Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cutest Invitation Ever

One of the things Brent and I love about our neighborhood is the people. We have never really lived in a place where you get to know your neighbors until now. We were looking forward to making new friends in the neighborhood, and we were amazed at how friendly everyone was when we moved in. In fact, funny story... the first weekend we moved in, we got so many invitations that we ended up going to two get-togethers in one night. We got home around 10:00, and no sooner had we closed our front door, the doorbell rang. You should have seen the looks on our faces. It was another neighbor asking us to come over and have a beer. We went, and we came back exhausted. I think I said, "I don't know if I can HANDLE living in this neighborhood!" Haha... While it has calmed down since then, we are still very grateful for the friends we have made.

Around Christmastime, we met a great Aggie couple, Josh and Cassie. Cassie and I immediately hit it off since we are both teachers. On our Christmas break, we decided to start a supper club in our neighborhood. We decided that once a month, a couple would host a themed dinner in their home and other couples would bring appetizers, deserts, and drinks to match the theme. We've had a great time so far! Tonight we're having supper club at Cassie & Josh's house. About a week ago, I was out walking Blazer. When I got home, Brent was like, "You are not going to BELIEVE what Cassie brought over!" He proceeded to show me the cutest invitation ever. Cassie decided on a "Burger Bash" theme, so she put together this precious invitation followed by a cute little menu where we got to choose our burger.

As if that wasn't enough... the invitation also included this adorable little box with a mini hamburger in it!!! Brent truly thought it was a REAL hamburger. I took one look at it, and I was like, "No... this is a CUPCAKE!" Y'all, she had made a cupcake look like a real hamburger. She went so far as to dye coconut green to look like lettuce! I'm sure it was good, but I didn't even get to try it. Brent consumed it in two bites and declared, "I could definitely have another." Don't you think they are the cutest invitations ever? What in the heck am I going to do when it's my turn to host?!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hawaii (Heaven)

Last week, Brent & I took a long-awaited trip to Hawaii for our (early) fifth anniversary. We stayed for a whole week on the "Big Island" of Hawaii. It was a glorious week of rest and fun. Some of the highlights were relaxing all day by the pool, reading a book a day, going to the spa, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner outside, whale watching, hiking to waterfalls, and ordering room service. Now we are home and getting over jet lag (we slept 14 hours last night!). I'm banking on my relaxation lasting as far into the next weeks as possible. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story!

It's a long flight to Hawaii. Thankfully, Brent & I have been saving our American Express points for most of our marriage. We finally got enough to fly first class to Hawaii for free! First class was a ridiculous luxury that I am willing myself not to get used to! Every little thing was unbelievable to me. The space was amazing... to put my purse under the seat in front of me, I had to throw it a little bit because I couldn't reach!
Here is Brent making a pretend very important call to a very important client which he is very serious about.
This was my LUNCH on the plane! I also took pictures of the appetizer, salad, bread, and drinks, but I spared you those.
Y'all... they wheeled a CART of ice cream fixings down the isle. They would make you a sundae with whatever you wanted! It was crazy.
One of my favorite parts of staying at the Four Seasons is arriving. They greet you at the door and instead of going to the front desk, you sit on a comfy couch while they bring you a drink, a snack and your check-in papers. In Hawaii, they also gave us both a lei.
Here's me with my delicious welcome drink. Yes, please. And thank you.
This is the "beach tree" on the property which is kind of the center of the resort and the namesake of one of the resort's restaurants. It almost looks fake!
A view of the lobby
Our room's outdoor patio
The bathroom that Brent wants to recreate in our house someday. If you look out the window above the tub, that's an OUTDOOR LAVA shower!! It was so cool.
Our first night there was one of my very favorites. We were exhausted from the trip, so we sat on our patio, drank champagne, and ordered room service.
Enjoying our celebratory champagne
Here's the view from our breakfast table the next day. I mean, seriously?
You know I love food, so I had to get a picture of this ridiculously good breakfast with fresh squeezed juice.
Here we are before our first of many days at the pool. (That's the pool and ocean in the background.)
Paradise, anyone?
This was another favorite night... we spent hours at the "Lava Lounge" sipping martinis and ordering sushi. We closed the place down!
This was the best pool I've ever been to.
Y'all, they actually bring lunch to your lounge chair! Here is a view from my lounge chair before I ate those delicious fish tacos.
One day we rented a car and drove around the island. Here's Brent in his rental pride & joy - a Mustang convertible.
Self portrait on our waterfall hike
Me in front of the three-tiered waterfall
The waterfall tour was not actually as cool as we thought it was going to be, so we had to make our own entertainment. Per Brent's request, here is me on the hood of the convertible.
Back at the resort, here is the "Beach Tree" restaurant
Brent feeding an eagle ray
Me feeding an eagle ray. If you know me, you know that I was completely terrified to do this. I had to watch 20 children do it without dying before I could get up the courage to do it. And still, when the ray sucked on my fingers like a vacuum, I squealed a little bit in fright. Embarrassing. But I did it. You can see its icky long spine tail in the water.
Before one of our last dinners
About to enjoy my shrimp scampi
View of the island from our whale watching boat
Checking out the natural rock arches on our whale whale watching trip. We did see whales, and it was pretty cool... but it was too hard to get anything on camera, so we just enjoyed it without stressing about pictures.

