Thursday, December 29, 2005

ahh, vacation

so fun little tidbits about the past couple of days...

i love working in a school and having two weeks off. however, there is this whole summer thing coming up in a few months that makes me think i'll enjoy the first few weeks of it and go crazy by the middle of july. the idea of getting a job has occurred to me, but then i like the flexibility of being able to just pick up and go to the beach for the day when the whim hits me. however, just me and the cats hanging out at the apartment is not going to cut it. hmmm...

met up with jennifer last night to catch up and to do christmas. we went to o'charley's, where we met a month ago and had the same waiter we had last time. funny story--jennifer ordered a shrimp dish that was no longer on the menu, but they still made it for her and the couple in the table across from us was eyeing the dish when it came out. the man (who, by the looks of the glasses on the table, had had a few) tells her that the dinner looks good asks her as the server is putting the plate on the table IF HE COULD HAVE ONE OF HER SHRIMP. we don't know this guy, we hadn't had a conversation with them, and he asks for a shrimp. the waiter remembered us after jennifer mentioned the story and he said he's still telling people about that very odd encounter. haha, we're an o' charley's story!

i was sitting around this morning, working on a new knitting project and my phone rang with an unrecognizable greenville number. the woman identified herself as jewel from viquest and asked if i was ready to come down and get started on my new year's resolution. i then remembered that i had filled out some info to enter a contest to win a viquest t-shirt and the opportunity to join viquest with a waived registration fee. she asked if i could come down right then, which i could cause i wasn't doing anything else, and so i drove over and took a tour and yes, got signed up. i had been toying with the idea of joining a health club and this is by far the closest and most convenient for me with where i work and live. it's about a mile down the road and is easy to get to from work, too. and it's a huge, hospital-run place like healthplex back in fayetteville, where it's quiet, everyone has their headphones on, everyone is there to work out and you don't feel like you have to dress up or worry about being picked up. and the whole waived registration fee is worth $99 and my first payment isn't until february. so now that i've got a pretty good feel for my budget, i'm excited about this. i need a reason to stay with something, and this just may be it :)

about to go visit leigh and baby seth. yay for that! i feel like i haven't seen church people in forever (though i did run into jennifer at target yesterday). i spent the better part of the day cleaning up and putting stuff up around here so it actually feels organized. oh, and milo's new bad habit is trying to eat the couch. yes, there are little teeth marks all along the cushions. frustrating does not begin to describe this.

i pulled out my clarinet and played for about half an hour yesterday. thinking of joining the tar river community band. i need some weaker reeds (long gone are the days where i could play vandoren 4's with no problem) and the cats ran under the bed at the sound of the first note. oh well...

alright, off to visit. later!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

sticking around...

so due to unforeseen weather circumstances and difficulties with vacation time, we've decided to put off the trip to WV until sometime in january. i did come on back to greenville and am enjoying spending time with justin and his family. yesterday, we went ice skating with his mom, sister, her bf, and then his grandma took us out to dinner. lots of fun :)

christmas in fayetteville was fun, as always. i got my new digital camera and i absolutely love love love it. it takes wonderful pictures and has so many options that i'm still getting the hang of. i love the way it works with natural light and i'm also having a good time messing with shutter speeds and aperture and stuff like that. i'll tack on a couple at the end. my cousins were amusing, of course, and it was nice to see all of the family. and in a couple of days, we'll see the mason side of the family at my baby cousin's christening.

as for now, i'm just enjoying my time off. later...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

and so i'm offering this simple phrase...

it's christmas eve in fayetteville, and everything is pretty much as it should be. we've taken the presents over to my grandma's, have packed up overnight bags to stay there this evening, and my aunt and cousins are coming down in the morning.

as usual, we're going to the christmas eve service at hay street, though this is the 2nd or 3rd year (i can't remember which) that they haven't done the 11 pm candlelight service. it kinda makes me sad, because i always remember playing handbells to "silent night" and then putting them down, walking to the edge of the balcony and looking down on the congregation as they sang a capella, the tiny candles lighting up everyone's faces. it's one of those great moments that gives you chill bumps, that lets you know that christmas is really here. and sadly, with the new preacher there who has three young children, he has gone to only doing a 5:30 service (which we had before and held specifically for those families with young children). lots of changes, and unfortunately, that's one of those things that i really miss.

i did get to see the fabulous elizabeth young for brunch the other morning. hard to believe that she's turning down offers to play at carnegie hall so she can come back to fayetteville for the holidays. but she is and it's always wonderful to see her, whether it be in north carolina or new york (where i saw her last march). with all of my "fayetteville friends" that i see when i'm home, it's so nice to be able to pick up with them right where we left off. it's like very little has changed during the three or four months since i've seen them, and though i update them on how much has actually gone on, the intimacy and closeness of friendship is still there. like megan helping herself to a bite of my sandwich, laughing in the car with maggie, or elizabeth sharing stories with me about her new boyfriend--these girls are wonderful and after our visit is over, i feel as close to them as i did when we walked the halls of terry sanford. crazy, huh?

the next couple of days will fly by and i apologize ahead of time if i'm not online or don't return e-mails. after christmas day, i'll drive to greenville monday morning where i'll change a few key pieces of clothing (take out light long-sleeve shirts, replace with heavy wool sweaters and ski clothes) and then continue on with justin, heather and wylie to west virginia. potential 11 hours on the road total between my driving in the morning and the rest of the trip. with snow. whoopee. no, in all seriousness, it will be a fun trip and i'm looking forward to spending 5 days straight with justin and getting to try out my skiing skills for the first time in a while (atleast 2 or 3 years). however, i'm fully aware that this trip will most likely convince me that i am an eastern carolina girl through and through and that my blood is too thin for that much cold at that altitude. call my cell phone about wednesday or thursday if you want a good laugh ;)

alright, to everyone--stay safe, have fun, be cheerful, show love to everyone, and of course...

merry christmas to you :)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

oh there's no place like home for the holidays...

so i've been home for a few days and have gotten into all of the friends and family holiday celebration things.

have lunch with megan (and her justin) and catch up on old times? check

go shopping with mom and brave the crowds at the mall? check

evening of fun with maggie and further corrupting her? check

dinner and movie with dad and alan and some "fun with dick and jane"? check

finding my ski clothes and getting ready to brave wild and wonderful WV? check

still on my list--
a couple more presents, some more family dinners, and all that christmas eve/christmas day stuff.... and before you know it, i'll be heading for my "mountain mama" with my very own mountain man. and then new year's eve, new year's day with the mason clan and then i'll be back at work--hey, where'd my break go?

so if you happen to be in fayetteville and want to get together, drop me a line. we'll catch up and i can put you on my list (and check you off). later!

Monday, December 19, 2005

first day of break

so i've gotten into my real "vacation" time--when most of the rest of the world is still working and, as a benefit of being a 10 month employee in a school, i get some time off. i took advantage of it by scheduling an appointment with women's clinic here to get set up as a regular patient. it was fairly painless (except for the finger-pricking part--i HATE that) and i got recommendation for regular doctors in the area as well. i really liked this doctor--redheaded, irish heritage, an ecu grad, pretty young and just very nice. afterwards, i ran a variety of errands including some last minute christmas shopping and getting the apartment and cats ready for the vacation. justin'll be watching them for the first half of the time that i'm gone, and matt and patrice are checking in on them for the second half. so for the first time in a while, i don't have to make them travel anywhere and they can keep each other company. so i ended up with a huge bag of cat food, lots of litter and that fun sort of stuff.

my neighbor (i think on the interior of the building) smokes in their apartment, and for some reason, it has begun filtering into my apartment. it's gotten to the point where i really felt i needed to do something about it, because i can smell it on my clothes when i'm out of the apartment and though it typically comes from my bathroom, it has started coming out into the living room and bedroom as well. so after doing some research online, i've decided to bypass the whole legal action thing (which is the most recommended thing on the internet, but i've caused enough trouble for this year in my apartment complex) and make use of some well-placed filters. a couple in the ceiling vents, and a large one taped to a box fan that acts as circulating filter. we'll see if it makes any significant differences.

i purchased a pair of sperry's today as a sort of christmas present to myself (plus i got a good deal on them). sperry's are very much a boating shoe and the kind that you wear until they mold to your feet, making each pair uniquely and completely your own. it's known that i will wear my rainbows until my toes freeze, and i've been searching the past couple of years for a pair of "winter rainbows." so they may be a bit of an investment, but they certainly are comfortable. i love the quote on the box, "top to bottom, ours is a brand that talks to sailors, kayakers, windsurfers, powerboaters and fishermen. to all men and women who are proficient at marine sports and activities. but it also serves those who delight in just strolling a dock or relaxing on a dock at sunset, watching the waves break. in short, we're for everyone who loves the water or wants to be close to it." true that.

tonight--housewarming party/bunco for one of the women at work and my last time socializing with school people for a while. then, it's off to fayetteville tomorrow until the 26th, and then leaving on the 26th from greenville for west virginia until the 30th (where we have the possibility of skiing and, as always, getting snowed in). i'll have my computer with me at home, though, so feel free to drop me a line or two :)

later, y'all.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

and it's the holidays...

it's been a whirlwind of activity over the past few days. the chinese gift exchange was popular, as always, and we got some great group photos that i hope to get my hands on eventually (my digital camera has finally died--the thumbtack that is currently the shutter button has decided to stop working--so i'm waiting until christmas day for my new one). the gift i brought was the simpsons version of "operation" and everyone was amused as they watched me play and scare myself (yes, i'm that jumpy) and then patrice put on her referee's jersey that she ended up with and decided to be the line referee for the operation game and yelled at me while i was playing and there was much laughing and fast-paced heart beating that followed.

friday was pure chaos at work. parties in all of the rooms, the 9th graders had video games set up on a big projection screen and after all the students left, the teachers had a catered lunch. i'll still get to see my coworkers on monday night, but it will be different to go 2 weeks without seeing my students. that afternoon, justin and i headed to fayetteville where we celebrated my grandma's 75th birthday with the rest of the family. lunch with everyone on saturday, where we had thrilling conversations with my cousins about why buffalo wings are made of chicken, not buffalo, and why if justin had an elephant, he'd name it cletus (never a dull moment with this group). we had some dessert back at my grandma's, and then justin and i headed off to celebrate our anniversary with my present-- a trip to new bern and the candlelight christmas celebration at tryon palace.

sometime last spring, we came up with a list of places we wanted to visit this year. the list included busch gardens, cedar point, the biltmore house, and tryon palace. we had hit almost all of those places during the year, except for tryon, and when i did some research and found out about their candlelight tours at christmas time, i decided it would make the perfect anniversary excursion for us.
we got to new bern and headed straight to the palace, which is only a few blocks away from the historic downtown area where we're gone before when visiting new bern. bought our tickets, walked through the wrought iron gates and entered 1770 where governor tryon was hosting a party for the king's birthday and the grand opening of the palace. the whole experience included various performances by choirs, brass and wind quartets, a juggler and lots of townspeople who walked around in period dress and played different characters. we got in the line to see the palace about 6:45 (right before a big tour bus unloaded) and waited for about 30-45 minutes in a cold, drizzling rain before we got in. the tour itself was entertaining, though not exactly informative, and it did seem smaller when the last historical home i saw was the biltmore estate. we finished up right before 8 and decided to drive downtown to find some dinner before the fireworks at 9. we found this great greek restaurant where i had eaten during my internship back in the spring and enjoyed plates of gyro and souvlaki. back to the palace where at 9, we were treated with a "grand display of illuminations" and then headed back to greenville.

before the night was over, justin gave me his anniversary present--a book that he had made and had published by apple using lots of photoshop pictures, ticket stubs, logos, maps and even a little iPod on each page with a song we listened to a lot during that time. the detail that went into documenting our past year together was amazing, and he managed to capture lots of individual memories, quotes, conversations, and trips through this visual display. he has an incredible memory and can recall the smallest details, and it definitely showed up in this gift. one of his big things with giving presents is that he would always rather find the perfect, personalized gift than to give something generic or a gift certificate. like my birthday earlier this year (with the photo poster, and only 2 months dating each other!) he found the most amazing way to surprise me and show me exactly how he feels.

and today, a year ago from when we first met at starbucks and sat outside talking for two hours, not even going inside to get a drink--he bought me that long-due cup of coffee. happy anniversary, sweetheart. here's to many, many more :)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

it's so close...

i've gotten through the craziness, and without too much stress.
monday night--young adults with another hilarious game of the "flipbook" game with the drawing and words and passing the pile. so much fun!
tuesday night--concert at school with 4th, 5th and band/string classes.
wednesday night--first of our monthly book club meeting. seven women at olive garden, talking about a chick lit book, laughing loudly and enjoying a fun evening with the girls. just plain awesome. :) oh, and we had dip day at work where we do a potluck meal about once a month for lunch. i brought corn casserole.
and tonight--young adults holiday party and chinese gift exchange. i can't tell what i'm bringing, but it's gonna be a popular one.
and tomorrow--party at work and then fayetteville trip to help my grandma celebrate her 75th birthday. this weekend--anniversary events with justin. hard to believe it's almost been a year since that day at the starbucks. maybe this year, he'll buy me a cup of coffee ;)
right now, i'm quite proud of him for his launching of this new business with his brother, scott. pretty amazing, and it's great to see the results already!

that's all for now! later...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

one more week..

so as another weekend winds down, i gear up for the busiest week yet this holiday season. i have an event every night, i'm having to find substitutes and turn down plans and after this coming week, it will be surprisingly relaxed on up to christmas. but i have to get through the next five to seven days first :)

friday afternoon, i was able to help paint the aquarium that will go in our 3rd building. dr. lang, our art teacher for elementary kids, has been planning on painting the base of this aquarium for some time, and we're enlisting the help of several middle schoolers to do an "underwater scene." well, while she and another kid worked on sketches of the fish that will be included, one of my 7th grade girls and i got to paint the watery background, blending all of these fabulous blues, greens, purples and pinks into one wavy ocean of color. SO much fun. i love releasing my creative energy into painting projects like that.

