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How to get started….tackling the new year…

Hi Loves!

Can you believe that January is almost over?  Sheesh! Where does the time go? Anyway, just wanted to check in and see how the new year is treating you all so far.  How are those intentions, or resolutions going? Did you get started? If not, what’s holding you back?

This is the first year that I finally feel like I am being a little more reasonable about the things I want to accomplish. newyear

Typically, and you guys know how it goes;  we want to do it ALL in the new year.  Get up early, go to gym every day, read, meditate, meal prep,  declutter, stay organized,  etc, etc, etc.  And of course by week 2 it’s down the drain, because quite frankly it is overwhelming. And way too much to tackle all at once.

I mean thinking on previous years and thinking of how quickly I gave up, it’s no wonder.   There aren’t even enough hours in the day to do it all.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to set daily intentions (rather than make intentionsresolutions) and take small bites in order to accomplish what I would like in this new year. I’ve also made it a point to be kinder to myself when I don’t come through on those intentions.  Sometimes, actually, most times we are too hard on ourselves.

Like think about it, if a friend came to you bummed out because after dieting for a few weeks they haven’t lost any weight or they went out and stuffed their faces with the best pasta ever!  You don’t turn around and say,

“OMG! You’re such a fat-ass!  You’re never going to lose weight eating like that!”

(At least, I hope you don’t say that!! LOL). Chances are you may say something like,

“Listen it’s ok.  Just start right back up again.” or “You deserved that meal, you’ve been great so far!”

Right?!?  So why can’t we do the same for ourselves?  Kind self-talk and forgiveness go such a long way.

So I wanted to share some tips that are helping me tackle those bigger goals for this new year without feeling defeated.

  1. Organization – I need structure and visuals to help me so the first thing I did was purchase a really cool dry erase wall calendar (from Burlington Coat Factory for a mere $14.99).  It sits on the first wall that I see on the way to the bathroom in the morning.  I also added a small dry erase board next to it.  The calendar is a snapshot of my month.  I write everything there, when I go to gym, work schedule, appointments, birthdays.
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    Got this bad boy at Burlington Coat Factory

    On the dry erase board, I write three things I am grateful for each day and a daily mantra or intention.  I get to see those several times as I walk back and forth and get ready in the morning.  I also picked up a cute planner by Create & Cultivate (from Target) in which I can jot down my To Dos List, my mantra (again), see my month and week at a glance, create vision boards, etc.  I found that I had too many tools and wasn’t using any of them.  For some people technology works best so they use their phones, I need pencil and paper.

  2. In the self care department its as simple as applying a facial mask a week and sitting in silence while I wait rather than trying to clean the kitchen or bathroom.  I mean the cleaning defeats the self care, right?  So pick up some facial mask sheets (so easy) and set a day of the week for when you’re going to do it (on your wall calendar or in agenda).  Self care also includes going for a mani and/or pedi, taking a nap once a week, going to therapy.  Pick one and and stick to it!
  3. For my fitness goals I am committing to doing something physical for at least 30 minutes a day to begin.   That could be the gym, yoga, or some sort of a fitness challenge (there are tons on Pinterest that can be printed and posted where you will see first thing in the morning.)
  4. Finally, I chose one HUGE goal for myself in 2020-2021.  I want to get my yoga  certification.  I’ve been toying with yoga for a while now and I would love to teach it.  The challenge is that the yoga certification program here in the US is long and requires a huge time commitment.  Because I know myself and how easily livingyouryogadistracted I am my plan is to go complete the certification abroad somewhere.  Some of the programs I am looking at are in Tulum, Costa Rica and Bali.  The program itself is less expensive than here, but I do have to incur the cost of housing while there, but for as little as two weeks!  Winning.  In preparation for that I have committed to starting with minimum of two classes a week and and reading a related book a month (currently reading Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater) .  Definitely manageable, more than trying to get to hot yoga 5 – 6 times week, like I’ve tried in the past.
  5. Most importantly, you can have a huge vision for 2020, just tackle it one week at a time.

