Monday, October 20, 2008

Recent Decisions...

So much has happened in the last month. I know it has been more than a month since I have written last. Things have been crazy with school and wedding planning. I am sure this blog is starting out identically to my last entry...

I know you don't want to hear all the boring wedding other than the wedding...I have really been enjoying teaching 5th grade. My students have come a long way from the first day of school. I have been immersing them in language development, sight word recognition and spelling. They love chanting their words on the word wall. This week, we are going to a VOA function. VOA is Volunteers of America, a company we are an affiliate of. They hold a fundraiser every year at the Metropolitan. Our class has been chosen to sing at the function, which is on Wednesday. We get on a bus at 7:50, go to the Metropolitan, sing, eat breakfast and go back to school. It should be a fun time. And then, on Friday, we are walking to the Children's Theater to see Madeline and the Gypsies. What a fun-filled week!!

I have been going through pictures to scan for a slideshow for the wedding reception. It has been really fun seeing pictures of Chad and I when we were young. I had seen all my pics but I was seeing Chad's for the first time. I am keeping the slideshow secret from Chad. He knows I am making it but I am not going to let him see it until our reception. I am SOOO excited for this surprise. I can never keep a surprise long enough, so I really hope I can keep this a surprise.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Caught up...

It's been an unusually long time since I have written...I wonder why. In the last two weeks, my schedule has gotten increasingly full. I am usually at work from 7 am until between 5-7 pm. During my 50 minute prep, I am making phone calls, setting up appointments and writing and answering emails. My mom says I'm amazing-I say I'm well organized and a do-er. I have our guest list almost complete, I found the bridesmaid dresses and my dress (I think), I have set up 3 appointments with photographers, I met with 2 wedding planners and hired one, I have talked with people about videography, ceremony music and reception music. Oh yeah...did I forget to mention I am teaching now full time as well? So I'm a little crazy...I try to do too much and I take on too many tasks. 

However, I am still on cloud 9. So my s
chool year is going unusually well. My 16 students are a great group of kids and we are having a blast this year! We have our difficulties, as does any class, but I have great hopes for us this year. 

On that note, I am, as many teachers have told me, crazy to plan a wedding in less than 9 months, and 4 days after the last day of school. But with amazing help from my mom, my two maid of honors and my planner, I believe it will go off without a if I could only keep my sanity...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We're Engaged!

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life! I'm still on cloud 9. My BF Kali was bugging me all week to meet up over Labor Day Weekend to go golfing...her cabin is in Bayfield and Chad and I were going to his family's cabin in Hayward. I didn't really want to go golfing, but she pushed me all week. She finally called me and said she made a tee time and I had to be there. I gave up and said, "fine."

Saturday morning, I get a text from Kali saying she wasn't coming golfing anymore and that she would call me later. This was weird because she usually doesn't cancel, especially after she pushed me so hard all week. I tried to call her but her phone was off...also weird. Chad said we should still go golfing. I didn't really want to, but I knew he wanted to so I went. His step-dad and mom were going to meet us at the club house after golfing to have lunch.

We golfed the back 9, and on hole 17, Chad called his step-dad to tell him we were heading toward the 18th hole. We both chipped onto the 18th green, but Chad was further out than me (on purpose). His mom and step-dad waved from the porch of the club house. Chad told me to pull the pin out so he could putt in. I went to pull the pin and saw a ring box in the hole. I turned around and Chad was on his knee. He said a lot of sweet things and then asked me to marry him. I grabbed the ring, put it on, and screamed "YES!" I hugged him and turned around to everyone clapping in the club house. Chad wanted to finish his long putt, which he made.

We walked to the club house and were welcomed by chad's mom and step-dad. They had brought champagne and champagne flutes to celebrate. We also found out that the golf pro had video taped the entire thing and had taken pictures. We stayed there for a few hours calling all our friends and family, and basking in the bliss of being engaged.

It was the best day ever...

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day Back!

Today was my first official day back at school. I found out on Thursday that I will be teaching a multi-age class of 4th and 5th graders. We only had 9 4th graders enrolled and it didn't make sense to have me teach 9 students and have a 5th grade classroom of only 13, so I will be teaching both. The good news is that I got to move to a bigger's HUGE!! It's got carpet floors and more windows, and more wall space. It's going to be great. I discussed with my director the possibility of hiring someone else to teach the 5th graders science and social studies. It just wouldn't work for me to teach social studies and science to 4th and 5th graders...their state standards are too different for that to work. So I spent Saturday and most of today moving my stuff from my old classroom into my new classroom. Everything is moved, but it looks like a tornado whipped through my new classroom...stuff everywhere!! Hopefully, I can spend tomorrow morning whipping that room into shape. I will post pictures of the new room soon...

