Friday, April 30, 2010

Fuming Fridays

Fuming Fridays
It's Friday and I'm fuming! I'm not really. That's why it's taken me till 8:00 to think of something to post that irritates me enough to give it this title. But I thought of something.
I think it sucks that people talking about politics feel the need to refer to their opponents as Hitler or Nazis. Hitler was horrible, evil, no-good, very bad. Your opponent may be bad too, but it seems like the Hitler comparison is watered down a little more every time it's used erroneously. People said that about Bush and they're saying it about Obama and both references are absolutely stupid! I'm much more inclined to think mean thoughts about Obama, but isn't it enough to say that he's a radical leftist that's making decisions that will irreparably harm America as we know it. That he doesn't see America as a remarkable place with a unique history, tradition, morality and standard, but merely sees us as one among many and more guilty than we are praise-worthy. That he disregards the values so many Americans hold dear like family, industriousness, innovation, and faith. You know, about half of the country would feel exactly opposite that I do, but why use language comparing politicians to dictators that have been dead for decades and speak about the present? It doesn't help anyone's argument to say those things and well, it pretty much makes me fume when I hear them.

Maybe next week I'll complain about traffic or something passive like that, but like Neely said, rant and release, and I feel a good deal better now!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do you shop at Target?

Of course you do! Who doesn't? Well my awesome friend Neely (who's coming to visit in 35 days!) is hosting a giveaway for a $25 gift card to Target! How cool is that? I'm letting you know about this giveaway because I care about you and I want you to have a chance to win, but ultimately because I want more chances to win. Head on over there and say that I sent you and I'll get more entries too! Click on the cute Target pup to be taken straight to the giveaway!
Good luck!! I hope one of us gets it! By the way, she's hosting Fuming Fridays tomorrow and I'll be posting along, will you?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

my high school made the news .. and it's not good

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Yep, that's where I went to school. I can't believe this is happening there, well, maybe I can, but if there, then everywhere, I'd bet. It seems like such a contrast from what I see every day subbing the kids I have. They drive me crazy sometimes but what I love about them is how accepting they all are of each other. They see differences differently than we did just 10 years ago I think and appreciate each other for who they are. I've been quite inspired by it.

So, what do you think/know about cyber bullying? Has it happened to anyone you know?

Wishful Wednesday

'I wish' .... I could go back and spend one day working at a job from my youth, and it would be as a graduate research assistant!

This isn't exactly from my youth because I didn't work as a teenager, but it is a job I'll never really get to go back to. I was in grad school for a year and a half before I did student teaching and for the first two semesters I had the good fortune to have a job working for my professor as a research assistant. (The third semester I was a teaching assistant and had my own undergrad community health class.) I was paid out of grant money and received the same stipend no matter how many hours I worked. Most weeks it worked out to about $25 an hour. Seriously, can you beat that? It was the cushiest job ever and I loved it. I had an office with a fellow GA and we set our own hours, with whatever breaks to walk around campus or go to lunch that we wanted and the rest of the time that we were in the office we could pretty much just take care of homework unless there was real work to be done. The main project we were doing was research for an evaluation of abstinence education programs which I found really fascinating. My boss encouraged me to pursue my own research and gave me every opportunity for professional development possible. Maybe I'll get to be a professor myself someday and have the same great set up!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weekend Recap

This was one of the fullest weekends we've had in quite some time. It makes up for last weekend when all I did was take that dumb test. (Still waiting for my results.) Here's how it went down this weekend.
We saw the man, the legend, Willie Nelson! It was our first time to go to a Wilie Nelson concert and we loved it! Ray Wiley Hubbard opened and was fantastic too! It was at the coolest venue around here, Whitewater Amphitheater, where the stage backs right up to the Guadalupe River, really beautiful. We met a biker guy right in front of us who has been coming to see him since he was a kid. We had a blast!

Funny thing about making plans, sometimes you plan things on top of each other that maybe shouldn't go. Like when we committed to a trip to climb Enchanted Rock which included being at the church at 6:30 am after having the kind of fun pictured above. This was easily as good of a time though, and that's saying a lot. We went with 17 youth and adults from the church and caravanned to the park. After a good bit of waiting around we started hiking, which turned into climbing, which turned into hopping from rock to rock. The wind was ridiculous, it was blowing at least 30 with gusts over 40 the whole time we were there, but check out the views!
This first one isn't my picture, it's much more beautiful in the Spring, but I wanted you to see a view of the whole boulder.
We made it to the top then the wind blew that hat right off my head. They chased it down and caught it for me though. After a pig-out picnic lunch, we headed back through Fredricksburg, making a stop to do a little shopping. The adults headed straight to the winery for a tasting which was delicious. I almost bought a quilt while we were there, but passed it up and decided to keep looking. I did get a new cookbook though and really enjoyed checking out all the other fun shops they have in this cool little town. I forgot to take pictures, sorry, but here's a gratuitus bluebonnet picture that Brian took.
The cute part is that as our hike was finishing up we made plans with another couple to go have drinks and appetizers at this really great cajun restaurant in town then go see Slaid Cleaves at the Phoenix Saloon (first bar to serve women in New Braunfels, they had to go around back). Once they got home the other couple decided they just weren't up to it and we decided we'd still go after a "little nap." We laid down at about 5:45 and woke up at 1:15 am and wondered what happend. We'll have to catch Slaid next time he comes in town.
Very well rested, we went to the early Mass then headed over to Home Depot to pick up some replacement pepper plants for our garden and some paint. You're in for a treat because Brian is going to be guest posting an update for our garden soon. I'll be telling you more about the plans I have for our dining room, but for now, we spent the rest of the day Sunday taking it
from this

to this
There you have it. I hope your weekend was as good as ours!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Top 2 Tuesdays - Reasons I like Summer

Hey cool! I'ts my cool friend Neely's topic this week! And it's a good one!

