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Archive for the ‘Weekend’ Category

This week has been very exhausting for me. I’ve lost two employees in the past two weeks, so I’ve been adjusting to that. (There are only 4 of us total so now I’m at half a staff.) I’ve hired some temporary help, but it’s still kind of exhausting to be doing basically everything. The jobs posted this week, so hopefully if all goes well, I can hire people by the middle of October, first of November by the latest.

So I’m happy that so far, today’s been a lazy day. We stayed up late last night after going to dinner with some friends and then going to the football game. So of course I ended up sleeping late too this morning. 

Crappiness at work means some crappiness in the home, so last week, I asked Taylor if we could each plan a date for this weekend. I planned Friday night after work…Hooters and go cart racing. This morning after I got up and got dressed, Taylor made us a picnic lunch and we went out to the riverfront and ate sandwiches and fed the (nasty) blackbirds the leftovers of our chips. It has been a great weekend, and I’ve still got the rest of the afternoon to enjoy alone, since Sunday’s are football days and Taylor goes to watch with his family.

So I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon catching up on some blogging for you…more Italy photos anyone? But in the mean time, I’ve thought of a few things I have really liked lately and wanted to share with you.

First. Buy this wine.

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99% of the time I’m a cheap wine drinker, going for bottles in the $4-7 range. But I bought this one at my local Wally World and it ended up being really great. It’s a Petite Sirah (in case you can’t squint enough to make out the words on my shitty iPod photo) and I paid about $11. So, while I consider it in the pricier range, it definitely doesn’t break the bank. And it tastes really good. I brought it to a girls night and everyone kept asking where I got it and was really impressed. They also have Merlot and Chardonnay, but I haven’t tried those yet.

Second. Buy this album.

I first heard Grouplove about a year ago when they opened for Two Door Cinema Club at a concert I went to. (I love TDCC too, but this isn’t about them.)The songs Grouplove sang were just so energizing and fun. And then while Two Door Cinema Club was performing, the female singer, Hannah come out into the audience and was standing right next to me. She smiled and didn’t run away immediately when I shouted over the music that I liked their songs. After that, I immediately downloaded their EP album (just named Grouplove) and listened to the 5 songs over and over. Then when I heard their album was coming out, I marked the date on my calendar and downloaded it right away. So enough rambling, so I’ll try to wrap it up.

I think their songs are really good. Some are fun and upbeat but some really draw you into the song with emotional connection.  And one of the EP album songs is on a Chevrolet commercial (Don’t Say Oh Well). Colours and Naked Kids are both great songs and are on both the EP and the new album. Although I was happy they included some songs from the EP, I’m also glad it’s not the same old stuff with just a few other new songs. 

So anyway, that’s what’s up in my life right now. What’s going on with you? Any music, wine or other recommendations you’ve got for me?

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Gone fishing

Yesterday I went fishing with Taylor and his parents. I caught the only keeper of the day, a sheeps head.

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Taylor’s parents were kind enough to take the head off and remove all the guts so I could make us a tasty dinner. It was the first time I’ve ever cooked fish with the bones in. And I’ll definitely say I prefer the kind from the store that already has all the bones out.

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This weekend I went to Austin with my parents and sister. I also…

  • Climbed over rusty old cars and wooden barricades
  • Scaled a hay bale stack
  • Walked the plank across a gully
  • Trudged through an almost knee-deep creek
  • Climbed up a steep ravine
  • High stepped through hundreds of tires
  • Maneuvered over cargo nets and  through a spider web of ropes
  • Jumped over fire (that’s my sister in grey and me in black)

  • Crawled through a mud pit (That’s me again, in black; I’m about to get out of the mud pit. This is right before I fell down getting out of said mud pit.)

And I ran a good deal more than I have in several months. Should have trained more, but I did complete the course…not before barfing a little bit, but that’s beside the point. It was pretty intense…I had to sit down for a bit afterward.

All with my sister. And my parents were there cheering us on and taking pictures!

Thankfully the worst injuries I have are skinned knees and sore muscles.

Here’s us before…

And after….

It’s called the Warrior Dash and it was so fun we think we’re going to do it again in March!

Wanna join us?

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I had a great weekend.

Friday night had some family time in the country with some of Taylor’s relatives. 

Saturday, headed to Houston. Did the usual shopping trip to Francesca’s with my sister and mom. For dinner, we had reservations at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for Houston Restaurant Week (fyi, several of the 130 restaurants have extended the HRW specials until Labor Day). I had a delicious filet mignon and Taylor had salmon. It was really good. We don’t normally do the fancy restaurant thing, but it was really fun getting all dressed up to go out with the family. I think the last time we all got really dressed up to go out for dinner was mom & dad’s 25th anniversary 5 years ago. Before that, um, never.

