Monday, January 12, 2015

Creative Blog Post Name

Hello again faithful blog readers! Honestly, I am (very pleasantly) surprised at the number of avid readers I have. You guys are the best and you are inspiring me to write more :) Hopefully you enjoy tonight's blog... the rambling addition.

As you know, I was pretty sick for the last few days. I had strep (boo) and even had to stay home from school on Friday (yay! Don't tell the kids I said that though!). Anyway, in my time off I thought a lot about blogging, but stopped myself multiple times. Why? I thought to myself, "Self, you have nothing interesting to blog about." But then today I was reading hilarious things from my second graders (see below :)) and thought to myself, "Self, you don't need a concrete, monumental reason to blog." Because to tell the truth, life isn't always monumental. And thank goodness because that would be exhausting. So here (if you continue to read...) are the ramblings.

In no particular order (thanks for continuing to read... you die hard, you. I like you.):

My kids are far more attached to NFL football than I anything I can remember being attached to in elementary school. There are students in my class who come to school on Monday and journal about every game from the weekend and how happy/sad they are about the Packers/Saints/Patriots/Broncos/Cowboys/Seahawks winning/losing. Seriously! I have one student who came to school all down in the dumps today because the Broncos lost over the weekend. And NO I did not rub it in his face (although I did really want to tease him). This student told me he's pretty bummed because he's worried that Peyton Manning is going to retire. Whoa. Then he says the Broncos are going to have to get another really good quarterback or he might have to start cheering for another team. I encouraged him to come to the blue and green side. #gohawks. So I thought that was kind of interesting....

Next, my parents got me this really cool fitness bracelet thing for Christmas. The real name is Samsung Gear Fit. It's this awesome little watch/bracelet with a touch screen. It "Samsung Gear Fit SM-R3500ZKAXAR Fitness Watch: Monitors your exercise and sleep habits with this Samsung watch that features accelerometer, gyro and heart rate sensors provide helpful fitness data. A Bluetooth 4.0 + LE interface allows pairing with select devices, so you can receive SNS, call, e-mail and app notifications." And yes, I copied that straight off of a website. Basically it syncs to my phone and gives me the capability to utilize all kinds of fitness-y options.... like a pedometer. Which is how I know that I walked just over 3 miles at work today! I also get text alerts via little vibrations... which I discovered while the kids were working. (Thanks Cody!) It's really kind of cool and I'm super excited to use it for running... once it's warm enough to run outside again. Because let's be honest: I'm no longer a collegiate athlete and hence, no longer some crazy die-hard runner who will brave arctic temperatures 6x a week all in the name of training....

Although I really do miss being a college athlete. I miss everything about it. Especially the smoking hot bod (KIDDING! Okay.. not entirely). I really miss the camaraderie.. and YES, I had to look up the spelling of that word. There is no equivalent to having people at your side who share your same passion and desires, who love you, support you, share in your physical and mental struggles and goals, know all the drama, know what it takes, and (more than anything else) believe in you 110%. After 15+ years of identifying myself as an athlete, as part of a team I guess I'm (still) adjusting to life without it. Shoutout to all of you, my teammates. Especially BCUTF & BCUVB. You've got a special place in my heart.

BLECK. Enough of that drama. Seriously, even I didn't expect it to get that sappy.

Back to school for a hot second. Today was the first full day of the first full week following Christmas break. Woof. I realize that I spent about 67 hours this weekend lying in a horizontal position sleeping and watching Law and Order SVU, but SHOOT I forgot how hard teaching is. Maybe hard isn't quite the right word... more like exhausting. Today while teaching I was reminded of a popular comedian who my dad loves. While describing what it's like to have four kids he says, "just imagine you're drowning... and then someone hands you a baby." (You can catch the video by clicking on the crying baby picture. You're welcome) I felt like that saying could also sum up teaching. Except for there are 25 of them and a whole lot more paperwork.

