Posted in Blog challenge, Me

Blog Challenge: Part 5

Hello and happy Thursday!

Today, I’m continuing on with my “Blog Challenge” and answering…

Prompt #11…

Most Proud Moment:

Not sure if this means a time I was proud of myself or proud of others, so let me tag all the bases…

That being said, per usual, it’s difficult to write about myself, but my first thought was that I was proud of myself when I finished my second Master’s degree…

I completed it in about a year and a half while the kids were really young. My school was a part of a grant, and I had less than two years to complete the Reading Specialist degree that went with my literacy specialist job. I didn’t have to have the degree, but the tuition was free and the program was all online. The kids were two to three years old during that time. There were many late nights where I’d write papers and submit assignments through those years. Travis was Super Dad during that time too. I always think about the opportunities I’ve had in my career thanks to my two Master’s degrees. They’ve opened a lot of doors for me, and I’m grateful that I took the time to complete them when I did.

Also, I was proud of myself when I made the decision to move to my current school. I knew it would be hard to say goodbye to a school I was at for 12 years with so many wonderful friends and then start fresh in a very established school. That being said, I knew it was the right call for my family. The kids were just starting school, and I needed to be on the same schedule as them in the same district. An added bonus is that my current district pays more and the drive is less. The first year was a major adjustment, but the second year was much easier. The years are definitely flying by…it seems like yesterday that I started there!

Moving on…

I’m constantly proud of Travis. He’s a hard worker and is just an all around good guy. He continues to work hard for our family, and has really accomplished so much in his career. Everyone who knows him know what a great person he is, and they always tell me so. I joke that it’s hard being married to someone who is so perfect when I’m a hot mess. lol

Of course, I’ve been so proud of him for coaching cross country both at the kids’ school and for the club team. As his wife and also as a teacher, I know he’s making an impact on so many kids’ lives and he doesn’t even realize it. That’s the best kind of teacher.

Also, of course I’m proud of my kids. Parenting is such a tough job, and they aren’t perfect. We’re doing the best that we can, and so are they. That being said, I see them interact with their teammates, support their friends, use their manners, and try their best, and I’m proud of them for that. I’m grateful that they’ve stayed true to friendships and know that it’s important to be inclusive, and that’s come really naturally to them. Also, they’ve both gone through things, especially Hayden, that haven’t been easy, but they’ve persevered. I hope they always know how proud we are of them.

I didn’t have a lot of time for this post, so these are just my quick thoughts…

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Blog challenge, Holidays, Kids

Bloganuary 1.29.23

Hello and happy Sunday! Well, we went from cold temps to temps in the 50’s yesterday…and then this upcoming week looks a little messy. Yep. It’s definitely the end of January.

Yesterday’s Bloganuary topic was: describe your perfect birthday cake.

Well, we are cookie cake people, and we are also Bundt cake people.

I did not grow up eating cookie cakes for my birthday, but now I think everyone knows that’s the expectation. I’m sure I’d had a cookie cake before, but I think we started buying cookie cakes for celebrations in the summer of 2010. My brother was with me at Sam’s Club and saw the double decker cookie cake. He said we should get one because it was June and his birthday combined with Father’s Day for Travis…like we needed a reason to justify it. haha

For years, we just bought them at Kroger, but then for quite a few years now, we’ve gotten them at Great American Cookie.

We are so lucky because we have a friend who makes cookies and cookie cakes too. They are delish.

This year, Travis got my cookie cake from Insomnia Cookie. It was so good…and I liked how small it was because I have zero will power when it comes to cookie cake! Plus, it was the right amount of icing.

See…we are big cookie cake people!

Love a cookie cake.

So, this prompt got me thinking about the kids’ birthday cakes through the years. For their first couple of birthdays, I had a Lexington and then KC party since we were in KC for Thanksgiving. Then, from the ages of 4-10, we always had two parties: one for their friends and one for family. I know it may sound crazy, but I just didn’t want to force family to come to Chuck E Cheese or have tons of kids running around our house since they have a November birthday.

The year they turned 11 was Covid 2020, and I had already told them that around that age they were getting older and too busy to keep having two parties. So, we’ve naturally just gone back to one party with friends…and who knows how much longer that will last.

Anyway, there were quite a few years that I made their cakes…and while I would consider myself novice and cake decorating, it was always fun.


