my dream job

A common question that I get asked frequently these days is the “what are you going to do about work when the baby is born?” one.  It comes in various forms, such as “How many months will you be taking off?” and “When do you plan to come back to school” and “Are you going to back to work after Hudson is born?”.

Answers:  All of them.  Never.  No.

In fact, as of January (or February…whenever little man decides to make an appearance), I’ll be retiring from teaching at the ripe old age of 26.

My new job for the foreseeable future is that of a stay at home mom.

This is my dream job.  From an early age I wanted to be a teacher but from an even earlier age, basically as far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mommy.

Staying home with our kids is something that Michael and I feel strongly about.  We both had moms who stayed home most of our lives so that is the norm for us.  We’ve known since before we even got married that once we had kids we wanted for me to stay home, and we’ve planned accordingly ever since.

I feel incredibly blessed that I have this opportunity.  I can think of nothing better than getting to be home and raise my babies!

IMG_5790Obviously I have no pictures snuggling Hudson since he isn’t here yet, but what’s a blog post without a good picture?  So here’s a picture of me snuggling my other sweet babies.

(Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a judg-y, anti-working-mom post.  Everyone has their own situations and choices.  This is only a post telling you what my plans are after Hudson is born and what’s right for our family.  Just felt like I needed to throw that out there to avoid any negativity)

Throwback Thursday – Glamour Shots

Throwback Thursday was fun last week, wasn’t it?  How ’bout we do another one?glamour shots 11

Oh please tell me some of you who grew up in the 90’s have a set of Glamour Shots hidden away somewhere at home.  If not, I’m going to feel quite foolish.  But in the spirit of making you laugh, for today’s Throwback Thursday I’m going to bravely show you my very own Glamour Shots.

So…Glamour Shots.  For the uninitiated, Glamour Shots fixes your hair and makeup, allows you to choose from their large array of costumes, and then takes some “glamorous pictures for you.  Please, search Google Images for Glamour Shots to see a wonderful sample set of shots.  Then come back so I can show you mine.

Oh yes, I got Glamour Shots done.  In 3rd or 4th grade, my mom took me and a friend to get primed, pampered, and posed.  (Jenny Beth, I hope you don’t hate me for posting these!)  I don’t remember the whole thing, but I know we ended up being their forever and a crazy family that had gotten there way after us somehow got to get their picture done first and we had to wait for hours.  But the wait, oh it was so worth it. Look at these gems we ended up with!

glamour shots 1

First up, sparkly jackets with matching tube tops

glamour shots 2

And the hair.  Oh how large.

glamour shots 3

glamour shots 4

Next, feather boas.  Absolutely appropriate for a bunch of 9 year olds.

glamour shots 5

Time for some individual portraits.  I call this one “9 going on 40”.  And the missing picture?  Yeah, I tore that one off to use as my author picture on the back of a “book” I had to write in 6th grade.

glamour shots 6

After all the feathers and sparkles, let’s take a few casuals in some big, oversized, 90’s plaid.

glamour shots 7

Can’t take a casual without a great hat!  And the hand on the collar – classic Glamour Shots pose.

glamour shots 8

Glamour Shots meets Barbie

glamour shots 10

And finally, another hat.  Plus a rose.  How romantic.

Ok, fess up…how many of you have Glamour Shots tucked away at home?

Throwback Thursday – awkward yearbook photos

I recently acquired a box of my old yearbooks out of storage.  In the spirit of bloggable material I decided to share the pure awkwardness contained in those yearbooks.  Enjoy.

Caitlin 2nd2nd grade

Apparently the cool thing to do in 2nd grade was to “decorate” your yearbook pictures.   How do you like the blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, and heart-shaped choker necklace I added to my oh-so-fashionable windsuit?

Caitlin 3rd3rd grade

If one bow is good, three bows are great (four if you count the one in my hair).

Commence the beginning of the one-way flip hairstyle…don’t worry, it will show up again.

Caitlin 4th4th grade

Glasses, braces, and pierced ears?  What a year!  (you can’t tell from this picture, but the glasses are pink…just like Karen’s in the Babysitter’s Little Sister books)

Fun fact: June of 1997 is when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out.

Caitlin 5th5th grade

An upgrade from the pink glasses to the ever fashionable tortoise shell frames.

