Monday, April 30, 2012

8/30: Five Passions

8. What are 5 passions you have?

1. Religion - Not just my religion, but the whole idea of religion. I think believing in something bigger than you is the most amazing thing. And while I stand very firm in my own beliefs, I love to hear about other people's views. I think passion about religion is infectious and even though there is a fine line between sharing your passion with someone and forcing it upon them, being openly passionate about your religion is a big thing. 

2. Teaching - My biggest passion as always been, and hopefully always will be, children. At the risk of sounding super cliche, children are our future. They are our most valuable resources and I feel honored (and slightly overwhelmed) to be a part of shaping their young minds. It's a big responsibility, but one I hold very near to my heart. 

3. Being organized - I feel silly listing this as a passion, but I'm slightly obsessed passionate about being organized. I think it's important for everything to have a place; it makes things much more accessible, making my life somewhat less frantic. I love for things to be tidy and orderly. I also love to have a clear plan of action for whatever's going on in my life. A little OCD, perhaps? But after this post, I'm going to start referring to it as Obsessive Passionate Disorder! :)

4. Being creative - I love being able to express myself creatively. Weather it's through painting, decorating, or organizing (see #3). I love seeing the thoughts and ideas I have in my head turn in to real live things. 

5. Talking - Again,  I feel kind of silly listing this as a passion but I would have never heard the end of it from my husband if it hadn't made the list. I love to talk...about anything and everything. Whether its a serious conversation surrounding religion (see #1) and politics, a quiet conversation for sharing secrets among old friends, a ranting conversation relieving the stresses of the day, a memorable conversation reminiscing on funny or sad times, or a silly conversation that consists of more laughter than words, I love it all. I've been known to lose my voice from simply talking too much and may or may not have been that annoying girl in the restaurant who's being a tad too loud on more than one occasion (I apologize). 

Hope everyone's having a marvelous Monday!



Sunday, April 29, 2012

7/30: Dream Job

7. What is your dream job, and why?

In a way, I've actually already landed my dream job. Although it hasn't been completely dreamy (see yesterday's post) being a teacher is what I have wanted to do my entire life! It still seems surreal to think that I finally have my very own classroom! I spent my whole childhood playing "school", forcing my stuffed animals, little brother, little cousins, anyone to be my students. I spent years in high school and college working my tail off to accomplish this goal. The fact that I finally get to play "school" for real is truly a blessing and a huge accomplishment for me. 

However, just because I'm already living the (original) dream, doesn't mean I can't have more, right?

In all reality, I do plan to go back to school to get my masters eventually. First, I want to figure out for sure what I want to get my masters in. Administration is definitely an option (after I've gotten quite a few more years teaching under my belt). Sometimes I also think it would be really fun to get my doctorate (in reading, maybe?) and become a college professor. On the other hand, I could totally see myself spending the next 30 years right in the classroom. 

But all of those job options aren't really dream jobs, more like job goals....where I could see myself in my career 5-10 years from now. 

My list of true dream jobs is as follows:

1. Stay-at-home housewife/mom - I know, I know....all you feminists out there can say what you want. But I see nothing wrong with the 1950's way of life. I would have no problem staying at home cleaning, cooking (I'd actually have time to learn), and taking care of the kids (puppies, for now) if I was able. I'd even throw on an apron and pearls for kicks and giggles. 

2. Business Owner - I would love to open my own business selling my arts, crafts, and home goods. Or even start a business involving some type of interior design. My brother and I used to talk about going into our own housing business together. Granted, we were 11 and 6, but it was a pretty fool-proof plan. He'd be the architect/contractor and I'd be the interior designer, creating dream homes. I think it'd still be pretty fun.

3. E! News Anchor - Move over Giuliana Rancic. This is by far the most far-fetched dream but I think it would be sooooo much fun.

What dream jobs do you want to have when you grow up? :)



Saturday, April 28, 2012

6/30: Hardest Experience

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

I'm not really in the mood for a serious, heart-felt post, so this topic may be something I have to come back to with more detail later.

