Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ms. Frizzle in the Hiz-ouse

I am so, so, SO excited about the newest change in our lives:  I got a new job!

Here's what my uncle said after he heard the news:

haha! Gotta love him. :)

Not teaching for the past year has helped me to see that education  is really where I'm supposed to be. You know, you never truly know how valuable something is until it's gone, and that's how my full-time teaching job was for me. I know I willingly gave up my last teaching position so that I could move here to be with Jon, but it never occurred to me that I may not get a teaching job again right away. Of course, everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn't change the way things worked out for the world. The past year was sometimes bumpy, as substituting wasn't always the easiest thing ever, but a wise man told me that a dream delayed is not a dream denied.... I learned a lot from the past year, but I'm happy to be moving on to something new. :)

I will be the K-4 science teacher at an elementary school less than half an hour away from our house. I am P-U-M-P-E-D! Out of all the dozens of elementary schools I've visited this year in my subbing adventures, this is, by far, my favorite one. The kids, staff, and admin are amazing... Seriously, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to teach there! Honest-to-Pete, I think it's the best school around...and now I'm teaching there?! Whaaa...?!


I'm sure you're wondering what "K-4 science teacher" means; I know I was, when I went in for the job interview. hehe. :) At this district, elementary science class is sort-of similar to library, computer lab, or music: each kid in the school only visits my room once per week. I'll teach 4 classes per day and see a new grade each day. So, for instance, I might see 4 classes of kinder on Monday, 4 classes of firsties on Tuesday, etc. By the end of the week, I'll have seen all 500 of the kids in the school. I love the schedule, because it means I only plan and set up for one experiment per day and that every day is different -- never a dull moment! And I luv that I'm one of only a handful in the building that gets the pleasure of watching every single student grow throughout the year...that is going to be so fun!

I've already been combing teaching books for ideas about what to do for the coming year...and you can bet I've been web-hunting searching Pinterest for neat experiments for K-4. :) If you've got any ideas for fun science activities you remember from your elementary school days, be sure to leave them in the comments section below. :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

One-Year Anniversary

I can't believe it's already been 365 days since we became husband and wife. Time has flown in a scary way. I remember exactly what I was doing at this exact moment on our wedding day last year, though, and it's pretty safe to say that I could re-state that at any moment of the day.

Married life is wonderful. Getting to see my best friend every day has truly been a blessing!

Jon and I were talking a couple days ago about how far we've come in a year... We got married, we traveled outside the county together, we combined our bank accounts, we navigated the holidays like divorced children (since our families celebrate the major holidays in very different locations), we own two vehicles with our names on them, we own a house, we have comfy furniture and a washer/dryer of our own... J got a new and very different job. I'm in the midst of my own new-job-getting experience... It's all very surreal.

More importantly, we have a routine that has mashed our lives together. We still finish each other's sentences. We still trust each other. We're still in love.

People say that the first year is the hardest. I'm not sure if that's true, but if it is, I'd say we're headed for many blissful years together. No, it's not always easy. And it's definitely not perfect. But that's part of the fun. And at the end of the day, our marriage is stronger because of it.


We decided to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday, since today is a weekday and J's first day of work. We'd originally wanted to go on a one-year anniversary cruise, but we ended up deciding a house and furniture were more important, lol.

Interestingly, there is a little Cajun place a few miles from our house. We decided to go there for dinner, since the first night of our honeymoon was spent in New Orleans. 

This is the only picture we got together that night. Whoops. 

We both ordered fried alligator tenders with a side of red beans and rice. Considering how far away we were from New Orleans, we thought the atmosphere was pretty authentic! It was a fun little place.

We had some time to kill before our movie started, so we went to the jewelry place. Jon got me a cute little charm for my Pandora bracelet as my anniversary gift. He even picked it out early and hid it from me the whole time! I felt so horrible when I had to tell him that I already had that charm. ...My mom got it for me as an engagement/wedding gift. :-/ So we did some exchanging at Jared's....

Jon's anniversary gift to me <3
Jon says that this heart-and-key charm was his first thought for a gift, but then he remembered my aversion to yellow gold and stayed away. Aw! So of course, this is the one I picked to replace it. Love it and my Pandora bracelet!

We also stopped by the Oakley store. Jon has been eying some nicer sunglasses since he got contacts. I think he had fun trying on different kinds. :)

This was right before he went all "Zombie Jon" on me.

Jon wanted to see the Avengers, so that's where we headed. Honestly, I thought I was going to hate it. I'm totally not the comic-book-hero type of gal. And I was pretty lost through a lot of it; I'm sure the people around us got tired of me asking Jon, "Who's that? What's his super-power?" lol. But the movie was better than I expected.

We finished the night by relaxing on our new couch. It was delivered earlier that morning, so we still jumped at the chance to sit on it. ...Aw, who am I kidding? We sat on it all weekend and we're still excited about it! lol.


Happy anniversary, Jonathan! I love you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Movin' On Up

Lots of positive things have been happening to Jon and me lately! Phew...where do I start?!

1. J accepted a new job position! Starting Monday, he is a sales representative for a company that sells pharmaceuticals to animal clinics. I personally think he's going to be great at it -- animals and animal drugs are totally his thing. (Um, not that he does animal drugs. He's just good at knowing all about them...*insert foot in mouth*)

I was having visions of The Office when he was telling me about this job, but Jon's position won't allow him to just drop in on any office and pitch a product -- his primary clients are ones on the west coast.

Dwight and Jim on a traveling sales call
It's bittersweet for him to leave the clinic; he's been with them since high school! Jon started working for them as a kennel person back in 2004, got promoted to a Vet Tech in 2006, and then landed this Practice Manager position fresh out of college. There are lots of memories there -- even I have memories of the clinic! -- so I know he'll be stopping by to visit often. :)

2. Our niece, Alyssa, graduated from 2nd grade. I met J's parents at her awards assembly. Here's a pic:

I didn't blur A's face; she's just so wiggly that the camera couldn't keep up, I guess. ;) We got to watch Alyssa receive a science award and a folder full of other honors. Whoo-hoo!

Oh, and notice that I'm a little more dressed up as usual.... I was on my way to a job interview (squeeeee!). Things are looking up for me in the job world; I'm going back for my third interview at the central office on Tuesday. I hope we can seal the deal then. :) If I officially get the position, rest assured that I'll be telling pretty much everyone I know, because the school is ah-mazing, and I would be so, so, so proud to work there.

3. Our master bathroom counter top came in! In case you didn't read the mess of an entry I posted about an incomplete house, here's the short version: until a few days ago, we STILL did not have the counter top for our master bathroom (which means we had no sinks in there...which means we had no water in there...which means the two of us were sharing our tiny guest bathroom. Boo.) or our furniture. Lowe's finally called and told us our counter top came in!! I mean, it only took about 2 months of waiting...but who's counting, right? ;) Jon got it installed and it's b-e-a-UTIFUL!

Here's J, in the midst of installing everything
He pretty much designed this entire counter and vessel-sink combo himself; didn't he do a great job?!

Top view of our fancy new sinks. See that circle inside the middle of the sink? Just push it down to stop up the sink. It's possible I played with that feature for a good 5 minutes.

Side view of one of the sinks. Ignore that mess in the background; I'm still working on getting everything organized the way I like it. :)
4. Our bedroom furniture is...well, less of a mess. Um, hooray. Number four isn't quite as positive as the rest of this post, but it's still better than the situation in my last blog post about the house ("An Incomplete House" -- click to read it). After verbally wrestling with Room Store the phone for TWO HOURS, J and I decided to cancel our couch and chair order and just stick with the bedroom furniture from that company. The couch was what was holding us up -- there was some sort of delay in its delivery to the warehouse. J and I weren't totally in love with the couch, anyway -- it was the bedroom furniture we were most concerned about. The main thing about the bedroom furniture is that it has two piers that go on either side of our bed (lots of storage in them, as well) and a lighted bridge that connects them at the top, much like our entertainment center. We were definitely in L-U-V with that design, and we couldn't find it anywhere else (believe me, we looked)! So all the bedroom furniture is at the warehouse and ready to be delivered.....FINALLY!! Since they have to bring the furniture down from North Carolina, they said it would be 3-4 weeks before the furniture is in our house. ...Last time I checked, it doesn't take 3-4 weeks to get from NC to TX (unless you're traveling by horse and buggy?!), but I'm going to go with it. As soon as the furniture is delivered, we can finally wash our hands of Room Store and never have to do business with them again. THAT calls for a genuine "hooray!"

