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Archive for July, 2018

 

Michelle & Kat

Michelle’s Birthday Lunch @ Gogi Korean

Ah, the last day of July and what I consider, the last day of summer break. July has been another fabulous month this summer which has been super good to me, so I will not lament that it has come to an end. I’ve enjoyed plenty of awesome experiences this month which included a Kagan Coaching Conference in Orlando, Florida. Attending this conference allowed me to bring my boys to Disney World, and we spent some time at the Disney parks. Animal Kingdom was our favorite.

I also celebrated good times with my fabulous friend Michelle who happens to be a July baby. Korean FoodWe enjoyed Korean food for her birthday lunch followed by rolled ice cream from Roulé for dessert. Other highlights of July were going to the movies (The Incredibles 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Equalizer 2), a museum visit, a concert, a scrapbooking evening with my BFF Shelly, and a lunch date with my friend Kelly Parker LeGrand. This was the first time Kelly and I had seen each other in over 20 years. We talked for hours. My only regret was that we didn’t take any pictures together. Hopefully, it won’t be another 20 years before we have lunch together again.

IMG_1561While I enjoyed much happiness this month, there was also some sadness. My extended family in Utah said good-bye to my sweet Uncle Charles. I feel blessed to have known him and grateful for plenty of fond memories of times spent with him. I can bet he is well established in heaven telling stories and jokes. Rest in peace, Uncle Charles!

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Tower of Terror

I am semi-officially back at work this week meeting with teachers in my new role as an Instructional/Curriculum Coach. I had my first PLC meeting today with the lovely fourth grade teachers. I felt it was successful. Tomorrow is August 1st and Andrew’s 17th birthday, so he and I will celebrate his birth in the evening with dinner at Chili’s. We will officially celebrate him as a family later in the month of August. Until next time, dear reader, stay positive, focused on your dreams, and grateful for all of your blessings. Happiness!

 

“Get your dance on today…move some energy around…visualize everything as you want it to be…Fullness, Completeness…You!”  ~ Sereda Aleta Dailey, The Oracle of Poetic Wisdom

 

 

 

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IMG_1612Last night, my hubby and I attended the Cheap Trick concert in New Orleans at the Saenger Theatre. A few hours before the concert, we checked in at the Copeland Towers. We decided to spend the night in lieu of driving an hour back home after the concert. Dinner was at The Velvet Cactus located off of Harrison Avenue in New Orleans. Andrew and I had eaten there with friends, Jeff and Joanna and their son Jackson, before the Hall & Oates concert back in June. I really enjoyed it, so I suggested we eat an early dinner there before the concert. Barry ordered the Corona Shrimp Tacos (grilled shrimp, Creole slaw, pickled red onion, pico de gallo and topped with chipotle aioli) with a side order of refried beans. IMG_1608I ordered the Cabo Quesadilla (grilled gulf shrimp, applewood bacon, fire-roasted corn, mango, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese) with a side order of chipotle cheese grits. YUM! (I had leftovers which we ate for lunch today.) Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel and watched a little television before getting ready for the concert.

The concert opened with a band from New Orleans called Supagroup.  Neither Barry nor I had ever heard of them; however, they put on a good show with lots of enthusiasm. I guess I would be enthusiastic if I was in a band opening for Cheap Trick. After about 45 minutes and a brief intermission, Cheap Trick took the stage. This was the first time IMG_1619IMG_1625Barry saw Cheap Trick live. I had seen them once before in August of 2009 with Son #1. They had come with Poison and Def Leppard at the New Orleans Arena. Cheap Trick was fantastic that evening, and fantastic last night. I’ve always thought Robin Zander (lead singer) was a cutie. Of course, Rick Nielsen (lead guitarist) wore his iconic cap and played on a slew of custom-made guitars, including a five-neck guitar. He even had a guitar that was a comic book version of himself. Nielsen also enjoyed showering the audience with guitar picks. The group played 18 songs with no encore. It was the first concert that I have ever attended that the band did not play an encore (observation not complaint). They performed all my favorite songs: “If You Want My Love”, “The Flame”, “I Want You to Want Me“, “Dream Police”, and “Surrender” (with Sean Yseult). Sean Yseult is a rock musician that played bass with White Zombie. We learned last night when she took the stage that she is married to the lead singer, Chris Lee, of Supagroup. I’ve always thought female rock musicians are cool, especially if they can shred guitar or play drums. There are not many of them. It was an AWESOME date night with my hubby and Cheap Trick.

