Happy Rainy Day

When was the last time you enjoyed rain? I mean, really enjoyed it? From outside, not from inside a nice, dry, house looking out? It had been a while for me. Then today, I got caught in a storm with 19 kids. How can you not enjoy that?

We went out for a field trip to paint mugs and bowls for father’s day. The weather was calling for an afternoon storm, but it was bright and sunny when we headed out, so I just assumed it would be ok.

I was wrong.

While we were painting, it started pouring. And this was no sissy rain either. Big raindrops that bounced when they hit the ground. Louder than the kids.

I love storms. When I was a kid, my mom used to tell us storms were like movies and we would open to door to watch the show. I try to do this with my students, because so many of them are afraid of thunder and lightning, and I want them to be excited instead. I think it’s working. Whenever the weather reports call for a storm, the kids tell me as soon as they get to school, just to see my reaction. Last year, we had a really big storm one day and we all turned our chairs towards the window and watched “the show”. Some of the kids even mentionned it today. (I have my students for three years, so they have lots of time to get used to my quirks!)

So back to today’s storm. It rained really hard for about 15 minutes, with some thunder and lightning, then the sun came out, so I told the kids we were leaving right away. The sun was pretty much just an illusion, because as soon as we started walking, everything turned grey again. When we heard thunder, the kids actually clapped and cheered! Thankfully, there was no lightning.

It was only a 10 minute walk back to school, but about halfway there, it started to rain again. Kids really know how to enjoy everything. They were looking up, jumping in puddles and squeeling. How often, as adults, do we walk in the rain without thinking What’s this doing to my hair? These are new shoes! I’m getting all wet and dirty! I did have to tell the kids to hurry up, however, because as much fun as it was, we had to get back to school.

This is what they looked like. Me too, actually.

When I got home from work, I fell asleep on the couch. I hardly ever have naps, and when I woke up, I remembered why. I was cranky and I just moped around. It’s not good for me to mess with my sleeping schedule. After a while, I couldn’t stand myself anymore and I decided to go for a run. I kind of wished it would rain again so I could get my happy feeling back. About halfway through my run, I realized I felt better and didn’t need the rain. Obviously, that’s when it started to rain! It was only a sprinkle, but it was like the universe was telling me “I hear you!”

My run inspired my picture of the day. The prompt was “a number” so I went with number 2 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. (yes, I know the numbers 101 and 1001 are messed up.) I’m not sure I’ll do it this week, but it will definitely be soon!

If you want to check out all the pictures from my challenge, click here.

Don’t forget to embrace the rain!

Walk, don’t run!

I have a nasty cold. So bad, that I just spent all weekend complaining. It was a really nice day out on Saturday, but I spent most of it on the couch. At one point, I opened the door, stepped out onto the porch to confirm that, yes, in fact, it was a beautiful day. Then I went back to bed. Yesterday was a little better and I spent the afternoon with family, sitting on my grandma’s porch.

Today, I decided I was sick of being sick. It was another amazing day and I could not spend one more minute inside. Well, after work, anyways. I stopped at the park on my way home, because the word for my photo a day challenge was grass. Since I live in an appartment, I don’t have any grass. I sat around, took some pictures and enjoyed the sun. This is my picture of the day.

Then I decided that what I really wanted wasn’t just to sit outside, but to run. I went home and started getting ready. That’s when the inner dialogue started.

Sick me: – You know, you’re still sick.

Sick of being sick me: – Whatever, I need to move!

– I’m just saying, walk, don’t run.

– We’ll see. I really want to run.

I know, but you keep having coughing fits.

– I can stop running to cough, it’s all good.

– Ok, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Obviously, 5 minutes in, I started to run. I felt amazing, free, like I was a gazelle….and my lungs were on fire. Actually, I started coughing so I slowed down, and that’s when my lungs felt like they were about to explode. So much for running while being sick. I did run for longer than I thought I would though (a total of about 5 minutes).

