Friday, December 16, 2011

A Book a Week

I labeled this post A Book a Week because that is what I'm hoping to do over my break from school. I love to read, and normally am in the middle of a book, but I have this habit of re-reading books, so I don't often branch out. Anyway, a friend lent me Eat Pray Love like a year ago, and I finally decided to start it the other day. I wasn't too excited about it, I'm not sure why, but I'm really enjoying it. I wouldn't say its the best book I've ever read (Gone With the Wind), but it is entertaining, and has even got me thinking a little deeper about my own life, and what makes me happy (definitely eating, definitely loving, unsure as of yet but open about the praying). I just enjoy it more and more as I read, and hopefully I'll finish it today so I can move on to something else. If anyone has any recommendations, I would love to hear them.

Over the weekend, we finally got the tree decorated! The tree is very Charlie Brown-esque, but I really love it. Josh and I were hanging out Saturday night and we decided we needed stockings. So I cut up an old blanket and made some. They are temporarily held together with only craft glue, but I think I'll get some yarn and stitch em up so we can actually put things in them. I even made one for Danny and Bean. Josh was pretty impressed, and I am feeling pretty proud of myself.

We did attend (and skip) a couple of Christmas parties this weekend, and now it is time to focus on my shopping list, since Josh is the only person I've actually bought anything for!!!

Our tree and stockings!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I CANT believe that the last time I posted was Thanksgiving! And I was doing so good, too. The holiday was a good one; and I'm pleased to report that my turkey turned out really well! The downside is that we realized neither of us really love turkey, but it was a fun experience, and I'm glad no one got food poisoning.
Some 'highlights' from our Thanksgiving:
1. Washing the turkey in the bathtub.
2. I took the pie crust out of its container when I put it in the oven, and pumpkin melted all over the cooking tray. Josh came home with ice cream for the pie, and sadly had to turn back around and buy a pie.
3. I got to use our china. YESSSSS! The ENTIRE reason I was so excited to register for china for our wedding was so I could bust it out over the holidays.
4. Wood burning stove plus dinner for two gave us a lot to be thankful for (and a lot to toast too!).

And now, the reason I have fallen off the blog....SCHOOL! I have to say that none of my classes were particularly overwhelming this term, as far as content and homework. But the schedule I had to make in order for it all to happen was really crazy. I also was only able to attend one dance class a week for the past two months, which has been so frustrating! My practicum was definitely something that took up a lot of my time, but it was such an amazing experience, and only reinforced my desire to become a teacher. I fell in love with so many of the kids, and really feel like I made a (small) difference in their day. Anyway, it is finals week, and SHOCKINGLY I already completed all of my work for two of my classes (like two weeks ago!). I had a final this morning, then a final to turn in tonight (have some editing work ahead of me), then I'm DONE. So, so thankful. And, just to take a moment here, very proud of myself.

That's it for now; I really, really want to write about a couple craft projects I have going on, as well as all of our upcoming holiday plans, but I have to get this paper finished, so I am going to be strong and say goodbye!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks

I would love to sit down and dedicate an entire entry to the things I am thankful for, but that would be just plain crazy. Despite the fact that I often feel overwhelmed with the things I have going on in my life, I am in a great place right now and much of this is thanks to the people around me. This includes my friends who put up with my frequent absence from the mainstream, my family, old and new, who love me unconditionally, my dance studio and all of the families that trust me and allow me to be a part of their lives, my my other dance family who always pushes me and lets me vent, and my work who puts up with my crazy scheduling hours because they believe in my future. I am thankful for the fact that I believe in myself, because without that belief I would be nowhere worth writing home about.

Most of all though I am thankful to my husband Josh. Josh leaves the house when I am just crawling out of bed and works long, hard hours at his job. He has the passion and desire to build our home with his own two hands, and he also loves our dogs with all his heart. He also puts up with me. He has supported my dance career, and he is now supporting me as I work my way through college. When I say support, I don't necessarily mean financially, but simply doing what he can to make things work until I am where I want and need to be.

