15 Realizations of 2015 (Spoiler Alert: Leggings Are Still Not Pants)

Ba bah ba ahhhh bah ba baaa buh aaahh gaaa ba bah ba.

MAMA!

Oh, sorry y’all.

Luke thought since he can eat read board books, he could also write a blog.

And you read that right. He has said MAMA! Multiple times, in fact.

Although, his train-of-thought is really this: “I’m fussy… getting fussier… why haven’t you picked me up yet… brink of meltdown…okay, I warned you… meeellltttt—“MAMA!!!!”—dooowwwwn!!!!

But IT TOTALLY COUNTS.

Mama: 1, Dada: 0

(And when he says it, I’m wiling to give him ALL OF THE THINGS.)

(But he really just wants my attention).

(Because me? I’m MAMA).

(Prideful? Naahhh….)

I do apologize to my handful of readers for no blog since October. Truth be told though, I didn’t think there’d be another in 2015. This little human keeps us, what’s the word?, BUSY. And you might suggest I could when he naps. However, Luke seems to think the crib is fine and dandy during the nighttime (which LET’S GIVE THE LORD ALL OF THE PRAISES), but remains a torture device during the day.

So the blog-writing, laundry-sorting, floor-sweeping, dust-wiping will have to wait. Because they’ll always be there, and he will always not.

Those sound like some LOFTY 2016 resolutions, though.

Usually, at this time of the year, I write about things that should stay in the year we’re about to leave. And I really could probably do that again, but spoiler alert: Leggings are still not pants, Elf-On-The-Shelf still needs to be packed away forever, and Florida-Georgia Line still makes terrible music.

So this year, in honor of 2015, here’s 15 realizations from this life-changing year (in no real particular order):

1.  I’m so that mom. I take pictures of Luke everyday, and I post one (or two…) just about daily. And I could be sorry, but I’m not. I’d much rather look at a cute baby than read why Trump/Obama/Fill-in-the-blank is the devil.

2. Two things you don’t think you’ll ever say in the grocery store until you have a baby? “Do we need Boogie Wipes? Let’s pick up some gas drops while we’re here too.”

3. Daytime television REALLY needs to step up its game. Although, a Fixer Upper marathon still reels me in every single time.

4. I’m pretty sure when Luke is old enough, he’s going to want to send a Christmas card to Uncle Chip and Aunt Jo and wonder why we won’t visit them in their farmhouse or the silos.

5. God’s love has been reframed for me in a whole new way with Luke. Brett mentioned this in our LifeGroup, and it stuck with me. We were talking about the difference between God’s love and human love. I love y’all, but would I give up Luke for you? To save you? To redeem you? I’ll be honest, I don’t think so. But He did. So the verse I’ve heard since LifeGroups were known as Sunday School, John 3:16, has come alive in a whole new way.

6. I’ve tutored some sweet kiddos a little bit, and to my burned-out teaching friends? If  I could give you anything, it’d be an extra hour (are you laughing your head off? EXTRA HOUR? HA!), so you could find that joy of teaching without any tests, evaluations, and a whole bunch of “stuff” in the way. It makes you wonder how education has turned into what it is. (But trust me, your work is important and if nobody’s told you lately, you’re doing a great job).

7.God provides. We knew He would, and He has. From paying for a brand new car unexpectedly without a loan to Brett winning a full-tuition scholarship for his MBA out of thousands, well, it’s humbling. And reaffirms everything, especially… He is faithful (and He was when things weren’t so solid, too. He’s always there planning paths far better than our own).

8. Diaper pails work until a certain point. Without going into too much gross detail, basically that point is when solid foods are introduced. Then, just trust me: Bag it, tie it, toss it. Outside.

9. Baby shoes are adorable but pointless. That is a battle not worth fighting, my friends.

10. It’s important to take time to be silly even (especially) you’re sleep-deprived or stressed. The other day, I could barely keep my eyes open and Brett and I just started singing Adele’s “Someone Like You” as loud as we could to each other. He was in the kitchen, and I was in the living room laughing my head off. Mood lifted. (Try it, “NEVERMIND I’LL FIND SOMEONE LIKE YOUUUUUUUU….” Don’t you feel better?)

