Friday, 28 January 2011

An Unfortunate Text OR What Not to Text Your Dad

Matt and I went to the grocery store this evening to stock up on a few essentials.  As we were on our way, I sent my dad the following text:

"Can u think of any sweet treat thongs u might want?"

Clearly I meant to say things.  THINGS!!!  Not thongs.  Alas, by the time I realized my mistake it was too late.

So I must conclude that this was destined to happen for your reading pleasure.  So laugh to your heart's content, because I sure as heck did.


.....Also, I tripped and fell on my way into a nice salon this afternoon and slammed into a door in Macy's (both whilst hurriedly trying to get to said salon).  Today I am clearly not on top of my game.  Unless it's the epic fail game...which I am clearly winning.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Soap Zits

I've washed my hands about 50 times more than normal in the past week or so.  I've got some allergies or something going on (Still!  I'm on my 5th box of tissues.  No joke.) and so I blow my nose a lot.  And as the family chef, I refuse to touch food unless my hands are clean.  This means that while cooking a meal, I wash my hands anywhere from 5-10 times.

In addition to my tissue use of epic proportions, my brother has been sick the past couple of days.  I am a SPONGE for germs and diseases and it's normal for me to catch almost anything someone within a 15 foot radius of me has or has had in the past whatever.  And when I say he has been sick, I mean throwing up and a fever.  Needless to say, I've been a bit concerned (for him and for myself).

So why is this hand washing business such a big deal?  Well, the soap we use has little beads in it.  You know, the ones that are supposed to have vitamins or something in them.  And when I wash my hands with that, it takes me FOREVER.  Because after I lather up my hands, I have to check my hands and pop every. single. bead.  They are like soap zits.  Weird little soap zits that I just have to pop.


The culprit.  See those little soap zits in there?!

I can't help it.

It drives me nuts.

I can feel them.

BUT.

At least we can be sure that my hand washing is thorough.  And hopefully that means that neither I nor anyone else will get sick.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Disappangryadurt

I haven't posted in a few days.  I just haven't felt like it.  Sure, there were things that I could have posted about (like the night Matt and I had a crazy possum encounter or when I bit off a skittle-sized chunk of my tongue while eating skittle-sized watermelon chunks...how to tell them apart?) but I just wasn't feeling it.  And what fun is writing if you don't feel it?!

Alas, I'm still struggling a bit with "feeling" this post.  But I do feel like I should at least post something.  Because it's not like my days are incredibly busy or anything.

So what am I posting about?  I wasn't sure when I started writing, but I think I have my answer.  Feelings.  Ha.  Go ahead and cringe.  I don't blame you.  But really, I've talked about feeling things quite a bit in this post already, so why stop now?

I have a lot of feelings.  I always have.  I'm a feel-y person.  I'm very passionate.  I'm also very compassionate.  To a degree that is annoying, really (tearing up when I see a dead dog or cat on the road, for example.  That's annoying).  I used to hide everything I felt, but now?  Now I'm usually pretty open about things.  Some might say that I "wear my heart on my sleeve".

But a lot of the time it's really hard for me to discern exactly what I am feeling.  Take my last post, for instance.  I am disappointed in people.  I am disappointed that people I trusted and cared about are treating me like I am not worth the time of day.  But I'm not only disappointed, I'm angry and sad and hurt.  It's difficult to tell which I am feeling most at any given time or if the are all a big messy pot of emotion sauce.  Disappangryadurt.  All of them together.  That's it!  I'm disappangryadurt.

But I think one thing that should be clarified is that, though I am disappangryadurt with those people, it is in no way an over-arching, all encompassing emotion.  I'm actually pretty happy most of the time.  I don't walk through the grocery store with "disappangryadurt" on my sleeve.  I don't go to Sonic Happy Hour with "disappangryadurt" stamped on my forehead.  I only feel that way toward certain people, and only when I think of or am reminded of aforementioned people.

And when I'm not disappangryadurt, I'm happy, hungry, and sleepy.  Happungreepy.

Gracious, I'm starting to sound like Lewis Carroll.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Disappointment, But Now Mine.

I'm going to keep this short.

I'm so disappointed in people.  In the past 6 (almost 7) weeks, the rubber has really hit the road.  And I'm saddened and disappointed in what I have seen by so many people that I have called "friend".

