Back in July, I received a text from a friend who I had not seen in awhile asking to meet up for coffee. We became friends several years ago sharing elementary PTA adventures. Now our kids were a little older and in different places. I was excited to see her name pop up on my phone. Also completely thrilled to actually get to share coffee and a conversation with her. We had so much to catch up on.
Our anticipated coffee date arrived. We started with catching up and she quickly moved to the reason she called the coffee date. My friend had recently became editor of a local magazine. She shared how the oppopportunity came up and her vision for the future of the magazine.
Then she dropped her big idea! Without a pause in her conversation or thoughts, my friend throws out “and in the magazine we will feature a monthly recipe. I WANT YOU TO WRITE THEM.” (WHAT!?! ME? Amanda Fuller, girl from small town Texas?). She goes on to tell me she needs my headshot. (What, again?) She gives me deadlines and criteria. Then she smiles, says she is so excited to work with me, and cannot wait to see my work.
So lots of details in between: One hour with my favorite photographer, a few test products and pictures, and my first article was ready.
I share all this with you because it was a big step for me to take and to believe in myself when others already had. This is my first time to be published for my work in the kitchen. I’m beyond thrilled to be a contributing recipe writer for Our Milton Neighbor.
As I publish my monthly recipes, you will find them added to my blog as well. Thanks for sharing along with me in this new adventure. Here’s my first published article:
I was a classroom teacher for many years. Actually, I was one of the lucky one that taught Kindergarten when children were able to play in centers, learn to get along, and get a solid academic start to school. I know education has changed so much. But that’s not even what I’m going to talk about today……
As a teacher, I was blessed with so many amazing parents. Before I was ever a momma, I was learning how to be a great momma by watching moms in action. I would see an idea and file it away in my “when I’m a momma one day” file.
My fifth year of teaching, in May, I had a mom send me a message about signing a book for her child. This book was a secret to the child so we had to be clever with the pass off of the book. I was honored and excited to be a part of this tradition. Basically, this mom had bought a copy of Oh, The Places You’ll Go and has asked all teachers to write a little message in the book. She started this book back in preschool. As the kindergarten teacher, I was able to read what preschool teachers said and then I added to the love for this little girl.
I wrote about her sweet personality and how much I enjoyed teaching her. The mom’s goal was to have all teachers that were a part of this little girl’s life sign the book. Then at her high school graduation, she would be presented with this book and all the wonderful memories of her education. How cool is that!?!
Well, I tucked that idea away and now I have it going for both boys. The preschool and elementary years were very easy to accomplish with Will. BUT I am learning to navigate the book signing in middle school. I sent all his teachers an email and they were happy to be part. They even gave me the idea of giving the book to the grade level counselor and she would help make sure it got to all the teachers. (HOW NICE IS THAT!)
Each year I pull out the books and I love to read the letters from all their teachers. It allows me to walk down memory lane and remember each teacher that has impacted their lives and sweet memories of their personalities.
So, help me keep this a secret for a few years but I wanted to share!
December 31– Everyone has their own feelings about the last day of the year. If your year has been tough, you are ready to say “good-bye” and start fresh. If this has been an epic year, you might be anticipating what the new year will bring. It is all your perspective.
As I have shared before, I am a goal setter. I start thinking about how I can improve, how can I be the best me, and what steps do I need to take. I like to focus on one word that encompasses my goals and thoughts for the next year. There is power in writing down your goals. My goals in 2017 and my goals in 2016 were different and somewhat the same but something I could focus on. I’m still working on my 2018 goals.
I wanted to share something that my sister and her family does each year. This simple tradition has been such a blessing to them and a great way to celebrate memories. Each year they begin with an empty jar. Throughout the year they add memories to the jar. It might be a significant movie ticket, written memory of something funny one of their children did, a photo, a drawing, matchbook, you get where I’m going. Sometimes my sister will just journal that day to capture a feeling. All the memories are placed in the jar. On January 1 of the next year, they make a special breakfast and go through the jar. The memories of the previous year are celebrated and reflected on.
There is so much power in celebrating memories and honoring the previous year. It gives them a moment to reflect and make goals for the next year. I found this quote from Victoria Erickson that I really like:
Have a great last day of 2017! See you in 2018!