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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

Things.

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.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Dear Parents of English II Students,

No, your child may not do anything extra to earn extra credit for last six-weeks, unless that "anything extra" is to reverse time and put forth more effort on their "reasearch papper." Had they shown concern for their missing work while there was still time to complete it, they might be one of the 65% of my students who actually passed this six-weeks.

Yes, your precious darling can still receive a zero for their mechanics grade even though they "turned it in." They made enough mistakes to warrant a negative grade; the zero was generous. You're welcome.

No, I do not hate your student. In fact, I really do care about his or her success in and out of my classroom. We actually have a pretty good relationship, and your student will perform better in class (and in life) if you will let them learn these lessons, albeit the hard way, without making excuses for them and telling them that it's all the teacher's fault.

Mrs. !@#$%

It's been a bad day.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And the Angels Rejoiced: Weekend Update

I am DONE with grading research papers! Hallelujah! *Cue angelic melody.* Now if those dang Cowboys could've just gotten it together, it would've been a much better end-of-the-weekend.

Here's the weekend recap:

FRIDAY

(Scrapbooking at church. I just made cards. I'm determined to use up my huge drawer of scraps, thus the following cards.)

SATURDAY

(Catch up with Jenn on the phone. Only two more weeks until I see my long-lost best friend!)

(Hang out at Brooke and Dave's garage sale.)

(Stall some more with the grading.)

(Okay, finally sit down to grade. These are the two casualties from this treacherous project: my smashed pinky and my beloved purple pen. RIP.)

(Make a trek to see the All-Region choirs perform. This is where Matt was all day. Boo for Saturday without him. Avery was a pro though and sat through the entire concert. We are seriously spoiled. And she really does smile, I promise, even though I apparently can't catch it on camera anymore.)

SUNDAY

(Praise team practice. Grade during Sunday School. Worship service.)

(Home. Lunch. Grade some more.)

(Choir practice. Avery's learning already.)

(Parents' house for a delayed Cowboy-watching. Oh, and more grading.)

(Grading complete! Breathe again.)

I feel so beyond relieved to be finished right now, but that will probably only last until tomorrow. I have a feeling that once some of my precious kiddos see their grades, I'll have some angry parent emails to deal with. Such is life. For now, Avery's fast asleep, and I have a date with Matt and a cold beverage waiting for me in the living room. Until next time, have a great week!



Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Five!

Happy Friday! Here's the five.

1. I love love love Christmas, but enough with all the Christmas music and decorations out the second Halloween is over! There's this little holiday in between called Thanksgiving, and I think we should celebrate that and acknowledge the bounty of blessings that we already have before everybody goes nutso over Christmas Consumerism. Ugh. Speaking of Christmas Consumerism, I am sooooo very excited about our Christmas giving this year. Mwahahaha. It's a surprise (duh), so you won't get to know about it until the 26th, but I'll tell you this. It's good. 

2.  I missed yesterday's All About Avery, so here's a quick rundown: she's eating a little bit of rice cereal every day now, rolling over like nobody's business, doing this sweet little scratchy thing with her hands (like she's scratching your back when you hold her-- she even gave Nutmeg a great belly rub this morning!), and sleeping 9-10 hours a night! She loves being on her tummy now and is becoming such a little flirt!

3.  I have been Superwoman the last 48 hours. I've been cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and winning grocery gift cards (no joke!), on top of grading, grading, grading. I really hope Matt's not getting used to this. :)

4. I have started every item with the word "I," so I guess I'll continue it... I had a fun surprise visit from the Sanders girls yesterday! They happened to be in town, and I happened to be home, so we just happened to get together. They hadn't even met Avery yet, so this visit was long overdue!  

5.  I only have 27 research papers left to grade (as a result of my beastly grade day that helped me grade 41 in one school day), which means that I might reach my goal of finishing before Sunday! Whew, I'll be so glad when they're done. 

 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

***Edit: The original post was written when I wasn't quite coherent, so instead of leaving my ramblings posted for all to see, I'll leave this...

One of my biggest fears at the moment is that our freedoms are being chipped away (in small increments of course) until finally we'll be left wondering what in the world happened. I'm not an irrational person, but I believe that our current president has surrounded himself by some pretty shady people and is making some awful decisions for our country. Quite frankly, some of these decisions scare me. For that reason, I am so thankful for the freedom we have in Christ and for the power He has over any human ruler.

