Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflecting on 2009










The few waining hours of 2009 are here. I am sitting in a bed, looking out a huge sliding door, looking out over a majestic mountain chain covered in snow. Growing up in South Texas, snow is a big deal to me. It has snowed at home 2 times in my lifetime, and this is the longest time I have ever spent in the cold.

The older I get the faster times goes. I remember my mom telling me that as a child, now I realize how true her words were. Life goes by so fast, and if you blink, you miss it.

Like every year, 2009 has had its ups and downs, and I think that I will write this one down in the record books as being one of the best I have ever had. Like a fine wine, I like to think that I too will get better with age. People always talk about the college years and being the best of your life, and that really saddens me. I don't want to think that the 4 years I spent in school were the pinnacle of my life. I feel like the best is yet to come, and I keep plugging along believing that tomorrow will be better than today. So yes, I will mark 2009 as a success, hopefully, just one check mark in a long line of successful years.

My highlights from the year:

P and I discovered Dave Ramsey, went to his program, and with a lot of hard work became debt free!! The chains and weight of debt are gone from our life and it brought so much peace with it.

I managed to mark 2 things off my bucket list, one of which I thought I would never do. I ran a marathon, which was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I never thought I would have the strength, determination, and ability to do one, but I did it!!! And I learned to ski. I am on vacay right now and I have loved learning how to ski. (I will fill all of you in on our trip later.)

I feel like I have changed and matured this year. I started the year wanting and praying for a way to love others better, especially P. I really wanted to focus on serving and loving him well, and I have spent the year trying to really listen and understand who he is, and how I can love him better. I hope that I have learned to love everyone in my life better as well.
I started this blog. I never thought I would blog but it has been a great outlet for me. It forces me to become more open, and share my thoughts and feelings, something that can be hard for me to do at times.
I reconnected with me. I spent a lot of time this year really sitting down and figuring out who I am and what I like, dislike, and what my interests are. I gained back confidence that I had once lost, and I feel like a stronger woman than I was just 365 days ago.
I discovered that I have a passion for cooking. Cooking can be seen as something that you have to do, and some days it is just that, it is just food. But other days, it can be an outlet to express your feelings. Food can bring hope, comfort, and joy. Some of lifes most exciting moments have taken place around a dinner table. That is how we connect, celebrate, and show our love to others. I want to continue to discover the joy and art of cooking.
Travel. I used to get travel anxiety. Whenever I went somewhere I would stress out, and worry about the flight, about getting home on time, or about what I would do when I was there. Now I have learned to relax, and enjoy a trip and the anticipation of the trip. I learned to stop and enjoy the moment and experience and decorate my life with those memories. I think P has really influenced me in this area. He has shown me how to capture the moment and enjoy the journey.
So that is it. I hope that you all have a fab. New Year! See ya in 2010, a whole new decade. WOW!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Its a Maine thing

This morning I left my house in Texas and it was a balmy 50 degrees. Tonight I am 2206.50 miles away from home, in Maine with temperatures in the low 20's. We are up in the mountains and there is a storm "a bruin" so we could possibly lose power tonight. Hopefully the storm will bring some snow and we can hit the slopes in the morning. This is my first time skiing so I am excited and a bit nervous. I am sure there will be times this week where my pride, ego, and bum will be hurt, but I am going to take it in stride and do my very best!
Once again tonight I am going to bed with my tank full and my heart bursting. Being around people I love has a way of energizing me and making me remember what is truly important.

One more thing--I am famous, sort of. I was interviewed by a news reporter this afternoon when we landed. He was asking me questions about airline security and if I felt safe after what happened earlier this week in Detroit. So yes it is true, living the fabulous life of a celebrity is extremely hard, but hey some body's got to do it. :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

The most wonderful time

I can't believe that I am laying here in my bed typing on Christmas night. I know everyone feels this way, but where did the time go? Where did this year go? Life seems to be flying by faster and faster the older I get. Especially this time of year. There is so much anticipation and build up for Christmas day, and then it is over. That is why I love how we do Christmas here at my house.
First, I fly home, (a quick 45 minute flight) and spend a few extra days hanging out with my family, while P is working, and he just drives down a few days later. It is so much fun getting to spend more time at home with my parents. We shop, cook, talk, eat. All in all it is great fun. But, the real fun starts on Christmas eve day. One thing that my family does that I did not realize is different from other families until P and I got married is our Christmas Eve dinner. Every year we have Christmas Eve dinner (lunch) at my grandma's house. Every year we eat the exact same meal, shrimp gumbo, and grandma's chocolate cake. My grandmother is Cajun French, and she speaks in broken English. She is this short little French woman, who is funny, sharp, and set in her ways. Her brother, my great uncle, still lives in Louisiana on their family farm. Unlike my grandmother, he is unable to speak English. He only speaks Cajun French. In French, the word for uncle is Frie (I think), but my dad could never say it, so he just called him Uncle Pie, and the name stuck. So all of my life, he has been Uncle Pie. It is so fun to hear my grandmother talk to her baby brother. They just rattle off Cajun to each other and laugh. She still likes to boss him around and tell him what is good for him. My grandmother is 86 and making gumbo has become difficult for her, so the last few years my mom has made it here at our house, and then we drive it over to her house for dinner.
This year, I decided to help my mom make the gumbo. It is pretty easy, just time consuming. Here is the recipe for the roux, which is the base.
1/4 cup of oil
1 and 1/2 cup of flour
1 stalk onions.
You get your oil blazing hot, then add the flour. You stir it continually until it is the color of mud, then you add the onion, then continue to cook until it is almost black. But, you must cook it on a medium heat, because if you burn any part of the roux, it will taste horrible.
Then you add water, and whatever else you want. We have shrimp at Christmas time, but you can add duck, chicken, sausage, and any veggies you like.
The smell of gumbo transports me. It is the ultimate smell of comfort to me because the smell reminds me of my grandmother. Whenever I am missing that woman, all I need is a scent of gumbo to have memories rushing back.
Where was I? Right, after dinner then we open presents with my grandma, and my cousins. We leave grandma's go home, go to church, then wake up Christmas morning. About 5 years ago, we decided that we would not open presents in the morning any more because we would wake up, rush through, and then have to get to work. We have Christmas day meal here at my parents house and my mom always has to rush into the kitchen to get to work, so we wake up, lounge around, then get to cooking.
After dinner, we go out into the back yard and play some lawn games with the family, then it is inside and movie time. After the movie everyone heads home and we clean up the house, shower, turn on the fire, get into our comfy p.j.'s and do Christmas with just us. It is so exciting, because all day long I look at the tree and see the presents and the anticipation just builds and builds and at times it seems like I can't take it any more, but I still have to wait. It is so exciting. P says this is where my inner child comes out. I like to stretch out the surprise. I like holding on to that feeling of excitement for as long as possible. It is the feeling of anticipation and surprise that I love. I get so excited about presents because they mean so much to me. When someone goes out, spends their hard earned money, and spends their time picking something up just for me, it means so much to me. And I want to make it last.
So here I am at almost 11 pm in my bed in my childhood room. My husband to my left with a pillow over his face to block out the light from my lamp, and my dog on the floor to my right, snoring softly and dreaming. My parents are sound asleep in the next room just a few feet away from here. Right now, in this moment, life for me is as close to perfect as it can get. There are a few other family members missing in this equation that could not be here today, but this is my dream come true. I told my mom today, before we opened our presents, that I had so much fun today, that I didn't even need any presents. Good friends, family, and food were more than enough to fill my tank.
I am constantly being reminded that it is not the things in life that make it beautiful and full, it is the people in it. I have blogged about it so many times, but it is so true.
I hope yall all had a wonderful Christmas with your families.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Review: Velvet Elvis

