Thoughts about life

Friday, August 31, 2012

As I sit here, trying to figure out why I am so blessed, I think about all the people around me who would not feel the same.

Here is a list of things that really made me think this week.

  • First day of school on Monday, how lucky I am to be a teacher, of music, in my amazing district
  • How tired I can be at 11pm, seeing as how I would go to bed at 1am this summer
  • The wonderful parents I have to support my program at school from my booster meeting
  • The focus on money and jobs, that the RNC portrayed instead of the American values that make our country great such as a strong faith in God and a strong home and education for our youth
  • My aunt passing away last night
  • My relationship with the people around me

Here I am, a young, healthy, wife, fur-mamma, daughter, sister, teacher, friend, blogger, but above all of all those things, here in this world.

Last night, my rather young (in her late 40's) aunt died of cancer. She left behind an 9 year old son and she will be dearly missed.

For a year now, she had been battling cancer, and had the brightest spirit even at her death bed. I was not the closest niece she had, but I knew she loved me. She was a strong Christian woman and a wonderful mother. 

This was my first week back at school, and though it was busy and tiring, it was also the first time I felt appreciated and excited to teach in a long time. All teachers say the third year you are at the same school is your best, are all right! I finally feel established enough that I don't have to worry as much. 

This week has been physically and mentally draining, but nonetheless a great reminder that life is a wonderful gift form God, and that things are not always perfect, we are not perfect. Sometimes we loose friends, things, and even people for reasons we cannot explain. All we can do is have faith that God had a reason to take them away.

I received this book in the mail today which will hopefully help me cope with the death of my aunt, and give me the connection I need with my Lord that I have been missing for a few months now. 

All of our lives are busy, and events happen to us that we do not expect, but we can be sure of one thing, God is always with us. He is always guiding us in our everyday choices, and in our patience, understanding, and relationships with others. We must not be so concentrated in the bad, the material, the uncontrollable, we must focus on the love Jesus has for us, even when things go wrong. 

I hope that you all had a wonderful week full of love, grace, and, hope. 

~Mrs. S

Fall Jackets

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

After visiting J Crew and getting an urge to buy a red blazer like Duchess Kate's I was disappointed when the $180.00 price tag prevented me from fulfilling the urge, until....

I found a great alternative at H&M

This number was purchased at $35.00, take that J Crew!

This jacket I found at TarGet and I am so excited about it! It fits really good, and it has the pointy sleeves that I've been wanting to sport. Not bad for $39.99 :)

What do y'all think?

~Mrs. S

Back to School

Sunday, August 26, 2012

First off, if you are a FB friend reading this, thanks for stopping by!

I have posted some of my previous "Music and Life" posts on FB and had a good response, but I neglected to post any from this blog, because I was waiting for the right time. I have come to love this blog, and the community of bloggers who follow along and I wasn't sure how the FB world would respond. This is my internet home away from FB, and I'd like to keep it that way, but I want my FB family and friends to know the "The Simmonds in the Suburbs" exists as a way to keep up with my life in a much different light than would normally be portrayed on FB. Please feel free to navigate around the site and don't be afraid to leave comments :)

Ok now, back to my post, SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW!

This will be my 5th year teaching in the public schools and I am so excited. For the first time, I feel I am ready to tackle on those kiddos and I am actually prepared. I have all my instruments organized, I have my handbooks copied and ready to go, and I have finally gotten to the point that I can go to bed early and wake up early!

The thing I am most excited about however is that I can finally see a result of all the work I do. I watch my students come to me with little to no knowledge of their instrument and I see them transform into musicians as the years go by. I love watching that happen. I see commitment from these middle school kids that lacks in adults my age. I watch kids working together to make music, better than I see congress and the senate working together to keep our country together. I am appalled by the righteousness of people who criticize me for being a teacher because of how little money I make, when in reality I make a great living. Teaching teaches me more than I teach others. I never knew how much my character would improve, how much more willing I would be to "hear your side of the story" before I made any conclusions or the capacity I have to care about others. All you teachers out there have my vote when it comes to character, you all know exactly what I'm talking about.

There are so many good things about this school year that I am looking forward to, but I am most excited that I only teach orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass) and guitar! No more choir for this lady.
I am also looking forward to driving 13 minutes to work, as opposed to 45. I got to make the shorter drive starting in January, but it's still something I look forward to today (I made the 45 minute commute each way for a year and a half!).

