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2016.

1st January 2016

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So, we’re here. Made it through another 365 days of moments. Some boring, some bonkers, and some fun.

2015 was an interesting one for me. I finished up my first year as a head teacher and started the second one with even more responsibilities than before. I moved all of my stuff out of my childhood bedroom and into the basement, which was far more painful than I ever could have imagined. I got married. I got married! I’m a wife now! How the hell did that even happen? I still can’t believe it.

I thought of chronicling my wedding experience here–the planning, the chaos, the celebrations–but it just never happened. Never seemed like I had the time and then all of a sudden months passed and I wasn’t even sure if it made sense to post anymore.

Looking back on this little space, I think I spent a lot of time thinking that maybe my happy moments weren’t worth posting. I think I let too many outside forces convince me that this wasn’t a safe place for me anymore. And that’s sad. Because it doesn’t matter who reads this blog, it should be a place of joy. It should also be a place to unleash some sadness. Not quite the same as the online journals of old (Livejournal, I miss you every day), but a place of freedom.

I miss typing. I miss connecting with people. I miss the community. I miss making posts about nothing, just because.

When considering goals for 2016, I know some major things I need to focus on:

1. Do what makes me happy.
2. Stop overthinking every goddamn thing.
3. Stop making excuses.
4. Follow the fuck through.

Curse words are necessary because they are emphatically delicious. I want to hold myself accountable for my words, thoughts, and actions. I want to have an idea and see it through. I want to fill notebooks with ramblings, both good and bad. I want to have more moments like this…with my dog curled up at my feet, the smell of a candle burning nearby, and the squeaks of the floorboards above me as my parents mill about the house.

In 2016, I’ll turn 30. Seems like a good time to do what makes me happy. To stop over thinking every goddamn thing. To stop making excuses. And to follow the fuck through, Cristina.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”–T.S. Eliot

All along the undertow is strengthening its hold…

24th April 2014

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Well, crap. It’s been a month! A busy one, despite spending more than a week on spring break, there was a lot going on. Birthdays to attend. Obligations to fulfill. Church. Family. Wedding stuff. Life. Always, life.

The good:
• Getting to sleep past 4:45 in the morning.
• Cuddling with my dog.
• Spending almost all week hanging out with Steven.
• Baking! There are so many Adventures in Cooking posts planned. Four!
• Some exercise.
• My bestie made it back from Brazil! She is alive and happy and full of God and inspiration. It’s a beautiful thing.
• A delicious lunch with my girlies at Bedford Post Inn.
• Wedding planning!

The bad:
• My grandma has cancer again. Ovarian cancer is highly unpredictable and aggressive. She’s gone through one round of chemo and she has another round tomorrow. Depending on how things go, they may just stop altogether and start providing her with comfort care. It’s hard to think about.
• Wedding planning!

The ugly:
• That time I burst into tears at the sight of myself in a bridesmaid dress. I’m pretty good at choosing outfits that look okay for my body type and I’m a fan of a lot of aspects of my overweight body, but damn. Seeing myself in the dress I’ll be wearing to my cousin’s wedding? No bueño. I haven’t felt that kind of body image sadness in a long time.
• Wedding planning!

And now, some pictures…
Love note.
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Baking with the kiddies.
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Perfection.
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New favorite dress.
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A project I did back in college. We analyzed ten separate frames of a film. I really miss my film studies classes.
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Treats for our nephew’s first birthday. How amazing is this?
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Heaven.
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Kindergarten: Month One

10th October 2013

I thought of making this a weekly post series, but who am I kidding? I spend all week living and breathing this crazy job of mine and sometimes, I don’t want to take time to reflect. Sometimes I just want to leave everything in the Bronx and forget that I’m even a teacher. So yeah…it’s been that kind of month.

I long for the day I feel “settled” in a job. I guess maybe that was my second year at my previous job, where I felt ready, energized, and excited for everything that was headed my way. A new job is an entirely new beginning. The setting is very different. The atmosphere is different. I feel like of the month that we’ve been in school, there have only been a handful of good days. All of my kids are awesome in their own way, but there are five or six that switch on and off a few times every hour. One second they’re fine…working with peers, collaborating peacefully, and then BAM. They’re done. They’re loud. They’re running around the classroom. They’re hitting. They’re screaming. And I don’t understand what is going on. There are definitely some undiagnosed behavioral and cognitive issues. That’s not new for me. What is new is having so many of these personalities in one room.

