Monday, September 6, 2021

What's New?

 Me getting back to my blog after a brief hiatus? Well no that's not new at all. In fact it just seems to be the norm. I don't want to let my blog fall off completely though so I put it on my list for the weekend to get some words down about what's been going on in the last month or so. There's been ups and downs and a lot of traveling from my home, to my family's home and back again, and work and new beginnings and exhaustion. So it wont' be organized and it will probably be too wordy but here we go! 

Many of you probably know from either my blog or my mom's that my sweet Gemma had not been doing very well from late spring onwards. Unfortunately in July she took a turn for the worse when I was down at my parents. I was down their with the intention of enjoying the 4th of July on the lake and then bringing Gemma back up north with me. She'd been staying at my parents for a bit since we'd been out of town so much. However, life had some other plans and we had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to our fur baby. There were a lot of mixed emotions with this because I definitely didn't want my angel to be uncomfortable but she has been such a huge part of my life the last 7 years. She was with me through arguably the most challenging season of my life as well as the most joyful. And saying goodbye was not easy for me or my husband or my parents who have loved her as much as I have over the years. 

After a tough week at home, it was back up north for some down time with hubby and some interviewing for the upcoming school year in my local district. The role I had filled previously had been more of a long term sub so was not available for me to continue this year but there were several openings throughout the district. And I was thrilled to be offered a job teaching third grade at the same school I had been working at this past year. It's wonderful to be in the community I had become familiar with, and in a grade level that I have some experience in. I taught 3rd grade when I first started teaching so it was fun to see things come back around as I head into my 9th year. 

Photo Credit: Google Images- Reddit 

But before I could get too far into planning for the upcoming year I trekked back down to South Carolina one more time for the summer. Because I definitely could not miss the momentous occasion of my sister and her family coming home from South Korea where they've been stationed the last 2 years. They are moving back stateside and all of us were over the moon for them to be back in driving distance with a much less complicated time difference. 

If you've read here much, you know my nephews are my two favorite boys on the planet and it was so exciting to squeeze them in person after so long! I hadn't seen them since December 2019 and the littlest had only just been born a few weeks prior. They've both grown and changed so much in that time but are just as precious as ever. We celebrated T's birthday with a little family party, swam in the lake, went to the pool, played with all the toys, read 1,000 stories and snuggled as much as they'd let me. Little boys are awfully busy and can be tough to nail down for a snuggle. 

And having my sister home? The absolute best! We haven't actually lived anywhere near each other in about 10 years but the time difference made this distance particularly challenging and I am so happy to have her closer. To feel like we can live a bit more life together. She is my best friend and the absolute best sister :) 

The week at home ended with a beautiful bridal shower for my cousin who is getting married this fall. She is easy to celebrate and it was a joy to have all three of us under one roof...I'm honestly not sure the last time that had happened. It had been at least 2 years. And! Our Mema even managed to make it down for the shower, and it was so special to see her in person. The craziness of the last year and half really put into perspective how special and precious real life quality time is with the people you love. 

Unfortunately I had to get up and get going bright and early the next morning so there were some sad goodbyes at bedtime that night with the boys but it sure is nice to know it won't be another year and half until I see them again! Once I was back up north, hubby and I had a lovely visit with his folks who came up to spend a few days with us. I took zero pictures...except for this one of a charcuterie  board we had for dinner one night. 

Clearly I need to evaluate my priorities. But we did have a lovely week with them showing them around and spending time together. They hadn't seen any of the updates we've made to the house so that was fun and we got to show them all of our favorite spots in town- most of which involve food. Again, priorities right?

I spent the next week working in my classroom to get it ready for a new group of 3rd graders. I am really pleased with how it turned out and the spaces I created in a short amount of time. The room was totally empty and bare and it had been a while since I'd had such blank canvas to work with, which was both fun and a bit overwhelming. But we're a couple weeks into school now and things are going smoothly so it seems I did alright. I've snapped a few pictures that will give you a little tour of the room. 

This bulletin board, on top of our whiteboard was the first thing I did in my room after unloading what felt like a million boxes from my car. I love it! It's not always visible if I have the projector down but it makes me so happy when it is. 

This is the view looking in from the door. 

The front right of the room holds a spot for writing anchor charts, and some space to support our math work. You can also catch our cursive alphabet up top.
The front left of the room has our library, as well as space to support our reading instruction. 

The back of the room has a spot for kids' work to be displayed, their birthdays and this really awesome affirmation poster to remind them all how wonderful and valued they are in our classroom. Ignore the two random letters handing there- that was a first day activity. 

The sweetest of friend got me these little prayer cards. There is one for each week of the school year with a different verse or prayer for the week. I keep the one for the week on my desk where it's easy for me to see each morning or throughout the day and I love it! 

The first week or 2-3 weeks of teaching are the most exhausting. I always seem to forget it until I'm in the midst of it but those days of figuring out the routine and getting to know the kids and sorting out a hundred different logistics and introducing new curriculum wear me down. But things have gone really smoothly and I'm loving this year so far! 

This is my first day of school's hard to tell but under that mask I am smiling and ready to go! 

Thanks for hanging in there for this small novel of my life lately! Hopefully it isn't another month before I'm back here again. 


  1. It is so good to catch up with you here. Thanks for taking the time to write and share with us! I was so saddened about your dear Gemma. It is always hard. I was elated at the return of your sister and her dear family and loved seeing the reunion photos on your mom's blog. Your classroom looks amazing. The kiddos are so blessed to have you for their teacher this year! God bless!! xo

  2. Thanks for catching us up with you! I'm so sorry about your Gemma. We are coming up on the first anniversary of letting our beloved Boozer cross over the Rainbow Bridge and we still miss him. We are getting ready to go camping this week and he was always such a good traveler and camper. Your classroom looks great... so inviting. I always loved setting up my classroom each year. Hope you have a wonderful year... third grade was one of my favorite grades to teach.

  3. Your room looks so nice. I wish I were close enough to come in and read to your class. Course stupid Covid probably doesn't allow for that anyway, but I would if I could. I'm so happy to see you catching up here. Life happens whether we mark the days and moments or not. I love having my blog to look back on and remember and you will too. Can't wait to see you soon!!

  4. A little birdy mentioned this morning on her blog that a certain young lady is having a birthday and invited us to pop over to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAGGIE! After reading your news, I'm sure happy wishes and good cheer is just what you need. I was sorry to read about your furbaby. Pets are such precious members of the family but you were right to spare him from suffering. Well, here's to another school year. Hopefully things will calm down and this dreaded Covid mess won't be too difficult. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say, I just want it to go away! Anywho, have a day filled with sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops! Or, just cake and ice cream. That works for me, how about you? :)