Friday, September 30, 2011

Medieval Times

Through a little bit of good fortune, I acquired some free tickets to Medieval Times. The tickets are normally about $60 for adults, so two free tickets is kind-of a big deal!

The show takes place in a medieval "castle." Guests watch some animal antics (a falcon flies up close and personal, some horses dance and do other tricks), a jousting competition, and some sword fighting (all done by "knights"). You watch all this while the waiters and waitresses serve you a hefty hunk of chicken wing, a rib, a garlic potato, soup, and dessert (all to be eaten with your hands, since there was no silverware in medieval times).

Because of my current job situation, I have become slightly obsessed with figuring out how to save money. I'm actually working toward becoming a completely coupon-dependent household. So of course, there was no way I was going to let $120 worth of tickets expire before we got to use them. I mean, free dinner, at least....holla!

This was my 3rd time to visit this particular "castle." I went once in junior high with my Gifted and Talented school group, and then I went again last year when I sponsored a high school G/T group to go for a field trip. The show is entertaining, and it's obvious that the workers put in a lot of hard work, but the more times I see it, the more staged the fighting looks. So while I was mostly pumped about the free food, J had never been before, so we went a little early to soak it all in.

Of course, since my previous two visits were with school groups, I had never been to an evening performance before, and didn't realize it would be a little different than the "school day experience."

Immediately upon arrival, we got a paper crown that J insisted on wearing for the duration of the night. In fact, he wore it in the car on the way home AND up the stairs to our apartment. *sigh*

As you can see, we were cheering for the red knight and at table 2 (which was actually a front row seat) last night....

There was a lot more emphasis on photography opportunities and alcohol at this evening performance. I mean, it was still kid-appropriate, but just less-so than the sessions meant specifically for schools.

Our waiter was super-nice, and the food was great. We ended up sitting next to a group of adults that were basking in the medieval experience. They really got into the show, which I found funny, and it helped provide entertainment during lulls of the show. :)

There's a portion where the knights throw roses to ladies in the crowd. Since there were less than 40 people in each section that night (and very few ladies), every girl was thrown a flower. J immediately started pouting about his need to feel special and be thrown a flower, as well. ...No comment. :)

Unfortunately, our knight didn't win the overall battle, but our waiter made sure to tell us to come back in two months after the show has changed, and maybe "our guy" will win then.

We left the arena, and it started pouring during our drive home. All the construction ensured that certain important roads were shut down after 8 pm, so we took the long way back to our apartment. Thank goodness for that rain! It was just a little weird: the temperature was over 100 that afternoon, and then dropped to 67 with the rain. No wonder our allergies are acting up!

It was a good (and much-needed) date night! Our only complaint is that we missed the newest episode of The Office. :) (But we recorded it, so I guess we'll recover!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Pics

Umm...Did I really forget to post the professional wedding pictures?! Shame on me. For those of you that didn't get an opportunity to look at the pro wedding pictures in my facebook albums, here are some of our favorite shots (excluding our favorite family shots, since we're not sure how all our family members feel about being displayed on our blog!):



 My sweet Meme made those boutonnieres out of wire, ribbon, and beads! Loved them!

  Wish more of my sister's pretty little face was in this, but I think this is one of the sweetest sister pictures we've ever taken.

The boys. 

Another one of the boys.

My handsome Mister.

A bridal shot.

We love shoes!

OSU pride! Thanks, ladies, for going along with this! :)

 My Meme made all the bouquets, too! The broach is my Meme's -- I wanted a piece of her with me as I walked down the aisle -- and the blue beads contributed to my "something blue" (along with my shoes).

 My sweet Meme made all those ribbon balls, too! SO time-consuming!

Guest book table. First date picture, engagement picture, and picture immediately after he popped his big question. Photobook of engagement pictures was the guest book, and I made it at Snapfish. The wind was crazy, so we had to hold down some notices with some card holders instead of propping them up. lol.

Joined together in hand and heart. (This is the only ceremony picture you get. Sorry.)

I could deal without all the kissy going on between us (not a PDA-fan, OK?), but I love the eclectic poses of the wedding party around us!

Privacy, please!

Quite possibly my favorite picture of all time.

Entering the reception to the Chicago Bulls' Theme Song + basketball-esque sports announcement = AWESOME.

