Sunday, October 3, 2010

Picture Fall

It has been awhile since I have visited this space. I have wanted to.....I have so much to share....but I just haven't felt very inspired. Today I realized why this is.......because I haven't been out taking pictures! I always want to post a picture with what I write...and I don't have any pictures that I really want to share!

Well that is about to change! I am currently taking an e-course class with the wonderfully talented Tracey Clark called "Picture Fall". For the month of October we will be be given a daily prompt to inspire us to get out with our cameras and take pictures. I'm beyond excited! Fall is my all time most favorite season and there is so much to shoot. I love the people in my class and am inspired by their pictures and the many discussion topics that have been posted to the message board. I'm already learning sooo much!

Above is my first picture for the class. I am loving the green against the brown of the leaf. Old against new. Here in the Northwest the grass comes in during the Fall/Winter that is when the rain (usually) starts. So I love the added color....makes the Fall stand out even more.

It is my goal to share a good majority of the my class photos with you. I am already excited to post the picture I captured today. Now keep in mind....I am NO professional photographer......just an everyday girl exploring the art of photography!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A New Story.....

School has finally ended! It's been just over a week and I am finally coming down from the "End of the School Year Adrenaline Rush". People in this field know exactly what I am talking about. These last few weeks always have you on overdrive....the meetings...the never ending to do cards....the goodbye's...end of year events that keep you at school way past your contract hours. The feeling that it ALL must get done and by a certain date. Although I just finished my 9th year of teaching...I am still surprised by how much has to get done. Like most teachers I know....I spent my last several weeks on auto pilot...going through the motions. So now that a week has gone by I am coming down from this adrenaline rush...and man it can be a hard fall. I have spent the week..exhausted..sick and in tears as I am finally just now processing all the emotion that comes with a school year ending.
Last week I had dinner with my good friend J .. while we were sitting at dinner I was going on and on about all my disappointment in the school district and my principal. You see I put in a leave of my ending of the year was it for me..especially in terms of teaching students with autism. I was telling her all about the lack of goodbye's....the not even one Thank you for all you have done..... the district not able to get someone to fill my position so we could have a great transition..... when all of a sudden she looked at me and said ...."I can't wait for you to have a new story". She stopped for a brief second and said don't take this personally but you have had the same story since you went into teaching and I am just so excited for you to find a new story this next year...a different one. WOW! That stopped me in my tracks and you know what..she is SO right.
I get to leave teaching and embark on one of my Mondo Beyondo dreams next year....and although I can't share what it is just yet....please know I will soon. I am excited for this new opportunity and can't wait to explore all the possibilities that will come with it. At times I still can't believe it is real. However I would be lying if I didn't say that with closing one door and opening another comes some anxiety....apprehension and of course our favorite friend Fear! I have had many visits this week from those negative voices.....asking...are you sure you can do this...and what if you don't have what it takes?? I listen to them for a short time and know that they are all part of the process. You see...I have been a teacher for 9 years.....that is who I am and that is what I have done. I know how to be a teacher. I know what being a teacher looks like....what that means.....what my role is. This new role...well it is just that new. I don't know what it looks like.....I am not entirely sure what it means....but I am looking forward to learning all about it. I am looking forward to writing and telling a new story. I am filled with anticipation of what this new story will bring.
Four years ago next month I moved up to Seattle. I attended a training that first week I was here and at the time as I was sitting there I remember thinking.....I want to do this someday. Well that someday has come and I would be lying if I didn't say that I am very proud of myself for taking a chance and embarking on some risks. I love how when you ask the Universe...she delivers. I think what I am most excited about is that when we dream....even when we try our best we still can never quite imagine how big that dream can get. So although I have reached what I "dreamed" four years ago......I just know that this is all the beginning of something much bigger than I could have ever imagined for myself. Isn't that just exciting??
The picture is from the last day of school. It is all of my students and para's. I love my students and I am going to miss being a classroom teacher. I will miss knowing that I had a direct impact on their learning and growth. I will miss the community I created with the students and parents year after year. I will most certainly miss all of the stories....the laughter those kids provide me day after day. But like I is time for some new stories.......

