Baby Shower



We travelled back to Texas for a couple days and the best friends in the world threw a baby shower. It was the cutest thing ever. The food all coordinated with a book. If You Give a Dog a Donut, was next to a plate of donuts. There was an adorable cupcake caterpillar next to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The Dragon Loves Tacos was next to tacos. Meatballs were of course next to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The display was just absolutely precious. IMG_4795

The other table had little “Thank You” tins with M&M’s in them, cookies with Ander’s name on them, and bookmarks that said “Children become readers on the laps of their parents.”IMG_4818

Seeing Ander’s name everywhere was surreal. We’ve known his name for awhile, but it was so crazy to have it up and around. I know he’s a real person inside of me, but seeing his name in print made it very real.


This bulliten board had Ander’s name and baby pictures of both JMO and me. We were cute kids, so of course Ander will be too.




This bassinet was brought by JMO’s cousin, her uncle made it and her three kids used it. Their names and birthdays are written under the mattress. Now we’ll put our child’s birthdays on it, and pass it back to the other side of the family when they start having grandchildren. IMG_4838


After being away from all the people in my life, the shower was even more emotional than it might have been had we still lived around Houston this year. We have an incredible support system. Everyone was so generous and we can’t believe how much stuff this tiny human now has. We won’t be alone in our journey of parenthood. I’m so grateful to these wonderful women, Ander will have lots of love in his life!



Lacking motivation.

One month remains of graduate school. There are several big assignments to go. Now, where is the motivation to get deep into this work? I’m not sure. This is my backyard right now.



The middle school librarian I interned with recently gave me a bag of books that were just slightly too mature for middle school. A bag of teen lit??

I need to get as many yoga classes as I can in as part of my teacher training. I don’t know how many I’ll be able to do at the end of this pregnancy, so gotta do them now.

should be working on a paper right now. This paper is about research methodology, is that more fun than beach, reading, or yoga? NO. I started my masters in library science in the fall of 2012. I’ve really enjoyed all my classes that pertained to literature and school media centers. I have not enjoyed any of the classes that are general library classes. I’ve recognized that they contain important information that semi interest me, but all the assignments have been like pulling teeth. For almost three years I’ve had something due soon. I’ve had nagging tasks in the back of my mind. The freedom is close. It is hard to fathom the feeling of freedom, but I can’t wait to have it.

Ode to our Florida Living

Last June we moved to Florida for a year, and we are now approaching the end of March. Our time is ticking away on the beach. Last March, teaching and graduate school were crushing me. I couldn’t breathe or see the light at the end of the tunnel. JMO’s new job working from home gave us a lot of freedom. Freedom we needed to do something different for a short while. I loaded up on classes last summer, this past fall, and now in the spring. I’m almost done. It has taken me awhile, but I’m almost there. The goal of taking time away from teaching was to finish this master’s degree, but I couldn’t of imagined what else this year would give me.

Every Tuesday (it was Wednesdays in the fall), JMO and I head over to my grandparents. We pick up lunch and we either make dinner or pick up from somewhere. My grandfather brings out articles he’s underlined in the Wall Street Journal. We go for walks down the street, and JMO takes him to the gym sometimes. My grandma and I sometimes go out to lunch or go shopping. I’ve visited them my entire life for a week or a weekend, but now we are local and our relationship is different. I can’t fathom going back to what our relationship was like before. I’ll be grateful for this time for the rest of my life.

I love my Florida yoga studio. My anxious self has enjoyed yoga as an outlet for the last few years, but my studio here has deepened my love. Last fall, I started yoga teacher training. Our bodies are strong, and they are capable of great strength. This strength does not look the same in every person. Our bones are different! Our muscles and tissues are not the same as our peers. Thus, our bodies work differently, and we get the same benefits as the person who looks like a pretzel. The women in my group are very different and strong willed. I’ve grown from our discussions. I want to take the type of yoga these women will share with the world, and I fear that I won’t find the same companionship and passion in a bigger city. Taking this time off has allowed me to pursue this passion.

Our family is growing. We’ll be having a Florida baby this June, and our child will spend his first weeks living by the ocean. I hope it will create a deep love of the beach in him. JMO and I get to take walks and sit outside and feel the ocean air. Our only friends locally are my grandparents, so we’ve gotten lots of quality time together. This time in our marriage before our child is born has been very special.

As our time winds down, I feel this pressure to absorb every minute of our quiet lives. This time next year we’ll have a house back in Texas and our kid might be crawling. Our lives will be busier, yet we will be closer to friends and more family. JMO and I made a good decision coming to Florida.

2014 was pretty glorious

For the last few years, JMO and I have sat down and reflected and blogged about the previous year. JMO’s post for this year is right here. He has pretty good things to say. At the end of the year, it always seems surprising to acknowledge how much really happened!

