Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Decade in Review

Again, I am quite behind on this post, but forgive me. I just found the idea on another blog I am following and wanted to take my time and make my decade sound as wonderful and exciting as possible-haha. I recently went to the site Blog to Print and printed out the first year of my blog. It is a great piece of memorabilia for my kids and future family. Now, I want to be sure I include all of the pieces of our lives I want to remember and want my family to remember. My (our) decade in review is a fun way to accomplish this.


The decade began with me living in Gastonia, NC (outside of Charlotte) and my first teaching job. Cows would get loose in our playground, I had to dodge chickens in the road on the way to school each morning, and my favorite student was named Billy Joe. It was a sweet and memorable experience! I enjoyed it, but knew I did not want to live in NC forever.

I moved back to Allentown in the summer, but quickly embarked on a two week cross country road trip to visit 7 National Parks. I fell in love with the southwest, Utah in particular.It was my first time camping, kayaking, hiking, and generally roughing it. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the entire experience. It got under my skin and changed me and the course of my life!

I landed a management job with Huntington learning center in the fall, but absolutely hated it. The business side of education was not for me and I would sit at my desk staring longingly at photos of Arches National Park every afternoon. I took it for about 4 months and one day decided I had had enough.I was lost and needed to find myself, so I got on the internet and phone every day until I found a job in the most amazing place on Earth (well, to me anyway!).


On Valentines Day I hit the open road, solo, with a packed car, the guarantee of a waitressing job in Zion National Park (in Utah), and more than a bit of apprehension in my gut. My time there was exciting, scary, adventurous, and difficult. Three days after my arrival, my mom called with the devastating news that my brother, Keith, had been diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. Only a week earlier he had been fine with no sign of any health issues. I tried to enjoy myself in this new adventure, but it was impossible and I returned to PA in 6 weeks time to be with my family and assess the situation.

Keith was optimistic and supportive of me to get back to my life and where I wanted to be. I got a teaching job in Fort Worth, TX and after some time in Allentown, took off in the summer for another new experience. Texas was crazy! I worked part time at the Olive Garden and met lots of local cowboy southern types. they were all sure my soul was going to hell and tried to "save me" every chance they got. I learned acceptance, tolerance, and that I never wanted to live in Texas again!

My biggest adventure of the year was driving alone to Big Bend National Park, on the Mexican border. I hopped in a canoe with a local man who ferried me across the Rio Grande into a small Mexican village where I ate lunch in a generous locals kitchen and explored the village. It was mildly scary and very interesting. Looking back, I can't believe I did it by myself!

At the end of the school year I relocated yet again. This time to Denver and another first grade teaching job. Immediately I felt like I found what I was searching for. It felt comfortable and just right. Like I belonged. I spent some time In Pennsylvania with Keith and my family during his recovery time after a bone marrow transplant. I will always treasure that time and remember tiny details of those long hours by Keith's hospital bed. Watching Price is Right, reruns of Different Strokes, and playing Tetris on his prehistoric Gameboy which I still have.

My job with Aurora was going well, but in late August I got a call in my classroom and left immediately to return to Pennsylvania. Keith was not winning this battle and we were all by his bedside for his last few days. This experience was the most horrendous thing I had ever experienced or could imagine experiencing. Your siblings are the people you expect to be with you for your entire life. Through every stage, good and bad. Living the rest of my life without my brother was inconceivable. But, when something like that happens, you continue to go through the motions of life, you go to sleep, you wake up, you carry on , and time passes by. You realize you are doing it, but it isn't easy.

Keith's fiance, Sara, decided she would move back to California to be with her family. I drove cross country with her. I felt like I needed to see her delivered safely, for Keith. Then I returned to Denver to find out my job had been cut, and I was sent to a new school. I was devastated, but things happen for reasons and I ended up meeting one of my dear friends in the next door classroom.


I was loving my single life in Denver! My job was great and I made some awesome friends. Skiing, camping, and hiking were out my back door and I knew this time I was staying put for a while!

In May, Ian and I met at The Giggling Grizzly late one Thursday night. It was a bar we both went to all the time, but this night we actually met. We had our first date a week later and became pretty serious pretty fast! We did lots of camping, hiking, Rockies games, and going out that summer. It was easy, carefree, and fun.


In the winter Ian began planning a 2 week trip to Alaska for us. In June, we flew into Anchorage, rented a car, loaded up our gear, broke out the map, and off we went. No agenda, no plan, and no reservations. We camped, did an overnight Kayak trip on our own outside of Valdez, went on a whale watching and glacier cruise, hiked in Denali National Park and camped at Wonder Lake under the shadow of Denali! It was wonderful to have two weeks together doing the things we loved. I told Ian I was cool with camping as long as I got a shower every three days. He followed through, so we didn't have any problems.