Teaching does have it's perks though! Those darn kids can be hilarious. For example... check out these nice writings I found today. First of all, we took a selling pretest this morning over words with silent(ish) diagraphs (kn, wr, gh, and ph). Pictured is # 6 wrap. Such a valiant effort... I really did laugh out loud.  

 Now this next picture is kind of tricky, but there were a lot of names included in the journal entry, and this particular student tends to write a LOT. So here's the gist. Said student attended a party to celebrate a baby's bathtisom. Aka baptism. But since they really do douse those little ones in water, I do think that possibly we should rename this sacrament to represent what it reminds us of... hence: Bathtism. Consider it! :)

Finally, I've included one picture of a sparse looking bulletin board. I know it's not finished yet, but I'm so excited for the kids to pitch in and make it complete! The Olaf was hand drawn by yours truly and Cody is responsible for all things pink and heart shaped (seriously!). The kids are going to write book reviews on white paper and cut their reviews out in puddle shapes (see where I'm going with this?), complete with the melted snowman parts (eyes, nose, stick limbs). Look for a completed update of the board later. And, as always, thanks pinterest!

Moving right along. I think it's time to do some blog shoutouts. It's been a while! (Except for the one to BCUTF and BCUVB. Just ignore that.)

To my financé: First and foremost, I need to give a ton of credit, love, and thanks to you, Cody. For taking care of me when I'm sick, for cooking when I can't (that's all the time-I'm a horrible cook.), for doing all the manual work at school, for going outside of your comfort zone to please me, for always putting me first, and for making me feel happy and loved every single day, thank you. You da real MVP. I can't imagine a better half to my dreamteam.

To my fam: Ma, Daddy, La Reg, Cerm... You already know. I love you guys so, so, so, so, so much.

To my future fam: Inlaws. It's a joyous, weird thing. Thank you for putting up with my never-ending sass, for advising me, and for welcoming me into the family. JT, you know none of this would be possible without you. Thanks for never giving up. I guess my mom was right when she said, "if it's meant to be, it will be." You always knew that, brother...(in law). Still weird!

To my colleagues: I know that many of you read the blog (creepy or dedicated? haha). I want you all to know that you make a huge difference at school. I feel more and more comfortable everyday because of the way I'm treated and accepted. It's an amazing thing to be absorbed into a community and I've really been feeling the love lately. For that, for your encouragement, advice, and friendship, I thank all of you.

To my readers: I know I joke all the time about how dedicated you guys are and how I "can't believe" that anyone even visits this blog anymore. But honestly, I am incredibly lucky and blessed to be surrounded with the sweetest, most caring people. There's a chance I could dedicate an entire blog to writing "watermelon, watermelon, watermelon" and you people would still come here to check. It's amazing and very much appreciated. Thanks for giving me someone to ramble to. I love you readers... is that weird?

Alright, that's all for now.

Until next time...

Peace, love, and warm fuzzies,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Blog Life is SICK....

... oh wait, that's just me. With strep. So that certainly puts a damper on this whole "back to school" thing. Also, on the whole "new year, new me" workout and diet spree. Although I'm confident that the soreness in my throat will prevent me from over-eating (or ya know, eating at all) so maybe that's the silver lining. Haha!

So here's the story of my life currently:
Monday- Work day, early out
Tuesday- School, late start
Wednesday- No school due to negative gajillion degree temperatures. I'm agreeing with Kat on this one.. The temperature should never involve a math sign. Gross.
Thursday- School, early out,  due to the snow blowing across these flat, vast, fertile plains that we Midwesterners call home is creating 0% visibility. So that's cool.
Friday- Sick day, no school.

It's madness people. The lucky thing is (although I am burning up with a low grade fever under my covers) as long as I'm horizontal I feel okay. As soon as I get up, bad news bears. Head rush! It's like a flash back to the tired, tired student teaching life. Funny that it's my actual everyday life now.

Well my motivation to blog today has finally run dry.

Until next time...
Peace, love, and penicillin,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, New Blog Post

Happy New Year blog readers!

