Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

Our little blog started up again in February 2012. I had currently been blogging for myself on another blog but decided to open it up to family and friends. We had had this blog for a while and really decided to go for it. We shared what our life was like and how we were boring and basically consumed with grad school.

March came along and there were so many things to look forward to including spring break and finishing up grad school for me! J and I were both crazy busy in March and didn't blog much. I promise, you missed nothing. We were quite boring.

Wembley's favorite part about Ikea

In April we took a weekend trip to Cincinnati where we had our first Ikea extravaganza and found a new favorite bar/restaurant Arnolds! I can't wait to go back!! Our blog got this fabulous makeover by Jumping Jax Designs, which we still adore!

May was an exciting month for us because we had so much going on! First, May is melanoma awareness month, which is near and dear to my heart. I can't tell you enough: don't tan, wear sunscreen, and be careful of who you donate your money to. By the time May was half way over, I had officially graduated from grad school, my sister went to prom, and we had so much more to go! At the end of May, I found out that I had gotten the 5th grade position at my school and my sister graduated from high school--both bittersweet. Finally, J had a wonderful 29th birthday!

In June, I said goodbye to teaching 4th grade and hello to 5th grade. I also posted pictures of my sister's graduation party, which turned out beautifully. She had everything from a candy bar to a wishing tree. It was a success! School was over, but there was still a lot to do with moving into a new grade and new curriculum. I had a list of goals that I successfully accomplished during the summer months. We also vacationed to OBX, which I guess I never blogged about--oops!

July was very low key. The Olympics were in full force as we reminisced about the Magnificent Seven at the 1996 Olympics. The 4th of July has always had a special place in my heart because it's when we became a free country. It's amazing to think how our standards have changed since that time. Adoption holds another special place in my heart and Amy wrote an amazing post about the adoption tax credit that would help so many. At the end of August I had a little fun and joined in with some other bloggers blogging about "if you really knew me".  July was a slow month.

August started out rocky in the blog world. I was able to get into my new classroom and I had to unpack everything that was moved. It was a lot of work but wonderful to clean out and throw junk away! I talked about my unhealthy obsession with my Crock-Pot and how I basically can't cook anything unless it's in there! Emily and I went to Chicago and had a wonderful girls weekend. Yes, I slacked again and didn't blog about that either...I blame school starting again.School started at the end of August and it felt like Groundhog day. When you have the same kids two years in a row it's challenging to separate the two years. It just feels like one really long year!
September started on a clean slate. We got new carpet in the family room, a new dishwasher, cleaned out the basement, and my sister headed to college. We felt very accomplished! I found this amazing classroom library book organizer that is seriously the best thing ever! I know exactly which books of mine the kids are reading. It was a lot of work to set up, but totally work it! I also linked up with Kelly for Show Us Your Singles. I put my sweet friend Emily on there! She's still single boys!! School was crazy busy but never too busy for some fall fashion! On September 27th, I started my twenty-eight random acts of kindness in 28 days for my 28th birthday!

In the beginning of October, sad news hit the blog world but many were around to help. I was introduced to Voki, which is a great tool to use in the classroom. Wembley helped me check it out! Two of my favorite bloggers {and friends} Emily and Sam guest posted for me. Be sure to check out their posts if you haven't already. I also completed my twenty-eight random acts of kindness in 28 days on my 28th birthday. It was a success! Finally I shared with you my favorite Halloween costumes, following in Whitney's blog steps.

November started with a great guest post from Pam all about holiday crafts. I talked about how my mother did not prepare me to cook a Thanksgiving feast but thankfully we all survived Thanksgiving dinner this year {thanks to my inlaws}.  I shared some glammor shots of my fur babies because who can get enough of them. I also taught you about the dirty dozen and how to eat cleaner, which has been near and dear to our hearts lately. I also shared with you the most hysterical story that I had heard in a while. It was so funny that I couldn't even tell people because I would start cracking up. Seriously. If you click any link on this recap, click this one.

This was a month I will truly never forget. At the beginning of the month, I showed you my hoarder side with my mountain of tupperware  . I also talked about our holiday traditions which are very special to us and I can not wait to add more. Christmas was bittersweet this year because it was the last year at my parent's house that I grew up in. They are currently moving in to their new home as we speak.