And that’s it for now.  It’s what I feel is manageable for ME.  It could be that you may be able to take on more or less at the beginning of the year. And that’s fine.  For me, I rather start small and build up as the year progresses and as my level of commitment increases.  Rather than start big and then drop everything because I just can’t keep up.

And well, when I stumble and fall, I dust myself off and start anew, because in the end 25-never-give-up-quotes1it’s not quantity that counts it’s actually quality.  So if I can do a 30 minute yoga session at home, in which I am totally present, instead of a 90 minute hot yoga session in a studio that is so hot I can’t think of anything but it being over, then the 30 minute it is.

Well, my loves I hope this helps and I hope as we wrap up January, you continue to stay strong, adjust and readjust if needed and keep getting back up on that wagon!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to like, comment (my fave), and share!!!

LolaUncorked♥

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Living intentionally in this new year, new decade…

Hey Loves!  Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!!!  I have to tell you that I am glad the holidays are over!  ABSOLUTELY exhausted.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time off.  Spent with family and friends.  Ate too much! Drank too much! Slept not enough. LOL. But blessed to have the time to share with my loved ones.

Now that I slowed down a bit, I wanted to come on here and address the “new year, new me” syndrome. Because that’s all we are going to see on social media until about mid February when everyone falls off the wagon.

But seriously what exactly is wrong with the “old” you.  I mean are you that bad?!?! Are WE that bad? And what compels us to make all these ridiculous resolutions in the new year. Resolutions that aren’t going to stick because they are just unrealistic and overwhelming.

I didn’t make resolutions this year, because I really want to think intentionally about what I’d like to accomplish.  I am pondering some bigger picture sort of stuff.  Not the usual lose 10 pounds, workout everyday twice a day, give up liquor, sugar AND carbs kind of resolutions, journal and meditate every day, get up at 5! I mean I am exhausted just thinking about it.

They are just silly and resolutions like those set us up for IMMEDIATE failure.  And so I’ve been taking my time to really think about attainable goals or intentions (as I like to  call them) that have meaning and that will have a positive impact on the three areas of my life : health, spirituality and finances!  Not because there is anything wrong with the old me but because there is always room for improvement, right?

I’ve also been thinking about the reasons why we fail at goals and why intentions are more impactful and the ways  we can stay committed, maintain and sustain our work.

I found this explanation of the difference between goals and intentions:

Goals are focused on the future. Intentions are in the present moment. Goals are a destination or specific achievement. Intentions are lived each day, independent of achieving the goal or destination. Author Unknown /Google

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Isn’t that great!?!  This is why so many of us give up on long term goals.  The minute we fail at it or fall off the wagon, we give up completely.  For example, if my goal is to lose 10 pounds by going to gym and eating healthy, the minute I miss a day or two at gym for whatever reason, what happens?  Ya’ll know.   We use it to beat ourselves up and come up with a bunch of excuses as to the point?  We give up.  I know I do.  Then I may tell myself forget the healthy eating because what’s the point I am not working out. And just like that goals go “poof”!!!

Intentions are different.  Intentions or living intentionally focuses our vision and our thoughts towards an action.  When we set intentions the self talk is different.  The self talk could sound more like:  powerofintention

“Today I intend to do one thing towards being healthy – take a walk at lunchtime. (For example).  If for some reason I miss my walk at lunch time, I could say to myself, “Ok I missed lunch but today when I go the supermarket, I intend to park as far away as possible from entrance.”

Or here is another one: “Today I intend to smile at everyone I meet.” It could be that as I walk into the building, the guy who cut me has left a scowl on my face and I barely say good morning.  Then someone will smile at me, I smile back and remember my intention.  I still have bunch of people I can smile at, maybe someone who really needed it that day.  It doesn’t feel as “ugh” as failing at my goal and completely giving up.  Tomorrow I can wake and set intentions all over again.

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The more you do something, the more innate it becomes therefore becoming a habit. The more intentions you meet or fulfill the more thought you put into reflecting what it is you want to see flourish within you that is going to get you a step closer to your overall goal. We know it takes 21-28 days to create habits. And intentions can change and still guide you to where you want to go.

