Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Enjoy your time celebrating, eat black eyed peas, and don't make too many resolutions!

Welcome, 2009!

{Edit: Thanks for telling me about my chickpea/black eyed pea mistake. The funny thing is that I actually googled the link to find the history of the tradition yesterday and had it wrong there too. I finally figured that out and didn't change the post! Silly me.}

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas with friends

Our Christmas with friends was so much fun. My four girlfriends from college came to my house for the celebration. Apparently the dress code was red? Here is the entire group, including husbands and boyfriends and dogs:
We had a great time eating (everybody brought appetizers to share) and playing Rob Your Neighbor. I am so sad that we don't live in the same city anymore (or for that matter, on the same campus). We always have so much fun together! Here is Colleen and her boyfriend, Brian, opening their white elephant gift, a lovely (and weird) picture frame from Julie:
David rocked Rob Your Neighbor and kept getting lots of presents. Lucky!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tool and pot pies

First of all, nobody guessed the tool that we received this year. This year, we got a useful (drum roll please?):


A LADDER! (Image found here.)
Thanks to Mrs. Haid, Kathy, and RO RO for commenting and guessing! Mrs. Haid---I would have LOVED a shop vac. Maybe we can put that on our list for next year? How handy would that be?

Secondly, Sarah commented and wondered how the pot pie recipe went. Overall, it was very, very tasty. I do have one complaint, though. There was a LOT of butter in the dish. And I mean a lot. I don't really enjoy the taste of butter (I never butter my rolls or anything), and while I could not really taste it last night (when it came right out of the oven), I can definitely taste the butter in the leftovers. However, if you actually like butter, I think that you will find the recipe delicious and satisfying. It really isn't that hard, and is very good. It is a wonderful alternative to the Banquet Pot Pies that I love (that are so bad for you!). Next time I think I will use less butter and use olive oil instead for the filling. The flour mixture is an integral part of the filling, however, and I am not sure how else to thicken the sauce. Perhaps I can just use half olive oil and half butter? Any ideas? Here is the recipe again in case you missed it: Smitten Kitchen Chicken Pot Pie.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Returning

These past few days have been a whirlwind! We left on Wednesday to go to my mom's house, where she and my dad had prepared prime rib and vegetables for a tasty Christmas Eve supper. After that, we opened gifts, which was a lot of fun. And for your amusement, I will have a little poll. Can anybody comment and guess what tool I got for Christmas? In years past, my parents have given us tools so that we have complete tools sets. If anybody guesses it correctly, I will write your name in big letters on my blog along with a congratulatory remark.

The next morning we headed to church, where again, I played the piano and David cantered. We ventured into the actual mass music this year, which was very lovely except for the parts where someone messed up (I'm not trying to be mean here; both me and David messed up during parts of the mass). After that, we went to my grandma's to celebrate Christmas and her birthday!

We received lots of lovely presents, ate too much food, played Trivial Pursuit, and enjoyed the company of family. That night we relaxed back at my parents' house, trying to recover from the immense amount of deliciousness we had consumed that day.

The next morning we woke up and headed to David's hometown, where we went to his parents' house and celebrated Christmas with his family. We had a lot of fun eating (again), opening presents (again!), and enjoying the company of family (again!!). The next morning we woke up and ran and then played Trivial Pursuit against David's family. David bought the game for me for Christmas.

Finally, that afternoon, we attended the baptism of our niece Allie, which was adorable. David and I are her godparents. Hopefully we will successfully guide her on her spiritual path. Today we woke up again and went to breakfast with the family and then drove home! Luckily the highway wasn't too crowded yet. This afternoon we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was really great. I was in tears by the end of the movie. Tonight I made homemade chicken pot pies. It is almost time for bed!

Hopefully I will have pictures for you soon. If you have made it to the end of this long post, don't forget to comment with what tool you think we got for Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them,

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
- Luke 2:8-12


May your Christmas Day or other Holiday Season be filled with joy and laughter.

Image found here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Christmas 2008 by Abbie0317

Check out what I made! This website lets you make collages of clothes. How fun! I decided to check it out while I was "working" this morning. This collage represents what I will be bringing in my Christmas luggage.

I probably won't post much for the next few days. We're going to be celebrating Christmas! It will be a fun, busy time. David and I are again singing for Christmas morning at church. David is a little nervous, I think. I am too! We decided to try singing harder songs, including some for the actual mass. It should be interesting to say the least.

Have a happy, happy Christmas! Enjoy your time on Thursday. Thanks for being such great readers. I have been thankful to have another fun year with my blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shopping

Being in law school kind of stinks when you need to do some Christmas shopping. We don't get out of school until about a week before Christmas and before then the task seems so daunting that you don't want to spend time looking for the perfect gifts, so that leaves you with a week before Christmas to finish shopping.

This year we had bought a few things for our parents wayyyy before Christmas. Our nieces and nephew are super easy because we get them the same thing every year (a savings bond, which may be really boring to them now but hopefully will help them down the road sometime). David was a bit hard to shop for this year. He wants things like books (hello have you ever walked in our house, David? It is FULL OF BOOKS!), or an external hard drive (romantic). So that put me back at square one as far as he was concerned. Other people are really easy to shop for. For instance, I know that Cindy will love a bottle of wine. My mom likes anything pink. My dad loves peanuts. Easy.

So anyway, I braved the mall today and went shopping. First stop: Target, where I picked up a few items. Second stop: some sports stores to try to find some skiing equipment. Third stop: Petco.

Now, I have been home for about two minutes and the cats have already discovered their presents. Let's just say that they are super cute and involve feather boas. The dog is getting a new shirt to supplement his little doggie jacket from last year. They can't wait to open their presents tonight!

Finally, I have a few crafts up my sleeve. One may not be finished before Christmas, but I do not think that the recipient will care at all. I better get back to working and wrapping!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The weekend

We had the best weekend. On Friday all of my bestest college girlfriends came over with their significant others (now over half of us are married!) for a small holiday party. Everybody brought appetizers and we had fun eating too much, drinking fun holiday beer, and playing rob your neighbor. Every couple had to bring a holiday ornament and a white elephant gift. David and I received a beautiful ornament and baby clothes as our joke gift. Ha.

