Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blog's Bouncin' Back

Okay all you precious people: the blog's coming back, I swear.  I'm going on vacation next week, and when I return, it'll be awesome!  Get ready for apartment projects, decorating, and all things life!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Back in My Heart

It's Valentine's Day, a day that could have easily sent me into a little loveless funk since this is the 22nd year I haven't had a boyfriend on February 14th.  (Okay, maybe 7 or 8 of those actually count as boyfriendless since elementary years can be excluded on account of elementary school love is much, much fickler than middle school love.)  Some people lament this day as SAD, or Singles Awareness Day, the one day a year on which single people feel exponentially single-er. 

Every year during college one of my best friends Alicia and I would go see a matinee movie and have dinner together in a joint (peaceful) protest against giant teddy bears, crappy chocolates and mushy cards everywhere.  We reveled in SAD, but we didn't mope. 

We just celebrated that we had such good friends to spend that coupley day with.  This year, though, we're grown.  Alicia's a big time pediatric nurse back home in Huntsville, and I'm a would-be teacher, part-time Super Sub in Tuscaloosa.  The 2.5 hour distance was pretty sad.

This year, best-friend-dateless and wondering what the heck I was going to do, I set out to make this Valentine's Day more than a mopefest of SAD.  And it worked!

First, my mom, the Goddess of Vera Bradley, sent me a little Heart Day care package!

Then, against my better judgement, I accepted a last minute sub job this morning.  The 8th graders were hyped up on sugar ALLLLLLL day, but overall, they were well-behaved...for 8th graders anyway. :)  They definitely kept me on my toes and entertained me with all their stories of middle school love and lust gone awry.

Then I came home from school to see there little gems!

A little bird dropped off these yummy treats from a favorite bakery of mine, Mary's.  Shortbread cookies, a tiny heart-shaped cake and a super sweet note totally made my day along with the lovely text messages I got today.  Plus, my other BFF Ellyn sent me a precious card in the mail!!  It was a GREAT day!

Back in the Pizza Biz!

So many of you know that I'm an intern at my church.  I live bill-free in exchange for working around the church.  I park cars during football season, hang out with the youth, and teach Sunday school along with other little tasks that need to be done. 

I love spending time with our youth group because it's made of really great kids.  On a really good night we only have 6 or 8 kids, but they're awesome, smart, and hilarious.  I never leave a youth event without laughing my butt off!! 

Last weekend our youth executed the best pizza assembly line I've ever seen to complete their latest fundraiser. The kids made a ton of money for upcoming trips, and the church members' bellies were full of delicious, handmade pizza. The kids sold and made 92 pizzas!! We had a ton of happy customers, many of whom have asked when the kids will be making pizzas again!

Pizzas waiting to be picked up

Diligently counting pepperonis to provide adequate topping coverage.

Part of the pizza assembly line. They made 92 pizzas in a hour with the help of adult Sunday school classes who joined in the fun.

Way to go youth!  We're all proud of you and happy to help!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back in My Snow Boots

So anyone who knows me knows I love snow.  I didn't get much snow growing up (I only remember one giant snow when I was really small in Maryland and the blizzard of 93 in Arkansas) since I've always lived in the south.  Tuscaloosa has gotten threats of snow this winter, but Huntsville gets slammed every other week it seems.  My parents got 9 inches of snow a couple weeks ago and I was super jealous because we didn't get a single flake! 

But our lack of accumulation doesn't mean doesn't mean we don't hope or plan for a flippin' blizzard.  The last time we had a "major" threat of snow in early January, I camped out at Susan and John Adam's and waited for the mother load.  Instead we got just enough ice to shut the city down for two days!  We had fun watching movies, making giant pallets of blankets on the floor, and pigged out on yummy food, but there was no snow. 

Last week the weather guessers predicted snow, but I decided to stay put at home (church) because I had to sub the next morning and didn't want to leave for work any earlier than absolutely necessary.  Luckily, we got a big fat nothing again.

So Tuesday when the weather folk and Facebook world started touting the latest threat of snow, no one should be surprised that I doubted it'd happened...but hoped like hell it would.  And, guess what folks!!  It snowed last night!! I camped out at Susan and JA's again (what kind of fun is a "good" snowfall when you're all by yourself.  Not, that's what kind.) and we had dinner and sipped wine while we waited for snow to cover the grass.   By 10 there was a good inch and a half on the ground so we did what any good southern children do, mess it up as soon as possible.  (Forgive the grainy cell phone pics.  As soon as I get the ones from Susan's camera I'll post them!)

A veritable blizzard by Tuscaloosa standards

We went out and sledded down the hill and made a huge snowman named Fred (admire his REAL coal eyes, nose, mouth and buttons...and skewer arms) until we were so soaked that we had to seek warmth and refuge inside by the fire.  We had so much fun, and I must have said, "This is great!"  "It's snowing!" and "This is so much fun!" about a billion times.  I know I said it a lot because Susan remarked, "You've said that a lot."  I can't help that I revert to childhood when it snows.

Our snowman, affectionately named Fred.  You'll see more of him later...he didn't live long.

After Fred's untimely death, we called it a night, turned on a movie and promptly fell asleep.  Just another adventure for the memory book.  I have the best friends.

Just as a comparison, our two inches is nothin' in the grand scheme of things, but I'll take it! 
18 inches of snow at Gammaw's -- Christmas 2009

Snow at Mom and Dad's -- January 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back to the Races

In the midst of my "no job funk" a few weeks back, I was itching to move, run, exercise, do *something.*  I did a little research on the Couch to 5K running plan.  I did a couple 5Ks in college with my roommate Ellyn, but I never properly trained for one.  C25K gets you from your sitting on your ass to running 5K (approx. 30 minutes) without stopping over 9 weeks.  After looking over the plan, I decided my lazy butt ought to give it a chance.  It's discouraging to be without a job (even though I know, I know, I know I just graduated and it's a terrible time to find a job, much less a teaching job!) and not have much else  to do, so jogging might give me a new focus and something to feel proud of.