So with all that in mind I am reflecting on this past year and of where I’d like to see myself grow in this new year and then setting daily intentions to create those life long habits that will hep me reach those goals.

Here are some quick ways to get those intentions into your day:

  1. I keep a dry erase board next to my calendar that I see each morning on the way to bathroom.  I jot down three quick intentions for my morning. Smile at everyone I meet, give a compliment.  Drink two bottled waters before I leave home.
  2. At work I jot down some intentions on post its (am and pm).
  3. I also use my desk calendar to jot intentions.
  4. As I drive home I think of some intentions for my evening (share a meal with my daughter, work out for 30 minutes (wherever that my be), meditate before bed.

As you kick off this new year and new decade, sit in silence and really think about how you want to grow yourself. Always remembering that there is nothing wrong or broken with the “old” you but that there is always room for better.

I really wish you all a healthy, abundant and intentional new year!

Happy New Year!

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LolaUncorked♥

 

 

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A call to action…

Hi My Loves∼

I hope you guys are all caught up on my blog posts! Today I am here because in light of the recent shooting in Jersey City I am compelled to put this call to action out there.

As many of you have heard or read, the shooting occurred within feet of a school.  I read somewhere that all the schools in Jersey City were placed on lockdown.  I don’t know if that’s true but it got me to thinking.

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Plugging away at this topic!

I work in education for a non-profit that will remain nameless.  But I do work in a public school in an urban area.  I work in the oldest building in the district (approx. 108 years old).  It is shaped like one huge rectangle with an addition in back that makes it look like a T if you are looking down. With that said the building has various points of entry/exit.  One door in particular is propped open with a rock in the morning because it connects to parking lot in back hence staff does not have to walk all the way around to front to enter.

There are over 30 classrooms, offices and spaces and of those many do NOT have keys to their door. I don’t know the numbers.

Why am I sharing this? Well the other day I was in a classroom during a lockdown drill.  When security did their rounds our door was unlocked.  He told us we needed to lock door and that’s when I learned the teacher didn’t have a key.  After speaking with the teacher I learned many teachers do not have keys to their rooms.  Those of you who know me well, know that I am a paranoid freak.

All these thoughts started running through my head.  We were in one of the first classrooms near the stairwell which means in a real emergency, a real active shooter, we would be the first to go.  Then I thought of all those babies, like OH MY GOD!

Since that day it’s just been running through my mind.  I’ve heard that the administration has been trying to get keys from central office since September.  The issue has not been resolved.

I don’t want to make it a race or socio-economic issue.  But I think of my grandson’s school (suburban district) and their security is on point.  There are two main doors to get through.  You are not allowed to come into building without an appointment.  If you’re dropping something off it gets placed in a drive-through window.

I am not saying nothing will happen there because we do know anything can happen anywhere; however it is evident the district has taken serious measures to keep children and staff safe.  Isn’t that what all school districts should be doing?  Especially in these times?

I’ve worked in urban and suburban districts and I’ve seen the disparity in school security.  And I am not saying that all the schools in suburban area are doing great with the security, nor that every school in urban area are doing horribly.  But we do see more schools doing horribly in urban areas than in suburban.

So here is my call to action to parents (mostly), but parents-to-be as well and community  members!

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Get involved.  Ask questions.  Visit your schools. Question your school’s security system.  Question what the role of security staff is.  We know that in some districts security guards are ill-trained and definitely not prepared to respond to this level of emergency.  Ask about all the different entry/exit points in your school and how they are monitored. Ask if all rooms can be locked and have keys, including the gym, cafeteria, art, technology- ANY single room in the building that children visit and could potentially be in during an emergency.  Ask to see their emergency drill procedures.

If you don’t like it, feel uneasy, or are not sure and have questions about the school security in your school, go to the board offices and/or the board of education meetings.  Make calls and send emails (even better as it creates a paper trail and documentation). Talk to other parents and get them involved.  Strength in numbers!!!

