Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I think this first picture explains it all! I am blessed to have the summers off (almost...I do work a bunch yet it is totally flexible and I have so much time to enjoy life!) This entry goes through some of the super awesome things that I was able to do this summer with my family and friends...enjoy!

Me at Young Life's Mountain Lodge camp...smiling because I am so tan!
Many of my friends are also teachers so this summer we celebrated the season with a weekly teacher field trip. This photo was taken in front of the famous Sprinkles cupcakes in Beverly Hills...they are good...I would advise you to order the milk with your yummy treat and try a few...each cupcake has a unique taste (helpful hint: you can check online to see which cupcakes are baked on certain days of the week).

One of my absolute favorite summer activities is riding my bike! We often ride down to Hermosa for dinner, to hangout at the beach, just to ride, etc. This photo is not my bike but a rented bike. Shannon is such a great friend that she took the day off to have a Shanifer (Shannon + Jennifer = Shanifer) Day of Fun in Newport Beach. We went to the Rainbow Sandal Outlet and then rented bikes...it was a super fun day!

Christy and Drew enjoying Catalina.

Christy and I on the boat to Catalina...I am sure we were talking teacher math talk and borrowing the other three half to death! I am glad that Chrsity does not get seasick as she did when we were younger...I would not allow here to sit that close if that was still the case.
My parents and lunch in Catalina. For my mom's birthday the five of us went on a family day trip. I am so thankful that my family live close and we get to hangout as much as we do. We always laugh a bunch whenever we get together and I am thankful for that!
Two of my teacher friends got married this summer...weddings are so much fun...I am thankful that I was able to celebrate with each of them.
Heidi and Eric (July 6th) dancing to DJ Dennis's amazing tunes (DJ Dennis rocks!).

Me, Heidi, and Melissa (aka Poofys)...we have been great buddies (we teach math together) over the past two years and this year Heidi is living with her new husband Eric in Michigan. Melissa and I miss her dearly yet are praying each day that she comes back next fall!

Stephanie and Jason (July 28th)...they had a beautiful, intimate wedding.

Stephanie is one of my dear friend from the UCLA Teacher Education Program.

At the end of August I visited Trina in Washington D.C. She just moved to D.C. to go to a Masters Program at Georgetown Law...she already has a law degree yet loves school so she is going for one more year!
I do not mind because now I have another place to visit. This was my first trip to D.C.
Me at the White House...next year I hope to go on a tour of the White House...maybe I can bake the first family some of my famous cookies!

And of course it rained the night that we walked (what seemed to be a million miles) to see the monuments at night. I did score this see through umbrella!

Trina and I toured the capital building. Taylor told me that if you call your congressperson you can set up tours in D.C. Thanks for the tip Taylor...it was great.

Kayaking at Young Life camp in August (they threatened to tip me over yet know better!).
Hanging with the girls.
Some of the guys after my favorite activity of the week...tubing!

Michelle is not my sister by blood yet Christy and I do not know life without her so we call her a sister! Our dads met in junior high school and for our entire lives our families have had a very special bond. This year Michelle turned 30 so we all went to Las Vegas to celebrate.

Michelle love Barry so we went to a Manilow concert because "he write the songs that make the whole world singe" or at least a great number of middle aged women in the crowd.

The entire family at a special birthday dinner.

Me and my sisters (one of the many pictures that we have together that I will cherish forever!)

In July a few of us girls went on a relaxing weekend to Palm Springs.

Sheri is awesome with the "selfy" shots...I just didn't make it in this one.

Me, Becky, and Sheri and a fun dinner.

Me and Diane (who I am co-leading a Bible study for the next six months).

The week after school ended I went on a trip with my dad to Connecticut to visit the east coast Pawlaks. It was an incredible weekend. My cousin, Jimmy and his wife Carrie are amazing hosts and we had a great time with them and their five boys. The week was nonstop...I cannot wait to go back and visit again. April and her family also recently moved to Connecticut so we also got to visit with her an her family.

Quinn and Victoria (kissing cousins as my dad would say).

Dad, Quinn, Sean, Justin, Colin, Ryan, Me (they are so handsome!). I tried to fit everyone in my suitcase back to California yet I was stopped by security!

The Pawlak Family at the Zoo (an fun and educational experience)!

Justin, Me, and April at the ballpark.

While we were there the boys had baseball games. It was so fun to see them play, to see Jimmy coaching, and Carrie being a great team mom!
So that was the summer! I guess you can say I enjoyed my two months off of school!

You've Gotta Start Somewhere

I have been wanting to start a blog for a long time so I decided this would be one of my many summer projects. School is starting next week so I am trying to cram this in before my life gets crazy. Wait when is my life not crazy…

I have been having so much fun this past year and obviously I cannot write about everything so I have decided to highlight one or two events per month over the past year.

So here goes…

July 2006 - Christy and Drew's Wedding

The definite highlight of 2006 was Christy (my sister) and Drew's Wedding. Christy is now Mrs. Foster so I will proudly hold the title of Ms. Pawlak (we are both teachers!). The day was simply amazing...everything came together in the perfect way and we had soooo much fun sharing, laughing, and dancing. Drew is awesome and I am so thankful to have such a cool brother!

