Posted in Linkups

School Pictures : A TBB Talks Linkup

Hello everyone! I’m returning to the land of the living after spending most of last week with some kind of sinus funk sickness. I even took Thursday and Friday off work (aren’t you proud of me, Jen??) because I had just hit a wall…and I was crying a lot. Does anyone else cry a lot when they don’t feel well? As my dear husband put it, I had ugly cry face and sick face. Thanks, babe.

Anyway, I’m back now and ready for this week’s TBB Talks post – all about school pictures. I was pretty excited about this one for reasons you will see in this post. I had planned to go down to our basement over the weekend and look through yearbooks until I remembered something glorious that used to hang in my parents’ hallway.

Framed picture of my first grade through senior year school pictures.

Awww yeah. A nearly complete picture of Amber through the years. I don’t know why this frame doesn’t include Kindergarten, but rest assured that I was adorable in Kindergarten. Adorable.

Let’s take a closer look at these beauts.

First grade! I pretty much looked identical to this in Kindergarten, so you’re not missing too much. I can see Charlotte in my face a little bit. I don’t know if it’s the cheeks or what, but I’m glad that there’s actually a little bit of proof that she’s my child too…

Second grade! I feel like we missed a memo that it was picture day and forgot to brush my hair. That’s how my hair looks pretty often these days, so I guess I’m just throwing it back a few years.

Third grade! This has a little bit of a glamour shots vibe to it. I’m digging the outfit and the hair over one shoulder. I think I was leaning on a pillow too. I guess the photographer took it up a notch that year.

Fourth grade! You can see my tie here, but what you may not be able to see is the sweet vest that was also attached to the shirt. Fourth grade me evidently meant business.

Fifth grade! Why yes, I am wearing the same dress that I had on in the picture from last week’s TBB Talks Linkup, thank you for noticing.

Sixth grade! This is the stuff dreams are made of. I had a bowl cut, was trying to keep from blinking, and let’s just be honest – that dress is a little low cut. I believe this is my pinnacle in life…

Seventh grade! My hair grew a lot from sixth grade. I really have nothing else to say after that last picture…

Eighth grade! I guess picture day was on St. Patrick’s Day that year (199?…such a mystery…unless I do some math). Current me is ashamed of eighth grade me and her lame attempt at wearing green.

Freshman year! This seems like a pretty generic picture. Carry on.

Sophomore year! Look at the tilted head and attitude. Give a girl a bob and a silk dress and she thinks she’s unstoppable…

Junior year! Sweater vests are for winners. Could I BE any more preppy? (Points to whoever gets that reference…)

And finally we have Senior year! I remember going to Sears or JC Penney to do my senior pictures because it was cheaper and you had more of a selection of backdrops and outfits than the school associated ones. I also really liked my hair here. It’s the little things in life!

Hope you enjoyed this journey down memory lane! I would love to see school pictures from any of you who follow me here or on Facebook!


Posted in Linkups

Amber Can Read : September 2017

Amber Can Read

Books read this month : 4

Book 1 : The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod

I’ve heard a few people talk about The Miracle Morning, so I finally decided to read it and see what the hype was about. It was interesting, and I can see this being something that I’ll get into when Charlotte is a little older and we have better routines.

Book 2 : The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran

This is another book that I’ve heard mentioned pretty frequently. I liked some of the concepts in this one, but I was a little confused by the rest of it. It may be one to reread and see if I understand it better the second time around.

Book 3 : Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

I wrote an entire post about this one, so I don’t think I need to recap it yet again!

Book 4 : The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

I heard an NPR interview with her and thought she was hilarious, so when I saw this book at work and realized that it could count for my  book with a mostly yellow cover Erin 7.0 book, I had to check it out! This was one of those books that I stopped and started a few times, so I don’t think I liked it as much as I would have if I had read the whole thing over a couple of days.

I read all nonfiction this month! I need to throw some more fiction in there!

Read anything good lately?

