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I haven’t fallen off the edge of the Earth! I swear!

14 Jan

I’m still here and I still actually continue to do things – I just haven’t been blogging about them.  This weekend is a long weekend, so perhaps I’ll make the time to catch up on here…

It’s been more than 6 months since I posted to this blog, but I haven’t given up on blogging, I’ve just been incredibly overwhelmed and busy!

Quick overview of my life since last June:

  • Chuck and I did our usual summer vacationing:
    • We went to Virginia Beach for a week with the dogs and visited our dear friend Mary, and met her friend Debbie.  We can always count on a fun and relaxing week when we visit Mary.
    • We went to Rehoboth Beach with Chuck’s friends and enjoyed the boardwalk and having fun with all of our friends’ dogs, bunnies, and children (I let a 12-year-old convince me I wanted to sling-shot myself into the air with nothing but bungee cords strapping me in…but, as they often are, the 12-year-old was right…it was fun)
    • I went to Ocean City for the first time ever.  It was like being on the longest boardwalk I’ve ever seen, with tons of eateries, shops, and arcades…that repeat every block…for blocks and blocks and blocks.
    • We traveled with my family to Edisto Island and enjoyed a week of sun, sand, and toddlers.  We rented bikes and a golf cart and enjoyed a nice, slow Southern vacation with family.
    • We visited with my mom in South Carolina and now I realize that will be my last trip to see her there because she’s moving back up here!!!!  (well, to Tennessee, which is closer than SC…so YAY!!!)
  • I got a full-time teaching job in a school I love, teaching students I love, alongside colleagues whom I both respect and enjoy.
    • Finally teaching.  Is. Awesome.
    • Along with the teaching job came the added responsibility of being a class sponsor.  I am sponsoring a spunky class of 375 Sophomores.  I love being a class sponsor, but it definitely adds more to my already full plate…however, we kicked ass at Powder Puff, we won the Spirit Cup during our Fall Spirit Week, we had a fun and successful Breakfast with Santa fundraiser, and we’re preparing to host two more big events this Spring…we’ll see if I make it out alive!
  • We adopted a puppy for Chuck’s parents (but I not-so-secretly wish he was mine).  His mama was a black-and-tan coon hound and we think his papa was a Vizsla, or something like it.  He’s a farm dog, and he’s awesome.  He’s handsome and smart and very sweet.  Having a puppy around has been fun and has definitely kept us entertained.  I think Chuck’s parents are as in love with him as I am…
  • Chuck and I celebrated our 30th Birthdays by taking a trip to Orlando over Halloween weekend.
    • Hard Rock Hotel = AWESOME (this was new for both of us and it was totally worth the $$$)
    • Disney World = AWESOME (as usual…this is a place Chuck and I never tire of)
    • Universal Studios = AWESOME (this was new for me, but not Chuck…it was really fun!)
    • Universal Islands of Adventures = AWESOME (we’ve done this together before and loved it)
    • Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios = CRAZY AWESOME!  (SOOOOOOOO much fun!!!  For Halloween lovers like us, this was the ultimate Halloween celebration)
    • Wizarding World of Harry Potter = O.M.F.G.  This was seriously the best place I’ve ever been in my whole entire life.  We drank butterbeer.  We went to Zonk’s.  We bought wands.  We dorked it up like we’ve never done before and I think when I die and go to heaven, I will wake up at WWoHP.  For reals.
  • We lost Gus, our 17-year-old Pomeranian, right before Christmas.  I don’t want to talk about that.  But we love him and miss him terribly.
  • After a long pregnancy (well, it was actually the normal duration, but seemed long) with gestational diabetes, my best friend had the most beautiful baby girl right before Christmas…  I made her a quilt which I will share with you later…
  • I’ve only read a very few books since I last posted…
    • The first two in the Millennium Trilogy (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Girl Who Played with Fire)…I have the third on my Kindle App, but have been sidetracked by other books.
    • The Thirteenth Tale (LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!  So fun to read!!!)
    • Sarah’s Key (I’m reading this one now and I really like it so far…)
  • I’ve made a few crafty things…As I already said, I made my friend a baby quilt, I also made some scarflettes as Christmas presents and I’m finishing up some burp cloths for Chuck’s cousin (who is due in a couple of weeks) and my best friend.
  • OH!!!  And I bought a NEW SEWING MACHINE!!!!  I managed to royally jam mine, and although it could have been taken to the shop and fixed, I thought it was the universe telling me “Go buy that super cool, super affordable Singer at Costco!!!”  So, I did!  I love it.  It has 79 stitches and a digital readout.  I’m so fancy!
  • I’m still attending Weight Watchers meetings at work and still not actually following the program, so I’m still not actually losing weight.  I made no resolutions because I never keep those anyway, but I do think I’m ready to start making better decisions regarding my health.  We’ll see.  Continuing to attend WW is part of the plan.  They just started the new Points Plus program, so I think it’s a good time for me to “rededicate” myself.  Again…we’ll see.  I make no promises, so nobody can shake their finger at me later.
  • Another part of the “making better decisions” plan is playing with Chuck’s Kinect more.  That thing is crazy fun and I actually enjoy it…I just need to do it regularly.  Again…no promises, because promises mean accountability and who really likes being accountable, anyway?