I was given the book Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell to read. It is absolutely amazing. In the book, Bell attempts to "repaint the way we see Christianity." The book captivated me from the 1st chapter, which was entitled "Jump." Bell compares Christianity with a trampoline that he and his sons jump on. He states that the springs on a trampoline to doctrine and they are necessary, but the object of the trampoline is to jump. He then states " I am far more interested in jumping than I am about arguing whose trampoline is better. You rarely defend the things you love. You enjoy them and tell others about them and invite others to enjoy them with you."
His words had a profound effect on me. I don't want to argue with people, I want them to taste and see that the Lord is good. Living for him is thrilling, exciting, tiring, hard, exhilarating, and wonderful, all at the same time.
So come and jump with me!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cooking Lessons Learned

Last night cooking with my friend was a ton of fun. She chose the recipe and all we had to do was pick up the ingredients. She chose Beef Bourguignon because there were a lot of components and there was a lot to do in order to make the dish, which gave ample opportunity for teaching and learning.
Before I get to the tips I learned, I must say that my favorite part of the whole process was learning to get the full flavor from some basic foods. The dish had a huge dept of flavor and with each bite, I could pick out the individual flavors, which came together to make an amazing dish.

Here is what I learned:
1. How to hold a knife properly. When you hold a knife your knuckle should be over the bottom of the blade itself. That way you have more control over your knife and less chance of slipping and cutting yourself. (She told me they spent 2 whole weeks just learning to chop veggies, wow!!!)
2. That you can never chop fresh herbs enough. In school her instructor told them that if you have to ask if it is fine enough, it is not, so don't ask!
3. I learned how much flavor you can get from cooking foods correctly.
4. Mis en place is the basis for many dishes.
5. When cooking onions, they need to be cooked longer than any other veggies to get their full flavor
6. Cooking with a small amount of fat is ok, it really brings out flavor
7. When you add good wine to food, you can really pick up the flavor of the wine in the sauce
8. Reduction-- cooking out the water to get the full flavor of the sauce
9. Adding a small amount of flour to meat before you cook it protects the meat
10. Cooking can be so much fun!!!

Once again the thing that struck me the most was how much flavor you can get when cooking whole foods correctly. We cooked onions, carrots, and celery as the base of our dish for flavor, and the intensity of these really basic foods was intoxicating. We did not have to throw in any spices from our spice rack because we let the fullness of these ingredients do the talking.

We all had fun, and we decided last night we will have to do it again. If anyone wants the recipe let me know. I will be happy to post it!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cooking Lesson

In the last few months I have found a new interest, cooking. I started watching this show called top chef and have become obsessed. I get so excited every Wednesday night to watch these top chefs make some amazing food. It looks so good and I want to know how to do that.
So tonight I have a friend coming over to our house to give P and I some cooking lessons. She graduated from culinary school about a year ago and has been managing a restaurant since then. I can not wait to learn some tips that will help me become a better cook. I will defiantly have to share all I learn with yall.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My New Companions

So I have 2 new companions, crutches. And they are no fun.
While I was training for my marathon I developed a wart on the ball of my right foot. It has been extremely painful for the last several months. So finally on Monday I went to the podiatrist and he told me that I had 2 options. He could use an acid or cut it out. When he looked at it, he determined that it would be best to cut it out. He numbed my foot and did the "procedure." What is left is a massive crater in my foot, it looks like something that you would find on the moon. Plus, it hurts every time I take a step. I started trying to walk on the side of my foot, then it caused pain in my shin. So I started trying to walk on my heel, but that was really weird and uncomfortable. So now I am on crutches. I feel like a dork when I use them, especially as I walked into the restaurant tonight and I slipped and almost busted it. So I am in some pain and I have not been able to work out for 3 days now and I am tired of my foot hurting.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wassilfest

The court house all lit up. The picture does not do it justice, because it really is beautiful
The town square, which is actually a circle all lit up.

This is a picture of P holding some wassil.



I live in a funny little German town. We like to celebrate a lot. Last month we had Wurstfest, which is a 10 day salute to beer and sausage. Men don their lederhosen and women put on their wench dress and they try beer from around the world and sasuage galore. They raise a ton of money, donate it all to charity, and start planning again for next year.





Thursday night we had Wassifest. This is my favorite town event of the whole year. They shut down the town square and the surrounding streets and all the local businesses prepare wassil, which is basically warm apple cider. So you walk up and down the street tasting wassil and talking to people. It is so much fun. Then you pick up a card and vote on who had the best wassil and the store they wins gets the bragging rights for the year. It is so much fun to go and see the town all lit up with Christmas lights. It is the perfect way to ring in the Christmas season.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lets Go Saints

Today was a rough day. Why does it seem that the day after a vacation is looooooong and hard? Nothing bad happened, it was just my attitude. I was not ready to go back to work. I have no reason to complain considering I just had 9 whole days off, and I only have 13 more school days until Christmas break.
But, its ok, tomorrow is a new day and it will be better, or I will have a better attitude. But better yet------- Monday Night Football.
Saints vs. Patriots.
I am currently curled up on the couch in my pj's watching a game that I have been anticipating for days!!! AHHH.
Lets go Saints. I went to school in Louisiana and I am a huge fan of the Saints. Besides being great on the field, the team, especially Drew Brees, have done great things for the city of New Orleans. They have really helped get New Orleans back on its feet. They have invested their time, talents, and finances to help the city, and I think that is so awesome.
Geaux Saints!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Blood

Today P and I took our cars to get washed and detailed today. While we were waiting we decided to walk down the road and give blood. Well, originally I was going to give blood and P was going to wait, but the ladies working talked him into it. I try to give blood regularly because it is a pretty significant need. P however does not care for needles, so tends to say no when I ask him to come with me. So I was so proud of him when he decided to donate. Which, was hilarious by the way. P is a pretty tough guy, but when he decided to give, all the sudden he said his pulse went up, his hands got sweaty, and his heart started pounding. Then he started getting really chatty and making jokes. He then proceeded to eat a bunch of the snacks they offer after donations. Finally he sat down in the chair next to me, and gave blood. It was hilarious. P was so funny. But I am so proud of him for giving today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Something Different

I love being a teacher. It is one of the things that brings me so much joy. But........lately I have been wondering what I would do if I was not a teacher.
I think I would be a chef. More specifically, a natural foods pastry specialist!
I think it would be so much fun to open up a small pastry shop filled with foods that taste great, yet are not terrible to eat.
It would be a small shop right off a downtown street. There would be small bistro tables out front with umbrellas to block the sun in the summer, and twinkle lights hanging down to set the mood at night. The smell of sugar would be intoxicating as you open the door. The walls would be pink and black, to give the effect of sweetness with a little naughtiness.
The cabinets would be filled with cakes, pies, muffins, and all types of sweet treats. There would be gluten free selections, vegan selections, and everything in between.
We would serve coffee from around the world that would transport you with each sip.
We would host a girls party once a month for the women in town to come socialize and meet others.
We would cater your parties and events with class and flair.
We would make wedding cakes to melt in your mouth, while they reach as high as the heavens.

