Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Tomorrow, I will meet my baby girl.  The tiny person who has been occupying my belly for the past 9+ months will make her entrance into the world.  The baby, who was once the size of a poppy seed, is now considered full term and ready for life outside the womb. Tomorrow will be her birthday - which I think is fitting seeing as tomorrow is the first day of Spring - a season that represents new life.  Tomorrow I will get to hold her in my arms and look into her eyes.  I will be a mother.  I will be a part of God's miraculous plan to bring new life into existence.  She will be the child God chose to give us and had in his plan all along for us as we prayed for a baby for almost a year.

So many things I will experience for the first time tomorrow.  But...I now realize that tonight will be the last night I will have my girl all to myself.  Tonight will be the last night I will lie in the bed and feel her gentle kicks.  It will be the last time I can keep her safe from pain in the outside world.  Tonight will be the last night I will look at my watermelon-esque belly and know that inside something wonderful is growing in there.  It is bittersweet.  I can't keep her all to myself any longer and I know that's a good thing.  She already has so many family and friends that are awaiting her arrival so they can shower her in love.  She is already so blessed and for that I am so so thankful.  

And while I have been well aware through changes in my body and her overwhelming presence within me these past several months, tomorrow her daddy will finally get a real glimpse at what we have created together.  I can't wait to watch him hold her.  I can't wait to see her wrap him around her finger.  I can't wait for us to be a family of three.  She has already made me love my husband more than I ever have and I'm sure that love will only grow with each passing day.  I think these pictures by our favorite photographer, Conrhod Zonio, capture the amazing love we are experiencing currently for our baby girl and each other. 



In other, less sappy news, guess who celebrated her 5th birthday today?!  My adopted, furry daughter, Mona!

Although I'm not sure of her exact birthday, I adopted her from the animal shelter in May of 2008 when she was 8-9 weeks old so I estimate her birthday to be somewhere around mid March.  Regardless, today we celebrated her 5th year of life with cookies from the Bluegrass Barkery.  She and her sister approved! She has enriched my life so much over the last five years.  I am lucky to have been blessed with such a sweet pup who loves me more than anything.  I can't wait for Piper to meet her furry sisters and love them like I do! 

Baby and nursery pics to follow soon! 

Prayers for a safe delivery and healthy baby are appreciated! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Matters of the Heart & the Hiccups

So you must first know that when I decided I wanted to start a blog, I wasn't pregnant....nor did I know how hard it would be once I got pregnant to keep up with my normal lifestyle, let alone keep you informed of what's going on in my daily existence via a blog.  Nonetheless, blogging is still something I am passionate about and want to do and I'm glad I started it last summer...even though my last post was a little over 4 months ago.  I just haven't yet found the right balance between pregnancy, work, life in general and blogging.  Soon, my struggle with no longer included pregnancy but rather, mommyhood, which I know will be even more time consuming and exhausting than pregnancy ever was.  Still, I welcome that challenge with much anticipation! 

I am four weeks or less away from holding this precious baby girl that for 9+ months has occupied my tummy.  I can't say it's been easy.  Being pregnant has been the hardest thing I've ever physically done.  I've not been exempt from any pregnancy symptom my What to Expect When Expecting book warned me about.  I've had the heartburn, the acid reflux, the excruciating pelvic pain, the sciatic nerve pain, the rock bottom immune system that allows me to pick up everything coming going, the swelling, numbness and tingling of my limbs, the emotional name it, I've experienced it.  I know that soon, however, it will all be worth it.  The song "In My Daughter's Eyes" has been playing in my mind for the past few weeks and every time, I get teary-eyed. 

"And when she wraps her hand around my finger...oh, it puts a smile in my heart.
 Everything becomes a little clearer.  I realize what life is all about."

It gets me EVERY.TIME.  The last time I remember hearing that song my dad was escorting me across stage during the evening gown competition of my second year in the Miss Kentucky pageant.  What a memory!  And to think that the song that I have such fond memories of with my dad, will soon apply to my own life.  My heart swells...not only because the lyrics are tear jerkers and soon I'll get to look into my very own daughter's eyes, but because I am so blessed to still have my dad in my life.  He is my hero. 

