Sunday, November 21, 2010

20 November 2010

I am behind the times. But as most of you know I like history so I am going to take this moment to share a little history about my life over the past few months. As I reflect back to 2010 I laugh and cry about everything I endured. Not that it all was a hardship but there where moments that humbled me. I don't want to reflect on the negative even though those moments help us become stronger but simply stated, I like the positive better!

This post is about the day of November 20, 2010. This day ended up being fun-packed with friends, flying, and fans. Simply put I went flying, had a Thanksgiving dinner with my friends, and was crowned Miss San Marcos. I think the pictures from this day will do it justice. Enjoy!

Driving to Chandler Regional Airport. Are we excited or what!

Adam, ze pilot, and Me. I guess since I am smiling I trust he can still fly while looking backwards.

I love you Arizona!

Eliza and I, ze passengers. Once again, trusting the pilot as he takes a picture of us.

Afternoon to the end of the day:
Preparations for our Thanksgiving dinner pretty much took us all day! After we put our feet back on the ground we spent the rest of our day preparing the turkey, cooking pies and casserole. Well at least I should say Eliza did because I was preparing for a pageant. Never would I thought I would be in a pageant and as silly as it was, it was an interesting experience. I had an interview, talent, and evening wear. I was actually crowned Miss San Marcos! Considering I had no idea what I was doing for my talent and evening wear until about 5:30pm I would say it was a success.
Dave giving some TLC to the bird. It paid off by being flavorful and moist!

I am grateful for this harvest!

Jena, Brittany, Lauren and I (clockwise)

What a bunch of turkeys!

In my crowning glory! (This is the only picture of the whole night.)
There you have it. This was a memorable day in so many ways. I was really worn out by the end of it all. I think I could have enjoyed all didn't happen all in one day but I really am not complaining. I am blessed to have amazing friends!

End To An Era...Enter New

You never know how hard it is to say goodbye to a dear friend. Knowing that you will never see them again, only relying on the memories saved in your memory bank, the experience the joys of that friend.

After 92,000 miles, 9 years, and countless hours, I severed all ties and responsibilities of being an owner to my dear Betsy, the 1999 Ford Taurus. She was the first car I owned. We bonded and had many amazing trips together. A trip to San Diego, countless trips through the mountains, midnight runs to Dairy Queen, and more. About 3 yrs into the relationship, we knew we needed each other when we thought we would never see each other again. Betsy had been kidnapped late on night. Luckily she was found 3 days later. Betsy also had a few emergencies plastic surgeries after she was hit. I stood my her, knowing she could pull through.

Considering Betsy had started to fail me months before we separated, one might think I could have skipped away with a smile on my face at the dealer when I made the trade but we went deeper than that. I still have to have a moment of silence each time I see a Taurus pass me on the road. But all things must come to an end.

And what is life if we do not start anew when things come to an end? I know have a new friend! Not a 6-cylinder but a zippy 4 cylinder, 2010 Toyota Corolla! So cheers to my new friend, Her-mine-ee (or at least that might be the name, it might change.) We haven't had a road trip yet, but I look forward to the new adventures that will fill the time in our relationship here in the near future.

Birthday Wishes and More

As the year circles once again to the end, I celebrated another wonderful birthday. Now if you really know me you know my birthday was back in October and we are no longer in October but its never too late to share some great stories.
As many say, as you get older, your birthday is just another ordinary day. I am feeling this more and more each year. I now realize though that a birthday is not just a day for people to celebrate you, its a day for you to celebrate another year in the presence of the wonderful people our Heavenly Father puts in your life. I think I am progressing in the direction that not everything is about me. Birthdays are days that you get to celebrate the joys of each year you live!

This year I did work on my birthday. It was a pretty uneventful day. About 4:03pm I hit the highlight of the day when I just walked out of my classroom, leaving all my worries behind. Ahh! A night without grading and planning! My birthday gift to me. I didn't care if I was totally unprepared for the next day. I was out of there. My sister and her brother then took me to dinner @ Olive Garden! Oh the deliciousness of their crisp salad and breaded chicken with marinara sauce, topped with parmesan cheese. Don't worry I cannot forget the breadsticks bursting with salt, garlic, and butter. Mmmm! It was a top-notch meal! Of course I over ate but calories don't count on birthdays right??!

