Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Time flies...

When you know you aren't going to be together for 6+ months!

We are having a good time spending lots of time together as well as at the beach... Heath has to catch as many waves as possible; the waters in Kuwait are shark infested.

I am still just loving teaching and loving getting out before 11am.
Heath has leadership classes this week as well as last so he also gets out early...
This has been a great blessing!

I have been getting more emotional the closer we get to the departure date.
This has to be normal...
But I still just don't know how to prepare for our time apart…
Really I just want to get it over with…

Hopefully time will also fly once he is in Kuwait!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Last week I was getting my classroom ready and going to teacher-prep meetings. I left Friday feeling more prepared, organized and more excited about teaching than I ever have. What a great feeling!

So, as the students arrived on Monday, I was eager to see their faces in contrast to feeling butterflies and bits of dread.

My homeroom is wonderful, there are only 12 students and they are all in the advanced art class, many of whom were my students last year. This is a great way to start my day, also in contrast to last years homeroom.

I teach 3 periods of seventh grade art, it is crazy to only have one prep. I always feel like I am forgetting to do something. And my students really are still like sixth graders. So I was able to be silly, have the students do motions and repeat after me and they actually did it and with huge smiles on their faces. I love it, and I think that they actually like me; which is a huge bonus!

So I am finished by 10:45, most days. The day flies by! I have so much time to get things done, relax and plan for the next day. Who would have thought, I don’t have to wing it and fly by the seat of my pants for every class. Well, I suppose I could if I wanted to. I have gotten really good at that, considering in the two years that I have been a teacher, I have had 15 preps and the only way to survive was to wing most every class I taught.

I was thinking as I left school on Monday (before lunch) that because I am not being stretched in so many directions I will be able to actually care for, encourage and love my students. The whole reason I went into teaching in the first place was for the students. Not just to survive in an intense, completely taxing, overly demanding, underpaying carrier.

I am so excited to get to know more than my students’ names and pay attention to more than just the attention getters and troublemakers. This is my new goal for this year. I am already meeting my previous goal of smiling and laughing a lot more!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I am so tired but cannot sleep.
I am going on tossing and turning now for two hours.
This is frustrating!
I do go back to school tomorrow for teacher prep and meetings,
school starts Monday.
So my mind is going over a million things right now.
Things I can't do anything about…
But still cannot stop…Wondering…

Wondering what my students will be like
Wondering if I will be more the teacher I would like to be
Wondering if I will enjoy teaching just art
Wondering if I will be bored part time
Wondering if I should take these after school art jobs with elementary…yikes.
Wondering what it will be like to live with my sister again
Wondering what it will be like to be separated from Heath
Wondering what to wear tomorrow
Wondering if blogging will do the trick and help me sleep

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The breathtaking Mt Shasta on our trip home...

We got in late last night. Our total trip back home was 23 hours, 20 of which were driving. Leaving after the wedding it was our goal to drive straight back. We did stop for a 2-hour nap at 4am and stopped for lunch to break up the day.

I was brave and did drive Heath’s car, my last experience driving a stick was 10 months ago and I was convinced it was my last. But I attempted twice at a rest stop and both the reverse and getting it into first gear were very smooth, so off we were. This was after we got out of the mountains in Northern Cali for a couple of hours and again once out of Sacramento and before LA to avoid me driving in city traffic.

I had it all figured out, if there were problems at all; such as traffic being routed off the freeway or traffic stops or checkpoints, I was just going to pull over and let Heath take the wheel. No more stopping on hills with the whole freeway flying to a screeching halt on my tail, while I continue to roll backwards on the off ramp. (Can you tell I was scarred?) I did very well and was glad to let Heath catch some rest.

The wedding was very nice and the service was creative and very well done. I was glad to be there to help set up, arrange flowers, and add my own little creative touches. I hope that it was the perfect day for them and they were able to enjoy it all.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

It is wedding time here in Seattle!

Heath and I are here for his brother Michael’s wedding. Today, he is marrying an all around beautiful and very sweet woman, Rachel!

Yesterday the whole Wilhoit family went to this gorgeous park for family pictures, did a little shopping, and went downtown Seattle for shopping at Pikes Market and then to the rehearsal dinner. It was a full but good family day!

Friday Heath started cooking early for the bachelor party, I hear they had a great time and great food. I spent time with the twins and then Nick and Alyssa so graciously let me borrow their car. So we drove up to Tacoma, I dropped them off and drove up to the airport to pick up aunt Tammie. We had a great time together, while waiting for the Wilhoit’s and grandmothers to get in.

Thursday night we got to meet Rachel and Michael for dinner. It was so good to be able to meet her and talk and really share our hearts and even a few tears together. They asked how Heath and I were doing with his deployment and shared a very heartfelt concern for us and said that they feel and hurt for us. It was very sweet. So my first impression besides the constant quick eye contact and then a quick look-away (both trying to check one another out but not stare) was a very tender and compassionate woman.

I am very excited for them, I think they are great together and so happy! I am just so excited to get to know her over the years as a new sister and friend.
Our trip

We left Southern California on Tuesday afternoon and drove 750 miles to Ukiah. Our travels consisted mostly of, Highway 101 and Highway 1, all the way up to Northern California. It was a beautiful drive.

We grabbed a hotel, slept in and started back on the 101 and spent all of Friday exploring the coastline and the redwood forest.

We only traveled 150 miles but had a great time together! We camped off of the 199 at a National Forest Campground, next to a river. Our first time camping together, Mom and Dad Miller, the tent you got for us is incredible! It was a warm night so we slept with the top cover off, so it felt as though we were sleeping directly under the stars, and we heard the waterfall and river all night. It was great being back in the peaceful outdoors.

Thursday we woke up very early and got back on the road. We got into Olympia Washington on Thursday afternoon, settled into our friends Nick and Alyssa’s place. Heath and Nick talked about cooking and Alyssa and I chatted constantly about teaching art. Her twin sister, Tamara, of whom both were my roommates back in college in Michigan, is home from Tibet China. So we were all able to catch up Thursday and Friday, share pictures and stories and finally exchange emails so we will be able to keep in touch much better.
I really, really miss them!