Monday, January 7, 2013

I just couldn't wait!!!

Dave's brother, Peter, is an aspiring photographer and was given a really nice camera a few years ago as a Christmas gift.  He is quite talented in his patience and ability to capture some of the most beautiful things in nature...from a bud as it open to dew on a spider web!  I could look at his photo albums for hours...and often do.  :)  

When Dave and I first got engaged (a year ago now) we had tossed around the idea of asking Peter to take a few engagements photos for us.  We hadn't yet looked into wedding photographers and were hoping to take some pictures together over the holidays...unfortunately our wishes for a white Christmas last year didn't come true and we let the opportunity for photographs slip away.  When we returned to the US for the fourth of July we were able to meet with Sandy, our wedding photographer, and took some awesome pics (if I can be a little biased) but again the weather didn't agree with us 100%.  What should have been lush green grass with a crisp Chicago skyline background turned out to look like a sandy beach with some fog (I posted a few pics a while ago...just scroll down).  We had an absolute blast taking our pictures and it was great to meet Sandy!!!

Fast forward to Christmas day.  With cloudless blue skies and fresh fallen snow Dave and I looked at each other and knew this is what we were hoping for...just a year later!!! After a relaxing morning of opening gifts and snuggling on the couch, Dave and I threw on our coats and headed outside with Peter in tow!  He was such a good sport.  Which one you ask?  Peter?  or Dave?  BOTH!!!!  

Oh My Gosh!!!  For someone who doesn't typically photograph humans Peter did an A-MAZ-ING job!  HECK!!  They look downright PROFESSIONAL!!!

We cannot thank Peter enough!  And Dave too...thank you honey for putting a happy face on and having so much fun with me in the snow!!!  :)  XOXO

He didn't entirely want to do the heart...
okay...he didn't want to at all...
but THIS is how amazing he is to me!  :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wedding Fun with the Fiance! :)

I cannot begin to explain how wonderful (albeit crazy at times) my winter break has been this year!  Dave arrived home on December 15...rather than December 24 like we thought may have happened!  Although I had to work the week of December 17-21 it was nice to know that Dave was on this continent and in the same time zone as I am...I forgot how much fun it is to be able to CALL him when I feel like I want to!  YEAH!

Knowing that we had a limited time together we made a "wedding to-do" list for our two weeks together including a cake tasting, registering and a few others.  

Dave and I ended up having a rather busy two weeks "off" but with him only in the country for a few weeks we had to fit it all in!  Our whirlwind vacation included spending Christmas in Wisconsin with his family (both immediate and some extended!), made it up to Madison for a night with amazing friends, a stop at the outlet mall in Kenosha, dinner and drinks in Palatine with more good friends, ringing in the new year in Florida, back to Wisconsin for dinner with another couple, registering in both Wisconsin and Illinois, another engagement photo session (with his brother as the photog!), hanging with 3 little ones (1 week old, 3 month old and an 8 month old!)...our last "event" is celebrating Christmas with my family tomorrow before Dave flies back to the UK.  Phew!  Lots to do...but oh so fun and being with friends and family is what the holidays are all about!  

So...why the "wedding fun" title...well...we've had SO MUCH FUN this week just being together and checking things off our list!  We began registering up in Wisconsin...I had the clipboard and pen...Dave got the gun (although I think I had more fun with it!!).  We started with Macy's...they were FANTASTIC!  We were a little skeptical going in to register on the day after Christmas but quickly found out that not many people are in the homegoods section at that time...we were in and out and all smiles!  It was so fun to think about our forever home!  We had to keep reminding ourselves that we are requesting things for our new life together and although we may not have space for these items right now...we will hopefully have a beautiful house in which to put them some day!  :)  We continued registering at the Macy's in Illinois and added Bed Bath & Beyond to our list.  I knew that an appointment was needed on the weekends at BBB but wasn't sure about a random Thursday...we arrived at BBB around 2:30 and left to pick up dinner around 8:30...and we'd barely made a dent in the suggested items...but we went al a'carte for our knives and cookware rather than with big that took a lot of time!  :)  We ended up back at Macy's two more times...the same with Bed Bath.  When all is said and done...and I'm hesitant to say this...but I think we may be finished!!!  AHHH!!!  SO REAL NOW!!!!  :)

We also scheduled our cake tasting last week.  Although the lady that Boulder Ridge works with is out in the middle of NOWHERE...literally!!!  It was a blast!  We tried 5-6 different cake flavors and 10-12 different fillings along with 2 frostings.  She does NOT do neither Dave or I really care for fondant.  I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag as far as flavors/filling/design go...let's see if I can stick to it...let's just say...we agreed on 2 cake flavors, 2 fillings, 1 frosting and 1 B-E-A-UTIFUL design!  Funny enough, the sample cake picture Dave and I both liked the most that we found online was actually one of she knows exactly what we want...and we know that she can pull it off!!!  GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!!!!  

