Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Potatoes for Christmas

Teachers in some "fancy" districts get showered with presents at Christmastime from their adoring students. In the district I work for...not so much. The only "gift" I left work with was a sack of potatoes.


Not sure why, but every teacher got a sack of potatoes.

It's easy to get caught up in all of the Christmas THINGS - what you're giving, what you're getting, what you're going to eat and wear....

This Christmas I was blessed to spend it with my very own little "sack of potatoes."

After giving birth to my own child this year, the story of Christ's birth touched me in new ways this year as well. Being humbled by this amazing miracle, as well as my own little Abby miracle, and the gift of being surrounded by loving family and friends this year....priceless.

Merry Merry,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Mother's Prayer

I L.O.V.E. Tina Fey. I happened to read her book Bossypants this summer in my private moments pumping (Sorry if that's TMI) (I highly recommend pumping for that reason - someone else attend to this child while I handle my business/breathe for a moment!!)

At the end of the book is Tina's prayer for her daughter. It's amazingly perfect and wonderful. I was reminded of it the other day and thought I'd share it. It makes me want to give a big squeeze to my Abby AND my amazing mother!

A Mother's Prayer for Her Daughter
By: Tina Fey

"First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it's the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach's eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called "Hell Drop," "Tower of Torture," or "The Death Spiral Rock 'N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith," and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes. And not have to wear hight heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I'm asking You, because if I knew, I'd be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short - a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day - And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. "My mother did this for me once," she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby's neck. "My mother did this for me." And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I'll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

- Tina Fey

Go hug your mom,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh, wait...I blog?

Whoops, I kinda forgot I had a blog! Embarrassingly enough, my last post was exactly 4 months ago today! There were several times since then that I sat down to add a post about my adorably amazing baby girl, something hilarious and heartwarming that happened at school, or something chic or exciting that Jared and I had planned (ha!), but...well....I probably chose to kiss Abby's chubby belly, work on a lesson plan, or snuggle up to that sweet husband of mine. Forgive me?

The past 4 months have been AMAZING. TIRING. HILARIOUS. HARD. WONDERFUL.

In a nutshell, my little munchkin has been a growing, healthy girl! To date, she's learned to roll over both ways, she's sitting up all by herself, she's making lots of fun noises, she's smiling, laughing, reaching, mouthing everything in sight, and she's up on all fours ready to make a move! She LOVES her baths, she thinks our dogs are the most hilarious things, and she refuses to sleep through the night. :) She's in the 90th percentile for height, which is kind of hilarious given her parents.

I'm back at the teaching gig, changing the lives of blind children one day at a time. :) Adjusting to life as a working mom has been easier than I thought. Seeing Abby having so much fun with my parents makes it even that much easier! The kids at school are just as hilarious and insightful as last year, making the days go by quickly and incredibly rewarding.

As for the hubs, our "chic and exciting" adventures have consisted of a few wild nights out that deemed themselves really not worth it at 3:00 am the next morning with a crying babe...and our most wonderful times are spent snuggling on the couch after the Abbster's bedtime and laughing together and smiling in awe of our precious gift.

Well, that about sums it up.

Good to be back.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I Know

Today my little girl is 1 month old! I feel like she was born just yesterday and also that she has been part of our family forever. I feel like I know absolutely nothing about being a mom, and I feel like an old pro all at the same time.

What I think I know is that these feelings probably never change.

So here's my "expert" advice and a few things I've learned in 1 month of mommyhood:

1. What they say is true - that babies will rock your world, turn it upside down, and inside a good way. I mean, literally overnight our home was overtaken by diapers, blankets, burp cloths, and bottles. We talk about poop now. We don't sleep. Forget TV...we stare out our child. Who lays there. Our life will never be the same. It reminds me of my favorite line from "Friends" - "Welcome to the real world (insert 'parenthood'). It sucks. You're gonna love it."

2. You figure it out. We were so blessed to have the help of family for the first 2 weeks after Abby was born. When the left, I was a little scared but ready to try it out on my own. Literally that day, I got pooped/peed on 3 times and at one point found myself pumping, brushing my teeth, and rocking Abby's swing with my foot all at the same time. Baptism by fire, baby. But I DID IT! And it felt great.

