Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This Halloween...

Melissa Joan Hart (remember her?) had something pretty powerful to say on Facebook.  Since I work with kids that have special needs, I thought it fitting to post here.

"In a few days, a lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say "trick or treat" or "thank you" might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental apraxia of speech. They are thankful in their hearts and minds. The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have a life-threatening allergy. The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism. Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand. It's everyone's Halloween. Make a parent feel good by making a big deal of their special child."
 Have a Happy Halloween, friends!

Monday, October 29, 2012

63. A big show at the Fox

This weekend Joel and I were able to knock out another number on our "101 Things Every St. Louisan Must Do" list.  Everyone that knows me well knows that I am a stage junkie.  Concerts, plays, ballets, name it.  So, I knew when I saw that St. Louis hosted a Broadway series that I would just have to go to a show.  So, introducing # 63 on the list.  It reads:

63. A big show at the Fox. The Rockettes started on Grand, not in Gotham. Learn that and more when you tour the over-the-top Fox Theatre—from the old projection booth to the stars’ dressing rooms. Plan your tour on one of the days that Stan Kann comes to tickle the organ ivories. To finish it Fox-style, return later for a show straight off Broadway after a buffet dinner in the Griffin Room.

While we didn't take the tour or have the buffet, we did catch the production of Les Miserables.  I caught this show when I had a chance to see it in NYC on a school field trip  (best field trip EVER!), and I knew that I had to take Joel to see it.  While I was nervous that it wouldn't live up to the memory (or the ridiculously good talent on Broadway), the show was spectacular and there was hardly a lack of talent.  And the Fox itself?  Ok people, I have seen live theater in New York, London, Paris, Berlin...and I have to say this was one of the most beautiful theaters I have been in.  While the seats could have been tiered a little better, this theatre is breathtaking, and I will for sure return to take the tour to learn more about its' origin and history.

A shot of the stage
Another gorgeous view, this time with the ceiling.
View of the Lobby

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's OK Thursday!

It’s ok that I have no idea what I got on my midterms.  Wanna know why?  Because they are over so I never have to worry about them again!  Until next semester.  Which is my last semester of classes in Grad school.  Which is totally ok!

It’s ok that I want to go shopping for “fatty” clothes.  I tossed all of my old ones  away, telling myself that I will never gain any weight.  Then reality hit, and, well.  It’s ok that I want to go shopping for fatty clothes.

It’s ok that my dogs are all the kids I need in my life right now.  I’m ok with it, and you should be, too.  Thankyouverymuch.

It’s ok that a new DSW opened about 5 miles from my house.  Now I won’t have to drive 45 minutes for good shoes.  Which saves me money.  You’re welcome, husband.

It’s ok that even though I live in St. Louis that I don’t like baseball.  You see, back in my hometown of Indianapolis (holla!), we were a basketball/football city.  I love me some pro football, and I am go Hoosiers all the way in B-Ball.  And I’m not depressed like the rest of the city because of this fact.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cabin in the Woods

No, not the creepy kind!  The fantastical (I know that's a made up word, but go with me here...) kind.  Joel and I needed a break from well, life, and we decided to head down to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and enjoy a little quiet time.  Time to read and relax, enjoy a little hiking and shopping, and get in some extra sleep.  You know the last part was my fave!

The cabin was great.  It was a little private one bedroom place, with a pool table, dartboard, air hockey table, and a private jacuzzi on the back porch.  I would totally give up my house to live there!  I didn't get any pics of the place, but you can check it out here.  And P.S., the decor has been much improved since then.

The weather was so-so, but we tried to get out whenever the rain let up.  It was gorgeous outside, and being the autumn-lover that I am, I found it to be absolutely perfect.  Won't you take a photgraphical walk down memory lane with me?

A cute little waterfall.  I swear there's water there!

Me enjoying the view.
Seen on our walk around town.
Fancy some moonshine?  Not on Sundays, you don't!
Mornin', guvner!  Wait, are we still in Tennessee?
Proof that the Smokies just isn't a clever name.  And they have a Space Needle, too.  Take that, Seattle!
Obligatory self-portrait of me and the hubster.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Gosh, I felt like this week just flew by!  Glad to see it go, because I have a pretty fun weekend coming up.  One also filled with lesson plans and midterm projects, but a few bits of fun managed to squeak their way in.
I'm also excited that I finally remembered to link up with Friday Fill-In!  Hope you all have a great weekend!
1. One thing I plan on doing to relax this weekend is  going to the Rams game this weekend. Even though I'm a Phins Phan through and through, living in St. Louis has given me a soft spot for the Rams. Joel's bets friend from Portland, who just hap pend to be living in Chicago now, and her husband are coming down to enjoy it with us, because they are big 'ole Packers fans. Now, I don't know if this sounds necessarily relaxing to anyone else, but to me, it is a break from the stress of reality. And that is a big stress reliever.

