Friday, March 27, 2015

March Madness

Well--this post doesn't necessarily have to do with the NCAA March Madness going on right now...even though my bracket is now crap. *Sorry Kyle, I'm out $10
But it DOES have to do with how crazy this month has gone by. I mean, seriously. I was just sitting in my living room marveling at the fact that March was neigh upon us. And then, BAM!, here it's over. And that means a few things for our family.

No more double payments on living arrangements. We don't have to pay on our apartment and our mortgage anymore. One payment from here on out. AND, I do believe we are getting our deposit back too! Don't get me wrong, I loved our time in our first apartment together. And there were times that I loved our second apartment too. But being in our own home has made me very grateful for everything we've been blessed with.

Only 10--yes, you read that right--10 more weeks of school left FOR.THE.YEAR! Year #1 in a new school, in a new district, and it's FLOWN by! Only 4 more weeks (really 3 1/2) left in our "semester" and then our last 6 week block. I feel that I've grown as a teacher and as a person these last 9-ish months. I'll elaborate more on that at a later date.

We are in the throes of home improvement planning for the summer. Check out my insta for some photos that give a little tease of what we're thinking. And the hashtag #homeimproving on IG has our specific home projects. (click my IG button--do it. Then request to follow me. Do it.)

I'm so excited to try this out this spring. I love plants. I love gardening. And I love greenhouses.
How great is it that this had a rebate? It was only $10 afterward.

How perfect will this be in my our bare backyard??

Aubrey's time has come! She's hosting this month's book club discussion. And since she's the boss hostess, she's decided that her review won't be up until Monday. Capisce? Cap-osh.

Here are her discussion questions for this month's book--Wuthering Heights

Now go have a good weekend and don't forget to finish reading the book! See you soon!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Just a little update

As much as I wanted to participate in A. Liz Adventure's Five on Friday, I didn't want my readers to get sick of reading because all I do is list five things going on with me.  So, instead I updated my 30 by 30 list.

I have quiet a ways to go to fulfill my whole list, but I'm on my way! Check it out:

1. Obtain a Master's Degree in Education 
 I think this is going to change to a Master's Degree in anything, English, Technology, Education...something. Not necessarily just Education.
2. Be debt free (with the help of one Dave Ramsey and his baby steps)
    --exception--our mortgage
3. Become more active (by using the C25K program) and be at my goal weight
   --yes, I do realize Aubrey and I have similar freaks Kyle out how similar she and I are
4. Read 100 new books.
  --This year my goal is 24 books total...I'm not quite there yet
  1. Twisted (Laurie Halse Anderson), 2. The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams)
5. Improve my photography skills--I have a nice camera, but I'm not good with it
6. Create a blog schedule and stick to it
7. Send snail mail 300 times, just because
8. Take 3 road trips (2 with Kyle and 1 EPIC trip with Aubrey)
9. Send out Christmas cards every year (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
10. Read through the Bible with Kyle
11. Bake "just because" cupcakes for people 8 times (twice per year)
12. Make salsa with the tomatoes from our garden
13. Run a 5K, twice
14. Create a cookbook for both sides of my family (mom's & dad's sides)
15. Compile 100 new recipes that our family LOVES & put them into a database
16. Visit & review all of the local restaurants and businesses in town with our friends
17. Make homemade gifts for each baby born (in our families)
18. Surprise four someones with a little "I'm thinking about you" gift.
      1. On its way 3/19
19. Do something special for my husband every season.
20. Visit Seattle with Kyle
21. Visit San Francisco
22. Landscape my front yard
23. Plant my garden each year from seedlings I've started (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
24. Paint all of the rooms in our house colors that we want
     -I've picked out some of the paint, but it's not on the walls yet
25. Move the tree OUT of our back yard...the poor thing--there's no room for it!
26. Build something for our house--by myself! (a shelf, a cupboard, a table, etc)
27. Create a memory book from our wedding to have on display at home
28. Become (consistently) involved in a small group through church
29. Purge my wardrobe twice a year (spring/fall)
30. Take a long vacation/staycation with Kyle & just do all of the things we've dreamed of

So things are coming together, but hopefully I'll become more ambitious as spring arrives.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Glass Menagerie and other stuff.