I know there are a lot of fellow educators out there who need some motivation from time to time, so if anything, take this post as a reminder that...




Sometimes, it is difficult to stay motivated every day as we walk into class, so lets stick together and support each other through this blogging medium, FB, a phone call, a tweet, or an email every once in a while. I would love to hear from you throughout the school year to hear your success stories, to listen to you vent, whatever, don't be shy!

Hope you all have a great first day of school.

~Mrs. S

The culture of football

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Growing up in the football capital of the world, you would think I grew up watching the Cowboys and learning about football all my life. Well, I remember when we won the super bowl in 92 and 93 (I think) but after that I could care less about the sport until I got to TCU my freshman year in college. 

You see, I was a music major in a school that had just graduated Ladanian Tomlinson and I had no clue who the guy even was. My high school didn't have sports, so I didn't understand the whole football thing or the significance it would later have in my life. 

Somehow, my two best friends convinced me to become a "Purple Heart" for a football player on the TCU team. We would basically be a personal cheerleader to the players and make them personalized posters  to make them feel special yada yada yada... 

I didn't mind the spirit of it, until I got to know the football players and decided they were scum-bag, ghetto, thugs in gear. I had a very negative view of them after my friends and I were consistently being harassed by them throughout campus and we had enough! 

After that, I didn't care much for football until I met Zac two years later when I got to SMU. We went to the first game of the season together (which happened to be against TCU, and we beat them!!!) and I had a blast! I met Zac the summer after he graduated, so I never got to watch him play. I always tease him that I will never know if he was any good :)

The best part was that after a whole year of being at SMU, I finally got to experience "The Boulevard". At SMU, we don't tailgate, we boulevard which really just a nickname for our tailgates on the beautiful tree lined center street of our campus. I learned that the games are not just about kicking, throwing, touchdown, but also about sharing pride in ones school and coming together as a community to support the same goal, SMU wins!

The funny thing is that Zac's last year they were 1-11!!!
When I started supporting the next season, they went 6-6, even beating TCU!

This is Zac's jersey from his senior year

After several years with no football, the mister decided he could not let it go and became a coach

We even had our wedding pictures after our ceremony taken at the SMU football stadium

It makes sense that football is in Zac's blood considering his grandpa was a coach, and his uncle and cousins are all coaches

This article was written about his Tulsa University head coach uncle who has 3 sons that also coach in the Tulsa paper the other day. His mom sent us a copy in the mail :) 

I know now that football is not just a sport. It's a lifestyle that I am happy to live and one that I see makes so many people happy, including my husband. I can't wait to go to the first game at Baylor on the 2nd and watch SMU win. So many football times to look forward to this fall.

Watch out you U of H Cougars cause we are playing y'all too!

~Mrs. S

Top 5 Tuesday

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1. Paisley being cute and crawling into my student's case during a cello lesson

2. Being excited about going back to school!

3. The weather in Texas today

4. Cooking dinner at home and eating this stuff for desert

5. Finding out that McKinney is ranked #2 in both Realtor Magazine, and Money Magazine for best places to live in the country!

What are your top 5's this Tuesday?
~Mrs. S

Tax Free Shopping

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hello Lovelies!

I am so excited to see so many new followers, I can't wait to write a "New Followers" post about all of you! Thanks for all of your support, and I look forward to making this blog a place where we can exchange ideas, support each other, and hopefully find some happiness :)

Ok back to business.
If you don't have a Tax Free weekend in your state, you need to move... J/K

Most states participate in tax free weekend where you don't have to pay taxes on most clothing items, or back to school necessities. One of the perks of being a teacher is that I get to go back to school shopping (My husband actually lets me)!

Y'all have read about my love for the Allen Outlets considering they have my new favorite retailer J CREW, so I was definitely there the minute they opened on Friday. I got 3 items I really liked...

This super cute sweater fits great, and it will be a great go-to in the fall since my classroom gets so cold!

This is just a basic long sleeve for lounging around the house, or school with a cute necklace or scarf

My favorite of all, even though I won't be wearing this to school... Excuse the wrinkles, haven't steamed yet

So these three items, with no taxes and my %15 teacher discount came up to a total of 
$59!!! Now that's a bargain!

