Back to School Photo

It started out as a joke, but it has become one of my favorite traditions. Here’s my 2019-2020 Back to School Photo.

Back to school Amee

Eight years ago, I was scrolling through Facebook. Many of my friends had posted their kid’s back to school pictures. The photos were adorable. The kids had smiling faces full of hope for the future.  I don’t have children so I didn’t have any “back to school photos” for my family and friends to admire. As I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself, I had a crazy thought. What if I took a back to school photo? What if I took the picture from the perspective of being really tired after your first day back to school?

The photo was funny and made me laugh. Next year, I took another  photo. I now have 8 pictures of me sprawling across beds, floors, desks etc.

The photo still makes me laugh every year.  It’s going to be a great school year.



Omelets, Moms, my toothbrush and other things to be thankful for today

Every November, I have a tradition. I write down one thing I’m thankful for every day. It helps me remember my many privileges and blessings.  It’s a chance to pause and show gratitude to God and the people around me.  It helps me reflect on how I can help those who are not as fortunate. It’s a good tradition that has brought a lot of joy into my life. Here’s my list so far.

Day 1: Recess (It is a huge blessing the day after Halloween.)
Day 2: Indoor plumbing
Day 3: I’m grateful I was able to spend time with my friend Sara. We went shopping this morning. Shopping with friends is the best type of shopping. I’m also thankful for my breakfast omelet. Omelets are delicious.


Day 4: Sunsets
Day 5: I’m grateful for music.

Day 6: I am thankful I can vote. I honor the many brave woman who marched, went to jail and stood up to oppression.

I’m also thankful for my voting sticker. I absolutely loved stickers as a kid. I still think stickers are fun. It makes me smile to get my sticker. In fact, I have saved every voting sticker I’ve ever gotten and put it in my journal.

I voted sticker

Day 7: My Mom is incredible. I love her so much. I’m grateful for all she has done for me. We talked on the phone yesterday. It’s a blessing to have a Mom.

Day 8: My car runs.

Day 9: I love my toothbrush.  It makes the most delightful sound. Sometimes, I dance a little jig when it starts to buzz. There are so many simple things that brighten my day.  I’m thankful for my toothbrush.

Toothbrush picture

Day 10: Hugs. I’m thankful for hugs.  I had a rough day. It was the kind of day that I just sat on my bed and cried. It was the kind of day that I told God that life is incredibly unfair. It was painful. It hurt. I’m thankful for the friend who gave me a hug. Hugs are a blessing. Friends are a blessing.

Day 11: I’m thankful to be alive. Life is not perfect. It’s good to be alive though. I’m thankful to learn, love and survive another day. I believe in happy endings. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but there’s always tomorrow. God be thanked for a new day.

It’s a good day to be thankful.  That is why I do the Thankful Challenge every year. It helps me remember. What are you thankful for today?

“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”  — Maya Angelou



A poem about a busted water pipe

Pipe pictureThis is the girl who was peacefully sleeping

Unaware that disaster was silently brewing.

This is the pipe that leaked in a wall

Where water was collecting  for who knows how long.

This is moment the girl walked in the room

And felt a river of water and saw a gushing typhoon.

This is the valve in the front of the yard

That the girl pulled and then sat by to cry really hard.

This is the husband who was out of state at the time

Who got the phone call that the house was now slime.

These are the fans and the bills and  demolition holes

This  whole experience is vexing to one’s soul.

(A Note for my family and friends:  Nate and I were able to file an insurance claim. We  will be able to fix the damage. I am always happy to accept homemade dinners though.  Just kidding about dinner. You are not obligated to cook me dinner. I know how to order pizza.  Life is never boring around here. I hope I never see water again. It’s a mess to clean up.)




Hula Hooping Through 2016: An Update on My New Year’s Goals


I remembered today that I had written New Year’s Resolutions. Oops.  I’ve done many great things this year, but it’s just not been the stuff I set out to do. Here’s my update on my 2016 New Year’s Goals. Let’s see how I’m doing on them.

1.Do a 10 minute mediation/deep breathing exercise every day

In January, I did my mediation/deep breathing exercise 16/31 days. In February, I did my mediation  10/28 days. I then held my breath from March until August. No deep breathing and mediation for me. I’ve started up again though.  I’m happy to say that I’ve done my 10 minute routine for 2 days this week. It’s a new start and I know I can always start again. That’s what is great about life and goals.  You can always start again.

2. Exercise five days a week for at least  30 minutes

I exercise more than I used to, but I honestly forgot to track my exercising after the month of January.

