It's been a while...

Hi there,
Just reaching out to let everyone know I am alive and well.  I am teaching first grade in a new town and I am enjoying a much needed summer off after my first year.   I took a year off from social media, blogging, and making products for my TpT store.  It was a much needed respite from what I affectionately call my side hustle.  Teaching is a tough job.  Adding all the extra effort involved with the side hustle was more than I could handle last year.  I truly felt like a new teacher again in many ways.  It's good for us to get out of our comfort zone and try new things...  that was the theme for my year.  I am an introvert, so I don't put it all out there on social media.  But, for anyone interested, I am going to share some of my story here.

Things at my old school had been changing over time and for the last few years I wasn't feeling supported by administration or my school board.  While I truly respect and appreciate all of the members on the board of trustees, I could clearly see that they were either unable or unwilling to make the changes I was hoping for.  I love my old school community soooo much!  But, it was time for a change.  So...  I started putting my feelers out there to see if there were any positions available that might be a good fit.  I was being very picky and so there were only a few school districts I would consider.  I had a few interviews, but as of June 2018, nothing had panned out for various reasons.   When I left for my super special vacation, I didn't know where I would be teaching in the fall.

To celebrate my 50th birthday and to have the honeymoon my husband and I never had,  we took a trip of a lifetime.  (These are the things the side hustle makes possible in our lives.)  Here are a few highlights from our trip...

 Our adventure began on a 7 day Mediterranean cruise starting from Rome.  Our first port was on the beautiful Amalfi coast.  Below, Duane and I are in the town of Amalfi standing on the top of the stairs to the cathedral looking down into the town square.

We sailed around the boot of Italy and visited the very interesting medieval town of Kotor,  Montenegro.  The sail into this port was absolutely spectacular!

Then, we made our way down to the Greek Islands.  I can't say enough about how amazing each one was.  These next photos are from Mykonos.  It's what you think of when you hear "Greek Islands".

These photos do not really give you the sense of what the islands are all about.  We got to go to Corfu, Crete, and Mykonos.  Each island was completely different, but had its own charm.  I can't wait to return.  I highly recommend putting the Greek islands on your bucket list!   Our cruise ended in Athens, so we stayed a couple days there to see the sights.  This was the view from our hotel room:

We were right in the heart of the Plaka district and our view of the Acropolis was spectacular.   Athens was wonderful!  After Athens, we flew here... (see if you know where we are in this photo).

Hopefully the gondolas on the side were a giveaway...  Venice!  It was incredibly special here.  Venice is officially my favorite place to get lost in.  Next stop on the Italy train was...

... Florence and the Tuscany region of Italy!  Truly spectacular :)

Last stop, ROMA!

So even though this isn't my all time favorite place for gelato in Italy, I still had to have the picture...

that, and it was right around the corner from our hotel.

Ok, so... on my last night in Rome, I got a call from a school district that I really respected asking me for an interview.  I promised my husband it was the last one because I wanted to relax and enjoy summer.  I had an interview on July 2 and the rest is history.  Except, I moved to my new town because I couldn't do the commute.  It was a quality of life decision...  so much for relaxing and enjoying summer.  I am finally, one year later, feeling mostly moved in and settled.  This year is a "staycation" summer.

It has been so good for me to be a learner this past year.  New grade level, curriculum, school and district has kept me on my toes.  I have a great classroom and an amazing team!  I love my new school community and my new town.  I also LOVE teaching first grade!  They are still babies, but just enough older to be more independent and capable. 

I will try to stay connected to the teaching community through my blog, Pinterest,  and Instagram.   For now, my focus is the much needed self care of summer. 

Ahhhhh.... summer :)

Thanks for stopping by.
Happy summer everyone!