My vacation is going by too fast! Oh no!

What I love best about vacation is breakfast and the morning hours. Consider: When I go in to work, I get up between 5 and 5:30 AM, scarf down a bowl of cereal in five minutes flat, sip my tea during my one hour commute, then stand in the FREEZING cold for twenty minutes as I do my parking lot duty at school.

BUT! When I'm on vacation, I can ignore my alarm clock, take forty minutes to prepare loose leaf tea and butter and jam on a bread roll, eat leisurely in front of the morning news (or cartoons, as the mood strikes me), and then surf the net in my pajamas.

Let's hope for a lot more snow days up ahead....

Until Now

We've been having lots of fun over here (my luggage did finally arrive on Christmas evening!!). We've been eating fantastic food:

We've been finding tiny doors in tiny villages:

We've been hiking around in the vineyards behind my parents' house:

Making all of the quiet, reserved French people stare at us while we laugh loudly and play with our cameras:

And trying to get Tiger to love us (to no avail... unless he's hungry!):

Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noel!

Even though I am still bag-less, we did manage to carry on most of our gifts. And Max came up with a genius idea for those gifts that are still lost in airport-land: print out pictures of the items, put them in an envelope, then wrap the envelope! So Christmas was saved after all!!

Next up, a yummy turkey dinner, followed by a movie night complete with popcorn...

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Here is the copy of the email I just sent to the Swissport Baggage Tracing Office (reference number changed for confidentiality purposes):

I'm writing to check on the status of my missing bag. My name is Sarah and my file reference number is ZRHXX-55555. One of my bags has already been delivered. The other suitcase, the one with all of the Christmas presents in it, is still reported as missing according to the IVR system.

As it is Christmas Eve, I am very concerned about the location of the missing bag. Any information you have about its whereabouts, or when I can expect to receive it would be greatly appreciated.

Also, it's been five days since I've been able to change my clothes. At what point in time does the airline compensate me for my missing clothes and toiletries?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

Here is what I really wanted to write:


Delta couldn't possibly transfer our luggage from one plane to the other in the 24 hours they had to do so. Consequently, I've been wearing the same pants for the past five days in a row. You were so kind to deliver the useless bag to us this morning (my husband doesn't care about his clothes) after two and a half days of delay.
HOWEVER, WHERE IS MY SUITCASE WITH ALL THE LOOT IN IT? I'm tired of hearing that it's missing. You may be able to compensate me for my clothes--I have nothing against shopping sprees. BUT! The presents are kind of important, and certainly not replaceable in Europe, or in time for Christmas. And no check could cover my sadness on Christmas morning, knowing that half of my family members won't have anything to open from us. Because you know that Christmas is all about the presents, RIGHT??????

Get your butts in gear.


Finally Here!

It's been 13 months since I've seen my parents.

It's been 16 months since I've seen my kid brother.

My sister and her husband fly in tomorrow.

It's been TWO AND A HALF YEARS since the last time I set foot in my home in France.

Internet, I never want to leave again. I'm off to go eat some quiche and some cheese and bread. Au revoir!

Early Christmas Present

Yesterday was an interesting day. For once, I had no behavior issues to deal with (it's a Christmas MIRACLE!!). Then, everyone was abuzz with the very good possibility of a snow day for the next day. People were beyond hope. The imminent snow day was assumed. Teachers sent home snow pants and snow boots with the kids. Kids brought in their presents for their teachers. Everyone was saying "Merry Christmas and see you next year" at the end of the day. I was pretty sure the local weatherman would be flooded with hate mail if we didn't get our snow day.

Then, after school, we had our Christmas staff party. This year, instead of our district buying us a fancy three course meal and sending us home with 40 bucks each in gift cards, we decided to adopt six needy families that go to our school and make their Christmas merry! Our district gave us gift cards to spend on our families and we went out as grade levels and shopped till we dropped! It definitely felt more fulfilling than our usual self-indulgence. After the shopping, we came back to the gym and wrapped everything and sat down to a dinner of soup and salad. It was very fun!

And of course, as everyone assumed we'd be having a snow day today, people wished each other a Merry Christmas before we all drove home.

And I know that everyone breathed a sigh of relief (like I did), when we got an automated phone message from our principal, who said:

"Well, I don't know if it was the spoons under your pillow, the backwards pajamas, or if the stars aligned just right, but you've got your snow day! Have a great break and see you in January"

But it was a little hard to hear the specifics, because all I could hear was:

Crawl to the Finish

Today wasn't the greatest. In the words of one of my first graders with autism: "But I don't want to talk about this". Let's just say that the next two days will take pure endurance to get through. Pure. Endurance.

