Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nothing can be easy

So our little flooring project has turned into a much bigger home improvement project all around. The floor in the guest room turned out so well, we decided to do the same thing to the office floor. And since grey walls just don't go well with the pretty cream floor, we pretty much have to redo the wall color there, too.

And since we're doing flooring and paint, we thought about room arrangements. Randy and I both spend much more time in the office, messing around on the computer and recording music. We really do need a bigger space for that, while we rarely have guests stay the night. So, the need for a bigger extra bedroom really isn't that great. Our solution? A room swap.

The guest bedroom is now becoming the office and vice versa. We think it will work out perfectly, and so does this website (very helpful!).

So, now, the new, bigger office is almost complete. The floor is done. Walls are painted. And my dear husband is working on the baseboards. We're so close to being ready to move in furniture and do it all over again in the new guest bedroom. There, we will have cream floors with matching cream walls. The accents will be lime, as planned in the last post. For our office, we chose "sweet basil" as the color. It's a mix between a light green and yellow. Very nice with the cream floors. Here's the progress...

(note: the pictures look a bit yellow-y...
the wall color isn't exactly represented well)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A whim

I get whims. Quite frequently. My poor husband has been so good at keeping up with my kicks and fads. And while they can be transient, once I have one, I usually go at it full-force ... until my impatience kicks in.

My whim this time was changing around our guest bedroom. It all started as my husband and I were playing the "if you could change any room in our house, which would it be?" game. We both agreed that the guest room has been neglected ever since I slapped some purple paint on the walls right after moving in. And honestly, I haven't felt like doing much in the home-project front since our major renovation about a year ago.

But I got the whim... the urge to do something. Paint? Yes. Decorate? Yes. Pull up the ugly green carpeting and hope that the wood floors underneath would be immaculate? Yes.

Well. They were not immaculate. With paint stains, and other unknown markings, we decided that the wood floor would need help. Randy (blesshisheart) wanted to refinish them. Ha! We've never done such work, and he always paints these projects rosier than they actually are. So, I proposed a little paint (I love painting... it can fix almost anything).

So, we started the project around 6:00 tonight, and after a trip to Lowes to get supplies, I can happily (and ache-ily) say that primer is now dry. The flooring is ready for its first coat of "city steam" paint (mostly a fun name for "off-white). And, at 1:15 am, I am off to bed. A good day's work.
Before... (really before, when the room was peach...
just look at the horrid green carpet)

Carpet is removed. Floor is sanded and ready for primer.
Primer is on. Already looks better!
Now, we just need a neutral wall color...

Some inspiration:

Friday, September 25, 2009

A day from hell... and it's only September.

I love my job. I'm glad I went through 6 years of not-so-fun schooling to get to do what I do. I love interacting with the children, and I love to see them succeed even when they don't believe they can. I even love working in a school... I get to wear comfy, but cute clothes and get off around 2:45. But there's one thing that I hate that I'm sure is a part of most workplace settings -- drama.

Today I got verbally attacked by a tenured teacher who has a reputation of clearing out rooms with her obnoxiously noisy, boisterous behavior. She loves to be a part of anything and everything, and you better believe she needs a power trip to feel important. Being a newbie, I suppose I was an easy target. Except she doesn't really know me and the fact that I don't mind a bit of confrontation, especially when I'm in the right.

After my kids got on the bus, I went down to check out my new digs. It's a small room (about 7"x 10") that's currently full of wooden cubbies and a cardboard shelf of extra kleenexes. I was surveying the room trying to decide where to put everything when this teacher came in and told me that everything could go except for the cardboard shelf. It needed to stay. After asking why, she replied that it was hers and that it had to stay there.

Hm. My room. My stuff needs a place. In a small room, a cardboard shelf of tissues really doesn't have a place. So, I told her that I would not throw it out, but instead, I would put it outside my door, so that she may find a new home for it.