Because I'm the worst. That's why.

Oh, you didn't ask why it's taken me so long to get this post up? My bad.

And so here's the thing. I'm not entirely sure what I was anticipating (fair warning, these questions will probably not be in order). I guess I was anticipating something that I'd love. I've heard so many great reviews--raves, if you will--about this play. I guess, like Aubrey, I was anticipating something along the lines of A Streetcar Named Desire. There's just something that stuck with me after reading and watching Streetcar. With The Glass Menagerie, I didn't feel a whole lot. And because I love reading plays and watching plays...I was left wanting.


But, I'm always in search of a connection with a character. I really did want to connect with someone so when I didn't really connect with anyone in Menagerie, I was left a little empty. As I'm writing this, I wonder if that's the point? Was I supposed to feel empty while reading the play just like Laura? She seems like such an empty and fragile character--just like her menagerie. A stretch? Maybe.

Okay, now this is the thing. I still am struggling to write this post because I wasn't very invested in this play at all. I had other things I would've rather been doing while reading. Poor Tennessee Williams. I loved Streetcar, but your Menagerie was not my cup of tea. Sorry to those of you who loved it. I cannot join you. Maybe I'll read it again one day and I'll change my mind. I'll let you know if that happens. But until then, I'm going to give A Glass Menagerie 1.5 stars out of 5. (mostly because I feel bad for not liking it)

But...on a happier note! We've got another book coming up this month! I'm behind, but Aubrey is the one hosting for March. So stay tuned for her questions, our discussions, and now get reading

Wuthering Heights!

If you're joining us, go grab the button here

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I don't really know if I'm Irish at all--that's probably not the confession to make on March 17. But, I made it and now we're moving on.

But since I don't know if I'm at all Irish, I wear some green just to be safe.

And to celebrate St. Patrick's Day--here's a movie trailer from a ridiculous fabulous movie from my childhood.

Disney Channel all the way!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five on Friday: What I need to buy next

We have a dog. And she gets so excited to see us. How great is that? She's so happy to see us after school, after meetings, etc. BUT! This week she got too excited. She was so excited that!

So, that happened. Which leads me to my first item of business for this week's Five on Friday.


I need to go find a new pair of flats. I loved my purple flats from Target...but they're sooo two seasons ago. So, now off I go. What about these, these, these, or these? I know they're no bright purple faux-suede...but maybe I'll like em? Either way--I'm not happy with that dog. Even IF she's excited to see me.

Okay...maybe I do like her...just a little.


I'm going to a baby shower tomorrow. So I'm thinking about making a gift. Maybe some of this along with some of this on top? Or maybe this for the top? Thoughts?


So we're thinking about buying hockey tickets for this weekend. And I'm excited that these guys are playing this weekend in the first round of the NCHC playoffs! #1 ranked UND plays #8 ranked Colorado College this weekend in a best of three series. The winner of this weekend's series goes on to play at the Frozen Faceoff next weekend in Minneapolis, MN.


I wish I could buy some flowers to grow. But...I'm nervous that spring isn't truly here. Sad. 


Finally--I know I've already posted about it--but I can't wait to get "Go Set a Watchmen" by Harper Lee!

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's coming! (hint: not just spring)

Spring is on the way in! And I couldn't be more excited! I took the dog for a walk last night after school and she (and I) loved being outside in the sunshine.

But spring isn't the only thing on the way in--house selling season is coming! I don't know what it is about spring (and summer too), but so many more houses pop up on the market around March/April/May. Don't you think? Maybe I'm just losing my mind.

So here's the thing...if you're in our area and you're wanting to buy or sell a house. We've got the guy for you. (and no...this is not a sponsored post) Plus--I told you over here that I'd have more information for you about our wonderful realtor!