On Saturday we trekked to David's hometown and we to another friend's party, which was also very fun. We hadn't seen her in forever so it was fun to catch up and eat more yummy food! Then, on Sunday, we met up with my family and enjoyed seeing many of my mother's aunts and my cousins and aunts for Christmas on that side of the family. That was also a lot of fun. I love being able to see many of my family and friends during the holidays. Tonight we have another Christmas with my family and the commenter Golfer, a good family friend, and tomorrow is our family Christmas, which means that I need to hurry up and figure out what I am getting David for Christmas!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm back!

Thanks so much for being so gracious while I was away. David is such a wonderful writer and I really enjoyed his posts! I wish that he would start blogging again but I think that it becomes a source of stress for him...he loves writing and feels pressure to write amazing posts!

Yesterday I finished my final final exam for the semester. We have two weeks of finals and I had one the first Tuesday and then none until the next Monday, the next Tuesday, and then yesterday. It was a pretty hectic schedule. The chaos was compounded by the fact that the weather was horrible this week, which made getting to my finals a bit tricky since they were all at 8:30 a.m. and my school never cancels finals. David left on Sunday to go to the city so he didn't have to drive his two-hour commute in the bad weather. He stays with his sister who is nice enough to accept another addition to her family a once or twice a week.

After David left on Sunday, my parents came to my house so they could be closer to their jobs. However, their schools were both called off. That was actually lucky for me, though, because then my dad drove me to my final that day. It was icy and gross. The same thing happened on Tuesday. It was quite a crazy week!

Yesterday my final exam was eight hours long and a "take home", which basically means "we will distribute the final to all of the students and then they will stampede into the library where the librarians will have heart attacks due to the noise during the stampede". It took me 7.25 hours to complete the exam. Afterwards, my legs felt like noodles. Sitting down for that long is hard! Apparently, in years past, the proctors of this exam have had students actually collapse in their office from hunger, stress, and thirst after turning in their exam. I'm glad I'm not that crazy about stressing over my grade! Nothing could stop me from eating lunch. :)

Now we are starting our holiday festivities. I have a few fun post ideas for over the weekend and next week. We have holiday celebrations every night from last night until next Sunday. Hopefully I can squeeze in some good posts! Enjoy your Friday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

labels

My sister evidently had trouble identifying some of the items in our kitchen, so I have an updated, more easily interpreted picture. The kitchen table has been omitted from this artwork, and Arwen's exact coloration is not accurately depicted.

remodeling

Today I made the two hour trek to Kansas City because of the stormy weather. Luckily, even though I drove through a bit of rain and the temperature dropped rapidly, it was never freezing or slick before I arrived at my sister's house. Tonight, though, I could hear sleet and see snow frequently, so I am glad my commute tomorrow will be shorter than normal!

Today I took advantage of my free time by sprucing up the house a little bit. Before today, our kitchen sliding door blinds were in a sorry state. We had long vertical blinds that the cats frequently pulled to the ground and chewed, so the blinds have looked rather mangled. In case you're having trouble imagining, here is a photograph of them:

As you can see, it was not too charming. Now, our kitchen is bedecked with stylish curtains that are hopefully catproof. It looks sort of like this, only snazzier:

I wish we had made the change months ago, because it was rather easily accomplished and makes a huge difference.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

winter

Mother Nature is starting to be pretty rough lately. What with the inclement weather of earlier in the week, and the seemingly perpetual darkness, I can see how folks would dislike these winter months. But don't get discouraged! Just keep in mind these words by my good friend Oliver Herford:

I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December:
a magical song,
and sweet to remember.

"We are nearer to spring
than we were in September,"
I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December.

Monday, December 08, 2008

weekend

We have returned from a long and delightful weekend. I left work early on Friday so we could attend a rehearsal dinner for two dear friends of ours who married on Saturday. I don't have very many pictures just now, but this should give you an idea of how resplendent my favorite bridesmaid was:

After the ceremony, the wedding party gadded about town for several hours to take pictures. This was a frigid activity because the ladies all wore dresses and the wedding happened to take place in December. However, everyone forgot the cold rather quickly because a random unicycler showed up at one of our photo-shoots! The groom tried to unicycle, with very comic results.

I've always kind of wanted to learn how to do generally unuseful tricks like unicycle or do a backflip. It would be essential to perfect these skills in secret. Sure, a person would almost never has a good opportunity to show off these moves, but if he or she could, the payoff would be huge. Imagine the uproar if, when the groom hopped onto the unicycle, he had done a couple of laps around the wedding party without batting an eye. I'm sure that if I had a repertoire of about 20 completely useless yet visually impressive tricks, I would be able to perform about once a year and become the life of a party.

Sunday was wonderful because, once we were back home, Abbie and I did nothing but relax all day. Well, I relaxed, she studied. I am very content with my lack of studying in recent weeks, but I suppose it will have to end pretty soon. My next exam is only about five months away!

Enjoy the wintry weather tomorrow, and drive safely!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Paco

After having so many words on this blog devoted to our felines, I think it is only fitting to give our canine the spotlight for a while. Unfortunately for him, this post will likely not endear him to many of you readers.

As I mentioned earlier, we boarded Paco at the kennel over Thanksgiving. While he was there, he ate some food that didn't agree with him and became gravely ill.

After what we thought was one isolated accident, Paco awakened us at the crack of 4 a.m. with a horrible stench and a horrible mess. Poor Paco evidently had uncontrollable diarrhea.

We tried wrapping him in an old rag during the day to guard against accidents, but we quickly ran out of those. So, to protect our pristine carpets, I made a little purchase:


Pull-ups disposable training pants! And to help the now-stylish Paco retain his dignity, I got the Toy Story-themed pull-ups.

Luckily, in addition to the pull-ups, we've been giving him some medicine which appears to have returned him to his previous healthy state, so you do not need to worry about him anymore.

Tomorrow, Abbie and I are heading to the big city of St. Louis for a wedding this weekend, so you will probably not hear from me for a few days. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hello again

Hello, readers. I suppose it's been quite some time since you've heard from me, but now you're stuck with me for a while. Now that the tables have turned and Abbie is studying like mad while I relax to my heart's content, I'm happy to be at the helm here.

