Faith · Family · Uncategorized

Where: Five Minute Friday

I’m snowed in for another day in Ohio. I would be going stir crazy if it wasn’t for the week I’ve had. Today I am thankful for more time at home.

On Tuesday I awoke to my 11 month old having a seizure.


The moments that followed her seizure were even scarier than the event itself. She laid unresponsive on the floor and police officers, paramedics, and firemen paraded into my home. Nothing can prepare you for moments like this.

God was with us that day. She spent most of the day resting in the hospital and slowly coming back around. She was diagnosed with febrile seizures which were caused by the onset of a fever. We didn’t even know she was sick! The thing with these seizures is that oftentimes the episode is the first indication that something is wrong.

So, yes, I am counting my blessings on snow day #6. I’m happy to be home with my babies and to have my baby girl back to herself.

For my Five Minute Friday post I am writing a poem of thankfulness for God’s peace through all that I experienced this week. To join the FMF community or to check out their posts be sure to check out the site. This week the prompt is Where.


In the middle of the battle you were there

Wrapping me in your arms of care.

Time stood still and I was scared,

But You were everywhere.

You brought peace and healing

In Moments when my heart was reeling.

 Hopelessness was all I was feeling.

Thank you, Lord, for intervening.

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The Ameri Brit Mom




Family · Uncategorized

Better: Five Minute Friday

I’m kicking off my 2019 FMF streak with a late post.

In Ohio, I spent my Friday preparing for the imminent arrival of this weekend’s snowpocalypse. After school yesterday I joined the rest of the state at the grocery store stocking up on necessities. If you want to join in on the weekly fun over at Five Minute Friday or check out others’ posts be sure to click on the link. Here is my five minute uninterrupted response to the prompt: Better.

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Fuzzy socks, wool blankets, hot coffee, and good books…does life get much more relaxed?

Sure, there is a mound of laundry beckoning me to wash and a room full of toys that need to be boxed up, but today I chose to hibernate. The steady rhythm of the snow outside is the perfect backdrop to my reading adventure. The laughter of the children forming snow men and throwing snowballs can not be outweighed.

I was scheduled to attend a writing conference today, but the weather forced me inside. I was excited to focus on my writing today (I haven’t done anything like that since I had the baby last year.) But if I’m honest having this perfect day at home turned out better.

There will be other conferences.

Today I am choosing to embrace the tundra and enjoy the benefits of this house arrest. I’m taking time to read, write, and make memories with my family.

If you were snowed in how would you spend your day?

The Ameri Brit Mom

Family · Uncategorized

5 Ways to Survive a Snow Day

Today marks my third consecutive day out of school. My district is buried in nearly a foot of snow with icy conditions due to the subzero windchill factors. I’m not lying when I talk about the unpredictable Ohio weather. Last week I was shopping for rain gear and wearing short sleeves. This week I’ve been locked indoors and kept my slippers and robe on most of the day.

As much fun as a snow day can be I’ve learned that when one is confined to their home for days on end that they better be prepared with activities for a toddler. My daughter is an active one. She constantly needs to be doing something or else she finds ways to get herself in trouble. So here is a look into what we’ve been doing to try to keep our sanity as a whole family during these days of being snowed-in.

1.Lots of Art Projects– From Play Dough sessions to painting and coloring on her easel, we’ve kept our artistic girl busy with project after project. Arts and crafts are one sure way to keep her occupied and away from electronics (which is a big struggle these days!) Also, we’ve been working on homemade Valentine’s cards as well since that is coming up.IMG_2283

2. Playing in the snow– On day 1 of the Snow Day Extravaganza we were able to take some time to play in the snow as a family. The temperature was about 32 degrees so it was prime snow-play weather. Each day since, the mercury hasn’t risen above 25 so we haven’t been able to enjoy the snow as we did on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun when we did get out to play in the snow. Arianna enjoyed snow angels, snow ball fights,  and running in the snow.


