Thursday, December 27, 2007

Italy





Well, Italy has been pretty interesting so far. We got Rome yesterday and found out that my bags had not quite made it on the plane from Paris. Beth has both of her bags but I don't have mine. As I sit here typing over 24 hours after arriving, I still don't have my bags. Fun stuff. Other than that, things have been great. We met my family at the airport in Rome and hopped a train to Florence. We had an amazing meal last night at one of the oldest restaurants in Florence and today has been nothing less than fantastic as we've gotten to see two things that we've only seen in pictures and postcards our entire lives. Here are a few of our pictures from today. Tomorrow we are going on tour of Chianti, the area of Italy where the wine of the same name comes from.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Why Travel?

Tony and I have finally begun packing and getting ready for our trip coming up in 2 days. We spent most of today figuring out what to pack, getting magazine, cash, all that good stuff that you need when you travel. It has been over a year since Tony & I went on a long vacation. We did go to Paris for a short 5 days back in May, but that has been it for this year. If you know Tony, you know he loves to take at least 2 long vacations a year and loves to go to places he's never been before. In that respect, this year has not been that for him. I did not discover international travel until meeting Tony and it has opened my eyes to so many things that I never would have experienced. For example, the only two places I ever wanted to travel to in my lifetime were Paris and Venice. We went to both of those places on our first vacation together, and now I have been to Paris twice. I am definitely spoiled!

A lot of people ask how we can afford to go on all these vacations, and the only reason I think we can afford to travel as much as we do is because Tony is always looking for the best flights, hotels, places to eat, etc. We travel smart and economically. We travel to see new places and experience new things, not to stay in the best hotels or eat at fancy restaurants. We also choose to afford to travel. We make it a priority because it is such a treat for us.

My first amazing moment traveling was when Tony and I went to Paris in April of 2006. This was our first vacation together and we had never spent more than a day together! Tony had been to Paris probably 5 times already so he had already seen the Eiffel Tower and a lot of the major sights. We got to Paris and of course we're like alright, where do we start! Tony says, "Let's go get on the train and figure it out." I think he already knew where we were going, but we get off at what I think is a random train stop because we get out on the street and it's just buildings and people everywhere. Tony grabs my hand and says let's go. We walk around the corner and there in the open, right in front of us is the Eiffel Tower. I think the look on my face was priceless. I could not stop smiling and thinking wow this is THE Eiffel Tower that you see on TV, books, movies, magazines, and other people's pictures and there it is right in front of me. That was my first experience traveling and I was hooked. It's one of those moments I don't think I will ever forget. The fact that Tony was there to share that with me makes it even more special. After that trip, I was hooked...on traveling and my travel buddy!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Not Fair

Well, it's 6:20 in the morning and I'm up getting ready for school and Tony's sleeping away. Just when you think a teacher has the best schedule, you have to think again...this time of year anyways. Tony has the luxury of working from home today because it's a half day for his office and since he has to drive almost an hour to work, he just decided it wasn't worth it today. Then he get's a week and a half off from work because his office basically closes for the week of Christmas and doesn't open up until after New Years. This has worked out great this year though with our vacation coming up in a few days.

I'm off to school today for a half day and classes and a work day for the other half. I'm hoping that we'll get to leave a little bit early, but we'll see.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Break Is Almost Here

We are on the home stretch now! Only 4 more days until we are done with work for 2 weeks! It's almost like I can't even believe it. I am so excited for Christmas and to leave for Italy and now it's only a week way. This week of school is kind of a weird week because we need to actually do work, but the kids don't want to learn anything new. So we have resorted to doing more of the same old stuff. Having to teach/do the same thing in 4 classes can get boring after awhile because you feel like you are repeating yourself and get tired of saying the same things and answering the same questions again and again. Today I basically read a book and told kids to be quite because they were taking a semester end standardized test (called a CBA). We're going to be finishing it tomorrow too. I also have to get my stuff ready for the sub I'm going to have the first 2 days we are back at school because I'll still be on vacation. We had the vacation planned before I knew I would be teaching, so luckly they gave me the 2 days right after break off. Apparently that doesn't happen very often and it is very much frowned upon to take days off in conjunction with a long break (aka Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Spring Break). Thankfully it has worked out for me this year.

An update on Tony's last post, we had a great weekend. It was very busy, but we got some bridesmaid dresses ordered and we went to Tori's wedding, which was a lot of fun. We both decided that we are ultra critical of weddings now that we are planning one, but it was a good time and we got to see a lot of people that we hadn't seen in awhile.

The weather has been nice and cool which made our run on Sunday very nice. We ran 13.1 - a half marathon! Now I have no excuse and no reason to think that I can't do it again.

Things we are looking forward to this week/weekend: get together with Sarah & Mike and Alyssa & Dave on Wednesday, half day of work on Friday, Tony's boss' Christmas party on Friday, and packing for the big trip!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Big Weekend Ahead

Beth and I seem to have a lot of plans for this weekend. Okay well not necessarily a lot of plans, but plans. And actually now that I think about it, I really have no plans. Beth's the one with stuff to do. As we get closer to our trip to Italy, I'm pretty sure that's all Beth and I can think about. And at the end of this week, we will only have one more week of work before we leave. But back to this weekend.

On Friday we actually don't have anything to do. Man we are SO not cool. Our night will probably consist of eating dinner, watching tv, and thinking that we might actually make it past 11 o'clock on a Friday night for once. Don't hold your breath. I won't hold mine. I've come to realize that by the end of the week, after five straights days of waking up at 5:51 a.m.(that's right, exactly 5:51 a.m.), I'm pretty darn tired. All I want to do is get some sleep. It's funny b/c I'm sitting here thinking right now that this will be the week I stay up past ten on a Friday night. All the while knowing in my head that it's not going to happen. Oh well. I digress.

This weekend Beth is going bridesmaid dress shopping with her two sisters, two of her bridesmaids, and her Mom. Unfortunately my two sisters won't be able to go, nor will Beth's other bridesmaid who lives in Boston. While Beth is having a "girls" day on Saturday, my life will probably consist of running, sitting, laying, and possibly napping. All things that happen once college football season ends. Pitiful. Saturday night we are going to a wedding and it should be pretty fun. I've actually never been to a December wedding before, not that it's necessarily that much different than a September or June or even March wedding. But maybe it is. I'll let you know.

Sunday is the day we have planned to run 13.1 miles, our own half-marathon. It's kind of weird to think that we've been "training" now for almost a month and a half. Things have gone well so far, other than the fact that we both wanted to collapse about nine miles into our run last weekend. This probably had to do with the fact that it was 80 degrees outside. I love December days in the eighties. Or not. This weekend it should be in the fifties and hopefully a little bit easier on us as we run our own half-marathon. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Shopping...Check!

YEAH! Tony and I are completely done with our Christmas shopping! I am not a procrastinator to say the least, so I made Tony go shopping with me the last two weekends and as a result, we have already gotten all the presents. We are doing presents from Tony and me this year for my family and his so that made things easier. Plus since we are going to Italy, we didn't really feel the need to do big presents for each other...not to mention we are saving for our house too. Christmas shopping is something I just really get into. Not that I spend a lot of money (because I can't), but I just enjoy picking things out for my favorite people!