11. I don’t know if having Luke has made me hyper-aware and I didn’t notice before, but twice in the past couple of months I have seen children left in the backseat without anyone else while their parent is shopping or in a restaurant. Oh. You better believe I call or alert authorities when I do (and if it ever happens when it’s burning up outside, I’ll find someone to help me bust a window). I can’t imagine purposefully doing that to Luke or any child. Kills me.

12. People are very gullible. All these political blogs (conservative or liberal) that say an outrageous headline and get reposted a million times make me want to throw my laptop out the window.  There should be a quiz at the voting booth before one votes to see if you’re smart enough to tell the difference between actual reporting and clickbait.

13. We have recently caught on to the wonder of sleep-sacks. Not sure what their magic is, but these seven-hour-stretches-of-sleep don’t have me complaining.

14. I totally get the, “I’d rather be sick than you” line now. Nothing worse than feeling helpless, and so far it’s only been a sinus infection that’s had him down.

15. And on that note, I’m so thankful for so much this year. God gave us the desires of our hearts in abundance in 2015. A healthy, active, funny, curly-haired, blue-eyed baby boy that we are smitten with more every single day, family that’s been an amazing support system, friends who have showered us with gifts and love, and His grace for when we don’t appreciate our blessings enough.

2015, thanks for all you gave our sweet family.

Especially for those four bags of epidural during a long stretch of hours in March.

Amen.

Happy 2016!

Blame It All On My Roots

First, let me get this out of the way.

Pot, meet kettle.

I fully own that I can be just as guilty of what I’m about to write than anyone.

Now that’s that’s out of the way, you may be wondering what am I just so stinkin’ tired of that I would DO ALL OF THE WORK (it requires several clicks!) of writing a blog.

It’s not Florida-Georgia Line being on the radio every. single. time. I turn it on.

(By the way, as par for the course, I’ve discovered Pandora radio about five years after everyone else has, and let’s just say, “Pandora, you complete me” isn’t that much of a stretch).

It’s not people sharing recipes on Facebook that fill up my newsfeed so “they can keep them for later.”

(Pinterest, people. PINTEREST.)

(You can pin until your heart’s content and still not actually make any of them there too!)

No. It’s something much more old-fashioned.

My rant is about to start. This is where you may “x” out and turn on your 90s country on Pandora and sing along to Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”

I just have some questions about people lately.

What happened to manners?
What happened to just waiting until the appropriate people contacted you?
What happened to just plain waiting?
Why are we so brave behind a keyboard?
What happened to being content in the moment and not worrying what’s happening FIVE WEEKS FROM NOW?
What happened to general kindness?

While being off for summer, it’s given me much more time for reading. Now, I’ve actually read lots of novels that were all slices of Southern fiction delight, but that’s a blog for another time.

I’ve been reading some fine social network groups this summer. Now, I don’t read too often because if I did, whatever-device-I-was-on would be in 3240 pieces and I would need a new living room window.

But y’all.

Y’ALL.

It just makes me want to ask, “What did we do before we could stalk, track down, contact any person we needed with just a few swipes on our phones? What did we do before having access to information in less time than it takes to microwave a bag of popcorn? Did we actually have to wait until the appropriate people contacted us?”

Look, I’m all about asking questions. My sweet administrators and bookkeepers can tell you I can ask the same question ten different ways and twenty different times.

(Bless their hearts.)

But it’s all about how you go about it.

You attract more flies with honey than vinegar is too true.

I think what gets me the most is, excuse the Southern expression, THE NERVE of too many people. They don’t expect to find out the information they need, they demand it. And not nicely. It’s their right to know what’s happening behind closed doors then and there. And even though the deadline you have for that task is not for several days away, HOW DARE YOU if you do not have the information. Pronto.

My parents instilled in me to treat everyone with respect and professionalism. To me, it’s common sense. Where has it gone?

I tell you where it hasn’t been lost.

Children.

Many adults could take a lesson from them. Now they’re not angels either (I know that’s news to you parents who have spent your summers with them), but they by and large treat others the way they want to be treated. And if they don’t, they learn from it. I often wonder if some of these grown-ups would speak this way out loud in front of their children as they do on some of these sites.

My guess is no.

All of this could lead to bitterness and just an overall negative attitude towards, well, the human race.

And to be honest, some days it does.

But instead, I’m going to force myself choose to treat others with the same grace that’s been given to me.

Join me.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."

Sittin’ in a Beach Chair on the Driveway

Happy (Well-deserved) Spring Break to all my fellow educators!

As I’ve said before, I am so terribly sorry if you don’t get a Spring Break.  I work in education to make a difference in a child’s life, but the breaks come a close second.

Especially on 70s degree days when I’m not trapped inside.

(I am totally ignoring the 40s in the forecast for TOMORROW. See no evil).

On this particularly warm day in March here in Tennessee, I spent my day as follows:

1. Go for a run jog walk.

Well, I did jog in intervals. I just jogged from the corner of my road all the way down the street TO THE STOP SIGN. I nearly died. After walking/jogging along a path in my neighborhood, I checked the handy-dandy “Map My Walk” app to see how many cookies I could devour tonight.  

And it had to be mistaken. I looked at the calories burned on my marathon trek. IT WAS EIGHTY-NINE MEASLY CALORIES.

I’m not sure that even covers one of the (delicious) “Skinny” Strawberry Cookies I made last night.

But just in case it did, I’ve had three today.

2. Vacuum/Clean out my car

Howie the Honda was in better shape compared to most, but when you grow up with a Daddy whose cleaning habits are akin to Danny Tanner’s, you know how your car should look in the interior.

Let’s just say he’d be ashamed of the three peanut M&Ms I found in the backseat floor.

At least I think they were peanut M&Ms. They were so, ahem, aged that it was my best guess.
3. Read my new book “The Antelope in the Living Room.”

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In case you’re wondering, this book is by Melanie Shankle. I read her blog nearly everyday and I love how she intertwines humor with faith with the normal day-to-day activities.  This book is all about marriage and I’ve laughed out loud multiple times already.

But that is beside the point.

(At this point, you may be wondering what the point is).

I found my beach chair, plopped it right below the steps to our front porch, put my Sprite in the cupholder, and read my book.

Oh yes, I got a few strange looks.

Was it the beach? No, but that’s okay. Because I was enjoying the breeze, the warmth after living in the tundra for three months, and my book.

I think a lot of time we look at other people’s lives and think the grass is greener (or the sand is softer, in my case). 

That couple who post essays of their affection for one another on Facebook. Weekly.

That coworker who gets all the kudos.

That Mama who cooks the perfect meal every night.

Their lives look put together, but what about yours (mine)?

Meanwhile, that couple might look to have a happy marriage, but your husband writes you surprise love notes or thanks you in person.  That coworker might be getting some well-deserved kudos, but you receive an out-of-the-blue email that is better than any kudos you could’ve gotten.  That Mama worked hard on that meal all day, but your husband complimented your frozen meal like it was gourmet.

Instead of sulking about what we don’t have, it’s time we considered how blessed we all are. It’s a daily reminder for me, too, so don’t feel alone when you find yourself on a guilt-trip.

It is all about perspective. Sometimes we forget just how great we’ve got it, including myself.

So, on our next gorgeous Tennessee day, pull a beach chair up next to me on my driveway.

I’ll even squirt you with a water gun if it makes you feel like you’re at the beach.

And I’ll definitely give you a strawberry cookie without reminding how many calories you (haven’t) burned.

.

 

10 Things That Should Stay in 2013 #hashtag

Feliz Navi—

I mean, Happy Thursday!

