.dreaming of fall.


Earlier today, it was cloudy and I was looking out the window and pretending there was a crisp chill in the air and colorful leaves all over the ground.

I thought I would compile a list of all the fun things about Fall that I am so excited for:

pine cones
hot chocolate
candy corn
bon fires
college football
hiking & camping
crunchy leaves
fresh, chilly air
puffy vests

Fall is my favorite season and it can never come around soon enough!


.a morning at the farmers market.

It was a beautiful morning full of fresh fruits, vegetables, sunflowers and freshly-baked bread.

One of my favorite things to do (besides yard sales) on a Saturday morning! Especially with my sweet nephew in tow. :-)


.glimpses of home.

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook: Just because you have a house doesn't mean you have a home.

It got me to thinking about how I want more than just a clean house. I want people to walk into my home and feel warm and accepted. I want special touches in every room that make it our own. More than anything, I want a home that we create lasting memories in.

What are the things that make a house feel like a home? I think the smells are a big part of that. Homemade bread, desserts, soup. Cleaning products or a fresh-smelling candle. Clean linens, the husband's cologne. What our home smells like is very important to me.

Personal touches are also a great way to create warmth in your house. We have a painting hung over our couch that my husband did himself. Framed photos of special events and people...and one very special pug, of course.

It's been a year-and-a-half in this house of ours, and it is still a work in progress. So much so, I still can't post pictures of one complete room. However, we are moving in the right direction, and the pictures I've posted are of the areas of different rooms that I love.

I change things around a lot around here. I move accessories around and am constantly on the hunt for new additions whenever I'm at thrift stores or flea markets.

By no means am I an expert on making a house a home. In fact, I know I have a long way to go and a lot to learn in that area of life! But it is definitely a fun journey and one that I am happy to be on!


.first day musings.

Today was our first day back to school!

I would say our class had a very successful day. I feel very blessed this year to be teaching with my friend Lindsey. We have a class of 3-year-old's that are so sweet. I am pumped for this year, seeing this group of kids grow and learn. Falling in love with them until eventually...I have to reluctantly let them go.

That is the main reason I wanted to post tonight. I am feeling really sappy about the kids from my past classes. Every year starts out the same: with the teachers and kids unsure about their new surroundings, new friends to make, new personalities to learn and adapt to. The months go by, we make memories unintentionally and grow so close, we feel like we're some kind of extended family of sorts.

Today I saw the kids that were in my class last year. They were with their new teachers and looking a little taller than they did before the Summer. It made my day to hear them say my name then run to give me hugs.

I don't have kids of my own yet, but I know what I'm feeling is a small taste of what moms feel like as they watch their own children grow up.

I feel so proud, blessed to know them and have an influence on their lives, and...sad.

Sad because the reality is that we all get older, life changes and we must adapt and change with it. We have to miss people in this life; we don't always get to stay in the same routine with the same familiar faces. I know that without this constant change, we would never mature or experience new things. I know change is good. Change is necessary.

But, boy, is change hard sometimes.

I know a lot of people understand that more than ever right now. School just started and I have so many friends on facebook talking about sending off their first one off to Kindergarten. I've never realized the impact of how big of a deal that really is until this year. I don't know why, but I have been thinking about those moms a lot lately and just feeling for them. Then I saw my old class today and felt like I was going through it right there with them.

I honestly don't know what the point of this post is other than to document that I am sad...and happy at the same time. Even though I miss my old students, I am excited for my new class. They are so sweet with awesome little personalities and I just know I'm about to grow attached all over again.

I am honored to know that I am influencing these children and teaching them. The main thing I desire is to exude love and full acceptance. Just to demonstrate a portion of God's love for us would be enough.

I am blessed to be a teacher, and anyone who does what I do and can't say that...does not need to be teaching.

The End.


.5 years.

This past weekend, the hubs and I celebrated 5 years of marriage!

Our original plan for this one was to have our pictures made by a local photographer, but one night over dinner I suggested going to Frisco, TX since there is an IKEA there...I was halfway joking, but then the hubs realized we could catch a baseball game and he was fully on board!

The Rangers (his favorite MLB team) were out of town on the weekend of our anniversary, so he looked at the schedule of the Frisco Rough Riders. By amazing coincidence, they were scheduled to play our home team, the NWA Naturals! That sealed the deal, and I was ecstatic!

So we made the 5 hour drive. That is, the hubs drove. I alternated between reading, sleeping, eating and staring out the window.

It was an awesome trip! Time together, just the two of us. And we each got to experience activities that made us happy.

We stayed at the Westin, and I highly recommend it! It was by far the most friendly hotel we've ever stayed in and so very nice. The picture above was made in lobby.

