I love having breaks because it means that I get to spend extended amounts of time with my family and great friends!

Here are some funny quotes over the past week:

Me:  "Last night I wrote down a list of 3 things I need in a guy"
Christi:  "Ok, what are they?"
Me:  "Number 1, he can't be an asshole"
Christi:  "I could see how that could be important, what are the other two?"
Me:  "Umm... I forget."

Summer:  "Of course, you're sparkly"
Christi:  "Jen's always sparkly"
Me:  "I'm a sparkle"

Me:  "You know how sometimes I can come across a bit standoffish?"
Summer:  "Yea...and intimidating"

Reed:  "I can't be around ya'll when ya'll are having these conversations.  In my mind yall are nothing but perfect and innocent, I'd like to keep you that way"

Christi: "Ash what kind of phone do you have"
Ash:  "Blue Moon"
Christi:  "So, is that a Samsung?"
****Followed by much confusion****
Ash:   "I thought you were asking me about my beer"

Christi:  "Always the gentleman.  Or maybe just a bit intimidated by the 'Jennifer Bradley'"Me:

Girl at Bar:  "So how do you get your hair to look like that?"
Me:  "Umm... I put it in a ponytail?"

Me:  "I've come to realize that I am attracted to jerks and emotionally unavailable men"
Christi:  "You're just now realizing this??"

Dad (in a text):  "Waiting at Copying"
Dad:  Coltons
Dad:  Stupid Auto
Me:  hahaha
Dad:  Enufo


I hate to break it to you babe, but I'm not drowning.

Today was supposed to be a productive kind of day, yet it's a perfectly rainy afternoon.  Seeing as how I only have a few of these precious wintery days left before I must return to my classroom full of students, I intended to spend the day working on applications for teaching fellowships, my IRB proposal, and lesson plans.  
Instead, my coffee pot has overflowed endless cups while discovering new artists which I'm sure will be the soundtrack to the next few months of my life.  

And I won't feel guilty for not being productive.  

"All my life, I've tried making everyone happy while I simply hurt inside and wait until it's my turn to decide.  Don't you dare tell me who to be.  Who died and made you king of anything"

Let me hold your crown babe.

My Secret

My Secret:

I love weddings, but I am no where near ready to be a bride.  It'll take quite a guy to put a ring on this girl's finger.


Top 12 Photos/Moments of 2010

Everyone knows that I love pictures.  I love to take them/be in them, anything!  I can look back through pictures and remember how I felt at the exact moment the picture was taken.  Pictures are my way of marking certain moments in my life.  So here are the top 12 pictures/moments of 2010.

12.  This picture was taken on the night I knew that a certain chapter of my life was finally closed.  It was exhilarating, and freeing to realize that I was finally done hurting, done thinking "what if", done with him.  That moment when you realize that you're finally at the other end of the tunnel is weird, but gives you such a sense of empowerment knowing that if you can get through that, you can do anything.

11.  This picture evokes so many feelings.  It was taken at a time last year when I was just truly happy.  Taken with one of my favorite little girls, the only little girl in my life at that particular time.  The thing that makes me laugh about this picture, is if you look at my chest you can see the remnants of a very bad sunburn.  It was horrible.  I was stupid.  It looks like I have skin cancer there, and my skin has never been the same since that burn.  Chalk it up to stupidity, and pure bliss of summer days spent poolside.

10.  My college graduation day!  It was such a celebration that I was actually going to graduate, on time! I was so proud this day, and still am of completing such a feat.

9.  This night, Christi describes as the night I finally was back to being the "old me".  Pre-Relationship, 
Pre-Skiing accident, the old Jennifer that everyone loves.  This was dead day's eve last summer.  It was truly one of the most fun nights, I really did feel like the old me and have ever since. 

8.  This picture was taken in the middle of my first semester of my MAT classes.  I was incredibly stressed and so my parents whisked me away to spend a couple of days with family and great friends on the beaches of the East coast.  It was a much needed break, and I loved seeing my "other family".  

