Charlie Krat


Charlie has never cared about the TV. He is the complete opposite of his brother in that regard.

If a TV is on, Eddie’s life pauses and he will sit directly in front of the boob tube and get immersed in anything that is on it.  He will even get into the news and ask questions and talk about what is on.

We have to be careful about what is on when he is around.

Charlie has never, ever cared.

If the TV is not on, he will point out that it’s not on, but he really doesn’t pay any attention to what is on it.

At two, we could turn on PBS and Eddie would be good for hours (if we let him…not that we ever did that. Ahem). Charlie will sit and watch Curious George or Octonauts before bed if he’s REALLY tired. Otherwise he just plays.

There is one show, however, that we noticed that Charlie has fallen in love with: Wild Krats.

Or Krat Krats, as he calls it.

You should know that Charlie is in love with all animals. All of them.

His favorite books are any book that requires pointing out animals and what they say.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear is in HEAVY rotation right now.

We are home between 5:00 and 5:15pm every day after school/work/daycare, and every day at 5:30pm, Charlie shouts “KRAT KRATS!” from wherever he is the second an animal appears on our TV.

He’s pretty uninterested in the actual cartoon part of the show, but the parts with the actual Krat brothers showing animals? He squeals and laughs and points and get so excited!

Always after school: Eddie on the tablet and Charlie watching "Krat Krats" while I make dinner.

Always after school: Eddie on the tablet and Charlie watching “Krat Krats” while I make dinner.

We recently discovered that Netflix has Wild Krats.

It is impossible to scroll through the options without Charlie seeing those animated brothers and yelling “KRAT KRATS!” In fact, if that is not what Eddie is choosing (Ninjago is on his fave list right now), Charlie generally has a fit. Luckily, we can get Netflix on every TV in the house thanks to the Tivo, the Wii, and the Roku, so Charlie can watch in another room.

What are your kids watching lately?


Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and will be sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. As a member of the Stream Team I was provided with a Roku and a voucher to apply towards my Netflix account. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

Through The Lens Thursday {March}

At the beginning of the year I decided to join my friends Greta and Alison and their year-long photography project called Through The Lens Thursday. You don’t need a blog to join in, just join our Flickr group and post each week! It’s great for practicing photography in a low pressure, fun way.

I know I’m posting this on a Friday, but that’s because I didn’t have it together because of being sick and then my birthday to have it post yesterday.

I think we will all live.

Anyway, this month I tried to think of cool “takes” on the shots. But mostly it ended up with me going, “aw crap. Through The Lens Thursday is today. I gotta shoot something.”

It’s been busy. But I tried. Here is what I got:

Prompt: Hot  (heh...ok...just kidding, but there is nothing hotter than a good daddy). 50mm fixed 1/60, f/1.8, ISO 100

Prompt: Hot (heh…ok…just kidding, but there is nothing hotter than a good daddy).
50mm fixed
1/60, f/1.8, ISO 100

Prompt: Hot (my real shot) 50mm fixed 1/25,f/4.5, ISO 400

Prompt: Hot (my real shot)
50mm fixed
1/25,f/4.5, ISO 400

prompt: dark 50mm fixed 1/8, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: dark
50mm fixed
1/8, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: door 50mm fixed 1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: door
50mm fixed
1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: looking down 50 mm fixed f/4.5, 1/10, ISO 100

prompt: looking down
50 mm fixed
f/4.5, 1/10, ISO 100

So this week was more about keeping up with the habit rather than taking the time for good shots (which is evidenced by that last one…oof). but next month…I can feel it.

Spring is coming and so is better light.

Daylight is lasting longer.

I also have a sweet zoom lens I got for Christmas that I can’t wait to bust out and learn. Tips? Anyone have tips for using a zoom?

Or any other tips? I am pretty much completely dumb about ISO other than I know it makes your photos grainy if it’s too high. Sooo…when would you go high?

Also…come play along! Join our Flickr group!

Birthday Throwback

Today is my 36th birthday.

When I told my students how old I am (because yes, I do that), there were some who were genuinely shocked I was out of my 20′s.

While being 36 does not bother me, it made me smile that my students thought I was so young.

I don’t have much to say about this day, so I will just do a big ol’ #ThrowbackThursday for you.