A word to the wise – it is not a good idea to wear huge circular glasses when your cheeks are the size of small mountains

Caitlin 6th6th grade

Jumpers.  I had many of them.

The one-way flip makes a comeback.

Caitlin 7th7th grade

What a difference a year and ditching the glasses for contacts makes!

Caitlin 8th8th grade

Ahhh…there are those pearly whites!  I’d started to forget what they looked like after five (yes, five!) years of braces.

Caitlin 9th9th grade

Clearly someone forgot to brush their hair before pictures.

And my 2nd grade self finally got to fulfill her wish to wear a choker in a yearbook picture.

Caitlin 10th10th grade

Land’s End men’s polo shirts – one of the few collared shirts that were dress-code appropriate for our school.

Caitlin 11th11th grade

Looking very academic.

Caitlin senior12th grade
formal senior class portrait

My grown-up short hair cut.

Caitlin senior 212th grade
casual senior class picture

That hat.  I have no words.




I know I’ve already blogged about this, but just for kicks…

first year teaching1st year teaching

2nd year teaching2nd year teaching

4th year teaching4th year teaching

Good times, my friends.  Good times.

If we’re going to be friends, here’s some things you need to know

Hey blog readers, if we’re going to be friends here are some things you need to know about me:

1.  I very rarely rinse dishes before I put them in the dishwasher.  This makes Michael a little bit crazy (sorry, babe).  It’s just…that’s what dishwashers are for!  I mean, if there is a ton of food in there I’ll clean off the worst of it, but usually I just put my dishes straight into the dishwasher.  And they almost always get clean, so I feel justified.

2.  Finding a double-wrapper-ed Reeses was one of the best things ever when I was younger (that’s when your Reeses has two of the brown waxy paper cup things on it).  I have no idea why that was a big deal to me, but I just thought it was really special!


3.  I real.bad want to be part of a flash mob.

4.  I will feel like I’ve made it when I have all matching hangars in my closet.  Not sure why this one matters to me, but having all matching hangars just seems really luxurious.


5.  I do not like to talk on the phone.  The awkwardness of the beginning of the conversation, trying to figure out how to end the conversation, it just stresses me out.  I’d much rather text or email than call, with the exception of a few people.

6.  I’m right handed, but left eye dominate.  When I take a picture or shoot a gun I always close my right eye and use my left eye to see out of.  It’s actually pretty hard for me to close my left eye and leave my right eye open.  Maybe I have weak right eye muscles?

7.  I have a secret desire to dye part of my hair purple.  I have never wanted to dye my hair – not blonde, not highlights, and certainly not a crazy color.  But one year I had a student who had should length brown hair, very similar to mine, and she had the underside of it dyed purple – it actually looked really cool.  When she wore it down the purple just peeked out a little, but when she wore it up in a ponytail you could see it.  I don’t think I’ll ever be gutsy enough to do it, especially since I’d have to bleach the hair before then dying it, but that’s one of my secret, if-I-lived-another-life, wishes.

purple hair[source]

What about you?  Are you a dish rinser or not?  What are your little quirks?  

26 in pictures

birthday collage1. birthday-eve snuggles with my favorite little owl

2.  birthday breakfast in bed (I had already gotten up and done my makeup and hair before getting back into bed for breakfast…lest you think I wake up looking like that)

3.  chocolate from a sweet co-worker

4.  my wild birthday night…watching Criminal Minds and playing Disney Fairy Fashion Boutique (my latest app obsession)

5.  favorite dessert…Longhorn brownie sundae

6.  Sure wish I’d timed just how quickly we demolished that dessert!

Here’s to turning 26…so far, so good :)


5 things about me (and a giveaway!)

***********This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations Michele W. for winning this awesome necklace!***************

Because it’s my birthday.

Because I love you.

Because I love this necklace and I can’t stop thinking about it.

pink Rugged Wearhouse banner necklaceI’m giving y’all a birthday present today…one of you lucky readers will win this necklace.

(Well, not this exact once obviously since it’s mine and I’m not parting with it…but one just like it)

But first, since it’s my birthday I get to blather on about myself for a bit.  Here are five things about me you might not know.

1.  One dream I have is to play Maria in The Sound of Music.  I have no idea why.  It’s not like The Sound of Music is my favorite movie ever or anything, I just really love all the songs and I think it would be so fun to be in a musical.  I have no clue when that opportunity would present itself, but if it did I’d be so on it!

