Saturday, August 8, 2015

July Fun Times!

A good deal of fun stuff has happened since last time, where shall I start?

One of the bigger things that has happened since last time is that, on a whim, I decided to chop my hair off! I was going to grow it until it was long enough to donate, but that didn't happen this time. I was going to have a new stylist cut my hair for the first time, and I wanted to get the most bang for my buck! Also, I decided that I needed a hairstyle that looks a little more teacher-y.

Short hair!!!
Fun fact: I made this decision approximately 2 hours before my appointment! I shocked Thomas, as I told him that I was only getting my hair trimmed...in good news, he loves it! (Not that he really had much choice in the matter, but even so...) I'm happy with the new look and the fact that it only takes me about 5 minutes to fix it in the mornings! Woohoo!

At the beginning of the summer, Thomas decided that he wanted to take me out for a nice dinner in OKC. After the craziness of harvest was over, he finally made plans! Because I had never eaten hibachi before, he found a place in north OKC called Sakura that specialized in hibachi. It was a fun dining experience for both of us, and we easily left with enough food to feed a small army. After dinner, I needed to visit the Disney Store to get one of Andy's birthday presents, so we made our first trip to the outlet malls! While we were there, Thomas was able to get new earpieces for his Oakley sunglasses and I was able to find a new wallet at the Vera Bradley outlet. I also had to tear myself away from the Corelle store and all of their fun kitchen gadgets. When the outlet mall closed, it was only 9, and the night was young! We headed over to the Myriad Botanical Gardens for an evening stroll. We probably would have stayed longer had it not been so humid with tons of mosquitoes. Otherwise, it was beautiful and an oasis in the midst of downtown! (Fun fact: this was the 2nd botanical garden that we have visited together...I have a hunch this could be a tradition for us!)
Photo op in front of the Devon Tower!
We ended the night with a slight stroke of insanity when we decided to visit the Marble Slab in Bricktown at 10 PM on a Saturday night. I think everyone else in Bricktown had the same idea. Thank goodness, the 30-minute wait was worth it! After that, we decided to call it a night and headed back north. It was a perfect night out on the town...so worth it!

Most everything else I've done over the last few weeks has been school-related. I've completed lesson plans for the first chapter for every class, and I have tentatively mapped out everything for the first semester! I composed a syllabus for each class (mostly C&P work there!), a classroom diagram for seating charts, frameworks for notebook organization, grading rubrics for notebooks, and a few other documents that escape me at the moment. I've really accomplished a decent amount, but somehow, I feel like I'm forgetting something major! Really, those things have been pretty mundane, but I'm just happy to have made sizable progress! Also, I have made many trips up to my room to start getting things together and making it "my room". I'm slowly making progress, but I couldn't have done any of it without my mom, sisters, Thomas, or Liz! They've all been a huge help to me so far!!! Mom, my sisters, and Thomas all helped me organize the heck out of my classroom! (It was in dire need of it.) We rearranged a few things and I'm happy with how it has turned out. Liz was gracious enough to let me borrow her artistic skills to help me make a few posters! She made a few, then I also used Gina's Cricut to help me make a few more...so much fun! The posters have really helped to tie my room together a little bit more. I made a curtain for my window, so it won't look so sad and institutional, and I also made a few curtains to cover some bookshelves that were a little more chaotic than I cared to look at every day. It's all coming together so quickly! I've been able to talk with my co-workers more, which has been helpful. I also helped with pre-enrollment this past week, which allowed me to interact with a few students and parents. It was a big help for me to start being more teacher-y :) Yes, I'm still nervous about school starting, but I'm not that nervous about actually teaching. It'll be okay, right? Yes, it always is, even if it really isn't!
Check out the curtains :)
After spending 5-ish hours working in my classroom, Thomas and I went to Tonisha's family's annual pool party! We arrived at just the right time, it turned out. The party spanned from 1-11 PM to accommodate different groups, and we arrived a little bit before 7. Most of the crowd had thinned out, the sun was setting (sunscreen wasn't a major issue), and her dad was putting on a fresh batch of his famous catfish! It was perfect! I loved getting to spend some quality time with Tonisha, who I hadn't seen since my graduation party. As much as I love meeting new people, nothing beats talking to someone who has known you for most of your life. There's lots of comfort in that for me! I'm very blessed to have a best friend as wonderful as Tonisha!
So great to see Tonisha!!
Andrew and Jeremy have celebrated birthdays since last time. Andy turned 6 and Jeremy turned 39! e had a small cookout for Andy's birthday, complete with his favorite foods--cheeseburgers and chocolate cake! While it strikes me that Andy is now 6, it'll be a new story when Cody turns 11 in a few weeks. We're having another, slightly larger, celebration at the lake this weekend. Andy is ecstatic, along with everyone else. Here's hoping for more fun times!

