29 June 2012

In our hour outdoors each day I find my happiness. Noah will carry the blanket out while I grab his book and my Kindle. Our spot in the grass is noticeable, where we choose to lie each afternoon. Once we settle in on this blanket for two we find our own little worlds.

As I read I soak up the warmth from the sun, basking in the full feeling. Do you get that feeling? It's as if suddenly life is okay and I'm very content with myself. Occasionally a breeze will blow past and I smile softly. The air moving around while me while I am utterly still just reiterates the calm feeling that has settled over me.

Every so often a little ant will find his way to my leg. After a little itch I'll just stare at him before brushing him away.

Out of all of it, I enjoy the breezes the most. Something about them reminds me of good times. I suppose it's similar to my love of the water and my favorite place (the beach).

Reason to Smile: Nothing beats relaxing in the sun and having a gentle breeze roll over you!

PS - Tomorrow is my bachelorette party! I'm stoked! Can't wait to see some of the lovely ladies in my life!


28 June 2012

Closets are emptying around me and I'm taking a towel to the counter tops and the grey dust outline on them from where a jewelry box has sat for three years. It's saddening to be in a place this feels like home but is empty.

We are taking time for our fancies right now, while we can without guilt... before the pressures of the coming school year start in on us. Each day Noah and I are getting outside to read for an hour while enjoying the glorious sunshine. We have been cooking healthy, delicious meals this week as well. A glass of wine often goes in hand with dinner. We're getting outdoors a little bit more and are planning trips to lakes and kayaking adventures on a river. I hope we accomplish our little list of summer goals.

I can feel myself growing, trying to organize the grown up life that I have stumbled into. I feel fortunate to have a transition in the form of summer as a teacher. I can't imagine finding out you have a job, starting in a week, and moving all your worldly possessions in such a quick amount of time. I feel positive and excited about my future. I feel like good things are coming our way.

Reason to smile: Growing up is a fun adventure.

*photo is from a family vacation out west in 2006

Avocado Egg Salad

27 June 2012

I found the original recipe here although I dropped some ingredients. This was very good! Light, healthy and makes plenty. You could probably feed three or four people so you could reserve this for a ladies lunch if you want! Of course I placed my egg salad on lightly toasted bread for some extra crunch.

7 eggs
2 avocados
4 oz greek yogurt
salt and pepper

1. Hard boil the eggs (cool off and put in fridge for a little bit)
2. Mash up the eggs and mix with the greek yogurt
3. Peel the avocado and scoop the soft deliciousness into your bowl with the eggs and greek yogurt
4. Salt and pepper to taste (and maybe add in some red pepper flakes)


The longest part of the process is hard boiling/peeling the eggs. Everything else is super easy and it's a breeze to clean up afterwards.


26 June 2012

Now that I've got a job I am a little more relaxed even though I realized that the wedding is less than three weeks away! We're waiting for Noah to hear back about a job and in a matter of weeks we'll be moving to a new city (who knows which one!). We still need to book rooms for our honey moon in Charleston, SC as well. Oh and did I mention we're moving out in two weeks? 

While things are crazy I'm still very glad that we're at this point in our lives. I've never been one to be afraid of change. I don't like when things stagnate over time. Moving to a new city and starting my career with one of my good friends sounds like a great place to be right now!


25 June 2012

I've talked about geocaching a few times before on here. If you're interested in a quick description of geocaching check back on this post. Thanks!

Noah and I took another geocaching trip in Harrisonburg, Virginia on Saturday. The best part for me was finally finding an elusive cache! I've looked for this cache about five times in the past four or five years and never found it. Now I know why! The coordinates take you to a memorial then you have to take 160 steps due East to find the cache. It's kind of imperative to have those extra directions!

Despite the heat it was wonderful to get outside and explore again. We went further into the arboretum than ever before and I'm glad we are taking our last days here to appreciate our region again.

Reason to Smile: Getting outdoors, finding mysterious geocaches, and really taking advantage of summer days!

*PS - I have changed the url on my blog to because my name won't be Allison Seward much longer. Plus, by not including my full name I am assuming less students will find it. I'm actually pretty proud of my blog but it's always safter to be a little more anonymous as a teacher. 


21 June 2012

After going through a range of emotions over the past two days due to three interviews, I have a job offer that I am accepting! I will be working with an eighth grade science class in Frederick, MD. I'm very excited to start prepping for lesson plans, start arranging/cleaning/fixing up my classroom, and meet my fellow team members.

Suddenly my questions and fears are gone and I'm ready to start my career!

Reason to Smile: I have a job and will be working with middle schoolers this August!


20 June 2012

On Monday Noah and I visited a butterfly exhibit at a local greenhouse. There were monarchs and painted ladies all around. Little jars of gatorade were laid about next to Q-tips which you could use to entice the pretties in toward you. It was beautiful.

Reason to smile: I was able to experience lots of beauty.



18 June 2012

This weekend was filled with lots of celebrations! Noah and I drove up to Winchester to attend a birthday party for one of my friends on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday we went to church and then went out to lunch with my dad followed later by dinner with Noah's father.

