Back to school – Back to work

I had no idea the transition back to school would go so well! I am SO excited about this school year. My classes are full of kids who are truly excited to take choir, and my schedule is basically a dream. My conference period is the last period of everyday, which is going to help me immensely when I have concerts or events after school. 

It’s only day 3, but here are some changes I’ve made that I hope will turn into habits. My points need to be modified some…

  • Establish a morning routine: In past years, I’ve let my level of exhaustion determine how long I sleep, if I pack a lunch, etc. Because I didn’t have a routine, my basic needs like breakfast, lunch, coffee, shower, work outfit, etc, where often not met. Now I am aiming to do the same thing every morning, to establish a foundation for my day. 1. Quiet time 2. Take care of Bartley 3. Breakfast/make lunch (put previously divided sandwich bags and tupperwares in my lunchbox) 4. Show/get ready 5. Leave by 6:30. Of course, in order to do that, I have to wake up at 5:15 (OUCH!) Which leads me to…
  • Being in bed by 10:00, electronics & lights off by 10:30. This gives me almost 7 hours of sleep. 
  • Organizing has turned into a “10-minute” clean. I love this idea. I found it on pinterest, and it’s almost ridiculously easy. You just set a timer for 10 minutes, and clean as much as you can during that time. The craziest part? I’m usually finished in 7 or 8 minutes! All these years I’ve dreaded cleaning, and it was something I could accomplish in 10 minutes or less. Insane!
  • Before I leave work at the end of the day, I go through this checklist: Clear desk, check/respond/archive emails, make necessary phone calls, complete or review the next days lesson plans, add to the next day’s to-do list, and 10-minute clean of my classroom. 

I am feeling so optimistic about these changes. These, along with eating well and daily yoga/meditation are my current “points.” If I can build them into habits, I know I will become the organized professional I want to be.

Let my inner virgo shine! 


Quick Note

Just a quick note to say that today was not as productive as yesterday. I had a lot of professional development meetings, which meant I kept adding things to my to-do list, but couldn’t ever cross anything off! I did pick the three most important, and completed those tasks this evening. I also did my daily chore, and gave Bart a bath to help fight the skin infection. 

The moral of today’s story? I think I need to add another point to the list: go to sleep at a reasonable hour, specific time to be determined before or during my next post. 

Sleep well! It’s a 2-point day, and if I make through my meditation without falling asleep, I’ll get 3-points. See ya!

Time is Funny

Time is a funny thing. As I get have more experiences, (aka, get older!) I realize that experiences can simultaneously feel like yesterday and years ago. I thought these three weeks in Hungary would fly by, and in many ways they did, and in other ways it feels like exactly three weeks, and in one way, it feels like even more.

Meet Bartley

Meet Bartley

This is Bartley. I think I mentioned in my last post that he’s at home with a dear friend who is taking care of him while we’re gone. He did great for the first week and half or so, but now he’s not really eating, and not playing with her dogs. It really makes me wonder – what’s more stressful, flying with him, or leaving him at home?

I think he’s worrying so much because the year I studied abroad in Hungary, I had to leave him with a friend as well. This is the longest I’ve been gone since then. He’s also a rescue dog, so he’s gone through many periods of thinking he’s found home, only to be uprooted again. (i.e. going from one foster home to another, being in a shelter, etc) I’m feeling pretty guilty…

Here are some more cute pics of him. 🙂

Squeaky toys are the best!

Squeaky toys are the best!



So, there are two great things about going home on Wednesday: being able to be with Bartley again, and for András and I to have our own space again, so we can have more time for just us, as a couple, and as individuals.

But that’s pretty much it.

Emotions are starting to well up as I walk around the city for what feels like the last time, as I look at the different architecture, hear the beautiful language, feel like myself.

What will it be like to say good-bye to his parents? As much as they love me, I’m the reason their son spends most of his time so far away. What will it be like to go back to my life in Austin? Fit back into my not-at-all European routine?

How can I make my home feel more like home? Logically, I believe the answer to be entirely within myself, but experience doesn’t show that to be true.

I guess we’ll see!

Yesterday was a 1-point day. Today, so far is a 3-point day! Just have to meditate to make it 4.

My Vacation While on Vacation



Over the weekend, we took a trip to the “Hungarian Sea,” Balaton. This vacation proved to be very challenging in the point-earning department. (See this post for the list.) On Friday and Saturday, I earned 1 point each day for organization. On Sunday, I earned 2 points – one for exercise, and one for organization. It’s Monday (actually, Tuesday, but since I haven’t slept yet, we’ll call it Monday) and so far, I haven’t earned any points. 😦 But, I’m blogging, so that’s 1, and I could easily and quickly take care of organizing and meditation.

So, let’s make this a 3 point day! If I can do that, I will be 15 points away from my 25 points per/week goal, which is great, because I have exactly 3 days left in the Friday-Thursday week! Call it cheating if you want, but I’m not counting the first day since I was obviously the most excited about this plan on the first day, and I think, long-term, Friday to Thursday will work best for me.

Anyway, back to exciting things, like vacations abroad. 🙂 Isn’t Balaton beautiful? I think it’s the most beautiful lake I’ve ever been too. We had a really nice, relaxing time with one of my husband’s best friends and his wife. However, it was by far the most expensive weekend I’ve ever had in Hungary, so I think next time we’ll plan more carefully.

Now that I’m more than halfway through this trip, I’m beginning to see it differently. I’m not quite Home, as I mentioned in this post. Yes, this is the place where I have felt the most at home, but this trip is different.

First of all, it’s a trip – I’m not living here semi-permanently. Second of all, for the entirety of the trip, we are visiting my husband’s parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. All but one of my friends has moved back home, and he lives in Budapest, so it’s not like we meet up anytime for coffee, drinks or a walk. So, how can I sum this up? I’m close enough to touch this place, my home, breathe it in, see it all, but I’m experiencing it from a completely different angle. And from this angle, I am very foreign.

That may sound obvious to you, but let me explain. There’s foreign on a technical level, and then there’s foreign in an energetically out-of-place kind of way. Even though I’m home, from this angle, I’m foreign in an out-of-place kind of way. These are my husband’s friends and family members. They have thousands of experiences with him that don’t include me, and (slaps self gently on the forehead) I don’t speak their language. Most of them speak some or even a lot of English, but it’s exhausting for them. And come on, they only get to see András twice a year so they’re unbelievably excited – they just want to communicate with him as much as possible. I feel like I’m in the way. I even feel distant from my András these days.

My goal for the rest of this trip is to acknowledge that I feel that way, but not let it keep me from loving and living this experience to the fullest extent possible. I hope these feelings will encourage me to go off on my own more, so I can feel more at home and less like a foreigner, messing with the flow of this.  As for the closeness with András, I can just trust that when we settle back into our routine at home, we’ll fall right back in place.

I think I am closest now than I’ve ever been to understanding how he feels a lot of the time back in the states with me.

What a sacrifice he made moving there with me.

And now back to the more mundane things. I just earned a point from organizing my things and packing for tomorrow. We’re going back to Budapest to visit some of András’ cousins.

I’m going to upload some pictures to Facebook, and then meditate before bed. So yes, today is a 3-point day.

Jó éjszakát!