The Best of 2018

Every year I like to go back and reflect on the events that shaped this year into what it was (like most people out there). One year ago, I marked 2018 as the year of me. I wanted to push into the new year with my focus being on myself and taking care of myself. I’ve been able to fulfill that resolution through many different new things I have experienced and have done that I’ve never done before.

January 2018:

I started the year by creating a mantra for myself, “you are strong, you are beautiful, you are enough.” I got this idea from a daily devotional I received a few years ago. The book is called, “Staying Strong 365 days a Year,” written by Demi Lovato. Each day she gives a quote, her own background to the quote, and a goal written at the bottom of the page to keep in mind for that day. January 1st had the goal to create a mantra that is just yours. Hence, the mantra I created for myself. I tried hard to stick to this every day and to repeat it to myself when times were hard.

I also started the year by creating a bullet journal to keep track of 6 goals a month I had for myself and my feelings each day. Every day I recorded if I attained the goal for the day and my mood/feelings for that day. My goal was to do this every day for a whole year and I was successful in that goal!

February 2018:

Looking back, February was filled with gymnastics and nothing more. Every weekend was spent at a different tournament for the different teams I coached. It was a blast and an incredibly fun month, but needless to say that was the month I missed school the most for getting sick. Coincidence?

March 2018:

In March, I started a new coaching position coaching pole vault for my high school’s track team. This was a very new experience for me. I never did pole vault myself but the head coach (also being my mom) was desperate to find a pole vaulting coach and asked me because of my gymnastics background. It was definitely a job of firsts. I love to know what I’m doing and I like to know that I am good at my job. This was a job I had no idea what I was doing 90% of the time. I had to learn to be okay with that and learn along side the vaulters.

This was also the month that I was cut from my 4th grade teaching position in my hometown. This was very hard for me to work through. Our district was in incredible debt and myself, along with all of the other non tenure teachers in the district, knew we would not have our jobs the next school year. I knew this was coming but it was difficult to deal with nonetheless. Little did I know, this would end up being one of the best things to ever happen to me!

April 2018:

April was a month I spent a lot of time with my family. A major reason behind this was being able to coach alongside my mom each day. In April, my mom and I went to the NCAA Regional Gymnastics Tournament in Minneapolis, MN. We are both HUGE NCAA gymnastics fans so this was a treat for us. We got to watch the then ranked no. 1 team in the nation, Oklahoma and their star gymnast, Minnesota native and NCAA no. 1 ranked gymnast, Maggie Nichols.

May 2018:

May was CRAZY. My birthday is in May and this was a great day in itself. The day before my birthday I interviewed for a 3rd grade position in a neighboring town. The day I turned 23 my phone rang and I was offered the job. I was hesitant at first but I LOVE my school and my kids more than anything. On Mother’s Day, my younger sister and I decided to get matching sister tattoos. We both have a few and had always wanted to get ones that matched.

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I also made the decision to move out on my own. Halfway through the month I began looking for apartments and signed papers 2 days after I started looking. Our last day of school was May 31st and I moved into my new apartment June 1st.

June:

June was spent mostly furnishing and decorating my apartment. I spent many hours and tons of money creating the perfect space for myself. I live on my own which meant I was able to design it exactly how I wanted to. I also made the biggest decision of my life and decided it was time for me to sign up to see a therapist for my daily struggles. This was a HUGE step for me and it was one of the best decisions I had ever made.

July 2018:

July started off with my first ever therapy session. I’ve had a lot in the past 6 months and they have made a huge difference. It’s crazy for me to think back and see a turn in my mood and thoughts. I spent the month making the most of being with friends and family. I also competed in my first triathlon of the summer, which was also the hottest day of the entire summer! Finally, I ended the month by booking a trip for myself over spring break this year to London and Paris!! In one of my sessions, I was asked what was something I’d always wanted to do. Paris has always been a dream of mine. In a crazy turn of events I was told about a traveling company that takes groups of 18-29 year olds all over the world. I took the plunge and booked a trip for myself. Something I NEVER would have done!

