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Annual Ellen Birthday Letter, Year 9

To my birthday twin Ellen:

Well, this year has been… interesting. I hope 58 has been as interesting for you as 26 has been for me.

I’m in 1st place in 3 levels of Candy Crush, btw. #crushingit

#crushingit

2016 was a year of serious hopes and dreams being shattered, in so many ways. At least we could get a McGriddle all day long to soothe the pain of 2016’s wrath.

Celebrities died. Future celebrities were born. I finally got my 4 wisdom teeth removed. Voldemort was elected to run a country.

On a higher note, 2016 gave us some pretty awesome things pop culture wise. Beyoncé released Lemonade. Netflix released Stranger Things. NBC gave us This is Us.

Personally, I started my tenure year of teaching. I found out I’m going to be an aunt. I discovered the joy of wearing leggings as pants. My pitbull’s favorite toy became a stuffed piece of poo.

Leggings all day everyday, baby. #teacherdrag

Charity and her poo.

It’s been a weird year, full of ups and downs, but one thing hasn’t changed: the joy you bring into my life. When I’m feeling down, you make me want to dance. When I have a smile on my face, your show makes me smile and laugh harder. You always have my back, and, as always, it is an honor to have you as a birthday twin.

You give me, as well as so many other, hope. So, for that, thank you.

Thank you for being fabulous, Ellen, and happy birthday. I hope 59 is a great one. Who knows– maybe for our birthday next year, and for my 10th annual letter to you, we’ll be able to share a piece of cake!

Happy birthday Ellen!

And, as my student said, happy birthday to me too!

All my best,

Kailynn

New year, new hopes, new clichés

Note: I started writing this post 5 days ago. Then I stopped. I have a lot of half-written posts in my Saved Drafts folder.

If someone were to measure my 2016 by the amount of blog posts I’ve written, it would be kind to say my year was boring. I’m almost embarrassed to admit I only wrote a mere 8 posts, the majority of which include some level of apology for not writing.

The thing is, if I’ve learned anything in 2016, it was to not apologize.

My 2016 New Year’s resolution was something along the lines of finding peace with those surrounding me. I resolved to care less about what others thought or did, and to focus more on finding my own peace. Truthfully, I was hurting at this time last year. Despite it being one of the happiest times in my life as a newlywed, it was also one of the most isolating times in my professional life. Teaching isn’t always easy, especially when you find yourself surrounded by hormonal, angst-filled teenagers daily. The emotions of my students drained me a bit last year, and my need to escape from them spilled into my need to escape from my peers. Feelings were felt, and I did what I do best– I avoided people. In the Spring, I actively began making changes to my professional life to find happiness again in the profession. While I am not in the place I envisioned myself six months ago, I am honestly much happier with myself as an educator than I was this time last year. Heck, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time in so many aspects of my life.

So, it’s time to focus on 2017.

A lot of my Facebook friends have been sharing their words for the year. They’ve all chosen words to represent what they foresee focusing their next year on, words like “determination,” “hope,” or even “focus.” While I love my friends, a lot of their words have been surrounded by fluffy, feel-good words of optimism and excitement. My sarcastic self can’t handle that level of happiness so, instead, my word will be a realistic one: try.

“I’ll try not to hit snooze 8 times.”

“Let me try that solution before whining.”

“Hey, can I try your drink? I thought about ordering it.”

“I try to walk away and I stumble…”

“Try me, bitch. Just try me.”

I’m ready to try again in 2017, and hopefully one of the things I’ll be trying is writing again. I miss it.

Until then… here’s what I’ve been discovering more of this past year: Snapchat. So far, Faceswapping with Adele really has been the highlight of 2017.

Adele and I are one. I'm on snapchat as, big surprise, @thegingersass.

Adele and I are one. I’m on snapchat as, big surprise, @thegingersass.

Stress Cooking

I didn’t realize it until about 1pm today, but this election season is stressing me out.

Sure, I’d read about the study done by APA saying 52% of American adults living in the United States who say “2016 election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress,” but I didn’t think much about it.

I also didn’t think much about how I’ve avoided addressing the election in my classroom, despite it being relevant to the dissection of race and gender in my writing courses.

It only started to really add a blip to my radar when a certain candidate whose name I’m not typing at risk of bringing his followers to my site pledged to sign a bigoted, discriminatory Act.

We celebrated our first anniversary where we got married, and then proceeded to joke about a Voldemort-Ready plan if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wins.

We celebrated our first anniversary where we got married, and then proceeded to joke about a Voldemort-Ready plan if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wins.

Heck, when my wife and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary exactly one week before Election Day, we half joked about creating a game plan on what to do if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named becomes President. (It’s still a vague plan, mostly because neither one of us wants to process this being a possibility.)

 

 

 

Today, around 1pm, as I flipped on the Giants vs. Eagles game, it hit me:

The 2016 Election is stressing me the eff out.

What caused this “DUH” moment? Was it Eli Manning? A Giants victory?

Nope. I looked around me, and I realized that I’d been cooking for 3.5 hours.

Yes. Three-and-a-half hours. Of cooking.

I was also wearing leggings as pants, something I’ve only recently started doing, despite it being A Trend. With my leggings, I wore a hoodie.

Obviously, this was a clear sign that the end is near.

Seriously though… 3.5 hours of cooking?? This is what I did in college and grad school when I procrastinated and had last minute papers to write. Without fail, I would find myself in a cooking trance, surrounded by homemade recipes, and snap back to reality, realizing that I was avoiding something or stressing out.

Today’s stress-fighters?

  1. Crock-pot gluten free loaded potato soup.

    Loaded potato soup, cooked in the crockpot on the low setting. THE LOW SETTING. For ~6 hours. I have no patience for the low setting... yet I used it.

    Loaded potato soup, cooked in the crockpot on the low setting. THE LOW SETTING. For ~6 hours. I have no patience for the low setting… yet I used it.

  2. Egg salad with chives.

    Egg salad with mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and scallions. Did I mention I perfectly peeled and diced these damn eggs? IT DOESN'T MATTER. It's just getting eaten.

    Egg salad with mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and scallions. Did I mention I perfectly peeled and diced these damn eggs? IT DOESN’T MATTER. It’s just getting eaten.

  3. Gluten-free apple crumb pie, with homemade crust and crumbs.
    I made a pie. From scratch. That's gluten free. (Due to medical schtuff, the wife has to cut gluten from her diet.) I perfectly peeled and sliced 6 apples. Again, THIS DIDN'T MATTER. The pie's just going to get eaten.

    I made a pie. From scratch. That’s gluten free. (Due to medical schtuff, the wife has to cut gluten from her diet.) I perfectly peeled and sliced 6 apples. Again, THIS DIDN’T MATTER. The pie’s just going to get eaten.

     

So. I cooked. A lot. I can’t wait until Wednesday so I can either cook a five course meal out of stress, or buy super discounted Halloween chocolate to celebrate this crazy election season being over.

As the Twitterverse and Facebook reminded me about Day Light’s Savings…

pleasepleaseplease

pleasepleaseplease

Think of me and V. Think of how we just celebrated our first anniversary of the happiest day of our lives. Think of our hopes and dreams for the future, and how they could be destroyed if we set our country back 50 years.

Think of me and V. Think of how we just celebrated our first anniversary of the happiest day of our lives. Think of our hopes and dreams for the future, and how they could be destroyed if we set our country back 50 years.