Friday, February 15, 2013

Our Love Story

To say that our love story is unconventional would probably be an understatement. Most people don't really ask how Grady and I met - so I'm not sure how many people actually know.

The truth is, Grady and I met online. That's probably not shocking to the people that really know me considering how many of my closest friends are people I originally met "online," but that's not the point. We met on a dating website called OkCupid.

I had my account for quite some time and I logged on one day to close it because I was tired of getting e-mail alerts about it. On a whim, I decided to check my matches one last time and I noticed Grady. I don't know what made me message him (especially since I was logging on to delete my account), but I did it anyway. Before either of us really knew what hit us, we were having a full on conversation and we wound up exchanging numbers within a few hours of first interacting.

From there, it was all pretty fast and furious. We met in person (Grady was so persistent) on October 9th. It was a short meeting; he was waiting for his class to start and I was on my way home from a long day at work. Grady says that the moment he saw me..he knew I was the one. If I'm being honest, I don't remember what my very first reaction was but I do remember being insanely nervous! Right away we were completely comfortable with one another. As corny as it sounds; it really did feel like we had known one another our entire lives. Those first few days were like being in high school all over again! We'd spend all day texting and we'd spend hours on the phone at night talking. I'm not sure how two people can talk so much and not run out of things to say, haha.

On October 13th I headed out to Ransom Canyon to see him at his house. It was almost sunset and he was going to dinner with his family for his sister's birthday, but we decided to drive over to the Ransom Canyon Memorial Chapel to sit and talk. That's where, after only 4 days of "knowing" one another, Grady told me that he loved me and asked me to be his girlfriend.

It might throw most people off to be told by a guy who, just four days ago, was a stranger that he loves you. But not me! I said it right back to him without even the slightest hesitation and from that moment on we were basically inseparable.

We've changed so much since that chance meeting 16 months ago. We've grown as individuals and as a couple and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us. I'm so blessed to have found the one my soul loves.

I'm Back!

 So many things have happened since the last time I wrote and I can't believe I fell right back off the blogging wagon again. I should be napping right now. I said should because we had a wild and crazy day in kindergarten (for some reason our Valentine's Day parties were yesterday - so the kids were on a sugar high all day today) and I'm ALWAYS beyond exhausted on Friday afternoons. But as I got ready to crawl right into bed and settle in for that much needed nap..the inspiration to write just hit me!

I want to be able to look back on this blog years from now and remember every single thing that happens during one of the most exciting times of my life. I need to be better about writing! Even if nobody else ever reads one thing I write here - this is something that I need to do for myself.

I guess the most exciting thing is that I GOT ENGAGED. I cannot even begin to describe how excited/blessed/stressed/overwhelmed I feel about 99% of the time, but I cannot wait until the day that I get to marry the love of my life. I have a post in mind about how we met and I have another post all about wedding planning, so I'll save the engagement story for later. But it was perfect. It was so far from what I imagined in my head but if I could go back and change it - I wouldn't!

Kindergarten is flying by! I can't believe all of the things my sweet little ones can do and I know that May will be here before I know it and I'll have to send them off to 1st grade. I was definitely blessed with a great class and as exhausting as they can sometimes be, Ms. Selmon sure will miss them when it's finally time to say goodbye.

Recently I started "leading" TurboFire classes at my sister's school (my second school-home!) Ramirez. I said "lead" because really we just play the DVD and if people need extra help with the steps then we pause it and I break it down for them. It's so much fun! Even when nobody else shows up - it gives me extra motivation to work that much harder. I don't technically "lead" classes at my school, but I do do Turbo in my classroom every Tuesday after school if any of my McWhorter friends are reading this and want to join in. ;) Gotta get in shape before the cruise and before engagement pictures and wedding dress shopping this summer! If we're being totally honest, I should be working out right now instead of blogging (or napping, like I'd originally planned) but I'll just get in a double workout tomorrow and call it even.