At the time of my bday I was temporarily living in Casa Grande (but I am now back in Chandler). Being away from friends and family I didn't expect anything to happen for my birthday. Well after a little trip to Target after we ate (apparently just to kill time), we headed back to the house. I wobbled to the door, still extremely full from the meal and unlocked it. Hands full of leftovers and books, I realized there was a shiny balloon in the middle of the room, and shadows of balloons on the floor. The lights were not on so I really could not see everything. And I kept thinking, "All this was not here before we left and I was the last one out the door..." SURPRISE!! (insert loud scream) The lights flicked on and people started popping out of hallways, closets, and from behind furniture!

Eliza & I with Tim as background
Me, Janalie, Tim, and Lauren
I was totally taken by surprise, not able to stop my pounding heart, to see the smiling faces of my friends. It was to be a simple day, but it got complicated. But of course I was not going to contest it. :) My day was complete as I celebrated with some of the people I love, another great year.
Cutting the Cake. Mmmm good!

Me, Jason, and Alison
(Pink was the theme color of the party I guess)

All of us together!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Farewell...Oh just kidding!

(For this post to make sense, read the Summer 2010 post first).

With the excitement of the 4th of July, I was anticipating an interview for a teaching position in Snowflake. Applying was paying off. As most know I did well enough in the interview that I was offered a 5th grade teaching position at Snowflake Intermediate. Now as crazy as this sounds, I had lots of anxiety for some reason. I did accept the job but with several reservations. What reservations? I have know idea. I guess one was that I was not ready to move back to Snowflake but that was not a good enough reason to pass up the only job offer I have had since I graduated college. I was unsure that I did the right thing in accepting this job. Everytime I thought of moving and teaching a little piece of me just broke down. (I know that this sounds harsh but I was really being torn apart). This was a great test of my faith. I knew that whatever would happen, I would have my Heavenly Father and Savior helping me every step of the way. I just had to act myself. It was also a time of trust and prayer.

This meant that I had 3 weeks left in Chandler. I will admit that this turned me into a very emotional person. I do not know if it was nerves and anxiety for the job or the move. I knew I had to take the job and just forget about other aspects of life and make the best of it. For some reason, the Lord had given me this job offer and I had to take it. With limited time in Chandler, my friends gathered around me and put me at the center of their lives. I am still amazed at how much time they sacrificed on my behalf. Within this amount of time we were able to check off most of the things on my wishlist. There were a few things I have always wanted to do or just sounded like fun so we put our best effort into doing these things before I left for the small town.

What was my wishlist? Well, first I never have karoaked and I had been talking about doing it for months. What ended up being a 'let's see how it goes' night at Native New Yorker ended up being an awesome time. Sadly I picked "I'm leaving on a jet plane" (good farewell song right?!). I will not sing that one again because it was too sappy for the occasion. Here is proof of this event...

The next thing on my list was to have some delicious German cuisine. I have been home for just over a year now from Germany and I have not enjoyed a single schnitzel, bratwurst, or potato salat since returning home. I needed some crispy, breaded pork mit kraut und salat. I found a quaint little restaurant on Main St in Mesa to help quench my craving. The food was okay. The atmosphere awesome and the company amazing. I was joined by Eliza, Adam, Lauren, and Karina. Pictured below is us with our food. We all ordered schnitzels. My favorite thing was the red cabbage kraut. AmAzInG!

That was 2 weeks of adventures. Not pictured was the trip to Bahama Buck's and the Sunday night parties. It was ending up to be a memorable time. I could not have asked for more. But there was still one more weekend (or at least we thought). During the last week of my living in Chandler I got a call from a friend who just got hired in Maricopa. She said they needed another 5th grade teacher. If I wanted the job, I had to act now. I immediately called the principal, got an interview, applied, and in short I did get the job offer. It was not official because of funding, grants, and school board approval but I had to decide now between staying in Chandler or go home. I had to make the decision quick. With the anxiety about Snowflake, I still poured out my heart to Heavenly Father to know which job I should take. Well, the last weekend had come and the final party was set to go. I wanted to just enjoy the weekend just in case I did go ahead a move. I postponed my decision for a few days...

