first birthday.

On Monday, my favorite little guy turned ONE!

The ten and a half months he’s been in my life have been a whirlwind of laughter, tears, messes inside and outside, and a feeling of love I can’t even describe. I will say that I now understand so completely why my parents didn’t let my brother and I have a dog growing up. Holy smokes is Sam more work than I ever anticipated! 
The people who bred Sam have a party every Sunday before Memorial Day (sidenote – I’ve now decided that the celeb status he had because of this on his first day of life is the reason he thinks he’s the center of the universe). This means that he had a built in birthday party! 
On our way to the fiesta – SO EXCITED!
Even though it was super hot, he was completely in heaven the entire afternoon. He got to run around with his mom and one of his sisters and met a few other dogs too. I was a little embarrassed at how awful he is at wrestling. I’m telling myself it’s because all the other dogs get more practice than he does. Regardless, it was a little sad to see him lose almost every battle he was in. 

He absolutely came out on top though when he ran into the field to explore for a few minutes. My little hunter found a deer hoof! He was so proud he came sprinting back immediately and it took multiple people to pry it out of his mouth. 

It took Sam two days to recover from the exhaustion of his party. I think the only reason I managed to get a party hat on him was the fact that he was so tired. He definitely wasn’t excited about it initially: 
His birthday made me realize something pretty major. I’m so in love with this little guy that I’m convinced I wasn’t even happy before last July when I met him. I can’t wait to see what memories he gives me over the course of the next year, and am even more excited to capture them all in photos. 

Happy birthday Samuel! 
You are absolutely my favorite.
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college.

Even though I graduated in December, I said goodbye to Marquette and Milwaukee officially this past weekend. I now feel silly for not spending what should have been my last semester in a city I grew to love so much, especially because now I’m back in little Elkhorn. But I tried to get as much as possible out of this place last week while I was there for graduation.

Four years ago I could never have imagined how much Marquette would change me for the better, and I am so, so thankful I chose this place as my temporary home in 2008. Forever and ever:

Ring out ahoya!

My freshman dorm

My sophomore dorm

Stroll to the Alumni Memorial Union

Alumni Memorial Union

Statue outside Schroeder Complex

College of Education home

St. Joan of Arc Chapel 

Jacques Marquette 

Raynor Memorial Library 

My favorite bench

Marquette Hall

“TP Jesus”

Wisconsin Avenue 

looking forward.

For the past few months I was working as a long-term substitute teacher in a small district in Southeastern Wisconsin. I absolutely loved it.

I had my first group of kids who were (almost) my students, and for the first time had to figure out a classroom/curriculum truly on my own. I’m so glad to have had this experience to transition rather than just being tossed into the deep end during my first year teaching. Add it to the list of reasons I’m grateful for my decision to graduate in December instead of May.

I’ve been subbing back in old territory for three days, and even though I enjoy my time here, I cannot possibly describe how much I miss everyone in that building. I wish there was a way for me to express as much gratitude as I feel to the students and faculty I met this spring. Here’s hoping our paths cross again one day… and not just on Facebook!

One positive did come out of me leaving, though. It proved  how ready I am for a more permanent gig. I don’t want to keep saying goodbye to everyone just as I’m getting to know them. Fingers crossed that full-time employment is just around the corner!

geneva lake.

Yesterday I went on a 14 mile hike around the perimeter of Geneva Lake with one of my friends… It was awesome. We got a late start, so we decided to only do one stretch twice (obviously we had to get back to the car). We picked Williams Bay-Lake Geneva.

I thought I’d feel much more sore this morning than I do, so I’m pretty psyched about the fact that this whole working out thing has paid off.

Can’t wait to do another stretch of the path next time!