Friday, December 31, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes


I have read several blogs today about looking back over 2010 and preparing for 2011.  So many of the posts talked about how much change these families have undergone.  I started reflecting back on our year and we have also had a lot of changes.

This time last year I was preparing to tell hubby goodbye for his training in the Army.  On January 4, he staying in Central Arkansas for training and I went back to work in Northwest Arkansas.  In late January he left for Alabama for what we thought was going to be 8 weeks.  Well, 8 days later I got the phone call that he was coming home.  

I felt such a mixture of emotions upon receiving this call.  Some of these emotions I am not proud of at all and made me feel like a failure in the wife department.  But, you know what?  Things always turn out for the best and follow the plan God has set out for us.  

We went for a couple months not really knowing where our path was leading.  Hubby spent some time working in my school and found his new calling.  In July, he started back to school to get his master's in teaching.  18 graduate hours later and his is still working toward that goal and has a full-time instructional assistant position in my school.

I have also continued my graduate study at the University of Arkansas, which I really love.  I have always wanted to be a Razorback and now I am.  

This past year has also drawn me closer in my walk with Jesus.  I find myself spending a lot more time in prayer and studying the Bible.  Hubby and I have also started a nightly Bible study together.  I love it!  I hope to continue these things in 2011.  I don't know if I really have any other resolutions in 2011, but I know I want to spent more time thinking about the positives in my life and not the negatives.  Life isn't about keeping up with the Joneses, but about finding happiness in what I do have.

I wish all of you a very happy and blessed new year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Here's wishing you and your family a blessed and wonderful Christmas.  I hope all of you enjoy your time as much as I'm enjoying mine.  It's our second day here at Disney World and we are enjoying it so much.  I hope to do some posts about the trip soon.  There just hasn't been anytime yet.  The best part is spending time with loved ones.  I hope you get to spend time with your loved ones.  Again, Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I know a lot of us are very busy this time of year, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love Christmas vacation!  Tomorrow is Monday and it is so nice to know that I don't have to get up and go to work.  I have two whole weeks off and even though they are going to be busy, it is going to be different than having to go to work.  I know all the other teachers out there have to feel the same way.

Today we made to trip from NWA down to our other house in Central Arkansas.  We had Christmas with my mom and what a Christmas it was.  I'll try to do a post later on all the loot!  It's not over yet, either.  We opened a lot of our gifts that were big so that we wouldn't have to take them to Florida.

Right now I'm in the middle of make cinnamon rolls.  The recipe is courtesy of The Pioneer Woman and let me tell you, she doesn't disappoint with this recipe.  I can't wait to eat these things and I know my hips will definitely thank me for these yummy treats.

Tomorrow will be spent finishing the cinnamon rolls and packing the car for our 6:00 a.m. departure on Tuesday.  Truthfully, we probably won't leave until closer to 6:30, but a girl can always dream.  We stop in Atlanta Tuesday night and hopefully visit The Georgia Aquarium.  If you haven't been, you definitely should plan a stop there sometime.  Simply put, it is AMAZING.  On Wednesday evening we will head to Florida and will arrive at Disney World on Thursday.

I can't wait for this trip, I know we are going to have a blast.  I also have a few Christmas surprises up my sleeve.  I hope to have time to post a couple of times on the road.  If I don't get around to it, I hope everyone has a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up with Mama M. Come on. Join in. It’ll be fun!

1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?  I have never regifted, but I am not totally opposed to the idea.  I also would not be offended if someone regifted something to me.  I feel that if I have been given something that I know someone else would want/enjoy more I wouldn't feel bad for giving it to them.  

2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?  I don't know anything that I am getting for sure.  I really hope that Santa thinks I have been a good girl this year and brings me the pair of black Uggs I asked for.  I know I will really enjoy them and that my feet will stay warm all winter.  The brown pair I have just don't match everything I wear.  I'm sure I have said other things that would like, but I don't know what I will find under the tree!  I hope that others don't know what they are going to find under the tree from me, either.

3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?  Since we don't have kids yet, I'm not sure what our tradition will be.  Right now Santa usually only brings 1 each for us adults.  We'll have to see what happens when the little ones arrive.

4. What store do you love to buy jeans from?  I love jeans from different stores at different times.  I used to love jeans from Old Navy, but not so much anymore.  Now, I have been buying my jeans from Maurices because they carry Silver Jean, which have become my favorite.

