Monday, December 31, 2012

Delightfully 2012

I don't know if it's a teacher thing,
but I always have a hard time remembering years run January to December.
In my mind, the year runs August to July
and my fresh start usually happens accordingly.

However, because there's not an official holiday in August 
celebrating the new year,
I can get on board with the rest of the eastern population
and realize that the year is in fact ending.

They say the years fly by ten times faster the older you get
and they aren't joking.
I can't believe 2012 is almost over
and 2013 is right around the corner.

Whew. Talk about an eventful year.
This time last year, this little bloggy blog didn't even exist. 
Crazy...I know. 

So for your reading pleasure:

2012: My Year in Review


Robbie and I rang in last New Year in a pretty low key way.
My most favorite couple got married on December 30th
so the 31st was kind of a recovery day for us all.

We went to New York City,
only my second most favorite city in the world.

Sadly, I didn't meet a Kardashian sister. But don't worry, there's always next year.


My girl turned one and we celebrated in a big way.

With presents, pupcakes, and all. 


I bought a car!
Just like my old one...but way nicer.
It was the most exciting, stressful experience of my life.
The last time I got a "new" car was when I turned 16. 
And I was sad to see that 1998 Honda Accord go. 
Fortunately the 2009 Honda Accord has been a trusty replacement.


My blog was born and I turned 23
It seems fitting that we would share the same birthmonth.

P.S. The birth of this blog just made this whole recap ish muchhhhh easier.


People actually started reading my blog and
my "smartie pants" Third Graders survived the EOGs.

We bought a house!!!
The second most exciting, stressful experience of my life.
Leading into the third most exciting, stressful experience of my life. 


My baby brother graduated from high school.

We went to the Dominican Republic with my family.


Robbie and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

*That tongue in the top right corner is Roxy eating our one year-old wedding cake.
We had to share with our girls....obvi.


I started my second year of teaching, making a big move to First Grade
after spending two weeks wishing I was an Olympic athlete.


My rockstar best friend had a baby.

Football season entered our home in full force,
I found my first grey hair,
and Mema's political opinion made its debut on the blog
(or "the google" as she likes to call it.)


I went to my very first Catholic wedding,
posted my very first vlog,
and hung out with the cutest little piggies on the block.
Oh and some mean, scary, big, bad wolf.


The blog got a teeny facelift,
while I realized all the teeny things I'm thankful for.
We had a family Thanksgiving that even Honey Boo Boo would be proud of,
leaf jumpin and gun shootin included.


This month I spent a lot of time reflecting on the things that matter the most in life
and learning to enjoy the simple things, even when our hearts are sad.

We celebrated Christmas with family and friends.

And I tried to spend the rest of the year in leggings.
So far, that last one is well on its way to coming true.

It's definitely been a crazy year
and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store.

I'm not usually one for resolutions.


But I am still working on this list
and have a few projects around the house up my sleeve
(hellooooo new kitchen cabinets)
so we'll just stick with that for now.

I hope y'all have a great NYE!

See ya next year lovies!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Getting Back on the Wagon

I'm not sure why getting "back into the swing of things"
has seemed so difficult lately. 
But for some reason, I'm having a super hard time
getting back on the blogging wagon.

And the laundry wagon.
And the blow drying my hair wagon.
And the cooking my own dinner wagon.
Eh...I digress.

Is it just me, or does Christmas just get more perfect every year?
As I've mentioned before,
my family is really hokey about Christmas traditions.
It's a common known fact that Christmas is just more fun when you're a kid.
That's why every person in my family 
chooses to act like a kid on Christmas, so the fun's not lost.
Pretty clever, huh?

The last piece to be added to our Advent Calendar. Eeeek!

This was me and Robbie's second married Christmas 
(which holy cow...seems like a lot)
and after two years of marriage and eight-ish years of dating,
I think we're finally starting to figure out the balance.

Usually we spend our Christmases a lot like we spend our Thanksgivings - 
running to and from family members' houses.
And while it gets exhausting,
I've always said I would rather be blessed with too many places to go,
than not enough places to go.

This year we still did a lot of running around
but for some reason it felt much more relaxed than it has before,
which was nice.

