I’ve spun around the sun another 365.25 blessed days, and it’s time to recognize. Seeing growth in yourself is important. And makes you laugh. I highly recommend. In fact, if you want to comment with your answers to some of these questions, and then check in with me in a year, I would love it.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.28.12 PMWhere are you living? Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. I am including a map, because I didn’t really realize exactly how far south and yonder this is until I got here. I’m the red dot. (The star is a place I went to in Colombia.) I share a condo with Leana and Anysia. We’re fabulous.

What shoes are you wearing? Lots of barefoot. But most recently invested in some Birkenstocks, and never turning back.

What did you last eat? Lactose free cottage cheese and some imported Flaming Hot Cheetos for dessert. That is… That is sad.

past tense verbs chart
a lot of my life is this.

Where do you work? I’m the English Language Developer at a Christian International School with American curriculum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (fancy, no?)  I’m liberal with stickers and hugs (and my political opinions, but that is neither here nor there). I also teach Yearbook. This has been the biggest mistake of my life. It keeps me up at night and changes my bowel movements. But I love it in a perverse sort of way. When I get really stressed out about it, I watch the video I made for our Christmas chapel, remember how freaking cute kids are, and move on with my life.

sunset from Baldro, Fernando de Noronja. February 2016.

Where have you traveled this last year?  all over Brazil, back to the States, and Peru. Peru passport stamps are pink, so that’s fun.

When did you last cry? A few hours ago over the dentist thing. A few days ago watching wedding videos, which I sometimes do just to have a good cry.

What was the last movie you watched? I watched “Spotlight” a few months ago. Amazing.

Favorite TV show of the moment? “Sons of Anarchy” is my current binge. I don’t know if that’s a favorite…it gives me a lot of anxiety. More looking forward to season 2 of Outlander! And can’t wait to catch up on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Broad City.”

Favorite toy of the moment? My Fitbit!

What book are you reading? Lorna Doone and just downloaded a book about Patagonia, because my grandma and I are going there in December so I can hug a penguin.

The house we stayed in is right behind the boats!
The house we stayed in is right behind the boats!

When did you last laugh really hard? Oh man….so we went to Ihla Grande this weekend, a girls trip, and we were in chairs in the sand, watching the sun set and commenting on everyone going by, and a man went by on a bike, with two bags on the handles, and there is NOWHERE to bike after our house, and I started singing “guy on a bike, weight so evenly distributed, where are you going with those bags? I gotta know whats inside. I want an itemized list.” And Leana and I just lost it. There is video somewhere. I cried.

my love! I am coming for you soon!!!
my love! I am coming for you soon!!!

What are you most looking forward to right now? 61 days until I see my dog.

What’s your favorite song at the moment? “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande, even when I hate myself for loving it. Lemonadeness by Beyonce. Reviving Prince in his absence.

What’s the same about your life last year that you’re happy about? I’m still alive. I still have a job. I’m still learning. I’m still on the beach most days.

What’s different about your life from last year? I’m more involved in school stuff, and thinking about education on a deeper level, desiring more change. I’m trying to get better sleep habits. I’ve expanded blog stuff, am trying to make more videos, collecting teacher jokes, starting to write about Disney movies. I’d love to end up full-time writing and just being silly on the internet as a living. You see so many others do it, but then it’s like who would buy a book I wrote? I don’t know. It’s a pipe dream. But I will smoke that pipe.

i love this place.
i love this place.

When and what was your last vacation? We actually had last weekend off and went to Ihla Grande! It was awesome. Five girls in a big house right on the beach with plenty of sangria and churrasco and good playlists. We had an amazing time.

What are you proud of this year? I planned an Amazon trip and got people to go with me and I held a sloth. I have been doing a lot to improve reading at our school and initiated some assessments and programming and awards there. My costume collection has grown.

this happened.
this happened.

What’s your current favorite joke? Why couldn’t the pony sing himself to sleep?

Because he was a little hoarse.

What would you like as a gift right now? a visit from my sisters, a nice edition of a Jane Austen book, to feel cold, a glass of really nice wine (sadly lacking here), iTunes, “you look thin!” “You look well-rested!” “you look marriage-material!” “I don’t even want this bottle of wine, do you want it?” “I made some extra tater tots, would you like some?”


An important relationship at the moment? Hmm. My friend Candice and I have gotten really close over the last year, and it’s so awesome because we’re both staying here in Rio next year, and because I really like having mentor type people around me all the time – strong Christian women who lead by example and are great wives and mothers and friends and teachers. She’s always there for me and encourages me to be a better person than I sometimes want to be. She’s good accountability. She’s funnier than most people know. And her kids are some of my best friends. So that.

What are your goals for the next year? Leeeeeeet’s start with something I can accomplish – watch the TED talk on Procrastination that’s been recommended to me a million times. :) Get google educator certified, take the TESOL course I’ve been meaning to sign up for, get business cards printed. Be better about skyping my friends and family. Talk less, listen write sing read more. Continue building my joke of the day empire.

What are you doing exactly right now? At this very moment, I am bundled up in blankets in the hammock. We’re having a cold snap – it’s 72F. Anysia and I cleaned up from last night’s awesome karaoke party for my bday. I made everyone spaghetti, Brazilians brought snacks, my friends got me a baby keg, Leana made cupcakes with rainbow chip frosting, and we sang and danced. It was awesome. This feels like my first Saturday with actually nothing to do, and I’m going to revel in it.

Happy 32 years to me!

Pics o the year: