Monday, September 29, 2008

Christmas Craftiness

“The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary.”
-Mary Kurtz

After a Saturday full of house-hunting, I volunteered to stay close to home on Sunday. For the benefits of saving our fuel and getting started on my crafty Christmas presents. I pulled out the sewing machine, scattered fabrics across the floor, and made as much progress as I could. [It’s time for another trip to the fabric store!] The project must stay secret, but here’s a sneak peek at one of the projects.

Yet another post as I dream about the future

“We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there.”
-Charles F. Kettering

We did venture out to house-hunt on Saturday. Rob asked if that risky use of fuel would count as an anniversary gift. Haha, not funny! But, aaaah… anniversary gift?? This year it’s 12 days earlier than years past… not yet accustomed to that.

But, back to the house search… as we ventured from one property to another, we tried to envision ourselves, our personalities, our futures in these houses. Could I pull into the driveway after work and know that I am home? Could we host a party here? Would our relatives comfortably fit in the guestroom? Could I be inspired to craft, dream, and live in this space? Might the kitchen motivate me to cook? And, even as Rob suggested over lunch, is this a great place that our future children might love, too?

Children… babies in our future… again, I will reiterate, not in the immediate future. But they are out there in the distance. Waiting until the time is right.

A conversation I had with A in Charlotte sums up our currently shared philosophy on motherhood. On the surface she and I seem to have such differing views on motherhood, but yet at the heart of it, we found that it’s very similar. When talking of our exciting career changes and how that seems to put motherhood on hold, we decided that “yes, we probably want children someday, but it’s perfectly fine not to want them right now.” Seems so elementary, but for some reason, it struck gold in my heart. Something someone could say to me all day long, but that I have to feel in my heart before I understand and accept.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mountains and molehills

“Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”
-Orison Swett Marden

Just when I think things are working themselves out, smack, I’m hit with yet another obstacle. I can’t even celebrate the successes because I’m waiting, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We were so excited about house-hunting and had a long list of properties to consider…none of them were exactly right.
We found a really good deal on a really nice house (and thought maybe, just maybe, this might be the one)… found out it’s a foreclosure with no opportunity to walk inside, and we’re just not that risky yet.
We fell in love with the historic homes of Charlotte, and thought we just need to find a house, a neighborhood like this…realized that that neighborhood just doesn’t exist in the suburban area where we are looking.
We got some more momentum, finding many more houses that could be possibilities, if only we could drive by them… the gas shortage has us reconsidering our weekend drive up to the suburbs.

Moving to the suburbs is the perfect precipice for changing careers… I’m bombarded with the different options.
Looks like there will be some teaching jobs open in the spring that only require a provisional certificate… not sure if I can teach for a semester and then join the alternative certification process.
My advisor suggests that there might be some permanent substitute positions available for the spring… only they’re in Cobb County—an hour away from our intended location.
A more temporary choice for spring employment is substitute teaching…subbing requires an all-day workshop and references from my current supervisor, neither of which I feel I can conquer right away.
Apparently there is a Masters with certification program at GSU specifically for teachers who are currently teaching—all classes are at night… it’s specifically for teachers with an undergraduate degree in Math, which is not me.
The GSU advisors might be able to work with me on the prerequisites for the Masters program… I’ll have to take at least two upper level Math classes to begin.
I would be certified in three semesters, and then choose whether to continue another year for my Masters… I’ll have to commute into the city several times a week after work, not to mention homework and studying for exams.

What’s a girl to do? I’m trying to get a plan in action, but every time I turn around there’s another obstacle to overcome. Perhaps I’m making mountains out of molehills, but it’s frustrating nevertheless.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Glamour shots

“If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever”
-Winnie the Pooh

We got the professional photos back from Callie's bachelorette party. They turned out great!! In addition to these group shots, everybody got portraits done as well. Now the guests can fill their photo album with these memories. Hope everybody had fun!

Monday, September 22, 2008


“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it's the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friend.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
We spent a lovely weekend with our friends: A & W, in Charlotte. (A, you’ll have to share the photos with W!!) We ate well, got caught up on all the gossip, and fell in love with their 1930’s bungalow.

I was reminded of the most wonderful thing about this friendship: we are all inspired by each other. Not only do the four of us get along really well. We’re all in similar places in life, but we each see it from a different perspective. So after a weekend together, we leave rested and relaxed, but also motivated to try something new or do something a little differently. I left with my mojo refueled. I wish we could do it more often. Maybe someday we will live close enough!!

As we pulled away from their house yesterday evening, Rob sighed and said, “I sure like them.” I agree, I do, too.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A hunting we will go

“Fools build houses, and wise men buy them.”

For the last two nights, Rob and I have huddled up in the gym with the laptop propped up on the workout bench, “stealing” internet from the apartment complex’s clubhouse. We’re preparing for our first afternoon of househunting on Friday. It’s all we think about. It’s all we talk about. It’s all we dream about. Even while at work, we scurry around making lists and mapping out properties.

Some of the conversations we’ve had this week:

J: The only thing I really want in a house is a fireplace.
R: I was just about to say, ‘I don’t really think that we need a fireplace.'
J: Ok, let me clarify… if our house has a fireplace, it has to be a pretty fireplace.

J: Ooh, built-ins… honey, did you see the built-ins?

R: I want an unfinished basement so I never have to come out of it.
J: An unfinished basement? You know that means just concrete, studs, and rafters. No walls.
R: Exactly what I want in a man lair!

