Thursday, December 29, 2011

puppy fun

Parker's haircut

Playing outside.

Playing with Millie!

My sister and her puppy, Punky.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Smith Family Christmas

Our Christmas card this year:

I got a new camera from Santa, so I've been a picture taking fool. I don't really know what I'm doing. I've read a lot on Kevin and Amanda's blog, Improve Photography, and other various places on the internet. I have taken about 150 pictures, but here are a few! I'm still learning, so be nice!

Parker! He got a haircut the next day!

My Aunt Cam has this awesome handmade beaded fruit- love them.

My sister's boyfriend surprised her with autographed Alabama pictures. She was PUMPED.

weird coloring. but I kinda like it. Have no idea what I did to make this happen :)

me and Parker

I love taking pictures of flowers. These are in my parent's yard. In January. Good grief.

Mom's turn for an iPad Christmas!!!

My sister being SO EXCITED about the book I gave her. Love Peter Pan!

Dad's new coffee container!

Honestly? Kinda impressed with myself for this one. Only post-production was cropping.

My parents' neighbors' house. Love their lights. (I was playing with my tripod at this point.)

This pic kinda blows my mind bc it was pitch black dark outside. Once again, only post-production was a small crop

My sister in her new red jacket.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


One of my pastors said something remarkable this past Sunday:
Many of walk us walk around living life as practical atheists: believing that our money, position, and influence are all the work of our own hands.

The sermon was focused on the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who was humbled by God so that he could see that God had given him all of his money position, and influence. By the end of Daniel 4, Nebby, as his friends called him, had come to the realization that everything in his power was actually given to him by God. Everything that he owned was given to him by God. Everyone that he influenced was given to him by God.

In my head, I know that God has given me everything I have, but I don't often think of that in terms of influence. At the end of the sermon, Stuart asked the question, "How could I leverage my position to make a difference?". As always, I immediately think of my students. There have been so many students that have come and gone through my classroom that I have not impacted in any spectacular way. However, I know there are students that have been changed because they had me as a teacher. That is an incredible joy for me, but also an incredible pressure- because I know that I can make a difference in someone's life.

My number one person this year is named Tyler.

Tyler isn't on my team. I don't have him for homeroom. I don't teach him language arts. We met by accident. My best friend teaches him, and I happened to be in her classroom one day, so he started talking to me.

I have become his refuge. If he gets in trouble in a class, he gets sent to my room.
I have become his reward. If he has a great day, his prize is to come hang out with me.
I have become his encourager. I seek him out all day long to ask him how things are going in each of his classes. And he comes to tell me about his days- good and bad.

Hearing Stuart on Sunday made me realize that God has given me influence on Tyler. Not my age or the fact that I don't teach him. But God alone has given me that influence. It makes me realize that I have 5 more months to be Tyler's influence, but the impact of that influence could go long beyond that.

The realization has made me so much more aware of the way I speak to my students, especially Tyler. To speak truth to them. To make sure that they know that you love them- whether you can directly say it or not. To make sure that their behavior doesn't change the fact that I have chosen to love them. To give grace every single day. To discipline when out of my desire for them to be better people, not so I can have control.

God uses me to influence people. I just have to be sure to influence them in the way that brings glory to God.

Do you have a "Tyler"?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Iron Bowl!

Through an INCREDIBLE turn of events, I got to to go to the Iron Bowl with some family friends! They're HUGE Auburn fans, but they were so kind to let me come along! We had wonderful seats, right near the Alabama student section and band. Of course, my friends hated it, but I was DYING of happiness!

At the halftime show, the two bands joined together to play in memory of those who died in the April tornado that cut through north Alabama. They played Amazing Grace- and it was precious.

SO MUCH FUN!!!!! 42-14!!
Is there anything cuter than my puppy in his #3 jersey!? Roll Tide!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

JoePa & mandated reporters

Unless you're just not paying attention, you've heard about the scandal with former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. He is charged with numerous counts of sexual assault of children. If you haven't had a chance to read the grand jury indictment, you should. BUT. Please heed this warning: it is graphic. It will make you sick to your stomach. I had to skim over some parts, but it explains everything that he is charged. And the extensive lengths that the university went to in order to cover-up the scandal.

One of countless bits of collateral damage is Penn State head coach, Joe Paterno. He was informed of one of the criminal acts in 2002. A graduate student walked in on Sandusky raping a young boy. The graduate student reported the incident to Coach Paterno, and JoePa reported it the next day to his superiors. While JoePa fulfilled his legal responsibilty to report the incident, people are absolutely furious with his lack of reporting. Joe Paterno was not directly involved in the cover-up of the crimes, but he didn't do as much as should have.

As a teacher, I am a mandated reporter. This means that I am required by law to report any instances of suspected child abuse or neglect. The proper chain of command for me is to inform the guidance counselors or principal of my school. After that, I am not involved anymore. I'm not even allowed to inquire about the investigation. If I feel that my principal and guidance counselor are not following up thoroughly enough, I am able to go directly to the police.