Don't get me wrong, there has been a lot of positive.  We have been blessed with extremely loving and supportive families and a handful of true companions.

But wow.  It would appear that I have lost many friends.  That's something you really don't want to have to lose ever, but especially not after losing your job and your home.

I don't feel like I deserve the treatment I am receiving.  Ignored emails.  Ignored messages.  Ignored texts.  Rude responses.  Or just a total lack of effort.

Really.  What did I do?

Monday, 17 January 2011

So. Last Night. Exciting? Mostly.

First off, I would just like to say that how I feel about award ceremonies has not changed.  I recorded the Golden Globes last night and watched it today.  It was still quite cliche and dull.  Thankfully, since it was recorded I was able to skip to the parts I wanted to see.  I was really disappointed that The King's Speech didn't come away with more awards.  However, I am pleased that Colin Firth won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture.  And I was excited that Glee did well.  But I don't understand how The Social Network just totally won everything.

So now that that's out of the way...

The Spurs game was really fun!  Matt and I had some fantastical seats (A friend of my dad's gave us the tickets, otherwise we would not have been able to go).  I chased down a cotton candy man and ate a giant pretzel without buying a drink (bad idea).  Unfortunately I left my camera at home and so I was forced to resort to taking photos on my phone.  And last night was the night I learned exactly how terrible my camera phone is (at least for anything that moves or is not within 5-10 feet).

We sat 8 rows back, not far from the Nuggets' bench!

Matt had never been to an NBA game before (which is why I was so disappointed that I forgot my camera. I wanted to document the occasion!), and these seats provided an incredible experience!  And it was just a really good game.

Ginobli and Duncan!  See what I mean about quality?  It looks like a took a bad photo of a television screen!

I used to go to Spurs games all the time when I was younger.  When I was in elementary school, everyone looked up to the Spurs - they were our role models (Oh.  And Michael Jordan.  And Alanis Morisette).  In high school I lived and breathed basketball.  I played it and I watched it all. the. time.  I never missed a Spurs game.  But then I went to college.  And I just stopped caring.  I learned that there was so much more out there than basketball.  So much more that I liked way better than basketball.

But I do have to admit.  Last night was awesome.  We had fun.  And I would not turn down those tickets if they were offered to us again ;)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Why I'm Excited for Tonight

There are two reasons.

1) We are going to a Spurs game!

2) The Golden Globes

Now I've literally never cared about the Golden Globes before.  I usually find award ceremonies to be cliche and dull.  Just a bunch of celebrities who are very pleased with themselves.  But this year I'm pumped.  I'm pumped because this year I actually saw a film that I feel truly deserves the awards it was nominated for (don't get me wrong, several other films are worthy of their nominations and wins.  I just don't usually gravitate toward dramas).  And said film was nominated in several categories.

If you recall, on Christmas day my family and I went to see the King's Speech, and I wrote about it here.  The King's Speech is the aforementioned film.  The one I am excited about.  Nominations include Geoffrey Rush (Best Supporting Actor), Helena Bonham Carter (Best Supporting Actress), Colin Firth (Best Actor), Tom Hooper (Best Director), Alexandre Desplot (Best Original Score), Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture.

Since we will be at the Spurs game this evening, I intend on recording the Golden Globes.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

XXV

My birthday was earlier this month!  The family went out to dinner together, which was lovely!  I usually choose Olive Garden for my birthday meal, but this time I thought we should do something different, so I chose a Mediterranean grill.  It was so good!  Never before have I seen such large pieces of pita bread!!!

We didn't really have any grandiose plans for my birthday, which was totally fine with me.  But Matt was acting a bit secretive the week of, so I knew he had something up his sleeve.  And that something was taking my best friend and I to the botanical gardens!  It started out yucky, but then the sun came out and it was a beautiful day!

A really neat tree in the tropical section
Strolling along the pond
 As we were walking along the pond, Heather quickly became enamored with the ducks!  She wanted to catch one so badly, but had no luck.  She even got stuck in a really big bush while chasing them.  It was awesome.  But then she figured it out - if you feed the ducks their little pellets, they will come right up to you and eat out of your hands!  As the poor, unsuspecting duck innocently chowed down, Heather moved like lightning and grabbed it!  Physically, the duck was fine (she was surprisingly gentle for moving so fast), but the duck was totally shocked.  And as you can see from the picture below, so was Heather!  That was no posed picture and no premeditated facial expression.  That is sheer panic on her face ("OMG OMG I CAUGHT IT WHAT DO I DO NOW?!?!").  I was laughing so hard I could barely snap the photo.  And I almost peed.  Unfortunately I couldn't get this photo to turn right-side up...