I started a new job as a Literacy Coach that fall. It was my job to support teachers with reading and writing. I would observe them, offer suggestions for improvement, do research for them, and work with their gifted students. It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot. I will say, kids are WAY easier to work with than adults!

In November, Ian and I planned a long ski weekend to Crested Butte. I left school early and rushed back to our apartment. I opened the door and immediately smelled candles, saw rose petals on the floor leading to the bedroom. It took a few seconds for the reality of what was happening to register in my mind. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Of course I said yes and we had a romantic and giddy weekend together in Crested Butte.

Ian and I were busy planning a wedding, getting new jobs, getting our first dog, Scout, buying our first home, moving to Colorado Springs, and getting married in Estes Park, CO. Our wedding was perfect and we had so many amazing family and friends who traveled out here to share this special time with us. The weather was great, the elk were all over town, and we did nothing but have fun for four days!The year was full of so much change and excitement and was a fabulous beginning to our lives together.

In July, I went on a super fun camping trip to Santa Fe with my friends Amy and Jess. I had a feeling the whole time that I may be preg and two days after the trip, I found out I was! I took about 7 tests and was in complete shock. I wrapped up a onesie and when Ian got home I presented him with the gift. It was the most exciting moment ever! In September we took a late honeymoon to Veracruz, Mexico. I was already preg, but fully enjoyed lounging by the pool and eating the most delicious food I have ever had. Ian also used his stellar Spanish skills to land us on a third class bus for 8 hours. In the rain, no ac, bursting with lots of local working class Mexican's, and no bathroom...I cried....it wasn't fun, but we survived!

On March 23 Holden was born health and happy. The rest of the year consisted of MANY sleepless nights! I briefly had a stint as a home daycare provider. It definitely was NOT for me! It lasted about 6 weeks and I ran for my life. Luckily, we discovered I could stay home with Holden and put real work on hold for a while. It was wonderful getting to spend every mintue with her and be there for every first.

In the winter I began my master's program in Reading and Literacy. I think being a stay at home mom is amazing, but I needed a little something more to stimulate my brain. It would be perfect to get my degree while I was home and have it when I decided to return to work.

Holden's first birthday, first steps, and she learned how to sleep, thank god! Right after her birthday, my bestie from PA came out and we had a girls weekend in Santa Fe. Hmmm Santa Fe? You guessed it, two days after returning I found out I was preg with Everett! It was a bit more challenging being preg while chasing a toddler around, but I loved every minute of both of my pregnancies. I was very lucky too feel so good the entire time.

In October, Ian and I took a relaxing and much needed get away to Estes Park for our third anniversary. It was our first weekend away from H, but with Courtney watching her we really did relax. We sat by a fire, listened to the stream running by the deck of our cabin, and went to some awesome restaurants. Since I was 7 months preg a the time, food was my big excitement!

Everett decided to come 2 weeks early and arrived as a Pre-Christmas present on Dec 7. He was a bit jaundiced and spent many many hours under the blue light. We weren't even allowed to hold him, other than when I was feeding him. It was so heartbreaking, but there are much worse things to endure, so we got through it and were ecstatic to get him home and have him with our family on Christmas morning, when Holden really discovered Santa and presents for the first time!

2009- This has been the best year yet! Watching Holden and Everett become brother and sister, fall in love with each other, and even beat each other up a little, has been a touching and sweet experience for both Ian and I.

We had a bittersweet move back to Denver and a great new job for Ian. It was very difficult to leave my mommy friends who were my family and support through both of my pregnancies and the births of my children. However, we moved back to family and friends in Denver and they have all been amazing and helpful and made the transition wonderful.

Holden began pre-pre-school in the fall and enjoys every minute of it. She also does a dance class and joins her brother for music class every week. She is so outgoing, friendly, and personable. She makes friends everywhere she goes. She loves story time at the library, swimming a the rec center, playing in the park, and watching movies.

I am soaking in every moment with Ev. Experiencing all of his firsts is just as exciting as it was with Holden. He is running all over creation, climbing, eating everything in site, reading books, and snatching Holden's toys. He is so happy and smiley all the time. He loves to watch Holden, chase her around, and laugh at her antics. Last week he gave me a kiss for the first time ever. I cried as I wiped all of the slobber from my cheek.

This has been a decade of ups and downs. With the most horrendous and most joyous moments I will ever experience. I am surrounded with blessings every direction I look and can't wait for all of the adventures awaiting us in the next decade.


  1. Kim - this is such a great post and Holden and Everett will have so much fun learning about your life before they knew you! I don't know where you find the time to be such a great mommy, take classes and chronicle your life for all of us to share, but your updates make me happy that you do! It was so great seeing you last weekend - can't wait to see you again in May!

  2. Thanks Laura!
    It is amazing how amazing we all are these days! It was wonderful to see you and we need another girls night when I am home in May!



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