Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Year: 2010

2010 started out as many of our years together have started with Adam somewhere else.  Over Christmas 2009, during my visit to Korea, we decided that I would be joining him, after school finished in the Spring.  I then began looking for a job and prepping everything (me, the house and the pups) for an international move.

I wrapped up the year at Shoemaker High School on a big note having 75% of my students pass the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test that we had been working hard for all year.  For some of these students it was a first for them having never passed a TAKS test in all of their years in school.  I was very proud.

SHS Senior Field Day
Me Chaperoning Prom

Our house sold for the full asking price in one day after Adam worked for a month cleaning, painting and staging it to look like a magnificent home.  I miss that house and really wish that I could have taken our first home with me.  It was full of so many memories, blood, sweat and tears. 

The day after school finished the puppies and I hopped in the very packed car and headed first to Clovis, NM to pick up mommytaco and then up to the great PNW.  It was a really fun roadtrip and I am so glad that mommytaco was able to come with me.

Me and the pups roadtripping

Mommytaco and I in Utah

This photo makes me laugh hysterically everytime.

The summer was spent seeing friends, hanging with mom and dad and acclimating the puppies to the mountains since they were going to be staying there while we are in Korea.  The summer was full of time with family, bronchitis, best friends having babies and best friends getting married.  It was a great summer to be at home and I am glad to have had the opportunity to spend a month there.

Me as a Bridesmaid at my BFF Kate's Wedding in Sun Valley.
Mommytaco, mom, Crabby and I at Pike Place Brewery

Me at The Brick (The oldest operating Tavern in the NW - and major character in Northern Exposure) with a Roslyn Brookside.
Mommytaco, mom and I on top of the Space Needle

In July, I came to a sweltering Korea and began adjusting before school started.  When the weather isn't extremely hot or cold we try to get out and see the country.  Korea is full of many fascinating things from the food to the temples and always the driving.  

Diamond Bridge in Busan.

The spread at my favorite restaurant in Busan.



Speaking of crazy, crazy driving.  I didn't think I would be able to drive here but slowly I have been able to grow the confidence to cut people off and change lanes without notice.  I have also learned the art of the flashers and use them to communicate to the other drivers when someone is actually considerate and not overly aggressive.

I'm Driving!


School in Korea has been a very interesting experience.  There are many cultural things that have added stress to the already stressful task of building curriculum for 6th Graders (EVIL AGE), Algebra 2 and Geometry.  I am just glad that "pull up your pants," "put that away," and "watch your language" have only been replaced with "speak English, please."  Learning to not write a student's name in red ink really has been the hardest habit to break, though. {Koreans think if you have your name written in red you will die.}  I also have been quite frustrated with the students who spend the night before at a tutor learning the lesson that I will be teaching so that they look extra smart in class.  They also are extra hard to keep engaged (awake) unless they are waiting on the edge of their seats for me to make a mistake so they can shout out "Umm... Teacher..."

My classroom.

View from my desk.

Confiscated from a 6th Grader.

Turned in on an Algebra 2 worksheet.

Me at my desk.
6th Graders working on their projects.

In the last year, Adam has become a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (from Villanova University) and has started to secure his future whether it be in the military or when he becomes a civilian.  He has been studying and practicing his photography and everywhere we go he takes up the role of photographer and he has talked about using his hobby to photograph for others.  Adam also has been building his other hobby of RC car building.  After a lot of time researching and developing, he currently has the fastest electric baja on the planet.  It has been featured in many online forums as well as RC Driver magazine.  This is all done in his rare free time that Uncle Sam doesn't take.

The puppies have become somewhat adjusted to living with Grandma and Grandpa.  And Grandma and Grandpa have become slightly adjusted to living with the puppies.  Mom gives me weekly updates and sent me a great scrapbook featuring them in their very cute long johns and other winter wear for the cold Cle Elum winter.  Mom has gotten them to be obedient somehow having them fearing the words "Time Out" like small children.

If you have been watching the news you know that tensions have been high in Korea.  It has been super crazy with things happening here that haven't happened in 60 years.  Please keep us in your thoughts and send lots of anti-war positivity over here.

On New Year's Eve, we will celebrate our 5th Anniversary.  We haven't made any plans yet and it will probably be spent as a low-key evening at home.  It is nice to be together to celebrate it and also know that we have a lot more time together coming in the future.  This is the best reason of all to be here in Korea... Adam can't be deployed and we will be together!  Not guaranteed anywhere else.

Us all dressed up for the holiday party.

The next year has a lot more travelling in store.  We hope to explore Asia this summer with a trip to Japan, Thailand and possibly others.  We want to make the most of the time we have here by exploring places we may not get an opportunity to see as easily again.  This also includes travelling through more of Korea visiting cultural sites, temples and islands.

I am also looking to go back to school next year.  I have applied to my Alma Mater to get a Master's of Arts in Teaching Mathematics and I am super excited to go back to school.  Plus, I need to catch up to Adam with all of his graduate degrees and certificates so he can stop saying, "Who doesn't have a Master's Degree?"

I hope that this letter finds you and yours and that the next year is filled with lots of promise and happiness.

Love, Megan


Cristina & James said...

Happy Holidays, Megan and Adam! Sending you Christmas cheer through the interweb... :)


Anonymous said...

Where did the nick name Mommy Taco come from? Loved the letter. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas and enjoy your 5th Anniversary!

allperkins said...

It has been an eventful year for you two. I am so glad you are together. It seems so long ago that you were just a few short miles from our house. I miss the poker and food nights. I truly enjoyed yours and Adam's friendship. Whoelse could I get the good gossip from? Now I got NOTHING! I am praying for you and all event over there. We miss you friends and always remember if you are up this way even just a quick dinner would be wonderful! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all the good tidings. The Perkins Clan (yes we are a clan at this point).

The Ross Family said...

Merry Christmas Megan and Adam! So glad that you two can be together over the holidays and I wish you a very happy 5-year anniversary! Thanks for sharing all the great pictures and updating us on your year. Sounds like it has been an interesting adventure, but something that you will really enjoy sharing stories later int he years.

MommyTaco said...

I loved reading this year in summary, but loved even more to have gotten to join you and the puppies in the adventure to Cle Elum! There were so many great experiences and memories made in that trip.

Failing miserably at snapping pics of each state sign we passed.

Spontaneously climbing a giant orange rock (Wilson Arch) and one of the photo-proofs being a MySpace-pose pic of yourself with bonus of me in the background, rear high in the air. That one is going in a frame on my wall.

Driving up a mountain and nearly running out of gas.

Peeing in the wild for the first time and not getting too much on my pants.

Princess's farts.
Mac's farts.
Bubbles being the grungy yet not smelly one.

Feeling like the dogs were going to get us kicked off an elite military post for growling at the guard.

I know I've said it a million times, you & Adam are missed more than you can imagine but I could not be happier for the two of you to finally be able to spend a solid amount of time together. If those little people to your north go and f*** that up, I'll go kick their asses myself. ENJOY your time together (I know you do) in these special times with the holidays and a celebration of the day you became a Dubyuh!

p.s. Dana - My nickname is a steal off of my husband's, "Taco" which he got from his Air Force pals many years ago. It's a play on our last name, Santiago, which they say sounds like Sandy Taco. It was only natural that I marry into a Taco nickname of my own :)

Princess Prettypants said...

Happy holidays, Mo Fo! I loved hearing all that you are up to. I think of you every day and love seeing all your pictures. Hopefully someday we'll see you again soon.

Kate, Sean, Olive and Waffles