Our pal, Emmett Lynch, works at Coldwell Banker in Grand Forks. Call him up, I dare you.
*Emmett recently moved back to Minnesota, so if you're in the Twin Cities area, look him up*

Here's our story--we started "working" with a different realtor by accident. We saw a house we wanted to know more information about, called the office, and were assigned to this lady. And while that might work for some people, it wasn't for us. She showed us three or four houses the first time we met with her face-to-face. 

I know that the market in Grand Forks is outrageous. Trust me. I understand. But what I don't understand is treating us like we aren't important enough because we won't spend enough money. And then using the excuse "I don't like working with young couples because I don't want them to get in over their heads." Yes, that is what she told us (in person, on the phone, email, etc). 

After multiple comments like that, we made the decision to switch realtors. Last fall, I remembered seeing something about Emmett joining the real estate world on Facebook. I asked Kyle if he thought I should contact Emmett and see if he'd work with us. So I did.

How do I know Emmett? We actually took classes together in the Education Program at UND. We had a few classes together and worked on a few projects during that time. Honestly, I wasn't sure if he would remember me. 

After my first email to Emmett, and I was reassured that he did in fact remember me, we started to pick out some houses to tour. From day 1 of our partnership with Emmett, he did so much work for us and he treated us like we mattered.

Time after time. House after house. Kyle and I would revel in the fact that Emmett was putting in so much work behind the scenes. He would call other realtors to set up showings for us. He would meet with us any time we wanted. AND--he was still working his other job, as a farmer.

When our house came on the market (on Tuesday), I called Emmet and said, "There's this house we want to see. We know it's the middle of beet season, so whenever you can get back to town--we'd love to get in." Emmett asked right away, "I won't be back to town until Thursday, but how well do you like it? Do you think this could be it?"

"Yes--we love it. It really could be it, so Thursday works well. Just let us know when you get back to town."

We set up a time to see the house and Emmett said he'd call us if anything changed. Meanwhile, Kyle & I prayed hard that "if this is the house" God wanted us in, that He'd make it work.

Wednesday rolled around and Kyle and I were getting excited to see the house on Thursday. We know some of the previous owners, so Kyle visited with them. We even contemplated putting an offer in without seeing the house, since houses were going so fast in town.

But! I got a phone call from Emmett Wednesday afternoon asking if we'd want to take a look at the house THAT NIGHT!?! Of course!

When we met Emmett at the house Wednesday evening, we asked him, "We thought you weren't going to be in town until tomorrow? What brought you back?"

And Emmett replied, "If me not setting up a showing tonight kept you from getting the house you're meant to be in, I'd kick myself."

That, my friend, is a great realtor. He drove over an hour, one way, to set up a showing for a house we had a hunch on.

If you are looking to buy or sell a house in the area (not just GF proper), consider giving Emmett a call. He will work for you and he will make sure that your voice is heard.

*More to come on the house saga, but I needed to share about our awesome realtor...especially with spring arriving!*

Friday, March 6, 2015

{Five on Friday} What I'm looking forward to...

...this weekend.

I'm looking forward to only a handful of things. That's why I decided to have my Five on Friday not be things that I'm currently loving...but things I'm looking forward to.


We are having friends over to our house tomorrow. For dinner. A turkey dinner. And yes, I do know it's not Thanksgiving or Christmas. I'm thinking about making this one?

Or maybe this one

Or possibly even this one

minus the excessive greenery

Help a girl out...which one? I'll make gravy and twice backed mashed potatoes, if that sways your decision at all.


I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time with these Friends. (see what I did there?)

In addition to friends, I'm planning to spend all of Sunday at my kitchen table (maybe the futon in the basement) with my grading spread out in front of me. I no ifs, ands, or buts, about it. Hold me to that?


I think I'm going to start saving up for my next tattoo. So I'll start planning that out so that I can make that happen in the near-ish future. (hint: it's gonna be a family affair!)


Last, but certainly not least, I'm planning to spend some quality time with this guy:

What are your plans for the weekend? 

Since it's Friday, I'm linking up over at:


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