Getting up in the morning

alarm clock, bought from IKEA

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This is not one of my strengths. It never has been. When I was younger, my grandpa was “afraid” to wake me up so he would send our black lab, Anna, into my room in the morning to get me out of bed. Usually I would get pretty mad at her for jumping on me and licking my face, but at least my grandpa didn’t have to deal with my attitude! My morning crankiness didn’t go away as I got older. I remember one Theta camping retreat when my friend Molly, the happiest person on the planet, tried to wake me up and I immediately snapped at her to leave me alone!

So, hearing these lovely stories about “Morning Sara” you may wonder why in the world I would ever want to be a teacher and get up so early in the morning. Well, the thing is, I actually like the morning. What I don’t like is getting out of bed. Once I am out of bed I love all things about the morning! Coffee, breakfast food, getting things accomplished before other people are even awake… etc. I like all these things! If I can only convince myself to get out of bed!

I think I’m slowly improving my attitude but this morning was a little setback, as my bad attitude about waking up overflowed into a bad attitude in general. I was a grouch and running late. Luckily my wonderful husband isn’t afraid of “Morning Sara” and helped me get my things together and pushed me out the door in time to get to school. Then, once I was in the car and had time to relax and gather my thoughts I realized what a punk I had been so I made an apology phone call to Mike to get the day back on track!

So, today I’m thankful for a patient husband! What are you thankful for today?


My first (and possibly last) 5k!

Well today was the day, folks! Mike and I ran our first 5k today! The race was for the Community Foundation of Johnson County and encouraging kids to live healthy active lives. So, lots of families were there! This was great for my confidence because I knew I wouldn’t get last place… but I was quite surprised when the first grandma and 5-year-old passed me! (Don’t worry, I got them in the end!) I run like a turtle so we’re not even going to discuss times, in fact, I don’t even know what mine was. But I finished! Mike had a great race and was cheering me on at the finish line. One of his students was there cheering for Mr. Whitt as he ran! Here are some pics:

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There were lots of children at the race today and after the 5k they were having a kid’s mile run and also a 100 meter dash for kids! We REALLY wanted to stay to watch these races! The kids were so excited to run! However, the race was at 8 and we had a meeting at church at 9:30 so we were pushing it to run, rush home, shower, and drive to church all in an hour and a half!

Alright so I know there are lots of runners out there who are thinking yay! wahoo! she did it! she loves running now! Well… not quite. Here’s my beef with running. I totally get running as a means of fitness, exercise, weight loss, whatever you’re doing. And I had never run a race before so I thought “hey, maybe if I’m doing this as a competition I’ll enjoy it more.” But here’s my issue with running as a sport. In other sports that I play or have played (volleyball, basketball, softball etc.) the practices are challenging and I worked hard but I always knew it would be worth it when it came to playing the game. AND the game would be FUN! I put up with the practices because the games were fun. With running, however, the “game” or the race, is almost the exact same thing as practice! It’s not more fun (for me) than practice because it’s the same thing as practice, if not more torturous! Anyway, no offense to anyone who thinks running races is the bees knees, and I’m not ruling out running another race, but I’m not signing up for an ultra marathon anytime soon!

Have you seen me lately?

Bel Canto (novel)

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Missing Item Case #1001: Book

At the beginning of the summer I started reading the book “Bel Canto”, by Ann Patchett. It’s a great book! I definitely recommend it. Anyway, I was about 100 pages in when I lost it. This is what happened: I was reading on the couch and started falling asleep so I went to bed. The next day I woke up and the book was gone! Nowhere to be found! I couldn’t find it anywhere. I have a tendency to misplace things so at first I thought this was nothing new. But Mike and I searched our tiny apartment for days looking for this book! (It was a library book so we needed to find it quickly!) We were baffled! Luckily, about 2 weeks later we found it, stuffed between the bed and the wall. Case closed.


A typical firmware-controlled device, a televi...

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Missing Item Case #1002: Remote Control

Then, on Thursday I came home to find Mike tearing our apartment apart once again. The lost item this time: the remote control! Like I said, I lose misplace things all the time, but Mike does not, and he is the owner of the remote. This is what we know: we watched the finale of The Challenge: Rivals on the couch Wednesday night and then went to bed. Neither of us watched tv Thursday morning and Thursday afternoon the remote was nowhere to be found. Considering the case of the missing book we are not yet thinking there was any foul play involved, just your standard misplaced item. We rounded up some suspects (the rogue bird) and checked the usual places (couch cushions, kitchen cupboards, under the bed) but no luck. We have now gone 1.5 days without a remote control. It has been rough. We have searched every inch of this apartment at least 6 times, so this comes to you as a cry for help. Where is our remote control?! If you are the one who took it, or if you have any information regarding its whereabouts please contact us immediately. And remote: if you’re reading this, please come home. We miss you. This is what our lives are like without you!

Focusing on how I spend my time…

This has been a BUSY first week of school! I have class on Monday nights after school so I don’t get home until late, and last night was freshmen orientation so I experienced my  first 12 hour day as a teacher! 7:30am – 7:30pm! Wahoo! So today I was excited to have a normal day and get home at a more normal time!