I am hoping that the next two weeks fly by because I cannot wait for Christmas time and for our trip. Tony and I talk about how excited we are almost every day. We are getting the best of both worlds this year because we got to spend Christmas Eve & Day with my parents and sisters and then get to hop on a plane and see Tony's entire family. The trip to Rome all started last Christmas with Tony's idea to want to finally spend a Christmas with his family again next year. I am so happy that it has all come together to well and that everyone will be able to make it. It is going to be such a fun, memorable trip! We feel so lucky that we are able to do things like this for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Update

A quick update on my and Beth's half-marathon training. Everything seems to be going well so far. We are up to 11 miles now and ran that this past Saturday. We are now less than two weeks away from having to run the entire 13.1 miles and it'll be interesting to see how we feel after that. We'll have about a month between the end of our training and the half-marathon and hopefully we'll be able to get in some long runs in between. The problem is we'll be in Italy for 10 days of that and although we have every intention of running while in Italy, I'm not holding my breath. It's hard to make yourself get up and go running when you have jet lag and your spending your days walking everywhere! We'll see.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Invitations Galore

We finally found Tony's limit when it comes to wedding planning. Yesterday after I had been talking about going to look at wedding invitations for weeks, Tony finally broke down and said ok I'll go with you. I honestly didn't know what to expect either, but after looking at 3 huge (I mean huge) books full of invitatation, he had finally had enough. We probably could have spent the entire afternoon at the invitation store looking at all these books that they have. Who knew there were going to be so many choices in every price range and design you could possibly imagine. The saleslady was also very intense about invitations so of course that also go on Tony's nerves. Needless to say he does not have any plans on going back. He kept saying, "You need to bring your mom next time." It was very overwhelming though, but funny to see Tony getting annoyed. :) He was a good sport though, and I'm very happy that he came with me because I would not have wanted to start looking on my own. The next time I go back (with my mom), I will have a better idea of what we are looking for and where to start.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Drive

I'm officially six days into my long commute from The Woodlands. It hasn't gotten any easier, but I'm at least starting to get a little more used to it. Probably the most frustrating thing about it is there's no rhyme or reason to anything that happens. I got home yesterday in 52 minutes. On Monday it took me an hour and ten minutes. Nothing at all was different. I left at the same time, I took the same route, and there were no accidents. My normal morning commute is 45 minutes. This morning it took me an hour and almost fifteen minutes. A truck decided to catch on fire on I45 which forced two lanes to be closed.

Overall, I'm dealing with it. I have zero patience to begin with, so I wasn't too sure how I would handle being stuck in the car for two hours each day. So far so good. I enjoy my time when I get home. Being out of all the noise and car fumes from the city is definitely nice and it gives Beth and I a chance to breath easy(literally) when running after work. I only have 15 more days of the commute until we go to Italy and I know that's going to be a nice break!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to the Grind

It's back to work time and in a way it feels like I've had a long vacation. That still doesn't mean I'm excited to have to wake up early and start back with the 8 to 5 grind. But I must say that I do feel a little refreshed. Maybe it's the fact that I know I only have four more weeks of work until another vacation. And this time it'll be an Italian vacation. In fact, we are now less than 30 days away from leaving for Italy and I can't wait!

Back to Thanksgiving weekend though. Beth and I both had a very relaxing weekend. We got to spend a ton of time with her family and also get some relaxing time in as well. We wrote earlier about our Run Thru the Woods that we did on Thanksgiving morning. Well we finally got the results and Beth ended up getting 3rd in her age group and 161 overall out of 1400 runners. I got 13th in my age group and 158 overall. Needless to say, Beth ran about 40 seconds per mile faster than she thought she could and was even still alive when it was over.

The day after Thanksgiving Beth and I ran our 10 mile run and ended up running a lot faster than usual too. I think it may be the fact that we are used to running in 80 degree temps instead of 40 degree temps like it was on Friday. We're not complaining though. I made the mistake of going running on Saturday afternoon. It was 40 degrees outside and pouring down rain. When I got back I couldn't feel my legs. Yeah, bad idea.

Anyway, that's it from Houston. It was a great Thanksgiving weekend and now we're looking forward to Christmas!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

No Shopping!

The day after Thanksgiving for a lot of people consists of getting up at 6 am (or earlier) to make it to the mall for those great day after Thanksgiving sales. However, Tony and I will probably forever stay away from the mall on that day. Having worked that horrible day at Hollister, we know too much about how many people will actually be at the mall and how unenjoyable shopping in crowds can be...no parking, long lines, crowds. All things Tony and I are not good with.

So, instead we went to pick out a Christmas tree with my family. Tony and I don't really have our own place now and we have no place to put up a Christmas tree so we are going to live Christmas through my parents' house. Every year my family goes to a Christmas tree farm to pick out a huge tree. Since my parents have a tall ceiling in their family room, we are able to get a tree that about 12 feet tall! The tree is now up the the family room with lights on it but has yet to be decorated. We are planning on decorating tonight.

After we picked out the tree, Tony and I had to go for a long run since it is supposed to rain all weekend. We ran 10 miles in the nice cool weather. After that it was basically all football watching for the rest of the day. I'm not even going to talk about my team yesterday...embarrassing!

The day after Thanksgiving was pretty relaxing for us and we had a good time hanging out with my family and also going on our long run together. All while managing to stay away from the mall!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Morning

Beth and I ran in the Run Thru the Woods this morning along with Janet and Beth's Dad. Beth and I ran together and Dale and Janet ran together. It was the first time we had run in it and we had a pretty good time. The race started at 8:15 which meant we had to get up at 6:15 this morning. Not much fun, but it was worth it. There's one picture of Beth and I in action right before the finish line and the other is of us after we had all finished.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Long Weekend

Today is my last day of work before Thanksgiving and I can't wait to have some time off to relax. Our long weekend is pretty full of things to do, but nothing too stressful which will be nice. Tonight Beth and I are going to Los Cucos(a Mexican restaurant in The Woodlands) for dinner. Back when I lived in Dallas and Beth lived in Houston, we would go to Los Cucos on Tuesday nights when I would come back to see Beth. Oh the memories. Tomorrow I think we are just going to run some errands and maybe do a somewhat long run. We missed training this past weekend because we worked all day Saturday with Sweet Leaf and moved all day Sunday. Slackers. Thursday is Thanksgiving and I don't need to tell you what we'll be doing then. Well, we are getting up early and running in a 5 mile race. And the temperature is supposed to be in the upper 40s in the morning. Fun Fun. Then we are going to eat like crazy. So there you have it, a mini preview of the first part of our weekend. If Beth's nice, I might even wash her car for her since she basically took it off-roading in the mud on Sunday. We'll see.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

No More Apartment

It's official. Tony and I have moved out of our apartment. We just got finished unloading 2 cars and 1 U-Haul worth of stuff into Tony's parent's house where we will be staying for the next few months until our house is finished. We packed up what was left of our stuff last night and my parents came to help us load up the U-Haul this morning. We don't really have to unpack anything at this point now except clothes.

We spent the rest of the afternoon taking my parents over to the model house in our neighborhood because we had to pick out another type of tile for our bathrooms. They added another feature to the bathrooms where they are using larger tiles for the shower and tub areas. We had to make sure the tile we picked out matched the ones we bought for the flooring.

The weekend has flown by once again. I am so happy that we only have to work 2 days this week! I don't think I could have made it a full week of work. I'm in desperate need of a short break. Plus, I have been feeling sick and congested lately and a break from all those germs will be nice too.

Another good thing...my sisters are coming home for Thanksgiving on Tuesday! YEAH!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tonight


  • Drive to The Woodlands after work

  • Unload all the junk from the car

  • Dinner with Beth's Parents

  • Drive back downtown to the apartment

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Already?

I can't believe Thanksgiving is already here again. This will be my second Thanksgiving spent with Beth and her family. And although it's not the same as having Thanksgiving with my family, it's pretty darn close and the only other place I'd rather be. This year, Beth, Janet(Beth's sister) and I are running in a 5 mile race in The Woodlands called Run Thru the Woods on Thanksgiving morning. It should be a lot of fun and it'll be a good reason to get up and get some exercise before we stuff our faces later in the day. Beth's family also has the tradition of going out the day after Thanksgiving and getting their Christmas tree. Since we always had a fake tree growing up, this was a new experience for me last year. It's kind of cool how they just hand you a saw and you walk around until you find "the pefect tree." Then you just cut it down and they load it up for you. Beth and I have talked about what kind of tree we're going to have once we get married. We're still undecided. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I made a list.

