Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More Goals That I'm Determined to Actually Meet

Apparently I love making goals, yet suck at actually meeting them. I have now publicly (through this blog) set two different set of goals and have royally sucked at completing them. And there I was thinking I had so much drive and determination. whompwhomp.

But instead of learning my lesson or hanging my head in shame, here I am again. Setting more goals that I probably won't reach am going to try extra, extra hard to make happen.

I signed up for Kaylin and Amberly's Marriage and Relationship goal link up a while ago and get email reminders (as they promised) each week. Yet I've never actually followed through with a blog post. Until now.

With school starting for both of us, we're getting back into a pretty steady routine. Which is good and bad. I like routine and actually thrive off of having things planned out. However, I get really tired of monotony really quick and thrive off of not having to follow a schedule or a clock. (How's that for oxy-moronic?)

Fall is such a busy but FUN time! And Robbie and I both have a lot of fun things coming up, most of which we'll be able to share with each other. BUT I want us to still just have "us" time. Away from the football tailgates, away from Halloween parties. There are few things I love more than spending the entire day watching Grey's Anatomy reruns snuggled on the couch with this hunk a burnin love.

Sidenote - this picture was taken in DC in front of the Ford Theater where Lincoln was shot after my history nerd husband gushed "there's just so much history on this street." I was looking for the closest Starbucks...

So...here we go.

This month (September) I will...

- "Unplug" for the night. Putting down the phone/computer/ipad and actually spending time connected to my husband, not social media. (I know technically goals are supposed to have a measurable component but I'm not sure exactly how much or how often I want to unplug, I just know I want to make a conscious effort to spend less time reading my Twitter newsfeed.)

- Go to church every Sunday with Robbie. Going to church regularly not only starts my week off on the right foot, but makes me feel closer to Robbie.

- Initiate Table Tuesdays. I know this one sounds silly, but we will eat dinner together at the table every Tuesday night.

- Run weekend errands together instead of alone. Robbie will probably hate this one because we can be ten times more efficient when we're by ourselves. BUT sometimes weekends are spent running all over the place getting things in line for the upcoming week and that's time we lose together.

I realize technically I still have a good week left of August and I damn well plan on starting these now. But for the sake of organization, we'll refer to them as "September goals".

Wish me luck!
Marriage & Relationship Goals

If you want to link up too, which you totally should, head over HERE and follow the very short, easy rules of the game!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Insert Catchy Title Here

Hey, blog, hey!

It's 6:30 on a Monday night - the first Monday night back at school (with kids). I've been up for 13 solid hours. I'm half way through my second diet coke of the day. And still kind of riding out the NSYNC reunion high of last night.

(Except really - it was barely a reunion. More like The Justin Timberlake Show with about 5 seconds of NSYNC back up. Which, as much as I loved NYSYNC, I have noooo problem watching JT take over. Now if I could just find a way to get Jessica out of the picture - I know we'd be perfect together!)

But I'm not here to blog about the VMAs. I'm not really here to blog about much of anything. The combination of a whirlwind first day, extra caffeine, and limited sleep have my brain all jumbled. Plus I can think of eleventy million other bloggers who probably have much more witty recaps of all things MTV. So just do what I do, and read their's.

I will say I'm pretty pumped about the school year. I miss my babies from last year a whole bunch and have loved seeing them in the halls as BIG second graders. It makes my new firsties look extra wittle. I always forget what a difference it is - ending the year with one group and starting from scratch with a batch of hardly-out-of-Kinder-babies.

But it is so, so, SO nice being in the same grade again! Obviously all you teachers know that each year you revise and tweak and find better ways to do things. Which definitely happened between my first and second years. But being able to be in the same grade and actually revise, tweak, and revamp the same kind of stuff makes life ten times easier.

Now, that's not to say I haven't been running around like a crazy person these past few days (hello lack of a recent blog post) and I'm still no where close to knowing what I'm actually doing. But there's a teeny increase in comfort each time.