2012 had it's ups and downs. There were a lot of things I didn't blog about that were not so happy but for my own personal memories. There were many stressful times for our family but I hope when everything is done and over not only can I share with you but it will have a wonderful outcome.

I'm so excited to bring in the new year. Odd years always make me nervous for some reason. But my age is an even number so I think it evens out :) I'm sure 2013 is going to be the best year yet. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

The White House Christmas tree has extensive history and interesting stories behind the holiday tradition. Each year, the White House has several trees, but there is always one special tree in the Blue Room, that the First Family decorates. Last year, Michelle Obama used badges, medal and patches from all the military branches for decoration. First lady Jacqueline Kennedy started the tradition of a themed tree. Check out this mini infographic on the history of the First Tree!

White House Christmas Tree

I've never seen the White House Christmas tree in person, but I can only imagine how beautiful it is!

The official White House Christmas tree, an 18-foot-6-inch Fraser Fir from Jefferson, North Carolina, stands in the Blue Room during a preview of the 2012 White House holiday decorations in Washington, DC.

I'm also loving this Christmas decoration of Bo. I think Oliver needs one!
A replica of the first family dog, Bo, is displayed as part of the White House holiday decorations.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

God, can I ask You a question?

I saw this on FB over the weekend and it really struck me. How many times do we complain about things on a daily basis? A lot. I know I have come home from work many times thinking "could this day have been worse?" But really, it could have been. I'm so thankful for everything--my husband, family, friends, job, pets, home, and everything else God has given me.

Instead of getting frustrated with my day, I need to start thinking about why it happened.

Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won't get mad

God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I'm Sorry God

God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Monday!

I am so relieved that this week is finally here. I'm ready for some down time and for a break from the craziness! We have two days of school this week and then we're on break! I've been struggling with a head cold that has made be miserable but hopefully it won't last too much longer.
Monday Morning Feeling?
Things I'm looking forward to this week:

  • 2 days of school
  • Winter party with the kids
  • Pie in the face on Tuesday {I'm actually looking forward to this, more for it to be over}
  • Lunch with J and friends at an Indian restaurant {I've never had Indian food-kind of nervous}
  • Visit with a good friend and her little ones

I can't believe the year is almost over! Working on my 2012 update to post very soon!

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Traditions

A few weeks ago I posted a similar post on Pam's blog, but thought I'd share it on here so I can link up with Kelly!

I love the holidays! I love being around friends and family. I love the feeling of a beautifully decorated home. I love people who get into the holiday spirit. I love the Christmas music on the radio. But most of all I love the little traditions we have as a family.

J and I do not have any children yet, so we don't have big traditions. We often discuss what new traditions we want to start when we have kids and get excited to think about our future. But for now, we enjoy our own traditions we have started as a couple and enjoying doing together.

Breakfast with sister

Okay, I should first tell you that my mom is not a cook. Every year my mom has our Thanksgiving catered, well at least the main parts {turkey, stuffing, pies}. She orders the meal and the day before Thanksgiving my sister and I pick it up. About six years ago, when I was back from college, my mom had asked my sister and I to pick up the order. She bribed us by saying that if we picked it up, she would buy us breakfast. So, we took the offer and have been doing the same thing ever since. We actually get a kick out of it and enjoy our sisterly time together every year. We are 10 years apart {and now she's in college 2.5 hours away} so it's nice to have a tradition together.

Christmas Lights

Every year J and I take an evening to drive around our town and sometimes surrounding towns and view Christmas lights. We enjoy seeing how other people decorate their homes and even get a chuckle out of those who go blow-up North Pole happy. We "ooooh" and "ahhh" while driving around for a few hours then usually head back home to watch a movie. It's great just being the two of us and having quality time together looking at something we enjoy.

We try to get to the Columbus Zoo every year as well. We went on one of our first dates to the zoo during Halloween, so it is a special place during the holidays for us. It's truly magical around Christmas time and I look forward to going when we get the chance.