Christmas started the Saturday before at my Mema's.
December has always been an interesting month for Mema.
Last year she ended up in the hospital with an infection.
The year before that she had hip replacement surgery.
This year it was a broken arm.
But don't worry, it didn't break her spirits.

And we all got to sign her cast. 
She was pretty pumped.

After listening to my first grade cousins read the Christmas story
(out of the King James Bible nonetheless.
And yes, that's me bragging if you can't tell.
They're in first grade people)
we exchanged a few Christmas presents and even more laughs.

Oh and mom led us in Feliz Navidad. 

She danced too...hence the blur.
We like to call her our "one woman show".

Christmas Eve was spent with the Steberts.
We ate yummy steaks on the grill,
got new jammies, 
and lit the Advent Candle at the Christmas Eve Service,
without burning the church down. 

Christmas morning started at 6:30am 
(I don't want to talk about it)
where Robbie and I exchanged our gifts
and the pups opened their stockings. 
Willow is still working on that bone by the way.
I did not take any pictures because it was 6:30
and I had a sinus infection.
I'll be better when I have human children.

We went to Kinston for Robbie's mom's annual Christmas breakfast
complete with breakfast casserole, grits, cookies, and cake.
It was deeeelicious. 

Around lunch we headed over to my dad's 
where I napped most of the afternoon. 
Sinus infections and 6:30am wake up calls will do that to a girl.

Usually Robbie and I go see a movie on Christmas night 
but we decided to spend the night snuggled in new jammies
on our couch, watching The OC instead.

{Sidenote: I got the entire series of The OC on DVD for Christmas 
and I had forgotten how much I loved that show. 
It could also be a factor into my "hopping on the wagon of life struggle".}

We've slowly started trying to get back into our normal routine.
Fortunately, it's already Friday,
I'm still on break,
and New Year's Eve is right around the corner.
All of these things seem like good reasons to stay out of the routine
for just a little bit longer. 

Willow's currently hating wearing her "Let It Snow" shirt.
I'm snuggled under a quilt on the couch 
staring at my Christmas tree
that, much to my husband's dismay, is still up and running.

I'm going to hang out off the wagon for just a little bit longer. 


Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's Okay (but not really)

It's okay....that I'm writing this "It's Okay Thursday" post at 7:45pm Thursday night.
But not really....I need to stop being such a slacker.

Its Ok Thursdays

It's okay...that I spent an hour and half at Urgent Care this morning 
with 50 other flu ridden people.
But not really...because ain't nobody got time for that. 

It's okay....that once I finally got seen at Urgent Care, 
it took five minutes for the doctor to look up my nose 
and realize that my snot was in fact green 
and I did indeed have a sinus infection.
But not really....because that five minutes cost me half of my Christmas money.

It's okay....that I've been "fighting" that sinus infection for the past week and half. 
Nothing says Merry Christmas like a pile of used tissues and Sudafed. 
But not really...because it's hard to be jolly with a stuffy nose.

It's okay....that my husband is trying to take down our Christmas decorations already. 
But not really....because Christmas is barely even over. 

It's okay...that I secretly just want to leave them up all year.
They're joyful, and taking them down is so much work.
But not really....leaving them all year would be tacky.

It's okay....that my house is a wreck and the only food we have in the kitchen 
is leftover pizza from last night and peanut butter cookies. 
But not really....because I'm not planning to clean or go grocery shopping 
for at least a couple more days.

It's okay...that neither one of those things will probably make it until tomorrow.
But not really...because my thighs are already extremely angry with my eating habits lately.

It's okay....that my Christmas break is technically only seven workdays long. 
I didn't become a teacher for the extended time off or anything.
But not really....come on! 
Seven days is not long enough for me (and my firsties) to completely rejuvenate. 

It's okay....that I'm not putting any pictures in this post 
simply because I'm too lazy to find any good ones.
But not really...because that makes posts long and boring.

It's okay....that it's taken Willow literally three days to eat her Christmas bone. 
(She's still not done.)
But not really....well actually, no really.
It's okay cause she's just so darn cute.

And lookie there, 
you get a picture out of the deal. 