{Sidenote: I may or may not be singing a completely different tune after the second day of school ha.}

Today was also a super special first day, because it was Robbie's first day too (kind of). If you're new around here, Robbie graduated in 2011 with a degree in History and Sports Studies. He's since then gone back to school to get his teaching license add on. So basically all the "education" classes. And this year he starts his student teaching! So today we both woke up early squirrely, grabbed our packed lunches, and headed to our respective schools.

I tried to take a "first day of school" picture of us together, but he was not in the mood. Little does he know, come January when he's full time, he doesn't get a choice! Mwuah-ha-ha-ha.

That's all I got folks. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The embarrassing things I do alone in the car.

I had to drive to Raleigh for a teacher workshop the other week. It was supposed to be a three-day deal, buuuuut I got a yucky stomach bug causing me to miss the first two days. Which also meant I was left making the four hour round-trip commute in one day. By myself.

When I was in college, I tore up those roads between Raleigh and New Bern, Raleigh and Greenville, but now I haven't really made that many single road trips.

I was quickly reminded of two things. 1. How much I hate driving. And 2. How much random shit I do to keep myself awake and entertained on the road.

First of all, I always have a ton of beverages on the ready. Safe driving beverages you goon. A large turvis filled with ice water gets me started. I usually stop about an hour in and grab a large sweet tea, or my new fav, a caramel McFrappe, from McDonald's. The only time I'll stop at a McDonald's, mind you.

Dance parties are a must. I don't have an iPod (whomp) and I don't have very many songs on my iPhone (double whomp) so unless I'm plugged in to Pandora I'm usually listening to burned CDs. That's right...I like to live in 2003 as often as possible. I have a six-disc CD player in my car so the possibilities are endless. And the songs are old school forreal. I usually alternate between some serious Ke$ha/Lady GaGa business to some extra gangsta rap. Think Stuntin Like My Daddy. Head bobs, hand motions, and facial expressions are a given.

If I'm not having a Ke$ha (that is technically how she spells her name right?) or Lil Wayne dance party, I'll be belting out some serious tunes, American Idol style. This is where my Glee CD comes in handy. (Did I just admit I have a Glee CD in my car?) I get really serious about these songs. Trying to sing in perfect tune just like I would if Simon Cowell were sitting in the passenger seat. Occasionally Always the Mariah Carey hand makes an appearance. 

Let's just say, if I was a Kardashian and had cameras posted in my car at all times, people would be amazed at the things they saw. And it's probably a good thing that I don't take many solo road trips. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blogger vs. Tourist: One in the Same

Whenever I travel I try desperately to not portray the "I'm-a-tourist-I've-never-been-here-before" look. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure regardless of what I wear, do, or say I still scream "tourist". But that's neither here nor there.

When Robbie and I went to DC last week I got to thinking - bloggers always look like tourists. Vacations are full of blogging material, especially if you go somewhere new or completely different than where you're from. The food, the places, the people. There's blogging material left and right.

However, in order to capture all of this blogging material you tend to portray the touristy look. And the crazy thing is, this can happen on vacations to new places but it also can happen in your very own town.

Allow me to explain.

1. Tourists always travel with a camera. If you're a good blogger, you too should always travel with a camera.

Yea, take my picture here! 

2. Toursits use said camera to take pictures of everything. Again, if you're a good blogger, you too should take pictures of everything - particularly food. Yes, always food.

Even extra greasy baseball food counts. 

3. Tourists typically can be spotted based on what they're wearing. As can bloggers. For example, comfortable walking shoes = tourist. Maxi skirt, bauble necklace, top knot = blogger.


Three is all I got, but I think I made some pretty valid points. I mean, for so many of us blogging is like one big digital scrapbook/journal anyway. So just like tourists, we try desperately to soak in every experience that we can in order to record it away later so we can forever have that memory to hold on to. Whoa....how's that for some deep thinking!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Mondays are tough.

Teacher workdays started today. 
That means this is me tonight. 
The saddest part is - we didn't even have kids today
and I'm already this worn out. 

Happy Back to School.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Friday Friday

Happy Friday loverpants! This week has been a whirlwind of a week and unfortunately, the whirlwind is not slowing down anytime soon. School starts Monday (insert whiny face here) at least for me. Kids will be back next Monday so I've got a little bit of "summertime" left.

I'm excited about getting back in a routine, kind of. I always like the thought of routine but get tired of monotony quick.

Yesterday's post was a little "soapboxy", which isn't normally something I do (here on the blog at least. Real life is completely different story. #sorrynotsorry) so today I'm going to try to keep things as light as possible. It is Friday after all.

With that in mind - there's two things you have to do.

1. Go HERE and check out THE cutest kids on the internet. Seriously, what's cuter than a five-year-old's seflie #ootd? Nothing. That's what.

2. It's Friday. So go back that azz up. You know you want to!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I have a confession make. I think I made a big boo-boo last week. I knew it was happening the whole time, but I had no control over making it stop.

Sometimes I get a little opinionated. Okay - maybe more than just sometimes. And I usually try my best to keep these opinions to myself. Okay - that's a lie too. BUT I do usually try to keep my opinions away from Facebook. And that's the honest to God truth.

Nothing bugs me more than political Facebook rants. Well other than sport rival Facebook rants but that's for another post. Yet I still got sucked in.

North Carolina has recently passed some pretty big legislation concerning lots of different hot topic areas. And usually, I try to just ignore all the crossfire. I mean, I'm not a politician. I'll be the first to admit that I am nowhere near qualified to pass laws concerning state budgets. I feel barely qualified to even have a conversation about state budgets (numbers are so not my thing).

But these changes are pretty hard to ignore. Particularly the ones involving education.

{This would be the part where I insert some links for you to check out regarding the recent legislation. However, there are about ten billion and one floating around out there on the interwebs, usually all bias in one direction or the other, so I'll let you and Google handle that. Besides the point of this post is not to rehash the details of it all.}

Now, let me first say two things. One - I am a conservative in almost every way. Two - I usually can always see both sides to any situation. While I have my own personal beliefs and opinions about things I usually always can see where the other person is coming from and therefore have a hard time determining that someone is wrong. They're thinking is just different than mine.

I get why North Carolina has had to make major cuts in almost every area of our budget. I understand that we are in serious debt. I see first hand the problems with many of our government systems (welfare, unemployment, medicaid). I also see and live the many, many problems with public education. Serious changes need to be made in our state, I get it. 

But I can't help but feel like, while the changes that have been made are definitely BIG, they're not right. 

One of the greatest things about our country (in my opinion) is the right to free, GOOD public education. Are private schools an option? Sure. (Another great thing about our country is the freedom to CHOOSE.) However, should private schools be the only option for GOOD education? Absolutely not. 

Public schools need good teachers too. And while every good teacher will say (and truly mean) that they aren't in it for the money or the benefits, it's still a job. A job that requires a four year degree. A job that requires (at the very very very least) 40 hours a week. Every other profession with these requirements pays enough to support families, is respected by other professionals, and offers incentives for further professional development. And at the end of the day, public educators would like all of these things too. 

Good teachers are going to stay in the public classroom as long as they can, regardless of the ridiculous decisions made by local governments, because good teachers ultimately care about one thing: what's best for the kids. But even the best teachers are still human. And eventually enough is going to be enough. It terrifies me that these changes in our state are going to force good teachers out of public education, maybe even out of our state completely. 

I believe...that children are our future. And now more than ever they need good, influential people in their lives. Molding them and teaching them right from wrong. 
I believe...that NC legislatures don't have a clue about what one hour in a classroom is like and therefore are as unqualified making education decisions as I am making political ones.
I believe...that there are people who genuinely need help and I believe the great thing about our country is that we can provide that help to them. 
I believe...that there are people who are taking advantage of our country and state's willingness to help and that's where our changes should be made.
I believe...that when free handouts are easy to come by, people will always choose that over actually working for what they need. It's human nature.
I believe...learned helplessness is real and the cycle of oppression exists. Children who don't see their parents working hard and bettering themselves are never going to know that they can work hard and better themselves. 
I believe...this is where teachers come in. They can show children these things. The government should support programs that support teachers doing just that. Instead of 90% of the pointless programs they choose to support instead. 

For once, I would like to see a legislature believe in these things too and actually do something about it. 

P.S. Please come back tomorrow. I promise it will be more fun (it's #backthatazzup Friday after all)!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If You Looked...

I saw this post a while ago on Ashley's blog, and I thought it was the neatest idea. There are so many things I love about her blog and the majority of her posts speak right to my heart. While the concept of this post is pretty simple, Ashley, as always, took it to such a touching, inspirational level. We'll see what happens with mine...


 If You Looked...

...into my kitchen you'd see dishes in the sink, no matter how hard I try to not pile them up. Sorry mom.

...into my living room you'd see evidence of "living" - a crumpled blanket or two on the couch, dog toys on the floor, an empty Diet Coke can on the end table. 

...into my classroom right now it'd be pretty empty and lonely, except for the inevitable dust bunny rolling around. But in a little over a month (eeep) you'd hopefully see the sweet smily faces of my new first grade babies that I can't wait to meet. 

...into my car you'd see a full tank of gas thanks to my sweet hubs who filled it up for me before work, a trunk full of things that still need to be taken to school, a Turvis full of ice water in the cup holder, puppy dog nose prints on the window, and dog hair all over the back seat. 

...into my purse you'd see about 50 trillion pens and bobby pins, just in case; my planner, that doesn't get much use in the summer; a coozie and Burt's Bees. Always.

...into my head you'd see 35 to-do lists/don't forget lists. Once you got past all those you'd get to my most prized possession - my memories. Recent memories, like swimming in the ocean last Friday with my sweet puppies. Old memories, like meeting my soul mate/college roommate for the first time. And childhood memories like getting my front tooth knocked on while wrestling my baby brother on our old orange bean bag. You'd also see my hopes and dreams for the next 5-10 years, the big ones that always seem to stay the change, and the little details that are forever changing.

What would we see if we looked in your home, head, heart, TiVo?  :)


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Newest Obsession

Clearly, it's not blogging. 

Sorry I've been MIA for the past week. I caught a nasty stomach bug last week and had two different workshops to attend so I've been a little jumbled every since.

But...I've been wanting to blog about this since the second it showed up on my doorstep (two weeks ago) so here I am finally telling you about my new favorite thing.

Instagram pictures. 

Instagram has become my most favorite form of social media. Which means a lot, because I'm a pretty big fan of all forms of social media. But sometimes most of the time Facebook just annoys me and Twitter can sometimes be too much to read (140 characters from some people is more than you would think) but Instagram is great. {Shameless plug: If you're not following me, you should. le duh.}

But what's even better than Instagram pictures on your phone - are Instagram pictures, printed and hung in your house!! I know, I know. This isn't a new concept. I've seen things floating around Pinterest forever about printing Instagram pictures, turning them into magnets, blah blah blah.

I just had never taken advantage of it. Until now. And I could not be more in love.

Backstory - Robbie and I got new shutters for Christmas and actually got around to replacing them earlier this summer. We held onto the old shutters because they were just so many re-purpose possibilities. Meet re-purposed shutter number one. I, of course, did not take any pictures of the during process. But all I did was re-paint it lime green and then weave burlap ribbon (found at Michael's) through the rivets. I used teeny tiny clothespins (also found at Michael's or any craft store) to hang the Instagram pictures. 

The best part is, that's not even all the pictures I had printed - that's just all that would fit on the shutter.

I used Prinstagram to print my pictures. They're reasonably priced and have a ton of different options. I ordered just the regular squares, which come in sets of 24. They're printed on quality 4 x 4 cardstock paper.

Basically, you choose your size. And then you sign into your Instagram account and choose the pictures you want to print. They took about 5 days to ship, but that was over a weekend. It's that easy! And seriously, they look so good! 

