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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello, 2010

2009 has been a good great year for us.

Highlights: I became a mommy, got a new sister-in-law, went on around 10-ish road trips with a newborn, and took on a new position at our church that will allow me to stay at home after the school year.

I'm really excited to see what 2010 has in store because I truly feel like God has some big plans for us this year. Don't ask me what they are because I honestly don't know, but He's been teaching us so much lately, and that has to be for a reason.

So at this time next year, I'd like to be able to say that I...
  • Made our home a sanctuary. I know it sounds silly, but I really want our home to be a place of rest and somewhere to really call home.
  • Was consistent with menu planning. This is something that makes our lives so much easier, especially during the school year. It also keeps us from eating out so frequently AND it saves money.
  • Caught up with my scrapbooks. I really want Avery to have her story in pictures so she can look back on it when she's older. Plus, I really love to scrapbook and just haven't made time for it lately.
  • Studied God's word on a regular basis. No, not just went to church and took good notes during the sermon, but actually dove in it on my own.
  • Got in good enough shape to play an entire soccer game without throwing up. I'm out of shape right now, and that's the best measure of my fitness goal that I can come up with at the moment. I think I'm already getting there, but I've still got a long way to go.
  • Made an eternal impact on someone else's life. I've already got some ideas going on some "ministry opportunities" (goodness, how many Christian cliches can I fit in this entry?), but I'm excited to see how they come into effect this year.
So no "resolutions" for me this year, but those are my goals.

We have a full house tonight: 6 adults, 2 babies, and 5 dogs. As chaotic as it has the potential to be, I am SO BEYOND excited to ring in the new year with two of my very best friends and their families.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today's our third anniversary! Woohoo! Here's where I should get all sentimental about how beautiful our wedding was, how wonderful my husband is, and how much I love married life and our life together in general, but I'm not going to discuss such things.

Not that they're not completely 100% true. Because they are. Seriously. I just think that I tell my husband those things, and it's not necessary to recount such information over the internet.

So why am I blogging and not out celebrating and doing other fun things??

Matt is sick. Boo.

So change of plans. Our evening (sans baby even-- she's at my parents' for the evening) will now consist of some Super Mario: Wii Edition in front of the fire.

Happy Anniversary!

(By the way, the last week of the year is always ridiculously busy for us [as it is for most, I suppose], which is the reason my blog has been completely empty for over a week. Be back with a recap soon. But Happy New Year if I don't see you before then.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bah humbug.

So between the $229 I had to shell out for new tires,

$135 for our sweet Sadie's ear infection (among other things),

oodles of Christmas gifts purchased (although I was quite proud of the amount of money I'd saved on many of them and the fact that you'd never know I saved said money because they're just so.darn.great),

the not-so-mysterious-anymore HOA bill that shows up every December (how nice of them to time it that way) even though I can't for the life of me figure out what the heck they actually do,

the $1,000+ dollars we still owe the stupid hospital for Avery's just-a-little-traumatic birth,

and other unexpected bills/expenses that appeared in our mailbox this month,

I'm feeling rather Scrooge-like.


We are fortunately able to cover aforementioned expenses (albeit barely), and just as fortunately, my sweet little girl is more entertained by a table than by toys (hehe!).

In our Lifegroup over the past couple of months, we've been studying God's provision, and I have a feeling that this lesson will come in handy frequently over the next year as we learn to do with much, much less than we've become accustomed to.

Bah humbug Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It was a good weekend...

...and the best part about it is that it is not over! We're loving Christmas break already!

On Friday night we went and visited my sweet friend Meghan, her husband Brian and their precious three-week-old son, Wyatt. Oh my goodness, he's so adorable with tons of hair! It's crazy to me when I hold other people's newborns now because they're just so tiny and Avery was never that small. And now, she really seems like a giant when I see her next to a newborn. She's such a cute giant though!

After a quick visit there, we "stopped by" the soccer coaches' Christmas party. Our thirty-minute stop turned into a two-hour visit. So much for Avery getting any sleep before our early morning...