Things have been pretty sleepy here lately, but everything changed last Friday when we returned home from our Thanksgiving festivities. After retrieving Paco from his visit to the kennel, Abbie and I set up our Christmas decorations. These decorations include Thorina's and Arwen's favorite jungle gym: the Christmas tree. Now, about every six minutes, I hear a clinking sound, as if someone is unstealthily knocking two priceless glass ornaments together or tossing baby Jesus off of the TV, manger and all.

Our disciplinary plan involves a spray bottle capable of nailing a cat in the face with a jet of chastising water from two rooms away. Ah, if only one were allowed to use it....Somebody in this household thinks that this spray will only work if cats are directly in the act of vandalism; if they have not quite started or have taken a brief pause in the middle of their attacks, they are completely safe. Of course, the cats have discovered this and have mastered the art of developing a bland, innocent look at the first sound of a water bottle being cocked and aimed. And then when I ever do get to spray them, Abbie leaps in front of the punitive stream and shields the culprits with her body!

At least Paco is both blissfully unaware of any holiday goings-on and blissfully well-behaved.

Up for a breath of air

I am now in the full swing of finals season, and unfortunately I think it is best if I take a couple of weeks off of writing on my blog. For this I apologize, but I think that I should study Constitutional Law rather than thinking of posts to write.

However, you should be happy, because yet again I am having a guest blogger. My guest blogger used to write for the blog This is Only Palaver, which unfortunately ended in 2006. He is a highly qualified grammar nut, so don't worry about misspellings anymore. Furthermore, he is sure to have many fun stories to tell you. What can I say? I like him pretty much.

In case you have not guessed it yet, my guest blogger is the one and only David. You should anticipate his first post this evening!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tomato Soup


I love my recipe for tomato soup. I love tomatoes, so this soup gives me a great reason to eat a lot of them! I wanted to share this recipe since it is something that I actually adapted from a different recipe on my own. So here it is:

Homemade Tomato Soup
- chicken broth or stock (is there a difference?)
- tomato juice
- 2-4 fresh tomatoes
- onion
- kosher salt
- pepper
- milk (I use skim milk, but you may want to use heavy cream. I just like to keep it less fattening because I do not really care about the difference)
- red pepper, or paprika
- cumin
- sugar
- parsley
- bay leaf
- basil
- oregano
- olive oil

Start by chopping the onion and saute it in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a big pot on the stove. Next, slice the tomatoes thinly and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes or until roasted.

Pour about half a box (or about a can and a half) of chicken broth/stock into your pot. Then, pour the entire can of tomato juice into the pot. Stir.

Add your spices--season to your taste.

When the tomatoes are finished roasting, scrape them off the sheet and put them in the soup mixture. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups of milk (or more if you prefer) and simmer for another 10 minutes (be sure to stir the soup in order to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot). I also sometimes add a bit of tomato paste to thicken the soup. After that, viola! You are finished.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First snow!

Last night we had our first snow of the year! Yay! I love having snow on weekends when we have no where to go, nothing to do, and no reason to really care if it snows. Today we slept late (for us, at least) and have been lazying around the house this morning.

This was Arwen's first snow so of course I had to throw her out into the yard to experience it. (I had to throw her because I was too lazy to take off my slippers and put on shoes and I didn't want to get wet!) The verdict? Snow is apparently scary. This is evidenced by the fact that she ran back to the door immediately.

Yesterday David put up the Christmas lights (well, almost put them up...apparently one strand went out last year because they only cover half the garage, so our house looks amazing). Today he will finish the Christmas Cards and hopefully we can get ours sent out sometime this week.

On the menu for today: Tomato Soup. I may take some pictures and post the recipe this week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Preparation

One of my favorite times of year is Advent. I love the anticipation of Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitudes

Today we head to my parents' house and then tomorrow we will eat lunch at my grandma and grandpa's house. After that, we head to a vacation house with David's family where we will eat another Thanksgiving feast. On Friday, we will head back home so we can decorate that evening together and study!

Here are some things for which I'm thankful this year:
- the health and happiness of my family, especially my grandma, and the safe birth of a new niece
- the gift of having wonderful friends who have also had a happy, healthy year
- of course, our little family, including the addition of Arwen
- another good year of law school

I hope you have a happy, safe, and gratitude-filled weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apparently my mother-in-law is a yogi

I try to go to yoga each week, but lately I have been busy. I went to yoga last Friday for the first time in weeks.

My yoga teacher began the class with a lecture. He introduced a book called the yoga nidra, which basically lays out various ways to practice yoga or to be a productive human (my teacher compared it to the Ten Commandments- basically rules one can follow in order to live a good and ordered life). One of these rules is to practice contentment. One way to achieve contentment is to practice gratitude.

Of course, this discussion was tied to Thanksgiving. Our teacher said that one of the best things you can do to lead a happy life is to simply be thankful for what you have.

For instance, he noted that several times in his life, he had felt chaotic and sad (whether it be because of the death of a loved one, a job change, worrying about money, etc.), but then he thought of the things for which he should be thankful and he felt happier again. Of course, this can be difficult to do in some situations.

He also said that we should express gratitude to those who are kind to us. Every day, people do kind things for us, and we mostly take this for granted. He said that we should start to notice these acts and thank the people who are kind to us.

Another tip he gave us was to write down our gratitudes every night before going to bed. He said that this will make us happier and more content with our lives. Even though we may have trouble thinking of something to be thankful for, all of us in the class could be thankful for a warm bed, plenty of food, and clean water, which many people in the world do not have. Most of us could be thankful for our educations, our families and friends, and our good health. My teacher noted that expressing gratitude and practicing contentment is considered a high and valuable form of yoga.

The funny thing is that my mother-in-law writes down her blessings (or gratitudes) every day. She has always recommends this practice to others because she says that it makes her a happier person. (I think Oprah also recommends this?) So, it turns out that my mother-in-law practices a form of yoga every day.

My teacher (who is Canadian) laughed because our biggest American national holiday (that isn't tied to a religion) revolves around a yoga principle. Perhaps we should all try to follow these tips for practicing gratitude, not just on Thanksgiving, but in our daily lives after the holiday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wonderful days at home

My break is already wonderful. I am getting a lot done studying-wise (I have a to-do list and already finished 2 items on it!) and love just being at home with nowhere to go.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alert

I just caved and began listening to Christmas music. I can't help it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sometimes it sucks living with a grammar maverick

"I'm a maverick."

