Surprise! It’s me! I’m still alive! I still do this thing sometimes! The past three (wowza) weeks I have been long-term subbing in a local second grade classroom. It has been amazing and incredibly rewarding in so many ways, but SUPER DUPER EXHAUSTING. I have been in my bed by 9:00 almost every night. If the clock strikes 9:15 and I am not yet in my jammies, panic sets in. I SO WISH THIS WAS AN EXAGGERATION. “We remember when we first started working full-time,” mom and dad both fondly reminisced, internally laughing at my baby adult self. It’s funny how quickly I forgot just how tiring being responsible for 25 eight year olds can be (EIGHT HOURS A DAY, FIVE DAYS A WEEK). My only solitude comes during my three scheduled bathroom breaks each day. WHEN YOU ARE A TEACHER THIS MATTERS, OKAY? All in all, this is a long way of me explaining/making excuses for my lack of posts and recipes. I would promise to be better about posting more regularly, but that feels like I would just be lying to everyone, and I tell my kids lying isn’t okay.
This past Friday, I arrived at my grandma and papa’s house in Naples, Florida along with my mom, dad, and sister, Tori. We came for the week because mom (YAY TEACHING), Tori (YAY COLLEGE), and I (YAY TEACHING) are all on Spring Break! MAJOR KEY IS HAVING A PROFESSION WITH SPRING BREAKS. Naples is absolutely beautiful, and there is something wonderfully relaxing about being both at grandma’s house and also in a tropical locale. We have spent our days so far sunning ourselves at the beach, reading books, going for walks/runs, and eating way too much.
One of the biggest blessings of this week has been 24/7 TT time. TT is the pet name my sister Tori and I both have for each other. Tricky, right? The nickname came along because our cousin Kylie’s little boy, Jackson, couldn’t say “aunt”, so he called our cousin Ashley “TT”. Tori and I were charmed by this! “Someday, you’ll be my kids’ TT,” I told her. It stuck. There have been a few times where other random friends or family members have attempted to refer to either one of us as TT, and we had to shut that down real quickly.
Growing up, there were definitely times we took each other for granted. Sometimes, it can be hard to appreciate someone who is such a rock and constant in your life. Each night, we would lay in our beds, look through our shared bathroom, and wave goodnight. All of this changed when I left for Drake University for my freshman year of college. I left everything familiar behind (which sounds incredibly dramatic considering I moved TWO HOURS AWAY). Still, Tori and I were really apart for the first time. Luckily, the stars aligned when I decided to transfer, and we both made the choice to attend The University of Iowa. We began at the same time, her starting her freshman year, and me starting my sophomore year. We experienced three amazing, crazy, and fun years of college together, along with all of the highs and lows that go along with this time. Now, I am in Des Moines, and she is still in Iowa City, finishing her senior year waiting to make grad school decisions. We are back at a time of uncertainty about our futures and where God’s plan may take us.
THIS IS WHY I REALLY NEEDED SOME TIME WITH MY #1 CHICA THIS WEEK. I have decided officially that EVERYONE NEEDS A TT. I would like to provide a few reasons as to why this is the absolute and definitive truth.
A TT can make all of your dreams come true. There is absolutely no one better at playing along with whatever scheme comes to your mind. Are you five and you want to have a fake wedding with your large stuffed bear as the minister? Excellent. TT will have no qualms about being your groom! Are you eight and in need of a fellow pioneer woman to live in your treehouse turned covered wagon? Great. TT also loves Oregon Trail and will happily carry out all of your Laura Ingalls Wilder dreams. She is creative and kind. She won’t judge your wacky ideas or insist that your weirdest daydreams aren’t practical. She will hold your hand and walk with you towards what you want, whether that be your fake bear minister or whatever else your heart may desire.
A TT is ALWAYS 100% DOWN FOR SNACKS. It could be 3 am or pm and she would be willing to go get HyVee Chinese or eat a bowl of cereal with you. When you are at a resort in Mexico and feeling a hankering for “thirds” of the heavenly guacamole they are serving by the vat, she will indulge you and go get you “both” more. If you are ever feeling guilty about heading to Culver’s for the second time that week, she will simply send your a small text message assuring you that is definitely okay and no big deal at all. Last night, we trekked 30 minutes each way simply to go to an ice cream store with homemade waffle cones. YOU ARE GOOD FOR MY HEART BUT NOT MY WAISTLINE, TT.
A TT is totally honest with you when it comes to your wardrobe. She will help you find fun outfits that you would never figure out yourself. She is still okay with UGGs. She owns a lot of fun jewelry. She will let you know when your eyebrows get too out of control (but in a nice way, obviously). She will only show polite disgust when you offer her hand-me-downs that aren’t as cool as you think they may be. Most importantly, she will support your middle school Abercrombie phase with only the mildest disgust. She is exactly the fairy godmother you need.
A TT is not good at keeping secrets. She often gets way too excited and SIMPLY MUST SHARE. That’s okay though. You’ll still want to share all of your secrets with her. You’ll want to do it, because, when you do, her eyes will light up, she will give a small shriek, and she will then grab your hand or give you a snuggle. “That’s so awesome! I couldn’t be more proud of you,” she will say. Then, your entire insides will glow because your bestest friend in the entire world shares that one tiny piece of information with you. When a secret is scary or feels too big to keep inside, she will help make it better in a way that only she can.
TT is the greatest at snuggles. She sure is tiny, but she sure can cuddle. This isn’t always physical though. Sometimes, she just isn’t there in person to give you the hug you are in need of! When this is the case, she will send snuggles in other ways. Sometimes, this is a sweet card in the mail that makes you want to cry a tiny bit as you stick it somewhere safe to keep forever. Sometimes, this is a laugh out loud text message that contains a GIF from Bridesmaids, and it is JUST WHAT YOU NEEDED. Sometimes, she sends you a hug by giving you an unexpected call “just to hear your voice”. Regardless of the mode of transportation or the manner in which you receive it, her snuggles are the best and sure to make you feel better.
I could keep going on forever, but I have to go so I can eat dinner and watch The Bachelor (obviously!) with my TT, my baby sister, and my best friend. I love you!