Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Top 10

I've seen this on several blogs lately, so thought I would join in//

  1. Any restaurant on the water will be my choice. The water is my happy place and I love it so much. Add dinner to the mix, I'm in heaven.
  2. I'm currently on a smoothie kick. Apparently I live under a rock and have just discovered how delicious and healthy they can be.
  3. Currently trying to adjust to Drew working out of town Monday-Thursday. Stinks that I'm on summer break but I have to remember how grateful I am for his job. Even though I miss him and Copper waits at the door every afternoon.
  4. Reading "Hissy Fit" by Mary Kay Andrews right now and it is hilarious. 
  5. Trying to wake-up early and run (still on the post-vacation detox/diet)--so far I've surprised myself at how well this is going. Got to keep this up!
  6. It might by almost July but I still can't ditch my comfy pj pants at night. They are my comfort zone.
  7. Been OCD since off for summer and have totally rearranged the kitchen cabinets and it makes me feel so happy. Seriously, what is wrong with me?!
  8. "The Fray" channel on Pandora. Can't get enough.
  9. When Drew is in town on the weekends we cram in as much of "Orange is the New Black" as humanly possible. So dang good!
  10. Once of my favorite parts of summer is spending time at home. And if you know me at all you know how much I LOVE our dog and he has been such good company in this quiet house. Also, he helps me get motivated to run. I just love him so much!!! (also love that he tries to over use his new high five trick to anyone he sits next to)

The best fur child we could have!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

{Tasty Tuesday} Summer Brew

This time of year makes us want to be outside as much as possible!
We love being out on the deck grilling, enjoying sun at the lake, or just tossing around a game of Corn Hole. 
With all this outside time we love this perfect and refreshing summer brew.

I mix it all in a pitcher or make several batches and put it in this mason jar jug with a spout.
So easy and it is ALWAYS a favorite. 
Just mix in your favorite light beer, one container of frozen lemonade, use the empty lemonade container to fill up with water, then fill the same lemonade container with vodka (or three quarters). 
I will make about 3 batches like this when we have about 6 people over.
The good thing is that it is so easy to make more, just pour and stir!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Why Teachers Earn Summer Break

First, I love teaching.
I truly feel God's will for my life was for me to teach. 
Maybe I will teach for 30+ years or he might have other plans, but in the meantime this is without question what I am supposed to do.
With teaching comes a less than impressive salary but the rewards and great feeling I get knowing that my students are growing brings an amount of joy that fills my heart in a way money cannot. 


Teaching is a very demanding job with lots of meetings (half completely unnecessary), unrealistic achievement standards set by higher officials who have never taught, copy machines that jam regularly (really, this drives us crazy), parents (some not involved, some over involved, and then some awesome ones in-between), the constant crunch of data, graphing the data you crunched, then planning in a way that will make the data (that is not blurry because you looked at it so much) improve. 
All while loving your students and trying to make it fun in a great loving environment where everyone feels supported, safe, and happy.

Lately, I've been catching alot of comments like, "Wow, must be nice to have four months off." 
Note: it is actually less than 8 weeks. Plus training during this time.
Or some people say, "Teachers have it made, you work 8-3 then have all the breaks." 
Then the comment that makes me want to punch someone, "I don't know why teachers complain, they are off half the year and get paid to play."

Given I know most of the comments are said with the intention of being just a light hearted comment,
but this teacher is over it. 
I would love for the people who think teachers have all this time off to know that this time is for us to regain a normal life for a few weeks. To maintain ourselves, our homes, and our families. August- May we put our students needs first, sometimes without even realizing it because the heart of a teacher is to care for your students.

To the people who feel we work 8-3 they are so terribly mistaken.
First, I usually work half an hour at home BEFORE getting to school around 7:15.
Then I usually leave school by 4:00 to come home, let the dog out, and spend a few minutes with my husband and vent about my day.
(sorta joking)
Then as I'm cooking dinner, I set up "teacher camp" at the table.
After dinner I grade, put grades in the grade book, plan, respond to parent e-mails, etc.
Once this part is done I usually sit down with Drew where normally I continue to grade "one more" set of papers. Then bed.
So yes, I did have great "hours" at work but my job didn't start or end there.
Over the weekend I usually spend at least an hour or two tweaking my plans and making sure everything is set for the week. 

Over the summer most teachers will work in the classroom some because the days set aside by the school to do this is packed full of meetings and we actually don't get much time. We also have training and professional development over the summer. So no, I just don't sit around and do nothing.

In the summer I make up for the busy month of May that every teacher experiences.
(well busy all year, but May is exhausting)
I enjoy cooking dinners and actually sitting and enjoying time with my husband without my clipboard and a stack of papers to grade.
The house is cleaned and reorganized where it had been neglected.
Most importantly, spend time with my family and friends.

I wouldn't trade my job for anything.
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to teach my kiddos.
I also enjoy having these few weeks to recharge.
So to the next person who wants to throw out some remarks about summer break,
you come do my job and see if you need a break!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Five {vacation recap}

Drew and I just got back from Mexico after celebrating our first anniversary last week.
We had an amazing time and I'd already love to go back.
We stayed with a resort chain called Secrets and will definitely book with them again.
Here are my five favorite things about this amazing resort//

We stayed at Secrets Rivera Maya Capri location.
This resort was absolutely beautiful.
Loved how everything was close- restaurants, bars, beach, pool, our room.
Also, the place is spot less. The staff work so very hard at making sure everything is perfect at all time. 
Loved spending time around this beautiful resort.

