Monday, December 29, 2008

Must Love Dogs

So last night, E and I went to see Marly & Me. Cute movie. As we left the sparsly crowded theatre we saw a little boy, probably around 9, who was bawling his eyes out. Poor little guy. I will say, that movie gives you no recovery time!

A little background:
  • My family loves dogs. When I say we love them, I mean love them. We spoil them rotten. Treat them like they're kings. It's actually pretty horrible how rotten our animals are. Sample one:
  • We're a bunch of crybabies. We take the loss of our animals hard. My little brother's beagle died this summer unexpectedly and it was horrible. See here for more about how pathetic I am.
  • Our family German Shepard, Buck, is the best dog ever. We like to call him the million dollar dog. He has been through everything, and he's still the most loving, beautiful dog ever.
  • What's he been through, you ask?
  1. When he was a puppy we were playing baseball and he got hit in the eye (yes, they eyeball) with the baseball bat). Needless to say, he's never been able to see out of that eye since.
  2. While recovering from the eye issue, he got Parvo at the vet.
  3. A year or so later he got lime's disease.
  4. Then I ran over him in the truck. I know, that sounds horrible! Here's the story though. We were hauling hay out to our new pond so we had a bunch of haybales stacked up in the back of the farm truck. Granddaddy and I were driving through the field very slowly because of said hay, and because the dogs were riding on top of the hay. Well, Buck decided to run off the haybales, onto the cab of the truck and then proceeded to keep going, running off the front of the truck...while I was driving! I felt horrible, but he ended up just limping a bit.
  • I'm sure there's more, but you get the point. He's been through a lot.
  • Buck's getting old. Really old. His hips are failing him and he mainly just sits around these days in the garage. He's developed mange (or something, we're not sure what) because he sits so much. He's lost a lot of hair on his back end. The other day he tried getting up to come and get some lovin from me and it made me wanna cry.
So, basically my point here is...I'm a crybaby and I don't want Buck to get old. Which he has. I keep telling Mom they need to put him down. He's miserable. The problem is, we all love him so much. We've never had a dog long enough to put them to sleep. They've either been really healthy into their old age and just died peacefully one day, or they died tragically (see Sneaker story above). So I guess part of it is that we've never had to deal with it before. I must say though, I bawled in Marly & Me at the end. It's just so freakin sad! How do people do it?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Young @ Heart

Title: Young @ Heart
Rating: 5 outta 5 stars
Review: This movie, you must see! Young @ Heart is a chorus of older folks who travel the country (and world) performing. It's sad, uplifting, sweet, cute, hilarious, touching, any other positive adjective you can think of.

This chorus is so inspiring. The average age is 80, and they show you (or me) that anything and everything is possible. Positive attitude just gets you so far. I hope that I'm this upbeat when I'm older. Seriously, stop reading my review, watch the trailer below, and go rent this movie!


video

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who I Admire

In response to Ashley's post on those we admire, I have the following.

1. My Mom. That might sound cliche, but the woman's amazing. That's an entire post there.
2. My students. There is a student every day (usually new ones each day) who inspire me to be better. Doing random acts of kindness (thanks for the holiday cake, L, it was amazingly sweet - in more ways than one), trying their hardest (sweet little F- always the last to finish her test, but she tries so hard, is so calm, sweet, and respectful, seriously, she's amazing), and making me laugh (there are too many to count).
3. My cousin. He's going after what he wants. He's getting married to a girl he's only been dating for very short while, and while I think he's nuts, I also admire him, because I know I could never do something so impulsive!
4. My Aunt. She's lost so much on WW, and she doesn't even realize it anymore because she's kept it off for so long. It's inspiring and encouraging.

How to Procrastinate

1. Put on some iTunes. This is essential for most tasks.
2. Check your email. Every 30 minutes.
3. Peruse Google Reader. You know you just have to see what others are doing!
4. Think about grading those finals sitting there...
5. Tell yourself to grade.
6. Peruse WW website. Message boards here I come.
7. Facebook. You're the devil.
8. Look up the weather. Cause really, you're that boring.

Seriously Kate, go grade! Then you won't have to grade over Christmas break. GO!

Currently Reading: Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bottled Up

Title: Bottled Up
Author: Jaye Murray
Rating: 4 outta 5 stars
Review: So Pip is a guy with a lot of problems.

1. His dad's a jerk...and an alcoholic.
2. His mother's a pill popper.
3. He smokes way too much pot.
4. His friends are losers.
5. He has to take care of his brother.
6. When I say his dad's a jerk, I mean, he's an abusive, horrible, alcoholic.

I really like the voice in this book. Pip seems like one of my high school students. Not a specific one, mind you, but he sounds like he could be sitting in my classroom, these thoughts running through his head.

