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

Family · Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday: Define

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Define. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:


With only a few days left in Spring Break I look back and define these days at home with two words: productive and adventurous. Each day I’ve made progress in my writing projects involving revisions and a beta read. We’ve also planned some sort of family activity each day. So far, my favorite has been our urban geocaching adventure (post to come next week.)

It’s been a perfect time to push pause on the school year and look ahead toward the summer that will be here before we know it.

Once spring hits it is hard to keep my focus at school. The weather is nice. State testing tends to take precedence. All the end-of-the-year breaks in routine. Having Spring Break in the middle of all that gives me a chance to refuel for the final weeks of the school year.

Spring break has brought me time to redefine who I am. The winter was a busy time and I struggled to keep my head above water. Over break, I have owned my time and chosen to allocate it according to what is really important. The sun has been shining. The temperatures are warmer. It’s a perfect time to redefine your purpose.

Welcome to my favorite time of the year!

The Ameri Brit Mom


Family · Uncategorized

Inaugural Zoo Trip 2016


We woke up this morning with the anticipation of our first zoo trip in 2016. Arianna was up and at ’em early. We awoke to the sounds of her bounding around the house excitedly. Before long my husband and I were up (although I wouldn’t consider our reluctance to get up early as quite the level of excitement our daughter possessed.) We all showered, dressed, and packed lunches in the shortest amount of time possible. Then, we were off!

The Columbus Zoo is a big deal. It is the #1 zoo in the country and once you visit the place you understand why that is. Most schools in our area are on Spring Break this week and the weather was particularly sunny so we literally waited in line for an hour to get into the zoo. (I guess the rest of Central Ohio had the same ideas as us today.) I was so proud of Arianna because as we stood in line for an unforseen amount of time she waited patiently and made her own mental lists about what we were going to do once inside the zoo.

Before we entered through the gates we purchased our first Zoo Membership!

This is something I’ve been wanting for a few years, but because we are fairly cheap people it never happened. My grandmother knows I’ve been wanting a pass so over the Easter weekend I received my birthday gift a few months early and got a Zoo Membership card. There are so many things included with a membership. It works out that if you plan to visit the zoo more than twice in a calendar year that it pays for itself. Included with the pass is discounted entry to the attached water park, free parking, and an invitation to exclusive members only events.

Although it was crowded today we did not allow that to put a damper on our fun. Everyone was in good spirits and we truly enjoyed the entire experience.





Family · Uncategorized

#Spring Break Goals

Spring Break: Two of the sweetest sounding words for any student or teacher. The terms when used together have the meaning-pretending that it is summer vacation. As a teacher this is my last hiatus before the impending summer. Spring Break is a much anticipated milestone in the educational calendar. This year the break has fallen just before the insanity of the standardized tests my students will be subjected to. Stakes are high and the to-do list at school is endless, but I vow not to think a thought about all of that this week. My mind and body are in serious need of a school detox so I plan to take full advantage of this week to accomplish just that.

This is also our first spring break as a family. Prior to this year my husband always worked at a different school district, but this year he has been a teacher in the same district as I am. We have loved the synchronized school calendar and the additional time we get as a family as a result.

I have created a list of some fun, stress-relieving activities I plan to carry out over this blessed break. Here is my top 5 Summer Break Goals:

1. Spruce Up the House

It’s been a while since my entire house received a good cleaning. Although I plan to not waste my whole break scrubbing floors and washing windows, I do think that a good half-day is in order to bring my house back to life. Also, I am working my way through the 40 Week Whole House Organized Challenge by Organize365. This week the focus is on the laundry room so I will get to work on that process as well. Additionally, if it gets warm enough I plan to mulch my front yard and till my garden in preparation of new plants.

2. Host A Party

Our church meets weekly in the homes of various families in the Columbus area. Our life group (cLife) is getting ready to multiply and split into two groups at the end of this term. It’s been a great run and we have grown to love each member of our group. Some of us have been together for two years. As a last hoorah we are hosting a party tomorrow night at our house (which to be honest is my motivation to get the house cleaned.)

3. Visit the Zoo

I’m so excited to have received an early birthday gift, a Columbus Zoo Membership. We live thirty minutes from the #1 zoo in America. Every year we visit the zoo a couple of times and now that we have a family membership I’m sure we will visit more frequently. As a family we really enjoy our zoo adventures. The animals are beautiful, the activities are fun, and the trails are fantastic.


4. Go On A Hike

Lately, I’ve been all about the great outdoors. I think it’s a product of being cooped up for far too long over the winter. I am hoping the weather will cooperate and as a family we will have an opportunity to go to a beginner trail in our area.

