Category Archives: Daily Grind


You know the over-the-top orderly closet you had a glimpse into the other day? You do not want to see it right now. Piles of shoes, overflowing dirty laundry, awkwardly hanging shirts…you get the idea.

While tripping over that mess I came to the conclusion that my organizational methods were not working. I immediately imagined replacing the boxes with baskets and the baskets with bins, convinced this would solve my problem. Yep, the same methods I just raved about had to go.

Let’s get real. The problem is me, my lack of discipline, my unwillingness to admit and believe I’m not perfect. The problem doesn’t reside in the baskets or boxes or bins.

Organization takes practice; it takes discipline. Practiced discipline. I can’t just put everything in its place once. I’ve tried. I have to repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Practice. Practice. Practice. Those shoes won’t put themselves back. And you know what else? Neither will I without some discipline.

I’m not an expert on organization. I’m just not. However, I am becoming well versed in the magic of discipline.

Practice doesn’t make perfect but it sure builds character, cleaner closets, and I’m currently learning, calmer classrooms.

Do you have a little room for some discipline in your life?


Work In Progress

It feels like everything this month is a work in progress and I’m just trying to hold onto each day for as long as possible.

Speaking of holding onto things…


Apparently not even my donuts are sacred.

Careful Baby, Mama knows how to use those elbows when it counts.

Back to my point… We’re knee deep in an exciting new element for the blog and preparing for an upcoming giveaway! So please excuse our virtual dust today. It’ll all be worth it. Can you say … “Free Brunch”… I know, such a tease.

What about you, itching to finally cross an item off your todo list? Is there fighting over pastries in your house? Would you believe me if I told you I organized my bookshelf by color in honor of Clear the Clutter April? It’s true, I love it, Can’t wait to share!




Amen, brother.




If you listen to the radio, turn on the television, or browse social media then you know SoCal has been a little shaky the past couple days. Or a lot shaky depending on who you talk to.

Hello earthquakes! Thanks for reminding us you still exist.

On Friday evening, I simultaneously realized an earthquake was happening and I have zero safety knowledge. Zero.

“Get under a doorway,” popped into my mind however, I was pretty sure I recently heard this information was void, obsolete, and so last decade. I just stood where I was, halfway through my clean laundry basket and mid-fold wondering why the doorway was no longer the right option. What was the doorway replaced with? Did I have one of whatever it was? I didn’t have the answers.

The feeling of powerlessness was intensified by my lack of knowledge. Not only was my foundation swaying, I had no idea how to respond. It’s one of the most terrible feelings in the world. I’m almost positive.

Naturally, this has been the topic of conversation the past two days. Alarmingly, most people I talked with didn’t have solid answers either. This is bonkers in the age we live in! Sure, I hadn’t googled it, but come on! I’ve lived in SoCal almost my entire life. You’d think I would’ve received the “Updated Earthquake Procedure” memo.

For all you SoCalers (this is now a word), how did you handle the quakes? Did you get the memo I missed? If not, read up here. Find out what that obsolete doorway has been replaced with. You’ll be happy to know you always carry them with you…


Grading Papers

My teaching dreams are coming true. Seriously. Just yesterday I told my students how confident they should be in what they have to say, in what they write and turn in to me. Classrooms full of teenagers ceased talking, texting, and sleeping to listen to me build them up. Are you kidding me? How do I have this opportunity?

Can you imagine if even a handful of students know how to use their words efficiently, positively, uniquely, and with purpose? We’re talking world changers. I spend my days with world changers…

and with those days come nights of grading.


2-2Moxie is a really good paper weight

I spent my first grading session trying to keep track of every student’s precious work, knowing their grades and thus future are literally in my hands. I read grandiose amounts of essays atop piles of paperclips and swarms of staples with pencils behind my ears all while trying to keep track of that oh so magical colored grading pen.

Lots of writing has to happen for students to learn how to write, for teachers to know what needs to be taught, for confidence to be built. All of that writing needs grading, and for maximum confidence to be built in these world changers a whole lot of meaningful comments need to be made.

This process is ta-hy-me consuming.

However, I wouldn’t give it up for all the coffee in the world, and some mornings call for it.

For all of you dream-chasers out there, what caught you by surprise? Is it worth it?


Dogs, Babies and the Doorbell of Doom

Dogs are great. Babies are great. Dogs and Babies together can be great.

Or they can be a FREAKING MESS.

Don’t get me wrong. I love all of our children, fur covered or otherwise. But sometimes you see this…

AB Complete1

And you think, “AWW, I should totally get a dog for my baby.” He or she is missing out on a special relationship.

That might be true, but you know what else your baby is missing out on…

Interrupted naps due to EXTREMELY loud barking, being knocked over when your fur-beast-baby comes hurdling across the floor, and the joy of crawling straight into a water bowl that was oh so easily spilled all over the kitchen floor.

One might ask… “Wow Stesha, Bad Day?”

Yes. Yes it was. Let me paint a picture for you…

It’s been a long day and we’re only approaching 4:00pm. That means we’re AT LEAST two and a half to three hours away from bedtime. Shoot me.

So we eat, that usually solves most problems. Food in mouth. Easy peasy.

And that’s when it happens, my uber cranky baby starts rubbing his eyes. HE’S TIRED! Hallelujah! Can we get a catnap Lord?!

I whisk the sack o’potatoes upstairs and into his crib. He fusses. Maybe no catnap? Fuss. Fuss. Fuss.

…And then… sleep. Glorious, glorious sleep! You don’t realize how much a late afternoon catnap can mean for your evening until you’re talking about your child taking the nap.

He’ll be happy! We can go for a walk after dinner as a family!

I kid you not my head was FULL of rainbows.

Which should have been my first sign that disaster was approaching. Because not five minutes after the Potato fell asleep a LOUD knock resounded from our front door.

Now is an important time to note that we have a very clear little sign hanging OVER our doorbell that says something to the effect of, “Please Don’t Ring, Baby Sleeping” to avoid this type of thing. Now granted, the culprit didn’t ring the doorbell, but really?! a loud knock?! you might as well have rang the doorbell.

And here is where my rant comes full circle. Because you Moms of babies and no dogs or babies and well behaved quiet dogs won’t understand… but Addie lost her crap.

I mean full blown, “I’m going to eat you intruder” barking all the way down the stairwell.

And then the baby starts to scream.

I literally shout, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me – - – - !” Insert a LONG series of expletives here.

Addie goes in her house/crate. I go to the door with the look of pure hatred in my eyes. There had better be a REAL emergency out there. There had better be blood, or a natural disaster, or SOMETHING worth ruining my holy grail of a catnap for.

Do you know who was at my door?

The cable saleswoman.

“Please Lord, help me resist the urge to scream at this woman.”

And just when you think it is over… “Oh that Stesha, she’s just all worked up about a ruined nap” it gets better.

That’s the moment my dear, sweet, fur covered Addie breaks out of her house/crate and goes barreling out the front door towards the now horrified salesperson, still barking like she is GOING TO EAT YOU INTRUDER.

Note, she didn’t actually eat or even touch the saleswomen. But she is a sight to behold when she is in protection mode.

Screaming (at the dog, not the person) ensued. Addie made it back inside. The Saleswoman left unharmed. I resolved to begin dog training again.

It’s a damn good thing they’re cute together.



Crying on the Bathroom Floor

Doubt is part of life. Come on, I know you questioned the existence of Santa Clause. Or if you would ever use geometry outside of the classroom. Or if you really should have ordered the macaroni & cheese over the Cobb salad. Let’s chalk it up to human nature.

I don’t like it. (This is where 4-year-old Lindsey comes to visit.)

In this phase of my life, student teaching, my nature of humanness pops up a whole lot. A little is too much, so I’m practically downing in doubt. Not just any kind of doubt. Self-doubt. An imposter dressed as truth, self-doubt is the strongest. The fact that I don’t like anything hard became clear during Fit February and honestly, it’s pretty clear during  Money Money March too. Take the previous two facts and I have quite a predicament. I don’t like doing things that are hard and it’s freakin’ hard to fight self-doubt.

This is where I end up crying on the bathroom floor during my lunch break. Picture big alligator tears and a public high school bathroom. Gross, right? Yep. It was the grossest to my skin and heart.

During those bathroom floor moments I planned to leave campus immediately, drop out of graduate school, and become a server. Actually, first I was going to buy (and eat) a box of donuts. That was my best thinking as I let the bathroom wall catch my back and I proceeded to involuntarily slide down to the floor. I had a front row seat of my breakdown, directly in front of the mirror. Alligator tear crying is not attractive. Neither is eating an entire box of donuts, but I’ve been there too.

Thankfully I’ve survived an entire week without following through on my (now looking back) terrible plan. My head has cleared. The situation is dissolving. Feelings are not facts but they sure feel like ‘em most of the time. My plans tend to verge on the crazy side. However, other people come up with some pretty genius stuff. My plan to overcome my crazy plans is to find those words, the genius words of others, during my moments of self-doubt.

This is how it looked last week:

Me: you should quit student teaching
Others: you are a teacher and no one is asking you to leave, trust the opinions of professionals

Me: drop out of graduate school immediately
Others: just take one step at a time and your professors believe in your abilities

Me: get a serving job
Others: you’ve worked really hard to get where you are and you’re a young professional, keep going

Me: buy and eat a box of donuts
Others: food only solves hunger (I really wish this one was a lie)

After struggling a bit, the words of others brought me back to life. I finished out the day strong and participated in my class that night. I remembered that feelings aren’t facts because someone else took the time to pass on what had helped them in this big messy battle of self-doubt.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time and care to speak words of truth and life into my world. They literally have made all the difference.