Enjoy some “Vintage” Katie.

Katie - Bibs & Boots

Just Kickin’ it Katie

Katie - 6 months

6 months of Katie

Katie - ANTM

Model Katie

Preschool Katie

Preschool Katie

Tiger Fan Katie

Tiger Fan Katie

high school Katie

high school Katie


Senior Picture Katie

college. nuff said.

College Katie


mid Twenties Katie


Married Katie

bday5 - Copy

First Time Away from Son Katie


Mom Katie

2013-04-27 18.01.44

Mid Thirties Katie

Huh. 36 years and my smile has changed zero.


Happy day to me.

A Wounded Academic Walks Into A Church…

Holy-Bible_20110524052238There are not many Bible stories that I am not familiar with.

I grew up going to Sunday school ever Sunday, memorizing verses, memorizing catechism, singing making a joyful noise in the choir, participating in dramatizations and skits, and listening to my parents read the BIG Storybook Bible every night after dinner.

I can recall the well-known stories of Creation all the way to the lesser-known stories like the one about Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. There was a time when I could recite by memory John 3:16-21 “For God so loved the world…”

I listened, memorized, and believed without question because it’s what I was supposed to do. Adults were telling me stories and telling me they were complete, literal truth.

As way leads on to way, I grew up. I moved out of my small, sheltered town, and I met people who were not one of the two religions that I knew: Reformed or Christian Reformed. I was even roommates with a couple Catholics.  I know. Crazy.

Even though I pulled away from going to church, I never lost interest in religion. It fascinates me. Not just Christianity, but all religion. Where it comes from and how it is tied up in tradition, oral and written history, and politics.

When it seemed like God had left us–when Cortney’s dad died, we lost babies, and all the other loss and sickness–I leaned heavily on anything that seemed to “disprove” the stories of the Bible.

In college, I took a History of Christianity class. It was incredibly interesting. I tried to talk to my parents about it. I thought they would find it super interesting since they were so devout. But when I started bringing up the idea that perhaps the authors of the Bible weren’t telling literal stories about global floods and people-swallowing whales, my dad flipped out on me.

My dad wouldn’t discuss; he would only tell me I was wrong and that I wasn’t allowed to talk that way in his house.

I was stunned into silence, and I became less willing to talk about Jesus or church with my family. I became convinced that they would judge anything that didn’t fall into the realm of their literal understanding of the Bible.

(Years later, my dad’s reaction to my brother’s news that his girlfriend was pregnant would reveal just how ingrained it was in my dad’s character to being like Jesus, and my heart would change. But that’s another story).

The more I wrestled with what I knew to be true because of research and study and science, the more it seemed that I didn’t fit into any church. I just couldn’t believe something that was disproved over and over. I could not simply say, “I know actual science says something different, but I believe the earth and everything on it was created in seven 24-hour days as we know it.”

I believe God created science to make this world the beautiful marvel it is, but I don’t think it was exactly the way it was written in the Bible.

Even typing that makes me feel a little sacrilegious. I mean, you’re not supposed to say “I don’t believe what the Bible says,” right?

I don’t think a guy named Jonas got swallowed by a whale.

I don’t think there was a Garden of Eden.

I don’t think there was a flood and a guy named Noah put two of every single animal in the wold on a boat.

I do think these are important stories, and I believe the stories…without believing the stories. Does that make sense?

I believe it’s important to do as we are called to do or else things won’t go right.

I believe the world isn’t perfect because there are shitty things like cancer and hunger and poverty.

I believe that God is saddened by the shitty things we do to each other that cause things like cancer, and hunger and poverty, and that he won’t punish the whole for the bad of a few.

We are currently in the season of Lent where we wait and prepare ourselves for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I both believe and wonder. I have so many questions.

I know what I am supposed to believe blindly, but like Thomas, I need to see the nail marks on his hands and the sword wound in his side. I believe, but my academic, logical side shouts for something to hold on to–something that tells me this is all true.

And I think that like Thomas, that is Ok.  That questioning for the purpose of wanting to understand and believe is Ok.


As of April 19, I will be an official published author!  You can pre-order the book, Three Minus One: Stories of Parents’ Love and Loss, to which I am honored to be a contributing author.