When the kids turned one, we had family over. My friend’s sister decorated cakes on the side, and she made their smash cake and cupcakes that were laid out in the shape of a one.

When we went to KC for Thanksgiving, my mom made them big cupcakes as smash cakes too.


My mother-in-law decorated cakes for years and years when Travis was growing up. So, when the kids turned two and we had a “Oh TWO-dles” party (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), she made their Mickey and Minnie cakes for their party.

Again, when we went to KC, my mom tried her hand at fondant, and made a cute Mickey cake. We also did cupcakes with Oreo Mickeys.


When the kids turned three, my mother-in-law made their cakes again. The kids were very into the Sprout Channel and all of those shows. She made Chica from that channel as well as Calliou for their cakes.


When the kids turned 4, I was inspired by my friend’s sister who made the one year cupcakes and smash cake. Also, thanks to Pinterest, I made a Curious George and a Hello Kitty cake for the family party.

For the friends party at Chuck E Cheese, I made the Thomas the Train and Elmo cake. These were some of my favorites that I made.


When the kids turned five, I made Frozen cupcakes and dirt cupcakes for their indoor pool party with friends. For the family party, I made a Frozen cake and construction cake. Props helped make the cake even better! When I was looking through photos, I found this one with brownies that I guess I made on the day of their actual birthday. So many sweets in November!


When they turned six, I made this football cake for Hayden and Power Rangers for Hadley.


For the kids 7th birthday, they had their friends party at a tumbling place, so I made cupcakes and then bought the cupcake toppers off Etsy. For the family party, I ordered this gymnast made out of fondant for Hadley’s cake, and then made a football/baseball/basketball cake for Hayden.


When the kids turned 8, they actually had an outside birthday party with friends. It was a mild early-November weekend, so we made dirt cups instead of cupcakes. Then, closer to their birthday, for the family party, I made a volleyball cake for Hadley and KC Royals (#8 Mike Moustakas) cake for Hayden.


For their 9th birthday, the kids requested ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins, so that’s what we got for their (bowling) party with their friends.

This was the year that life caught up with me, and I realized it would be easier to let them pick out cookie cakes for family parties. It was fun seeing what designs they chose. Of course, Hayden loves basketball, and what girl doesn’t dream of going to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower?


For their 10th birthday, they talked me into a slumber party (girls upstairs, boys in the basement!) We went to an indoor place for them to run around and play soccer and volleyball. Then, we came home for pizza and cookie cake before movies and bedtime.

Hadley’s slumber party cookie cake was perfect, and Hayden wanted Homer on his cake!

This was the kids’ last year having a family party, and I was going to order a Bundt cake. That being said, we had quite a bit of cookie cake left, so I just bought the kids each a mini cake then we had the leftover cookie cake with family.


November of 2020 Covid was still rampant. We took advantage of online learning and had an outside birthday one Friday afternoon in November. Again, I picked up mini Bundt cakes, so they wouldn’t spread their germs (which honestly seems like it should always be that way…haha)

Then, I just picked up one cookie cake after realizing two cakes were too much the previous year.


After going to a trampoline place with their friends, we got pizza and had cookie cake. Then, on their birthday, my brother and his family came over for Bundt cake.


This year was much the same as last year. They went to Activate Games with friends and then we got pizza and had cookie cake.

On their actual birthday, we had a nice dinner out, and then stopped by my brother’s house to share the Bundt cake.

That was a fun walk down memory lane. I’m big on birthdays and always want my family, kids, and friends to feel celebrated!

What’s your ideal birthday cake?

See you back here tomorrow for Monday Memes!

Posted in Blog challenge, Me, School

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Hello! I hope your week is off to a great start.

Confession: Instagram is my favorite form of social media. Instagram stories are what suck me in …and sometimes reels.

Anyway, over the past year or so, I’ve started to follow a few educators who are mostly English teachers, and today I’m sharing a few of my faves to follow.



I read Andrea’s blog every day and have for years. She’s a busy mom of three, and a middle school math teacher at a Christian school in McKinney, Tx. On both her blog and social media, she shares about her life, her family, her home, and her classroom. She occasionally shares lesson ideas, teacher tips, and classroom organization. She will share “Doodle Town” coloring pages too! Both her blog, and her Instagram are fun to follow!

Update: Coincidentally, Andrea has a Teacher Tuesday post up today too!