Sitting at our sweetheart table. You're missing pictures of a lot of weird dancing (by J) and crowd mingling (by me).

Taking my first limo ride ever. We stayed in OKC for a couple of days so we could file our marriage license and get official copies without having to make another trip across the border.

A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone involved with the wedding in any way. Whether you helped by doing something, buying something, or supporting us with your presence, we appreciate you! 

Pictures were taken by Tulsa Expressions Photography. ...And right after we got these pictures, Snapfish had a photo book sale, and I was able to get one for us! I listed all of our songs and venues for posterity. So special. <3 



Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Business, Sports, & Crafting

It's been a while since I last posted, and I thought it might be time to catch our 1 reader (or do we have two?) up on our lives, so...here goes.

On the job front, J just finished his vet school application. It's due in October, and we couldn't believe how fast September flew by! Although it would mean moving to yet another new home (and lugging my hundreds of shoes up and down several flights of stairs), we're still praying for J's acceptance into vet school this year. If you're the prayin' type, we'd appreciate your prayers, too. :)

I've gotten a few more substituting jobs, and I have one more orientation to attend this coming week. What's more exciting, though, is the launch of my new tutoring company: North Texas Tutoring. I was originally a part of a tutoring website that charged me about 50% of my profits in order to be a member. The hefty pay cut meant I had to raise my prices just to try not to lose money in all the travel expenses. That's when I decided enough was enough, and NTT was born. I had a lot of fun designing the website. You can visit it at www.NorthTexasTutoring.com. I currently have two tutoring clients (who take up 3 afternoons per week), and I am so excited about the possibilities! As much as I miss not having my own set group of students to teach this year, tutoring has a lot of perks. My favorite, by far, is the fact that I have the opportunity to connect with both elementary and secondary students, since I enjoy both age groups equally. I'm excited about the possibilities that a website might bring, and excited to offer "e-tutoring" (via Skype, FaceTime, and/or this really cool application I found that sort-of combines Skype and Facebook and allows me to share my screen with someone else: hoot.me). This is a cheap plug, I know, but I'm going to go for it, anyway: if you know of anyone that needs tutoring in any of the subjects I offer, please direct them to North Texas Tutoring's website. The prospect of e-tutoring means that no one will ever be burdened by time and distance again. I SO appreciate your help in gaining new clients! :)

I went back to my parents' house last weekend and stayed for 5 days. My sister was supposed to have several softball games, and then her fastpitch senior night was on Tuesday. One of the definite perks to not being tied up with a contract or a "regular" job is that, technically, I can take off whenever I want. I almost feel that if I can catch the majority of my sister's big senior events this year, maybe it will sort-of make up for the fact that I haven't been able to catch many big events since I left for college back in '06 (sorry, sis!) The south has been suffering from some horribly high temperatures this summer, and OK was definitely in need of some rain, but of course, Mother Nature chose THAT weekend to pour. :) Two or three games were rained out on Saturday, so I was only able to watch Monday's game before senior night. I was in charge of video-taping senior night, but I had no idea where anyone would be standing, so I ended up filming the backs of all the seniors and their parents. ...Whoops. Good to know that professional videotaping is not my calling. ;) Anyway, here's a picture of my sweet sister and parents, making their way down the first base line to stand with the other seniors:


 I can't believe how grown-up my sister is, but then again, I guess everyone said that about me when I was a senior. Time just flies so quickly. Looking at this picture also made me realize how much time parents spend escorting their kids. Of course, metaphorically, they escort their children through life. But in just the past 4 months, my parents have had to escort me down a wedding aisle and send me off to live with a boy in another state, and now they've escorted my sister to commemorate her last home fastpitch game as a high school student. In the coming months, they will also escort her through an academic letter jacket ceremony, a Pom senior night, a slowpitch senior night, and high school baccalaureate and graduation. All this new stuff is exciting, but it's a little sad, too. In any case, my baby sister only has 8 more months of high school before we shove her out into "the real world." ...Eek!

