Friday, November 30, 2007

NaBloPoMo'h Well!

Oh well!

I didn't participate in NaBloPoMo. I didn't quite know much about it until I noticed it on other blogs (well, Kelli mentioned it to me a few months ago, but I didn't really get the jist until mid-November!)

Next year, I would love to participate. At least I posted every day for the past few...

Anywho -- CONGRATS to everyone who participated! I truly enjoyed reading your daily posts.

Have a lovely weekend! And a productive beginning of December :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Twice today

Twice today, I ended a phone conversation with a close friend with, "I love you!" (Well, for sake of a good post, I did say it to Jill, and I REALLY wanted to say that when I was hanging up with Michelle but I was in a hurry and I forgot!)

Anyway, my point is that I have two girlfriends with whom I can comfortably end a conversation with "I love you" and have it not feel awkward. That makes me feel great!

I've never really been one of those girls who can cuddle in bed with another girlfriend, or be super huggy, or throw "I love you's" around, etc. Expressing those signs of affection with girlfriends have always felt a bit unnatural to me.

Until recently. Perhaps it's maturity, perhaps it's finally a deep enough respect and connection, perhaps a lot of things that I guess just don't really matter in the scheme of things.

But seriously, Jill and Michelle, I LOVE YOU girls!
(see...not at all awkward. Progress!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No leaf left unturned

For most of us out there, we'll spend a good portion of our lives searching. For love, happiness, the next best thing...

I'm currently undergoing a proactive search for not only true happiness, but contentment. Peace. Perhaps a hint of a spark of joy, or two, or three...

My intention for this post, and others in the future, is not to dwell on my current melancholy state that I can't quite shake, or to blab on about a vague "search" without venturing on to a justified explanation.

But I am, certainly, trying to post more often, no matter how unmotivated or sad I may be at the time, and no matter how much I really just don't want to delve too far into details.

So here I am, skimming the surface but reaching out, nonetheless. Admitting that lately, for me, the colors just seem far less bright than they truly ought to be.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It shouldn't bother me...

They're 4. I get that. They don't understand what they're saying, and it's my job to correct them.

But seriously...

Picture three of them singsongingly, "Miss Pissy, Miss Pissy, Miss Pissy, Miss Pissy!" first thing this morning.

And after nap time, I caught two others singing, "Miss Chrissy is stupid, Miss Chrissy is stupid!"

I almost cried! I know, I know I know... Obviously I was being a little emotional. I'm kind of, sort of, laughing it off right now. It just gets a little tough when the kids make fun of you, even if they are only 4 :-)


Brushing it off now...
Pissy and stupid,
DTL

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Fanksgibeen"

As my 4-year-olds would say (and have been saying all day today...), tomorrow is "Fanksgibeen!"

And in the spirit of Fanksgibeen, I'll act in a completely cliche way and list many things that I'm "fankfuw" for. I know...completely unoriginal, but important, nonetheless. Here goes:

I'm fankfuw for:

1. Mark

2. Four days OFF! No kids (that aren't family...), no Ulta, no nuttin!

3. The snow that fell today. It made my dog Tucker so happy! He pranced in it at 6:00 this morning like you wouldn't believe...

4. My family's recent visit

5. My family's recent departure (ha ha!)

6. Not having to cook this year (although if I had the time, I would have love too...)

7. E-mail, Web sites and blogs. Without them, I'd be lost...

8. Dr. Lisa

9. My CL girls!

10. My mango salsa that everyone at worked loved!

11. My friend Misty -- can't wait to see her at her baby shower!

12. Michelle, Gretchen, Marilyn, Pamela -- my Chicago connection

13. Sunny Denver days

14. Spironolactone

15. Digital cameras

16. Co-teachers

17. Aunt Mary and Aunt Barb

18. Tuckie

19. The Food Network

20. Naps

21. Coffee

22. Live music

23. The biggest bar night of the year (tonight!)

24. Airplanes

25. Children

Ok, that's good for now. I'm thankful for my readers of this blog!
HAVE A HAPPY FANKSGIBEEN!!!!!!

Much love and joy to you,
DTL

Monday, November 19, 2007

Focus on My Fabulous Friend

Well hello there!

As always, there's a lot going on in my life right now. Same stuff, different day... Just like my extra special friend, Jill, I've been taking a little break from blogging. I'll be back soon once I've cleared my mind, with fresh, exciting stories to tell.

In the meantime, I want to introduce you to Jill, in case you haven't met her or read any of her blogs. As you'll read here, now is the PERFECT time to get to know her.

She's such an influential part of my support system. I'm proud to know her!

I hope you enjoy her as much as I do...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Floating Right Along

It's been a while...

I've missed you! I've missed my blogging friends and I've really, really missed writing.

I've just been drifting through my days, taking in all that life has presented lately. I've been going through the motions, getting used to my new class of 4-year-olds, settling into my 2-job work schedule and drinking way, way, way too much caffeine.

I recently found out that I was accepted to Colorado University at Denver for graduate school and will begin work on my Master's in Early Childhood Education in mid-January. I'm excited, nervous, stressed out and eager to begin!

Mark and I also finally have our wedding date -- July 12, 2008 at The Denver Botanic Gardens. It's real now...it's official! We've yet to begin planning, but at least we have our location and date.

And Mark turned 30 on "Marktober" 14th, and I pulled off a surprise party for him at our house. He was truly surprised, and we all watched the Rockies win together in our living room. I think he really enjoyed himself.


Speaking of the Rockies, I had to walk awway from the game tonight against Boston. WOW. What an ass-kicking. I hope the Rox can turn it around! YIKES!

And you won't BEE-lieve... our house has been infested with yellow jackets or wasps for the past week and a half. They got into our walls somehow and built a nest. Every day we kill about 20 - 30 of them in our kitchen, dining room and living room. Frankly, I'm sick of them! Who knew I'd be such a good bee killer... At least they're not aggressive. They're pretty much in slow motion since it's been kind of chilly, but I've literally got the heebie geebies. YUCK!

On a more serious note, I'm in the process of trying to figure out who I am -- who I've become since I moved to Colorado. There's been so much progress and forward movement that I'm loosing sight of who I was and who I now should be. It's putting a strain on my relationship, and frankly, I'm very confused.

Shouldn't an engagement and upcoming wedding equate to a blissful time? Exactly how happy should I try to be when I'm working too much and falling behind in certain areas of my life? How do I accept my new role and move on with my life, without loosing sight of bubbly, creative, carefree Chicago Chrissy?

I'm in the process of searching for these answers, or at least trying to find the courage to come to terms with the new me. Mark and I have decided to make a conscious effort to understand each other better and be more connected, happy partners for each other.

But the road seems really long right now, and hopefully I can find the support that I need to get to know myself better and face some difficult issues that I've been surpressing. I'm scared and worried, but hopeful that I can move past the barriers that have been blocking me and discover a clear, peaceful beginning.

Until then, as always, I'll continue to drift along. I hope all is well with you!
Much love
DTL

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sink or Swim

Lately, I haven't been doing a good job of skimming the surface. I've been feeling like I'm sinking a bit, actually.

SINK, SANK, SUNK.

I recently passed the one year mark of living in Colorado, and that's been a little hard for me. Perhaps the realization that Denver really is my home now and the pressures of the new identity that my new life presents are silently wearing on me. Among other things...

I'm still going through the emotions of leaving friends and family in Chicago, but now, since I've been here long enough, I'm now loosing friends in Colorado as well. One of my best friends in Denver, J. R., is moving back to Florida in one week. It's hitting me pretty hard. Not to mention my other good friend K. N. from my girls group who had to head back to Houston. And now my most favorite co-worker, M. S., is leaving work next week to have her baby and not return to work (lucky girl!). I know she'll still be around, but with my schedule lately, I know it will be tough to schedule visits with her. I have a tough time with change...can you tell?

There's a few other little things that have been wearing me down and causing me to sink, but I'll work them out and find my way to the surface soon. I always do. I flip my leaf over and hold on for the ride...

ON THE UP AND UP

Mark and I had the chance to see his parents for a day last weekend in Avon, near Vail. We went to Oktoberfest in Vail and I bought a silver necklace with a tiny little leaf pendant. I've been wearing it for motivation, and when my kids at school ask about it, I explain the whole "starting over" process and I think a few of them may even understand! As silly as it sounds, I rub it between my fingers when I need a little help...