Just a fantasy and dream to share.
Do yall have a dream of doing something else? Please share I would love to know!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Compleition


I did it! I finished my first marathon!! 26.2 miles done. Let's check this one off my bucket list!
The marathon was hard. I started getting nervous last Sunday and my nerves ate at me all week long. Once the marathon started the nerves went away and I was doing great the first 10 miles then my entire left leg cramped up, and I had to run like that for the next 16 miles. That is a really long way to white knuckle your way through something. But I did it, yet not alone.
As I pursued this goal, each training run I was on my own. P would come ride his bike next to me on my training runs, but other than that, it was a solo experience. I came into this race expecting to test my metal. Could I really do this? Could I push through the pain? Will this show me what I was made of? I think I was so nervous because every other athletic pursuit I have done has been as part of a team, group, or pair. This was the first time that I would step out on my own without a partner for support.
Yet, I did not do this alone. I have an amazing husband and great friends who did this with me, and without their support, I would not have made it through.
Before I go any further, I need to thank P. This week he has been so supportive of me. He has noticed when my nerves were getting the best of me, and he stepped in and lifted me up with words of encouragement. He dropped me off this morning at the start line, then drove to park his car, then hopped on his bike and came and saw me off. Then he spent the entire race riding around supporting me. He gave me food, water, and words of support. Thank you P for loving me so well.
I also have some great friends. They were also on their bike riding around cheering me on. At one point, my bff and former college roommate ditched her bike and ran the last 2 miles with me.
Today was just another reminder to me what the important things in life are. They are family and friends loving and supporting each other. It is being there for people in our lives. I am so humbled that there are so many people in my life who will stop what they are doing to come and support me. Wow, thank you to my sweet husband and friends.
I am now nestled into a comfy spot on the couch. My legs are sore as heck and I am drinking a ton of water, and trying to recover.Physically, my tank is empty. Emotionally, my tank is over flowing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New York, New York

I worked from home today! I was working on a project for school and my Principal gave me the day off to finish, so it was great being at home all day on a week day!! I woke up at 5 A.M, yes, the day that I can sleep in I actually wake up earlier than normal--awesome. Anyways, I was up and at it by 5:30 and I worked non stop and finished by 9!! AHH, pure relief.
Anyways, P played hookie from work to hang out with me, so we ate a big breakfast, did some laundry, visited the mother ship (target) and then rented a movie.
We watched Phelm 123. The movie was simply alright. There was a ton of cussing and that really turns me off.
The part that I really liked was seeing New York city in the background. I have never been to New York city, and I am longing to go. I want to see it all. I want to experience the rush of New York city. Seriously, when I see New York city in movies or on t.v., I just long to go there. The excitement, energy, history of it all just makes me dizzy thinking about it. I have read so many books and seen so many movies with the city as the backdrop, and I just want to go there.
But, alas, we wont be going very soon.
P and I are saving up to go skiing with friends in December. My bff's parents just built a vacation home in Maine, so P and I, along with my bff and her hubs will be flying out the day after Christmas to go skiing for a week. I have never been skiing, and I am super excited about going, yet still part of me can't help but long to go to New York. One day I will go, and it will be amazing, but for now, I get to eagerly await my winter escape!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

One Week

One week from today I will have completed my 1st marathon. WOW! I cannot believe that it is so close. I am finding that I am getting more nervous the closer it gets, and the more I think about it. I never thought that I would ever, ever run a marathon, and now I am. I am also finding that I am getting worried about my training. Why didn't I train harder? Did I pick the right training program? Will my right calf start to hurt again? Why about the thing on the bottom of my foot, it now hurts every time I take a step, will I be able to push through the pain? Will I be able to move those last few miles? Will I even make it to those last few miles?

I need to trust my training. I need to trust that I put in the time and effort. I need to remember that I am prepared for this. I have been training since August. I have skipped only 2 runs this entire time, I can do this. Uhhh I am nervous!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Goals

I really like setting goals. I usually do it about once a year, during New Years Revolution time, and I am pretty determined about making steps towards meeting my goals. I decided that it would be a great idea to do long term, and short term goals, so here they are for the month of November.

1. Sell my 6 seasons of Friends dvd's. I used to be a big fan of the show, but I have not watched the DVD's in years. (P and I did a monster clean out last weekend, we took loads to Goodwill.)
2. Read 1 book about "Green Living." P and I have been talking about starting a compost pile, and we just need to start it, so hopefully I can go to the library and find information about it.
3. Finish redoing my curriculum for 6th grade. (My principal told us that we wont be able to leave for Christmas break if it is not done, and I wont have time to do it in September.)
4. Continue to contribute to E-Fund. (We are over half way there!!! YES for baby step 3.)

So there you go. There are probably some that I did not list, but these are it for now.
Hope yall had a restful weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Writers Block

I am finding that this week, I really don't have much to say. I am still reading your blogs,and hopefully I will have some ideas to talk about soon. Hope yall have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Done and Different

Soccer is done!

Cross Country is done!!!

Coaching for this semester is Done!


I get my life back! No more 14+ hour days!


I am excited, relieved, and sad all at the same time.


Coaching is awesome. I get to hang out with some great kids, I get to share the love of Christ with them, and I get to celebrate success with them, things I often don't get to see inside the classroom. I get to be crazy and silly, I get to laugh at how crazy and silly they are. I get to sacrifice my time for them. And it is all worth it!
My students did awesome this week!

2nd place in district for Soccer!


1st place team for Cross Country!


My 6th grader who is running in the 7th and 8th grade division got 2nd place, and 2 other kids got in the top 10!
This is a picture of my kids feet before they ran. I might have shared this before, but it is a really powerful picture for me. Look at their shoes, these are not running shoes, these are heavy high top basketball shoes. These shoes were not designed for running long distances. My kids wear these shoes because they can only afford 1 pair of shoes a year, and they don't want to waste their one pair on running shoes, they want the basketball shoes. (Yes, this is an urban school!) I keep this picture on my phone because it reminds me that it is about the equipment you have, its about how hard you work, and how hard you try. When we are at our CC meets, our kids become pretty self conscious because they look around and don't see many other kids like themselves. They see the shoes the other kids have, the Oakley sunglasses, and the high tech watches the other kids are wearing. They also notice something else, they notice that they are the minority. There have been so many times where the kids look at me and asked "Coach, where are all the brown kids?" (Our school is 90% hispanic)Or they say, "Coach, these kids are different from us." And, I can see a difference in their behavior. In the van on the way over, they are loud and laughing, but when we get out of the van and look around, they suddenly become more reserved, and quiet. So many of them are sheltered, and rarely leave their neighborhood, so at times they wide eyed, and they sit back and observe everyone else. These are the great moments of teaching and coaching for me. I get to tell them that just because they look different, or they don't have the best equipment that they are not at a disadvantage. After the race they are so different. They are more relaxed, they talk to other kids, and they are so much more comfortable with who they are. These are the great life lessons of coaching and sports, and I am so thankful that I am able to be apart of that of these kids.

I was fortunate to have some great coaches who helped me learn some really important life lessons, and I feel so fortunate to get to walk my students through that in return.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Slowing Down

Life has been going about 100 miles an hour the last month. Between work, coaching, marathon training, and life, I feel like I have been going 20 different directions. It's busy, and I like busy, I can handle that, but now I am ready for it to slow down. After Wednesday, everything will quiet down again. This weekend we had our district tournament for soccer and we got 2nd place. We lost 1st place by 1 point. UHHH. It was so disheartening. I think it was harder on me than it was for my team. I just get so competitive. While I really enjoy coaching soccer, often it is really hard for me to coach, because it makes me want to go out there and play. We also had 2 kids make the all district team, and one of them was a 6th grader who we moved up a year to play. (It is a middle school league made of 7th and 8th graders.)
I have my middle school cross country district meet this afternoon, and one more meet on Wednesday, and all of my coaching will be done for the semester.
WHEW!
I am finding that as I get older, I am less stimulated by having so many coals in the fire. I am finding that I want to do few things, but I want to do those well, rather than do a whole bunch of stuff half way.

