Another Fabulous Christmas in the Books

Happy Sunday, everyone!  Today started out with great news on the family health front and I couldn’t be more grateful.  I’m blessed to have been born into an amazing family, and even more blessed to have married into an equally wonderful one.  Flying high on the good vibes, my husband and I sweat it out at the gym, me focusing on a great low body workout.

Low Body Blast Workout

After the gym, we got cleaned up and had breakfast and worked on a crossword puzzle together.

Fresh Fruit Crepes


After breakfast, I decided that it was time to de-Christmas our house.  It’s always the worst chore to do, so I figured if we started while the motivation was there, it would be done before we knew it.  I read a blog (I’m sorry I’ve forgotten which one!) that showed an ornament storage system that I was looking forward to trying: lining a storage bin with Solo cups, each one housing an ornament.

Expectation: Maybe it will work

Execution & Conclusion: MAJOR success!

Ornament Storage

I put a layer of cardboard over the top of the cups and added a second row.  I was able to condense my decorations down to one bin!  The Christmas tree was taken down and stored in a second bin.  BING, BANG, BOOM!  We’re done!

Christmas Storage

Each year I say this, but it’s true: this was the greatest Christmas ever!  My husband and I have so much to be grateful for and this holiday was no different.  We’re blessed beyond our wildest dreams with wonderful family, supportive and fun friends, an adorable puppy, a warm house to live in, and rewarding jobs.  I know that I am incredibly lucky and I take nothing for granted.  Not everyone has what I have, and I try to remember that before, more times than not it’s during, I complain that other people are less fortunate and worse off than I could ever dream of being.  I hope that you have had a wonderful holiday season and many blessings going into the new year.

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Happy Tuesday!  Before I begin today’s post I want to send my sincerest appreciation and shout out to all the members of the military.  Happy Veterans Day.


Kickstarting the day at the gym is the best medicine for feeling a little frumpish.  I started with an easy run of 3 miles on the treadmill and then complete two rounds of the “Muffin Top Melter” workout.

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It really made me sweat and I was glistening with achievement and a desire for food!!!


While I was eating breakfast at the Metro Diner with my family yesterday, I received a phone call from my admissions counselor at Southern New Hampshire University. (GO PENMAN!)


Alyssa informed me that my FAFSA issues were resolved and I would be officially enrolled in my first two courses by the end of the morning!!!  I am so grateful for her diligent work on ensuring that I would be taken care of before the beginning of the new term, which is Monday the 17th, ya’ll!  Shout out to the Admissions Dept at SNHU – you guys rock!

Later in the day, I received my login information for SNHU’s Blackboard program and downloaded the syllabi for ENG 550 and LIT 500.

SNHU Courses

It looks like I will be doing a lot of reading, a lot of writing, but I am extremely excited about getting start in just a few short days.

Drawing the Line and October Goals Thus Far

In Part One of today’s posting I address the sensitive issue of what subject matter crosses the appropriate and uncomfortable line in fiction.  A student suggested that I read the Chuck Palahniuk book, Haunted.


I am aware of who Palahniuk is and have seen the movie “Fight Club” at least five or six times.  It’s not something I would classify as a favorite, or even one I feel comfortable watching, but I have yet to actually read any of his books.  I promised this student that I would read his book and get back to him.  After reading the first chapter, I immediately decided that this would not be a book that I would continue to read nor discuss with the student who offered it, or any student for that matter.  Without going into graphic detail, let’s just say that if a movie were to be made based on Haunted, it would be given a NC-17 rating at the very least.  It contains strong sexual content, extreme and graphic violence, and subject matters that made me feel like taking a scalding shower after reading it.  I made it 40 pages into the book before I knew that it was not for me.

Not only did I find this upsetting on a personal level, I was concerned about the student who shared it with me.  I’m not worried that his is a cry for help or an alert that he himself would participate in this sort of behavior, but that the content was so graphic and inappropriate, I do not want my students and I to have the connection of knowing or being aware of this material.  It’s the whole, “You know, that I know, that you know” that I want to avoid.

The next day before school, I brought the student the book and said, “Thank you for thinking of me.  I read the first story and would prefer not to continue to read because it’s not my style.”  The student was not offended nor embarrassed.

Part II: October Fitness Goals

So far so good.  I can tell that I’ve increased my number of squats because my legs and tush are a bit sore.  I am still low enough on the burpees score that I haven’t started to hate them…yet.

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