Happy New Year-Reflections and Resolutions

Is it seriously the end of 2013?  I mean, really…it seems like just yesterday we were starting a new school year!  Anyone else feel that way?  This year has seemed to just fly by.  I’ve heard that the older you get, the faster time goes.  This reality has hit me hard this year!

So…it’s time to reflect back on some things that have happened over the year.  Some good, some bad…but all that has happened has been for a reason.  I like to think that no matter what comes our way, we will make it through it…hopefully smiling!  Here are a few things that happened in my crazy world this year:

photo 1(28)January: I was able to attend my first ever workshop by Gretchen Bernabei.  It TOTALLY changed my view of teaching writing and impacted our Writer’s Workshop in such a positive way.  I am forever grateful to her amazing writing skills!

February: My husband and I had an opportunity to spend time with some of his family from Maryland, including his cousin and her twin girls.  Man, they are a mess!  I can’t even fathom having two little munchkins to run after–my ONE is bad enough!  😉

March: The tail end of Spring Break we got to see my husband’s sister and her kids that now live in Missouri.  It was our son’s first time to really interact with his cousins: running around with them, laughing with them, and playing together with them like they were long lost best friends.photo(17)

April: The test.  Game day.  Nerves.  Excitement.  Everything we had done all year was being put to the test.  Two days of Writing, back to back.  We were all SO glad when it was over.

May: Field trip time!  Our students were rewarded with a trip to Austin’s Park, a pizza and game venue that kids really like LOVE!  It was so much fun to race them in go-karts and try to beat them to the top of the rock climbing wall.  No mercy!  This gal is competitive!  We had an amazing time!

June: School ended.  For the first time ever, I got to go to New Orleans with my husband’s family.  All I can say is: Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken.  Best part of the trip, hands down!  I cannot look at fried chicken the same anymore.  Move over KFC…you have been replaced!

photo 2(27)July: I began really getting into this whole blogging thing.  Yes, I “started” my blog back in April, but I didn’t put much effort into it until now.  I found out personally what it means to be a blog stalker, and I fit that description very well!  😉

August: We celebrated our son’s second birthday at Lago Vista resort.  We had a great time watching him splash in the water and make new friends.  The second half of August was filled with back to school things and actually starting a new school year.  You know all of that stuff!

September: Dun…dun…dun…the official scores/ratings from THE test came in.  Wow.  Not good.  Not good at all.  We worked so hard in preparation for that…as well as other things…and it seemed that the world just came crashing down on us.  We have a lot of work to do this year to make sure that we don’t fall into that trap again, but it will all be OK.

October: I was invited to go to another workshop by Gretchen Bernabei for FREE!  You heard me, FREE!  I met her and talked with her, and she even put my blog up for the whole room to see.  I’m sure I’m one of her biggest fans, so this just made my heartphoto 4(15) sing!  At the end of October, we closed on our first home.  It was an exhausting ride to get to that final step, but we made it!

November: Painting, moving, trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot filled every spare second we had.  Our home was a foreclosure and had been neglected for awhile, so you can only imagine what we needed to do to get it “liveable.”  We celebrated Thanksgiving with all of our family at the end…a much needed break from the craziness!

December: For the first time in a few years, my WHOLE family got together for Christmas.  It was crowded, kids everywhere–PERFECT!  So thankful for another year of time with our families.  Oh, and I can’t forget: I moved over to a self-hosted blog and awaiting a new blog design.  SO EXCITED!!

There you have it.  A look back at my year.  😉  Now on to “My 1.”

I’ve linked up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for her New Year’s post.  Instead of writing out lots of resolutions, she has encouraged us to think of 1 thing that we want to focus on for the new year.  Here goes.

After looking back and reflecting over my year, I realized that there is something that I really need to change in myself this year.  I’m a little bit of a control freak.  I don’t like things that I can’t control.  I guess I’ve always been this way, but it’s really gotten to me this past year.  There are lots of things in life that are out of our hands, and I need to learn to accept them and move on.

Several times, I catch myself agonizing over these things and stressing out because of them.  This applies to things at school and at home. I can’t control what other people choose to do.  I can’t control students’ parents.  I can’t force people to believe the same things I do…even though I know that I’m always right!  LOL

This year I’m going to focus on letting those things go.  I know that I can’t control everything, and I need to stop causing myself unnecessary grief!  Here’s to a wonderful to new year!  Happy New Year to everyone out there!  May this year be full of love and laughter, and letting the little things go!

**Be sure to visit 4th Grade Frolics for more resolutions.  There are some truly amazing people out there!

Update: I decided to link up with another awesome teaching blog, A Peach for the Teach . More awesomeness over there!




  1. I have control issues too! That’s a great “1 for Me”. I probably need to add that as my 2…lol:) Hope you have a wonderful New Year:) Thanks for linking up:))

  2. Hi there! I like that you target every student, not just the majority! I enjoyed reading your resolutions! Thanks for linking up! Happy New Year!

  3. This Little Piggy Reads (Deniece) says:

    Hey, I’m a TX Teacher too. I’m near Dallas. I teach GT in a pull-out program.

    Where is Largo Vista and what is it?

    I’m not a big control freak, but I like organization. I hate when things seem last minute, so I tend to over-prepared and stress out about things being prepared.


    • Kayla Shook says:

      Hi, Deniece! To answer your question, Lago Vista is west of Austin. Deer run rampant, and it’s pretty peaceful. It’s gorgeous! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to weigh in with your comments anytime! I’m always looking for ways to challenge my kiddos, and I’m sure you have lots of great ideas given your background!

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