3. Reading– I’ve been enthralled by City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Whenever Arianna is resting or taking time to play in her room I’ve grabbed a cup of coffee, a warm blanket, and my books and curled up for some reading. This is a fantastic book. I’m getting so caught up in the world described in this book and it’s a real struggle to put the book down.


4.Binge Watching Netflix-Okay, so this may be a big activity fail, but snow days wouldn’t be snow days without at least a little bit of Netflix, right? Currently we have exhausted all of our favorite shows so we go back and forth watching newer episodes of shows we’ve watched in the past. Don’t judge me that I’m just now figuring out who A is on Pretty Little Liars. I’m a bit late to the party.

5. In-Home Workouts– When all is said and done, I’ve basically burned 0 calories at the beginning of this week. On Tuesday night I checked my Fitbit which confirmed my suspicion that I had barely even moved all day. (I did a lot of reading and TV watching.) So without the option of venturing outdoors I decided to get creative with my workout regimens. Since Tuesday I’ve completed an elliptical workout, a core workout (using a Pinterest plan), and done a few laps up and down my steep staircase.

What type of snow day activites does your family enjoy!?!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Fashion · Uncategorized

J.Crew Puffer Vest

Today is the first snow day of the school year! The temperature is bordering a -20 degree windchill and all of the area schools decided to give students and teachers a break. My husband just started working in the same district as I do so we broke out into a brief hallelujah chorus when our phones rang with the good news this morning. We have a few snow day traditions which include baking, drinking coffee/hot chocolate with our daughter, lots of reading/writing, and not going outside of our house AT ALL for any reason.

In light of these cold temperatures my post today is a look at my new vest I received for Christmas.

This J.Crew Factory Channeled Puffer Vest is in navy. Originally the vest was $98.00 at the J.Crew Factory, but is on sale currently online for $48.99. Click the link for more details.

I love this vest because it is so versatile. It looks great with long sleeve t-shirts, sweaters, flannel, and even some of my long-sleeved dresses. It is also incredibly warm. The pockets are large enough to house my hands when I go outdoors, because my hands are always the coldest part of my body by far.

Photo credits go to my three year-old daughter who may have a future in photography 🙂




Ready for Routine

Dear blogging world,

I’m sorry for falling behind in my posts over the past several days. The PARCC tests have taken over my life. My students have been taking the PARCC over the past week and it has been a scheduling nightmare. I’ve spent most of the school day in the computer lab proctoring tests and missing out on the classroom experience. I am so far behind in curriculum due to testing (and the 13 snow days my school has taken on). At some point winter will cease and the testing will be finished, but right now it seems never-ending. I’m trying not to complain and take everything is stride, but as a teacher I am longing for a semblance of routine back in my life. I long to see and TEACH my students again. I long to feel productive and like I’m making a difference. All of these calamity days and testing sessions are causing me to involuntarily lose my motivation. Come on, March…let’s get warmer, sunnier, and calmer.

End of rant.

Mrs. Sisley

9th Grade English/World History Teacher


The Date Jar

The Date Jar: Week 1 (Family Camp out in the Living Room)

While we are still nursing our two year-old back to health we decided not to cancel our weekly family date night. As a family we have resolved to regularly spend time together doing something inexpensive and enjoyable. Last Friday we took our daughter to her first movie theater experience to see Paddington which was adorable and an all around excellent experience for the three of us on Valentine’s Day. This week knowing that the weather is still not ideal and with Arianna still being quite ill we decided to try a stay-at-home date.

We have created a jar of date possibilities. The jar is full of color-coded slips of paper. Each color represents a category of date.


Yellow= stay at home date with minimal costs required (family dates-created by both my husband and myself)

Red= Mommy and Daddy date ideas (created by me)

Blue= Mommy and Daddy date ideas (created by my husband)

The cool part is that I have no idea what my husband put on his slips and vice versa so when we draw date ideas there’s good probability of a complete surprise. This jar is a new family creation and we broke it out for the first time today. So the family date night idea for the week…

Camp out in the living room together.

