To Do List

I have a lot of things to get done before we leave town tomorrow, so I thought I'd make a to-do list here to keep myself accountable. Please wish me luck!

-go to bank
-vacuum & mop
-clean bathroom
-wrap 1 gift
-clean kitchen
-finish laundry
-pack for our trip
-dinner with friends
-pack car

Possible additions:
-set up itunes/ipod
-make candy
-purchase gift card to Petsmart


Major vent coming your way

OK, so some of my readers know that I was supposed to be in graduate school this semester, working toward getting my degree in Library Science. And that I decided that was not the path I wanted to take, and that then I was looking for a job. A few posts ago I told y'all that I am in fact becoming a stay at home wife, and that I'm really happy about it. I know God has called me to be a stay at home mom, and in the meantime, having a job would just cause me a lot of stress, which is bad for everyone.

Well, since I decided not to go to graduate school and I still haven't found a job (since I'm not LOOKING anymore!), a few of my extended family members are upset with me. They don't yell, or say that they're disappointed, or anything obvious like that. But every time I talk to either of them (my grandma and my aunt, by the way), they ask me how looking for a "career" is going, if I've had any more interviews, if I've thought about volunteering. When I say "I'm planning to start volunteering through my church soon", they always come back with "oh, I meant at the museums!". You see, before the library science degree plan, I was going to go to graduate school for museum science. That's right, it's been almost a year since I decided not to do that. But they still think that's what will make me happy. I explain to them that I don't have enough experience to volunteer at the museums (not mentioning the fact that they are all farther than I'm willing to drive to VOLUNTEER and that I'm not interested anyway), and leave it at that.

You may be wondering to yourself "why not just tell them what your plans are?". That's an excellent question. I am shielding myself from the explosive anger that is sure to follow when I explain that "I'm planning to be a stay at home mom, and I'm trying to have a baby!!". That's right, people, they would be disappointed if I told them I wanted to be a mom already, and appalled that I'm wasting all of my talents and intellect staying at home. It is so frustrating knowing that no matter what I do, I can't really please them unless I have a real "career". And I don't know why I care so much what they think, besides the fact that family is very important to me, and therefore, their opinions of me leave a mark. It SUCKS. I hope no one else has to go through this with their family members, but I'm sure they do. :-(

I'm not sure how much longer I can stand to go around and around with these people, trying to make them happy while ultimately doing what's right for me and my family. I think after the new year, I am going to write each of them a letter explaining my plans and how I feel, and asking them not to make any comments to me about the situation unless they are positive and supportive. I don't need this toxicity in my life, and I don't want to blow a gasket over the phone or in person with them, so I think a letter is the safest way to go.

I know they're going to be pissed, and they'll be even more pissed when I announce that I'm knocked up. But, I'm going to try and not care what they think. I'm going to do what makes me and my husband happiest, and what I know God wants me to do. And anyone who gets upset about that can suck it!

/vent. I feel a little better now.


New look

I've given the blog a facelift! I hope you like it. :-)

Last night after I blogged, I gathered up some Real Simple magazines, my current (/only) knitting project, and my cell and headed to bed. Since I wasn't really sleepy yet, I took up residence in the armchair in our room and knitted for about half an hour, before climbing into bed and reading half a chapter out of Guns, Germs, and Steel. It is a really interesting book so far, especially if you're interested in world history and/or anthropology like myself.

As for the scarf, I believe I started it sometime last winter, and then it got put away for a LONG time. I recently pulled it out again, and I've been working on it a bit ever since. I still have about half of the length left to knit, and then I have to learn to cast off, finish the scarf, and add a fringe. Hopefully my lovely, knitting Nestie friends can give me some tips on that process.

Last night we also made Martha Washington candy. My mom used to make this every Christmas when we were younger, and she hasn't made it in a few years, so I've been reminiscing about it. I decided to make some for the Christmas party we're going to this evening, and it turned out really well! I ended up only making half a batch, because that was all that could fit in my stand mixer bowl (and even that was a tight fit). Here's the recipe and a picture of the finished product:

Martha Washington Candy
2 cans sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand preferred)
3 cups pecan pieces
2 cans flaked coconut (or 1 bag, 14 oz.)
4 boxes powdered sugar
1/2 lb. butter
16 oz. chocolate chips
2 bars paraffin wax

Melt butter, add milk, blend well. Add nuts and coconut. Add powdered sugar (1 box at a time), mixing well after each box. Shape into small balls (as if you were making truffles), place on baking sheets covered in wax paper and freeze for 30 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and wax over a double boiler or in the microwave (for 30 second intervals, stirring in between). This will work best if you cut the paraffin bars into smaller pieces before melting. Use toothpicks to dip the candy balls, drain the excess, and place on wax paper. Store finished candies in the refrigerator.