5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?  When we are at home, we go all out with a full meal of turkey, dressing, noodles, etc.  We usually eat this meal at lunch then pig-out again at dinner.   We aren't going to be home this year, but we are still having a big meal for lunch.  We already have the reservations so we can carry on the tradition.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Other Michael in My Life

Let me introduce you to my second favorite Michael in the world.  Of course, he comes after hubby!  Meet Michael Buble`.

He is one of my favorite singers.  I think this is because his music is classic.  I love the fact that it never really goes out of style.  I became acquainted with Michael because of Jazzercise.  Yes, I really did workout once upon a time and truly enjoyed it.  After doing several Jazzercise routines to his music, I went and bought his CD.  The rest they say is history.

I have been to four of his concerts, the most recent one last week with my mom.  Hubby had class so he wasn't able to go this time.  He went with last summer, though, for our anniversary.

Here is Naturally 7.  They were the opening act.

Here are a couple pictures I took on my phone that night.

This group is amazing!  Everything they do is with their voice, no instruments.  They describe themselves as doing vocal play, not acapella since they make their voices become instruments.  Here is a clip of them performing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

After Naturally 7, Michael Buble` came out and entertained us.  I enjoyed him as much this time around as I did all the previous times.  The highlight was that he threw in a Christmas song.  Here are a couple pictures I took at the show.

Michael Buble` performing with Naturally 7 backing him up.

Here is a video of Michael performing at the Juno Awards.  I hope you enjoy!

P.S.  Only two more days until Christmas vacation!!  Yippee!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Race is On

And I'm not talking about Christmas, either.  I actually feel really good in that area.  All the gifts are bought and just a few more left to wrap.

I'm talking about work.  There is so much to do to finish out the semester.  My school doesn't even really get too much into the holidays, but we sure are trying to cram in a lot before the break.  Please remember me today, as I am getting one of my formal observations today. Between having conferences and trying to get the last bit taught, I am just exhausted.    I know a lot of other teachers are in the same boat I am. But, we only have three more days after today.  Then, I am on vacation!!

Some awesome news is that hubby has finished another semester in graduate school and we can now enjoy the next month with no assignments or papers to finish!  Yay!!

I have a couple prayer requests for some real life and internet friends.

1.  Pray for my friend Jenny's dad.  He is having bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack.

2.  Pray for my friend, Alana, and her baby girl.. The sweet little girl has been having reflux issues and has had to undergo surgery.

3.  Pray for my friend Rachel, who had to undergo a C-section yesterday after be 17 days overdue.

I know that God can provide all of us the love and comfort we need.  I'm really trying to keep that in mind as we are celebrating Jesus' birth this time of year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up with Mama M. Come on. Join in. It’ll be fun!

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?  When we are at home for Christmas, we open them Christmas morning.  However, we travel a lot and aren't home for Christmas.  This year we will be at Disney World so we will open the gifts that are too large to pack in the car with us before we leave.  We will take the smaller ones with us and open them there are Christmas morning.  We are taking a small Christmas tree with us, too. That way it will really feel like Christmas!

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?  I absolutely love Peppermint Bark.  This is something new I just discovered a few years ago.  The mix of milk chocolate, white chocolate, and peppermint bits is just divine!  My aunt also makes a hard cinnamon candy that is coated with powdered sugar that I could just live on.  Yummy!  All this is making me crave something sweet.

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?  I don't think I have ever been given a bad gift.  At least not one bad enough to stick in my memory.  My gradmother, aunts, and uncles usually give money/gift cards so if I get a bad gift with those it's my own fault since I picked it out.  Mom and hubby don't give me bad gifts because we usually tell each other things we would like.  The surprises I get from them are always good because they know me so well and know what I really like!  In turn, this question has really got me thinking and hoping that I don't give bad gifts. 

4. Christmas song that you love?  Wow, so hard to boil it down to one.  I absolutely LOVE Christmas music.  I have so much Christmas music that I have to take it off my iPhone after the holidays to make room for other music.  I love it that much.  My favorite would be O Holy Night.  I like just about every version/arrangement of that song that I have ever heard.  It tells such a special story that I think it's important not to forget this time of year.

5. How many trees do you put up?  We normally put up four trees.  A big one that has a snow/snowman theme, a big one that is our "everything" tree that has ornaments from places we have been or ornaments that we have been given, a small Disney tree, and a small Razorback/Chiefs tree.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What a God Thing!

