Sunday, December 30, 2012

Megan's love of dance pop

Yes, you read that correctly.  I have a secret love of dance pop.  Believe me, my husband laughs at me constantly about this.

I listen to pop music in two distinct situations: while exercising and cleaning : )  At the activity center in town, I take about three Zumba classes, two Spin classes, and 2 CRT classes a week, and we do all of our exercises to top 40 pop hits!  (If you think that's overloading...I've lost almost 30 pounds in 6 months thanks to exercising 6 days a week).  And there's nothing that can get me psyched up to clean a bathroom or tackle a pile of dishes after dinner like One Direction, am I right?

2012 was an awesome year for dance pop, so here are my favorites (along with the rest of the country):

Kesha, Die Young - Yes, it's full of debauchery, but it allows me to reminisce about my crazy clubbing nights in Aberdeen as an exchange student.  I drank A. LOT. and danced with probably too many boys.  But it's the only time in my life when I've been that crazy. 

f.u.n., We Are Young - The best song for a hill in spin class

Psy, Gangam Style - Yes, I have done the silly dance in Zumba class.  There is no way to dance to this song without smiling, and I love it!  I also thought the backstory to the song was interesting, that Psy wrote it as a social commentary* on the consumer driven culture of South Korea and ridiculous rap stars. 

One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful - I enjoy this song because it makes me smile and we do a pretty awesome routine to it in spin class involving push ups.  Slate also had a great comparison of One Direction with the boy bands of our adolescence here.

Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - This is a fave of my cleaning routine, because you kind of have to bounce around while listening to it, and that gives me the energy needed to do unpleasant tasks.

Flo Rida, Good Feeling - Just a fun song, and you can't help but dance to it, even if you are washing dishes.

Maroon 5, Moves Like Jagger - Okay, I guess this was a 2011 song, but I really only started listening to it this year.  This is one of my top songs because we do a kick ass abs routine to it in Zumba class.

So if you want to see me dance in public, come to the San Marcos Activity Center most evenings, but you'll probably regret it.  It has been fun to mix up my usual prog rock and indie rock leanings with some good dance pop, and I hope 2013 brings with it some more awesome hits!

* Anyone who can reference my disdain for this term, and the person associated with it, earns a prize

Monday, December 17, 2012

Out and About (and excited about Christmas)

I was able to walk a little bit around town today, which I was so thankful for!  I walked Jon to and from school, and I also went to the post office (as did the rest of our town, apparently!).  I'm still a bit light headed, but my energy level is really good.  Yesterday, I was still so weak, and some of our friends offered to take Jon home with them after church, so we gratefully accepted, and I came home and slept all afternoon!  Since I felt much better today, I'm hoping this means the iron is kicking in, and I'm on the mend.  On the way to pick up Jon this afternoon, I was feeling so good that I contemplated going to my aerobics class Tuesday morning.  Then I stopped to wait for a walk signal, and felt my heart beating super fast and sucked some air...just from walking down the street, so I think I'll wait a little bit on the aerobics classes : )

In other news, I am super excited about Jon's Christmas present this year!  We have ordered him a push bike, and I think he's really going to like it : )  We were able to get it from a locally owned bike shop on our town square, so I feel good about supporting workers in our town.  We pick it up on Sunday, and I'm not sure how we're going to hide it from Jon in our tiny apartment for two days...any ideas?  Jonathan's present also came in the mail today.  It's more utilitarian than fun, but I think he'll like it all the same.  My present was a new phone, and it is already in use...but Jonathan is going to wrap up the box so I have something to open up on Christmas morning : )

Time to go heat up dinner.  Our friends from church have showered us with meals since I came home from the hospital - we are so blessed!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another long week

Hello friends,

I've spoken to many of you directly, but I did want to share this with my far away friends.  We had another miscarriage last week.  Similar to last time, the baby stopped growing around 6 weeks and did not have a heartbeat when I was checked at what should have been 8 weeks.  Different from last time, I experienced significant contractions and excessive bleeding that led to going to the ER Sunday night.  I fainted once we made it to the ER, and I ended up needing emergency surgery to complete the miscarriage and stop the bleeding.  My wonderful mother drove down Monday morning and has been with us all week, since I have been very lightheaded and weak.  I'm most likely anemic from the blood loss, so I'm taking iron supplements in addition to my other medications.  Hopefully I'll be able to be out and about soon.

