Making Time for Me

I have always led an active life; that is, before I had children. I never had to plan when I could get in a run or what day would work best to go to the gym and lift. No one counted on me to pick them up after work, make them dinner, kiss boo-boos or tuck them into bed. The summer before I got married I was in the best shape of my life. Little did I know that then. I still critiqued my body and wanted to look better.

Once my son was born I would work out here and there or go for a short run. It wasn’t consistent, nor successful. I needed a routine again, but this time I had to plan it around being a Mom, which isn’t easy. Unfortunately, before that routine became part of my daily schedule, I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child.

I stare at my daughter, who is now 3, and count my blessings for her and her brother and the life we have. I also know that it is time to take care of me and focus on my health and feeling better about myself.

My husband is a great support system. He is encouraging, supportive and understanding. I know that he loves me for who I am and for the life that we have together, and for that, I am grateful.

Here is to “Me Time”. Here is to setting goals and showing my children what it looks like to meet them. I am a Mom now.  It isn’t all about me. There are little eyes watching.


What I Would Tell a New Mom


I never knew that having kids would be such a rewarding job but also one of the most stressful that I have ever had. My kids are now 7 and 3 and there are a lot of things I have learned about being a mom… here are a few I would share with new moms:

  1. Privacy in the bathroom will never be the same.
  2. Your house will always be lived in and it will show.
  3. One option for dinner will not always work (someone will not like it or throw a fit!)
  4. They will get sick and it will be the hardest thing you have to watch.
  5. One child will be easy; two will make you go crazy (at times)!
  6. Bath time will result in more water on the floor than inside the tub.
  7. Your laundry load will double (at least).
  8. Gone are the days of “small” grocery bills.
  9. The moment your child(ren) are no longer in diapers is a huge celebration (and savings).
  10. Your walls may act as a canvas with their most proud “work”.
  11. Toys will be ALL over the floor and you will bite your tongue many times trying not to swear when you step on one of them.
  12. Hand-me-downs are great! Especially when they grow so quickly!
  13. They are an absolute miracle.
  14. Family adventures have never been more fun than when you are with your children.
  15. Their innocence is a beautiful thing- soak it up.
  16. If they want to sleep with you- let them. One day they won’t want the snuggles.
  17. When they fight, take the opportunity to teach them how to get along and/or problem solve.
  18. Be firm- but understanding.
  19. Even as adults we make mistakes, so when they make one, speak to them through love (spilled milk, writing on the walls, etc.)
  20. Even on those “hard” days…. remember, your life means so much more now that they are in it and you couldn’t imagine your life without them.

Here’s to children.


Stressful demands


I like to think that I have a pretty good memory; and I think my husband would agree! If my memory is on point today, I don’t ever recall Kindergarten being so demanding when I was in school. Mind you, that was 28 years ago.

Kindergarten was a half day program, with developmental play opportunities and show and tell each week. I never felt “stressed” or “frustrated” with the work I was doing and NEVER remember having to be able to read books. It was such a fun learning experience.

Jump to present day K… I teach in a district with a full-day K program. We have 4 elementary schools and 8 classes in all. Each class has around 19-24 kids. Even with these numbers, we are expected to get these children (some of whom have never been in a social setting before), to read, write, add and subtract and much more.

What happened to learning how to get along, take turns, handle disappointment, learn how to paint and write your name, etc.?

I feel more stress as a teacher of 24 students to get them reading a Level D text and make sure they are writing more than one sentence with spaces and vowel sounds embedded within them. They came to me not knowing how to write numbers 1-5, yet I have to get them adding and subtracting fluently within 5.

Though my school is so supportive and we all work hard to give the best to our students, I can’t help but somehow feel like a failure when my students move on to first grade without that “title” of a “D Reader” and a student who consistently scores a 6 – 6.5 on their writing.

I love my job. I love “my” kids. Let’s stop putting so much pressure on them.

Just one more minute…


I have always been someone who gets up early because I don’t want to be late to anything. I am blessed that my in-laws are both retired and watch my 3-year-old daughter during the school week. I am also lucky that my father-in-law offers to come and pick her up at my house to make it easier.

With that said, I usually leave myself about an hour to get ready for the day. These past few weeks I have been hitting the snooze button on my alarm one too many times. The first time it goes off I think to myself, “Just another 10 minutes”. It’s funny how when those 10 minutes are up I think “Ok, maybe just 10 more”. By this time I am already 20 minutes behind schedule.

