I just walked home from work, and it took me back to those feels that I had in July and August, seeing people sitting out on patios, sweat on the glass, laughing, holding hands, the good stuff. The stuff that makes me think, why did I already smash my jorts into the summer is gone bin? To make room for “professional” clothing probably…

So. School started. The first week was a blur, but then part of my car got stolen so I woke up from the haze of memorizing 130 names give or take.  It made for an interesting week but I am #blessed that a really kind colleague was able to chauffeur me around and remind me to take advantage of good Alliance coffee.

There were all of the usual hiccups that go along with remembering how to teach and use school technology and what not, but I’m trying to improve each year in remembering that work is work… but going home when it’s light out, going out to eat, working out, having friends, those are real life. Could I be working right now? Yes. Should I be? Actually, also yes, but that’s a bad example.

Aside from having no car, and then getting a rental that was actually meant for an NFL player and his family, there were other low points in my week that somehow my friends resolved instantly. They truly came to my rescue with a phone call, a text, a “want to go to riot fest Sunday even though it’s not the best idea?” and immediately after that a “want to go to New York this random weekend” and the ever popular, “want to drink all of this wine?”

YES. YES. YES. What am I even doing if I’m not taking advantage of this moment in my life… besides working and then ultimately getting criticized and having nothing go as planned?  Might as well just load up on the espresso.

Believe it or not, a lot of babies come to the brewery. It’s cute and their families are cute, and I like babies now that I know one (Campbell- hey!) But I also think about how they have to go home and keep hanging out with their baby nonstop for the rest of their lives. No babies here. No dogs, not even a plant needs anything from me. Not even a cactus, because those have died under my care.

Maybe my moment is way longer than I think, and I might have the rest of my life to “do me” but just in case, I’m doing it now, making up for that lost year.

If my summer of Emma was any indication, I think I can consider this second half of 29 one of my better years of life.  Unfortunately I didn’t photograph a lot of the cool fun things that I did, but they are in my memories for sure and I’m really happy about that.





xoxo from me in the future when I have a cute vespa that I can drive in heels.


Summer of…

I am sick of hearing my name. My last name anyways. I’m even sick of hearing the way that kids are starting to spice it up-Ms. Camby, Camby-bell- K-bell, or just Ms. Ms. Ms……..uhhhhh. Somehow I remember 130+ names and you can’t keep track of 7 teachers. #Getmeoutofhere


And while this time of year is the time when we are all the most drained, and the kids are also the most drained, there is more of an ease with the management because you really know each other. And then it ends.  And you have to figure it out all over again in the fall over the course of several months.

end of school

You guys keep working, I’ll just be over here “grading”


I guess that’s what keeps me coming back though.  Those kids that I roll my eyes the most about; I couldn’t do it without them. I could probably do a way better job, but it wouldn’t be as hilarious in retrospect.

I finally ditched my coffee stained lunch box that was 45% ombre brown for about 6 months of the year. With just a week left, I took the plunge and got this new little lunch box. Honestly, if you’re having a bad day, you have to at least have something good for lunch. And at the very very least, a cute lunch box. This year I pretty much isolated myself during lunch because it took me all the extra minutes of getting rubber bands in and out and brushing up afterwards that it just didn’t make it worth it to go downstairs. I also still never got those nerve endings back in my lower lip/chin area so I often find little dribbles there and I am constantly wiping that area out of habit.

lunch box

The good news is that I got my braces off, and that makes things a good 90% easier. Non- braces people know that you can still get food in your teeth, but getting it out is much simpler.

braces day1-end

teacher emma

I also get to be an aunt to this little nugget of joy below featured in his baby-aviators…baby-ators. As far as he knows, I’ve had a dazzling smile for his entire life, and not just half of it. While I have tons of pictures of him and am so proud and giddy, I don’t think we have a photo together. I’m not against it, but when I see a photo of a person as old as me with a baby, I figure that it’s their baby. To clarify, it really depends on the pose and the location. I wasn’t about to grab him for a photo-op in the hospital because I randomly looked worse than the person that had just given birth and all of the nurses on hour 37 of their shift.