Sunday, April 11, 2010

All I know is....... can get there from here.
you can.
you can walk through the fear.
travel past what is gone before.
wake up!
wake up and get on the other side.
dare to become that of your dreams.
dare to believe in your own possibility.

~ mary anne radmacher ~

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I'm sitting here relaxing next to the fireplace, drinking coffee and listening to the collection of sounds from the Ocean. I'm wondering ...What is it about hearing the sound of the waves crashing on the shore that is so therapeutic? Does anyone else feel this way? I love it....and I'm seriously wondering why I don't live on the coast. Maybe someday I will make my way there. (I think I need to add this to my Mondo Beyondo list)

This trip has been relaxing in ways I didn't know I needed. To be able to slow down, take it easy, enjoy the simple things. To take time for catch up on activities that I love...such as reading blogs....making yummy meals....going for long walks...taking nice long bubble baths....drinking some hot chocolate and Baileys! It's funny to read and write "take time for myself" because of course being single I get all kinds of time to myself...but the kind of time I am describing is different. It is the kind of time that lifts your Soul. The kind of time that reminds you that there is much more to life. We as human beings as "soul beings" are made up of much more than the title of our job...or the never ending list of chores that needs to get done..the laundry that never goes away...or the many hats we wear throughout the day. Sometimes it is nice to take some time to reconnect with yourself. Rediscover what you love...what makes you feel alive...passionate...what makes you feel at peace and rested.

When I return to work next week I will be entering the last 10 weeks of school. The hard and most demanding weeks of the school year. I feel grateful that I have been given this time and presented this vacation to reconnect and refuel myself!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Time for a little R&R

Spring Break has arrived...well on the school calendar anyways....the weather here says otherwise. Highs in the upper 40's mid 50's and don't get me started on the rain and wind. I'm assuming this is winter's fun little trick...she skipped us during the "obvious" months and is coming for a visit when your mind has told itself she is long gone. I won't is draining on your mental state of being. There is something so innate about your body wanting some sun...warmth. I didn't realize you could actually "crave" wanting to wear to a tank top or flip flops....but you can! I do at least. Thank goodness I was just in AZ.

So is Spring Break....and yes...I am off to leave town for a couple of days. I have grown accustomed to life in the Northwest. I have learned how to shift my "idea" of what Spring Break should be...and learn to embrace all that is around me. My friend Sarah and I are off to Cannon Beach, Oregon for the next four days. We have rented a cute condo on the beach. Here are some things I am looking forward to on our trip.....

* Hot tub over looking the beach/Ocean..and drinking wine while soaking
* taking long walks on the beach
* sleeping in
* Making meals..enjoying some good food and drinks
* discovering the little beach town of Cannon and all of it's fun shops!
* Reading my book while sitting on the balcony over looking the water
* Reading and catching up on my blogs..I can't wait
* Posting some great pics on my blog
* curling up on the couch and watching movies
* Hiking
* dining out at some yummy small town restaurants
* taking some fabulous pictures!'s not Mexico...and there will be NO sunshine...just lots of rain and clouds. But there is something about getting yourself permission to rest and relax that is so good for your heart and soul! I will be updating my blog while I am show you all the beauty that is Cannon Beach!

Friday, April 2, 2010

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is Worldwide Autism Awareness Day!


Did you know……
• 1% of children in the United States ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder
• 1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder
• Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability
• The cost of autism over the lifespan is 3.2 million dollars per person

May we be inspired to have a little more patience and understanding!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The List

So I am in week 2 of my Mondo Beyondo class ...and let's just say I am loving it! Last week we were asked to take 10 minutes and write down any and all of our dreams...even the silly ones. After we were finished we had to take the list..put it in an envelope and put it away for a week. Today it has been a week....and I got to open my list and I have decided ( although I'm very nervous)to share it with all of you! The point is to put it out here is goes....