Enough midnight rambling. In the last few minutes of Veteran's Day, I'm going to leave you with this video clip because, as lame as the Gaither Vocal Band can be, this song never fails to give me chills. David Phelps is one of my favorite male voices, and this is one reason why.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday's List: Fall Fashion and Accessories

It's back! I'm still not overly excited about this week's list because I'm no fashionista, but here's my list of Fall Fashion & Accessories.
  • Layering tees. I just stocked up on some J. Crew long-sleeved tees for this very purpose. They make spring/summer clothes last through fall.
  • Scarves. Love love love.
  • Ballet flats. I love heels, but they don't love me. Therefore, I love flats even more! Here are my favorites:
  • Hoodies. I live in these after school, and they're pretty much my favorite item of clothing. I guess that's the tomboy in me that's never quite gone away.
  • Turtleneck sweaters
  • Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Candles from Bath and Body Works. Those count as an accessory, right?
Speaking of candles, I scored a free Glade candle tonight at Walmart just by printing off this coupon. The coupon is for $3.50 off any Glade Home Fragrance item, and the 4 oz. candles were $2.25 at my local Walmart, thus leaving the $1.25 overage to help cover the dish soap that I so desperately needed. (p.s. Thanks, Brooke, for giving us some to hold us over!) And now my house smells like yummy apple cinnamon! Yay for fall!

Okay, it's your turn. What are your fall favorites?


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekend Update

I'm supposed to be grading papers right now, so shhhhhh. Because what I really want to be doing while grading said papers is lying on the ground banging my fists on the (still dirty because I haven't had time to clean) floor while screaming in my best toddler-temper-tantrum voice, "Did I not teach you anything for the past four weeks in which I figuratively held your hand and walked you through the entire process step-by-step?!?!"

But alas, I'm thinking this might be a better distraction outlet for my energy. Here's our weekend wrap-up in (mostly) pictures.

Matt had to work late at a choir fundraiser, so we were going to get a (very) late start to Austin. In the meantime, I went with the parents to celebrate Nick's birthday. Hey, they said Babe's. How do you say no to that?
Saturday we got to spend the WHOLE day with Candie, Ricky, and Jacob! We went to the Round Rock outlets, and I think I was a little too excited because we spent waaaay too much money. However, in all fairness (to myself of course), I hadn't been shopping in over a year (maternity clothes don't count). I did land three pairs of shoes, two cute Gap sweaters, four layering long-sleeved t-shirts from J. Crew, and some a-mazing J. Crew jeans (on sale for $18 thankyouverymuch). Okay, fine. I admit it. I bought more clothes for Avery. But The Children's Place had THE cutest dresses on ridiculous clearance, and then the Gap Baby outlet had a super sale, and they have a Carter's STORE, and well, let's just say I don't have enough willpower to go to outlets.

Avery and Jacob had fun though.I think we wore them out. I did get to snuggle with Jacob for a few minutes though, and he is itty bitty. He's smaller than Avery was even at birth, so it was a new experience for me to hold someone that small! He is a sweetheart though and I think I approve of this arranged marriage between him and Avery. (Although she's a major cougar right now seeing that she's 4x his age!)

We really enjoyed our time hanging out with Candie and Ricky. We only get to see them once every few months, so we're already looking forward to our next get together (New Years Eve with Tiff and Ross! Woohoo!). Friends like them are hard to find. We love you guys!

When we got home, I was so uninspired to grade papers that I did this:Kitchen is clean, Avery is sound asleep in bed, the blog is updated, and those papers are still waiting for me. This is one date I'd really like to stand up.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Five.

I love...

1.  ...this blog. Go there. 

2. ...the fact that research papers are due today, and although that also means I now have to grade all of them, I don't even care as long as the end is officially in sight. Bonus: Up on my board I wrote the order that everything needed to be organized in their turn-in folder (obsessive compulsive much?), and I snuck in "chocolate so I'm in a good mood when I grade your paper" to see if they noticed (joking of course! or, uh, not joking so much; it's relative), so I now have a mini-fridge full of Kit Kats! Now when I'm done grading papers, I will also fit back into my post-pregnancy-still-a-little-fat jeans. Wait, that's not a good thing? Dangit.

3. ...that we're driving to Austin tonight to see Candace, Ricky, and Jacob! We've never met the little Jake-O-Lantern, and we're so excited to spend some time with some of our favorite people. Not to mention that they live very close to some amazing outlets. Score! 

4. ...Thanksgiving. It's coming up so fast, and I cannot WAIT. A whole week off= a wedding weekend, catching up with the in-laws, family pictures with Allison (she's amazing, check her out if you're looking for a photographer), Thanksgiving at Nana's (yum!), movies in an actual theater (vs. the good ol' RedBox standby), shopping, decorating for Christmas, and spending the whole week with Avery and Matt. Those moments truly are priceless.

