Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Now-May 20

As seems to be a trend for me now, I have let too much time pass since my last blog post.  Over the past few weeks, Darren and I have busy packing, visiting with family and friends, and squeezing in some last minute Utah check-list items.

1.  Dinner with friends--Over the past few weeks, Darren and I have been able to meet up with a couple sets of old friends for dinner: Kelly and Whitney White and Sara and Ian Frost.  We are sure going to miss living close to these friends and many others.  Darren and I have been so lucky to have so many wonderful people around us here in Utah.

2.  Visit from Parents--My parents were able to visit us at the beginning of the month.  I love having my parents in town!  My Dad had never seen our little apartment and both of my parents were able to come and spend part of the school day in my classroom on Friday.  They immediately won my students over by walking in with a couple boxes of donuts.  It was fun to see my students interact with my parents and vice versa.

3.  Provo Half Marathon--Before we left Utah, Darren and I made a goal of running another half marathon together.  We ran the Provo City Half Marathon on May 5.  My parents had planned their trip to coincide with our run, so they were waiting at the finish line for us.  This picture my Mom took as we approached the finish cracks me up.  I think it captures how both Darren and I were feeling at that moment.  I was able to manage a wave, but could do little else.  I was SO ready to be finished running.  Darren, on the other hand, seemed like he could go on forever.  In fact, at about mile ten, Darren whipped out his phone to call my parents and let them know where we were.  He started chatting with my Mom as if he were lounging at the park.  When he asked if I wanted to say hello, I could barely manage, "Are you crazy?" before I had to stop talking and focus on surviving the run again. :)

4.  Family Eats--After the run, my family and I were able to have dinner with Katie Houston and Mary Wintch at Outback Steakhouse.  I will miss both of those ladies so much!  Katie has been such a great friend throughout my college years and beyond, and Mary has hosted us for so many Sunday dinners reminding us how fortunate we are to have her as family.  The next morning, Darren and I hosted my parents over to our apartment for breakfast (the only meal I feel really comfortable making for other people--mostly because Darren did half of the work making eggs while I made the waffles). :)  I felt truly grown up hosting my parents and being able to cook for them.

5.  Apartment Packing--With how excited I have been about our up-coming move, I surprised myself by getting pretty sentimental when Darren and I started packing our apartment last week.  Our new apartment will have many "luxuries" that our current apartment does not (dishwasher, garbage disposal, more space, etc.), but (at the risk of sounding completely sappy) this apartment has something no other apartment/home can have: this was my first home with Darren.  This is where our little family started and, though I'm excited for this new step, part of me is sad to leave.

6.  Closing Up the Classroom--I have very similar feelings about starting to pack up my classroom as I do about packing up our apartment.  Darren and I packed up about 80% of my classroom yesterday, leaving just enough out to make it still look like a classroom for the last week of school.  Taking posters off the wall, putting library books in boxes, and cleaning out cupboards brought back some wonderful memories of setting up my classroom three summers ago with my mom.  What an exciting time that was--something I hope to repeat with her this summer in Arizona.  I have had some teaching moments in my current classroom that I will never forget, not because of anything that I did as a teacher, but because of what I was able to learn from my students and about myself as a person.  There have been moments when I've felt like I was the luckiest person in the world to be able to teach my students.

6.  Choir Concert--One of my students this year is in the Utah Valley Children's Choir and invited me to his concert last night.  His mom provided me and Darren with tickets, and we were so impressed with how well the choir sang.  Their sweet little voices were amazing!  It was fun for me to see some former students in the choir, as well, and visit with all of them after the show.

7.  Candleford--I am putting Darren's "man-card" in serious jeopardy again by mentioning a new television show I am forcing him to watch with me: "Larkrise to Candleford."  Until the next season of "Downton Abbey" airs, I have needed something to satisfy my craving for British drama.  Darren puts up with these girlish tendencies very patiently, and I love him for it. :)

8.  New Teacher--I have started to mentor my teaching replacement at work and, while it has been selfishly a little difficult to think of handing over my classroom, I have really enjoyed getting to know her and know she is going to be amazing!

9.  Concert from Mary--Darren and I had our last Sunday dinner at Mary's tonight.  She pulled out all the stops for dinner by serving us T-bone steaks, potatoes, and salad with homemade lemon pie for dessert.  The best part of the evening for me, however, was hearing her play a few cello and piano pieces after dinner at Darren's request.  She is so musically talented and played beautifully.  It really made me miss having an instrument around and look forward to playing again sometime soon.

10.  Anticipating the Last Week of School--I feel like a kid looking forward to this last week of school, which begins tomorrow.  It is always such a fun time in the classroom.  While I expect to have some pretty mixed emotions when school ends on Friday, I look forward to the fun events we have planned this week.

*Bonus #11:  Baby Noelle--I received news yesterday that my friend, Tessa Hendrickson, gave birth to her first baby--a precious little girl.  I could not be more happy for Tessa and Paul.  Noelle is one lucky girl to have them as parents.  Love you, Tessa!
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