Monday, December 22, 2008

I've been tagged...

Emmy tagged me (maybe a few weeks ago), so I thought I'd follow through and answer below...

8 Shows That I Watch:
Brothers & Sisters
Law and Order
Law and Order: SVU
Desperate Housewives
NCIS
CSI
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice

8 Favorite Restaurants:
Taco Bueno
Ted's
Girodano's
Salsarita's
Zio's
Jim 'N Nicks
Panera Bread
Carrabba's

8 Things I did this weekend/week
(we'll go with the last 2 weeks):

Graduated with a Masters in Education
Said goodbye to Alabama & many friends
Celebrated Christmas with my mom's family
Drove from Duncan to OKC and back 4 times
Spent time with my nieces
Ate lots of Party Mix
Met my uncle's wife
Saw old friends I haven't seen in a long time

8 Things I Look Forward To:
Moving to Chicago
Worshiping with the church in Chicago
Going to Galena, IL for vacation
Seeing my nieces open Christmas presents
Meeting Aidan for the 1st time
Seeing Caleb again (& Gina)
Having friends visit us in Chicago
Finding out where we're moving next

8 Things On My Wish List:
Matt to get a job
Safe travels over the next few weeks
Visit Europe with Matty
Not freezing to death in Chicago
Matt to get a job (this is a big wish!)

Well, I can't think of anymore wishes right now. I guess I must be satisfied with life right now!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ol' Red is Dead (almost)...

Well, it looks as though it's time for me to part with Ol' Red. We've been together for 10 1/2 wonderful years. She has always been good to me. We have traveled together over many, many miles, and only once has she decided to leave me stranded on the side of the road (at 2 am in the middle of nowhere), but I don't hold that against her. So many memories have been made in Ol' Red. Driving to OC on the first day of college, Spring break road trips, trips to Duncan with many friends, making the decision to move away from Oklahoma on the way back from Alabama, and so many good memories, but I'm afraid all good things must come to an end! In case you haven't figured it out, Ol' Red is my car. A 1997 Mercury Tracer. No cruise control, no power windows, no power locks, no cd player, and now missing an air conditioner. Despite all those things, she's been a good car. A really good car. We've driven back and forth to Alabama MANY times and, as I said, she only broke down once. Luckily, it was close enough that my dad and Paul (our wonderful friend and mechanic) were able to come pick us up and haul us in to Duncan (only after we spent a long night sleeping in the car!).

Anyway, it seems the end to our long relationship has finally come to its end. I took Ol' Red to the mechanic yesterday. (Side note...if you're in Montgomery and need a good mechanic, I would strongly recommend Joe McClendon. His shop is downtown on Decatur, and he was SO nice! I got to his shop at 3:30, expecting to have to leave my car overnight and pick it up the next day. Although he closes at 4:00, he took the time to drive the car, put it up on the rack, figure out what was wrong, show me what was wrong, and then give me some good advice which did not include me paying him to fix it.) Now back to the demise of Ol' Red. I knew it wouldn't be good when Joe heard the noise my car was making and said, "Hmm. That's strange. I have never heard a noise like that before." Keep in mind that he has been a mechanic for a long time! Nonetheless, he was determined to figure out the problem. After a quick trip around the neighborhood, a discussion with the other mechanic, and a few minutes looking at it, he came inside the shop and said he wanted to show me what was wrong. As we were walking to the car he says, "have you ever thought about trading it in?" Again...not good coming from a mechanic. Apparently, I have inplay in the crankshaft. I may be saying that wrong because I know nothing about cars. Basically, from what Joe said, the motor is moving back and forth, causing a piece of metal to bang into the back of the motor when it moves. Apparently this is a bad thing. I told him I needed to drive it to Oklahoma, and then to Chicago. Apparently this is not a good idea. He said it might make it, it might not. After talking to Matt, dad, and Paul we came to the conclusion that it is, in fact, time to put Ol' Red to bed, or at least sell her. So, if you know anyone who wants a cheap car that may or may not last awhile, just let me know! Perhaps it would be a good option for someone who knows how to fix cars. On the bright side, Matt and I don't really need a car since we're moving to Chicago, and we can drive his truck up there with our things. Well, I know it's been ages since I've updated and I'll try to give more updates on our lives soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

India...

So, Matt is India right now, New Dehli to be exact. He left this past Sunday night, and he'll get back early in the morning next Sunday. He went over there for an international debate competition with another student from John Marshall, but they will also have time for some sightseeing too. Anyway, he sent me a message, and I thought everyone might like to see what he has to say about his trip so far. Enjoy!

"India is unbelievable and not always for the good. The poverty and living conditions of the majority of the Indians is astounding. The air is so dirty with smog that looks like you are a near a fire constantly. I took 20 or so pictures today and tomorrow will be even more because we go to the Taj Mahal...I saw a lot of chipmunks but no monkeys so far. I took some pictures of the 'sacred' cows laying in the roads and we went to the India Gate (Memorial for the Freedom Fighters)...the gate was very impressive. The opening ceremony dinner tonight was very nice and really made you realize the two distinct classes of people in India. The haves and the have nots are not even close in this country. There is no middle class from what I can tell. The food was nice but very spicy...they encouraged everyone to dance but my roommate from Austalia and I were successful in avoiding it. The entire ceremony, dinner, party was outside in a very nice courtyard. I made friends today with a guy and girl from Vienna, my roommate from Australia, a couple fellas from Dubai, Singapore, Sweden, London, South Africa, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Canada, and Hong Kong. I was told there would be other American schools here and there is a team from DC but one member is Canadian and the other British...so I am the lone American in the group thus far. There are many more people to meet and mingle with tomorrow I believe. For lunch today we found a pizza place that was actually very good...Lenka and I split a pizza and got two cokes for $5. We are going to a very good market place during our Delhi tour on the 13th so I will try to buy most things then. One thing everyone seems to be struggling with is the lack of toilet paper in the hotel...they have a bidet. Everyone has complained and they should have toilet paper for us all tomorrow. Perhaps in the morning I will try to post some of the photos thus far but right now I am so exhausted that I must get some sleep. I should also mention that the Indian people are some of the nicest most hospitable people I have ever met. We walked nearly 3 miles today to a marketplace and to exchange money and we got lost twice. When we asked for directions, instead of explaining where we should go (maybe because there are not street signs) the person would walk us a good bit of the way and talk to us about where we were from. Some vendors are out to get money from you for doing this but we would usually ask a woman walking by herself and they would help and actually refused any offer of a tip. Hopefully the debate will go well tomorrow, the trip to the Taj Mahal is going to be a long one we have heard but should be an amazing experience. So apparently traffic lanes are only suggestions, as is which side of the road to drive on...we have seen multiple people driving the wrong way and buses with 15 seats loaded with 50 people. It is crazy. The streets are so dusty that you don't even recognize your shoes when you get in from walking around. I got a 2 liter bottle of water today for 40 cents...so I can brush my teeth and stay safe..."

I'm sure he'll post a long blog when he gets back, but internet for his laptop is $5/hr, so he's trying to use it sparingly. I'll try to update on his trip as I hear from him.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Bar...

Well, it's official!! Matt just found out that he PASSED THE BAR EXAM!!!! The results weren't supposed to be posted until Friday, but he checked during class tonight and they were already posted. Yes, ladies and gentleman, he is OFFICIAL!! I am so very proud of him, and I am sure I will write more later. For now, I'm trying to tone down my excitement so I can go to sleep! I am a little disappointed though, that he's all the way in Chicago and I can't celebrate with him. Congratulations, Matty!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Absence makes the heart...

