Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas Break Relaxation

Hello all! It turns out that even when I do have "more time", I still don't have as much time as I think I do...oops! I feel like this busy-ness is just the beginning, and I only have more of this to anticipate in my future! I have a few spare moments, so I let you know what adventures I've been up to over Christmas break!

Lately I feel like I've been experiencing a few unexpected costs due to my things needing to be replaced or updated. First it was my laptop, then, a mere day into Christmas break, my cell phone screen died. In all fairness, my phone was 4.5-ish years old, which is probably archaic in the world of technology, but was still serving me just fine. Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of my very first (yes, you read that correctly) smartphone! The first day or so was a bit overwhelming, just because I wasn't used to having a fancy phone, but I've since adjusted and am generally loving it! I fear that unexpected costs will be a trend for the rest of my life...remind me why I wanted to be a "grown-up" again? ;)

Knowing that I'll have to hit the ground running this semester, I've consciously decided to spend more of this Christmas break relaxing so that I'm not so amped up when I go back to student teach. On the whole, it has worked well for me! It's nice not having to worry about homework, writing math proofs (Yuck.), or anything school-related! I've loved having most of my days without much of an agenda; it is quite refreshing after I practically ran myself ragged last semester!!! I've been able to spend time with family and friends, which I really appreciate! Yes, this is the life!

In the midst of this relaxation, I realized that Christmas was sneaking up on me much sooner than I expected and that I needed to get going on shopping and other preparations. Thankfully, the adults in my family played Dirty Santa for our gift exchange, which helped me to streamline gift buying by only really having to focus on gifts for my nephews and one gift for the game! It was a nice change of pace, in my opinion. As far as our Christmas celebrations go, we kept things pretty simple this year. Of course, we had Mass at 7 PM on Christmas Eve. Sadly, Mimi's back was hurting her this year, so we didn't get to have our traditional Christmas Eve celebration with her...sad day :( After Mass, Mom and I scrambled to start finish wrapping presents before everyone came over the next morning! We had a nice brunch with everyone...there was something about the simplicity of it that was quite nice! After Gina and Emily left to visit their in-laws, Mom, Dad, and I went over to visit Mimi, which really brightened everyone's day!

In case you're wondering, Mimi is doing alright, although it is becoming more and more apparent that she is almost 97. She still stays at home by herself, but my mom and her siblings stop in more frequently to ensure that her medicine is set out, that she has food that is easily accessible/ample groceries, and to drive her to doctor's appointments/church/out and about. Yes, Mimi decided that she doesn't want to drive anymore, and it was probably best that that decision came from her instead of Mom and my aunts & uncle having to force her into it. She is still in good spirits and loves having people come visit, but she has definitely slowed down considerably, as could probably be expected. She had a couple of short stints in the hospital over the past couple of months, just because she was experiencing stroke symptoms and everyone wanted to make sure she was fine. (She was, actually, but better safe than sorry!) Currently, Mimi is experiencing some back problems, which we feared may have been a compression fracture, but she has been reporting less pain in recent days, so we just take it as it comes. Last Sunday, Mom and her siblings, plus their spouses, all went over and had a nice lunch with Mimi, just the nine of them. I think it did wonders in helping her feel better!

Believe it or not, I start student teaching on Monday. Yikes, that's scary!! I don't really want to think about it, but I know I need to, or at least get a really good look at the material we'll be covering on Monday morning. This is going to be quite interesting for me...just weeks after feeling like I'm fully capable of doing anything and just really being ready to be done with traditional classes, I now feel like the little kid who's afraid to go to kindergarten. I suppose we weren't made to feel comfortable at all times, and we learn the most from these situations. Either way, I'm nervous and would appreciate any and all prayers you could muster for me and my fellow student teachers this semester!!!!!

Last, but most definitely not least, is Thomas! I'll be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to spending a month apart from him...okay, I'm still not a fan of being away from him, but hear me out...if we're being perfectly honest, it hasn't been quite as bad as I thought it might be. Believe it or not, we've actually become closer in this time apart than we might have had we spent the whole first month of our relationship together. It seems crazy to say this, but I'm starting to believe it. You see, we talk on the phone pretty much every night for hours on end, probably much to our families' chagrin, just about our days, our plans for the next day, and really just our lives in general. We've had lots of AMAZING conversations, and it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful of a person he is and how lucky I am to get to share my life with him! I have never experienced anything remotely close to this in any relationship, and I'm so glad that I held out for him! He values time with me, whether it be in person or over the phone, he pursues my heart, he keeps me accountable and helps me to be a better person in general, and most of all, he genuinely just cares about me as a person. As my loyal readers know, I've been all over the place on relationships in the past, especially as of late, but this is hands-down the best relationship I've ever been in...no one even comes close to comparing to Thomas! I am so incredibly, infinitely, undeservingly, amazingly blessed! Honestly, I think that all couples should have to spend some time apart where they have to make a conscious effort to make the relationship work...it really is a make or break situation! We've both become even better at communicating with each other, by which I mean that we don't just assume that since we're talking to each other, we're communicating. We ask questions, we listen, we keep each other in the loop of what's happening on our respective ends, and, more than anything, we're honest with each other. It's quite refreshing, to say the least! With all of that being said, I am patiently awaiting next Saturday when we will be reunited after spending a month apart!!! As great as our phone conversations have been, I still can't wait to see him face-to-face! :) I could keep gushing, but I'll spare you the rest of my mushy ramblings!

Soon enough, I'll get around to posting about some high points of 2014 and some goals for 2015, but not right now. I hope everyone is having a great 2015 so far!!!