Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Thankful For...

-An amazing family who is supportive and loving
-A future husband who loves me more than words can express
-A soon-to-be-born nephew/Godson who will grow up knowing how strong his mother is and how much he is loved
-A job (even if it's not perfect)
-A working car
-An apartment that is nice with cheap rent and free utilities/cable/internet

(I'll keep adding to the list as the week goes on)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Spirit

The perfect relaxation...curled up on the couch under a comfy blanket enjoying the soft glow of the Christmas tree.  I love the holidays!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Family traditions are something that have always been very important to me. I don't know why---maybe because I'm so close to my family? For whatever reason, I like the idea of traditions. I like the emotional appeal to them, and I like that it's something that I can continue to pass down to my children one day.

I like that I have used the same stocking (It's an original Rainbow Bright...hehe) since I was a toddler.
I like the recipes for Grandma Bread and Grammy's pumpkin pie are only used for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, and that they are passed down through the generations.
I like that my family would go out and cut down our own tree every year.
I like getting up at 8am on Thanksgiving morning to watch the parade with my sister and help my mom cook dinner.
I like all of these little things that to other people might seem like no big deal, because these are the little things that bring my family together every holiday season, no matter how far apart we are the rest of the year. I don't expect other people to really understand why they mean so much, but I hope they can at least realize that no matter how silly they might seem they are the things that I look forward to every year; without these little traditions, it just doesn't feel like the holidays to me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is this what being an adult is supposed to feel like?

I honestly feel like I'm living for the weekend/summer. Most days, I don't look forward to work. In fact, I feel like work is just a thorn in my life right now, which is something that I'm not used to. I've disliked jobs in the past, but I've never had a teaching job that makes me really feel this way. It's not because I hate teaching, it's because I'm discontent with the structure of the type of school I'm teaching at. It's not at all what I had dreamed of, and I feel like maybe the charter-school setting just isn't for me. I like the structure of a traditonal school setting: after school programs, sports, music and art programs, set discipline procedures, Friday night football games where I watch my students perform, and so much more. Trust me, this has absolutely nothing to do with my current students, the staff, the curriculum, or anything else--I just feel like maybe the charter-school setting isn't for me at this point in my life.

On the bright side, I'm learning a lot about teaching and curriculum, which are things that I will be able to take with me through the rest of my career. And while this isn't my ideal first-year teaching experience, it's definitely not the worst it could be. Just praying for God to keep leading me through this and keep me focused on the positive aspects of it all.

And thank goodness for my family and H, who absolutely support me through all of the hardships, even when all I want to do/can do is cry! Seriously don't think I could do this all without them!

So maybe this isn't exactly what being an adult is supposed to feel like... but maybe it's feeling like this and learning from it that is what being an adult is all about.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Christmas was always a very big thing with my family. We would go out and cut down a tree together, bake cookies, and the house was full of so much Christmas spirit and love. None of that has changed, but over the past 5 years my Christmas spirit has slowly dwindled away. When my Grammy passed away in January 2006, it was like Christmas was no longer the same. Our family still went about doing things the same, but some little part of my Christmas spirit was gone.

This year, I feel my Christmas spirit coming back. This is H's and my first Christmas in our own home. And for some reason, this has really put both of us into the Holiday mood. I've been baking more and we've been working on Christmas presents already, this weekend we went to Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland with our friends and got some great ornaments, and today we put up our tree. Yes, it's a bit early to set up our tree, but ya know what? We are both feeling the Christmas spirit for the first time in years and we're so excited to be celebrating Christmas as our own family this year that we decided to go with it and let the Christmas spirit take over. Plus, it makes us happy! :)

This is our first Christmas as our own family, and is the first of many Keith family Christmases to come. We are so excited to be celebrating together and to be celebrating next Christmas as a (hopefully) married couple--God is truly blessing us! I really hope that the fact that our Christmas spirit is back this year that it only stays and keeps getting stronger for every year from now on.

