Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Sayonara, May.  Hello, June!

Today was the last day of school for the kids so summer officially starts... tomorrow.  I just checked up on my vacation days and I have 16 days that I get to take between now and August 9.

That. Sounds. Fabulous.
Our neighborhood pool opened last weekend and we took advantage of it with some friends and a cooler of Lime a Ritas [that's margaritas.. in a can].  We even had a handstand contest [which I so totally LOST!]

 My mom and sisters are coming to Dallas tomorrow for a Girl's Weekend.  On our agenda: trips to Homegoods, hanging window treatments, sewing pillow covers, and hitting up the aforementioned neighborhood pool.

I am starting a Summer Bucket List.  I vow to make this summer carefree, lazy, productive and - most of all - fun.

Summer 2012 Bucket List [a work in progress]:

* Take {at least} 2 trips to the lake
* Vegas with my BFF's {trip booked}
* Home Loving: add some personal touches to our house
* Take and Pass both of my Teaching Certification Exams
* Read.  Read, read, read.
* Go to a water park
* Work out more {or, at all}
* Clean out my closet

What's on your summer bucket list?  Have you made one yet?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


We had a great Memorial Day weekend!  One of my cousins got married on Sunday and they had a photo booth at their reception.  We love a good photo booth!

My sister and I took a turn as well.

These are just some of my many cousins, and all our "plus ones" (husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc.)  My cousin David had just gotten married the week before (in Hawaii!) and came to the wedding reception straight from the airport with his new wife.  He is the super tan one on the left!

I'm so lucky to have such a great, big, wonderful extended family.  We figured out that after this weeding this weekend, Mark has officially met all of my cousins.  All 28 [i think] of them.  But now that we're all getting married and having kiddos, the family gatherings are quickly expanding!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Home Tour: Living Room

We've been in our house just about three months now.  Every room is still a work in progress [some way more than others], but things are mostly coming together so that it really feels like home.  I thought I'd start our tour out with the room we spend the most time in: the Living Room.

First up, here's how it looked before we bought the house.  I took these photos during our inspection, so everything here is the previous owner's stuff.  The man we bought our house from was pretty much a rock star when it came to updating homes.  Our house was built in 1962, so I can only imagine what it looked like before he went to work on it!

Here's the fireplace wall before we moved in.  There is a built in entertainment center on the far side.

View from across the room, pre-us.

A close up of the built in entertainment center.  We knew our TV wouldn't fit here, so I had to get creative with this space.

Now for some real fun.  Here's the living room in the days after we moved in.  We had our furniture more or less figured out for in here, but it was still pretty empty.  As you can tell, all the moving really wore out Gus.

Here's a tiny fraction of the mess from the process of unpacking. 

And now, here's how it looks today!  I turned the entertainment center into an end-table of sorts, with a lamp, some photos and the iPod dock.

Behind the chair is the dine-in part of the kitchen.  Do you spot a Goose Cat?

Along the opposite wall of the living room we have our couch and ottoman.  The ottoman moves around so we have it in front of the chair sometimes too.  The frame collage is still a work in progress [the big orange flower isn't staying].  To the left you can see into the kitchen.

Our TV is on the far wall.  Someday it will get mounted on the wall. [also, I am watching House Hunters.  Of course]

The sad little clock in the corner isn't staying there.  We actually have two clocks hanging on this wall right now, trying to figure out what works where!

I think the built in works will without the TV.  I use the small shelves below for books and baskets filled with blankets and other...well, junk.

And in case you were wondering, Gus is still worn out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Well well, this week had some fun surprises for me.  First, Mark made the discovery that some bushes in our back yard are actually.... blackberry bushes!  He was trimming them back a few days ago [because they were growing out-of-control] and noticed that they had berries on them.  He came in and told me that we had berries we could eat on the bushes and my first thought was nah... they must be poisonous or something. [side note: when you were little, didn't you think every berry on every bush was poisonous? like if you ate it, you would no doubt become so sick you would die?]  well two nights ago he is outside spraying (the poison ivy, sigh) and comes back in to tell me that he ate one of the berries [my internal reaction: what??! you are so going to die!].  I go outside to investigate and sure enough, they look like blackberries.  I come back inside and google image "blackberry bush."  yes, yes. these do appear to be the same as what we have growing in our yard.