I also found out (today actually) that my bridesmaid dresses have officially been ordered and should be ready in May!  Who knew it took 4 months to make a dress...weird...but YEAH that we can check another box on the list!!!

Finally, we bought our wedding bands!  :)  We went back to the store where Dave bought my engagement ring from and they were so sweet to us!  Although both rings have come in and are ready for our wedding, the store is going to keep them in their vault until July!  

Okay...Dave is finished researching steak knives and vacuum cleaners...I'm off to go enjoy our last 24 hours together!  XOXO

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thankful! :)

Okay, so everyone on Facebook and with the blogs that I follow spent the month of November coming up with list of things they are thankful for.  So I decided to jump on the band-wagon and make a list of my own...but I wanted to add a twist!  I have been blessed with an amazing schedule this year and kids that make everyday new and I wanted to remind myself of all the...

Reasons I’m Thankful to Teach OR 50 Reasons I LOVE My Job

These are in NO particular order (other than names being alphabetical!) but I felt it would be interesting for me to write down a few reminders about why I do what I do and why I love what I do!

Freshman boys never get old
   *Making bibs out of papertowels
   *Setting the table for me
   *Singing Ke$ha and T.Swift (outloud) without realizing it

The “ah ha” moment when something you’ve been trying to teach finally clicks with a student

Helping students learn skills they will use in the real world

Being a morning person…to the student anyways!  This really is a good fit for me! 

“Umm…what should we do about the fire?”

Erin F. – an amazing desk buddy and a true role model in more ways than words can begin to describe (teacher, wife, mom, friend)

Sharing excitement for a student’s achievement…even if it’s not in my own class

At times being the only cheerleader a student will ever have

Ever changing acronyms…if you don’t like one…just wait…in a few years it won’t be used anymore and there will be a new one to replace it!  (IEP, SIP, PLC, PST, PLT, FCS, FACS, ESL, ELL, etc.)

Being able to update grades from home…not that I do it often…but I do appreciate having the ability to do so.

‘11-‘12 8th hour foods…enough said!  But really…any 8th hour foods!

Jen M. – A wonderful mentor and friend.  Someone I can vent to and will help me see the light at the end of the tunnel when I get turned around!

Sometimes a little hands on, arts and crafts time is all a student needs to succeed

Having students seek me out for assistance…even if it’s not for my class…or even a class in my department!

My ESL students…Meese...bowing…laughter every day as we try to understand each other. 

Christi P. – A leader taking our department to the next level.  She truly does have a heart for teaching and helping me become the teacher I’m destined to be.

Dress up spirit days – pj day, college night, Fridays, neon night, etc.

Watching students get into college

BTIO – Real Care baby project!  Sending high school students home with electronic babies!  Fun times!

Kristie W. – My teacher running buddy!  A truly admirable women who can balance a full life, teaching, benevolence and faith…and make it look easy!

Having a student come to me for support; a “can we talk” moment; a confidant

Seeing a student in public and having them smile at you and introduce you to their parents…and have the parents smile back at you and say thank you or I’ve heard so much about you

Watching students grow over the course of a semester or school year

Students who have the ability to fit into places they probably shouldn’t – cabinets, refrigerators, lockers…you name a space…they’ll try to fit in it

Courtney Y. – A woman who taught me how to be an adult.  An amazing hostess, entertainer, and friend.  She constantly amazes me with her memory and thoughtfulness!  

