I’m sure everyone is saying this, but it’s true, so I have to say it, too, but HOW IN THE WORLD ARE WE GOING TO BE WRITING 2018 WHEN WE WRITE THE DATE ON OUR WHITEBOARDS UPON OUR RETURN TO SCHOOL?
HOW? I ask you.
How in the world am I doing a Year in Review?
I have not a clue.
But I am.
Here I am. Reviewing the year.
I’d like to first say thank you so so so much for reading my posts, following along, commenting, praying, laughing, and just commiserating right along with me as I live my little life on this blog. You are all so special to me!! I am so thankful and grateful for each and every one of you.
Here we go!
I looked back at my posts and pictures from January, and this pretty much sums it up.
2017 started out WET.
WET WET WET SOGGY WET.
So much rain that I dedicated an entire post to teaching in an outside school and what that looks like and feels like. By the way, if you use your context clues, you can pretty much infer and predict and use all of your other reading strategies to figure out that it is WET at an outside school.
I didn’t go anywhere, do anything, see any people. It was just January, back to school, back to routine, back to a schedule, etc.
I’m super thankful for routine, and normalcy, and a schedule. That means nothing crazy happened, nothing went wrong, everything was just fine.
In February, Steve and I flew to Vegas to meet up with his brother and sister-in-law. We have met up with them before in Vegas, and we always have a super fun time. We had just finished a Detox Diet so we mostly just concentrated on putting every single toxin ever known to man back into our body, rather than gambling or going to night clubs.
By the way, we don’t ever really gamble and we never go to night clubs, but I thought that sounded good. It sounded Vegas-y.
What we really did was relax, sleep, walk, and EAT.
It was FUN FUN FUN.
Right after that, Steve started working for a new start up company with five friends of his. It was SO EXCITING, but so scary! Lots of prayer, lots of guidance (my mom and dad were so helpful), lots of talking . . . but he did it!
He is SO HAPPY and the company is doing well so praise God. 🙂
Steve and I started volunteering once a month with the “Carport Ministry”. It’s called the Carport Ministry because it’s held in the carport area of a motel in Santa Ana. Anyone around can come and have breakfast, and a pastor gives a short message. Steve and I alternate Sunday responsibilities with friends of ours. Either we get the fruit, eggs, tortillas, cheese, and other fixings or Steve barbecues the meat for breakfast tacos.
I help set up, crack eggs, serve pastries (Panera always donates), serve cheese, serve drinks, etc.
It is awesome to give back and definitely a good way to spend a day!
Er, ignore the terrible picture quality. Kerry came out in April for my Spring Break and it was fantastic spending time with my family. In the picture above, we were seeing Beauty and the Beast which I absolutely LOVED, by the way.
We also celebrated my dad’s 72nd birthday and had an original six dinner, meaning we pretty much invited no one and it was just my parents, my sisters, my brother, and me. We ate and talked and told old stories long after dinner was over. It was amazing.
I am telling you, I treasure the little moments. Those are the BEST.
Call me simple.
Oh good grief. This picture literally sums up May. FOR REAL.
It was all about end of the year stress. Assessments, awards, report cards, plays, yearbook videos, Open House, readying our rooms for new technology, blah blah blah.
I redid that bulletin board in the picture above probably NINETEEN TIMES the very same week as Open House and it about killed me. You can re-read the post if you’re so inclined right here.
It’s kind of funny and pretty much sums up my personality in one post.
May was stressful, long, exciting, exhausting, FAST, and was gone before I could turn around to say goodbye.
Steve and I went to Mexico for TWO WHOLE WEEKS to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.
We had the BEST time. We relaxed, we ate, we swam, we napped, we met fun people, we went into town, we went snorkeling, we just did whatever in the world we wanted to do. It was FABULOUS. Seriously, it flew by, but it also felt like we were there a really long time which is why we opted for the two weeks as opposed to one. Believe me, people had opinions about this and I heard all about it — TWO WEEKS?! they would say incredulously. And I would try not to get all uppity in my reply and I would just say YEP. Can’t wait!
Then I came home and Mexico came home with me in the way of a VIOLENT stomach bug that took two rounds of antibiotics to get rid of AND I also came home with an ear clog that needed to be PROFESSIONALLY DRAINED.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but if you’re worried something is going to happen to you, just stand next to me. I’ll get it instead.
It’s a gift.
Kerry and the kids came out and we went to the beach and to Disneyland and to the movies and out to eat. Not all on the same day. 🙂 We spread it out. Then my nephews flew home, and Kerry and my niece, Madison, stayed for another week.
On a kind-of whim, my sisters, Madison, Mom, and I went to L.A. for the day to tour the Warner Brothers studios. It was FABULOUS. If you ever get the chance to do it, I highly recommend it. I think the tickets were reasonably priced, you get to see and do a lot (hands-on), and you basically don’t have to leave at all at the end.
Then we left, changed in the car (which was difficult and made us laugh all at the same time) to go eat dinner at Pump. The food was really good, the atmosphere was amazing, and the time spent with my girls was PRICELESS. Then we walked over to SUR for dessert.
I’m telling you – July was pretty darn awesome!!
