Thursday, July 28, 2011

I have an idea...

I keep seeing all these things for a hospital survival kit for moms and a hospital survival kit for dads but I've yet to see anything for sweet little siblings.

I've been talking a lot lately to a good friend of mine who is also pregnant and due just two days before me. She has a daughter about Ansleigh's age and we both want to do something for the girls so they don't feel left out of this momentous occasion.

Therefore, I've decided to do a "Big Sister Gift Bag" or a "New Arrival Present" or something like that. I don't know what to call it. Do you have any ideas?

I know I'm going to get her some little books about being a big sister and put a big sister shirt in there. Maybe a coloring book and a box of crayons for times of boredom. A special snack and juice box? A Barbie/Little Sister combo? I'm still (OBVIOUSLY) developing this idea but I want it to be great. I want her to feel loved while I'm busy pushing a large object out of a very small place.

What would you put in there for your older child?

My mom said she's going to bring Ansleigh a present for her that she can use for her baby (she's getting a Bitty Baby from Lolli & Pop Pop for Christmas.Shhh...don't tell.) like a bottle and a sleeper or something. My mom is a genius. Really, she is.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Random Journaling

Random Journaling

I found some templates for daily journaling that I plan on using with my students this year but I thought it would be fun to test them out.

Three animals that I often see around my neighborhood:

1. A mostly black cat with some white on it. Ansleigh says she wants it to be her kitty and has named it Izzy. It is terrified of us but loves our front porch.

2. My neighbor’s scanky dogs. They are disgusting and mean and bark all the time and poop in my yard.

3. Red Birds which remind me of my great-grandmother. I miss her terribly. She was such an awesome old lady and she would adore Ansleigh.

Right now it is summer.

The best things to eat at this time of the year: watermelon, pineapple, fresh steamed veggies, and seafood.

A few of the things I do only at this time of the year: get a tan, catch up on my sleep, and work on projects around the house. I never have time to do any of this during the school year.

To Do:

One stuffy, dull, administrative-type thing: lesson plans

One marginally interesting thing: working on getting together stuff for my classroom (supplies/decorations/etc.)

One exciting thing (that I will think about while doing the other two things): Ansleigh’s birthday party!!!!!

These are the things that matter:

In my life:

· My faith

· My child

· My family (including the husband)

· My team and my students—knowing that I am making a difference

· Auburn—can’t wait to visit in October!!!!

· Pinterest. I have a problem.

Out there in the world:

· Sweet children who need good homes

· People who are going hungry and without homes

· The environment

Lightning Round:

Dishwasher or hand wash? Dishwasher—I HATE WASHING DISHES!!!

Mini-golf or bowling? I love mini-golf but I also like to go bowling

Drive-in movie or DVD at home? I’ve never been to the drive-in. I’m a loser, I know.

Road trip or ocean cruise? I hate long trips in cars (have to take anxiety meds) so definitely ocean cruise

Burger and fries or fish and chips? Burger and fries! What kind of weirdo would eat fish and chips?

T-shirt or tank top? T-shirt, preferably an Auburn one

Hoodie or cardigan? Hoodie

Moonlight or candle light? moon

Jogging around the track or down the street? Down the street

Hair: blow dry or air dry? Looks better when I blow it dry but I always air dry it b/c I’m lazy.

Slippers or thick socks? Thick socks

Nose ring or toe ring? Nose

Rainbow or shooting star? Rainbow b/c that means my yard probably just got watered for free!

Paperwork or housework? Paperwork any day!

To find this and more like it, visit

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

These are my Confessions...

  1. The compulsive part of me is really struggling right now because I'm writing these and it isn't a Friday.
  2. The sane part of me thinks, "Who cares? Nobody is going to remember I used to do these every Friday anyway."
  3. Summer has made me extremely productive and also extremely lazy. I've gotten a lot done for Ansleigh's party and a lot done this week for the upcoming school year, but I also have been watching tv all day while I do these things.
  4. I've been Keeping up with the Kardashians. I know. You might as well kill me now but I'm hooked. In about a weeks' time length I watched 30+ episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians AND the whole season of Kourtney and Khole Take Miami.
  5. I'm such a sucker for celebrity-filmed lives. I need an intervention.
  6. Kourtney, Khole, and Kris did an intervention for Kim. But that was for shopping.
  7. I've also become OBSESSED with a website my sister and mom told me about. Pinterest. When I first saw it, I was like, um...what is this thing? Basically it is like an online version of all your favorite magazine clippings, but when you click on them, it takes you to the websites. You create your own "boards" and then "pin" things to them. It is awesome. It has wonderful ideas for birthday parties, awesome clothes, incredible recipes, and tons of pictures of things to go in the house I"ll never be rich enough to own.
  8. Also, I'm such a fame whore because I'm obsessed with having people follow my boards. Every time I get an email saying I have new followers, I feel giddy.
  9. Those people may or may not be following me because I followed them first. You know, tracked them down by searching for things I like and then stalking all their boards.
  10. I found out today that I'm teaching 11th grade Honors English next year and a class of seniors.
  11. I've always dreamed of teaching seniors. Always. I mean, who wouldn't want to help them learn how to write essays for college, create resumes, fill out college applications, all the while witnessing that senior excitement?
  12. Once school starts, I will have officially taught all grades 7-12. That is CRAZY to me. I taught 7th & 8th, then 7th, then 10th, then 9th and 10th, and now 11th and 12th.
  13. We just got back from vacation. It is amazing how having an AWESOME tan makes you feel so much better about yourself. I wonder if I'll still be so happy about my tan when I have skin that looks like beef jerky? Probably. I'll be tan beef jerky. Because that's hot.
  14. If you have been wondering why you are missing your usual zits you find, it is because they've changed zip codes and have made a permanent residence on MY FACE.
  15. I tried to count them all, but I lost count.
  16. One day, I'm going to own a children's clothing store. It's going to be called Friday Afternoon. My first location will be right next door to a Tuesday Morning. I'm going to sell all the stuff my mom makes and brands I want for my child but can't afford so I can get wholesale discounts on all her clothes.
  17. I'm not kidding.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Newest Project