Pip's headed in the wrong direction when his principal gives him an ultimatum. Straighten up, or I call Dad. Somehow, no one's thought of this before. Seriously, if only it were that easy to get kids to think about straightening up. Anyway, I really like the adventure Pip goes on, it's hilly, rough, and scary, but he keeps plowing right through.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas presents!

So, here's a cute picture of E and Simon, who apparently loves cuddling with E who isn't really an animal person. If you're my sister-in-law, please don't look below the first picture, or you'll ruin your Christmas surprise, and that's sucky. After Christmas you can look. Course, by then you'll have it!


I did it! I did it! I made Christmas presents! That might seem like no biggie, but I'm such a procrastinator. And I actually did it. Yay me.

A clothespin bag - which will be filled with IKEA clothespins :)

And one for Mom, which won't be filled with clothespins...cause she already has a ton.

In other Christmas present news, I'm making a slideshow/video of our family for my little bro (and everyone else). E has helped me figure out how to record an old VHS (the only family video we have) so I can add it to the picture slideshow. How cool?! He's awesome I tell ya.

We're in the process of looking at houses for next year. I'm excited. I'm not gonna deny it. I watch way too much HGTV. So Mom sent me an A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E listing today. It's kinda sad though, cause most likely it won't still be on the market when we're looking. Hopefully we find something great though :)

We had a snow day today, and I'm praying we don't have one tomorrow. We have to have finals! And then...break! Yes! I swear, sometimes I think teachers have the sweetest deal. We get off for every major holiday. And can you say 3 months in the summer? Seriously. I may complain about grading, but the breaks more than make up for it.

Currently Reading: Bottled Up by Jaye Murray

Hattie Big Sky

Title: Hattie Big Sky
Author: Kirby Larson
Rating: 4 outta 5 stars
Review: Hattie Big Sky is based on Ms. Larson's ancestor who actually went through the homestead experience.

Hattie is a strong willed, naive, hopeful, and good-natured character. As a girl, she was a great character. That said, I'm not sure this book is for boys.

Hattie grew up being shifted from relative to relative after her parents both died when she was young. She's always felt like she had no place to call her own. While living with a distant relative she receives word that her Uncle (her Mom's brother) died and left her his homestead in Montana. Hattie decides to go to Montana and prove his claim. Of course, it's rough. The weather is terrible, the political climate is strained (this takes place during World War II), and Hattie has a lot to learn.


Currently Reading: Bottled Up by: Jaye Murray

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Inkheart

Title: Inkheart
Author: Cornelia Funke
Rating: 4 outta 5 stars
Review: Meggie and her father have an interesting talent, they make books come to life. However, that's not always a good thing. For Maggie and Mo it's often downright scary.

In the first book of this series, Maggie discovers her fathers talent (and later her own) when she meets the always-intriguing bad guy, Capricorn, who is determined to use their talents to achieve his goals.

This book really plays on every reader's fantasy of what would happen if a book came to life. It is well written, has as many twists and turns as your favorite roller coaster, and leaves you wanting to know just what Dustfinger will start in Inkspell, which I have every intention of reading as soon as one of my students finishes it!

Currently Reading: Hattie Big Sky by: Kirby Larson

Monday, December 8, 2008

How to Play Fetch with a Cat.

So not only is this incredibly cute, but I thought also hilariously funny, for a cat.

Enjoy Simon's premiere performance.


video

Please forgive the poor video quality.

breaking dawn & the express: the ernie davis story

So, I decided since my blog is titled "Relentlessly Reading" it'd only make sense to post my book reviews here. They're also on Goodreads, but hey, I need a post! :)

Title: Breaking Dawn
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Rating: 3 outta 5stars
Review: So I'm done with the Twilight series. I don't know if it's just that I read too much, of if the foreshadowing is really that obvious in these books.

In this book Bella finally becomes a vampire. Now that's not a spoiler, you can read it in the book jacket! That said, it does take awhile to get there, and this book is the least G rated out of the four in the series. I always like Jacob and Bella's relationship the best out of all the characters because it seemed the most real, and it stayed that way in the forth book until Bella gets married and has....an unexpected surprise. However, I think Bella's relationship with Alice (Edward's "sister") is great in this book.

I also liked how all the vampires came together to "fight evil" and that they seemed to find a sort of peace with the werewolves.

So overall? I guess I'd say it's a good read, a light read for sure. Not something I'll re-read
.



Title: The Express: The Ernie Davis Story
Author: Robert Gallagher
Rating: 3 outta 5 stars
Review: So I started this book and gave it up rather quickly. The Ernie Davis story is amazing and inspiring, but the way in which this book is written is too boring to hold my attention when I have so many other books waiting for me. Sorry.

That said, I do wish more athletes today would realize that their popularity really makes them noticed by society, and I wish they would use that in a positive way, encouraging youth today to be more civil, more gracious, more intelligent in what they do.

Currently Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cute Christmas Present

In an effort to save money this Christmas (might be looking for a house this summer/fall - YAY!) I'm trying to make as many Christmas presents as I can. One present I really enjoy making is the one I'm making for my brother (and therefore the rest of my family).

