Sunday, February 28, 2016

There's Something About...

There’s something about…

A Sunday morning, wrapped up layers of RCR comfy sweats from his side of the closet, listening to Pandora and slurping milk from the bottom of my cereal bowl.

A walk with my dog down to the river bottoms, listening for the water rushing along the banks and watching him dart for every bird, every rabbit and every moving piece for that matter and just breathing it all in.

A run/walk at Tanglewood with my headphones in, layers upon layers with nothing bothering me but the music and if my feet and lungs can keep up with the beat.

A 55-minute workout at Pure Barre, full of challenge and shaking but walking out of there feeling stronger than when I walked in, and not feeling guilty about what it costs per month.

A visit to Baltimore United Methodist church to talk with my dad about what I’m doing with my life and if he’s proud of the person I’ve turned out to be today at 31 years old.

Enrolling myself in an accelerated administrative program, not really knowing if I ever want to pursue the job, but knowing that for my own personal growth I have to try and I have to learn.

A group text with friends who get me and my sense of humor and who don’t judge me for it.

Casting a reel in the pond behind the house, knowing that I won’t touch what comes off, but he will and we will celebrate, no matter how large or small the catch is.

Holding my nephews and snuggling them when I get the chance to because this time will eventually pass.

A box of Bath & Body Works sitting on my front porch, full of those terrific Wallflowers just waiting to fill our home with amazing scents.

A good research article that captures why I do what I do and the benefits of being a teacher in today’s society.

Embracing every deal at Lowe’s food and saving 10 bucks to make me feel like I’ve hit the jackpot on purchasing store-brands even though the name brands taste so much better.

Logging on to Twitter every Saturday and Sunday waiting for a glimpse of my husband doing the job that he loves and doing it so well.

An Instagram meme tag to make me literally laugh out loud when I really shouldn’t.

Wine afternoons with a friend who’s experienced the loss of a parent and our blubbering car conversations long after the vineyard closes.

After school reading meetings or Saturday morning reading trainings to work with those who give up their personal time to learn more.

Hearing the door open at 2am, 3am and sometimes 4am on Monday mornings, know he’s home safe after another weekend away.

Writing checks and watching my hard earned money go away every month to maintain the beautiful home that we’ve built together and made memories in.

Long phone conversations with my California family who’ve done more for me that they even know.

Kind words from co-workers and friends who appreciate what I do in my job, despite the challenges it brings.

Daily deals that reel me in for one more pair of fleece-lined leggings or one more maxi-dress.

Homemade turkey tacos and flour tortillas with a homemade margarita on the side.

Data meetings about our students’ progress in reading at our school, and seeing students’ progress and grow, no matter the results.

Monogramming everything; from clothes to bags, to clipboards to wallets.

Time to reflect on life, and to appreciate the blessings that I have.  To think about what I could always improve on and what I will do to continue enjoying things that “There’s something about…”

Thursday, December 25, 2014

First Christmas In Heaven

Christmas Eve, 2014


My First Christmas in Heaven, 
I see the countless Christmas Trees
Around the world below, with tiny lights, like Heaven’s Stars, reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart,
but I am not so far away, we really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear
and be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year--Unknown Author 

I share this poem for anyone who will share this experience with me for the first time this year or who has been sharing this experience for quite sometime. I thank each and everyone of you who have reached out to me during the course of the year and around the holiday season. May you all have a blessed Christmas remembering those who can't be with us on Earth this year at the holidays and beyond ❤️

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

29 and Counting...

Today is the last day in my twenties.  29 years and counting in this body, in this mind.  I began to think about what I've done (or NOT done) in 29 years.  And it's amazing what can happen in 29 years!  Now, on to a numbers post (some repeating, my apologies), but with 29 as the end result (well 30, really and then some...but SHHH! we won't say that toooo loud ;)

22: Years I spent in education as an enrolled student of some sort or another.  It's hard to believe that only 7  years of my life I really haven't been sitting in a classroom, writing a paper or reviewing peer work. 

3: The number of cars I've driven in my life.  From the high school days of good ol' Bertha the Chevy Lumina to my tiny red Chevy Cavalier and now to the Chevy Trailblazer.  We were a Chevy family through-and-through, can't you tell?

13: Speaking of cars, I've been fully licensed to drive for 13 years!  Geeze, how times flies.  I went to get my driver's license name changed just this week and it amazes me the awe and angst new drivers face to get their licenses.

11: Years that I've spent with Cruz.  Yeah, I know that's a LONG time, but it's been the BEST time.

2: Number of degrees that I've earned from ASU!  Go Mountaineers!

5: Number of cell phones that I've had since I was 18.  So yes, my young friends, it is totally okay to have a cell phone after you are 18 and can afford it ;)

1: Cell phone number that I've had since I purchased my first cell phone.  I don't know what I would do if I had to change from my cell number!