2.  My hair is currently the longest is has ever been since I was 5 years old.  I’ve always been one to try to grow it out but get tired of it and cut is short again, but this time I just keep letting it grow and grow.

3.  Once I wore footie pajamas to school (as a teacher) on pajama day.  My feet hurt by the end of the day from standing basically barefoot on concrete floors all day.  But I looked cute.

footie pjs

4.  I will own, wear, and get up on a pair of pointe shoes before I die.  I didn’t do ballet long enough to get my pointe shoes and I always regretted that.  I sure hope they make pointe shoes in size gargantuan 11.

5.  When I ran my very first 5k I made a gigantic novice mistake and ate a big breakfast that morning, thinking I needed lots of fuel.  I’m talking big bowl of oatmeal plus bacon, and eggs big.  That was a mistake.  I threw up.

strawberry stride(This was approximately 45.672843 seconds before the puking started)

(Michael just looked at this picture over my shoulder and said “oh hey, that’s a picture of your first 5k.  You puked bad.”  Yep, and he was a trooper and stood right by me and held my ponytail up so it wouldn’t get barfed on.  I knew he was a keeper.)

So back to the giveaway at hand…

Gabriel Brothers necklace and tank

If you want this fantastically beautiful necklace, just fill out the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

(FYI, I was not compensated in any way or asked to review or giveaway this necklace.  I just really love Rugged Wearhouse and this necklace in particular so I wanted to share the love.)

5 tv shows I’ve never watched

I’m sure there are a ton of popular shows that I’ve never seen, but here are 5 that I think just about everyone else in the world has watched/currently watches but that I just never (or haven’t yet, at least) gotten in to.

1.  The Simpsons – I was definitely not allowed to watch this growing up, and then when I got older I never had the desire to watch it.  It doesn’t seem like my kind of humor anyway.


2.  Seinfield – Wildly popular and apparently very funny, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single episode.


3.  Lost – This was big when I was in college.  I remember my roommate being really in to Lost, but I never watched it.  I don’t know anything about it except that it had something to do with an island and that it seemed like one of those shows that went on a a bajillion seasons and nothing ever got resolved.  I haven’t written it off, though, and someday I might watch an episode or two and see if I like it.


4.  Downton Abbey – I can’t say I’ve never watched this, because I did actually try to watch the first episode.  I was totally bored and didn’t make it through that first episode.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me since it is one of the most popular shows around right now, but it holds no interest for me (fun fact: I actually don’t like British accents, except in Harry Potter.  But I do a pretty good British accent if I do say so myself…but that’s story or a another day).  Besides, thanks to Facebook and people who post spoilers before considering that some people haven’t yet watched a current episode (HUGE pet peeve!), I already know all the important stuff and that takes the fun out of it.

(Actually until just now when I googled to find an image to use, I thought the show was Downtown Abbey, and always wondered why people pronounced “downtown” so funny…duh, because it’s Downton)

downton abbey[source]

5.  The Walking Dead – Another super popular show right now.  I actually considered giving it a try after so many people raved about it, but then I heard it was really gory and I don’t do well with blood and guts.


Honorable Mention: Duck Dynasty – I think everyone I know watches Duck Dynasty.  Since we don’t have cable we’ve only ever seen snippets of episodes at our friends’ houses.  That’s about to change, though, since I bought Michael seasons 1 and 2 for Valentine’s.  I’ll let you know how we like it :)


Like I mentioned yesterday, I was very restricted growing up with what I was allowed to watch on tv and in movies.  And like I said, I didn’t mind that at all but is has caused me not to be as knowledgeable about popular tv/movie references (not necessarily a bad thing…).  Really there weren’t any shows that I watched consistently (except maybe American Idol) until I got to college and discovered the wonders of cable in our dorm rooms.  So there are a ton of shows that I didn’t start watching until years after they aired.

Here’s a bonus list for you of 11 shows I have watched but didn’t watch when they were first popular.

1.  Full House – Mom let me watch one episode once when I was little because all my friends were watching it, but apparently I was a pretty impressionable kid because I immediately started mimicking Michelle and her disrespectful toward-adults attitude.  So that was my one and only episode of Full House until I started watching it on ABC Family in college.


