Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bridal Brunch.

Last Saturday morning, my soon-to-be mother and sister in law TOTALLY outdid themselves and threw the most beautiful bridal shower I've ever been lucky enough to attend. They kept every detail under wraps so when I walked out into the backyard I had no idea what to expect, but everything was more perfect and thoughtful than I could've ever dreamed up on my own. It was enough to bring tears to my eyes!

I've looked forward to this day since the gorgeous invitation arrived in my mailbox a few days after I came home from Atlanta. All through my recovery these past six weeks, we continued to pray that I would feel well enough to enjoy the entire party and even some of the food and thankfully, I was! And I did! One of my favorite personal touches were the quotes from Weston that they framed and placed around the party as decoration. Such a cute idea!

Taryn made these incredible flowers! That girl is too crafty and creative!

 hahaha this made me laugh. Weston hates if I even tell him a kid fell down on the playground! ^
Weston's mom is the mastermind behind these homemade treats. She even whipped up those gluten free apple fritters that were to die for! I'm so thankful she loves experimenting with healthy recipes for me!

She also set up a build-your-own Acai Bowl Bar with lots of toppings to choose from! Such a hit!

After breakfast (and a face-time photo with my San Franciscan virtual guest, Sami) Taryn introduced a trivia game. She asked questions about me (for example: where I'd most like to live, my favorite TV show, etc.) and everyone wrote down what they thought Weston would answer for the question. I would give the actual answer, then they had little video snippets of Weston giving his answers! It was a fun way for some of the guests to learn more about me.. and in some cases, more about Weston and my history! Where our first kiss was, who said "I love you" first (he did, of course!) ;) and it was nice to incorporate Weston into the shower even though he wasn't actually there. So fun! 

See him there on the TV?

My old co-teacher, Beckie, won the trivia game! She had to listen to a looooot of stories during the kids nap time for the two years we shared a classroom. I'm glad it finally paid off for her. ;)

I'm not a shy person but I get really nervous about opening presents in front of people. I know it sounds crazy, but I was almost making myself sick about it the night before the shower! Thankfully, it wasn't as nightmarish as I feared it would be and lots of laughs broke up some of those awkward holding-up-lingerie-in-front-of-Weston's-grandmas moments. hahaha

My friend Tandi gave me two boxes to open. The first box had some cute PJ's from Victoria Secret in them. The second box that had a note reading, "For the nights when you have to… 'Just say no!'" and inside was a star patterned, unicorn, onesie! And while we all died laughing, I have honestly become quite attached to it in these last couple days. It's super soft, Weston thinks it's hilarious, and who doesn't want to take a break from being a grown up in favor of being a unicorn sometimes?!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our TK Classroom.

Last year, whenever anybody asked me if I was interested in promoting from my job as afternoon teacher to a morning position, I assured them I wasn't. I loved teaching the afternoon program, loved the morning teachers I shared a classroom with, and really appreciated being on the same schedule as Weston. When he was working nights and I was working mornings, it was hard to even catch each other for a phone call during the week and I wanted our first year of marriage to consist of as much time together as possible.

But as the summer went on, I thought about it more and I started to feel like I had more to offer than what I was able to provide in the afternoons. A job as a lead teacher in the mornings would give me a lot more responsibility and creative control…. More hours, more students, more say in what our class would be learning and how we'd be teaching it. Slowly it became something I was really interested in but in order to make it worth sacrificing a lot of time with my soon-to-be-husband, I knew the position would have to be with an age group I love and a co-teacher who I could see myself really getting along with.

When I was offered the job as a Transitional Kindergarten teacher with my sweet friend Katy as my co-lead, I couldn't have said yes faster! And while Weston and I were both a little bummed to go back to opposite schedules, he fully supported my decision since teaching TK has been my goal since I started my career in Early Education 3 years ago! I just couldn't let the chance pass me by. :)

When we came home from Atlanta I was anxious to get into our classroom and help Katy get everything ready for the school year. I worked on a lot of little projects at home and one weekend I recruited Nolan and Weston to help me hang up butcher paper and do some of the more physically demanding projects while I felt well enough to sit and be bossy. ;) They helped me out so much and last week I was able to pop in a few times before our long prep/meeting days to finish some final touches. So by the time those days arrived, our classroom was pretty much finished and we were able to focus more on diving into our school's new curriculum and lesson planning.

Friday night was Meet Your Teacher and we got to welcome almost all of our new T-Kinders and their families into our classroom. They seem like a really sweet bunch with a lot of personality and I'm so excited to get to know them and start our year together!

For our decor, we combined Katy's love of chalkboard with my love of color and ended up with a rainbow/chalkboard classroom as our home-away-from-home this year. I've never been able to decorate a classroom as the afternoon teacher, so this was a lot of fun for me to be a part of. It ended up being a place that Katy and I said we can both see ourselves happily spending so much of our time.

Here's what we ended up with!

My little corner. :) My friend Nicole made me the crayon wreath for Christmas a few years ago and Katy made that awesome feather as part of a "class warming" gift she gave me! She also included post its, a cute journal, and a box of thank-you notes which is a GREAT teacher gift. Super sweet and thoughtful! Thank you for making me feel so welcome in room 105, Katy! xo

Ps. Recognize any of these decorations from our engagement party? I knew I'd find use for those pom poms and pinwheels again!

Eeee, I'm so excited! 

Aside from the bright, happy classroom and the awesome co-teacher, a few things are really great about this year already.

Number one, we have almost an equal number of boys and girls! Last year my class AND Katy's class had about a million boys and like three girls, which is fun in a lot of ways but it can make for some really loud and rowdy days haha. It seems like there will be a little bit more balance this year. :)

Also, in Pre-K our school offers the parents a choice of how many days their children will come to school. They can come two, three, four, or five days a week which means every day is a different group of kids, a different dynamic, and when it's time for projects to be done, you spend the whole week trying to make sure that each child is able to complete the assignment on the days that they come in! TK is a 5 day program at our school, so we'll have the same 22 students every day which makes certain things a lot easier.

As mentioned, our school is introducing a new curriculum this year which can be a little overwhelming for students and teachers… but I'm excited for all the fun new things I will get to teach with this new grade level and just have a feeling that this is going to be a really fabulous year. 

Can't wait for tomorrow!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Claremont Engagement Photos.

A couple weeks before heading to Atlanta, Weston and I got to meet our wedding photographer for our engagement photo session. After throwing around a million location ideas in the weeks prior, we finally decided on Claremont. We started Downtown, where Weston and I had many of our first dates and where we got engaged, then we headed up into the local mountains to explore a few trails where Weston likes to run. I am so happy with how the pictures turned out! Weston and I agree that Richard perfectly captured our love, our relationship, and how this moment in our lives feels to us.

So excited for the beautiful images I know he will take at our wedding! Richard Cao, you're a boss.

By the way, I know this is picture overload… but if it makes me any less obnoxious, he gave us over 200 pictures and I narrowed it down to the following for posting! (which was no easy task!) ;)

v This picture was taken right where Weston proposed. Now, forever my favorite Claremont street. :)
All photos by Richard Cao.