It’s really hard to believe that this year will commence seven years as a classroom teacher! That very first day of year one continues to remain a vivid memory as I stood before my class inwardly shaking and outwardly scared. A lot changes in seven years in a classroom. In many ways, I am more confident than ever to start and in others I still feel fresh, new, and inexperienced. Perhaps that is why this profession is so exciting. No year, no class, no single day is ever the same. I might be teaching United States history again, but each time it’s better, each time it’s different, and each time the context around the course shifts and provides an excellent landscape to tap for real world applications. The impending primaries and elections are ripe for teaching American history. To say I am excited is an understatement. Cracking open my neat, new notebook to jot down project ideas, field trips, and lessons is the most satisfying first act of the school year. After a long summer break, I do feel rested, I feel more creative, and I feel ready to meet the new kiddos, their questions, their challenges, their curiosity, and their passions.
And just when I am ready to race my car over to the school, hop out and charge up the hill to that first day of classes, I think of my little boy who I will have to drop off at daycare and I cry. I weep. My throat closes in saddness. Mommies, does this ever get easier? I feel so much guilt and grief for leaving Henry and pain for missing him and the first day hasn’t even started yet!
Ever notice how when you eat at home for a stretch of time you start to feel really good?! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a deliciously decadent meal out, but I have found that too much dining out leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated. Enter a summer simple summer dinner. This meal is one of the easiest dishes and because it is light and flaky you just feel good after too. Mmmmm this was quite yummy!
16 oz halibut cut into four filets
3 Lbs of leeks, sliced and cleaned
1 carton cherry tomatoes cut in half
Olive oil, salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 450. Scatter the leeks along the bottom of casserole dish. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and turn on the broiler high. Lay the halibut on top of leeks, top with tomatoes, and drizzle with more olive oil and salt and pepper. Broil for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!!!
So it has been a little while since I shared a health and fitness update. It has killed me to not inundate this blog with daily updates, but I remind myself that not everyone is as excited about fitness as I am these days!! What I have discovered is that everyone is interested in health and wellness, particularly their own. This has led to so many beautiful, honest, and raw conversations. I have been so moved by what friends, family, and strangers have been willing to share about their experiences with health and fitness and humbled by their dreams and goals for healthier habits. This road is not one paved by perfection, but rather by small steps toward progress.
By focusing on myself and my family this summer, I have seen an amazing transformation in what we do with our free time, in how we approach eating, and in how we talk about our selves and dreams. It is funny how when you nourish your soul with whole foods and your body with activity the ripple into every other corner of your life is unexpected and kind of awesome. And, working with my first group of challengers has demonstrated to me truly that community helps foster accountability not through shame but through joy for one another’s successes and in caring for one another when we stumble. I am loving this “job” because it truly fosters and feeds my life right now and I see it doing the same for those around me. Yes, I am strong enough to do some push-ups now but I also feel a mental and spiritual strength that I don’t know if I truly ever felt before.
So my update is simple. This summer has been great, not because it was perfect (Henry learned to tantrum and teethed enough to have gotten 100 teeth, I skipped an exercise or two, I have had chocolate cake and wine too, haha) but because overall the habit shift, mindset shift, and fitness shift has been rooted in a real belief that I and my family and my community deserve the very best and that I know I can do this! I am proud, really proud these days. Not in a gloaty way, but in a wow this feels good and whoa look at you for doing it kinds of way!
What is better than a solid cookout in the summer? Not much!
David is our head grill-master, and he has been taking charge over some delicious main courses. Our latest and greatest was definitely this whole grilled chicken. I learned that de-boning a whole chicken is a little gross and very messy. But the end result was superb!
As with most (if not all) grilling recipes it is simple, fast, leaves behind little mess to clean up!
Take a whole chicken and cut it into pieces: wings, thighs, legs, breast. In a bowl mix together two tablespoons vinegar, 6 gloves of diced garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, teaspoon paprika, teaspoon salt, teaspoon of pepper and coat the chicken rubbing it into the skin. Let us sit in the marinade for 30 mins up to overnight. Grill the chicken for about 25 minutes in both sides or until thermometer read 165 for each piece. Some pieces (i.e. Breasts) will take longer to cook.