They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder." But is it really true? Does the simple absence of someone really have the power to make your heart grow fonder of them? I've thought about this question many times this semester, and I've decided that someone's absence doesn't change your heart. Rather, I think it simply has the power to remind you of your heart's feelings. Let me explain...This semester while Matt and I have been living apart, there have been many times when I start to miss him. A lot. But I don't think missing him means that I'm growing fonder of him. I think absence just reminds me of the things I already love about him, but may have taken for granted before he moved to another state. Or maybe not even taken for granted, but the little things you forget to notice because they're always there. The things that I didn't realize I would miss until I started to miss them. For example, sometimes I just want a hug from him, sometimes I want to talk to him about what happened that day and have him tell me it will be OK. Other times, I would like nothing more to just sit next to him, in that comfortable silence that is only possible with your best friend. With Matt away, I have realized how very much I appreciate the little things he does. Cooking dinner for me, helping me clean (even when I have to explain exactly what to do), encouraging me to actually buy something when I go shopping (for those of you who know me, I never spend money!), leaving me sweet notes, surprising me with trips and special dates, and so many other things. (If my mom is reading this, she's probably thinking that I'm terribly depressed, but please be assured that I'm NOT. Yes, I miss Matt. But at the same time, the semester is almost over, and I know that I can handle a few more weeks). I say all this to say that this semester, I have realized that I need to take the time to truly appreciate the wonderful husband that God has blessed me with. So, after 15 weeks of "absence," I think I would change the quote to say "absence helps the heart remember."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Social Hour...

The 5th graders have "social hour" on Friday afternoons. This is really just a glorified name for recess. I guess it makes them feel more mature to call it social hour. Anyway, it is also part of the discipline plan, and the teachers can take away the privilege of social hour for various infractions in the classroom, including misbehavior and failure to complete homework. Since I have started teaching, I now have the ability to take away social hour privileges if I deem it necessary. Today, one of my students felt she needed to clarify just exactly why I took away her social hour. This was her question: "Mrs. Bell, do I have to sit out at social hour because I was cheating, or because I was talking during class?" Really? Did she really need to ask me that? Shouldn't she know that BOTH cheating AND talking during class are not allowed?!?! She definitely should have known after I had to give her conduct checks EVERY DAY THIS WEEK for laughing, talking, talking back, and one day for cheating!!!! Oh, but it wasn't her fault that she was cheating (that's what she told me today anyway). I still haven't figured out how you can accidentally cheat. Any ideas on that one? Oh, and another boy got in trouble for sleeping during class. Apparently that wasn't his fault either. 5th graders come up with some great stories and excuses for why they're misbehaving. They generally don't deny the fact that they were doing something wrong, but boy can they spin a tale as to why they were doing it!! They're very creative...it's pretty impressive really.

I start my 2 weeks of teaching on Monday. This means that I'm in charge of all of the classes, by myself for 2 straight weeks. It should be interesting, but I think it will be fun. Definitely a good learning experience. I have a lot of fun activities planned, so hopefully the kids will cooperate and we'll get to do them!! Well, it's late and I'm sleepy. I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

5th graders...

Well, I haven't written much about my experience in 5th grade so far, and I'm in my 4th week of the placement! I guess there are several reasons for this, but the primary reason is that 5th graders are not nearly as cute as 2nd graders. The second reason is that I'm not enjoying this experience as much. All elementary interns are required to spend half of the time in a lower grade (K-3rd) and half of the time in an upper grade (4th-6th). Some people love the lower grades, some love the upper grades. One of my friends started the internship thinking she would hate her 6th grade placement, and has ended up loving it. I don't hate being in 5th grade, and I guess I don't even dislike it that much, but I just don't like it as much as 2nd grade. So, perhaps this is the reason why I haven't written much about it. So, let me give you a quick update on my life in the 5th grade. I'm in a science and social studies class, and we have 3 classes each day. For the last week I've been teaching 2nd and 3rd period. Starting next week I'll teach all day long! I'm looking forward to it, and I have several experiments and fun things planned to do with them. It's going pretty well, and I like that 5th graders can do more independent work than the 2nd graders. This allows for more "projects" and even science experiments. It gives more opportunities for them to do things besides worksheets. The main thing that bugs me about the 5th grade is the attitudes. I can't stand it when they huff and puff when they get in trouble, or when they talk back with some grand explanation about why what they were doing really wasn't wrong. Makes me crazy! Back talking...no good. (I should probably take a moment to apologize to my parents for having a sassy mouth when I was younger! But, I don't think I got sassy until at least Jr. High!) Anyway, the attitudes just frustrate me. And, I have found that my "mean voice" does not sound very mean. I'm working on that. Not that I want to be a mean, grumpy teacher, but sometimes you have to put on a serious face and let them know you mean business. I think I'm getting better at it, but I've got some work to do! ha ha. So, with all that being said, I just try to approach each day with a positive attitude and hope that it will be a good day. Most days are good, some days I want to pull out my hair! Overall, 5th grade is not terrible, but I definitely prefer my cute, little, precious 2nd graders!! Well, I'm off to Open House night at school in a few minutes, so I better go for now. Have a great day and a Happy Halloween tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An encouraging word...

I was teaching history. It was 3rd period, the kids were tired, and we were learning about the French Colonists settling in the "new land" (that would be North America, for those that aren't history buffs). Not the most exciting reading. They leave France, they come to America, they set up a colony, end of story. Same thing that happened in yesterday's lesson with the Spanish. I'm doing my best to make it interesting...after we read the text, I try to retell it like a story, using the map to point things out and trying to sound excited. But I'm looking at their eyes, seeing some of them day dreaming, and thinking to myself "I don't blame them, I would probably be bored too." Time runs out for the class, so we have to stop in the middle of the lesson. Relief sweeps across most of their faces. The dismissal bell is only minutes away, and they hurriedly pack their things to leave. But, as one girl walks out of the classroom, she stops for a second and says, "Mrs. Bell, why do we have to leave just when the story was getting good?" All I can do is smile at her. "Yes!!" I think to myself, "at least one person is interested and paying attention. Maybe I'm not as boring as I thought!" How nice it is when a student is enjoying learning (and being sincere when they tell you)! It made my day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Question...

So one of my 5th graders asked the following question at the lunch table the other day...

"Mrs. Bell, is fish a meat or a vegetable?"

What?!? Was he serious? Yes he was. Pretty sure a 5th grader should know the answer to that! But I just kindly answered that fish is indeed a meat. He said that's what he thought but he didn't know what happened to the meat when you cook fish. Strange.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Matty Came to Visit!

Well, Matt was here for the last week, and just left yesterday. We had so much fun together, and I realized just how much I had missed him when I saw him. He actually surprised me by taking an early flight & showing up at the end of the school day on Friday. I was completely shocked to see him walk in the classroom, especially because it was 5 minutes before school was out, and I was busy telling all my little 2nd graders goodbye (it was my last day in 2nd grade). needless to say, I was VERY excited to see him! I was planning to drive to Birmingham that night to pick him up at 10:00, so it was nice to have him in early & to not have to drive by myself! That evening, he surprised me again by telling me we were going to spend the weekend at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery. A friend of ours works there, and she got us an AMAZING deal on the Executive Suite! It was a great weekend! The room was beautiful, on the corner of the building with a view of the Alabama River. It was a nice way to relax, and get away from the world for a couple of days.
This is a picture of the hotel:








On Friday night, we checked into the hotel, and then met some friends for dinner at the Brew Pub downtown. We were able to walk over from the hotel, and we enjoyed our friends. It was obvious how much Matt had missed everyone because he barely stopped talking long enough to take a breath the whole time we were there!










Matt & Me









Matt, Steven, Allen









Angela, Kayla, Me

We watched some football on Saturday, had pizza at Tomatino's (a local Montgomery favorite), and then went over to the Frisby's that evening so Matt could see Lucy. He missed her too! We ended up at the Frisby's house almost every night so Matt could see her. I was off on Monday (for Fair Day...it's not a real holiday, but the State Fair was free for kids that day), but I had to work (well, go to school) the rest of the week. So Matt would do homework during the day, and then we would get to hang out in the evenings. It was a great week, but of course it passed much too quickly. I think spending time together is going to make the next 6 1/2 weeks even harder than the last 8 weeks! Although it's a shorter time until we see each other again, having him back to visit made it so much harder for him to leave again. I know the time will pass quickly, and so I'll just find ways to keep busy and not think about him being gone! I'll see him again at Thanksgiving...along with his new school friends from Kenya, Mexico, Paraguay and maybe Switzerland (they're joining us for Thanksgiving)! Should be fun! It's actually only 8 more weeks of living apart (not counting the week of Thanksgiving) until I graduate and we'll be back together for good! I'm looking forard to that for sure! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Clothes...