"He's a maverick."

We're all sick of hearing this, BUT my husband really is a grammar maverick. I used to like it, until tonight.

"BLECH!" (coming from in the office)

"What is it, my nice, loving husband?"

"Your blog! It is disgusting to me."

"Why, sweet candy-coated love of the earth?"

"You HAVE THE WRONG FORM OF "DUE" IN THIS POST."

"Dang it! I have noticed that I have been making stupid mistakes in the fifty pages of class notes I write a day. Perhaps I just get tired of staring at a computer screen and at words all day long, angel from heaven. I am sorry that I have disgusted you."

"GROSS! BLECH! Despicable!"

(Shirking off to talk to my cats, who do not care much about grammar but who rather care about food.)

Finally!!!

It is FINALLY time for my break!!!! Yayyy!

I decided to take the rest of today off from school so that I can well-rested and geared up for a weekend and week of studying. My schedule? A nap, then yoga, then movie-watching with my David!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poor baby


My poor baby Arwen has experienced much pain in the last 2 weeks. Mean old David again decided that we needed to declaw the kitty (possibly because she was creating a scratch post out of our sofa...that mean old guy). So while we were at it, we decided to spay Arwen as well.

She came home from surgery in great pain and slept for an entire day. After that, she began to slowly function again, but she kept licking her spay stitches. When we went back to the doctor for a check-up and to get the stitches out, he determined that her stitches were not healed enough do to the licking.

This weekend, she kept licking her wound and eventually licked it raw. Not knowing what to do, David and I bandaged it up with an ankle wrap. This worked a little bit- but unfortunately as soon as I took off the wrap she began licking it again, making it bleed.

We went to the vet again last night and he determined that she had a temperature and thus the stitches were becoming infected. Poor kitty! She did look sick. So now she is on antibiotics and has to wear this thing:


Image found here: http://www.petcareclinics.co.uk/images/cat-elizabethan-collar.gif

Poor cat. Today she seems to feel better as she has already chased Paco, attacked him, and attacked Thorina. Hopefully she will recover quickly. David has to take her to the vet this weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Break.

I am counting down the days until our Thanksgiving "break".

"Break" = still studying nonstop, only without classes. Everybody is tired and worn out--and freaking out because our finals are in about 3 weeks. I have a plan of action for studying for my classes, and we shall see if it pans out. Hopefully I will be motivated to study at least on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving break (and possibly Wednesday morning). Then we are off to celebrate the holiday.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ravioli

Last Thursday my dad and I attempted to make homemade ravioli. It went relatively well. I definitely learned a lot about making pasta and filling.

We started out by making the dough for the pasta. A simple recipe for pasta dough includes two eggs, one cup of flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix until it comes together in your bowl. Place it in the fridge for a few minutes and let chill. After about thirty minutes, you are ready to roll (or use your pasta-making machine cutter thingy, if you have one--but alas, I don't).

We made the filling with a half-pound of cooked sausage, onion, spices, and a bit of spinach. Then we discovered that we needed a way for this to stick together. Unfortunately, I do not like cheese and had none in my kitchen, even though cheese would have been an obvious choice for sticking everything together. So my dad used bread crumbs and olive oil. This worked moderately well. Once we got everything in the food processor, we pulsed it together and viola! We had a pasta filling.

I rolled out the dough with my trusty roller and we first attempted to cut the dough and then add the filling. This did not work out--instead, we discovered that one should place the filling on the dough, wet the sides, and the finally place another layer of rolled dough on top, sealing the layers. After that, we cut the shapes out with a pizza cutter.

Finally, we boiled them and were finished!

The ravioli tasted very good--the filling seemed very carb-ridden, which is probably because it included bread crumbs. However, next time, I will remember to suck it up and use a bit of cheese to hold it together.

It was funny to see the final product because the raviolis became bigger and bigger with each batch because we tired of assembling everything.

Friday, November 14, 2008

R.I.P. my bag


For the last year and a half, I have carried my Betseyville big black tote bag. I loved it. It could fit so many law books, my computer, wallet, keys, etc. without an issue. Plus, it was super cute. This is extremely hard to find for two reasons:
1. Finding a great, functional bag for law school is horribly impossible.
2. Convincing David that I should buy said bag is again, impossible.
So I got this bag when I first started law school. When she was a kitten, Thorina chewed on the straps, making them raggedy and weak. This wasn't the bag's fault, although David blamed it on "poor design" or something like that.

I retired it for a bit, fearing that it would break, and then revived it this year. I used it for a few months and then on election day, it happened. As I yanked the bag out of my car, it got stuck, so I yanked a little harder. Since the bag was loaded with various items, the strap snapped and broke. I was so sad!

So now the bag sits on one of our kitchen chairs. I asked if I should throw it out and David said no. I'm not sure what he wants to do with it (maybe cut up the shiny plastic outside and make a wallet? Perhaps use it as some sort of storage container?).

Sigh.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Too funny

This site is hilarious and you must read it. Although, I truly believe that my cats are not plotting to kill me....at least I hope....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Every day in November?

A lot of bloggers are posting every day in November. I just may try to do the same (at least for the rest of the month).

Today I had a great day at school--we learned about how to introduce evidence, about Congressional powers to create laws (versus those rights reserved for the States), religion in schools and why the Amish in Pennsylvania are exempt from mandatory schooling until the age of 16, and about family visitation rights in Family Law.

Finals are coming up soon so my friends and I are studying a lot. So far, we are pretty much caught up with Evidence and Constitutional Law, which is good. My other finals should not be too bad...hopefully.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If you didn't know better, you would think that these kids were his...


Last weekend we got to see Emma, Noah, and Allie, our nieces and nephew. I think these two look so much like David with their blond hair and blue eyes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inspection

My friend Julie sent me a thank you gift a few weeks ago, and Thorina and Arwen decided to inspect the premises. Arwen was hungry so she decided to eat the box:
Thorina did not want to give up the box:

Okay, I know I just posted five pictures of my cats, but seriously, how cute are they?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Forgotten!

