Six Week Challenge

I don’t work out. If I’m running, something is either chasing me or a student is having an emergency! So WTF was I doing joining a six week nutrition and workout challenge?!  That is what I said to myself as I drove home from a gym a little over six weeks ago.

You see this summer I tried yoga and it was an epic fail. I felt like an 80 year old and not a spry 80 year old. Something just triggered in me this year that I need to start taking care of me and finding myself so here I was trying to get healthy.

I have alluded to it in some of my previous posts, but I ridiculously signed up for a six week challenge at the end of September.  I took the Facebook bait and clicked an ad for a gym. I somehow found myself handing over my money, agreeing to a super strict diet, and three workouts a week for the next six weeks. I was petrified!

The next day I found myself at the gym again working out, swearing in my head that I wouldn’t make it through, crying that I just wanted my mom (she’s dead by the way), and plotting how I could possibly get my money back without having to go through with the next six weeks.  I made it through the first workout and I was a mess!


My next stop was the Vitamin Shoppe for my soon to be favorite new drink…protein shakes! I hope you can sense my sarcasm.  That stuff is expensive! I totally was that girl who knew nothing in that store. I think stupid was flashing over my head when I walked in. I now have my frequent shopper card though- woo hoo! Walking out with two  huge jugs of powder I felt crazy.   Protein shakes for everyone!

Heading to the grocery store with my specialized shopping list was nuts. I walked out with more vegetables, spices, organic food, specialized butter, egg whites, etc. than I had in the rest of my life put together.  Meal prep would become my new life style.  I have found a new found appreciation for Pinterest and finding recipes that I could and could not eat. I pinned both 🙂  If I found one that was healthy that maybe had oil in it (which I could not have unless it was dinner) I still pinned it for after my 6 week challenge.

I was miserable that first week. I felt like my asthma might kick back in and I did not lose a pound. Week 2 came and the meal prep was a little easier but still no weight loss. I was so disheartened that I was ready to give up! Do you know how hard it is go out with your friends when they eat and drink but you are stuck with water?  Mmmm…water!

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From my Instagram Stories

Finally….Some Progress!

Week 3 hit and I finally saw weight loss. The thing is in weeks 1 & 2 I did feel my clothes getting looser.  However, to see the scale go down feels more tangible and it was the victory I needed to keep going. The workouts were getting easier.  By that I mean, I did not need to stop as often. I did not feel defeated as much. I could start using heavier weights.

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I kept going and I persevered. I was working out regularly. I even started working out extra at home because I was determined to get my money back and win this challenge!

The End is Here:

So yesterday was the end of my 6 week challenge and I lost because I was short 1 body fat percentage even though I lost 14 pounds. I am trying hard to be okay with it because I do feel much better.  My body is leaner and more toned.  I was what I call “skinny fat”.  Not fat but not healthy either.  Take a peek at my before and after pictures:

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To celebrate never cheating on my 6 week challenge and being able to eat some “real” food again I took my nephew out for lunch since we had the day off of school for election day yesterday. It was great to be able to chat with him one on one without his siblings around! I hope everyone did their civic duty and voted yesterday.

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So I am bummed I didn’t win my challenge but proud my hard work.  Have any of you done a 6 week challenge? Did you win it? I am a bit nervous of trying to integrate some foods back into my diet and still maintain my weight. Any tips for me out there on this stage of my journey?


A Weekend I Needed

Friday was rough! That is a complete understatement. I had to leave the classroom for a break and I was almost in tears at one point of the day it was so rough.  This was me during lunch:


I am so blessed that I have amazing work friends and one met me out for a drink after school at Detroit Fleat. Well, I should say out for water since I am on this crazy diet for another week and a half but more on that when it is over 🙂  More importantly it was just good to decompress with Meagan!  She is our amazing music teacher and the kindergarten team has adopted her onto our team.  It was so wonderful to chat, bond and de-stress for a bit her.  What a great way to leave school behind and start my weekend. Thanks Meagan- You have no idea how much I needed it!! I hope all of you out there have Meagans of your own.