A couple of months ago I wrote about my friend, Jenny, and her family's adoption journey.  Their journey toward getting their little girl, Joleigh,  from Ethiopia began on October 15, 2009.  Last Tuesday they got one step closer, they got their referral.  They were matched with a 15 month old little angel.  I am over the moon for them.  Their journey is not over, but they have seen pictures of their newest member.  They still have to travel to Ethiopia twice and will get to bring her home on their second trip.

Please continue to pray for the family, their sweet new member, and the birth mother.  They are also continuing to collect aluminum cans through January to help offset their expenses.  I know they would be happy to get any you have.  This has been such a God thing and I know He will continue to send His blessings.  I am so excited and can't wait to see the family all together.  You can continue to follow the happenings of the Wallace family on Our Gifts From God.  I have learned so much about faith from this family and the journey they chose to go on.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Yesterday morning we woke up and headed to Branson for a quick trip to check out the lights and get into the holiday spirit.  Let me just tell you that this little trip worked miracles for the "Scrooge-ness" I have been feeling so far.  It was cold, so it felt like Christmas and there were so many lights.  At Silver Dollar City, the highlight was definitely the 5-story Christmas tree!

The lights twinkle and dance to music.  It was so refreshing to see it.  While at SDC, we saw a show that featured a lot of different songs to celebrate the season.  It was nice that the focus of the show was the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.  My heart was just bursting with joy after hearing all that music.  I felt blessed and privileged to hear the beautiful music.  We even bought some CD's so be able to relive that music.

This is the group Pure Heart that we heard.  Two of these ladies are sisters and they have been best friends with the other one since growing up.  That bond really shines in their singing and harmony.  

This is Tracy Heaston and he is a piano extraordinaire.  He is also amazing on just about every percussion instrument known to man.  

This little getaway is exactly what I needed to get me into the holiday spirit and really believe that it's the most wonderful time of the year.  Here are some family pics taken at SDC.

Always in that Razorback spirit!

Mom and I trying to adjust to the cold!

I am going to leave you with a video of the tree lighting at SDC.  I took this video with my iphone, but you can still enjoy the lights and the music.  This was my highlight of the day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up with Mama M. Come on. Join in. It’ll be fun!

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?! We are going on vacation to Disney World this year so my holiday wish is that everyone has a good time. I want us to enjoy being able to spend Christmas together and to remember the real reason for the season. Hopefully, stress will not get in our way.

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past? Wow, this is a really hard present. My favorite thing about Christmas has always been being able to spend it with family. I always get so many nice things that it is hard to pick just one. I always love picking out gifts for others and seeing their faces when they open it. Getting to spend Christmas at Disney World seems like one heck of a gift to me.

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up? I can never imagine myself doing anything besides being a teacher or working in some capacity in the field of Education. It's what I have always known and felt comfortable doing. I feel like teaching is in my blood and constantly running through my veins. The only other option I could even fathom would be to be a stay-at-home mom, but I don't even know how long I would enjoy that.

4. When do you put up your tree? Since we are gone the whole week of Thanksgiving, we usually decorate the hose, including the tree. It seems a little early, but it is so nice to have it done when we get home the weekend after Thanksgiving. We don't turn on our outside lights until after Thanksgiving. I do feel guilty for kinda skipping over Thanksgiving,but my need for sanity wins the battle and the decorations go up early.

5. What is your favorite Holiday? I used to be able to say Christmas, hands down. But, now everything always seems so crazy this time of year. I love the spirit and the meaning of the season and wish that life would just slow down so I could soak it all in. When I can keep myself grounded and remember the reason for the season, I still just adore it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Road Trip Part 3 (The Final Chapter)

Black Friday was the last day we had in Chicago, and so we planned to go all out.  We got up and drove to downtown for lunch at Lou Malnati's, whick is by far, hands down, the BEST deep dish, Chicago-syle pizza.  If you are ever in the Chicago area, you have to try it.  There are several locations to choose from.  We had their classic pizza and it was totally amazing.

After lunch, we had tickets to see the Broadway production of The Lion King.  It was wonderful, too.  I am rarely disappointed in Broadway shows and this one was no different.  It was full of good music and fabulous costumes, and I just loved the theater itself.  The decor was elaborate and pretty.  I don't know all of the architectural terms that describe it, but it was very nice.  It was too crowded to take pictures inside, but I got a couple shots from the outside.

