Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome to the Year!

What an exciting first day we had today!  I saw many smiles and no tears, and I'm hopeful that everyone went home feeling like Sells will be an amazing place for them.  I'm positive that it will be.

Today, I'm kicking off my new blog.  The blog my students and I used last year is based on aging technology, so the tech folks tell me that I need to move to something new.  I'm bummed that you probably won't get to see my former students' work, but I'm looking forward to everything you'll have to offer! Let's take a few minutes to think back on today, and for me to answer some of your burning questions.


On our first day, we took care of many "housekeeping" tasks (tour, checking schedules, going through the handbook, filling out planners for the first time), and we also had our first chance to get to know each other.  I've really enjoyed reading your "Most Important Fact About Me," and I'm laughing out loud at some of the questions you've asked me.  Here are a few of the most common/most laugh-worthy:

My Cats
Oh man, y'all are super interested in my cats.  I get the sense that we have a lot of animal lovers in our classes -- hurrah! So, as you could see, I have three cats: Ellie, Newman, and Ruby.  Newman and Ellie are both eight years old, and Ruby is three years old.

Ellie came to us first, from my then-boyfriend's (now he's my husband) parents' farm in Xenia.  I was fresh out of college (2004 -- how old you were you? Three?), and I wanted my first cat.  The timing was perfect, because my husband's mom had been taking care of the sweetest little farm kitty -- itty bitty, fuzzy, and very chatty.  There was something special about this cat, and sadly, the cat's mother abandoned her, so I took her in when she was just a few weeks old.  We spent many late nights together, as I moved her from canned milk to regular food, and a year later, Ellie moved with me to Columbus.

So, I had one cat.  In March of my first year of teaching, another Sells teacher was getting married, and his fiancee' was allergic to cats.  He sent an email with pictures of two cats, I went over and met Newman, and his "love me love me love me" personality won me over.

Now, I had two cats.

Several years later, we were browsing Petfinder, ooh-ing and aah-ing at all of the cute adoptables.  I honestly don't remember what inspired the next step, but for some reason, we just had to (had to!) take a look at a sweet dark gray cat named Susan.  (You're confused here. It's okay. Stay with me.)  My husband called up the shelter, found out that "Susan" was still adoptable, and decided to pay her a visit.  Just to look, of course.  When he showed up, he said that he was there to see "Susan," and lo and behold, they pulled out ... Ruby.

Not a dark gray cat. Not the one we were looking at all. But how could he say no to this purring, kissing, darling kitten?

Then, we had three cats. I love all of them equally.

I've been running since 2008, when I trained for my first half marathon through a program called Team in Training.  TNT is an organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which fights cancer.  I had never, ever run a complete mile, instead spending my childhood and high school years on swim teams.

Turns out, I really prefer running.  I suspect it's because I can socialize while I train, unlike in swim practices, when I would have to stare for hours at a black line at the bottom of the pool. Now, I usually train for half marathons, but I've also done the Warrior Dash, a handful of 5Ks, a few 10Ks, and -- get this -- a 5K stroller race with Zoe.

I run just about every morning before school (which means I have to get up around 4:45 ... I am a morning person!), and it really is fun and a great stress reliever.  When I was pregnant with Zoe, I was able to run right up until the end of my pregnancy, and I am hopeful that I'll be able to do the same this time around.

I hadn't been out of the country until my honeymoon, so for those of you who haven't done much traveling, don't fret -- you have the rest of your life to travel. I hardly traveled as a child, so I was really excited to find that my husband and I both enjoyed it.  When we went to Europe, we traveled to England (London), France (Paris), Germany (Munich, including some castles! Super cool), Austria (Salzburg, including the Sound of Music tour. Amazing!), and Italy (Rome, Florence, and Venice).  We saw as much as we could, ate a lot of cheap food, did laundry in bathtubs and sinks, and really enjoyed our time together.  We've traveled to North Carolina and Michigan with Zoe (and we often travel to Cincinnati to see my family, too), but I think most of our traveling will be finished for a few years!

New York is my favorite city, partly because one of my best friends lives there, and partly because I just love spending a few days in a place that's so different from what I'm used to.  I could never take the pace of big city life full-time, but for small portions, I love the craziness of the subway, the abundance of ethnic foods, the huge buildings, and the sights that you can only see in New York City.

Odds and Ends
Zoe's age: 18 months

My husband's name: Brett. Mr. Taylor. :)

My husband's job: He used to be a lawyer; now he is a full-time sports writer and editor, focusing on the Chicago Cubs. I love baseball, and I also enjoy college football.

The new baby: We do know if we're having a boy or girl, but we aren't telling anyone until we have our next ultrasound in October.

My favorite book: Hm, I can't pick a favorite of all time, so I'll pick recent favorites.   Realistic fiction: Wonder or Okay for Now.  Science fiction: The Line.   Humor: Fake Mustache.  Historical fiction: Weedflower


We'll talk soon about opportunities for you to be guest bloggers and to participate through comments.  If you'd like to comment, you'll need to do it via your parents, either on their email address or with their permission.

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