What I like about Thanksgiving:

  • Turkey

  • Mashed Potatoes

  • Football

  • Cold Weather(although not in Houston)

  • Four days off from work

  • Spending time with people you care about

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Glad It's Over

Nine Mile Run This Weekend

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Finally

Beth and I finally broke down last night and bought new running shoes. We had both been complaining for the past two weeks about how are legs were hurting because our shoes were worn out. As we really start getting into our half-marathon training, the last thing we want to do is run on old, worn out shoes. So last night we went to Luke's Locker and got new ones. Speaking of our training, here's where we stand:

  • Seven miles

  • Eight miles

  • Nine miles this weekend

  • Ten miles November 17th

  • Eleven miles Thanksgiving Weekend

  • Twelve miles December 1st

  • Thirteen miles December 8th

  • HALF MARATHON!!!!! December 15th

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Engagement Pictures!!!!

Beth and I have gotten our engagement pictures back. Well, virtually that is. All of our pictures are online through our photographer's website. You have two ways of looking at them. The first way is to look at the 16 pictures that the photographer picked as his "favorites." The other option is to scroll through the 411 pictures that were taken. If you just look at the 16 pictures, you can see Beth and I in all of our different poses along with a nice background song. But to get the full effect, I recommend looking through the 411 total pictures that were taken. Before I say anything else, I must say that Beth and I were extremely impressed with our photographer, James Tongol. He has such a great way of taking pictures and we can't wait to see what kinds of pictures we will get from our wedding. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'll start with the engagement pictures first. Here's how to see them:

For the 16 pictures with background music, follow the instructions below:

Before you go to JamesTongol.com, read all the instructions so you know where to go once you're there. I've learned to be precise with my instructions after trying to direct people from work to the sight and noticing that they just go to the website and have no clue what to do after that. So here's what to do after you get to the website:

From JamesTongol.com, click on the "i do" section and then from that page click on the "client" section in the top right hand corner of the page. Once on the "client" page, you will be asked to put in a password. The password is tonyandbeth with no spaces. That will take you into our engagement picture page. You can also click below to go straight to view all 411 pictures. Enjoy!!!

Tony and Beth's Engagement Pics!!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

8 Miles, 2 Scratched Knees


Today was the day that Tony and I had to run 8 miles for our training. I had the idea of going to Hermann Park which is over by the Medical Center and Rice University because we had never gone running over there and thought it would be something different. We ran around the whole park, by the zoo, on the Rice campus, and the neighborhood next to Rice since we had to run so far. Well part of the run is on a dirt path and with 1 mile to go I face planted after tripping on a rock on the path. I have a ton of little scratches on my hands and my knees were bleeding. Tony was nice enough to wipe my knees off with his shirt to try to get all the dirt away from the cuts. But after that we kept running and finished our 8 mile run! I'm so tough...right?

Ballunar Festival at NASA




Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Week

Tony and I had a busy week this week! We haven't been very good about writing because of it. Tuesday we finally got to take our engagement pictures! We had a really fun time and cannot wait to see the pictures on Tuesday. We are definitely planning on posting some of them up here (if they are good!). For the wedding, we also met with a DJ/MC for our reception that came highly reccommended from 3 or 4 other people. It was cool getting to talk about the reception and what's actually going to happen that day. This guy comes up with the timeline for the wedding and makes sure that things happen when they are supposed to and keeps the night going without us having to worry about a thing.

Halloween was a good night too. I came home to find that Tony had bought all kinds of stuff to make dinner. We had wine, garlic bread, meatloaf, potatoes, and brown sugar carrots...all homemade. (We don't do that very often!). He also got 2 bags of our favorite candy and rented a movie. We got to have a nice relaxing night with good food just like we wanted. Niether one of us are very into dressing up for Halloween and no one we knew had a Halloween party, so we were just as happy to hang out together and watch a movie.

This weekend is onto more madness. Last night we worked for Sweet Leaf until 10 PM and are working this whole weekend. We'll post pictures of it because we are working at the Hot Air Balloon Festival at NASA. I also am going to a bridal shower for one of my friends this afternoon. The weeks go by so fast and Thanksgiving is going to be here before we know it! I can't wait either because I'll get a 5 day weekend from school! YEAH!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Two in a Row!!!!

Congrats to Stacy for winning her second tournament in as many weeks. This time she won the University of Alabama Ann Rhoads Intercollegiate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Not only did Stacy win the individual tournament, but her team also won. Check out Ladybacks.com to read all about it. Congrats again!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Half-Marathon Training


It was officially the first weekend for my and Beth's half-marathon training. As we build up to 13 miles, yesterday meant we had to run seven miles. The run came and went and everything was fine. I think Beth was a little nervous about the run, but she did fine. In fact we ran faster than usual without any problem. We followed yesterday's run up with a six mile run this morning. The cool weather definitely makes things easier. The temperarture was in the sixties both days that we ran.

As we start getting ready for the half-marathon, I think it's about time for new shoes. You would think that running would be a cheap sport, but having to replace your shoes every 300 miles gets pretty expensive. I burn through about 5 pairs of shoes a year and at $100 a pair, it all adds up.

Speaking of things being expensive, the big issue in Houston running these days is the fact that the Houston Marathon and Half-Marathon have reached their entry limit. This even after they increased the total number of participants from 15,000 last year to 17,000 this year. Registration closed in December last year for the January event. This year it closed at the end of September. What does all this mean you may ask. It means that people are selling their registration for the event to other people who are desperate to run. How much would running in a half-marathon or marathon be worth to you? Well, it's somewhere in the $200 to $300 range to some people who are buying others' regristrations. This doesn't include the $40 transfer fee. A small price to pay to run 26.2 miles or 13.1 miles, right? Ha ha. Right. I'm just glad Beth and I got in early and paid $60 for our registration. Happy running.

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Love Sac(it's not what you think)

I am getting rid of my Love Sac. As awkward as this may sound, it's a good thing. For anyone who doesn't know what a Love Sac is, click on the link to learn for yourself. Basically it's an oversized bean bag that's made out of foam instead of bean bag stuff. About three years ago, they were the "cool" thing to have and Love Sac opened a bunch of retail stores across the country. One of the stores they opened was in The Woodlands Mall. I happened to know the manager of the store and he gave me a 50% discount on whatever I wanted. So I bought a 6' Love Sac and put a faux polar bear fur cover on it. This thing is sweet. It's great for laying in to watch a movie, take a nap, or read a book. It's easily big enough for two people and can even fit three people on it. Now that I live in downtown Houston, I had kind of forgotten about the Love Sac. It's up in The Woodlands at my parents' house in a guest room. I had forgotten about it until my Mom called asking if I wanted her to give the Love Sac to the Salavation Army. I was like, "What?!?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me? That thing is worth over $600!!!" So I told my Mom that I would figure out what to do with it and get rid of it for her since it literally takes up half a room. Well Mom, you'll be proud of me. I'm getting rid of the Love Sac this weekend!!!!!! On Monday I decided I would post it on Craigslist(which I had never done before). I just did a simple post with no pictures thinking I would take some pics next time I'm in The Woodlands and add them to the post. Well about an hour later I had six e-mails from people wanting the Love Sac. My original asking price was $100 but I realized demand was high and ended up selling it for $125 and the girl is picking it up tomorrow! I ended up paying about $250 for the Love Sac almost four years ago so I'm pretty happy with my 50% return. I'll probably miss the Love Sac at some point, but I know for a fact that my Mom won't miss it taking up the entire guest room!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Our New House

People keep asking us where our new house is, so below is our house on a map so you can see where it is in Houston.



View Larger Map

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Big Cold Front

A cold front came through Houston yesterday. When I say cold, I mean cool. It's not like we're living in Greenland or anything. Although for a minute I thought I was as I drove home from work yesteday. You see I drive by Memorial Park everyday on my way to and from work. For those of you who don't know about Memorial Park, it's like the "it" place to see and be seen exercising in Houston. People take their dogs, their kids, their significant others or whatever else they want out there to get their exercise. Some people out there are really serious or maybe I should say take themselves very serious. Others are just out there to be seen.

