Thursday, December 27, 2012

... And a Happy New Year

Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. I can't even believe how long it's been since I last bothered to post. A lot has come and gone since my last update. I THINK I finally reached my 100th recipe. My thoughts on Utah have changed completely. I have the best job with the best kids. I have the best husband a woman could ask for. AND... I am moving. Again.


Yeah, it's official: I love Utah. I hate admitting it, for all the bad mouthing and anti-LDS sentiment people slew at this state, but it's awesome. Great restaurants, great shopping, beautiful scenery, and there is so much to do! I can't get over waking up every morning and having the gorgeous Wasatch Mountains practically in my backyard. Never mind my amazing job!

I never knew how much I truly loved teaching until I was no longer a teacher. The last two years in XXXXXX, no matter how thankful I am for the experience and grateful I am for the position, were exhausting. Every day was a minor struggle- my students acted like they hated being in class, hated doing their homework, and were more concerned with what they were going to be talking about on their highly-inappropriately-aged Facebook pages that night after school. Parent involvement was next to nothing. I had a 50% guarantee that these adults were even going to show up to their conference. Yet through all of these struggles, I was still expected to come to school and improve test scores AND student morale. How do you help children and adults who don't want to help themselves?

I thought my time working at that particular dot com company in Provo would be a welcomed change. It wasn't. There was nothing more depressing and exhausting than making phone call after phone call day after day to either reach the message machine of a particular university or be flat out turned down due to budget issues. Sales prospecting just wasn't my thing. Even though I was considered successful (since I was able to set up a couple of meetings on most days), I never saw the results. When I left the company, there were only a few of my appointments that were being set into actual deals, and NONE of them had gone through yet. Talk about anti-climatic!

My teaching job in Sandy was exactly what I had been praying for. I had literally hit rock bottom when the opportunity fell into my lap. One night after another curse-filled tirate, my husband kindly suggested I try looking for a teaching job again. Upon looking online, I found a very generic posting online searching for a person to cover a "teaching position" if one should open in this particular district. IF ONE SHOULD OPEN. I honestly don't even know why I bothered, since the school year had already started two weeks earlier. About a week after putting in my resume, I received a phone call asking me to meet with the director of HR for an interview, "just to get to know me." It still didn't sound promising, but I went anyway.

The interview was awesome, and just what I needed. I couldn't believe how good it felt just to "talk shop" with someone in the field I was trained to be a part of. We talked classroom management, lesson planning, technology integration, all the things I missed! At the end of the interview, she shook my hand, and let me know that there was a position opening up for an emergency fourth grade hire she thought I was perfect for. I was set up to talk with the principal at a local elementary school, and from there, it was a complete whirlwind!

Following my interview on Monday, I was hired on that following Wednesday, went to Parent/teacher night on Thursday to be introduced to the parents, and then was asked to report on Monday for training, observations, and classroom set-up. I couldn't be happier with the situation: I was helping to lessen the load for the two fourth grade teachers already at the school. Each class had about 33 students, and I was to take 21 of those students to my classroom. I was being placed in the largest portable I had ever seen, with five bright windows, and all the space to get loud and crazy that I needed! No old items to move from one classroom to another, nothing to have to go through and sort through. Just a clean slate! Oh my goodness, and my kids! 21 of the sweetest children I've met. Most are eager to be there, turn in their homework on time, and their parents are excited to help however they can. The one's who aren't, TRY. They really do want to do better. Talk about a breath of fresh air!

Now, here's where it gets interesting: I'm moving AGAIN. Stephen finally has made up his mind concerning his future, and we've decided to postpone medical school. It just hit us one day that once Steve was done with school, residency, rotations, all of that good stuff, we'd be in our mid-thirties. Considering we want to start a family also BEFORE then, we'd need to find a way to get into a comfortable situation sooner than that. With all of that being said, Stephen just accepted a position with a Chicago-based company specializing in audiology. He'll be flying out to the Midwest for three months for training, and then will be placed ANYWHERE in the country for his "residency." We could end up in Chicago, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, etc.

Am I scared? Yep, a little. I never thought I'd be moving to Utah, much less any place else in the country. Plus, I've learned to love our little home in Orem. I have a fabulous job, but luckily, it isn't a position guaranteed for me next year, which makes moving a little easier. I guess it's just time to have faith again, and to realize that where ever we're sent, there is a reason for it. It's time for another Baird Adventure! I'll just have to keep you posted about where we'll end up!

Phew! That's an update. Here's a list of the other recipes I have tried:

#79: Melt in Your Mouth M&M Sugar Cookies-

#80: Ham and Cheese Sliders-

#81: Lemon Burst Cake Mix Cookies-

#82: Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas-

#83: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches-

#84: Baked Oatmeal Casserole-

#85: Cake Mix Cinnamon Waffles with Cinnamon Roll Glaze-

#86: Thick and Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes-

#87: Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole-

#88: Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread-

#89: Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps-

#90: Bow Tie Skillet Lasagna-

#91: Potato Bacon Breakfast Casserole-

#92: Crockpot Barbecue Chicken-

#93: Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne-

#94: Wingers Sticky Fingers Quesadilla-

#95: Pizza Bites-

#96: Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies-

And THAT... is why Steve and I are going on a diet again!