Sunday, December 4, 2011

Everywhere but cleaning my house.

The dishes will still be there tomorrow.

Here's what I've been doing in the meantime:

Spending time with my sweet, growing-up nephews.  They like to wear Aunt Tabby's boots and hat.

Putting up my Christmas tree.

With a very attractive assistant.

Getting new glasses.

Helping friends put up their Christmas trees.

Finally revealing my mustache tattoo to my students, and them loving it as much as me. (as noted by this photo).

Training these wild dogs.

Drinking delicious beer. Tim and I get beer of different varieties, and try them together.  We found a place we love in Wichita with 1300 types of beer that you can mix and match!   Goebel Liquor, I believe.  Off of Kellogg and West.

Making a wall of vintage frames, and trying to figure out what I want in them.

And spending most of my free time with this fellow that I absolutely cannot get enough of.

That's sort of my life in photos lately.

In other news, my best friend Michelle is getting married in 6 months, and I will be her maid of honor! My other best friend Jennifer is having a baby BOY in April, then I will be her maid of honor in June!

Life is to be celebrated right now.

I'm enjoying it so, so much.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Love, love, love.

I just know in my heart what it feels like, what it should feel like.

You don't have to be in a movie to experience great love.

Love is mad and passionate, it's seeing you ten minutes ago but already missing you.
It's "I wonder what he's doing," when you wake up in the morning, or there's a lull in your *always* productive work day.
It's not obsessive.  It's interest.

I believe that two people should thrill and amaze each other.  Find the things about each other that make them so easy and wonderful to love.

Love should be a whirlwind in the beginning, and settle to a peaceful comfort, with both people working to make the other smile every day.

There SHOULD be great expectations in love.  Our heart is capable of so much more than ordinary.

Thoughtfulness, whether bold or quiet, is crucial to romance.  Surprise each other as often as you can.  Whisper that you love me as I fall asleep, and I'll warm your towel up in the dryer while you take a shower.

Tell them as much as you can how much they mean to you, and all of the little things that make you happy.

Love is a deep appreciation for who someone is.

Love is crying when you're sad, and crying when you're happy.

Love is when I look at you, and you look at me, and I can see deeper into your eyes than anything I'v ever seen before.  And it scares me, but I don't look away.

Love is letting go of whoever hurt me in the past, and letting you fill my heart with goodness.

Love is best when reciprocated, but I could love someone a long time before they realize they love me too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween and Happenings

I wish I was one of those organized people who writes things down immediately when they come to them, but I can never seem to find my pen and my paper in the same place.  And when I do...I usually lose it, anyway.
I'm a compulsive "piler."  I start things all the time, get bored, and leave them for later.  I always follow through, but I find it hard to focus on just one project -- probably because I'm so impulsive.

One thing I knew is that I was going to be Mary Poppins for Halloween, dangit.

Not only is she a cultural icon, but I can identify with her on several levels.  Love to laugh?  Check.  Take care of children?  Check.  Brunette?  Check.  Love of all things ridiculous and magical?  CHECK.  I can also spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocius."  I've been able to do that since the 4th grade.  Party trick!

Here's how the costume turned out:

Practically perfect in every way.  The whole thing was an adventure.  I took some liberties, of course, but I think it turned out rather close to one of her outfits!

The run-down:

-Shirt (I own it)
-Hat (25 cents at the thrift store, spray painted black)  Berries and flowers added (3 bucks)
-Skirt (2.99 at the thrift store)
-Umbrella and purse(both from thrift store, but I already owned them)
-Ribbon sash (one dollar for ribbon at Hobby Lobby)
-The bow tie (ohhh the bow tie -- what an adventure!  I combed store after store after garage sale looking for a red bow tie that wasn't 50 dollars.  I finally settled at Men's Warehouse for 10 bucks!  The most expensive piece, but it really pulled it together)

All in all, I spent less than 20 dollars on a great costume.  I was very pleased!  Since we don't celebrate holidays at school, I couldn't dress up, but I guarantee you I will find a reason to wear this for my kids in the very near future.  I'm known to dress up for stories, so it would be nothing out of the ordinary.  British accent included.

Now that Halloween is over, I'm gearing up for Christmas.  I figure it's only fair that I start celebrating in November.  Other countries (with different forms of Thanksgiving) get to have a lot more fun because they don't feel the "pressure" of waiting until Thanksgiving is over.  I'm joining in.  Little touches here and there, but the tree probably won't go up until after Turkey Day.  Time to start on that Christmas letter!  I've tried to be organized with addresses this year, so expect some sweet holiday mail!