Hope the post-holiday blues are treating you better than they're treating me.
Bah humbug.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Nothing like joining in on a party at the very last minute.
But hey, better late than never. 
Especially since this month's questions were all about
Christmas! (I mean, seriously, what else would they be about.)


1) What was your favorite gift given to you as a child?

I honestly loved every gift. I was that child.
I mean sure there were things I got from certain family members 
where I definitely had to put on an Oscar-worthy performance
"Thaaaaanks, I loooooove it!"
But for the most part, I got uber excited about everything I opened!

I do remember one year

getting a talking doll house.
I don't know if that present sticks out in my mind the most
because it was the first big gift I can remember getting
or because I played with that thing for like five years.
It was the greatest.

2) Christmas is almost here, what is that 
one Christmas song you could listen to on repeat?

Mariah Carey - "All I Want for Christmas is You"
(I've almost perfected that last high know the one I'm talking about.)
Chris Brown - "This Christmas"
Faith Hill - "Where Are You Christmas"

Over and over and over again.

3) What are a few of the items on your Christmas list this year?

As always, a new planner.

I asked for this MayBook in particular,
but Robbie's usually in charge of picking one out
and he hasn't gone wrong in the past.

New boots and sweaters. 
I loooove the animal print (surprise, surprise)

I'm obsessed with infinity scarves right now
and I'm obsessed with monograms....well, always.
So I'm really loving this little number. 

Of course, there are lots of things I want for the house too.
Robbie and I really need a new comforter.
I just can't find one we both like.

4) Do you and your family have any special holiday traditions? Explain.

Um...unless you want to be here until next Christmas 
I'll just give you the short version.

My family is extra hokey when it comes to Christmas
and so particular when it comes to our traditions.
My brother and I still act like we did when we were five years old
and we still do a lot of the same things.
My favorite tradition is getting a brand new pair of Christmas jammies 
on Christmas Eve and then snuggling in mom's bed 
to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

My poor attempt at taking a picture of our new jammie pants.
Since Christmases in ENC are usually only about 70 degrees, 
getting real flannel jammies is kind of pointless. 

And yes, this still happens.
With my 6'5" brother, 
and 15 year old Golden Retriever.
It's a good thing mom has a king size bed!
5) Which do you prefer: wrapping paper or gift bags? Why?

Wrapping paper is definitely more fun to open
but gift bags are much easier to wrap.
I haaaaate wrapping presents,
particularly the bows.
But...the thrill just isn't there with a gift bag,
so I wrap as much as I can!

Go join the fun here!


Friday, December 21, 2012


School's out (finally)
Pumpkin crumb cake is baked
(yep, I made it again...I'm kind of a pro now.)
presents are wrapped
Christmas movies are playing 
me and the hubs are snuggled in with our two Christmas-bandana wearing pups
the temperature has dropped to (barely) below 50
and the world's still spinning.

It's officially Christmas time, folks!
And if your crazy family is anything like mine
the celebrations start tomorrow
and won't stop until Wednesday!

Eeeeek!! :)

Have a very Merry Christmas blogland!


I have this theory...

...that certain things are true,
even though sometimes I'm the only one that believes them.

For example,

I have this theory...that freshly painted nails complete any outfit.

Essie Topless and Barefoot

And no matter how sloppy and grungy you are that day,
if your nails are freshly painted,
you look polished and sophisticated.

I also have this theory....that fingernail polish
is only meant to last for two days.
It's a conspiracy of sorts.
But in my experience,
after day two, it just starts chipping and looking dull
(no matter how good of a top coat you use.)
And chipped nail polish does not give the same sophisticated look.

I have this theory....that my stuffed animals talk to each other when I'm gone.
And that they get their feelings hurt when I give them away
or put them in storage. 
I still have three stuffed animals sitting on my bed at my mom's house
and every so often I go give them a little squeeze
to let them know they're not forgotten.
I blame Toy Story for this one. 

And speaking of talking,
I have this theory....that my dogs also chit chat when I'm gone.
I like to think they're secretly best friends
and they spend the day chatting it up,
probably bitching about the fact that we left them...again.
But hey, at least they have each other.

