Consider me Employed

This will be my new home away from home.

Honestly I don't know why I haven't posted about this sooner, but I have am now a fully employed high school teacher!  

It is no secret that I have wanted to move closer to home for some time now, that being the case, I did not apply to any schools in NWA when I was putting out my initial applications back in March.  I had my eye set on a position at my hometown high school, and was in talks about the job.  I was looking forward to being closer to home, but still had a few hesitations in my heart.  

A couple of weeks later, I learned the position at my hometown high school was to be put off for another year.   So I started looking at other options and praying for the best school district for me.

Soon after, a position opened up at the top high school in our state.  It is known for being incredibly hard to get a job in, especially in you don't know anyone.  Having not interned there, I almost dismissed the idea of even putting in my application.  Also, because I was still intent on moving back to the Central Arkansas area.  

As I was struggling with the idea of even applying for the position, my Mom told me "It's your job to open the doors, and God will close any He sees not fit".  So I applied, still not really expecting anything.

I heard from the Principal of the High School the very next week, and so started the series of interviews which eventually led to me being offered the job.

It's been amazing to see God's hand in all of this.  I can't take credit for anything, He orchestrated every single step of the entire process from me being hired, to finding the perfect living arrangements, to finding the perfect church and so on....  One of my best friends from the MAT program will even be teaching there next year with me!  It will be SO great having someone (who is also new) to bounce ideas off of.  Our PLC (Professional Learning Community) is full of the nicest people, and I think I'm going to love working in such a great environment!

In my wildest dreams I could have not imagined nor planned being in this position last year this time.  Although I am incredibly sad that I will still be at least 3 hours away from the rest of my family, I fully believe this is where God wants me for now.  Plus, I have a guest bedroom for anyone who wants to come visit!

I am so thankful that I have a job.  I fully understand the pressure and stress of searching for jobs in our economy, and do not take lightly the good fortune and blessing I have received in being offered a job this early in the game.  I pray daily for all my other teacher friends searching for their perfect fit and know that they will find their home away from home too!  


Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial day always holds a special day in my heart as I think about my Dad and all the other veterans, and men and women serving our country both here and overseas. Your sacrifice, commitment, and service to our country does not go unnoticed. Our freedom and safety are all because of the selfless acts of service of our men and women in the Armed Forces, and their families.
I arrived back at small town Arkansas just in time to spend yesterday with this little cutie. We had a yummy lunch @ Cantina and spent the afternoon being lazy... Well, kind of. I had to finish organizing my closet to accompany all the stuff that came back home with me.
Today was spent furniture shopping with mi Madre, and another yummy lunch @ YaYa's. Needless to say, I'm missing my gym :)
Now we are on to watching movies, doing our nails, and waiting on Dad to return from his day of golfing up in HSV.
How was your memorial day?

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Happy Birthday Chelsea!

Today is Chelsea's birthday!!!  We became friends while I was dating her brother, and even though I'm not dating her brother anymore, we've remained friends.  Funny how life works that way!

Although today is her real birthday, we celebrated a few weeks ago while everyone was in town.  

Chelsea and I spent the afternoon shopping for her perfect birthday outfit, complete with the most amazing turquoise heels.  Seriously.  They're to die for.  

We started the night off @ Powerhouse (well else can you go for a better birthday celebration??)

Note to self:  Wear bronzer so you don't look like a ghost.  

I digress...

We ran into Ash who was there celebrating the end of the MAT with her cohort!  Actually, we ended up sitting a table over from her crew, so it made for a really fun night!

Isn't Chelsea's dress fabulous?  It's from the one and only, Riffraff.

Anyway, so after Powerhouse, we ventured over to Grubs.  Unbeknownst (is that even a word?) to us, it was Military Night at Grubs.  AKA, You'll get hit on so many times that you'll wish you weren't pretty.  

Have you ever seen the episode of SATC where all the Navy boys come into the city for one night?  Yea.. it was like that, except minus the charm.  Don't get me wrong, I love our Military.  But I don't love being looked at like a piece of meat.  Gross.

Anyway, we had a great night celebrating Chelsea, eating good food, and catching up with old friends!

Happy Birthday Pretty Girl!  Who would have known that by dating your crazy big brother I would meet one of my lifelong friends?  You are one of the strongest girls I know, and always so much fun to be around.  I can't wait for this summer, and everything else the future has to hold for you!


