Posted in Books and Shows, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Good Reads

Hello! It’s Tuesday Talk with Erika and Ashley!

Today, I’m talking about books, reading, and the Goodreads app.

It’s no secret that I love to read. In 2018, I started to keep two different notes on my phone. One note was an ongoing list of books I wanted to read, and the other list was for books I read. The list of books I wanted to read continued to grow and grow. I would typically just read the last few books on the list since they were the most recent additions.

In December 2019 and December 2020, I shared my favorite books that I’d read during those years. I’ve had a few people mention the Goodreads app through the years, but I never really tried it out. I downloaded it and added some books that I’d read, but didn’t really do much more.

Then, a few friends shared about the 2020 Reading Challenge on Goodreads, and for whatever reason, that was enough to make me take some time to use the Goodreads app to set up my 2021 challenge. In January, I created various books shelves other than “Want to Read” and “Read.” I wanted to be able to get book titles based on what I wanted to read and stay organized.

I can honestly say that I’m really enjoying the app. I’m assuming I’m not utilizing all features, so please share on what else I can do besides the reading challenge and shelves.

My bookshelves include:

  • Bio/auto bio/memoir
  • Christmas/holiday
  • Faith based/self-help
  • Historical
  • Light reads/chick lit
  • Mystery/thriller/suspense
  • Read ASAP
  • Serious Reads
  • Summer Reads
  • Young adult
  • Started but didn’t finish

How do you organize your Goodreads book shelves? Here are some books I have for a few of these caterogies:

  • Bio/Auto bio/Memoir: Life in Love (Lauren Akins), He Put My Buddha in the Freezer (Karl), Blood: A Memoir (Moorer)
  • Lit Reads/Chick Lit: The Friendship List (Mallery), Surprise Me (Kinsella), Talk Bookish to Me (Bromley)
  • Mystery/Thriller/Suspense: The Night Swim (Goldin), Survive the Night (Sager), Local Woman Missing (Kubica)
  • Summer Reads: Big Summer (Weiner), Here’s to Us (Hilderbrand), Under the Southern Sky (Woodson Harvey)
  • Read ASAP: Pack Up the Moon (Higgins), We Were Liars (Lockhart), Are We There Yet? (West)


So, my “Read ASAP” category just means those seem like books I would want to read sooner rather than later, and I wanted to have a way to access that list.

I know you can follow people on Goodreads and even like/comment on what others have read or want to read. Are there any other features that I’m missing?

For the 2021 Reading Challenge, I’ve read 19 of my 40 book goal which means I’m on track since we are halfway through 2021. I’ve read a lot of great books so far this year!

I really am enjoying this app over all, and I wish I started using it sooner. I like having my books organized, and seeing what others are reading. Plus, the app helps me remember what I’ve read!

Speaking of organization, I randomly found a new app over the weekend for my blog reading.

Probably five years ago, Shay’s blog was the first blog I started reading, and now I ready quite a few throughout the week. I used to always read them on my computer, and some I would receive via email. For my blog, I use the WordPress app, and have started a few more bloggers on WP!

Anyway, I found this “My Blogs” app in the App Store, and adding blogs to it is very easy. You just get on the app, search for blogs and add them. Then, the app tells you when that blog has a new post to read. Of course, I’ve only started using it, but I like having blogs in one place to read whenever I have time.

Let me know what else I need to know about Goodreads and what books I should add to my Goodreads book shelves!

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Posted in Kids, School, Tuesday Talk

Tues Talk: Reflection: The Elementary Years

It’s Tuesday Talk with Erika and Ashley.

For this link up, we chat about any topic, and, well, the end of the school year has certainly been on my mind.

And…

Today is the day. Today, my kids will be finished with elementary school. I blinked and they went from toothless grins to braces, from the babies of the school to the oldest ones that the babies look up to, and from teeny tiny to almost as tall as me.

Where. Did. The. Time. Go?

I’m going to take today to reflect through their elementary years. This post is a mix of “why do I do this to myself?” to “there are so many memories, and this post will provide one place to house them all.” So, here we go…

Reflecting through the years…

Kindergarten:

I remember how excited Hadley was to start kindergarten. I also remember how hesitant Hayden was to start “big kid school.” (That being said, he was adamant that he didn’t want to be in Hadley’s class!)

That whole year was filled with new school experiences.