On another note, Chad started his new job today at US Bank. He had orientation downtown and then spent the afternoon at his branch in Minnetonka. He met all the other employees and thinks he will build friendships with them. He doesn't actually start training for 2 weeks- they hired him too early :) So he gets to sit around the branch office for 2 weeks, (while getting paid), learning the way of the land there. Pretty exciting time for both of us...I can't believe I get some of my 4th graders from last year again this year! It's going to be a great year!!

Enjoy your week!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Writer's Block

I haven't written in awhile...and this is partly due to me being busy getting ready for school again, but also because I don't feel like I have a lot to write about. I have googled "blog topics" to gain inspiration, but nothing comes to me. My mind is partially leaving summer-mode and entering school mode. So instead of daydreaming about wonderous adventures and philosopical ideas, now I am thinking about class size and behavior. I even started having my "teaching nightmares." I called my last one a dream, but my mom told me that was a nightmare. I had a dream that I had a classroom of wild kids. They wouldn't listen or pay attention and I couldn't find my plans I guess that is a nightmare.

So if you have an ideas for me, let me know :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Punctuation Mark Are You?

This is surprisingly true...

You Are An Exclamation Point

You are a bundle of... well, something.

You're often a bundle of joy, passion, or drama.

You're loud, brash, and outgoing. If you think it, you say it.

Definitely not the quiet type, you really don't keep a lot to yourself.

You're lively and inspiring. People love to be around your energy.

(But they do secretly worry that you'll spill their secrets without even realizing it.)

You excel in: Public speaking

You get along best with: the Dash

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mamma Mia!

My mom and I decided to have a date on Saturday was at the cabin and Chad was working. Because I know Chad wouldn't go to see Mamma Mia with me, I suggested we go see it together. My mom and I both saw it on broadway and loved it! I had heard great things about it...and they were all true. The music was fabulous and Sophie, the main character, was beautiful and angelic. Although, I have to say that the best part of the whole movie, was when, during Dancing Queen, the 50+ woman next to me started singing at the top of her lungs along with the music. She continued this throughout the rest of the movie, and even stuck an imaginary microphone in her poor husband's face. Each time I heard her, I glanced at my mom, barely holding back a chuckle.

I would recommend this movie to any girl or woman...not sure it will be as good without a live sing-along though :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Farmers Market

If you live in the cities, and have never been to the Minneapolis Farmers Market---you must go! My advice though, is to get there early... I have been a few times, and I always have a great time! There are rows upon rows of fresh fruit and produce, clothes, jewelry, household items, and beautiful flowers. Everything is so cheap! I met my mom and brother there this was packed! I saw a woman who had 12 long-stem roses for 10 dollars. I picked up raspberries, green onions, green peppers, yellow onions, onion cheese, hot hot salsa for Chad and a new ring. We finished our day off with a spicy brat with onions and peppers, and fresh lemonade. What a treat!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Domestic Dates?

Why is that when you move in with someone, all of a sudden, your days are spent doing "domestic things." You clean the house, do stuff around the yard, go run errands, blah blah blah. Today, for example, Chad and I wanted to get breakfast to celebrate his new job. We also ended up doing all these other things: go to Target, go to the Sprint store (twice), go to Costco (twice), go to Best Buy (me), and go to Gander Mountain (Chad). We have to make an effort to do "date" type things. Most of the time, though, we don't like to spend much money, so our options are sometimes limited. And as the summer drifts away from us, we are reminded of all the things we wanted to do this summer, but have not yet done. The list is as follows:

* Art Fair (missed Edina, UPtown is this weekend)
*Kayak around lakes
*Bike around lakes
* See an outdoor concert
*Go camping (next weekend)
*Grill out (hard to do since our grill was stolen)
*See a movie on Solera's rooftop
* Play Mini-golf at Walker Art Center
* Lawn Bowl at Brit's

If you have any other great ideas for cheap dates, let me know. We are always up for trying new, hidden things around the cities. We feel there are so many things to do, we could never do them all...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Favorites at Austin

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Austin...Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dinner for one...

It's never fun to make a fabulous dinner if you are only making it for yourself. Chad is training this week and is gone every night...good for him, bummer for me. I bought the ingredients to make jumbalaya again, and made it tonight. Thankfully, Chad came home hungry and had some of the leftovers...

Monday, July 28, 2008


Okay fellow readers-you need to leave me some comments so I keep writing these. I don't know if people are reading them or not, and why write if nobody is reading? Click on COMMENTS at the bottom of each post to give me your comment...