This version of "Ode to Joy" did make me feel a little better though, so I'll leave you on this note:

Random Happenings

It has been a busy weekend. It'll be nice to get back to school and have chance to rest and relax and do nothing. Ha! Actually, that very well may be what happens in the latter part of this week because I don't see kids when they're on their field trips and having all of their Christmas fluff activities.

Max spent Saturday emptying all of our closets and even the junk under the bed to clean and de-clutter. I walked into the bedroom and stopped about twelve inches in because there was no more floor space. He told me: "Don't worry, it has to get worse to get better". I was skeptical, but he was right, and now we have a beautiful bedroom, office, and kitchen again.

While he was cleaning, I went to a cookie exchange... and now we have five days to eat sixty cookies. Can it be done? I guess we'll find out!

I'll be Home for Christmas

Well, yesterday was not a snow day for us. We did, however, get a two hour delay--meaning I had to be at school at 9:40 instead of 7:40. Unfortunately, I didn't get the call until 5:38 A.M... and by then I was already showered and dressed. So instead of crawling back into bed, I went out to breakfast (Dunkin Donuts!!!), did the week's grocery shopping, then vacuumed the house.

It's the most productive I've been all week. I can't seem to get motivated to do anything at work. I just count down the hours until the day is done. All of this Christmas anticipation is making time crawl by! Ten more days until I'm on a plane to visit my parents in France!! Until then, can I ignore school and be a couch potato, please?

see more puppies

Seven Random Facts

I'd say there's about a 20 percent chance that the freezing rain they're predicting for tonight is going to last long enough for a school cancellation tomorrow.

So, to take my mind off taming my soaring hopes, (but mostly because Sarah tagged me), here's a list of seven random facts about me:

1. I was TIME's Person of the Year in 2006. Seriously. Oh, and you were too, if you blogged during that year!

2. I once ate regular M&M's in the back of a moving car when I was about five, then I threw up. I haven't been able to eat them since then. Peanut M&M's, yes. Regular? Barf. My husband tells me there's a word in psychology for that (C.R.A.Z.Y)

3. Because I spent a lot of time growing up in France, I've had the opportunity to visit many other countries. Twenty-one, to be exact. Well, technically twenty -four, if you count those wimpy countries like Monaco, Vatican City, and Lichtenstein. I just wish I had paid better attention when I was younger, because I hardly remember half of them!

4. My mom tells me that I taught my younger brother how to read in English. I have absolutely no recollection of this but I'm considering adding it to my resume...

5. My family has a pet bird (an African Grey) who used to love me, but now hates me. I still have no idea what I did to antagonize her!

6. My first kiss was on my wedding day. Some people think this is cool. Some people think this is weird and/or ridiculous. It just depends who I'm talking to :).

7. I used to think that the gas cans you buy at the store already came filled with gas. This wasn't when I was little.... this was when I was nineteen!!

Well, I'll tag the following people, but if you blog and you happened across this fun little meme, feel free to steal it!

Roller coaster teacher
Teaching Bio
Miss Teacher

There's No Shame in Begging

Dear Mother Nature,

In looking at the ten day forecast, it seems unlikely that we will get a snow day this week. There's maybe a chance on Tuesday or Wednesday but it's too early to tell how great of a chance it is.

Here's the thing. I really, really, really need that snow day. Not just to sleep in, but to get stuff done, too! I didn't realize that I only had this weekend and next weekend to get the Christmas shopping and present making done before we hop on a plane to visit my parents for the holidays!

So if you could trouble yourself to dump a bunch of snow, ice, and strong winds right over my school, that would be MUCH appreciated. Or, if it's easier, you could send an electrical storm our way and make sure that the power is down at school... that would be just as acceptable.

I know you have lots of potential weapons of danger and destruction in your power. If you could just use some of that to ensure an extra day off this week (or the next; I'm not picky), I would be happily indebted to you.


PS: PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe Next Time

Last night, sensing that there wasn't enough snow falling in order to produce a snow day, my body decided to take matters into its own hands, and made a rash decision to get sick in order to stay home.

First, it hurt to swallow. Then, my body started aching. Next, I only slept for a few hours last night as I lay in a pool of sweat, feeling nauseated. Finally, I started dry heaving after I woke up.

Checking the internet and realizing that my school would definitely be open today, I called my vice principal to tell her I was too sick to come into work today (that's our sick day procedure in our district) At 5:25 A.M, I had clearly woken her up.

VP: "What time is it?"
Me: "It's 5:25; I'm so sorry for waking you up!"
VP: "That's okay. I was really hoping we'd have a snow day today.... "

I'm disappointed too. It turns out that a sick day is MUCH less fun then a snow day!
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