I’ve used affiliate links in this post. Want to know what means? Check out my disclosure policy.
Linking up with Steph and Jana

Posted in Linkups

Favorite Teachers, Classes, and Memories : A TBB Talks Linkup


When I was in elementary school, there were a few teachers that you did not want to have. Their reputations as strict and mean teachers made them feared, and some teachers even had nicknames that everyone knew (Freeman the Demon is the one that stands out to me). I don’t remember a lot about my early elementary years and those teachers, but I do remember fifth grade when I was assigned to one of these teachers : the dreaded Mrs. Henry.

Fifth grade was many, many years ago, and I don’t remember why other students said she was so mean. I think she supposedly yelled a lot, but I probably would yell a lot too if I taught fifth grade! I remember being nervous about being in her class and probably a little anxious about it. But, as most elementary school rumors, it turned out that Mrs. Henry was not the dragon that people made her out to be. I’m sure that the rumors were started by some of the students that always got in trouble, but for me, young, brown nosing Amber, I had a great experience with her. So much so that I even helped her at her yard sale, which now seems really weird to help your teacher with, but at the time, it was really exciting!

Compare that to sixth grade when I was put in Mrs. Reese’s class. I was so excited to have Mrs. Reese! She was really nice and if I remember correctly, everyone really liked her. She moved up in ranks to become the assistant principal at my elementary school, and we have kept in touch throughout the years. She even came to our wedding reception! I was so fortunate to have two great teachers to finish out my elementary school years because junior high wasn’t my favorite!

While junior high and high school weren’t the best years for me (nothing in particular…just the awkwardness of being that age and not having a ton of friends), I did have classes that I enjoyed. I always liked English class. I guess considering my current career (librarian) and my favorite hobby (writing), that shouldn’t be a surprise! I really liked Creative Writing class, which I got to take during my senior year of high school.

What may surprise people is that I really like Criminal Justice classes also. I was in the Criminal Justice club and even thought I was going to major in Criminal Justice in college (the journey of all of my majors is a story for another day…). I had a Criminal Justice teacher in high school – Mr. B. – who was fun and engaging, and he was consistently one of the favorite teachers at my school! I follow his blog now and read about the adventures he and his wife are on. It’s so funny to think of my teachers as actual “people.” I know that might sound weird or ignorant, but I think that people have an image of teachers not having any kind of family, hobbies, or anything beyond the classroom. I used to have that perception!

It’s harder for me to think of my favorite memories. I always felt a little awkward and out of place throughout school. I do remember taking a field trip to a local them park (RIP, Opryland) for a science class in junior high. Even though we had to fill out a workbook, it was so much fun to get to escape school for the day! I also enjoyed performing in plays in high school. That was the main extracurricular activity that I participated in, so I’m sure my memories have been swayed by that fact!

Getting ready for an elementary school dance. Check out that sweet built-in choker…

I hope that when Charlotte starts school, I can help her keep up with these things. I have bits and pieces of memories, but I think it would be fun for her to be able to explore these things a lot more when she’s an adult. That’s a really nerdy type of fun, but I’m going to own it!

How about you? Who were your favorite teachers? Any classes or memories stand out for you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

P.S. Finish comes out tomorrow! Want to know more about it? Read my review of it!

Posted in Linkups

Little Letters : September 2017


Dear Pumpkin Spice,

WELCOME BACK, OLD FRIEND!!!!!! I’m in white girl overdrive over here!

Dear Christmas music,

I see you waiting in the wings. I might start slowly adding you into my playlists. I can’t stop myself.

Dear Kelly Clarkson,

Thanks for the new song! Does that mean a new tour soon? I haven’t gone to a concert yet this year, and I need to fill that hole in my life…

Dear Chick Fil A app, 

I’ve written about you before, but you just keep delivering free treats. Keep it up!

