Throwback Thursday's Thursday, y'all.  And if I'm being totally honest, if it weren't for my weekly linky parties, this blog would be full of tumbleweeds and crickets.  I've been CONSUMED with trying to get my presentation ready for the Extraordinary Educators Conference in Chicago this weekend!!!  Eeeek!!!  SO nervous, but so excited!!  Now it's time for...

And since I'm headed to Chi-Town for a few days full of fun and learning, I figured it was only fitting to throwback to my last trip to Chicago this past Fall with some of my closest, most favorite friends.  After all, I have NO pictures to share from the I Teach K conference in Vegas and let's be honest...I'm totally jealous of all the fun everyone's been having this week!!!  I've been living vicariously through snippets and precious pictures on can check 'em out at #2013vegasmeetup.  I'm SO there next year!!!!

Anyway, here's the original post where I talk all about meeting some of these sweet faces for the very first time.  It was definitely a trip to remember!  Can't wait to head back to the Windy City this weekend and spend some QT with a couple of my sweet girls....oh, and present, too {GULP}.

And if you're keeping up with the 12 days of Christmas in July, today is Day 11.  Technically it's Day 12, but I missed yesterday because our power went out and I was out of the house all day. SO.  Head on over to FB to see the deal of the day!

Originally posted on October 24, 2012

Let me just tell y’all…last weekend *might* have been the most fun I’ve had in a LONG while.  I *finally* got to put voices to these sweet faces that I’ve been chit- chatting with for months now!! 
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Cheryl from Primary Graffiti
Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants
Kim Adsit from The Kinder Gals
Lindsey from the Teacher Wife
Kathleen from Growing Kinders
Michelle from Fabulous in First
Deanna from Mrs. Jump's Class
Amanda from One Extra Degree
Hands down, some of the sweetest, funniest, most INSPIRATIONAL women you’ll ever meet!!!  These ladies knock my socks off with their creative ideas on the daily.  They are even more precious in person than they are on their blogs!!
We decided to throw our sweet friend, Amy, a *surprise* baby{ish} shower somewhere in the middle.  After a few back & forth discussions…and me insisting that Texas is DEFINITELY in the middle…we decided on Chicago :)  My kind of town, for sure.  I must love these ladies somethin’ fierce because I flew.  ALL.BY.MY.SELF.  I try to stay out of the air as often as possible.  I asked Mr. Spouse if it would be possible for me to drive and he looked at me like I lost my mind.  But I was totally being serious.  Flying and frogs are two fears I’ve yet to conquer.  Anywho….
Here are just a few snapshots of us taking Chicago by storm.  I’m sure the folks who lived there were all, “Dang tourists!!!!”  I’ve never seen so many cameras!  HA!!!  But there’s no such thing as too many memories :)
We started the weekend showering sweet Amy.  She was surprised to say the least.  She is beyond precious!!!   I wish I would’ve gotten more pictures!!!!  The cookies were insanely amazing and the sole reason I gained a good 20lbs. on this trip.  Sweet Lindsey made those darling favor boxes with her Silhouette, y’all!!  SO cute!  And sweet Sarah made those little wishes for baby girl.  Presh. 
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That’s one big ‘ol couch full of cuteness & creativity right there!
FINALLY got to meet THE Sarah Cooley!!!!  I was beside myself!  Hers was the first teaching blog I ever read.  She is DARLING!!!  LOVE this girl!!
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Cuteness around every corner.  These girls are just as fun as they are precious!
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HOPE!!!  My cute little necklace twin :)
After Amy’s shower, we headed out to walk the streets of Chi Town and do as many tourist-y things as we possibly could fit in.  I kept telling everyone that I felt like such a “big girl”…y’know, being in a big city all by myself without Mr. Spouse.  Kinda awesome.  We did as much standing around as we did walking :)