2. A big pet peeve of mine is  when people bump into you and either don't say anything (like a simple excuse me) or they look like it is somehow your fault.  I don't know hwy in the world this seems like such a big problem in my area as o late, but I find that people don't have the time (or the care) do just have plain good manners.  I miss the South for this reason.

3. I am really loving  the fact that I can finally wear my boots!  I love fall for many reason, but one of the main reasons is because I love pulling the boots out.  It gets hotter than heck around here in the summer, so my poor boots are stuck in the back of my close from about April to whenever fall finally starts to show up.  Oh, and it goes without saying that I love that everything is pumpkin flavored this time of year.  My waistline may not, but I sure do.
4. The rain is  fairly non-existent right now, and I'm ok with that.  The only big rain happened to be when I was stuck on campus and parked super far away and had to walk around, getting myself soaked in the process. 

5. My favorite girly indulgence is  I'm not very girly to begin with, but I love a good massage or pedicure.  I don't get pedicures near enough, but there's something about taking a girlfriend to the salon and getting a pedi.

6. A song I always get stuck in my head is I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but right now it's Gangnam style.  It's kind of silly, but pretty catchy.  I only know a few words (my Korean is clearly not on par) but the chorus has been stuck in my head for weeks now!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's ok Thursday.

I always see this link-up, but today I've decided to play along!
It's ok...
That even though I'm not a coffee purist, that I still love my coffee and must have at least one cup a day to survive.
That last night even though I had a ton to do after class I just decided instead to cuddle with my pups and watch the Real Housewives.
That I am in a shopping mood 24/7 lately.  Hey, I work...right?  I deserve nice things.
And speaking of shopping, (I'm talking to you, snotty store girl) it's ok that I only tend to shop from the clearance rack.  Hey, I like a bargain.  I don't make that much money.
That I am planning a trip to NYC for my Birthday.  I want to start the last year of my twenties in one of my favorite cities to make me feel better.
That I am already wearing boots (Mr. Judgey Mc Judgerson at work).  It's fall, gosh darn it, and I will wear them all I want to!
That I've been feeling kind of bummed about life lately.  I know it will pass, and a pity-party is occasionally ok.  Right?
That I have been procrastinating with schoolwork lately.  I always end up getting it turned in.  Might not want to press my luck this semester, though.
That I think about moving to Chicago all the time.  Maybe one day I can actually convince the hubster to move there.  I'm looking up condos now, just in case.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Debates

I think Pugsley looked dashing for the event, don't you?
So, anyways.  The Presidential debates.  Some of you may not know, but my B.A. is in Political Science (and History) and I am straight out obsessed with election time.  The local attack ads (and we have more than our fair share with Congressman Todd Akin), the debates, and even all those pesky phone calls asking my opinion on things.  And while we are on that topic, I haven't even gotten one pesky phone call asking for my varied opinion on the candidates.  Boo.

Anywho, this post isn't going to go into my personal beliefs and opinions concerning the candidates' platforms.  I'm not going to take myself too seriously here.  I just want to talk about the craziness that all of this has caused.  I know that I am fairly moderate, but it kind of appalls me to see friends bickering and name calling other friends on various social media sites, so much so that they will "unfriend" each other over what one believes.  Now, I know I think some of my friends are a little coo-coo in the beliefs department, but hey, isn't that what makes America what it is?  Isn't the point of all of this to create a real conversation in order to pick our leaders to the best of our abilities?  Agree to disagree, folks.  Don't be hateful and judgmental toward others whose beliefs are different than your own.  That's what makes this whole process a beautiful thing.  Or, at least it should be.  Hate both of the candidates?  Make your voices heard!  There are plenty of people out there that don't want either to win.  Wouldn't it be great to have a third candidate out there?  I know the elections are next month, but please know that this country has the ability to drastically change the America we live in.

Ok, now I am veering off topic.  I won't share my idealism for a better America.  I'll save that for another awesome time.  And if anyone working for either candidate reads that (ha!  right...) please tell your candidate that snarky smirks, eye-rolling, name-calling, and interrupting reminds me of a high school debate going on.  Don't be a mean girl in high school!  Sorry, Real Housewives reference there.  See how that all came full circle?  Ha!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Weekend in Review

So this past weekend was fabulous and very much needed.  For a short week, it sure did seem to grag on and on (and on).  Friday night Joel and I had a double date night with a friend of mine here at work at the new(ish) bistro movie theater that opened here.  The theater itself was great, with individual recliners and an attached tray for food/drinks/whatevs and a push button for table service.  They had an array of snacks and drinks, and because it was a "21 & over" kind of thing, those drinks could be of the alcohol persuasion.  The grown up idea of a movie was great, and we saw Argo, which was equally fantastic.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love history type stuff, and even though I knew what happened at the end, the movie still had me on the edge of my seat.  The food was pretty well as the service.  The hubster ordered an appetizer and a flatbread pizza, and he never got his pizza.  Which he should be semi-thankful for because it was less than spectacular.