2.  Friends – I wasn’t allowed to watch it when it was popular in high school.  Since then I’ve seen a few episodes but never been interested to sit down and watch a bunch.


3-4. Boy Meets World and Gilmore Girls – Also discovered in college via ABC Family.


5-10.  CSI, Law & Order, Numb3rs, Criminal Minds, Bones, The Closer – What can I say, I’m a crime show junkie.  I never watched a single crime drama until college when I found the Law & Order SVU and Criminal Intent marathons.  Then I just kept discovering more and more that I liked.  My M.O. seems to be that I always wait until the show is several seasons old, the watch all the seasons in a big marathon via dvd, Amazon Prime, or Netflix until I get caught up to the current season.


11.  24 – I actually blogged about this last year when Michael and I discovered 24 for the first time (years after it aired) and holed up for weeks watching every.single.episode.


These past few days of sharing the things I’ve never read or watched have been fun!  There’s been lots of fun comments left on the posts and Facebook, too, about the ones you have or haven’t seen.  So let’s dish one more time…what tv shows have you never watched or did you not watch until way after they were popular?

10 movies I’ve never seen

So keeping with the theme of things I’ve never done, let me share my list of 10 popular movies that I’ve never seen.  I was pretty sheltered as a child and was not allowed to watch a lot of movies or tv shows (I think I saw my first PG-13 movie at age 14).  I am not complaining about that at all and I am actually very thankful that I wasn’t allowed to watch the tv shows and movies that most of my friends saw.  However, that means I miss out on a lot of pop culture references since there are so many movies I haven’t seen.

Here’s just a small sampling of such movies:

1.  Lord of the Rings – I read the Hobbit in high school (and reading that is the only thing that kept this series off my list of books I’d never read) and it was semi-enjoyable.  But I never saw the movies, don’t care to see the movies, and don’t think it’s really my cup of tea.

lord of the rings[source]

2.  Star Wars – These came out well before I was born, but they are still super popular among many from my generation.  I did see a few minutes of one once but I didn’t pay attention.

star wars[source]

3.  Top Gun – No idea what this one is about, but it seems like it’s quoted all the time.

top gun[source]

4.  Sleepless in Seattle – Apparently the quintessential watch-on-Valentine’s movie but I’ve never seen it.

sleepless in seattle[source]

5.  Princess Bride – What is this even about?  I have no idea.  But it seems to be hugely popular.

princess bride[source]

6.  Christmas Vacation – Some people watch this every Christmas.  Not me.  I haven’t seen any of the National Lampoon movies.

christmas vacation[source]

7.  Forrest Gump – I’m not sure how I survived as a child of the 90s without seeing this, but somehow it happened.

forest gump[source]

8.  Pretty Woman – I’m not at all surprised I haven’t seen this, given the subject matter of the movie, but it’s so famous that I figured it deserved a mention.

pretty woman[source]

9.  O’ Brother Where Art Thou – I can actually sing every song from this movie, I think.  We had the soundtrack and listened to it all the time, but I never saw the movie.  This is most surprising because it is one of Michael’s all time favorite movies and yet I never watched it with him.

o brother[source]

10.  The Matrix – When I taught math and we’d be using matrices I always wanted to make some witty pun about The Matrix, but since I never saw it (and, quite frankly, am not very witty) that didn’t happen.


Honorable mention (aka movies that technically I’ve seen but wasn’t paying attention close enough to remember the story line or for it to really count as “watching”): Steel Magnolias, Sandlot, Sister Act, A Christmas Story, and Jurassic Park.

I found this list of of the AFIs top 100 movies of all time and I thought it was pretty interesting.  I must not be very cultured as I haven’t even heard of probably half of these movies and have only seen nine (The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life, E.T, Snow White, The Sound of Music, Jaws, Titanic, The Sixth Sense, and Toy Story).

Ok, your turn…what movies have you never seen?

(P.S. Don’t hate me for my lack of pop culture knowledge)

5 famous books I’ve never read

Guess what?  It’s birthday week!  That’s right, we celebrate birthdays for at least a week around here (sometimes more!) and on Thursday I turn the big 2-6 so it is officially my birthday week :).

