Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let Us Pause in Life's Pleasures - 2009 Part 2

After a quick stop-over in Wichita to drop off my dog, I hit the road again in July headed towards Colorado. Anna and I decided to have a fun vacation together, and her cousin's wedding in California was just such an occasion. I drove out to Colorado Springs, spent a day there, and then flew out to LA where we enjoyed a long weekend of wedding-ing and beaching.

August was a whirlwind with school starting again. School started on the 17th, and I had a true blessing of looping with my students, moving up from 2nd to 3rd with the same bunch of kids. This made the beginning of the year much easier, but unfortunately didn't take away any of the stress of putting together a new classroom! It will definitely be hard to see this group of kids go at the end of this year, we have definitely bonded after our two years together.

In September I met my Gramsy, Christi and Mom in Des Moines Iowa for a grandma/sister/daughter/mom dress shopping trip. I think I tried on about 50 dresses and still ended up buying one online! It was a lot of fun to be able to spend some fun girl time together, and begin getting excited for the wedding.

October was a busy month with a trip to Wisconsin for Zach and Janlee's wedding. Their wedding weekend was so much fun, full of joy, excitement, preparation, anticipation and completed with a beautiful ceremony and dancing the night away! October also brought the first pumpkin carving experience of my life with James.

November I went out to Colorado again for a visit to Anna for Thanksgiving. I got to go to the Dale House and experience a Dale House thanksgiving. Anna and I thankfully avoided the food poisoning that many of the other guests got. We spent the weekend relaxing at a beautiful home that Anna was house sitting at, sitting in the hot tub having good conversations with wine. I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am to have such amazing friends, both near and far.

December was a full, jam-packed month, although after writing this post I'm beginning to see that many of my months are this way! I finished up my Urban Teaching Certificate through Hamline University in St. Paul, celebrated Vanessa's birthday over pancakes and painting, went home for a blessed and relaxing Christmas, and came back to Wichita just in time to celebrate New Years with Vanessa, Grant, James, Christi and Tim. It was a wonderful way to end a great year.

As I look towards 2010 I cannot begin to imagine the new and exciting things that God has in store for me. I cannot wait to see what adventures I will have, where the year will take me, and the ways in which I will grow. Hang on, the ride just keeps getting better!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

2009 - A Year in Review

Inspired by Vanessa I've decided to do a review of 2009, and looking back I have had a lot of fun adventures and changes this year.

In January I moved in with the Mankins; Grant, Vanessa, Dakota and Nora. I'm not sure if I can put into words how much living with them has meant to me, and how much I enjoy having a family here in Kansas. I think this quote best sums it up.

"The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don't. But, in the end, they're the people you always come home to. Sometimes it's the family you're born into and sometimes it's the one you make for yourself."

Besides sharing life with one another, Grant and Vanessa have taught me many important life skills like how to wash a cat, make a mean chicken fried steak and what beer goes with what meal. Thanks guys!

February brought a slight emotional breakdown when Truman, my adopted dog, decided to sample some of Nora the cat's litter. He was very sick for about a week, which ended in a $551.55 vet bill and Grant and I forcing fluids down his throat with a turkey baster.

I celebrated Valentine's Day at the Loop in Colorado Springs with my bestie, Anna. We had margaritas the size of our heads and we enjoyed lots of laughter while being the only people in the restaurant not on a date. What a blessing it has been to live close enough to drive to see her on the occasional long weekend.

March brought about another trip to Colorado when I went out to spend my spring break with another one of my closest friends, my sister! She and I had the same spring break, and so we met at Anna's in Colorado Springs and spent a week traveling through the state. Boulder, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Pike's Peak, Breckenridge to see Janlee (our now sister-in-law) and back to Colorado Springs. I did this all with a hood that was completely squashed in on my car, since Vanessa had accidentally backed into my car the day before I left.

April was the beginning of the end of my school year, and my time in 2nd grade. I was offered an opprotunity to move up to 3rd grade, which I took, glad for a new challenge and some change. Jenna also came to visit for Easter weekend, which began what has seemed like an endless stream of people staying at our house, which we've enjoyed.

May, I turned the big 25, wrapped up a school year and began a blessed time of summer vacation! I had Anna here for my 25th, and I enjoyed the simple pleasure of good friends and a fun night.

I went home towards the middle of June to see my family and send my parents off to Europe for 5 weeks. Before they left I dragged them all to a Twins game.