jaw surgery

Young spring chicken

I tried to show my students that I was once cool (kind of). It was the heat of March madness and college basketball and our school was a frenzy with door decorating competitions and assemblies, etc. I have this picture of me that for about two glorious weeks graced the uiowa.edu website. It’s me just casually chatting on the old capitol steps with some strangers. It’s the most publicity and fame I’ll ever get, and my legs are tan, so I really don’t mind showing it.


They didn’t really respond in any particular way, but I know that deep down (way deep) they were like “wow, cool”

I lovingly referred to myself as a young spring chicken at that point in my life, which did receive a light smattering of giggles- probably more out of confusion than anything but hey- It’s a tough crowd so I’ll take all the laughs they give me. (English question- would a semi-colon work in that sentence? What about this one?)

I figured it was time for a bit of a jaw/ braces update since a non family member noticed that my teeth “look pretty straight” and said “your braces are cute” to which I replied “you can have them!”

The end is totally in sight now. I think. I’m not the best communicator but sometimes leaving the orthodontist I’m left with more questions…did he mean THIS June? Also what is June really? That’s a full month. Is it like June 5th or June 29th? Is there a June 31st? If there is, it could totally be then and still technically be June.  I also don’t ask because I thought I was going to get my braces off in February, so I clearly have no sense of time or how braces work, etc.

My sisters poppin baby shower also happened just last weekend, so it was a chance for others to check in, see how the whole chin situation was doing. Easy answer is no change, no feeling. Complicated answer is that sometimes I think it’s getting better but sometimes I spill coffee down my chin and then have makeup on most of my face but have a slightly reddish brown chin from a combo of the coffee and attempting to scrub it off, mainly just removing my makeup but somehow not the coffee . #cutestteacher #everyonehasacrushonme100%

If your curious about the emojis and how much fun they can be, just pop over to amazon.com and search up photo booth props. The poop emoji was popular, and I unfortunately thought it was a good idea to bring to school and now the poop emoji has gone missing. The others are safe.

Photo update: The usual before surgery/before braces photo on the left. Photo from today on the right.

The photo on the left is from about 1-2 months ago I think. Not any huge differences…maybe smiling with my mouth closed is getting slightly less awkward and lopsided. Just 2 more months (approx) and I will be flashing my pearly whites all around town. Get ready for the summer of Emma. I certainly am.

Just thought I’d close out with this quote that resonated with all that’s going on in the media/ world. If anyone has any suggestions for me on how to volunteer or do something that doesn’t require donating money I would love to know.

xoxo"People don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." - Friedrich Nietzsche:


Your story

Today I’m feeling a little bit of Hamilton, a dash of a feel good e-mail, and a pinch of reflective on why I’m a big baby about getting evaluated.

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and you laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.

– Clarissa Pinkola Estes 

I usually get pretty depresso after getting observed at work. I’m sure everyone goes through that feeling because I know of very few people that expect to give or get feedback along the lines of “great job, keep doing what your doing because you are a perfect angel.” But on the other hand, it probably couldn’t hurt to say?

I mean, that’s my mentality when I workout – which is totally a thing now that I live across the street from a gym-AND JOINED IT. I’m as pleased as can be that I actually arrive at the gym, in a semi cute workout outfit and last for a whole hour. The actual workout boils down to about 30 minutes but I stretch it out because it’s like “well, I’m already here…might as well roll around on this yoga mat in some form of stretching ab laying pose.” Plus an hour just seems like a better amount of time.

When I joined the gym they did that thing where you get a free training session, so it’s like damn, pressure, better do it. It’s free. But I did the usual like Oh no, we have to reschedule approximately 4 times. Then last night I forgot to text back confirming our session today so he was going to cancel if I didn’t reply. So when I replied I was like, I totally understand if you want to cancel and never reschedule. And he was like no worries, see you at 8.


Trapped. But here I am, feeling literally amazing (pronounced a la Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec).

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We did start talking about my “fitness goals” which I couldn’t help but laugh. So I pulled some stuff out of my butt from the past about how I used to run 5ks and I did the shamrock shuffle which is an 8k. So the trainer tried to dig a little deeper, figuring I like running, so he asks…

“Cool, why did you decide to do 5ks?”

me: “Because I don’t think anyone should run any farther than that. I never want to run a marathon.”

trainer: Starts talking about the movie 300 and running, and ancient Greece.

me: ……(in my brain remembering that my actual new years resolution was to become a person that drinks more bourbon). 


We ended up getting along great though, and he is super knowledgeable and showed me all of these creepy pictures of him competing in body building competitions. I didn’t think we were close enough yet to ask why you have to dye yourself orange to participate,  but I ended up purchasing some more sessions with him, so I will keep you all posted.

