Monday, June 29, 2009

Wedding Favors

One thing that Craig and I really have in common and bonded over in the beginning of our friendship and then relationship is sports. We both love coaching our respective specialties; basketball for him and volleyball for me. We have season tickets to the Stars but also try to hit up a few Mavericks and Cowboys games during the year as well.

We probably could have had an entire sports themed wedding...but I thought that might be a little over the top, as well as something I might regret later in life. :) But I still want to do something that shows our mutual love for sports so I'm thinking about giving out volleyball and basketball cookies as the favors for our wedding like the ones below, but with our monogram (LNC or CNL) on them.

I was also thinking about putting them into little plastic bags (not the ziploc kind) with stickers on them that say "We hope you had a ball! Love, Craig and Laura." Is that cheesy?!

Wedding Cake Inspirations

This Thursday Craig, my mother and I are all going to the Hot Chocolates bakery in my hometown to take cakes and discuss designs for the wedding and groom cakes. We aren't really looking at any other bakeries because this particular place is co-owned by a very good and longtime friend of the family. They know me and know my personality - they aren't "frou-frou" but yet create beautiful and interesting (and yummy!) cakes. Craig already knows what he wants - red velvet with some sort of Dallas Stars theme. I am going to taste classic white, amaretto, italian creme and butter rum to see what I want for the bridal cake.

The tasting part will be easy, but it's the design that will be the difficult part. In preparation for discussing the design, I'm going to bring the following pictures in to show so that they have some sort of idea of what I want.
I chose this cake because of the hexagonal shape. I think that it is unique and a little bit different from the traditional circular or the square cakes. As for the design on this cake, I like the more modern look as well as the interchanging designs from level to level.
I love this design - almost the damask style pattern but I have a feeling that it has fondant icing on it and I absolutely HATE fondant icing. It looks all rubbery and sugary and just grosses me out. If I were to have something like this, I would probably have some curly-q's green and the other ones brown. I probably need to run up to the fabric store and grab a few swatches of the colors I want in my wedding so that Lori (the cake lady) has a better idea of the colors to use on the cake. Note to self...

I'm not sure why I chose this cake, but I like the idea that it's chocolate icing and not the traditional shade of white that you find on the bridal cakes. Our wedding is definitely going to have a "nature" theme (which is kind of funny because we are not outdoorsy people) and I would kind of like for my cake to reflect that theme.

This was another idea that I had - writing the key phrase from "our song" (All I Want Is You by U2) somewhere on the cake. I wouldn't have it as the MAIN look on the cake like this one, but instead I would work it into the overall nature theme. It's another thought...

This cake is pretty similar to the other damask-like pattern cake that I featured above except for one thing: the flowers. I absolutely do NOT want real flowers on my cake. It's a little too traditional and "bridal" for me. I definitely want a more modern and simplistic look to my cake. And plus - it kind of grosses me out that the flowers are going to be touching things that people are going to be eating.

I like this cake for the damask patterns again, as well as the green and brown colors (except for the bright green). The only part that I don't like is the stripes because it's not part of my "chic forest modern hippie" wedding motif.

I've shown this cake before and I really like the simplicity and I can tell that it's NOT fondant which is refreshing because it seems like most cakes nowadays are fondant. I like the delicate branches and little flowers because I think that it reflects what I will have on my wedding invitations. Obviously I would have my own colors...maybe a light green icing with white flowers.
I think that I'm going to bring these pictures, along with the swatches of fabric and a couple of invitations that I have found that I like to the meeting with the cake ladies so that I can really show them what I want. We shall see!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend with the Pups

When we were buying the house, I was a little skeptical of why Craig so badly wanted a pool in the backyard. I was convinced that we could buy a better house with our money if we didn't have the stipulation of a pool as a "must-have."

I should probably trust Craig more often.

Just last week, I had my friend Beri, my friend Emily and her two boys and my college roomie Lauren over to the house on three separate occasions to swim and relax by the pool. It really is a joy to be able to invite people over on these hot Texas summer days to jump in the (warm) refreshing water. And there have also been a few times when I've come home from running errands and found Craig floating in the water; shades and hat on and beer in hand. So Craig was right - the pool was definitely worth the more detailed house hunting experience. And it turns out that with a little convincing on a hot day, Angie will climb aboard a raft for a little lounging in the water as well!

