Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meet Max

After my sister-in-law's graduation today, my friend Kim dropped her Maltese, Max, off at my house. Her family is going to the beach for a week, and I'm the proud pet-sitter. Just look how cute this little guy is!He was a little drowsy when he first got here. Kim gave him some pills for the ride here, because he gets carsick. It must be pretty bad, because it was only a 10 minute drive for him! But he pretty much crashed when he got here. He laid with me on the couch while I watched one of my favorite movies of all time: Pollyanna. It just happened to be on TCM today. So we had a relaxing afternoon!

Gabby is not too sure about our little visitor. But despite a few hisses and one or two swats, she has been minding her manners. I'm hoping that they will get along by the end of the week! Poor Max, he keeps Naively running after Gabby, wanting to play. He doesn't realize she's still a little nervous and jealous of him! So I hope he doesn't get hurt.

I managed to capture a few pictures of Gabby and Max, trying to get used to each other. It was adorable.

At first, Gabby just hid behind a chair.
Then when Max and I were snuggling on the couch, Gabby got brave enough to jump up and have a peak at him.
She kept slowly putting her paw out and quickly tapping him, like she was trying to figure out if he was real, or alive or something. So cute
She finally got brave enough to come all the way up on the couch to check out the situation.
And then Max moved a little bit. He had just been staring that whole time. It freaked Gabby out, and she hissed and ran across the room. She jumped up on the table, and spent the rest of the afternoon there. Just STARING. If looks could kill...
Immediately, in Max's drugged up state, he fell asleep. Right on my stomach...he's a cuddler! I had to check to make sure he was breathing a few times...that pill really knocked him out!Gabby wanted so badly to keep staring at Max, just in case he made a sudden movement or did something interesting. But after awhile she just couldn't keep her eyes opened anymore. So we all had a restful afternoon :-)
Later, Luke and I had a bit of a date night. Well, we went to Taco Bell and Giant Eagle. Not exactly a "date" but still fun! I hope we can always just have fun together no matter what we do. I'm so lucky to be married to my best friend!

Well, I'm headed upstairs to watch a scary movie with Luke. I'm glad I have Luke, Gabby, and Max to cuddle with so I don't get scared! lol.

And I'm hoping that Max and Gabby will become friends this week. Gabby's gotta love him. Who wouldn't love this face?!
Summer countdown: 3 DAYS!!! I couldn't be more ready for some time off to get this house in order, try out some new recipes, and just have fun!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

iPhone Day!

Today is a day that Luke and his best friend JC have been waiting for for a long time. Luke even lovingly named today "iPhone Day." Our cell phone plans were up, and JC's just happened to end sometime last week too. So we all planned to go out and get our new phone upgrades this morning together. I just wanted a nicer phone, but I wasn't picky about what kind. Luke and JC, however, have been saving for MONTHS for an iPhone. Luke's been saving all of his budgetted splurge money for today's big purchase. He was very excited.

We arrived at the AT&T store at almost the exact moment that they were opening the door. Last night, Luke jokingly said he was going to sleep in a tent outside the store. And every time we drove past in the past few weeks, Luke has had to wipe the drool from his face :-P
I wanted to capture Luke's excitement in the parking lot while we were waiting for JC to get there. But Luke refused to cooperate. He refuses to play along whenever my camera makes an appearance. So here he is, looking "excited."
Once inside, Luke and JC headed straight for the iPhones, quickly told the sales people what they wanted, and spent the next 40 minutes buying them and having the sales associates give them quick tutorials. I, on the other had, was a typical woman, and spent a majority of the time going back and forth between phones, researching and making sure I picked out the most effeicient, cost effective phone. One that was still cute, though. In the end I decided on the Samsung Propel in green.

Once we finally exited the store, prized possessions in hand, I had to get a picture of JC and Luke with their iPhones. I told them they will probably want to remember this day for the rest of their lives :-P Don't they look happy?
And here's a picture of the iPhone itself. I had to beg Luke to please put it down while he was driving so we didn't get in an accident. Seriously.
The case is really RED, but somehow turned out pink in this picture. Trust me, my husband would not be caught dead with a pink phone case!

My little phone's not too shabby, either! For a mere $50, I got this little green beauty:
Call me weird, but this adorable green design on the back may have been the final selling point for this phone. I can't resist it, and absolutely adore this shade of green. Pink is my favorite color, but green's a close second.
So this morning was fun! I needed a new phone very badly. My old one had gotten lost out in my driveway in the snow for 3 days this past winter. Consequently, It was doing this thing where it would just shut off randomly for no reason at any given time. So I'm glad to have a new one! My goal is to keep this one and NOT ruin it, until our two year plan is up. Let's see if I can do it!

