Friday, January 30, 2015

On Goals

Wow, I finally did it.  I finally updated the year old post on my trip to Cambodia.  I was sitting on it for so long.  Knowing this blog was sitting here.  Knowing only a few read it...but still hearing it whisper to me in begging me to just finish what I started.  Finally, my last two posts are up from my trip, and my rule was "no more posts until that's finished" so now we're good.

So here is another post that has been a long time coming.  A very long time ago I wrote a "30 Before 30" post where I put in writing some goals for myself for the year.  Seeing as I turned thirty more than a year ago, and am now existing at an enjoyable 31, it's about time I updated that, just for update and remembary sake.  (New word I made up).

I, in staying true to myself, did not finish all my goals.  I am the kind of person who wants to do so many things.  I always have ideas popping up around in there.  I want to learn more, do more, be better at more.  I am also that person who is exhausted at the end of the work day and just want to lay around and do nothing.  One time my man called me an iPad Head at a dinner with friends so there's that.  (Meaning he just sees me reading the iPad all the time, he can't even see my head...)

I am thankful, however, that I was able to complete a number of these.  Some of them before 30, some of them after, some of them are on hold and some of them are scratched off the list.

Here's to Remembery:

1. Blog

  • Ok, so I am not consistent.  And in reality, I'm sure I intended on doing it more than I did, but I did do it a few times so I'm counting it.  I am still trying to figure out what blogging means for me and what place it has in my life so we'll see what happens. 
2. House Guests in Korea
  • Ok, so when I created this I knew my parents were coming so maybe that wasn't fair, but they came and we had a great time!!  Next up:  My little brother who we are just beyond excited to see in May!!
3. Read Through the Bible at Least Once
  • How sad to not check this off.  I have had a hard time reading the Bible for the past few years, (for a few reasons) but I am slowly getting back into it.  So far I've been on track in January this year and I hope this will be the first year I can read the whole Bible through in a year. 
4. Take Private Korean Lessons
  • I did!  I met with a girl in a coffee shop every Thursday from 7:30-9:30 pm.  It was really rough for me, I was so exhausted at that time.  I would yawn by the end.  And it was really expensive.  And I never studied.  BUT I love Korean and want to learn more.  I am still trying to figure out how to make that work for me. 
5. Learn More CSS + HTML (How to code webpages) 
  • Yeah!  Had a lot of fun with this.  Took an online class, got a book, and even created a unit to teach middle schoolers to do the same thing.  I enjoy it, and want to learn more, but have other things on my burner right now.  It's a fun skill to have. 
6. Make Bread Well 
  • I debated checking this off.  I make one bread well.  This was not my vision when I created the goal.  I wanted to do like...all bread.  But I can do one, so that's gonna work for now.  I REALLY want to get back into this.  I bought sourdough starter and some bread baking supplies but never did anything with them...ugg that's so annoying when I spend money and they don't use what I buy.  Gotta get back on that. 
7.  Shoot Comfortably in Manual 
  • For my photography, I wanted to teach myself Manual mode, but really had no idea what I was doing.  Just spinnin' dials around.  Sometimes it worked, other times (like my freaking Cambodia pics) it didn't.  I took a class from Clickin Moms called Mastering Manual (with my sister) and it was just what I needed.  It was a bit pricey, but it really helped me just get on track.  Now I shoot in Manual pretty much all the time, but really need to keep practicing and get it down. 
8. Start our Scrapbook 
  • Ok...I totally started it...like, two pages, and stopped.  Just not my thing.  Which is sad.  I have a bunch of Project Life stuff around that we won't use.  I am planning on doing photo books instead at this phase in life...but I still haven't done that either.  Yikes...this is on my THIS year's goals. 
9. Decorate a Cake I'm Proud Of 
  • Hmmmmm...I can't decide about this one.  I really had high hopes for cake decorating.  I really did.  It's one of those things that I think I can do...or want to learn...or whatever...but just no time.  Or skill.  Or desire.  So I made one for my friend for her birthday and it was really yummy, and the decorating part was hilarious but it turned out OK, so I'll say I was proud of it because I was.  Just to get something "OK" and not horrible was a win in my book. 
10. Pay off Student Loans
  • Yeah!  Really really thankful to be debt free, I know it's not the case for many.  Just thankful is all. 
11. Create a Blog Template for my Sister
12. Figure Out Royal Icing
  • What was I thinking?  See, I gotta know everything. No and not ever. 
13. Donate 1000 Treats 
  • I meant cupcakes and although I did not count, it has to be getting up there.  I still make them for parties, events, and such.  I really enjoy it and am always happy to help someone out and make life easier for them.  I've gotten quick and confident in my cupcake baking skills. I can't believe I just typed that. 
14. Visit the Enchanted Lake Near Juwang-San 
  • I'm so sad.  I wanted to do this so badly, still do.  I just feel like I need the caffeine in the morning for teaching and tea just doesn't do it.  
16. Frame Photos for our Apartment
  • I did one.  Just one.  I take thousands of photos and I framed one small wedding one.  I really want to do this. 
17. Renew My Teaching Certificate
  • After a real hassle dealing with the Nebraska Department of Education, I renewed my certificate at the eleventh hour.  I also got my Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy from SUNY so that's that.  I kept up a blog here to tell about what I learned.  Yay computers and such. 
18. Plan a Party
  • Sure.  We planned one for our old boss (principal) and his wife who moved to Texas.  I will be honest and tell you it was awesome. 
19. Create Kitchen Art
  • Uggg.  So annoyed.  I wanted to cross stitch different foods and make something, but I only got two done.  I need to get back on that. 
20.  Create a Stick to a Morning Routine 
  • I just HATE getting up.  I think this is not possible to change as you grow up.  I am really bad with breakfast so we started making green smoothies.  We got a Vitamix this year in Guam, so that really helps a ton.  We have been pretty consistent about making those, but I'm looking for more than just that. 
21.  Figure Out How to Meal Plan 
  • I really really wanted to do this for my man but it is hard for me.  It seems the only thing I'm good at planning is lessons.  He has taken over it recently and is doing such a great job.  We are trying to make shopping and cooking and planning more of a shared thing and I'm really enjoying that of course.  We both LOVE cooking we just wish we had more time to do it. 
22.  See the Great Wall
  • I think this was just a filler.  I never wanted to see it that much, but at the point I was creating the list, my parents wanted to go...so I added it.  Some day...but not someday soon. 
23. Email People 
  • Fail fail fail fail fail 
24. Run a 5K With My Man 
  • I just hate running.  We are seriously consider dropping running and picking up biking.  Will keep you informed. 
25. Write Birthday Cards 
  • Fail fail fail fail fail.  There's always 2015...
26. Get Back to Using a Planner
  • Definitely for School.  I wasn't using one for a while there.  I love the Moleskine Extra Large Planner. Nothing else can compare.  I am having a harder time using a planner for personal things.  I bought one and started Bullet Journaling but stopped in all of January.  Looking to pick it back up for February. I am very very very bad at this but see the worth. 
27. Cook Five Korean Foods
  • Why in the world would I not do more of this?  I have all the best ingredients just a 30 second walk from my front door.  I have made probably 3 things.  Gotta get going on this.  It's just TOO easy to buy it at a restaurant.  They really know what they're doing. 
28. Make Something for Someone 
  • Close but no cigar.  So close.  Unless you count cupcakes. 
29. Sew Something
  • Ok, I have sewn two quilt tops, and even added batting and backing to one...but stopped.  Gotta keep trucking.  Gotta keep going.  
30. Develop a Technology Elective 
  • Whelp, I really knocked this one out of the park.  Last year I taught my first tech elective (just one) This year, after 8 years of teaching language arts, I was promoted to full time elective teacher (3 tech classes and two Spanish) and if all goes according to plan, it will be full time middle school tech teacher next year.  I am just beside myself and so happy, I truly love what I teach, every part of it...and am excited for next year.  More to come later on that, hopefully. Right now I teach 6th graders computer basics and 7th and 8th graders graphic and web design, but I'm looking to teach photography, video editing, and computer programming as well next year.  Can you say right up my alley?  
Ok longest post ever but WOW does it feel good to get that done! I am not sad that I could not accomplish everything, because I know full well with a little more determination and perseverance I could have done them all.  I am just thankful for the opportunity to keep learning and growing and am praising God for all the gifts He's given me...just looking back over this list. 

