Sunday, December 30, 2012

adios 2012

2012 has been unbelievably good to us. It will be one of those years that we look back at as one of the best years of our life.

Lets recap!

Engagement (technically, we got engaged in 2011. But, most of our engagement was in 2012). Being engaged was such a fun time. It was a bit stressful working, going to school, and planning a wedding all at once, but it was also a time filled with fun times with friends and family.

All of the wedding festivities were definitely one of the highlights of the year

shower hosted by these wonderful girls!

bridal shower hosted by these lovelies 

bachelorette party hosted by Callie
Engagement party in Charleston hosted by my parents 

I shared my 21st birthday with one of my very best friends, Amber, in Nashville with some awesome people

Jake commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp!

We won a national championship in basketball and got to witness the mayhem afterwards in Lexington. GO CATS!

We got married and had the wedding of our dreams!

Honeymooned in Hilton Head

Moved into our very first apartment together

Spent a fun summer together as newly weds

Jake bought a truck

Got to see my sister marry a man who makes her very happy 

Had the best student teaching experience I could have ever imagined

Graduated college : )

and finally, moved to Virginia 

Wow, what a crazy and wonderful year it has been. There were many changes this year, but we have so much to be thankful for.

We are SO excited to ring in the new year and are looking forward to the adventures 2013 has in store. 

Happy New Year!!

until next time,

J and M

Trip to Charleston

The week before Christmas, I took a trip down to Charleston to see my parents. I hadn't been down there since May, so of course I was very excited. The only damper on my trip... my ole Escape needs about $3000 worth of work. Do I have $3000 to just spend? I don't think so, especially after not having a job for the past couple of months.

Besides the bad news about my car, my trip to Charleston was perfect. Charleston is up there with my favorites places in the world. It has southern charm, there is so much to do, and it is beautiful and historic. I had also forgotten how much I love to hang out with my parents. They love to spoil me. We went out to delicious dinners, walked on the beach and watched the sunrise, went for morning walks with the dogs, got pedicures, shopped till we dropped, and ate handfuls of popcorn at the movies. It made me wish I lived closer to them so I could hang out with them all of the time!

Mom and I downtown Charleston at A Christmas Story

Sunrise at the beach

Lexie frolicking at the beach

Missing the beautiful weather in Charleston!

Lexie finally got a new collar from Hairy Winston

The only thing that could have made this trip better would have been if Jake could come. Oh well

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's not goodbye...

Not only am I now a college graduate, I am moving to Virginia! That means it is time to say goodbye to my beloved city of Lexington and all of my wonderful friends who live there. Saying goodbye is hard, especially when you don't know when you are going to see the person again. Fortunately, living by myself this semester has shown me that the people who matter make an effort to keep in touch. There will always be those people in your life, that no matter where you are or what's going on in your life, they will always be there.

Even though it is hard to say goodbye, I made the most of my last couple of weeks with my friends. I even made it to a few UK basketball games. GO CATS!

Goodbye dinner #1

Goodbye dinner #2

As any normal college grad, I decided to look at pictures and reminisce on my fun-filled college years. I then had the great idea to make a video of some of my favorite memories. It will be fun to look back in 10, 20 years at this video and see how much has changed and remember being young and care-free. Here you go guys!

I keep telling myself, it's not goodbye, but see you later

Until next time,


I have been avoiding the news since Friday. I know that I can't hide from the horrific things that are happening in our world today, but this tragedy is too much for me to handle. I cannot even fathom what would cause someone to do such a thing. As a teacher, I cringe just imaging being in this situation. I know many of us are trying to make sense of this horrible act, so I wanted to share this sweet tribute to the victims from The Voice.

