Holy ballsssssss, y’all!

Hi! Hello! Welcome! Yes, I’m alive. No, I’m still stressed out and feeling like a wild animal. But yes, I am loving life.

Correction: I feel like I am, in the words of our latest Bachelorette, living my BEST life.


Now, I could DIGRESS about why I was super disappointed in The Bachelorette (and, no, it’s not just because the silver-fox, Peter, didn’t get down on one knee), but, you know, settling for the instant proposal instead of waiting for the real deal, but I won’t. Because you know why? What we see is thousands of hours of film being spliced and edited and construed to keep us, the viewers, engaged. Rachel could have loved Bryan from the start. And that’s great, girl! You do the damn thing. But for some reason, and based off of body-language and the words they’re not saying, I get the weird feeling that this storyline (him waiting, Rachel pressuring, that EPIC GOODBYE) that something isn’t adding up.

But, like always, I digress.

Anywayyyysssss, it’s currently Tuesday night while I’m writing this.

And yes, should I be working on my Credential and Masters homework? Duh.

But I’m inspired to share with y’all how FREAKEN’ EPIC my first couple of weeks teaching was!!!!


books on books on booooks

WEEK ONE: AUG. 10th + 11th

  • Cue the palm-sweat and anxiety, ’cause those kids are about to tear into the classroom in about forty-three seconds.
  • Okay, okay, relax. You got this.
  • The first two days of instruction were block period (2 hours each), so I introduced myself, played an icebreaker game where we played Classmate Bingo. It was fun to watch the students interact with each other right off the bat. Plus, they got to know me by asking me questions as well.
  • After Classmate Bingo, I introduced their first formal writing assignment: All About Me — A Letter to the Teacher. I had them brainstorming and drafting. It was easy for the students to write about themselves!
  • All in all, the first week was BOMB and I had a blast interacting with them and showing them my personality and what I expected from them from the start!

WEEK TWO: Aug. 14th – 18th

  • First full week–woot woot!
  • So much excitement. So much planning. So much scrapping of said plans to make new plans. So many copies. So much stress. So much FUN.
  • I felt like such a high schooler: I planned all of my outfits and meals the night before in my cute meal-prep containers, in addition to doing a shit-ton of homework for my online Credential/Masters program. Oh, and running a full Yearbook class as a ZERO PERIOD (helllllooooo, 7AM classes three days a week!)
  • This can’t possibly be my job. This is too cool…I feel like I’m actually making a difference…this is scary and wild and exhilarating….WHOOOO!!!!
  • Omg, wait…I have to record myself teaching in two weeks for my Masters?! COOL.

WEEK THREE: Aug. 21st – 25th

  • Sweeeeet, we’re kicking our Narrative Unit off with a whole bunch of short stories and analysis! (anyone read “The White Heron” or “The Mask of the Red Death”?! )
  • Getting up for Zero Period Yearbook has been tough. And staying up past midnight to work on assignments for night school? Also, tough. But I’m a hustler–it’s in my blood–I GOT THIS.
  • Is more than one Low-Carb Monster bad for you? More than one in a day? #help
  • Weirdly enough, I’m starting to feel like a bad-ass with Prezi and graphic organizers. If you know what I’m talking about, kudos.
  • At this point, I had a past teacher reach out to me and share a goldmine of goodies that she taught while she was still a high school teacher. The outpouring of love and support is legit overwhelming and I’m so emotional. Also, #help.

WEEK FOUR: Aug. 28th – Sept. 1st

  • Ohhhh, this week I have to record myself teaching. And it’s picture day. So my class time is cut in half. And my lesson plan is loaded with activities down to the minute. #HELPPPP. 
  • Okay, breathe..don’t let them see you sweat. They’ll pounce. Hmm, if I push the TEDtalk to next week and bump up the short story analysis and presentation, then I should be good, right? Right?!
  • After quelling the on-coming panic, I was able to record myself, awkwardly, of course. Oh, but get this…my phone ran out of storage. Then my colleague’s phone ran out of storage. And then I managed to finagle a camera out of yearbook storage, find one with full battery (it’s still early in the damn year!), and complete my lesson! #holyballz
  • The rest of the week flewww by without a hitch. And then bam, Friday was here!!! Half-dayyyy, bayyybayyy!!!
  • So you know what that means: it’s RANCH TIME!!!


The hubs and I took off Friday evening, traveling up the twists and turns of Mountain Route 99 into the Sequoias where my family and I have gone “glamping” for 14 years now! It’s honestly a little slice of heaven.



This little getaway was filled with laughing and goofing off as we played Scala and Uno, drinking beer and just relaxing and unwinding, surrounded by the beauty and simplicity of nature. We left food out for the bobcats and raccoons and deer. We floated for hours in the pool, inside “donuts”, feet intertwined and beers in koozies, making friends both young and old. And at night, with just the crickets and cicadas humming along with the whispering of the pines, in the glow of an almost full moon, we fell asleep peacefully, catching up on some much-needed rest and relaxation.

In my head, especially coming back to reality with multiple work meetings, starting course two of my Credential and Masters program, inching closer and closer to my goal, creating assessments and preparing to give my students a benchmark (5-Week Assessment Test–eek!), I will think about the weekend, of my handsome hubs, the laughs we shared, the horses we rode at sunrise, the gentle lull of nature, and the gratitude and love I have for those who have supported me thus far.

Here’s to hard-work, grit, and hustle.

Here’s to learning and growing as individuals, students, and teachers.

Here’s to the road ahead.

We got this.

And, of course, if you’re looking for a juicy read about redemption, facing your fears, falling headfirst into love and the unknown, and learning how to forgive yourself and be grateful, then follow the links below for my novel, XXII. And stay tuned, my lovely humans, for a sneak peek at the sequel to my first novel, XXIII!!!


To purchase a paperback copy or Kindle-version of XXII, click here!

For all things XXII and XXIII, click here to sign up and stay in the loop!

Follow this page, give me a follow on Instagram [@lovalenzaaa] or on Twitter [@life_withlauren], or even Facebook [www.facebook.com/lovalenza]! Give me a shout-out and tweet me! Sign up for all the goodness that can and will be coming your way!!!

XOXO, lo♥


  1. Hey, I made it in your post!!!!!!! Hahaha! Also, I still totally plan out my outfits for the whole week, with at least one alternate. And I am looking forward to playing classmate bingo on Friday with my kiddos!!!

    It sounds like you are gleefully immersing yourself into your new role as teacher. It IS a pretty life-changing and life-affirming one (even on the difficult days). You definitely “got this!” 😀


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