Not Our Home

UPDATE:  If you want to know how to help go HERE.  The Benfield's have put together a great listing of places around NWA that are helping with the disaster relief.

Is it just me, or do you also feel like we're characters in the movie 2012?  Seriously, I don't ever remember so many natural disasters ever occurring in one year in my meager 23 years of living on this earth.

Being a science teacher, I could go into the details of why we have had the craziest Spring, but those facts do very little to place patches on the hurting hearts of the multitudes of people who have been affected by these catastrophes.

When the Earthquakes and Tsunami hit Japan.  We prayed for Japan.  We viewed pictures, watched new stories, and hear eye witness accounts of the horrible aftermath of the destruction.  But it was still far away.  After all, it was in Japan.  Tsunamis don't happen often in America.  They most certainly do not happen in Arkansas.

But tornadoes do.

When the tornadoes hit Alabama, it was as though we were shaken to our very core.  This was America.  Our home.  A piece of "The American Dream" that now looks like a third world country.

A part of our precious SEC was now in ruins.  Churches, Civic Organizations, and Non-Profit Groups rushed to lend their helping hand.  We donated money, items, and our time.

Most importantly, we prayed.

And now, it has hit in our own backyard.  Joplin, MO.  Only a short drive from our home.  Once again, a place thrown into the path of nature's fury as families were racing home from commencement ceremonies.

 Graduation, a time to celebrate and reminisce.  Yet these high schoolers have been robbed of these celebrations as they are left to pick up the pieces of their homes, look for their loved ones, and pray.

As we as a nation are left to question why, and ponder how these families will ever rebuild their lives.  We rest in the security that He gives knowing that "we may weep for a night, but JOY will come in the morning".  Nothing is ever left out of God's will.  Although the devil may scheme, plan, and plot to rob us of our joy in life, we know something the devil will never understand.  For our joy does not come in material possessions, or even relationships obtained in this lifetime.  Our joy comes from knowing our Heavenly Father intimately and knowing that this earth, is not our home.


Tickling Those Ivories

Is this not perfectly gorgeous and wouldn't it just look perfectly wonderful in my new place?  Yea..I think so too.  I already have the antique collection of plates, now all I need is an old upright to paint a fabulous color!  If any one finds one, let me know!


Teacher of the Year

I lost two of my students today at school.

Yea...I'm definitely winning Teacher of the Year.


5 Things

1.  4.0 = Perfect end to my graduate career!

2.  I signed the papers on my dream condo this past weekend!  More details to come at a later time.... I can't wait to move in!

3.  I can't say enough how much I love my church, Crosschurch.  Both pastors at both campuses are incredible.  I've recently returned to the Pinnacle Hills campus since I will soon be living there, and last Sunday Dr. Floyd literally blew me away with his sermon.  Watch it here (Getting things in order with church leadership).  It's so refreshing to hear a Pastor who isn't afraid to step on toes in order to speak from the Bible, in a culture that is so driven to just "do what feels right".  

4. I'm in the process of shopping for new dining room furniture.  While I'm sure I can't afford what's in this picture, I would dye to have a dining room that looked like this!  It's colorful and eclectic, and screams me!

5.  My mom instilled a love of reading in me at a young age.  I'm always reading something.  As a result, I have hundreds and hundreds of books stored in boxes, bookcases, and all over my parents' home.  This weekend my goal is to sort through them and decide which will go in my classroom library and which will become decorations at my new place.  Wish me luck!


I did it!

That's right, I now have a MASTERS DEGREE!!!

This weekend was the final step of a very long, busy, exhausting year, and I'm so happy/thankful/relieved that I made it through! Thinking back to last year this time, I could barely imagine having a Bachelor's Degree, must less a Masters a year later. God has been so good to me though, throughout this entire past year, providing in so many ways and always meeting my needs at just the right moments.

I can't believe how much I've grown and changed through the entire process of the MAT program. A year ago, I knew teaching was the career path for me. Now...it's my passion. I've made some of the most incredible friends, friends whom I know will be with me for life, and have had the amazing opportunity to strengthen my friendship with Ash whose been with me since 1st grade. Girl, can you believe we're D-O-N-E!! How many times did we say "I just can't wait to be finished", well, here it is!

I have a feeling Kaitlin and I will be repeating this same pose with Dr. Wavering when he walks us across the stage to recieve our Ph.D's in the future. After all.... everyone knows I can't stay away from school for too long :)

P.S Please ignore how funny our hoods look around our necks. Not the most stylish things ever, but we were oh so proud to wear them!

