Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Thanksgiving is one of our big family holidays where everyone comes from far and wide and we feast on 2 or 3 turkeys at my mom and dad's house. We watch old family movies and eat until we can't move. It's really a great tradition.  After we're done at my mom and dad's house, Andrew and I drive down the hill to the next town over and eat Thanksgiving dinner part 2 with his family. It's quite the contrast going from my parent's house with people everywhere to his parent's house with a grand total of 6 of us.
This year our crew was smaller than normal because a lot of family just travelled out here for my sister's wedding in September, so they couldn't make the trip again so soon. We missed you guys and we'll see you next year!
The turkeys got tore into before I could photograph them!
Above: Kristie, Grandpa Bob, my mom, and me in our matching outfits.

At some point the hardcore shoppers in our group meet up at Wal-Mart for Black Friday deals (that are now exclusively on Thursday) and we load 4 or 5 carts full of goodies. This year my mom was the big winner... she brought home a 50" TV, a couple sound bar systems, an ipad mini, a bunch of comforters, SD cards, and 5 HP touchscreen laptops (mostly Christmas presents for others).  She's no BF amateur; mama even makes her own labels for all her carts! I was very selective and only bought a TV, a laptop, a waffle iron, some video games for Andrew, and picture frames for my classroom. The food coma must have slowed me down :)
Three of my aunties, my sister Kristie, Andrew, and I were running around Wal Mart getting wrist bands to wait in a bunch of lines to get everything on our lists. It's total chaos and every year we all say we're never doing it again, but every year we're back for more!
So that was our Thanksgiving.
Last weekend my parents came down to San Diego to visit us and the boys went to Qualcomm stadium to see a football game (SDSU and Boise State, I think?) My dad's friend's son plays for Boise and they went out to cheer him on. Andrew and I are both SDSU alum, so it was super controversial. Or it would be if I cared at all about college football.
My mom and I went to the tail gate party in the parking lot and then did some shopping.
We went to the Rock Church (a mega church in Point Loma) that is conveniently located across the street from TJ Maxx Home Goods. I found this wine rack contraption that would be perfect for a time out corner in my classroom. I am having flashbacks of the chokey and the Trunchbull from Matilda. I kind of understand her now.
I don't want to be the girl that complains about church worship, because it's all glorifying to God in some way, but the dude wailing his off pitch lungs directly behind me made me kind of wonder if God really does like all forms of worship. Andrew says you can sing loud or you can sing off key, but you can't do both. As for me, I'll just lip sync from here on out because I don't ever want to offend like that man did!

Mom and dad were our first house guests and Maddie was thrilled to greet them... see her little face in the window?
We did some damage at Fashion Valley Mall and spent last Sunday with our family friends, James and Debby. My mom has been wanting the Louis Vuitton "never full" purse for years and finally splurged for her 25th wedding anniversary present. Remind me to have her leave that bag to me in her will. It costs more than our rent :)
 We did more of the usual: shopping and eating. Andrew's face is just precious after that huge bite of burger. Framing that one!

 Maddie is happy with her Christmas toys and successfully bit all the eyeballs and buttons off of them within two days. That's a personal best for her.

Today we are still visiting family and heading over to Grandma's. Tomorrow my dad is playing drums at church and we'll drive back to San Diego afterwards. This week always goes by so fast! Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving and got lots of good shopping bargains!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Energy zapped

By 2:00 on Monday afternoon, I thought it was 11:00 on Thursday night. So now that it is 11:00 on Thursday night, I can fully appreciate the craziness that has been the last week. Between awards assemblies, assigning first trimester grades, updating our classroom blog:, commenting on 544 assignments (yes, 32 students times 17 pieces of work), scheduling and completing parent conferences, lesson planning, our first field trip, bringing Maddie to school, having a class nacho party that is way more labor intensive than it should be, getting another new student, attending evening seminars, plus regular life stuff like decorating for Christmas, and random service lights turning on in my car, I feel like my head is going to explode. I can't keep up with all of this!

I simultaneously feel like I've done one million things, and nothing. There is always more to do!
I am too exhausted to even post a single picture. That's serious exhaustion, yo!

Thanksgiving Break can't come soon enough and it will be chaotic and non-stop, but it will also be delicious and full of bargain shopping.

Is it wrong that the only thing getting me through this unending, hellish week is the promise of some super deals on Black Friday next week? I'm getting an IPad mini, Andrew needs a new laptop, and I'm sure they'll have tons of "prize bin" stuff for my students and classroom supplies. It's kind of sad how much of my paycheck goes right back to the school, but I suppose that makes me an awesome teacher. I have to hope it does anyway! If I can't teach these kids to read, at least they'll have cute pencils to doodle with. Hmm, I ought to save that for my teaching resume, huh?!