For those of you who know me well, you know that just recently my immediate family went through the most major hardship we have faced to date.  After a abnormal echo cardiogram and a failed stress test, a cardiologist told my dad that he might need to go in for a heart cath..."might" as in the test results were borderline - not too bad and not too good either.  He left the decision as to whether to go ahead with the test completely up to my dad.  My dad immediately decided he was going to have this test just for peace of mind.  Then, life happened...he was busy running the store he and my mom own and the holidays were coming up soon.  He planned a Christmas getaway in Florida and thought little of the test that 'might' need to be performed.  However, the tightness in his chest and the pains he still had, even while relaxing in the Sunshine State, reminded him that when he got back to Kentucky, he 'might' need to actually look into getting that test after all.  So four months after the being advised that he 'might' need to have a heart cath, he scheduled it for mid January.  I worked that day and left school just in time to see him before the heart cath.  He was calm... and kinda upset that he was forced to wear a hospital gown.  My mom was surprisingly calm.  I was not calm.  Pregnancy does not allow a woman to hide emotions very well.  This was the first time I had ever seen my dad in the hospital and I did not like it.  Still, I was sure nothing would be wrong with the strongest man I had ever known or loved.  He went back for the test and mom and I went to the waiting room with a pager that would let us know when the doctor was ready to talk to us.  While there, my mom and I discussed my upcoming baby shower, where we might eat after the test was complete and how my belly had grown, not thinking that anything would actually be wrong.  My brother arrived shortly after and about 45 minutes later, we were being paged to come back.  I thought this short amount of time was a great sign that all was well and there were no blockages to be found but as I sat down in the room with my mom and brother and listened to the cardiologist, I discovered this was not the case.  Not at all. 

He grabbed a drawing of the heart from one of the paper organizers on the table and hooked it to a clipboard.  From there, he started filling in blockages of different arteries with a pen to demonstrate what my dad's situation was.  It was scary and my hope for the best was ripped away.  I heard the words 'four' and 'bypass' come out of his mouth.  Four blockages, including one termed 'the widow maker', had occupied my dad's heart. The arteries around the back of his heart had luckily formed new arteries to supply the major artery in the front with blood supply. Had this not happened, he would have died from a massive heart attack. The fix?  Bypass surgery. 

What? Are you telling me that this healthy man I call dad is in need of quadruple bypass open heart surgery?  Yes, that was the situation.    When?  Now!  As in, as soon as we can get a bed open at the hospital across town, he are admitting him and scheduling the surgery.  I was not prepared for this but then again, when is anyone ready to be told that a love one has to have an emergent surgery to help save and prolong his/her life?  The rest of the night was filled with lots of tears and family and phone calls and trying to stay strong and trust in God's plan.  It was rough.  Colby left work early to be with me.  My other brother, his wife and my nephews from back home came.  He was immediately taken to ICU while we awaited news of a bed open at the other hospital and only two people at a time were to be back in his room at one time.   We all took turns going back with him and mom and then soon, we were sent home, still unsure of when surgery would take place. 

After arriving home, we received news that dad's surgery would take place early in the morning around 7:30am.  Needless to say, no one slept well that night.  I was up at 4am and at the hospital at 5 to hear what the surgeon had to say.  The surgeon was reassuring and I had faith in him, despite what the crocodile tears running down my face might have led him to believe.  As my dad was wheeled back to surgery, I let go and let God....trusting that God would hold my dad during this major surgery and guide the surgeons hands perfectly.  What else could I do?  The praying didn't cease nor did the crying.  The next 5 hours were long for my family but finally, we were led to a room to discuss the results with the surgeon.  All was good! Praise the Lord! They were able to perform the four bypasses successfully and he was stable.  Mom and I were the first to go back to see him and it was scary.  He was lying unconscious hooked up to what seems like a million tubes and monitors with a nurse standing by his side watching his every move.  We weren't allowed to stay long but seeing him alive was comforting. 

Over the next week, I watched him progress each day.  Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing someone I love in pain...and he, was in a lot of it.  It was hard seeing this man I had always seen as invincible, being helpless.  The important thing, however, was he was alive and would only get better with time.  Since, he has healed up nicely and been released to drive and return to work (minus the heavy lifting and manual labor that he was used to).  He is certainly happy about that.  I am praising God for the work he has done on my dad!  Thank you Lord for watching over and healing this wonderful man I get to call dad. 

