Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm free

School is out for the summer!

It was harder than usual for me to say goodbye to my kids this year. I had the best class -- my favorite in 12 years of teaching, actually. I loved those little crazies. Anyway, I had a few lumps in my throat at the end of the day, which is unusual for me. But like I told the kiddos, I don't like goodbyes, so I refuse to say them.

So now the entire summer is in front of me, and I'm sure going to try and make the most of this one. I WILL start scrapbooking, even if it kills me. I want to [TRY] and get into some sort of shape (besides round). And most of all, I want to make the most of my family time -- both as a mommy and as a wife. It's extra special this summer since we're facing so many changes and challenges. But I absolutely refuse to mope around and let my emotions get the best of me!

So. It is with the best of intentions, that I begin summer 2008. Ahhhh. Can't wait.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I did some shredding today. And I'm talking ... an Enron-amount of shredding. Boxes and boxes of multi-colored confetti are now resting comfortably in the big ol' recycle dumpster at the local elementary school. But beyond the paper, there was much more.

A definite positive to this whole moving process is being forced to sort through all the crap in your life that's been sitting on the top shelf of the closet, or in the bottom of the junk drawer in the spare bedroom. You have to stop and analyze whether or not it's worth it to actually take something out of a box and store it somewhere ... again ... or just toss it.

Sometimes the digging isn't so deep and the decision isn't so difficult. I mean, how important is it to keep every single paystub you've ever received? Not very. And old bills, receipts and lease agreements from your first apartment out of college (almost 15 years ago ... GULP!)? Nah. Not necessary.

But then you encounter the stuff that makes you stop and pause before tossing it away. It doesn't necessarily mean you're pining for the past -- but more like thinking back to a time when life was simpler, and organized by fewer levels of complexity.

The yearbooks, of course you keep. And for some reason, I kept the [totally useless] box that my Aggie Ring came in. I threw away the random shot glasses, as well as the old tarnished James Avery dangle charm rings that were oh-so-important to me when I was a girl. There just comes a time when, as much as you love the memory, you have to finally part with the tangible evidence of it -- for the sake of sanity and space, in the very least.

Then there was the picture of Bev and I in New York City with those crazy guys we met -- the ones who we hung out with in countless bars that glorious, long weekend. The ones who painted their faces before the Texas A&M vs. FSU game and had us laughing for years afterwards. I'm never going to stick that photo in a frame, but seeing it today still made me laugh. So I saved it.

And then there were the cards, pictures, and other crazy nicknacks (a USAF name badge from his uniform?!) from the ex -- the BIG ex. Wading through all of this stuff didn't necessarily make me laugh. Instead, it made me exhale and think, "Dang. I was so close to making a very monumental mistake, wasn't I?" These tokens and trinkets had me pausing amidst all the clutter and crap, looking at my dusty, crazy life today and saying to myself, "Wow. I did it right." I threw away the uniform name badge. And it was cathartic.

The local Good Will made a killing this weekend. And I learned a lot about myself along the way.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bud Light Lime

Hubby stopped by Specs this afternoon, so I asked him to grab me a 6-pack of Bud Light Lime. I didn't expect to like it, but it's pretty darn good, for a gimicky beer. It's refreshing (that's annoyingly cliche, I know) and really light. The lime isn't overpowering at all. In fact, I added a fresh lime wedge to my second bottle.

I'll definitely be buying more. Good timing too -- perfect for summertime. Maybe it'll help me drink away my misery over gas prices.

Yummy cold goodness.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I got a new toy!

No, not THAT kind of toy.

I got a new phone! It's race car cool, but it's the first time in my whole life where I sorta feel like technology has passed me by -- I haven't yet figure out how to navigate my way around all the bells and whistles. And I'm talking about the BASIC navigation (like scrolling!).

My super swell friend B informed me that today's "gen X/Y/Z (?)-ers" now use their thumbs instead of index fingers for scrolling on a touch-screen. So maybe that's my problem. Regardless, I think it's somewhat sad that I now own a phone that I can't even maneuver, as designed. But I'm looking forward to playing with it!

It's the little things in life, right? Like a sexy new phone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've been feelin' kind of blue for a few months. No, things haven't gone exactly as planned, but the thing is, I'm still in the game. Life is still so very much worth relishing and breathing in deep. So I thought I'd take quick stock of all that I have.