Just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

I trust you all had a very merry Christmas. Actually, I know you did, as I read all about them on Facebook (raising my hand with you, as my husband rolls his eyes). Speaking of that feller, we Kept It Simple, Stupid.

(KISS for short).

(Please don’t be offended. It’s an expression my dear ole Daddy taught me to refer to one’s self).

(Feel free to use. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, Clark).

We got each other a few gifts, but nothing too extravagant because you know, SAME BANK ACCOUNT and all. Plus, we felt convicted to remember it’s all about Jesus and not worrying if he’s even going to like that brand new sports car I for sure would’ve gotten him. C’est la vie, dear.

So now that we’ve all fa la la’d ourselves into a sugar coma, it’s time to think about 2014.  Resolutions, goals, dreams, etc. Really deep, inspirational thoughts and intentions.

Except for this blog. No, it’s time for my annual (technically true, this is the second year in a row!) list of things I would forbid if I beat Hilary in 2016.

10 Things that Should Stay in 2013:

1. Leggings as Pants (Again)

You know what’s been especially funny this past year? The amount of ladies who have come up to me, while wearing leggings under dresses, and pleading with me, “These are ok, right? I HAVE A DRESS ON!” Yes, ladies, I am not anti-leggings. I’m anti-leggings-as-pants. Big difference. Sadly, I hoped this trend would die in 2013, but it is alive and well. Ladies, darlings, LOOK IN THE MIRROR and ask yourself some honest questions. If your answer is, “Well, you can’t REALLY see my behind. I mean, NOT FROM THIS ANGLE,” then it may be time to re-evaluate, my friend.

2. “Bro” Country (What is Bro Country? The more you know).

Alright, I have to own up to something here. I still cannot resist Luke Bryan’s “(Country Girl) Shake it For Me.” That song is pure guilty pleasure, and for a long while last year, I loved me some “Baby you a song…” from Florida/Georgia Line. But j’nough! Those type of songs, well, a little goes a long way. What happened to the country songs that MEANT SOMETHING? We all like some that are just fun to sing along and mean nothing (raising hand), but the radio plays the same ole truck-driving, beer-drinking, girl-swingin’ song. Need proof?

Don’t get me wrong, there are some good songs out there that I love (thank goodness for Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, ZBB, etc). I’m definitely not one who dislikes mainstream music. Let’s just make 2014 with a little bit more substance and less sittin’ on the tailgate while looking at the moon on the riverbank.

3. Mullet Dresses

Nothing like browsing the racks of Ross’ and TJMaxx (no shame in my game), finding a dress with a cute top, and pulling it out to see that it’s missing the rest of it. But only on the front. Or it has just extra fabric hanging in the back. It’s all very confusing. Please, 2014. No more mullet dresses.

4. Phil Robertson as the Savior

I’m walking on some thin ice here, so hear me out.  I totally understand why people were up in arms about Phil Robertson being suspended from A&E. I agree with his overall thoughts, although I not sure definitely don’t think they were said in the most tactful or loving way. Let’s not get it twisted though. He didn’t not have freedom of speech.  He is not in prison, he was not executed, and he is not being hunted by the government. He expressed his thoughts that didn’t agree with his employer. However, the amount of people who have several times posted about Phil has left me a little speechless… until now.  Keep hearing me out.  I understood it the first day or so, but still?  I love Phil Robertson, I love Duck Dynasty, but y’all, there are Christian missionaries all around the world who ARE imprisoned, murdered, and hunted down for just saying the name of Jesus.  I don’t #StandwithPhil. I #StandwithJesus. Honestly, I think that would make ole Phil more happy, happy, happy if this was trending instead.

5. Facebook Hashtags

I just used a hashtag on my blog, and I’m about to hope that hashtags stop in 2014.  The irony is not lost on me.  I have no real reason for this, other than hashtags on Facebook just seem awkward. Twitter is where the hashtags belong, in 140 characters or less.  I believe this also goes under “RIDICULOUSLY LAME First World Problems.”

6. The Current Education Mindset

I could write a novel on this subject, but I better keep it short and sweet.  (Steps on a soapbox). This country, and specifically this state, will lose the best, most hard-working, student-focused teachers they have if they don’t get their act together and realize that teaching isn’t about a number.  It’s not about a score. It’s not about a ranking.  Data is good and definitely useful, but like in all things, in moderation.  The way state leaders are making it the end-all, be-all measure of a teacher and student’s success is inappropriate, in this teacher’s eyes. It’s about the impact a teacher has on the student (and vice versa). It’s about learning not only academics, but life lessons, specifically qualities like integrity, creativity, and compassion. Those things can’t be measured by another test, but try to be successful in life without them. (Steps off of soapbox).

7.  Elf on the Shelf

I thought the Elf on the Shelf was cute at first.  “Look, it just hangs on the shelf! Or the stairway! Sweet.” But no. Pinterest (it can be used for good, but in this case… evil) has turned it into a competition. “Let’s hang twine across the room, as the Elf on the Shelf swings through lifesavers into a pile of powdered doughnuts!” No. Ain’t nobody got time for that.  I’m really hoping this fad has faded by the time my future child is old enough.  ‘Cause I just may be “that Mom” who says NO, I REPORT TO SANTA AND THAT’S ALL YOU NEED.

8. Credit Card Pitches EVERYWHERE

Let me be clear, I am not mad at those poor customer service associates.  I’ve been there. They are being told they are required to pitch the store credit card, and then if/when the customer says no, they must tell of another benefit of the card, until they’re told no again.  And this is coming from someone who, while I worked in retail, was usually #1 for successfully having people apply for the card (what can I say, the curls are the charm). My advice? Just tell the customer service guy/gal that you appreciate it. They know you don’t, but they’re just glad you’re not cutting them off mid-sentence while talking on your cell phone.

9. Selfies.

Selfies need to be outlawed.  As a former selfie girl, I now cringe when I think of them. So awkward. The only exception is if you’re with someone in your selfie (as long as you don’t take 224 of them and post them all) or if you have a new haircut/something snazzy that you want to show off, but otherwise can’t. If in doubt, just send me a permission slip, and I’ll sign off on it. Maybe.

10. The Civil Wars Break-Up

Y’all. I was kinda into The Civil Wars last year (2012), but we bought their self-titled album this year because FANTASTIC.  Would love to see them live, but the only problem is they broke up after finishing the record. What a buzzkill. C’mon, work it out, and show Jason Aldean what good music is (Yep, I went there).

I think this concludes my rants and vents. I feel lighter, even after eating all that Christmas food! All of this is in good fun, so please don’t be offended if you like one of these things. I like the majority from time-to-time, and I’m sure lots of you are over the HOUNDSTOOTH EVERYTHING that I love, for example.  In that case, we’re not friends anymore.

I’m totally kidding.

But if I catch you taking a selfie, while wearing leggings-as-pants, then I’m totally not kidding.

Happy 2014, everyone!

Another Year of Thanks (And Rambling)

How is it not midnight?

This is my first thought around 7 p.m. every weekday night, as I’m fighting yawns, all the while saying (scolding) myself, “You can make it at least two more hours… YOU’RE TWENTY-FIVE.”

Then again, my dear husband just said to me, “Wow. Your eyes look really dark.”

Keeping that spark alive, my friends.

Instead of just refreshing Pinterest tonight, I thought I’d write my annual Thanksgiving blog.

(I know. I KNOW. You have waited seven, long November days for this to arrive this year. I’m so sorry to disappoint).

To remind everyone, I take all of my would-be thankful Facebook posts for the month of November, and post it on here.  Because nothing says, “I’m really thankful” than getting it all over with in one post.

What can I say, I’m a giver.

Long story longer, here’s my thirty thankful things for twenty-thirteen (honorable mention: alliteration).

(Keep in mind, this is not in order of importance. I really do love Jesus more than Connie Britton.)

