It seems a few days ago we ran out onto the front steps of our Colorado Springs home hitting pans with spoons and spatulas and listened to the neighborhood ring with the new year. And now it's today, the last day of that same new year. The year is pretty old now! I guess it's as old as a year can get!
So let's look at our adventures for this past year.
Reality hit and we realized our lovely Layton home with the family-like neighbors and the farm across the street with the alarm clock rooster were no longer really viable, considering our daily commute of 3 and 4 hours. So we began to look elsewhere for a new home. Joseph began his first real semester as a Master's student, and I began one of my many "final" semesters. We left our Christmas decorations up far too long.
Joseph texted me telling me he found a home and a few hours later we signed the lease and packed our lives up and headed down to Provo. But life was full of promise because there was a pet store near by and an Asian market that was oh so fun and we looked forward to the idea of making new friends in our new ward... only to be called to work in Nursery a few short weeks later. Classes went on as normal and I got used to riding the train. A lot.
I was working in a school with a supervisor that made me cry in front of her with her words like knives. But my student was sweet. She learned fast and that made me confident. I was excited to learn that I'd been accepted to the department of education a year prior, and a few days later my letter came in the mail! And Joseph began brainstorming ideas for his research project as a grad student.
It was our year anniversary and we looked back with happy memories. Joseph turned a quarter of a decade old and thus became "old", by standards in my book. We celebrated his birthday with a trip to our cabin in Idaho.
The weather got warmer and Spring fever came, albeit late. Classes came to an end, work went on as usual. I was presented with the unique opportunity of taking the lead as a summer camp teacher at my preschool, only to come to the realization that if I wanted to actually finish school, I'd have to step back and cut my hours back. It was a stressful decision that made my stomach turn somersaults for a couple of weeks. But when all was said and done, my wonderful director realized that it was in the best interest of myself and the program if I declined the position and cut my hours. This month was WeDdInG mOnTh with three weddings, one week after another.
Began summer school. Joseph worked full time on his research. But it was summer and we had more evenings together than we had the previous summer and it was fun to explore this city that we'd been in for so many months but hadn't had time to get to know yet.
I was serenaded by the sweet sweet voice of T-Swizzy in 22 as my birthday came and went, and we discovered the magic of renting puppies. That was the highlight for that month, that cute puppy who was so little she wasn't even named, so we called her Scout.
I tearfully left my job at the preschool where I'd spent 2 years of my life, and began the new chapter of my life, student teaching. Joseph worked like a mad man to finish the program he was developing, a collaborative work interface or something or other, but the word collaborative was in there. It was like Google Docs for air planes. We had one awesome week in Aspen Colorado, camping with Joseph's family, fishing, hiding from the rain in our tents, and having a blast and a half. And I came back and did something really scary, I started teaching third graders.
This month seemed impossible in January but it came. We began school. Joseph went out of town for the first time without me and for the first time in a year and a half, we were apart for a couple of nights and it was miserable. But that reunion was awesome, you'd better believe it. I realized how awful it was to be a teacher and a student at the same time. Not in the sense of being a student like "Oh these students teach me more than I teach them!" but in the sense of sitting in the same classroom in the same building for 6 hours at a time where you learned about researched teaching methods that you'd already learned about over the last 4 years of your schooling.
More of the same stuff from September too. But this month involved the job fair with big ideas of where we may end up some day. Florida... Virginia... Michigan... California... Arizona... Washington... the world was in our hands and we had our pickings. Eventually we decided that while every place had its benefits, not every place had our family, and to be on the same half of the United States as the rest of our family was important to us, thus job hunting became less of a dream and more realistic. And a little scary.
I began my first few weeks fully teaching the classroom, from the bell ring in the morning with the principal over the intercom saying "Gooooood morning, teachers and students! It's another wonderful day at Stansbury elementary!" to the mad rush at the end of the day to get papers into book bags and hey you two, stop pushing each other, and please, so-and-so, please stop doing your homework and put it in your bag so you will be ready to go when the bell rings, and everything in between. We spent a week in Colorado, cooking, skiing, more cooking, and spending a whole lot of much needed time with family. There was a bit of a lonely time in the weeks before while Joseph flew across the country for interviews, taking me with him to one. One, that... well...
One that a few weeks later he'd accept, at Honeywell in Phoenix, Arizona. A place which will be the setting for most of next year's adventures! I finished my last few days student teaching with no voice and no energy and a cough that I'm pretty sure was hard enough that it rocketed back through time and actually was the sound that people heard that they claim was a gun shot that started the Revolution. True story. I spent most of this month laying sick in bed. Joseph spent most of this month in late nights at school fighting the many forces that try to prevent students from getting things done quickly, team projects, computer issues... the like. Only to find ourselves a few days later in our sunny, though rainy today, Arizona. For a few days before going home.
We're excited to see what this next year will bring!