Okay, so that’s it for the catching up.  When I’m more awake (maybe tomorrow) I will post some photos of the trips and crafty things so that everyone can see.  For now, I feel good about actually coming back to the blog and I’m excited about posting more crafty stuff for you to see!  (you = my mom, sister, and best friend…because nobody else actually reads this blog…a fact with which I am totally cool).


Love is in the air…

3 Feb

Saw this cute Valentine’s Day garland and thought…heck!  That’s some easy seasonal decorating.  So…I made one to hang over our bed…you know…cuz that’s where romance happens.

Stealing ideas again…  You’d think I have none of my own.

According to the weather-man, Valentine’s weekend is slated to be bogged down with epic amounts of snow.  The sad news is that Chuck and I probably won’t be able to celebrate with our traditional dinner (Chuck proposed on Valentine’s Day and then he took me to a romantic dinner…every V-day since then we’ve gone back to that same restaurant to drink in the nostalgia of that special day).  The good news is that I know Chuck and I will spend our snowed-in weekend snuggling, with each other and with this guy…

Besides catching up on DVR’d TV shows, I’ll be sure to spend some time reading while snowed in.  I’ve literally stockpiled over a dozen books since my birthday which I have not had the time to read (student teaching has a way of sucking up time like a black hole).   Here are the ones cluttering my nightstand at the moment:

I’ve started all of them save Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.  I know…quality literature, right?  I really thought that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was fun, so I want to see if this one meets my standards for adulterated classics.  I received The Art of Racing in the Rain from a coworker for Christmas and started it but then never completely finished it, so it’s still waiting on me to return my attention to those last couple chapters.  And yes…I know I’m not a parent, but I think Scream-Free Parenting can help me become a better teacher…same reason for reading How to Talk So Kids Can Learn.  And The Host?  Well that’s just a random one I picked up at the library by Stephanie Meyer…I certainly won’t pretend that the Twilight series was well-crafted literature, but it was captivating in a strange way… I like to keep abreast of what secondary students are reading and I knew all of the Twi-hards would be picking this one up, so I thought I’d see if it’s as fun as Meyer’s vampy reads were.


Oh!!!  In other news – I am participating in my very first craft swap.  I’ve signed up to be a part of the Postcard Swap organized by iHanna (a cool crafter, author, and blogger I’ve been following on Google Reader).  I’ll update you when I finish my postcards.  I’ve not decided if I should scan them and post them on the blog or not…I don’t know if I should keep them a secret from the recipients, or just go ahead and share.  I’m excited to see who I get to “meet” in the swap and can’t wait to see what kinds of artsy, crafty postcards I receive in return.  I’m trying to think of something cool to do with the postcards sent to me…if you have any ideas, let me know!


4 Aug

Okay, so I also have to say, unabashedly, I have been a glutton for all things vampire and werewolf this week.  Since I work in a high school library, I know what the kids are reading and the “Twilight” series has been one hot commodity among the TJ girls.  I had to see what the hooplah was all about, so this week I bought the first two (Twilight and New Moon) in paperback and read them on Monday and Tuesday…then on Thursday I checked out the library copy of the third book (Eclipse) which I finished yesterday when I had some free time.  So, today while at Wal*Mart buying some organization tools, I saw the fourth and final book in the series and was compelled to buy it.

I cracked it for just a quick second when I got home and plan to finish it tomorrow after work.    I’ve never been into the whole “I’m so goth, I wear a black trench coat to accent my pale skin and midnight-plum nail polish” craze, but I really enjoyed this series…partly because it’s a brainless, fluffy read full of makeout scenes and partly because once you start, you get a little involved in the storyline and have to keep reading to find out what happens in the love triangle between a werewolf a vampire and a hormonal teenage girl.  Case in point: when I was paying at the cashier’s station in  Wal*Mart, the 20-something clerk with eight earrings in each ear was suddenly my friend, telling me how she’s only just past the wedding scene, but her roommate “is 600 pages in and absolutely hates Bella and Jacob now”.  Yes, indeed, this is a series that might make you refer to the main characters as if they are part of a reality on our plane of existence.

Although, I will say, I don’t think it’s quite right to compare Stephanie Meyers to J.K. Rowling, as many of the reviewers and critics have done lately…the plot is hardly complex and the character development doesn’t touch the depth of Rowling’s – also, these books, I think, appeal to a largely female audience, whereas the Harry Potter series intrigued boys and girls, children and adults. However, to give credit where it’s due, I understand why teenage girls are nuts over this series – the books are just plain fun.

Happy reading, all!