I told my dear friend Susan that I wanted to try C25K and she said she and some friends from work were signing up for the Mayor's Cup 5K in April.  I downloaded these podcasts, Susan and her husband John Adam joined in, and our running trio was born.  We've been at it for 3 weeks, and I already feel a difference.  I am SO proud of us for sticking with the plan and getting our runs in.  So to reward ourselves for our commitment and our feet for putting up with such awful, old shoes, Susan and I went to The Athlete's Foot yesterday and got some new kicks.  TAF is awesome because they have a program that evaluates the pressure points in your feet and your gait so you can choose the best shoe for you.  I ended up with these babies, and I love them!

It's amazing what a decent pair of shoes will do to improve a run.  I didn't get shin splints nor did I roll an ankle--a beautiful thing.  I swore I'd only run if a large jungle animal were chasing me, but I'm totally getting into it.  I think I'm going to splurge on a nice tank top when we make it to six weeks.  Gotta look spiffy on race day come April!

**These shoes helped make up for the horrendous day o' subbing that I had on Friday.  That is, these shoes and the WONDERFUL friends I have who all lamented their bad/weird days with me over a plate of nachos and a few margaritas at Jalapeno's.  Y'all are the best!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back in Class

I got up at 5:30 this morning, got ready, and got back in bed to wait for a potential call to sub.  Mrs. Freeman at Northridge came through at 7:30, and I headed up to my favorite high school for a day in the drama department.  The kids were awesome, but I realized quickly that subbing is NOT my passion.  It's nowhere near the same as teaching.  I actually taught AHSGE review during the 30-minute bonus block, and I felt a once-sad piece of myself come alive.  I love teaching, even when the kids are acting a little nuts.  But subbing is a good way to keep my name and face in the schools so maybe I'll have a job come fall.  I can't wait to have my own classroom and kiddos.

The best part of my day was seeing so many of my students from internship.  Several of them came by to hug me when they found out I was subbing, and one even leaped out of her seat and ran across the cafeteria when she spotted me.  Surely they aren't attached to me or anything!!  God, I love those kids.  They totally made my intership experience.  I found some new awesomes in the 4th block class I had today; several of them said, "We're going to tell our teacher to call you every time she's out.  You're cool and you let us do what we're supposed to do." (It's a theatre production class so sometimes they're building sets or working in the costume shop; apparently past subs have made them sit in the classroom and instead of letting them go to the stage--you can see and hear the kids from the room!)  While I promised my students that my self-worth and self-esteem were NOT wrapped up in what a bunch of 15- and 16-year-olds thought of me, it was encouraging to hear the kids excited about me.  Second block wasn't so fond of me, but that's just because, hold your breath, I told them to quiet down.  Wah, wah, wah, kids.  This is school not Romper Room!

On an unrelated note, today's edition of C25K was put on hold due to ice falling from the heavens.  It was too flippin' cold and we heard threats of road closings so we decided to try again another day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Back in Business!

Hello, my faithful followers.  I dropped off the face of the blogging Earth at the end of a tough semester and barely saw a computer during internship last semester, so a lot has changed and not just my blog background! :)

What's new?
  • I'm committing to blogging more frequently.  It's fun and somewhat therapeutic.
  • I graduated from college in December!
  • Me and Steph on graduation day
  • I am doing the Couch to 5K Program with my friends Susan and John Adam.  We're running the Mayor's Cup 5K in April and are about to start Week 3 training (did Week 1 twice, just in case...or because we needed an extra week of less intense intervals!).  I am proud of myself for sticking with this because most of you know my favorite saying, "I only run if something's chasing me!"  Well, right now laziness is chasing me, and I'm trying to stay a few strides ahead!
  • I am a substitute teacher for Tuscaloosa City Schools.  Since I graduated in December, the job prospects were pretty much non-existent.  I am hoping that this sub gig will keep my foot in the door and potentially lead to a job for the fall.  I did my internship at Northridge High and LOVED it.  I miss my students and teaching so, so much.  Y'all know I'm a planner so this get up at 5:30, get ready and hope one of the schools calls at the last minute is stressful.  I mean, it's only been a few days, but I am beyond ready to work!  My new least favorite words of all time? SubFinder's robot voice saying, "Currently there are no jobs available."  Luckily I have a job booked for this Friday at my beloved NHS so I'll make a little cash and get to see some of my favorite kiddos!
  • I'm living in a church!!  That's right, a church.  I am serving as an intern at one of the churches in town so I live for free in exchange for of my time and talents.  It's a little weird to tell people I live in a church, but it's a great gig.  I parked cars for football games, teach youth Sunday School and help with the youth, help lead a college Bible Study of great girls, and help out with whatever else needs doing around here.
  • I'm trying to find my new place as a college grad who's not quite all the way grown.  The majority of my college friends have graduated and moved home, but I'm trying out Tuscaloosa livin' as an adult for the time being.  I think I just want to make it on my own; it might be a mistake, and I know I'll need help, but I spent my entire life moving because of other people.  Now I don't have to (yet) if I don't want to.  I have an incredible group of friends still in town, but since most of them are married, I need to do a better job of seeking a young professionals/singles group as I've aged out of the Wesley Foundation by default.  I've heard good things about the young adult ministry at First United Methodist downtown, so I may give that a shot.
I hope to be around a lot more, especially since I'm not prepping lessons or grading papers for the time being.  Look out for recipes (as tried at Susan and John Adam's since my kitchen do I put this nicely?? Lacking.), photos, and random adventures!

Much love