Emily Graduates

Isn’t she lovely? Last week my baby sister graduated high school. When I was in fourth grade, Emily entered our lives. She was my human baby doll. It was hard to see her as a real person, she was just this thing that entered our world. The thing grew and developed a unique personality. Emily has always been someone who does things the way she wishes to do them.

The morning of her graduation, I went to the grocery store to get a few things. I saw giant balloons and teared up. My baby sister needed a giant balloon. My baby sister wasn’t a baby anymore. When I graduated high school and went off to college, Emily was eight. Emily is a wonderfully creative young woman now. While Michael and I grew up together, we watched Emily grow up. When I watched that girl cross the stage, I shot up and screamed with pride and joy. I am so proud of the person she has become. I love her lots.

Engagement Photos

A few weeks ago, we took engagement pictures. At first it felt awkward to appear loving, happy, and carefree in front of Caren’s camera. Then, it felt like we were just enjoying each other’s company while our pictures were being taken. It turned out to be a lot of fun and the pictures turned out lovely. I can’t decide which are my favorites. If you click any of them, it will take you to the Flickr photostream of the set.


Typical Encounter

This was JMO’s idea for a picture. He is often on his iPad, and I am often competing for his attention.



We put this one on our save the dates. I think it is lovely. I almost skipped this part of the “wedding process” and I am so very pleased that I didn’t!


On October 6th, JMO and I got engaged. We are pretty thrilled about this. If I was a decent blogger, I would have shared by October 7th at the latest.

Please note the classification article under my hand. Classification and Dewey Decimal are my life right now.

*At some point I will write a better blogpost about this. Possibly Christmas time! 


The Pickerts: 29 years

Family June 2012

Twenty-nine years ago my parents got married (July 9 was the actual anniversary). They went straight from their honeymoon to the first ever Pickert family reunion. My grandparents rented a house at the beach and everyone piled in. A few years along the way have been skipped due to a wedding, a trip to Disney, and my grandparent’s milestone celebrations. There have been a few houses in the winter, but for twenty-nine years the Pickert’s have all piled in condos or a house in Florida.

My experiences and memories with my cousins all tie into the beach. There was always some mischief and the younger kids were always bugging the older kids. We played hours of games, did crafts, and were the labor for my uncle’s sandcastles. Over the years all fifteen of us have grown up. Now we line up our chairs near the ocean, grab a beer, and bust out our Kindles. We discuss our grown up lives and funny things that happened or how we felt left out as middle schoolers. I love these Pickerts.

I think this is the first year EVER we didn’t take a shot of the entire group. 

Happy Birthday Momma!

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom is always looking for a local adventure. She made the most of everywhere we ever lived, and she made my siblings and I appreciate what is around us. Pam Pickert is a marvelous mom, a caring person, a bargain hunter, and an inspirational teacher. She has worked hard to become this woman, and she radiates positivity.

My mom taught me what it is like to deeply care for people. As a toddler, she brought me along to handicap preschool. In elementary school, she brought my brother and I to puppet shows. She put on these shows to explain what it is like to be handicapped to normal children. When I was in high school, she asked me to lifeguard for the residents of a group home where she worked. My mom has never been someone who just does a job. She showed me what it was like to create meaningful experiences for other people.

We moved about every three years. My mother was never your typical military wife. No one could confine her to a base, there was a new town to be seen. When we lived in Maryland we travelled to Washington D.C. once a month, she wanted to be sure we got it all in before we moved. When we lived in Ft. Walton Beach, she took us to the beach every Wednesday afternoon to picnic and play superman with our beach towels. She never told me I was being dramatic when I cried; she always listened. Then she would dispense advice that I would ignore. Inevitably, months later I would realize she was right.

Books are treasures, they hold adventures and lessons. My mother has been taking me to the magical place where you borrow books my entire life. She opened doors to worlds I will never have time to explore entirely.

My mommy is from a small town in Alabama. She was the first to graduate high school in her family. She went to college, and earned two masters degrees. Without knowing it, my mom was leading by example. My problems in life have been minuscule, because my mother protected me and loved me. She is an amazing woman and I am truly truly blessed to call her my mother.

I can’t begin to explain what my mother means to me. My rambly account of my mommy doesn’t give even a hint at her impact on her piece of the world. I love you momma, happy birthday.



My Classroom

A year ago today, I was setting up a classroom. I was trying my best to get a room ready for 26 kids who would show up Monday morning. I was an absolute complete wreck, it was terrifying. I froze when asked where I would teach from. I froze when they asked where they should put their backpacks. I froze when parents asked what my name was. Preparing a classroom takes time, and time I did not have. Things worked out beautifully. I loved the kids and they didn’t seem to realize I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to have been.

This year I had time. Last week was mandatory back to work, but for the 2 weeks before that, I went and spent time in my room. My sister and Mrs. Oswalt came to help me. My mom and JMO came up to see all I had done. Time is a gift I am grateful for this year. I am also extremely grateful for the amazing support system I have in my life. The people I love gave me gifts for the room and worked hard to help me. I couldn’t be happier with the result.

This is a pop up shark, he is now the treasure box. Kara found him at Target. Thanks Kara!
Treasure BoxRoom

My mother and I spent half a day at JoAnn’s fabric looking for something for these curtains. I had fully intended to make them myself, but my momma took over. Moms are good that way. Emily helped me put up all my boards and border, helped me make letters and die cuts, and then decided she would free hand cut ‘Pickert’ out of fabric and fix it on my desk cover. Emily is an awesome little sister.

Desk and cubbies

Mrs. Oswalt took it upon herself to buy me shelves! Don’t they look great? JMO came up and put them together for me. Mrs. Oswalt also sorted all my books for me. She’s a nice lady. Emily also cut out “What are you reading?” out of construction paper, glued it to more construction paper, and broke my laminator trying to fit it through. It looks pretty great (laminator was then fixed by JMO). My Aggie Cheerleader bear was a gift from a kid last year; I think she looks perfect in the corner.



So, after three weeks of doing a little here and there, my room is done. Lots of people helped me, and I am so thankful to have such fabulous people around.