I’m hoping, begging, pleading that we’ll resolve as many of these issues as soon as possible, so that we can get some kick ass work done. There are little moments throughout the day, hints of good things. Children remembering what “work” time is all about. Children reminding others about what to do in the classroom. Children asking really great questions or making insightful comments. Ugh, kindergarteners. Why do you drive me so insane? What can I do to help you?

I hate, hate, hate that I’ve spent the last few weeks “working for the weekend.” I don’t want that to be my life. One bad week is normal, but things have been consistently tough and full of tears on the way home. Not good. I also hate how much I miss my old job, but I do. I think I mostly miss the camaraderie and feeling of family. Starbucks runs, team building, and being able to vent, laugh, and inspire in the teacher’s room. Le sigh.

But I don’t want to end this post with negativity. No, thank you. Every day is a new day. Every week is a new week. I just have to keep going and focus on the positive.

So…
1. Seeing work spread out on mats. This feels like coming home.
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2. Peace day flag.
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3. I love how much my kids love singing. (And how quickly it settles them down.)

4. This kid and his amazing art. He tells some really fanciful tales!
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5.Honestly? Nap time.

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Random thoughts on a Friday night…

29th June 2013

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I’m sitting in my aunt’s guest bedroom in Florida. There are strange noises coming from outside, my body is feeling sore from all of the sun, and I’m enjoying the peace that comes from being alone in a room. Good times. I keep thinking about when I was here last summer, the first summer I’ve spent here without my grandma. Last year I had a full on panic attack complete with desperate crying, scrambling for air and clinging onto my bed sheets in an attempt to calm myself down. Not so good times. I think it helps that I know I’m only here for a few days, but it’s also nice to have more family around. Spent a day at the beach, spent a day in Sarasota, and tomorrow we’ll have a full day in Spring Hill. Sunday it’s back to New York to really kick off my summer at home.

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Here are some random things I’ve been thinking about lately:

1. Before I left for Florida, I treated myself to a mani/pedi. I’m not someone who likes to be touched by strangers, but I do always feel a little pampered after I’ve had my nails done. Even after a DIY job (which is the way things are most of the time). I went to the salon and the only person available was a young man. He was very nice and had a killer koi tattoo on his arm, but I have to say the whole thing was a little weird. I let a complete stranger rub his hands all over my calves, feet, and eventually hands. Those massages? Strangely intimate. And I paid for it! At least he did a nice job and I distracted myself by talking about tattoos for a bit. (BTW, the color in the picture doesn’t accurately represent what the shade looks like. It’s Clambake by Essie.)

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2. I kind of hate myself for falling into every “my loved one died” cliche, but whenever I’m in my grandma’s house (grandpa’s house now, I guess), I look for things of hers to smell and touch. I keep opening up her medicine cabinet and makeup drawers, hoping it’ll make me feel a little closer to her. There are little traces of her here and there, but it’s not the same. It makes me miss her even more.

3. A high school friend tagged me in a post last week making it official: It’s been ten years since I graduated from high school. It really doesn’t feel like it’s been ten years. I certainly didn’t expect that this would be my life at 27. I should probably expand on this at some point, considering I just wrote a paragraph about a mani/pedi. Hmm.

4. Grateful to have someone to take care of my dog and send me pictures like this. Oh, Mason.
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5. I’m also grateful for all of the lovely connections I’ve made through various fandoms and social media communities. There is nothing quite like getting a concert call from some of your favorite people who are watching one of your favorite bands. Makes me long for my days of heart hands and boy bands.

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What Dancers Want: Broadway Confidential

1st January 2011


(Originally published in Dance Retailer News, January 2011)

Interviews:
Rosie Lani Fiedelman
Stephanie Klemons
Luis Salgado
Leslie McDonel

Download: WDW-January 2011