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Adventures in Ashburn

What began in France moved to Washington, DC and then the suburbs. Let the adventures in Ashburn continue.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Self Sabotage

I am amped up and unmotivated simultaneously. I'm hungry, but too lazy to fix myself dinner. There is a strong chance I will eat cake tonight and an equally weak chance I will meet my fitness goal for the day. 

I am looking forward to summer. Theoretically, I will stop sabotaging myself and eat, sleep, and intellectually stimulate myself just as soon as my pool of responsibilities drops from 145 students plus my personal life to just my personal life. 

Perhaps this is less sabotage and more procrastination. Either way, bring on summer. 

Always, Heather


Friday, May 13, 2016

Wanted: Local Friend (or two?)

The things about living in suburbia, or being in your thirties married without kids, or just being me is this: you know how lucky you are to be who you are and have the experiences you have, and you love your life; but keep hoping that one day you'll fit in. 

It's been a struggle this week, being happy with my social life. It's gorgeous this afternoon. 16 straight days of rain - including this morning - and then the sun was out. The weather clear and the sky a stunning robin's egg blue. If RJ hadn't told me to leave school and get outside and enjoy it, I might still be in the copy room, taking care of business. Instead I'm on the balcony with my pooches enjoying the reprieve from the clouds of gloom. 

Still, my first thought was: what would I even do in the sun? There are no kids to play kickball with or ride bikes. No friends who live close enough to meet for a walk in the park before it gets dark. No buddy to sit in a cafe or at an outdoor table with to enjoy a drink and wind down the week. This is the thing about adult life for me (and maybe other people like me?): it's finally play time and there is no one to share it with. 

It feels like, when you look at Facebook or overhear conversations in the lunchroom, that everyone else has friends. A social life. People who have people. 

I am not a person who easily finds people. There is this thing about my personality that sets people off when they meet me. It's hard to make friends. It's like resting bitch face, but for my soul.  

When I find my people, it's for life. I have a whole village. But sometimes, when my village is scattered to the four corners of the globe, I want to be able to walk into other people's villages and not immediately be considered some kind of threat; or worse, be invisible. 

Basically, I could use a local friend, or better, two. That way, if one has plans, I can still have someone to spend time with. 

When people exclude me, when they group up in force against me, when they ignore me or don't invite me; it hurts.  Because no matter how long the world has been bullying you, it doesn't stop hurting. 

In some very literal ways, it is like I never left middle school. I know enough to not care what people think about what I wear, or what I look like, but my personality? And more than that, when they take my differing opinions, my principles, my ideas and discredit them because they are different from the norm. Different from them. Different from the type of society that elects Donald Trump. How am I supposed to feel about that? Excited? Resigned? Accepting?

I blame this feeling on too much television. If I never watched Friends or Seinfeld or Cheers growing up, I might have thought it was okay to sit on my couch by myself and read a book. Heck, that's what the characters in my favorite books always do! Instead, I wonder where the people are who will just randomly walk through the door and have a story, a plan, an adventure, a problem to solve - something challenging but not so taxing it fits outside a 30 minute plot line - and then we'll relax together until the next adventure comes. 

But life isn't a sitcom, or Dawson's Creek, or Grey's Anatomy. I will spend many nights alone. I will constantly be dragging my work home with me. I will not randomly be able to carpool with people from work all the time. 

Instead, I'll try to focus on having my village all over the world. The ones I can call in multiple time zones, the big adventures every few years and the little mysteries I get to solve everyday (sometimes finding my sunglasses is a 30 minute plot!). What I have is so much. 

Time to be grateful. 

Love always, Heather


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Framing Inside Out

Breakfast this morning was at Duck Donuts in Herndon. RJ claims it was to help give me some inspiration for making my own cake doughnuts at home, but I think he just wanted to see if they were as good as Krispy Kreme (ruling: different kind of doughnut, but definitely closer!).

Today's home adventure: framing all the paintings we rescued from Grandmother's house. 
Don't they look lovely? Two more needed custom mats/frames and should be ready in 3 weeks. It is going to be so challenging to wait to pick a few to hang up until we see them all together!