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Be an advocate for children and school safety!

Be an advocate for children and school safety, your own and others.

This shooting in Jersey City was within feet of a school.  Imagine if those shooters had tried to enter there?  I don’t know what their security system is like, but I imagine its a whole lot better than where I am on a day to day basis.  And if not, shame on them too.

Quite frankly, I want to go home at the end of the day and not be a victim of a shooting and/or intruder in what is supposed to be one of the safest places in our community.

Get vocal!  Get involved! Ask questions! Keep children safe!

This blog post is in honor of all the victims of the Dec. 10 shooting in Jersey City.

Thanks for swinging by and reading my blog post.  Remember to like, comment, follow and share!

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Be a hero!

LolaUncorked♥

 

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A Letter To All Cheaters

Hi My Loves! Happy Fall Equinox or whatever!  It has been some time since I’ve been here but I was just really trying to enjoy the last days of summer.  Already missing summer even though it seems that Mother Nature is loving me and giving me a little bit more.

The end of my #summerbabe summer 2019

So I’ve been thinking about cheating.  Those who cheat and those who are cheated on.  And I am not talking about a school exam.  Relationships folks! Relationships!

Disclaimer: Don’t automatically assume this is a male bashing session.  It’s not.  We all know men are not the only ones who cheat, even though it seems they are the ones who get caught the most often (dumbasses) and so therefore it seems they are the ones who cheat the most, but who knows.  I’d have to gather some data on that one.  At the end of the day we are all capable of cheating.

I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum- cheater (not my proudest moment) and cheatee (I made this word up and for the purposes of this blog the cheatee is the person being cheated on.) And I guess the person who you cheated with we will just call…. the home wrecker? IDK).  Anyway, after a most recent experience coupled with my journaling, self-reflecting and conversations with others I have really been mentally trying to dissect and process cheating and its effects on those involved.

And so you guys remember my Letter To My Younger Self? Well I’ve decided to write a letter to cheaters everywhere in the hopes that they can receive some clarity on the damage that is left behind when the cheating dust settles.  Here goes:

Dear Cheater,

I am not sure what you were thinking of the moment you made the conscious decision to cheat.  And yes it was a conscious decision.  Most cheaters will in their apology say things like “I’m sorry I made a mistake.” The reality is that cheating is cheatingNOT a mistake.  It is a conscious decision.  There are those 2.5 seconds right before you cross that line when you could have said “No!!!”  Like “Say no to drugs” well “Say no to pussy!” Especially the one that isn’t yours.

I have been trying to understand why you decided to step out on your relationship in this way.  I mean I know people cheat for a slew of reasons: stress at home or work, boredom, not enough sex, lack of spontaneity or just a basic disconnect in the relationship because nobody is addressing it.  And of course I also know Dear Cheater that you just may be one of those people who likes to cheat. And that’s a whole other blog.

An affair feels exciting, stimulating, stirring,  breathtaking!!! It boosts peoples’ self esteem and strokes the ego.   Being with someone new, someone you’re not fighting with, or dealing with the kids with, or paying bills with or just dealing with plain old life issues with is so much better than the reality of adulting.

I know an affair makes people feel young, and beautiful and sexy and in your quest to charm and entice you dress up, wear cologne/perfume, send sexy messages, you court.  It’s fucking exhilarating!!! Shit. I know. (BTW but did it ever occur to you to try that with your significant other BEFORE resorting to cheating??! Just a thought)

But Dear Cheater, let me tell you all the other things it can be and usually becomes and let me give you a little insight into what it does to the cheatee.

When an affair comes to light the ugly in people emerges.  The crazy too! Drama follows.  People’s business is put out there. Threats and humiliation. Not so pretty anymore huh? Tears and fights, lengthy texts or calls spewing every hateful word that comes to mind because as humans thats what we do when we are hurt.  We want to hurt others back.  In the case of an affair nobody is spared, not you,  not the cheatee and not the home wrecker because as much as I hate to say it they feel the effects too.

