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.

Sunday Basketball

John plays basketball three times a week. Sunday night’s league out of town is more high speed than the two other days of the week at church. The Sunday night group offers John a more competitive challenge, and he plays Fall and Winter league with these guys.

Elijah experienced his first Sunday night game this weekend, and he cheered the entire time. He literally clapped every time someone scored…from either team! Thankfully, John’s team took home the victory, and Elijah is invited back every weekend.

2018 Goals

Goals for 2018:

Put God on my calendar:

  • This means Friday morning Mass before school
  • It’s been a few years since I’ve experienced the sacrament of Reconciliation. I’m going to change that in 2018.

Make time for me

  • I have a hard time justifying time away from Elijah because I want to be present for every memory. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he is not my identity. I am the best version of myself when I am balanced, so this goal is about balance. It includes letting go of the guilt and embracing all of the things that make me Kellie.

Read 40 Books

Plan a Student Trip

  • This isn’t really a resolution, but planning a field trip with students to San Fransisco is a lot of organization and requiring a good amount of time. We’re not working through a company, so I’m doing a lot of research for the trip on my own. Part of this goal is forgetting about the stress some of the initial planning included and help my students get excited about an extra long weekend of learning in an amazing city.

In addition to these, I want to travel, run, and be a good wife, mom, daughter, sister, teacher, and friend.

Ultimately, I just want to look back at 2018 and be proud of the progress I made with becoming the best me, 365 days at a time.

What are your goals for 2018?

Featured Classroom and Q&A

I forgot to share this link back in December.

My classroom and a Q&A with me were featured on the JEA (Journalism Education Association) site as a part of the “this is our newsroom” series.

Featured Classroom

I see 116 journalism students each day. (I have a small reading class in addition.) Click on the link to read more about what happens in my classroom.

They Need a Hashtag

Since it’s officially the year Matt and Meredith get married, I want to post this photo of them giving Elijah a book that asks him a very special honor on their special day.

Ring Bearer

Although they had already asked me if he could be involved, this was their way of officially inviting him.

He’ll join his cousins Colin and Mollie on June 30th for a long walk down the aisle. I’m already praying Elijah doesn’t push one of them down or make a ridiculous scene. God help us.

Ashley and I are already shopping for matching outfits for the boys, and I couldn’t be more excited about Matt and Meredith’s big day in less than six months.

Looking Back: 2017 Resolutions

You’re more likely to stick with your resolutions if you write them down. Add that to the fact that I share them with anyone who cares to read, and I feel committed to my goals each year. Here is my reflection on my 2017 Resolutions.

  • Reading a daily devotional with John.

We started the year off strong with this goal. I don’t know exactly when it faded, but it did.

  • Running three road races.

I ran FOUR

Ronald McDonald 5k

Rhubarb Fest 4 Mile

Pumpkin Fest 5k

Turkey Trot 8k 

  • Traveling somewhere new.

Seattle and Catalina Island were both new to me.

  • Reading 40 free reading books and introducing Elijah to story time at the local library.

Yes! 40 books exactly and Elijah and I visit the library roughly once a week. He attended his first story time over spring break last year, and I look forward to taking him again.

  • Attending a professional journalism conference

Seattle and Dallas

  • Continuing to live in the moment with Elijah and scheduling dates with John.

John and I get out at least once a month for a date night, and we definitely make the most of our time with Elijah. 

What are my goals for 2018? Stay tuned.

What are YOUR goals for 2018? I love to hear how people are making themselves and the world better.

2017 Recap

January:

Phoenix and Elijah’s first plane ride

Dancing with the Saints

February:

Celebrating with TWO Valentines

Enjoying unseasonably warm weather

March:

Elijah’s 1st Birthday

Birthday Letter to Elijah

Pool Time

April:

Seattle

RMH Easter

May:

RMHC 5k…that turned into 5 miles

Mother’s Day

Celebrating My Dad’s 65th Birthday

June:

Summer days with Elijah

Huntington Beach Birthday and Catalina Island Anniversary

July:

Matt and Meredith’s Engagement

Celebrating in Delaware County

Jones County Fair

Blank Park Zoo with Paige and Tony

August:

Sister Time

The Market and Franklin Street Brewery

Cleared by Dr. Pitcher

Beginning Year 10 as a teacher

September:

South Bend on a perfect Fall weekend

October:

Pumpkin Patch

ITEC

Halloween

November:

Presenting at the NHSJC in Dallas

Visiting Lindsay and Andy and Magnolia Market

December:

RMH Christmas Delivery

Celebrating Christmas through Elijah’s Eyes

Favorite Books of 2017

My reading goal for 2017 was 40 books. I made it with little time to spare.

I rated 11 books 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads

Out of all of these, I’m not sure I can pick an overall favorite. However, A Man Called Ove is a fantastic story, and I’ve read a few rumors about Tom Hanks starring in an American remake of the movie. Add it to your list.

Master the Media

I found out about Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save Our Plugged-In World from the journalism teachers I follow on Twitter. I was pretty excited when a copy of the book was included in my registration bag at the IHSPA (Iowa High School Press Association) Conference in Iowa City back in October.

This book is impressive for so many reasons.

First of all, as an educator, get ready to be blown away. All of the standards each chapter meets are in a QR code at the end of each chapter. Whoa! I can only dream my class materials could be this organized and my curriculum that aligned.

Another reason I loved this book is that I’m passionate about the material. I would love to fit this book into my already existing journalism class, but time is limited. I’m honestly contemplating taking out existing content to make room for more of the present day material this book explores.

Chapters include Television, Music, Film, News, Books, Advertising, The Internet, and Political Media. The messages are about bias in the news and how the job of a news station is not to be loyal or fair. The job is to provide content people want to watch so that advertisers will pay for time on their station.

“We can’t change the message or the sender, but we can educate the receiver.”

No part of this book suggests being less plugged-in. It simply explains the importance of educating students to think critically when consuming information.

“In 1983, fifty companies owned ninety percent of the media. Today only SIX companies own nearly ninety percent of the media products we consume. Media is a business.”

What does this mean? Just as I tell my students over and over, the media is powerful. These companies have the power to control our culture by what they cover and what they do not. They do not owe the consumer any favors. It’s up to us to educate people how to think critically.

Afterall, if what you’re consuming is free, you’re the product being sold.