This really is perfect for Arianna’s current condition. She is just beginning to rehydrate after a four day bout of the flu, so a date that doesn’t require her to leave the couch or living room is really ideal. As soon as she found out we were camping she was so excited to build a tent in the living room and play some games with Mom and Dad that require minimal energy.

So here is a chronicle of our family date night:

1. The tent: every good camping trip begins with the setting up of the tent, so here she is, folks. Arianna is especially excited it is a Sofia the First tent.


2. The fun: We had high hopes for finishing a puzzle, playing a game or two, and watching a camping themed movie, however, Arianna maxed out after the tent building. She had about five minutes of total silliness which was really refreshing after her zombie-like week, and then decided it was time for her nap. Here is a photo from the few minutes she was able to resemble her usual self. She picked out this ensemble and sang her own rendition of “Let it Go”


So even though the first date night didn’t go as planned we made the most of the few minutes we did have. It’s all about the memories and not so much the perfect execution of well-laid plans. Plus, my husband and I finally got a few minutes just us to watch some of our favorite grown-up shows and relax.

If you’re in the mid-west stay warm and brace yourself for more snow.


Snow, Snuggles, and Lessons


As a lifetime resident of central Ohio I have grown up accustomed to the delightful gift of SNOW DAYS that occur a few times every winter. You will never hear this teacher complain about an un-scheduled day at home. However, one thing I have not come to expect due to my experience is the SNOW WEEK. Never in my recollection have I missed a total of five consecutive days of school due to weather. Tomorrow may be a first in the records for many central Ohio residents. And like I said…you won’t hear me complaining.

Monday was technically President’s Day and school was not scheduled, but by mid-morning on Monday the fluffy flakes began to fall on our small town and I was trapped indoors all day. The snow did not let up on Tuesday or Wednesday landing nearly a foot of snow in total over those three days. Today the extremely low temperatures and wind chill landed nearly all of central/south central Ohio on a school cancellation. And the future looks bleak, my friends. According to some forecasts tomorrow looks to be just as bad as today if not worse. This really may be a 0 day work week.

On the bright side I have had an extremely productive week on the home front. I conquered several tasks on my to-do list and cooked healthy homemade meals every night all while tending to my precious two year-old flu victim.

As my sick toddler sleeps away her bug I can’t help reflecting on the positivity that this week has brought me. Before she was infected with the flu I made many fun memories with my Princess that may not have happened had I been working this week. She has a knack for cooking and art so we spent many of our house-ridden days baking cupcakes (in our “bakery” as she calls the kitchen). One afternoon as I sat grading some projects she sat beside me insisting that she do her “school work” which was her drawing shapes and letters in her own notebook. After bath time when she was beginning to show signs of illness we set her bedroom up like a store and she “bought” the outfit she wanted to wear using some play money and placed them in a shopping cart before putting them on. It’s times like these where I can’t help, but stop whatever I am doing and soak up as much as I can from those adorable moments.

This week has truly been about spending time with my favorite little person. In my first post I mentioned that I learn more from my daughter than I could hope to teach her and that is exactly true. She has taught me to prioritize and love in a totally new way that is unlike marriage love. Life’s little lessons have been sent through such a smart and angelic child and I feel completely blessed to be her mother.

All of these good moments and fun times have culminated today. I’ve done all I can to help her feel comfortable and better as she battles a fight with the flu. From rubbing her back as she vomits to letting her lay on me for hours on end I have done my best to help her get over this nasty sickness. As much as I hate watching her feel so miserable I’ve truly loved the snuggle time I have gotten with my baby today. She is usually a very active girl, but it is nice to have a day to slow down and cuddle. (And maybe not leave the living room couch) 🙂

As the fever is coming down and the energy is re-entering her small body I am so grateful for so many things. I am thankful for her health, her BIG heart, and life’s little lessons. It’s so easy to get caught up in my own life and all of the many things I do, but I’m learning to stop…slow down…and make more MEMORIES.