I know that there are still a few more days left in 2017, but I am tempting fate and writing my year in review before the year is finished, gambling on the next few days being uneventful. So without further ado, here are my most momentous moments of the past year, in no particular order:
- I ran and completed the Chicago Marathon! I wrote extensively about this experience here, here, and here if you want full recaps. In short, I’ll just say this: I got to experience this event with the most important people in my life — they were there for me through all the ups and downs during training, and they were there along the course and on the course with me, and they were there at the finish line for me, too. My love for those family and friends who I count as family is inexpressible. Sometimes I stop and think to myself, “I ran the Chicago Marathon” and I am blown away. I wish I could wear my medal everywhere every day 🙂
- I had knee surgery in March, which almost derailed my whole marathon dream. I had a torn meniscus repaired on my left knee, and my recovery was slow because the surgery also caused my IT band to act up, so that had to be handled before the real work could be done on rehabbing the knee. I fought knee issues throughout training, but I stretched, strengthened, rested, and iced — and limped and hobbled sometimes, too — but the knee performed beautifully on October 8, which was the day I needed it to cooperate the most 🙂
- I presented at my very first real conferences! After sitting through so many conferences myself, I finally got the nerve to apply to present at one myself. My first one was in August at the SAMRi conference in Aurora. The second one was with a coworker at the Raising Student Achievement Conference in St. Charles earlier this month. The topic was the same for both — Copyright Compliance Made Easy with Google Tools. Riveting stuff (maybe not) but important stuff!
- I became a Google for Education Certified Trainer. This was no easy feat. I had to acquire Google Certified Educator Level 1 and Level 2 status, complete an online course, pass an online exam, and submit a no more than 2 minute video about me professionally and demonstrating a Google tool. It wasn’t an easy process, but it was worth it. All this Google work has really helped my grow personally and professionally.
- Jim had knee surgery, too. He also had a torn meniscus, but in his right knee. he just had the surgery a week ago and he is recovering so much more significantly better than I did. He is having the recovery I wanted for myself. I am happy for him and jealous of him, too. There are some things that just come so easy to him, like this, like his running. He never seems to have problems doing those things and I’m over here like, “This is killing me!”
- Becky got her first big girl apartment! She finally had to move from her furnished student apartment in Edwardsville to a real apartment in St. Louis. She found a nice complex about 10 minutes from where she works. Her apartment is right across from the on site laundry facility and the adults only pool. It’s nicely shaded by a large pine tree which will help with the electric bill when she doesn’t have to run the A/C as much. And since she had been in a dorm or furnished apartment all the time before this, she got literally all brand new furniture — kitchen table and chairs, couch, love seat, end tables, coffee table, bed, dresser. She had to live there for the first few months on her own until her boyfriend got back to St. Louis, and she had never lived alone before. On top of that, when she first moved in, the furniture wasn’t due for a few days, so she had only one lamp and an air mattress along with her TV at first. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was leave her alone in that apartment. She was scared and a little lonely, and all I wanted to do was tell her to forget all this adulting crap and come back home and live with me. This parenting gig is hard sometimes 🙂
- While this isn’t really an event per se, it’s still important to me. I would say that this is the year that I formed a really solid relationship with my brother and his family. My brother and I always got along, but didn’t always spend much time together outside of occasional dinners with my mom. But this year, I feel like something really clicked and now I would say that we are friends as well as family. The time I spend with my brother and his wife and son is really enjoyable. I don’t know what happened to make me feel this way, but one thing I wanted for many years was to have close relationship with my brother, and I feel like I’ve got that. I genuinely enjoy being with him, Lucy, and Ethan.
I am so fortunate to have the things, people, and experiences that I have in my life. I am grateful for all the wonderful things I experienced this past year. Let’s see what next year has in store!