7.  The night began looking like the first picture above.  Ended, looking worst than the second picture.  This night was one of the greatest nights of the whole year.  We were celebrating Summer's 1 year anniversary with her hubby, and it was just a night of hanging out with friends and family. We saw old friends, made new ones, and most importantly made memories to last forever.

6.  Tressa and I decided to go out alone one night to have a girl's night just us two.  Whenever we go out just the two of us, it doesn't ever stay that way for long.  We met some really fun people and said goodbye to our blissful summer days.

5.  Tressa's 21st birthday.  FUN fun FUN night.  Enough said.

4.  Before a Gary Allen concert.  The look on my face describes perfectly how I felt.  True happiness and contentment.  

3.  This pictures perfectly sums up our 10+ year friendship.  I'm not exactly sure what we were talking about here, but these girls are pure life.  We are all so different, which makes us fight and bicker sometimes, but at the end of each day, at every milestone we are all there.  There's not one incredible memory that I have that these girls were not a part of somehow.  

2.  My beautiful sister and I at her first baby shower for Heelyn.  She looks gorgeous here.  She IS gorgeous.  We were so anxious for Heelyn's arrival, and just so happy with life.

1.  Our first glimpse at precious Heelyn Elyse.  I love the look in Kyle's face.  Pure joy.  Amazement.  At this moment we were completely worn out from worrying the past 3 hours as my sister's amazingly easy labor took a turn for the worst.  But here she is.  The product of my sister and Kyle's love.  Perfect.  Their lives, our lives, would never be the same.


Christmas Recap

We had a wonderful Christmas spending lots of time with family, and of course our new precious addition little Miss Heelyn.  Enjoy :)


Merry Christmas!

The past year has been one of great trial, but ultimately great celebration for our family.  We have been extremely blessed, and praise the Lord for His faithfulness and truth.  

Merry Christmas!



Ha... I bet that title post got a few weird looks.  I just couldn't resist!

So one of the great/horrible things about being a teacher is I hold all their little grades in my hands.  Well actually they CHOOSE their grades, but that's all together another topic.  In my students minds its up to me what grade I give them.  This week is semester test week....ahhh the joy of not having to teach, and the hasell of having to deal with grades.  Not to mention this is the first semester their grades count, and to some kids it's like I hold their entire future in my hands (not really, but oh the drama-filled life of a ninth grader).

I'm not mean.  For most of my students I will always bump their grades up if say they have a 79 or 89, taking into consideration how well they behaved in class and their willingness to work.

I had one student today who had a 69.  Lets call him Andy.  Andy is not one of my best behaved students. In fact, its a daily struggle between him and I in class.  He's just a bit immature for his age, and I'm sure he'll grow into himself eventually.  But right now, he drives me crazy.  He's not exactly the best student either.  So it wasn't really a shock to me when he had a 69.  What was is the conversation that followed as I was discussing his grade with him...

Me:  "Andy, you received a 60 on your semester exam and you have a 69 for your semester grade"
Andy:  "So that's a 70?"
Me:  "No, it's a 69"
Andy:  "No it's probably like a 69.7 which will round up to a 70"
Me:  "No, it's a 69"
Andy:  "But you'll round it up"
Me:  "Do you feel like you deserve a 70?"
Andy:  "Well how about this, unless you give me a 70, I'll hate you and make you miserable next semester"

Gees.... What ever happened to manners, and being nice to your teachers, or.... actually asking nicely??
He still has a 69 and that's where its staying.


