Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Joy of the Book Club

As Mary and I first addressed in When T-Shirts Unite, the need to belong is a powerful tool that we, as educators often neglect to recognize.  There is more than strength in numbers.  There is conversation.  There is conversion.  There is growth.  There is human connection; there is fun!  

For me, a reading is most enjoyable when I am able to share the book - and my plentiful opinions - with anyone who will listen.  My mom and I always swap books and it's usually accompanied by, "You have to read this.  Let me know when you're done."

"...and then she discovers Christian's Red Room."
The success of our school-wide reading initiatives showed us how much our students benefited from a social connection, and after seeing how much fun they had reading a book together, we teachers decided to have a summer book club - taking our dorkiness to a whole new level.  

There's something so delightful about sitting around a table discussing a book...and having smarter people explain the stuff you didn't "get." Plus, knowing that other people are counting on you is just the motivation you need to finish that horrendous novel.  Yes, even crazy reading ladies are allowed to hate books.  

We read two books together this summer (which, by the way, is the minimum for our students).  Our discussions were largely unstructured, but we each came with our own notes and comments, interpretations and opinions, and we easily filled two to three hours.  It was wonderful and incredibly enjoyable.  Conversation, conversion, and amazing food were abundant. The discussion of our first (fantastic) book brought me from appreciation to absolute awe, and that of our second (not so fantastic) salvaged my opinion from frustration on the brink of insanity all the way to tolerance.  Maybe.

We've already decided we will definitely read another book, but with the school year starting today (cue confetti), we decided to hold off on scheduling a meeting date.  Perhaps the first snow day would be convenient.

It's hard for me to put into words just how much I appreciated our summer book club.  I think one of the things that I most enjoyed was the unanticipated pleasure.  I'm sure that sounds ridiculous; I'm an English teacher, and I lead hundreds of kids in book clubs.  Seriously, shouldn't I have expected it to be fun?  I guess I don't know what I expected, but I was really and truly blindsided by how much I enjoyed the community aspect of reading.

Unlike Erin, I don't tend to read with other folks.  I may swap books with my sister or neighbors, but we don't really talk about them afterwards beyond the obligatory "Wasn't it, like, SO GOOD?!"  I do most of my reading on my own.  If I read an article I think would interest another person, I forward it along, but that's pretty much the extent of my collaborative reading. In my life, I don't generally read a book with peers with the goal of sitting and sharing ideas, processing symbolism, questioning author's purpose, and enhancing my understanding and enjoyment of complicated text.  Nope...that's not for me!  It's just the stuff I save for my 13 year old students.  *headdesk*

Participating in this book group was eye opening.  The first book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, I loved.  Midway through the book I began noticing what I thought was nontraditional allegory, but wasn't entirely sure I was "right."  Like the good dork that I am, I began marking quotations so I could support my argument, but I wasn't sure I was willing to put my ideas out to the group.  Would they think I was nuts?  Luckily, another reader made similar connections, and thus it felt safe for me to share my female holy trinity theory.  Strength in numbers!

As much as I enjoyed that first meeting, I enjoyed the discussion of our second book, The Incredible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer, more.  And it was because I didn't like the book.  Really.  At all.  I forced myself to finish it because I made a commitment to the group, but it was a struggle.  The conversation began with someone posing the question, "What did you think of Dr. Cerletti?" and I realized I hadn't thought of him at all.  The conversation progressed into other topics that I either missed or chose to ignore.  It was a very, very valuable experience for me to spend time dissecting a text I didn't like.  I can't say our conversation made me a fan of the novel, but I certainly like it more now that I did after reading it alone. 

 As a teacher, how can I not reflect on these experiences?  I send my kids home to read and take notes on an almost nightly basis.  How many of them really dislike what they are being forced to read?  How many worry about being "right?"  How many class periods go by when I, the-all-powerful-teacher, never mention the cool thing a student happened to notice whilst reading?  If I make my role smaller and their role larger, would they feel safer and more willing to share?  Would they lead each other to a deeper understanding of and greater appreciation for their reading?  I certainly hope so. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Erin and I are planning to stir up the 8th grade curriculum this year.  Teacher generated reading guides are on the way out, and small group reading communities are in.  There are still a lot (a LOT) of wrinkles to be ironed out, but we'll keep you posted. 