We headed to Nike afterwards where I found this fun throwback, 

Obviously the olympics are over, but it looks really cute on, and I love the blue collar, 

And of course there's nothing wrong with a little patriotism any time, go USA!

I would have done more shopping this weekend, but it just got a little busy.
I am surprisingly satisfied with these few items :)
Plus, I'm saving for a bbbbbbiiiigggg purchase soon that I can't wait to tell y'all about!

Did you do any tax free shopping this weekend?

~Mrs. S

The one day it rains...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Is the day Brad Paisley is supposed to have a concert in Dallas, and I have tickets, and I am so excited to go, and they cancel the concert!

I should have known something would go wrong when I saw these clouds over Dallas, TX

However, I had faith so I still went and met up with my student who was sooo excited to go, this is her being silly, 

And us taking cover in the rain

Such a sad day, when they announce 1 hour before the concert that it has been cancelled due to the rain, and will be rescheduled.... It's ok, it wasn't meant to be. Trying to stay positive :)

What did y'all do on your Saturday night?!

~Mrs. S

Custom made Cosmetics

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hello Everyone! I have a great new cosmetics company that I HAVE to tell y'all about!

Clishade Cosmetics (I know super cool name) is an up and coming make up company that produces shades custom made for your face/taste/skin color. Please go check out their FB page, and contact these ladies who can make you any shade you could possibly want. I know how hard it can be to find the perfect colors when choosing make up, so go, now!

~Mrs. S

Dallas Blogger Society Event

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hey y'all! 

I'm still on a blogger high from the Dallas Blogger Society Event tonight at the Joule Hotel. I had the best time, and am soooo glad there are such fabulous bloggers all over Dallas!

Here are some snaps!

The beautiful outdoor pool area at the hotel, IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS!

Tweeting and FB-ing to win some prizes

Amy and Meredith

Tiffanie, me, CottonGlitter, and beautiful lady

Me and Meredith, sweetest blogger originally from Nashville!

Teresa, Amy, me, beautiful lady

Such a great night! 

I will be featuring all these great bloggers soon :)

Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!
~Mrs. S

It's that time again

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

As I have said before, I love getting the mail for reasons like this...

I got my Fall issue of Southern Lady, and I loved it! So many beautiful ideas and recipes (for Zac to make)! 

It's not like I can get too excited, I live in Texas and our fall weather is non existent till maybe early November... I can't wait to do some boot shopping and start making soups again in the cool weather again :) What are your favorite things about fall?

~Mrs. S

I'm no professional, buuuut....

Monday, August 13, 2012

I do love taking pictures! After a couple of lessons, I met up with a cousin who wanted some Quincenera/Graduation photos taken at the Dallas Arboretum, here are some of my favorites :)

What do y'all think, should I quit teaching and become a photographer?
Yeeeah, right!!!!

Hope you all had a lovely Monday!

~Mrs. S

It's been a while...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Since the mister and I went to brunch! We usually sleep in on Sundays (especially during summer break) so we always get up in time for lunch. Today, I had a craving for all things breakfast so we went on an online venture to find the best brunch up north. We found a French restaurant called Bonnie Ruth's with two locations near us, but a $3.00 difference in brunch buffet price so naturally we chose the Frisco location where we saved a few bucks. 

It was brunch heaven.

There was so much lunch food to choose from,

And desserts! Yes, those are blueberry cream cheese crepes on the left :)

The place was beyond adorable, I really did feel like I was at a cafe in France. Ivy lined walls there...

The eggs benedict were the perfect ending to a beautiful meal! The waiter took a while to bring these, but they were worth the wait. 

Paisley didn't want us to go, she was mad at the top of the stairs. She got over it eventually :)

Fun new post coming about our trip to IKEA after brunch!

~Mrs. S

Liebster Award

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hello Everyone!

I have a wonderful follower who has nominated me for a Liebster award! Crystal of The Chronicles of a Colorful Life is one of my newer followers, and a super sweet blogger. I especially love her love for Jesus and it doesn't hurt that she's a native Texan! I looked it up and Liebster officially translates to:

 (der) n. sweetheart, beloved person, darling

How cool is that?!