So I have decided that I need to update my wardrobe. This decision came after the conversation I had with a second grader as I was walking in to school this morning. This precious little boy in the class next door is really one of my favorites...he is always so happy and he's so cute! Anyway, I met him in the hall this morning as I was walking in. He says, "Mrs. Bell, you put on a black shirt this morning?" I said, "Yeah, I wore a black shirt so it would match my flip flops" (it was Flip Flop Friday at school today). He says, "but I can't believe you put on a black shirt, you usually put on a blue shirt." Apparently I have way too many blue shirts if a 2nd grader thinks that's all I wear!

Another funny comment from today was this...one boy told me that his friend was sad because one of the "big kids" called him a nerd. I said, well that's why you weren't supposed to be playing with those "big kids", they're not very nice sometimes. Then the boy says, "well, being a nerd just means you're really, really smart, and it's good to be really, really smart. So I told my friend that he shouldn't be sad that someone called him a nerd, because a nerd is good." What a great perspective!

On another note, the same boy was telling Mrs. S (the teacher) a very sad story about his mother getting beaten up by her boyfriend. As Mrs. S was listening, she said "now you're never going to hit a girl, are you?" to which the boy replied "heck, I ain't never gonna hit nobody!" We felt better to at least know that maybe this boy hasn't been tainted by the bad influence of his mother's boyfriends. Thankfully, he no longer lives with his mother, since she obviously did not provide a safe environment for her son.

I made it through my 2 weeks of teaching by myself in the 2nd grade! It ended a week ago, and it was actually really fun, and I'm looking forward to having a class of my own (someday...but probably not in Chicago). Before the internship began, I couldn't imagine having to teach by myself, especially with another teacher watching me. But, it really wasn't too bad. Most of the time when Mrs. S was in there, she wasn't really paying attention. The only thing that was tough is I felt like I needed to do things just like she did, instead of like I would do them. Anyway, it was good for the most part! The teacher was gone for 3 days during my 2nd week of teaching, so I really got to see what having a class to myself would be like! There was a sub in there with me, but she stayed busy making copies and doing projects for other teachers. This week was a little less exciting, since I was back to observing and trying to find things to do! The kids had several tests to take this week, so I really didn't have many opportunities to teach. I did get to teach one afternoon because the teacher had to leave. I can't believe I'm almost done with my 1st 8 weeks of my internship! After next week, I'll move to 5th grade. It will be a completely different atmosphere, and I'm interested to see what it will be like. The teacher (I'll call her Mrs. C) I'll be with also has a totally different personality than Mrs. S, so that will be fun to see a different perspective on teaching. I'm looking forward to it...but a little nervous, especially since some of the 5th graders are bigger than me! Well, I better go for now. I need to get back to the homework I've been trying to avoid! Have a great day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kids say...

So I'm not sure when people develop the sensor that tells you that some things shouldn't be shared with the whole world, but 2nd graders definitely don't have it. They will tell you anything, often whether you ask or not. They want to share everything they know with you, and many times 12 of them want to share at the same time. At times this can be overwhelming, since there is obviously not time to listen to what every kid has to say all the time. Asking one question in class elicits 17 hands going up, each with something to say. Sometimes the hands are actually in response to the question; other times...you call on them and they say something totally unrelated to the topic at hand. For example, " Are we going to computers on Thursday?"(it's only Monday, so the schedule on Thursday is not really important right now) or, "I can run really fast" (good information, but not in the middle of social studies!). However, if you take the time to listen to their stories (not necessarily in the middle of the lesson, but at appropriate times) the things they say may provide critical insight into a child's home life, help you relate to a child because you know what they're interested in, and help you get a glimpse of why they may act the way they do. Not that their moms or dads necessarily want them to say the things they say...in fact, they would be completely embarrassed to hear some of what is said! I've had kids tell me all sorts of things in my 5 weeks in the school..."My mom says she doesn't want to help me with my homework," and"My dad's big black mustang got taken away from him yesterday because he didn't pay for it," and "I can only see my mom at DHR (social services)." Obviously, once kids develop that "sensor" they wouldn't tell a teacher things like that. They would be embarrassed, or ashamed, or just not comfortable enough to say anything. And although their parents probably didn't want me or their teacher to know these things, it does help us to understand and relate to these students better. The innocence of children is so refreshing. They hear, see, and understand much more than adults often give them credit for. They know exactly what is going on at their houses, even if their parents try to hide it and keep it a secret. So, when all of the sharing starts to overwhelm me, I try to remind myself how precious their honesty and openness is and show a little more patience and caring as I listen to them tell me stories.

On a funny note...today while we were standing in line for the bathroom (I was actually not standing in line, but the kids were), one little boy looks at me and says "My doctor hits me with a hammer." Not sure where that came from, and it kinda took me off guard (and I didn't want to laugh because kids are very serious when they tell you things)...but I did verify that it was the reflex hammer on his knee!

My internship is going well. I just finished my 5th week, and my 1st week of teaching all day. I really enjoyed it. I felt like the kids were actually learning something (most of the time) and I didn't feel like I was boring them to death, so that was a plus! I have had my first 2 evaluations by my professor at school, and I did well on both of them. She loved the games and activities I included in my lessons, which was good. I must confess, I made the lessons a little more interactive and exciting because I knew she would be there! There just isn't enough time in the day to play a game, do an activity, complete the required worksheet, and teach the lesson for every single lesson that must be taught in the day! But I do try to incorporate something interactive or "hands on" in every lesson. Kids are going to move around while you're teaching...so you might as well give them something productive to do while they're moving! This allows them to wiggle while still learning! Sometimes I feel like I might be too idealistic since I'm new to teaching, but I truly enjoy being in the classroom. I certainly have moments (and occasionally days) where I just feel frustrated and irritable, but those moments come no matter what occupation you have. Overall, I'm enjoying my time and can't wait to be teaching "for real" in a classroom of my own! Well, I should go for now. Have a wonderful weekend!

Matthew 18:3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A quick update...

So the same kid that I wrote about in my last post had me laughing again yesterday. Here's the conversation...

Kid: I am so tired, I just can't do my work
Me: What did you do last night that made you so tired?
Kid: My dad pooted in the bed all night and I couldn't sleep.
Me: No response...what do you say to that?

Things are still going good at school. Today I taught the morning reading lesson for the first time. The reading series that we use is pretty complicated and it's new so the teachers are having a hard time figuring it out. I think I did OK. Thankfully, the teacher left the room for most of the time that I was teaching. She makes me nervous when she's in there watching me, and the kids are always looking at her instead of me. They're probably wondering why some random girl is teaching them while their teacher is sitting right there. I also reviewed the calendar and started their math lesson today as well. I feel pretty comfortable teaching, and I'm really enjoying being in the school. Our class is well behaved for the most part, although I did have to sternly remind them that they have to behave for me just like they behave for the teacher. I think they were just testing the waters to see if I would get on to them, or let them talk and not pay attention. I gave one kid a "stick" because he kept acting up (a "stick" is what they get if they're doing something wrong. They have to put the stick-which is just a straw cut in half- in a pocket with their name on it. The # of sticks they have at the end of the week determines their conduct grade). Anyways, after I gave him a stick everyone else seemed to settle down. I guess they just needed to see that I meant what I said. Tomorrow I'll be teaching Math and one or two of the reading small groups. I really like the teacher I'm with, although I don't know how comfortable she is having someone else teach her class. She seems reluctant at times to let me teach, but it might be that she just doesn't want to give me too much. Next week I have my first evaluation by my professor. I think the lesson will be fine, I'm just nervous about having her watch me.

