Well ya'll it has been quite some time since we last hung out.
Back in January of 2013 I started the tradition of a new year blog post. This was for two reasons. One, to help me remember the highlights of the year because my journal writing is slacking. Two, because often times I find my blog writing is a very different style then my journal. When I journal I leave it all out on the table. I'm all over the place and usually using it as a place to vent frustrated feelings. When I blog it tends to be more reflective and helps me realize a lot about myself, keeps my attitude in check, and often humbles me.
I started 2014 living with my favorite old roomie. We have been roomies for most our lives and by golly it felt good to have her back. We always pick up right where we left off and have a grand old time full of inside jokes, tears shed, and late night DMCs.
I was working at Primrose still but began a new position as the Preschool I teacher. I moved from 18 month old children to 3 year olds and what a difference! What a time for children to be exploring a new phase in life, learning to navigate relationships with others, controlling behavior and emotions, and engaging in school-level language and math skills.This is honestly the age I feel you can really make an impact on the foundation that is built for their future. I absolutely love it!
Oh and I got to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway...no biggie.
April was the start of the 'year of weddings' for me. My sister Chelsea was marring her high school love in the Bountiful Utah temple and I couldn't have been more excited for her! She was so genuinely happy that day and I knew she was ready to embark on this new chapter of her life with an amazing man by her side.
I couldn't make a trip out to Utah without catching up with my old loves so after the festivities I headed up to Logan for a few days of Chipotle eating, moving watching, girl jabbering fun. We also held our 3rd annual tea party and had a grand time lifting one another up and reminding each other how amazing we all are.
Oh, and I couldn't wait to show off my alumni to my baby sister. I am not so secretly trying to brain wash her into going to Utah State. It is after all the best University. Ever.
My summer was pretty chill just working and hanging out with the family. I have enjoyed the time getting to know Brandon and Tiffany again. I especially realized this summer how much they really have grown up and changed. When I moved away from home they were 6 and 10. What a difference 7 years can make! I am so proud of the people they are becoming!
In August my sister Brittney got married. I was defiantly not ready to lose my partner in crime. You can ask ANYONE and they will tell you we are a packaged deal. She knows anything and everything about me and she is my personal psychiatrist. haha. She looked beautiful on her big day though and I knew I could trust her to still only be a phone call away. I was happy to support her and loved seeing her so happy!
The summer ended with me losing my co-teacher at work and she is pretty darn amazing! I really was not ready for this change and sad to see Justine go. People don't always realize how important a co-teacher is. They become your 'spouse' essentially because you are spending 40+ hours a week caring for 24 children together and trying to maintain a well organized and functioning classroom. They are really the only other adult you communicate with for those hours and I was lucky to have someone who was so fun to talk to and see eye-to-eye on matters with.
Three weeks after she left I was offered a new position as the Preschool II teacher and I was so excited for this welcomed change! I would be working by myself for the first half of the year with 12 adorable children. While a little overwhelming at first, I loved this new position and classroom!
November brought on wedding number three for my family as my girl Jess was getting married to her boy she meet earlier in the year. I had a hunch back in April she would be getting hitched to this kid Ben she insisted on me meeting so I wasn't to surprised when she asked me during the summer if I would be her bridesmaid. This girl could not have been happier or more ready! I was ecstatic to fly back out to Utah and spend time with her and catch up with old friends.
I returned from Utah to a new co-teacher and a handful of new students. While a little nervous at first, I really lucked out. Alison is a seasoned pro and so great to work with! I have enjoyed getting to know her and our classroom is a ball of fun! We have even started to dress the same. Unintentionally. Plus she is going to help me on my journey to loving vegetables this year! Work really was a highlight for my year. I was honored to be recognized as teacher of the month in March and again in November. I love the relationships I have built with my students and their families and find so much joy in what I do. I can't think of a single day this past year that I didn't want to go to work. For that I feel truly blessed.
I ended by blog last year with this resolution:
"May it  be a year I can be proud of. A year I make a difference. A year I allow Heavenly Father to shape me into the person He knows I can become. "
Well if I am being completely honesty I did not live up to it and pains me to go back and read it. Because hiding behind all these wonderful smiling pictures and stories, is a girl who really struggled with staying true to who she was. I told myself moving back to Ohio was going to be hard, but damn. It was hard. I will spare you all the gory details (as mentioned before, I save that for my journal) but I will say that I lost who I am. I lost that feeling of being needed, being useful, being loved. I feel back into old addictions, unhealthy ways of thinking, loneliness, and self-loathing. Instead of facing this challenge with courage and integrity, I faced it with fear and doubt. I stopped being honest with myself and didn't want to put in the work that was being asked of me. I stopped believing in me and sadly even lost a little faith in my Father in heaven. So many things were changing, so many people were moving on, so many challenges were piling up, and so many tried attempts failed that I stopped searching for a way out and just gave up, letting the walls cave in.
Ironically New Year's Eve was my turning point. I had another panic attack, my third one that year. After using the last of my inhaler and silently begging the Lord to make the pain stop, I realized things needed to change and it had to start with me. I wasn't going to have another year like 2014. I didn't want to overwhelm myself with a list of resolutions or goals so I took a page out of Jess's book and decided to find one word to center my thoughts on. One word to help guide my year and the changes I want to make.
Trust in myself. Trust I am not my mistakes. Trust I am strong enough. Trust I am an agent for change. Trust I can forgive myself.
Trust in others. Trust they are sincere. Trust they are dependable. Trust they believe in me.
Trust in my Heavenly Father. Trust His plan and purpose. Trust He hasn't and won't leave me unaided. Trust He wants the best for me. Trust He is forgiving.
Happy New Year! May you all find trust in your life to make the changes you want and love the life you are living!