Last Christmas I made a slideshow for Grandmother of the whole family. I got pictures from all my aunts/uncles/cousins, etc and made a family slideshow with music selected by each family. Well, S liked it and wanted one of just our immediate family, so guess what S? You're getting one for Christmas and I'm lovin makin it!

We were so cute...

Dad

Mom

Mom and A (older brother)

Me :)

S (little brother)

Seriously, we were adorable. Any agreeing comments are always appreciated. What are you doing for Christmas presents this year? Any good money saving ideas?

Currently Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Clothes!

So, I went shopping this weekend, yay! 'Bout time. I was seriously running out of pants. It was bad. And now? I have 3 pairs of jeans, crazy! I don't remember the last time I had three pairs of jeans that fit well!

So, Mom, Memaw and I drove to Nebraska City because they have a pretty awesome outlet place with super cheap clothes. Those jeans? $10. Oh yeah.

Outfit #1 - I made myself buy this vest, cause come on, it's cute!

Outfit #2 - I like the sweater, surprisingly.

In other news, I also rocked the painted toenails tonight. Wow, I'm boring. :)

toes! The shade? CoverGirl Perfect Penny.

Currently Reading: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Choppy Sentences.

Are killing me. They're. Everywhere. Can you tell I'm grading essays? Oh how lovely! Actually, the worst part is that I would rather be doing anything else :) Go figure.

So I'm catsitting a cat for a friend (of a friend). I know I'm pathetic, I can't say no.

Complaints about said cat:

1. She's ugly. Sorry. She just is. Lemme see if I can scrounge up a picture.
That pictures kinda not showing how her colors don't really blend. It does show that she's obese though. Dang cat, I feed them twice a day and she still seems to be eating too much!

2. She's retarded. Seriously. She can't walk in a straight line and her eyes are HUGE, she just looks below average.

3. She sheds like you would not believe! This has to be the worst. I'm sorry, I love cats, but I cannot STAND their hair. And her favorite place to sleep while I'm at school? My pillow. Damn you Emmy.

4. She poops outside the cat box. Now, I thought I had this figured out, she likes a really clean cat box. NOPE. I cleaned it out last night and wahlah, more poop on the floor this morning.

Needless to say, someone (Me!) can't wait until Emmy's Mom gets home from Jordan in May. I should start a countdown. On the other hand, Simon absolutely loves playing with her. Dang, I might have to get another kitty...darn ;)

Note: How the heck do you spell wahlah? I can't believe I've never come across this before. Surely it's easy and I'm just slow tonight.

Currently Reading: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer (slooow reading)

Monday, November 17, 2008

To job hungs and fretting

So, it looks like I'll be looking for a job for this upcoming school year. I didn't think I'd be looking this soon, but E and I talked about it and we're both ready to live closer to each other. When I originally started where I am now I thought I'd be here for four years, this is my second. However, if I can't find a job that is at least comparable, I won't move. It's too good of a job, and E and I would be fine if we waited another year...in my humble opinion. However much I want to get started on the rest of my life, I'm not going back to C-town level schools.

In other news? 10 pounds away from my WW goal!!

My Mom, Memaw and I will be going shopping this weekend in Nebraska because I'm in desparate need of some pants that fit. Dang losing weight (not really though).

Well, I really must do something productive. Seriously. Go Kate.

Currently Reading: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Before...

This is scary, but it's the "Before" picture. Now I just have to take the "After" and post it tomorrow.Hey, at least even in my absolutely horrible "Before" picture I was still a rockin' Harry Potter fan!

It's that time again...

So, it's time to start thinking about Christmas presents. Ahhhh! So, my goal this year? Make (or recycle) all presents, except for Erik. Cause, really...what would he want that I could make? Any suggestions? He's so hard to buy for anyway.

Mom - making a clothespin holder
S - hmm, I made him an awesome blanket last year, maybe a family slideshow - oh yeah! Of just our family.
A - hmm...something for his new house, possibly Erik can help me think of something there.
Dad - I got a mountain biking book for $0.50 at the library book sale, maybe I can make something for his bike as well...maybe arm warmers? For riding in the winter? Haha, yeah right.
C - oh...she's crafty. This one will be difficult. I already have one idea, but besides that I'm a little stumped.
E - no friggin clue. Help.

This week at school's been great, the kids are behaving, I'm waking up early, it's just been good. I hope this keeps up! Next week's a full week, but after that, only 2 days and then break! Yay!!

Currently Reading: The World Without End by Ken Follett

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Custodian, My Savior

Okay, so that's a little exaggerated, but he's pretty sweet. I was complaining (I know, gasp) about my apartment's dryer and how the fuse always blows. What did he do? Fixed it! Seriously, love it.

