A Dy in the Life

A Day in the Life (Beyond the Books)

A Dy in the Life

For the second year in a row, Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity has challenged bloggers to document their activities for her Day in the Life event. I didn’t manage to participate last time, but really enjoyed the posts I read and wanted to hop in on this round. I work on a research project that has me collecting data in pre-K classrooms most mornings, though the time and place varies, and also teach online. I don’t really have a “normal” day, but I suppose this is pretty average with how things tend to go…until that ticket.


6:30am – Alarm goes off. This is actually my husband’s alarm, but I’m pretty much up once I’m awake and I like having time to get things done in the morning, so I roll out of bed at the same time. My husband heads downstairs to grab breakfast and let the dog out while I hop in the shower and get myself looking human.

7:39am – Humanity is hard, but I manage. Ruby greets me by being beautiful. My husband and I make fun of the absurdity of the Rossen Report on the Today Show before he goes up to shower. I should have recorded what exactly Rossen was squaking about so you can all prepare, but apparently I only care about myself.

Day27:50am – Laptop and a yogurt smoothie thing (notably missing is coffee because I don’t drink it) to hang out with the internet for a bit. My mornings vary depending on when I have to be at a school, but this is when I take a peek at my planner (it’s a Plum Planner with the hourly spread, I don’t do the sticker/washi tape stuff) and squeeze in some blog reading and commenting.

8:40am – I have a little more time than usual, so I grab one of my current reads, The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook, and manage to get through a few chapters before I have to get going. Morning reading is definitely not normal for me, but I always like it when it happens.

Day39:32am – Head over to a nearby elementary school to observe and collect data in a pre-K classroom.

11:17am – I leave that school for another, where I need to complete post-test measures for a specific student, but get caught behind a train that I decide to wait out.

11:32am – The train STOPS.

11:50am – I finally turn around, backtrack, and take a completely different route to get the school (which is probably less than five miles from the previous school).

11:55am – Oh, back in my car because the child I needed to test is now napping. TRAINS.

Day412:09pm – I have a bit of time before a meeting and I’m itching for a sandwich from
Lamplighter, which is one of Richmond’s coffee shops with several locations. The one on campus is a madhouse at noon and I’m already in my car, so I go to another spot in the city. This decision ends up being one part perfection and one part disaster—I’m alone, but there are no sandwiches at this location. My lunch is a muffin and an iced chai (delicious, but not a sandwich).

1:14pm – Get to campus and pay for parking until 2:27, which is tempting fate, but I can’t find another dime, don’t want to use my credit card, and these meetings almost always end on time. I head into my research meeting where a colleague presents her proposal for a dissertation grant.

Day52:31pm – There is a TICKET ON MY CAR, because of course there is. Recorded at a 2:28. Enjoy your $20, City of Richmond, it’s a good thing I love you.

 2:46pm – Back home and it’s time to take the pup out to play. She demands some time in the sun and a ridiculous number of fetches in our backyard that is currently dirt so…hooray.

3:11pm – I check in on e-mail from my students and their parents and respond to a few questions.

3:25pm – There are a few feedback forms I need to work on for the teachers in the research project, so I get to those.

Day64:16pm – I use an edited version of this 20-minute cleaning schedule from Apartment Therapy and today is just tidying up the living room, so I do that to break away from the computer for a bit.

4:44pm – Try to get started on my lessons for next week, but the distractions are real and I end up trapped in the internet. Twitter probably.

5:06pm – Husband gets home and we both whip up some dinner, which I neglected to photograph, and then settle into an episode of the new season of House of Cards. Ruby sleeps sitting up.

6:25pm – Curled up with The Song Machine while the boy watches hockey.

Day77:32pm – I have to write up this blog post, even though I took note of what I did all day, because the details will completely escape me by tomorrow and aren’t you glad I did so you could read about trains and tickets?

8:17pm – Prime snuggle time with the pup. Internet noodling. Probably a little more book time. Garbage about Donald Trump on TV. Best part of every day (the laziness, not the Trump).

