NEDA Week 2021

2 years ago I shared a story that is very close to my heart. I talked about my younger sister’s struggle with Anorexia Nervosa and how it has impacted her life and my life. This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week so I thought it would be time to share again the battle my sister has gone through over the years in hopes that someone out there reads this and gets help for themselves or their loved ones.

To start things off, you probably should get to know my spunky baby sister. Her name is Lea and she is 22 years old. She graduated last May with a Bachelor’s in Pastoral Studies and is currently working in a church while writing a few books on the side. (She’s low key a genius.) Lea is my best friend and always has been. We are 3 years apart but that has never impacted our relationship. From the moment Lea was born she was mine. I was convinced at 3 years old that she was my baby and I had to protect her against everything in this world. I laugh because my mom will tell stories about us when we were little and how I always did what Lea wanted to do in order to make her happy. Apparently I was quite the push over big sister. If I was playing with a Barbie my sister wanted, I would give it to her. If I wanted to go to McDonalds and she wanted to go to Dairy Queen, we went to Dairy Queen. This was constant but it never phased me. I was happy to please her.

Lea 2011 as a spunky and beautiful 12 year old!

Lea was a spunky carefree child. I envied her because she wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything. She was bold and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. I remember one time when she was 5 and I was 8, we were at track practice with our mom while she was coaching. During practice, my job was to keep an eye on Lea. Somehow we ended up inside the school where the track was at and we spotted a fire alarm. Lea was attracted to it like a magnet. She kept telling me how she wanted to pull it and I was in hysterics telling her it was a terrible idea. I told her how much trouble we would get in but she didn’t care. After taunting me for a few minutes she decided to pull the trigger. She grabbed the alarm and pulled it down sending the whole building into evacuation. Obviously I was mortified and my mom was livid. I was sobbing constantly saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” while Lea couldn’t stop laughing at what she did. It cracks me up now just thinking about it because it was a classic “Lea” move. She just wanted to have a little fun and didn’t think about the consequences. This was the Lea I knew. What I didn’t know at the time was that, even at 5 years old, something troubling going on inside her brain.

Lea on the far right dressed up as Lilo for Halloween 2004

When she was in first grade, Lea started exhibiting some major OCD habits. She had thrown up at school one day and had convinced herself that she threw up because of school. She started to refuse to go to school because she was certain she would get sick. She started washing her hands excessively to “kill the germs.” And when I say excessively, I mean for 5 minutes straight under hot water. She refused to touch any surface that wasn’t sanitized first and she would never touch another person, let alone let them touch her. Her obsessiveness with being clean and healthy continued for years. It also slowly lead into what eventually would become her eating disorder.

My sister and I were close in many ways but one of the biggest things we shared growing up was our love for gymnastics. Gymnastics was our life. We had practices at least twice a week but even when we weren’t in the gym, we were doing something gymnastics related at home in the basement or outside on our trampoline. We had the same friends because our closest friends were the girls on our team. As much as I loved gymnastics, Lea loved it 10 times more. It was her passion for 8 years of her life. That’s why it became incredibly concerning when she stopped caring about gymnastics altogether.

When Lea was in 8th grade she made the varsity cross country team. Our mom was the assistant coach and is an avid runner. Both Lea and I HATED to run but we joined the team because we knew it would make our mom happy. When she joined the team, Lea started to realize how talented and fast she really was. She would win races without even trying that hard. Before she knew it, she was on varsity as a middle schooler.

After her 8th grade season she decided to continue running on the off season. At the time, we thought it was because she wanted to keep her varsity spot. We later found out, she kept running because she was losing weight and liked it. She became crazed with running. She started to run before and after school daily. When gymnastics started, she continued her crazy running schedule. She would run twice a day while also attending our daily 2.5 hour gymnastics practice. She would run in the morning before school and then every night after practice. It became so intense that I started to really worry about her health and her mental stability. Within a few months running slowly morphed into her new obsession. It became the most important thing in her life, more important than gymnastics.

