Christmas 2014

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas season, especially in spite of all the viruses and bugs going around this season.  I was definitely one of those under attack for this whole month of December (and still trying to recover)!  But thankfully, I started to feel a little better the Tuesday before Christmas, so I was able to drive my mom to her mom's to spend Christmas there.

This was the first time in quite a while that we were there on Christmas Eve.  My uncle was there too and he and my mom prepared almost the entire meal.  My grandma made a couple of vegetables, but was oh too glad to turn the kitchen over to two of her children.

My mom and uncle thought that they had cut back on the food, but when they were done, they realized that they still had cooked way too much.  Thankfully, my uncle always brings a case of take out containers and everybody made additional plates to take home with them.  And my mom always travels with a cooler to bring my grandma things from our area and also to take things back to our extra Christmas dinner.  :-)

And now what you're waiting for...loads of pictures!

Boiled Cabbage
Corn Muffins
Spicy Mac and Cheese - Recipe here 
Pork Roast

The Day after Christmas...we stopped to visit my dad's side of the family in another city.  Below is a picture of one of my uncles and one of my cousins.  We were at my cousin's house.  And there, we ate their Christmas leftovers and a piece of gluten-free pound cake.  :-)

I was glad to see them for the holidays.  So how was your Christmas?

p.s.  My Macbook was dead for a month and because of exams and sickness and the fact that the closest Apple store was almost 2 hours away, I had to wait until right before Christmas to be fixed.  I have missed it so much.  Thank goodness I have it back.  :-)

Christmas 2014 Dining Room Tour


Christmas is almost here!  This year I decided to do something a little different in terms of decorating in my home for the holidays - I decided to create my first real tablescape!  I've seen plenty of tablescapes over Pinterest and YouTube.  They are so beautiful, and well thought out, and in my humble opinion, kind of intimidating.  So many layers and layers of decorating goodness.  But I put my fears aside, looked through what little table decorations and table setting items I had and tried to create something new.

As I mentioned before, I started looking on Pinterest to see what styles were beautiful to me.  Then I realized that the color scheme that I initially wanted wasn't going to work with the walls in my dining room.  They aren't my favorite, truth be told, but until I am able to do something about them, I'm going to embrace them.  And so that's what I decided to do.  I decided to go with the traditional Christmas colors of red and green with accents of gold because I thought they would play nicely with the golden undertones of my knotty pine walls.

I decided to purchase a few items, but most of everything in my dining room decor was either given to me at some point, thrifted, or purchased on a real serious budget.  And that's okay.

I'll admit, decorating this corner of my home was really fun, and I'm seriously considering making it a seasonal habit.  We shall see...

I think one thing this seasonal decorating project has shown me is that you can make any place special no matter how humble your abode or the budget that you have.  And that's one thing to keep in mind as you look for a new home.  As you browse through the neighborhood guide at Urban Compass, be sure to keep your mind and heart open to all the wonderful dreams that can become yours in whatever space you choose to call your home!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas,

Having (my) Say...the finale!

Hello all,

So here is the finale to the Having (my) Say series. If you missed the first two parts go here and here.

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At the end of the last part, I mentioned that I did have my final interview and site visit from the Teacher of the Year selection committee for the regional rounds.

I was told that it might be January before I found out anything, but the selection was able to be announced right before our holiday break began.  In the end, the committee chose the other candidate to represent my region, so my TOY process has come to an end.

Initially I was a little sad about it, plus it didn't help that I was in the bed sick on the day I found out and I knew that I would have to go to a school board meeting that evening to receive an award for being a finalist.  But, I knew that I had done my best and that was comforting.  And although I wasn't initially thinking of it this way, one of the judges reminded me that making the finals meant that I was in the top 16 of our state.  It's all in how you look at it.

I have learned a lot about myself during this process.  It was a totally validating experience to say the least.  Not often in your career do you have the opportunity to know how others feel about you as a colleague, or as their teacher, or as a teacher of their child.  In this process I was able to find out how valued I am in my workplace.  I am thankful for all the support that I have received throughout the process and I believe that even making it this far will be the beginning of new and wonderful things to come.

Now, unless there are future surprises that I don't know about, I can focus on my job, my graduate studies, and on getting better.  Yes, right after all of the wonderful things came to a close, I have been stricken with the cold of my life.  Three weeks and still trying to recover...

Thank you all for being there on this journey with me!

p.s.  I got two A's in my classes this semester.  Stoked!  :-)