Nick graduated on Saturday!! He finished school in 3 and a half years with a degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University, and we're so stinkin' proud of him! And now we're excited because he is thisclose to having a job with our police department, which means that he'll be super close by, which is especially good news for Avery (who is completely enamored with him) and Matt (who is stoked to have his football buddy in town for good).

Saturday night was pretty chill: Bananas for Avery, cowboys and pizza for us. Sometimes the best evenings are the ones that you don't really do anything.

After church on Sunday, we had an afternoon at home. Aaah. Finally a free Sunday. Then we had a fun evening at Amy's with some of the cousins. Chili's, tons of desserts, canasta, Wii, a teething baby, and a long drive home made for a very late night.

Avery even let us sleep until 7 this morning and we've already gotten some fun playtime and enjoyed a breakfast of cake balls and coffee. (For me, not her, silly.)

And now I'm off to run some last-minute errands so I can just enjoy the rest of the week.

I could get used to this.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Five

1. I am a mean teacher. I am the only teacher in the entire school who is making her students do work on the last day before Christmas break. Oh, and not just any work, a TEST at that! Mwahahaha. I'm feeling a little Grinch-y today. Well, that and we really needed to test over this unit before the kiddos took off for two whole weeks during which knowledge seems to dissipate into some black hole. 

At least my students are behaving like human beings today as opposed to the maniacal creatures they become during class "parties." Maybe testing wasn't such a bad idea.

2. How adorable is this outfit?? I'll admit, it's cuter on Avery, but in the rush of this morning I didn't get a picture. 

It was so cute to see the little babies in Avery's class decked out for Christmas today. I was also reminded today that I am teaching at the wrong level. Those day care workers rake in the gifts!! (Well, I suppose elementary and middle school teachers do, too.) Either way, someone really should mention that little tidbit during education classes during college while there's still time to change your major. 

I jest. I really do love teaching high school. (Only for one more semester though! Yay!!)

3.  My brother graduates from college tomorrow! He's the third of the four of us, and he's graduating a semester early with honors.  I'm so proud of our little future-policeman. So congratulations, Nick-- we love you!!

4.  I think our kitchen will be going into retirement in the baking department for awhile. I wish I had a picture with me to post so I could show you just what a sufficient-countertop-space-lacking-kitchen looks like while there are rows of cake balls and mini chocolate chip cakes out just waiting to be deposited into cute little containers, tissue paper and ribbon included.  Sigh. I'm glad that's over!  

5.  In two hours and ten minutes it will be Christmas break. Two glorious weeks of sleeping in, playing with Avery, hanging out with Matt, visiting family, watching movies, playing games and just being still. That's my goal for the break: to be still enough to enjoy the small moments that I'll actually remember instead of running around trying to cross things off a to-do list.

Merry Christmas,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snapshots of an evening "off"

I really don't have time to blog tonight; I'm just dropping in to show off this precious little munchkin
and this precious big munchkin.

We were supposed to have the night off (translation: no rehearsal, church activities, school activities, or miscellaneous engagements). What we ended up doing was
  • going straight to my parents' house after school so I could practice with my mom and Debbie since I got roped into singing with them this Sunday (I jest, I was not "roped into" anything; rephrase= mildly prodded)
  • being thankful for our foresight to make tonight's dinner last night in the crockpot so it was ready when we got home
  • cleaning said crockpot so we Matt could make chili for tomorrow's English II Christmas lunch fiesta
  • doing a kajillion loads of overdue laundry
  • making 4+ dozen cake balls (yeah, those didn't get done this past weekend)
  • making 2 dozen mini chocolate chip cakes (experiment=success!)
  • you know, being parents to pretty much the coolest baby ever.
I'm so thankful that I have a husband who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, so to speak, and helps out around the house so we're both able to enjoy spending time with Avery (and together of course!) despite the seemingly never-ending lists. Speaking of togetherness, I'm out.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Five.