My coworker had her baby, c-u-t-e. Seriously, I need to stay away from babies, it's making me baby crazy. I have to wait...at least a few years. In other baby news however, two of my cousins are expecting. Yay! They'll be so adorable. Really though, I must change the subject.


In other news? I have no news. I wish I did, but I'm boring. All I've been doing lately is grading papers, goin to the gym, checkin out Post Secret, and reading. Yay!

Currently Reading: The World Without End by Ken Follett

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I feel like a politician.

Because in my head I'm telling myself to "hope" and that "change is possible."
Too cliche?

So what the heck am I talking about?
Well, I have these classes full of students who don't like to read (or learn really). This of course really bugs me because I love reading. I'm an English teacher, of course I love reading! So, while I'd love to have them energized and excited about reading, or at least listening while I read, it gets really frustrating.

Why is it frustrating?
The majority of the students who sign up to take "sports literature" love sports (yay, that's cool) but don't like to read (boo, that stinks). The mixture of students is also a problem. There are a lot of students in these classes (I have two sections) who do poorly in school, have very strong personalities, tend to get in trouble, and do not like school. See where I'm going with this?

The Time for Change is NOW
So, I've been frustrated with this class since, oh...about two weeks after I started teaching it. It's a lot to handle. Lately it's been...ok...and when I say okay, it's still about four times as bad as my other classes, but for Sports Literature, I feel they're okay.

Today my principal (I'm really learning to like him!) came to talk to me about the class after school. I've told the principal and assistant principal about the issue so they generally try to drop by each class period to check on things. Anyway, he sent me a PowerPoint with some really awesome tips for teaching in general, things that are common sense, but I am really glad I was able to be reminded of.

Here's what I'm hoping to implement:
  • Be more positive! I let them get me down, and that never helps anyone, especially them. Come on Kate!
  • Meet students at the door - I've been really lax on this cause I always feel busy during passing periods.
  • Come up with a "Classroom Code of Conduct"? The sample one is awesome!
  • Make students raise hands (duh) and be polite (I've been working tirelessly on this one!)
  • Post the agenda every day
  • Be more positive! It's one of my classroom rules, so it can use repeating.
Wish me luck, I really hope to turn this class around. Again. :) It's so hard some days and I'm tired of being the "bitchy" teacher. I know that it's not all on me, but I'm the teacher, and if I don't start the change, who will?

Once again, wish me luck. I will need it.


Currently Reading: The World Without End by Ken Follett

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So much for that.

C, A, me, and E at the Obama Rally in Columbia last Thursday

So, if I remember correctly, I said I planned on posting at least 3 times a week. HA!

But, I had something to say tonight.

1. The election results are making me a very happy American indeed.

2. I'm only 12 - yes, that's right - TWELVE pounds away from my goal weight in WW. Super excited! I think I might make my personal goal weight 5 pounds less. Cause seriously, I can do it!


3. Kids are messed up. I had to confiscate the phone of a student who decided to order a burger from the local bar 5 minutes before school was out today - during class. WTF?! The nerve I tell ya!

4. This weather is b-e-a-utiful! I am enjoying it as much as possible. Yay mild weather!

5. Sometimes it worries me that I'm getting anxious to "settle down." I don't know if it's just that I have a real "grown-up" job, and that I've had it for going on three years. Or if it just makes me anxious that E, my significant other of almost 5 years is not nearly as anxious. Does everyone go through this, or is it just me?

Currently Reading: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (SO good!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Success

News Flash
So, for reasons unknown to myself I voluntarily participated in another duathlon. And guess what? It wasn't that bad! In fact, it was peachy. :) The same group as last time (Dad, Cousin E, E, and K) all took part. This time I did the short course, because the long course was 5k-18bike-5k. No thanks!

This is the whole gang (from my hometown). We're so cool we all medaled!

Frustrations
I live in an apartment within a house that was built in the 1860s. It's an adorable little apartment. My only complaint? The dryer blows a fuse everytime you do laundry! Geez people.

And...
I have nothing else of importance to announce. Lucky you. See ya later! Oh, I did reach my 25 lb mark in WW, yay!

Currently Reading: Mila 18 by: Leon Uris

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Water & Kitties

So, my little town is flooded (or it was Monday and Tuesday). I took some pictures yesterday after school. The first one here is at the park - part of my running route. It's hard to tell because of the reflections off the water, but that's a shelter in the park that's pretty darn flooded.Flooded fifth street. This is one street over from my gym. If you click to make the picture larger you can make out the street sign at the end of the street, well, some of it.And now the kitty...Simon seems to like my pannier.Currently Reading: Borrowed Finery

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mid-Mo Flooding

So, I'm old enough to remember the drastic flooding in 1993. At the time my Dad worked in Boonville and had to go a different route to make it to work. It was crazy.