Then, because that wasn't enough of an adventurous day, we went to go see Inside Out. It was quite good. I tend to think it is more of an older kid to adult appeal, but RJ says it appeals to both differently. 

Now, I have to somehow get in about 6000 steps and make my new FitBit vibrate. Yes, I know it is arbitrary, but totally motivating anyway. 

Off to get my steps!

Love always, Heather


Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer 2015 Goals

This is my first real "teacher's summer". After four years in the classroom, I will finally have almost six weeks of time without required work/classes/surgical recovery or anything else mandatory. Of course, I already signed up to help with volleyball, but I love that and would go through withdrawal without at least some teenager interaction. :)

So, I decided to make a list of all the things I want to do in this seemingly endless amount of time. Then, I went to yoga this morning and after an hour realized that not going to the gym for almost 6 months gets you super out of shape.

Therefore, I am limiting myself to the following things I don't have time for during the school year:

1. Going to the bathroom whenever I want. 
2. Sleeping in until 7 a.m.
3. Wearing jeans or shorts without a sticker that says I "earned" them. 
4. Eating breakfast and lunch over more than 20 minutes. 
5. Using curse words, talking about religion or politics, making adult jokes, and more or less applying the first amendment without checking nearby doors for children. 
6. Leaving the house without looking like a bag lady who is fascinated with notebook paper and odd equipment for experiments. 
7. Doing all of the laundry - not just the stuff I am sure to need this week for some special holiday. 
8. Staying up to watch Jimmy Fallon. (Okay, maybe not. Recording it is just as funny!)
9. Drink water all day long! (See #1)
10. Read - for fun - things written by adults. Or anything really, so long as I can critique them without fear of an email from their parent. (Imagine: Nathaniel Hawthorne's mom online - "What do you mean you thought the opening to A Scarlet letter was boring?"

I do want to have an adventure each day. Something just for me. Today's is getting back into blogging. 

Love always,


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Friday, January 02, 2015

A decade (almost)

As it is officially 2015, and this blog got it's start in 2005, it will be turning ten this year. When I think about the last ten years and how tumultuously, terrifically, different now is than then, it makes me curious about what I'll be writing about ten years from now. However, we can't live in the past and the future is a ways off, so I'm sticking right here. 

Right now, I am getting sweet kisses from Raleigh. 

Upstairs, RJ is taking a nap with HGTV on in the background (recovering from gallbladder surgery and pneumonia). 

I'm thinking about resolutions while I type my first blogpost from my phone (both odd and behind the times?). 

My only goal this year is to end the year grateful and happy for the year that passed. Of course, any good goal should have some sub goals; so let's call those my resolutions. 

1. Focus on saving more so we can travel more. 

The cruise last summer was relaxing - as were visits to family. But we have a lot more family, friends, national parks, and countries on our bucket list. 

2. Find even more ways to like my job. 

Making the course packs this year and having the students write letters to scientists was awesome and already more successful than I imagined. It's time to not just hone in on making those great, but adding to the ways that will make science education exciting. 

3. Donate, upcycle, and/or recycle more stuff than we "get" this year.  

We already recycle more each week than we throw in the trash (about 50% more!), but that can go beyond packaging and grocery related items to clothing, books, movies, and all the random stuff. 

4. Have more parties. 

There was a time when I was hosting some kind of social gathering at home two or three times a month. Socializing with friends is incredibly important; it takes a village to be a grown up too!

5. Remember (daily?) that me time is not a waste of time. 

I love creating magnificent meals, but dread the time it takes to cook and clean up so much I talk myself out of it. I pretend (that's what it is!) that I don't have time to take a walk or sit on a park bench or just play MarioKart until I blast my records. I avoid cleaning up the house and putting away laundry. But, the fact is, spending time on things for me is good for my whole family. And while dishes aren't really a thing for me, a clean sink is, and clothes in a closet make it easier to get ready for work, and yoga on Thursday nights makes the weekend more relaxing, and even science says sitting on a park bench for ten minutes a day will lower your blood pressure. Grading papers, checking email, skimming Facebook, watching reruns of TV I don't like are a waste if I don't end smiling. 

6. Give more rubs. 

At least that's what Raleigh would type if he had thumbs. :)

Happy New Year!

Love always, Heather

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