On the airplane from St. Louis to Minneapolis, I realized I had forgotten to clean out the closet in my hotel room...I also forget to pack my phone charger. Needless to say, I think I'm the most forgetful person I know. Thankfully, Nate and Doug are at the hotel till Tuesday so they can bring back my stuff. Although, the hotel has not called back to confirm they have my stuff...would they really toss it?

Working out

UGH...I HATE working out! I took this last year off from having a club membership-partly due to the fact that I live in Minneapolis and there wasn't a club I liked close, and that I was so busy with my first year of teaching. Believe me, I have paid the price for this. Chad and I both want to get a membership again, but have been putting it off. The family I nanny has an elliptical machine in their basement. So last night, I decided not to shower this morning because I would "work out" at their house. I am happy to say that I did use the elliptical. I am not happy to admit that I was on it for a total of 10 minutes. PATHETIC I know... I told myself I need to rebuild my physical stamina. Hopefully, I will increase my time the more I do it. Now I just have to do it...any suggestions for sticking to a workout routine???

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How "walkable" is your neighborhood?

With rising gas prices, many city-dwellers are opting to walk or take the bus. Living in Minneapolis, I feel I should walk many places, but choose to drive...stupid!! Go to to see how walkable your neighborhood is.

Let me walkable is your neighborhood??

They rate on proximity to grocery stations, stores, parks and entertainment. Surprisingly, my area is in the 77th percentile! Awesome...These are some of the lovely places I have access to by foot:

B-squad vintage (I might go if it was the A-squad...)
Kmart (this horrible store breaks up Nicollet Avenue...stupid)
Ace hardware store (awesome location!)
Tarana yoga (never heard of it)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. park (Great Park...)
hosmer public library (never heard of it)
lagoon cinema (awesome cinema)
caseys bar and grill (newly remodeled patio)

In Austin...

I awoke this morning at 4 a.m. to go to the airport. We left MSP at 6:15 and arrived in Austin, TX at 10:30. We made our way to our hotel...pretty nice room. I have my own room with a king size bed. Kiel (math teacher) has a walk-out patio...not fair! We ventured a few blocks to Big A's for a true Mexican lunch. I had my first Texas beer-Lone Star...and I really liked it. I also had a great meal of nachos with beans, cheese and steak. Fantastic!

We have a reception tonight for the IB conference and might go see some live music tonight. It's super hot here and I'm glad to not have to be outside much...tomorrow the conference starts...

We will be learning all about the International baccalaureate find out here

Will write more later...

Monday, July 21, 2008

my favorite part of Minneapolis...

Weekend Recap...

My 10-year old twin cousins are in town from Texas this week. They were going to stay with my grandparents, but couldn't because my Grandpa has been in the hospital for 2 weeks. Instead, they came to my cabin for the weekend. I decided that was a great opportunity to bring my honorary sisters up north too (the Kruse girls). Caitlin (13) and Kelly (10.5) had an awesome time with my cousins, Megan and Kelly...we had to call Kelly Kruse K2 or Kelly Kruse to make sure they knew who we were talking about.

All the Kruse girls could talk about on the way up was going tubing..."When will we go", "Who can we go with?", "Who will drive us?", "Can we go fast?". Needless to say, they were excited about tubing. Unfortunately, when we tried to start the boat, it wouldn't start. I thought it was the battery, so my dad decided later to charge the battery in case that was the problem. For those few hours, all I heard was: "When will teh boat be ready?", "When can we go tubing?", "Do you think we will be able to go tubing?", "I'm bored because I want to go tubing." All I could think was..."AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" I'm used to dealing with a class of question-asking 4th graders...and I'm even used to dealing with 4 pre-teen and teenage girls. But this was more than I could handle...we decided to go into Pequot Lakes and Nisswa to go shopping. They loved this and it took their minds off tubing until we got back. Then the questions continued.

Eventually, after charging the battery, we got the boat started. I took the girls on double tube rides and they had a blast. Now, some of you know we have a lake with 2 in front of my cabin, and the other around the point by the island. We were by the island and the girls wanted to switch tubers. My dad warned me about stopping the boat becasue he didn't know if it would dumb mistake. I stopped the boat, we switched tubers, and I tried to start the no avail. I tried a few time, but heard nothing but a few clicks. So here we were, stranded by the island where my family couldn't see us. We sat there for an hour....yelling and waving at other boaters (they waved back). I told the girls my dad would come get us because he would get worried. Little did I know he would come in the....KAYAK!!! We thought, "How is he supposed to save us in the kayak?" He was a little perturbed that I stopped the boat, and then continued to tie the speed boat with a tube and 5 girls in it, to the kayak. He really thought he was going to pull us back. It was hilarious! He paddled his hardest, and went nowhere. We all had a laugh during that. So, long story short, my mom drove to the boat landing and saw us still stranded and went to get our neighbor in his boat to tow us back. We finally made it home...freezing, hungry and crabby.