And I'd like to share some other good news! It's not secret that I LOVE to take pictures. I would love to learn more about photography, and am very interested. There's only one problem. Pardon my negativity, but my camera is a piece of crap.Luke bought it for me the Christmas before last. He only bought it because it was pink, and he thought the charger for my OLD Kodak Easyshare would work for it. It did not end up working. And Kodak cameras are not the best quality. At least the ones I've had haven't been. I've wanted a new one for so long! Finally, last night Luke casually mentioned that we should get one!! I was so excited! Turns out he's regretting purchasing the pink camera, because he's too embarrassed to take it anywhere with him!, we'd like one that takes better pictures. So we're starting a "camera fund" in the budget. We'll have ALL OF OUR DEBT PAID OFF IN THE NEXT WEEK!!! (except for the house). So it's about time to re-organize the entire budget, and we'll be able to add in a few "fun funds," like the camera fund, budget more money into our vacation fund, start saving for our fully funded emergency fund (money to cover 3-6 months expenses), and a "dream house down payment fund." Getting out of debt is fun you guys! If you're interested, you should definitely check out Dave Ramsey's website. We took his Financial Peace University class this winter, and it seriously changed our lives.

ANYWAY, all that to say, we're looking to buy this camera when we've saved enough for it. Perhaps it will be an anniversary gift to each other this July :-)
And I made Luke think about possibly buying a NICE camera when we have kids. Like, not a point & shoot digital camera. He wasn't a huge fan of the idea when he saw the pricetags on some of those cameras, but hey, we've got a lot of time to plan and budget :-)

And that's enough talk about "STUFF."

The rest of this weekend is going to be so great! Tonight one of our great friends, Michael, is having his graduation party. And there's a swimming party afterward at his house! I don't think my body is quite ready to be seen in a bathing suit yet this year, but at least it will be dark later!

Tomorrow Luke's youngest sister, Diana, is graduating from high school! I can't believe it...she was in middle school when we started dating. So we will be attending that after church tomorrow. And then tomorrow night Max is coming to stay with us for a week!! He is the first houseguest that we've had at our new house, and I really hope he is comfortable here! He's not picky though. As long as I keep him separated from Gabby, I think everything will be fine! Ha!

Here is the adorable little fella...
He's the reason I want a Maltese of my own. Too bad the strict budget won't allow it. He was an expensive little guy! But I'm trying to talk Luke into going to Alchemy Acres, the local pet rescue place, sometime next week. We might be able to find a little guy or gal down there to bring home with us! Summer starts in 4 days, after all. And I will have all the time in the world to train him or her! We will see....I'll let this week be a test week with Max to see how Gabby reacts!

I think it's about time to add another member to this family...even if it is just a furry one ;-)

Friday, May 29, 2009

What I'm Reading

Today was track & field day, and I got to run an event: the 3 legged race. It was fun, but it was a long day. Today paired with the field trip to the carnival yesterday morning and making homemade ice cream in the afternoon outside with the kids has resulted in some seriously funky tan lines (well, burn lines, to be honest). But it was fun! I love all the end of the year festivities! And we only have 3 days left: 2 with kids, and then Wednesday is teacher report day.

Tonight will be fun! We have a graduation party for my cousin Marc that we're leaving for in a few minutes, then we're going to try to swing by my friend Kristin's bonfire before we head to the drive-in theater to see Night at the Museum 2 and the Wolverine movie. I will inevitably sleep during the second movie.

Before we leave, I wanted to squeeze in a quick post to update you on what I've been reading lately. I started reading "A Thorn in her Heart" by Liz Curtis Higgs, but realized I had had enough historical fiction lately. When I went out with my friend Rachel on Thursday night she wouldn't stop talking about an amazing book she had just read. And Rachel doesn't like to read. She said she read this one in one sitting because she couldn't put it down. It's called "The Quiet Room."
It's a book about a woman with schizophrenia and her struggle to overcome it. It is written by the actual woman while she was recovering. I picked it up at the library, and can't wait to read it! That kind of stuff is so interesting to me.

I've decided after that, I'm going to read "Nights in Rodanthe" by Nicholas Sparks. His books are so sweet, but they are quick easy reads, which I am in the mood for right now!
And the final 2 books I'm planning to read right now are the last two in the Twilight series. When I go to Kristin's tonight, she is going to let me borrow the last 2 from her. I'm sure I will finish those quickly, because those books are like crack to me :-)
So that's what I'm planning on reading in the next few weeks. i'll let you know if they're any good!

