Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Club

If you haven't checked out my online book club yet, do it RIGHT NOW!

If you want to be a contributing author, let me know your email address by emailing it to me at Even if I don't know you, come join our online club!

Our book for April is Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. I haven't read this book yet, but I have always wanted to and I'm very excited to read it this month!

So come join the reading fest over at!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Running: Day One

Today I started my running plan! I am using the Couch potato to 5K runner plan. It came highly recommended, and I must say that today went very well! The first couple of running times were difficult- my ankles and calves hurt- but after a bit they loosened up and I started to feel better.

The main reason that running went so well today were my running partners. I was so happy to have three wonderful, sweet ladies run with me. It's so nice to actually have friends here in Bloomington now that I can hang out with.

We're running again on Thursday. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I'm not sure where this post is going to go, but I'll try to keep it short and simple. Although my thoughts are convoluted, and therefore this post may be as well. Hopefully I'll speak to what some of you feel about life, and perhaps we can work this out together. (We're all in this together right? HSM anyone?)

First of all, if you haven't read Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years you absolutely must drop whatever you are currently reading and pick it up. It is fabulous, and possibly life-changing. I know that sounds extreme, but I'm not kidding. It is incredibly provocative, and will challenge you beyond belief. I need to read it again, that's how great of a book it is.

On that note, the book is about your life story. He speaks of a story from an author's viewpoint, and then relates it to life. Since reading it, I haven't been able to stop asking myself, "What is my story? What do I want my story to be?"

This brings me to my difficult thoughts. I have a great life, don't get me wrong. I am enjoying our new church and growth group, and I'm really excited to get more involved. (I, of course, have some new ideas for our church.) However, I am terrified that I am going to wake up one day, and think, "Where did my life go? How in the world did I end up here?" Now, I want to be clear: I have absolutely NOTHING against a suburban, American life. I think it's a great choice for some people, and absolutely what God wants for various folks.

I just don't think I'm one of those folks. I don't want to be 30, married with a kid or two, living in a nice, suburban area, waiting to buy the next big item in our lives. Of course I want to still be married (DUH!), and I would love to have a kid or two, but I don't want to be settled. I want a story. I want people to say at my funeral, "Wow, did she live." I want my kids to think that life is one big adventure, not a series of events that (hopefully) move you up the social ladder.

I just don't know what that big adventure is. I want to be a part of something amazing- something that brings hope to our hurting, broken world. Something that furthers the kingdom in a mighty way.

BUT I want to still be financially responsible, and I want my kids to feel stable and safe. And I have no idea what God wants us to do. The great thing is that Justin is fantastic, and an adventurer too. I know that he is with me in these desires and feelings.

Again, my fear is that I'll wake up one day and be living this life I never intended or wanted to live. I want to fight selfish desires for the American dream, and fight for the dream of a story that is beyond this world.

How do you fight for your dreams?

Sorry if this makes no sense.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


In June, Justin and I are moving into a house! We are so excited. Apartment living just really isn't for us. I'm looking forward to having a yard, and no one above us! We are going to get to paint, which is perhaps the most exciting aspect of moving for me.

Here's where I need some help. What colors do I paint?!?! In our old house my living room and our bedroom was a really nice green color that had quite a bit of yellow in it, but was still relaxing and not overwhelming. I'm considering using green again for our living room. However, we have 3 bedrooms and a kitchen to consider colors for, so what do you think? I'm pretty much open to anything except red. These rooms are not large, so I want to be sure I don't shrink the room too dark of a color. However, I'm not opposed to rich, dark colors (except red).

I'll post pictures soon of various stuff I have to put in these rooms, and that might help spark some ideas.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Can't Believe I'm About to Write This

I realize that most of the human population makes their New Year's Resolutions at, well, the start of the New Year. But I am a maverick, and so I am making my New Year's resolution in the middle of March. And two of these four resolutions I can't even believe I'm about to make. But I am, and by putting it on here I feel accountable to these decisions. My readers (or maybe more accurately reader), will expect updates about these resolutions, and therefore I must keep them.

Resolution #1: Cook every night except one. And by cook, I mean that it has to require more than just putting it in the oven. I will still allow myself the occasional oven/microwave meal, but on a whole I want to actually cook the meals Justin and I eat. Thank God for The Pioneer Woman because I am going to use some of her recipes. If she can cook for a family of 6 and do all of the things she does, I can cook for Justin and I on a regular basis.

Resolution #2: Run. Yep, that's right, I'm going to start running. Thankfully I have two other sweet friends who are going to run with me, so I won't be alone in my misery. Misery loves company. At least, I think that's what I've heard. We're starting next week! YIKES!

Resolution #3: Photography. I love taking pictures, and I used to be really great about grabbing my camera before leaving the house, and photographing various life events. However, I haven't been taking nearly as many pictures as I used to, and I miss it. Therefore, I am going to make an effort to take more photographs.

