Sunday Night Chit Chat

This picture is from a field of flags that Hubs took me to today.  For those of us in America tomorrow is Memorial Day.  Most people use it as a day to catch up with friends and family and spend some time barbequing.  The reason for Memorial Day though is to remember all of those who have fought and died for our country.  Both of my grandfathers are war veterans.  My paternal grandfather is still living, but my maternal grandfather died about 4 or 5 years ago.  Walking through the rows of flags I was overcome with emotion.  Thinking about what some families have gone through really made me stop and think.  I broke down in tears at one point, but was able to dry my eyes enough to take some pictures.  The picture above is my favorite from today.

Now for the fun part of the post… Sunday night chit chat hosted by Carla!

Feel free to fill in the blanks on your blog and link up with Carla’s or answer the questions in the comments section.  I love to see what is going on your lives!

What are you…

Reading?  Nothing currently.  I have been enjoying some brain downtime since ending my classes and getting out of school.  My next session of classes start on June 4th, so I am running out of time to just relax completely.

Watching?  Nothing.  I have not had the TV on at all today.  Hubs will be home soon, so I am sure we will find something to watch.

Listening to?  Again, nothing.  Rose occasionally barks (what’s new?).  But besides that, I am enjoying the peace and quiet.

Cooking/Baking?  Nothing.  I did really well this past week with making dinners at home, but since we are going out of town tomorrow, there really isn’t much to eat in the house.  I have a gift card to Sonic, so that is what we are getting for dinner tonight.  I haven’t had it in a while, so I am looking forward to some unhealthy eating.

Happy you accomplished this week?  Cleaning!!  My kitchen is cleaned, the laundry is done, the stairs and living room are vacuumed!  It looks like a whole new house!  I love that we will be coming back to a nice, clean house when we get back from Chicago.  I even put away clean dishes this morning, and put dirty ones in the dishwasher so there won’t be yucky dishes on the counter when we come home.  Yay!

Looking forward to next week?  Our trip to Chicago!  Mainly seeing family, including our new baby nephew!  Baby Trevor was born last night at 10:29.  He weighed 9 lbs 5 oz, which is a pretty good sized baby… I am hoping for a 7 pounder when my time comes.  He and mom are doing great!  I can’t wait to snap some pictures of him… I have a long list of things to take with me for the photo shoot.  I hope there is enough room in the car for our necessities like clothes.

Thankful for today?  The walk through the fields of flags really touched me.  I am very thankful for the country I live in, and the freedoms I have.  I know none of it would have been possible without the sacrifices made by those who served.  I know this little blurb on my blog isn’t enough to thank them all for what they have done, but deep in my heart I can’t thank them enough.

Now it’s your turn!  Have a great Sunday and for those who don’t have to work tomorrow, enjoy the long weekend!




I have been busy today!  I am happy to report that my living room is picked up, and the kitchen is nice and clean (besides the floors… which is on the agenda for tomorrow).  Hubs even made a comment that our kitchen looks like we just moved in.  So yeah, it had been a while since the counters had been seen.  I also have been doing laundry all day.  I am happy for the warm weather and being able to hang the clothes out to dry.

Tomorrow my goals include vacuuming the house, mopping the hard floors, and getting our budget sorted out.

On to the more fun updates:
I am going to be an aunt again soon!!  My sister-in-law (Hubs’ sister) is currently in the hospital as we speak.  She went in at 7:30 this morning to be induced.  This will be my 5th time being an aunt!  My sister and her husband have two boys, Hubs’ brother and his wife have a daughter, and Hubs’ sister has a step-son.  As you can see we are overloaded with boys… let’s try to get another girl in there!

Now for me:  I had my doctor’s appointment yesterday and everything is going swimmingly!  I have gained a total of 6 pounds this pregnancy.  My midwife actually clapped when she saw I had gained 4 pounds in the past month.  She said I am right on track.  She usually likes women to gain about 10 pounds by 20 weeks.  We got to hear the nugget’s heartbeat (and kicks).  Heart rate was in the 160s and the babe was very active while we were listening.  My next appointment is in 4 weeks and we will get to see our little baby!  It’s the “big ultrasound” appointment.  We have chosen not to find out the gender of this baby, so it is going to be a surprise for all of us when this little one shows up.