1. Floating

2. Sailing

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Sausage on whole wheat hoagies with peppers and spiced mayo, with one of those Green Giant steamer mixes of veggies.

Tuesday - Brian is gone in San Antonio so I'm getting Chick-Fil-A.

Wednesday - Coriander and Honey Glazed Venison Chops. I got the recipe from my new 100 Venison Recipes cookbook so I can keep using up that meat in the deep freeze. I bet you could use pork chops just as well. stuffing, sugar snap peas from the garden.

Thursday - They're hosting a dinner for all the catechists at church so that's taken care of.

Friday - mussels in garlic butter sauce over pasta, Italian bread, Olive Garden salad.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sing-Along Sunday

It's another beautiful Sunday here! I hope you're having a great weekend like we are! I'd love to have another round of Sing-Along Sunday so if there's a song in your heart or one on repeat in your head, please post it and link up so we can all sing along with you.

I'm posting a Willie Nelson favorite because we got to see him on Friday and it was fabulous. Expect more details in a weekend recap tomorrow. This is the video from the actual concert we were at and as always, it was his opening song.

One more for today, I'm posting How Bizarre because several of you seemed to have the same fun memories that I do attached to it when I mentioned it on Friday.

I can't wait to hear what you're listening to this morning!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Answers to the Questions part 2

I apologize for taking quite so long to get these questions finished! I enjoyed answering them just as much as the first set. Hope you enjoy getting to know me even better!

Derrick Flannigan said Who's the first person you want to meet when you get to Heaven?
Besides the obvious? I'm there to see God, end of story! But I would also like to get to know my guardian angel on another level. I pray with her so often, I'd love to see her and find out what she's been doing for me specifically.

Sara Lang said what's the worst piece of advice you've ever been given?
I love Lauren's How To series on her blog, The Little Things We Do. But I made the stupid choice to follow this post, How To Turn Dirty Hair into Pretty Hair and it was one of the worst ideas ever. I spent a little too long that morning checking the blog roll so by the time I read that post, skipping a shower and blowdry sounded like a really great idea. I made the braid like it explains (which was so cute and I've worn again in clean hair) but after about an hour I looked disgusting. And I had to stay that way, with stringy, greasy hair until 5:00 when I got home. It probably worked for somebody, but it was terrible advice for me. I need to wash it every single morning from now on.

Miss Muddy Paws said What's the most embarrassing moment you've ever had?
A few months ago I was wearing these very cute but poorly designed low heeled shoes from Nine West. They have kind of a tapered knob heel which make them comfortable but more flattering than flats. After work I went to HEB and picked up one of those little hand baskets and started filling it up in produce. As I start walking to the bakery department I must have been a little off balance with my basket and stepped on the edge of the heel of my shoe and totally slid out. I landed flat in the middle of a crowded grocery store and all the food went bouncing out of my basket. Strawberries went rolling across the floor in all directions and everyone gasped and kept asking if I was ok. I picked myself back up gathered my stuff, except the strawberries and hurried off to a central aisle where fewer people would see me. I slipped again by the cereal but not quite such an epic fall. You'll think I'm out of my mind when I tell you I still wear those shoes, but they're cute, you know?

Phone Home Designs by ET said...
Question: Did that Lilly dress I sent you fit well? Have you worn it yet?
Yes, it fit great! You see, Emily sent me a darling Lilly Pulitzer shift dress that she had gotten with her superior bargain shopping skills. I wore it several times last Spring/Summer and plan to get a good bit of wear out of it again this year just as soon as my hips fit again.

And my real question: What's your first sewing project?
In high school my little sister on the dance team taught me a tiny bit how to sew. We made adorable pillow cases in the school colors with ribbon and trim. Since then though, I haven't really sewn anything. I'm planning on making curtains kind of like this only small for my dining room soon. You can be sure you'll hear about it.

allie-mac-fallie said what is the MOST important thing about wedding planning that I should know??
My advice for any other bride would be to make sure that you're planning for your marriage and not just your wedding! How you relate to your husband and the foundation that you build for your life together is so much more important than the flowers, DJ, menu etc. Since this is Allie, my bestie, and I already admire her for her marriage to Karl, I'll save that advice. I know her priorities are in the right place! So for you, Allie, I say tell your bridesmaids what to do. I love helping!

Peggy said My question: You say in your About Me that you try to live out your faith. What practical ways do you do so?
Faith plays an important role in every aspect of my life which makes it hard to list out ways, but I think that's good. Lets see, I try to pray about everything, often. I frequent the sacraments. I make it a point to see the good in others because of who their creator is. I say I'm sorry when I need to and forgive others when I need to. I look to faith to determine who to vote for, how to spend my money, what media I'll consume, clothes I'll wear. The caveat is that I do all of this very imperfectly and it's only through grace that I succeed at all.

