Monthly Archives: November 2014

One of the Hardest Decisions I’ve Ever Made

difficult decision

A year ago today, I packed up my car with all my things, hugged and kissed my family and pets goodbye, and got in my car to drive to Atlanta. I had no job prospects, a friend’s couch to stay on (thanks Meg!) and really just a dream and a desire to get out of small town Idaho.

This decision didn’t come lightly, though it was made quickly. I knew I’d have to leave soon to not be driving through the snow and ice of winter and I needed to move fast. So I did. Packed my car full up and that was that.

Leaving my family, and especially my father, behind, was the most difficult thing I’d ever done. Of course, I knew I could always come home, but something about this particular move felt more final, more real. And in a way, it has been.

It meant not seeing my family for Christmas. It meant going through life without the safety net of my family or college around. It meant, for the first time really, that I was on my own. At the beginning of the year, I made it my mission for the year to THRIVE. And with that in mind, I’ve done everything I could to do just that. I got a good job, an apartment that felt like home, and kept on moving.

Then Teach for America came up. I saw the opportunity and I grabbed it. I put everything I had into my application and throughout the interview process and came out with my dream job opportunity- though that again meant leaving everything behind in the life I had then created in Atlanta.

I got accepted and saw my placement- Chicago. I was, all at once, both excited and terrified for what was to come. As the horror stories came my way- so did the stories of great joy and accomplishment. I knew this was what I wanted- even if it did mean coming here to the land where there is SNOW in OCTOBER (!!!)

Moving again was not taken lightly. But it was necessary and since the day I got here there’s been no turning back for me. I 100% love my kids. I love the culture we’re still creating every day. They are absolutely the lights of my life.

And to think, it all started with a decision that where I was wasn’t getting me to where I wanted to be.

A decision to hop in my car and drive straight across the country to the unknown.


The season I’m in.

Season I'm In

Every day as a part of our morning routine, I ask my students what season we’re in and ask them to describe how they know. My kids are a bunch of smart cookies so this is becoming a simple task for them to figure out.

The other day, however, I began to think about a different type of season. A season I’m in. I’ve heard people describe the season I’m in and the lifestyle I live as a waiting season. A season where I have things mostly figured out, but am waiting for the next step- that great love, a child, for my life to begin. However, I just don’t feel like I fit in with a waiting season. I’m not waiting. My life is happening. I am absolutely not the kind of woman who needs a husband or child to begin my life.

There are so many other ways that I feel like describe the stage and season of life that I’m in right now.

A working season.

I am working. Hard. Every day. Mentally, physically, emotionally. This season is one of hard work and passion and doing as much work as possible while still keeping my balance.

A busy season.

This is a season where being busy is the norm for me and will be for a while. Between work, grad school, TFA commitments, and trying to have some sort of a social life, busy is the way this will be for a while.

An exhausting season.

I suppose this goes with the above. I am fully exhausted in the best of ways. So much to do, think, say, and feel!

A fulfilling season.

This life that I’m living and this season is absolutely fulfilling. i feel as though I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. My children fill my heart up so much. My friends and TFA peers are the most amazing, inspiring people I have ever met. This is hard, hard work, but it is so worth it. I find joy in my work and seeing growth in my students.

You are exactly where you need to be

Based on my word this year, I could absolutely call this-
A thriving season.

Mixing everything up together, I feel like I am truly living out my word of the year. I am growing and learning and doing my best.

I am living.

There’s no time for waiting in this season of mine!


Need to escape the Winter Weather? Look no further!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gulf County, Florida. All opinions are 100% mine.


In case you missed the memo, here in Chicago, it’s COLD. Like, really cold. And life is as busy as it could ever be between work, school, and life! With the holidays coming, it seems like life is only going to get more busy before it slows down. This season just makes me want one thing- a nice, slow, disconnected vacation! I can see myself taking this vacation with just a few close girlfriends to escape from this hurried life we live for a few days!

If you’re in the same boat I am, then I have just the place for you! Come visit GCFL!

Even in the winter, Gulf County, Florida is a beautiful place to visit! From sunset cruises to karaoke nights, there’s something for everyone! Check out this page of Winter Fun Events for ideas of different things to do!



Gulf County, Florida is a beautiful seaside area with 43 miles of shoreline! There are no giant high-rises or highways full of traffic- a giant change from here in Chicago where traffic is constant and big buildings make our skyline unique. I know I need to escape the city, and they’ve got bike trails, kayaks, snorkeling, and many other outdoor activities! Gulf County is like a big outdoor playground- who wouldn’t want to explore?

DISCONNECT (and connect with who’s with you)

The Wi-Fi in Gulf County may be spotty, but you’ll be able to connect with those around you in a whole new way. Take some time to unplug and look up at everything around you- there are such beautiful things to see! Have a good chat over dinner and drinks with close friends or family, take a walk to see what you can find, or find a new adventure!


White sand beaches, seashells galore, and oh, the sunsets! Have a furry friend? No problem. Beaches in Gulf County are ranked in the top 10 US beaches to bring pets! Pets are always welcome on the beach and most rental homes allow them as well!


