Friday, January 28, 2011

What goes around, Comes around...Part 2

Approximately 20 years ago, as fourth grader, I beat up a boy. Yes. It's true. I'm not proud of it, but it does make for a hilarious story.

We were on the school bus on our way home, and this kid named Chad (poor, poor Chad) wanted to have a friendly chat. I was in no mood for his antics and asked him to please be quiet. And then, I wasn't so nice and said that if he didn't shut up I'd beat him up.

He didn't believe me and he continued to talk. So, when we got off the bus, I made sure the bus turned the corner and then I charged him. I ran up to him, pushed him to the ground, and started punching him as if he were a lifeless flour sack. I went to town until his glasses flew off...

I know - it's AWFUL! I was a coward and ran off for fear that he'd hit me back or worse - I'd get caught fighting!!

Anyway, poor Chad wanted to make amends by giving me one of his mother's rings. I accepted.

The only problem was how in the world I was going to present this to my MOTHER!! A boy gave me a ring, because he's really sorry he annoyed me so much I beat him up!? No. Absolutely not. No, I chose this story instead:

Mom, look at what I found on the playground!! Isn't it pretty? I was on the swings and I saw something shimmer, so I jumped off and found this.

Well - I should have checked in with my older brother before telling this tall tale because just as my mom is gushing over this beauty, he waltzes in blowing my poorly executed cover: MOM - DID YOU SEE WHAT CHAD GAVE MY SISTER?

hahahahaha!! OMG - I had dug my own grave. I had to spill the beans - How I beat him up. How he felt sorry. How he gave me his mom's ring! And then on top of that, I was escorted by my mom to return the ring and apologize to him and his mother!

Fast forward to TODAY:

I walk into class today and I'm so excited to see that my students have worked on their 100 day projects (posters they work on that show 100 somethings). I notice that one particular poster is creating quite a buzz, but didn't really make out what anyone was saying. So I take a closer look and realize that my Curious George puzzle is on this kid's poster!!

Once his sister finished helping him settle in with this gigantic poster, she leaves and I begin to probe.

Even the other students, when they saw this poster, began wondering with quizzical expressions - Ms. Marquez, isn't this YOUR puzzle?

Me: Oh, look! How interesting! I had a puzzle like that. I can't seem to find it.
Student: Oh really?
Me: Yes, don't you remember it? I usually have it right here and look - it's missing.
Student: Well, I found this one outside.
Me: Really? Where exactly?
Student: You know...I was outside playing and then I see these puzzle pieces all spread out in the grass. So I picked them up and took them home.
Me: Wow - what are the chances?

I step away and continued on with the morning routines like nothing had happened. I asked the kids to line up to go to the restroom and just BURST into laughter!! I told my kids: Life is HILARIOUS! It's so interesting how things come full circle. You remember that! They all begin to laugh only to ask: What's so funny?

He had no idea that while he was enjoying his time in P.E., I was calling his grandmother to "check in" on things. How this will be handled from here, I'm not quite sure.

But just know...that everything I ever did as a child is coming back to haunt me. It makes LAUGH!

For Part 1, click here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


So after the half-marathon, my feet felt a little like this. I tried running today in my "old" shoes and my feet were like - Uhm, NO!
Not even two minutes into what was supposed to be a short liesurely run, I turned around and drove to the nearest shoe store.

And there you have feet feel better already with the support given by these Brooks. I strayed from my adidas. Sure, they are UGLY. But guess what I LOVE THEM! They feel great and can't wait to run my way to happiness tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January's Wonder

The picture does this happy little tree absolutely no justice. Located right outside of the school gym, it brings a joy to my heart every time I see it. I breath in deep and thank the Lord for bright colors in places like this tree when the sun is refusing to show his face behind the dreary gray clouds (with the exception of today of course). The red berries are happy little things. Happy is contagious! :o)

*On a totally different subject: boys at school are tough. Any reading suggestions for the teacher out there? Any methods that I should adopt? I would really, Really, REALLY appreciate the feedback on this one.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Runner's High

So - I ran my first half-marathon (13.1 miles) ever!! I'm very VERY excited about it. It wasn't necessarily easy but I would do it again with ALL MY HEART AND SOUL!!!!