Carrie said What is something not many people know about you?
Not many people know that I have scoliosis. Sort of a random thing, but it's true. The school nurse detected it in one of those mass screenings and I had to wear a brace for about a year. It was pretty much the worst year of my life, but I got through it. Hopefully it won't ever get bad enough that I'll need surgery, but that was a possibility.

Laura PARING DOWN said looking at your cute Maui pink bike photos, you seem to live in the country. Tell us a little more about where you live.
I love where we live! It's the most country that Brian or I have ever lived in, but it gets a lot more rural than us too. I was used to the suburbs in a master plan community where all the houses are pretty but almost just alike. It's a different kind of neighborhood here, but our neighbors are really friendly. We live on the edge of town across the street from a lake. Behind our house is a really pretty cattle ranch that showed up in my bike riding pics. We live on a half acre which is nice because we can spread out a bit and have a garden.

Mom said What is that Damask pattern? Is it an antique and from what country?
That's from my mom commenting on the background of my blog layout and being silly. I got the layout from Shabby Blogs which is made in America. Mine is called Damask Don't Tell. I'm thinking about having one designed though. Do you think I should? Who did you use to design your layout?

4 a lifetime of loving you said what is your favourite flower and why?
My favorite flower is a Peony. I love the frilly feminine look and the shades of pink they come in. I planted some bulbs this year, but we just don't have the weather to grow them, it was a fail. I also love Stock, Ranunculus, Snapdragons, and others.

Alissa said Okay, if you could live anywhere where would you live and why?The Garcia's said If you could live anywhere aside from where you live now where would it be?
These two were almost the same question but it's good that Brittany followed up Alissa's with "aside from where you live now," because I would have said right here! I always want to live in Texas either the hill country or the coast would be my top picks. If I ever couldn't live in Texas though, in a strange hypothetical world, I would look to the Carolinas because of the culture, scenery, weather. I think I'd be happy there too.

The question and answer posts are done for now, but I'd be happy to respond to any questions you put in the comments any time! I love hearing from you!

Fill in the Blank Friday - the music one

1. One song that always takes me back to my youth is How Bizarre by OMC. It reminds me of being a goofy middle schooler running around the golf course and getting dropped off at the mall .

2. My first concert ever was Jars of Clay at Christian Day or whatever it was at Astroworld I went with one of my best friends, Yvonne and her oldest brother. I felt really really cool .

3. If I could create my dream music festival I'd want these bands to be there: Randy Rogers Band, Blue October, Regina Spektor, Peter Gabriel, Alabama, Imogen Heap, Modest Mouse, Black Eyed Peas. Yeah, so go ahead and start putting that together for me, k thanks .

4. The best make-out/"boot knocking" song ever is I'm getting annoyed because I can't think of the really good one I heard a couple days ago. I was in the car and getting in the mood just because of this song! It was on Bob FM so I know it was old, but I'll edit if I think of it later .

5. The best concert I've ever been to was Modest Mouse, at the Backyard in Austin. Man Man opened and at the end it started pouring, there was so much energy in the audience. I just loved it! I happened to see it televised on a local Austin channel a year later and it was about as good the second time .

6. A memorable musical moment for me was My first boyfriend in 6th grade broke up with me at the ice skating rink because he asked me if I liked Oasis and I didn't really know but I said I did. I guess he didn't? The fact that I told his friends were idiots might have played into that too. They were 6th grade boys, of course they were idiots .

7. The song on my iPod that's getting the most play these days is I'm the silly girl with no iPod, but I just refound my Spoon cd and that's been getting a lot of play on the way too and from work .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday 5

These are the things that have made me




Head on over to MannLand5 and link up yours!

1. Brian's home! Yall already knew I was excited about that though didn't you?
2. The Black-Eyed Susans that are popping up along our road to replace the fading bluebonnets.
3. I'm seeing Willie Nelson tomorrow! At this place!
4. Only 7 more days of teaching speech. Then looking for something for next year. The kids are going nuts and so am I.
5. 1200 thread count sheets that swallow you up. So luxurious!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Man is HOME!!

Nothing is fun when he's not here! This weekend he was in College Station and this week till now he's been in Clear Lake, but now he's back! And in celebration, I'm going to post the survey about your man that I saw bouncing all over the blogosphere the last couple weeks that I filled out and never published till now!
The Game of Tag about your Man:
Who is your man? Brian Patrick York
How long have you been together? it'll be 4 years this summer
This is the day we met on the river with his best man, Ryan.

How long did you date? We dated 2 years before we got engaged

How old is your man? 25. He's younger than me by a summer.

Who eats more? Hubs, and I'm so jealous about it! I could easily eat as much as him, but it wouldn't be pretty!
One of our first meals I made in the new house. Tilapia iwth peppers and olives and all kinds of good stuff. It was delicious!

Who said "I love you" first? Apparently I got this wrong on my last survey, I said it first. But I was right about it being at the pool of my old condo.

Who is taller? He is at 6'4". Height has always been one of my main requirements becuase I'm not exactly short at 5'8".

Who sings better? We're probably equally not-that-talented but I get mad at him when he sings ugly on purpose! He's really good at making up songs and singing them to me.

Who is smarter? That's me. Of course he knows about a lot of things that I don't, but I had to laugh when he asked me to remind him about the rules of subtraction.