Mary @mzcotillo
Erin @allinoleary

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The List

There is a secret list.  We Literary Dorks all have one.  The List of Books You Should Have Read in Order to Have an Intellectual Conversation.


Rochester could totally take Darcy.  Just sayin'
For years I feigned familiarity when other literary folks made references to Heathcliff and Cathy, the madwoman in the attic, or Colin Firth making such a delicious Darcy.  It was exhausting and embarrassing, so five or six years ago I gave myself the assignment of reading all the Brit Lit classics that my high school teachers ignored and my college professors assumed I'd already read: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre.  ~sigh~  Jane Eyre.  I can honestly say without a trace of hyperbole that my life has not been the same since.  How did I live without Jane?! She's smart, strong, and passionate.  She is everything I want a heroine to be.  She is everything I want to be.      
My name is Erin.  I have an English degree and a Reading Specialist license, and I have never read Pride and Prejudice. Or Jane Eyre. Or Emma.  Yes, I know, this revelation might result in public shamingI've beaten myself up over it too.  But this summer, I'm making amends.  Two days ago, I started Pride and Prejudice.  

I made it about fifty pages in before I reached for a pencil and a stack of sticky notes.  (It's my blog.  Laugh all you want.)  Some passages made me laugh out loud; others had me picturing walls of my house decorated with Austen wisdom in beautiful script...

"I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere."
"Those who do not complain are never pitied."
"I have no pleasure in talking to undutiful children."

Thank you Ms. Austen.
It's about time I read Pride and Prejudice; I feel better about myself already.  I'm not ashamed to admit I have to read this book quite slowly.  The house has to be quiet.  Georgian-Era English sometimes feels like a foreign language; I am not used to this kind of writing.  Sometimes I even go back and re-read passages.  I make notes in the margins, look up words, and summarize events of the chapter.  But the story is fantastic and somehow, when comparing this book to contemporary fiction, I am in awe that Jane Austen has succeeded in doing far more with far fewer words than writers have at their disposal today.  

When you experience a gem like Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre, you wonder, "What else am I missing?"  Since the rest of the educated world seems to think Moby Dick is worth a gander, shouldn't I?  What about War and Peace? Ulysses?  (Yeah, yeah, I wrote a paper on Ulysses my senior year of college.  That doesn't mean I read it).  My List seems to grow and grow.  Crime and Punishment, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit, is on the list because I'm competitive.  My boyfriend has read it and quotes it, and I can't say anything in return.  And that irks me.  A lot.  He's a scientist, dammit; I'm the dork in this relationship, thank you very much.  So, to reclaim my title, I'm gonna read the bleeping book, whether I like it or not.  

See, that's the thing with The List: sometimes, you end up reading things that are, well, not so fun.  I tried Madam Bovary this summer.  It took three days and much effort to make it to Chapter Eight, and then I just sort of lost interest.  

(Okay, okay.  Since it's a confession, I'll be honest.  I was bored out of my mind and wondered if maybe I could skim ahead a little.  So I looked up a chapter-by-chapter plot summary on Sparknotes and decided my Literary Dork tiara would not be tarnished if I put aside Madame Bovary for good.)

Both Mary and I read The Hobbit for the first time this year - and that is only because we were leading a parade of middle school dwarves on a riotous romp through Tolkien.  We read it because we told them to.  And I'll let you in on a little secret: we didn't love it.  The language was beautiful, I appreciate its significance, and I understand why the story has lasted 75 years, but it just didn't do it for either of us; however, something inside us felt accomplished.  Popular culture and society at large (and every person possessing a Y chromosome) make reference to Gollum, Gandalf, and the gang.  Now we are "in."  This is something we should have read, and now we have.   

The Hobbit is officially crossed off the The List.  Soon, Pride and Prejudice will be.  I am tempted to tackle Emma next, but I fear Mary will lock me in an attic if my next conquest isn't Jane Eyre
So, dear reader, pray tell us.  What's on your List?  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

So...whatcha readin'?

I love summer.  Not just because I can sleep past 5am and eat homemade blueberry cake for breakfast and eschew stockings and makeup most days - though all of those things are truly fabulous.  No.  I love summer because I have time to read.  (Insert blissed-out sigh here.)