August 2018:

I spent most of this month getting ready for school to start again in my new school. I had 2 weeks of workshop along with putting together my room. I had my 2nd triathlon of the summer and signed up to start doing Crossfit at my local gym. (Again, signing up was something I never had the guts to do but I did it anyways and love it!)

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September 2018:

September 1st I got to go to see the one and only Taylor Swift on her Reputation tour. I’m a die hard fan and have now officially seen her 4 different times. (Her music is my guilty pleasure!) September was also the month I officially started my new job!

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October 2018:

October was a month I centered around keeping myself healthy. I had a pretty tight routine of school, seeing my family, and working out. I worked on staying mindful and tried to implement that into my classroom with my kiddos.

November 2018:

High school gymnastics started!! I hadn’t been in the gym since the summer (which is new for me, I’m usually in there every day) so it was so great to be back! I had to adjust to this new crazy routine but it was worth it. I got to be back and work with girls I hadn’t seen since they were 10. I’m also a nerd when it comes to Harry Potter so I was in heaven when Crimes of Grindelwald came out. I definitely went to see that twice in the same week.

December 2018:

I started December with my shiny new blog. Even if no one reads my posts, there’s something very therapeutic about writing your thoughts down to share. I have loved being able to start this journey. Like December for most people, mine was centered around my friends and family (and gymnastics) with Christmas. As stressful as school had gotten during this month, I was able to spend my off time with people I love and who make me happy.

This year has been a year of many many firsts. Looking back, I accomplished my resolution of celebrating the year of myself. I was able to do new things for no one else but myself. I did my best to keep myself healthy and to try new things to keep me happy and healthy. Here’s to 2019, the year of adventure and happiness! I will start 2019 with the same mantra I started this past year with, I am strong, I am beautiful, I am enough.

Honoring Yourself

My yoga practice today was pretty inspirational for me. As I have said in previous posts, I love to do Yoga with Adrienne videos on Youtube. I had planned to get way back into this during break, but with Christmas and seeing family it didn’t work out to be every day like I had planned. Today, however was a slow day so it was nice to be able to make the time to lay out my mat.

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I love to do her series videos. Each of these videos has an overall theme. I am currently starting her 2017 30 day challenge series focusing on revolution. The video I did today was Day 3 – Honor. This video had a very special meaning to me because it was centered on being mindful to honoring yourself.

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This is something I struggle with. I have struggled, and still struggle, with anxiety and depression. I tend to lose sight of loving and honoring myself. There are days that are very hard and others that are the best days ever. Either way, no matter if I’m super high or super low, I don’t honor myself.

The practice started in a comfortable seated position taking some mindful breaths. During this time, she encouraged the yogi to think about how they can honor themselves and honor their practice. During this time, I found my center of peace (my favorite part of yoga). In my mind, I thought about centering my practice around myself. As hard as some of the poses and positions may have been, I always went back to my thought that I was there to honor myself and it didn’t matter if I struggled or excelled.

It was a harder practice (partly because I’m not in daily yoga shape) than normal but I felt so rejuvenated and at peace afterwards. It was just what I needed. I have found that being mindful is just as calming for me as the yoga poses are. It’s the perfect mix. I highly recommend trying her out. Even if yoga isn’t your thing or you think you wouldn’t be good at it, try. Especially for a teacher, it is the stress reliever every educator needs after a long day.

Christmas Break Bliss

This week has been just what I needed to refresh my spirits and energy. I’ve been able to clean, sleep, read, and do pretty much whatever I want whenever I want.

I’ve been trying to sleep in this week but, ironically, I’ve been waking up just when I usually would on a school day. I’ve been trying to stay in bed as late as I possibly can but I have been up by 7:00 every morning. The nice part about this is, unlike on a school day, I’m able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee on the couch while still in my pajamas.

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon reading an amazing book I was given as a Christmas present. The book is titled, Life is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance, written by Valorie Kondos Field. You can find it here on Amazon.

