Madison’s Season of The Bachelor

Okay, Bachelor fans…this one’s for you. (: People that know me well know that I am OBSESSED with all things Bachelor. And, in these trying times full of anxiety and talks of quarantine and “the world ending”, I’m writing this because:

  1. Might as well partake and enjoy some entertainment when we’re all practicing “social distancing” (:
  2. And, this season finale has really, really stirred up heated feelings with many viewers, ESPECIALLY me!

As you may have seen Thursday night, Madi made a post on her Instagram, almost immediately Peter followed, stating that they “were going their separate ways”. And, I have to say, I’m equally disappointed and relieved for the both of them. I want to focus on Madi’s side of things here since she absolutely did NOT deserve what was handed to her this season! Or, did she?

“I mean, at the end of the day, it is what it is. Can’t change the past, and there’s a lot that was out of my control. I’m not a mom, so I don’t know what it’s like to have a son, to have kids,” Madison said in response. “I know that I have love and respect for Peter. Therefore, I have love and respect for Peter’s family and I will never say a negative word about anyone or anything” (Madison Prewitt, courtesy of ET Online).

Alright ^, we all saw #crazyBarb’s response to Chris Harrison when he asked Barb what it would take for Peter & Madi to earn their blessing. Do you remember when she said that they would have to FAIL TO SUCCEED?!?! Are you kidding me?????? I couldn’t believe she said that, and for Madi to say that response above just shows how INCREDIBLE, poised, and humble her character is. She truly has such a strong faith that her words and behavior were unwavering, even in the most unruly and ruthless attack I’ve ever seen on reality TV!

So, why did Barb not want Peter to be with Madi? Why did she want him to be with Hannah so badly? These are my thoughts:

Madi is a strong woman. She’s shown us that from the beginning. She’s incredibly mature, wise, confident in herself, is well spoken, and never interfered with the drama during this season. She stayed so true to herself, in fact, that Savannah (a VERY cute girl cut from this season way too early) unveiled to the Ben & Ashley I. podcast that Madi would often be in her room doing Bible study!

While Hannah Ann’s NOW shown herself to be well spoken as well, Madi was this way from the start. We all saw Madi & Peter’s chemistry from the beginning, and it was really sweet to see her attend his parents’ vow renewal early on in the process. I don’t think I was the only one who thought “This girl seems to have it all!” MY theory is…Barb saw how strong of a woman Madi was – she saw the potential for Madi to take Peter away from her and, as the Bible says in Genesis 2:24, “a man will leave his father and mother & shall cleave to his wife.” Miss Barb was NOT going to be okay with that! She saw a strong young woman stuck in her ways and how much Peter was OBSESSED with her, so when she heard that it was between her and Hannah Ann as the final two, she hopped up on Hannah Ann’s bandwagon faster than a duck on a junebug!

Honestly, I wish Madi would have saved herself a trip on this show. I’m sure now that she’s BFFs with Selena Gomez…and who knows who else…things will work out fine for her, but I simply wish she would’ve saved herself the heart ache. Let me be clear: I’m SO thankful she set such a great example for young women everywhere to NEVER settle and stand up for what you believe in. I’m also thankful that faith was shown on the show; however, Madi had to have known from the beginning that Peter wasn’t for her. Here’s why:

