Much like I had hoped, this school year was exponentially (get it, Math pun...) better than last. I had high hopes since I was no longer self-contained and was partnered with one of the best teachers in the school. The beginning of the year was discouraging and rough since there was still a lot of shifting of teachers and students, lesson plan formats & requirements changed more times than necessary, and I had one of the most challenging 5th graders in my class. My kids and I gradually got into the groove and routine though, and we started developing into a tight-knit community. I honestly don't know what I would've done my partner teacher, Michelle. She's like a big sister and is just so great to work with. If I had to give this school year a theme it would be GROWTH. Last year was purely survival, while this year I really grew in confidence of myself as a teacher and an influence at my school. Because of this confidence, I was able to joke with my kids more and feel more comfortable. More importantly, there was a lot less (but still some) second-guessing and comparing of myself to my co-workers. ANDDD I didn't drive home everyday like I did last year seriously contemplating quitting teaching to become a full-time waitress, barista, secretary, Target cashier, you-name-it! I'm just in such a better place than I was last year, especially when I first got hired. The Lord has continued to work on my heart about contentment, and that continual mindset shift has made all the difference in the world.
Have I mentioned how much I love living in Nashville? Over the past 6-8 months, we have established and deepened some pretty amazing friendships. When we first moved into our house (which by the way, Brandon and I just renewed our lease for another year...something we've never done before since we've moved every year we've been married!), I was really bummed about not having modern conveniences like a dishwasher and washer & dryer. But the location and deal that we got on the house was too good to pass up. I love that we have a great neighborhood to take walks with Rev and can walk to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Our friends have been so selfless to offer their w&d to do our laundry at any time, and we have definitely taken them up on it. For a while, I dreaded asking them because I knew it was an inconvenience (even though they promise it's not) to have us over for 2-3 hours on the weekend. Just like so many other things, I was over-thinking and worrying about it way more than I should have. But just recently, I realized that if it wasn't for these w&d opportunities, we most likely wouldn't be as close as we are to our friends. So if you've ever offered up your washer & dryer for us, THANK YOU! You may not see it as much, but we see it as a sacrifice and prevent us from being stinky.
Coming soon...a picture update and recap from our trip to Louisiana!