31.

I celebrated my 31st birthday on Monday. 30 was so good to me. School. Running. Travel. Family. I couldn’t have asked for a better year. There’s a lot of pressure for 31 to live up to 30. The final days of 30 weren’t particularly balanced. So far 31 has been a little crazy too. You know my life is a little out of whack when I’m not blogging on Sundays. I love taking the time to reflect on the previous week, and if I don’t make time for that it’s a good sign I’m taking too much on. But August is a busy time in the ed world, and I know calm is coming. Probably not till October. But it’s coming! And I love spending time at EQ3. I enjoy the process of gearing up for a school year. Check out our growing team 🙂

Summer Professional Development is now officially over. Our teachers participated in dozens of sessions. I felt a little hypocritical leading the work-life balance session. Balance means sometimes you swing in one direction, right? Last week was especially booked with a Neighborhood Council Meeting Monday night for our permanent building approval process and Parent Orientation on the evenings of  Wednesday and Thursday. I didn’t get what I need to be balanced. A nice post-work run, cooking dinner and having dinner with Brent, and some time to unwind on the couch. This week was pretty insane too. School starts Tuesday, and we had to finish moving into our new location while preparing lessons and content for our new grade-level.

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Oh, back to my birthday, check out the beautiful cake they got Cecilia our new yoga teacher and I from JJ Bakery. We’re birthday twins 🙂

Here are a few shots from some of our sessions this summer. Here we are book studying at a staff. This summer we read Helping Children Succeed. Highly recommended.

More team building. I had challenges in ziploc bags and a bunch of materials. As a team they had to build something. Here is the first grade team building a fashion accessory .

Coleen came to Equitas to lead us in Dynamic Mindfulness training.

We also spent a lot of time physically moving into our new site. Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 8.57.03 PM.png

And coming up with logistics and transition plans. IMG_4988.JPG

Summer has been a lot of work, but play too!

Last weekend I went to Michigan to see the family before school starts. When in Michigan you have to stock up on Zingerman’s.

Colby and Miles 🙂

We did an early birthday celebration at Bestia. Check out this lobster toast!

I always go with cocktails at Bestia.

And the new carpool which now includes Cecilia, our new Playa buddy, means more morning coffee dates.

Summer in LA means time at the beach. Brent loves his boogie board. 

Marta, Brent, and I went to Gjelina on the night of my birthday.

And this mushroom toast. Oh my goodness it had chunks of garlic and the bread was so crispy and it was smothered in mushrooms. Gotta love the Jonathan Gold spots.

We had our Growing Greatness launch the school year party on Thursday. Here we are invading the photo booth.FullSizeRender.jpg

2 days until the 2016-2017 school year officially begins. I can’t wait to welcome our scholars back. And I love spending time with these lovely ladies…

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Yup, we’re the unicorn and fairy school.

Oh, and because this is a running blog I should probably throw something in running. Got my photos back from San Fran. Here I am getting to the finish. race_2167_photo_40233316.jpg

Here we are with Nike Run Club in Santa Monica. Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 6.53.38 PM.png

Didn’t really expect to have a photographer on my Saturday morning run.
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So my intentions for 31. This year I hope to focus on taking time for rest and practicing mindfulness. I love being restless and being on the go, but I really need to learn to slow down and relax. I’m going to try to do something daily that is calming and specify it in my passion planner. Yesterday Cecilia, Alaina, and I got massages. Today I’m going to church. I’ve recruited teachers to join in on mindful mornings on Wednesdays for some meditation. We’ll see how this goes, I just know I need it. Especially this time of year.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!

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The 2016-2017 school year is here!

You know how sometimes you’re hanging out with people and it’s fun but maybe not the most amazing moment of your life? Then suddenly someone whips out their phone to capture the moment on social media, and immediately everyones gets super peppy and excited then goes back to being their normal selves after the phone gets put away? Yeah, that annoys me. Ellen, Kathy, and I were talking about it this morning on our crazy early run before our Olympic Marathon Viewing Party. This post is filled with happy pictures, and it’s 100% legit. I had the BEST week! Teachers are back at Equitas for our month long of training, I had some awesome runs with Ellen, did yoga with Alaina, cooked great food, had quality time with Brent, laughed with Marta. It was just the best! Here’s what went down.

We had a cookout at school the Friday before teachers came and officially started the 2016-2017 school year. It was our last hurrah before the craziness (although I love the craziness).

Simple tasty tacos. Straight from 8th Street and Hoover.

After tacos was prepping our training room. We sweat the small stuff.

Flashback to 2007…My first year teaching…

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Yeah, no amount of scrubbing those desks was gonna get that off…I promise this didn’t happen while I was teaching! They came to me like this…1923609_580342287263_8004_n.jpg

Last Saturday’s run wasn’t so fun. This is my half smile. 13 miles done, but I wasn’t my usual happy self. I’ll be honest about that one.

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For the rest of last weekend the goal was to think about work as little as possible. After a great run and some yoga Ellen and I played TENNIS! I haven’t done that in years. I was never very good, but it was something I loved and practiced regularly while I lived in England. So many happy memories of tennis camps, JV/Varsity Tennis, tennis trips. We need to make this a more regular thing.