Memories, Activities and Field Trips:

  • Walking to school
  • Learning to read
  • Pumpkin Patch field trip
  • All about Me posters
  • School lunch!
  • Spring kindergarten performance
  • Ran first ever mile race at the PTA mile/5k
  • 100th day of school celebration
  • They loved their teachers!

1st Grade:

This was a year filled with growth and new school activities. Hayden had “the best teacher ever!” and Hadley loved being her teacher’s helper.

Memories, Activities and Field Trips:

  • More walking to school
  • Field trip to the Living Arts and Science Center
  • 50th day of school celebration
  • Chess club
  • Pete the Cat 1st grade performance
  • Book Fair
  • Hadley clipped down to yellow one day, and rule follower Hayden exclaimed, “Hadley!” as we walked home from school, and she told me she was talking when the teacher was talking.
  • Field Day fun

2nd Grade:

Second grade was their last year in the primary hall of their school. Hadley learned that “boys can be teachers too!” as her teacher, Mr. B. was assigned to the class about a week before school started. Hayden loved the second grade and his teacher’s Safari theme for learning and room decor.

Memories, Activities and Field Trips:

  • Academic Team(both kids)
  • Boosterthon Fun Run at school
  • International Night
  • Derby Breakfast (Hayden’s class)
  • Both kids got braces
  • Family Night: spaghetti and puzzles
  • Valentine’s Day parties
  • Making signs in support of teachers when their retirement was being threatened
  • Student led teacher conferences
  • School carnival
  • Safety City field trip
  • Indoor field day
  • Black History Month celebration: class project and third grade school performance.

3rd Grade:

Third grade was the first year in the secondary wing and the first year earning grades on report cards! Hayden had a few rough patches when his teacher left in October for a district level position, followed by a teacher that lasted less than a week, and then a replacement teacher for the remainder of the year. It took him some time to adjust with the sudden changes. Hadley loved her teacher and really excelled that year.

Memories, Activities and Field Trips:

  • Academic Team (Hadley)
  • PTA movie night
  • Indoor Boosterthon Fun Run
  • Arboretum field trip
  • first KPREP tests
  • Book character dress up day – (Hadley dressed as Pinkalicious)
  • Class science fair
  • Family night: spaghetti and puzzles
  • School carnival
  • Cat in the Hat performances
  • Zoo field trip
  • Girls on the Run
  • Multiplication!
  • Family heritage project

4th Grade:

In the 4th grade, the kids continued to do well in school. Hadley had the same awesome teacher that Hayden had for 2nd grade, and Hayden’s teacher was perfect for him with her love of reading and very structured classroom.

Memories, Activities and Field Trips:

  • Academic Team (Hadley)
  • Cross Country (both kids–with their dad as the coach!)
  • Chorus (Hadley)
  • Field trip to Newton’s Attic
  • Movie Night
  • Recorders for music class!
  • Science Fair – Hayden earned honorable mention and Hadley made it to the district Science Fair!
  • Family Night: spaghetti and puzzles
  • Read Across America week
  • Packed up their belongings for what they thought would be two weeks…but didn’t return to the building before summer break
  • Waving at their teachers as they drove through the neighborhoods
  • Became proficient at Zoom and Google Classroom
  • Virtual Field Day
  • Said goodbye to their teachers and classmates on Zoom

5th Grade:

Their 5th grade year started with more virtual school. Seven months of virtual school to be exact. The kids both had awesome teachers who did an amazing job teaching via Zoom. The kids attended a pod of learners (friends!) two days a week which provided them with structured school, academic support, and social interaction. They *finally* returned to in person learning on March 8 to close out their elementary years in the same building they’d attended since kindergarten.

Memories, Activities and Field Trips:

first day at the pod in August 2020

return to in person learning March 2021

  • Delayed start to the school year
  • Drive through for textbook and supplies pick up
  • Virtual School
  • Pod two days a week
  • Became distinguished with Zoom and Google Classroom
  • Teacher front porch visits
  • Cross country (both kids, with their dad as their coach…again!)
  • Braces again!
  • G/T dance and dance club (Hadley)
  • Learning the flute (Hadley)
  • Return to in person learning in March which included thermal checks, plastic desk partitions, mask wearing, limited interactions at recess, and lunches in the classroom
  • Oldest kids in the school building
  • Field Day
  • Tie dye day and pizza lunch
  • 5th grade promotion

Final Thoughts:

Today, they enter their elementary school building one final time. This year hasn’t been what we expected, but they adjusted, they made the best of it, and they thrived.

