I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Friday, October 31, 2014

A "Frozen" Halloween

I don't know why but I've always loved the idea of Halloween...

Hope it's a good one!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Things Left Unfinished...

Yes, it happens all the time...things are not quite finished going into this week's lesson plans/activities for school.

And the stress comes.
And the freaking out comes.
And the nightmares come. (Sometimes.)

But something finally hits - there will never be a time when everything is done.

Breaks are needed.
Friends & family are needed (and are more important).
Other responsibilities are needed.

The lessons will go on. The students will learn. (We hope!) And the cycle will continue - more (never-ending) planning for next week.

It's important to be able to sit down on a Sunday night and fully (or, at least, mostly) believe that the week ahead has great potential...even if something unexpected happens or if plans change.

We adapt.
We move on.
We keep plugging away.

Because we are teachers.
Because we love what we do.
Because we care about our kids (while attempting to maintain our sanity).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Up and Down We Go

One minute I'm sitting down in frustration when students cannot stop talking to listen to directions, and the next minute I'm so proud of each of them for getting up to share about their memoirs and techniques they used to improve them.

Up one minute, down the next - what's a teacher to do?

Lately, especially in 6th grade LA, I've been down more than up. It's hard to fuel your passion in a subject area when behavior keeps you from actually getting to the content to teach it.

Seems to be about every other blog post I'm complaining or venting my frustrations...and I apologize for that. But I believe that in reflecting there will one day come clarity. (Yes, I'm still waiting for that clarity to come.)

In other news, the 5th grade girls vball season is just about at an end. We've had some ups and downs (both on and off the court), but it's been a season of tremendous growth. I'm glad I had the chance to stick with these girls. They are such a joy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


"Ice cream for my ears" is how one fan described it, and I would have to agree: The Piano Guys performed at the Chicago Theater last night, and it was absolutely mesmerizing. (And the performers were funny, engaging, and grounded.)

If, like many of my co-workers and friends, you haven't heard about the Piano Guys yet or taken the time to listen to their music, you are missing out. (Quick! Click HERE for their YouTube channel!) Most of it is completely instrumental (with some oohs, ahs, and occasional lyrics) and performed with piano and cello. (Yes, they are called the Piano Guys. Yes, they referenced the cello in many jokes over and over again last night. And, yes, it was funny each time.)

It just made my heart happy to listen to their talented interpretations of classical and pop songs. In the encore number, the two producers came to the stage and joined in as the four of them gathered around the piano plucking, playing, and slapping the instrument to create a beautiful rendition of "What Makes You Beautiful"...and they looked like they had so much FUN doing it.

Their musical performance was the epitome of what happens when passion and talent come together - WOW.

Sooooooo, are they coming to a city near you...?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



That's the word my principal/supervisor used to describe my class.

She was positive about a lot of things going right in my 6th grade Language Arts class. But she and I both realize there is room for growth (especially in helping students manage their behaviors).

And I feel that this year (even more than ever before) that it's a team effort (across middle school, specials, and administration) with this class: How do we design instruction to meet their learning needs and to get them up and moving as much as possible? How do we get them invested in their school work? What is going to get their attention (while still meet the standards)? How can we support each individual where he/she is at and help him/her where they need to go on their academic (and spiritual) journeys?

So many questions...so much potential...As I mentioned to one of my professors the other day, I feel like this is one tough nut to crack...but it's a nut we keep chipping away every day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Long Weekend = "Cake-Taker"

Long weekends are something to look forward to in and of themselves. However, when you add in a family visit, marathon-watching, and a Baptism, that particular long weekend takes the cake.

For me, that "particular long weekend" is this one. (Yes, thanks to Columbus Day, school is not in session.) 

On the one hand, I've been able to accomplish quite a bit in terms of preparing for some upcoming lessons and things at school. 

On the other hand, I had the opportunity for some quality visiting time with both my family and the families of my friends whose baby was baptized on Sunday. (It was such a beautiful ceremony, and I am blessed to call the little lady my goddaughter!)

On the other hand...there is no other hand!

But seriously, today is already shaping up to be a good one - I went for a short jog this morning before settling down to blog, practice my Spanish (hooray for Duolingo), and eat breakfast (have you tried the new Trader Joe's pumpkin O's???), and I will soon meet up with my sister for coffee. I hope to make progress on Killing Jesus (our YAC book club pick this month) and additional lesson/project planning before heading to Bible Study tonight.

A four day week ahead...bring it on!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We are Family

One word.
Yet powerful.
Holding oceans of memories -
And making more at each gathering.

This past weekend was my cousin's wedding. (And a lovely wedding it was!) Though my sister and I had our doubts of even making it out to Denver, the re-booked flight came through, and we arrived. It was a whirlwind weekend - probably less than 36 hours in CO - but I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

Perfect weather. Beautiful mountains. Heartfelt ceremony. (Crazy (fun) family.)

And here are a few picture to prove it:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Little...But Done With Love

On Wednesday, we celebrated the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, a Saint who is known for doing little things with great love for God:

There is a lot we can take away from St. Therese, the little flower. She is a Saint we can relate to, especially those who are young, for she died when she was only 24.

Through the intercession of St. Therese, may we grow in holiness by practicing little acts of great love for others and for God. Amen.