Total Relaxation

I have so much to say about my spring break trip, but one word takes care of it: Relaxing.

We were lucky enough to stay with my cousin Michele and her husband, Tim, in Paradise Valley. I’m in love with the concept of floor to ceiling windows rather than walls, especially when your kitchen has this view.



I read the book I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson while lounging by the pool. It’s the best book I’ve read this year. More on that later!

Tracie and I made relaxing a priority, but there was still plenty of time for exploring. From three different shopping centers to eating every meal outside, we covered Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale. By the end of the trip, I wasn’t even using GPS anymore. Victory!

More highlights soon…

Lucky Enough


The new flag in the front of our house helped me inform the neighbors that I’m Irish. The green on green waving among the dead grass and melting snow added a fresh reminder for March.

I wasn’t feeling great on St. Patrick’s Day (please get me to Spring Break!), but we did make it downtown for a Guinness toast to another year of Irish blessings.

Spring Fever

IMG_0656Spring fever hit last week. My students were extra squirrelly, and I even found myself racing out of the building after the final bell. Everyone wanted to feel the sunshine and embrace the warmth. With temperatures in the 60s, I made running outside a priority. By Thursday, I remembered how much harder the pavement is than the treadmill. Ouch! I wasn’t even putting in a lot of miles, just going out more often for the fresh air benefit.

Saturday morning’s run was slow and stiff. Recovery time included coffee dates, shopping, and catching up on DVR shows. We even moved our patio and deck furniture out, and I was able to finish my book outside yesterday afternoon. The day had me dreaming of summer.

Temperatures are going to cool down again, so I have no regrets of running outside while mother nature was on my side. Thankfully, spring break is only six days away and Arizona’s lows will be higher than Iowa’s highs.

Restaurant Week

This was the first time John and I have participated in Cedar Rapids Restaurant Week, but it will not be the last. Most of our date nights include sharing nachos and pints of Guinness  at one of our favorite sports bars, but CR Restaurant Week encouraged us to branch out.

IMG_0637Thirteen different restaurants offered fixed menus and prices during CR Restaurant Week. From the brussels sprout caesar salad to the buttermilk fried amish chicken, the flavors and presentations at Cobble Hill were nothing short of the masterpieces on the Food Network. The macaron and gelato made the entire dinner worth every bite! I definitely recommend Cobble Hill the next time you’re looking for a special date night.

#DearMe Campaign

Good Morning America has been promoting YouTube’s recent campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“Teenagers everywhere know that growing up is tough. But what advice and wisdom would you share with your younger self? You can’t send this GIF back in time, but you can share it with your friends and the world. It all starts with two words. Dear me.”

The campaign aims at inspiring and empowering young girls who may be struggling with similar issues, specifically bullying.

GMA anchors shared their #DearMe stories here.

Rather than a YouTube video, I’ll post my #DearMe here.


Struggles always work out in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. Follow God’s plan and be confident in your decisions. He hasn’t led you astray yet.

Also, it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes. Your heart and health depend on it.




Every time.

What’s your #DearMe message? I’d love to hear from you!