I’m posting every week (daily?) in 2011!


I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog at least once a week during 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore, I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Signed,

Me

Say what?


A Chinese restaurant nearby opened recently and I thought I would try it out this week while Kevin was roping. The food was OK. I didn’t realize they had sushi and since I found this Japanese cuisine, I eat it as often as I possibly can. I decided to play it safe and try some traditional, cooked rolls. My favorite sushi place has THE BEST California rolls, so my expectations were really high. The new place had a California roll, but it was nothing to write home about, neither was the dragon roll or the egg drop soup. The soup was way too egg-y. There were so many pieces my soup had knots and that, frankly, grossed me out. At least the water with lemon was refreshing.

Perhaps my first visit at this place would have left a better taste in my mouth (no pun intended) if the fortune cookie I received had had a better statement that what I got:

Your lucky number for this week is thirteen.

Say what? You’re joking, right? C’mon, who gets a fortune that says this?

ME.

To be honest, this week has been pretty crappy. I’d love to use another term, but I will refrain myself. I’ve gotten so stressed, I can feel ulcers in my stomach developing. I don’t deal with BS well, and there has been an excessive amount of it this week. 

To add fuel to the already flaming fire in my stomach, I am taking the Pedagogy & Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam Saturday morning in Commerce. This test is the Holy Grail of certification in the State of Texas. I have to pass this in order to get my permanent certificate to teach. No pressure.

Going to Kevin’s parent’s house reminds me: I need to get Christmas presents out of the closet and take those with us. I spent the holidays ~ Thanksgiving AND Christmas ~ in Kentucky, so I have not seen my in-laws in a really long time. My bad.

I’m so ready for this week to end. Some things are just not fun anymore.

Supposed To


Since December 29th, Kevin and I have been living in a dusty, dirty, grout-smeared construction zone as we embarked on an expensive journey I like to call, “Remodeling One of the Worst Bathrooms in America.”

BEFORE

If you’ve been following, you must remember the awful condition of the previous bathroom: teeny-tiny shower (that stopped working 18 months ago), faux purple marble countertops, brass fixtures, and institutional white tile. It was a force to be reckoned with, but Kevin and I reckoned – – – and WON!!!!!

BEFORE

Mark today in your calendar: Kevin and I took our showers tonight in our very new, very beautiful, and very awesome bathroom tonight! Let me tell you, it was amazing. The shower itself is big enough for four people (not that I anticipate that ever happening!) but the shower heads are mounted high enough on the wall that I don’t have to bend over to rinse my hair. There is something to be said about being tall and “plump” in a short and skinny world. No worries, though, I have my own sanctuary of bathroom bliss now!!!!

AFTER

Still WIP - Work In Progress

Before you start high-fiving the bathroom fairies, the project is not complete. Yeah, I know, right?! Mario, the cabinet guy, is supposed to (that’s become my new mantra, “supposed to”) install the last cabinet above the toilet sometime this week and repair a piece of molding on the cabinet next to the shower. There is also a vanity cabinet missing a screw (been there, done that once or twice before) that will have to be addressed. Besides Mario finishing his work, the rest is cosmetic and decoration. I have items coming from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that should arrive (supposed to) by the end of the week. I also need to make another trip to Home Depot for lightbulbs, cabinet organizers, and picture-hanging brackets. I did not realize until last night while brushing my teeth that I was uncomfortably awkward doing so without a mirror…oh the luxuries in life that I take for granted. Alas, the mirrors will go up his week. Supposed to.

In the meantime, I am desperately trying to de-clutter and de-funk this place before the team of house cleaners arrive bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed at 8:00 am Thursday. Who cleans before the cleaners arrive? Me. I had to wipe down the TV last night because I thought The Bachelor had a booger sticking out of his nose. Nope, it was a piece of drywall paper stuck to the screen. My bad. Air-duct cleaners were supposed to (supposed to) come to the house last week and clean out our air filtration and duct-work, but obviously Juan and his crew were still here so that must be rescheduled.

As soon as Dulce & Co. finishes Thursday, I’m off to East Texas to take the PPR exam. That’s one of the last steps toward becoming a permamently certified teacher in the State of Texas. HAPPY! HAPPY! JOY! JOY!