On Friday morning Craig and I drove down to my parent's house and went out to breakfast at IHOP with them. They were about to leave for the Galveston area for the weekend to attend a family friend's daughter's wedding on the Gulf. Unfortunately, their two terriers Andy and Annabelle were not invited on this weekend getaway and Craig and I had graciously volunteered to take care of the pups...BEFORE we had gotten Angie. But when you already have one dog, what's another eight little legs wandering around our house?! We might have been a little crazy and we were definitely a little nervous considering Angie's timidness and insecurity around unfamiliar dogs and people. The weekend went relatively uneventful - Angie did have a few messes on the floors, but I think it was because she felt that her sanctuary had been invaded. For the most part the pups (or "the pack" as Craig called them because of their propensity to run everywhere together) played well - lots of fetch, tug of war and lounging around either snuggled next to or on top of Craig and myself. Andy and Annabelle returned home this evening around 6:00 and I think Angie kind of missed them at first. She roamed around the house sniffing the scents left behind by her cousins...but eventually seemed to relish in the fact that she now has her Momma and Daddy all to herself again. Regardless of how she felt about their visit...she is exhausted and is currently sacked out next to me in the bed, lying on her Aggie blanket.

Coming up this week Craig and I are going to attempt to get some stuff done for the wedding:
Tuesday: flower appointment at 5:00
Thursday: cake tasting and decorating appointment at 1:00
Sometime: begin buying "thank you" presents for the bridesmaids, groomsmen, readers, ushers, parents and little ones in our wedding

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting Adjusted - by Angie

Hello everyone! Momma's enjoying her coffee this morning and left the computer open and I decided it was a good time to introduce myself! When Momma and Mr. Craig (I'm working on the Dad thing with him) came to my shelter on Saturday I saw them walking around looking at everyone and then took out the big basset hound Truffles. I knew that she wasn't the dog for them. After being in the shelter awhile, you figure out what type of dog people are looking for. And for those two...I just knew Truffles was going to be too big. When they came back in they were looking around and I tried my best to sit quietly and look cute. I had overheard them talking about how they wanted a quiet and calm dog. Apparently it worked and soon I was being taken outside to walk the path. I bonded quickly with Laura...she could tell I was a bit shy and nervous so she took her time and really showed me love. Mr. Craig wasn't really interacting with me and when he leaned down to pet me I got really nervous. Where I used to live, there was a big man that wasn't very nice to me and I'm trying to trust Mr. Craig and know that he's not that type of person, but it's very difficult. At the end of the walk, Laura bent down to my head and asked me if I like her. Duh lady! She was perfect! Very calm and loving...what dog WOULDN'T want to go live with her?! I gave her a big lick to tell her YES - TAKE ME! And soon after that I was riding in her lap in her car to my new home.

Momma and Mr. Craig's house is very big with lots of tile and wood floors for me to slide around on. I think they also like the floors for me because sometimes when I get nervous or scared I tend to "leak." I can't help it...I just don't ever want to be treated like my old owners and slowly I'm learning that they won't do that to me. I have lots of places in the house that I like to lay: in the living room on my big pillow, on the green blanket covered couch with Momma, upstairs in my green bed by the window and in the mornings...on the big bed with my Aggie blanket. As much as Momma loves me, I don't think she likes my brown hair shedding on her nice furniture so she tries to keep it covered up. She did give me a very comfortable Aggie blanket that is all mine - it's how I know what and where I can lay. When I first came home I got a pink stuffed pig with squeaker and rope arms and legs to play with...but it's now sitting on the countertop waiting to be stitched together by MeMa. I couldn't help myself - I wanted that squeaker out of Ms. Piggy!!! So now I have a rubber ball and a Tug-of-War rope that I play with although I've been so stressed out from all the changes that I'm not really in a playing mood.

