Thursday, December 30, 2010

One life ends, Another begins...

This was the last picture I took with Pop
when I last saw him in 2007.
It is with a bittersweet tone that I say good-bye to my amazing great-grandfather Pop. He lived to be one hundred and five years old. He lived a grand life and saw many great things in our country from the span of 1905 to 2010. It's amazing that he passed away on Jesus's birthday too! I feel so blessed to have known him for so much of my life. I will never forget how he helped me with my high school history project. He spent more than an hour giving me the exact lineage as to my relation to Stone Wall Jackson himself. I will also never forget how he called me a hottie over the phone when he said that Matthew should take care of me since he was with a "hottie." I love you Pop. You will be dearly missed, but I know you are now resting with the Great One in heaven!

It is with great joy that I announce the birth of my 
nephew, Easton Kelly Shans! He arrived two days before Christmas surprising us all by his early arrival. He is healthy and wonderful while his parents are trying to adjust to his magnificent gaseous tendencies.  It's crazy that something so loud and odorous could come out of someone so small.  
In any event, Matthew and I had a wonderful time visiting family, holding sweet baby Easton, and checking out the city of Louisville during our extended Christmas holiday. It really seems like Jesus's birthday lasts longer every year. I'm not complaining though!  
I can't wait to see Easton in just another week or so down here in Atlanta. Maybe the gas will have subsided a bit by then. :) 
Could he be any cuter!!!
He's actually just yawning here. Easton loved Aunt Katie!
He looks so much like his dad here!

Congrats Nicole and Steven!  

~Aunt CubBuster

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Season of Joy

Just a little over four months ago, some beautiful, wise, southern women took me under their precious wings and poured out love to me as if I had been in their family all my life. I've never met such women before, and I can only thank the Lord that such gracious, loving, and purely sweet women have given me the opportunity to share in God's blessings, grow in God's word, and gain invaluable wisdom from them. These women came together and threw me my first bridal shower during the busiest time of the year. How could I have felt more special!
Apparently I am like a small child when I open presents. This I can only say has always been part of my character. Sometimes for the better, sometimes (with my non-stop questioning of "why") for the worse. Either way, I had a wonderful time with my ladies small group sharing good food, good fun, and great fellowship. Thank you ladies for being such an amazing gift in my life. God bless each one of you!
Su actually made coconut cake! It looks professionally done.
 To die for!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

True Holiday Spirit

My dear friend Brooke, or B, is a speech therapist over at Roswell North elementary school. She works specifically with the pre-school special needs children, and she invited me to come and watch their holiday show this morning.
Um..... okay....

1. I got up before 7 am during my winter break.
2. It couldn't have been more worth it.
3. These children are God's gift to the world.
4. Now I can really remember what Christmas is all about.
5. I loved the "Feliz Navidad" piece where they all just shook their moraccas and their tiny little bodies with joy and jubilation.

Thanks for spreading the cheer B!

God bless us EVERYONE!!!

~Christmas CubBuster

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Break!

Okay.... so if you haven't already checked it out, I couldn't help myself. Once a blogger, always a blogger. Check out Matthew's and my wedding website.

It's the bare minimum folks, but it will give you the important info.

I'm so happy to be on Christmas break. One of the main perks of being a teacher/student! We've already had some snow too!!! Not much, but still, it's promising to be a great Christmas! We are also practically done with the wedding planning stuff. Just some of the extra details left. It's been nice and simple, and I can't wait until May!

