Thursday, January 24, 2019

In 2019...

... we went (already!) on our very first cruise and I realized my lifelong dream of going to the Caribbean (I never wanted to do is in a cruise, though, and it was ok. I need to go back for sure.).

... we finally go back to visit Brasil after 2.5 years.

... we spend another week in Destin, FL with my husband's family

Sigh... I really wish we could afford to go every year. In any case, sometimes it's not an affordability problem as much as it is one of situational factors -- such as my parents coming for the graduation of one of the boys which makes it unnecessary to travel to go see them. They did come in 2016 for Kelvin's 8th grade graduation and we went there, but that was because of my husband's grandma's 90th birthday party/family reunion.

... I get to teach the class I've dreamed about for many years. I'm doing it now and it's been great so far (only two weeks)! 3 preps, two brand new classes, but hopefully more fun than work/stress.

... our oldest son will (finally) get his driver's license  at 17 years old (he could have had it as early as last July) and I think this will make our lives easier. When he leaves for college in 2020 his brother may still not have it, though, and this could be problematic. :-( I have enjoyed having a driver since September 2017. It's also great to be able to talk to him for a change. I won't make this a separate item, but in a month and a half the same son will have an "official" and pretty serious girlfriend. We are visiting her family in March and I think he will talk to her (Latino, old-school) dad in order to make it an official relationship. For now, they're just special "friends." ;-)

I don't know that else will happen, but I hope I will feel better about my work and about myself professionally. It's not easy. It's a constant struggle and a "low grade pain" all the time. It shouldn't be, I just need to let go and stop feeling so despondent. I need  to get a good therapist.

I also need to work more to get my ADHD under better control, so I can be more productive. Sigh... yeah, lots of complicated feelings and things, always. Sigh...

I hope it'll be a good year.

Monday, January 21, 2019

In 2018...

... so many things happened! It was a wonderful year with a few dreadful things thrown in for good measure. Maybe I'll get those out of the way first.

... two literal nightmares of mine came true: 1) being horribly bitten by bedbugs in our Florida vacation with my husband's family (I took tons of photos to document the numerous bites to legs, arms, and, most of all, back of neck, our rental house was free in the end, 6K back to my MIL. My husband thinks my suffering was worth it, oh well...). 2) having a small flood in our house with water pouring and going everywhere right before more guests arrived (we already had my parents, niece and nephew here).

Other than these two unfortunate things (and the fact that my BIL had to lose his leg to cancer, which is not my story to tell, but I wanted to mention here), it was a great, VERY eventful year.

... I went on two trips with my youngest son in the Spring semester, to Florida for his robotics tournament, and to the Outer Banks for his class trip.

... our youngest graduated from 8th grade and my parents were here to celebrate with us (soon after they flew to Indonesia to visit my brother and his family!).

... we went on a splendid cross-country trip to the Canadian Rockies to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. (This was a bucket list destination for me. It was AMAZING! I have photos on Facebook if you want to be FB friends. Hi Karen!

... our youngest son started high school and the oldest is in the sweet stages of beginning his first significant relationship. ;-) 

... my brother and his family came to visit for the very first time! He and his wife had visited us back in June 2006 before moving to China and he had visited quickly back in 2010, but he had promised he'd finally visit me after he had children, and he fulfilled the promise. His kids are 7 and 5.

... we had Christmas at our house with my whole family, plus my sister-in-law's parents and her brother and family. We had a wonderful time, in spite of the house having been messed up by the flood.

2018 was a great year! My 3 year contract was renewed until 2022 and I was awarded a 5K grant to teach my dream class this semester (about music). I don't think 2019 can top any of that, but I'm sure it'll be good too. More about it in another post.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Cruise was (Surprisingly) Nice!

Several people had told me that I'd love the cruise, but I had a hard time believing them.

I really liked it! I mean, it is "hazardous" in the sense that you can eat way too much and way too much junk, but it is a nice vacation. It does cost extra do do sightseeing and to go to the beach, but it's not too much.

The Caribbean is lovely and I want to go back to various places with more time (such as the Yucatán peninsula in Mexico and it's surrounding areas) and the Bahamas. I also want to go to Jamaica, Belize, Cuba, and other islands. And, if my MIL takes us again, I'll go on another Caribbean cruise (Easten  this time, since we had a Western Caribeean tour).

One problem in a cruise is that there is so much to do that you hardly see the people you're there with. You need to plan to do things with them in order to keep track of them. Another problem is that if you want to make the most of your cruise experience and go on multiple shows (they had Broadway's Mamma Mia!, a Beatles revival, a diving show, and smaller events such as stand-up comedy, jazz concerts, etc.) plus go on shore excursions, you won't really relax and rest too much. I mean, it is relaxing to go to dinner and go to a show, but then you need to wake up early to enjoy the place where you're stopping the next day. Not to mention that shore excursions are VERY rushed due to the fact that you need to get back to the ship by 4 or 5:30 pm.

Yeah... a bunch of negative sides, but some positive ones too. I think and overanalyze things too much, so it's hard not to have complicated mixed feelings about everything. Sigh...

Before it's too late, I'd love to write a couple of posts about last year and this year that is starting as I generally do every year. I hope I can pull that off in the next few days.

If only I didn't have to prepare and teach my classes! The first week ends tomorrow and I'm glad we have a holiday on Monday!

Friday, January 04, 2019

Leaving on a Jet Plane to Catch a Huge Boat

Quick note to say that that in spite of the fact that next week is the first full week back at school for our sons and the first week at U#1 for my husband we're leaving for Florida to go on a Caribbean Cruise! I never wanted to go on one, but my mother-in-law insisted that we go, so we're going. My brother & family and my parents are also going, so it'll be a full family reunion for us -- I mean, we'll continue together for another week.

Two of my husband's three brothers are also going with their family, and that will be nice. My mother-in-law is also taking a group of 48 other people from Brazil. I have to finish packing or I'd write more. I'll let you know how it went!

Nothing else has been done regarding the water damage, we'll see about that when we get back.