On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Craig was working a basketball tournament so Momma took me to her parent's house. Again...I was nervous - I didn't know where we were going and I was hoping that she wasn't taking me somewhere to get rid of me. When we showed up there were two CRAZY terriers waiting for me! They were going nuts at the sight of me and had to be restrained by their parents (Momma's Mom and Dad). I absolutely did NOT want to be there so I tried to hide out in the front dining room. But my Mom came and got me everytime and forced me to interact with those other dogs. I know that people probably think I'm a scaredy-cat when they first meet me. I don't open up to people or other dogs very easily because it's hard for me to trust. I don't know if the new person or dog is going to be nice! Soon though, I figured out that these new pups (Andy and Annabelle) were going to be just fine - they were just excited because they love playing with other dogs! They had so many toys to choose from and lots with squeakers! I played nice though and didn't rip anything up. One thing that Andy had that I LOVED was a tennis ball! Apparently, he isn't used to sharing his ball and got a little upset when I tried to take it from him. He growled and then was put in time-out by his Mom in his kennel. Apparently that's where MY mom learned about time-out. Hmph. After the ball was put away for good, I had a good time rolling around, chasing through the backyard and wrestling with toys. They are coming to stay this weekend with Momma and Mr. Craig. I know Mom and I are excited but I'm not too sure about Mr. Craig - he seems to get a little more frustrated with me sometimes.

Last night was really tough. Mom had dinner plans with one of her friends and left me at the house with Mr. Craig for two hours!!! At first, I didn't know what to do so I paced up the stairs and down the stairs for awhile. Craig didn't like that but I just couldn't settle down - I felt a little scared that I had been abandoned...again. We went outside and I lounged in the grass while he messed with the pool. I'm not a real big fan of being outside - I would rather be cuddle up on the couch with Mom watching TV. When we came back inside I was getting really frustrated. Where was my Momma!? And why had she left me alone with Mr. Craig? Sometimes I think he likes me but he isn't as open and obvious with his love like Mom. my frustration, I did something really bad. REALLY bad. While he was in the bathroom, I pottied (as in No. 2) on the rug in the dining room. I know. I know. It wasn't the best way to show my frustration or my anger but I couldn't help it...I had to get his attention! Sigh. When Momma came home I was super excited but she was worried, I could tell. She and Mr. Craig had a conversation about my relationship with him. It's really frustrating her because she wants us to get along but it's just not that easy - for either of us. I have to learn to trust him and he has to learn to love me (even when I make mistakes). I guess she'll just have to leave us alone together more often so we can bond, even though I hate that she leaves.

I think one of my favorite things about living here is the duck pond! Everyday Momma takes me on a long walk around the duck pond and back through the trails by our house. There are tons of things for me to sniff, but sometimes I get tired. I didn't get a lot of work-outs at the shelter! But Momma says the walks are just as good for her as they are for me...she says she needs to lose weight, but I think she's perfect.

All in all, I am very lucky to live in this house - I've got love, toys, food, and lots of great places to snuggle up and nap. I'll keep you guys posted on my transition from shelter dog to family pet!

Here I am with Mr. Craig. See? He doesn't look too excited about me. :(
Here I am with my momma, Laura. She and I bonded right away.

Here is my crazy cousin Andy. We get along really well as long as there are no tennis balls around!

Here is my cousin Annabelle. She is very low-key and loves to be petted and cuddled even more than me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's always just been him and me...but this new baby makes it three!