I am have some new goals for 2015 and hope to share them soon!

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Other than see Ankor Wat, there was plenty to do in Siem Reap.  The little town was surprisingly bustling, and we left with a wish we had stayed longer than five total days. Two activities we'd highly recommend are seeing the circus and taking a fourwheel tour.

The circus was put on by an NGO called Phare which trains youth from difficult backgrounds in acrobatics and such, it was a lot of fun!

We loved our four wheel tour, I was even brave enough to get my own ride.  We went out along the Cambodian country side and learned more about the villages and surrounding areas.  Every road we rode down the kids came out of their houses to wave and greeted with us with huge smiles.  I won't forget that!

Here are just a few pics of our time.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ankor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

I have been sitting on this post for literally months. It seemed too big to write so I just finally slapped something together. 

I had dreamed of visiting this place for years, seeing beautiful pictures on the Internet of this otherworldly land…so different from anything I had every known.  Finally the day arrived and we had our chance to see Ankor Wat. (ruins from the Khmer Empire 9th - 15th century) 

It was at the same time beautifully preserved and crumbling before our very eyes.  The heat was intense and the tourists were aplenty.  It seemed everyone else had been let in on the secret as well. 

We hired a guide for the day and he told us lots of things we promptly forgot, but we were humbled by his kind nature and thankful for his service. 

The trip was so long ago I have nothing left to say, except to show just a few pictures.  I am so disappointed in how they turned out…I’m not sure what happened.  They are all noisy, out of focus, poorly composed and just an overall mess.  I honestly don’t even want to put them up here but I want to be honest about my photography journey so here they are.  I guess I'm being overly critical...but it's my blog and I can cry if I want to!