Educator Andrea:


I’ve been following Andrea for about a year. She’s a public high school English teacher in the San Diego area. Her reels are so fun…she often shares classroom scenarios and how they differ at the elementary, middle, and high school level. She’s so sarcastic which I can appreciate, but it’s evident that she cares so much about her students and is creative in providing them with a variety of learning opportunities. I actually earned my last PD hour this year when I joined her online session, and heard her chat about “Connection and Culture in Secondary ELA.”

Her website has digital resources and merch. She’s even on Cameo! Anyway, I always enjoy her stories and teaching advice that she shares with her followers.

My Teacher Face


Dr. I is a hoot! She’s been an English teacher for 30+ years. Her reels as “teacher 1” and “teacher 2” are so funny. She says she’s been both teachers at some point, and I can probably say the same! She also has the coolest light up board behind her when she shares the reels. She put a strip of LED lights in between the border and uses the remote to make the board different colors. I just thought that was a fun idea.

The Daring English Teacher


Christina is a HS English and Journalism teacher. She shares so many great lesson ideas like engaging end of novel activities, goal setting, prepping for a sub (her sub binder is 100!), and writing tasks.



I just recently started following this account, but Lauren is a History teacher, and her reels are so funny…especially the “Gen Z Teaches History” ones.

The Caffeinated Class


Marie is another high school English teacher, and I’ve only been following her for a little bit. She also shares resources like bellringers and other units too.

I want to check out her “Brave New Teaching” podcast next.

Cool Miss P


I started following Miss Phillips when I saw her reel (which was really popular) of her 2nd graders arriving to school, and she has them look in the mirror share their affirmations. She has so much energy and makes learning so fun for her kids too! My kids would have loved being in her class!


While I’m on the topic of teaching…one of the WordPress Bloganuary prompts is: What was your dream job as a child?

Long story short…I always wanted to be a teacher. Literally…no other backup plan.

When I was a kid, I would often play school. I always loved setting up my “classroom,” lining up my stuffed animals and Barbies as my students, and writing on a chalkboard.

I remember when I was old enough to help my mom grade papers. She’d hand me a red pen and let me grade spelling tests and worksheets.

My mom taught 7th grade Language Arts for 31 years, and she spent many of them in the classroom next to one of her best friends who was a Reading teacher. They would slide open the divider wall, and co-teach when they could. Besides wanting to be an English teacher, because of them, I knew I also wanted to help students in reading. I now have a Master’s in Literacy and a Reading Specialist degree.

Also, I always had wonderful teachers, but especially amazing English teachers. There wasn’t an English teacher I didn’t enjoy in both middle school and high school. I even remember my 9th grade English teacher who was hard core! She had us all memorize every preposition and then we each had to stand up in front of the class and recite them in alphabetical order. I’m sure most of my classmates can’t say the same, but that paid off for me in the long run. haha

Anyway, I was one of the only people I knew who didn’t change their major in college. I even have college friends who majored in Education, but left the profession after a few years. Honestly, I can’t say I blame them. I had those same thoughts a few times in my early teaching career….and I do think it’s a more difficult profession now for many reasons. It really is a rewarding profession, and thankfully, I’ve been really happy in the classroom with my intervention work the past few years. This is my 21st year and while I’m not counting down, I don’t think you’ll see me in the classroom past year 30…but we’ll see.

What was your dream job as a child?

Posted in Blog challenge, Me

Bloganuary 1.22.23


I noticed on my WordPress home page, they have “daily writing prompts” — I don’t think this is the same as Bloganuary because these are different than the daily suggested topic emails.

Anyway, one of them was: write about your first name: its meaning, significance, etymology, etc., so that’s what I’m doing today!

I know a bit about my name, but for a “refresher,” I hit up

My dad chose both my name and my brother’s name.

Well, “Jennifer” is currently #493 in U.S. births. Guess what number it was in 1980? …#1. (and for few years after that) When I was younger, I would occasionally wish my name wasn’t Jennifer since there were always a few in class with me. My dad would say, “Well, how was I supposed to know in January of 1980, it would be #1 for the year!” 😂

He chose my brother’s name, Connor, after reading the book Trinity. At least Connor was a more uncommon name. It didn’t become more popular until later.

In 21 years teaching, I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a Jennifer in class, so clearly it has fallen off in popularity.