Saturday I headed Downtown to Punchbowl Social for a 40th birthday party for my friend Fred.  Fred is my good friend Mindy’s husband and they live in the Lansing area and were having a bunch of people gather in Detroit for a fun night out. Since I live here I opted out the hotel and just met them there which led to me joining a different Fred’s SURPRISE party at Punchbowl Social. OMG- when I was directed to the party I felt like a deer in the headlights because I literally saw no one I knew and saw “50th” posters all over.  Feeling something was off, I made sure the party was indeed for Fred; some lady waved me in and welcomed me with open arms. Once “Fred” walked in for his surprise, I had my own surprise and and quickly made my own exit while everyone was cheering- LOL!

I finally found my Fred and had a blast. Punchbowl Social is great fun with bowling, darts, ski ball, pool, an arcade, and more. While I only knew a few people as I moved from Lansing nine years ago it was a hilarious time to make new friends.  We then walked to Pappy’s to dance and drink (more water for me) more.

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Friends are people that fuel your soul and my soul was filled this weekend.  I was also able to binge watch the Chilling Adventure of Sabrina on Netflix. Sure a teenage show, but I enjoyed nonetheless which is what matters.  Got in two workouts and my meal prep for the week. I count this as a good weekend.

So how was your weekend? What did you do to take care of yourself and fuel your soul?





World Mental Health Day

Last Wednesday was World Mental Health Day. A big reason I started this blog was that I felt my mental health was decreasing.  Is that okay to say? Are teachers allowed to say they struggle with mental health? It is a scary thing to put out there. I’m nervous to even say it. What if a parent sees this an decides they do not want his/her child in my classroom because of my struggles?! It has been my constant fear and probably makes things worse for myself because I live under a cloud of shame.

It is something I finally admitted to myself in college and pursued help but I am guessing that I dealt with in high school as well. Anxiety. Depression. How are teachers supposed to admit that to their peers? To their administrator? To the world?  I think a big part of me keeps myself so busy that I do not “feel” most of the time. I can live my life and seem happy-go-lucky.  My anxiety however…..


Pic from Glennon Doyle’s Instagram

This is me in a nutshell. I like to think of myself as laid back but my anxiety kicks my butt.  I have been told by one of my best friends that I am one of the strongest people she knows. Is that a good thing? Or am I just hiding behind a shell? I am thankful that my depression ebbs and flows. It has never been as bad as when my mom died six years ago understandably so I know I can make it through most things now, but anxiety is crazy.


So I put this all to you in the world. Would knowing that your child’s teacher struggled with anxiety and/or depression make you concerned? Why or why not?

To those teachers that do struggle with their mental health I say, carry on and persevere! Know that there are many teachers out there that struggle as we do. Make sure you are doing self-care.

Self-care is different for every person. For me it is a massage every two weeks and starting this blog. It spending time with my nieces and nephews. What do you for self-care?


For those who do not struggle, make sure you are checking in with those around you. We may try to push you away but don’t let us.

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Both pics are from Glennon Doyle’s Instagram


Oh Yummy!

It’s  really special for me when I get to have returning families back in my classroom. That means they loved the experience with their first child that want their second (or third, fourth, etc.) want to have a similar experience with me as their teacher. What a humbling honor!  This year I am lucky enough to have four returning families.  To top it off both of my big class jobs were taken by these parents before the year even began. YES- what a stress reliever!

One day I was just minding my business; getting my mail from my mailbox and notice a package for me.  This is not too terribly unusual since I use both an Amazon wishlist (which I highly recommend) and to help supply my classroom.  Nope, this is was a package just for me! A returning parent sent me the sweetest card and treat.  Creme brulee coated almonds.  OMG- they were yummy!

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Little did this mom know that Creme Brulee is my favorite dessert!  It was almost impossible not to devour them in one sitting like Cookie Monster with cookies. No- I ate them over TWO days!


Little moments, notes and treats like this brighten up any teacher’s day.  I’m also glad they came a few weeks ago because now I can not eat them because of a strict diet I am on as a part of strict 6 week challenge, but more on that in a different post. But man I would love more in the future.

What treats brighten up your day?  Do you have supportive parents who give you little treats and notes just because? Drop me a line and let me know!

Apple Day



TGFI ya’ll!  Yesterday was Friday and it was even pay day. Should have been a great day. It was mostly and especially at 3:30- lol!  For some reason our kindergarten team decided it would be great to plan Apple Day the same day as picture day this year.  For the love of God why?!  How do you keep 22 four and five year olds clean and well groomed for pictures that are not precisely 15 minutes after they walk in the door?!  That is if you are lucky if they do have breakfast at school and spill milk on their nice shirt or dress.

