The beginning of the school year is a whirlwind every year, and this year was no exception. I will say, though, that it has gone more smoothly than I imagined.
I have remembered very quickly that I love early childhood. I have always said that my favorite teaching job was pre-k, but I assumed it was just because the school was awesome. But now I realize that early childhood is actually where I feel the most confident. I’m having to adjust again because it’s just very different from the grades I have taught since then (and my own kids are big), but I’m getting there. I cannot wait until a few weeks from now when I break out alllll of the fall and pumpkin stuff. I have things planned. It’s all my jam! I love making homemade playdough and other sensory activities, seasonal and thematic craft activities, and more. And I am using some really great curriculum for pre-reading.
I adore my students. Like truly. I mean I always do. But this time feels different.
Most of the parents of my students are so amazing and helpful and involved. They are encouraging and supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better group of parents.
I have plenty of time during the day to plan and prepare because I have my normal planning period and lunch, but the students nap for a long time! They start resting process at about 11:50 then we have to wake them up at 2. Often there are a few that are awake, but they lay nice and quiet. Some days they all sleep. They’re little still.
There is one difficult situation with this, but it is going to resolve itself. Plus, no situation, job, place, etc is perfect. Overall, I love my school, my class, and my aid, and the kids love it here too. I’m so glad to be here.
Remember when I never thought I’d be back in the classroom? I was out for 6 years and had to go through hell and back to get to where I am. I have grown so much more than I could have ever imagined. I still struggle with anxiety sometimes and I know I’ll struggle with seasonal depression because I always do, but I’ll take these amazing days as a win because I haven’t always had them.
The last time I wrote on my blog I shared about a new Street Parking program that I was starting. I got right to work. The challenge started on August 1st, and I got the majority of my points every week. My team (the Gallos) won the challenge! I have never been so invested in a workout program. This one is amazing.
I have made such great gains physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have gone up in dumbbell weight (I even recently used a bar), my clothes are fitting better, I’ve lost some pounds, and I just feel better overall. I can also feel ab muscles (under a bit of fat of course hahaha), and my quads are rock hard. I can do 50 squats with Ethan on my back (he’s small for his age, but he’s 80 pounds). It feels good to be getting strong.
I’m not usually one for before and afters, and that’s not necessarily what this is (there’s never an “after” since bodies change all the time), but it’s to show the progress that I made since the end of May.
This summer I have lost 15 pounds, and just since the end of July I have lost 6 inches off my waist and 8 pounds. I’m not where I want to be exactly, but I am just taking it one day at a time and focusing on consistency. Without consistency, results don’t happen.
I am also eating more consistently better, and I joined a small group that starts on the 20th that focuses on their nutrition template. I will never be 100% because I just know that’s not what I want. I want to be able to live life… probably more like 80/20 or 90/10. But I can add more habits in that will help me feel even better. I have started to notice my workouts feeling more difficult when I don’t eat well or drink enough water. And I workout 5 days per week right now so I need to make it a priority. I think of it as fueling my workouts. The template actually has me eating 4 meals per day + a post workout smoothie or meal. I haven’t started following it really, but I will soon. I’m not sure if I can eat that much food. Haha. Each meal as a lot of food in it, too. It’s focused on the right amount of protein, carbs, fat, and veggies. There is a food list, but it’s more of a place to start. You can definitely eat plenty of things that aren’t on the list.
I have NEVER felt this invested in a program, and I was in Balance 365 for like 4 1/2 years. I ended up feeling pretty stagnant towards the end because there’s a lot of processing but not enough action for me. I just sat in what I wanted to do. I actually gained weight. I needed more focus, structure, and accountability. I have that now. Oh and the encouragement to do your absolute best, work harder, and continue even when things feel too difficult. I needed that. Balance 365 brought me really great friends and a good understanding of habits, nutrition, etc. It was just time to move on. So here I am. I cannot wait to see where I am in a few months, a year, etc.
I have been pretty distant this year because of the craziness of life. Because I work away from the home, Ethan is in sports, etc, it has made it difficult. This week, though, we will get to spend time with a group of our Gap year students (our HAF-home away from Home). I also hung out with some friends this weekend which was nice. I will be mentoring a Gap year student as well. I’m going to attempt to go to the women’s Bible study soon as well. We are going into the season where we do get togethers as a camp family. I have so many memories of some fun ones over the years. It’s hard to believe we have been here over 6 years! So much life has happened since we moved here. I have been in the valley and grown so much.
Robert and I say often that we cannot imagine being anywhere else. This camp has been healing for us. It’s the best community. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty great. When people move here they go on and on about how amazing it is compared to communities that they have been part of in the past. And anytime people are thinking about coming here, I go on and on about it. I don’t feel as connected these days, but things won’t change here because it’s clear that community is the top priority.
Robert is home a LOT more now, so that’s really great. He’s able to contribute to the family more and it has taken a lot of pressure off of me. I’m so grateful.
He still loves his job a lot. It fits him 100%. Being a wilderness director is a dream come true. The first 9 months were the hardest ever, but things should settle down a bit moving forward.
He has been rock climbing a lot and is getting really good at it and strong. I love that we are both pursuing fitness in a way that we’re passionate about. We are also attempting to eat healthier as a family (which the kids aren’t too happy about). Since we are moving our bodies more, we have found that healthy food makes us feel our best. I guess I didn’t mention this above, but I’ve also been running and slowly gaining speed and distance. Robert runs with me some, and so does Ethan.
Now about the kids. Karis is doing well in school (it’s her 10th grade year). She is always quiet and introverted, but she does have a few good friends. She is in Student Council and will even be helping with the homecoming dance (which is a huge shocker).
Ethan is in football and he just joined cross country. He’s still pretty new to football and struggles a bit, and he’s definitely new to cross country. But he just keeps trucking. He does what is asked of him which is all we can hope for.
Levi is my simple kiddo. He goes to school, does well there, enjoys band (he plays trumpet), and goes with the flow for the most part. He still loves hanging out with his camp friends most of all. He spends time with them most days after school.
We love to play games as a family which we try to do at least once a week. We eat most meals together at the table (unless we are in town). That has always been important to Robert and has become important to me.
The kids still play too much on electronics, but since we aren’t home much, I let them.
We have started going back to church again after a crazy summer as well. Ethan and I missed yesterday because he got his second dose of vaccine and had a fever and aches and chills. But we will be there next week.
My Amazing Life
I LOVE life. I love the busyness, the purpose, the sports (what?!), the regular movement, the healthy eating, the playing games, my students and being a teacher, working with pre-k again, our home and camp community, and it’s almost fall which is my favorite time of year!
I will also be 5 years sober on October 12th! It’s almost here!
I don’t think I could really ask for more. I’m so grateful.
This is cheesy to say and it always annoys me when people say it, but I truly am living my best life.