We are still in the grieving process, and as I get healthier, I am facing trying to get back to the status quo, but without the hope of a baby in the summer.  I realize that in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut today, our loss seems insignificant.  We are very thankful for Jon, and very thankful for all the love and support sent our way.  We are seeking God's will as we want our family to grow, and we are reliant on his timing and his sovereignty in our lives.

Just wanted to share our lives with our friends.  I'm hoping all of you have a happy, blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Cold Outside!

Cold weather has finally come to San Marcos!  I am very excited - flannel sheets, sweaters, cute little boys hats, you name it!  Who knows if the cold is here to stay or if it is just a short cold front, but I will take what I can get.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I voted! Have you?

Jonathan and I went to our neighborhood community center this morning to vote!  Jon was very good - he asked several times where we were, what we were doing, and if we were waiting.  He got to sit in Jonathan's lap at the voting machine, and if I hadn't been afraid that it was against the rules, I would have taken a picture of it - very sweet.  After Jonathan voted, Jon hung onto my leg while I voted.  I told him that it is very important to participate in the election to choose who will run our government. 

Since we're in Texas, one could argue my votes for president and US Congress didn't matter all that much, but I did it anyway.  I also voted for any of our local officials who said they wanted to put in bike lanes and make our town more pedestrian friendly.

So go out and vote today!  Even if you're a Republican ; )

25 reasons from 25 people who are voting Obama:

1. "The Affordable Care Act is saving my daughter's life."
Stacey, Arizona

2. "Obama is for the vets. He helped us wind down in Iraq, he's improved mental health policy with VA benefits."
Joel, Minnesota

3. "Obama stuck his neck out for us, the auto industry. He wasn't going to let it just die, and I'm driving in this morning because of that, because of him."
Brian, Ohio

4. "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive."
Joe Biden, Delaware

5. "Supreme Court Supreme Court Supreme Court."
Andrew, California

6. "Arithmetic."
Bill Clinton, New York

7. "He cares for the 100 percent."
Shana, Texas

8. "When Obama came into office, he successfully renewed our country's place in the community of nations, making cooperation in tackling the world's challenges possible."
Willis, North Carolina

9. "The actions he has taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid."
Colin Powell, Virginia

10. "I was really very grateful to him for standing up for those kids who are having a really rough time out there because of their orientation."
Jane Lynch, California

11. "For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together."
Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey

12. "He has a real plan for rescuing the economy that passes the 'math' test."
Teresa, Virginia

13. "Having someone in office who understands how powerful our voice can be is very important."
Jay Z, New York

14. "I am voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden because I can trust them to care for the middle class and restore the American dream."
Steven, Florida

15. "The first measure he signed into law after becoming president was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- so a female high school counselor or physical education teacher can fight for equal pay for equal work."
Connie Britton, California

16. "I believe in the America he wants for my grandchildren."
Nancy, Michigan

17. "We need four more years of repair, of helping the middle class achieve a sustainable economy."
James Taylor, North Carolina

18. "I've watched him fight for our country, stand by the middle class, the working class, the military, the education of our children, universal health care, women, the environment, and matters of national and domestic security."
Susan, Virginia

19. "The gifted 12-year-old I taught, whose parents were deported and left her here with her grandmother, will be allowed to stay and finish her education. She's been in the U.S. since age one."
Jamie, North Carolina

20. "I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics."
Michael Bloomberg, New York

21. "I have four children who are under 26 and able to stay on my health care plan. That's been huge."
Amy, Pennsylvania

22. "He's fighting to defend and better Social Security and Medicare -- because millions of Latino seniors rely on them."
Cristina Saralegui, Florida

23. "Thanks to the President's efforts to keep student loan rates low, I can expect to save nearly $1000 as I work to repay my student loans. And I don't have too many of those, thanks to the Federal Pell Grant program."
Sam, Minnesota

24. "It's been wonderful to have President Obama as a champion for access to health care for all women in this country."
Cecile Richards, New York

25. "Re-electing Barack Obama would lead to a stronger economic recovery than would be the case were Mitt Romney to win on November 6th."
Jared Bernstein, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat!