If you want to see pictures click here!

Here's the break down of the race:

We were told that we had to be parked no later than 5:30 a.m. and that roads were closing at 6. The race was supposed to start at 7:00. My friend Ashley, who went to Guatemala with me, woke up at the crack of dawn to take me to the race only to find out it was postponed until 7:45!! It was RAINY, WINDY and COOOOOOOOLD!!

I had my favorite breakfast: Ice Cold Milk and Bananas. And like 2 bottles of water. And in my fuel belt I had water (Gatorade during runs makes me puke) and M&M's!

Mile 1-3: I run this distance often so this part was the easiest (which I'm proud to say practice has paid off). I had to tell myself to chill and to take it easy because it was just the beginning. At the beginning of races, you're adrenaline is on HIGH you want to take off like Speedy Gonzalez. I stop to take off my long sleeve shirt because it get's really hot when you run! I think I was running at an ~11 minute pace here.

Mile 4-5: I ran most of this but I told myself it was okay to walk. My 3-1 fartleks began. It's my favorite way to run. 12 min pace.

Mile 6: PAINFUL. Like excruciatingly painful. I got the worst stitch of all time! I was talking to a lady about how it's my first half and she asked it if was okay if she ran with me (she is a lot older and has several under her belt). As soon as I agreed, this pain came in directly under the right side of rib cage and I wanted to curl over into a fetal position and cry. She left me saying, "Breath deep...I promise it will pass!" It was seriously like my insides were being split open. (I'm not was painful.) It lasted a full minute...
12 min pace

Mile 7-9: A complete blur. Except that here the 1-1 fartleks began. I was happy.

Mile 10: I remember celebrating the fact that I had kept a pretty consistent pace. They pace person said: 12.23! I replied back: ARE YOU SERIOUS? Pace person: Yes, keep it up!
I told everyone around me that we should be soooo proud!! They sorta looked at me like I was crazy. I was really HAPPY!!

Mile 11: I prayed aloud: "DEAR GOD - HELP ME! BE WITH ME NOW!"
People asked if I was okay. My response: "My toe really hurts."
My index toe on my left foot usually hurts when I run, but the pain was a bit exaggerated since my feet were cold and wet and I also tend to be slightly dramatic. I started counting to a 100 over and over to get my mind off my hurting toe. That is until I remembered a chant I learned at a VBS 2 years ago. It goes like this:
I was still at a ~12.23 pace

Mile 12-13: I slowed down to a 12.40 pace. I walked a lot more, but still managed to run most of it. I saw a girl who had been running really well the whole time look like she was throwing in the towel. I ran up to her and said - COME ON! WE CAN DO THIS! WE GOT THIS!! KEEP GOING!! We ran/walked together until the very end. She runs better than I do, so she said see you at the finish line and she took off, but not before giving me a pep talk!

In the middle of all this, I was soooooo incredibly encouraged to see one of my students and her mom under HWY 59. They had a poster that said: YOU CAN DO IT, MS. MARQUEZ! I almost cried, but instead I stopped to give them both a hug. They handed me a bag of snickers!! :o)

The last bit
: The finish line was after you turn a corner...I would have loved to have sprinted from the corner...but I waited until I got a little closer. I started yelling - I FINISHED before even crossing the finish line! The clock read watch said 2.45. I'm waiting on the official results to know what my time was. But the bottom line I FINISHED!! AND I DID IT UNDER 3 HOURS!

This is really one of the most incredible feelings I've ever experienced. After saying my whole life that I would never ever in a million years like running, I have developed a love for it! Crossing the finish line was pretty emotional for me. I couldn't do it alone - Christ is my strength and thank you Regina White for crossing the 5k finish line with me in April 2010 and assuring me that if I could run/walk my first 5k, I could run a half!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - The Year of Wonder

2010 Recap- It was the year of conquering and while I don't feel like I did much conquering per se, I know that there's been a lot of progress. For instance, I went from being jobless, to working at the mall and being a substitute teacher, to working as an elementary school teacher! Is that progress or what?