Since I'm home for the summer, I have a list of things I want to get accomplished around the house because we all know I don't have any time for stuff like that during the school year. Most of these things are home organization projects (moving the bookshelf from the guest room to our room, painting it to resemble cherry wood so it matches our furniture, reorganizing our closet, reorganizing the linen closet, etc.). The project I'm most excited about is Ansleigh's 4th Birthday.

Did you just re-read that last sentence? If so, you're right to think twice about it. Ansleigh's birthday isn't until December. Aside from her 1st birthday (which was mostly just for me), we have successfully avoided a party. Now that she's in preschool, she's been invited to several parties and now she wants one of her own. She made up her mind and she's not changing it....she wants a party and more importantly, she wants a Rapunzel party.

If you know me at all, you know if I'm going to do something like this, it has to be awesome or I can't be a part of it. Since this means a lot to my girl, I'm putting my all into it.

I've been researching Tangled party ideas, checking Etsy for all kinds of cute handmade stuff. I've come up with a great plan for an AWESOME party for my girl, but I've got my work cut out for me and I won't have time to do it when it comes time for her party so I'm going to do as much of it now as I can so I won't have to when December gets here.

As I make progress, I'll try and update but I've got some great plans.

Of course we'll have the Rapunzel plates and napkins.

We're also going to hang paper lanterns in the sun porch (where the party will be). I'm definitely going to use yellow and purple ones but I might throw some pink ones in too.

The goody bags are going to be so awesome! Rapunzel loves to paint so we're giving out mini easels, mini canvases, and a paint set. :) I'm going to put them in purple tinted clear goody bags and tie them up with a little yellow yarn braid :) They will be finished off with these sweet little tags that say thank you.

We're also going to have a candy bar...more on that later but these sweet kids will get to put their candy stash in these little bags
For the food, Lolli (my mom) is making a tower cake similar to this one but we're making it with donuts instead of pecan rolls and it will be WAY cuter if I know my mom at all.
This will just be mostly for looks, and we will serve cupcakes with these cute little toppers on them.
We'll also serve Jello boats but instead of flags like the ones pictured, I'm ordering the other ones (below) that are pictured.
I will also be serving breads, fruit, and little sandwiches or pub grub.

The invitations will be very similar to this:We're also hanging up a banner like this:
and there will be another one (more to come on that later too) that will go on the candy bar.

This is going to go on the bottom of the mailbox so people know they've arrived (we'll also have some balloons tied up)
And the front door will be covered with a braid similar to this one:

I'm going to use these picks (they will only be Rapunzel clothes and Flynn Ryder clothes) to put into the fruit and sandwiches for decoration

I'm going to *attempt* to make a sign (probably out of cardboard or poster board) to hang above the food table that looks like this Snuggly Duckling one from the movie with something under it that says "Pub Grub."
The kids are going to make their own Pascal Party Blowers that look like this:
And we're going to play "Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn Ryder"
Best of all, we're going to send the kids off with a lit lantern send-off. Anthony is excited about this part because it involves fire. Only grown ups will be able to fly them and bring them back to the ground.

And I may have a few other secrets up my sleeve :) You'll just have to stay tuned.

And I must mention that I got several of these great ideas from the Disney website and from this awesome mom who blogs...check her out

I also found lots of things on my trusty and on

Do you have any good ideas I could use?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Complete Devastation

Last week I was sure I was having the world's worst week--most of my problems related to coaching. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but there is SOOOO much more that goes into coaching than just actually coaching them. Everyday something else challenging happened. I was so glad to see a new week begin.

Monday morning, on my way to drop off Ansleigh and head to school, my dad called to tell me that my grandfather had passed away. I knew it was coming, I just didn't really think it would be quite this soon. He had cancer and it had spread from his colon, to his liver (13 active tumors), both lungs, his spine, his ribs, his hip, and his blood stream. I rejoiced that he was no longer in pain but deeply saddened that he would no longer be in my life.

As I got to school, I had to share the news with administration and my students so they would know that at some point, I'd have to head up to Alabama to be with my family. Monday, while coaching my kids, my mom sent me a text to let me know about the arrangements. My grandmother had scheduled the visitation for Tuesday night and the funeral for Wednesday.

