Well, spring has officially arrived in Peoria. We have been enjoying a wonderful string of lovely days in the 60s & 70s. The sun is shining everyday. There is green grass and blooming flowers everywhere. It's really very pretty. Nathan and I looked at each other one day and realized winter was over and we made it! We are very impressed with ourselves for surviving our first Midwest winter. Pats on the back all around. Of course, the funniest part is that the worst weather of the entire winter was probably the week Josh and Kara visited. Oh well.
Since coming back to Peoria from our Easter vacation in California, we have been settling in to a routine. Nathan drops me off at work around 8 am. He drives 30 minutes or so to Pekin for a full day of work. I get a ride home from a coworker around 5 pm. I take a shower immediately (to wash off the 2-year-old germs from the day) and get to work on homework and housework before Nathan comes home around 6:30 or 7. We eat dinner or sometimes go out for dinner, chat about our day, watch a TV show or 2, do some reading or homework, then go to sleep. Wake up and repeat. Nathan has a men's bible study on Thursday that he enjoys and is now coleading since his leader is moving to Kansas. I try to stay ahead of my homework so I can hang out with girlfriends whenever they are available. On Saturdays, I wake up early to do laundry and other housework while Nathan sleeps in a little bit. We run errands together and go out for dinner. We usually try to go to a new restaurant or at least try new food at a restaurant we have already visited. We really like trying new food. On Sunday, we have church and then couples bible study in the afternoon, which extends into hanging out most of the evening.
Today was a particularly fun day with our couples bible study. All of the couples in our group own their own homes and take turns doing household projects for each other. This weekend one couple needed a big hole dug as an escape route from their basement. Apparently, if you have a bedroom or "livable space" in your finished basement, you have to have an escape route. So Nathan went over to their house around 8 am and started digging a hole with all the other guys in the group. The girls went shopping around 10 for a baby shower we are throwing for one of the other girls in the group. We had a nice lunch at Panera, then went to the house and chatted while all the boys dug a hole and disposed of dirt/clay all day. At the end of the day, we all sat around and ate pizza and just hung out. Nathan may be really sore and burnt tomorrow, but in the end we both had a delightful day with all our friends (though I guess Nathan had a much more manly and dirty "delightful" then I did).
My job is going really well. The kids are getting so smart! It is really cool to see them doing things on their own that I have been teaching them, like recognizing shapes and letters and colors. I just love them all so much. And I love my coworkers. My Associate Teacher is really fun to work with. We have a great system and our room runs like clock work. My Partner Teacher (who teaches the same age group on his own next door) is a riot and makes me laugh all day. And then the kids make me laugh too.
Compliment of the week:
One of my kids looked up at me in the middle of circle time and said, "Mid-Aw-Borne, I like your eyeballs." Well, thank you, I like your eye balls too.
I have also been going for walks afterwork this week and realized I live a couple blocks from one of the kids in my class. He and his brother were playing "I Spy" with his mom, and he said "I spy.... MID-AW-BONE!! MID-AW-BONE!!" He wanted to run after me but didn't have shoes on. Then he wanted to shout after me but I had my iPod on. Poor little guy. He's been talking about it all week. "Aw-bone. I saw you walkin'." Very exciting.
Our cousins, Kenny & Emily, will be visiting next week, so we are excited to see them. I'm also helping with a couples baby shower for some of our friends on Thursday, so that will be really fun too. And of course, I'm SUPER excited it is May because it's my BIRTHDAY at the end of the month! I'm turning 30 this year and totally looking forward to being a real grown up. I'm a little meloncoly about being so far from friends and family on my birthday, but I'm trying to make the most of it. I think Nathan and I will be going somewhere that day (May 29), and I'm trying to plan things with friends in Peoria to keep me from thinking about all the people in California I miss so much. Plus, I really like celebrating my birthday a several times, like a dinner with girlfriends, then a get together with everyone, then a date with Nathan, then a lunch with one girlfriend, etc.. I just really enjoy spending time with friends (and family), so I hope I can plan several get togethers to make my 30th birthday a really fun one.
I'll keep you posted about the coming festivities!