Little Valentine

Thank you for making my heart overflow, Elijah!

Elijah missed his school’s Valentine’s Day party due to our Arizona trip, but the teachers were sweet enough to set aside an entire bag of goodies for him. We sent one of Elijah’s favorites, yogurt covered raisins.

Whether you like Valentine’s Day or not, you can’t help but love Elijah’s giggly grin.

Scottsdale Valentine’s Date

John and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early with dinner at Hand Cut.

While the dinner and drinks were great, the dessert. Oh. My. Gosh. The dessert.

Salted Caramel Butter Cake with slow roasted peaches and vanilla ice cream.

John and I both declared it the best dessert we’ve ever had. 

We’ve celebrated 16 Valentine’s Days together, but celebrating in Scottsdale was a first. It’s safe to say they just keep getting sweeter.

“Outside!” “Outside!”

I promised Elijah the 3+ hour plane ride would be worth it because we could play outside as soon as we arrived in Arizona.

He stood on John’s lap and chanted “Outside!” “Outside!” as soon as we landed. He made a lot of friends with fellow passengers who were feeling the same way.

Soaking up the weather and spending time with my parents were our entire agenda.

Thankfully my parent’s place had yard space (hello, green grass!) with plenty of ducks for Elijah to watch and chase

Pool time, walks, shopping, climbing Camelback, and iced coffee allowed us to fit a lot into four days.

It’s honestly unbelievable what a few days in the sunshine can do for a person’s mental and physical health.

Thanks to my parents for giving us a reason to escape the snow.

It’s hard to believe

these two photos were taken less than 24 hours apart.

One plane ride can make a big difference.

We’re praising God for the escape from the snow (and thanking my parents for the invitation)!

The toughest part of our time away is getting Elijah to come inside. (And how do you get a toddler to nap when it’s gorgeous outside?) I get it, buddy. No coat weather rocks!

“Outside!” “Outside!”

The Invisible Workload

The invisible workload.

Is this a personality trait or a gender trait?

I don’t blame men because my husband would do absolutely any task I ask of him. In fact, he cooks and cleans more than I do. Invisible workload has little to do with household duties.

What’s an invisible workload? It’s the weight on your shoulders that reminds you…

you’re running low on laundry soap, you have yet to purchase a birthday gift for your nephew, your son’s shoes are getting a little too small, and you can only make your planned potluck recipe if you run to the store because you’re almost out of eggs.

These aren’t necessarily tasks I can ask my husband to take on yet why doesn’t he notice the toothpaste is almost gone or there are only two ibuprofen left in the bottle? Why doesn’t he remember I took the last package of diapers to daycare so our “home” supply needs to be replenished?

Again, I don’t blame him. I envy his ability

These are the things that keep women up at night. Why are we programmed this way? Again, maybe it’s just my personality.

The idea is taken from this blog: I am the person who notices we are running out of toilet paper.

I shared this with a fellow teacher which prompted the discussion that as teachers we take on even more of this invisible workload. (Again, it’s also possible people with this personality are just more likely to be teachers, too. I’ll admit most of us are organization freaks.) This has nothing to do with the number of papers left to grade. It has everything to do with making sure the laptops are plugged in for the upcoming project. It’s remembering to ask a student how her dad is going after his heart procedure. It’s reminding your class that their library books are due in two days so they either need to renew or return.

Do you take on the invisible workload within your family? Is it a personality trait or a gender trait?

#WhyCatholicSchools

I knew I wanted to teach in a Catholic school minutes after the first bell rang on my first day of student teaching at Wahlert.

All-school prayer during the workday? God knows I need it.

If everyone in school and at work had someone reminding them to stop and pray, the world would be full of more grace and gratitude.

After all, our schools are not private, they are Catholic.

45 Degrees = My Kind Of Winter

I overdid it on Saturday in the best kind of way. I ran with the jogging stroller for the first time in months. The combination of Elijah gaining weight and me losing muscle left me sore Saturday evening. Thankfully my happiness for fresh air and time outside in the sunshine outweighed the pain.

God bless my burning lungs and calves.

I have to imagine the state with the happiest people is also a state that allows its residents to be outside all year round, right?

Dancing with the Saints: Season Three

After last year’s Dancing with the Saints, I didn’t think the event could top $100,000.

Such little faith, Kellie.

This year’s Dancing with the Saints brought in $140,000!

The money will go towards new uniforms for all activity programs.

Dancing is something I know little to nothing about, so watching these stars and their coaches always amazes me.

Who doesn’t love a night to dress up with their favorite work friends and celebrate a great cause? If you’ve never attended this event, I encourage you to consider it. Just get your tickets early because at 1,100 people this year, it was sold out.

Lately I’ve Been…

*I wrote some of this before our recent hike in temperatures. God bless 44 degrees!

Watching: Alias Grace. I just finished this six-episode season on Netflix. It’s based on a novel by Margaret Atwood about a poor Irish immigrant girl who is a domestic servant in Canada. She ends up accused and convicted of the 1843 murder of her employer and his housekeeper.

Hating: the cold weather. As much as I love a 2-hour school delay for negative temperatures, I’m ready for spring. Thankfully a trip to Arizona is in the near future, and I’m anticipating upper 70s. I can’t wait to sweat.

Running: outside. I used to have a 45-degree requirement, but I need sunshine and fresh air so much that I’m more interested in 10 or 20 minutes outside than the number of miles on a treadmill.

Eating: BelVita breakfast bites in every flavor. My favorite, cranberry-orange. Buy these now. Your day will start better with BelVita for breakfast.

Reading: lots of books. I’ve read four already this year because the cold temperatures keep me inside and under blankets. I’m currently reading “Final Girls” because I saw it on this blog I frequently read, and it’s definitely keeping my attention.

Loving: how much Elijah is talking. It seems like John and I understand a new word from him every day, and I also heard him string three words together this week when we were discussing one of the animals in his book. Life is so much easier when he can just tell us he wants some “juice”, his “socks” fell off, or he wants his pancake cut into “pieces”.

Brainstorming: Elijah’s 2nd birthday party. I’ve been looking for birthday invites and brainstorming a fun theme for a cake or cookies. Thank goodness for Etsy!

Needing: friend time. I’m craving some unplanned time with some of my favorite women. Who is up for a shopping trip that probably includes us spending most of our time at a coffee shop chatting rather than actually “shopping”.

Please tell me what you’re watching, hating, running, eating, reading, loving, brainstorming or needing.

CJE

I passed!

CJE = Certified Journalism Educator.

Remember the 3-hour exam I took in Dallas? I finally received my score, and I passed!

The tests have to be scored by multiple masters of journalism who work for JEA, so it takes a long time to receive the composite score. I have yet to see my official score, but I did receive my “Congratulations” email.

I’ll receive my award in San Francisco at the adviser’s award reception in April. This makes the trip to San Fran that much more exciting.

Next step, MJE.

MJE = Master Journalism Educator. The learning never stops.