We are proud to announce the arrival of the newest little princess in our household.Angelina Marie
1.5 years old
Dachshund Mix
Lovingly adopted from Operation Kindess
Craig and I started off our Saturday by meeting with the ceremony and reception site person along with our mothers, MeMa and aunt. We had a long list of stuff that I needed to cover - a meeting to nail down a few more specifics so that I could have a general idea of what to be looking for in the next few months. Like I've said so many times before...I am a planner. I definitely walked away from the meeting feeling much more confident and sure of myself. We still have so many details to iron out, but at least I have a better idea of what to expect and what I need to procure in order to have a beautiful wedding day. I think it was also nice for our families to be able to walk their way through our wedding as well.
Afterwards, Craig and I went and ate lunch with his mother, MeMa, Aunt Kay, sister and sister's friend at Olive Garden. Craig really loves and dotes on all the women in his life...he understands the importance he holds in the family. I think that was part of the reason that I fell in love with him, but at the same time I can also see him making the transition from son to husband and with that comes a change in all relationships. I'm thankful for the devotion and fierce loyalty he has to his family because I know that he will put that towards me and our children as well.
Speaking of children...we now have one. Albeit a child with four legs that slobbers a bit...but something to love and take care of nonetheless. I have been patiently waiting for the day that Craig would decide we were finally ready to get a dog. For months on end I have been trying to convince him of how much I not only wanted a dog...but needed a dog. On those weekends that he is working the tournaments, I get lonely. On those nights that he is coaching basketball practices, I get lonely. I wanted something to follow me around, to cuddle and to listen to all the random things that come out of my mouth. Basically...I wanted something to do everything that Craig won't! Ha, ha, ha. Craig kept putting me off: after Spring Break, maybe during summer, if babysitting your parent's dogs goes well. I finally stopped pushing him and was just keeping my fingers crossed that Andy and Annabelle behaved themselves while at our house.
Today as we were leaving the restaurant, he turned left into a parking lot of a big strip mall and said "I'm going to be nice to you today." Uh...well...okay. Sometimes Craig's sense of humor can be taken a little far and I thought that maybe he was going to tell me something nice, or buy me something off my registry (we were by Bed, Bath and Beyond). Then he mentioned how there was a PetLand in the shopping strip. I instantly welled up with tears which were quickly squashed with his "we're just looking" comment. Hmph. We'll see about that. We went into the pet store and there were lots of cute little purebred puppies just waiting to be taken home - but for $250!!! After being the proud owner of a beautiful, well mannered, good natured mutt that we rescued from the church parking lot named Gigi for 14 years, I couldn't in good conscience buy a "designer" dog. I knew I had to rescue one. We went home, did a little research on the internet and found an Operation Kindess, which is a no kill shelter, just a few cities away and it was open until 5:00 today! We plugged the address into my GPS and we were on our way to find a dog.
I was so nervous when we got there because I knew these people were serious - they don't like to give dogs to people who can't take care of them properly. What if they didn't think we were going to be suitable owners?! There were so many dogs there and if Craig would have let me...we would have taken every single one. I can't imagine a person looking into the eyes of any of these creatures and being able to give them away, treat them poorly or dispose of them on the side of the street.
We "test drove" one dog named Truffles who was a very...ahem...sturdy Basset Hound mix, but she was a little bigger than I wanted and also shed...a lot. On our list of "must haves" for getting this dog was: a calm demeanor, easy fur maintenance, little to no barking. I must have peered into every kennel and read all the information for every dog, and of course I pictured myself taking each and every one home with me. But since there could only be one, I knew I had to choose wisely. I came across a brown little pup with big brown eyes who was sitting quietly in her kennel. I read her bio while she patiently and quietly watched me with interest. Her name was Marie and she was one and a half years old. She was described as a sweet natured dog who wanted lots of love. I took her out and test drove her around the path outside. She seemed shy and nervous but took a liking to me very quickly after a few loving pats on the back. I asked Craig what he thought...he had generally been taking a back seat to the dog selection because he knew that it would really be MY dog. He reached down to pet her and she immediately went into the submissive position and rolled on her back. It was clear to both of us that she had really been mistreated and most likely by a man. At that moment, my heart broke and I knew that I could love her back to good mental health. As we were walking her back in, I was still hemming and hawing about the decision between dogs because I knew Craig liked Truffles the Basset Hound. I bent down close to Marie's head with my hair falling around her and looked into her eyes. I could tell she was hooked on me and demonstrated this with a big lick on my chin. I stood up with tears in my eyes and told Craig - I want her. And she is the one we got.
While waiting for the last bits of paperwork to be processed, she was brought to us in the adoption center and promptly took a place on my lap. Although dogs cannot speak, I could tell she was thankful...and a bit nervous but showed her appreciation with many licks on our fingers. Afterwards we took her to Pet Smart to buy all the necessary items for bringing a new puppy home to our house. Over a hundred dollars later we had a crate, a bed, a toy, food, shampoo, a collar and leash and a brush. All during the ride to the store and then the ride to the home she was in my arms and desperately fighting the intense desire to sleep. I figured we would get her home and she would sack out just from the stress of the day. I was wrong. She pranced into our house, took a few laps around and began playing visciously with her new pink pig. She was overjoyed to have a new family and a new home full of things for her to explore.
I love her and I love Craig for understanding how important having a dog means to me. She already met her cousins, the Westies Dirk and Nash this afternoon but she was a bit nervous. Maybe she'll have more fun in the future when she's more confident. Tomorrow I am taking her to my parent's house for Father's Day and she will meet Andy and Annabelle!

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's the Age of Aquarius

Okay. So now...T minus 12 hours until I meet with my principal tomorrow morning about my future at my school and the decision that Craig and I discussed this morning, I'm starting to get a little bit nervous.

