second thoughts?

The end of the school day today couldn't come quick enough. As I sat with my 1st period class editing paragraphs, I momentarily thought to myself, "I can do this." Just a short 4 hours later, my last thought as I left the campus was, "What did I get myself into?" I loved, loved, loved teaching 3rd grade. Even after the suckiest of sucky days, I looked forward to the next day knowing it would be a fresh day. If I'm being honest, I'm not looking forward to Monday when I see my kids again (our school is on a block schedule so the students go to odd periods one day and even the next day). It's not that they are naughty, well one is pretty naughty, but whose to say it's not his Ritalin medication that's worn off by the time he gets to me in the afternoon? It's that I am not sure if I'm cut out to work with special needs students. I feel I'm having to compromise my philosophy of having high expectations with some of these students. I'm not ready to become a grumpy 'ole teacher with low standards. I'm really hoping I just have to "modify" my standards to fit within each student's abilities. Sounds easier than actually implemented though, as each student has such difference abilities with various capacities.

Thank freakin' goodness for Mimi! She answered her phone when I was at the brink of tears. I was literally paralyzed after school. All I could think about was either going home to sleep or having a quick cocktail...and it was 4:30pm! She was home and ready to listen (with a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers). As a teacher, she was totally able to provide me with some great insight on the kids and their subsequent behavior after lunch and advice on how to best handle my situation. While I am still not completely convinced that special education is for me, I haven't completely lost my desire to become a great teacher. Perhaps the purpose for me at this moment is to offer my students a nurturing classroom environment where they can experience small successes in school. This will become my personal goal, for the moment anyway. Thank you, Mimi! Had we not met, I may have eaten all 35 extra weekly points because of my terrible school day!

Tomorrow after school, I'm heading to the nearest salon for a mani/pedi...

{picture provided by this Flickr}


rockwood communications counsel

Meet Crystal...

Social Engineering, according to Wikipedia, is an attempt to influence popular behavior.

If I know anyone who can influence popular behavior, it's Crystal Rockwood. Crystal recently took a giant leap of faith and created Rockwood Communications Counsel, a boutique firm specializing in social engineering counsel. When stakes are high and consensus needs to be quickly built, RCC can save the day. When dealing with diverse people in foreign situations, RCC can create peace. While Crystal counsels businesses and individuals seeking a better profile, she also provides public relations insight, marketing and communications strategies, coaching for press interviews, and guidance in managing reputations.

If you or your company needs some social engineering counsel, Crystal can seriously make things happen! She's small, but fierce. She's all business, but full of heart.

Crystal, you and Dick were quiet visitors at EPC for a long time. Thankfully, it was in your heart to make changes and get some things done around our little church on the corner. I learn from you with each conversation, quick or lengthy. I'm blessed to call you a friend and I can't wait to see what excitement and challenges are in store for you with your new adventure! As always, I'm happy to help.


meet baby daniel

Rob and I eagerly made our way to the South Bay on Friday night to visit the newest member of the Malouf family…Baby Daniel!

Proud mama Kelly

We picked up some Pick-Up Sticks for dinner and lucky for us, Sarah loves rice! While Daniel is absolutely adorable, Sarah provided us with hours of entertainment! From pretending to go grocery shopping to posing like Paris Hilton to pretending to breastfeed her baby doll, we laughed and laughed. She’s one silly 2 year old! We were there when Sarah held her little brother for the first time! It was such an honor to be one of the first to meet baby Daniel!

Sarah eating rice
Sarah grocery shopping (wearing my shoes)
Sarah as Paris Hilton
Princess Sarah
Sarah holding her little brother for the first time
My hot hubby, Uncle Rob-O and baby Daniel

Here's the video we took of Sarah pretending to breastfeed her babydoll...I'm still cracking up!

On Saturday we made our way up to Valencia for some scrapbooking and music making – I scrapbooked with Susan while Rob made some music with Griff. Poor Corbin was sent to his grandparent’s house. I finished our honeymoon scrapbook and started our vacations scrapbook. I bought lots of paper so I can do some scrapbook work at home. I’m really inspired and can’t wait to get back to work on my next album. For dinner we went to Pasadena and discovered 21 Choices – wow…simply delicious. Corbin is perhaps the cutest 4 year old ever! He makes the cutest faces and says the funniest things! Our friends make super cute and creative babies...when it's our turn, the pressure is seriously on!

On Sunday, Rob joined his family to walk the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure in Newport Beach. I was really pumped to run/walk this race, but ended up getting sick. I’m fighting a cold right now so I didn’t participate. I actually know the moment when I caught it…last Wednesday when one of my students sneezed on me…Yick! When I saw him today he knew right away that I got sick from him and the poor guy felt bad.

"We Support Healthy Hooters"

My Weight Watchers progress is coming along nicely. I’m getting used to counting points and planning and documenting all my snacks and meals. I’ve actually lost 2 pounds already! The best thing about the program…my Golden Spoon addiction doesn’t have to be altered. The worst thing about the program…I’m having Coffee Bean withdraws (my favorite drink is 9 points!). The weirdest thing about carrots…they give me the hiccups!