In Other News:

img_1616.jpgThis morning, Barry and I picked up my momma and we breakfasted together at District Donuts in the Elmwood area. This was our first time eating breakfast there. I ordered a Miso Praline Bacon and Sunny Side Up Egg with a small mocha latte and a NOLA Cream donut to go. My momma ordered a Brown Butter Drop donut with coffee. My hubby ordered a Breakfast Burrito with a café au lait and a Salted Caramel donut to go. We did not intentionally leave my daddy out on our breakfast excursion. He is currently visiting my sister and her family in Atlanta. However, we did bring home a Chocolate Glazed donut for Andrew. He was sweet enough to take care of the dogs while we were in NOLA for the evening. Sweets for the sweet!

It is back to reality, dear reader. Last weekend, I was in Orlando for a coaching conference. This weekend, I was in New Orleans for a concert. The week in between was busy with work-related activities and flew by rather quickly. The start of the new school year is swiftly approaching, so my schedule will be changing from easy-going to more structured. I will have more of a routine which will hopefully help me with my health and fitness goals. This upcoming week is pretty much my last week to play for the summer. Is the summer break or summer season winding down for you? Are you ready for a new season? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Happiness!

“mommy’s alright
daddy’s alright
they just seem a little weird…”
~ Cheap Trick, “Surrender”

 

 

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On July 6th, my hubby, Andrew, and I drove over to Lafayette to visit the Lafayette Science Museum (formerly the Lafayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium). As we entered the lobby of the museum, we were greeted by an Allosaurus attacking a Camptosaurus. Both of these dinosaurs lived during the Jurassic Period.
Allosaurus

We spent the next two hours walking through various exhibits. Our first stop was at the atrium on the first floor where we saw a display of fossil casts of an American mastodon (Mammut americanum), two saber-toothed cats (Smilodon), and a giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum) from the Cenozoic Period. A fact about the American mastodon, that I found fascinating, was one was discovered near the Trappey food canning plant in Lafayette in 1970. It was called the Trappey mastodon.
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Barry-Virtual RealityOur next stop was the Virtual Reality Laboratory where all three of us took turns putting on special headgear to experience a science theme. There were several people at this exhibit, so we only participated in the space station. Afterwards, we ventured through the Energy Unearthed (The Science of Petroleum Exploration) exhibit where there was a collection of rocks and minerals. One of the minerals on display was garnet which is my birthstone. Before leaving the geology exhibit, we passed a fossil of Megatylopus (extinct giant camel). According to the museum, it was found in Oregon and acted similarly to a giraffe. We also walked by the Geology Lab which had a gigantic prehistoric whale hanging from the ceiling. Amazing!

The second floor of the museum is home to “The Crawl Space.” There were skeletons (bat, snake) and skulls from a variety of animals native to Louisiana: a racoon, a turtle, a fox, and a deer to name a few. There were also animals (grizzly bear, bobcat, beaver) on display that had been stuffed. To complete the collection, there was a skull of a juvenile, female Sei whale. She had beached on Marsh Island on the coast of Louisiana and was recovered by Louisiana’s Wildlife and Fisheries Department.  IMG_1554However, the neatest part of this section was the live insects, centipedes, and arachnids on display. My most favorite creepy-crawly was the tarantula, and my least favorite was the Madagascar hissing cockroach. And, just around the corner was Stegosaurus which happens to be my most favorite dinosaur ever. Stegosaurus is also from the Jurassic Period.