The obvious and best choice is for me to leave my school and move to this other school in our feeder zone. And I can even back it up with reasons:
- Chance to break out from Beri and Craig's shadows. As much as I respect both of them AND all the guidance they have shown me in the past three years, I think it's going to be better for me professionally to move to another school where I'm not always associated with them. I'm a fairly ambitious person and I know that if I stay where I am, I will never be satistified with my status within the district.
- Start fresh with little to no expectations or ill-perceived notions about me. I love the staff at my school, but many of them have known me since I was a student teacher there which was almost four years ago. Many things in my life have changed since then and I have evolved into an adult in those years. I think it has been hard for me to bust the "youthful" impression I made on many staff members four years ago. I want people to see me as the capable adult that I am and not the misdirected youth that I was.
- The challenge of building a program. I was able to step into a very established and successful volleyball program at my current school. My second year, we had a fantastic group of hard working athletes that won the district championship. Through Beri's guidance, I have learned what it takes to run a successful program and inspire athletes to develop their skills, toughen their attitude and perform on the court. I also took a fledgling Cross Country program and grew it by leaps and bounds - I could count the number of drop-outs this year on one hand instead of the HALF of the program that quit a few years ago. In addition to growing the program I also got lucky with a very talented group of 7th grade runners that were able to win the District Championship by one point over our big middle school rival! Having said that, the school that I would be moving to used to be the cream of the crop as far as economic status goes and it was reflected in the strength of their program. In recent years though, the talent or maybe the interest has dropped off and the athletic program in struggling. I could have the opportunity to inject new life and new ideas and not just INHERIT great work ethic, skills, and attitude...but develop from scratch. It won't be easy, but I think that it would be a great learning process for me as well as a personal Mt. Everest.
- It's a safe risk. Changing locations and jobs is always hard. I'm leaving behind everything that I have really ever known in a faculty, in a manner of running things and in students and parents. Moving will be difficult for any number of reasons, but the fact of the matter is that it's going to happen sooner or later. The truth is, within this economy there might not be any desirable positions available in the feeder zones that I want next year. I might have to revert back to my 30 minute commute or even worse...change districts. The idea of my job and my position being in purgatory drove me absolutely nuts this year and I am not even FORCED to leave this year. I can't imagine how stressed I will be at this time next year if I haven't found something that I want and I HAVE to leave. At least this way, I know the area, the general manner of students and parents as well as the high school "bosses" that I would be interacting with.
- I want to make it to March 13, 2010. If I were to stay at my current school, I would most likely move to the PE department and guess who is the head of the department? Craig. I would also stay coaching and guess who will most likely be the Girl's Coordinator at the school? Craig. We would be around each other eight class periods during the day and then come home to each other at night. As strong of a couple that we are, I just think that might be a little too much togetherness. I toyed with the possibility of NOT being around him all day and instead coming home to him, sitting at the dinner table and talking about how our days were. Right now we don't do that because at the end of the school day we really didn't have much else to talk about - we had already discussed stuff during the day. I think that it would be better for us to miss each other during the school day and then look forward to seeing one another during the evening.

I'm anticipating making these points to my principal tomorrow morning and I have a feeling he will probably support my decision. As sad as I'm sure he will be to see me leave, at the end of the day I have to do what is best for Craig and myself.

Change is in the Air

It's no secret as to how Craig and I met: we both coach at the same school. I coach girl's volleyball and he is the head girl's basketball coach. We were friends for several years before finally "officially" dating, but according to our friends, we were dating way before that. There are no rules in our district against co-workers dating...but when that couple gets engaged and finally married, that's when it gets a little dicey.

Here's the bottom line: we can both stay at our school through the 09-10 school year but at the end of next year, one of us has to go. And that person, unfortunately, will be me. Not because Craig is the boss of me but because he has a pretty sweet deal worked out with our principal regarding use of the gyms forhis select basketball practices and tournaments. Another principal might not be as permissive as our current one.

It's also not a secret as to how awfully I deal with change in my life. I don't like not knowing what is going to happen because then I can't mentally prepare myself. The past few months have been a little stressful regarding the job situation because I was resistant to changing schools, yet didn't necessarily want to wait until next year and be possibly out of luck. I would ultimately prefer to stay in my current feeder zone (one of the three middle schools that all feed into the same high school) because they are all close to my house and also because the Girl's Coordinator at the high school happens to be Craig's younger sister.