Since I couldn’t run, I decided to go back to the park. There were beautiful lilac bushes. Some kids gave me some lilacs today. It was very sweet, even if the flowers were a little (a lot) wilted from being held in grubby little hands for who knows how long during recess. I decided I wanted to pick some. Trouble is, the ones I could reach were on the street side and I didn’t want anyone to see me. I don’t think picking flowers is allowed in parks, but there’s no sign or anything. Anyways I went to the other side and jumped around and grabbed at the branches untill I had a few flowers. I sent all kinds of tree bits and leaves and maybe a bug down the front of my shirt, but it was worth it. I also picked some blue flowers.

I like to take before and after pictures. This is before and after my run/walk/flower picking expedition. I still have dark circles under my eyes, but I think I look happier after playing outside.

So this is what I learned today: when you’re sick, walk, don’t run. Or even better, pick flowers!

Running with my camera

Today was a gorgeous day! The nicest we’ve had this spring since that freakishly hot week in March. I decided to go for a run. If I want to be a real runner, I have to run.

I drive across a bridge every time I go to yoga, and there are always people running along the water. I wanted to do that too. I discovered that my camera fits perfectly in one of the little elastic pocket things for the mini water-bottles on my fuel belt, so I swapped out one water bottle for my camera. That still left me 3 bottles. That’s 24 ounces of water and let’s face it, I wasn’t going to run a marathon here.

I didn’t time myself, or even check to see how far I was going. I ran, I walked, I took pictures. I kept wandering off the path to get closer to the water. I made friends with a blue-eyed husky. I heard bits of conversations as I ran past people. My favourite was the girl telling her running partner how much she really wanted sweet potato fries.

I encountered quite a bit of wildlife for a run in the city. The first was a groundhog. I named him Juan. At first, I thought he might be dead, but he was just sleeping. He woke up and smiled at me. Actually, I think it was more of a go away and leave me alone look, but whatever. He was cute.

I ran a little more, then I met Dolly and Daniel. They’re ducks. For some reason, they were swimming against the current. Dolly was doing ok, but Daniel kept getting swept away. It was pretty funny and I laughed at him untill I realized it might be bad karma, so I encouraged him instead. He finally caught up with Dolly.

I started running again, only to stop and look at a tree. He didn’t have a name, that’s just silly. But it was a really nice tree. Also, I wanted another little break, so I took a picture.

After my tree break, I ran until I saw some pretty purple flowers. Obviously, I needed a picutre. I’m pretty proud of this picture, because the backround is out of focus. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that. I’m actually not sure how I did it though.

I was looking for a photogenic bird, because that was the word for my photo a day challenge today. I saw this flighty little thing on a branch. Her name is Raven, even though she’s not a raven. Kind of like when people call their child Apple or Dallas. She kept moving around, but finally she stopped to pose.

I ran some more, then decided I wanted a picture of myself. Let’s hear it for self-timers. I had a scary few seconds where I thought my camera was going to fall off the rock and into the water, but it all turned out ok.

All in all, it was a great day. There was more walking than running, I think. But since I haven’t really been running lately, I feel pretty good about running at all. I had a good time taking pictures and I think my new friends liked having their photo taken. Well, except for Juan, but that’s just the way he is.

Shake it on the beach

I’ve been looking for free activities to do this month, and today, lululemon was having a “fitness Friday” event. It was at Westboro beach, so not too far from work, and it was from 5 to 6. It was also a hip hop dance class!

This winter, I was told by my dance teacher that I am “too cute” for hip hop dancing. I took it as a compliment.

Julie and I decided to check it out. I actually wasn’t sure where the beach was, but Julie thought she knew. Turns out she did, but only after we drove past it. One illegal u-turn later, we were at the beach! At first, it felt a little weird, because it seemed like they all knew each other and we were the new kids. They actually all work at lululemon, so that’s why they looked like cheerleaders. I mean that in a good way. They were very peppy.

Mr. Bill was the instructor and he wasted no time teaching us a routine. You could tell he works with kids a lot because he would place his hand on his head to tell us to “take it from the top”. I wonder if I do stuff like that. Maybe I shush people by placing my finger on my lips or turn off the lights to get people to listen to me… I hope not, that would be awkward.