The month of December flew by in classroom 222 and apartment 212. I apologize (again) for not being a better blogger! After a whole month I struggle to even remember what has happened since I last blogged. The kiddos were wild with excitement leading up to Christmas, but it was SO FUN to watch them interact and especially to read their journals. At 7 and 8, they are just so sweet and so pure of heart! Many students brought in gifts for me... which was crazy and awesome. My kids (and parents) were so thoughtful. I was honestly overwhelmed with gratitude... and with writing thank you notes :) ha! Break has been nice, and while I'm not exactly looking forward to working, I can't wait to get back to school and hear all about the kids' Christmas break. I know mine was wonderful! After a couple of crazy, crazy days filled with Christmas activities and one heck of a party (thanks to awesome parent volunteers) it was finally time for a much needed break.

Break this year was filled with bonus cheer and Christmasing for two reasons. The first reason is that I have bonus family to celebrate with! Fiancé and I rotated through our families, eating, drinking, playing cards, and being oh-so-very-merry. Crazy to think that this time next year we will be celebrating our first Christmas together as officially married! AHH!

The second reason that break was filled with bonus cheer is because my best friend and LDR (Long Distance Relationship) Kat came to visit. It was crazy awesome to see her after a year and a half... it's hard to believe it had been that long! Kat and I were roomies in college... unfortunately we could no longer be roomies when she graduated and moved back to Nevada. However, we maintain a loving long distance friendship filled with random text messages, lengthy late night phone calls, and the highly anticipated pen pal letters between our second grade classes. Needless to say, our week together was filled with love, laughter, puns, glitter, naps, movies, cuddles, late nights, wedding planning, and other best friend shenanigans.

One of the super awesome things about having Kat home for the holidays is that she got to spend some quality time with me and all the important people in my life. She's pretty much an honorary sister in my family and greeted everyone with smiles and hugs. She also (finally) got to meet Cody. Words can't explain how happy I was to see two of my favorite people in the whole entire world get to know each other. There was never a dull moment. Between LDR, fiancé, my family, sisters, and friends, we were BUSY. You might have seen us...
Around Y-town,
At a Skyforce game,
At Starbucks,
Golfing (in playing card version),
Cuddling on couches and beds,
Snowboarding (or at least attempting to) at Great Bear,
At Hobby Lobby... covered in glitter and crafting for the wedding,
Trying on Bridesmaid dresses,
Eating out downtown,
Bar hopping for NYE,
Wandering around Old Market and Dundee in Omaha,
Looking incredibly homeless and/or dressed to the nines.

So did you see us? If you answered mayyybe, I wouldn't be surprised!

So now that we've caught up on the past, it's time to look forward to the future. I know it's totally cliché to post reflecting back on the year that was and looking forward to another bright, shiny year. Now is the time that most are forming in their minds (and many posting on social media) new goals for 2015. So here's what I've got to add :)

2014 was a tremendous, huge, and challenging year filled with big highs, lows, and changes for me. A quick recap... I finished my last indoor track season by competing at NAIA indoor nationals. I applied, interviewed for, and accepted my very first teaching job. I completed my last semester as an undergraduate student and as a track athlete. I moved and said goodbye to some really amazing friends who held my hand throughout 4 years of growth and maturation in college (aaaand cue the tears here!). I worked the summer away. I became a first time renter after looking for an apartment. I cleaned out, organized, and planned my classroom while starting to train for teaching. I took graduate classes (just when I thought I was done with that stuff for a while!). I, we :), got engaged! We set a date (July 18th), booked the church, reception, rooms, DJ, photographer, wedding party... What an absolutely crazy year. I thought I was honestly going to lose my mind for a while there, but 2014, we did it! And I couldn't have done it without YOU all... that's right, friends, family, co-workers, random supporters and readers. You too weigh into this equation of my life, so thank you!

