Saturday, December 15, 2018

Let's Celebrate - 2018 in review

Ruth Ayres is an amazing author, educator, and friend. She long ago taught me the importance of celebrating the small things, that when surrounded by a lot of overwhelming stuff, finding reason to celebrate was paramount to helping you find your way. You can find her blog HERE

I thought of Ruth this morning as I opened my computer at Starbucks. It's December 15th. I'm overwhelmed. This fall has been a time of great change, highs and lows. I feel like every day is flying while looking back and being shocked that an event from a week ago wasn't a month ago. I'm not sure I have words to express it.

What I know to be true is that 2018 has been a year of loss. First my Uncle Bobby; then my dad's cousin Jim, who was like an uncle to us; then Chris's dad, Len. It's been a year of goodbyes. It's been a year of some small reminders that our health is important. It has been a tough one.

At the same time, Ruth's reminder to celebrate is ever-present. I know that among my lows, there are also moments to remember.

Luke and Liam both grew as runners, each in their own way, but enough to make us so proud. Luke has battled several injuries, but he still pushes himself to excel. He is his own worst critic. Liam learned that he did have so much more speed inside than he ever knew. For the past few weeks he's left the middle school and gone to the high school to run with the long distance runners there each day after school. He's loved it and is looking forward to the next four years.

Chris and I had many moments to celebrate. After being married for twenty-two years, together for twenty-five, it is hard to remember a time when we weren't together. And while this fall has been difficult, we've also had the opportunity to take the kids to see Pearl Jam and escaped to Chicago with just the two of us to see Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. 

Kindness makes my heart grow anytime I see it. I recently told a teacher on my seventh grade team that I thought the reason our team made me happy was that we didn't dwell on the negative. We laugh, we try and help each there when we can. I also share this with my students. This fall two authors were kind to my students - one publicly, one in a more behind-the-scenes kind of way. Their kindness took my breath away and while I always loved their books, I am now a devoted fan for life. So if you need any young adult Christmas books, please think of Andrew Smith and Brendan Kiely. They are wonderful human beings. 

Small moments, when you are always on the look out for them, they are everywhere. Just this week, I've had tons of them. 
--> Chris and I visited a brewery yesterday in our area that is brewing a beer with Sierra Nevada that benefits the folks impacted by the California fires this fall. 
--> My homeroom read My Friend is Sad yesterday for our daily picture book. These big seventh graders read Piggie's part, I read the part of Gerald. One of them ran and got our stuffed animals of Elephant and Piggie to hold. My heart melted.
--> I finally redesigned this blog. Let me know what you think.
--> I'm at 93,000 words for my book and I think I've decided on a pen name to write under. After some of my students begged me to let them read what I'm writing (no way), I realized the importance of this once I'm done. 

And that's it! I hope you are well and not too crazy as we wrap up 2018. Wishing you all the best.