Random fact: I bought a bike this week.
I've been contemplating buying one for the past year or so, and I finally did! The impetus for this is that I found my Freshman 15...or 20...during the tail-end of my senior year. Ugh. After telling myself all summer that I'll walk more, I realized that I didn't, because it was either ridiculously humid, the mosquitoes were too thick and loved me just a little too much (even with bug spray), or I was working on other things. On a related note, I'm great at making excuses and I love to eat delicious, rich food. Oops. That doesn't change the fact that my professional wardrobe is rapidly becoming snug on me, and I'm not about to throw down hundreds of dollars for new clothes when I could easily just change a couple habits and probably be okay. Oh, to be my high school self who ran miles upon miles without a second thought. (My knees don't like it when I run these days :(  Here's to the beginning of better fitness and making progress! I can do it!!!

Thursday was both a really good and a really not-so good day for me. In the not-so good part, Thomas went home after spending literally the entire summer with me. We had TONS of fun together and I'm really happy to have had the chance to spend so much time with him. I know it won't be that way for the foreseeable future, which makes me sad. As I'm sure you realize, I LOVE spending time with Thomas. He is the first man I've ever dated who has reciprocated this love of quality time. He goes out of his way to make sure that we have some form of quality time each day, even when we're apart, which consists of some combination of texting and phone calls. I can easily talk to him for hours on end without running out of things to say, as can he. He gets me in ways that very few people get me. We're scarily similar on so many of our viewpoints, opinions, life experiences, etc. If we aren't, we complement one another perfectly. I could go on and on about how crazy I am about Thomas, but I'll spare you for now. (That will be a post that happens in the near future, though!) I am so deeply, madly in love with him, and I'm so happy that I could at least spend the summer with him! With that being said, he also needed to have time at home with his family. They missed each other terribly and were excited to be reuniting! (I'm also grateful that his family is willing to share him with me :) )

A couple of hours after our goodbye, my dear friend Heather, the missionary from Florida, and I met up at long last! It had been a year since we had seen each other last, and even if we talked or texted often, it was still much-needed! We had a great afternoon/evening together and went on a few cool adventures! We started off by visiting the shrine and having an interesting conversation with a guy there (proof that timing is never an accident), visiting my classroom to hang up the rest of my posters, having gelato at Little Bit of Seattle (much needed at that point!), going to Walmart to buy ink cartridges, supper at Buffalo Wild Wings, and a quick drive by my old high school! It was a jam-packed time filled with joy, laughter, unexpected evangelization, and TONS of catching up! I'm beyond grateful for Heather's friendship, which has literally changed my life, and I can't wait to see what else she'll accomplish this year as a missionary! I'm so proud of her!
Picture with Mom :)
Fun fact: I've now been blogging for five years! That probably warrants a post of its own, but I don't have a ton of inspiration for it at the moment. Sometimes that happens, and it's okay. Even if my sparse posts don't reflect it, I love writing and hope to get better about writing more frequently this year! I've grown immensely in the past year, and I love being able to see my transitions through my writing!

I'll end it here for now! Here's hoping we can stay cool...it's a scorcher out there this weekend!