Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lamp shades!

Hello all,

I hope your holiday season is underway and off to a good start. My sister, Alexis, is visiting me for a week here while Matt is gone and it is great! So nice to see and spend time with her. The dogs are also enjoying all of the extra attention and someone to spend the days with. We made some butter toffee yesterday, as well as egg nog and watched The Help with my friend Emily from school. That was fun!

On a different note, I've finished my 23rd book for the year. The Handmaid's Tale. I started my last book this morning, A Dog's Purpose, recommended by my sister, Jenny.  I plan to finish it before Christmas. With hope I will get to read Gone with the Wind over break.

Alexis helped me cover two lamp shades for some new lamps we received from my Aunt Jane. Here are some photos to show you how they turned out. I am so happy with them and think they look great!

 Lamps beforehand.
 Pick out fabric and a lampshade. I found this one at Hobby Lobby and it came with a pre-glued shade and a wax pattern cut out. Score!
 Trace the patter and cut.

 Butters got a make-shift handkerchief. He loves it.
 Wrapping the lamp shades.
 I folded over the top and bottom and glued it down with Fabri-tac.
 This is the first shade I did. On the second, I trimmed up the extra fabric on the bottom and it turned out even better!
 Voila! I love them!!

Yummy butter addictive.

Hope all is going well. I am looking forward to the trip home at the end of the week and seeing all of my friends back home. Only 3 more days of school and 126 finals to grade. I can do it! And so can you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Who does not love brunch? It has to be one of the best meals. Today, Matt and I had our friends Tim and Katie over for waffles and bacon. They graciously brought yummy fruit! We had so much fun. Next time I will be sure to take photos. It was really nice to commune with these new friends of ours who I already find so dear.

I feel like everything in my life is so transient at this time. Not much feels stable.  I know our life here in Columbia will only be for three years, and those days are marching by. I can't tell how I feel about this yet. I am not looking forward to a life of a lot of traveling and chasing homes. I am a home-body and like to nest. There is also instability with my job. The nature of a teacher is to help students for a year and move them on, hopefully with new ideas, insights, and maturity. I do not want to see my students go! I really like them it makes me sad that I won't have the opportunity to see them in the halls for the next few years until they graduate. That is the unfortunate part of working at a Junior High.

There is also the lack of control over the next two years here at CPS. We will have a new principal next year, a large change in the atmosphere of the school. Then I will transition again to a high school-one of the three in the town. I have some say in where I go, but it is what is best for the students and if any of the principals want me. I will more or less be told where to work. Again, by this time, we will only be here for a year-maybe more-and it is hard. I get attached easily, especially to my students. I really want them to do so well. I want them to have chances to succeed.

As much as I try to hold onto the people and life I had in Knoxville, it seems to slip farther away everyday. I find myself upset by this I suppose because I don't feel like I have something new to take its place yet. I keep searching.

I am really looking forward to going home for Christmas. I have two more books to read for the year and I am not sure I will get them done! I am a third of the way through A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This would be fine, except Alexis is coming to visit on Wednesday! We are both really excited to have her here-but I know I won't get any reading done! We plan to do some crafts and make yummy food and watch some movies.

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season and finding time to relax. We spend most nights in front of the tree and watching tv under lots of blankets. It has been so cold here! Stay safe and warm, my friends.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Turkey daze

Hi all!

It has been awhile since I have written. Matt and I have been busy with school and work. His law finals are next week, so he has been studying and making outlines like a good student. I am finishing up Animal Farm with my freshmen. I think they consider it lackluster. Even though I really like the book, I struggled with getting them excited about it. Our final project is a speech, so hopefully they can get into that assignment.

We took a trip to Nashville for Thanksgiving. We saw a lot of family over the break and were really able to relax. On Thanksgiving day my family drove over from East TN for dinner. I was so glad to get to see them as well. Here are some photos from our trip.

Well, I didn't take many photos of things happening. I have been learning how to use my camera on the Manual settings and this is what I got! (Except the photo of me, of course). Aren't my nephews adorable? And sister Alexis is beautiful.

Matt and I set up the Christmas tree and wrapped all the presents this week as well. I decorated while listening to holiday tunes and then drank some hot cocoa. It was all very exciting! Here are the photos I took.

Only a few more weeks until we head home for a Tennessee Christmas. I really cannot wait! Hope everyone is well and spreading the holiday cheer.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Tonight I am thinking about how much Matt and I have changed over the years. Not in a sappy way, but just in an of-course-we-are-growing-up way. When I think back about all of the fun we have had, I can't help but be thankful. Going into this Thanksgiving week I have so much to that makes me feel blessed. My husband, my pups, my great family, my health, all of the yummy food I eat every day, musica, books, friends, and the beautiful land and sky that gives me inspiration every new morning. Here are some photos from our past several years together. Each brings back special memories.  

Dorm room and Americone Dream :) 

Old Maxima, trips home

My favorite place in Knoxville

Time at the park

Go gators! Go write the next American novel!


Kisses and Graduation

No caption necessary for this night..

Corn monster

New places

Pretty people
I can't get the photos to fail.

Hope everyone has a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving. Remember what it is actually all about :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


This month is really flying by quickly. I have been busy making Christmas gifts for friends and family. Matt and I got a head start this year and we are practically done shopping! It feels good to have it done early. I have tons, and I mean tons, of papers to grade before Thanksgiving. We are super excited to be able to see everyone and have a few days away.

I have hit somewhat of the fall blues. I need to be going to the gym more often. I can't seem to get into a good routine. Tonight I made Matt some coconut macaroons. First time and I think they turned out pretty well! I am trying to think up some good new years resolutions. It will be here before I know it! I am trying to not wish away my days too much. 7 school days until Turkey break and then 3 or 4 weeks until Christmas break.

Currently I am teaching Animal Farm by Orwell. I am reminded by how much I love dystopian fiction as we listen to the audio book in class.  We have had several meetings about the school transitions coming our way. The principal of my school was announced as the principal of the new high school. I really hope I get the chance to work there in a year or two. I would like to move up from 9th grade English, but I would be happy to teach it as well.

Only 3 more books to read for 2011. I have about 6 on my nightstand and I am not sure which ones I will actually get done with. I am reading Understanding Exposure that a friend lent me. I really want to be able to use my camera to the fullest extent and I think this is a good step to doing that.  I think I will also purchase a 50mm lens to broaden the type of photos I can take.

I got an exciting package in the mail this weekend! My Aunt Janie sent us some bedside lamps! I need to find shades for them. I will post pictures when I do. Hope everyone has a great week! Send me some updates about your life :)

Monday, October 31, 2011


This past weekend I visited my dear friend, Jenn, in Chicago. It was so much fun! We did several things but also still had time to just relax in her apartment. What I liked about the city is the distinct feeling on the streets. Even though people weren't smily or especially cheery, there was an energy that never went away. I couldn't believe all of the shops and unique places to eat. I love going to "home-town" eateries. Here are some photos from my trip. And a special thank you to Jenn for showing me such a great time! Miss you already.