Best Month EVERRRR

Oh October, how I love you!  Seriously this is my very most favorite wonderful perfect great and awesome time of year.  The leaves are changing and the air is cooler and my nose is runny (oh wait, that isn't so awesome).  My birthday is in 15 days (and counting), and we finally ate chili this weekend!  I've obviously had mt fair share of candy corn and worn boots a couple times.  Ohhhh I love October and I love fall!  In case you are in the market to buy me a birthday gift, or Christmas present, or a thinking-of-you-so-I-bought-you-this-Vera-bag..... I figure a list of things I want is in order.  [Notice, I said things I want, not things I need, so its ok...]  PS. This list is really just for me ;)

1. Free trip to the salon to get my nails painted.  I can't seem to paint my own nails without dousing my entire hand in colored polish...
2. A new headband.
3. Gap giftcard so I can buy more clothes since I don't have very many... oh wait.
4. Target giftcard for similar purposes...but to also buy Raisinettes.  ["1-2"]
5. Tangled on DVD so I can watch it in my room and delete it off the DVR.
6. Tangled soundtrack, so Holly and I can learn all the songs driving to and from school everyday.
7. Someone to drive us to school and back everyday.
8. Personal aid to grade papers and make copies for me. 
9. Personal aid to clean my home and wash my clothes.
10. More hours in the day.
11. Wal-Mart to bring back my favorite creamer in the fat-free version...
12. Magic travel coffee mug that actually keeps my coffee hot for longer than an hour...
13. Did I say Tangled on DVD?
14. No papers to grade on my birthday. 
15. All my friends to move to Manhattan and live next door to me.
16. My students to be really good...4L.
17. To lose 10lbs, duh.
18. World peace and no more poverty.



I need an outlet......

...because poor, poor Holly has definitely heard enough of my whining, and I feel like right now it is just about all I do.  The 

I went to MCC tonight for the first time since school has started.  I haven't been away for that long since.... well since pre-August 2005 when I came to college.  While I do love my job and all the wonderful perks (salary, new pals, fulfilling days, etc.) it brings with it, I already miss the simplicity and ease of college living.  One semester I literally worked FIVE JOBS and took a full load of classes while being an RA and a youth sponsor and maintaining a plethora of relationships, and still maintained complete sanity.  Thus far this semester, I am doing like, one and a half things and feel like I can't even get those done well and/or on time!  Sheeeessshhhh. 

Good thing the little monsters, I mean, middle schoolers were mucccchhh better today than they have been yet!  Maybe I should cut my hair every weekend??  (I think yes!) 

Actual conversations---

Student: "Mrs. Brown, did you cut your hair?" Me: "No...the craziest thing, I just woke up and it was like this!"  Student: "Wait, really??"  Me: "Yahhh, no."  [I really do love them!!!]  

Another Student: "Mrs. Brown, why did you cut your hair?"  Me: "Ehh, I felt like it."  Another Student: "Yahh, but I liked it better before."  [Dangit.]

Yet Another Student: "Mrs. Brown, you are the best teacher in the whole world and for your birthday in 22 days I am bringing you chocolate and diet vanilla coke and flowers!"  [Hahaha that didn't really happen!  I wish ;)]

Anyway, basically the majority decided while they did like my hair better before, it looks pretty this way too.  Such nice little angels.  ;)

My kids did also try to tell me I enjoy being mean and giving Time-Outs today.  It's like they just don't know me at all.....those are the parts I enjoy the very least :/

For three out of the four classes I teach, today was the best day, behavior and productivity-wise, that we have had yet.  I felt like I could actually be mobile in the room and not just babysit one particular area, and there was a lot accomplished!  Hopefully tomorrow will continue to be good!  [Fingers crossed, knock-on-wood...]  I did, however, just realize I have to grade 100+ essays per the six-trait rubric this weekend, which is just lovely... bye-bye weekend...and it is only Monday!  Oh well!  

Have I mentioned just how much I love my dog lately?  He is the bomb.com for reals.  I never understood the whole "man's best friend" thing until now, but seriously he is just so dang loyal and always so excited to see me when I get home!  And he has finally figured out that if he wants to sleep on the bed, it has to be by our feet (err, my feet) because someone, ahem, cough cough, doesn't like to wake up snuggled next to our little fluff-puff of a pooch... whatever ;)  I am just so lucky and blessed to have two loves at home to escape to and relax with.  We will have had Petee a whole year in just a couple weeks (crraaazzzyyyy)!!!  It seriously feels like we have had him forever.  Life without that little pup would be so sad.  Kids?  No thanks.  We love our dog too much!  [But seriously]. 

Best life...no matter the stress of seventh grade. 


sometimes ya just give in to your emotions

I am about as typical girl as they come.  I eat junky food when I am sad, I do and say things to please and impress other people, and I start a new diet and workout plan at leas twice a week.  I listen to the same depressing songs on repeat over and over and over, and I watch movies and shows that I know will make me cry.  I still love my daddy and my momma is one of my best friends.  I have a serious addiction to wearing cardigans and have more bags than I would like to admit.  I believe in retail therapy and love to get a pedicure and drink skinny lattes.  But very much most of all, when I get irrational, emotional, and stressed, I love to cut my hair. 

Today, spur of the moment, because I wanted to, I cut my hair.  Choppy chop chop chop!  Bye-bye hair!  (Well not alllll of it!)  I cut it because I am stressed and emotional and crazy and needed to do something irrational. [Thanks to Nate-dog the bro-in-law and our bestest pal, Jordan for going with me to Great Clips!  Oops...only spent 12 bucks...cheapest haircut ever.]

Tomorrow begins a new six weeks with my precious seventh grade babies and tomorrow I am going to do better, teach better, be better, and love better.  Tomorrow.


What if your blessings come through raindrops...

Things that are good:
1.  All my shows are back.  Very lame, but very much happy.
2.  DVR.  Thank you, whoever took the VCR and transformed it into DVR.  Thank youuuu. 
3.  There are sooo many teachers constantly telling me how great I am.  (They must not have seen me attempting to teach...) But still, it is such a gift and a blessing to have so many people to believe in me. 
4.  Three words: Craft. Fair. Tomorrow. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Nick said I can buy something at said craft fair, yay!  Best husband.
6.  Family who lives so close.  Sister being home. Momma teaching in my district. Daddy golfing with my man. 
7.  Quakes.  PtL for caramel quakes.  Amen.
8.  COFFEE, Coke Zero with Vanilla, chocolate, really all things caffeinated.  I am not sure I'd make it through most days without the caffeine. 
9.  Friends. 
10.  Students who show teeny glimpses of their heart each day.  They act all tough and like they don't care but there are tiny little slivers of real people inside of them that actually care...but just a tad bit. 
11.  Funny movies (Bridesmaids).  Definitely a laugh (a lot of laughs) much needed..

Thankful for blessings, thankful for Jesus, thankful for opportunity to learn and grow and struggle.  I know that though this is terribly challenging and difficult and I feel like a failure 93% of the time, I truly still believe I am in the place I am supposed to be.  As hard as it is to feel like I stink at my job almost all day and everyday, I have to continue to believe others when they say it gets better. 


"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind......Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."  James 1


Tips to Surviving Football Season: Chapter 2!

Ladies and, well, mostly other ladies!  (Some gentlemen may need tips to survive as well, but for the most part, the fellas love the game...and lots of ladies, too, so I guess calling some ladies!)  It has been a couple weeks since my last football-related post.  I have watched some of the delightful game since then, and have indeed come up with some more hopefully helpful tips!  Read and enjoy!!