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This is my niece Julia and I about 10 years ago. That is my face on picture day every time a kinder kiddos go near something remotely messy.


Through running and a little luck I was able to get the second time slot of day and we safely made it through pictures by 9:30 am. Big sigh!!! I even got a brand new ID this year.IMG-3223

We could safely move on to Apple Day activities-YEAH us! I love cooking with my kinder kiddos. I used to do it move, but we moved to being a peanut/tree-nut/sesame restricted school.  Which has made it more difficult along with increased allergies. Applesauce is safe however! In the craziness of my life I forgot to send out an APB (or a simple request-LOL) for apples to parents, so I bought and carted in pounds and pounds of apples both red and green.

I peeled and sliced the apples while the kids used plastic knives to chopped them into smaller pieces. Thank God for student interns who could keep an eye on centers ( +1 on another reason to have them) while I was dealing with controlled apple chaos.  “No, honey go wash your hands.” “But I just did.” “Yes, but you just picked your nose go do it again.” There was also the “Don’t lick the knife!” Thank goodness it was a dull plastic knife!   IMG-3220.JPG


I did not get it cooking until after 11 so it was super hot when it was time to eat it. The kids did not seem to care though. All but one enjoyed….as they should!  As I was adding the sugar an extra large clump fell in so I am sure it was super sweet.

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We also tasted and compared red delicious and granny smith apples.  It is always fun to see the kids who are not prepared for the tartness of the granny smith.  One little girl spit it right out. That was hard not to laugh at.


And like any Thanksgiving meal the clean up was longer than the meal, but it was well worth it.   Happy Apple Day everyone and here’s your tip: Don’t plan multiple special activities for the same day!

Have you had this happen before? Let me know how you hand multiple special activities on the same time!


Oh What a Night….or Two

Can you hear the song in your head?   Oh what night! Late December back in ’63…  I love that song.

I think I did pretty well this weekend on my quest for work-life balance if I do say so myself. This weekend was Homecoming in my school district so we had our big district parade and tailgate.  It actually is pretty fun. I like to see lots of my students and families from prior years. I walked the parade with two of last year’s kiddos.


Selfies while walking the parade route are hard. Sorry S- that your head is halfway cut off!  There were lots of families to catch up with and kids that are now in middle school that are only cool enough to wave hi to me as their former teacher. What happened to our hugs….sigh!

Normally, I make sure I get home at a decent time so I can hop online to teach my online college course, but I made sure I got all of my work and obligations done for that so I could stay out for the night.  Ferndale also happened to be having the DIY Street Fair this weekend too.  A dad of one former students happened to be playing with his band Extra Arms so I walked over to hear him play.   Michael and band rocked it out!


I ran into several of my of former students and their families on my way into DIY and rocked to the show then hung out for a while catching up and having fun.  It was a blast!

Saturday brought along my nephew’s soccer game.  Soccer runs in the family. My sisters and I all played travel soccer growing up. My brother-in-law did also and he was pretty amazing and played at the Olympic development level. He could have gone much farther had he not had a tendency to to basically break his nose all the time and kill his hips and knees.  Anyway, I digress. I say all that to tell you it’s in the family bloodlines, at least a fondness for soccer if not the skills.

I played goalie as a kid and I was pretty good at it, until one day I decided I didn’t like it anymore.  I stayed out of goal for a long time then one day I got sent back to goal and I was scared, so I wasn’t that good anymore.  I love that Noah chooses play goal, but man is it stressful, especially when he picks the grass instead of watches the ball!

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I look like this most of the time


I came home to do college work. It is hard to get myself to work on Saturday, but deadlines are deadlines. I did it and got myself ready to go out. My friend Dani was having a birthday karaoke party where I was not going to know anyone. So was I going to go? Um……typically no. I am filled with social anxiety and an introvert who does not sing karaoke without being sick or having enough alcohol in my system (which if you know me RARELY happens- I can count on one hand).

However, I since I am trying to find this new happiness for myself I went and I am I glad I did.  Dani’s friends are hilarious and some other things not safe for blogging-lol,  but oh so much fun!  So a big Happy Birthday Dani!!