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If you’ve never heard of her before, which is pretty common, she’s the UCLA women’s gymnastics head coach. Gymnastics has been a major part of my life growing up and I’m currently an assistant high school gymnastics coach. A judge, at one of our recent meets, told us about this book and our other assistant coach purchased on for us and our head coach. It’s an incredible story that goes through parts of her life but also gives out advice on how to live a happy and positive life.

The book is just over 200 pages long with 19 chapters. It’s a quick and easy read and is extremely relatable whether you are familiar with gymnastics or not. In fact, she was never a gymnast herself so the book isn’t focused around her gymnastics career entirely. I am a person that struggles with anxiety, and has for a very long time, this book puts a new perspective on how to handle daily anxieties and little pieces of advice that anyone can use in their daily lives.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and she explains her experience through a few chapters in the book. She talks about how she never let the cancer faze her and she thinks that’s part of the reason she is now cancer free. She also had a very close relationship with UCLA’s famous basketball coach, John Wooden. She talks about how his philosophies, especially on success, inspired her to be the person she is. Finally, she talks about the recent abuse stories that have been exposed in USA gymnastics. She is very close to the girls who have opened up about their pasts. She doesn’t dwell on this in her writing, but focuses on how strong these young ladies are and how she worked with them to help them overcome the past traumas they had endured.

I honestly LOVED this book. Being a coach, it gave me advice and a new perspective on handling tough situations but it also gave me a new perspective on myself and my life outside of coaching. If you are in need of a good happy read, this is the book for you.

We had a pretty bad snow/ice storm the past few days, so this morning the roads were terrible. I decided to use my time to stay at my apartment to get more chores done. I have spent my morning doing some more cleaning and (sadly) putting away my Christmas decorations. Everything is clean and open again but it is sad for me that my beautiful tree is put away until next year.

It’s crazy to me that It’s already been a week of break. I’m excited to see my kiddos again but I could use another full week off.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I truly believe that’s true. Christmas is the most magical and peaceful time of the whole year. Sometimes I think the whole year is one big build up for this amazing day.

My Christmas was wonderful, just as it should be.

Our Christmas starts on Christmas Eve. My little family of 4 spends the whole day together. This is the first “full/official” year that I’ve been completely moved out of the house, so we had to adjust some of our traditions but it was still special. I went over to my parents’ house around 11. When I got there, we hung around the living room together talking and just enjoying each others company. My family LOVES to play cards. We played a few rounds of a game my great grandfather invented along with a few games of 500.

We then sat around and started opening our presents. My family opens our presents from one another on Christmas Eve. I think it started because my younger sister and I were so impatient when we were little, our parents gave in but it has turned into our family tradition. Now that my sister and I are in our 20’s, opening gifts is more of a fun affair for all of us. We all choose fun gifts for one another that match our personalities. I was pretty proud with what I purchased for my family. I bought each of them a mug that matched their personalities but were also funny.

I found each of them a mug on Etsy. (I swear by Etsy. I buy 90% of all of my gifts there so I can find special gifts personalized to ever person in my life.)

My dad’s mug was from the shop, DreamteesUS, my mom’s from the shop NovemberandMae, and my sister’s from the shop inkyandindigo. I was seriously so proud of them (my family lives for lame jokes/puns)!

Once we had opened all of our gifts we played some more cards before we went to church. Once our service was over, we came back and had a plethora of appetizers for dinner that we snacked on while we watched our traditional Christmas Eve movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! Such a classic! (My mom also made us some chocolate fondue for desert which is another normal tradition!)

Unlike most Christmas Eve’s, I ended up going back to my apartment to spend the night. This was very hard for my mom to accept but I wanted to sleep in my bed more than anything! (I also wanted to sleep in and my family does NOT sleep later than 6:00am, no joke.)

Christmas Day was amazing. I woke up and found that Santa came for my kitty Lucy. I promise I’m not a crazy cat lady, but she is my baby and Santa knew how great she is. We opened her catnip Christmas toys in her stocking and played with them for quite some time. I had a relaxing morning watching more Hallmark Christmas movies before heading back to my parents’ house for the day.

We spent a few hours together as a family and then headed to my grandpa’s house for the day. This is another major tradition, we ALWAYS spend Christmas day with my mom’s side (for as long as I can remember!) My mom’s side is very small. We have our family of 4 and then she has 1 brother who is married to my aunt and they have 2 girls, so also a family of 4. Once we were all at my grandpa’s we had 9 people there. I’ve always loved how small and intimate our family is. My grandma, and great grandma, were always there with us but they both passed away around 6 years ago, so now it’s just us.

We spent the first few hours just catching up and eating. I’m the oldest cousin, so the other 3 girls are all still in college. We’ve always been SUPER close but with college it’s very hard to see one another, this made catching up last longer than normal.

We have a tradition in my family that my grandparents’ started. All of us granddaughters and our parents each have our own specialized stocking our grandma had made when we were born. Our grandparents fill the stockings every year with our main Christmas gifts. It was always my grandma who orchestrated the stockings but since she passed, my grandpa has done great carrying on the tradition. We always start with the youngest opening hers and work up to the oldest (which is my dad.)

For the rest of us, a few years ago we decided it would be much easier (and more fun) to play the dice game for our presents. We have enough gifts in the middle for all 9 of us and play the traditional game (when you get doubles you pick a gift, then everyone opens theirs, followed by 2 minutes to steal if you role doubles again.) This has been one of my favorite traditions we have started! My whole family gets into it and I love it! (My dad is a very introverted person and usually “observes” games but with this game he gets so into it!)

We then spent the rest of the day playing games and enjoying each other’s company. My cousins, my sister, and I are very close (it helps that there’s only 4 of us). We are all sisters so anytime we get to spend together as we get older is a treat!

My family went back to my parents’ house for a few hours to spend more time together before I went home to watch the Grinch and go to bed.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are my favorite days in the entire year. I love being with my family and sticking with the traditions we’ve had since I was born. To this day, December 26th is always the saddest day of the entire year for me. I hate knowing I have to wait 364 days before Christmas Eve comes again.

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!!

Coffee, Volunteering, and Yoga

Today was such a nice and calm day. It started off with waking up around 7:30. It’s looking like that may be as late as I’m going to be sleeping in this break but it’s still sleeping in for me!

The BEST part of having nothing to do is being able to slowly wake up by laying on the couch, watching some tv, and drinking some coffee. It just puts me in such a good and relaxes mood. Hallmark is having their Christmas movie countdown marathon until Christmas Eve so I’ve basically had it on nonstop since yesterday.

I slowly got ready this morning and then I had to go the help my gymnastics team bag groceries at our hometown grocery store. I coach my old hometown high school team and I’ve known the girls on the team since they were babies, so anytime I get to spend with them is extra special. We were trying to raise money to purchase new equipment, coaches, and leotards. Gymnastics isn’t the highest priority sport in our town so majority of the things our girls need, we have to provide. Our goal was $1,000 over 7 hours. By the time I left with 2 hours to go, the girls had raised $950!! It was super fun! I was pleasantly surprised by how kind and generous people were being!

*Side Note: I used to work at Target for 4 years throughout college and man did that make me question people these days. I was worried the girls were going to be bullied by some interesting customers that I used to get the luck to work with.*

I was so proud of them and how hard they were working! I struggle with people talking down about the “millennial generation” (partly because I’m kind of part of that) because most kids are awesome and hard-workers. They were so polite and they were so great that the manager came and told me how impressed he was with them. So great!!

I came home and did my second day of Yoga with Adrienne on her Revolution 31 days of yoga challenge site. Today’s theme was to practice intention. She had a couple mindful minutes talking about finding an intention for your practice/day/life. I had to think about what my intention is with my life lately. Right now, I’m really trying to work on finding myself and being okay with who I am. I set the intention that I’m going to be okay with who I am and work to accept myself because if I don’t, no one else will.

It was a wonderful 30 minutes of yoga. It makes me feel so calm and at peace when the practice is over. Today, Adrienne also released her 2019 challenge theme that starts January 1st. Her new theme is dedicate. I am SO excited for this new challenge. I signed up for her daily videos (which are totally free) along with her daily message she emails out to all of her followers each day. She centers each message with the daily theme of her video. I am so ready to start this new challenge to kick off the new year!! I said this on my last post, but she is AMAZING and is the perfect yoga site for people at all levels!!

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Now, I plan to end the night with more Hallmark movies (I just love the Christmas theme AND the love story. I know that they can be cheesy and are all the same, but I LOVE them non-the less. They make me believe that love still exists.) while also having junk food with a little bit of vodka…..I think being a teacher has turned me into a little bit of an alcoholic! Haha at least during the winter break when I don’t have 23 kids to entertain tomorrow morning!

1 MORE DAY UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!! I AM SO SO SO EXCITED!!! Christmas Eve and Christmas are my absolute FAVORITE days of the year!!!!

Blogmas – Day 12 AND Break – Day 1

I’m so sad it’s the end of blogmas and this is my last post. Thank you so much Abbey for these fun Christmas post ideas!!

Blogmas Day 12: Snow Thoughts

I love snow. Living in Minnesota, I think that’s a given. They don’t refer to us as MinneSNOWta for nothing. There is something so magical about the first snowfall of the year. For us, that could be as early as the end of September. Don’t worry, the snow doesn’t stay if it falls that early! We usually get our first official snow fall that stays at the end of November/beginning of December.

In my opinion, Christmas isn’t Christmas without snow. It is very rare that we don’t have some snow on the ground Christmas morning but it has happened a few times. Those have been the Christmases that didn’t feel right. It felt like something was missing.

I love seeing the snow on the trees and the sun reflect off of the snow crystals. It can be very beautiful.

I do get sick of snow around March/April/May. Usually, our biggest snow storms come in March and April. These are storms that dump feet of snow on us but then it’s melted within a week. At this point in the year, we are all sick of the snow, slush, and ice. We also want clear roads to drive on!

1st Day of Break:

I fell asleep last night by 7:30. I was SO tired! I was hoping to sleep in the morning but I woke up around 6:30. I refused to get up so I laid in bed until 8:30. I then lounged around all day watching Hallmark Christmas movies!! It’s not a true Christmas weekend without watching a marathon of Hallmark movies!

I had to run to the store to get groceries because my apartment was completely EMPTY but I made it as quick of a trip as I possible could! I also had to hit up the liquor store because my cupboard is empty and it is officially Christmas break after all.

When I got back I broke out the yoga mat and turned on my favorite yoga channel on Youtube, Yoga with Adrienne, and started a new 31 day challenge. She is AMAZING!! If you want to start doing yoga, check her out! It doesn’t matter what level you are at. She has videos for everyone and for anything! She also has a series of 30/31 day challenges that she posts every January to “kick off” the new year. I’ve been going back on her site and have been doing a new challenge every month since August. I haven’t been able to do any videos in about a month so it was SO NICE to be able to get back into it! Today I did a video that was centered around ease! It was so peaceful and relaxing. Just what I needed!!

Now I plan to watch the newest Hallmark Christmas movie premiering in about an hour while I open a new bottle of wine! It was a much needed relaxing day!

We Survived Folks

Hallelujah! WE MADE IT!!

Not going to lie, this has been the LONGEST week of my entire life. I think part of it was knowing break was coming but the other part was my lack of patience for my class (which was definitely my fault!)

I knew going into today it was going to be rough. Yesterday, as normal as I tried to keep the day, my kids were still insane! I knew because of that, I had to be ready for whatever happened.

Oh. My. Goodness. Seriously people, they were off their rockers! They are usually such amazing kiddos but today….I don’t know.

We spent the first half of the day watching Santa Clause 3 (which they voted for), so I assumed this would be a great way to start the day. I made them hot chocolate and gave them a candy cane to go with it. The perfect recipe for a great morning. Right!?

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Most of my class was enthralled with the movie the whole time, but I had a handful of boys who could not sit still. The irony of it, is these are the boys who wanted to watch the movie more than anyone else. I had 2 boys, in particular, who were standing on tables and trying to push each other off. WHAT!?

My timing was off, so by the time the movie was over we still had 45 minutes until lunch. By the time we cleaned up from the movie (which took FOREVER) we had about 30 minutes to kill. Yes it took us almost 15 minutes to clean the room and calm down.

I decided I would read them the Polar Express thinking this would calm them down more. A 5 minute read aloud took me 20 MINUTES!!! I kid you not!! They could not stop talking to save their life. It didn’t help that I was disrupted by 3 different adults during the story. It was the most painful read aloud I’ve done all year.

Then they went to recess and lunch. THANK GOD!!!

To help my spirits, we had an all school potluck for lunch in the lounge, so I was treated to a fantastic lunch of appetizers and deserts that were motivation enough to go back to class.

I then gave my kiddos their gift. This was my favorite part of the day because they were very grateful and kind about what I gave them.

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I decided to use my Scholastic points to order a Christmas picture book for each of them. I bought 2 sets of 12 Christmas books to wrap for them, which meant I had a copy of each book. I randomly handed them out and had them unwrap their book and find their “partner” who had the same book. They LOVED this! It made the day so much better!

To end the day we had an all school teacher talent show for the kids. My team was probably the most unprepared of the rest of the teachers, so that was a little stressful. We didn’t have our “act” planned until 5 minutes before the show started. We were scheduled to go last, so we decided to do a Christmas sing along with the whole school. We thought it was going to BOMB because the other grade levels did AMAZING and hilarious acts, but the kids all loved what we did. It was a relief!

Sadly though, when the show was over, we still had 30 MINUTES LEFT OF THE DAY!!! Trying to calm them down from something like that on a normal day is difficult, but trying to calm them down from something like that right before Christmas break starts is IMPOSSIBLE!!! I was going to read a short Christmas read aloud to them but they were so rude and disrespectful. I had a student ask me to “hurry up and get the story over with” so they could leave. I almost lost my sh** on that kid. Like, are you freaking kidding me!?

After that, I was literally counting the minutes until the bell rang.

It eventually did and parted ways for the break and I don’t think I’ve been as happy as that in a long time.

I promise you I LOVE my class but this break couldn’t have come soon enough. I plan on spending the next week and a half sleeping, eating, watching Netflix, and doing as little as possible. I could say I won’t think about school, but I know that this time next week I’m going to be ready to go back because I miss my kids so much!

UGH!! Where’s my wine!?

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2 Days to Go…

I feel like this week is turning into a marathon. The past two days seemed like they were a whole week in themselves. In order to get myself in the mood to get me through the next few days (and my kids through the next few days without totally losing it) I have a handful of activities that keep them busy (and quiet) and is little work for me.

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve read a Christmas book a day. Some days we do something with it, some days we don’t. This week I decided I wasn’t going to start a new reading unit so I needed something to fill in my long hour and a half reading block each morning.

Monday we spent our whole morning making parent gifts so I could easily check that off the list and had one less day to plan. Yesterday I decided to read the book, Mooseltoe, by Margie Palatini.

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It’s such a cute book. I had to come up with some sort of lesson to do with it so I searched the trusted TPT store for something cheap and easy. I found a simple story features activity on Savvy Second Graders site that had them think of characters, the setting, and a problem and solution in the story. They then had to write me a 5 sentence summary on the book. This was the perfect review since we hit all of these topics over the past 4 months. SUPER easy and very little prep for me (and free)! 🙂 It kept them working and busy for most of the morning!

The rest of the day was spent reviewing for a math test and working on catching up on different projects and assignments. VERY calm and quiet work (which really helps get through this week!)

Today we spent our reading block reading another one of my favorite books, Christmas Trolls, by Jan Brett. I LOVE her books! My mom used to read them to my sister and me all the time growing up, so they hold a special place in my heart. I used this book to work on story features and comparing and contrasting with another one of her books we read last week, Trouble with Trolls.

Again, I searched TPT and found another FREE activity pack that relates with these two books! At All About Elementary’s store I downloaded a Jan Brett activity pack that had them compare and contrast these two different stories.

