Meet Pippa

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I have been an animal lover my entire life. I think my parents got my first pet when I was around 18 months old. After moving out for college, I missed the companionship of a dog and I vowed that I would get one as soon as I could afford a pet, or had the space.

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I got a pet of my very own in my early 20s and I loved him to pieces! Unfortunately, just a few months later, he passed away in a terrible freak accident. Shortly after, I was contacted about a stray that was found and the rest is history.

Yes, she was even present for my bridal portraits!
Photo credit: Photography by R. Silva

Almost six years ago, Miss Pippa came home to live with me and she has been the light of my life ever since! She barks at every pizza delivery and UPS man, and is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. When she met my husband for the first time, she barked at him too, and then shortly after became his best friend.

While our life without her would certainly be cheaper, cleaner, and quieter, it would also be a bit darker and with much less laughter! She used to get herself into trouble when she was younger, but she’s since calmed down in her old(er) age. However, she’ll take off and run her little heart out should a gate be left open.

Name: Pippa

Age: 6

Loves: Daddy, peanut butter, Milkbones, dairy products, licking empty tupperware containers, and looking out the window

Dislikes: Vacuum cleaners, the sound of crumpling water bottles, fire (even in the fire place), and anyone ringing the doorbell

Tricks: Sit, lay down, roll over, and putting herself in her crate each morning when she sees Mama getting dressed

She enjoys the occasional game of dress-up as well.

While it may seem a bit silly to dedicate an entire blog post to a dog, I can’t describe the joy this pup brings into my life!

Do you have a pet that fills your heart with joy?

Who is Jessica?

Since this space is still very new, I thought it would be nice to include a “get to know me” kind of post. I always love learning more about the people behind blogs I read, so I thought you might as well.

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I am an elementary school teacher. I got certified alternatively a few years after college. I went to school to be a journalist, but my first job out of college was as a technical writer. It’s taken me a while to find my career groove, and if I’m being honest, I still am.

My husband and I started dating my senior year of high school. He was a junior. Almost ten years later we got married. We didn’t date the WHOLE ten years, but we were always in each other’s lives. We will be celebrating one year of wedded bliss this April.

We have no kiddos (yet!), but we do have one dog. She is our sweet baby — at least she is mine. 🙂 Pippa recently celebrated her sixth birthday and is coming up on six years of being with me. She was a stray that someone found and I took in. She was about six months old at the time.

I am a chocolate fiend. Dark chocolate and Reese’s are my absolute favorite. I have a bag of dark chocolate kisses in my freezer right now — you know, for emergencies. 😉

My favorite wine is Sister Creek Vineyards Muscat Canelli. We have found it at exactly ONE store in our area, so I always buy two bottles.

As much as I enjoy wine, I LOVE coffee! I’m drinking coffee as I type this. I could drink it all day, but if I did, I’d never meet my water goal. My husband thinks I’m a weirdo because I drink it black.

I love reading and learning about health and fitness. About five years ago, I overhauled my life and lost 20 pounds. I’m proud to say that after all these years, I still love working out and I’ve been able to stay at a healthy (for me) weight.

I recently bought a new car! I traded in the first car I ever bought myself for a new Lincoln MKX. I LOVE it, but I definitely had an emotional attachment to my old car.

I love trashy reality tv! My husband haaaates it, so when he’s not home I get caught up on Ladies of London, Vanderpump Rules, and all the Real Housewives drama!

I did not read the Harry Potter series until last year. When the books first came out I was in my “I’m too cool to read,” stage and then I wanted to read all the books before watching any of the movies. It took me until I was 27 to get around to it and I’m so sad I wasted all those years! Team Gryffindor.

Ok, that’s enough for today. 🙂 Now, tell me more about you!

2016 In Review

Today, I’m linking up with one of my favorite blogs, Helene in Between, to recap the year 2016. I loved her link-up, Tell Me About It Tuesday, way back in the day when I blogged before!

I am kicking myself that I took such a long break from blogging because 2016 was a great/eventful year for us. I wish I had taken the time to sit down and write about each fantastic event. But alas, this condensed version will have to do. 🙂

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Probably the most exciting thing that happened in 2016 was that we got married! Our April wedding was very small and private. It was perfect and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Right before the wedding, my awesome teammates at my school threw me the most perfect wedding shower (we had one for family and friends a few weeks after the wedding). I was so grateful for the support of my fellow teachers last spring and I miss them all so much.
Shortly before the end of the school year, we found out my husband was being transferred within his company to a different city. In August of 2014, I moved home to start my teaching career and shortly after, moved in with my now husband. We had every intention of making our life in that house, but sometimes God has other plans. We put our house on the market and moved in July.

