Now that I’m really settled into my summer, I realize that I didn’t talk much about work in my previous posts, so I’ll tell you a little bit of how that went.
All in all, my second year was infinitely better than the first. By the end of the school year, I was about wiped out from all of the happenings. I didn’t realize it until the end, but there were a handful of kids who were particularly sad about me leaving. It was equal parts touching and humbling to realize just how much of an impact I made on these students’ lives. During the last few days of school, I received an awesome gift from my students, a large W that they and many of my coworkers signed for me. It is a great memento from my years there that I’ll forever cherish.
It was tough for me to stay motivated towards the end of the year, especially when it came time for the end-of-year in-service days. I say that mostly because these meetings usually focus on planning for the upcoming year, which means very little to me at this point. I like to think I still contributed well nonetheless. My sources tell me that they’ve already hired my replacement, which is great to hear. I think it’ll be a positive change all around. Also, one of my best teacher friends from my building won both HS and district teacher of the year. She so deserved that honor!
Now that I’m done with work, I’m pretty much in full-on wedding and moving mode. In the last few weeks, I accomplished lots of small tasks on my to-do list! My wedding dress is currently being altered, which is a huge item on my to-do list. (It needs to be hemmed, which is a big task. I may have already said too much about it! Oops!) Much to my dismay, when I brought my dress home from the store initially, I found out that the shoes, which I made a special trip to the mall with Thomas’ sister (Elizabeth) to find/buy absolutely clashed with my dress. It was a little disheartening, only because I had also worked like mad to break those shoes in (which I still hadn’t fully accomplished). In good news, Gina saved the day by finding the shoes she wore for her wedding, which happened to fit me and coordinate with my dress! I was very happy only because I somewhat dreaded looking for even more shoes. Also, my original shoes can still be put to good use, which means that it wasn’t a wasted trip or purchase. Wedding programs are being printed as we speak, which is helpful! I think I’m going to be so happy with how those turn out! We’ve also settled on lots of other decisions, like our cakes and other food for the reception. I could bore you more with the details, but I won’t! Okay, one more big detail! Invitations are addressed and ready to mail! That’s a huge thing! (Now, I’m done!)
Let’s talk about something non-wedding related, if that’s alright. I’m sure you might be sick of reading about it (or not, I’m not sure). I’m a little sick of writing about it for the meantime, only because I don’t want to sound like a broken record or like that’s all I can talk about.
Oh, wait! One more wedding thing! The church ladies threw Thomas and me a beautiful wedding shower the other day! We received lots of amazing gifts and had a lovely time. I wish I could share pictures, but everyone else took pictures and never bothered to share them with me yet. (Sad face) NOW, that should be the end of wedding talk for now!
Last week, I made my first trip to Dallas since April to help celebrate Thomas’ cousin’s high school graduation. She attended the same all-girls school as Elizabeth, so the ceremony was very similar in structure to last year’s. In good news, Thomas, his mom, his grandma, and his cousin’s grandma from the other side of the family (Grandma Sasi), and I were all able to stay at his aunt and uncle’s house during the ceremony and watch the live-stream. We really enjoyed this, as there is limited seating at the ceremony, and we had free access to sit on a comfy couch and eat gads of food while watching. That truly is the way to experience graduation ceremonies! Okay, it wasn’t all perfect. At the beginning, a tradition for the school is to introduce each girl as she curtsies. Initially we weren’t able to hear the names being announced, due to some loud background music. We were glad that Thomas’ dad (Steve) was at the ceremony and that he was able to talk to the tech person who could fix the issue. That made for a much more pleasant listening experience.
As an aside, I should mention that the food at the graduation party was exceptional! Grandma Sasi (sp?), who I mentioned earlier is originally from Thailand. She LOVES to cook authentic Thai food for the family when she comes to visit. (She and her husband live in California.) I expanded my palate as I tried curry for the first time. What can I say? I’ve always been a little hesitant to try it at a restaurant because I don’t want to buy it just to not like it and have it go to waste. Although it was a little spicy (I’m a baby about spicy food), I liked it! I also tried some really delicious cashew chicken. However, neither of those dishes compared to the AMAZING egg rolls she made for us. It’s probably a good thing that Grandma Sasi made them a little smaller than what you usually see, as Thomas and I both ate an obscene amount of egg rolls. I don’t even want to think about how many the two of us ate. They were the best thing I’ve eaten in a LONG time!
After the festivities concluded, all of us adults made a celebratory trip to a local tavern to cap off the night. That was also a fun time…I think I gained a few years of life back, due to how much I laughed! It was much-needed on all accounts!
Another highlight of my last Dallas trip is that Thomas and I now are the proud owners of a Maytag washer/dryer set! We had our first major appliance purchase, and we didn’t kill each other! I’d say that was a raving success in my books! We went for a more basic model, because who wants to shell out $1,000 for just a washer, when something that is almost half the price will do the job just as well, without all the bells and whistles. (Not to mention all the technology that will be obsolete within a year or will cause the untimely demise of an otherwise useful appliance.) We’re happy with our purchase. Now, we’re waiting for Monday when they’ll be delivered to the apartment so we can use them for ourselves!