friday night was the first time i had seen justin since last sunday, and it had been a tough week for both of us. just being able to give him a hug and talk to him in person made my entire weekend and it made me realize how much we had missed each other this past week. hopefully that won't happen many more times, but when it does happen, it certainly makes us appreciate our time together even more. i went out friday night to celebrate patrice's birthday, and like last year, we chose to go to tiebreakers (a smoke-free billiards hall/sports bar) for some good ol' karaoke. most of us sang a couple of songs ("first cut is the deepest" and "suds in the bucket" for me) and nathan stole the show again with his rendition of "i believe in a thing called love." the guy even made a comment about how all the good singers seemed to keep coming from the corner back where our table was, if maybe we had all come over from the "singing school." we didn't tell him that no, it was just a singing church :)

saturday was sleeping in--yay!--and then lots and lots of christmas shopping. the biggest challenge was finding a parking spot at the mall, but with both me and justin getting the majority of our christmas shopping done, hopefully there won't need to be too many more trips. and saturday evening was spent at joann's house as she and her husband hosted the economics department at ecu and hallie and i stood in as her 'surrogate daughters' since her actual daughters were away at school and she needed the extra help. i cannot say enough about these two women and what they have done to make me feel welcome at oakwood. they are AMAZING and continually remind me how happy i am to be here.

church this morning, lunch with the crew, a few chores around the house and then dinner and tree-trimming at justin's mom and stepdad's house. lots of fun, and now i'm back here doing some more laundry and getting ready for work tomorrow...

and in one week, justin and i will celebrate a year since we first met. what a year it has been--and what a week it is going to be until then!

that's all for now--later :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

is it the 16th yet?

so as expected, the holidays are getting very very busy. stuff at work is crazy. too much drama going on. i would be rich if i could invent a pill that stopped the horomones until they were about 25 years old or so.

busy-ness in the evenings as well. holiday concerts, plays, dinners and gatherings. and i'll have gone an entire week without seeing my boyfriend tomorrow. that usually doesn't happens unless there are more than 2 hours of traveling between us, but with overtime and lots of meetings, his schedule has been booked. i'm definitely looking forward to the weekend...

knitting is my new favorite past time. and my colorguard is adorable. coordinated? we're getting there.

by the way, the hamster was found. alive, too. he's fatter and has an attitude. must be from living on the street for a couple of weeks.

alright, that's all for now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

rainy days and mondays...

there's a difference between snow and wet, rainy cold weather....

about 4 or 5 degrees!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

so it's been a little while

but it's also been a busy week. this weekend was the first of many holiday-event filled weekends. it's gone well, and it's hard to believe that it's almost monday again. where does the time go?

i have a full colorguard of 8 girls. we have learned drop spins, speed spins, flutters, push spins and attempted push spin/speed spin tosses. i will come up with a routine over winter break (i'm thinking to some aretha franklin "respect") and will teach it in january. SO exciting. i love doing this!

fun times on friday night at our faculty holiday party. we did a white elephant gift exchange, where justin and i brought a pack of wicker paper plate holders and an old bottle of cologne and returned with a ratcheting corkscrew and three bottles of old lady perfume. maybe we broke even. i'm thinking the three bottles of perfume sticks around just to go back next year. popular gift of the night--a stuffed chicken that sings the chicken dance when you squeeze his wing. go figure :)

yesterday, dad came up for lunch--some B's barbeque and Carolina basketball. it was nice to have him visit and see my apartment and meet the cats. also great to let him and justin sit around and talk during the game while i knitted--you get these two going on music and they can talk for hours. then, justin and i headed to fayetteville for dinner at huske hardware and singing christmas tree at snyder. as always, a wonderful show and now i really feel like it's the Christmas season!

and this afternoon--the holiday banquet at church. should be a great time...i'll let you know how it goes later. though i think it will be tough to top nathan and rob's young adults version of "hey ya." that was SO awesome.

did you know that the third and fourth verses of many Christmas carols are really meaningful?

(away in a manger)
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay
close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care,
and take us to heaven, to live with you there.

(Oh Little Town of Bethlehem)
Oh holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today
We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us, our lord Emanuel.

(in the bleak midwinter)
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

straight from the hospital

here's seth :) isn't he a cutie? and less than 24 hours old!

and the search continues...

so after returning from thanksgiving break, the fifth grade class beside my office was dismayed to discover that the door to their hamster cage was open and their baby hamster was gone. they waited a day to see if he showed up again, and when he didn't, they began posting signs along the hall. "LOST HAMSTER (or hampster, depending on who wrote it) THIS BIG (with the appropriate sized circle) VERY FAST, IF FOUND, RETURN TO FIFTH GRADE"

so today, the search has continued for our lost baby hamster. children are scattering crackers on the floor, hoping to lure him out of his hiding place. crazy contraptions involving paper towel tubes, plastic cups and oats are set up in corners of the rotunda. and now, after school, a search party is taking place as the concerned middle school students go up and down the hall with flashlights, trying to uncover the class pet.

(there's also been talk among the faculty of ending the melodrama with either a trip to petsmart or creative use of a lucky rabbit's foot--whether this happens, we'll have to see...personally, i think our recent issue of finding garden snakes and copperheads outside of the school is going to take of this)

so if anyone sees a hamster, especially one in my office, let me know. we're keeping an eye out for him :)

Monday, November 28, 2005

welcome to the world, seth!

after 9 months and 1 week, seth roberson has decided to enter the world. at 10 lbs 6 ozs and 21 1/2 inches, he's made quite an entrance! he was delivered by c-section at 8:55 this evening, and everyone is doing fine. congratulations, rob and leigh, and seth--you're coming into an amazing family :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

three weeks to go...

so thanksgiving weekend is winding down, and after much time with family in fayetteville, justin's family here in greenville and the mason clan in youngsville, i'm back at home and getting ready for the next three weeks until i get a hefty two week-two day vacation break that makes my measley school counselor salary all worth while.

the weekend ended up being great, with a couple of nice evenings with justin's dad, stepmom and sister, and then an awesome football game yesterday with mom and grandma where we watched alan perform his last show as a marching pirate (and watched the pirates hit up UAB to keep them out of the bowl running). most amusing part of this--watching john bream compete as part of the halftime promotion for the GMAC bowl trying to put on a football uniform faster than his other four competitors. i've included a picture just for linda and matthew and the other people out there who would've found this extremely amusing :)

and today, we made it up to billy and maryanne's to meet with that whole side of the family for thanksgiving, including getting to see joseph again. so cute... pictures of him will be up soon!

the next three weeks are going to be crazy...the holidays get busy veeeeery quickly. but drop me a line and i'll make an effort to squeeze you in. and if you're already in my planner--well, you're just lucky.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

the power of four

a benefit of being at home, having lots of free time and plenty of girls to hang out with has led to me watching this movie since it was doomed to never make it on justin's netflix queue. (along with the movie that i saw last night...when i told him we were going to see it, i got a slightly sarcastic, "oh, i'm sorry i'm missing that" response) watching it made me think about chick flicks, chick lit, chick sitcoms... i guess chicks in general, and their tendency to be placed in groups of four.

