Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birtday Mr. Austin!!

My sweet little nephew turned 4 last week (1/22). I cannot believe that he is already 4 years old! The little monster had a Spiderman themed birthday party at a neighborhood park. He had a blast! Happy birthday buddy:0)
Precious!! This is what Matt and I got him...I think he liked it :)

Waiting very patiently to blow out his candles.

Dig in!

We also spent last weekend finding a home for this little guy.His name is Oscar. He's a little "homely" looking, but he has a ton of personality. My mom had a friend from work who needed to give him up and Matt's parent's decided that they were ready for a new dog. (Their old dog passed away in April and we took Katie with us when we got married so they have been dogless for a while). I am so happy they were able to give him a home. Oscar is loving life right now. I have never seen a dog get so comfortable so quickly. He didn't skip a beat making himself at home :)

One more thing: I won teacher of the month for January which was pretty cool. I have some very sweet students who nominated me. I am pretty sure they nominated me because I handed out the sheets in my class (in my defense I told them I did not want a nomination, but some of them did it anyway). Either way, I got the royal treatment. Look at all this stuff I got:
Pretty ridiculous huh? There are gift cards/free items to about 10 different places. I am very grateful for my students this year (most of them ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lakeside!!!

Last weekend was a 3-day weekend so we decided to go up to Lakeside. There were 6 of us who went (my 2 sisters, Danielle and Courtney, Matt's brother Jay, his best friend Ben and Matt and myself). We had an AWESOME time! I was a little bummed there wasn't more snow on the ground, but it all worked out. At least we didn't have to drive in it! The weekend pretty much consisted of constant laughing, staying up late, some heated games of Taboo (if I remember correctly, the girls won both times), and watching the Cardinal's game. This may have to become a yearly ordeal...(the trip, not the Cardinals...let's be honest).

This is our little cabin. Cute huh?

This was the view. I loved this!

First night at a restaurant called El Mateo's. Matt really liked the name ;0)

Danielle and Courtney getting the fire started...it burned out 5 minutes after taking this picture. We would never survive in the wild.

Playing a little pool in the rec hall. I don't think Danielle and I followed any of the rules.

Story time...I'm pretty sure it was a dirty romance novel.

The boys getting warmed up for a marathon game of ping pong.

All of us at a local bar for lunch. The people there were so nice! Ben thought this would be the perfect time to drink some of his milk (literally he was drinking milk!)

The girls...2 time Taboo champions!

The boys

This is Ben the entire last 2 minutes of the Cardinals game! I couldn't help but take a picture. He was just too nervous ;)

Making s'mores. (We ended up buying a fire log at the store. Apparently the coffee filters, paper towels, pine needles and kindling were not enough to get the fire started the night before so we resorted to technology).

Just us.

We had such a good time on this trip. I can't wait to do it again!

Weekend with my sister

Ok. So this was actually 2 weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to blogging about it. My sister came over to have her hair died. She stayed Friday night and we all (Matt, Danielle, and me) went to dinner at Uncle Bears (one of my new favorite QC restaurants).
The next morning we got up and went to the grocery store (I really know how to show my guests a good time:). We came back and then I highlighted her hair. (The above picture is a before shot...although it doesn't look much different). I am by no means a hair stylist, but I will say that her hair turned out really well. I will also say that it is never something I could to all the time. I am WAY to impatient.

Later that day we went to meet my friend Meghan's new puppies.
Definitely cute...and definitely a handful! They are like babies. You need to watch them 100% of the time or they are getting into something they shouldn't be.

I had a fun weekend with Danielle. It's been a while since just the 2 of us hung out so I was glad that we got the chance to do so. I just hope she doesn't get too used to asking me to dye her hair!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good news, Good news and more Good news!

I guess the saying is true. Good things really do come in threes! Well, the first good thing is I just found out one of my oldest friends (as in I knew her since 2nd grade, not as in she is 80 years old) found out today that she is having a boy today. She is due in May which is perfect timing because I will be starting summer break. I really hope I can fly out there to meet this little man. Anyway, I am incredibly excited for her. While this may not have been exactly planned there is no one I know who loves kids more than Lindsay does. She is going to make an excellent mother!
This is Lindsay when she came out here for our wedding. (She was one of my bridesmaids). The guy in the photo is her brother Jason...such a nice guy! (though I wouldn't have said the same thing when Lindsay and I were kids;)

The second piece of good news is that I got this bad boy today:

We have had the crappiest washer since we got married and I finally wore Matt down and he let me get a new one! Now I realize that I sound like a total 1950's house wife, but isn't it so pretty? We just got it today and I have already done 3 loads of laundry. This is partly because I refused to wash anything when I was waiting for it to be delivered and we had quite a back up, but also because I am so excited about my new toy. Anyway... I LOVE it! When a load is finished it plays a nice little tune that I just get such a kick out of (It's the simple things I'll tell ya). We plan to get the matching dryer eventually, but for now I am just so happy to have the washer. Some members in our house, however, aren't so sure of the new intruder...