Finale of this time was a night full of food and fun. I know many people put lots of thought into making this night special. Food was supplied by Moki's, a hawaiian restaurant. (I had craved Moki's for the 8 months I had been in the valley but had not been able to get over there to eat it.) We practically overran the small restaurant with our crowd and it was awesome! Nothing like a room full of friends and chicken katsu! Mmm good!

Crowd #1

Part of Crowd #2
After we let our delectable mean settle, the party train headed to Discovery Park where Bahama Buck's snowballs and coolers of snow waiting to be thrown. Yes, that is right! We had snow at the end of July in Arizona! (Luckily Adam knows where to get it and for free - the ice rink!) It felt so wonderful to be freezing in 100 degree weather. Of course it didn't take us long to warm up and dry.

After being snowballed, thrown in a snowpile, and water ballooned there was cake to be had for dessert. I am still amazed at the thought and beauty of this delicious creation. Just perfect for the occasion! Thank you again my friends! One big apple, surrounded my little apple cupcakes each with their own little tootsie roll warm. Cute!
~the "cake" ~

~ the "cake" and I ~

With the cake ended the fun but the memories still live on. The party ended up not being a 'farewell' but just a 'congratulations on the dream job' because I did not end up moving. I have taken a 5th grade teaching position at Butterfield Elementary. I was blessed to have to option of two jobs, especially in the education profession. Each one would have made me grow differently but I do know that I made the right decision to stay in the valley.

I would like to end this blog by giving my greatest heartfelt thanks to the many who have prayed on my behalf and supported me through the last month. You all know who you are and I have felt so much love over the past month that I am forever in your debt. Without your prays and faith, it would have been a thousand times harder.

To my family, who have given me places to lay my head at night and nourishment. And to my dear friends who helped me with my wishlist - you guys are just amazing!! I do not know why I am so blessed but I only hope that I can take that same love you have shown me and share it with the world.

Summer 2010

So you would have thought with all my time this summer that I would have been blogging. Especially since I have had an awesome summer!! Each day was a new adventure and most likely a memorable one. I have had lots of laughs and tears. Lots of ups and downs and crazy turn arounds. But in the end I have grown so much!

To begin the summer, I lost a dear one to me. Grandma Pearl Bates Solomon passed away. As much as a loved having this most amazing woman in my life, I was grateful to see her exit this life and back into the arms of her husband and loved ones who have also passed on. She will be missed.
~ Grandma's last birthday, 90th ~
And what is summer without a little bit of fishing and tree swinging! One Saturday afternoon we took to the lake, to sit back and relax. We found a spot along the Silver Creek where we also found a swing. It was a lot of fun. No fish were caught, just memories were that afternoon.

Throughout the summer I applied and applied and applied...and applied to every teaching position I was qualified for. But we will come back to that...

Summer nights brought fun times. Birthday parties and "just because" parties brought me closer to the wonderful friends I have made here in Chandler. It has been great to laugh, joke, and smile everyday. I could not ask for more.

--still applying for a job--

As most of you know my favorite holiday is during the summer. I love America! And I love celebrating the independence of this great nation. There is no other place but Taylor, AZ to celebrate this great day. The small town pride just hits home with me every 4th of July. Luckily I was able to celebrate it with not only my family but some of my close friends. I was able to introduce to them the crazy traditions of firing the anvil, the Jenning's band, cheese souffle, Patriotic program (Taylor style), Navajo tacos (twice), Taylor rodeo, fireworks, and more.