Old School Random

Charlie turned two yesterday. There was poop on the floor, Red Robin meltdowns, cake, and a gift. Tomorrow we have his party with our family.

I’m sure I’ll do a huge photo post on Monday, but for now, my brain needs a break from trying to wrap itself around the fact that the BABY of the family is TWO.

So Old School Blogging comes at a perfect time this month. Elaine and her co-host of the month, Kim are back with a slew of random questions. I can remember getting surveys like this in emails back in college and I could never say no to a good survey. It’s fun and easy and it’s always fun to read other people’s answers.

So here we go…

What is the last thing you watched on TV?

I’m watching TV right now. Ok maybe I’m playing fast and loose with the word “watching”. The TV is always on in our house. Currently The Big Bang Theory is on because it’s always on somewhere.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

I was getting out of the car after Charlie’s birthday dinner at Red Robin. I don’t want to talk about it yet.  Yes, it was that bad.

Let's just say it went downhill from here. That look on his face should have been all the foreshadowing we needed.

Let’s just say it went downhill from here. That look on his face should have been all the foreshadowing we needed.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?

I’m in my living room where I have photos, photos, and more photos on the wall. Cortney would make the argument that I may be photo crazy. I have a really hard time covering up old photos with new ones because I still love the old ones so much, so our walls just get fuller and fuller.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?

The first thing I would do is pay off all our debt. I know, I know. That is such a GROWNUP thing to say.

So if I didn’t have the adult voice in my head telling me to be responsible, I would totally buy myself a brand new vehicle. Then I would buy Cortney a brand new vehicle. And then we would go on vacation to somewhere warm and all inclusive, because we have never done that before.

Oh, and I would buy the world a Coke. Naturally.

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.

Most people don’t peg me for one who swears much. I keep it clean in the classroom, here, and in public. But just ask Cortney or any of my friends who have known me a while. It can get ridiculous. Sorry mom. You DID teach me better.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone?

Cortney was the last person to call my phone because I couldn’t find it, so he called it. But I had it on silent so that didn’t help.

The last legit call was from the salon last week confirming my last Friday appointment.

I don’t get many calls.

And I like it that way.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

I would tear it down and build a new one.

On a different lot.

Somewhere else.

What was the last thing you bought?

The last thing we paid for was the dinner at Red Robin that no one enjoyed. Actually, I think Eddie enjoyed it. He ate all his food and was very sad we had to leave instead of having Charlie be sung to and handed an ice cream sundae.

The last thing I bought on my own was some new books for Eddie.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?


If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?

I never know how to answer this question. Because honestly I would probably be way too nervous to enjoy it whomever it was. And if it was the first time I met this famous person, I would blank and not ask them anything for fear they would just be annoyed. And why would they confide in me anyway? Or why would they give me advice? Just some random person they are having ONE lunch with?

See. I am too anxiety-ridden for this question.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?

Probably Gap Outlet. Not because I have a love affair with it, but because I can usually find cute stuff there for a good price.

Otherwise if Zulily counts as a “store”, I would go with that.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Well this depends. Was it an empty glass that you only filled halfway? Because then it’s half full. Or was it a full glass that you drank half of? Because then it’s half empty.

I’m going to assume it’s half empty with the possibility of getting a refill.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been?

Seattle, Washington with Cortney the year after we got married.

Having a drink at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Having a drink at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

What’s under your bed?

Tons of dust and some random picture frames and my shoe thingy for off-season shoes.

But mostly dust bunnies.

What is your favorite time of the day?

When everyone is together getting along nicely. Whatever time that happens, that is my favorite.

What inspires you?

People doing good things.

People being stronger than their circumstances.

A good sermon.

Cortney’s unfailing support.

My boys.

My mom and dad.

Coming Down the Mountain

This week begins Lent.

I’ve never much recognized Lent before. I know what it is; I know the meanings and many of the traditions and ceremonies behind Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, the Lent season, and all the Easter-related days.

Yesterday we celebrated Shrove Sunday (the Sunday before Lent) in church with a pancake brunch (sort of a prequel to Fat Tuesday) after the service where I read scripture during the service.  The scriptures I read were from Exodus and 2 Peter about Moses’ mountain top experience with God. The sermon was about how Jesus didn’t stay on top of the mountain, but went down among the people–the hurting, sick, and sinful people to bring them love and forgiveness.