In conclusion, just trying to get a feel for if being an aunt is a pick up line or not, because despite what I was imagining, there was not a line of suitors outside of my door the day after I got my braces off. I think I came home and did the same things that I always do, in no particular order….eat something with a lot of olive oil on it, 2-3 episodes of something on Netflix, complain to myself about dumb things, try to go to bed by 10 pm.

That photo of the article “Single in Chicago” was something that my dad handed to me approximately four years ago. I might have been back from Spain and just starting my little Chicago life.  A lot has changed since then, and in the fewest words possible, I’m ready for the summer of Emma.



I used to buy magazines as an indulgence. I didn’t have a ‘go to’, rather whatever I was drawn to at the moment.  Sometimes I needed really really trashy clearly false stories with ugly pictures of “celebs without makeup, barf!” Other times I opted  for one that I wouldn’t  be embarrassed to pull out on a train  while seeing an attractive AND smart man/boy- whatever that is.

Lately though nothing  has caught my eye, and when I flip through a few pages I always feel like I’ve read it before or I know what’s coming. Something along the lines of an article about loving yourself , followed by a 3-4 page spread on how to lose weight with detailed workout routines, and then the final page dedicated to a cheesecake recipe to just “indulge!” Does anyone else see how that could be confusing?

My best bet has been to read more books. My latest, and likely final book of the summer is called  “The Taliban Shuffle” It makes me feel smart and like an idiot at the same time because the topic is confusing even to experts- or so I’ve read…
Image result for the taliban shuffle

Anyways, if you’re looking for something that’s kind of funny but also educational this is a good pick.

And alas, summer is nearing an end. For all those people that openly judge me and other teachers for having summer “off” you can direct all the judge towards me. Usually we have to defend ourselves and talk about all the P.D we had to do, and prep for next year etc., but I really only did that for about 2 weeks. So yes, I have been able  to heal from my jaw surgery-It’s so luxurious, and you can do it too if you want. If I had any other job I would have taken time  off- you have to. It’s like a legal thing. And it’s impossible. Unless you work in a cave where you don’t have to speak and you hand things to people with a nod of your head. Then you could definitely continue working.

So maybe I’ve been making it all look easy breezy because I’m not that swollen and I do try to go out and do social things when I can. And in those situations I’m like “yeah, totally great, healing fine! Ate a sweet potato again! wooh” But deep down I’m mumbling this is some bullshit.

Thursday (of week 5 post surgery FYI)  was probably my biggest success in being a normal person. I got a haircut and since I have to at least semi- chat with my favorite ever hairstylist Jen, I took out my two front-ish rubber bands. Shortly after that I strolled home in what happened to be a 5 minute long misting of mist- not rain, but just enough to slightly ruin and frizz up  my haircut.

Naturally curly hair, frizzy thick hair problems- LMAO!! Yes!:

I had just enough time to try and undo the damage before meeting my friends for some noodles. So yes I can eat noodles and have been able to for about 2 weeks now- but doing so public is like a whole thing.  I  went  with mac and cheese even though there were way more tempting options. Something like pesto would have required me to full on brush my teeth in the public restroom. Not there yet. Le sigh. I brought my little compact mirror with me  and navigated the noodles in no problem.

No problem, but is that really an Ideal way to dine with friends? (It’s not, in case you were like well, it’s really not soooo bad……)

The comparative thing is bogus at this point. I’m  reading about Afghanistan and watching movies like Beasts of No Nation (yipes) to convince myself how beyond blessed and lucky that I am. But it sure feels  good to have a pity party every now and then.

Speaking of rape and child soldiers, I went to a comedy show after the noodles. Yes, three cool things in a row. Free plug for the show- It’s called BLT comedy- It’s free- It’s at Beer Bistro in the West loop  on Thursday evenings.

It’s a small show and I’d only gone once before where I was so close I was pretty much onstage, but no big deal. It’s not your typical pick on the audience show. They just do quick sets and you get to see like  4-5 different comedians. So this time my sister got there ahead of time to make sure we had a table and it just so happened to be up front again. No big deal right? Maybe it was the haircut, maybe it was the sweat dripping down my face from being under the spot light or some je ne sais quio, but I was not in the clear.