Even though my dad was the one who went through surgery and recovery, I have to also give props to my mom for standing by his side throughout the entire process.  She was by his side day in and day out, sleeping in a recliner, showering every couple days and living on hospital cafeteria food and snacks.  She was his biggest cheerleader and drill sergeant.  Let me tell you, she is a strong, courageous woman....the strongest I know, in fact and she amazes me everyday.  How lucky I am to be able to call her mom. 

Taken at my nephew Landon's birthday party in October 2012.  It was a mustache bash!
And soon, my baby girl, who we have decided to name Piper Eden, will be able to call these two people I love so very much, Granny and Paw.  Let the spoiling begin!
In other news, Piper had the hiccups for first time last weekend.  Ahh-ma-zing.  What a miraculous reminder that there is another human being growing in my belly!  You never cease to amaze me, God!  She is an active little lady and should be weighing in now at around 6 pounds.  Colby and I can't wait to meet our little miracle. 
Wow!  Blog post overload!  I apologize for the lengthiness.  I hope it makes up for my lack of blogging these past few months.  I will leave you with a preview of the maternity pics we took Sunday.  Wholly watermelons!  Look at my belly!  Thank you Conrhod Zonio Photography for capturing this happy time in our lives!  I can't wait to see the rest!  

Conrhod Zonio Photography
I hope to soon be back with a glimpse of the nursery. You won't want to miss it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Think Pink!

That's right!  It's a girl!  And I must say that this announcement came much to the surprise of my husband and the 20+ guests that joined us at our gender reveal party on Friday night.  I have to admit -  even I was shocked.  Colby had me completely convinced for the past month that we were certainly going to have a blue baby, not a pink baby like I had envisioned in my head many months before we even became pregnant.  But, she showed herself clearly to the ultrasound tech and now we know, we are going to soon have a daughter.  I'll give you the rundown of Friday's events.

All week last week, I was anticipating the first day of fall break...not only because I needed a few days away from my little darlings at school, but because I knew that Friday was the day our baby's gender would finally be determined.  Thursday night, I didn't sleep well.  Something about knowing that such a big surprise awaited us the next day wouldn't let me get into deep sleep mode.  Regardless, I woke up early Friday morning to begin preparing for our gender reveal party that would take place later that night.  Our ultrasound appointment was scheduled for 1pm that day.  Our original plan was to find out together at our appointment and then to share the big news later that day with our families but as the day grew closer, I decided it would be so much more special to share in the excitement of all the family and friends that were coming to the party and not find out during the ultrasound.  My husband was not game on this plan, until I finally convinced him the night before the party....and I'm so glad I did.

When we arrived for our appointment, I checked in and immediately informed the receptionist that we DID NOT want to find out baby's gender during our ultrasound.  I informed her of our plan that we wished to have the ultrasound pics sealed in an envelope and asked if someone in the office could call the bakery we were getting our cake from to inform them of baby's gender.  She was more than willing to help and seemed to be really excited about our plan...especially after she found out we were getting our cake from Mondelli's Bake Shop.  She, like us, loves the butter cream icing.  When we were finally called back for our appointment, I checked with the ultrasound tech to make sure she was aware of our plans.  She showed us our sweet baby's profile and let us hear the heartbeat...156bpm.  Then, before she went searching for baby's gender, she asked us to turn our heads.  It was hard to not find out right then but I knew it would be so worth it just a few short hours later when we could share it with the ones we loved most.  Colby even turned his head willingly reluctantly and went along with my plan.  Just a few minutes later, she handed me a couple pics of baby's profile and upper torso and then an envelope with baby's gender pics. We left the office proud that we had actually not given into the temptation to look and extremely anxious for the party.

We went to the bakery and picked up the securely sealed box that held the cake decorated with either pink or blue.  We bought an array of pink and blue decorations and soon had the house ready for the big reveal. 

Moe's arrived a little before the party began to set up the food table.  It wasn't long until our house was filled with our closest family and friends all dressed in pink or blue depending on their guess for Baby Newsome's gender.  We had a chalkboard set up for guests to cast their votes for either Team Pink or Blue.  Each guest took a pumpkin badge to wear in support of their guess.


We ate some delicious Mexican, enjoyed some fun conversations about the possibilities of Baby Newsome and before long, it was time to open the cake box.  We all gathered around the kitchen table for the big reveal.   Colby and I worked for what seemed like forever to tear into the box.  When all the tape seals were broken and the box was opened, there she was...a little blonde haired, blue eyed baby girl under a pink blanket adorning the cake.  What?!?!  Shock and awe filled the room!  The daddy to be was probably the most shocked of all.  I was beyond thrilled and I honestly didn't know I'd be so excited for a girl.  See the below photos and video.