When I think about the hardest thing I've ever had to experience, my parents' divorce is the first thing that comes to my mind. As I've mentioned before, it was a life-changing event for me and for my whole family. Up until that point in my life, it was definitely the most challenging experience I have ever had, and there are still challenges associated with the divorce that I continue to face today. I tell mom all the time that as far as Plan B's go, we've all gotten pretty lucky with ours. Both my parents are remarried and happy and it's hard to imagine our lives without our new blended families. However, this is our Plan B. It wasn't the way it was supposed to be, and you never really get over that. 

As hard as my parents' divorce was (and still sometimes is) the experience I want to share in this post isn't the divorce. The hardest thing I've ever experienced has been my first year teaching. I have been blessed in so many ways this past year. The fact that I got a job teaching was a blessing in itself, especially in this economy. I work with AMAZING people and have formed so many strong friendships in the past few months that I cherish more than they'll ever know.

However, this school year has been an uphill battle, that most days I feel like I've lost. I have faced challenges that I never thought I would have to face. I've been given a harsh dose of reality that has been very hard to swallow. 

Being the eternal optimist that I am, I have constantly been reminding myself of the blessings that are even present in the challenges. First of all, I know it's never going to be this hard again. Also, I've learned a lot about myself, my strength, and my teaching style. As the end of the year draws near, I'm forced to reflect on all the things I wish I could go back and change but also all the things I am proud of. I faced the challenge and I made it through. And that's something to proud of. 

On a lighter note:

Tonight was my brother's senior prom. It's hard to believe he's all grown up! But I am so proud of him and I know he will have a blast tonight. (My mom on the other hand will probably get very little sleep, bless her heart!) 

Love him!!

Hope you all have a delightful weekend!



Friday, April 27, 2012

5/30: 5 Happy Things

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

Today is the perfect day for this post, because I have had a very good day so lots of things are making me happy right now! I'll be sure to limit myself to five. :)

1. It's Friday - and Fridays make everyone happy! 

2. Coming home to my husband and my puppies - As I've mentioned before, if I could, I would spend all day long snuggled up next to them. Nothing makes me happier than coming home to two wagging tails and one smiling husband at the end of the day! 

3. Catching up with my girlfriends - Now that we all have big-girl jobs, it doesn't happen as often as it should. But when it does, it makes me so happy!

4. Good days at school - As a first year teacher, there are quite a few days where I feel like I'm just skating by in survival mode. However, on the rare occasion where everything goes (almost) as planned and I can actually sit back and see the wonder and excitement in my students' eyes when they're learning, I'm reminded why I chose this profession and I am a very happy girl.

5. Counting down to summer - Even though good days at school make me happy, thinking about a nice, relaxing break (and a fresh new start next year) makes me happiest of all! :) 

To learn more about what's happening here, and to catch up on the previous 4 things about me click here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4/30: 10 Things To Tell My 16-Year-Old Self

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could

Before I start this post, let me direct you on over to this recent post I found on Pinterest. Basically, everything she says is right on point. But now for my own thoughts...

1. Don't feel bad about all the little things you've hit thus far with your still lasts you another solid 5 years.

2. You and Robbie won't hate each other forever, and eventually you'll figure out to have a mature relationship (one that doesn't involve a break-up after every argument.)

3. Enjoy every second of high school....even the drama. You'll miss it (just a teeny bit) when you're gone.

4. Even though he'll always be the little boy with glasses, a bowl cut, and buck teeth, Carter's a lot stronger than you think and is growing up to be a fabulous young man.

5. Celebrating big, life-changing milestones with divorced parents is not going to be as terrible as you think (even after they both get remarried).

6. Don't sweat the small stuff.

7. Don't take AP Chemistry your senior's not going to be as "fun" as you think.

8. Even though you don't feel like it now, when it's time to graduate and move away from home, you'll be more than ready!

9. Cherish the friendships you have now.

10. Don't second guess're a lot better at making decisions than you think! 

What a perfect post for Throwback Thursday - Robbie, me, and Carter on my 16th birthday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3/30: Parentals

3. Describe your relationship with your parents. 

I was really excited about this post because, as I've mentioned before, I have the absolute best family in the world. I've always been super close to my parents. Sure me and my mom went through the typical "mother/teenage daughter" phase, but even that felt short lived. 

