Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hey there!

Well, hello there!

It's been a while. Over two months. Shameful, I know, but life has been busy. A good busy. I'm teaching every day (and nights online). M is enjoying kindergarten and gymnastics. DK is starting basketball. Besides the challenge of trying to keep my head above water and getting a good night's sleep (and neither of those ever happen), I have no complaints. Life is being kind.

Some days I go to my blog and realize how much of a ghost town it must seem to the folks that pop in here every once in a while. I'm going to try to do better. Even posting once or twice a month would be an improvement for me right now. I should be clear though -- this blog isn't going anywhere. It actually turns SIX this month (yay), and I'm so proud of all the things I've managed to document here. And I won't stop. It may take me longer to do it, but I'm not stopping. :-) I even have a few posts for you today. :-)

As you can see, we've had a busy fall. That included Boo at the Zoo for Halloween.

I'm sure this is the only Elsa costume you've seen on a kid this year - ha!
She asked me so nonchalantly while we were at Boo at the Zoo, "Why do they have all these scary things up to try to scare the kids?" She cracks me up. Clearly she isn't aware that she's supposed to be scared, too. Ha! 

Speaking of funny little kids, I got to spend a little time with the CUTEST BABY EVER last month:

Y'all, my nephew is a butterball that I just want to EAT UP. All of his sweet rolls give me life. I don't get to see him often, unfortunately. But one day when we were in Atlanta, my dad and stepmom brought him over so we could see him. 


We went bike riding with some buddies that weekend in the A. 

We biked 22 miles that day. 

It was cold this morning, but that didn't stop us. We went back to the house and watched some Bama football. It didn't end well (ahem: Ole Miss), but whatever. There's still a lot of football to be played. 

Speaking of new hobbies, we've been doing some of this lately:

We've been taking advantage of a cheap skate night at a local rink. The last time we went skating (over a year ago, I'm sure), M had on some kiddie skates. We thought it was time to learn to REAL skating, so that's what she's been doing. Y'all. SO FUNNY. And she gets frustrated because she can't go fast like the bigger kids. She tries. We thought it was a great supplement to gymnastics because she could work on her balance. She loves it and wants to go every week.

Look at my girl rounding that corner!

We went to our favorite kids museum at some point last month, too.

Never gets old. 

Also last month, I traveled to Little Rock for a work conference.

This conference was cool because of three reasons. Reason #1: It's my first year as our state's Membership Director. I'm learning a lot as I get to know others on the regional executive board. Reason #2: I co-presented a session at this conference. Remember I co-presented for the first time back at our national conference in LA? I remember being sooooo nervous. This time was a lot easier. In fact, I've been asked to co-present at the next national conference, which is in Chicago. I haven't been to Chi-town since 2008, so I'm looking forward to it.  And Reason #3: I got to hang out with my peeps. The one with the black hair is who I'll be presenting with in the spring in Chicago. I've had the pleasure of teaching with her for nine years. She's one of those people who has shown me what it means to be a great teacher.

Always fun.

And here we are with the NBEA President. After hearing a piece of our session on personal branding and growing a professional learning network, he asked me to join the NBEA Technology Committee.  It's yet another thing on my plate, but I could not have been happier. I've been wanting to help improve the association's digital/social media reach, and here's my chance to do exactly that. I am so glad to be in a profession that challenges me daily -- teaching teenagers is absolutely fascinating. There is never a boring day. This profession also allows me to grow and make an impact that extends beyond my own classroom or myself. I feel so lucky.

On a completely different note, did you see my crazy hair in these posts? Chile, my hair is something else. I could have a great hair day/week, and then the next day/week is completely crazy. I love it, though. It was time for a trim, so I recently went to see my hair girl. This was after a blowout:

I ended up getting a flat-iron and trim.

I'm actually rocking the straight hair right now, and I'm loving it. Versatility, my friends. 

On another note, DK and I both had birthdays since my last post. We don't make a big deal out of our birthdays. Our little girl turns six next month, though. We always try to do something special for hers. She mentioned wanting her ears pierced. We'll see. :-)  Here are a couple of more pics of my little almost six-year-old. This was one day in the sporting goods store as she showed off her hula hooping skills. Silly girl.

Anyhoo, we're looking forward to lots more this fall/winter. More football. Basketball games (which started Thursday night). The holidays. Time with family and friends. Food! The last two months of 2014 will surely fly by!

Forgive me if this post and my next three are all over the place/choppy. I'm trying to cram over two months of pics and content into a few posts. That's hard! Anyhoo, check 'em out:

Hope all is well with you and your family! 


Roll Tide!

Y'all know how we roll in the fall. With the Tide. 

The first game of the season was in the A. My brother and (now!) sister-in-law had just gotten married, and we were so thrilled for them. My sweet mother-in-law surprised them with a cake. 

My brother was that guy you thought would NEVER get married. It's funny how a beautiful, kind girl comes along and makes him forget he's afraid of marriage. Life is funny like that. I couldn't be more thrilled for them. Not to mention my sister-in-law is a HUGE Bama fan, so she fits right in. :-)

Riding the Marta with Uncle C.

My in-laws' tailgate gets better every year.

M went into a game earlier in the season. One of the scorching hot ones. Whew!

My husband's hometown had a block party/tailgate for one of the away games, so my in-laws took the little one.

She got to hang out with Cousin J that day, too.

This guy right here actually let me go into the Texas A&M game with him. Usually it's just the guys that go into the game while the ladies stay back at the tailgate and watch the game on TV (and food and the kids - ha)! But this day I decided I wanted to go in, too. I was the only girl, and they didn't let it go unnoticed.  I was in their guy territory -- I won't be doing that again any time soon - ha!