8: The number of different jobs I've held since I was 14!  From office work to daycare teacher or music-operator at Tweetsie Railroad, my job selection has been rather random.

7: Number of years that I've been in education as a professional.  Oh only 21 more years until I can retire!

1: Number of siblings that I was blessed with.  I love my brother...he's hilarious and the very best.

7: The number of times I've flown on an airplane.  The first time was when I was 21.

1: Number of houses that I've built.  And as all of you know that took 3+ years of my life.  Never again friends, never again.

3+: Didn't I just mention that we built a house?  Oh YEAH, well it took quite a long amount of time to complete due to the self-contracting piece.  An experience that I will never forget.

4: Months that I've been married to the most amazing person.  I am so pleased with my decision to wait to get married later in my twenties.  We both have changed so much, and we see our lives and futures in different ways now, rather than as early twenty-somethings.

7.5: The shoe size that I stopped growing at.  I've been in a 7.5 for around 15 years.  I guess that's why I still have sneakers from high school days!

0: The number of times I've tried green beans and liked them.  Well, if we're really talking specifics, I would imagine 0 would be the number of times I've ever liked anything green.  No green veggies, please.

5: The number of years that I was a full-time classroom teacher.  I taught 5th grade all 5 years and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  There's something about 10 and 11 year olds that keep you on the edge of your seat at all times.

1: Number of legit surprise birthday parties that I've had.  My parents worked to throw me a surprise 17th birthday party in their garage!  I spent the morning ice skating and came home to a house full of people.

28: The number of Christmases I was able to spend with my Daddy.  How I wish I could ask for more of those.

1: The number of International trips I have been on.  Cruz and I visited the Dominican Republic for our Honeymoon in early December.  I swear, I love looking at my Passport and seeing Visas stamped for a different country

3: The number of years I played tennis in high school.  I have never enjoyed a sport more than tennis!  Ripping through a serve and slicing a tennis ball to an opponent is quite entertaining.

6: The number of car accidents I've managed to get myself in.  From a small fender-bender to a full on collision to a rear-ending (none of which were my fault, OF COURSE) I've torn through some accidents.  Thank GOODNESS for insurance, and my Daddy and Cruz.

3: The number of dogs I've had throughout the years.  We had a dog when I was a little girl and then went dog-less until 4 years ago.  Now Boone and Lizzie take over our house all of the time and I love it.

1: The number of times I've shot a gun.  Freshman PE at Forbush, shotgun and skeet.  I did horrible and don't care AT ALL for shooting now.  At all.

Now, here's to 30 more years.  My list will surely grow by then, and maybe I'll get around to eating some veggies by then and maybe travel Internationally more often =)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Day 2014--a letter to my Husband


Today is day that I am sure you'll never forget throughout your NASCAR career.  You've been here three times before, but the pressure doesn't bother you, it fuels you.  The long weeks away, the travels, the planning, the all ends for the 2014 season today.  This is the moment that you've been looking for all year, the time that you and your team have prepared for since the season started.  Today is your day to do the best that you can, the best that your team can.  There's no regrets, no looking back...just 12 seconds or less for every stop =)

Today is the day that the media has built up, (or torn down, depending on who you listen to).  But the reality is, it's just you, your team and your focus out there.  No matter what's tweeted, what's posted on Facebook or what the ESPN ticker displays up until the final lap, you do what you do, because you do it so well. 

So, no matter what the outcome is when the first car of the pack crosses know that I am proud of you.  I am proud of your hard work, your dedication and your team.  You are a lucky man to truly enjoy your job every single day.  I am a lucky woman to call you my husband.

Best wishes, my Bebe, and know that "A lifetime isn't long enough to love you"--Ziggy Marley

Sunday, November 2, 2014


As you all of my 6.3333 readers know, Cruz and I said "I do" about a month ago!  Throughout the entire wedding planning experience, the engagement period and the years (yes, I said years) preceding our day of wedded bliss, all I heard was about how wonderful life will be after you are married, about why I haven't pushed him to go ring shopping way before more and about "You were really together for 11 years?!

In my experience of watching couples get engaged early, majority live in the moment with a limited or no vision for a future and a hefty load of debt hanging in front of their eyes, I realized that I had as much time as I felt I wanted or needed to get married.  Not that those folks were crazy or foolish for making their choices to get married when they did, but it helped me to solidify my choice to wait until a little later in my life.

Now that I'm a "newlywed" and Cruz and I share a legit last name (WAHOO, thank you hour-and-a-half creepy Social Security office wait experience) I can honestly say there are days that things "feel" different.  We still share the same financial responsibilities, we still follow the same morning routines and I still fall asleep on the couch at night after supper leaving him to clean up the dishes from supper.  But what has changed is the way we look forward to our future.  Not that building a house, getting and financing a graduate degree and working a high-travel, high-stress job aren't all decisions that we didn't talk about, but there's something a little different about the way we discuss certain topics. 

