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Catch Up!

26 Jan

Well, Christmas break was absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed my two-week vacation from school by spending time with my family and friends, and of course celebrating the holidays. As if two weeks weren’t enough, we had Monday and Tuesday off the week we were supposed to go back to school because of the very low temperatures. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a “cold day” before, but I wasn’t complaining.

Last weekend we were in Indianapolis celebrating my cousin’s wedding…and what a FUN wedding it was! My cousin and his lovely bride looked amazing, and both the wedding and reception were absolutely perfect. It was a great celebration of the love of two very special people.  This marks the second of four weddings this year for the boy cousins (and my brother) on my mom’s side of the family. The first one was in September in our beloved Hilton Head and was an absolute blast. The next one will be in June and my brother will finish it off with his wedding in September. So much to look forward to! =)

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This past Tuesday, Scott and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary. I lucked out with a snow day and was excited to spend more time with him (however, it ruined his plans of surprising me with roses at school…I will remind him that my birthday in March is on a Monday – hint, hint =) ). We had a great day together and enjoyed dinner at the Cheesecake Factory later that night…mmm!

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This past year has definitely been the hardest on us – going from long distance for 4 years to finally being back in the same city, not to mention entering the real world and dealing with the changes/stresses that come along with it. Things are much different when you are 22/23 than when you are in high school, without a care in the world. We have overcome the obstacles that have come our way so far and I have complete faith that we will continue to do so in the future. Scott and I always say the bad times only make us stronger as a couple, and I firmly believe that. And with the bad, comes the good…and we have had a LOT of great times in our relationship. We have had 7 wonderful years together and I am excited to see where the next 7 will take us.

As for a school update, I am LOVING teaching middle school and am head over heels in love with the school where I am teaching. Everyone always asks how my first year has been, with the anticipation that I am going to say “hard” or “difficult,” but honestly it has been awesome. Sure the first month or two were pretty overwhelming, but once I got in my routine and had a little bit of an idea as to what I was doing, it was great.  My students are outgoing and always keep me laughing. I am happy to say I love what I do and enjoy waking up every morning to go to work (however, with all the delays we have been having lately due to weather, I could get used to sleeping in just a little bit more each morning =) ).

Hope everyone has been having a great start to the New Year! It’s hard to believe in just a week it will be February! Woah!

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HHI2013

25 Jun

As I mentioned before, I spent the last week in Hilton Head, South Carolina- A.K.A. never never land as my parents like to call it. We had an amazing time and had perfect weather! It was great being able to just relax and not worry about anything for a whole week. The best part about it was getting to spend time with my extended family.  We are all so close and look forward to this tradition every year. Check out the pictures below to see all the fun we had!

014All of the cousins!

012Four-square on the beach

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030The whole gang!

016Our annual water volleyball tournament

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Last sunset

It was hard to say good-bye to the beach, but lucky for me I will be back for fourth of July week! I will be going with Scott’s family this time and am very excited to be back this Saturday! =)

Summertime & the living’s easy

24 Jun
Summer is here and I’m loving every second of it! It’s been great going to dinner with friends, relaxing on the deck with my parents, and spending days out in the sun. For the last couple of weeks I have been nannying for four adorable children Monday-Friday. There is little miss Caroline- a 9 year-old girl, 7 year-old Joseph (JoJo), and the sweetest 3 year-old twin girls, Catie and Avery. They are the cutest kids in the world and definitely have been keeping me busy.
Besides nannying, I have finally moved some things into my classroom to clear up everything that was cluttering our guest room. However, it is still looking pretty empty. I will start decorating and really getting things ready about mid-July! =) I cannot wait! Those that know me, know I LOVE crafting, organizing, and designing anything from a Barbie house to a real-life bedroom (I spent hours as a child playing “The Sims” but we won’t go there…) Anyways it will be fun and I will be sure to post pics!
I just got home yesterday from my family’s annual summer trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and it was AMAZING!
Every year since my mom was 18, her family has gone to HHI for summer vacation. It is my favorite tradition that has grown from 7 people, to our expanding family of 21. It is my favorite week and one that I anticipate all year long. During our week in paradise, we enjoy laying out in the gorgeous sun, playing water volleyball and competitive games of four-square on the beach, grilling out, shopping at Coliginy Plaza, getting drinks at the Frosty Frog, and eating out at Skull Creek and Scott’s Fish Market. Every year I feel like it just keeps getting better and better! Since I have to wake up early tomorrow to return to the nanny life, I will post pictures later with more details on our wonderful week in paradise! Good night! =)

Summer has begun!

