Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back & Looking Forward

Happy {almost} New Years everyone! I'm sure everyone has some amazing plans for ringing in 2012 tomorrow evening. The hubby and I are going to a friend's house for their annual bonfire. It has been a few years since we've both gone, so we're definitely looking forward to it. But, I wanted to look back and reflect on some of the amazing things that have happened this past year as well as make some predictions and resolutions for the year ahead of us. And what better way to do that than to compile two lists?

  • Started off the spring semester of my first year of teaching. To make matters more stressful, I was beginning an AP U.S. History course and had to teach these kids over 400 years of history in only 4 months. I was nervous and scared and felt like I was the wrong person for the job. They really expected me to do this on my first go around? And get students to pass the national exam? But my administration had faith in me. So, I flubbed worked my way through the semester the best I could. And you know what? I felt like I did a darn good job. And in the summer I discovered that 6 of my students passed the exam!

  • Finished my first year of teaching. Very grateful that they asked me to come back for another year (in Florida, as a first year teacher you are on an annual contract which means they can let you go after the first year without any sort of explanation).
  • Introduced a friend of mine to a friend of the hubby's (both were in our wedding). We had been trying to hook the two of them up for a while, but the timing never seemed right. Then, by pure chance, they met and hit it off almost immediately. The amazing part: we will be in their wedding in the next couple of months! I guess saying that they hit it off is a little bit of an understatement. :)
  • Watched my best friend bring her first little boy into the world. Well, sort of. She ended up having a c-section, but you get the picture. It has been so much fun to watch that little guy grow up and develop his own little personality.
  • Moved into a new apartment. In 2010 I took the big leap and moved out of my parents home for the first time. By this move, all the nervous jitters of living on my own in a new city had pretty much worn off. What made it even better was knowing that this apartment would be our first home together.
  • Got married! We seriously couldn't have asked for a prettier day. I can't wait for our photos to come back so we can share them with you. After our wedding we went on our honeymoon cruise and celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time as a married couple.

  • Bought a mattress. This might seem like a silly milestone, but to me it was major. It was the first major purchase that I had made that was paid for up front (well, besides the wedding). And, it was the first major purchase that the hubby and I made together.


  • Help friend (mentioned above) plan her wedding. I thought planning a wedding in 11 months was insane - she's doing it in a matter of 5 months!
  • Learn to live with a roommate. Yep, the hubby and I are taking in a roommate. Some might think we're crazy - we're still newlyweds and need our space. But, it'll only be a temporary thing. My friend, the one who is getting married, will be moving in with us in a couple months. One reason is to save money for her wedding. The other is that her future hubby is active military and it's going to take a little bit for them to get things situated for off-base living and get her {hopefully} enrolled in nursing school. But considering I've only ever lived with my parents, by myself, or with the hubby, this will be interesting. :)
  • Purchase a new car for hubby. He's been driving my car since he moved in and I've been driving his. His car is more than a little roughed up and we're not sure how much longer it will stay running. We're hoping to save enough money so that we can purchase the new car outright with his current car as a trade-in, but we might have to take out a small loan. Hopefully not though. If we do, it'll be an extremely small loan which would be paid off before the end of the year.
  • Work our debt snowball. We're hoping to have the smallest of the hubby's student loans paid off before the end of the year. Once that is gone, my car loan will be next on the chopping block. We are both looking forward to the day that we no longer have debt payments and can put every bit of our hard earned money towards buying a home. First step will be setting up our new budget now that our finances are combined. Hopefully I'll get around to posting details as we work through this process.

  • Have another successful year of teaching AP. School starts back up on January 9th, and I'll have a new batch of kiddos. Again, I'll have 4 months to teach over 400 years of history. Only this year I know that it can be done! I'm hoping to have a higher pass rate this year. I'm also hoping to grow more professionally by going to more workshops over the summer.
  • Get into better shape. I know people say this all the time when making New Year Resolutions. However, I'm hoping this little blog will keep me accountable. Plus, having a husband who likes going to the gym will make it easier. And I'm hoping that, like the debt snowball, once a little weight starts coming off I'll get more motivated to keep going. Besides, I need to work towards one of my bucket list goals of running a 5k. So, I'm going to go beyond the basic goal of getting into better shape. My specific goals: lose a minimum of 25 pounds and be able to run/jog 1 mile without stopping before the end of the year. Will post more on weight loss goals, how I plan to get there, and starting pictures soon.

  • Another goal is to try more foods. I'm a pretty picky eater, so this one will be challenging for me. But I figure the least I can do is try out a couple new recipes - even if they include foods I know I already like. So, I'm hoping to cook/try one new recipe per month. It may be something that only the hubby will eat, but I promise to try everything I make at least once. I'm hoping Pinterest will come to my rescue as well as some of the cookbooks that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf.
  • And last, but not least, I'm hoping to not let the stresses of school get the best of me this year. Especially when it comes to the spring semester and AP, I tend to get overwhelmed. My goal is to not let grading carry over into the next week. To try and stay after school until all the tasks for that day is done. Also, I hope to get my lesson planning done on Fridays, rather than the morning they are due. This is the one goal I predict I will fail at, but that's not to say that I'm not going to give it my best shot.
So there you have it. Some of my favorite moments of 2011 and some of my goals and predictions for 2012. What about you? Have you made any resolutions this year? Or do you think that's a silly tradition? How do you plan on ringing in the New Year?

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year Hannah!! Congrats on having such an amazing 2011, I hope 2012 is just as fulfilling xx



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