Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eurotrip 2012!

I visited friends and family in kc last weekend, and they are all going through important transitions! I helped all three of my besties pack their belongings, which was lucky because they all gave me some stylish clothing! One of them is moving in with her significant other, one was leaving, and another took a job in Dallas. I even got to help her load her car and see her off :) It was all very exciting! For the weekend I had packed my own little suitcase knowing I might stay for three days, and I did. I ended up bringing lots of belongings home in my car to keep and helping move.

I needed that little mini trip for a couple reasons, one to catch up with the girls before I missed too much of their lives, second to help deal with my own travel withdrawal haha.

I also got to see my bro n wife, pet Titus, and jog and swim some laps. What is it about traveling that makes me exercise so religiously? I dunno but it feels Goooood. Kendra had an amazing rooftop pool at her condo, and Tino n kel both just left the best neighborhood to jog in. Sad that I won't be in either of those places probably again, but that's how life changes isn't it? It's crazy.

One of the neatest things I got from the girls this weekend is the tentative plan to backpack Europe this summer. We had mentioned it before, but they seemed serious about it this time. So I sent out a travel email, we picked a month, July 2012, which is only a short 8 months away!

In order to make this happen, we all have to save up LOTS of money, plan, make arrangements for bills, belongings, and PETS! Thank god we dont have kids, cuz I'm already worried that pet care will stop us :) I am serious about getting a second job to raise more money, and possibly eliminating my February vacation from the calendar. That way I can apply my tax refund as well. Doesn't this sound exciting? I also know, once my heart is set, I will have to go even if all the girls back out, which would be incredibly depressing. Our serious planning will start new years eve when we all meet up again, the holidays are over, taxes ahead, and only 6 months left. Unfortunately I can't start my second job until January, which is after coaching cheerleading. How stupid is it that I could make more travel funds working at mcdonalds than coaching sports at school? That's why schools are crazy sometimes. That's also why they literally have to FORCE teachers to do it, because they are asking us to work double overtime for FREE. Okay, end of soapbox, and back to happy thoughts of traveling :) arrggh.

Sooo, today I bought the rest of our holiday plane tickets. Darrin and i fly to south padre on Christmas night, stay five days, then fly to dallas dec 30th, rock it out with Tino for her 30th on new years eve!, then we fly home Sunday, and bleehhhh, back to work on January 2nd. One things leads to another though, because it seems these 30th birthday destination parties are going to lead up to our year of traveling Europe, while we are all 30 years old. What better way to celebrate getting old?? Till next time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Research and possibilities

I would like to share a couple things I have been researching lately. But first, i should tell how pleased i was with my first teacher presentation! I mentioned briefly before that i was presenting at a teacher inservice in September. I spent all summer reading a book and mentally preparing notes. In the end, I whittled the PowerPoint down to some big ideas, shared some research I picked up in Seattle, and taught a short art project. All in forty-five minutes, and it was a huge success. I felt like i was in my element. Sharing information with adults made me a little nervous, but was so much more satisfying, especially when they complimented me! It was also a huge amount of preparation, but I think I could get quicker. I would like to share some of the info on here sometime.

So a new discovery I found when reading about Thomas Jefferson was the learning schedule he created for his daughter. It was neat to see what he prioritized and the time allotted for each activity. There were a couple hours of dance, an hour of musical instrument practice, writing and reading, etc etc. I plan to write down the exact schedule and put in my research folder.

I am also considering home based art tutoring, ideally for home schooled children or for kids that have parents who realize the importance of the arts. Just some thoughts, more info to come later.

Lastly, I painted two paintings for an auction. They both sold, although I think for pretty cheap. One painting sold for 85, the other for 30. 30 dollars would never happen if it had not been for charity, i don't think an artist would even consider selling a painting for that. 30 dollars might cover materials, but definitely not a profit considering time spent. However, the experience was nothing but good for me, since the materials were donated and it was a really fun experience. I got to see some old friends, maybe get my name out there, and acquire a touch of professionalism from it. And at the end of the day, there are two strangers out there that have my painting hanging up in their house. That's the coolest thing! Maybe i should give away some more artwork cuz it felt surprisingly good.


It's October, and I don't remember a more beautiful fall. Each day is more beautiful and temperate than the day before, and its been this way for three weeks. Today I woke and let the ducks out, laid on our new duck watching lawn chair, and felt great. I knew it would be an awesome day no matter what.

It's been a while since I wrote, since august when I was struggling to get back into another year of teaching. This year, my third year, has been the best. I am honest with myself and realize my teacher sense has improved immensely. My classroom management skills are so much better and I feel so privileged when a kid comes to me for advice. It can be very satisfying, and other days very frustrating, like when I feel like i just clean up after disrespectful kids all day long. I do love the district I work in, and I noticed this year the kids are beginning to trust me and like me much more. It takes years to gain their trust, believe it or not. Very satisfying though, and I don't feel that any other school would be better, or different. I also think the challenges would be the same elsewhere.

So, my career is fine. The home with Darrin is awesome. He is great, and we are doing good. Recently we acquired some new furniture, as well as a new roof, and overall the house is improving. My basement art studio is still in tact and i added my winter fitness gear to it. Ready to workout!

My biggest issue lately is the same as always, I want to travel. Travel travel travel. Today I was thinking about it, always in the back of my mind. I was trying to problem solve and decided that i simply don't make enough money to travel as much as I would like. I went on many trips last year: Boston, Seattle, Chicago, and Colorado. It's never enough! And after those four trips completely depleted my savings account and emergency fund so badly that it will take months to recover. A teachers salary pays the bills but that's about it. While i was fretting over this today the beautiful weather made me pause and think, why am I not happy enough to just be here? But I do believe that this is my home base, the place that keeps me stable, happy, emotionally safe. And the biggest blessing of my career choice is the time I have to travel, if only i had the money to do so. So onward with the problem solving mentality, how can I earn more money???

haha. Doesn't everybody struggle with that. In the meantime, I am considering taking a graduate history class at UCM. Studying history is so fulfilling, and maybe I can use it to help figure everything else out. Currently I am reading a biography on Thomas Jefferson, I was inspired to learn more about Jefferson after watching the John Adams movies. Jefferson is amazing, interesting, and inspiring. And I mean the real Jefferson not the boring hero persona given to him by third grade textbooks. Next up, maybe Thomas Paine or Benjamin Franklin.