Whose temper is worse? His for sure. He takes after his grandpa. I never met him, but whenever Brian gets huffy and starts throwing his hat and kicking curbs his family says oh he's just like Wop.

Who does the laundry? I do it more, but he helps pretty often.

Who takes out the garbage? He does. Big job since we're driving to the other side of the lake for pick up.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do in this house, but he always sleeps closer to the door, so sometimes that's the left and sometimes that's the right.

Who pays the bills? He's good at that.

Who is better with the computer? He's better at it but I use it way more! Hi blog friends!

Who mows the lawn? Hubs, I touched the lawnmower for the first time in my life last weekend and went about 4 passes on the sideyard. I don't plan on continuing. I'd rather pay someone, but he says no way no how, so he does it himself.

Who cooks dinner? I do, unless its on the grill. Brian is great with the grill!
He's pretty proud of that apron, don't make fun of him. It says Texas Homeland Security, Fighting Terrorism since 1835 and has the Texas Rangers.

Who drives when you are together? He does almost every time.

Who pays when you go out? Always him. We have the same card so it's not like it matters but that's just how we do it.

Who is most stubborn? Him, and that's really saying something because I'm pretty stubborn myself!

Whose parents do you see the most? His because they live so much closer. We'll be seeing a lot more of them now that it's lake season too.

Who asked who out? I'm not sure that ever really happened with us because of how we met and then were together 24/7 right away.

Who proposed? He did! July 3, 2008 on the San Marcos River, with my family dog Maggie as a witness.

Moments after we got engaged. Wouldn't it be nice if I had been wearing something besides a Guy Harvey t-shirt and a ponytail?

Who wears the pants in the family? He does. I love his legs, but I'd rather not see them in my skirts!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about the man I love! Now I'm going out to sit on the patio with him and drink a beer! Have a great night!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Animal Babies

Have you heard about this documentary from National Geographic "Extrodinary Animals in the Womb"? I hadn't until I saw Danielle Bean's post at Faith & Family, but wow!! I'm in awe of the complexity of these pre-born lives of animals and couldn't resist sharing them with you. There are more!

Top 2 Tuesdays- Items Under $15

Items under $15 could describe most of what's in my house. I'm all about the bargain and get lots of stuff cheap or on sale for about this price point. I'll be playing along today though and post two of my top items.
1. I could have easily featured this last week under favorite beauty products but forgot about it. It is the makeup I use every day! Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer. I swear my skin eats makeup, most people think I'm not wearing any an hour after I put it on no matter what kind I use. So I figure this is a pretty healthy thing to feed it if that's what's going to happen anyway. Has retinol, which is totally yummy for your skin, SPF 20 and a light tint that helps correct blotchiness but doesn't cover up your freckles. I use some mineral powder and concealer on top if I need to correct anything else. I got my mom started on this make up too and she loves it! It would be great for you natural girls too that prefer not to wear anything.
2. Market flowers. I'm just talking about the cheapy plastic wrapped flowers you can pick up while you're grocery shopping at HEB. The run about $6 for the simple, single variety bundle, $15 for a pretty seasonal mix. I'd love to have more opulent bouquets filling my house, but who has the money? Not us. But an extra $15 on the grocery bill can really brighten up your house and make it welcoming and warm. Here's some tulips Brian surprised me with a couple weeks ago. This is when they were already a couple days old and starting to get leggy. They started out even prettier.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This weekend when I was working out a meal plan, I forgot that Brian was going to be gone the first couple of days, and he must have forgotten too, because he didn't say anything when I ran it by him or when I went to the grocery store and came back and told him what I got. So now I have way too much food, but I'll go ahead and make it anyway probably!

Monday:Cream Cheese Chicken served over brown rice, roasted cherry tomatoes

Tuesday: Crisped Brown Rice (leftover) with beef, vegetables and eggs. It's Martha Stewart's version of Korean Bibimbop from the current Martha Stewart Living magazine. I can't find it online. With fruit.

Wednesday: Brian will be back!!! BBQ venison and cabbage wraps, Bush's grillin beans, grapefruit

Thursday: Jerk Pork Chops with orange marmalade, asparagus, grilled corn on the cob

Friday: Again from Martha Stewart this month. It's the featured company's coming meal. Mango and radish salad w/ lime dressing, rice with peas and cilantro, garlic-jalapeƱo shrimp, caramel custards. We're hoping to have Brian's cousin and her husband over for dinner.

I've got a little story for ya

Acutally I have three stories for you.

The first, I promised to you on Saturday. About why I was worried about getting glass in my feet. Brian went out of town on Friday evening for his sister, Megan's Aggie Ring dunking party. I hear they had a wonderful time even though her's got dunked in punch instead of beer. I guess that's ok, mine has never been dunked in anything. That's not the point of the story though. About 20 minutes after Brian left I had just put the dogs outside with their dinner and I was in watching dvred tv. I hear a huge crash of glass breaking and my instant thought was "oh no, what did the dogs knock over?" I thought it would be one of our bowls or something that might have been left outside. I was not prepared for the amount of glass I saw. There were a million shards of glass large and small stretching across our whole covered patio. It took a second to realize what it was that had been broken. We have a ceiling fan out there that was going and apparently had wiggled itself free of the glass globe covering the light. Interesting fact, in our little 1500 square foot house we have 10 ceiling fans. It's pretty incredible but makes the house quite comfortable in the summer combined with all the shade from the pecans. I called Brian and whined about the glass then spent the next hour+ cleaning up broken glass. It was made a lot tougher by the rocky patio. If you come over to our place for the next couple months, be sure to keep your shoes on. I might have spread a little into the house on accident too. I just hope the dogs don't get glass splinters in their sweet little pads. I'm keeping them inside as much as possible.

