Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I'm trucking through my masters program. I just signed up for three more classes that I'll be taking between May 2nd and August 7th. I am so glad they'll be finished before we go on vacation this I can just relax. Ahhh. I'll be getting a good raise for being halfway done my masters, too. Two cheers for that.

Beyond happy that the last arsonist in Coatesville was caught. Just sad and ashamed it was a PAID firefighter (Captain, even).

I got a cavity put in on Friday, and if you know me-I DREAD the dentist. Well, to my luck, their "curing" laser/gun thing-a-ma-bob wasn't working, and it fell out. So, lucky me had to return yesterday to get it re-filled. My mouth is still sort of sore and feeling 'ugh' from being beaten on twice. Not to mention, when I was numb, I bit my tongue. Awesome.

This is testing week at school and we have all half-days. Actually, the students get half days and we get to stay and have meetings and conferences. I'll be there until 8pm tomorrow evening (oh joy). I haven't had a normal art class in weeeeeks and I miss my kids.

We had a really wonderful time on Sunday afternoon having "extended family dinner" with Declan's side at his cousins house. It was beautiful out, peaceful, relaxing and a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It ended with Rita's Waterice which made it sweeter.

I haven't vacuumed my carpets in weeeeeks. I have no excuse other then being busy. It is pathetic and every time I walk up the steps I think about it. But, I get upstairs and start doing school work and email-checking, and then its dinner time---and basically the night is gone after that. Wow, just wait until I have kids.

I've lately had this feeling of being behind in everything. I really hate that feeling. I am so looking forward to June 5. Roughly TWO MONTHS and school is out for THREE months!!! I cannot, cannot, cannot WAIT.

Declan's new car is great. We love it. It's such a fun little get-around mobile. We feel blessed. BUT, we are still trying to sell is old car. We are selling it cheap...have had a few potential buyers but nothing has worked out yet. We need something to happen asap. So, if you know anyone in need of a car--send them my way :)

My best friend of 17 years, who, no longer is that due to a 'series of misfortunate events' (as Declan puts it) got married on Friday. I was not a part of it at all, not even invited. I'm not suprised, it just sucks that not even two years ago she was an important part in MY wedding. Thanks to wonderful photographs, I'll forever have to remember that. It still kind of stings.

Declan is FINALLY getting better. He was sick for 10 days. I am so tired of the hacking and the groggy voice, and so is he. I must say though, that I am not feeling all that great myself today. I am praying against that nasty sickness. Don't want it, no no no no.

Since all of the 'sickness' we watched a hand-full of movies over the weekend:
Secret Life of Bees (ahh, SO it, now.)
Lakeview Terrace (kind of psycho, but decent...)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Bought it. Very, very, very good. Get it now, or borrow mine!)

I had to wear a heavy winter jacket today it was so cold. This is not how it should be.

I still hate cooking dinner.

That is all for now.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring has sprinted...

away from here. Why does spring hate us? Come back. We want you here. We are loooonging for you.

Yesterday was the first day of spring and other then the little peak of sunshine in the morning, you would have never known it. It was cold. I was even told that some snow flakes were seen throughout the day. Say what!? That should be illegal.

Everyone I know is itching for spring. We want to walk to our mailbox without our coats, take the dog for walks, use the grill, plant our flowers, and open our windows. SPRING...please come. If you don't come soon I'll start whining and screaming and having a 3-year-old tantrum.

PS: I don't like the look of the 7 day forecast already...the 40's..THE 40'S?!? That is NOT spring-like weather. So, spring-get it together and then come back here with the sunshine and at least some mid 50 to 60 degree weather. That's not asking a lot.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's get back to the hustle and bustle

So, I've had a bit of an easy week at school this past week. Too easy. In fact, it kinda drove me crazy it was so easy. Let me explain. There is a wonderful group of volunteers who come in that have a program where they teach the kids about art history. They have been doing this in my district for 25 years, so naturally, it wouldn't stop with me. In fact, I love the idea of this program. I really believe in the value of art-history, and the fact it takes their little minds outside of the box to think about the artwork. I try to incorporate as much art history as I can. It's GOOD for them. The program approached me in the beginning of the year telling me about this tradition, and that they teach an entire 6 day cycle for me, filling the students little minds up with lots of art history knowledge. At that time, I was like, "OF course!" The thought of a break sounded fantastic to me.

