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!!)