The relationship I've had with my parents as also always been very open. Respect was taught in my house as a mutual thing....something you earn and something you prove you deserve. Open communication was also a big thing in our house. We talked about everything, even the hard stuff. 

My parents got divorced when I was 15 and it rocked my whole world. My brother and I were completely blindsided. Apart from the few months leading to the divorce, my parents never fought. In fact, they were actually disgustingly in love. (They were the parents that would make out in the kitchen just to gross us all out.) 

The years following the divorce really impacted my relationship with my parents. I'm a very emotional person and a very out-spoken person, and there were a lot of "not-so-nice" things done and said over the next few years. However, I believe it's these things that shaped our relationship into what it is today. 

My relationship with my mom has only gotten stronger as I've gotten older. She's my best friend, not to mention one of the strongest people I know. As I've gotten older and begun to start a life on my own (my own marriage, my own house, etc.) it's been interesting to see how so many things about me and my mom are the same AND how so many things about me and my mom are different. This I know for sure: my mom's funner than a barrel of monkeys, gives the best advice out of anyone I know, and always puts others' first. I am so appreciative for all she's done for me over the years and hope to one day be at least half the woman she is!

My relationship with my dad has done the most changing over the years. We have very similar attitudes, emotions, and outlooks on the world. These similarities often cause us to butt heads. Growing up, I was definitely your typical "daddy's girl". After the divorce, I was your typical "pissed off teenager" and pretty much all of my anger went directly to my dad. Our relationship was strained in high school and we still have those moments of weakness. However, recently my relationship with my dad has grown much stronger and I couldn't be happier with where we are now. Our relationship is definitely different than I imagined it would be, but different isn't always a bad thing. In fact, in this case, different is a much better thing! My dad has always been my biggest fan! I lost sight of that for a while. But no matter what, he was in my corner. Whatever made me happy, made him happy...even if it was something different everyday. I realize now how important that kind of support is. My dad has also always been the one to remind me how strong I am. He gets me back to due North....a strong voice of reason, and a reminder of who I am at the very pit of my soul. 

Like I said....I'm a pretty lucky girl in the parents department!



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2/30: 3 (semi-) Legitimate Fears

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears. (I added the semi- in my title of this post because the legitimacy of my fears could be up for debate.)

1. Sharks - While I've gotten better, I have a somewhat paralyzing fear of sharks. When I was in high school, I would literally break out in cold sweats just thinking about it. Even seeing sharks on TV would make my chest tight. I love going to the beach, but am perfectly fine simply wading in the water. I'm not sure how this became my biggest fear. One summer when I was in middle school there were a lot of shark attacks close to home, and they all happened in shallow water. I didn't know anyone personally that was attacked, but I think just hearing about it in the news terrified me. Like I said, I have gotten better. I even read a book to my class about Great White Sharks without breaking out into tears. 

2. Failure - Again, I'm not really sure this counts as a legitimate fear. One thing I've learned about myself over the past few years is that I really don't like to take risks, which is actually kind of shocking. Typically I would consider my self a very confident, out-going, "up for anything" person. However, I've learned these traits are only part of who I am. The other part of me over-thinks everything, strives for perfection, and has a hard time asking for help. I want to be the best at everything I do and am often my own worst critic. In my classroom, I've had to learn to really celebrate every little victory and accomplishment...just because one thing doesn't go quite as planned, doesn't mean it was a complete failure.

3. Getting "stuck in a rut" - This one even sounds a little funny to me (and could possibly be an addendum to fear #2) but I don't ever want to get stuck in the same routine. This isn't to say I want to constantly change the routine either. I'm a big fan of structure. But I don't want to lose the ability to try new things and think of new ideas. As a teacher, I can't wait for the day when I actually feel like I'm ahead of the game with a full bag of tricks and tools to use in the classroom. However, I don't want to become too dependent on those tools and tricks. This year I've kind of been forced to hunt for new ideas and activities. Even once my teaching tool box is a little more full, I hope to continue to hunt for new things as fervently as I have this year. Because I'm one that likes structure and consistency so much, it could be very easy for me to get stuck doing the same old things. I want to hold on to the little bit of spontaneity I have. 