While wrapped up in all of the election news, I forgot that there will be two adorable girls now living in the White House. How fun is it going to be to watch them grow up? The youngest kids I can think of in the White House were the Kennedy children. Am I wrong? Were there others in recent past?

Well, along with many other people, I am now enamored with what kind of dog the Obamas should get for their daughters. They were promised a new puppy after the election, so I am sure that all eyes will be on them while they choose a dog.

Of course, I think they should choose one like THIS guy:Which kind of dog to YOU think the Obamas should choose? Please humor me and take my poll:


Cold

I have another cold! Arrgghhhh! I do feel better today than I did yesterday, so hopefully the cold is just a small one and will go away quickly.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote!

I am shamefully behind on my blogging.

Last Thursday, David and I went to see Barack Obama in our town. Actually, he spoke right outside my law school, which was pretty cool. They cleared out the school at around 8 p.m., however, so we could not look from the windows and watch him or anything.

Anyway, David came home from work and we both immediately got ready to go. We arrived at the campus at around 7:30 p.m. When we arrived at the security tent, one of the volunteers said, "the line begins at the other side of that building," pointing to one of the main campus buildings. We walked over to it...and walked...and walked...and walked...and walked....



and walked....



and walked...


and then someone told us to cut through a group of building because the line snaked around and went to the other side, so we walked...


and walked....


and then gave up.


We decided to instead go to the other side of the rally, where we did not have to deal with security or lines. I think that we were waaayyyyyy closer than we would have been if we had stayed in the line, and David and I both got to see him, which was neat. So now we have both seen all four major presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

His speech was very good and he actually *shock* started on time (Out of all the candidates I've seen so far, I think he was the first to have done so). One thing I really liked about Biden and Obama was that their speeches seemed to follow an outline format that were both very easy to understand. They outlined their five main focus areas and then told us their plans for the areas. I don't remember McCain's doing this, BUT we did see McCain right after he announced his running mate, so I think the focus was more on Palin, which makes sense.

David agreed with this and I think that it is undeniable that Obama is by far the best and most charismatic speaker in this election. He has a good way of holding the audience captive and explaining his points. Honestly, I think that some people are just born with that talent and some are not. But it sure helps you if you have it in a presidential election.

Overall, we had a good time and agreed that Obama had done a great job speaking.

Tonight David and I are both very, very excited about the election tomorrow. I will be working as a challenger in a polling area in my town, so if you see me, say hi! I am excited about this job because basically I make sure that the election judges stay in compliance with our state's statutory voting guidelines...mostly I will be making sure that they require the correct identification, etc. from the voters. I have to wake up super, super early in the morning, so I better hop on to bed!

Do not forget to vote tomorrow!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Almost over

This election season is almost at a close. All I have to say about it is that I am glad it is almost over.

Since I am in law school, I hear about the election over and over, day after day, hour after hour. Since last November we have been debating about who will win. It has been a very long road. This is also the first election year I have been married--married to someone who holds "different" political beliefs than me. Needless to say, I and my friends and husband have been debating this election for weeks now.

I feel that I have learned an important lesson this fall--and that is to be quiet, listen, and research. Instead of simply dismissing the other side's arguments, I have been forced to actually listen to my husband's well-researched points. And can I say that it is way more fun this way?

These conversations actually made me realize how much we have in common as far as political beliefs go---and that we basically do believe many of the same things. However, of course, there are key differences in our beliefs, which cause us to fall on different sides of the party lines, even though we have both grown extremely moderate during the past year.

I enjoy these conversations and the respect I get when I voice my opinions to him. Therefore, it is very hard for me to go into the "real world", so to speak, where people say things like, "Vote for so-and so? Why would anybody ever do that?" while giving me a look of disgust, or saying, "I don't understand how ANYBODY could vote for so and so." I have heard this said on both sides, and I admit that I have said it before as well. But this is not a good attitude.

Basically what these people are saying is, "Vote for so-and-so? If you do that, I think that you are obviously more ignorant on the issues than me. Because if you knew as much as me, there is no way that you would hold your beliefs." While I can almost guarantee that I used to say things like that too, now that I am armed with so much research and information about the election and philosophies and policies of both parties, the election season is much more enjoyable and stimulating.

And so, dear readers, I have a request. A lot of people have conducted research and have a lot of information and thought going into their choice on Tuesday. Please try to treat these people with respect and listen to their ideas rather than just dismissing them when discussing the election in the upcoming days.

Realize that someone can still be a good, sincere, moral, and informed person if they hold a political belief that is different than yours. And finally, please listen. It is better to be on your side after giving a good-faith effort to listen to all arguments rather than researching one side only. My marriage to David has taught me this--to be tolerant. After all, we may vote differently, but I still love him and immensely respect his beliefs, because I know they are well-researched and well-founded. I hope that you will strive to do the same as we all go to the polls on Tuesday and perform one of the greatest Constitutional rights we have.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Exciting

My little old law school has transformed over the past two days, as Obama is coming to speak right outside of it this evening! I love watching the transformation. Yesterday workers began roping areas, setting up TV screens, and setting up the stage. This morning they were assembling tents.

David and I plan to go, but will go after he gets off work, so I will honestly be surprised if we catch a glimpse of him. Apparently they expect people to start camping out for a spot at noon today. The law school will completely shut down (as in no people are allowed inside) at some point this late afternoon and evening. It is so exciting!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday afternoon

The leaves crunch under my feet as they pound on the trail. David is right beside me, striding; he could easily be far ahead, and yet he runs with me.

We continue along the familiar path, but now it seems different. The trees that were lush and green are now bare stalks and the forest floor is brown. Everything is an explosion of warm colors: reds, oranges, and yellows. The smell is intoxicating. It smells like that wonderful earthy smell that is achieved after turning over dirt mixed with bonfire.

Encountering people is interesting. All of the dogs look like their owners. Some have small, short dogs with stumpy legs. The owners are short. One dog is wet because his owner cares enough to let him enjoy the afternoon by finding the creek and letting him wade. The dog smiles at me as I pass him.

As always, we pass the rocky cliff, and as always, David comments that he would like to scale it—just once. As always, I give him a look and express my concern that scaling the cliff will end up with his being on a scale in the ER so that the doctor can give him his proper weight dose of meds. So we keep running.