My assumption is that Coach Paterno is under the same requirements as I am. I'm sure that he thought his superiors were going to do their job, but when they didn't, he should have done more. In his resignation statement today, he said "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more". I wish he had too. For his own heart and mind. But mostly so more children would have been saved from such pain. I think I have learned something from Paterno- that it's always my job to do more than what the law requires. That is a low hurdle that is set to give guidelines. Doing more is always best.

My friend Amy and I were talking about it, and she said something incredibly important- at the end of the day, it is STILL Jerry Sandusky that is the monster here. He is the one that hurt those boys. He is the one that used charity to disguise his evil. He is the one that manipulated his peers to believe the best of him when he was committing a heinous act against innocent children. I know that God promises that "in no way shall the guily go free" and when it comes to Sandusky, this gives me great peace.

Paterno did announce his resignation today. He'll finish the season, and then he'll be done. He is a good man who has made an incredible impact on the game of college football and numerous student athletes. His legacy is great. It is sad that it will be tainted with the scandal of Jerry Sandusky.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

obsession with instagram

I've had the Instagram app on my phone for a while, but I've just started using is more and more- this is some of my week!

 With the Alabama/LSU game coming up this weekend, I've been dressed in "GameDay attire" all week. This is from Monday and Thursday. 

My nephew and I made this "Hand print Christmas tree" for my sister-in-law's birthday. We had fun making it- and Jessica loved it!!

This is a picture of my sister, AnneTaylor, and her boyfriend, Taylor. I helped come up with his costume- he's MAYHEM! Love it. Also. My sister looks adorable as a pirate hooker :)

I tweeted this picture the other night because I'm rocking a shirt from my 10th grade year of highschool. When we played Harrison, we were playing at HHS so we wore white. These were our "white out" shirts for the crowd. It has holes in it and is paper-thin. But. I love this shirt. It's SO comfortable. I could NEVER wear it out in public, but I love it.

If you're not following me on twitter and instagram, then change your life and make it happen. User name is always camismith. Do work.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I know some of you read my friend Annie's blog. If you didn't happen to read this past month's series on courage, you are missing out. It was amazing. Loved every minute.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

awkward twins

some twins are awkward. some twins are weird.
lots of twins are normal.

this one is not:

Awkward twin: "I'm not straight"
Other student: "You're not straight?"
Awkward twin: "Yeah, I can't write straight"
Other student: "I don't think you know what that means"

Oh. 7th grade.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

meet Parker!

I went to visit my BFF-Rachel a few weekends ago in Fort Payne, Alabama-- and I bought a puppy!
His name is Parker JULIOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Smith.

This is him on the way home from Alabama- he was freaking out a little, so he kept moving around- and ended up behind my head. FOR. THE. ENTIRE. WAY. HOME.
This is my BFF Maranda holding Parker- he's still so little! He'll grow to be about 10-12 pounds, but right now, he's TINY.
This is Parker and one of his toys. He was worn out :)
This is my favorite picture- I have turned into one of those "dog moms"- this picture is my screen saver on my phone. Love it.

Monday, September 19, 2011


You may not know this about me, but one of my all-time favorite movies is "Giant." Often times when I mention this to people, they have no idea what movie I'm talking about. For some reason, it's not carried the same kind of timelessness that "Gone With the Wind" or other epic movies of the same era have carried.

When I was a kid, my grandmother had the movie on VHS that she had recorded from TV at some point. It was split into two VHS tapes (that should take you guys back to a special place in your heart)- but I would watch it multiple times every time I went to Mississippi to visit my grandparents. It made me fall in love with the idea of creating a life with someone- even if that someone is nothing like you. Elizabeth Taylor plays Leslie Benedict who is a wealthy socialite from Virginia. Rock Hudson (who I am slightly in love with) plays Bick Benedict who meets Leslie while purchasing a horse from her father. They immediately fall in love, and they move to Bick's ranch in Texas. It's the story of their life. For better or worse. Mistakes and all. Love, loss, children, friends, fights. It's all there.

It's also a famous movie because it would be James Dean's last. He was killed in a car accident during the last days of filming. I love his character's story, too.Jett Rink came from nothing. Got lucky in oil and made it huge. But. He had nothing to show for his life by the end. A tragic story, but an epic one told my James Dean that makes me cry every time.
It's a special movie to me. I think because it always makes me think of those summers in Quitman. The other day my family was talking around the dinner table, and I said some movie was one of my favorites. My grammy spoke up in her barely audible, whisper of a voice and said, "I'm pretty sure your favorite movie is Giant." And, of course, she's right. It is.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


You would think I would blog more in the summer when I'm not working, but, alas, I did not. I'm back in the swing of things in school- work up to my eyeballs. But happy doing my job. Today, I am praying for patience and wisdom in dealing with my students. I feel like I have had a VERY short fuse in dealing with them. This group is pretty smart, but they are VERY social. It can be detrimental to them- and my classroom- often.

I want to start blogging again soon. Hopefully this will be now. And for real.

