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7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Phone CallI had a bad week last week. A very bad week. Problem is, I’ve become dependent on my boyfriend to pick up the pieces when that happens. Other problem is, he also had a very bad week. For confidentiality reasons, I’m keeping the issue to myself, but trust me when I say something that happened at work shook me up, and understandably so. In fact, I can’t remember a time I had a more stressful week and one that knocked me sideways. I wanted so badly to hear the voice that soothes the worst days, but he was… also having a terrible week. When I was finally able to hear that voice, so many of those worries melted away and took my mind off of all that can go wrong in the world and allowed me to focus on what was right.

2. Novel Trailers. One redeeming thing about my work week was watching the final products of my students’ novel trailers. As an assessment of their fourth quarter reading, they were assigned the project of creating a novel trailer, much like a movie trailer, to showcase their understanding and “sell” the novel to their peers. I loved seeing the creativity they put into these and how much fun they had making them. Not only did they make me giggle, but I was so proud of their hard work and efforts.

3. Awards Ceremony.  Thankfully, it wasn’t all bad at work this week. My students had their end-of-year awards ceremony that we had to prepare for, and we make it a really big deal for them so that they can celebrate their successes. A bunch of their parents were in the stands in the big gym at our school, as we watched the end-of-the-year video and presented awards to our students not only for academic achievement, but also character awards such as integrity, responsibility, and teamwork. I loved being able to celebrate my wonderful students — sad to see this year’s group go, but so excited for their bright futures.

4. Thursday Night.  After an especially challenging week for me — and my boyfriend — it was a relief to see him Thursday night. We went out for much-needed cocktails and enjoyed a meal at a Mexican food joint downtown. After walking in the drizzle, we nearly escaped a lightning storm that was beautiful to watch from the top of his condominium building through the large windows. Even though his week wasn’t ideal, I appreciated his candor and openness with me and the time we had. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from a partner, and my hope is that no matter what, I’ll always have that in my life from here on out.

5. Friday Happy Hour.  Thank GOD for my coworkers. Even after a terrible week, I am thankful to at least have them for a boost of energy — especially as they know best what we go through as teachers day in and day out. Albeit a rewarding career, the challenges we face are difficult for anyone else to imagine. We went out Friday night for some much-needed tex-mex, cocktails, and laughs. It had been quite a while since we’ve been able to get together to do that due to people having other obligations, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

6. Family Time.  Although the time was very brief due to my sister and brother-in-law being sick, it was nice to spend some time with them and my parents for the holiday weekend this Saturday. We enjoyed some brisket and tasty sides at my parents’ vacation lake home near Austin.

Eek, found a snake on one of my walks!

Eek, found a snake on one of my walks!

7. Long Walks and Epiphany.  I’ve realized this week to not grow dependent on anyone, no matter how great they are, because in the end — all I have is a choice to be happy, and despite terrible circumstances, I have to learn to cope all on my own. There will be times when all I have is myself, and I love myself enough to know that comfort can come all from within if I know how to look for it. I’ve been on several long meditative runs and walks this week and last week, and they have been more healing than I have ever imagined they would be. I also turned my diet upside down as well (nourishing the body and loving it with what I put in it is HUGE). As a side bonus — besides how much better I feel, I’ve lost nine lbs in two weeks. I know that probably doesn’t sound healthy, but trust me, I’ve worked my tail off doing it the right way, and it feels wonderful.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


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7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Europe Meeting & Dinner. Tuesday night, the other teachers going on the Europe trip this summer and I met with the students who we are taking to go over some pre-tour necessities. It just got real! I’m super stoked to tour Europe for the first time in less than a couple of months. After the meeting, the other teachers and I shared a dinner and some much-needed laughs after a stupid long work day.

2. Impromptu Night Cap. The best kind of nights are often the spontaneous ones. I wasn’t expecting to see my boyfriend Tuesday night because he had a friend in town and was playing golf with him, and I had my Europe meeting, but he wanted to see me, and who am I to turn him down!? It felt good to see him after a really long day. I’m a bit smitten.