However, in all the time I've lived in the Mid-Mo area, I've never seen Columbia flood like it did this weekend. We were out and about running errands and discovered that Scott Boulevard (right off the MKT trail - pictures of this bike trail were posted in July of this year on my blog) was flooded over. It was nuts. So we turned around and went down Forum only to find that Wilson's Total Fitness and MAC were flooded (two Columbia businesses).


It reminds you that nature is crazy. I know this is really pretty minor, especially when compared to some of the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike, but it's still mind-boggling.

In other news, I'm seriously considering campaigning for Obama. And if you didn't see the Palin-Clinton sketch on SNL last night, it's a must.


Currently Reading: Finally finished "The Known World", gotta find another book!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chasing Bugs

Wordless (well, not so wordless) WednesdayThe Best Card Game Ever! Rook :)
Rowdy Youngsters
Why do I have to almost have a breakdown in the classroom for certain groups of kids to get the hint and start behaving? Seriously, I don't want to say it, but "Kids these days!"

I don't know if any of you are teachers, but it seems like sometimes, kids lately just have no respect. Or less than they used to (when I was in school). They'll grown and complain about homework, say movies are boring, tell you they love you (hello? inappropriate!), stand around talking and sitting on desks after the bell's rang... I could go on and on. What the heck?

Sick Computers
Technology's great...when it works. My work computer got a virus yesterday and completely gave up on life. Luckily today they got it working again - after they deleted my profile and set it up again - but now they're afraid my flash drive (which has EVERYTHING saved on it) might also be infected! Cross your fingers for me, cause if I lose that, I'm screwed.

Weekly Weigh-In
Down over 24 pounds! Woohoo! I got a couple more comments today, too. It's nice to know I'm not the only one noticing.

Scrumptious Scrabble
Can you say nerd? Some fellow teachers and I are totally in love with a new addition to our days. Mr. S bought a travel scrabble, so we play throughout the day, passing it to the next teacher after we're through. Yay! Words of the day: aide, goat, ssss...something. Either way, F-U-N!

Bad Metaphor
Oh yeah, the post title. You were probably wondering. It was my metaphor of the evening. The cats have been desperately chasing a wasp around the apartment tonight and it reminded me of myself...desperately trying to stay sane until Friday. Nice? Lame. :) I know.

PROMISE
I'm updating. More often. At least....wait for it.....three times a week! Trying to mix things up a bit, add some pictures, different formatting, anything and everything! Stay tuned!

Currently Reading: The Known World - had to stop and read a couple books in between!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

B-E-A-utiful weather!

Willow River Falls (Wisconsin)

Seriously, I don't know what's going on this summer, but you won't hear me complaining. The weather lately has been absolutely amazing! I have yet to turn on my air conditioning (all summer!). Can you say lower utility bills? Heck yes!

In other news school is going so smoothly it's kind of worrying me. I'm used to being a little freaked out all the time and desperately needing every minute of my plan period, but lately it's been somewhat relaxing. We did get a bit of sad news this week, though. The teacher whom I was hired to replace died Friday afternoon of a heart attack. He was 35! He also has a baby boy who's turning 1 in October. Seriously, how unfair is life sometimes? Tomorrow the school is sponsoring a "hat day" where kids/teachers pay money to wear a hat and all the money is going to an educational fund for his son. I'm not a hat person, but I'll be sporting a Mizzou cap for the occasion.

Tomorrow we're doing a fun lesson that's taking full advantage of the wonderful weather, so I hope to post some pictures the kids take. Keep your eyes open.

Also, the Ride Like a Pro challenge is almost over (Friday's the last day). So far, with my rough estimates (I underestimated most of the times) I've biked over 650 miles this summer - since June. I guess they're recognizing the participants on September 13th when the Tour of Missouri comes through town. That should be cool :)

Well, after all that talk about teaching being a breeze this year, I must go finish planning part of tomorrow's lesson.


Currently Reading: The Off Season by Catherine Murdock

Monday, August 18, 2008

Get to Work!!

So here I am at home when I really should be working. Today was the first day back at school with the kids and man, it was much easier than last year! It really helps when you know some of the kids and you don't have to plan every lesson from scratch. Nice :)

In WW news, I'm down over 20 pounds from May. Sweet! A lot of my clothes (work clothes) are really loose, but I don't want to buy new clothes until I'm down 2 sizes, I figure by then I'll look pretty ridiculous in most of my clothes. However, some of my current work clothes are pretty ridiculous at the moment. Good thing I have no money to buy new ones. Seriously though, I'm pretty excited about it. I might even be able to make goal by Christmas....maybe my birthday. Either one will be sweet :)

So my kitty's name is Simon. He's adorable. Enough said. Unfortunately he thinks the litter box is an awesome place to play, but...he's still cute.

Here's me forcing myself to work. However, I promise to update more frequently now that I'm back at home.


Currently reading: The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Get a car!"

Seriously?