Now I'm off to enjoy a night of good food and good movies! Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Feeling Adventurous

Before I begin, I just want to praise God for good friends. Now that my best friend, Rachel, is done with nursing school, she has time to hang out again! Last night I went to Dunkin Donuts with Rachel and a few other friends. We stayed there talking for at least 2 hours, and I didn't get home until 11:45 PM! It was so great to catch up. I haven't had girl friends to hang out with in awhile, and I'm just really happy, and thankful!!

Okay, moving on...

Last weekend I had to buy a few things at Giant Eagle. As I was walking through the check-out, I noticed something that caught my eye: Taste of Home's Cooking for Two magazine. Now, I usually make it a rule not to buy ANYTHING in the check-out line. I think it's a budget buster, and usually I end up regretting the purchase afterward. However, I made an exception, and I'm glad I did! The magazine was full of delicious-looking summery recipes. They are all set up as little recipe cards, with the picture and comment on front, and the recipe on the back. I had such a fun time looking through the magazine and cutting out all the recipes that looked good to me. I ended up with a lot of them!

Since summer starts for me next Wednesday, I have started to go into "summer-mode." Summer is my time to get to be a homemaker! And it makes me feel very adventurous in the kitchen. I'm going to slave away in the kitchen next week, trying a plethora of new recipes. I. Can't. Wait.

Here are some of the meals on next week's agenda:

White chili...I'll make tacos to go with it
Santa Fe Chicken and Rice
Patty melts with fries
For dessert one night I'm going to make this frozen raspberry cheesecake:
In addition to my "Cooking for Two" recipes, I'm trying a few other new ones, too! Like a cheesy chicken recipe made with Cheese-Its, crock pot pork chops, and the one I'm most excited about, apple dumplings! I really hope they turn out okay!

I'm really excited about trying all these new recipes. I'll let ya know how they turn out, and if there are any kitchen disasters (which I'm sure there will be!)

This summer one of my goals is to become a better cook. And what better way is there than to practice, practice, practice? Not only that, but I want to make sure we EAT AT THE TABLE. We're bad people....I'm guilty of making a nice meal, and then eating it on the sofa (insert red face here). I want to get in the habit of eating at the table as a family. Even though it's just the two of us for now :-)

Happy cooking!


Goodbyes are always hard for me. Even though I'm totally excited about summer, I'm really sad to say "goodbye" to my students. I've had a lot of them for both years that I've worked there, and even if I do take the job they've offered me, I won't have the same students next year. So it's hard.

Also, I'll have a new classroom next year if I take the job they've offered me (math intervention teacher). While I'm SUPER excited to have my own room, I'm sad to say goodbye to my "home" for the past 2 years. So I took some pictures of it today. The teacher I share a room with has pretty much completely cleaned out our room already, so it's a little depressing :-( But here they are:

Goodbye empty white board and bulletin board in the back of the room:
Goodbye empty bulletin board and bookshelves. (Yay that I will have my own next year, though! I didn't get to decorate this one)
Goodbye front white board and work table. This is the spot where I spent a lot of my small group instruction time, and administered lots of tests.
Goodbye to my first official teacher's desk! I spent many planning periods sitting there making plans and grading papers. And possibly reading a few blogs, too ;-)
Goodbye to my lifesaving planner. This is my school planner, because I know I have a lot of them! But I guess I won't need it much this summer!
Goodbye to my top, left desk drawer. This is where I stash all my fun stuff like my phone (yes, I text on the job. Sue me :-P Only during breaks, though), book just in case I have extra time on my lunch break, and there's usually some sort of candy or snack in there, too. Trust me, teachers NEED chocolate sometimes.
Goodbye morning playground duty. I have not enjoyed you from 7:30-8:00 every morning (although I did have every third week off as you can see from the schedule). Breaking up fights and taking care of playground injuries is not my favorite way to start the day (can you tell there's only 1 week left on my list that isn't crossed off?? Yay!)
And goodbye to our dead classroom plants. Mrs. C (Crazy lady whom I share a room with) thought it would be a good idea to teach the kids responsibility by planting some things that THEY would have to water and take care of. We weren't allowed to help them. You can see how that turned out. Lesson obviously NOT learned. But Mrs. C finally threw them out today. I was getting terribly sick of looking at them. It was depressing to see all that deadness!
And that's it: my classroom/home for the past 2 years. I'm a little sad to leave. But whether or not I take the job they've offered me, I will be doing bigger and better things next year. I'm still not sure if I will take it or not. They are offering for me to do a much harder and more time-consuming job, but not offering a higher pay or benefits. Before they offered the new job, I was planning on moving on next year. Now I'm not so sure. I could probably make more money subbing, and I would have a more flexible schedule. And I'm toying around with the idea of going somewhere TOTALLY different next year too. I'm not 100% sure that I want to get my masters in any type of education. I've been thinking about going back to school for library science. That way I could work in a public library, or if I still want to be working with kids, I could work in a school library. We'll see...I've got a lot of decisions to make this summer.