~Eliza and Devrin~
~ Truck full of "Anvil Followers" ~

~ Alison, Adam, Eliza and Me ~

It was a long day but you only get to celebrate the 4th of July once a year so you have to make the best of it which is not very hard to do in Taylor. I have to say sharing my small town with city folk was an awesome experience. I was glad to 'educate' them especially when it came to the rodeo and anvil.Maybe the best story about a city folk was Eliza thinking the bulls at the rodeo were called "Bucket Bulls" because they come out of the bucket. She now knows they are called "Bucking Bulls."
This 4th of July was definitely another memorable holiday. It was great to get back to my roots again. All my applying for a teaching job was about to pay off too. The constant applying, praying, and worrying was about to return my back to my roots 24/7. be continued...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gila Valley Temple Openhouse

I want to begin this blog by saying that I am absolutely thankful that in this day and age, we are blessed more and more with opportunities to get away from the loud and chaotic world by going to the House of Our Lord. He has now blessed more saints with an easier task of attending the temple and completing the much needed work for those who have passed on before us.

(Me, Gabby, and Katie)

On May 11th, (sorry my computer and/or internet as been out of order) I was able to go on a road trip to the new Gila Valley temple with a great bunch of friends. It was not a bad trip considering 6 hours out of the 8-9 hours of the trip where spent in the car. We shared tall tales and "short tails", sang together, avoided near face slaps, and discussed what a wash is (a dry ditch we determined). I know this sounds like a bunch of silly things but it was time well spent together because we were able to enter the temple together and feel of the spirit that is present there.

Two of the Happiest people I know! (Eliza & Gabby)

The beauty of that building, and any other temple, is absolutely amazing! Personally I think it could be a rundown shack and still be beautiful because of the spirit, blessings and work done within its walls. But of course we reserve the best for the House of the Lord so the best is used to create such magnificent structures.

The Whole Crew (Janalie, Adam, Me, Gabby, Katie, & Eliza)

I am grateful that I had friends to share this experience with and to feel their testimonies through their smiles as we walked through the rooms. I know that within the walls of the temple families are sealed together and death cannot break a family's bond that is sealed together. :) Those who were not able to accept the gospel while present on this earth are able to receive the same blessings because the work is completed for them by worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Heavenly Father does not want to leave anyone out no matter when they lived on this earth. We are blessed with different resources today to do the needed work. I know that just as it has been prophecied that temples will dot the earth and it is coming true. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to attend temple(s) near me and pray that I will set aside the time to do my part for I know it is important and must be done.

After we the walk through we took pictures and played on the train tracks. When we were on the train tracks I think everyone thought I was crazy because I kept hearing a train whistle. "It's all in your head Steph." Well, minutes after our fun on the tracks ended what came pushing its way down the track?? Yep a train! I proved that I had the best hearing.

Besides the blustery day, I had a wonderful time. This past Sunday (May 23rd) I was also able to attend a session for the dedication of this gorgeous structure. My testimony was strengthened as I listened to President Monson, President Eyring, and the new Temple President testify of the work done in the temple and what role we play in Heaven Father's Plan. As someone in my life comes closer and closer to the end of their time on this earth, I cannot express with words what it means to me to know that I can see my family and friends again. And to know that forever I can be with them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

When you think it's not any good

I am always amazed at how pitiful I can get when things are not going the way I want them to go. But I am also amazed at how my Heavenly Father helps pull me out of the dark and back into the brightness. I am not going to go into detail but pretty much life has been crazy. I have had so many ups and downs I am getting sea sick. But I am grateful for the challenges I am facing and that I am able to recognize the many blessings I have in my life. I know that this too shall pass. I also know that my troubles are small compared to the many troubles others face.

Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. Whether through scriptures, your family, or a 14 year old girl's diary, he guides us through our lives. You are now asking yourself what 14 year old girl. Well I have been reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and I came across a few inspirational words as I read the book. Here is a young girl, having to hide in an attic with family and strangers in order to survive WWII. Everyday they have the same routine as they hide for more than 2 years. But imagine yourself at age 13 you have to gather up all you can, wearing several layers of clothing, and sneak into an attic of a business building and remain there till who knows when. The only entertainment you have is radio telling you of a war that is happening around you, only being able to eat so much, and studying and reading the same books over and over. But also think of yourself as a teenager trapped in a building, not able to go outside -- and on top of that, maybe you will never feel the direct sunbeams of the sun every again. Depression, I know for sure, would set in for me. I think of this past week when I didn't have a car and how crazy I went staying home for just 3 or 4 days! After about one year and a half of hiding, this amazing girl writes:

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely,
or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can
be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and
that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple
beauty of Nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly
always will, I know that then there will always be
comfort for every sorrow, whatever the
circumstances may be. And I firmly believe
that nature brings solace in all troubles."

Wow! How beautiful, inspirational, and wise is this statement! Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. He knows that times are hard and that we will stumble but He provides us with simple things to remind us that we are not alone. Like Anne states, God wants - he wishes - us to be happy. We are here to feel joy! Joy in his gospel! Joy in Our Saviour! Joy in building ourselves into the clean spirits we are meant to be. Nature is a simple thing he gives us and I hope as we enter a new spring, a time when everything is clean and starting over that we too can start anew and be comforted in our sorrows.

Make lemonade, see the glass half full, and know that this too shall pass! I know that positivity has made me more mature in handling my hard times. This positivity comes from knowing that God is there and through our Savior, we will once again be in their presence. I hope that I hear them say, "Well done!"
"Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you and be happy!...And whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courange and faith will never perish in misery!" ~ Anne Frank

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

May you...

So we have all heard the phrase "May you live everyday of your life", whether it is from a 'quotable quotes' book or a hallmark card somehow we have heard this quote from our dear friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. Does it sound like this quote is finished? Keep this in mind as I relay a story to you...

A few weekends back, my friend, Allison, and I had a girls night out at a place called "Sauces". It was a glorious evening. We sat out on the patio of the restaurant enjoying ourselves as we gabbed about life and did a little bit of people watching. After our delicious dinner we decided to walk to Barnes and Noble. After wondering B&N for a while (because you can't spend just 5 minutes in there) we eventually found ourselves looking at the bookmarks, a few cards, and of course the refrigerator magnets that will impact your life with a little phrase or two.

As we were reading these magnets we came upon the one with Ralph's quote, "May you live everyday of your life." Of course I have thought of this quote several times and it is a mini-pep talk that says "do something with your life okay!" but that is not the message that I got this time. This may reflect my current mood about life but I really think it is a nice addition to the quote. I really think that Ralph did not finish his quote. Of course you will live everyday of your life. If you are not then you are dead right?! So to finish the quote for dear Ralphy,

"May you live everyday of your life.
May you die if you don't!"

--Ralph Waldo Emerson assisted by Hanie

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope little leprechauns did not trick you too much today. Funny thing about my childhood days on St. Patrick's day - the night before we always built a little house for the leprechauns to sleep in either out of wood blocks or legos. We would even dress up a potatoe as a leprechaun and hide him in the little house. I miss those days. Funny memories that just make me happy :)

I am home in Taylor for spring break so it was fun to be home again but I didn't build a house for the leprechauns. I guess that is why I didn't get any of his gold today (and heaven knows I need it). But I did get to live something from my childhood - green biscuits and gravy for breakfast and for dinner, yes the delicious irish meal of corned beef and cabbage. Just made for a happy day.

For some reason I was in the mood for St. Patrick's day so I was a little leprechaun myself for my friend's 1st grade class. I can't show you any pictures (child laws) of the happy children eating their gold, rainbows, and green hills but this was the cute cupcakes I made. ( for ideas).

Of course I had to save an extra cupcake for my nephew, Kyler. After he ate his corned beef and cabbage he got to eat his rainbow cupcake. He was so cute! He was so excited and when he gets shy he tries to hide by closing his eyes and tucking his head into his shoulders. He is at that stage that he thinks if he can't see you, you can't see him (Piaget's theory). It is the cutest thing! Here he is trying to share his delicious cupcake with me.