Other than school, my life isn't too exciting. I'm missing Matt, and I still won't get to see him for another month! I try to keep myself occupied in the evenings so I don't get lonely and so far I've been doing pretty good! Maybe I'll try out some new hobbies this semester! Well, I must go now because I'm getting hungry and I need to make dinner! Have a great day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Internship...

I'm sure I will have many stories over the next few months about my experiences in my internship. I'm in a 2nd grade classroom for the first 8 weeks, and already we have had some interesting experiences & funny comments by kids! I thought I would list just a few (in no particular order)...

  1. We spent the first 2 hours of the school day this morning in the hallway downstairs. A tornado warning was in effect, the sirens were blowing as I was driving to work, some kids were crying...what a way to start a Monday!
  2. My first Friday, the teacher I'm with had to leave at 11:30. So, I was responsible for the class that afternoon (although we did have a substitute, as required by law)...on the way to PE, as we're about to walk out the door, a lizard runs in the door. Before I know it, one little boy jumps out of line to try to catch the lizard and throw it outside. Just as he reaches the lizard, the lizard's tail falls off and starts flipping around. The tail is flipping, the body is flipping, and all the kids are going crazy. I couldn't do anything but laugh (and rush the kids outside so the kindergarten teachers didn't hear the commotion!)
  3. Same day as the lizard...about 10 minutes later...I'm sitting in the classroom during my "planning" time, while the kids are OUTSIDE at PE. The principal comes over the intercom saying, "attention teachers: no one is allowed outside until further notice. NO ONE is to go outside!" The substitute rushes back in the room and says we're on lock down and we're supposed to lock ourselves in the room. But my kids are OUTSIDE and I don't have a key to the classroom! So, we just sit there and thankfully the PE coach brought the kids inside!
  4. One of my students lives with his grandma. He came in one morning and said he couldn't do his homework the night before. His excuse? "My grandma is like 60 years old...she can't help with homework!" Obviously 60 years old is ancient!
  5. Same kid is trying to do the math problem 9 + 2. He says he can't do the problem. I say, "well, if you don't know the problem in your head, you can count on your fingers." His response? "I don't have 9 fingers." So I ask, "How many fingers do you have?" and he responds..."10". Kids!
That's just a few of the things that have happened over the last couple of weeks. The kids definitely keep me laughing! Have a great day!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Our Crazy lives...

The Wedding (cont)... Well, the day of the wedding was perfect! When I got to Jen's apartment that morning, she and Chloe were snuggling and talking about everything that was about to happen. It was a precious moment between mom and daughter...










The bridesmaids, Jen and the girls enjoyed a tea party lunch, followed by getting our hair done. Allie LOVED her first "tea party with grown ups", and Chloe even tolerated it and I think she had fun. Allie thought she was very grown up, drinking out of the tea cup & she got some Hannah Montana gear at Wal-Mart that made her feel like a movie star after she got her hair done!













I absolutely love this picture of Chloe. She looks so happy and beautiful! I know Misa will truly be a blessing to her and Allie's lives.













There were so many sweet moments during the wedding, but this was probably the most emotional. Misa gave Chloe and Allie a locket that said "always together" and made a promise to each of them. Absolutely precious!











This is a pic of me and Matt at the wedding. One of my favorites!










The Day was upon us...On Sunday after the wedding, we headed back to Montgomery with Matt's dad along for the ride to help Matt move to Chicago. We got back Sunday evening, and stayed at our house in the guest room (which was a little strange, but our renters had already moved in and were so nice to let us stay with them!). Although I was excited for Matt to get to start his LLM and fulfill his dream of living in Chicago, I couldn't help but feel the dread of him leaving as I went to sleep that night. I support him 100% in going to Chicago, but at the same time I didn't want him to leave! It was with mixed emotions that I got up the next morning and prepared for my first day of my internship! I was excited about starting school, sad that he was leaving, and nervous with anticipation as I thought about the months that lay ahead. So, I told Matt goodbye, held back the tears so I could make it to school without my ugly cry face, and headed off to start the next 4 months of interning.

The last 2 weeks...Well, we've made it through 2 weeks of Matt being in Chicago and me in Alabama. My internship has been going great so far! The teacher I'm working with is wonderful, and the kids really have been good. I've already gotten sick, and have spent the entire weekend in bed, but I was warned before I started that I would get sick, so I expected it! Matt started school on Thursday, and besides feeling slightly overwhelmed, he is enjoying it! Matt and I get to talk online everynight via our webcams, so that helps us not miss each other as much (although I definitely still miss him a lot!). But, I've come to realize that things could certainly be worse, and it's only temporary, so we're making the best of it! I'll try to keep updating more often. Love you all!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Well...

Contrary to popular belief, I am still alive! It has just been a CRAZY few weeks! I keep thinking that I need to get on here and write, but then I don't have time. At this point, it seems like a daunting task to update on everything, but I'll give it my best shot. We'll start with the last week of July...

The Bar Exam: Matt felt good about the Bar Exam. It was a pretty intense 3 days, but he made it through! Now comes the LONG wait...he'll find out the results in November! I think I may have been more stressed out than he was all week. Neither of us could sleep, but while he was testing all day, all I could think about was his test! It could have been my hurried attempts to finish packing up the house and cleaning that had me stressed out. It was a busy week, working all day, (worrying about Matt's test), and going straight to our house after work to pack and clean. Everyday when I got to the house I would tell myself that I would probably finish that day, then as I was leaving that night, I would tell myself that I would probably finish tomorrow. I finally finished around 10:00 or so on Wednesday night. Everything was packed, the house was clean, the bathtub was caulked, and I was ready for...

Leaving on a Jet Plane: After my last day of work (July 31st), I drove up to Birmingham to fly to Dallas and meet Matt. The flight went well, and I was entertained by a tipsy construction worker on his way home. We spent the night with Jared and Emily (Tomberlin) Burns on Thursday night, which was lots of fun! It was good to catch up with them, and see their beautiful new house! Friday we planned to go shopping and camping, but I ended up getting a TERRIBLE muscle spasm in my neck. I was just taking the towel off the towel rack before my shower and all of a sudden I couldn't move my head, or straighten it up. I tried to stretch it out in the shower, but to no avail. I was in tears and pain! So, we headed up to David and Kay's house (emily's parents), where Kay had a heating pad and some medicine waiting. After several hours of heating pad and the oil she had that was supposed to relax the muscle, I still couldn't move my head. I wasn't in as much pain, so we left and headed north of Dallas to meet Matt's great aunt and cousin for dinner. By the time we drove the hour to dinner, I was close to tears again and my neck was right back where it had been. So, I called my parents and told them I needed to skip the camping. They met us in Ardmore with an ice bag and muscle relaxers. After a muscle relaxer, a pain pill, and several hours, I was finally able to relax enough to go to sleep. Lucky for me, my brother is in massage therapy school so he was able to work on my neck over the next few days. The drugs mixed with the massage did wonders, although I still have a little pain in my neck when I move in certain ways...and it's been over 2 weeks! We spent several days in Duncan, just hanging out with the family, and then we headed up to OKC for...

The Wedding: Jen & Misa got married on 08/08/08, but the festivities leading up to the day began on Wednesday. We made it to OKC just in time for Matt to pick up his tux (he was an usher) and head over to Heather's house for dinner. Thursday was a day of decorating, manicures/pedicures, rehearsing, and eating. The rehearsal dinner was very nice, and Jen & Misa had sweet things to say about everyone involved in the wedding. Thursday night the girls had a "slumber party" at Jen's house...at the request of Chloe and Allie. We got started kind of late, but did have time to watch Shrek the 3rd and all pile in the living room for some fun girl time. Here are some pictures from the day...

Well, the pictures wouldn't upload, so I'll stop here for now, and update more later. Love you all!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Retraction...

Please Note: Matt has pointed out to me that I called him this morning, and he called me yesterday morning. Please note this as you are reading the post about my morning. I thought he called me because the reminder on my phone went off and it sounds like my phone ringing and I was half asleep during it all! Thank you.

Good Morning!