We cross two bridges and then explode into the soccer field area. The trail snakes around immense fields that look abandoned. Two goals stand side by side, definitely not ready for someone to use them. The wind hits my face and as I bend my head to avoid it, I notice that my partner has ditched the trail and veered off into the fields.

I sigh because this annoys me. I always run faster when David runs next to me. Now, facing the wind alone and on the trail, I will slow down and probably end up walking. So, I, too, veer off the trail and into the field.

David does not see me for many minutes, and I watch his fact to see his reaction to my racing with him. When he sees me, a smile lights his face and he pretends to be an airplane, extending his arms and really almost lifting off the ground. He comes and we run together again.

We exit the field and run into a wild area full of prairie grasses that are trampled by the wind. Our feet crunch them further down and our steps leave an indelible mark.

Suddenly it all ends and we are at the creek, which, at the same time, looks rushing and calm. The scene is peppered with the reds and yellows of trees. We both stand, staring at the brook until I tag David and we race back to the trail together. This time the wind is at our backs and running is easier.

We run back and see a man on one of the footbridges, staring out at the creek. This creek is different; and yet the same. As I pass, I meet his eyes and even though we do not speak, I know that we have both experienced a beautiful sight that would not be possible if we had continued on our way without stopping.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dog Jog

A few weeks ago, David and I participated in the 2008 Dog Jog. The local Vet school hosted the event and my friend Rachel, who is a student there, convinced us to enter into the race. It was a ton of fun! Most people had large dogs and ran with them. They were so hilarious because the dogs generally got tired. David said that one man was in first or second place and his dog decided to take a rest 500 feet from the finishing line, so he was just standing there when David jogged by. Many people in my running group had to stop to let their dogs get a drink at the water station.

David won second place in the "People without a dog" category. We did not take Paco because we were afraid that he would not be able to survive the run, and we both wanted to try our hardest to get a time for the 5K.

My time was good...but let's just say that my mother (who is obviously older than me) recently clocked a BETTER 5K time than mine...which means that I need to get myself in gear so that I can at least tie with her in a race. Running the race taught me two things:
1. I CAN run faster than I normally do...I normally feel so slow while running that I just kind of give up on getting faster.
2. I should train to get faster...and also train to run farther. I used to run 4 miles 5 nights a week. Sometimes I would even run 6 or 7 miles. It was awesome, but now I feel like I am lacking motivation. Those were the days when I used to live at home and had a flat gravel road on which to run...but now I have to deal with traffic, sidewalks, and my route. I need to get back into that mindset of running farther so that I can get back into that great shape! Perhaps I will update you on my progress so that I have more motivation to run harder.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Biden!

Last Thursday David and I went to see Joe Biden speak. It was a lot of fun...I got tickets through the Democrat office in my town and luckily I got the last two tickets! The actual speech was in something like a park shelter, so the setting was very intimate.
Biden was a much better speaker in real life than I imagined from watching him on television. I have to say that he is probably in the top three best public speakers I've seen in this election cycle, along with Obama and Mitt Romney (although I saw Sarah Palin three days after she was named as VP, so her speaking skills were probably not at their best at the time). Biden did a good job of exciting the crowd. He spent a few minutes bashing his opponent, and then he went on to name and explain five important points to his campaign, including health care, higher education loans, the economy, international relations, and the environment. I enjoyed his speech because he actually laid out what he was going to accomplish rather than just attempting to rouse the crowd, which I felt was the point of the McCain rally we attended. However, I think that the main reason that this was even possible was because of Biden's smaller setting.
So this means that I have now seen all four presidential and vice presidential candidates in person!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sorry for the absence...

but I have been under the weather for a few days. It started out with a sore throat and escalated into a full-on cold. My interesting remedy for the sore throat? Boil 1 cup of water with 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper until mixed. After that, let it cool and gargle. It worked a miracle, people. My throat was killing me on Friday so I gargled. On Saturday morning my throat no longer hurt. This did nothing for my other symptoms and I still have a weak voice, but you should try it next time you have a sore throat. I have many updates for you, including seeing a vice presidential candidate, being disappointed by our football team, and running a very unusual race. But those must be saved until another day because I am off to inhale steam created by boiling water in order to clear up my congestion.

But just to be funny, here is what we did on Sunday afternoon:

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Survey

I found this on Katie's blog and thought I would give it a try!

For the Married

How long have you been married (or together)?
Married for a year and four months. We've been "together" for about 3.5 years. Wow.

Is this your first marriage?
Yes for both of us (I think).

Is it how you imagined it would be?
Yes, and even more fun.

What would you change?
I would have taught Thorina not to pee all over the house all the time at a younger age.

Are you married to your soul mate?
Yes, I think so!

What do you argue about the most?
Housework. David doesn't enjoy doing it (and I don't either...which is the source of the arguments). But mostly he's pretty good at helping.

What do you see eye to eye on the most?
Our values, how we want to raise our children, and how we both adore our two cats.

Where did you meet your spouse?
In the SUB at our college, during our fraternity's initiation. David had to stand behind me because he was shorter.

Where was your first date?
Our first official date was at Il Spazio, a restaurant, on my birthday.

Where were you when you became engaged?
At a park where we liked to joust on a balance beam.

What was your wedding song?
"What a Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong. We picked it because it is short!

Who was in your wedding party?

My cousins, his siblings, my sibling, our friends.

Do you get along with the in-laws?
Yes.

Whats your view on children?
We practically have three already. Seriously, we would love to have some in the future.

Does your spouse feel the same way?
Yes.

Are you a 2 peas in a pod or opposites attract couple?
Opposites attract. I still sometimes wonder how we even dated because we are so different.

Do you go out without your spouse?
No, usually, unless I'm with my college friends!

How long are you away from your spouse before you start to miss him/her?
About 2 seconds.

Have you ever compared your spouse to someone you have dated in the past?
Ummmm....no.

Do you trust your spouse?
Sometimes. I trust him with the obvious issues, but I do not trust him when it comes to being productive when I'm not home or not going to the library during a Book Sale.

Does your spouse trust you?
I think so, except when it comes to trusting me not to buy the cats Halloween costumes.