20 May
Summer has officially started! I kicked it off with UD’s annual “Dayton to Daytona” trip to Daytona Beach, Florida. It was a fun week with great weather and great friends. 

After I got back, my family celebrated mother’s day at my brother’s house. We grilled out and had a wonderful afternoon, relaxing on the deck and soaking up the beautiful sunshine. 

Since then I have enjoyed catching up with high school friends, spending time with Scott, and relaxing with my family.  I start nannying on Friday and have been taking advantage of the time I have off right now — making various pinterest-inspired crafts! My latest is below:
I am SO very excited to be back home in Louisville and can’t wait to see what the rest of summer has in store!

So many reasons to celebrate!

6 May
The last couple of weeks have been extremely bittersweet! I’ve experienced a lot of “lasts” and the realization that I am indeed graduating and moving on to the next chapter of my life. 
One of my first lasts was my last day of student teaching. These kids have taught me so much and helped me to become the best teacher I can possibly be. I love each and every one of them and miss them so much already!
my farewell note to my students…
…and the many notes I received back in return 🙂
This was our last day of seminar with one of my favorite professors. I still can’t believe I’m finished!

As if everything wasn’t already exciting enough, I went home last week during finals week (since I didn’t have any) and was surprised with this little beauty! This is my graduation present from my mom & dad and I couldn’t be more in love!
Graduation weekend begins…
 my loving and supportive family
 so blessed to have ALL four grandparents celebrate with me during this special weekend
 my very best friends the morning before graduation
 Scott & I
forever a flyer!
University of Dayton, Class of 2013
Such an amazing last couple of weeks it has been. I am officially a graduate of UD and couldn’t be more happy with the decision I made four years ago in deciding where to attend college. Dayton has truly become my second home and has been a place that has shaped the young woman I am today. I have made lifelong friends, had the most amazing experiences, and received an education so that I can fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. I feel confident that I am ready for this next chapter in my life, but will never forget the wonderful memories I made these last four years. Thanks to my friends and family and especially my parents for their unconditional love and support. Next step: one last Daytona trip to celebrate! 🙂 

Spring Break Recap

15 Apr
So a couple weeks ago was my spring break and my parents, aunt and uncle, and I all went to our condo in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We enjoyed a week of sunshine, laying out by the pool, LOTS of delicious dinners, bike rides, and my favorite: shopping! 🙂 
Below are pictures from our wonderful week at our home away from home…
my wonderful mom & dad
dinner at the harbor 
toasting to my brother and future sister-in-law on their engagement! such exciting news we found out while on vacation! couldn’t be more excited for them 🙂 
the gorgeous harbor
aunt Sandy & uncle Kendal
sunset
momma & me
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect spring break. It was just what I needed to relax after such a busy semester of student teaching. Now that I am well-rested I can get through these last couple of weeks and enjoy them! I dread the day I have to say good-bye to my cooperating teachers and my students! 😦

30 Years & Still Going Strong

10 Jan
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” – Corinthians 13:7-8

Yesterday was a very special day in my house – it was my mom and dad’s 30th wedding anniversary! My parents marriage has been one of the greatest gifts in my life. They have taught me how to truly love another unconditionally and how to create a loving and lasting marriage. 

With each year that has passed I believe my parents have fallen more and more in love with each other. They are truly best friends and enjoy spending time together. Whether it is playing tennis, watching sports, or just going on a walk around the neighborhood, they always have the best time when they are together. Growing up, I always saw my parents affection towards each other and constantly heard them saying “I love you.” It wasn’t until I was older that I learned to appreciate this and was able to see just how great their relationship really is. 
My mom and dad have been the greatest example I could ask for. I hope that one day I can have a marriage just as amazing as theirs. They have taught me compassion, forgiveness, perseverance, and the importance of trust and communication. I am so unbelievably thankful for them and proud to be their daughter. 
“The greatest thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother.”
Happy 30th wedding anniversary, mom & dad! I love you both very much.
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