Thursday, August 13, 2015


Before I left for vacation, a group of 30 fabulous Virginia teacher bloggers {including myself!} descended upon the Jefferson Lakeside Country Club for an afternoon of networking, laughs, food, drinks, and some incredible swag and prizes! It was an incredible time, and well worth all of the planning and logistics that went into it. I want to share some of the experience with you!

First of all, I have to tell you how absolutely AMAZING all of our sponsors were to work with. If you are making any back-to-school purchases this year, I really urge you to consider purchasing from these businesses and individuals -- they truly value teachers and aren't afraid to show it!

A HUGE thank you goes especially to Educents (one of THE best companies around!) for helping with the costs of the meetup and providing some FANTASTIC swag! Make sure you check out their new Educents Wallet feature to get all of those resources for your classroom at a steep discount! If you sign-up for a new teacher wallet account you'll receive $10 to spend on your classroom -- who couldn't use $10?!

We had over $4,000 in prizes thanks to these fantastic folks! {You may want to talk about a prize you won here.}

Check our our FANTASTIC sponsors:

And some AMAZING TpT sellers that contributed raffle prizes or digital swag:

1. These ladies truly have become my friends online, and its so awesome to be able to see them and spend time with them even if it's only once a year!

2. I ended up needing to bring my youngest with me at the last minute, but everyone was so sweet! Pam (SOL Train Learning) and Erin (Super in 2nd and Beyond) even "stole" him for a little while, which gave me a chance to socialize a little more.

3. Just before the meet up, I had tried to do a "stink-eye selfie" competition on my Facebook page (inspired by this video). So we ended up taking a mega stink-eye picture which I shared below! So much fun!

You can see more fun meetup photos by looking at the hashtag #VATeacherBloggersMeet on Instagram, or by looking at the photo album!

Some of the fantastic Virginia teacher bloggers from the meetup are linking up with Sarah from There's No Place Like Second Grade to share their favorite moments and photo memories from the meetup, as well as share their swag and prizes! Be sure and check-out their posts!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Are you ready for the big sale?

I'm not going to say that dreaded "A" word because I don't want to think about what comes at the end of the month. BUT I do have exciting news that you may or may not have already heard.

TPT is having a sale! Go ahead and fill your cart with all the amazing products you know you've been waiting to purchase and had sitting on your wishlist for who knows how long.

My entire store will be 20% off, and then don't forget to enter the promo code at checkout for an extra 10% (which ends up being 8% when all is said and done)! I need to start making my list today since I'll be on vacation. Did I mention I was going to the beach? Sorry to those teachers who are already back. Maybe this will be a nice pick-me-up for the first day?

And here's another two bonuses: be sure to head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win $10 to my store. THEN head over to Mrs. O "Knows" for her Blogiversary giveaway where you could win a TPT gift card or Fifth Grade Bundle!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mo, I love you, but...

...I think we need to take a break. Trust me, it hurts me far more than it will you.

You see, I have a little boy, and he adores the pigeon! I mean, I was the one who fostered this love. He also is a huge fan of Elephant and Piggie. The problem is that he's become a threenager who is now using your words against me. Granted, it's really funny, I have to stop him from telling people, "Okay, FINE! If it means SO much to you, I'll (insert whatever you asked him to do)." Or, "I want a puppy! Right here, right now!" Or, "Okay! Okay!" Or most recently, big, dramatic groans which, when told to stop, he responds, "I was being like Gerald in Waiting is Not Easy!"

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame you. These are the exact books I fell in love with and even chose to name my blog with a nod to (Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late). My husband laughs and blames me. "You created this beast!" Yes, I did. I just didn't expect our mutual love for reading to backfire into a smart mouth at the age of 3. We will be back soon, once he's old enough to understand why he cannot say everything he hears, even in books his mommy reads. I will miss you, though.

