Saturday, November 29, 2008

birthdays

I've had a great past couple of days. In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving, we celebrated my husband's birthday, I got to do some shopping, spent time with both of our families, and even got to eat at one of our favorite restaurants.

Tomorrow I am turning twenty-five. And what plans do I have? Chances are we'll hang out around our place for most the day, but I am okay with that. I am looking forward to having a day to just relax. On Wednesday before break, my room mom at school brought in a cake for me, a Panera gift card, and a candle set. So sweet. It was a nice surprise, and my kids were so excited to watch me open it. They then asked how old I was, I first said I as fifteen. When no one believed this, I said I was fifty. Again, no one really believed me. As a class, they agreed that I was twenty-eight. Where this number comes from, I don't really know, but I am okay with it.

Kids are funny. But birthdays at home on a Sunday are even better.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

proud pecan pie


This is what my morning has consisted of up until this point. Reading my new Real Simple and eating the pecan pie I made yesterday. When I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman's* cooking blog last week, I knew I had to make it. Not only is pecan pie my absolute favorite pie in the world, but this was also the first time I have ever made it. I usually only eat pecan pie each year at Thanksgiving when my nana makes it, and I occasionally eat a slice at random diners I happen to stop in. I saw PW's recipe, and I was highly motivated to try it. She manages to make every recipe look easy, and for the first time, I thought that I might be able to make this heavenly dessert on my own.
The pie was pretty easy to make. It had simple ingredients, and didn't even take that long. But the crust....well, that was much harder than I had anticipated. For starters, I had never worked with crisco before, and two, we don't have a rolling pin or a pastry cutter, both of which I have leanred are sort of essential to making a pie crust. Next time I make this pie, I will most likely be using a Pillsbury pie crust, now that I know how difficult making a crust is. And I am sure you're all wondering how I made my pie without a rolling pin. Nalgene bottle. It was a decent back up, but I still want a rolling pin now. But, despite my lack of tools and the greasy, messy crisco, I was still able to pull out a decent crust which doesn't taste too bad. And since the pie filling is so delicious and perfect, the crust is hardly even noticeable.
What is your favorite kind of pie? And have you ever had as much trouble with pie crust as I did, or am I just a poor pie crust baker?

*If you don't read PW, shame on you. For a portion of my life, I was kind of obsessed with Rachael Ray. But those days are long gone now that I have Pioneer Woman in my life. Not only does she make me laugh in everything that I read, but her blog is chock full of all kinds of good stuff. In addition to cooking and recipes, the girl also has tons of great photography tips, gardening advice, and the hilarious stories about her life on a cattle ranch. And then there's my favorite section, which if you start reaing, you'll never want to stop, Black Heels and Tractor Wheels. I often tell my husband that I want to move to a cattle ranch, have a giant rustic kitchen, and have 5 dogs running around our house. Is that too much to ask for?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

bunco!

Last night I learned how to play Bunco. Has anyone else ever played this game? Several years ago, I watched this ridiculous special on Lifetime about an Annual Bunco Tournament in Las Vegas. While watching it with friends, we all joked and agreed that this silly game of luck was for goofy old ladies and/or housewives who have too much time on their hands, and we'd never be caught dead playing it. I was wrong. Last night I got talked into going to my schools monthly bunco night. I signed up to go, mainly to spend time with coworkers so I could get to know them better, and also because I heard the food was pretty awesome each month. Both of these things were true. I ended up having a lot of fun with the women I work with, some who I was already friends with, some who we had never said more than three words to each other before last night. And the food...it really was incredible. And little did I know that these ladies like to drink more then my friends from college. Watching my 60 year old coworkers take shots of Wild Turkey and dance around to The Pussycat Dolls...that's an entertaining Friday night. I am glad I went, I am glad I work with such fun teachers, and I am glad that life in general is just ten times better at my new job. Even if that means spending my weekends playing the silly game of Bunco.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

freezing cold

It's been so cold here today. Too bad our apartment has not turned on the heat. I don't know how much longer I'm gonna be able to take this. It is 39 out...and we have no heat.

Also going on in my life, more Kagan training for school. I'm learning things, but being out is quite a chore. I spent so much time making sub plans yesterday. I just hope that something is being accomplished while I am away.

The illness that hit me hard Friday is still hanging around, except now it's all in my chest. Breathing hasn't been easy and I've been doped up on cough medicine for the past five days. Robitussin isn't very yummy. And one can only sniff so much Vick's vapor rub before getting sick of the smell.

