Oh, 2010, where did our time go? Lots of stuff happened in 2010, both happy and sad, but I’ll share my top ten memories of 2010 (in no specific order!).
1 – Masters Program – I started my Masters work in the Art of Teaching with a focus in Curriculum in the fall of 2010, and man, it’s been rough. I pretty much hate it, but understand it’s worth and value in my career. Over 2010, I’ve written a boat-load of papers, completed research and cried. The end is near – April 23rd, 2011…not that I’m excited about that…at all (sarcasm, folks…stay with me!)
2 – The Rhema Project – J and I started serving Jesus more through The Rhema Project just after J returned from his second trip to India. This non-profit organized was started by a TERRRRRRRRRIFIC person, Dan Blacketor, who noticed the inequality for females in India and he chose to do something about it. I admire Dan so much for choosing to take action. So often people feel stirred by God to move, but don’t. Not Dan. He and his wife, Jo (who is equally amazing!) make God smile continuously by refusing to idlely stand. I’ve been working with Jo and several other educators to start a Pen Pal program between American students and the rescued girls in India.
3 – Book Club – So I’ve decided to indulge my inner-nerd a lot this past year. I read a lot. I read reallllly fast. I love books. Seriously. When a book can take over my mind or challenge me in someway, my heart beats fast. I joined a book club in the fall and it’s been fantastic. We select a book for each month, meet at one member’s house, talk, eat and drink our little hearts out. It’s been great to get to know new people…and I’m not gonna lie…I love an excuse to read!
4 – My new Classroom – My first 4 years of teaching, I taught in an inclusion setting for Special Education. A brief description for inclusion is when general education students and special educations students (generally with learning disabilities) are in the same classroom with a general education teacher and special education teacher co-teaching for the entire school day. I loved inclusion, but I’ve always wanted to teach in my own room, selecting my own lessons, and let’s not forget my constant need to decorate and organize! This year, my supervisors placed me in an outclusion setting, teaching in a cross-catergorical special education room…of my own! I have 7 students this year, with cognitive impairments and learning disabilities and I love it! I’m excited to go to work each day and tend to leave later than normal…again…indulging my inner nerd. Plus, this year, I got a Smartboard in my classroom, which is pretty much the coolest thing. Ever.
5 – Friends – I’m very lucky to have been blessed with a great group of friends. J and I spend a lot of time with our friends. We’ve taken vacations, trips, dinner, games, movies in with these people and I’m so grateful for that! I love sharing our triumphs and defeats with our trusted friends and mourning their losses and celebrating their successes with them.
6 – Granny – J’s Granny went to be with Jesus in November of 2010. It was terribly difficult for us to let her go, but remembering her amazing life made it slightly easier. Granny taught sixth grade (just like me), loved Jesus and her family and supported all of us in any way she could. My favorite thing about Granny was her honesty. In a world of dishonesty, you could always count on Granny to tell you exactly what she was thinking, not just what you wanted to hear. Granny always spoke from the heart and out of love.
7 – Ryan – Siblings are the best. Ryan returned home from Afghanistan in May of 2010. Over the summer and into the fall, we were blessed to spend some time with Ryan, for which I am grateful. I really miss our younger years, where we would go to movies, hang out at Saint Joe College (where he went to school), and just talk for hours. Ryan’s currently serving in his 4th tour of duty in Afghanistan. He’s a great big brother, terrific person and a fine cook!
8 – Parental Units – We’re blessed with great parents. Recently, Penny (J’s momma) and the rest of the Aquila women (+Brennan) decorated cookies together for Christmas, which was a lot of fun! We’re hoping to do this every year (I kinda have a thing for traditions). J’s parents graciously took care of Granny in her final months. It’s in those kinds of times where I see Jesus in my daily life. My parents, J and I took a wonderful vacation to Sedona, Arizona. We had a great time hiking, shopping and eating together. Plus, we went to the Out of Africa Wild Park and Preserve, where I kissed a giraffe (Kebo) on the mouth…three times. As I get older, I become closer to my parents. My mom and I talk every single day…sometimes multiple times. My dad is a constant in my life, who I can always rely on for a chat or to help me fix or install something. My parents are very handy and very resourceful. I’m a lucky gal.
9 – Notre Dame Games – Whether at the stadium or in our basement, they’re always a good time. We were very lucky to attend quite a few games this year and also had friends over for several games as well. Tailgating was a lot of fun this year too, especially when my parents and Ryan reserved two spots and cooked for us. We ate like kings that day…very fat kings to be exact. Plus, the Fighting Irish won a bowl game, which is always a big deal. I’m excited to see what Brian Kelley has up his sleeve for the years to come.
10 – JASON JAMES AQUILA – He’s probably my favorite thing about each and every year. We’ve been married for 3 years now, and it’s pretty much the coolest thing ever in life. I love sharing the small moments with him. Every day is a new adventure with him, and I’m always looking forward to our tomorrows. In the past year, we spent 10 days apart while he was in India, went on vacations to Sedona and Mackinac Island, laughed a lot, decreased our debt, went to movies, among other amazing things. He’s my best friend and I can’t wait to spend 2011 and the years after that with him!
So, that’s my top ten. Bring it on, 2011!