That's what I heard as I rode my bike to the grocery store. The obnoxious yeller was hanging out the passenger side of a Grand Am. I was kinda hoping it was a student of mine so I could give them a hard time Monday.

Get a life people.

In other news? I'm the new Mom to a darn adorable kitty. His name is...to be determined. I can't decide!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Snood is the devil.

Once I start playing, I can almost never stop. Why is it so addicting? Why do I keep downloading the game on every computer when I know it will only lead to many wasted hours of shooting little heads at other little heads? Oh Snood, you will be my downfall.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Holy cow.

I don't know what's going on, but the closer it gets to the end of the summer, the more time seems to fly by. I feel like yesterday was Monday. It's crazy and it's freakin me out!

To DO List:
  • Help E pack, they move next Wednesday! Ahh!
  • Help E clean. This is the part I enjoy...making things neat and organized, and finally clean!
  • Go to Minneapolis!! We leave Friday evening and I'm super excited.
  • Study for the GRE - I'm nervous. Why do tests always make me so nervous?
  • Take the GRE (next Thursday).
  • Start actually planning some of my fall classes. I haven't looked at stuff for school since our last inservice day. I'm a bad teacher.
  • Craft Camp!
  • Go to Wisconsin with the family.
  • Make slideshow for Grandmother.
  • Send my transcripts to UMSL so they can complete the application process.
I'm sure there's lots more, but that's what's overwhelming me right now. And of course, I could have done a lot of that stuff earlier this summer, but no...I procrastinate.

In other news:

Yesterday was perfect for the following reasons:

Played with my adorable cousin!

Played with my other cousin's adorable new puppy!!

Played sand volleyball.

What's not to love about that day?

Currently Reading: Finished The Book Thief, looking for my next good read.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Have mercy!


Why is it that the day before my WI my aunt makes homemade ice cream and invites everyone over?! Oh...ice cream.

Yum.

In other news. I woke up to the most awesome thunderstorm I've experienced in awhile. Seriously, I think I might have a problem. I love storms. For some reason they just make me feel...calm. Ahhh...it was great.


Currently Reading: Just finished "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Down 15!

So, I'm officially down 15 pounds since May - which I think is pretty sweet. The thing I really like about Weight Watchers is that it doesn't feel like a diet. And, well, according to them, it's not. You really can eat whatever you want, you just have to be aware of how much you're eating. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? I guess my problem before WW was just that I didn't know how much I should've been eating.

I read something on the WW message boards earlier this week that reminded me a bit of one of the leaders in my original location. There was one week where I lost -0.2, now I'm aware that's not much, but my leader seemed disappointed and said something to the effect of, "What'd you do wrong this week?" I mean, come on! I still lost. Seriously. I guess everyone's different and their reactions to weight loss are different, but I feel that a leader shouldn't be so severe, especially when it's still a loss.

My brother and sister-in-law are coming home! They moved to California last summer because my sister-in-law got a job with Americorps. We're all excited they're moving back, it's just weird not ever seeing them. I'm pretty darn excited about the fact that I won't have to clean out their cat's litter box anymore either :)

We went to see The Dark Knight last night, and I must say, Christian Bale does an excellent Batman. I really liked Batman Begins (2005), and this one was worth it, too. I've never been a big fan of the comic book movies, but lately they've been getting much better. So, I definitely recommend it.

Sorry for the boring entry, I felt like I hadn't updated on my WW progress in awhile...


Currently Reading: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sneaker


So our family loves animals. We're a little ridiculous really. Our dogs are a part of our family, admittedly more than our cats - even though we have plenty of those, too.

If one of our dogs get sick, we all worry ridiculously until they're better. This morning I got an email from Mom telling me that Sneaker (my little brother's beagle - pictured above when she was a puppy) was missing. Now, she'd only been missing since yesterday, but Sneaker loves her food, so it was worrisome when she didn't show up for her morning food.

I just called Dad to see if he needed me to come help look for her and he told me the bad news. She got caught in the mower (hay mower). Just writing this makes me cry, is that pathetic? She was such a cute, spoiled, funny, adorable dog. My little brother will be devastated. I gotta stop writing this because my boyfriend is staring at me while I cry, which always makes me uncomfortable. I'll miss you Sneaker.

Mudball '08...


was rather dirty, fun, disgusting, exciting, painful, but overall extremely worth the mud. Our team name was the Stolen Muffins (thanks Mallory for the name!), which seemed to be a hit. We did much better than last year, actually made it into the playoff tournament. However, unfortunately one of our players (see front and center in the above picture) had to get seven stitches below his knee when he hit a rather large rock. The courts were much much rockier than last year. Turns out someone had poured gravel over the lot a few years back. Nice. :)

Either way it was pretty fun. It's good to get muddy every once in awhile.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Impulsive? Never!

Is he not the cutest kid ever? My cousin Hudsyn laughing at his crazy Aunt Cathy who was dancing to entertain him.