I'm an aunt now! Love my sweet little nugget (that's my nickname for her) Mariah. She was stubborn as heck before she got here..but she definitely waited for Aunt KiKi and KK to get back to the hospital before she made her appearance. Don't believe me? The night before she was born we headed back to Lubbock because we had school the next day. As we left, we patted Kyndra's belly and I said "Don't come out before we get here!" The next day comes and all day we'd been getting text updates about when she was expected to make her grand entrance. Kayla and I were so worried we'd miss it! But we got through the school day and got back to Amarillo and not even 10 minutes after we got to the hospital - Mariah was born! It's also worth nothing that she LOVES to sleep for her favorite aunties and is always sure to give Mommy and Daddy a hard time once we come back home. ;)

So that's it! Not too long of a post after a hiatus that lasted a few months - but this is my promise (to myself) to start blogging more. Up next..our love/engagement story and WEDDING PLANS! 7/26/'s happening, people. ;)

Until then!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Goodbye 23...

..hello 24! I really cannot believe that tomorrow I'll be 24 years old. I don't FEEL 24. One of my sweet kindergarten babies promised she'd still love me even when I was old "like 26" and quickly followed up by telling me how beautiful I am.

As excited as I am to see what my 24th year has in store..I'm pretty sad to see 23 go! A quick recap (not in order) of the most important things 23 had to offer:

  • I met the love of my life. How many people can say this happened to them at the age of 23? Blessed to say I can!
  • Just a few days after turning 23 last year, I had my wisdom teeth taken out. Quite an adventure!
  • I spent my 23rd year co-teaching in pre-k at Ramirez. Such a great school!
  • I lost 40 pounds and completely changed my lifestyle.
  • I bought my very own brand new (2013) car with no help from anyone. 
  • I got my first official teaching job as a kindergarten teacher! It still feels weird to say that I have a career now..and not just a job.
  • I had one of the best weeks of my entire life on the NKOTB cruise with my sister Kayla and our sister from a Canadian mister, Julia. Meeting all of the guys, dancing until the sun came up, and making new friends were more fun than I ever could have imagined. Can't wait to do it all over again in May!
  • I got to spend 2 wonderful weeks with my best friend in the entire world - Emma. She lives in Belgium and I don't get to see her very often, so those 2 weeks were definitely a highlight in my 23rd year. The best part? She's spending TWO MONTHS here this summer. TWO MONTHS. We're already counting down the days.
  • Chef Patrick came to visit and made lots of yummy food for us! We'll pretend everything he made for us was low in calories. ;)
  • I got an autograph from my hero, J.K. Rowling. I owe her so much. She also wrote "with lots and lots of love" to me. Just saying.
  • I watched (proudly) as America re-elected President Obama. 
  • I found out that I'm going to be an Aunt in 2013.
  • I became a runner. Yes, the girl who used to fake ankle injuries to get out of running in athletics is now a runner by choice. I only do 10-ish miles a week so far..but I'm working on it!
  • I watched one of my sweet college friends get married. If that doesn't make you feel old, I'm not sure what will!
  • I lost a few friends...but gained even better ones. 
  • I saw too many movies and spent way too much money - but wouldn't trade it for the world. 
  • I became a better version of myself.
I know there were more exciting things that happened in the past year..but those are definitely the memories that stand out the most. If 24 is half as good as 23..I'm in for another incredible year.

23 summed up in pictures:

Blessed doesn't even begin to cover it. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I am proud of a lot of things. I'm proud of my country for voting YES on equality and NO on hate. I'm proud of how far we've come in 4 years (though I realize how much further we still have to go). I'm proud of myself and so many of the people I love for standing up for what we all believe in and not backing down - but doing it RESPECTFULLY. I'm proud of our President. I'm proud of my boyfriend for voting for the first time.