Oh sure, I find or make time to read during the school year, but summer is different.  Summer means the kind of reading I love to do...the kind when I disappear into the author's world for hours or days at a time. I stay in my nightgown until 10am because getting dressed means taking a break from reading. 
I eat lunch with a book open on the table next to me.   I feed my children pasta with butter because I'm too distracted to remember nutrition.  I stay up until 2am because I can't bring myself to put it down.  I dream about the characters.  I love reading of all kinds, but I really really love going all in. 

I couldn't agree more!  To give you an idea of what my summer reading looked like, here's a little story:  In July, I ventured to the fabulous Outer Banks where I spent almost every sun-lit minute sitting in the sand with my Kindle.  I'm sure there were lovely people on that trip.  I think I was related to some of them.  I know it would have been polite
Four books, seven days, one beach.
to talk a little more, to see some sights, maybe walk the beach...but this was my idea of a perfect vacation.  Uninterrupted hours knee-deep in another world.  After noticing my nerded-out bliss for the better part of the week, one twenty-something asked, "So, like how many books do you think you've read?  Like in your life, have you read a thousand?" At first I laughed at her inquiry, but she was serious.  All she had seen me do was: sit on the beach and read, sit on the plane and read, sit on the deck and read.  Didn't she understand?  This was what I had been dreaming of for weeks.  Before I had put a single item in my suitcase, I loaded my Kindle with books I had heard about - and not had the time to read - all year long.  It was heavenly.  And as much as I look forward to getting back to my students, what I miss most about summer is the time to read (and Mary's blueberry cake.)

And, perhaps more importantly, whatcha readin'? Please comment and tell us the best thing you've read this summer.
Mary's Summer Reading - so far
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
The Best Man - Kristan Higgins (don't judge me)
A Long Walk to Water - Linda Sue Park
Holes - Louis Sachar
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells - Andrew Sean Greer
The Selection and The Elite - Kiera Cass
Smile - Raina Telgemeier

Erin's Summer Reading
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
Divergent - Veronica Roth 
The Astronaut Wives Club - Lily Koppel
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
The Engagements - J. Courtney Sullivan
Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells - Andrew Sean Greer
Elsewhere - Gabrielle Zevin 

Mary & Erin
@mzcotillo @allinoleary

Thursday, August 8, 2013

When T-shirts Unite

In her world-famous tell-all Confessions of a Literary Dork, Mary mentioned that the love of literacy is not the easiest thing to put on a t-shirt.  It got me thinking.  When Mary dons her I Heart Atticus or Reading Diva shirt, the kids notice.  They talk about it and ask where they can buy their own.  (Okay, not the Reading Diva shirt.  But a surprising number of 8th graders would happily sport a Harper Lee character on their back.)  So why not put our literary love on a t-shirt?  What are the benefits of wearing our passion on our sleeves - literally?
United and well-dressed
We've all been there.  Traveling out of state, we don a Red Sox hat or Patriots jersey and voila!  Our affiliation and adoration are effortlessly communicated to others.  My boyfriend recently wore an Alabama shirt on a day trip and was happily surprised when, over the course of the day, at least three passersby smiled, waved, and called "Roll Tide!"  How cool is that?  (The same thing happens when I wear my "got Kwan?" hoodie.)   Total strangers reach out, extending a hand and maybe an opinion about the upcoming season.  A connection is made; a conversation is started.  That is the power of t-shirts.  And why should sports teams and athletes get to hog the spotlight?  We literary dorks need to flaunt our loyalties, too!

As we neared the end of our unexpected journey with The Hobbit this past spring, we decided to do just that.  Gandalf once again said yes to our brilliant idea (and request for funding) and a few weeks later, we had boxes of 100% cotton unification sitting in the office.  Our school secretary was so delighted that she called the lunch room to tell us they had arrived.  The excitement was contagious.

Our visiting author Christopher Golden commented on the "awesome shirts."
In an effort to create unity, we decided to go with our school colors.  The front of the shirt displayed the name of our school, year, and title of the book.  The back boasted a super cool dragon and an extensively debated and well-vetted quote (seriously, we could only pick ONE?!) from The Hobbit.