So I've been told I'm a bit of an impulsive person. If I get an idea in my head I have to do it. Now. :) Just one of my wonderful quirks. So, I decided this past week (once again, I blame HGTV) that I needed to rearrange my teeny tiny apartment. I saw a cute futon mattress on sale and was finally able to get some decent seating in my little living room "nook". Yay! Now when people come to visit not only will they have a place to sit but they can sleep, too. Seriously, I get excited over small things.

I also painted the TV stand my big bro made for me. The bright purple that my old roommates picked just wasn't working - I wanted my apartment to look more "grown up" I mean, I am 24 years old.

Maybe I can add some pictures of my new cute living room next time I go back home.

In other news. Our sand volleyball tournament was decent. We didn't do too horribly. I got to play a lot that day which is always nice. We're gearing up for the Mudball '08 tournament coming up this Saturday, you'll definitely see pictures of that one. Mud is fun!

Currently Reading: Nothing? I have four books Mom just gave me though that look good. READ "What is the What"!! It's great!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Butt Shots

So Thursday we caught up with Dad and my cousin and his girlfriend at Capen park. They meet there every week to climb rocks. Why? To show off their muscles of course!

Did I participate? No.

Did I enjoy watching, taking pictures, and generally hangin out with the family? Heck yes!

Should I suck it up and participate one of these days? Probably. :)

The climbing teachers - Dad and my cousin.

E attempting to climb (with Dad's advice).

My cousin's girlfriend climbing...as you can see, the rocks were a bit wet.

Currently Reading: Nothing?! I almost went to Wal-Mart to buy a book today. I finished The Used World by Haven Kimmel

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A little late...but I'm still up so it's technically still Wednesday for me.
This was our vball group tonight - yay!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

When you get about Columbia...

You might try ridin' your bike or just usin' your feet...

Just a cute little jingle they've got goin on with this new campaign - Get About Columbia

It's a very cute campaign and I really think people might be listening. My cousin and his girlfriend, E & I went on a bike ride today, it was fun. The weather has just been awesome lately and the trails in Columbia are seriously amazing. You can get almost anywhere. I was telling E he should really ride his bike to campus - using the trails - because it's less than a mile from his apartment (the trailhead) and it comes out right at the Engineering building on campus. How much more convenient could it get (he's an engineer)?

It's amazing how many more cars you see with bike racks...hopefully that means more people are biking. If I still lived in CoMo, I would be all over those trails!

I bought a new bike seat today and, W-O-W! It's much more comfortable on the bottom. :) It has what the company calls a "comfort release zone" and lemme tell ya, it works!

Well...it's popcorn night so I have to head to the folks. Oh, this could be bad...but I'm starting to really enjoy biking - it makes me really despise when I have to run. :) Haha, running's never been my favorite hobby, but it's good for you, so I do it. Maybe I'll just bike....?

Currently Reading: Just finished Peony in Love by Lisa See - need to find my next book.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No more farmer's tan for me!

Today was fairly uneventful, but I feel the need to make up for my massive lack of blog updates lately, so here I am. Lucky you :)

5:30 a.m. - Alarm went off...HA!

7:00 a.m. - Realized I missed my gym's bootcamp...dangit!

9ish? - Finally rolled outta bed. Seriously. I have to start going to sleep/waking up at a normal time!

12:00 - Back to CoMo

2:00 - Biked to Rocheport (see previous posts beautiful pictures) by myself, thank you very much.

5:30 - WI - lost 3.4! Yay!

Now - Reading. Ahh...love summer.

The only thing that coulda made today better would be a good game of volleyball. Seriously, since E and K are gone, B seems to think we can't play. I mean, I know a two-man team is kinda cuttin it close, but there's always people at the courts to join up with! Ahhh...I'm having withdrawal.

The bike ride was great. I kept my pace up and was pooped by the end, but I did shave about 20 minutes off the time it took to ride it last week with E and K, so that's good, right? And of course I went sleeveless because the horribly weird looking farmer's tan is just not my cup of tea.

Sorry for the boring post, maybe I can find a cute picture to add....hmmm....I betcha it'll be a cute one!

Currently Reading: Same as yesterday

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One would think...

That not having a job in the summertime would lead to me having more time on my hands meaning more posting. Ha! No such thing!

Fun things so far this summer:
1. Sand volleyball baby! Seriously, I'm addicted. It's bad.
2. Housework. You say dreadful?! I say F-U-N! Details on this latest derangement below.
3. MudBall '08 here we come!
4. WW is working! I might actually meet my 15lb by July 4th goal!
5. Calling all adorable puppies and kittens - volunteering at the Humane Society
6. Oh yeah, finished that duathlon...silver medal?! Still a little bewildered by that one.

Fun things waiting for me:
1. Float trip? I love float trips, anyone wanna go?
2. Minneapolis, gotta visit the little bro
3. Firemen Volleyball Tournament on the 4th - yay!
4. Finishing the bathroom in my parents house - all that HGTV might actually have helped!