I always thought it'd be cool to live by Memorial Park because it was a great place to go running. Man was I wrong. First off, it's crowded. All the time. At its busiest there can be at least a couple thousand people on the 3 mile running path. That's not to mention the long stretch of the path that runs parallel to Memorial Drive. As you run, you inhale fumes from the hundreds of cars that pass you at any given time. So as you run and get fit, you inhale toxic fumes into your lungs. Not my idea of a good time.

Anyway, back to my point. My point is, as I drove by Memorial Park yesterday, I saw people dressed like we were on the verge of getting our first snow. I saw people with stocking caps, scarves, long pants, big coats, and any other thing to help people survive this "arctic blast." "Are you serious?" I thought to myself as I drove by. "Do people really think it's that cold out?" By the way, this arctic blast I'm talking about was 58 degrees. I can't wait to see what's going to happen when it actually gets close to freezing here. I know what happened last year, schools shut down, offices were closed, and people were scared to go outside. Memo to Houstonians, 40 degrees is not going to kill you. Ask the people in Minnesota about this. They call 0 degrees in the middle of Winter, a heat wave. I think we'll survive.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Congrats Stacy!!!



Stacy won the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament this past weekend beating out the top collegiate women's golfers in the country.

Go to Ladybacks.com to read more about Stacy and her team.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moving Out Soon

As Tony is glued to the TV right now watching the OU game, I have spent the past hour or so grading quizzes and homeworks. This has become the usual Saturday routine. I like football, but I have a hard time watching 12 hours of football every weekend. Lately, Tony and I have been talking and thinking a lot about how we are moving out of our apartment in less than a month now. We are moving on November 18th. We can't believe a year has gone by so quickly, but at the same time we can't wait to move out of the apartment.

Those of you who have seen our apartment can understand what I'm talking about. Since we have a loft style apartment, we really have no separate rooms and we are either in the "living space" (downstairs) or the upstairs loft part. We are so tired of not having any other places to go in our apartment. Plus you can never get away from the sound of the TV when it's on since we have no dividing walls unless you want to go into the bathroom or closet. It can be pretty annoying when we want to watch different things or one of us doesn't feel like watching TV and would like to do something else. We just feel so confined here. This is one of the reasons we are excited to move and to get into our own house soon. More space will be fantastic!

Since I am the obnoxious organizer, we're going to start packing some stuff up pretty soon and taking it up to The Woodlands to Tony or my parents' house. I brought home some boxes from school this week and it's actually starting to seem real that we are moving soon. Tony wants to get a few boxes together to make a trip next week. I'm not a big fan of moving since I have basically moved every year for the past 6 years, but this time it's different. This time once we move out, we only have a short time of staying at Tony's parents' house until our house will be done. After that we won't have to move for awhile and we can finally feel settled in our own home. Moving out of the apartment is the first step and we're almost there! Just a few more weeks!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joy in Sadness

I've come to realize lately how much sadness there is in life. We are surrounded by it on a daily basis in nearly everything we do. But rarely do I realize how much joy can come from sadness. I heard about a story that was going to be featured on ESPN a few nights ago and told Beth that I wanted to watch it. "What's it about?" she asked. I told her it was about the University of North Carolina mascot who was tragically hit by a car this past March just before the Tarheels Sweet 16 basketball game. Beth, probably wondering why I wanted to watch a story on a mascot, kind of thought about it and said okay whatever, knowing that we were going to watch it anyway. So later that night we sat down and watched the story of Jason Ray and for the next 15 minutes, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. It's not a short story. It may take you 10 or 15 minutes to read it, but I promise it'll be worth it. Click here to read about Jason Ray.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekend Adventures

Beth and I had a pretty good weekend overall. We spent Friday night up in The Woodlands area. Like I said in our previous post, we had dinner at Mel's Country Cafe in Tomball. And needless to say it was good. We had onion rings, fried mushrooms(those were for me, Beth doesn't like mushrooms), chicken strips, french fries, and mashed potatoes. Can you say heart attack on a plate? Anyway, it was all good and we were glad to get our home cooking fix for a while.

After dinner we decided to drive by our neighborhood and check out the progress of the house next door to where our house will be. The house was framed and we got a chance to walk through it and get a better idea of where our house is going to sit on our lot. It's crazy to think that in six months our house will be built too and a lot of the empty lots will have houses on them and people living in them.

Saturday was spent watching football all day. Although we did manage to get a run in before we started laying on the couch. Beth was happy because UT won. I was happy because OU won and LSU and Cal lost. Boomer Sooner!!!

Yesterday we worked with Sweet Leaf at the Bayou Art Festival in downtown Houston. It was pretty good overall although it did rain for part of the day. I guess clouds and rain beat sunshine and a hundred degrees any day of the week. That's about it from here. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 12, 2007

This Weekend

Well, the weekend is finally here and I think we're all glad for that. Beth and I don't really have a ton of plans for this weekend, but we have enough to keep us busy. Tonight we are driving up to The Woodlands to take care of something at the house for my Mom. And since we'll be up in The Woodlands, we have decided to go eat at Mel's Country Cafe in Tomball. I'm sure most people haven't heard of Mel's but it's safe to say it's home cooking at its best. If you can fry it, you better believe they serve it. Mel's is actually known for the Mega Mel burger which may make you sick just reading my description of it. The Mega Mel Burger(pictured below) consists of a pound and a half of beef, three quarters of a pound of bacon, a quarter pound of cheese, a head of lettuce, a whole onion, a whole tomato, and a couple of whole pickles. Did I mention mayo and mustard? If you can eat the Mel Burger in less than 2 hours, you get a coupon for a free one the next time you come to Mel's and you also get your name on the wall. I personally think they should offer you a coupon for a free cholesterol screening after you get done. Just a thought.

Tomorrow Beth and I are watching football!!!! And we also need to go to the mall. We have our engagment pictures coming up and of course we need to get new outfits!!! We're not really sure what we're going to wear yet. I'm not too concerned. I'm more concerned that it not be 100 degrees outside when we get our pictures taken in a couple of weeks. Nothing says in love like two people sweating profusely in their engagment pictures, right?

Sunday we are working with Sweet Leaf Tea at the Bayou Arts Festival in downtown Houston. Should be fun. I've never been before but have heard great things about it. We'll let you know.

The Mega Mel Burger

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Favorite Runner!

As Beth and I have mentioned previously, we ran in the Race for the Cure last weekend. A few of our pictures are below. But I figured I couldn't let it pass without bragging on Beth just a little bit. There were nearly 1800 competitive runners in the 5k race and Beth finished 285th. That would put her basically in the top 15% of ALL runners in the race. She finished 6th in her age group and 78th overall for women. Needless to say, pretty impressive!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

BOOMER SOONER!!!!!!!!!!

Race Results


We had a good showing at the Susan G. Komen Race yesterday. The rain came in about 20 minutes before the race was about to start and we all got pretty soaked. It did stop about 5 minutes before we started and held off for the entire rest of the race. My mom had the goal of running the entire race and she did it! She even ran faster than she thought she could. Janet was the motivator and made sure she didn't stop running! My dad realized that he needs to have another knee surgery and was a trooper and finished with a pretty good time, for an old guy ;). Tony took off and left the rest of us in the dust. So he was the winner out of the 5 of us, and I got second place.

This was my dad and Tony's first time to come to a Race for the Cure. My mom, Janet, Stacy, and I have been to quite a few races. It's always so cool to see the breast cancer survivors out there running with their pink tshirts and the thousands of people who come up to support such a great cause. With my Grandma on my mom's side having breast cancer, we always call her and let her know that we ran for her today. My mom also got pretty emotional yesterday because she now works with breast cancer patients and just thinking about her patients and their struggles got her through the last part of the race. It's not all about running the Race for the Cure, it's about supporting finding a cure.