5. ...Google Reader. It lets me continue my blog-reading obsession much more quickly than going to each individual blog.  Side note: If you only read my blog on Facebook, you're missing out on a super-cute layout (that I'm actually looking to change up a little once I get the hang out the poor man's version of Photoshop, aka Paint.net) and links to some awesome blogs (seriously, check 'em out on the left side of my blog).  Oh, and while you're there (or, uh, here), leave a comment. I like to know who my stalkers are. :)

Have a great weekend!
 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

All About Avery

This post is officially two days late, but Happy 4-Monthday, Avery!  Daddy took you to the doctor yesterday, mostly because I couldn't handle watching you get shots again. Your doctor was very impressed with how smart you are (that's to be expected though, considering who your parents are! hehe).  You're already...
  • Blowing raspberries
  • Rolling over (tummy to back AND back to tummy; and you're an ambiturner! Zoolander would be so proud.)
  • Talking all the time
  • Following Mommy and Daddy's voices
  • Grabbing on to and holding everything
  • And growing like crazy!
You are now...
  • 26 inches long (and off the charts for your age!)
  • 16.5 pounds (the perfect weight for your height-- plus you just have the cutest little cheeks)
You're growing up way too fast!

We love you,


p.s. Onesie stickers are from this site.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Shopping Report

Tuesday's list has taken a hiatus until there's a topic I feel is worthy. Hopefully next week. Until then, check out my grocery scores from last night!

Matt and I go on a grocery date every other Tuesday night. Yes, we're dorks. It is a fun (and productive) way to hang out though, and we always have a blast. It doesn't hurt that we eat at Chick-Fil-A before the shopping commences. Full tummy=Happy Heather. Plus, Tuesday night is family night, so you get a free kids meal with a meal purchase (and I just eat the kids meal anyway, so yippee!). Now I realize that many of you are completely disinterested in my grocery purchases. Totally fine. However, I saved a lot of money by only putting in a couple hours' work, so if you're looking for some inspiration, here ya go...

First stop: Costco.

- I was a little disappointed because this was the first time I haven't had a formula check to use on the Similac. Sad day. It's still significantly cheaper to buy it at Costco (vs. Target, Walmart, etc.) though, so all is not lost.
- Also, note the massive amount of ground turkey. I LOVE ground turkey now and substitute it for ground beef in pretty much everything. I'm pretty sure it's healthier (I'm sure my mom and/or Kati will correct me if I'm wrong), but it's also cheaper and lasts us FOREVER. Good bulk purchase.

Total: $51.20 (Note: these bulk purchases last us a really long time, so don't freak out too much at the total)

Second stop: Target.

- In the past I've been able to scan as many diaper coupons as I had and they all counted, but apparently I've been outsmarted by a computer (don't you hate it when that happens?). So, the 3 packs of diapers I was going to get for free ended up costing $26 (which is still better than the $37 that they were).
- Toothpaste: $0.89
- Cereal: 4 boxes for $1.47 each (on sale and with coupons [normally $3.29 each])

- We cheat. We really like having a fire in the fireplace, but we use *gasp* fire logs. I had a sweet $12/2 coupon that I'd been waiting to match up to a sale. Sooo, $20 box on sale for $17, minus $6 coupon = $11 a box!

Total: $62.25 (not too shabby for including 3 packs of diapers and 2 boxes of firelogs)
Overall savings at Target: $43.79

Third stop: Kroger.
This is where I planned to do the majority of our food shopping since A) they double and triple coupons and B) they were having a serious sale. We got so much that it needed two pictures...

There is way too much food for me to go into a detailed list of savings, so here are some highlights:
- Larabars: On sale for $1.25 each, $0.40 coupon that double to $0.80, so $0.45 each. These things are totally natural (made from dates, Kati! I ate them!), and SO yummy.
- Rotel: Free (with sale and doubled coupons)
- Coffeemate creamer: $0.75 each with coupons
- Turkey lunchmeat: 3 tubs for $2.50 total (manager's special + coupons)

I can't remember the rest of the pairings, but our coupon savings alone were $23.85, bonus coupons (doubled/tripled) were $7.18, and sale stuff worth $30.75 for a total savings at Kroger of $61.78.
Total: $91.87

If you looked at the previous pictures, you would notice there was a serious absence of produce. That's because we got it all at Sprouts. I.LOVE.THAT.STORE.

Third stop: Sprouts.

It's a lot of produce. It GOOD produce, and I can't wait to eat it. I've already had one of the apples and ohmygoodness it is so much better than what is typically at Target and HEB (and I used to love HEB's produce).

Total: $16.89 (except I did have to explain to the cashier that yes, I gave him $27 in cash on purpose because I didn't want ones back. Sigh.)

GRAND GROCERY TOTAL: $138.58
TOTAL GROCERY SAVINGS: $69.07

I know that there are people who save twice that much in a given trip, but I'm giving myself a pat on the back for saving almost $70 without spending hours over the Sunday paper with scissors or shelling out money for a company to do the hard work for me. I figure it took a maximum of 3 hours (over the course of about a week whenever I had a few minutes here and there) , which is equivalent to making $23/hr.

Not too bad for easy work and a date with Matt and Avery.