I spent the very last part of July and the first week of August in Arizona saying goodbye to my grandma. I spent a lot of time with my parents and my older sister during this extremely difficult, but amazingly special time.
My grandma passed away on August 4, 2017.
I really don’t have anything new to add or anything new to say. You can read this post if you missed it.
We went to the river with good friends. We relaxed, laughed, ate, laughed, talked, relaxed . . . it was FANTASTIC! They have a second home there and it is BEAUTIFUL. The best thing about these friends is that they are more like family. They make us feel so welcome! I’ve talked about them before (Jason and Stacie) but just to recap:
We were next door neighbors and met “over the fence”. Which means that Steve, Jason, and Stacie all got to see each other upon introductions, and I pretty much met some voices and the top of a fence. #shortgirlproblems #allthetime
I have a younger brother named Jason, and Jason (our neighbor) has an older sister named Kristin. TRUE STORY. Jason (our neighbor) and I like and dislike almost of the same foods, whereas Steve and Stacie like and dislike almost all of the same foods. Jason and I look like we could be actually related and often act like brother and sister so that’s always fun in an annoying way. We think a lot ALIKE and once, I cheated in such a way so that we could be on the same team for a game and WE WON BECAUSE WE BASICALLY READ EACH OTHER’S MINDS and everyone said we cheated, but we really didn’t! I mean, I cheated so we could be on the same team, but we didn’t cheat DURING THE GAME. Now, we are not allowed to be on the same team and haven’t been on the same team ever since. People are sore losers, if you ask me. 😉
Their son, Cole (who is a MIRACLE because Stacie has serious health problems, although you would never know it because she NEVER EVER COMPLAINS ABOUT IT) calls us Uncle Kristin and Auntie Steve and we love it.
We travel together, we spend holidays together, we barbecue together, Stacie helps me with interior design, we get each other’s mail when the other is gone, etc etc etc. When their house was up for sale, I literally cried on their front porch like a baby when they told me it had sold. Even though they were only moving a mile away. #itsallaboutme
Thankfully, the distance hasn’t come between us. 😉
My older sister got married! Kerry came out for the wedding and we just had the best time celebrating new beginnings together. It was small, it was cozy, it was FUN! It was definitely the highlight of the month!
I gained a “new” brother in law and three “new” nephews. The boys are really sweet and even though they eat my mom out of house and home (ha!), we like having them around.
Also in October, I had a serious eye problem. I didn’t even blog about it because it terrified me to talk about it. But here’s the thing. I had vitreous fluid tear away from my retina which means I was seeing gray floaters in my right eye in the shapes of squares, crescent moons, smudges, etc. They were always there, floating in and out of my vision. They were there when I was talking, reading, working on the computer, teaching, ANYTHING. I was told there was nothing they could do and now I was at a higher risk for an actual retina tear.
I started praying, and my family started praying, and those closest to me started praying, and I HAVE NOT SEEN A FLOATER SINCE MID OCTOBER.
That is called a miracle. That is God’s goodness. I know that the floaters could come back, but for now, I am so so so thankful and grateful for God’s healing. We are all still praying, of course, and God continues to protect my vision, but it is just seriously a MIRACLE.
REMINDER: stand next to me if you’re worried something might happen to you.
I flew to Boston with Lauren (A Teachable Teacher) and we met up with Christina (Mrs. Winter’s Bliss) for the TpTea Conference. It was a whirlwind of a trip! I saw a little bit of Boston, talked and talked and talked, ate and ate and ate, and learned more than my little brain could even handle regarding this here “business” of mine.
The biggest thing I took away from the conference is that my having a blog is still relevant and important! I have always said that it’s my favorite part of this whole “business” but then I always hear about how no one blogs anymore and social media is where it’s at and how I should be doing videos and Pinterest and this and that AND I CANNOT TAKE IT. It is so overwhelming, when really, all I want to do is write, and create things for my classroom.
This conference VALIDATED me. I know I may not be using my blog in the correct manner, but here’s how I look at it:
It’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to.
Steve and I went to Palm Springs to attend a BBQ competition and we stayed at the BEST hotel! This outdoor lounge area was my favorite! We also got to walk the Westin dog (the hotel’s dog) which was a big bonus in my book. 🙂
Steve has come a long long way in his barbecuing and smoking of meat, and I love watching him in his element. I also like to eat his results.
I have to include a picture of Murphie before I end this super duper long post that you probably already gave up reading by now, anyway.
She turned five (5!!!!!!!!) on November 27th. She is just the BEST dog and I love her to death. Probably too much. Probably more than a human should love a four legged friend, but there you go, I do. Steve has been working A LOT so Murphie Girl is my little pal.
The neighbor kids still come over and ask if she can play. And Murphie will play with ANYONE as long as they have a ball or a frisbee or a rope or any kind of toy of any kind. If she has the choice between a dog treat and playtime, she will choose to play EVERY SINGLE TIME.
And there you have it.
To sum it up, the best parts of the year were any of the little moments where I got to spend time with Steve, Murphie, my family, and friends. Teaching first grade in a school I love, and A Teeny Tiny Teacher, Inc are just the icing on top. 🙂
Happy New Year, virtual friends of mine. Thank you for living this little life with me. I love you all!