First Day of School: First Grade and Fourth Grade (Free Printable)

It’s the first day of school here. I’m a little misty eyed. Or was that rejoicing with freedom? One of those for sure.


The kids were totally ready. BB was up, dressed and bushy tail / bright eyed before either of her parents, MM not far behind.

When we got to school, she was so excited to see all of her friends and pretty much ready for me to leave immediately, but in a nice way.


This kid was like a blink and you’ll miss him blur of readiness. He was downstairs and in his classroom, flocked by all of his friends before I had a chance to embarrass him with motherly affection.

This is why I get my kicks in at home before we get to school – here in the comfort of my brick wall background, I have their full attention. For a few minutes anyway.


Want to use my printable? You can grab a download at my Facebook page :) That’s right – I’m bribing you to follow me on Facebook – it’s where all the cool kids are!

When do your kiddos go back to school?

Are you excited or sad or feeling all bipolar about it like me?

Link Love: Vol. 15

watching a black belt test at their karate school

MM is promoting to Level 3 at his karate school on Saturday, getting his purple belt – it’s crazy to think that in a few years he may be going for black belt, like the group that he and his friend watched a couple weeks ago in the photo above. I’d never watched a black belt test before and it was intense and inspiring!

In addition to karate promotion, we’re hoping to cram in one more beach trip before school starts on Monday and thoroughly enjoy our last weekend of summer vacation. When do your kids go back to school? While we count down the hours, here are some cool things I’ve read online recently:

  • Apparently Target’s decision to remove some gender specific signage in their stores caused a bit of an outrage that was made much funnier when one man created a fake Facebook profile under the name “Ask ForHelp” and started responding to the haters with sarcastic responses and hilarity (or more outrage) ensued.
  • Need a pep talk in a hurry? Try the Pep Talk Generator! Here’s what it advised me: “Find your safe space. Approach it with grace. Listen to your body. And give yourself the permission to feel overwhelmed. You’ve weathered harsher storms. And the blue skies? They’re on their way.” I’m trying not to be creeped out that the Internet seemed to know just what I needed to hear today. It’s like Horoscopes right? Right?? (found via Cup of Jo)
  • Everything you need to know about the Disney Princess that your kids are going to be obsessed with in 2016.
  • Computer scientist and blogger Randy Olson mapped out the ultimate European Road Trip – it will only take you 14 nonstop days to see all 45 of his destinations (no bathroom breaks, meal stops or sleeping but hey, that’s for amateurs, right?)
  • If that post had you all dreamy eyed and thinking about your next vacation, might I suggest 50 places in Europe that you need to visit in your lifetime. Warning: your wanderlust is going to have wanderlust.
  • Finally: This Vintage Moment wins the internet this week with a heartfelt post about reminding yourself that you are not an octopus.

Have a great weekend guys!

#tbt Pictures from August (all of them)


This week’s writing prompts at Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop are:

1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous August and write a poem or a blog post.
2. Who needs a vacation when you can spend your summer doing this…
3. List 8 things you’re looking forward to and/or list 8 things you are dreading about sending the kids back to school.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: deep.
5. Your childhood neighborhood.
6. List 10 things you love about the state you live in.

I’m a sucker for a trip down memory lane (and an opportunity to make a collage) so I decided to go with the first prompt. I dug deep into my archives and squealed at all the chubby cheeks, all the cuteness, all the feels.


It started with these chubby cheeks  from MM’s baptism.

The “two fingers” was his signature comfort move for years.


A year later, still with the chubbiest of cheeks, giving me all the feels in a kiddie pool for one.


In 2008 the two fingers movement was still going strong and his big blue eyes continue to be everything. I’m not sure how I found enough arms to hug him tightly and take this picture at the same time. Maybe I am an octopus.

In 2009, the cuteness got some competition in the form of a sweet baby sister.

And the world was never the same.

In 2010 we were all like “aw, yeah fitness!” We got a bike trailer and adorable kids’ bike helmets and everything. And I started playing around with filters in my photography.

In 2011, the kids were moving so fast that I couldn’t get any pictures of them together. BB discovered the world of hair accessories and working her angles, MM continued to be his sweet smiling self and I became the paparazzi.

In 2012, I was all about reflective surfaces. I took my favorite zoo picture to date, started BB’s love affair with mirrors and discovered the beauty that is botanical gardens (and pictures of my daughter at botanical gardens).

In 2013 I discovered instagram and instagram filters and apparently lost my real camera. The children, luckily, did not lose their cuteness.

Last August, BB started kindergarten and both kids began school super early – their new school started in Mid August, at least 2 weeks before the rest of the town went back. Also, cuteness expanded to include this picture of both kids cuddling their “puppy”.


And here they are this August – these are actually the only pictures I’ve taken of them this month. Perhaps it’s time to stop digging through the archives and start creating just a few more summer memories before school starts.

Check back in August of 2025 in which I become a puddle of sadness the mother of teenagers.

Game Night: Apples to Apples Kids Edition

It was actually a game afternoon. Our plans for the day had been foiled by a car that opted not to play along with my intentions of going grocery shopping, so I had the brilliant idea to play some favorite games (we also played Connect Four and The Princess Cupcake Game) with the kids to distract us all (mainly me) from the car troubles and cancelled plans. Basically, mother of the year right here and not in the sarcastic sense.

I’ve been a fan of Apples to Apples for years so having the kids edition and children who are old enough to read is kind of fantastic because it means that Candy Land can finally have its (permanent) rest and game night (day) can be fun again. My favorite part is always the end, when I announce to them that all the green cards they’ve won are actually descriptions of themselves – they found this hilarious.

This isn’t a sponsored post btw. I’m pretty sure Mattel has no idea who I am.