In high school, my friends started calling me Jen, and that kind of stuck with most. A few family members still call me Jennifer and so do people I don’t know. And…I’m Jen with one ‘n.’ I figured if I was going to shorten it, might has well have the one ‘n.’

some other facts:

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: fair, soft
  • Jennifer is originally a Cornish version of Gwynhwyfar
  • **I just learned that the name became more popular after the main character in the novel and movie Love Story in 1970.
  • Famous Jennifers: Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston

While I’m talking names

*update* after reading this post, my dad called to provide a few edits 😂 Apparently, he liked the Celtic version of Jennifer which means: white wave. *My bad.

Naming your kids can be difficult and even more so when you are a teacher. There are definitely names that Travis suggested that were an immediate “no” because of a kid I had in class.

Honestly, I didn’t really have a list of names I liked before I got pregnant. The only name I really thought we might use was Harper. I love that name, and it’s a nod to the great Harper Lee. Travis said, “no.” I was annoyed.

Once we found out we were having twins, I did have a few combos in mind: Cooper and Carter if we had two boys, but I also liked the name Hayden…and liked the combo of Hayden and Cooper. Travis loved the name Addison, and I liked Ainsley. He was kind of iffy about Ainsley, but I think he would have gone with it. (As you can see, Travis almost had stronger opinions than I did about names!)

At around 14 weeks, we found out the twins were boy/girl and for a couple of months, we really thought we were going to go with Cooper and Addison. I remember that people had opinions which surprised me. I’ve never really thought twice about what others name their kids.

Anyway, the summer of 2009, I started watching a reality show called “Southern Belles Louisville,” and there was a girl on there named Hadley. I’d never heard that name before, and she was a sweet girl. I just mean if she was an antagonist on the show, I probably wouldn’t have liked the name. I mentioned that name to Travis and he liked it but wasn’t all in. I told him to watch the show for a bit, and he ended up liking it.

Then, we decided to double down on the H’s…and go with Hayden and Hadley. Again, I remember people wondering about the name “Hadley,” but I really liked it.

The kids’ middle names were easy…we used both of our dads’ middle names. Hayden is Hayden Joseph after my dad, and Hadley is Hadley Rae after Trav’s dad.

So that’s how their names came to be!

I can’t imagine them being anything other than Hayden and Hadley now.

Anyway, I just thought that was an interesting topic to share…and now I have a little history on my name and the story of their names to look back on with this post.

What’s the meaning behind your name? Did you like your name when you were a kid?

I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

Posted in Blog challenge, Me

Bloganuary 1.21.23

Happy Saturday! I’m keeping up with the Bloganuary prompts…

One of the Bloganuary prompts this week was …what’s a color that fits your personality and why? 

Y’all, the first thing that popped in my mind was gray.  😂

I didn’t think of gray because I’m moody…well, not moody all the time. Haha  

That being said, my personality isn’t outgoing/bubbly like I think yellow would be. I’m just more mindful, cautious, conscientious. You know, gray.

I just try to blend in. I guess I could have been khaki as much as gray. I don’t need to stand out or be “loud” like bright pink or red, for example. Gray is more subtle, and I think I am too. 

I’ve always just kind of hung out on the peripheral until I’m comfortable in a situation whether it’s at work or in a friend group. Once I’m comfortable, I reach out or speak up.  

I feel like gray goes with everything. Gray can go with navy or khaki but it also matches bright colors too. So, I think that kind of goes with my personality. I’m adaptable and can fit in wherever…but on my own terms, I guess. 

I feel like there’s a lot to “unpack” here. 😂

What about you? I think this is so interesting. What color fits your personality and why?  

I hope your weekend is off to a great start. 

Posted in Blog challenge, Gift Ideas

Bloganuary 1.15.23

Hello! I hope you had a great Saturday. I sure did. It was a pretty lowkey regular Saturday with some birthday fun last night. More on that later this week.

Yesterday, I wrote about books that have changed my life

One of this week’s Bloganuary prompts asked about memorable gifts.

Here are a few:

First of all, I’m spoiled because Travis is a great gift giver. I give him gloves and handwarmers for when he works outside. He gets me photos of the kids. *sigh*

The first thing that popped into my mind was for our first Christmas as a married couple, I opened a little blue box from Tiffanys —he’d gotten me silver heart earrings. I still wear them and love them.