  • It’s been advertised all over the Internet that he and Hannah Brown had sex together 4 times in a windmill. (Need I say more to the girl that wants to save herself for marriage?)
  • It appears that sex is important to Peter, and my theory is that he slept with Victoria in the fantasy suites and not Hannah Ann, but I could be wrong! I also have a theory that he did sleep with Hannah Ann after they got engaged. (:
  • Peter had difficulty making decisions throughout the ENTIRE show. We thought he’d allow Hannah Brown back on (I still think he could be in love with her.); I thought he’d send Kelsey home after #champagnegate; he let BEAUTIFUL women go home without talking to them; he couldn’t remember girls’ names or their entrances; and, was I the only one who was BAFFLED when he sent Victoria P. home?! He gave her SO many signs that she could be a front runner, then all of a sudden, she’s gone! Now, hindsight’s 20/20 and I think that was the right decision. (See below to have your head spun around like mine was when I saw this…)Image result for victoria p before and afterThanks to, I can’t even tell that this is HER! WHY did this sweet girl to the left feel the need to morph into a porn star-esque looking girl to the right?? Sigh…I’ll never understand.
  • After the conversation Madi had with Peter about her faith, it seemed evident that Peter was not on the same page with her spiritually. Perhaps it was how they were raised, maybe WHERE they were raised, who knows – but Peter is not in the Word every day. Does that mean two people aren’t meant to be together? No, not at all. However, two people must decide what is going to shape their relationship – the Word or the world? Madi’s whole perspective comes from the Bible and her relationship with God. It seems that Peter’s comes from his parents, his career, and what seems “fun” to him. Something that did get me excited was when he did say that he has had faith, but he wasn’t where he wanted to be. Not to endorse “missionary dating”, but it CAN happen. I didn’t expect Madi to want that, but it seemed she was definitely willing to work with him through that.
    • This is when I HOPPED ON BOARD. How beautiful would it be for Peter to have his life changed through The Bachelor by meeting this one beautiful gem of a woman?! That’s when I was hoping his faith would grow stronger & he’d want to dive deeper into knowing & understanding God. I still hope that for him. I hope that because 1) it’s the best thing I’ve ever done; and 2) if he doesn’t do this or stick up for himself quickly, his mother is going to continue to run his life. Which brings me to my next point…
  • BARB. What in God’s name is this woman thinking???!!! I know. She doesn’t! She is impulsive, manipulative, controlling, and fearful, which is why she has so much power in her family of men. People were wondering why her husband wasn’t saying anything in the finale. Well, wouldn’t you be scared if you were her husband?! I’d feel like I would have a muzzle on me at all times! Madi in NO WAY deserves to have this be her family of in-laws. We all saw her precious family on TV. Were they “too much” for some people? Sure. But you can’t argue that they’re not good parents – look at Madi! When they went around and did the “special plate” for Madi, I just lost it. What a beautiful way to lift up & encourage your kids! And THIS is why Madi & Peter would not work out. Peter doesn’t know who he is and can’t make decisions because of his mother’s INSANE influence on his life. Madi is empowered & CAN make hard, beautiful, wise decisions because her parents have helped her put her trust in the Lord above all else. It seems that Peter doesn’t have much to trust in besides his mother’s opinion, which IS WRONG AND SHOULD STOP WHEN YOU’RE THREE YEARS AWAY FROM BEING 30.

Now, Peter is left with no one and Madi is living her best celebrity life. Maybe she’ll jump on the Sadie Robertson train and become a public speaker?? Who knows what she’ll do, but I’d be SHOCKED, and honestly, confused if she continues onto Paradise or another show. My hope is that Peter can realize how manipulative his mother has been within his family & in his life. I hope he can gain the strength and the courage to stand up to her and, honestly, to go to counseling!

The hard question and controversial topic to debate is: can people of faith go on these shows? Sure they can. It’s a free country and I love to see people’s strong beliefs such as Madi’s; however, they can’t expect others to change or adopt a new lifestyle “just like that”. It was clear that love was INDEED not enough for the two of them to continue on. I’m upset with Peter in that he seemed he let his mom win this season of The Bachelor. But, I’m also upset with Madi that she seemed to compromise so many of her values for someone who wouldn’t do that in return. It will be interesting to see how this continues to play out!

And NOW, poor Clare Crawley! Her season has been paused due to the Coronavirus, which still gives us time to ruminate over this awful finale. I will end this rant (that I’m sure no one is reading by now) with one of the best memes I’ve ever seen. Thanks for reading! xoxo.

The caption reads: That’s actually Peter’s gold plated umbilical cord she’s wearing tonight #TheBachelor #TheBachelorFinale


You’re welcome. Stay safe & wash your hands!!!!!!

Summer Book Review: Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please”

Summer Book Review: Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please”

“Yes Please!”

I can think of some things I’d love to say that in response to. For example:

“Would you like to eat bread again?”

“YES PLEASE!” (More on that later…)

“Another margarita?”

“Yes please!”

“Do I need to leave you alone for an hour?”

“Yes please!”