The second story explains why I didn't tell you that story sooner and also why I didn't host a Sing-Along Sunday like I meant to. I tried to turn the computer on yesterday morning but even though I could hear it running, nothing was coming up on the monitor. I played around a bit and rebooted, but nothing. We happen to have an extra monitor from my old computer so I switched them out, but it was the same. Again, I called Brian to whine and he told me it must be the video card that's out. I started planning instantly to replace the computer, or maybe my laptop first which doesn't work, and Brian was agreeable with it. Luckily, but also sadly, my husband suddenly remembered late last night that he had a spare video card from about 6 years ago when he changed them out for gaming just lying around and was able to install it in a matter of minutes. So here I am, back on the computer, but I'm going to have a much harder time making the case that I need a new Mac Book now.

Third story is to say thank you to those of you who wished me well on the test and offered up prayers. I went into it pretty sure I was going to fail, but coming out, I'm much more confident that I passed. I thought I was going to be taking a computer based test like the last 2 I've taken, but when I got there I found out it was paper and pencil. The test was supposed to start at 2:00 but the website insisted that we arrive no later than 1:30. I got there at 1:15 and sat in a hallway with about 39 other wannabe teachers till almost 2:10. Then began the 20 minute process of letting everyone into the testing room. one. by. one. From there it took about 45 minutes to read the directions, rules and procedures and pass out the booklets at a snail's pace. The test didn't start until after 3:15 and by then I had pulled all my fingernails out and really had to go to the bathroom. We were allowed 5 hours total and I start making plans to die by papercut/bladder explosion if I was still in there at 8:00 taking the same damn test. Thankfully, I spent 2 hours working on it and checking my answers and was ready to leave, pretty sure that I passed. I'll feel like a real horse's butt if I failed after all. I won't know for 4 weeks though since it was paper and pencil rather than the computer where I would have known by tomorrow. I'll let you know as soon as I find out.

I hope everyone's week starts off well today! Mine is going to be pretty sad because Brian is back out of town, this time for work until Wednesday. I have an NBRW luncheon today though and Bible Study this evening and it's back to work tomorrow. Menu plan and questions part 2 to come later today or tomorrow!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Six Senses Saturday

Julia, at the World is My Oyster has started a new Saturday meme. To help her out, and avoid studying for a few more minutes, I'm going to play along, you should too! I will be hosting Sing Along Sunday tomorrow, so if you've got a song on your mind, post it and link it up tomorrow.
Right now I'm...

Coffee with Peppermint Mocha Coffee Mate creamer in it, and a large handful of pistachios.
Don't tell me I'm the only one that's ok with pistachios for breakfast.
I'll have a whole wheat English muffin after if it makes you feel better.

The coffee just got done brewing and I put in a pretty gardenia brick in my Scentsy.

A 626 page review of math and science.
It's overwhelming me.

The garage radio that runs continuously on the Americana station.
This song is playing right now. Allison Krauss was my main competition.
I'm pretty sure if hubs had the chance to marry her he would have dropped me. :)


The cute personalized note pad Melissa gave me in my swap package.
I'm making a list of all the fun things I'm going to do after this test.
I'm also wearing shoes, weird for me at home, and hoping not to get glass splinters.
Story to come later.

That familiar procrastination feeling that tells me I have 6 hours left to study which is all the time in the world combined with OMG I'm going to fail, why the heck didn't I try to start this earlier, ugh it's just so much stuff!!
I've missed that since college.


And since I've referred to it a few times in this post I ought to go ahead and let you know that what I should be doing right now is preparing myself to take the Mathematics/Science TExES exam for teacher certification. It's for 4-8 grades, but all the way up to Calculus and Physics and such are on the test. If I had taken it as a senior in high school it would have been a no-brainer, but we're a few years past that and I haven't had to multiply vectors one single time since then. The test is at 2:00, say a prayer for me if you think about it. Thanks!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I need a little shopping help, yall

We need new covers for our bed, either a duvet cover or comforter or quilt. I don't have a preference yet. I hope to get a new set for my birthday or maybe before, in May. The comforter we have now is new, we got it when we got married, but we went low bid with that one and even though it started out really pretty, it's failing fast. I was torn between this print and one from Pottery Barn that was named botanical something or other, but now I can't find it.

We ended up going with the one from Pottery Barn but instead of buying the duvet cover which looked high quality we purchased the last comforter in the Pottery Barn Outlet which was on display. It was like $25, I couldn't resist. We've been using it for 9 months now and already it has punctures from dog toenails and it's looking faded and dingy even though I've washed it only a few times.

So, I'm coming to you to help me find ideas for a new set. Care to do a little shopping around with me? Or at least suggest stores I could look at? I know I have seen many beautiful examples that I would be thrilled to have in pictures, but they're never there when you need them, you know?