I got called out because I wasn’t really smiling or laughing at one point- things that are still challenging for me. By the way- wake up lower lip, please wake up!

The guy said something along the lines of “I just did a ring check, and you are looking at me just….not happy”

My table died laughing. He went on to say a few more remarks and then later in the act he mentioned that he had taught English in Spain and he caught my eye “You hate that we have that in common now, eh?”

I later had to apologize and say that while he was very funny I just had jaw surgery, to which he replied “Omg sorry, you just reminded me of like  an unhappy Kristin Wiig.”

Compliment accepted.

My final conflicting thoughts before some photo updates involve this whole “you look the same, cool!” sentiment.

Bitch, did I just get major reconstructive surgery to “look the same?” I guess I’ll have  to just give in and admit that I  don’t look like a different person– there was no Margot Robbie special going on- and I’ll  most likely just have to accept that the differences are only things I ever did- and ever will notice. Like when you have a pimple and people are like “oh I didn’t even notice” which for me is such a lie because I always notice pimples- I notice that I’m the only one still getting them.

Mind you it’s just week 6 and people say they notice changes in their face continue for about a year when they are fully fully healed.  As long as I don’t have to keep reaching into my mouth to pull my upper lip out for much longer, it’s all good.

These photos range from about week 3.5 or 4 to 5. Shout-out to #Walterpcomer for doing some extra therapy with me.

And for the photos below, the middle one is from haircut day: aka the 2nd day out of almost 6 weeks where I didn’t have my hair in a grease frizz bun or ponytail.


Just to compare….week 2.5 versus week 5


Again I can’t compare my current face with how it was before because I never ever took a head on photo like that- which I find very telling of my previous discomfort with my face. The other day I even caught myself breathing through my nose for an extended period of time despite the fact that I still only have 1 nostril at my disposal. Blessed!


My kind of town


I initially loathed coming back to the land of driving everywhere, working all the time, 15 minute lunches, and not being able to drink wine for 80 centimos at noon.  But now that I’ve been back home for so long, I’m totally adjusted and I love it.


How convenient then, that tomorrow I go back to the land of ham, wine, olive oil, churches, smoking, old people, babies, and less (good) ethnic cuisine. (I do not count kebab.)

After travelling around Europe a bit, I realized that I live in a pretty great city myself and I don’t know it well enough. I had my partner in crime with me to make a most awesome educational video about Chicago and it gave us a chance to do things like bumble into the Harold Washington library, take a water taxi, drink wine in millennium park, and talk to other foreigners and natives about their thoughts on the city that has grown up with me into a mature yuppie blossom.

My fellow Chicago/Logrono love on the Chicago River.

I also had the wedding of a lifetime to look forward to. My older sister and the love of her life tied the knot on 10/13/12. It was a watery day for the windy city in both tears and rain but I have never had a more thrilling night of my life. And I’ve run along the side of a highway in Rome.

Then an extra special surprise came imported from Brazil…but really Logrono. Diego!

His kind of town too

The worry that the week would be hectic with the wedding evolved into a bubble of excitement and cleaning. It also gave me yet another chance to be a tourist in Chicago and to look at it through a different lens.

Day 1 of the whirlwind tour

We had to start out in cozy Oak Park, my true residence. We visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio and looked at all the great houses around the neighborhood.

Then it was all about downtown. We had a bulls game planned for one night, a pumpkin carving friend meeting dork party another, various museums to see, a handful of skyscrapers to climb, and a few pieces of pizza to add to our waist lines.

It was the perfect week leading up to what is so far the happiest and best looking day of my family’s life. It really only took us 24 years to have a nice picture together (coming soon.)

So after all of this, I’m now supposed to be excited about Spain? I know that deep down I am….but the excitement is not here with me. The excitement will be waiting for me when I land in Madrid.

And now the final photos that captured these final days of my sad, sick, happy, long, short, wet, hot, cold american summer.


Sears tower skydeck

4th row! thanks dad




Wedding day!


To all my 4-10 followers you can look forward to a wedding post and a “I’m baaaaaaaaaack post”

un beso