How well do you know your spouse’s favorites?
Very well. Insert a dragon and he loves anything.

How well does your spouse know your favorites?

Umm...that depends. He knows things like my favorite food but does not know things like my favorite piece of clothing or my favorite purse.

Do you get along with your spouses friends?
Yes. We are all friends.

Does your spouse get along with your friends?
Yes. Again, we are all friends.

Did you go on a honeymoon?
Yes. We went to the Lake of the Ozarks. In fact, Katie, we stayed at the Four Seasons because you did and said that you liked it!

Do you watch the same TV shows?
David doesn't really watch much TV, but he likes some shows that I do not think are very funny and I watch shows that he does not find funny.

Can you agree on Pizza toppings?
Yes. We both like a lot of meat, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms...but I usually end up picking off the cheese.

Who takes out the trash?
David.

Who does laundry?
We actually both do laundry.

Who cooks dinner?

Me. Because the only thing he knows how to cook is a fried egg, and I don't like eggs!

Who is the first one to wake up in the morning?
On the weekdays, David. On the weekends, me.

Do you have any traditions?
We run every night together (almost). Does that count?

Is there anyone in your spouses family that you cant stand?
Yes. All of them. (Ssssshhhhhhh....) I'm kidding! :)

Anyone in your spouses family you adore?
My nieces and nephew.

Do you know your spouses passwords/pins?
Yes. ALL of them. Bawahahahahaha.

Does your spouse know your social security number?
Yes. But I don't know his...weird.

Do you ever nag your spouse?
Yes. See above questions relating to how he doesn't do jobs while I am gone.

Do you admit wrong doing?
Yes. It usually takes me a few hours/days, though. He is much better at that than me!

Does your spouse?
Yes, he does.

When is the last time you or your spouse bought each other flowers?
I can't remember. It was a long time ago...and I have never bought him flowers.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Trauma

Tonight Arwen had major trauma.

My Dad is staying with us for the evening, and Arwen decided to venture onto the counter. Usually I just ignore her but my Dad and David both think that this type of behavior warrants discipline, so my Dad grabbed the spray bottle that David had prepared for disciplining kitties. He thought that it was set on "Spray" mode and he also thought that it contained water.

Unfortunately, it was not set on that mode and it did not contain water.

And unfortunately, he sprayed Arwen.

In actuality, the spray bottle was set on a straight shot mode, which we normally use for better aim. And in actuality, it contained a mixture of water and vinegar (cats HATE vinegar and someone (cough cough David) thought it would be a more memorable punishment with vinegar in it).

And unfortunately, it hit Arwen smack dab in the eye.

After realizing that Arwen had VINEGAR in her kitten EYE, I saw her running all over the house in a crazy fashion. She had no balance and no sense of direction. This was because she was in immense pain. Her little eye was red and shut.

Of course, my Dad felt horrible and tried petting her. This is where his college degree came in handy. From his animal husbandry days, he knew to rise out her eye with cold water, so I held her while he dumped water in her eye over and over at the sink. We petted her and I held her until she calmed down. My poor little girl!

Luckily, she recovered. In fact, she just spilled water on the floor so I must clean it up.

Monday, October 06, 2008

2 years


Today is the two-year anniversary of when David and I were engaged. Last night I remembered and told David and he said, "wow....it has gone by very quickly, hasn't it?" Yes, yes it has.

I feel like we have both changed a lot since that day two years ago. Now we both have a better idea of what we want to do with our lives. We are both more confident in our ideas and with ourselves. We have grown as individuals, which has made us grow closer together.

Sometimes I wonder how we started dating because of our numerous differences. David loves fantasy dragon books. I love reading the Shopaholic series. David enjoys savoring a treat for many days and I gobble mine up in one bite. He identifies with one political party, and I with the other. We do not enjoy the same movies. He leaves dirty dishes out all over the counter for the display of whoever walks in our house, and I like putting them in the sink.

However, our core values are the same. We respect each other, and rather than having one blurred household, we enjoy our distinctions and asserting our individuality. This year David started a new job and I became more involved in my school and we have both made new friends and expanded our horizons on our own.

But no matter how different we seem, how busy we become, or how much fun we have with others, I mostly look forward to when I get to see him again and be with him. I feel as giddy in love as I did two years ago.

I guess some things never change.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Shower!

This weekend we had a shower for my great friend Julie who is getting married in December and I thought that I would share a few pictures with you all! Planning the shower was so much fun. In the end, we decided to host a Bed and Breakfast themed shower where the guests were encouraged to bring a kitchen or bedroom themed gift. We also had breakfast food for our meal. Above is the dessert bar. Look at the cookies that my friend Jancin and I made! They are shaped like shoes and pink hearts. The hearts had Julie's new monogram on them in icing.

Here was our food spread. It makes me hungry just to look at it again!
We had quiche, hash brown casserole, french toast casserole, and fruit salad. Once she started opening presents, Julie had two special helpers (I am not sure why Claire looks as if she is wiping her eyes...she wasn't crying):
And then the entire group:
And finally, the beautiful Julie with her two helpers:
How much fun!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Little girl

This weekend our niece Emma came to visit. She is super cute and we had a great time and so I thought that today I would just list some fun moments we had with her:

- On Friday night, we had a little gathering at our house to watch the debate. When Emma found this out, she said, "But I'm so tired of hearing about this story!" and I said something about Obama, and Emma said, "but that guy steals from people!" (both of her parents are Republicans). I took the liberty of assuring her that Obama does not steal from people, and rather tries to help people, and that she should tell her parents to vote for Obama, not really thinking that she would actually remember the conversation.

So the next day we go to my friend Julie's shower and someone asked Emma about what she did the night before. Emma replied, "Well, we had to have a party because David wanted to watch those guys talk and because David wants us to vote for Obama!" This was even more hilarious because she announced this to my friends who all know that David actually likes McCain.

- David gave Emma a bath on Saturday night while I played the piano for a while. All of a sudden I hear someone screaming bloody murder, and thinking that it was probably Emma, I walked into the bathroom. I was met with a state of panic: David was nervous and Emma was crying because David had gotten soap into her eyes. Yipes! Poor girl. David thought that she would keep her eyes shut without tipping her head back, apparently.