My son. He's my sun, moon, stars ... and sticky, syrupy fingers ... he's a cranky, beastie of 2-year-old when he wakes up ... he's a singer of the "ACBs" song ... and pointer-outer of all letters and numbers he sees. He's the greatest gift I've ever been given, and I'm humbled every day.

My job. I'm able to work every day in the field in which I earned my degree ... in a school full of kids I adore, among peers who keep me sane and smiling.

Good wine. Pulling the cork from a beautiful bottle of liquid grapes, and taking that first deep breath of goodness never gets old. Thank God for Bogle, La Crema, Pascual Toso, and all my other current vino loves.

Good cheese. (see above ... to go with good wine). A chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano on a cracker, with spicy mango chutney is my current favorite. But who can resist a slice of stinky stilton? Or a good Danish bleu? And don't even get me started on a creamy Havarti. Delish.

My twin sister. Couldn't live without her.

Texas. I'm so blessed to live in this great state, among the finest people in the world. It never gets old. The more I travel and the farther away I go, the more I realize how much I love it.

My husband. I don't deserve him, even a little bit. I can't believe he puts up with me and loves me, despite all my madness. I can't wait to go through this quirky ride called life with him and see what else lies in store for us.

My Lord. Who through Him, all things are possible.

My VOE girls, B and N. One provides an ear I've grown to love and rely on (plus, she introduced me to Edward and Bella and all the other Twilight crew), and the other keeps me laughing. It's a damn good mix.

Bubble baths and candles. Not for romance. For ME. Time to soak and escape. Even for a little bit.

My family. Mom, Dad, Christine. I'm so lucky to live near them and be a part of their lives. I know I take them for granted.

Baseball and college football. One means summer, the other means fall. God, I so love them both. Especially in Aggieland.

A good book, soft sheets, and time to myself. It just doesn't get much better. Oh, wait. Yeah it does. See above.

Yeah, life is pretty darn good in my world. I'm blessed.

Monday, May 19, 2008

great weekend

My beloved Fightin' Texas Aggies won the Big 12 Baseball crown this weekend. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in the stands with my family for game 2 of the series against the 'Horns. A good time was had by all.

Of course we got in some good eats and drinks along the way ... College Station is a fun place to visit. Anyone who's interested should head up in June for the 2nd Annual Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival. Should be a great time!

Summer is starting to kick into gear, and it feels darn good. Only 8 days of school left, and then I'm free for awhile.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Ranked up there in the annals of fun, right next to swim suit shopping and stomach viruses, is moving.

For the past several days, we've been knee-deep in boxes, dust and forced-organization (or a lack thereof). It's just not much fun, but unfortunately, there's really no way around it when you have to do it.

The positives? Throwing stuff out. After hanging on to them for far too many years, there's really no need for me to keep the old blue bathmats and towels from my first apartment. They're gone now. Good feeling. Less bulk. Another positive? A sense of new beginnings usually settles in after a move, when the dust settles and your mind is once again, [semi-] clear.

The negatives? Wow. This time, unfortunately, there are quite a few. Leaving our very first home has been gut-wrenching for me. I've tried to keep a stiff upper lip about the whole thing and not get overly emotional (I've failed miserably, at times) about the bricks, sticks and paint color. In the end, it's the people in your life that really matter. And that's what I'll truly miss the most -- having my best friend far away for the next two years. You just get so used to seeing the faces you love, that when you try and close your eyes and imagine them not there every day, it sort of rips you to pieces. But I'd be lying if I said that it hasn't been difficult entrusting total strangers to pack up our life, load it up into boxes, and ship it to some non-descript building.

I haven't written about any of this much because frankly, I haven't had the heart. Plus, it usually makes me cry, and I'm all cried out. But I'm anxious to get the ball rolling on all of this and get it over with. The sooner Ty leaves, the sooner I can start the countdown for his return. And I'm a master at countdowns! The bottom line is, we'll be stronger after all of this is behind us.

Oh! I forgot to list the MOTHERLOAD of all positives! I won't be driving 2 hours every day to and from work! We're gonna get rich on the money we save in gas alone!

Once again, onward.