1. We are so blessed. (Thanks for all the sweet comments on my imported-to-FB blog yesterday, btw.) I have a bad tendency to get overwhelmed with the things on my To-Do list(s) and stress out about anything and everything, but this time of year I'm always reminded just how fortunate we are.  It's impossible to not want to give back to the community and others who aren't as "lucky," especially during this emotionally-charged season. I want to challenge you, if you haven't already, to find a way to give back over the next few weeks. Maybe it's just by adopting an "angel" from a local angel tree or baking cookies for a neighbor or even just dropping some change in those freezing Salvation Army workers' buckets. However big or small it may seem, do something.

2. Speaking of being fortunate, I really don't know of anything I need for Christmas. I'm kind of boring when it comes to gifts because I really prefer something practical to a novelty item or this year's coolest trends. I could get into all sorts of reasons why I feel this way, but I'll spare you today. Anyway, I'm bringing this up to point out that I did find something that I want. Not need, just want. At the risk of revealing my true inner nerd, I present... the best planner ever

The fonts are so pretty, it has all the monthly calendars in the front and the weekly ones in the back, it has sections for menu planning, and it comes in all sorts of colors. Sigh, I'm in love.

3.  If you're my Facebook friend, you might have noticed that there are an un.real. amount of hideous old pictures of me that, in the recent past, have been posted and tagged by some long-time friends. My pictures are coming. Be forewarned. Once I drag our scanner out of the closet, it will be an interesting stroll down memory lane.  

4.  I probably won't get to those pictures until Christmas break though because this weekend I'm channeling my inner Martha Stewart and doing some serious baking.  We're talking cake balls, my favorite chocolate chocolate chip cake, and even some apple pies. That's right; be impressed. Oh, and if you want in on the sugary goodness, you might even be extra nice to me. Sometimes I share.

5.  Sometime around all the baking, I WILL be finishing my Christmas decorations (and giving Matt a little shove out the door to finally put up our lights), shopping for gifts, going to Christmas parties, addressing our Christmas cards, and hanging out with my two favorite people.

It can't get much better than that, folks. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

News flash!

Well, my blogging has been a tad inconsistent as of late, so see my previous entry for the reason. I do have some news though, so it's time to share it with the blogosphere. 

As many of you know, I've been wanting desperate to be a stay-at-home mom next year. I tried to do the working mom thing this year, fully expecting to enjoy being able to "do it all" and have the best of both worlds.

I didn't though. Enjoy it, that is. 

It's been so beyond frustrating having to "raise" other peoples' kids while I've sent mine off to someone else.  I want to be the one teaching her and facilitating her development. I want to be the one who's there when she starts crawling, pulling herself up, walking, and talking (ohmygoodness) for the first time. So as great as my students are this year and as much as I enjoy my profession, I'm happy to report that...

...this is my last year to do it. For awhile anyway. It's going to be a big adjustment (financially and emotionally), but we're ready for the challenge. I'm so thankful to have such a supportive husband who is willing to do whatever it takes to do what is best for our family during this season of our lives. I know not everyone who wants to be a stay-at-home-mom gets to, for whatever reason, so I consider myself very fortunate. 

(Please note that I don't look down on any of you moms who do work full-time; every one of you is doing what you feel is best for your family, and I applaud you for that.) 

Anyway, this brings me to my next announcement, and that is that I've accepted the Director of Children's Ministry position at our church, effective in January.  I'll still be teaching until June, so it's going to be a balancing act to do both for the first half of the year, but I know for sure that this is where God has me, and He has me here for a reason.

So it seems that's the next chapter in our adventure. We can't wait!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Today is Monday,

and my living room looks like my dryer, Christmas, and the mailbox threw up in there. Good thing today's small thing is to clean it because I was planning on doing that anyway, and now I get points for it. Score.

I'm not doing a huge weekend update today because, quite frankly, our weekend wasn't really worth writing about. Don't get me wrong, it was a weekend that was needed, just not blog-worthy. 