Well, we are into the 6th (and last) day of this and I'm ready to teach again. Don't get me wrong, they did a fantastic job, and I did keep myself "busy" in the back of the room or at my desk as best possible without causing a ruckus. But, I want my kids back, I want my class back, I want to teach again. I want to move on and get rolling to get our art show projects finished. It's almost April and at the beginning of MAY are my shows. (oh gosh!) I only will see these kiddos 3 more times before that, and we will have some cramming to do.

I also didn't realize how difficult it can be to see someone else teaching your class. I'm suprised I felt that way. I guess it'd be the same as if I had a student teacher in a way.

I think that being in the back of the room has made me realize how much I miss that everyday interaction with my students, and that I thrive off of the hustle and bustle of my normal day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mac and Mac

Okay, so without Declan here this weekend, I've had some spare time on my hands, thus all the creativity you saw on yesterday's post. I've avoided putting away loads of laundry that is now strewn on my bed (to give me more motivation, ha!). While I was in the avoidance process, I got my laptop out (always a time-killer), and opened up PhotoBooth. Mac and I had a little sitting session. He has been my little warm-fuzzy hug this weekend, and even for the first time slept with me at night. Shhhh! Let's not let that get out ;) But hey, I was lonely.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Inspiration, inspiration Everywhere!

On my other blog I talked about how I went over to Sarah's house last night for some creative-fun. I did not only have fun, but I was inspired again. I was feeling stagnant about things to do around the house, and almost incompetent. But I think I just needed some re-freshing, and I totally got it. So, thanks Sarah :) She also allowed me to use some of her wonderfully original ideas. She gave me permission, I promise!

So, I decided to finally make my long-overdue jewelry board. My husband will be ecstatic becuase it will all finally have a PLACE and not all over the counter! I am also always making these bad-boys for friends and family, but don't even have my own. I'm glad I waited, because I decided to use the same idea as Sarah has in her bathroom. I bought four 8x10 cheap-o frames from ChristmasTreeShops for 4.99 each. I bought some thicker material from JoAnns, and some pearl-looking pins. Here is what it looked like without jewelry:

and BAM....add some jewelry!
Did I mention when I tore the picture frames apart they came with an added bonus?! They had a matte frame inside. So, again...Sarah gave me this great idea to add fabric to them and create a rustic looking frame(s). I had extra fabric...which is perfect. So, look at how nice this looks above our toilet.Also, check out how fabulous this all works with our shower curtain:

And for an added bonus...I am trying something new for my house. Adding these sweet little birds painted above the light switches. I just did one for now, but I'm loving it. Sarah had this in her house, and I told her I might want to try it. She gave me the go ahead. Isn't she sweet? He's painted in the same tan color as the kitchen and stairwell surrounding.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our will is definitely off the radar.

The last few months we've been looking for a car for Declan. He's always been that sweet guy who drives around a Neon, not caring that it's not exactly the coolest thing on 4 wheels. He's been content and blessed with what he has. To be honest, Declan doesn't even drive that much! We are so lucky, because his work place is literally next door. Walking isn't much of an option until the sidewalks go in, however, because right now it'd be like walking in a sea of muck and pricklie's. So, even as we've looked at cars...we knew it was for us. For the weekends, for our dates, for the better-on-gas then my SUV, for the fun, for the quick little whip. We went out the other night to a Mazda dealer to inquire about leasing. We didn't know if it would be a better option, or not. Turns out, its just a better buying market, and it does truly make more sense. We almost left feeling a little disappointed to find that we couldn't afford what we wanted....the nice, luxurious feeling car we had expected. Everything else we'd test-drove (mainly Mazda3's), I couldn't help but feel as if I were sitting in the Neon. That doesn't feel the slightest bit romantic or fun. Did I mention that we had our heart set on a Mazda3? We felt that no other car could compare. It was cute on the outside and looked young and sporty. The Mazda6 is a higher grade car, but we had convinced ourselves we hated it. We had convinced ourselves it was definitely something we would NOT be looking into.

On the way out the door the manager said, "Hey---I have this really amazing Mazda6..." Mine and Declans ears shut off. We don't want that car, helllloooooo!?! But, we continued walking out towards the lot. He's explaining to us that its a few years old, but it's in awesome condition ("executive" as he referred to it) and has low mileage. He also tells us it's leather (one of our must-have's on this new car) and has the Bose speaker system, etc. We go out to the car, sit in it...and instantly fall in love. Declan drove it and it had a completely different feel then the Mazda3. It felt luxurious, comfortable, spacious (in the back seat, too!), clung to the road, and powerful (v6, yea!). Declan had a change in his demeanor, so did I.