Thirty minutes past my original alarm time I am slowly starting to lift the warm covers off of me and slide my legs over to the side of the bed. That initial step is such a hard one to make.

Maybe next week I will try to only hit snooze once. 🙂

This too shall pass…


I have always felt fortunate enough to have never experienced the “Terrible two’s” with my son. He was always such a happy baby. Had a good appetite and a variety of foods that he would eat. As he got older he listened well and as long as we explained our reasoning for things, he usually handled it fine (We would tell him that he could only be in the tub for 2 more minutes, or that we were going inside after 2 more shots at the hoops, etc).

When our son was 4 years old we had our 2nd child. A girl. I had a more difficult pregnancy with her. I was sick more often, had a couple of “false labors” that I went to the hospital for and then got sick for a week with a bad fever that kept me out of school. Her delivery wasn’t any different. The night of November 11th I started having contractions. The following day was my due date and I had an appointment already scheduled. I held off for as long as I could, but at 5:30 on the 12th, I told my husband we had to leave.

There we stayed. Around 7:30 that night Kenzie was born. Carson was so proud to be a big brother. When he saw her for the first time he said, “Hi Mackenzie. I’m your brother Carson and I will always take care of you.” (OH MY GOSH, right?!?!)

Fast forward 3 years later. Carson is a 2nd grader, loves history, and just enjoys life to the fullest. Mackenzie… well… she enjoys life to the fullest also. But it has to be on her terms. She is spunky and loving and sweet and I couldn’t picture life without her. However, she can be so incredibly bossy and rude to her brother. He tries to very hard to just let things go.

Kenzie loves to scream. Carson loves to egg her on. Kenzie loves to annoy her brother, which then results in Carson getting upset and Kenzie over-reacting to something he did/say.

Today was one of those days. The shrieking and laughter is wonderful to hear, but in spurts. It felt like someone was always upset today. I would put out one fire, only for another to start. It lasted until bed time routines. I could hear the both of them yelling in the bathroom. Then a cry. Then a scream. Then a “MOOOOOM”.

As I take a deep breath and remind myself they are going to bed, I get up and start walking to the bathroom only to think “Someday I will miss this. This too, shall pass…”


Friday, Saturday, Sunday?

slice-of-life_individualI am a fan of Friday’s and think those are my favorite days of the weekend. I always look forward to Friday evenings because I can relax in my sweats, lay on the couch and not worry about setting an alarm for the next day. I don’t plan for school on Friday’s because I just want to have a relaxing evening without work involved. There is very little guilt on Friday’s because I spent the majority of the day working.

Saturday mornings are made for cuddles with my 2 kids. I don’t like to get out of bed right away. In fact, I often times will get my 7-year-old breakfast and then go lay back down for a bit and enjoy the warmth of the blanket nestled right under my chin.

I love Saturday mornings because I still have the whole day to spend with my family and don’t have to think about school yet for the upcoming week. By the time Saturday night rolls around I am feeling excited about another snuggling morning with my sweet “babies”. I also feel sad that part of my Sunday will be spent grocery shopping and thinking about when I am going to plan for the school week.

Sunday rolls around and I am met with giggles and hugs from two of the sweetest people I know. How I wish that I could freeze time and just soak up every moment with them. On Sunday’s I think it would be nice to be a stay-at-home mom and not have to worry about work stuff when I am with my kids. But then again, if I didn’t have my school kids, I wouldn’t have Friday’s to look forward to.

Here We Go

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One of the months I dread the most as a teacher is March. It is a holiday-free month, with the end of winter in sight, kids that have been cooped up for most of the winter and the month of parent/teacher conferences.

But at the same time, it is the month that makes me think “Holy cow. Where did the year go?” We are already thinking about end of the year activities and making sure we are  going to get all of our content in before summer arrives.

I so badly want this month to come and go quickly, but at the same time, I want it to takes its sweet time. I have an amazing group of kids and I love spending my days with them. They truly love to learn and remind me why I love my job every day. I hope that next year I am blessed to have a group that loves learning (and their teacher), as much as this group does!

Phew- It’s Friday!!