As for life in 2015... of course I have some goals.
High on the goal list is happiness. And I know that might sound silly, but that's what (I think) everyone truly hopes and works for. Whether that happiness comes from losing weight, buying a new car, forming new relationships, or whatever, happiness is always the goal. And while I really can't complain about the overwhelming happiness of 2014 (seriously, so awesome), I am looking forward to more happiness in 2015. I don't want to bore your with my in-depth, 12-step, miracle-plan... because let's face it, I don't have one. But I hope to become a stronger, happier person in all aspects of my life; especially through faith, fitness, and communication. I believe that road to success in this goal of happiness will never end. Of course, I also expect to encounter road blocks, bumps, and bruises, but nothing that can't be overcome with faith, family, and friendships.

Another goal of mine is to embrace change. Change has never been easy for me... and it's something that I didn't recognize in myself until my mother pointed it out to me. (Thanks, Ma.) Anyway, 2014 brought many changes and with our  marriage on the horizon the future is bright but unknown, and change is inevitable. I hope, pray, and challenge myself to embrace change this year.

So say a little prayer for me and keep me in your thoughts blog readers. I hope that positivity fills us to the brim throughout this year, even in the dark times. May each darkness hold a silver lining, a lesson, a positive change and growth.

That's about enough for tonight I think. Until next time...

Peace, love, and high hopes,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


November, you slippery snake! I just realized that the whole month passed by and I didn't even blog. Not once. That makes me pretty sad. I'M SORRY! I thought about blogging, but cripes it's been busy. At this point I'm not sure that it will ever be less busy.... Although I would welcome some more free time! So here's what I, daughter, sister, fiance, friend, rookie teacher extraordinaire, shower singer, and partially lazy bum Jayna have been up to. (In chronological order.)

  • Finace and I put up a Christmas tree
  • Bridesmaid dress shopping (unsuccessfully so far)
  • Teaching... oh wait, that's daily!
  • A Silvernail road trip to KC for a Seahawks/Chiefs game
  • Wedding planning. Guest list= check!
  • Thanksgiving at home with the family and family-to-be
  • My second formal observation
Okay, looking back on my list it seems like maybe I wasn't super busy during November. At least not with actually doing things. I think the problem is that my brain is alwayyyys going, going, going. If it's not school, it's wedding. Then there's family, friends, and the holidays coming up. Enough of me complaining, we're all busy. Seriously though, if anyone would like to do my Christmas shopping you're more than welcome to. 

Picture time :) First of all, this is why we journal

 Check out this improvement! I'm so proud :) My class journals every morning and although it's more work for me, the trade off of improvement for in the kids' writing and the value of how much I learn about them makes it totally worth it.

Progress makes me smile :) As I mentioned before, today was my second formal evaluation. Like by the principal while I'm teaching. I think that it went pretty well, at least I thought our lesson today was awesome! The kids got to partner read, answered questions, compared and contrasted between two stories. They were so, SO good. Everyone has had awesome behavior since Thanksgiving break. Thank goodness because MAN, we all needed a break. 

Speaking of breaks, we've got another coming up in T- 14 school days. Not that I'm counting or anything. Here's a sneak peak of other things I'm counting down for.

22 days until KAT IS HERE!!!
I have not seen that woman in a year and a half. It's about time by girl other half and I had a little rendezvous. Long distance relationships are hard. Although I would trade our LDR for any friendship in the world. 

226 days until I take on a new last name!!!
That's right people... wedding! WOOO!!! Now if I could just get everything planned already. Hmm. 

One step at a time friends. Until next time... 

Peace, love, and the worst blogger ever, 

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Time to Blog...

Finally! A time to blog! It's been so long that I can't even remember what I last wrote about. The month of October just flew by... which is good and also crazy to think. I can't believe it went so fast! It's good because I survived my first complete semester of teaching. Including conferences. Including report cards. And since I can't really remember everything and pictures are worth a thousand words, here are some to tell you about my month!