Jon's first trick or treating experience was a success!  He said "trick or treat" and "thank you" to all of the neighbors, and he wasn't scared of the scores of zombies we saw.  He also had his first lollipop! 

Hope everyone else had a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quick update

Life continues on at a steady pace here in San Marcos!  I have been helping out at Jon's school a bit more this semester, although my sweet husband yesterday said that maybe I should learn to say 'no' more.  Was that because I was crying on a Friday afternoon because my son was refusing to take a nap for the 6th consecutive day, and I had not been able to get my monumental list of weekly to-do's done?  Probably.  Oh well, I constantly struggle with trying to get everything done and live up to the expectations I put on myself as a stay at home mother.  Seriously, I don't know how families with bunches of kids and/or two full-time working parents manage it - I am in awe!

Here are a few moments from our home over the past couple of weeks:

Jon likes to wear his drum as a helmet, and he thinks he's pretty cool.  One day he said that now that he has a helmet, he can ride a bike like a big boy!  We'll see : )  I have thought about investing in a balance bike, as it seems to ease the transition into big kid bike.  Anyone had experience with them?

Our first LEGO gun.  *sigh*

Reading with Daddy - one of the few moments in the day when he is still (though he is playing with LEGO blocks while he listens to the story)!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A few sweet moments

I am mostly recording this here as a reminder for my future self, but I hope you get a kick out of these moments as well.  As an almost 3 year old, Jon definitely has his challenging days, but he is also so incredibly sweet, curious, and happy!  Here are some moments I have enjoyed this week:

- "I...K...hey!  That spells IKEA!" reading from the bottom of his breakfast plate on Saturday.  I nearly cried, and had to call the grandparents.  His first word to read on his own, and it is the name of a store...

- "This little piggy went to Target..."  Oops...I guess he really does love his stores, doesn't he?

- "Mama, work this puzzle with me on the couch," or "Mama, come play with me, please," or "Mama, you can't do the laundry. You have to play with me." 

- "Where did my penny go?  Maybe I wost it."  He has a toy penny.  Yes, I know it is a choking risk, but he is kind of past putting random things in his mouth, and he LOVES to play with that penny. 

- "Is Sigma so cute, Mama?  I love her!"  "Is that Mr. Knecht? (at church)  I love Mr. Knecht!"  "Is that Snoopy and Woodstock?  I love Snoopy and Woodstock!"  Pretty much any "Is that ____?  I love ____!"

- "Where do we go on Tuesday?"  Often at the breakfast table, we talk about the day to come.  This morning, he started the conversation, and I was so impressed he knew that is Tuesday.  It may have been a coincidence, of course!

Monday, September 10, 2012

First cool day

I know we'll probably crank the AC back on any day now, but I am so enjoying the cooler weather that we've had this weekend.  I am sitting in my apartment with all of the windows open, finally getting to use the screen door we installed in June.  My run this morning was a breeze in the 70 degrees.  Hope everyone else is enjoying the beginning of Fall!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Yesterday, the walls were closing in on me!  Jon woke up with hives all over him, which meant staying home from preschool, spending half the morning on the phone (Jonathan, pediatrician, trying to find a friend to watch Jon while I went to the dentist, the dentist to reschedule my appt for the 2nd time due to Jon being sick, all of the places we went on Tuesday to see if they had cleaned carpets/used bug spray over the long weekend), double washing all of his clothes and bedding in case the new stain pretreater I started using two weeks ago was the culprit, and in general not spending my day the way I had planned.  When I took the trash and recycling out last night at 10 p.m., I realized that was the first time I had been out of the apartment all day! 

