Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Energy and Inspiration

Over the week end I had the honor of attending The Great American Teacher Awards, and visit the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Ga. Although I was not a great American teacher finalist, I hope to be one day. The ceremony honored the 5 finalist, and gave other teacher a peek into their classrooms, and teaching styles. One thing all these finalist had in common was surely their energy and passion. It was an exciting and magical night, and yes I did sit about 10 rows in front of Cynthia from Real House Wives of Atlanta, and yes Tony Danza was there and presented the Teacher of the Year her award, but what I am most excited about when leaving the ceremony was the passion that was re-lite insight my heart. Students from the Ron Clark academy performed the song: "Just The Way You Are ". After listening, with tears in my eyes, I was reflecting deeply. The past week in my classroom my passion , and energy were gone. I was frustrated, and sour. I know this reflected on my students, and it happens to the best of us, bless my heart. So as I was enjoying my Merlot from the open bar-yes open bar! I felt so guilty. I am the only person these students can rely on day in and day out. They look up to, in short I am their everyday hero, and this past week, I failed miserably. Saturday morning, I got to attend the Ron Clark academy, and observe many different classes, teachers, and teaching styles. Again their was a common theme: energy and passion. I am not going to bore you with my epiphanies, I just wanted to get this down on paper that I am so inspired, hopeful, joyf ul, and reminded of my desire to strive to change the world. "No fear, Dream Big!"-RCA Ican't wait to see my kiddos after break and greet them with energy and passion. Thank you to the 5 finalist for teacher of year, Ron Clark, and his whole staff for the inspiration, and reminder of my energy and passion!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

50 {Free} Shutterfly Christmas Cards

The countdown to Christmas and the list making has officially begun at the Murphy's! And at the top of my list right now is our family Christmas card. I found a precious little reindeer sweater at for e-man today, on clearance, for $3.85.

Tis the season, right:)

So now all I have to do is find a card that's just as precious and get a family photo, ha! Thankfully Shutterfly is making the card part easy. They have tons of cute photo card designs that fall within my budget. We send out lots, so I have to have a card that's affordable for us!

I have my eye on a few layouts, but you'll have to wait till Christmas to see which one I go with:) My goal this year is to find a layout that will allow for some of our friends/family to keep our picture after the holidays. I just hate throwing away cards at the end of the year so I started clipping out the photos and saving them a little longer.

Here are some of the styles/layouts that I'm loving right now:

What do you think? Have you started dreaming up your Christmas card yet?

Did you know that Shutterfly not only has awesome Christmas card designs, but cute Christmas invitations and gift tags too?!? I have a feeling some of these tags will be fund under our tree this year:)

If you're a fellow blogger and want to receive 50 free cards of your own, help spread the word about shutterfly's incredible Christmas Card selection. Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly if you click here:


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

{Birthday Party} all pictures





October ended very quickly and November is almost half over. The things I love about noctober:

lattice pies, toasted pumpkin seeds dusted with salt, mittens and gloves. Hay rides, Indian corn, cinnamon, and socks. Hand-outlined turkey shapes, Pilgrim hats, and jack-o-lanterns made of construction paper and Elmer's Glue. Seeing breath.
Doggie sweaters, tumbling gourd centerpieces, and knee-high zip-up boots. Tailgating, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, mugs and thermoses. Sharpened pencils, vests, knee-high socks and back-to-school plaid. Corduroy, fishnets, and Wicked Essie nail polish. Cranberries. Suede-patched blazers, pea-coats, scarves and cold noses.
Brooms, outlines of black cats, hot caramel apple cider, walnut honey bars, layers. Mud, boots, leaves, chowder, and candy corns. Orange. Apple pies, roasted chicken, stuffing. Velvet, suede, leather, and argyle. Hot coffee, eggplant, rust, and forest.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

{happy birthday} One Year Letter

Dear Ian,

Happy Birthday!

It seems like yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital, and now you are my little man. Your dada and I were very nervous at the prospect of being first time parents. It did not strike us until you arrived - and then it hit us. I must say, your daddy took to being a dad pretty quickly; it was almost like he had been a dad all his life! But I was overwhelmed by this new responsibility. To care for this tiny life for the rest of my life! Was I ready for it?