In Celebration of my Grandma

Ohio Pictures - From July

It took us long enough to get some pictures together from our trip to Ohio in July. Since it was right after our engagement, we had a couple of celebration cakes. It was so great to see how excited everyone was for Tony and me.

Tony & me with our cute cookie cake


Tony, me, and Janet at the golf tournament


The whole Lewis family


Me, Tony and Stacy with our cake


The Lew Crew - we made t-shirts for Stacy and wore them on the last day with our camo hats.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fall

I feel my mood starting to change now that summer is over and it's the beginning of October. I enjoy Summer, but Fall is my favorite season. The next three months are my favorite months and I can't help but think of growing up in Oklahoma and watching the leaves change colors on the trees and the many Saturdays spent playing soccer in great Fall weather. Unfortunately that isn't exactly the case in Houston. I find myself getting excited for Fall and constantly being disappointed. Today is October 3rd and the high temperature today is supposed to be 92. Ninety-two degrees! Are you kidding me? I thought looking ahead that we were supposed to get a cold front in the next ten days, but I guess I was wrong. A cold front means 89 degrees instead of 92. Excuse me for my Grandpa moment, but I remember when I was 13 and it snowed on October 30th in Oklahoma. Obviously that's not a common occurrence or anything, but man that was nice. I'm not saying I necessarily enjoy lots of snow. In fact that's something I like about Houston. It eventually does get cold here but it never snows. I can almost wear shorts year round and I never have to get bundled up to go running. I know that eventually it will start cooling down and I'll get those cooler temps, but it's just hard waiting for that first cold front to roll through. So for now I'll look on the bright side. And the bright side is, it's not 100 degrees everyday(apologies go out to my family in Dubai).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Last Weekend

Beth and I had a pretty good weekend. Friday was pretty much just like a usual Friday. We got home from work and wanted to lay around, not feeling like doing much of anything. After we finally figured out that we were hungry and not in the mood to cook, we decided to go to Cheddar's. I'm sure most people have heard of Cheddar's, but if you haven't, it's a great place that I would recommend. It's a casual restaurant that looks from the outside like it could be expensive, but it's not at all. Pretty much the most expensive thing on the menu is $12.99 and most things are between six and seven bucks. Anyway, there are only a few Cheddar's restaurants in Houston and the one Beth and I decdied to go to was out West off of the Westpark Tollway. As we were getting ready to pull into the restaurant, I mentioned to Beth that our friend Romi lived right there and I hadn't talked to her in a while. So we decided to give her a call. Luckily she wasn't doing anything since her boyfriend was out of town, so she joined us for dinner. We ended up spending over there hours at Cheddar's just talking and having a really good time.

Saturday was a bad day. My Sooners lost. In all my sadness, a smile appeared on my face as I watched Colt McCoy get knocked out of the Texas game and the Longhorns get dominated at home against Kansas State. This weekend is OU/Texas and I think it's going to be a good game.

Sunday was a great day. Beth and I signed the final contract on our house!!!!! We finished picking out all of the upgrades we wanted and now the next step is to meet with our builder after they receive all the building permits needed. Once construction actually starts, it will take about two months to be completed. After we signed the contract on our house, we went to The Woodlands to see my Mom one last time before she left to go back to Dubai. We went to Brio for dinner and it was really good to hangout with my Mom. I'm definitely going to miss her a lot. It's been really nice having her basically right down the road for the past three and a half months. I'm excited that we'll all be together again in Italy and I can't wait to see Gab and Louise!

This weekend is Race for the Cure and lots of college football!!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It is with much sadness that I must announce the loss of the great Oklahoma Sooners. They put forth a sad, pathetic effort yesterday in a 27-24 loss to Colorado. Like all moments of sadness, we must look for some kind of bright spot to keep us going. For my bright spot I must look no further than Austin, Texas where the poor Longhorns not only got beat, but got dominated yesterday by Kansas State. Next week we will see who the real loser is, as Oklahoma and Texas play in Dallas. My money's on Oklahoma. I just hope they don't play like they did yesterday.

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Schedules

Another week has gone by and I have not posted anything! Tony's been doing a good job of keeping things up to date though. I am finally getting in the groove of school and teaching...but guess what...all of my classes are about to change. Great! As a result of some benchmark testing, my school decided to rearrange the math classes because there were quite a few students who did well enough on the test that they don't need to be in a 90 minute math class. They would be fine in a 45 minute math class. Also, there are some kids that need to be placed in an above grade level class. After 6 weeks of school the plan is to overhaul every kid's schedule in order to get them in the math class they really need. I found out that I'm now going to have 2 90 minute classes and 2 45 minute classes. Hopefully I'll still have a lot of the same kids, but who knows.

I hope it will work out well for the kids because it's going to be hard starting all over with new classes and a different class pace with the shorter classes. It's one of those things where you do what you're told and adapt.

Other than this news I received this week, I am so excited that it's the weekend. Tony and I don't have very much planned. Tomorrow we're going to get kolache's for breakfast (because we got a buy 3 get 3 free coupon!) and watch some football games. Sunday, we're going to finally go sign off on all the stuff for our house and have dinner with Tony's mom. Other than that, looking forward to relaxing and hanging out with adults. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Beth and I along with her parents and sister will be running in this year's Race for the Cure on October 6th. I'm kind of excited to run in it, although I have a feeling it'll be mostly women. At least I'll have Beth's Dad there with me. It's an awesome cause and having two grandparents lose their fight with cancer, I understand the real pain and suffering that cancer brings to anyone's life. If you've never really heard of Race for the Cure(like me), look it up and you just might learn something.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's Official

Beth and I are going to Italy. We bought our tickets last night to make it official. I must admit, I think it's going to be kind of weird being on a plane for half of Christmas day. The thought of airline food for Christmas dinner is kind of unsettling, but what's our other option? We are meeting some of my family(the Dubai portion of the family) in Rome on December 26th which means we have to leave on Christmas day. I think it'll be worth it though. The lack of a Christmas dinner will be made up for when we are eating pizza and pasta for 10 days straight!!! I can't wait!

Italy at Christmas time is going to be great and I'm especially excited about spending New Year's in Rome(I think Kelsey's the most excited about that though). Since Beth and I live in Houston, our winter days don't get very cold, so it will be nice to be somewhere cold for once and actually experience some different weather. It'll be here before we know it!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Game

Beth and I had a great time at the Texans game today even though they lost. They actually played pretty well and we got to see them run back the opening kickoff for a touchdown which hardly ever happens. Anyway, some of our pics are below.





Texans Game Today!!!!

Beth and I are going to the Texans game today at noon. In fact, we're leaving here in about 30 minutes. It's the first Texans game for both of us and we're pumped.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Houston We Have Tile

When Beth and I started looking at options for our new house, one of the first things we knew we wanted was tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. Tile not only looks nicer than normal linoleum, it also lasts a lot longer. We got a quote from our builder to tile the master bathroom and the kitchen for $3,100. We thought those were the two most important places and the second bathroom could wait. After thinking about it, we figured it was a no-brainer, we were doing it. Then as we started adding up the rest of our upgrades for the house, our list quickly grew and grew.....and continued to grow. We were like oh crap, we need to take something off the list. I started doing a little research on my own and found that we could tile those same areas for about half the price and also have our pick of any tile we wanted if we did it on our own and not through the builder. Although the builder had some nice tile options, we only had about 10 different choices. By doing it on our own, we could pick anything from anywhere. And that's just what we did.

Last night Beth and I went to the Floor and Decor Outlet and bought our tile. We may not have a house to put the tile in quite yet, but we sure will be ready to go once the house is finished. Since this was our first time to buy tile, we didn't really think too much about the weight of tile. And especially the weight of 15 boxes of tile, eight of which were 18 by 18 inch tiles. In fact when we pulled the car up to load the boxes in, the guy just laughed at us and told us there was no way we were getting all of that tile in one trip. Well to his amazement(and ours to be honest), we fit all of the tile in. I had to go today and buy three more boxes from another store since the first store didn't have enough, but now our tile buying is complete. And we got enough tile for our second bathroom as well!!! All for only $580!!!! Now we just have to get it installed. Well, I guess the house has to be built first. Maybe we jumped the gun just a little bit.....Nah!