* learn how to sing...then sing on stage
* take a photography class
* buy that Cannon DSLR I have always wanted
* get paid to take pictures
* meet and marry my soulmate
* have kids & adopt kids
* work at the University of Washington's -Autism Center ( my dream!!)
* become an autism consultant
* become competely finacially secure
* own a cute..craftsman..with lots of natural light, windows and hardwood floors
* get my Ph.D
* Teach a class at a University
* live abroad for 6 months to a year
* learn to garden
* study yoga in India
* own a boat
* learn to play guitar
* get a golden retriever
* become a better writer/learn the art of storytelling
* pulish a book about Autism
* make my own work schedule and hours
* teach abroad
* become a runner
* own a vacation home in the carribean
* have a home birth
* take more vacations
* take yearly trips with my bestest girlfriends

I feel that this list will be a work in progress...some things will go...while others will be added. This was a fun exercise and made me really stop and think about what I want...what gives me butterflies in my stomach....and I have to say there were a few things on here that surprised me!

What dream are you holding onto that you hope comes true??

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm dreaming. BIG!

I just signed up for this e-course and I am over the moon excited for it to start! I have been wanting to take this class since I discovered it in the Fall. But will say that I am taking it at EXACTLY the perfect time for me! As I get ready to embark on changes in my job....I look forward to exploring all of my dreams! Most importantly my personal ones. My intention for this class is to be open and present. To spend the time doing the work and exploring my inner dreams. Strengthing my belief that I am worthy of my dreams and that the universe does really want us to be happy! I started my first reading tonight and wanted to share this with you.

** There's beauty in being a beginner **

Stay tuned.......there is more to come!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Bag......

I found this wonderful post at ....thought I would share with these words spoke to me....

what we carry...

its that bag you hold. the one you've been carrying around for so many years ~ the one that reminds of you of all your mistakes, all the rotten things you have ever said or done, all the wrong choices you have made....

how long are you going to tote that stuff around?trust me, shame will never serve your soul. it just bruises you more and keeps you from your true being.
forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others.

you have carried it long enough....

i just thought you should know...

it's time to drop that bag.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Just what I needed

The past couple of weeks at work have been difficult. I won't bore you with all the details...but let's just say some of the highlights were having a few conversations with district legal counsel (oh yes my career first) and sitting in the bathroom crying. Sometimes this job gets to be just too much...and sometimes it feels like it is slowly sucking the life out of me. When those times creep up on me....I become very mindful of how I am balancing work and play. I had decided more play was needed.....or should I say....just plain old friend time was needed. I invited S over and decided I would make dinner for her.

We started with some of this....

You have got to love a little Charles Shaw.....

I made a yummy salad...pears, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and some feta cheese

Decided to make my favorite pasta dish....penne, green beans, tomatoes....with a pesto sauce

and for dessert...brownies!!

It was a lovely evening of good food, girl talk and lots of giggles! It was just what I needed to fill myself back up. We even talked about what fun trips we will take this summer. It's always nice to have something to look forward to.......we are talking about a trip to Crater Lake, San Fran and Yosemite! Oh my...I get excited just thinking about it!

Thank goodness for friends...and brownies....they make everything alright!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh! What Fun!

Last Friday I received an e-mail from one of my one of my dear ...sweet parents in my class asking me if I would like to attend a chocolate class at their store....her treat! I was see they own Oh! Chocolate....I delicious store that makes the best truffles ever! So needless to say I didn't need any time to think about this....umm...YES ...sign me up! I could also bring a friend...bonus! I called my friend Tracey...she of course said yes..because really who turns down the opportunity to go to a chocolate class?? Nobody sane! The class was on Sunday evening and would last 2 hours....can somebody say...HEAVEN!