After the show, we met hubby's brother and his girlfriend for dinner.  It is always nice to see them and catch up when we are in town.  They are both artists and are very talented and fun to be around.  We stayed in an amazing hotel in Chicago, The Fairmont.  The best part was that we were on the 31st floor and had an amazing view.  We could see the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Millenium Park, and Lake Michigan from our window.

Night view from our room.

Morning view.

On Saturday, we got up bright and early and headed home.  The highlight of the trip back was our quick stop in St. Louis for custard at Ted Drewes.  Yummy!!

My cindermint custard, so good for the holidays!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Road Trip Part 2

I apologize for being a huge blogging slacker.  After we got home from our trip, I got caught up in unpacking, laundry, and preparing to head back into the real world yesterday.  I also spent a huge chunk of last night working on my blog background, banner, font, and other "important" things so I didn't get a post ready.

Back to Thanksgiving Break.  We got up Wednesday with plans to head to the Brookfield Zoo.  But, the weather had other plans.  It was cloudy, cold, and looked like it could rain at any minute.  So we changed out plans, and it was a good thing, too.  Around noon, we saw snowflakes and sleet.  That later to to all rain.  We took our time getting ready and then braved the weather to get food.  We went to Al's Beef and it was just as delicious as it had been last summer.  The Italian Beef sandwiches are to die for (as was most of the food we ate on this trip). 

The sandwich was mine, but we shared the chili cheese fries.  Yum!
After lunch we decided to catch a movie and saw Megamind.  It was a cute movie, especially since it was in 3D.  Then, we spent a little time shopping at Costco since we don't have one around it and it happens to be one of hubbies favorite stores.  They had some really nice Christmas stuff and I was planning all the neat toys my children will have.  
That even we visited my great-aunt and great-uncle.  We get to see them a couple times a year and really enjoy spending time with them.  We had a nice Italian dinner and got caught up on everything that had happened since we were together during the summer.  I always love hearing the old stories about my granddad, but they always make me really miss him.

Thursday was the big day: Thanksgiving!!  It's always an excuse to eat way too much and watch way too much football.  We did both!  We got up and caught a few minutes of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (always one of my favorites)!!  Then, we met up with my great-uncle to head out to my counsin's, where we would be partaking in our feast.  The big adventure always revolves around the turkey, which is always fried.  One year was such a disaster that we ended up eating cornish hens from the nearest grocery store!  This year nothing horrible happened, but dinner was slightly delayed due to an oil shortage which caused the men to run to the same mentioned store to purchase more.  The men are such a hoot! By listening to them you would think that preparing a turkey was a serious science.

Try to remove giblets and deciding the next step to take!

Injecting the bird with marinade.

Dinner went off without a hitch and was enjoyed by all.  Almost everyone was semi-comatose afterward.  The women, however, did manage our traditional after-dinner walk around the neighborhood.  It was a short one because of the cold wind, brrrr!  I enjoyed the chance to see my family and enjoy being together.  I hope everyone had as great a Thanksgiving as I did.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Road Trip Part 1

I meant to write about our Thanksgiving trip as we were going along, but I got busy and caught up in the fun!  I'm writing this post on our last night of the trip from my 31st floor hotel room in the Chicago Loop.  Such an amazing and beautiful sight with Millenium Park and Lake Michigan outside our window.  But, I'll get to that in a later post.

Hubby and I went to work Monday and left that afternoon for St. Louis.  Mom was waiting for us at our apartment so we could leave as quickly as possible.  We pulled into our hotel by the Gateway Arch at about 11:15.  The real fun began the next day.

We loaded up Tuesday morning and after a quick breakfast at Panera Bread Company, we headed to the Anheiser-Busch Brewery for a tour.  I learned a lot more than I ever needed to know about how beer is made, especially considering none of us drink beer.  The purpose for going on the tour and the best part of the tour was being able to see the beautiful Clydesdale horses.  Here are a couple quick shots I got on my iPhone.  These huge horses are magnificent!

After the tour, we headed on into Springfield, Illinois, for some lunch.  Let me just tell you that Cozy Dog Drive-In is a great stop for a quick lunch.  They are famous for their Cozy Dogs, which are not just your typical corn dogs.  They are the best corn dogs I have ever had.

This is the lunch we all shared.