Here are a few pics from this weekend around Frankenmuth, Michigan and in Bronners. It was seriously so great to have Rob and Teresa up here to spend time together and it was the best mini-vacation we've had in a while!

The 4 of us (Rob, Teresa, me, H) in front of a tree at Bronners

H and I in front of the tree at Bronners


H found one of those fun German "oompa" hats and had to embrace his German heritage


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quick Rambles

There are days when I am so thankful for my students and feel like maybe I'm making a difference. And then there are days like today, where I feel like I'm just a glorified babysitter to a bunch of teenagers who have no aspirations or determination. Feeling slightly let down by this, and wondering if I can change this. It's like what I say goes in one ear and immediately out the other...

On another note, I've decided I'm very excited for what 2011 is going to bring our way. I'll be finishing up my first year of teaching and enjoying my first summer off (and starting my 2nd year of teaching--yay me!), H will be graduating from BGSU, we'll be enjoying 2011 as our last Army-free year for who-knows-how-long, and we'll be getting engaged! Plus, depending on when H is set to leave for Basic Training, we might just be getting married in 2011, too! It's going to be a very exciting year for us, and I can't wait to see everything that God brings our way!!


Monday, November 8, 2010

My Sister's Babyshower

This weekend was my sister's baby shower for my little soon-to-be nephew! It was so much fun and it was great to see her surrounded by family and friends who support and love her. Here are just a few pictures:


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Prayer works!

I have been incredibly overwhelmed due to teaching day school AND night school. Being at work from 7:15am to 6:30pm 5 days a week is so exhausting, both mentally and physically, especially with the group of kids I have at night school. It's like every kid with a behavior problem comes to night school and I spend most of my time "babysitting" instead of actually teaching. And after 5 days of that, I feel so mentally exhausted...actually, usually after 2 or 3 days of that, I feel mentally exhausted...

But it's come to a point where it was either figure out a different schedule for night school or I would have to stop teaching both day and night and just teach day school. The first year of teaching is so hard and overwhelming in the first place, but to add to it teaching for 11 hours a day and teaching kids who are so hard to teach in the first place, it was making me have breakdowns about once a week. I know my limitations, and I know that teaching day and night school 5 days a week was just too much.

I had been avoiding talking to my bosses about it, just out of fear of "rocking the boat" and the concern of losing my job if I did. But my bosses were amazing about it, and even came up with a great schedule for everyone in night school. We're switching over to block scheduling, so I'll actually only be teaching night school 2 nights a week. That means 3 nights a week (including Fridays) I get to come home at 4pm! I feel so thankful and so blessed that this all worked out, because I have been praying about for the past month--waiting for God to take care of me and help me get through this. And today He came through and provided for me (like He always does!) and I am beyond thankful. Feeling so blessed.

And now, on to my truths:
Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
I can honestly say there are a lot of people in my life that this has happened with. Nikie from high school is probably one of the biggest ones. We were inseparable my junior and senior years, and my freshman year of college, but then she moved to North Carolina and I got busy with college, and we just drifted. We still talk via Facebook once in a while, but it's not like we were before and I regret that. Also, the ladies that I lived with at my sorority house: Kimmie, Ellie, Jess, and Sarah. We were so incredibly close and after graduation we all went our separate ways. Jess got married, Sarah and I are teaching, Ellie is a nanny in central Ohio, and Kimmie moved back to Maryland; we don't keep in touch like I wish we would have. These girls were my best friends in college, and now I talk to them about once a month and see them a few times a year. It's sad, and I wish it was different.

Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
There is one person who I have spent the past year-and-a-half letting go of. We still talk once in a while, but not like we used to. She was a toxic personality who did nothing but bring me down and suck the joy out of me. I realized this sometime last spring and have distanced myself. I can't let other people bring me down, and I refuse to let someone else take my joy away. It's just better this way, as sad as it is, and I've felt myself change and become a much more pleasant person because of it.