We couldn't get that car off our mind. It was everything we had really wanted, but didn't know exactly. It's great, and perfect for all the reasons it should be for us.

We worked up a nice deal, and even got 4 brand new tires on the car...and we're picking it up tonight! It is SO funny how the Lord always wham-bam's us with what we're really looking for. Just like I had sworn to never drive a Ford in all my life....the perfect car for me was the Ford Escape---but it had to practically be thrown in my face. I'm just glad we both aren't stubborn enough to insist on our original will. God's will is always best.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


You know? Declan and I have had a lot of experiences together in our 8 years of being together. We've been the Grand Canyon together, experienced the sadness of deaths together, gone on the Maid of the Mist under the falls together, gone to DC and art museums, had holidays together....the surface hasn't even been scratched. But, you get the point. One thing we have NEVER done together was baking a cake. What? I know, it's crazy.

So, last night we were deciding what to do with the rest of our day and Declan goes..."I wanna bake a cake with you!"

I am always up for random things. He knows that. So, I jumped up..."REALLY!?!!!!"

Off to the store we went to get supplies.

Now, don't get me wrong, we are not bakers...I leave the cake thing up to my sister-in-law, for her cakes are oh-so-heavenly and gorgeous at that. So, we grabbed a simple boxed cake, and of course it had to be Rainbow Chip. That is my FAVORITE, and every's my birthday cake. Rainbow Chip with Rainbow Chip Icing.

So, we came home and did all the mixing which takes all of like, 10 seconds. I decided to use my new Caphalon 8" rounds that I got for Christmas. When the cakes were done and cooled, we were ready to the icing. I took out the serrated knife and cut the one "dome-like" top piece off to make it flat so it could stack nicer. When Declan saw me doing this, he got strangely excited and said, "BABE! YOU ARE JUST LIKE THE ACE-OF-CAKES PEOPLE!! You're so talented!!!" Let me assure you people, he was not kidding. Because I asked, "Are you kidding?!" He was not, he meant it. He had never seen this done before, well, besides TV. So, I totally wow'ed him with my un-even slicing off the dome part of the cake skills. Then, let's talk about my icing skills...sloppy, uneven, and a crumby mess. He thought I was awesome. I felt like a cake-making-superstar. It was the ugliest cake I've ever made (out of maybe the 3 I've baked in my lifetime), but my husband was floored. I guess I must have hidden this talent from him (snicker, snicker).

Anyway, it was pretty tasty---and we won't be eating it all. It is going with us to Family Dinner this Wednesday where it will surely be devoured.

Don't tell my mom, but I fell in love.

Yesterday it was beautiful out. Felt like the first day of real-spring-like weather we've had. It was the first break from the ugly winter. It was wonderful. I took it as an opportunity to take down the old snowman garden flag and finally liven up the front of my house again so when I pull into the driveway I can smile a little. It took everything within me to wait until this day, because weeks ago I wanted to do this. However, with the big snow storm we had only 6 days ago, that would have been p r e t t y embarrassing to have my "Welcome Spring" flag dangling just barely above 7 inches of snow, huh? Yea. It was a good thing I waited.

I went through and pulled out weeds in my garden and trimmed back the old dead leaves on some plants. When I was moving around the mulch I saw some little green buds of plants starting to grow! I couldn't believe my excitement. First of all, it had just snowed 7 inches, melted, and somehow this little dude began to grow despite all this turmoil, and SECOND of all...WHY am I excited over this sort of thing?! My mother has always been a green thumb...loved her gardens and this was definitely passed on to her from her mom. As a kid, I was interested. I got very dis-interested however in my teen and young adult years. Now that I have my own tiny little pathetic garden, I'm in love. Whats wrong with me? I guess it's about being my own garden. I love it. I'm so odd. Don't tell my mom, she won't believe it (and she might just force me to help with hers...and her gardens are endless!)

Onto the rest of my spring'ing up the house...