It reminded me yet again that the greatest love we can show in this world is to humble ourselves as servants to each other.

I am also reminded of our (as humans) habit of relying on things and substances to help us cope with our lives.

I do this with food. I eat my feelings so that I don’t have to feel them. I rely Diet Coke and junk food. I figure one more cookie won’t do anymore harm. What is one more handful of Cheetos anyway?

It’s a problem.

It’s an embarrassment.

I hate myself for every soda I drink and every “fat” food I eat.

When I was pregnant and each bite or sip was not just going into me, but into one of my sons, I was so much more careful. Because it wasn’t about me.

Now all the crap I put in me is about me.

Lent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. Many fast or give up something to prepare for Easter.

Christ gave his life so to relate lots of people give up chocolate. That always seemed dumb to me. Growing up we never practiced giving up something for Lent, and I think the idea was that in no way could we give up anything that could come close to symbolizing or relating to Jesus giving his life.

This year, though, I have been thinking about my addiction to putting junk in my body in order to try to stuff my feelings down and satiate an emptiness that I feel when I start to feel anxious or discouraged.

I have been thinking about how this body of mine was given to me to put love in the world and how I have grown two people in it. Why am I not taking better care of it?

So this year for Lent, I am giving up Diet Coke.

It sounds just as lame as giving up chocolate, but it’s a really big step for me. I hope to not just give it up until Easter, but forever. I hope that it will help me to remember to put nourishing nutritious food in my body rather than garbage that hikes up my BMI, my cholesterol, and my shame.

Because it’s hard go down the mountain to spread love and healing in a broken world when your own insides are hurt and broken.

Greta Asks Away!

Here we go again! It’s Friday which means it’s time for #AskAwayFriday hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country and Amber from Bold Fab Mom. Typically for Ask Away Friday, bloggers pair up, swap 10 questions,answer them on their blogs, and link up their posts with Penny and Amber. It’s such a great way to get to know someone better.


This week my friend, Greta of Gfunkified, is here with my questions for this Friday, and she came up with some good ones. So pull up your chair and get to know me better. And then, head over to Greta’s place to see what I asked her.

exactly square

1. If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be doing?

This question is HARD!  I have no idea! I guess if money wasn’t an issue, I would stay at home with my kids and work as a writer (or try to) from home. If I was in another out of the house job, I would probably work for a non-profit or do some sort of charity or activism work.

2. What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day?

My favorite way to unwind is with a warm drink (tea, hot cocoa), my jammies, a soft blanket, and a good book. Oh, and my feet on my husband’s lap because he will rub my feet. He’s good like that.

3. You talk about Common Core a lot. If you had the chance to run your own school and your own curriculum, what would you change (if anything)?

Oh yes! Common Core aside, if we lived in a perfect world where I could help to implement best practice strategies and make our school look how I wanted, it would be incredibly student-centered. It would be inviting and technologically advanced. It would FEEL like learning. All teachers would have ample time to work together to make cross-curricular units and projects. The community would be involved and the students projects would involve them being in the community and learning. In fact, all assessments would be “real world”–they would be real published works, real community programs, real research.

4. When you daydream (like, say, waiting on parents at parent/teacher conferences), what do you find yourself daydreaming about most?

I day dream about writing. I know, I know. Totally cheesy. I daydream of finding words to say what I want to say.

Sometimes I daydream about traveling somewhere warm.

5. You and Cortney seem to make a really good team. Has it always been like that, or has it been trial and error since you got married?

It has always been like this, but that is because we worked on it from Day 1. We said from the minute we started dating that we were in “this” together…not matter what “this” is or will become.

The fact that we have known each other and been friends for so long before we surprised ourselves by falling in love, definitely helps. We knew each other so well–we were 25 when we started dating–that it was like we had a head start. We had already established and deep trust and friendship.

august '09

august ’09

6. You don’t have pets, right? Why?

We don’t have any pets, no. I had a cat for 17.5 years and he died when Eddie was 2.5. Eddie still says he misses Louis. I am pretty sure he can’t remember much about Louis, but I know that those 2.5 years developed a deep love of cats in him. Charlie also loves cats and dogs. I know my boys would love a pet, but we just don’t have the time for one right now. Cortney and I have discussed possibly getting a pet once we are done having babies and when we move. There are lots of times I really, really miss having a cat curled up next to me though.