I also realized that I don't think I gave full credit to the person I got this idea from. Like I said, I just recently found her blog, but it's definitely a good one! Check it out at HOPESandDREAMS.

Hope y'all had a fantastic Tuesday! 

P.S. I deserve a huge pat on the back for blogging two WEEKdays in a row! Yay me! :)



Monday, April 23, 2012

30 Things

I saw this on Pinterest several times and finally decided to look further into it. When I did, two things happened....I fell in love with her blog AND I wanted to start my own List of 30 Things.

Hopes and Dreams

My list is going to come with a disclaimer though....I promise to try to post everyday but it might be in your best interest to go ahead and brace yourself for some weekend catchups.

Here we go:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

1/30 Things: 20 Random Facts

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

1. I am terrible with directions. Even after living in the same small town my whole life,  I usually take the same route everywhere I go, even if it's not the most efficient way. 

2. Elephants are my favorite animal (besides my puppies of course).

3. I exercised more and ate healthier in college than I do now, all thanks to my fantastic roommate. 

4. I plan to visit all 50 United States before I'm 30. So far I've been to 11.

5. Sharks are my biggest fear. I refuse to go in the ocean alone.

6. Until I went to college, I had never moved in my life (well not since I was 3). In the past 5 years I've moved 5 times. 

7. I could go to Target everyday.

8. I've loved Robbie since I was 14.

9. Growing up, my brother was my best friend. In fact, I was pretty much convinced that he was MY baby. 

10. My dog had skin cancer....twice. She's all better now!

11. My parents divorced when I was 15. I hate being a statistic. 

12. I wish I could french braid. I'm convinced I can't become a mother until I learn this skill.

13. I would love to live in New York City, just for a year. 

14. Up until this year when I got married, I still slept with my stuffed bear, Pinky. Now she sits on the bottom shelf of my night side table.

15. For the first time in my life, I feel way too young to have a lot of the responsibility I have.

16. I try really hard to be organized. Sometimes it works better than others. 

17. Sex and the City is my favorite movie. I could watch it over and over and over and over again.

18. I honestly believe I have the best family ever and feel very blessed to have married into one as equally wonderful! My friends (old and new) are pretty awesome too! I'm a very lucky girl. 

19. I love trashy reality TV...especially the Kardashians (guilty pleasure)

20. I absolutely, positively hate spaghetti. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Getaway

So this past week was cuh-razy!! I thought I would never make it to Friday. Here's my weekly update (the highs and the lows) via pictures...

Tuesday was Family Night at school - "The Amazing Science Race". We had a great turnout and sooooo much fun! However, it did make for a longggg work day: 7:00AM to 8:00PM. whew.

Thursday, I had an intervention meeting after school and was then planning on meeting up with some co-workers for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town. I was right on schedule....until I ran out of gas. I work in a teeny, tiny town, out in the middle of nowhere, and was literally stranded in every since of the word. Fortunately my knight in shining armor husband came to the rescue and I still arrived at dinner in time for margaritas! Delightful! 

Friday, my brother and sister-in-law were in their school's performance of Hansel and Gretel. The whole cast did so good! This was definitely a high point of my week! 

Delanie (on the left) was a gingerbread girl.

Josh (also on the left) was a goblin, Frick. His best friend was Frack and they were hilarious!

While we were in town for the twins' play, we also dropped our dogs off with my in-laws because the Mr. and I were hitting the road. My sweet, very thoughtful husband, knowing I had had a physically and emotionally draining week, sent me an email on Friday asking if I wanted to go out of town for the weekend. We never just pick up and leave, so my response was simple and immediate: YES!!!

We spent Friday night contemplating where to go and after several suggestions (including one to board a plane to New York City first thing Saturday morning ;) ) we agreed to head to Raleigh. I went to school at NCSU and have really missed living in Raleigh. It was great to escape to the "big city" while also being able to reminisce on our college days. 

We went to all our favorite places, the places where we usually spent our weekends together, and it was simply wonderful! 

We ate all our favorite foods, including California Pizza Kitchen and Carolina Ale House.