It took a while for me to come to terms with the fact that I was a mother and was going to be one forever. But today at the end of the first year, I cannot help but smile. It is a feeling of fulfillment beyond words. Although I am still not sure if I am a great mother, I feel that I have done some justice to the role.

Every milestone of yours was a kind of personal victory for me. Your first smile, your first word, your first step.... I was just amazed and once again overwhelmed at what a little miracle you are.

As the year passed things started to get very challenging and sometimes I found myself in very difficult situations. The mess you make, the tantrums your starting to throw, and the other millions of naughty things you did really stressed me out. Could you please just leave the dog food alone? I am not sure I can say, "No Sir" one more time and have you not listen. I have agonised over many of the decisions I had to make when it came to discipline. I have had many arguments with your dad. But in time we have learned to parent as a team. We still have our differences of opinion but have learned to listen to each other.

The times I was affected the most was when you were sick. Colds, ear infections, visits to the doctor, sleepless nights, antibiotics, shots......

Now I have learnt to take things in my stride and deal with them with a calm mind. The one thing that helped me tremendously through the toughest of times was your smile - that 1000 watt glow made me forget everything and realize it was all worth it.

At this point in your life you can’t read, much less understand what I’m going to try to tell you in this letter. But I’ve been thinking a lot about the life that you have ahead of you, about my life so far as I reflect on what I’ve learned, and about my role as a mom, and daddy's role as a dad, in trying to prepare you for the trials that you will face in the coming years.

You won’t be able to understand this letter today, but someday, when you’re ready, I hope you will find some wisdom and value in what I share with you.

You are young, and life has yet to take its toll on you, to throw disappointments and heartaches and loneliness and struggles and pain into your path. You have not been worn down yet by long hours of thankless work, by the slings and arrows of everyday life.

For this, be thankful. You are at a wonderful stage of life. You have many wonderful stages of life still to come, but they are not without their costs and perils.

I hope to help you along your path by sharing some of the best of what I’ve learned. As with any advice, take it with a grain of salt. What works for me might not work for you.

Life Can Be Cruel

There will be people in your life who won’t be very nice. They’ll tease you because you’re different, or for no good reason. They might try to bully you or hurt you.

There’s not much you can do about these people except to learn to deal with them, and learn to choose friends who are kind to you, who actually care about you, who make you feel good about yourself. When you find friends like this, hold on to them, treasure them, spend time with them, be kind to them, love them.

There will be times when you are met with disappointment instead of success. Life won’t always turn out the way you want. This is just another thing you’ll have to learn to deal with. But instead of letting these things get you down, push on. Accept disappointment and learn to persevere, to pursue your dreams despite pitfalls. Learn to turn negatives into positives, and you’ll do much better in life.

You will also face heartbreak and abandonment by those you love. I hope you don’t have to face this too much, but it happens. Again, not much you can do but to heal, and to move on with your life. Let these pains become stepping stones to better things in life, and learn to use them to make you stronger.

But Be Open to Life Anyway

Yes, you’ll find cruelty and suffering in your journey through life … but don’t let that close you to new things. Don’t retreat from life, don’t hide or wall yourself off. Be open to new things, new experiences, new people.

You might get your heart broken 10 times, but find the most wonderful woman the 11th time. If you shut yourself off from love, you’ll miss out on that woman, and the happiest times of your life.

You might get teased and bullied and hurt by people you meet … and then after meeting dozens of jerks, find a true friend. If you close yourself off to new people, and don’t open your heart to them, you’ll avoid pain … but also lose out on meeting some incredible people, who will be there during the toughest times of your life and create some of the best times of your life.

You will fail many times but if you allow that to stop you from trying, you will miss out on the amazing feeling of success once you reach new heights with your accomplishments. Failure is a stepping stone to success.

Life Isn’t a Competition

You will meet many people who will try to outdo you, in school, in college, at work. They’ll try to have nicer cars, bigger houses, nicer clothes, cooler gadgets. To them, life is a competition — they have to do better than their peers to be happy.

Here’s a secret: life isn’t a competition. It’s a journey. If you spend that journey always trying to impress others, to outdo others, you’re wasting your journey. Instead, learn to enjoy the journey. Make it a journey of happiness, of constant learning, of continual improvement, of love.