10:45ish pm – I’ve been rewatching Mad Men in bed before falling asleep (currently season 3) and must say that Don Draper is a pretty good way to close out the day.


  • That was a fast ticket.
    Ruby is very cute.

  • That ticket was ruthless! It’s so fun to read about everyone’s days! I especially love the Ruby photos.

  • Kay

    I loved this! Totally enjoying hearing about all the ‘days’. Yikes! There is no grace on that ticket thing huh? One minute later – ticket!! Wow. However, the muffin and chai look good. Glad you took a picture of those. LOL

    • I was pretty floored by how quick they jumped on me for that one – I should have dug a little deeper for that dime!

  • Bummer about that ticket! They must have waited next to your car to watch the clock tick down. Now I gotta check out that cleaning schedule. I could use that.

    • I’ve been using the schedule for about a month or so and it’s been pretty helpful – let’s hope it stays that way!

  • Trains! Yes, I know about trains. We live right up the road from the tracks, and whenever we hear it coming we make a run for it! My husband likes the trains and whenever we do get stuck behind one he’ll count the train cars. The record so far is 196.
    I loved reading about your day! It was nice and sunny, and your dog is very pretty (unlike mine – ha!, but that’s another story). :)

    • We never really encountered them in our old neighborhood, but I guess we moved to the other side of the tracks ;)
      I definitely need to hear more about your dog!

  • Fun post! Thanks for sharing your day with us. I just love your dog– she’s a beauty! Too bad about the ticket, but otherwise I liked having a glimpse into Richmond. I used to live in Norfolk for 3 years when I was younger. Only drove through your city, though.

    Enjoy your week!

    • I usually drive through Norfolk, too, but have visited Norfolk once and it’s such a nice city! We really love Richmond, so I’m going to forgive it for the ticket (this time).

  • Words for Worms

    I am filled with rage at your parking ticket! RAWR! Also trains. There are train tracks running literally right through my gym’s parking lot. I have yet to figure out if there is any rhyme or reason to the train schedule. It’s all freight, so there probably is no schedule except “LOL oh you wanted to go to Body Pump? Sucka!” Super annoying when you get stuck. I’d be less mad at the train if they’d just bring a friggin Amtrak line back to town because then I wouldn’t even have to think about how I wanted to get to Chicago. Ever. I’d just hop right on the train at the station 5 minutes from my house. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh…

    • Ughhh, no Amtrak?? That’s the worst. And freight trains are always 10 times longer to wait through (that’s the type I was stuck behind this time).

  • Suey

    Boo to the ticket! Your day sounds great! Filled with all sorts of different things!

  • Jennine G.

    A ticket one minute after the paid time?! That’s ridiculous! It’s like they’re scouting out the lots, waiting by the meters! The train thing would’ve driven me crazy too. Sounds like a cool day though, out and about. My job is consistently in one place all day long, so I always marvel at people’s jobs that let them leave the building.

    • It was a pretty big change going from 8 years of teaching to doing this – I’m still sometimes surprised that I can choose to eat lunch alone if I want ;)

  • Ugh, tickets. One time I came out to my car two minutes after the meter expired to find a ticket. I was so mad… until I saw it was a ticket for not being completely within the lines. Whoops!

    I so need to check out that 20-minutes-a-day cleaning thing. We’re planning on buying a house in the not-too-distant-future, and I’m determined to get into good cleaning habits before that happens. Our apartment gets messy enough as it is. I don’t want to think about how behind I could get with an entire house to keep up with.

    • Our move was what sparked seeking out this plan, too. I used to just do day-long cleaning binges and it was so exhausting…this feels much more manageable.

  • These are so fun to read; I love that you’ve shared the Apartment Therapy list because I’d seen in before but forgot to save it. I need this! I recently left a job and began a new one; when I went through the clearance process at my old hospital, I “remembered” that I had two outstanding parking tickets…whoops. HATE THOSE! Oh, well, like you said, more revenue to do good things – right? That’s what I’m going to focus on – ha! I definitely commend your ability to manage humanity without coffee and I really need to continue watching Mad Men. Hope you’re having a great day!