Count down begins:
10 days until Jesus's Birthday
137 days until I'm Mrs. Smith CubBuster!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walking in Memphis

50 Christmas songs, 6 hours, 4 cups of coffee, 2 potty stops, and a partridge peach pie later, and  Matthew and I arrived in Memphis Tennessee!
We packed in the weekend with as much time possible with dad, Kathy, Lindsey, and unexpectedly the awesome Margie Lott! I'm sad to say that Lindsey Carter has developed some insane qualities since I last saw her. On 4 hours of sleep and a frozen dinner she rolled out of bed to run 13.1 miles FOR FUN, oh and for charity. I guess that's okay. I'm worried that it's something they put in the Ole Miss H2O because Margie drove over 6 hours to run in the same race. Its bordering on lunacy folks. I mean I'm all for a nice jog, but come on!
We really did have a great time though minus the crazies; I just wish we had had MORE time. It was quick, but it was a true blessing for Matthew and I to spend some time with people we love and with whom we haven't seen in a very long time. God is good! Miss Memhpis already!  As Lindsey puts it, "You probably won't love it the first time you're there, but it definitely grows on you. It's a diamond in the rough!"
Lindsey's house is adorable!
I mean don't we look like we should move in?
Can you tell we're freezing!
Meet crazy 1 and crazy 2

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Favorite word today

I was planning to refresh my knowledge of Dickens' Great Expectations as the high school I will be teaching at in the Spring plans to use this classic text with their 9th graders, and in looking at posted contexts surrounding the beloved and be-hated novel, I found an AWESOME word that I hope to use in my everyday vernacular from here on out. Trust me, you will sounds really smart it you too add this vocabulary to your next Christmas party convo. 



 noun \ˈbil-dŋ(k)s-rō-ˌmän, -dŋz-\


: a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character


German, from Bildung education + Roman novel
First Known Use: 1910

Yeah it doesn't get much better than that!!!

~English TeacherBuster

Monday, November 29, 2010

A little place called..... Asssheviillle

The fam met at a nice mountain house for Thanksgiving this year. Fletcher, North Carolina (a breath outside Asheville), which acted as the meeting spot for the Char-town, Lullville, and Hot-lanta crew. As per usual, we had a great time watching football, eating, playing games, and visiting the town of Asheville--home of the beautiful Biltmore (yes we saw George's magnificent estate while we were there too!) I'm SO thankful to have such a large and loving family. Every family has its quirks and characters, and I wouldn't trade mine for the world. God has truly blessed us, and I can't wait to meet the newest addition next month in Lullvulle (that's Kentucky-slang for Louisville).

We loved the downtown Asheville area!

The Asheville veterans marked the way...
This looks a little more like a traditional American Thanksgiving!
We also stopped by the beautiful Grove Park Inn
It's built onto a mountain!
This was the view from one of the porches at Grove Park Inn
They had an incredible gingerbread house display in the lobby!
Everything was made out of candy... those hippos look like tasty milk chocolate.
The grand Biltmore home. This picture doesn't do the 8,000 acre estate justice.
You'll just have to go see it yourself to understand.
Sorry.... no pics inside allowed.

Now I have one week left of school before Christmas Break!!! Man I love the student/teacher schedule!
Xmas music here we come!!!!

~Festive CubBuster

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bed, Bath, and Beyond BLESSED

Matthew and I have a wonderful wedding-filled weekend!  Much was accomplished!

First, I got my wedding dress! YES! That's what I said to the dress. Not only does it fit like a glass slipper, and I love it, but it was on sale! It couldn't get much better than that. Mom and I had a great time finding it too!

Next, Matthew and I had a blast with our Parisian (yes he's from Paris!) photographer, Eric. He's really funny, as you can tell from all my 26 teeth showing in most of the pictures. Wait, is it 26? I'm eating popcorn right now so it's hard to count with my tongue.

Check us out at:
We are the opening act, but to see all 7 pages of the Smiths-to-be, click on Proofing/Ordering at the bottom and then "Engagement". Enter my email address: and our password is, get this, COFFEE. Eric did his homework and checked out the CubBuster blog before the photo shoot!