 

Before heading back downstairs to learn about Nanotechnology, we visited the Air & Spacecraft exhibit and the Meteorites exhibit. Interestingly, there have only been three meteorites found in Louisiana. Unfortunately, there was not a Planetarium Program for us to watch during our visit; however, the museum’s website does have a section under Planetarium called “Observe the Sky.” There are handouts, checklists, guides, and star maps available under this tab that will allow the astronomer in you to explore the night sky right from your backyard. Andrew-virtual realityOur last activity at the museum was another virtual reality encounter. It was about the evolution of the Internet. As you can see from the picture above, there was a television screen showing you what the person (Andrew) with the headgear was experiencing.

Andrew & PigUpon the recommendation of the receptionist at the museum, we decided to eat lunch at Dwyer’s Café which was within walking distance of the museum. Leaving the museum, we encountered a man walking his pig. Yes, a pig! And, it was adorable. After we all petted the pig, my hubby, Andrew, and I walked over to the restaurant. Our lunches were delicious and quite filling, so we walked around the downtown area for a little bit before heading back home.

Dear reader, we had an enjoyable day not only learning about different areas of science, but also exploring another part of our state. If you happen to be in the Lafayette area and have a couple of hours to kill, check out the Lafayette Science Museum. The admission is reasonable, it has a small store to purchase science related items, and you might just find yourself running into a man walking his pig. Happiness!

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” ~ Edwin Hubble

 

 

 

 

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Bird

a feathered friend on one of my walks this week

Three revelations last weekend prompted me to take action on the morning of July 1st. The first “aha” moment was Jessica N. Turner’s Facebook post on Saturday morning. Jessica writes a blog called The Mom Creative. She posted a selfie of herself on her morning walk as documentation of making no more excuses about taking care of herself. I found it inspiring.

The second lightbulb moment was admitting to you, dear reader, in my second quarterly review that I had not completed any of my remaining 13 items on my 18 for 2018 list which includes losing 18 pounds. Acknowledging to you in my last post that I am failing at this task made me feel uncomfortable.

The third revelation came in the guise of a TedTalk by Laura Vanderkam who writes about time management. After telling a story about a woman dealing with a busted hot water heater and the time she spent dealing with it, Laura made a few important points in her talk that resonated with me.

  • “Time is highly elastic.”
  • “Time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.”
  • “The key to time management is treating our priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater.”
  • “I don’t have time,” often means “It’s not a priority.”

WalkSubsequently, I dragged my booty out of bed the next morning, took a selfie of myself making the commitment, and walked for an hour. After walking, I documented my starting weight at 158 pounds. I dug in a kitchen cabinet and pulled out my “pounds to go” and “pounds lost” containers. Diligently, I counted out 18 marbles, dropped them all in the “pounds to go” container, and sat both containers on my kitchen counter. This means that by 31 December 2018, I will need to weigh at least 140 pounds. There is no more “I don’t have time” because taking care of my health is important, and it is time for me to make my health a priority.

 

It has been one week, and I am proud to announce that I have walked every day this week. One day I even walked twice (morning and evening). In addition to walking, Andrew and I played tennis yesterday morning with my friends Pam and Kathryn. I also weighed in this morning. I have not lost any weight (still 158 pounds) and had not anticipated losing any since I am not keeping a food journal at this time. However, I did cut back on added sugar: no sodas, no honey in my green tea, no candy, or sweets…except on Friday at lunch (a slice of strawberry pie made its way into my belly). Although I am limiting processed foods, I am still eating carbs.  For now, I am focusing on moving every day and making my commitment to exercise. I MUST also increase my water intake. In a few weeks, I will set up my food journal and start tracking what I eat. Then, I’ll have to make the commitment to eating clean the majority of the time for the rest of my life. It will be incredibly hard because I enjoy food especially the foods that pack on the pounds.

Well, dear reader, it appears that you will be my accountability partner…again. I’ve successfully lost weight before; however, this time I not only need to lose the weight, but I also need to keep it off for the long term. Please feel free to “weigh in” with any words of wisdom or encouragement. Oh, and if you are struggling with making time for your priorities, check out Laura Vanderkam’s TedTalk which is less than 12 minutes. Happiness!

“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” ~ Ovid

 

 

 

 

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