Tag Archives: beauties

Sweet Reina #sol16 27 of 31

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That sweet face right there is none other than Miss Reina Mei, the cutest baby in Africa! I am going to miss all of our snuggles and laughs we shared this week. Reina is the daughter of my good friends Mel and T. I have FaceTimed plenty of times with Reina and seen tons of pictures of her cute, squishy face, but meeting her in person was such a treat!

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Reina’s one of those babies that would make you want to have a baby, because you’d be lulled into this false reality where you think all babies are so easygoing, happy 24/7, sleep when it’s time to sleep, wake up when it’s time to wake up, etc. Not only is she an easy baby, she is so much fun to play with! We spent so much time giggling because her laugh is so contagious. My favorite thing to do was tickle her. She gets this big smile on her face and tenses up, but she doesn’t really laugh out loud when you tickle her. She holds her breath til it’s over, but is loving every minute of it.

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We went up to Mel’s school on Thursday for Sports Day, but we arrived a little early, just in time for story time! Reina was right in there with the big kids, listening to the story. Mel’s students loved her to death, and it was hard to keep them focused once she arrived! At dismissal time, they all crowded around her to talk to her, make her laugh, and coo at her. How could you not when she’s so stinkin’ cute?!?

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Reina and I got to spend a lot of time together during the week while Mel was at work. The other morning, I was blogging, and Reina was on the couch behind me. I kept hearing her making noises to get my attention, and when I’d turn around, I’d see her leaned over looking at me with the biggest grin ever! 🙂

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Her eyes melt me every time…especially when she looks up at me like that!

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Reina loves to sit on poppa’s shoulders and pull his hair! I’m pretty sure it’s her favorite pastime. Poppa doesn’t mind, and even encourages her by saying “Don’t pull my hair!” in silly voices.

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Reina is so good on car trips! We took a long ride out of Dakar (3 hours) on Saturday, and she either played or slept the whole way, despite the heat and length of the ride. All of the adults were more crabby than she was! Look at her lip when she sleeps…it’s so cute how she pokes it out like that! 😀

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Reina got a new bow at the market, and she’s so happy to model it for us!

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Today was Easter Sunday, and we went out to a place near the beach for lunch. I took a few family photos while we were there. This baby is so photogenic! Oh, and her parents aren’t half bad either. 😉

Thank you Reina for the fun this week. I’m going to miss you! Aunt Jen loves you!!

TBAs #sol16 25 of 31

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Reflecting is a part of life. Taking stock of what you have, what you’ve done, and what you’ll do next time is essential to living. All too often, my reflections are focused on ways to improve upon something, to be more efficient, effective, productive, or thoughtful. But sometimes it’s just good to reflect on the good things in my life. Today, that’s what I intend to do through TBAs, which stand for Truths, Beauties, and Appreciations.

Truths…

  • I have a magical, wonderful, little life!
  • My friends are some of the best friends a girl could ask for! Even when we are continents apart, we are always there to support one another and share in each others’ successes. I love them!
  • This year’s SOL challenge has been good for my soul. It’s gotten me out of my writing rut, and allowed me to reconnect with some of my old friends.
  • I’ve missed reading. Too many other things have taken my time lately, but I’ve gotten back into this week. I’ve been reading Nightingale, which I am loving.

Beauties…

  • Reina, Mel and T’s adorable baby girl, whose smile lights up a room and who can make me happy, even when I’m feeling sick and wiped out.
  • Shagger’s new baby Marlowe, who is just too cute for words! I cannot stand not being there to snuggle up with and love on her!
  • My passport, full of stamps from my travels around the world.
  • The bright, colorful, patterned fabric they have in Senegal. I’ve not seen anything like it before!

Appreciations…

  • Sally, my colleague and friend, who is always offering to help me out when I’m stressed. Even when her plate is full, too, she is always willing to lend a hand. What would I do without her on my team?
  • The love and care Mel, T, Sally, and Agnes have given me this week when I haven’t been well. It’s certainly not what I expected- to be sick while in Senegal- but I appreciate all the care I’ve received.
  • My FaceTime chat with Linner this morning. Oh how I have missed her! 🙂
  • The fact that I felt well enough to venture out today! Mel and I got to check out the local market. Now that was an experience! It’ll be tomorrow’s slice for sure! 😉

What do you know to be true, beautiful, or appreciate?

TBAs- SOL #4

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Today was tough. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was hurt. But despite the fact that I’m going through a hard time, I’m going to give gratitude. I going to intentionally look for things that I know to be true, that are beautiful, and that I appreciate.