I will post some of the pictures from the soccer tournament later tonight.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

TEXAS FIGHT, TEXAS FIGHT

The eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Do not think you can escape them,
At night, or early in the morn'.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
Till Gabriel blows his horn!

This weekend P and I went up to Austin to visit a friend and go to the UT football game. As you know, I am very passionate about my football, and the game, as well as the time with friends was awesome! I was wearing orange, and sitting with the UT fans,even though I am not a huge fan of UT. Secretly, I was going for Colorado. In my perfect world, Colorado would have won, and LSU would have beaten Florida, thus, moving Alabama to number 1 and putting LSU at number 2 in the BCS poll, but that did not happen. Its alright, my Tigers will bounce back!! GEAUX Tigers. (I am a Louisiana girl at heart!!!).
I think the biggest factor that made the weekend so great was the fact that we were in Austin. P and I really enjoy Austin, and I can see us living there. For those of you who have never been to Austin, TX, it is really a great city. Unlike Dallas or Houston, or many other big cities for that matter, Austin in not a chain, big box store kind of town. Austin is all about local. They like local artists, locally grown food, and locally owned stores. It is such a big city, with the feel of a small town. There are hundreds of hole in the wall places to eat and roof top patios where you can sit, relax, hang out with friends, and look out at the beautiful skyline. It is a really unique city, that is unlike any other.
Here are some pictures of the game.
Hope yall had a fun weekend. P got this picture of me at the end of the game.
The HUGE HUGE HUGE screen.


A picture of an older lady sitting in front of us. She was a major fan, and she was yelling and dancing the whole time!! Got a pic of her showing some longhorn love.


The TEXAS flag before the game.










Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Nemesis



The gate. This is my nemesis. Here is the little dance I have to do with the gate every time I leave or come home.
Drive up to gate.
Stop Car,
Get out of car,
Open gate,
Put brick in front of gate to hold it open,
Drive through gate,
Stop Car,
Get out of car,
Close gate,
Get back in car,
Drive off.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
It is irritating on a regular basis, but when it rains, it is down right infuriating. I have to plan what I wear based on the rain. I can't wear pants after it rains because the bottoms drag on the ground, and they get ruined. Plus, I have to keep a pair of crocs in my car when it rains to open the gate because the mud messes up my work shoes. So this week it looks like I will be in skirts everyday because it has been raining her non stop. Some days, P will wake up early and run out to open the gate for me on my way to work, and that is such a great treat!
I sometimes think that I give that gate too much power. Some days, I am just miffed by it, but other days, I get so annoyed. So think of me tomorrow at 6:25 A.M. as I will be doing my little dance with the gate.
P.S. Please know that I write this with a little wink wink, a little tongue and cheek. I realize how blessed I am that I have a car that runs, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in the fridge. I am blessed beyond belief, beyond what I deserve.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Marathon Update

First, thank you all so much for your kind words and comments. It was so great to get so much encouragement from y'all. I really do appreciate your kind words.

Then, one of the commenter's, Cammie over at Red Gate Gardens asked me if I had been running, and I realized that its been awhile since I shared.

The marathon training is going great. Its hard but great. Today I ran 18 miles and I felt great until the last 3 miles. I really had to push myself to keep going, I did, and I feel so great now that its over and I don't have another long run for 7 days! YES! The marathon is getting close, its about a month and a half away, so its coming up quick. About 3 weeks ago, I felt a strain in my calf, and I was in a lot of pain, so I got a massage, took the week off, and have been better ever since. I really have focused a lot more on stretching both before and after my runs to prevent injury. I need to pick up my yoga again, but time is still an issue, so I will fit it in if I can.

These super long runs really wear me out, and usually when I get back on Saturdays I am so tired for the rest of the day. But, despite that fatigue, I love it. I love running. I love my long Saturday morning runs. Each week, I get the chance to push myself further and further. Even though it hurts, it reminds me that I am still alive. It forces me to dig deep, reach down and search for strength when I feel like I am tapped out, and keep going. It reminds me that I am strong. It reminds me that I am alive, vibrant, and still kicking.
I played soccer in college at a division 1 school, and I am often asked what I miss about it. My answer tends to surprise people, but its always the same. I miss getting hit and pushed. Seriously, there is something about it that made me feel alive. I had to push past the hurt, and keep going, and training has reminded me of that. It has reminded me that I can always go more, go harder, go faster. I can.
Pushing to the end of myself has had more than just physical rewards, it has had mental, emotional, and spiritual ones as well. I run in a new subdivision that is being built about a mile from here, its on over 500+ acres. All the streets are paved, but there are less than 30 houses out there. When I run it is pitch black most of the time, and I get to run up and down these rolling hills, and I get to watch the sun come up, and set the sky ablaze. It is then that I turn off my ipod and just run into the sun rise. The sky is a beautiful backdrop for the trees, and deer that run all around the property. Its a time where I remember who made that sunrise, who made this beautiful earth, and I just thank God that for all he has done for me.

This marathon training has taught me so much, and I am so glad I am learning and growing in this new experience. I will end with a great quote from Lance Armstrong about riding while he had cancer that I get a lot of inspiration from.
Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that its absolutely cleansing. You can go out there with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and after a six hour ride at a high pain threshold, you feel at peace. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain. At least for a while you have a kind of hall pass, and dont have to brood over your problems; you can shut everything else out, because the effort and subsequent fatigue are absolute.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I am not superwoman

I cried last night. I was on the verge of tears this morning, and it was not even 7:30. I am not talking one glistening tear that rolls down your cheek. I am talking monster tears, the kind that fall straight to you lap like rain drops. It is really unlike me to cry. I don't cry easily, and last night I just broke down. There is a ton going on at school and I am feeling overwhelmed. I have a ton of tasks that have to get done, yet I don't have the time to do them. These are things that have to be done at school because our administration does not allow us to access our computers from home. If I could get this work done at home it would be no problem, but unfortunately, I can't. Plus, our administration has been adding new tasks for us to complete almost on a daily basis. I have to find some large block of time during the day to sit down and do this work, but as a teacher, I don't really have that luxury. I don't have large chunks of time where I can zone out and stare at a computer. I have 25 kids to manage every hour. Plus, starting next week I wont have my conference for 2 weeks because of meetings so that is even more of the time that I had to get work done taken away. Add into the fact that I do tutoring before school, and I have coaching after school, there is almost no time.
It is so hard for me because I am so task oriented, and I want to get things done quickly and efficiently. When I can't get them done, it really starts to eat away at me, and it sometimes seems like that is the only thing that I can focus on, the work that I have not done. I am so frustrated because our plates are so full already, and it keeps piling on. And, due to the work load, I feel I have been neglecting my students, which makes me feel horrible. My only option right now is to give them seat work, and keep them quiet while I get my stuff done. I spoke with my principal today and she simply said she knew it was a lot, but it had to be done. So today I am working as fast and efficiently as I can to get things marked off my list so I can get back to my job, teaching.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Arrested by your Truth

The precious blood of Jesus Christ redeems,
Forgiven I´m alive, restored set free.
Your Majesty resides inside of me,
Forever I believe, forever I believe.
Arrested by your truth and righteousness,
Your grace has overwhelmed my brokenness.
Convicted by your spirit,
led by your word,
Your love will never fail,
your love will never fail.´
Cause I know you gave the world
Your only son for us
To know your name
To live within the saviours love
and He took my place
Knowing He´d be crucified
And You loved, You loved
A people undeserving!
Hillsong United
We sang this song in chapel today. The sound of 125 kids singing this keeps ringing in my ears and echoing in my heart.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Its back...finally

