Sunday Letters 7.12.15

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Dear Nephews,20150712_105331

I love you like you are my own.  But…you are exhausting!  Spending the day with you was lovely, but so is sitting in my quiet house without anyone jumping on me.  I think it will be an early night for Troy and I!


Your Favorite Crazy Aunt


Dear Son,

I love playing with you and your version of American Ninja Warrior was tons of fun.  However, we should probably stop jumping off the couches.  😦 It’s just not responsible…Plus they won’t last much longer if we keep up this abuse.


Your Mommy


Dear Coffee,

I don’t NEED you as much during the summer.  However, I still enjoy you and crave you.  Thank you so much for all of your comfort!


A Fan


Dear Former Co-teacher and Current BFF,10846316_595979705718_467228639772971894_n

I miss you!  I haven’t seen you nearly enough since we got back from Florida.  Every once in a while I remember that I won’t be seeing you every day once school starts and I have to push the thought away.  You know I don’t care if people think I’m weird, but crying in the middle of Target might be over the line, even for me.  Movie night soon!


Your BFF

What I’m Loving Wednesday 7.8.15

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 2.05.13 PM♥  My Three Year Old Nephew’s Brilliance

He tried to say, “Bye Sucker!”  to his mother.  She told him he wasn’t allowed to say sucker unless he was talking about the candy sucker that he ate on the airplane.

So, now when he says goodbye to me, it goes like this:  “See you later alligator!  In a while crocodile!  Bye sucker on a plane!”  Gotta love it!

♥  Being on the other side of an interview.

Last week I had the opportunity to be part of the interview process for a new hire at school.  This was my first time on the interviewer side and it was so interesting.

Observation:  When asked what they would do if they realized a lesson wasn’t working out, most new teachers talked about having a back-up plan.

I don’t make back-up plans for lessons.  Is it just me?  Is this something they teach you to say in college now?  Me…I make one plan.  If/when that plan doesn’t work, the second one is spur of the moment.


♥  Swings

You are never too old for swings. Or at least I’ll never be too old!

I was cleaning out the kitchen cabinet, tossing all canned goods that are past their expiration date.  And in the cabinet I found a CD.  Who puts CDs in the cabinet?  Apparently me…but honestly, I don’t even remember buying it.  I guess at the time I didn’t connect with the songs?

20150601_170015After discovering it, I listened to it in the car on the way to work.  I was shocked.  So many of the songs reflect exactly how I am feeling right now…

The Bridge You Burn (Tony Martin, Wendell Mobley, Neil Thrasher)

He’s the lesson you learn / He’s the dead end you see when you realize you made a wrong turn

Cry (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally)

I might bite my lip / Look down at my shoes / I might clench my fist / Or just leave the room / But I’m not gonna cry / Not one single drop / Cause once I get started, I / I may never stop / I might even laugh / Right in your face / When you come out and ask / Oh if I’ll be ok / But I’m not gonna stop

Somebody’s Chelsea (Reba, Liz Hengber, Will Robinson)

I wanna be somebody’s Chelsea / Somebody’s world / Somebody’s day and night one and only girl / A part of a love story that never has an end…/ You know that’s what every woman wants to be… / Somebody’s Chelsea

All The Women I Am (Kent Blazy, Mary Green, Shane McAnally)

Hey, I’m a realist, I’m a dreamer, I’m a silver-lining seeker / I’m a devil or an angel, who’ll come running when you need her / Cause I need a man who can love all the women I am

When You Have A Child (Tom Douglas)

When you have a child / You learn it’s a serious business to have a little fun / You give grace and forgiveness /

These four walls you call a house / Take on a life of its own when you bring ’em home / You will cry and you will laugh / When they hurt it cuts you in half, it’s your flesh and blood

And year after year / Pictures fill page after page / They never really grown up / Still your baby at any age

When you love a child / Oh when you love a child

IMG_20150609_184638How is it that so many of the songs, from this CD I don’t remember buying several years ago, express so many of the things I have been feeling lately?  I am not a big believer in fate, but I know that I need to find this.  I have listened to it several times and I needed to find it.  I needed to hear this at this point in my life.


Sunday Letters 4.5.15

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Dear Spring Break,

You took long enough to get here!  I think I need you more this year than I ever have before.  And so far, you are not a disappointment!  I look forward to many more days of no plans, catching up on reading, and time with my #1 guy!

Your Fan,



Dear Gayle Forman,

I just finished if i stay this morning.  Although the story was beautifully written and an overall great read, I was most affected by THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY.  I was intrigued by how Mia and her story came to you, how her story was influenced by another family’s story.  I am fascinated to learn how characters and stories become the characters and stories that transport me to another place and time, at temporarily.  Thank you for sharing Mia’s story and your thought process.  I am on to the second book momentarily.

A content (yet melancholy) reader,


SOL Day 2: My Epiphany

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hMy co-teacher was beginning to create her blog and she was considering what to write for her “About” page.

Jill:   What did you write for your about?

Me:  I don’t think I have an about page…(We looked it up.) I guess I do.  I wrote that a while ago…

I was amazed at what I had written over a year ago…It was so generic and only about school.  So much has changed…and so…my “About” page had to change as well…


It has been a full year of blogging for me and throughout this year I have discovered so many new things about writing, and about myself.

This was my original bio:

This is my fifth year teaching and my first as a classroom teacher. I spent my first four years as a Reading Teacher and am thrilled about this move. This year I am co-teaching a third grade inclusive classroom. ( I am the general education half of the co-teaching pair.) We have students of various abilities, backgrounds, and strengths all learning together. We learn together and from each other every day and I look forward to sharing what I learn from the students this year.

Over the course of the last year I have discovered that I am more than a teacher, although I love my profession.  I am more than a mother, even if it is my most important and favorite job.  I am an aunt.  I am a writer.  I am a friend.  I am a woman.  All of these things have come together in this blog.  Through my writing I have discovered more facets of myself and I am so grateful.  When I began this journey I would not have been able to predict how much I would learn about myself.  Let the journey continue…

Sunday Letters 2.15.15

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Dear Students,20150205_153715

I am so proud of your blogging and I can’t wait until the March SOL Classroom Challenge!  You have grown so much in your writing and every thing else this year.  You are amazing, spunky, special kids and I am so grateful to be your teacher!


Your Proud Teacher

P.S. I’m also very grateful that you don’t eat pencils like this one that I found in a Kindergarten room.

PicMonkey CollageDear Self,

You totally deserve the gifts you bought yourself for Valentine’s Day!

Me  🙂


Dear Amanda and Liz,

I absolutely love being your mentor!  You both are very talented and dedicated teachers and I am learning so much from you.  I know that this has been a hard year, but just think of how far you have come already.  You are making a difference in young lives every day.

With pride,

Your Mentor


Dear Gilmore Girls,

Thank you so much for existing.  (And thank you Netflix for making binge watching possible!) You were the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day night as a single introvert.  🙂  If only real people had conversations like Lorelai and Rory.

I just found out, through Pinterest, that Stars Hallow is a real place called Washington Depot or something.  I really want to take a road trip now!


A Devoted Fan

The Benefits of Being Short

1.  Pants that are supposed to be Capri or ankle length are actually full length.

2.  Getting flour from the top shelf in the kitchen is a climbing adventure…

3.  Plenty of throwing practice putting groceries away on the high shelves.

4.  Being taller than a guy (or almost anyone really) is a non-issue.

5.  Meeting someone shorter than you is a unique and exciting experience!


What I’m Loving Wednesday 1.21.15

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♥  My co-workers!

Last night, in an effort to be healthy, we went to my co-teacher’s house to workout.  After an intense twenty minute workout, and a visit with her new doggie, we went out to eat.  Yes, it was counterproductive.   No, it was not the first time this has happened.  However, I love that I get to work with my friends AND we can be counterproductive together!


♥  Biggest Loser

I do enjoy the show, but I am talking about our school’s version.  This is week two and I am down eleven pounds thanks to the competition and the support from the other teachers.  I am sitting at a table with a bowl of candy and have not eaten any.  Which brings me to my next topic…

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♥  Having short arms!

I am sitting at a table with a bowl of candy in the center and I am not eating it!  In large part because I can’t reach it!

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♥  One Little Word:  Fierce

 ♥  Standards Based Grading

This is a scary and an exciting change coming in education.  I am learning more about standards based grading today and hope to share my learning in a future post.

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♥  Putting my son on the bus!

Thanks to a professional development down the street from my house, I got to sleep in and put my son on the bus!  We got to watch an episode of Scooby-Doo this morning and then slide across the slippery snow while waiting for the bus.  I am that mom…the one sliding with her kid across the sidewalk while another mom is reprimanding her kid for doing the same thing.  ( I consider that being a fun mom, but I’m sure that other mom doesn’t appreciate it.  :/ )

Thoughts on a Day with No School…

20150106_182026Dear Red Robin,

Would you consider donating one (or two) of these fabulous chairs to a dedicated teacher’s classroom?  Sitting on it during dinner yesterday was extremely comfortable and wouldn’t it look fabulous behind my small group table?!  Please consider a donation.  😉

A Delusional Teacher


Dear Weather,

I know we live in the Chicago-land area, and winters can be cold, however I really don’t want to make up anymore “cold” days.  Two is one too many.  Please just stay above zero for the rest of the winter?!


A Grateful Teacher


Dear Self,

Every time you shower, brush your hair, and put on clean yoga pants, your son asks why you are getting “fancy.”  Yikes!  I think that means you need to start spending more time on yourself.    Remember your OLW:  FIERCE!


One Word: Fierce

Since beginning my blogging journey, I have been encountering this idea of One Little Word on blog after blog, never really knowing what it was all about.  However, after Michelle at Big Time Literacy posted about it, I decided I needed a word too.  (She bullied me into blogging after all, and now I love it.)  With all of the changes in my life right now, one word to focus me sounds perfect!  Now…which word…

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Although I have made huge growth with confidence and ferociousness in my professional life, I need to face my personal life in the same way.  I will be FIERCE in all aspects of my life this year, especially personally.

I will be FIERCE in my relationships- not tolerating being stepped on or taken advantage of.  No one will talk down to me.

I will be FIERCE in my choices.  Asking for help when I need it.  Accepting help when it is offered.  (A very smart friend told me it takes courage to accept help, something I have never been good at.)

I will be FIERCE in my actions.  Making my health a priority.  Working out regularly and making each workout count.

I will be scared, but I will NOT let fear hold me back.  This year I am ready for FIERCE!


P.S. Have you noticed that when you spell a word too many times, it starts to look like it’s spelled wrong even though it’s right?