Friday, June 17, 2016

27 Thank You's

Today I turn 27 years old. There have been a lot of people and things that have shaped me into who I am today and been tremendous blessings in my life, so before I go start celebrating (read: scrambling to get my house clean before my friends come over for dinner) (read: an evening of food and board games with the best)(read: the perfect Friday night), I thought I'd jot down 27 thank-you's (the order of these things means nothing...I am equally thankful to all).

1. Mom-Thank you for birthing me. Thank you for being a wonderful role model and friend. And for teaching me how to make your amazing lasagna.

2. Dad-Thank you for giving me your sense of humor and smart assed-ness. When mom snarks "You sound just like your dad", it is a compliment of the highest order. Thank you also for sharing your love of good music and random trivia.

3. Jethro-Thank you for waking me up in the middle of the night knocking things off the dresser. Thank you for meowing relentlessly until one of us lets you out on the porch. Thank you for alerting us to, but never actually catching, all of the bats and mice.


4. Neutrogena Tinted Moisturizer-Thank you for making my face look presentable with as little effort as possible. And also for providing me with sun protection and mild coverage without feeling like I have a pound of makeup on my face.
                                        
 5. Netflix-Thank you for providing me with hours of distraction and procrastination. And for The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

6. Grandma-Thank you for being the strongest woman I have ever known and being a wonderful Christian example.

7. Car-Thank you for being so trustworthy for so long. Whenever people ask if you're still running, I proudly confirm that yes, you are doing fine and I will drive you until you will absolutely not drive anymore. 

8. Yoga Pants-Thank you for providing me with endless comfort and relief from the judging waist bands of tight jeans. Please also pass along my thanks to flip-flops and sports bras. 

9. Michael Scott-Thank you for teaching me that sometimes it's okay to not know exactly what you're doing.
Michael Scott18


10. Tiffany-Thank you for being the type of friend that no matter how far apart we live or how rarely we see each other, it's like no time has passed. Thank you also for hours spent at Barnes & Noble, shopping trips, and movie nights.

11. Florida-Thank you for being a fun place to live for a year, but reaffirming for me that I am a midwestern girl and enjoy seasons too much to ever want to live in sweltering heat again.

12. Piano-Thank you for being my favorite thing that I own. I love spending hours sitting with you and making music.

13. My first PreK students-Thank you for being the greatest class ever and showing me that even though I always thought I wanted to teach kids much older than preschool, I was wrong.

14. Grapefruit La Croix-Thank you for being there for me when I am craving a soda. Thank you also for not making me feel guilty when I drink several cans of you in a day.

15. Ceiling Fans-Thank you for providing some respite from the suffocating humidity that plagues our AC-free house.

16. Emily-Thank you for being my person. Someone I can talk to about anything, go shopping and not buy anything with, and plan our dream of opening a bakery, and just hang out.


17. Buzzfeed-Thank you for hours of entertainment in the form of mindless articles and quizzes that make no sense.

18. Purple Fleece Jacket-Thank you for being my winter wardrobe. You always kept me warm and cozy even though you covered up all of the cute sweaters I tried to wear, and no one ever got to see them.

19. House-Thank you for all of your little old-house quirks. Your creaky floors and crooked doors are charming and you are the perfect first home for us.

20. Mat Kearney-Thank you for music that fits what ever mood I happen to be in. For being my go-to music for the last several years and the c.d (Do people still use c.d's? I do...) that's always in my car.

21. Crocheting (and knitting)-Thank you for being the best hobby(hobbies) there is(are). For making me feel frustrated and accomplished all at the same time, and for giving me something to do on long boring car rides.

23. Birthday-versary Cheesecake-Thank you for being a delicious celebratory dessert commemorating our anniversary and my birthday.


24. Scarves-Thank you for giving me the appearance that I am fashionable even though I am absolutely not, and for being the most comfortable accessory there is. I choose you over necklaces any day.

25. Brita Pitcher-Thank you for making our water taste clean and delicious. Thank you for making cold fresh water readily available to me at all times....when I remember to fill you. 

26. Jesse-Thank you for making me a mom. I'm so sorry I never got to see you or hold you, but I'm thankful that you never knew pain or cold or fear, and that the first place you saw was heaven.

27. Justin-I have so many things to thank you for I don't know where to begin. Thank you for putting up with me all this time. For your patience, kindness and love. For always making me laugh, always supporting me, and being there for me. Thank you for making up your own song lyrics when you don't know the words, for always being the one to empty the litter box, and reaching things on the top shelves of the cupboards for me. Thank you for everything.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

ABC

I saw someone post this on their blog today, and I'm at a loss for what to write about so...here we are. 

A- Age: 26 right now, 27 on FRIDAY! 

B- Biggest fear: Deep water. And since my miscarriage so many fears about not being able to have children or having major complications having children.

C- Current time: 9:30 p.m.

D- Drink you last had: Right now I'm drinking water. Before that Grapefruit La Croix (a.k.a YUM). 

E- Every day starts with: Currently scanning my phone and then a walk. During the school year rolling out of bed at the last possible minute and getting ready as quickly as possible to make it out of the house on time.

