Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Natural Glow Threads

My sister is an incredibly talented girl. She makes clothes, bags, and jewelry. She paints, draws, and takes beautiful photographs. She has decided to start a blog of her own to show the world her creations. It's still a work in progress but start checking in and letting her know what you think!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Noodles, Noodles, Noodles

It's that time again. Time for my monthly elbow macaroni craving.

I think every month has a week in it in which all I want to do is eat elbow macaroni and only elbow macaroni for every meal (other than breakfast, of course). So, that is what I have been doing the past several days.

I could never give up carbs.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Timeline

A year ago today we got engaged. It feels like just yesterday that it happened. I feel old saying this, but time really does fly.

Mitch and I had a little game we played while we were dating. It involved me asking about the "timeline" and him refusing to tell me. We knew we were going to get married, and he knew when and how he was going to propose, but I had no clue about anything. As much as I asked, though, I didn't really want to know. I wanted the whole thing to be a surprise.

Last year, we headed to the North Dakota State Fair to see one our favorite artists, Keith Urban. We had seen him once before in concert and when we heard he was coming back to the state, we had to go again.

On Friday morning, we drove to Minot and set up camp at the local KOA. Of course, when I say "we" I mean Mitch worked on setting up the tent while I took pictures of him. After the tent was set up, we had lunch and then headed over to the fair. In my 25 years living in the state, I had never been to the State Fair so we spent a couple of hours walking around looking at the booths and taking in the events. One carnival worker tried to win Mitch's business by telling him he should win a stuffed animal for his wife. This of course prompted me to ask about the "timeline," to which Mitch just shrugged and said he couldn't tell me.

Several more hours were then spent waiting by the entry gates to the outdoor concert stadium. The concerts at the fair are on a "first come, first serve" basis, so we had to start our waiting early if we wanted a front row spot. It was in the upper 90s that day so it made waiting a little uncomfortable but definitely worth it. Once the gates opened, it was a mad dash to the front row spots. It was quite crazy, and remained that way (with pushing and shoving), until Keith came out. The concert went along as all concerts do until "Memories of Us" began playing.

When our song began, Mitch got my attention and asked, "Do you want to know the timeline?" He was being incredibly serious and it looked as if he as going to tell me. Before I could answer him with a "No, I don't really want to know," he pulled out the ring and said, "This is the timeline." I was so surprised - I had absolutely no idea it was coming! Of course I started crying (which, for some reason, I didn't think I'd do) and all I could do was nod my head when he officially asked if I would marry him. He put the ring on my finger and, without even looking at the ring, I gave him a hug! Needless to say, after the hug, I couldn't quit staring at my finger. The ring was perfect, everything I wanted it to be. As could be expected, the rest of the concert was a little bit of a blur to me.

The perfect end to a perfect evening involved us eating dinner (crackers and cheese for me, a sandwich for Mitch, all topped off with orange and lime jello cups) in his car in the grocery store's parking lot. It was such a memorable day that even a simple, seemingly unromantic supper, was wonderful. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Two weeks from today we will be married. It's hard to believe it's so close. It doesn't feel real yet. I cannot wait for the wedding - it's going to be wonderful celebrating with all our family and friends. More importantly, I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Humorous quote I found tonight:

"5 out of 4 people don't understand fractions."

Made me laugh. I wonder if my students would get it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Morning Run

Here are some things I thought about and observed on my morning run today (in no particular order).

1. 7:00 a.m. is a beautiful time to run. Dew is still covering the grass and the city has not yet come to life.

2. People on the bike path in the morning are much more friendly than those on the path in the evening. I got a lot of smiles and hellos this morning which was wonderful!

3. Ab workouts before running are not for me. I will not be doing that combination again. Abs AFTER running.

4. All but one of my intervals ended on a prime number. I am not a fan of prime numbers. I am not a fan of odd numbers, either. I don't let my students use either in my class. Only kidding! Honestly, though, it would be a lot of fun to try.

5. Ducks are adorable, especially when walking along the bike trail as if it was made for them! I wish I would have had my camera.

6. I had to scare the bunnies on the trail so they would run away from me, not towards me. These obviously have a lot to learn.

7. My shoes are over a year old and they are still very white. A little too white. Why did I buy such white shoes in the first place?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lightning Lemonade

I cannot chew breath-freshening gum. Peppermint, Spearmint, Winterfresh - none of these flavors will do. My taste buds are not impressed. When I want gum, I want fun flavors. Watermelon Wave, Gonzo Grape, Savage Sour Apple, Carnival Cotton Candy. Now who doesn't want to chew gum with exciting names like those?

I recently bought my usual pack of Bubblicious and in place of the classic bubble gum flavor I found "LeBron's Lightning Lemonade." I was upset that Bubblicious thought they could throw out a classic and replace it with a lemonade substitute. Who wants to chew lemonade? I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, though, and tried it (after complaining about the replacement for several minutes, of course). It was surprisingly delicious. LeBron knows what he's doing in the gum department. Perhaps if basketball doesn't work out, he could choose flavors professionally.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sleepless Summer Night

Research says that you should only lay in bed for half an hour and if you don't fall sleep in that time you should get up and do something. Here I am.

The neighbors are not out smoking tonight which means our patio door is open. This is one of the first summer nights that I have been able to enjoy this way. I can actually hear the sounds of summer - the crickets chirping, traffic and trains in the distance. The air is cool and still, filling our apartment with the freshness that it has needed.

Being able to enjoy summer this way is almost worth not being able to sleep.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Exactly What I Needed

I was surrounded by photos today - my very own photos.