I'm currently 2 tests into the Texas teaching exam process. (I'll have taken a total of 6 or 7 tests down here when it's all said and done.)  I took my first computer based exam last week, and then I had a grueling paper exam on Saturday. I have to wait until at least the middle of October for the results, and you bet I'm anxiously awaiting them! I remember how nerve-racking it was to wait for the test results when I took them in Oklahoma, but this somehow seems worse. For some reason, these exams felt more difficult, so I feel less hopeful that I actually passed. I keep reminding myself that if God wants me to teach here, He will help me find a way, so I'm trying not to worry, but it is much easier said than done! God has really been working on teaching me patience in the past year or so. It is not a lesson I really wanted to learn, but I guess I don't have a choice! lol.

I haven't had all the substituting jobs I want so far this year, so I've had to find other things to take up my time. As much as I miss teaching and the dreams that went with it, I'm enjoying all aspects (minus the financial side) of being an official housewife. On occasion, the monotony of "nothing to do" sets in, and I have to find things to take up my time. The distraction of setting up my own business has helped fight the boredom considerably (as have studying for those Texas teaching exams), but I have to admit that I've been bitten by the crafting bug again. I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately (if you haven't already been to that site, you should try it...it's like virtual crack!) and have found some of THE cutest DIY and decorating ideas out there! Because we're on a tight budget, I've been refraining from doing anything, but the endless ideas of wreaths finally got to me. I admit: I'm a wreath fan. Not the typical, stuffy-old-lady wreaths, but the fun and modern ones, OK?! :) But they're so stinkin' expensive that I never thought it was worth it to buy one. (Instead, we currently have a large chipboard "K" that I spray-painted silver and hung with a leftover turquoise ribbon from the wedding as our "wreath.") But then I saw something really clever: someone had taken a wreath and wrapped it in twine. Then she added Velcro strips to various points around the wreath, and she uses that to change the decorations year-round. Um, can we say BRILLIANT?! I'm willing to invest a teeny bit if it's something that will be functional 24/7. ...So I set to work.

Unfortunately, no one informed me how time-consuming wrapping twine around a wreath would be. I began this project yesterday, during the 2nd half of the Cowboys football game. By the time the game had ended, I was about 2/3 done but had run out of twine. I found a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby (God's gift to crafty ladies), and J was nice enough to swing me by the local store before it closed for the night. I have plans to finish wrapping it this afternoon, but here's the progress as of now:


Even though the project is going verrrryy sloowwwlly, I'm hopeful that it will turn out cute! After I finish wrapping it, I'll have to find things to add for each season/occasion, and add them with Velcro strips. If it doesn't look too ghetto, I'm sure I'll be blogging pictures of the completed project. ;)

Courtesy of J's parents, we found out about this funky little restaurant a few miles from our house called the Twisted Root. We went last night and have already discussed taking my family there when they visit again. The atmosphere is really neat: sports bar vibe with beer bottle tables, and the food is interesting. It's a hot dog and burger establishment, but guests can choose any type of "exotic" meat for their burger: deer, buffalo, alligator, etc. You sure you don't find those meats offered in many restaurants! The rootbeer was homemade (we think) and delicious. Another funky addition: most restaurants take your name after you order so they can call you back to the counter. This one hands the customer a name of the restaurant's choice, instead. It's a fun twist that I'm sure avoids some hassle of pronouncing difficult names. J and I were Mary Tyler Moore, and we enjoyed hearing other customers' names throughout our stay: Shakira, Ray Charles, Chewbacca, etc. The only downside was that it was a little on the pricey side (at least, it was for our frugal selves). But all in all, I'd like to go back sometime...if only for the rootbeer!

One other thing that's been taking up our his time is ESPN's fantasy football. J created his own league this year and ended up needing an extra player to fill a slot, so I agreed to help.  J did my draft for me helped me with my draft by recruiting some of the best players. At the time, I was more concerned with drafting players "with nice smiles" or with actual tight ends, but he point-blank ignored my wishes. I was irritated until I started winning. :) J is currently 1-1 and I'm 2-0. Despite my lack of knowledge about the NFL, I have to admit that being a girl in a league of boys gives me an advantage. I mean, if I get beat, uh, congrats. You beat a girl. But if I win, sorry, buddy, but you just got beat by a girl! :) It's a win-win for me (not to mention I look like the cool wife who's legitimately into the NFL. haha). I was going to upload a picture of our current stats, but the picture uploader is being funky and won't let me rotate the photos.

I can't think of anything else to bore you with during this post, so I suppose I'll get to work on my wreath project.