Saturday, March 29, 2008

My last week of no work is over and I officially start my new job on Monday. I'm really looking forward to it too. Not working is nice, but not if you don't really have anything to do. It's been nice having our house b/c it's given me something to do each day. But you can only do so much. Today Beth and I worked at the Arts Festival down in Houston. Supposedly it's the third largest art festival in the US. Who knows if that's true, but it was pretty darn big.

Tonight we went out to dinner with my Dad before he leaves tomorrow. Tomorrow we are going to church and then going to a lunch for little Ryanne's dedication. Should be fun. Nothing else too exciting going on really.

We did go out to dinner last night with our friend Romi. Romi's a really good friend of mine and I've actually known her for five years now. Crazy how time flies by. She hadn't seen our house so she came up to Spring and we showed her our house and then out to dinner at Lupe Tortilla. Normally it's a really good place to go, but not so much last night. The service was a joke. Not sure if I'll be back anytime soon. That's about it for now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Real Men Garden

Beth and I had a really good Easter. It was somewhat uneventful, but good. After lunch with Janet, we decided to go run some errands and go by the house. We stopped at Home Depot first and took advantage of the gift card that Beth's Mom got me for my birthday. We bought gardening shovels and plant food. Then we went across the street to Lowe's and took advantage of the gift card that Mary got us for Christmas. At Lowe's we got two new light fixtures to replace the ugly white globe light fixtures that we have in a few places in our house. Finally, we went to the Houston Garden Center to buy flowers and plants for our front yard.

I had never done any "gardening" before and I must say, it was pretty fun. We ended up pulling out four ugly bushes that the builder had planted originally and replaced those bushes with flowers and a few other plants. We still have a lot to go, but were glad that we got things started today. A few pics are below:






After our gardening adventure, we came back to the house and watched OU get destroyed by Louisville in the NCAA tournament. Then my Dad, Beth, and I met Beth's parents at Baker Street for dinner. Now the week begins and lucky for me, I still have one more week until I start my new job.

Easter Brunch

Since my parents are with Stacy at a golf tournament this weekend, Janet still came home from College Station and went to church with Tony and I. We went to a packed Easter service at WoodsEdge, our usual church, and went out to eat afterwards. We went to our favorite Sunday place, Black Walnut. We discovered their breakfast a couple of months ago and are hooked on it. We had a period of time where we were going every week. We hadn't been in awhile and when Janet suggested it, of course we had to go! Here are a couple of pictures from this morning.


Happy Easter

Friday, March 21, 2008

Today

The whole family is in town right now minus Andie. Sean and Kelsey were looking at different colleges and I have to say big congrats to Kelsey who, as of now, is probably going to the University of Tulsa to play soccer! It's a proud moment for me to have my little sis play college soccer since I grew up playing soccer from the time I was five.

It's also really great to see my Mom, Sean, and Kelsey before we see them in a couple months in Dubai. We get to see my Dad quite a bit as he is back in Houston frequently for work, but we didn't think we'd get to see the others between Italy and Dubai. Tonight we're going to show everyone our new house and then go out to dinner. Should be fun!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Bright Idea

In the weeks before we closed on our house, I started doing a little research on what it would take to sod our backyard. Although I knew this was going to be a pretty expensive proposition, I figured grass would be better than a big pile of dirt in our backyard. My original plan was to buy the sod from a sod farm and install it myself(well, with a little help from my friends). Keep in mind, our backyard is about 4000 square feet. This was going to be a minor task I thought to myself as I was calling around to get different quotes. I ended up getting a cheap quote from the grass company that our builder uses and the difference between them just delivering it and actually installing it was minimal. Anyway, I ordered seven pallets for our backyard as I was told this was how much we needed. The entire yard was covered except for one small patch in the corner.

So yesterday Beth and I went and bought some individual strips of sod to fill in the patch of yard without sod. It ended up being about 50 square feet of sod that we needed and we of course, didn't buy enough. So now we have to go back today and buy the last bit.

But the real lesson learned in all of this, is not that we need to accurately measure next time we buy sod, but rather never ever think about laying sod ourselves ever again. Laying the 40 square feet of sod yesterday was such a hassle that the mere thought of doing the entire yard made me tired. First I had to unload the 25 strips of sod that we bought, then I had to carry it to the backyard, then I had to figure out how the heck I was going to lay it. The part I did lay looked good, but it took me about 30 minutes to do that small part. So I figured 4000 square feet would have taken me about six months to lay.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

More House Pics


Living Room After Paint




Our Backyard with Sod!!!!
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The Side Yard of our Front Yard

Painting Pics

We spent all day today painting and thank goodness we had helpers! Below are some of the pics:

Our New Back Splash




Our New Kitchen Tile




New Bathroom Tile




Entry Way After Paint




Beth and Janet

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Last Day

Today was my last day at my current job. I start my new job on March 31st. Most people probably didn't know I was even looking for a job. In reality, I wasn't necessarily looking. I had been somewhat unhappy at my job for a while and a really great opportunity came along that I would be crazy to pass up. It's going to be a great career opportunity and is a huge blessing to be coming to me at this time in my life. I had been stressing about my job for quite a while but been keeping it mostly to myself.