Walking them to school provided me with memories and opportunities for conversations to last a life time. Seeing their independence grow each year was both bittersweet and rewarding. We went from kindergarten where we walked them to their classrooms every day for the first two weeks of school to stopping at the crosswalk and letting them finish the walk to the building on their own. (**and many days pulling into carline with minutes to spare! 😆 )

Letting go at each phase feels natural, but sad as I see the time pass by right before my very eyes.

I will forever treasure our time in this amazing school. The teachers and administration did an amazing job kicking starting their educational career.

Dear Hayden and Hadley,

Happy last day of elementary school!

You’ll move on, you’ll continue to learn, you’ll continue to grow, you’ll make new friends, you’ll keep forever friends, you’ll test your independence (& my patience!), and you’ll continue to become the people you are destined to be.

I tell you all the time how lucky you are to have had the teachers, the administrators, the experiences and the opportunities that you’ve had over the past six years. I know you’ll remember these years fondly.

You’ve made dad and I very proud. Keep leading with your heart, keep being kind, and keep putting your best foot forward. I promise hard work, dedication, and kindness will always pay off.

Through the years, I’ve shared some words of wisdom with you; you know your English teacher mom loves a good quote. Some of my faves are:

“Be silly, be honest, be kind.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson,

“Anything is possible. Anything can be.” ~Shel Silverstein

…and…

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~A A Milne

So, I will wrap up your elementary years with this:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau

I hope you have the best last day of elementary school. You deserve it! I know this is only the beginning for the both of you! Keep up the good work!

xo,

Mom

P.S. No, I’m not crying…why do you ask? 😉😢

……………………………………………….

Tomorrow, I hope to share our last day of school photos. We have lots of fun planned for today with my 5th grade graduates!

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Clothes, Kids, Tuesday Talk

Spring and Summer Clothes for Girls

Hello! How’s it going? I’ve had such great luck finding some cute clothes and shoes for Hadley lately, so I’m sharing those today while linking up with Ashley and Erika for Tuesday Talk.

I’d share some clothes that Hayden loves to currently wear, but that post would be short, sweet, and include Nike shorts and whatever t-shirt he finds on the closet floor. That being said, I am grateful the kid will put on a pair of khaki shorts or pants without a fight now, and we’ve been blessed with some awesome hand-me-down button down shirts and polos that he’ll wear when needed.

Here are some things Hadley’s been wearing the past couple of months to transition from cold to warmer weather.

Amazon

These pajamas were one of Hadley’s Easter presents. This is her second pair of these pjs, and they have so many cute color options and sayings.

Pajamas

Matilda Jane

I typically turn to Matilda Jane for Hadley’s Easter dress each year. I know their dresses are great quality, will last a while, and Hadley can wear it to church, special occasions, or even summer vacations, so that makes their dresses worth the investment for me.

Oh Joy Dress

Target

Well ladies, some of these items may just work for you! The leopard flats, sandals, and 1/4 zip are from the Women’s Department at Target. haha!

This two piece was another Easter gift purchase, and Hadley already tested it out during our stay at the Opryland Gaylord.

Art Class Bikini Set

Every year, I get Hadley a pair of flats to wear with leggings or dresses because her foot continues to grow! For about two years now, she’s been wearing women’s sizes. These leopard print flats are super cute, and if I didn’t already have a pair of leopard flats, I would have snagged these for myself as well.

{She’s wearing them in the photo above with her Easter dress}

Universal Thread Ballet Flat // Little Girl Cat & Jack Option

Hadley loved the tan strapped version of these from last year. Those still barely fit, so I bought her the next size up with the white strap. Cute, comfy, and affordable!

Ava Skinny Strap Sandal

I’ve shared this quarter zip recently in a different blog post. Hadley saw it and loved the yellow color, and it seemed like a perfect spring option for cool mornings (and chilly a classroom!) Obviously, she can wear this in the fall and winter too. {Looks like the price has dropped a bit, and it’s on Clearance!)

Universal Quarter Zip-Up Pullover

Sis will live in athleisure wear with leggings and joggers. She wore the joggers most of the winter months, and has them in a few colors. She still wears them now in warmer weather with a t-shirt.