I think Amy Poehler would say yes to all of those as well. (: However, I think she titled the book for a different reason entirely. She discusses how we as a society don’t really like to work for things. It’s “boring” to hear of how a comedian or an actor struggled SO hard for twenty years before really “making it”. We’d rather see instant fame, instant wealth, instant gratification. Sadly (and fortunately), life doesn’t work like that. Amy worked her butt off to be where she is today, so I think her title is from the fact that she, frankly, said yes to almost anything that came her way. And if you asked her, I believe she would say she’s thankful for the struggle. She would also probably brag to you about how rich she is now, which she does here & there in the book…hysterical!

I keep hearing this. In podcast interviews, books, articles…about how saying “yes” can really take you places. Now, sometimes you have to decide on your “Best Yes”, as Lysa TerKeurst says. You can’t say yes to everything, and you do need boundaries, but saying yes to things especially outside of your comfort zone can be quite rewarding and beneficial. Like this post right now, for example. I don’t know who will read it. I don’t know who it may benefit, but I’m doing it because it makes me happy, I want to write, and I love to read! So, why not? It also challenges me. So, here you go. I hope you enjoy & find things to say “Yes please” to.

I believe that Jesus, love, a good book, a fabulous outfit, & a strong cup of coffee can change the world. Sooooo, with that said, I’m kicking off this summer reading with Yes Please! I’d give it 4 1/2 stars.

Her book is divided into three parts, all with amazing titles. Each are mottos I’d love to be better at, and admire her for sharing: 1) Say whatever you want; 2) Do whatever you like; and 3) Be whoever you are. I’d love to be better at #3, especially, & my hope is that this blog will guide me along with that! I’ve done a lot of #2. While yes, it’s important to be yourself & make yourself happy, happiness can get you in a lot of trouble. I threw caution to the wind more than once and am sad to say I regret some of those times. Be wise. Be smart. Be happy, but also be discerning. Enough of the soapbox! Back to the book. (:

Funny. Sharp. Smart. Interesting. It hit every nail on the head except for (what I believe) to be a slow beginning. If you love Saturday Night Live, or simply comedy in general, you’ll love this! Amy gives top secret info about her time on the American Saturday night staple, as well as tidbits from other parts of her career. Which makes me now want to go binge watch Parks & Rec! If you’ve seen the whole series, comment below on why you love it! The way she also discusses her boys is how I hope to indulge in my own children one day. She is my spirit animal and now deemed Big Sister in the way she talks about needing her space from people. LoL. I really adore her writing – sometimes lyrical, sometimes simple – and appreciate hearing her point of view on heavy topics such as marriage, family, jobs vs. careers, and childbirth. Yes, that last one was probably my favorite. R.I.P. to her old Italian doctor who told her to “drink one or two glasses of red wine a night” while pregnant! Ha!

She has a chapter where she discusses what she may be like at 90 years old. She gives a list of “one-liners” that she may say to other people when she’s 90. I love this list. Some include: Stop complaining (and she repeats this like 5 times). “Relax and let her win. Who cares?” She also repeats “Who cares?” about 5 times. I really appreciate this advice because as women, we can be so passively and snarkily competitive. It really doesn’t matter. What are we trying to win? I love how she roots for other women. A phrase she repeats often throughout the book is “Good for her! Not for me.” I need this in my regular vocabulary. Again, we can be judgey & competitive. BUT, what if we took this approach instead? We’re not always going to like what other people (especially women) do, but why can’t we just say this instead? We can’t change people. So practice saying “Good for her! Not for me.” I think we may just change the world with that one.

I just loved her SNL chapters because I’ve always grown up fascinated with that show. I loved hearing how everything works & all of her celebrity stories. What I really admired was how Lorne, producers & directors all supported her two pregnancies and encouraged her to still participate. It was refreshing to see Hollywood support life and not spare women a role just because of our bodies being “on hold” for 9 months+.

And finally, she gives you permission to be yourself & encouragement to not take anyone’s bull. She’s got inserts of funny, true & colorful quotes in the middle of the book. One being, “If it’s not funny, you don’t have to laugh.” I’m a victim of this. I make people feel better by laughing, when in reality, I’m being dishonest to who I am. It’s okay to not laugh, and it’s more than okay to be who you are. Lastly, she says to “Make ‘No’ a complete sentence.” Who’s an expert at this?? I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE!!! I was recently at a leadership workshop, and we were practicing having important conversations. One came up where a boss asked you to do something last minute, but you already had a full plate. When practicing, I was finally great at saying No! However, I didn’t bring any solutions or “Plan B’s” to the table. Now, I’m not always saying you need to bring solutions, but I thought this was a good alternative and is something I hopefully will do in the future.

