2011 Year in Review

JANUARY. Jarom and I struggled to get used to both being in school, and were still adjusting to life with 2 kids. The semester started off well, and it actually made our marriage a lot more balanced to be switching off childcare every few hours. Busy, yes – very busy. But enjoyable. I even went so far as to declare that we were thriving.

FEBRUARY. School got a little trickier. And having two kids got a little trickier. I tried joining a book club, so that I’d have some hope at sanity, but since I was taking evening classes I couldn’t usually go to the meetings. The kids kept growing: Evan was talking in short sentences, and turned 2 at the end of the month; by then he could sing “Happy Birthday,” more or less. Also, he stole my blanket (earliest reference here). I entered an essay contest on campus, which I sadly lost; the winner turned out to be a poorly-written but emotionally manipulative essay. Jarom and I went to the ballet (Sleeping Beauty) as one of my Christmas gifts. Fantastic! Oh, and my one-credit block class ended, thankfully. It was the first time I lost points on a paper for being “too academic.”

MARCH. More busy lives, more snow, more slump. Suddenly (?) doing school full-time seemed like a bad move, but I was determined to keep going so I could graduate with Jarom in 2012. The month was fairly lost to papers, tests, and lots of (school-related) reading.

APRIL. Jarom got a job lined up for the summer that would continue through the school year. We are so, so lucky to have found something that let us stay put for the summer, and not worry as much about finances during the last year of school. And as for school itself? Survived! After a frantic few weeks at the end of the semester, I finished my papers and tests and got a 4.0. Yeah, I will brag about it again because it was super amazing. The downside was that Jarom and I both had nasty sinus infections for most of April, and once we got over those, Evan came down with roseola. (Caught roseola? What’s the correct terminology here?) I tell you, a toddler with an IV is not fun for anyone. Poor Evan! Not to be upstaged, June started crawling. Well played, June.

MAY. I took the summer off from school. I also kind of took it off from plans, so May was mainly spent playing with my kids. Stay-at-home mom FTW! Notable events from May were limited to our anniversary, an Oregon Trail birthday cake, and Jarom’s extra long fishing exursion.

JUNE. The kids and I found a caterpillar, so that Caterpillar was his name, and we called him Alexander and he answered just the same. (Oops. Sorry.) But really, that was a highlight of the summer. Evan and I loved watching the caterpillar grow! I drove back to California with the kids for my brother’s wedding. Jarom painted the living room for me while I was gone. I painted a galaxy for him in return.

JULY. The big deal: Harry Potter, of course! Also my birthday. The kids and I got to go spend a week in Tahoe with Jarom’s family (he had to stay behind and work). Because he’d still be working during the semester, when both of us were in school again, we bought a second car. It’s a pretty sweet car.

AUGUST. I got a streak of purple in my hair. Jarom and I went to see Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (always my favorite). Our good friends had their first baby! (And I was temporarily convinced that I wanted another baby, too.) Best of all, I took a night off from being a mom; Jarom and I spent the night in Salt Lake while our very generous relatives looked after Evan and June.

SEPTEMBER. Back to school. I thought things would be fine, since I handled the past semester so well, but with the addition of Jarom working 20 hours a week, life was beyond hectic. I made arrangements for my neighbor to babysit my kids while I was in class – possibly the only thing that kept me sane. I started taking art classes once a week, also from my neighbor, as an additional sanity safety measure. June said her first word: “Evan.” Loud and clear.

OCTOBER. I got so stressed about school that I went to see a counselor for help. Well, it was a nice idea. In October alone I had 5 tests, and I was only taking 4 classes. Not to complain or anything, but it was way more than I felt like I could handle. The month was one panicked how-do-I-survive. Bright spot: June started walking and turned one! We sure adore her.

NOVEMBER. The panic lasted until just before Thanksgiving break, when school calmed down a little. Just to keep me on my toes, both kids AND Jarom got Hand, Foot & Mouth disease, which meant they were all contagious and we couldn’t go to Thanksgiving dinner with family. Everyone was miserable, except me; Jarom missed school because he was sick, and I missed school because I was busy taking care of everyone.

DECEMBER. Convinced that the semester would be a complete failure, I went to see another counselor, a much more helpful one. I also spoke with one of my professors and got some insight that was even better than what the counselor told me. With an extra boost of optimism and a little who-cares-anyway, I made it through the end of the semester. (If you’re wondering, I ended up with a 3.6. Considering I expected about a 2.5, not too bad!) All of us were glad to be done with tests and papers, especially since it meant we got to take a train ride to California. Evan couldn’t sleep the night before because he was so excited. A comfortable week in Northern California visiting friends and family was the perfect way to relax and enjoy ourselves. I read over 3,000 pages on our trip! Then it was back to Utah to get ready for one last (very last!) semester. I can’t wait for all the changes 2012 will bring!

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