Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 59 Things that make me smile - Home

Seven years ago,  I left a TLA meeting to go do a final walk through and sign the paperwork to my new townhome.  It seems like yesterday that I moved in here - but over the years, I have made it mine, home.  As I sit here in on the couch with my pup snuggled in next to me in my living room, I look around at all I have and smile.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 58 Things that make me smile - My Sister Margrette

Happy birthday to my sister Margrette.   I grew up following in her footsteps in many ways throughout the years - sometimes that was good, sometimes it was hard.  I have always looked up to her.  Through the years, Margrette has always been there for me when I needed her, she is a very special person and I love her a lot.  So today is Margrette's special day and that makes me smile.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 57 Things that make me smile - Another great season

Tonight brought a heartbreaking ending to the Benilde St. Margaret Hockey season - 3-2 loss in double overtime...

This is the third season I have watched Ben play on the Benilde Hockey team.  Each year I have tried to make it to as many games as I can - this season, weather and work excluded, I made it to most of the games.  While there have been ups and downs this year, I so enjoy watching Ben and his teammate play.  They are great group to watch and I can't wait til next year and tonight thinking back on the season, I am smiling.  (Side note:  Ben if you read this, I am very proud of you.  Love you lots! Auntie)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 56 - Things that make me smile - "The Barn"

Williams Arena - otherwise know as "the Barn"  is home to the Minnesota Golden Gopher basketball team.  I have watched basketball games in many places, but this is by far my favorite place.

Tonight I got to go to the Minnesota/Iowa game with my brother Jerome tonight - it was a good game, but it is the atmosphere - from the cheering student section to the mascot basketball game to the band playing the Rouser to the cheering crowd - that made the Barn alive tonight and that made me smile.  (Thanks Jerome for inviting me)

Mascot Basketball Game

Go Gophers!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 55 Things that make me smile - Ella's Pig

Ella has a lot of toys, but her favorite since she was little, is her pig.  She has loved this pig since it was bigger than her.  It is her go to toy - I can ask her to go get her pig and she will go find it and bring it to me - no matter where she left it last.  Tonight I needed to play and sure enough the toy of choice was her pig.  We played tug of war, fetch and hide the pig - after all the playing, I had one tired pup - and tonight that made me smile.

pics of Ella and her pig through the years...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day 54 Things that make me smile - Time with a friend

My friend Judi is a principal in the school district where I work.  While we see each other in meetings, it has been a long time since we have been able to visit and catch up.  This weekend I was fortunate to be able to not only go to the Panther Gala with her last night, I got to go to dinner and Mamma Mia with her tonight.  It has been a fun two nights at two different events and that makes me smile tonight.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 53 Things that make me smile - Panther Foundation Gala

The Panther Foundation is an organization that supports Spring Lake Park Schools.  Each spring they host a Gala to raise money for projects within our district.  Silent auction, live auction, fund a dream, raffle and dinner make up this fun evening.  In addition to raising money for a our students, I also got to spend time with great people that I don't get to see as often as I would like.  Thinking about the night as I sit here makes me smile tonight.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 52 Things that make me smile - Dogs Life

It is my opinion, but my Ella has a pretty good life.  She sleeps, eats, plays and get lots of love and snuggles.  Today due to the snow I worked from home - I watched her throughout the day fighting my computer for a spot close by to nap, moving blankets into the perfect nest to nap and maneuvering for a belly rub while, you guessed it napping.  It is a simple life she leads, but she has a strong purpose.  Reflecting on her simple life makes me smile tonight.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 51 Things that make me smile - Ella's birthday

Six years ago today, Ella was born!  Officially she was Andora's Shih Poo Female #1 (Charity) when I got info from the breeder - When I got her she was only 2 lbs., now at 11 lbs, she runs this house - she is very spoiled  loved.  Tonight she celebrated with some chicken and a new toy.  She is my buddy and loves me unconditionally - and tonight celebrating my little one makes me smile.

I got several pics from the breeder from this litter, this is the one I knew belonged to me.

One of the first days home.