Other than my love for all things festive, life is good.  The new classroom is wild and wonderful and exhausting.  Tim continues to make me smile with his cleverness and the way he places his arm on me while we watch a movie.  I'm missing my family lately, and my sweet friends.  It's hard to be a grown up and be far away, making a life for yourself.  I send them love and light every day.

After a particularly stressful day at work, I got together with my friend and watched Millionaire Matchmaker, or something equally as ridiculous, while drinking wine.  An entire bottle.  Oops.
(Don't worry. It was white wine.  Sweet, delicious white wine.)

Cheers to the new season and to being a grown up, wine!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Keeping Dogs Off the Furniture

It's been over a month since my last post.

That is my bad, but life has been happening full speed -- much too much to update here!

First there is the transition at my job -- I took a job in a new classroom where I will teach all year round.  Hard decision, but ultimately the best for me.  My dad says I've never made a selfish decision in my life, and it was time to do something that was right and good for me, even if it hurt for a while.  I will still see my former students, but now I have more kids to love.  These kids I get to see more often, and keep all day/all year.  I will get to make even more of an impact.  And because I have them all day, I have only 15 students instead of 31.  We can be even closer because of that.  I have been in there just about two weeks now, and am looking forward to the new challenges and adventures.  But you can read more about that on my teaching blog. :)

There is also a new man in my life.  I will just be clear about one thing -- I wasn't looking.  For the first time in my life I was content with the idea that it was just my dogs and I, living a peaceful life in Small Town, USA.  Then he came along and rocked my world with his intelligence and love for learning...his laugh and quick wit...the things I knew he could teach me (like the ins and outs of  Hockey and Fantasy Hockey League)...his manly beard...and the sweet way he listens, and more importantly -- he remembers.  I can't tell you how much it means to me that someone finds what I say important and validates even my silliest thoughts.  And I think some bizarre things.  Every conversation with him is like Christmas.  It's surprising, and goes by so quickly even when it lasts for hours, and the joy of those moments linger in my smile even as I drift to sleep at night.  And there's never a turkey-induced hangover.  I'm happy.

Speaking of the pumpkin nephews came, and we took them.  A glorious, 80 degree day with a cranky four and six-year old.  Heaven, I tell you. ;)  Good thing I love my nephs! 

My home is coming along.  I have been rearranging the living room furniture -- to make it feel close, yet spacious.  That has been difficult, but I like the new setup!  

Now onto tackle the dining room...which WAS how I wanted it before I rearranged the living dominoes, I tell you.

And -- the house got a much-needed paint job!  The trim will be painted in the spring, and now some windows are being replaced and the porch roof being fixed.  My landlords are great! 

I also adore the following two things:  the wooden features of this house, and my umbrella coat hook.

I bought this coat hook a few years ago with the intention of using it in my classroom -- but that never worked out because schools are picky about what goes on the wall. Ha.  So I brought it home and like it even more.  I waited and waited for it to go on sale, and when it went 50% off, I knew it should be mine.  I would have never paid $50 for something like that...even if I loved it.  Right now, it kind of sums up my life.  ID Badge and teacher bag -- the biggest part of my life.  Keys -- I feel like I'm always on the go, keeping the roads hot in between his house and mine.  Thrift store, dome-umbrella -- it's Fall, and I am most me this time of year.  And of course, "The Witch Is In/Out" sign I bought for a boss one year and then decided not to give her...haha!  It graces my coat hook because I don't want people to know if I'm home or not, and it makes me laugh so much.

Many smiles your way, and better luck keeping your dogs off than furniture than I have.

Goodnight, Moon.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Train Experience!

I always have the best time with my best friend, Michelle.

We drove to First Council Casino in her car after an afternoon of going over details for her May wedding (I'm the maid of honor, holla!).

We had never been to the event venue there, but quickly found the right line, and waited forEVER.  Michelle got these awesome VIP tickets (originally 125 bucks a pop) from a friend at a radio station, and we squealed with delight when we found out how close we would be to the stage.

At the venue, there is also a "VIP Council" area, for members of the area tribe, but we thought it was odd because no one was allowed to stand up in the best seats in the house!  It was comprised of the four six or so rows. Pat, the lead singer of Train, kept teasing them saying, "I'm sure glad none of you are standing up."  While I thought it was strange, it made it where our row was the first thing the band saw.  We chose seats on the side end, and we had a great view.

After a few songs, Pat said he needed some ladies to come up and join him on stage.  He chose from all over, ladies young and old (and one boy, who was confused, haha).

He pointed right at Michelle and I, screaming and waving wildly, and said, "YOU TWO!"