3. Find something funny every day

This one is easy, because there are lots of funny things that happen all the time. In fact, I had something funny happen yesterday while I was bowling with my league.  They had a drawing with raffle tickets last. No one in our team won. I took all those losing raffle tickets and made a little tower out of them. I carefully stacked the tickets on top of each other into an intricate little design.  I was very proud of my raffle ticket tower and announced to my friend Sara that I had made a masterpiece. Sara said, “Your house is made of cards, Amee”.  Then she blew down the tower.  The tickets flew all over the table. I laughed and laughed. I laughed until I started crying which of course made Sara laugh. It was funny. Then we laughed some more, because we were both laughing. Then Sara said that we both most be tired and that made us laugh even harder. It was true. We were both so exhausted that flying raffle tickets was the best thing that happened all week.  It was kind of funny.

4. Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal

I’ve done a great job with this one. I’ve been eating a fruit or vegetable at every meal. I’ve been tracking it to on my little food diary. Go me!

5. Do something social with friends once a week.

Check. I’m doing this one.

6. Write down all of my negative thoughts and try to re-frame them in a little cognition journal.

Back in February, I said that I had forgotten about this goal. Guess What? I forgot about it again.  I royally flopped and failed on that goal.  I wonder if I can re-frame that last sentence. “Even though I just lived with all my negative thoughts for  nine months of 2016, I still deeply love and respect myself. I didn’t fail on this goal, I failed forward on this goal.”  Ha Ha Ha.  I re-framed it. Bingo. I can mark the goal complete now.

7. Leave work by 4:30 p.m. every day. I won’t be able to do all of these happy brain/happy body things if I work all the time.

I’m doing better at leaving work by 4:30 every day, but my brain still forgets sometimes to stop teaching at night.  For example, two weeks ago I had one of those teacher dreams where I was teaching lessons all night long. It’s really hard to go to work the next day after you’ve been working all night.

Wow!  I’m impressed with myself. Even though I forgot my New Year’s Resolutions, I’m still mostly on track. I should forget my New Year’s Goals more often.

How are your New Year’s Goals going?


“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. “–Mother Teresa



The Magic

There is a scene in the Wizard of Oz movie that I love. Dorothy has just defeated the wicked witch with the help of her friends and a bucket of water. The good witch Glinda comes and with a friendly smile tells Dorothy that she’s always had the power to go home. Dorothy just needs to tap her ruby slippers and believe that she is a magical person.  It’s a profound moment. Dorothy realizes anything is possible.

Here are my slippers. I’m ready for my magic to start.


“You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself”.–Glinda from the Wizard of Oz


Joyful Moments #202

I’ve been tracking my joyful moments for the last two years.  Every time I have a little pocket of happiness or a moment of fun, I call it out for what it is. It’s a joyful moment sandwiched in between my ordinary and sometimes stressful life.  I had my 202nd joyful moment this week. I made a frog cake. The Accountant told me it also looks like a green ghost.  I borrowed a frog pan from the cake pan collection at the public library. I got all the ingredients for the cake and looked up on the internet how to make frosting. (Sorry, Mom. I know you taught me how to make frosting, but I forgot the recipe.)  He was a happy frog until we started eating him. Then he was just a pile of crumbs.


Life is hard. There are many, many problems in the world. It’s easy to get down and worried about things.  If I didn’t count the joyful moments, I wouldn’t even see them. I’d miss the joy of recognizing the pockets of fun that are in my life.

“Joy is strength.” –Mother Teresa



My Trip to Europe

Last Friday,  I decided I needed one of those under the computer desk exercise bikes.  I spent an hour researching them on the internet. I asked around and found a friend who had one I could borrow so I could try it out. I was so excited when I placed it under my desk at work.  I imagined that I was bicycling through Europe instead of grading all the assignments kids wait to the last-minute to give to their teacher.  The bike even made a fun clanking sound that sounded like a bass drum. I imagined that I was a rock singer with that clanking sound instead of grading late work.

I had a great time and pedaled for hours as I graded and graded. I loved it! This was the best way to get exercise. It made the time go by so fast and I loved it! Then I got off the bike. I walk funny now. My legs are so sore.


I probably should have heeded the warning label about starting off any new exercise routine slowly.  At least, I got to go to Europe out of this adventure.



The Conversation


They were the perfect seats in the room. I was right in the middle of the second row. I could easily see the stage and hear the speaker. This was going to be an amazing presentation. I had the perfect seat. That is until I had to use the bathroom.

Is the glass half empty or half full? ” asked the speaker.

That’s when the trouble started for me.

“Who cares? I just need to use the bathroom,” said my body.

“Be quiet, body.  I paid good money for this conference. I’m not going anywhere,” said my brain.

“Let’s all be more positive, ” said the speaker.”

“I’m positive I have to go to the bathroom right now, ” screamed my body.

“Just cross your legs. You’ll be fine. Besides, you are on the second row. Do you really want to walk all the way to the back of the room in front of all these people?  People will stare at you,  “said my brain.

And so the conversation went on between my head and my body for the next five minutes. I wish I could tell you what the speaker was saying. I don’t remember.

Who won?

I think you know. Sometimes it really doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full.