1. Country music has been such a great friend this year… to sing along with my actual friends, to blast in the car thinking the songwriter must have somehow read my mind. Although, none of that wannabe rock garbage that was (most of) the CMAs last night. (Between counting down until I go to bed at 9 p.m., and calling today’s country music too rock, just call me MeMaw).

2. My first grade colleagues who happen to be some of the best friends I have. It’s nice to know you can just vent, laugh, or laugh so you won’t cry with ladies who give you a hug or an invite to Mexican to forget about it. Love my BBBs.

3. My health, as I have been reminded of how fragile it is from close friends the past year.

4. The town, Nashville. I’m never reminded more than when I’m walking down Broadway to the Bridgestone for a show. Or when I can just go to the Opry’s website and see if anyone I want to see is playing this weekend. And drive 30 minutes to get there.

5.  The show, Nashville It’s a total nighttime soap opera, but I’m slightly obsessed with the music. I just need for Rayna and Deacon to get back together already.

6. My Redeemer. I’ve seen friends of mine wrestle with some pretty tough stuff this year, but one thing remains: Jesus is faithful and forgiving. He cleanses us of our own faults. I hope I never lose the impact of the realization that I don’t have to carry around every sin on my back. He died and did it for me. And you.

7. My darling husband. He may comment on my dark circles, but he also understands when a bowl of cereal is for dinner some nights. He always has been, but this year especially he has been my rock and biggest encourager.

8. Sprite. Let’s keep it real here.

9.  My twenty-one first graders. First grade has brought new challenges, but also new rewards. Love them all and the way they start each day with a smile, no matter what happened the day before.

10. My Mama and Daddy. Not many grown adults would love to vacation with their parents, but I loved it all. Even the boring shell museum. They are going to be fabulous grandparents one day. :-)

11. My church! This past week, our sermon was bilingual.  Our pastor preached in English, while a campus translated in Spanish. It was awesome and reflective of the diverse children of God (but bless my pastor’s heart, he doesn’t cheer for the right team).

12. The Crimson Tide. Look, they have brought me much joy over the past several weekends. I am going to RELISH in the victories while they last. (AJ, are you sure you have to graduate this year? It’s really overrated).

13. That I can put a big, fat check beside the words “Master’s Degree” and that the timing worked out how it did. Honestly, I don’t think I could’ve done it this semester. Hallelujah.

14. Howie the Honda and Esmeralda the Escape. Thankful for two dependable cars that have zero bills attached to them.

15. Witnessing this Sanibel sunset (despite the RUTHLESS no-see-ums):

16. Former students of mine— I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of the whispered “Mrs. Schultz!!!!” while furiously waving at me or being nearly tackled by a hug.

17. Our soldiers, especially after a friend of mine serving over there posted a picture the other day from his day at work. That’ll put things in perspective.

18. Spirit Days. (That noise you just heard was all my West peeps are saying, “Amen”).

19. The snow days we will have this year (If you build say it, they will come).

20.  Lots of sunny days for Recess this year. I think we’ve had only three Indoor Recesses and that is worthy of a praise.

21.  Uncrustables. Look, I know it’s more affordable to make my own PB & Js. But right now, that is one less to-do and we’re not counting our pennies (yet).  (Plus, I buy the whole wheat, reduced sugar ones so they’re totes healthy).

22. Our home.  There are some days, when I pull in the driveway, that I still wonder how we found the perfect house for us. Front porch and all.

23. My hammock! Maybe the best birthday gift ever (besides seeing #24), seeing as I was biting the head off anyone who even looked at me wrong around that time.  The hubs knew it’d make me sing “Hakuna Matata” for at least a few minutes.

24. The thirty-second N’Sync comeback this year.  Instantly, I was 13-years-old, laying on the grass at Starwood (RIP), singing “You may hate me, but it ain’t no lie, BABY BYE BYE BYE.” Choreography moves and all.

25. Girl Meets World. I have very low expectations, but I’m on board with anything Cory & Topanga related.

26. Croutons. I like a little bit of salad with them.

27. My new iPhone 5s and its cover. But mostly the cover because it’s beachy and was only 12 bucks at Academy. It even says “Salt Life” on it because I’m very fancy.