Recruiting isn't for everyone. Well actually, it's not for most people. In my year and a half with Lucas Group I saw at least 10 people come and go. There was even one guy who only worked for one day before quitting. In fact, I thought the turnover rate in retail was bad, but recruiting definitely has to rank up there.

Lucas Group has some great employees, but it just never turned out to be what I thought it would be or as glamorous as promised. I think if it was exactly what it was made out to be, the turnover wouldn't be near as high. So now, I have the next week off with Beth(it's her spring break) and I can't wait!

But more importantly I can't wait for my new job!!!

Our First Night In Our House

After closing on our house, Beth and I ordered pizza and had our first dinner in our new house. A couple of the pics are below:


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh How Things Change

Things are changing quickly in my and Beth's lives. It's crazy to think where we were a year or even two years ago and then fast forwarding to now. We now own our first home, Beth will be finishing up her first year of teaching soon, and in about four months, we will be married. I know that a lot of times, I feel like I'm so bored with my life. Everyday consists of the same boring, mundane stuff. You wake up, you go to work. You come home, eat dinner, go to bed. The weekends feel like mere minutes in the whole scheme of things. And it's all just a vicious cycle, over and over again. And then before you know it, you look back and realize how much things really have changed.

Two years ago, Beth and I had really just started dating. We were about to go on our first trip together. Beth was about to go overseas for the first time. She was going to meet my Dad and Andie for the first time. Part of me wondered what Beth was thinking when I said she was going to get to meet my Dad for the first time and we were meeting him for dinner.....in London! But it ended up to be a great night and part of me thinks back to the time and realizes that was a special time in both of our lives. And definitely something we'll both always remember. It was also really cool to watch Beth meet my sister, her husband and my nephew for the first time. That was the beginning of a lot of great memories.

Two years ago, Beth and I were both working for Abercrombie, basically hating our lives, but not knowing what to do about it. I was living in Dallas, Beth was living in The Woodlands and commuting two hours roundtrip everday. Poor Beth!

Oh how things have changed. I can't wait for the next few months and I also can't wait to look back in two years and realize again how far we've come!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today is the Day

Today is finally the day. At 4 p.m. this afternoon, Beth and I will officially be homeowners. It's been quite the journey I must say. It all started last summer when we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do as far as our living situation. Renting is great because you don't really have any responsibility other than fulfilling your lease. But renting also means you're basically throwing your money away(or giving it to someone else).

So we got the crazy idea of looking for houses. We didn't know how much we could afford. We didn't know where to even start looking. We didn't even know how to get a loan. To add to the craziness, this was all going on not so long after we got engaged and as we were in the beginning stages of wedding plans.

As we were out and about one day looking for a house that we saw online, we stumbled across a model home that we decided to check out. After looking at the model, checking out the different floor plans, and hearing about the great deals they had at the time, we were hooked. We thought about it, talked to our families and here we are today, less than 8 hours from owning our first home. It's definitely going to be a huge responsibility, but something that I am very excited about and something that I think is great for Beth and I at this stage of our lives.

The plan is to spend the next few weeks painting and doing other things in the house that we didn't want to pay the builder to do. After all that is done, I will move in and Beth will move in with her parents for the next few months until the wedding.

I can't believe how time is flying by. Everything started over eight months ago and now our house is done and in four months, Beth and I will be married!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Another Weekend Come and Gone

Beth and I made a couple great finds this weekend. As we were doing our walk through with our builder last week, he asked us if we had planned on doing a tile back splash in our kitchen. We told him that maybe we would do one later but hadn't really planned on it right now. His suggestion was to do one sooner than later because of the fact that water from the sink will splash up against the wall and could eventually cause problems.

So Beth and I took that into account on Saturday as we decided to go by the Floor and Decor Outlet where we bought the tile for our kitchen. Our plan was to look. But we ended up buying. We found some great travertine tile for the back splash and ended up getting a really good deal on it. Too good to pass up! Now we just can't wait to have it put up next week!

After our back splash was purchased we decided to go down and check out The Dump. The Dump is a huge furniture store with a few other locations across the U.S. Anyway, it's main thing is name brand furniture for less. It's only open Friday through Sunday and its' inventory is constantly changing. We had never been there before, but had always heard the commercials on the radio and seen ads on TV. We walked through the door and within five minutes, fell in love with a coffee table. It was way cheaper than we had seen coffee tables anywhere else, so we decided to buy it. We also saw another piece of furniture that we really liked but decided that we should go by our house and measure first.

After we measured the space, we went back today and bought the other piece of furniture. Both pieces look great and will go really well with what we already have. And the best part was we got $75 off the piece we bought today because there was a "chip" on it that's not even noticeable at all. Yea!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New Focus at School

We have definitely been slackers on the blog this week. Well, I have at least. Apparently it was my turn to write, according to Tony. This has been an interesting week. I'm beginning to learn the stresses of the dreaded TAKS test coming up in April at school. This week I lost one of my planning periods to start a TAKS "intervention" or tutorial class. I have two groups that come in during the week. Either Monday & Tuesday or Wednesday & Thursday. I have to re-teach all the stuff we've learned this year so far because some kids don't learn it the first time around and we need them to pass the test in April. A lot of pressure is put on you for something that, in the end, you can't really control. I can teach a kid until I'm blue in the face, but if they don't pay attention in class or do their part to actually try to learn and retain, then I don't know what to tell you. They probably won't pass if that's the case. And I do have some of those types of students and it's difficult to deal with. You question yourself and your abilities, when you can only do so much. BUT, you're still responsible for them and how they do. It's an uphill battle a lot of the times. So needless to say there have been some frustrations and school this week, and I'm sure it'll continue up until TAKS as each day becomes more and more important.

I am working on being positive and up front with the kids because they need to know how important the test and school really are and we don't have time to waste at this point in the year. However, in 6th grade all they are worried about is who they're going to talk to after class or what they are doing after school. It's hard to remember back to being that young and not being worried about the future or something coming up a few months from now. As an adult, you're always looking forward to that next thing coming up. My students think about the next 10 to 30 minutes and not much more than that unless it's something really big. It's hard to relate to that and figure out a way to get them to realize that what they do now or in the near future in school is going to affect their lives. And that's just one of the challenges of teaching middle schoolers!

The next month and a half is going to require more organization, efficiency, and more time after and before school tutoring. Hopefully it pays off in the end!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

This Weekend

Well here we are, Sunday night and another weekend has come and gone. It seems like the weeks get longer and the weekends shorter. My friend Shawn used to always tell me when I was in college and complaining about studying, that he would much rather be in school than work everyday. He said to take advantage of my time off then because everything changes once you start working. Man was he right. But what can you do, it's just a fact of life I guess.

Friday night we went out to dinner with Beth's parents. We went to Berryhill in Market Street. Berryhill is a Mexican restaurant with really good fish tacos. I always thought fish tacos sounded kind of weird. That was until I tried them. Now I can't go to Berryhill without getting fish tacos.

Saturday wasn't overly eventful. The day started out with us driving to Midtown Houston to work for Sweet Leaf Tea. We were at a Farmer's Market at a somewhat hip and trendy restaurant called T'afia. T'afia's main focus is serving organic, locally grown dishes that are good for you. The chef there is pretty well known and supposedly cooks up some amazing dishes. It's kind of weird though because right next door to the restaurant is a restaurant called The Breakfast Klub. And it's about as far from hip and trendy as you can get. It's a down home, "soul food" restaurant that has a line out the door every minute of the day that it is open. As Beth and I pulled up we noticed the typical huge line coming out of The Breakfast Klub, but this time we noticed a little something different. Across the street from the two restaurants was the Barack Obama Houston campaign headquarters. People were everywhere with Barack signs, passing out Barack "change" messages, and even selling Barack t-shirts. No more than ten seconds after getting out of the car were we approached by a ten year old boy trying to sell us a Barck for President t-shirt. I politely said no thanks.

After unloading the tea and getting everything setup, we start hearing an "Obama" rap song coming from next door. Needless to say, not impressive. I can't imagine Barack would have been too impressed either.

I must admit that initially I really liked Barack for the sole fact that he wasn't Hillary. After looking at things, I think that if it were only between the two of them to see who would be President, I'd have to vote for Hillary. Barack likes to talk, but I don't know if Barack knows how to do any of the stuff he's talking about. Just my opinion.

After loading up and coming back to The Woodlands, we went running and got done just in time to make it to Sonic for happy hour. If you don't know about this already, I recommend checking it out. Sonic has half priced drinks everyday between 2pm and 4pm. Beth and I take advantage of it nearly every weekend.

Today we got up and went to church. I don't think we've ever mentioned our church on here, but it's great. It's called Woodsedge Church. We've been going for about a year now and love it. The Pastor at our church is the Dad of one of Beth's best friends and also will be the Pastor at our wedding. He's one amazing person to listen to and his passion for his message can be felt every week.

After church we went to lunch with Beth's parents and then went and did a walk through of our house. Things were looking good and we will be closing a week from Tuesday. We got back from the walk through and then went running. It was cloudy all day today which made it easier to run. Yesterday it was 80 degrees and sunny as can be when we went. We just got back from eating pizza and here we are, the end of another weekend. Have a great week.

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