A few weeks ago Declan saw this cute little stake sign that said "Welcome" and has flowers and bugs on it. I also liked it, and we bought it. It sat in our garage for a while, and secretly I wanted to put it outside in my snowy garden for all to see. But again...the embarrassment thing. So, I waited until yesterday. It looks perfect! My "Welcome Spring" flag is now proudly blowing in the wind (and it is REALLY windy down our street) displaying tulips and daisies. I have some flower arrangements that are indestructable (thank you silk, you do not die on me!) for this time of year when it's still too unpredictable. Until the weather is a bit more sturdy, I refuse to purchase and plant too many flowers in my clay-like soil that stinks for thriving (thank you new construction!). My door has a very cute rod-iron painted flower wreath hanging on it and it was only $3.99 at ChristmasTreeShops. It looks pretty complete, and we're the first on our row to Spring up the house. You know how I feel about a little friendly, neighborly, competition. ;) Kidding!

If it snows again...I'll just die.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Funny Kid Comment of the Day

It was the end of the day and I was with my 2nd graders. We were playing a game that I use to take up a few minutes here and there when we're waiting for them to be picked up. We start with the letter A and go through the alphabet naming things in the room that start with that letter, and move onto the next.

We got to the letter "M".

One kid points to me and says, "MOM!"

me: "Mom??"

him: "'re a mom, right? Don't you have kids?"

me: "Nope...I have no kids. I'm not a mom."

A second later this very normally quiet and shy girls pipes up and says, "Well, you're like a mom...cuz you take care of us."

My heart MELTED. Why do they do this to me?! ;)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The prettiest flower garden I have...

I consider myself to be so incredibly blessed with a flower garden of sisters. Each are so very different but make up a beautiful part of my life. I don't know what else a girl could want then to have them. They are the best girlfriends you could have. I am blessed to have one sister by blood and six by marriage. Aren't I the luckiest?!

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there. ~Amy Li

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves.
~Toni Morrison

How do people make it through life without a sister? ~Sara Corpening

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden. ~Author Unknown

High Point/Low Point....Tuesday

Low Point:
When I got to school today and realized I forgot my freshly packed lunch at home. It was green eggs and ham day in the cafeteria, the thought of it was gag-worthy.

High Point:
Finishing the Jillian Michaels workout. Not hating her through the process quite as much as last time. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

High Point/Low Point

A few months ago I saw a show on TV where the mother asked her six children every night at dinner what was their high point in the day, and their low point. What I liked so much about that idea was no matter what...everyone always had something to say. It got everyone talking on a level that we sometimes miss out on in the busyness of our everyday lives. So, lately I have been asking Declan this question. I like to hear his answers...I like to know what got him motivated that day, excited, fulfilled....I like to know the low point too. It's telling of people. It's a way to learn more about each other. I honestly think this is something I may want to carry into my family someday.

For now...on days that I don't know what to blog about...I will blog on these two things. Low point and high point of the day.


Low Point-
Realizing some of the relationships in my life are just not where they should be. Realizing it's going to take work and lots and lots of prayer.

High Point-
Working out alongside my sister...and meeting dumb little goals on new machines. I hated this new cardio machine we tried...but we gave ourselves a goal and we did it. I wanted to stop. We didn't. Leaving the gym feeling satisfied was my high point. Oh, oh, oh!! Getting a scale and realizing this morning that I am 10lbs lighter then I thought I was (or that I was in July).

A simpler life

Today I caught a glimpse of was about living a simpler life. So many of us are consumed and driven by things. What more can we get for ourselves? What better can we eat for dinner? It was also about being wasteful. When throwing out the un-used sour cream now-gone-bad, asking yourself...WHY didn't we use it? Was it because the meal it was to be used on was replaced with a dinner out? They also challenged you to think of that as throwing out a dollar bill. Would you throw out a dollar bill?'d use it. Now, don't get me wrong....I am NOT talking about eating bad sour cream, here. I am talking about living a simpler life.

I am more convicted then anyone on this subject. TRUST ME. I am the one who throws out an entire un-used loaf of bread-gone bad. Oh, and the sour cream? That was me...just two days ago. Going out to dinner...LOVE it. Using the computer...undeniable. Watching's my relaxation tool. So, living a simpler life is not exactly an easy thing...but, should be simple, right?

I think that living a simpler life for me might have to be taken one step at a time. I can plan out our week's meals better, for instance. We can eat out less. I can sit down every night with my husband and really talk about our day. We can buy what we need at the grocery store...not what I think we may need or want. I am convicted on my wastefulness....and I don't want to contribute to that. It makes me feel horrible.

Anyway, all of this was for me. For me to take a little step to a simpler kind of life. I'm an ordinary kind of girl, but not a simple girl. So, this isn't exactly my thing. But, we all have to start somewhere, right?