We went to all our favorite stores (and might have gone a little overboard). 

We even went to our favorite movie theater. We stayed in a hotel, which is always fun, and made it feel like more of a "vacation". And even met up with two of our friends from home who now live in Knightdale. 

Being back in Raleigh was definitely bittersweet. We spent a lot of time talking about how much our lives have changed over the past year. We, of course, missed our puppies (we have a serious problem) but loved the time away together. Even though it wasn't an extravagant vacation it was just we needed to wrap up my cluster of a week.

And while there are a lot of things I do miss about being in college and living in Raleigh, I sure was glad to get back home this afternoon. 

It's cold and rainy here so the rest of our night will look a lot like this before another hectic week begins! 

Hope y'all have a fabulous week!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Go girl, its yo birthday!

Even though I didn't do anything too exciting for my birthday this year (part of being a grown up I suppose) I did get to wear my birthday tiara (cause you're never to old for that).

Sunday, April 15, 2012


The real world is back in action, full force. Which unfortunately means, I haven't had much time for the blogger world.

School started back this week and there was nothing "nice and easy" about sliding back into daily routines. Spring Break is such a tease. Between report cards (sent home on Thursday), parent conferences, EOG-test prep (we're less than 25 days away!), and crazy Friday the 13th antics this week has been simply insane!

However, there were quite a few celebrations throughout the week - adding to the insanity, but in a good way. Tuesday was my 23rd birthday! My sweet husband woke up with me (at the crack of dawn before school) to make breakfast! My sweet afternoon assistant brought me a cake that we ate at Recess. And for dinner we out to eat with my parents and in-laws. It was a pretty laid-back birthday but wonderful all the same.

Wednesday after school we had a baby shower for our guidance counselor. Her and her husband are expecting their first child in June, a baby girl, and we are all so excited for them! I absolutely love the people that I work with, so it's nice to spend time together celebrating each other.

After celebrating birthdays and babies, the only thing missing for the week was an engagement. And that came on no other than Friday the 13th. Another first-year teacher at my school, who actually went to high school with me, got engaged, at school, on Friday afternoon! Her boyfriend (now fiance) stopped by to drop off flowers. He had just gotten into town from Virginia for the weekend and she thought he was just going to drop them off and leave (which alone was a super sweet gesture). Instead, he decided to hang out amidst all the craziness. After awhile, he asked the class how many of them thought him and Ms. Gwaltney should get married. Of course they all raised their hands, so he started asking them why they thought he should marry her. (Ms. Gwaltney is a fifth-grade teacher, so you can only imagine some of the answers he got!) After getting the insightful opinions of 25 fifth-graders, he said he agreed, got down on one knee and popped the question, right as the bell was ringing! News spread like wild fire and the whole school was so excited! Reason number 39872348975 why I love the community we've formed at our school.

And then of course it was time for the weekend, which as always, is flying by way too fast. I am currently sitting in my backyard, listening to Kenny Chesney on Pandora, enjoying the 80 degree weather that finally decided to come back! 38 more school days until this becomes the norm!

I hope you've all had a fabulous weekend! Be on the lookout for pictures from my birthday celebrations!



Monday, April 9, 2012

The Time Has Come say good-bye to Spring Break. I must say, my first grown-up Spring Break was wayyyy more appreciated than any other Spring Break I've had. I'm trying to feel refreshed and rejuvenated has we head back to school for the last 2 months (crazy, I know!!) but summertime is calling my name even louder than before!

In hopes to find some motivation to get us all back to reality I've posted one of my favorite YouTube videos. I shared this after Christmas break and it really seemed to help pump up moral. Hopefully it'll work it's magic again.

I don't know about you, but this will be me at the dreaded hour of 6:00AM tomorrow morning!



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter with the Dunns

As promised...a look into the Dunn's Easter weekend celebrations. This is out first married Easter but after dating on and off for 8 years (yes, we're high school sweethearts. More on that delightful story later) its hardly our first Easter together.

Of course I tried to do all the "traditional" Easter things, but realized we might be better off creating out own traditions.