I know I said I wasn't going to write a whole thing about what I'm thankful for, but geez! Its hard to hold back, especially when I am extra thankful I have a four day weekend starting tomorrow. I wanted to post a picture of the stove, since it is now up and running. I also want to remind you that I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, and that I am extremely nervous about it. I am reminding you so hopefully I can brag later about how well it went. We'll see. A small snag in that plan; our dinner is the same day as the CIVIL WAR-----Ducks vs Beavers. The snag in this plan is that a) we don't have cable and b) Josh is going to watch the game with his soccer team- who are a bunch of crazy men. For his own sake, he had better come home clear eyed and ready to feast, if you know what I mean!

Anyway, here's our fireplace; Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baby its cold outside (and inside)

Count down til Thanksgiving!! It is amazing how much easier it is to get out of bed and head off to work when you only have three days to get through. Even though it's raining outside, and there isn't even a chance of snow (anymore), this Monday morning was much easier to face.

For the record, I LOVE Thanksgiving- not only are mashed potatoes my favorite food of all time, but I also love getting together with family and slowing life down for a couple of days. We are spending our Thanksgiving at Josh's parents, where we will be joined by my parents and siblings. We are just so, so lucky that our families get along and enjoy each other's company, and very blessed they are willing to keep us all together on holidays.

Other plans include Josh finishing the wood stove installation and the countertops (no deadline on the counters), and we have a Thanksgiving dinner planned just the two of us on Saturday. I have never cooked a turkey, or anything really Tday related except mashed potatoes, so it will be interesting. Especially since we don't have a table to sit at or counters to cook on. But that is OK! We don't need those things, just some yummy food.

So, back to the most exciting thing of all, besides Thanksgiving- this would be the wood stove! YES we have it! Josh and his dad worked ALL DAY yesterday, putting in the chimney and whatever else one has to do to install a wood stove. He just has a couple more things to do, and it will be done. Here are a couple of pictures, just as a sneak peek. Hopefully later this week I can post a picture of a roaring fire.

 Above is the hearth we chose; originally Josh was going to make it himself, and my request was brick. However because we need heat, we realized there wasn't time for that. I was really worried we would end up with a really manufactured looking hearth, but we found this beat up thing in the back of the show room where we bought the stove! The guys offered to clean it up for us; I guess that is mortar all over it? But I love it the way it is.
Here is Josh working tirelessly to install the stove. You can see where he cut a hole in the ceiling and now he is vacuuming. Fascinating, huh? I have some better pictures on the camera, but I'll wait to bust those out until the whole thing is done.

I can't believe I've gone this entire post without mentioning the fact that Twilight came out this week. Holla! My sister and I went to the midnight showing last Thursday night (Friday was GREAT!), and then I went yesterday with my best friend. So...yeah I've seen it twice already. Verdict? It was amazing! So much better than the other ones, I'm not sure why it was so hard for them to get these movies right. Besides the fact that the plot and characters are out of control ridiculous. We also went to my parents for dinner on Saturday, where we watched the Ducks play (WAAAAAAAH dontwanttotalkaboutit).

Hope to have some great pictures to share soon!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Dance

Finally a nice, relaxing weekend (sort of). The weekend started off great, because Josh had Friday off so we was able to come pick me up at dance class. He actually came early and hung out for a little bit, which is AWESOME. Someone asked me if that was distracting, and I say NO WAY! I think I dance better with someone special there to show off for. :) The dogs were over at Grandma and Grandpa's (Heineys), so we picked them up there and ended up staying for dinner. Bedtime was an early affair, which was awesome.

Saturday my students had a dance competition, which was held by our local dance association. I do not compete at these, because 1) I am on the board of the association so I'm not allowed and 2) Being a competitor and teacher at the same time is stressful. I try to only enter competitions where I don't have most of my students competing, which means mostly championships out of the area, and this is just fine by me. This particular dance competition was really, really great- every one of my 6 students placed! My two premiers placed first and third, and the other dancers did quite well. I have one student who is moving up very fast- she and her family are extremely dedicated to dance (she also takes tap and ballet!) and its so fun to watch her succeed time and time again. She is a very hard worker, and a GREAT team player! She and her family always have treats and kind words for fellow dancers. I have two other little ones who are just starting to come into their dancing, and it is so fun to watch them get up on stage. Every time they compete I can see so many improvements. Finally, I had a little, little one compete in Primary, the youngest group. I may be biased but I thought she was the cutest thing up there; and she danced very, very well. Overall, an extremely fulfilling day for my studio!
That night, Josh and I headed to a local bar to watch the Ducks, who DOMINATED Stanford. I also went out for a drink with my dance teacher, a couple dancers and the judge from the competition. I was very excited to get to go out with the judge, because one of her students just won the World Championships this summer! It was really nice to get to talk to her about it; she still gets teary thinking about the whole thing. Awe.