//two// and //three//
First, notice the sweet man in the yellow shirt.
Weather you were at the pool or the beach servers with a smile to bring you constant drinks or snacks. This also keeps any crowd from forming around the bar. Talk about feeling like a queen, laying by the beach with guacamole and a frozen drink brought right to you. Also, the cute umbrellas/tikki like shade just feet from the teal ocean--love it. Drew is more faired skinned than I am so this was wonderful. The chairs were also great and they always had fresh towels ready to go. Really, I love this place.

This was our first meal we had, a lunch that was amazing after flying all morning.
Also, the only food pic I have. Pictures couldn't do the food justice. Everything was amazing. Each morning we would have a great breakfast that would pretty much keep us full till dinner. Dinner was outstanding every night, my favorite meal being a beef tenderloin that I ordered that I used a butter knife to cut. The staff would have a big lunch spread by the pool and beach each day and grill out. Also, Secrets offers free 24/7 room service. We only used this once and it was great, we just liked going to the restaurants more. 

When we did have room service we ate outside on our patio and had the cutest little visitors.
They were so gentle and enjoyed some toast with us.

The beaches were beautiful.
The food was delicious.
The drinks, endless.
But without question, my favorite part was spending time just hanging out with Drew. We spend time together at home, but we are busy all the time it seems. So to actually hang out with nothing to do was so nice. We will have to make a point to get away just the two of us at least once each year. Maybe not always to a resort, but just to spend quality time together. Loved every minute just relaxing and enjoying time with hubby.

(as in typical Michelle fashion, STILL haven't uploaded the pics from our camera, so these are still from my phone. #slacker)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vacation Favorites

Vacation Favorites

Vacation Favorites by mkirons featuring Mossimo

We are back!!!
Mexico was amazing, we had one of the best trips yet!
Tomorrow I'll be posting more about it. I still haven't uploaded my camera but can't wait to see the pictures.
We woke a bit after 2:00 am on Wednesday and had a red eye flight and landed in paradise by lunch.
Since this was my second trip to Mexico I new a bit of what to pack.
Here are some of my favorite items from this past week!
//The Tarte powder is my new favorite make-up product. It goes on in about 2.5 seconds, good coverage but not like a heavy foundation. (and great for traveling)
//Loved using my Vera tote that I got from a sweet student, I also carried a mini make-up bag with me for touch ups and a larger bag with all my other goodies in my checked bag.
//I love mix-and-match swimsuits. A few pieces, several options! Love it!
//Cannot say enough about Ocean Potion After Sun Lotion (say it 5x fast!) it makes my skin feel good, smells fresh, and keeps my tan longer I swear.
//The Hawaiian Tropics sunscreen line is my favorite. Keeps me protected and I still can get some sun. Also love the lip balm since lips can dry out so fast in the sun.
//Love a good hat to keep the sun out of my face and protect my hair. Usually the wind was a bit much for a hat but I wore it when I could.
//Finally, with all that sunscreen I was grateful to clean my face good at night. The Clearasonic keeps my face fresh and clean.

Here's a few pics from our Anniversary-Moon

Monday, June 2, 2014

One Year Anniversary

This Sunday marked our one year as Mr. & Mrs. Irons.
I'm sure everyone says this, but I can't believe it has already been a year. 
I remember being so excited and anxious a year ago.
Sitting with my best friends and talking as we spent all day getting ready and sipping coffee.
Then that feeling I got when the Wedding March played, the doors opened, everyone stood,  and I walked with my Dad and seeing Drew.
Truly a moment I'll never forget and took my breath away. 
I loved our wedding day but can honestly say I have loved this past year more.

During this past year I feel our house has really become a home.
We have grown within our personal faith as well as grow together.
We've grown to love being home and appreciate a nice evening together even if it nothing planned or "special."
I've learned we won't always get along or agree on everything.
But that's okay.
We've learned to work that out and move on together. 
Sometimes alone time is needed, and that's okay too.

  This past year has been wonderful and I feel more in love today than I have in any of the five years we've been together. I'm very excited for what the future has in store and thank God for the blessing of marriage. 

Since I'm a total sap and love traditions, we just HAD to have our cake topper.

Props to my mother-in-law for wrapping our cake while we were honeymooning.
One roll of plastic wrap followed by one roll of foil then sealed with duct tape.
The cake tasted AMAZING!! 
We shared some with our families and we all couldn't get over how great it was.

We decided to have a nice dinner at home instead of go out.
I cooked chicken spaghetti, which was the very first dinner I ever made Drew when we were in college. 
Also, we had a bottle of wine that we had saved from our wedding.

Nothing fancy, but everything special.
We leave bright and early Wednesday to go celebrate our one year in Mexico.
We are staying at the same resort chain we honeymooned with but in another location.
Looking forward to relaxing, sipping, and scuba diving at some new places!
I know not every year we will celebrate like this but we made it a priority to go back at least one more time together just the two of us. 

Looking forward to a great week with my hubby and many more years together!!