Well I finished my grad school application and sent it off! $40 at Fed Ex later... Ugh. The written statement was a challenge, but I feel like I did a fairly good job selling myself. We shall see... At least it's finished!

I want you to know that if you're a blogging friend of mine, I have been reading your blogs. I just haven't had a chance to comment, but I'll try to soon. Lisa, Kelli, Jill, Jenn, Melanie, etc.

I'll be back soon. Stay tuned. Thanks for reading when you get the chance!
Much love,
DTL

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Penny For Your Thoughts?

If I ever encounter extra pennies to share, I'll send them your way.

In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions on how to attract more blog readers? I try to post comments on other people's blogs, and also link to their blog from mine. I also read the little write-up on Blogger about the settings that I need to turn on, and I think I did it all.

Anyway, I'm only averaging about 12 readers per day. Am I just being too impatient, considering I just started blogging in April? Should I be writing about more interesting topics? (he he...what could be more interesting than ME?) :-)

Any tips would be helpful...

And THANKS so much for reading!

DTL

Monday, August 27, 2007

I want it back!

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my...

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short...



P.S.
I'm aware that patience is a virtue, but I want my long hair back NOW. The kicker -- I'm almost ready to stick my finger in a socket because my curls are gone now too. How the heck did that happen? They were natural...where the heck did they GO?

Ugh. (By the way, my friends have always said I have "anorrexia of the hair." Never happy with it, even when there's nothing wrong with it.) Regardless, I need six inches ASAP.

:-)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Skimming the Surface Beats Sinking Any Day

Lately I'm realizing that even if I don't have the time to make something perfect, it's still worth a shot to do the best that I can, even if it's a bit rushed. At this point, doing just a little bit of what I want or need to do is better than not doing it at all.

First example -- working out. Since I had to quit marathon training a few months ago, I haven't really done anything in the way of exercise. Nada. It depresses me knowing that I won't get back to the fitness level that reached in June. But as a result, I'm not toned anymore. I'm "soft." And I don't like it. I think I will set a goal to run about 20 minutes once a week. That doesn't seem so bad. And hey, it's better than nothing, right? Skimming, not sinking.

Example number two -- Blogging. I'm averaging about 5 creative ideas for blogs per day. But it's hard to pick one, dive right in and flesh it out each day because I want the blog to showcase my creative abilities and I want the post to be really good. But I'm learning to get over the notion that every post of mine will be ground-breaking (an over-exaggeration) and I'll just get out what I can. This blog is a perfect example of a not-so-perfect post (have you noticed the lack of well-thought-out points and poor grammar? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about...

Final example -- cooking. Lately I've been working really hard at coming up with creative meals. Like instead of butter on my corn on the cob, I've felt the need to do things like mix the butter with a little lemon juice and seasoned salt for a little somthing extra. But darn it, cooking is time-consuming, and it's not the end of the world if I reach for an old-standby. Tonight, I let it go, and I just plain buttered my corn.

So, here's another attempt at skimming the surface, instead of just sinking (sinking, in this case, would be not writing about these 2 events at all). Granted, I'd love to blast my blog readers (all three of you) right out of the water with poetic descriptions. Instead, I need to get to bed, so I'll make it easy:

1. My friend Pamela in Chicago is going through a tough time. Someday I will dedicate a blog to her so you can get to know how great she is. Anyway, her family is going through a tragic event and I'll be thinking about her. She's very special to me, so even though you don't know her, please keep her in your thoughts!

2. My Happy Friend Jess turned 33 last week! Seriously, she looks 23... Anyway, when I get a chance I'll write a nice blog about the CL girls (my Denver girlfriends!), and how we had such an incredibly fun girls night this past Friday for Jess's birthday! I'll even post pictures. Seriously, so much fun!

So there. Two quick little ditties about events / people in my life that I wanted to flesh out, but just don't have the drive at this late hour. Skimming the surface = more productive in the long run. I hope!

Good night, all. Thanks for being my "floaties." With you around my arms, I'll never sink!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

"Why does Mrs. H. keep saying that?"

"I don't know, but it's kinda weird!"

"Yeah! Patience is a what? WHO CARES!"

Mrs. H., my seventh grade teacher, used to say, "Patience is a virtue" at least once a day. Now, honestly, she was an odd bird, to say the least, and when she stuffed her bra with tissues, she was always lopsided! Always! That surely didn't help her case any.

Well, to this day, I find myself repeating that same phrase inside my head at times when I'm completely frustrated. And I'm finally starting to understand the value of that phrase.

I'd like to think that I'm a farily patient person (I pride myself on it, actually) but lately, my patience has been tested on many accounts and I have to constantly remind myself to not get so worked up about things. I realize that we're living in the age of instant gratification, but I need to take a step back and learn that not everything is going to fall into place the minute that I want it to. Perhaps it's because I've been so tired lately with the extra hours that I'm putting in, and when I'm exhausted, my patience tends to jump right out the window!

Instances lately when I'm feeling extra-impatient:

1. Getting to know people

Normally, I love the "getting-to-know-you" process. It's new, exciting, mysterious, etc. But in this instance, specifically, I'm talking about my co-workers at my part-time job. Now, it's not that I want to be best buds with them, but I do want them to realize that just because I'm learning the ropes and asking questions, I'm not a complete moron. I'm older than most of them, have more experience than a lot of them in other areas, but sometimes, I forget to give away the free gift with the fragrance purchase. Seriously. Shoot me now. It will come with time, I know, but I wish I could fast forward a few months and just be done with it.

2. Starting the new school year

At my school, we're open year-round. We have open enrollment which is a very appealing quality to a busy parent with a tight schedule. So, some of the kids in my class have moved on to kindergarten. Some of the kids are still in my room this week and will move to a different school next week. Some of my kids will move on this Wednesday. And still, some others have been gone since May. Basically, there's not one "last day of school" with closure for all of the kids and teachers. Nope. I've grown attached to these kids (my first class!), and for the past few weeks and the next few weeks, emotional limbo it was and is. I really want to just meet my new kids and have a "first day of school" with my new class. So, needless to say, I've been frustrated and impatient and emotional and not very happy about the state of my classroom. Ugh, what's that virtue again? What do I need to remember?

3. Traffic

Ok, so although I live in Denver, I'm still a Chicago driver. Denver drivers are the worst (too slow! below the speed limit!) and way too overly careful. And I need to accept that the drivers here aren't going to miraculously speed up or actually pull into the intersection before making a left turn (now that would be a total miracle!) But lately, I've been swearing, yelling, (not honking though, thank goodness) and gripping the wheel in angst at the slow-ass drivers who don't speed up to make it through a yellow light to give me a chance to get through an intersection to avoid making me a few more minutes late to work. Is it that much to ask people?

Ahhhhhhh...anyway, a virture. Patience truly is a virtue. And not only is patience a virtue, but time is also very precious. And currently my lack of it is completely compromising my coveted, virtuous patience! Boy, Mrs. H, you were a smart lady.

I only hope that during all of the years that have passed since my seventh grade class, you've been smart enough to have patience with yourself and your tissues until both sides are equal and balanced! Because balance is really what it's all about, right?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Unsticking

A few days this week have been pretty emotionally hard for me (see this post.) I kept it vague because nowadays I have no idea who is reading my blog, or who will in the future. But anyway, for years now I have most definitely felt "stuck" in regard to said vague situation. Perhaps someday I will elaborate.

Well, as new blogging friend Lisa very intelligently brought to my attention, I think I am beginning to unstick myself, simply by talking about being stuck. I don't think I'll ever be completely stick-free, but I'm working at it.

Mark has helped me come to terms with the sticky situation, and we had a fabulous chat a few nights ago and more and more I realize why I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with him! He's my one and only lifelong adhesive remover.

Anyway, I'm moving on for now, fully aware that being stuck is perfectly ok, and I'm not proving anything to anyone, even myself, by beating myself up over trying to unstick. And by realizing that, as Lisa mentioned, I just might be unsticking without even knowing it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This Nanny's Diary

As if two weren’t enough…

I’ve signed on for yet another job. Number three. Seriously. Although my experience as a nanny for 4-year-old twins this past winter was a complete and utter disaster, I decided to give it another try. You know, I’ll watch these kids during my spare time. All of that fabulous free time that I have when I take naps, read books, exercise and spend time with my fiancĂ© and dog. You know, that imaginary peaceful and relaxing time that I’m willing to sacrifice for the sake of a few more bucks per week.