chicago11  Could The Teacher Wife BE any cuter?! {said in my best Chandler Bing voice}chicago12 copy
Of course, no momentary pause in walking could end without a token group pic…
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left to right, TOP:  Amanda, Kathleen, Abby, Rachelle, Kim, Hope, Michelle, & DeeDee;  BOTTOM:  Sarah, ME, Cheryl, Deanna, Lindsey, Amy, & Erica
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After LOTS of walking…and too many photo ops to count…we headed to Millenium Park to see the “Bean”.  Fun stuff, people!!!  I’ve been to Chicago a few times before, but I had NO clue this was here!!!  I gotta say…being a tourist is pretty dang fun!
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Free Diet Coke?!?!  Yes, please!  Alright, alright.  Truth be told, I was thirsty as all get out. About 3 sips in, I was BEGGING for a regular, sugar laden COKE {from Sonic, of course!}  No such luck…shoo!!!
As precious as these ladies are, PLEASE look at the trees behind them.  Y’all..they’re PRETTY!!!  Like, REAL fall trees!!!!!!  Ohmiword..I’ve NEVER seen a REAL fall tree before!!!  SO many different colors!!!  Here in Texas, our fall trees are either green{ish} or dead brown…crunchy and not cute.  Chicago in the fall is BEAUTIFUL!!!!  And so are these pretty girls ;)chicago28 copy
Love these girls!
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After a quick little rest, we headed in the direction of Navy Pier…and got lost.  But quickly found our way…after a run-in with a scary elevator.  Oh my.  I fell in LOVE.  I’ve never been to Navy Pier!!!!  I’m gonna need one of those here in Texas…STAT!!
McDonald’s fries and ice cream?!?!  Don’t mind if we do.  There might have been some dipping action {fries into the ice cream} goin’ on…just sayin’.!!!!!  So happy Hope was my partner in {food} crime ;)
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We were pretty much spent after a day FULL of walking…and eating. So it was back to the hotel for a little rest…and then more eating {of course!}  The next day was our last day.  Pretty fast & furious!!!  So we ended our trip with a nice, big breakfast together and then parted ways…SAD!!!!!!!!
Aaaahhhh!!!  Deedee & Kathleen!!  Love, love, LOVE!!!!  I walked the catwalk with my roomies, Abby & Michelle….LOVE them, too!!!!
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Rachelle, Abby, & Amy…a trifecta of amazingness!  And ohmiword…I LOVE Kathleen!!!  She was SO fun to talk to!!!!  And y’all…she goes to recess in ZERO degree weather!!!!  Wha?!?!?  I’m freaking out if I’m outside when it’s below 80!  HA!!!  Bless her heart ;)
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These girls are the CUTEST!!!  I could’ve talked to them ALL dang day!!  And I’m pretty sure I talked their ears off…I’m sure they’re happy to be home and away from all my *chit-chat* :)  Rachelle was a hoot! SO stinkin’ cute!!  And Erica is about the tiniest, cutest little thing…her accent made me smile!!  She could totally live on the Jersey Shore {minus Snooki & The Situation, of course}.  LOVED her!  And Kim…y’all...KIM.  She is a GENIUS!!  I wanted to put her in my pocket and bring her home with me!!! Just precious!
I thank the Lord every day for blessing me with these friendships.  These ladies have become an ear to listen {they just *get it*, y’know?!}, a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with {and about!  HA!}, and someone to pray with {& for, of course!}.  Can’t tell y’all how much I cherish these women.  God is pretty awesome like that, isn’t He?! 
I think Mr. Spouse was pretty jealous.  Notsomuch because he missed out on all the girl bonding, but that man LOVES Chicago.  I sure am grateful he decided to opt out of this one and stay home to help my mom take care of the boys.  And not to make any of you jealous, but I definitely got these little pretties as homecoming gifts from my boys…bless their sweet little spirits!!!!!  HA!
OH gosh…do I have OLD hands?!??  I promise I’ll be back with an educational post this weekend!!  Thanks for letting me relive my weekend away from reality!  Hope y’all have a great rest of the week!!!