So, anyone that knows me knows I'm not a morning person. This morning this was especially true...Matt called before my alarm went off to tell me he was up and ready for Day 2 of the Bar. I turned off the alarm because I was "awake," but then I fell back asleep and didn't wake back up until 7:20. I have to leave at 7:40 for work. Needless to say, I didn't leave on time. My work and boss are pretty relaxed, so I wasn't really worried about running late. So, I arrive at work about 8:10, only to find the whole office awaiting my arrival! Tomorrow is my last day of work full-time, so they decided to bring me presents today! I was so embarrasesed because I was late and I had 5 people just sitting and waiting! Then, when I realized what my present was, I was even more embarrassed!! Here's a picture...

Amber and Shelly decided that since Matt moved away I needed an inflatable husband to take his place! He was sitting in my chair when I arrived at work! The box says "Low Maintenance Partner for a stress free, easy life." I laughed...A lot. Peggy (my boss) got me a strand of freshwater pearls and Loye bought me the pearl earrings. I'm wearing both in the picture. Anyway, it was definitely a good way to brighten up a somewhat stressful, running late morning!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Bar Exam...

Well, the day has finally come (or at least tomorrow it will be here)! The Bar Exam starts tomorrow morning at 8am. Matt is nervous. I am nervous. Please pray for Matt over the next 3 days!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Packing...

Well, I didn't reach my goal of having everything packed up and ready to go by yesterday. It has been non-stop packing since I got up this morning. Well, to be honest I haven't really been that motivated. So it's been more like pack awhile, check my email, pack some more, look at facebook, and so on. Our TV is disconnected, so our only form of entertainment is surfing the internet! Anyway, I have realized that packing up a house takes much longer than packing an apartment, or a dorm room! And, when you're packing things to go to 3 different places I think it takes even longer! I feel like I have been packing for months! I did start several weeks ago, just so I could spread it out a bit. I have now taken 4 loads to the house where I'll be staying, each time saying to myself "that should be my last load, except for a few clothes." Today I took a car full of stuff over there and again I thought it would be my last load...WRONG! Although I knew I would have some hanging clothes and my toiletries still to move, as I sit on the futon (the only piece of furniture left in our living room) and look around, I can already see things that I need to take to Rebecca's house! I have come to the conclusion that we have too much stuff. I'm not even a pack rat, and it seems like our stuff just keeps multiplying! Oh well, I'm sure I'll finish in time to fly to Texas on Thursday!

Matt's stuff is all piled up in the dining room, and besides a few things from the kitchen, he is actually pretty much ready to go. He leaves tomorrow to drive to Texas, relax on Monday, and start the Bar Exam bright and early on Tuesday. Already the nerves have started to kick in. He handles stress really well, and generally I can't even tell if he's stressed, but it's starting to show just a little. I have no doubt that he's going to pass with flying colors, but I can imagine that it's probably one of the most stressful situations he will ever face. He has been in school for 3 years, studying intensely for 8 weeks, and now it all comes down to a 3 day test. I think I might be more stressed than he is! Well, I should get back to packing, and trying to find something for dinner. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2nd post today...

So I changed the header for our blog, since Matt will be in Chicago and I'll be in Montgomery. Is it even called a header? I'm not sure. I couldn't think of a catchy title, so I settled for this. Any creative ideas for a catchy title would be given consideration for replacing this title! And...what do you think about the new look?

Our Life...

Our life is a little crazy right now. We've been busy packing up our house and organizing all of our things into 3 piles: going with Matt, going with Lori, or going to storage. I always thought moving was difficult, but moving to 3 different places at once is outrageous! And, Matt has been so busy studying for the Bar, I've been trying to do all the packing by myself so I don't take away from his study time. Passing the Bar is much more important than having everything neatly packed into boxes! He has helped during his "study breaks," although I think he uses packing as an excuse to stop studying! I have most of my stuff moved to Rebecca's house (my new place of residence for the next few months), and most of Matt's stuff is stacked neatly in the dining room. We still need to move the furniture that he is taking to the dining room and a couple of "big" items (the coffee table, washer/dryer), out to the storage shed. I'll definitely have to enlist Matt's help (and most likely the help of some other boy) to move that stuff! My hope is to have everything packed, moved or stacked up by Friday, because after that things will be really crazy! Here's our schedule for the next week:
Friday (25th): going away party for Matt with a few friends
Saturday (26th): final bit of Bar Exam study Saturday morning, attend a wedding Saturday night,
Sunday (27th): Matt teaches his last Bible Class Sunday morning and leaves immediately after church for Dallas.
Tuesday (29th): The Bar Exam starts and lasts until Thursday
Thursday (31st): my last day of work (full-time) and I leave work early so I can fly to Dallas to meet Matt. Stay the night Thursday night with Emily in Dallas.
Friday(Aug 1): camping in Oklahoma with friends on Friday & Saturday night
Sunday (3rd): go to Duncan for a few days (my dad's birthday)
Wednesday (6th): to OKC for wedding preparation
Thursday & Friday (7th-8th): Jen's Wedding (matt's sister)
Saturday (9th): to Tulsa to unpack wedding decorations
Sunday (10th): drive back to Alabama
Monday (11th): Matt leaves for Chicago, I start my internship.

Whew. Ok, so that's actually the next 2 weeks and probably more than you'd want to know, but I thought I'd share. I think writing it all out helps me feel less stressed (until I read back over it). After Matt leaves for Dallas, I'll have to pack up the final few things (the kitchen essentials that he'll take with him, my "work" clothes that I haven't moved yet, etc). All the craziness will probably help me keep from getting sad that Matt is leaving (maybe). I feel like I've prepared myself for it, but we'll see on August 11th when it's all over and he is driving to Chicago! Anyway, just thought I'd put a quick update on our lives for the next few weeks. Please pray for Matt next week as he's taking the Texas Bar Exam! Have a great day!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Possum...

Matt and I went to see George Jones (the "possum") tonight. As with most pictures from concerts, they're not very good. But I did take a video of "He Stopped Loving Her Today," one of George's most famous songs. I just tried to upload it but it's not working right now. So, for now, here's one picture.



This is a picture we took before we left for the concert. I thought it turned out good! Now I'm off to bed. Love you all!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Perpetual Student...

Matt decided to start his own blog. Check it out: The Perpetual Student
P.S. He thinks I'm his secretary and he dictated his newest post for me to type. Yes, I was bored at 10:45 at night and sat here and typed it for him!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chicago (cont)...

When I left off on the last post, we had just finished watching the fireworks with over a million people! Well, those 1 million people had to get home somehow, and since the Chicago public transportation is the primary source of transportation, we rode back home with what felt like a million people. We were so packed in the subway that at one point I couldn't even fit both of my feet on the ground. And we were packed in so tightly that there was no need to hold on when the train started because no one could move anywhere! In fact, Matt was at the door and someone was pushing him trying to get on the train but there were so many people not one more person could shove in. I wish I had a picture, because I'm sure it looked pretty crazy!

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed, and we had a good time just enjoying the city. Friday morning we slept in so we could recuperate from the all night drive the night before. Then we headed down to Wrigley Field for some pictures.













After Wrigley, we went back to the commune for a cookout. (Side Note: I just realized I may not have previously explained the commune. It's where we were staying during this trip to Chicago, and where Matt was planning to live when he moves there. We call it the commune because it actually used to be a commune in the 70's, but now it's an "intentional community." The easiest way to explain it is dorm-style living for adults. The people that live there are all really nice. They live in this dorm place and have a janitor that cleans the bathrooms and a cook that cooks dinner every night. They "share resources" so it's more economical and environmentally friendly. Matt found out about it because a guy that goes to the church we visited on our last trip to Chicago lives there. I know it sounds weird, and it kinda is). Anyway, we stayed at the commune and they invited us for a 4th of July cookout. So we went back (free lunch can't be passed up) and helped get things ready for the cookout. The only strange part of the lunch was, instead of saying a prayer, some guy started talking about our reason for gathering and asked what spirit we should invite to be with us for the occasion (me, Matt, Kayla and Stephen all had the same thought...how about the Holy Spirit?!?). Anyway, that was strange and we all just kind of looked at each other, but it was free and certainly a cultural and educational experience! After the cookout, we headed downtown so Kayla & Stephen could visit the Field Museum. Matt & I had already been, so we just walked by Lake Michigan and chatted. It was a beautiful day outside, although slightly chilly on the lake!