All in Motion Joggers

These leggings are super cute and fun to wear with a t-shirt or long sleeves depending on the temperature! They have a side pocket which is a great feature as well.

All in Motion Side Pocket Leggings

Old Navy

Old Navy has so many cute options and great prices. Hadley was so excited when this dress and romper arrived that she tried them on for me and let me take her picture! And yes, she straightened her hair so she looks 16 😭

I had this romper in mind for the kids’ upcoming 5th grade graduation ceremony when I bought it. I wasn’t sure she’d like it, but she sure does! Even if she doesn’t wear it on the last day of school, she will get plenty of wear out of it on other days and occasions.

There are a few color options, and it’s 25% off!

Old Navy Romper // Target Ballet Flats

This cute little dress is only $10. I’m sure I will get her another one before summer because she’s worn this a ton and you can’t beat the price!

Old Navy Dress // Target Sandals

Aren’t girls’ clothes so much fun?! Also, no wonder her laundry pile is twice the size of Hayden’s! haha

Thanks so much for reading! I hope your week is off to a great start.

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Gift Ideas, Holidays, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Easter Gift Ideas

Hello! It’s Tuesday Talk time with Ashley and Erika. With Easter right around the corner, I thought I’d share some Easter gift ideas for kids.

At our house, the Easter Bunny brings the candy for their baskets and hides the eggs that we dye the day before Easter.

I use Easter as a time to give practical gifts for the season like flip flops, pajamas, swimsuits, and a book or two. Some years I pick up odds and ends to put in Hayden and Hadley’s baskets with the candy like a tooth brush, body spray, deodorant, and chapstick.

Easter 2020

This year Target and Amazon had everything I needed to provide practical and cute gifts for Hayden and Hadley.

Hayden:

  • These slides will be just what Hayden needs for the pool and wearing to practice when he’s not wearing his cleats.
  • I’ve never purchased kids’ swimwear from Amazon, but these plaid trunks have high ratings and there are many cute patterns! They arrived yesterday and the quality is really good!
  • I’ve had this God Sized Dreams book saved on my Amazon list for the kids for quite some time. I always try to buy a book for them for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and back to school.
  • I guess Hayden’s officially “too old” to wear matching pj shorts and shirts, so I thought I’d give him these play shorts to wear as pajama bottoms that he’ll just wear to bed with whatever t-shirt he chooses.

Hadley:

  • I thought this two piece from Target was so cute. I think Hadley will love it!
  • Hadley loves to have a variety of sandals in the summer, so I picked these pink flip flops up for her at Target.
  • I purchased the girl version of the God Sized Dreams book for Hadley as well.
  • Hadley already has a pair of these pajamas from last year, but I bought her the next size to be able to wear this spring and summer. They are some of her faves!

Also, Hadley still loves her leather sandals that she got last summer, and thankfully they still fit! We both have a pair of these comfort slides from Amazon, and we both wear them often. They come in a variety of colors as well!

Both:

I still love my weighted blanket, and the kids have shown interest in wanting one. I’ve had this 5 lb one saved, and saw that the price dropped significantly, so I went ahead and got one for each of them.

Small Gift Ideas:

Here are a few other smaller items that I’ve purchased for them for their Easter baskets or other holidays:

  • Stretch Band for Dance (Hadley still uses this, and it was in her basket last Easter)
  • Cra-Z-Art Snow (Hayden thought this was so fun when he received it last Easter)
  • Led Sound Activated Party Lights with remote (Hadley LOVES this thing!)
  • Bananagrams (family fave!)
  • Wireless Computer Mouse (essential item to use with their chromebooks)
  • Blue Light Blocking Glasses (perfect for online learning)

How do you do Easter baskets at your house? It’s always fun to see the kids hunt for the hidden eggs, have chocolate for breakfast, and enjoy a few gifts before we head to church.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope your week is off to a great start!

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

Hello! It’s Tuesday Talk time with Erika and Ashley.

This is a link up where the topic is anything you want to chat about…Well, today, I’d like to talk about…

Air fryers!

I’ve wanted one for a while…I’d thought about asking for one for Christmas, but I wasn’t sure where I’d store it when not using it. Well, since Trav’s work didn’t have a Christmas party this year, they had an employee drawing for gifts! When Travis called to tell me he won the air fryer, I was about as excited as if he’d told me he’d won $1 million! 😂

We reorganized our kitchen closet, so it has a home when it’s not being used, but the problem is…I don’t know what to make in it!