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They got a kick out of how the same character is in both books and has 2 different encounters with trolls. They worked hard. They were more chatty today but I knew it was coming.

Tomorrow we are going to have a Grinch themed day!! I found a readers theater version of the Grinch on Christy Hard’s TPT shop that we will do during reading time. We will then obviously have to watch the original Grinch movie to compare and contrast the movie to the play right!? I’m using this as a motivation tool for my kiddos to get through the next few days! We will also use the song to talk about similes and metaphors and draw our own version of a simile or metaphor in the song.

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Friday we’re watching a movie all morning to keep things as calm as possible and to help my sanity. They think they are working towards earning it but I will make them earn it if it’s the last thing I do!

ALMOST THERE!!!

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Blogmas – Day 11 Christmas Eve Traditions

This is going to be my favorite blogmas day by far!!

Christmas Eve is a HUGE day for my family and me. We’ve kept the same tradition for years now and I wouldn’t change a thing.

The day starts off with my mom, sister, and I going ice skating! (When I was younger, my dad would have to work Christmas Eve day so my mom tried her best to distract us in the morning.) After we go ice skating, we usually go to the local community center pool and sit in the hot tub to warm up. My mom LOVES hot tubs, so I think this was really her way to get some relaxation in during the crazy day! 🙂

We usually come home to have a small “snack” type lunch and make one last batch of Christmas cookies.

Around 3ish in the afternoon we open our family gifts. We’ve always opened these presents on Christmas Eve. (I’m pretty sure it’s because when we were younger we had 0 patience when it came to opening our presents and our parents couldn’t handle it anymore!) My family is small, just my mom, dad, sister, and me. We will go around and take turns opening our gifts. When this is done, we play a few rounds of different card games. My family LOVES cards so we usually will do this for a few hours.

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is a variety of different appetizers. My parents are not the best cooks in the world, so we just buy a bunch of appetizers from the grocery store and have a potluck type dinner. We also make it a “picnic” in the living room where we get to eat on the floor.

We end the night by watching Christmas Vacation all together. We all know the movie so well, we usually take turns quoting the movie as the night goes on.

Christmas Eve is BY FAR my favorite day of the entire year!! I LOVE being with my family all day and following our traditions that we’ve done for years.

Friday Night = Wine Night

I posted early this morning but I need to again because today was yikes….reasons why I’m sitting alone on my couch on a Friday night watching HBO drinking an entire bottle of wine.

The kiddos came in early this morning with a calmer demeanor than they did yesterday. I thought it was going to be a relaxing (normal) day! Yeah right.

The morning went by pretty smoothly. My younger sister is off from college so she came in to help me grade all of my dreaded spelling tests and timed tests. My kids LOVED her so they were little angels. My class last year was so naughty that my sister came once and never again. I shared this with my kids and they were determined to be on their best behavior for her.

When she left though…..oh man….it was like all of the energy they kept at bay in the morning was released tenfold.

We use Seesaw in my classroom, which I love for communication and easy grading, but I’m always skeptical with the “fun” activities they have to offer. They get very excited and sometimes forget what their supposed to do. That happened today. I assigned them an activity where they had to redesign Santa’s sleigh (a STEM type of activity.) I knew this was a mistake the moment I told them to open their iPads.

On a normal day they would have handled it appropriately, but not today. I had kids running around the room, yelling at each other, going on other sites rather than Seesaw, and leaving the room at their own free will. Ummmmm what?

My expectations are pretty high and my kids would never have dared to behave like that but not the week before Christmas. All bets are off!

I had 2 boys who were “pantsing” each other in the hallway and a boy and girl getting into a physical fight in the middle of my room. This was followed by more yelling and running. I was terrified my principal would walk in and fire me on the spot they were so insane.

Oh. My. Goodness. I honestly do not know how I am going to make it through next week. I’m banking on a 5 day blizzard that is so bad it makes it impossible to make it to school.

A girl can hope right? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job but I am so tired and don’t know if I can handle this madness. Wine will get me through this! Right?

GROCERY-FRI