- Summer Reading Program--I pitched an idea to support literacy development for children receiving long-term care at the children's hospital. And with some continued talk, I got hired to create and implement an eight week pilot summer reading program! One part involves sharing fabulous children's literature by featuring three books each week in a read aloud/booktalk. These were done in the library at the hospital and at bedside. If the child liked the book, they got to keep it. (If it was not of their taste, then I had a stash of other books from which to choose.) The second part was to encourage the kids to spend a certain amount of time reading independently to earn fabulous, cheesy prizes. It has been an awesome job! I am basically like a book fairy. I get the kids excited to read and then surprise them with getting to keep books for free. Some of the parents have gotten just as much into listening to me read as the kids. Do not underestimate how much people of all ages love to listen to some read aloud. And it is something that I will be able to get some grad credits for some of the evaluation work that I do with it this fall!
- Kickball--Our team was crazy good in the spring--second place in the play-offs. But then with a few roster changes this summer, our team was terrible. We won only the last game of the season. But we still rocked our bubble gum pink t-shirts and enjoyed in a ton of laughs. This season was a little more fun for me because my finger finally healed enough that I was able to be moved to playing second base instead of catcher.
- Pool Time/Girl Time--August has gone by so quickly that I think I actually spent more time swimming in July than I did in August. But what I will say about pool time in August is that I have had some good girlfriend time there. I've enjoyed lounging around the pool and having that time to have some meaningful girl talk, both with new friends and old friends. It is like the water just has a way of freeing you, to let you be more open for things to drift out. It is then that you realize you are caught up in something deeper than you might have expected and learn something new about the other person. And I have had some great girl time away from the pool, too. I am just so happy to be blessed with some great friendships. The best times are when you walk away feeling that rich connection and you just feel so good about yourself. It feels awesome when you know that friendship is being reciprocated and that you are able to give back to your friend.
- New Guy--Yep, we're still dating and I am enjoying that! We have been spending more time together and he makes me smile. It is the little things that tickle me and really start to add up. And it is fun to know that you are being thought of during the moments away. It is not to say that we haven't had a few ups and downs, but I think we make an effort to talk about things openly and honestly. My favorite times are the trips to Home Depot, walking around in his neighborhood of the city--Little Italy, and cooking together. Life still feels like being on an adventure with him (i.e. caught my first trout last weekend) and he has a touch of a romantic in him that I love to observe in his ways.
- Fall Classes at Pitt Begin--This time around I will be a full-time student! I am excited and nervous. But when I start to get nervous, I just focus on what a wonderful opportunity I have at hand and to take it one step at a time. I really love what I am studying and grad school is so much more fulfilling, deeper, and richer than undergrad. I think having time and experience from which to draw upon make the classes more meaningful. I just really want to make the most of my experience while I am back at school.
I wonder what the fall will bring. I have not wanted summer to end, but I think I am in a better place to accept some of the changes and to remind myself to go with the flow.