 

3. Student Play.  I took my students to see plays put on by our school’s advanced theatre classes and loved seeing how talented they were. It’s not that I forget, but it’s nice to be reminded that our students have these sides to them that their teachers don’t often get to see in the classroom. They never cease to impress me. As an added bonus, the theatre director enjoyed watching my students dance in their chairs so much during the play that she invited them on stage after the curtain closed for an encore performance, and man did they love that. It was one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time, as they were so happy and carefree up there. So glad the theatre teacher at our school encourages the students to be unabashedly themselves.

4. Leon Bridges.  Wednesday night, I took one of my best friends to see Leon Bridges perform at Stubbs, a downtown bbq joint/concert venue. He was as smooth as he is on his record, and a great performer to boot. Such a fun time! I’m so glad musicians like him are making a come-back and appreciated once again.

 

5. Sip & See.  Apparently sip and see’s are now a thing because this is the third one I’ve been to in one year. A coworker had a baby six months ago, and we all got together to see her sweet munchkin cheeks and knock back a couple of cocktails.

6. $$$!  A while back, I applied for a grant to get my students a class set of Chromebooks and we got it!! I’m so excited about how much this will help us in teaching writing and providing immediate feedback for our learners.

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7. Weekend with Bae.  Friday night, I went out for sushi with the boyfriend on a rooftop patio with great views of downtown. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve gone out for sushi, and I had forgotten how good it can be. Saturday, we met my brother and his friend for lunch as they breezed through town. It was great getting to see my brother even if it was a brief amount of time. Later that evening, my boyfriend and I went out for hotdogs and had a fun, spontaneous night out on the town. We had so much fun together — I look forward to many more nights like that in the future!

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


6 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. End of State TestingEven if you don’t live in the state of Texas, you might be aware of just how much emphasis is on state testing in grade-school, despite pushback in all directions from educational stakeholders. As a teacher, I am always more than ready for it to be over. Well, it’s over!! —  this year, anyway. Phew!

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2. Slap Happy Shenanigans. During state testing, teachers can get pretty darn slap-happy. Humor is a great survival tactic during a week of staring at bare walls and the backs of students’ heads while they take the high-stakes tests. I’ll leave our practical jokes to the imagination (what happens in our school stays in our school), but I enjoyed a few shared hearty laughs and messing with my coworkers — in a friendly way, of course.

 

3. Next Gen.  Admittedly, I am a true nerd (a positive label, in my book), so I am stoked to be chosen for my school district’s Next Gen program, where I am set up with an instructional coach who will help me carry out any project I want to do in my classroom or in my grade-level. It’s an opportunity for learning and growth, and we get the resources we need to make a dream of ours happen that we may or may not have previously had to make happen. To work for a district that offers this amount of support and opportunity for growth is rare and so appreciated. I can’t imagine working anywhere else, and I am so excited about the opportunity to create something outside of the box to take my classroom to the next level.

4. Movies and a Salad??  My bf was out of town again this week for business, and after returning Thursday night, he and I spent the night catching up. I never thought I would say this, but I love the feeling of missing someone and someone missing me, so it was another really nice reunion (after one week — ha, I’m pathetic!). Understandably tired after his week, we ordered a movie and pizza and stayed in. Well, he ordered a pizza, and I… a salad. Wah-wah. How is that for self-control? I hardly ever have it, if something delicious is staring me in the face, but bikini season is upon us. Didn’t matter though, because the good company trumped my sad lettuce leaves.

 

5. An Epiphany About Shortcomings.  As a true blue Virgo, one of my faults is that I can often be too critical of those around me (as well as of myself). However, I recently read something in an article (if I could remember where, I would cite it — oops) about how we must avoid becoming overly critical of others’ shortcomings; just because those shortcomings may not be one of ours doesn’t mean we should expect the same of others. This is not to say one should disregard standards and expectations but to relax a little and make more space for empathy and awareness. As simple as it sounds, this was still huge for me. I have certain strengths and when others don’t match them, I often become upset by that, and in turn critical of those things. However, of course, there are things about myself that have never been strengths of mine, so I can’t expect someone else to be shaped in the same way. This sets me free of feeling hurt or taking others’ shortcomings personally, and alternatively creates more empathy for those things, and allows me to reflect more about what others may see as my shortcomings in lieu of my strengths so that I may grow not only for them but for myself.

6. Weekend With Roommie.  I’ve said this before — just because we live together, doesn’t mean we see each other often, as we are both busy women (okay, especially her!). So I was happy her weekend plans were cancelled. Okay, maybe that’s not the right thing to say — sorry for her — happy for me! Anyway, it was nice to go out with her and spend real time instead of a few minutes here and there while running out the door before work or those last few minutes in front of the television before heading off to bed.

