Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's Been A Year

It’s been a year.

It’s been a year since I’ve seen your beautiful, peaceful face.
It’s been a year since I’ve heard your voice.
It’s been a year since I’ve held your hand to assure you that everything will be okay.
It’s been a year since I’ve been able to tell you about my life.
It’s been a year since you left us.

So much has happened.
I know you’ve seen it, but even so.
I graduated. I know that you would have cried happy tears seeing me fulfill that goal!
I started teaching. I wish I could tell you all about it. You always thought I’d be a great teacher!
Thomas got to live in your house. He really appreciated how you managed to take care of him this summer.
Uncle Joe and Aunt Carol died. I’m sure you know why they had to leave us, but it hurt a lot. I’m sure you were happy to see them again…they both loved you so much!
We had our first set of holidays without you. It was almost as tough as I thought it’d be, but we made it.
Thomas asked me to marry him! I hated that I couldn’t tell you about it in person and see your face light up. I know you really loved Thomas. He loves you, too, you know.
I was in a terrible wreck. I don’t know how, but I made it out unscathed. I have a hunch you called in some heavenly favors to get me out. You always do. Thank you!
The boys have all grown another year older. They still ask and talk about you. They miss you, I’m certain.
My sisters and cousins are doing amazing things. I’m so proud of them…I bet you’re even more proud! You taught us well.
People at church still talk about you and how amazing you were. They miss your joyful presence.
Everyone misses you.
Your birthday came and went, but not without us remembering. March 18 will never be just another day on the calendar. It was a tough day, but we made it through. We always manage to. You wouldn’t want us to be sad, anyway.
I’m trying to keep moving forward. I’m trying not to be sad. We all are. It’s been tough for me, I’ll admit.
We’re all living in a new normal, if you can call it that.
I love you so much. I miss you too.

It sure has been a year, huh?

I wonder what I’ve missed with you since we last talked…
I wonder how everyone else is. Did you find your parents, siblings, and Grandpa Rudy alright?
How about Michelle and Keith?
What is it like there? What is the best thing you’ve seen? What is God like?
I’m kind of jealous of you, really.  
If you think about it, say a little prayer for all of us now and then…your prayers were always the best!

I love you, Mimi!
Until next time,

Amanda

Monday, March 7, 2016

Early Spring Happenings

(Trying to be better about posting, here we go!)

I realized in my last post, I raved about my new car, but I neglected to post a picture. Sad day. Here she is, in all her glory!

(Yes, my car is a girl, and her name is Subi.) I really love this car! I'm finally adjusting to all of its features and operations! Three things I love about my car:
-Heated seats. Since my wreck, my back tends to be angry with me at the end of a day of standing and teaching. Turning on my seat warmer all the way home is the perfect way to ease my back! Also, it makes cold mornings a little nicer!
-XM radio. Although I still find myself listening to local radio stations (for the update on local happenings/weather, mostly), I love having commercial-free music of all sorts to fill my trips. My current favorite stations are Pop2K (Channel 010) and The Bridge (032). Pop2K is full of the songs I loved in elementary/high school that are apparently now considered throwbacks. The Bridge is full of easy listening, singer/songwriter tunes from the 70s. I really love that genre thanks to my parents!
-The moon/sunroof. In the mornings, I enjoy opening the moonroof to let in more natural light. I rarely open the sunroof only because it'll tank my mileage, but on occasion, it hits the spot.

Wedding planning has continued. Thomas and I decided that now is the perfect time to devote to the little things. One thing we did, at the suggestion of a lady from church, was draft the wedding programs. Somehow, when my sister Gina was married, the programs weren't completed until the night before the wedding. I say night pretty loosely there, as my mom and Gina's friend Robyn stayed up until 3 AM or so printing the silly things. We spent the whole morning at the hair salon tying ribbons onto them. Since then, my mom has repeatedly told me that she wants to avoid this at all costs! The idea is that once things are concretely finalized, say a few months out, we can print them far in advance! We've gathered some inspiration for reception centerpieces, also. Pinterest has been equal parts handy and overwhelming. There is so much inspiration there, but sometimes, it's almost more than I need.