I'd fall in love

The first time that I saw you,
Looking like you did
We were young, we were restless
Just two clueless kids

But if I knew then what I know now
I'd fall in love

You're on a bus in Chicago
Three rows to the left
You know my heart is reacing for you
But we never even met

If I knew then what I know now
I'd fall in love

'Cause love only comes
Once in a while
And knocks on your door
And throws you a smile

And takes every breath
Leaves every scar
Speaks through your soul
And Sings to your heart

But if I knew then what I know now
I'd fall in love

On a summer night in August
back seat of your car
in stead of trying to get to know me
You took it way too far

But if I knew then what I know now
I'd fall in love

Whoa, 'cause love only comes
Once in a while
And knocks on your door
And throws you a smile

And takes every breath
Leaves every scar
Speaks through your soul
And sings to your heart

But if I knew then what I know now
I'd fall in love

I used up a lot of chances
But you give them back
But it again it comes crawling
I'm gonna make it last

Love only comes once in a while
And knocks on your door
And throws you a smile

If I knew then what I know now

I'd fall in love.


Bob Marley Wrote This

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold on to him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”
-Bob Marley


Mojitos with The Wave

Last night was my Christmas party for my MAT cohort.  We're a pretty tight group so when you get all of us together, there's bound to be a lot of laughter, add in Dr. Wavering (the MAT program head) and Mrs. Hewitt (another one of our teachers), lots of margaritas, and well... lets just say I've never drank with my professors before but it was way too much fun!  You see Dr. Wavering, better known as "The Wave" by all of his students, is funny in a dry sense of humor, he never intends to be funny kinds of way.  But he is,  hilarious. It was great to get to catch up with everyone outside of class, and celebrate our masters program being over half-way done!  Woo hoo!!!

After leaving Mojitos, I stopped by Ben's house (Tressa's Boyfriend) because several friends were over there.  We decided to play catch phrase.  I love that game! Soooo funn.... I was laughing because it's so funny the different ways guys and girls communicate.  When a guy is describing something, he is very matter of fact.  Whenever it was us girls' turn, we would describe things in relationship to each other.  And of course we could never just use a couple of words to describe something!  It was a lot of fun!


Most know that I teach 9th graders.  By far the HARDEST grade to teach, in my opinion.  But they're also the most fun at times, and the say and do the funniest things that just crack me up.

They're also little creepers.

I have a group of ninth grade guys who are infatuated with me.  Probably because I'm blonde, shorter than them, and older than them.  I try to ignore their "flirting" and try to be stern and mean to discourage it, but it doesn't really work.  It hasn't really bothered me, I mean after all they ARE guys,   until last week when we discovered that they had been discreetly taking pictures of me on their iphones and posting them on the internet!


I was horrified.  I mean first of all, who knows what those pictures look like?  Second, who knows where they are posting them.  That's so creepy!

So my mentor had to give a lecture to the guys about how weird/wrong it was to take pictures without someone knowing and how they could get into serious trouble for doing that.

The adventures in teaching....


I believe.

I believe in turning off all electronics an hr before I go to sleep.

I believe there's nothing that family and good friends can't help you get through.

I believe that adulthood is way overrated.

I believe in using good make up, skin care, and OPI nail polish.

I believe that God always hears my cry and wipes every tear.

I believe that my future husband is out there still.

Sometimes, I believe in soul mates.

I believe that men become more difficult the older they get.

I believe in indulgence.

I believe that nothing ever feels as good as pulling into the driveway of your childhood home.

I believe that no matter how many times my mom teaches me how to cook something, it will never taste as good as hers.

I believe in sweet tea, good wine, and a strong margarita.

I believe that bubble baths cure all matters of the heart.

I believe that God speaks to me through music.

I believe in joy.

I believe in our generation.

I believe that you can never have too many friends, purses, or shoes, but some only stay for certain seasons.

I believe that young love is the purest kind, college love is the most passionate, and adulthood love is the truest.

I believe that at the end of the day, you have to give everything up to God.

I believe in happiness, hope, and love.

Yes, I still believe in love.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



This time of the year means one thing.... Lifetime Movies :)

Yep, I get sucked in every time!  I mean who doesn't love a cheesy love story?  My mom got me hooked on lifetime a long time ago.... and now every Sunday afternoon you can bet my TV is turned on to lifetime while I clean or do whatever else it is I do on Sundays (nap).