To sum everything up. I am so incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to become a part of the MAT program. Although there were many moments when I felt overwhelmed, underappreciated, and simply stressed; I couldn't imagine entering teaching field without the preparation I recieved from the program. Everyone from the mentors, to the professors, to my classmates have made a profound impact on my life, for which I will be eternally greatful. I can't wait to be able to give back to a program that gave so much to me!

Now I get to challenge, inspire, and dream with the future of America. I couldn't ask for a better job!


What I've Learned in Higher Education

Warning:  This is lengthy.

Well, this is it.  On Saturday, the past five years of my life will come to an end as I walk across the stage at Bud Walton arena to be 'hooded' with my Masters of Arts in Teaching degree.  It's a bittersweet, yet exciting time as I transition into the time from being a "student" to pursuing my professional career, and lifetime goals.

So, while I take a break from pursuing further studies (until I enter the Ph.d program, that is) I can't help but reminisce on all college has taught me.

Higher education taught me more than the value of carbon compounds, the formula for instantaneous velocity, or how to differentiate an ANOVA analysis.  And although the process of completing and defending my dissertation was painstakingly necessary, it wasn't through this experience that grew me into an adult.

I learned the shortest distance between two points is a straight line (in other words, how to get from Reid to Humphreys the quickest, back in the days when Maple Hill was merely a construction site, and Walmart on Campus was an unknown concept).  I learned which restaurants would deliver to Club Mullins (hello Loafin' Joes and Jimmy Johns), and the best place to 'study' in the library.

I've built relationships with my professors, met their families, and had dinner at their homes.  Things I would have never deemed possible arriving on campus as one of 20,000 students.

I've learned to be a team player rooting for a common cause, be it with 50,000 Razorback fans for a Sugar Bowl Victory (Dang you, OSU) or a class full of students convincing Wavering to let us have class at Orange Mango for the day (Ice Cream always trumps Methods)

I learned the art of democracy as I pleaded my case against my 100th parking ticket, and the structure of our judicial system as I discovered online which of my friends were arrested due to last night's festivities (Note to Self:  Jail Pictures are NEVER flattering).

I've learned about the state of our economy as I paid $60 for a tank of gas, lost my debit card, and pleaded with my Mom to refurbish my depleting bank account.   I've paid way too much for dresses I've worn once, and fully taken pride in the motto 'Keep Fayetteville Funky' as all these local vendors provide student discounts.

I've learned the fire department schedules the most inopportune fire drills (hello shower time), yet never shows up when I set my own fire alarm off in my apartment, but alerts the entire campus when a hazardous chemical goes missing.

I have now become ever the more alert about the weather and even the threat of rain can shut down the entire campus.  However, it's no longer necessary to watch the weather channel seeing as how RazAlert will alert you via Text, Voicemail, and Email any time the meteorologist changes his plans.  Never fear, fellow Razorbacks, Razalert has our backs!

My driving skills have improved (or digressed) as I've now driven in snow, sleet, ice, and flash floods!  I've learned the most efficient way to avoid Fayetteville traffic any time there is an athletic event, concert, marathon, race, or... the Walmart Stockholders decide to visit.  I've set in traffic way too long on Wedington Drive, and celebrated with everyone when they expanded the exit ramp (Thank you, City of Fayetteville, thank you).

I now consider myself a person of Multi cultures, and thoroughly enjoy every holiday.  Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day, Dead Day's Eve.... any reason is a cause for celebration!  My Spanish has improved greatly from eating at Viejo weekly for the past 5 years,  Hunan Manor will always have the best lunch specials, and I now know that being 'Politically Correct' has nothing to do with appeasing people.

I understand the frailty of the human heart, the strength of a woman, and the simplicity of a man's mind.

I've learned how to keep my opinion to myself, how to speak my mind, and to never say 'I told you so'.

I now know how to sneak onto the football field in the wee hours of the morning, sneak boys into Reid past curfew, and steal cookies from the Quads.

I've learned how to conserve resources: stockpiling coupons, waiting until the last possible minute to do laundry, creating fabulous meals out of 5 ingredients, using the oven as a heat source.

I learned exactly how many miles I must run, crunches I must do, and Subway sandwiches I must consume in order to prevent that Freshman 15 from creeping back up.  Along with which trades are totally worth the extra pound (Rick's Cookies, need I say more).

