• Life

    Pick Up the Crayons

    I’m not a mom, but I understand the sentiments of “This moment won’t last forever” and “I never knew I could love someone so much.” I am blessed beyond belief to have one incredible nephew and two amazing nieces. Tonight, we’re having a sleepover. Instead of stuffed animals and tea cups, I brought stacks of work that I was going to grade and summer reading assignments I still haven’t looked at (hello, 6th week of school). When I first walked in and Sadie and Mackenzie ran down the stairs smiling, laughing, and telling me that Sadie wet her pants at school, I knew I was in trouble. Who was I…

  • Life

    Self-Portrait: Five Random (But Not Surprising) Facts About Me

    I love looking back on Facebook memories each day and seeing how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown, and how different my goals and dreams were at the time. I think that’s part of the beauty of writing and documenting, and that’s one of the things I love about keeping journals. Here is my current self-portrait. I have a feeling not much will change in the next few years, though. I’m addicted to caffeine. I’m not sure if that’s really something to be proud of since I feel any kind of addiction is a bad thing, but there it is. I’ve tried to break the addiction, guys. I’ve tried…

  • Reading

    Allegedly

    Hi, my name is Katie and I’m a bookaholic. I don’t read as voraciously as my sister Catherine, but I do love reading and I do love books. Usually, I wait for Catherine to recommend which book to read next, or I read the newest books I buy. Allegedly, however, fell into neither of those categories. I heard about Allegedly from an English teacher community on Facebook, and it seemed like every day another teacher was raving about it. So I bought it. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information. Summary: When Mary was nine, she was helping her “churchgoing black mother” babysit a white…

  • Teaching,  Uncategorized

    A Farewell to Summer: Tips to Ease Back in to Reality

    Is it really August already? Where did the summer go? It seems like just yesterday I was packing up my classroom and moving it 200 miles west. And now here we are, another school year upon us. Something that I have never really been open about, but I know it impacts many teachers, is anxiety. During my first year in the classroom, a friend put a name on the dread I was feeling every morning when she told me about dealing with her own anxiety. After that conversation, “anxiety” popped up around my school like an epidemic. It seemed like every teacher I talked to was dealing with their own…

  • Self-Love

    The Beauty of Simplifying

    Growing up, my room was always cluttered. Even when I cleaned my room, there were still boxes under the bed and in the closet, nicknacks that just didn’t really belong, and random items that never had a home anywhere. There was only one time my room was organized, and that’s when I went away to summer camp for two weeks and my mom completely redid my room. It was around the time HGTV had those shows where kids or husbands or wives would be gone for an extended period of time, and when they returned, their bedroom or living room would be completely redone. My reaction when I walked in…

  • Life

    Gift Guide for Picky Moms

    Mother’s Day has come and gone, but, according to my sister, Christmas is right around the corner. That, and my mom’s birthday. I love my parents to bits, but I have the hardest time selecting gifts for them. My dad is not the “typical” dad. He doesn’t golf, he doesn’t watch sports, he doesn’t wear ties. And my mom is not the “typical” mom. She doesn’t wear perfume because the scent makes her sick, she doesn’t change purses often, she doesn’t wear much jewelry, she’s particular about what clothes she wears, and she doesn’t have time to read many books. It has never been easy shopping for either parent, and…

  • Product Reviews

    2M Smokehouse: A Food Review by a Non-Foodie

    I am not a food junkie. I don’t know the difference between something that has been smoked with mesquite versus hickory. I couldn’t even tell you if there is a taste difference between the two (sorry, Dad). However, I do like to eat. I appreciate good food and try to branch out from Whataburger and Chick-fil-A from time to time. When John and I moved back to San Antonio, literally half a mile from 2M BBQ, we knew we needed to give it a try. Because BBQ = the way to a Texan’s heart. I had read that the line can get crazy at 2M, so I was hesitant as…

  • Life

    A Servant’s Heart

    I have been blessed beyond measure when it comes to having servant role models in my life. I’ve talked before about how giving and loving my mom and sisters are, and time and time again they prove to me how seriously I’m lacking in that area. Often, God will place an idea on my heart, a place to serve, a need that needs to be met, and instead of answering Him with, “Great! I’m on my way to do it!” it’s often an, “Oh, that seems cool. Maybe when things settle down.” Or a, “Mmm, I’m not sure that’s for me. I am so busy and don’t have the time/resources/connections.”…

  • Blogging

    Starting a Blog: The Basics

    Starting a blog has been one of the best things I’ve done this year. I have always enjoyed writing, and committing to myself this year to write more has helped me channel my creativity, stress, and thoughts. Along the way, many people have inspired me through their works and often I want to tell them, “Start a blog! There are so many people who you can help!” If you have ever thought about starting your own blog, I encourage you to start. There are blogs about everything today and I know you will find your own community and thrive. I often have told people to just start their passion projects,…

  • Life

    Just Start the Damn Thing

    When I was in 4th grade, my classmate shared a new invention her brother had made. I can’t recall what it was, but I know it inspired me to go home, grab a dustpan, put an empty toilet paper roll on the handle, and tape an H-E-B bag to the end (this might even have been what her brother’s invention was, because, you know, I’m so original and all). The idea was, as I was sweeping, instead of walking all the way to the trash, I could just hold the dustpan up vertically and the dirt would fall in the bag. I don’t think it worked so seamlessly. That, or…