Happy Anniversary Jolene and Gerric! We wish you a lifetime of happiness together! May you continue to love one another more and more each day!


points count

I joined Weight Watchers yesterday. There I said it. Now I have to follow through with some results. I'm pretty sure I understand the concept behind Weight Watchers and in theory I should be able to do this sort of program on my own. I know about moderation, calories, fat, etc., but when I stepped on the scale yesterday for my first weigh-in, it was painfully obvious I haven't been practicing what I evidently already understand. I'd love to lose 20 pounds, but I'd be happy if I plateau at 15 pounds. I'm also really hoping this will make my workouts more effective (you know, defined abs, buff arms and legs). I'll keep ya'll posted...I'll say this though: it's day 1 at 5:45pm and I'm starving...I have only 9 points remaining though. Carrots (0 points) here I come...


rewind: birthday week highlights

Our birthday week was an absolutely crazy busy week that was filled with surprises, laughter and love! Rather than me share the week with words, the pictures will tell the story. Enjoy!

Saturday, 9/8 - kitchen cabinet knob installation day!

My personal handyman

The finished product!

Then it was off to a surprise destination! Have I told you that I LOVE surprises and HATE surprises all at the same time? I love the payoff, but waiting stinks!

There's nothing like enjoying a warm summer evening picnic at the Hollywood Bowl listening to Hall & Oates! You know Hall & Oates..."Private Eyes", "Kiss is on my Lips" and "Maneater".

Sunday, 9/9 - dinner with Gabe and Mimi at our favorite Italian restaurant in Long Beach, Caffe La Strade. Mimi wrapped my gift with such cute paper and ribbon that I didn't want to open it. Of course I had to though! They bought me a very cute blouse from Gap and necklace from Banana Republic.

Monday, 9/10 - MY 30th BIRTHDAY! I had a great day at school and was able to rest before our eventful evening. Honestly, Rob is so good with surprises that he had me believing that we weren't doing anything. So when he came home after work and acted like we didn't have plans, I started crying. He more than came through though!

Rob got a big kick out of the 30-something thing...

Rob did such a great job wrapping my gift! (I recently threw away all our gift bags, so he was stuck wrapping). Inside was a foot spa!

And my birthday evening! My sneaky hubby gathered my best girlfriends and their husbands (minus Melanie's husband unfortunately) for dinner at Daimon in Sunset Beach and some GS! It was the perfect evening! One the way to dinner, Rob gave me another gift...beautiful diamond hoop earrings!

Mel and Kristi got me fabric for a purse! (Kristi's latest DIY projects are making purses).
Emily and Joe got me some Wild Oats natural treats!
Could Melanie be any more adorable? (Kristi made the hats with super cute paper).
Emily and Joe
All of us (left to right: Joe, Emily, Rob, me, Melanie, Kristi, Joe)
Our crazy chef!

Tuesday, 9/11 - we attended a lovely wedding for Dale and Mary An. It was a surprise wedding - we literally found out about it Tuesday morning via email.

Dale, the groom, and Mary An, his beautiful bride
Clint, Dale's son, walked Mary An down the aisle
Dale's daughters (April, Lauren and Amy). Lauren's wedding was 4 days later...

Friday, 9/14 - Rob's BIRTHDAY! Yeah! I had been planning a surprise party for Rob for the last 3 weeks and I was so happy that the day had finally come. Keeping this party a surprise was so hard! The party took place at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. It was a huge success and so many of our friends and family (even my dad came from San Diego) showed up to celebrate Rob's 35th!

Rob's gifts - they were his "birthday" outfit (a guy has to arrive to his party lookin' hot, right?)
I took Rob to Mama D's in Manhattan Beach for his birthday dinner. Mama D's gave us a free appetizer coupon for our next visit.
We walked from Mama D's to Shade and on the way Rob wanted to enjoy the beautiful night sky...it was killing me!

Our arrival. Rob was so surprised!

The monkey was a gift from Rob's parentsOur guests...

The white stickers are from a game we played. Everyone received a sticker that was placed on their back of a famous band/musician. In order to guess who was on your sticker, you had to ask questions. It was super fun!

Melanie and her hubby Armen
Jolene and her hubby Gerric
Some details...

Saturday, 9/15 - Lauren and Jeff got married! It was a week full of weddings for the Parkinson family. Lauren was a beautiful bride and their wedding was wonderful and full of love and lots of laughter! Using Emily's words, Lauren was one spunky bride!

Lauren's siters anxiously waiting for the ceremony to begin!

The vows
The toasts

Isn't Lauren stunning?
Dale and Mary An, the father and step-mom of the bride (also newlyweds)
The old newlyweds with the new newlyweds - The Levines and Tuckers
Emiy and I
First dance
Getting the party started...

It was a whirlwind week...Catching up on rest this week. Still not sure about my school situation, but hopefully I'll know more this week.

Finally...A giant welcome to the newest member of the Malouf family...Baby Daniel Kenneth Malouf! Baby Daniel was born on his Uncle Rob-O's birthday. We couldn't think of a cooler baby for Rob to share his birthday with! We can't wait to meet Daniel! I'm sure his big sis Sarah will take good care of him!