1.  Remind yourself of all the ways your man (or bff, whoever) appeases all your silly needs and desires.  Specifically, all the girly movies and tv shows he watches with (for) you (for me recently: Tangled, Something Borrowed, Glee, etc.).  Think about all the perfect flowers he has surprised you with (which he probably doesn't understand since logically, they die/don't last more than a couple days haha); all the minutes he spends on the phone with you when you are apart, and for me, well, just think about how he bought you the goofiest, cutesiest, puff-balliest little puppy on the planet and lets you call him all sorts of pet names without a single mocking comment.  After these little reminders, maaayyyybe just maybe it wont be quite so hard to sit through a riveting few hours of grunting and hitting and pushing and pigskin-throwing! 

2.  If you happen to find yourself at a location other than your own home to watch the big game, you will probably need to find some ways to entertain yourself.  I have maaannny many ways to do this, but just to name a few: arrive early to find the best seat in the house.  In your case, the best seat may not be the one with the perfect view of the tv.  Find a comfy place to sit, near the snacks and bathroom, and that is comfy enough to fall asleep in (just in case you need to rest your eyes during halftime or a commercial or something!).  Another way to keep entertained- take a million zillion pictures of yourself and all the excitement around you!  I'll admit, sometimes I take this to the extreme and end up with a serious number of pictures of just myself in the same pose... Currently I am without camera, so my phone-cam (not the highest of quality) is all I've got.  Never fear, I have not abandoned picture-taking or event-documenting, simply lowered my quality of pics.  See: the following pictures as inspiration and examples--

My favorite man with all the free stuff I got us!!

The fellas in their free hats

My favorite mother-in-law!

One Attempt of probably 40 pics I took of myself

Another one of so many pics of just myself ;)

Thrilled to be watching the Huskers!!!

How the Mr. feels about sooo many pics of us!  (There were many many more hah!)

I missed this weekend's Huskers game, but did semi-keep up with the stats and what not via Twitter on my phone, and will most likely watch some of it replayed on the Big 10 Network. 

OH!  One last tip for this week: 

3.  Watch the Bo Pelini Show with your man and actually pay attention.  It turns out, when you try to pay attention, some (now just some) of what they say is moderately interesting.  While my show of choice will always be Grey's or Glee, Bo does actually smile sometimes on his show, and maybe next week he will wear the gray sweatshirt I like so much! 

That's all for this week!  Challenge-- find something interesting from this weekend's game(s) and casually drop it into conversation this week.  Superfan status will go waaayyy up and boys will most likely be impressed and proud!   ;)

Another Week in the Books!

Sheesh, time is a'flyin!  Can I just say that I have the best fam in the planet?  My momma helped me clean my apartment and get all my laundry done (we may have taken a little trip to the ol' laundromat yesterday to get all seven loads done at once...oops), but now I am about to hang up my last load of drip dry's and am set to start some new habits.  (Most of which include actually putting the clothes away when they are clean!) 

My papers are all graded and I have just a few left to enter into the computer and I'll be all caught up to start our sixth week of school and my sixth week as a real live teacher!  Last week was SO hard, and I know there are so many things I need to change and fix about the way I manage my classroom, but I am refreshed, rested, and ready to begin a new week tomorrow.  I just know this week is going to be better!

I've cried my fair share of tears; complained, perhaps far too much, about silly things, and had plenty of laughs so far.  I am excited to see how I develop this week as a teacher and how my kids continue to adjust to seventh grade and language arts.  I continue to think I can change all their lives and touch all their hearts, and as naiive a hope that may be, I have to cling to it or I might just lose heart.  (Because honestly, reading and writing just aren't as good as life change and growth!)  I love my kids, with all my heart, and am loving learning more about their personalities and lives.  They continue to drive me batty, but I think that may just be seventh grade!  I know that where it is hardest to shine and to love is where my patience and positive reinforcement is needed most.  God will never put me in a trial that is too hard to overcome!  With Him, all things are possible!!

Some things that are getting me through the tough times:
*Vanilla Coke Zero
*Not working out (oh wait, I think a little calorie-burning might actually be a good idea and energy-booster!)
*The movie Tangled (aka my fav right now...currently watching it for the fourth time, third time this week I think!  Whoops!)
*My insanely patient husband
*The best fam ever
*Teacher-friends that get exactly what I am going through and sympathize with me and make me feel like I am NOT a failure!!!  PtL! 

Ever grateful for the chance to work with young people and attempt to share that someone cares about them!  Hopefully this week I can do that a little better (and with less raising of my voice) than last week.  God has blessed me immensely, and I am so lucky. 

From behind my first big-girl paycheck,

Mrs. Brown  :)


Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Most likely obvious if you read the title of this post, but today was not that good of a day for me.  I will humbly admit I did not feel like a good teacher today.  I raised my voice, sent kids to the Time-Out Room, and required silence at times.  I tried to offer options and provide incentives for positive behavior, but did more negative reinforcement than anything else.  I even tried to explain why I have certain policies and expectations, and that, in real life, I am not a silence Nazi or un-fun, but just the opposite! 

I definitely had some of my naiive hopes crushed today as our team experienced some unfortunate events with the students.  In my little ol' heart of hearts, I want to think each student has others' interests and feelings in mind, truly wants to succed, and is telling the truth when speaking to me.  My heart hurts to think of parents lying to their kids, not making them a prioroty, and any individual not getting the attention they deserve.  So many of these kids cry out for attention in any way shape or form, from me, from their peers, from administrators, and it pains me to know they will misbehave and act out to get it.  I wish I could spend all day telling these kids how much they are worth, how special they are, and how much they are loved.  I wish I could pour my heart into each one of them, one at a time, with no interuptions.  I wish I could feed them breakfast, lunch and dinner and never let them go to bed without a full tummy.  I wish they could know how important they are, how valuable their thoughts and opinions are, and how much they matter. 

I wish with my whole self these kids would sit quietly and work like AP seniors, but, let's be realistic here, they are 12 and 13, and most of them don't know how to even sit still for more than a minute and a half, much less with their mouths closed.  I love my job, I am going a little batty, and only some of my kids are failing.  Hoping for a better day for all tomorrow, and praying the love of Jesus is shining through my patience (yikes), reactions, and interactions. 

From behind the pile of papers to grade...Mrs. Brown [or as too many of them insist on calling me, "Miss"]


Tips to surviving football season: Chapter 1.

Calling all wives, girlfriends, and other women who are in relationship with football lovers!  It is that time again... football season.  Dun dun dunnnnnn.  I'll admit, I have already tried to change the channel and control the television and been very firmly denied by a football-loving husband.  Goodbye Food Network, hello Big 10 Network, ESPN, Huskervision, and fantasy league. 

And here's the thing...it is not that I hate all things football or anything like that.  I love camaraderie, the coming together for a common cause, hot dogs and chili, everyone wearing the same color, hot dogs, being outside in the fall, and so on...

Anyway, on to the point of this post: I grew up in a world where football was unavoidable and thus have developed a few little tricks to not only staying semi-entertained during a game (or seventy three bagillion games, same dif), but giving the appearance that I actually care and know what is going on.

1. Look the part.  Get a couple t-shirts, a sweatshirt, and maybe even a hat, and wear them as often as possible.  People will begin to associate you with your team of choice and your significant other and/or bff will be stoked you look like a super-fan. 