She was so tiny.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 50 Things that make me smile - Powerball winner

On my way home tonight while I was talking with my mom, I remembered that the Powerball was up again and felt the need to get a ticket.  So I stopped and bought 3 quick pick tickets - $6.  On the way home I dreamed about what I would do with my big winnings.  A new house? A trip?  What would be first thing I would buy?  Tonight when the numbers were called and I checked my tickets - first ticket I had the Powerball - I was a winner - only $4, but a winner and tonight that made me smile.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day 49 Things that make me smile - Next Issue

I love magazines!  I used to buy 3-4 magazines a week (or more).  A little over a year ago I saw an advertisement for Next Issue - kind of a NetFlix for magazines.  So I tried it and I love it!  There are 2 pay models - $9.99 a month for basic which includes monthly magazines about 121 magazine titles and $14.99 for unlimited which includes over 133 magazines monthly and weekly magazine titles.  When I thought about it, I was spending about 10-15 dollars a week on magazines so I went with the unlimited subscription.  I love it!  I have access at anytime to over 133 magazines from Time to People and Oprah to Real Simple - plus there are digital bonus pieces too.  So tonight I am feeling like a entertainment so I am going to cuddle in with People and then US Weekly - and that makes me smile tonight. (for those that ask if I miss being able to tear out pages with recipes or ideas - I just take screenshots of the pages)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Day 48 Things that make me smile - Kid directed learning

When the subject you are interested in is what you are learning about you are motivated and interested in taking it to the next level.  Today had two instances with my nieces and nephew where this rang true.

Anna and Emma love arts and crafts.  Today with the help of their dad, they started their own blog.  They started by just posting pictures of crafts and also posted 2 how to videos.   As they work through the process of their blog, I will be excited to not only their projects, but also how they learn and refine their blogging process and video skills.

Jerome and I were chatting at one of Ben's games recently about his next computer.   At the time, I was sure he was leaning towards a laptop.  Today when I asked him about it, he said he is planning on building his own computer.  He thought it would be fun to learn how to do it.   From planning, to purchase, to designing, and putting it altogether, I am excited to follow his learning in this process.

My hope for all of my nieces and nephews is they are always learning and following their passions - today hearing and watching progress of three of them made me smile.

Jerome's initial research

Emma and Anna and some of their creations

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 47 Things that make me smile - Fur Cousins

Ella is not a fan of other dogs - she gets submissive, skittish and hides whenever one is near, puppies too.  The one dog she has never had a problem though with my sister's family dog, Easton.  We are spending some time at the Newhouse's this weekend - it is fun to see them fighting for attention, Ella getting smacked in the face by Easton's happy tail and so much more.  The interactions of the two of them makes me smile tonight.

Easton and Ella make sure they are close by in case I need help with anything.

Easton had to come outside with me to make sure Ella went to the bathroom okay 

Watching to see if there would be anything left from Ella's treat.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Day 46 Things that make me smile - Benilde St. Margaret Senior Knight Recognition

Three years - it has been three years that I have been watching Red Knight hockey and tonight was recognition for the seniors.  Tonight as I watched the seniors walk with their parents across with their parents I have thought about what these teammates have gone through from the highs of a state championship and wins to the lows of their friend getting hurt.
The activities before and after the game were a nice celebration of these young men - and that made me smile and get a little teary. (It also hit me that this will be Ben next year...wasn't I just at his Mite games?)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Day 45 Things that make me smile - St. Ben's and St. Joseph, MN

Can it be that it will 25 years since I graduated from St. Ben's?  Today after my conference was over, I made my way over to St. Joe for a bit. I grabbed a sandwich at Bo Diddley's, drove past Evin Hall and Smith Apartments where I lived and walked the familiar paths for a bit leading me to the bookstore where I bought new sweatshirts.  The town and college have changed quite a bit, but the familiar places are still there - and that makes me smile tonight.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day 44 Things that make me smile -Connections

I am in St. Cloud for the TIES Technical Leadership Conference.  One thing I like best about this conference is the connections I get to make - some are old friends and several are new.  Unlike the winter TIES Conference, this is smaller with time built to make connections around topics that will support student learning in my district in formal and informal settings.  I look forward to continued conversations with these people - learning and growing together, and that makes me smile.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 43 Things that make me smile - An unplanned visit

I am in St. Cloud for a conference the next two days.  I hadn't planned on seeing my nieces tonight, but a phone call as I was getting closer pulled me in the direction of Sartell.  A piano concert, sewing and drawing - that and a few hugs made me smile tonight.


Anna and my Mr. Potato Head drawings

Emma wanted us to draw the space dude from Toy Story

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 42 Things that make me smile - Bass Drum

The Benilde St. Margaret's pep band was at the hockey game tonight.  They played a variety of music but the song that got my attention was the National Anthem, especially the bass drum.  Before each cymbal crash the bass drum played the beat before loud and clear - all I could think of was " need more cowbell" from SNL, only bass drum fit and that made me smile.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 41 Things that make me smile - Cardiologist Appointment

Today I had a cardiologist appointment - it has been 3 1/2 years since my little heart thingy.  While my blood pressure was up, my heart and arteries all look/sounded good.  So with a slight change in medicine and a goal to lose weight - things are good and that makes me smile.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Day 40 - Things that make me smile - Thomas Stephen Jr.