..but as much pride as this election filled me with, it also filled me with sadness. Sadness because of all of the hate that came out of the woodwork. I saw more racism this year than I had in 2008 - and the fact that people with these beliefs are still so prevalent just breaks my heart. I'm sad that people still can't seem to disagree without being disrespectful and hateful about it. People aren't "trash" just because they disagree with you. Not every person voted for Obama just because he is black. Democrats aren't, by definition, any more lazy than any other political party out there. People that voted Democrat aren't stupid and lazy. Hanging an effigy of the President from a noose isn't making a statement - it's ignorant and racist. Disagree if you  must...but do it without insulting others.

I'm often asked what made me vote for President Obama. Do I agree with him on 100% of the things he stands for? No. When I cast my ballot for President Obama, I was voting for the rights of women and LGBTQ people everywhere. Every American deserves the freedom of choice and every American deserves equality. Would I ever get an abortion? Absolutely not. Does that mean I have the right to tell another woman, DESPITE HER CIRCUMSTANCES, what she can and cannot do to a body that is not mine? Absolutely not. Am I gay? No, but many of the people that I love the most are. What they do in their house behind closed doors does not directly impact my life - so what right do we have to tell them that they can't get married? In the year 2012, civil rights shouldn't even be voted on.  He passed monumental health care legislation that so many presidents before him had tried with no success. He got rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell; a terrible piece of legislation that denied gays the right to be themselves and hurt civil rights. His first act in office was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which gives fair pay to women, minorities, and the disabled. Was his first term in office perfect? No, but a lot of the blame cannot fall on him. With the House being controlled by Republicans, I do think he was been beaten and backed into a corner by those who want to see him fail. He may not have changed the whole world in four years, but what he has done cannot - and SHOULD NOT - be understated.

The majority of America wanted President Obama to continue his presidency. That's it. He won the electoral college and he won the popular vote. Those are the facts. You're not going to leave the country, so stop threatening to (plus, you'd be hard pressed to find another one that actually agrees with your views). Regardless of who is in the White House and what he stands for - Americans should ALL support the office. As President Obama said on election night: "We are an American family and we rise and fall as one nation and as one people."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


A twofer! I meant to add this to the end of the post I made earlier today..but I forgot once I started writing and then once I remembered I decided to just make a completely new post.

It's no secret that I've been on a weight loss journey for the past year. I've lost around 45 pounds and I'm so incredibly proud of how far I've come. I fell off of the wagon a little during the first few weeks of school (adjusting from a summer schedule to waking up at 5:15am and then dealing with 24 little bodies all day took a lot out of me!). I'm back on track and am LOVING every minute of it. Friday morning at 4:30am, I'll start week 9 of the Couch to 5K program. I cannot believe that after 3 more runs..I'll be a C25K graduate! I'm so proud of myself.

I also recently purchased a Polar FT7 heart rate monitor and I'm beginning to kick myself for waiting so long to get one. It's so incredibly gratifying to know EXACTLY how many calories I'm burning (as opposed to just estimating like I had been with MyFitnessPal) and it's also done a great job of motivating me to workout longer and harder to try to burn more calories than I did the day before.

This was from my very first run with my heart rate monitor (which was the beginning of week 8 in C25K). I had no idea I was working that hard during each run and was definitely underestimating my caloric burn. 

I really can't believe I'm on the downward side of this whole weight loss thing. When I started this journey, I know I was just as skeptical as everyone else. It's incredibly shocking to look back at pictures of myself from even a year ago and remember how pretty I thought I was. I definitely look better 40 pounds lighter! This week I'm going to sample some Shakeology shakes to see if I like them and as soon as I finish C25K I'm going to start running for DISTANCE and not just I'll be able to go (hopefully) go faster. Who'd have thought I'd turn into a runner?!

So much has changed and I'm excited to see what else will change in the future. LIVING HEALTHY! 


It is TRULY insane that we're already in the middle of October, that I've been a teacher for more than 6 weeks, and that Grady and I have officially been together for over a year. So much has happened in the past few weeks and I haven't done a very good job (at all!) of keeping this thing updated.