Ah, yes, the apartment! Thomas was able to pick up keys for it earlier in the week and said that it looked good. I still haven’t seen our apartment, which is about to drive me crazy. I’m beyond ready to see exactly what my new abode will look like in person, not in pictures. Moving is always a crazy time, am I right? I think it has a tendency to bring out the worst in people sometimes, just because of all the stress that accompanies the process, or at least for me it does. Moving is especially difficult for type-A control freaks (aka me) because you have to deal with a considerable amount of chaos and other variable factors. Personally, I don’t like the process of moving, but I know good will come out of it, so I’m trying my hardest to muddle through and not make anyone else’s life unbearable while I’m at it.
My bedroom is slowly becoming more empty, as my desk and my cedar chest are either in Dallas or about to be in transit for Dallas. My only other piece of furniture I’ll have to move is my bookshelf that accompanies my desk. It isn’t too obnoxiously large, so it’ll be okay to move it later! I still have LOTS of crumbs of things that will require me to figure out what I really want to do with them. I’m foreseeing lots of garbage bags or trips to donate lots of items…maybe a lot of both! I’ve gotten much better at parting ways with things that don’t suit me, but I still have lots of work to do on that front. This change has only come within the last few years, so now I’m still trying to muddle through things from my years of keeping stuff. What doesn’t help is that I try to be resourceful by thinking that I can repurpose lots of my things. We all know that that’ll rarely happen, but I try to life in the illusion that it will! (Don’t we all?) I also am heavily influenced by family members who lived through the Depression and instilled into me that nothing should be wasted. I have no issues donating things, but at the same time, I don’t want to dump off my junk there, just to have someone else throw it away or figure out what to do with it. That’s not really what donating things is about, if you ask me. It’s an endless, vicious cycle.
Oh, yes, I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on the other goings-on here at the farm! My dad is slowly gearing up for harvest this year. In the last few years, my dad has harvested significantly less wheat than he usually does. This year, we’re harvesting a whopping 17 acres. All the rest has either been used for spring grazing or for hay, mostly hay, which we’re hoping will help us along better in the wintertime. He’s also working alongside Scotty and Jeremy to restore a kegerator that they bought off of an old bar/grill so that they can have it for my wedding! When it’s done, I’ll have to post pictures of the whole process…they’ve really done a great job on it!
My nephews remain crazy and active, as always. Cody (who is officially taller than me and whose voice is definitively deepening) just finished basketball camp. Wyatt (who has all but forgotten about how he was one-armed a few months ago) also finished a basketball camp. It was his first time to attend and to play basketball. He was supposed to play this year as a 5th grader, but due to budget and scheduling restrictions, no 5th grade team was created at school. He seemed to really enjoy basketball and has high hopes for his 6th grade year. Kyle is living his dream by getting to play summer baseball! After being “the only kid at baseball camp who doesn’t play baseball” (direct quote from him last year) for the last two years, he’s finally able to play on a team. He plays on a YMCA league, which has proven to be a good fit. They don’t have insane uniforms, they play twice a week (no practices), and they’re done playing games by the middle of June. I know Emily sure is happy about all of that from a logistical standpoint! His team is undefeated so far, and last night, he scored his first-ever home run! I’m so happy for him and all his success!
The younger three haven’t done anything quite of the magnitude of their older brothers/cousins, but they’re generally the same happy-go-lucky boys they usually are. The boys are also excited that in a little over a week, they’ll get to go back to their beloved Totus Tuus at church! I personally love how excited they are about attending! It’s been great to see just how much they’ve latched on to it. I’ve found that it’s rare for kids to remember or get excited about something like this, but when they ask you in the middle of January when they’ll get to go back, or when they’re singing the songs they learned during the school year, or when they’re at church remembering things they’ve learned about the faith from the program, you know it’s a worthwhile program. I cannot recommend this program highly enough!!! If your kids (or the young people in your life) can possibly go, they definitely should! It’s SO worth it!
Everyone else in the family is generally doing well. We’re all continually doing things to get ready for the big day. It takes a village, no doubt. Today, I will load up my loyal steed (Subie) and blaze the trail southward to Dallas, yet again. I hate the drive, but knowing that Thomas is waiting for me at the end makes it better, not to mention the fact that I’ll finally get to see my new abode after having waited for almost three months!
Even in the craziness, I am abundantly blessed by all of my loved ones (related or not) who stand by me through my stress, who pick me up when I can’t keep on keeping on, who make me laugh, who pray for me, who give me hugs or affirmations when I get bogged down by life and its happenings, and who generally keep me sane and love me unconditionally. I couldn’t live this crazy life without any of them, and I’m glad I don’t have to!
Peace and love!