In order to make myself more marketable as a coach, I chose to get certified in Physical Eduaction by taking a TEXES exam last week. I got the results and I passed with about a 93% (you have to get at least an 80 to pass) on the test. Although I was extremely nervous taking the test, I wasn't surprised by my results...I'm a pretty good test taker. Anyways. Craig and I have talked about our future family plans and the general idea is for me to continue coaching until we have our first child. After that, I would look for strictly a classroom or PE position. Although I love coaching volleyball, raising a child with two coaches in the family would be incredibly difficult. I also have a feeling that, like my friend Beri, once I find out that I am pregnant the only priority in my life will be taking care of that baby and the transition out of coaching will be rather easy.

So. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my principal to discuss the plan for me for next school year. After a little bit of thought, a discussion with Craig and my mother and texting my friend Jennifer, I have decided that it would probably be in not only the best interest of my career but also in the best interest of my relationship and future marriage to move schools this year. Yes. It will be sad to not be right down the hall from Beri and Craig and the numerous other people I have grown to know and love...but at the end of the day I can't stay at a school because of other people. I have to make the best decision for me and my family.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Not Your Typical Bride

Craig and I had a small engagement party last night with our bridal party, a few mutual friends and our families. We went to the horse races in Grand Prairie and rented a suite for everyone to enjoy the races and then the Cross Canadian Ragweed concert afterwards. The only people that were missing was my middle brother Michael who lives in Maine and my Matron of Honor Amy who also lives in Maine (but not with my brother...that would be weird).

Although the evening turned out great - everyone had a fun time watching the races, talking with one another and eating the delicious food - I started out the day not too happy. At 3:30 I was still lying in bed without any make-up or even a shower telling Craig to go to our engagement party alone without me. I just had a great deal of anxiety about the whole situation. I'm not the type of girl that gets really excited and giddy about wedding planning or celebrating - I'm more meticulous and coordinated in my general approach to life and I'm more concerned about planning and making sure everything is right rather than excited about the whole process and being a "bride."

And's very difficult for me to be the center of attention. My bridesmaid Kate provided a very funny anecdote about me last night upon seeing a picture of me about to go to my first dance class. In Kate's words "Laura was very precise and exact in her movements on stage, but you could tell she wasn't enjoying it." It made me giggle, but at the same time, I think it provides great insight into my personality. I was always so comfortable on the court playing sports in front of people, but not in a dance recital-type atmosphere. I guess it was the whole "seeing your audience staring back at you" thing that bothered me. During a basketball game, I was just one of ten players all mixed up on the court and I was too focused on playing the game than noticing the crowd.

I just don't want people to be disappointed in me as a bride. I'm not going to be the type that oohs and ahs over everything bridal and I'm also not going to do things according to what's considered proper. I have always been independent and done things my own way - regardless of the potential outcome, and I plan on creating our wedding with the same attitude.

I just want to be Craig's wife and at the end of the day, yes...I want it to be beautiful and memorable, but I also don't want to have the wedding run my life because if that's what happens, I won't focus on what happens AFTER the wedding - the marriage.

And by the this time (9:19 pm) in nine months, Craig and I will be dancing, drinking and eating at our wedding!

BUT. Despite all my fears (that everyone wouldn't get along or have a good time) and my anxieties (about being the center of attention or a bad bride)...everything turned out great. Craig did a fantastic job of setting up a wonderful evening for our bridal party and families. I don't think any great fortunes were made, but hopefully it was a memorable evening otherwise. I think the funniest thing was when my five year old nephew was so intently cheering for a certain horse because if that horse "gets first, second or third my mommy wins money!" I don't think of it as teaching the wicked habit of gambling, but instead a proper lesson on chance and probablity. Perhaps the most delightful treat of the night was Craig's Uncle Tim, his dad's younger brother, driving into town from Abilene for the evening to take pictures of the event! Uncle Tim is a freelance photographer that lends his talent and skills to documenting local events around Abilene and is currently moving towards weddings and senior portraits. We were really blessed to have him there and also have such great records of our evening!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Registry Fun

