October 25, 2012

My 25th Birthday

Craig brought the girls and I
some happy flowers.
The flowers final hurrah-
on top of my birthday cake.
Holy cow, I'm 25. Isn't this like the magical "it will never come" age? I know it isn't really THAT old but when I was in junior high and even for a time in high school I always thought of 25 as this mystical "it" age. When I was asked at church or in my writing classes what my plans were for my mid 20's, I always saw myself married (check), graduated (check), being well-traveled (a work in progress), working (check) and possibly have a wee one (check +).  I didn't often write about my family goals in school because both my teachers and many of my fellow students really couldn't understand why I would want to be married and have a family before I was 30. In reality, life has been so much more than I could have possibly imagined at 13 or even 20. I'm married to my very best friend who also happens to be a great daddy, we have two wonderful little girls who I know without the faintest hint of a doubt, were meant to be ours, we have a lovely little home that has been so fun to make our own, steady employment, enough to eat, we can pay our bills (even if I do gripe about how expensive things are/can be) and by most standards, we really can't complain about life. We're very blessed and I hope we can spend the next many years helping others be as well taken care of as we have been. That is the point of life, right?

Speaking of being taken care of, Craig and the girls took extra good care of me on my birthday. Sophie and Olivia helped Craig make me a fun card, which they brought to me when I woke up. The girls did a great job. I had my second day of teaching on my birthday and you'd better believe I let my students know that it was my birthday and their gift to me could be their very best behavior. Instead, a few of the younger students asked if I was turning 40. It was actually rather amusing. Craig took the day off and stayed home with the girls to have some fun. They even came all the way to the school to see my classroom and help me get some things arranged and put together- it was great!

I'm hungry just looking at this!
Sophie and Olivia got to spend the evening with their granny and grandpa -Craig's mom and dad. His mom brought me a darling new Halloween decoration-with chalkboard!- and some delicious smelling soap. Sophie took it out of the wrapper for me and loves to smell it. Craig took me to get all-you-can-eat sushi at Wild Ginger for my birthday dinner. I really can't say enough good things about that place. All-you-can-eat doesn't really mean you should eat until you can't move EXCEPT in the case of sushi and boy, oh, boy did I eat! Craig will have to tell me later how many rolls I ate but I'm pretty sure it was something like 5. And we had soup. And two orders of gyoza. And an order of grilled mussels.

Craig wasn't a fan-I got to
eat three of them!
After consuming my (pregnant) weight in sushi etc., we hopped waddled on over to the home show at the new convention center in Provo. It's a very nice building. Sadly, it didn't look like many people were interested in going. Many of the presenters were hanging out around the Sams Club lounge area in front of a huge tv that had the BYU game playing. I thought it was amusing.

To top off the evening, we went home and had a delicious chocolate mousse Craig had made from scratch. He knows me so well. He even made the cookie crust out of thin mints. Great dessert. I knew marrying him would be a great choice!

Chocolate cake, raspberry filling and
homemade Hershey chocolate frosting. 
Then, on Sunday, we had a small birthday dinner (home made Cafe Rio style pork salads, rice, fixings and cake) with my brother, Bryan, my sister and her family. Erin wins. She gave me some new Gladware food containers and a cute zebra lunch bag for taking to school. It was awesome.
I had a lovely birthday and hope to have many more fun times to share, too!

Working Life

Several people have asked me recently how my days have changed since I started working. I really think that, with a few minor exceptions, it has changed for the better. We'll start with the exceptions: I don't have nap time to do dishes and laundry or tidy up now. Or blog. Not really a huge deal since those things can be done after bed time and a little bit in the morning - Sophie really likes helping load and unload the laundry. Oh, and finding crayon on the wall from time to time when I come home isn't really an "up." ;)

Other happy changes:

  • I feel like I value the time I'm home with my girls a whole lot more. The awake time is much more deliberately spent together now. 
  • I feel better. Getting out for a few hours every day is helping so much. 
  • I've found something I enjoy doing, I'm going to be able to use it at home, too, and, unlike some other things I could be doing, I'm at least making a little money instead of spending it. 
  • I've had multiple teachers at the school come and tell me how much their classes are enjoying music class and one teacher, the mom of one of my students, even came to tell me how happy her son was that I could actually control the class. I'm not really interested in posting here about the situation but let's just say that a particular student likes to think s/he runs the class and some teachers just let him/her. I did not. 
  • Somehow the schedule just works so well right now. I hope it stays this way! I leave around 10:45, Sophie has lunch at 11:00 and then is in her room for rest time and nap time until 2:30 or 3:00 (depending on how wild we played in the morning) and then I'm home around 3:30ish. Olivia's longest nap of the day is while I'm gone, too. 
  • Craig is getting to cook more often. He really enjoys cooking and making new recipes and I'm happy to let him do that! 

I'm still working on my classroom but here are a few pictures of where I spend about 18 hours each week: 

Messy, messy, messy. I do NOT like being in a cluttered mess!

A VERY cluttered classroom. Those cabinets...

A "Before." I'm keeping the main board the way it is for now.

Birthday Cards on my desk :) 

An early "after" picture. Instruments cut out,
laminated, cut out again and hung up. 

Solfege door. Great quick review when the kids
are lined up waiting for their teacher to come back.