Fall Fest and the First of the Cold Weather.

Last weekend was the annual fall fest in Ashippun, Wisconsin. When this was going on last year, my husband and I were just getting settled in our first home and didn’t get around to making an appearance. This year, when we started seeing signs posted all over the quaint downtown (if it’s even big enough to be called that), we knew we HAD to go! We got our first drastic dose of cold and wet, but even a little rain couldn’t keep us away this year! Our first community event! We even met a local farmer who showed us how all of the vintage machinery works. So neat I had to share!

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Teacher Ramblings.

Every year, a fresh batch of bright eyed learners wake up early in the morning on the first day of school in September. After a long summer, mom and dad are ready to see them go back. And after much planning, teachers are ready to carry out their long reflected upon schemes. Every year, it takes the teachers a few weeks to get everyone’s names down. It’s easy in all of this excitement to forget that there are students among this crowd that are not excited to be there.
When I was in school, I was the girl that most people would consider to be the “teacher’s pet”. I don’t think it would be uncommon for teachers to find that they were this student. Teachers love this student and wish that their room was filled with clones of this student. But the truth is that I worked my tail off for my grades, and I was willing to do anything to show a teacher that I was willing to go above and beyond. Now that I am grown, I am still this person. It is an inherent part of my being. It is a force within me that drives this incessant need to please. Instead of aiming to please my teacher, I now aim to please my employer.
However, now that I am an adult, I realize the part that I was missing. In school, I wanted to know exactly what I needed to do to exceed expectations. As I stated before, I still do this; I can’t change that about myself. However, I have realized one very important thing in my adult life. Doing something to exceed expectations, or even to get it done, is very, very different than doing something for the sake of learning. And it is so easy to forget this.
Now that I am no longer in school as a student, I find myself looking for ways to learn. I long for information and new knowledge. Not necessarily in formal ways, but in any way I can find. Whether it is something I am interested in or not, I am hungry for new learning. This is something I wish I would have known growing up, and it is something that I wish I could wrap up in a neat little package and gift to each of the students that are before me each morning. Maybe it took experience and the completion of my formal education for me to truly appreciate the idea of learning, or maybe not.
As teachers, there are always those students that keep you up at night because you know they don’t have that spark; they don’t wake up each day ready to learn; they don’t yearn for more knowledge; they want to learn something only if they feel it is something they are immediately interested in. They want to learn something only if there is an incentive. If only they knew that the incentive is the learning itself. And it all boils down to this one thought; I don’t wake up in the morning to collect homework or grade tests. I wake up because I want kids to want to learn.

Ode to the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Fall has officially fallen! The leaves are turning and there is NOTHING I crave more this time of year than a cozy cup of pumpkin spice AMAZINGNESS (yes, I made up a word for the sake of doing the pumpkin spice latte justice!). I think it’s safe to say that the “honeymoon” period of the school year is over and the true colors are shining brightly! As a teacher, this can take a toll on the sanity of your life from Monday to Friday. My husband and I decided it was time to spend some quality time just enjoying each others’ company, reading a book, and having some long needed bonding time. Where better to make this happen than starbucks with a pumpkin spice latte in hand!

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Photos taken by my loving husband, as always! Nummy Pumpkin Spice Latte credit goes to Starbucks! That awesome watch that has a map on it is from etsy!

 

Succulents and Nostalgia

So the start of the school year is almost here and last night I got to meet my brand new 6th grade sweeties! It was so much fun to help them open their very first locker and to talk to their families about all the wonderful things we are going to do with the children this year! What excitement! 🙂

Buttt… with the excitement comes long hours. Lately, I have been working like a mad woman trying to get ready for my new role in KM Create! So exciting, but also exhausting! It turns out that creating a school from scratch isn’t so easy! The other day I was driving home after a long day of meetings, training, and intense philosophical reasoning only to realize that we had NOTHING to eat for dinner. I stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some pasta to make shrimp alfredo (one of my go-to’s). Like most grocery stores, there is a small aisle of florals with mostly cliche stuff like poorly-grown roses and carnations died various colors that are entirely unnatural for flowers to be. However, a small, burlap wrapped pot caught my eye. In the pot was a tiny green succulent. The feelings of nostalgia came rushing in as I recalled the beautiful succulents that were a part of my wedding day only two months ago. Ahh… the incredible smell of peonies came rushing back! This small plant brought me a TON of happiness, so I just HAD to share it! Hopefully it will bring you as much joy as it did for me! Enjoy! 🙂

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What is something that brings you a sense of joy, nostalgia, peace, or happiness? Please share by writing a comment on this post for others to read! Spread the inspiration!

