Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Finding Out We Are Pregnant!


After realizing that I might be pregnant, we waited for a night of the week that we were both free so we could both be there when I took the pregnancy test! I pulled out the white test that we had received as a wedding gift, followed the directions, and then we went down to our new aqua blue couch and waited. We had three minutes to wait; on our aqua blue couch, we held each other a talked about “What if!?” we were pregnant.

After the timer went off, we walked up to the bathroom and looked at the test. Would there be a pink cross? Or would it just be the pink line of normalness?

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Do What You Love, Even if it Scares You!

Here’s a scene from coming back from northern Wisconsin yesterday, and here’s a challenging quote that I found in Christy Wright’s book Business Boutique: “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” -Susy Kassem. 

Choose to do what you love even if you are scared sometimes! Teaching junior high students was one of the things I have done scared. What have you done–even though it gave you anxiety?
-Mary Hope

#greatquotes #businessboutique #christywright #naturephotography #treesoftransitionart 

Copyright 2017


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Developing My Voice: Becoming a Woman Leader

img_1900The adjective to describe my childhood is “old-fashioned.” This is partly because my parents were in their 30-40’s when they decided to have kids, and they treated us the way kids were treated when they were kids back in the 1950’s. This influenced me toward having an “old soul,” with more old-fashioned values and views on life, including my views on women and leadership, but over the last few years I’ve been figuring out what I think about both of these topics.

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Why Is It Hard To Apply For Jobs?

IMG_0477Especially after being rejected for many teaching jobs the years before, last year it was HARD to start filling out those Applitrack applications after my husband pushed me. He believed I could land another teaching job before I could.

Here’s a passage I wrote last July when I was applying to jobs and trying to figure out my negative emotions; I was answering the question, “Why is applying for teaching jobs so hard?” My answer back then: “I feel shaky inside and scared of being rejected, so it is hard to even try.

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Compliments from Students?! Wow!!

“Your teaching is 3000 times better than our literature teacher last year!” One of my students said this to me this afternoon, and he explained that my way of teaching writing helped him feel confident for our ACT Aspire test that we did this week. His words made my heart happy!


Yesterday all of our students took a writing test that I had been working with them toward all year. I taught them brainstorming techniques, about thesis statements, and tips on time writing test, and yesterday was the day where they put it all together.
I saw six of my seventh graders using their brainstorming techniques, and I heard from a lot of the other teachers that my students used their brainstorming skills on the writing test! Several six grade girls let me knows that knowing how to write a thesis statement really helped them on this test. One of them started blushing, but I’m really glad she let me know.
To top it all off, the eighth graders, who have challenged me all year, admitted that what they had been learning really did help them on the test. One young man said, “what you taught us really helped me on the test! I brainstorm for about five minutes and then I took the rest of the time to write my essay.”

My response was, “Hearing this made my year!!!”
I had been hired with the goal in mind to help our students improve their writing, and hearing this feedback from the students helps me know that I have accomplished at least some of my goal. I am so thankful for my students and that they are learning!
-Mary Hope 
Copyright 2017


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Lilac Heaven! Lilacia Park

If you don’t get a chance to come to Chicago land and see Lilacia Park yourself, when my husband and I visited it last Sunday, I shot some photos to share with you:

This park, filled with dozens of different types of lilacs, shouts, “Spring is HERE!!” I loved stopping and smelling the flowers. Lilacs remind me of both of the farms I grew up on because we had huge lilac bushes that we would pick blooms from each spring. I wanted to pick some of Lilacia Park’s flowers, but… Continue reading


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Need to Get Lost in a Book? This Book Will Do It!

 

Book Review on: The Girl Before by Rena Olsen (Psychological Thriller)

The Girl Before caught me at the title; it made me curious and so I pulled the book off my friend’s bookshelf. Later my friend showed me that her copy is signed by the author because she worked with and is friends with her!

 

This book is psychological thriller (it gets inside your head!) The author structured the book in short, two-page sections where you alternate between the present and the past. It keeps you wondering because it does not keep you in one time period. You get pulled into the action of the book quickly because of this book structure, and I read the whole 300+ page book within 24 hours! There is a lot of twists going on as you understand what the protagonist is going through (as she discovers it herself); you discover the truth along with the main character.

 

The Girl Before by Rena Olsen is beautifully crafted and inspiring, but also heart-wrenching in regards to what it teaches you about the effects of human trafficking. Read this book!

 

~Mary Hope

If you want to buy the book, check it out here:

 

 The Girl Before by Rena Olsen (Psychological Thriller)