August 2006 - Moved to Gundo

Yes...after saying that I would not leave Redondo because I loved my place...last August I moved to El Segundo and now have an apartment that I love even more. My top 5 favorite things about living here are...

1. I have so many friends only streets away!

2. I have a washer and dryer in my apartment (getting that was an experience to say the least!).

3. I have a cozy living room with a sectional couch and comfy chair (Shannon's claims it is her chair and I love having my quiet times there with a cup of coffee and toast (I am becoming my father).

4. I am only 6 minutes from work.

5. I can ride my bike to the beach and the strand!

Monday, August 27, 2007

September 2006 - Book Club Begins

I have found a love for reading over the past few years and now I am in a book club (this coming from the girl who teaches math and was in "Reading Lab" in the second grade) with some of my teacher friends. Here is a funny story about the first book we read. We read a book every 2 weeks and then meet to share our thoughts on the book, compare notes, etc. In September we received an email explaining that our first book would be "The Pact". Becky had just finished reading that book in her book club so I borrowed her copy. A few weeks into reading the book I realize in a conversatio with JJ that I am not reading the same book as her.
The Pact (pictured second above) by Sampson Davis is explained as follows:
Amazon.com - As teenagers from a rough part of Newark, New Jersey, Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt, and George Jenkins had nothing special going for them except loving mothers (one of whom was a drug user) and above-average intelligence. Their first stroke of luck was testing into University High, one of Newark's three magnet high schools, and their second was finding each other. They were busy staying out of trouble (most of the time), and discovering the usual ways to skip class and do as little schoolwork as possible, when a recruitment presentation on Seton Hall University reignited George's childhood dream of becoming a dentist. The college was offering a tempting assistance package for minorities in its Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Plus Program. George convinced his two friends to go to college with him. They would help each other through. None of them would be allowed to drop out and be reabsorbed by the Newark streets.
Although this inspiring and easy-to-read book would be enjoyed by any teenager or educator, it seems perfect for minority youth, especially young men of junior high and high school age, who may lack more immediate role models. If the ordinary boys who made this pact could survive college and medical school by sticking together, then so can others.
The Pact (pictured first above) by Jodi Picoult is a little different of a story line, as described as follows:
Until the phone calls came at three o'clock on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now seventeen-year-old Emily is dead—shot with a gun her beloved and devoted Chris pilfered from his father's cabinet as part of an apparent suicide pact—leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew.

From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult—one of the most powerful writers in contemporary fiction—comes a riveting, timely, heartbreaking, and terrifying novel of families in anguish and friendships ripped apart by inconceivable violence.
The final outcome of my mistake...
1. I did read both books.
2. I enjoyed the Jodi "Pact" much more (my kind of book).
3. I fell in love with Jodi Picoult's writing style (and Laurie joined me in this love) and am now on a quest to read all of her books.
4. Between Laurie and myself we own almost all of the Jodi books and we trade them back and forth.
5. At this point I have read 3 of Jodi's books and am working through the books waiting on the shelf!
6. I really enjoy book club and I will send more updates as time goes on!

October 2006 - Outlet Events contined

For the annual Outlet costume party (more explained about Outlet in the other October entry) I was Math Girl..."If there is a problem, YO I'll solve it!" Everyone was super creative...Shannon and David were cheese and a grater...Sheri, Becky, and Matt were Ipod people and a wall!

October 2006 - Outlet Events

Years ago I prayed to feel connected to my church home (Journey of Faith). God gave me the strength and confidence to get involved with a community of believers and HE led me (with the help of a few others) to Outlet. Outlet (as the mission statement explains) is "an authentic community experiencing life’s journey together, committed to grow in our relationship with Christ by the study of God’s word, application of His truth and fellowship."

I am on the Outlet leadership team and with my friend Shannon (and now Diane too!) I plan the social events (aka...amazing fun times) for the group. We have about two events a month to help everyone "get plugged in". In October our two events were...

Grub in the Gundo (a food tour through five apartments in El Segundo of which my place was one)....

November 2006 - Thanksgiving

"I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving." - Psalm 69:30

I am so thankful for the blessing God and given me and I continue to live each day loving HIM for everything HE has done for me! Thank you God for sending your son Jesus to die for my sins so that I may have eternal life!

This November I visited the Troges new home in Stapleton, Colorado. It is a beautiful home and they are great hosts. Laurie and I have similar tastes in just about everything (as highlighted in the photo of our new matching vests...we wore them all season long!).

December - 2006

Each year the Outlet celebrates the Christmas season by joining up on the sand just north of the Manhattan Beach pier to view the annual MB Holiday Fireworks show. This year was so much fun given that the evening included a little rain (hence the bundled up photos)!

January 2007 - Happy New Blue Year

I am so blessed to live so close to so many of my friends. In January we had a New Year's party at Matt and Becky's apartment (they live only 2 streets away). The theme was Happy New Blue Year...we wore blue clothes, drank blue dranks, sang "blue" songs and much much more!