Tomorrow from timberho

So it's been a while

I guess I should start with this happened...

Kinda crazy right? Looks like the date is 1/19/19 and we're getting married down here in Florida.

In case I didn't already post it...I'm now a Doctor. Which is just weird.

I also now have my own school...which is also weird...considering when I started this thing YEARS ago I wasn't even a teacher!!!!

Life is crazy but I'm happy and finding joy in every single day :)
Tomorrow from timberho

So many things...

14 years ago...14 years! How has it been 14 years? 14 years ago I got in my little Toyota Echo, packed to the brim with things with enough room for just me. I got in my car and headed west, not really knowing what was in store for me. Believe it or not, I didn't know that I had passed my initial teaching tests that would allow me into the program! It was a huge risk. I could have failed miserably. I knew only a handful of people and, let's face it, I didn't have a ton of money. But regardless I took a risk. I had no teaching background and no certification. However, I was going to teach children with disabilities.

Last week I defended my dissertation. I am now Dr. Jennifer A. Holbrook, PhD. How weird is that? I truthfully don't think I could have ever in a million years imagined this. That day when I started my car and drove out of New Hampshire. I cried for the first state. Then I said that this was my calling and I was going to do it.

Today I signed the paperwork to become the new School Administrator (principal) at a school here in Florida. I will be the person in charge of the school. The buck LITERALLY stops with me. ME?!?!?!?!?!

I've been really nostalgic over the past couple of weeks while I finished my dissertation, wrote the acknowledgements and dedication. It has been eye opening. I look at who my friends are now and who they were then. I look at relationships that have come and gone. Students, families, parents, siblings...births, much has happened.

I'm happy to say though, I'm here...and I have my doctorate...and that's just weird. Thank you all so much for being on this wild ride.
minnie squared - from julieoh

A year later...

I know - I suck...I say that each time I post :) I can't even believe the roller coaster I have been on this past year! A year ago I was accepted into the program at UCF and since then I've been going a mile a minute.

So here's the long and short...some adjectives to describe life in Orlando - happy, tired, busy, stressed, excited, invigorated, accomplished, loved, thrilled, knowledgeable, drained, happy and you know, happy. I love it here. The weather, people, friends, food, work, and everything else :) I'm loving life.

I just got back from San Diego from presenting at my first conference. I look like a COW in my pictures so that is not being posted but suffice to say, it's been lovely. Looking forward to LOTS of time with Jo!!!! So excited she's here :)

Not much else to report :)
minnie squared - from julieoh

Year in Review

2014 was quite the year! Here's my annual year end round up :)

What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
I started my PhD program and wrote....A LOT

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Resolutions for 2014 -
I'm not sure I made any - I know that I said I wanted to be happier and that I have done :)

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several theater friends had babies and are about to have babies :)

Did anyone close to you die?

What countries did you visit?

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
I would say time and patience

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 1st because it's the day I moved to Florida
November 9th - one year anniversary with Rich
Christmas - it was really a wonderful Christmas this year

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being accepted at UCF and making it through my first semester :)

What was your biggest failure?
Not saving enough money before I moved

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just the basic stuff but nothing major

What was the best thing you bought?
New car

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My cohort :)

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No comment

Where did most of your money go?
SCHOOL! and bills and moving

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Rich, Moving, School, Rich, Christmas,

Compared to this time last year, are you...

Happier or sadder? Happier. Much much happier :)
Thinner or fatter? about the same
Richer or poorer? Oh goodness...I don't have a "real job" anymore other than STUDENT so yes...poorer

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spending time with Rich

What do you wish you’d done less of?

How will you be spending New Years Eve?
In New York with Rich :)

Did you fall in love in 2014?
I'm still in love with the same person - I fell more in love with him this year :)

How many one-night stands?

What was your favorite TV program?
What's TV? HIMYM remains my favorite though :)

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

What was the best book you read?
The Fault in Our Stars

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I had a lot of new musical discoveries during the drive to Florida. There were several new musicals that I discovered like If/Then and Hedwig :)

What did you want and get?
Accepted to UCF and a 4.0 :)

What was your favorite film of this year?
Into the Woods and Mockingjay

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 42 and Rich took me to dinner and a movie :)

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More time with Rich but we did the best we could with the distance

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Comfy and dressed for much warmer weather

What kept you sane?
Friends, Cohort, and Rich

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
NPH :) - Some things never change

What political issue stirred you the most?
I would say that now that I'm in school again there have been more discussions regarding NCLB and IDEA as well as the Higher Education Act.

