Friday, December 30, 2011

One Year Ago...

I know, I know, I know...where have you BEEN Kristen?

It's been a super busy semester. I recreated 2 of my classes and I've felt as close to a 1st year teacher as I want to get. There's been tons of puppy training and lots of workouts/training for myself in my continued effort to get fit. Kickboxing has been a GREAT workout for both body and mind as well as got me out of the house a bunch. A lot of my evenings have been spent doing these things in addition to visiting my students at work, many of whom work after 5pm which means a lot of nights gone on my own time. That's something I'm going to work on for next semester...

Anyway, A year ago today I was recovering from my 2nd sinus surgery. I can remember feeling really, really good about it as I sat on the couch with my mom watching TV that night. I knew it worked this time and had full confidence that I could finally pursue being healthy again. I was right! Not that it is easy to see progress from day 1, but I've come further in the last 365 days than I have in 4 years and I'm committed to continuing my quest!

I've also continued my passion to cook healthier, home-cooked meals for myself. The guy who got me cooking, Jamie Oliver, just released a new cookbook full of meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes. I made my 1st tonight ($30 and 50 minutes later) it wasn't exactly frugal for 1 person but it tasted delicious and I'll have leftovers for the next few days! (BTW it is tray baked chicken, crushed potatoes with rosemary and garlic and creamy spinach paired with a strawberry fizz with mint).

I'm hoping to step up my running this coming year too. After doing my 1st 10k race in the spring, my friend Sarah has convinced and inspired me to run a half marathon. I'm still searching for a destination but I did see one in California in October.... =) It doesn't hurt that Sean Astin has been writing about all of his half marathons this year and if he can do it, I can do it. That guy has inspired me a lot over the years (and is now following me on Twitter!).

Anyway, I am still prepping for next semester. Teaching keyboarding for the 1st time (I at least have the 1st week planned and the semester scaffolding in place) and I'm facing the challenge of teaching 2 separate classes in the same 50 minute period head-on (Still have planning to do on that).

On the family front, I had a great holiday season. I spent a lot of great days with my parents at the MSI and on walks and just enjoying their company. I saw my niece three days in a row. I saw my sister 3 days and my brother-in-law two days straight. I got to meet my brand new cousin, Ellen and her parents whom I haven't seen since Christmas season. Plus my cousin Lauren and my Aunt, both of whom I am so happy to see! Thank goodness the internet exists and I can keep up with these folks all year long.

Then there was the big birthday bash in Chicago. Friends from all over Chicagoland and Ohio came in and joined in a great evening of conversation, reunion, laughter and cheer. I think everyone walked out with more things than they walked in the door with, which just shows you the kind of folks I'm close with. Special food. Homemade beverages. Framed photos. Cards. So lucky.

We've got 366 days next year. Bonus! And with the mild winter we've had so far, there are only about 3 months of winter left which I won't complain about. We could have had a whole 5 months of cold like last year so raise a glass to that not happening!

2012 is going to be fantastic. Can you feel it? Let's wrap up 2011 for all the joys and hardships it brought us and the lessons we learned, taught and shared with each other and from each other. Toast the year that has passed and the year to come. May yours be joyful, happy and filled with memories to cherish! Happy New Year!

(FYI, How I Met Your Mother is on and I'm struck as I type this of Neil Patrick Harris aka Doogie know...)