Ladies, its here, finally. After months of anticipation, it has finally returned, and yes I agree with the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I was practically giddy last week when it made its return. It is here, and the next few months will be filled with hours of enjoyment. It is perhaps one of the the most stunning, artistic, and intense displays of human achievement. Its football season, finally! It seems like years since the bowl games and I have been craving football season. For me, there is nothing better than working out early Saturday morning, running some errands, then firing up the grill, having friends over, and sitting on my couch for the rest of the night to watch game after game. Ahhh, pure bliss.
College football is awesome! It is the epitome of sports for me. I like it so much because they are competing at the highest level, yet they have not become jaded by the glitz and glamour that comes with playing in the NFL. They play as a team and they play because they love the game. They are not playing for money (ok some are doing that illegally, but still), they are playing because this game has given them opportunities that might have otherwise not come up. They are playing for their school and their team, and they are playing with a passion that is driven by love of the game, not the endorsement or shoe deal.
These kids have just four short years in that environment. It is hard, confusing, fun, enlightening, scary, and thrilling all at the same time.
Tonight P and I just watched ND get beat by Michigan, and now we are watching Ohio play USC.
So fun!!
If you don't like football or have questions just ask, I will be more than happy to answer.
Happy football season everyone.
By the way, my team is LSU. They are big, fast, gutsy, and aggressive. Geaux Tigers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My True Self

Today I had a conversation with my true self.
She asked me why I had abandoned her,
why I had ignored all her constant advice.
And then she reminded me of all the things I had forgotten.
And never once did she say
"I told you so."
That is a quote from the cover of my new journal. P's mom, sister, and our nieces came into town and we were shopping in the historic district and I saw this beautiful journal with that quote on it and I simply had to buy it. It is beautiful, and the quote reminds me of one of the promises that I made to myself this year. In one of my favorite posts (So much fun http://livesimply-livewell.blogspot.com/2009/02/so-much-fun.html) I recounted a time when I was younger and life was so different. I promised myself that I would remember that girl. I would hold onto her, love her, and embrace her. I can do that by not letting the weight of the world get me down. I can do that by loving my friends, and cherishing them and the time we have together. I can do that by turning off the t.v. and saying yes to experiences more often.
I am starting to find her again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fire and Rain

The past few weeks I have seen both fire and rain. About a month ago their was a fire less than 1/2 a mile from our house. It started across the road, hopped the gravel road, then set blaze to several properties around us. Thankfully, the fire somehow missed us. The fire fighters were great and had it under control quickly. It was a little scary to drive down our road and have fire trucks sitting in the middle of the street. As I drove down, I saw smoke everywhere and I had to ask a reporter from the paper who was snapping shots to get details. Thankfully no one was hurt and the fire was put out safely.

And, last week it rained 3 times in 1 week. WOW. That is huge for us this time of year. We have not had rain in months. After more than 50 days of 100 degrees or higher it was like welcoming an old friend. While it was never a major down pour, we welcome anything we can get. We are in the middle of a drought and we are on water restrictions. We are on a well here, but we have heard of homes a few miles down the road who have had their wells dry up. So the rain, no matter how little it was both welcome and needed. It was great to see the lightning and hearing the thunder, and getting to fall asleep to the rain falling on the roof was a cherished sound, that basically rocked me to sleep.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Bike For P

For the past few months P has been expressing interest in getting a road bike. He has mentioned several times in the last few months and my response has always been, yea that would be cool to get, one day. See we are still on Dave Ramsey baby step 3, saving for a fully funded emergency fund. It is going really well, and we are saving over 1/4 of our income every month. Plus, we still get to enjoy life by eating out and doing things like going to the movies, etc. A few weeks ago P and a friend went cycling one morning and P came home and was really excited and again we had the discussion about the bike. He was excited and really wants this. P rarely says that he wants anything and when he does want something, he spends his fun money on it. As we were talking about it I came up with about 36 reasons why we could not do it. We need this, we need that, we need to save, etc. Basically, I was not the most supportive, I immediately went to negative, and no, rather than discuss it. Then a few days later I was out for a run and thinking and I suddenly got an idea. What if we used some money from our checking, and for the next 2 months rather than using money for dining out and entertainment, we use that money for a bike. I realized that P having a bike and getting to do something he really enjoys means more to me than going out to dinner and seeing a movie. He is going to have a blast and get a serious workout in all at the same time.

So, P, I love you. I wish I could give you everything you ever wanted. I wish that I could go out and get it for you right now. You have never asked for that, it is simply my desire. You deserve this. You support me, love me, honor me, cherish me, and I feel like the most loved girl in the world. My hope and prayer is that I can do the same for you. You are an amazing man, and your love humbles me. You love me even when it is hard. You love me when I am at my worst. You love me when I don't give it my all. Thank you P for being who you are. Your love makes me want to be a better woman.

Confrontation

I have to confront a friend. I generally not afraid of confrontation, but I don't seek it out either. I prefer peace. I prefer drama free. But, unfortunately, my friend does not. Here is the situation, and let me be clear, I take my share of the blame here. Most of the time my mouth gets me into trouble. I tend to be fairly quick witted, and when it comes to a verbal sparring match, I have trouble backing down, a lot of trouble. So here is the story.
I carpool to work with 4 girls and 1 guy. We have all been friends for years, and usually it is so much fun. One of our carpool mates, the male, is very passive aggressive, and makes snotty little comments to us, and basically feels somewhat superior. We have all talked before about saying something to our friend about his attitude, and the others tend to talk about the problems when he is not around. I however, tend to be very black and white, and often say what I feel. Last Friday, he made a really snotty remark to me, and I was sitting in the back seat, and smarted off to him. (Not the best way to respond to him, not a good idea to embarrass him in front of other, so I totally own up to what I did wrong.) We got in little verbal scuffle, someone changed the subject and we moved on. He had not moved on. He is the coach of our kickball team and was snotty to me that night, I took it, did not say anything and let it go. Finally, on Sunday we all went to support a friend in her triathlon, and I was talking and telling a story, that someone overheard, and took offense to. (It was about running skirts. One of my good teacher friends is getting into shape and running and she is super girly, loves bows, sparkles, etc, and was telling me all about her running skirt she bought. I laughed told her she was a dork and it was a big joke. Well a girl in a running skirt heard the conversation and thought I was bashing her and she stared me down and then when she ran by me during the race, she shouted "Running in a skirt is awesome. So yea she was mad.) Anyways, I felt terrible for making someone mad, but she only heard a part of the convo and took offense. One of my most embarrassing moments.
My friend, laughed and said "O thats you in a nutshell, we can't take you anywhere." Then he went on and on about how much of an embarrassment I am. I have been mulling this over in my head and I just keep getting angry. We work at a Christian school, and I cannot hold on to this anger. I need to ask for his forgiveness for all of the times I have caused him to stumble. But, I also need to confront his attitude. I want to do it before the situation gets worse and erupts into something bigger than it should be. He is my brother in Christ, and this not the way the body is supposed to work. My goal is to speak with him tomorrow morning. I will let you know how it goes.
(As I read this I think to myself, stupid drama. UHHH)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

7th Grade B Team


7th Grade B Team District Champs, that is the name of my team. This summer P and I have been playing on a kickball team. The cost was 20.00, and to be honest, it was some of the best money we have spent all summer. Each Friday night, we head out to the ball park, and get to relive life in gym and play a hilarious game of kickball. Some teams get really into it, others hardly have enough people to play, and some are just out for a few laughs and to have a good time. It has been so much fun, and I have really enjoyed getting to act like a clown every Friday night. It has been such a great way to get some exercise, a few laughs, and harness my inner child. We have one game left and then the tournament.
It is been so much fun and I think the reason that I have enjoyed it is because I get exercise and have fun while doing it. I have enjoyed training for the marathon but I am so focused on the goal and beating my times that this polar opposite is exactly what I need. It really loosens me up the night before my long run, because I don't focus on what will happen the next day. I focus on fun and friends, and at times that is exactly what the doctor orders.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flying Solo