    • Don’t give me too much credit for the no coffee thing, I’m sure I make up for its terrible side effects in gallons of Diet Coke ;)

  • nerdybookgirl

    I need to check out that Apartment Therapy list! I’ll second Running ‘n’ Reading in thinking I don’t know how you manage without coffee! Also, your testing and jobs sounds so interesting. We’ve just entered the land of countless observations and testing procedures from psychologists, teachers, and OT (Atticus is having some Pre-K issues and they’re thinking anxiety disorder or somewhere on the autism spectrum). I’m learning that the psychologist does one type of testing and the school system does another and then insurance is a bear.

    • The testing process can be pretty long and drawn out, but it’s great that you’re working to get him the support he needs so early – that can have such a huge, positive impact on him down the line. Our research is aimed at early intervention (behavior focused), so I know it can do great things!

  • ONE F’ING MINUTE? Ugh. Fun to read this. Is that a CP bench in the first pic? I’ve been deliberating over getting that for months. Love it. But the best? You know it – Roooooooby!

  • Sorry about that ticket, but I loved reading about your day!

  • Man, working is good but commuting is the worst. The other day, I got stuck behind a truck pulling a tractor and then got stopped behind an accident. Sigh…
    I hope you get lots of reading time and evening laziness this week!

    • Commuting really can be! Most of the schools I go to are super close, but driving in the city can be such a crapshoot, you never know what kind of construction or traffic you’ll run into.

  • Holy cats, the Richmond ticketers are even more aggressive than the ones in Buffalo; I thought it was bad when I got a parking ticket for being eight minutes over. (Alternate-side parking laws in my neighborhood are the absolute bane of my existence. Sooo many tickets for forgetting to move my car to the other side of the street on time!)

    • Oh my gosh, that parking schedule would drive me crazy (and I would totally fall prey to it constantly). Thankfully, we only have to deal with it a few times a year for leaf cleanup.

  • Cannot believe that ticket – they must have been watching for you! I’m going to check out that Apartment Therapy too – I need it!

  • As I’m a mom to a pre-ker, I’m so so so curious what your research project is about! I know that grad school is in your future–will you be doing early childhood development there, too?

    Ugh the ticket! I’m sure they just WAIT AND WATCH! And I love that you included an early morning picture. Keepin’ it real! My favorite way to do life. :) Thanks for playing along Shannon!!

    • (In a condensed version) we’re teaching a set of strategies to pre-K teachers for students with chronic behavior problems and, hopefully, prevent them from needing more intensive interventions as they get older. There’s a bit more about it here: https://www.news.vcu.edu/article/Best_in_Class_teachers_learn_to_precorrect_problem_behavior
      I’ll be working on the elementary version of the project while I’m in my PhD program (so there’s definitely still more early childhood in my future!) but I’m also really interested in doing research with middle and high school students, so we’ll see where everything goes :)

  • I’ve just started adding yogurt smoothies to my day and am really wondering why I haven’t done so before. So good. And the muffin looks amazing! I love a good crumb topping. I’m picturing someone standing next to your meter just waiting for it to run out. They must have been to be that on top of it!

  • I think Judy Hopps from Zootopia got ahold of your car (notorious for giving those one-minute-after-expiration tickets). Now, Imma need to know more about your makeup routine. ;)

  • literaryfeline

    Someone else who doesn’t drink coffee! Yay, I’m not alone! :-) I have been thinking of adding a smoothie to my day. I worry about preparing it in the morning though-I’d hate to wake everyone up since I get up much earlier than they do during the week. I wonder if they hold over night . . .

    That’s so crazy you got ticketed a minute after your meter expired. Were they standing there watching it?

    Thank you for sharing your day with us!