I can't leave this post without publicly thanking my amazing husband. He never ceases to spoil me. I have to tell you a little story. Almost eight years ago, we were not dating yet, and we were on a ski trip with a bunch of friends. We were having a conversation about vacations, and Brent said that when he got married, he was going to take his wife to the Four Seasons, specifically in the Maldives. I had never heard of the Four Seasons at the time, but it all sounded very magical. While Brent was talking, I didn't say anything. I do remember, however, as clear as it was yesterday, what I thought. I thought, "Well, it's not going to be me, but Brent's wife sure will be lucky." I could almost imagine the mystery girl in some plunge pool at the Four Seasons with Brent. And I was a little jealous of that mystery girl. I've thought about this conversation a few times since we've been married. On one of our last nights at the resort, we were talking about where we should go for our next vacation. I brought up that conversation from long ago, and we laughed about it, and then I just started crying. I mean, I couldn't stop! The poor waitress must have thought we were having a fight or something! I just became so overwhelmed with God's immense blessings in my very undeserving life. And I still can't believe that the lucky girl I was silently envying... well, it's me.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Did you miss me?

Don't answer that! I know my blog has been ridiculously boring lately, so you probably didn't miss me. I'm sure you've read my post about Mexican food at least 100 times now, right?? Well thanks for coming back. I'm going to try and be better at blogging. Every once in a while, I want to quit, but I'm not a quitter :-) so I'm going to keep going. Since I haven't posted ANYTHING in over a month (the shame), I have a weird combination of a lot to tell you and nothing to tell you. So this might be the most random blog post ever in the history of blog posts. Here, in no particular order, are the top 8 things that have kept me away from blogging this month. Drumroll, please:

#1: Studying for the GRE
Yep, you read that right. All of a sudden I looked around and realized that I'm 28. I know that's not very old, but I was kind of wondering what I am doing in my life. I mean, are we going to have a baby? Am I going to keep working? What am I going to do after we have a baby? These questions plagued me for months. I finally decided that I probably will want to do some sort of consulting work or give workshops to teachers eventually, so I need a masters. Why have I not thought of this in the previous six years? I'm not sure, because that would have made things a whole lot easier. Now I feel like time is ticking and I want to go back to school. I am trying to rest in God's timing, though. So... I spent a solid month studying for the GRE. After many tears shed over the math section and countless hours spent hunched over a practice test, I'm happy to say that I conquered the GRE. I did better than I ever expected, and I feel quite a sense of satisfaction over that ridiculous test.

#2: Applying to Grad Schools
So, since I decided to take the GRE, that naturally meant that I had to then actually apply to grad schools! It's been QUITE a while since I applied to college! The program I really want to get into is at Columbia University in NYC. Don't worry... we're not moving. First I have to get in. Then, it is just a summer program - three weeks a summer for three years. I also applied to the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas here in Houston as local alternatives. At Columbia, I'd get my Masters in the Teaching of English. At the other two, I'd get a Masters of Education. We'll see!!

