Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Aren't my boys handsome?!  I love so many things about these cards: the pictures my sister took, the fact that they were taken where we got married 4 years ago, Tiny Prints and their awesome Christmas designs, and the fact that I was able to personalize this card with my home state.

I'm off to go and wrap presents (procrastinator) and get ready to spend some time with family.  Praying that you and yours may know and experience the true meaning of this holiday season. Check out a video made by some of my Chicago peeps :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY: Advent Calendar

It all started when I was perusing Pinterest and I saw tons of different versions of felt Advent calendars and they instantly took me back to my childhood.  When I was growing up, we had a felt calendar that my mom had bought at the church Christmas sale.  I loved that calendar!
It looked a little something like this (found here

I remember looking forward to pulling out the stuffed animal to add to the tree and to read the verse of the day.  This helped build anticipation for my child self, and it also helped me understand that Christmas was so much more than Santa and presents.  I instantly starting pinning my little heart out and began searching and pinning for all sorts of Advent inspirations.  Here are some of the different calendars that inspired me:

                                            here                                                          here

here                                                         here    

While I love these different calendars, I knew mine needed to be a little bit different.  My first preference was size.  I didn't want a really big calendar because I knew I didn't have a good place to put it - it needed to be reasonably sized.  My other preference was simple, similar to the first calendar, only I didn't want to use clay tags, I wanted to use patterned paper ones.  With all these thoughts swimming in my head, I headed to Hobby Lobby (along with the rest of the the Western world searching for the "just right" Christmas supply/gift/decoration).  Here is what I ended up with:

I picked up the mini clothes pins (the only thing that wasn't on sale) for $2.99, the 8x10 picture frame (50% off) for $7 and then 6 Christmas colored scrapbook paper and 1 piece of burlap-looking paper (all were 50% off as well).  I'm pretty sure this entire project cost somewhere around $12.  What is not shown above that I did use was jute twine (already had it) and white cardstock (already had it).  

Originally I was going to just purchase the tags at Hobby Lobby and cover them with the patterned paper, only they weren't small enough to fit on an 8x10 picture frame. That's when I decided to bust out my Silhouette and cut my own tags.  If you don't own a cutting device, while tedious, you could hand cut your own tags if you need them smaller than the ones available at the store. 

My next step was to cut out a bunch of different tags on the different papers so that I had options with my layout.  I then arranged the different tags (there were 3) and the different patterns (3) in a random assortment. 

Now that my layout and design was decided, I was ready to add the verses.  I used this pin to choose my verses.  I decided to add one for December 25th, and I added Romans 5:1 (There being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ). Once I knew the tag size order, I knew the verse that needed to correspond to the right shape to fit my design.  I got on my Silhouette and added the verses and cut them out on white cardstock and then glued them to the back of the patterned paper that it went with:

Then I decided to cut small circles out on white cardstock that had the numbers 1-25 on them to add to the front of my tags. Once I cut them out, I glued them on the front of all my tags so I knew which tag went with Dec. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.


And then I was in business!  I was ready to finish assembling my calendar so that it was usable.  I decided to take the glass out of the frame and attach three strings of the jute twine.  I would use the twine to pin my tags to.  I figured out where I wanted the placement of my twine and marked it on the inside of the frame. I then hot glued it down.

Once the jute was in place, I was ready to put the rest of the frame together. I took the burlap paper and put it in the frame in back of the jute. Then I put the back on the frame and started adding my tags to the twine using the small pins that I had bought.  As it was coming together, I was getting more and more excited...I loved the way it was looking!

And once all the tags were in their place, I was in love!

I couldn't love it more! I love how it looks, I love it's size, and I love how functional it is!  I know that this will be a well-loved and used Christmas decoration for many years to come!  I still love the felt calendar, and look forward to one day when my life requires one - but this year ain't the year for that! 

***I also found on Pinterest this great resource: a free download of "Good News Great Joy - Daily Readings for Advent" from John Piper Ministries. If you haven't already, check it out!