Until then, we are going to see other people. Someone calm with a whole lot less drama. I'm thinking Pete the Cat.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Currently July

So I actually did my "currently" yesterday, but when you have a 3 year old and a 5 week old, some things get interrupted. One day I'll be able to write a post in a single sitting again...

Listening: Considering our new normal, this was "quiet time". Keagan was supposed to be napping and usually sleeps like a champ, but for some reason yesterday was the exception. He only took about a half hour nap, so we had a grumpy boy by evening. Not fun...

Loving: It had been insanely hot to the point where you didn't want to be outside, so I'm enjoying these days in the 80s. Much more manageable!

Thinking: Between writing thank you cards, dealing with insurance, packing, and taking care of TWO kids, one who needs to be held constantly, there is very little down time. I need one of those wtaps like yesterday. Or maybe a third arm?

Wanting:  It IS summer, after all, and I'm ready to put my toes in the sand and relax. We may try to steal away next week for a day trip in the midst of packing insanity.

Needing: There is so. much. stuff. And we've barely begun. I hate clutter, so this is going to drive me crazy. One week. I can do it!

All star: After reading this, I don't think it sounds true, but I am usually very "go-with-the-flow" and known for my laid-back attitude. It just takes a lot to really get me worked up (although beware when it happens! I have a redhead temper). I'm a problem solver and have always been good at finding a happy medium.

And just because they are the cutest things in the world, I leave you with a picture from Caffrey's newborn photo shoot. Aren't they adorable?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Work it Wednesday: Week 3

So glad we're halfway through this week for multiple reasons. The biggest one is that Steven is out of town all week, so I'm alone with the boys (we have family and friends who have been helping out some) until Saturday. So far we are managing. I was even able to get a shower during naps today (and am hopefully going to finish this post before Caffrey wakes up again), although of course he woke up as soon as I got started on this!

The other reason I'm happy that it's Wednesday is because that means it's time to link up with Katie again to share about my fitness goals and progress. I'm so glad she started this even though I still haven't been able to do much.

This week, I feel like I have definite victories and things to work on. I'm going to start with the victories because, well, why not?

We had family pictures taken last week, and I was able to feel pretty comfortable for the most part. Does it show that I have a belly? Yes, in at least some of the pictures. But who doesn't three weeks after delivery? I was so happy with the pics, and I think I may actually get this one framed!

My other discovery is actually a two part victory centered around clothing. I've been slowly trying on my regular clothes to see what I can manage to squeeze into and what needs to hold off for a while. Sunday was National Wear Your Lilly Day (I'm a big fan), and I wanted to try it out. I was actually able to completely zip my Lilly dress that I bought last summer as a gift to me when I was at my smallest! I didn't end up wearing it because (1.) it was pretty tight and would have been uncomfortable quick, and (2.) I was scared of busting the zipper or stretching it and ruining the dress. But still. I was pretty pumped! Then on Monday, I was able to button and zip my stretchy jean capris! There is some definite muffin top action, but I'm so glad I can stop tugging at my maternity capris. The trade off is worth it!

Okay, so here is what I need to work on:
  1. Relax. I'm chomping at the bit to get back into the gym, and it's driving me even more crazy that I really can't even get out of the house for walks right now because it's either too hot or Keagan wouldn't be able to keep up with me to do much of anything. In some ways, I think it's good that I'm so ready to get back, but I also have been tempted multiple times to push it farther than I probably should. Let's just say I can't wait to get the doctor's okay in less than two weeks. I may cry if she says I need to wait longer, though...
  2. Cut back on the sweets. This is a never-ending battle for me. It hasn't been any easier with all of the family in town until last Friday and then all the meals we were brought along with yummy desserts. Yesterday I ate two slices of chocolate pie because "I wanted to get rid of it". I do need to get it out of my house, but maybe not all at once.
  3. Start "measuring" progress. I've said it before. I feel so awkward taking selfies, especially fitness ones. But I want to be able to look back and see how far I've come. It's already honestly not that bad (although yay for elastic waist!), but I can't wait to compare these pics to ones after I get back to the gym!

