2013 in Review

At this time in my life I am forgetting things at a faster rate than ever before. Since I don't expect this rate to improve, I feel the need to archive some memories from 2013.

In January, I began student teaching at the local middle school. In 6th grade language arts, I had a fantastic mentor teacher who challenged and inspired me toward excellent educating. In 6th grade math, I worked with someone who challenged me in a different way - providing an example of the kind of teacher I did not want to become.

That same month, four college friends and I packed up my little car and drove to Washington DC. After being pulled over, getting scammed on parking, and illegally walking on the frozen reflecting pool, we walked out the door of the Holocaust museum to join hundreds of thousands of protesters marching against the modern-day holocaust of abortion.

February saw many early mornings as I continued to student teach, and many late nights planning lessons and grading. Companionship with my dear friend Taylor helped me survive. Our study/work nights, fighting the song wars on our laptops, having RA duty together, and rosary walks were times to treasure.

March and April were a marathon of senior projects. I spent so many long hours in the library, that a librarian offered to have my mail forwarded there. I attempted a visit to St. Cecilia's in Nashville, but my car broke down in Louisville. I had packed twine "just in case" there was time to craft, and made rosaries at the car shop all day.

In May, I graduated with honors, and all four grandparents were present for the event. I made it to Nashville for a 5-day vocation retreat where I met many wonderful women, enjoyed excellent Dominican preaching, and spent hours in contemplation and prayer with my Lord in the chapel.

June 28, my 21st birthday, a call came from the vocation director at St. Cecilia's with a message to "wait." The feelings of both disappointment and relief were overwhelming. The job search began with renewed vigor. I was so thankful for the great blessing of daily Mass throughout the summer.

In July, I interviewed at a nearby public elementary school. A few days later, my nerves were shaken by a phone call saying none of my references were reachable. Because the president's office was generous enough to keep me on for the summer, I happened to be in the same building as 3 of my education professors, who immediately called the principal to recommend me. Within a few hours, she called back with an offer.

Because of the job, I wasn't able to join my family's grand canyon vacation, but I thoroughly enjoyed house-sitting and the hours of picking, washing, cutting, grating, freezing, skinning, canning, & cooking vegetables from the garden. It kept my hands busy and my mind off of the looming school year, which began August 12.

Nothing has ever stretched me more than being a 5th grade math teacher. Even after days of pure exhaustion, feeling completely inadequate, and shedding tears on my drive home, I could always look back and think of the many times I smiled and laughed throughout the day. I love my students.

Thanksgiving provided the opportunity for me to visit my great uncle and help him digitize old family photos and records. The "genealogy bug" had bitten, and when visiting family in Connecticut, I discovered many more gems. Through December, I worked on a family heritage scrapbook to share with aunts, uncles, and cousins.

All 31 members of my dad's side were together for the first time this Christmas, and we discovered that my cousin is expecting #32! Our time together was sweet, especially the late night sleepover with cousins Sarah & Elizabeth, marveling at our heritage and wondering about our future. I wonder what doors lie ahead in 2014 and I pray by God's grace I can honor the heritage of faithfulness passed down to me.

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