Friday, May 27, 2011

simple math: last day of school

Oh, that's right. Sprained my ankle on the last day of school playing on the bungee run inflatable. AM. SO. COOL.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I know that you have all heard about the tornado in Tuscaloosa and other parts of the southeast. My sister lives in Tuscaloosa, so this has felt incredibly close to home. Thankfully, my sister is ok, as well as her friends. Some of her friends had damage to their homes/stuff, but all of AnneTaylor's stuff is ok.

This week's Sports Illustrated cover is all about "What the Tornado Took" from Tuscaloosa. It focuses on the athlete's response to the tornado. It's heart wrenching. You can read the full article by clicking on the picture.
The NFL draft was the day after the tornado hit, and it was cool to see quite a few Alabama players get drafted! Even cooler was that those guys were still talking/tweeting about how they were going to help in Tuscaloosa.

You need to read the article. It's really well written, and it will certainly make you feel connected to the real story in T-town.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

bathing suits and modesty

Growing up, I thought the only reason to wear a one-piece bathing suit was to hide fat. I thought skinny people wore two-pieces and fat people wore one-pieces. Just the rules. However, when I was in highschool, my friend Natalie (who is thin) wore a one-piece all the time. I remember talking to her about it, and she said that wore one when she knew she would be around guys- because she thought that her body was none of their business. I remember being surprised about that because I had never given much thought to modesty in regards to bathing suits.

By their very nature, bathing suits are not modest. They are skin tight and resemble underwear. Everything is on display. But talking to Natalie made me realize that there are some decisions you can make about someone else's ability to know everything about your body.

I was reading Elizabeth Esther's blog this morning about her daughter's bathing suit choices, and it made me remember this revelation with Natalie in highschool. Her husband reminded her that it's not about the bikini- it's about the relationship. The relationship with her daughter for her to understand modesty and purity is what matters- not the bathing suit.

I go to a camp with my church every summer, and they have a rule that you have to wear one-piece bathing suits. And, I'll be honest, there is a incredible sense of innocence for that entire week on the beach. People who come to camp for the first time always complain about the rule, but after you've gone a couple of years, you kinda come to like it. However, I do think there is such a thing as TOO modest.

I have some friends that I babysit for- their daughters are 11 and 8. Naturally, when I babysit in the summer, we go to the pool. The first time we went, I was shocked to watch the little girls get their bathing suits on and put a pair of board shorts over their suits. I mean, they're little girls. There's a part of me that feels like making little girls wear shorts or those crazy swim-outfits is teaching a sense of shame of their bodies. I think there has to be a balance.

Obvs, I'm not a parent, so I don't have to make these decisions, but it does make me think.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Just found
Greatest timesuck of my week. I read through every. single. archive.
and totally loved every minute.
this was one of my favorites:

but then I thought, I should tell people how much I love twitter.


It's BY FAR my favorite social network. I have been on it for a while now- and I seriously love it. I feel lost without it after a few hours. :)

Are you on twitter? I should follow you!
You should follow me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

stories I only tell my friends

My love for all things Rob Lowe is no secret here. Loved him in The Outsiders, Brothers and Sisters, West Wing, and even when he was the bad guy in Austin Powers and Tommy Boy. LOVE HIM. So, when he was on Oprah the other day, of course I watched. He was there promoting his book, Stories I Only Tell My Friends.

Please understand that I am NOT usually a celebrity-tell-all kind of reader.
Rob Lowe's book just isn't like that. It's SHOCKINGLY well written, and it is much more of a reflection of his life than an expose of his past romances and debauchery. It's a very quick read, chronicling his life through the end of the West Wing. It briefly mentions Brothers and Sisters and the shows he works on now, but not in great detail. As a huge enthusiast of The Outsiders, I loved that there were about 3 chapters devoted to that time in his life.
He leaves nothing us-discussed.

I loved it- def rated-R, but mostly bc of profanity. Everything else is alluded to without being trashy. Well. Without being vulgar.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the lottery

Just got this email.
Now I'm sure I'll win. Just because I'm not sure I want to.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

miss bachelorette, miss bachelorette!

This past weekend was the "Bacheloretter Getaway" for my BFF, Rachel. She's getting married in ONE MONTH! We rented a cabin in Dahlonega- and it was FABULOUS.
We went to dinner the first night at a place called the Crimson Cafe- it was crazy crowded and the food took forever, but we had a private room and a great server, so it was fun! In the grand tradition of any "fungirls" weekend, there were about a million pics!
On Saturday, we went to two different vineyards for winetastings: Frogtown and Three Sisters. They were both great- with beautiful views and delicious wine!

For dinner, we donned matching "Rachel's Last Fling Before the Ring" tshirts and went out for Mexican food. We were overwhelming to say the VERY least- but we had a BLAST!

In recovery mode, we went to lunch at The Smith House- which is a family style Southern restaurant: fried chicken, fried okra, black eyed peas, and so on. It was DELICIOUS. We ate in about 12 seconds, so I don't have any pictures of the food! But, we took this incredible picture in the gift shop right before we leave. So typical.
We had a blast! I hope we get to do it again next year! It was amazing to get away with such fun friends- and celebrate Rachel!

**None of these pics are mine... most of the group shots were done by Susan Crutchfield- she's amazing: check her out!