I guess that set her off. She went from 0 to 60 in no time. In my face, at the top of her lungs, she began berating me and telling me the what for. I perhaps wouldn't have minded so much, except her whole entire class was behind her waiting for her to take them to the bus. The children's eyes were wide with fear, as she stood yelling at me, a fellow professional.

I calmly asked her to lower her voice, refrain from speaking to me in such a tone, and stop being so unprofessional in front of children.

Guess what seasoned teachers who think they are entitled to do whatever they please because they are tenured hate? When new teachers half their age tell them to act more professionally. Yep, she really didn't like that because she escalated her ranting and raging.

I then tried to rationalize with her. "But Mrs. Crazy, you have a whole classroom to store your kleenex, and I just have this small room. I need to have space for my speech materials, a table, and chairs."

There was no reasoning with her. All was lost. A few more spouts of anger was spewed my way until it was over. The teacher went on her way with scarred children in tow.

All the while, I hiked myself up to the principal's office to have myself a meeting with the principal and vice-principal. To my surprise, they were well aware of similar activities. I soon learn that Mrs. Crazy is quite the bully around school. She likes to berate people and push them to see how much she can walk over them.

Well, after filing a report and speaking to my mentor (which also happens to be a union rep), I feel much better. The principal, vice-principal, my mentor, a fellow teacher friend, and my c0-teacher are all on my side and were very comforting. I think in the end, I'm most proud of how I handled myself... it sure made me look better than it did Mrs. Crazy.

And on Wednesday, when the room becomes officially mine, there will be a nice cardboard shelve full of kleenexes sitting outside Mrs. Crazy's door.... with a mental note attached to it saying "It's my room... back off."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dream a little dream

Lookin' for our next house on .... so many to choose from... and so affordable.

Affordable, and Very Possible - It's very affordable and beautiful inside. To really appreciate it, check out the realty website and search using the MLS 90017596

Beautiful in White - While it could use some updating, the potential is great. Plus, 6 bedrooms would be nice. And a view like this...

Log cabin with land - It's been my dream to have a country log cabin with lots of land, trees, and animals (lots of room for pugs). I'm thinking it would be so nice to walk my 19.75+ acreage, have visitors stay in the separate studio/workshop, and pick from my orchard. Plus, this would be the road to my house:

Down Right Amazing - Where do I sign? Oh, you need that much in real money? Hm.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Official

Even though I technically graduated on May 7th, I just now received my diploma. Kinda makes me glad I didn't walk at graduation.... you know, shaking someone's hand while receiving an empty diploma folder seems to decrease the meaningfulness of the whole ceremony.

While the ceremony might have lacked in reality, the diploma does not. And since I worked hard for the degree (and I finally have an income), I decided to splurge a little on the framing. I wanted it to look nice and professional. Now, I just need to hang it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Guest

Meet Moses. He's adorable in every pug way. He's 5-years old, and he's quite the funny, loving boy. I'm quickly learning that I love every pug that comes through our door.... there hasn't been one that I personally don't want to permanently rescue. But alas, I can't keep all the pugs for myself. That would be selfish, since everyone needs to experience pug love.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


My favorite place to dine is the Melting Pot. I love the atmosphere. I love sipping wine in a dark nook with the smell of warm, melty goodness cooking in the steaming pot just inches away. I love that fondue slows the pace of a normal dinner to just over two hours. And while every course is amazingly delicious, there's no doubt that the best creation on Earth is waiting at the end of the meal: chocolate fondue of your choice (for us, it's usually the flaming turtle, which includes caramel, chocolate, and chopped pecans set ablaze right in front of our eyes).

Because the Melting Pot costs a pretty penny, we usually go for a special occasion (birthday? anniversary? half-birthday? .... let's go to the Melting Pot!). This time I decided to document the experience. This is just some of the yummy goodness.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Those who know me know I like change. I have little patience, and boredom comes quickly for me. It's something I'm trying to work on.