After our lunch stop, we headed on into the Chicagoland area.  We visited with our friend, Chris, and had dinner with him before calling it a night.  What a great start to our Thanksgiving trip!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for the life I do have, even though sometimes I forget how truly lucky I am.  I am surrounded by so many wonderful friends and family that are always there for me.  Seeing all the troops having their Thanksgiving dinner in Afghanistan, made me so appreciative for the sacrifices so many have made for us to have the opportunity to celebrate today!

I hope everyone gets out today and enjoys the food, the fun, and the fellowship that Thanksgiving Day has to offer!  And don't forget to count your blessings, too!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One of the Best Days Ever!!!!

Today was one of the best days ever!!!  Well, it was at least one of the best days I've had in a while.  Part of it was because it came as a total surprise.  Most of you probably know that I am a huge Razorback fan.  I love my Hogs!!!  I have been going to the football games for a long time and haven't missed a home game in several years.  In all those years, I've never actually met any of the players.

Well, that all changed today.  Five of the current team members (Ben Cleveland, Travis Swanson, Alfred Davis, Alex Tejada, Jake Bequette) came to my school today to talk to the fourth grade students.  I didn't know they were coming, you can't imagine the excitement I felt when I saw them.  The kids so enjoyed getting to talk them, getting their pictures made with them, and getting their autographs.  The players were so kind and patient among the five million questions.  They visited each fourth grade classroom and hung out with the kids.

The speech pathologist and I even got to get our picture made with the players before they left.  I know what a great day it was for me and I'm pretty sure it was for the kids, too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Frustration

Since we are going to be out of town for Thanksgiving all next week, I thought I would get ahead of the game and get all the Christmas decorating done.  Hubby was gone last night and again tonight for class so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get started decorating.  For the size of our apartment we have A LOT of Christmas stuff.

My goal was to get started with our big pre-lit tree.  I had hubby get it set up on Sunday so that all I would have to do is decorate it.  Well, the top section of the tree decided it no longer wanted to be pre-lit.  I went to Wal-Mart after school yesterday and bought one of those light tester/fixer contraptions and spent the next 2 hours pulling out every bulb in that section searching for the bad apple.  There were none!!!!

I decided to call it quits and thought maybe I just couldn't figure out the tester/fixer contraption.  When hubby got home, we repeated the whole process and still couldn't find the bad bulb.  Our solution: we will just buy new lights and redo the top section of the tree.  If anyone has any other adivce, please let me know!!!!!

The bright spot of the Christmas tree fiasco:  our sweet Sadie Rose, who after being around this tree for 3 years hasn't lost her joy of chilling in the tree!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again!

It's that time of year again!  What time of year?  It's the holiday season.  It's time to start getting ready for the holidays.  To me that means I need to get around to picking out and ordering our Christmas cards.  Last year was the first year I jumped on the photo card bandwagon.  And I just want to say, I love them.  I love getting them and seeing all the cute pictures.  It's a way to see how much kids have grown, where people have traveled over the past year, and just a way to see all the smiling faces of friends and family.  So I thought I would do the same and start doing photo cards for our family.  Last year, I ordered two different sets.  I ordered a set for mom, Mike, and me to send to friends and family that we all know.  I also ordered a set for just Mike and me to send to our fiends and family.

I have been mulling over what to order and just plain old procrastinating when I saw another blog that talked about a special promotion from Shutterfly.  It was an offer to get 50 free Christmas cards if you blog about your Christmas cards.

First of all, let me say I love Shutterfly.  I love all the neat gifts you can buy.  I have a whole list made of what I want to give when we finally have a baby.  Grandparents, look out!  You will be getting photo books, calendars, and even some home decor all with beautiful pictures of your grandbabies.  While I may not set the world on fire ordering from Shutterfly right now, I know they will be a staple after we have kids.  Christmas time is the perfect time to place orders.  They are offering a lot of specials and discounts now.  I love saving money on things I want to buy anyway.  Besides Christmas cards, I will be ordering a photo book after our upcoming trip to Disney World.  I love making photo books!!!  My only problem is choosing which one!

Here are the Christmas cards I think I'm going to order this year.

This is the card for the whole family.

The is the card for Mike and I.
I was going to upload the finished cards, but then decided against it in case I change my mind about what pictures.  There are tons of fabulous card designs.  You can check them out here.  Also, fellow bloggers if you would like to participate in the promotion, check out Shutterfly and register your blog here.  It is open to blogs of any size.  I'm sure you won't be disappointed in the selection!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up with Mama M. Come on. Join in. It’ll be fun!


