For most of December, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the New Year. “I’m so over 2019.” It has been a heavy year for sure, but one thing I love about social media is that you can easily review and reflect on your life. I was quickly reminded that while 2019 was filled with grief, change, and other challenges, it was also full of growth and confidence, love and support, excitement, and the usual ESL success and hilarity.
Growth and Confidence
January– I successfully detoxed from sugar and completely changed my diet for a month and half and maintained it for half of the year. Lost 24 lbs. in the process.
March– So proud of my husband! There’s nothing better than watching the ones you love do what they love. If you have any interest in rock climbing, let me connect you with his beginner climbing class.
March 25– I’m finally thankful again for early, quiet, peaceful Monday mornings. Yes, I still check every room and the locks on the door. But then I’m able to make some coffee, sit in the floor to lesson plan anxiety-free, almost as if I’ve never been afraid to begin with.
April/May– I was regularly attending Krav Level 2 and wasn’t half bad.
August 1– May I just say that it is SO wonderful to enter my home alone and stay by myself with zero fear? It finally feels normal again.
August 17– I got my first and only tattoo.
November 4-5– This year I’m honored that NCFL chose two of my proposals for the conference. Presentation #1 will share my journey of program coordination and resources for Family Education. Presentation #2 will share some innovative, engaging ideas and activities about lesson planning.
November 14– I’m always proud to be Seth’s wife, but tonight took my pride to a new level. It takes much courage to be so real and vulnerable on the journey of self-growth through blogging. Plus, he’s a ridiculously good writer. Check him out.
Love and Support
February– Seth and I celebrated two years of marriage with a long weekend in Cincinnati. The Newport Aquarium’s Penguin Experience was the highlight of the whole trip! “I’m so happy I could cry. I’d love for one of them to come close enough to poop on my boot.”
May 23– I’ve been shown so much love today on the last day of school. I thought I was coming down to one of our regular end of year potlucks but was genuinely surprised to walk into a cafeteria with about 75 people to bid me farewell from this particular phase of my life. There was cake, decorations, gifts, and a super sentimental video. I love you all dearly. Thank you for such kindness.
August– New community in our Sunday School class!
All year long: Amazing friends.
April 19– Guess who is now debt free from grad school? Paid it off completely this morning!
April 24– Uncle Seth and Aunt Ashley are very smitten with our new little niece, Natalie. She’s a month old today and gets cuter by the minute!
May 29– We’re pregnant with our little nugget!!
July– We have a wonderful new boss at work.
July 26– Adult tea parties are good for the soul.
August 4 and 19– Bentley and Bella Boyd entered our lives!
September 4– Thanks to the help of my wonderful community, we now have a live document and Facebook page that shares all active, open opportunities for Free English Language Practice in our city!
September 13– Backstreet Boys Concert!!!
October 2– We’re pregnant again with our second little sweet pea!!
October 21– These are the moments I’ve been waiting for. They’ve wanted me to have a baby FOREVER.
November 25– We bought our first family car!
December 21– My little Herman came home!
December 23– Our little sweet pea decided to pooch out just in time for Christmas.
December 27– We heard our baby’s heartbeat and movement for the first time at 16 weeks!
ESL Success and Hilarity
February 7– “Teacher, homework? 3 days and you no give me homework!” I’m behind on grading and one of my students is not having it.
March 5– I walked back into my classroom at break today to hear a table of six Somali students beautifully reading our daily message in unison without my help! Music to a preliterate ESL teacher’s ear!
April 9– Abdio’s phone rings in class. Me, “Please turn off your phones. Yesterday was terrible.” Abdio laughs, “Today Abdio rrible,” She doesn’t know the word terrible but she knew the context and tried to repeat it. Language acquisition is so fun.
April 30– I just got scolded for showing too much neck and chest from a former male student. “Ashley Boyd!!! Oh. What happened? No good!” Modest is hottest folks.
May 23– Today began the goodbyes of my teaching and leadership roles at Americana. I’m transitioning to a different leadership role for next year and will only be visiting this special place.
May 28– We hosted a farewell party for our boss who’s lead our ESL program for 18 years.
July 9– I officially took over the Adult ESL program.
July/August/September– I changed office spaces three times.
April 8– We lost our sweet little Molly this afternoon. We had a good 13 and a half years with this beautiful sweet, loyal, spoiled, little cuddle bug. So much sadness today. Hooey, I love you the most.
July 5– Today we said goodbye to our first baby that we’ll never know. Tomorrow we would’ve been ten weeks pregnant.
August 13– I returned to therapy.
August 24– It’s been 7 weeks, and medical bills continue to come in. $2,500ish to lose our baby.
February– I wrecked my car for the first time in my life. I ran headfirst into a side wall, spun across three lanes of interstate to crash into the other side wall, with not a scratch on me.
April 23– The flu is truly awful. I lost a week of work at the end of the school year and missed my last Family Education End of Year Celebration.
August 21– Soon our English classes will be at capacity, and there are many many many students still coming to register. I need to be able to share other options around the city. HELP!
For 2020, I don’t want to have to look through my timeline to be reminded of all the blessings that I’ve been given. I want to do better to live in the moment, feel all the feels, and then overcome. I really and truly have a wonderful life and so much to be thankful for.