Matt thought I looked funny wrapped up in his sweatshirt!














There were SO MANY boats on Lake Michigan!









We took a water taxi over to Navy Pier where there were tons of people! We decided it was too crowded & we were starving so we headed over the Giordano's (the best pizza ever) and decided to go back to Navy Pier on Saturday. If you ever get the chance to go to Chicago, you should DEFINITELY eat at Giordano's! i can't even describe how good this pizza is, but it's amazing!! Saturday started with a trip to IKEA!!! If you've never been to Ikea, and you like decorating, you should DEFINITELY go! I could spend an entire day and a TON of money in there! Those of you who know me know that I don't generally spend money on anything, but take me to Ikea and I'm in trouble! Since Matt's planning to move to Chicago, and we thought we had his living situation figured out, we had a few things that we needed to buy and this was the perfect opportunity. We got some curtains and storage boxes and a few other things and it was so fun! Kayla loved it too! Then it was back over to Navy Pier for a ride on the ferris wheel and some putt-putt golf for Matty's birthday. Oh yeah, Saturday was Matt's birthday! I got him a new digital camera that took all the pictures in this post (I gave it to him when we got to Chicago, a little early).

In the Botanical Gardens at Navy Pier














Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier--Stephen didn't tell us he was scared of heights until we were at the top!















Top of the Ferris Wheel...










Playing Putt-Putt




Our last day in Chicago ended with dinner at Cheesecake Factory and one last train ride back to the commune. It was Saturday night that made me decide perhaps the commune was not the place for Matt to live (especially if I am going to join him in January!). While we were all trying to sleep, several people were having a fight down on the street corner. We could hear them yelling for a couple of hours. Although the commune seems safe, the neighborhood made me pretty uncomfortable. So, when we got home, Matt started looking for a different place to live. He found an apartment, closer to downtown in a really good part of town. It's about the size of a shoebox, but I think it will be better all around. Matt will be closer to school (only 3 train stops away, instead of 12) and it's in a really nice part of town. Here's a link to the website... http://www.bjbgoldcoast.com/site/property/general/2
If you go to the site and click on "virtual tours," his studio apt should be like Studio 2 on the virtual tours. Check it out! And, I mentioned it earlier, but I think I'll be joining Matt in Chicago in January. I had thought about not going up there (it's really cold, and will be harder to figure out the school systems for substituting or getting a job), but I really don't want to be away from Matt for longer than I have to be. And, he really wants me to come up there. So, I guess I'll brave the cold & head up to Chicago after Christmas! Well, this post has been pretty long, so I guess I'll end here. Our trip was great fun and I'm glad things are finally coming together for the Fall! Love you all!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Holiday Weekend...

We had quite an eventful 4th of July, so prepare for a marathon post!
For this year’s 4th of July celebration, Matt was up to his usual scheming. He decided to plan a trip for the long weekend that, of course, included a surprise destination! In addition, it also included surprise travelling companions, and a surprise day off work. He was all about the surprises for this trip! So, on Tuesday night (July 1st), he told me that I needed to pack for our trip because we had plans Wednesday evening, and would be leaving on Thursday. I later found out that we were actually leaving on Wednesday. Matt called me Wednesday at work and told me to call him when I got off work and he would tell me where to meet him. So, after I ran to Wal-Mart to finish buying his birthday present, I called and he said to meet him at Stephen and Kayla’s house. They were going with us on our trip! We loaded up my car, and headed north on I-65. We stopped for dinner in Birmingham and continued on our way. We took this picture at our dinner stop...we all look happy and excited to be travelling:









I still had no idea where we were going, and by this time it was about 8:00 pm. I assumed we would reach our destination by midnight, or 1 or 2 at the latest. Boy was I wrong. Pictures at our 3 am gas stop...the boys are not looking quite as excited!











After 13 hours in the car and driving through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana, we arrived in Chicago at 7:30 am!! Matt drove the ENTIRE way, without a wink of sleep all night! I couldn’t believe that we actually drove all night long, and I couldn’t believe we were in Chicago! I had a brief suspicion early in the evening that we might be headed there, but quickly dismissed it since Matt will be moving there in a month. However, there we were and we had the whole weekend ahead of us.
When we arrived, we drove by a few of the “sights” (the White Sox stadium, Soldier Field, University of Chicago), we stopped for breakfast then headed to the place we were staying for showers and naps! Refreshed and ready for the day, we headed out to tour the city! This was Stephen and Kayla’s first trip to Chicago, so we had the chance to show them around. After a short train ride to downtown, we stopped for lunch at Ed Debevic’s. It is one of those restaurants where the waiters are rude on purpose, and Matt had so much fun being sarcastic right back. Maybe he should get a part time job there when he moves to Chicago! They also have hats to color and wear while you're eating.


Matt's eyes look a little scary in this picture!

Chicago has their big fireworks show on July 3rd, instead of the 4th. I’m not sure why. They actually had fireworks on the 4th and 5th too, but the big celebration was on the 3rd. So, after stuffing our self at Ed Debevic’s, we headed to the Magnificent Mile to do some shopping before the celebration that evening. If we had money to shop, I definitely could have spent quite a bit on Michigan Avenue! Next we headed to the "Taste of Chicago," which is in a park right beside Lake Michigan. Restaurants from all over Chicago come to the park and you buy tickets to sample the food. It was a lot of fun, although there were SO MANY people! We walked around and ate some snack, then found a place by Buckingham Fountain to wait for the fireworks.
We're still looking a little sleepy in this picture! Although the fireworks started late, we did have some excitement to watch while we waited. First, we saw a kid get arrested for flashing gang signs. Apparently that's illegal in Chicago, and the cop was REALLY UNHAPPY about it! He grabbed the kid by the shirt, slapped handcuffs on him, and dragged him away. Kayla tried to get a picture, but Stephen wouldn't let her! Next, we saw a guy get arrested for climbing on top of the police truck. Don't know what went through his mind that said it would be a good idea to climb on a police vehicle, but the little voice in his head was clearly wrong. The police officer came out of the truck, jerked the kid off it, and threw him inside. He proceeded to bang on the side of the truck for the rest of the night. Quite the exciting time! Oh, and did I mention there were 1.2 million of our closest friends watching the fireworks with us? 1.2 million! I've never seen that many people in my life! Well, this takes you through our first day in Chicago, and now I have to go. It's almost lunch time! Maybe I'll write more this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's been awhile....

So, apparently I subconsciously decided to take a blogging hiatus. I just realized I haven't updated in almost 2 weeks! We have actually had a little excitement in the last 2 weeks...a surprise birthday party & a trip to Chicago! So, tomorrow when I'm bored at work I'll try to write a long update to get everyone caught up! We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So I bought Matt a webcam for our anniversary (so we can see each other & talk when he's in Chicago)! The one I bought originally was $30 and we hooked it all up, and it was terrible! So, we returned it promptly to Wal-Mart (it was a Logitech camera for Skype...don't get it). We then headed over to Circuit City and picked one up on sale for $15. It has a GREAT picture, and Matt is loving it! It's an HP camera...here's a picture of it...


I'm glad Matty likes his present, but it has been detrimental to my sleeping schedule. For example, right now he is on Skype talking to Terry & Barb Craghead in Tulsa. It's 10:40 & definitely my bedtime! Last night he talked to David Lee until midnight. Glad he can enjoy his friends, but I'm sleepy!! Oh, and for those of my friends who are far away...get a webcam and we can see each other! Fun! I guess if Matty's gonna be online all the time, I should be too! We were planning to get one for our nieces, but then we thought that our schedules might not coincide very well. I'm pretty sure Jen puts the girls to bed before 10:30 at night! Maybe we'll be able to talk to them on the weekends.

