New Things

Last weekend, a friend of ours had about the only kind of wedding that can be pulled off these days, a camping wedding!

Look! I helped put together a tent!

It was only about a half hour north of the Cities, so nice and close, but you still felt like you were out away from it all.

They had cut down the wedding to about a quarter of their original guest list, which was, I’m sure, disappointing for them. But I thought it was great. By the end of the weekend, I’d gotten to know a good chunk of the people there, several of whom were Des Moinesians I’d never met before. It was really cool.

The very musical couple even serenaded us by campfire

Such a beautiful time. Nothing beats an entire weekend outdoors. I felt so refreshed and ready to take on life.

And then, as always, coming home felt so good. Although, we may have taken a hike along the way…

We were looking for somewhere to eat our lunch, so we stopped by a favorite bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. That led to Henry wanting to follow the trails, so we did. It was a real treat to come upon this little area. It’s the place our friends used to come for bonfires during college!

The hill behind it is sandstone, which is really fun. In college, there was a throne carved into it, but now it looks completely different. The boys liked this hidey hole.

As is oh, so fitting, Joe found a tree to be in

And I led us to the beach

Charlie had fun uncovering rocks in the sand

and I had fun realizing the sand beneath the top layer was completely black!

So then I made some art.

Paddle wheel boat went by!

After all of that, it was time to go home. It was time to prepare for the big day:

Everyone’s first day of school! We had our devices charged, Joe reminded us to try logging in to things the night before, and we figured out the spots we’d work in.

I was ready to INSPIRE!!!!!!

And then…well…you know how the first day of any class is pretty boring? You don’t really do much except go through expectations and names and whatnot? Turns out that’s even more boring on the teacher end. Middle school students also prefer to be off-camera, it seems, so I didn’t really even get to see my students much. I felt disconnected and disappointed.

That combined with a first- and fourth-grade classroom operating under that same roof made the day pretty hectic. I’m not going to lie. Part of me just wished we could all just skip school for the foreseeable future. I’d rather be hiking.

I brought in some of our beautiful hydrangeas, watched a show with Joe, and got a good night’s sleep.

It all worked!

I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to try again. Day two of teaching middle school was great, and while we still didn’t get all the kinks worked out in Novak Elementary, the boys both had great days of school as well.

We’re doing it!

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