Backing up before arriving, tired-eyed and sleepy after our red-eye flight and 24 hours of travel, we spent some sweet and wonderful time with family and friends in California, Ohio, and Indiana.
We were blessed with almost 3 weeks straight in California. Family time in the mountains, half-marathon with the brother, lots of Chipotle, coffee dates with forever friends, and sleepovers and game nights at our dear friends’ Matt & Becca.
There were still so many people we would have liked to see and spend time with, and so many things we would have liked to do, but, we are thankful with the time we did have.
I flew out to be with my family in Cleveland about a week before Brandon met up with me there (he was also able to spend time with the California Burroughs). During that time we drank lots of coffee, talked, drank more coffee, went on bike rides, ran, watched my Dad pole vault, and had some great conversations.
When Brandon got into the city, we spent a few days together before going on a road trip to Indiana! In Indiana, we stayed with my brother, sister-in-law, and their 11-month son, Cole. During that time my family and Lo’s family came together to dedicate Cole. It was such a special time to have both families together.
In the middle of our Ohio trip, we hit a little bump in the road with our work visas. We were on schedule to receive them while in the States, and with that understanding, we decided to stop through Costa Rica on the way back to Caracas. However, due to some paperwork issues, we ended up having to cancel our trip, allowing us to stay in Ohio for another week!
With that added time, we took a little road trip to New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. We stayed with some good friends, The Fajnors, some nights and explored with them during the day. On our way back, we celebrated our anniversary in Pennsylvania!
By the time we got back, everything was in order with our visas! We were ready to go, but, still feeling that bittersweet mix of excitement to be back yet sadness to leave behind family and friends.
We arrived July 25th, and ever since then, we’ve been running! We began our new teacher orientation that Monday, and after meetings and time at school in the mornings, each afternoon/evening was filled with tours around the city, meals, time getting to know one another, and prepping our classes for the first week of school.
Monday was the first day of school and also my 25th birthday! It passed so quickly! This year, Brandon and I are teaching some different classes, in different rooms, and with different responsibilities. Brandon is now the Math Teacher for grades 6, 8, 10, & 12, in addition to being the 9/10th Social Studies Teacher! I am teaching 6th grade Ancient Civilizations and English, 7/8th World Geography, and 11th Grade Pre-Calculus (terrifying), in addition to being secondary lead teacher. As Brandon and I have NEVER taught math before, and have to brush up on basically everything we’re teaching before we teach it, it is a fun but daunting challenge that is making us completely trust in the Lord.
I am thankful. I am thankful for our community, here. Our apartment, our staff comprised of hard workers, of friends here and back in the States who are so loving and generous, of a church we’re excited to be back to, and knowing a little more this year than we did last year. Yes, it’s still very busy, but, in a completely different way. We sat down today to look through all of our goals for this year (short and longterm) so that we don’t waste one day.
I am grateful. I am grateful for this opportunity, and for being on this adventure with Brandon, with another year of marriage to celebrate. Grateful for another year of life. Grateful for challenges that make you realize you have to rely on others and God, friends who show you love in ways you would never imagine, and quiet moments at home recharging.