Where do I even begin. PHEW is all I can say! I feel like today was a roller coaster and the kids were louder than usual and had a harder time following directions. I hate to get firm with them at times, but I feel like I have to in order for them to get themselves under control.

Today we had to be a couple of minutes late to phys ed because they were being silly and loud in line. Of course, there are some sweet friends who usually don’t contribute to the loud noise and chaos, but when I am not able to see who it is I have all of them sit down. I make sure to say, “I am sorry to those friends who were making good choices and being helpful. Please know that I know who you are.”

And on top of all of that, I was asked to do an extra outside duty. We are fortunate in our school, I feel, because we only have one duty a week in the morning. BUT, on a day that is already crazy and a little chilly, it was the last thing I wanted to do. A little fresh air was good for me though!

The day is now over, my kids are gone, and the sounds of “I’m telling!” or loud shrieks from the carpet area have subsided. I can take a deep breath and slouch in my chair for a couple of minutes until my son comes to my room from his classroom. Last weekend we had a pj’s night with take out and a movie. Tonight, we will do the same, only this time a little time with the hubby. 🙂

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for being part of my first slicing experience!

A positive impact


I was unsure about this “slicing” thing when it was first introduced to me before March started. “I don’t have time” I thought, “I have never blogged before”, “what will it look like”? If you know me, you know that I have to have all of my ducks in a row before I usually agree to something. I need to know as much as I can about it, how much time it will take, yadda, yadda.

You can earn credit hours, they said. “Hmm, now perhaps this could work…” We are all in need of credit hours and will take them whenever and however (usually) we can, right?!

To my surprise, this experience has been much more than just earning those credit hours. It has opened my eyes up to the beautiful things around me and to reflect on events that I may not necessarily have reflected on had it not been for this March challenge.

My husband found out about my blog and started logging on and reading my posts. He loved finding out more about me, as he says. The things that I have blogged about this month aren’t really things that I thought about just bringing up in conversation with him. They are more my internal thoughts that I share with many strangers on here.

Reading slices from all of you has also made me more aware of my surroundings and to appreciate the things in life. Who cares that my appointment is 15 minutes late or that I can’t find the right pair of pants to wear with my shirt. At least I have health insurance that is affordable for my family so that I can get medical attention when I need it and I should be thankful that I have clothes to wear to keep me warm during these harsh winter months. Some are not as fortunate.

So I say “thank you” to the slicing world for helping contribute to this wonderful experience. I look forward to “slicing” now and then once this is over and can’t wait to start back up next March!

Never Enough


I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I am blessed with a wonderful and supporting husband, an amazing 6 year old son who loves everything about school and life and a 2 year old daughter who pushes every button she can possibly find, but has the heart of gold. With a 10-month old puppy added to this crazy life we have, our family is complete.

We bought a home 3 years ago and live less than 2 miles from the school that I work at. We have a big backyard with lots of space for our dog to run around and for our kids to play without the fear of being too close to the road. We are also fortunate enough that my in-laws watch our daughter and watched our son until he was school-age. That was a huge money saver! With all of these blessings in our life, my husband and I both work very hard, but sometimes it seems like it isn’t enough.

There are always cabinets that need to be stocked with food and health & beauty supplies. Closets that beg to be burdened with the latest fashions and styles of our friends. Walls that want to showcase our love for each other and support our decorating style. Vehicles that beg for some TLC, especially during those harsh Maine winter months that we are finally (and hopefully) leaving behind us for another season.

Among these things we want to build in time and money to give our children experiences that they will enjoy as adolescents and will have the opportunity to look back on when they are older through family photographs and albums. As a husband and a wife, we want to do all of the above and still have time to make for “us” to make sure that we don’t lose the spark we once had and still do have, but aren’t able to access as easily with the multitude of responsibilities on our plate.

I wish I didn’t have this “never enough” feeling. I don’t think the amount of time we spend together as husband and wife is enough. I don’t think we go on family trips enough. I don’t think the amount of time we spend with our children (together or individually) is enough. I don’t think we visit my family enough…. and the list goes on.

With those thoughts in the back of my mind, I really do feel that we have built a loving and warm family environment. I hope and pray that our children know how much we love them and what we wouldn’t do to keep them safe, happy and healthy. I don’t think “life” is ever enough for people. Though we may be happy with the life we have, there is always something we wish for ourselves… what is your “never enough?”