in case you've missed it, the sisterhood of the traveling pants follows four teenagers over a summer (the books stretch out over a few summers) and we all get to see or read about the coming-of-age stories of tibby, carmen, bridget and lena (my favorite character, played by the ever-gorgeous alexis bledel of gilmore girls fame). as i was musing after the movie and figuring out which character i related to most, i realized that the group of four girls also appears in several other of my favorite movies, tv shows or books. what girl doesn't watch "sex and the city" and try to figure out if she's more like carrie or miranda? and growing up, who could watch "now and then" without relating to teeny more than roberta (or vice versa)? "the baby-sitters' club" started out with kristy, maryanne, claudia and stacy before adding all the rest of the girls. and so it seems the grouping of four works for entertainment and girls. i won't even get into the fact that the myers-briggs personality typology divides your personality into four separate components (hence the four letter codes, i.e. my ENFJ-ness) and that most characters in the groups of four tend to have opposite personalities that complement one another.

and so there is my theory on the power of four. you want a successful book, movie, or tv show for women? give them four entertaining characters that play on those multi-faceted parts of our personalities and allow us, in a small ways, to relate to all of them...

no day but today

so it has been about 8 months or so since i first saw rent on broadway, and i was so excited to hear that it was also coming out as a movie in the fall. it finally came out, after much anticipation, and tonight i went to see it with miss maggie grace (my fayetteville friend) and fell in love again with the rich harmonies of this awesome musical.

the story line is moving--it shakes your opinions on some very controversial topics, and for some people, it is eye-opening and makes them question biases or beliefs they once held. for me, it is another window on a culture of society that is often misunderstood, and a reflection of true "la vie boheme." above all, it is a well-written, thematic musical with this depth of harmonies and intertwining melodies that continues to give me goose bumps. the songs get stuck in my head and i cannot get them out, nor do i want to, and they just cycle around, repeatedly showing the emotion and voices of the characters. how do you measure a year? how about love...seasons of love.

loved this movie. so glad i got to see it with my maggie. and i have a feeling once i get back to greenville, jennifer will have to see it, too :) a plus--"the producers" is coming out in movie version again, with matthew broderick and nathan lane. now that's going to be awesome.

throwback moment of the night--i forgot my glasses and contact case in greenville and came to fayetteville with only my contacts. so in order to function and not hurt my eyes, i'm currently wearing my old glasses circa 7th grade. a slightly different prescription, a very different frame style. what was i thinking in the mid-90's?

look up the lyrics to "rent." or get the soundtrack.... it's worth it :)

i can't control my destiny
i trust my soul, my only goal is just to be
there's only now, there's only here
give in to love or live in fear
no other path, no other way
no day but today...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

helllooooo holidays

so it's finally that time again--a few days off of school where i get to completely relax, see friends and family and be unproductive while also getting paid! yes :)

heading to fayetteville tomorrow, coming back on friday, football game on saturday, and to raleigh on sunday for a second thanksgiving with dad's side of the family. it's actually not quite as busy as i thought it might be, but you know, i'm not complaining. it's nice to have a relaxed holiday every now and then...

my newly hooked-up washer sprung a leak about half an hour ago. nothing too serious, just a little bit of a spill but enough to warrant some concern. so after consulting with justin over the phone, i have tightened the hoses and the leak is gone. yay for me!

last tuesday, marilyn and i met at the mall and she got her ears pierced--of course, since i totally documented the "locks of love" haircut when she lost 10 inches of hair, this also had to be properly photographed. so here she is in one mid-piercing...

and afterwards, a smiling face and some very sparkly ears!

and just in case you were wondering, here's a picture of my christmas tree in my new festive :)

singing christmas tree at snyder next weekend--in my opinion, that's the beginning of my holiday season. i've got extra tickets if you're interested!

travel safe. have a great holiday. and above all--be thankful!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

okay, i'll admit it...

i just spent the past hour putting up my christmas tree, complete with snowman and snowflake ornaments and a lovely blue and silver motif. it makes me happy.

speaking of stuff that makes me happy, i only have two days of work this week. now that's awesome :)

"a league of their own" is on. also makes me happy.

and finally, one of the things that makes me incredibly happy--a belated happy 11 monthiversary to my sweetheart. what an almost-year it has been...for you, a poem by chilean poet, pablo neruda (translated, of course)

i love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
i love you simply, without complexities or pride;
so i love you because i know no other way of loving

than this: in which there is no i or you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that when i fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
~pablo neruda, love sonnet xvii

can't wait to celebrate a year with you next month--now stop buying everything when we go shopping so i can actually have an opportunity to get you a present ;)

later, y'all.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

home, sweet home

so here i am, post-move. i'm so glad it's over and i only have one potential slightly stressful situation to deal with next week. the move went well considering how quickly it was organized, and i am very grateful for my brother and his fraternity brothers for helping me out with the heavy stuff. also to linda and brandon for pitching in. with this being the...5th move? that linda and i have done together (either with her helping me or us moving both of our stuff) she was a pro and was able to come in and take over while i went to pick up justin from a car accident that he was involved in (not his fault, he's fine, and the insurance is taking care of everything--if you want details, check out his site on the right). most importantly, the cats can play all they want with no worrying about how much noise they're making. PLUS--it's handicapped accessible, so the kitchen is wider, the hallway is wider and there's twice as much bathroom counter space. now that's some perks :)

i'm getting ready for the holiday season and all of the events that go along with it. it's like my schedule is already solidly booked through the next five weeks, and it's not even thanksgiving yet. however, i'm excited about everything coming up and i can't wait to put up my christmas tree and decorate it :) would this week be too early?

best thing about the holiday season (atleast in the grocery store)--little debbie christmas tree cakes. yum!

that's all for now--later!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

a balancing act

my life has become this big ol' mess of give and take, like the world is smiting me one second and then blessing me with incredible happiness the next. i have had a stressful week, unlike any that i've seen in a long time. only thing i think of that was comparable to this in the last couple of years is maybe when dad was in the hospital during the summer, or possibly when we had to move in a week at the last apartment. either way, it's been tough. so, to demonstrate my theory, here are the examples i can think of with the ying and yang of the past week...
i've had incredibly busy days that keep me booked and on my toes all day long, which means i'm doing my job but can be a bit overwhelming. but then i've gotten so many compliments about how much they appreciate having me here and how impressed parents are with me, which makes the overwhelming parts all worth while.
i've essentially been scared out of staying at my apartment by myself overnight, and been spending what free time i have packing stuff up and fighting with the rental company about what i think i should be able to expect from them. but--i've also had some awesome friends open up their homes to me and my cats, and we've all stayed comfortable and warm and safe, and i can't explain how wonderful that has been.
i drove around greenville for about an hour and a half last night, going from school to the rental office to the electric company to rob and leigh's to school to matt and patrice's to my place to pick up dinner and then to church. i hit horrible traffic on the way and chose a route that was closed by the police at one point, so we all had to turn around and go back the way we came. i forgot my cell phone and the book i was going to use for class in my office at school, so i had to go back and pick that stuff up. in the end, though, my plans for the kids' class ended up falling through (so i didn't even end up using the book) and i had to come up with something at the last minute and i sooo didn't want to be there. but i ended up having a great time with the children and then going to see justin for a little while and getting big comforting hugs--and that made up for my awful afternoon.
and i've had one of the busiest, most stressful, crazy messed-up weeks--and next week, i have two days of work and three days of vacation which will allow me to recover in peaceful, holiday relaxation...

ready for the weekend (and for this week to be over). thank goodness it's thursday!