Sunday was part lazy, part productive; got some dance practice in, got some TV watching in, got some grocery shopping done (finally!), got to spend some time with the family (Heineys) and got the house picked up. That is my favorite kind of Sunday right there! I can never really get a good rest Sunday nights unless I'm ready to start the week, and this weekend helped me do that.

This week has started off great, because not only did I get the great news that we are getting heat at our house (fireplace!!!!) but I also have my mother-in-law's car for the week while she is out of town. Until we have two cars in the household, this is such a treat for me.

WOW this was a long post! But I have a couple cute pics from the weekend, so here ya go!
Me and my Primary dancer

Movin on up!

Reaping the benefits of hard work!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Well, it isn't very exciting, but I primed the dining room chairs. Do we have a dining room? Not really. Do we have a dining room table? Not currently. But once we do...I'll be ready. I think I'll paint them a light gray or something so they aren't just primed. I hope you can take a moment and enjoy the shed in the background; it came with the house! Oh my gosh, it was such a deal. The only problem? Its UGLY! Seriously. I think hobbits lived in there while our house was uninhabited. Hopefully next spring we will build something that is nicer to look at. 

Here are the pumpkins my sister and I painted. They are currently at the dance studio, but I really liked them on our stoop. Is that a stoop? It's no porch...I'm not really sure what it is. I feel like in order to be a stoop we need to sit and drink beers on it, but whatever.

That is all I have for my crafts. I know, kind of boring.

I said I would talk more about our trip to Fabric Depot, and let me tell you, I never knew you could go on a date to a fabric store, especially with someone like Josh. He grew up with two brothers, so he never really had to partake in the girly outings, and every time we do something like this he normally turns into a zombie, and finally we just have to leave the store. Magic was in the air though, because this turned out to be an amazing outing. Did you know that you can buy fabric with just about any print on it? The sections were limitless: Cat Print, Western Print, Farm Print, Transportation Print, Ethnic Print, Coffee Print...I mean, it is all ugly but AWESOME. Consider Josh's mind blown. I did find some fabric I want to cover the cushions for the (above) chairs, although I didn't buy it. I am planning on making our curtains, so I will go back with my mom to really look for that stuff.
But can I just say that Josh and I had a great time together? Such a small, silly trip turned into something we've been laughing about for 2 days now. Sometimes I feel like we should be more adventurous or romantic; but its the small things like our trip Sunday that remind me why I fell in love with Josh ten years ago, and why I still love him even more now.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Home Projects

Wow I am so excited I actually uploaded some pictures from our house project! Unfortunately they are more "after" than "before", but since it is still a work in progress, some day soon these pics will be "before". Does that make any sense?
Firstly, this is the wood we are using for the counter tops. Josh salvaged it from attic; I was skeptical at first (see wood on left), but after planing it, I realized how beautiful it is. Status: Not finished.

 Below is an angle of the kitchen before we put the handles on the cabinets, then after.

This is an angle of the kitchen before and after handles. Not a huge difference, but I was pretty excited about it.

All those blank walls will (hopefully) have open shelves on them. And...of course, counter tops, which will then allow us to put in the sink and then hook up the dishwasher. I will be very thankful when this happens, since I'm currently (since last March) doing dishes in the bathroom sink, which is...annoying. And kind of gross, I think.
Also desperately needed: curtains, duh! More on that later.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Its only Monday!

Would you believe me if I told you it's only Monday? I hardly believe it myself, but here we are. I am so thrilled, because I have a practicum in one of my classes, and today I spent my first day at a local elementary school. I spent a little time with a reading specialist, helping one little boy focus (not sure if that worked or not), then about an hour in a first grade classroom. It was a bit crazy because they had a sub who normally teaches middle/high school, and she made it very clear she was uncomfortable teaching younger students. This worked out for me, because she kind of just handed them off to me, but it was interesting to see The System at work. I feel like they liked me well enough, so mission accomplished for my first day (back) in elementary school. I even left with a pocket full of (clean) tissues and a broken paper clip someone gifted me.

