Thursday, May 28, 2009

Green Thumb

This year I decided to test out my green thumb. I figured the house plant we have had for three years and can't kill (despite months of forgetting it existed!) I must have some skills.

In the garden include:


Green Peppers




Of the aforementioned veggies (and fruits!) Mike will only eat corn. Keep your fingers crossed it actually tastes delicious. 

Junior loves to help out and give the plants aqua. He also loves that I pour water on the deck for us to splash in. 

Who knew gardening could be so fun?! 

My strawberries have been doing wonderfully, despite the fact that it has produced a whole two strawberries. 

These were the best tasting strawberries I have ever had. 

I can't wait for my veggies to come in :)

The little things in life...

I love little moments where my heart melts. There are three people in the world who can melt my heart on a consistent basis; my husband, and both of my nephews. Sadly, one of my nephews lives so far away, I don't get to see him as much as I would like. Here are a couple recent pictures of Mike and my nephew Junior. 

Junior now says "Cheeeessseee" with every picture taken. He also demands to see it, and will exclaim "awwww" no matter what the picture. Too adorable!

Mike is going to make a great dad. I can hardly wait!


Mike and I found a great deal on a new bed set, and Mike absolutely fell in love with it. I have such a terrible time imagining something- I need to see it in person, so I wasn't sold on the new set in the store. I LOVE the colors, and how much it brightens up our room.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reaching Goals...

I am far from athletic. Shocking, I know.

 In high school, I feel down a flight of steps while running for gym class and broke my wrist. After getting my cast off, I went roller skating with my sisters. That trip ended with a visit to the ER to get yet another cast for the same wrist. Most didn't realize I had gotten the first cast off; I was just the girl who had a cast on FOREVER! I have been told I could trip over the pattern in the carpet, to which I agree with whole heartedly. 

The thing is, I love being active. I love being outside, climbing, biking, playing sports, etc. I am competitive, and enjoy all aspects of physical activity. 

My husband is athletic, in every way, shape, and form. Our first date was to a rock climbing wall. Way fun. I love his sense of adventure, but the man is crazy. Last summer, he completed a half- iron man triathlon... and had fun. This summer, he is competing a half marathon, a duathlon, a triathlon, an adventure race, AND an Xterra race.... all for fun. Crazy kid. He is definitely addicted to running. 

Being competitive, I decided that if my husband can do these races, so can I. Well, and the desire to prove to myself I can do it. This meant one thing, I had to start running. Flashbacks to falling down the steps, and skipping the running days in gym class came flooding back. 

First step, order Runner's World. That's right. I believe in research. I need to know facts before I begin, such as the best shoe to buy, and the coolest gadget. 

Second step, make a play list. I have a difficult time running without music (unless of course, I have a running partner). 

Third step. Run. Lets just say, running looks easier than it actually is. Runner's World did NOT mention that :) I quickly realized I need to run with a goal in mind. 

Goal: Run a 10K. 

My first run was a 10 K. It was awesome, fun, and exhilarating. Lots of shin splints, ibuprofen, sweat, and tears went into that race.  My only goal during the race was to finish, well, and to not have a camera catch me taking a walk break. 

Mission accomplished. 

Coming around the corner to finish the race several thoughts crossed my mind. First, "this is definitely longer that 6.1 miles!"; "downhill is surprisingly harder than one would think", and " as long as I beat Mike (who did the half marathon), I will be happy." As I got in eye sight of the clock, I saw that I could finish in 1:30, and dug deep to finish strong. Crossing the finish line, tears poured down my face! To my surprise my next thought was " Let's do that again!"

Wait, what?!?! Does this mean I am addicted too?

My finishing time for the 10K averaged to a 10:20 mile time.... way better than I had been training at.  Its amazing what one is capable of, if you just give yourself a chance to prove it.

Today I began my training for a half-marathon. 

Addicted indeed. 

Photography Contest

On a whim last week, I entered a local photography contest. During the month of May, a local news station has a weekly theme for a photo contest. Last week, the theme was "My Life". Any picture that encompassed the theme was eligible. The prize, a digital camera from a local Camera store.

Last friday (prior to my big day at the Children's Museum!) I was woken up to my phone ringing and my husband telling me that all the secretaries at school saw a picture of him on the news that morning. That could only mean one thing.... I won the contest!! Over 200 photo's were entered, and they picked mine!

I called the photo "Laughter, Love, and Chocolate".

I gave the camera to Junior's mom, Jaimie, as she doesn't have a digital camera. It came just in time for her birthday, and made a wonderful gift!

I still can't believe I won!!!!!

Jaimie's Birthday

If you haven't gathered it already, I am very close with my sisters. As sisters do, we have our differences, but always back each other up when the road gets rough.

(Our outfit coordination was not at all planned. Seriously, we are just that good!)

Last week was Jaimie's 23rd birthday. She decided to get a sitter, so we could go out and have fun for her big day. We started at Roja to enjoy delicious mexican food and tasty margarita's.

Have you had Roja margarita's?? they are deliciouso!

Mike and I had spent the day graduation party-hopping for all his seniors. Needless to say, we had already eaten everything in sight, but managed to make room for Roja. Doesn't Mike look miserable ;o)

We ended up at Lit lounge for a couple drinks. Dancing was involved :)

Here is the photographic proof that dancing occured. Somehow I lost the picture of me dancing..... weird.

Then we headed back to our house so the DD's could partake in a drink as well. More dancing ensued, as well as some Jenga!

Clearly, I put a lot of thought into Jenga. This was such a fun night! We need to do it again really soon!