Our update:  Hubs and I are going on a road trip!  Ok, it’s a mini-road trip, but we figure it will be the last one with just the two of us.  We are heading in the direction of Chicago on Monday.  We are going to take it slow, make some stops, see the covered bridges of Madison County, and eventually end up in Chicago on Tuesday.  We are going to see Hubs’ sister and the new baby!  And I will be conducting a newborn photo shoot!  I am so excited about this photo shoot.  I have some props and can’t wait to be around the squishy softness of the baby!

I think that is it for updates.  Tomorrow will be another day of cleaning and scrubbing.  I am heading up to have lunch with Hubs tomorrow while he is at work and will be stopping by a field full of American flags to take a few photos.  I am looking forward to it, although it will probably be a gazillion degrees outside.

How are things going in your neck of the woods?


15 Week Bump Report

One blog that I really enjoy reading is Ramblings and Photos by Ashley Sisk.  She is currently about 29 weeks pregnant and every once in a while she does a bump report.  I love the format of her reports, and think I am going to do something similar.  In her reports she answers the same questions so you can follow how things have changed.

Tonight Hubs took the first of our pregnancy photos today.  Maybe I can teach him a bit about the camera while we go on this journey of weekly photos.  Please excuse my hair in the photo.  I threw it in a ponytail this morning, and it was very windy so it’s a little crazy!

And here’s the official bump report:

How Far Along?  15 weeks (officially 15 weeks and 2 days)

How big is the baby?  The little nugget is about 4 inches crown to rump and weighs about 2 1/2 ounces.  That means he/she weighs about the same as an apple!  

Total weight gain?  I will know this tomorrow.  We do not own a scale in our house, so I don’t keep up with it.  At my last appointment about a month ago I had only gained about 2 pounds.  I am sure I have gained more than that now.  I thought I had gained more than 2 at my last appointment, so I am anxious to see how much I have gained now.

Sleep?  Sleep has been ok.  I usually wake up in the middle of the night to eat something, but I have noticed that has tapered off a bit lately.  I can’t sleep on my stomach comfortably anymore.  This is terrible because I have always been a stomach sleeper.  

Maternity Clothes?  I had some maternity clothes from the last pregnancy, but they are all pretty much cold weather clothes.  I have two pairs of jeans that I wore constantly the last few weeks of school.  The clothes in my picture today are not maternity clothes.  I am able to fit into bottoms that are low waisted or were big before.  I can still fit in most of my tops, although I notice some of the regular shirts are getting a bit short.  With school being out I am not planning on really buying any summer maternity clothes unless I need them for a specific event.  Just be ready for a lot of pictures in athletic shorts and t-shirts.

A View From Above

Best Moments of the Week?  This didn’t happen this week, but last week I noticed one of my first grade girls really watching my tummy as we were walking down the hall.  She finally said “Your belly is really getting bigger.”  I told her that yes it had gotten bigger and was only going to get bigger as time went on.  

I wouldn’t really call this a best moment of the week, but it made me laugh.  Hubs let me know today that my tummy is officially sticking out farther than my boobs.  Isn’t he so helpful?

Food Cravings?  No real cravings that I have noticed.  Some things sound better than others, but I haven’t needed something so much that I had to immediately leave home to go get it.

Food Aversions?  These have subsided for the most part now.  They were really bad during the first trimester, but nothing really grosses me out too much right now.  I do still have a bit of trouble with the smell of peanut butter.

Symptoms?  For the most part morning sickness has gone away.  I haven’t felt any movements either… that I am aware of.  It is still early and my midwife told me that I probably wouldn’t feel anything at this point, so I shouldn’t worry.  I am anxious to start feeling some kicking and moving.  
I am sure everyone wants to know, but I have noticed some dark hair on my tummy.  I am going to ask my midwife if Nair on the tummy is safe.  If not, then it looks like I will need to shop for a one piece swim suit for the summer.  

Exercise?  Nonexistent at this point.  I plan to start walking in the mornings once summer really settles in, and I get into a routine.  I plan to walk either by myself or just with Bandit.  I don’t think I could handle Rose if she saw something to run after… she is a big dog, and I am not a big person.

Movement?  None yet, but hopefully in the next couple weeks!

Next Appointment?  Tomorrow.  I think it’s going to be a boring one… blood pressure, weight, and pee in a cup.  

And here is just a fun picture of my Hosta.  It is about to bloom, and there is another bud down at the base that will grow like this one.  This Hosta puts out pretty light purple flowers.  I am so happy it came back!  This morning when I watered it, I saw two baby praying mantises in the pot.  So cute!


Happy Mail Dance Monday!

It’s here!  It’s here!  It’s here!  … and I almost missed it.  I pulled up to my mailbox at about 4:24 and got everything out.  There was a pink postcard that said I had a parcel waiting for me at the post office that would be available to pick up after 4:00 today.  This would not have been a problem, except that my post office closes at 4:30.  Grrr!  I jumped back in my car and drove across town… don’t worry, it’s a small town… and pulled up to the post office with my clock saying 4:31.  Oh no!  I thought I might be too late.  Luckily the post office clock showed about 4:29, and they were still open!  I am not proud that I walked in that close to closing, as I know how annoying that could be, but I knew this parcel could only be one thing… My secret sister package!  And I was right!
Then I had to get back in my car, drive home, take the dogs out, take the trash out, get out my camera… all before I could open my package.  It was tough!  

I am so lucky to have the secret sister that I have!  Her goodie box is perfect for me, and I love everything in it!  I just recently started reading her blog, so it is a bit of a coincidence that I just found out about her and she was also my secret sister.  If you haven’t checked it out head over to Almost Rock Bottom written by the lovely Michelle (and greatest secret sister ever!)

Here is what I started with:

I think Michelle loves tape as much as I do.  I am always worried about things opening or being opened when I mail things and tend to go overboard with the packing tape.  No worries, a few snips of the scissors and I was in!

On top was this super cute, handmade card from Michelle!  I absolutely love the watermelons!  Darling!

Look at all of these goodies!   I never imagined that so much could fit inside of a shoe box!  And I love each and every item!

Probably my favorite item(s) are these adorable handmade coasters!  They are perfect for our coffee table, as we only have one coaster for the family… an old, cardboard Cubs coaster that Hubs loves and uses.  Now I have some pretty new ones!  

Here is a super cute notebook with an apple on it.  It will be perfect to take notes in during staff meetings and parent meetings next year at school!  Love it!  In front of the notebook is a yummy, yummy dark chocolate with almonds candy bar.  Let’s not kid around here… as soon as the pictures were taken and the goodies inside, I opened this bad boy up and tasted it.  Delicious!

This is a cute little camera keychain.  You can press the shutter button and it flashes and makes a shutter sound!  I am totally putting this on my camera bag.  I bet it will be great to get kids to look at the camera too!  Cute and useful!

One of my favorite scents is apple, so Michelle found some apple scented lotion and body gel.  Can’t wait to break these open and give them a try!

This could not have come at a better time!  I have been drinking hot tea the past couple days to help with my sore throat.  This is perfect, and I will be having a mug of it tonight!

Last, but definitely not least, a copy of one of my *favorite* magazines!  I hope that I can get something from from that cover article about a cleaner house every day.  Maybe it can help me get things organized this summer!

Michelle, I love everything about my secret sister package!  It is absolutely perfect!  Thank you so much for taking the time to pick everything out.  You are too sweet!


Sunday Night Chit Chat

Ugh!  So, I am pretty much over the morning sickness, unless I wake up really hungry.  But don’t let that fool you… I am miserable!  I have been battling allergies (I think).  I am worried it is turning into a sinus something or the other.  Yuck!  Hopefully I will be better soon, because my sister-in-law is going to be having a baby anytime soon, and Hubs and I will be traveling up there to see and for me to do newborn photos.

Anyway, here is my Sunday night chit chat courtesy of the lovely Carla

What are you…

Reading?  Nothing currently.  I am letting my brain rest until the end of the school year, then I may take some suggestions of what to read next.  I guess Hubs and I read a pregnancy book each Tuesday for the start of a new week.  I promise I will start doing belly bump photos soon!

Watching?  The Billboard Music Awards.  It’s pretty boring to be honest with you.  I am not a fan of some of the artist that keep winning, but we don’t have many other choices.  Lately Hubs and I have been catching up on the most recent season of The Challenge: Battle of the Exes and Deadliest Catch.  We usually watch one of each before bed each night.

Listening To?  Hubs talk on the phone to his brother.  Hubs is not a big phone talker, but in the past week he has now talked to both siblings!  I am so proud!

Cooking/Baking?  Because of the sickness, I made a grilled cheese sandwich and some noodle soup for dinner for myself.  I did cook the past two nights, which is a record for the past three months.  I had planned to do steaks and a big dinner, but I just felt too crummy to even try.

Happy You Accomplished This Week?  Today I managed to clean the downstairs and get some laundry done.  I did this and then pretty much collapsed.  It was desperately needed though.  The dust bunnies were getting as big as Rose.  Next goal is to get the upstairs cleaned later this week.

Looking Forward to Next Week?  Say it with me:  Summer Vacation!  The kids are done on Tuesday at 11:30 and my contract time is finished on Wednesday at 3:40.  Can’t wait!!  I am also looking forward to lunch and pedis on Thursday with some teacher friends.  It will be fantastic and a great way to close out the school year together.

Thankful for Today?  Hot tea.  I am currently sipping a hot cup of decaf with honey.  I keep hoping it performs a miracle and cures my sore throat.  No luck so far.


A Spendy Kind of Day

It has been a bit of a spendy day today.  I knew it was coming though and waited until after I got paid yesterday.  It started off with meeting Hubs for dinner after work.  I knew I was going to be shopping this evening, so we decided to meet in town at Jason’s Deli.  I was really craving a big salad, so I got the salad bar, and it was amazing!
After dinner my first stop was Petco.  Both dogs were about out of food.  It is rare that I have to buy both foods at the same time, so it was quite expensive.  I also bought a little toy for a lady who is leaving work and just got a puppy (we are filling a bag with goodies for her), and I got a tag silencer for Bandit because he is noisy.  All of that ended up being over $100.  Yikes!  About half of that was just for Bandit’s special food.  Rose is a cheap eater, so it’s not too bad for her food.
After that I can’t say where I went!  I got to go shopping for my secret sister!  For those of you who don’t know what that is, let me explain.  Carla at My Half Dozen Daily is hosting a secret sister swap.  I signed up to participate and finally got my shopping done.  I think I got some great stuff and kept on budget!  I actually am regifting one item.  I received some sweet goodies from a student last week.  I am not a fan of the goodies, but they are some of my secret sister’s favorites.  Perfect!  Also there is a store nearby that is going out of business, so they have everything 80% off.  I got a couple things from there for next to nothing.  Perfect!
Now I just have to get it in the mail tomorrow.  I love giving gifts, so I am super excited for my secret sister to get her present!  

In case you lost count… 3.5 days of school (with kids) left!


Weekly Money Check Up

6.5 days of school with the kiddos left.  Don’t worry, I’m not counting. 🙂  However, I am counting down until Saturday when I get a prenatal massage!  Can’t wait!

Here is my quick money check-up, which I haven’t done in ages.  As always, it is brought to us by My Pretty Pennies.

 1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on a hotel room.  Hubs and I went to a wedding this weekend.  (Hubs was an usher).  The wedding was about 3 hours away, which we probably could have driven back after the reception on Saturday night, but we chose to splurge and get a hotel room for one night.  

2. Today I am thankful for the Kwik Shop.  I did not have any breakfast food this morning, aside from expired milk (since we had been away all weekend), and a few crumbs of cereal.  I went to the Kwik Shop at about 5:30 this morning before the grocery store was open, grabbed a half gallon of milk and some cereal, and made it back home before the morning sickness got me.

3.  Money can’t buy happiness.  One free thing I did last week that made me happy was go to dinner with my family last night.  Normally this would not have been a free experience, but thanks to a super rude host and a worthwhile general manager, we had our meal comped.  I also ate too many breadsticks and salad before my meal arrived, so that means I got a free dinner, lunch today, and lunch for tomorrow.  Not too shabby!

4.  I will consider this week a success if I  survive.  I am coming down with a sinus infection, and it sucks big time!  Sinus headaches are killing me.  My throat burns when I swallow.  The drainage is making me more nauseous than normal.  It is just not a fun time.

5.  My favorite Disney character is Krunk from The Emporer’s New Groove.  This is my favorite Disney movie, which I can pretty much quote from beginning to end.  I absolutely love Krunk because he makes me laugh so much!  If you haven’t seen this movie, you should stop reading this post immediately and go watch it!

So there ya have it!  Go ahead and answer the questions on your blog and leave a comment with the post, or answer the questions in the comment section!  I would love to hear how things are going this week!


Goals, Goals, Goals.

So, in order to save myself embarrassment, we will just pretend April didn’t happen.  M’kay?  Thanks, friends.  Just assume I failed all of the goals I set for myself.  That way I don’t have to rehash the ugly of it.

May has come and is almost half way gone.  After today we are down to only 7.5 days left with students.  Don’t worry, I only started counting about a month ago. 🙂  I have been crazy busy with school stuff, and this baby is just really throwing a wrench into my regular routine.  I am over 13 weeks, so I am ready for the second trimester energy and non-sickness to kick in at any point.  

I have been coming up with some very  broad summer goals.  One big hurdle I have to get over is organizing my classroom enough so that it can be moved.  I am still going to be teaching first grade, but there is this really long story that goes with this building and basically all of the teachers are moving and switching rooms.  If you have been counting, this is the third time I have had to move classrooms in 5 years.  I moved to a new school after 2 years of teaching, then moved again to a different school after 2 more years of teaching, and am now moving classrooms after 1 year of teaching.  Ahhhh!  I need to adapt a minimalist lifestyle to my teaching, but that is kind of hard in the primary grades.

Anyway, once the classroom gets organized enough to be moved, I have come up with 4 daily goals for the entire summer:

1.  Do something active each day.  This could be yoga, walking, swimming, cleaning, etc.  I have got to get off my rear and get into action!  I haven’t gained much weight yet (only 2 lbs in 11 weeks), but we also don’t need me to become a blimp any time soon.  I know that it is recommended for preggos to get exercise, and I really need to make a concerted effort to do this… not just for myself, but for the baby (cue cheesy music). 

2.  Do something for the house each day.  This can be cleaning, purging, laundry, organizing, anything.  I think if I set my goal at just doing 1 thing, I won’t get so behind in things that I feel like I am drowning… like I do now.

3.  Do something for school each day.  I have a long list of things I need to do in order to be prepared for my kiddos in August.  I can do many of those things at home, so that is the plan.  Once my classroom is moved, then I will be able to actually do some of these things at school.

4.  Do something photography related each day.  I need to get better.  Plain and simple.  This could be taking photos, watching tutorials, reading up on techniques, playing on photoshop, stalking my sister’s sister-in-law who is a fantastic photographer, anything really.  I just need to make sure to keep current and do something each day.

On top of all of this, I have a master’s class in June and another one in July.  I also know we will be taking  a trip to Chicago to see our new niece or nephew (who is due to make an appearance in just a few short weeks!)  Things will be hectic, so I am counting on you, my readers, to make sure I get with the program.  I also have other goals, but they aren’t necessarily daily goals… I need to get back in the game with my finances, updating my sidebars, and updating our budget.  I also need to get back in the game with training the dogs.  Their lives will change forever in November, and they haven’t the slightest clue yet.  I need to get back to cooking and trying new recipes.  

My goals are always lofty for the summer, but this will be the first summer in a while that I have not had a side job.  Hopefully I can keep up with things and complete everything I want to!  Wish me luck and make sure to stalk me and keep me accountable!




 Here are some current countdowns going on in my life:

2 days until the end of this week
2 days until I am done with this semester of grad school
13.5 school days until the kids are out of school
14.5 school days until I am done with school
7 days until my next photo shoot (with lots of my family involved!)
1 month until my birthday!
2 days until I have officially made it further in this pregnancy than the last

I think that is it for now!  Are you counting down to anything special?