I’ve gotten really good at hitting the “snowflake” button to cook frozen foods, and we’ve reheated tacos and pizza in it as well!

Lately, I did branch out and roast some broccoli (with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and Everything But the Bagel seasoning) in it. That’s my “go to” broccoli recipe that I typically do in the oven. I was relieved that it worked in the Air Fryer because it was definitely quicker and a bit easier to clean up!

Then, I really gained confidence and made Chicken Parmesan which turned out amazing! The only issue was that I had to cook the chicken in two batches because I was wanting to make enough for leftovers the next day.

What else do you suggest making? I’d love some side dish and vegetable recipes. Also, I liked making the main course (Chicken Parm) in it, so do you all have any suggestions for easy dinners? Do people make desserts in the Air Fryer? Why is there a button with a piece of cake on it?! I’m intrigued.

I want to love this new gadget so much…and I do, but I definitely would like to use it for more than reheating food and cooking frozen food!

Thanks for any help and suggestions! I’m trying to add “Air Fryer Expert” to my culinary resume, so I appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks so much for reading, and make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

I can’t believe it’s already the third week of January! This month is definitely flying by. I believe Erika and Ashley are still doing their Tuesday Talk link up this year, so today is the day.

I’ve seen people share about their Word of the Year, and then I saw this on the good ol’ gram…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a 5w6, so “embody” and “yes” would be the words for my Enneagram type. To be honest, while these words are fine, I’m feeling more like a 1 (progress over perfection), or a 7 (quality over quantity). Honestly, I could embrace a 5’s embody (a daily practice) because I’m pretty good at that. Consistency and routine are strong suits of mine, so embodying a daily practice would certainly be in my nature. As far as saying “yes,” to new experiences, well, I probably should do that but already feel overwhelmed from the “yes” I say to every day experiences 😉

When I started this year, I shared my 2021 goals in a blog post, but choosing a word for the year is something I’d like to do as well.

So, self-care was a word that popped into my mind almost immediately. Through the years, I’d gotten to where I felt guilty putting myself first. #andallthemomssaidamen That being said, about four years ago, I turned a corner and made my physical health a priority with a focus on whole food nutrition and exercise. I also started getting monthly facials (or other treatments) and buying quality skincare products to include in my daily routine.

As I’ve previously shared, my endometriosis was an issue for the past few years, and really interfered with my physical health. I’m feeling so much better post-hysterectomy, so I’ve started working out again. Whole food nutrition is a priority again as well as I try to get back on track with healthy eating and working out. I will continue to have my “me” time in the morning which is paramount for my mental health as well.

So, while I will get back on track and continue with self-care, I also want to just start (from where I am). To me, start is the perfect word for where I am currently in my life. I want to start over with my fitness and nutrition. Also, time is absolutely flying by, and I want to start being more intentional with my time with Travis and the kids. I also have other goals that I want to start working on in regards to this blog.

I want to continue to grow as a mom, as a wife, as a teacher, as a friend, and so on. To do that, self-care and starting from where I am, are perfect words for me to focus on in 2021.

What about you? What’s your word for 2021?

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too, and thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Holidays, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Holiday Edition

It’s Tuesday Talk day with Ashley and Erika. For this linkup, we can chat about any topic we’d like to focus on for the post! I’m linking up with them again this month to focus on a little this or that and favorites for the holiday!

So here we go…

I’ve seen so many this or that posts shared in Insta Stories, so I thought I’d snag one and share my thoughts.

template c/0 @brewedtea4you
  • Christmas music or Christmas movies: I love Christmas songs while driving in the car, but I’d say I prefer Christmas movies during the holidays.
  • Store bought gifts or handmade gifts: Well, I love to buy gifts for others especially with the help of Amazon and Etsy. That being said, I love nothing more than receiving a handmade gift…especially from my kids!
  • Egg nog or spiced cider: Egg nog all the way. When the kids were little, my dad started calling it “Christmas milk,” so that’s what they still call it. Hayden tends to hog the egg nog at our house!
  • Gingerbread or sugar cookies: Gingerbread cookies for sure. I feel like we can have sugar cookies anytime!
  • Real tree or fake tree: We used to always have a fake tree, but I’ve come to love the tradition of getting a real tree. I love how the scent of the tree fills our home for a few days…even though sometimes it sends my allergies into overdrive!
  • It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story: Christmas Story for sure. We always watch it on Christmas Day.
  • Elves or Snowmen: Snowmen are so cute!
  • White lights or colored lights: I like the glow and simplicity of white lights.

