Summer’s end



I’ve been back in my classroom this week. I cannot believe how fast this summer went by. Because of some unexpected things that came up this summer, we didn’t get to do nearly as much as I had planned on. I feel bad for Tristan – I thought we would spend the summer going to the zoo and to parties and shopping and to the movies – but really he hasn’t gotten a whole lot of adventure. He did get to go to a birthday party this past weekend though, and they had foam!


As for my classroom… apparently after two years, you lose some of your momentum to redecorate every summer. My room is pretty much how I want it, but I feel a little guilty that my returning students will be looking at mostly all the same ol’ scenery.

I did add that snazzy new banner to my office window – I got it from Whimzy Creations on Etsy, in case you’re super jealous and want one for yourself. She also does birthday and party banners and she was really understanding of all my special requests.😉


I shamelessly stole the idea for the filing cabinet from Pinterest. I am so excited for my staff kids to use it as an equipment station. The cameras are all organized and locked in the drawers, there are photography tips and reporters’ notebooks on top, and their sign-out sheets and inventory list is stuck to the side. On the “back” is my new and improved make-up work folders (which I also stole from Pinterest). I have a few paper lanterns ordered (which I will post once they arrive) but other than that, my kids just get to walk back in like nothing has changed.🙂

I had my first staff meeting with the yearbook kiddos yesterday and I think they have lots of great ideas for the new book. My graduated seniors are still working on the last little details of the 2012 book, but we’re hoping to start distributing next week. I can’t believe some of the things we overlooked this year, but I just wasn’t on top of my game. I had pretty serious medical problems all fall – when I wasn’t missing school, I was darting over to the hospital on breaks to do lab work or just suffering through and trying to make it through another day. Before I got all of that under control, we made an offer on our house and then I was super busy gathering documents and filling out paperwork and hoping for the best – I just kept thinking that if we got the house, everything would settle down. And then, the weekend after we moved in to the house, my godmother passed away very unexpectedly. And I spent the rest of the school year just trying to not burst into tears.

It was a really rough year, so as much as I’m sad that the summer is over, I’m glad to be starting over. I have a great group of kids and I enjoy my job and I just need to get back in there and do it better this time.🙂 Anyone else have some resolutions for this school year?

While you’re thinking of them, I’ll leave you with this… our dinner from last night. Eight of our ten hens are now laying eggs daily, so at any given time we have between 60-75 eggs in our fridge. A little yummy omelette every now and then helps keep the supply in check!😉


looking back and moving forward


I reconnected with an old friend tonight, someone who meant a lot to me back in high school, and who helped me figure out a lot about myself. I spent the rest of the evening reading my old blog posts from back then, when emotions were so much stronger, but things were so much simpler. 

I read all the way from the weeks and months before my high school graduation in 2004, until my husband got back from Iraq in 2006. I stopped posting just after he got back, because for the first time, I was truly happy. And then of course everything got complicated and then we had Tristan and it’s been a rollercoaster of reality ever since. 

I’ve had a really, really tough week. Things have been rough this summer, still trying to deal with the loss of my godmother, juggling family issues, settling into our home here in the country, Brandon losing his job. We’ve hung in there together, but it’s not easy when the happiness you had finally made gets taken from you once again. I know we’ll make it through this, like we always have, but it’s tough, and it makes you miss the good times. 

My old friend reminded me that I’m right where I should be for now. And even if it’s a valley, we’ll make it back up to the hill. And that no matter what I do in life, I’ll always be a little bit of that doe-eyed, poetic, 17-year old girl. It’s why I relate to my students so well, and why I write this blog. I feel everything, and every now and then I just need to write it all out. 

I’m going now, to snuggle with my husband, and to be thankful for what we DO have, and to remember the old friends, who keep you grounded and never let you forget where you’ve been.

Back in 2004, I wrote this: 

<<<<Don’t worry about all that you’re going through right now. Don’t listen to those people who try to bring you down. Because one day you will be rich and famous, and it will all have been worth it.

I don’t want to be rich and famous. I don’t want to change the world. I would like to change one person’s life for the better. Just one. And if there are more than that, then each is just another blessing. I’m not trying to be better than everyone else, I’m just trying to be myself. I want to be honest and true to the person I believe I am and can be.

The writing… is my way of expressing everything I feel inside. It’s my meager attempt at sharing myself with the world. It’s pouring out my heart and soul so that maybe, some day, someone will get something from what I say.