Jeff Yalden from MTV’s Made spoke at school today. He had very interesting stories and while this was intended for the students, I found that one particular piece was especially applicable to me right now. He was talking about visiting his grandpa; I think this is what caught my attention because I’m really close with my grandparents. Among other points he made about the wisdom you can get from family members he said the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.

I found this piece especially important for me to remember right now because I have a tendency to let classes or school stuff take over my life during the school year, putting off things like spending time with family and friends until school isn’t in session. I know student teaching is going to be a huge consumer of time, but I’m also going to try really hard to keep it from consuming me.

Look out family and friends: you’re going to start getting sick of me. 🙂

Anxious about change

Tonight was freshman orientation at school and let me tell you – there were some seriously anxious freshmen! Some were nervous about classes, others were nervous for social reasons, and others just because “it’s high school!”

I was definitely not this kind of student. I was excited for high school and ready to be there as soon as possible. Similarly, I wasn’t nervous about going to college. In fact, a big reason I did sorority recruitment was so that I could move to campus a week earlier! I think this is because I really like change. Not just big changes like going to a new school, or a new class schedule in college, but little changes too. I always liked rearranging my room as a youngster, and that didn’t change in college. My Theta roommate Katie and I rearranged our room much more than necessary (and were quite creative with our arrangements I must say).

Did you get nervous starting high school/college?

Do you get anxious about change now?

Meatless Mondays

This summer I read an article in The Radish about Meatless Mondays. Meatless Mondays encourages people to make a concious effort to reduce the amout of meat eaten in a week. As suggested by the title, the idea is to select a day of the week and not eat any meat on that day. It was a really interesting article outlining the benefits of reducing the amout of meat consumed, both for your health, and for the environment. Here’s the article.

When examining our own weekly intake of meat, Mike and I realized we already have 1 day a week when we don’t consume meat. So, we decided to step it up and try to have two completely meatless days. Usually there is one day a week that we just eat some kind of pasta, so that makes it pretty easy to avoid meat. However, we don’t want to be eating pasta for all of our meatless meals.

This is where you come in! We’re looking for some delicious meatless meals! But here’s the catch: it takes a pretty substantial meal to fill up Mike’s tummy! A salad isn’t going to cut it in this house! So, we’re looking for some delicious meatless meals that are filling.

What is your favorite meatless meal?

A perfect Saturday!

Today was a great day! I always look forward to Saturdays in the summer because of the farmers market in Iowa City. The main reason we go to the farmers market is for a little stand called David’s Ethiopian & Eritrean Food. We were first introduced to Ethiopian food by Allison & Kevin in Evanston and immediately fell in love! We soon found out there was an Ethiopian restaurant in Iowa City, David’s Place, but it had closed only weeks before we fell in love in Evanston. Earlier this summer as I was walking through the farmer’s market I saw a familiar sign in the distance. After a quick double take my hopes were affirmed! David may have closed his restaurant but he has a stand at the farmer’s market! Thus, the only way to taste his delicious food is to attend the farmer’s market. So each Saturday we are in Iowa City and don’t have any morning plans we head to the farmer’s market. Today was no different!

There aren’t a lot of beverages available at the farmer’s market so today we decided to stop and get a Den tea first. We splurged this time and went for the 32 oz.

Then we headed for the market. First stop: David’s! We’ve tried several different things but today I went with 1/2 spicy lentils and 1/2 chickpeas served with injera. The injera is probably the best part about the dish. The texture is so unique!
We then purchased a couple of things from the market and continued to walk around downtown. Sidenote: LOTS of freshman roaming around campus today! Wow! They are everywhere! Anyway, last stop of the farmer’s market trip is the Iowa City Public Library to return/checkout some books, but most importantly, grab a ticket for free parking in the ramp!
Most of the day after that we spent just hanging out together at home. We watched some Little League World Series and did a little reading. Quite relaxing! Then it was time for a run (I did my longest distance ever!) and then dinner.

Let’s talk about dinner. We were planning on having Chicken Enchilada Casserole but the chicken wasn’t defrosted so we went with a new recipe for Crab Cakes instead. We have experimented with crab cakes before and always ended up less than impressed. But not with this recipe! They were fantastic – and baked instead of fried. Rather than the red pepper relish that goes on top, we made a cucumber dip to top it off. Mmmm it was delicious! Here it is: 1/2 large cucumber seeded and diced, 1 clove of garlic, 1 cup Greek yogurt, and 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped. Just stir it up! It was the perfect topping for the crab cakes. I wish I had a picture but we ate it all too fast to snap one!

After dinner we watched another LLWS game and the headed to Ghurties for some frozen yogurt. This is my kind of place! It has about 8 kinds of frozen yogurt and about a billion toppings to choose from! The best part: you get to assemble yourself! I have been to these places before, but Ghurties is the first and only one in the Iowa City area. Mike and I shared a bowl that contained 3 kinds of frozen yogurt: Tahitian Vanilla, California Tart, and Red Velvet. And for toppings: Strawberries, Raspberries, Kiwi, Granola, Captain Crunch, Coconut, and Cheesecake Bites. All this for only $3.60!

So there you have it! A perfect Saturday! What does your perfect Saturday entail?