Rosie is sleeping in her special spot on the sofa. I can hear my neighbors grandchildren riding by on their bicycles. There is caramel coffee in my cup. The light outside my deck window is fading.
In the words of Zac Brown.....
"Life is good today...."
While I have to admit that this has been a week full of personal setbacks, I continue to move forward on my life's journey with strong resolve.....especially on the professional front. This summer I explored some new opportunities--which I will share in a future post...and stepped way outside my comfort zone to travel and experience things I've had on my bucket list for a long while. Yes, it monopolized a lot of my time in July, but it all made me a better teacher, collaborator, and person.
Tonight as I reflect on all that has transpired in this "Zen Summer of Jen 2015," it seems fitting to join Farley's CURRENTLY party and share a little slice of my August life so far...
Even though the stereo speakers and turntable that served me well during my high school and college years are in my garage, I keep this album on my dresser as a daily reminder ....
"You've got to get up every morning,
with a smile on your face
and show the world
all the love in your heart.
Then people are gonna treat you better.
You're gonna find, yes you will.
That you're beautiful
as you feel....."
Most of the songs on Carole King's Tapestry album align to milestones or moments in my life that have inspired, changed, or moved me. Tonight I am singing along to these lyrics and smiling.....
"My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue.
An ever-changing vision with an
A wondrous, woven magic,
in bits of blue and gold.
A tapestry to feel and see,
impossible to hold...."
Organizing my to-do lists, class roster, parent newsletters, and data sheets will be all the more pleasant this year because of these groovy file folders I found on one of my many excursions to the local teacher store this week. The peace signs and flower power just makes the Hippie Chick in me happy!
My wild plan for tomorrow evening is to fire up my laminator and prep the bajillion nametags and labels needed to help make Room #2 a welcoming, rock 'n roll-themed learning space. Two of my best friends have volunteered to help cut and trim everything. I convinced them by sharing this
favorite meme of mine!
I am counting down the seconds, minutes, and hours until I get to enjoy our family's "Cousin Camp" on Labor Day weekend. My son and daughter will join my sister's children at their lake cottage for a reunion of epic proportions! The vintage photos above depict Hayley in her favorite Little Mermaid bathing suit, and Eamonn with his trusty Ninja Turtle sword back in the days when I used to host the event.
It will be great fun to have everyone together now that our kids are all young adults! Guitars will come out at bonfire time, voices will be raised in harmony, and we will sing Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline and Don McClean's American Pie loudly and proudly.
My goal for this year is to create a thriving community of readers in my classroom. I hope to blog more about it as time goes on and share the magic. I will look to Donalyn Miller's book for inspiration again and again. These two quotes explain why.....
Last year was a hard one for my building staff. New tests to give, new state evaluations to survive, new curriculum mandates to muddle through.....
In June, we were all mostly downtrodden and exhausted. The crayons in our personal boxes were broken and worn down.
As my colleagues gear up for our new beginning on August 18th, I plan to "find my marigold" as recommended in this wise and honest post from Jennifer Gonzalez over at
By doing so, I hope to help keep those around me confident, colorful, positive, and happy so that our students can benefit more from their positive vibe. I am going to fill these fun tins that I found at the Target Dollar Spot with small stress-relievers, and hopefully shine a little light in their lives.
Know that am sending sunshine and smiles across the miles to you, today and always. Thank you for allowing me to share my stories and songs. Continue to teach your children well and show kindness whenever you can....