Last days *updated*

**This has been edited because, after talking with a friend (who was slightly confused by a few things I said...or didn't say), I re-read it and realized that I must have been half comatose as I typed it last night.  Good grief, even I was befuddled.  So, I clarified a few things and deleted a few things and added a few things, and now, in my mind at least, it seems to make a bit more sense.  So sorry for any confusion, and thanks Bethany for being my unofficial editor!  Haha!**

Thursday was the last day of school.
My last day to teach six of the sweetest pre-kindergartners.
That morning, as we sang our "good morning" songs, I began to tear up.  But, I stopped myself.  I didn't want our last day together to be one filled with tears.  I do have a sweet picture of the six of us (one of my boys was absent), but I won't post in on here since I don't have their parents' permission.  It was a great half-day with them, and then, the real fun began.
The weeding out of things not needed by me anymore to be donated to another teacher.  The throwing out of things not used often into trash piles.
The packing up of seven years of teaching.
It took two days to get it all packed up and transported home.  It's all here now.

Here are some of the piles and boxes of things that were brought home Thursday afternoon.
 The two plastic sets of drawers fit nicely in the office.
Binders. Binders. Binders--filled with lesson plans, college class assignments, student teaching items, projects.
 Some boxes have been emptied of things to be stored away indefinitely. The piles with the stuffed animals and the baskets full of crafty items are a few of those things.
It was nice being able to sort things into piles, and it was even nicer to be able to put things away where they fit here in our home.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
Then, I went back to school yesterday.
And this is what I came home with. :(
We live in a two bedroom/two bathroom condo.  Where the heck am I supposed to put all of this stuff??!!  How did I accrue this mass of items?
Last days are interesting.  I've had many last days in teaching.  A few, honestly, I've looked forward to all year.  Those of you who teach or who have taught know what I'm talking about.   It's ok.  No one is judging you.  Just nod your head, and we can move on.  :)  

But, for months I had expectations regarding this one. 

I expected I would be sad to say those farewells--goodbye to my students, goodbye to my coworkers, goodbye to the parents, goodbye to the school I have loved teaching in these last five years.  

I expected to pack and pack and pack some more and have some magical place to store it all. You know, like in our magical new house that we could magically afford on The Husband's magically-awesome salary.  Ok, so some of that was a bit sarcastic.  Or, all of it.  Whichever you prefer. 
But, really, I was excited at the thought of packing up those things because I knew that I would get to use them all as I began to teach our child and then our children at home for however long that worked for us.

I expected to start the summer and spend the summer working in our newly-painted, newly-carpeted nursery to get everything in THE right spot; all the books and items we'd been given put away in the places they belonged; all the clothing washed and sorted; all the artwork hung.  

I expected to end the summer with a baby in my arms and a new chapter of my life just beginning. 

I expected that my life would drastically change, and I was unbelievably happy as I imagined holding and tending to our daughter every day.

Well, it did change.  But, none of those expectations turned out the way I, well, expected.

It turns out, I wasn't sad as I said, "So long" because, now that things have changed drastically (though certainly not in the way I imagined) I knew that I'd be back in the fall.  I love teaching--please don't misunderstand.  I was just incredibly thrilled and overjoyed at the dreams I've carried with me for so long of one day soon taking care of and teaching our child and eventually our children, not just other children.  

I packed and packed, but my emotions were all over the place.  Several people asked me what my plans were for the following fall, and I just broke down.  How do I explain everything I'm feeling in a short enough paragraph to not make people feel uncomfortable? How do I tell them that I'm ok with not teaching because, at this moment, I don't even want to think about setting foot in a classroom full of small children who look to me to take care of them and teach them and love them, when my very soul cries out and desires to do that with our own children? It seems most people have this expectation, that because this pregnancy ended, I'm just going to step right back into that role without a second glance.  

I can't predict how my summer will end, but I know what it won't include.  And that hurts my heart.

As of now, I will be back to work in the fall, but I will most likely not be teaching.  Does it make sense that I just need a break?  From teaching, from planning, from organizing a classroom.  I'll be at the school but in a slightly different capacity, and I'm content with that.  I'm looking forward to it, really as a change of pace from what I've done for these many years.  And, this way, I'll still get to see the kids, the sweet families, my amazing co-workers.  I just won't be under that pressure every day of the week.  I'm also considering offering my help (like a consultant or an accountability partner, thank you Lesa for the idea!) to friends who are starting the journey of home-schooling.  I'd love to partner with them once or twice a week to help plan lessons, to make sure they're covering what needs to be covered, to brainstorm, to think through problems, and to offer support and encouragement.  I've had incredible mentors over the years who have done just that for me, and it would be an honor to do that with people I care about.

So, you see, my last day wasn't really my last day.  I don't know what this summer and this coming school year will hold, but I'm praying for good health, for financial stability, for debts to be paid off, for even more joy and beauty in our marriage, and for a closer relationship with our Savior.  Not necessarily in that order.  I look forward to starting this summer off right.  I can't wait to dive into the word more often and sing praise songs loud and proud as I go about my day--washing clothes, loading the dishwasher, tidying up.  I want to keep things under control here at home, so The Husband can study and job-search without feeling burdened by chaos around him.  I want to really be with him when we're together, not on my phone or staring at the computer screen or reading a book.  He's really good about just being with me.   Losing Hadley has awakened in us a deeper love for one another and a desire to be kinder in our words and our actions.  That loss has strengthened our marriage in a way that I never imagined.  We thank God for such an incredible blessing in the midst of such incredible sorrow.  

I don't want to end this post on a sad note, and really, I'm just too tired to think of something to pep things up.  
Here's Chloe. The gentlest, purr-iest, most skittish cat you will ever meet.  We adore her.
Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone.  
I'm very thankful for all of the men and women who have fought and died so bravely for this country. 


  1. I love the idea of you being a consultant for parents attempting to home school their children. I think that would be a perfect fit for you. You have been such a wonderful teacher that you could help others to be the same. Your continuing ability to deal with the pain and sadness of losing Hadley is so awe-inspiring - you and Spencer are my heroes!! May you continue to heal and grow stronger. Love you.

  2. My first time to comment on your blog - not sure how this works........... Sounds like you're really thinking about being a consultant of sorts - a much needed role in the homeschool world. Maybe you should get some business cards printed and post a notice at places like Mardels and your church. If we had hired a consultant when we homeschooled, it probably would have been better for the whole family.

    1. Lesa, I don't know if I'm quite ready to jump in that far, but I am excited to help! I love the idea of starting with friends, charging a reasonable rate, & then seeing where it goes from there. :)


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