Friday, August 30, 2013

Est. 1988

I am officially 25 years old. That's a quarter of a century, folks. Yikes. In honor of this milestone I am showcasing some of the people celebrating with me!



Michael Cera

Julianne Hough

Ron Weasley
or Rupert Grint as his birth certificate claims

Emma Stone

Some other little tidbits about 1988. . .
Average cost of a new house was $91,600
Average income was $24,450
Average price of a new car was $10,400
A gallon of gas cost 91 cents!
A movie ticket was $3.50

Those were the good old days. . .

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Teach the Unteachable

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
-Matthew West

Aside from one little addendum, this is my prayer as we enter a new school year. Each morning as I speak to the Lord I will say the above words with the addition of "teach the unteachable". 

I was running errands this past weekend when this song came on. Another one of those songs I had heard a thousand times, but never really listened to. As I sang along I really listened to the words I was saying. That's when it hit me-this is a prayer I should be saying to break the shell around my hardened teacher heart. Huh? Let me start over. . .

I am entering my fourth year of teaching, and even though I am far from a veteran, I still feel like I've kind of got this thing. I feel like I've got it figured out. I couldn't be more wrong. Instead of feeling so sure of myself and my teaching I should be humbling myself before God and asking for his guidance. Instead of seeing my students as kids I have to get to pass a test I should be remembering they are His children whom He has entrusted to me for a short time every day.

Every year we all have those students who frustrate us. These are the ones you just shake your head at before you drop it into your hands in exasperation. These are the ones who fall into every one of those "tough to teach" categories. These are the children who seem impossible, and are even labeled as such by many of the confines of our education system.
These are the ones who need that love even more. 
These are the ones who need to be reached the most. 
These children are not impossible with Him.

So, to all my teacher friends I ask that instead of giving up in overwhelming frustration, you instead pray for His guidance to give these children what He expects for them.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Backstreet's Back!

This has been the summer of concerts around here, but there has been one unlike any other-Backstreet Boys! That's right, ladies, BSB is back in action and better than ever! The singing and choreography took us back in time quite a few years and the memories they brought with them were priceless. Backstreet is definitely back!

So excited for the show! 

Everybodyyyyyyyy, yeaaaaaa!

Please take note of the one male at the entire concert behind us. I guess he decided he was going to pick up all the chicks by taking off his shirt. Uh, not so much. Instead we just wanted to feed him cookies because he was so skinny!!

Photobombs galore!

It was a top-notch night that none of us will ever forget. Hooray for the chance to relive our tween dreams:-)

Monday, August 26, 2013

A New School Year

Hear that? 

It's the sound of all the teachers in town turning off alarms that haven't been set this early in months. 

We nervously rise and begin to prepare for the day, though many haven't slept a week. 

Butterflies flutter in tummies despite how many times some of us have done this. 

We hold our heads up high like we know what we're doing, but we are still anxious about what the year will bring. 

We arrive early to make sure everything is perfect because anything less would be unacceptable on this day. 

We catch our breaths as the first bell rings. 

We smile big and shake hands as the children filter down the hallway. 

It's going to be another wonderful school year.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Times Have Changed-Long Distance Relationships

Today's investigation has us taking a look at long distance relationships. Any one of us who has ever been in one knows how truly miserable they are. David and I spent some time apart the summer between our junior and senior years at State and again for six months during our first year of marriage. I remember the anguish of not actually seeing him as much as I wanted, but thinking back to it, we had it a lot better than so many others!

First of all, thank God for cellphones! Without our handy dandy phones I can only imagine the bills that would have racked up. Not to mention we could talk at just about any time of day (minus the evenings he was working night shift, ain't nobody got time for that) without worrying about being tied to a house phone. These handy dandy phones also allowed us to send text messages whenever our hearts desired. Can you imagine what the soldiers and their wives would have done with texting during WWI and WWII?! 

We also had our computers which allowed us to email our misery of being apart in just a few moments. A heck of a lot quicker than sending snail mail. Not to discredit the truly wonderfulness of receiving letters in the mail, it's just helpful when it gets there that much quicker. The computers also made it possible to see each other's lovely faces through Skype. David never had to worry about missing out on my bedhead thanks to this fantastic invention! 

Funny Weekend Ecard: Let's plan a weekend getaway alone in our apartments on our computers.
This was us pretty much every weekend for a while!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday's Letters [08.16]

Happy Friday one and all!


Dear summer, We sure had some awesome times this go around, but alas, they must end. 
You guys...there's a heygirlteacher tumblr. THERE IS A HEY GIRL TEACHER EDITION. That is all.
Dear dentist, Though I only see you twice a year, you still have this ability to illicit total fear and anxiety in me. Congratulations.

Dear back pain, What the heck? Not exactly sure where you came from, but you can return there now. Ain't nobody got time for you.