Team Pink was definitely the underdog with only 5 votes...including Mona, our basenji mix pound puppy.  The victory was definitely sweet for the three pink ladies below.  Yes, my dress is actually pink and blue but my badge said girl.  My reasoning for not going with just one color was because I wanted my baby to look back on pictures of this night and know that I wasn't pulling for one sex over the other...although, after looking at the reveal picture, I must have been wanting a daughter just a little more. 

The pink ladies! Me with my sister-in-law, Kelly and my mama. This will be the first granddaughter for my mother.  She was tickled pink!

Mona is so excited for a sister!
Whoo!  What an exciting, eventful weekend!  Sharing this wonderful moment with our closest loved ones was so special and will never be forgotten.  There is something about knowing the gender of the baby that puts me at ease.  Perhaps it's that I know we can start buying all thinks pink and girly and begin preparing the nursery for our sweet baby.  Perhaps it's that our baby has a name now...which I will reveal at a later date :).  Either way, I am ending my fall break feeling extremely blissful about my growing little girl and our growing little family.    God is so good to us!
I know in my last post I promised a description of our recent apple unit.  I may still get around to it this week but my sweet baby girl was on my mind and it seemed only fair that this post be dedicated to her.  I know you'll understand.   Here's to Team Pink!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

E to the X to the H-a-u-s-t-e-d

Here I am...back after only 7 days!  See...I am trying!  I write this as I lay swaddled in my down comforter with my head comfortably positioned on top of two big fluffy pillows.  Yes, it's only Tuesday and I'm already drained....and we go on a field trip tomorrow....and Wednesday is also my long day at school this week...and this Saturday is our Fall Carnival, which means I'll be spending half of my Saturday at school. Do you feel my exhaustion?  Where is all the energy that I've been promised will come back to me in my second trimester? 

So where to begin?  We visited the baby doctor last week and got to hear Little Bobo's heartbeat of 150bpm.  (Bobo is a nickname we've given our little peanut recently.  Not sure how it got started but Colby and I use it frequently when referring to our unborn child...and sometimes each other.  We go through these weird nickname phases so I don't know how long it will last but for now, it suits.)   Then on Saturday, I took Colby lunch at the ER where he was working that day, and he and I played around with the ultrasound machine and got to see Little Bobo kicking up a storm!  I just love seeing my baby moving around in my growing belly.  He/she turned and flipped and showed us every body part except the parts we were really looking know what I'm talking about.  We are 10 days away from finding out our baby's gender and have tried every way possible to find out before.  I guess Little Bobo really wants it to be a surprise when we have our gender party next Friday.  Once the gender is determined, the buying and planning and decorating can really begin!  Colby has already planned a pirate themed room complete with a mini shark filled fish tank for the son he is hoping for.  Meanwhile, I've got visions of pink flowers and frilly ruffles and crystal chandeliers dancing in my head.  I will be happy with a boy or long as I'm the favorite parent. Just kidding...kinda :).

Photos by Melissa Rossine

Other than being completely obsessed with a person I've never met, I've been emotionally drained from the first episode of the new season of Grey's Anatomy.  Seriously.  I'm not sure my hormonal, pregnant self can handle this show right now.  Coincidentally, Glee has switched nights to Thursday at 9 so I'm now torn between the two.  This week, I chose to go with Glee since I knew there would be lots of good music and peppiness to boot.  I DVR'd Grey's so I could watch on Friday.  I'm glad I made that decision.  I think if I had chosen to watch Grey's on Thursday, my Friday could have possibly been ruined.  I'm not even joking.  This show knows how to turn me into a blubbery, sobbing mess of a woman.  It ain't pretty, I'm just tellin' ya!

RIP McSteamy :(

Do I seem a little ADD to you tonight?  I apologize.  I blame it on my pregnancy brain.

In my last post, I know I promised you an update on classroom happenings and I wish I could say I have a whole unit to post about, but sadly, I do not. I just do not take pictures like I should.  I already feel like I do a million things at once when I'm teaching so I rarely have time to think, "hey, I should take a picture of this".   I am, however, going to share my latest Teachers Pay Teachers creation with you.  It's a Columbus Read Around the Room activity.  My kiddos love hunting for words around the room and since Columbus Day is next week, I thought I'd go ahead and create a fun activity for my Ks and firsties.  You can find the packet and its contents by clicking on the pic below.