Here are some of the things we did in Frisco:

+ Went to a big mall as well as an outlet mall

+ Ate at The Cheesecake Factory

+ Went to a baseball game

+ Ate breakfast at a cute little bakery

+ Went to IKEA, The Container Store, Sam Moon, Garden Ridge and Sam's Club


I am ecstatic that I got everything from IKEA that was on my list as well as a few little extra things. Unfortunately, the husband wasn't a huge fan of the store. But he was still sweet enough to stay by my side and let me shop as long as I wanted to. :-)

We had a great time together celebrating 5 years. We have been through lots of ups and downs, just like every other married couple, but we are blessed to be able to look back at all the trials and see how God worked it out all to the benefit of our relationship. We are stronger than ever, and I am thankful to be Leslie's wife.

Here's to many, many more anniversaries!


.a new year.

Today we had Open House at my school, and I got to meet most of my new kids and their parents. Summer went by fast, but it gave me just enough time to feel refreshed, and I'm ready to return to my role as teacher. I'm excited about my class this year. I'll have 5 boys and 5 girls...a perfect mix! And they are all so cute and sweet. Their parents were so nice as well, and I felt really good about how today went.

I wanted to share pictures of my classroom this year. I have a new assistant this year who is full of great ideas and creativity...not to mention...she has a CRICUT! We worked hard on this room, really hard, and it paid off. I'm in love with our room and feel happy and inspired when I'm in it. If I feel that way as the teacher, I'm hoping the kids feel even better since they are the ones there to learn, play and explore.

Here's a tour of our bright and cheery classroom complete with centers, Cricut-created labels and pom-poms!

I'm more excited for this year than I've ever been!

Can't wait for Day 1 next week!


.my new love.

Well, it's official. Levi is here and he is my whole world! He consumes many of my thoughts and brings complete joy to me when he's in my arms. Babies like Levi must be why someone coined the term "bundle of joy." He is so good. He is calm, mellow and easily soothed.

{Levi and Aunt Martha. He is about a day old in this picture! This was the first time I got to hold him.}


+ Birthday August 2 (No, he didn't listen to my reasoning in my letter to him but he somehow managed to make being born on the 2nd so much cooler than being born on the 1st.)

+ 8 lb. 9 oz.

+ 20 inches long

+ 14" head...which leads to my next stat

+ Born via C-section

Welcome to the world, Levi! I can assure you Mommy and Daddy love you very much and will always do everything they can for you. You are immensely loved by your grandparents, aunts, uncles and many more. I can't wait to see you someday playing with your cousins.


.dear levi.

Dear Little Levi,

By no means is anyone expecting you to be little. Abby's doctor said you were weighing in at 9 lbs. just over a week ago.

I'm just going to cut to the chase here because I'm sure you're wondering why I'm writing you a virtual letter than you can't even read...

You need to come already. You need to leave the wonderful little nest your mama has created for you in her belly and come grace us all with your long-awaited presence.

I saw that fat roll on your back in one of your ultrasound photos and I want to see it in person. I want to hear your cry, see your eyes, toes, fingers, etc.

And I'm only your aunt.

Imagine what your daddy and mama are going through! They have been at the hospital for exactly 29 hours so your mommy could get induced. Last word was she was only dilated to a 3. It took her 8 hours to dilate from a 2 to a 3.


This is my final plea. I think your birthday needs to be August 1st, not August 2nd. Being born on the first day of the month is so much cooler than the second.

Listen to your auntie. Second to your parents, we know best. ;-)

.ikea wishlist.

On August 12, the hubs and I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage, and we are going to make it one to remember with a trip to Dallas/Frisco! While there, Hubs and I will get to see the Frisco Rough Riders play our hometown NWA Naturals. And... *drum roll* I am over the moon excited that I will get to take my husband to IKEA!

My first experience with IKEA (aka the little slice of heaven on earth) was in New York when I was visiting my sister. It didn't take much time in that store for me to realize what true love was. True love = IKEA. Ok, so maybe that's a little dramatic, but if you've ever been there you know what I'm talking about! Hubs has never been to IKEA, and I think he's a little cynical about the wonderfulness of it all. I betcha that will change. It better, anyway. ;-)

So, of course, I have a little shopping list going of things that I don't want to leave Texas without. My budget is not large at all, but if I come home with a new duvet for our bed and new artificial potted plants to place here and there around the house, I'll be so very happy.

+ Must come home with this Ofelia Vass Duvet Set in Gray

+ These potted plants are my favorite:

Here's to Texas!!!

{And 5 years with a wonderful man, of course.}