What about you?  Do you have an Advent Calendar that your family uses every year?  What kind is yours?

I'm linking up to: 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

$50 Tiny Prints Giveaway Winner

Well, when speaks, you listen!
And commenter #6 was none other than Hillary Lytle! Here's what Hillary had to say about Tiny Prints 2013 Holiday Cards:

Hillary, you're $50 closer to your Cherished Days with scalloped edges!

Thanks to all who entered, feel free to stop by every so often to see what's shakin' in these parts.
Happy Thanksgiving :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tiny Prints Giveaway - Ends 11/27!

I cannot believe that Christmas time is already here!  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was getting back into the habit of waking up early and getting my booty to school.  How is it that we're already almost halfway through the school year (not to mention that Christmas is excitingly/stressfully close!)?!
However, with this time of year comes so many things that I love: the anticipation of time off to relax, rejuvenate and hang out with family and friends; the mysterious wonder that this season brings; and the twinkling lights that seem to be everywhere.  I so seriously love this time of year...even if I haven't purchased a single Christmas gift this season!
With this time of year comes the fun of giving and receiving Christmas cards through the old fashioned snail mail!  I turn into a small child during this time of year whenever I head out to the mailbox.  With that being said, have you guys checked out all the options that Tiny Prints have to offer with their 2013 Holiday cards?  They have thought of everything - from great designs down to detailed and unique cuts to give you that perfect, personalized card.  Tiny Prints has thought of everything making their 2013 Holiday cards perfect for any one!  They offer new trim options for 2013 (Square, rounded, bracket, ticket & scallop trim options), Clear cards (you read that right!)!, New design styles for 2013 (Contemporary, Classic, Vintage, Full bleed photos, All That Glitters, Bold Expressions, Simply Chic, Woodland Wonder & The New Tradition), and on top of all that you can choose matching address labels and envelope liners to match your cards.  Now that's a whole lot of choices - sure to please anyone!

Check out some of the ones that I love and am contemplating purchasing:

I love the snowflakes on this one and the simplistic design.

Even though this isn't quite the chalkboard look, it has the same feel, which I really like.

Maybe it's the pooch in this picture, but I'm loving this card!

I really like the typography on this card - my friend Josie (graphic design major) may be rolling her eyes at me right now :).

If you know me, you know how much I love fall.  This card has a natural, homey feel to it that reminds me of my favorite season.

Here's the exciting part!  Tiny Prints is helping me host a giveaway for a $50 off total order (plus free shipping) code at Tiny Prints!  All you have to do is check out their 2013 Holiday cards and comment on this post with your favorite design (please include your email).  The giveaway is going to close SOON!  I am going to choose a winner this upcoming Friday, November 27 by 3pm EST.  Be sure you check out Tiny Prints' cards and comment below with your favorite design (please include your email address) to make you eligible for this great giveaway! 

This giveaway is now closed

Monday, August 12, 2013

Classroom Pencil Sharpener

This post is for all of my teacher friends....

I know you can relate to my hate for pencils and pencil sharpening in my classroom.  I feel like whenever I turn around I've got a student that needs their pencil sharpened.  That's not even the worst of it - it usually takes them sooooooo long to sharpen their pencil because our $100 classroom pencil sharpener stopped working weeks ago and now it just eats pencils.  Nice.

Well, one day I was perusing Pinterest when I saw this:

This pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies claimed to sharpen any pencil AND claimed to do it quietly.  Say whaaaaaa????  Surely this was an evil trap that someone had created to get all teachers to fall into?  Surely this wasn't real - I've never heard of a pencil sharpener that actually sharpened all pencils quietly!  I've heard of pencil sharpeners that sharpened expensive pencils (hello Ticonderoga Pencils! alas, I love you) but did it as loudly as possible while I shouted at the top of my lungs to continue teaching, but never one that was quiet AND sharpened ALL (what about Dixon???) pencils.  Be. Still. My. Heart.  