Somehow, I got Craig to go register at Target on Thursday night. I was a bit nervous just because it seems that every new experience makes me nervous these days. I had a list printed out from the Target website about all the things that I needed to buy for the house. We're in a tough spot with registering in general - I lived on my own for three years before we bought this house and since buying the house, we've been blessed financially to be able to fill the house with furniture and decorations. There aren't too many things in the stores that we really NEED. Now there is plenty stuff that we could WANT, but I have a hard time justifying asking people to buy me things that aren't absolutely necessary for us to survive. I could have registered for a bread maker, a vegetable steamer or a electric vegetable chopper...but I don't really anticipate any need for those in the future. My mother somehow managed to cook delicious and healthy meals for the 18 years that I lived at home without the help of any of these items. And also - I don't have any idea where I'm going to STORE all the stuff that I'm not going to use!

Having said that...there are a few things that we really do need like new silverware, serving platters, plates, towels and outdoor equipment. And there is one thing on my list that I have absolutely NO idea how I'm going to use it but I want to have it on display in my kitchen: I really don't know what one does with a mixer like this, but it's in ice blue...and I love it.
Our general colors in the house go as follows:
Formal Dining room: green walls with darn iron and glass table, chairs and hutch
Living Room: Dark brown furniture with cream couches and brown and light green accents
Kitchen: Dark brown cabinets with dishes, towels and accessories in chocolate brown and baby blue
Master Bedroom: Dark brown furniture with green bedding
Hmm...I'm starting to see a pattern. I guess the green is just really relaxing for me and that's what I want most out of my house. Craig was surprisingly a great help in choosing items such as curtains for the bedroom and living room. My first thought was chocolate brown in the living room, because that's what I had at my apartment. Craig said that since all our furniture is dark brown, maybe we should go for a coordinating color like the light green. And he was totally right. I just appreciated the fact that he understood that picking out things such as curtains is important to me and he was very supportive.
Our next step is to register at Crate and Barrel for items such as glasses, serving ware, fun decorative items, silverware and kitchen towels, napkins and placemats.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Year of the Chameleon

Teachers don't get the whole "New Year's Eve" thing. The anticipation of a fresh start? Beginning a new year with a new attitude? Wiping the slate clean?

Nope. We're knee deep in the trench that is public education at that point. We are trudging determindly with our helmets pulled down low, mud up to our waste while the air is littered around us with schrapnel. There is no fresh start, no new attitude and all slates show the remnants of a semester full of chalk writings.

Our New Year's celebration begins on the last day of school, which has been talked about, dreamt about and eagerly anticipated for approximately 180 school days. It's not that we don't enjoy our jobs, we just have to have a vacation from our job in order to appreciate it that much more.

Summer is quickly approaching and the endless hours at school spent watching anxious and squirrley sixth grade students work on reviews tends to leave me reflecting over my past school year...much one might do with the more traditional calendar year.

It has definitely been a year of changes - buying a house (without a ring!), moving, a tragic death in my family, first holidays with future in-laws, an engagement ring, two knee surgeries, uproars throughout the athletic department and currently, my concern over potential job changes.

Needless to say...I deserve a break. So what do I have planned for this summer? What are my "new year" goals?

First and foremost is the wedding planning. People that I know and love understand why we're waiting so long to get married. I need time to digest, reflect and perfect. I know what I want and it's just a matter of making it happen and hopefully this summer will provide ample time to knock a few more big things out of the way: flowers, cakes, invitations, menu, bridesmaid dresses to name a few.

Secondly are Craig's tournaments. (Well...I have a feeling these two top items might be flipped on his list of important tasks for the summer) He's got three in a row this June and then his two big national tournaments in July. Although I have relatively little to nothing to do with his weekend tourneys, I am the master of Excel spreadsheets and Craig "hires" me to put together all the NCAA coaches and general information books.

Third important on my list is tanning. Sounds a bit shallow when put that way, doesn't it? But when I say "tanning" what I really mean is lying by or in the pool and reading. I haven't really been able to slow my mind down enough to really engage myself into any sort of book in the past six months and I am looking forward to catching up on several books that have seemed to pile up. On my list is to first finish Goodbye Jimmy Choo by Annie Sanders, and then move onto The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg and Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou. With the seemingly endless stretch of summer vacation set out in front of me as well as a six day jaunt to the Bahamas, I should be able to really delve into these books and possibly many more!