This week is completely packed though, which means that our house will probably still be Christmas light-less until the weekend. Our neighbors are totally showing us up because their houses already look awesome. Speaking of neighbors, check out their blogs here and here. (Sadly, blogs are the only way I've kept up with them lately... hi, girls!)

So here's my week's rundown: tonight I have an early indoor game, tomorrow is grocery shopping (hopefully?), Wednesday is soccer tryouts and Lifegroup, Thursday is my night to breathe (i.e. The Office), Friday night is scrapbooking, Saturday is the church choir dinner. Unfortunately, this is also Matt's busiest work-season, so he'll be absent for much of the week. Boo. 

Have a great week!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Five

1. Happy (day late) 5 Monthday to Avery! She looks very happy in this picture, which means that she is definitely not her mother's daughter. Wait, not that I'm unhappy; let me explain. The girl has been seriously congested (never with fever) all week, had another eye flare up (clogged tear ducts-- pretty common), and had a nice reprise of a lovely diaper rash at the time of this picture. She's been pretty miserable lately, but oh, how she loves those feet. She can't get enough of them (which makes it pretty difficult to change her diapers these days)! She's such a big girl now, weighing in at 17ish pounds and rolling her little self all over the place. She eats rice cereal like a champ, and I'm thinking about adding in her second "real" food soon. Any suggestions? I'll be making her baby food, so I should have some nice adventures with that to post soon. :)

2. In other news, Matt has been out of commission since Sunday. He never gets sick, so it was a little strange to see him like this
I did learn something though. There is a difference between cough drops and Halls Defense with Vitamin C. Oops. I bet I won't be sent to the store for cough drops again any time soon. He is getting better now though, so I'll be back to having only one baby to take care of. (Hehe, I'm totally joking. He really wasn't that bad.)

3. I did venture out to "help" at soccer tryouts this week although I only made it to the girls' nights. It was definitely a bittersweet feeling to step foot on the field again. I miss seeing the girls every day, getting to work with students in a setting outside of the classroom, watching a player finally "get" what we've been pounding in their heads for a whole season, playing on the field with my team at practice, not having a 7th period English class, and hanging out with the coaches.

However, Wednesday and Thursday night I also missed seeing Avery's smile when I walked in to pick her up at day care, taking care of her when she was coughing, watching her make faces and goofy sounds while she ate her rice cereal, and all the other things I know I missed while I was away from her for the extended workday. It was the validation that I needed that I made the right choice to not coach this year, as hard as that decision was to make.

4. My goal tonight: finally finish decorating our tree and put up the rest of my summer clothes in the attic so my house will no longer be cluttered. It's driving me NUTS. I might have pictures to post tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

5. Only two more weeks of school until two glorious weeks of vacation! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Some Days are Like That...

So this morning was a little bit hectic. After sleeping all night with Avery laying on top of me, her head on my shoulder because that was the only way the congested, sweet baby girl would sleep, I woke up with the most ridiculous crick in my neck, shoulders, and back. 

I arrived at day care with said baby girl in tow at 7:55 and needed to be at my school and in a 504 meeting by 8:00.  Nice one. As I walked in the door of my classroom, I heard the ever-embarrassing intercom page to get my booty in the main office for the meeting. Of course I wore my super-cute but horribly painful heeled knee-high boots today to make the 1/2 mile trek to the office in record time. (You should've seen the is-she-crazy? stares from the students as I ran past them while they asked, "Aren't those shoes uncomfortable?")

Meeting over, plenty of time to stop and get my free Happy-Thanksgiving-latte from the coffee shop on my way back to 1st period. Not so much. The tardy bell rang while I was still waiting for my coffee. Oops. So I frantically scramble in the devil-shoes to get to class before my classroom is demolished by unsupervised 15-year-olds. On my way I hear, "Man, even our teachers can't get to class on time!" I turned in the direction of the scolding voice to see my principal laughing at the scene of me trying to power walk with coffee in one hand and books in the other. Double oops.  When I finally arrived to class, I realized that my fear of the 15-year-olds was unfounded because there was someone supervising: a student observer who was waiting to take notes on good teaching practices. I introduced myself, explaining that this was his first lesson in what not to do. 