3. Let people help. Although it feels kind of great to be supermom every now and then, it also feels great to let people help out. I've had great friends and family bring meals, help watch Abby while I run an errand or shower, pick up things from the store, etc. Man, I'm lucky. If you have people offer to help....take them up on it!!!

We love that Aunt Hollis is here! She is so fun and helps us so much.

4. You gotta laugh. So, Jared helped this weekend by covering all nighttime feedings while I slept. Bless him. Of course, in the night, he was peed/pooped on twice, the diaper bin ran out of bags, and a bottle nipple got clogged. What a relief to hear him laughing about it in the morning.

5. Get out of the house! So, the doc says we can get out...and I suggest it! A friend gave me this advice, and it was the best. 15 minute trip to the store, walk around the block, playdate...getting out a little everyday makes me feel just a little bit more human.

Our first play date with little Claire!

6. Crying happens. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is worse than hearing your little one cry like they mean it. But, nothing feels better than finally getting her settled down. Babies cry. Fact of life. I realized that I cannot always make the pain go away, but as her mommy I can always give her my shoulder to cry on.

7. Your child is always the cutest and most "advanced." Well, isn't she?

Looking at her zebra- she can track from side to side!

She LOVES tummy time - she can lift her head 45 degrees!

The girl tries so hard to roll over to her back...either that or she love baby yoga.

Till next time,

Friday, August 5, 2011

15 days

August 5- today is my due date! It's hard to believe it, but our little one has already been here for 15 days! She arrived on 7/21/11 at 11:23 am....apparently she knew that her mother always prefers to be early!

Abigail had a slightly dramatic entrance into the world, which I may share at a later date...but she's been all snuggles and love ever since. We are simply smitten.

In just 15 days, our worlds have been turned upside down (in a good way), and we are overwhelmed with the great blessing Abigail already is in our lives as well as so thankful by all of the love, support, and help of our friends and family.

In just 15 days, I have learned so much about Abigail already, and she is growing so fast. I know that she loves to stretch. She loves bath time. She has the best facial expressions (that we are slowly learning to interpret). She loves to be sung to and the sound of her Daddy's voice. She always has to get in a good stretch when she wakes up. She loves tummy time. She loves to be swaddled.

There is so much more to learn about Abby and about being a mother, and so many adventures are still to come. We are so happy to have welcomed the newest "Piece of Work" to the family.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


A couple months ago, Jared and I completed childbirth classes at our hospital. I could have written several blog posts about the level of awkwardness this class maintained and the ways in which Jared's uncomfortable feelings regarding the topics translated into many embarrassing/inappropriate comments. Luckily for you, I chose to spare you the dirty details.

On the plus side, we met two couples there that have been super fun to get to know. The dads have enjoyed teasing Jared about his behavior in class, although they admit that most of them were thinking some of the same comments... Of course only MY husband would actually say them...

The best part is they are each expecting baby girls -- one couple is due a week before me, and one is due a week after me. We have had so much fun getting to know each other, and we can't wait for our little ones to meet!

Hopefully little Abby will decide to come soon -- As of today I am 4 cm and 70% effaced. Doctor says she hopes I go into labor within the next week!! Come on, Abs!!


Monday, July 18, 2011


It's a little ironic that my last post is entitled "Time Flies" because this post is about precisely the opposite. At my 36 week appointment, my doctor told me that Abby could be here any day. My body was already making progress toward labor and Abby seemed ready to make her debut.

That was 2 weeks ago. And now the only word to describe me right now is....restless.

Had I not known there was a good chance of an early delivery, I believe I would be contently minding my own business and enjoying all the down time of my summer until Abby's due date. Instead, I have found myself incapable of thinking of anything else, heart racing at every contraction, and for some reason really down in the dumps that I cannot hold this baby girl of mine yet. All while bearing the heat of the "second hottest summer in Texas history." Good grief!