1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you? I am having a hard time with this question.  I have never broken a bone, had surgery, or had a baby.  The only thing that is comng to mind right now what a severe infection I had.  I was wishing my ear would just fall off.  That choice had to be better than enduring the persistent pain in my ear.  I have also had some really bad headaches, but overall I guess I am coming out pretty lucky in the physical pain game.  I'm  sure just about every human alive has endured something more painful than me.

2. How much sleep do you get at night?  I usually get between 6 and 7 hours a night.  I know that will change when we add a child to our family.  I have heard that sleep goes by the wayside when there are children.  I really do like my sleep, though.  I would love to be able to get 8 hours, but I find it hard to go to bed early and sleeping late isn't really an option.

3.  How long did you believe in Santa Claus?  How did you find out that he does not exist?  I still don't know that Santa doesn't exist.  I have never seen proof.  There was never a time where I was told there wasn't a Santa.  I never had "the Santa talk" with my parents.  I believe the true magic with Santa is the spirit of giving that he brings to the holiday season.  We still have presents from Santa to help us remember that spirit of giving.  I try to be "Santa" through my church to those less fortunate.

4.  What was the last movie you saw in a theater?  This has been a very busy fall with football weekends and homework so I can't really remember the exact one I went to last.  We saw several movies in the theater over the summer.  I love being a teacher so that I can fill my summers with fun.  BUT, I know the next movie I'm going to see in the theater.  We will be going to see the new Harry Potter movie next Saturday at the IMAX and I don't care how nerdy that may make.  I am super excited about it!!

5.  What do you wear to bed?  It depends on the weather.  In the summer I usually wear some type of gown because they are cooler.  In the winter I bundle up in some type of pajama pants and shirt.  I have some really fuzzy pants that are so warm and comfy.  Can't wait until it get cool enough to wear them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankfulness on Thursday

Whitney over at The Glamorous Life of a Housewife is doing a series of saying what we are thankful for on Thursdays throughout the month of November.

Here is my list for this week:

1. I am thankful to all the veterans who have served the "good old U.S. of A!" We have a long history of having brave men and women protecting the freedoms that we all enjoy. They deserve so much love and respect. I can't imagine what my life would be like without them. I have several veterans on all sides of my family and I salute them for their service!

2. I am thankful to live in a place as beautiful as Northwest Arkansas. I am always reminded of the beauty this time of year. Fall is such a reminder about the gift of nature God has given us.

3. I am thankful to come to work each day and do a job that I thoroughly enjoy. Kids are such blessings and a reminder of the important things in life.

4. I am thankful that I get to come to work each day and have wonderful friends around me. Enjoying the people you work with makes it not seem like work.

5. I am thankful for the family I am privileged to be a member of. I know I am never alone in this world. My family has taught me so much about love and happiness. I hope to never forget what all I have learned from different members of my family.

6. I am thankful for all the friends I have in this world. I know I am not close to all of them in the same way as in the past, but they were put into my life at the right time. As I think back to all the friends I have had throughout my life, I feel so blessed for the gifts they gave me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not All Bad

I know in my post yesterday it may have seemed like things are rough on the marriage front, but when I really think about it, that's not really true.  Yes, we may be going through a rough patch over all, but I can't think that things are all bad.

There have been changes for us to deal with over the last several months that have probably contributed to the stress I am feeling in our relationship.  I would like to think that the worst is behind us.  In July, hubby started a graduate program in a school that is about 2 1/2 hours from where we live.  We thought he would work on his master's and continue subbing.  We lived in our house in Central Arkansas for the summer so he was only 30 minutes away from school.  That really made everything seem like a piece of cake.  Then we came back to Northwest Arkansas when it was time for school to start.  Hubby started out subbing, but then had an offer to become an instructional assistant at my school.  We thought this was a super opportunity, and in reality it is.  He gets to work everyday, which means more income and benefits.  Yay!  But, with this new job came a lot more responsiblities and time commitments.  Plus, he is taking 12 graduate hours.  Some are online, but he does have to drive back and forth to school 1-2 times a week.

When I look back on this, I absolutely see why we are in a rough patch.  We are having to make a lot of adjustments, but they are going to be totally worth it in the end.  So since I was all gloom and doom yesterday, I thought today I would focus on the good things in our marriage.