So today, I was thrilled that Jon's hives were mostly gone when he woke up, and I had a list of errands to run.  We walked to the bank, the post office, preschool to pay tuition (where Jon was quite disappointed he didn't get to stay), Chipotle for a veggie filled lunch, and then back home.  The sunshine was amazing!  I love living right by our little town square, so we can walk almost everywhere.  If Jon was old enough to do all that walking without the stroller, we would have made a quick trip to the grocery store, too.  He is a good walker - last week I needed to get one of the stroller tires replaced, and he walked with me while I pushed to stroller with the flat tire all the way to the bike shop (about a third of a mile), then to the grocery store.  But I think two walking errands are his max at this point. 

Now I'm full of vitamin D and ready to tackle the rest of my day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Narrow Escape From the Roaring Fires

This is an amazing story of how one man survived the wildfires in our area last year.  I heard it on the radio this morning, and just had to share it.  

A Narrow Escape From the Roaring Fires

Monday, August 27, 2012

San Marcos Tradition #27

Grocery store trip the day before school starts!

Most of us avoid the grocery store during peak hours, especially if you are like me and go to a tiny store.  My grocery store, affectionately called "little HEB" by locals, is just a little bit bigger than the Midtown Schnuck's, for my Memphis friends.  Despite the crowds, though, one of my favorite days to go to HEB is the day before school starts.  For the people watching : )  New college first years, with their deer-in-the-headlights look, push carts as their moms or dads drop in bread and mayonnaise and frozen pizza.  It's very cute and a lot of fun to watch.  Although yesterday I was caught in an aisle with four pint-sized sorority girls trying to decide which flavors of Snak Paks to get. 

Second to the pre-class grocery store trip is the Target trip.  You don't get quite the sense of urgency of the students, though, since it is not such close quarters.

Just enjoying the silly things I do while living in a college town!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Small victory!

This morning I successfully went down one size in jeans! (We were serving in nursery, and at this church, I wear jeans when I'm on nursery duty!)  I haven't been a size 12 since before Jon, and I'm super pumped.  Earlier in the summer, I was diagnosed with poly cystic ovarian syndrome, and put on some medication and diet restrictions.  The PCOS may have contributed to the miscarriage, definitely makes it hard to conceive, and along with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and uterine cancer...let's just say I have been following doctor's orders.  I have joked in the past with friends that I needed a kick in the butt to make behavioral changes, and I definitely have it now!  Kudos to all of you who stay size 6 or 8 without a medical diagnosis : )  I need a professional to tell me that chocolate chip cookies really are a sometimes food! 

Although I have been exercising nearly everyday at our town rec center this Summer, I haven't been running in the heat.  Watching all of the track coverage for the Olympics is making me want to run, though, and I have been toying with the idea of trying for an October half marathon.  Jonathan starts back to work tomorrow, so I'll have a bit more of schedule during the day, and maybe I can take Jon out for a run when Jonathan leaves for work in the morning. 

So excited to see some external proof of my work in my jeans size, so I suppose setting a running goal is next!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Going to see the Muffeps!!!

Tonight, the free movie in the park in San Marcos is The Muppets.  Jonathan and I both love the Muppets, and we saw the movie last Thanksgiving.  Jon asks to listen to the soundtrack about three times a day, and he sings along to all of the songs.  We have been planning to go to the movie in the park since the schedule came out in May, but about three days ago, we decided to tell Jon that we were going.  He has been gleefully saying non-stop "We're going to see the Muffeps!  Outside on the BIG tv! Kermit will be there?"  This will be the first live-action movie he has ever seen - the only two other full-length movies he has seen are the original Winnie the Pooh and the newer version.  So we're hoping he enjoys it and is able to stay engaged. 