Today, I wanted to bring happiness back to my soul and share my wonderful experience with my 25 wonderful 2nd graders during my student teaching. I had heard stories about student teaching, good and bad. Some people say it was a wonderful experience that prepared them for their teaching career, while others said that it was a horrible experience that made them realize they did not want to be a teacher. I am happy to say, my student teaching was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I was very lucky to be placed in a great school, with a fabulous cooperating teacher, and with students who were a challenge at times, but sweet beyond words. I have discovered that teaching is a very challenging, but rewarding career. I have also realized that it is without a doubt the career for me. There was not one single day that I dreaded getting up at 6 am to go teach. I loved seeing the kids improve every day and learn to love school. My students taught me so much, and I hope that I was able to teach them everything that I could. It was so hard to say goodbye, but I know that it is time to move on to other things and to touch the lives of many other children in the future. I will never forget my student teaching experience and the sweet children I was able to teach. 

My cooperating teacher had the students make and ABC book for me as a goodbye present. Each student had a letter where they wrote a sentence about me with that letter and drew a picture. It was such a sweet gift and will be a great reminder of my time at GSE. My students also brought in lots of gifts on my last day. They gave me earrings, mugs, candy, supplies, ornaments, and tons and tons of cards. Children can be so kind and generous. 

 I found this idea on pinterest and loved it! I decided to recreate it to give to my cooperating teacher. I thought it turned out pretty well!

I gave these snowmen ornaments to each of my students. They turned out very cute, but were SO time consuming. I personalized each one, in hopes that the students will keep them for years to come and remember how much they loved school this year. 

I gave these to the students during a lesson on capitalization. Super cute, but also very time consuming. 

Last student teaching bulletin board

Even though it was hard to say goodbye, it is exciting to finally be a college graduate! I would not trade being a wildcat for anything. I had a great college job, we won a national championship in basketball, I found the perfect career path, and I have made so many memories that I will never forget. Thank you to all the people who made my time at UK one to remember. GO CATS

until next time,


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Hello! Lots is going on over here in the Bell world. Jake left for TBS(marine officer training) in Quantico, VA. He is doing great! At times it is crazy, but he is adjusting and it is what he was meant to do. He has made some great friends so far and is enjoying learning and being a part of the Marine Corp. He is living in the barracks and eating in the chow hall right now, so I think he will be ready for me to be there. He is also scouting out Stafford(where we will be living) for us so that we will know all the good places to go. I finally have a job and we have an apartment and moving date, so I'm ready to be there. But for now, I'm just enjoying my time left in Lexington. It is hard at times, because I miss Jake. But, I've been throwing myself into student teaching and spending time with friends. The past two weekends, all of my wonderful friends have made such an effort to make sure I'm not lonely, and I am so thankful for them. It is going to be very hard to say goodbye! 

This weekend was filled with all of the important f', food, and friends. Friday started with a fun night downtown with Bailey and Julia at fun place called Wine and Market. It is a cute deli/bakery/wine shop here in Lexington. We had a cheese place with fruit preserves and then ended the meal with pistachio macaroons. This place has such a cool vibe a great tasting stuff. Cheese is probably my favorite food in the world, hands down. 

We finished the night listening to Lauren MInk, a Kentucky native who was on American Idol. She was absolutely amazing. I hope that someday her music career takes off, because she is truly talented. 

Saturday was filled with catching up with student teaching work and cleaning the apartment. That night, Bailey and Julia came over for a potluck type dinner and a movie. It was a very delicious evening. They brought over brie and apricot preserves wrapped in pastry (best thing I have EVER put in my mouth), stuffed mushrooms, and brushetta. I made some crusty bread and an apple crisp. I was very pleased with how my food turned out! I will be making apple crisp again very soon!

Sunday, my friends planned a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. There was soooo much food and I got to see some great friends I had not seen in awhile! I made a sweet potato casserole from a recipe from a friend in South Carolina. I feel in love with it the first time I tried it, and it is always a hit where ever it goes. I am even bringing it to Thanksgiving dinner! I was thankful for the opportunity to be with great friends, and to have an extra Thanksgiving dinner! Who says Thanksgiving should only be once a year!

I feel like I have so much to be thankful for this year. Great friends who are there when I need them, a rewarding career choice, an amazing student teaching placement, two wonderful families, a loving husband, a dog who always keeps me company, a cute little apartment that I call home, amazing opportunities in the future, and much more. Even though it will be hard to be away from my family during the holiday season, I am excited to spend time with my other family, and that Jake gets to come home!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Until next time,

J and M