Gratitudes for 2016

While 2016 was definitely a rough year for everyone, there’s definitely still a lot to be grateful for, and it’s important that we recognize the good in spite of the bad.

One of my goals for 2017 is to be grateful for the things in my life, and to kick off this wonderful new year, my Year of Gratitude, here’s everything I’m thankful for from the last year.

My husband and I celebrated four years of marriage!

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March 2016 – From our road trip to the Grand Canyon.

On November 17, 2012, I married my best friend in the whole world. This year, we celebrated by going to the movies and eating tacos, which was much more relaxing than how we spend out third anniversary (frantically painting and moving stuff into our new house before our lease was up on our old apartment). He challenges me, makes me laugh, reminds me to relax and enjoy life, and makes me happier than I ever thought I could be. I’m so lucky to have this wonderful man in my life, and I’m looking forward to all of the adventures we will take in the future!

We celebrated our first full year in our house!

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Our cabinet update was one of our biggest home projects this year! White cabinets really made everything pop! We love them. ūüôā

We signed the contract on our house right before our anniversary last year, got the keys on our anniversary, and started moving in a few days after. Since then, we’re still painting. And painting. And painting. And Ethan built a shelf! Which we also painted. (I’m starting to understand what the concept of “labour of love” really means.) We’re also phasing out our IKEA and hand-me-down furniture and slowly finding pieces that we love. ¬†Ethan and I are also learning to communicate differently about our various expectations for this home and what we want to get out of it. One day, we will be finished, or at least satisfied, with our home, but I’m learning to be grateful for the blessings that we already have. Our dogs have a place to run and play! Our dogs have other dogs to bark at ! (Our neighbors probably hate us.) I have space to entertain!¬†I¬†have entertained! Our kitchen is spacious and open! We have spaces to ourselves! I love having a space¬†to sew, knit, and read, and he has a great workspace that’s nice and quiet. I don’t think we’ll be in this house forever, but we love where we are¬†in this moment.

I got a new job!

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My new classroom. Loving the smart board!

I spent my first four years of teaching in a low-income¬†school. While I’m so grateful for the time I spent there, it was a rough and tough place to work. I learned so much, particularly about what I need from an administration, district, and grade level teaching team, and I’m glad to say that I’ve found it in my new school. I have developed several amazing new partnerships, and I’m learning more and more about what makes students successful. I can see and feel how this school is making me a better, stronger teacher.

I FINALLY bought a new computer!

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Goodbye, old laptop and 2016. Hello, new laptop and 2017.

Right before Christmas, I decided to retire my late white 2009 unibody MacBook. I’ve been griping about it for way too long (cue mental montages of that scene from Office Space…),¬†and¬†I didn’t want to bring that unpleasantness into the new year. My old computer served me well, but this new MacBook Pro (without the Touch Bar) is AWESOME. Oh, and I never realized how¬†heavy my old computer was. This is one is so nice and light. ūüôā

We have two beautiful nieces!

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Photo credit: my awesome brother-in-law.

This photo makes my heart swell. I love these sweet girls so much! My brother’s daughter, Sophia, right, was actually born just before Christmas 2015, but 2016 was all about watching this beautiful little girl grow! My second beautiful niece, Charlotte (Charlie), left, was born in June, and I miss spending time with her! I’m so grateful that I got to see her, my sister, and my brother-in-law, who all live almost four hours away, over Christmas.

I reconnected with some of my old friends from high school!

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Photo credit: JeffMason

The Gilmore Girls revival season was a HUGE deal for us. I used to watch it on the WB every Tuesday night with several of the girls on my high school dance team. They were my absolute best friends, and we slowly drifted apart after high school. Initially, we all started out on different post-high school paths, but ended up all becoming teachers. When we found out this revival was going to happen, it. was. ON. The lines of communication reopened, and it has been awesome to get reacquainted with these wonderful women as adults.

Recognizing these things has helped me move¬†beyond¬†some of the rougher and sadder aspects of 2016, and I’m looking forward to a wonderful and productive 2017!

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