I'll be sure to take some pictures to share : )

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives :: Texas Monthly

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives :: Texas Monthly

I wanted to pass along an article about the craziness that has been happening in women's healthcare over the past two years in Texas.  Access to general, preventative health care for poor women in Texas has almost all but been wiped out by our current legislature, senate, and governor.  Since I spend more on my health care premium than I do on rent each month, I am very concerned about affordable access to health care.  All of these decisions were made in the name of reducing abortions in the state.  I think most people reading this know my personal feelings, but here they are just in case: I am morally opposed to abortion, because I do believe that life begins at conception.  I am also morally opposed to a lot of other things that are perfectly legal.  While I wish we didn't have abortions, I understand that providing safe access to abortions is important for those women who choose to have them.  I also think that spending time trying to outlaw abortion is a complete and utter waste of time, energy, and resources.  More time, energy, and resources should be spent on preventing the need for abortions, e.g. increased real availability of contraception, increased education (not just about sex, but about everything), increased support for women who choose to have their babies, and automatic, mandatory child support for men/boys who impregnate women.  I'll stop writing, because the article is long enough.  : )  It's long, but it is worth the read.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Getting big!

August 2010 - 7 months

July 2012 - 2.5

Such a cliche, but so true - he is just growing up right before my eyes! 

He is not happy in the second picture, because it was really hot outside, but this wave of nostalgia came across me, and I HAD to take a picture to do a comparison ; ) 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I really need to take some pictures!

I thought it was about time to add something to the old blog, and when I looked at my iPhone for pictures, I realized I haven't taken any in about a month.  That's what happens when Jonathan is home for the summer and I don't feel the need to document every little thing Jon does. 

So far the summer has been really great!  Our forced car buying experience in the spring canceled our vacation plans, but we have enjoyed our time at home.  I am especially enjoying having Jonathan home, and I am thankful that even though he doesn't make much money as a teacher, we have him home in the summer.  Despite having his extra help with Jon and projects, it's just so nice to have him around!  We have enjoyed a lot of deeper conversations since we have more down time together, and it has reminded me of how much I love him and how he really is my best friend.

Enough of that mushy stuff!

So what have we done at home?  I have organized my home office (not quite finished...but that involves an IKEA trip and convincing my husband that spray painting my file cabinet is a good idea), organized our bedroom closet, participated in an advocate training at our local domestic abuse victim shelter/child advocacy center, and lost 12 pounds.  Still on my to-do list for the summer is organize the rest of the closets in the apartment and sew washable slip covers for my living room storage ottomans. 

We have also had a lot of fun: swim lessons for Jon, going to the river to play, library story time, saw a movie in the park, sidewalk chalk on our patio, lots of rough housing and several bouts of giggle fits.  Jon is pretty much text book boy (yes, I did pull a social work text book off the shelf the other day to check to see if some of his behavior is developmentally is).

Oh, and I bought real clippers, and we gave Jon another hair cut.  Ugghhh....  Not a pleasant experience.  Jonathan taught Jon the word 'brave,' and explained that it means doing something even when you are scared.  Although Jon seemed to understand the concept in theory, he did not exercise it during the hair cut. 

Can't wait to see what the second half of summer brings!  Happy 4th of July! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

7 Years

Jonathan and I celebrated our 7th anniversary this week!  Wow!  Seven years feels simultaneously like such a long time and just like a drop in the bucket - especially as our parents celebrate their 30th and 38th anniversaries this year.  We hired a babysitter and went out to a super nice Italian restaurant in Driftwood (a small town about 45 minutes away from us with several wineries).  We ate some ridiculously good food, drank a bottle of good wine, and enjoyed a wonderful evening together.  Our table looked out over the garden, and throughout the early evening we saw several hummingbirds stopping at the flowers.  A very special way to celebrate a special day!  Can't wait to see what the next 7 years brings us!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


A glimpse of the fun we had in Nashville last month!

I didn't even shed a tear

while packing up Jon's baby toys!  Is it wrong that I am proud of myself? 

Jon has started sleeping in a toddler bed (i.e. his crib with a side removed),

of which he is immensely proud, and we have also started a more intensive phase of potty training (involving a sticker chart, and spending half my day perched on the tub while I coax Jon into peeing in the is not working in case you were wondering).  With all of this big boy stuff, a limited amount of space in our apartment, and an itch to organize, the baby toys have been cleaned and packed away in a storage bin.