I have the ones hanging on my shutter, but I also made a "Instagram garland" hanging from my mantel. I just don't have a picture of that right now. Typical I know. 

Long story short, if you need to print your Instagram pictures (and you need to print your Instagram pictures) use Prinstagram


P.S. I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just love the product so good! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Oh Hay August Hay (6 days late)

I had a completely different post planned for today but then I realized that it is already August 6 and if I'm going to make goals for this month I better actually make that happen before the month is over.

If you've been hanging out for a while, you'll vaguely remember this list I created and failed to finish am still working on. I love lists and I love goals, but sometimes I change my mind about certain things and not everything gets accomplished like I originally envisioned.

But we'll give this a shot. Maybe my mind will stay set for at least the month so I can get these things done.

  1. Walk my sweet Willow at least one night a week. It's important to be realistic in goals. And make sure Roxy gets lots of sweet treats since she can't join us for the walk.
  2. Revamp my gluten-free diet and stick to it 100%.
  3. Host an outdoor movie night.
  4. Get my class room set up and ready for another wonderful school year.
  5. Mooch as much river time off my parents as I can. 

I think 5 is a reasonable number. 

August is such a big month. It's the start of lots of new things and it can be very easy to get wrapped up in everything coming up that you forget to enjoy what's still going on. I want to cherish every hectic, exciting moment of August and not let the anticipation of fun things to come cause me to miss the fun things happening in this moment. 

And just because you could probably use some Tuesday cuteness:


P.S. Go check out my pinteresting post on Kaeley's blog. And say hey to that sweet lady too!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Don't drop that thun thun thun

Monday. I forgot how un-fun you are. Summer vacation will do that to ya. But today is technically a real Monday even for me. I'm in a training about autism all day so I actually had to wake up and get ready like a normal school day this morning. Blegh

Also, according to my Twitter newsfeed, it's Shark Week which is apparently everyone else's favorite week of the year. I, personally, can think of 51 other weeks I like more. For me, today starts the day that I avoid all things Discovery Channel related like the plague. 

Due to this, and to the fact that I took absolutely NO significant pictures of my weekend, I have nothing to write about today.

I do, however, have a ton of other pictures that I haven't posted on le blog, so welcome to the biggest photo dump in history. (Well maybe not in all of history, but I'm pretty sure it's close.)

Paddle-boating in front of the Jefferson Memorial last weekend. Clearly, Robbie loved it. 

Family Reunion Pool Party fun.

The prettiest white picket-fenced, hay barrel filled farm complete with American flag barn in Maryland. I don't even like the country, but this was pretty. 

Mema with most of her gorgeous granddaughters. 

My Aunt's Surprise 60th Birthday party last weekend, and how we ended our DC trip. I didn't think she would really be surprised, but clearly she was. 

My printed Instagram pictures that I am OBSESSED with from Printsagram. Detailed blog post to follow soon. Seriously, the coolest thing ever. 

Willow, Roxy, and I have become obsessed with laying in bed together every chance we get, watching movies, and eating popcorn. I realize this isn't completely new news, but hey it is what it is. 

I'm linking up with Sami even though this is technically a combination of like 3 different weekend shenanigans. #rulebreaker

Sami's Shenanigans


Oh yea, and my title has absolutely positively nothing to do with this post, obvi. I just can't seem to get that song, or the 2309845908 related videos on Vine I've seen, out of my head!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

"buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks....and hot dogs, and nachos, and cotton candy...."

While we were in DC, Robbie and I went to our first ever Major League Baseball game to see the Washington Nationals play the New York Mets and y'all, it was So. Much. Fun!

I did make the ultimate sports fashion faux pos. I'm sorry Sarah...I didn't wear anything team related. My colors were all wrong. But don't worry, I didn't wear heels. And Robbie bought me a hat as soon as we got there so ultimately I fit right in.

Sidenote - I never wear hats. I feel like this picture explains why. 