Katie seems to think its going to suck her in or something. This is her all the way down the hall from the laundry room. Such a spaz!

The last piece of good news is that we finally found a home for Jack (our cat). He has been living at his new home on a trial basis for about 2 and a half weeks now and while he is having some difficulties adjusting it looks like this should be a permanent placement. It was definitely weird not having him and I wont lie there were a few tears shed when I finally drove off without him, but I am completely confident that his new owner will take really good care of him. I am so grateful that she was willing to take him and continues to work with him to make him comfortable in her home. The hours and hours that were spent stressing over not being able to find him a home and not wanting to take him back to the shelter are seemingly over.

Here he is on the first day we got him.

Napping on the couch

Watching TV with Matt (when they still liked each other)

Just being a cat

This is not necessarily good news, but it is a funny story so I thought I would share. Ben came over this weekend to hang out. We decided to go to dinner at Cravings (a Mexican restaurant down the street from us) and Ben decided to pay with a million dollar bill that he has had in his wallet probably since I've known him. He brings it out from time to time it never ceases to make me laugh. This time was no different. He strategically placed the bill in the folder so that the tip is poking out. The waitress comes to the table and Ben politely asks for change (with a completely serious face). The waitress leaves to get our "change" and it seems like she is taking FOREVER. Finally she comes back the the table and told us that it made her day and then asked us (very nicely) to please pay with real money. She was a really good sport about it. I found it to be pretty comical. Here is Ben with his million...I guess being an art director for Flashbang Studios pays pretty well (that was a total plug for you Ben!)

This picture I had forgot Matt had taken. We had the vacuum out in the hall and it totally freaked Katie out. She felt safe on my lap apparently. Typical Katie!

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Projects!

As previously mentioned now that school is finished I plan to become more crafty. Being a teacher I get 2 full weeks off for Christmas so I took full advantage of my homeworkless vacation. The first couple of days were spent entirely in the kitchen cooking all kinds of goodies to bring to Christmas and Christmas eve. I made a strawberry cheesecake, peanut butter pie (as per request from the Woffords), 2 kinds of cookies, and macaroni and cheese. Needless to say I was a pretty busy lady. After Christmas I had to make a trip out to find any good Christmas clearance. I came across some stuff to make wreaths so I threw these little guys together.

I actually made 2, but was only able to hang one of them up because of the screen on the window. I thought they looked pretty good for a first timer.

My next project for the break was to paint and put up wainscoting in the bathroom.

Well I got the painting done, but I am not entirely sure that I like it. You cant tell in this picture, but the color turned out a little more yellow than I thought it would. I may end up changing it but I plan to sit on it for a while to see if it grows on me. Anyway, the wainscoting still needs to be painted, but the hard part is done; it's put up. As much as I would love to say I completely did this on my own (the wainscoting that is) my step-dad completely helped me out. And when I say helped me out I actually mean did the whole thing while I followed him around pretending I was helping. So much for being handy...Anyway I love the wainscoting. I think it really adds to the bathroom. Thanks so much Scott!

This is completely random, but I wanted to post it. We bought a Ficus tree not too long ago and it is still a baby. Since there have been freeze warnings this past week or so we have started covering up the tree at night. Does it not look totally like a little demonic creature creeping around like E.T. in our back yard? Matt and I were a little scared. I'm not going to lie.

Well my break is almost over and I can honestly say that I did not get bored even one time. In fact, I feel like it went by a little too fast this year! I literally kept busy the entire time with cooking, shopping, babysitting, doing projects around the house, going to weddings, visiting friends and family, being sick in bed, and just hanging out with Matt.

I cannot say it enough...I LOVE LIFE WITHOUT HOMEWORK!!!

Fun with the Nephew

I babysat Austin on Wednesday. We had a blast from the past playing games and running around. Here we are playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Matt introduced him a few months back and Austin thinks they are the greatest thing since sliced bread). Austin is Shredder and I am Leonardo. Like my homemade mask? Pretty nifty huh?

A funny little Austin story: One time after watching TMNT with Austin I told him that the Ninja Turtles (or Ninjen Turtles as he calls them) live right outside our house (we have one of the sewage drains with the manhole covers in the street in front of our house). We walk outside so he can see their "house" and he starts jumping up and down shrieking with total elation "The Ninjen Turtles are coming. The Ninjen Turtles are coming." I felt a little bad when they didn't come out to say hi, but it was just too cute!

Here we are on our way home from the park. (He LOVES the park!) I thought this was cute so I took a picture. I swear, Matt cant wait to be a dad!

Jill and Erik's Wedding!

Congratulations to Jill and Erik Cook! They got married 2 days after Christmas in a beautiful ceremony. I know Jill from work. She is a teacher in the Science department and I have been her itinerant since my first year teaching. Even though I HATE science (and especially biology which is what she teaches) I continue to be her itinerant because we have a good working relationship. Throughout this time we have developed a friendship. For a while they have been our only friends that actually live anywhere near us. Best wishes to the happy couple :)

The one ready to pop is Katie (another science teacher). I will say she had some impressive dance moves despite being 8 months pregnant ;) Both of our husbands were there. I guess I forgot to invite them into the picture?

Christmas Day and Christmas Eve

Christmas has come and gone this year and if it's possible I think Matt and I were even more spoiled this year than last much thanks to our parents. We had a really good time with our families as always. The events started Christmas eve at the Smith house. We went out to Scottsdale to Matt's grandparents for a very nice dinner and a polite little white elephant game. (We were playing with a retired preacher and preacher's wife...they weren't really getting the the whole you can steal other people's presents part of the game). Needless to say, Matt and I got lucky because we ended up with the the Granny Barbara gifts...she's a fan of giving cash :) Afterwards we went to the Christmas eve service at church which turned out very nice.



This is the "kids" table aka the cool table :) It's too bad Brenda's face got cut off.

Then it was back to Matt's parents for more presents! We decided to make this a tradition (presents with Matt's family Christmas eve night) as to lessen the amount of houses Matt and I have to go to on Christmas day (last year we did 4!). We didn't get home until around 1 A.M. which was a little taxing, but all in all I think it is worth it. This is my second Christmas being married to Matt and I will say that Matt's family has fit me right into their traditions which I think is sweet. I even get my very own stocking! As previously mentioned we got pretty spoiled. Matt got the Beatles anthology which he has been watching for over a week now. He absolutely loves it! Every day he tells me stories about the Beatles and their history. Matt's parents also pitched in for the TV that Matt and I got for our bedroom (its a fancy new flat screen). As for what they got me...I got my very own I-Pod. Yes, this the only one I have ever owned! A little behind the times I know. Either way I was pretty excited. I ended up spending the entire next day downloading songs into my I-tunes on the computer. Last but not least, we got Dark Knight from Jay which neither Matt or myself had seen. Matt has already watched it and loved it, but I was only able to watch a little because I got sick as a dog 2 days after Christmas and had to stay in bed the entire day :( I am just now getting my voice back.



I am making a goofy face in this picture, but I was excited about my I-Pod!




The next morning (Christmas day) Matt and I woke up and did our little gift exchange. After the late night Christmas eve we were lazy and just gave each other our presents in bed ;) I got Matt Band of Brothers and a Sun's hoodie (that didn't come until 3 days later...Stupid Sports Authority--I used to work there and don't have the fondest of memories). Meanwhile, Matt got me some towel hooks, and I-tunes gift card, speakers and an armband for my I-Pod. The speakers are small so that I can bring them into my classroom and play music while my students are working.

This is what Austin got Courtney...she is unbelievably TERRIFIED of cats! Nice pick Austin ;) Very comical!

Trying on his Spiderman seat?


Soon after exchanging gifts we had to get up and get ready to go to my dad's house for breakfast. We got my dad a Redskin cue ball and I was really excited to give it to him. All my siblings came and we made waffles. In keeping with tradition, my dad gave us cash in an envelope...no card, just an envelope! It was definitely appreciated though. And let's be honest; cash is always my favorite gift. We had fun at my dad's, but we were only there for a couple of hours before we were headed off to the next house.


We had Christmas lunch at Matt's other grandparents on his mom's side. They had a deep fried turkey for lunch, which I had never had...yummo! They injected this spicy marinade into the turkey that made it very tasty (I don't generally like turkey that much). We pretty much visited with family which is always fun. Matt's cousin who wants to be a teacher was down from college so naturally I had a lot to talk about with her. She is such a sweet girl and she is going to make an excellent teacher.

Some of the grand kids


Last stop of the day was my mom and Scott's house. My parents always makes a very non-traditional meal because we have some very picky eaters in my family (unfortunately I am one of them). We has macaroni and cheese, baked ziti and ham. It made sense to us. After dinner we did our gift exchange. My nephew made out like a bandit! Then again, so did Matt and I...I always figured that once you move out and get married that the Christmas gravy train would stop (or at least slow down), but that is just not the case. We got a lot of, well, cash and gift cards. I definitely cant complain. Because of all the money we got Matt and I can now buy my new front loading washer I have been wanting since we got married! I am so excited. We had a lot of fun at my parents with my nephews toys. Austin got a tyke size electric guitar that comes with a microphone and karaoke CD's. You can only imagine...

Who is the better rock star; Me or Austin?



These are Austin's dance moves...now who's the bigger rock star? I agree. It's still him. Oh well.

You would think we were a musical family...not so much! We sounded like dying cats, but we have fun which is all that matters :)


Christmas was an absolute blast this year. I am such a fan of the whole season and this year definitely did not disappoint.

Merry Christmas to everyone! We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.