I've embraced my artistic side whether it be decorating ice chests for functions, creating costumes, blogging, or creatively coming up with an excuse for why I missed our last lab of the semester.  I've been the director of some of life's greatest moments, the editor of information need not be leaked to outside public, and the greatest PR rep for my best friends (Yes, she is the best thing you will ever have, and yes you would be stupid to lose her)

I've learned how to walk in 5 in. heels, rain boots, Uggs, and crutches.  I've walked in someone else's shoes, given shoes (Toms, I love you), and worn no shoes.

I've worn bridesmaid dresses, initiation dresses, formal dresses, and dresses to funerals.  I've worn way too skimpy swimsuits for days on the lake, bundled up for the blizzard of the century, worn a cap and gown twice, and worn the weight of my stress on my shoulders too many times to count.

I understand the importance of a great cup of coffee, a strong margarita, and sonic happy hours.  I value the healing powers of a tub of cookie dough, a Cosmo magazine, and a midnight drive to escape the city lights.

I know the value of a great cell phone plan (200,000 text messages a month??), health insurance, and having parents who are never more than a day's drive away.

So thank you University of Arkansas.  Although at times I complained because of your outrageous tuition rates, the hassle of parking on campus, and stupid classes I was forced to take in order to complete my degree, I realize the value of my education isn't found in my degrees, but rather what those degrees stand for.  It these degrees (No matter what concentration they represent)) that symbolize the transition from a teenager to an adult, an dependent to an independent, and selfish to the selfless (Ok, maybe we're still working on that one...).

It's because of this, that everyone says....  College is the best time of your life.

While I like to think it can only get better from here, I do agree that I've had one heck of a college experience.



This is my 6th month old niece.  Who looks like she is two.  My goodness, we are going to have a tall girl on our hands!  



I'm a perfume lover, and tend to collect quite a few.  Let me share my favorites with you...

This smells SO good!  It's my go to winter spray, as it's a little bit heavier than the others.  

As you can tell.. I LOVE DKNY Perfumes.  The Red Delicious one is a great spring/summer perfume.

Of course every girl should have a least something "Juicy" in her wardrobe.  Mine is my perfume.  This is my go to "everyday" perfume.

Any time I want to reminisce about my high school days, I just spray on a little Lucky.  It still smells so good, and is another great every day spray.  It can also be layered with a fun body spray for a night out!

My ultimate favorite... Bond No.9 Astor Place.  Oh my gosh.  This stuff smells SO good and I always get complemented on it when I wear it.  I'm going to warn you, it is pricey.  I tend to save this for only special occasions or date nights :)

I hope you enjoyed and you'll try a new scent next time your at the  department store counter!


Summer MUST Haves

It's true to say that I have a LOT of little beauty secrets.  Blame it on the pageant lifestyle, or growing up in a family of girls... Either way, consider yourself lucky because I'm going to share a few of them.  Including one that I've never shared before, because quite frankly I didn't want anyone else to know about this amazing tip! HA!

First on the list of summer must haves is a good glow.  Now, now, now I would like to think that all of you have recognized the horror of the tanning bed and have turned from your evil ways.   I know, I know its hard...  But let me introduce you to my little friend...

Introducing... the tan towel.  This little thing will become your best friend for when you don't want to go get an airbrush tan.  At only $30 a pack, you can afford to use these every few days!  It's basically fool proof too!

It's just not summertime if you don't have a yummy body wash to bathe with every morning.  Strawberry by The Body Shop is the BEST summer smell!  Smells just like a fresh strawberry patch.

Now we all love lake days, but we don't love the way the lake makes our hair look.  I keep this spray in my beach bag and take it with me everywhere in the summertime.  When I get out of the water I simply comb through my hair with my fingers and spray this in.  It smells Uh-Mazing and leaves my hair with that perfect beachy wave.

Every girl needs a good lipgloss and I'm obsessed with my Laura Mercier ones.  They come in the most fabulous shades, and at only $22 a piece, you can afford to buy more than one!

And now... drum roll please....

My number 1 beauty tip never before shared....

Borghese Splendore.  This stuff is heavenly.  Ever wonder how those models get that perfect glowing skin that makes all their muscles look so precise and lengthens their legs??  It's this little beauty right here.  I learned this trick back in my pageant days, and have been using it ever since when I have a night that I want to look particularly good...ha.  Not gonna lie, this stuff is pretty pricey.  But it lasts FOREVER!  Just take a dab and mix in with your favorite lotion to place on your legs and collar bone!