So, folks, there you have it. My first book review, & how fun & enjoyable it was! I hope you’ll go out & read it. It was definitely more educational than I thought it would be, and Amy proves she’s not just funny or cute, she’s freakin’ smart. Who thinks she should have her own talk show?! Me! (:

Enjoy, and don’t forget to make your “Yes” be “Yes please!” and your “No” be “No!”


Blissfully Engaged to Running Around like a Chicken with Its Head Cut Off

When Logan and I were first engaged, it was August of 2017. Everything was unicorns, butterflies and rainbows. Until.

All butterflies & rainbows after our engagement shoot!

I made an account on The Knot.

Inundated with outlandish deadlines, details, and what felt like death sentences on some vendors’ prices, I was immediately overwhelmed. I love to plan – I mean it! I LOVE TO PLAN! However…my job isn’t exactly one that’s 9-5. Teaching is all day, every day, sometimes 7 days a week. So, when these deadlines that The Knot set for me on my agenda page started rolling in, my mind went crazy.

This is Bodybar Pilates in Plano. They also have an Uptown Dallas location. This place saved my sanity, and it was so fun to see my body become stronger. It was so empowering! Do something for yourself throughout this process – take care of YOU!

I want to help you! So, here’s what you can do if you’re newly engaged to stop you from acting like how I did:

  1. Still make an account on The Knot – it’s VERY helpful. They tell you to do things that you may have not even heard of or thought about doing.
  2. Sit down with your soon to be hubby FIRST and YOU GUYS plan out what’s most important to you – just like my husband and I did…when he told me that all that was important to him was alcohol and toilet paper. (; In all seriousness, we prioritized the vendors that were important to us. From there, we started crossing things off the list.

    For New Year’s Eve, we took a break and went to NYC. This was our 2nd time there together and it was so therapeutic and fun. Take breaks and DATE each other!
  3. Pick your dress NOW. Like…call your friends, mother-in-law (if you want), mom, and whoever else and say “I’m going this weekend to find a dress. Whoever can come, fine! If not, it’s all good.” I waited two months to find a dress, and when I told that to people they thought I adopted like 18 kids or something. Their looks had truth behind them: your dress is THE DRESS. You can’t rush this decision. Start ASAP so that you’re not pressured to find something the weekend everyone drives/flies in to be with you in this special moment. Do I regret my dress? NO!! However, there was pressure to find something. You should’ve seen the lady’s reaction to me in front of the special family and friends that came with me at the bridal boutique when I told her this was my first time to try on a dress in OCTOBER and my wedding was IN JUNE. Her response: “Well…if it comes in on time…” [Enter scary Jaws movie music] Bottom line: start looking for a dress NOW. It’s one of the best parts, and why limit that fun to just one weekend?!

    Everything was over when that veil came on! What a magical day.
  4. Don’t stress about The Knot’s timeline. Sometimes, I was in ballpark range, and other times, I did things EXTREMELY out of order, and albeit, last minute. Aside from the painter (I wanted someone to paint us at our wedding ceremony, but couldn’t ever seem to find anyone!) and cake topper that I wanted, everything worked out! (: Do things in the order that are important to YOU.

    I spent so much time picking out our “save the dates” from Minted! It was so so fun getting pictures like these from friends!
  5. Make a Google spreadsheet. I am not a math person, but I am very visual. Getting prices out on a spreadsheet helped me SO MUCH. I could compare vendors’ pricing, and I kept us (sort of) in line when it came to the budget. (; Save EVERY receipt, even if it’s just $10 or under! Know where your money is going. I had a column for vendors names and a column for pricing. I also had sections of what my parents were paying for and sections of what Logan and I were paying for. DO THIS!
  6. Don’t always trust The Knot’s ratings. I’m SERIOUS on this one. We taste-tested a caterer who was “5 stars” in our area, and they were awkward, the food was cold, they were very unprofessional, and Logan said he would never hire a caterer who had as bad of breath as this guy did. LOL! Looking back on their reviews, it almost seemed as if their friends wrote them as a favor for them. Test, test, test is all I can say! The same goes for hair & makeup. They are expensive and cost a fortune, but I would save up for multiple trials. I picked one, and we had fun and everything, but my makeup just looked “odd” at the end of the night…and my hair didn’t stay curled. My hair ALWAYS keeps a curl – this is a petty little thing that still makes me sad when I look at photos. LOL. My hair and makeup girl also acted like we were BFFs, but then only contacted me looking for a review and pictures to share on her site – that’s the other thing: don’t feel pressured to write a 5-star review. If they didn’t blow you away, you are not required to do that. She also demanded all payments up front, even before the wedding MONTH. If I knew better, I would have said “no”. Ask all of these questions before you book someone.

    Tracy Enoch Photography
  7. Make a list of every. little. detail. that you’ll need for the big day and events before hand. Start saving NOW. There’s no need to go into debt for one day, and honestly, the details you’re freaking out about are going to be things no one will EVER remember or thank you for again! (;
  8. Just know that the guest list is going to be one of (if not the most) stressful parts of wedding planning. However. This is not your parents’ wedding. This is not The Greatest Family Reunion of All Time. This is YOUR wedding. This is your HUSBAND’s wedding. You guys pick your list of people and do. not. budge. on the number! Everything will fall in line, but you need to be firm on that. It took a lot of convincing my mother that certain people we never see needn’t attend our special night, but eventually, she saw my point…especially when those vendor bills started rolling in. (;
  9. Embrace the difficulties or little things that feel like a setback. For example, my mother and I were on our way to go cake test. Logan couldn’t even come with us! So, I was upset about that, and then secondly, when we got to the place, ALL the lights were off. No one was at the business. Enraged, frustrated, and ANGRY (after all, I’m a teacher and had SO MUCH to grade/plan/do!), I called the business over and over. I left a “crazy lady stressed out” voicemail, and wouldn’t you know it…not a minute later, the owner called me back. Y’all. This woman had SO MANY positive reviews on The Knot and in our community. I was so confused!!!! But when I heard her voice, peace came back to me. She was so. upset. Like…appauled. Apparently what happened was that she hired a new assistant. I spoke to the assistant to make my appointment; however, she didn’t communicate that with the owner. 😦 OOPS. Someone probably didn’t have a job the next day!!!!! The owner literally had NO IDEA about our appointment. So…she wanted to make it up to us. She got us in maybe(?) that same week, if not soon after. Logan was able to tag along this time…AND she gave us a 20% discount AND free delivery on the cakes (Logan had his own!). How awesome is that?! So…embrace the OOPS! moments along the way. You’ll never know what can happen out of them. And, that cake was the best damn thing I’ve ever had. They both turned out BEAUTIFULLY, and I can’t wait to show them to you!

    We obviously hated the cake at the tasting! (;

So, cheers to you! You’re going to have so much fun. Embrace every moment – even the stressful ones. I miss it! It goes by so so fast. However, ultimately: remember why you’re having a wedding in the first place: you GET to marry the love of your life. Someone loves you enough to spend every waking day with you for the rest of their life. Someone loves you enough to accept your flaws and setbacks. Someone is vowing themselves to you for the rest of their life.

Thank you to the amazing Joy Neville Photography & Films for these!

What joy!

Peace, blessings, and wedding planning bliss,


I forgot to put these on our wedding programs, but I just loved this quote! I think this was also the day we found our venue. (:

Why learnprayteach?

Special thanks to Tracy Enoch Photography for capturing our favorite day

Hellooooo! So glad you’re here. Thanks for visiting!

My name is Shelby. I’m a 26 year old newly married Dallas native who never met a cup of coffee she didn’t like or a cup of queso…

I’m a teacher by trade and profession, but a writer, reader, and creator by heart. I love to teach writing, and I also love to share it! This is a page devoted to lessons learned – from the classroom, from marriage, from faith…and, simply, life: the greatest classroom. (:

You’ll see all kinds of posts here! Faith, family, marriage, fashion, friendship, teaching – there will be something for everyone. I created this name several years ago – it came to me in college, 1) because I love to learn; 2) I believe in the power of prayer and need to do better at it each and every day; and 3) because I love to teach – and we all have something to teach each other. There’s something to learn from EVERY one, from EVERY story.

So, my prayer for you every day is to learn something, to pray something, and to teach something every day.

Let’s have some fun!

xoxo. Shelby