I am flying solo this weekend. P and his friends are on a fishing trip at the coast and from reports from him, it sounds like they are having a great time. So that means I am on my own for the next 48 hours.
I have not decided what I am going to do yet, and while I will miss P, I know he will have a great time.
I am going to spend the weekend getting things done, small things that are on my todo list. While it will not be glamorous and exciting I defiantly feel better when I have crossed things off my list. Plus, everything is about to get hectic, so I will breath a little easier knowing that I have accomplished my tasks. Here is my todo list:
Run 13 miles--my training run on Saturday morning.
Shopping!!-I need to buy a new pair of black kitten heels, mine have been destroyed by walking on the blacktop pavement on the playground.
Oil Change-I am about 100 miles over due
Returns-I have a few items to return to some different stores
Clean the house--Done! I got it done right after work tonight.
Lesson Plans--uhh the bain of my existence during the school year
Support team--my friend is doing a mini triathlon this weekend and I am going to support her. She is nervous and I want to be there and cheer her on.
Grocery shopping--We need just a few things so that will be easy.
Rest--My goal is to get everything done on Saturday so that on Sunday I can just sit back, rest, and enjoy the day.
Hope yall have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Post Run Glow

I realized that I have not blogged about my decision. I decided to run a marathon this November. I am following a training program from a running magazine and it is going well. I am about a month into the training and while it is hard, it has been incredibly rewarding. Before I started this program I had doubts, and in my head I was battling back and forth if I could do it. Then my bff and I decided to train together, then she dropped out because she is pregnant!!! Yea!! But, that left me in a small delima. I went back and forth in my mind telling myself I can do this, then doubts would creep in and I would here a small voice saying there is no way you can do it. Quit, run the 1/2 marathon, it is easier, this marathon is out of your league. But I kept running. I have been at it for a few weeks now, and my longest run was 12 miles, and I did it on my own. While I ran that distance last year during the 1/2 marathon, I did it with others around me. I did it with the support of a friend and the crowd. I questioned myself, I questioned could I run 12 miles on my own, with no one around.
So last Saturday I set out and I ran, and I did not stop. There are a few times I was really tired because it was so hot, but I kept running. When I was running and my knees were aching, my mouth dry, and my spirit low, and ready to stop, another voice came in my head. I heard all of the people who have ever told me I could not do something, and this time, rather than listen to them, I got mad, and I wanted to prove them wrong. I did then, and I will in November. I will run 26.2. I might not break any records, but I will finish that marathon. So on days like today, my day that I am supposed to sleep in, I wake up at 5:30, strap on my water belt, lace up my shoes and I hit the pavement. I think about the doubters who don't have the courage to set goals and then do the work to reach them. I think about all the coaches who yelled at me on the soccer field all those years ago. I think about how they pointed out my flaws and weaknesses and I turn that from doubt to motivation. And that is what moves me. That is what keeps me going. That, and the feeling. The feeling that I have right now. That post run glow, that feeling that some feat has been accomplished, and I get to spend the rest of my day relaxing, knowing that I don't have to do that again, feel that kind of pain again for another 6 days. I have done more than 30 miles this week and I have a slow 4 miler tomorrow, and then comes Monday, my glorious day off, a day where I get to leave my tennis shoes in my closet, and come straight home after work, rather than go and workout.
I remembered something about myself during this training. I remembered that I am strong. I am one tough woman (now the anthem from Rocky is playing in the background--hehe, jk!) and if I set my mind to something, and commit, I can and will do it. I remembered it, and I want to hold on to it. It is funny how at your weakest moment, you realize things about yourself that you somehow forgot along the way, isnt it.
It is funny to me how the thing I once despised, (running) because it was a punishment, is now something that I long to do. It is my sanity after a long day, it is my therapist when I need to work things out in my head, it is my excitement at the end of the day. It is good.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Long Live the Sandwich


This has been the staple of our diet the past 2 weeks. Seriously. For the past few weeks, P and I have hardly cooked, which is very unusual for us. Normally we cook together almost every night of the week, and then eat the leftovers. But for the past 2 weeks we have been eating almost nothing but the sandy. My diet has not differed in the slightest the past few days. Here has been my menu-
Breakfast-Oatmeal and fresh fruit
Snack-Cheese Stick
Lunch- Sandwich, fruit, wheat thins
Dinner-Sandwich, fruit, wheat thins
Right now P is in the kitchen fixing his own sandy and enjoying every bite. I just finished one of my own, but as I was eating it, it hit me that this has been my main dish for almost 14 days. WOW.
I can chalk it up to being busy, to the new school year, but the truth is I just have not felt like cooking.
Hopefully tomorrow I will prepare something for dinner. If not, there is always the sandy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Its Over

Summer is over. AHHHH.
First, let me apologize for the lack of posts this month. I have been terrible about blogging this summer. I finished working my part time job and had 2 weeks to sit back, relax, and do nothing. And that is what I did. It was a glorious 2 weeks of staying up late, sleeping in, and spending up as much time outside as possible. I went to the river almost every day, and spent so much time outside and soaking up the sunshine, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I went back to school this week. We are doing in service until next Tuesday which is the 1st day of school. As much as I enjoy being a teacher, I really enjoyed this summer. I enjoyed seeing my friends every day. I enjoyed making my own schedule. I enjoyed the freedom to lay in bed as long as I wanted. I had a great summer, and I am sad to see it go.
The heat will be around for another few months so I will still be able to play outside after work.
Goodbye sweet summer, goodbye

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our New Guy




We got a new dog! He is not an english bulldog like the dog that he tried to adopt a few months ago. We ended up getting a border collie. He is black and white and really sweet. It has taken him a few days to get comfortable but he is adapting very well. He has been a ton of fun and we are enjoying him. Plus, the good thing about him is that he is adaptable to our lifestyle. We can take him swimming in the river, camping, hiking, and out to the park. Another bonus is that when he gets older he can go running with me. I don't run outside at night because we live outside of town and so he will offer a little more comfort on those late runs. And when P goes out of town, or works late, he will provide me with an added feeling of security. Or, if we are gone all day, he can stay in the house and we don't have to leave the a/c on all day because he is able to stand the heat, where as our bull dog could not stay out longer than 20 minutes, he would not be able to go outdoors or do many of the things that P and I do. So even though I was sad when we gave him back to the shelter, I know that it was for the best. And, if we did not give him back we would not have gotten our new little guy, Tugg.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Post Party Glow

Last night was so much fun. All in all we had about 15 people here. The food was good, the weather was perfect, and the friends were divine. Last night I did not worry about washing the dishes or picking up the trash. I just sat back, relaxed and enjoyed my time with friends. We ate, talked, laughed, played games, and just enjoyed the evening. It is times like this that I am so thankful that I have people in my life who love me. That I have friends who want to come and spend time with me at my home. That I have friends who cherish each other more than they do their time in front of the television. I am so thankful because I know there are people who don't have that. There are people who are alone and in desperate need of friends, in need of someone to simply say hi, how are you today? They need to be acknowledged in some small way, and they don't have that.
Sitting in a post party happiness, the dishes in the sink, the trash that needs to be taken out, and the mess in the yard do not even disturb me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In the Words of Cher

So like, right now for example, the Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, "What about the strain on our resources?" Well it's like when I had this garden party for my father's birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. 'cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was like totally buggin'. I had to [get] to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.
Cher Horowitz, Clueless