"I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure..."  - J.R.R. Tolkien

For our last after-school activity, we asked each of our teacher volunteers to wear the new shirt.  When the kids entered the gymnasium, we were accosted with:

"Oh man - those are so cool!"
"I want one!"
"Do we get shirts?" 

Teachers in their Tolkien tees
Since we love a surprise ending and are a wee bit dramatic, we lied through our teeth and told them no.  An hour later, they erupted in cheers when we revealed the boxes.

As I readied the gym for the Gollum Slalom (you had to be there,) Mary took over t-shirt distribution duty across the hall.   

She never told them to put them on.  They just did.  Watching nearly two hundred middle schoolers tromping back to the gym in their new shirts (quoting Tolkien!) is something we will not soon forget.     

These shirts had power.  Students and teachers were proud to wear them.  It gave the kids a chance to belong, to connect with other students, and to announce their accomplishment to the world.  After all, only participants received a shirt.  The kids must have liked them, because every day after at least a few Hobbits roamed the halls in their finest Shire attire.  If either Mary or I were drained or frustrated or just plain exhausted, all we had to do was walk into the hallway for a little inspiration.  Months later, the novelty had yet to wear off. 

We got your back.
Just this past weekend, we were engaged in a little pre-season planning at Panera when we noticed one of our favorite students walk through the door.  As we waited for her to turn around and hug her squee-ing teachers, Mary whispered, "Oh! She's wearing her Hobbit shirt." 

Mary @mzcotillo & Erin @allinoleary

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I love Kids' Week on Jeopardy.  Not only do I tend to make a lot of money (yes, I keep score) but those kids are just so darn cute.  During last week's tournament, my interest was piqued when spelling was called to the forefront.  The Final Jeopardy answer referred to the Emancipation Proclamation.  Thomas, a young man from Connecticut, spelled it "Emanciptation" and did not receive credit for a correct response.  According to my research, Jeopardy will accept a misspelled response if it does not change the pronunciation of the word.  As a Literary dork and Reading Specialist, I can tell you that Thomas' misspelling indeed changed the pronunciation. 
Spelling counts...especially on national TV.  (abcnews.com)
This child had so much to be proud of.  He had just accomplished an extraordinary feat!  One of the smartest eighth graders in the country, he did very well for himself (although let's be honest - no one had a shot against the $66,600 champ who, I'm quite sure, will run for President one day.)  But three days later, Thomas and his parents took to the media expressing their frustration and disappointment, going so far as to say he was "cheated."

Of course, many people will comment on his sore loser 'tude.  Though I agree and noticed the crossed arms and pouting face as the credits rolled, I thought of the adults in his life who didn't make the connection between this gifted, intelligent child and his spelling ability.  I felt sorry that he had to learn this lesson far too late, and with millions of people watching. 

Spelling counts.

Spelling is not the inverse of reading, as it is often described.  While some people can pick up perfect, conventional spelling from their daily reading habits - the best spellers are often avid readers - it is not always the case.  Spelling is a separate skill and most of us need to be explicitly taught - i before e except after c, change the y to i and add es, every syllable needs a vowel - and when enough people fail to recognize the importance of this skill, don't know how to teach it, or don't believe it should factor in to a "correct" response, spelling is easily devalued.

In the classroom, I have to work to get past that horrible bubble of guilt when I send a child back to fix spelling errors.  "Oh, but I know what she means..." is usually whining in the back of my head somewhere.  I tell my students spelling always counts and we either need to work to fix it or find a career where they will make enough money to hire a personal secretary.  (I've already had one student take me up on that offer, quickly doing the math in his head and hoping I'd be retired at some point.)  My students know that I correct them because I care.  I tell them we want people to notice their brilliant ideas, not their spelling.  I am also quick to admit that I am not a perfect speller; however, I appreciate the fact that it reflects on my professionalism and, when I am writing something that other people will see, I have at least one other colleague go over it.  Thankfully, Mary is right next door.

In addition to requiring correct spelling in my students' written responses, I've started snapping photos of publicly displayed spelling errors and projecting them on the board as a warm-up.  They love getting the chance to notice and correct other people's mistakes.  Once they have the chance to be "on the other side", they have a whole new air of confidence about them...and they start to focus on their spelling.

