Thursday, June 12, 2014


The nice thing about working in education is that there are a million chances for a fresh start. There's the beginning of the school year, each new semester, the start of summer- all opportunities to make a change, to reflect, and to neatly mark the passage of time. 

Another semester has come to a close, and here I am at the outset of summer, my seventh in South Carolina, which is almost impossible for me to believe. But it was exactly six years ago this week that I loaded down the first car I'd ever owned, mine for less than a week, and drove it 600 miles south to the place I now call home.

Here I am, making Lucio an official SC resident of the road

There's no need to recap the past half decade, but I do feel that I'm at a crossroads of sort.  I turned 28 last week, and my 10-year high school reunion will take place in a few weeks.  The latter is enough to give anyone pause for reflection.  And in so doing, 2014 has been and promises to be a big year.

In March, one of my brothers got married, and this fall the other will make (already has made) me an aunt- to twins no less. In just five days, I will pack up my office, move 20 yards down the hall, and start a job I have dreamed about and worked toward since I graduated college. And in December, after a span of nearly five years that at times I truly never believed would end, I will graduate with my Masters in counseling.  So yeah, a big year. 

I joked to my aunt that my brothers and I were achieving all these life milestones this year while my parents were just lazing around.  She said that our accomplishments were their milestones. I hope they feel that way.  I have cried on the phone enough times after failed job interviews, hard classes, and bouts of homesickness to know quite seriously that I wouldn't have a milestone to my name without them.

In less reflective news, the first half of the year has also been a lot of fun. This spring, I felt like I was gone more than I was home. Smarty-pants Kristen had the good fortune to predict the coldest winter of our young lives, and I had the good fortune to be convinced to spend five days mid-Feburary with her in Boca Grande, FL.  We ate, read, laid in the sand, ran, talked,floated in the pool, and slept. It was VACATION.

I spent St. Patrick's Day in Chicago, where I finally got to meet my college roommate's son, a sentence that when I say it out loud is still surreal. I also attended my first St. Patrick's Day Parade, experienced The Aviary, admired the green river, and wandered through my beloved Chicago, eating, shopping, and admiring the lions roars at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

My parents visited during my spring break, and we spent the week doing projects around town, and then headed to Savannah for Easter weekend, which we managed to enjoy, despite an abundance of rain.  If you find yourself in Savannah, go to Narobia's and get their biscuit with sausage gravy.  Seriously. You'll thank me.

After nine of fifteen weekends spent away (I keep track of these things. For alibi purposes), May was finally a month at home, until Memorial Day, when I headed to Atlanta to visit with college friends in from Michigan.  And amidst all that, I spent two (separate) weeks on overnight babysitting gigs, house-sat for a week, made three weekend trips to Charleston, threw a baby shower for an old Greenville friend, started and finished my last two classes for graduate school, taught 5th grade Religious Education, conquered my fear of trying new classes at the gym, cooked some memorable meals, and logged a bunch of hours baby-sitting.  It was a good semester.

And here, I can prove it:

I know one Irishman who got kissed on St. Patty's.

My mom and I (separately) spent weeks hunting garage sales and thrift stores for these beauties. They were perfect for a tea party-themed baby shower.

We loved walking around the endless parks and squares Savannah offers. More walking = more food.

My hip dad

This little nugget had the nerve to come down with a virus during our Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta. And we had the nerve to expertly diagnose it as "allergies" for a solid 48 hours... whoops.
Post-Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston. To be fair, I only partook of the brunch portion of the 'race morning'.

That smell? Coming through the computer screen? It's weed, and a lot of it (not ours).  St. Patty's Day Parade.


Mrs. McCarthy said...

A big year indeed. :) I am so proud of and happy for you on all your *milestones*, past, present and future! I know you are going to be an amazing counselor with the capacity to impact many young lives for good and I am so excited to hear about the adventures that 28 brings you! We absolutely LOVED having you visit in the spring, and can't wait to see you in a couple weeks. And of course you are welcome to come see us in Indiana any time! Perhaps in the fall...? I know a little Irish baby who is turning 1 year old! ;)

Dana in Georgia said...

Yay for recap posts!
You have been very busy!!