For nearly the past 15 years, I've been in search of what I'm meant to do with my life. Throughout, I believed it was possible to find a career that you could love. A job that, on more mornings than not, you could wake up and be excited. Work, that on more days than not, you felt a true sense of fulfillment and purpose. I believed that there was something out there I was meant to do. During this pursuit I found photography and for a while I thought perhaps I had found "it." I love photography and I would feel a loss if I had to give it up, but at some point in the journey I realized photography wasn't what I was meant to do full-time. I just knew. And so the search continued. Then one morning in early 2011, just an average morning, I was putting on make-up, getting ready for the day (not thinking about career stuff), and I heard a voice. A clear voice. The voice said, "Maybe you want to be a teacher." I froze and remember saying (out loud) to myself, "Maybe you want to be a teacher? Maybe you want to be a teacher." I had never heard a voice before and I've never heard one since. Over a year later I was telling this story to a friend who made a great observation. He pointed out how the voice wasn't commanding, but it was so kind and gentle. It was true. And this kind and gentle voice changed my life.

I had never really thought about being a teacher. Looking back, I can now see signs I perhaps missed along the way. Signs pointing me towards being a teacher. The voice, wherever it came from, was what I needed to finally pay attention. Or maybe all the previous signs were leading me to the moment where I could hear and listen to the voice on that particular day. Within moments, I could feel a shift. Within days, I started to look into the possibility of teaching to see if it was a fit. I talked with teachers, observed elementary classrooms, and researched education programs. If teaching was what I was meant to do then I didn't want to waste any more time. Four months later I was applying to graduate school. In May, I will graduate from St. Kate's with a Master of Arts in Education and then apply for my K-6 teaching license. It is quite amazing how quickly three years have gone by. However, it wasn't easy. Going to school in your late 30s is different than when you're in your early 20s. But along the way there was never a doubt that I had found "it" and for that I'm beyond grateful.

I'm just starting the process of applying for 2014-15 teaching positions. Ideally, I'll teach in kindergarten or first grade. What does this mean for my photography? As I mentioned, it would be a sad loss for me to give it up. Going forward I won't be giving any less to my photography families, but my time will just be limited to the summer months. I understand this schedule won't work for everyone and I will miss those families (those I've met and those I will never meet). Who knows what the coming years will bring, but I'm so excited to find out. :)

Now you know why my blog has been so terribly neglected. I will work on catching up with posting sessions from last year. In the meantime, here is a peek at some of the wonderful moments I was part of in 2013.

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http://www.krystenhalek.com/2014/04/maybe_you_want_to_be_a_teacher.html
My niece, Jocelin, loves horses. I prefer she love something like swimming or running... you know, something that doesn't involve an animal that you ride on that weighs hundreds of pounds. ;) Last weekend, for the first time, I got to see her ride in a horse show. I didn't realize she would be wearing this adorable little English riding outfit. So cute! And I could not have felt more proud to watch her out there on that big horse, in that big arena, with all those other kids. Jos, I love you lots! :)

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There was also a costume competition. :)

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March 17, 2012
Just felt like sharing a photo of some cows today. I don't know why, but I love cows.

Note: I don't love them in a collect-cow-stuff-all-over-my-house kind of way. No cow collections. They just make me happy when I see them. :)


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Mom says:

Josie will love seeing this! Her fave steer is "Brownie"--he comes right up to her :)

(03.17.12 @ 02:08 PM)
http://www.krystenhalek.com/2012/03/cows.html
i have this amazing group of friends from all around the world. each month we set a date and a bunch of us get together online. like a big skype party. and we have an "assignment" each month. this month's assignment sparked my interest and i was able to find the time to give it a try.

the assignment... choose a day (a pretty normal day) and take a photograph of something in front of you every 30 minute from the time you wake up until bed. i had to set my phone to remind me every 30 minutes. every 30 minutes comes fast! i was pretty good. there were some times it just wasn't possible (during class), but then i just shot a couple more on break. :)

it was so fun. and meaningful. i chose to do it on my iphone so my "big" camera wouldn't become a barrier to doing it. plus, it wasn't about big cameras and photoshop. that wasn't the point. the process made you stop and look around. notice things that you didn't notice before. to look up at the sky. be in the moment. find beauty and joy in those everyday moments. i might try to do this once a month. oh, and i could try to post it on the first of every month. ok, no promises. ;)

i encourage you to try it! let me know how it goes...


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AnnB says:

I love this! I think I might need to try it on my drive to Omaha, cuz what else are you going to do on a drive to Omaha? I also want that overhead light found in 30min-4.jpg picture series. :)

(02.02.12 @ 04:06 PM)
Tammy says:

Wow! I love this. And your day looks so interesting. Looking forward to next time.

(02.06.12 @ 09:42 AM)
http://www.krystenhalek.com/2012/02/every_thirty_minutes_for_a_day.html
December 16, 2011
Brandi Carlile at the Fitzgerald Theater. November 28, 2011. Truly amazing.

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andy stenz says:

We saw her on her most recent stop in Milwaukee too and it was amazing. She blows us away each time we've seen her. Awesome photos Krysten! I'm jealous you were shoot some (we were WAAAAY in back this show)
.

(12.18.11 @ 09:09 AM)
http://www.krystenhalek.com/2011/12/brandi.html