Monday, November 14, 2005

so it's gonna be a fun week

i won't get into lots of details about what's happened over the past couple of days, mainly cause it feels like i've told these stories a million times, and also cause i'm not sure how good of an idea it is to put it out on the web. just suffice it to say that it's been dramatic, and i think the drama is finally subsiding. i have a new perspective on the responsibilities of landlords, i have had my faith in mankind shaken slightly, but in the end, i'm reassured that all will work out and i will be able to get back to normal soon. particularly at the end of the week...

speaking of the end of the week--it's moving time! across the parking lot. if you think you can help on friday night, let me know and i will kiss your feet when i see you. by the way, i have only 5 boxes in my apartment and absolutely nothing packed. t-minus 96 hours and counting...

meanwhile, in the real world, i love my job. i love my co-workers even more. colorguard flags have been shipped and should be here any day. i got three roses in a bud vase from a five year old boy today (and, i guess, his mom, but it's cuter to say they're from him.) what can i say? i have my admirers :)

and i'm eternally grateful to rob and leigh, who are hosting me and the cats right now. especially when leigh is just one spicy burrito away from going into labor. could be any day now--can't wait for this baby boy to get here!

that's all for now...i'll keep y'all updated on the moving progress. later!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

just kidding...

yup, definitely moving.

in fact, not spending the night in that apartment again. my neighbor has taken it one step too far and now the cats are at rob and leigh's and i'm crashing at various places until i get into my new apartment--whenever and wherever that might be.

if you want to help me move this week, let me know. i'll keep you updated in my plans...

thank you to my wonderful friends and family and my amazing boyfriend for keeping me sane during this very crazy time. i don't know what i'd do without ALL of you. here's to hoping things get back to normal soon!

Friday, November 11, 2005

finally friday!

glad for this week to be over. though it's been a fun week, it's also been extremely busy and stressful at times. here's what's been going on...

following pajama day was tacky day, and then twin day (where all of the faculty on the middle school hall wore our oakwood shirts and jeans--easy enough) and then... blast from the past day. i went with a very in the past outfit, sporting a toga that boasted no sewing and a bunch of ribbon and safety pins.
and we ended today with green and white day and a pep rally this afternoon. basketball scrimmage slightly lacking in pep. i finally ordered the flags for the colorguard, so we will be trying to get that started soon and i think we'll double in adding some spirit to the games. let's face it--we just need someone to lead some crowd cheers and stuff to keep things going. and hey, i'm cool with providing some of that entertainment :)

lots of meetings with classes and parents this week. lots of checking up on individual kids and helping out teachers with particular students. and then, we got to finally see the production of "school house rock live jr." this evening. justin and i went and enjoyed seeing all the kids. some slight technical difficulties, but man--we have some great voices at our school. i was very impressed! hopefully they'll get the kinks in the sound system worked out for tomorrow night's performance, but overall, entertaining and so much fun to hear "conjunction junction" again.

hallie taught me to knit this afternoon. i keep adding stiches, though. but it's fun and different from crocheting. it turns out i probably won't have to move, or atleast if i do, it won't be until december 1st. and mom did have fun sharing this comic with me--
yay for the weekend :) much needed...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

week's moving slowly...

so it's a busy week here at oakwood, with a number of classes that i'm going in to talk to about various subjects. how to be a good friend, not getting jealous when your friends play with other people, and self-image/what image we provide about ourselves to other are just a few of my topics. i really need to set up a schedule and go into each class once a week to address this stuff. thoughts for next semester...

tacky day was cute, though there were a few misinterpretations of "tacky" and how close it should be to "ghetto." i wish for less offensive actions and comments from my students. if i have any sort of success this year, i pray that it is in this area. let me be a dose of reality and someone who opens their eyes to the potential that their words and actions have to hurt others. luckily, twin day has less opportunity to offend people. thank goodness!

and they are getting ready for our fall musical, a version of "school house rock." should be quite entertaining. i'm excited about seeing it on friday night. i miss being a part of the theater. yes, i get my kicks by doing skits at church with the children, or using puppets with my younger classes, or simply being a ham when given the opportunity, but i really miss PERFORMING. the theater teacher here has told me about a group that trying to start a community theater in ayden, and threw around the possibility of starting off with "you're a good man, charlie brown." he said he'd let me know about auditions coming up. my dilemma is having the desire to do theater but knowing that i don't have the time or the skills for ECU's level of theater. so i hadn't really found any smaller community groups before this, but it does have potential. i'll keep an eye on it.

i've had 3 girls sign up for my colorguard. 3 girls does not a colorguard make. i'm keeping sign-ups open for another week...

alright, productive afternoon at home. congrats to jennifer on her "real" job at martin county dss. and i'm out!

Monday, November 07, 2005

before i go to bed...

tacky day tomorrow. i thought about being very punny and figuring out some way to put thumbtacks all over me, but then decided it would ultimately lead to me getting poked or poking someone else, and i just didn't want to deal with that. so i'm going with some funky outfit involving much layering and some tie-dyed socks.

bunco tonight was quite amusing. i love the fact that i can spend my evening playing this mindless game with women who are old enough to be my mom. it's a great way to get to know my faculty members outside of work, and to simply have a relaxing evening with a lot of laughter and some cute prizes. after my second time, i've learned it's so not about the actual game but sitting around and talking afterwards and while you're playing. good times, good times.

and i'm trying to keep justin from being extremely stressed out this week. as it is, he's going to be working overtime every night this week so it'll pretty much be friday again before i see him. such is the life of a busy designer doing 2 or 3 jobs around the office...miss you, honey.

time for bed... night!

let the chaos begin...

this week is spirit week here at oakwood, with an effort to spark up school spirit before our basketball season starts. today, of course, is pajama day, and the students and faculty are taking full advantage of this opportunity to come to school in comfortable pants and bathrobes.

i've already seen like 5 pairs of "life is good" pj pants (with one poor 7th grader who has the same pair on that i do--what a social/fashion faux pau for a 13 year old--oh well)

so let's see exactly how much work is accomplished with the entire school dressed in flannel--anyone wanna take any guesses?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

relaxing weekend...

so i finally had a weekend where there weren't any real set plans...what a nice change of pace after being completely booked for the past couple of weekends and traveling for the couple before that. after a very relaxing friday evening, justin and i made plans to meet linda and brandon for lunch on saturday. brandon had to go to work right afterwards, but linda was able to go with us out to briley's farm for the corn maze!