Summer Reading List

I have a relatively short to-do list this summer. Much shorter in years past. The nice thing about this list? It contains things I want to do for myself, not things I have to do for school, others, etc. I think its so important to have balance in your life, and finally, I am practicing what I preach, and taking time for myself this summer.

My list....
  1. 1. Run a 10k.
  2. 2. Train for a half marathon.
  3. 3. Take a cake decorating class.
  4. 4. Read. A lot.
  5. 5. Photography class.
Number 1 and 2 are in the works. Just a daily schedule/routine I need to stick with. So far, so good. My 10K is this weekend. I have to be honest, its gonna be a lot of walking and running, and not straight running. We all start somewhere, right? I hope to have a time goal for the half marathon. Number 3 needs some action. That is, I need to call and figure out when the next one is an get registered for it. Christine, are you still in?! I am going to have to find people to eat all the cakes I make during this class... any takers?? I will throw in free delivery!
I finally made my list for number 4. I am always open for additional suggestions. Here is my list, in no particular order.

Eat, Pray, Love- Elizabeth Gilbert

Naked- David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris

Dress Your Family in Cordoroy and Denim- David Sedaris

When you are Engulfed in Flames- David Sedaris

Tipping point- Malcolm Gladwell

Take the Canoli- Sarah Vowell

Assassination Vacation- Sarah Vowell

A Wolf at the Table- Augusten Burroughs

Possible Side Effects- Augusten Burroughs

Dry- Augusten Burroughs

Running With Scissors- Augusten Burroughs

Sellevision- Augusten Burroughs

Love is a mixed tape- Rob Sheffield

Hot, Flat, & Crowded- Thomas Friedman

Middlesex-Jeffery Eugenides

Water for Elephants- Sara Gruen

I Was Told There Would Be Cake- Sloane Crosely

Currently, I am reading Eat, Pray, Love. I cannot put it down. I have started Running with Scissors, Naked, and Middlesex before, but have never finished them, for whatever reason. I have a bad habit of starting books and not completing them. Not this year, no sirree.

The photography class is a work in progress. First, I need to get a SLR. I have my eyes set, now I am just searching for a deal I can't resist.

I love nothing more than making lists, and crossing things off. Can't wait to finish all these books this summer, and do things I want to do!

Now to find a pool to lounge next too :)

Children's Museum

I love my nephew to pieces. This summer, now that he is old enough to really have fun on outings (and not nap through them!) my sister Jess, and I have decided to try and get as much quality time in as we can with Junior. A few weeks ago we took Junior to the zoo, and had a blast. Last week, we ventured to the Omaha Children's Museum. Honestly, I wasn't sure if there would be enough to do that would capture his attention, but my oh my, was I in for a surprise!

Junior's mom, Jaimie was able to come with us, which was a pleasant treat as she typically has to work on Friday's. We met for lunch, and then headed down to the museum. After Jess and I got our bearings straight (and were clear on where exactly we were going, haha!), we were in for a lot of fun.

Junior couldn't stop running back and forth, deciding what to play with and do first! We started in a play room that Junior loved.

Next, Junior played with a water display. He enjoyed watching what the other boys were doing, and imitating them. Nothing makes the school psych aunt happier than seeing those steps in play emerge! But I am geeking out....

Junior loved the slides. While sliding down with mom was fun.....

its was fun for Junior to go by himself! I promise he's laughing!

We got to milk a cow....

We got to play with balls! Junior loved when they floated magically....

Junior got to watch Aunt Jen put on a puppet show for him. It lasted a whole two seconds before he realized it was me, and he wanted a puppet too :)

And of course, Junior's favorite activity was the fire truck. He loved to drive it, and would make the siren sounds. Here he is, driving and supplying his own sirens !

There is so much to do at the Children's Museum, I am sure we will be back again soon! Hopefully Junior isn't too upset that the fire truck was a traveling exhibit :(

End of an era...

Saying goodbye to a chapter of our life is never easy. This year was my last "end of the year BBQ" as a student in the School Psych program. This event is always a lot of fun.... full of food, desserts, friends, and laughs. Its a great time to reflect on the year, share summer plans, and continue building on our friendships. This year was no exception.

To start the evening off, some of the second year students unveiled the cakes they decorated especially for this event. While they are only humorous if you are affiliated with School psychology and our program at UNO, they were delicious and enjoyed by all :)

I mean really, what school psych party is complete without a cake dedicated to the RtI process? Does the acronym strike your fancy? Learn about it here.

And what can I say about WAK??? During lectures Brian always reminded us what was "walking around knowledge". While I cannot recall who began calling it "WAK" I can confirm we all enjoyed bringing that work back into our daily vocabulary!

Plenty of food was had, desserts devoured, and laughs were abundant. I am sure going to miss everyone. As some of us still anxiously await our internship placements, others are making plans for positions across the country... one as far away as Alaska!

Cheers to good friends. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Last night, I gave the last presentation I will give as a graduate student. Sure, I will have responsibilities next year to the university, but for all practical purposes, I am done. Eight year's dedicated to one thing, furthering my education and finding a career that is "me".

This journey has not been an easy one. I have questioned who I am, who I have become, and my ambitions, only to uncover the true me- hidden deep within. Finishing has been bittersweet. I am ready to enter the "real world" full of idealistic goals for the future, but I will miss academia. I will miss my peers and the comfort of a professor's guidance.

My eyes look towards tomorrow with an open mind and an open heart. I am ready for the joys and challenges my career will bring. I look forward to making a difference. I am anxious to test my idealism in a world full of realism, and finding the happy medium.

I am content as I settle into me....