Sunday, May 30, 2010

This weekend

Obviously I've had a lot of free time on my hands - hence all the postings - but I have actually been pretty busy and fairly productive!

I did sleep in until 10:00 and then lounge around watching television and playing games on the computer until noon but this was only because I was so exhausted from the day before with all the Field Day nonsense that I had to take care of at school. Craig was off tournamenting for the day so I didn't really have anyone to make me get out of bed before I really wanted to. Last week was a crazy week for us between school and outside commitments that neither of us had ever felt like cooking so we kind of ate out every night. Oops. Yesterday I knew that I didn't want to eat out again...but I also knew that Craig wasn't going to be home in time for a six o'clock dinner. So I called up my parents and invited them over for dinner at my house to keep me company but to also show them the new St. Augustine sod that we had installed in the front yard and the curtains that Craig hung in the living room. The afternoon was spent grocery shopping for ingredients for dinner as well as finishing up the laundry that Craig had started earlier in the week. My parents arrived promptly at six o'clock and this is what we had for dinner:

Pork Chops:
- one bottle of white wine vinegar
- a very generous helping of brown sugar
- three pears sliced and cubed
- four pork chops

Combine the vinegar, brown sugar and pears in a large skillet and cook on high heat until the mixture is simmering. Add pork chops and smother them with the pears and liquid. Periodically flip pork chops every so often to ensure they are evenly cooked.

Oven Baked Potatoes:
- one packet of onion soup mix
- 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 4 Idaho potatoes

Wash and peel the four potatoes and then cut them into cubed pieces. Combine mix, oil and potatoes and mix thoroughly so that the oil and mix evenly coats all the potatoes. Place into glass pan (I use my big Pyrex...not sure of the size?) and bake at 450 for 40 minutes. I like mine with ketchup!

Lemon Garlic Broccoli:
This is a pretty basic way to spice up the broccoli that I love so that Craig will eat it...without dousing it in cheese and butter. I just cook fresh broccoli (just the "tree" part, not the stem) until it's just a little bit crisp and not totally soggy and limp. Drain the broccoli and add a few douses of lemon juice with one or two small scoops from the small jar of minced garlic. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper and serve!

It was a totally easy dinner to prepare, but everything sounds and looks a lot fancier than it really is!

Craig came home around 9:00 and actually brought a guest with us to stay for the night! One of his coaches that works for his select basketball finished at the tournament late and had to be up there VERY early this morning and he lives WAY far away so he decided that it would be better if he just crashed at our house for the night! Obviously Craig cleared this with me way earlier in the day so I had time to straighten up the house and wash the sheets and comforter in our spare bedroom.

So far today has been fairly uneventful. I woke up at 8:00 with Craig to say goodbye to him before he left for the day to the tournament. Angie has been alternating between chewing on the bone, playing ball and napping....well mostly just napping. I would love to go lay out by the pool...but it's just so hot out there (and not even June yet!) and I have to be dressed and ready to go see Wicked at the Dallas Fair Park this afternoon with some of my former work buddies. We're meeting at a friend's house at 4:30 and then carpooling to Dallas for dinner and then the show. Craig was nice enough to let me get third row seats and I'm excited because I hear the show is spectacular. I hope it's better than the book because I tried to read the book a few years ago and it was pretty terrible.

Tomorrow will be another rather uneventful day - we're just planning on sleeping in and I think I'll make pancakes and eggs for Craig since he's worked so hard this weekend on his tournaments. We might have some friends over for swimming and eating but either way I'm going to make potato salad and macaroni salad. Then we will just get ready for the final push towards the end of the school year! We have this week (four full days) and next week (three full days and one half day) and then we're out until August! It can't come soon enough.

A few of my favorites

One of the things that we splurged on for the wedding was our photography. Included in our package were my bridal portraits, our engagement pictures, a full day of filming with two photographers, an album for us and then for each of our parents as well as full rights to all the pictures that were taken during the day. One major thing that I was looking for when we were interviewing photographers was personality. I didn't want someone that was mushy or too sweet - I wanted more laid back but with a little bit of edge and artistic creativity. So...this is what we got! All photos were taken by Static Sixx Photography.

In our package we recieved a certain amount of money that could be spent on pictures professionally printed by the photographer or even printed on a canvas. I told Craig that he could choose one bridal portrait of me for us to put on a big canvas and this is the picture he took. I was inspired by my friend Jennifer who did a similar picture before her own wedding two and a half years ago. I'm thinking of putting the canvas on the stairway wall, Scarlett O'Hara style and if Craig ever gets mad at me he can throw his drink at it a la Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind.