Words speak life or death. We choose which one. What are your words speaking?



A Birthday Wish

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a very important message…

LINDSEY We love you oodles and oodles. Here’s to a great day and an even better year!

Love From,


You’re My Favorite Part of Everyday

I freaking love Valentines Day.

There are a lot of naysayers out there, (including my otherwise uber awesome husband who only tolerates the “holiday” because it makes me so happy) but here, in our house, B and I are breaking out the glitter, chocolate and extra kisses. At least until he is old enough to be too cool for Mom.

Who doesn’t want another day to celebrate the ones we love?

Eat a chocolate heart, call your mother, buy a stranger’s coffee, write a letter to our troops, celebrate an olympian’s victory or make a donation to your favorite charity. It’s not hard to spread love, you just have to step up and do it.

Oh and if you’re looking for a Valentine, the Potato has a message for you…


Yes, I’m completely aware that he’ll be hating me in 15+ years when I display this EVERY. SINGLE. FEBRUARY.

Deal with it kid. You can’t disown your Mother (even if she is a walking craft closet).

Speaking of, here are some of the ways we’re including a little VDay love into our routine:


 A heart made of Puffs, horrifically addictive Dove Chocolates, A small heart shaped pillow, wonderful valentines from family and friends.


 B’s Valentine gifts from Mama and Dado, some new board books, his favorite.


Can we get a whoop whoop for the dollar section at Target?


 Valentine’s Nails, Essie Style, My Favorite!


The Valentines B made for his cousins. They’re not old enough for coffee, but they are old enough for hot coco. What kid doesn’t feel super cool with their own Starbucks card?

In case you were wondering, our romantic Valentines plans include an evening in with homemade pizza and delicious beer.

There isn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.


A Birthday for Boo


If I sit and shake can I eat my cake?

I love New Years Day. I love the Rose Parade. I love having my husband home. I love hanging out in my pajamas. It’s just freaking awesome.

But Five Years ago something made New Year’s Day extra special. My Addie Boo.

After having Lexus, our Yorkshire Terrier, for four years Ryan was ready for a big “man” dog. Someone to run outside with, play frisbee, be majestic. You know, a guy’s best friend. Not some fluffy lap dog.

ha. ha. ha.

So Ryan found Addie. Born on a cold, cold New Year’s Day on a farm in Southern Utah. She was perfect. A farm dog – she’d love to run and play. An Australian Shepard – she’d be a BIG dog (at least by our standards) with a gorgeous long flowing coat.

ha. ha.

So we waited until she was old enough to join our little family. Friends of ours were driving up to Utah to pick up her sister, so they offered to bring Addie back too. When we got to their house to pick up our new furry bundle she was all ready running around the yard … she had her nose into EVERYTHING. Perfect! A real outdoor dog!



And then we brought her home. And she cried. And she cried. And she cried.

My poor Boo was so sad, and so lonely. She wasn’t interested in us at all. She hated her crate. She wanted her Momma. Now that I’m a Mom it breaks my heart to think of Baby Boo… all alone with these strange people.

At night we tried treats in her crate, otherwise known as her “house”. We gave her a heated beanbag to feel like there was something to cuddle with, we added extra blankets, toys, etc.  After three LONG nights of crying Boo and frustrated Ryan I did what any reasonable person would do. Since we have a strict no puppy on the bed policy, I pulled her crate right up against my side and slept with my fingers stuck through the door of her house. She FINALLY slept. The crying stopped.

I should have realized it then. This sweet, sweet girl is a lot of things, but she’s definitely not a “manly” dog. She’s petite, less than half the weight of what a normal Australian Shepard typically is. She has a short working class coat, bye bye majestic beast. She LOVES to cuddle with you on your lap and genuinely believes she fits. She’s timid, easily scared and super jumpy.

But she’s also incredibly loyal (have you seen her with her tiny human?!). She’s LOUD, no one is sneaking up on this house. Addie is so smart and was by far the easiest dog we’ve ever had to train. She LOVES to run, fetch, and jump. And above all else she brings us so much joy by being her perfectly sensitive self.


 No, I didn’t let her eat the whole thing.

Eventually I was able to sleep with my arm back on the bed. Addie grew out of her crate and now sleeps on a dog bed/”pillow” on the other side of our room. But every night at bedtime she comes to my side of the bed. I’ll scratch her head, she licks my fingers then heads back to her pillow to sleep. My girl just loves to be loved.

So Happy 5th Birthday Addie Boo. Thank you for being the sweetest ever. We love you.