Here are a few examples I've brought to my classes:
Financial Advise (on a local morning news program)
Sharks: To Close for Comfort (same news broadcast)
Miniture candy bars (printed on a grocery store display)
Plumbing Isle (national home improvement store)
Avacado Season (national sandwich chain)
Town Mug's (local grocery store)
Testing Cite (public school)

There's growing concern that people who notice spelling errors - or heaven forbid, correct them - are overeducated, snobby, and elitist.  We don't want to correct people because it could hurt their feelings.

Well, ask Thomas.  I think it probably felt worse being corrected on national TV.  

Let us know what you think.  Should we "count" spelling when grading a written response?  Should we teach spelling or teach kids to use spell check? 


Monday, August 5, 2013

Confessions of a Literary Dork

I am a dork.  

No, it's okay.  I'm not prompting to you to disagree.  This is not the intellectual equivalent of whining "I'm so fat."   I really am a dork.  
I use whilst and cloying in informal conversation and use SAT vocab with my 6 year old son.  I have quotations from Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet tattooed on my wrist and ankle respectively.  I know how to use the word respectively.

Just another Monday night.
My dorkiness is nothing new; I was born into it.  My forestry major father took two semesters of Shakespeare for fun.  My mother quoted Macbeth while cooking soup, and our dinnertime conversation was peppered with "the lady doth protest too much, methinks."  After we had "dined to an adequate sufficiency," we'd adjourn to the living room where we listened to the Les Miserable soundtrack on cassette tape and huddled around the libretto to learn every line.

One summer when I was 13 or 14, my sister and I spent hours paddling our old family canoe around a lake, quizzing each other with quotations from The Belgariad by David Eddings.  You know...for fun.

Yeah, I've been a dork for most of my life.  But it's only been in the past 3 or 4 years that I've really started to own it.    

It's a scary thing, to publicly declare your love for something.  You risk criticism, disagreement, even condemnation.  What you love may not be conventional or acceptable or (gasp) cool.  Oh, it's okay to declare your love for football or Disney or the Republican Party.  But when you love science, or reading, or the original West End production of Martin Guerre, well...let's just say it's harder to put that kind of love on a T shirt.

In retrospect, it is quite the rack.
I remember being 14 and discovering that a boy in my class also read David Eddings.  My joy was boundless.   I'd made a connection.  Here was someone who liked what I liked, someone with whom to share a whole world!  I found out I had read farther in the series than he and practically tripped over myself to loan him the next book.  We were in Social Studies and he was sitting in the back with his buddies.  I handed him the book and stood looking at him, waiting impatiently to begin bonding over King of the Murgos, and he, conscious of all the male eyes on him, gestured to the artwork on the cover and grumbled "Who's the chick with the rack?"  I was disappointed, but part of me understood.  It wasn't cool to like a book, and I shouldn't have exposed him like that in front of his friends. 

Imagine what that must be like.  To have a love - a true burning passion for something - but not be able to share it.  The frustration and embarrassment I felt then is still with me 23 years later, but more than anything else I feel sorry for that boy.  He had an opportunity to connect with someone who loved what he loved, but he had to save face in front of his friends.   

I don't want my classroom to be a place where one feels the need to save face.  I want my classroom to be a safe haven for love.  And here's how I try to do it.  

I call myself a Literary Dork.  I have action figures of Edgar Allan Poe and Shakespeare and Jane Austen hanging in place of pride at the front of the room.  I recite soliloquies in class every time we hit Vocab Lesson 2 Exercise B.  I sing show tunes and quote Robert Frost and sigh dramatically whilst recounting my unrequited love for Edward Fairfax Rochester.  I confess in hushed tones that I have a crush on Atticus Finch.  

And you know what?  They eat it up.  They encourage me.  They proudly bring me references to literature they've found in pop culture ("Ms. Cotillo!  Last night on iCarly there was  Saint Bernard named Buck!"). Because of my over-the-top behavior, my students know they can be excited about books and music and poetry.  But the love bubble isn't literacy exclusive.  Girls talk about boys; boys talk about cell phone specs.  We talk fantasy football and travel soccer and history day projects.  In my room, it's okay to be excited about the things that make you happy.  It's okay to let that passion connect you to others.  It's good to be a dork. 
See.  It's official. 