Resolution #4: Watch less TV- Read more. I have this awesome online book club that I'm a part of (I might be biased...), and I definitely want to start choosing reading over TV. Generally I choose TV over everything, but that's not very healthy, so TV's gotta go. At least some of it. Hopefully this resolution will also help with #1 and 2, which are the scariest on the list.

So here we go! Time to make some changes. I'll keep you posted. And if you have any suggestions to help me with any of these endeavors, please feel free to share.

Friday, March 12, 2010

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

1. My husband (duh)
2. My church
3. Books- and I must expound on this point. I love everything about books. I love the way they look, the way they smell, the way they stand or lay on a shelf, and of course, most importantly, what's inside of them.
4. Words and vocabulary
5. Multiple choice quizzes that don't count for a grade and are about the most random topics. (Check out The Pioneer Woman for some fun ones with prizes attached!)
6. Fresh flowers- tulips in particular.
7. The color green
8. My Honda Element
9. The Czech Republic
10. Teaching
11. Candles (OBSESSED)
12. Harry Potter
13. Movies- especially cheesy chick flicks
14. Decorating
15. Real Simple magazine
16. Music
17. Different views on issues
18. Debating (direct correlation with #17)
19. The sixth graders hot chocolate (I am drinking some as I write)
20. The Ocean's 11 series
21. Washington, DC
22. My dogs
23. College- particularly Texas Tech!
24. The Lubbock sky
25. Riding my bike
26. My bed
27. Grr, my teddy bear that my dad gave me the day I was born
28. Laura Kate Wiley (and her mom's cool too)
29. Photography- and I am making myself promise to start taking more pictures again!
30. My family
31. Red River, NM
32. Fishing (see #32)
33. Colorado
34. Fun jewelry
35. Gilmore Girls
36. Adventures
37. You've Got Mail- classic
38. The smell after it rains
39. Disney
40. Jim Shore
41. Vacation
42. Learning
43. Target
44. Ikea
45. Dance parties
46. Sugarbrown's Coffee- however, my favorites are the Chai Tea Latte and the Mango smoothie
47. Chaco's
48. My IU Snuggie
49. Growth Group
50. iPod

That's all for now. I'll do another similar post later.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hot Chocolate and Granola Bars

Those of you who know me know (very well) that I do not cook. I don't enjoy it, I don't find it necessary, and in general I avoid it at all costs. However, I have a new product find to tell you about and a recipe to share! I know- crazy.

First, I bought these granola bars the other day at Target because they looked good, they are one of my favorite brands, and every once in a while I feel the need to try and be more healthy. (Too bad that doesn't happen more often...) Anyway, these granola bars are by Kashi and they are called "TLC Fruit and Grain" and the flavor I got is Raspberry Chocolate. Holy cow- they are amazing. And no, Kashi is not paying me to endorse their product. These granola bars are legit. I mean- delicious. And pretty filling- a great snack.

Okay, on the the recipe. This is a recipe for the best hot chocolate you will ever taste. I am not kidding. The 6th graders at my school make this every year for their parents and for the teachers. You layer the following ingredients in a pint jar, and it is a fabulous gift. Here are the ingredients:

1/2 cup of powder coffee creamer
1/3 cup of sugar (mix this with green food coloring for an extra bit of holiday cheer)
1/4 crushed peppermint candy (Use a food processor)
1/3 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of Nestle Quick
1/2 cup of dry milk

That's it. Trust me- make it and experience the best hot chocolate ever. I substitute Splenda for sugar, and I used the no-sugar added Nestle Quick, and it tastes just as good.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Life as I Know It

Lately, I'm feeling in a rut of sorts. I love my life, don't get me wrong. I have an amazing husband, two great dogs, a fabulous job, and a great church. But lately, I've just been feeling like there's more out there- more to do- that I want/need to be doing. My soul feels uneasy. Like I was meant to do more than this.

I really do love my job. Teaching is a great job- very rewarding, exciting, never dull. But I don't feel like teaching really utilizes my best skills. I am a leader- always have been, always will be. And while teaching puts my in a leadership role (obviously leading my students), it's not quite the way I feel like I was made to be a leader.

So, what do I do? I know that I'm not settled in my current role, but I don't really know what to do. I don't want to be a principal- my Dad was a principal, and needless to say, I don't want to be a principal. Honestly, I feel this desire to do something politically, but I have no idea how to do that.

I see our current educational system and how flawed and messed up it is. I know what I believe, and what other teachers believe, would be some good solutions to our current systems ailments, but how in the world do I get myself out there? I mean, the Secretary of Education is appointed by the President. So unless I come across and impress a future president, that job is out. Becoming a Senator or a Representative is EXPENSIVE, and in case you haven't checked, teachers don't make very much! Perhaps that's why teachers can't really get our voices heard, we don't have the money to do it.

Anyway, I don't know what the solution is, or where life is taking me. I'm thankful for my supportive husband who believes in me, and supports my endeavors, not matter how far-fetched they might be.

Anyone know any future presidents? Or want to give me a ton of money? Hook a sister up!