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The Rules!
Each person must post 11 facts about themselves
..and answer the 11 questions that are tagged for them
...and list the 11 bloggers you nominate
...and make up your own 11 questions to ask your nominees

Facts about me
1. I am a Taurus
2. I spent 2 years at TCU, and 6 at SMU
3. I make a mean guacamole
4. I am really good at folding clothes
5. I love dogs, especially my 2 Frenchies
6. I wish I was a singer/songwriter rockstar
7. If I had a perfect shoe size, it would be 7.75. 8 is too big, 7.5 too small
8. I spend way too much time on the net
9. I looove getting the mail
10. I wash my hair once every 4 days (I know gross, but I really dont have to more than that..)
11. I love Jesus

Questions for me
1. Greatest thing in life that you have accomplished thus far? Buying a house
2.  A goal you are currently trying to accomplish? Becoming a Mother
3.  Favorite color? Blue, any shade
4.  Hobbies? Play music, blog, entertain
5.  Tell me about your best friend? She is the complete opposite of me
6.  Favorite type of music? Right now, country
7.  Greatest thing in life is _____ ? God
8.  Facebook or twitter? FB
9.  Any pets? 2, Wrigley and Paisley, both French Bulldogs
10.  A quality about yourself that you get complimented on often? Being a teacher
11.  What led you to start blogging? My good friend used to blog, I copied her :)

My nominees
1. Chelsea The Perfect Catch
2. Lulu at The Home you Make
3. Selena at The Heights Life
5. Carrie at God Grace and Grits
6. Laura at Life of Lu
10. Stephanie at Stephanie Leann Blog
11. Lauryn at Grow the Love

The questions for my nominees
1. Who is your favorite musician/singer?
2. What college did you go to, what was your major?
3. Do you know who Lauren Bacall is?
4. When entertaining, what is the most important factor to your event?
5. What is your home decor theme/style?
6. What are your pet peeves?
7. Have you ever been to the symphony?
8. How many times have you gotten a speeding ticket?
9. Where is the most interesting place you have visited?
10. What is your holiday schedule like with your husband/BF?
11. How/why did you start blogging?

Hope you get a chance to participate, and I'm looking forward to reading your answers!

~Mrs. S

Favorite Bridal Shots

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Britanny Nicole Photography shot my wedding, and bridals.
I think she did a fabulous job!

Favorite of all

Flowers at the Dallas Arboretum

The Adolphus

The Adolphus

Playing the piano...The Adolphus

Downtown Dallas, after I let my hair down :)

What do y'all think?

Did you take bridal shots before the big day?

~Mrs. S

Yummy food

Monday, August 6, 2012


Since I haven't been up to much lately, I decided I would write about one of my favorite things in the world, FOOD!

I picked up this deliciousness from Ernesto's (My new restaurant obsession) Saturday night...

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is a Tex-Mex restaurant staple, and if you haven't tried it, you are missing out! It is usually listed in the appetizer section, but it is definitely a meal. It consists of a limey tomato soup with cooked shrimp, onions, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, and sliced avocados. 

My next food item is the brownies the mister made this morning, 

Somehow, he always manages to make the most delicious brownies! If I try to make them, which I did once, a long time ago, I forgot the most important ingredient (the Hershey's chocolate syrup)...

Our district requires all teachers to watch approximately 2.5 hours of videos with quizzes about Sexual Harassment, FERPA, yada yada yada.. so I've been doing that all evening, while watching the Bachelor Pad. Hey, I figured both activities deserved my divided attention. Ha!

What meals have y'all been eating these days? 

Hope you all had a great Monday :)

~Mrs. S 

Fun Friday

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Yesterday was a jam-packed busy day in the Simmonds household.

After having lunch at Ernestos, my new favorite mexican food place in McKinney (I ate there 3 times this past week). We headed to the outlets to buy some tennis shoes for Zac's dad at Nike.

I knew there was a Neiman Marcus Last Call, but I hadn't gone in about 5 years (back when my budget was much less, and everything seemed way too expensive for me)! Well, I am so glad I decided to give it a gander, because it was glorious... Amazing styles at amazing prices, I know where I will be getting my jewelry, dresses, and designer digs from now on!

We met up with the original Simmonds' (my in laws) at Babe's Chicken, the most delicious "only chicken is served" restaurant in the state of Texas really. The huge barn-like building has the coolest decor, and even has a cotton patch out front!

Chicken strips with family style servings of creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and green beans...
My kind of restaurant!

When we got home, my MIL surprised me with this SMU watch!

and this dress!

Isn't she the best!

So excited for my Friday. 

Today has been fun too, future post coming :)

~Mrs. S