Week 1 of training was a success. Our teachers have given great feedback, and are totally mission aligned. So excited for year two as a School Director. One of the sessions I’m leading is a work-life balance session for our teachers. Lucy, a yogi and one of our middle school teachers is co-planning the session with me and this is how we showed up to our planning session. Yes, there were meal prepped lunches inside those lulu bags. And we each use a Passion Planner.

I know I’m not the only one, but I’m kinda obsessed with the Olympics. Brent and I cancelled dinner reservations on Saturday night to watch Olympic coverage. I NEVER want to stay in on a Saturday night.

And today was an early wakeup call for the Olympic Marathon! I’ll admit we’re weird, but Ellen, Kathy, and I met today at 6am for a run before enjoying a little pool time/breakfast spread/marathon viewing party. So proud of the American women for all finishing top 10. Fun fact Brent discovered, had I run the marathon PR I wouldn’t have been last! There would have been 5 runners behind me. I just need to find a way to get citizenship from Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, or Sri Lanka.

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Because I like to overschedule my life, Sunday afternoon involved some beach action and Urban Zen Yoga (aka structured nap). Oh Brent.
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Now it’s time to blog, get my week organized, and cook some yummy food. Mama and I had a thing where we’d cook the same meal on Sunday nights. It’s been a while and this weekend we brought it back. This short rib penne was SOOOOO GOOOOOD. Paired with fresh from the brewery Barley Wine from Heretic Beer Joe dropped off this afternoon. Ahh, I am ready for Monday. FullSizeRender 2.jpg

Maybe this week I’ll decide my fall race plan. It’s kinda all over the place right now. Speaking of which. Anyone have any coupon codes for Ventura or Santa Monica Classic? Talk about $$$$!

JUST 18?

Funny how 18 miles seems so much easier than 20. It’s all mental. 20 sounds scary. 18 is in the teens, so it seems like it should be easier. Gisele, Ellen and I had a lovely 18 this morning. It was pretty hilly, but with no pick-ups or a fast finish, it made for a nice and easy run. And yup, you’re right Gisele. Our route made a heart! That’s gotta be good luck, right? We started and ended at Ellen’s. I sound like a California snob, but I was ready not to run on the beach.

At school we had our first ever Family Festival. Not gonna lie, was not too confident in my ability to pull off this event, but WOAH did the family and teachers come together to plan a great event. We had so much fun, and our photo booth props were quite the hit. Going to work on a Saturday is a bit easier when you work with these lovely ladies…

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Nathalie turned the photo booth station into a mobile booth. Here she is rolling around. We also had a Zumba instructor come get us dancing, had plenty of food, an spoon + egg game, a ring toss, bean bag toss, and prizes. I’m excited to see how we elevate this event next year. But with our awesome family, and super energetic staff I don’t know why I doubted it wouldn’t be a hit.

This week was a lighter mileage week, but more intense at work. Saturday because of our school event I only had time for 7 but met up with some new running friends Peter introduced me to. Nothing like hitting up the Marina with 4 fast women before rushing off to work. One of them won the Santa Clarita Marathon a few years back. Maybe I should add that to the bucket list. Santa Clarita was my WORST marathon EVER. I had some doubles on the plan earlier in the week because I was at work till 8:30/9 on both Tuesday and Thursday. Monday I learned that you ALWAYS have more to give. I was ready for my rest day, and in need of some entertainment so I texted this incredibly attractive picture to Ellen and Alaina knowing they’d respond with some words of encouragement.

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Then my playlist had this divine intervention with a few songs that brought back race day memories. It gave me that boost of energy I needed. Do you have songs that remind you of specific racing moments? This is running dork to the extreme, but here’s what these songs remind me of…

  • Jealous (I Ain’t With It) by Chromeo reminds me of the OC Half Marathon, when I was feeling awesome at 11 and busted out two fast final miles.
  • Good Feeling by Flo Rida reminds me of the Redondo Beach 10K I did years ago before I started oversharing running stories on this blog.
  • Happy by Pharrell Williams and The Man by Aloe Blacc bring me back to my redemption race at the LA Marathon when I re-qualified for Boston in the heat.
  • Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon reminds me of getting that second wind as I ran down San Vicente at this year’s LA Marathon.
  • I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys OBVIOUSLY reminds me of Boston, but specifically the fact that it was playing as I crossed into Boston City Limits. Pretty awesome.
  • The Other Side by Jason Derulo reminds me of the San Diego Marathon where I first qualified for Boston. I remember being at mile 23ish thinking “Just take me to that other side!!!!”
  • I finished the NY Marathon to Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac. I hear it and it brings me back to that emotional moment crossing the line. It was my 8th time, and I still teared up.

And back to school. This blog post is much like my life. Work. Run. Work. Run. Aren’t these circle collages fun? Left to right: 1) Ashley’s new easels! 2) This is what 100 tacos looks like… 3) Our scholars earned a Taco Party from Lexia for High Usage in the West! 4) We celebrate with Sprinkles when we have strong attendance! 5) I think we’re good on chips for the Family Festival. 6) Gross but necessary purchase for the Family Festival.

Time to go hang out with Brent’s fam visiting LA for the week. Next week’s update will be from New York!