Today I Miss You More: Mama Musing


Did you know that every morning your Dad rushes to be the first face you see when you wake? It has become one of my most favorite parts of my day. I finish getting dressed while listening to him whisper sweet tidings of morning love into your ear as he gets you out of bed through the baby monitor.

Seeing the smile (and spastic for the boob juice) look on your face every morning always starts my day off in the best way possible.

This morning after putting your outfit and, of course, your coordinating hair bow and moccasins on we went downstairs to get packed for our big days. Mine teaching, your Dad’s at his office, and yours at daycare with the ladies who love you almost as much as we do.

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Why Teaching Middle School Is Actually The Most Extra: Musing


“Oh you’re a teacher, what grade do you teach?”

“I teach middle school–English Language Arts and Reading.”

The “look” that usually follows this polite exchange resembles something quite Scarlet O’Hara in the “bless your heart” style.

Well in my fifth year of teaching the odd, really confusing wildebeest we call “preteens” I have come to learn eight (online appropriate) things that are 100% true to this career path.

1. We have smelled things that you can only imagine in your wildest dreams.

 mean girls mean girls movie smell lizzy caplan janis ian GIF

Bet you didn’t wake up before leaving for work this morning thinking, “I really hope Johnny in the office next door put on his deodorant.” Teachers have, though. We also get really stoked when we get the smelliest of the kids right after PE. Before my kids ever hit their smelly peak I plan to buy stock in deodorant and body sprays. What’s even worse than the odoriferous smell of preteen is when it is covered in the hottest scent of Victoria’s Secret Love Spell mixed with some lingering Axe and unchanged sanitary pad.

Yep. That’s a thing.

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Self Lovin’ Back to You: Musing

As a type “A” planner, I am currently sitting and looking at my calendar for the past four months thinking, “Where.Did.That.Time.Go.” My blogging agenda notebook is wide open on my desk, with each Tuesday and Thursday topic highlighted in perfectly coordinating washi tape. Here’s what:


At Least Someone was able to relax in the ocean this summer.

The blog posts range from book reviews, to baby product must haves, to a chocolate chip cookie recipe that took me three weeks to perfect. So many things I wanted to already have shared with you. But guess what? There have been so many nights in the past seven months that I lie awake at night thinking about when I would get back into the swing of things, and it just didn’t happen. “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll take an hour when she naps and I will write.” But I didn’t. I took a shower instead. I read another book on how to get your baby to stop being awake every 45 minutes at night. I researched ways to boost my breast milk production. I googled “sleep disorders in six month old babies” no less than fifty times. I lesson planned. I folded laundry so my husband would have clean work shirts. I picked up her toys…again. I learned tricks to get baby poop out of a white bed sheet.

I have been learning how to be this new version of myself that I wasn’t really prepared to meet.

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Why We Are Planning For A Natural Childbirth: Musing


Allow me to preface this by saying that I know many wonderful, damn near perfect mothers that had medicated births. Personally, my mother had two c-sections because she wasn’t a good VBAC candidate and we were both flipped all the wrong ways. Some of my best friends have the most perfect children ever–smart, kind, funny, and ahead on all of their milestones…and they had medicated childbirth. I know of people who schedule their c-section at week 20, and that’s what works for them. This is not meant to “mommy shame” anyone, or make anyone feel like less of a badass for how they brought their child(ren) into this world. Because really, just creating another life makes us all pretty extraordinary, doesn’t it?

“Natural childbirth? As in you aren’t going to get an epidural?”

“No, I’m not going to get any drugs if I have my way.”

“You say that because you haven’t had any kids yet. You’ll be begging for it by hour four.”

To say that people have had some interesting reactions when I tell them that we are training and prepping for a natural childbirth would be a massive understatement. After conversations quite similar in nature to the one listed above, I’m almost always met with the question of “But….Why?”

So here’s my “But…Why?”