Heather and her duck

My wonderful husband and I!!  He is so thoughtful :)

I'm usually the one messing up the pictures ;)
After the botanical gardens we went straight to Sonic so we could still catch happy hour!!

Riding a Sonic sugar high
When we arrived back home I thought our day was through, but Matt told me we needed to pack because our dear friends had reserved a nice hotel room for us for the night!!  It was a wonderful birthday gift, and an excellent end to a great birthday.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Toad in the Hole

Yep, that's the name of the British dish that I cooked for dinner tonight!  It has nothing to do with toads.  It's actually as simple as a pound of sausage links baked in a concoction very similar to Yorkshire pudding.  It looks something like this:
Toad in the Hole


I mean, I thought it would be pretty tasty, but when I tried it I thought it was delicious!  I would most definitely make it again.  And it's just so simple!

I realized earlier today that for some reason I think I feel quite connected to my British roots.  I can't really put my finger on why that is, but looking back I can see that for most of my life, I have had plenty of English influence.  I have just gravitated toward it.  Literature, plays, music, movies, and now food - I just tend to really like it.

Sadly, though, I have never even set foot on any of the British Isles.  I hope that changes in the next few years.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Always and Never

I have issues when people say "always" or "never" and they don't truly mean "always" or "never".  It's interesting, because I hadn't really ever given it much thought until yesterday, when Matt brought it up in a conversation, noting how I get hung up when people say "always" or "never".

What bothers me is quite simple.  I think in serious conversation, people should mean what they say.  And they should have a firm enough grasp of language to know how to do that.  So when someone says "always" or "never" but really means "sometimes" or "most of the time"...it drives me nuts.  Because how hard is it to just say "sometimes" or "most of the time"?!!

And it can be confusing to me!  Matt mentioned that maybe I should view the comment or conversation from the other person's communication style or standpoint.  Often, though, I feel that I really don't know if they are actually trying to say "always" or "never"or if they mean something else.  So I guess I could ask for clarification.

Perhaps this is related to me noticing grammatical errors all the time (I actually turned down a college due to spelling and grammatical errors in the acceptance letter they sent).  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am detail oriented and usually rather straightforward.  And as a result, unless I am telling a story for comedic effect or am being just plain goofy (because who can pass up exaggeration then?!), I usually mean exactly what I say.

What about you?  Is there anything odd like that that bothers you?

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Going British

Yesterday I found this cookbook for the very reasonable price of $6, and I just could not pass it up.  I sat on the floor of the bookstore and flipped through the pages...I looked at almost every single page!  Aside from the fish and shellfish dishes (and the dishes that involve livers or kidneys), I found most of the recipes sounded delicious and relatively simple!  Additionally, I was pleased that the book was actually published in London instead of in the States.  It feels more authentic that way.

The book also includes a lot of nice, colorful pictures so you can see what the dish should look like not only at the end but at different stages throughout (and as a visual learner, this is very good!)!!

It's cold outside, and I was eager to try something from my exciting new find.  I turned to the soup section and found the Leek and Potato Soup recipe, and since we had most of the ingredients in the house (the only thing I needed to go out and buy was chicken stock), I decided it was a winner.  It was so easy to prepare, and I think I really enjoyed this soup much better than the last soup I made.  It was much simpler and it just tasted better.

So the first recipe from my new book was delightful, and I look forward to diving into some of the more...unique dishes (Toad in the Hole, anyone?).  And I am super excited about the dessert section - those Brits sure know how to make puddings and custards!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Shake It Like You Mean It!

Tonight I went to my first ever ZUMBA class, and I had a blast!  I didn't really know what to expect, except that it should be a ton of fun...and it so was!

I don't have a strong background in dance.  Like most girls, I took dance lessons when I was younger, but then decided that I wanted to pursue other interests.  I took a hip hop class in college my first semester...aaand that marks the end of my instruction in dance.