Bad at blogging

So, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I'm horrible at updating it. I'm going to try and be better. So, I'm going to start a challenge! More to come on that in a future post.

So, since my last blog entries, a lot has happened. Too much to even try and recap. We're now on our 3rd cycle of actively TTC, and I'm really excited about that. We're so glad we didn't wait until January.

I'm still jobless, and I think I'm going to plan on staying this way for a while. The job market is terrible right now, and it's not necessary for me to work for our household to stay comfortably afloat. And Tyler is worried that I'll get too stressed out from working full time {and I know he's totally right}. So, I'm currently a stay at home wife. :-)

Other than that, not much has changed, other than Tyler's commute - it is now about half the length it was due to his office changing locations. We are counting this as a major blessing, since it saves him a lot of stress and saves us a lot of gas money. Even though Tyler's car gets excellent mileage (usually 40mpg each tank), he was going through a tank a week, and that really adds up!

Now, readers, what would you like me to blog about? I'm up for anything - ask me a question, ask for a recipe, challenge me to do something. I'll blog about it! Watch for another post tomorrow (That's December 16, by the way. I'm posting this really late!)



I think it turned out really well! Now I need to move on to the bathroom, which shouldn't take me too long, since I already weeded everything out recently. (and apparently, I really need to go grocery shopping, yikes!)


Cleaning Challenge Check-in

So, today, I did a lot of cleaning in the kitchen! I didn't quite finish, but I took out a huge chunk of work, so I'm pretty proud. Here's the long list, with things I finished in BOLD.

Day 1 - Conquering the Kitchen

Make sure daily is done:
- Clear off all counter tops
- Load dishwasher
- Handwash any dishes needed
- Wipe down sink
- Wipe down stovetop
- Wipe down all the counters
- Swiffer the floor

- Take everything out of the pantry.
- Wipe down shelves.
- Toss old items and donate unused good items.
- Repackage all messy items into nice containers.
- Place all items back into the pantry in an organized fashion.

- Take everything out of the fridge and freezer (placing items in a cooler with all the remaining ice.
- Scrub down the inside and outside of the fridge, shelves, doors, ice maker and freezer.
- Replace water filter if you have one.
- Clean fridge condenser coil.
- Toss old or useless food.
- Place everything back into fridge in an organized fashion.

- Take ALLL your items out of all your cabinets and drawers. Yes... ALL!
- Wipe down the inside of all cabinets and drawers.
- Wipe down the inside of all containers such as utensil holders.
- Store items not used in over 6 months, or summer seasonal items.
- Thinking logically (ie - potholders next to stove, towels next to sink), try to put everything back in a more useful and purposeful place, and in an organized fashion.
- Scrub down the cupboard exteriors, from top of the kitchen to bottom.

All Those Appliances:
-Replace water filters in sink, coffeemaker etc.
-Descale coffee maker (run through white vinegar and then 2-3 more cycles of just water)
-Polish all appliances
-Clean out microwave and vent
-Self clean or scrub out stove
-Clean drain (baking soda, vinegar, cover, sit, then add boiling water to wash it down)

Make it Shine:
-Shine sink
-Dust from top of kitchen to bottom
-Clean that fan or light fixture
-Wash the drain stopper
-Clean and disinfect inside of trash can
-Vacuum and scrub/mop floor


Here are some pictures of my cabinets and fridge before the fall cleaning challenge.

Sorry the fridge one is sideways, I uploaded it directly from my camera.

Fall Cleaning

So, I've finished up my temp work for now. I'm technically going to be "on call" in case they need someone for any big jobs that come up. Which is fine with me!

I also found out about an amazing job opportunity at our church yesterday, so I'm in the process of applying for that position. It is the volunteer coordinator for our church, which is a part time position that sounds perfect for me. I'm praying about it, and would appreciate the same from any of my readers out there!

Speaking of which, I'd like to do a reader roll-call! So, if you read this, post a message and let me know! =)

Finally, I come to the point of this post. I have decided to begin participating in the Hyper Homemaker's Fall Cleaning Challenge. Although the challenge started two days ago, I am beginning today, instead, which means I'll be tackling my kitchen! Here is the list of things I need to accomplish:

-Empty and scrub down the inside of the fridge
-Empty and clean inside of the utensil drawers (I'll also be scrubbing my utensil drawer organizer)
-Scrub down the cupboard exteriors
-Replace water filter in the water pitcher
-Clean drain (baking soda, vinegar, cover, sit, then add boiling water to wash it down)
-Shine sink
-Polish appliances and descale coffeemaker
-Clean out pantry and reorganize
-dust the top of the cabinets and refrigerator
-run a cleaning cycle in the dishwasher
-dust interior of cabinets and line with shelf paper
-mop the floor


