When she’s not teaching her first-grade students in the Frisco Independent School District, Brittani Estes is providing her community with sweet treats through her bakery, Brittani’s Home Baked. She and her husband, Ryan, a middle school teacher with McKinney ISD, live in McKinney with their two children—Isabella, 8, and Heath, 7—and their Yorkie, Charlie.
5:30AM My first alarm goes off. I turn it off but don’t get out of bed. I like falling back to sleep knowing I have five more minutes. It happens this way every morning.
5:35AM My second alarm goes off. I hit snooze two more times because it still feels like the middle of the night. I lie in bed and wonder why elementary school starts so early. A 9am start sounds heavenly right now.
5:45AM I finally get up, turn off the house alarm and let Charlie out in the backyard. He immediately barks at an invisible “prowler,” so I open the door and call him back in, praying the neighbors didn’t hear him.
6AM “Alexa, what’s for lunch at school?” Yep, the kids are not fans of pizza day. I quickly pack soup for Isabella and a turkey sandwich for Heath. I fly through my morning routine—pack lunches, grab snacks, wake up the kids, get them ready, feed the dog—while somehow squeezing in time to dress myself for school.
6:55AM Wake up Ryan to tell him that I don’t have time to make coffee and ask him if he can pretty please start a pot. I stand bedside for a second longer than necessary just to marvel at the fact that he slept through the chaos of the morning, but don’t say anything because I love that he makes my cup of coffee every morning.
7AM I congratulate myself on getting all three of us out the door on time. On the drive to school, I pull out some old college CDs I found recently, and we sing along to Marc Broussard. I forgot how much I loved his music.
7:15AM My class will be here in five minutes—barely any time to prep, but good thing I got most of it ready last night. I only need to make a few copies. Of course there’s a line at the copier. It’s a popular place at 7:15am on a Tuesday.
7:20AM The bell rings and kids come down the hall. Copies will have to wait. I kiss Isabella and remind her to have fun. She’s only a third-grader but is so hard on herself. She smiles and walks to the other end of the school. I give Heath a hug and shoo him on his way—we see each other often. In fact, sometimes he sneaks back in my classroom several times before the tardy bell rings. Not today though. We’re all situated within a few minutes.
10:15AM Class happens without an issue, and soon enough it’s time for recess. I help 21 six- and seven-year-olds button and zip 21 jackets and finally get them outside. I now have 20 minutes to shove down my lunch (yes, lunch at 10:15am), reply to some emails and make those copies I didn’t get to this morning.
10:42AM Still haven’t made those copies, but I have three minutes and can surely get them done in three minutes, right? I walk to the copy machine and flashing lights mock me—paper jam. For the love! I have zero time to walk to the other side of the school to use that copier so it will have to wait, again.
11:35AM It’s time for my class to go to music. I’ll finally get to those copies and return the call to Heath’s gastrointestinal doctor about his tummy issues. I sit down to make my phone call and then remember it’s Tuesday. On Tuesdays, my team plans math curriculum. There won’t be time to make that call or the copies.
3:15PM There are about a million things to do to prepare for tomorrow. I’m already pretty much sleepwalking, but I clean up the classroom, set out tomorrow’s materials and reply to parent emails.
4PM I look up from my email and tell my own kids that it’s almost time to go home. That’s when I realize that Isabella and Heath have been too quiet and there’s now another mess to clean up. I can’t leave it—an untidy classroom really drives me crazy.
5PM Check the clock and give a silent cheer that Ryan’s basketball practice is almost over and he should be home soon. I should start dinner—the kids are already hungry.
6PM I call Ryan to see if he’s almost home. He doesn’t answer. I remember that he has a basketball game. This was the game the kids and I were going to try and make. How did I forget this?
6:10PM “Kids! What do you want to grab for dinner on the way to Daddy’s game?” Some days we eat dinner together at the kitchen table, some days we do drive-thru. That’s life.
6:30PM Make it to Ryan’s game just in time to see their star player dunk a shot. This normally doesn’t happen in middle school, but we’ve heard all about this seventh-grade all-star.
8:45PM Both kids have showered and are tucked in for the night. I sigh.
8:58PM The house now smells of sugar and flour. There’s nothing like pulling the pans out of the oven and knowing your customers are going to savor every bite. Ever since I can remember baking has been my hobby and I love that I get to share these breads with others.
9:45PM I shower quickly because Ryan will be home soon and we’re in the middle of a Poldark marathon. We became obsessed after a few episodes and now stay up until the wee hours of the morning rooting for Ross and Demelza.
10:52PM Still snuggled up on the couch, Ryan and I decide we can probably stay awake for one more episode…