Today I was approached with the opportunity to be a once-a-week nanny for two sisters (three and five years old) who attend the preschool where I work. Just one day, most probably Monday, every week. It’ll be after school, in the evening, and hopefully not past 8:00 p.m.

Hopefully I’ll have nothing but positive experiences to write about in regard to my second go-ahead as a nanny. Stay tuned, and wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Letting go...

Does everyone have it? That one thing that they simply can not forget? That one situation in their life that makes them feel stuck? Does it anger you as much as it angers me? To work so hard at moving on from something and feel like no personal progress has been made? Is it just me?

It makes me feel like such a failure...that I simply can not move forward. I question if I ever will. Can I simply wave the white flag and accept that I will always be stuck?

I have learned to treat people differently because of it. I have learned to swallow my pride. I have learned to demand respect and to act in a way where I, in turn, respect others. These are good things... Great lessons to take away. But that one thing...that one situation still makes me feel so awful and I'm so sick of it!

Do you have one of those?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fun Food Four Word-er

To set it straight. Not four letter words. But four word sentences. In this entire post. No foul language here. Only my random thoughts. In only four words.

Have new exciting friends. Work at Food Network. Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray. Sandra Lee, Giada DeLaurentiis. Learning many foodie tips. Cooking meals from scratch. Creativity has been soaring. Excitement in my kitchen! My meat needs work. All types of meat. I can do sauces. I can do dressings. I can do soups. Love to mix things. Without scientific know how! Out of the box. Is the best way. For me to cook. Ha ha, not literally. Creatively speaking, I mean. Not packaged boxed foods. Except for Sandra Lee! You'll see I'm right. Watch Semi-Homemade some day!

Risotto tonight was excellent. Just ask my Mark! What to make Jill? When she comes Thursday. For dinner with us! Have too much dressing. Made from Helen's cucumbers. Gazpacho didn't work well. Turned into salad dressing. Also made cucumber salsa. Veggies from Rubin's garden! Thanks Rubin and Helen. For being so neighborly! Please no more cucumbers. Though yours were great. I'm just cucumbered out! Grow any more zucchini?

No more marathon training. Cooking all the time. Not a pleasant combo. For my waist line!

Ugh, sheesh, oi vey!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Balance of Thick and Thin

THICK AND THIN

“The big book is thicker because it’s bigger!” “No, the little book is thinner than the big book because it has a paper cover and the other cover is hard!” “No no no, my hair is thicker than yours because it is brown.” “Well, my daddy is thicker than me because he is taller.”

How exactly do you teach thick and thin to a preschooler? You can’t use words like “height” and “width” because you’re bound to hear crickets. You can show them the spines of two different books like I did, one thicker than the other, but most likely, they’ll say the book that is larger in size (not necessarily with the most pages) is the thicker book. What on earth can I say to make them understand?

***

BALANCE

My friend Jill has been doing a phenomenal job of balancing all areas of her life. This will explain it all…. I am so proud of her, and I’ll admit, a little envious! There’s a definite reason why I’ve chosen to be Denver’s Tumbling Leaf…twisting and turning, tumbling and fumbling through life…constantly trying to start over and get myself grounded. If I were Denver’s Balanced Leaf, perhaps there would be no point to my blog at all.

My life has been chock full of “thick and thin” lately. New second job, lack of exercise, applying to grad school, missing Chicago and friends and family, planning our wedding, dealing with anxious dog. As always, I need to do a better job of evening the thins and thicks. When life throws Webster’s Dictionary on one side of life’s scale, I find myself tossing a People Magazine on the other and crossing my fingers that it will somehow, in some way, balance. My my my, how DOES Jill do it? Intuitively place The Devil Wears Prada on one side, and The Nanny Diaries on the other? As cheesy as that sounds, as silly and girly that analogy is, it fits her, and um….well…did I say that I was proud of her? She amazes me.

***

THICK AND THIN

My Mark has the balance down pat – he always has. He understands what it takes to easily glide through the thick and thin. Especially lately, as he’s creating a monthly budget for me to help with my bills, working a second job doing freelance database work in his spare time, walking the dog in the morning when I can’t wake up because I’ve worked until 10 p.m. the night before, and washing all of my dishes from the burnt, crumbly cookies I attempted to make right before I left for my second job. Not to mention the great big hug that I got from him as I was in hysterical tears because the house was all smoky from what should have been the cookies. The definition of thick and thin, in this instance, to me, is synonymous with unconditional love. And to him, it comes so naturally – balancing his life and our relationship and making it all work. I love that about him.

***

BALANCE

I realized, clearly, that teaching thick and thin doesn’t necessarily have to do with what I say, but what I do.

“See kids, you can have a really BIG book with THIN pages on one side of the scale, and a really SMALL book with THICK pages on the other and they will balance. I promise!”

So I plopped both books on the scale and we all watched as the scale balanced itself and most of the kids said, "Now I see it!"

And right then I made a mental note to listen to myself when I try to simplify things for the kids. To force myself to physically see the balance, just like the books on the scale, before I finally learn to work through the thick and thin. If I can remind myself to visualize the balance, my thick and thin, no matter how big or small, will surprisingly begin to even out.

Until then, this leaf will twist and tumble, but enjoy the ride along the way.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

So tired. Sleepy. Zonked. Wiped. Drained. Exhausted. Drowsy. Worn-out. TIRED.

a.k.a. “crabby.”

Sorry Utla customers…you’re going to have to deal with me tonight!

Is it Friday yet?

Ugh.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I can't believe...

I just can't believe...



That we live just a few hours from this...

Tucker loves the fresh mountain air...


And the little chipmunk-type animal loves the scenery as much as we do!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ch ch changes...

New stuff to report:

1. My hair is now six inches shorter. I bit the bullet and said goodbye to the strands that once hung down to my boob (or at least where my boob should be!) I was sad to see it go, but I certainly like it a lot. I'll post a picture when I get one. Whenever I enter a new chapter of my life, I like to make minor updates like that. Which leads me to my next change...

2. In addition to teaching preschool, I am now a part-time employee of Ulta. If you're not familiar with Ulta, it's a store that sells beauty supplies. I'm working 2 nights a week after school and a 6 hour shift on Sunday. I'm working as a cashier and cleaning the store at the end of the night. Welcome back to the wonderful world of retail! I feel so old...the girls that I've been working with are like 20. Ugh. It's only temporary so I can pay off some bills...

3. I met with an advisor for grad school at CU Denver, and this weekend I'll be beginning the application process for my graduate work. I'm excited about the endeavor, but mainly right now I'm just tired from working 2 jobs! It'll all fall into place eventually....eventually...

Twisty, turny, tumbly, fumbly... This little leaf feels like she's in the middle of a summersault right now and has yet to come full circle and land on her feet.

It's nothing short of thrilling, but my life is most certainly upside down at the moment.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

3 Word Blog

Feel kinda sick. Definitely stressed out. Fourth of July. It was fun. Middle of week? Not so great. Tucker hates fireworks. Minnesota this weekend. Too much traveling. Interviewed for retail. Part time job. Money is tight. Hear back tomorrow. Out of shape. Quit marathon training. Depressed and sad. Back to flabby. Need to get. Ass in gear. When there's time.

Altitude sickness today. Up in mountains. Fieldtrip with kids. Almost threw up. At Tiny Town. Look it up. Yes, Tiny Town. Rode the train. Was tiny too. Back in Denver. Felt much better.

Off to sleep. Fieldtrip tomorrow too. Field trip correct? Or one word? English major Chrissy. Doesn't really care.

Have great weekend! Back next week.

Christine Jo Scafide

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Better Late Than... (for my Midwestern peeps!)

It's been a while since I've posted. I know. Been busy, and that's all there is to it. Anyway...

Mark and I were fortunate enough to have two wonderful days to travel to Chicago and Milwaukee a few weekends ago. It's always hard to nail down some serious quality time with the people that you love when you've got less than 48 hours before the plane heads back to sunny Denver. But we managed to squeeze many important friends and family members in -- even if we had to schedule them all in two hour increments!

This one's for...get ready...wait for it...wait for it...

Michelle, Gretchen, Katy, Samir, Andy, Mom, Dad, Mike, Pamela, Logan, Eli, Heather, Andrew, Lucas, Sarah, Steve, Spencer and Reggie. I miss you all dearly...thank you for such a wonderful weekend!

