Sunday, December 15, 2013

Seasons of Simplicity

Life is full of different seasons and those seasons are packed with experiences. While some seasons are wonderful, others would be better completely avoided. Some, we'd like to relive again and again, and others are painful enough we wish we could forget. Regardless, there is a valuable gift for us in each experience of every season if we are willing to look.

For me, this has been a season of change. Unfortunately, I've found myself numbly going through the motions waiting for the next big moment. I'm tired and restless.  As I often remind us, it isn't about the big moments, it is the simple pleasures that bring forth the most blessings. This season, I am thankful for the precious memories I am making each and every day. I am thankful for the moments that catch me by surprise and bring a smile to my face. And I anticipate so many more in the seasons to come.

Event of the month: Sammy turned 16 today! My, how time has flown. This girl has grown into a beautiful young lady and I am honored to spend so much time with her. She had the most wonderful party with live entertainment and more friends present than at any of my own birthday events. Her special friend, Jowon, got to join us for the festivities. If only I had captured her joy with him around in a photo! She truly felt loved and special this weekend and exhausted herself giggling so much. Sammy's spirit is her most beautiful asset. She brings joy to those around her and reminds us how beautiful life really is.

No one I know loves to dance as much as her.

What a party! Sammy and the sisters were the happiest :)

Happy Sweet 16 Sammy Love! We are so thankful for you.

As a kid, I remember how exciting the holiday season was. Waiting for Christmas Day was the hardest and greatest reward of the year. The Christmas season was full of hussle, bussle, and excitiment. As I got older, the holiday season became more of a stress. Though it was still fun, buying for everyone, making the holiday rounds, and being ready for Christmas Day became more of a chore.
What happened to the waiting? The whole point is there is something amazing worth waiting for! So, the waiting game is back on. This year, I am really trying to get back to enjoying the joy of the season. I am maximizing my time with loved ones and looking for beauty all around, even in the mundane.  

Here are a few of my seasonal obsessions...
I look forward to Pure Barre everyday.
A great workout and a nice change of pace from running all the time.
Frosted Cranberry 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works
Frosted Cranberry Candles from Bath & Body Works
Blueberry Muffin Coffee
Blueberry Muffin Coffee from Dunkin Donuts.
I know, I know, it sounds weird, but it's tasty.

My dear friend Taylor has the cutest Etsy Shop!
She is so talented and has an eye for everything cute and customized.

I am obsessed! Best gift EVER!
Etsy of course...

Find it at your local Wal-Mart. Stock up, it's seasonal.

Oh talented! I made some
ornaments to go with it on the fireplace.

This week, I was reminded by someone very wise that happiness is a choice. We have the ability to make that choice each and every day despite the pain and brokeness aroudn us. It isn't always easy to choose to be happy, but I know for a fact that it is a choice worth making. So, find the happiness in Life's Simple Pleasures this holiday season and make the most of each and every moment.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Welp, I did some much needed updating to the blog. Got my background from I like it much better than the last one.
I know, I know, it has been much too long since my last post. So, finally, to appease the wondering, I will quickly catch up on the last six months of life. So much to report, but I will recount the highlights.
As is true with me and all possible forms of communication, I fail to be consistent. However, sissykins has a most excellent blog to view at and she is always keeping it updated. Her life as a newlywed is far more exciting, check it out!
This is an accurate depiciton of my living room on a typical Tuesday/Wednesday/Saturday/Sunday. Grad school has taken over my life! Whoever decided that teaching full time and getting a graduate degree was NUTS! I never realized how much I would have to sacrifice for this...I sincerely hope it is worth it.
Working hard, one stack of reading at a time...

These girlies and their parents have been in my life since I was 11. Sweet Sammy Love has cerebral palsy and I have been blessed to work with her since she was 2. Her sixteenth birthday is just weeks away! I cannot believe how quickly she has grown and how much progress she has made over the years. These girls call me sister and share their lives with me. I am so proud of each of them and all of their accomplishments and thankful for the opportunity to watch them grow into amazing women of God.


               Moments with My Girls!

 Pops and I have continued our running streak, although our consistency has started to dwindle. With grad school and added stress on the work front, for both of us, running has proven to be quite a challenge this season. Pops informed me his long distance running days are coming to an end. That news was tragic...doesn't he know he isn't allowed to abandon me on the road until I have another long term running buddy?!?!

Spooky Science Day in my classroom.
Students created and observed chemical
reactions themed around Halloween.
 I guess I'd think that was pretty fun too!
"I'm a party dude so that's why I like your class u make it fun."
So, to reference my friend Jessie, I have 'taken a seat on the struggle bus' this year! Gah, teaching is not the thrilling experience I hoped it would be. I love it, don't get me wrong, but the fun has really been sucked out of this career. If you follow the fabulous Love, Teach Blog,, you know what I mean when I say it is not a year of puppies and rainbows. This year has been a challenge! I got this note last week and it made me giggle. No matter how tough the days are, I know God has placed me here for a purpose and there is beauty in His plan. This kid gets something out of my class each day and finds it relatable. I must be doing something right. Thankful for treasures like this...and yes, I will keep it for the future book.

But for the exciting part, CHRISTMAS IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!!! I have waited all year for this! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the holidays! It can't get here fast enough! We got to be completely selfish with Annie and BoPants during Thanksgiving...and I must say I loved every second of it! I wasn't sure if I was prepared for how holidays would change now that they are married, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much things stayed the same. They are just fabulous and I am so thankful lil BoPants fits in our family so well.

If you are a lucky recipient of The Ayers Annual Christmas Card, you know you have the legendary Bear Picture to look forward to. That's right, another glorius Ayers Family Tradition! This white bear stud has been around longer than I have been. My parents shot our first family Christmas card with that bear the year I was born. Every year, we take a 'Bear Picture' and include items nostalgic to what we are involved in for that year. I won't post the real deal photo in fears momma might be uuber upset that I spoiled her grand photo, but I thought you might enjoy the outtakes. And yes, BoPants has officially made the Christmas card this year! I was particularly uncooperative this year. Eh, we have to have at least a little fun with it.

Every year, for my mom's birthday, I purchase momma some unique holiday decorations and help her decorate her house for the holidays. We got quite a bit accomplished on Black Friday. BoPants even got a stocking to add to the mantle. However, we are still in search of the perfect stocking holder. Best part about the coming month is ALL of my Christmas shopping done. That's right, all presents purchased, and most of them wrapped. Yes, it is a remarkable feeling!! I cannot wait for the blessing of this holiday season!
One last inspirational nugget until next time! I always forget how much joy I find in writing. It is so easy to get caught up in the pressures of the world and the expectations today brings. But, there is more to life than living out the agenda. Take time out for you this Holiday season and do what makes you happy. Find joy in the small things and do something special to bless someone around you. After all, it's all about
Life's Simple Pleasures