So, I continue to pray for patience and trust in God's timing and that He grant me a joyful heart while I wait. I try to focus on enjoying every quiet second ...especially those with my sweet Jared.

I've also enjoyed some spontaneous fun with the girls.

I've become am obsessed with The Hunger Games - currently finishing up book 2. I never thought I'd like this kind of book, but they are truly addicting!

And I cannot tear myself away from everything Bravo. Millionare Matchmaker, Pregnant in Heels, Flipping name it.

Hangin in there,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time Flies

Last night we received a gift in the mail, which included a "big girl" sippy cup for Abby. Thoughtful, right? Well, this girl bursts into tears. Jared was dumbfounded, wondering why I didn't like the gift. However, I told him that I was tearful because I just felt like Abby was growing up too fast.

I mean really.

Obviously, hormones are kicking in, and I am just emotional that I will soon be meeting my little munchkin. But honestly, the past 36 weeks have flown by so fast that I can only imagine how fast time will go when we have our Abby to enjoy and love. As my mom put it, the sippy cup was just a reminder to cherish every day.

So here I am at 36 weeks! The doctor says delivery could be any day now...

We are ready for her here at home! Bags are packed, car seat's installed, and her nursery is just about complete.

Check out the cute mobile my mom and I made!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If she wants to rock, she rocks...

Every time I sit in the rocker in Abby's room, I think of one of my favorite songs (She Rocks) by one of my favorite artists, Eric Hutchinson.....but I digress.

The nursery is coming right along, and I am so happy with the sweet little rocker we rehabbed for the room. I found an old thing beat up thing on Craigslist and had a vision!

Jared worked hard to sand it.

And paint it.

Then we recovered the seat, and Mom made an adorable little pillow.

So cute! Soon I'll be rocking (and rolling, thanks Eric Hutchinson), with my little munchkin!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cutest Closet

So one of my favorite past times lately has been perusing through Abigail's closet. I'm definitely liking it more than my own closet these days! I just can't get over how tiny and adorable all of her clothes are and how soon there will be a little body in there to squeeze.

Last week I made some little organizer tags to separate her clothes by size.

Did I just give away how Type A I am? :)


Monday, June 20, 2011


This week is the last week of the summer school I've been helping with for the students in my program. It's been really fun to see the students get to be with other kids who are blind and get to try and learn new things everyday. I've been especially enjoying eavesdropping (I mean listening) to some of their conversations.

Today I overheard this:

Little Girl: "I haven't had a friend for 3 years."
Little Boy: "Well, you have one now."

Are you kidding me? My. Heart. Was. Broken. Slash Happy. My students remind me everyday how blessed I am to have my health, a great family, and today...great friends.

Great friends across the miles.

Great friends I can share anything with.

Great friends I've had for ages.

Great friends that make me laugh and be myself.

Thank you to all of my great friends! I am so blessed!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

From the heart

How is it possible that I have yet to see, hold, or kiss my little baby, but I am already so infatuated by her? I am now 33 only 7 more weeks to go. And while I've got plenty to do before she gets here (i.e. sleep), I could not be more ready to meet her. With every kick, squirm, and jab I feel, I get more excited to tickle those toes and kiss those elbows that I am certainly feeling of hers.

In the mean time, I am piddling away in her nursery organizing and making the space perfect just for her. This week I made something to hang on her wall! It's a little heart...since she's already grabbed ahold of mine.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Feeling Crafty

So I've been feeling extra crafty lately...not in the casting spells kind of way, but in the arts and crafts kind of don't worry.

After our sonogram a few weeks ago when the technician literally laughed out loud about how much hair Abby has...bows are in order!!!! So this week I made Abby a cute little bow organizer.

This project was SUPER easy, and I think it turned out really cute, so I thought I'd share.

I covered a canvas with extra fabric from her bedding.

I added ribbon by hot glueing the ends on the backside of the canvas.
Viola! Perfect on the inside of her closet door.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hello, Cupcake!

This weekend I made some yummy cupcakes for my friend Paige, and I thought I'd share the greatness, along with my secret!

You have to check out the Cake Mix Doctor... she doctors cake mixes to take that boxed cake to the next level. It makes cakes extra yummy....but they are still super easy.

Here's the recipe:

Devil's Food Cake Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package plain devil's food cake mix
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/3 c buttermilk
1/2 c vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix cake mix, cocoa powder, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in mixing bowl. Blend well.
3. Bake (18-20 minutes for cupcakes, 28-30 for cake)

6 oz white chocolate
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1. Place white chocolate in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stir constantly. Remove from heat and let chocolate cool.
2. Place cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. Add white chocolate and blend. Add vanilla and confectioners' sugar and blend. Beat until the frosting is fluffy.


Monday, June 6, 2011

My First Year

This year has been quite a year of change- graduation from grad school, moving to Texas, my first year teaching, buying a new home, and finding out that I'm having a baby! It's been fun sharing the ups and downs throughout the year on this blog because what an adventure it has been!

Wrapping up the first year of teaching was bittersweet. Actually, I take that was pretty amazing. It feels great to have the summer ahead of me and a fully year of experience behind me. They say the first year is the hardest... and just so I don't forget, these are the lessons I learned this school year:

1. The beginning of the year is crazy. It's chaotic. You need to clone yourself. But it get's better. (Hip hip hooray for Abigail's due date and getting to skip the craziness this year!)

2. Never underestimate your students or yourself. One of my students in particular this year taught me that the sky is the limit. He came into the year not knowing the whole braille alphabet, and he left a reading lover who passed the TAKS test. Reaching for the stars pays off.

3. Follow your gut. There were many times this year I felt conflicted about the way things were done or decision that needed to be made. I trusted my instincts, and it paid off in the end.

4. Never stop enjoying the students. There were a few times this year that I got caught up in deadlines, testing, etc. When I stepped back and remembered to have fun, laugh, and love on my kiddos, it made all the difference for all of us.

5. Make friends...and stay out of the drama. I can pat myself on the back for doing this pretty well this year. You have to reach out and use your resources. You have to make friends at work to laugh with and support each other....yet you have to stay out of the chitty chatty teachers' lounges with too much drama.

6. Remember how lucky your are to have this job. For one, I have a teaching job. For two, I get to work with some inspiring and unique kiddos. I get to plan lessons just for them. I get to teach them the fun stuff. I get to make a difference and change lives. I get the summer off. :)

Looking forward to many more teaching adventures, and thanks for letting me share them with you!


Thursday, June 2, 2011


SO....I had great plans of writing a post about all of the things I've learned in my first year of teaching, seeing as how tomorrow is my last day of school.


I found this website.

And now I officially know where my time will disappear to this summer.

Here are just a couple of projects that inspired me and have been added to my summer to-do list.
Happy Pinning,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind! So fun, so special, and so fast! We've had friends in town, a baby shower in Abilene, 2 baby showers at work, and I'm wrapping up the end of my first year of teaching! Plus, I swear I can see my stomach growing by the second. In a good way.

All in all, we feel very loved, blessed, and excited!!

Here are some photos from the special shower that was given to us in Abilene. These ladies have been friends of Jared and his family for a long long time. They spoiled us with goodies for our little nugget.

Stay tuned for pics of the nursery projects, teaching reflections, and summer school adventures...


Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Week in Retro Pics

My new favorite Android App is "Retro Camera." It makes everything look extra fun. So, I thought I'd share "My Week in Retro Pics!"

1. Paint! Jared and I loaded up on paint this week - for some bathrooms and the nursery! SO EXCITED! More pics will come soon.

2. Steam Vac. I have been wanting one of these forever, so I buckled down and purchased one this week. I am SO in love. This thing is a vacuums then sanitizes with steam. My floor is "Jared approved," and ready for little baby fingers and toes.

3. BEE Enchiladas. Tried this new restaurant in Oak Cliff this week. Twice. They really ARE the Best Enchiladas Ever.

4. Charlottes Web. I'm reading this with one of my students, and it makes me happy everyday. My student asked this week,"How do you think Charlotte shoots string out her rear?"

5. Buddy was not amused by my photo-taking this week apparently.