I took this at halftime. The score was like 1,000 to nothing at that point. I think Texas A&M brought their high school teams to play that day. Oh, well.

It's been a fun season (mostly). I look forward to the rest of it, and it should be interesting (translation: I'm so nervous for the Mississippi State, Auburn, and LSU games). Looking forward to an amazing tailgate for the Iron Bowl. We're probably going to freeze, but it's gonna be so much fun!

That Kindergarten Life

So we're nearing the halfway point of kindergarten, and it has been a fantastic year. M loooooooves going to school. She loves everything about school, and that makes me so happy.  A few tidbits:
  • She joined the art club. Her second choice was Spanish club (because she's obsessed with other languages -- it's hilarious). Maybe she'll get to do that one next year.

  • She thinks the world of her teacher and wants very much to please her.
  • She decided on packed lunches. She ate lunch from the school the first week or two. That didn't quite work out because she ate only what she wanted. No ma'am. She also noticed that a few of her friends were bringing packed lunches, so she wanted to as well. So that's what we've been doing. 
  • She's kicking kindergarten's butt academically. Let me preface this by saying I in no way think my child is academically gifted or "smarter" than any other child. As an educator, I know that it is too early to determine stuff like that. As an educator I also know that stuff doesn't matter -- it's more about a kid's work ethic and their environment. So with that being said, M is doing quite well in kindergarten, thanks to a preschool that more than prepared her. Just to give a little perspective, the goal is for kindergartners is to be reading on a D level by the end of the year. M's teacher told us she was a J level reader at the beginning of the school year, which is what we suspected. Another example of how ready she was academically: by the end of the first quarter of the school year, kindergartners should know 10 sight words. M's teacher stopped counting her sight words at 300 (she'll continue to count them later). While that gives me great comfort knowing she's prepared in that way, I initially worried that she wouldn't be challenged. That she wouldn't be engaged. That she'd stay in trouble. Her preschool teachers used to have to give her extra work to stay busy -- so that gives you an idea of my worries. But just like most people say, we often worry about things that won't happen.  My sweet girl has learned so much self-control her first year of elementary school (thanks to a firm teacher). Her teacher also sends home special homework that challenges M. I am so appreciative. Thank God for good teachers!
  • She's loving gymnastics. That's been going great, and I've enjoyed watching M get stronger and more confident in her abilities. 

  • I also want to record the fact that M got her first dental/orthodontic appliance. If it weren't for the fact that she's never had a cavity, I would think she gets her dental genes from me. She had a crossbite that the dentist wanted to fix before she got older, so she got a crossbite appliance put in at the beginning of the school year. She'll wear it for about six months. (If her smiles looks different or kind of awkward on any recent pics, it's because of this.) I think this is good for her. So when she gets braces one day (and it's no doubt that she will -- she has tons of space between her teeth), she'll have already gone through the whole mouth device thing. My hopes are that braces will be a breeze. :-)
Doing homework at Panera with her daddy one day.
  • We recently went to a Girl Scouts interest meeting, so hopefully we'll start with that soon. She's already excited about it.
So far, it's been a fantastic school year for my girl. We are so proud of her.

Weekend in the Mountains

A couple of weekends ago, we drove up to the Smoky Mountains and spent a weekend holed up in a cabin with family and friends. Good times. It was my mama, my mother-, father-, and sister-in-law, and a couple of other families we hang out with. We woke up to this. Absolutely beautiful.

We ate good. 

Spent afternoons on the porch with beautiful views. 

Had breakfast every morning. 

The cabin was incredible. 

I left the hot tub and swimming pool to the kids and their daddies. 

My sweet mama.

Our friends from the A.

Here are the kids and one of the daddies practicing playing dead in case they ran into a bear.

Headed out to walk the trails...and possibly see a bear. 

Our parents stayed behind at the cabin. We ended up sending them a picture and video of a bear we "saw on the trails." (No. No, we didn't see a bear. We totally Googled a bear pic and video, found stuff that was believable, and shared it with them. We are bad people.)

This kid had a blast. 

Of course we didn't  get a decent family picture, but here we are the morning we were headed back home.

And I love this pic of the kids, who were best friends one minute, and fighting the next. Of course. 

We had a great time! We plan to get together again in June and go to Punta Cana. Can't wait. 

Stuff I Talk About

2011 30 day shred age update AKA animals anniversary appreciation aquarium around the house art museum Atlanta baby/toddler sleep issues baking bama football beach birthday birthday party blog awards blog buddies blogher books camping causes celebrations celebrities cheer days childhood children's museum children's theater Christmas christmas card class reunion college days concert conference cousins crafts dance date night dating days deals decluttering dentist Disney dk easter engagement facebook faith fall fun family family fun fashion father's day favorite blogs field trip field trips football friday flashback friends fun event funny pic Gaylord Opryland genealogy girl scouts goals god grad school grateful graves' disease Halloween health holidays Hollywood honeymoon instagram Iron Bowl key west kindermusik learning letter to my daughter library Los Angeles m me miami mlk day morgan is three museum Nashville national championship game natural hair nature new look new orleans New Years nyc out on the town parks parties phone fun pinterest play days at home playdate playground action pregnancy professional development Race for the Cure raleigh ramblings reading Recipes relay for life school program shows singing skating snow soccer social networking sorority spring break spring fun stress summer summer fun summer reading summer to do list teacher life technical difficulties terrible twos Thanksgiving the girls the park theme park thomas and friends three thyroid tragedy trains traveling tricycle trips twitter valentine's day video walk for autism water play we love being outside wedding wordless wednesday work wrapup Yo Gabba Gabba zoo
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