Over the next year, Lea started running up to 10 miles every day while eating low calorie meals that were considered “healthy.” She stopped eating sugar and would find alternatives to anything considered “not good for you.” Within months she dropped so much weight that she was down to a mere 80 pounds. It took time for my family to fully see what was going on. At the time, my parents were so impressed with her choices and were so proud of her for working so hard that they didn’t see the major red flags right in front of them.

At the age of 13, the day of my 18th birthday, Lea ran her first marathon. Marathons usually have a minimum age requirement because it’s NOT SAFE for children to put their bodies through that. This particular race required you to be 18 years of age or older. Thanks to the day falling on my 18th birthday, my mom registered her as me. I was livid for many reasons. I was jealous because of the attention she was getting on the day I officially became an adult but I was also mad because my parents were letting her put her body through that . She was 13! I tried to express my major concerns but they just thought I was jealous she did something I could never do.

Lea on the far right after her first marathon: May 11th, 2013

From May to September of 2013 Lea dramatically lost weight and became more and more obsessed with not eating and over exercising. I was very worried about her and was not shy about my feelings. This caused some major tension in our house. My parents would get angry whenever I told them what Lea was doing was not okay. They were blinded by her new lifestyle. It wasn’t until her body started to show other side effects that my mom started to realize maybe something was wrong.

The left picture is May 2013 and the right is September 2013.

At the beginning of her freshman year of high school, Lea had her 14 year old physical. The doctor’s knew from her blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs that something was not right. They then heard about her dramatic weight loss and new work out regime. They referred her to see a therapist to talk about what was going on in her life. My mom figured it couldn’t hurt to have her talk to someone since she did have some OCD and depressive like tendencies. Within weeks of seeing this new therapist, the therapist requested that my mom take her to our state’s Children’s Hospital because she knew Lea needed much more help than she could offer her.

This was the start of our new normal. Over the next handful of years Lea spent days, weeks, even months at a time in in-patient facilities. She started off at the Children’s Hospital. She was at the hospital on and off for about a year. It was a constant cycle of the same thing. Lea would be admitted, stay a few weeks so her vitals would be safe enough to leave, come home, lose weight FAST, and end up right back at the hospital days later. Clearly, Children’s wasn’t working on the root of the problem. At Children’s, the sole purpose of sending someone with an eating disorder there is to get them to gain the weight back. Unfortunately, “just eating” is not the solution to this mental illness.

Because of the constant cycle between living in the hospital and coming home, the doctor’s realized she needed more. She then went to a few different places that focuses more on mental rehabilitation than physical. These programs did much more for her than anything she’d had before. It took a few years, and a few different places, but she finally found a place that worked for her. She found success in the Melrose Center for Eating Disorders in Minnesota. Not only did she receive medical help when her body was failing her, but also learned useful tools to help her overcome her mental illnesses.

These pictures were taken over 3 years of her being in treatment centers. 2020 on the left, 2019 in the middle, and 2018 on the right. As you can see, she would struggle for awhile, be at a “healthy weight” for a few months, and then struggle once again. This is unfortunately the ups and downs of her ED.

It’s been almost 9 years since she was officially diagnosed. She has spent over half that time living away from home in treatment centers. She has found God and uses that to lift her up daily. She uses her past to help others overcome their ED. But she still struggles on a daily basis. She has good days and bad days. She has heart problems because of what she has put her body through. Her bones are so deteriorated that she has osteoporosis at 22. She knows that her life isn’t going to be easy because ED will always be there lingering in the background. As her sister, the one who always wanted to protect her from everything, it kills me to come to this realization. The only thing I can do, is be there for her on the good days and the bad days. She has come SO FAR in her journey that I could not be prouder. Her ultimate goal in life is to go around the country speaking to middle school and high school kids telling them her story. She doesn’t want a single person to go through what she has and will stop at nothing to share her story. She is the strongest bravest person I know.

This is Lea today. Happy and doing what she loves. Preaching the word!

