Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010

As 2010 draws to a close tonight I felt like I needed to do some reflecting. 2010 has definitely been a banner year in my life--with some significant highlights.
  • Traveled to Ireland and Germany
  • Purchased my first home
  • Began teaching at my third high school (in 3 years)
  • Started a photography business
  • attended two photography workshops
  • Visited all my family
  • Reorganized and balanced my finances
I feel extraordinarily blessed because of the bounty in my life. This has been a great year for me.

Fortunately I did have many learning experiences and struggles this year that demonstrated to me how much I need to learn to ask for help, to rely on friends and to become more patient.

Thank you 2010 and I look forward to the challenge of 2011.

Holiday Break

Christmas break is one of my favorite breaks from school. It doesn't hurt that two fabulous holidays are wrapped in the middle of it. This year I decided to head to the Pacific Northwest to visit my brother and his family as well as some of my oldest friends.

The first week (December 20-26) was spent at my brother Greg's house with his family. I loved getting to know little Ellie and playing with their other kids. I can't believe how old they are getting.

Most of the week was spent watching movies (Despicable Me), playing games (Yahtzee, Sequence, Harry Potter Uno), having parties (Christmas Adam - all appetizers, Christmas Eve - "Dinner like the time of Jesus") and of course the big event was Christmas Day.

Santa had a busy night at their house and Christmas morning was filled with all sorts of fabulous new toys and gifts. Robin's brother and his family also joined us so there was definitely a house full of people. I was really happy to have been able to spend so much time with them.

On Sunday the 26th I headed over to my best friend Chandra's house. The week of the 26th through the 1st were spent with her. I did manage to break away on the 27th to hang out with my friend Robert and his two kids. He lives right near downtown and so we headed into the heart of the city for a yummy lunch near Pike's Place and a visit to SAM (Seattle Art Museum) especially to see the Picasso exhibit.

Tuesday the 28th, Chandra and her friend Sara and the girls all went to see the new Disney movie Tangled and then had an enjoyable lunch and visit to the mall.

Wednesday the 29th, Chandra and I headed to the gym for a much needed post-Christmas workout and more shopping in the afternoon.

Thursday we hung around the house and just relaxed. In the evening, Chandra and Julie (another best friend) and I went out for a girl's night. We headed into Bellevue for dinner at Boom Noodles (absolutely delicious!) and then on to see the Tourist. After the movie, we weren't quite done with chatting and so headed to the Cheesecake Cafe for some late night cheesecake.

Tonight, Chandra and her family are hosting a small New Year's Eve party were we plan to shake our booty's to Just Dance and the DDR. I am looking forward to the party.

The time away from my stress and Las Vegas has been just the rejuvination I needed. I was about ready to have a nervous breakdown prior to the break. I also can't tell my friends how much I have enjoyed seeing them again. There is nothing better that a great conversation with a dear friend. I only wish we could see each other more often. I fly home tomorrow and leaving will be bitter sweet.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wishes

The last two months have been a whirl-wind of activity in my life. Here is the the quick facts:

  • Traveled to Idaho for a much needed visit with my parents and brother's family.
  • Huge photo session on Thanksgiving Day (15 families photographed)
  • Entered the world of Black Friday Shopping (and vowed I'd never do it again) got some great deals for my new house, but only one Christmas present.
  • Completed the purchase of my first new home
  • Spent countless hours painting the house
  • One of my world history students was killed in a home invasion which ushered in the saddest two weeks of my teaching career
  • Spent an undocumented amount of time on my National Board certification
  • Traveled to Seattle to spend my Christmas vacation.
For most of December all I wanted to do was sit quietly in a dark room and cry from a combination of stress and exhaustion due to the house and then to the death of my student. I was very happy to leave Las Vegas. Today is in fact the first day I have spent online since I left on Monday. As Christmas quietly approaches tomorrow I have much for which I am grateful. I will be posting a year in review outline later next week as I finalize my goals for 2011.

May this Christmas be filled with love and peace!