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The Ten Candid Wedding Pictures I Didn’t Know I Needed: Musing

When we got engaged, my Pinterest boards rapidly began to fill with articles titled any version of “The Wedding Pictures you Need” “100 Things to Ask Your Wedding Photographer” and “The Ten Most Expensive Mistakes I Made When Planning My DIY Wedding”. Finding a wedding photographer is something we never really had to check off of our list. We have an amazing extended family member (okay, kind of a surrogate family member!) who has done everything picture related for our family in the past decade. Kim not only does stunning family, newborn, and graduation portraits–she is an absolute knockout at wedding portraiture. Add the fact that she was so incredibly affordable, and we could get copies of whatever we wanted at our own discretion, and trusting Kim to photograph our wedding was an absolute no-brainer. Besides picking our venue, picking our wedding photographer was the easiest choice we had to make.

You can see Kim’s work on her Facebook page. Tell her I sent you, she’s the absolute best!

Looking at times for Kim to be present and how long to book her expert services for was something we debated. I wanted to have all of the formal portraits for my great-great-grandchildren to see, but I also knew I wanted some random shots of people having a really good time at our reception.

Kim took all of the pictures that I “wanted”, and I adore each one of them. The ones that I continue to smile or get glassy eyed looking at, however, are the candid photographs she so expertly shot of our reception and wedding festivities. Here are the ten candid shots that mean way more to me than I ever would have imagined, and why they made this list!

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Teacher Appreciation Week?: Musing



Walking into my much adored English classroom on Monday morning, I was filled with immediate excitement. Upon my desk? Two stacks of ungraded papers waiting for my marking and words of encouragement. I had made the executive decision that they could wait at work, while I spent some time enjoying my family. Three reports needing my observations for my student’s receiving special services. Test results showing the major improvements that my student’s have made in their Independent Reading Level throughout the year.  My favorite tea-stained mug waiting to be cleansed for the next week of  keeping me hydrated after doing five different voices in our class read aloud. Seventeen books returned by frantic students, begging to grab something new to read over the weekend because they had finished their novels during fifth period.


I could never begin to count the number of times when I’ve been asked about my profession, when I’ve been given the most ridiculous comments in response.  Here are just a few of my all-time favorites:




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A Letter To My Mom On My Wedding Day: Musing


The time leading up to any wedding is filled with a myriad of emotions. When I thought about the day of my wedding, I wanted to have a special moment with my parents etched into my being for the remainder of my life. Loving to write like I so enjoy doing, I thought that words would help to convey the love and thanks that I felt for each of them throughout the journey of being their daughter. With it being Mother’s Day, I thought it would be an excellent time to share with you a snapshot of the love letter that I wrote for my Mom.


You are my Jil!, my friend, my mother, my prayer partner, my head scratcher, my splinter remover, and my nurturer. Long before I was ever a blip on your radar, you were praying for me and the woman that I would become. You showed me that your love went beyond my short time on earth, and you taught me about everlasting life and faith.

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Ten Things I Didn’t Know About My Husband Until We Got Married: Musing

Getting married always seemed like a bit of a pipe dream for my husband and I. We started dating when we were eighteen, and didn’t get engaged until we were both finished with college, and he was finished his first year of graduate school. Marriage was something we always talked about, but we never were able to really visualize it as an actual happening.

Because we were idiots  geniuses we closed on our house two and a half weeks before we got married, and decided to go ahead and move in together. Luckily, in those two weeks we were so busy and bone weary exhausted that the awkward sharing space stage just kind of passed.

However, it is now April, and we definitely have some things that I have realized about him that I never would have before we got married!

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The Eight Types of People Wishing You a Happy Birthday on Facebook: Musing


Every year I wake up on January 29th, and I’ve turned another year older.  For the last five or so years I’ve been annually awoken with the multiple greetings spattered across my social media page (Facebook) exclaiming salutations towards my day of birth. This usually sets my heart into a state of warmth and, “Aww I haven’t talked to Susy Chapstick since senior year at Maci Mascara’s house party.”

Every year I make it a point to sit down at the end of my birthday evening, to actually read through and respond to my birthday wishes.  *My mother is notorious for having my sister and I send thank you notes, make calls of thanksgiving, etc. so I always figure I’ll do “the Jil!” a solid and respond individually.* This year, however, I felt a wide range of emotions as I responded to these comments. Ask anyone around me, and they’ll tell you I felt quite cynical towards turning one-shy of twenty five, so maybe that’s where this angst induced rant came from. Something about twenty four made me finally ask myself the question of, “Who actually wishes me a happy birthday? Who are these people?”

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