Dear Amber,

This one is a little more serious, so I guess I’m ending on a bit of a low note. You have not been taking care of yourself lately. You really need to start going to bed earlier, start eating better, and start exercising again. I would also like you to be nicer to yourself. And, let’s work on those organization and time management skills, shall we?

Linking up with Kristin

Posted in Linkups

Sentence a Day : August 2017

Somewhere, buried deep in a box in the garage, I have a five-year journal. This journal covers a span of five years (truth in marketing) and has a few lines on each day for you to record something about your day. I wasn’t always the best at remembering to actually write something that happened particular day, and I’m of the mindset that once I’ve missed a day on something, I may as well drop it completely. Nice, right?

When I ran across this linkup, I was intrigued. Basically, all you do is a write a sentence about each day in a month. Instant five-year journal! So, here are my sentences for August:

1 – Right now things seem super-stressful, but this is a season.

2 – Lunch with family and friends makes my day brighter!

3 – Charlotte’s sleep is awful right now, and I’m discouraged.

4 – Our microwave started sparking today – scary!

5 – Char, Koopa, and I stayed home all day, and it still scared me!

6 – New microwave today and a little shopping with Char and Mom.

7 – Monday again already…

8 – Feeling kind of blah and in a funk

9 – A little better today, but I still don’t feel like myself.

10 – I’m excited about teaching a class this fall!

11 – Friyay but one day closer to the end of summer…

12 – Cleaning, shopping, a wedding, and a Char sleepover!

13 – How come mornings go by so much faster when Char isn’t here?

14 – It feels like time is flying by this month.

15 – First day of in-service at work means meetings, friends, and free food!

16 – Really rough day at work today…

17 – Things were a little better today, thankfully.

18 – TGIF, y’all.

19 – Shopping fun with Mom and Charlotte

20 – More shopping and Char ate a ton of food at Target!

21 – The eclipse was so cool!

22 – All day training has me feeling cross-eyed.

23. Will’s first day of classes and it started with Algebra.

24 – First day of teaching went well!

25 – Char went to Mimi’s, and we had a date night

26 – Day at the fair was fun…but hot.

27 – Really rough night that makes me ask questions like “how many cats is too many cats?” (Uh, I have no idea what I meant by this!)

28 – Char slept better tonight, and Will made some fantastic fajitas!

29 – Another battle to get her to bed…

30 – Dentist appointment today, and there were no cavities

31 – Lots of rain and flooding tonight, and it’s a little scary!

Linking up with Leslie

Posted in Linkups

Currently : September 2017


Celebrating : Some parenting wins we’ve had lately!

Watching : Myself waste time. Okay, that was kind of a stretch answer, but basically, I’m not moving forward with most of my goals. I’m stagnant…that’s a really ugly word, but my point is clear!

Welcoming : Faaaaaaalllllll (oh come on, I put a picture on Instagram of my first Pumpkin Spice Latte last week…you knew this answer was inevitable).

Preparing : For This Is Us to come back on! Come on, September 26!!

Photographing : Charlotte and Koopa, Koopa and Charlotte. They’re just so stinking cute together lately!

Linking up with Anne and Lowonda

P.S. If you like linkups, be sure to join The Guys Behind the Blog Linkup here on September 28!

Posted in Linkups

The Blended Blog Asks : Back to School Edition

Do you remember in the LiveJournal or Myspace days when those surveys were all the rage? I absolutely loved them. I guess I just can’t get enough of talking about myself!

I found this Back to School survey from The Blended Blog and had to join in!

1. Did you love school or hate it? Besides a few speed bumps, like having a girl in my second grade class pick on me, I loved school overall. I have always been a bit of a geek like that!

2. Start school before or after Labor Day? I know we started after Labor Day when I was in elementary school, but I can’t remember if that was the case once I got to junior high and high school. Our county starts at the beginning of August now because they have longer fall and spring breaks, which I think is kind of nice.

3. Wake up : eager beaver or slow poke? I think I usually woke up fairly well but tended to be a slow poke because I always thought I had more time than I actually did.