Yummy Recipe

This is a recipe that my mom made while I was growing up. It's super easy, and I think it is so good! Plus, it is a one-dish wonder, since it has protein, veggies, carbs, and cheese! If you try it out, let me know what you think! :-)

Easy Shepherd's Pie

1 lb. ground beef (I'm sure you could use ground turkey, too)
1 can tomato soup (I use the low-sodium kind)
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can cut green beans, drained (you can also use French style, if you want)
1 packet instant mashed potatoes, prepared (you can use "real" potatoes, too, but this is easy shepherd's pie, after all!)
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

1. preheat oven to 400*
2. brown ground beef (or turkey) in a large skillet, drain.
3. add tomato soup to ground beef, combine well
4. add both cans of vegetables, and mix well**
5. Pour beef/veggie mixture into a 9X13 baking dish. Spoon mashed potatoes over mixture, starting in the center. (Your mashed potatoes probably won't cover the whole thing, so just try to make a smaller rectangle of potatoes over the ground beef mixture). Cover the mashed potatoes with the cheese, and bake (uncovered) at 400* for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

**I usually make the beef/veggie mixture and then leave it on "low" while I make the mashed potatoes.



I'm such a slacker!

But I vow to do better from now on.

So, since my last post, I have interviewed and been denied for that job. I was really upset about it, even though they said if they could have hired two people, I would have been the next choice. Apparently God had other plans in mind.

So after that job interview, I kept looking online for jobs, but honestly, the market is horrible right now, and nothing was coming up. So I took Tyler's cousin up on an offer to temp at the company she works for. I've been there a little over three weeks now, and while it's nice to be out of the house and making money, I'm not sure how long I can stay there. I'm just doing a ton of data entry right now, which is fine, but it gets to be really boring. I spend more time than I'd like to admit surfing the Nest/the Bump while working. Bad, bad, I know. Anyway, my contract is up on the 31st, and my supervisor still hasn't gotten back to me about whether or not they want to renew it. Hopefully I'll find out about that tomorrow, otherwise we're cutting it pretty close!

Other stuff that we've been up to lately includes: becoming the team leads for the 12:15 service welcome team at our church, watching 2 of our good life group friends get baptized, attending life group and related events, visiting our family, visiting the pumpkin patch, having our friends come and stay with us for a weekend, and getting new pro pictures made. Visit www.jamiecoupaud.blogspot.com for our preview!

The most exciting news of all? We decided to move TTC up, and are now on cycle 1.5 of trying for our first baby. I say cycle 1.5 because we decided last cycle to start trying, but we didn't make this decision until the day I ovulated, so we didn't really get a chance to take full advantage of the cycle. We thought and prayed and talked about this decision a lot, and we really feel that this is the plan God has for us. I know that my calling in life is to be a mother, and I think it's possible that a lot of the reason I wasn't able to find a full-time job is because I'm not meant to be working. I feel called to be a stay-at-home mom, and if we're to get pregnant soon, I would feel awful leaving a relatively new full-time job so shortly. Anyway, we're so excited about this new journey!! We weren't going to tell anyone, but Jamie (from jamiecoupaud.blogspot.com) saw my charting ticker on the Nest and asked me about it, so I told her. I also told one other friend from college, because I didn't want her to think I was a nutcase when we went to Ikea and all I could do was comment on all the cute baby stuff. And finally, I had to tell my mom when we went to visit our parents a few weekends ago. She was seriously contemplating moving to Cleveland for work, and she asked if we were trying, because she knew I would want her closer than Cleveland if I were to be pregnant. I told her that we were trying, and she has now decided to stay in TX. I'm so glad she did, but I'm pretty sure our TTC was just the icing on the cake.

So, there's a short update of our lives lately. Things are good, and it's almost the holidays, so they're about to get even better!


Job searching

As most adults know, looking for a job can be the hardest thing you ever have to do. I've been struggling with this for a few weeks now, and it gets very frustrating. I don't really know what sort of job I might like or be good at, so it's hard to even know what to apply for.

Last week I applied for a position in the college my degree was a part of at the university I just graduated from. It is a temporary, one year position as an academic advisor. I really think I would enjoy this job, because I have always liked helping people get their schedules worked out, figuring out their degree requirements, etc. It also pays a really good salary, which is nice, but not terribly important to my decision making.

About 20 minutes ago I got a call from someone in that office. First, he wanted to know if I was still interested even though it was only a temporary situation, and of course I said yes. Then he asked to schedule an interview for Monday, which I gladly accepted. So, I'm going to interview at 12:30 on Monday! I'm so excited, but really nervous at the same time. I've never had a full-time job before, and I don't have much experience with interviewing at all, either. I think I will do well, though. I'm definitely going to make Tyler practice interview questions with me this weekend, so hopefully I'll be a little better prepared than I am right now.

