Friday, September 28, 2018

Weekend Is Here

Last Sunday Abigail brought these flowers to Pam because SHE GOT IN!!! Pam lit up when Abigail told her. It was delightful.


This weekend Scott and I will be speaking at the Marriage Prep Day at our church. So looking forward to it. (except for the dressing up on a Saturday part)

We finished this puzzle as a family this week just in time for all things fall. This Sunday we will be heading (no matter what) to the apple orchard to pick apples. It's one of our favorite kick off fall fun things to do!


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Worry Time... Mindfulness from an Eleven Year Old

Well hello there! I am so behind on things I want to capture. I had a second and decided to clean up the photos and videos on my phone. There is so much in a just before the first day classroom tour, little snippets of Anna playing the viola, and then there's this!

Abigail had started middle school and this was back in very early September. Scott had taken her to her Dr. Jerson appointment (back here) and she came home so so so happy about all that she learned. I wanted to capture her joy... and I did! She learned about 'worry time' and I think it's brilliant!

I'll let her explain:

God is so so good - bringing people into our lives when when we need it. Dealing with EoE for all these years and we 'just found' this doctor to help her manage her daily pain. I can say that it was just the right time. You can tell she is so ready to receive all that is given to her. And all I can say is "His strength is perfect."

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Scott's Birthday

Scott turned 45 on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! So of course there was no celebrating that day.

So the girls surprised him with a night trip to Mystic ... Mystic Aquarium at night (a members only night), burgers, and a cake from the allergy bakery.

It was just what we needed to do!







Monday, September 24, 2018

Always, Intentional Parenting

On Friday mornings I make the homemade french toast.

He writes the breakfast notes.



We adore being parents; adore. And we don't just do it - we do it with all our heart.

Friday, September 21, 2018

This was Me Last Night

Last night was Curriculum Night. Abigail took this of me just leaving the house. I spoke for an hour to 23 sets of parents. If I could I'd show you the movie I made of my class showing their parents the day. Did I mention that I stood up there and spoke for one whole hour and didn't even feel a pinch of being nervous.  There are some really good things that come with age!


Thursday, September 20, 2018


This summer Abigail was asked to cantor at Mass. She sang the ENTIRE Mass. It was lovely and very very special for her.

The cantor that helped her is a wonderful person. I took these videos of the practice they had.

And then last week at Mass I mentioned to Abigail that she might want to see if Pam could help her out with some pointers for an upcoming school select chorus audition.

And she did right after Mass as people were still exiting.

Abigail had to sing 'My Country Tis of Thee' and Pam spent a few minutes working through it with her.

I don't want Abigail to every forget good good people that pour into her life. I am grateful.

We don't know yet if Abigail will 'get in' but we are proud of her for using that sweet voice He gave her to sing to our church and to sing at her school.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Well about mid September the 'back to school' hits me hard. I've had excitement pulling me through. I could go on little sleep, and teach with high energy and enthusiasm from 8:30-3:20 day after day. I'm learning so much about my students - where they are academically, socially, emotionally. There are individual DRA reading tests I give and math too.  I'm getting my reading groups up and running, planning hands on math lessons, getting trained in the new science that's being rolled out. Each and every day I plan and get ready a literacy, math, writer's workshop, science, morning meeting (for personal and social development) for every single day. The planning is fun and easy - mostly. It's the getting the lessons ready - anchor charts made, materials out, copies, smart board slides that take the longest. I work on the way my classroom looks and feels to those young people. I answer emails and meet with anxious parents before and after school. Yesterday was our 18th day of school and I'm tired. Like really, really tired. Yes, September hits me hard right about now.

Some have asked me if it's different this year. Last year was my first year back to the classroom after 13 years. And yes, it is different this year. Very very different. The actual work is the same. Yes, there are plans I can pull from from last year. But last year was survival. And this year is almost like a first year because it's about good, good teaching. And so I'm redoing a lot. But this year I'm more confident. Less anxious. I can meet with a parent and not even feel the tiniest bit nervous. I'm 45; they are mostly younger than me and I've been a classroom teacher for eleven years. I feel confident in my teaching, the curriculum, and what goes on each day in our room. So this year is a good year for that.

But I have today off for the Jewish holiday and we are all home - which is wooooonderful. We decided to hire some cleaning help - last April we decided, and I refuse to justify it to anyone. It was a decision that I had to work through for a long time - and with some help from a friend (and Scott literally begging me because he could see how hard it was to clean after all of that I just listed above) I need the help, period. So today is the day they happen to come. I think Scott and I will make some picnic lunches and take the girls apple picking while they clean.