2.  Memorize the game schedule.  This is important for a couple reasons: One, you will know when not to make plans or schedule an out-of-town event.  Two, you will know what "the guys" are talking about when they refer to "the big game this weekend."  And three, you will sound like a super-fan when you mention your excitement for said "big game this weekend" without prompting and your lover and/or bff will be so impressed.

3. Volunteer to host the watch party and make snacks.  There are a number of benefits to this as well.  First of all, most of your man's best pals like food almost as much as they like football.  (At least that's how it is in my world.)  This is one of those "if you build it they will come" kind of moments, but more like "if you cook it they will come."  Perfect a couple hearty, easy, delicious recipes (such as chili, cheese dip, and a certain type of cookie/brownie treat) and throw those together an hour before the fellas arrive and they'll think you slaved all day over the hot stove for them.  Second of all, if you are at home, you can still get most of what you actually need to get done on Saturday finished, while still "spending time with your man" (aka being in the same 900 square-foot vicinity) doing something he loves.  Third of all, often with the football-loving-fellas come their lady-friends.  Lady-friends = someone to talk to during the game.  Lady-friends also love snacks and treats.  Lady-friends = other super-fans in disguise.

4.  Throw out random facts/names/important information.  Sign up for whatever alerts and notifications you can (i.e. @HuskerExtraBC) and memorize a couple of the facts he tweets to throw out in conversation.  Then, when your man and his pals are deep in conversation about Taylor Martinez and his expected improvement this season compared to last season, you not only know what the heck they are talking about, but may even have something to "add" to the conversation.  Your man will be so proud of his girl and his buds will be impressed.  Again, this will give off the appearance that you are a super-fan thus accomplishing your goal.   

5.  And finally, allow your man to paint your dog for gameday.  Do this, and even your dog looks like a super-fan. 

Third week in the books!

Holy holy cow.  I have taught for three weeks!  This still seriously blows my mind each day as I go back to my classroom, my students, my team, my lessons, my school.  It is still nuts to me that I am a real live teacher.

I have to say one thing that does stink is being that lame friend that has to go to bed early each night.  Probably my bad for still living in a town full of people still going to college :/  I'll admit I am jealous many nights as I head for bed and my friends are just beginning to hang out.  I love being a full-fledged grown up adult and all, but I sometimes wish all my friends were working full-time everyday too!  [Pity party]

Anyway... Another good week full of challenges in seventh grade.  I continue to fall in love with their crazy stories, heartbreaking home lives, and naiive mindsets.  I love that they ask me to come to their games, listen to my dumb stories, and know that even though I have to yell (ahem, raise my voice) sometimes to get their attention, that I really do care about them.  They are driving me insane, talking soo much, making me question all I know and do, and sucking all the energy and life out of me, and yet I feel better about what I am doing right now than ever before.  I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

God is teaching me so much now about what it means to plant seeds and love in action and truth.  He is teaching me about being a light in the dark and living my faith.  God is so alive and real and I pray my love for Him shines through my words and deeds, in my action and especially my reactions. 

Praying for my kids; praying for patience, energy, and a positive attitude despite challenges, setbacks, and frustration; and praying people will see Jesus in me each day.

- taking a break from laboring this weekend...Mrs. Brown  :)


Week Two...Check!

Sitting here in my favorite chair taking a quick break from grading papers, recording grades, entering those grades into the computer, and creating a packet of worksheets to work on this coming week.  We have our first round of reading formatives, which will take all week to complete, so I am about to get my first taste of the dreaded "testing" dun dun dunnnn...

I am so exhausted, frustrated with my lack of refined teaching skills and abilities (especially my classroom management), and I may have almost cried in front of my third hour last Wednesday (nooo!!).  I am tired of asking them to stop talking, tired of repeating my instructions, and already unimpressed by making copies and grading papers.

Gosh but regardless of those not-so-glamorous aspects of this career and this semester thus far, I am still excited each day to go back (early morning and all), and ever more in love with the students I am so blessed to teach.  I am broken hearted by so many of the stories I already know of home lives and mistreated 12-year-olds, and hate that there is so much already on the plates of these sweet kids.  I continue to remind myself over and over and over that the reason they act out, disrespect me, talk back, complain, and get into trouble is not all their fault and most likely because they have not been shown the love and respect they deserve.  I pray so desparately that during the small amount of time I have with them each day that they see how much they are worth and how much they are loved.  I hate that so many don't have the childhood and family they each deserve, and hope the love of God is evident as they see that I am different than some of the other adults in their lives.  I pray God protects them when they are not at school, and pray that God would create in them a desire to do and be more than what has been modeled to them.  I pray my attitude, lifestyle, words, and choices be a direct reflection of the true, real, unconditional love we all so undeservingly are shown by our heavenly father. 

God is so good, and I am so blessed.  So thankful for friends, family, and an amazing husband to continually encourage and challenge me to be more than I think I am capable.  Excited to have another week to learn and grow. 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Rom 8:28
"...let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." -1 John 3:18

- from behing the pile of papers to grade... Mrs. Brown  :)


Reflection on my first week as a real live teacher!

Well well well, I am an official, week-old, real live seventh grade teacher.  Holy cow! 

First of all, I am seriously blown away by the support, encouragement, and help from all the other teachers, administrators, and staff at our school.  I have been checked on so many times and given so much non-patronizing help in the last few weeks, and was encouraged so much this week that it will get better!  So blessed.

Second of all, holy chattyness.  I am sure I was just as talkative at that age (oh wait, still am at this age, oops!), and am trying to stay positive and appreciate that they enjoy being with each other and feel at home enough in my room to act like friends.  (The bigger part of me wishes they would sit quietly and listen like little angels, but hopefully with time that will come as well)...  =) 

Right now my biggest goals are not to help them improve their spelling, become more critical readers, or published authors; my goals are simple: get them to have a more optimistic outlook and positive attitude about being in language arts class, help change their perspective on reading and writing (currently many of them "hate reading and writing" ...so sad!!), and show them that I really care about them!!  If they happen to improve their spelling while we're at it...ptL because yiiiikes!  ;)

I am exhausted, a tad overwhelmed, but seriously loving it and excited to go back next week!! 

Oh and so seriously God has blessed me already so much with a funny, kind, encouraging woman of God to drive with every single day!  Yay yay yay, Holly!  =)

Happy Saturday, hopefully more to come on seventh grade soon!

- Mrs. Brown  =)



Summer of Learning

I feel as though my summer has been jam-packed with challenges and learning.  My eyes have been opened to the realness of the Holy Spirit and the overwhelming power of an awesome God.  Our first year of marriage has been such a beautiful mess of  love and I am just beginning to see how God's unconditional love is so amazingly displayed through Nick. 

I have been so blessed this summer to have gone and done so many things and am about to end a chapter of my life take the next step into adulthood on Monday.  I am sad to be closing doors on college and childhood, as I have to say goodbye to many of my best friends.  I am excited though to see where God takes us and how He uses us in all our ministries.  I never imagined how God would use MCC and Manhattan to change and bless my life in so many ways.  I am so grateful. 

I am scared out of my mind but I very much believe I am being called to the public school and would be settling if I were not doing just this.  I pray I can be a vessel filled so much with the light and love of God that it overflows and students, parents, other teachers, see not me but Christ. 

So much on my heart and on my mind... God is truly overwhelming me with how awesome He is and I am so thankful. 

"He must become greater, I must become less."