The rest of the weekend was awesome! Because of the boredom of the girls, my mom and I took the girls over to the Lewis cabin and took them on the wave runners. I should say I took them, because my mom is kind of a wuss and the girls were bored with her.

All in all, we had a fabulous girls (except my dad) weekend! As you can see, we tubed, fished ( I put all worms on and took all fish off), played Polish golf, went on the wave runners, swam, ate, got ice cream, got stranded, fished some more, played Sorry, and finally, today, I am relaxing....with the Kruse girls :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Awesome Weekend!

Usually, in the summer, I go up north every change I get. I had planned to go up north this last weekend, but by Friday was dreading the drive and had an urge to stay at home. It was hard to break the news to my parents, who always welcome the company when they are up there. I explained that I was kind of homesick from being gone so much the last few weekends. Plus I go to Texas in a week so I wanted to spend some quality time at home.

Friday, Chad had to work and most of my friends were staying in, so I set up a nice night at home: 27 Dresses on demand, chicken fettuccine and a glass of wine. Little did I know that I would also add a thunderstorm to my calm evening. I watched the skies get progressively darker and oohed and aahhed at the lightning. Although, a thunderstorm is not much fun by yourself.

Saturday, Chad and I ran some errands, then had lunch at the Tin Fish at Lake Calhoun. If you haven't been there, I definitely recommend it. Great food and a great atmosphere. As you remember, it was super windy that day, so that added a damper to our nice afternoon, but we still managed to enjoy our lunch.

We then made the walk into Uptown and went to the North Face store, where they were having a 40% off sale! AWESOME! Chad got swim trunks and I got a new over the shoulder bag/purse. We then made our way back to our car. Chad had to work at 4:30.

All was ok though, because I met up with Kali on Christmas Lake and had a BBQ at the Tilton's to celebrate the triathletes of the day. Hadn't seen a lot of those guys in awhile and I chatted with some new faces. We then head to Maynards, where it was so crowded you could barely it was extra windy and I was not dressed for cold.
Sunday, we spent 2 hours doing laundry at a laundromat. We do have laundry at our house, but we had accumulated so much that it would have taken all day at our house...we then hung out at home, cleaned and took a nap. I wanted to make something new for dinner, so we decided to make Jumbalaya. It was so good! Chad made it with chicken and andouille sausage...a definite must!

So, all in all, it was a good decision on my part to stay home this weekend. Living in Minneapolis, I love experiencing all that this city has to offer! We won't live here forever so it's nice to live it up while we can. We walked around the Rose Garden and lake Harriet after our Jumbalaya dinner...a perfect end to a fabulous weekend!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer is here!!

So I finally finished the school year today...almost. I spent all day yesterday and today packing up my classroom, cleaning, organizing, filing, etc. It was horrible! I kept looking out my huge window to see the warm sun shining and I was stuck inside. I kept thinking I was getting close to being done, but the list kept growing and growing. It sucked writing report cards too...ugh. I only have 16 kids and it took me 2 hours...I had to take a break in the middle so I wouldn't throw the computer out the window and all the grades with it. I was just so ready to be done. I am glad I survived my first full year of teaching and I am looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


In the last few years, I have found a new love- reading. I wasn't a big reader in school, but as soon as I got out of school, I fell in love with reading. I love reading children's fantasy books, but also loving all types of adult novels. When I started teaching in September, I did not have any time to read books for pleasure, but also had no energy to even open a book. Over winter break, I picked up a book and have read 4 since. I forgot how much I loved to read. It sounds silly, but when I'm at work, I can't wait to get home and read more of my book. I love getting lost in a good book, but also curling up on the couch, under a blanket, with my nose in a book. Part of my excitement of finishing a book, is picking out the next one I am going to read. So for those of you who also love to read, here are my latest recommendations:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

This is the time of year where new teachers worry about where they will be next year. I know I have a spot where I am now, but I question whether I should stay. I am beginning to love my's rewarding, my kids are (most of the time) great, the staff is great. The pay, however, is measly. I have to design my own curriculum and I do whatever I want with my lessons. I don't have to listen to what other teachers tell me to teach...I also have my room all set up. I hate moving, especially all my teaching stuff. I waited so long to make a classroom my own. I had all the materials, and have made my classroom my own. It's perfect....well, I could make some changes. But I love it! Here are some pics of my home away from home...