What My Baby Shower Taught Me

This past weekend we had our baby shower to celebrate our little MVP, and I’m still astonished at all the love and support from everyone!

I was not a fan of the idea of having a shower at all, but my friend, Erica was particularly excited and immediately offered to be a part of planning it. Considering I have not had a baby shower in twenty years and that I gave every last baby item away I thought it would help us quite a bit and it would be nice for Craig being this is his first child (yes, twenty years…whoa…that sounds crazy).

As Erica and I were talking about it I told her that I wanted to be a part of planning the shower, but was unsure what people would think because I read many comments on the online baby boards that it was considered tacky.  Erica’s response was, “Since when do you care what people think?  Do what you want!” Lightbulb moment here!

Doing what we wanted was exactly what we did and I’m glad we did!  It was perfect!


What My Baby Shower Taught Me

  1. Do what you want (couples, kids, food, favors, theme, games, music, food, invite who you want, honor family members who have past away…)  


  2. You will forget what you registered for…possibly because he liked using the scanning machine a little too much


  3. Someone will give you a gift that might make you cry


  4. If you try and give a speech you should practice before the shower day…and pregnancy hormones may cause water works41
  5. Something will not go as planned and that’s ok  We had a plan to take photos of every guest, but that did not happen.  I’m still a little bummed out about it, but I am thankful my son and Craig’s cousin were able to capture the moments that they did.
  6. Cupcakes are the easiest dessert ever 
  7. Homemade gifts are the best 


  8. Plan to take A LOT home 
  9. Having your man with you to open gifts is the best  68
  10. RSVP…I have a new found respect for it  I will admit I am terrible at RSVPing, but I have a new found respect and have promised myself not to be that person anymore.


Our shower was amazing…we loved seeing everyone excited for us and enjoyed spending the time with them! We are blessed!


The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Enlighten 


Freebie for Teachers: “Shame” by Dick Gregory

shame pic

As a celebration of making a few dollars on Teachers Pay Teachers I wanted to extend a free offer to other teachers who may be looking for materials to use with their students.  I’m a teacher in an urban school district where most of my students are considered to be “at risk” and have a range of special needs.  Many have experienced struggles which have prevented them from being successful in their academic life and are over-aged and under-credited.  I have always been passionate about finding materials for my students where they are able to connect with as well as learn from.

A few years ago I stumbled on a short story, “Shame”, by Dick Gregory and knew immediately that I would try it out with my students.  The story was a huge success and I have used it every year every since!  It is perfect for apprehensive readers and can be easily aligned with the Common Core Standards and skills needed for the English Regents Exam.

“Shame” by Dick Gregory can be used to:

  • teach how words can be powerful and have a lasting impact on others
  • teach literary devices such as characterization, setting, conflict, symbolism…
  • African American Literature/History—did you know Dick Gregory was an African American who ran for President of the United States in 1968?  He died this year (a week after teaching my summer school classes about him and his work).

Feel free to make any edits needed to differentiate for your students.  All materials are scaffolded to increase student achievement.

  1. Shame pre-reading words have power quotes (I laminated these and provided each group with a quotation to discuss and then present to the class as a pre-reading activity)
  2. Shame warm-up
  3. Shame-by-Dick-Gregory (short story)
  4. Shame Literary Chart
  5. Shame Dick Gregory Group Poster Assignment
  6. writing response pre assessment for shame (aligned with Part 3 of the English Exam)

Please share this post with any teachers who may find the materials helpful and/or check out my Teachers Pay Teachers account for other products.

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Post was inspired by “The Daily Post” prompt: Exceptional

Yearly Goals 2017

Today I took time to write my yearly goals down.  I have never done this before, and I already feel more focused and determined.

I also ordered a planner to keep me organized and moving forward.  I personalized my cover with some of my favorite photos and can’t wait until it comes in the mail.  There were a few glitches on the website while making it…I may write a review up on the planners after I receive it.  Click here to check them out!

My 2017 Goals


  • Once a month family date nights (games, recreation, laser tag, skating, movie…)
  • Dinner together at the table with a minimum of one night completing a page in our family gratitude journal
  • Organize bin for each child and add a letter a month
  • Nephew sleepovers/dates
  • Remember birthdays and send out cards and possible gift


  • Re-connect with friends I’ve lost touch with
  • Once a month friend date
  • Make a new friend…maybe a pen-pal in another country


  • Plan engaging lessons for students and continuously strive to improve
  • Weekly positive note to co-worker and/or student
  • Take career to district level
  • Be mindful of student needs and go above and beyond (snacks, food, birthdays…)
  • Increase student participation with our school newsletter

Professional Development

  • Read a chapter a day
  • Watch two TED talks a week
  • Read scholarly articles related to education, culture, leading…

Health and Wellness

  • Continue to eat healthy and try new fruits and vegetables
  • Make dinner menu each week to plan meals
  • Meal prep breakfast and lunches
  • Work out three times a week for at least 45 minutes each time
  • Continue to take vitamins
  • Drink more water (full bottle/day)
  • 15 minute meditation per day
  • Use my Fitbit
  • Learn to can


  • Monthly date night
  • Random acts of love


  • Keep decluttered (focus on a room a week to keep organized)
  • Fix front step
  • Finish decluttering basement storage and garage
  • Prep to sell by March
  • fire and C02 detectors…new batteries


  • Continue to work on improving credit score
  • Pay off Bport Bill and complete cert. by March
  • Read a book on investing/stocks


  • Take a trip to a new place
  • A mini-trip with the chillens
  • At least three road trips to new places
  • renew passport


  • Weekly blog work
  • Once a month update family “year book”
  • Photo a day challenge
  • Self-hypnosis once a month

Share in a comment:  Do you write yearly goals?  monthly goals?  weekly goals?  What are your experiences?  What is one goal you will be focused on this year?