“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”

― Marianne Williamson

Life can be overwhelming.  It is easy to forget that there is so much to be thankful for and so much that brings joy.  I try to take time each week to write down things that bring me joy in my writer’s notebook.

When I am having a rough day, it helps to stop and write down the positives.

When I am having a great day, it can only get better to put the joy into words in my notebook.  (Or on my blog!)

A kid created his own text set to check out from our classroom library!   #nerdyteacherjoy
The weather on Friday was beautiful!  We went outside for writing workshop AND I wore flip flops!
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I love teaching writing and the kids are loving blogging!  We are getting ready for the March Slice of Life Classroom Challenge!
My kid is a picky eater, so this was a huge compliment coming from him!


The Island
I love this quote!  I listened to this book earlier in the week and the line stuck with me.  I can be my own happy ending!



2016: OPEN

2015’s OLW:  FIERCE

I took my word to heart and I changed a great deal because of it.  Not every part of what the I intended for the word stuck, for example ferocity in terms of my health.  However, One Little Word stuck way longer and stronger than any resolution I have ever made, so 2016’s OLW needed to happen.


I will be open…

  • to new experiences.

  • to new opportunities.

  • to changes.

  • to people.

  • to putting myself first.



What I’m Loving Wednesday 7.22.15

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 2.05.13 PMcrafty♥  Troy’s version of American Ninja Warrior – Even if it left my couch more broken and bruises on Troy’s legs!

♥ Purple Pens (I need to buy a new box of them for the new school year!)

Drive Me Crazy is on Netflix!  I know it isn’t the highest quality acting or story, but I love it anyway.

♥  Staple Guns!  This was my first time using a staple gun and it was so fun!  It probably helped that my projects were successful!

♥  Waking up to this crafty mess!  Yep, I’m strange like that.  I absolutely love crafting and messes.  Waking up and seeing all of the things we had created was a great feeling!

♥  Friends – Especially nerdy and weird friends!

My friends like to craft.  They get excited about creating.  They love Disney movies.  They enjoy writing and are willing to spend 12 days at an Illinois Writing Project PD and an entire day writing at a writing marathon.

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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,