once we got out there, there were lots of photo opportunities while we waited for the tractor that would take us out to the maze...

then we got out to the maze and began our journey through the 3.6 miles of trail with 12 check points to get our cards stamped. all in all, it took about an hour for us to hit all 12 stations...

linda showing off our hard work with the punched card...

and before we left, we had to say goodbye to the scarecrow :)

so great to see my old roomie again!

finished off saturday by running some errands and then justin went to church with me this morning where my kids class performed our latest skit. extremely cute!

we're starting a knitting/crocheting club at school on friday afternoons. i'm going to teach a couple of teachers to crochet, and i will get to learn how to knit. very simple, yet has the potential for lots of fun. i've learned that sitting around and talking has become the best way for me to relax after stressing out at school. these teachers are so much fun, and it's just such a warm environment. i get to play bunco with them tomorrow :) and there are lots of fun faculty things coming up for the holidays. i'm just continually pleased with my decision to take this job...

alright, time for dinner... i'll keep ya updated!

Friday, November 04, 2005

and the weekend is here...

it's actually the first weekend in a while where i haven't had tons and tons of things to do. it'll be a nice change of pace...

field trip today was fun. i got to show off some of my old tour guiding skills as i walked around with the students and gave them a short tour of the mall area while we were killing time before the play. ahh, i remember those days...

i made it through another book this week that was loaned to me by the same woman in the business office. she dropped it off and said, "well, i didn't like it as much as his other ones." and now, about 3 days later, i can see why...nicholas sparks is a master at romance, drama and the occasional tear-jerker. let's just say this book is a combination of those three things... it was such a pretty day and i decided to read the last couple of chapters outside on my back deck while i was waiting for justin to come over. i saw him coming down the road just as i finished the last few pages, and he arrived while i was in mid-tears. i had to explain why i was crying, and he was glad to know that it wasn't because of anything he had done ;)

so it looks like i will be moving to a ground floor apartment within the next couple of weeks. i can't say i'm thrilled about moving in the middle of my lease--but it won't be the first time this has happened, and my stress level is to the point where i'm pretty much just ready to give in. i love my cats, and i want them to be able to play without having to worry about how much noise they're making. this past week, to cut back on the noise at night, milo has been sleeping in the bathroom and i keep them separate from each other or out of the bedroom in the morning. i've gone to fairly extensive lengths, but something does have to give--and it looks like it's going to be me. soooo... moving party in a couple of weeks? by the way, i've decided the extra sixty bucks i'll now have for paying a cheaper rent will go to a membership at a health club or something. there's a silver lining to every cloud :)

later--enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

almost friday :)

so last night, i decided to join the college group at church to attend this concert. i had seen the david crowder band before when we went to a concert up at duke a couple of years ago, and since this one was just over in the greenville convention center and only $10, i spent my wednesday night damaging my hearing while also listening to some AWESOME music. every now and then, it's so great to have a pick-me-up, feel-good Christian concert experience. reminds me of the youth rallies and pilgrimages from back in the old days.

by the way, have i mentioned that my growth group counselor from the summer after my sophomore year of high school at breakaway now has a kid here and is helping the 9th graders produce a literary magazine. talk about a blast from the past... and he did remember me!

field trip tomorrow with kindergarten and 5th graders--one of our teachers is temporarily in a wheelchair and would have a hard time with these activities. soooo... i'm filling in and will be gone for most of the day. but atleast it'll be friday!

time for work--later!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

crazy week...

continued issues with my downstairs neighbor over the noise that this little guy is making. i've started talking to the people in the management office to get their involvement, and i'm praying it's resolved soon. i am constantly on edge at home if the cats are running around. it's looking up, though.

and i love this school because of the fact that a silver iPod mini can sit outside my office charging all day long and no one will mess with it. such a new thing for me that i had to take a picture of it :)

here's to hoping my week becomes a little more relaxing...

Monday, October 31, 2005

all the fall halloween festivities

okay, so a week ago, we had our middle school dance. cute costumes from some of my 7th and 8th grade kids :) (and some of the teachers--this is mrs. calhoun and mrs. ericson, a couple of my co-workers and fellow chaperones)

then there was the band competition at cape fear, where we got to see washburn and his band from south carolina...

then there was the homecoming game at ECU, complete with costumed band performance...

trunk or treat at church on sunday evening--new thing where you have kids come around to trick or treat out of the trunk of your car (i had a winter wonderland theme--and in case you couldn't tell, i was a snow-person)

and finally, the parade of characters and historical figures (sounds better than halloween costume, i guess) at school this morning!

yeah, it's been busy. and i don't even have pictures from the fall festival this past friday! lots of fun :)

happy halloween!

update to come later on... i need to get some photos on my computer and then i can illustrate the weekend's events when i write the next entry.

until then, carve a pumpkin or two...or a thousand (pumpkin fest in boston, 2005)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

my attempt at being athletic

so a few interesting photos to post...

my attempt to be athletic at the faculty/student volleyball game. here, we've got coach amy, coach steven, math/soccer coach brian, science/math teacher eric, spanish teacher shona, tech guy fred and assistant headmaster jim. formerly known as "the oakwood geezers". (i had a slight issue with that considering i really don't call myself a geezer)

between the moisture from wilma and the freezing temperatures in the mountains, justin's dad got 12 inches of snow over the week. crazy!

and finally...a very happy halloween to everyone. i love this picture from last year's pumpkin fest held by "life is good" up in boston.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

halfway there...

so it's been a bit of a crazy week so far. but it's halfway over. thank goodness :)

so we knew it was too good to be true that the dance went as smoothly as we thought. sure enough, there was an incident with one of my love triangles where the girl slapped the ex-boyfriend. and as a result, there has been a fallout between the 8th and 9th grade to the point where we're going to have to do an intervention with the girls of both grades to smooth out some of the issues. my mind goes back to the scene in the gym from "mean girls", and i'm tempted to show that clip to intro our discussion tomorrow, but i'll most likely just stick to the basics. should be quite an experience.

faculty/student volleyball game yesterday afternoon--so much fun :) we surprised the students by having the faculty dress up in hip hop atheltic gear and running out to our own theme song, but i capitalized on my lack of athletic experience and ran out late in every piece of sports equipment i could find, including shin guards, a catcher's mask and a lacrosse stick. got a big laugh, and my "state of confusion" continued on the court as i attempted to play volleyball against our school's B team. We beat the A team in the first game, and lost to the B team and the A team again in the last two games. i only played in the B game, and they wanted to put me in the second A game, but they were saying, "okay, let's take it to them," and i said, "then you don't want to put me in cause i wasn't trying to lose out there. it just kinda happened!" all in all, i had fun and now have an oakwood jersey with my nickname "red hot" on the back. oh yeah...

