Archive for December, 2009

some good moments in 2009!

December 31, 2009

Despite having a few different offers for things to do tonight, David and I are spending it at home by ourselves. I’m not feeling so great and David was pretty happy to stay in too.

I’ve spent time looking at my photos from the past 12 months and wanted to share some really good moments of 2009 (in no particular order).

Sarah surprised mom and came home from Toronto for her play (photo taken by Jeff).

David and I went to Ogunquit before the summer crowd.

Not a good photo, but certainly a highlight of 2009. While flying to LA, we got bumped to first class!

At Bruce and Randy's (David's parents) house. I wish I were there right now...

On the path by Bruce and Randy's house.

Written on a tent at Camp Darfur, my students' genocide awareness event.

David walks on Plum Island.

Three of my students on our bike trip to Martha's Vineyard.

Pike Place Market in Seattle.

The Seattle Public Library.

Forest Park in Portland, OR.

Just before my mom and I got on our bikes to ride in the Seacoast Century.

David in Newport, RI for our anniversary.

David and me with our friend Dan less than a month ago. We went to Hampshire for Kendell and Kate's Div III readings. Western MA still feels like home to me.

There are so many more good moments of which I don’t have photos, or that I’m not posting because this entry could go on and on… This is just a small sampling of things that made me smile this year.

Here’s to many more wonderful days in 2010!

picturing the past 10 years

December 31, 2009

By Phillip Niemeyer, The New York Times

documenting the decade

December 30, 2009

I am pouring over “Documenting the Decade,” a New York Times site where readers submitted photographs of significant events that occurred over the past decade.

In 2000 I was a freshman in high school…

home for the holidays

December 30, 2009

Last Thursday, Christmas Eve, David and I headed to my parents’ house. On Christmas Eve, Papa came over to have dinner with my parents, Sarah, David and me. For dessert, we had our traditional Risgrynsgröt, Swedish rice pudding. A mandel, or an almond, is put into the pudding and whoever gets it is either the next to get married, or receives seven years of good luck. David got it this year!

My parents held their annual Christmas day open house–lots of family and friends! I received so many wonderful gifts and ate so much (too much) food.

Looking out through the screen door at my favorite tree.

David, me, and Sarah on Christmas morning.

David opens the snowshoes and poles from my parents (from, in case you are in the market!).

I am so lucky to have my family.

On Sunday, the girls met for brunch at The Black Forest for our annual holiday book swap. Amanda and Abby couldn’t make it this year, but it was so nice to see everyone else. It’s really comforting to be around people who have known you–and been your friend–since you were a little kid.

Anne & Danielle

Sarah N & Julie

Danielle, Sarah, me, and Alexis

After brunch, I drove Danielle home. It reminded me of all those hours we spent driving around together in high school… I went in and sat around and talked with her parents and Taylor, Tiff, and Tanner (Danielle’s siblings) for awhile. They gave me a glass of apple juice with crushed ice, which is what I always have at their house. I’ve spent so many countless hours with them; it was so familiar & warm. I need things like that more often.

I have spent much of break in bed. I’m getting so much sleep, but feel totally exhausted. I thought this would go away as I tapered my heart medication, but I feel even more wiped out than I did a week ago. Hopefully this will get better!

David and I came back home to our apartment on Sunday. Since then, the week has been filled with lots of small things: lunch in Portsmouth, working on my Personal Statement (the first grad school application is due January 15), seeing Avatar in 3D, a haircut, breakfast at Sarah N’s house, a dentist appointment, lunch with my dad, running into an old friend unexpectedly, catching up on grading…

I’m so grateful for this break!!

Swedish thumbprint cookies

December 28, 2009

I’ve had so many cookies and chocolates over the past week. These are my mom’s favorite!


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Approximately 1 cup slivered almonds
  • Jam or preserves for filling (I always use raspberry)


>>Preheat oven to 375 F

>>Yields approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1) Beat together the butter and sugar.

2) Add the flour and vanilla, then beat until well-mixed (will be somewhat clumpy).

3) Finely chop the almonds. I used a nut grinder, then used a knife to make the pieces smaller.

4) Roll the batter into approximately 1″ balls. Roll the balls in the chopped almonds until lightly covered.

5) Place the balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, approximately 2″ apart. Make a thumbprint mark in the center of each cookie.

6) Fill the thumbprint marks with the jam.

7) Cook for 10-12 minutes, until very lightly brown around the edges.

it’s not so simple

December 22, 2009

I never realized before I was actually standing in the classroom how many roles teachers fill in students’ lives. I don’t just teach teenagers how to read, analyze, discuss, and write… There is so much more to my job than creating and teaching an English curriculum.

It’s been an emotionally challenging few weeks, but I am blown away by my students’ courage and strength.

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to be 24 and have so much responsibility, but I am so proud and amazed that I get to play a part in all of this.

for two of my students

December 14, 2009

it’s ours
by charles bukowski

there is always that space there
just before they get to us
that space
that fine relaxer
the breather
while say
flopping on a bed
thinking of nothing
or say
pouring a glass of water from the
while entranced by

gentle pure

it’s worth

centuries of


just to scratch your neck
while looking out the window at
a bare branch

that space
before they get to us
when they do
they won’t
get it all


home sweet home

December 4, 2009

I am finally back home after being in the hospital since Monday. My Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome has been corrected by catheter ablation, but I am still feeling kind of crummy.

I arrived home this afternoon to a huge Editable Arrangement sent to me by my colleagues. I feel unbelievably grateful for all of the people who took care of me while I was at the hospital and everyone who wished me well. It’s pretty amazing.