On another note, my cousin Amy had her baby last night (a little boy named Austin Cole), and my cousin Regina had a baby last month (another boy, named Aidan Harrison) (both on the same side of the family)...I haven't heard it yet but I feel like comments about how it's my turn to pop out a kid will probably be coming soon! No babies for us...not anytime soon that is! Well, I suppose I'm rambling now, but matt's still on Skype! Maybe I'll give up and go to bed without him! Love you all, have a great day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's been three years...

So, today is our 3rd anniversary! I honestly can't believe it has been 3 years since our wedding! Time has flown by, and the past 3 years have been great! Before we got married, we had so many people tell us how hard the first years of marriage can be, that we were crazy for getting married right before law school, and Matt even had an older law student tell him at orientation that if you're married when law school starts you won't be when it's over (maybe we know a lot of negative people). Of course, there were also the friends and family who supported us and told us how wonderful marriage can be. Well, after getting married, moving to a new state, 3 years of law school, and many other challenging circumstances...we have found that the negative comments were completely wrong. What a blessing it has been. 3 years of marriage and still going strong! I'm so thankful for the last 3 years. I have learned so much about myself and Matt and we have both grown and changed so much. I thank God every day for Matt, the blessing of our marriage, and the friends (both old and new) and family that have supported us along the way. We have had so many good times, but also been each others' strength in challenging situations. New challenges are sure to lie ahead (especially with us living in different states from August to at least December), but I know we will have many more good times and God will continue to bless us. Here are 2 of my favorite pictures from our wedding...Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Pomp & Circumstance

Well, we had quite a busy week last week, before Matt's graduation on Saturday! My parents & brother came down for the whole week, Matt's cousin Heath came down on Tuesday, and Matt's parents, 2 sisters and our 2 nieces came on Thursday. We had 9 people staying in our little tiny house at once! Wow! What a weekend! Before all the chaos set in, we went down to Pensacola Beach with My parents, Daren, and Heath. We had a really good time just hanging out & playing in the ocean (aside from having to dodge all the jelly fish!) Here are a few pics for your viewing enjoyment...












Matt had to leave the beach early to go to court for a speeding ticket. The prosecutor said he could dismiss it, if the cop would agree, but apparently the cop was on a power trip. He refused to allow it to be dismissed, and insisted that Matt either go to driving school, or pay the ticket. He got the ticket because he was rushing to get some students from the law school to the airport on time, so that they could fly out to a competition. It was a legitimate reason to be in a hurry (one of the girls was 30 minutes late!), although I told him he shouldn't speed and he wouldn't get tickets. Anyway, Matt will be heading to driving school later this month!

Friday night, brought the beginning of graduation festivities. There was a reception at the law school, for the graduates & their families. We showed all the family around the school & Matt introduced them to some of the professors. Here's a pic before we left to go to the reception (I think the dress I'm wearing makes me look like June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver, all I need is pearls & high heels!):













Saturday was graduation, and it was busy all day long! The morning started off with getting up & trying to straighten up our house for the post-graduation party. This proved to be somewhat difficult with everyone trying to get ready at the same time, but Jen, Heather, and Pam (matt's mom) did a lot to help out. Then, it was off to graduation downtown at the Performing Arts Center (which was much nicer than graduation in the Gym), and back to our house for the party! Here are a few more pics:


And a link to all the graduation pictures:
All in all, it was a great week! It was nice to have all the family here, to play with Chloe & Allie, and to be off work for a week!! Monday marked the beginning of Matt's 8 weeks of studying for the Bar Exam...more studying than he did in law school!! I finished my last class on Monday night, so I have the summer to relax & prepare for my student teaching in the fall. We still don't know for sure where Matt is going to end up after the Bar Exam, but I think he's leaning more towards Chicago right now. Who knows...we shall see! Well, I hope you are having a wonderful day! Love to all!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Surprise!!

Well, I love surprises. Usually, it's Matt surprising me, but this time I got to pull off the surprise. My mom's 50th birthday was Sunday (April 20th), and Dad and I decided several months ago that a surprise party was the way to go. At first, I didn't know if Matt and I would be able to make it, but things worked out and we made plans to go. I have to admit, planning a party from 800 miles away isn't the easiest thing in the world. We planned the party for lunch time at the church, hoping that Mom wouldn't expect anything. I sent out the invitations, ordered the food, & planned the decorations so dad didn't have to try to hide things from her. She can be kind of curious, so we didn't want to risk her finding anything that would tip her off. If I say so myself, everything was perfect! We had about 30 people show up and Mom was COMPLETELY surprised! The cover story to get her to the church was that someone had broken into the church and all of her decorations for baby/wedding showers was scattered everywhere. So, she had to come quick to the church and make sure nothing was stolen so they could report to the police. If you know my mom, you know 2 things about her. 1.)She loves anything that has to do with the police (she falls asleep listening to the police scanner every night). 2.) If someone messes with her decorations, she's gonna be mad. So, as soon as she heard the cover story, any suspicion or thought she had of a birthday party quickly flew from her mind. They got to the church, and she came in saying "they better not have messed with my silver." Everyone hid in the hallway, and as soon as she opened the door they yelled "surprise!" Luckily, she didn't wet her pants, since she had just told Aunt Robbie that she needed to pee! The second surprise came a few minutes later when she realized that Matt and I were there! She had no idea! We flew in the night before, stayed at my Aunt & Uncle's house, and got to the church early Saturday morning to decorate. I'd have to say that Matt and I are masters of the surprise (and Dad & Uncle Kim are excellent liars).

I would have pictures to share, but I left my computer and camera in Duncan. Won't get it back until Matt's graduation...which leads me to my next point. Today was Matt's LAST DAY OF CLASS for his entire law school career! This day came with a mixture of excitement (to be done with school), stress (studying for finals & the Bar starts now), and frustration (still don't know where we're going next). He did have a 2nd interview with a firm in Dallas on Monday, which went well. They don't know when they're going to hire, but act like they'll offer him a job when they decide to hire. So, still playing the waiting game. The option of going to Chicago for an LLM is still in the running too. Someday soon maybe we'll have a final answer! Being in Dallas got me excited because Emily (Tomberlin) and Jared (her husband) just moved there. They're going to live in the Arlington area & Emily will be a children's minister at a church there. It would be really fun to live close to them. Anyway, still trying to figure out the future, but we know that God will lead us in the direction we're supposed to go. We're trusting him to take care of us and provide for our needs. He always has, and we know He always will.

Well, that's about all for now. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Job Hunting...

Well, some of you have asked for an update on the job search...We still haven't heard much. Matt is still talking to the firm in Dallas (things are looking pretty good with them...we think). He is still waiting to hear whether he'll have an interview with the Private Equity Firm in Dallas (hopefully news will come this week), and there is a firm in Houston that he's sent his information to & they should get back to him sometime soon. So, all that to say...he hasn't gotten a job offer, but there are still possibilities in the works.

We were extremely busy last week with the 1L Moot Court Tournament at school. Matt was the Director of the tournament, and I helped with the catering for the Judges and Competitors. It was a pretty big event, but everything turned out great! The only mishap of the tournament was that one of the competitors passed out while he was arguing & we had to call the ambulance to the Supreme Court building!

This week we've just enjoyed relaxing a little bit. We've actually both been sick, so we're being pretty lazy. Lazy days are always welcome. Matt's last day of class for his entire Law School career is NEXT FRIDAY! I can't believe he's almost done! His last final will be on May 9th! 3 years have flown by! Well, I must get to the homework now. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mom...

I know, I know....2 updates in one day is WAY over the top for me. Well, this one won't be long because I'm about to go to bed, and the last one wasn't long because I was REALLY busy at work today (I'm talking, line of students out the door for the entire afternoon). Anyway, I just wanted to welcome my mother to the world of blogs! She just recently read my blog for the first time. Although she thought it was depressing (I really don't mean to be if I am), I think she liked it. I talk to her several times a week, so she pretty much knows what's happening in my life, but I thought she'd like to see the blog world. So, mom, welcome!! Hope you enjoy, and I'll try to be less depressing!