#3: The TAKS
The TAKS test rears its ugly head each spring. In 7th grade English we have the distinct pleasure of two TAKS tests - writing and reading. The writing one was March 3rd. The TAKS monster made personally sure that I gave up four Saturdays in a row for tutorials and had slight heart palpitations every time I thought about the high standards set by our school and felt worried that kids wouldn't reach them. Luckily, they did everything I taught them (at least I think they did!) We won't get the scores back until May, but I'm cautiously optimistic that they did awesome. One down, one to go.

#4: Working Out
After six years of trying, I have finally created and maintained a work out routine. I can hardly believe it myself. I joined a gym right by our house, and I now work out for an hour 4-6 days a week. I bring my clothes to school, change, and go right after work. I can't say I love it, but I do like it, and it feels good to have a routine. Every Wednesday, I go to boot camp at the gym. Who would have guessed it, but I LOVE boot camp. It is super challenging, but I can just tell that I'm getting better every time. I've gone for 7 weeks in a row now. This week, the lady made me use heavier weights than everyone in the group because she "knew I could do it". Pretty sure I've never heard that before!

#5: Texting Students
Students have always called teachers at YES for help on homework or other questions. A new phenomenon this year is students texting teachers. I do not mind this because the school pays for my cell phone plan, and texting is usually easier than talking to a student on the phone. So I'm all for it. But this brings up some interesting situations. Students are sometimes not very good or careful at texting, so last week I got a little GEM of a text message from a student. It's probably inappropriate to post on my blog, but it's too funny to pass up. I laughed so hard. I just WISH I could have seen his face when he realized what he had just texted me on accident. I've taken off the phone number to protect the (not so) innocent. You can't make this stuff up. Enjoy.

#6: Cooking
I'm still cooking just about every night. I will try to have some recipe posts coming up soon. This week I made a ridiculously delicious halibut dinner. I love it when I find a recipe that's easy, healthy, and tastes better than a restaurant. The picture is not the best, but you can take my word for it that it was yummy! It was pan seared halibut, cous-cous, roasted asparagus, and a sliced tomato.

#7: Saving Stray Dogs
I have been trying for YEARS to save a stray dog. I've gotten kind of obsessed with it, actually. If I see a stray dog anywhere, I will stop, turn my car around, and try to get it. Just ask my mom - sometimes I'm talking to her on the phone while driving and I have to hang up suddenly to go chase a dog! I have probably tried to pick up more than 15 stray dogs in the last few years. However, every single time, they run away from me. It's so frustrating! I guess they just don't want to be helped. I'm not entirely sure what I would DO with a stray dog once I got it, but I would figure that out later, I guess! Anyway, last weekend, my dream came true! I was driving home and I saw a large white dog running across a busy street at the entrance to our neighborhood. I turned around and chased him with the car for a minute. When I got close, I parked and opened the door and called it. Then the dog ran to me and jumped not only into my car, but into my lap!!! I was laughing so hard. I pulled up to the house and you can imagine the look on Brent's face when he saw a giant unknown dog in my lap! haha. We kept her in the backyard and called the number on the tag. We finally got in contact with the owners who lived in our neighborhood. The dog had dug out of the yard and had apparently done that before. I was kind of hoping for an adorable little family with kids who would hug the dog and cry. However, they came to pick her up and (sadly) did not seem that excited that we had found her. I believe they had been drinking a bit, and they said to the dog, "Molly, if I saw you on the street, I wouldn't pick you up!" I seriously almost grabbed the dog back. But oh well, you never quite have all the parts of a dream come true at once. Here she is in the car... I got her off my lap and into the passenger seat long enough to snap a pic.

#8: Packing for Hawaii
That's right! We are leaving for Hawaii tomorrow and we will be there for a whole glorious week. We have been planning this trip for a year now, and I can't believe it's finally here. It's my Spring Break, and I could not be more ready. I'm leaving my laptop at home and doing NO WORK for a whole week. Praise God! I can not remember the last time that happened. I've got a suitcase full of cute dresses and bathing suits, and school can not be over soon enough. So I wont' be blogging for a week, but when I get back, I'll post pics of our time here:

Have a great week!


Site Design by Designer Blogs