we played the most amusing homemade game on monday night at young adults. you take a stack of index cards or small sheets of paper. everyone gets the same number of cards, and the number of cards equals the number of people you have playing. the more people, the better. (ex. we had 9 people playing, so we each had a stack of 9 cards). you write a word, any word, on the top card. flip over your entire stack and pass it to the person next to you. they take the card with the word you wrote and put it at the back of the pile. on the top card, they draw a picture of the word you just wrote. then they flip over the stack and pass it to the next person, who only sees the picture. they look at the picture, put it at the back of the pile, and write the word that they think the picture is describing. so on and so forth until you get the pile back with the word you wrote or the picture you think describes your word on top. then you get to see the crazy progression between words and pictures as the stack went around the circle. we laughed so hard at some of our drawings and some of the words that resulted from them. when you have guys giving words like "exhaust manifold" or attempting to draw objects like "sausage", it just gets funny. you get to see how "grinch" becomes "santa claus" (and passed through "gnome", "elf" and "dwarf") or how "chuck amato" becomes "rob" (or "joe" becomes "life preserver"). use it at your next get-together. you won't regret it.

fall festival on friday night--i'm face painting. ecu homecoming game on saturday--justin and i are going (and the band will be doing another costumed show, should be entertaining!). trunk or treat at church on sunday--i think i'm face painting again and decorating the trunk of my car to hand out candy. and halloween is actually monday, and who knows what i'm doing then. yup, busy weekend ahead.

that's it for right now...feels like fall (or in some cases, winter) but i'm loving it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

so it was definitely...

a fabulous weekend :)

here's to an excellent middle school dance--complete with halloween decorations and tons of amusing costumes. i went as a 50's sock hop girl (easy enough with my swing dance stuff) but i had a great time with the rest of the faculty and the students. shona brought her 1st grade daughter skylar, and she had better moves than most of my 8th graders! the remainder of the evening was spent having dinner and relaxing with justin.

saturday was going to fayetteville and getting to watch parts of the cape fear high school competition. here's to seeing washburn for the first time in three years and getting to watch some great bands. we went and visited my grandma during the long dinner break but went back in time to see the BIG bands--southeast raleigh, southview, and clinton (and cape fear's exhibition show). definitely worth coming back--even when southview stole the 2004 blue devils show (summertime train blues). clinton did "sights, sounds and flavors" with themes like cayenne pepper and curry powder :) and cape fear had a good "seasons" show with one of my favorite numbers--appalachian spring. overall, great performances and it was wonderful to be able to sit with washburn in the stands to catch up during the breaks. oh, and i got to see plenty of clinton folk--i am a native, you know ;)

and this morning was introducing justin to hay street and all of the history there ("there's my pediatrician...and my 9th grade english teacher...and my great-uncle and aunt....") and having lunch before we headed back to greenville by way of clinton. i'm not planning on leaving greenville again during the weekend until probably thanksgiving, so it was great to see everyone before things get really busy. and they are going to get REALLY busy...

full week of work about to begin. time for some sleep!

Friday, October 21, 2005

i have decided...

that it is going to be a fabulous, fabulous weekend.

the weather today is absolutely GORGEOUS. it will continue to be gorgeous and even more like fall following the cold front that is coming through.

i helped out in the spanish classes today--i love helping out in the spanish classes. makes me feel useful. and it's just a ton of fun.

i also helped out in art and music--can you see why i like wandering around for parts of the day? i can hit all of my interests (and my cases that i'm keeping an eye on) with strategically patterned visits to other classes.

we are planning a faculty/student volleyball game for next week that will include teachers dressing up like big-shot athletes and coming out on the court to rap music. me--i've volunteered to play, but i'm going to run in late wearing a football jersey and carrying a tennis racket. yes, i know i'm a ham.

i've also gotten the thumbs up to start a winterguard of sorts with my middle school girls. once we get a routine or two down, we can perform for basketball game halftimes. soooo excited about this. let me know if you have suggestions for music :)

and shona (the spanish teacher i subbed in for today) just brought me back a bouqet of hot pink roses to thank me. they smell DIVINE.

have i mentioned i love working at this school? love love love love it. the staff is just amazing, and the kids are too cute (though they will occasionally try your nerves). but in the end, it's all worth while.

fayetteville tomorrow! bring back memories...

hey band! who are you, band? what are you, band? how does it feel? are you motivated? are you motivated? are you motivated?

when will i ever stop being major mason?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

ready for the weekend

good morning, all.

even though it has been an abbreviated week, i am soooo ready for the weekend. lots of good times to be had, especially going down to fayetteville and watching the band competition. will be a nice throwback to the good ol' days.

this week has been somewhat crazy, somewhat productive. yesterday, i had my class with the wild seventh grade class (there are two classes of 7th graders--one is wild, the other is mild--not sure how that happened). anyways, my topic with them this week was going to be about creating a "politically correct" vocabulary. yes, i know how being PC can occasionally be a pain and make it difficult to express yourself. however, some of these kids have adopted a few questionable slang terms, particularly saying that something is "retarded" or "gay" when they dislike it. the faculty and i have been wanting to break them of that habit and it seemed like a good opportunity to bring up some of that stuff in my class. so we started off by reading a selection from "politically correct bedtime stories" (always amusing) and then going over some definitions about stereotypes and all of the "isms" (classism, racism, ageism, ableism)...well, the discussion went from that to...every possible tangent we could find. and it certainly was a productive discussion, but we were all of a sudden talking about the differences between sex, gender, and sexual orientation, what terms were correct or incorrect to use in those situations (quote from the discussion, "queer is a word you should only use if you're talking about a show on bravo") and then we moved into descriptions of various personality and mood disorders and why they shouldn't think that "multiple personalities are funny" and that bipolar people don't flip-flop back and forth between the manic and depressive sides. and here's the thing--the main reason the kids thought it was okay to use "gay" and "retarded" as slang is because they know everyone at oakwood and they know that it doesn't offend anyone, so they don't need to change that since it doesn't offend anyone now. i did a quick reminder that they won't always be at oakwood and they won't always know whether or not those terms will offend someone and that in the long run, i want to make sure that when they reach their respective universities or even new high schools, that they don't make fools of themselves by inadvertantly offending someone by carelessly using those words. i have a looooong way to go. but it's a start.

in the meantime, we carved a pumpkin last night when i taught the kids class at church. after running through one of our skits that we're going to perform next month, we talked about how carving a pumpkin is like what God does with us--he takes out all the junk inside, cleans us out and then puts a light inside of us so we can share it with the world and they can see His light in us. besides getting really messy pulling out the seeds, the kids had a good time carving various shapes in the pumpkin (amos:"i'm going to put a ghost on this side" me:"i really don't think a ghost is very churchy. how about a cross or a heart?" amos:"no, it's the Holy Ghost!" me:"okay, i guess that'll work, then") and then putting the candle inside to show off their artwork. fun times, fun times.

we've been talking about the books we enjoy reading among the faculty members and one of the ladies in the business office dropped off a book yesterday that i have already finished, it was so good. if you're a sucker for the chick lit movement, check out this book for a fun, quick read that is terribly entertaining and addicting. i'm trying to track down the sequel to it now.