This is where I stop sharing her story and start warning some of you reading this. My parents are 2 of the most loving people on the planet. They have always been so supportive of us and have wanted nothing more than for us to be happy. My mom, being the track and cross country coach in our town, has had many athletes over the years who have suffered from an eating disorder. She knows the signs and symptoms but couldn’t identify it in her own daughter. We didn’t know it at the time, but Lea started showing symptoms through her OCD patterns when she was only in elementary school. No matter how old or young someone is, they could be hurting and not even know it.

Anorexia has the highest death rate above all other mental health disorders. It is serious and needs more attention than it gets. As a society, we aren’t aware of how to spot someone with an eating disorder, let alone help them through their eating disorder. We continue to idolize fit and skinny people because we’re told that’s what a “healthy” person looks like. Ha. WRONG! Over exercising and dieting is not the way to live a healthy lifestyle. Life comes with checks and balances for a reason. Our bodies need sugar. They need rest. They need carbs. Restricting ourselves from things like that, is the opposite of healthy living.

Please, take some time to really think about your own self and how you are living your life right now. Are you happy? Are you taking care of not just your body, but your mind? Are the loved ones in your life okay? Do they need someone to check in on them just so they know someone cares? Take care of yourself and those in your life. Love yourself for who you are and love your friends and family for who they are no matter what. We are all meant to be different and should embrace our individualities. You are beautiful and amazing. Never forget that.

(BTW: If you are interested in her amazing book/devotional, here is the link to purchase Reflections in the Midst of the Storm on Amazon!)

2021 = CHANGE

So it has been a while and things have been insane. I feel like I don’t have time for literally anything in my life because I have SO MUCH going on right now.

So first things first, I had a HUGE thing happen in my life back in January….

Her name is Annie and she is amazing, adorable, and insane all at the same time. I knew that getting a puppy was a lot of work but man, it is a LOT of work! It happened completely out of nowhere and was super impulsive but it was totally worth it. It has been a big change and I’m still adjusting but she is a sweetie and I love her.

On top of getting a puppy, gymnastics season finally started. We were supposed to start back in November but thanks to COVID we had to push the start of our season back. We were FINALLY able to start the first week in January and it felt so good to be back! (Gymnastics has always been my one true love and this is the time of year gymnastics is my whole life. This was my first December without having gymnastics in 15 years so that was very strange.) It was amazing to finally be in the gym again. We have some weird COVID rules but it’s worth it to be back. (It’s also been great because I get to work with my 2 best friends and my life mentor. It’s kind of the best job ever!) Normally, gymnastics season exhausts me but this year mixing in my COVID recovery, distant teaching, and my new pup, I’m still surprised I’m able to walk without sleeping.

To top it all off, we got to go back to in person learning on February 1st!

I was so happy to be back with my kids but it just added even more craziness to my schedule. I wake up at 6:15 to my crying puppy who needs to go outside, teach until 3:15, and then rush to our high school where I coach until 6. When I’m finally able to get home, I have to give Miss Annie some play time while also try to give my kitty some much needed attention. By the time I finally eat dinner, it’s a little after 7 and I’m ready for bed. (I know, so lame!) I have no time at all for anything else. My apartment is a MAJOR mess and I order food most nights because I never make it to the grocery store. I clearly haven’t been blogging or posting on Instagram because I don’t have time to even remember to do that. It’s been a crazy couple of months and it’s made me realize I am definitely not ready for kids because I can hardly handle my life with a new puppy.

It has been great, however to be back in person with my kids. It’s only been a total of 8 days (because this week we had conferences on Thursday and PD on Friday so our kids only had to come Monday-Wednesday) but I’m so happy to get back to what I’m good at. It was a weird few days getting back in the swing of things though. We had to basically treat the first few days like the first day of school all over again. I had 2 new kids start so that was also kind of weird. I had to try to jump back into our lessons while also trying to get everyone, especially my new kids, acclimated to our class routine again.

It’s been a crazy couple of months but I’m glad I’m making change in my life. Getting Annie was a huge step for me but I’m glad I did it. I’m still struggling with some post COVID issues and getting used to my new life schedule but I’ll get there eventually. Hopefully, once I’m back in the swing of things, I’ll be able to get back to my posts because I do love writing as well. It’s so therapeutic to just post about my life to people I trust but who are also kind of strangers to me.

Here’s to change! That has been my 2021 already and the theme of my year. I hope you’re all doing well and I look forward to sharing with you what my new crazy life holds.

Top 10 of 2020

One thing I enjoy the most about the end of the year is looking back and finding the best parts of the past 365 days. Obviously, we all know 2020 has been ROUGH. Like most people in the world, I lost a lot. I got dumped (twice), I lost my job, I wasn’t able to go on an international trip I had planned, and I got COVID. This year was easily one of the worst years of my life. That being said, because of all the bad it made me respect the good parts even more. I’m looking back at my top 10 of 2020! (I was going to do the top 20 of 2020 but I’m a realist!)

10. True Team Gymnastics

I love gymnastics. If you’ve been following me the past few years, you know that gymnastics rules my winters. I have been coaching high school gymnastics now for 3 years and love every second of it. Last January, our girls were ranked one of the top 10 teams in the state of Minnesota. Because of that, we got invited to compete in the Minnesota True Team tournament. The top 10 teams in the state are invited to compete. It’s a huge accomplishment for the girls. The girls ended up placing 7th that day. We were so proud of them!

9. State Gymnastics Tournament

In February, our team was able to advance 3 individuals to the state tournament. These 3 girls were able to represent our team with the best individual gymnasts in the state. We had a few falls, and it was a rough day, but they made it to the most important meet of the year which was huge! We stayed in a hotel the night before and had some serious bonding time together. I loved it!

8. Easter

Easter came around the time of lockdown. My family wanted to do something together that was special but also safe. For the first time ever, I “hosted” my family for Easter at my apartment. We ordered take out from Olive Garden (I don’t cook) and we spent the day playing cards together while spending some much needed quality time together. (Something that we hadn’t been able to do in a long time!)

7. Graduate

In May, my baby sister graduated from college! I was so proud of her. She graduated with a 4 year degree in 3 years. She gradated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Studies. She is an incredible young lady who was able to get a job before she officially graduated. (During this time she also wrote her own devotional book because, why not?)

6. Maid of Honor

My best friend was proposed to back in the spring. She is like a second sister to me. Growing up, we were a few years apart in school but only a year apart in age. Our personalities are 100% the same so we’ve been there for each other through everything! I was so happy for her when I finally got the picture of her ring with no caption. About a month later, she surprised me by asking me to be her maid of honor. I was so honored I started to cry. I’m so excited for October 2nd, 2021 when I can officially do my maid of honor duties.

5. New Job Alert

Thanks to COVID, I was let go from my previous school district last spring. They ended up cutting every nontenured teacher in the district because of budget issues that came along with COVID changes. It was a huge blow and one of the worst days of my life. I was fortunate enough to get hired in August back in the original district I taught in 3 years ago. I am so grateful for that. I love my “new” district. It’s the same district I grew up in and the same district I coach in so it was meant to be!

4. Best Friends Forever

This year has tested the relationships in my life. I have lost friendships and gained deeper friendships. I was dumped by two different guys but I became much closer to another guy in my life. My best friend (not the one who’s getting married) and I have had an interesting relationship these past 5 years. Anyone who knows us, knows how close we are. People are always assuming we’re dating because he’s a guy and I’m a girl and we know everything about the other one. We’ve had some major ups and downs in our friendship but this year made us even tighter than we were before. We have spent so much more time together and talk daily. He is family and I love him to death. Quarantine has shown the both of us how important we are to each other and how we will always be there no matter the circumstance. (He also is the one who gave me COVID so we share that unique experience!😂 )

3. My Students

I love my kids. Anyone who knows me knows how much my students mean to me. The spring was just awful, not being able to see them every day. It was also awful knowing that, because I was cut, I would never be able to see them in person again. Distance learning in the spring really showed me how much the students in my life mean to me. My class this year is just as special. I love each and every one of them so much. (Even the ones that test me on a daily basis!) I have been so impressed with the maturity and flexibility they have shown through this pandemic. My kids this year are so used to change that they can handle literally anything I throw at them. It has also been so refreshing to see how grateful they are for even the smallest of gestures. They’ve lost so much this year as well so they are thankful for things my classes in the past wouldn’t even bat an eye at. As much as distance learning has sucked for students, they have gained so much through this experience that will make them incredible people in the future!

2. Lucy

My baby! ❤️ This year we celebrated her 4th “got ya day!” I love my kitty so much (and I’m not shy about it!) Thanks to COVID and quarantine, I’ve got to spend so much more time with her than I ever have been able to before. Pets are true happiness. I don’t know how I would have survived this year, being locked by myself in my apartment, without her. (I apologize for the Lucy collage I’m about to share!) She is my best friend and I’m not ashamed to say that!

1. Family Love

This year has been amazing for my family reconnecting. 2019 ended with my parents being separated. They had a bad end of the year and we weren’t sure what would happen between them. My sister and my dad had a very strained relationship as well. They could hardly be around each other without the toxicity starting. I was stuck in the middle of it all. We didn’t spend much time together for the longest time because of all the issues we were dealing with. Because of COVID and lockdown, we all really reexamined our relationships with each other. I think we all separately realized how important we were to each other and we wanted that back. It wasn’t easy, and it took months to work through, but we are back to being a strong and happy family of 4. If it wasn’t for the time we had to sit and think about what matters in life, we might not have worked through all of the issues we had going on. As much as COVID and quarantine sucked, this was the best thing that came out of it. I love my family and I love how we are stronger than we have ever been!

We all know 2020 was terrible and I’m so excited for that ball to drop in 6 hours, but I am thankful for the year we had. I’m grateful for the positives that occurred even with the tragedies going on around us. That being said 2021, I’M SO READY FOR YOU!

For more day to day action and live activities, go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher!

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NEDA Week 2021

2 years ago I shared a story that is very close to my heart. I talked about my younger sister’s struggle with Anorexia Nervosa and how it has impacted her life and my life. This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week so I thought it would be time to share again the battle my … Continue reading NEDA Week 2021

12 Days of Christmas – Day 11

Would you rather wear light-up Christmas lights or wear a red nose every day during the holiday season?

Oh my goodness, before I even get started I just have to say how crazy it is that this is already day 11 of Blogmas!! It’s crazy how fast this goes by and I’m sad it’s coming to another end. I love doing this every year and I have been honored to take part in this again!

Okay so the question…would I rather wear light-up Christmas lights or wear a red nose every day during the holiday season? I think I would for sure choose to wear light-up Christmas lights every day during the season rather than wear a red nose. I love those necklaces you can buy at Target or Walmart that are Christmas bulbs and they light up. I find them so fun!

I think I would for sure rather wear the lights than the nose because I think the lights are less abnormal and more festive! I think because of those necklaces, people are used to seeing others wear Christmas lights on their body. Sure, you’d probably be wearing more than a necklace but I think it would still be less strange than wearing a large red nose.

I also just love Christmas lights more than anything! They are so pretty and festive!! I would love to wear them every day just to show how into the season I am. I like Rudolph but I wouldn’t want to walk around with a giant red nose on my face.

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader Abbey’s page at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my most recent posts!!

Holiday Week 2020 Style

Well people, we made it to break! (Or if you’re not at break yet, you’re very close!) This is usually my favorite month of the year because of all the activities we do and the projects I have. In fact, my first few posts ever were from December activities that I wanted to share! It’s been hard adjusting to this new normal. This whole month was spent getting used to distance learning rather than enjoying the season. These past 2 days, I wanted to change that. I wanted us to have fun. I wanted to be as creative as possible so my students still felt the fun of the season even though they’re at home.

My favorite Christmas movie of all time is Jim Carrey’s The Grinch. (The reason is because when I was little, I used to look identical to Cindy Lou Who. My parents also used to tell me her character was based on me because our personalities were so similar as well.) I always like to have a whole day centered around Grinch themed activities. I was not letting that go this year.

Yesterday was my Grinch day! We started the day by doing a series of Grinch would you rather questions which were amazing and hilarious! My kids loved it and it was interesting to hear their reasons for their answers. After a little fun, we had to jump into our reading lesson. I love doing the lesson where you listen to “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” and then find similes and metaphors in the song. I’ve done it every year since I started teaching but I had to be creative with it this year.

We have been using Seesaw and Google Meets as our teaching tools. We pretty much are on our Google meeting live all morning while they submit assignments on Seesaw. I created a Seesaw assignment where they first had to highlight the similes and metaphors in the song. I had them highlight in two different colors so I could tell they knew the difference between the two forms of figurative language. After they highlighted, they had to pick one simile or metaphor and then had to decorate their Grinch to represent what they chose. It was very fun to see how creative they were with it.

For math, I made another Seesaw assignment full of Grinch themed word problems. I split them into breakout rooms and let them work on them together in small groups. I organized the groups so they were with kids who were at all levels but who they also felt comfortable with. It was fun to just bounce back and forth between the different rooms and listen to their conversations. The one thing with distance that is lacking is having the opportunity for them to just talk to each other.

Because of our schedule, that was most of the Grinch themed activities we did. We spent the afternoon making our parent gifts (which were adorable snowman ornaments made out of buttons) and catching up on work while students went to their intervention groups. It wasn’t as much as I usually do, but it was something and that’s all I cared about.

Today I wanted to have fun and even though we were distant, I still wore my traditional “day before break candy cane” dress (because that’s fun!)

I wanted to throw them a surprise virtual holiday party. I tried hard to come up with fun activities to do throughout the day to keep them entertained. I wanted them to have a special day because that’s what this day in elementary school is supposed to be. The day before Christmas break is supposed to be full of treats, movies, and presents. I didn’t want them to lose out on their last elementary school holiday party!

We started the day doing a fun little “Guess the Mystery Sound” activity. I had a Google Slides presentation that had them listen to a mystery sound and then guess what they thought each sound was in the Google Meets chat.

We then did a real reading activity to get some sort of school in. We read an article on the science of the snowflake and then discussed different parts of it. (I definitely didn’t spend as much time on it as I should have but at least I can say we did it!) We then moved into our math time. For math, students had a holiday packet that was sent home last week. I put them in breakout rooms with their friends and they got to work through the packet together.

The packet wasn’t math related. It had a bunch of puzzles, mazes, and coloring pages. It was more of a way to allow them to work together again while having fun. Again, it was so fun jumping back and forth between groups. I miss seeing and talking to them so it was nice to have silly little conversations with them in small groups. I even had a competition with a couple of my kids over who could finish a sudoku first, it was a blast!

We spent the afternoon having our virtual holiday party! I started the party by having Christmas music playing in the background while they all slowly popped back on to our meeting after lunch. We then played a few different games. I first had them take out a piece of paper and a marker. We did the directed drawing activity where they had to follow my directions on how to draw a snowman while the paper was on their heads. I LOVE this activity and was so happy to be able to share it with them even though they weren’t right with me. I also made another Google slides game where they saw a zoomed in picture of something holiday themed and then had to guess what it was. We then shifted into a few rounds of holiday charades which was super funny. I then had an ugly sweater making contest. I assigned them a blank sweater template on Seesaw and gave them five minutes to create the ugliest sweater they could. We then went through each one and voted on their favorites. My favorite was one with my name on it. I don’t know why but it made me laugh way too hard.

We finished our party by doing a winter themed Kahoot followed by a directed drawing on Arthub of a winter village. It was a nice and fun way to end the day.

Finally, during the day I had my kids go onto PixtonEdu to create their own personalized avatar. I then used those avatars to create our virtual class photo. I know some of you have seen these before! I’ve seen them a few times and thought they were the cutest thing ever. Today I had to do it as a special little surprise to “give” them at the end of the day.

It was for sure not the way I would normally have spent this day but I made the most of it. The best part was how grateful my kids were. They were very appreciative of the activities we were able to do. I know they know this is not how we would normally have celebrated but they were troopers and loved whatever we could do.

I am SO happy to relax for the next two weeks! I know for a fact we will be distance learning for at least another month so I’m ready to have some screen free time and some family time. The best part of today was realizing teaching in 2020 is officially over! 2021 is going to be a much better year, I can feel it. If we made it through teaching in this, we can make it through teaching in anything!!

For more day to day activities and live action, go follow my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher!

Go check out my recent posts!! Blogmas 2020 is almost over 😢 so don’t miss out on our fun 12 days of Christmas would you rather game!!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 10

Would you rather have to put up outdoor Christmas lights for all your neighbors or wrap all the holiday presents for extended family members?

This one is an obvious choice for me. I would so much rather wrap all the holiday presents for extended family members! I’ve never put Christmas lights outside so I think I would fail epically if I offered to put up all the lights for all of my neighbors.

I LOVE wrapping presents. I think it makes me sound crazy but there is something so relaxing about it. One of my favorite parts about buying gifts for people is the wrapping that comes after. I thoroughly enjoy making every gift look nice and embellished. Growing up, I know my mom despised the day she had to wrap all of our gifts. I never understood that because it gives me so much peace.

Another reason I would totally choose the gift wrapping over the light hanging is the fact that my extended family isn’t even that large so there wouldn’t be a whole lot of gifts to wrap. On my mom’s side, there is only 9 of us. That’s a piece of cake. We also are all adults so we don’t have a whole lot of gifts that we give to one another anymore. We are more into spending the day together rather than the presents. My dad’s side is a bit bigger. There are 12 cousins, 4 pairs of parents, my grandma, and 3 kids of cousins. Wrapping all of their gifts would probably take up the most amount of time, but again I wouldn’t mind. I would make the day of it. I would have Christmas movies playing all day long.

Growing up, my house never had lights on it. I love looking at Christmas lights but since I never watched my parents put them up, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Plus, staying outside all day to put up the lights would be freezing and miserable! (Remember, I’m a Minnesotan so being outside this time of year for long periods of time is not fun!)

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader Abbey’s page at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day activities and live action!

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12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

Would you rather always know what the perfect gift for someone else is or get the perfect gift from others?

Well this one is special to me because I think I’m a pretty good gift giver if I do say so myself. I would totally want to know what the perfect gift for someone else is rather than getting the perfect gift from others.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year for many reasons but one of the main reasons is the gift giving. I LOVE searching for the perfect gift for everyone in my life. Ha December is easily the month of the year my bank account hates the most. I feel like I’m financially stable up until holiday shopping comes around and then, not so much!

I definitely spend way too much on people but it’s just so fun to put together something you know they’ll love and truly appreciate. For example, my best friend is a Star Wars nerd as well as super into vinyl records. This year I got him the original 1978 Empire Strikes Back Vinyl that has the whole score for the first movie on it. Since it was an original from 1978, it wasn’t the cheapest but it was so worth it because he loved it!

I am the worst when it comes to buying things for my sister. (When I say worst, I mean I’m the best at getting her what she wants but the worst to myself because it leaves me broke!) I have a soft spot for her and Christmas really shows that. The first year I actually had some money in my bank account, I got my sister an iPad….I still don’t know why I did that but I know she wanted one so bad and I wanted to make her happy. (That easily cleared out my bank account that year.) When she was little she LOVED anything pink and sparkly, so one year, everything I got her was pink and sparkly. Just seeing her so happy makes me happy. (She’s also obsessed with bows so I always get her a giant one every year to embellish her gifts with because it adds just a little big more of that joy to her face!)

Now that I’m a teacher in the real world however, I don’t have much money to spare when it comes to Christmas. I know how over the top I can be so I’ve started a tradition to buy custom mugs for my family members. It’s a cheap thing to do that is also super personalized to them. I’ve loved watching their faces these past few years when they open their yearly mug.

I am going to add that I wouldn’t mind getting the perfect gift from someone. I have to admit that I am a hard person to buy for so if I was surprised by something perfect, I would love every minute of it.

