Monday, January 20, 2014

2013 in Review

I realize I'm a little late to the year recaps, but 2013 was a big year for me. A LOT of things happened. I want to make sure I have it all documented so that I can look back years from now and remember the highlights.

I chose a word for the year, which I'm proud to say I worked on for the entire 12 months. I started my last semester of college, which ended up being my favorite. Student teaching was the best part of my college career. Loved my mentor teacher, my team, and my students.

I really started getting in my teaching groove, celebrated Valentine's Day with my first graders, and got a few love letters in the process. I started planning my trip to Europe with Rachel. I began my two full weeks of teaching at the end of February. They were essentially the most critical weeks of my entire college career. And I passed the GACE to certify me to be a teacher in Georgia.

I finished my full two weeks. And rocked them, if I do say so myself. During that time we celebrated Dr. Seuss day and Amelia Bedelia Day which gave me an opportunity to brush up my artistic skills. I traveled up to Tennessee to my childhood best friend's wedding. My family celebrated the miracle of my mom's life...praise the Lord! I told the world that I was living in Europe for 7 months. And so began the countdown!

My student teacher team tried out a lot of fun ideas for our first graders, one of which involved aliens. I finished student teaching! Which also meant I was finished with college. So weird. I spent a week relaxing before I got back in the real world. I had a little creepy moment one night. The last weekend was spent in Anderson, SC visiting one of my best friends.

Phew! May was a big month. I participated in Jenni's Blog Everyday Challenge. It felt really good to write a lot, even though I didn't do it everyday. I started packing for Europe...much more difficult than I anticipated. On the 10th day of May, I graduated from the University of Georgia! I got a brand new camera! Seriously the best graduation gift I could have asked for. Exactly a week after graduation, I said goodbye to my family and hopped on a plane headed to Europe. Traveling with Rachel this month included Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Brugge.

We started June in Paris. Took a little day trip to Versailles which was stunning. My favorite part of the month was reuniting with my Italian family! English Summer Camp in Modena lasted two weeks and ended with another earthquake. We had a great girls weekend in Florence to break up the two weeks. I also spent a perfect weekend at the sea with my Italian family. After Italy, Rachel came with me to Geneva before going back to America. The family I'm currently working for graciously allowed us to stay with them for a week. I held a hedgehog for the first time. At the end of this relaxing week, I headed to Madrid for the rest of the summer.

Not going to lie, July was a tough month for me. I was in such a beautiful place but so so so stressed. I got a lot of good advice and support from family and friends. I realized how tough it was to be away from family on holidays. I met some new Spanish friends. I explored Madrid on my own, which was a cool experience. Traveling alone is much different than traveling with a friend, mostly in a good way! One of my childhood friends studied in Madrid for the summer so we met up a lot and saw The Lion King...which was amazing.

The first three weeks of August were spent on Spanish beaches. It sounds so glamourous but it wasn't  unfortunately. At the end of it, I was just so glad my time in Spain was over. And I so hate saying that. But then life got better! I made it to France and explored my little village. We went to the circus and I rode an elephant. I thought a lot about my future and how this time in Europe fit into it.

Lots of people asked how I got to Europe, so I explained. I like to please. I cheered on the Dawgs from the highest point in western Europe. And I started experiencing life in a small French town. I was making new friends and was finally settling in to my new life.

There wasn't anything really major that went on this month. It was mainly just day to day things. I traveled to some new cities including Annecy, the Venice of France. For the first time since May, I got a haircut and it felt amazing. (Sidenote: Getting a haircut in France, where you don't speak the language, is a really interesting experience.) I went to Milan for a weekend with the family. And on the last day, my mom came to visit!

November was big! My mom and I traveled to Italy so I could introduce her to my Italian family. We also went to Florence, Scotland and Paris. It was such a wonderful time. Blog posts to come soon! I finally made the decision to come back to France after Christmas. Daniele and I went to Central Perk in Geneva. Rosalie and I spent a lot of time together in Geneva. We also went to my very first Christmas market in Montreaux. The family took me to Italy the last weekend in November. And I spent my birthday in Rome!

The first ten days were spent in France. I hung out with my friends a lot and spent a lot of quality time with the family. Then I came back home to America!! I went to Savannah with my best friend to visit our college small group leader. There were many dinners with friends, a surprise retirement party for my uncle, and a trip to Greenville to see my cousins. Daniele came to America to spend the holidays with us. We went to Atlanta on Christmas Day to feed the homeless. We also went to Savannah, Rome, Athens, and Atlanta (for touristy things) while he was here. I have a lot of posts to write for this month. Bare with me...they're coming. I promise!

Wow. Just writing that out was exhausting. It's no wonder I was so tired so often!
2013 was a good one. But I have a feeling 2014 is going to be even better!

1 comment:

  1. SARAH! You had such an incredible year last year! And clearly I have a LOT of catching up to do on Something From Sarah!


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