THE QUICK, BUT WELL WORTH IT, TRIP

Picture dead-stopped Chicago freeway traffic. Humidity so thick you could almost swim through (I SERIOUSLY grew up in that mositure-filled HELL?) A "road soda," "roadie," "cocktail-on-the-go," whathaveyou, splattered under my feet in the Flora-mobile, and four dolled-up twenty-(oops, and thirty too!)something city girls geared up for some marathon catching-up at the Northside Cafe in Bucktown (Wicker Park? I never can tell...)

The quick trip couldn't have started out any better for me. Three people who have meant so much to me in Chicago, girlfriends Katy, Gretchen and Michelle, braved the trek out to Midway Airport to pick me up in the Flora-mobile (Gretchen's zippy black Jetta, branded with her trendy Chicago flowershop logo on the back window).

We scored a fab front patio table in the midst of the bustling Saturday night crowd and got busy with a few rounds of spirits, a little "oooh-ing" and "ahh-ing" over sassy sparkling engagement rings, a couple flashes of the camera and before we knew it, it was time to meet up with pals Samir, Andy (lady-loving "pimp" friend and former awesome roommate, respectively) and my honey, Mark.

Fast forward to serious chits, goofy chats, strong shots, warm smiles, loving hugs and sad goodbyes -- Friday night was almost over before it even began.

With my suitcase trailing behind me as if to "roll along" with the latenight festivities (terrible punn, I'll admit), only a few of us made a pitstop for New York Style pizza slices and pitchers of beer before I hit up a cab to finally take me to our hotel to crash before the madness immediately picked up where it left off the next morning.

***

Saturday morning. Hot, humid, hazy, Chicago-like. Plans to see my family for Father's Day, then my friend Pamela and her boys, and finally our friends Andrew and Heather and new baby Lucas all before our 5:00 Amtrak departure for Milwaukee. Onward!

I chose Nookie's Restaurant on Halsted in Boys Town for Father's Day breakfast (a day early), primarily because I have great memories of hungover Sunday brunches there with friends, and it was so close to my old work and apartment. Plus, I just missed the neighborhood. I missed the busy, bustling, far from heterosexual neighborhood where excitement rears around every corner.

So my mom, dad and brother Mike met Mark and I for breakfast and since I'm not used to having to check to see if the Cubs are in town, of course, it was a game day and parking is nearly non-existent. Long story short, my family who was traveling from close to the western suburbs floated slowly along in the sea of red and blue Cubbie fans until, miraculously, a glorious parking spot opened up right in front of the restaurant! I immediately thrusted my body into the spot and stood there until my parents pulled up (waving off many urked cars in the process who were in the same predicament...) And boy. I still had it!

Breakfast was good, but it went by way too fast. It was great to see the fam, but it's never fun saying goodbye... Never. It just doesn't get any easier.

***

After breakfast, Mark and I walked a few blocks over to Windy City Sweets to pick out some candy for Pamela's sons and my friend in Milwaukee, Sarah. We packed up the goodie bags and contiuned south on Broadway as I've done a million times before. I used to be able to walk home from work down Broadway, or walk to a friend's house, or pop into ten different shops in an afternoon, all on foot. I completely miss walking everywhere in Chicago -- especially because of recent gas prices!


Mark and I strolled all the way to Wellington Street, turned right and stopped in front of 664 W. Wellington and waited on the concrete stoop for Pamela to swing by with the kids to pick us up. 664 -- where it all began. The old apartment building where Mark and I were first roommates. Where our old hippie landlord, Dwight, grew pot on the roof. Where many different roommates came and went, and many a Halloween or Super Bowl party occurred. 664, a beautiful place full of even more beautiful memories.
Pamela's Volvo pulled up in the conveiently located fire hydrant spot in front of 664. The flashbacks kept coming... I pictured the night of my initial interview at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School for the Admissions position that I later accepted working by Pamela's side. That evening after my interview had ended, Pamela literally scooped me up under her wing and drove me home (mind you, I wasn't even offered the job yet...) And that was the first of hundreds of car rides with Pamela, all ending at the fire hydrant spot in front of 664.

***

We headed towards a park across the street from Andrew and Heather's condo near the sketchy Dominick's grocery store because it was convenient, and on the way we (Logan, Eli, Pamela, Mark and I) stumbled upon an awesome community vegetable garden. With the help of the fabulously patient garden worker-man person, the boys picked beets and radishes straight from the ground for dinner and at that very moment, I was hopeful that someday when I have children, they'll be as interested in the farming aspect and variety of foods that Logan and Eli are. The questions that the boys were asking and the curiousity that filled their minds made me proud! And I could tell that it made the worker-man person proud too.


Time FLEW. Mark played with Logan and Eli in the playground and Pamela and I gossiped and chatted so quickly that I can barely remember exactly what we were talking about! I do remember that I love her so much, and it was so hard to say farewell to her and the boys as well.

***

Next stop: Andrew and Heather's condo to meet baby Lucas! It was so weird to see our friends with a baby, especially since we only saw Heather when she was pregnant once because we moved to Denver right around the time when she got pregnant. Such a sweet, cute boy! I am so happy for our friends and their new little man! They all seem so happy, healthy and beaming. I'm so glad we were able to meet litte Lucas!

***

Fast forward four hours to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (well, Cedarburg, to be exact). We rode the Amtrak train from Chicago and were able to snag a little sleep on the way. It had been a whirlwind weekend already, and we still had one day left.

We entered Sarah and Steve's new house and I'll have to admit, I focused on Reggie first! Reggie, their super awesome Beagle / Jack Russel Terrier mix. I turned my head and there was Sarah, on the couch, snuggling with six week old Spencer. Holy reality check! My friends are having babies! (cute ones too, by the way...) He was so sweet!

We had a delicious barbecue dinner out on their porch at dusk in the quaint town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin. The crickets were chirping, misquitos prevalent and the porch swing steady and still. Though we were only in town for one night, I felt relaxed and at ease. Although we only get to see each other a couple of times a year, it is so easy to pick up where we left off.

A few Wisconsin brewery and country gift shop visits later, and it was time to head for the airport on Sunday evening. Where had the weekend gone? So fast...so quick... A few short days filled with many years of sweet memories.

All in all, one perfect, well worth it, trip.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I like the way you're...

"I like the way Jordan's sitting quietly..."

"I like the way Dylan's picking up his toys!"

"I like the way Molly is speaking to her friends..."

I've been trying a new approach in my classroom. Instead of calling out negative behavior directly to the "culprit," I'm trying to focus on the positive behavior of the children around said culprit, and ignoring the negative stuff.

It worked today! For about an hour...

Perhaps I need to keep trying. I'm really trying to be positive though, because one of my students is literally driving me up the wall with her inappropriate behavior. And instead of calling attention to her nastiness, I'm really trying to make her realize that I'm only acknowleging the pleasant behavior (within reason, of course).

Guess what she said to me...

"Miss Chwissy, you're only talking to the kids who are listening and being good. Why are you doing that?"

UGH! You're FOUR! Not even FIVE! FOUR, DANG IT! How did you catch on so fast?

What I really wanted to say was:

"I DON'T like the way that you're spitting at your friends. I DONT'T like the way that you're in my face all day long and a half of a second after I begin to talk to an adult, you jump in front of me and tell me something stupid like, 'my daddy eats breafits.' I DON'T like the way that throughout the entire naptime when I'm trying to write the class newsletter on the computer, I have to stop every 3 minutes because you're kicking the table and pulling your dress over your head and exposing your Dora the Explorer underpants, when I specifically tell her every day to put some dag gone shorts on under her skirt! I DON'T LIKE IT!"

But I can't. I'm a teacher and I'm not allowed to have bad days in front of the child. Instead I just keep my composure, turn to one of her classmates and say,

I LOVE the way you're listening! LOVE IT!

Boy, I really needed to get that out...

Well, I DON'T like the way that I'm still at my computer, NOT sleeping. But I DO like the way that getting that out made me feel, so I'll take the bad with the good.

Nighty night!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Aliens Stoled My Dog...Need $20 for Karate Class

I've gotta hand it to the cardboard "sign holders" on the street corners in Denver -- they sure are creative!

I say "sign holders" because who knows if they're homeless, a little bit crazy, a rebelious "rich kid," or someone who is honestly just down and out. You never do know, but let me just tell ya, some of the cardboard signs I've seen in Denver on street corners are interesting, to say the least.

For example, Mark and I saw a woman on the corner this weekend with this doozie,

"Aliens Stoled My Dog...Need $20 For Karate Class."