Reason to Smile: We were able to see many friends that we haven't been with for a long time. The majority of my friends are healthy and we can support those who aren't.


15 June 2012

I've been testing my 50mm lens out a lot recently. I took portraits for a family a couple weeks ago and was in love with the focus. I always love close ups of the world around me. Something about the different views and details always helps me notice the beauty in the world around me.

And summer has been beautiful. While there have been a few more overcast days here than I would really like, the sunny days we have are utilized. I've been taking Noah's childhood Ninja Turtle Blanket out and laying in the sun while reading. We have a glass of wine with dinner occasionally while making light summery foods. This week we've been to Purcell Park to take a few walks, enjoy the sun, play on the playground, and take a few pictures. I've been taking a lot of pictures around here recently trying to capture everything on film that I may want to see again in a few months and years. Only three and a half weeks until we're fully moved out of our apartment and moving on to new things. We're just trying to soak it all in.

Reason to Smile: There is a bit of beauty in every aspect of our world. We just need to go out and look for it. I've been fortunate to be able to focus on these little details recently.

Lentil Soup

14 June 2012

We used this lentil soup recipe to make a nice, warm, healthy meal this week. Mmm... lentils, carrots, and onions. What's not to love?

1 1/2 c. dried lentils
4 c. water
1 lg. onion, choped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) tomato puree
1 clove galric, minced or pressed
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly gorund black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon leaves

Combine lentils, water, onion, carrots and celery in large pot. Simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours. Add more water if needed.Stir in tomato puree. Add garlic, salt to taste, black pepper, thyme and tarragon. If desired, add some fresh greens for garnish and for added nutirtional value. Heat through and serve immediately.
Good served with: French bread, butter, cheese, red wine or other favorite beverage.

Noah's 23rd

13 June 2012

This past Saturday was Noah's 23rd birthday. He had balloons, cookie cake, a dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse, and we ended the night watching Prometheus. It was a nice day with friends and it's hard to believe the changes between 22 and 23. I bet 23 to 24 will be even more amazing!


12 June 2012

{my "second mother" and my future mother-in-law}

It is a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by people that you love and who care about you. On Sunday afternoon, my mom-who-isn't-my-mom or, as I call her, my "second mother" hosted a bridal shower at the church. We played a few games, had some good food, and opened the gifts from so many kind and supportive people. Is it strange to say this may be the event that made the wedding feel more real than anything else so far? Seeing all the women there to support me was great. 

Plus, an oddity I wasn't expecting, the gifts make the event more real too. Suddenly I can see our future home coming together and it sure is making me smile. We'll be living together, on our own, for the first time and we're really building our life and home in just a month and a half. It's an incredible feeling.

Reason to Smile: There are many people in my life who love and support me.

Dave's Taverna

11 June 2012

Dave's is Harrisonburg staple that must be visited whenever a student comes back to visit. For this reason, when my sister was visiting we had to stop by Dave's for lunch on the taratsa (rooftop). Noah, Allison, Kelsey, and I had pitas, pizzas, and side pastas for lunch while enjoying the wonderful summer breezes. It's lovely to spend time with friends, relaxing, and thinking about all the possibilities that await each of us this coming school year. Kelsey is working towards her EDS at William and Mary, Allison is moving abroad to England to study in Leeds, and Noah and I will begin our teaching careers in the fall. Big times for all!

Milk Dates

07 June 2012

My sister has been up here for a few days and will be heading to DC on Friday, it's been great to have her for a visit. This morning while getting cereal she made a note that the milk in her house (in Williamsburg) won't go bad until she moves out. What a statement!

In about two weeks I can say the same thing. This apartment has been home for three solid years and I'll definitely miss it. I'll miss the area, the mountains, the farm market, and the calm summers. One day soon my milk will have an expiration date that is later than my move out date and you know what? I'll be happy to buy some new milk for my cereal when it does.

Reason to Smile: I live in a stunning region surrounded by mountains and country and I'm ready for a new chapter in my life.


06 June 2012

This past weekend Noah and I went kayaking on Lake Frederick and you know what? It was my first time! Naturally I was a pro at it. Truly, it really was easy because I knew how to canoe already. As much as I love canoeing I like kayaking even better because you can move faster, it takes less work, and you get wet the entire time. As a gal who loves to be near water, being in a boat and soaring over the ripples while still getting cooled off is about as perfect as it gets for me. I'm trying to figure out a way to go kayaking down the Shenandoah this summer and drag some friends with me.

*You can see that driving a van has it's uses. How many people can transport kayaks in their vehicles without straps? Well, we were only going about a mile down a slow road and maybe Noah and I each held a canoe the entire time, but hey a van definitely has it's high points.

Reason to Smile: Went kayaking for the first time!

Vegetable Frittata

05 June 2012

This frittata is just the ticket for a tasty, healthy meal. 

What I'm Loving

04 June 2012

What I'm Loving: Summer Edition 

These are things that I'm craving for these summer months.

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