In other news my lower lip and chin are still trying to drive me nuts by remaining tingly. However, I don’t have to eat with a mirror anymore. I still find the occasional dribble on my chin, but I’m more comfortable in how to manage my bites. I have stopped taking selfies because I’m waiting until I actually notice more of a difference in my face and the differences have been so slight that I don’t want to get frustrated. It is good to look back where it all started though.

In way other news I got bored one night and actually clicked on a Facebook ad because they can read into your soul and know your deepest thoughts that you don’t even know that you have and decided to try this thing called stitch fix. I got my first package and let me tell you, it did come at a good time when I needed my spirits lifted, but I really geeked out more than I usually would over clothes. If you know me at all, I actually HATE shopping. It’s so weird. I can’t explain it. I like having clothes and I’m into style and what not but I have approximately zero endurance. Grocery shopping is my jam. I go down every aisle. Twice.

Anyways stitch fix is like having a personal stylist for poor-ish people. You take a little quiz and then you say if you have any specific wishes for that month or however often you want to do it and then they send you stuff they think you might like. You just have to decide if you want to buy it and then you send the rest back. Super easy, fun, cool, exciting, etc.

I’m going to sign off before I lose this weird workout momentum that I got that made me feel excited at the thought of cleaning my apartment. PS Living alone is the best thing that anyone can do in their life ever. If you missed that experience you seriously need to move out of your house that you share with your husband or wife and be like, look, we can still be married but this is super important. Bye.

Big shout out to all of the women, children, cute dogs, men, and everyone else (half women, whole martian, clowns, etc.) marching today. Power to the people.

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Image result for borges quotes on time

Great decisions

I have had some very “if you give a mouse a cookie” moments lately. It’s a technical term that I use to describe realizations regarding things that one cannot do. For example, one cannot make pasta without a pot to boil the water. A strainer is also a luxury item in an emergency, but really pretty helpful when making pasta.

So I get to Target (#dangerous) and I head towards the aisle housing the pots and pans. En route to get my little pot, I realize that I need a dish towel if I plan on drying the pot afterwards. And it should be cute because it will be displayed. Once I get the pot (is there another word I could be using? I’m not talking about drugs, but it could seem that way out of context), I  realize that I may also need to uncork my wine that I will likely drink with the pasta. And once I see that, I see a lovely turquoise can opener. I need it to be top of the line because I have had full on giving up on eating experiences opening cans. Easy is a problem you can throw money at.

So this experience continued on until I had to make two trips  from car to apartment, one of which included various stops and handle adjustments and hipster stares.

As I lamented the fact that until two days ago, I didn’t even own silverware, my cousin said, “yeah, but you lived in Spain? Would you take that away to have silverware?” #wisdom.  I’m not entirely sure that I can still use that as an excuse though, because although my memory doesn’t serve for much, Facebook likes to remind me that Spain happened about 4 years ago. Am I still within the window of using that as an excuse as to why I have as many belongings as Ron Swanson? The thing is that I’ve always had roommates. I always counted on them to have the stuff, and they delivered. Again, not a drug reference.

It’s only been three days but I count living by myself among the top three decisions of my life. The other two being going to Iowa and selecting La Rioja on a whim. All of these decisions were arrived at with very little thought. I think I probably convinced myself and others around me that there was a lot of deep thought, but there wasn’t. I won’t necessarily advocate for  living your life without thinking things through, but sometimes it’s not worth all of the extra stress. I have anxiety about other really useless things, so it balances out.

I haven’t taken many photos of the new place yet since it’s still a work in progress, but I can share one snapshot, and then other photo updates.



I made it through the first week of break warding off the inevitable sickness that comes when my body realizes it can be “at rest” and now I have used the first day of 2017 to research pet adoption, apply to adopt a bull dog (oops?), eat as many emergen-c tablets as the bottle allows and slam throat coat tea as if it tasted good.

Tomorrow I will finally have cable and official internet. Currently ‘borrowing’ from Alliance bakery. Plan on  being a loyal customer and good neighbor, so it’s fine. I’ll probably also attempt to not die in my laundry room that looks like the set of the movie Saw.

P.s- Jaw update: Still numb in my lower lip and chin area, but not as bad as before. I can eat without a mirror but I still get the occasional dribble so I have to just check  myself often. I do get tingles when I move my mouth around so I’m taking that to be a good sign. I haven’t officially hit the 6 month mark, so fingers crossed that my nerves give me a special anniversary gift of growth.

A trip down memory lane.

#transormationtuesday (one day off)

Pardon my tardiness to the party of this trendy hashtag. I think  it’s a common thing with weight loss…health/wellness…etc. I’m doing it in regards to the ole’ jaw.