Even though I didn't continue lessons, I didn't give up dancing altogether.  I danced in my house.  I danced by myself.  I danced with friends.  I danced in my car.  And sometimes I danced with Billy Blanks to Tae Bo Funk.

But tonight was different.  Because tonight?  I was in a gym FULL of ladies ready to shake their groove thing!  I mean, really.  There were college-aged girls all the way up to grandmas in that room, and it was awesome!  Part of what made this evening so fun was that with such a diverse group of women, there was no pressure to perform or to do every move perfectly.  We were all just there to work out and have fun!

By the end of the class, I had shaken my hips more than I ever had in the space of one hour.  I was breathing hard, sweating, and laughing.  It was so much fun!  And for as long as I am here, I plan on attending!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Disappointment

For months now I have wondered if I have disappointed the educators that molded me into an educator. I went to college to learn how to be a teacher. And I loved it. Everything seemed to come naturally to me, and things just clicked. And honestly, I really was good at it.

My work won competitions and scholarships.

My professors told me that I had what it took to become one of "the greats". That they looked forward to my bright future as an educator.

My mentor teacher during student teaching told me that I was the best student teacher she had had in years.

And then after student teaching I moved to the middle of nowhere in the San Juan Mountains to teach children through outdoor education. I wanted to experience another side of the education profession, and I did love it. I taught lessons that met the state standards, and the kids and I had a blast! You know, things like hydrology and the water cycle whilst canoeing. Forestry while mountain biking. Zoology while doing high ropes. And my personal favorite, astronomy!

After that, I went to Camp Eagle. I was under the impression when I was hired that I would be working more with their outdoor education program, but circumstances within the management changed, and so I mainly stuck with the retreats department (although I did work with schools and lesson plans quite a bit, as well).

I was happy to be working in ministry and using my education and certification in a non-conventional way. But I started to miss teaching in a classroom. Having the same students every day instead of for just a weekend or one week. And my mind started wandering to the professionals who poured so much time and energy into me.

Would they be disappointed to know that I chose to explore other areas of educating young minds? Would they be disappointed in me for not blazing exciting mathematical and scientific trails through public schools?

Part of me is tempted to apologize. To say "I'm sorry I didn't go right into teaching in classrooms.  I'm sorry it seems like I disregarded your time and efforts.  I'm just...sorry." But I can honestly say that I know it was God's will for me to go to Redcloud and then Camp Eagle working in outdoor education. I know that I would not be married to Matt if I had not done those things. And I know that I have gained valuable experience that will aid me in a classroom, provided I can get a teaching job. And honestly, I know I grew up a lot.

But I still can't shake that feeling that they would be disappointed. Or already are.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Red Toenails

I painted my toes red on October 30, 2010.

You know how I know that? Because I was getting ready for my friends' wedding that evening.

You know what color is on approximately 1/3 or 1/4 of my toenails? Red.

I've not taken any of that polish of AT ALL (that's just over 2 months!!!).

I have cut my toenails, though (I'm not gross or anything!).

So right now it kinda looks like I have red tips.

I planned it this way.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Branching Out...With Deformed Albino Carrots

Ahhh how I love branching out and expanding my cooking horizons! Tonight for dinner I tried something a little different - Quinoa, White Bean and Kale Stew!! My friend Abby posted this recipe on her twitter a little while ago, and it caught my eye.

The recipe included a few ingredients I had never worked with before - namely leeks and parsnips. I had to google parsnips to even know what the heck they were. I'd never eaten them, cooked them...nothing. Turns out they look like really deformed albino carrots. As I was cutting them up, I took a bite just to see how they tasted. And you know what? It's like a coconut and a carrot got married and had a baby. Strangely satisfying. And the leeks? They are essentially a Super Mario big world version of green onions (scallions).

What I really liked about this recipe was that it was full of things that are uber healthy and known as "superfoods" with powers to fight crime! I mean...cancer! Especially the quinoa, kale, and garlic. It didn't take long to cook, which was great! The prep work was most definitely the most time consuming and labor-intensive part of the entire process.

It smelled wonderful...but how did it taste?! Well, it was well received at the dinner table. It was a bit sweet, which I think was mainly due to the spices it calls for - rosemary, thyme, fennel, and marjoram. I think next time I will skip the fennel and throw in some red pepper flakes instead. Adding a bit of lemon juice as suggested at the end of the recipe really adds a nice touch, as well! Oh, and I nixed the carrots. We're not huge cooked carrot fans.