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7. Celebration.  My boyfriend recently shared some good news regarding his job, so we decided it deserved some celebration yesterday. Despite having a solid reason to go out, it doesn’t take much to convince me to spend more time with him — he is about as fun-loving and easy to be around as they come. We went out for dinner and drinks downtown at one of our favorite spots and laughed whilst dodging hungry birds and goggling at baby pictures of each other on our phones. We then shared some of our favorite smokey whiskey while watching The Revenant upon returning to his place. It was the perfect beverage and movie for a rainy night and snuggling up on the couch. Thank GOD for those kind of nights before another long work week.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


3 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Teacher Appreciation Week. If there was a sixth love language, it would be food, and my school loves us well. Too well. I believe I may have gained five pounds this week — five pounds of love.

2. Clean Bill of Health. I’m not sure how I feel about sharing details about personal health on the world-wide web, but I also think it’s important to share information when you gain it because someone might benefit from it. After a routine visit to the doctor (so important – go people – go!), my doctor found a lump in my arm-pit and sent me to get an ultra-sound and a dun dun dun… mam-o(handlin’)gram. As a thirty-four-year-old who has never had this done (an anxious thirty-four-year-old to boot), I was nervous about going, and even more nervous as I sat in the cold, quiet waiting room alone. I’ve always had almost a sixth sense of intuition (it seriously freaks me out how accurate it is most of the time), and I don’t think I had a feeling of impending doom, but the mystery of not knowing what it was, paired with my doctor’s expression of concern, caused me not to trust that other-wise trustworthy intuition. Before I got the lump, I didn’t know much about how sometimes arm-pit lumps are indicative of something more ominous (before you freak out too — emphasis on SOMETIMES), and it can be, unbeknownst to me, a sign of breast cancer. My lump was benign (CELEBRATION!), and even though I wasn’t shocked, I cannot tell you how relieved I was. I won’t lie and say the mammogram was the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done — who knew my breasts would be contorted in ways I had no clue was humanly possible (eek!), but it wasn’t terrible. It was worth it. Peace of mind is worth it. Your health is worth it. Think of it like a few awkward yearbook photos where the photographer asks you to tilt your head sideways, but then on top of it, molds your breast like it’s made of clay, tests it for resiliency, asks you to hold the other one back, stand on one leg, and hold your breath. Go women, go!

3. Hump Day Drinks.  After going to the doc and waiting for results to come back, I was ready for a drink and a catch-up with a gal pal. Girlfriend chit-chat was just what I needed — well, that and I stress-ate an entire small pizza and knocked back a cocktail. Nothing like reversing a clean bill of health with grease and alcohol! Mkay, back to my greens this week. If you see me and sugar this week, separate us. Nothing good comes from our “friendship.”  She’s a total backstabber.

4. Cinco De My Beaux.  It may have been because he was in another country all last week, but something about getting to see my boyfriend again this past Thursday after a week of not seeing him was the most exciting thing I had to look forward to in a while. There have been several other times I haven’t seen him for a week, but something about this past week felt different. Maybe because I had a bit of a nerve-wracking week, who knows. All I know is, seeing him that night sent me over the moon. After opting to stay in (our grins may have been too vomit inducing for public), he made his own version of a Mexican martini, and we ordered in tacos instead while we caught up on his time out of the US of A.

5. Saturday Din.  After a leisurely Saturday and catching up on life, i.e. doing laundry, dishes, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah, my beaux and I went to dinner. I love trying new restaurants with him, and we both expressed how grateful we were that we both love good food. It’s a blessing and a curse, really — wish I didn’t love food so dang much! I guess it could be worse… I could be a gluten-free vegan (totally kidding). (But really, I’m a Texan, what did you expect?).

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6. Mother’s Day.  I didn’t get to spend Mother’s Day with my mom, but I love showing her how much she matters to me and our family, even if I’m not able to give her much. She is one of the most selfless people I know, and as I’ve grown older, I grow more and more of an appreciation for not only what she does for us, but also what she does for everyone who is lucky enough to know her. I love you, Marmie!

