, the kids will have somewhere to toss around the ball. Baseball season is upon us, after all. And Sean has his screening for the junior majors next weekend.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, though. I'm savoring this transition. Chilly mornings give way to warmer afternoons, which quickly turn to very cold nights. I've resurrected my running habit, though. Sort of. So that's something. And I'm counting down the days until I can once again enjoy yoga classes on the beach--and a hot dog at Yankee Stadium.

I'm also really looking forward to finding out if I've been accepted to the certification programs to which I've applied. My hope is to attend an accelerated certification program, and then get my Master's Degree over the course of a few years--at a more temperate pace than the certification. While teachers and unions are facing huge challenges right now all over the country, teachers are still going to be needed. It's not like the profession is going anywhere. And, as my seventh-grade science teacher told me when I ran into her last week: "We need you. We need English teachers. People don't know how to SPEAK anymore, let alone write!" Word, Mrs. Ryan! (Pun intended.)

So until I can get it together and write something more eloquent in this space, I'll leave you with thoughts of blooming daffodils, chirping robins, and the soda bread that I'll be cranking out on Wednesday night in anticipation of St. Paddy's Day on Thursday. Because my grandmother playing Danny Boy on my piano for my birthday wasn't enough to put me in the mood, right? ;)

And here's two favorites from last month's mix CD that Ian tossed my way for Valentine's Day. Good God, how I love these songs. Glad to have them on one mix, along with some other choice tracks:


Beware the Ides!