Sunday, April 18, 2010

Catching Up....

Well, it's been a long time since I've posted and a lot has happened in that time. You know all those pretty, crafty decorations from my last post? Yeah, those are all in boxes in a storage unit in Texas. More details to come on that later in the post....
Here's a brief summary of what is currently happening in my life:

1. I'm finishing up the last 5 weeks of my first year as a teacher. What a wonderful year it has been! I couldn't have asked for a better first-year experience. My class is amazing and I've gotten so attached to my students. I teach a K-5 special education class for students with severe cognitive/physical disabilities. I have 7 wonderful, talented, and smart students. Yes, there have been days when I have asked myself "what exactly am I doing?". But overall, I love my job. The year has flown by at lightening-fast speed. While I'm anxious to have my first year under my belt, I hate to think about the fact that I will be leaving these kids who have become part of my life. Because of the nature of their disabilities and the amount of care they require, my students seem like my own children. I think about them at night (and sometimes even dream about them). I think about them over the weekend. I worry about them when they're sick. I've been to the hospital to visit them. I know I'm going to have separation anxiety come May 25th!

2. I'm in the process of moving to Texas. As most of you know, Chris and I have been caring for his great-grandmother since we got married (she's been living with him for longer). Due to her rapid decline from dementia and the immense about of care she required, Chris and I decided to move to Texas to have his family help with her care. It certainly wasn't an easy decision, but it's what we feel is right. In addition to needing help with her care, she was anxious to be "home" and with her family again. When an 87 year old has the sole desire to be with her family, I couldn't help but feel selfish not granting that. To make a long story short, Chris and Grandma moved in December. Thankfully, my parents have graciously allowed me to live with them until the school year is over and I am able to make the move. Since their move, Grandma has declined even more and is now in a nursing home due to fall which broke her hip, which consequently hastened her decline from the dementia even more. We're even more certain and thankful for the decision we made, knowing that having her at home and close the family is especially important at this time.

So, shortly after school is out, I will be packing up the remaining of my belongings and making the move South. Am I scared? Yes. Am I excited? Yes. Am I over-whelmed? At times. Am I trusting in God? Not as well as I should. Living the half-way-single-life hasn't been fun to say the least. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. It certainly has made me very thankful for my husband and his companionship. It has also made me more mindful and prayerful for military couples who have to be away from their spouses for much longer and under much more severe circumstances! I have come to have a love-hate relationship with phones. I'm thankful to have them and to be able to use them daily to talk to Chris. I've also come to hate them as our only form of communication and connection. Do you know how annoying and frustrating it is to try to have a serious conversation when you're dealing with static and bad signal? I may or may not have thrown my phone down a few times in frustration during the past few months!

3. Chris and I will be living in his great-grandma's house. We're currently in the process of planning and preparing for some remodeling. It is exciting, yet overwhelming to pick out counters, paint choices, flooring, layout designs, hardware, cabinets, light fixtures, exterior paint colors, and everything else involved in remodeling and adding on to a house. I'm so thankful for a handy, smart, and creative husband! He certainly makes the job a lot less stressful! I'm sure I will be posting updates on how the house projects are going! We're very anxious to put our own touches on the house, get it a little more up-to-date (it's almost 100 years old!), and get our belongings out of storage!

4. Once again, I'm the process of looking for a job. It seems like I just went through all the rigamarole of updating my resume, filling out applications, writing personal statements, and scouring the Internet daily for job postings. Oh, wait, I did just do all that! Job hunting certainly isn't my favorite thing to do, but I'm thankful that the education field has a better outlook in Texas than it does here in Illinois!

5. I've been helping coach our school's Girls on the Run program. We're training for the 5k race in St. Louis on May 16th. It's been very encouraging and I've been able to conquer my fears of running. I've always wanted to be a runner, but just didn't think I could do it. I've learned that I just have to suck it up and run through the pain. The first 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile is the hardest for me. I want to quit each time. But, once I get past that, it isn't so bad. My ultimate goal is to run a half marathon sometime in the next year.

6. My best friend since 6th grade is getting married on June 26th. I'm so very excited for her to be joining me as an old, married lady! I'm very thankful to God for blessing her with a wonderful, spiritual-minded, and supportive man to become her husband! Stay tuned for a post with pictures about that blessed event later in the summer!

7. We have a new member of the family! We adopted a West Highland Terrier in August. Wesley is our spoiled little baby! He is a great dog and has been a huge blessing to us. He's a mess at times, but aren't we all? He has taken the move well and loves it in Texas. I like to think that he misses me immensly, but I know he really doesn't In fact, he has taken up residence on my side of the bed. He even sleeps on my pillow sometimes! My pillow! I love the dog and everything, but it's my pillow! When I go to Texas to visit, he kind of looks at me when I get into the bed as if to say "Who is this woman getting in my bed, laying her head on my pillow, and taking my spot next to my best friend?" I know those are the thoughts running through is head. When I walk in the door, he is excited to see me for about 2.7 seconds until he realizes that Chris is there too! The little brat!
How can I think he's such a brat when I look at these pictures?

That's about all I can think of for now. I have several posts rolling around in my head. Hopefully I will stay motivated to keep this thing updated a little better! But I'm not promising anything!