Louis, 2009 (15 yrs old)

Louis, 2009 (15 yrs old)

7. What’s your favorite form of communication: text, phone calls, or email?

definitely email.

8. I’ve been gluten free for a little over a year. If you found yourself gluten free all of the sudden, what would you miss the most?

I would miss pasta. I am such a carb girl; it is very obviously my weakness. I could live without sweets, but we eat pasta at least once a week.

9. I know that you, like me, have a hard time getting together with friends because of schedules and locations. If it wasn’t so difficult, what would you love to spend your time doing with them?

I really love just having comfortable, casual relaxed time with my friends. I like being able to go out to eat some good food and then shut that restaurant down with all the talking and laughing. That is what I love.

10. What was your biggest fear growing up, and what is it now?

My biggest fear was growing up. Being an adult and losing the ridiculousness of childhood was terrifying to me.  Now my biggest fear is dying. I fear what that would mean to my family, but I also fear the actual happening of it. I get panic attacks when I try to imagine not being. It’s the ultimate loss of control and that terrifies me.

Ok, so we ended that one on a happy note, yes? Weeee!

In all seriousness, you should go see what I asked Greta. I asked her some BIG questions too!

Through the Lens Thursday {February}

Last month I told you about my friends Greta and Alison and their year-long photography project called Through The Lens Thursday. You don’t need a blog to join in, just join our Flickr group and post each week! It’s great for practicing photography in a low pressure, fun way.

This past month I tried to think about composition when I shot, but also I tried to get a better feel for making things sharp or more blurred.

Here is what I got…

prompt: flower 50mm fixed f/4.5, ISO 800, 1/160

prompt: flower
50mm fixed
f/4.5, ISO 800, 1/160

Prompt: Dull 50mm fixed 1/20, f/4.5, ISO 100

Prompt: Dull
50mm fixed
1/20, f/4.5, ISO 100

prompt: Window 50 mm fixed 1/50, f/4.5, ISO 100

prompt: Window
50 mm fixed
1/50, f/4.5, ISO 100

Prompt: Hands 50mm fixed 1/160, f/4.5, ISO 400

Prompt: Hands
50mm fixed
1/160, f/4.5, ISO 400

I am not sure what is more fun each week: thinking about what I could possibly use for each shot–I don’t want to be the same as everyone else–or learning how my camera works and how to get the shot that is my mind to actually work.

My biggest challenge is seeing in my head exactly what would make a cool shot and then getting my camera to do that. For example sometimes I think it would be cool to have something in super sharp focus, and the rest all blurry, but if that thing I want to be super duper sharp is also super duper small, I can’t get my camera to even take the shot. I get to close and it won’t focus on what I want it to. Sometimes I can’t even get the button to push because my camera is all “dude. that won’t work.”

Then I swear.

But not in front of my kids. Honest.

Anyway, next week’s prompt is “hot”–show of hands of how many of you I will make gag by taking a picture of Cortney.

I guess you’ll just have to wait and see what I do!

If you want a look back, here is what I took last month:

Januray #ThroughTheLensThursday

Church on Sunday

Last Sunday I did not want to get out of bed.  We had stayed up WAY too late with friends the night before (getting home well after 1am), I was pretty overwhelmed with my To Do list, and really I just wanted some rest.

But I had a commitment.

Back in December I enthusiastically agreed to teach the second/third grade Sunday School class at our church.

This sounds run of the mill, but it’s actually a pretty big deal for me. It means I am committing myself to this church thing that I have avoided for so long.

My history with church and religion and faith are probably not so different than many people. I’ve brought it up here before how I was raised in a fairly strict household. Not negatively strict, but my parents definitely made their rules based on the Christian upbringings they had as well as how they felt guided by their faith. It was a loving home, and Church and God were a big part.

I started sort of questioning it all in high school, and definitely went through some heavy doubts through college. My doubts and distress over they religion I was raised in was most pronounced in the months and years after getting married. My faith was tested–and ultimately failed me–through a series of losses and personal tragedy.

Outside our Church almost nine years ago.

Outside our Church almost nine years ago.