I did it - I got one and was so excited when it came!  One problem was that I got it at the end of the 2011-2012 school year and so it didn't debut in my classroom until this past year.  I waited all year to share this post with you because I wanted to see how it held up after being tortured used by my students for an entire school year.  After a year of using it, I've gotta tell you that I absolutely love it.  Now, it did take some abuse from my students....I won't share with you the look on my face when it dropped to the floor for the first time....
(whooooops - maybe I will...this was me...except I'm not a man)

....but despite that abuse, it held up quite nicely!  I am telling you what - this pencil sharpener sharpened like a dream!  Better yet, it sharpened EVERY pencil - from the Ticonderogas to the dollar store pencils, this sharpener works like I never knew I cared a pencil sharpener to work!  Even better than that (I know!? Can it get better?!) is that price tag - at only $24.99 a sharpener, how could you not want to have at least one for your classroom?!?!!!  I'm now contemplating purchasing the teacher special of 3 sharpeners, only I know that Stephen might struggle with me paying even more money for my classroom.  Below is the video from the website showing you how to sharpen a pencil using one of their sharpeners.  This video is incredibly accurate, right on down to the noise level you hear while the pencil is being sharpened.  While you watch it, I'm going to go figure out how to finagle a way to buy 3 new sharpeners for my classroom this year!

Happy Sharpening!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

It is officially the "Dog Days" of summer. During these summer months Dog Fence DIY encourages exploration beyond the fence!

Every summer every teacher everywhere has a list of "goals" or projects that he/she want to accomplish.  There are many reasons for this: the first one being that we don't have to work every day (although I'm sure the majority of us are), but mainly because we've just spent the last ten months of our lives having no free time and this list that originally seemed do-able has grown and grown and grown to a monstrous, overwhelming list.  This summer I had lots of things on "the list" and some I've done, while others I've thought about doing (does that count???).  One of the items on my list was to read multiple books a week.  While that hasn't happened, I still have been reading during the week and am wondering what type of lack-of-sleep issues was I having to think I could read several books in a week (maybe if I did nothing else...)?!  

Another goal that I put on my list was to get outside and walk/jog {at the very least} 3 times a week.  There are many motivators behind this goal, such as having a desire to live a healthier lifestyle, as well as the super cute, 4-legged friend that I'm blessed to call mine....

Isn't he cute?

Princeton has definitely been on the receiving end of this goal as he has absolutely loved getting outside and nosey-ing around.  Most days I just take him for a walk around our 2 mile neighborhood, but on days when that doesn't feel like enough, we get in the car and drive to the park.  

It doesn't hurt that we live less than a mile from a ginormous "21st century" park that Louisville has started.  When they're finished with "The Parklands at Floyds Fork" it will be over 100 miles of trails connecting 4 major parks with a park drive.  It is pretty incredible.  The park by our house that we like to venture to is Beckley Creek Park...and it's pretty incredible.

Needless to say, Princeton LOVES going for walks here as it is a change of scenery from our regular walks in the neighborhood.  He also loves to sniff EVERYTHING and "hunt" (or pretend that he's hunting) in this seems-like-the-wild park.  Unfortunately Princeton is prone to getting carsick.  Thankfully, he's not in the car long enough to toss his cookies, as it is literally a 3 minute drive.  When it's all said and done, there will be a sidewalk at the front of our neighborhood that will lead us right to the park on foot.  I'm sure Princeton will be pretty stoked when that day comes!