5. Finish Editing My Novel

The last thing I hope to mark off my to-do list this break is finishing the edits on my novel. I’ve been working on a query letter for potential publishers and I’m hoping to be able to start sending it out at the end of the break. It’s helpful to send pieces of a manuscript along with query letters so I am working to get my novel to the point I feel comfortable enough to send out. I still have a couple of chapters to rework and a few subplots to tie off.


Spring Break Roundup

As I reflect on my ten day respite otherwise known as Spring Break I have nothing but positive memories and priceless moments with my daughter in which to boast. Oftentimes I suffer from a little guilt about being a working mom. I hate missing time with my daughter and truthfully that longing for spending time with her is what drives me out the doors everyday as early as possible. I love my job, but I am first and foremost a mom and I strive to be the best mom I can be. Which requires time.

I do have to realize that part of being an awesome mom is also working to provide for my daughter along with my husband. If it weren’t for our paychecks there are many opportunities we’ve had that may never otherwise have happened. I’m thankful for my job in so many ways, but helping to provide a comfortable and fun life for my daughter is at the top of the list for reasons that I love my job.

This Spring Break I challenged myself to do some of the things I had neglected to do because my schedule had been too busy (especially during basketball season and my husband’s crazy schedule). So I want to dedicate today’s post to a quick round up of Spring Break 2015:

Monday 3/30- We painted canvases and accomplished several arts and craft projects.


Tuesday 3/31- We visited the Columbus Zoo with a family from church.


Wednesday 4/1- We visited a nearby lake and stopped in a historical candy shop where my daughter devoured her first true ice cream cone.

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Thursday 4/2- I made brunch for my sister (who just had her second child six weeks ago) and we had a play date.


Friday 4/3- Daddy was off too! We had lunch at Harvest Moon Cafe which we had been wanting to try and visited a horse rescue.

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Saturday 4/4- We completed some home projects as a family and did some spring cleaning. We also enjoyed dinner with some friends in Columbus.


Sunday 4/5- Easter! When our daughter woke up in the morning she awoke to a great indoor egg hunt. The Easter bunny had scattered her eggs and gifts all over the house and she had a blast finding each of the surprises. For months she’s been begging for a kitty cat bike helmet so that we will let her ride her bike outside and ride horses so she was absolutely thrilled that the Easter bunny fulfilled that request. We also spent the day at church and with family. It was exhausting, but fun!

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Monday 4/6- We had a slow morning recovering from Easter. Then, we got back into our regular Monday rhythm of visiting the local library. My daughter loves books and she and I have made it a habit to weekly take a trip to the local library. She loves to play in the kids section and today to cap off the final day of break we followed up our library escapade with a trip to a local coffee shop, Scioto Valley Coffee. I had a coupon and so my daughter’s smoothie was free.

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All in all my break with my daughter was a success. I loved every minute. It’s so much fun to watch her learn and experience things for the first time. She is so excited to be growing up and she has such a lovely and independent personality. Going back to work is going to be hard after all of the fun I’ve had over the past ten days, but 2:30pm will come soon enough and I’ll be back home to my amazing family. My hope is that I save my energy for the evenings a little better. I hate coming home exhausted because I feel like I miss out on moments like I’ve been having with my daughter. Motherhood is fun.

Enjoy your week 🙂


Columbus Zoo


I’ve mentioned on here before about spring being my favorite season. Among lists I’ve given as to why I prefer spring to any other season I may have neglected one of the best parts of spring and that would be Spring Break. This fabulous week off of school always serves as a precursor to the impending summer vacation. It gives a little hope for what is to come, and it is always so much better when the weather is pleasant. Today, the weather was windy but beautiful. My daughter and I packed our sack lunches (she chose lunchables at the store yesterday along with Veggie Straws and strawberry applesauce), put on a couple of layers and met some of our church group friends for the journey to the Columbus Zoo.

Every summer since our daughter was born we have made a point to venture to the zoo at least once. It’s always been a good time, however, today was by far the most she has enjoyed the experience. She was able to do much of the walking on her own and discuss with me about the many different animals she witnessed.

The Columbus Zoo is always a phenomenal experience, and in my opinion is one of the best zoos around. One could spend several days at the Columbus Zoo and still not engage in all that it has to offer. The zoo is well organized, clean, and educational. It was a wild and active trip, but it was also well worth it. To see my daughter appreciating the beauty of the outdoors, the animals, and friendships makes it worth the exhaustion after the fact.

I’m now more than ever looking forward to summer vacation so that we can embark on similar adventures more regularly. The toddler years are tiring, but so much fun. I am blessed to have a daughter who is so in love with learning and life. Motherhood is a beautiful thing.

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