F- Favorite song: 



G- Ghosts, are they real?: I don't think so. Does that stop me from being scared of ghost stories and movies? Of course not. 

H- Hometown: Somewhere in Michigan that you've probably never heard of. 

I- In love with: This guy.


J- Jealous of: Anyone with the ability to rap.

K- Killed someone?: Do people really answer 'yes' to this? No. 

L- Last time you cried?: Memorial Day weekend at my friend's beautiful wedding! 


M- Middle name: Marie

N- Number of siblings: Zero. 

O- One wish: That my family and friends didn't live so far away from me. 

P-Last person you called: Tiffany

Q- Question you're always asked: At school: "Can I go potty?" At home: "Where are the nail clippers?"

R- Reason to smile: This picture of Jethro.


S- Song last sang: "Well I won't back down. No, I won't back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down"

T- Time you woke up: 8:00

U- Underwear color: Currently blue.

V- Vacation destination: One day I will go to Ireland.

W- Worst habit: Leaving my nail polish on long after it has chipped. 

X- X-Ray's you've had: Teeth and ankle.

Y- Your favorite food: Potatoes. In mashed or french fry form, please.

Z- Zodiac sign: Gemini

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ch-Ch-Changes

Well, hello. It's sure been a while. Some things have happened.

I made the switch from iPhone to Android. Very exciting, I know.

I'm watching Gilmore Girls...again. I'm still firmly planted on the side of Team Logan and can't wait to see what this revival brings.

Oh. And I'm going through a career change. The school where I teach is a small, two-room school. Long story short, the decision was made to add a part-time teacher who would teach only preschool, and divide the other grades between the two full-time teachers. So I put my name in to be considered for the part-time preschool position.

A variety of different things have influenced this decision. First of all, I like teaching preschool. When I was in college, teaching preschool was not something I pictured myself doing at all. But since I graduated five years ago that's what I've been doing, and I have grown to love it. This past year though, I have taught Kindergarten and a handful of 1st and 2nd grade classes along with preschool and it has just been a lot.

Which leads me to another factor; when it was decided that we would add on a part-time preschool teacher, it meant that the other classrooms would be split into a Kindergarten-3rd grade room and a 4th-7th room. I would have been the Kindergarten-3rd teacher, and I just don't think that's where my gifts are.

And of course, the thing that has been weighing on my mind every single day since June 19, 2015: I just want to be a mom. From the second I found out I was pregnant with Jesse, I knew that I wanted to stay home with him if at all possible. I was prepared to find some sort of part-time job if necessary, but I was going to be done teaching.

But then things changed. My baby was gone and this huge step that I was ready to take was no longer there. I cried all the way to church on the morning of our Welcome Back Brunch. I love my students, and families, and faculty. But being at school this year when what I desperately wanted was to be home raising my baby was just too hard.

Maybe these reasons don't make sense. Maybe they're selfish and maybe they're silly. But they're mine. And once 12:00 hits next Friday, I will be a part-time preschool teacher. Maybe I will be something else too. I'm still figuring out what I will do in the afternoons. I'm still figuring out a lot of things.

I thought that by now, approaching 27 years old, I would have it all figured out. I do not. And maybe that's okay. Because even though I may not know what's going to happen next, God does.

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future". -Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, December 10, 2015

5 Signs the Holiday Season Has Hit Your Classroom

If you're from my part of the Midwest, you'll know that the weather certainly hasn't been typical of mid-December. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was so caught up in the unseasonably warm weather that the holidays crept up on me. This week in my classroom though, Christmas has hit full force. Is your classroom ready for Christmas? Here's how you know:

1.Every day you are bombarded with stories about where the sneaky "Elf on the Shelf" has ended up. And the stories don't stop. For the rest of the day. These are some of my favorite elf names that I've heard so far this year:
Kristoff
Fred
Teresa
Melody Sparkle
Elfie

2.Every inch of the carpet looks like a glitter explosion from projects and decorations. And it's okay. Just for December.

3. You've had to tell more than one student that the mountain of candy Saint Nick left for them is not acceptable for a morning snack. 

4. You decorate the classroom tree, but all of the ornaments are in one clump in the middle of the tree, and only go as high as a 5-year old can reach.

5.You tell your students that you are going to begin learning some Christmas songs for the church service coming up, and everyone has suggestions ("Rudolph!" "Frosty the Snowman!"...and my personal favorite "O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o gloria!!" [that's Angels We Have Heard on High, if you were unsure]).


How are you getting ready for the holidays? 

Xo Steph







Thursday, September 3, 2015

Stuff & Things: Sunshine VoxBox

Hi. Welcome back. I got the Sunshine VoxBox from Influenster and wanted to share what was inside with you!

The items in this box were complimentary from Influenster and sent to me for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.





Sinful Colors nail polish: I have been using Sinful Colors nail polish for a long time and is still one of my favorites. It's great quality polish and is inexpensive.

However, the color I received in my box (Sheer Genius), just didn't do it for me. It's a very light pearly pink color, and obviously very sheer. It goes on smoothly and dries quickly, but I just don't care for sheer colors that I have to wear multiple coats of or layer over other colors.
This is two coats. Barely visible. 

