I thought it would be a good idea to give a small life update, as I haven't been posting regularly in quite some time. I could say a year, but quite frankly, I lost the blogging mojo for a couple of years.
In two words, I'm good. Things are going much better than they have been, and while the last year has been incredibly challenging for me, there are a lot of good things on the horizon for myself, my husband, and my life in general.
I think in the last update I gave before completely disappearing, I mentioned that I was hit with a lot of chaos in my life all at once-issues at work, stress from taking classes to renew my certificate, and Matt losing his job. Of the three, obviously Matt's job was the biggest problem and caused a great deal of stress and financial strain for about 6 months. It's been almost a year since it happened and I can say that without a doubt, it was a blessing in disguise. Matt is finally back in school and is set to graduate in another year (FINALLY). We're actually at a good place financially where all of our debt is paid off, and we've both grown up in a lot of ways. There were many times over last summer when I would break down crying because of stress, but we're doing okay now, and our relationship is stronger because of that strain.
Speaking of Matt, we celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary after Christmas. It doesn't seem like it has been that long, which I suppose is a good thing. ;)
I also have a new niece, Madelyn, who was born in October. She belongs to my brother, Eric (he also has Zoey, my goddaughter). It's crazy that Zoey is already 2 1/2!
In my work life, things are pretty good. My district has some reshuffling before Christmas that resulted in a few lay-offs, and because of that, my schedule was changed. I now teach all English, and while that was what I wanted a long time ago, I really miss teaching history. I currently have 3 sections of sophomore American Literature, 1 section of senior Composition, and 1 section of Mythology. It's a lot of essay grading, but I have found that I've been much more efficient in how I collect and grade papers. I'm not sure what I'm teaching next year, but I'm pushing to get at least 1 section of history back. I'm also hoping that if we get enough student interest I will be teaching a Shakespeare class. We will have to see.
Probably the biggest news is that I finally decided what to do with my education. I was going to start graduate school in the fall, but after Matt lost his job, it wasn't a financial possibility. So, I decided to earn my National Board Certification instead, which in addition to giving me a substantial pay raise, is pretty prestigious and takes care of my certification issues for the next ten years. It's a 3-year process to complete and has 4 parts-a content test and 3 different portfolios. I'm working on one of the portfolio pieces now (it's due May 20th), and when it's finished, it'll be about 60 pages. But the whole process is a challenge and worthwhile, so I'm going to tough it out (and will be spending my entire Spring Break writing and writing and writing).
I'm also hoping to teach summer school this year, with the hopes that the extra income will fund a road trip Matt and I have been talking about taking for years. If all goes well, we're going to spend the first two weeks in August driving out West, camping in Yosemite, seeing lots of national parks, visiting my sister in Los Angeles, and heading back by way of Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and more. I'm really hoping it pans out, as we have been talking about taking this trip for years!
Beyond all of that, not much has been going on. My health has been surprisingly good, with the exception of bad days here and there and a string of migraines that have plagued me this winter. I did have to get glasses back in December as my eyes were going crazy. They make my life much easier. :)
If there's anything else I forgot to mention, feel free to ask.
I will say-it feels good to be writing again.