That quote comes from one of my favorite movies of all time, Clueless. If you have not seen this 90's cult classic, I highly recommend checking it out soon. It is funny, biting, and offers some great one liners that have stuck in our vernacular.
Anywhooooo-- the reason that I am quoting Cher here is because I am having a dinner party on Wednesday. Originally, it was going to be myself and the 4 girls in my carpool, a little mid summer get together. Sounded fun and easy. Well one of the girls in the carpool emailed everyone, set the date, and the place--my house, and invited a few more people. Now rather than a quiet dinner for 5, it is going to be the 5, plus spouses, and 3 more friends. So--I am getting things ready for dinner this week. At first, I was a little annoyed that this girl invited and planned a party at my house before asking, but then I remembered what Cher said and thought "the more the merrier." So this weekend and early next week I will be cleaning the house from top to bottom, and I will be searching for the perfect dish to serve. We will be dining al fresco, so I was thinking a cold pasta with shrimp or chicken mixed in. Because of the extreme heat, I want to serve something cold and refreshing to our guests because it will be so hot outside, even at 7 pm. So ladies, if you have any suggestions about food I would appreciate the comments.
Another thing that is happening this week is that my mom is coming to town on Thursday with one of her friends for a little girls weekend. It should be a lot of fun.
I will keep yall posted about how it goes, and probably post some pics as well.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Boss

I have less than 1 week left at my summer job as a house keeper! YEA! I am ready to be done. I have worked more than I thought I would and it is a little harder than I thought, and I have some thoughts about the job that I will post later. But for tonight I will share about my boss.
Frankly, I don't think she likes me, and I am a little perplexed by this. I have never, I repeat, never had a boss dislike me, ever. Ever. Every boss that I have ever had has loved me, and I have always had very good relationships with them. Not because I kiss up, but because of my work ethic. (I am not trying to toot my own horn here, or build myself up so please don't think that is my intent) From working in retail to teaching, all of my bosses have been pleased with my work. All of my performance reviews have been very positive and my bosses have praised my work ethic.
I am a very hard worker and I am motivated by 2 things. 1st the bible says "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men." Ephesians 6:7. While working I often think about this verse, especially when I am tempted to take short cuts, or when I don't want to preform a specific task. Secondly I think about if I were the boss, how would I want my employees to work for me, and that really motivates me to do things correctly.
As an employee, I rarely take days off. I get my work done early, and I don't miss deadlines. I am efficient. I will come in early and stay late. I don't complain. I work well as a team, and get along with others.
All of that being said, I feel like my boss does not like me. She tends to be harder on me than most of the other girls. She points out mistakes and blames me for things done wrong when we were working as a team. If I do something wrong or make a mistake I have no problem owning it, but when she comes down on me and says nothing to my partner, I have a problem with that. Plus, she nit-picks every day with me. I feel like I am always doing something wrong. It really got to me today, and I started to ask myself why she dislikes me? Did I do something wrong? Did I make a bad impression? Did I say something to offend her? I could think of nothing, expect the fact that P knows the owner and spoke to him, and he basically told her to hire me. I am not sure if that is the case, I am just speculating, but that is my best guess. I think she might not like the fact that she was told what to do rather than getting to make the decision for herself. Honestly, I just don't know.

Me, Myself, and I

Yesterday afternoon P and some of his friends went out on the lake to wake board, and I had the evening all by myself. I was in the mood to do a little baking, because its been a while, so I went to the library and found a vegan cook book and decided to give it a try. I came home, made a homemade pizza, put Frank on the radio, and began to bake. I made a vegan spice cake, vegan brownies with tofu, and vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. And you know what, they were not good. UHH. But that is ok. The spice cake is the best of the 3, it just does not have a ton of flavor, and I need to make some icing to go on it. The brownies, while very chewy, have 0 taste. P got home, picked up the brownies, took a bite, and had to spit it out. That's how bad they were! The cookies got tossed immediately because they were not even edible.
But, despite my set back as the next great vegan baker (Just kidding, I am not even sure there is such a thing) I had a really good time. I really enjoy baking and trying new things. So I am going back to the library to return the book and see what else I can find.
One more thing, my library now how this feature when you check out that tells you how much money you have saved by checking out books, and so far this year, I have saved more than $300.00 by checking out books rather than buying them. Sweet!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Frustration

I am going to get on my soap box, so get ready.
I am pretty frustrated these days when I see the way young women dress/talk/act.
I know this is not true for all girls and women, but I feel like there is a "dumbing down" of women in this country. I see girls who play dumb to get attention from guys. I see girls who dress in short shorts and tiny tops and allow men to make comments about their bodies. I see girls who's self esteem is completely defined by the males in their lives. It is so sad to me.
I don't think being dumb is cute. I don't think playing stupid is funny. The young girls and women are letting this world take hold of them it is ridiculous.
I think it is great when a woman shows how smart she is, or capable she can be. Yes we all have our "duh" moments where we say something silly or flaky, but to try and live your life like that is wrong. To try and pretend that you are not able to think for yourself, or the only tools you have in your arsenal are your body, looks, and hair, that is dumb.
These girls need to stand up for who they are and what they are. There is so much more to them than just the physical. It is basically the Paris Hilton effect, and it makes me sick.
What about women like Alice Paul, Elisabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sally Ride, or Nelli Ross. These should be the women who girls are looking up to. These women who fought against that glass ceiling. These women who worked relentlessly for women's suffrage and rights. These women who were strong, intelligent, and beautiful. Women who used their minds and created change. And those women who never made the paper, teachers, doctors, lawyers, professors, and public servants.
These are the women to look up to, not the Hollywood junk that is being pushed in our faces.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday. In the mix of parties, fireworks, and bbq's, I hope you take a chance to reflect on today and what it means.
I love America. I am passionate about being an American. I love my country because of the freedom she gives me and because of the opportunities afforded to me and my fellow countrymen. As a woman, I am not bound to any profession simply because of my sex. As an American, I am free to express myself in any way I choose. I am able to live my life in any way that I like, just as you can.
So tonight as I attend a back yard party, then lay in the park and watch the fire works, I will give thanks to God for allowing me to be born in this place. I will remember the soldiers who fought in wars past, and the one's who are fighting right now. I will remember the women who were alienated by their families and friends as they fought for suffrage for all. I will remember Dr. King as he fought for social justice. I will remember the women who worked in the factories while the men fought. I will remember our founding fathers who dared to defy their king and establish this great experiment. I will call my dad and thank him for fighting and for serving his country in Vietnam, a place far from his family and far from anything he had ever known.
As I watch those fireworks I will remember that these rights we take for granted are what makes our country great. I will remember that even though I have the freedom of speech, I need to use it wisely because words have power. I will remember that this country that so many people take for granted should be treasured and cherished. I will remember to thank a soldier the next time I see her.
I will say the pledge with pride and examine the words that I am saying rather than just repeat them blindly. I will take hold of the words in the Star Spangled Banner as I try to wrap my mind around what Key saw that night as he put pen to paper.
I love this country and I am thankful to be born here. God bless America.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bright Lights Big City

I have been working a lot latley, more than I originally thought I would. As a treat, P booked a room for us in downtown Austin on Monday night and we had a blast. We got to town about 3 pm and walked around. We went to REI, Whole Foods, and Anthropologie. It was fun to shop and just be in the down town area.

I really like city life. The sounds, the lights, the people, the sights, there is so much to take in. I like that you can go from block to block and see so many different people from so many different walks of life. I like to watch street theater, or watch artist create beautiful pictures on their canvases. I like to see the clash of the wealthy and glamorous against the dirty city streets. I like to watch the women clad in Versace walk past garbage bins while they chat on their cell phones. The dichotomy of it all just astounds me. The mixture of beauty and glam vs. raw and dirty can hold my attention for hours.

