To review:
In February I joined Usborne Books & More as a consultant. I honestly never thought direct sales was for me, but I have loved every minute of this adventure. I even promoted to Team Leader in August! I have doubled my kids' library, met tons of friends, grown out of my comfort zone in so many neat ways, and helped my family earn quite a bit of "extra cash" -- aka Mexico trip this spring break ;)

I read (and listened to) many books in 2018! I deleted all social media apps from my phone (except for Facebook) during Advent-- and I think I'll leave them off. Instead of aimlessly browsing Instagram, then Facebook, then Twitter, then Snapchat, and then starting over... I now pick up a book! Or play with my kids! Or do the chore I was procrastinating :)

In June, Scott and I traveled to St. Louis for a long-weekend trip to attend a wedding. We went kid-free and it was a glorious time exploring pizza places, City Museum, and Budweiser.
I continued Jazzercising…

Ooooh You Know

I mentioned I landed a new job and now I can share the details! Next year I will be teaching Reading at Elkhorn Middle School! I will have one section of 8th grade and five sections of 7th. Though nervous as change is always a bit unsettling.. I am so excited :)

Books I've read/am reading:
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult = *****
       Fascinating views on racism-- I've found myself more and more intrigued by this topic and finding books that investigate it more.

Thunderhead by Shusterman = *****
        The second book in the Scythe series. Maybe the first time the second book was better than the first!! Fantastic dystopian YA read.

A Wrinkle in Time by L'Engle = ***
       I'm listening to it because it's a book I may be able to teach next year to my new 7th graders. I read it in elementary school but didn't remember it that well. It's ... okay. I despise the audio book's narrator, but some of the language annoys me too. Idk. Ehh.

Long Way Down by Jas…


I'm on Spring Break ALL WEEK, and it's glorious. I celebrated my birthday for three straight days with a date night, a party with my friends, a celebration with my family, and another in-law celebration to come. (Can you tell I love my birthday...??) Today I took my kiddos to daycare so I could get a cavity filled (bleh) and spend the rest of the day grading (also bleh), but it was nice to focus and get a nice chunk of that done. That way... I can spend the other parts of my spring break reading, cleaning, and catching up on This is Us. 

ONE. Note to self socks. I was gifted with a pair from my godson that say "I am blessed." They're comfy and a great reminder throughout the day!

TWO. The Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. I mean... I maybe can't say it's my favorite yet since I'm only on page 80. But I did just pick it up from the library at 2pm. So far it is just as great as Scythe. 

THREE. Yogi Calming Tea (usually found in the "health" section…


ONE. A few days ago, Luke and I were saying his prayers at night. Following our typical routine, he ZOOMED through the Angel of God prayer so he "could win me." Then he said, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for nails, screwdrivers, boards, walls, poop, wheels, fire trucks, and butts." And he said all of that in a Darth Vader voice. I hope Jesus found it as humorous as I did! Toddlers are hilarious.

TWO. However, he also cut open my forehead with a microwave door at Lowe's! Holding him since he refused to stay in the cart, I was leaning in to look at the oven specs when he reached up, opened the metal microwave door right into my face! It bled and everything. BUT we did leave with a new oven + microwave combo! Wooooo! (Our dishwasher and fridge are black, but we went with this combo. They are more muted looking in person-- not as bright and shiny as they appear in these pics. I'm hoping it's not a huge deal when reselling... )

THREE. Instead of paying Lowe's $2…

Quick Takes

1. My phone's screen has been cracked for the last ... 8 months? WRONG! I had a freaking screen protector on it and forgot. Ha. It actually still looks brand-spanking-new. (Fingers crossed I don't drop it before a new screen protector arrives on Saturday.) I also impulsively bought a new phone cover... I needed a change.

2. Speaking of change... I landed a new job! Details to come later once things are 100% official. I'm nervous (since it's a big change!) but so excited -- for new challenges, meeting new people, new curriculum to learn. Honestly, I enjoy my job now, but the commute is 30 minutes in the morning and 50 minutes after school including getting the kids from daycare -- and that's in perfect traffic/weather. Now my commute will be 9 minutes, with no rush hour traffic. 
3. I also just signed up to be an Usborne Book Consultant! Reading is totally my jam. I read all the time, so obviously I love having all sorts of books around for my kids too. I don't …

LENT + Other Ramblings

In the past, I have not done well "giving things up" for Lent. I always fail in the first week and then it just causes a weird loop of emotions, so I have lately attempted to "add" something instead: going to daily mass, listening to Christian/Catholic radio only, praying a Divine Mercy Chaplet every car ride, etc.

This year, I was hazily pondering something about my marriage (maybe praying for him, reading a devotional together...), but hadn't settled on anything specific. However, every time I started to think about this, one of my friends kept popping into my head and my heart felt the need to pray for her.

So, in what I think is a nudge by the Holy Spirit, I'm committing to praying for my friend every day. I plan on doing a doodle prayer so there is a visual representation of my prayers and then gifting her that image at Easter.

If you like Fixer Upper, you'll love this book. The audio book is even better because Chip reads it himself. It's a gr…

Memory Keeping

How do you keep track of important family moments? Do you print your photos? Store them in files on the computer? Make scrapbooks? Did you fill out baby books?

I've tried to do a few things over the years...

For about 5 years I've used SMASH books as an informal place to store receipts, cards, ticket stubs, actual printed photos, etc. smattered among some journaling. I like this format because the pages are fun and colorful. I don't feel like it has to look "perfect." Plus it's a great place to store all of the random momentos for a super affordable price (anywhere from $8-18 on Amazon, depending on the style you want).

Somewhere I read about keeping an "Anniversary Book" -- to include a picture of you, describe how it was celebrated, important things in your lives at that moment, etc. I use a SMASH book for this and I try to make Scott write something too. I think it's fun to have our handwriting there!

For Luke's baby book, I think someone…