The problem is, during the holidays they play really good Christmas movies every night.  It's really unfortunate because it prevents me from doing anything productive.  Right now I'm supposed to be working on my Fall portfolio for the MAT but nope, lifetime!  Ahh.... love...

So hopefully at some point I can turn off the television and turn on my brain to focus!  But if not... I refuse to stress.

So every Monday I have my MAT classes all day.  Sometimes they're really interesting, sometimes they're really boring.  To be perfectly honest, I just love Monday's because it's the one day that I don't have to listen to myself talk all day long.  Ha.  AND I get to each lunch in an actual restaurant with actual people.  Yay for that!

Anyway, so we were sitting in Cohort yesterday.  Cohort is pretty much like group therapy for graduate students.  We are in Cohort, pretty much complaining to our professor about the large portfolio we have due to him in less than 48 hours and he says, " You will graduate from this program if I have to drag you across that finish line myself".

We laughed.  But seriously, he actually means it.  It's nice to know that no matter what I WILL graduate, which sure as heck beats where I was last year this time :)

And that's all the randomness I have for tonight.



I never realized how much being a teacher would absolutely break my heart.  Every.  Single. Day.  I chose not to be a doctor because I know my personality.  I know my intense attachment to people.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to separate myself from my job.  Yet, I didn't realize that I would encounter the same type of situation being a teacher.

It's an incredible job, really.  The hours are wonderful, the work is stimulating.  For the (most) part my students are a joy.  I look forward to all the breaks that are unique to this job.

But I feel guilty.  Every night when I lay down.  Guilty that I never had the same struggles some of these kids face.  Guilty that my parents gave me everything I could ever desire both materially and emotionally.  Guilty that learning was never a struggle for me.  Guilty that having a relationship with my Lord seemed natural.  

I feel guilty that I'm somehow not doing enough.  Enough to touch them, to make a difference, to be a home away from home.  I feel as though somewhere along the way I will fail them, and for the most part this is true.  Some point throughout the year I will fail every single one of them.  I will fail to realize they are having problems, I will fail to teach them.  I will have a short temper, expect too much, expect too little.  

But yet I have the most incredible mission field.  150 teenagers every year.  To minister to, to touch, to inspire.  Yet somedays I realize that I am incredibly unqualified for the task.  Somedays I can barely solve my own mess of a life, much less attempt to help someone discover theirs.  

So where is the balance?  How do I teach content and inspire?  How do I make a difference, yet let it go when need be.  How do I love the unlovable?  Reach the withdrawn?  Inspire the discouraged?

How do I do my job, both my earthly one and my eternal one, while maintaining balance and peace.

Cherish Every Moment

I stole these pictures from my sister's blog.  Check it out here.  She's hillarious.

So here's a Heely update :)

She went to visit Santa last Saturday.

She's so precious in her little play area.  She LOVES to look at herself.

We joke that we are going to have to get her Botox someday, she ALWAYS scrunches her little face up.

One of the few pictures that she actually looks like my sister.

She wasn't very happy with her Halloween outfit.

She looks so tiny in this picture.  I can't believe how big she's already getting, I just want her to stay little.

She's my world.  I love her so much, I can only imagine the love my sister must feel for her.  She's little, simple, pure.  I want to protect her from all the harsh things she's going to face in this world, protect her perfect innocence.  It's funny how a little baby can make you understand more the love our God has for us, and how much He wants to protect us.


Odds and Ends

Today was a great day spent catching up with an old friend, it's really pretty funny.  We both went to Belmont our Freshman year and both transferred to Arkansas, yet we didn't know each other until our Senior year of college.  He lives in Ft. Smith now, so we took the day to catch up on life!

I have 2 finals tomorrow both of which I have no clue what is on them.  That's the funny thing about graduate school, its WAY less pressure and so the professors seem to forget to tell you what to study for the final.  I'm really not worried about it though, seems I only need a 20% to get an A in both classes.  PTL that after I finish my portfolio, I will be done with projects for a while!

