So long 2013 – the year I fulfilled my dream

As I sit here, after having read the last post I posted, I reflect on the past 5 months. Has it only been 5 months? It feels like a lifetime. Trying to find the right words to express what has happened in my life in those five months is not easy, because SO much has happened. My whole life has changed really – I am a teacher. I am in it. Fully in the thick of things. Responsible for 18 young lives for seven hours a day. Almost solely responsible for their education for 180 days of their school careers. But even more, I have the power or ability to either bring them out the other end as better people and better students, or I could totally mess up and ….

Teaching is a roller-coaster ride to say the least. There are ups and there are downs. The best part of teaching — the ups (which don’t always outweigh the downs in quantity) outweigh the downs in quality. They make me remember why I chose this profession and why I put myself through all the downs. The difficult students, even they give me some great moments of joy and pride, but on some days, they send me home crying to my steering wheel.

I have made many new friends this past year, and unfortunately lost touch with many old friends too. For the most part, the past five months I have been in survival mode. Working, eating, sleeping, working, eating, sleeping, crying, working, crying, eating, sleeping… you get the point.

My marriage has had to bare the brunt of the storm. Husband and I have done things together – mostly gone to concerts. But, the stresses of work were almost too much a month ago. I am committed to making 2014 less stressful – I have spent a day or two of my winter break getting ahead in my planning, and planning to make my life easier in the classroom in terms of keeping on top of things. Not only that – but I’ve found myself again during this break. I’ve been able to relax, laugh, read, watch TV, joke with Husband…. without the grey cloud of “you could be working to making your lessons better to ensure ALL your students succeed tomorrow/Monday”.

This photo is a visual representation of what my life has been like for the past five months – I am a very organized person, I enjoy being organized. But, like I said, I was in survival mode and this is what became of my office…and how I’ve spent some of my break “putting myself back together”.

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Enough about the stresses of the past 5 months — on to some of the fun stuff…

We went to quite a few concerts recently — Panic! At the Disco, New Politics, Jimmy Eat World, Switchfoot, Justin Timberlake & Jay Z, Matchbox Twenty, Goo Goo Dolls…

I don’t have many photos to share from these – because I’ve started taking just a couple photos at each show, usually during one song only – so that I can fully enjoy the show. So, some of the photos I have taken were not very good, because I just snapped them quickly before putting my phone away.

I will say — Matchbox Twenty and Switchfoot are some of the best bands I have seen. They’re up there with Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, P.O.D., and NeedtoBreathe.

Lets talk about Switchfoot for a second. They’re AMAZING – in terms of being really good musically, engaging the audience, being passionate about their music, being humble, and plus — Jon Foreman (the lead singer) is crazy!! In a good way. He walked through the crowd and climbed on a cross beam and sang a song from there — this cross beam was practically right in front of us. He does this sort of thing at almost all of his shows it would seem. We also bought Switchfoot’s movie ‘Fading West’ — which just solidified my opinion of them as people and as a band.

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The hands in the bottom right of the frame are my husband’s hands — this photo is not zoomed in at all!

One last thing — after seeing Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls – we were “smitten”. 😛 They’re amazing live and we had such a good time — we decided to go on their cruise. Matchbox Twenty chartered out a Carnival Cruise Ship and had the Goo Goo Dolls join them for a 3 night, 4 day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas filled with concerts. So, hubby and I decided to join them. It was AMAZING!! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

I hope 2013 was kind to you, and if not, I hope you’re ready to make 2014 a better year!! I know I sure am!

I did not have time to put my watermark on all my photographs for this post — I ask that you PLEASE don’t copy or share any of the photos you see here. Thank you SO much!! 🙂

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