Last year for my 25th birthday I showed you 25 of my favorite things (1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, and 21-25) and told you 25 random facts about me.  Obviously I don’t want to repeat all that info and I don’t know if I can come up with 26 more favorite things of random facts, so this year I’m going to do some other fun little tidbits about me.  I hope you’ll indulge me as I selfishly blab about myself for a few days (oh wait, that’s what blogging pretty much is anyway….).

First up, 5 famous books that I’ve never read.  This is probably the most embarrassing list I’m going to share with you, since I’m an avid reader and an elementary librarian for crying out loud, but the truth of the matter is there are some very well known books that somehow I just never read!

1.  Chronicles of Narnia.  I’ve never read these and I honestly haven’t had the desire to read them.  Everyone raves about the Chronicles of Narnia but I really haven’t been interested.  I watched the movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when it came out a few years ago  and didn’t care for it either.  I’m sure that if I picked them up and started reading them, I’d probably like them, I just never seem to think about it when I’m looking for a new book to read.

Chronicles of Narnia



2.  The Polar Express.  I had no idea that The Polar Express was such a big deal until I started teaching elementary school this year.  I mean, I had heard of the book and knew there was a movie, too, but that was it.  From what I hear, there are tons of elementary schools that do big Polar Express days right before Christmas: wear pjs, drink hot chocolate, watch the movie, do activities, the whole shebang.  That was news to me.  It’s a pretty short picture book so I think before next Christmas I definitely need to read this one!

polar express[source]

3. A Wrinkle in Time.  I’ve heard A Wrinkle in Time mentioned nearly my whole life and yet couldn’t even tell you what this book is about, other than that it’s shelved in my science fiction section so it must me science fiction-y.

a wrinkle in time[source]

4.  Gone with the Wind.  Another classic, although I’m not sure if this one counts because I know that I at least tried to read Gone with the Wind when I was much younger.  I remember my mom recommending it and me reading some of it, but I don’t remember anything about the story so I must not have read much or retained anything.  I haven’t seen the movie either.  Again, it’s one of those that people talk about all the time but somehow it slipped past me.

gone with the wind[source]

5.  Bud, not Buddy.  Again, one that I don’t even know what the story is, but I’ve certainly heard of this book and I know it’s pretty famous.  I feel like I should have read this, but… apparently not.

bud not buddy[source]

So, are you shocked?  I have to say that it was somewhat hard for me to think of books that I hadn’t read.  ‘Cause I’ve read tons and tons of books, both for school assignments and for fun, over the course of my (almost) 26 years.  But there were still a few classics that slipped through the cracks.

A co-worker of mine found a list of the 100 best children’s chapter books (I think it might be this one) and her goal this year is to go through and read (or re-read if it’s been a while) each one.  I think that’s a neat goal and might have to try to do that challenge myself next year.

Alright now it’s your time to air your dirty laundry…which well known books (children’s or otherwise) have you NOT read?

my favorite posts from 2012

I thought I’d do a little round up of some of my favorite posts from 2012 for those of you who might want a little light reading this weekend ;). There’s nothing super special about each of these posts, I just happen to like them. Some are humorous some are serious, some are just recipes or tutorials…enjoy!

(click on the link under each picture to take you to the post)

parmesan lemon basil broccoli

Parmesean Lemon Basil broccoli

card keeper book tutorial

Card-Keeper Book Tutorial


My Struggle with Fear


25 Random Things About Me

baby name blocks

Baby Name Blocks


How to Be a More Welcoming Church

sticky note surprises

Sticky Note Surprises

star bellie sneetch tutorial

Star Bellied Sneetch Shirt Tutorial

Life Planner review

How I Use my Erin Condren Life Planner

icing bag trick

Mess Free Icing Bag Trick

pain scale

Scales of 1 to 10 don’t work for me!


Book Themed party


Pictures from Our Wedding


Regarding Fifty Shades of Grey and Magic Mike


If you told me I’d be ziplining I would have laughed at you


My Top 10 Facebook Pet Peeve’s


The Motherhood Double Standard


Banana Mocha Smoothie Recipe


Classroom Organization Tips


School Pictures


Unconditional Love


DIY customized lesson planner


Coconut Hair Oil Treatment


DIY e-reader case tutorial


Homemade Pizza Sauce


What I Don’t Miss about Apartment Living


How NOT to Sell Your House

poodle skirt

Funny Things My Students Say


Family Rules


The Gap Conundrum