Five on Friday

Good morning and TGIF!

one. I survived the first three days of school!


I always forget how exhausting it is to get back into teaching though. This group as a whole seems so good (thank goodness!). They are very chatty but overall, we’re all already saying that it’s better than last year. (Not that it’d take much for that!) 😉

two. Tomorrow is our annual float trip with friends, and I’m pumped! We rent canoes from the K-State Rec. and bring enough food and drinks to last us a few days instead of the eight hours or so that we’re out on the water. 😉 It’s such a lazy, relaxing day, which sounds perfect after making it through back to school time!

three. My mom and dad always send me flowers for the first day of school. Love having these to brighten up my desk!



four. I think I forgot to mention a follow-up about making a picture book. A few weeks ago, instead of using Shutterfly, I tried Mixbook, and I’m so happy with both the quality and the price (they were having a great sale!). I chose a simple white cover and I’m planning on making other future photo books with the same cover to match!

five. …and I’m brain dead already. Need to clean and get some food together for the float trip. My brother and a friend are coming down for the float trip too and our house needs some TLC before we have company! 🙂

Have a super weekend!

Question of the Day: What was your favorite part of back to school shopping? I always loved picking out my new tennis shoes- ahh!




1st Day of School

Happy Wednesday!

Today is the first day of school for our sixth graders and my fourth year teaching! Since they are the newbies in the middle school, we have a full day where it’s just them at school, learning the ropes and getting adjusted before the 7th and 8th graders start back tomorrow.

I got to meet some of my new students at our porch visits last Friday and even more last night at our supply night/back to school night.

Last year was a rough one, in terms of the group we had, so I’m hoping this year far exceeds! That’s got to be how it works right? We’re due for a good year!

Whether you’re a teacher, you’re sending your own kids back to school, or you’re just going to another day at the office, pray for all the teachers out there. Getting those kids back after them being on summer time is a bit like herding cats. It’s an uphill battle to get them trained during these first few weeks. 🙂


(Throwback to my first year teaching! 🙂 ).


Have a wonderful day!


Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! This is my first full week of work since May so Jesus, take the wheel. I basically recouped all weekend from my two days last week. 😉

Friday, we had a full, long day of professional development/meetings, and then we had our porch visits that night. We were broken into small groups of 3-4 teachers and each group got around 12 houses of incoming sixth graders to go visit and talk with.

I wasn’t really sure of what to expect, but it went well! I was paired with some teachers who I don’t see often just because of our of different class schedules, so it was fun getting to know them a little better too! We just talked to the kids and their parents for about five minutes, welcomed them to the middle school, etc. and then moved on to the next house. From what I’ve heard from other groups too, it was a big success all around!

Needless to say, I was tired when I finally got home that night though.

Travis was gone all weekend for a bachelor party at the Lake of the Ozarks so I was flying solo.

Saturday, I had a lazy day, mending from all those meetings the day before 😉 . I ran some errands, got groceries, baked, and got even more into the show Gilmore Girls. I started it about a year ago and couldn’t get into it, but after my friend Emily told me to stay with it, that it would get better, I got hooked quickly. It’s one of those shows where I don’t have to be paying full attention while it’s on. I turn it on while I’m doing dishes or laundry. It’s just a feel-good one. 🙂

Sunday, I got up and hit a productive streak. I always make lasagna for the first day of school, but this year, the night before our first day, we have a back to school event that goes until 8:30. I knew I wouldn’t want to make it after being tired and working a full day, so I whipped one up…all before 10 a.m. too. 😉 It’s a make-ahead and let it sit in the fridge overnight type of recipe so all I have to do tomorrow is pop it into the oven! (Is that the best feeling or what?!). I also made some baked oatmeal for the week. Cereal just isn’t cutting it for me lately, and I don’t allow myself enough time in the mornings to make an actual breakfast then.

I also did some chores, dishes, and got my toenails looking cute for school 🙂 Of course, I managed to squeeze in some more time of watching Gilmore Girls too before Travis got back from the lake.

I have two more days of professional development this week before our sixth graders start back on Wednesday- ready or not! I’m surprisingly feeling more prepared and organized this year, which probably means that I’m forgetting five things. 😉

I just keep telling myself that once I make it to next weekend, we have our float trip with friends, which is always such a blast! We’re going to need that downtime and relaxation after three days back with the kids!

Have a good one!

Question of the Day: What was the highlight of your weekend? What’s a new show you have been loving?


Five on Friday

TGIF! I’ve worked two days this weekend, and I’m already tired and ready for the weekend. 😉

one. Well, yesterday was my first day back at school getting my room completely ready. Today, we have meeting all day (bleh) and then something tonight called “6th grade Porch Visits” where we have to go introduce ourselves to each of the upcoming 6th graders at their houses. It’s something new this year with our new principal, and it’s all in the evening so I have a feeling I’ll be tired by tonight!

two. Any other Bachelorette fans out there? I watched the finale this week, and I was basically cringing the whole time. Ugh. It was hard to watch…yet I can’t stop, won’t stop. 😉

Oh, poor Blake.


three. At this point the number one thing I’m going to miss from the summer is my lazy schedule. I’ve gotten used to having a snack of cottage cheese and strawberries in the afternoon and then napping/laying out to relax. I wonder if our school will go for a mandated snack and napping time at the middle school level? 🙂

four. This video of a little girl getting so emotional during a movie killed Travis and I thins week. Seriously cutest thing ever!

five. I’ve got a new round of Pinterest wins from this week. I’ve been trying to squeeze in trying as many new recipes as possible before I get back into the school year. Travis and I couldn’t get enough of this Bacon Pea Salad. This Mexican Street Corn Pasta was pretty good as well. If you need a heavenly cookie recipe, these Doubletree Chocolate Chip Cookies have a unique and different flavor and were so soft!

Have a super weekend!

Question of the Day: What were three highlights from your summer?


Weekend Recap

Good morning! Sorry for the late Weekend Recap. We had a crazy day Sunday and instead of blogging, I basically fell into bed when we got home.

We had a lowkey weekend overall though, so I’ll keep this quick.

On Friday, we just enjoyed a quiet night at home. We took a long walk, watched some tv, etc.

On Saturday, Travis spent most of the day transferring some bushes and plants over to the side of our yard to act as a kind of screen, sheltering our backyard. I forgot to get a picture, but once they fill in, I know it’s going to look good!

That night, we got groceries and just had another quiet night, taking a walk and then watching tv.

Sunday, we drove up to my sister-in-law’s house to see her family for the afternoon.

They grilled us steaks for lunch, and Tenley soon recruited me to help her with her doll’s hairstyle. After telling her that I’m not good at doing hair, Tenley said, “Well, can I at least see your phone and look up ‘cute summer hairstyles’ on Pinterest?” Oh, that girl.

Tenley also wanted to play with my phone (which is scary how well she knows how to work it), and I have lots of lovely pictures like this on my phone now. 😉


Travis played catch with Bentley and the rest of us sat outside and talked. At one point, Bentley must have farted because Shayna said, “Bentley, did you fart? Something stinks.”

After eventually admitting it, he said, “Well, I don’t have a sense of humor so I couldn’t smell it.” I don’t think that’s how it works, buddy- ha!

We left early evening to come home and then we went over to Zach and Emily’s house to see them and Coleman. Emily and I talked while the guys played war pong and tried to avoid getting attacked by the dogs. Zach and Emily’s two dogs and Coleman’s dog always get riled up and seriously go crazy playing and running together.

I’m soaking in my last couple days of freedom. Emily and I have been walking every morning, and I’m seriously going to miss our morning workouts once the school year starts. Lazy mornings are my jam.

Have a good day!

Question of the Day: What was the highlight of your weekend?



Five on Friday

Happy Friday! It’s my last Friday of the summer, and Emily are I are spending the day at the pool to mourn that it’s basically over. 😉

one. Since I’ve accomplished basically all of my personal summer “to-do’s,” I’ve been doing a lot of baking in my last few days. Travis and I don’t eat that many baked goods, but my freezer is stocked should we have a craving for any type of bread, muffin, or cookie. 😉

two. Remember when I mentioned my new teeny-tiny fern that I put in my office? Well, I found a little pot for it, and it’s just the cutest little thing.


I love how much “life” houseplants add to a space!

three. Our Alaska trip made me realize my love for hats. They’re so easy, yet you still look kind of put together, and I don’t have to wear makeup with them. I’m pretty sure I’ve worn a hat about 95% of the time I’ve been out in public since we got home from vacation.


Currently wondering how my boss will feel about me wearing them to school… 🙂 (kidding- but it’s tempting!). I’m not looking forward to doing my hair again!

four. If you missed the last of my Alaska posts, you can find all four parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.


five. Here’s another round of Pinterest wins from this week: This Summer Quinoa Salad was life-changing. Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but it’s a new favorite! These Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies are so melt-in-your-mouth good and fluffier than most recipes. Finally, these Sushi Bowls, modified from a Skinnytaste recipe were a fun meal change-up!

bonus: I bought a letterboard to use in my classroom because I think my students will get a kick out it. In the meantime, I’ve been putting funny sayings on it and waiting for Travis to notice them and laugh.


It’s sadly a highlight of my day (I think I need school to start again so I have more to do 😉 ).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the Day: What is one word you would use to describe your summer?



Coastal · Daily Life · Family

Alaska Part 4: Anchorage, cont.

Hello! It’s finally time for my final Alaska trip recap: Part 4. This one is all about our last full day in Anchorage and our travel day to get home. 😦

If you missed the earlier recaps you can find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

When we left off yesterday with Part 3, we had spent the evening with Susan and her family and enjoyed kayaking and spending time outside. We had an early night because the men were planning on getting out on the ocean the next day.

Tom is big into fishing, and he has an “ocean boat” for when he fishes on bigger waters.



Plus, his shrimp pots are out in the sea so they were hoping to check them too. This would be the new boat’s maiden voyage as well. He takes the boat out on Prince William Sound and goes about twenty miles out on the sea to fish. AKA: It would take all day. The boat has limited space so we decided that the guys would go out, and the women would have a relaxing shopping day.

Picture from Travis of the views on the way there- not too shabby!


In order to drive there and get on the water in decent time, the guys had to be up and out the door at like 4 a.m. It felt great that I got to sleep in and lazily get ready. 🙂

Susan picked my mom and I up and drove us back to her house. We had coffee/tea and loaded up.

Lauren really wanted to go to REI, an outdoorsy store, to get a new hiking backpack. After that, we hit up downtown and went into some random stores for souvenirs and what not. My mom bought me the prettiest sea glass beads at a cute little boutique that match my house colors. I need to get them strung, but I have them on a tray in my living room with a shell and sand bottles, and they look so cute. 🙂

We grabbed a nice lunch at the Glacier Brewhouse.

Susan and Lauren on our mother-daughter lunch date. 🙂


In my quest to eat only seafood, I ordered the smoked salmon club sandwich. It hit the spot!

After lunch, we heard from the guys that the ocean boat was having issues. It had a broken belt, and they actually never got it out. So, instead of fishing for halibut and shrimp, they ended up going downtown in Anchorage and bar hopping/talking for the afternoon.

When Susan, mom, Lauren, and I went back to Susan’s house, Cole was there (not wanting to bar hop with the guys all day).

Lauren and I played many rounds of Speed, which took me back to middle school when I played it all the time with my friend, Larissa.

It was so gorgeous outside. It’s funny how 60 degrees in Alaska felt almost hot, but in Kansas I would be shivering at 60 degrees.


Cole, Lauren, and I played frisbee in the backyard and tried to see how many times we could throw it between us without dropping it. I’m usually awful at both throwing and catching a frisbee. There must have been something about that Alaskan air that helped me though because I could actually do both! 🙂 We got to 30, which we thought was pretty good!

Cole really wanted us to see the sand dunes in Kincaid Park. The guys still weren’t back yet, and after waiting forever, we just decided to go ahead and do it.


We took sleds and wore clothes we could get dirty.

It was fun to run and jump on the huge sand piles.





I even tested my snowboard skills and rode down once.



The wind was so intense that we didn’t last too long though.

The guys made it back just after Susan whipped together a halibut chowder that almost made us cry it was so good. Being back in Kansas with a poor selection of seafood is such a shame!

After dinner, us kids all played cards together. Cole and Lauren love playing cards, but their parents don’t, so we tried to play a lot while we were there! We taught them how to play pitch, and then we played spoons after that. Lauren and I ended the night by playing Speed again. We didn’t want to leave and we, along with Cole and Lauren, kept begging that we play “just one more hand” before saying our goodbyes.

It was bittersweet to tell Susan’s family goodbye. They were the best hosts and we all instantly clicked on this trip! Hopefully we can see them again soon when they make a Kansas visit to see their other relatives here!

A double rainbow as we were about to leave!


We got back to our Airbnb in decent time, packed our stuff, and went to bed early.

Our flight out of Anchorage was at 6 a.m. so we were up by 3:45 a.m. because we still needed to drop off our rental car and catch a shuttle to the airport.


On that first flight, we had the “pleasure” of having a mom with three kids just a few rows behind us. Her baby cried basically the entire time. It wasn’t a quiet cry either; it was a piercing shriek. Then, one of her other kids who was older, kept yelling and protesting many times too. Somehow Travis was able to sleep during that, but the rest of us just sat there in agony. I’ve never seen so many people move to other open parts of the plane. 😉

We landed in Portland and had a short layover for lunch. On this flight to Kansas City, we had a smaller plane. There were rows of two instead of three. (I love, love, love flying on smaller planes so this made the long day of travel a little better!). I told Travis that it felt like we were on a date just having the two of us in a row- haha. 🙂

Again, we were offered three drinks on our flight 😉 . Also, as we were getting close to Kansas City, one of the flight attendants, who had been super uptight the entire time, came on the speaker and said we would be going through “significant turbulence” for the rest of the flight (thirty minutes). This kind of freaked people out, and we were bracing. However, it was literally smooth the entire time (why you gotta freak people out for no reason, lady?!).

We landed in Kansas City, got our bags, and waited forever for the company we parked our cars at to pick us up in a shuttle. They usually have your car ready and waiting for you when you arrive on the shuttle, and they did have my dad’s truck, but Travis and my vehicle was nowhere to be found. We had to wait about another fifteen minutes for them to pull it up. By that point, we had been up since 3:45 a.m., it was now close to 8 p.m., and we just wanted to get home.

We unpacked a little and then crashed soon after we got home, as you can imagine.

Overall, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this trip. My mom had been talking about it for years. I had never met Susan or her family, and I just wasn’t sure what we were going to do the whole time.

The trip surpassed my expectations by far, and having Susan and her family to give us the “insider’s tour” definitely made the trip. Alaska was gorgeous and the prettiest spot to get outside and explore. We have all said we’d love to go back and stay even longer!

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our vacation. As always, I love having these recap posts to look back on, as a sort of scrapbook of our trip.

We went to the east coast last summer (Maine!) and now we can cross the west coast off from this summer. 🙂

Have a fantastic day!

Question of the Day: What is next on your travel bucket list?