My kids LOVE the reading mat my Mom picked up (for $5) this summer and the covered crates that Cody made. Thanks guys :) 

This month I spent two weekends visiting friends in Sioux City. The first time was for BC homecoming and 8 of us had a great time catching up, going out, and holding down the Sioux City Hotel for a night!

The second weekend in Sioux City was to celebrate when one of my 5th roommates was back to visit! We all had a sleepover on the Queenie G's basement floor. It was a great time and so good to see everyone again :) 

Here's a gift for surviving the first quarter of school from one of my co-workers. She's such a sweetie. I'm blessed to work with some wonderful people!

After finishing one of my graduate classes on Saturday (WOOOOOOOOO!!!), Fiance and I made our way to the Dierks Bentley concert. He was so pumped (and right) to order us concert tickets a couple months ago... although at the time I couldn't imagine doing anything aside from school. The concert was awesome. Great music, a handsome date, and meeting up with my cousin W was one of the best ways to spend a Saturday night! 

Now we're caught up to today! One of my students who LOVES school showed up in this brand new owl shirt today. It's the third owl shirt I've seen her wear this year! Over conferences many parents told me that whenever their kids see owl things, they automatically say how much Miss Specht would LOVE it. I think that's so cool! Another student came in with broken teeth today... unfortunately they are her permanent teeth. Here was her journal entry. She's so darn cute, even looking like a little redneck for this week! However, the most exciting thing that happened at school today is that we got mail! That's right!! Our pen pal letters from Carson City, Nevada finally came! The kiddos were so exited to read about their pen pals... although they were pretty confused over the concept of a Catholic school. So that was an interesting one to explain! Thanks Miss v for agreeing to be our pen pals. I know your kids are enjoying this project as much as mine are already :)

Hmm let's see. Is there anything that I missed blogging about? Oh yeah... wedding stuff! Fiance and I bought each other's bands this week. Mine is already here. And Gorgeous. I can't wait to show it off.... ya know, in approximately 263 days. His is en route from the jewelry store in California. We are currently working on booking a photographer and DJ. Both are things that should probably already be done... so if you've got any suggestions or advice please let us know! We haven't had a family wedding in a long time, so we're feeling a little unsure of what we're even looking for. Also, I bought a wedding dress! YES. I said yes to the dress. CRAZY. But awesome. Mom, sissy, and both of my grandmas took a day to come up and help me shop. It was so fun, and although I wouldn't have expected myself to pick the dress that I did, I love it. It's perfect and I can't wait to show you guys.. but for now you're just going to have to settle with these pictures.

Here's my lovely entourage. I'm so glad that all of them could make it! We had a really great time. 

Here's my reaction face. When you know, you know, ya know?

Until next time...
Peace, love, wedding and school bells,

Friday, October 3, 2014

Organized Chaos

I'm pretty sure I've said it before... but elementary school is basically organized chaos. At all times, the potential for choas, both organized and unorganized, is through the roof. Take my afternoon today for example....

First we had a birthday celebration complete with mom, grandma, little brother and sister, and a chocolate on chocolate cupcake cake. Then a math lesson, followed by small group reteaching. Then I took my kids to music. I spent 30 minutes running around attempting to get organized, make copies, correct papers, and write lesson plans, etc... the main word being attempting. Then I picked up my kids, addressed an inappropriate touch complaint, finished a math lesson, kept naughty kids for 5 minutes of recess, and went down to the principal's office. I sent a kid with a bloody lip to the nurse, gave the students a bathroom break, gave a grammar test, sent a student with a tummy ache to the bathroom, soothed a student who bumped his leg and started bawling, and read half of the grammar test words to one student. I had the principal in my room, gave out coloring contest sheets, put in a science video, and organized my spelling words for next week. Finally I collected our coloring sheets, handed out fit kid prizes, announced our class victory in the coin challenge contest, packed the kids up and sent them home.

Serious madness.