  • I took some time off from teaching. In June, I packed up my classroom to prepare for our move. I really loved the school where I worked, and it was hard to leave. But, I know I’ll have a home there if I have the chance to go back!
  • Took a trip to Fredericksburg with my good gal pals in the spring. It was an escape from life and a chance at quality friend time before life changes for all of us.
  • IMG_3184We moved to the beach in June! JMO and I rented a condo in Navarre, Florida. We see my grandparents every week. We had company most of the summer and have really enjoyed getting to be part of our friends and families vacations. The view is wonderful and the town is small and quiet. JMO and I get to spend lots of time together and lots of quality time with my grandparents and family that comes to see them.
  • IMG_4214I was able to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean and visit the Jackson’s in Oregon. It was a relaxing and outdoorsy week with my oldest friend.
  • IMG_3958I turned 30. It was pretty fab, great weekend in New Orleans with great friends. I think I’ve done pretty well in my first 30 years.
  • IMG_4043I interned at a middle school and a primary school library this fall. Two more classes and I’ll have a master’s degree in May.
  • JMO and I are having a baby. I’m loving getting to talk to my grandparents so much and share part of this experience with them.

IMG_4459This year was a little different for us, but I’m extremely grateful for this chance to spend quality time with family and my husband. Life will be very different again this time next year, as was 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.

Myers Briggs – I’m special – just like everyone else.

This blog is from my graduate school site: I’m asked to blog along the way for several my classes. Although, I have neglected this site, I am writing elsewhere. 

As we move towards more group work in my information technology class, we students were asked to do a Meyers Briggs test. I took this in college in a service organization, and a few years later at a teacher training. At the age of 30, the questions were familiar, and I knew my answers had changed over the years. Quiz here.

What was once a big deal, is no longer. I trust my gut more than I did in my early twenties. I wish I could find what I was before saved away in my computer, but I didn’t save that information. I am a ENFJ.

Feeling – 50%

Extravert – 44%

iNtuitive – 12%

Perceiving – 11%

According to the description, I am a person with charisma and great interpersonal skills. “ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.” (Joe Butt). For the last several years, I’ve wanted to get a tattoo that says “Carry One Another.” The first time I went to Ecclesia in Houston, they did a stations of the cross in tattoos. The outlines are available online for general use. In this particular station, the cross becomes difficult for Jesus to carry, and Simon steps in to help carry his burden. This station has always resonated with me, and when I saw this tattoo, I felt touched to the core. I want to live my life in a way in which I am able to carry the burdens of those I love. I want to be strong enough to know when it is time to also allow others to help me with my cross.


I digress, but I used to feel as though I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t as logical or decisive as others. Feeling dominates my personality, and that is okay. To receive results on a personality quiz that says I shall know and appreciate others, often neglecting myself, makes me proud of knowing who I am. On the site, it says the trademark statement for ENFJs is “The first shall be last.” So, in a group, I may be first to get us organized, but last to get my part done. I’m understanding that group members have different backgrounds and bring different strengths to the table.

I look forward to learning the personalities of my group members, and learning my own strengths and playing to them.

I have yet to get this tattoo because I am scared; one day I will be brave and follow through. It will look great. 


We moved to Florida.

Graduate school and teaching has been kicking my butt for the last two years. I was in a perpetual state of being overwhelmed. I knew it would pass, but I couldn’t sacrifice effort in teaching. I couldn’t spend less time on my school assignments. Every week, I made great lesson plans, which unfortunately resulted in great papers to grade. I was spending my weekends catching up and forgetting to breathe.

In January, JMO got a job with FantasyPros. He loves sports and he loves coding, it is the perfect gig for him. I still had several graduate classes to go to finish my masters and an internship. We decided that I should take a year off from teaching and focus on finishing this degree. Then, we realized he could work from home anywhere and I could intern anywhere a school would take me. So, we came to live on the beach. My grandparents are about thirty minutes away and we get to see them two or three days a week. This time with them has been such a gift. Grandparents are different people when you grow up, life can be discussed, dinners made, and no one is busy cleaning up all the toys.

My grandparent’s house is a hub for all the family, and JMO and I have gotten to spend quality time with lots of Pickerts this summer. Also, having a place by the beach brings in a lot of friends! It has been great to be able to enjoy the beach with so many people we care about. Now that the summer has ended, our company has stopped. I’m back to school work, interning, and helping out my grandparents. JMO is working from home. This past summer was full of glorious experiences. We’re here until July 30, 2015, at which time we will return to Houston and be real grown-ups.


IMG_3500Kara &Meg IMG_3562 IMG_3638 IMG_3698 IMG_3707 IMG_3783 IMG_3974 IMG_3989 IMG_4012


So, yes we moved and yes we will be back. If you want to come stay at Casa Oswalt, send us an email! We love special time with friends and family!