The best part about taking him outside of the backyard and neighborhood is that this is what he looks like when we're on our quest homeward:
That's right - dead asleep.  And by the time we make it back to the house, he's out cold for the rest of the night:

His two favorite things are accomplished by my goal: he gets to go on a walk AND snuggle on the couch.  Score and score!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oh Crap....{literally}

Hi friends!  I've been busy taking doors off the hinges in my house and painting them...2 coats on each side.  I'm sure you can imagine how torturous fun this process is!  When we bought our house we were fortunate enough to inherit 3different trim colors throughout the house.  My favorite trim color happened to be the color that they painted in our room (can you feel the sarcasm dripping from that comment???).  Honestly, from the looks of it, it's as if they painted a polyurethane coat over top the trim and it yellowed.  So nasty.  The color we decided to paint our trim ("White Umber" by Porter Paints) is very white compared to the 3 other trim colors going on in these parts...especially in our bedroom where it looks like someone peed all over the doors (apparently this post has a lot of bathroom references).  I've been quite busy trying to unify everything.

I decided to take a break and share a story with you that is only funny to me now because I've lived through it and will {hopefully} never have to live through it again......

The number one thing that everyone comments on when they come over to our house is our toilets.  I know, I know, what a random thing to get people talking.  The reason they get so much attention is because they have a dual flush button because they're supposed to be high efficiency...everyone's two-cents is that it's very "European"!
This is a picture of the top of our toilets...see the European flair?!

When we first moved in, I thought they were pretty awesome.  We can control how much water we used depending on which button we pushed - what a great way to save water and put a little extra moolah into our pockets.  It wasn't long before our master bath toilet quickly began to drive me and Stephen crazy.  It would randomly decide to run and we never could figure out the rhyme behind the reason.  We had lived in the house a little over a year when last October, it was literally 2am in the morning on a Friday morning (report cards+principal observation for me; studying for a test for Stephen) when we decided to go to bed.  We did our usual routine and both thought it was random that our toilet did an unusual gurgle noise before we left the bathroom.  It wasn't long before I could tell by Stephen's breathing that he had fallen asleep.  Quickly thereafter I began to smell a horrible smell that I can only describe as "dog fart".  I placed the blame on Stephen, assuming he was smelling up the room (of course he doesn't appreciate this part of the story).  That's when the toilet did another *gurgle gurgle* and it woke Stephen up.

***NOTE: it's not a good sign if your toilet gurgles.  Not a good sign AT ALL.***

Stephen wakes up and wonders what the noise is.  I'm quick to inform him of his dog fart problem only to quickly remember a horrible sewage story that my friend Mandy told me about a house she lived in during college.  Oh my gosh...what if the dog fart smell wasn't Stephen after all???????  Stephen gets up to check out what's wrong with the toilet.  What comes next can send me into a fit of laughter if I think enough about the different reactions that occurred.

First, let me tell you that Stephen was blessed with a wonderful sense of smell.  I love the man with all my heart, but he's sometimes a little bit dramatic about smells that don't appeal to him.  If he's helping me clean out the refrigerator, he'll hold his nose, sometimes even turn his head in disgust over the very smallest smells.  Imagine this blessing of smell as he enters our bathroom to discover....

...a bathtub and toilet filling up with sewage.  Yup - you just read that correctly.  Sewage.  That's old crap, people.  Picture it: Stephen, screaming from the bathroom while gagging and dry heaving.  There were a lot of senses being over stimulated: smells, sights, sounds.  It was cRaZy.  He asks me where our plunger is and I honestly can't this point in time, we haven't used it since Chicago - a year and a half must be in the basement.  He leaves our bedroom to go to the basement only to be greeted by a gurgling toilet in the hall bathroom.  Do you remember my note from earlier?  A gurgling toilet is NOT a happy toilet.  Imagine the blessing of Stephen's sense of smell as he enters the hall bathroom to discover...

...a bathtub and toilet filling up with sewage.  Yup. Sewage - old crap, people.  AHHHHHH!!!!  Now, I know some of you are thinking, "How does sewage fill up your bathtub? Where is it coming from?".  Let me explain - you know that circular metal cover that is screwed onto your tub underneath your faucet?  Sewage was seeping from behind this contraption and filling our bathtubs - that's a plural "s" - more than one.
This isn't our bathtub, but I figured it could work to show you that circular metal piece underneath the faucet - that's where all the action was taking place!