So, I thought I'd be bored out of my mind, but my parents have definitely helped to quash that - in a good way. I told them I'd help out around the house. They built our house about...12 years ago, and there are parts that either need touching up or things that just never got finished. Two years ago they added a sunroom and it is still incomplete (no floors - besides the plywood), so I figured if I filled in all the nail holes and caulked around the windows/etc. they might actually finish it. It's lookin good. The other thing that I'm super excited about? They might let me finish the bathroom in the basement! I know that sounds like a weird thing to want to do, but I watch entirely to much DIY housework on HGTV and TLC and have always kinda fantasized flipping a house. So, what better to warm up on than a basement bathroom that doesn't even have walls? We'll see how that one goes.

Last year my friends and I participated in the local Big Brother Big Sister MudBall Tournament. It was a blast. Normally I don't enjoy wearing dirt, but it was pretty darn fun if I do say so myself. Well, turns out they're doing it again this year in about a month. Stay tuned for pictures.

I just completed my orientation to volunteer at the Central Missouri Humane Society tonight. I'm excited. I love animals. Love them. Just today I watched three kitties and three dogs play around at Mom and Dad's. Seriously, if I didn't teach, I'd probably do something with animals. They're so great and cute and can always cheer you up on a bad day. What's not to love?

So, I started Weight Watchers in May...like May 5th or something. So far, great! I mean, if you're looking for quick weight loss, it's definitely not for you. But seriously, it's not a diet. You just have to watch what you're eating. I always said before I could do weight loss on my own. I mean, my Mom and Dad are pretty darn healthy people, but I just never had the discipline before. Now, oh yeah. I have WI tomorrow here in CoMo, so hopefully this past week went as well as the week before (-3lbs!) that would be sweet and would put me at -12 total. My clothes are definitely fitting better and that's always a nice feeling.

The following are some pictures from our bike ride a couple days ago. I'm trying to take more pictures because, who doesn't love pictures?


Where we usually bike...flooded over.

A spot along the Katy Trail where they used to store explosives...or so Dad says.

The Missouri River, along the Katy Trail

Isn't this cool?! An arch (the only one) along the Katy Trail in Rocheport, MO, which used to be a railroad. It was so pretty! And nice and cool inside, which was nice.

Currently Reading: The Perfect Fit by: Louise Kean

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Still Alive

So...the duathlon is over and I made it! More than that, I medaled. :) Laugh all you want, I didn't believe it myself. Saturday morning we left CoMo around 6 a.m. and we got to Sedalia just in time to go. Thankfully it wasn't too hot, but there was a slight wind. When I say slight what I really mean is that it was probably around 20 mph. Try biking into that!

The first 2 mile run was good, I finished in well under 20, yay me. Obviously I wasn't going for fast, I just figured I had to finish the whole race, so I better pace myself. Then came the biking. The first four miles or so wasn't bad until we reached the turn around point. There were tractors everywhere! I guess they were having some sort of parade and I managed to get stuck behind quite a few tractors. Argh. So, after managing to worm my way through them it was time to turn around and head into the wind. Oh my, talk about a struggle. It was so windy it was hard to get going faster than maybe 15 mph going down a hill. So, needless to say that made it even more of a struggle going up the next hill. Haha, I'm sure I looked funny to passersby. About 8 miles in I passed my Dad, K, and E. K got a flat (which totally sucks because he could've been at the top!) and Dad was helping him fix it. I was pretty excited to have caught up to them, but within minutes they were ahead again.

Let me tell you. Running after biking, is not easy. Not that I thought it would be...but damn. My legs felt like jello. So, I ran what I can pretty much guarantee was my slowest two mile run ever, but I did finish! Even before E... :)

Amazingly none of us were sore the next day. Three of us medaled. Dad got bronze (in his age group), Cousin E got gold and I got silver (both in our age group). Needless to say, there weren't many 20-29 year olds.

After the race.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Nerves

So, tomorrow's the big day. The duathlon that is. I'm just gonna say that after last weekend I'm extremely nervous. I discovered that nervous and an athletic event don't quite mix that well. Last weekend after the running we jumped on our bikes and barely had time to catch a breath. Well, halfway into the biking I was still breathing just as hard - probably worse - and the chain popped off my bike and I just about had a crying fit. Haha. Crying and biking do not mix well. So, today I'm trying to convince myself that no matter what I don't need to get "worked up" tomorrow. I'm just gonna go to finish. I know I'm not going to be near E, K and Dad. If I'm lucky Elizabeth and I will keep up with each other. That'd be nice.

So, in other words: This blog post is pointless unless you wanted to know how nervous I am about tomorrow. I'll check back tomorrow with the results! :)

Currently Reading: Nothing (OMG!) As soon as Erik leaves on vacation I'm reading Ender's Game.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008