Yep, "stoled." I'm guessing the dog is gone, and the so-called aliens snatched it. But whatever...

She wasn't asking for money for food, shelter or clothing. No-sir-ee-bob. Karate class. Specifically. Karate class.

To fight the aliens in honor of her pooch? Seriously, that's all I've got.

I felt for her though. The poor dog! What inconsiderate aliens! Wait...is $20 the going rate for karate class nowadays? Who knows...

Anyway, you've gotta give them credit. Just like "30 is the new 20," now, thanks to the way-way-way-out-of-the-box thinking of our street corner sign holders, "Aliens Stoled My Dog...Need $20 For Karate Class" is now the new "Will Work for Food."

If I only had an extra $20 on me, those dog-snatching aliens would be as good as toast.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chasing Little Chickens

My apologies for the delay in blogging, but I've been spending most of my time lately chasing little chickens. Seriously, lots of little chickens, and they're so damn hard to catch!

My "little chickens":

My numerous half-done projects piled up on my desk. My overdue bills. My weekly runs. My overtime work. Our wedding planning (ugh!). My catching up with friends and family. My lesson planning for school. My dog training. My quality time with Mark. My going back to school for education. My everything...

Picture me locked in a chicken coup (I'm a city girl and have no idea if I spelled that right...or even referenced it correctly) or pen with all of my little chickens, chasing them around trying to tackle them but they just keep slipping out of my hands! And in the process, I'm getting dirty, tired, and just plain pissed off. Yeah...that's been me lately, and it ain't pretty...

One of my students turned to me a few days ago as we were slurping up our Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup at lunch and said,

"Miss Chwissy, did you catch any little chickens yet? All I'm getting is the noodles, and they're SO slippery!"

And I replied,

"Nope, I haven't caught any of the chickens yet, but I'm trying!"

"Well keep trying, Miss Chwissy, you'll get 'em eventually! Once all of the yellow watery part is all gone, you can just scoop the chickens up into your spoon much easier."

Hmmmm... I sure can't wait to get rid of the yellow watery part of my life!

And don't get me started on my slippery noodles...that's a whole different blog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ideas pending... Blubber blabber for now!

I have a few ideas in the works for future blogs, but I lack the time and creative energy to pump 'em out tonight. So here's some random thoughts in no particular order. Gonna crank 'em out, then hit the hay. (What's with "'em out?" Anyway...)

Had a fabulous girls night tonight. Simple, laid back, easy. Three reasons why I absolutely adore my Denver friends.

I'm coffee "drunk" right now.

Mark and I are traveling to Park City, Utah, for a wedding this weekend. I've never met the groom and bride, but from what Mark explains, they're good people. Never been to Utah either. Gonna hike for a few days after the wedding. Perhaps I'll glean some super cool blog stories! (What's with "gonna?" In my defense...it's the caffeine buzz...)

I miss my good friend Pamela. Wish she would clear her cell phone voicemail so I could actually leave a message. I wonder how things are going in her life these days...

Mark is my savior and best friend. It's amazing how unconditionally he loves me. He deserves an award.

I did a super cool think at work that I am very proud of. Lately, I've been doing many things at work that I'm proud of. Perhaps I've FINALLY found the career for me! Perhaps...

It's driving me crazy how much Tucker is regressing in his training. I NEED to call Steve from Bark Busters! NEED TO! Ah, the joys of dog owning....

I wore a cowboy hat tonight for no reason. Well, bad hair day, yes, but I have many other hats to choose from, and I chose the cowboy hat. The rain dripped right through it... Not a wise choice.

I can't wait to hike with Jill. I think we will balance each other out in regard to motivation. I am confident that I can get her to the summit...not 20 feet below it. Jill, that's my promise to you!

I miss Michelle. We've been playing phone tag for weeks now. Sorry girlfriend...

My other friend Michelle got engaged! And to quote her, "and I'm not even pregnant!" HA! I really hope they'll move to Denver. Wish there were some way to talk her into it... She's a cool chick.

I also wish Marilyn would move to Denver. I owe her a call too. Crap! I hate the phone! Not a good thing for someone who recently moved away from home...

Wish my family was closer. What the heck is big bro Jay up to? It's been too long...

How long does it take for cactus roots to grow? I have no idea. Hope mine make it and don't crap out on me...

Wish I had money for flowers to plant. I have a ton of ideas.

Wish I had money.

I hope I can get rid of the stupid spider mites on the tropical Home Depot tree! Spider mites are awful. I would not wish them on any tree or houseplant. Watch out, stupid mites, here comes the second round of hose blasting! TAKE THAT, EXPENSIVE DECORATIVE INDOOR OFFICE TREE KILLERS! HA!

Mark made an awesome dining room table. I always wanted a long wooden table so I could spread out my "projects." I can picture me working with my kids on their homework on this table someday. Except for math. Mark will do that. He WILL do that!

I wish trigger points never existed. Right now, they are plauging (sp?) me. Get out of my neck muscles, stupid lactic acid knots!

Am I nuts?

Maybe a little.

I love to sing to Paulo Nutini. Mark can attest to that. And Tucker too, if he had the capability to "attest."

We had pasta today at work for the kids, and it's called "cavatini." One of my kids said, "Miss Chwissy, please pass the cappuccino." Love it. She drove me absolutely up the wall ALL DAY LONG today, but once she said that, I just had to squeeze her cheeks and give her a big hug.

I really love my co-teacher, Ann. I got incredibly lucky when I was paired up with her. I hope she feels the same way. She's a very loving lady, and sarcastic just the same. A combination that I just ADORE!

Tomorrow is my Friday, although it's Thursday. And that is so freaking cool.

Nighty night! Perhaps I'll blog tomorrow, perhaps not. Depends on if I get all packed on time. Which I probably won't.

Till then!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ruby “Hood”

“Oh my God, I didn’t tell anyone where I was going!” I thought to myself. More than once during my excursion…

It’s a pretty important rule for runners and hikers and I blew it off.

Aside from the worn down cracked pavement and cement barriers blocking the winding roads, Ruby Hill Park seemed pretty nice. Lots of freshly mowed green fields, a baseball diamond and updated playground. There was even a monstrous grass-covered hill – the exact feature that lured me there for my 45 minute run (with hills….so said my marathon training schedule.)

Such a great view from atop Ruby Hill! You can see the whole city. But still, not more than a handful of people in sight? How could this be? The outdoor pool area seemed to be closed, and at 5:00 p.m. on a Wednesday, there were no children playing in the playground. There was only a teenage couple sitting on top of the slide, glaring at me, as if they were wondering why I thought it would be such a good idea to choose that particular place to spend an entire 45 minutes, by myself.

I slowly began to realize that Ruby Hill Park was no Wash Park (my neighborhood meat market and haven for many a dog and jogger). In fact, it was a pretty shady park, and I don’t mean “shelter from the sun.”

My opinion of the park and the surrounding area hadn’t solidified until my dog Tucker and I decided to venture out of the park and run along the side of a few streets and enter the park again at the opposite entrance. I won’t go into detail, but I actually heard a shoeless little boy who was playing in his fenced-in front yard with his brother say, “Wow, look! A DOG! He’s RUNNING!” Apparently dogs don’t leave their yards too often in that neighborhood…and for good reason!

I was grateful for the major incline as I made my way up the road so I could get some hill work in, but more importantly, I was more grateful that many cars were passing us and we weren’t prancing through the park, mostly alone, with no cell phone. What was I thinking? WHY didn’t I do a bit more research before I hopped into the car with the dog to run 5 miles up and down hills in a strange neighborhood?

At one point during our run, I tripped over an ancient speed bump and nearly face planted (The yellow paint was almost completely worn off. That’s my lame excuse for being so clumsy!) I think I must have let out a loud “AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!” (I’m good at that…) but somehow I was able to catch myself pre-road rash. I just kept running, happy to be in one piece. Tucker immediately licked my hand that was holding his leash – I think he knew that I was glad not to have to slowly limp back to the car….

I realize that it’s possible that I am overreacting, and making a mountain out of a molehill for the sake of a good story. But I’m from Chicago, where remarkably enough, there are major distinct boundaries between one trendy neighborhood and another. Basically, just try not to go west of Western. It’s pretty easy to remember… And obviously I haven’t learned the difference between an okey dokey neighborhood and a somewhat shady spot here in Denver yet, and I do anticipate a few more situations like this though, before I really learn my lesson. I know myself all too well!

But for what it’s worth, today I purchased a running water bottle with a nylon zippered holder for my keys and identification. I never really should have been running without identification anyway…

And I already have plans to run on Tuesdays with my friend Natasha at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Great view of the city. Trendy area. Awesome big red rocks. But most importantly, a safer area for a hill workout!

So if you don’t hear from my after next Tuesday, please call a representative from Red Rocks. There. I told someone. I’m making progress already!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pink Straps, Yellow Specs and the Coffee Shop

“Pink?”

“Yes, pink,” he said strongly, somewhat annoyed. “I really don’t care if they’re pink – they do the job.”

I looked up nonchalantly from Dr. Seuss’s Yurtle the Turtle and spotted the man who had been sitting at the table next to me with his wife. He was bent over on the sidewalk in front of the coffee shop, adjusting his bright pink reflective Velcro bicycle pant strap thingamajigs.

He was about sixty-years-old and had a kind face and neatly combed brown hair. He was wearing a nice collared shirt with jeans – an appropriately casual outfit for a Sunday morning coffee and newspaper outing.

The bicycling man and his wife had given me their table in the sun, and they were very sweet about it. They even asked me about my Dr. Seuss book, and I told them that I was a preschool teacher, researching for a lesson.

“They’re still pink,” said a long gray curly-haired, weathered looking man with yellow tinted hippy glasses. He was about the same age as Mr. Pink Straps, and he, also, was sitting at a table on the sidewalk with his wife. I couldn’t help but notice him when I first arrived at the coffee shop, because the hipster and his upturned nosed wife cut in front of me in line before I was able to give the girl my coffee order.

Not a laugh, chuckle or even a smile followed his judgment. The comment was piercing and there seemed to be, from what I overheard, no particular reason why he would care about the color of the other man’s protective cycling safety device.

“Oh Dear, he was just making an observation,” whispered Pinky’s wife with a smile as she mounted her bicycle that had been chained to the fence behind me. She, however, gave a subtle giggle, and I could sense that she thought the banter between the two men was slightly comedic.

As Pink Straps mounted his bicycle and began to slowly follow his wife down the street, I wondered to myself how long their conversation would last; if they just let it go, or further analyzed the, what appeared to be, rude comment.

I peered over at Yellow Specs and he scowled, rolled his eyes and continued reading his newspaper. I then couldn’t help but try to analyze the situation myself…

I’ve been to that coffee shop many times during the week, and the clientele ranges from students on their laptops, clicking away at their projects, to young hippies with their dreadlocks reading paperbacks on the velour couches. I’ve seen nothing but warm smiling faces, and have actually had a few nice conversations with strangers at tables next to me.

Sunday was different. It seemed that the demographic had changed – that the overflow from a “certain neighborhood” (I’ll rename it “Apple River”) had chosen to come to my neighborhood coffee shop.

And as bad as I feel about stereotyping in this instance, I wasn’t too happy with the results of the change.

Pleasant man and wife take bike ride to coffee shop on sunny Mother’s Day morning. Hoity toity judgmental couple visit same coffee shop, cut in front of me in line and make snide comment to said pleasant man. Necessary? You be the judge.

I hope I run into Yellow Specs again next Sunday because I will be wearing one flip flop on one foot and one cowboy boot on the other. Jeans under a fancy dress and snowboarding goggles on my head.

Because that, my friends, will be snide comment worthy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Anti-Survey

Hello, readers! (Wow, that's hillarious. Perhaps I should say "reader.")
I'm here to proclaim, loud and clear, that I HATE surveys. Despise them. But, for some strange reason, I'm simply addicted to reading other people's surveys to see what they have to say. But God forbid, I will never do them myself. See, because, well, hmmmm...I just, well, I just...

I just HATE them.

Anyway, thought I'd share some random, useless shhtuff about me in no particular order. But it is very important to remember that this is, in no shape or form, a survey.

(Ha ha ha...sarcasm is cool!) :-)

Here goes:

I'm 28 and I've never owned my own car. I drive a car now here in Denver, but it belongs to my fiance.

I like big dogs. BIG dogs. Mine is 85 pounds and I don't think he's big enough. I wish I could own a Great Dane.

I ran track in college. 400 meters. I miss it terribly (or do I just miss the track body? Tough one...)

Alliteration is awesome. It's almost, absolutely one of my favorite things. Appropriately so! Creating cool, classy comments calls for a balance of crazy coherence.

I like to believe that I'm a good writer. But honestly, sometimes it just doesn't flow and I end up with crap (see my alliteration example above).

I've dated a lot of guys. Too many in my opinion.

I'm finally comfortable in my own skin.

I waste a lot of time. There, I said it. I waste a lot of time. Procrastinator is my middle name. I'm Christine Procrasinator Scafide.

Actually, I'm Christine Jo Scafide.

Soon to be Christine Jo Richter.

That's the first time I've ever typed that.

I can guarantee that the ONLY people that will call me Christine Richter will be people who work in the doctor's offices that I will visit. And perhaps a telemarketer or two. My brothers, dad and Mark's step-dad will still call me "Chris." It will ONLY be ok for them.

My grandmother was Josephine. Christine Josephine Scafide was too silly. Hence, Jo. Everytime I drive on Josephine street in Denver I think of her.

I never got the best grades in school. Sometimes honor roll, sometimes not. Sometimes A's, sometimes D's. A few F's, due to, you guessed it, procrastination. I was never good at taking tests, but I would write my 20 page papers the night before they were due and get at least a B.

Math scares me more than life itself.

I want to get my Master's Degree in Education so badly!

But I'm so afraid of the math. I'd classify myself as "remedial" when it comes to math.

I love reading and English and stuff that has to do with the subject of English but I hate grammar. I'm not the best when it comes to grammar. It reminds me of math. Too many rules. I like to make up my own rules.

I have to dye my hair because it is getting so gray.

Jobs titles I've held: athletic tranier, public relations intern, restaurant hostess (with the mo...oh wait, I won't, I'll spare you!), freelance public relations account coordinator, executive assistant to CEO and president of PR agency, assistant PR account executive, PR account executive, special events and alumni relations coordinator, admissions and parent community coordinator, support staff supervisor, freelance public relations associate, cocktail server, preschool teacher.

I was fired from a job three years ago. By a Catholic nun. For a position at my high school alma matter. That was possibly one of the worst days of my life.

I was raised Catholic. Went to Catholic school from kindergarten through college. I can't say I care too much about Catholocism all that much anymore (see above statement involoving nun).

In regard to life, I'm finally starting to "get it" now. I finally feel like I have more confidence than I know what to do with. I think I'm making up for lost time. I'm scared that I'm going to loose the newfound confidence...

I used to believe that I could never do anything on my own. And I was scared to try.

I once lived in a 200 square foot studio apartment in Chicago by myself for 11 months. I didn't even have a bed.

I'm really worried that my IT band injury is going to come knocking on my door again and I'm not going to be able to complete my marathon training.

I have trouble realizing who my true friends are. I always have. I think I might be starting to figure it out, but I constantly get burned.

I just bought a wedding dress. Nope, I mean, a dress that I'm going to wear for my wedding. I got it in the junior's prom section at Macy's for $175.

I wish I was a better singer.

I wish I never stopped playing the piano.

I wish I were cool enough in high school to be a cheerleader or dancer. I always wished that. Instead I was the only girl running with the boy's track and cross country teams because I was fast enough.

I wish I had boobs.

I wish there wasn't so much drama back home in Chicago.

I miss Lake Michigan.

I miss working at the Burwood Tap, drinking for free and getting tipsy during my shifts.

I miss my friend Michelle's bar, Rhythm. I felt so proud of her everytime I walked through the doors.

I miss the relationship that I had with my brothers when we were younger.

I miss my brothers.

I miss Sunday pasta dinner at Grandma's. Sometimes when I'm outside, I smell her meatballs in the air...

I have a dream every night, and I remember them each morning.

I'm going to go to bed now and try to dream of all the things that I miss now that they're fresh in my mind...

Thanks for reading (hopefully!)
Christine Jo Procrasinator Scafide Richter

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My Savvy Friend Jill

Not to be confused with My Happy Friend Jess, My Savvy Friend Jill volunteered to write a little bitty 'bout me on her blog (in order for me to gain some interesting blogging-type readers, since I have, like, 4, and they're all my good friends) so I thought it would only be polite of me to do a little ditty about her in exchange.