I would express my excitement and anticipation of summer, but looking at the calendar it’s going to be just as busy as my current schedule. I have three mission projects this summer: two domestic trips with the youth group at church and an international trip to Haiti. Guess I will look forward to Spring Break 2011 instead – I am going to Kentucky to meet Miss Adalee Tapp, who’s expected to arrive the first week of March.

IN-TO-ME-SEE


I said at the beginning of 2011 that I wanted to complete at least one Bible study (you can see my other goals here) this year. Today is Day 1. I have numerous books and study guides on my bookshelf, so this should not be a problem. I selected “Completely Loved ~ Recognizing God’s Passionate Pursuit of Us” by Shannon Ethridge. It is book one of a four-part series; I probably have the other three books and don’t even know it.

I was introduced to a lovely revelation about the word “intimacy.” I love ELA (English/Language Arts) and I am certified to teach ELA and Reading in elementary and middle school. Do you remember syllables from elementary school? I loved breaking down words into syllables. I remember clapping my hands or tapping my index finger on the side of my desk to practice. Break down the word intimacy and you get: IN-TO-ME-SEE. Isn’t that cool?! I love this. I want to write it in a pretty script and have it framed. This simple word broken into syllables is a lovely, yet simplistic, reminder of God’s pursuit of me and my pursuit to live as a transparent child of God. 

Can you answer these questions truthfully, without reservation or hesitation?

Do you agree with God that His creation is excellent in every way? What is your assessment of His handiwork when you look in the mirror? Do you see yourself as fearfully and wonderfully made by a masterful artist? Do you believe God looks upon you with great satisfaction?

What do you see when looking in the mirror?

I see a woman with eyes so green. I see a woman who glows at the mention of family or Kentucky. I see a woman with yesterday’s makeup still on her face. I see a woman without wrinkles (a great benefit to being fat!). I see a woman grateful for her many blessings. I see a woman with smile lines. I see a woman completely in love with her husband. I see a woman trying to live as a Christian as best she can. I see a woman dedicated to the special people in her life. I see a woman whose heart is worn on her sleeve. I see a woman who loves children and hopes to become a mother one day. I see a woman who loves to cook, and is obviously good at eating! I see a woman who gives much and asks nothing in return. I see a woman teaching the leaders of tomorrow. I see a woman that does not forget. I see a woman who loves to laugh, cherishes humor, and dabbles in sarcasm. I see a woman whose eyes do not see race, ethnicity, gender, or disability.

What do you see?

Progress in Pictures


OK, so I admit I was lacking my Polly Anna personality last night but I am pleased with the bathroom and its results today. Luis, the electrician installed all of the light fixtures and I take full credit for the sconces – they are ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Juan painted the walls today and will touch-up tomorrow before he starts to grout the tile. I am still waiting on Mario, the cabinet guy, to install the furniture. The granite will be installed as soon as the cabinets are in and they can create a template to cut the holes for the under-mount sinks. The glass shower doors are supposed to be here by next Wednesday or Thursday.

Excuse the mess, but enjoy these photos of progress being made this week….

Excuse the mess and step ladder...but the tile looks great!!!!

Light fixtures were installed...do you like the paint color??

C’mon, seriously – are these not the cutest sconces you’ve ever seen?!?!

Bath tub faucet....the matching hand sprayer is on the other side. I really love the brushed nickel.

Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think of our progress. The bathroom is by no means complete, but it’s slowly getting that way.

 
~Nicole
 

The honeymoon is over


Let me just preface this blog post by saying it’s 11:35 pm and I should most definitely be asleep since I have to get up early and be at school for a teacher’s prep day. Students do not have class but teachers have to be on-campus to finish grades, tidy their rooms, and prepare for the new semester. Well, my grades are finished, I do not have a room to tidy (unless greasing the wheels on my cart counts?) and I am ready for classes to resume on Tuesday. Yes, I am an over-achiever. Go ahead, be jealous. Very jealous! Alas, I will go in tomorrow and double-check (again!) my final grades, roam the halls to visit teachers just because I want witnesses and proof that I was present, and then – if the copying machine is still working – I will make some copies and cross my fingers that I can leave shortly after lunchtime. One great benefit of professional development and prep days is the extended lunch time. Remember, teachers get an average of 20-25 minutes to eat their lunch. Slow, purposeful chewing is out the window. I’ve bitten my tongue more times that I can count because I’m eating too fast. The last couple of weeks, I’ve eaten a fruit cup in front of the students. Oh well.

