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Monday, February 11, 2013

Bloom Where You're Planted: Being Grateful for Home

I had an idea this past weekend and I thought I would share it with you.  Many of you might not know this, but I am the wife of a boarding school teacher.  What's more, I once was a boarding school teacher myself.  I have spent the last 15 years living this boarding school life, six years out in Colorado, and the other nine here at The Hill School.  

Now, many of you are not familiar with this life, with this type of environment, so I thought I'd try to explain it.  Simply put, we live on a campus together with about 500 high school students, some who are "boarders" and live in dorms with us all school year long, and some who are day students, and come from home daily to attend school here.  

Our home is unique and most likely not like yours.
You see, this is our house, this beautiful old stone dormitory.

Mostly, our home is just like the typical home.  We've got our kitchen (most often NOT this clean!), and our living room, and the kids' rooms, and our room, and so on and so forth.


This is our front door, which is just like any other.  We come and go, often in a rush on weekday mornings, some days even forgetting it's not your "everyday house".


But see here?  This is where it gets interesting.  This is our back door.  And unlike your back door, which most likely opens up to a back yard, or a garage, or something like that, our back door opens up into a hallway- a hallway usually bustling with 12 high school boys who are, at times loud, at times stinky, and at most times super awesome and great with our kids and our family.


So why am I sharing all of this with you?
Well, for years I have gone back and forth with how I feel about living the "boarding school life", how I feel about being a dorm parent, and how I feel about a life so "not normal"!  I've fought it, stressed about it, questioned it, and most recently, I've truly and completely embraced it.  

I love our home.  I love our dorm.  I love Hill.
I love that our kids can go run and play anywhere on campus and be completely safe and secure.  I love that this door shown above can ALWAYS stay open (and it does) because we have 12 teenage boys who might need us or want to talk or want to come in for some chocolate chip banana bread.  I love baking for their birthdays (got one this week), watching them take our kids under their wings, and watching them learn how to be responsible and maybe hold their tongues in front of little ears.

And recently, I've come to love the realization that living this "not so normal life" allows me to connect with the subjects that I am most passionate about photographing.  How many other senior portrait photographers out there actually LIVE with 500 of their favorite models?  It's an absolute blast being a part of their everyday lives.  And it tricks me into thinking I'm still young!

In embracing this crazy part of who I am, I thought it would be really fun to share with you some of the quirks, the treats, and the challenges of living the boarding school life, and being the boarding school wife/mom.  I'll share with you the chaos of dining hall life (no cooking, no dishes!  Woot woot!!!), the friendly faces that make Hill life so awesome, and the situations that make this crazy place unlike any home I've ever known.

Ever wonder what's beyond those Hill gates?
Have questions about this life?
Let me know what you want to know about!
Let's have some fun together!

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3 comments:

Peg said...

Jen, I love how you capture the beauty of life. Education is not left to just the classroom but rather the relationships which open our minds, hearts and souls. You are a gift to the Hill community.

Continue to follow your bliss.
Peg

Kimberly said...

I love hearing about your life. What a fun calling to be apart of these boys lives. Thanks for sharing, love the pics of your home.

Jen Lebo said...

Thanks Peg and Kim! Being at Hill is a blessing for sure! And so crazy! I'm looking forward to sharing more of this life with everyone!

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