1.  Love-we definitely have love for each other and we say it everyday and really mean it.  I know I mean it when I say it and am pretty positive hubby does too.  It's not something we just throw around.  That daily reminder of love really helps me get through.

2.  Support- we support each other to achieve our goals.  With both of us working full time and going to school, we do support each other and never begrudge when homework has to take time away from each other. 

3.Dealing with each other's quirks.  I can definitely say that hubby is better at this one than I am.  I tend to be high strung and get upset/in a frenzy over things and hubby patiently deals with them.  He knows that is just part of who I am.  I really want to get better about his quirks.  However, I have already grown in that area.  I am more accepting of who he is.

4.  Faith-we both have faith that there are three of us in this relationship.  With God's blessing, we can make it through anything together.  I pray often for our relationship and that it will continue to strengthen.

5.  Joint Responsibility-we both take responsibility for the relationship working.  It's going to take both of us to make our relationship work and our household function.  For the most part we work together to get chores done.  I don't feel that taking care of the house or other mundane things is solely my responsibility.  We tend to divide and conquer those things.  Hubby will probably never understand how much I truly appreciate that.

6.  Together and Separate-we have never been one of those couples who has to spend every minute together to be happy.  We have also never been one of those couples where we had to ask each other permission to do something or spend money.  I know people in those types of relationships and am thankful to not have one.  I love spending time together and doing things together, but I also love a little alone time.  We always tell each other what we are doing, but more because we want to, not that we have to.  Controlling spouses drive me crazy and I am thankful hubby is one of them.

This list could go on and on, but now that I stop and think we have a lot more good going on than bad.  I am a thankful girl for that!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marriage is Hard

I know I was told before we were married that life wasn't always going to be easy.  I also know that I just took that information and filed it away without ever giving it much thought.  Well, I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  As much as I love hubby, marriage definitely takes a lot of work to make it survive.  The honeymoon is definitely over and now reality is setting in.  There are a few areas that we are having to work harder on now than we did in the past.

When couples are dating, life seems so good and easy.  Both parties are on their best behavior and the electricity somehow make the problems seem non-existent.  While dating, you get to focus on the fun and kind of pretend the real world doesn't exist.  I wouldn't trade that time I had for anything.  But, I also wouldn't trade what we have now for anything.  During this time, it is showing me what hubby and I are made of.  What I am finding is that we are made of perseverance.  While it isn't always easy, we aren't willing to give up on each other.

Something that is really hard right now is communication.  We aren't doing a very good job of communicating with each about what we are thinking and feeling.  The odd things is that we can't communicate about the unimportant things like what to eat, what hotel to stay in while on vacations, etc.  We are pretty good about the important things in our lives.  I want to contribute this communication barrier to just being so busy and tired with school and work.  But, we need to focus on being more patient with each other when trying to communicate.  Instead, we just get mad and upset with each other.  I'm sure this is normal, but it's so extremely frustrating.

Here are a few more things we are struggling with right now:
* patience
* compromise
* attitude and tone we take with each other

While this sounds like everything is bad, when I really stop and think, it really isn't.  To me this is just another phase as we grow in our relationship with each other.  Before, we may have just ignored any type of conflict and now we are really trying to work through them.  I feel confident that we are going out on the other side with a stronger relationship.  I know we can't do it alone, but with a lot of prayer we'll make it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up with Mama M. Come on. Join in. It’ll be fun!


1.  If you have any talent and turn it into an occupation, what would it be? I would love to have an eye for decorating.  I love to walk into pretty places and always wish I could recreate them on a budget.  I think it would be so much fun to help people decorate their homes in ways that really brings out their personality.  But, I also think that making your home perfect for you shouldn't cost an arm and a leg.

2.  Would you rather have a house at the beach or a cabin in the woods?  I can't believe I have to choose.  It all depends on the time of year.  Spring and summer I wouldn't trade anything for a house on the beach.  Being able to wake up and hear the sounds of the ocean, on my could anything be better.  During fall and winter a cabin in the woods would be amazing!  Seeing the leaves change colors and fall off, snow on the ground, how beautiful.  To me, that sounds like a good Ozark Mountain Christmas.  I can't choose.  I won't, you can't make me.