We're starting to look at photographers. That has proven to be a bit of a chore. Most wedding photographers we've talked to charge anywhere from $1000 to $3700. We've had a bit of sticker shock, honestly. Granted, most of these packages include engagement/pre-bridal pictures and up to 10 hours of wedding day coverage, but still! I know, you don't want to be cheap with photographers, but still, you have to draw the line somewhere, right? So many people do photography these days, and I want to find someone who is reasonably priced, but who is well-established enough that I could trust them with all of my wedding pictures so that they don't just look like random snapshots. So the saga continues...

One other notable item is that Thomas and I have decided to hold off on a honeymoon. Since we'll have to take care of getting me moved to wherever it is that Thomas is located at that point, we decided that it wouldn't be in anyone's best interest to immediately leave on an extended vacation. Thomas will need to preserve what vacation time he'll have, and I probably wouldn't relax knowing that I still need to move and get settled. Thus, we're waiting, and I'm okay with that.

On another note, teaching has been alright. Students (and teachers if we're perfectly honest) have been catching spring fever. We have a four-day week this week, complete with parent conferences on Thursday night. It'll be difficult to keep everyone somewhat reined in, I'm sure. Also, we have nine weeks testing to do. In my Geometry class, in lieu of a formal test, I'll have them make tessellation posters. I'm hoping that this will go mostly smoothly and that I won't regret this decision! Here's hoping! I'm VERY ready for a 10-day vacation!

So far, my spring break plans include an eye doctor's appointment and a trip to Dallas. (Guess which one I'm more excited about!) I'm ready to get to see Thomas's family once more since I haven't seen them since December! (We've talked, but sporadically at best.) Ideally, I'll also be able to plan up my upcoming lessons and help my mom tackle some cleaning projects. Here's hoping!!!

Saturday was Thomas's birthday! I spent the day with him off on adventures. The biggest thing we did was have a picnic at Boomer Lake. We had a blast enjoying the beautiful pre-spring weather. Last night, a bunch of our St. John's friends joined us for dinner at El Vaquero! All in all, I think Thomas had a great day!! So glad to see him through another year of life :)

Last week, I headed to my polling place bright and early (7:15 AM) and I was the second person to vote at my tiny precinct. I loved getting to display my "I voted" sticker all day to my students and remind them of the importance of fulfilling their civic duty! One of my colleagues, a social studies teacher, organized getting one of her classes of seniors registered to vote and actually walked them over to their polling place so they could cast their first votes! I thought it was absolutely awesome! Although the candidate I chose didn't win Oklahoma's primary, I was by no means disappointed in our state's outcome. Let's just pray that something will somehow stop this madness that has taken over the presidential campaign.

Speaking of civic duties, I received my very first jury duty summons. Currently, it's the informal notification stating that I'm in the current pool of prospective jurors and that I won't need to report unless otherwise instructed. I'm equal parts excited and annoyed. I'm excited because I think it would be a cool experience to be a part of a trial and get to better understand this process. I'm kind of annoyed though, because I worry that I'll get called out in the midst of a trip or some big thing at work. We'll see what happens.

My last tidbit of information is regarding my nephews. Cody is now an official Boy Scout! He crossed over on Monday night and has now completed his first camp out sans parents. He was pumped beyond words, while I think Scotty and Emily were a bit tentative. He's growing up! Also, Cole is still obsessed with Thomas. In the past week, he has repeatedly asked about the whereabouts of his "best pal Thomas". I'm not really sure why it is that Cole has attached himself to Thomas like this, but it's still really neat to see. Thomas is, of course, eating this up and loves that he and Cole share this bond.

Okay, other things now beckon, so I'll stop here! TTFN!