The Big Move

Well, it’s about time I made the news official…by official I mean putting it out here on the interwebs for all to see of course.


Plane tickets are purchased, apartment search is underway and we’ve mailed out our first box of personal items.  It’s really happening! Date of arrival in our new home: October 18th!

move to italy

This was the spot I sat in 6 years ago and asked Nick, “When are we moving here?” It was the first morning of my second trip to my in-law’s home. For those of you who don’t know, Nick’s parents are missionaries in Italy so it’s home for him.  His parents and sister’s family still live there.  It was  hot and humid and I’d just spent the previous day and a half traveling and fighting jet lag with a 12 week old baby, but I wanted to stay forever.

Moving to Italy has always been an idea Nick and I tossed around. The “someday we’ll live in Italy” conversation has popped up over the years. Read More


The Right Choice

I hope you read the title like the New Kids on the Block song “The Right Stuff” because that’s exactly what went through my head when I wrote it.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
The right choice

Ok moving on….

I’ve discovered recently that when it comes to making decisions, I must always make the RIGHT choice.  The choice that leads to happiness and perfection for all involved in the decision. If the outcome is less than ideal, clearly it’s my fault for choosing incorrectly. Read More


Philosophy Change

As an education major in college, I was required to write a “Philosophy of Education” paper. All I remember about the assignment is that we had to write it. I have no idea what I wrote about. I feel like it was early in my program courses, but it seems to make sense to have it near the end after we’d finished student teaching and all that jazz, so maybe that’s when I wrote it.

I remember more about writing my philosophy of classroom management and coming up with a plan for my first year of teaching. I quickly adopted the Responsive Classroom approach partly because it’s what we read about for class, but also because I valued community in the classroom.  A place where students knew one another deeply and connected daily was high on my list of priorities.  I’d filled pages of a notebook in high school with “what I’ll do as a teacher” and almost every activity or approach to learning came back to community (most of them from Senora Bolyard my Spanish teacher for 3 years).

I graduated with my degree in elementary education and took to teaching in the university classroom shortly after. Every year community was high on my list. My beliefs in what education and the classroom should look like remained the same until I started looking into schools for Mariah. And now that she’s been in school and I’ve seen more of the ins and outs of how the district works, my ideals are shifting and I’m trying to sort through all the opinions and ideas and research to find where I land. Read More


You put a WHAT in your WHAT?!

I keep it real on here.  I mean sometimes I like to process things privately before writing, but once I decide to share I don’t hold back.  I also like to talk about things that make life easier whenever I can and this little contraption has done just that. I’m surprised at how few people have heard about it, so of course I need to educate as many as I can!

Now, there will be discussion about lady parts in this post, so if you don’t want to know or hear about “Aunt Flow”, “that time of the month”, or let’s be grown ups and use the proper term: the menstrual cycle, then this is your chance to back out and close the window. I promise to continue to be a grown up and use only the proper terms, but if you don’t want to know any more, kindly walk away.  I will not be offended. Read More


A shift for the summer

I would like a t-shirt. One that says “I survived my first week of summer break!” Not because it’s been this horrible terrible week, but because MAN it’s been a major roller coaster ride!

summer break is here

Monday, I started off on a high.  I was thrilled to be staying home, to spend one on one time with my littlest one and walk my oldest to and from school each day.  I wondered if I’d enjoy this break so much it would be tough to go back to work in August.  There was no morning rush so we ate a leisurely breakfast and had morning play time.  My girls had braids in their hair.  BRAIDS!  Nobody has time for braids when your kids start getting ready 30 minutes before you need to be in the car.  We’re lucky if hair is even brushed most days. Lana entertained herself and I READ A BOOK! Nap went well (I took one too of course) and the afternoon pick up and drive to gymnastics was smooth.  I didn’t feel hurried and stressed coming home from the gymnastics like I usually do, and we even got to push bedtime a little later since wake up doesn’t need to be at 6:30 anymore.


Oh, but how I needed a reminder that this life is not about perfection.

Lana’s sleep went out the window, she was still crabby from this lingering illness, she wouldn’t let me out of her sight.  Mariah needed alone time to wind down from the day right when her sister wanted to play with her most. The sister fights. Everyone had on their crabby pants.  I screamed. They screamed. Nick calmed us with ice cream. Read More


The G Word

One of the things I’ve been dealing with privately is the discovery that Mariah is indeed a “gifted” child.

It’s been an interesting label to come to grips with.  Of course we’ve always known she was smart and ahead of the curve with her verbal and reading skills.  It’s why we sent her to French school – we didn’t want her to be bored since she’d mastered kindergarten state standards just a few months after she was four. But we didn’t want to be one of THOSE parents who thinks their kid is just the best thing in the whole world.  “OF COURSE my  kid is gifted!  Look how AMAZING they are!” Yuck.

Right before the gifted assessment was administered at her school, I started looking into what gifted is.  Did she show other signs besides just being “really smart” in language and math? That little look around opened a whole new world I’d never known about.  There is a lot more to this gifted business than just being really smart. Read More