What are you doing to stay fit this summer? Go join the link-up!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Work It Wednesday

I know it's been a little while since my last post, and I'll be honest. It's going to be like that for a little while as I adjust to being a mommy of two AND work to pack and move by the middle of next month. School is at the bottom of my list of concerns right now, and I'm doing well to even attempt to clear out my Bloglovin feed and at least glimpse at a few posts here and there. I promise I will come back to it eventually, but first I need to create a "new normal".

I did, however, see this linky from Katie and had to join in. She's been such an inspiration to so many (myself included) in her weight loss journey last summer, and this year I was right along with her in gaining baby weight and now trying to lose it. Although I haven't been cleared to do ANYTHING beyond walking yet, I'm still wanting to set goals and start working toward regular clothes (you know, with buttons and zippers that are more than just decoration) hopefully even by the fall.

For starters, I am very proud that I was able to maintain a healthy weight gain through this pregnancy and even continued to work out up through the beginning of the third trimester (before my schedule got crazy and then I pulled a muscle). That alone has made a HUGE difference in recovery from my first pregnancy. After leaving the hospital, I was already down 10 pounds and able to wear some of my more flowy tops and dresses. I actually packed up all of the maternity clothes I was borrowing and returned them on Monday. I was so excited!

This was a few days after coming home from the hospital. There's a bump, but not huge by any means. And I was amazed how positive I felt about my image. That was huge for me! I still have about 18 pounds to lose, which is almost entirely in my stomach area (another difference from last time), and I have 3 more weeks before I'm cleared to go to the gym. I'm itching to get back into my BodyPump class. I haven't been able to go since mid April, and I really miss it!

This past week has been tough for eating right because we've had a lot of family celebrations (a graduation AND a first birthday party back to back), but I want to start tracking my eating habits on myfitnesspal again. And if it would ever cool down a little, I want to get some good walks in as much as possible. Maybe I should try early morning or late evening and stop with the excuses.

Today we have newborn photos, so I need to choose which dress to wear. I'm actually excited to be in some of the photos this time around! The few I appeared in with Keagan as a baby, I felt like I complete wreck. Most of the time, I was hiding from the camera.

Okay, I feel like I was hopping all over the place (blaming sleep deprivation), and I only have a little longer before I have to go for these pictures. Go link up with Katie!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Currently June

June is here, and I have lots of big news!

Listening: My parents got here Saturday to help out while Steven went back to work for the last two weeks of school. It's a good thing because there is a lot to do. Our house finally went under contract on Sunday, and they are doing the home inspection tomorrow. So today is all about cleaning and making sure everything is ready one last time. On the flip side, I'm SO glad that we don't have to do this anymore!

Loving: I was supposed to go to the hospital this morning for a scheduled c-section. Caffrey had other plans and surprised us in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 24 (read my story here - it's CRAZY)!! So instead, today I am home and getting fairly well adjusted with a 9 day old! He's the sweetest little thing, and I'm already so in love!

Thinking: Since we now have a contract on our house, that means we are going to be BUSY packing and moving! We have to close by July 17, so we had to put an offer on a house quickly (found that and had our contract accepted this morning). It's crazy how quickly everything is moving, especially after waiting so long for any bites.

Wanting: Of course, with the insanity I'm wanting to do more than I'm supposed to. I had a c-section, and the doctors basically told me I'm not supposed to lift anything heavier than my baby OR drive until my 6-week checkup. I have things to do! I'm not someone who does well with sitting back and not being able to do things, so that's been tough.

Needing: See above

Summer lovin': Pretty self-explanatory, especially with all that I've already said. We go to the beach in August, and I'm hopeful that I will have lost at least a little of my belly by then (obviously not going to try a bikini or anything yet). I've already lost 12 without doing much at all, and I'm going to try and walk as much as I can until I'm cleared to go back to the gym! Right now, I'm just ready for Steven to be out of school so we can enjoy time as a family!