When the school year started, the three English kindergarten classrooms at my school (mine included) had 24 and 25 students in them. It was complete chaos! Making sure everyone had a chance to go to the bathroom, managing centers and teacher groups, keeping hands to self when sitting on the carpet, walking down the hall - EVERYTHING was a huge production. Thankfully, our campus was given permission to hire a new kindergarten teacher and the process didn't take very long at all. My classroom shrank from 24 to 22 (two kids moved away the week we heard we'd be getting a new teacher) to 17! I went from having 6 kids at every table to having 4 kids at every table (one table has 5). We all got new spots on the carpet and we actually have some wiggle room! I went from doing 6 centers for ELAR to only doing 5 and still having no more than 4 kids in each center. I do miss the kids that went to the other class, but it's completely amazing how much our classroom dynamic changed once there were fewer bodies in the room.

On the subject of's amazing to see how much my sweet kinder babies have changed in just 6 weeks. I still have 11 kids that tested in Tier 3 (that labels them all as "at risk"), but even those friends have improved SO MUCH! We do lots and lots of singing and dancing and moving in my room. I'm sure the people across the hall and next door thing we're loud and crazy - but we're learning so much more than we ever would if we sat still and stayed quiet. Our new favorite thing is to learn a new Koo Koo Kangaroo (you can look them up on Youtube!) song once a week. It's like Zumba for kids and they LOVE it. It's a great way to get energy out since we don't always have time for recess.

I really can't believe that we're already halfway through October. Next month I'll turn 24 and then the holiday season will be here! I'm also counting down the days until May (NKOTB cruise part two...woohoo!) and until June when my very best friend in the entire world comes to stay with Kayla and I for the entire summer. For those that don't know, my best friend's name is Emma and she lives all the way in Belgium! We talk non-stop all day, every day (thanks, iMessage) but we only get to see one another once a year. It totally doesn't seem like it's been 4 months since she was last here, but I suppose it's a good thing that time is flying!

And for my last bit of exciting information..Grady and I have officially been together for 1 year (and 4 days)! I still remember our first date and how quickly we fell for one another. It all seems so long ago. I'm truly blessed to have him in my life and even on my worst days - believe me, there are plenty - he loves me. I could go on and on about him like I have before, but I won't. Everyone that knows me knows how much happier I've been since he and I started dating and I think it's pretty evident that he's my soulmate. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him. :)

This is the first picture that I can find of us. It's from New Years Eve 2011. We'd been dating for just about 2.5 months at this point.

This one was taken right before Valentine's Day 2012 - almost 4 months together!

This was my very favorite picture of us until recently. We took it out at Ransom Canyon in May (6 months!). I kind of hate taking pictures, so it took us about 50 shots to get one that I liked, haha.

And this one is from last week! Right before we went out to dinner to celebrate our first anniversary. :)

And that's all she wrote! Life isn't exactly exciting - but I'm loving every minute of it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Wow! It's hard to believe school has been in session for about a month already. My kids and I are finally starting to settling into a routine and it's all becoming easier. Having 23 little ones has been such a challenge! There's just not enough space in our classroom and not enough patience in this teacher for so many 5 year olds confined into one space. Fortunately for us, we found out on Friday afternoon (perfect timing!) that our school has been given the go-ahead to begin the hiring process to find a fifth kindergarten teacher. This means that all of our classes will soon shrink by 6! It'll be sad to see some of them go and it will definitely be interesting to see how the classroom dynamic changes once the new teacher is hired, but it'll be so worth it in the end. With the smaller classes, I'll be able to have smaller groups for teacher centers and more time to work with the kids who really need me. I'm excited - but ready to get the whole thing over with so I can get my "new" class focused.

We've learned three words so far; I, can, and we. It's so much fun to put short sentences on the board and listen to them choral read it! Although I'm typically completely exhausted at the end of every single day..I usually come home with several funny stories. I've definitely got a few comedians on my hands, haha.

Away from the classroom, there hasn't been too much going on. Kindergarten has quite literally taken over my life! I wouldn't trade it for the world.