28. Tim Hawkins. Kudos to my Mama for making me go to his show earlier this year because HILARIOUS. You must watch this.

29. Daylight Savings Time. Yes it gets dark by 5 o’clock, but more importantly, I’m not arriving to school at dark-thirty.

30. Lambchop. My version of Linus’ comfort blanket growing up and I still have her. And my class loves for her to read poetry and act extremely silly every Friday. Someone should get control of her, these kids have fun in school on those days. (You knew I’d say something somewhat snarky). ;)

Wow, if you read this whole thing, I should give you a “No Homework” pass for my next blog.

I gotta say, I’m quite proud of myself for not using one of my entries as “That this list is over,” as I have in years past.

You can just add it to your thankful list.

Hope you have a happy November and Thanksgiving!

Sunsets, Speedos, and Sass, Oh My!

Oh, Fall Break.

It’s not me. It’s you.

You are hurting my feelings by wanting to end our relationship. We were just getting to know one another and getting used to having each other around, and now you are preparing to LEAVE!?

Downright rude.

However, I sure have enjoyed our time together. It’s not quite over, but I had a school dream last night.  And that… that is the beginning of the end.

I thought I’d document a few random thoughts and observations to remember the time we’ve shared.

Head’s up, I’m listening to The Pistol Annies right now, so my thoughts may be a little sassy.

(Speaking of, Miranda Lambert, could you write a song about the current education system in my lovely, landlocked state? You have a way with the snappy words).

(See? I better stop).

(Like our current focus on tests, tests, and FOR GOOD MEASURE, more tests, rather than learning in the state of the volunteers).

(I better change it to some James Taylor and remember I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, and I love my kiddos.  The end).

  • Speedos are a privilege, not a right.  And it is a privilege that should only be granted to a few (VERY FEW) gentlemen. I’m talking like Olympic swimmers only, and that’s iffy.
  • Europeans, particularly Germans, have been very fond of this island I’ve been on the past week.
  • And a fan of the Speedos, short ponytail, and gold necklace.
  • You’re welcome for the mental picture.
  • I will add bikinis to the privilege category. Lawd.
  • I know being on a TROPICAL ISLAND AND ALL may influence this statement, but I truly don’t miss the change in seasons. I don’t mind it being cold for Christmas, but after that, I could get my sun on in the 80s all year long.
  • I have shown serious restraint on commenting on some things related to some stuff on the Facebook lately. Is that vague enough for you?
  • (Let’s just say I love people who voice their opinions backed with research).
  • (In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that).
  • I’ve been busy shell-hunting, so haven’t done as much reading as my usual on the beach.
  • However, I did read Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman (author of one of my favorites, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt). It was good, but was the first book I read following Redeeming Love.
  • Redeeming Love will never be topped for me in the land of fiction.
  • I know… never say never. But really, it never will.
  • God always reveals to me His beauty at the beach more than anywhere else. When I think that the God who created the ocean, the gazillion grains of sand, the beautiful shells, and everything else just on this little stretch of coast… that He cares about little ole me? Well, that is some kind of powerful, my friends.
  • After visiting the Lighthouse today, I had quite the dilemma. My feet were sandy with no hose (NOT hosepipe, people. That word makes my skin crawl) in sight.  So, I was going to have to put my flip flops on with my feet caked with sand.
  • (See: Problems, FIRST WORLD)
  • Anyway, the point of this almost-pointless story, is my sweet husband stood with me by the ocean’s edge, then carried me to the sidewalk so I could slide on my flip flops with sand-less feet.
  • Seriously, it was the most romantic thing he could’ve done.
  • Clearly, it doesn’t take much to make me all googly-eyed.
  • The most I’ve done for school these past two weeks has been pinning some cute ideas on Pinterest.
  • Put the phone down. I really don’t need to be the Teacher of the Week for my dedication, but the thought is appreciated.
  • I did, however, collect some pretty scallop shells for my twenty-one first grade darlings.