Also of importance is that the original due date for baby #2 would have been this Saturday.  I am holding up amazingly well, compared to how I thought I would be feeling at this time.  Although I am still sad, and sometimes still pause painfully when I see a pregnant woman, I have come to grips with reality.  Packing away baby stuff is helping me with that, since I had 'planned' to have kids so close together that there would be no need to pack up baby stuff for a while, or convert Jon's crib to a toddler bed.  Making these small, and ostensibly insignificant steps feels to me much more of embracing the future as it comes, being content with my current circumstances.

A Comparison

What a difference 20 months makes...

Western Swing & Texas Natural Festival

We enjoyed a festival a few weeks ago, held on the lawn of our town square.  We live about a quarter mile from our square, and I pass it nearly every day when I walk to run various errands.  Jon and I were walking home from the Activity Center (spin class), and stopped to listen to the music.  Then we saw all the fun, free kids activities and called Jonathan to walk over and join us.  We ended up eating lunch at the pizza place on the square and made a day of it!  A wonderful, unplanned family day : )

A stagecoach that the kids were actually allowed to play in! (Under the watchful eye of a historical society docent)

Painting a cowboy hat

Listening to the Western Swing music.  Willie Nelson was not there...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Never thought I would miss...

running and washing dishes.  But today I enjoyed both of them! 

Some of you know that I (maybe) tore my right ACL in December.  Walking over a baby gate while holding Jon.  NEVER walk over a baby gate. Ever.  Just my advice : )  After 6 months of rehab at home, doing strength exercises, water aerobics, Zumba, and Spinning classes, I think my knee may be as good as it's gonna get.  I ran about a mile a month ago with another library mom, and most of that run I was huffing and puffing to keep up with her.  This morning I ran about two miles with my husband, and it felt great!  I ran the whole time, never felt like I had to stop, and didn't feel even a slight twinge in my knee.  Yay!  I never thought I would miss running so much, but being forced to stop definitely made me appreciate it.

Our kitchen plumbing also backed up on Friday (we are on the ground floor of a three-story apartment building, so everything that our upstairs neighbors put down their drains ends up in our kitchen plumbing).  It being a long weekend, we went four long days without a kitchen sink or dishwasher.  I prepped as much food as I could at home, but we also ate out about once a day.  I got pretty bent out of shape by having to pile up dishes on the counter.  Some of you may find this hard to believe, as you have been over to my apartment PLENTY of times when dishes were stacked up on the counter ; )  But I honestly have been doing much better at housekeeping this past year, and one of those things is washing dishes promptly.  So to have that taken away from me for four days was no fun.  A wonderful plumber came out today, used a zany machine, and our plumbing problem was gone.  I actually enjoyed washing that huge pile of dishes!! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weekend getaway

Last weekend, I had a fun getaway with my college friends to Nashville.  One of us was getting married, so we came from California, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, and West Tennessee to join in the festivities!  We had so much fun!  I will post some pictures soon, but for now, here are some highlights:

1. Sleeping on the plane!  Really, the entire experience of flying without a 2-year-old was amazing : )
2. Seeing the sights in Nashville - we went to the capitol building, the Parthenon, Vanderbilt, a hipster record store, and even some random public housing...a wonderful walking tour of the city : )
3. Getting dressed up!  I don't think I have worn that much make up, taken as many showers, and straight ironed my hair so much in a 48 hour period as I did last weekend : )
4. Of course, the BEST part of the trip was just hanging out with my friends!  We were simultaneously silly and intellectual - the best combination!  Thanks Becky and Crystal for putting up with me and my constant toddler stories : )