So I deem them safe enough and pull one off the branch.  and eat it.  without even rinsing it off.  seven-year-old me was a little freaked out, but grown up me thought they tasted fantastic.  So I picked some more.

That's got to be at least $2 worth of blackberries from the grocery store, right?? Growing for free!  Right in my backyard!  Thankyouverymuch previous owner.

The second big surprise happened yesterday after work, when an ordinary after school meeting turned into Oprah's Favorite Things in which our Head of School gave everyone one of these:

"You get an iPad!  You get an iPad!"

And we all got $100 iTunes gift cards to buy anything we want.  For real. Anything.  I can spend it all on One Direction mp3's if I want [I won't..].  It was a fun day and it got me super jazzed to start using these in the classroom next year.  Because, whoa, I'll be in the classroom next year.  In just 3 more months!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I am dragging this week.  Falling asleep at my desk.  Pretty much worthless when I get home in the afternoons.  There are ten days left of the school year, and then my job kicks into awesome mode.  In the summers, we work four day weeks with shortened hours.  And we dress down.  Like tshirt and shorts and flip flops.  Every day.  I am so ready for the year to end and the summer to start.  Plus, by August I will officially switch jobs and start TEACHING. Ahh. It makes me simultaneously excited/crazy scared.

In the meantime, I'm plowing through these last weeks, planning end-of-the year events and wrapping up projects.  Dreaming of summer days.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Three Years

Two days before Mother's Day in 2009, this guy asked me to marry him.  Here I am a few weeks later at a friend's wedding, flashing my bling.  Love him.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tick, tock, tick, tock

Happy Weekend!  I'm counting down the hours of this work day and looking forward to dinner with friends tonight.  It's my first weekend with no school work, so I plan to do it up right!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

There's a first time for everything

Well, I managed 29 years, 6 months and 5 days of life without ever mowing a lawn.  Thanks to having an older brother, I never had to do yard work growing up.  I unloaded the dishwasher plenty of times, but never had to mow the lawn or take out the trash.  Those were boy chores.  I couldn't avoid the trash once I started renting an apartment after college, but the lawn mower?  That I still managed to escape, thanks to getting married and hanging on to my boys-do-the-yard-work card.

But then, Mark went and had to have knee surgery.  And two and a half weeks later, we were becoming those people on our street.  The ones who don't mow their grass.  So I did what any girl who has never even turned on a lawn mower would do  Made my husband take pictures of me and the lawn mower.

And then, I mowed the lawn.  Front and back.  Dare I say it was almost fun?  I concentrated super hard on making the straight lines and realized it was a lot like vacuuming.  And i love vacuuming!  I told Mark I thought it was pretty fun and said he'd check back with me in August, when it's 109 degrees outside.  To which I flashed my boys-do-the-yard-work card and went back inside.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


This weekend was fast and furious.  The best news: I am done! with! grad! school! [until June].  I took a final and turned in my last paper of the semester on Saturday.  Whew.  It feels great to not have to think about school work for a few weeks.  And I'm only taking one class this summer, so it should be a breeze.

We sold some furniture on Craig's List this weekend. Both listings were up for less than 12 hours before they sold.  People on craig's list are FOR REAL.  We had a small dining set up for about 4 hours when someone emailed that they wanted it.  The cash is already burning a hole in my pocket, but Mark makes a good point and wants to put it in the bank. ooooooo-kay.

I saw this "Currently"list on a teaching blog and wanted to jump in.  Currently....