Dinner Time

Sometimes I think Beth and I are on European time. The reason I say this is because we usually don't ever eat dinner until at least eight and sometimes it's pushing nine o'clock before we sit down to eat. When we tell people this they usually think we are crazy. "How do you eat that late? Aren't you starving? I hate going to sleep with a full stomach," some people say to us. The fact is, we just don't like eating early. And even if we did, we wouldn't be able to. By the time Beth and I get off of work and get home, it's usually 5:30 or so. We then usually lay around for a little while to wind down from the day and then get dressed and go running. The whole running process takes about an hour and by the time we get home and cool off it's at least eight o'clock and then we still have to cook dinner.

Eating late is great when we are in Europe. We can go out and wander around and not worry about having to eat at any certain time before a place closes. The restaurants are usually empty up until 8:30 or 9 p.m. and then they get crowded and stay crowded late. And this doesn't just happen on the weekends either, it's every night. My sister Andie(who lives in Paris) made a comment to me when we were in Bartlesville last week about eating late. We were invited over to someones house for dinner at six and we both kind of shook our heads and agreed that we hated eating that early. Andie said she usually doesn't eat until at least eight either.

Oh well, I guess we'll keep eating late. Maybe our schedules will change at some point. But if not at least we'll be ready for our trips to Europe each year.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

First the Bus...........

Now the Sweet Leaf Tea Limo!!!!!!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Look

SAME GREAT BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I was getting tired of the way our blog looked so I had to make a change. Hope you like it!

Less than a Hundred

We are officially under a hundred days until our trip to Italy. I think Beth and I have been waiting for this moment to come back to Italy since we left Venice in April of last year. I don't think we could have ever imagined how much we would fall love with Italy. The people, the food, and of course all of the amazing places to see. This year's trip to Italy is going to take us to Rome, Naples, Florence, Pisa and who knows where else. We are meeting my family over there who are either flying in from Dubai or driving from Paris(that's right, I said driving!!!). This is going to be the first Christmas that we have all been together in quite a few years and I'm really looking forward to it. Beth and I are actually going to be able to spend Christmas with her family as well which will be really nice. We will spend Christmas morning and part of the afternoon with Beth's family and then jump on a plane to fly to Rome and be in Rome on the 26th to spend a late Christmas and New Year's with my family. After arriving in Rome, we will meet up with my family and hop a train to Florence. Italy here we come!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sold!

That's right boys and girls, our lot officially has a sold sign on it!!!! We took Beth's parents with us on Sunday when we went to pick out everything for the house and when we pulled in the subdivision there it was, our lot with a sold sign on it!! Since Beth and I have never done this before, we really had no clue where to even start. We didn't know what questions to ask or what went with what. Thankfully her parents have done this before and they were a HUGE help. In fact, I think it's safe to say that we definitely could not have done it without them. We picked out our tile for the entry way and utility room, we picked out the carpet, cabinets, and even the brick for our house. Needless to say, Beth and I are really excited and can't wait for everyone to come see our new house.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Adjusting

I have not posted anything on here since I started teaching, I don't think. Tony's been on my case about how I haven't written anything in awhile as well. Well, I have a good excuse called Teaching! My first 3 weeks of teaching have been extremely tiring and a test for myself. I have managed my way through the first few weeks of school and am starting to get used to the daily schedule...get up at 6 AM, drive 35 minutes to work, go go go with my 6th graders until 4, leave work at 4:15, drive 35 minutes to an hour home (depending on traffic and stupid trains), plop on the couch and wait for Tony to get home and try to take a short nap before he gets home. I have never been more happy to see Fridays come knowing that I'll be able to sleep in and just relax for 2 days.

So far, I enjoy teaching, but there is so much to learn. I'm just now beginning to see how I want to do things and then there's getting the kids to do things! I've never said "Stop talking" so many times in my entire life as I do each day. It's all figuring out what works and what doesn't with them. Sometimes it's just so frustrating and I feel so out of control in the classroom. BUT I have to keep telling myself that it'll only get better the more I do it.

Tony has been a great support. He always tells me that I get so upset when the kids don't do well or don't do what I want them to do because I care so much and that's not a bad thing. I've only cried once after I got home from school, so that's not too bad. Well, and then there's the time I cried before school in my classroom. (No kids were there) Haha. It can only get better...It can only get better! Janet told me that one of her middle school teachers cried in front of her class because the kids were being so mean to her. At least I didn't do that! I can honestly say that my kids have not been mean to me yet, they're just REALLY talkative and have a hard time paying attention 80% of the time.

This has been my life so far though. Even though I'm so tired after school, Tony makes me go running which is a good thing. Makes me feel like I'm doing something for me still. Plus it's a good time for us to chat about our days. Probably by the time I get used to this new schedule, school will be over!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Memorable Trip

I spent the last four days in my hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Although I was not born there(I'm proud to say I was born in Atlanta, Georgia), I grew up there and graduated from high school as a Bartlesville Bruin. I'd start singing the fight song right now, but to be honest I have no clue what it is. Bartlesville's a great place to grow up. Not too big, not too small, but just enough to keep you from getting too bored. I remember my high school weekends being spent at the Youth Canteen(it was a place where they would have school dances on football fridays) or just hanging out at a friend's house. Although I remember saying at the time how boring it was, looking back now, I wouldn't trade it for any other place.

So that brings me to last four days. My Grandmother passed away a few weeks ago as most of you probably know and I went to Bartlesville for her funeral on Tuesday. Since I am the only person in my family living in the United States(Andie and her family are in Paris and the rest of my family is in Dubai), it's not very often that the six of us get together. And I mean just the six of us. In fact, the last time we were all together in Bartlesville was May of 1998 for my high school graduation. Beth was unable to come because of teaching and Etienne and the kids had to stay in Paris. To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to going to Bartlesville. I knew that it was going to be hard to be there and not have my Grandma there. And I was right, it was hard. But not near as hard as I thought it would be because I had my family around me and we had a memorable time. Although sadness brought us together, our laughter and joy while spending time with each other kept us sane. I think I laughed harder in the last four days than I have in a really long time. And it made me realize again how much my family means to me and how blessed I am to have all of the family I have.

Besides enjoying our time together, I also got a chance to eat some great food and spend some quality time with friends. My list of groosmen has grown quite a bit by now. I officially have five groosmen for our wedding and still have two more that I need to ask. While in Bartlesville I was able to ask Justin Fowler(one of my best friends since high school), Kevin Hay(my oldest friend since I was five years old!), and Shawn Barker(my Bible study leader in high school and a great friend who I have known since I was 16). Those three guys along with my best man Jacob Lawson(my favorite Policeman from Arkansas) and my little brother Sean are my groomsmen as of now.

Besides great company, we had some great food as well. We celebrated Sean and Kelsey's 18th birthday by eating at Murphy's Steakhouse. And although I've never had a steak there, I have had my share of hot hamburgers. If you don't know what a hot hamburger is, just check out the picture below. Besides Murphy's, we ate at Braum's twice, and also had a bbq dinner at Dink's. I must say, I ate like a king!!!!

My Grandma's service was great. The minister summed up my Grandmother perfectly. She was a caring person who never put herself first. Someone who cared more about seeing your smile than seeing her own. A special lady who will never be duplicated but fortunately for me has passed on many of her amazing qualities to my mother. I'm a better person for knowing my Grandma and an even better person for being able to spend almost my entire life in her presence. I will miss her every day and be thankful for all the times we spent together.

The trip to Bartlesville was capped off by an eight hour drive home in a 16 foot moving truck. And it was a packed truck at that. Mom if you're reading this, thanks for taking my advice and getting the 16 foot instead of the 10 foot. We would have been in trouble with the latter.

