Saturday, January 9, 2016

Celebrating 2015

Discover. Play. Build.

15 Celebrations for 2015

1.  My sister beat cancer!  It was such a scary year for all of us. From the time we heard about it in February through her surgery in June and the final rounds of chemo that ended in mid-November, she has battled and come out stronger.  Although she thinks she was a baby through the whole thing, I think she is the strongest woman I know.

2. Adoption Day.  Our oldest son brought the most amazing young woman into our lives back in the mid 2000's (I don't remember the exact year, maybe 2007 or 2008). She was a single mom with young twins--a boy and a girl.  Greg and I loved them all from the first time we met.  On November 30, those twins forever became Days.  The tears rolled when I got a call on my cell that day as each of them shared their name with me.  My husband still has the message on his phone.  November 30 will always be #WearetheDays Day in our family.

3. NCTE I have always wanted to attend NCTE, but it was always too expensive, too far away, not the right time.  Something always stood in the way. Until this year.  I was fortunate that NCTE was held in Minneapolis, only a two and half hour drive, and that my district paid for my registration and hotel. I sat and absorbed the wisdom of so many fantastic English teachers and authors. My brain was full every day. NCTE, of course, also led to ....
4. MEETING RUTH!  I know you all understand my thrill that we finally met face to face. I wrote in my notebook that it was like meeting a rock star....everyone knows Ruth and she knows everyone.  Such a fun time.

5. I attended my 40th class reunion in July. 40 years out of high school....WOW.  Maybe it's because I teach high school, but it sure doesn't seem like I've been out that long.  It was wonderful to connect again with people I haven't seen since graduation day.  So fun to reminisce with everyone.  Our class Facebook page is more fun now that we have all reconnected.  There was talk of a 60th birthday reunion since we will all be hitting that big 6-0 and I hope it happens.

Elementary school buddies!
6. Summer Trips:  We took several of them last summer and had a blast.  The only downside to these trips is wishing I was retired already so we could take off and explore more! We visited Door County, Wisconsin in June, and now I am addicted to Door County Coffee . We traipsed up and down the county, visiting lighthouses, wineries, and beautiful county parks.  A great getaway with our favorite traveling companions.

7. July found us in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Another quick little long weekend getaway. The highlight of this trip was a dinner cruise on the Mississippi. A beautiful night.

8. In August, Greg and I, along with Chloe, took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park. I just love our trips when we take off driving and don't really have any plans, just a final destination. We did plan ahead on motel rooms. Taking Chloe means we have to find pet friendly places, but that hasn't been too hard to do.  Chloe loves to travel with us and really likes all the people she meets.

9. I did a little "work" this summer also, and presented at the  TIC conference in Dubuque, Iowa.  The TIC conference is a tech in the classroom conference set up by our local education agencies.  Friends and I presented on setting up flipped classrooms. We didn't think we would have many people attend, but it ended up standing room only and we had to adjust our plans on the fly.  Just like in our real classrooms :)

10. At the end of October our Sandbar Beach friends traveled to our side of the state and we all met on the Mississippi for a weekend of fun. When we planned it, we didn't know how important it was for us to get together, but it was a time for us to not only have fun, but support friends who needed us more than ever.

And the final five?
11.  Iowa Hawkeye football season
12. Marshall Tucker Band with Mitch and Rainy
13. Girls Day at the lake
14. Storm at Sandbar
15. Concerts in the park
+1 Ribfest and times with friends


  1. What an amazing year 2015 was for you and your family!!! A healthy sister and more family members?!?! What's better than that? Congratulations on such a lovely year and cheers for an even better 2016!!!

  2. Very cool idea, Deb, to celebrate your whole year. Love the celebrations especially your sister's. Power to the survivors! Enjoy 2016.

  3. Deb, You had a year worth celebrating, remembering and savoring. Love that you shared it with us.

  4. 15 celebrations for year 2015 - great idea. First two are huge. All the others compliment them well. Wishing you happy travels and gathering with people for this year too!

  5. I loved each celebration & the way you wrapped up the year with "best things', Deb. I'm so happy about the news about your sister. Hugs to her & to you! I hope we might get to meet some time. Ruth is a special friend to so many of us, & has been all these years. It's lovely to be together in person! Maybe someday? And your trips sound awesome, each one unique & fun, fun, fun. Happiest of new years to you, with each month bringing more joy!

  6. What a beautiful post reflecting on and celebrating your year! I love the idea of having a day to celebrate being a family - and the adoption gave you the perfect reason to do that. Thank you for sharing them.
    (I hope that you can join us for NCTE again in the future - it IS quite the event!)

  7. Such joyful celebrations in 2015!! You are blessed!

  8. That was an amazing year. Love the thought of #WearetheDays Day, Deb. Sad I didn't attend NCTE this year - but happy that you got to be part of the teacher love fest that it is.

  9. Such a wonderful year. I love the adoption day story - beautiful.

  10. So many wonderful moments to celebrate. I love the WearetheDaysDay! What a precious moment! Also love that you got to attend NCTE and meet Ruth! She's a treasure to all of us! Thanks for sharing all the great pics from wonderful moments of 2015!

  11. Wonderful celebrations! The adoption day brought a tear to my eye -- so amazing! Congratulations to your whole family!!

  12. I'm not sure how I missed this post, but I'm glad to read it now. It was a joy and a highlight to meet you. I wish we lived so much closer!