Stephen ran to the basement to discover that our plunger had never made it to our new house but was still hanging out at my parents from when we were living there before we got our house.  Awesome. I, of course, got on my phone.  Stephen was super annoyed with me, thinking I was updating my Facebook status, "What are you doing?!  Don't put this on Facebook!!!" What was he thinking?!  Of course I wasn't on a social media while sewage is taking over our upstairs - I was googling, "sewage is filling my bathtubs and toilets".  I knew for a fact we couldn't be the only people in the world that this had ever happened to.  While I quickly learned that we, indeed, were not alone in having this problem, nothing was really helpful to me at 2am in the morning.

Thankfully, after a few minutes of the sewage filling the tub and the toilet, the levels seemed to stop rising.  Stephen and I stood there contemplating what we should do when all of a sudden we heard some more gurgling and then a "whoosh" as the sewage began to descend back down the drains.  With disbelief and relief on our faces we watched our poop problems disappear before our eyes.  What the?! Don't get me wrong - we were grateful, but what now?!?!  My wonderful husband scrubbed the tubs with bleach and bleached the toilets and we both decided to go to bed and deal with it the next day.

On Friday, Stephen called plumber after plumber only to be received with a, "We don't deal with that kind of stuff."  Really?  You're a plumber.  It's like me saying that I don't teach kids that are really difficult to teach.  Isn't that your job???  Finally he lined up a plumber to come on Monday and take a look at everything.  In the meantime, we were afraid that something might be up with the main drain in our house (after googling the night before at 2am in the morning we read many warnings about this) and so we decided to not use any plumbing at our house.  Thankfully we live across the street from my parents (have I shared that with you, blogworld???) and so anytime a flush or shower was necessary, we walked across the street.

Fast forward to Monday when the plumber came to our house and seemed to find NOTHING WRONG.  What?!  You mean that sewage can just randomly decide to start gurgling its way into my life whenever it pleases?!  I was scarred - scarred for life and there was nothing wrong to lead to this poopy problem?!

I'm going to leave you there for now.  Of course, there's more to this story, but you're a champ and you've already read a lot.  If you're a homeowner, you know that as much of a blessing that it is to own your own home, sometimes it stinks.  Literally.

Do you have any traumatizing plumping stories or am I the only one???

Friday, June 21, 2013

Patriotic Treats with a Side of Summer Accountability

It all started when I was pinning (which I do quite a lot now that school is out and when I'm successfully putting off doing something) away on Pinterest and I came across this pin...

Stephen and I were going to enjoy a cook-out at his parents house for Memorial Day Weekend and I decided that I was going to make one of Stephen's most favorite treats: Cake Balls.  Have you ever made cake balls?  Have you ever tried them?  If you've never tried them, you need to get your hands on at least one and taste the goodness for yourself - they are truly amazing.  If you've never made them, let me caution you: they are very time consuming.  Back in February I made the mistake of asking Stephen what he wanted for his birthday.  He insisted that he wanted nothing and I insisted that it was HIS birthday, I would make him ANYTHING he wanted (did you read my post from Monday to see how busy I was during this time?).  He decided that he wanted cake balls.  I'm pretty sure a part of me died a little inside when he said that...of all the things he wanted, he chose the most time consuming dessert possible.  However, I did tell him that I would make anything he wanted (dang it!) and so cake balls it was....

Fast forward to May - school was about to be out and summer was on the verge of happening - I was feeling adventurous!  I was going to make cake balls...not just any cake balls, Patriotic Cake Balls!!!  {cue the dramatic, excited music}

These were my inspiration from this website:

1st step was to make the cake balls.  If you've never made them before, here is the recipe (there are a million if you google "how to make cake balls" or "cake pops" and they're all about the same).  I used a half a tub of frosting to make mine.  I went with white cake (mine and Stephen's fav) and white icing.  After I made the cake balls, I arranged them in my 13x9 metal cake pan to get an idea of how many of my balls {insert inappropriate middle school boy jokes here} needed to be red, white and blue.