While I was pregnant with the kids, I remember feeling miserable and sitting in the chair with my feet propped up on the ottoman. He came in with a gift bag. I opened it, and it was a David Yurman bracelet. I swear I’m not fussy about jewelry, but I appreciate that he’s given me things that are timeless and I wear often.

The first Christmas we lived in this house, he gave me this sign that now hangs by our front door. It has our last name (obviously) and our address with Est. 20014 because that’s when we moved in.

When the kids were in 3rd grade, I opened up the sweetest pic of them (and a few others). This one sits on our mantel. I had no clue that he’d has these photos taken.

We are lucky because Trav’s brother is an exceptional photographer! I cried when I saw these. (And then laughed as Hadley recounted Travis taking them to Target for shirts —which I had seen in their closets and thought was odd…haha and keeping the photos a secret.)

Before Homer, we had two Boxers, Shiloh and Scout. Shiloh was older by about a year and a half. When Scout was 10, he passed away unexpectedly, and then we still had Shiloh. For Christmas, I opened up a box with this sweet bracelet. It has our anniversary, the kids’ names, and Shiloh and Scout engraved. I cried.

This Christmas was no different. He had this photo made/framed from Smallwoods.

While these were for the kids, I had no idea he was getting them. When they opened them and I saw them, I cried. #cryingisaChristmastheme

I love them so much.

This Christmas, I asked for perfume because I was running low. I’m not really picky about perfume, so I suggested Travis choose one that he liked (and still told him a couple of suggestions as ideas). Anyway, on Christmas, I opened up not one, but three perfumes. I love them all, but what makes them more special is that he took Hadley with them, and she helped him pick them out.

I got: Juliette has a Gun, Daisy Dream, and Perfect by Marc Jacobs. I love them all and just rotate day to day.

Last night, after dinner, the kids and Travis gave me their gifts. I wasn’t expecting it, but Travis gave me some new earrings while the kids gave me this jar with slips of paper to use throughout the year. Hadley led this charge, I’m sure, but I appreciate that they all gave ideas like “cup of coffee, watch a tv show as a family, and my choice of takeout.” Both gifts were so thoughtful…and unexpected.

What’s the most memorable gift you’ve received?

Have a great Sunday,

Posted in Blog challenge, Books and Shows

Bloganuary 1.14.23

Happy Happy Saturday. See, Saturdays get an extra “happy” when it’s also your birthday.

I’m continuing on with some Bloganuary posts this weekend because I’ve really been enjoying writing about what pops up…

One of the suggested prompts this week was: has a book changed your life?

While of course some books immediately popped into my mind, overall, my first thought was: reading has changed my life

From the time I was little, I remember reading.

Both of my parents are readers. My dad always had a stack of books on the side table by his recliner, and my mom was the one to take us to the library.

In the summer, we’d go to the library pretty often, and we’d always complete the reading challenge…

Around 4th grade, I have memories of reading in my room. I had a little cozy corner (I started making things “cozy” early on!) where I’d sit and read.

I also loved my school librarian, Mrs. Jones. She made reading so much fun. A favorite elementary school memory was when I was in the intermediate grades, some of us would get to help on our class visits and scan books out to our classmates and then tidy up the libary.

Of course, there was the school reading program…

Ahh…I remember those Pizza Hut coupons like it was yesterday.

I feel like I naturally introduced reading to the kids. Even when they were babies, I’d rock them, read them a book, and then put them in bed.

In the summer, it was always a weekly activity to take them to the library. They’d sit and listen during story time, make a craft, click around on the computer, and check out books. The library was a great way to burn a couple of hours once a week in those hot summer months.

My mom, after she retired from teaching after 31 years, worked at the public library for ten more. She even did story time with the little kids, and we’d join her during our summer visits to KC.

Just like when I grew up, during the elementary years, the kids would complete the library summer reading challenge earning free books and stickers instead of pizza.

Hayden’s my reader. I will never forget listening to him read chapter books for the first time. Most nights, I would sit with him in bed, and we’d take turns reading pages of the Magic Treehouse series. There were many nights that I thought he was sleeping only for me to go to bed at 10:00 and see his little lamp light still on. I’d encourage him to finish a chapter and then turn off his light because he needed his rest.

Hadley always preferred shorter books and graphic novels.

