Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer 2013

I made it.

There were many times I thought I would never make it to June, but after my first semester of teaching, I can proudly say I not only survived, but I finished out the semester strong. My first semester at my "big girl job" deserves a post of its own, so for now I thought I'd talk about the thing I have been waiting for since spring break: SUMMER!

We all look forward to it; it's a time to slow down a little and enjoy the simple things in life. Of course, here in Texas we have to slow down because we'd all die of heat stroke if we moved too quickly. For me, though, I have been looking forward to the next few months because I can finally tackle some projects that have been on the back-burner for the past ten months.

If you remember, I started student teaching last August, which left me more exhausted than I have ever been. I know, I know- we all feel like there are times when we are burnt out and completely exhausted, but there is something to be said for student teaching, and I think most teachers would agree. For one, you start a brand-new job that is at least 40 hours a week, but I think it's safe to say most work more like 50 hours a week. Plus, it's not a desk job where you sit all day, but you are literally on your feet all day except during your conference period (unless you are running all over the school doing errands and making copies) and during lunch. My feet have never hurt so bad before in my life (but thankfully they got broken in and don't bother me much these days). On top of beginning a new pseudo-career, my sister-in-law was getting married in December so we spent a lot of time helping her get ready for that and getting our house ready for her bridal shower and hosting family for Christmas. Oh, and I was still taking two online classes for my university, so there was all of that.

Then I got hired to teach full time after graduation. I was extremely overwhelmed with all the new responsibilities (I mean, I was in charge of and responsible for the safety and academic progress of 120 teenagers throughout the course of the day, and I feel like I am barely out of teenager-hood myself!), so I was up at 4 a.m, at school by 5:15 a.m, and not home until after 6 p.m. for the first few months. It was really hard not seeing sunlight at all except through the window in my classroom. I was working so much because, obviously, I was brand new and had never done any of this so far, so I had to start from scratch whereas other teachers with experience usually have materials and lessons they have used before and can fall back on. I will be there in a few years, but not just yet. In addition, part of my new job is being the debate teacher and coach, so I stayed after school with the kids who wanted to practice. This also meant that on Fridays I taught half a day, left school with the debate kids and traveled to tournaments and didn't get home until midnight, only to get back on the bus at 6:30 a.m. on Saturdays and not get home until 7 p.m.

While this may feel like a bit of a pity party, it truly is not. I thank God every day for giving me this job when I know so many are jobless. It is a hard schedule, but in the end I will be a much better teacher (and person in general). My kids, for the most part, are wonderful young adults and I am so proud to see the progress they make both in and outside the classroom. This illustration of my life for the past several months is to emphasize the fact that, by and large, I have not had the time nor energy to tackle many of the things on my to-do list. Which is why it all got saved up for a big Summer 2013 to-do list:

In no particular order... just the way it came to my brain
A short explanation of each:
1. I have the fabric. I have a brand new sewing machine. I just need to do it.
2. Almost all of our cloth napkins are going on three-years old; we need some new ones
3. We've been putting this off, even though it will be one of the easier rooms in the house to paint because I really want to do board and batten. However, Will and I decided that project isn't on the forecast any time soon so it would be worth going ahead and painting the last room in the house to be touched.
4. I know, I know. After I waxed and waned how much I love bright and fun colors, I decided I wanted to paint it grey to match the rest of the house. Though I still LOVE the green, it has been extremely difficult to decorate. Pretty much black and white accessories are the only thing that work with it, and we are trying to move away from a bit from that (I know, again, after all this). I look forward to a more neutral pain that will allow me to have a bit more fun with accessories.
5. We recently painted the two hallways to match the living room, but I painted the long hallway at night which made for some spots that need a little more coverage, and Will painted the short hallway by our bedroom, which basically means that there are a lot of touch-up spots :)
6. Like any home with some years under her belt, our baseboards could use some touch ups. The ceilings need it due to one husband who is not quite as careful as his wife when painting without tape :)
7. This room is small but (kind of) functional. I have dreams of adding a counter over the washer and dryer, adding shelves that are lower (and therefore, short-person-friendly), and removing the existing cabinetry. All of this may not be in the budget for this summer, but I think I can at least make it a little more cute with little money.
8. I can't wait to show you all the progress we've made on the back porch, but it's not quite done yet!
9. This goes with number 8- I want a place for gardening supplies as well as a place to put drinks/grilling stuff.
10. Yeah, this stuff is pretty nasty despite frequent mopping sessions
11. We added new curtains to the bedroom when we repainted, but I want to line them to make them more light-blocking because this girl is a crummy sleeper and light seeping in from the neighbors' porch lights does not make me happy
12. I haven't read something for pleasure in a while- I have already started And the Mountains Echoed by my favorite author.
13. This one and numbers 14 and 15 all go with number 12- I want to go to the local library to get my four books, which will likely be read at the beach or the pool.
16. I have a few no-fail vegetarian dishes that I love, but it's time to up my repertoire and find some more.
17. Will and I started CrossFit in February and we LOVE it, but I want to add some running in the mix to aid with goal number 21...
18. I saw my family at my graduation in December and few two days in May for a friend's graduation, but I deeply miss them. We're trying to work out a few days for them to come down to visit since they haven't been here in over a year.
19. I am thinking of a particular area that has some fantastic stores like West Elm, Restoration Hardware, and the Container Store.
20. This shouldn't be too hard if I actually get going on my list
21. Since we started CrossFit in February, I've lost ten pounds. It's certainly not a huge number, but it's made a big difference in my energy levels and self-confidence. However, I've hit a stall the past few weeks and while I haven't gained anything back, I haven't made any progress. Ideally I'd like to get back to the weight I was when we got married, so I need to amp up my clean eating and throw in some additional running to keep things burning this summer.
22. Woop- I've done this the past two days so I can cross it off my list!
23. I know- but it's a guilty pleasure

It's kind of a lot, but at the same time it's not. I also plan on having lots of relaxation time as well. It is the summer, after all.


  1. Your to-do list is shorter than mine, yet so much more ambitious. Can we do #12-17 and #19 together?

    1. Um, YES. Although, I think I should probably get started soon if I'm going to get all of this done :)

  2. I love a good to do list! It really helps you accomplish your goals. I love the idea of sewing napkins, I never thought about that but love the idea! hope all is well.

    love from NYC,

    Shop Gold Chain Bracelets!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Taylor. The ones I previously sewed were from fat quarters when they were on sale. I just folded them in half and sewed around the edges. They've held up pretty well until recently, and I did that about three years ago. It's fun to use all the crazy colors and patterns you'd never use for anything else. Cheers!


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