Baseball's an interesting sport for me. I've never really been a big baseball fan. I don't have "a team", I don't follow the World Series, I don't even pretend to watch very many games on TV. I'm more of a football fan in those regards. 

However, baseball is the one sport that I actually probably understand the most (thanks to my middle school score-keeping days). And I love going to a baseball game! Any baseball game! 

But this particular baseball game was one for the books for sure.

We were able to ride the metro right to stadium, which for obvious (no driving responsibilities) reason, made me a very happy girl. We got there a few hours before the game started so we could get our tickets and so we could enjoy the pre-game festivities. I've mentioned once or twice before how much I love a good football tailgate. But I've decided I love a good baseball pre-game just as good!

They had a whole area set up with live music, food and drink vendors, and cornhole for days. Once the game starts, they project it on a big screen so technically you could park me right there for the rest of the night and I would be a happy camper. 

Shortly after they opened the gates, we went on into the game so we could explore. I scored a free t-shirt (a skill I perfected in college) and we got to meet the Racing Presidents. 

He doesn't know it yet, but I'll probably secretly print this out and sneak it into his history classroom one day. Seems appropriate.

Once inside the game I started mentally planning out my concession stand treats. After all, baseball food is one of my favorites! I needed to decide what I absolutely wanted the most and then space it throughout the innings accordingly. I was successful in my execution...don't you worry!

It was a great game! Apparently the Nationals had lost the previous 7 or something games. They had already played the Mets earlier that day and lost to them 11 to zip. This game they were able to hold em off until the last inning, with each team only having one run. We were convinced we would be enjoying some free extra baseball.

Until...it was the bottom of the ninth. Nationals up to bat. And Ryan Zimmerman (no relation to George, I don't think) sets up. He got a walk off homer and that was it. Ballgame. It was great! The best part was, Zimmerman is only 20 and apparently from Eastern North Carolina. A good ole southern boy for the win. 

Although I'm pretty sure he's a playa playa because his entrance songs were Blurred Lines and You Can Have Whatever You Like. #justsayin

Speaking of entrance songs....my favorite part about baseball games (besides the food) is listening to the songs the players choose to walk out to. I mean how cool is it to have music play when you walk out somewhere. Robbie and I have had several conversations since the game about what our's would be. I have a hard time narrowing it down but I usually always find myself going back to the highly overplayed, very dated TI's Bring Em Out. I know, typical. But what can I say. When it's good, it's good.

What would your walk up song be if you played baseball?

Linking up with Sarah for Fan Friday and the birthday princess Whitney for #BackThatAzzUpFriday.

Venus Trapped in Mars

Have a fabulous weekend loverpants!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Yes, I am Five Years Old.

Even though our anniversary trip ended up not being a complete surprise, most of the things we did were. As much of a planner as I am, I hate planning vacations. I would much rather someone else work out all the details (where to stay, how to get there) and take care of booking all the adventures, unless of course there is something that I am dying to do.

Robbie knew that one thing we had to do this time in DC was going to the National Zoo. I mean, anytime elephants are involved he knows I'll be happy. As many times as we've both been to DC, Robbie had never been to the zoo and I had only been once when I was little when it rained. So we were both very excited!

The zoo led us to another cute little "neighborhood" in DC which we had fun exploring in and of itself. And then the actual zoo - well of course it was wonderful! I felt like a kid pushing my way to the front to see the animals up, close, and personal. It wasn't too hot so that was nice and all the animals were out and about so we were able to see a lot. (Except for the pandas, they were both sleeping so hard, but apparently the girl panda is pregnant so you can't really blame her for taking a little siesta.)

Robbie was super thrilled to take this picture. 

The cheetahs made me miss my firsties so bad - they loved jungle animals.

And then there were the elephants. It was all I could do not to climb over the fence and play with them!

Robbie, bamboo, and sleepy panda bear. 

haha these were just too funny/creepy to handle.

We didn't even see every exhibit (who knew the zoo was so big) because we got hot and hungry. Typical. But we saw the important ones and had such a good time running around like little kids!