A few of my….

Favorites:

  • Favorite Christmas movie: Home Alone or A Christmas Story
  • Favorite holiday scented candle: Bath & Body Works: Winter
  • Favorite Christmas tradition: As a kid: driving through the Plaza lights in Kansas City with a stop at Winstead’s for a burger and a shake. As a parent: My kids wearing their Christmas pjs and then exchanging gifts that they picked out for each other on Christmas Eve.
  • Favorite Christmas song: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Let it Snow
  • Favorite Christmas ornament: An ornament we received for our first Christmas in 2005 after we got married and the kids’ first Christmas (2009) under the tree. We purchased one of these ornaments for all of our family members.

So, there’s a little peek at some of favorites in regards to Christmas. How do we only have ten days left until the big day?! Thankfully, I’m finished with shopping except for a gift card and a stocking stuffer or two! What are some of your favorites about Christmastime?

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts! Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Inspiration, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Fave Quotes

Hey! Hey! It’s Tuesday Talk with Ashley and Erika. Tuesday Talk is a fun link up where you can chat about any topic you want!

Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes. I’d say I’m a pretty reflective person. I’m the type to highlight meaningful text as I read, keep a note on my phone of inspirational quotes, and just take to heart words of wisdom. So, here are some of my favorite quotes that inspire me, make me think, or just ones I like to keep in my back pocket to turn to in times of needs

Favorite Quotes:

I listen to Landyn‘s podcast quite frequently, and one of her episodes was sharing tips for parenting teens. She shared a few pieces of advice, but the two quotes from her that stuck out to me were:

1. and 2.

When people show you who are you, you listen.

and…

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Both of these quotes are definitely ones that can apply to life, let alone being tips for a teen.

The first quote is definitely something I’ve had to learn the hard way in life. I try to see the good in people and have been burned. It’s hard when a relationship gets lopsided or you want to trust so badly that you settle. I will remember to share this with my kids…and, actually, believe it or not, I could probably share this advice with them now…even in the 5th grade.

Her second piece of advice can certainly be applied in various areas of life. One of the reasons I chose to continue to work after we had the kids was because I didn’t want to lose the side of me that that was a professional who contributed income to our family. Also, of course, this advice could apply to friendships, relationships, and much more.

While there are times I feel spread a bit thin, it’s worth it knowing all my eggs aren’t in one basket.

3.

We watch a lot of baseball in this house, and are KC Royals fans. One of their announcers is former player Rex Hudler. You will often hear him say:

The only two things you can control are your attitude and your output.

I love this one, and I certainly point it out to Hayden when Rex says it during the game. I remind Hayden that this applies to sports and to life!

4.

Forward is a pace.

Whether it’s during a difficult season of life, or just after a bad day, it’s important to remember to put one foot in front of the other and carry on as best you can.

5.

Patience is a form of action.

Patience is not my strong suit, but actually, I’ve gotten better with pausing, reflecting, and being patient as I’ve gotten older.

6.

One of my top reads in 2018 was I Liked My Life. A quote that stuck out to me was:

You have a head and a heart and I expect that you make choices that account for both.

This quote was from a parent to their child, and certainly applies to how I hope to raise my kids. There will be tough decisions in life or decisions you don’t want to make, but you to persevere anyway. In life, I’ve often thought, ‘I needed my heart to match my head,’ in making decisions like letting go of our beloved pup Shiloh and when it was time for me to get my hysterectomy.

7.

I wish I could remember where I heard this next quote, but I love it.

When you lose, say little, When you win, say less.

I know adults who need to follow this piece of advice!

8.

We are a collection of our choices.

I love this one. Of course, with parenting, I feel like I’m always preaching to the kids about the choices they make. This quote certainly sums up a great message in life.

9.

This next quote isn’t necessarily a piece of advice, but I love the message. One of my all time favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird, and in it, Scout says:

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

I hope to instill a love of reading in my kids. There’s not greater past time or therapy for me than reading a good book. Hayden’s my book worm…I’m still working on Hadley!

