A Quick Goodbye to 2018 | Monthly Wrap + Year End Review

December. We pulled off the annual K-5 Elementary Christmas Play!! I take very little credit because it was really the work of the students and the music teacher with just a little bit of organization and bossing around from me. :) After that, it was all about getting through the last week of school and parties before holiday time! Days off well deserved.

We have already spent six days skiing mountain terrain so our season passes won't be going to waste. These two brothers have been a great deal more amicable than usual, so that helps the time pass more pleasantly. Just remember to take everything they say and do to mean the opposite. Double thumbs down really means "we're super duper happy mom"!
My self-imposed Christmas Day assignment was to trim up the hair of the boys and dress them colorfully for a family photo. We somehow missed this important tradition last year, so it couldn't be neglected again. Thankfully, everyone cooperated without much bribery at all! Here we are, including Skookum, the newest member of the extended family.
Twenty Eighteen received mixed reviews from me. This year has had some pretty intense ups and downs!

Ups = epic trip to Portugal, fun with friends at Priest Lake, getting a job teaching 5th grade, exploring Chicago with Cheryl, paddling in the ocean at Rosario, mountain biking the Sunshine Coast, riding the rim with friends #craterlake

Downs = interviews and rejection earlier in the year, failed vacation and canceled campsites, icy ski weekend trip, working long hours

Since August, I've been putting waaaaaay too many hours into my new teaching job. I'm certainly earning my summer at this rate. I've finally found a schedule that works really well and have recently reorganized my classroom to address some of my biggest frustrations. Things can only improve from here! I feel like so many things are smoothing out [job, kids, marriage] so maybe 2019 will be a sweet year together.
Pete wanted to try his hand at a little editing with Photoshop and Lightroom. I think he's done some nice work. Promising.
Do I have goals for 2019? I dunno. Sometimes I think having goals just makes me try too hard and then get discouraged. My goals for 2018 were really difficult to carry out and felt like a burden at times. I'm happy for the family films that I made, but so many things failed and I just hate that feeling! I have to set my expectations lower so I'm not always disappointed in myself.

Lifting weights -- put them somewhere obvious and try to remember.
Reading to the kids and myself -- have a selection of library books available and set aside time.
Writing in my journal -- good luck.
Teaching the kids to love mountain biking -- double good luck.

I'm also trying to be really smart when planning trips and activities for our free time this spring and summer. We spent a little time reflecting on our year together and these are the reported favorites:

1) playing in the slot canyon with Skookum 
2) jumping off the dock at Priest Lake with friends
3) reading in his hammock by the ocean

1) participating in his first cubing competition
2) his birthday party
3) camping with Tayton and Colby

1) skiing at White Pass and Brundage with friends
2) paddling the SUP in Lake Louise
3) biking the coastline in Portugal

If we can have even half that much fun this year, we'll be BLESSED. Over and out.
Happy New Year to you all! See you in 2019!!