This weekend was really nice; after a great dance class Friday (currently the ONLY day I am getting my own dance lesson right now due to school), I had a Twilight girls nice with my bestie, which was LONG overdue and really fun. I taught Saturday morning, then after a little yard work, headed off to Eugene, like I mentioned before. We missed seeing Jackson, since he was already in bed when we got there, but we had a great morning hanging out with them, then we came home and had a movie night. A couple weeks ago we watched Scream 1 and 3 (not sure why we've skipped 2), so last night we rented Scream 4...yeah. It was whatever.

So after my practicum and teaching tonight, I'll grace my husband with my presence around 8:30 or so. Whew!!! The great thing is that the sun is out, and I'm contemplating borrowing my mom's bike for the week. I'll let ya know how that one turns out.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Possibilities are Endless...

Happy Thursday! To all of my adoring fans out there!
Anyway, I don't know what it is about this time of year, but it just feels like there are so many possibilities out there. The weather is changing, so new clothes must be bought. School term has begun, so there are books to buy! The holidays are coming, so there are decorations to make, gifts to start buying (and asking for), and traditions (new and old) to think about.

I'm very excited to say that I have begun some craft projects around the house (thanks pinterest!). My sister came over Sunday and we painted pumpkins (and drank cider). I also (finally) utilized a huge vase that has been empty since our wedding by filling it with (inedible) gourds and branches...I also decorated a gourde up as a mummy. So cute! I'll try to put up some pictures. If it all sounds too cutesy, I think you'll find Josh in agreement, which is fine because some of it is going to the dance studio, where I have kids who will love it all.

A few other possibilities:
Travel- We are driving down to Eugene this weekend to visit Toby and Jess, and their everydayhegetscuterespeciallythoseeyelashesohmygod baby Jack. Have you ever thought how many awesome people there are named Jack? I can only think of two under all this pressure- Jack from Lost and Jack from 24, however I know there are more. Anyway, we'll watch the Duck game with them, which is awesome! Also, we are going to Hawaii in the summer...but there are other possibilities! A train ride to...Bend? Seattle? A weekend trip to visit our best friend in San Fran? Or our friend in San Diego? Or the brother in Philadelphia? Or, a random place, to a random competition? Which brings me other thoughts...
Dance- Dance! Dance in the Fall means new steps to work on!! It means that everything from last year- the wins and the losses- are behind everyone and anything is possible. Dance is twofold for me, since I compete but also teach my own students. This means even more possibilities! Dance class in the fall means its dark out, which means we are warm and cozy in our little studio, and I can soon (NOT until December) start playing Christmas music. Aaaah.

I know there are so many more, but these are what I am thinking about this morning. Besides the homework I should be doing, of course.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Been there, done that. Or not

Place I want to go that I've already been:
Squaw Valley, California- it is snowing there right now, and they are calling it the earliest return of winter conditions to Tahoe since 1969. If my memory serves me right, that is the year they hosted the Olympics. But seriously, I would love to be in Squaw right now, riding the funitel in a car that we hijacked from any possible gapers.

Scotland- More specifically, the Highlands, or even more specifically, Strathdon. I've only ever been to Strathdon once before, and only for one night, but it blew my mind. Just a small town with not much in it, but sooo beautiful. Also the drive there from Skye was mind blowing, not to mention I was with my little sis and it was quite an adventure anyway. I would also settle for Edinburgh, or just any piece of road in Glen Coe.

Places I want to go that I've never been:

Las Vegas, NV- More specifically, this weekend, since its the World of Highland Dance Conference. I'm very, very bummed that I'm not going, and if someone offered me a ticket right now, I would drop everything and go. Duh.

Hawaii- I am going there next summer! Josh's parents are renting a condo/house for everyone to stay in (parents, Josh and I, two brothers, a wife and a girlfriend). I've never been, but since I tend to vacation in places that have dance competitions, this vacation should blow everything out of the (warm, beautiful) water. To top it all off, we are going right after I graduate from PSU, which will be a great time anyway.