All in all, I'm really excited about this position. I'm going to have to try really hard not to get my hopes up too high, because I don't want to be too depressed if it doesn't work out in my favor. Wish me luck, and feel free to leave any interview tips as a comment! :-)


I've been tagged again!

This time, by This Is We. Now, I don't know who This Is We is, so please reveal yourself! LOL. Anyway, I'm supposed to write 8 things about myself, and tag 8 people, so here it goes!

1) When I was little, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I wanted to be a paleontologist for the longest time. I still love all things dinosaur!

2) One of my biggest life goals is to be a stay at home mom. I can't wait to have kids and stay home to take care of them.

3) I wish we could skip summer altogether. I love spring and fall, and I can tolerate winter (super-cute clothes, anyone?), but summer is too hot, and I don't really enjoy many summer activities (barbeques, going to the lake, etc). The only good thing about summer is that it's the season by birthday is in.

4) I got married when I was 19 to my middle-school sweetheart. We have been married a little over two years and have been together over 8! :-) I truly believe that God puts certain people in our lives and helps our relationships to blossom on His own time.

5) I love to read. I have always had a love of books and reading, and I almost went to school for library science. I currently have two books I'm waiting to start after I finish re-reading Jane Eyre.

6) My mom is one of my very best friends. We've always had an awesome relationship, and that hasn't changed, despite the fact that we live 300 miles apart. I wish we lived closer, but we still talk on the phone all the time and email each other frequently.

7) I love my in-laws. Not just my mother and father-in-law, but Tyler's brother, sister-in-law, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. And cousins. We all get along really well, and I love having a close, involved family. That's not something I really had much of growing up, and it's nice to know that they approve of me and love me like their own.

8) I can't wait for Thursday night TV to come back! Only a few more agonizing weeks until we're enjoying new episodes of Grey's Anatomy, The Office, etc. I'm also excited for Private Practice (not on Thursdays) and Scrubs (starting later in the season). Eeee! :-D

OK, there's eight things about yours truly. Now I've gotta tag some people:
1) Life So Sweet
2) Leslie G.
3) Mike and McGee
4) Seriously?
5) Newlywedisms by Bryn
6) Better Together
7)3 acres and 3 thousand sqft
8){A Day in the Life}



It's been ages since I last updated, and for that I apologize. The biggest reason I haven't updated is because there is nothing to update about. I did graduate, and that was awesome. I was working at my part time job on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but this week was my last, and now I have nothing to do.

I have vented a lot on the Nest, to my mom, and to Tyler about certain family members who think I will be wasting my four-year degree as well as my intellect and talents if I do not find a real career. Now mind you, if I knew what I wanted to do, I wouldn't be bothered by this so much. However, my degree (anthropology) does not lend itself well to any careers besides academic ones (research or teaching, and both of those only with advanced degrees). And my mom and Tyler both know that I just want to be a SAHM once I have a baby, but if I were to tell my other family members that, they might have tandem hissy fits. Lame-o. Anyway, I've applied for a few jobs (2 full-time career-type positions, and a job at Starbucks!), but I've not heard anything back about those yet. I'm kind of hoping to hear back from the most recent application, which was an Academic Advisor position in the college at the University I just graduated from. I'd love to be able to help other students with their degree plans, scheduling, etc. :-)

Other than that, we've been kind of busy all summer traveling to see family. I went on vacation to Colorado to visit my aunt (one of those certain relatives, btw), which was pretty relaxing over all. Over Labor Day weekend we went to visit some of Tyler's family (OK, his entire family on his mom's side), which was awesome. That trip did not help the baby fever, however, because both our 3 month old niece and our 8 month old second cousin were there. We also found out the only other cousin not to have kids is pregnant, so I had a mini-twinge of jealousy about that, which is kind of lame. We're planning on trying in January, so I just keep telling myself "it won't be long!".

Because of said baby fever, I've been spending a lot of time on the BOTB board on the Nest. Now, lots of people find them to be offensive, but I appreciate their bluntness, and have learned a lot from them. They get a little testy about being asked the same questions over and over again, especially when a little Google can go a long way. Anyway, I've also been looking at Babies R Us's website a lot. I found the perfect quilt for the phantom baby's nursery theme (gender neutral dinosaurs), so I had to buy it. Yesterday at the Dollar Tree, I also found some cute plush dinosaurs, and at a dollar a piece, I couldn't pass them up. Here's a pic of everything together:

That's about all the updating I have for now. Stay tuned!



It's been nearly a month since I last updated! That's terrible, but at least I have a good excuse! I was totally swamped with schoolwork the past month, but now I'm completely finished.

That's right. I'm through with school. I've graduated, in fact. Saturday I walked across the stage and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I'm so excited! I'm also really glad that my husband, mom, and in laws got to watch it happen. They're all really proud of me, and so am I! The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, eating too much, and just enjoying each others' company. We also did a fair bit of Olympic spectating.