I have been looking at and reading about other's photography this past week, but obviously my soul really needed to experience its own. I feel rejuvenated and excited to get more involved with this wonderful hobby. I feel rejuvenated with life.

I ordered some photos online last week - just little snapshots of the events I have been a part of this summer - and they came in the mail today. I couldn't have been more thrilled, as you could see if you were here in my living room. Photos of loved ones strewn across the floor, empty frames waiting to be filled with memories. There is nothing more I love than to display the beautiful faces of my family and friends.

Today, my new D-SLR finally got to leave the apartment! My fiance bought it for me almost a month ago and I only felt brave enough to use it outdoors today! I'm absolutely crazy for this fact alone. We won't get into all the others. I'm a little saddened when I think about the all the shots and experience (I have so much to learn!) that I have been missing, but after today I feel empowered and ready to do more. I've quit worrying about something bad happening to my little girl and started making good things happen with her (I don't have children, but this camera feels like my baby, hence the "her" reference. Perhaps I'm insane for feeling so attached to an inanimate object, but it sure feels like an extension of myself.). Needless to say, I had a wonderful time being outdoors, doing what I love with someone I love along for the ride. Thanks, Mollie, for encouraging me in my hobby and pushing me to do more with it!

Today was exactly what I needed.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Dawn Dish Soap

Something smells of the old Dawn dish soap my family used to use. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm enjoying inhaling the scent. It's taking me back in time. Surprisingly, not to all the years I spent over the sink (and there were plenty!).

When my sister and I were younger, we used to accompany my father out to the field where he flew his remote-controlled airplanes. Many summer evenings were spent out at that land watching the little airplanes glide through the sky. In addition to the airplanes, my sister and I came up with all sorts of ways to entertain ourselves. Some evenings we played games in the back of my dad's truck, our favorite being the fishing game made just for us. With feet dangling over the back end, fishing poles in hand, we must have been a comical sight. Other evenings we rode our bikes along the dirt path that ran through the field. It's amazing how quickly a bike can transform into a horse when you're in the country! I honestly cannot remember a time when me and my sister didn't have fun out there. Even the ride home was fun, with our stop at McDonald's for cookies and ice cream.

After a day of flying, my dad would meticulously clean off his planes with a mixture of water and Dawn dish soap. I can still see the old spray bottle filled with the pretty blue mixture. I can still hear the sound of the paper towels on the airplane wings.

My sister and I need to go out with my dad again soon. It's been too long.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Saving and Storing

It was a sad day today. If you could, please take a moment of silence to recognize my loss.

Today I said goodbye to four wonderful zip disks. These little guys have been with me for seven years. Seven years! We go way back, so I'm sure you can understand what a tough day it's been. Whatever will I do without them?

It's been a difficult goodbye, but I will always have those beautiful memories of us saving and storing files together.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Surprising and Not-So-Surprising Facts

Surprising facts:

* I worked on lesson plans today. While that in itself is a surprising fact, the even more surprising thing is that it got me excited for the upcoming school year. Talk to me in six weeks, though, and we'll see how I'm feeling.

* It's been three hours since I ate lunch and I'm not hungry yet.

Not-so-surprising facts:

* I'm extremely sore from my run yesterday. I see this being used as an excuse for not doing my weights or stretching later today. Perhaps I'll be good so I can add "Did my weights and stretching" to "surprising facts."

* My nails have grown about 1/16 of an inch (I actually measured) and I'm disgusted. This is the point of no return, however, if I want to have "girly" hands in my wedding pictures. I don't think I'm ever going to get over my hatred of fingernails!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Button Collectors

I saw my future. I saw myself in 60 years.

Yesterday, my cousin and I headed to a small town's 125th Anniversary celebration. It's hard to say if they will hit another monumental number. The town, as of the last census, had about 50 people. I'm willing to bet that most of those that are left (and I don't think it's 50) will not make it to another celebration. In any case, it was a very lovely afternoon with interesting people and great photo opportunities.

The main street was filled with old cars, the town fire truck, and numerous pieces of farm equipment. (I'd like you to find any small town in this state that doesn't show off it's farm equipment.) The one-room school house was open for viewing, as was a log cabin dating back to the 1800s. There was a small band performing, a butter churner churning, and a whittler whittling. One man was making rope, another selling his local honey and berries. There was a petting zoo consisting of one lonesome sheep. Ice cream cones, root beer floats, and lemonade were all being sold for a nickel. You can't go wrong with that price!

The best part of the afternoon was our visit to the old Catholic church. Inside there were dozens of beautiful quilts displayed and several pieces of old clothing from the late 1800's/early 1900's. Nothing, however, beat the experience I had of seeing my future. In the entryway of the church stood a little old lady with her button collection. Hundreds of buttons arranged by color, material, and design, all attached to cardboard for display. I could not believe my eyes.

I started collecting buttons several years ago. I find them so very cute and spunky! And of course, since they are so adorable, I must display them. That's where hot-gluing them onto the glass in picture frames comes in. I currently have six frames hanging up in my kitchen and several more to complete. So, as you can imagine, seeing this old lady with her display made me think of my own personal collection. Give me 60 more years, several inches off my height, and a hat topped with fake flowers and I will be that lady displaying my masterpieces in an old church! I can't wait to show off my creations and have people take their picture with me as if I've accomplished something amazing. Hearing the other old ladies tell me how beautiful my collection is and that they would never have the patience to do it is worth continuing on this path. Oh the places buttons can take you!