After Charlie was born I felt a pull that I tried to ignore.

Going to church was a hassle I really didn’t want a part of. I felt like maybe I wanted some sort of guidance, so I started doing a daily devotion with hundreds of other women online.

Eddie's baptism in our church

Eddie’s baptism in our church

But it wasn’t enough. It was beautiful and I’m glad I did it, but something was still missing.

When school started up again, we made it a point to try to get to church each Sunday so Eddie could go to Sunday School, which he loved. Even when Cort and I didn’t go to church, we would still bring Eddie to Sunday School and then pick him up an hour later.

Even though in that moment of cuddly warmth in my bed when Cort would put his mouth near my ear and whisper, “church?” and I would say, “no,” I immediately felt remorse.

Charlie's baptism in our church

Charlie’s baptism in our church

It wasn’t really guilt so much as it was regret for my choice.

Something about church filled me each Sunday morning.

After a particularly long stretch of not going because of illness and a crazy fall, we learned that our church had found a new pastor. He was young (not much older than Cortney and myself) and I recognized his last name. After heading to church to check out the new pastor, I realized why his name was familiar; I had taught with his wife years ago in my current district, and she and I had attended a couple of the same grad classes while I was pursuing my Masters and she her PhD.

We immediately reconnected.

A week later our director of family ministries asked if I would like to be part of the Children In Worship program for the younger students. I agreed without thinking about it.  Then I worried about it for weeks.

Did I make the right choice? This would mean coming to church every Sunday. All of them. No more slacking; I had a commitment and an obligation. I had a job to do.

Did I even know what I was doing? Sure I know even the most obscure Bible stories from my years and years of Sunday School, Catechism, and Youth Group. I knew all the books of the Bible and I knew much of the historical aspects thanks to some Christianity classes I took in college and the way I devour each and every documentary on cable and PBS that has to do with religion.

But Children in Worship is based on the Church calendar, which I was not very familiar with. What if I made myself look dumb asking about Transfiguration Sunday and Epiphany?

Oh and I would have to show up every week.

Eddie singing in church for Christmas just over a year ago.

Eddie singing in church for Christmas just over a year ago.

I began thinking of ways to back out. Maybe I rushed into this. Maybe our family should just show up on our own terms for a while.

Then I found out that the Pastor’s Wife (not sure she wants to be named here, so this is how I’ll refer to her) and I were going to be co-teaching the 2nd and 3rd grade level–about four kids each week. I couldn’t let her down.

Something has happened to me over these past six or seven weeks.

I find myself looking forward to church and to the sermon. I can’t wait to chat with The Pastor’s Wife and to get the warm handshakes and hugs from the other members of the congregation. I feel awake on Sunday mornings before church, but even more so after. I get excited to see my “students” and hear their thoughts about that week’s story; second and third graders have a wonderfully free way of making connections without worry if they are “wrong”. I wish my twelfth graders did that.

Eddie and I have also started a new little Eddie/Mommy thing. Since we stay for Sunday School and Cortney and Charlie do not, Eddie and I have started driving separately so they don’t have to come back to get us. Last week we decided since we stayed longer, we got to go to Starbucks for a coffee (me) and a cake pop (him). We do a lot of chatting on that drive. It’s good. Really good.

I have never believed in coincidences no matter what my doubts. Coincidences just…they just aren’t a thing.

Being pulled back to church, finding an old friend, being able to “teach”, and spending time with Eddie has all just fallen into place. It’s like pieces of a puzzle…and puzzles don’t work because of coincidence. They work because they are created to work.

I still have so SO many questions and I am still so very young in this new faith, but I am glad I went with my heart on this. I feel like there is healing and comfort in this new journey. I don’t know if there will be hard answers, but I sort of don’t care. I’m learning that sometimes a feeling is an answer…even when there are no words to go with that answer.

I am glad that each week Cortney and Charlie and Eddie go on this new journey with me. I answer a lot of questions with “I don’t know” and I think that is Ok.

We are all in this together.

Alison Asks Away!

Here we go again! It’s Friday which means it’s time for #AskAwayFriday hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country and Amber from Bold Fab Mom. Typically for Ask Away Friday, bloggers pair up, swap 10 questions,answer them on their blogs, and link up their posts with Penny and Amber. It’s such a great way to get to know someone better.
Plus it’s way fun.