5. Our couch and chair were delivered today! Um, wait. I just told you that we cancelled our couch and chair order, didn't I? Let me back up. After we cancelled that order, we decided to go shopping to try to replace them last Saturday. My mother-in-love recommended this local place called The Luxury of Leather. We thought it sounded too expensive for us, but we were willing to at least give it a shot. We walked in and liked some of the pieces, but we didn't love anything enough to spend any significant amount of money on it. But the salesman approached us and told us that the pieces on the floor were mostly just for show; this store specializes in making custom pieces. We thought there was no way we could afford to purchase a custom piece of leather furniture, but because there was a sale going on + it was "no tax weekend" (saving us over $400) and we got a special discount from the salesman (another 'over $400' situation), we decided to take the plunge. I'm telling you: The Luxury of Leather has thought of it all. We got to choose pretty much everything:
  • leather type (how processed do you want it?)
  • leather color (we chose dark brown)
  • cushion firmness (we chose medium)
  • depth of cushion (we added 2" to every cushion)
  • depth of back (we added 4" to the back of our chair)
  • leg shape (we chose square)
  • leg color (we chose dark, to match our leather)
  • shape of sectional (we chose L-shaped)
  • number of cushions on each side of the sectional (we chose 2 and 3 with a corner cushion)
  • extras (options to get removable drink-holders/arm-rests that could be inserted in between the cushions and taken out at your whim -- we declined.)
Phew! These pieces were obviously more expensive, but we're OK with it. We knew that junk from Room Store would have to be replaced in 2-3 years, max, and these are pieces that will last for many years. (You can read more about their craftsmanship by clicking here.) As soon as we ordered, the salesman wanted to set up a delivery date...for 7 days later. Whaa..?! I mean, this company literally hand-crafts every single piece of furniture at their work center in Dallas; we were blown away that they could have it ready that quickly (especially when we compared it to the fiasco we're experiencing with Room Store, who apparently had to plant the trees and wait for them to be big enough to cut down before they could start making our furniture...sigh)! Here's what I sent to my mom as soon as we walked out of the store:

They said they would call the day before our scheduled delivery date to set up a good window of time for arrival. I was a little apprehensive yesterday. I mean, I've been down this road before. I've stared at the phone like a lonely teenage girl, waiting for a call about furniture delivery, and the phone has stayed silent in the past. But sure enough, quite early in the day, we got a call.

The window they gave us was from 9-11 am. They arrived at 9:15. Seriously, Luxury of Leather -- I am singing. Your. PRAISES!! :) Here are some pics to relieve you from all this reading:

Our living room is a lot bigger than we estimated it to be, or else our couch is a lot smaller than we estimated. :) In any case, it doesn't really fill up our living room, and we had to move the entertainment center to make everything look "right." But we're glad we did it that way so that there's a big walk way.

6 cushions to fix 6 people on our 1 couch! *happy dance*

I'm in absolute love with this fabric. I shopped on Etsy and got Sherrie from Bristow Treasures to make 3 throw pillow for us. I think they're so cheery and fun!

The recliner that doesn't look like a recliner

"I think this is long enough for KD to sit on!" was one of the first sentences out of Jon's mouth. KD is, for all your non-Thunder fans, Kevin Durant, one of our fav players from the OKC Thunder. :)
Whoo-hoo!!!! I officially put up the OSU lawn chair that was my seat in the living room, and we're returning the white chair and ottoman we've been borrowing from Jon's parents for over a year (I heard my father-in-love is very happy about this return. hehe). I feel like we can finally hang some things on the walls to complete the look. All we're waiting on now (furniture-wise) is our bedroom set....

And since the front of our house is complete (except for hanging things on the walls), we can now have guests! Yippee!! Who wants to come over? ;)