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10.Stay out all night

8 Sep

Originally I put this on my bucket list with the intention of having a night full of antics, and those memories you laugh about for years to come.

The reality behind scratching number ten off of my bucket list is one of fear, devastation, and uncertainty.

Wednesday started before 4am to finish taping trash bags over my 30-year-old windows, cramming my lounge chairs, stairs, and kayak inside my hallway, unplugging the power, cable, water and sewer.

Wednesday afternoon was business as usual carrying on with the lesson for the day…but I don’t even remember what that was now.

Right after school a friend helped me move the Scooby Shack off of Hutchinson Island and into Stuart. Looking at my home for what was most likely the last time broke my heart. I knew then I was choosing to leave it behind to guarantee I got out of the state in time. I knew I’d probably lose everything. I knew I could end up homeless. I ignored those thoughts and refused to let them fully form. They are forming now.

Powered by adrenaline rooted in fear I drove 1,064 miles in 18 hours; alone in the car but held company with many over the phone as I drove to safety and away from my possessions, home, and job.

I need to remember that things can be replaced what matters is that I evacuated when I was supposed to; getting to safety without issues or delays. If only my brain could communicate that to my broken heart, my scared and defeated soul, and my shaking body.

34 hours without sleep crossed this bucket list item off the list.


Spontaneous Solo Travel 

8 Mar

With the promise of a three day weekend I made the decision to do something I’d been wanting to do; visit St. Augustine, FL.

I did invite a couple of people, with short notice no one could come. I decided to go anyway. Best decision I could of made.

I had the most enjoyable weekend, possibly of all time. I booked and inexpensive hotel right in the center of all there was to see and do and I purchased a trolley tour that came with admission into 5 popular attractions.

I spent 48 hours going wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, seeing and doing whatever I wanted. It was beyond perfection not having to compromise or think about anyone but myself. It truly blows my mind how much I’ve grown and changed in the last three years or so. There was a time when I wouldn’t even go to Walmart alone, now here I am traveling over two hundred miles for a weekend totally alone.

St. Augustine is truly amazing, the history, shopping, food, and all there was to see and experience. Now, the price of admission seemed a little high on some of the attractions but when purchased in the trolley package totally worth it. My only trolley complaint was if you wanted to get on just to get back near your hotel it could be quite a long ride, upwards of an hour/hour and half.

I learned a lot about the area, American history, and myself during this trip. 

15 Years Later

11 Sep

I was 13 years old.

Tuesday morning, 8th grade at Garaway High School in Sugarcreek, OH.

The halls are lined with cream-colored lockers. Pictures and stickers are on the inside of the locker doors, one shelf holds books. There is a hook on the left where I hung my coat and a hook on the right where I hung my backpack. In a few months I will put my muddy snow boots in the bottom and wear tennis shoes the rest of the day.

This morning I’m joking with my friends. Worried about my homework and the new zit on my chin.  Classes are changing and I round a corner and head to Mrs. L.’s science class. The hall is crammed with my peers. The students who left the history classroom with Mr. M. are upset.

Something is wrong.

I see R. crying… something about a family member in New York.

Whats wrong?

We only have three minutes between class, one is not late to Mrs. L.’s class. 2015-05-25-08-36-26

Something in going on.

We do science anyway. 45 minutes in the dark.

By the time I get to history class the second plane has hit. We don’t know what’s going on.

Is this real?

What’s going on?

My mom picks me up in the little purple Geo Tracker.

Something must be wrong. I ride the bus.

We drive to get my little sister from elementary, listening to the radio.

What is happening? I don’t understand. This can’t be real.


It was real.

15 years later I’m 28 years old. I live and teach in Florida. I have students who weren’t even alive when this happened. It’s so real for me, I see pictures and feel a lump in my throat form instantly. What is so real for me is already just…history to them.

The Tiny House: Delivery 

15 Jul

The journey to joining the “Tiny House Movement” has just overcome the next hurdle.  With the decision made to go with a specific camper, then able to locate a camper that fit those requirements (big thank you to my cousin Caitlin for finding it!) the time has come to move to the next step!

Last night the previous owner, a gentleman out of West Virginia by the name of Hatfield let’s pause for a second here an appreciate the historic Hatfield and McCoy family feud- dropped off the camper at an Amish neighbor of ours then pulled the camper down the street to our house with his tractor.

Our driveway is very steep and the truck we have wouldn’t be able to pull it up the driveway. Something to keep in mind while you’re looking or thinking about a tiny house for yourself: how are you going to move it?

Check out this short video of my “tiny house” coming home where it will now begin the transformation from dated utility camper to comfortable beach inspired home away from home.

A Decade Later

3 Apr

e93456e6f66f68187ba38dc9eb3b3942It has been ten years since I attended my high school senior prom…

10 years.

A whole decade as past. I can barely wrap my mind around that. Ten years ago I was putting on a silly fluffy pink dress with three of my best friends I’ve had since 4th grade. My sister was doing our hair and make-up and my mom was taking a bunch of pictures.

We thought we were so cool. Seniors headed off to one of the biggest nights of our high school career, our whole lives in front of us; college just around the corner…

It is so cliché to say but it doesn’t feel like its been that long, but when you stop and think about all the things that have changed a it has been a lifetime. Since that night, for my circle of friends, we now have: 3 husbands, 6 (almost 7 kids), 3 home owners, 2 bachelors degrees, and we live across 4 (soon to be 5) states.