This week my very VERY good friend, Alison is the master question asker. Isn’t she pretty!


Her questions are so good. Are you ready?  Here we go!

1. You’ve been teaching for 13 years – what keeps you motivated to stay in a job that is undoubtedly challenging?

It’s so cliche, but the students are the reason I keep coming back every day. It’s difficult for me to put into words what I love. Simply, it’s the students. Complexly it’s the students and the love of learning and the love of imparting knowledge and the privilege of being a small part of someone’s education.

2. What are your top 3 moments as a teacher?

Graduation every spring. Every year I break down and cry.

Getting nominated as teacher of the year in 2005 by the staff of my school.

Getting awarded Elective Teacher of the Year by the senior class of 2011.

3. You write openly about depression. Do you remember the first time you opened up about it on your blog?

Yes. It was spring of 2010. I had been diagnosed less than two months before. It was the first time I had ever posted anything on my blog that showed my real feelings about something.  It was the first post that wasn’t just an “update” for family and friends.  You might say it was my first real WRITING post.

4. You’ve been blogging for 6 years now. How different was blogging back when you started, and now?

This summer it will actually be SEVEN years of blogging!  Sheesh! Where did the time go?

I honestly don’t know how things are different. When I started blogging I was completely unaware of the blogosphere. I was just going about my business posting pictures of my cat not knowing there was this whole community out there.

About three year in, I came clean about my PPD and it was like the heavens opened up and rained internet friends upon me.

5. I love your series on writing. What’s your top two pieces of advice for aspiring writers?

Write A LOT and Read A LOT. Like every day. Again, I know that is the most frequently given advice, but I find it to be so very true. I know there are people who say, “if I don’t feel like writing, I just don’t,” but that doesn’t work for me. If I take a day away, I’m more likely to take another day away, and then I might not get back into it.

I write every day.

I have a journal I carry with me, but I also have a “Copy Paste” draft on my blog. It’s where I just type. I tend to copy/paste (or cut/paste) stuff from there all the time for blog posts. But it’s a place to just brain dump.

I also read every day. These days it’s academic stuff, but I am also about halfway through 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Reading words sparks my own words.

6. What are your favorite books ever?

Why do people always ask the English teacher this?? It’s so hard to choose!!

Of course I love The Great Gatsby  by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have read it over 100 times and find something new to love each time. I’m not sure I would love it as much if I didn’t teach it, though. I’m not sure a one-time read would have captured me the way 100+ reads have.

I also love The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Rhoald Dahl, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

A book that changed my life in terms of seeing the beauty of language and story is East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

7. I love reading your stories about your boys, Eddie and Charlie. Do you think they’ll enjoy reading about themselves when they’re older?

I hope they do!  Eddie already loves that “mommy writes stories.” He doesn’t know what blogging is, but he knows I write about him and his brother. He knows my piece for my Listen To Your Mother audition was about him.

I’m certain a time will come when I will be able to write less specifically about my boys, but that will be Ok.

8. What do you love most about Eddie right now?

Just looking at Eddie makes me smile these days. His concentration face, how he is learning to draw people, his conversation…four and a half is a sweet age.

I mean, best drawing of me EVER!

I mean, best drawing of me EVER!

9. What do you love most about Charlie right now?

Charlie is a jabbering fool lately. Just this weekend he said “I love you” (which sounded more like Ah uvoo) for the first time. It was ridiculous how many times I asked him to repeat it. His personality is so ridiculous lately too!  If you ask him if he wants something, he will do a huge pause and then say yes. Like, “Hey Charlie, do you want this cookie?” “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. yup.”  It’s so funny.  THISCLOSE to two is a sweet age.



10. You’ve been with your husband, Cortney for a while now. How do you keep the romance alive?

It will be nine years of marriage this summer. I’m not sure we are really the romantic types; maybe that is why the romance can’t die…we never had any to begin with!  Ha ha!

Seriously though, we are all about the little things. Helping each other out and always remembering that we are on the same team. And occasionally he brings me flowers or shows up with Starbucks for me.

Look at us OOZE romance!

Look at us OOZE romance!

And now you should head over to Alison’s blog, Writing, Wishing to see what I asked her!


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