Today was spent looking for a job. I created my resume yesterday, and today I scoured Yahoo! HotJobs and CareerBuilder.com, plus applied for jobs at local school districts and a few retail places. All of my applications were done online, and I have one more job that I have to go apply to in person. I think I applied for about 16 jobs total. Luckily I'm still employed until I find something new, but I'm really itching to find something a little more permanent, so we can save more for buying a house and starting a family.

Other than those events, not much has been going on! I've been spending way too much time on the Nest message boards, which is always a fun time. I've also been busy hanging out with friends in between homework and reading for FUN, which has been great. I finally finished reading Pride and Prejudice (which I had started about three times before, and never made it past page 40), as well as John Eldredge's Wild at Heart and John and Stasi Eldredge's Captivating. Now I'm reading Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller. I can honestly recommend all of these books, especially if you're interested in Christian spirituality.

More updates to come!


Grad school?

I thought I should update, since it has been quite a while. I have been very busy with schoolwork lately, not to mention moving and getting unpacked, etc.

These classes I'm in are the core courses for the library science graduate program I'm supposed to start in the fall. I have not enjoyed them very much at all. They are far less interesting than I had hoped, and I do not enjoy the coursework at all. For this reason, I am strongly considering not starting school in the fall. I would love to take the semester off, and I'll probably find a different job, where I can work 20-30 hours a week. I think I need some time to reevaluate my life and decide what's best for me and my family in the long run. I've never felt very strongly about having a career, and I've never really, truly loved working anywhere. The thought of a normal 9-5 job does not entice me one bit, and I don't feel like that is what God is calling me to do. The only thing I know for sure that I am supposed to do in this life is to be a wife and a mother.

Keep me (and Tyler) in your thoughts and prayers, especially over these next few weeks as we try to decide what I will be doing after graduation. This is a really tough decision to make, and we are praying for God's guidance through all of this.

Hopefully I'll manage to update more regularly once I don't have schoolwork anymore. Only 3 more weeks!


Updated Nest bio!

Please check out my newly updated GooglePages bio for pictures of the new apartment. I can't make a longer post because summer school is swallowing me whole right now. I'll be done on August 8, so don't expect much posting before then!

So, visit the link below for my updated bio!

**Thanks to Mrs_mam for letting me know to fix the link. Hopefully it'll work better now!**


Still not done...

Sorry, but still no pictures of the house. We're *thisclose* to being done, but I've been swamped with school, and we're going out of town this weekend.

In other news, a new trend has hit the D&R board: Scrapblog! I've never been one for scrapbooking in real life, because I find that the supplies are super-expensive, I'm very indecisive, and I don't want to waste pictures and supplies only to be unhappy with the results. Digital scrapbooking is more instant, less permanent, and so easy to work with! Here's my first attempt:



Sorry guys. I've been super, super busy with school and unpacking lately. This weekend (Sunday) I'll try to make sure the house is all put together and post some pictures. It's coming along really well, but my class schedule is just CRAZY right now! How's everyone else doing, in the meantime?


I got tagged again! There are questions to answer this time, so here I go!

1) What did you do 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, I was almost 12 years old. It was the summer between my 6th and 7th grade years, and I was excited about going to junior high! I played the flute in band, and my best friend lived one street over from me. I had no idea what the future held for me, but I'm very pleased with how it's turned out so far!

2) 5 Items on Your To-Do List for Today?
a) take a shower
b) eat lunch
c) go to the bank
d) meet JoyGotDots!
e) hang out with Tyler

3) Snacks I Enjoy:
There are really too many to list. I love any kind of sugary treat, from Mike N Ikes to cookies, cakes, pies, pastries of any kind. I recently fell in love with Jell-O rice pudding cups in Cinnamon, and I also love cottage cheese, puffy Cheetos, and ice cream!

4) What Would You Do if You Were a Billionaire?
I would first pay for the rest of my grad school, and then put a ton in savings for a baby someday. I would also buy a new car, the house of my dreams, and a new wardrobe. I'd donate to the church, travel around the world (lots of times!), buy my mom whatever she wanted, and hire a live-in masseuse. The rest would go in savings and investments for retirement and our children's future.

5) Places I Would Live
Colorado, Lubbock, Florida, California, Seattle, France, England, everywhere and anywhere that isn't freezing all the time.

I'm not going to pass this challenge on to anyone, because nearly all the Nesties have been tagged that I can think of, and those are the only people who read this! :-)


Fredericksburg is Fun!

OK, I'm finally getting around to writing that post I've been promising. Don't laugh, but I'm typing this as I listen to an hour-long lecture for one of my classes, while wearing a gaming headset. I'm also drinking some wine. ;-)

So, our trip was pretty awesome. We left EARLY on Saturday morning to drive down. We stopped about halfway to get some IHOP, and then continued on to Johnson City, where we checked out the LBJ Visitor's Center/Museum. It was pretty cool. Then we drove the last 30 minutes or so to Fredericksburg.

