I finished my first year of teaching -- 8th grade Language Arts.
I spent my first summer completely free from any job or obligations... and it was wonderful.
I built a blanket-and-pillow fort in my living room and spent the whole day in it--twice.
I dyed my hair purple for a while. Then black, to cover up the purple and be an adult again.
I hosted a Harry Potter party, a Star Wars party, and co-hosted another HP party and a beautiful candlelit Edgar Allan Poe party.
I sewed things.
I knit things.
I crocheted things.
I wrote 50,000 words of a novel for the 7th year in a row during November's NaNoWriMo challenge.
I had a couple of outdoor tea parties with my wonderful knitting group, Weekly Fiber.
I rode my bicycle, Mabel (although not as much as I would have liked to).
I wandered the Farmer's Market several times, although I only ever bought peaches and a delicious ham and cheese crepe.
I lived on almost nothing but Ramen and beans for a week at a time, several times.
I got a cat, and we slowly got used to one another.
I spent way too much time on Facebook and Pinterest (which probably contributed to the minimal blogging).
I spent a fantastic weekend in Denver with my husband, who whisked me away for a birthday getaway of rich food, a funny play, lots of walking, and even a little history.
I had some really spectacular fails as a teacher, but some really great wins, too.
I became obsessed with 1920's fashion, hair, makeup, and music.
I helped plant grass in our tiny back yard.
I spent my fourth Christmas without my little brother, Logan. Miss him every day.
I became very discouraged about ever getting pregnant after a heartbreaking miscarriage in 2010, then angry with God, then resigned, then at peace that everything will happen in his perfect timing.
I said goodbye to some wonderful 8th graders, and was holding the door wide open for others to leave.
I welcomed a new crop of 8th graders, who seemed so small and strange at the beginning of the year, and how are now just "my kids" (although they are still certainly strange).
I grew a little more distant from some friends and a little closer with others.
I read a lot of really good books and a few crummy ones.
I hosted a nice little New Year's Eve party last night with board games, snacks, and good friends.
Goodbye, 2011! You were a good year, a hard year, a memorable year.
I will spend less time on the computer and more time reading books.
I will purge useless/broken/unwanted/unused stuff from the house.
I will write at night in my Book of Days planner/journal at least a few lines about that day.
I will be a better housekeeper (which will hopefully be easier to do with less Stuff).
I will be a better listener and not an interrupter or a wait-until-you're-done-talking-so-I-can-say-what-I-wanted-to-say-er.
I will pray more.
I will write more--more letters, more blog posts, more journal entries, more stories, more poems.
I will find a lesson plan format that works for me and I will plan in advance as well as I am able.
I will remember that I am not teaching Language Arts, I am teaching people.
I will not dwell on the past any more than I can absolutely help.
I will Skype loved ones that live far away.
I will love this year.