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 apartment...so 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...