We couldn't check in to our B&B until 3PM, so we decided to grab some lunch. We went to the Auslander, which serves German food and also has an outdoor biergarten. We both got different sausage plates, and we were very pleased with the results! Tyler got the knockwurst (sausage with cheddar inside!), and I got Opa's sausage. While we were at lunch, a guy came up to the window we were seated next to and practically put his face on the glass to look inside. It was kind of funny and a little creepy.

After lunch, we decided to walk Main Street and see what was there. There are tons of cute shops, with everything from antiques to dog accessories. We walked for a really long time, seeing what was what. Then we decided to get a coffee, and then go to check in to our B&B. We walked down to the inn, but the owners weren't there, so we had to walk a LONG way to their antiques/home furnishings store. By this point I was already sunburned, but we got there finally and received our keys and instructions. Then we had to walk back down Main to get to the inn.

Once we got there, we unloaded our suitcase and other stuff from the car and went inside. Our room had its own entrance off the veranda, which was nice. We put our stuff away, and then decided to read a little while in the air conditioning. After that, we took a shower and then took a nap. All that walking in the high heat (probably 95) made us tired, not to mention getting up at 6AM on a Saturday.

After our nap, we walked down the street to the Fredericksburg Brewery for dinner. We ordered some beers while we waited, and then got down to the good stuff. I had jagersnitzel (breaded pork loin with mushroom sauce), and Tyler had the uberbacken scheinesnitzel (a baked porkchop with mushrooms, cheese, and other stuff on top. For dessert, we ordered the German chocolate cheesecake to go, since we were too full to eat it after our snitzels.

Later we walked back down Main to the B&B, where we met all of the other people staying there. We had 3 couples staying in the upstairs suite above us. All of the husbands knew each other growing up or from school. 2 of the couples had 8-month old twins, and the other couple had a 4-month old. All of the babies were present with the parents. They were all adorable and did NOT help my baby fever. The people were very nice, and we had a good time talking with them and drinking some more beer. We went to bed pretty early while listening to a really loud bullfrog in the fountain outside.

Sunday we woke up to the smells of breakfast cooking and coffee brewing. We went out into the dining room and greeted everyone, and then went through the buffet line. We got a little history of Fredericksburg from the owner, who also told us about some of the restaurants in the area. After that, we ventured back out onto Main Street to really check out the stores. First we headed to Der Kuchen Laden (The Kitchen Store). This was located in the old Keidel Memorial Hospital, which was in honor of the same people that originally built and owned the B&B we stayed in. This store was a-mazing! It was like the kitchen section of Bed, Bath, and Beyond times 10! They had every conceivable kitchen gadget you could think of or want. We got ourselves a few things: a tea infuser ball and some loose tea, a splatter screen for our skillet, a spoon rest for the top of the stove, and one of those measuring cups like Alton Brown uses:
From there, we continued down the street, checking out shops here and there, as well as taking frequent breaks to sit and rest. We really learned our lesson after the first day! We also found a store that had an awesome gnome lawn ornament with a built in solar lantern. Just like the one featured here on my website! Unfortunately, it cost $100, so we didn't buy it. I did find it online later for around $60, so it's on my wishlist for later! I did take a picture with the gnome, at least. I also took a picture with some local landmarks, one of which was necessary due to my job/schooling.

I also bought some lavender sachets for my dresser drawers and linen storage, so I'm pretty excited about using those at the new apartment! We ate lunch at a place called the Buffalo Nickel, where we both had salads. We needed something light since it was so hot. Mine was called the Pocahontas Salad, which was spinach with sliced strawberries, candied pecans, goat cheese crumbles, and raspberry vinaigrette on the side. It was AWESOME. DH had a club salad and a Blue Moon wheat beer, which was served properly (with an orange wedge!), and was very refreshing. :-) We wandered some more after lunch, stopped at the Fredericksburg Bakery for some pastries and candy, tasted some wine and bought a bottle, and then headed back for a shower and reading. For dinner we ate in the cellar of Der Kuchen Laden at a restaurant called Rathskeller. We ordered some spinach artichoke dip for dinner, which was the best we've ever had. My entree was excellent as well, it was a hollowed-out eggplant, which was then fried and filled with crab meat and shrimp and covered in white wine cream sauce and some cheese. Tyler got German food, but this was not the place for it, so he was kind of disappointed. After that, we returned to the veranda of the B&B and joined our upstairs neighbors for some drinks and conversation before turning in for the night.