Listening: SNL on the DVR.  Hello Eli Manning.
Reading: Fifty Shades of Gray.  Yeah.
Loving: Our house. Slowly but surely coming together, bit by bit.
Thinking: Babies are on the brain. And my head hurts.
Wanting: to hang stuff on the walls. But I need Mark's help and he's not up to the task (and he'd kill me if I used my "trial and error" method of hammering holes in the wall).
Needing: to clean our room.  Mainly hang up clothes, unpack from last weekend, empty those last few boxes.
Pageant Title: Ms. Do It All.  I think it's finally going to slow down a bit.  Knock on wood.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I've officially switched teams.

Like most of the rest of the world, I read all the Hunger Games books.  But I like to let it be known that I read the first book before the movie came out and everyone jumped on the bandwagon.... I even tried to get my book club to read it back in the day, but they weren't sold on a futuristic love story where children fight to the death, even though I swore to them it was a lot like Twilight.  Well.  They've all read it now.  Humph.

Anyways, since day one with the books all the way until I finished Mockingjay (just a few days ago actually), I have been Team Gale.  Loud and proud.  I love how Gale and Katniss grew up together and hunt together and how he looks out for her and her family, yada, yada, yada.  It is quite similar to how I was [and still am] Team Dawson.  All the way.  Joey and Dawson are meant to be together, you guys.  She used to row the little boat over to his house and climb in the window.  Pacey can't compete with that.

I just had way to much fun Googling "Joey and Dawson"

So anyways, Team Gale.  But then, last night, I saw the movie.  And holy cannoli, I jumped right on over to the Team Peeta boat.  Love him.  He was so cute and charming and bashful and protective and just.. cute.  Gale looked like a great big doofus.  Probably because I just kept picturing him dating Miley Cyrus, and not Katniss.

So yeah, Team Peeta.  All the way.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today is my half-birthday.  What, you don't celebrate half-birthdays?  Well, neither do I, technically.  I try to every year, believe me.  But Mark thinks I'm ridiculous and doesn't buy into my idea of presents and cakes on half-birthdays.  Bah!

But today I am officially 29 and a half.  Sliding the slippery slope to 30 quicker and quicker.  And we are *sort-of* celebrating this year.  We had planned to go see Hunger Games tonight, so Mark decided we'd call it my half-birthday celebration.  I like it!  He even emailed me this morning to wish me a Happy Half Birthday.  A small victory, if you ask me.  I'll take it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ombre! Or.... not.

For the past several months, I have been contemplating taking the plunge and getting my hair colored with the ombre effect.  I have that itch to do something to it, but I didn't want to cut it or drastically change the color, so I thought ombre would be a fun change for summer.  I purposely waited until after my brother's wedding, in case it turned out terrible, before calling to make the appointment.  Last night  I visited my usual salon (and ran into BFF Kristen who coincidentally also booked an appointment that same day!) with the following pictures in hand (thank you Pinterest):

I told my stylist (who was rocking some gorg ombre herself) I was nervous because a) I haven't colored my hair in at least 10 years and b) I didn't want to look too blonde.  Other than that, I told her I trusted her to make it look good, than sat back in the chair to watch the magic happen.

My friend got ombre done at this same salon several months ago and her hair looked fab.  I knew they had used bleach on her ends to lighten them, so I was prepared to so the same.  Instead, my stylist said she would color my hair with two different shades, which sounded even better to me.  Score!  After painting it in around my face, she stuck me under the dryer to wait it out.

 I texted this photo to Mark and said "I'm in the astronaut chair!" to which he replied, "where are you traveling?"  Ha.

Finally the moment of truth came.  She took out the foils, washed my hair and started to blow dry.  I kept looking at it and thinking hmm.  I can't really see a difference.  She told me that ombre looks "so much better when it's curled" and then whipped out a [pretty awesome] curling iron.  I left the salon [at 9:00 at night on a Tuesday] with some rocking curls, but still could barely tell it was a different color.  Hubs confirmed it when I got home and asked him if he could even tell what I had gotten done.  His reply? Umm.. turn on all the lights. Hmm... not really.

Here it it today at work.  Le sigh.  I can *just barely* see a slight fade into lighter color, sort of there on the left side.  So, should I go back and ask for a re-do, or rock my subtle shade change for awhile?