I was grading a stack of papers tonight.  Normally, I don't bring papers home with me to grade.  It's a little piece of advice that was passed on to me from another teacher that I admire deeply.  He was one of my graduate professors this past summer.  He told me  that it's necessary to separate your school life from your home life, and he never brings papers home with him to grade.  So I took his advice to heart, and try to never bring papers home.  I'm pretty good about getting everything graded before school starts, or during my plan.  BUT my students did a lab on Friday and it would be beneficial to them if they knew how they did on it before their test, so I broke my rule and brought papers home.  As I set staring at the stack I briefly contemplated giving them all 100's in order to not have to grade, but I knew this would not be helpful to them or me so grade I did.  While watching lifetime, of course :)

Sorry for the boring blog post but I'm not in a particular insightful kind of mood.  Just simple.  I'm simply ready for Christmas break to get here!


Over it

The nightmare that was last week is finally over.   I had an assessment package due last night at midnight.  I already had half of it completed and was just going to finish up the other half last night (Yes, it was due on a Friday night, ugh).  The last half was just a lot of excel work.  A LOT.  More than I had expected.  So I started working on it at 6pm and didn't finish until around 1 am.  Luckily, my teacher said it was fine that I turned it in an hour late.  The stress of last night reminded me why I'm glad I'm finished with undergraduate work.  That type of stress all the time was just too much for me.

Today my house needs some much needed TLC.  Since last week was such a nightmare, important duties such as running the dishwasher, taking out the trash, laundry, were ignored.  Hopefully later today I can do a Christmas post and show ya'll what the apartment looks like at Christmas time!

Have a wonderful Saturday :)



I would tell you all about my bad day and how a particular class period of students made me cry, but I choose not to remember the bad parts of teaching.  Only the good.  So let me tell you a good story.

I've never had any training with Special Education students.  Somehow, though, I'm really good at working with them.  My Grandfather has been a special education teacher for over 40 years.  I guess it's just in my blood.

So I have a class period with several special education students.  I love them so much.  They're such a challenge, but can also be so rewarding.

Let me tell you about *Eric (name changed of course)

*Eric is autistic.  He stays in trouble constantly for not doing work, or just generally misbehaving.  My first day meeting *Eric he tried to convince me he couldn't write.  I knew this wasn't the case, and so I pushed him.  I pushed him as hard as I push all my other students.  *Eric is smart, when he wants to be.  But I made a mistake with *Eric.  My first day working with him, I stood by him as he attempted to do his work, but as I stood by him he absolutely refused to do anything.  I remembered that sometimes Autistic children have random things that make them either angry, or non-responsive.  I had a hint that this might be *Eric's.  So I told him I was going to walk across the classroom, and when I returned I wanted him to have one question answered.  I walked across the classroom to check on other students, and sure enough when I returned he had answered the question.  This began mine and *Eric's game.  Each day I tell him what needs to be done when I return to his desk.  Each day he completes his work.

One day, I was doing demonstrations using little plastic cups.  I had given each table a set of cups to play with.  As I was collecting the cups I noticed a cup missing from *Eric's table.  I asked *Eric if he had seen the cup, but of course he was unresponsive to me.  So I told him if he knew where the cup was, would he please set it on my desk when I walked across the room.  I turned around, and sure enough *Eric jumped up and placed the cup on my desk.

Remembering that day still makes me smile.  As does remembering the look on my mentors face when he asked me why *Eric had jumped up to place a plastic cup on my desk.

*Eric is a challenge, and requires a large amount of time and attention, but I love watching him walk into my classroom everyday though knowing that I have the ability to reach him, and just maybe, make a difference in his life.


What Money Can't Buy

This post is somewhat ironic since the last one was about the little pleasures in life that I love.  Well... here's what brings me joy, that money can't buy.