I cried the day we cleaned our house and left.

Before moving, we spent many hours looking for a new house and I spent a lot of time driving back and forth between home and soon-to-be-home. My husband was commuting already, so we did what we could on his extended lunch breaks. We couldn’t find the right fit before it was time to move, so we ended up in a less than desirable apartment for the short term.

All that driving wasn’t good for my butt.

In August, I started teaching a new grade in a new school in a new district — and I took on a second subject! It’s been a learning process every day, but I love my kiddos and seeing their smiling faces each day.
Near the end of September, an amazing house came on the market that was perfect for us. We put an offer in just a few hours after viewing it and it was accepted almost immediately. We closed at the end of October and I have loved getting to decorate it and put it all together.

I love the little wine/cookbook nook I created!

We ended the year (literally) with a little gift and a celebration. My birthday was December 31, and we took a short drive to trade in my 2012 Ford Escape for a new 2016 Lincoln MKX. My husband also scored a great deal on a 2009 Corvette! He’s been yearning for a sports car to play with for a while now. We decided now is the time since we don’t have kiddos of our own. 🙂

*all the heart eyes*

Helene in Between

Balance.

Well, here we are. December 30, 2016. In a mere 48 hours, we will all be staring a brand new year in the face. I’m sharing my word of the year today so I can begin putting it into practice as soon as possible. My birthday is New Year’s Eve (tomorrow!), so facing January 1st is truly facing a brand new year for me. I intend to make 28 (Wow, I’m old) my best year and I’ll do that through balance.

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My word for 2017 is B A L A N C E. I am constantly striving for balance in all areas of my life, and in 2016 I didn’t do a very good job. Between May and October, my husband started a new job and commuted two hours each way three times a week, we put our house up for sale and started looking for a new home in a new city, we didn’t find a house so we moved into an apartment (this at least ended my husband’s awful commute!), I started a new job in a new grade and a new district, we battled a mice infestation in aforementioned apartment, we purchased a new home and moved again, and I let work obligations get the best of me in the worst way.

So what will balance look like for 2017? More than anything, I will be working to relieve myself of unnecessary and self-induced stress. I can be kind of a control freak and when things don’t go my way or unexpected circumstances arise, I tend to let the stress consume me.

In Fitness:

I will try to balance my training each week as much as possible. I’m doing the Tone It Up #LookforLove challenge (which I’m so excited about!) and they always promote balanced training. I’m looking forward to working my whole body through HIIT, strength training, yoga, and steady state cardio. I really want to get my running endurance back up.

In Work:

I will control the things I can control and let go of the things I cannot. I will work to be a better teacher to my students by better time management and effective lesson planning. I have a habit of skipping over “the basics” with my kiddos and jumping straight into the higher rigor activities. I will practice balance in the classroom by laying the foundation for the skills my students need, but haven’t mastered in years past. I will also set a time limit on working at home. When my husband walks in the door, I will not work on school responsibilities!

In Life:

I will continue to be creative through blogging and other means. However, I will also focus on being present for my husband. I hope to continue to keep a clean home and cook for our family regularly. I need to focus more on self-care as well, whether taking a bath, getting a haircut, or just by not glorifying busyness. I may even read a book or two for pleasure!

Sending 2016 out the door with a smile.

Have you determined a 2017 word of the year? How do you practice balance in your life? Come back Monday for my 2017 goals!

Is this thing on?

Oh, hi! Welcome to the first post of I Am Teacher Fit.

A long time ago — ok, about four years — I started a blog. It was called Wonder What’s Next and for almost two years it fulfilled my creative needs. I wrote about things I loved, my life, and many silly things as well. As happens with many blogs and bloggers, life changed and got in the way. My old blog became a thing of the past.

I’m not the same person I was four years ago, so it was time for something new. I love writing and being creative. I love teaching kiddos, but I also love working out and eating healthy. Thus, I Am Teacher Fit was born. Follow along as I struggle through teaching and trying to maintain a home and family, all while keeping my sanity in check by sweating it out.