 

World Cat Day

According to Ellen, it is World Cat Day today!! Being an animal lover, I just couldn’t pass this up! Now I actually don’t have any cats, but my mother in law has a zillion because she lives on a farm in Shullsburg, Wi and is able to have as many cats as she wants. They live in the barns and she doesn’t have to worry about cleaning up all the hairballs! She calls them the Sunshine Gang because they are all a pretty sunny orange or orange and white color! So here’s to those adorable kitties that make us smile! 🙂

Photo credits go to Emily Steffen.

and. go.

I think if a random stranger would have approached me 10 years ago to tell me that someday I would start a blog, I probably would have laughed. In fact, I laugh now as I write my first post. Why, you may ask? Well, not because a blog is all that funny but because I do not consider myself a writer, or a photographer, or a creator of inspiration in any form of accepted media. I am an ordinary girl. I live in a beautiful world. And this blog is a way to remind others, and myself most days, of the beauty in ordinary things. What is ordinary. You decide.

I can remember when I was a little girl. Maybe 2nd grade. It was my birthday and I had all my friends over for a quaint party in my parents living room. With my much-too-long bangs, and my way-too-big glasses, I can recall sitting in a circle of friends and family as my mother snapped an endless amount of pictures of me opening a gift from my grandmother. She always seemed to get me something weird (the only other option was money), so since I was unwrapping something, I was expecting something weird. Much to my surprise, when I peeled back the delicate wrappings, I found myself holding my very first diary. Why would I be making a blog? Well, I feel a blog is really no different than a diary- just a little more modern. A few years ago, I moved out of my parents’ house and into a tiny one-bedroom apartment with my now husband.In the process of the move, I cleaned out all the plastic storage totes that my mom had been saving in the basement for me for years. I happened upon that diary. When I opened it up, and began reading the entries, I was shocked at what I found.

Insignificance. Or what would appear as insignificance. That is what I found. My entries were about things as insignificant as going to schlotzsky’s deli for lunch with my mom. Or feeling the tickle of my gerbil in my hands. Or my sister building the best barbie castle ever. As a child, these were clearly worthy of taking the time to write a diary entry about. These simple insignificant things were significant. When I reflect back now, I realize the wisdom that I have lost as I have grown. When I was young, I knew that simple daily events were what made life beautiful. I never want to lose sight of that. So why a blog? To remind myself of the beauty of simple. The beauty of an ordinary day.

Now as I paged through this ancient diary with terrible handwriting, I noticed something else. There were large gaps where I would stop (for one reason or another, or maybe no reason) writing and then pick up a month or a several months, or at points, a year or more later. This is also life. And also beautiful. At times, it sucks you in and you haven’t any time for recording. I suspect this will happen as well on this blog. And I am excited for that too.

What will I make my blog about- the question of the day! Well, everything of course! I like to try new things, and most of them I am not good at, but it is the thrill of trying to learn and grow at something new that I am after. I believe in trying new things- even if that means a lot of failure. Whether that be creative (like my calligraphy, photography, painting, etc.) or writing (like this very blog), or education (my master’s degree), physical (the marathon I already ran and the one I am currently training for) or anything else more minor or less minor, I believe in life-long learning and exploration. I believe in laughing too hard. I believe in being ridiculous. I believe in stomping in puddles. I believe in being “weird” (by whatever definition). I believe in eating indulgent food. I believe in trying to live a happy life. I believe in the power of love and a family. I believe in being oneself. I believe in finding something beautiful and trying to capture it. But most of all, I believe in the power of love. I believe in living life to try to feel adored, to make others feel adored, and to adore the world around you (hence the name of the blog). These are all things I never want to lose sight of and that I hope to portray through this blog.