I’m week 12 post op as of two days ago, so that’s incredible.  It represents a large chunk of time, but in the grand scheme of things a very little chunk of time for total healing.  #numblowerlip:(

I think  I mentioned the fact that I didn’t have any  good “before” pictures- meaning  ones that really showed how snaggle tooth I was. And why would I really?  Well, to  honor my progress  more than my pride, here you go.

Photos on the left side are the “before”, where at least for me and my critical eye, I can see a clear shift in my mid-line (that is now an actual mid-line and not the mid-line of someone in a Picasso painting).  And also something  with my nose. Can’t put my finger on it, but it’s different. Wider maybe? I realize these are still not perfect side by sides, and in some cases I look more bogus in the after picture, but  that’s what I have and I’m just excited to share that I finally see real transformation in my face. Also not photographed is the fact that both nostrils are in full use.




Also new and exciting is the fact that we did not go on strike, and I will be braces free in 4-6 months.

And finally, one  of my most cherished teacher moments yet. My students think I’m a strict grader- aka I stopped giving absolute trash decent grades because I was just happy they did it instead of actually doing it well. #transformationtuesday


Newborn Spanish

The other day I was pleasantly reminded that my Spanish used to be around the level of “newborn” which for those of you taking language exams lands somewhere before A1…

I’m  your typical ‘I took years of Spanish in high school but then got to college and was like wait, QUE?’

It’s not uncommon. I’ve heard the same story  at least a hundred times because it is the immediate response to me telling someone that I’m a Spanish teacher. I usually get a sprinkling of phrases for  me to, I guess critique and respond with something like”oh wow, you’re so good at saying “como estas” you should pursue Spanish again… your highly authentic  one sided conversation really made me want to keep talking about high school Spanish.

I don’t feel offended by those conversations, although I surely could be, and probably should be. I don’t because I was that person, and I won’t because it doesn’t apply to where I teach at all. In Spanish 1 we reviewed the alphabet  for all of 5 minutes, and in one class I hate to say, we just didn’t “get to it.”

I have gone from newborn to full blown adopted Mexican. My dream of becoming a Mexican teenager that I never knew I had is pretty much coming true. To clarify, my Spanish is way  better after working with a predominantly Latino population in the US than it ever really got in Spain. In Logrono, I was teaching English all morning….and most afternoons…and then hanging out with English speaking friends. I was speaking plenty of Spanish as well with my roommates, and in other daily interactions, but it wasn’t growing and developing like it has been here where I am focused on teaching it.

With that said, my third year of teaching is not only easier because my Spanish is a little more flow-y, but I also am finding my stride  with being me. For three (or more) years prior, I was being someone else, or doing things that people said would help, and so they came out about as gracefully as  me trying to look like Beyonce when I dance  (think un-sexy noodle). Not to say that that doesn’t happen anymore, but I am more aware of it. I’m not stern, I don’t like to yell because I become a tomato, and I’d rather get punched in my healing jaw than tell someone that their plagiarism is so obvious that #icanteven….

Just the other day a kid took what he thought was a low key swig of Gatorade, so I thought I shot him “the look” but he took another sip, so out loud I said I’M LOOKING AT YOU AND IT’S NOT GOOD-got it?. Reading that made me crack up, but the message was received. I will never be that strict teacher- the one that you work really hard for because they are so tough. It sounds awesome, but ultimately I just have to be the teacher that I am. The one that gives you a sticker when you tell a funny story, or takes a few minutes for anecdotes (plus that’s a vocabulary word) about the day or the weekend. I think you can all see the pros and cons to that way of life- don’t worry though, so can I.

Pro is that kids make you things like “frog”  (picture below), con is…how did you find so much free time to make that frog during my class? Oh and bless you airborne-I have switched over to the fizzy drink kind though because chewing those giant tablets is not cool.


The other weekend we had the pleasure of attending a super fun wedding so I figured that I should get my makeup done- an area that I have always been helpless in despite the fact that it fascinates me and I love all things beauty and wellness. It was convenient because I also broke out like  the teenager that I am deep down inside, so I needed extra help.


I never knew all of the potential hidden in my brows. They are there, but nobody knows because they get all blond in random areas- enter brow pencil. I don’t think I need to look like that at school, but it’s nice to know that I could.

That concludes my week 10, made it through the wire update. I still can’t feel my lower lip, which is really inconvenient for eating and talking when for the most part I feel totally normal. Luckily it doesn’t affect my love life because I don’t have one, so I can’t really comment on how that will play out in the future…ideally the feeling will come back by the time I’m ready to like someone.