Gingerbread house/Holiday Cup Cake contests

Being able to laugh at myself…sometimes that’s what it takes to reach a tough kiddo

Friday night lights; high school musicals; the squeaking of shoes on the basketball court; the roar of the crowd at a pep assembly (may be wishful thinking…but this year was way closer!); supporting students as they discover their dreams

Spontaneous karaoke in the classroom…songs change depending on the class – summer hits of the 90s; country; R&B…oh the things they come up with

Parent emails thanking you for helping a student learn (how to help in the kitchen, do their laundry, etc)

Lindsey Y. – a truly remarkable teacher.  I’m so thankful for the ideas, concepts, and spirit she has brought to our department.  She’s also my wedding planning buddy as our weddings are 3 months apart next year. 

Having co-workers that will help pick up the slack when you feel like you can’t go on anymore

Student: “Ms. Fedota…I’m about to tell you something that’s probably not really appropriate to tell a teacher…but I don’t know who else to tell”.  Me: “okay, just know that if you or someone you know is hurting themselves or others I have to tell someone” Student: “Oh man…okay…I guess you can tell…all I was gunna say is that my butt got bigger this weekend” (I laughed out loud!  It was Thanksgiving and she felt her pants were a little tighter than usual!)

My meetings can’t possibly take more than 50 minutes (and there’s a bell to tell us when to begin…and when to end!) 

Getting invited to the bowling team holiday party…each student invites their favorite teacher…and I’ve been invited for the 3rd year in a row…by a third student!)  (yes...I am walking a little taller today!!!)

Having a nurse in the building when you don’t feel good and just need someone else to tell you you are sick!

Watching my students grow and mature each year…they start so little (even the seniors) and watching them leave my classroom a little older each June never gets old.

Giggles, notes, texts, decorated lockers, flowers, balloons…you can always tell when a teenage girl is going to have a good day!  (in the same way though…you can always tell when they aren’t!) 

That moment when the quiet kid FINALLY talks!!! And then doesn’t stop!

When the students help each other…and you can hear them communicating (and at times using phrases you, youself, often use!) and working together to accomplish a task!  (Comments may be: “that’s not really kitchen language” or “NO…don’t sit on the counter…you’ll get booty juices on it” or “soooooo” or “I mean…seriously?”  I guess they really do listen to me when I talk!

The days where you are more productive then your to-do list has to offer!  I love adding things to a well scratched off list during the day!  Such a good feeling. 

Teaching something new to students and then listening to them explain it to others!  Oh the joy of them “getting” it!!! 

Getting to know your students on a personal level (not in a creepy way…but in a way that you realize you have become more of a mentor figure to them)

That moment when you’re teaching and you realize you need to do something to capture their attention and bring them back in…so you scrap you entire lesson and teach in a different way while standing on a table! (Always works wonders…until someone busts you and tells you you can’t file workers comp for an accident you caused yourself!  Good thing I haven’t fallen yet!)

Having your students invite you into their inside jokes!  Such an honor!!!

Learning about all the new technologies that are out there…snap chat, facetime, remind101, twitter, etc…and having the kids laugh when I get them mixed up! 

Getting to collaborate with some AMAZING colleagues and try to make things connect across different classes! 

WANTING to continue learning so that you can be a better teacher for your students!  And coming up with new, exciting, inventive, creative ways to deliver content to your students. 

Getting texts from students that they are REALLY REALLY REALLY enjoying their homework over the weekend.  But seriously…they are having fun…and sending pictures as proof! 

Laughing with your students so hard that you find yourself with tears in your eyes!  It’s great when they can see you are human too!  

I know I am a little last with my list...but I really am thankful each and every day for not only a job as a teacher...but a job that allows me to do something that I absolutely LOVE each and every day!  XOXO  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A few! :)

Just a few of the pictures Dave and I took this summer!  We had a blast...but it was SO HOT!!!  105 in the shade...and as you can tell...rather hazy but the sun was out at least!  
We were  both in good spirits...but man...was it H.O.T.T.!  

My First 15K

Nope, not 15 thousand...rather 15 kilometers...of running!!!  
At the start...SO MANY PEOPLE!!!
The past few years my brother and I have always run the Chicago Hot Chocolate 5K together.  Last year, following his marathon, I thought it might be neat if I got up the nerve/courage to run a little bit further!  Well, when this year's Hot Chocolate came up I was convinced that this would be a good thing.  I started training (with a little (okay lot) of help from my brother) and figured if I could run 1 I could do 2, if I can run 2 I can run 3, if I can run 3 I can run 4...well you get the idea!  So I started running with a few girls from school and by myself.  I noticed that I can run the loooong runs on my training schedule solo but it was WAY MORE FUN to run with a I get why so many runners have dogs!  Hehe.  