I went from a complete inability to run (okay - I could run for only 3 minutes when I first started - it should count for something!!) to run the entire loop at Memorial Park, plus some with the right pacing. That progress to me is kind of unbelievable!! Me - run? Never!

And I went from wanting to go to Casa Bernabe to actually GOING to Casa Bernabe!!

There's plenty more, for sure, but these are my favorites!! Why? Because I did none of it on my own. All of these big accomplishments remind me of really special people in my life. They remind me of how blessed BEYOND measure I am. My cup runneth over!

Moving on to 2011....


I don't know if it's just life and you get busy or jaded or both...but it's easy to stop to looking at people, things and situations - the amazing things God has created and done - in wonder. For instance, the fact that I'm moving my fingers to type this in itself is seriously wonderful! My legs are crossed and my right foot is bobbing up and down without even paying 2 bits of attention to it while I'm typing - Incredible right? So that's what I'm talking about - I want to deliberately enjoy every scent, every sight, every sound, every TASTE (I LOVE FOOD!!), and every EVERYTHING life has to offer! Yes - and even when it hurts, I want to feel it on purpose knowing that my God is sovereign!

Theme Verse for 2011:
Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40:5
Theme Picture for 2011:

I watched Tangled with my cousins and I think I seriously gasped whenever the lanterns were all around her! This captured this year's theme: WONDER!

Theme Song for 2011:

Go Outside, Robbie Seay Band
I seriously love this song!! I've been listening to it for over a year...still not old!

Goals for 2011:
  1. Read at least one book a month. I'm currently reading Pastor Gregg's book!
  2. Run at least 2 half-marathons. Maybe more? Running is something I'm going to keep up with regardless of whether I sign up for races or not. I never thought I would love it this much! Feel like you're getting into a funk - GO RUN!
  3. Pick up weight training...or rock climbing! (I hate weight training!!)
  4. Make it back to Guatemala. I'm planning on going for ~5 weeks this summer. I'll tell you more about it. Be praying about this - please!
  5. Get braces. Stuff like this is supposed to happen when you're a teen not when you're practically 30 years old. But whatever - I think I'm going for it for my 29th birthday. If not my birthday - I'll kick of the summer with several visits to the orthodontist!

Books of 2010

This year I read fewer books because I am a SLOW reader and I would fall asleep as soon as I started reading. Can you blame a girl?
  • Ninteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult Jodi's books always leave you wondering what would I do if I were in their position. This one hit a bit close to home and messed with me a bit. The topic: Bullying. I could write another post about my elementary school life experiences, but I don't want to - so I won't. :o)
  • The Prophet, Khalil Gabran - I found it interesting that some people have put the Bible aside and taken this up as their spiritual guide. Be warned that this prophet isn't JESUS.
  • The Hole in Our Gospel, Richard Stearns - This is my FAVORITE book of the year! While it all may be something you may have already heard, it forces you to look at how you live and how it affects those around you.
  • Little Bee, Chris Cleave - This book left me with a lot of unanswered questions regarding immigration....Oh, the ever controversial topic!
  • Same Kind of Different As Me, Ron Hall & Denver Moore - Ron and Denver have a really sweet friendship. I like how Ron was honest regarding his feelings toward "christian" stuff. A lot of times I feel the same way - but the funny thing is something great happens when you are obedient to what God's asked of you.
  • Double Take, Kevin Michael Connolly - Imagine you were legless and you were traveling the world on a skateboard??
  • The Recipe Club, Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel - If honesty is the best policy, I found this book to be a bit lame and predictable.
  • Sh*t My Dad Says, Justin Halpern - Laughing out loud doesn't often happen when I'm reading, but I sure did laugh out loud with this one. Justin's dad is a serious ham and a half. (If the word sh*t or F*ck bother you then don't bother picking this book up.)
  • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho - Another one of those philosophical books...very simple. It's really REALLY popular and I'm wondering if I'm missing something. Did I miss the train everyone else is on?
  • Morning Glory, LaVyrie Spencre - Okay, so they made a chick flick out of this book and I completely missed it while it was on the big screen. I tried renting it but can't find it anywhere so I picked up the book and imagined the movie while I read the book. It was cute and what you'd expect from a chick book.