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Dr. Robert Huizenga

The moment the  cheatee suspects or discovers the infidelity, this tiny seed is planted in their gut.  This seed of so many emotions.  Too many to list. The first is embarrassment and/or shame.  Yeah! Can you believe that shit?  You cheated but the cheatee feels the shame and just thinks of things like “What am I going to say to people when they ask for him or her? “What did I do wrong?”

There is also lots of anger in this initial phase. Like the cheatee will threaten everything from burning the cheaters clothes, slashing tires, physically hurting them.  (THIS IS JUST A BLOG I WOULD NOT TRY ANY OF THIS AT HOME!)

The second emotion is disbelief.  Like “WOW!” No way.  There has to be a mistake! He or she would NEVER do that!   The cheatee will spend days and nights replaying every single exchange in the relationship to figure out when, how, why?  Why becomes the single most important question. They try to look for clues or signs to see if they missed something.  This will keep them from eating, sleeping, and/or wanting to be around others.

Then comes the obsessive stage or investigative as I’d rather call it.  LOL !!! And I don’t care if your male or female all cheatees do this to some extent.  The cheatee will NOT stop until they know EVERYTHING.  Now quick insert- women are way better at this then men!  Just saying. When a woman sets her mind to find some shit out, you’d best believe she will!  In this phase they hurt so bad that you will surely not see any signs – like tears. It’s a weird thing.  I am thinking this is where the cheatee starts to process that yes it really did happen and the life they thought they were living or the future they envisioned …. wasn’t going to happen.

Soon after the hurt settles.  An ache.  More questioning.   This is probably around the time that the cheatee will find themselves crying out of nowhere.  They may be retelling the story and it evokes such strong emotions they may cry at any instant.  They will think about the intertwined friendships and families, the “place” that became yours and now what?  Maybe kids if they were involved too and having to explain to the kids that the “cheater” is no longer a part of the family – delicately of course because it’s not their fault.  This is the hardest and longest stage to process and grow through in case you didn’t know. cheating3.jpg

Eventually, the cheatee will maybe get over it, surpress it all and get on with their life and you the cheater will become a distant memory.  (Once in while and in very rare occasions a cheater and cheatee will work through things and after many, many years of rebuilding and work they may come out stronger.  May being the key word!!!

So Dear Cheater, the next time you are in a relationship in which you have made a commitment to be truthful, transparent, and loyal and you find yourself at a point of making that 2.5 split decision of cheating or not, remember the damage you are leaving behind lasts for far longer and run far deeper that those 2.5 seconds.

And in the end was it really worth it?

Love,

Cheatee

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Thank you for stopping by and reading.  If you’ve been cheated on it’s not your fault.  It was their shit and not yours. And if you have cheated, learn and grow, be better, be truthful, be transparent.

Remember to like, comment, share and sign up for notifications.

LolaUncorked♥

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What I’ve learned my first year out of the classroom!

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Hi, My Loves∼

Hope your summer is off to a great start!!!

As you all know I left the classroom last November, as a teacher, but returned as a literacy coach working primarily with teachers in the classroom side by side focusing on everything literacy.  Not that I am an expert as I am still learning.

Most of my work involved having conversations with teachers and administrators to find areas in which teachers wanted to continue growing. With the hope that students would benefit academically.

Research shows that if we can get children on or above reading level in the early years before 3rd grade, their chances of success across the board increases.  We also know that reading – as cliche as it sounds – is FUNDAMENTAL.

“We know that children who are not kindergarten ready are half as likely to read well by third grade, and research has shown that quality pre-K has lasting positive impacts on children’s health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes,” said CLI CEO Joel Zarrow. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support teachers in implementing effective early literacy practices and fostering student growth so that more children enter kindergarten fully prepared. While CLI has been supporting pre-K instruction for over 15 years, RFA’s evaluation will help us to continue refining and improving our Blueprint curriculum and professional development so that we continue to see even better outcomes for students and teachers.” Children’s Literacy Initiative

Anyway with all that said I went into the classrooms armed with research and some best practice models to support teachers. Hopefully.