This morning, I floated in the pool at my parents’ house for over an hour. I’m trying to get a little tan before the summer is over. After that, Taylor and I had some typical pool competitions…swimming above and below the water, running/walking and holding our breath. I won on the swimming, I don’t remember who won on the walking/running and he won holding his breath. He let me stand on his shoulders. And we spun me around to create a whirlpool. It was really fun and we laughed like kids.

This afternoon, we said goodbye to my folks and met up with my bff from college (Jane). Her husband and little boy also came with, and we always have a good time. Her little boy  is 2 1/2 and finally is starting to warm up to us. A couple of times we let him out of the stroller and he ran around, almost smacking into people, and he almost started a few fights with girls at the mall playground. Jane and I did our usual scoping out deals, and trying on fun accessories. I didn’t have my camera, so she took the picture. I’ll have to post it later after she sends it to me. I also couldn’t find one of our other photos to show you, but usually when we go shopping together it’s reminiscent of the following montage of my sister and me, taken a few years ago the day after Christmas…

We were wrapping up our wonderful weekend,  and as Taylor and I left the mall to head back home, I spotted the following (un)classy SHOCKER.

Just one word, TERRIBLE.

Anyhow, the weekend was a great, relaxing way to usher in the new school year. Work will be picking up again. Jacque will be graduating this semester. (GO JAC!!) Life is good.

How was your weekend?

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What a week

I know I don’t talk about my job in great detail here. It’s just a better idea not to.

But, two weekends ago was a really rough time for me. See, my job is a grant funded position. Last December, our school submitted the application for re-funding. I was really the primary writer since I’m the director of the program, though I did have a committee.

So we’ve been waiting 8 months to find out if I (and the rest of my staff) would have jobs come September 1st. Waiting is rough. Especially, when it’s 3 weeks until you’ll potentially be unemployed. Let’s just say, I was seriously lacking in the area motivation at work. I tried to keep the motto “business as usual” but let’s be real, what’s the point in busting ass, when you don’t know if your work will be for nothing.  

So two Fridays ago, Friday, August 6th, I decided to stay in bed a few extra hours and go in late to the office. When I woke up, I had a couple of text messages, one of which said the slate had been released, which meant that we’d be finding out the status of our jobs very soon.

From home, I contacted one of the congressman’s offices. They hadn’t received word yet, but would call me when they did. I hurried up and finished getting ready for work, and got there earlier than I planned. It was rough all day, just waiting. So I looked up an old friend on Facebook who I remembered had recently started working for a congressman’s office. We haven’t talked in a LONG time, but I still messaged him on FB to see if he could find out for me. No luck.

I pretty much sat at the desk and refreshed my email  (our new system sucks and only checks for updates every 2 minutes). I called another congressman’s office, and left a message. Then I actually talked to a guy at one office, and they still hadn’t heard about our program. In 09-10 there were 61 funded programs in Texas, but they had  only heard about the status of 7 programs. There was no way over 50 programs weren’t funded.

So at the end of the day, we still hadn’t heard. I let my staff go early, since nobody was really getting much done anyway. The rest of the weekend, there was no word. I worked to keep myself busy, hence the closet cleaning. I also went grocery shopping and made some gazpacho, chicken for lunches, lunch salads, and a few other things. If you can imagine, it was pretty stressful waiting.

On Monday (a week ago), I was looking forward to just finding out if it was yes or no.

In the past few months, I’ve wavered between being confident about our application and not believing we’d be successful. I had to be real with myself, that there was always a possibility that out of more than 1,200 applications, that we wouldn’t be chosen. That there could potentially be something wrong with our application. That I’d have missed something major from the instructions. In my head, I was prepared for the worst. That I wouldn’t have a job anymore. In a way, I was sort of looking forward to having a few weeks “off” while I searched for a job. In reality, I know that isn’t ideal, and it honestly would have been tough for me to find a job where we live.

When I got to work, after waiting all weekend, I thought I was going to throw up. I tried to wait past 9AM, just because I didn’t want to be a pain to the congressmen’s offices, even though DC, where I was calling, is an hour ahead of us. Nonetheless, when I called, the aide who handles education issues, looked up our school, and congratulated me on behalf of the congressman for receiving funding. I couldn’t believe it. I even asked about our sister school, who also applied, and which happens has the same name, but ends in “institute of technology”, just to make sure they weren’t making a mistake.