Once I figured out how many balls needed to be what color, I got to work and did each color separately.  I used the Wilton colored candies from JoAnns (or any craft store - even Wal-Mart carries them) to coat my cake balls.  I had lots of trays of different colored cake balls sitting around my kitchen.  Talk about needing self control to just hang around them without eating them!  If you do make cake balls, be sure you make lots of extras so you can just pop them in your mouth while you're working!

Unfortunately I did not do my math correctly and I didn't have the right amount of white cake balls.  What's scary about this is that I teach 4th grade math....this was a perfect example of math in real life (because everyone makes cake balls, right?) and yet I failed at it.  Stink.

The good news is that even though I was short on the white balls, they still tasted great!  It's a good thing that these desserts take a while to make, otherwise, I'm pretty sure I would make them entirely too often and my thighs would pay the price for this bad addiction!

For this upcoming 4th of July, I'm thinking about making this dessert from Betty Crocker:

I'm also thinking about making these to hang under the pergola by our family room window:

Now onto the side of Summer Accountability.  I know you probably don't care about how I'm spending my summer days and please know that this part of the post is entirely for me.  Last summer I found myself getting overwhelmed by all the different things I wanted to accomplish during the summer time. This overwhelming feeling kept me from accomplishing much of anything.  As a way to try and ward off laziness, I've decided that I'm going to blog about my daily activities during the summer.  Maybe it'll keep me from getting sucked into Bravo's Real House Wives Marathon because I'm ashamed to tell all of blogland that this is how I chose to spend my day!  So here it is, my daily what dos:

Monday: walked Princeton in the morning, changed the sheets on the bed and washed them, put sheets back on the guest bed, did the laundry and put it up, blogged, did my Bible study, worked on a small art project that I had been putting off, touched up trim in the entry way, went to Bible Study.
Tuesday: walked Princeton in the morning, put a first coat of paint on the inside of the front door, put up the last basket of laundry, went to dinner with my parents, took Princeton on an evening walk.
Wednesday: walked Princeton in the morning, put a second coat of paint on the front door, cleaned up in the basement, my friend Julie came over and we hung out most of the afternoon, took Princeton on an evening walk.
Thursday: cleaned up the paint mess, went to the grocery store, worked out in the backyard for 3 hours, vacuumed and tidied up, made dinner and Stephen's parents came for dinner, took Princeton on an evening walk.
Friday: filled the dishwasher, did the rest of the dishes, worked in the vegetable garden, painted the first coat on our bedroom closet, emptied the dishwasher, blogged.....

Do you think I'm crazy yet?  Feel free to skim past these random lists of my uneventful days...I'll be honest - I did get sucked into a few episodes of Real House Wives of the's like a train wreck and I can't turn away.  These women are SO mean to each other.  It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that they exist, they're adults and I'm aiding their richness by being sucked into their drama.  Ugh. Do you have any "guilty" tv pleasures?  I'm not gonna lie....I also get sucked into Real House Wives of NJ....okay, enough confessions!

I'm linking up with these parties:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What a Year!

As of last Thursday, I wrapped up my fifth year of teaching...and what a year it was!  If you've been hanging around here long enough (despite the fact that it's sounded like a big cave with crickets chirping for the past couple of months) you may recall that last year I had a very challenging year teaching an intermediate split (4th and 5th graders).  This year, I had the blessing of teaching one straight grade (4th) and I had the advanced students for Math and Reading.  Needless to say, this year my job was much more enjoyable than last year, simply because I had the same grade level all day long.  Along with teaching, Stephen and I made sure we kept our candles burning on both ends and we had quite a busy year...

Our weekly schedule during the school year looked like this:
*Monday nights my sisters and I enjoy dinner at my parents house - spouses are welcome but not always available to join.

