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Know: Five Minute Friday

I’m up early on this Friday morning and listening to the rumble of thunder in the distance. Mother nature is providing quite the soundtrack as I sit down with my coffee to join my fellow writers from Five Minute Friday. This week our prompt is: Know.

There are still a lot of things I do not know. After nearly thirty-two years of life, I still have much to learn about this world. In light of May being Mental Health Awareness month, I wanted to give light to some of my recent ponderings.

I want to know

-Why is success so difficult?

-At what point do we outgrow fear?

-Who decides the standard of health? And can we ever really achieve the perfect picture of health?

-What causes our brains to be so chemically different?

-Where can we be better as a society at promoting mental health?

As we turn our focus this month toward mental health, I want to know how you are making your mental health a priority. Some things I have done recently include journaling, reading, limiting social media, connecting with friends, and trying to be the most authentic version of myself that I can be. I have struggled the past several weeks because the school year is winding down and students are going into Summer Mode. Surrounding myself with a positive community and healthy habits has helped me to get through this slump and to know that this summer will be tremendously beneficial for my health.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Vision: Five Minute Friday

I am so happy to see another week of the 2021-2022 school year come to a close. Two more stand between me and summer vacation. It’s Friday and I’m excited to join in on the Five Minute Friday writerly fun. This week our prompt is Vision.

Five months into the year and I want to take some time to reflect. So far in 2022 the days have been long, but the weeks have been short. At the beginning of the year I cast a vision for myself in my bullet journal and set an intention for the year to live with “passion and drive”.

I started my business and brand at the beginning of the year and have used passion and drive to build my client list and to get the word out about all that I offer with The Ameri Brit Mom Writing and Editing Services.

The vision I started the year with has expanded in five months.

I’ve worked with clients on novels, short stories, blogs, letters, academic papers, social media profiles, and more. With each client I am building confidence and expertise in the field.

Each month I send out a newsletter to update those who want to know how this vision and business is growing. The newsletter starts with a letter to my readers and provides updates on my business as well as my blog. If you want to join the FREE subscription and receive those monthly newsletters, subsribe here:

Another way the vision is expanding is through Patreon, a website dedicated to helping creative small businesses interact with customers and clients by providing exclusive content. You can join my Patreon page to receive free monthly edits, a monthly short story, creative content, and more.

This vision for The Ameri Brit Mom continues to grow and I am so happy to have readers and fans like you to support my dream. Thank you so much for stopping by and I would be delighted if you would consider a way to partner with me and my vision during the second half of 2022.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Run: Five Minute Friday

At the conclusion of another week, I am once again excited to join my writer friends over at the Five Minute Friday link-up. This week, our FMF prompt is Run.

Running used to be my identity. In middle school and high school I was a cross-country and track runner and I found success in long distance running. During the years when I ran competitively I developed personal qualities that have served me well in adulthood.

Running taught me how to be disciplined. If I wanted to be ready for each race, then I had to log the miles and put in the time in the days and weeks leading up to it. Cutting corners wasn’t an option when my eyes were set on the prize.

Running taught me how to be a leader. I was a team captain during my junior and senior years and took that role very seriously. As the captain, I encouraged my teammates and pushed them to be their very best. It was also a goal of mine to lead them with kindness and humility. As a teenager I am sure I didn’t always get that right, because I still struggle with that in adulthood, but my heart was in the right place.

Running taught me how to be a friend. So many friendships and memories can be attributed to long, easy runs through my hometown. You get to know a person when you have to run 5+ miles with them on a regular basis. The time is filled telling stories and talking about your day. Running also helped me to be more confident in social situations and gave me skills in small talk and making others feel heard.

As I reflect on my days as a runner I am so thankful for these experiences in my formative years. Due to medical issues, I am not really able to run like I used to, but I have applied the same discipline that I learned to other forms of exercise (cycling, strength training, yoga) and am still very active and health conscious.

This is from my first ever half marathon in 2007 (I was 17)

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Fast: Five Minute Friday

It’s Friday and I am jumping back into my favorite link-up, Five Minute Friday.

The end of this school year is coming up fast!

With only 20 days left in the classroom with these students, I am in full wrap-up mode. Next week, I am finishing up my final unit and moving toward assessments and final projects to round out the year.

As fast as things seems to be moving right now, I cannot say the entire school year has been this way. In fact, this has been the LONGEST school year of my career. We have done our best as a staff to transition back into our pre-Covid classroom management and curriculum, but Covid isn’t totally gone. And the scars they’ve left on the education system and our students has made it impossible to return to “business as usual.” This entire school year has been a fight to regain a semblence of normalcy in world that is still trying to define what normal looks like post-Covid. All of us in education have struggled with the balancing act of moving forward when things are still so affected by these past two years.

