1. My wonderful girlfriend, Lisa. Lisa and I have been together almost 3 years and she has put up with all my quirks and craziness. We have a blast together, love almost all the same things, and have made it through good times and bad. She is great and I cherish, love, and adore her.
Lisa, for those of you who don't know, is Irish and yes, she lives in Ireland. That means we are in a long-distance relationship. Long-distance relationships are haaarrrrrddddddddddd. We only see each other a few times a year, if that. We are six hours apart, so scheduling time to talk is very close to impossible, though we manage. And she has to put up with so much being with a super crazy like me! But still, we're super darn cute together and in case you don't believe me, here's a super darn cute picture of us:
|Us in Ireland this summer. On one of the 30 rainy days out of 35 that I was there!|
2. My amazing little niece, Ellie. I never knew I could love a little kiddo as much as I love this one! We have lots of fun together and she keeps me on my toes. I adore that sweet little mush!
|Ellie looking at the animals on a zoo trip I took her on this summer.|
3. My super cool sister, Parrish. Parrish is Ellie's mom and she and I are super close. I'm six years older (...and wiser???) but most of the time, I feel like she's the older sister (not because she's wiser, as I've already sort of established) because she is definitely more responsible on some levels and more mature. She's the one who will take charge of family crisises if they develop, whereas I often lack the common sense necessary for such feats.
|Sissy in March of this year.|
4. My wonderful parents. They're names are Tom and Candy, in case you were curious, since I'm throwing everyone else's names out there. My mom and dad have put up with all kinds of crazy from me over the years. Religion conversions, serial school skipping (yes, I'm ashamed I was ever that dumb), moving away and back and away and back and away and back (into their actual house...), changing colleges (four times). They've been there for me through everything....They supported me in my choice to major in theatre in college. They've accepted me, loved me, and had my back when I came out to them a billion years ago. They have only every wanted me to be happy.
|My cute parents at my sister's nursing school graduation dinner in May.|
5. Good friends! I have some great friends that I teach with and another great group of friends that I met when I worked at Borders years and years ago. We still get together frequently and stir up trouble.
I won't post any pictures of them here, because they are a myth. ;)
6. A job that I (mostly) love. I teach 3rd grade and some years are fabulous and others are just plain difficult. But for the most part, the kids make it worthwhile. There's nothing like the unconditional love and admiration of 21+ eight-year olds in a room seeking your love, guidance, and approval. I can only hope I live up to the stature of the pedestal upon which they place me. In addition to that, I am so blessed to still have a job and be making a living in this crazy economy in which we exist.
7. A crazy little dog who loves me. Bailey is a crazy little girl who has caused me quite a bit of anguish on an annual basis when we visit the vet, but I love her all the same. She was the original mushy-dog. (Don't tell Ellie)
8. My grandparents and great aunt living into their 90s and 80s respectively. I love these three people so much. They have so much knowledge about the world and are three of most generous people you will ever meet.
|Gran (my grandfather) with the Girl Who Stole His Heart, Miss Ellie.|
|Big Dee (I was named "D'Arcy" after my grandmother, thus she's "Big Dee" and I'm "Little Dee") with Ellie last fall.|
|My Great Aunt Jody on Christmas Eve last year.|
10. Lastly, it wouldn't do if I didn't make mention of the things I love to do: reading, listening to great music, watching great films and television shows (and sometimes really crappy guilty pleasure ones), and this great hobby called scrapbooking. I don't know what I'd do with myself otherwise! I'm especially grateful for getting back into scrapbooking last year about this time after a few years off. It's allowed me to be creative and relieve happy memories!