Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014: A Year In Review, But Not Quite

Today I considered writing a traditional year in review post and even began writing one out with the major events that happened within each month. About halfway through, however, I stopped and couldn’t convince myself to continue. For one reason or another I didn’t have it in me to keep going. That kind of a post just doesn’t seem to fit this year. Not because nothing happened, but because SO MUCH happened.

This has been a year of change. Of picking up and moving just because it was the next step and thing to do. A year of chasing dreams and reaching them and the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. This was a year of leaving everything behind and finding a whole new life.


Obligatory moving selfie to prove it really happened, of course.

2014 was a year of moves. Into a new apartment in Atlanta. Into my summer housing with 3 other women in Chicago. Into my apartment in Chicago. I am now a complete pro at packing everything I own into my car. Now that I’ve really settled for a bit and have furniture, however, that might be a bit more difficult.

This was a year of love. Strong, real, honest love. Of losing love. Of finding it in 40 tiny souls that look to me for love and guidance every day. A love I didn’t know existed until these babes showed me.

This was a year that showed me where my strengths were. And where they definitely weren’t. It was a year of fear and joy and overcoming. A year of hard, hard, and rewarding work.

As I think about my goals, resolutions, and my word of the year (announcement coming later this week!) I’ve begun seeing more and more that this has been a year of support. Giving and receiving it right back. Abundantly. Overwhelmingly. Being able to do life with the people around me has made this a year of coming out stronger on the other side.

Though maybe this isn’t the traditional “year in review” post that you’ll see elsewhere. This is the review that I’ve needed to renew my energies and determination for the months to come. This has been a year of many things.

Thank you for being a part of it.

Weekly Wishes!

weekly wishes

Oh my word, you guys. Last time I came to this here blog of mine was to post a weekly wishes post and then I disappeared. Though, I had good reason. I’ve been in Idaho at my parent’s house enjoying family, all the food and ALL the puppies! I literally didn’t even open up my computer until last night to answer some emails. It’s been beautiful to be a little more disconnected than usual and be able to really be present here. We had a lovely Christmas filled with singing for our presents (a family tradition) and playing with the pups around the Christmas tree. Now it is time to prepare for work and school to return for me, though I’m still lucky enough to be able to get work done from here for another week before I head back to Chicago!

I’m happy to say I accomplished all my goals last week and am ready for some brand new ones to close out this year! Next week I will be posting my word of the year and goals for 2015, so I’ll keep this week’s short and sweet!

|ONE| Blog ahead and schedule posts for at least a week. Gotta start small, right?

|TWO| Finish Me Before You and start a new book. I have been LOVING this one and know I need an excellent one to follow it to keep this streak going. I’ve been reading nothing but great books lately and I’m ALL about it.

|THREE| Enjoy my remaining time here in Idaho as much as possible. Having 4 dogs and a cat in the house it’s easy to love being here and having someone to snuggle with all the time! I’m also trying to squeeze in visits with as many friends as possible before I leave but it seems there is never enough time!

What are you goals for this week? Will you join me in talking about yearly goals next week? I’m SO excited for the refreshment that always seems to come with the new year.

Weekly Wishes!

Weekly Wishes

ONE more week of work and grad school. ONE! And then I will flying home to Idaho to spend a couple weeks with my family! Clearly, I am BEYOND excited and can’t wait to see them! My mom keeps sending me pictures of all the pets at home and I’m so ready to snuggle them all.

This weekend was busy in the best of ways and totally needed to wrap up my first semester of teaching! Friday was the Teach for America holiday party. I was able to see friends I hadn’t seen since we trained together in summer and hang out with some mentors in a less serious and formal setting. It was a lot of fun! Saturday was for a haircut and dinner with friends, enjoying the lights around downtown and commiserating over one last weekend of lesson planning before break! Sunday was relaxing and I caught up on a lot of Netflix while getting work done! Today I’m excited to be back to work for this final and festive week with my kids!