Now I have to say I was a little worried and maybe slightly intimidated, after all who was I to tell anyone that it could be done better.  My experience as a teacher reminded me that as  teachers we are very possessive of our classrooms and our students.

We already have plenty of folks telling us what we are doing wrong, so I wanted to make sure that I celebrated my teachers for all their accomplishments first and recognized the amazing work they were already doing.  I entered the classroom with a different approach – educators are always learning and growing.

Now I have to say that being on the outside looking in, I don’t really know how I lasted as long as I did.

Teaching has to be the most unappreciated profession out there.  Like literally at the bottom of the career totem pole.

It’s a wonder we even have people who still want to teach.

Talk about the pressures!!!  My teachers never knew from one day to the next what to expect.  They were bombarded daily with data, data, data.  They were bombarded with daily mandates to try this and or that,  never giving one thing a chance to see if it worked.  They were bombarded with daily walkthroughs by individuals – groups of individuals – who are so far removed from the realities that occur in the classrooms telling them “students are failing because you’re failing”.

Imagine going to work everyday knowing that others already thought you failed?!?!

I found myself clearly being able to empathize as I was fresh out of the classroom.

I would walk into classrooms to find my teachers rushing to meet deadlines, testing deadlines, bulletin board deadlines, pressure to increase reading scores with no regard to all it entails to be prepared to enter classrooms and teach all with a smile and hunched shoulders. Sad.

Let me explain to you all that is required to go into a classroom to teach your children.

Lesson plans so detailed that it takes hours and hours to prepare without a curriculum to fall back on or use as a resource.  Analyzing of data to see where they failed and what needs to be done to do better.  Testing on a weekly sometimes daily basis.  Differentiation of independent work time to 20 students sometimes more because a teacher is out for weeks sometimes months without a substitute.  Missed preps (planning time) that are crucial planning for teachers so they have less to take home.  Going into grade level meetings where you are not asked for your input but rather told what to do by people who do not know your kids.  Leveling libraries, posting student work monthly with constructive feedback students can’t understand.  Literally squeezing every minute, every second of everyday with so much “stuff” it’s too much to list.

My head spins just thinking about it.

All of this without one word of appreciation from ANYONE, sometimes parents included because they’ve been sucked into this culture of you need to pressure your kids to do more more more- some of which is not even developmentally appropriate.

And FYI, this is at the primary level, Kindergarten to 2nd grade, let’s not even talk about the upper grades.

Listen at the end of the day we all want our children to strive in schools.  To feel loved and cared for.  But isn’t it time to just stop and let teachers teach?  I thought if the goal is to get our students to love reading, why not let them read? Why not let them manipulate books? Why not let children develop a love of reading so they can desire reading? Why not allow teachers to model what reading is? Holding a book in a quiet corner of the classroom while everyone interacts with books.

Why is a 1st grader expected to think critically about books instead of enjoying them?

Anyway, I am getting off on a tangent, but you get the drift, right? I hope.

I don’t know if this is the end all, be all for me, however, I did learn that teachers really need a cheerleader in their corner and I hope I was that for the teachers I met and worked with. teacher7

They were one of the most caring, dedicated, and professional bunch I’ve ever worked with and I give them KUDOS for the work they do- day in, day out.

Teaching is not an easy task, it requires a person to really love it, to do it well.

So the next time you think about your child and teachers and schools remember this:

Teachers are not only educators, they are nurses, social workers, psychologists, and even parents to your children who you have entrusted to them for nearly 8 hours a day if you count before school and after care. teachers6

Teachers don’t need accolades.  I didn’t.  I just wanted someone to believe in me and that I was doing my best work, out of love.

So thank a teacher next time you go for a parent teacher conference, or an event a school or even merely seeing your child’s teacher out at Target or something.

I learned a lot this year and know I have so much more to grow and learn to do my best work.

One of my favorite quotes is from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Do everything in love.”

I know I try every time I walk into my school building and I know the teachers I worked with definitely do!

Thanks my loves for stopping by and reading.  Happy Summer!

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♥LolaUncorked