chocolate milk and crayons

Today was the first day of my last semester of college. That's so crazy to me. Like, I still feel like a freshman. I know it sounds so cliche, but I seriously feel like I started college last week. 

The past few years have flown by. I have truly had a meaningful and beautiful college experience. I have learned and grown so much, and for that, I am thankful. 

Now I stand at the beginning of the end. And can I just say, I AM FREAKING OUT!!!!!!  Because I'm an education major, my last semester is completely devoted to student teaching. So now, I become the teacher. My brain just wants to scream, I'm not ready!! Wait!! Guys, don't leave me!!!! I'M STILL A STUDENT! I'M NOT READY TO TEACH BY MYSELF! GUYS!! GUYS?....hello? 

That's how I feel. That's the honest to goodness truth. Anyway, back to what I originally started out saying. 

Today was the last first day. I had my student teacher orientation this morning, where I found out that I will be student teaching in first grade. Not my number one choice, BUT my number two grade choice, so I was definitely excited about that. Excited. And terrified. 

Tomorrow I go to my assigned elementary school and meet my cooperating teacher and my class. I'm so nervous. I have so many questions. Are they going to like me? Am I going to be any good at this? Did I just waste a college education on something I hate? What if I mess something up? What if I like, forget English overnight and can't communicate? Or what if I like lose the ability to walk, and I have to roll around the classroom? Wait. How would that even happen? I don't know. 

But then I remember. I serve a God who is way bigger than a room full of six year olds. Even if there is a chocolate milk explosion at the reading group table. And you know what? He's got this. I got this. 

Bring on the chocolate milk and the crayons, I can do this. 


my own laundry soap

Y'all. I discovered how to make my own laundry soap, and I'm never buying laundry soap and wasting all my money again! Hooray! 

And it's so easy! Here's how: 

You will need: 

3 Tablespoons of Washing Soda
3 Tablespoons of Borax 
2 Tablespoons Original Dawn Dish Soap
A 1 gallon container 
measuring cups/spoons

First, measure and pour washing soda, borax, and dish soap into container. Then add four cups VERY HOT water. Doesn't have to be boiling, just the hottest you can get from the faucet. 

Close your container and swirl around until all ingredients are dissolved. 

Place your container in the sink and fill all the way with cold water. Bubbles will foam out all over, so I definitely suggest doing it in the sink. Once the container is filled, give it another swirl, and you're done. 

I use a one cup measuring cup per load. It works just as well as other various detergents I have used. And it's so cheap! I'd do the math for you....but I don't really want to do the math for you. 

There you have it! Homemade laundry soap!  



so about a month ago, I got engaged. Wanna hear the story? Here it is. 

In June, Ethan and I traveled to New York to celebrate my brother's graduation from high school. We spent a week visiting with family and friends, and celebrating the fact that my little brother was finally done with high school. It was a wonderful week, and I had so much fun showing Ethan around town, all the places I used to hang out. On the last day there with my family, we headed to Niagara Falls, because it would be a shame for someone to visit Buffalo and not see the falls. 

So, we planned a picnic to enjoy on the bank of the Niagara River. My family came with us, but since everyone in the world was in on the surprise but me, my family left Ethan and me alone to picnic. They went off and enjoyed their own picnic. It was a beautiful day, sunny and breezy. 

Here's a picture of me eating an egg salad sandwich, unaware of what was about to happen. 

So after we finished eating and feeding Swedish Fish to seagulls, my family had made their way to a hiding spot in some bushes. I suggested we start to pack up and find my family so that we could start making our way down the river to the falls. Ethan said there was one thing he had to do first. 

At which point he reached for the ring and got up from where he was sitting to be on one knee. I wasn't really sure if I should stay sitting or stand up. I stood up. 

My family of course was in the bushes, poised with cameras and phones in hand.

So then he gave a little speech, which I've now forgotten (is this normal? I feel like people are so nervous they don't remember what is said). And then he asked me to marry him. 

And my first response was not yes. Seriously. I was surprised and in such disbelief that I didn't say yes at first. All I could Say was, "Wait. For real? Like for real for real?"