Here's what I'm looking for:

  • Colors in the greens, blues or natural families, but I don't rule out something a little brighter. I say no to dark brown though, as well as orange, black and purple.
  • Probably in a print,maybe floral, botanical again, paisley, toile, whatever
  • Able to withstand 110 lbs of dogs playing on it and not tear or look dirty right away
  • Machine washable. See above.
  • $200 or less for the comforter, hopefully for the whole set-shams, skirt, etc
  • Easy to accessorize

Think you can help me? I would love you for it, and I'll let you all know when we decide.

5 Question Friday

I know, another meme, but it's one I haven't done before, so here goes!

1. What words do you use on your blog/online that you don't use in real life?
I don't really think I use any words on my blog that I don't in real life. I don't usually refer to Brian as hubster, or hubby in real life, but that's about it. It's more likely that I use words in real life that I don't include on my blog.

2. Do you still write checks?
Only for rent and tithing now, but I only wrote checks up until about a year ago. I only embraced the debit card last spring.

3. Who was your favorite President and why?
Reagan, Bush, Polk. JK about Polk, I don't really know anything about him.

4. Are you a yeller?
I am, and I really wish I weren't. I was just saying yesterday that I think yelling is a form of violence and I don't want to do it. I've tried to commit to not yelling anymore, but when I get frustrated I think that's the only way I can get heard.

5. Have you ever dumpster dived?
Nope. I have taken a couple things in really good condition off of curbs that were meant for trash. But actually hop into the dumpster, I don't think I could do that.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Thursday Thoughts

Join in the joy... post 5 things that make you
Then link up at MannLand5!
1. I've been moving more and munching less and I've lost 2 lbs. Going for 15 more!
2. My bloggy bestie, Neely, is coming for a weekend in June! That and lots of other fun things will be happening over the next couple months and I have happy anticipation about it all!
3. We got to have swiss chard out of the garden with dinner last night! It was even more delicious knowing we grew it ourselves!
4. My hubby has been discerning God's will and has made a decision concerning his employment. I'm proud to be led by him when he is led by God! I'll tell you about what's happening when I can.
5. The ceiling fan in our bedroom is getting fixed today so hopefully I won't be hot tonight for the first time in a month or so!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top 2 Tuesdays - Beauty Secrets

"Don't make fun of my beauty regimen." Say it like a vampire, then crack up for the next 10 minutes. Yeah, that was an inside joke with two of my best friends in middle school. It works if you say it like you're from Wisconsin or New Jersey too. No offense you guys. So Taylor has asked us to share two beauty secrets. Don't you just love reading about those in magazines? I'm hoping to get some good ideas from the participants today.

1. Pond's Cold Cream. Yall this isn't even a secret. Your mother, great aunt and grandmother all have probably used it. There's a good chance even your great-grandmother used it. And there's a good reason this oldie but goodie is still around. I use this about half the time at night to take my make up off, wash my face and moisturize all at the same time. Just rub it in and let it set a minutes then use a warm wet wash cloth to wipe off, a cotton ball for your eyes is gentler. The other half of the time I use exfoliating scrub instead, but my skin always feels nourished and glowy after using Ponds. It's cheap too!
2. Salmon makes you beautiful! Eating salmon or certain other fish makes you beautiful. Sure in the long run, what with the good fat and all the nutrients and such, but also immediately. Eat salmon right before you take pictures or on a date and you're instantly prettier, you complexion evens out, you get that pretty glow, and you look thinner too! Ok so the adjustment is minor, but I really do think I can tell the difference before and after fish, and it's delicious! Speaking of which, we are eating salmon this evening, check back for the menu plan shortly.

Discontinued beauty secret by request of the hubster: put a slice of garlic on a pimple. There are antibiotic properties in it that kill the yucky bacteria causing the problem and also dries it up some and reduces redness over night. My cousin taught me this trick and I've used it with a pretty good success rate! Keep it away from your eyes though, that burns. It beats picking and squeezing though!

The downside- your husband isn't going to want to kiss you so get that stinky stuff off your face! Spending the night alone anyway? Go for it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Almost a week recap!

Please excuse the slight blogging slump I've been experiencing here at LTLN (i'm thinking about embracing the acronym, what do you think?) I plan to hop back on the bandwagon right away with a recap here and a menu and top 2 tuesday coming soon. I'll also get around to answering the rest of your questions this week- they're good ones!
I know I never did an Easter recap, but I'll just let you know that it was a wonderful, blessed weekend! Brian and I headed into Sugar Land to see my parents and we really enjoyed our time together. The highlight of the weekend for me was taking all four dogs (our two and their two) to the luxurious dog park where they ran around and played like this and then some. This video takes place in my parents backyard.

Here's Brian with the idgit dog of the bunch. Isn't he a cutie!?

And here we are joined by our dinner guest, my long time great friend, Majid. We went to middle and high school together and he's one of my funniest and most loyal friends. He lives in New York City now where he works for The Metropolitan Opera doing all kinds of fantastic techie sorts of things. He was only able to visit us for an evening but it was great to have him. I made pan fried catfish, homemade mac n cheese and sweet and sour green beans and pushed the carbonara to today. By special request I also made these cookies. After dinner we went over to Landa Park and walked around by the springs and on the trails. It was a lovely visit.