Now that I'm back in Houston, I can't help but look forward to Beth and I's trip to Italy in three months. Not only will the six of us be together once again, but this time Beth will be there too as well as Etienne and Gab and Louise. I can't wait!!!

Andie and I



Me and two of my Groosman(Justin and Jacob)



The Kids



The Family



Murphy's Hot Hamburger!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lewis "wins" LPGA Tournament!!!!

Beth's sister Stacy Lewis was the official winner of an unofficial LPGA tournament this past weekend in Northwest Arkansas. She shot an opening round 65 to lead the tournament with a score of -7. Unfortunately due to bad weather, the tournament was shortened to 18 holes and it wasn't considered an "official" tournament. Dang it!!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Where In the World?

Beth and I have quite possibly found our honeymoon spot. We have been given many ideas from many different people. How about Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia, Brazil, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cancun? Any of those sound good? Well, they all sound great. We're just not sure if that's where we want to go. This is what we know for sure........we want to go somewhere tropical, somewhere different, somewhere that's not just a nice beach, but also has other stuff to do.

Since we will be in Dubai next June for Sean and Kelsey's graduation, we ruled out going to Egypt although Beth and I were both really interested in seeing the Pyramids.

Last September Beth and I spent eight days together in Turkey and considering Turkey is basically next door to Greece, we don't really want to go back to the same area.

So where are we going to go? The place we are thinking about is definitely tropical(straight out of a movie), it's very different(I don't know anyone else who has gone there on their honeymoon), and it's also got a lot of stuff to do besides lay on the beach. Although this place doesn't have hurricanes, it does have to deal with other natural disasters. Any ideas?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Half-Marathon Time

As Beth has mentioned in previous blogs, we are running in the Houston Aramco Half-Marathon at the beginning of January. Although this still seems like forever away, you still have to start getting your body ready to run 13.1 miles. Luckily for Beth and I, we run anywhere between four and five miles a day, but that's still not the same as 13.1. So the plan is to start really getting ready for the race in about a month. Although we ran the race together in 2006, this time we are wanting to really focus on each running considerably faster than we did last time. To get ready, we are going to do our long runs on the weekends and then during the week focus on running longer distances rather than running as frequently. This is going to mean running six or seven miles 3 days a week and doing one long run on the weekends instead of running four miles, five or six times a week. So here's the training schedule:

Last weekend of October: Run 8 miles

First weekend of November: Run 9 Miles

Second Weekend: Run 10 Miles

Third Weekend: Run 11 Miles

Fourth Weekend: Run 12 Miles

1st Weekend of December: Run 13.1 Miles!!!

So hopefully by the beginning of December we will be ready to go for the race and we can use December to work on getting faster. Wish us luck!

Monday, September 3, 2007

A New House!!!!

Beth and I were bored yesterday so we decided to drive up and take some pictures of our new neighborhood and we even went to another neighborhood that has the exact exterior that we like for our house. So the picture of the house is not our house, but what we want our house to look like. Anyway, let us know what you think!!!

The entrance to our neighborhood


Looking down our street


Our cul-de-sac!!!


Our Lot!!!


The way we want our house to look

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ryanne Elizabeth Grenz



Miss Ryanne is here! Sarah and Mike had their first baby girl yesterday. She is 19 inches long, 5 lbs 3 oz. She is doing well right now. However, she is going to have to have surgery on her chest soon because she has a mass in her lung. The doctors and mom & dad are optimistic that everything will be fine. Right now she is under observation and they are still running tests before doing surgery.

Ryanne is such a cutie though! She has Sarah's facial features and Mike's coloring (darker skin and dark hair). Keep Mike, Sarah, and Ryanne in your prayers because they are going to have a long next couple of weeks before Ryanne can come home.

The Lot

Early last week Tony and I made a huge decision. It wasn't a very hard one to make either. We decided that we are going to build a house! We found a little neighborhood in a perfect location and a floor plan that we liked. It was easy to see that we weren't going to find anything better than this.

First of all, here is the floor plan we decided on. It's a one story, 3 bedroom / 2 bath. We get to go pick out all the inside stuff - carpet, tile, cabinets, etc. and brick next weekend.

We decided on a lot already. We found a lot on a mini-cul du sac where the backyard is going to be huge.


Friday, August 31, 2007

FOOTBALL TIME!!!!!!!

This weekend officially marks the beginning of college football season and I couldn't be more excited! OU plays tomorrow at 6 p.m. against North Texas. The plan for Beth and I tomorrow is to sleep in, wake up, and watch football!! Did I mention order pizza? Of course you gotta have pizza on the first football Saturday of the year!!! I'm sad to say the UT is not on tv tomorrow so Beth won't be able to watch her little longhorns. She'll have to cheer them on in spirit. BOOMER SOONER!!!

Wedding Time

The wedding website that Beth posted the other day has the incorrect time listed for our wedding. Although we don't have a definite time yet, the wedding will be in the evening. No worries, our wedding won't be at 12 a.m. like it says. Since Beth is the only one who knows how to update that sight, it won't be changing until she does it.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Count Your Blessings

I woke up this morning with sadness in my heart. I miss my Grandma. She was a special lady in so many ways. Losing someone is never easy, but I have come to realize in the last 24 hours that I have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to my Grandma and the relationship we had. So what I am trying to do instead of feeling sorry for myself is count my blessings. I thought I would share some of the things I'm thankful for:
--I grew up 6 blocks from my Grandparents' house.
--Growing up I would see my Grandparents almost everyday.
--My Grandma used to come and pick Andie and I up at our babysitter's house when my Mom couldn't.
--I learned a lot about cooking from watching my Grandma in the kitchen.
--My Grandma made me feel special.
--I got to live with my Grandma for an entire year(my Senior year of high school).
--Even after I went to college, I still saw my Grandma at least twice a month.
--If I ever felt like no one cared, I always knew my Grandma would.
--My Grandma took care of me.
--My Grandma would come to nearly all of my soccer games and even if she didn't have a clue what was going on, she would always tell me how great I did.
--My Grandma took care of me when I had my appendix taken out.
--My Grandma loved me and knew how much I loved her.

Instead of being sad, I need to be thankful. I had 27 amazing years with my Grandma and I will have that forever.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wedding Website

I created a wedding website for Tony and I. Click Here to link to it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ms. Lewis is Here

I officially saw my first little 6th graders today! My school has a "camp" where the 6th graders come and spend 5 minutes in each of their classes to get their schedule down and figure out the classes they are going to and where they are located in the building. About half of each of my classes showed up, but I was just excited to actually see them. The past week has been all about in-service and all these other meetings and I'm just ready to get started already.

I have to admit I was pretty nervous when those kids were sitting under Ms. Lewis's name and I hear them saying "I'm looking for Ms. Lewis." So fun! They are so little, but I'm sure by the end of the year they will all have grown a ton and will be too cool. But for now, they are the newbies to the school and are anxious about being in middle school. Hmm...sounds like how I've been feeling too. I think I can relate, this year at least.

All I had to do today was present a PowerPoint show about the school and where things are, key people, etc. I have always done presentations to adults or my teachers, so it was a different feeling being the teacher and talking to young kids. I don't think it will take long for me to get used to it though. By my 3rd class I was already feeling much more confident. I can't wait for Monday to see the rest of them!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What's My Deal?

I haven't been doing a very good job lately of keeping up with the blog. For some reason I just haven't felt too connected to it. I'm not really sure why, but I haven't really felt too connected to much of anything. It's not that I'm unhappy with anything specifically. I mean geez, I have a lot to be happy about. I'm getting married in less than a year!!! I've got a smokin' hot fiance! The date is set. The location is set. Beth and I are going to Italy in exactly four months! So what's the problem? That's a great question. And I just don't know.