I have this theory....that Kim Kardashion is still in love with Reggie Bush.
I don't know if it was the fact that their nicknames were "Tush" and "Bush" respectfully,
which honestly, just always cracked me up,
or the fact that they dated foooooorever
(relatively speaking, of course)
but I'm convinced, they're still secretly in love.

Reggie's new KK look-alike baby mama doesn't really help.

US Weekly agrees.

I have this theory....that if teachers could wear jeans once a week,
they would be (at least) 10% less stressed. 
As long as they're not grungy, "yard-working" jeans,
they should definitely be allowed.

Lastly, I have this theory....that Abe is the father of Rebecca's baby.
A picture (and several internet rumors) speak a thousand words.
That is all.

If you don't watch Breaking Amish, I hate it for ya. 
You're missing out on some quality, questionably real,
A+ for akwardness television.
Just saying.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why I Became a Teacher

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.
Tragedy, no matter how disconnected you may really be, 
will do that to you...make you think.
I promise I'm not going to talk about what happened in Connecticut forever.

Eventually I'm sure I'll be able to stop
imagining what it felt like for those teachers and students.
Eventually I'll stop seeing the faces of my first graders
whenever I hear about it. 
Eventually I'll be able to see the good in society again
and convince myself that the good in our world does outweigh the bad.

Until then, I can't help but reflect on my own decision to become a teacher.
I hear those stories (although I try not to listen)
about teachers hiding their kids in closets,
putting themselves in harms' way to protect their students,
telling them that everything's going to be okay,
even though they know nothing is okay.

And I'm reminded of why I chose this profession. 
It's really quite simple,
although almost everything about my profession tends to make me forget.

I'm doing this for the kids.

I didn't become a teacher so my name could be at the top of the list
for highest test scores in the county.
I didn't become a teacher so all my kids could ace some standardized test
at the end of the year.
I didn't become a teacher to fill out countless stacks of paperwork
and to collect ridiculous amounts of data.

I teach for my kids.
My 23 first grade babies who I love as if they were my own.
I want, more than anything, for them to grow and learn and succeed.
I also want them to feel love and compassion.
I want them to know how proud I am of them - all the time.
I want them to know the difference between right and wrong.
I want them to learn how to be a good friend.
I want to be their support system, so they in turn can learn
how to be a support system for someone else.

Last year was a tough year for me. 
I've mentioned it briefly here on my blog
and not so briefly to those closest to me. 

I lost sight of why I was doing this.
After one year in the profession I had chosen for life
I was jaded and angry.
I was overwhelmed.
I felt overworked and underpaid.
I was envious of people that could leave their job at 5:00 
and be done for the day.
I was cynical.
I was discouraged and I felt like I was failing.
I forgot that I wasn't teaching for the "suits" up in their fancy offices.
I was teaching for my kids. 

They were MY kids and they alone were my first priority.

This week, as I'm able to do what so many other teachers in the country are not:
write letters to Santa, make reindeer food, celebrate with The Grinch,
I'm keeping my kids and the love I have for those kids 
at the front of it all.

All the other "you-know-what" (and if you're a teacher, you know what) 
that comes with being a teacher
is just not really all that important at the end of the day.
What's important is loving those babies.

If that's there, all the rest will come. 

Hugs (particularly to all you teachers),

Monday, December 17, 2012

Yep, I Went There

So apparently my super-cute, 
super-unique Christmas card idea
was not so unique. 
Darn you Pinterest.
But still super-cute.

I looooooove Christmas cards.
December is the only time I make the long trek down the driveway
to actually check the mail.
(Well, and my birthday week, 
but you get my point.)
I love getting them and now that I've got my own little family
I love sending them.

Sidenote: I know I've said it before, 
but I really do worry about my future kids.
I'm definitely going to be that mom. 
You all know the one I'm talking about.

Anyway, last year we did a whole family picture

notice wee's cahute Santa paws outfit. I die.

but this year I thought it would be cute
to just put the girls on the card.
And believe it or not, 
it only took one shot.
And Roxy didn't run away with the lights still wrapped around her,
ripping half my wall out in the process
(as one of my nightmares predicted)
I swear, those furbabies are the best. 

Go link up with Kristen to see everyone else's Christmas cards.


By the way, I also learned how to do my very first screen shot while doing this post. Hollaaaa.