But I did get two awesome things... news that my classroom raised $158.96 in our coin challenge! Our class collected the most in the whole school.. and earned me an extra $25. So that's quite a chunck of change to spend on new books for our classroom :) Also on a free choice writing day, here's what one of my little girls wrote...
"The most thing I Love Miss Specht. And Miss Specht is the bes theatcher in the world and your Awsome. And you allwas look pretty every day and I Love our dresses and scurts."
"ps- Miss Specht is Awesome."

Until next time...
Peace, love, and exhaustion,

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Good Day

Hello blog world! I've missed you :) I thought today was the PERFECT day to write, because today was a darn near perfect day in 2nd grade. Not that perfection amidst twenty-five 7 and 8 year olds is a thing.... but behaviorwise today was pretty darn good.

I guess I don't have much to say other than thank goodness. This year is going to be a whirlwind and days like today keep me sane.

Plus, I thought you'd like to know which celebrities my 2nd graders would like to meet!

  • Mary Pope Osborn (Author of the Magic Tree House Series)
  • Mia Hamm (Star of our reading selection this week!)
  • Selena Gomez
  • Peyton Manning
  • Katy Perry
  • Yankton band (I'm not sure.. I can only imagine that he was giving a shoutout to good old YHS!)
  • The characters from Frozen- but not Hans because he's the mean guy. (She really wrote that.)
  • Britney Spears
  • Mikko Koivu
  • Drew Brees
  • Lady Gaga
  • President (because he is kind to others. Or so she wrote :))
  • Russell Wilson (GO HAWKS)
  • Mozart
  • The Simpsons
  • Miley Cyrus
Tomorrow it's back to square one with learning. We are currently working on identifying nouns, making predictions, spelling words with -ie and -igh patterns, becoming fluent readers, finding place value, and studying plant life cycles. So if you've got any kick butt ideas to enhance my lessons, hit me up! 

Before I wrap this school portion up, I need to give a couple shoutouts. 
  1. To my coworkers. For putting up with my first year self, for throwing every available resource my way, for always asking how my days are going, for constantly encouraging me, and most of all for being my friends. Love you guys :)
  2. To Fiance. I love you. Sorry for all the sad, stressed out tears, but thank you for giving me a reason to cry happy ones. 
  3. To my family. Baby Dingus, La Reg, Momma, and Daddy. You already know :) 
Okay enough about school. Let's talk life. Big girl life outside of work is really pretty fun. Although I don't do much... Fiance and I are joining a gym, so I am really excited to start working out again. It's been hard for me to transition into a school schedule. Teaching is exhausting, but I've got to find some time and energy to start running and lifting again. Working out just makes me happy and happy is more of what we all need. Stay tuned for (hopefully) updates and progress on that one. 

One thing that should be motivating (not that it really is yet haha) is the approaching wedding date! Okay, it's still 9.5 months off but it's coming! Mom and I have gone wedding dress shopping once, and only for an hour, but it was so fun! We didn't find THE dress, but we did find a style of dress that I really like. Don't expect to see a wedding dress picture posted, but if you're curious just ask! And if you see me anytime soon, encourage me to actually start wedding planning. I feel like July 18th is going to sneak up much faster than I expect! 

Other things that are going on.... Nothing too terribly exciting. I'm just busy teaching, planning, getting ready for conferences next week (EEK!), taking graduate classes (not really by choice), oh and I GET TO SEE SOME OF MY VERY BEST FRIENDS THIS WEEKEND!!!! 

This weekend is BCU's homecoming! It's crazy to think that I was living that homecoming court dream just a year ago... Anyway a few ex-college besties, and I have hotel rooms for Saturday night. The downside is that I will be sitting in one of my graduate classes from 8 am to 4:30 pm, but the upside is that afterwards, I will scoot my booty down to reunite with my girls. I didn't realize until earlier today just how much I miss them! It's been a 5 month hiatus from girls that I used to spend 20/24 with every day. Needless to say, I'm ready for a reunion :) 

Well that's about it for now. Off to bed for me! Until next time... 

Peace, love, and literally piles of laundry,