Don’t worry about having a nicer car or house or anything material, or even a better-paying job. None of that matters a whit, and none of it will make you happier. You’ll acquire these things and then only want more. Instead, learn to be satisfied with having enough — and then use the time you would have wasted trying to earn money to buy those things … use that time doing things you love.

Find your passion, and pursue it wholeheartedly. Don’t settle for a job that pays the bills. Life is too short to waste on a job you hate.

Love Should Be Your Rule

If there’s a single word you should live your life by, it should be this: Love. It might sound corny, I know … but trust me, there’s no better rule in life.

Some would live by the rule of success. Their lives will be stressful, unhappy and shallow.

Others would live by the rule of selfishness — putting their needs above those of others. They will live lonely lives, and will also be unhappy.

Still others will live by the rule of righteousness — trying to show the right path, and admonishing anyone who doesn’t live by that path. They are concerned with others, but in a negative way, and in the end will only have their own righteousness to live with, and that’s a horrible companion.

Live your life by the rule of love. Love your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, with all of your heart. Give to them what they need, and show them not cruelty nor disapproval nor coldness nor disappointment, but only love. Open your soul to them.

Love not only your loved ones, but your neighbors … your coworkers … strangers … your brothers and sisters in humanity. Offer anyone you meet a smile, a kind word, a kind gesture, a helping hand.

Love not only neighbors and strangers … but your enemy. The person who is cruelest to you, who has been unkind to you … love him. He is a tortured soul, and most in need of your love.

And most of all, love yourself. While others may criticize you, learn not to be so hard on yourself, to think that you’re ugly or dumb or unworthy of love … but to think instead that you are a wonderful human being, worthy of happiness and love … and learn to love yourself for who you are.

I have learned so much from you and will continue to do so for the years to come. How to forgive, how to love unconditionally not expecting anything in return, how to be innocent, how to enjoy the small things in life, how to be carefree…. The list is endless.... Thank you! You have made my life worthwhile!

Happy 1st Birthday!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Attention Teachers-{operation gratitude}

In honor of Vetran's Day, I want to promote Operation Gratitude because we all need to do our part to say thanks.

Operation Gratitude is a project brough to you by Pear Tree Greetings. They are sending color-in Christmas cards toteachers around the nation who sign up. Students will be bale to color-in a snowman card and write a message thanking our men and women serving overseas for their decdication and hard work they provide this country.

Their goal is to send 75,000 cards to our men and women in th emilitary. How awesome is that!

Here is the gist:

*Pear Tree will send a package to the first 2,500 teachers who sign up

*30 cards per classroom

*Free to you and your students

Through this partnershipwith Operation Gratitude, Pear Tree encourgaes teachers all across America to share with their students the value of saying thank you.

I did!!!! :)

If you are a teacher, please check out this link: http://gratitude.peartreegreetings.com/and help spread the word!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

{Random Acts of Kindness}

Ahhhhhh!!!!! Errrrr! My sister flew into Charlotte today. When she arrived she was suppose to a rental car all ready for her to drive to Atlanta. (Her and my 2 nephews are visiting for a week!) No car. And the Representatives at the rental place were nothing but rude to her. So she is on the curb in a city she is unfamiliar with crying her eyes out with 2 little boys, and luggage. A nice women came up and gave her a tissue, and asked if she could help. What a nice act of kindness. Maybe the Customer Representative should of been so nice. In the end she got the car, and is on her due to arrive at 5:11 (according to the GPS)...I am not sure sure that GPS factors in Atlanta Rush Hour. My point of this post is to remind you to treat others the way you would want to be treated, and that random acts of kindness can make someones day. Thanks you to the random women who calmed my sister down, and get her on her way!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

what I wore wednesday {week 5}

It's Wednesday again!! The week flew by! I did a much better job this week, no crazy themes at school. Join in and link up with Lindsay for What I Wore Wednesday at

the pleated poppy blog

Monday, November 1, 2010

got milk?

Ian insisted on seeing my bowl when I finsihed my cereal...He wanted the milk! I understand how he will drink milk from a bowl, a big boy cup and spill half down himself but no sippy cup. grrrrrrrrr