Day 1: Sundays

I cherish Sundays; even more-so these days. I cherish them so much, I am writing another blog post in honor of Sundays. It is a day for mass, family, cooking, and naps. I try to protect my Sundays from anything that interrupts the things I cherish; protect it from the Sunday Scaries that start to creep in right about 2pm. Yesterday was tough, I had to fight hard to push out the scaries. 

The Gospel’s message I had heard in mass early that morning had begun to fade, the laughter of being with my dad, and my two brothers was a distant memory, and glimpses of my busy week kept flashing in my head. I have to actively tell myself to push the thoughts out and be present to enjoy the relaxation of watching TV or cooking Sunday dinner. 

I wish it wasn’t so hard. I wish I could let Sunday be Sunday and Monday be Monday. The good news is that each day is a new opportunity to practice being present. 

So far, so good; today, I’m just letting Monday be Monday.


Day 31: A Slice for Me

I really cannot believe today is the last day of the SOL March Writing Challenge; it was as hard as I had remembered from 2 years ago, but also just as rewarding. When I woke up this morning, the very first thing I thought about was that it was the last day and that I had done it. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit for all the things we juggle on a daily basis; family, work, commitments, working out- I could go on and on, but today, I think it’s the perfect time for us SOL of life bloggers to give ourselves a little credit.

Writing each day, sharing our lives for other people to read, judge, celebrate is really hard. I have so enjoyed getting to know my colleagues around the district and getting a peak into their lives. This experience gives us insight into what our students go through when we ask them to write, when we ask them to share their ideas and insights. That newly gained perspective made all of this worth it.

I am sitting here on my bed thinking about how thirty-one days ago I committed to this and how this challenge forced me to take a slice of my day and dedicate it to me. Some days it was really hard, some days taking the time was welcomed; it slowed things down a bit, as least for the time I was writing. So once again, this SOL challenge became so much more than just the writing, but uncovering little nuances about life that may have gone unnoticed. It’s that writerly awakeness that starts to take over and you see and live in moments and think about how you could about write it. It’ll take a few days to adjust to live with out blogging or writing or thinking about what to write about… until next year that is.


Day 30: The To-Do List

Before break started I made a huge to-do list that I was highly determined to get through over my week long break. Well, it’s Friday and my break is rapidly coming to an end and I have yet to get through a quarter of the to-do list. See, I am a really good relaxer. I never get bored. Because I find easy ways to occupy my time, somehow the days just pass me by and before you know it, you have a crap-ton of stuff to accomplish and very few days to do it.

I feel like I accomplished something today because I sent off the final little bits of documentation to the processor for my home loan, I am blogging now, I put away my laundry, and I had 2 cups of coffee. That feeling of accomplishment is a little diminished because out of the corner of my eye I see the long, long list of other things I needed to check off over break. How many more things should I be expected to do in one day when I’m on break? Like 3 more? Is that reasonable?



Day 29: And So the Packing Begins…

I love to pack. I love the instant gratification of it. I’m trying to get ahead of the game and start packing little by little because April 19th will be here before you know it.

The only hiccup in this process is that I want to reread every card that is in my drawer, look through every picture I come across, and take time deciding if I’m keeping the sweater I haven’t worn in 2 years or not. It really slows down the packing productivity, but I think it’s worth it in the end because I get a little reminiscing and my “good-will” pile is growing steadily.

Packing also gives me plenty of opportunities to throw things away, which is my other favorite pastime. The only left to do is to find willing and able people to help me move the crazy amount of stuff I’ve packed!


Day 28: Brunch and Bonding

I love brunch. I love it so much, I blogged about it 2 years ago for the Slice of Life Challenge. Today I went to brunch with a friend and I was thinking on the way home about how much I love brunch, but then was thinking that maybe it’s not brunch I love, but the conversation that comes with brunch. I think it’s different than lunch or dinner.

Hang in there with me for a second while I try to find the words… it’s like, getting breakfast or brunch with someone requires a certain amount of familiarity. I think it’s more intimate, more personal than the other meals. Drinking coffee and catching up as a certain quality to it that makes the conversation flow and feels more homey.

So in addition to the food being delicious, catching up with my friend was even better. I love it when the universe puts you in a place to meet new people that fill a tiny whole that you didn’t even know you had; to laugh, to cry, to commiserate, to encourage, and everything in between. It’s rare to find those people, especially at work, I’ve been blessed in abundance with meeting people at work that I’d have brunch with any day of the week 🙂


Day 27: The Bridenstine Kids

My sister has 3 kids; Michael (13), Olivia (10), and John (7). I used to see them once or twice a week when I lived down the street, but since I moved I don’t see them nearly as much as I used to. Since we are all in break and I’m dog sitting for my other sister who lives down the street, it’s the perfect opportunity to get in some time with the Bridenstine kids.

As soon as I walked in the house the dog starts wagging his tail, John starts running down the stairs, and Olivia grabs my hand guiding me up the stairs that John is running down because she wants to show me the new color her dad painted her room. My 13 year old nephew is too cool and gives me a quick wave and then proceeds to play his video game.