Ever year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, J's parents take us out to dinner at Hyde Park. This year will be the fourth year we have gone and we look forward to it ever year. Hyde Park is a steak house in downtown Columbus. In the winter, the downtown is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights. After dinner we head down the street to walk through a large nativity scene.

J and I before dinner last year 
{he looks funny with the beard-no shave November continued to December}

I look forward to these small traditions we have made every year and I cannot wait to continue adding to our traditions list! What's on your tradition list?

Word Vomit.

I really didn't know what else to call this post. It's just a bunch of thoughts and randomness...but makes perfect sense to me.

We have been super busy. Like sometimes I don't even know what I did when I had grad school work on top of all this. Then I think about if we had a child! Everyone does it. We could too.

I'm "touring" the United States with my students. This week we are studying the Midwest. Boring. I'm trying to make it exciting and show video clips but really...who wants to learn about farm land? Not this city girl. I'm definitely learning a lot on these "trips" and over all, the kids really enjoyed them. We've been known to make posters for specific cities, learn how to make bread like the colonists, and even dance the Charleston {my favorite}.

My cat is a sh*t. There are really no other words. If you ignore him in the evening (because we actually have work to do) he will get on the counter and knock everything off. So not only do I have to clean the counter again but I have to pick up the mess and put any dishes back in the dishwasher. He also learned how to unlock the child proof locks. Note to self: Ikea childproof locks are not cat proof.

Because we are "touring" the U.S. I spend at least two hours a night working on a presentation for my classes for the next day. Guess what I'll be working on all break?!

My parents are selling sold their house. They start moving December 26.

Winter break starts in FIVE school days. Yes, five. Then it's working on presentations and packing. :) But it's so nice to be home.

My cat J's cat also gets in the tree and knocks down the ornaments, ribbon, and takes out all of the twirly twigs that are on the lower half.

I've been doing a great job at cooking. I'm excited that I'm keeping up with meal planning. Thank the Lord for CrockPots!

Over my short Thanksgiving break three of my friends (both high school and college) told me they were expecting. Seriously. Something is in the water.

I really want an Elf. I told Oliver to write Santa for one but he won't. I told him that if we had an Elf then I would leave a  trail of treats for him every day. I also told him the Elf would bring bananas. He didn't seemed too amused.

Speaking of Elves. When one of my piano students told me about his elf I almost said that I needed to get Oliver one of those...woah buddy. I'm glad I stopped myself at "I need to" and finished it with "get Oliver to write a letter to Santa". Close call!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tupperware and breakfast

I have a problem.

I hoard tupperware.

But I'm pretty good at organizing it too.
This is actually after I recycled about eight lids and only three containers.
Not too shabby
Most of what I have is in great shape and I use it daily. My lunch bag is full with tupperware. I really try to stay away from plastic bags so I don't have to constantly throw them away. With tupperware, I can reuse!

Which leads me to my weekly breakfast routine...

Every Sunday night I prepare my fabulous weekly breakfast. I eat the same thing for breakfast everyday. It's easy. It's healthy. It's filling. It stores well in tupperware.

1/4 cup Cascadian Farm granola {the best}
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. flaxseed
added to
Dannon Oikos Greek Yoguart

The green tupperware that I keep my granola in is from Ikea.

Best buy ever.

It comes in all different sizes and holds up so well.
I have another packet that has not even been opened. I'm saving it. :)
Because I hoard tupperware, ya know!

My favorite granola to eat for breakfast is Cascadian
Not only does it taste delicious but it is organic and not G*M.

Are you a fan of tupperware? Do you have a favorite brand?
How do you store your breakfast on-the-go or lunch?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Story of the year

This is a true story. Promise.

A teacher I work with has three daughters. The youngest is 10 and in the 4th grade. Just recently she had a talk with her mom about the Tooth Fairy. Yesterday, we were told the conversation they had...

Daughter: "Mom, are you really the Tooth Fairy?"

Mom: "Yes, dear."

{short pause while the daughter is thinking}

Daughter: "So, does this mean you are the Easter Bunny too?"

Mom: "Yes, dear..."

{Another pause...wheels are spinning in her head...thinking longer}

Daughter: (sounding a little disappointed) "Are you Santa Clause too?"

Mom: "Yes, Honey."

Daughter walked away disappointed now knowing that everything she believed in wasn't "real".

A few minutes later, the daughter walks back in the room after thinking again for one final question.

Daughter: "Mom, are you God?"

My coworker told us they had another conversation about this subject. 

When I was told this story I could not stop laughing. Not only is it so funny, but bless her heart, she really thought about it! It was just too cute!!

Story of the year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Dirty Dozen (Eating Clean)

Josh and I are not 100% clean eaters but we try to do our best. We would love to eat clean but it can be very expensive and honestly we are on the go all the time and just don't have time to make those extra trips to different stores. I don't want to make excuses, but we have just decided that right now is not the best time to focus on this but that we will do the best we can.

Trying to eat clean is important to us for many reasons. The main reason is due to the pesticides used in produce. It's so difficult to avoid everything that is bad for you, but adding a little to the list at a time is a start. I was doing some research a while ago and found this great list on the dirty dozen.

The Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce will allow you to see which produce items contain the most pesticides thus allowing you to avoid the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables.

So when in doubt, try to by organic especially when purchasing genetically modified (G*M*O) foods. Also, if you live in California  there was a bill on the ballot to make it mandatory that G*M*O food is labeled in grocery stores. Sadly (in my opinion), it didn't pass.

It's also great to know about the Clean 15, which are the lowest foods in pesticides. We try to always buy the Dirty Dozen organically and the Clean 15 just in the regular areas. Gotta save some money!

Do you eat clean?

What do you think about pesticides in food?

I'm always wanting to learn more, so please let me know!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

For the southern ladies

If you didn't already know, I am a 5th grade teacher. We departmentalize (aka switch classes) so I teach Social Studies to all four 5th grade classes. In Social Studies, we learn all about the different regions of the United States. We are slowing "touring" them and  looking at important and/or interesting places in each region. Before we went on Thanksgiving break, we started the Southeast Region. We have visited Everglades National Park, Kennedy Space Center, and Disney World! We will finish up the region this week.

This is where I need your help...

I want to do a little presentation all about Southern dialect/sayings and traditions. I know some information--all of my dad's family {and J's family} are from the south but none of them are living there anymore--but I'd love to have more.

Southern Grammar   #dialect

Here are a few things I want to know from you...

1)  What are some daily words you use that are only heard of in the south? {"buggy", "picture made", "Don't be ugly", etc}

2)  What traditions do you have in the south that are not found anywhere else? {Pickle in the tree?}

3)  Best part about living in the south? {aside from the nice weather}

Thank you so much for your help! I will let you know how it goes!! :)

Sunday Social

Linking up with Neely for Sunday Social

Sunday Social

Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life.

Nanny for triplets-3 summers...that was interesting!

Waitress at a local diner-This was my favorite job. I'd still work there on weekends and holidays if it was still open :(

B&BW sales person-I did this for one Christmas break in college and did not like it.

Dairy Queen-I worked there for 3 years in high school and had the best time with great friends!

Name 4 movies you would watch over and over.

Sweet Home Alabama
You've Got Mail
27 Dresses
Just Friends
When Harry Met Sally
Sleepless in Seattle

Okay, more than 4...but I love them!

 Name 4 places you have lived.
My parents first (suburb of Columbus)
My parent's second and third home where I grew up (another suburb of Columbus)
My home (suburb of Columbus)

Name 4 of your favorite foods.

Tacos X5
A good salad
Veggie Potstickers

Name 4 things you always carry with you.

Cell phone
Sweatshirt/jacket (I'm always cold)
Book (90% of the time)

 Name 4 places you have been on vacation.

Virginia Beach

Friday, November 23, 2012

Furbaby Fotos

Waiting to decorate for Christmas will leave you to take a lot of pictures of your furbabies...

Always into something

Seriously mom?

Love his tail!

Glamour Shots

I've had enough

Evil eye

We're done

A few hours later...

I guess you found me upstairs...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner!!

Congratulations to Sam at The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times for winning the BlueBird Couture giveaway!!

Don't forget that you can get 15% off your order by using the code FALL2012

Big thank you to Diane from BlueBird Couture for asking me to host this giveaway!!