Monday, May 12, 2008

flip flops

I love everything about flip flops. I love the way they look. I love the way they feel. I love the sounds they make when I'm walking in them.

You can't help but feel good when you're wearing flip flops. It usually means that life is casual and fun ... and you're somewhere in the neighborhood of summertime. But it doesn't have to be summer, and therein lies the greatness of flip flops -- they work even if you're wearing sweats.

You may wonder why I'm writing about my favorite shoe today. Sadly, it's because the principal at the school where I work has banned flip flops. Yes, I said BANNED flip flops. All I can say is, the guy is clearly out of touch. I work with a bunch of amazing women (and a few men) who arrive at work every day ready to give our kiddos 100%. I mean, come on. None of us are in this career for the money, right? We do it because we love teaching kids.

For the most part, nobody schleps themself into work wearing the shower-shoe type of flip flops. The girls at work dress really cute, often times accessorizing perfectly with a rainbow of stylish and fun flip flops -- leather ones, pink ones, jeweled ones, ribboned ones ... you name it. It's great. We're elementary school teachers, not investment bankers!

So, from here on out, it's adios to my flip flops at work. Which will make them that much more adored by me when I'm at home. Things around here already seem a little big gloomier without that flip flopping music ringing in the halls.

People (specifically, principals), really shouldn't sweat the little things. Life is too damn short.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

my Stephenie Meyer journey continues...

Stephenie Meyer's first "adult" novel was released yesterday. My dear, crazy friend B actually took a half-day off of work to stand in line at a Barnes and Noble across town to buy us each a copy. AND ... with these particular books came an extra special prize ... wristbands allowing us admittance into a book discussion this Friday with Stephenie Meyer herself. Yippee!

So, in the mean time, I'm frantically trying to read The Host, the above-mentioned book, that I started yesterday. Unlike the first page of Twilight, which immediately grabbed hold of my entire being and sucked me in to to the entire series for a good week (hey, I had 3 books to read!), my initial reaction to The Host was not as positive. In fact, it actually sort of disturbed me. The book is a sci-fi thriller (totally not my usual cup of tea), and began with some very dramatic events. But I persevered.

I've now made it up to chapter 15, and I'm starting to get into the plot. I just knew in my heart of hearts that dear ol' Stephenie wouldn't let me down! I'm not saying that I love it yet, but it's getting pretty good. However ...

... I sure miss Edward and Bella.

I can't wait to hear about them this Friday! And I'm so looking forward to some girl-time with B as well! Oh, and on top of all the excitement, the Twilight movie trailer was released this week too! Holy crap! SENSORY OVERLOAD! How much Stephenie Meyer excitement can a girl take?! The movie looks awesome! Ty has already promised to take me for my birthday once it's released in December -- definitely something to look forward to during the long months ahead of us.

Gotta run. I have a ton of reading to do. ;)

Monday, May 05, 2008

last week in our home

This is a tough week. It's our last week together as a family in our very first home ... at least for the next two years, anyway.

The movers arrive next week to pack up all of our stuff and ship it to various places across the country. Our furniture and other "big" items will land in San Antonio, where our storage unit is located (gotta love military contracting). Our "personal" stuff, along with anything else I can think of that I might possibly need during the next two years (no pressure there!) will be headed to Houston -- specifically, to my mom's house. And finally, Ty's SAR gear, diving gear, work stuff and clothes will find its way up to La Push, Washington, where he'll be stationed for the next two years.

I'm working every day to stay positive about all of this, but it's really gut-wrenching. I love our little home and all of the little touches that we've added to it over the years to make it our very own. The paint colors on the walls, the plants in the yard, the little details in ARF's very first bedroom -- all of it. I continue to remind myself that all of this has to be happening for a reason. I'm keeping my eyes focused ahead, and not behind.

For a terribly nostalgic and sentimental person, there are about a million reasons to let this week bury me. But you know what? I'm not going to let it happen. Instead, I'm going to enjoy every last minute of the time we have left together in our house on Port Carissa Drive.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

a sunny saturday, al fresco

Very few things beat a sunny afternoon on the patio (if you're in the Houston area, head over to Guadalajara), with a cold beer, chips and queso, and the people you love.

Add bright flowers, umbrellas, and a nice breeze into the mix, and you have the makings of a pretty damn perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Time well-spent.