Julie said she learned more from Mr. Bill in an hour than she did in the 10 week session we did this winter. The teacher we had then was very stressed out and she liked to tell us all about it. It didn’t leave much time to actually dance. She was always telling us to be more aggressive.

Don’t we look like aggressive people? Yeah, didn’t think so.

It was cloudy all day, but the sun came out while we were dancing. It was great to actually work out outside.

We took a group shot at the end. Someone had to take the picture, so Mr. Bill’s not in it. One girl said to look gangster, or something about westside, or peace or whatever. Obviously, we did not all hear the same thing.

Next week’s fitness Friday has something to do with kettlebells and the instructor is apparently a kettlebell champion. I didn’t know you could be a kettlebell champion, but I’m impressed. Kettlebells scare me, but it’s free, so I’ll probably try it out!

Sunshine

When I started writing this blog, I decided it would be my happy place. This is where I write about the things that make me smile and laugh, it’s not a place to vent about the things that drive me crazy. That being said, I’m not having a great week. It’s not bad, but it’s not especially good, either. I decided what I needed was some sunshine.

Since the sun was not about to humour me, I decided to create my own.

I started by wearing one of my spring dresses. I don’t mind the rain, but I wasn’t going to let it keep me from dressing like it was nice and sunny. Made me feel pretty all day!

This is actually today’s picture for the May photo a day challenge. If you want to see the pictures every day, check out my facebook page.

Wearing a pretty dress will only get you so far. Today was my grandmother’s birthday, so I drove up to see my family. They live a little over an hour away, so it’s a long drive there and back on a weeknight, but it’s all about the sunshine.

Then I helped my little cousin with her homework.

My mom even had treats for me, since I’m on day 3 of my no spending challenge.

If you’re wondering where I’m going with this, here it is : If you’re having a bad day, or a bad week, find something to make it better. Some days, you need to make your own sunshine.

Photo a day challenge

In February, I did fat mum slim’s photo a day challenge. I absolutely loved it! I really enjoy taking pictures. I don’t call it photography, because I don’t really know what I’m doing. There’s a prompt for each day and I like to find fun ways to represent whatever the word of the day is. I’ve decided to do the challenge for May. Here is the list.

This post is really only a teaser, because the challenge starts tomorrow! I won’t be posting the pictures here every day, but I will post them on my facebook page. If you want to follow my challenge, just click on the link and “like” my page.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/theblissprojectblog

I hope this inspires you to try the challenge as well. It’s so much fun and I already have ideas of what I want to photograph on some days! Have fun with it!

My day in photos

In February, I did fat mum slim’s photo a day challenge and I loved it! I decided to take a break for March, thinking I would do it again in April. However, as I was in the middle of a 30 day yoga challenge, I didn’t really have time for a photo a day. They would all have been yoga pictures!

Then, I found this.

I decided to try this yesterday. Right away, I realized I could not take a picture exactly on the hour, but I did what I could. This is a day in my life.

7:15 Get up. I wish I was still in bed. Mornings don’t like me.

8:10 The calm before the storm: my class before the students show up.

9:20 Checkerboard multiplication.

10:10 Second graders working very hard.

11:45 A view of my school while walking to the coffee shop to get something for lunch. (It used to be a monastery)

12:25 A cup of tea after lunch!

1:20 Chilling out with some books.

2:30 Showing off their research projects to the 3 and 4 year olds.

3:10 Tiny yoga people.

4:45 Red light on my way home.

5:30 Blogging and snacking.

6:20 Dishes. Not everything is fun.

7:15. What did I do on my first day “off” after my yoga challenge? Went to Pure for a yoga class, of course!

8:35 My friend Dominique and I after the world’s best yin class. Don’t we look zen?

9:30 Shower.

10:25 Reading some awesome blogs before bed.

So there you have it. A day in my life. It was not terribly exciting, because after all, it was a Wednesday, but it was a good day!