We had an amazing view from our hotel room, and Monday night I just sat and stared out the window. The birds eye view is one of my favorite things. I sat and watched the cars and buses go by. I have been fascinated by city life ever since I was little. I used to have horrible nightmares and I was scared that something would happen to my family during the night. On those nights that I lay awake scared I would wish that my family lived in the big city because there were always lights on, people on the streets, and things going on downtown. I thought that if there were people up and about that no bad things could happen because it was just like during the day when everyone was awake, and I was not scared. So every since then I have had a thing for city life and a good view.
It was a great getaway and I am so thankful that P planned a small but fun time for us. He is awesome like that!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Friday Mishmash

I have a ton of random thoughts today and so here are all the different things bouncing around my head.
1. It is hot, hot, hot. We are breaking records down here in Texas this week. For those who have never experienced a Southern summer, let me tell you it can be brutal. It has been triple digits here all week, and it is only June. July and August are going to rock my world. Fortunatly for me I like the heat and enjoy the weather, but our poor garden is dead. The constant sun and no rain has killed our once lush, strong, and healthy garden. Now, everything is dry and dying. On Monday I bought some chocolate chips for baking. I left to work out and run some errands, and when I looked at the bag I saw that it had gotten so hot in the house that the chips had melted!!!

2. Our T.V. was not working and we sent it for repairs about a month ago. They were not able to repair it so we got a refund check (thank you 3 year warranty!). P went to Best Buy and scored a major deal and now we have an even better t.v. than before. He did a ton of research and spent hours in the store with the sales rep (I think he enjoyed it) and we ended up saving hundreds of dollars with the rockin' deal he scored. Way to go P.

3. We bought a new couch. We have been looking for a couch for almost 2 years now and we finally purchased one. It is a beautiful soft greyish/brown sectional that makes our living room complete. I will try to post a picture later this week. Plus, it is so nice not having a futon in our living room.

4. All of our purchases were made with cash! They do not belong to the credit card company or to the bank. They belong to us, and we do not have to sit and wait for a bill to come in the mail! Wahoo!

5. I want our E-fund to be fully funded. I know that we just started trying to max it out, but I am so goal oriented that I want to max it out now.

6. I talked with Dave this week. I called in his radio show and chatted with him for a few minutes. It was awesome!

Ok there you have it. Hope everyone has a great Friday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quotes

This is a picture of my quote book. It is a journal that I keep where I record all of my favorite quotations. I have been keeping this quote journal for almost 10 years. There are some really beautiful things that so many different people have said and I record the ones that inspire me, challenge me, or remind me about something that I have forgotten.
Here are a few of my favorites
"Deliberately seeking solitude--quality time spent away from family and friends may seem selfish. It is not. Solitude is as necessary for our creative spirits to develop and flourish, as are food and sleep for our bodies."

"3 billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night. 4 billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of recognition and encouragement."

"There are pot holes in the road less traveled. Some deep, some not so deep, some you dig yourself. Most are filled with mud. Many contains rocks. Once in a while, however, you will be walking along and step in one a bit more accommodating....shabby, green, and pulsing with life and it will tickle your feet like a clover."

I knew what I had to do, and there is no work too humble when you do it for a purpose.

Make the world a better and more beautiful place because you were in it.

and my all time favorite
"After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. You learn that love does not mean leaning and company does not mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises. And you begin to accept your defeats with you head up and your eyes open, with the grace of a woman not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today, because tommorows ground is to uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in midflgiht. So you plant your own garden and you decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers, and you learn that you really can endure and that you really are strong and you really do have worth, and you learn with every goodbye, you learn.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fab Summer Fun

I don't have a weekend this weekend because I have to work, sad, but that is ok. Only a few more weeks and the summer job will be finished. It is really strange working on the weekends. I did not realize how much I get done, and how much I look forward to the weekends when I get to hang with P, visit family and friends, or just be lazy.
So because I do not get a weekend, I will just relive the festivities from last weekend, and those memories will fill me with warm fuzzes as I slave away for the next two days. (kidding!)
Last Saturday was perhaps one of the greatest days I have had in a long time. I was one of those perfect summer days where timetables and schedules are thrown to the side, and friends, family, and fellowship rule the day.
After a little sleeping in, I woke up went to the grocery store (one of my favorite things....no really, I like going to the grocery store!) and was free to shop around without being rushed, and as a bonus I scored a ton of good deals, (I got more than 20 dollars off with coupons, score). Needles to say, I came home on a slight savings high. It was great.

Then 2 friends came down, one from Arkansas, the other only lives about an hour from here, however, due to work/life we don't get to see him often. We ended up going to the river and swam and a great time. On the way home we called yet another friend who came over and we all pitched in and made an awesome dinner. Once the steaks, grilled chicken, and veggies were done, we set the table outside and ate dinner as we watched the sun go down. It was perfect. A few good friends, the setting sun, cheap wine, and great conversation made for an amazing time. Our meal ended about 4 hours after it started. No one was rushing to leave to meet a prior obligation, no one was worried about work the next day, we all were able sit together and relish the moment.
It is times like those that remind me that life is not about the things I own, it is about sharing my life with others. That experience gave me so much more than any shirt/pants/skirt/ or home decor could ever offer.
I need more nights like that. I need more time with family and friends. I need to stop and have a 4 hour meal more often. I need to soak in and relish life and all the beautiful gifts it has to offer.
So tomorrow, as I labor, I will be comforted by the memories of the weekend past.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

7 Things

I was tagged by Living Simple, so here is my turn.
The Rules:
Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and links to their blogs.
Let them know they've been tagged.

1. Pancakes are my favorite food. Growing up, my mom was a working mother, but she always woke up early and made my brother and I a hot breakfast. Now, each time I go home my mom still gets up early and makes me pancakes like she did when I was growing up. Each bite is like a trip down memory lane. The smell, the taste, the whole experience of eating pancakes is one of the strongest memories I have.

2. I am really competitive, in almost everything I do. For example, this summer I am working as a housekeeper and when we make the bed I try to get the pillow cases on faster than the other girl I work with. Each room, each bed we make, I try to win, even though it is not a competition.

3. I wake up thinking of chocolate. I go through the day thinking about chocolate. I go to bed eating chocolate.

4. I am slightly OCD about wallets and purses. I got a new wallet last year, and it took me more than 6 months to find the one I wanted. Each store I go into I tend to go and look at the wallet section just to see what is out there.

5. An hour before my wedding, my veil flew out of my hair and into a tree and as the ladder was being brought out it flew out of the tree and landed right next to a puddle of mud, but there was not a speck on it! And then, I stepped on a nail, it went straight through my shoe in the middle of my foot. My brides maids tried to carry me back to the brides room, and then finally my flower girls dad (the only male on sight) had to carry me to the brides room, and he laughed and said, "I bet I am not the man who you thought would be carrying you around today." It hurt really bad and I didn't even get to dance at my own wedding.

6. I have a very active imagination. I win American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, the World Cup, the Olympics (in several sports), I am a hollywood star, I win a grammy, I win a Tony, and every other award possible. This is what I think about as I drive.

7. I get really sad when I finish a book. I read extremely fast, and I tend to finish books in 1 or 2 days and afterwards I am kind of bummed out. I want the books to go on and on, but they don't.

Ok there are my 7 things.

I tag
This is my life
Change can be a good thing
Frugal Midwest Chick
Teach her finance
Frugal Chick
Brunette on a Budget
Budgeting Babe