Well, she's My Savvy Friend Jill. And for many reasons. But in this specific instance, she's introducing me to the exhilerating world that is, indeed, blogging -- one in which she is not only most certainly famiiar with, but in my opinion, very skilled.
So now, if I claimed to be at all blogger-savvy (which I don't) I would have inserted a colored underlined linky-thingy in the paragraph above for Jill's name, so you could simply click on it and POOF! be magically transported to Single Mom in the City, her neato schmoomeeto (sound it out....yep...SCHHHH MOOOOO MEEET OOOOO), content rich blog.
(I hope to schmoomeeto you soon as well, if I haven't already!) Yeah yeah...what can I say, I'm a preschool teacher! I have given into the ridiculous habit of making up words.

Anyway, she's pretty, she's smart, she's cool, and she's My Savvy Friend Jill.
And here she is with me (Don't kill me Jill...it's the only pic that I have of just the 2 of us! Just so ya'll know...we're a little tipsy and sweaty, respectively):



So, many thanks to My Savvy Friend Jill! And i you're reading this and you decide to become my new blogging friend, one day I may write a super duper special blog about you.

And I'll promise never to use the word schmoomeeto to describe you.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Dear Spencer...

Dear Spencer Michael Sturm,

Welcome to the wonderful world! I see that life is treating you well so far. How can you complain with such a beautiful head of hair?



Your mommy is my oldest friend. I bet you didn't know that! Yep, I've known her for 11 years. Well, for the first year of our friendship, before I really got to know her, I didn't like her all that much considering she was a tall, skinny, smart pretty blonde (and in Saint Joseph's College world, that meant COMPETITION!) Anyway, she turned out to be a pretty cool chick, so we've been friends ever since.

Well, I won't go into detail (because it's not for little ears!) but I was there when your mommy and daddy met. Ah...the single days... Some day you might find out about their first official date. He he...it was a doozie!!!!!
Oh yeah, back to you...

I hope you'll be as smart as her one day...and responsible...and handy. Yep, I said handy. She should seriously have her own show on HGTV! And I hope you'll be a fast runner or a QB for the Green Bay Packers (that one's for you, Steve!) But most of all, I wish for you a beautiful life, filled with love, adventure and happiness. (Let me know if I can help with the adventure part...there's MOUNTAINS where I live! Yippey! Uncle Mark would love to show you how to snowboard and mountain bike.)


Oh! Here we are, little one! (Less than a year before you arrived...) Look at your crazy daddy in the background! He sure is silly...
Well Spencer, I hope you enjoy your new life. I hope Wisconsin treats you well. I hope Reggie doesn't jump all over you (don't worry, it's just because he loves you...) and I hope you stay healthy and happy!
I hope to meet you soon, baby boy! I'm a really cool lady, you'll see :-)
Much love to you, mommy and daddy,
Your new Auntie Chrissy (well, not really, but kind of...)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Let it go, woman...just let it go!!!

D'oh!

As you may have noticed, I've been trying to change the layout of the top of my blog page. Completely characteristic of quirky ole me, I wasn't satisfied with one pic, the title of my Blog and description of my blog. Oh no man, I had to get complicated...

So I scoured the internet to find the perfect "tumbling leaf" pic, and I think I did a pretty good job with the one I decided on. And I wanted a few goofy pics, a few serious pics, and I had to sneak Mark somewhere in there as well. But in case you don't completely know me yet, perhaps I should point out that I need to have a balance of pics of me with curly hair and straight hair. Yep, it gets worse... (oh, and the only reason why I don't have a pic of my friends up there too is because I had to force myself to just MOVE ON!)

So I instill the computer genius of Mark (yes indeedy...GENIUS!) and he bing bang boomed me out a workable jpeg to slap onto the top of the blog so we could get back down to business, which was, in fact, searching for our WEDDING SITE!!!!! Hmmm...order of importance????? Double D'oh!

So I use the electronic form that Blogger gives you to insert your whosamawhatsit's and, to my dismay, the length of the jpeg was off (too short), and to me it just looked funny. It was definitely workable, but not up to my standards, and I've been stressing about it all day...

SEE..the thing with me is, I have these notions that things need to be a certain way, when basically, most of the time, they're unattainable and I just end up mad at myself in the long run anyway. I'm not a graphic designer, am I? AM I? But boy, would it be nice... (And umm...is it really realistic for me to do a load of laundry the minute the bin fills up??? REALLY???)

So I take it a step further, because I just can't let it go. I revert back to the PowerPoint file where I first created the silly picture thingy and try to come up with something that will fill up the empty space on the right side of the jpeg so hopefully it will fit perfectly on the top of my blog page. So I end up writing some stupid poem (which, mark my words, will probably be changed here in the next few weeks because I'm not completely happy with it yet...) and resave it, and insert it at the top of my blog page yet again.

The final outcome? Blurry text. A right side of the jpeg that instead of being too short, is too stinking long. And colors that simply don't match the overarching theme of my blog.

Mark my words, at some point, the top of my blog will be fixed (or even more messed up...we'll see!) Until then, I need to pry myself away from my computer and get my run in.

But guess what I'll be thinking about on my run? Uh huh. Triple D'oh...

Monday, April 30, 2007

My Happy Friend Jess

I have a Happy Friend named Jess. She loves people. She loves animals. She loves mac and cheese like nobody's business.

My Happy Friend Jess is a lover of life.

She'll talk your ear off about happy things and if you happen to be sad, she'll do her best to make you feel happy too.

My Happy Friend Jess happens to be sad right now, and if I could send her a package full of friendly people, cuddly animals, yummy mac and cheese and lovely life, I would.

I would, because she's my Happy Friend Jess. And that's the most important reason there is.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Two Twists and Twirls Forward, One Tumble Back

And so the tumbling begins...

I had a few not-so-good days last week, and in true Chrissy fashion, I've found myself less productive and in a deeper hole since beginning my leafy journey just one week ago.

In an attempt to eat lower calorie food and less of it, I became irritable, crabby and upset with myself when I'd slip up. And for the grand finale, I was blindsighted by a migraine at work on Wednesday (perhaps I was HUNGRY!), accidentally overdosed on Excedrin Migraine and lost an entire half of a day to a dark, quiet room . Eating less is now, inevitably, out of the question. I cancelled my USA Eat Fit membership and discontinued logging all of my meals. From now on, I'll just try to make better choices when it comes to food and that's that. Twisty, turny, tumbly, fumbly...

My laundry piled up and spilled out of my closet and into our bedroom when I specifically told myself that as soon as the laundry bin filled up, I'd do a load. I think it was on its way to attack me, but I can't quite be sure... Stupid leaf! Hmmph...

AND, due to my ever-worrisome financial situation, I was unable to give my friend Melanie a birthday present on time, or bring my "favorite things" to our "favorite things" party with the girls. I'm way behind in gifts and one of my bestest friends, Michelle, has a birthday coming up very soon and I worry I won't be able to give her the proper gift. Makes me sad, and mad at myself all at the same time :-(

Anyway, THESE are the reasons that I started this blog. Little things that turn into big things that have a fabulous way of getting the best of me. I'm holding myself accountable, and hopefully that by bitching about these slip-ups, I can motivate myself to quickly turn them all around.

And, in an attempt to end on a positive note, here's a few good things goin' on in my life:

1. I met two new girls -- Maggie and Michelle -- in my running group who run about the same pace as me. Hopefully they will be my new running partners and friends! Maggie's husband's name is Tucker, so they've just GOT to be cool! :-)

2. I'm really starting to love my new friend Jill. She is very motivating, and we are alike in many ways. I'm excited about our new friendship, because I feel that we can really learn alot about each other!

3. My totally awesome friend in Chicago, Michelle, has many happy things going on in her life, and in turn, that makes ME super happy. I miss her like the dickens, but I'm so very happy for my lovely friend.

4. My preschoolers ALL poured their own juice out of little pitchers today for the first time ever in our class. One of them said, "WOW Miss Chwissy! This is REALLY fun!" Makes me smile...

Well, it's a new week. My day went pretty well at work and tonight I'll be plugging away at many of the little things that have been piling up for weeks. A new start, a new turn, for my new important journey.

Onward!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Boob Tube Blasphemy

Sanjaya WHO? Dr. Mc HUH? America's Next Top WHAT?