I taught just like usual but we had a special day for the simple fact that it was "One Day Without Shoes" hosted by Tom's Shoes to raise awareness of people who don't have shoes. It was against the rules for the kids to go barefoot at school but there was a bit of drama about kids feeling like the needed to ignore the consequences and "stand up for what they believe in" by going barefoot anyway. We had a discussion about the difference between running around barefoot at school because it's fun and really defending a cause despite personal sacrifice. We also explored other things they could do that might actually make a difference for causes they believe in besides showing off their new Easter socks.

Thursday evening was quite busy! Fun too though! We attended a dinner reception for new members of the New Braunfels Republican Women. It was at the beautiful home on the river of one of the officers and I had a great time meeting fellow new members and learning about how to become more involved in the group. Immediately after the dinner Brian and I headed into San Marcos to Cheatham Street Warehouse where we saw the Brandon Rhyder concert. Brian had called in that morning and won free tickets from our favorite Americana station. I tried to take a picture of us, but it came out really blurry. Here's the band instead.


I had a hard time all day believe it was Friday but by evening I was too wiped out to do anything of any consequence. Instead we went grocery shopping and watched tv. It was nice.


We worked out like Whoa on Saturday! I forgot quite how out of shape I really am and did two challenging work-out videos strength and cardio and then took a two mile walk with the dogs. I know to some of you that's nothing, but my body is still complaining about it.

We got to go out to the lake and enjoy our non-leaking (yay!) sailboat! I even got a bit of a sunburn. I love that Spring is in full force! The wind was pretty heavy and it was a great day on the water. After sailing we went to the Lucky Sailor Oyster Bar that's right next to the marina. It looks like I might have a summer job there! We indulged in oysters, fish, margaritas - delish! I had Brian take my picture from this angle so you could see my braid. I thought it was really cute.

And my handsome hubby relaxing while we were tied up to the moorings.

Ignoring sore muscles, we went to the track and ran (Brian)/ walked and jogged (me) a couple miles. The rest of the day we mostly stuck around the house and enjoyed each other's company. It was my turn to teach at Life Teen after Mass and the theme was on the 7th and 10th Commandments, social justice and meeting others needs for material goods while avoiding greed and gluttony ourselves. Tough subject for me, but such a good one to be reminded of. Having just come out of Lent, I'm reminded of the virtue of living simply and keeping life clutter free to make room for God and providing for others.

I hope that you had a terrific weekend like I did and that your week has started off beautifully!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Answers to the Questions part 1

During the giveaway a couple weeks ago, I asked you to leave a comment asking anything. Yall have some good questions! I'm happy to answer them all and will start with the first half here.

Neely asks what is your favorite thing about blogging?
I read blogs for years before I started my own. I often read bloggers gush about how much their readers mean to them and how therapeutic blogging had been for them. I never could have guessed that I would start to feel those things so quickly, only a couple months after I started this blog o’mine. I love getting to think through my thoughts enough to compose them into a post, getting to know my readers and form real relationships with some of them, and add a little something to this community of bloggers. The thing I like the very best though is the comments, selfish as that is. It makes my day when readers take a minute to share their thoughts about something I wrote or say hi!

Erin says what's the weirdest thing about you? whether it be a habit, something physical, or something someone else thinks is weird about that a weird question? haha.
No, that’s not a weird question and I’m going to answer it with something not that many people know. The weirdest thing about me is that I bite the tips of my hair off on the sides. I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid and despite trying many times to quit, I’ve never successfully done so. I learned recently that this kind of habit is called trichophagia. It’s a compulsion similar to trichotillomania which is pulling hair out. I’ve never had any negative symptoms from it probably because the way I do it I’m only biting tiny pieces of hair off at a time but that’s why the sides of my hair are always shorter (mouth length) than the back and curling it every day like I do helps blend the difference. That’s pretty darn weird, huh? I hope we can still be friends!

Marla.z asks do you have any pets, and if so, please share what you love about them? If not, would you like to get a pet?
I have two dogs, a Jack Russell Terrier named Eddie that we got from the San Antonio Defense League and a yellow Labrador Retriever named Sandy who was Brian’s family’s dog but she now lives with us. I can’t imagine life without dogs. They’re not babies to us, but they are such an important part of our family. I talked about them here a little tongue-in-cheek but most of the time they really are delightful. Sandy follows me around the house and is such great company. She’s really vocal too and sounds like a mama bear most of the time. My favorite thing about Eddie is the way he cuddles when he’s tired at night and in the mornings when I’m on the computer he’ll come over to me and put his front paws on me and ask to be picked up. I’m happy to oblige and spend some time with my boy!

Juggling Thoughts said what was your wedding like!? And El wanted to know what my favorite part of it was.
You can refer to my Wedding Wednesdays series that Juggling Thoughts hosts to hear some more about details, but overall, my wedding day was blissful! It was absolutely the happiest day of my life thus far and everything I hoped it could be. In planning, I was aiming for an event that was traditional, elegant and focused on the sacrament of the day.

Brittany EL said What is your favorite part of Texas?
Is all of it an acceptable answer? I love the Hill Country, Central Texas, Houston, and the coast. If I ever make it out to West Texas I will probably like it too. I’m ok with writing off anything north of Dallas as Oklahoma though. I did not enjoy my trip to Lubbock one bit. No offense if any of you live there.

laurenchapman said What is one meal you would cook weekly if you could?
I never cook the same stuff so I doubt I’d like to make any single recipe every week, but if I could I’d make a big ol’ Southern Sunday supper every week including biscuits, lots of sides, sweet tea and a pie. Why don’t I? Because there are just two of us and neither of our waists needs that kind of feasting on a regular basis.

