Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recap 2010

Some blog posts are written for the readers and some for the writers.  This one is for me... sorry.  If you care to recap our year with me, feel free.  However, it might bore you :)  I am enjoying looking back and seeing the wonderful ways God blessed us during 2010.

Some of my all time favorite high school girls.  A mere acquaintance became a dear friend when God allowed us to lead these girls together.  Watching high school students grow in love for the Lord is an amazing thing!
Rachel, a former roommate, great friend, (and recently new sister in Christ!!) came to visit- we love to go to the Art Institute together.

I worked at Clinton Elementary School, substituting for a K-4 music teacher who was on maternity leave.  These 2nd graders are playing a song where all the kids get turns playing various instruments while singing a spooky halloween sound.  (I miss the excitement for learning music that little ones have!)

I went from Clinton (neighborhood elementary school in Chicago, serving primarily low-income families) to Franklin Fine Arts Center.. again, maternity sub.  I student taught here so it was fun to be back for the end of the school year.  One of the best elementary schools in Illinois, amazing art projects (skyline above), love for learning, and kindergarteners putting on memorized productions are the norm here :)
Ben studied in Costa Rica for a semester (his last semester at school, also the 6 months we were engaged and wedding planning... yikes!) and because of my subbing situation, I got to visit him twice.  Costa Rica is beautiful.  Though I'm thankful for Skype, spending time in person was WAY better. 

I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Music Education - graduated in December of 2009 but walked in May of 2010.
For anyone who knows us, you know our engagement story isn't traditional.  Summary - met in september 2009, discussed marriage october 2009, definitely getting married as of december 2009 (original plans were January 1, 2010... ha), ben asked my dad early january and from then on it was official.  I received this beautiful ring as soon as he was back in the states from Costa Rica ;) Though we had discussed it, he managed to surprise me.

Ben graduated too! As a present, his parents bought him a few nice suits.  This is post-suit-shopping coming out of Jos. A Banks. 

Ben got back from Costa Rica about a month before our wedding... so we had 2 showers, a bachelorette and bachelor party, engagement pictures, etc... amongst planning the final details. 
July 3, 2010
Honeymoon destination: Riviera Maya, Mexico
After living in Omaha for the summer post-wedding, we packed up Ben's room and got ready to move to Chicago. 

A brilliant idea from a mattress salesman: "don't buy a new mattress in Chicago, just saran wrap the one you have to the top of the car.  You might need some duct tape."

We added more and more duct tape as the journey continued. 
Family reunion with my mom's family.
Ben's brothers came to visit - this pic was taken post- Sox game.  It was a weekend of junk food, caffeine, Wii and late nights. :)

Elsie and Alex came to visit- we took them to one of our favorite Chicago eats... Portillos!

My first Husker Game.

We celebrated our first thanksgiving as a married couple with my family.  (Last thanksgiving was the first time I met most of Ben's family.. we were dating.  It was when I was truly 110% sure this was the man to marry.)

1st little Christmas Tree in our 1st apartment

A year of 1sts... and it continues into 2011.  Cheers to ringing in a new year!