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reading like a grown up

I have never been much of a reader. I left that up to my big sister, who seemed to always be reading a book when we were growing up. Rather, I've never been much of a reader of books. I have always enjoyed reading the newspaper and magazines, and good grief, I spend hours these days reading articles on,,, etc. Most books that I read are YA novels - Harry Potter, Peter and the Star Catchers, etc. This year, I have tried to read more like a grown up. The library has helped with that, since I go there twice a week for story time with Jon, and I don't have to pay for the books : ) I read Tina Fey's book and Mindy Kaling's book...I know, I know, not really adult books. Then I tackled Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Ughh.... About twenty pages into it, I called Becky and asked if this was what all grown up books were like. I hated it, but of course I read the whole thing. Then Charles Dickens' 200th birthday came around, and everywhere I was reading about what a fantastic author and legend he was, and I felt guilty for my skimming of A Tale of Two Cities in 11th grade. With Great Expectations set to air on PBS on April 1st, I checked the book out of the library with the goal of finishing it before I watched it on TV. Hah! I made it until Pip finds out the truth about his expectations, and by then, I was tired with the writing, I was yelling at Pip to leave London, make up with Joe, and marry Biddy! Why didn't he marry Biddy?! I had absolutely no patience for Miss Havisham or Estella. So, I watched the Masterpiece version before finishing the book, and I am glad I did. Seeing it on screen made me feel a bit of empathy for Estella, which I don't think I ever would have if I had just finished the book. With the due date upon me, I skimmed the rest of the book, as if cramming for an English Lit test, and dropped it back off at the library yesterday. What I am left with is a great sense that Charles Dickens wasn't such a fantastic author after all. Am I alone in feeling like all of his books have the same plot? Orphan, new found riches, wait - being rich isn't that great, now I'm poor again but happy? Maybe that's just the books that have been made into PBS television shows...

Any tips on what I should read next in my quest to read like a grown up? The Hunger Games have been suggested, but that's just more YA!

**After writing this, I must add that I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society last year while on vacation. Very good! Highly recommended!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vote. Give. Grow.

Check out this video to learn how easy it is to support Youth Villages! I used to work with a lot of these folks, so it's fun to see them in the video : )

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Still here!

I've been out of the habit of regular blogging, but since I check the blogs of my long lost friends daily, I thought I should at least add my own info : ) Life continues on at its usual pace! Jonathan is immersed in the job hunt for the 2012-2013 school year as well as teaching the high school kids by day and the college kids by night. Jon is a typical 2-year-old with all of the joys and challenges. And I'm trying to keep up with everything involved in keeping a household running. Dinner is always on the table, cookies are usually in the cookie jar, laundry is folded, bills are paid, plants are watered, bathrooms are cleaned, and sometimes the floors get vacuumed! In all honesty, I do not know how families with two working parents do it! When Jon was a baby and I was working full time, Jonathan was home during the day (he worked at night) and took care of a lot of the household stuff. Now that he is working full time, and I'm just part time (my job is from home), I take care of the household stuff. If I was at work away from home all day, there is NO way we could get all of the everyday stuff at home taken care of. I just don't have that much energy!! Kudos to families who make it happen!!

Here are some pictures to share of our adventures over the past few months:

Spring Break with the Hulgan family:

Jonathan's father and grandfather looking out at the cows on the Hulgan family homestead in Alabama. (Note: we will never get this...I think it's going to a 2nd cousin or something...)

Jonathan had to hold Jon, because there was an electric fence, and Jon kept wanting to pet the cows!

Playing with G-Ma (Jonathan's mom) in the front yard in Chattanooga.

Back in San Marcos, enjoying a trip to the park.

Jon is looking at an ant here. When we walk anywhere, he has to stop and pick up sticks or rocks and look at ants and butterflies. I love it! Although it did take us 30 minutes to walk to preschool this morning (when he is in the stroller, it takes me about 5 minutes!)

I used to think I had unlimited patience with Jon - nothing seemed to rattle me too much. Then...he turned 2! I have learned that whining is my mama weakness - it grates on my every nerve, and it makes me a mad woman! Two times this week, I have had to leave the room and calm myself down before intervening in one of Jon's whining tantrums. If I had a dollar for every time I say, "Jon, I cannot understand you when you whine. Please speak like a normal person," I would be rich! I suppose I should stop telling him to speak like a normal person, but it is usually what comes out of my mouth. The funny thing is that when he does repeat his request without whining, it is like robot Jon, "May-I-have-more-grapes-please-Mama!" with each word punctuated. Oh well, I would take Robot Jon over Whiner Jon any day : )

Still sleeping in his crib. We contemplated getting a real bed for him, especially after he slept in one at his grandparent's house. But I must admit that it is nice to still have him penned in a little, so we're holding off on the 'big boy bed' for now. I'm sure by the summer, we'll have him switched over.