Seashell Collecting- St. Joseph Bay has some excellent beaches if you’re a fan of seashells! I grew up collecting shells with my family and it is still a favorite activity of mine!

Horse back riding on the beach- You can relax and ride along with experienced guides along the shoreline. You can choose a couples package, or, like me, if you’re there with friends, you can schedule a ride for up to 10 people!


Fishing- Admittedly, I’m not much of a fisherman, but for those who are, I can’t imagine a better place! Whether salt water or fresh water is your thing- Gulf County has it all! You have the possibility of catching a shark, or heading over to the Dead Lakes where you might meet a manatee or alligator!

I’m ready to pack my bags now! Want to know more and be the first to know about different evens and happenings in Gulf County? Sign up for their newsletter and get the inside scoop!

What activity would you most like to try in Gulf County? Who are the lucky people that get to join you? Let me know below- let’s go!

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Weekly Wishes!

Weekly Wishes

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve shown up to this little space of mine. The internet went out in my house this week so it’s been a little more difficult than usual to write. This past week was a total whirlwind! My students and I have been working hard to keep learning through some administrational changes and we even went on a successful field trip to the circus on Friday! This coming week I only work Monday and Tuesday and then I’m off for Thanksgiving! I’ll be spending the holiday with a friend’s family and I’m so excited and grateful for them for adopting me into their family while I’m far from my own.

This week, I’ve got more personal than professional goals. I’m really looking forward to taking these days off to catch up on things around my apartment.

1) Get some sleep, drink ALL the water, eat foods that make my body feel good. You know, all those things I don’t do nearly as much as I should while running around.

2) My one work goal- finish fall assessments on all my kids. I really want to get them done before break so I don’t have to think or stress about them afterward!

3) Build my desk/bookshelf. I ordered them a couple weeks ago but just haven’t gotten around to being able to sit down for a while and figure out how to put them together. I’m hoping to get this all taken care of so my room is fully set up!

4) LAUNDRY. Oh my, oh my.

What are your goals this week? Let me know so I can cheer you on!


Let me ask you something.

ask you

I tell you guys a lot of things. Like a lot, a lot of things. So now I have some questions to ask you because I just don’t get some things but you are smart and will be able to help me. Look at you, you smart, beautiful person, you.

5 questions I have going into the weekend:

|ONE| Why was that whole #AlexfromTarget meme even a thing? I don’t get it. He’s like 12. Am I getting old? I mean, I know I just had a birthday but I like to think I still “get” things. Sarah said it perfectly over in this post.

|TWO| Why is it so cold already here in Chicago? I mean I think I knew that it was going to be cold but I didn’t really KNOW. But I have snow boots now so that means I’m ready, right?

chicago weather

|THREE| Why did I NOT know that riding boots were such a wonderful thing before now? I’m totally in love with the pair I bought last week. I might have already worn them 3 times this week.

|FOUR| What is grad school like when you don’t like your cohort? Or what is it like outside of a TFA framework?I mean of course the grad school doesn’t care much about TFA but seeing as everyone in my cohort is it comes up a lot. And I love them. My colleagues are actually the best.

|FIVE| Why do no other teachers but myself and the 1st grade teacher decorate their doors? I change mine every month based on what’s happening and it’s honestly just a lot of fun. We’re required to change bulletin boards but doors are much more fun #crafting! 

And a bonus one just because I’m curious:

How did you do on your goals this week? I’m doing pretty well so far. Tell me about you. No, really. I want to know. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t.

Weekly Wishes & November Goals + Giveaway!

starbucks giveaway

I AM SO EXCITED! Today I’m officially launching a Facebook page for my blog with a giveaway! This may seem small but it’s also a big step as I come out of just hanging out here in blog world and sharing with my friends and family. I figure it’s about time! As this blog grows, so does my desire to share with everyone. To celebrate, I’m giving away a $15 Starbucks gift card!

Since it’s the first Monday of the month, I’m also setting my goals for the month! For me, November is also known as the month that stands between me and going home to see my family, so it’s not-so-welcome around here. However, it’s also my mom’s birthday month and Thanksgiving, so I suppose you win some, you lose some!

This month, I’m really going to try to:

1) Move my body! Yoga 4x a week. I KNOW I feel better when I do, so why has been so hard to make time for it?

2) EAT lunch. Take my lunch to work every day! Eating out or not eating lunch at all has become a bad habit. This is such a simple fix but I know it won’t get done if I don’t hold myself accountable!

3) Save, save, save. Have to start now to be able to live through next summer! Teacher struggles.

4) Hydrate my self! I’m only going to be drinking water this month in an effort to rid myself of this caffeine addiction and help my immune system out. I don’t have time to be getting sick anymore!

HOWEVER- Just because I’m not drinking coffee doesn’t mean I don’t want you to enjoy some on me! Help me grow my Facebook Page by giving it a like and following along on these other forms of Social Media as well!
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