Black Friday Ads HERE.  :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pasadena and the weekend

Saturday morning Andrew and I drove a couple hours north to Pasadena where we spent the day with his parents. We went to the Huntington Library which included beautiful gardens, several art museums, and an amazing library full of authentic historical documents.

 I couldn't believe how gorgeous the gardens were, especially in November.
I'll have to come back in the Springtime to see everything in bloom.

So beautiful! I enjoyed just driving around the neighborhoods in San Marino. We got to see the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade House and several other suitable abodes.
It turns out San Marino is one of the most expensive zip codes in the country.
Also on that list...  Coronado Island in San Diego. My favorite!
Mansion taste on an apartment budget... such is life :)
We also spent some time at the Hotel Langham where Andrew's parents were staying.
On our way back home we stopped to shop in Anaheim near Disneyland, drove by downtown LA at sunset, and ate dinner at the Irvine Spectrum Mall.
 We miss Texas BBQ, but the tri-tip at Wood Ranch is delicious.
Sunday we hiked Cowles' Mountain, the highest point in San Diego city limits.
In unrelated news, as I'm sorting through the pictures I see that Andrew wore the same outfit all weekend. Guess it's time to do laundry! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Switchfoot in San Diego

It is no secret that Switchfoot is one of our favorite bands. We saw them in San Antonio last year, Austin in 2011, and about ten other times in California. Actually, the first concert I saw them at was in 1998 when they opened for Five Iron Frenzy. If you were super cool like me (sarcasm) and way into the Christian ska scene, the mere mention of FIF would make your heart sing. I digress.
Switchfoot is on tour again, and San Diego is their hometown, so it is our favorite place to see them because their families are here, and it just means more. 
The concert was Tuesday night at the beautiful Balboa Theatre downtown.

They put on a great show, as usual, with the added bonus of a short film documenting their recent world travels. Something they said in the film was, "When you're dealing with really hard times that you can't explain, faith and doubt are equally rational choices." It's not an earth-shattering statement, but it was reassuring to hear that these spiritual mentors of mine struggle with the same pitfalls of being human and confused as I do.

Switchfoot is a surfer term that means standing in the opposite stance than you normally do to get a different perspective. Most surfers face the beach, but in the documentary it was funny to see Switchfoot actually surfing "switchfoot" while facing the wave. Clever guys :)

And that is my limited knowledge of surfing.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mission Beach and the fog

Saturday morning the forecast called for 80 degrees and sunshine, so we grabbed our beach bag and headed to Mission Bay. Every weekend we've managed to do something different in San Diego, and Mission Bay is one of the more iconic areas of the city with Sea World and Belmont Park.
 We strolled along the boardwalk and took pictures of all the fun rides.
 And then the fog rolled in. Wishful thinking planning a beach day in November!
It was clear that a sunny day at the beach was out of the question so we hit up our favorite dive Mexican restaurant for $2.00 burritos.
 And drove fifteen minutes inland to our old apartment complex (the one we lived in for three years after college before we moved to Texas) where it's always sunny and the pool is always waiting for us meaning they don't lock the gate.

Saturday night we walked to "Ye Village Inn", a local dive bar that our friends frequent. Without explaining the disgusting "adult" trivia game the boys in our group played (minus Andrew, of course) they conveniently wrote in my name (#9) so I am forever immortalized on the leaderboard of that horrible game. Thanks guys. Meanwhile, I was busy losing at shuffleboard which is not something I'm used to. I'm going to need a new sport. Perhaps darts?
We also walked by our city's tiny Library located in a shopping center next to a pet groomer and a Chinese restaurant. Weird. Libraries are normally beautiful old buildings. This one was a let down. But the night wasn't a total loss, my friend Audrey found her dream car.
Today we took a nice, long walk around Lake Murray. 
The whole trail is a 10K and our little Maddie Bear walked almost the entire time. She has been conked out for the last 6 hours. That was probably a whole month's worth of exercise for her.
It definitely was for me!
Now I'm figuring out lesson plans for the week, finalizing first trimester grades, and prepping for parent conferences. I got two new students last week which puts me at 32 and I am feeling very outnumbered.
But hey, I made it through another month and I am celebrating every victory no matter how small!

This weekend we booked our Caribbean Cruise for January (to celebrate my 30th birthday and my dad's 50th birthday/retirement). It's always nice to have something fun to look forward to.
Now I just have to explain to my principal that I am extending my 2 week Christmas vacation and taking a whole extra week off of school for a "family reunion" back east. Wish me luck! On the bright side, maybe I'll get to go on lots of vacations soon... when I'm FIRED!!!