Just because this is the last week before I go home, doesn’t mean I’m not setting goals to make sure I keep getting things done! This week, my goals are to:

|ONE| Finish out my grad school work strong. 2 more final assignments stand between me and being done for the semester!

|TWO| Wash every piece of laundry before I leave. I’ve just been washing a load here and there as I’ve needed clothes but I really need to just get it all done! I don’t want to come back to MORE laundry.

|THREE| Decide on and download at least 2 Audible books before I fly out. I don’t want to be caught in the air with nothing to read/listen to!

That’s all for the week! I hope you all had some fantastic weekends and are looking at a great week ahead! I’m loving seeing all the holiday cheer around and it just makes this whole winter thing a lot easier to deal with.

What are your goals for the week? Let’s cheer each other on through them!

5 Tips for Waking Up Happier!

5 Tips for Waking Up Happier

I’ve been being better to myself mentally and physically lately, and a big part of that is in the way I start my days. It’s so easy to fall into the rut of groaning as we turn off the alarm for another day, but it has made such a difference for me to get up and start my day off with positivity! I’ve never been a morning person, but I am definitely becoming one. I’m learning to love my mornings!

Waking up like this makes me more productive throughout the day, more optimistic, and so much less stressed. So many benefits from such a little change! Here are 5 ways that you, too, can wake up happier and start your day off right!

|ONE| Turn off the screens at least 30 min before you want to sleep. ALL of them. Yes, even your phone. Just put it down! They cause stress and the screen itself being on can trigger your brain that it’s still time to be awake!

|TWO| Need some sort of noise as you go to sleep? Try some light music. Classical or something mellow will help with the noise without being a distraction keeping you up.

|THREE| Go to bed at the same time every night. Get up at the same time in the mornings. Getting your body trained into a routine will make things so much easier.

|FOUR|  Don’t hit snooze. No, really. Just don’t. It may feel like you’re getting a few extra minutes of rest, but your body really isn’t able to bank on that little bit of time and you’re throwing it all out of balance! Instead, set your alarm for the time you actually want to get up, and follow it.

|FIVE| Move your body. Even just a little. I’m not saying you need a whole intense workout first thing if that’s not your kind of thing. Even just 10 minutes of yoga, stretching, walking, whatever will get you in the right frame of mind and wake you up! Or just do a few jumping jacks or push ups to get yourself moving!

|BONUS| Keep a glass of water by your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up. If you can’t do this because, like me, your cat is a jerk who feels the need to knock over water glasses, just get up and grab a glass before you get moving or get in the shower. I’m a big believer that water is the key to pretty much anything, and it certainly doesn’t hurt first thing in the morning!

how to wake up happy

Hopefully this is helpful for anyone who is trying to wake up earlier or happier in the mornings!  What are your tips and tricks for waking up with positivity? Let em know below!

Weekly Wishes! | Group Giveaway!

weekly wishes

Happy Monday! The Monday after a holiday always seems to be the most difficult, doesn’t it? I’ve been struggling this morning but I know once I get back into a good routine it’ll be normal again. Plus, I have only 3 more weeks until Chirstmas break so I’m at the final stretch!

Last week, my wishes were to:

1) Get some sleep, drink ALL the water, eat foods that make my body feel good. Check! I’ve been good to myself this past week and I’m hoping to continue that.
2) Finish fall assessments on all my kids. Oops, nope. But it will be done by the end of this week!
3) Build my desk/bookshelf. DONE! I am so proud of myself, they look great!
4) LAUNDRY. Mostly done. Another load probably wouldn’t hurt.

This week, I’d really like to try to:

1) Continue to be on this self-care routine. Sleep, water, and some movement will do me some good.

2) Finish fall assessments. For real this time!

3) Clear out the clutter in my room. I’ve got paperwork overload going on and I really need to take care of some of this.

And now, onto the part you’ve been waiting for- the giveaway!

It’s that time of year where a little extra cash couldn’t hurt anyone! I have teamed up with a few darlings to bring you $100 in paypal cash! Because we all know at this time of year, we all need it! This giveaway is open to international and US residents and will be $100 US dollars, transferred into whatever currency. The giveaway will run Dec 1 – Dec 8! best of luck and happy holidays!