J: I though all you wanted was a decent-sized lawn to mow.
R: Yeah, but that would mean we’d have to keep it maintained.
J: But I though that’s why we were buying a house—for a yard!
R: No, the main reason for buying is to establish equity.
J: Oh yeah. I guess that’s one way to look at it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

$1 Hot Dogs, what a deal!

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”
-Angela Monet

Last night we went with friends to the Braves game. It was $1 hot dog night, and the Braves actually won! More runs in this game than the last three or four games we’ve been to, combined.

Rob eating his 6th and final hot dog of the evening.
The girls ate pizza and cotton candy—much yummier than hot dogs!!
And even though the game actually provided a bit of entertainment, we were mostly entertained by the usher in the aisle over from us, who danced every time he heard music—from the Tomahawk chop to the batter’s intro music, and everything in between.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wanted: help around the house

“They shared the chores of living as some couples do - she did most of the work and he appreciated it”
-Paula Gosling

This weekend Rob and I got in an argument. In the heat of the moment, I screamed, “If you’re not going to help me, then I’m not going to help you—not going to do your laundry, not going to cook your dinner.” Not exactly my finest moment…

I was in the middle of the week’s laundry, so I proceeded to weed out all of his clothes from the dirty pile that remained and throw them into the guest room, his “man lair.” Then I shut myself into our bedroom to read for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday morning when I was feeling more like myself I went in the guest room to gather his laundry before I left for work. His clothes were nowhere to be found. Apparently in his eagerness to show me that he can take care of himself, he put away all of those dirty clothes. Back into his drawers, back onto hangers, back into his closet. Yup, he sure showed me!

Monday, September 08, 2008

One step closer...

"I touch the future. I teach."
-Christa McAuliffe

So I’ve gone and done it. I’ve signed up to take two Content Assessment tests on October 25th. I’m one step closer to becoming a teacher. For the next month and a half, I’ll be brushing up on my Middle Grades Mathematics and Middle Grades Social Sciences.

I have the Alternative Teaching Program dates highlighted on my calendar, have figured out how to substitute teach in two counties should we choose to move before I have secured a full-time teaching position (which is my preference actually!), and have my husband on board with my plan—he’s even asking his coworkers for any resources they might have.

Regardless of their college studies, many of my fellow high school classmates have taken jobs as teachers in the last few semesters. Looking back at our extraordinary mentors, it makes perfect sense that our education paths would lead right back to the classroom. We want to make an impact just as our own lives have been impacted.

Blackboards, textbooks and lesson plans, I hear you calling.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Scavenging the city

“Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.”
-Jimmy Buffett

Eager for a cheap, entertaining activity outside the house, last weekend Rob and I met up with our friends M&H for a scavenger hunt around the city. We devised an elaborate set of rules, composed a set of 22 clues (including 2 bonus clues), swapped clue lists, and off we went. Boys against girls! We had two hours to photograph as many of the clues as possible.
We met back at our apartment to review the results and declare a winner. Even with all of the girls’ points that the boys threatened to disqualify (they were a bit too literal in their judging!), the girls still came out ahead!!

I think this just might become a tradition every time M is in town!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Relive our trip with me

“The trip across Arizona is just one oasis after another. I like Arizona.” -Will Rogers

With two cameras (and a flash-happy husband) and seven days in Arizona, we captured over 2200 photos. 14 gigabytes worth. And we even had 3 gigabytes to spare.

Surely you don’t want to see them all, so I’ve posted the best on Flickr.
Our itinerary looked something like this:

  • Saturday: fly to Phoenix, pick up rental car, lunch with the Rodriguez’s, exchange rental car, drive to Tucson, see where Rob grew up, dinner at Pinnacle Peak, stay at Starr Pass Golf Suites
  • Sunday: Mission San Xavier del Bac, Old Tucson Studios, lunch with Rob’s friend Sam, Gate’s Pass scenic drive, walk through El Presidio, dinner at “not-so-authentic” On The Border
  • Monday: hike Sabino Canyon, drive to Sedona, dust storm, rain storm, arrive at Montezuma Castle after it closed, dinner at Red Planet Diner, stay at Sky Ranch Lodge
  • Tuesday: climb Bell Rock, lunch at “more authentic” Angel’s Mexican Restaurant, climb Cathedral Rock, back to Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Wall, our sunset adventure at Airport Loop Trail, dinner at Olde Sedona Bar and Grille
  • Wednesday: drive through Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock State Park, drive to Grand Canyon, lunch at Cruisers Café 66, Rim Trail, dinner at Yavapai Canyon Café, stay at Bright Angel Lodge Cabins
  • Thursday: hike to Plateau Point, via Bright Angel Trail, dinner at The Arizona Room
  • Friday: exit park through East Entrance, late lunch at Cameron Trading Post, stop at Home Depot in Flagstaff, drive to Phoenix, dinner with Adam at Gordon Biersch, and stay at Hyatt Regency Phoenix
  • Saturday: quick breakfast at McDonalds, drop off rental car, fly home to Atlanta
I relied heavily on member reviews from TripAdvisor to plan this vacation, from itinerary schedules to hotels, tourist attractions to restaurants. If you want to know more about these locations, check out my own TripAdvisor reviews of the things we did and the places we went. (There should be 25 of them, although some are currently awaiting approval!)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'm Back...

"No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one."
-Elbert Hubbard

We’ve been back in the Eastern time zone for 4 days now. But this morning, reality hit hard as the alarm went off at 7:00 to get ready for work.

We had a wonderful trip. 2200 photos, 1200 miles, over 20 miles of hiking, 7 days, 4 cities. Later this week, I hope to have stories to tell and photos to show. But I’ve got to sort, organize, rename, and make some sense of them first.

Here’s one to whet your appetite.

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