Monday, January 5, 2009

A Look Back on 2008

I've thought a lot about the last year as the new year approached. So much has happened in my life this year. I told Jordan that if there was any year to send out a family letter, this was the year! Did we? Of course not. I barely managed to get all of the Christmas photo cards sent out. I was reading through Heather's blog, and decided I wanted to blog about my year as well. I kept thinking I wanted to write it down, but after a couple of weeks thinking about it and not doing it, I decided to just blog about it. So if you don't want to read on, that is okay. I will totally understand. This is mainly for me to remind me of all of the craziness we went through and yet some how survived with the help of the Lord.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you have never done before?
This year I began teaching my own class. I went out of my comfort zone and applied for a job that I was not even qualified for. A special education job was the only job opening available in February. I told Jordan that I couldn't apply because I was not certified in that area. He told me to apply anyway. I did grudgingly. I received a call back to interview. After I left my interview, I knew I had completely blown it. I kept thinking of all of the answers that I should've said. I thought to myself at least I had this interview as experience for my next interview. The next day when the principal called, I let the answering machine pick it up. I knew what she was going to say and would take it better on the machine than by talking to her. To my amazement, I was offered the job. I taught Kindergarten Special Education from February on to the end of the school year. After that, we lost a special education unit at our school so my job was gone. I was able to come back in August teaching my dream job of regular ed. third grade.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for 2009? Do I even know what my resolutions were? They are probably in my journal and I doubt that I ever really kept any of them. I am so awful at making a ginormous list of resolutions and never being able to do them all. This year I decided to do things a little differently. I am slowly adding one resolution at a time. Last week we began exercising daily as a family. We go to the walking park by our house. The whole family has really gotten into it. Now that the exercising has become almost routine, it is time to add another resolution to my life until it feels routine like...and so on. We'll see how well this works at the end of the year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth in 2008? Yes. It has been the year of births. My second cousin's wife, Sarah, had a little girl in the spring named Gracie. Another second cousin's wife, Rebecca, had a little girl a few months later named Bailey. My best friend from childhood, Angela, had her first baby in July on the 24th (the same day as Carson's birthday). She had a little girl named Alison. To complete all of the girl births this year, I had Callie December 5th.

4. Did anyone close to you die in 2008? This year we have been blessed to not have anyone close to us die. The year before was a different story.

5. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? I would like to have a more peaceful and fun going summer. This past summer was filled with so much uncertainty, that I don't feel like I was really able to spend it the way I wanted to with Carson. I wasn't sure if I was going to have a job in the fall and there was hiring freeze for teachers. Jordan was laid off in June so we lost income and insurance (keeping in mind that I was pregnant). So much was up in the air that I am sure I have a few more grays in my hair from it. This year I hope to know that I will have my job in the fall. I hope that Jordan will be working on base, which will allow us to save my summer paychecks.

6. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? December 5th will remain etched because it was the birth of our second child, Callie. It was much different this time than with Carson. We had to make arrangements for Carson while I was at the hospital. I was induced so that was nice to know ahead of time the date. We had to be at the hospital at 4 a.m. I ended up having her at 12:50 p.m. It was an easy labor with very little pushing. It was amazing to see how Carson took to her immediately.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I think my biggest achievement this year was landing a job. Right now it is re
ally hard to get a teaching job in our district. So many of the people that I graduated with are without jobs. Budget cuts continue to occur. It was so important that I get a job because I am taking over the role as breadwinner for a few years while Jordan finishes school. He received his Associates Degree in December and begins FSU this month.

8.What was your biggest struggle in 2008? My biggest struggle was in the summer. With all that happened, it was so hard to pray and know it was going to work out. I am the kind of person who needs a plan with dates and times. This summer I didn't have a plan with dates and times. I didn't know if there would be an opening at Waller. I knew the principal said she would hire me back as soon as she could if she could. I didn't know what we were going to do for insurance. I didn't know how long it would be before we had another income coming back in. It was a true test of faith.

9. Did you suffer any illness or injury in 2008? I had never used our insurance until I started teaching. Three years of no sick doctor visits. When I started teaching, I was sick with one thing after another within the first month. I had pink eye, the flu, and strep throat within two weeks. Five year olds will do that to you.

10.What was the best thing you bought this year? This year I attended Time Out for Women in Tallahassee with my mom. While there, I bought a canned food rotating system from Shelf Reliance. It is the best thing I bought. I now can see what I have and it is not hidden in my pantry. It also has been great in inspiring me to get more involved with my food storage. I was able to add a lot of things to my food storage this year because I was more excited about it...a big part of it due to the rotating system.

11. What did you get really really excited about this year?
Christmas! Carson was so excited back in June and only became more and more excited as each day passed. I also knew that Callie would be here at Christmas too so I wanted Christmas to come more than I ever have. I loved seeing the excitement and wonderment of Christmas in Carson's eyes...from the lights, to the tree, to the presents and wrapping, to the nativity scene and the story of the birth of Jesus. This year I put my Christmas decorations and tree up earlier than ever in November because I really wanted to enjoy putting them up rather than being really round and pregnant and not enjoying it.

12. What do you wish you had done more of? I wish we would've had more family activities. We do some things off and on throughout the year as a family, but we don't have a ton of traditions. We don't have a family movie night or things like that that I think would be nice. When Jordan's family came down last week, I realized how much we don't do that we could do as a go to the beach, play putt putt, play games, etc. I want to do things together that our kids will look back and say I remember we always did this. We have started walking together as a family and it has been really enjoyable. Carson asks when we are going every day.

13. What do you wish you had done less of? I wish I would have worried less about things that were out of my control.

14. What was your favorite TV Program in 2008?
I still enjoyed my Grey's Anatomy this year. I also got into Chuck, the Mentalist, and Life really loved them all.

15. What was the best book you read this year?
I got into the Twilight series. I read all four books as Jordan laughed and asked me if I just learned how to read. I told him I'd go back to being illiterate after I finished all four. I finished them in about 2 weeks. My favorite of the series were Twilight and Breaking Dawn. I did enjoy stopping and reading for pleasure. I don't do that enough.

16. What was your greatest musical discovery this past year?
I have fallen in love with Taylor Swift this year. I just can't get enough of her music.

17. What was the best movie you saw this year?
I would have to say Twilight. It was the most anticipated movie for me. I read the books before going and had never done that for a movie.

18. How would you describe your personal fashion statement this year? Round. Ha! I started off the year in my nice dressy work clothes. When I moved out to the portables in August, I realized that between the treks I would be making to get everywhere and being pregnant, it was okay to wear denim to work. I went for a much more laid back look. I am hoping to get back into my regular clothes soon and get back into the more dressy side.

19. Where was your favorite place you visited this year?
Disney World!! We had to go two different times this year due to Jordan's kidney stone, but it was a blast! Every time that Carson watches a Disney movie and sees the blue castle and Disney logo, he asks when we can go back again. I told him Callie has to be bigger.


jordan said...

I would have to say ditto to most of that. Maybe I will do my own although it is pretty much all the same as yours. It has been a good year.