Truths…

  • I am loved. My friends and family have poured so much love on me through numerous messages, emails, comments, and hugs these past few weeks and days. Everyone of your words and gestures has touched me deeply. Thank you!
  • I am in pain, but there will be a day when the pain will stop. Everyday I take a step toward the end. Everyday I hope that today will be the day.
  • I may not be able to make a difference, but I can stand up for what I believe in. I can use my voice. I hope this is enough.
  • I’m still standing.
  • I live a truly remarkable life. I get to travel the world, meet new people from diverse cultures, try new foods, indulge in luxuries, and work with kids. For that, I am truly thankful!

Beauties…

  • The sight of my e-bike today. My e-bike that I left at Bubba’s (a restaurant) on Thanksgiving was right where I left it today. I know, with my track record with stolen bikes, I’m not too smart to leave it for 3 months, but it was COLD! Just glad it was still there!
  • Green plants
  • My clean apartment (that I didn’t have to clean)
  • The song “Mean to Me”…I want love like this!
  • Shanghai at night…love the lights!

Appreciations…

  • I appreciate my team. My team has stuck together through this trying time, and I don’t know what I’d do without them.
  • I appreciate chai tea lattes. They make me smile.
  • I appreciate Pizza Express, unlimited sweet tea, and good conversation today at lunch. Just what I needed!
  • I appreciate the Two Writing Teachers SOL community of writers…you guys have uplifted me so much these past few days! Reading your comments not only fuels me as a writer, but shows me that I’m not alone. You mean more to me than you know.
  • I appreciate Sherpa’s…on days when I don’t feel like cooking, I love that I can get food delivery at my door in less than an hour. Tonight was Thai yellow vegetable curry…yummy!

What are your TBAs?

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Time for TBA’s again! TBA stands for Truths, Beauties, and Appreciations.

Truths

  • I have the best friend in the world! She cares about me so much, and she is the best accountability partner ever! What would I do without my Shags?!?
  • I might not say it enough, but I’m so blessed.
  • I can’t dance, but I do it anyway. 😉
  • I need more goat cheese in my life.

Beauties

  • Despite staying at work until 9PM, I went for a run tonight. And I hate running.
  • XiTong, the cutest 4 year old around…her spunky spirit is contagious! Love her hugs!
  • Shanghai in the springtime. My allergies go crazy, but I love all the newness blossoming around me!
  • My momma. She’s pretty much the best lady around. She works so hard everyday, and I’m so happy for her that she’s on a vacation in England right now. She deserves it! 🙂

Appreciations

  • I appreciate music that keeps me going…my new fave “Sleeping at Last” for work jams and old school 90’s to motivate me to move my booty!
  • My colleagues- they work like crazy to provide the best education to our kiddoes. I’m lucky to have so many great teachers on my team!
  • Technology- it helps me everyday. 🙂
  • That I come home to a clean house 3 times a week…and I don’t have to do it! I told you I’m blessed. 🙂

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Join the Slice of Life Writing Community at Two Writing Teachers! You’ll be glad you did! 🙂

 

TBAs- SOL #2

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Reflection is a way to take a step back and look at life from another perspective. When I reflect, all too often it’s to think about how I would have done things differently- behaved in a different way, said something else, been better prepared, etc. While my reflections tend to focus on improvements that can be made for next time, I recognize the importance of reflecting on the good stuff, too. Looking at the world around us, noticing the little things, appreciating what we have, and being thankful are paramount to living a happy life. So in honor of happy reflections, here are my TBAs for today. TBA stands for Truth, Beauty, and Appreciation.

Truths:
1. I am loved.
2. I look forward to each day, and savor it to the fullest.
3. I am so excited about the SOL challenge! I’ve been lax in my writing lately, and I love this push to dive right back into it.
4. I am passionate about learning, teaching, and literacy, and I love to pass that passion onto others.
5. I could drink my weight in sweet tea.
6. I am leaving for Cairo, Egypt one month from today, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Beauties:
1. The two elderly Chinese women I passed on my walk today who were laughing and talking outside of their apartment complex.
2. The flower market on a Saturday afternoon…and my beautiful purple and white spotted orchid I bought to brighten up my apartment.
3. Smiles from strangers
4. Children playing and the joy they exude
5. The promise of a new adventure
6. Thank you notes from children
7. My niece, Randi, who is the cutest 9 month old around!

Appreciations:
1. Late night chats
2. An impromptu brunch with my friend Heidi, who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She makes me giggle every time we’re around one another.
3. This crazy, busy, surprising, and lovely city I live in
4. The sunshine, which after the rain, is so much sweeter
5. Filling my writer’s notebook with ideas, poems, writing, lists
6. Good friends and good food
7. Manicures
8. That my sister-in-law is now cancer-free!
9. The life I have. Looking back, I didn’t know I could be this happy.
10. Butterflies in my stomach
11. My staff and their support last week during Literacy Week 🙂
12. Shopping…too much sometimes!
13. My friends, both near and far
14. Having a job where I can dress up as various book characters, read aloud books, and excite children about literacy!

