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2019 Summer Plans

2019 Summer Plans

Soooo it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Sorry! The hubs & I bit off more than we could chew this past semester and we were in survival mode for a few months there. But now that our classes are winding down, I can come back to my little corner of the internet and I am oh so happy! As always, we have a bunch of things going on in the summer (being teachers with no kids and all) so here are some of our plans for summer 2019!

House Projects

If you remember we bought a house last April and we has some basic house updates for this upcoming summer but we’ve had to add a bit more to that to-do list in the past few months. For starters we found some (a lot) of mold and mildew in our master bath in early March. Unfortunately that was the start of Will’s tennis & science fair season so all hands were needed on deck elsewhere. We’ve spent the last few months on the other side of the house in a guest bedroom & bathroom. This summer the bathroom is a MUST on the to do list; like there is no compromise! We decided to do a whole bathroom renovation, mostly ourselves but we will definitely be having a little professional help along the way.

And since we are literally ripping up the master bath down to its studs, we might as well get rid of our polybutylene pipes since like NO ONE wants to insure them in the state of Florida. When we had our house inspection, we were told poly pipes could be faulty and hard to insure. Our inspector recommend that we get our pipes done as soon as possible just in case we ever had an issue down the road. So I guess a silver lining in the bathroom renovation was that the much needed pipes overhaul was moved way up on our timeline.

Read more: 2019 Home Renovation Journey

And since our original summer plans included redoing ALL the floors, we just decided to tack that on to everything else. I mean why not??? lol We were going to have to redo the bathroom tile anyways and summer is really the BEST time for us to remove all the furniture in the house and literally camp out for a few days.

Last but not least, our HOA has been up our butts about our lawn. The people who lived here before us were three college guys so the maintenance of the lawn was bare minimum (like we got an HOA notice within 2 weeks of moving in!). We tried to tackle the grass to weed ratio ourselves but we are now waiving the white flag of surrender. We called in a company to help us get this law back to the right kind of green. I do not have a green thumb at all but I am hoping to get things going out there because we have such a big backyard and side/front yard.

Summary of our house plans:

  • Master bathroom renovation – mix of DIY & professionals
  • Redo the floors in the whole house – mix DIY & professionals
  • Redo the pipes – professionals
  • Get the lawn up to “code” – professionals


Jess’ Stuff

I got accepted to TWO awesome programs this summer: NEH “Holocaust through Visual Culture” in Maine for 2 weeks & “Dimensions of the Middle East” at Duke University for 1 week. You know me and National Endowment for the Humanities summer institutes – I can’t stop raving about them!!!

Duke Islam Logo
I also love all PD on world religions, it’s my passion in world history, so I am super excited to go to Duke this summer on a super concentrated program on Islam (always a hot topic & one that I am passionate about). I happened to do an NEH last year on Islamic Music & Arts so this will be a deeper concentration on this incredibly gorgeous religion. And one of my best friends also happens to be a professor at Duke so this is a win-win!

The second program is from the National Endowment for the Humanities and this will be my third summer with them! Incredibly lucky!!! With my background (& deep love) in art history and my current position as a world history teacher the program “Holocaust through the Visual Arts” was a perfect marrying together of my areas of expertise. I hope to learn more about how to make this incredibly significant historical atrocity resonate with my students. And, not to get overly political, I see incredibly scary parallels to what is going on right now in this country all over the world. Hopefully the phrase “Never Forget” can be passed on to my sophomores as a mantra they live out!

Both programs cover my costs for travel, board & some day-to-day expenses which truthfully is the ONLY way I can afford doing this kind of stuff over the summer months. Seeing new places + funding + professional development = my perfect summer!

Read more: 10 Reasons I love NEH Summer Institutes


Will’s Stuff

So at first Will wasn’t going to do “anything” this summer and actually didn’t pursue apply for any programs but as luck will have it two amazing opportunities fell into his lap! The first one is a summer-long program for high school & middle school science teachers to use engineering & computer science applications in the classroom. The program has a ridiculously long name: “Collaborative Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Experiences for Teachers (CoMET). Like seriously??? 🙂 Anyways, this is super similar to a summer program Will did in 2016 and is at the university literally down the street from our house. This program is super nice for a few reasons:

  1. He gets outright paid a good amount of money
  2. It’s right down the road which means we can still work on house stuff
  3. It keeps Will busy 8-4 Monday through Friday leaving evenings & weekends free

So all in all, we have a super productive, slightly too busy (perhaps) yet manageable (hopefully) summer. But it’s funny, when people ask me where we are traveling this summer my knee-jerk response is “Oh nowhere.” lol…


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