Leslyn's Lovely Life: December 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do you want a RESOLUTION?

Here is my dilemma: I have never, ever, EVER stuck to a new year's resolution. I always have these great ideas-- lose x pounds, go to bed earlier, try to run more often, be more organized, etc. After doing some self-analyzing, I've realized that the only hope that I have to stick to these goals (I refuse from here on out to use the word "resolution") is if I make a list. It's quite sad how much I love making lists (and checking things off of the lists). I am like Monica (and Ross) Geller, and I will literally shout "check" as I cross something off of my never-ending to-do list, as if the whole world could hear me. Anyhow, this, my friends, is my to-do list for 2012.

1. Use my camera more often
I'm not sure I could keep up with a 365 picture challenge for next year- however, there are a lot of ideas on Pinterest that have inspired me to REALLY learn how to use my camera.
2. Write a song- a GOOD one
I have all of these ideas in my head- I just have to put it all together so it will make sense. Who knows, I might be the new Taylor Swift (of songwriting, that is) by the end of 2012.
3. Learn how to make healthy food that actually tastes good
After cooking, baking, and eating a ton of deliciously fattening recipes since our wedding, I've come to the realization that I really DO feel more energized and happy when I eat fresh produce. I just need to find a way to make it yummy every single time... And it also has to taste good to DJ.
4. Learn to sew
My sweet in-laws gave me a sewing machine for Christmas, and I am SOOOO excited to learn how to use it!
5. Reconstruct the vintage $10 wedding dress I bought into something way more attractive.
A few weeks ago, DJ and I walked into a thrift store looking for tacky Christmas sweaters. We found the sweaters, but I also picked up this vintage lace ivory wedding dress for only $10. Apparently, the designer of the dress was very high-end in the 1920s-1960s. Anyways, it is something that I would certainly never consider wearing as it is (hello, it IS a wedding dress), but it has the potential to be something absolutely stunning that I could wear to some special occasions. We'll see how it turns out!
6. Do more Yoga
I always feel better after doing yoga- I probably could have just said "Do more stretching", but yoga just sounds so much cooler.
7. Read at least 1 book per month
This is kind of a sad goal, because I probably would have had the time to read 1 book per week before I started teaching. Alas, teaching and being a wife has taken over my life. I have missed curling up on my couch, and getting lost in a story that can make me laugh or cry; therefore, I am going to set a goal to read AT LEAST 1 book every month. It'll be good for my soul.
8. Make my rent house NOT look like a rent house
I haven't posted pictures of my house anywhere, partially because I feel like there are a lot of parts that are incomplete. However, there are several rooms that are starting to feel home-y. There are several "finishing touches" that I want to add to our house very soon!
9. Work out more than I have this past year
This is probably the worst I've done as far as working out.... It all began with student teaching. I'm sorry, but it's hard to find the motivation to wake up BEFORE 6 am every morning to work out, and after dealing with the joys of teaching every day, cooking dinner and doing laundry seems like the biggest accomplishment of all time. BUT, I can say that on the days that I have worked out, I have slept better, felt more relaxed, and I've had a more positive self-image. Therefore, I will work out MORE than I have in the past year.
10. Learn how to coupon
No explanation necessary.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hello, Strangers...

Well, I haven't blogged since July, which is kind of pathetic. However, if you know me, you would understand why I haven't had the opportunity to sit down, reflect on the past 5 months and update the world. But finally, as this first semester comes to an end, I have the chance to update you on all of the happenings in my life. So here we go...

I married my best friend and the love of my life on August 6th, 2011! The day could not have been more perfect. I feel like I remember every little detail about that day- getting ready with my bridesmaids and my mom, the moment when DJ first saw me, holding on to my daddy's arm as he walked me down the aisle, crying tears of joy throughout the ceremony, and tearing up the dance floor with my friends and family. Yes, it was indeed a perfect day. We spent our honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was like a dream! We were treated like royalty, the resort was not crowded, the weather was perfect, and the week went by way too quickly! We got home on Saturday, and then we started work on Monday.

Before I started working at Drew Central, I was aware of just a few of the "messes" that I had to clean up... I realized that the students had not been in a stable environment (3 teachers in 1 year!!!), and that a lot of the students were only taking choir because they had to. Never in a million years could anything have prepared me for the challenges I was about to face. After the first day, I could not believe how much the students disrespected me. Things were completely out of control. I had originally intended on teaching the region music to all of my classes, but I quickly came to the realization that I had to resort to plan B. I went into survival mode, resembling a drill sergeant. It was a side of myself that I had never discovered until I began teaching. Many tears were shed out of frustration, and I constantly told myself that I was going to quit after this year. It wasn't worth it to be treated like the scum of the earth, especially by kids who are less than half my age. I loathed my job, and I desperately wanted to get out.

I can't recall the exact moment of the "turning point"- it might have been during one of the hundreds of phone conversations with my mom, or while I was crying on my husband's shoulder. I suddenly realized that all of the opposition that I had been facing was not of this earth. The enemy has been attempting to pull me down, and has been using some of my students to make me feel unappreciated, and worthless. Because of the countless attacks that I have received (even up until this week), I truly believe that the Lord has something wonderful in store- both for me and my students, and I know that HE will receive all of the glory.

As I reflect on the decisions that we have had to make over the past year, God has made it absolutely clear that we are supposed to be in Monticello, and He flung the door open for me to work at Drew Central. It was something that a lot of people prayed about, and God certainly answered that prayer in a way that we couldn't doubt where He was leading us. The Lord put me in this position for a reason. I have learned more about myself and my God in the past 4 months than I have in years- probably since I worked at KAA. Although there are still days where I am not necessarily thrilled about my job, I can rest assured that my Father has put me there for a reason, and that I have a purpose. How humbling it is that he would choose to use me.
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