Jared was able to be with me as I branched officially onto the second hand when counting consecutive miles!  We ran 7 together on one of my first long training runs.  I was able to then have the mental courage to do it again...twice more...and longer...before we actually ran the hot chocolate.  We had quite a group running by I was SO fortunate to have my running mate at my side the entire time!  :)  Bear stuck with me the whole time...with so many words of encouragement!  XOXO!!!  I LOVE THAT LITTLE BROTHER!!!!! 
The crew (or at least a minor part of it!)
The best part about this race (aside from me accomplishing a great achievement!) was the fondue at the end.  The hot chocolate itself was a bit of a let down...but the yummy melted chocolate and bananas and rice krispies and pretzels were SO WORTH IT!  :)  
So much trash...but SO YUMMY!!!

The Big 2-9 read that correctly!  I have officially entered the late 20's.  Now some will argue that I entered this phase at 27 but I disagree!!!  I have to admit...I am very excited for all that 29 has in store for me!  But before we look ahead...let's take a short trip down memory lane...I figured I would highlight one key event in each year of 28 before I close the door on mid-20's and enter my late 20's all systems go!

October 2011 - My little bro runs his first marathon 

November 2011 - Hot Chocolate Race with my little Brother

December 2011 - My best friend asked me to spend the rest of my life with him!  <3

January 2012 - Ringing in the new year in Naples, FL

February 2012 - Ski trip to CO for Valentine's day weekend

March 2012 - St. Patrick's Day in Chi-town with two of my closest friends!

April 2012 - Spring Break in London

May 2012 - Bearie graduates from Marquette

June 2012 - My Best Friend's Wedding (well end of June/start of July)

July 2012 - 4th of July in WI

August 2012 - Summer 2012 Olympic Games in London, England 

September 2012 - Start of my last year as Ms. Fedota 

All in all I have to say 28 was an amazing year, but 29 is shaping up to be rather spectacular!  I am looking forward to spending lots of time with my friends and family, finishing up a GREAT school year, more travel (CO, FL, UK, EU...who knows where else I'll end up!?!?), and marrying my best friend!  XOXO  :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wedding Fun!!!!

AHHHH!!!!!  We are almost to the 9 month countdown!!!  YEAH!!!!  I am getting so incredibly excited to marry my very best friend and the man of my dreams!  :)  I cannot wait!  As much as I don't want to give up the K-FED nickname...I am getting so excited to become a J____ girl (sorry ya'll...Dave's just not 100% on the whole blogging thing!!!).  Anyways...I have been checking things off the to-do list left and right here and we are well on our way to planning a fab par-tay for July!  

Some of the most recent check marks include:

  • Hotel contract - I did fairly well on this one...not as great as I negotiated with the reception venue...but not too bad
  • Shuttle to/from hotel - the more people who stay at the hotel the better!  BOOK your rooms now if you know you're coming!  :)
  • Bridesmaid dresses - 1 bridesmaid tried it on last week; 3 more trying them on on Monday!  YEAH for an A-MAZ-ING bridal party who are awesome women!!!
  • Centerpieces - I think we've got it to what we it's time to price them out!  Mom and I both agree...we need to get better at delegating what other people (who have totally already offered) could do!  I guess us control freaks :) don't really have to do it all ourselves!   
  • Invitation wording - Dave has been working on this!  SO CUTE and I love what he's come up with!  Nice job baby!!!
  • Website updated - kind of...but it is getting there!
  • Save the Dates mailed - YES!  Such a good feeling!  I invited my aunts and a few cousins over to have an address the save the dates party and we got them all addressed in like 30 minutes!  We even put the 5 year old to work...she was a FANTASTIC stamp putter-onner!  :)

I am SO EXCITED for this winter!  We have so much to do...but Dave will be home so we'll be getting a lot done together!  :)  LOVE THIS GUY!!!!!!  XOXO


I thought it was time for another school post!  Our school's Homecoming was a little early this year but it made for great weather throughout the week (too bad it rained during the football game...which brought with it a chilly cold front for the day of the dance!).  However with the craziness of homecoming (every day is a different dress-up day for school spirit) came Open House and 4 different bell schedules in one week!  AHHHH!!!  Talk about feeling behind...I never felt like I could catch up with what I needed to get done on any given day!  Here's a glimpse of the week (I can only imagine how crazy it was for a student council sponsor!):

Monday - PJ Day (my favorite day of the year!!!) - normal bell schedule

Tuesday - Western Day (jeans, boots, flannel...niiiiiiice) - late start for the kids meaning teachers were in meetings all morning...bell schedule #2

Wednesday - Class Color Day (Frosh-blue, Soph-red, JR-green, SR-gold, faculty-black...simple enough!) - normal bell schedule

Thursday -Decade day...which means...YUP...the roller skates made yet another appearance!!!  ALSO...Open House...meaning early dismissal...bell schedule #3...also means teachers get to go through their day TWICE!