- Last night she got homesick for her mommy. The poor thing was so pitiful and sad that it was hard to comfort her but she eventually pulled through and went to sleep.

- David really wanted to attend this Art Festival on Sunday. We walked downtown and saw tents, walked in the area, and realized that we had actually walked into the "Pagan Pride Festival 2008". It was very interesting and funny that we got the wrong festival! We did get to see some very talented belly dancers, though.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My commercial!

Here is a link to my commercial!

I am in the group shots and am the second one from the right in the front row, kneeling. I'm wearing a black shirt with gold writing. Yay!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hmmm...

I have a confession to make. I really, really, dislike bikers on the road. They are everywhere in my town, and I really hate the fact that we are supposed to "share the road" with bikers. Bikers are not cars. They do not go fast. They are small. They are dangerous when on a busy street. They drive me crazy!

Now, I understand WHY people bike to work/school and I think it is great. I just think that bikers should be able to bike on the sidewalks. Every day I get behind someone who is going around oh, 3 miles per hour, and do not know what to do. Am I supposed to pass them? A lot of bikers bike near the middle of the road, so I feel like it is often unsafe to do that, or I get stuck behind them while I wait for other cars to pass going the other direction. Today I got up the nerve to pass a biker on a side street. Guess what? He decided to turn left right at that moment without signaling. So I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him! Did he expect me to read his mind? I really do appreciate the few bikers who actually stay to the side of the road and signal, but really not many people do that. And please, don't get me started on those who wear their helmets and bike on busy streets.

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now, but decided to really do it when I was on Facebook and saw a friend with the away message, "Now that I've biked all week I know how bad drivers are...SHARE THE ROAD!"

Well, first, educate your fellow bikers about basic safety procedures and road etiquette and then I will be much more inclined to support your cause. My ideal world would be to have biking lanes on every road.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tailgating again!

We had another great weekend of tailgating! My college friends came to visit me and a lot of my new friends came by, as well as my cousins and aunt and uncle! What a fun time! I just love hanging out with my girls:
And I always have a ton of fun with my oldest friend Rach:
Here are the boys. Everybody got sunburned!
After the game we went out to eat, visited another friend, and then went out. We went to this really fun bar where they sell tropical slushes...mmm!
The entire weekend was so much fun. I just love to have friends come and visit me and I love tailgating, so it was a really great time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Greg Mortenson

Last night David and I went to hear Gret Mortenson speak. Greg is the author of Three Cups of Tea, which I reviewed and gave four cats in July. He happened to come to our campus the day after we both finished reading the book!

We both wanted to go see him because David read the book and was as impressed with Greg as I (maybe even more so). Greg did not disappoint when speaking. In the book, it is noted that he is very uncomfortable when speaking in public, and this was very obvious from his speech. But he seems so humble and sincere that it really made him all the more lovable for us.

His message is one which makes a lot of sense: the key to solving a lot of the poverty, violence, and fear in the world is to educate people, and specifically, to educate girls. I loved one of the quotations he shared with us last night:

Educate a boy, and you educate an individual
Educate a girl, and you educate a community.

Of course, I think that both genders should be educated, but in Greg's experience, when the women were educated in the communities where he built schools, they encouraged their sons and daughters to get an education, and so on, which creates a wonderful cycle. I also think that this can be applied to not only young Pakistani women, but also women around the United States and other countries. Being sure the young people in our nation receive an education is an extremely important issue--but that may be a topic for another post.

It was touching to hear about how much Greg's schools really mattered to communities. For instance, Greg told a story about a young woman who eventually completed a 2-year training course in safe birthing methods despite many trials she experienced going to school. Before she went to school, as many as twenty women died a year giving birth in her home valley. Since she has returned to her valley with her training, no women have died giving birth because of her help.

I could go on an on about how important it is to receive an education. But after the program, David and I mostly felt thankful. Both of our families place such a high importance on getting an education. Graduating from high school and receiving at least a college diploma was a no-brainer for us. All of our siblings have either graduated from college or are enrolled in college. All four of our parents went to college. My grandparents who are still living both went to college (including my grandma, which I think is great and a bit rare for someone in my generation). My parents both have Specialist degrees, and so for me even getting a graduate degree seemed like an extremely logical step. We take for granted our backgrounds, support systems, and how easy it is for us to receive an education.

Again, I really urge you to try to read the book. It is just so interesting to read about another culture and about Greg's helping others and about how a normal person like you and me can make a difference. Bravo, Greg!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tailgating!

Again this year we are tailgating! I love tailgating: it is definitely one of my favorite fall activities. Luckily, my dad let us use his parking pass and we have a pretty good spot!

Jolene, me, and Rach:
David and Matt:
David and I:
and finally, my friend Justine, Truman, and me:
And hey! Did you notice that I dyed my hair dark brown? It was a huge step for me because I had blond highlights for years and years. I decided to dye it for a fun change and because I didn't want to have blond hair forever. I was really happy with the results!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sunday riding

David and I have gotten into the habit of riding our bikes and running on trails near where we live. We especially love riding our bikes on the Katy Trail, a bike trail that runs through our state.

Before my school days started, we were able to bike around four times on the trail. Now our weekends are a bit busier with all-important things (cough cough going to football games cough cough), so we have been missing our Katy Trail rides, although we have replaced them with other trail runs.
So, I thought I would share some pictures with my blog readers, because I think that the scenery is so beautiful. The first picture is of a bridge on the trail, the second is of my awesome bike (I am hoping to get a new one next year that is at least a mountain bike instead of a 1950s knockoff bike--although David's mom did give me this one for free, so I am happy to report that it has survived many many miles of fun riding).
I love these two pictures. The top one looks like the creek is endless and I love the sunlight in the bottom picture.
Hrm. This is a picture of a cliff. However, if you look very, very closely just below the center of the picture, you can (very faintly) see red Native American drawings on the cliff. I can barely see them in this picture, so don't feel bad if you can't find them. They were cool to see in real life, though!
If you get a chance to ride the Katy Trail, I definitely recommend it. Biking is really fun!

I'm off to bed. It is only 8:54, but I am already really tired from the week so far. Does it seem like Thursday to anybody else?