I've been going back and forth about getting my hair cut. When I have it short, I want it long. Then, by the time I have long hair, I realize how cute it was short. For some reason, I just don't ever feel like long hair can be styled. So, I just end up putting it up in a ponytail. Lame.

Hair cuts, for me, are usually done on a whim. I get the notion in my head of a hair cut, and the next day, it's done (usually for $9.99 at Fantastic Sams, after a coupon).

Last night, Randy and I researched haircuts. I tend to gravitate towards the same, stacked haircut. But Randy's advice was a bit different than usual. He said, "Go short, or go home." So, I picked a super short hair picture and went in this morning. And, boy, am I glad I listened to my husband. We both absolutely love it...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One reason I love my job...

is that the 5 & 6-year olds make me laugh. Today, we had carpet time in which we played music for the kids. While most of the kids were doing the typical kid dance (you know the one... just jumping and swaying to and fro), one of the kids was seriously doing a mean robot move. I was impressed.... right after I wiped the tears away from me laughing so hard. Where to heck do they pick up these things?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Birthday: Part 2

How lucky am I to get a birthday weekend? Randy and I spent the rest of the Labor Day weekend at my forever friend's house in Peoria, so the 3-hour drive was a nice get-away without seeming impossibly long.

The only downside was that my allergies had been acting up since I woke up on Friday. With my nose simultaneously being stuffy and runny and a sore throat from the drainage... I wasn't feeling my best. In fact, my forever friend's husband suggested that I was more sick than allergic, but I brushed that notion right off.... what does he know? Well... probably more than me, since he is a doctor, after all. Needless to say, he had some great meds that really helped get me back on my feet. Hooray for a doctor as a friend!

Anyway, back to the visit. It was a relaxing weekend with no definite plans. We went where we wanted to go. We did what we wanted to do. Nothing demanding our time, which was really nice. And my forever friend is quite the hostess, as we had a great breakfast and tasty dinner. Quite the cook, she is.

And while I miss her and our fun adventures, it's still nice to be home. We spent 2 days visiting and came home on Monday morning, which gave us plenty of time to do chores and get ready for the work week ahead.

All in all, a perfect birthday was had. I wouldn't have wanted it differently. Maybe getting older really is about getting better.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Birthday: Part 1

It happened. I'm officially in my mid twenties. I think that exempts me from being in the "high-risk" population for getting the swine flu. Which is probably really good news, considering a case has been confirmed at the Alton middle school. But I digress....

I had an awesome birthday with still more to come. Last night was the first time I'd ever seen a cycling race. It doesn't sound very cool, does it? And really, the only reason we went was to support our cyclist friend, Heston. I was expecting to see a bunch of guys in spandex scooting around some track on their bikes. I was WAY off.

These guys are hard core. I've never seen so many athletes get carried away on stretchers. They go super fast (up to 40 mph) and ride super close to one another. One wrong move, and it's a domino effect. And the track is a city road course that winds around really neat old buildings, bars, and restaurants in St. Louis. It was a great time.

After seeing Heston race, we all went out to celebrate my birthday at Bailey's Chocolate Bar. An appetizer, pizzettas, truffles, and a bottle of wine later, we parted ways until our next get-together. It was a great 25th birthday....

Coming up: Birthday Celebration, Part 2: Visiting the Forever Friend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life after grad school...

is great. I come home from work and have no project, research paper, or article review to do. And while I haven't received it yet, I get a paycheck for my work, which is quite a change. My hours are 7:55 to 2:45, so I really can't complain. I've even been working out right after school, and I still have time to get home and cook dinner before Randy gets home.

Work also has other perks. I've met my co-worker and now friend, Christine, and her boyfriend, Heston. Randy and I have done something with them for the past 4 weekends in a row. Last week was the Alton block party, and this weekend is Heston's bicycle race. I guess it's a pretty huge thing... part of the Tour of Missouri. Who knew Missouri was such a big cycling state? So, for my birthday, we'll go and support Heston in his race on Friday. I hear there'll be bands, food, and drinks for the race, so it sounds like a good time to me.