I’m Grateful

I’m grateful for…

1. my loving, crazy, amazing family
2. my brave, hard working, sometimes silly students
3. my loving, grace-filled, kind friends
4. books to read
5. notebooks to fill
6. just the right pens
7. my sweet Bella
8. peppermint coffee
9. soft, warm, cozy blankets
10. writing to soothe my soul
11. traveling to discover
12. mittens
13. sense of accomplishment
14. stickers
15. hugs
16. daily phone chats with mom
17. warm socks
18. bubble bath
19. memories of dad
20. autumn
21. laughter
22. showing up

Being grateful…expressing gratitude…it’s contagious and powerful. It can change my mood and change my day. What’s on your list? 

Gifts…Giving or Getting?!?!

Gifts make me smile. Surprises are the best! It’s not the THING or the money spent…it’s the thought behind it. It reminds me of a favorite line from our read aloud, Fish in a Tree, “But what really gets me is that in order for Mr. Daniels to come up with this plan, he must have thought of me outside of school- when he didn’t have to think of me.”  That’s like getting a gift. You thought of me when you didn’t have to think of me.

Bella LOVES her new blanket.

Bella LOVES her new blanket.

Giving gifts is the BEST thing for me. I love thinking of something that the other person would enjoy. As a teacher of seventy-five students, gift giving is tough. That’s a lot of people. It’s expensive. It’s hard to think of something, but this year I made something that I hope you will like.

It’s important to me that you know how important you are! It’s important to me that you know that YOU MATTER. That’s what inspired this gift. It’s a touchstone…something to carry with you. Whenever you touch it, may it remind you that there is someone out there that believes in you and believes that YOU MATTER!!


Six Word Memoirs

Writing six word memoirs are one of my favorite things to write. The words must be chosen very carefully because the writer may ONLY use six! Telling a whole story in six words is a challenge, but it’s amazing when it’s done creatively! Today we will write six word memoirs in class. We will write a BUNCH of six word memoirs in class today and publish our favorites! If you’d like to share a six word memoir, I’d love to read it! (I’ll share mine later!) 

Annoyed or Grateful?!?! I Pick Grateful!

Today is my 10th  slice for the March Slice of Life Challenge on Two Writing Teachers.

I like to stay positive, but I’m going to get real today. I’m going to write about things that annoy me. (It’s a great generating writing idea to do with students too!) Here’s my list of things that annoy me… they all happened on Monday!!!


1. Less sleep.
I know my post on Sunday was about celebrating the time change, but Monday I was TIRED. The students were TIRED. It was a slow moving day!

2. Spelling errors.
We all make mistakes. I get that. (I feel like there are many days when I make more than most!) BUT, a spelling error on a document that went out to hundreds of people! REALLY?!?! What about spell check? What about having a colleague proofread your draft?!?! This got me crazy!!!!

3. Group texts.
OK. I’m going to say it…at the risk of alienating friends and colleagues. No offense is intended, but I DESPISE group texts! With the constant replies that never seem to end. I want out. Please no more group texts. Group emails…that works. And NO group texts at night!!

OK…so I don’t leave things here on a negative note…I will counteract this list of annoying things with three things I’m grateful for on Monday…

1. I got to talk with my niece and nephew. Hearing giggles and “I love you Auntie Chelle!” is all I need to make me smile. I love hearing Jillian excited about her birthday gift and Jack telling me about his sight words and the words on his word wall!

2. Laughing with my students. The new running joke in class is my obsession with pens. They are so funny!

3. Finding exactly what I need at the store AND having that item be on sale! Kind and smiling workers. Friendly customers.

4. Ending my day with Bella cuddles and a long walk in the warm weather.

I guess…the gratitude outweighed the annoyances! 


100 Things that Make Me Say Thank You!

My blogging friend, Terje, wrote a blog post about Capturing Gratitude. I decided to take the challenge. So in NO particular order, here are 100 things for which I’m grateful…


1. My smart nephew Jack

2. My wonderful niece Jillian

3. My mom & dad who gave me a wonderful childhood

4. Laughing & talking with my sister

5. My aunts who add so much to my life

6. My uncles who love me

7. My cousins near and far

8. Friends who add so much to my life

9. My faith 

10. Books

11. HGTV

12. My students

13. Laughing so hard until I cry

14. Quiet walks outside

15. Bella 

16. Memories of Leo

17. Notebooks, so many notebooks

18. Writing and the peace it brings me

19. PLN

20. Learning new things

21. Making new friends

22. My church family

23. Yummy peppermint coffee

24. Curled up in a comfy bed

25. Warm sweats on a cool autumn morning

26. Sounds of the ocean

27. Living the examined life

28. Finding exactly what I need at the store…and it’s on sale

29. Blogging

30. Conferences

31. Long drives

32. Cute shoes

33. Music that changes my mood

34. Praying with friends

35. Painting

36. Anne Lamott books & her facebook updates 

37. Keeping in touch with old friends

38. Hugs!

39. Flowers

40. Library

41. Swimming in the summer

42. Early mornings

43. Health

44. First snow of the season

45. Snow days

46. Birthdays

47. Inspirational people

48. Authors

49. Cucumbers

50. Freedom

51. Daisies

52. Pinterest

53. Twitter

54. Cadbury chocolate

55. Pillows

56. Twinkly lights

57. Delight in the eyes of a child

58. Being an auntie

59. Teaching

60. The quilt made for me by my mom

61. Memories of walks with my dad

62. College and the experiences I had there

63. Struggles & how they helped me grow

64. My OLW for the past six years

65. An amazing trainer for Bella

66. iPad & Kindle…love being able to carry so many books in one device

67. Retreats

68. Movies

69. Books turned into GOOD movies

70. Cards that arrive in the mail

71. Colors!

72. Refreshing watermelon on a hot summer day

73. Sparkles

74. Books about writing: Bird by Bird, Writing Down the Bones

75. Framed pictures of those I love

76. Outdoor concerts

77. Cottages at the beach

78. Full moon nights

79. Love-filled relationships

80. My SUV with standard transmission

81. Reunions

82. Juicy cheeseburger

83. Blankets

84. Dog park

85. Friends & NCIS reruns

86. Fire in the fireplace

87. Bubble baths

88. Blogging friends

89. Organizing spaces

90. Apples in the fall

91. Spaghetti & anchovies

92. Soft, warm sweatshirts

93. Jammies

94. Fuzzy socks

95. Crafting

96. Unexpected time off


98. Warm, safe home

99. Changing leaves in the autumn

100. BEing grateful


Happy Birthday…celebrating with kindness!

I turn 42. 
I love birthdays. 
Birthday cake…presents…cards! 
But this year, I wanted something different. Something more. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I read it somewhere…I wish I could remember where.
For my birthday this year, I’m going to practice acts of kindness. Twenty-two (since my birthday is on the 22nd) during the week of my birthday. (Although I am going to try for 42, since I’m 42 years old.)  I’m starting Sunday! 
I have a list of 22 ideas…

Can’t share the ideas…yet!
Excited to start!!
I’ll journal and blog about what I actually accomplished and what happened. Celebrate my birthday with me! Be generous! Spread joy! Do something special for someone else and share it in the comments here. I can’t wait to see how far it spreads…



I’m thankful for:


terrific students 
delicious coffee
green lights on the drive to work
daily phone calls with my mom
writing in my notebook
reading a good book
laughing with my friends
organized classroom
sleeping in on the weekends

What’s on your gratitude list?