And yes, I greened out today with green fingernails, my Rainbow shirt from Ansbach (because the mascot is Leprechaun) and when it was cold I wore my jacket from Ireland. May I say that it was a nice day! I am LUCKY to have such a wonderful life! --

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Go take a Hike--or 2

I guess it is time to start and finish this post since it has been over a month it has been sitting in my 'post' box. But just to show that I have been doing something with my life I will go ahead and share my adventures hiking over the last little while. We will start with the 2nd hike (since my pics loaded in that order) and then go to the first one.

So my second hike was with my brother David and a few of his friends. We went to Gold Canyon. In the hills there is a trail that leads to some hieroglyphics. I have to say that it was a pretty easy hike and the view was just amazing. Once you get to the hieroglyphics there are some natural springs that flow into a few ponds. As you sit and admire centuries of art work you are at peace as you hear the waterfalls.

Picture of Allison and me. This was taken half way through the hike so do not judge us by the red faces and crazy hair. It was a little bit warmish that day with a slight breeze.

This picture is of one of the bigger 'ponds' there at the top of the trail. From there we continued on up the mountain even though the trail stopped at the springs and hieroglyphics. Of course the boys go trudging through the bushes, jumped over rocks, and have the idea to 'climb' to the top. Their dreams were dashed when the climb got a little harder and there seemed no way to really get all the way to the top. Plus a few of us girls were getting scratches all over (yes, a few drops of blood were shed but we survived). Picture below is of the crew.

(End of Hike #2)

My first official hike in the Superstition Mountains was awesome! I was a little apprehensive when I woke up to rain but the hike must go on. My hiking buddies were wonderful people I have met in my ward here in Chandler. I loved this hike because I was able to get to know people that I hadn't met yet and it was an awesome start to new friendships. To get our energy up we started our day at Ihop. Once we filled our tummies we were ready to start hiking. Our hike was at Ussery Pass. The hike was pretty easy. I did huff and puff towards the end but I say it was an enjoyable journey. We climbed to the 'caves' a.k.a. holes in the mountain.
Once we made it to the caves it was picture time. I think we spent the whole hour at the top taking pictures of this and that. There are many to share but here are a few for your enjoyment. First picture is of Ali and I holding up the mountain. We are super strong didn't ya know?

View from the top out over the Mesa/Phoenix area. If you look at the top of the picture it is a little dark; this was part of the storm that happened the day of the hike. Luckily it never 'rained' during our hike. But it did start to sprinkle towards the end so we hurried down the mountain. The last thing we wanted was to end up on the 6 o'clock news as 'stupid hikers washed down Ussery Pass'.

Just a fun picture. Yes I was a little nervous as we kept moving out over the edge to take pictures but it did make for a cool picture. In the picture is Sarah, Josh, me, and Sarah.

As I mentioned, it did start to sprinkle so we thought it was best to start down the mountain. On the way down, Ali and I were the Caboose. Wait not we were the detached caboose left out in the middle of no where. Of course it was partly our fault because we had to keep stopping to take pictures but we also stopped to check on a lady who had slipped. She was with her sons but we wanted to make sure she was okay. As we did our civic duty the rest of the crew continued down the mountain. Ali and I were fine but wanted to make sure we kept up with the rest of the group. There was no way to get lost because you only had to follow the trail. As we were finishing the hike 'by ourselves' and evil plan developed in our heads. We were going to fake a fall and make them all fill bad for leaving us behind. Oh yes, we faked the fall by actually rolling in the dirt, sticking twigs in our hair, making up an elaborate story of what happened, and hopped to the car pretending to have a broken ankle. I have to say I should have won on Oscar for the job I did. Several of the girls believed I was actually hurt. What they didn't know is that I was laughing so hard it looked like I was crying. A few of them were a little put back when I came running out of the bathroom to show I was okay but I think Ali and I learned who are 'true' friends were that day. j/k you all were great.

Well, there are the tales from the trails. Until next time...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Is this rope safe??!?

You will just have to take my word because that is all the proof I have. (Camera was left in the car.) 2010 is turning out to be an interesting year because I have already jumped off a cliff. Its not what you think it is - all is well! And technically I carefully, inch by inch, eased my way over the edge with my trust in a rope. That's right, I went rapelling!