The security guard moved the gate, and we were up!  I was shaking all over.  Michelle and I couldn't stop smiling!  We were SO CLOSE to a band we had loved since middle school.

In the bottom photo, Pat was explaining how he was a little disappointed with the ladies on the stage and their dance moves.  We had all been super-excited to get up there, but no one seemed to be doing any hard rocking.

At that point, I knew it was time to show my best moves, so I threw down my purse that I was wearing.  Pat saw this, and said something along the lines of, "Well, have at it girl!  Go out there and show us what you've got!"  He then started the drum beat off, and I pulled out every crazy dance move I could think of.

The crowd went WILD.  People were screaming and cheering so loud.  I turned around and gave a hilarious booty shake to the audience.  That's about the only dance move I can specifically remember doing.

Pat ran over and hugged me, saying, "This is the best night of my life!  You can do whatever you want the rest of the time at the concert!  That was amazing."

Still in disbelief, I fell back in line, because he had more jobs for the "Trainettes" on stage.  He needed us to be back up for "She's on Fire."

Michelle and I sang our hearts out!  A friend, who I found out later was in the audience, snapped this picture of us!

(It's not super-clear on here, but you can see it on my facebook page!)

Look how close we were singing together!  He pointed the microphone right at Michelle and I. We were reliving some high school glory days, for sure, on a much larger scale!

On the way down from the stage, people were smiling and congratulating us.
After the concert, people went crazy, high-fiving me and saying I was a great dancer (baha), and taking photos of Michelle and I.

I cannot believe we had such a unique, unforgettable experience.

I love Michelle.  She makes every experience memorable. :)

This is Pat and the band walking out, right after he looked right at us, pointed and smiled.  I feel like we're best friends now, obviously.

Train puts on an amazing show!  They are so friendly to the audience, taking pictures of themselves with the crowd with attendee's cameras while singing, coming out into the crowd to sing, and fun interactions.  The show started off with the slow rumble of a train growing into a full-out sound of a train going by and whistling. It was an awesome way to build the excitement for their entrance.

I can't forget the photo of the guitar player -- I fully plan on learning "Marry Me" on the guitar to play for Michelle and Nick's wedding while they do their unity sand/candle.

Here is a link to the song I danced to, and we helped sing.


Monday, August 29, 2011

One Onederful Year!

I was reminded by Facebook that today is the one year anniversary of my blog!  Thanks for those random, "On this day..." posts, Facebook.

I'm happy to celebrate this "blog-iversary" with a truly Onederful experience -- my first auction!  I used to sit through auctions with my parents, begging them to bid on things for me like laser pointers with Batman tips, and Casio keyboards, but I've never been a bidder myself!

Last Thursday, I rolled by a house with lots and lots of furniture in front of it and stopped to ask if they were having a sale.  "Saturday at 9 a.m.!" they said.  I was excited for days.

I made it to the sale around 9:30, not knowing proper auction etiquette.  All I had missed was the auctioning of some tractor and farm equipment.  Which I don't need, but definitely wish I did.  That dream is for another day.

This is what the auction looked like from one of the shaded corners I kept sneaking into.  It was HOT.  There were over 200 people there.  My number was 195, and I forgot to take a picture of that.  But it was crowded!

I walked around pretty awkwardly until I found someone who looked like they knew what they were doing, which just happened to be a very round old man in suspenders and a t-shirt, perched on a stool.  He was friendly with a large grin.  The numbers were to be gotten in the back shed, I found out.

Later, I ran into our transportation supervisor at the school where I work, and he and I joked for quite a while, after which his friends tried incessantly to get me to bid on the most random things.

I was so nervous for my first bid!  I thought you had to hold your number up, but no one seemed to be doing that.  It was a lot of ambiguous grunting from somewhere in the crowd, and the auctioneer talked so fast, I barely knew what price people were actually agreeing to.  I decided to watch for a long while (about an hour), before bidding on something.  We were all gathered around a trailer full of old books.  The best had gone, and they were down to taking bids per box of books.  When it got to a $1.50 per box, I flashed my number and yelled something that sounded like a muffled mix  of "hey" and "here."  They wrote me down and I won!  The same thing happened for another box of old newspapers.  Now, I didn't really want either of those contents, but merely bid for the container.  The first was a galvanized bucket with a lid (perfect for compost), and the second was an orchard basket (perfect for apples in the Fall!).  I was pleased with that $3.00 spent.  Still not sure what to do with those old newspapers, though...

The crowd eventually moved past old lamps, photo albums, paintings, and other random goods to the stuff I really wanted -- the furniture.  There were bookcases and rocking chairs and buffet tables galore.  I had my eye on two pieces, that I wanted to re-vamp and turn into kitchen islands like the one seen here.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  I would have only spent around 10 - 20 dollars, and both of them went for near 100.  Come to find out, they were made of oak, and definitely worth more than that.  I want to practice my re-modeling dreams on something not so valuable!  I hate to screw up a beautiful piece of antique furniture.

But I did get something great!  I bid on a square coffee table that is about 14 inches tall, and will be perfect for my classroom!  I am going to paint the top with chalkboard paint, and it's just the right size for the kids to kneel/sit beside and play with.  I can't wait to finish it!

The last thing I bid on was an antique picture frame, and little did I know...I'd be getting a whole box.  Seems to be a theme here.  Gotta take some junk to get some treasure!

I almost forgot to mention the best part!  A bunch of the ladies made lunch and pies, and you could purchase those!  I got a piece of delicious apple pie.  What a good day. :)

One of the other highlights was the little old men who flirted with me throughout the day.  They would nudge me and wink a lot, trying to get me to bid on things I didn't need.  Several times, the auctioneer walked over to me and said things like, "You need this don't ya, darlin'?"  It made me smile.  What a warm and inviting crowd of people at that auction.  The pie added to the down-home goodness.

Through all of that, I only spent $7.50 (if you count the pie!).  Six dollars on merchandise total.

I feel like that was a job well done.  Now I have so many fun projects to work on!  And I had the courage to do it by myself.  

Some of the things I experience aren't terribly daunting, but I do still feel apprehensive, as with any new situation. For the last year, this blog has been about me feeling comfortable doing things alone, and really enjoying them.  Really enjoying the fun I can create for myself, and valuing the time spent with me.  We all need a little time with ourselves.  I hope at least one person reads this and feels stronger when they move to a new place all alone, and gets a tiny bit of encouragement to try new things -- instead of eating Chinese food and watching movies all day long (still a favorite pastime).  I've come from that every day, to actively pursing the joy in the world around me -- in a simply Onederful way.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Hair Band Curl

Maybe you're sick of me talking about my hair.  I'm not a vain person, but things like this are just TOO EXCITING not to share.

I found another hair tutorial online, this time for more vintage-like curls.  I was having some trouble with the sock bun -- some days it was awesome, some days it was not.  So I tried this new thing!

The link is another girl with a cute accent who talks way too much, and the video is way too long.  I went through the 13 grueling minutes for you, but feel free to watch if my tutorial isn't clear enough!

I started with hair just a tiny bit damp.  Just enough to put some Redken "Guts" in for volume.  I used only a couple of sprays.

First, I used a hair band elastic that you might see a lot of sports players wearing.
I put that over my head, right on top of my hair, and pushed it up a little so that there would be volume at my crown.

At this point, my bangs were out of the elastic, but later I chose to put them in, just to see what would happen.  Next, I took one or two inch sections and wrapped them around the elastic, starting at the front near my temple.

I made the wrap nice and tight in the front for bouncier curls.  You don't continue wrapping each strand around the elastic to the back, you just tuck it under once, and let the ends lay with the rest of your hair.  It will all get wrapped in eventually.

Repeat this process with the rest of your hair on one side, until you get to the back of your head (a few inches behind your ears).  Then, switch to the other side of your head, and complete the wrapping on that side.  Leave the back hanging.  When you are ready to wrap the back, start on one side wrapping, then switch to the other side with the next strand, so you are meeting in the middle.  The last strand on the back of your head, you may need to wrap several times.

This is what it looks like when it's all wrapped up.

I think it's almost cute enough to wear like that!  Haha!  I probably will some day.  (Also, I promise I was wearing a strapless shirt, I didn't mean to look naked.  I just like to wear those when I do my hair so I don't risk pulling a collar over my head).

From the front, here is the view.  

(I changed my shirt -- haha!)

Then, you sleep on it!

When you awake, pull the headband up and off gently.  This is what it looked like first thing in the morning!
Notice that the only crease is on my forehead! 

I used my hairbrush to lightly brush through the curls, for a natural look, and used the tutorial's technique of brushing the hair while it was wrapped around my hand in the direction of the curl.

Then, I spritzed with a little hairspray all over, and went to work!  I told the unbelievers that it was 12 hours, 10 games of hopscotch, 50 hugs, and one nap later -- and curls were still intact!

The only problem I had was during the morning, when it took about two hours for the line on my head to disappear.  I would suggest using a looser headband (mine was brand new), especially if you don't have bangs like I do to cover the line up!

I loved this method, and hope you love it, too!

Red Beans and Ricely Yours,