Back to the original purpose of this pre-midnight blog post……..the honeymoon phase of this bathroom remodel is OVER. I am so ready for this damn thing to be DONE. Seriously. I want my bathroom back. I want my house back. I want the workers out of my house, along with their tools and the awful mess they are making. This house was dusty before this “adventure” began, but now it’s just plain disgusting. The multiple layers of dust, dirt, and wall plaster are overwhelming. I’m tired of living out of a suitcase (our attempt at dust control in order to wear clean clothes to work, without having to do a load of laundry before dawn each day). Home remodeling is over-rating, I don’t know what we were thinking. I know one thing’s for sure, however, I bet my husband never – EVER! – does this again!!!! He’s more frustrated than I am, so you’re getting the clean version. Lucky you.

I would take pictures of the progress, but there is nothing to see except cloth-covered tile, tub, and shower. Juan began painting today so all of the tile on the floor and shower, as well as the new bath tub, have been covered to protect it from paint. Supposedly, according to Big Juan himself, the paint will be finished tomorrow (Friday), Mario will install the cabinets (this should be interesting since we never saw them during construction), and Luis is finishing all electrical work (installing new light fixtures and control switches). The tile will have grout by Saturday, granite countertops and sinks will be finished by Wednesday, and the glass doors for the shower should be installed by next Friday. Yes, that’s right – another week left in Kevin & Nicole’s Excellent Adventure.

To add to my discomfort, I met friends at a local Italian restaurant Tuesday evening and I really – REALLY – regret ordering food. Italian is a dairy-allergens nightmare. I ate a house salad and spaghetti with mushrooms and marinara. I think the mushrooms may have been sautéed in butter (instead of oil, like I ordered) because my lips, neck, and throat are swollen now. It’s the only thing I’ve eaten that I did not prepare myself. Ughhhh…..when it rains, it pours.

Enough of this pity party, I’m going to bed for at least a couple of hours. Goodnight, fellow bloggers – and happy weekend!

01.01.11


Welcome to MMXI

Day 1 of 2011 can be summed up in one word: LAZY. I am still in my PJ’s at it is after 6:00 pm. I slept till 11:00, loved on my husband, ate lunch, took a nap, and watched a couple of football bowl games. In the words of Kimberly, impersonating me, “I hope this new year finds you fat and happy, because I am!!!!!!!!”

We partied like rock stars last night. NOT! Which brings me to a quick fact: I know who my real friends are, because Kimberly is the only one who attended our New Year’s Party. Yeah, that eVite invitation was an epic failure….or I have fewer friends than I thought!!!! 

(consider adding “find more friends” on my resolution list)

Kimberly has been teasing me since she arrived Wednesday morning about cooking so much food for a “party” that might not happen. I cooked enough food for 15 people and it was just the three of us. Go figure. The green goddess dip  BBQ pulled pork, and red velvet brownies were big hits; Kim and I could not stay out of the dip during dinner and our card games – she has some serious Beginner’s Luck, let me tell you. She beat me 450 to 5 in a progressive rummy match, but I redeemed myself by beating her in the second game. 

Kevin went to bed by 11:00 so it was up to Kim and I to ring in 2011 – which we did but were in bed shortly thereafter. We did not stay up long enough to watch the encore of New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys perform in Times Square. The entertainment – or lack thereof – provided at the NYE party in downtown Dallas was pathetic. It was horrific, vile, hideous, and just plain terrible.

It’s an exciting day in Purple Nation (aka Fort Worth, Texas). Best wishes to the TCU Horned Frogs as they try to defeat the Badgers of Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. They are currently ahead 21-13.

One of my goals for 2011 (you can see the complete here) is to send more handwritten notes and cards to friends and family. I still feel incredibly guilty about not sending my Christmas cards, so I got a head start on this resolution by writing 5 notes to friends today. This is about all I have accomplished today, except for some web surfing looking for bathroom accessories. I have not spent any money today, which is a very good thing!

Happy New Year to you, whoever reads this blog. Is anybody out there? If not, happy new year to me!

%d bloggers like this: