Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

We have had a very blessed Christmas. I hope you have had a very merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Well, ALS is officially over.  Anthony graduated on Thursday as a distinguished grad.  There were 58 in his class and top 5 were the distinguished grads, so needless to so, I was pretty proud.  I only got 2 pictures throughout the night because of where we were sitting, but my camera is at school, so I will post those later.

Friday was Anthony's Christmas party at work.  It was at the fire station, in the stalls.  They provided the meat and sides and we all brought appetizers and desserts.  There was so much food!  It was great getting to hang out with all the families, since we don't get together much.

We have three days of school this week.  It is so hard to read on Facebook how we are basically the last school to let out for Christmas, but oh well.  Atlas we are one of the first schools to get out for summer! Tomorrow is our holiday breakfast, and I can't wait.  I've asked all the parents to send breakfast foods.  The kids are wearing their pajamas.  It's going to be a lot of fun.  I've made scarves for all my kids out of fleece and I can't wait for them to open their gifts.  Also, I bought a bunch of books for my kids.  Since I wrapped the scarves, I really don't want to wrap the books too.  I think the kids will sit in a circle and read The Night Before Christmas and pass the books each time I say "the."  I am hoping they will all enjoy that!  Later in the day we are making Santa snacks out of graham crackers, icing, marshmallows, and candy.  And in the afternoon, we are watching Polar Express.  It should be a wonderful, but crazy day!  Wednesday will be a lazy day of movies and games.  I can't believe the semester is almost over!

We still aren't 100% certain that Anthony has leave, so I'm not getting too excited since we've had it taken away at the last minute before.  But, hopefully, we will get to spend Christmas with our family!  I can't believe it's less than a week away!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Anthony is currently in ALS.  I have read and heard many women who talk about how they hated when their husband was in ALS and was sure this wouldn't be the case for us.  I was just thrilled with the idea of Anthony being home every night, since he usually works 24 hour shifts.  But, now that we are 4 weeks into this, I'm not thinking it is so great.  In fact, I'm kind of thinking I'd rather my husband be TDY than in ALS.

First of all, there's the homework.  And LOTS of homework.  He goes to class until 3 or 4, then has organized PT, followed by his own gym time.  When he finally gets home at 6, he has atleast 2 hours of homework nightly.  That means, no conversations.  No watching my TV shows.  And no one else to take the dogs out or do chores, even though he's home.  Atleast when he is TDY, I can talk have real conversations over the phone and have the TV all to myself.

Then, there's all the cooking I have to do.  We only eat out once ever two weeks, so that leaves me cooking the other 13 nights (he eats leftovers for lunch).  When he is TDY, someone else cooks for him and he gets per diem and I can eat leftovers.

And finally, there is the graduation.  Don't get me wrong, I am very proud of him.  It's just the whole thought of this dinner has really stresses me out.  Mainly, there is the dilema of figuring out what to wear.  I don't like to be cold, but how dress semi-formal and still stay warm?  And where do I find a dress in this small town?  I found a cute 1/2 sleeve sweater dress with a cowl neck, tights and pumps.  Hopefully it will all go well together and I will be dressy enough!  Oh, the dilemas of being a woman!

Even though ALS has been a challenge for us both, I would gladly have my husband here with me than in another state or country.  Having him close by certainly outweighs all the negatives of ALS.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This month, I have noticed that many people are posting one thing a day that they are thankful for.  I'm not one to post daily on facebook, so instead, I decided to post 30 things that I'm thankful for on my blog instead.

1.  God
2.  Anthony
3.  My mom and dad
4.  My brother
5.  The rest of my family
6.  Rylie and Sam
7.  My friends-both old and new
8.  My job
9.  Having a warm place to live
10.  Having a nice new large bed to sleep in
11.  Living in Texas and not Alaska or North Dakota
12.  The ability to cook-Thank you Mom!
13.  Wonderful health insurance
14.  My iPhone-don't know how I'd function otherwise
15.  Long phone calls with friends
16.  Three days off work for Thanksgiving
17.  Warm scarves, gloves, hats and coats for when it drops below 50 here in Texas
18.  The freedoms we have
19.  DVR
20.  Target
21.  My students at school
22.  The military (health insurance, paychecks, GI Bill)
23.  The opportunity to spend time with my whole family
24.  Thanksgiving Day
25.  Black Friday
26.  Pinterest
27.  Facetime
28.  The wonderful people I work for and with
29.  My Crockpot (only $7.00 on Black Friday!)
30.  All else that God has blessed me with

What are you the most thankful for?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Card Winner

I'm a day late with choosing the winners for the Shutterfly Holiday Card giveaway.  I realized it last night right as my head hit the pillow, but I was too tired to come back downstairs. 

The winners are.....

Erin from Every Branch

Aften from The Gardner's

Caren from Our Married Life

If you guys will email me I will get the coupon code to you.  Thanks for sharing your memories! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meet Rylie

Being a one dog family just wasn't for us...or Sam.  We needed another dog.  But what?  We spent several weeks discussing and researching.  Anthony wanted an English Bulldog or a French Bulldog or a Great Dane.  I wanted something cute and fluffy.  We agreed on one thing...not another Shih Tzu.  We loved Frankie but just didn't want to deal with the snoring and attitude go down that road again. 

Two weeks into the debate, Anthony finally caved.  He asked me to pick out four dogs I would like to have.  I Googled "Cute fluffy dog breeds."  I searched every breed on  And finally, I was able to choose three.  From their, he chose Rylie's breed.  The following weekend, we drove to my parents and then picked up Rylie.  We fell in love instantly!

Rylie is a Cavachon.  She is a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise.  Here hair is soft and fluffy.  She will not shed.  And, she doesn't make sounds like a seagull.  She has quite a funny personality.  She is not afraid of much, even a dog that is 22 times her size.  She fearlessly flies off the couch.  But she is gentle too.  She likes to snuggle, especially with Sam.  And she gives great puppy kisses.

Sam wasn't so sure of her at first though, and still doesn't really like her.  But, he does tollerate her.  Frankie was never very friendly to Sam, so we hope Rylie and Sam will be better friends and I think they will.  Atleast there has been no blood, so far.

*Don't forget to enter for the free Shutterfly holiday cards.  You have until Sunday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holiday Cards

Wow, Christmas is just around the corner.  We're talking just over fifty days away.  Less than two months.  That means it's about time to start Christmas shopping and picking out Christmas cards. 

Two years ago, I decided I wanted send out a cute family photo card. Since then, I have found myself continuing to go back to Shutterfly to create our Christmas cards because I love them so much!  And this year will be no different.  I'm already working on this year's card with our new puppy!  The quality is great and they arrive quick.  And they sure beat a store bought generic card.  This is one of my favorites

Not only can you make your holiday cards through Shutterfly, but you can also create Christmas gifts and photo books.

I discovered Shutterfly several years ago when I needed to make a photobook.  Three years later, I still use Shutterfly for my photobooks and have quite a collection.  I also use Shutterfly to make my annual calendar for home and school and the quality is great.  You can even put people's photos on their birthdays!

Anyways, this year, Shuttefly has been so kind as to offer free holiday cards for me and for 3 lucky readers.  So...I'm hosting my first blog giveaway EVER to share the greatness. 

I'm going to make entering simple.  Send me a message and share your favorite holiday memory.  To enter a second time, publish a blog post about the giveaway and leave a comment with the link.

I will be choosing the winner on Sunday, November 13th.  The winner will recieve 25 free holiday photo cards from 

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Two weeks ago from today, we had to make the tough decission to say goodbye to Frankie.  This was something that I had dreaded since the vet told us there was a tumor blocking his intestines.  I was so worried about how we would know what to do. 

Growing up, my family had several dogs.  And we lost several dogs.  But we never had to put one down.  Neither Anthony nor I knew how we would manage to do it.  My parents had volunteered to go with us, but they live four hours away.

I prayed many times asking God to just take him when it was time.  I also prayed for guidance and knowledge.  I needed to know when it was time and know that we were doing the right thing.  Our vet told us to think of three things that he loved and when he stopped doing those, that was when.  But that never happened. He was always very playful, cuddly and hungry.

On Thursday, October 7, my parents came in to spend the weekend.  There was no plans or talk of it being time for Frankie.  He was still doing just fine.  But, over the weekend, things started to change.  It was like the tumor had multiplied in size over night.  When we woke up Sunday, even though Frankie was still his old self, it was apparent that the tumor had won the battle and had taken over his intestine.

We waited for my parents to get up and then went to the emergency clinic.  It was quite possibly the hardest choice I have had to make.  I still miss him daily.  I still call his name and times.  And I dream about him every few nights.  But, I know that it was time.  I know that God has hand in it. 

I am very blessed to have such an amazing Mom, Dad and husband  to help me through the past two weeks.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Just wanted to do a quick update on Frankie. It has been a month and a half since we learned there is a tumor blocking his intestines.  He seems to be doing okay.  Unfortunately though, the tumor is spreading and blocking more of his intestines and is quite possibly in other organs.  On a positive note though, he is acting just like his old self.  He still growls at Sam when he gets to close to the bed or couch.  He still plays with his toys.  And, as the picture shows, he has quite an appetite.

When we went in for our second opinion, she said to think of 3 things he loves and as long as he is still doing those things, then his quality of life is not being affected.  So, that is where we are now.  He is still enjoying his life and we are still enjoying him.  Even his snoring.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vacation Recap-Part 3

As I mention in my previous post, Tropical Storm Emily decided to join us on our our vacation.  Before we even left for the cruise, I was watching closely and knew this was a possibilty.  As we boarded the ship Monday at Cococay, we go the official word.  We would not be visiting St. Thomas and St. Martin.  Instead, we would be visiting Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  We were slightly disappointed in the change as I was really looking forward to the Eastern Caribbean and we had just done Cozumel on our honeymoon, but we were able to book the same excursions we had previously planned.  And thanks to the captain rerouting the ship, our entire cruise was smooth sailing.

Anyway, Tuesday was a day at sea.  We spent the day lounging around.  We also had booked a couples massage for the day.  While the massage was amazing, it was very over priced and they really push their products at you.  It's one of those things we didn't really regret, but probably won't do again.  The rest of the day was pretty eventless.

Wednesday, we arrived at Grand Cayman.  This is one of my favorite islands.  There is no dock at Grand Cayman so we are tendered in on large tendering boats.  Once we arrived, we had a bit of time to walk around for a bit before our excursion.

The excursion we chose for the day was miniboats and snorkeling.  I had never snorkeled before even though I have been on several snorkeling excursions.  I am a bit of a scaredy cat.  I had decided this time I was going to suck it up and snorkel.  And I'm so glad I did!  We got our snorkel gear and were in miniboats that held two people.  We took the miniboat out, hooked our boats together and were free to snorkel.  We saw lots of fish and it was amazing how close they would come to you.

Next, we headed to a ship wreck for more snorkeling and then took the miniboats around the cruise ship a couple times.  It was a great excursion!  After the excursion, we waited in line FOREVER and then headed back to the ship on the tender.  Once back, we showered, snacked, rested and then headed to dinner.  Anothe great day!

Up next:  Cozumel

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Vacation Recap-Part 2

We spent most of our first day exploring the ship, unpacking and getting settled.  We ate dinner in the main dining room at 8:30 each night.  We like the late night seating as we don't have to ruch to get ready for dinner on days were are on an excursion.  Most of the time, you are sat at a table with other people.  We opted to have a table for two and really enjoyed it.  We were able to talk about whatever/whoever we wanted and we weren't forced to make awkward conversation.  The food most nights was very good; however, there were a couple nights that were just fare.  We had amazing wait staff that took great care of us the whole cruise.

We woke up Monday morning and we were at Cococay, Bahamas.  This is a private island owned by Royal Caribbean.  It's a great day to just enjoy the beach and relax.  We chose to parasail though.  We had done this on our honeymoon and LOVED it.  It is very peaceful and serene being up in the air hundreds of feet.  And the view was amazing.  We were very lucky and one of the boys on the boat with us took some great photos of us! 

Relaxing before our excursion

Due to someone (me) thinking our time for parasailing was an hour later than it actually was, we had skipped breakfast.  So, after parasailing, we were hungry and hot and decided to head back to the ship.  We had lunch and then headed to the pool.  I enjoyed some amazing frozen mojitos while sitting it the pool.  Monday evening it was formal night in the dining room.  I love getting to get dressed up!

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a good picture.  This little guy is Rex.  My brother created a Facebook page for him a while back and took pictures of him around his home and work.  So, he came on vacation with us.  Watch for more pictures with Rex!

Next Up:  Tropical Storm Emily decides to visit the Caribbean, too!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Vacation Recap-part 1

As summer began (forever ago), we decided we needed a vacation.  As I said before, I love cruising and Anthony has grown to love it with me.  So, that was a pretty choice.  It was also a pretty easy choice deciding what cruise line to use.  I have cruised with both Royal Caribbean and Carnival in the past and Royal Caribbean has always left me very pleased.  So, Royal Caribbean it was.  We then began looking at ships and itineraries.  We had gone to Cozumel on our honeymoon and I've done Jamaica before and left quite scared, so those two were not really on our list of places to visit.  I also wanted to do a bigger ship than what we did on our honeymoon.  We decided on the Eastern itinerary on Freedom of the Seas.

Freedom of the Seas

On Friday, July 29, we headed to my parents so they cook take us to the airport.  Then, at 4:30 on Sunday morning, we set off for the airport.  We were so excited!  We used American Airline and I have to say I was very pleased.  As military, Anthony is able to check 3 bags for free without orders.  I was so grateful for this as it saved us a good bit of money.  We flew into Orlando and then were taken by shuttle to Port Canaveral.  I had never sailed from this port, but the process was so smooth.  Since I have traveled with Royal Caribbean in the past, we had gained platinum status and were able to skip the line at check in.  Anthony was SO very excited about this part.

The ship was AMAZING!  There was a pizza place, a cupcake place, rock climbing, ice skating, 3 pool areas, a putt putt course and soooo much more.  Here are a few pictures throughout the ship.

The Royal Promenade.  There were shops, places to eat (most included in your fare), and bars along this area.  They have a few parades here as well.

Pizza-look at the line!

The Cupcake Cupboard-Surprisingly Anthony ate here more than I did.  They were yummy, I was just never hungry because I ate all the time!

Cafe Promenade-They had sandwiches, cookies, and coffees here.

The adults only pool.  This is where I spent most of my time as I was looking to relax.

The main pool which was used by most and also used for competitions and games.

The children's pool area.

Putt Putt

Rock climbing Wall

Check back later this week and I will try my best to show you a little bit of what we did on vacation...not just where we stayed!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One Down, A Bunch To Go

Well, my 6th year of teaching is officially under way.  I am teaching first grade again and am lucky to only have 19 students at the moment.  With Texas budget cuts, $4 billion was taken from education (Thank you Governor Perry) and therefore, many classrooms have 24-27 students at the moment.  This first week has gone pretty smoothly.  I have 9 girls and 10 boys and lots of varying personalities.  It's going to be a fun (in a good way) year! 

With back to school comes extreme exhaustion.  I spent 2 weeks preparing my classroom and plans.  When I got home, I was physically exhausted.  Add in 3 nights of softball for Anthony in 105 degree heat and I was done!  Then, this week, I have become mentally exhausted.  I spend so much time during the day talking, making decisions, teaching, singing and comforting that when I get home, I just want to sit and be silent.  Unfortunately, no one seems to get that and I have worried quite a few family members. 

Since I've been so exhausted, I still have to get around to posting about our vacation.  I'm actually looking forward to reliving it.  How I'd love to be sitting on a beach where it was only 85 or 90 degrees!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anger and Sadness

The past 365 days have been full of so many emotions, especially sadness.  And honestly, I'm angry about that.

A year ago today, I found out that my sweet 5 month old neice had passed away.  Anthony was still deployed.  It was a devastating.

In February, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy.  Since then, she has been undergoing chemo and radiation.  Hearing that devastating news, finding out it had spread, and watching her as seh goes through the side effects of the chemo has been heartbreaking.

In July, my dear Grandad passed away.  While he was a rich 93 years old, it is always sad to lose someone you love.

And then today, 365 days after losing our neice, we learned that Frankie (our shih zu) has a tumor.  It is pushing on his intestines and if it continues to grow will completely block his intestines.  We are currently treating him with steriods in hopes that it will shrink.  Please pray that it works.  He is like a child to us. 

As I reflected on this today, I became angry.  I'm so tired of heartbreak.   I am so angry that those I love become sick or pass away.  I'm just angry to feel so devastated.  Why does it keep happening to us?

Monday, July 18, 2011

iPad Fun

I am completely loving my summer.  I love sleeping in and not having anything to do.  That all came to a halt last week.  At the beginning of summer, my principal called and asked if I could go to a training in mid July about using technology in the classroom.  She said we needed 5 teachers to go and then we would be able to get a cart of 20 iPads to use in the classroooms in our hall (Kinder and First grade).  I agreed.  The week leading up to this, I was a bit skeptical.  I did not want to wake up at 7 and I didn't want to sit for 7 hours each day.

image from

Monday morning came and the alarm went off.  I drug myself out of bed (just as I did Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday).  And I'm so glad I did.  This was an amazing week of training.  I learned some new tech tips for using the iPad and even the iPhone.  I've gotten to play with a ton of new apps.  But, the real reason I went, I've learned how I can use these bad boys in my classroom and I cannot wait.  What I loved about this week was that we had time to create lessons that we will be able to use with our kids throughout the week that include using the iPad to meet our technology standards.  

I left this training on Friday, full of ideas and excitement.  And I also left wanting my own iPad.  One can wish! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I Should Not Schedule a Vacation for the End of the Summer

I am sooooo very excited about our cruise at the end of the month.  It is a much needed vacation for the both of us.  I can't wait to put my feet in the sand, have a drink in my hand and soak in the sun. 

I'm slightly embarassed to admit (but am admitting it anyway) that I am so excited about our vacation that I spend WAY too much time on the computer reading about cruises, looking at pictures of our destinations and the ship, and searching for menus of the food.  As I learn new things, I share them with Anthony (as my mother is tired of hearing all about it...I think she's jealous).  After telling him how excited I am about the food, he informed me that he's worried I'm going to come home fat from this vacation.

Anyway, we've got pretty much everything booked.  We are parasailing again!  We will also be doing a helmet dive and riding miniboats to a small bay area where we can snorkel, lay out or explore.  I can't wait!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Yesterday, one of the guys from the fire station and his wife hosted a BBQ Luau.  Unfortunately, every camera in the house has a dead batter.  Fail!

There were lots of wives there.  Most of them are friends I hang out with, and some were new friends.  We enjoyed hanging out and visiting.  They rented a giant water slide for all of the kids.  It was so funny watching all the kids go around and around.  As soon as they'd get to the bottom of the slide they'd jump out of the water and run around to the ladder.  They grilled burgers and kabobs.  Everyone brought sides and desserts.  There were pina coladas and strawberry margaritas for the women.  The guys spent most of their time in the garage with the beer.  Later in the evening, the kids all roasted marshmallows on the firepit and were covered in chocolate and marshmallow by the time they were done.  Everyone had a great time!

I love nights like these with good friends.  It's nice to just hang out and have fun.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrate Freedom

As is tradition, Anthony was working yesterday so we were not able to watch the fireworks together.  I had pretty much decided I would just stay home and watch the fireworks on TV.  But instead, I was invited to watch fireworks with Priscilla and her family.  Another couple and their two children came as well.  We had a great time!  The kids were so excited about the fireworks that they couldn't sit still or be quiet.  They were so cute.  This was my first time to use my camera at night and to take pictures of fireworks, so I played around with them quite a bit.  They aren't the best, but much better than any I've taken in the past.  And they need to be cropped.

This is Aften and Beau's daughter Charlotte.  She's just two months old and SO cute!  They forgot to bring her stroller, but Priscilla and I didn't mind holding her.

And this is Landon and Zoey. They are such sweet friends and are always excited to see each other!

And the fireworks.

I hope you all had a happy and safe 4th of July!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Saying Goodbye

The past couple of weeks have been full of friends and family as I went home to stay with my parents, but I have also had to say goodbye to a  very special man in my life. 

On June 17, my grandad went to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father and with Grandma.  He is pain free, healthy and able to hear again.  And while it brings such peace knowing where he is, I can't help but be a little sad. 

My grandfather was such a neat man.  He served in the Army and the US Army Air Corp.  He later owned and operated a five and dime store for more than 30 years.  Some of my  favorite childhood memories with Grandad were at that store.  In addition to loving his store, he loved to garden.  Even at 90 years old we could find him in the garden from spring until late summer.  He always had watermelon, cantaloupe and tomatoes.  I also remember times when he would have corn, okra and asparagus.  I'm sure there were many other fruits and veggies too. 

These are two pictures of Grandad at his store.  In 2002, the Dallas Morning News ran an article about his store on the front page.  They were kind enough to send these pictures to my cousin after Grandad passed.  I am very thankful to have the pictures as this was Grandads passion.  I am also very thankful to have had the experiences at the store and knowing what a five and dime store is.  This picture is just the front of the store.  He carried everything.  There were things people would drive over an hour to his store because it couldn't be found anywhere else. 

The serviced was the following Monday.  It was a very neat service because the officiate was a church friend of Grandads and knew Grandad on a more personal level.  At the cemetery, Taps was played and the flag was removed from the coffin, folded and given to my mom.  It was very touching. 

Today, as we celebrate our country's independence and remember those who have served and are serving, I remember my Grandad and the time he served our country as well as the stories he told. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading

I made the decision at the end of May to do some reading this summer.  Fun reading.  I have no fancy Kindle, Nook or Ipad and I hate paying $12 for a book I read in 2 days.  While the library is free, I prefer paperbacks that I can fold the pages down and not worry about getting wet at the pool.  Waking up early and going to garage sales on Saturday mornings is out as well.  So, I decided to try out book shopping on EBay.  I ended up with 6 books for under $20, with shipping.  It's no garage sale, but still a pretty good deal.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I decided to start with The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  It had been recommended by an old high school friend.  I loved it!

It is the story of life, from the prospective of the family dog, Enzo, who wants to be human.  Enzo's owner, Denny, is an up and coming race car driver and Enzo takes on a love for racing after hearing Denny's tales.  For this reason, Enzo relates life to driving a race car.  The story begins with Enzo nearing his death and recalling his life, from the time Denny picked him to be his dog, through Denny marrying and having a daughter and all that the marriage included. 

It was a very cute book.  It was a touching story that was made humurous at times through the dog's eyes.  And, most of all, it's made my look at my dogs in a completely different light!  I would definately recommend this book, especially for dog owners!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Major Lame-O

Yup, that's me!  My life is super lame right now and to be honest, I'm absolutely loving it.  Here's what the past two weeks have consisted of:

~Sleeping til 9, 10, or 11.
~Not getting dressed until 2...or not at all if I have nowhere to go.
~An occassional softball game with the hubby.  I just watch and visit with friends, he plays.
~Laying at the pool.
~Reading for fun.  Keep an eye out for a book review or two.
~Spending my days on the couch.
~Watching the new Bachelorette.
~Taking care of Frankie.  He had a stomach bug for almost a week.  Thankfully, he is back to his old self. 
~Visiting with Mom and Dad this weekend.  They came to see us for a couple days since they haven't been out here in 6 or so months.
~Watching the Dallas Mavs win the NBA Finals!!!! 

At this point, I have completely forgotten about the rough days of first grade.  I am completely relaxed!  Life is good!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Soak up the Sun

Less than two months until I will be soaking up the sun on this floating paradise.  I can't wait!!! 

My love for cruising started in high school when my family and I began cruising.  I later convinced some friends to join me, and eventually, I even talked Anthony into a cruise for our honeymoon.  Our honeymoon was the last trip that we've been on together.  I've taken a couple trips (Washington, DC and San Francisco) and he's taken a trip to the sandbox (though that doesn't count as a vaction), but it has been almost three years since we've had a trip together and I can't wait!!  We have been talking about a vacation and trying to decide whether we wanted to do all inclusive or a cruise and the cruise won out.  I love that with a cruise almost everything is included.  I love getting to travel to various ports.  I love the excursions.  I love the way everyone on staff goes out of their way to make your vacation wonderful for you.  I just love it!

So, after much reading and rate checking and making sure leave was approved, we booked it.  (By the way, if you are a USAA member and want to cruise, check out their saved us a bit of money.)  We've got several exciting ports, including my favorite, St. Thomas.  And, one of my new favorite parts of the cruise, they've added a cupcake shop.  Love it!

Kimmie and I on our girl cruise...renamed Chicos Locos

Anthony and I on our honeymoon...I will definately be asking more people take pictures for us this year

Us before we parasailed on our honeymoon...will definately be doing this again!

 What's your favorite way to vacation?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Today was the last day of school.  I have completed five years of teaching.  Most years, when this day arrives I am full of excitement.  While I'm a bit excited, I am more sad.  I am really going to miss this group.

I have spent two years with many of these children.  And while the days and weeks may have been rough, I have never stopped loving or believing in them.  I have taught my babies how to read and write, how to add and subtract.  Now it is time for them to move on and learn more, but I am like a Mama who doesn't want to let go. 

Not only is it hard to let go, but I also worry about my kids this summer.  I worry that they won't read enough and will lose what they've learned.  I worry they won't have enough food to eat.  I worry that they won't get the love they need.  I worry about how they will be treated at home.  During the school year, I am able to show them that I care and make sure they get breakfast and lunch, but when they are home, I cannot.  This has always been what I have found most difficult about being a teacher.  It doesn't matter how great a teacher is, she can not change the home life of her students.

At the end of the day, I was getting particulary sad about having to say goodbye.  The little boy that I've mentioned before that hated my clouds and couldn't talk to me because I was a stranger came up to my table.  He said "That's why you are a special teacher."  Unsure of what made me special, I asked.  "You are special because you let us do stuff."  Hearing a student tell me I was a special teacher made my day and my year.  It made every difficult day worth it. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The past two days have been so much better than Monday.  I still had similar problems with the same student, but I've just let them go.  I have made up my mind to not let any student ruin the last week of school!  The past two days have been fun and I have came home energized instead of exhausted.  How did I work 8 and 10 hour days and feel energized?

~I played with my kids at recess.  I couldn't completely keep up with them, but I did do the monkey bars!
~We had a pizza party to celebrate the end of the year.
~I took time to color with my class.
~But most importantly, I remembered to take time to visit with colleagues and LAUGH!

Yup, that's it.  I've managed to get my room almost completely ready for the summer and keep my kids busy.  But I still feel great when I get home! 

And, to top it all of, a teacher of an older grade was asking if I had a better day yesterday and I said yes.  She then said she couldn't believe what a tough year I had (she had seen my struggles on Monday).  But what I loved was that she said that she couldn't never tell that I had it bad because I always had a smile on the face.  That was a compliment I really needed.  I was glad to know that even though some days I am completely stressed, others don't see it. 

Only 1 more day to go!  Tomorrow we will be watching Finding Nemo, having popsicles and saying farewell!  I can't believe the year is over, but I can't wait to see what summer holds! 

Monday, May 23, 2011


As I said goodbye to my 20 first grade friends for the last Monday of the school year, I did not feel the joy that I should feel for being so close to the end.  Instead, I felt defeat.  And not like I've defeated another year.  Instead, today I was defeated. 

I could just feel it all over.  This feeling of anger and frustration and heartbreak and grumpiness.  I hadn't done my best as a teacher.  Now, it's the last week of school and not much teaching is going on, but I wasn't there for my students.  I let one student and his stuburness defeat me.  I let him truly make me angry.  I never allowed him to see that I was angry, but I felt it inside and I sitll just can't let it go.

After leaving work and running errands, I went through the drive thru and picked up some nachos.  Unhealthy, fatty nachos to make my day better.  Now I lay on the couch waiting for the Bachelorette in hopes that it will help me to move on past today.  If nothing works today, atleast tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start.  And if tomorrow fails too...well atleast I only have a day and a half after that!

Do you ever have days that you feel defeated?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Arlington National Cemetary

Going to the Arlington National Cemetary while in DC was a must for me. Mom had gone last summer when she visited, but she went anyway. After walking around the basin, from the Washington Monument to Jefferson and then Lincoln, we headed that way. It did not look near as far away as it was. When we arrived, we were exhausted. It was so worth the walk though.

I loved this quote.

This was the most moving part of the cemetary and really the whole trip.  The precission that they guard the tomb with is just amazing.