Oh, and just for the record, in case anyone read my post yesterday. I'm NOT pregnant. I was pretty sure I wasn't anyway, but just had that longing inside of me I guess. I was upset at first, but then realized it's probably for the best. We're not ready or even trying yet. I need to enjoy this stage of FREEDOM as newlyweds before I'm ready to add such a gargantuan, life-changing responsibility!

In the past year, Luke and I have gotten married, Luke got a new job, we rented an amazing apartment when we got married (which I miss!), we got our first pet, we bought a house, not to mention we became landlords, we renovated 2/3s or said house, and now no matter what I choose, I will be changing jobs next year. ISN'T THAT ENOUGH CHANGES FOR ONE YEAR?! I really think it has. And I'm ready to relax and enjoy life for awhile, change-free. I don't have a wedding to plan this summer, after all (unlike last year). So I'm happy for it to just be me and Luke for awhile longer! Our bodies are probably on stress-overload from all the changes, and I think we can live without the stress of a baby! ask me in a year or two, and I might say I'm ready. But for now, I'm content with life as it is!

So remember to live in the moment, seize the day, and don't wish for tomorrow! God gives us blessings each and every day, so don't be so busy looking to the future that you miss them! That's what I learned today :-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Hope none of this is TMI for anyone

Confession: I've had babies on the brain lately. Out of nowhere, and I don't know why.

Confession: When I was taking an antibiotic for my tooth infection, I DID find the label on the bottle that said it may stop the birth control pill from working. However, I found it a day or two late.

Confession: I looked up "early signs of pregnancy" on google last night, because there is a hope deep inside of me that I am pregnant, even though Luke and I haven't been trying.

Confession: I FEEL pregnant. Bloated, weird appetite, higher body temp. than normal. But I'm sure that's just wishful thinking.

Confession: I cried last night, because I'm pretty sure I'm probably NOT pregnant, but my hopes are already up.

Confession: I nonchalantly asked Luke if he'd be really upset if I got pregnant before we felt like we were ready. He shrugged and acted like he'd be okay with it, because it would be God's plan. That made me feel good.

All this to say, I don't know what's up with me. I know I'm not ready for a baby, but all of a sudden I have the strongest desire for one. Is this just part of being a woman? Does anyone else go through this sometimes?

I guess we will see tomorrow. Because that is supposed to be the start of my time of the month. I'm not sure why I just feel like I'm pregnant, but I'm pretty sure it's just wishful thinking. I wish this desire would just go away until Luke feels like he is ready!

Thanks for listening to my rant. Have a nice day :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Taste of Summer

This weekend has really felt like summer, and I keep forgetting that I still have a week-and-a-half of school left. It's been a perfectly beautiful, sunny weekend so far. It's been so much fun, but we've been so busy I haven't gotten much done!

Yesterday we had such a blast. After church, I visited with my parents and sister a little bit. Mom and Dad just got home from Myrtle Beach late Saturday night, so we hadn't seen them for a week. I think they had a good time. My dad even went parasailing...I told him I was jealous, because that was the #2 item on my bucket list. Anyway, we took my mom to Jimmy John's for lunch for some sandwiches, because her berthday was on Wednesday . When we got back, I ran home to get my bathing suit, Julie and I laid our blankets and towels out in the yard, We grabbed some water bottles, she had just turned on her mp3 player and I had just opened a magazine. I think Dad waited until we were perfectly comfortable before telling us he needed help opening their swimming pool. So we spent the next hour-and-a-half helping my mom and dad open it. So much for a relaxing Sunday afternoon! Just kidding, I was glad to help since now it will be ready in a day or 2 for swimmers :-)

I had to run home really quickly when we were done to get ready to head to Cleveland! 8 of us took a trip up to go to the Cavs watch party at the Q for game 3. I had no Cavs shirts, so Luke let me wear his "Witness" shirt. It was a little big, but at least I felt like I was a fan. It was so much fun, but the night ended badly because the Cavs lost :-( I kept saying that it would have been a lot more fun of a party if they had won! lol, but we had a blast anyway. We all just sat around the arena and they lowered the score board in the middle of the room and showed the game on it. I think if they had won, we all would have driven up again on Tuesday for the next game (it's free, after all!) But everyone decided not to since they lost. Which I'm okay with, I'm ready for a few relaxing days after this weekend!

