Wow, what a year you have been! You were a year I had been anticipating for so long in so many ways. There were big life changes made this year and I can't believe I actually made it through alive and well. Now you are almost over and I can't help but reflect on how blessed I have been this last year.
I spent my first true semester in a classroom and fell in love with a group of kids I never imagined myself teaching, even in my wildest dreams. It's amazing how things work out, isn't it? Little did I know I was hand picked for that group of kids. God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed me in that classroom. Those kids were perfect for me and I can say in confidence that I was perfect for them. We got to dive deep into slavery, war, and civil rights together but I know I learned more from them than they learned from me. It was exhausting, irritating, frustrating, and perfect in every way. I was forced to take a good, hard, look at myself and am a better person and teacher because of it.
After four seemingly short years I graduated from the University of Georgia with my degree in Middle Grades Education. Every year at UGA passed more quickly than the one before it and I wasn't ready for it to end. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for the opportunity to start and finish at such a wonderful institution. My dad has always been quick to remind Haley and I not to take our education for granted. We know there are so many people who would have loved to attend UGA but couldn't for different reasons. My education is one thing I will always be thankful for. Athens and UGA will always hold the most special place in my heart.
I finally got to walk down the aisle and marry my best friend after seven and a half years together. The date had been set for nearly four years but when it finally arrived it felt like it couldn't be here already. We aren't old enough for this, are we? We worked day and night for over a year to make sure everything was perfect for our day. It felt funny to sit back and have everything done for us that weekend, but that's exactly what we wanted. We wanted to enjoy our time with our friends and family and enjoy we did! The week we spent in Jekyll will always be the best week of my life. It's been six months and it still feels like yesterday. Is that how it will always be? I can only hope it is because I never want to forget that feeling.
Now, here's where I'll be honest. This is one change I wasn't happy about in 2012. Getting through the wedding was my main focus and I didn't let myself think about what would happen after it was over. I didn't want to think about leaving Athens. Somehow I kept pushing that to the back of my mind and pretending we could find a way to stay. Like so many others, I love Athens. Like, serious love. As in, it took me two months to move my things after the wedding... And, if I'm being totally honest, it's only because my sister had to find a roommate. If that hadn't happened I can guarantee you that my room would still be the same. I didn't want to leave Athens, UGA, Hilsman, my friends, and especially my sister. I don't do well with change; I am a creature of habit to the extreme. Moving to a totally new place didn't sit well with me, but over time I have adjusted and am learning to love my new home. Marriage isn't all fun and games! Especially when a certain someone gets a fantastic job they love and drag you away from everything you've ever known! But, in this scary time I couldn't be more thankful for my husband and his job. We're getting there!
Along with moving to a totally new place came working in a school system I knew nothing about. I started substituting in Dalton so I could get a feel for the area and the schools. I am so thankful for the work and to be back with the kids. I spend most of my time in the same Elementary school and I absolutely adore it. Never in a million years did I think I would love those kids so much. I have learned that I can teach something other than middle school and that feels pretty darn good. I hope to be more settled next year and find a teaching job, but only time will tell!
We've got some exciting plans I can't wait to share with you when the time comes. This has been the best year yet but life just keeps getting better! The best is yet to come!
2012 - You have been so good to me and I am looking forward to what 2013 holds!