We tried to die Easter eggs. Thanks to a post over at It's Fitting I was finally able to make the perfect boiled egg. Dieing the perfect boiled egg was a different story. Mr. Dunn quit half way through after splattering dye on his new shirt. (By the way, any advice on how to get dye out clothes would be greatly appreciated.)

In the end, they turned out okay. Simple, yet festive. And so delicious. Nevertheless, we'll probably give that tradition a rest until we have kids forcing us to dye eggs with them. (then again, maybe that's what grandparents are for.)

I also did some Easter baking. Thanks to Pinterest I found a blog with a great recipe for Pupcakes! I made them first for Willow's first birthday party in February. (I know...the puppy mom thing is a little out of control. It's okay, I'll own it.) I decided to make them again as an Easter treat and to celebrate our 6-year-old black lab being cancer free!

Yes, our sweet Roxy girl was diagnosed with skin cancer (who knew dogs could get skin cancer) a few months ago. And after two pretty intense surgeries the vet called to let us know they had gotten it all. Definitely means for a Pupcake celebration!

Willow was a great nurse while Roxy was healing.

This time I made them using a mini muffin pan do they're more treat size! They love them!

For the full recipe, check out this post over at Sweet Pea's Kitchen.

On Saturday, we went to Kinston to visit Mr. Dunn's parents for "Easter dinner". We do dinner a little different though. The Dunns used to own a restaurant in New Bern (wayyy back in the day) called the Charburger. One of the perks of now being related to the owners of the infamous, and very delicious, Charburger, is that even though the restaurant closed we can still enjoy the food! And whew...that's what we did. Charburger cheeseburgers and french fries: deeeelicious!

I didn't get any pictures Saturday night but I did manage to snag an OOTD. Nothing extravagant but perfect for a casual family dinner.
Top: H&M
Cardigan: Target
Jeans: 7 for all mankind

Sunday, we began our usual holiday dance between all the different family members. We went to church with my mom and then headed over Mr. Dunn's grandparents' house for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. (Disclaimer: all of the cousins are at least 12 years younger than us.)

And they're off...

Mr. Dunn had some fun of his own too. Look at that studmuffin!

After eating way too much food for lunch, hunting Easter eggs and then eating way too much candy, we headed over to my dad's house for Easter dinner.

Needless to say....we are way stuffed (part of the reason I didn't get around to baking human cupcakes as planned) but way happy. You'll quickly learn that our holidays are always a whirlwind of events. All of our family lives in town, which is great because we're usually able to see everyone! It does cause for some exhaustion on our part, but we've always said...we'd rather be blessed with too many places to go than not enough!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! :)



Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Indeed

Before I start this post I have to let you know...not only have I joined the blogging world this week, I am now blogging from my iPhone! Yes, you heard it right. This blog is coming straight to you from my mobile device (after my husband quizzically asked "blogging, isn't there an app for that?" and indeed there is! Who knew?)

As for today's post, it's going to be rather short and possibly a bit sentimental. Good Friday is always one of those holidays that evokes a wise range of emotions for me, especially when it's later in the year and closer to my birthday like this year! :)

There's excitement. Good Friday is the start of Easter weekend which means time off from work and school. It also means the countdown to summer can officially begin. From this point on the weather will continue warming up, the days will continue getting longer, and before we know it the easy living of summertime will be among us!

There's content. Time off from work and school for most means time with family and friends. If your family is anything like mine (incredibly loud and extremely close) Good Friday is the start of a long weekend spent together with great food, good laughs, and nice relaxing naps.

But perhaps the biggest emotion I associate with Good Friday is thankfulness, and even that doesn't begin to cover it. I'm thankful for the time off and the excitement associated with this holiday. But even more thankful for the sacrifice we remember on this holiday. It is always around this time that I really stop and think about what Good Friday truly means. Such a huge sacrifice was made for me....before "me" was even around. The love that our Savior showed for all of us during this time is humbling and overwhelming.

It's easy to get wrapped up in the bunnies and eggs and gorgeous pastel colors. But above all we need to remember the true meaning for this holiday and try to love each other, this weekend and every day, like we were loved all those years ago.

I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend! I'll probably be back later on to share some of our family's Easter fun!



