About five years ago, my friend JMO told me that we should date. I told him that was a crazy idea. I told him it would mess up our relationship as good pals. We were great friends, and I always felt comfortable and excited around him. He made me laugh, and we played board games. The first year we dated was my senior year of college. I was 22 and he was 21. We had fun.

(JMO is eating candy bacon in 2006.)
(JMO and I at the CARPOOL Gala in 2007.)

 (JMO and I at Universal Studios in 2007.)

Now I am 27 and he is 26. We still have lots of fun. JMO helps me grow everyday. He pushes me and challenges me to go outside my comfort zone. He reminds me what I am good at when I am down, and he is proud of me when I do well. I am very proud of the person JMO has become in the last five years. He has always known what he wants, and he makes great efforts to make things happen. Love truly does grow and change over time.

Thank you for still being my pal. It turns out that us dating was not a crazy idea at all.

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.


Last summer I brought JMO to my grandparent’s house, and he brought his brand new iPad. My grandparents never got a computer and often state that they missed the boat, they think it is to late for them. My grandpa has curiously asked for assistance “Googling” while visiting any of his kin, but he has long stopped making visits. So, last summer, when JMO brought a device that my grandpa could hold and touch, he was hooked. JMO is a whiz at the internet (and everything else), so he found many things that a normal internet user may not come across. He discovered a German site with Pickert lineage before the Pickerts came to America. This was a gold mine for my grandpa, he has spent years researching genealogy. When I got home, I printed it out for him, and he has now told every member of our family about the German site that starts with Joachim Pickert in 1757.

The Art of Internetting

So, as we began to plan our trip to Florida this summer, my grandpa had one request, bring the iPad. He does not feel he is quite ready to own his own, but he was anxious to use it again. Last Wednesday, my cousin dropped me off, and my grandpa and I set off internetting. We Googled “Pickert” and my grandpa spent hours reading every link possible. There is a town in North Dakota called Pickert. There is also a German potato cake called Pickert. There is also a writer for the Times named Kate Pickert. We don’t know her, but she is probably lovely. We also explored his parts of the world he wanted share on Google Earth. Then I left it with him, and told him I would get it back on Friday. He was uncertain about this, and took notes on how to do certain things on the iPad. Friday, when we went to their home, my grandpa had a stack of magazines where he had circled the, “For more information go to www…” parts. We went for lots more information. During dinner, he told a story about driving his uncle’s 1929 Franklin as a child, then he realized he could show us pictures on the iPad. Then he proceeded to look at Franklins for sale across the country, we found one is good working condition for $48,000. The options truly are limitless with the world wide web at your fingertips.

I’ve grown up with computers evolving and cannot imagine what I would do if I could not instantly get information. Information is easy and common; it was an absolute pleasure to see the internet as a fascinating thing through the eyes of my grandpa. It is not often enough that I get to spend so many hours with him and so many hours in which we are both entertained by the fascinating world of possibilities before us.

Cooking Class

This year for Christmas, JMO got us cooking classes. Both of us could stand to learn a thing or two about making our own food. I’ve really enjoyed taking time out in the middle of the week (Wednesday nights) to spend time together and acquire a skill.

Cooking ClassJMO coated a steak in peppercorn and I made him show it off before he was allowed to cook it.

Cooking ClassMy steak was not so pretty, but pretty tasty.

Cooking ClassWe also stuffed a chicken, roasted it, and then someone else cut it up and it arranged it on this plate.

Cooking ClassI made Calvin (our teacher) take a cheesy picture with us. Calvin shared lots of neat tips, all kinds of things that had never occurred to me. I only took pictures the last night, but we made stew, steaks, sauces, homemade spaghetti sauce, and several other things that have slipped my mind. I am pretty much an amazing cook now. We took our classes at the Sur La Table at the City Centre, Calvin was our teacher, and it was overall a great experience that I would highly recommend!

Although this was not on my Life List, or a part of my Happiness To Do list, learning new things is a key element to happiness. I learned something new with the boy I love, there is definite happiness value there!