Approximately 8 months ago, I was the type of girl who could answer questions of the like at the drop of a hat. Previously, you would have thunk that I was an actual member of the graduating class in Laguna Beach. And also, simultaneously, a Harbor High School student in Newport, CA(thanks for the memories, Mischa Barton!) I could rattle off the top 10 videos on not only Mtv, but Vh1 as well. And best of all, I could tell you the exact number of votes that came between Ms. McPhee and Mr. Hicks.

As fate would have it, not no mo.

And I'm finally at a point in my life when that's a fabulous thing! I'm out exploring new things in Denver, exercising, and best of all, spending some major quality time with my friends. Granted, I wouldn't miss an episode of Prison Break, Entourage or Sopranos. But I simply find solice in the fact that I failed to miss every episode of J Lo's dance show on Mtv...

What was that show called again? :-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

I've Got the Jittery Jumps (and Tucker Does Too...)

Like a nasty, sneaky evil cat...a swan will hiss too.

Yep, a swan. Those graceful white beauties that hang out at the lake with the duckies at Washington Park near my house. They certainly do hiss. And pouf their bodies up like a cat does and the only thing that's different between the feline and the bird, in my opinion, is the "meow" and the "honk."

I'm a city girl. I don't know the first thing about swans, ducks, whathaveyou. Then how do I know that they hiss? Because seriously, not one, but TWO swans at Wash Park chased me and Tucker away from the lake today, hissing and honking like somebody killed all of their swan babies (ugh....for those of you who don't know my crazy killer cats story, I'll paste it at the bottom of this post so you're up to speed and can make the silly connection between these two rediculous stories).

Well, our encounter today was unlike the kitty encounter, but nonetheless freaky. Tucker knows the lake well, since both Mark and I take him around the lake at least 3 times a week. He's familiar with the ducks. He's familiar with the swans. He just kind of looks at them funny, like they're these foreign creatures that just landed from outer space (which now I'm fairly convinced that they might ACTUALLY be from outer space, and they've formed a pact with the kitties in the secret underground kitty lair, plotting the earth's demise. Again -- read my crazy killer cats posting below...)

Anyway, we ran past the pretty birds. Well, I mean, we TRIED to run past them. But instead of heading towards the water like all of the other duckies normally do when Tucker and I are running, this time, they started towards us, hissing (I could actually see swanny tounge!) and honking and making a ruckus. And what did I do? Just like the kitty encounter, I screamed. I freaking screamed out loud and turned Tucker around so we could go around the back of the boat house instead of in front of it like we normally do.

We escaped the birdie attack, but needless to say, both Tucker and I were a little "jumpy" the rest of the way home. Denver is a city FULL of animals. They're everywhere, which is why I love it. But holy Jeez, do they all have a vendetta against me and my 85 pound dog? You'd think that he'd bark at them, or chase them, or try to bite them, but no. He just shakes and gets scared. Ugh...

So that's not all. In the 8 blocks that we had left to travel on the way home, I managed to scream out loud yet again. We were passing the kitty house, and I'll be damned if I'll let them be scared in my own neighborhood. So we proceeded with caution again, but this time, no cats in sight. However, Tucker definitely recognizes the house and always looks around for them. But no cats. WHEW!

Umm...yeah. So we go about another block with our guards let down, sighing silly sighs of relief in unison. We're both smiling and prancing down Cedar St., light on our feet, and then...RUFF RUFF RUFF RUFF RUFF RUFF (scary dog barking noises)! SCRATCHING SCRATCHING SCRATCHING (behind the wooden fence)! Kujo himself emerges from his backyard to give us one last run for our money.

Yep, I certainly yelped out loud, and couldn't help but laugh at the silliness of our luck with animals lately.

This time, the man across the street didn't ask if we needed help like before. He simply laughed at us too. :-)

HERE'S THE KITTY POST:

Chrissy and Tucker, 0. Killer crazy cats, 2.

That's right, I said, "Killer crazy cats, 2." If you've seen me within the past 2 weeks, you'll know that me and my dog Tucker got attacked by two sneaky evil cats on the street last week. Seriously...attacked! No joke... Except really, it was only me that walked away with bloody scratched up rabies legs, not Tucker. And although he is nearly 85 pounds, he bolted halfways down the block, shaking like a little school girl when satan's spawns decided to lay into me with their hissing and their crazy claws. That's some vicious guard dog I've got on my hands...

I know it sounds silly, but seriously, it was one of the most embarrasing and scary things that have happened to me in a long time. Embarrassing, because 2 other people across the street saw the entire freakish encounter, and one guy (who was about my age) yelled, "hey, do you need help????) Ummm...well...hmmm...I don't know jackass, I've never been attacked by one cat before, let alone two at one time. Well, the stupid bitchy cats finally decided to have mercy on me and they slowly slithered their way back to their evil kitty lair where cats go to plan the end of the world...

Anyway, after that episode, it was Chrissy and Tucker, 0 and killer crazy cats, 1.
Unfortunately, after my walk with Tucker today, the stinking furballs got to put another one up on the board. I wasn't going to let 2 bitchy kitties keep me from walking down Cedar street, so Tucker and I strolled past the house once again with caution, but with our heads held high. When to my surprise, I found one of the wretched culprits lounging on his owner's lap on the front porch of the house.

Yep, they weren't stray cats...someone actually owns these cats and despite their apparent complete disregard for bubbly joggers and their innocent dogs, allows them to roam the streets.
Immediately, the creepy feline jumped off the man's lap and started hissing and walking towards us, and I'll admit, I was freaked out! Damn cat won again. I've never been that scared of an animal before, and I have the scratches all over my legs as a pretty damn good excuse.

So I said, "Excuse me sir, do you own 2 cats?" And he nodded, and said the one that was approaching us has a "brother." At this point, I could care less about the relation of one nasty cat to another, and I was quick to say, "I just want you to know that they attacked me and my dog last week."

And his response was classic...

"Well, normally if you just keep walking, they'll leave you alone." Hmmm...so you're saying that they've attempted this sort of sneaky sabotage in the past?

"Well we were running, and we didn't have time to just 'keep walking.'" I said, somewhat sarcastically and with good reason.

"Yeah, they really like to go after dogs." Wha wha WHAT???

"Well they attacked MY legs, not my dog's."

"Gee, I'm sorry about that, but normally if you just walk away, they'll leave you alone."

At that point, I took Tucker and we just started walking back to our house. Seriously....you are AWARE that your cats like to "go after" dogs, yet you leave them outside in a city where there's literally more dogs than there are people?

WHACK JOB. Anyway, I never thought I'd do it, but if I see them on the street again, I'm going to punt them farther than (insert a super good NFL punter's name here) ever could. Besides, Mark has been, and I quote, "waiting his whole life to kick a cat," so I thought I'd make him proud ! :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My First Post!

This COULD be the beginning of a beautiful relationship...

A relationship between me and my keyboard. I say "could be," because I'm very hopeful that I can stick with this. I NEED to write. I need to. But I don't. I majored in Creative Writing, yet I don't write... So my new blog is a desperate attempt to get moving in a very informal way!

I'm "Denver's Tumbling Leaf" because I'm at a point in my life right now when I need to make some changes. If you know me and have seen my MySpace page, you'll see that recently I've been "Turning over a new leaf." I know I know...how cliche! The complete and utter epitome of cliche. But I've come to learn that there's a reason why things become cliche...because they work so well that people can't help but use them.

The changes? Well, many. And they're probably all pretty cliche as well, but I guess it's all a part of being human. All part of trying to be a better person. So I'm trying to get up earlier. I'm trying to make it to work on time. To train for the Denver marathon (holy altitude, Batman! That's all I'm going to say...) To eat better and significantly reduce my calorie intake since I'm a stress eater (THANKS, MOM!) To be better to my friends. To be better to my dog. To be better to MYSELF.

So I'm tumbling. Not just turning over, but majorly flipping and flopping all over the place. Because I know myself, and I know that I will have many many slip-ups along the way...hence my little leaf turning and twisting again and again and again. And I also know that every day I can start over and turn my leaf as many times as I need to to be happy.

And seriously...how cliche of me to move to Denver from Chicago and turn into a "leaf." Serioulsy Chicago people -- I PROMISE that I'm shaving my legs, showering, and steering clear of the reefer and magic mushrooms!

I hope you'll visit often and say hello. You will all help my little leaf to stay grounded!

Much love,
Chrissy

P.S.
I'd like to thank my awesome friends Jill, Melanie and Jenn for motivating me to create this blog in the first place. I swear -- once I figure out how to link you onto my page, I will! :-)

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