On Thankfulness…

It’s November… which means the “attitude of gratitude” is swirling through the air as much as the beautiful fall leaves… So I thought I would join the rest of the world and tell you something I am thankful for.

Me… I’m thankful for zits. That’s right. Zits.

You see, I’m a middle school teacher… Which makes me heroic in some people’s eyes, and certifiably insane in others. I kind of hope I’m a healthy combination of the two. You know what’s great about middle schoolers? They are hilarious. And needy. And (somewhat) independent. Which makes them my most perfect audience. Plus, they have zits! And so do I!

And call me crazy, but I make an effort to not cover up these “badges of honor” aka humiliating, red bumps from the pits of Hell, when I show up to work. Why? Because middle school sucks. It is literally the worst! You are insecure, hormonal, trying to figure out who you are, feeling left out, balancing school, sports, and a million other things, PLUS you have ZITS! And they just amplify the horror that you feel every day. (If you had a pleasant middle school experience, stop reading this. Seek a great therapist, and they will help you understand that you’ve really just been lying to yourself. Because middle school is miserable for everyone.)

So… back to my zits. I don’t try to cover them up when I head into work. I like to let my zit-flag fly. Because I hope/pray that maybe some of my kids think that I am a pretty respectable human being, and maybe even want to be like me when they grow up, and will notice that I TOO have zits! Still! And I’m ok! Happy about it? Not really. But definitely not ashamed. And I think today that kids are taught to feel shame. And that is disgustingly wrong.

I think there is a fine line between the “we give trophies to everyone no matter what place you got” crowd and the “telling your kid if you ain’t first you’re last” crowd. I want my students to work hard. I want them to know that if they work hard their hard work will be rewarded… just like in the real world. And sometimes that means that you make an A on your quiz, and other times it means you bombed your quiz but learned that you cannot, in fact, study well while watching Miley twerk. A win-win. I don’t hand out freebies, because neither does the real world. What I do try to hand out every day at work is some love, some understanding, some laughs, and if I’m lucky, some knowledge. But I think the most powerful knowledge that someone can impart on another human being is that we are all in this together… zits and all… and that our imperfections are what really bind us together… because perfect is boring.

Weekend Wrap Up, Fun Friday, and Everything Inbetween

I just don’t know where the last 2 weeks went… Got to go see T.Swift with my sister, take a day trip to Memphis with Chip and Annie to celebrate one of our favorite family members and her upcoming wedding, started the home renovation, caught CinderAnnie sweeping the porch, yada yada yada. And then fall TV started back up. Oh glorious day! And so I just was a bad blogger. Sorry ’bout that. But here are a lot of pictures to make up for it!

Kelli and I at Taylor Swift’s concert

Memphis bound with the coolest baby I know

CinderAnnie hard at work

Cheering on the Rebs with some of our greatest friends

“Mommy’s shoes!”

Kitchen sans apple wallpaper and in need of a lot of love

kitchen updated with paint and a lot left to go!

Weekend Wrap Up

Guys. I really think fall has arrived… for real this time. PLEASE GOD LET ME BE RIGHT!!! I love summer as much as the next person. In fact, as a teacher, I would say I love summer MORE than the next person… but once school starts, summer is dead to me. So bring on the PSL’s, changing leaves, cooler temps, and of course, football!

We had a pretty great weekend around here. It started off with Husband becoming all famous on us and being on TV Thursday night. (Technically my weekends start on Thursdays…) Chip got to be on the local television station to talk about Ducks Unlimited and their upcoming banquet that he and his buddies have planned for this Thursday night! You should go. And buy your tickets here– hey! it’s a tax deduction! and fun!


Get your autographs while you can!

On Friday, the Baby and I had our #funfriday adventures… and it was super fun… until I got puked on. Yep. That happened. And then Husband and Best Friend cleaned puke up off the floor while I cuddled Babycakes and continued to get puked on. It was the saddest. But also the sweetest moment- I hope you have friends and family that love you enough to clean up your baby’s puke.

Saturday we watched a whole lotta football, which unfortunately involved UT’s worst loss since 1910… dang. But we overcame that defeat by spending a lot of time outside in the amazing weather and drinking some Sonic drinks and taking one of our pups on a car ride, where Chip decided to style poor Lola’s hair.


Lola rockin’ some doggy buns

Sunday we played hooky from church since we weren’t sure if Friday’s puke fest was a fluke and we just can’t stand when people bring sick babies to the nursery and get all the other babies sick. We enjoyed some amazing weather again and blinked and the weekend was over! Can’t wait for the next one!

Wrecking the Routine

You know what’s awkward? Figuring out how to start a blog post. But here’s the deal… sometimes life is just awkward, so onward I write! We have a lot going on in the Wooten world, and I want to actually do a great job of chronicling our journey through life. As a (mostly) stay at home mom, I have found it very easy to get stuck in a routine. Wake up. Change baby’s diaper. Watch Mickey Mouse. Make pancakes. Go to YMCA. Play outside. Fix lunch. Put down for nap. Do laundry+lesson plan+clean+try to catch up on sleep+solve all the world’s problems (all to be done in 3 hours or less), color, other typical toddler activities. And ya know what? It’s time to wreck that routine. And that’s certainly happening around here.

In August,  I started a new job, where I am lucky enough to only have to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wahoo! It has proven to be a lot more work than actually just showing up on Tuesdays/Thursdays (the joys of teaching, right?) but I am still so thankful to be able to be home with our sweet girl most days of the week.


On top of starting a new job, raising a toddler, being a wife, friend, sister, daughter, etc., we just bought a house! That we are going to renovate! I think we are just a little bit crazy. Ok… I know we are crazy. In the midst of all this work, home buying, parenting, etc. I have found myself feeling very anxious and clinging to scripture reminding myself that I can’t do it alone- and that I don’t have to. AMEN.

Because of the craziness of my “part time” job, I have also found myself in “lala land” and have not been feeling very present in the day to day. I realized this upon hearing at Bible study this week “what are you doing today that will still be waiting on you? because your kids won’t be.” OUCH. You mean my iPhone doesn’t have to be glued to my hand? The world will still go on if I don’t know everything happening via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.? I was definitely convicted. 

One way I’ve decided to be more present is my implementing FUN FRIDAY around here. That means ZERO work for me on Fridays. No responding to work emails. No lesson planning. No nothing. So in honor of our inaugural FUN FRIDAY, babycakes and I headed to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, basked in the glorious fall weather we are experiencing today by heading to the park, and even checked out the new house!

nothing better than chasing your own shadow

Hope y’all have a fun Friday too!