Friday - FHS Spirit Day (support your team...wear yellow and green...yup, I just made that up!).  

Light Up the Night - Neon Day (see pic below if you didn't look their first!).  I definitely went all out this year!  Too bad I had most of the clothes to start...really!  Who does that?!?!?  Anyways...there was a pep assembly at the end of the day got it...bell schedule #4 for the week!  I took part of the faculty dance number this year and had a ball...I think part of the video can even be found somewhere on youtube!  HA!  Friday night was also the homecoming football game...complete with a golf cart parade.  This year I had 2 carts in the parade (Operation Snowball and Culinary Club).

Culinary Kids 

OSB Leaders
After the crazy week...I slept like crazy that weekend!  :)

Start of the School Year

The school year got off to a flying start...probably because I had to hit the ground running this year.  I scheduled my flight back to the US for as close to the beginning of school as possible (looking back now that may have been a poor decision...although I LOVED the extra time with my lovey man!)   I arrived back in the US on Sunday evening, Monday I had a meeting at school, Wednesday was our teacher institute and Thursday the kids arrived.  Holy Moly did that week go F-A-S-T!  :)  

As a welcome back to school project I made each teacher in the department a gift (curtsey of pintrest!).  Each lady of FCS received a new tumbler "filled to the brim" with excitement for a new school year!  SO FUN!  :)  It contained little treats like lifesavers, bandaids, rubberbands, erasers, animal crackers, 100 grand & payday candy, stickers, gum, etc.  I just thought it would help everyone transition back to school with a little more ease!  

This year I am teaching 2 classes I haven't taught in a long time!  I am no longer teaching LOYO or Child Development but instead I have picked up Consumer Management and Life Studies.  I LOVE both classes so much!  My Consumer class is a required class for graduation however I teach a sheltered section for students in the ESL program.  We move at a slightly slower pace but they receive the same information!  They are a constant source of entertainment for me...especially since I've had most of the students in foods before!   Life Studies is a predominantly freshman class...and wow...did I forget how cute they are when they all get together!  I have 2 sections of LS with about 15 girls in each!  LOVE THEM!!!  Although the class covers the four main domains in FCS (Foods, Fashion, Child Development, Interior Design over the course of a year) I like to also add a focus on surviving high school and being a good person.  These girls are like sponges and soak up whatever you tell them!  It's great!

Also new this year is my position as a cooperating teacher.  For the first time I have a student teacher.  She is with me (and another teacher) until the end of November.  (She started on Day 1!!!)  She's doing a great job and the kids really respond well to her.  I can't wait to see what neat lessons she may create for my classes!  

A little updating is necessary!

Ummm...can we just be honest here and say...WHERE DID THE SUMMER GO!?!?!?!?!?!  I truly cannot believe that it is OCTOBER already!  WOW!  SO...that means I'm up for a little updating...too bad it has taken me 6 weeks into the school year to finally have a little time to myself to get this done!  :)  

So let's start where we left off!  OLYMPICS BABY!  We just received our iBook we made from our time at the Olympics.  I am so thankful we had the opportunity not only to go to the games but also that we were smart enough to get it all into a book as quickly as possible so that we wouldn't forget anything!  

Following our time at the games we realized that there were so many things we wished we had done while we were chillin' in London!  It is very typical for me and Dave to overbook ourselves when we travel (may I remind you of our crazy 8 days in Italy last summer???) so it really did not surprise us that we did it yet again!  We spent so much of our waking hours up on our feet touring the city and sites that by the time we got back to our hotel we only had energy left to shower (and even that was tough!)  

Oh the memories!  I still look back on our pictures with such excitement!!!  It feels unreal!  We are definitely hoping that we will make it to the games again in the future!