Rolling dough! I let him play with some scraps from a pie, and he had a lot of fun : )

Jon learned at school to say 'cheese' when taking pictures. Now I can't get a shot without him making his 'cheese' face! I prefer his 'real' smile, but I'll take what I can get : )
(ignore my recycling pile behind Jon's head!!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Now that I'm 30...

My 30th birthday has come and gone, and I'm still here. My dad reminded me over the phone that even a milestone is just another birthday. Part of me knows that, but part of me was still a bit bummed about turning 30. I think that to me, 30 means that I have to stop pretending to be a kid and just start acting like an adult. My retirement portfolio update for the last quarter came in the mail today...and it's pretty this what adulthood means?

Enough of that! The past few weeks have been very fun, with Christmas and (yes) celebrating my birthday, and having my sweet husband home : ) Teachers may not make much money, but it sure is nice to have "Daddy" home for three weeks! He did do a lot of work planning for the coming semester, but he usually did his work during Jon's naptime and after bedtime, so we had a lot of fun during the day. We slept late most mornings, either stayed at home doing random stuff or went outside for walks and errands. Today was our first day of reality, with Jonathan back a work, Jon back at preschool, and me back on a normal routine. I feel rested, relaxed, and optimistic about the coming semester, which is a very good way to feel : )

Here are a few pictures (we are not picture taking people...thankfully our parents are documenting Jon's growth!!)

Below: Enjoying "Tuba Christmas" on the South steps of the Capitol building in Austin. A grand Pollock tradition to attend this amateur concert every year, and I'm glad Jonathan has embraced it. Note that he is in short-sleeves. I think it was around 65 that day! We even convinced some friends (in the background of the pic w/ Jon & Jonathan) to join us.

We had a post-Tuba Christmas lunch at Stubbs, like we did last year. I wish I had a picture of Jon at the table from last year! I must start taking pictures of these things! We enjoyed our barbecue, but it is nothing like a good, Memphis-style pulled pork sandwich from Central BBQ.

No pictures from Christmas : ( Again...I think my father documented. We enjoyed a lovely worship service at church, came home to a Christmas brunch with a couple of friends, then had naps (all of us!), and opened presents in the evening when my parents came in town. I think I actually prefer that set up over getting up and immediately opening presents. I received a much-needed new pair of Chacos, which I am slowly breaking in, a fun new cookbook (Make the Bread, Buy the Butter), and several other fun gifts. Jon is up to his eyeballs in new toys (only a kitchen and a block set from his parents I might add), and I am seriously going to have to put some away in closets because his toybox, toy basket, and shelves are literally full. There are trucks and stuffed animals lined up on the floor in my living room, and I need to remedy that soon.

Below: For my birthday, my sweet mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law came into town to watch Jon while Jonathan and I had a little mini-vacation in San Antonio for a few days. It was so nice to go out to adult restaurants, see a movie, and enjoy the company of my husband without having to worry about taking care of a 2-year-old. We really appreciate our family coming in town to help us out! Below is a picture from a restaurant on the Riverwalk. It was still decorated for Christmas, and all of the trees with lights were absolutely beautiful!

On Saturday, I had an afternoon at the salon where I enjoyed a mani/pedi and a non-soccer mom haircut. (The last time I had my haircut, I was appalled at how dated it was...this time, I went to a salon where a very sweet, very tattoo-ed girl with blue hair helped me pick out a new style. I think it worked). Below are my ruby-slipper toes to celebrate my birthday : )

So now we jump into 2012 and all it has to offer - hopefully continuing to build friendships in Texas while hanging on to our friendships in Tennessee, enjoying our toddler and laughing to ourselves even as we put him in his 5th time out of the hour, and tackling yet another higher education job search. Although 2011 had its stresses and heartaches, I do believe I grew over the year and I am so thankful for my family that I am with every day.