Blue Diamond Sriracha almonds: I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to spice and don't usually gravitate toward spicy foods so I was a little nervous to try these. I was pleasantly surprised! The spice (while definitely there) was not overpowering and the almonds were packed with flavor!

If Sriracha isn't your thing, Blue Diamond has a lot of other great flavors. When I worked at the daycare, my co-teacher and I always had a can of the Toasted Coconut ones (my personal favorite) in the cabinet to snack on!

These came in a little package that were perfect to throw in my bag for a snack after the gym.

Infusium23Smooth Leave-In Creme: I like to let my hair air dry as much as possible in the summer and avoid heat styling when I know I'm going to be in the humidity. Unfortunately, when my hair is in its natural state, it ends up looking frizzy and lion-like. This cream helped to tame the beast a bit, keeping my frizzies and fly-aways to a minimum. It wasn't heavy or greasy like a lot of products and didn't weigh my hair down. 

I took this along this weekend when we went camping and put it in after swimming in the pool and it really helped my hair after the chlorine. 

Vaseline Spray moisturizing lotion: I really like the smell of this lotion and it is super moisturizing on my skin. I'm not a fan of the spray-on bottle though. I realize this is the point of the product, but I'm not crazy about getting lotion on everything around me when I spray it. 

Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel daily cleansing wipes: I am all about cleansing wipes. Anything that makes removing makeup/cleansing easier is alright by me. I typically use Target's Up & Up brand and was excited to try something knew.

My first impression upon opening the package was that these wipes smell. The package says "fragrance free" but in my opinion they have a fairly unpleasant smell. However, the smell was not a deal breaker and I tried one.

The wipes are really moist, and it only took one to remove my full face of makeup. They aren't drying at all and leave my face feeling smooth and clean.

Thanks, Influenster, for a great box!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Talking About It

I've written, erased, edited, and deleted this post so many times. I've gone back and forth wondering when I should hit "publish", and wondered if I should post it at all. But this is life, and here it is.

Almost two months ago I had a miscarriage. Father's day weekend I found out I was pregnant. We decided not to tell anyone until after my doctor's appointment three weeks later. But after only one short week of celebrating in secret, the miscarriage started. I bled for four days before the doctor told me for sure I was having a miscarriage, and then for several days afterward.

It crushed me. The first few days I cried harder than I ever thought I could cry. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to go anywhere or talk to anyone. No one knew I had been pregnant, and miscarriage just isn't something people talk about, so I tried to just keep it all inside and deal with it on my own.

But being on my own was hard. And being with people was hard. It was so much work to pretend that everything was fine, even though I just wanted to scream "MY BABY IS GONE, AND I AM NOT OKAY!". I would go out with friends or family but at the end of the day I would come home and melt down. I was grieving and I was alone, and it was terrible.

I started beating myself up emotionally for everything I could think of. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was scared and I felt guilty for wasting those precious moments with my baby on being scared (Don't let this sound like I wasn't excited. I was thrilled. But of course there was the initial "What do I do now?" reaction). I felt guilty because I lost my baby so early on and many women have it so much worse; I didn't see an ultrasound or hear a heartbeat or even have a doctor. And of course, even though I was told otherwise, I couldn't help but wonder what I did wrong or what I should have done differently.

I was shutting down. I had to talk. I told my mom and a couple of my good friends and it was like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I wasn't--and am not--looking for sympathy, or for someone to feel bad for me. But I can't express how much it meant to me to have this out in the open. When someone asks "How's it going?" now, I can be honest with them. I can tell them when I'm struggling or having a rough day. When I'm walking through Target and feel like curling up in a ball on the floor of the baby clothes section, I have people I can call who will just listen. Or come sit on that floor with me.

One of the Bible passages that has really been helpful to me is Psalm 34:18

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit". 

Through this heartbreak, God has blessed me with an incredible support system. I am so thankful for them--and you--for listening. It saved me. 

xo Steph








Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Weekend In Rhyme

Friday dinner with the family;
My dad-in-law turned 50!
We went for margaritas,
and some of us got tipsy.

Grade-school B-Team basketball
Saturday a.m.
My students had a tournament,
so I went to cheer for them.

I told them I would dye my hair
if they would win the game.
They lost their matches; both by eight
and my hair remains the same.

Retail therapy at Target
always makes me holler.
I found a pair of jammies
for only seven dollars!

Drove in to the city
Had some pizza, down on State.
Walked up to the capitol,
then went to see a play**.

Sunday morning. Lazy day.
Did not even get dressed.
Sat on the couch watching Sister Wives
Thankful for a day of rest.

Did a yoga video
So I wouldn't feel like a bum,
played piano for a while,
and got some schoolwork done.

Laundry washed, and garbage out.
This weekend was just fine.
I showered, changed sheets, turned out lights,
and was in bed by nine.


**For Christmas Justin got me tickets to see I Love Lucy: Live on Stage. If you know me, you know that I grew up watching I Love Lucy and Lucille Ball is one of my favorite people of all time. GUYS. This show was so amazing. Loved. It. So. Much.

That was my weekend. I hope yours was great!

Xo Steph