That was the bulk of the trip. The next morning we woke up, had breakfast with everyone, and packed up our stuff. Then we took one last walk, stopping in at a store called Dogologie to pick out a new collar for Pongo and some bakery treats to bring home to him. I'll post a picture with his new collar once I get one! Then we headed to a hidden bakery/cafe I had read about on TripAdvisor. It was the best decision of the entire trip, I do believe! We both ordered sandwiches, which have since been declared the best sandwiches EVER. I don't normally like sandwiches for the most part, but mine was amazing! It was fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and tomato, with field greens on focaccia bread. Simply.amazing. We really wanted to buy a loaf of the bread, but they don't normally sell it until after lunch. The waitress took pity on us and asked anyway, but they had just started another batch in the oven and it wouldn't be done before we left town. :-( Maybe next time! They also had amazing looking pastries and desserts, but we were too full.

All in all, we had an amazing time. We definitely want to go back as soon as we get a chance! There are lots of places we want to stop at again, and more places we'd like to buy stuff when we have the extra cash.

That's all for the trip. I'll probably post some more fun pictures later on. Also, I'll update about what's happened since, and our moving adventures after this coming weekend! Stay tuned. :-D


Bad blog mom!

I STILL haven't updated about our anniversary trip. :-( I haven't even had a chance to look at all the pictures yet. Hopefully I'll get it done this week, but don't count on it, because I just started my online classes AND we still have barely anything packed and we're moving on Friday.

On a separate note, we went home this weekend and watched my little sister graduate HS. :-) I'm excited for her.


Had an A-mazing time on our trip. Full update to come soon!


I've been tagged!!

By mrs.leah.maria! So, here are 9 random thoughts from me. :-)

1) I am a very impatient person. Once something is on the horizon of my life, it can't get here soon enough. Some examples currently: I can't wait for my trip this weekend (our 2nd anniversary trip!), I can't wait to be moved into our new apartment, I can't wait for the summer semester to begin and end, I can't wait to be done with graduate school (and I don't even start until the fall), and I can't wait to travel, buy a house, and have kids. OMG.

2) My aunt writes children's book. Her first one was inspired by my birth, of all things. She writes mostly spiritual books, but the kind of spiritual book that works for any faith or denomination. She's also written one book about the annual migration of Canadian geese to Texas. It has super-cute illustrations, and is one of my favorite books by her.

3) I am an aspiring librarian. This seems a strange thing to aspire to, in a way. I have worked in a library for about 3 years total, and while it gets boring at times, I still love it. I'm currently enrolled in the three introductory library science courses, which I'm using to fulfill my electives for my undergraduate degree. My classes start on June 2, and go through August 8. I will graduate August 9, either cum laude or magna cum laude, depending on my grades this summer. Then I will start my master's degree in library science. My concentration will be youth librarianship. I have always loved reading, books, and libraries, and they have been a huge impact on my life. I'd love to have that kind of impact on kids.

4) I have been neglecting this blog, and it' doesn't deserve it! To make up for it, here are some pictures of my recent DIY attempts! I finally spray painted my EW tiles, and they will eventually be hung in our new apartment, either over our bed or above our dresser, depending on where they look best. I also painted this microwave cart from Ikea, with help from Tyler. It will be the perfect addition to our kitchen in the new apartment!

5) I am in love with dessert. Seriously. Tonight I had a chocolate pastry at Panera Bread Co., but it did not live up to my desires. I'm seriously thinking about baking up some brownies right now, because that was my original idea tonight. DH doesn't want them around the house, because we're both trying to diet, but I think that's lame. I may just invite some of my ladyfriends over to help me eat them! I got a great recipe from abby that I might try out. I also found one on allrecipes.com that sounds great!

6) Tyler and I are on a mission to lose some weight and get healthy. He's been on a "Fat Boy Challenge" with a few of his friends for the past two and a half months, and has lost nearly 20 pounds! I'm really proud of him. I've been on my "Sexy Wifey Challenge" for about 19 days, and have only managed to lose 3 pounds. I am jealous of how much easier it is for men to lose weight than it is for women. I'm hoping once we get moved and settled in, we will create a better schedule for ourselves, including meals and exercise. I think living on the third floor as opposed to the first will help, too! For now, we're just trying to eat breakfast more regularly and have fewer snacks and more veggies. Any encouragement or tips would be greatly appreciated! (I'm very inspired by mrs.leah.maria and her running, but I'm not sure running is for me. Tips?)

7) I am slightly embarrased by our video collection. We have maybe 20 DVDs (or sets), total. Most of these are various TV series such as Gilmore Girls (my FAVORITE!), Smallville, and The Office. We have a few movies, several of which we've never watched. My friend Ashley makes loads of fun at our expense because of this. But she also has around 200 movies and shows on DVD or VHS. Any suggestions to help beef up our collection? We're better at renting.