If I could talk to that version of myself what would I say to her? Would I want her to make any decisions differently…? It would be nice to have less student loans but then I wouldn’t have the college memories and friends that I do. Any mistakes I’d like to have her avoid wouldn’t have me where I am right now. I Suppose that means I should enjoy the mistakes I make from here on out because eventually I’ll look back and realize I needed to make them.

I’d just give that version of me a hug and tell her to buckle up, life really is a roller-coaster.

365 Days

17 Dec

IMG_7344Exactly a year ago I was spending the weekend in New York, I was beside myself excited for every aspect of that trip; meeting lady liberty, experiencing one of the greatest cities in the world first hand…

I never would I have guessed I’d be in Florida having spent a solitude day on the beach an then an ugly sweater party with friends from my job where I’m a teacher.

It’s beyond crazy how much things have changed this year…that’s not even counting my incredible nephew.

If you asked me then where I thought my life would be today this is not what I would of guessed. Not even close. But people, things, and life changes. I didn’t even come close to correctly guessing where I would be right now so I won’t even try to guess where I will be next year.


The 14 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Older

16 Aug
  1. tikigiki_people-woman-002Not traveling when you had the chance: more responsibilities pile up the older you get; do it while you have less restraints.
  2. Staying in a bad relationship: just because all your friends are getting married doesn’t mean a bad relationship is your ticket to status quo.
  3. Failing to make physical fitness a priority: at least make an effort to be healthier.
  4. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles: it’s 2015 people.
  5. Not quitting a terrible job: I stuck around in a terrible job way longer then I should of, DON’T DO IT the paycheck isn’t worth your sanity.
  6. Not realizing how beautiful you are: I’ve looked back on middle school pictures when I remember thinking “ew I’m so fat” and now I wish I looked like I did then…in 15 years I’ll probably think the say way about myself now.
  7. Not listening to your parents’ advice: your mom is always right, stop fighting it. 
  8. Caring too much about what other people think: at the end of your life you won’t be thinking about those people right? Then they don’t matter.
  9. Supporting others’ dreams over your own: it’s easy to do when you’re not sure what your own dream is…but you should at least be making yourself happy. 
  10. Not standing up for yourself: you’re an adult now you need to stop letting other people fight your battles, or worse yet getting walked all over. Demand what you deserve which is always better then what you accept.
  11. Not volunteering enough: even if you have very little you still have more then at least one person on this planet.
  12. Refusing to let friendships run their course: people change, if you’re growing apart let it happen. At least don’t be the only person in the friendship that is fighting to make it work. 
  13. Never taking a big risk: just like traveling, its easier to do while your young and only have yourself to worry about if you fail.
  14. Not spending enough time with loved ones: friends and job are important but don’t get so wrapped up you forget about the people who matter most; your family. 



Hollywood verse Reality

17 Jun

LoveFindsYouSugarcreekPosterThe last couple years my small town has had a film crew out to film movies based on books of the area I live in. I have been meaning to watch them for a while and finally got around to it a couple weekends ago.

I can’t tell you how weird it is to see people you know and the town that you grew up in on television. I’m sure people who live in LA or NY are used to it but living out in the boonies like I do, it’s very strange; it was strange seeing camera crews out here too.

So this movie…awkward. And not that great. One of them is called Love Finds you In Sugarcreek, Ohio and the other is Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio. The acting was fine in the Sugarcreek one, not so much in the Charm one. But because I live here and know the area as well as I do I couldn’t help but mark mistakes either intentional or not. Continue reading


2 Apr

edddf4d67ba88e45ca5ca24c006d5635I have a theory as to why, as adults, we feel as tho time is moving so much more quickly than when we were children.

I find myself pined into a self-inflicted and ridged routine; all to make the week go by faster. The days of mundane existence open into the weekend of light, ease and joy.

I suspect most, if not all, working adults are the same; putting their nose to the grindstone, for two days of relief.

We are living our lives for two days a week. Eight days a month. Ninety-six days a year.

If we live for ninety-six of the three hundred and sixty-five days then time does move faster. We age quicker. We blink and our lives have slipped from one day to missed opportunities. 

It’s crushing and debilitating and quite frankly sad. But its habit, its routine, it’s the American way of life.

“You’ll Need This One Day”

30 Mar

de3c0bd071d79e789e58ea4d5fc63ba0Remember in high school, sitting in your least favorite class on a really beautiful day when you’re stuck inside? Thinking to yourself “When will I ever need this?!”

I can think of several classes where I thought just that. I’m about to age myself here, but one class that really sticks out in my mind that I thought was a total waste of time was computer class, more specifically typing.

The teacher had these little orange rubber covers that fit over the keys so there was virtually no way to cheat. We would sit in class staring at the computer for 50 minutes typing away in this terribly annoying typing game; and  I was terrible at it.

It’s funny now as I listen to the keys clicking away quickly thinking ‘I am only able to do this because of a class I absolutely hated.’

I had other classes that I didn’t like, mostly because I wasn’t good at them, but man did that typing class really irritate me. I’d honestly like another go at that typing class now, see how I do.

But like all education annoyances you come to realize later you needed it for a reason. Hindsight is 20/20.