She was a serious reader as a toddler…haha

I wish she enjoyed reading, but I think some of it is her attention span. She’s on the go, and it’s hard for her to settle in and focus. That being said, she loves a theme…and “Character Day” in elementary school was always her fave.

Reading through the years...

  • I loved Madeline.
  • I remember asking for Babysitter’s Club books, and even buying them as they came out one by one.
  • In 7th grade, we read Where the Red Fern Grows with Mr. Freeman, and I cried.
  • My dad gave me Tuesdays with Morrie when I was in high school, and I knew it would be a book I’d read time and time again.
  • I bought Cliffs Notes for every Shakespearean play I read in high school. Even as a high school English teacher, I dread teaching Shakespeare.
  • One of my favorite courses in college when we read one “classic” young adult book per week and created a lesson plan. I remember classmates grumbling because we “had” to read one book a week…but I couldn’t wait. We read Chocolate Wars, The Outsiders, The Giver, and more.
  • I hadn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird until I taught it my first year teaching…and couldn’t have loved it more. (*Side note: I wanted Hadley’s name to be Harper, but Travis nixed that suggestion from the start. That being said, we did have a dog named Scout!)

As an adult some recent books that have stuck with me…

  • The Giver of Stars
  • We Were the Lucky Ones
  • American Dirt
  • Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
  • Where the Crawdads Sing

I feel like I said, “I remember…” quite a bit in this post, but I have such fond memories of reading, connecting with a story line, empathizing with a character, and having the best feeling of not wanting a story to end.

Reading has changed my life in more ways than I can count.

What’s a book that has changed your life?

Posted in Blog challenge, Me

Blog Challenge Part 4

Hello and Happy Thursday!

Well, remember when I started writing my own “blog challenge” last month and now I’ve also started writing some of the “Bloganuary” posts on the weekend…You are really going to know me pretty well by the end of the month!

It’s very “on brand” for me to have nothing to write about and then work my way through two blog “challenges.”

So far, I’ve had three posts…one, two, three

Today, I’m looking at topics…#8, 9, and 10

7. Old Photos of Me

I don’t have tons and tons of old photos of me which is something my kids will never have to say when they are grownups. That being said, my mom was always good about taking pictures, but of course the 80’s and 90’s weren’t the digital age!

I actually have an old scrap \book she made of my first five years as well as my baby book. Also, I’ve taken photos of photos to save as well to save.

Anyway, here are a few….

This one with my brother on Santa’s lap always makes me laugh.

This collage has a few photos through the years…

The two on the left, I believe I was four or five years old. Peep the Madeline doll in my hand while I sported a red jumper and long white socks. Whenever I see the pic of me in the blue and white dress, I always notice my sticker earrings! I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 12.

Let’s skip middle school (haha…) but really — I don’t know that I have many middle school photos…and none easily on hand. Top right is one of my senior photos…

The bottom right photo my cousin just sent to me recently. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it, and she found it at her mom’s house. I almost didn’t recognize my early 20’s self, and I’m sure that I didn’t appreciate not having to take a collagen supplement and full lips when I had them!

I just shared about our trip to Columbia to watch the Tigers play UK, and here’s a throwback to when I graduated college.

Time sure does fly!

8. Piercings and Tattoos?

Well, I finally got my ears pierced when I was twelve. For whatever reason, that was the rule…I had to be twelve before I could get my ears pierced.

Over Christmas break, Travis and I went out to lunch. He was sitting across from me and said, “Do you have two ear piercings?” I couldn’t believe that he could see the second hole in my ear. I think I was 18 when I got my second piercing and only wore earrings in that second hole for a couple of years. Over twenty years together, and that’s the first time he’d mentioned it. haha

I had always wanted a tattoo and got one on my foot over fifteen years ago. Just a simple shamrock as a nod to my Irish heritage. I also always wanted a simple tattoo on my wrist, but have never done it. Just recently I really started to think about getting one…so we’ll see.

9. First Celebrity Crush

Jason Bateman. I loved the show The Hogan Family and instantly thought he was such a cutie. *Also, fun fact – we have the same January 14th birthday…but not the same year 😉 (He was also a huge reason I faithfully watched Ozark)

Also, what girl growing up in the 80’s/90’s didn’t watch Saved by the Bell? I thought Mark-Paul Gosselaar was so cute. One time, he had a scheduled appearance at the Ward Parkway Mall near my house, and I went there with a couple of my friends. We were in junior high, and I think every teenage girl within a fifty mile radius was there too. I remember him being up on the stage, and all the girls were cheering for him.

