A fathers love…

Several weeks back I wrote a piece about prayer, and the effect it has on our legacy, including people who we may, or may not know, or even talk to on a regular basis… Prayer is a powerful tool, often over looked. It is a secret weapon, the ace in the hole. Prayer is intimate, and public. Prayer brings comfort, and answers questions. The answers might not be immediate, or the one you were hoping for. Prayer also brings Him closer to us… Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

But what about prayer of thanks giving?

I have tried to be more intentional in prayer and even have a journal to write my thoughts. However I’ll admit I am not constant with it. Why is it our human nature to turn to prayer when things aren’t going according to plan and not when we have all of our needs met? It makes me wonder, why do we go though trials. Perhaps it’s his plan and way to draw us closer to Him?

I listend to a sermon recently that talked about gratitude. I took it and ran with it. Although I have my trials and prayers for guidance through them I have incorporated prayers of gratitude. Before submitting my needs I take time to thank Him for all the blessings I have. This idea has also spilled into prayer time with our son. We always begin our prayers with “Thank you Jesus” and we list things we are thankful for. Things as simple as our bed and a place to live. They seem simple but in fact when you think about the world as a whole, not everyone is as privileged as we are (Americans). This time of prayer has humbled me so much and I find myself thanking Him for things like clean water, AC, and everyday things that I would normally overlook. Do you know what has happened by incorporating this into my prayer time? An attitude of gratitude. When I am having a “horrible” day and things just don’t seem right I try my best to put myself in that mindset, stop and thank Him for all the “little things” that actually aren’t that little.

I encourage you to take time daily to thank Him for even just one “little” thing. I promise you, you won’t regret it <3.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Psalm 136:26 "Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his love and kindness endures forever.

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Five signs that summer is close teachers…

This time of year is CHAOTIC for a teacher. EOY (end of the year) testing is in progress, STAAR is around the corner (again) and classroom behavior is well, interesting. You know it’s almost break time and so do the kids! Here are some signs that might let you know summer is closer then you think

  1. The Snooze Button: As the year draws towards an end the energy we had at the BOY (beginning of the year) is well, just not there! You’ve been going a mile-a-minute since day one! Meetings, lesson planning, grading, prep-work, tutoring, conferences, math night, science night, reading night, professional development, you name it you were there! In sight of that why not hit that snooze button one more time, you deserve the extra five! So what if you have two-day old hair, I’m sure it’s nothing a little dry-shampoo can’t fix!
  2. Jeans: What is it about a jeans pass that make teachers go NUTS!? We will do anything for a jeans pass, literally anything! Not to mention when you’ve hit that snooze button maybe more than you should have a jeans pass really saves the day!
  3. Caffein: So you like your coffee in the morning on the regular, but this time of year you find your self coming around for seconds (more than once). You’re hanging on by a thread with all the madness that comes with the closing of another school year. It’s our friend coffee for the win with it’s pal caffein!
  4. Classroom Incentives: It’s been a long year and these last few weeks can be even longer. It hard for students to stay on task and have positive classroom behavior…It’s time to crank up some new behavior incentives, pull out your tool box and try everything. EVERYTHING! What ever it takes to keep them on task, behaved and engaged!
  5. Special Activities: It’s no wonder that classroom behavior is a little bit more tricky this time of year, there are so many exciting things going on! You have field trips, open house, activity nights, plays and not to mention FEILD DAY (elementary) or PROM (high school)! These activities are a sure sign that summer is drawing closer my friends.

It’s been a great year teacher! You’ve done amazing things this year and I am SO proud of you. Hang in there and finish strong. There are only a few weeks that stand between you and a summer full of fun in the sun, vacations, down time, a good book and  of course sleeping in…

❤ Brittani

Because, they need me too…

Being a teacher and a mother can sometimes be very conflicting on the inside. I spend a lot of time with my students. During the week day I spend more time when them than my own son. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that teaching isn’t a job, but rather a calling. One day when Greyson is old enough I hope he understands that I am always his mother first, but they need me too…

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Their faces are excited when I greet them at the door. Their minds are racing with all the stories they want to share from the weekend spent at home. I’m greeted with hugs, high-fives, and fist-bumps too.

We finally settle in and have our share time. A few might accidently call me mom… They smile, and giggle a little embarrassed, but it doesn’t bother me in the least. These are my mornings, Monday – Friday.

The day goes on, redirection is constant, reminders never ending, and the questions too! Snack time rolls around and there are always a few who are left out…Not in my class though, I’ve always got extras on hand.

The day rolls on and inevitably feelings get hurt, but I’m always there to interject and set things right.