Who did you miss?
Rich because he's so far away and friends and family in New England when I moved

Who were the best new people you met?
My Cohort and everyone at UCF

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Dreams are achievable

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I wanna do something that matters
Say something different
Something that sets the whole world on its ear
I wanna do something better
With the time I was given
I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life
Leave nothing less than something that says
I was here

Looking Ahead: 2015
1. Will you be looking for a new job? Nope
2. Will you be looking for a new relationship? Nope
3. New home? Nope - staying put for 3 years
4. What will you do differently in 2015? Work even harder in school
5. New Years resolution? Run my first 5K
6. What will you not be doing in 2015? Stressing about work :)
7. Any trips planned? San Diego for a conference in April and then next fall to a conference as well. Other than that it will be exploring Florida and trips home
8. Wedding plans? not yet :)
9. Major thing on your calendar? I would say dates for the semester
10. What can't you wait for? To continue to learn more as I continue my PhD
11. What would you like to see happen differently? More communication with Rich
12. What about yourself will you be changing? weight
13. Will you dress differently this year then you did in 2013? Nope
14. Will you start or quit drinking? LOL :) I drink more now that I'm in Florida
15. Will you better your relationship with your family? I always try
16. Will you do philanthropy work? AWBC Of course
17. Will you go to bars? That's how I'm getting through school!
18. Will you be nice to people you don't know? Always
19. Do you expect 2015 to be a good year for you? I think it will be if the end of 2014 is any indication
20. How much did you change from last year to this year? SO MUCH! I'm happier, healthier, and really living life for myself
21. Do you plan on having a child? No
22. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now? Yup
23. Major lifestyle changes? Running :)
24. Will you be moving? No
25. What will you make sure doesn't happen in 2015 that happened in 2014? I will work harder in school and try and be more proactive with my work
26. What are your New Years Eve plans? Relaxing with Rich :)
27. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight? Yup :)
28. One wish for 2015? Love
minnie squared - from julieoh

Dusts off the LJ

Hey everyone! I know I suck at staying in touch on this thing...I actually do have an excuse (well kinda...)

I'm officially back in Florida :) I moved to Orlando 2 months ago (OMG IT'S ALREADY BEEN 2 MONTHS) and I am about to start week 7 of my Ph.D. program. To say that it's been a whirlwind is an understatement. Reading, writing, reading, writing, sleeping (sometimes) and classes is really my life right now. I love the school, the people, the support and really everything about it here. My house is beautiful and I have great friends already.

The boyfriend is wonderful and I can't believe we have been together for almost a YEAR! INSANE! He has been so incredibly supportive of the whole move and doctorate program and we are living for FaceTime and text messages. I'm so glad I'm doing the long distance thing as a mature adult because I don't know that I could have handled it as a kid. I'm barely handling it as an adult.

Seriously though, things are great. I have my days where I'm just stressed beyond belief and I realize I need to slow down to get it all done. The faculty here is amazing and they have me involved in a variety of fantastic projects. The fact that I'm not having to work while doing the program is a blessing because honestly, I don't think I would have been able to do it.

Family is good. Patrick is going to be 6! YES 6! He's a Kindergartener this year and is doing amazing. Becca and her hubby with Bug moved to Pennsylvania so everyone is fighting for time when they are home but they are great. Betsy is still in Salem Mass and doing wonderful. She needs a new job but that will happen. Mom is good and so is dad. Knock on wood, no major health crises have arisen in a while :) Let's keep it that way :)

So that's the update :) *HUG* to all!
minnie squared - from julieoh

A somber day...

10 years ago I became an educator. I became an educator to change the lives of children. It was a leap of faith to move across the country where I knew very few people and basically start over. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life. When I got my job in East Los Angeles I must admit that I was a little worried. I was working in an inner-city school. Violence happened on the streets every day around us. I had days when I worked in Los Angeles where we were locked down because of violence in the area.

Even though I have always worked in inner city schools, I have always felt safe. I knew that there were plans in place and we practiced them once a month. As an administrator, I'm now the person who is in the hallways when something happens in the school. I'm the one who is making sure all of the children are in their classrooms and doors are locked.

Today, as news was pouring in from Connecticut, I stood in an assembly where the 650 students of my school gathered. The children sang songs of the season, they talked about holidays around the world. Our close to 100 Kindergarteners all stood together and in their angelic voices sang a song called "One Little Candle". Then the whole school sang songs about winter together. The joy and happiness in each of these children poured through the walls. All the time, I saw teachers looking cautiously around the room. Petrified that if something could happen in a small, suburban town in Connecticut, it could just as easily happen in this large inner city elementary school.

My heart hurts right now thinking of the children, the parents, the teachers, the staff and the administrators of that school in Connecticut and really all of us around the world who realized today that if it could happen there...why not here...