Sunday, November 28, 2010

Give Thanks, with a greatful heart...

The past two weeks for me have been filled with fun, friends, family and Many blessings!
The Month of November was really my first month since Marathon life, eating like a bird, and other schedule swallowing things, that I have had free weekends to go out and spend time with my friends! I had my first glass of wine since April! Needless to say...I'm a bit of a light weight... :)My friends have been incredible through everything. It's so fun to get to go out with them now and relax...

Molly and I even decided to have a super improptu, spontaneous pot luck dinner, last weekend. In two hours we had the house ready with 8 people expected to attend our dinner. As we were preparing the meal we decided we should be wearing aprons (compliments of Molly's large collection). When the boys arrived they felt slighted and wanted aprons of their own. What troopers...they wore them all evening.

Last week my students did presentations over their expedition on their community of Edwardsville. When their original audience from another elementary school cancelled on us we rallied together and put together a new presentation. The presentations were put on for the mayor, superintendent, newspaper, and every grade level in the school. It was pretty amazing when they put their work all together. Great displays of their incredible learning. So proud!

Finally it was Thanksgiving break. Sad, that I would not be in Rhode Island I was still excited to be home for Thanksgiving.
Dad, Lisa, and I ran the Thanksgiving day race. Day was the fastest in his age usual! I had a personal Record. 5k in 26:17. I was pretty excited. My speed work has paid off. Now lets see if I can do the half next weekend in under 2 hours! :)

We had a wonderful meal, just the four of us, and then had friends over to play games! It was a lovely Thanksgiving....and yes...I enjoyed a small piece of pumpkin dessert!
The Thanksgiving weekend ended with an evening with friends, ice skating at crown center!
The holiday season has officially begun....and I AM EXCITED! God is so good and I could not be more thankful, or feel more blessed!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Marriage of Donuts and Muffins

Eileen here. Of all the fall baked goods that I have concocted in the last few months, the one that stands out as the most additively delectable would have to be The Donut Muffin. It's not very autumn-y, not an ounce of pumpkin in sight (thought that WOULD be good... challenge acCEPted!), although I did take it upon myself to add 2-3 times more cinnamon than this recipe call for.

For your viewing/baking pleasure:

Donut Muffins:
* 1 3/4 cup flour
* 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 3/4 cup milk

For the topping:

* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. In another medium bowl, stir together the oil, sugar, egg, and milk.Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan and bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. While the muffins are baking, melt the butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar. When the muffins are done, carefully remove them from the pan. While they are still warm, dip each one first into the melted butter, and then in the cinnamon-sugar to coat. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

(Adapted from

In other news, my new job at Mt Holyoke College is amazing! I love my classes, my co-workers, my office and my view!

The only downside is that the college is 90 miles away from Waltham, so I drive out there on Monday mornings and don't come back till Thursday evening. The upside to this downside is that the Hills have generously allowed me to stay in their guest house "The Barn" in East Longmeadow, which cuts down on my commute time by about 2 hours per day! This set up has also taught me to not take my time with Matt for granted, and I always get really excited to drive home on Thursdays! With all the driving I've been doing these last few months, Zippy (aka The Plum), my trusty Honda Civic recently rolled over to 100,000 thousand miles!

Also, I had to inform Matt that since this is a) my dream job, and b) in the most beautiful part of Massachusetts, he may want to consider a post-doc or faculty job our here once he graduates. I mean, I picked out our future house and everything, so how can he argue?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In honor of Veterans Day...

 Johnny Cash/Marty Robbins - Song of the Patriot .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

I just wanted to say how much I appreciate what the men and women who are serving our country sacrifice for our safety. No matter what the turmoil within our country is politically, there have always been that choice few people who are willing to step up, put their lives on the line, and defend our freedom. I am proud to have two of them in our family.

I Love you both, Katie and Daddy. Thanks for everything you do.


Monday, November 1, 2010

I usually hate this Holiday...

So I'm usually a huge grinch when it comes to Halloween. I hate the costumes peo
ple come up these days and everyone always annoys me.... Well this year was different.

My Halloween weekend began on Friday at school. My third grade teammate and I dressed up as things 1 & 2 from the Cat in the Hat. The kiddos loved it! It was such fun do be a dork with my team mate all day! We got a note from one of the students thanking us for dressing up. She said she had never had a teacher dress up and it was so fun for her...and that is why I love my job!
Then we had Halloween parties at school. Crazy but such fun! My students were so cute in their outfits! One kid was jar of Pickles! I had to take a picture...How did she know about my relationship with pickles!?!

So after the crazy school day was over I hopped in the car and traveled five hours to visit James! It's been two years of him up there in Law school and I've been a horrible best friend and I've never gone to visit. James loves dressing up for Halloween and call it coincidence but this year he decided to be a penguin! (For those of you who don't know James and I....we LOVE penguins. We've always shared this bond)

James and I went to Law school fun events with friends! I, for the first time, enjoyed Halloween festivities. I did however enjoy looking at all the undergrads in constumes...I forgot that when dressing up for Halloween you don't actually wear a lot of clothing in college. I was supposed to be a slutty penguin...silly me!
Saturday Morning I woke up and took myself on a beautiful run through the Campus and University of Iowa!
James and I then joined up with his Law School friends for a pre game tailgate and then went the football game! James rocked the penguin costume the whole day! :) I was dressed up as a hawkeye fan for the day! :) What a great game though!

Saturday night, James and I were beat from going going going. We enjoyed a relaxing dinner at a restaurant on the water, then went for a walk, rented a movie, and went home! It was the perfect relaxing evening. Just spending time together like old times! It was wonderful!

I left Sunday morning. Driving home I could only smile, for multiple reasons:
1. I had an amazing relaxing weekend with an old dear friend. James and I needed that quality time together! I've missed him!
2. I got away from life for a weekend and sorted through some thoughts in my head.
3. Stepped outside my comfort zone and made myself participate in Halloween festivities!
4. Enjoyed the incredible weather all weekend!

Hey check it out....I blogged promptly!
Documented! I win!

I love Fall!