Dear Mother Nature, Do you need to talk? I feel like with these mood swings you must have a lot going on. I mean one day we're sitting at 95 with 100% humidity and ick, then a week later it's barely breaking 70. These mood swings are really difficult on my closet, but I'll take these cool dips as long as you want to send them!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Zucchini Brownies

These yummy, chocolatey treats were easy to make and absolutely delicious! The best part? They aren't totally horrible for you:-)

 1/2 c applesauce
1 1/2 c sugar
2 Tbl vanilla extract
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a 9x13 dish with nonstick spray.
Mix applesauce, sugar, and vanilla.
Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
Fold in zucchini.
Pour into 9x13 dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mason Jar Madness

When we first moved into our apartment we didn't have glasses to drink out of. We were getting married in 3 weeks and didn't want to buy anything fancy; enter Wally World and their collection of mason jars! We bought a dozen and used them until we received real glasses as a wedding gift. 

Three years later we still have a dozen mason jars. What to do, what to do. . . to Pinterest of course! 

You need mason jars (or vases, or really anything you want to craft-the dog? Eh, probably not a wise choice), double-sided tape, and twine.

Next, you take a piece of tape and place it on the side of the glass. 

Then, wait for it, you wrap the twine to your heart's content!

That's it. 

Hooray for cute, easy, and inexpensive crafts!

Monday, August 12, 2013

How We Do It 'Round Here

The moon comes up and the sun goes down
We find a little spot on the edge of town
Twist off, sip a little, pass it around
Dance in the dust, turn the radio up
And that fireball whiskey whispers
Temptation in my ear
It’s a feelin’ alright Saturday night
And that’s how we do it ’round here
Yeah that’s how we do it ’round here
-Florida Georgia Line

This past weekend we headed to Winston-Salem for a quick visit to celebrate TJ's last weekend before he heads out West to Oklahoma and the big engagement! It is very rare to corral our whole family together, so the fact that we were all in the same place for a few hours is nothing short of a miracle. 

 One of our Winston Salem favorites!

Enjoying the company of the fam!

Happy early Birthday to me!

We arrived Friday evening and headed to Foothills Brewery for supper and a few drinks. We were certainly not disappointed with our choices either! Already in the mood for a pumpkin beer? Head over there now! Mama also surprised me with an early birthday present. Score!

The next day we woke up early (thank you full house that sent us to the sofabed. . .) and headed to the Y to complete a WOD on their outdoor track. Poor David is training for a Tough Mudder and hates running. After a few laps he threw in the towel and decided he would ramp up his training once the Fall temps hit;-) 

The Momma and I hit the mall later and I decided that instead of a "back to school" outfit I would get "back to school" makeup. Thank you Clinique for taking the little spending money I had left from this summer. . . The bright side? Coupled with my early birthday present my skin is glowy and glimmery! 

That evening Ashley's family joined us for a rainy cookout (thanks for grilling in the monsoon, Daddy!) of delicious food. It was exciting to get to know her family better and chat about wedding stuff. The best part? She asked us to be a part of her bridal party!! I'm so excited for my first bridesmaid experience to be on this special day! 

Adorable way Ashley asked us to be her bridesmaids!

"The Originals"

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday's Letters [08.09]

Happy Friday one and all!


Dear Bird and Ashley, CONGRATS!! We are so excited to celebrate your engagement and for Ashley to officially be a part of the fam!

Dear football season, Welcome! We are more than ready to dedicate our entire weekends to your presence. 
Funny Sports Ecard: For the sake of your emotional well-being and that of your loved ones, I pray your football team excels this year. 
For my hubby. . .

Dear allergies, You have got to GO! The itchy eyes, unceasing sneezing, and all around discomfort is really cramping my style.

Dear Daisy, It sure has been nice lolling about and doing nothing with you this summer. Same time and place June 2014?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

This summer I've spent some time investigating the foods we eat and one that caught my attention was protein bars. David eats the things like candy and a lot of them have about the same amount of sugar as a candy bar! After much playing around in the kitchen I think we've come up with a pretty good recipe. Let me know what ya think!

 1 cup peanut butter (we use Trader Joe's all-natural)
3 Tbl honey
1 1/2 cup chocolate whey protein (David likes Gold Standard 100% Natural Whey)
 1 cup uncooked oats
8 Tbl water
1 Tbl unsweetened cocoa

Mix the PB and honey in a bowl.
Microwave for 30 seconds.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Mixture will be slightly crumbly.
Press firmly into an ungreased 8x8 dish. 
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Cut into 12 bars and enjoy!

Each bar has roughly 17g of protein!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

TImes Have Changed-Travels

It dawned on me while we were in Denver how times have changed. I think this kind of thing hits us all every so often when we're doing something that would shock our great-grandparents. You know what I'm taking about-the moment you check your phone's Google app to settle a debate or when you make a dinner reservation from your phone. Once I started thinking about it I was off! Today's post is the first in a mini-series of "my, how times have changed" posts. I'd love to hear if you have any additional topics than the few that I cover! Today's topic. . .