Before I post my pictures, I just have to show a quick clip from youtube. I you're following the NBA playoffs at all, you know that on Friday, Lebron James made a 3 pointer with 1 second left in the game to win it. Here is a clip of our local news, which was airing while the game ended. It's hilarious...after they win, check out the guy in the background on the right can see him dancing around, and it's hilarious! this clip actually made it on Sportscenter, too.

Okay, back to last night. Here are my pictures:
Here is our whole group at Steak and Shake before the game. Notice that Rachel and I are the only girls. We had fun, though!
We parked kind of far away from The Q, so we had to walk through Cleveland to get there.
Here's the inside of the Q
Here's the scoreboard AKA "Q Tube" where we watched the game.
Here we are, ready for the game to begin
They had pregame entertainment, plus during commercials there were fun contests and performances by the Cavalier Girls, Moondog, and the Scream Team (a group of breakdancers who were amazing).

Here's the Scream Team
Moondog tried some breakdancing of his own
And toward the end of the game, I got this adorable picture of Moondog sitting on the floor watching the end of the game with this adorable little boy
So it was fun, even though the loss made it bittersweet. We didn't get home until around 1, so I'm glad I could sleep in this morning! We don't have much planned for today, so I plan on getting this house organized and cleaned! It's turned into quite the disaster area since we weren't home for more than a few minutes at a time all weekend! Then at around 4, Luke's aunt is having a cookout. It should be fun, because they have a huge lake that we swim in sometimes, and we have a bocce ball tournament at every party there. I hate to admit that I do hope we get home before 8, though, because I have lots of TV to watch tonight! Monday is my TV night. Here Come the Newlyweds starts tonight, and I really want to watch that. Then I have to watch the Bachelorette, and the new season of Jon and Kate Plus 8 starts tonight. Plus I have to watch The Hills at 10. So I guess I'll be frying my brain tonight with that much TV to watch! But really, Monday is the only night that I watch that much TV, I promise.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day, and that you remember those who have fought for our freedom.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Busy, Busy

It's been a long, but fun day. We were kind of all over the place, and tomorrow will be much the same. I don't mind it, though!

To begin my Memorial Day weekend, Julie and I went on a walk this morning. It was GORGEOUS. 80 degrees and sunny. We walked all over our sleepy little town, taking pictures to document our trip :-)
Flags are out for Memorial Day
And I found a little red, white, and blue in some other places, too!
We visited our old elementary school
Julie embraced her inner child while we were there:
And just in case you needed more convincing that we are country people:
[boosted the color just a tad in the next one:-P]And I know you've always wanted to know "Where the Sidewalk Ends."
And I thought I'd share a piece of my past with girl scout troop made this peace pole for our town 13 years ago!


After our walk, I had just enough time to come home, eat lunch and shower before heading to Pittsburgh to watch Luke's sister, Diana, play in a huge vollleyball tournament. Diana is amazing, and is actually playing for Malone University next year. It was so much fun to watch her and her teamates! They played their first match at 3:30, and annhialated the other team in 3 games (best of 5). Her next match wasn't until 8, so we obviously had some time to kill. I was glad, because It meant we got to explore downtown Pittsburgh. I had only been there a time or two before. Of course I took a few pictures.

Here's a picture of the convention center where the tournament was held. This was about 1/4 of it. It was huge!
Here's the river, and PNC Park. And a yellow bridge.
There were cool boats
And ducks
And people kayaking...which I have decided is the 101st item I would like to add to my bucket list :-)
We took a walk out into the city...we didn't really end up going anywhere except Subway because we were FAMISHED, but the city was really beautiful!
And right as the sun was going down, Luke spotted this lovely party boat through the window of the Convention Center. He and I both spent prom on that exact boat, but not the same year! Luke was homeschooled, but went to prom on the boat with the girl he was dating 2 years before I went to my senior prom on the boat. What a coincidence! Too bad we weren't dating back then, I would have much rather gone to senior prom on this romantic boat with Luke than with my boyfriend at the time!
At 8:00, Di finally played her last game, and here team won easily again. The tournament goes on for two more days, but I'm excited to hear how far her team makes it. They're really good!

We ended our evening by making the 2 hour trip home, but we stopped for Blizzards halfway, which helped the time pass ;-)

Now it's very late, and I have another jam-packed day tomorrow. Be expecting lots more pictures tomorrow too, because we're headed up to Cleveland! It kind of feels like we're on a vacation with all these day trips we have planned this weekend. It's been fun so far!