A Show You Need To Watch

American-crime-story-the-people-vs-oj-simpsonIf you’re not watching The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story on FX, you’re missing out. As John said, “It’s a good thing this isn’t a Netflix show because we would have binge watched the entire limited series already.”

Here is the trailer. Only two episodes have aired, so catch up now!

FXNOW describes the show as “A limited series that takes you inside the O.J. Simpson trial with a riveting look at the legal teams battling to convict or acquit the football legend of double homicide. Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, it explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.”

Although I was only in elementary school when the O.J. trial was going on (I remember the school’s custodian stopping by my teacher’s classroom and announcing “Not Guilty!”), John remembers more of the main events.

The show is well done, and it keeps my attention. The fact that it’s real, blows my mind. I’m learning a lot! I watched an interview with John Travolta, who plays Robert Shapiro (One of O.J.’s lawyers), and Travolta said he learned a lot through this show, too. There were many elements the media never shared with the public, and Travolta is curious if people will have the same verdict as they did before the show.

Tune in so we can discuss.

Challenge Yourself During Lent

Ash Wednesday GraphicKnowing Lent is 40 days and knowing our son will arrive before Easter makes this season of fasting and waiting that much more real.

Since I know life will be extra busy when he arrives, I’m using this time to focus on my relationship with God. It is my Lenten promise to spend one prep period per week in our school’s chapel rather than grading or planning. I will use this time to read and reflect upon the book of Ecclesiastics.

Along with two of my friends, we will read the book of Ecclesiastics as a Bible study. We will read separately but reflect through a Google Doc (since we all live in different towns). The goal is to challenge each other in our faith, and hopefully we can set aside time in person to discuss once we finish the book.

As I sit with my students who discuss what they are giving up for lent or what they are doing, I am challenged. One of my students has been writing down menu ideas because she is going to give up meat for Lent. A boy in my class is going to read a christian book that his priest recommended. Another girl has recognized that she spreads negativity and is going to give up negative talk for Lent. I love that giving up chocolate and pop are no longer enough, and people have recognized the power of changing their habits.

Whether you are giving something up or adding something to your day, I hope God gives you the grace to challenge yourself this Lenten season.

34 Weeks

img_2632How am I feeling? I would relate my aches and pains to marathon training. I get cramps in my calves during the night, which I typical got when I wasn’t hydrated enough after double digit mile runs. My doctor said there is nothing I can do for these, unfortunately. She even said she experienced the same issue. I’ve also had some pretty awful lower back pain (just on one side). Again, the soreness is equivalent to the first few days after a marathon. While there is an endurance test ahead, the prize will be better than a medal.

Daycare Update: After touring four daycares, we made a decision. When we returned home from the final tour last week, John and I sat down and ranked them. Thankfully, we agreed 100%. Decision made. I’ll put in the deposit to hold our spot.

Pregnancy Massage: I had my first prenatal massage this week. Since they have a cut-out belly pillow that props you up, you can lay face down. It felt incredible to take all of the weight off of my back for the first time in months. I already scheduled another session in a few weeks.

Nursery Update: (Link)

Preparation: We’re covering the basics before baby arrives: health, religion, and finance. In addition to birth care classes, we took a baptism class at our church. We’re hoping for an April or May baptism. We have also been working with an attorney to prepare a will. Thanks to my family of financial advisers who have encouraged me to get these things in order before baby arrives.

Anticipation: I can’t wait to hold my son, but I know he needs to gain a few pounds first. It will be worth the wait.

Baby W’s Nursery

img_2637“We’re having a baby next month!” was my greeting to John when he woke up today.

After a long trip to Target and a few hours of organization, the nursery is feeling more and more like a home for baby W.

John hung up the letters and numbers prints I ordered from Etsy, and baby’s first initial will go in-img_2648between after he arrives. I love how it turned out, but you won’t get the full picture until the name is revealed.

The “I love my library” print by Peter Reynolds is framed and mounted on an opposite wall. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the room. It holds true, as this baby has more books than his small bookshelf will hold. I can’t wait to read every single one of them over and over again.

 

Catholic School’s Week 2016

Catholic Schools Week

How do I explain Catholic School’s Week to people who have never had the opportunity to experience Catholic schools? I would relate it to Homecoming Week. There are dress up days, school-wide events, and just extra energy and effort in people’s attitudes. It’s a positive week full of school spirit.

The difference between Homecoming Week and Catholic School’s Week is that every school gets a Homecoming Week. Only Catholic schools get to celebrate what it means to have the foundation of their school center around a common goal- becoming the person God created you to be.

My job allows me the opportunity to attend Mass with students every Friday morning, pray for and with them before every single class, and give them guidance on life decisions by suggesting they listen to God’s call rather than their own.

Living my life for Christ with my students challenges me to take my own advice and pray, listen, reflect, and serve. It reminds me that surviving and thriving are two very different ways to live life. Teaching at a Catholic school allows me to serve in the way I have been called, but it also encourages me to be a better teacher, wife, friend, daughter, sister, and christian every day through God’s grace. Whether you are Catholic or not, these are goals everyone can appreciate and celebrate. Happy Catholic School’s Week!

Since I Can’t Get A Snowday…

IMG_0720I’m longing for sunshine and sandals with a side of iced coffee.

I typically spend December and January finalizing spring break and/or summer vacation destinations. Since my plan includes a spring break trip to the hospital this year, vacations are on hold.

You won’t find me complaining about my spring break plans because I can’t wait to snuggle my little boy. Even if there is a blizzard outside, it won’t bother me. I’ll be right where I’m supposed to be come March.

That being said, a child is not going to keep me from stealing my husband away for vacations. John doesn’t usually have a preference where we travel. All he asks is that once he’s there, I don’t plan every minute. He wants a day or two for nothing but relaxation. That’s a request I can handle.

Even though we visited Boston just two months ago, I’m ready to experience another getaway. Since Baby W will be five months old before I have to head back to work, I’m hoping to slip in a short trip before school starts up in the fall. Grandparents, are you up for a visitor?

Baby Shower

IMG_2604IMG_2454IMG_2605My best friend and my sister-in-law make a great party planning team. Yesterday’s baby shower at my mom’s house was a day I’ll remember. While the gifts were overly generous, the house full of so many of my favorite women was a true blessing.

High school friends, college friends, and many family members made the trip to celebrate. I was blown away by my friends from Des Moines who spent more time in the car than at the shower, and my friend Lisa who came from Milwaukee. These ladies know how to make a mom-to-be feel especially loved. Thank you!

My only wish is that the day would have been longer so I could have spent more time with each of them. Celebrations where family from both sides (John’s and mine) and friends from all along the way come together in the same room are so rare. Weddings and babies bring people together.

I had so much fun reading their advice slips and re-reading their cards when I got home. One of the blessings to having so many of my friends already have children is the ability to count on them for advice as I begin this new journey.

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As for feeling ready for baby, this shower provided us with almost everything left on our “need” list. The nursery will require some organization (can I get a snow day, please!), but baby is set!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Morgan’s 1st Birthday

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I meant to post these pictures earlier, but the week got away from me. Last Sunday, John and I were able to spend a little time celebrating our Goddaughter’s first birthday.

Most kids doing a “cake smash” pick at it or are unsure. Morgan was confident that she liked chocolate cake. This made for way more entertainment and awesome photos!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Birth Care Classes

Wifey Wednesdays have taken a new path the last few weeks. John and I are taking a series of classes through the hospital in anticipation of our new arrival.

The topics covered range from pregnancy care all the way through post delivery health of the mother and baby.

Although nothing covered in these classes is necessarily new information, it’s reassuring to know the healthcare options around me are all incredible. Great doctors and nurses with support staff who genuinely care are not things I take for granted. While some women probably have “birth plans” in mind, mine includes showing up and doing whatever the doctors tell me in order to have a safe delivery and healthy baby. I am comfortable with my lack of knowledge because I know I am in the best hands.

I’m also thankful for a husband who doesn’t have to be “forced” to attend these classes with me. I’m accepting of the fact that he knows more of the medical field than me. While most men are covering their eyes or tuning the presenter out when the information gets graphic, John doesn’t flinch. I even find myself asking him questions on the way home.

While no one knows what the future holds, I’m thankful for a sense of calmness with the unknown.

32 weeks down!

Happy weekend, friends!

Family Weekend Away

img_2565My siblings and I have a difficult time coming up with gift ideas for my parents. For Christmas this year, we decided to give the gift of time. We cleared our schedules, booked hotel rooms, and invited them on a weekend away with all of us.

Unplanned time included relaxing around the hotel, visiting Backpocket Brewery, dinner, and pool time.

When the Christmas season ended, it was nice to know there was something fun planned on the calendar to continue the celebration. Not to mention, who doesn’t need a weekend away during the long, cold month of January?!

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