So as I think about how fast the end is coming I am both sad and excited. I am sad because I know that my year with these students was far from a usual experience. There were favorite lessons I had to scrap and assignments that had to be replaced to fit into this new protocol. I’ve created unique memories with this class, but I am still saddened by the fact that their 180 days in my classroom was unlike any from previous years. I am excited because we all need the rest that awaits us after May 27. Staff and students alike have earned this summer break–and it’s coming FAST!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Explore: Five Minute Friday

Some weeks it feels like I am crawling to the finish line. This is one of those weeks. Spring break starts tomorrow and I’m dragging. Which is why having the Five Minute Friday community is awesome! It’s a built-in date with positive writers and a cup of coffee each week. This week our prompt is: Explore.

On Tuesday morning I will be joining 120+ students from the high school where I teach on a tour of Washington DC. We board coach buses in Ohio bright and early and by dinner time we will be in the US capital city. I am most excited about chaperoning this trip along with some of my friends. As history teachers, I fully expect us to nerd out at places like the Smithsonian and African American History Museum.

The last time I was in DC was college. I planned a trip for a Government course I took and we met with someone from the Senate on that trip. In high school, a family friend was married in the city and so I took a brief trip then as well. And of course, I attended my own 8th grade trip way back in…well, a while ago.

This trip is a special one. Usually the DC trip is an 8th grade adventure, but because the current freshman and sophomore classes did not get to go (due to Covid) our district and trip coordinator worked together to make sure these students get the opportunity to explore the city that is so critical to America and our history as a nation.

So please say a little prayer for my safety and sanity as I embark on a five day excursion with students and colleagues.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Coffee (my top 3): Five Minute Friday

We have made it to the conclusion of another work week. It’s Friday morning and I am amped up to join my FMF community for our weekly link-up. The encouragement I receive from these writers is unlike any other writing community I have been a part of. Each week I can count on blessings from other members in my inbox and I am thankful for their wisdom and prayers in my growth as an author. This week we are writing on the prompt: Coffee.

If you know me in-real-life you know that I spend quite a bit of my day with a mug or tumbler of coffee in my hand. I’ve moved beyond addiction to the smooth, warming goodness and would say we have a very cordial friendship, Coffee and I. For two years I have been dairy-free (or more accurately dairy-limited) and so I’ve learned to drink my coffee black. Sometimes my order is met by funny looks at restraunts or coffee counters, but I’m proud of myself for not needing to add the unhealthiest elements of the drink to my cups.

Because I do not mask my coffee with cream and sugar I am a bit of a coffee snob. I don’t really like the “cheap stuff” from the grocery store because I can’t hide the acidity or strange taste under the charm of add-ins. Since being introduced to the Ohio-based coffee company, Silverbridge, I have fallen in love with their flavored coffees due to the subtle hints of delciously unique flavors. I decided to share with you my three absolute favorite bags of coffee to purchase for home brewing from Silverbridge Coffee Company:

Highlander Grogg: Silverbridge

Sticky Bun: Silverbridge

Jamaican Me Crazy: Silverbridge

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Spring: Five Minute Friday

This week I am sitting down to craft my FMF post after a short hiatus. A lot has been going on in my personal life and so I decided to take a week and focus on myself and my family. Today, I feel recharged and ready to tackle the weekend and days ahead. I am excited to reunite for my weekly check-in with the other members of the FMF communuity. Today’s prompt is: Spring.

After many months indoors and working during the hours when the sun was visible, I am overjoyed to enter springtime. This is the time of year when we shake off the cacoons and awaken to the beauty of nature. Morning birdsongs remind us that life is good and that there is room for joy in our lives.

I do not have a favorite season, because each serves a necessary purpose and contributes to the cyclical pattern that regulates our world. However, during Spring is when I am at my happiest. Reuniting with the outdoors is usually all I need to lift my spirits. I find strength in the promise of new life. As flowers bloom and trees begin to clothe themselves once more I am reminded that life is good and that we are all created with a purpose.

Engaging with Spring is also among some of my favorite activities. I love:

a walk in the woods

a bike ride on the trails

planting new seeds

painting the sunrise or sunset

clothing myself in the bright colors inspired by nature

strolling the neighborhood with my family

picnicking after a hike

eating a meal on the porch

As we enter into the first weekend of Spring are you doing anything to celebrate? In Ohio, the temperatures are falling back in to the 40s for the weekend, but I still plan to bundle up and enjoy some outdoor activities with my family. What about you?

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Easy: Five Minute Friday

I’m back this week and excited to join the writing community for the link-up on Five Minute Friday. Checking in each week with these writers has been such a positive experience. This week our common prompt is: Easy.

There’s an old saying found in many of variations of, “The right thing is never the easy thing.” We live in an age when the easy thing to do is to look out for oneself. It’s far easier to rise to the top on the backs of those with less power than to set your feet firmly and remain unmoved in your values. The easy thing to do is to follow the crowd, because making any type of statement comes with all sorts of backlash.

