What a week. Between my Wednesday night Master's class, a HUGE stack of ungraded papers, and my summer curriculum plans all dried out, I couldn't seem to find a life outside of teaching this week. Up at 5:30 every morning, I get ready, head to school around 7:15, and attempt to prepare for a whirlwind day of instructing, emailing, meeting, grading, talking with UNI students, organizing, sorting, updating, reading, writing, and missing my laid-back, summer attitude. I've come to an important realization the last couple of weeks...I have now reached a time in my life when I can't reach the end of a never-ending to-do list. I used to feel such a sense of accomplishment crossing each day's tasks off my last, with time remaining to sit back with my feet up and read, watch tv, or talk with Beau. Now, it's turned into a daily race with the clock, leaving me absolutely exhausted by the end of each day. This week, I spent some time at the quiet UNI library---I just love that place. I worked hard and was able to get quite a bit done at night. So far, my hard work has paid off in the classroom; I just love my classes and can see true learning taking place with all of my students. Now...it's about learning a balance- a balance between life and work, life and play, my students and my family, and time for things I love to do...
Today, I've enjoyed a great fall day. Beau and I had plans to go to Galena; however, decided a weekend at home was more important. I love this time of year---the weather is getting crisp, smells of leaves linger in the air, and I'm starting to crave comfort food. Last night and today, I was able to enjoy some great things about one of my favorite times of the year...
-going for a nice walk at 9:00pm last night. I started drifting off to sleep at my usual time on Friday nights (8ish), so Beau woke me up and said, 'Ashley! Get up! We're going for a walk!' Turns out, the fresh, cool air was exactly what I needed to refresh my mind. We walked and talked, snuggled up in our sweatshirts and pants, and gazed into neighbors' picture windows. We talked and got excited about all the perks of living in a place with changing seasons---fires in the fireplace, chili, football, and Christmas lists!
-after our walk, we sat for a bit on the deck, listening to the W'loo West W'Hawks cheer their team on at the stadium behind our house. The band played, the fans cheered, and I found myself drifting back to the good ol' days of cheering on the Trojans
-we slept with the windows open, nestled up under the cold sheets, embracing the fact that we had NOTHING to get up for early in the morning
-woke up to a beautiful Fall Saturday morning...a fresh pot of coffee and yummy omelettes from Beau!
-I finished my fall decorating...mums and pumpkins outside, candy corn, leaves, and fall foilage are now showing their colors in the livingroom and kitchen
-Pandora and John Mayer sang to me all afternoon; I baked yummy banana bars and looked at some fall recipe books
-I thought hanging clothes on the line in September was a great idea...good thing Beau was home to help take them down during an unexpected fall rain shower!
-Now, I'm about to get ready for a much needed date night! We have no plans in store and that feels extra good!