After he nodded to reassure me that he was in fact serious, I said yes (of course) and he put the most beautiful ring on my finger. 

He did so good, didn't he? I love it! 

This is a picture captured by my sister from the bushes. Cool cars in the background. 

This is us right after my family came out. They made us stand there by the river and take pictures. 

But we still hadn't made it to the falls! So we packed up and headed down the river to the falls. We got on the Maid of the Mist, which is a ferry boat that takes you right up to the falls from the bottom. It's a pretty spectacular sight. 

Now, remember when I said it was breezy? It was. And by breezy, I mean that when we got on the boat, it was a full fledged wind. We were trying to be all cute like, "hey, we just got engaged. Look how cute we are!" But the wind wasn't having it. The wind was all, "Nahhhh."

So we ended up with about fifty pictures looking like this:

So cute. 

Well, there's the story. Thanks for reading this whole thing. Now to plan a wedding! 


why dumpsters are awesome.

Let me start off this post by saying that if I hadn't accidentally deleted the "before" pictures, this post would have been a lot better. 

But I somehow, in a moment of true blondeness, deleted the pictures that would show you what exactly I'm talking about. Bear with me. Keep reading. 

My apartment is on the very end of the row of buildings. Like, all the way. Next to the dumpster. Gross, right? Nope. It's wonderful. Here's why:

One day, as I was getting out of my car, I noticed a strange piece of furniture standing next to the dumpster. I couldn't resist a free piece of furniture AND a great potential DIY project. It was dark, so I couldn't see it too well, but I dragged it to my apartment anyway. 

The next day, I got a good look at it. (This is the part where my "before" pictures would have been useful. Sorry.) It was an old sewing machine table, the kind where the top opens up and the machine flips up from the inside. The sewing machine was not inside, but that was fine, I don't need one of those. Anyway, the thing was gross. Weird sticky floor protector things on the bottom of the legs, blue marker scribbled across the top, beaten up corners, the works. 

This sounds like my kind of project. I needed a new TV stand, I had a gross beaten up sewing table. Perfect. I took some white paint to it, and it suddenly transformed. I had thought about switching the knobs to those super pretty (and expensive) ones I always see at Anthropologie, but with the white paint, I liked the way the original knobs contrasted. 

So I kept them. Basically all I did was put three coats of white paint on this sucker. I'm no decorating genius. And by that I mean, I have no real know how, so I'm probably doing things wrong when it comes to painting things. But who cares? 

Anyway, all that to say this: I love my TV stand. And I especially love that it was completely free. 

And in the end, I have zero shame in pulling this gem from the dumpster. Bring it on, dumpster! 



last night, on a usual evening spent by the lake reading, my man and I discovered many beautiful things. There are a lot of fields of different crops on the ten minute drive out to the lake. We come out so frequently, it's like we've been watching the progress of the corn and wheat. Last night, we discovered this beautiful sunflower field right at sunset. It's funny, because we've seen this field before, and never realized it was a field of sunflowers until just last night. 

I love making new discoveries like this! 


lake days

Lately we've been spending as much time at the lake as we can. It's not a real lake, we live in a small Texas town, so it's more like a pond. But it's relaxing and if you ask me, it's the best way to spend an afternoon. 

I sure do love this boy. And this dog. 


my lovely new bookshelf

About a week or so ago, I noticed a couple of used bookshelves out by the dumpster of my apartment building. Seeing some potential in them, I dragged them in. They were a bit wobbly, so I called my handy boyfriend and asked him if he could make them more sturdy. He did, but that got him thinking. He was convinced he could build one just like it, if not better. 

So yesterday, we headed down to the local Home Depot to look at some supplies. I wanted a 4 X 2 ft bookshelf, and I wanted to add some pallet boards to the back to give it some character. We bought wood that would give us ten inch deep shelves, and that cost us about twenty dollars. We hit the jackpot with the clearance section. We found all the wood for the back for just five dollars. 

I am terrible at taking pictures during the process, but here are some pictures of the end result. 

I love the way it turned out! I haven't decided quite how I'm going to decorate it or where I'm going to put it in my apartment, but this is a start!