*Tuesday nights Stephen and I both attended Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) - he was in the Men's class and I was in the Women's night class.  Tuesday is also the day for faculty and committee meetings at my school so I would stay at school until BSF (6:45) and then come home after BSF.  We suffered through enjoyed 9pm dinners on Tuesday night.

*Wednesday nights were devoted to driving down to the University of Louisville's campus to help lead Young Life's College Fellowship group.  We hung out with college students, led Bible studies and helped try and train new leaders to volunteer in high schools around the city.  Wednesdays were also the day when I would have Quick Recall Practice (that's right: be jealous - I am the Quick Recall Coach at my school) after school.  We met every Wednesday from 4-5:30 so I would stick around school and drive to UofL after practice.  Stephen and I wouldn't return home until 10pm on Wednesday nights.

*Thursday nights were the "catch all" nights.  We didn't have a standing event and we welcomed what normally was an uneventful evening during our week.

*Friday nights we attended the weekly leadership meetings for Young Life.  Both Stephen and I would come straight from work to leadership - the good news is that dinner was served at Leadership so we'd actually get to eat at a normal time!

*Saturday is the day where we would sleep...and then run around the house like a chicken with it's head cut off to do all the things that got put off during the week.

*Sundays are always church days and then we enjoy lunch at Stephen's mom and dad's house with whatever family members can come that day.  Then, the dreaded grading and school work would begin, as I'd put it off all weekend long.

On top of all those things, here are some other fun things that happened throughout the year:
In September I ventured to Ohio to the outlets with my besties and enjoyed Chipotle for the first time in over a year (Louisville hadn't gotten one yet - dumb).  I am not at all embarrassed by my love for Chipotle and their amazing guac.

In September my good friend, Jenna got married so off to Lexington we went.  Here I am with some of my closest, oldest friends. 

In October, we visited Brown County for the weekend with Stephen's family.

In October, one of my best friends, Laura got married.  Here I am getting down and dirty on the dance floor with the groom.

In November Stephen and I headed back north to Chicago to celebrate the wedding of our sweet friends Zack and Marcia.  We were also blessed to be able to spend time with other friends.  Here we are with Debbie and Stephen - they're tying the knot this July!!!

In December I turned the dirty-thirty and got to celebrate with 3 of my best friends (Stephen, Donielle and Katie) as well as with a small group of super close friends.  What a blessing it was to be with them!

In January my best friend, Donielle joined me in the dirty-thirties.  Another trip to Lexington was in order!

In March, my Quick Recall team took home 1st place at the annual Mayor's Cup competition.  This was my 4th year coaching a Quick Recall team and it was my first win.  I couldn't have been more proud of them.  On top of taking home first place, the other students in the competition voted them for the Best Sportsmanship award!  My school went home that day with 4 trophies: Quick Recall 1st place, Future Problemsolvers 2nd place, Best Sportsmanship and then Overall 1st place.  What a great way to spend a Saturday!

In April I headed down south with good friends (Jenna, Katie and Julie) to spend Spring Break in Panama City Beach, FL.  The beach picture was taken at beautiful Seaside, which Katie and Julie introduced us to.  

In May I completed my 3rd year of BSF.  I'm looking forward to studying the book on Matthew in the Fall!

Throughout all of this, Stephen has been taking classes at night, after work to become a CFP (Certified Financial Planner).  He's currently in his last {review} class that is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30-8:30pm.  Needless to say, we're both ready for him to be DONE and are praying that he passes his test when the time comes for him to take it.  

After reading this, maybe you understand why my blog has been so neglected this school year.  Now that it's summer, I'm hoping that I can catch up on ALL the things I've been putting on the back burner all year long.  I have lots of small projects I've worked on (or started and never completed...) that I'm hoping to share with you and I'm hoping to keep up with this blog as a form of accountability to not fall into the temptation to be a slug all summer long.  Expect to see {almost} daily posts up around these parts as I try to have one of the most productive summers possible...lost of furniture restoring, painting, creating, reading, studying, and preparation for another upcoming school year will be going on around here.  I hope you'll stick around and join me for it!