The loving… is my way at surviving everything in the meantime. I will love him with all that I have, until neither of us can anymore; I will enjoy every moment that I live with his love. I won’t love only him, though. I will love my true friends, the ones who accept me and listen and care; I will show them that I will always be here and have time for them.

I know that I’m an idealist and a romantic and all of those impossible things that this harsh world doesn’t understand. But that’s okay with me. I don’t mind being a little different every now and then. Because I think being able to feel, to love and to hurt both, is the ultimate gift. And being able, even in a small, insignificant way, to share that gift, is nothing short of a miracle.>>>

spring cleaning….er, summer cleaning?


I’ll be honest, I never do spring cleaning. Spring is the busiest time of year in my classroom and I just don’t have the energy to do anything extra. But this summer, I’ve been determined to make my house at least a little bit better place to live in. :) 

After finding a link on Pinterest, I read this article: and vowed to clean my washing machine. That was over a week ago. :) 

But after washing a couch pillow that had an unfortunate accident – and having it come out even dirtier than before (it was so tall it touched the top of the agitator) – I decided it was time to get to it. 

I followed her steps exactly – except that while the washer was filling up with water, I wiped everything I could get to with straight vinegar and then dried it with a microfiber cloth. I followed up with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (my fave cleaning tool!) to help get rid of some of the scratches and gunk it had… mostly from what I call the Dark Days (the two years my laundry room was in the garage!). The outside looks much better now… I’ll post before/after pictures after the inside is finished!

Getaway weekend


For our anniversary, I gave Brandon a weekend getaway trip to Jefferson, TX, complete with a stay in a cottage-style bed and breakfast. We had a wonderful
time and it was so nice to spend some quality time together.
Here’s the inside of our cottage:
We drove down on Saturday and spent the afternoon walking downtown and visiting all the antique shops and cute little stores.

Then that night, we went on the historic walking ghost tour. They tell you the history of the town and all it’s main buildings, while throwing in a few ghost stories as well. So fun, and interesting!!


On Sunday, we had vouchers for breakfast at a nearby bakery,

then we did some shopping before touring the area

and visiting the historic Oakwood cemetery. There were lots of Civil War veterans, law enforcement officers and other famous people from the 1800s buried there. And sooo many babies… Some couples lost four or five babies, all under the age of one, in their lifetime. I just can’t imagine dealing with that kind of loss, but I guess it was pretty common back then due to all the illnesses.

Either way, it’s a beautiful, quaint town and I can’t wait until we get to go back again.

safe from harm


I watched my sweet little boy today, carrying an armful of chicken eggs from the barn, carefully stepping just so to ensure that none of them were broken or cracked on the journey back to the house. 

I watched him and wished that I could keep *him* that safe, protect him from all of the dangers and evils in the world. 

Early this morning, a gunman in Colorado shot and killed 12 people, and injured over 30 more, at a movie theater. Dozens of families are now mourning, when their loved ones were doing a perfectly routine activity, just going about their lives and minding their own business. 

People around the country have jumped up, to judge the moviegoers, to question the filmmakers, to protest the gun laws. Everyone wants to point a finger and make some sort of sense out of what has happened. But really, we should all be clinging to the ones that *we* love, and thinking of those who are grieving today. 

Senseless things happen every day. In the split second, someone makes a decision, or something happens. It’s not always on this scale, it’s not always something we hear about. But every, single day something happens that no one understands. And blaming the victims will never be the answer. If we want this society to be a better place for our children, we ourselves must learn to put aside our differences and join together in grief. 

It makes me sad that people will spend their days now, using this as an excuse to argue and bully. While the mothers of those 12 victims will mourn, and wish that they could have protected their children, no matter what their age. And I will hug my son a little tighter tonight, thankful for another day that has kept him safe.

Clean out day #3


Today’s challenge is the medicine cabinet. This is actually a closet in our master bathroom, so we also use it to store lots of back up toiletries etc.



It took over an hour but I’m so happy with the results! I used containers we already had so they don’t match but it was free! I made labels before I started but they weren’t what I ended up needing so I handwrote the rest and will type them when I get a chance.




Okay, here it is now: (5 hours later)
I moved his furniture around a bit, and added a nightstand. Labeled the toy bins with pics + words in hopes that it would help him stay organized. And purged his closets a bit. :)) One is actually used as a closet… The one on the right is for dress up clothes.