What if we stopped pursuing easy and instead started chasing after what is right?

It’s easy to see injustice, but just to continue swiping. The challenge is to educate yourself on the wrongs of this world. It’s easy to think about poverty and racism and think that it’s not your problem to solve. However, if we all made small actions focused on helping victims then we make the move from the easy position into one of hard work and activism.

When you look at the world today what problems do you see? Which needs can you meet? Where can you make a stand? How can you help?

If you consider these difficult questions you begin to shuffle your feet from inaction to ACTION. Little by little you become the hero in the story and not just the person who chose the easy route.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Carry: Five Minute Friday

Happy Friday and welcome to the latest edition of Five Minute Friday‘s link-up. Each week bloggers around the world use the same prompt to inspire short pieces that they spent five minutes crafting. For years, this community of writers has been a great inspiration to me and supported my blog and business. I love showing up to share pieces and read posts from my FMF friends.

This week the prompt is: Carry.

Educators are in the midst of a discipline upheaval. Even the most seasoned teachers are experiencing a lack of respect and discipline from students in their classrooms. Teachers around the world are leaving the profession at disturbing rates and many blame the pandemic of student apathy for ending their careers.

Like all educators, I have faced some of these problems this school year. I have outrageous stories about the actions and words of students in my school that I would never share on the internet. Most days I find myself disheartened by the way in which students disregard their own learning and expect the teachers to cater to their needs and desires.

While many are tempted to blame the blatant lack of appropriate social skills, I believe that the issue facing students in 2021-2022 is of a different origin. Sure, the pandemic hasn’t helped. But in my humble opinion, we are teaching students who are carrying more than any other student population of the past. And this calls for a shift in our mindsets as teachers.

There have always been students living in poverty, unsafe homes, and states of mental health crises. But what the students of today carry that is exclusive to this crew is the collective experience of the past two years.

They have grown up in a world where the grown-ups have set poor examples on self-control and peacefulness.

They have traded much of the primes of their adolescence for a world of fear and apathy. Life has been uncertain for most of the days that their memory serves.

As adults, we are equipped with the ability to perservere and we remember a world before all of the disruptions. These students have no True North to which to look when they need to remember that these struggles are temporary.

Instead of finding myself burnt out like so many other educators, I am looking for ways to help students to carry these loads. I find that when I try to ask about the issues they shoulder and give them voice in the classroom then many of the discipline issues subside. Being reactive is no longer an acceptable role of a classroom teacher. We must meet our students and give them space to let down the loads that they bear in order to rest. We must help them learn to carry the loads that show no sign of disappearing anytime soon.

As much as we long for our controlled environments before the pandemic, we have to admit that those days are behind us. We will never again live in a world that Covid-19 did not touch. So instead of trying to run things the way we always have, we must remember that the goals of teaching have shifted. Before we can teach a student to read, we have to build their strength as individuals so that they can continue to carry those things that weigh heaviest on their shoulders.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Stretch: Five Minute Friday

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community today. Together, we publish writings based on a common prompt. This week the prompt is: Stretch.

On Tuesday my youngest will turn FOUR.

Every year I get emotional on my girls’ birthdays, but this year there’s cause for a more tears and anxieties than any birthday I can recall.

Childcare in a post-Covid world is tough. Centers near us are cutting back their enrollment numbers and being selective about who they will let in. Knowing that some places have waiting lists that haven’t moved all year we decided in January to reach out and get our daughter on some waiting lists for the fall. Many of the places we reached out to said it may be six months to a year before they have an opening. I was fine with that, because it gave us a chance to plan ahead, but to also keep-on with our current arrangements.

Yesterday, out-of-the-blue, our daughter was offered a spot at a local pre-school. With only 24 hours to respond to the offer, my husband and I had to quickly weigh the options of accepting or passing on this spot.

To say that my stomach has been knots for the past 24 hours is an understatement.

We have had a great gig for the first three years of her life. She has gone to our next door neighbor’s house since she was nine months old. Their bond is so special and although we knew it would have to end at some point, it is breaking my heart to take her from that loving, familiar environment so abruptly.

She is ready for pre-school in every way. When we toured the facility this morning she had such a great time, and introduced herself to new friends and classmates. As we left she asked when she could come back because she had so much fun.

I know that this is a good thing. It may even be a God-thing. But, it is hard on the emotions when such huge change occurs quickly. I am an Enneagram ONE and I like to stick to a plan or schedule. This disruption to my plan has really shaken me up and stretched me beyond the safety of predictability.

Ultimately, starting her in pre-school will be a blessing. It’s just hard to see the blessing through the shifting fog. Once we are settled in the new normal, I am confident that we will be happy with this decision.

No matter my resistence to change, my baby is about to turn FOUR this week. I cannot wait to celebrate her in the nex few days!

The Ameri Brit Mom