Fortunately, five years into my teaching career (which, by the way, does not make me an expert by any means), I am able to cover for my (sometimes) lack of preparation and made it through the class reading and discussion without a hitch. Whew. 

Some days are just like this, and I think it's actually a good thing. Being thrown for a loop is part of what keeps me on my toes and is God's way of reminding me that I'm not perfect (wait, WHAT?!?!) and need to depend on Him to sustain me in everything (not only in my imperfection). This seems to be on my life-lessons-list allthetime; maybe I'll actually learn the lesson someday.

Side note that my fellow teachers might appreciate: Last year I had a student in my class who, let me put it this way, was a little bit of a hellion. You know the kid, the one who you attempt to smile at when he walks in the door but secretly hope is absent. That's putting it nicely. Anyway, that kid was in the coffee shop while I was waiting for my own jolt of caffeine and he goes, "Uh, Mrs. _____, you know how we're reading about that Jewish stuff right now?" (he's repeating the class with another teacher and referring to Night, a holocaust novel) "Yep, I sure do," I responded. He continued, "Well, there are some kids in my class who are laughing at some of the scenes in the book, and it's really annoying. I did that last year."  I seriously had to hold back my tears of freaking joy because I believe that was his way of apologizing for his behavior last year. Maybe he wasn't totally beyond saving after all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday's List: Favorite TV Shows

It's that time again! Today's list is favorite TV shows and, well, I just don't really keep up with that many shows anymore. I'm kind of thankful for this fact though, and we're even giving up our satellite again when this contract is up. Here's my list anyway:

1. The Office: This show makes me laugh ridiculously hard. The characters are hilarious, the story lines are beautifully random, and the writing is just plain funny. This is probably the only show that Matt and I both love equally and actually watch on a regular basis. Brilliance.

2. Say Yes to the Dress: I can watch this show for hours, and I honestly don't know why. It's just a bunch of girls with outrageous budgets trying on wedding dresses at Kleinfeld. Whose idea was this?

3. Bridezillas: Again with the wedding shows. Here's another one I could easily get sucked into watching a mega-marathon of (much to my husband's chagrin). In fact, during my wedding planning days, I was "forbidden" to watch it because it gave me nightmares. And it's been three years since I planned a wedding...go figure.

4. Property Ladder: I secretly want to flip a house, so I live that dream vicariously through this show.

5. The Big Bang Theory: This show is so stinking funny and through it I can embrace my inner nerd. :) I actually don't even know when it come on TV, but I'm happy to just watch the episodes that Matt downloads to his mp3 player.

Past loves (honorable mention): Friends (classic), The O.C. (guilty pleasure), The Bachelor(ette) (Jason ruined it for me), Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice (just don't have time to follow a storyline)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Catching up.

It seems I have disappeared from the blogosphere, but school's back in full swing, which means that I am, too.

I loved loved loved my time "off" this past week, so it was beyond difficult to get out of bed this morning to come to school, especially since I have a teething (translation: fussy, won't sleep, gnawing-her-hands-off) baby who would only sleep right next to me last night (after countless attempts to put her down in her crib) and a now-very-sick husband who woke up with chills and a fever, tried to go to school, but failed and is now wallowing in misery at home.

Here are some glimpses of our life from the past week:

