Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Thirteen: 2013 in Review

 2013 was a pretty eventful year for us. I had a year full of personal changes. I kind of hope for a year of fewer changes ahead.  Here are some memorable moments.

1. New job/ new career
I started a new job/career right away on January 7th last year. It was as a preschool associate teacher in a GSRP classroom. The job that I thought was a dream come true was really too built up in my mind. The job is not a job I can be proud of due to the requirements of how to "teach" but it did set in motion some possibilities for our future and the money was better than anything I have had ever since I left full time teaching 10 years before.

2. Back to school: GRCC to keep the job
Because of this job, I knew I was going to need tor return to school, which I did at the community college. I have two plans in mind, the first being the smaller of the two degrees and then eventually achieving my ZS teaching endorsement. This is important since I will definitely NOT be in this current position forever and I will need to the endorsement to make decent money in this field when I move on. The classes are ridiculous but I do what I have to do to jump through the hoops that are necessary.

3. New hair:
I got a really bad haircut right after I started this job and as a result I ended up cutting bangs back into my hair which is now going to stick. I went three years without bangs and I think it just suits me better to have my greasy forehead covered by hair.

4. Turned forty
Yes, the dreaded forty. Not pretty but at least I knocked an item off of my bucket list during this milestone birthday. And I spent my 40th birthday at Busch Gardens which was a very fun day with the family.

5. Saw the ocean
I saw and stepped into the ocean for the first time during the week vacation we took on Florida to celebrate my 40th birthday. I wish we had been able to spend more time in the water but hopefully I won't have to wait another 40 years before I see it again.

6. Hollywood Studios
We had taken the boys to two of the Disney parks when they were younger and tackled another one of them by taking the boys to Hollywood Studios during our trip to Florida. A very fun day and I am glad we got it in before they got any older since I think they are starting to grow out of some of the magic, which makes me sad.

7. Ran a 5K (and then some more)
When we got home from Florida, something changed in me and I started running. Who knows why since I never ran a day in my life but after a couple of weeks I decided that I was going to run a 5K during the year. By year's end, I had run four of them and have set some hefty goals for the year 2014.

I think these are all the biggies of the year but I think it wold be good to do an update on the others.

8. Steve Barbershop
Steve's quartet was insanely busy ALL YEAR with gigs most weekends and rehearsals an hour north almost every Sunday. They were scheduled to sing in Toronto over the summer but that fell through due to legal difficulties with half of the quartet members. They are looking forward to singing in Las Vegas in 2014 and I may still go with them....That's still up for debate.

9. Aaron
Aaron started 4th grade, played basketball and then flag football. He was graduated from speech and also got to act in his first community play (Hansel and Gretl). He also started volunteering at church running the soundboard a few weeks a month, just like his brother did before.

10. Noah
Noah started middle school and all that entails. His drawing skills have definitely grown and he loves going to middle school youth at church. Our goals for him in 2014 are still to find appropriate social outlets for him that don't involve video games or pokemon. I went in a fun trip with him to Sleeping Bear Dunes with the youth group and I hope there will be more of those to come.

11. Home Changes
Noah painted his bed purple and we rearranged his room to fit more shelves for his stuff. Aaron added a microphone stand complete with microphone and a full karaoke bar to his room. In the living room we moved the entire room (it had been 11 years since we changed things) and I also painted it. It turned way too blue instead of the blue grey I had hoped but we're living with it.

They should have been better this year, given the new job I had. But instead, we had three months of ZERO income since my job is only nine months out of the year. It took the entire fall to get our house back out of foreclosure again and we are being hounded by an underpaid tax bill from three years ago that we just found out about, as well as student loans that we can't afford but have run out of hardship extensions. Not sure what is going to come of those in 2014 but it's not going to be pretty. We are working now to figure out what summer job I can get  summer of 2014 to avoid the same problem next fall.

13.Hopes and Dreams
2014 was actually pretty good. No major medical problems or other dilemmas that we couldn't work through. I can't help but feel dread thinking something rough is coming in the year 2014 but for now I can only take it a day at a time and continue to pray that God will keep up in His good graces.