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Then I came home and almost killed myself by forget that my condo complex had removed a part of my walkway about a week and a half ago.  Walking in the dark at 2:30 am it wasn’t at the top of my mind and I almost landed in the bushes as I wasn’t prepared for the drop in the concrete. I am sure you can picture it now from my Instagram story!



Today I spent the day grading 17 college papers and staying in pajamas. Not super fun, but well worth the weekend I had.

So how was your weekend?  What do you do that was fun and recharged you for the week? Drop me a comment and let me know how I can help you with work life balance or classroom tips.

A New Year- A New Intern

Today a new student intern started in my classroom.  Normally they begin before school year starts, but hey we are in education. We roll with what happens around us. I count myself lucky she is with me at all. I was originally assigned an intern before school even started but for unknown reasons it did not work out and the first one never showed up.

I love having student interns in my room. This is actually my third year having student intern(s) in my classroom. While some teachers do not like it or shy away from it for various reasons of their own I will take any that I can get.

So how does this work in my journey to find balance? Student interns typically can be more work, it can slow me down, and means more meetings and planning time. However, I like to look at the flip side of it. I get more adult support in the room. The kids get more adult support and intervention. It means I will be able to take the time to handle kinder kiddo conflict while she continues teaching.  It means she will be able to do an extra intervention group  at the same!  I like to think of it as a win-win situation.

Lucky me too- I get to make an amazing impact on a new teacher and in a way all of his/her future students.  I get to build a relationship with a newbie teacher who can bring all of their ideas to our classroom and I learn from them too.  I am still in touch with my mentor teacher almost 20 years later and look up to her career in the early childhood field.


This article from Edutopia is great and talks about how every teacher needs a mentor. Did you know that most teacher who leave the profession in the first five years do so because they lack support. Mentors can do a lot to curb this stat.

So teachers (even non-teachers) out there- do you have yourself a good mentor?

Someone who will:

  • Support you
  • Challenge you in positive ways
  • Celebrate your success
  • Listen and Collaborate
  • Be a Safe Space for You (most important!!)

If you do not have a person like this in your life- seek one out immediately!  If there is not one at your place of work, seek one out locally.  If there is no one- email me; I’ll be there for you (now imagine me singing the Friends theme)


What Am I Doing?

Hey Girl!

Fellow teachers out there will probably get the “Hey Girl” insinuation there. What teachers out there don’t love a good “Hey Girl” meme, right?! The Ryan Gosling ones are my favorite.



Anyway, I digress. I’m Lynne and you landed on my new blog.  Just a bit about myself. I’m a kindergarten teacher in the Metro Detroit area and I just started my 15th year in the classroom and my 18th year in the education field. Am I that old?! Some days it feels like it and some days I still feel like I should be in grade school. I mean people trust me to educate young children; that is a big responsibility! Remember the days when we just want to grow up so we could do whatever we wanted? Well here they are so I am doing what I want now.

Why a Blog?

Writing a blog is something I have thought about for a long time. Several years to be not so exact.  I loved reading blogs of other teachers, especially kindergarten teachers out there to get ideas for my own classroom.  Two thoughts would always come to my head.

First: A lot of what they would say on their blogs was common sense. It was stuff I was doing in my own classroom. They did not come up with a new magical way to teach or connect with kids.  Best practices are best practices.

Second: Wow! They are so creative to make all of those great centers and lessons for their kiddos. Where do they find the time?! I barely find time to get up, teach, go home, teach my college classes, and go to sleep. I hardly ever saw my friends.

The years progressed and I decided it was time. Time to stop being nervous that no one wanted to hear what I had to say. Time to stop saying I do not have the time. This blog is for me to get my voice out and I would LOVE for you to join me.

What Are My Goals?

As child I doubt my parents would have ever classified me as a work-a-holic, probably closer to the lazier side.  Lord knows I can binge watch tv and movies on a couch like nobody’s business. However, when it comes to work I have developed into a work-a-holic with a “no complex”.    I am a single women with bills so I tend to take on too much. Okay- not tend to; I do.

So this blog is my journey as I strive to find a better work life balance. I want to put more fun in my life. I hope you join me. Comment on my posts. See what I do in my classroom. Tell me how you find balance. How do you say no at work? What do you do for fun? Challenge me to go do something and I can try it and write about it.  Let’s do this together!