8) Our weekend is going to be fabulous. We are staying at a B&B about four hours from here, in a historic town. The town has lots of German heritage, shopping, and sites to see nearby. We have only been on one other vacation by ourselves in the 8 years we've been together (our honeymoon!), so I'm excited to see what it's like. We don't have any real plans except for where we're staying, and that we want to eat some German food and drink some beer. We're just going to see where the weekend takes us! The only sad part is having to leave our pooch behind. Here's a picture of the room we're staying in. We believe we have found the only B&B in the whole town that is not plastered with flowers on every surface, and we're pretty darn excited about that.

9) Looking back 10 years ago, I could have never imagined what life had in store. Of course, what 12 year old imagines that they will be married at 19, much less for 2 years? I am so happy that I found the husband God intended for me so early in life. I know that He has great things in store for us.

And now, I would like to tag leslie and McCoffee.


New furniture!

Since we're moving into a new apartment soon, we've decided to replace a lot of our furniture. We are getting a new sofa and chair set from Ikea:
We're getting the sofa, chair, and two storage ottomans. We'll also be getting new bedroom furniture and a new mattress. The bed will be from JCPenney, and the wood furniture is from Ikea.

I'm pretty excited about all the changes that are coming up! They've already started, really. The end of the semester from hell (as I like to call it) has come and gone, thank goodness. My last projects turned out better than expected, and I ended the semester with 3 As and a B, which is excellent considering how stressful this semester was.

Tyler just graduated with his bachelor's degree on Saturday, which was super-exciting. My mom and his parents were in town for it, and it was nice to get to hang out with them. We ate lots of good food, talked a lot, and played the Wii a lot. :-)

We begin moving on June 6th. We will be VERY busy that day, because we have to rent the UHaul, load up the big furniture at our current apartment, go buy our mattress at Mattress Firm, drive 20ish minutes to Ikea and get all of that stuff, stop by JCPenney to pick up our bed, and then drive to our new apartment and unload everything to the second floor. All this has to happen in the 6 hours we have the UHaul for. EEek! If anyone has any tips to make this go smoothly, I'd love it if you would enlighten me.

OK, that's it for today. I'll be updating again shortly!


Upcoming entries!

Soon I will be making frequent posts to my blog. Some of the topics soon to come:

-DIY projects I'll be working on
-tales from getting ready to move
-plans for decorating/furnishing the new apartment
-recap of DH's graduation!
-my wishlist (mainly clothing and accessories)
-my weight loss plan
-plans for the summer

I plan to start working on these topics tomorrow, so be on the lookout for a new post soon! :-)


An Uplifting Message

I have this book from Max Lucado called Everyday Blessings. I was reading today's entry (note that I only read the entry every once in a while, usually this book is very neglected), and I found it very comforting. It is based on Hebrews 2:1, which reads We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard. Lucado follows with the following:

"Stability in the storm comes not from seeking a new message but from understanding an old one. The most reliable anchor points are not recent discoveries, but are time-tested truths that have held their ground against the winds of change. Truths like:
My life is not futile. My failures are not fatal. My death is not final."

I think this is an awesome thing to think about. It is so comforting to remember that just because I'm a failure, doesn't mean that I'm condemned. In a society consumed with the pursuit of perfection, it's so calming to know that it doesn't matter, because you can never really achieve perfection. Who you are is OK with God, and it should be OK with you, too.



Well, here it is! My first post on my new blog. This blog will take numerous forms - I plan to discuss my life and everything that goes on in it (so, not much!), as well as my hobbies (cooking, baking, decorating my home, pets, reading), my school endeavors, the weather, blah blah blah.

For today, I'll just give a short introduction to my life, and some of the things in it.

Hello! I'm Katie, and I'm kind of a big deal. Not really, but gotta introduce myself somehow. I'm currently a senior in college, and I will graduate in August with a B.A. in Anthropology, and Art History is my minor. I've been married for nearly two years to this guy:
This is Tyler. We met in April of our 8th grade year, and started dating the following month. We've been together ever since! Tyler is graduating in May with his BBA in Decision Sciences. He's just accepted his first full-time job, and he will be training to be a worker's comp claims specialist for a major insurance company. I'm so in love with this guy, and he provides me with lots of laughter and unconditional love, which I couldn't be more thankful for.

We are both Texans, born and raised. We still live in the Lone Star State, and plan to continue that for a while longer. We live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, with our dog, Pongo.
Pongo is a beagle/shih tzu/pomeranian mix. The most loveable mutt in the universe.

That's the quick and dirty version of our life. We have a lot of changes coming our way, what with graduating, moving, and becoming real adults. I'll be starting a Masters program in Library Science in August, while I continue to work at my part-time library job, where I process new materials. I hope to have enough free time to read, cook, bake, and blog! And of course, there'll always be room in my schedule for my D&R ladies. ;-)