Marriage is a compromise.  It's give and take.  It's accepting each other for your faults, your prosperities and your unconditional love for each other.  Marriage is what I am glad I waited for and what I hold close to my heart.  I sure am a fortunate soul to have been blessed with the love of a strong man, raised by two of the best parents there are out there and to share a vision for the future.

Now, if I could only get used to keying and signing "Gonzalez" as quickly as I can "Hennings" =)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Today's the Day

I mean, THE day. The day that every girl dreams of. The day that I've waited for over 11 years to finally take place. Today is my wedding day.

It has been a feat. We decided to take this challenge on by having the ceremony in our front yard and the reception in a barn behind our house. The house prep was really no big deal. What was tough was the barn. There were things of aaaaalllllllll sorts in that place. But, with the help and grace of so many people, I am awaited by an absolutely beautiful reception site.

I know this day is supposed to be about me, about Cruz and about us. But, y'all, it's about our families. It's about the hard working fruits of our labor. It's about some BBQ, hush puppies and some keg beer. It's about spending some time together, laughing, crying, and staying up too late. If it weren't for family, this day would have NEVER come.  So I want to say thank you. No matter how this day goes, whether I trip on my dress or goof my vows, it's not really going to matter.  What's important is family.

Today, I wake up a Hennings but lay my head down a Gonzalez....HOLY COW! 😄

Stay tuned for photos!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Three Weeks!

We’re at that three week mark and counting from TODAY!  There are times that I feel almost overwhelmed, like this wedding will be the end of me, while at other times, I feel like I can handle it and three other big projects at school.  The reality is, that no matter what happens, no matter the weather and no matter what everyone else thinks, I have everything and everyone there who will make our day 110% special.  So, for a good  ‘ol by-the-numbers post, here we go!

2-number of golf carts that we will rent to help bus some of our guests from one area to another (THANKS to my bridesmaid Jess Joyce and her hubby for this hook up!)

300- number of chairs that I need to call and request and reserve for our guests (here’s to hoping they won’t ALL be full! ;)

6- gallons of coleslaw (either plain or BBQ) that we discussed with our caterer this week.  I really didn’t know that coleslaw was that popular, as I’m not a fan

10- sets of the Ivory and Blue Fiestaware that some of my closest family members and friends have given to us as wedding gifts.  Their products are phenomenal…HIGHLY suggest!

5-sets of bamboo utensils that we received as gifts as well.  One can never have enough =)
250--foot of lights that my awesome bridesmaid Jess Lind and her hubby Jake will be letting us borrow for our reception site.

245—number of songs that I’ve looked up, listened to and added to our wedding day playlist on Spotify.  FYI to tech lovers and smartphone users.  Spotify gives you access to virtually ANY song with their paid premium account.  HELLO CHEAP DJ. HELLO MONEY SAVER.
1-precious burlap flower girl basket that my wonderful bridesmaid, Emily's daughter Addi will carry down the aisle...CANNOT WAIT!
1--handsome little fella  named  Slayt that our wedding party members Rachel and Landon are going to share with us to carry those rings down the aisle for us!  GET EXCITED!

4- number of outdoor speakers that we’ve bought and will have installed on our top and bottom porches to provide music for our ceremony.

2- number of church pews we’re going to use for our family reserved seating for the ceremony.

4-number of items that I have already accumulated that include the embroidery or monogram of Gonzalez…and I.Love.It. =)

5—number of days my aunt, uncle and cousin will stay with us as house guests!  I am pumped to finally be able to return the favor as they’ve let Bobby and I crash at their spot in San Diego before.

12- number of bridesmaids and groomsmen in our wedding party.  We are so thankful and lucky to have such wonderful and caring people to share our special day with.  We wouldn’t have it any other way!

2—rooms in my home that are taken over by wedding crafts or storage.  I am real excited to each on my dining room table again soon, sans placecards, RSVP cards and thank you notes
3—number of days I plan to take off of work to execute this event!  Anymore and I would be a wreck, worrying about getting behind at work and not doing my job.  Although, I have this strong feeling that the two days I will work will seem like foooorrreeevvveeerrr long!

16—the day in September when my awesome Moore School friends will be showering Cruz and I at school!

200ish—RSVP’s returned!  Let’s just say postage for that many stamps was pretty much out-of-control.  Ya’ll, like $150 worth.  Future brides, take note, please!

11—o’clock is my new bedtime these days.  To get work and wedding done each night, you can find me by my laptop or at the table just working away!

2—the number of beautiful wooden rockers that grace our front porch at this time.

5—predicted number of posts that I will throw out on my little space of the web before the actual wedding day….we shall see!

And, here we go!