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Me dressed up as Fancy Nancy last week during Literacy Week

TBAs- SOL

I’m feeling thankful today, so I thought it was time for some more TBA’s. In case you don’t know, TBA stands for “Truths, Beauties, and Appreciations,” and it’s a reflective exercise to see the truth, beauty, and appreciation in life! The exercise is to write 5 Truths- Things you KNOW to be good and true; 5 Beauties- When you take time to notice the beauty in life- physical, nature, emotional; and 5 Appreciations- Things you appreciate. Here are mine for today…

Truths:
1. I hosted a Thanksgiving-ish lunch today at my house…in March. 😉
2. I have written more in the past 18 days than I have in the previous 50.
3. I can’t wait to meet all the new babies this summer (my friends, cousin, & brother will all have a new baby by June)!
4. I have had one of the best weekends in a long while.
5. I leave for Korea in less than 2 weeks! And I have yet to plan anything. Oops!

Beauties:
1. My kitchen full of clean dishes, even after hosting lunch today! 😉
2. My new notebook just waiting to be filled with my thoughts and musings about the world around me…
3. My mom!
4. Shaggers and Linner, some of the best friends a girl could ask for!
5.My nightstand with Reading With Meaning and highlighters calling my name when I finish with my SOL
!

Appreciations:
1. I appreciate laughter!
2. I appreciate game nights. Tonight was Quiddler! 🙂
3. I appreciate my friends indulging me when I wanted to play MASH tonight…so much fun! Apparently, I’ll work as a blind masseuse in a dirty cave, drive a time machine, and have a pet kangaroo! haha 🙂
4. I appreciate book clubs and the excitement that they bring.
5.I appreciate the Internet, as it allows me to keep in contact with 
those far away!
6.I appreciate how Andrew and Dee pick on me…it reminds me of my dad and brother 🙂
7.I appreciate Kayla and our very meaningful conversations!
8.I appreciate tea, especially peach flavored!
9.I appreciate the “Avocado Lady” since she has everything I want and it’s sooooo much cheaper than the import stores!!
10.I appreciate baths!
11.I appreciate all the slicers out there who pour their heart out everyday, both in their slices and in their comments!
12.I appreciate Stacey and Ruth for hosting this wonderful challenge!!
13.I appreciate when packages arrive!
14.I appreciate music!
15.I appreciate that I am in good health, and I pray for those who are sick or hurting!

What will you find Truth and Beauty in today? What do you Appreciate today? 

TBAs- SOL

What is TBA, you ask? TBA stands for Truths, Beauties, and Appreciations, and it’s a reflective exercise to see the truth, beauty, and appreciation in life! The exercise is to write 5 Truths- Things you KNOW to be good and true; 5 Beauties- Take time to notice the beauty in life- physical, nature, emotional; and 5 Appreciations- Things you appreciate. Here are mine for today…

Truths:
1. I am a reader and a writer.
2. I have more than doubled my number of slices already as compared to the March 2011 SOL Challenge.
3. I am a vegetarian.
4. My friends mean the world to me.
5. I am a traveler.

Beauties:
1. The sun is SHINING today!!! This is the second time in a month, so it’s a big deal.
2. My Starbucks mug filled with peach tea sitting next to me as I write
3. Smiling and being content with the world around me
4. Checking off things on my to-do list
5.My cooking class kiddos with their endless enthusiasm 😉
!
6.Flowers!
7.That this is my 10th slice!!

Appreciations:
1. I appreciate Skype conversations with old friends. I’m a lucky girl- I had 2 this morning! 😉
2. I appreciate 30 minute (or more) taxi rides to tutoring because I get an hour of time to read or play Scramble with Friends.
3. I appreciate listening ears.
4. I appreciate the joy of reading a new book and loving every minute of it! (If you haven’t read Wonder yet by R.J. Palacio, you really should put it in your stack!)
5.I appreciate my iPad because I always have a book with me waiting to be read!
6.I appreciate being able to finally purchase my flight to Seoul!
7.I appreciate the many opportunities I get to travel!
8.I appreciate soulful conversations!
9.I appreciate my writer’s notebook!
10.I appreciate getting to do whatever I want this weekend!
11.I appreciate the SOL writing community and the encouraging comments they leave!!
12.I appreciate being able to engage (digitally) with so many like-minded people
!
13.I appreciate my home in Shanghai as well as my one in Texas.
14.I appreciate massages!
15.I appreciate Starbucks!