and somehow it's july

Over Memorial Day weekend I finally met the most precious baby and I can’t handle how much I miss her (Hi, HATTIE I LOVE YOU!). Visiting with her, her sweet mama, and their whole fam was just the best. Charlevoix is beautiful, but that’s not why its one of my favorite places. I’m unashamedly obsessed with my beloved Whittaker family.

In other news, I finished my first year of teaching just over a month ago. It kind of feels absurd to say that. The last week of school was a whirlwind. Monday and Tuesday were as normal as they could be. Wednesday started way too early, but my first trip to Cedar Point was one for the books. I screamed “I’m too young to die!” before probably (definitely) every ride but I didn’t actually die so that’s good. We also came home with as many kids as we left with that morning. Praise.

The whole “first year is over” thing didn’t really feel real until Munster picked me up and twirled me around the day after the 8th grade trip yelling about how Youngsterr had done it! Then maybe some tears made their way out of my eyeballs and there was definitely a group hug somewhere in there.

That night was graduation. The night I said “goodbye” to the kids that made me a teacher for the first time. The night I celebrated the end of the beginning of my teaching career with some of the best people in the business. I am forever grateful and overwhelmed by all my team has been to me this year.

The weeks that followed graduation were no less hectic. Checked out of my classroom Friday afternoon, before packing up most of my Michigan life into my tiny car and driving home to Illinois. The next morning we trekked down to Southern IL for a wedding, back home on Sunday, Day Camp started Monday, left for StuCo camp at 8am that following Saturday, home on Wednesday, back to camp for Thursday and Friday. Then I finally had a real weekend and it was glorious.

I’m home and people ask how my first year was, and I honestly don’t know exactly what to tell them. It was hard and ugly and exhausting. But it was beautiful in all of it’s brokenness and worthwhile through all of the frustration.It was a ride and I’m glad it’s over for a few months. It sometimes feels like when I came home from India to face the “How was it?” sort of questions -  so incredibly well-intentioned, but my answers will not serve my experience well. The people who could really piece together my responses are ones who wouldn’t even need to ask the questions. The ones who were there with me. Truly, I’m sorry if my answers don’t make sense. Honestly, a summary of my first year doesn’t make sense inside of my brain or coming out of my mouth. Bear with me and my jumbled thoughts. So thank you to the ones that understand, and the ones who listen even when they don’t.

This summer at home though, working at Day Camp, back at StuCo is cozy and familiar and just what I needed after surviving my first year of teaching. Home feels right, right now (but I miss GR and my people there deeply).

So here we are, one week into July. How did we get here so quickly? Sweet July, please slow yourself down. I’m not ready for August just yet.

As always, I love you for reading this, whoever you are.