One month later...

Holy smokes. I was realizing that it had been awhile since I wrote last, and boy did a month fly by. I know exactly what happened though: my evenings being manipulated by new endeavors. No more cooking dinner, resting or blogging... the new normal is writing article content and reports while my husband graciously cooks dinner or we order take-out because we have too much work these days. 

So what have we been up to?
Well, the school year is coming to a close and I am still awaiting official word on whether or not I'll have a job next year. It's a huge opportunity to just trust God that no matter what happens, He's in control of every detail. My heart goes out to all of my old Beaverton colleagues, but man am I glad that I was literally pulled from that district last year. I was so bummed and so confused when my job was cut, and yet I feel SO thankful that it enabled me to move to Evergreen which is absolutely where I want to spend my career teaching. The Hillsboro School District has been such a perfect fit for me and I feel really blessed that it's where I teach right now.

In the meantime, I've taken up a second contract-job work opportunity writing content articles for various websites, as well as doing some shopping analysis on the side at various retail departments. Super fun, but a ton of extra work. It's been a great opportunity because I can do a little freelance writing on the time, but also gives our budget a boost so that we have some extra play money to spend or save on the side... which is what we've decided to use for our travel fund these days :). 

We're also heavily involved with our church helping lead 4th & 5th grade camp for this summer and are extremely excited for this opportunity. It's going to be such a blast. Sun + 9 - 10 year olds + an amazing staff + a fabulous venue... totally stoked for that week in July. 

The travel bug keeps biting strong... we just booked a week at the end of June to visit Banff and will be taking my brother along with us since he loves Canada. We'll be hiking around the area, hiking around Lake Louise, kayaking, etc. I am SO stoked, you don't even know. I love western Canada and even more the beauty of the outdoors. We've never been to Alberta before, and we'll also spend a day in Calgary before coming home. After that, we'll be taking off a few weeks later to visit family in NC and then spending a week in Disneyworld because we're now officially DVC members. :) 40 years of virtually free vacation stays at Disneyland + World, Hawaii, South Carolina and the Florida coast!

We've been ridiculously busy but are hanging in there until the school year is over. I also just started a program through the University of Portland to add an ESOL endorsement to my teaching license, so I'm in grad school class every Monday night from now - 2014. Yeesh. 

Not sure when things will slow down, but I'm really excited for summer travel season & sleep-in time to get here. We're averaging like 6 hours a night if we're lucky these days. 

Make no mistake: I'm by no means trying to be all braggy in this update or anything like that. We bought a timeshare through Disney this year at a ridiculously cheap price so that we could vacation every year to different Disney-affiliated hotels throughout the US for the next 40 years. As in, it's basically paid for on this trip we're taking this summer. We also scour last-minute travel websites to get great deals for booking hotels in advance, which is how we got our Banff hotel 20% off and with a free upgrade. I'm also currently writing this post from our bed at Hotel Lucia in downtown Portland, paid in part by a $25 off coupon from Priceline, and a successful "name your own price" bid for 40% off the retail room price. 

I say all this, because I we are huge believers in travel, and we do it for as cheap, yet awesome as we can.


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