I could keep going, but I’m sure my hand full if that of readers are snoozing from boredom.

So, thanks, Fall Break! You’ve recharged my batteries and have provided some gorgeous sunsets to remember you by.

Next time though, talk to your pal Summer Break and keep me around a little longer.

Beat This Summer (and the Bathroom Rugs)

Happy Summer Solstice!

It’s the longest day of the year.

Actually, as my friend Joe loves to remind everyone, the day is still 24 hours long. It’s just the day with the most daylight.

I am in the midst of my summer break from school and I’m trying to not pay attention that we’re already in the TWENTIES of June. Because, as a teacher, I go back in the TWENTIES of July.

However, I’m going to just ignore the date on the calendar and continue with this mindset (except without the “its” typo, which is unfortunate):

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This summer is a whole lot happier due to the expensive simple fact that I have my Master’s Degree!

(Of course, the state of Tennessee may change my happiness over said degree, since they seem to be on a rampage of robbing the joys of teaching by adding more and more and taking away more and more, but that’s a whole different post. In which I don’t want to lose my teaching license over a blog post, so it will probably stay permanently in my drafts).

(But I digress).

I just remember thinking last summer…

…This is the only summer you will have to write approximately 342 discussion posts over educational practices that never exist in the real classroom.

…This is the only summer you have to read an incredibly boring novel and then write a paper where you gush over it so much, you make your own self sick.

…This is the only summer where you have to read endless chapters on educational theories and not books such as Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer.

(By the way, I just finished it and I can’t recommend it enough. Even if you blasphemously don’t like Alabama football, it’s more about the SEC football experience as a fan. Spoiler Alert: The last sentence of the book, though, is, “Roll Tide!”)

It sure is a nice feeling to be done.  Besides accomplishing a life goal, I have been able to…

– Complete four puzzles (one in which was 2000 pieces. I have high goals).

Make my first wreath (in which I did zero intertwining and instead used my best friend, Mr. Hot Glue Gun. A lot less heartache, amen).

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Keep in mind, this wreath will probably stay on our door until I’m at least 42.

– Participate in a great Ladies Bible Study called No Other Gods. Speaking of studies, my Mom is writing some great devotions on her blog. I’m proud of her! You should read them.

– Wash the bath rug (the one under our counter/sinks. Not the one we use to stand on from the shower. Clarification is important here). I looked at it yesterday and thought, “I’m not sure I’ve washed it in the two years it’s been here.” I’ve beaten it to death, but never washed it. It’s like it’s brand new! The wonders of washing machine technology! I have no shame.

– Go to more of dear husband’s softball games, which he laments I just sit there and talk. However, this is church league softball, so it’s all about the fellowship. (I do love watching him when he’s at bat, though. Wink wink).

Ran once. Look, when I came back in, I thought I was dying. So it’s better for my health that I don’t.

– Just kidding, all you weird people who love to run. I’ll start back when I get back from FL and double my running total of 2012. I am nothing, if not motivated. (I am not calling you weird out of jealousy, nope… not at all).

Speaking of Florida, we leave for the beach tomorrow and I caaaaahhnnnn’t wait.

However, I am not looking forward to the road part of said road trip. I can’t stand it. Inevitably, I will launch into my tirade about how semi-trucks and Kentucky drivers should be banned from the roads.

(In which either Brett or my Dad tries to evokes reason that we have to have them, but I will not hear it).

(The semi-trucks, that is).

(I think they’re on the same page about Kentucky drivers. THE LEFT LANE IS USED TO PASS. GET OVER)!

So clearly, I need the beach to unwind from said road rage.

I also get the most exercise of the year when I’m at the beach. I walk at least a mile or two everyday, not to mention trying not to lose my balance battling the Gulf’s waves.

I think we can make the conclusion that the beach is great for my health, and I think that’s a great note to end on.

(I just won’t mention the daily donuts for breakfast and fried food for dinner, if you won’t).

Happy Summer!