Finally, we ended the weekend with our registry initiation. In the beginning, I was so pumped to get that gun at Bed Bath and Beyond and shoot away, but after a while, I realized how unprepared we were.
I mean a wedding dress is worn for like maybe 5 hours, whereas your placemats and table settings can last like 15 years! I just wanted to check it off the list so we tried to get as much done as possible, but I'm finding myself second guessing all my color scheme choices.
Speaking of which, what's with all the linen colors being named after food... sage, chocolate, caviar. Do they want you drooling in your new plush pillows when you leave? Chocolate is by far the tastiest too, so if Matthew and I ever invite you over, be prepared to see a lot of brown.

As my mind was spinning with how to update my registry to make it less poop-colored, Matthew invited me to go with him and Blair to a homeless shelter downtown. YES! I said to the offer. I was in need of some serious perspective checking.
I just got back, and I can tell you, the color of your placemats seem a lot less important after you've served someone their first meal of the week. Thank you Lord for the reminder! I am blessed beyond belief!

Count your blessings this Thanksgiving too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Blessed CubBuster

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Me with just a few of the girls at the Saturday night rally.
Get it Camo.... Surrender. Yeah. We're cool!
Had an amazing weekend hanging out with 9 beautiful 9th grade girls at the 2010 DNOW Surrender weekend. We had a blast growing in God's word, laughing, dressing out in camo and just enjoying fellowship. Oh, and they loved to tell me how old I was.
Examples of comments:

"So what kind of dance move did they have back when you were young?"
"You don't know what the jerk dance move looks like?"
"Well, I mean do you remember what it was like at our school back when you were there?"
"You're, like, the oldest, so you go first."

Thanks for loving me despite my old age girls! :)

You girls looked awesome!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why are you whispering?

Ever had laryngitis before? If not here is what webMD claims the symptoms are:

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of laryngitis is hoarseness. Your voice may sound raspy, be deeper than normal, or break now and then. You may lose your voice completely. Other symptoms may include a dry or sore throat, coughing, and trouble swallowing.

Now, if you already have a naturally hoarse voice like myself, you most likely will lose your voice more easily. Plus, I'm told teachers are more prone to laryngitis because their job consists of constantly talking and/or yelling at students. :) 
Well, I'm no doctor, but I believe you haven't heard from me in a while cause my body said ENOUGH.... PLEASE SLOW DOWN AND REST NOW.
After a busy few months of teaching, graduate work, planning parties, and getting some wedding planning underway, I think I just needed to rest. So my sinus cold also took my voice away too. 
I don't really understand why people whisper back to you when you are whispering to them. It's kind of like when people yell really loud at non-English speakers in hopes that their pitch will force them to learn English immediately. Maybe people think I'm telling them really confidential information and they can only whisper when I ask them a question. Even my students would whisper back at me. Hey.... maybe that's the logic behind teachers getting laryngitis all the time. They are secretly just trying to get a quiet day at work! Ah Ha!  I've got it now! Tricks of the trade.
Well stay warm, get some rest, and drink tea with honey so you don't end up like I did. 
--Quiet CubBuster

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fun Fall Fact

It's such an amazing fall day, and the leaves couldn't be prettier here in North Georgia (yes Marietta counts as North Georgia!

Fun Fall Fact #1: 
If you have a fairly wet summer, the leaves tend to be less brilliant in color, but the leaves last longer on the trees.
If you have a fairly dry summer, the leaves tend to be more brilliant in color, but they fall off the branches much quicker. 

It's a win win to me!


Monday, October 25, 2010

3D Baby

Since Easton is suppose to grace us around Christmas,
we had a theme party with Nicole's nursery colors!

It was a whirlwind weekend jam packed with flown in family, food-o-plenty, a 3-D baby photo shoot, more food, games, party people, oh and a little more food as people partied. I think we were all doing a warm up for the upcoming holiday eateries--Halloween candy is just the appetizer meal before the main course at Thanksgiving and the late night snacks at Christmas.
My sister's baby shower and engagement party were hits. Debbie Maupin, of course, had a little competition to keep the party rolling, and Nicole was excited about all her matching monkey, truck, and circle garb for baby Easton.