7. Taking Care.  I’ve always been a natural nurturer, but admittedly I’ve never been as selfless as my mother and father and have always wished I was better at knowing how to put others first as they do. However, I do notice a change in myself as I’ve gotten older, and it actually makes me happiest when I’m able to take care of someone I care about deeply. Sometimes it’s eye-opening when it happens, but I realized how much I care when my boyfriend ran a high fever and grew ill this past weekend. He made a few comments about how he was worried he was ruining my weekend, and I couldn’t have disagreed more. Even though he was really not feeling well, he was the most cheerful and easy patient I’ve ever had, which of course made me want to do even more for him. I grocery-shopped for him, made him dinner, and watched movies along side him, and I can’t say I’ve ever had a better time with a sickey. My happy is showing, and I’m not sure I’m trying to hide it.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


Leave a comment

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Thoroughly Thursday. Per our new routine, the roommate and I enjoyed yet another night of screaming and laughing at our television… and ourselves.

2. New Car. After a long day, and not looking forward to get my jinxed/dinged up leased car appraised, I was pleasantly surprised to walk away with a new car. I was anticipating having to pay for the dents on my car all collected from a parallel parked hit-and-run and door dings from overzealous car exiters — ugh, humanity! However, unbeknownst to me, BMW is good about forgiveness on account that their customers are loyal to them. THANK GOD. I walked away with a car better than the one I had without having to pay anything upfront or pay more on my monthly payments. I feel so lucky and happy to have a new toy I wasn’t even expecting.

3. Princess for a Night.  I’m not one to ask to be treated to fancy dinners, and I’m not one to ask for nice gifts. In fact, when I receive them, I often feel undeserving — I’m working on that! If I stick with my boyfriend, I might just get better at it in no time. Friday night, he made reservations at the fanciest sea food and steak restaurant I’ve ever been to, for no other reason than he wanted to treat me. I have never felt so spoiled, and I’ve never felt so cared for through a gesture like this because I knew that it was coming from a good place. From the beginning of the night, he made it known that he was going to splurge on me, and he didn’t want me to spend any energy making decisions on anything (unless I wanted to, of course). He told me to sit back, relax, and enjoy myself; and that, I did. It might not be much to other people, but I’m not accustomed to the kind of service we received that night. Not only was the food to die for, but we also had our own personal waiter, they called us by our names, pulled out our chairs, we never had to pour our own drinks, and they even called the next day to make sure we enjoyed our experience.  Beyond enjoying the night, the best part of it was how cute my boyfriend was; I loved seeing how seemingly proud of himself he was (as he should be), and how pleased he was to make me happy. I felt like a total princess, and I feel so lucky to have someone in my life who treats me like I deserve that. It makes me want to continue to surprise and do nice things for him as well. All my life, I’ve waited for someone like this, and I am thanking my lucky stars I have found that.

4. Reunion.  Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying all of the alone time I’ve had with my boyfriend lately, but I also honestly miss his friends and hanging out as a group. It had been a long time, and even though my mind was preoccupied with something unrelated Saturday night (I’m often too much in my head — eek), I was so happy to finally see some of them again. They warm my heart, and I look forward to getting to know them better and spending more time with them in the future.

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5. Lemonade.  I know the world is obsessed with Beyoncé and her visual album, Lemonade, and it may seem that I’m only jumping on the bandwagon, but honestly, I am enamored by this creation (I’ve watched it three times already — I’m a little obsessed myself). It combines so many art forms, and it’s beautiful beyond belief because it is raw, honest, and packed with talent on all ends. It has inspired me to write, and when I read or see something that ignites that passion in me again, I know it’s something good. If you haven’t yet seen it because you are afraid it’s just hype, or for whatever reason, STOP. Run. Go download it now.

6. Sunday Alone.  Sunday morning, my boyfriend left super early for Canada for a week (tear), but I enjoyed sleeping in and spending a day all by myself, which is something I haven’t done in a long time. I finally had some time to cruise around in my new car, stock up on groceries again, and catch up on some mindless television. Sometimes, it’s the little things!

7. Pamper Me.  I have to do something today that I’m not looking forward to (gulp, yep, being discreet — sorry), but I distracted myself on Sunday to relieve some stress over it by giving myself a pamper night. I whitened my teeth and gave myself a much needed facial and manicure. It felt really good, was a nice change of pace for me, and did just the trick!

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren