Wednesday, April 30, 2014


"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Everdeen Kate: When did you start to look less like my baby and more like a little girl? 

 Linking up with Jodi :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

wild wind

It's been windy for four days straight and it's making me grumpy.
It makes my students mean.

We began our day with our morning song, as we always do, clapping and singing joyfully, "Good morning Julie! Good morning Julie! Good morning Julie! We're glad that you are here!"  Suddenly a student meanly yelled, "STOP!!!!!"  

We all stopped.

I looked over and gave my best teacher look.  The student who had yelled looked down and said defensively, "Well he's breathing loudly!" I took a deep breath and counted to 10 in my head.  It's a good thing students can't hear what we teachers are really thinking I right?   
That was my day...all day long. With each gust of wind stronger then the next, the words became more hurtful and my students became more impatient.  Someone was sitting 2cm too close to another student or using the green crayon THEY WERE GOING TO USE! 

These days can be exhausting towards the end of the year.  Sometimes I feel like everything I've taught them about tolerance, patience, and understanding has vanished from their brains. All of our hard work gone.  Because when it comes down to it, I know my students who have taken away these life long lessons of kindness and empathy will most likely be more successful and happier in life. 

Tomorrow we will start again. Baby steps back to where we were.  One of the greatest moments of teaching comes when you see your students internalizing what you have taught them...helping to pick up a friend who has once again toppled out of their chair from the imaginary earthquakes that seem to plague a primary classroom...when I hear an unprompted, "It's Cool!" to a friend who didn't quite get the answer right...when you see the queen bee of the classroom invite one of the quiet girls to play at recess...

Tomorrow we will make sure that everyone knows breathing is an acceptable activity to do at school and I will quietly be counting down the days until summer vacation :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Our One and Only Everdeen You

Yesterday was liberating. 

You see, we were at a party and as Everdeen rambunctiously toddled around me someone happily asked when I would be having my next baby. This question comes a lot after you've had your first baby...heck even when I was pregnant with my first baby people wanted to know when her siblings would be joining her. I smiled and said bravely, "We're just having one."  I braced myself for the backlash. But it didn't come.  They were understanding and didn't poke and prod any further.  

I can't tell you how good it felt to be honest. Because for the past two years I have almost always told people what they wanted to hear, afraid of the pressures from society and the expectations from those around me.  Everyone assumes you'll have more children and no one assumes you're more than happy with just one. It sounds so silly when I write it out...this is my life and I'm living it the way I want to live it, not the way others want me to live it.  But the lines get blurred sometimes, don't they?
When Martin and I talked about having a family we always knew we wanted one child.  We've spent hours and hours talking about the pros and cons to both...we still do because believe me our decision wasn't made lightly.  We don't have religious or political views about the number of children to have and we love love love when our family and friends tell us they're having more children! But this idea of three made sense to us and after we had Everdeen life felt so complete. 
I remember when I was eight months pregnant and Martin and I were asked by an older gentleman how many children we were going to have.  Martin told him that we were just having one.  He replied with, "How can you do that to your child?!"  So you can see why I've been hesitant to tell people since then.  It's strange the responses you'll get.  Often times I think people see it as a selfish move...we must want more time for ourselves or our careers (which couldn't be more far from the truth).  And I know some people will begin to think that maybe we're not able to have more children and it will become a hush hush topic around us. But I guess that's not for me to worry about. 

What I will think about everyday though, is how I can give my only daughter a beautiful life full of rich experiences that will teach her to be the best version of herself. Because when it comes down to it, whether you have 1 or 20 children, our job as mothers is the love those children until your heart literally explodes with happiness :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014


"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Everdeen Kate: "Dadurs!" You love your colors! You spend so much time and concentration creating your masterpieces...sometimes on things that should not be colored on *ahem* like the wall or chair. I love watching you become the tiniest artist I have ever seen :)

 Linking up with Jodi :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Moving On Up

Life has been so incredibly busy these last few weeks.   Whenever that happens I feel like I hold my breath waiting for it to pass I can feel normal again.   That if I write down what's happening it will seem real and sometimes I'm just not ready to embrace the reality. 
I keep thinking about this time last year.  I was holding my breath for months, waiting to see what the future was going to bring.   I made a huge leap of faith and began interviewing for teaching positions back home.   With that decision of course brought days of anxiety, stress, and nerves...but it was all worth it in the end when I accepted a first grade job just down the street from our brand new home.   Life has been incredibly good to us this year.  

But I knew that my position was a one year only contract.  I've tried not to think about it all year long, although secretly I knew this position would just be one year.  I remember setting up my classroom and telling my twin sister how I didn't want to go too overboard...especially if I wasn't there next year (yes, that's me the pessimist).   But I was so glad just to have my foot in the door with the district which could make finding another job easier.  

My principal sat down with me a month ago updating me on the situation...the district was predicting low numbers in first grade...they really wanted me to stay at my school...would I maybe be interested in teaching another grade level?....we'll let you know in April after the budget meetings.

 I left the meeting feeling nervous and worried.  I immediately went home and started looking for jobs again wondering if I had made the wrong decision last spring.  I didn't want to do this all over again.  It had taken everything out of me last year to make this move, every ounce of bravery.  Putting yourself in a vulnerable position is hard, especially with the possibility of rejection. 
So I've been praying and trusting that everything will work out.  And it has.  I was offered a fourth grade position at my school last week and I gladly accepted.  I began teaching in fourth grade seven years ago.  It sort of feels like going home.  I'm excited, nervous, and ready.   But it also means another year of change ahead. This year has been hard.  Learning a new school, district, grade.  Learning a new culture of families...somedays the only thing I've been able to do is keep my head above water.  

I know I have to work hard to be where I want to be.  I've been told time after time how fortunate I am to have landed a job in my district.  I have been truly thankful everyday and I'm ready to prove myself once again. 

Friday, April 11, 2014


"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Everdeen Kate: A spontaneous trip to the lake on a warm spring evening. It's moments like these that I wish I could bottle up forever...the smell of new grass, fish jumping in and out of the water, helping you explore this beautiful world around you.  

 Linking up with Jodi :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014


"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Everdeen Kate: Today while I washed the couch cushion covers to get rid of the crayon and avocado, we made a fort out of pillows and blankets.  You stayed under there for the longest time playing and talking to yourself...until your hair was so full of static it stood on end!  I love, love watching your imagination grow! (and I secretly loved playing in a fort again too ;)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring brings forth new life

Nothing says spring like new babies! My very good friend Marlena will be welcoming her sweet baby into this world soon and I cannot wait to see who this precious little one is (my guess is boy ;).  I was so honored to get to capture this beautiful and sacred time in her life.   


"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Everdeen Kate: Who says you just have to wear your Easter hat on Easter? :)

 Linking up with Jodi :)