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader Abbey’s page at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas along with her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day fun and live activities!

Go check out my recent posts!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 8

Would you rather vacation somewhere cold or hot during the holidays?

Let’s see….this is actually difficult for me. I live in Minnesota so Christmas is NOT Christmas without the cold and the snow but a nice hot holiday vacation wouldn’t be too bad either. I think if I’d have to pick I’d choose to vacation somewhere cold on Christmas Day but then spend the rest of my break somewhere nice and warm. (Haha that’s probably cheating but I’m going with that answer!)

Like I said, being a Minnesota girl means a white and cold Christmas. I truly can’t imagine what a hot Christmas would be like and I wouldn’t want to start now. I think the perfect cold place I’d want to vacation to over the holidays would be to some cabin in the mountains of Colorado. I’ve always wanted to go to Colorado and I think spending Christmas in a small little cottage in the middle of the snowy mountains would be perfect!

The weather has always been a huge part of Christmas for me!

Now, like I also said, I would spend Christmas Day in snowy Colorado but then I’d jump on a plane on December 26th and head to someplace nice and hot like to an all inclusive resort in the Bahamas! I’ve never been on vacation to a “hot” place before. I’ve been to the Dominican Republic but that was a volunteer trip and not a vacation. I would love to spend a week of my break off from school sipping drinks on a beach while getting a nice tan. To me, that sounds like the perfect way to relax and enjoy the last week of the year!

I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to look at this when it’s -15 degrees at home?

I know I’m not being very decisive but those are the firsts thoughts that came to my head. I love white having a white Christmas but I would love a nice hot vacation as well! This is Blogmas, anything goes right?

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my most recent posts!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 7

Would you rather meet Frosty or Santa?

Two of my favorite holiday characters, Frosty and Santa! Who doesn’t love these two classic magical characters? If I had to choose one to meet though, I think I would choose to meet Santa.

This is going to sound crazy but I’ve always had this weird idea that, like in some of those classic movies, Santa’s son would be on earth looking or a wife, he’d find me, and we’d become the new Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
😂😂😂 I know, I sound like I’m losing it but I’ve seen too many cheesy movies growing up that my imagination has definitely gotten the best of me.

I’ve also always loved the classic Santa Claus is coming to town and the Santa Claus movies! I think it’s fascinating to see the different interpretations of the same character. I would love to see what version I would meet. Frosty is a great character but there aren’t too many versions of Frosty. What you see in one movie is what you get in another. At least with Santa, you’ll be surprised by something.

Which is your Santa?? Tim Allen is mine!

Finally, I’d want to meet Santa just to prove that he’s real. We’re all little kids at heart and what kid doesn’t want the concrete proof that Santa exists?

Gymnastics Christmas party 2017 with my best friend playing Santa!

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey@ThreeCatsandaGirl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my latest posts!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 6

Would you rather star on a popular holiday music single or star in a popular holiday movie?

This is a quick and easy one. I would LOVE to star in a popular holiday movie!

I am one of those hopeless holiday romantics who love Hallmark Christmas movies. Yes, they all have the same plot, but they are all so sweet. I’ve always wanted my life to play out like one during the holiday season. I think it would be so fun to star in one of those movies. For a few weeks, you could pretend you were actually living in that world and take in the Hallmark magic.

I wouldn’t mind staring in my own holiday single but I can’t sing to save my life. It would not be pretty! I love to sing Christmas songs but I also like to be good at what I’m doing. Being a teacher, I think I know how to put on a show. I think I would be much more successful staring in my own holiday movie than singing my own single.

All 3 of us love our Hallmark Christmas movies!

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey@ThreeCatsandaGirl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my recent posts!!

Outside Cafeterias and Masking Up – COVID Classroom 2020

Our first full week is complete and I’m shockingly not as tired as I have been in the past. It was a good week full of lots of housekeeping and FINALLY starting some curriculum lessons! This week started off with a pretty normal couple of days but then the bomb came. We found out Monday … Continue reading Outside Cafeterias and Masking Up – COVID Classroom 2020