Thursday, August 1, 2013


TO OVERWHELM: to overpower, to overcome by superior force, to ignite, to empower, to engage.

We were seated next to each other at a round table in the Assistant Principal’s office. We’d recently aired a promotional video, and the unscripted sound effects of one 7th grade boy amused us so much we used it to punctuate humorous moments in the film.   Word had gotten around that said boy was getting flack from his friends, and we’d been called in to “fix” the problem.  Up until now, our entire experience had been filled with warm fuzzy feelings, weepy hugs, cheering kids, and once-in-a-lifetime teaching moments.  This was our first whiff of negativity and we were wrought with concern. 

“Do you want us to cut it?  Do you want me to re-record you?”

“What did those kids say?  Who was it?  Let’s get them down here!  Seriously, you are the star of that video, man.”

“The teachers are already fighting over who gets you next year!  We are so sorry this happened…” 

 When the dust settled and we took time to listen (silence is not one of our practiced virtues), middle school drama proved to be just that.  Our young literacy leader loved the video exactly as it was; in fact, he suggested we post it to YouTube saying, “It’ll totally go viral!”

After our young man left, we were left staring at our administrator.  And then it happened. 

“Do you two have any idea how overwhelming you are?”

With the intention of putting us in our place, our assistant principal had effectively christened us with our new identity. 

Me? Overwhelming?
 We are overwhelming.  Overwhelmingly excited, overwhelmingly passionate, overwhelmingly talented, overwhelmingly successful. 

We couldn’t have come up with a better moniker if we tried.

Mary and I are literacy soulmates.  Although different paths led us to our present teaching positions - an Elementary classroom for me, the publishing world for her - we both landed at Horace Mann Middle School in the fall of 2010.  We had such similar personalities and professional ideologies that we found ourselves brainstorming without even thinking about it.  We could (and would) spend hours talking about kids and teaching.  Not only did she encourage my crazy ideas, she had most likely thought the very same thing.  We are each other’s biggest fans.  We finish each other’s sentences, love and hate the same books, appreciate a well-placed semi-colon, understand the importance of fashion when teaching a novel, and both thought being called “overwhelming” was a huge compliment.

Cornucopia Relay Race - our take on a "book club."
Our journey of school-wide reading adventures started serendipitously. We were both at an 8th grade ELA department meeting where the conversation was meandering and the agenda loose at best. 

“So, Shawn (our Gandalf, aka Principal) mentioned that he thought it would be cool to have the whole school talking about one book.  What do you guys think about taking on a book club?”

“Half of my kids did their Summer Reading book talks on The Hunger Games.  It’s popular.  And there’s a movie coming out…”

“Hey, you don’t think he’d let us do a field trip to the movie, do you?”

OMG, Peeta so dreamy.
Turns out he would, and the weeks that followed were filled with marathon planning sessions, feather boas, reapings, kids reading in the cafeteria, and “Peeta or Gale?” posters plastering the hallways.  Letting passion and ridiculousness be our guides, we threw together a massive (and, dare I say, overwhelming) school-wide reading initiative that included taking half of our student body - 221 students - to The Hunger Games movie on a perfect Monday in March of 2012.

The movie was followed by full-contact trivia competitions, talent shows, cornucopia relay races and scavenger hunts.  Along the way there were costumes, district theme songs, and a whole lot of kids crossing social boundaries and having fun together.  They let us know that this worked.  It worked well.  And it just felt right.

When the year ended and we had a chance to catch our collective breath, we marveled at what we’d helped unfold.  We thought we’d caught lightning in a bottle – the perfect book at the perfect time.  But what we’d found was so much more.

Middle Earth Runs on Dunkin
We found passion.  We found purpose. We found our calling, and we found each other. We are the crazy reading ladies.

Now with two successful adventures behind us (we followed a certain hobbit on an unexpected journey in 2013), we are more than ready to go all in for 2014.

We are honored you’ve decided to come along for the ride.

And we promise to be as overwhelming as possible.    

Erin & Mary

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