3. Is there any meaning/reasoning for the names you chose for your child/children?
  We don't have children yet, but do have some potential names.  The girl name is one we just like, which is a miracle that there is a name we both agree on.  Actually, I picked the name out and he had one request about it, which I could totally live with.  The boy name is made up of names from both sides of the family.  Again, I picked the name and hubby didn't object to it.  Yay!  Who knows this could all change when we actually are having a baby.

4. What is your guilty pleasure?


 I love these things.  Actually during the holidays, I am totally addicted.  It's a good thing that this peppermint bark is a limited edition or I could be in some serious trouble.  There like Pringles, you can't eat just one.  I try to keep a limited supply so I don't go too far overboard.  Yummy!

5. Do you live in a house that is deep cleaned or straightened?
 I definitely live in the world of straightening for 99% of the year.  I do get impulses to really clean a couple times a year, but most of the time is just too busy or tired for deep cleaning to get done regularly.  It would be nice.  When I grow up and get rich (ha ha), I would hire someone to deep clean my house on a regular basis.  But, for the mean time, I am happy with my clean and straighten method.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankfulness on Thursday

I know last week I said I was going to do better at blogging this week, but as you can see that didn't exactly work out as planned.  I was home sick with some kind of stomach bug on Monday and Tuesday and have spent the past two days just getting caught up.  However, I felt it was really important to post today.

Whitney over at The Glamorous Life of a Housewife is starting a series of saying what we are thankful for on Thursdays throughout the month of November.  My first list will be brief because I am so tired, but they are completely heartfelt.

1.  I am thankful for my hubby!  He puts up with me through the good and the bad.  And he does it all with very little complaining even when I deserve to be complained at.  He is very supportive in helping me meet my goals.  He is truly my perfect match because I don't think anyone else could handle me quite like he does.

2.  I am thankful for my mom!  She is truly my best friend.  She has always been there for me from the start.  She has always been my biggest fan and continues to be so even though I am "grown."

3.  I am thankful to live in the U.S.A.  I love the fact that we have the right to vote and make decisions about our country.  I love the life we are allowed to live.  I love our freedom.  I love the principles our country was founded on.

4.  I am thankful for the deeper relationship I have formed with Christ this past year.  I have been reading the Bible more and in a much deeper way.  I truly feel that I am not alone in any of my endeavors and that I need to be giving back to others.  I'm not where I want to be yet, but I will always be a work in progress.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Five Question Friday

I have been a little lazy when it comes to blogging this week.  I've been pretty busy, but just didn't have any ideas as to what to write about.  I'm going to try to get back in the swing of things next week.  I hope everyone has a super Halloween weekend.  We are going to be busy supporting our Hogs!!!  We are going to the volleyball tonight and then tomorrow head to the Homecoming game, where we will hopefully beat Vanderbilt!

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up with Mama M. Come on. Join in. It’ll be fun!


1.  If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose? I can't pick just one wall.  I tend to be on the nosy side so I like to know what is going on.  But, I would probably want to be a fly on the wall at my students' home.  I always wonder what life is really like for my students.  I would want to know about their well-being and to know if there is anything I could do to help them more.  Are there basic needs being met?  If not, then school isn't really all that important in the grand scheme of things.

2.  Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting?  I am more of an impulse buyer.  If I see something I think someone would like, I buy it and give it to them for Christmas.  I am so proud of myself, I have already started picking up gifts for those on my Christmas list.  We also take vacations over Christmas.  That's a gift that everyone enjoys so some of our money goes toward that instead of buying gifts.  Vacations are the gift of FUN!

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done? In college, I tried the Grapefruit Diet.  I hate anything grapefruit, so I don't know what I was thinking.  Obviously that little venture didn't last long and won't be repeated ever again.  I have come to the conclusion that I love food so have given up all aspirations of being Miss Skinny Minny.

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of? Hubby and I have watched every single episode of Frinds and Will & Grace together.  We didn't watch them while they were on TV, though.  We bought them on DVD.  I wasn't actually into those shows when they were on.  Apparently, I am the only person in my generation to not be into Friends.  I also conned hubby into buying me the boxed set of Sex and the City and watching that with me.  I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it way more than he did!

5. What one song always pulls at your heart?  I always get choked up when I hear patriotic songs.  I love my country.  Michael Buble songs also get to me, especially Home.  I love music so this list could go on and on, but I just put down a couple things that came to my mind first.  I didn't really want to bore anyone!