In my next post, I plan to give you a rundown of all the apple goodness we've been working on in my class as we celebrated Johnny Appleseed's birthday last week.  Tomorrow, we visit the apple orchard and on Friday, we will have an apple tasting party to culminate our unit.  There will be lots of fun projects to share! 

Thanks for reading.  I appreciate all the comments, emails and Facebook messages letting me know you frequent my blog.  I feel so loved. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweet Surprise

Yes, yes, I know.  It's been forever since I last posted.  What else is new?  I always have good intentions of posting...and then I get home...and my husband....or my dogs....or the couch seems to always call my favorite evening being when all three do :).  Now that the new seasons of The Voice and Glee (yes, I'm a gleek) are back on, I do waste some time watching the tube, too.  Regardless, please accept my apology if you thought I was gone, never to return again!  My goal is to post at least once a week.  Motivate me to meet my goal with some feedback, comments or just by letting me know that someone out there actually reads my ramblings :). 

So...I'm officially through my first trimester.  Tomorrow will make me exactly 14 weeks pregnant and although there was no projectile vomiting from this mama-to-be, I am super happy to say buh-bye to those first 13 weeks.  I've been told that once you make it past the first trimester, your energy starts to come back and you can actually tolerate certain foods again.  I'm anxious to see if this holds true for me.  Since school started, it seems that by the time I finally make it home, all I'm capable of is eating dinner (take-out) and going to bed....sometimes as early as 6:30pm.  I've also had lots of headaches, mostly mild but last week I had the most monstrous migraine headache that absolutely debilitated and confined me to my house for two days.  I had to spend two days away from my precious school babies to lay in the bed, with a pillow covering my eyes, cold packs around my neck and around the clock Tylenol doses.   Luckily, I was finally saved with some meds called in from the ER where my husband was working; however, because there was such intense, throbbing pain in my head for so long, it took a whole day to actually recover from the migraine itself.  If you've never experienced a migraine, consider yourself lucky (and I'll consider myself jealous).

I began this blog back in the summer mostly so that I could document all the cool things that go on in my classroom.  And then...I got pregnant.  So if you are reading in hopes of finding a great project idea to go along with your Johnny Appleseed unit or a fun, fall writing activity today, stop reading now...because I'm about to flood this post with pics of my unborn child and our first trimester maternity pics.  I will do my best to post some pics of things that are happening in my classroom later this week, but for now, I'm going to brag... and show off my precious peanut, gender still undetermined.

Here's my little thumb sucker now...

Check out this great profile!  He/she is going to be a looker, like daddy, for sure! :)
And now, for some mommy and daddy (and baby) pics...
Proud parents :)
Our little pumpkin should be about the size of this little pumpkin right about now.
And finally, our gender teaser pic...
We don't know yet, either...and won't find out until October 12th.  Ahh! 
In the meantime, what do you think our sweet surprise will be?  A blue baby or a pink baby???

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August Rush

It has been 17 days since my last post.  So much has happened since that post that I don't really even know where to start so I'll just let this pic speak for itself.

This is something we had been praying for almost a year.  We prayed that God would put a baby in our lives in His perfect timing; of course, with that prayer came a prayer of giving us the ability to be patient.  Our patience finally paid off one Sunday night when we shockingly got a pink little positive sign on not one, but two pregnancy tests.  We've since had our first prenatal visit and got to see our little peanut's heartbeat fluttering on the sonogram.  Take my breath away.  Cue the tear-filled eyes.  Now, we are just anticipating finding out if we are having a blue baby or pink baby!  We would be thrilled with either and just feel so blessed that God has chosen us to be parents to this special little person growing inside me...who right about now is measuring about the size of a green olive (about 1 inch).  Funny how something so small has already taken up so much room in my heart :). 

In other news, I've started back to school.  I am in love with my small class of 17 Kindergartners and first graders.  I truly believe I have the cutest, sweetest, smartest group of kinders and firsties ever!  We have been hard at work over the last 7 days, getting into the daily routine of school.  We've been practicing rotating through various centers, learning to use the computer and completing lots of fun, crafty projects which I'll share soon when I actually remember to take pics. 

