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  • Writer's pictureLaura Smith

2019: A Year of Change

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

I have never been one to use a date or a year as a time for reflection or goal setting, but I have come to realize that using the end of a year as a reminder to reflect is really important. When I took a few minutes to do this, I was blown away with just how much had changed.

I quit teaching full time after a combined total of fourteen years. Two years in Columbia, five at Lewis and Clark in 5th grade before leaving to stay home and work part-time at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church's preschool. A year in England and then time as a para, substitute, part. time social studies at SVMS and finally a 6 year run as a 6th and 7th-grade social studies teacher.

Jay was laid off from his job and spent three months looking and waiting for the new one. Our family joke is that is is "always here!" It was supposed to be me at home and him at work. It was a little weird but we managed and actually had a good time!

Jay got a new job as Director of Sales and Marketing at a company with a local office, so thankfully we did not have to move to Houston. He will be working from home, but also traveling often. It is very strange to wake up with him still in bed. He used to leave at 5 am to bike to work so that is a big change.

We adopted a dog from KC Pet Project in April. After shockingly losing (literally) or beloved Dizzy when she ran off and never came back, we decided we didn't like not having a dog in the house. I have to admit that Cota and Jay are pretty tight and we ALL spoil her! Her favorite activity is sitting on the radiator in the dining room and watching for squirrels. Then she goes and waits patiently for someone to let her out back where she chases them. One of these days she will get one...and hopefully she won't want to share it was us!

I traveled to Europe this summer on my final EF student tour. You can read about all of the adventures in Italy, Monaco, Switzerland, France, and Spain HERE I also got to go with Cameron on a teacher appreciation trip with EF to Prague and Munich. It's always fun, easy, and interesting traveling with Cam. This summer he is going to Spain on and EF Ultimate Break trip!

I am leading EF Go Ahead Tours, a non-student branch of EF, Education First. I still love traveling with students, but now they have to have a parent with them in order to travel.....brilliant right? This summer we go to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Prague. My group consists of couples, singles, and four families with teens. In 2021 we go to Ireland, Scotland, and England! If you're curious, you can click at the top of my website and learn about it.

I have a private tutoring business: After a few months at The Tutoring Center, I decided that private tutoring is more my jam. I love every minute of working with my students from 4th to 12th grade. I love sharing tips and tricks on how to manage school. We plan, organize, strategize, learn, and study. You can read about my tutoring business HERE.

I have a new daily schedule and personal health plan: This has been a game-changer and actually the most difficult in which to assimilate. I am currently following an intermittent fasting eating plan while working out 5-6 days a week. "Meno-belly" is real and I had to make changes. I have been participating in Spin, Yoga, and HIIT classes despite my horrible knees. I even won $100 in a health challenge at Liberty Nutrition where I first started this health journey. Working out in the morning and working in the afternoon and evening is a complete lifestyle reversal and works much better for me. Jay continues to cycle......and cycle....and cycle!

I am volunteering with Hillcrest Hope and KC Pet ProjectI: The HIllcrest Hope organization is phenomenal and working with the residents facilitating a parenting class is something I truly enjoy.

I complete my training for KCPP next week and will get to start helping out at the Zona Rosa facility soon. I can't wait to walk dogs and help in any way. Please "adopt, don't shop".

My Rodan+Fields business is consistent and thriving thanks to so many supportive people, friends old and new, that are loving premium skincare (and amazing lashes) and also are supporting a small business. I cannot tell you what a wonderful surprise the business has been for me. I joined simply because I loved Lash Boost and wanted to be the one to share it with my friends. But now I realize it's so much more. I have a small team of women (including Hailey) under me and the huge support of many women around me. Attending convention in Nashville was amazing. Getting to hear Rachel Hollis in person was a highlight. And Jay joined me on the last day so we got to experience the food and music together.

I am the KU Rowing Parents Facebook administrator and I LOVE being a part of the program in any way I can, but I like to keep a respectable distance too. These girls are so smart, so strong, and so capable. They amaze me. This year we will travel to as many regattas (competitions) as possible.

I have more time for family and friends: I am so grateful to be able to visit my kids in their college towns for a quick lunch or drive to St. Louis for a sick friend. I love getting to see my nieces and nephews in their various activities or just to be able to be available.

I couldn't do any of this without the support (and health insurance) of Jay. He has never doubted my plan to quit teaching and has been my quiet cheerleader with Rodan+Fields from the start. While I miss my teaching colleagues, I really LOVE my new phase in life! Let's have lunch some time. Call me! (okay, text me. I never answer the phone::)





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