Tried another new recipe on Sunday. It was good. Not great, but good. J and his buddy who had dinner with us loved it. I just thought it was so-so. I did sub black beans for refried beans, and I threw in a lot of cilantro (yum!). I would recommend both of these if you try making it. Ours was also a veggie version with no ground beef. Let me know if you make it!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

wet cats

Last night I came home from school feeling like death. I ached all over, every muscle every joint. And my throat felt like it was shrinking and a little on fire. I somehow made it through the school day, but just barely. However, I think it was thanks to my students' weird/clever sense of humor that I was able to survive till the buses left at three o'clock...

Student: Mrs. W, what would you do if you were sleeping in a locked room, and I put a cat on your face?
Me: WHAT?
Student: Actually....a wet cat....
Me: Did someone do this to you?
Student: No, I was just curious to know what you'd do.
Me: ??????????????

Somedays, I love my job. Despite the fact that I teach germy little nose pickers who get me sick, I love it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

looking back and growing up


Tonight I had coffee with a dear friend from college who recently moved to my town. What a nice way to spend my evening. Catching up, reminiscing, and talking about current events in our "adult" lives. It's funny how much has changed since we were in college. It's funny that while we were sophomores, we used to watch cheesy Lifetime or ABC Family movies and talk about what it would be like when we were married. It's funny that each of our lives is so different now than it was 5 years ago when we met...but it's different in such a wonderful, unexpected way.

I love being an adult, and I know I am very blessed to be where I am in my life now, but there are times like tonight, that I think back to college, and the friends I had there, and the wonderful memories I have from my five years (I did four undergrad years, one grad year), and a small part of me misses that life. To be care-free, to stay up till two in the morning every night, to eat with your friends all the time, to living in a 12 x 12 foot room....I miss it. This post is, as I am sure, a feeling most twenty-somethings go through, and I know it will pass, but I know that I am lucky to have had five incredible years. They were five years where I grew, I changed, and I became the person I am now.

Here are two awesome articles I found on Relevant (which I loooove) a few years back that I just adore. I think they both sum up my feelings, and each writer puts my thoughts and fears on paper so well. One & Two.

I am lucky to look back and have such wonderful memories and friends, and even more fortunate to have so many great things and people in my life today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

new collar

Look what came in the mail yesterday!
Layla got a new collar from Lucky Fiona. It was about time. Her old one was smelling like a dirty old gym sock that had been soaked in river water. It was time for a change!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

a coffee cup

I know I am not the first to state this, but I am gonna say it anyway. I love Starbucks coffee cups right now. I love "The Way I See It..." quotes. Getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks is exciting, not only for the drink, but also for the cup. My husband would probably call this stupid and materialistic, but that's okay. It's the little things that make me happy.

Last week, my co-teacher brought me a hazelnut latte (she's the best), and I got this cup. Made me day.
Like I said, it's the little things...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

rainy wednesday

I just graded the biggest stack of math papers. Uhhhh. Took forever, but glad I did it. My parents will probably be happy, too.

I am loving my new scrap room/office space since I did some major cleaning on Monday evening. It's much more relaxing being in here now that I've thrown out so much junk. Junk that should have been thrown out months, years ago!

I read this tonight. Made me really happy.
"I believe we can be the change we’ve voted for—no matter who we voted for..." Roxanne Weiman
We don't have to agree on everything, but as Christians, we should still show love.

And finally, I want to brag about the delicious Thai take-out I had tonight, courtesy of my awesome husband. It was exactly what I wanted to come home to after a rainy, long day. Well, I take that back. Layla is really the best part of coming home, but Thai was a fantastic second. Nothing beats a wagging tail and having my face attacked by that mutt.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

in numbers...

427: miles I drove this past weekend to see and visit some dear friends
5: political costumes I saw at the Halloween party I went to Friday night
3: homemade cupcakes I ate on Halloween
169: dollars spent at Ikea on Saturday
1.5: hours spent cleaning and organizing my scrap/desk area last night
32: parent teacher conferences since last Wednesday
3: hours I got to go home early today since I finished all my conferences by noon!
18: federal cards that I lost at school...fed cards are sort of a big deal, and it's not looked fondly upon when a teacher "misplaces" all but one card.
2: new beers I tried this weekend
1: wonderful coworker who is cutting me some big slack and saving my butt despite my awful lack of organization
12: times I have watched this awesome video
31: minutes I have at home before I go vote!