okay, i should go be productive now. later :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

a tuesday that feels like a monday

young adults last night--thumbs up, with many compliments on the food. i had real oven-baked baked potatoes (which created a bit of a haze but the results were well worth the smell) with all the toppings and a couple huge bowls of salad. enough leftovers for me to have lunch or dinner for the next couple of days and for a few people to take home plates. but overall, a fun evening and milo stole the show with plenty of cute, kitten antics. oh, and i got to show off my replay tv. if only i could get a kick-back for referring my friends...oh well!

today, the new lockers continue to be the main focus of my middle schoolers. a few of my skinny seventh graders have figured out that yes, they can fit into the lockers with the door shut, and my sixth grade girls are having fun decorating the inside of their lockers with magnetic mirrors and note pads and all of that stuff. yet others have decided that they can still leave their gym bags, purses, instruments and laptop cases out in the hallway (and some of the faculty just had a great time clearing the hallways and taking all of the extra stuff to the main office--i've thought of putting it in my office and charging the students 50 cents to return it!)

busy weekend coming up--will be stopping in at the middle school dance on friday night and then heading to fayetteville on saturday. washburn (my old high school band director) is bring his new high school band up to cape fear for the competition, and they're performing at 4 pm. i know that it's been 3 years since he left FTS, and that he hasn't done such a great job about keeping in touch (even when those of us who like to catch up with him send chronically un-replyed e-mails) but he did finally respond and let me know when his band was performing, so i will try to be there. hope some of you former bulldogs out there will be able to come, too!

oh, and a very happy ten month-iversary to my amazing boyfriend. i am happier and happier every day.

that's all for now :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

back from the highlands

so we're back :)

after an amazing weekend in the mountains, i'm back to get everything back in order and to get ready for hosting young adults tomorrow night, while also enjoying my day off from work. it'll all get done!

asheville was so amazing. after hitting lots of traffic on the way through the state and driving the windy roads up there, we were greeted by a beautiful saturday with blue sky and very comfortable weather. the biltmore house came into view and it was just fantastic. we were in there by 11 and walked around for about two and a half hours, taking in all of the architecture and historical finishings. no pictures from inside (estate rule) but lots on the outside. i think the main thing was the extravagance of the home and the technology that was so ahead of the time. i had seen the biltmore before at christmas time, but this was a first visit for justin and i really wanted to see everything through his eyes as well, essentially through the architect's eyes. so i told him, "i want a running commentary today, just all of the stuff that you notice and are thinking about." and it was great to get his perspective and the details that he noticed. after eating lunch at the stable cafe and walking around the gardens, we left and checked another trip off our list. yay :)

so i had thought of surprising justin and had done some research before we left about some area corn mazes. i'd found one nearby and navigated us to it following our day at the biltmore. as we got nearer, though, i began thinking, "was this the maze that was having paintball at it on saturday evening?" and of course, it was, so we turned back around and went back towards asheville by way of the blue ridge parkway. some AMAZING views there and we returned to asheville safe and sound. dinner downtown at the mellow mushroom and a short walk around the area where there were lots of shops, cafes, street performers and it was just the perfect end to the day.

we made our way back this morning, stopping off in winston-salem to see maggie and to have lunch, and got back to greenville a little after five. wooo... back to reality.
i LOVE taking trips. i LOVE the mountains (especially in the fall). and yeah, i LOVE this boy, too ;)

Friday, October 14, 2005


it's "grandparents and special friends" day here at oakwood.
(which means we will have grandparents and special friends around the school for the rest of the day)

we have an assembly for the entire school at 9.

we got new lockers put in the middle school building last night (first time the kids have had lockers at all).

it's a half-day before our fall break on monday.

can you guess the productivity level today?

p.s. headed to the mountains this afternoon, perhaps gonna see my mags on the way
p.p.s have found out that duke tip hires a counselor for the beaufort marine lab (a one session camp, so not as long as the other summer when i worked for tip) and i believe i'm gonna put in an application

Thursday, October 13, 2005

technology update

so yesterday apple introduced their new iPod, along with several other newer versions of their iMac and iTunes store. being a novice apple user, i try to keep up with the latest gadgets--not necessarily buying into them, but atleast becoming knowledgable of their features so that when i do have the excess income to purchase one, i'll have a pretty good idea of what i want.
it is amazing the success apple has had over the past few years, taking the iPod (and the mp3 player in general) and turning it from a relatively unknown gadget that only the most techno-friendly people had to a very popular and very common household name. i've seen the nano (and honestly, it's so small that i know i would lose it or the cats would end up knocking it under the couch and i would never see it again), i love the color options of the mini, and the fact that i could download and watch an episode of desperate housewives on the newest iPod just baffles me. what will they come up with next?
last night at church, quite appropriately, we were studying the last chapter of 1 timothy, where the well-known verse, "for love of money is the root of all evil" comes from. and we were talking about contentment and how today's society promotes never being content with what we have, cause there is always something new out there that will out-perform and eventually replace whatever we have. the computer i'm currently typing on will be obselete in about 2 or 3 years, the TV that i just bought this summer won't be able to receive any cable channels AT ALL in 3 or 4 years because all of the signals will be sent in HD form, and the digital camera i'm looking at for christmas will lack the megapixels and features that will be available in just a year or so from now. when will it be okay to stop? i have turned into quite the techno-junkie, with my wireless cable internet, my addiction to my digital photos and my now-extrememly neceesary PVR that allows me to indulge in my favorite shows minus commecials and constricting time schedules. and i love this life-style, because it has spoiled me while also making me feel like part of the 21st century... but i think there will be a point where i have to draw the line and say, okay, this is enough. i just hope i will be able to recognize when that time comes :)

on a side note, it feels like fall. i love fall--i think it has always been my favorite season, but especially since high school. the cool friday nights at football games, the bus rides back home from an away game or competition, driving in the dark with a sky full of stars out in the country, just a few windows open to let the breeze blow just brings back some great memories and some very comforting feelings. i am so excited about going up to the mountains this weekend, to see the fall leaves and for justin to see the biltmore for the first time. it is an amazing architectural example of total extravagance and a family who just had so much money that they could create, well, pretty much a castle in the mountains of nc. should be a great trip (as long as i get rid of this cold that is plaguing me at the moment) anyways, here's to beautiful weather and a wonderful fall break :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

joseph william mason

just thought i'd give an official welcome to my newest cousin, joseph william mason. this little guy was born on september 24th and is the 3rd grandchild for my grandparents, the first child for my uncle and aunt. i was very excited to see him just a week after he was born while i was in the raleigh area a couple of weeks ago, and i LOVED getting to hold him. so yay for my newest relative :)


brand new blog--let's face it, as we all finish up school and spread out across the state (or in some cases, the country!) it becomes harder and harder to keep everyone updated with what's going on in my life. so here's my attempt to put some of it out there, as well as giving me an outlet to share some of my stories. i will be working on this site over the next couple of weeks to get it exactly as i'd like it, but it will take some time so please be patient! so, just drop me a line if you get the chance and i'll be sure to update regularly. thanks :)

Monday, January 03, 2005