Thursday, April 5, 2012

This is the Life

So...this past week I've been on Spring Break and I've been totally loving the life of a stay-at-home wife/puppy mom. While I have absolutely no problem parking my butt on the couch watching Grey's Anatomy re-runs in my jammies all day long, after about a day and a half of this I have to get back to my busy-bee self. Sitting still for long periods of time isn't something I'm particularly good at.

As you can see, my sweet baby Willow could do it all day, every day.

With that being said, I've spent my fair share of time snuggled up with the pups this week. But I've also gotten around to doing so many things I haven't really been able to since school started in August! I've (seriously) cleaned my house two or three more spot cleaning here and there! I even did the thing I swore I never would - dusted the Man Cave.

I've also been able to do some painting this week, which I have missed so much! For those of you that don't know me, it's actually kind of ironic that I like to paint. I'm not a very patient person and I hate to measure things. Therefore, when painting, I have a very hard time waiting for coats to dry and I never sketch out what I'm going to do first. Usually it all works out, but there have been projects I've had to trash due to poor planning.

I did a lot of painting in college: cutsie canvases, picture frames, and other personalized items. I even started selling some of my stuff. But with everything going on in my new "grown-up" life, I haven't been able to devote as much time to it lately.

And my Spring Break project:

For other things I've painted, check out my Facebook page "YOUnique Creations by Marianna".

Like I said, it's been a little neglected lately. But painting is definitely still something I enjoy doing and new projects are always welcome! :)

Now that I've cleaned, lounged, and painted, the next stay-at-home duty is baking! On dock for the rest of the week are Easter cupcakes and Resurrection bread! Check back to see how it all turns out!

Like I said....this is the life!



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Officially Becoming a Blogger

I've talked about it long enough. It's time to actually take the plunge...into the wonderful world of blogging!

This past year has been a whirlwind of events. And because my brain moves a million miles a minute anyway, I decided I really could use an outlet for all these thoughts bouncing around in this brain of mine.

I was hoping I would have a specific theme for my blog before getting started officially. You know, delicious new recipes, trendy DIY home decor, clever classroom teaching strategies, something. While these are all things that interest me, and topics that I follow religiously on other blogs, none of them are things I consider myself even half an expert on and therefore could not give my blog one of these specific themes. Instead, I figured I could use this blog as an outlet for my many ramblings on all of these delightful topics!

I'm excited to start this process and (hopefully) meet lots of new "blog friends". I'm still figuring out the whole blogging thing and while I feel like I'll have lots of time to figure it out (I'm on Spring Break this week) I know once I get back to my sweet third graders next week, my time will once again be limited, so bear with me.

In the meantime, other blogs I follow have been doing Top 5 Tuesday (which I love). This week, it's beauty products:

Just Peachy

1. Bare Minerals Original Foundation - I honestly don't wear a lot of make-up, but I am in love with this stuff. Everything they say about it is true, it's light and natural feeling but still works all the magic of make-up!

2. CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara (waterproof, of course) - no clumps, full lashes, what else could a girl want? And it's in a purple tube...perfection.

3. Almay EyeMake-Up Remover Pads - my best friend in high school introduced me to these and I have used them ever since! They're great for removing eye make-up at the end of the day, without leaving a greasy, oily feeling.

4. L'Oreal Professionals Intense Repair Shampoo and Conditioner - while I don't wear a lot of make-up or spend a lot of time and money on it, I am a bit of a control freak about my hair. My hairdresser (who is a miracle worker) recommended this shampoo and conditioner to me about a year ago and it has worked wonders on my hair! I couldn't live without it!

5. Sephora by OPI Nail Colour - I have a bad habit of biting my nails, so I try (very very hard) to keep them neatly cut and polished. Ideally, I would get weekly manicures but the lovely budget of a teacher doesn't quite allow for that. So instead, I channel my inner-manicurist and do it on my own! :) Right now I'm loving "How Many Carats?" but my favorite color tends to change often (and no, that is not a picture of my hand. My inner-manicurist is not that talented.)

Yay for my first post! Let me know how I did and keep checking back for even more delightful thoughts! :)