Birthday Musings- Ends and Beginnings

WOW! Life has been interesting in my 32nd year. I went into it knowing it would be tough since I planned to take summer courses to graduate in December. Reading through past birthday recaps I’ve watched the ups and down each year brings. In this case, 32 has brought some high high’s and some low low’s. This birthday marks some big endings and some big beginnings!



33 marks the last week of my university journey. I am so beyond grateful that I was able to go back and pursue the career I’ve always wanted and I’ve grown so much personally and professionally along the way. The Education program taught me:

  • I am capable of taking on way more work and handling more pressure than I ever thought possible
  • How to take things day by day when feeling overwhelmed
  • How to be flexible and able to change course at the last minute
  • How to be more accepting of people when they don’t do things how you do it
  • Patience! Working with kids takes tons of patience!

I’m so excited to have the pressure off! Type A’s really put a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect and during school, nothing less than an A- was acceptable, I had to give 110% in everything I did. This last four month practicum was so much fun but it was still stressful because I wanted to be better than good, I wanted to be the best! I poured all my mental energy into it, knowing that I was being evaluated the entire time.

It’s been a tough but rewarding experience and I am SO EXCITED for a brain break!!! My poor brain is exhausted! I’m going to spend the first week of Christmas reading books, watching movies, and not thinking too much. After that, I’m ready to jump back into high gear.


December has not been a very awesome month for me. Driving to work one morning in the dark, a buck darted in front of my car causing the scariest accident I have ever been in. Health-wise, everything was okay, but my Jeep was a write off. That’s stressful enough when you buy your first brand new car and it’s gone at only three years. Tack on the fact that after the insurance payout you’ll still owe somewhere between $5000- $7500, and it makes for a very upsetting couple of weeks.



The highest high of course was my very much wanted but extremely unexpected pregnancy in September! I thought I would need IVF and surprise! A baby came on it’s own- though his timing is terrible. I had planned to teach for 6 months before attempting IVF and the timing of this pregnancy is making our financial outlooks in 2018 VERY precarious right now- but I will never regret this baby.

Being a teacher, you love all these children but you can’t control how they’re raised. You see a kid who could really improve with a little help from parents but that’s not up to you.

Now I get to raise a child my way! A child who will reclaim playing outside and will grow up on the trails with me. This is the beginning of something life changing and I can’t wait!


As I said, my career plans aren’t quite going as planned. I’m hoping to substitute teach in the new year until the baby is born. In March and April, I’ll apply for a full time teaching job in September.

I had originally hoped to get enough hours substitute teaching to qualify for a years paid mat leave. You need 600 hours in a year and I earned 300 working through the summer, but because subbing is not guaranteed hours, the odds of me getting in another 300 in about two months is slim to none.

So instead I’ll enjoy the five months I have and head back to work in September. After all, my American counterparts only take 6-12 weeks mat leave so why should I be all bent out of shape about “only” five months?


My husband Ryan doesn’t often make an appearance on this blog. He’s not into hiking or running, and hates having his picture taken, but he is the quiet rock of my life. No matter what high’s or low’s I experience, he is always there doing his best to make me happy. He’s been SO SUPPORTIVE through this crazy busy year and though I’m nervous about what this next year will bring, I feel better knowing that he’ll be there by my side no matter what.


This has been a year of personal growth for me. I really struggle dealing with things that are unplanned or out of my control. I started this year with a goal to stress less (post reflecting on how that goal went coming soon) and I’ve worked hard to do that as much as I can. I have a long way to go still but I have gotten better at being flexible and changing for the unexpected.

Trust me, I still have my moments (especially this last month) where my lack of control sends me into a spiral. You know what happens when you’re pregnant and you get upset? You CRY! I despise crying, to me it seems weak, I rarely cry when upset. But lately? It comes out of my face and I can’t turn it off!

But nobody’s perfect. And that’s what our life is all about! It’s about growth. It’s about identifying what our strengths and weaknesses are and working to improve both as much as we can.

Year 32 has been a growth year, and I’m sure 33 will be an even bigger one!


  • Cat December 18, 2017 at 10:50 am

    My favourite line from this blog, but lately? It comes out of my face and I can’t turn it off. Love it, and I love you! Happy Birthday❤️❤️

    • Rachel December 19, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Ha ha ha! Thanks Cat!

  • Jo December 18, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Happy birthday, girl fran!!! I’m coming down south this week and really hope we can hang out a couple times. I miss you and we have so much to catch up on!!!


    • Rachel December 19, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Yes please!!! I don’t have a ton of time (I take off for the States on the 26th) but a catch up is much needed!


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