The best month ever!

If April Showers bring May Flowers, then November Leaves should bring Christmas Carols, right?! However, December is a month away, and this November is sure to be the BEST MONTH EVER!  Now, with all of the good comes a bit (aka a lot) of chaos, but I am ready to take it on full force.  Here is what my November consists of:

1. Live Love month at church.  Colby and I have been at our church home for about eight months now, and we are really excited to be taking part in this month.  We will be helping out with a ton of missions and being very intentional about sharing the love of Christ without even using any words.

2. I turn in my edTPA portfolio for graduation. This is only the testing instrument that determines whether or not I pass student teaching, no pressure, right? It is due in a few days, but thankfully I am done and a chunk of it is proofread. I’m actually not too worried about getting it in on time, but I am super nervous about it being graded. Wish me luck!

3. I’m going to DC to present at NCTE! Although my primary means for going to our capitol city is for academia, I plan to make the journey a much needed mini vacation. Colby is going with me, and we are couchsurfing: sleeping on the couch of random strangers. It should be a hoot, and it will be another check off of my growing bucket list.

4. Thanksgiving and Black Friday… need I say more?

5. And finally, I will be applying for jobs like crazy! While I am trying to be realistic in that I probably won’t find a full time teaching position at Christmas, I am still searching relentlessly for something to tide me over. Should I tattoo “hire me” on my forehead? I’m only halfway kidding. 😉

If that is not enough, I have decided to take on two major projects. While these will both be time consuming, I think the eventual fruits of my labor will be well worth the hours I put in to them.

The first is a 52 weeks project. Essentially, I will take and upload one photograph per week. I have a few friends who have done this, and it is amazing to see how much their lives changed in one short year. I know my life will be changing a lot this year (it already has!), and I don’t want to miss out on reminiscing any of these memories during years to come. If you want to follow me on this journey, feel free to request to follow me on Instagram (@jillhaleyxoxo) or visit the 52 Weeks Project section of this blog.

Secondly, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month for the first time. I’ve wanted to write a book for a long time, however, the hashtag #NaNoWriMo2014 is what really drew me in. Just kidding, of course! I have an awesome friend named Victoria who has similar interests as me who told me about the organization. I have never been disciplined enough to finish any of my books until this year. I have written almost 150 pages of a different one which I am putting on hold for NaNoWriMo. This month, I will be writing a post-apocalyptic/dystopian young adult novel called Organa. Colby tells me it is like The Hunger Games and Divergent had a baby. I’m not sure I agree with that idea, but we’ll see. I’m also taking the project to my classroom and having all of my students write a group novel. It will be vignette style like Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, and at this point we are calling it Under the Noon-day Sun. One of my classes has already started writing their vignettes, and the voices they are developing are truly beautiful. I can’t wait to see how both of these books pan out! I am determined to be a NaNoWriMo winner come November 30th! 50,000 words in 30 days (actually 100,000 since I am hoping to help my students reach 50,000 words as well)… BRING IT ON!

So, there’s a brief synopsis of my next twenty-seven days. If I eat riceroni every meal or the bags under my eyes suggest sleep deprivation, do not be alarmed. Know that I am having tons of fun even though my lack of sleep and proper nutrition may take a decade off of my life.

If you have something you’d like to accomplish, do it or at least start on it this November. What do you have to lose? “Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart.” When in doubt, consult country music lyrics. Thanks Eli Young Band for the inspiration!

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