I left school, called my husband, picked up our daughter, and started throwing things in bags. We drove a little over three hours Monday night and then drove the other six-ish Tuesday. We arrived at my parents' house about an hour before the family needed to be there.

At the visitation, I kept going and looking at him and all I could think is that he just didn't look right. The body that was in that casket was not my grandfather. The world would say that he was my step-grandfather and some might even say he wasn't even my grandfather at all. He was married to my grandmother for 29 years. I'm only 27. He's the only grandfather I've ever known. Both of my parents' fathers died when my parents were in their late teens. Papa Sid is the only grandfather I've ever had. Ever. He was a good man. He slept in his recliner when we were kids so that all my cousins (all girls) could sleep in his room. He cooked us pancakes and eggs. He came to watch me play ball. He was always talking "Auburn" with me because I was the Auburn fan in a family full of Alabama fans.

Wednesday, while sitting in his memorial service, I kept looking at his family, and listening to the things the minister said about him. It was difficult for me and my heart was broken for my grandmother who had just lost her husband of 29 years.

After the service, we all came back to the house and it started getting stormy. We watched the news. Tornadoes were coming across the state. My cousin was in Tuscaloosa in her Sorority House. Then the tornadoes started heading right at us. To watch the radar, it looked like the entire state was covered in tornado after tornado. The two tornadoes that headed towards where we were missed us but a large section of the county I grew up in was destroyed. The same tornado that hit Tuscaloosa (where my cousin was) hit in my aunt and uncle's neighborhood (her parents). Their home was not damaged but everything around it was erased from the world.

The past two days have been days of shock and recovery. My dad has been helping out some since he has the equipment. People are asking for clothes, toiletries, diapers, and really anything. I can't help but think that I have a garage full of stuff to get rid of but it is all in central Florida. As far as I know, there are not any drop-off points in Melbourne, Florida (although there should be with as many Auburn grads as there are down there). I'm frustrated. I want to help but I have to go back to my house and my job. How can I get stuff up here?

Also, Wednesday, my sister got some heart-wrenching news regarding her health. While it is not my place to post her business all over the internet, I can tell you that she has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My mother has it. My father has it. My grandmother has it, and now my sister does. I'm the last one standing. The only person in my immediate family who does not have Type 2 Diabetes. If I didn't feel almost doomed to have it before, I certainly do now. I know there are things I can do to avoid it, but it is still a little unnerving.

Tomorrow we head back down to Florida and I do it with a heavy heart. I never want to leave Alabama the Beautiful, but certainly not now, where so much help is needed.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Long Time, No See

I know it has been quite some time since I've posted. In the past year, my world has changed dramatically. In February of last year, I was a stay-at-home mom and community coach. I had all the time in the world to blog, and usually wrote during nap time or late at night once everyone else had gone to bed.

Now I teach 8 hours a day, coach for who knows how many hours a day, and mommy all the rest of the day/night. Most nights I fall asleep on the couch shortly after Ansleigh goes to bed and then crawl into my own bed.

I love my job. Even more, I love the kids I teach. But sometimes, I wish I had a little more time to just be me. A little more time to be Ansleigh's mommy. A little more time to be a good wife to Anthony instead of a partially non-existent wife.

I work...a lot. When I'm not working, I'm playing princesses with Ansleigh or helping her with her homework (!?!?! I can't believe a 3-year-old has homework!?!?!), or walking around Target with her. When I'm not doing that, I'm not really doing anything because I'm tired. My life makes me tired. Do you ever feel that way?

Right now I'm more refreshed than I have been in a while since this past week was Spring Break. Having a week at home reminded me of what life used to be like. Some days I wanted to scream from boredom, other days I had mile-long to-do lists (that didn't get done), but mostly I found myself reflecting.

I miss my old friends that I hardly see anymore. I love my new friends. I miss being able to "grab lunch" with someone. I love eating lunch with the people I eat with now. I hate that my job prevents Ansleigh from doing a lot of things I'd like for her to do. I love that I make a difference in other people's lives.

Before I had Ansleigh, I was busy-teacher-wife-lady. I had tons of friends, wore cute clothes, hung out (not in the house) with other people. I had a pretty fun life. Then, I had Ansleigh and for a long time, I forgot how to be a person other than a mommy. I finally started getting myself back to someone who was fun and then I got a job. Instantly I morphed back into busy-teacher-wife-lady except now I had to add mommy into that.

Do I want to quit my job? NO WAY. But I do want to get back to a few things that make me who I am. I want to start writing again. I used to be funny (or so I was told). I used to use Twitter quite often. I used to spend more time with the girls. I'm working on that. I'm even beginning to cook more than once a week....GASP.

I'm learning that laundry sometimes piles up, spring cleaning doesn't always get done, sometimes God calls us to lead busy lives, but that doesn't mean that we are called to lose ourselves or our friends. Please keep me in your prayers as I try to figure out how God is leading me to merge these two lifestyles into one semi-normal person.

And hopefully, I have some more to write about soon :)