This moment was a little bit...intimidating.

Sigh...I love this picture, but it was a little bit awkward to smooch in front of everyone. Especially our coworkers and former students that were there!

This picture if full of sweet, sweet relief for me. The ceremony was done and over with and I could start to relax...just one step closer to the honeymoon and a week on the beach. This is also the moment Craig told me that I "look beautiful." Aww.

Love this picture. We bought it in black and white and it's going in our front hallway.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

House Tour Part II

The Kitchen:
Our kitchen is really open and it is totally connected with the living room and that is part of the reason we initially loved this house - I don't have to be sequested from everyone when I'm cooking dinner. The previous owners painted the cabinents themselves which doesn't look too bad in pictures but in real life they probably need a touch up...or a complete demolition. The walls were originally mustard yellow and when we initially looked at the house the counters were bright blue tileds! Yuck! I guess the owners got lots of negative feedback on that part of their house because they put in the granite counters prior to selling the house to us.
I would love to get a new fridge in stainless steel with the refrigerator part on top and then the freezer down below. The side by side doesn't work for me because I feel like everything is so squished in there and I can't find everything that I need in a timely manner. I would also like our new fridge to be a bit bigger than the one we currently have, but then again...we got this fridge free from his mom when she moved and we really can't beat that price.
For a long time we didn't have the island in the middle (it is on wheels) but when we started registering for the wedding I knew that it needed to be brought out from exile out in the garage. Not only does it provide a large amount of storage underneath for my serving dishes but as you can see, there isn't a lot of prep room in the kitchen without it.
I like the basic layout of the kitchen but if we're talking about "dream kitchen" then there is a lot of stuff that I would change. I would put in totally new cabinets (but more or less in the same layout) with all the new built in fun storage gadgets and I would probably get them in a cream color because it would offset the chocolate wood flooring I would love to install. The general theme colors of my stuff for the kitchen are turquoise and chocolate, love, love those colors in my kitchen.
This is the dining room portion of the kitchen and it's a really good space, but I would like to get rid of the country style table and get one of the taller bar style tables that are in style right now. The rug we also inherited from Craig's mom and it works great because it has the chocolate brown combined with the turquoise of the kitchen and the green of the living room.

A look of the kitchen in general. Do you see the complete LACK of counter space? Over to the right there is a lot of counter space, but it isn't really usable because of its distance from the cooking area. We use that mostly for my beloved Keurig coffee maching as well as bills and other mail and paperwork that comes in. I wish there was something we could do to better utilize that space so that it doesn't look so cluttered all the time. Or maybe if Craig wasn't such a packrat and keep anything and everything in complete disorganization. Sigh.
Living Room:
See how open it is from the kitchen to the living room? We love, love, LOVE this aspect of the house because I can cook and catch up on television at the same time. Or I can watch tv and ignore Craig at dinner when he gets mouthy. Ha!

Our living room is probably the most "finished" room in the house - there is only really one big thing left for me to do and that is...
paint the wall behind this shelving unit a light green to match the accent color of the living room.

See? Almost all finished! We even got curtains - this was part of my rationed house money from last month. I can't tell you how much warmer, cozier and pulled together our living room looks now that we have curtains. I didn't know how big of a difference they would make!

Originally when we moved in we didn't have this set up for the couches and instead the big couch was directly in front of the tv and the smaller couch was against the wall to the left in the picture. We had to rearrange furniture last summer when Craig had a knee surgery on his left knee and said that he needed the couch to be moved so that he could lie on the couch and watch tv without having to turn his head. I'm not kidding. We started moving things around the day before the surgery and this is what we ended up with and I think that it works much better for the size and shape of the room.

"Mom? Are you done yet? I'm kind of hungry and I'd like to play ball."

House Tour Part I

Since the wedding we have added so much stuff to the house because now we A)don't have to save up money to pay for the photographer or the flowers and B)we got so many beautiful presents from our friends and family that we (well, I) have been inspired to do more and more to the house. Craig has the handle on the credit cards though and I've had to ration my spending but we've got a lot of great ideas for what we want to do around our house.

Guest half bath downstairs in the foyer:
I despise with a passion the crappy wallpaper that the previous owners have put up in this small space. The room isn't very big and it has been made to feel smaller with that dark maroon wallpaper. They also did not put up the wallpaper properly and therefore it is coming off in some spots and bubbling up in others.

