Elijah: Six Months

img_4813Happy 1/2 Birthday, Baby Boy!

This kid spoils us. He is so happy and loves to smile and laugh. We constantly ask him if he’s a real baby because he’s so patient and easy going.

He lights up and kicks his legs whenever he spots his Dad. The excitement and love is real. Elijah, that’s how I feel when I spy John, too.🙂

After Elijah got over a pretty nasty three-week cold, his appetite returned. We re-introduced vegetables and are now working in some fruits. He’s a good eater. Just like his parents, he is a member of the clean plate club.

Elijah is getting better and better at sitting up. He likes being on his tummy, and I know we’ll have a crawler in no time.

Flood 2016

crFor those of you who read my blog and do not live in Iowa, I’ll give you a glimpse into what is going on in our city. An evacuation for the downtown area occurred today, and waters will begin to reach flood stages through Tuesday. School was let out early on Friday so students and faculty could help fill sandbags and move furniture for local businesses and churches. School is closed for the next three days because roads are closed and people are displaced.

You can actually watch live coverage of the water rising through KCRG, local news source. 

It’s hard to wrap my head around the disaster coming our way, but the city is more prepared than they were in 2008. The amount of people downtown on Friday was unbelievable. Everywhere I went there were groups of people working or waiting for sand to arrive for them to begin working. There were actually sites that had to turn away volunteers because of overcrowding. What a wonderful problem!

Keep the city of CR in your prayers. The hurry and prep is over. Now we wait.

Tradition Continues: South Bend in the Fall

img_4736Adding a sunny, 70-degree day with a slight breeze to an already gorgeous campus gave us a perfect weekend at Notre Dame.

Besides the score (ugh!), our trip was exactly what I needed to embrace the fall and time away with my husband. We spent time with former students, who now attend ND, at two different tailgates before we headed to the Alumni Tailgate. Thanks to my dad for getting us an invitation. This classy tailgate even served Guinness and had its own bathrooms. Double win.

The rest of our time was spent enjoying campus and the contagious school spirit.

The game got over around 11 p.m., but I had one more stop I needed to make before we could find our car. The grotto. This is always a stop on our visit, but this year’s prayers were different. The last six months have changed how I pray, and it was an emotional visit. I know candles were lit there for Elijah by those same students we tailgated with earlier. I offered so many prayers of thanks for my son and husband and then asked God to help so many in need right now with their own babies and children. The lights were brightly shining, and my trust in Him has never been stronger.

Lately I’ve Been…

Drinking lots of fall flavored coffee. I recently purchased Starbucks Pumpkin Kcups with flavor pods. I first heard of these flavor pods from my college housemate Lindsay, but I hadn’t seen any in our stores (she lives in Texas) until recently. I like black coffee with a flavor syrup better, but these are good change. They taste more like a latte.

Listening to Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom on audiobook through the app Overdrive. It’s a free app that links to your library and uses your library card information to give you instant downloads. This app is used by libraries around the country. Search the app to see if your library supports this resource. Have you read Tuesdays with Morrie? It reminds me of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow. I definitely recommend it.

Feeling excited about the upcoming weekend away with John. We’re off to South Bend to cheer on the Irish.

Worrying about my ITEC presentation. The start of the school year hasn’t left much time for extra projects. I need a weekend that includes a chunk of time to sit down and plan out how I want this presentation to look. It’s important to do a good job so the people in my session walk away feeling excited about some new tools they can use in their classrooms.

Cooking soups. We didn’t wait for the weather to cool down before we broke out the crockpot. So far we’ve had beef stew and chicken noodle soup. Next up, chili.

Watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. John and I have been on and off with this show for two years. It’s made by the same producers of Parenthood (the best!), and it’s perfect for football season. If you haven’t seen Parenthood on Netflix, make it your winter show. If you have and you loved it as much as we did, Friday Night Lights is next for you.

Reading It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. This YA book is getting great reviews from friends on goodreads.com. I hope to finish it over the weekend. Hello, long car ride!

Buying Lou and Grey everything from Loft. Winter doesn’t scare me as much with their signaturesoft collection.

What are you drinking, listening, feeling, worrying, cooking, watching, reading, buying?

The Work Will Wait

This is my first year balancing work with a home life that includes a child. It has not been a tough transition, but it has required a mental shift.

I just keep coming back to this reminder.

“The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you finish the work.”

I love seeing Elijah’s curiosity as he explores the world in front of him. The work will never end, but each stage in my son’s life will pass. I’m not letting myself miss any of them.

Book Recommendation

Magic StringsI never would have picked this book up on my own. My mom left a stack of books with me after Elijah was born and The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom was included. I read all of the other books in the stack before this one.

Maybe I was judging a book by its cover, but I’m glad I ended up giving the book a chance.

The narrator, music, is such a unique way to tell a story. The other characters and the true events in the book made me google Frankie Presto to confirm he was a fictional character and not a famous musician from way back when.

If you’re looking for realistic fiction with highs and lows, musical references, and lots of love, this one is for you!

Pumpkin…Everything

After making it through the first full week of school, John, Elijah, and I packed up to spend some time at my parents’ house for the Labor Day weekend. Our friends hosted a Pasture Party, and it felt like a fall weekend. A beef roast and a lamb roast, plus live music, and a bonfire on a crisp night made me thankful to live in a place where the seasons change.

September and fall weather officially mean pumpkin…everything.

The pumpkin cake donuts from Dunkin are my favorite calorie splurge this time of year. The DD that opened just minutes from my house last week has the best timing. If you haven’t tried these yet, add it to your fall bucket list!

Even though I love pumpkin, I haven’t gone overboard by purchasing pumpkin Oreos or pumpkin Cheerios. I’ll stick with embracing the flavor through donuts and coffee.

St. Matt’s 5k

img_4627img_4613

Another road race is in the books for Elijah.

Our church festival included a 5k Saturday morning and my friend Jenni and I decided to break out the jogging strollers and support our parish.

Not many people participated in this event, so hopefully Elijah understands it might be the only time I bring home a 2nd place medal for us.

Elijah: Five Months

img_4595This five-month-old is loving oatmeal and tolerating vegetables.

Elijah starting sleeping on his tummy, and we’re taking that as a sign the incision doesn’t bother him. In fact, the scar is already fading drastically.

Even though I don’t have a height or weight for him since early August, he is wearing nine-month-old pants because he is so long.

We’re excited for fall, but we want to soak up deck time and evening walks while the summer weather lasts.

Year #9

It’s good to be back!

From the first few minutes of the first day with students, I was nodding my head in agreement with God’s decision to send me back to school.

These students, these teachers, and my passion to share journalism, writing, and reading make me so thankful for the school community. Who else has a job where they combine what they would choose to do in their free time (read, write, tune into the news, explore social media, take photos, edit and design using those photos, and talk about current issues with people who challenge their ideas and introduce them to new ones) and get paid for it?

I have so many professional and personal goals this academic year that range from going to bed earlier all the way to seeing the reading/comprehension ability of my freshmen soar. Some of these goals are more in my control than others, but I’m determined to priorities my time and do my best. After all, the academic year isn’t just a time for students to learn.

Thanks to my Uncle Dean, retired teacher of 49 years, who sent me Heart of a Teacher after I signed my contract in May. This is a book I’ll keep revisiting. “When asked which subjects she loved to teach, she answered this way and smiled…’It’s not the subjects that matter…It’s all about teaching the CHILD.'”