*  Daily pictures from my sister of my beautiful niece.
* Talking to my Mom on the phone constantly.
* When my roommate gets really excited about something that's happening in my life and shreeks and jumps up and down.
*  My students yelling "Hey Ms. Bradley" as they walk down the hallway with their friends.
*  NOT having to set my alarm on Friday nights.
*  Sunday lunches after Church.
* Text messages from my best friends, randomly, at the exact moments that I need them.
* Funny, yet predictable text messages from my guy friends.
* The moment when you see a picture from a moment you'll remember forever.
* Sharing in life's moments with friends.
* Crying over the phone, with someone who knows exactly how you feel.
* Everyone who tells me constantly that I need to get my butt back home when I'm finished up here.
* My Grandma reassuring me that I'll "just know" when I meet "the one"
* Visits with my Grandparents.
* Praying so hard, with such devotion for someone that doesn't even know you're praying for them.
* Text messages from my Dad that say "Love ya girly"
* Driving on the Air Force Base and feeling such appreciation for the sacrifice that my Dad, and all our military have made.
* Sitting in my apartment, remembering last summer when I got to pick out everything that would go in it.  Remembering all the visits my Mom made up here until it was just perfect.
* Looking at my degree, knowing what it took to achieve it.
* The smell of clean laundry.
* When Tressa randomly decides to go pick up coffee on Saturday mornings for us.
*  Waking up in the middle of the night, only to realize I have 4 more hours to sleep.
*  Going to work every day, knowing I have the ability to change someone's life.
* My panera rewards card... enough said.
* Christmas Music
*When the perfect song comes on the radio and I sing it at the top of my lungs.
* Looking at old pictures.
* That moment, when you know that everything you have gone through has been worth it.  When you know that you finally made it out to the other side.

" A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit"  Proverbs 15:13

What I'm Currently Loving

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts, so I thought I'd let ya'll know some of the little necessities in my life.

Ok so this has a story behind it.  This is my absolute favorite body wash--Almond by The Body Shop.  Smell it and you'll be in heaven too!  So I used it obsessively and all my guy friends would always comment on how good I always smelled.  (Note:  Guys always like things that smell like something sweet they could eat, haha)  Well, The Body Shop stopped carrying it a couple of years ago and I've been at a loss over body wash ever since.  I've never found anything that I like as much.  Imagine my delight when I walked into The Body Shop with my Mom a couple of weeks ago and found this sitting on the shelves!  Bliss!  I'm considering buying stock in it :)

Yes, I'm a Starbucks girl.  Nothing makes me happier than getting to go through the drive through at Starbucks and order my favorite "White Chocolate Mocha with Soy Milk".  I'm craving one just thinking about it.  Well since we all know Starbucks can get a little pricey, I only cave in about once a week.   The next best thing however, is homemade coffee out of my Starbucks mugs.  They keep the coffee really warm, and I love all the cute designs they come in.

Everyone in my family is a lover of Tyler candles.  They are seriously all over our houses.  My favorite is Warm Sugar Cookie because it smells like cookies just out of the oven.  This is another one of those smells that guys always like too.  Plus, Tyler candles last a really long time, which is essential when you burn candles every day like I do!

I use Philosophy skin care, and not only do  I love the way they make my skin feel, I love reading the little sayings on the front of every container.  They always put me in a good mood and give me a different perspective on life!

I love lavender scented anything because it's incredibly relaxing.  Bath & Body Works have lavender vanilla scented bubble bath and lotion.  It's heavenly.  I take a bubble bath with it every night and it completely relaxes me and calms my mind.  I put the lotion on right before I go to bed and I sleep like a baby every time.  

Things I Miss Now that I'm a Teacher

1.  Sonic Happy Hour
2.  Being able to skip class
3.  Restaurant Lunch Specials
4.  Being able to meet friends for lunch
5.  My non-teacher wardrobe.

And since you never wanna end on a negative note... here's 5 things I LOVE about being a teacher:

1.  I get off work way before most people.
2.  My students always keep me entertained.
3.  You never get lonely, or bored at work.
4.  The days go by extremely fast.
5.  I feel like I'm contributing to society.