I called Taylor immediately to tell him the good news. He said he teared up a little bit. He was hoping for good news too.

I couldn’t think of exactly  how to tell my staff of the good news. So I went to the restroom. Then, another congressman’s office called while I stepped out. My administrative assistant answered the call. I walked around the corner and heard her asking to take a message. They already told her who they were and what they were calling for. I stepped in just in time to take the call, just to hear the words again, and make sure it was for real.

She asked me if I already knew. And I told her yes, but that I was trying to figure out a way to tell everyone.

So, long story short…I still have a job. We still have jobs. For 5 more years, if we wish.

Since I couldn’t figure out how to tell everyone, and my admin already knew, I stepped out into the hallway between our offices, and said something along the lines of, “Hey y’all, guess what? We got it!” We screamed like little girls. And hugged each other. Myself, a girl my age, and two women my mom’s age. I teared up too. 

I’m very lucky and feel very fortunate. It was very stressful waiting.

And, I assure you, this past week has been very productive!

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So sentimental

Previously I’ve posted about my attempts at cleaning out the spare bedroom closet. I have gotten rid of approximately 2 feet of research articles, sorted through hundreds of old t-shirts, and discovered a gold mine of old mix tapes.

This afternoon, I’ve identified no less than 20 copies of thesis drafts and a multitude of materials from when I taught a few classes (mostly old tests & assignments) to get rid of.  I’ve even managed to toss some grad school class notes, and old college newspapers and alumni magazines. Admittedly, I still kept a few things. And I couldn’t bear to throw anything out of my 3, large memory boxes from high school and college (which still house some of those mix tapes and t-shirts.)

Here’s what it looked like for a few hours before I got everything sorted out, and back in its place.

I have grand plans to take pictures or scan pictures of some items I want to remember, but don’t necessarily need to keep. Unfortunately today, I only managed to photograph one gem, before feeling too overwhelmed at the idea of throwing stuff out. And I still kept the item after photographing it. Geez, I’m hopeless.

My “passport” from when I was in elementary school. As you can see it’s totally legit.  

Provides info about my appearance and marital status. This passport was from 1990. I was single, brown  hair and eyes, and about 4 foot 5 1/2 inches.

The photo, totally awesome too. Travel rules were way more lenient back then. My shirt has bears kissing and in love on it.

Also, as evidenced by the totally legit visa stamps, by the time I was 9 I had already traveled to France, Switzerland, Venezuela and Tonga. Don’t be jealous.

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Monday marked our 1 year anniversary of being married. The weekend started with a day trip on Saturday to visit my parents. 

Our anniversary will forever be linked to Father’s day, since we actually got married on Father’s day last year. So I brought my dad a card as well as some homemade pico de gallo and tiramisu. I also promised a photo walk in the upcoming weeks since both of us like to take pictures, and he got me a nice DSLR camera for Christmas a couple years ago. We spent the day swimming and hanging out, which was lovely and relaxing.

Sunday, we basically hung around the house until it was time to get ready. We went to L’auberge du Lac in Lake Charles and ate at their Snake River Grill for our official anniversary dinner. We started the meal with lamb chop lollipops. I ate filet mignon and Taylor had wild boar wrapped in bacon. The wild boar tasted very good, but it too raw for my taste. I sipped a couple glasses of Malbec with dinner and we finished with dessert.  

We spent a little time at the casino after dinner, but didn’t win anything before heading home.

We both took Monday off, the day of our actual anniversary. We cooked breakfast together (biscuits, bacon and eggs) and had mimosas (made with Tosti Asti, the same kind of sparkling wine Taylor “won” when he proposed, and that we drank at our wedding). We spent the day running errands and doing normal stuff that we can’t normally do during business hours since we are at work. It was normal, just like our relationship every other day.

During the weekend we also gave both sets of parents a wedding album I made using Snapfish…finally, one year after the fact (it’s difficult to pick out photos for an album). Everyone loved it as far as I could tell.

We didn’t exactly exchange gifts. All along I had told Taylor that my gifts to him were not expensive but they were thoughtful. We did exchange cards (in mine I rewrote a portion of our wedding vows, in his he wrote a very heartfelt message about being the perfect team). I gave him a mousepad with one of our wedding photos on it. I also made tiramisu, our wedding dessert, and bought the Asti for mimosas. He made a reservation for dinner at Snake River Grill and will probably be buying me a Nike Plus sportband.

Over all it was a great weekend. I know all our anniversaries will be as good or better.

I love you honey. Here’s to many, many more years together.

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