Wanna throwback with us?!  Link up with an "old" post...even if "old" is only a couple of months ago ;)  Can't wait to see what I've been missing!!!


  1. I am heading to the conference in Chicago this weekend and I am very excited! I am signed up for one of your sessions! :) You will do great!

  2. Welcome to my home town!!! It's going to be disgustingly hot and humid here today and tomorrow .... but should be a little cooler for the weekend! Good luck!

  3. I'm going to Chicago, too! Can't wait to meet you wonderful ladies!

    Preslar's Place

  4. I am so disappointed I cannot come to the conference this weekend:( I really wanted to but it just wasn't in the funds this year! Boo! I was really looking forward to seeing/meeting you and Abby - two of my favorite bloggers! Good luck and I cannot wait to hear all about it! You will do wonderful!

  5. I've said this on instagram but I'l say it here too- your presentation looks like it is going to be amazing, I so wish I could be there! Chicago is my hometown afterall ;)

    I love reading about y'alls blogger meet-ups! I hope I can one day take part in these meet ups as well!

    Good Luck this weekend, not that you'll need it ;)

  6. Good luck at the conference! Not that you will need it! We wish we could be there!

    Frugal In First

  7. I remember reading this the first time around, but it was just as fun today. :) You are gonna rock during your presentation. You are an inspiration to so many people. GOOD LUCK!

    First Grade Wolves

  8. I guess I'm a little behind on the times! I want to go to a conference! :) You'll do great at presenting Cara. But I totally feel your pain... public speaking to adults is HARD! Give me a room full of 6 year olds any day. Have a great time!
    I really enjoy linking up with you for TBT- it's totally a great idea!

    Mrs. Thompson
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)

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  10. Looks like such a fun trip last fall! Good luck with your presentation, although I don't think you'll need it!

    Angela :)
    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

  11. I WISH that I could see you in Chicago!!!!! I love you sweet friend and I know you'll be AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. And your Chicago post just made my whole day!!!!!!!!!! LOVE US!

  13. Good luck, Cara! I'm sure you will do amazing! Chicago is one of my favorite cities and your blog is my favorite to read! I'd love to see you present sometime!!


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  15. Ah! I am heading off to Chi-Town tomorrow morning! I have never been there and I am so excited!!


  16. Welcome to Chi town, my town! I'm jealous, several of our teachers will be there to attend your sessions. Have a great time here and the only warning I will give you is that the weather these days is horribly hot and humid!!

  17. Thanks for the opportunity to link up! You are heading to my neck of the woods and I am sad that I won't be able to be there! No professional development money in our district right now. Boo! I am sure that your presentation will be wonderful. Good luck and have fun!!

    The Learning Lodge

  18. What a fun time that must have been meeting everyone for the first time! I am heading to Chicago on vacation in August and cannot wait! There's so much to see and do and a Starbucks on every corner too! I will be sure to check out the 'Bean". Good luck with the conference! You will be outstanding!I'm looking forward to reading a fantastic post about it!

    Creative Lesson Cafe

  19. These are some really great pictures of you guys! Looks like you had lots of fun!

    Shepherd's Shining Stars

  20. I know you are going to have a great time at your conference!

  21. Hi Cara,
    Really random comment. I live in Alberta, Canada and we have a channel called HGTV. House Hunters is on right now and I am SURE that you are on my television right now, looking at houses in Houston. I may be really behind in your life and you may have already talked about being on the show, but it's so cool to be watching you and hubby as your sister watches your boys. Off to see which house you picked. Just had to write!

  22. Hi Cara,
    Just wondering if the Thursday throwback linky still exists? thank you!

  23. Linky party must be over for the summer. Drats!! Thanks for sharing your Thursday Throwback. Have a great school year.

    Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

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