I would like to be here more often. To visit the blogs that so inspire me. And I will. Soon, because I'm getting in the rhythm of teaching again and I need to document life. Because life is wonderful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I'm Happy to See you Too!

This weekend I wore jeans and a cozy sweater. It's fall for sure here and I couldn't be happier! 

But last week in school we had crazy hot temps. There is no AC in the elementary schools and so we got out early at 1:00 because the schools were just too hot to be in. 

But the high school (Anna) and the middle school (Abigail) does have AC so they got out at the regular time. Do you know what that meant?  That meant that I got to pick up both girls. I drove to the high school and Anna hopped in. And then later I walked to our backyard to see Abigail coming out of her school. 



It was the BEST! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The First Day

I am always overly ready for the first day of school in my classroom but boy oh boy it is something crazy in our own house. Since Scott and I are both in education it makes it 4 times more the nerves. 4 times more the energy. 4 times more the excitement. All of us. The first day of school. Together.

So our routine has changed this year now that Scott is principal in a new school. He needs to go earlier. And that has changed around our driving. So here's what we do this year:

4:50 me up
6:10 anna up
6:40 scott leaves
6:50 abigail up
7:07 i drive anna about a mile to her high school and then drive home
7:39 i drop off abigail at her school which is next door to our house but I'm already leaving then anyway
7:50 arrive at my school
8:30 start teaching

It's like clockwork and down to the minute over here. A few minutes off and it's not pretty. So we stick with that schedule and it all works.

And here we are on the first day of school for all of us.

Not wanting to wake her up because the second she opens her eyes summer is over.

first day 1

Notes from daddy are a tradition.

first day 2

first day 3

My sweet sophomore.

first day 4

first day 5

first day 6

My middle schooler. I can read so much in her eyes there. It was such a pretty morning. The sun the way it hit the trees. I am always grateful for no rain on the first day.

first day 7

A really blurry picture of me that Abigail wanted to take.

first day 8

A Lily Pulitzer dress and heals. I'm not sure why I wear heals on the first day because there is no sitting in teaching. But I just don't feel right without heals on day one.

first day 9

I am so so grateful that I got to walk Abigail up this path toward her school just like I did for Anna.

(2014 Anna in the same spot)

16 collage


It was a squeeze of time and I made it only 5 minutes before I needed to meet my class. But I made it!

first day 10

first day 11

first day 12

I did not get a photo of Scott on his first day but I had to take one the weekend before for his website so at least I have this.

scott for website

Monday, September 10, 2018

Back to School Photo shoot


I love my sixth grader and Sophomore!


I love sisters!


I love bows!



I love details!


I love skirts!



I love watching them grow!


I love still seeing little in their eyes!



I love natural smiles!


I love first days of school !

2017 is here
2016 is here and here 
2015 is here and here 
2014 is here and here 
2013 is here and here 
2012 is here and here 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Back to School Blessing

This is. One very special tradition. This was. One very special evening in our home.

It's our Back to School Blessing dinner. Scott and I started this years ago. Some things have changed along the way. But the core of it is the same.

It's important to us to find a way to acknowledge the start of another school year for our daughters. And even more importantly we want to give them a theme/a mission statement. And we want to start the year in God's grace and blessings.

It takes us a long time to find just the right message to bless our girls with. And we talk about it for a while. And pray about it.

This year I decided to make a cozy dinner at home. I moved the kitchen table in the living room and get it all up with cozy colors. Elegant, but cozy. And different. Because this is no ordinary dinner time. It needs to be set apart for any other. And I want my girls to feel special.

It's almost like a holiday to them now. There's an anticipation about this night all week as we look forward to it.










Of course now the stained glass stars have become a tradition too. And they were beautiful this year. The girls have quite a collection now, each one with their name, the year and the grade they were starting.











As the darkness came and we had dinner Scott and I began to tell the girls about our family theme for this school year. We chose DIVE IN as our theme. (Steven Curtis Chapman)

We felt like Abigail leaving her elementary school years behind and starting middle school and Scott leaving his beloved elementary school and starting his new career in middle school were Diving In to a new path in life. But really, it was more practical (day to day) for us. The message we wanted the girls to come away with was one of diving in to the work at hand. They work that God laid out for each of us each day. To dive in also means to start what we need to do. To just start homework, start a task. Just dive in!

Even more important was the Bible verse that will be our guiding light this school year.

Ecclesiastes 11:4

He who observes the wind (and waits for all conditions to be favorable) will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

Instead of waiting or everything to be just right just dive in. Instead of waiting for what seemed like the right year to go back to the classroom, I just dove in last year to the door that God opened up for me. And it was a marvelous blessing. Scott dove in this year and all four of us dive in every day.





2017 is here
2016 is here
2015 is here