4. Favorite breakfast? I’ve always been a pretty big fan of French Toast and bacon.

5. Favorite cereal? Cocoa Pebbles or Count Chocula. It’s obviously very important to me to have chocolate cereals.

6. School uniform or no uniform? No uniform but my county did implement a standardized dress code the summer before my junior year. Funny story, I had so many dress code violations that I almost got sent to alternative school! My mom went to the principal’s office (or assistant principal…I can’t remember) and fought with her about it. Thanks for saving me from that fate, Mom!

7. New outfit for first day or no? Of course! Every first day of school was a chance to show off your summer tan and new clothes. Duh!

8. Walk to school or ride the bus? My mom and I walked to my school for a couple of months when I was in second grade since we lived pretty close to it. Otherwise, I was mostly chauffeured by one of my parents or a neighbor when I got older. I rode the bus for a couple of years (I think it was only a couple of years) because I thought it would be cooler than having my mom take me to school I was so, so wrong…

9. Backpack, tote, or messenger bag? Backpacks mostly. I think I tried a messenger bag once or twice, but it never felt big enough to haul all of the crap I carry around! (I still carry too much crap around!)

10. Eat school lunch or pack lunch? I feel like I probably had packed lunches more in elementary school and then wanted school lunches when I got to junior high and high school and there was more of a selection of food.

11. Remember the little milk cartons? White or chocolate? Chocolate all the way! I think Cracker Barrel still serves those little milk cartons with a frosty mug when you order chocolate milk there. It’s like going back to school…in the 1950s…

12. Paper bag or lunchbox? Lunchbox! Paper bags are boring!

13. Favorite thing to do at recess? Um, not sweat? I can’t remember!

14. Favorite back to school supply item? A new notebook…or new pens…or a new planner…or a new backpack…or new pencils…get the picture? 😉

15. Chalkboard or dry erase board? Dry erase all the way. I can’t stand the way chalk feels!!

16. Regular pencil or mechanical? Both! I love writing utensils, so I had a collection of both!

17. Homework as soon as you got home or after dinner? I don’t really remember! I’m a brown noser and a procrastinator, so I guess it probably depended on which side of me won out. Maybe my mom can help me remember this one!

18. Favorite after school snack? I don’t remember this either! I don’t think I really turned down too many snacks though!

19. Favorite after school show? Oprah, especially when she had celebrity interviews, giveaways, or weight loss success stories. Wow. That was a really specific answer, wasn’t it?

20. Favorite subject in school? Creative writing!

21. Least favorite school subject? Math – specifically geometry. It never made sense to me! It still doesn’t make sense to me!

22. Name of your best friend in high school? This is kind of sad, but I really don’t remember having a best friend in high school. I had friends that I really liked spending time with, but I can’t remember a best friend. I hope that my high school best friend isn’t reading this thinking that I’m a jerk for not remembering who s/he was!

23. High school mascot type? Bear! I think we were actually the golden bears if I remember correctly. Any of my high school classmates want to help me on this one?

24. SAT or ACT? I took the ACT twice. I wish I had tried a third time because my score went up a couple of points between the first and second tries, and it would’ve been cool to have broken 30. If I had to take one of them now, I would do so poorly on the math section that they probably would revoke all of my degrees!

25. Favorite year in school? Kindergarten…hahaha…that’s about all I’ve got for this one.

26. Class Ring or no Class Ring? I bought one, and I still have it. I may even actually know where it is! Ha! I don’t think it would fit my pinkie at this point!

27. Attend or not attend high school reunions? For me, it’s a no. When the planning committee for my 10 year reunion started talking about it, they brought up the idea of an inexpensive, family-friendly event, like a bonfire. It was a pretty popular idea, and then I’m not sure what happened, but the final event ended up being in a hotel ballroom. Hopefully they’ll consider something a little more inexpensive for the 20 year reunion in a few years (fewer than I want to think about…).

back to school (1).png