I saw a post with a list of happy things, aka things that bring happiness and joy to the writer's life.  For the past few days I have been a little down and, as you all know I like to write in list form and about the things I love, so here goes!  Hopefully a little sunshine and joy will come from this list for me and for you as well!

1.  getting a new black dress.  [a new any-color-dress, really].
2. baking cookies with a friend and shamelessly eating a whole spoonful [or two] of the dough.
3. coming home after being away for a bit.
4. puppies.kitties.babies of all sorts.
5. roller coasters with no lines so you can ride the same one over and over and over.
6. being outside in a cool rainfall without an umbrella.  the feel of the rain streaming down my face like it could wash away all my troubles.
7. watching a baptism.  seriously brings me to tears of joy every time i witness a person wholly giving themselves over to Christ and becoming a new creation in Him.
8. high school youth group stuff...events, trips, d.group, just hanging out with youth group people.  i love being around students with a passion for Christ and people.
9. on that note, any setting in which I am praising God with a group of people [camp, YQ, CIY, etc.].  there is almost nothing like a multitude of voices joined together as one singing praise to our Awesome God.
10. my sperry's.  i seriously love to wear those silly boat shoes at every chance i get.  with a cute outfit, with a dress, with gym shorts, with dress pants...with things they do and definitely do not match, i love to wear them!
11. karen.kingsbury.books.  serioulsy, the woman can write and challenge a Christian woman better than most.  [for that matter, Christian fiction literature in general brings joy to my heart.]
12. my hottie mcHot husband's love letters.  he knows how to speak to my soul.
13. friendships that go way back and never change.
14. Jesus.


Jumbled Mess of Thoughts

1.  I really want to see that penguin movie, "Mr. Popper's Penguins" asap.  I've seen the same commericial at least 79 times today [which may or may not mean I have been watching television the entire day...I will never reveal the truth about that].  But seriously the movie looks a-dor-a-ble.

2. It is too bad Nick and I already have State Farm insurance, because apparently switching to that can save you enough money to buy a pet falcon.  Not that I really want a pet giant bird [or bird of any size for that matter], but I do have 37,000 things I would like to purchase.  [Dresses, specifically, annnd pieces to add to my Mixer...like the ice cream maker attachment...so I can make ice cream, duh.]

3.  I have checked my Facebook literally a gagillion times today.  It rained a good chunk of the day and I had no motivation to do anything but sit on my couch with my little dog and attempt to figure out what the heck I am going to teach this fall.  I also did a couple loads of laundry [which, while I am on the subject, WHY in the world can the darn clothes not fold and put themselves away?!  SHEESH.  I can wash and dry, even hang up some of them, but the folding and the putting away, UGH!  haha.] 

4. Father's Day.  I have the best dad on the whole planet.  PtL for a dad who loves me and my sister and my momma and Jesus.  He's not the biggest fan of my dog though, which is a large problem.  ;) 

5.  I just watched three consecutive hours of Gilmore Girls...hours which I had DVR'ed...because I still love Gilmore Girls and watching it makes me miss my sister who moved so far away a little bit less. 

6.  I want need to bake cookies right this second.  If I don't, I will probably eat a whole bag of leftover Easter jelly beans...which I don't even like that much.  #sweettooth  #bored

7.  I need someone to Petee-sit the last week of June.  Either come to my home and stay the week or bring the Pete-ster home with you.  Either way you will be compensated.  And I will bake you a loaf of bread. 

8.  PS.  UPDATE on my simplification process:  I have bagged up almost all of my t-shirts and clothes I don't want/need/wear anymore.  I have been working out a little.  That's basically it. 



desparate need to simplify

I promised myself when I got a big-girl job I would do many many things to avoid major meltdown due to the craziness and busy busy busyness that come with being away from the house all day.  This summer I will be doing many many things in preparation for the fall, all in the name of decluttering, healthifying downsizing, and simplifying so that we (I) can have more time to spend doing things we want to do, and less time doing things we don't.

I.  Getting rid of clothes we never wear, don't fit into, and don't want/need anymore.  If you know either Nick or I at all, you know we love to be involved in our community (school, church, etc.) which has landed us with more t-shirts than probably most families have total.  It is ridiculous!  The worst part is, we keep trying to downsize, but the t-shirts just keep coming!  I am thinking about keeping approximately 10 t-shirts (which is a serious cut, trust me) per person, and getting rid of or donating the others.  No more "this t-shirt means so much to me and I have had it since my junior year of high school and it is really soft and and and!"  Nope.  We can take a picture in the shirt and that can serve to hold its memory in our hearts forever.  We just don't need so many!  Not only will we actually be able to fit all of our clothes in the drawers we have for them, but I won't be doing 47,083 loads of laundry all the time!  Because we will only have a few t-shirts to wear, we will have to wash them more often.  Thus the clothes will be washed and we will not end up with a giant mountain of laundry sitting in the hallway because we have 14,000 other shirts we might as well just wear instead of washing the one we actually want to wear!  And, should our t-shirts start to fade, stink, or wear out?  With just 10, we can retire that one, and get a new one!  (Or wait three weeks and there will be another event and we'll get a free one from something!) 

We also have wayyyy too many other clothes we never wear and will never wear again!  When we seriously evaluate our stuff this summer, we can get rid of the clothes we don't like or even really want, and, yet again, actually have space for the ones we do!  This will allow both Nick and i to know if we really do "need" something new or different.  As well as with fewer clothes to choose from, just like with the t-shirts, I will be forced to keep up with the laundry because, duh, we have to wear clothes everyday and cannot leave naked! 

I think this is a HUGE way I can stay sane and happy next fall, knowing that I am not coming home to mountainous piles of dirty clothes, having to search through the other mountain of clean clothes to find something to wear each morning, and actually having a spot to put the clothes after they are clean!  I am seriously so excited. 

2. MENU-PLANNING. Dun dun dunnnnnn... I know I have made weary attempts at this before, but I know that in order to avoid coming home tired and without any ideas of what to make for supper and turning to expensive, super delicious but ohsobadforme restaurant food every other night, I have to do this.  I need to do this.  In the process, I know we will consistently eat way healthier and save some money in the process.  I love having a plan and knowing what we will eat that night, as well as having the supplies at the beginning of the week so I am not running to the store every single stinking day to pick up a couple things for the last-minute meal I decided I could throw together for supper.  This will also please Nick a hundred times over because we wont be eating the same (ish) chicken meal every other night!  [Forgive me, but I seriously L O V E chicken!  Thank you, MCC Campus Center!]

With the stress and fast-pace I will more than likely be running at most of the time, as well as with being gone most of the day, I want to be able to really enjoy the time I have in the evening to be with the ones I care about and taking advantage of the rest and peace that come with having a plan.  This summer we will start practicing eating off a plan and shopping with a week's meals in mind.  I also want to try some freezer-cooking and start using my crock-pot a little more often.  [I know with summer comes spontaneous BBQs and lots of nights out of town, but that is why this is practice time, we will do the best we can and be flexible when it doesn't work out just as planned!]

3. A place for everything and everything in its place.  Now, most of you know me in real life and probably have even been over to my lovely apartment...which is typically cluttered and semi-messy, and I spend the first three minutes of our time together frantically apologizing as I rush around trying to pick up and hide all my mess.  I CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE!  I go to friends' homes and it seems as if everything truly does have a place and it is clean and decorated and I need (want) that in my home.  So this summer we will not only get rid of (does anyone see a pattern here?  We have too much stuff!) the stuff we have laying around, the stuff we are not using, the stuff we do not really need, etc. but we will also find a place for everything.  I am the Q U E E N of piles.  I love to pile!  Making a pile is simply a way to make the clutter look less like clutter (and it is an even better way to lose the cable bill...and your Christmas money from Grandpa...and the list you made...and so on and so on...) catchin my drift yet?  I simply must do these things in order to remain even halfway sane next year!  I need my home to be my solace, my place of peace, and I cannot find peace in all the clutter!  [In case anyone is wondering, I am most definitely the one who is more messy and cluttered, not Nick. Ok just had to say that in case he reads it.] 

4.  In order to maintain the amount of energy I will need, as well keep my positive attitude and happiness at the optimum level, I WILL workout either before or after school in the fall.  The habit begins this summer, though.  I recognize the importance of working out not only for my physical appearance's sake, but even more so for my emotional health.  I will need a place to blow off steam, and I will need a place to find the extra energy (because realistically, working out and being active actually gives me more energy), and I will need a place to maintain my rockin' bod!  ;)  Meh meh mehhhh... But seriously, I struggle so much with my body image (duh, what girl doesn't), and do not want that to be something I let take hold of me!  I feel so much better about myself and simply better in general when I am living healthy, and in order to stay afloat despite busyness at school and life, I will be active.  [I mean, we do have that gym membership...and the gym is literally on my way to and from work...so it will be mainly a mental battle for me.  Prayers appreciated!] 

5.  And very most importantly, I am seriously committed to remaining in the Word and in prayer with our Father.  I will have more time this summer, and sometimes that is good for me, but often it makes it even harder to be intentional with my time with the Lord.  I know, as I am sure most of you do, that every single thing in my life is better when I am seeking His purpose with all of myself.  That will be the number one most important thing to help me healthify and maintain balance and sanity in the fall. 

In conclusion, much prayer, encouragement, and accountability is appreciated!  I will try to stay consistent with my blog, which we all know may or may not actually happen... oops... but most of you I see or communicate with on at least a semi-regular basis (and if not already, shoot, let's start communicatin!), so if you would be willing, help me!  :) 

For the sake of my marriage, my emotional and physical health, my students and colleagues, and my family and friends, I commit to doing these things to the best of my ability. 

amen amen amen!

"And we know that in all things God works to the good of those who love Him according to His purpose."

That unfortunately does not say "...works to the good of those who love Him according to her five year plan..." or "...works to the good of those who love Him according to what she thinks is the best idea..." or "...works to the good of those who love Him according to her purpose."  He works to our good according to HIS purpose.  His purpose, to reconcile the world back to Him.  It doesn't matter what I do or where I go, all that matters is that my purpose is His purpose.  

All that being said, my prayers for employment are being answered and I am excited to begin my first teaching position [I GOT A JOB!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!] and a new ministry as a seventh grade language arts teacher at a middle school outside of Manhattan.  I cannot express the plethora of confusing feelings rushing through me, as I am far beyond excited, scared out of my mind, and ready to begin this adventure. 

I am so blessed to have found a job now instead of in July or August, as we all know I am not the fastest lesson planner, and will have ample time to plan creative and innovative lessons and units for my students to learn all about English!  Oh my gosh I am so excited!  I cannot believe I have a "real" grown-up job and am going to have a classroom and students and a hallway and teacher ID and a desk and the list could go on and on!  I definitely did not even expect myself to be so excited when this happened!  For so many months I worried I would never get back my passion and drive that I started out with, especially this winter as I doubted whether I could even do it at all... but I am confident that my God, my friends, my family, my amazing husband, the teachers at my new school, and my passion and commitment for changing lives I WILL  succeed and survive the craziness of my first year of teaching!  

Soooo if anyone has a bookshelf or file cabinet that they need to get rid of...or adolescent novels... I'll gladly take them off your hands!  I am SO EXCITED to start finding things to decorate my classroom with!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yay yay yay!!!!

 Oh and craft fairs this summer are a MUST!  MBF and Sari pleeeeease can you come home in July for the Affair of the Heart????? 

Equally as exciting is the phone call I received last night from a friend telling me she has an interview next week!  God is faithful to provide for our every need!  Amen amen amen! 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."  

 "...and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen."


happenings of recent:

So yesterday morning I completed my first ever half-marathon race.  Can you say OMG?!  If you were to ask any of my fellow cross-country team members in high school which of us would still be running, I would have been the last person on the list for sure!  Much less to be running such insane-o long distances!  Just ask my old pal Erica and she'll tell you I was a hundred percent the most un-dedicated, un-motivated runner out there, and was most definitely only still on the team after Week 1 of our first year because I made friends out there, not in the least because I enjoyed the running.  I have since semi-changed my mind, and only of recent have I begun to relish the peace and exhilaration that can come from a really good run!  I am not fast, nor am I any good, but I did run all the way through the 11th mile yesterday without having to walk AT ALL!!!!!!  [worth mentioning that prior to yesterday's race, the max amount I ran without stopping to walk was approximately 2 miles...yah, I'm pretty stoked about this!]  And if I do another one, I plan to stop zero times, because after the initial walk, it was like my brain lost all motivation to tell my legs they could finish those last couple miles without walking some more!  So I ran 2 hours and 2 minutes with no walking, and then walked-ran off and on for the last 31 minutes of the race.  I am still seriously so pumped about doing it.  However, it is definitely also worth mentioning that I have never been this sore in my entire life.  Minus maybe, the ol' "incident" with the bike my fourth year of college, but the jury's still out on that one.  Mentally though, I am pumped!

We are doing a sprint triathlon on July 24th (just days after good ol' Allison and Ben tie the knot in Wichita), and I am considering running another 1/2 marathon in Omaha on the 25th of September.  We shall see I guess!!  I love the feeling after a race of such accomplishment and pride, the challenge of preparing, and most of all the sweet t-shirt that comes with completing the event.  :)  But seriously, as much as I whine and complain about training, it was (and always is) SO worth it!!!

In other news, I have been applying for teaching jobs left and right.  I am anxiously and prayerfully awaiting what comes next!  Excited for the completion of another semester, excited for new beginnings, and excited for a summer of friends, fun, and abundant sunshine and love.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28



[oops for the last depressing post.] 

I am seriously so happy with my life right now.  For the past few months the Word of God and everything about having faith has come alive to me.  It's like I am a brand new Christian and it is all new and special and I am seriously moved to tears at church like, every week now.  I am such a sap!  But very seriously, I serve a LIVING GOD, as in He is Alive and Real and at very consistent work in me, and I have never believed those things as much as I do right now.  My God loves with a real, unconditional, as in without conditions or boundaries, as in, there is nothing I can do to stop the love, as in OMG what??!  It is so real!  "My God is not dead, He is alive, He's living on the inside..."  For too long, the tings I have heard in church, read in my Bible, and simply truths I have clung to, have not been alive and real to me, but seriously those things really happened in real life, and made such an impact then that they are STILL changing lives and turning hearts today!  God is timeless, His truth is forever, and His love is so big!  It's just so mind-blowing!

I have been reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and have been seriously convicted to let my love be evident to all who come in contact with me, and to be a person whose life is solely defined by the love I have for God and the love I have for others.  The greatest commandments EVER said to love God and love your neighbor.  Very simply put, if I am loving God and loving the people around me, am I not following His greatest command?  If my mindset is to show love , will not my giving increase, as I desire to show love in that way?  Will not the words I say be clean, because I want to honor God by showing His love that way?  Will not my attitude be different than others, because I want to show His love by looking and acting like Jesus did when he was here?  Will not my everything reflect the love of Christ if I seek wholeheartedly to be like Him?  It's so simple, yet insanely difficult at the same time.  I feel so compelled to thank Him for mercy, grace, the gift of His only Son, and a burden to share His love with other people.  Very seriously praying that my everyday be used to glorify Him and make His name great, that I might be a part of adding to the Kingdom, that I might be used as His hands and feet, as His ambassador to the world, that I might actually live out the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. 

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matt 28:18-20

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Phil 4:4-6

“...Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee..."-Luke 24:5-6


every party has a pooper that's why they invited me...

I will be the first to admit I am a highly social creature and love to throw, host, and attend a party.  [see: party- three or more people hanging out with food and laughing]  I love to be loud, eat, laugh, be around people, and have fun.  This fact could be highly disputed among some [mainly my husband and friends that still like to stay up past 10:00pm doing anything more than laying on the couch at home with the intentions of "accidentally" falling asleep with the puppy cuddled up next to you.]  I get up early.  I have to project energy the entire day, be excited, get other people interested in what I am doing, all day, every day.  I also have to be "on" with a smile and positivity all the time.  Mind you, these tasks are exhausting.  Being mentally engaged a good percentage of the day, coupled with early hours and not enough gym time or the right foods to give me the energy I need, is physically draining.  That being said, I am a total flake when it comes to committing to hanging out in the evenings.  I don't like to make plans, because I know I will probably be tired and not really want to do anything.  Now, I don't mind if people come to my house, I will even most likely have some sort of food to give you, but at some point in the last five years it is I who has become the homebody.  I used to flourish in the go go go, in the sleepless nights, in the late hours of the day, but those days, er, pardon me, those nights are few and far between anymore. 

I feel like am already a 40 year old woman, and I'm barely in my mid-twenties!  College me, you have only been gone a few months, and already grown-up, adult me is boring and tired!  UGH.  But the conundrum lies in that if I go to bed/stay home cuddled in my sweatpants and big comfy chair (aka fall asleep before 10:00), I miss out on the things at which my social life could flourish, time with those I care the most about.  But on the other hand, if I go, partake in social times with my amigos, go to bed at any time past 8:30 10:00, I am miserably sleepy all day the next day and then grumpy in the evening!  Bah! 

The worst part about it, at least to me, is that I see no solution at any point in the even not-so-near future.  Sure, some of my friends will perhaps get jobs at which they are forced to arrive pre-8:00am, as I will for the rest of time... but but but, oh so many will not get up early, work alllll day, work more after school work, and then come home only to be exhaustedly dreading doing it all again the next day.  And I have talked to to other teachers, I know this never gets much better!  WHAT was I thinking?!  When did my sleep become so necessary?  When did I turn into this old grandma?! 

:(  :(  :(  :(  :(

I love what I do, and what I will do in my own classroom, but I love my friends, and my life outside of the school too!  Why oh why can I still not have my cake and eat it too!?  When will the grass actually be greener??  Why am I still so unsatisfied with things?!  Ugh.


listening to sad songs when you're sad is just plain dumb.

It's that time of year again.  Spring is bursting with promise of a beautiful tomorrow, babies are coming, brides are planning, and soon-to-be graduates are eagerly anticipating tomorrow.

I should be thrilled, filled with joy, exuberant, but instead I am just so sad.  I don't think I have ever been so sad for the end of the year to come.  I mean don't get me wrong, I am so excited for all my friends to be finishing and moving and growing up and so on, but I am honestly heartbroken that so many friends are leaving.  This has never been so hard for me but this year I am just so sad.  One of the hard parts of living in a college town, working at a college, being super involved with college students, is this inevitable end that must come. It is weird, because I have had friends leave before, and I left so many of my friends at home to come here, but this year I just can't seem to shake this sadness that so many will be moving on from here. So many friends so dear to my heart, leaving.  My sweet, baby sister, leaving.

And like I said, don't get me wrong, I am thrilled for the exciting times to come for them, for the new, for the potential, for the opportunity to be used by God is a new place, to start new chapters, to invest in new people, but so much of me is just so so sad.

I am sitting here, crying my sad little eyes out, listening to my go-to sad song, wishing time would just stop so I could take in this last month and a half with full embrace, re-live all the memories, and just go back and do it all again.

Here's a photo reel of some of the people I'm going to miss...


Ahh Sweet Renewal.

Oh sweet, dear spring.  I love the feeling of renewal, and feel like this time of year brings with it so much promise, hope, life.  Did I mention that I love spring?  Praise the good LORD for warmer weather, sunshine, flowers, green grass, chirping birdies (as long as they steer clear my head, face, and extremities with their, ahem, poop.), sunshine, warmer weather, sunshine, positive attitudes, happiness, and of course, the hint of summer with all that sunshine and warmer weather!! 

I'll admit my last post was a little depressing and sad...but who could blame me??  The job situation and outlook is prettttty grim right now.  However, I have decided to have a renewed spirit and attitude about it and look to the positive things about my circumstances. 

A) Because I currently am without a full-time career, I have freedom to skip work if I [reeeeally] need to, have no "homework" aka the parts of being a teacher that are less than awesome (grading papers, lesson planning, going to meetings) so my evenings are as free as I choose to have them, I can take a class at MCC that I wanted to take, I get to interact with all ages of students and content areas thus exposing me to all kinds of ideas to use in my [hopefully soon-to-be] future classroom AND develop a stronger sense of classroom management AND confidence as an adult/authority figure/teacher AND get my name and face out in lots of different schools in the area!  So many good things right there! 

B) Well, I ended up making my whole list into one extensive run-on sentence, which, when I re-read later will most likely make little sense butttt whatever. 

C) Because every good list needs at least three points.  :)

I truly believe God has a purpose for this season of my life.  And like the earthly seasons change with time, so do the ones of life, and I must patiently wait on the Lord for the things I desire, which right now, is a full-time teaching job in this area.  In my waiting, I must not grow stagnant, I must not look so forward to the future that I miss the life, the opportunity, the chances to be used for His purpose right now, in the present. 

"God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting
God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing
Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
You are everything
Be my everything..."  [Tim Hughes, Everything]


atop ol' laundry mountain

Holy laundry, Batman!  Listen here, folks, I am THIS close to having ALL clothes clean at one time!  [that is aside from the clothes currently residing on my person, and Nick's as well]  Which would seem like more of an accomplishment if said clean things were folded and put away... err, dangit.  [I feel like it's my junior year of college and I need to move back into the dorms and start hiding my clothes in the closet for job checks...]  But seriously, WHEN WILL THE LAUNDRY EVER GO AWAY?!!  As soon as it is all clean, we will just start wearing it again!  I am moving to a nude beach.  Then we wont need clothes.

All kidding aside, I am looking for someone to hire...to do my house cleaning and cooking and working out and, wait, shoot, nope wont work either.   Ok, ok, all but the working out part.  Will pay in minor cash amounts and cookies.

1/2 marathon training, yikes.  What if I just run a 1/4 marathon?  I could totally do that!  It is so cold here, and running more than like 4-5 miles on a treadmill is just torture!  I was doing really well with my training until last week when it got all nasty and wintry outside again!  Whatttt the heck.

In more disappointing and depressing news, I found out yesterday I have not been selected for yet another position.  I didn't even get an interview.  Now, not to sound conceited, so please do not hear it that way, but I don't know how to handle all this rejection!  Until Christmastime, to my memory,  I had never been not [note: double-negative intentional] selected for a position for which I applied.  I traditionally over-analyze and stress about applying and do not do so without a good amount of confidence that I am a good choice and have a good chance of getting whatever it is.  [that sentence hardly makes sense]  In the past few months, I have come to realize in real life, you have to take risks, put yourself out there, and when you do that, often you fail. 

People, I want a job!  I am the working type!  As much as I thoroughly adore staying home all day with the Petester and doing laundry and baking and such, puh-lease!  That is fantastic for weekends and evenings, even holidays and random days off, but I CANNOT STAY HOME ANYMORE!  I am driving myself insane with loneliness and boredom!  And I love home!  And watching tv and doing nothing!  And Petee!  But it has come to an end.  My love of being bored.  I NEED TO BE TOO BUSY AGAIN.  I NEED THINGS TO PROCRASTINATE.  I NEED TASKS that don't involve Nick making me a list of chores to get done before he comes home from work [see: Dad/Mom circa every single summer day ever.  Me no likey!]

I am trying desperately to see the plan, His plan.  Trying to cling to the hope that I am promised a future, and trying to believe that He will provide for me and for us.  Having faith in God's timing and plan has traditionally come pretty easily for me, but right now, in the darned waiting place, in the patience-demanding place in which rejection seems to be the only thing worth handing out, I struggle to believe that there is anything else out there.  The big picture is oh so small, and today seems to be the only day.

I am trying to believe I am worth hiring, I am worth having on the team, I am worth taking a risk on [as a new teacher], but it continues to get increasingly more difficult.  I believe God is using this season to teach me to trust, to teach me to wait, to teach me to believe, in His power and in his supremacy. 

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -Phil 1:6

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" -Matt 6:25-26


thursday is my favorite day...well, besides saturday.

Having a puppy is like having a baby.  Sort of.  The Pete-ster gets to lounge around and snooze all day while Mr. Brown and I are at work (when I work... err, oops), and when it is night/dark outside, he also tends to snooze (only after exitedly playing with us for approximately three minutes...he wears out quick!) as well.  Thus, the goofy little rat thinks the first sign of something closely related to sunlight = time to bounce around and be awake and lick your face and go outside and run around...only to be closely followed by more snoozing once we come back from our morning adventure outside the apartment.  The O-N-L-Y time I will everrrrr say I want a cat, or even cat-like tendencies, is when it comes to this matter.  Why can't the dog let himself outside, do his buisiness, and come back in like a good little kitty cat?  They take care of their issues and don't ask for help!  :)  But taking him for walks is muuchhhhh much more pleasant now that it is not negative a hundred and twenty seven degrees outside in the morning... so I can't really complain! 

Sooo on to more serious issues, at what point do I develop a really crafty niche and get to start selling my handmade goodies on Etsy?  Can you sell cookies on there?  Homemade pizzas?  What about chicken, fixed a plethora of ways?  If I could sell those things, I could make a fortune... No but seriously, maybe if I could start selling something I make, then I could justify staying home all day and doing nothing but watching Food Network and old episodes of Grey's Anatomy!  But for real, do you have to have a baby and/or experience something traumatic (because I want nothing of the sort), then learn to channel all that pent up stress and/or depression into a crafty hobby which your friends comment on when eating supper in your living room and tell you people would pay to have stuff like this, only to take them seriously and post pictures of the stuff you sell on your blog about your cute little life, getting so busy and popular you can support your stay-at-home-wife/mom-life and live happily ever after?  [longest run-on sentence everrr]. Can't I just take my regular ol' life experiences and channel those into crafting?  But seriouslyyyy, when do I get to become cute and creative and make stuff and sell it to people who want to be cute and cool and trendy just like me?  [NOTE: I am neither cool nor trendy.  The jury is still out on "cute".] 

I am in no way mocking nor making fun of mom-blogging or selling crafts on Etsy.  I WANT TO DO IT TOO!  I am officially on the hunt to find something original and creative and make it in bulk to sell to others!  [If only doodles and bubble letters would work... now that is something I can really hang my hat on!  Dangit...] 

Oh but speaking of traumatic events, I consumed approximately half a bag of milk chocolate chips last night, err, oops?  I blame my social life for consumed calories, definitely not my lack of self-control or love of chocolate or anything... Darn you swimsuit season looming over my head...darn your beach vacation rapidly approaching... darn you delicious foods for having so many calories!!! 

Sheesh.  My life is so complex.  :)

In other news, I applied for another teaching job yesterday.  I would be THRILLED to get this one, and really think I could be excited about going to work every day here.  Praying for God's will in my life to be done overall, and for understanding and wisdom if it doesn't work out.  Hoping I can remember He has a plan and He is in control. 

“Abraham, Abraham!”  … “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” Genesis 22:11b-12 



Let me just admit something to ya:  I am a crazy and irrational psycho.  Like, sometimes I just feel bad for Nick because I am so insane!  I can try to blame hormones or being a woman or stress or whatever, but I really just think I am a complete nutso most of the time! 



it's the little things.

As I sit here, eating my giant bowl of fro-yo, fruit, and walnuts, ignoring the need to finish yet another semi-complete application to another job, my sweet puppy by my side, I thank the Lord for all my blessings.


these are a few of my favorite things

Some days I have a hard time finding joy.  Today is one of those days.  [insert WHY]... Because I am down, I look to a few things that always make me happy.  I know happiness DNE joy, and the terms are not used interchangebly or synonymously, but, when I am happy, it is easier to see the real joy I have.

I'll just make a little list [some things very lame, I know]:

1. When someone tells me my hair looks long/good.  Ooook, now, we know I am too vain and concerned with how I look, and how self conscious I am about my hair... but seriously, when someone tells me my hair is looking good it just means so much to me!  Like, seriously, you caught the only good day this week!  You should have seen the messy bun and stringy ponytail all five other days!  Oh and, of course I am always trying to grow my hair out, so telling me it looks long is so encouraging!  Ha ha!  One thing for which I am so so thankful, Nick is always telling me how pretty and soft my hair is.  He knows how to get to my heart ;)

2. When I make time to read my Bible and journal.  Shoot, you would think with all the joy that brings, with all the peace and energy I get from being spiritually fed, from pursuing the God that is pursuing me, that I would be better about doing it.  You would think that knowing, having experienced the closeness that comes from being filled with His Word on a daily basis, would propel me to do it more often.  I have been doing better, trying to create a part of my daily routine that involves tending to my spiritual health more than just squeezing in a rushed prayer in the car on the way to work.  I so deeply desire for my vocabulary, conversation, interactions to be filled with the scriptures, for His Words to be so familiar and natural to me that it exudes from the outpouring of a an overflowing heart.  I yearn for the wisdom that is found in His truths.

3. Hanging out with my parents!  Is that lame?  Haha.  I consider myself so blessed to have the parents I do and love being able to spend time with them.  I love love love my momma and usually talk to her at least once a day on the phone (is that bad for someone who is going to be 25 this year???).  I just think my mom is so wise and fun and knows so much about life and living and loving and can offer me such unique, special encouragement whenever I need it.  It is so great to be able to shift into adult mother and daughter relationship and be friends too.  And my dad is one of the wisest and smartest men I will ever know.  Part of that of course comes from the superhero he was to me as a little girl, and still shines through as I am grown-up (haha, not) and still need him to swoop in and rescue me from time to time.  He is so special to me and I deeply treasure our relationship.  [Now, I also have been beyond blessed as I also have the best in-laws known to mankind as well!]

4. The best friends in the whole world.  I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky.   Even as friends here in Manhattan have graduated and moved on from this place, I have been SO blessed to build more and more relationships with people here.  I thank God for keeping me here for so long, as there are so many friends, friends I want to keep forever, that I would not have if He hadn't!  That is not to mention the friends that are not here in Man, Kan!  I am beyond blessed to have friends across the country and wish we all lived in the same two-hour radius and could be BFF's all at the same time and place!

5.  Nick.R.Brown.  Mmm yahhhh.  Daily I thank God for a man who truly gets me (although he may not think so) and knows how to challenge me, encourage me, push me, and love me enough to make me want to be better.  I can't even express how lucky I am and how perfect he is (in so many imperfect ways].

6.  And Petee.  Best dog in the whole world.

And see, now my mood is lifted, I am going to clean the living room and go on a run!  (I am training for a 1/2 marathon which is in 7 weeks... not that I'm counting or anything...!  Doing a 10K aka 6.4 miles this Saturday with my momma... hopefully no snow and all sunny skies!)

"I thank my God every time I remember you..."


count it all joy

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

 "For Paul, joy is not the result of finding himself in comfortable circumstances, but of seeing the gospel make progress through his circumstances and through the circumstances of the Philippians, whatever they might be (1:18, 2:17)."

"Thus his imprisonment is not simply a result of his Christian commitment, but is the necessary means through which Paul fulfills his calling.”

God put Paul IN PRISON and he rejoiced.  He saw through his circumstances that the Lord was at work through him and through the Philippian people, the other believers.  Paul continued to preach his message, regardless of what the people thought, said, or did to him, and many were saved because of it!  I have no physical chains, but pray I can use the things that hinder me and hold me back as an avenue to share my amazing God with others.  Praying God will open doors, even today, for me to be used for His purpose and for the praise of His glory!

I am truly hungry for Christ to fill me up with the Word today, hoping that hunger will propel me through today with eyes, heart, and mind set only on fulfilling my purpose: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:19-20


Lost for Words.

So often I find myself with so much to say but no way to say it.  My mind and heart exploding with confusion, discontent, searching, impatience, but no way to spit out or even fully comprehend the extent to which I am even feeling those things and why.  Seeking God's direction and leading for our life and ministry, trying to be patient and wait on His timing.  Trying to put into practice the truths I claim to cling to. 

"Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD."
-Ps 27:14


It's hard to trust God has a plan for my life.  Like, I totally believe with my whole self He has a plan to use me, my terrible struggles and my great successes, my deep pain and my insurmountable joys, to use those to maybe someday plant a tiny seed in someone that someday would grow into a true love and relationship with Him, one that would in turn touch and change another, and so on and so on... I truly truly trust with everything in me that He has a plan.  Its the waiting.  The lack of plan.  The right now, that feels so monotonous, so pointless, so meaningless in the large scheme of things.  Its the ever popular Waiting Place ol' Theodor Geisel coined in his excellent book..  I am so eager to get on to what is next that I often forget all the good that is that waiting place.  The growth.  The beauty.  The Western Kansas plains between here and the awesome mountains of Colorado.  You have to look, sometimes even search to see the awesomeness in the journey, but it is always there.  Our amazing God is not just sitting back, waiting for me to "get there" and really "start my life," but He continues to work in and through me despite the seemingly lack of a plan. 

I am not very patient.  It is hard for me to see past the oerwhelmingly huge staircase to take the first step.  I usually see where I am, and where I would like to be, but the middle, the process, the commitment, scares the heck outa me.  I could list task upon task, project, idea, and so on that I should/would like to embark upon and am petrified to do because of my fear.  I am afraid of what comes with attempting and following through.  When I don't finish, heck, when I don't start something, I can't fail at it.  I can't lose.  I can't get rejected.  My fear of failure, imperfection, rejection has escalated to a place of much more control than it should ever have been given.  I have allowed myself to lose grasp of the promise we have in Him.  "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." -Phil 4:13.  "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  -Eph. 4:20-21.


BAD Dreams

Ohmygosh I had two separate dreams last night, both in which I was pregnant, had the baby, in the first dream a girl, the second a boy, and in both someone tried to take them!  Sheesh, been watching too much LOST I think... YIKES to the max with the whole baby thing though... oi.

The cinnamon bread was semi-disastrous in look... but made up for ugliness in taste!  Seriously, very yummy, but verrrry ugly.  [Chicken a'cookin in the crockpot behind the bread...not the best chicken I ever made either... not my best day of wife-ing...] 

Then yesterday I ran a bunch of errands [lol, the errands I was supposed to do on Thursday...oops... but what matters is I did them!]  Had some coffee with the dad, drank it black (plus a little sugar) and it was pretty tolerable!  :)  Then spent the day with my dear friend Taren and we baked these pecan pie muffins: 

 the batter

the finished product!
DELISH!  But why wouldn't they be?  Pretty much butter and brown sugar in those babies... Yikes.  I have GOT to get a job so I can stop baking and eating my time away! 

This is my project for next week-- yarn/felt wreaths:

I have a giftcard to Hob Lob so I'm thinking it will be super cheap and fun to make!  And can replace my Christmas door wreath with something cute and different! 

Happy Day :)


Thoughts on Thursday.

Ample amounts of time this week have left me nothing to do but actually check things off the mile-long to-do list.  Hoping to actually have some significant things completed by the time I am working somewhere...someday.  I got a new calendar (thanks Mom), and a list of stuff, waiting for my dear friend to (hopefully) come with me to get things done!

Last night I tried a new recipe in my bread machine (got it for Christmas, thanks Mom x2!).  DELISH!  It is my third loaf and the best yet!

I think I am going to try making The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Bread today!  (Will be delivering that one to Nick's office at MCC though, cannot have all these yummy carbs tempting me when my workouts consist of taking Petee out to walk/go to the bathroom a few times a day... not a lot of calories burned there!)  ;)  Next week (err, I hope I can get motivated) I start training for the half marathon I want to do on May 1st.  It is something I have always wanted to do, and it is on my mental list of things to do before I turn 30...and since 25 hits this year, OMG, I figure it is high time to start a'checkin things off the ol' list!  [Also on the list- start drinking coffee, CHECK!, get a dog, CHECKKK!, and get married, CHECK!!!!, graduate college, double CHECK!, and get a grown-up job.............shoot.  Oh well, good thing I've still got five years to get that one!] 

Oh yah, I also think I will make some homemade salsa this week.  The Pioneer Woman, Ree, she gave me her cookbook for Christmas and I am just in hog heaven (who the heck even knows what that means?!) and love it to death.  The salsa recipe isn't even in her cookbook, it just keeps showing up on the side of her homepage on the website and I am taking that as a sign that I should make it!  (annnd then give it away or eat in on chicken because that will be the lowest calorie option... darn you healthy lifestyle reinstated!) However, that will mean I really DO need that expensive food processor I asked for this Christmas! 

Speaking of Christmas, Mr. Brown did a VERY good job in the present department!

1. Beautiful Gap scarf that I LOVE:

2. VERA BRADLEY BAG!!!!!!  YESSSS to the max!!!! 
3. Magnets with our wedding pictures on them!  Precious: 

Oh and I just got off the phone with the aforementioned "Mr. Brown" and he is "sending me a list" dun, dun dunnnnnn... yikes.  He must think that since I don't have a job, all I do is piddle around and do nothing right now.  Yah right!  Does this look like nothing??  ;)

Mmm, happy day.  :)