For one, I think I'm really bothered by the fact that my Grandmother, who I grew up living down the street from, is terminally ill. My Mom is up in Oklahoma right now taking care of her. Once cancer reaches your liver, I guess things aren't looking too good. I wish I could be there, but things just aren't that simple. I had the privilege of growing up just a few blocks from my Grandparents. I would see them nearly everyday and they were there for nearly every major event in my life. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Man, I wish I would have known then what I know now. I would have taken advantage of spending so much time with my Grandparents. I would have made sure that I got every ounce of knowledge from my Grandpa before he passed away. But that was 11 years ago. I was 16 and honestly, didn't really care. I was too worried about myself and what my friends were doing on Friday night. Luckily for me, my Grandpa taught me more than I ever really knew at the time. Most of which is what has made me into who I am today.

The same holds true for my Grandmother. I have learned a lot from her as well. She's been through a lot. She's lost two sons, both of her parents, and her husband in the past 20 years. Life's not fair. I probably would have given up a long time ago. But she hasn't. The same woman who depended on my Grandpa for nearly everything through their 40 plus years of marriage, has become this incredibly independent person in the past 11 years. With everything stacked against her and all of her losses, she has persevered. And she has loved. And no matter how sad she has been or how bad of a day she was having, she always made me feel important and special. And I'm grateful. I'm grateful for what she has taught me and I'm grateful that I've been able to recognize it. Now I guess it's my turn to take what I've learned and use it in my life. Keep going. Life's not fair, it's not easy, but keep going. I sure am glad my Grandmother kept going because if she hadn't, I wouldn't have learned what I know now. Thanks Grandma.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A New House??

Beth and I's search for a house continues. We actually found a really great house in a nice neighborhood this past weekend. And the the key thing is, it's in our price range!!!! The house is located on FM 2920 which is about 20 minutes north of downtown Houston. We really like this area b/c it's close to a lot of different things and also close to The Woodlands. We toured the model house and really liked it. Now we are just trying to figure out if there is another floor plan that we may like better. Beth's parents are going with us this weekend to check it out and i'll be interested to see what they say. It typically takes about 4 and a half months for them to build so we would be looking at probably a March move in date or so. With the wedding scheduled for next summer, we're really not in a huge hurry. We'll see what happens!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Things Change So Quickly

Not too long after writing yesterday did Tony find a website completely bashing the builder of the neighborhood we had been looking at. These were not small things either...people being pressured to close before their house was done, cracks in the house, water under the foundation because the lot wasn't leveled correctly, etc. These horror stories were enough to make us change our minds about the house we had been thinking of. It was kind of sad and disappointing though because it seemed like such a great option for us. But we have now resigned ourselves to the fact that we will continue to look for the perfect house for us in the perfect (or ok) location. With it being our first house, we know we probably can't get exactly what we want but it's not worth having a crappy house built by a builder with a bad reputation either. It might just be a little smaller and/or older.

We really aren't in a rush to find something either. I just have to try and stay positive because I was so not impressed with what we saw on our first outing looking at houses. I think our budget has gone up, and I just get frustrated when I don't find something I like right away. Luckily, Tony is Mr. Positive about the whole thing and he's reminding me not to get down about it because we'll find something we like sooner or later.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Searching

Last week/weekend was filled with searching. Tony and I started looking at some options for our living situation for next year because we found out that our apartment rent is going up $300 a month. Our lease runs up in November and since we're going to be getting married 8 months later, we wanted to see if we could find a house. We could always find an apartment that is less expensive, but it seems like we could pay just as much for a house every month and have a lot more space and not have to worry about moving the next year as rent goes up again. We spent a lot of time last week looking up houses for sale and found 2 we were interested in looking at. Well, we soon realized that either the house had a lot of work to do or it was in a terrible neighborhood.

We then came across a neighborhood in a great location for us with all new houses. We found out that there is actually a new house that we could afford! We ended up spending an hour looking at different floor plans and options that they offer. We even drove out to Cy-Fair yesterday to look at another floor plan. We are still thinking about this important decision, but we think it would be great to be able to build our house and choose the cabinets, carpet, tile, etc. So we'll see where this goes, but it is definitely looking like our best option at this point.

The other big thing that I've been looking for this week/weekend is my wedding dress. I can't really talk about what I'm looking for or what I've found because Tony reads this too. Email me if you'd like to know what I've found so far. My mom and I went looking on Thursday and I found 3 dresses that I liked, but wasn't sure about. Then on Saturday, my mom, Stacy, Janet, and I went shopping and I found 2 dresses that I absolutely loved. But, now it is only down to 1 dress because I found out that the other dress was the same exact one that Kristina picked. I've also looked online and found 2 other dresses I think I'd like to try on before making my final decision.

My sisters also found a bridesmaid dress, which is a miracle in itself. The two of them could not have more different taste sometimes. After trying on probably 20 - 30 different dresses, we found one! Now I just have to decide on the color!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bored

So this is day 2 of not working this week and I am officially bored! I have cleaned the entire apartment and watched TV the past 2 days. Now that I'm done with the cleaning, I don't know what to do with myself. I'm not used to having all of this free time. I actually went out to the pool yesterday for a couple of hours by myself and read a book in the blazing heat. I do have some things that I need to do like work on my module for my teaching stuff (hey, I read 10 pages yesterday) and I could work on my scrapbook. But those are all things where you just have to sit and work on them and I'm not really in the mood to do that right now. Tony and I didn't go running yesterday so that's making me feel the need to get out and do something even more.

The other thing that is weird is that whenever I am home, Tony is home...but it's not like that this week. I actually have to find things to do because it's boring to just sit around with no one to talk to or anything. I didn't realize how used to that I am. You don't feel like such a lazy bum when you have someone being lazy with you! I know I need to enjoy this time though because once school starts, I'm going to be wishing for a week off!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Sweet Leaf Tea Bus

Tony and I worked another Sweet Leaf Tea event yesterday. We hadn't done anything in probably a month, but yesterday was a promotion at HEB that SLT was doing with 104 KRBE. They mentioned SLT on the radio and tried to get people to come out and try some tea. Anyways, the HEB manager really wanted the SLT bus to come out and sit in the parking lot during the day. SO this meant Tony & I had to bring the bus out there. Pictures are below, but let me tell you it is an old school bus with no AC and a bunch of tea in the back. The outside of the bus is "wrapped" with a whole Sweet Leaf design and it's bright blue! Top speed is 60 mph.

No need for a special bus driving license here! Tony was the privileged one who drove the bus, but I think Shippey would have died if we told him that I drove the bus. That would be an accident waiting to happen.



Friday, August 3, 2007

Running Goals

Tony and I officially signed up to run in the Houston 1/2 Marathon again this year. The 1/2 Marathon isn't until early January, but the earlier you register the less expensive it is. So we signed up on the last day before the prices went up and $60 each later we're committed. This will be our second 1/2 marathon. The first one was the year before last. I had never run that far before and it was definitely a challenge.

I couldn't get myself together as far as training goes last year. It would have been pretty bad and painful to run that distance if you haven't been training. So this year is going to be different. Tony and I consistently run between 4 and 6 miles almost everday. In a month or so we'll probably have to start doing some longer runs to get ready for the 13.1 miles! We really did have a great time running the first time around. It was a bonding experience along with all the running we did before hand. Hopefully Tony will run with me again and not leave me in the dust!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Little New to This

This week so far has been a whirl-wind experience in teaching. I only had to "work" 3 days this week and work included attending training sessions for a new textbook and style of teaching for all the middle school teachers. Having no experience with teaching and having not met any of my co-workers yet, it was a pretty good 3 days. I got to meet all the other math teachers and get a feel for what I'll be doing in a couple of weeks. Also, today I have to go sign up for my insurance benefits. Then I'm done until Aug. 16th when I have to go back for new teacher orientation.

It's been a long summer knowing that I'd be starting a new job in August and now it's finally here.

In wedding news, Tony & I have decided on a date and location for the ceremony & reception. That has been a big load off of our shoulders and now we can just take things as they come. We're also looking into photographers for our engagement and wedding photos since we probably need to do the engagement photos in a month or two. Still don't know our colors...haha! That seems to be a common question and we're open to suggestions!

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