My plans for this room include taking down the awful wallpaper and painting the walls a very light and icy blue color. Craig also wants to take out the faux wood flooring and put in some sort of gray tile as well as redoing the terrible caulking job the previous owners did. Above the toilet I will put one of those shelving units that you can find at Target so that we have some sort of storage place for toilet paper and other bathroom necessities. The mirror will also be replaced and I would like to find a white, lacquered style hanging mirror to fill that space.
We have a beautiful grand entrance but unfortunately it's a little marred by the mustard yellow paint job, the terribly worn carpeting on the stairs as well as the dated railing. The light fixture isn't too bad, Craig's not a real big fan..but I think I could work with it to create a spectacular entrance.
Oh hello Angie...I know you're confused:
"Why is Mom running around taking all these pictures of my house?"

My plans for this space include changing the paint color to something warmer in the beige family and eventually taking out the tile and replacing it with dark chocolate engineered wood flooring. I'd like to replace the banister with something more solid - maybe a mixture of metal that matches the chandelier and the dark wood of the future flooring. The carpeting on the stairway needs to be replaced very badly and we'll most likely do that pretty soon and we'll use the same beigey-gray color that is in the master bedroom. On the last picture is the most prominent wall in our foyer which is the perfect place to display pictures of our family accompanied by the "Laura and Craig Nelson, established 2010" sign that we received as a wedding present. BUT...I need a black or dark brown wooden occasional table to fill that space below the pictures so that it doesn't look so blank. This has proven much more difficult than I ever expected because all the tables that I have found are either too country, too gaudy or too expensive. I like plain and clean lines combined with unique features as well as functionality too. Apparently I'm asking for too much because so far my search has yielded no results.
Formal Dining Room:
This space is probably one of my favorite aspects of the house because it really is a dramatic room with the tall ceiling and the floor to ceiling arched windows. This room is in the front of the house and is easily distinguishable from the street. The green paint color was left by the previous owners and it's one of the few colors in the house that I have actually left alone because I love it so much.

Luckily for us were were able to inherit some furniture from Craig's mom who was in the process of downsizing her house at the same time that we were purchasing our home. The pieces work great in the dining room because they match the green as well as the metal work in the chandelier. Although I love this room in it's current state and I doubt there will be any major changes made anytime soon (besides maybe the flooring) I did have a brilliant idea for a "dream" room the other day. Please keep in mind that this idea was quickly vetoed by both my friend Emily and Craig. Paint the walls a deep red (but not maroon) and the railings gray. Take out the pale flooring and put in a dark gray engineered wood floor. White and black rug underneath a laquered black dining room table surrounded by black chairs with cream upholstery. Brilliant chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Sigh...I know it would be beautiful but it is a bit unreasonable.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Just a little bored

1. Spell my name as it sounds: Loruh

2. Am I a worrier? Absolutely and without a doubt. I go through every conceivable outcome of every situation just so that I can be prepared for whatever might happen.

3. What’s my favorite CD? Kings of Leon - Only by the Night. It is the first cd in MANY years where I have to listen to every single song. There is such a raw angst in Followill's lyrics and voice.

4. Favorite color(s)? Light green and turquoise. But not together.

5. Does my home have an attic? Yes...but there really isn't anything interesting up there.

6. Have I ever been to Canada? Yes. I went on a cruise up the Inlet Passage to Alaska with my parents when I was 11 and we stopped off in Vancouver on the way home and stayed a few days.

7. Have I ever gone fishing? Nope. And I don't have any plans to go anytime soon.

8. Have I ever seen a celebrity? Yes: Bay Bay Bay from Charm School on VH1, Michael Irvin of the Cowboys and I hugged ALL FIVE of the New Kids on the Block.

9. Have I ever been on a motorcycle? Not with it turned on.

10. How much money do I have on me right now? None - all my money is in my wallet which is across the room.

11. How many cars have I owned? Four: 1998 white Chevy Cavalier (named Diablo), 2003(?) champagne Kia Optima, 2006 gray Acura TSX (named Delilah) and a 2010 GMC Acadia (named Ginny...short for Genvieve). Don't ask about the names.

12. How many jobs have I had? Lifeguard at NRH2O (three summers), Daycare worker at YMCA (Senior year), one terrible Christmas break at Abercrombie, Daycare worker at Children's Courtyard (four years in college), teacher and coach at three separate middle schools.