Speaking of my nephew.... so, some MIT guys (well I don't actually know who, but I'm guessing some smarty people) have developed a way to see your baby in a creepy 3-D fashion. Poor Easton was just trying to take a nap as the sonogram lady started shakin him around, so he would give us a better show. After rattling Nicole's stomach for like ten minutes, Easton actually gave us the finger! It was classic! I know how you feel Easton. I hate getting woken up before I'm ready.
Good thing I didn't give Matthew the finger when he woke me up for the proposal morning!

Well, I must give a shout out to the lovely ladies that made the whole weekend as smooth and fun as butter on a slip and slide-- Thank you Patty, Wendy, and Debbie Maupin! You guys really should start a party planning company. I couldn't have done it without you!
My party would've consisted of a few balloons on the mailbox and maybe a game that involved smelling a diaper or passing out toilet paper. Something gross that people play at these kinds of parties.
Anyway... I hope Nicole and Steven and Easton had fun. Love you guys!

Nicole and her BFFs try their hand at a Debbie Maupin classic

Nicole just looked awesome;
I'm so happy for her and Steven!

--Worn out CubBuster

Wednesday, October 20, 2010




Your fiance is the man you plan to marry; 
your fiancee (or fiancée) is the woman you plan to marry.

book cover

Yes, my fiance emailed me this info (since I'm teaching and always love the look of a new pencil and common English error usage, and) because we were debating the correct spelling of the word. However, it turns out we were both using our version correctly to speak to the other!  Don't you just love sweet pet names like fiance?!

Oh and btw (as my middle school students love to say) WE SET A DATE!!!!!! 

Thank you, Finace, for finding such an amazing place! I knew I snagged you for a reason!

The Coffee CubBuster is gonna need a lot of coffee next semester!  I can't wait!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Great ground sleeping

Don't you love it when you have the perfect temperature in your room to go to sleep, it's just cold enough to put on all the covers and not sweat, but not too cold that you can't move around and freeze to death if they come a little bit off. There's silence except for maybe a faint note of a river or breeze in the air. You awake to the most beautiful view when you step out of your room and see the day that the sun has exposed.
Okay..... this was exactly how it felt in Helen this weekend! I slept so great (until my bladder was about to implode, and I had to rustle myself to the outhouse -it sucks being a girl sometimes-- you can't really pop a squat once the sun has risen) on the ground too! The weather was perfect, we had plenty of blankets to make a great sleeping pad, and the cool breeze made the fire that much more inviting. I love camping in the fall!!!! Seriously, if the idea of sleeping on the ground doesn't appeal to you, try it my way--lots of padding, and a river near by to wash your face and brush your teeth!  I even flossed before bed and threw it in the fire when I finished. Is it legal to burn floss?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blueridge Part 2

Sorry this is so delayed; I know that you have been waiting on pins and needles to find out how the Blueridge day ended. As you can see from my previous post, I've had a little distraction!
Well, after cow-milking and apple-picking, Matthew and I went into the quaint little downtown Blueridge square. What is it about squares that just get me going? If they were circles would they still have the same appeal? Maybe if I was a math person I'd love visiting octagons, but I'm an English person, so I gotta keep it simple. Although, this downtown area felt more like a rectangle. Nonetheless, I loved it! We HAD to stop at L & L Beanery Cafe and Coffee Shop, which is so amazing because mom and pop coffee is the best kind, and an establishment that still does not have their own website is probably going to have coffee that blows your mind. And it did! Then we ate an early dinner at this perfect little cabin just before hitting the local drive-in theater to watch the new movie Wallstreet 2. The whole day felt like I stepped back into the 1950s, and I just loved it! 

I was a little hyped on small town charm and L&L coffee!
They had trains parked downtown!
Yep, I'm hanging upside down on this train!
This was our dinner spot! I loved it!
These were what people drove to the drive-in!
Matthew's Toyota Camry didn't really fit the setting
Grease anyone?
Oh and we drove up to see the actual Blueridge mountains!

Aw Blueridge..... I miss you already! 

~Your CubBuster