    • This is actually one of those premade yogurt smoothies and it’s pretty good! (I’m a little too lazy/love my sleep too much to get up and make one in the morning, too)

      • literaryfeline

        Pre-made is perfect for me for the same reasons. :-) I hadn’t thought to see what was out there. Do you have a favorite kind or brand?

        • I used to buy the Dannon kind and they were really good, but Kroger started making their own and I’m really loving those lately!

    • I quit coffee over 15 years ago, too! And for a meal-replacement shake I can highly recommend Isagenix. A couple of scoops, water, ice, and blend. Just an idea! :)

  • Rebecca Foster

    I love this post! I’ve toyed with doing the same ‘day in the life’ format on my blog, but I fear mine would be very boring by comparison! Especially like the “before and after” a.m. photos and the dog asleep sitting up :) Bummer about the ticket. They’re on the ball in Richmond!

  • Ugh, the ticket! These people were watching you. I tell you! And the trains! I have got stuck behind those, and the freight ones are the worst. Though everything else seemed great, and you ended the day on a such a good note. So all’s well that ends well, right?

    • I thought I could wait out that train until it just stopped! Probably should have turned around right away, but you’re right that the day did end on a good note :D

  • Christy

    Love the picture of the sleeping pup! Thanks for the link to the Apartment Therapy cleaning schedule. I’ll see if it can be adapted for my own schedule.

  • I don’t know if I would be brave enough to post a before picture online! I have never been to Richmond and it looks beautiful (sans ticket of course).

  • Dang – those meter folks sure are on top of their jobs – UGH!! I love the unexpected morning reading as well…it’s a rarity for me, but love when it does happen!

  • olduvai

    Ooh The Song Machine sounds pretty interesting! Also, that photo up top is your home? I love that sofa/love seat (?) thingy and your stairs!

  • JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    Richmond sure has some overzealous traffic police – 2:28?? Seriously?! It’s so much fun reading about everyone’s day. Thanks for sharing yours.

  • Stacie

    Isn’t that always how tickets go…just a minute over. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your day! It was fun to read!

  • It is so impossible to do anything science-related (probably anything period) with a preschooler after noon. I envy them their schedules.

  • SuziQoregon

    “Humanity is hard, but I manage” Oh that is me every single morning.

    I HATE it when trains do that!

    Sorry about the ticket – One minute after – was the parking patrol stalking?

    I bookmarked that 20 minute cleaning schedule – thanks for that.

  • Ack! Those dastardly Ts! Trains and Tickets! Yuck! Sounds like your day was okay other than that. Except…lunch. Muffin and no sandwich? :( I love food! ;) Love your dogger!

  • I am in love with Ruby, and your polka-dots shirt. :)

  • Bryan G. Robinson

    My wife loves House of Cards and Mad Men, both in one day, FTW. Me? I liked the part about the trains. ;)

  • I don’t drink coffee either! We have so much in common!! I’m so sorry about the ticket. That’s so fucking annoying.

  • Christina

    The City of Richmond sounds like the City of Boston — one minute late and it’s a ticket for you! So annoying. I just finished House of Cards today. Not sure I could have stopped after one episode towards the end. Loved the peek into your day!

  • I get the apartment therapy weekend reminders and I like it, though really, nothing ever stays clean in my house. I’ve accepted it. And damn parking ticket. It’s the worst when it’s a matter of minutes.

  • Priscilla Walter

    I love that you feel the ridiculousness of the Rossen Report! My husband and I have spent so much time discussing (read: making fun of) those things.

  • Kailana

    Oh, I am going to check out that cleaning page you mentioned. I am all for 20 minute projects if it makes my life easier. lol I love it when dogs sleeping sitting up. So cute!

  • These are fun to read. I checked out the 20 minute cleaning method you use and was happy to discover that I have been pretty much doing all that in my house! Go me!

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  • I LOVE this! I’ve ‘known’ you for almost 3 years and didn’t have any idea of your daily schedule so this was a big bowl of awesome to read.

    We finished House of Cards on Monday and I’m still not sure what I think. High score for the drama but they’re so far out of the political reality that it’s weird.