Skinned knees, bruises and bumps are all a part of elementary recess, but I’m there to  help and make sure they’re taken care of. You see, each child of mine though patience is always required is a part of me and my heart. There are days when they are sad, and I’m there to cheer them up. There are days where they are happy, and I’m always there to share it. There are days when they just need someone one to listen, and I’m happy to lend an ear.

I’ll always be there. Why? Because, they need me too…

Season Change, But True Friends Remain The Same…

Who is your person, do you have one, two or more? If not, it’s never too late to find your tribe…

I was blessed with the opportunity to begin building my tribe at the ripe young age of fifteen. I had just moved from Illinois to Texas the summer before my freshman year of high school. Little did I know the girls I bonded with in my high school years would be the friendships that would carry me into adulthood… Through high-school and college I grew many friendships, they are to this day are near and dear to my heart. They are “my people” the ones who know me from the inside out, the ones who help me make decisions, the ones who talk sense into me, the ones who cheer me on, support me, and are just there in general.

Today I met two of my friends for a “last brunch,” Emily, a friend I’ve had since high school is moving to the coast, a dream she has brought to reality. She is so excited for this move, I am excited for her, and also extremely proud of her. However, I will miss her immensely…

This evening Lauren posted a picture from our brunch

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The caption Lauren gave this photo was the following, “A million things have changed in the past five years, but we haven’t.” Her words were simple but, also deep and profoundly true. In the past several years so much has changed; stages of life, jobs, boyfriends, husbands, buying homes, having kids, and adulting in general… Through all the stages of life we have encountered so far and all the changes that have occurred, one thing has managed to stay the same…our friendship. We are completely different in every way possible, but I guess that’s what makes our friendship so special. I love the ability we have to pick up right where we left off, regardless of how long it’s been since we talked or hung out…

I am going to miss my friend so much when she leaves , but at least I’ll have somewhere to stay on the coast! 😉

Love you Emily, here is to the next fourteen years, and yes it’s really been that long for us!

“If a friendship lasts longer than seven years psychologists say it will last a lifetime”

-unkown

So basically you’re stuck with me now!

Love,

Me

Why celebrate ALL women on Mother’s Day?

 

It’s that time of the year again. Flowers, cards, handmade items, Facebook status updates about how much we love our mom, and the cute little #Instagram pics of all the Mother’s Day goodies we received. It’s a wonderful day full of love, and appreciation, and its more than deserved.

You’re a woman arguably one of the hardest things to be on the planet, since we use both sides of our brains, it’s obviously harder than being a man. But, what if your not a mom in the traditional sense? Do we still celebrate you? Why, YES! Of course we do! All women are natural nurtures, we give of ourselves freely, we put others needs above our own, we protect, and defend those we love. If that’s not the definition of a mom to a tee, then I don’t know what you’re smoking!? I am a mom in the traditional sense, I carried my son for 38 weeks, gave birth to him, breast fed him, care for him on a daily basis, love him, play with him, laugh with him, go on walks with him, and the list goes on, and on. I’ve done, and do all these things so now the world recognizes me as a mom…But wait a minute, what about the teachers, nurses, coaches, day-care workers, aunts, friends and all the other titles childless women wear? Are they not also in positions that nurture, and protect children? I have several friends who are teachers and some are also coaches, they are young, beautiful, single, and also childless in the way the world would put it. But, I am here to tell you that they are moms, maybe not in the tradition sense… They love, laugh, play, care for, celebrate, protect, and worry for their students, patients, athletes, and or niece/nephew. They are role models to young people just the same as moms are. They too deserve to be celebrated this mothers day.

To all my friends who love Greyson like their own, to all my friends who are in the trenches of teaching with me, to all my friends who care for children in hospitals, to all my friends who are extraordinary aunts and especially to my sister who is an amazing auntie too! I celebrate you this Mothers Day! Others may ask why, and my answer is simple, you’re a mommy too!

Happy Mother’s Day to all women who love, laugh, play, care for, celebrate, protect, and worry for the little ones in their lives.

Love,

Brittani, just a wife, mom & teacher 🙂

Baby Faith

Here is one of my most recent photo sessions. Sweet friends, Robby & Tiffany Ashley 🙂 They welcomed their sweet girl, Faith on September 3, 2015. The photos below are a few of my favorites from their maternity session.

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Shane and Cally were high school sweethearts and they finally decided to tie-the-knot! I was honored when they asked me to to be their photographer and witness at the courthouse wedding. It was such a beautiful moment and such a special thing to witness. Here are a few of my favorites from their wedding.

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