Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Toy!

Remember last summer when I went on math deployment to San Angelo?

No? Let me rephrase: Remember when everything that could possibly go wrong with my car went wrong? And I had to have it towed? Twice?

Well, that experience has paid off! The reason why I went up there for those two weeks, and then about once a month since, is because I was part of the Texas Regional Math Collaborative, a state grant out of our regional Education Service Center. Because of all my car troubles, I didn't really have time to post about what I was actually learning. Basically, it was an extension of what I did in my teacher prep at UD, although it was a lot more hands-on. We had some great speakers that really put us in the position of the students. I experienced a lot of the same troubles that students go through when learning math, which I think is crucial to teaching. I wish more people from my district had taken advantage of the opportunity. (There were just two of us!)

Anyway, our last meeting was scheduled for May. The group was supposed to get together and have a nice long lunch, turn in our paperwork, and chat about how to improve the grant for next year. Obviously, I won't be making that May date (because I'll be living in California!! Yippeeeeee!!), so I scheduled a meeting with the director for today.

I love San Angelo. Really, I'm not Texas' biggest fan in general. I'm a down-home country girl from the 'burbs, and the Texas vibe has just never suited me. But, I really do like San Angelo. It might be because there's a Starbucks and a Target and a Hobby Lobby and a BWs. I might just be that materialistic. But I do think that it gave me a more authentic view of what Texas is like in places other than the borderland where I've spent the majority of my time. I've loved going there and I'll really miss it.

BUT, in celebration of the end of the grant, the service center decided to say a big thank you to the participants and give us...


I never would have bought an iPad on my own. Not that they aren't cool, but I have a laptop and a phone, and those pretty much cover my technology needs. But when someone just hands me one, shoot... I'll take it!! Of course, there is a tradeoff, as my husband puts it...

"Great, now you're never going to talk to me, once you have Pinterest in HD."


Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Here's a bombshell for you: Art and I have never celebrated Valentine's Day.

In 10 years, we just never really have. Originally it was my idea. 10 years ago, Art and I had just begun dating, and I didn't like the pressure the day put on people, men especially, to go over the top with candy and flowers and balloons and whatnot. It just seemed very obligatory to me, so I told him we could ditch the holiday and make every day romantic instead. And we have.

I'm really not a "romantic" person at all. Sure, I like surprises and gestures and flowers and all that (everybody does), but that isn't the measure of love for me. I don't believe in soul mates or "the" one. Every time I say this to my mother, she makes a face like, "Ohmygod, I divorced your father and therefore scarred you for life, it's all my fault, how do I fix this, here, have some wine." But it's not in a bitter way. It may very well be because I have seen many examples, just from my parents alone, of marriages and relationships that work and don't work. I do have a pretty good idea of what a good marriage looks like and what a bad one looks like.

Therefore, I'm a bit of a realist. Love is a choice. Marriage is a choice. Period. Actions and consequences. Simple. You can fall in love and marry just about anyone. However, to make it last, you've got to make the decision every day to forgive, forget, and nurture. It's not easy, especially since humans are designed to look out for number one. It's not intuitive to bypass your own feelings to think about what another person is feeling and needs, but that's what marriage calls you to do literally every time you open your mouth or do any act that affects your spouse. And if you can do that, really really do that, I think it's a hell of a lot more romantic than roses or fancy dinners out or whatever other crazy things people are doing these days. So, we bypass this day.

There are several reasons that I choose not to broadcast the inner intimacies of my marriage, whether on the blog, on Facebook, or even in conversation with others. First, modesty, naturally. (Which goes completely out the window after a few too many of that wine I mentioned earlier, but that's a whole other post!) The other reason is that I want a life, a secret life, that only one other person knows about. I want to know that we have a little inside joke that no one else is a part of. So I married my very best friend since childhood, and there is honestly nothing about me that he doesn't know. He's been by my side through almost every major event of my life, and there's something very sacred about that. So, there are a few parts of our relationships that are just between us, and always will be.

Art once confessed that one of his biggest hangups to marriage was realizing that all he had worked for his whole life, financially speaking, was now in someone else's hands. The leap of faith was huge for him to trust that I would not be irresponsible with all that he has saved and invested, and in fact I would be a contributing partner rather than a drain. Now, I would never do that, but he didn't have any proof of that. He had to trust. This spreads across all aspects of a person--finances, emotions, mentality, everything. It's a big deal. And, not to get all misogynistic, but it's a big deal for me to trust that I will have a husband that will provide for me. I live in a beautiful home, I'm about to have another (less) beautiful (but with potential!) home, I own a nice, capable truck, I own a BOAT, even if I have no idea how to drive it, and I have had many rich experiences that add to my full life. Provided for? Try SPOILED.

I thank God and my husband every day for the amazing life I have. So, I don't get roses and pretentious gifts and a big public display of affection. What I do get, today and every other day, is much more romantic.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I hope you spend it with someone who loves you madly. :)

 Circa 2002. Man, do we look young. On an unrelated note, that is my hair's natural color!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A little pre-move reno!

In our contract for the Rawlings house, Fannie Mae (who owns the house) agreed to pay a certain percentage of the purchase price toward emergency repairs.

Rewind: Our inspection came back. The house was in the exact condition we thought it was in (terrible), but with a solid foundation and no meth residue, which were the two things we were really concerned about. The old owner did have a thriving... erm... chemical farm in the house, but all that has been properly cleaned and removed, so we are in the clear. The inspector did, however, find that the heating/air conditioning system was non-functioning. Now, anybody who knows me knows that I hate artificial air, so that didn't bother me one bit. I could have lived in the 100+ degree Del Rio heat without air conditioning and never had a problem.

Art, not so much, so fixing that is going to eat up most of our allowance. We also need to replace the big broken window downstairs, repair the window in the master that doesn't close, and relocate the builder-grade mirror in the master to the guest bathroom.

All that... before we paint the downstairs. Before we rip out the soiled, horrifying carpet. Before we put laminate hardwood flooring throughout the entire house (I talked Art into that one! YES!).

The kicker? This all needs to be done before we even turn the key in the lock for the first time... in 9 weeks.

Ok, so it's probably not all going to come together perfectly. But, our realtor has been great and let all the estimate people in the house for us since we haven't closed yet (and are kind of 2,000 miles away).

Closing date is set for March 16th... and then, let the reno begin! :)