13. How tall am I? Six feet flat.

14. Last person to call me: My friend Emily called this afternoon - I need to call her back.

15. Last thing I yelled out loud: I have no idea...probably something about Angie.

16. Last person I was in a car with: Craig

17. Last time I ate at McDonald’s: Last week - I was on a fast food binge. I love a good Big Mac.

18. Last thing I bought: Can't really remember, but it was nothing exciting or interesting that's for sure.

19. Last person I saw: Craig when we were washing Angie in the bathtub.

20. Last time I cried: Driving home from the hospital on a Friday night after I had left Craig in the hospital room for the night with complications from his knee surgery.

21. Last time I laughed: Washing the dog with Craig - Angie has such an expressive face and she was totally pissed the entire time she was getting bathed.

22. What is the temperature outside? Too hot to be out there...even at 10:00 at night.

23. What time of the day did I get married? I think the ceremony was at 5:00 pm.

24. What did I do two nights ago? I was playing two hours of volleyball with my Wednesday night ladies league. My arm was crazy sore the next day, but it's always worth it.

25. Who’s birthday is coming up next? Mine is up next in August! And Craig's mom's is in July and his sister's is in August too. And Jennifer's is in July.

26. What time did I go to bed last night? Way too late. I couldn't fall asleep because I was so worried about Field Day today.

27. What was the first thing I thought this morning? What do I need to do in order to be ready for four hours out in the heat with 200 sixth grade students?

28. What are my plans for this weekend? Not a whole lot on Saturday - mainly some yard work and laundry. Sunday I'm going to see Wicked with some girls from my old school and then we're going to attempt to barbeque on Monday for Memorial Day.

29. Lemonade or iced tea? Easy. Lemonade.

30. What do I dislike at this moment? That the wonderful school district that is keeping me employed during this rough economic time is keeping us in school longer than any other district in the entire universe. Summer still seems so far away.

31. What did I dream about last night? Nothing that I can remember. The other night I had a great dream that I was sitting on my bed catching up with an old friend. Made me want to reach out and contact her.

32. What’s the last TV show I watched? Millionaire Matchmaker episode that I had skipped during the season.

33. What is my favorite piece of jewelry? Duh. My engagement and wedding rings.

34. Am I a dancer? Um. Not a good one. But after a few drinks, I'll give it the ol' college try.

35. Have I ever cut my own hair? No. That wouldn't have a positive outcome.

36. What is my favorite treat? I love Tiramisu.

37. How many piercings/tattoos do I have? My pierced ears and the word "passione" (passion in Italian) on my left hip. Eventually I would like to get "resistenza" (strength in Italian) on the other hip. Maybe after childbirth the thought of the needle going in and out of my skin causing great pain...won't be so painful.

38. Where’s my favorite place to be? On vacation with Craig because we are such good travel buddies...we know we're both out for relaxation and not necessarily trips packed full of events.

39. Is there someone I haven’t seen in a while and miss? Obviously my deceased relatives but also my middle brother Mike who lives in Maine. I also miss my friend of many years, Kristin. I did her wrong and I've grown up and I would like to know her as an adult now...instead of as a selfish, ignorant child (myself...not her).

40. Who was the last text I sent to? Craig - I asked him if he wanted to come upstairs and watch Criminal Minds and cuddle. He said that he would rather watch his tornado show. Hmph.

41. Do I care what strangers think about me? I want them to see me as kind, generous and authentic.

42. Last person I talked to on Instant Messenger: I don't IM. I have enough technology that keeps me connected with the world.

43. Last person to make me cry: Craig being in the hospital...and the prayers that I was sending up to my Grandma to watch over him when I couldn't be there.

44. Who can I tell anything to? Probably Craig or my mom. But definitely Angie - she never tells my secrets.

45. What am I doing tomorrow? Sleeping. Sleeping. Sleeping.

46. Do I have alcohol in my home? Just my favorite wines. The Pinot Grigio and the Riesling.

47. Do I like ketchup? You should see me and Jill (my assistant coach) at the drive through at Chick Fil-A. There isn't enough ketchup in that entire restaurant that would satiate our insane need for that particular condiment.

48. Do I think I will be on a vacation this summer? Absolutely. Two weeks in Europe for my birthday.

49. What color is my master bathroom? Not the color I would paint it. It's currently a maroon color but I would prefer something MUCH lighter.

50. Do I wear a bikini at the beach? Yeah, but I'm terribly self-conscious about it.

51. Have I ever been to the Grand Canyon? Flown over it on the way to Vegas.

52. What is my favorite fruit? Pears.

53. What did I really want to do today? Be on our summer vacation away from children and early mornings.

54. Am I always cold? I am more cold than hot and I HATE being cold. Love the heat.

55. Does it annoy me when someone says they’ll call or text, but don’t? Not really. I get more mad at myself when I don't call or text people back when I'm supposed to because I know that it is annoying to other people.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just a few questions...


1. Who is your man? Craig

2. How long have you been together? Officially...a little over two years but unofficially...a lot longer than that.

3. How long did you date? We were "officially" dating for about 11 months before we got engaged.

4. How old is your man? 36...10 years older than me.

5. Who eats more? On a normal day he probably does but my appetite can sometimes give him a run for his money.

6. Who said "I love you" first? I asked him about this the other day...neither of us can remember! I remember telling a friend of mine several months before we started dating that "I love Craig and I know I'm going to marry him...I just can't date him right now."

7. Who is taller? Most of the time we're pretty even heights.

8. Who sings better? Neither!!

9. Who is smarter? I think it depends on which kinds of smarts you're talking about. I have the book smarts but he has more business and common sense smarts.

10. Whose temper is worse? Mine is worse on a regular basis but when he gets riled up and explodes it's pretty intense.

11. Who does the laundry? He puts it in and switches the loads around but I won't let him fold anything.

12. Who takes out the garbage? He usually takes the garbage can to the curb on Monday mornings but we both take the garbage bags out to the can in the garage.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? He does.

14. Who pays the bills? I do, I don't think he even knows what bills we have

15. Who is better with the computer? Probably pretty equal.

16. Who cooks dinner? I definitely cook all the meals...but he will usually grill.

17. Who drives when you are together? He usually drives but when he has had surgery, I have to drive him around.

18. Who pays when you go out? Mostly me because I have my purse and he leaves his cards in the car.

19. Who is most stubborn? That's a tough one...we're both pretty stubborn, but about different things.

20. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? It goes back and forth.

21. Whose parents do you see the most? Probably his mom a little bit more because she lives so much closer, but my parent's aren't that far away either.

22. Who kissed who first? He definitely kissed me first...right after he tucked me into bed when I sprained my ankle.

23. Who proposed? He proposed in our bedroom after we both had just gotten home from work and were still in our track pants and hoodies!

24. Who is more sensitive? Definitely me.

25. Who wears the pants in the family? I look to him for a lot of guidance and major family decisions, but I think I'm the emotional backbone of the family.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hospital Stay

Craig and I have been in and out of hospitals over the course of the past few days trying to figure out what exactly is causing the redness, swelling and tenderness in his left knee, right around the surgery site. He had been doing so well with his physical therapy and was beginning to see the end of the knee pain tunnel this sudden onset of symptoms really threw him for a loop.

Long story short, he spent Friday night in the hospital running all sorts of tests trying to figure out if there was any kind of infection or blood clot in his leg and eventually all the signs pointed towards "cellulitis" which is a sort of bacterial infection in his knee. We were sent home from the hospital on Saturday armed with antibiotics and pain medication with a follow-up appointment scheduled for yesterday (Monday) morning.

Unfortunately, Monday morning's meeting with the knee surgeon did not yield good results and Craig was sent onto an internal medicine doctor who could better treat Craig's illness. This particular doctor told Craig that he needed to be admitted to the hospital for at least two days in order to recieve copious amounts of antibiotics through an IV in order to treat his cellulitis. Craig's family and I met him in the ER where he was being seen by the ER doctor as well as the internal medicine doctor that was on-call.

As we all probably know, the emergency room is not known for it's quickness and at 10:30, after sitting in the room for almost four hours...Craig and I were getting antsy and angry. A doctor came in and told us that he and this other specialist had reviewed all of Craig's tests and they decided that the best course of action would be to send us home with some stronger antibiotics. Needless to say, we were both upset, angry and most of all confused. Not that I didn't want to sleep in my own bed and cuddle with my puppy that night, but we were both under the impression that Craig's condition was serious and needed to be treated in a hospital. This doctor did not have very good bedside manners and after a tense discussion promptly left our room promising to send the other doctor to see us and answer our questions. To which I answered "when will that be...after ANOTHER two hours of waiting?" I was getting frustrated for Craig - he was sitting on this uncomfortable bed without any of the medicine in his system that this doctor was saying he needed.

We waited a bit longer and then I knew I had to make a decision. Neither of our mother's were there to take control of the situation and as his wife, I knew it was up to me to fight for the care and answers that Craig deserved. I ventured into the hallway and down to the nurse's station where I found our good-natured nurse, Greg. He and I discussed what was going on and he helped me to better understand the nature of healthcare politics...basically the doctor Craig saw in the afternoon did not have the jurisdiction to automatically place Craig in the hospital, but instead had to refer him to the ER hospital doctors to look over and then reevaluate. That was the crucial bit of information that we needed to hear. I asked to speak with the other doctor and told Greg that regardless of whether we were going to be admitted to the hospital or sent home, things needed to move quickly because we're both tired and more importantly...Craig doesn't feel good and he's getting angry.

Shortly thereafter, the ER internal medicine specialist doctor came in and she was truly an angel. She didn't look that much older than me and she plopped herself in the rolling chair and began going through Craig's knee history with him from the very beginning with the surgery in April. She listened to everything he had to say and asked important questions about the onset of his symptoms and the tests that had been run the previous weekend. After Craig said his piece she went step by step through the hospital procedures (diagnosis, admittance etc) as well as thoroughly described the illness that is afflicting Craig at this point in time. She answered all our questions and listened diplomatically as well as compassionately to our frustrations. At no point in time was she condescending or rude and she always made sure to affirm the fact that Craig was in fact, in pain and very ill. She just had a way of calming him down and reassuring us that sending us home with stronger antibiotics would, in fact, be the best course of action at this time. Again...not that we didn't want to go home, we had just been led to believe that Craig's situation was very poor and needed the immediate and intense type of care that only a hospital could provide. In the end I felt like hugging her around the neck, but instead opted for a handshake and a heartfelt "thank you." Craig got loaded up on antibiotics and pain meds and we hit the road to come back home.

We are grateful to be able to take care of his sickness at home and he will be staying home from school for the rest of the week in order to give his body the time it needs to heal itself. I am so glad that all my prayers were answered and through all of this, I truly feel closer to Craig. I also am really proud of the fact that I was able to step up and calmly but firmly make my feelings heard and get the things necessary for Craig's health accomplished.

And on a side note, we got our sod laid down today...we now have a gorgeous and green front yard!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Summer Fun

With only a few more weeks of school left, my eyes are focused on summer vacation. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to say that I'm spending the entire summer lying by the pool sipping Sonic drinks and reading trashy romance novels, Craig and I (and Angie as well) are going to be incredibly busy for most of the summer.

Here is what I'm looking forward to:

August 1 - 14: Happy birthday to me! Craig surprised me at Christmas with a trip to Europe for my 27th birthday! We're going to begin in Paris, France for a few days then take a train down to Torino, Italy where we will see a U2 concert and then we'll finish with several days in and around Rome, Italy. I'm so excited to see Paris with Craig - it's a city and country that neither of us have ever traveled to and there is so much history and culture for us to experience. Torino should be interesting - I've never seen the Alps and I'm going to drag Craig to the Fiat car museum while we're there. It will be fun to see U2 perform in a foreign country. And then onto Rome...sigh. This is the emotional part for me - I have a lot of family ties to Italy and it is important for Craig to see the country and understand a bit more why I (and my beloved mother) are the way we are. I want to show him the Vatican, the cafes, the piazzas, and the food - I am dying for Italian wine and tiramisu! This is going to be a trip that we remember for a very long time.

July 12 - 16: Craig and I will be traveling to Tennessee for a basketball tournament with several of his Team Texas basketball teams. I don't know if this is going to be the most EXCITING trip of my summer, but it will be nice to see a part of the country I've never visited as well as watching Craig coach his girls.

July 28 - 31: Craig's BIG basketball tournament of the summer is the last three days of July, right before we leave for Europe.

July 19 - 23: I will be working the high school volleyball camp. A few weeks ago I didn't really intend on doing this since I had hoped that I would be a classroom teacher and not coaching anymore but since I didn't get that job I will be spending the week working with my upcoming 7th and 8th graders on their volleyball skills. I sometimes dread the week because it is long and tiring but it does serve a good purpose because I get to see not only my athletes but the competition from the other schools.

August: Craig and I have decided that August is our month to start "trying" to have kids...or whatever that means. This should be an interesting experiment. I already feel I'm cheating on Angie because she isn't a good enough child.