Rapelling is something I have always wanted to do but never had the opportunity. Luckily the invitation was extended to me, I accepted and went! The trip was nice and I got to meet some cool people. We went out by Salt River and the cliff was about 120 feet high. I was glad that it was only that high because when I first 'accidently' looked over the edge my heart definitely skipped a heart beat and my body said, "What the heck are you doing?" Ignoring my sanity, I continued inching my way over the edge hoping that my right hand would continue being the brake hand I needed it to be. With nerves and mind going crazy and the rope being heavier that I thought, I started letting the rope go through my hand hoping I would be able to brake. My fear came true; I was not really able to get my hand back behind me to brake. It was free fall from my first 'bounce' off the wall to the ground. I was freaking out because I was just falling down the rope. "Ahh, Ahh, stop it stop!" Just before a total break down began I saw land only inches below me. Once on the ground of sanity my legs collapsed and I was laying on my back. From there I screamed, "I did it!" I experienced personal triumph.

Would I do it again? Yes! And I did. I went for a second time just to prove that I could do it again. The story was the same but I was able to bounce twice off the wall this time. My brake worked a little bit better thank goodness. :) But I still lost my footing once on the ground again so I yelled again, "I did it" from my back. I wish I could have gone more but with so many people there was not much of a chance to go more than twice.

So let it be recorded that on the ninth day in the year two thousand ten as the day that I, Stephanie S. trusted a rope and rapelled down a rock...and enjoyed it! ;)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last Post of 2009

I cannot believe that 2009 is almost gone! I cannot believe that the first decade of the 21st century is over! Y2k seems like it was a few days ago, not a decade. That was a silly time. I guess now we have to wait and see what 2012 brings right?

With the end of the year, we all think about what has happened in the past year? What did I do with my life? And I did NOT complete all my resolutions so I will do them next year (and we all know that they are the same resolutions for 2008, 2007, etc.) But I do have to say that 2009 was awesome!! I am not sure if I can label it the best 12 month period of my life but I do know that I was able to accomplish several things.

On the streets of Dublin, Ireland.

So what does 2009 stand for me? 2009 stands for completion of my student teaching, which I feared from day one of college. 2009 stands for Bachelors Degree (fInAlLy!-can I get a Hallelujah?)!! 2009 stands for 5 wonderful months exploring Germany and other European countries, experiencing a view of life from across the pond! 2009 also stands for learning to recycle, travel on trains, protests, language barrier, helpful people, and schitzel! 2009 stands for steady weight (until the last week). 2009 stands for horrible market for new teachers and several applications.

As I reminisce about the past year it gives me chills to think that 12 months ago I was planning my trip to Germany. I seriously wish that I could have a "Groundhog Day" movie script for my life that goes from January 19th, 2009-June 2nd, 2009. Without replaying a few days, it was a time that I would relive without hesitation. But we all know that we cannot live in the past. And of course, we cannot control the future. But we can definitely plan and carry out our plans the best we can.

Our Pre-made Gingerbread house.

So with 2009 walking out the door, what do I look forward to in 2010? Don't worry I am not here to write down my "goals" for 2010 but I do want to express my "hopes" for 2010 (just a few). 2010 - Get a FULL TIME job! And hopefully it will be a teaching position. Gotta put that hard college work and degree into action! 2010 - Take and pass the AEPA test for the middle school social studies endorsement. Yep, I want to teach history! 2010 - Read some more books on my list that keeps growing every day. I do not read all the time but I know I should read more than I watch. 2010 - Learn a little bit of Spanish (comes in handy these days). 2010 - The last I will list, and it may sound silly but I hope to stay in better contact with friends and family and NOT via electronics. Maybe via phone, but not via texting. I just sense a little bit more personal connections are necessary.

With all that said, I truely hope all of you have a wonderful welcoming experience with 2010. And to make you think, is it "two thousand ten" or "twenty-ten"...

Christmas Day we got to visit my Brother-in-Law at the fire department where he works.