Holy smokes, have we grown by leaps and bounds in this category. The first major advancement being GPS. When those little buggers came out a few years ago they weren't trusted, but once people figured out they weren't being controlled by space aliens they took off. Sayanara, paper maps. When our cellphones started directing us places it was game over. Seriously, when was the last time you asked someone for directions somewhere? I bet you $5 you asked for an address to type in instead. 

That leads me to everyone's favorite advancement, cellphones. Instead of "I'll wait for your flight and hope it comes when it's supposed to", now it's "Call me when you board and I'll pick you up later". Or I can imagine it would be like that if you are a fancy pants world traveler. Cellphones are handy in countless categories, but this is definitely one it comes in handy.

How about when you're in an unfamiliar place and need place to eat supper? Instead of finding a random place on the side of the street or asking your hotel concierge, why don't you check the gajillion apps out there that reccomend places to eat? Or if you're tootling down the road and are craving Chick-fil-A. Hmm I wonder where the closest Chick-fil-A is. . . let me check my handy dandy travel app!

What about when you're heading down the interstate to visit the fam and it's rush hour? Yikes. No one in this day and age can possibly lower themselves to the level of 5pm traffic. Why don't we take a gander at road closings and find an alternate route around this mess.

Funny Confession Ecard: Your taste in music has me worried about getting stuck in traffic together.

Isn't this all so crazy?? Stick around for the next installment of how times have changed! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

This song plays pretty regularly on our local Christian station. For a long time I sang along, but didn't listen. Then, a time came when I changed the station as soon as I heard the opening chords because it hurt too much. Now, I'm not just hearing it, I'm listening to the words too. 
I would like to say that my prayer focus is not always on myself and my wants, but that would be lying. I definitely take the time to pray for others, but I selfishly always end up back at myself. I pray for blessings and God's hand in my life more than I pray for anyone or anything else. What's taken me a long time to realize is that He has been blessing me, just not always how I envision it.

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

After we lost Emerson we were devastated. Neither of us could fathom what had happened, let alone that God may have been protecting us from something. He may not have wanted us to live the life of parents to a very sick little girl, as may have been the case based on what we now know. Please do not get me wrong, we loved (and still love) her with all that we were and if she were born with a disability of any type it would not have caused our love for her to waver in any way, but perhaps God knew what he was doing when he cut our time with her short.

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Without a doubt our lives are different than what they would have been had everything gone "according to plan". I won't state the obvious, but we certainly have a different marriage than we did. Yes, we'd had our ups and downs but nothing had ever tested us in such a way. Because we leaned on each other so profoundly we grew closer. Our appreciation has changed. Where we once were excited for children and the adventure it would bring we now know the greater purpose God has for parents and appreciate the miracles children are. We also have more compassion. Because we had never experienced such a tragedy we struggled to relate to those who had. Now we feel we are better able to minister to those around us because of our experiences.

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
God works in such global ways it's impossible to understand the why and how of it all. The only thing we can understand is that through faith and belief in Him it will all come full circle. That circle may not be complete in this world, but He will complete it some day.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Gallery Wall Fun

Anyone who has ever been on Pinterest knows the popularity of the gallery wall. My original obsession with it began last summer. I found some frames I liked, cut out paper to plan the organization on the wall, and waited for my handy hubby to help me. A year later we had nothin'. Enter summer vacay and a plethora of time to troll around Pinterest and reignite my excitement, much to my hubby's chagrin. 

I set out for IKEA with a new plan in mind and stocked up on frames. I decided that the organization freak in me wouldn't do well with the "organized clutter" look. I wanted a pattern and plan. I bought enough frames to keep the IKEA frame section in business and got to planning. David wasn't super comfortable with making a gajillion holes in the wall so he researched some and found these awesome sticky things from 3M.  We highly suggest these for all your wall hanging needs!

If you follow me on Instagram you know this was a work in progress. We had to hang a picture, wait an hour for the stickers to adhere. Put the picture up, then space the next set of frames out and continue.

It may have taken all week, but the frames are all up! Next step is getting some pictures in those frames. . .

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Letters [08.02]

Happy Friday, folks!!


Dear Kenny Chesney, Not too shabby of a show there kid. Not as stellar as Keith Urban, but not too bad.

Let's just pretend I'm not a sweaty hot mess. . .

Dear Mother Nature, I've decided not to battle with you any longer about this monsoon weather. You just do your thing. BUT since you're being so vicious these days, how about throwing us an easy winter? I'll let you ponder that one.

Dear school friends, I missed y'all! It was so good seeing everyone this week. I can't wait to see all the awesome things we accomplish this year!

Dear NC legislature, You want to spend more money on inmates than you do on students? Fine, but I hope you enjoy the karma train because it is going to slam right smack into you when you least expect it.


Dear Momma, Happy (belated) Birthday! I hope it was everything you could have imagined and more. We can't wait to celebrate with you in a week!

Photo courtesy of Amaris Hames.