Tales from the Williamson's Trails said If you could go anywhere where would it be?
I would love to take a vacation in Greece! Everything I’ve read or looked at make it seem so wonderful!

Semi-Slacker Mom said How long did you & your hubby date before marriage. How did you meet?
When we were both students at A&M we went on separate river trips one weekend in July 2006. I went with all girls, he was with all guys. One of the girls in my group went to high school with him and the guys in his group and while we were on our way to New Braunfels they coordinated hooking our groups up to bar-b-q at the lake house they were staying out. It’s just down the street from where his parents now have a house and across the lake from where we live now. We had a wonderful trip together and ended up falling in love by the next morning! We dated for 2 years (with a small break in the middle there) then got engaged on July 3rd 2008, and were married a year and a day later on July 4th 2009. Here's our wedding website and our story is included there.

suburban prep said When in doubt what is your go to meal to cook for dinner? And Similarly, The Ratpack said What are your "go-to" recipes for times when you entertain someone important, like your in-laws?
This question comes from Sarah, my sweet friend from College who was on that fateful trip that Brian and I met. She can vouch for my story! Like I mentioned above, I hardly every make the same thing twice. Almost every time I cook I’m trying something new, usually with great results, sometimes with lousy ones. If I need something fool-proof I’m likely to borrow a “go-to” from my mom or a friend. I’m sure over the years this will change.

Sarah's other question is What College Station restaurant do you miss most? Mine is Laynes...oh those chicken fingers!
I can’t pick just one, but I’ll give my top three!
Cheddars- I miss the spinach artichoke dip, key west chicken and shrimp, and the Cabo-Wabo rita!
Blue Baker – yummy yummy sandwiches, breads, pizzas!
Fitzwilly’s – where else can you get that perfect of a cheese burger, homestyle fries and a beer for $4?

Southern Belle Mama said Where is your favorite place to shop?
That’s a nice, simple answer! J.Crew is my hands-down favorite place to shop!

Diana said what is the sweetest thing that hubby of yours has done for you lately?
He does sweet stuff practically every day! He brought home tulips, surprised me with an Icee, mopped the kitchen while I slept in, helped me get ready for company this morning, packs my lunch! I couldn’t ask for a better hubby!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Top 2 Tuesdays - Magazines

1. Southern Living! I was so excited when my Aunt Nancy got me a subscription to this magazine. My first issue came a week ago but I had been buying them individually for a long time. I love the recipes, garden tips, travel ideas, house plans, pretty much everything. I always daydream about a more genteel life when I read.
2. Real Simple is my second favorite and I love it for a lot of the same reasons, the recipes, organization ideas, little fixes I can make in my house or life to make things easier. It has a totally different feel to it though and it can be so calming because of the layout and simple design and photography. Very relaxing!
I can tend to be a bit of a magazine fiend though. I also often read Martha Stewart Living, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Faith and Family, Townhall, and more!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Date night! Making chicken bacon ranch pizza together at home, planting some knockout roses in the front beds and catching up on the DVR shows we missed last week!

Tuesday: Senegalese Lemon Soup made with leftover Easter ham and bean salad

Wednesday: Pasta Carbonara and salad

Thursday: I'll be at a new members dinner for New Braunfels Republican Women. I'll probably pick up Jason's Deli or something for Brian.

Friday: Shrimp over coconut rice from Sweet Tea in Seattle

Saturday: Steak and twice baked potatoes with whichever veggies are left over by then

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Five Happy Thoughts on Thursday

This is a new blog carnival to come out of MannLand5. I love it because it focuses on the joyous and cheerful side of things which is wonderful to do even as we enter the Triduum. I was going to do a quick takes post anyway of some of these things so I might as well do it here and share the love with everyone else participating. The idea is to list 5 things that this week have made you happy, grateful, joyful, elated or appreciative. I think you should give it a try too.

1. Thursday mornings at school are my favorite because a group of kids with a guitar, a drum and songsheets meet out in the hall before school and sing praise and worship music. Their voices waft down the hallways and I can hum along in my classroom while I'm setting up for the day.

2. We turned off the tv on Sunday and are leaving it off until Easter. We wanted a quiet, semi-unplugged (hello, I'm still on the comp) Holy Week and it's been everything we had hoped for. We've had lots of time in the evenings for walks, bike rides, good conversation etc and I feel much more fulfilled that I would if my DVR were empty.

3. My sweet, sweet husband surprised me with an Icee the other day because I had been frustrated at school. It really hit the spot!

4. I've been on a roll with the April Fools pranks! I never was one to pull them before but this year it's been really fun for me. I fooled Brian, my mom, all my classes. Lets see who else I can get before the day is over. I was going to trick you guys into thinking I was shutting down my blog but the fear that no one would care much prevented it! haha. I'd love to hear about your pranks.

5. This weekend represents the pinnacle of my faith! Today we celebrate the suffering servant and institution of the Eucharist, tomorrow will be the day my savior dies for me and Sunday I know he will rise again as I will on the last day. If that doesn't make one happy, elated, joyful, grateful and appreciative, I don't know what does!!