10.

Of course, this next one is a classic quote, but I will never forget going through a really sad time, coming back to school, and my principal sending me a sweet email that ended with:

Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you will every know.

This one is a classic for a reason. It’s a good one to remember as I encourage my kids, but it’s also a good reminder to myself!

11.

I think I saw this next one shared on social media.

If you want more freedom and energy, start saying no.

I’m certainly still working on this onebut, again, with age comes wisdom…and I’m learning. I’ve definitely learned to prioritize my time to align with my heart and values, so that has made saying ‘no’ easier at times.

12.

And lastly…

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.Hemingway

Just a reminder in the ups and downs of life that we often learn more in the tough times, and, in turn, cherish the good times.

Do you have any words of wisdom or inspirational quotes that are of meaning to you? I’d love to add them to my list!

I hope you are having a great week so far! Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Take care,

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: My Perfect Day

Hey! How’s it going? I’m linking up with Erika and Ashley today for their Tuesday Talk post. I like these posts because it gives me a time be more reflective and write more of a journal like entry. Tuesday Talk posts can be about anything you’d like to chat or write about.

Recently, I was listening to Landyn’s podcast, and she asked her guest about what her “perfect” day would be. Of course, that got me thinking about what a perfect day would look like for me. That being said, I’m thinking of my perfect day through the lens of a full time working mom with two busy kids. So….I hope my (mostly) sweet kids won’t be offended if my “perfect” day includes lots of “me” time. 😉

My Perfect Day:

  • I’d start by not setting an alarm and sleeping in. That being said, I’m sure “sleeping in” would be 7:30 at the latest, but not setting an alarm is the best.
  • Then, I’d have some quiet time while sipping my coffee, reading blogs, and scrolling social media. (Honestly, that’s what I do most mornings, but I have to get up in the 6’s to get that quiet time for myself)
  • A walk or workout would be great.
  • Then, I’d most likely love a trip to Trader Joe’s and Home Goods.
  • A manicure and pedicure would be next!
  • I’d meet Travis for lunch. Who gets to go out to a lunch that lasts longer than 20 minutes? Not this teacher!
  • Then, I’d read a book and watch a show in peace and quiet.
  • I’d love to meet some friends for an early dinner where I’d enjoy a glass of wine!
  • Dessert at home by a cozy fire in the fireplace with lights out by 10:00 would be the perfect end to the day.

It’s the simple things that make the day perfect.

Now, if this was a destination “perfect day,” then I would be sitting with my toes in the sand and a view of the ocean or sipping my coffee with a view of the mountains followed by a hike with my friends and family.

It also depends on the season! I love going to the pumpkin patch or a UK football game with my family in the fall. A lazy day with snow falling in the winter is always so cozy. A hike in the spring is always great. We love to go to the pool in the summer! We love roasting marshmallows in a backyard fire, and catching up with neighbors on one of our patios. Seeing Hayden and Hadley play with their cousins or going to a movie also make for a “perfect day.”

Also, simple things like picking my kids up from school means so much to me on a regular school day. That’s not my every day when we have a “normal” school year, so I enjoy being the one to get my kids after school and hear about their day. It’s also why I have actually cherished this time at home with them since March.

Really, in a “perfect day” for me, there’d be no hustle and bustle, no to do lists that need crossed off, no appointments and meetings, and no kids fighting 😊I do find joy with being with my family. Sometimes the day is perfect when we’ve played a game after dinner or taken a family walk with Homer. That being said, I also know that quiet time and time for me to recharge is also good for all of us 😉

What would your perfect day include?

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Me, School, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Teacher Life

Hello! I can’t believe it, but it’s already the third Tuesday of the month. So, I’m linking up with Ashley and Erika for their Tuesday Talk link up where you chat about whatever you’d like to talk about!

With school starting back up, and eighteen years in education under my belt, I thought I’d chat about why I chose to be a teacher.

To be honest, I always wanted to be a teacher. I played school a lot as a kid…but I remember liking setting up a desk area, organizing my teacher supplies, writing and coloring and then being done with it. No real teaching going on. (I also used to do the same thing as a kid playing with Barbies. I’d set up Barbie’s house, get Barbie and her friends clothed and organized and move on to the next activity!) The creative side of my brain lacked at that point, but my organizational/Type A brain made up for it.

This says so much about me…of course, I actually like the teaching part too!, but I make my classroom feel like home. I want students to feel comfortable in my classroom while learning and interacting with their peers. I always feel so much better about school starting once my classroom is unpacked and organized.

classroom the past few years
until I moved down the hall last October

I always generally liked school. I understood the importance of getting good grades and having a plan for the future. I struggled in school with math, but I always loved reading and writing.

My mom was a middle school Language Arts teacher for 31 years. I remember visiting her at school, drawing on her classroom board, and helping her grade papers. Her best friend taught Reading right next door to her. They even shared a wall that opened, so they could co-teach their classes.

My love for reading and writing combined with strong role models as teachers set the tone for my future plans.

I loved elementary school, and had wonderful teachers. Once I got to middle and high school, my English/Language Arts teachers always stood out to me fostering my love for learning and my desire to be a teacher.

I remember sitting in my first education class in college and the professor asked us to introduce ourselves and share why we chose the field of education. I shared that I’d always loved school and had so many wonderful teachers who made an impact on my life. I wanted to do the same for my future students.

I was shocked when so many shared about wanting to be teachers because they’d such a negative experience in education. They had teachers who weren’t passionate about their jobs, didn’t take the time to get to know their students, or were uninterested in helping students achieve their goals.

I realized right then how truly blessed I was to go to the schools I went to and have the teachers that I had throughout my educational career.

I hoped to create lessons that excited my students, build caring relationships, and provide opportunities for young people to grow and achieve in my class.

Also, I’m a planner. Even when I chose my major in college (and never once switched majors), I knew that some day when I was married and had kids how great it would be to the extra time in the summer with them. My mom was always home with us in the summer, and we rarely had a sitter. So, I knew those summers off would be necessary to recharge, but they would also be a good set amount of time to have quality time with my family.

Of course, experience is key. You can only read so many textbooks or plan so many lessons, but it’s the experience of being in the classroom, tweaking lessons, working with students, differentiating instruction, and thinking on your feet that really helps your classroom and your students feel like yours.

Every single year, in March, I make notes in my lesson plan book of what I want to do differently or strategies and activities I want to implement the next school year. Not that I can’t try some of those strategies or activities at the end of the year, but in August, teachers set the tone of their classrooms. 😉 I’m forever learning. I want to know more and do better each and every day.

College and practicum opportunities didn’t prepare me for the heartache and worry that comes with being a teacher. Sometimes, your lesson plans shift because teenagers need to talk. There are kids that are more resourceful than you are because they’ve had to bounce from house to house. There are students who are sad, angry, and lonely…and school is the only place that soothes those worries. There are students who are hungry, and their only two solid meals of the day are the breakfast and lunch that the school cafeteria provides.

Through the years, I’ve gained perspective and sympathy. Also, it didn’t take me long to realize that most class periods needed to include time for interaction, and that sometimes the class content needs to wait. It’s more important to meet the students and their needs where they are because they deserve that.

Of course, I feel an immense amount of pride seeing my students overcome obstacles, master content, and succeed at their goals. I love nothing more than seeing a student walk across the stage at graduation, tell me about their post-high school plans, and come back to visit me and fill me in on what they’ve been up to in the next chapter of their lives. I hope I’ve made an impact on my students while encouraging them to try their best and be life long learners while keeping a plan for their future in mind.

I think we all know and agree that educators everywhere came together last spring when the country was (and continues to be) in crisis. Teachers packed backpack meals for students who would otherwise go hungry, made phone calls home, visited students (from a distance) to check in on them, created curriculum and provided instruction for a variety of learners who did and didn’t have the resources to learn from home. I feel blessed to be in a profession that comes together through thick and thin for the sake of our students.

Through my 18 years in education, I’ve earned one Bachelor and two Master’s degrees. I’ve taught at four different high schools. I’ve been a teacher. I’ve been a literacy coach. I’ve been an interventionist. I will always fight for my students, work with my peers, and take pride in my profession.

Oh…a couple more things I’ve learned through the years…

to always write my lesson plans in pencil…and there’s no tired like teacher tired (especially during the first few weeks of school!)

I know it may be a school year like we’ve never seen before, but I have faith in the teachers, the students, and the parents. We’ll get through this year together, and we’ll make the most of it.

Other School Related Posts:

I hope everyone has a great school year!