The choas of the first few minutes gives way to the kids kind of doing their own thing and my sister and I talking about nothing at the kitchen island. But, I love it- I love just being around them, they are kind and funny and enegetic and loving. I miss seeing them often and hearing them call for me, “Auntie Toni, come here, I want to show you…” I am grateful summer is just a couple months away because I wouldn’t mind being greeted by the tail-wagging dog, being dragged up the stairs, and being asked to see the most mundain of things maybe once a week or so. Those Brisenstine kids sure made my day today. ❤️


Day 26: Manicure Monday

Before I even get into everything, I have to say that I get that I am never happy with my manicures; it’s always one thing or another and that’s totally annoying if you are a friend of mine and have to listen to me complain. Never might a tad strong, but I would say 98% of the time I don’t like one thing or another about my manicure.

This morning I went to a nail salon that I used to go to when I lived in Aurora and that typically did a better job that most other places. So today I went for it mani/pedi combo to kick off spring break. I sat down in the chair and was excited to soak my feet in the hot water… but it was freezing cold. No biggie, that was an easy fix. Then a nice lady came and made sure I wanted a manicure as well, I nodded my head yes and figured that after my pedicure she’d start my manicure.

Before I knew it, she was grabbing my arms, making me shift my body so that she could do my manicure while I was getting my pedicure. By now, maybe some of you are rolling your eyes, but here’s the thing, I really go for the relaxation and there was nothing about being yanked around in the chair so that she could dig into my cuticles at a weird angle that was relaxing. In addition to that, she also cut 2 of my fingers a little because she was at a weird angle.

I 100% get that these annoyances are just that and that I’m being a little bratty about my mani/pedi experience, but truthfully, I just hate being disappointed when I’m trying to do something to take care of me. I digress. Everything turned out to be ok, I picked a pretty spring color and the massage portion of the mani/pedi made he annoyances worth it.

Having said all that, does anybody have a really great nail salon in Naperville they could recommend? I’m in desperate need! 🙂


Day 25: Can Anyone Hear me?

This morning was just like any typical Sunday; go to mass and visit my dad. Two of my brother’s also were visiting my dad today and our visit started off how it usually does, but quickly took a less than pleasant turn when one of my brother’s started to bring up politics. My family is split, half of us are democrats and half republican. My father is a democrat and so was everyone in his family. The topic of the March for Our Lives was brought up by my brother and I quickly requested we not talk about politics because he and my father disagree and I just wanted a coffee and donut centered visit today.

Of course he did not oblige and the conversation quickly turned contentious. I’ll spare you the details of our contention, but what I will say is that more than ever I value being heard. The more I was not being heard, the more I was ignored, the more I was challenged by the sheer amount of over-talking my brother’s did, the more I wanted to leave. I didn’t even want to fight to have my voice heard because it seemed nearly impossible.

I rarely feel this way in my day to day life, so dismissed and so unheard. I am a little embarrassed that my own brother’s made me feel that way, but in the end I think it helped me reflect on people whose voices are never heard, who are never seen, and who always feel dismissed. This blip in my family dynamic is not something I typically have to overcome, but for so many, it is. I fought the urge to leave; that’s sort of my thing, if I don’t have to deal with it, I don’t. I was proud to have my father’s support and was thinking how proud my mom would be that I inspite of their best efforts to overrun my words with theirs, that I didn’t back down and made sure, one way or the other, my thoughts, my beliefs, and my words were heard today.


Day 24: Lazy Day

Today was, by all accounts a super lazy day and I needed it! I woke up at 8am and maybe feel back asleep somewhere around 12:30pm. I slept for 4 hours! I woke up in such a haze that it took me a little bit of time to snap out of it.

I convinced myself to get out of bed and go for a quick walk with Finnegan just to get some fresh air. This little slice doesn’t take a real big turn… after the walk I got back in bed and watched 2 documentaries. That’s where I’m at on this very lazy Saturday and I’m not afraid to say it or blog about it!



Day 23: Did You Know…

I can safely say that I learn something new every day and I really love that my job is always teaching me new things. Today while lunch was finishing up one of the fellow coaches wanted to tell us something that they had learned this week.

Totally normal, we’re all dorks and love to learn new stuff, but said coach was laughing so hard they could barley spit out the words. You know when someone starts laughing so hard and then you start laughing just because they are? Multiple that by 9 and you have a table full of people laughing and they don’t even know why yet!

We were crying laughing, doubled-over at one another laughing and uh, those are the best moments. It’s the kind of laughter that makes your make up run down your face, grab for a tissue to dry your tears, and that you have to catch your breath from.

Just when I thought we couldn’t laugh any harder, the coach reveals the big thing he learned this week and says, “I learned that trees do not live forever. Did you know trees don’t live forever? ” I get that it doesn’t sound that funny, but the truth is, the question sort of stunned us and we were like, huh, did I know that teees don’t live forever? Do they die of natural causes and what does that even mean?

You definately had to be there, but take my word for it, you would have been crying laughing too. But for real, did you know that trees don’t live forever?