11 years old - wow!  It seems like yesterday that I spent the morning waiting for Tommy to be born in Ely, before making my way back to the cities.  Well he waited and it wasn't until I pulled into my parking lot did I get the call he was born.

This summer I got to travel with Tommy to Chicago on his 10 year old trip - it was fun to get to spend time with him one on one.  Tommy is an awesome kid - thoughtful and kind.  I am proud to be his auntie.  Have a great day Tommy - today you make me smile!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Day 39 - Things that make me smile - Dinner with Katie

My cousin Katie and her family moved here from Arizona at the beginning of the year.  While I know it is difficult for her to be away from her mom and warm, I am so glad they are here.

While I have gotten to see Katie and a few times since they moved here, tonight we got to go out just the two of us and catch up.  Great dinner and conversation at the Galleria makes me smile tonight. (Forgot to take a pic until I was driving out)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Day 38 Things that make me smile - National Wear Red Day

I am a heart survivor.  Today is National Wear Red Day - a day to raise awareness for woman's heart health.  

It was awesome to see so many of my colleagues wearing red today in support of woman's heart health.  My mom pointed out her red when I was on FaceTime with her tonight. And one very special wearer of red was my friend Hope's daughter, Jenna, who wore red in my honor today. All of these special people wearing red in support of something so close to me made my heart happy and made me smile tonight. (Ok - I am also a little teary as I reflect tonight too)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Day 37 Things that make me smile - Babysitting

It's been a long time since I watched little ones.  Tonight I watched Erin and Megan - so much fun!

We did arts and crafts, played on the iPad, played with the doll house and more.  Thanks Katie and Brendan for letting spend time with your little ones - they were so fun and made me smile tonight.

Sweet Megan

Making a Valentine Owl

Playing dollhouse

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Day 36 Things that make me smile - Basketball

One would think with all of my posts about hockey that it was my favorite sport, it isn't. I like and watch hockey because all of my nephews play hockey.  My first sport love is basketball.  I played basketball until my sophomore year of HS - the reason I quit is a long story, maybe another day...  

Anyway, one thing I like to watch is college basketball, especially Minnesota Gopher basketball.   Tonight the Gophers played Purdue - the game went into triple overtime.  While the Gophers lost, coming home and watching a basketball game after a long day made me smile tonight.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Day 35 Things that make me smile - Watching the game with Jerome

When you are 14 years old, life is a lot busier than when you were younger.  It also means that Auntie is not needed to watch you when your parents are out which means I don't get to spend as much time with him.  Tonight I got to sit next to Jerome during Ben's game.  And while he was busy with his job of recording during the game we had time to catch up before and between periods.  We talked about a lot of different things - he has grown up to become a awesome young man.  I enjoyed my time with him tonight (Margrette was there too) and tonight that makes me smile.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 34 Things that make me smile - A hot shower

Saturday morning I went to take a shower and found only cold water.  When I went to investigate, I found ice on the floor in the utility room and realized I would need a new hot water tank.  This morning the plumber came and by the end of the day I had a new hot water tank and a new garbage disposal.  While I got to take a hot shower at my sister's house yesterday, it was nice to be able to take a hot shower in my own home - and tonight that makes me smile.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Day 33 - Things that make me smile - DVR

Being gone for a few days I had a pretty full DVR.  Tonight was full of repeats due to Super Bowl.  So instead I weeded through my DVR list and tonight that made me smile.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Day 32 - Things that make me smile - Lapdog

Today was a crappy day - started with no hot water to discovering ice in my utility room  to turning off water for all in my row of townhomes to now thinking I need a new water heater.  (plumber coming Monday morning bright and early)

But the one good thing was picking up Ella and bringing her home.  Tonight after a bad day, I sit on my couch with my little one snuggling in my lap again and that makes me smile.

Day 31 - Things that make me smile - Making connections

As I said before I was on vacation this week in Orlando.  As part of this vacation I chose to attend the FETC conference (yes this was my choosing and paid for it myself)   When I go to conferences that the district pays for, I make sure I attend every session I can and even extend learning gatherings.  The beauty of going to a conference that I paid to attend - I could go to as much or as little of the conference that I wanted to attend.  Thursday I attended sessions and Keynotes, today I went to the opening Keynote and spent about four hours walking through the vendor area making connections that will support our Digital 1:1 Initiative.  I talked to many vendor and am excited to go through all of the pictures I took to dig into a bunch of new sites and products.  (I took pics of information instead of taking brochures)  Thinking about the new connections and possibilities makes me smile tonight.

Day 30 - Things that make me smile - Downtown Disney

I love to shop!  Tonight I decided to go to Downtown Disney and walk through the stores.  It was fun to wander and overhear excited families talking about their day and finding a special treat.  Walking around and finding a few treasures made me smile tonight.