Not much excitement is happening in the world of Matt & Lori this week. I've been busy at work because students are registering for summer and fall classes (and Faulkner is technologically behind, so students can't register online). Matt has been planning and organizing the 1L Moot Court Tournament. It's next weekend, and it's a big deal at the school. Along with that, he's planning a banquet for over 100 people that is at the conclusion of the tournament. So, he's BUSY, but I think he loves every minute of it. Work and school about covers it for us this week.

Oh, quick funny story before I go to bed...yesterday on my way back to work from the post office, I decided to stop and get some tea. I had a tough time deciding between McDonald's ($1 for a large tea, but sometimes too sweet) and Sonic ($2 for tea, but better ice & tea). This was a tough decision, but since I had enough cash, I decided to splurge for Sonic. This turned out to be the wrong choice. After I ordered, the Sonic guy (who is rather feminine) brings out a tray with several large drinks and an ice cream cone. He sticks the tray half way through my window and tells me to take my tea & ice cream. I take the tea, but not the ice cream, explaining that I didn't order ice cream. I turn to put the drink in the cup holder as he's praising me for being such an honest person. As I turn back toward him, I quickly realized that the reward for honesty at Sonic is someone else's large drink spilling through the open window into my lap. Yes, the Sonic Guy dumped the drink through the car window, the lid came off, and the tea went everywhere! He starts going crazy, saying "I'm sorry sweetie, I just sugared you up" (not sure what that meant, but I think he was referring to the sticky tea) & yelling at the Sonic Girl to bring me some paper towels. I get out of the car and start cleaning the ice out and drying the seat & my clothes, and he tells me the next time I come back, he'll give me a coupon. No offer to help me clean up, no offer to give me free tea, just an apology for "sugaring me". Very strange, but I got a good laugh...Well, off to bed...have a good night!

Prayers...

Matt is waiting to hear if he got an interview with a Private Equity Firm in Dallas. Please pray he'll get it!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Slacker...

So, you might be thinking that I'm a blog slacker (and I've only recently promised to update more often). Well, I'm not a slacker, just forgetful!! I have been trying for several days to log in to my blog, but I couldn't remember what email address or password I used! Finally...I figured it out & I'm back!

Let's see, what has happened since I last updated? Well, we went to Chicago. We had a GREAT trip, with beautiful weather on Thursday. Everyone said it was the nicest day of weather they have had since November! We went to Navy Pier and rode the ferris wheel, which gave a beautiful view of the city! (pictures coming soon...). Saturday was the day of the St. Patrick's Day parade. Due to some subway delays, we apparently missed the parade. However, the river was still dyed BRIGHT GREEN, and we got to see all the crazy people dressed up in their crazy green outfits. I joined in on the St. Patrick's day fun & bought an "Irish" hat. (again, pictures coming soon...).

The purpose of the trip was to visit The John Marshall Law School & help Matt decide if that's something he's interested in. While we were there, he was feeling pretty excited about the program. The classes were interesting to him, and he went ahead and enrolled in classes. We visited a place for him to live (a guy from the church there in Chicago lives there) and that also seemed like it was working out. However, when we got home Matt started to waiver on the idea of another year of school. Now he's back to looking at some job possibilities in Dallas. He hasn't totally discounted the idea of school, but I think it's just not his 1st choice. So, I can't say that we're any closer to knowing what is going to happen after Matt takes the Bar Exam, but maybe the trip provided him with a little clarity. Still praying, still waiting for an answer! I'm sure it will come, but I'm impatient sometimes! That's the biggest thing that has happened in the last few weeks. We did go to LTC in Mobile on Easter Weekend. Our congregation actually attends Lads to Leaders in Atlanta, but Matt and I grew up going to LTC. So, the last 3 years we've gone down to Mobile to help out. We sold t-shirts and organized rooms and cleaned things up. It was fun! Well, until next time...have a wonderful day!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Chicago! Chicago!

So when I sit down to write a blog entry, I realize that my life just isn't that exciting. I tried to think of something to write last night...nothing came to mind. No funny stories, nothing. Right now, our thoughts are pretty much consumed with what is going to happen after Matt takes the Bar Exam in July. He was offered 2 jobs here in Montgomery, but we don't want to stay here so he turned them down. While I think it was the right decision, it's pretty stressful to say no to job security! He applied with some firms in Dallas & Oklahoma, but those opportunities don't seem to be working out. Then, a surprise came along...Matt applied to John Marshall Law School (on a whim) and he was accepted! So, currently we think he'll be moving to Chicago for more school. He was accepted into the LLM (Master of Law) program for Real Estate Law. It's a 2 semester program, so he would start in August and finish in May 2009. I have to stay behind in Montgomery to finish my internship for my Master's degree. I'll finish in December, and then I'm not sure where I'll go. The main kink in this plan is that from August-December, I won't have a job from August-December, and right now Matt doesn't have a job either. So, we're not really sure how we'll be putting food on the table during the Fall semester! We're just praying a lot about it and know that God will provide! When I graduate, I might be spending the semester in Duncan (with the parents) substituting. I'm not feeling brave enough to substitute or teach in Chicago! That's all still up in the air, though.

In order to get some answers, Matt and I are going to Chicago next week!! It should be a good trip, and hopefully we'll be able to find a job for Matt! We're having lunch with some attorney's while we're there to discuss the possibility of Matt working with them. The LLM program is a night program, so he could work quite a bit during the day. We're also planning to check out some places that Matt might be able to live, and the church that he'll probably attend. It should be an exciting, interesting, and COLD trip!! I think what I'm looking forward to the most is Giordano's Pizza...deep dish, Chicago style, a little piece of heaven!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes

Ok, so I just realized that I haven't posted since April of last year! So, I've decided to turn over a new leaf and start posting more often (maybe). Our lives aren't extremely exciting, but I'll at least try to keep things updated a little more than once a year!

So for my first post of the year, let me tell you about our Valentine's trip. As Matt likes to do, he decided that he would plan a surprise trip for me. Of course, he tells me he's planning this trip weeks in advance and then takes great delight in me trying to guess where we're going. This I never would have guessed! I took Friday off work and all I knew is that I needed to be ready to leave the house by 9:00 and we would be back on Sunday. The day started off with a 1 hr massage at a local massage school. Very nice, and a great way to start off a relaxing weekend! Then we set out on our trip to the unknown place. All I knew was that we were headed east, and we were going somewhere that was south of the Mason-Dixon Line (a commonly used landmark here in the South). So off we go, down I-85. After we stopped for lunch, I woke up and had no idea where we were! I didn't know what state we were in, and it was obvious that we were no longer on I-85. Matt said we were about 30 minutes away, so of course I started trying to guess. Still no clue. Finally, about 2 minutes from our destination, he tells me that we're going to Juliette, GA to stay in an old plantation house that's a bed and breakfast. At this point I'm thinking, why am I supposed to be excited? I mean, not that I'm not up for staying at a Bed & Breakfast, but he was acting like I would 1.) be able to guess where we're going and 2.) be excited about the place. .. Finally, after a confused look and a feeble attempt to pretend like I was super excited about going to a place I've never heard of, he tells me the exciting part...Juliette is the town where Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed & the Whistle Stop Cafe is actually open for business! Now, in case you're not aware, I LOVE the movie (Matt has been kind enough to watch it with me several times!) This I was excited about. We had a wonderful weekend. The Bed & Breakfast was pretty incredible too! The plantation house was built in the 1920's and it was beautiful! This is the website if you want to check it out...http://www.jarrellhouse.com/. The Whistle Stop Cafe still looks exactly like it did in the movie, and the little town that surrounds it is great! It was so much fun to shop in the little stores and eat FRIED GREEN TOMATOES (the were actually good!) Anyway, we had a fun, relaxing weekend and I definitely appreciated the surprise.