Time with Matt's family
This girl is eating like a champ! (She even wants to hold the spoon...)
Dancing at Adam and Melissa's wedding
Taking Avery to the Water Wall (where Matt proposed to me...awww)
Thanksgiving Day with my familia
Black Friday is for shopping? Nah, not this year. Chick-Fil-A with Jenn, Julie, and Kari instead.Drive-In with siblings and cousins! (Planet 51 [liked it] and The Blind Side [loved it])
Photo shoot by Al
My cute family :)
It's tough to miss a week of blogging-- sorry for the picture overload! At least now I'm semi-caught up. Whew. Check that one off the list.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I'm still here. Except that here means out of town, which also means that I have no way to post the mass of pictures from our trip so far. I'll have to keep you in suspense until tomorrow at least. But here's what we've been up to:
  • Road trip Friday night (Avery slept the whole time. No joke! I really hope this good-traveler thing lasts for awhile because we tend to be on the road a lot...)
  • Rehearsal dinner for Adam and Melissa's wedding on Saturday (Pappasito's fajitas+Heather=love)
  • Church Sunday morning (after sleeping until TEN am and leaving 20 minutes later) and wedding Sunday night. (p.s. the wedding was gorgeous and I will be posting pictures)
  • Monday was Waterwall (where Matt proposed) and Galleria day, but it was tainted by dealing with texts of crazy neighbor drama and animal control threats. Not an easy fix when you're 4 hours away and they're just lying and having control issues.
  • Today is Thanksgiving! Well, Thanksgiving Part One. Since we won't be here on Thursday, we're celebrating a little early with Matt's family. You don't see me complaining about having two feasts!
And here's what's ahead:
  • Leaving bright and early tomorrow morning
  • Making our top-secret Thanksgiving dessert and side dish (probably after a mad dash to the store since I [oops] didn't plan ahead)
  • Thursday is Thanksgiving Part Two with my family. (Aaah, food, family, Cowboys, and Black Friday ads)
  • Friday is time with Jenn! Ohmygoodness I MISS this girl! Then movie date with Amy (don't know what we're seeing yet, but I know that we will not be seeing New Moon. Blech.) and maybe getting my Christmas stuff out of the attic. That might be a little ambitious.
  • Saturday is picture day! My super-duper photographer sister is taking our family pictures and I.can't.wait.
  • Sunday is filled, too (go figure), and hopefully in between all the planning and going going going, we'll find some time to just sit, be thankful, and enjoy the company of friends and family.
Speaking of that, I'm out... Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday Five

I've been on temporary blog hiatus because, quite frankly, I've been wallowing in a sea of self-pity. As seen in my last post, my week didn't start off so hot, and folks, it only got worse from there. Instead of recounting all the ridiculous little things that amounted to the huge mess that is me this week, I will rejoice that IT IS FRIDAY, which brings me to...

1. This week was a slap in the face lesson in perspective. Yes, many crummy crummy things happened back to back to back to back to, well you get my point. I know too many people who are dealing with cancer, struggling to get pregnant, going through a divorce, trying to make ends meet, you name it. My "problems" seem so insignificant in light of true suffering. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that these trials are only temporary, and instead of whining about all that is going "wrong" in my life, I should point my attention away from myself and onto a hurting world.

2. This girl is all over the place. I'm afraid to see how active she gets when she can actually crawl instead of just roll herself everywhere. Look out, world! (p.s. Ignore the red eyes and drool; she has clogged tear ducts and is seriously teething.)
3. Cereal and I have a great relationship. Except that it's getting a little out of hand and I must get it under control. I'm sitting here (on m conference, not teaching, silly) munching on dry oatmeal squares (so yummy, by the way!), and I feel ridiculous. Yesterday I even brought my fancy portable cereal bowl and ate real cereal with real milk in my very own classroom. It was brilliance. I digress. In my kitchen at this moment, I have no fewer than 8 boxes of cereal. Yes, EIGHT. I can't help it. The sales/coupon combo that results in $1.50 cereal boxes calls to me. It's a problem.

4. We leave for Houston today (and I finally got the house/dog sitter problem solved-- thanks Alex and Sarah!), and I have not packed. Ugh, why do I always do this?!?! It's not like I haven't known we were going on this trip for months. So after the bell rings at 3:45 and I'm able to leave at 4, I'm jetting out those doors, packing my bags, and leaving this town for five whole days. I need a break. (But I will miss my crazy little puppies.)

5.  Shout out to the Company Girls. It's Friday coffee, and while I don't actually have coffee right now (does cereal count?), I'm hoping to actually have time to browse some blogs today now that I'm not swimming through a to-be-graded pile of research papers.

Thank you, Lord, for Fridays.