Monday, October 7, 2013

Back from a LOOONNGGG Hiatus!

Okay, that was a ridiculously long amount of time with no blog post.  I don't even have a good excuse.  The stress of that first year of teaching and the detox that ensued over the summer kept along with two school classes and a bunch of mini-vacations with my handsome hubby kept me pretty much 100% occupied.  But I want to do better!

There is so much to say that I don't know where to start!  First of all, Ty and I are doing SO well.  I can finally say that I LOVE it here in Wisconsin.  I started having a really hard time even liking this place near the end of the school year.  I'm not sure what it was, but I was experiencing a bit of homesickness (which is somewhat weird for me...nothing personal, Mom and Dad, but I can think of the times I felt homesick on one hand) and a bit of culture shock.  Teaching last year took everything out of me.  I even questioned my decision to be a teacher (I know!! Can you believe it?!  It was a weird phase...).  And then it all accumulated to being the Camp Director for our ward at the stake Girls' Camp.  I won't lie about it--I decided I want all sons after that experience.  Just a wee bit too much attitude and drama for me (don't worry, I'm back to wanting daughters again).  Suffice it to say, when we went home in August, I bawled like one of my girls' camp young women because I didn't want to come back here and have to go through what I did last year.  It was that scaring on my psyche.

However, I am glad to say that I did come back.  And that was a really good decision.  All you teacher-friends of mine that said to stick with it and that the second year is better than the first one were all right!  I bow down to you all!  It's so true.  After a year-and-a-half of first years, I am glad that I am finally being able to recycle things and work on refining more than just writing curriculum.  I don't come home every day in tears, wanting to quit.  I actually come home now LOVING my job!!!  I love it! I love my students and I love being able to help them communicate in and love Chinese.  I love being able to help my American Lit kids think critically about what it means to be an American and how our literature reflects that.  It's great!  Even though I am full-time this year and have three different Chinese preps and one English prep, I feel WAY less stressed than last year!  Hallelujah!

Here is my cute Chinese club and me in the Homecoming Parade.  Aren't they just adorable?!  Also...that car was pretty sweet.

I love it here in Wisconsin, and I will be very sad to leave.  I love my ward here and how it literally has become my family away from my family.  I love the beauty of this state!  The Autumn here is absolutely stunning (I'll post pictures in a later blog).  The people here are so nice and are just good people.  I feel like I belong here now.  What a blessing.  
(Here's me with my friend's student's Flat Megan that she sent me--I took her drawing around Milwaukee and took pictures for her--but look how beautiful this city is!  That's the art museum that's right on Lake Michigan behind me)

So, all this to say, thank you so much for your prayers.  They worked.  The Lord has been so good to us, and I feel extremely blessed to be a member of His church.  I know He lives and He is absolutely aware of us in our times of need and stress.  He was there for me and I have grown closer to Him this last year because of my trials.  I'm grateful for modern-day prophets and their counsel we received from them this past weekend.  It totally rocked my world!  I invite you to go and see for yourself how wonderful it was (click on this link:  Life is good!