Unfortunately, I have not quite ascended to the level of photographing my kitchen adventurements (do you like that? I just made up that word. It's adventures and experiments all smushed up into one word. Too ambitious? Ok. Anyway.). But maybe someday I'll document my culinary masterpieces ;)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Post After the Post About Agony

So here's how it goes: some days we have bad days and some days we have good days! Sometimes the bad outnumber the good, and sometimes the good outnumber the bad. And some days are just days.

My parents have been so supportive and we are so thankful for everything they have done and are doing to help us. Other family members have surrounded us with love and support, as well. Living with my parents is not what we agonize over. I just wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding there. We are grateful. We just wish we didn't have to make this decision. The decision and its outcome are what we agonize over.

I think today has been a good day for the most part. I'm not entirely sure what is going on, but I've been stuffy and sneezy and runny-nosey for the past few days. It's gotten to the point where by the end of each day my tissues are all bloody. And so last night as I was tossing, turning, sneezing, and dealing with an on-and-off bloody nose, I finally decided to take a Benadryl. At like 1. Which made getting up for my dentist appointment a tad difficult (why did I schedule a dentist appointment across town at 9 AM?! It's the morning rush hour!!)

So when we get to the dentist, I'm super drowsy. I've never had a cavity before, so I've never had a filling before. I don't know what to expect. So I just sat there. They didn't tell me what they were doing, which was probably for the best. You know, because I couldn't really freak out about things. I couldn't feel anything, so I just laid there and thought about Einstein Brother's Bagels (I was hungry). And music. And when they were done, the left side of my face was all droopy. I couldn't stop laughing at myself. It just felt funny and I knew how ridiculous it looked!

About 2.5 hours later, we are starving!! So we go to Chick-Fil-A to get lunch (still courtesy of the SA Rampage), and Greg came with! I startled a person or two with my droopy smile, which made me droopy giggle. I could barely pay attention to conversation because I had to concentrate so hard on drinking my water through a straw! And then I would start laughing just thinking about how I must look. I'm surprised I didn't drool water all over the table.

So it's not yet 3, but it has not been a bad day. And I'm thankful for that.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Agonizing

I think that's probably the best word to describe the beginning of 2011 for Matt and I. It has been one month and two days since we were let go. One month and two days since we moved in with my parents. We are so, SO thankful for their generosity, hospitality, patience, etc. However, sometimes we just wish he had our own home again. They have not done anything to make us feel this way at all, but I feel like such a freeloading bum.

Our days are filled with questions, hard discussions, tears, prayers, searches, and awkward moments.

Who knew it would be so hard to pick a stinkin' state?! Maybe that's it. Maybe we knew it would be hard...just not how hard, and that is what is smacking us in the face. We are literally agonizing over the decision. What is God's will? What will be best for our future family? How many people will this decision hurt? Why do we have to do this? Does God really think we can handle this?

It's been a month and two days, and we still have no answers (except, perhaps, that yes, we do have to do this and yes, God apparently does think we can handle this).

So for now, I guess we keep asking questions. Keep having hard discussions. Cry more often than what is comfortable. Keep praying. And brave through the awkward moments.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A New Trend?

I feel as if I am blogging simply for the sake of writing a blog on the first of the year. As if that will motivate me to be a more dedicated blogger this year..!! I really do enjoy blogging and reading blogs, though. I was looking at my posting habits and they have been horrible! I think I probably averaged a post a week or a post every other week. But in December? Man, it shot through the roof (read: unemployment = plenty of free time). And the number of readers has doubled at the very least (probably due to what I posted about most frequently - losing our jobs).

So aside from blogging, here is what the first of the year held for me:
Countless sneezes and tissues
Taking down Christmas decorations
Traditional lunch of black eyed peas and cornbread (I skipped the mustard greens...)
Benadryl
Wii
Drug induced coma (aka: nap)
Church
Feverish chills

I have a crappy immune system as it is, so to have eaten so many sweets and to not exercise makes me an easy target for any germ or infection seeking to wreak havoc in a human being. So here's hoping tomorrow holds stronger antibodies.
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