We arrived at the store (which was beautiful) and met the other people who would be attending the class with us. The class started with a cup of Hot Chocolate...the BEST I have ever had. So rich...thick and initial thought was "wow this is just the beginning of what is to come". Next they placed small white plates in front of us that had several types of chocolate...starting with roasted coco seeds to White chocolate and all that falls in the middle. We were given a history of the family business, how it came to be and how the ended up in Washington. We did a tasting of all the chocolate on our plate..learning about the different types of chocolate and how they are used. We then moved over to a marble counter area...where we learned how to temper chocolate. That was really cool for me as I had never done that before. Of course the best part of the class was taking yummy treats such as oreos, marsh mellows, graham crackers, strawberries and raspberries and dipping them into our tempered chocolate. It was really fun to use our hands to play in the chocolate. Well ok I didn't get my whole hands covered in I have sensory issues and don't like to get my hands dirty...but for others it was really fun!

At the end of the class I walked up to the M's father ( M is the student in class) and thanked him for the class. I got teary eyed when he turned to me and said..."No...thank you for all that you have done for our son, we really appreciate it". Like I have said before those heart felt moments of thanks are worth so much more than any gift card that you get at the Holidays.

I had such an amazing time....and was so glad to have Tracey with me. We had a great group of people to share the evening with...and of course got to indulge in some amazing chocolate! I have only ONE huge regret of that evening. I didn't bring my camera. I want to cry just thinking about it now. Why you ask?? It can't be that big of a deal ..I mean it is a chocolate class right?? Well my answer to you is this.....the was AMAZING.....the way it hit the beautiful white plate that was filled with chocolate samples......the way it hit the marble counter with the dark it showed the smoothness of the chocolate after we had used our hands to temper it.......the way it hit all of the goodies we had dipped in chocolate and made them glisten. The lighting was a photographers dream....and although I am not a photographer I am just a wanna be....even I could recognize what beautiful pictures could have been captured that evening.

So they lesson I learned is this.....NEVER...EVER...leave home without your camera! Oh yes....and I need to get a SLR camera ASAP! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

My word for 2010

I am not one to make New Years fact I have always found them to be a bit disappointing. I mean you start out January 1st with such great intentions ...only to find that by March you haven't stayed with them. Honestly..who needs that?? I recently read about this "new" concept(new to me)...instead of resolutions....finding one word that you will focus...meditate on for the year. Oh this I can get behind!
I started to reflect on 2009. Really taking time to think about the year. It was a good year for me. I met some amazing friends who share my love of the outdoors and outdoor activities. I did my first ever 3 hour presentation for the Autism Center and it went well and felt amazing! I started the journey of self-discovery through talk therapy and realized many things about myself that I had not seen before. I learned how to efficiently cope with work stress.....learned how to set boundaries and realized why balancing work and making time for play is so important. I discovered photography.(I heart taking pictures) I put many more thoughts in writing and on my blog. I discovered that there really is a creative person inside of me. I now understand why letting go of expectations is vital in family situations. I was HEALTHY.....the whole year. I was not sick once and let me tell you it felt great! I found an active, healthy lifestyle that suits me perfectly. I had an amazing trip to AZ where I was filled up with love and friendship. Yes.....I was indeed a lucky girl in 2009.
So looking forward a new beginnings and new possibilities. I sat down and brainstormed words for "my word of the year". It was fun! You should try it! I had several written down and as I started to write this word I knew it was my word for the year...I just knew it! It made me smile. So my word for 2010 is......

I am loving this word. I love it's meaning.... to begin, build, bring into, discover, dream up, give birth to....evolve from one's own thought. It is so fitting for me...for what I want to happen in this next year. Knowing that in my professional life I am closing one door and opening another.....creating new opportunities for me. In my personal life creating the path that will lead me to my future husband and children. Lastly just plain creating and being more creative ....through my blog and with my camera. Getting a bit more in touch with that creative person who sits way deep down inside.
What is your word for 2010??