• Health,  Healthy Body

    Weight … What? How Weighing In Daily Helps Keep Me On Track

    Growing up, I always weighed more than the other girls in my class. I was the tallest person in my class pretty much my whole life (I stopped growing in 5th grade at 5’9”), so whenever we had our fitness tests in P.E. class, I had major anxiety. I hated stepping on the scale because I knew that I would weigh more than everyone. I didn’t understand that one of the main reasons I weighed more was because I was taller than everyone, and neither did any of my classmates. Instead, when the coach would tell me my weight and other kids would overhear, I felt ashamed and they felt…

  • Life,  Self-Care

    Seasons End

    When I started writing and publishing my thoughts years ago, the posts were just that — my thoughts. I wrote about what I was learning in life, what I was experiencing through hardships, and what I was thinking as I drove to and from work every day. That type of writing fueled me. But it also drained me. I would go months without writing anything and people would always ask me when I would post again. The thing is, learning takes time. Reflecting takes more time. And mustering up the courage to share my shortcomings and vulnerabilities with family, friends, and strangers takes an even longer time. Many times, I…

  • Teaching

    How to Get Your Students to Engage with Shakespeare

    When I was in high school, I think I read Shakespeare once in 10th grade English. And that’s it. If I read more of his work, it didn’t make a lasting impression on me. In 10th grade, however, I remember my teacher having us act out Hamlet. So it stuck a little. I didn’t revisit Shakespeare until college when I had to take a semester of his work. And it was then I realized how difficult Shakespeare was to understand. What does he mean by this? What is that supposed to mean? Having a professor who was passionate about Shakespeare really helped me move past the language and really appreciate…

  • 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…