What about you? Who was your first celebrity crush?

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!

Posted in Blog challenge

Bloganuary 1.8.23

Hello and happy Sunday!

I’m continuing on with another Bloganuary post.

Today, I’m writing about what is a treasure that is lost?

Well, I think this topic can piggyback off a bit about what I wrote yesterday

Two things that immediately pop into my mind are…hand-written notes/birthday cards and Christmas/holiday cards.

I have always loved receiving a hand-written note and birthday cards. I actually have a couple of boxes that I keep notes and cards that I’ve received through the years. By taking the time to write a note whether it’s a sticky note “love you” or a lunch box note providing encouragement for a test or sending a birthday card, it shows that you took the time out of your day to think about someone else and show them that you care.

Now, my mom, Gma, and aunt send some amazing creations…

My dad always sends me a Snoopy card if he can find it. He’s so funny…he gets lots of free cards sent to him when he donates to various charities. This one, that he sent the kids, cracked us all up…

It’s been a tradition, even before we had kids, to send a Christmas card. To be honest, I know Travis and I received them when we were dating and engaged, so I was so excited to send one once we were married. That tradition has continued on through the years with the kids, and sometimes, if we are lucky, we get a family photo.

December is such a hectic and stressful month, that I actually look forward to checking the mailbox and opening the cards that we do receive. I figured out a way to display this this year.

I remember that Lauren shared that she prays for each family who sent a card as she puts them away at the end of the Christmas season. I love that idea and have kept it in mind these past couple of years.

I think social media is to “blame” for both of these kind of going to the wayside more and more. It’s easier to write on a Facebook wall “Happy birthday” than send a card. I don’t think people feel the need to send holiday cards because we all know what’s going on with our immediate friends thanks to Facebook and Instagram. Also, don’t get me started on the price of stamps. haha

What’s a treasure that you think has been lost?

Posted in Blog challenge

Bloganuary 1.7.23

Hello and Happy Saturday! I’m not sure if I’ve ever typed “Happy Saturday” on a blog post or not.

In December, I received an email from WordPress about their January writing challenge. I clicked the link to sign up, and have been receiving daily emails with pretty simple topics including introduce yourself, what brings you joy in life, what brings you joy in life and more.

Like I said yesterday, I tend to have my Monday-Friday content planned and written and some of these topics I’ve previously covered, but thought I might pop in with a post on the weekends this month.

I liked yesterday’s topic, so I’m going to write about that.

Why do you write?

Well, I’ve always enjoyed writing. What little girl didn’t have a sparkly pink diary that locked along with a pen with a fuzzy poof on the top?

I remember having a few and jotting down my thoughts and feelings through the years. Not sure where those diaries are now.

For me, like many, writing is a way to express myself. In general, I’d say that I’m an introvert who is more reserved or quiet until I get to know someone. I’ve pretty much always been that way. I also kind of hang on the peripheral until I get the lay of the land and have something to say. I don’t jump right into a conversation. I like to have time to think before a response too. So, I think writing is a way for me to express myself, provide a thoughtful response and have my voice heard.

Also, I write to show others that I care. I love receiving a handwritten note or card, and try to do the same for birthdays and other occasions. I already miss putting notes in my kids’ lunchboxes.

In college, I most definitely preferred writing a twenty page paper vs taking a test. I think I have a smidge of test anxiety. Tests have answers that are right and wrong. Give me a few pages of writing where I can provide my opinion and back it up with text evidence and I at least feel like I have a shot at “getting the correct answer.” I earned two Master’s degrees without taking a single test. I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages, but that never stressed me out.

As a teacher, I love teaching the process of writing to students. I love reading their final drafts of work and hearing their voices in their writing.

Now, of course, I write for fun. This blog is a hobby of mine. I love that I’ve “met” others through my site, I have pictures and memories in one place to look back on, and there’s a sense of community in the blogging world. I really do look forward to writing my posts, and engage in the readers through comments. Also, it’s fun to write a bit more informally and take off my “teacher hat” when I can.

I’m writing this right now while sipping my coffee, and it makes me happy. I’m going to proofread before posting because I can’t shake the English teacher in me, but it’s fun to just go ahead and “publish” immediately after typing out my thoughts.

I hope your weekend is off to a great start.