In my last post, I promised pics of my new room which has a rock n' roll/funky animal prints theme, although I don't have a photo of my favorite decorative feature which is the records and animal print paper lanterns that my sweet, little husband hung from my classroom ceiling.  Special thanks go to my husband, mom and mother-in-law for helping me set up my home away from home.  I am very happy with how my room turned out and the kids really love it, too. 

Word Wall and AR book shelf

Reading Center with my new book shelf...thank you, Mrs. Lewis!

I Can board, schedule pocket chart and reading group resource bins

This is where students will put notes from home, completed homework and bookworms.  The purple chart below will hold our lunch cards.
Bravo board for keeping track of the our weekly table competitions, listening reminders (courtesy of Christie Berlener at First Grade Fever) and my behavior clip chart (compliments of my favorite blogger, Babbling Abby). 

The clips hold a picture of a student who will do a certain job each week. I change helpers every Monday.   Pictures of students who don't have a job that week stay inside the zebra print pocket.  I have done my classroom helper board like this since I started teaching and I love it. 

I've not decided if I'm completely thrilled with this board.  The idea behind it was based on Billboard charts but I didn't know where to start, so for now, this is what I came up with.  Suggestions welcome!

This is the bucket the kids put their library books in once they have read them.  On check-out days, my library helper takes the books back to the library.
Where my reading groups will take place...I am crazy for my crate seats! 

What do you think? 

In the midst of all the chaos of starting school, we traveled to Pike county last Saturday for my youngest nephew, Ashton's 5th birthday party.  Loved getting to see my family even if it was just for a few short hours.  I even got to paint a few faces like the Cat in the Hat in honor of the Dr. Seuss themed party!  Pete the Cat, my classroom mascot, went along for the ride so that I could share with my students his weekend adventures.  I was lucky enough to snap of pic of the birthday boy and Pete!

Just presh!
For Ashie's present, I got him his own Pete and a couple Pete books.  My kiddos love Pete!  Each weekend, my Pete will go home with a different student in my class and on Monday, we read about his adventures and check out pictures of all the fun things Pete got to do that weekend with that particular student.  The kids get so into it and can't wait to see who Pete goes home with each Friday.  I've used Curious George before this year but was introduced to Pete last year and thought he was a better fit for our class. 

And just because I love my mama so much...

Well, I hope that's enough randomness for you:  a pregnancy announcement, classroom decor pics & a birthday party.  I will try to not make it another 17 days before posting again!  My lesson plans and newsletter are finished for the week.  Whoohoo!  Tomorrow I get to spend quality time with the hubs which I am most excited about.  Have a great rest of the weekend! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to School Blues

Yes, that's what I'm singing this week as I prepare to get back in the groove of the busy life that comes with being a teacher.  I do love my job.  I love seeing the kids' smiling faces each morning.  I love the million hugs I get a day not only from my students but from the Kindergartners and former students.  I love all the cutesy projects we do in first grade.  I love seeing the ginormous progress the firsties make as the year goes on.  I love gabbing with my co-workers before and after school.  With that said, I do not love getting up early.  I don't love doing a million things at once (i.e. simultaneously working with one child on an assignement while tying another student's shoe and answering a question of a different child).  I don't love being at school almost more than I am at home.  I don't love when my husband's schedule completely differs from mine.  I do not love getting home at 7pm and being so tired that I'm passed out on the couch by 8.  But, it all comes with the territory and there are many perks that come along with this profession - summer being one of them. 

I know I've been MIA for awhile.  I've been kinda lazy.  I'm trying to enjoy my last days of freedom and relaxation.  I've been sleeping late, not showering til late in the day, taking naps and spending time with my favorite people and pets.  I have loved not being on a schedule but since summer is winding down and my busy life will soon be picking back up, I treated myself to a new planner for the upcoming year.  Not just any planner though.  An Erin Condren Life Planner to be exact.  Personalized with a list of my favorite things that cover both front and back.  It was pricey but at least I'm now a bit more motivated to get back on track and be organized.  If you are like me and love planners, bright colored pens and making notes and doodles, I suggest you check out Erin's website.  My planner arrived this week and it was love at first sight.

In between my lazy days, I did manage to work a couple days in my classroom getting prepared for next week.  I still have several things to do til it's complete but it's definitely coming along.  I'll post pictures as soon as it's finished!  Until then, I'll be savoring every minute I can of the last days of summer break.  School starts in a week!  Yikes!