We left the theater, which coincidentally is kind of inside of a sports bar, and it was in the seventh inning of the Cardinals playoff game.  Now anyone who knows me knows that football is my thang, but baseball is more of a second thought for me.  But, being a new STL transport, I was excited to watch the Cardinals in action.  And what a game!  The biggest comeback in playoff history.  Yay for timely coincidences.  I am joinng in my fellow St. Louisans and hoping for a 12th World Series championship in 2012.

Saturday was an interesting day.  I went to a ladies only kind of gym place downtown, and took a strength training class called "Pole, Sweat, and Tears."  It's a class that teaches you to use various kinds of equipment in order to strengthen your upper and lower body, and of course your core.  One of the things we used was a, well, umm...pole.  Nothing too dramatic and nothing that would embarrass my momma, but it was one hell of a workout.  My thighs are still burning today.  I am working on definitely making that a part of my routine, now that I am starting to get back in one.

The blurry and embarrassing evidence.
After that it was a delicious meal out for a good cause.  And before you ask, yes, I got the petite burger and a salad, versus those delicious never ending steak fries.  Rather than explain the event, I'll show you the flier.

Sunday was a day filled with the usual homework, lesson plans, and other school related stuff, as well as a not usual Sunday happening.  The Dolphins won a game!  Although it was bittersweet win because the beat the Rams, it made the Dolphins .500, and I honestly can't remember the last time that happened (2008 maybe?).  Made Monday morning seem more bearable already!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Will Run for Cupcakes

So, we all know that I fell off of the diet/exercise wagon and that I am starting to feel like fatty mcfatterson.  I am determined to get back on track with this, and have actually scheduled myself for workout time (because I kind of have scheduling OCD sometimes).  Joel loves him some 5K action, and I have to admit that I had fun on the few I did, too.  Well, I found one that I am immediately training for.  The cupcake run!  You run the 5K, and at every kilometer you can eat cupcakes to shave some of your time off.  Umm, count me in!  Who doesn't like cupcake goodness.  And it's all in the name of fitness.  Well, kinda.

In other news, here is a little preview of our Tennessee trip.  P.S., it rained.  A lot.  But it was still a great trip.  More pics to come soon.  Oh, and don't ever eat BBQ in the smokies.  Tastes like ketchup!

Gorgeous, right?  I love fall

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To Tennessee and beyond!

You know what I miss most about living overseas?  The traveling.  Because living in Europe was temporary, I knew I had to make the most of my time there by seeing every single thing I could.  And I think I did pretty well.  I visited 25 countries and 4 continents.  That still didn’t seem like enough, but with the limited time I had off of work and, let’s be honest here, the lack of the “1%” cash it would have taken to do even more, I felt pretty good about my traveling accomplishments.  Once a month we had what was commonly known as a “four day weekend” with the military (thank you, Uncle Sam!) and with the super cheap Airfare by European budget airlines (holla, Ryan Air!), the world (ok, most of Europe) was my oyster.
Needless to say, my jet-setting has cooled here in the good ole US of A.  I’ve gone to some fancy place in California for Thanksgiving (no sight-seeing, just in-law family stuff), Jacksonville, FL for work (where it rained every single day), Branson, MO (don’t laugh…I didn’t know!), and Denver, CO for a funeral.  Throw in a couple of weekend trips to Chicago and Indianapolis, and that’s it.  Needless to say traveling has been kept at a minimum.

I’ve decided to change that up, folks.  Now that I have saved up some leave, and have decided to stay local for the upcoming holiday season, I am tentatively planning on some pretty exciting places in the next year that will hopefully kick the butt of the last year’s (lack of) traveling.
Only one has been set in stone.  Well, two technically, but one is more than two days.  So I will start there.  We will be heading to the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg this October for some hopefully relaxing R&R.  I plan on hiking, shopping, eating (duh?!), and taking it easy.  We rented a cabin at the top of a mountain, complete with our own Jacuzzi and wrap-around porch.  I totally need this little get away, too, although I am overwhelmed with school, life, etc.  Hopefully it will be exactly what I need to re-charge.

The second trip is to Indianapolis for the Colts vs. Dolphins game!  Hopefully by boys will show the Colts what’s up in their brand new fancy pants stadium, (that, as a continued resident of Indiana I am sure I somehow paid for).
And then, in no particular order (as they aren’t finalized yet because we haven’t spent any moolah on them) are Ecuador and the Galapagos (any advice would be great if you have any!), a cruise to Alaska (a request from the hubster), a trip to Portland and other various sites in Oregon (again, a trip for Joel), and possibly a little NYC action (once again people, advice would be great!).

I am a travel freak, and I think the lack of adventure in my life is what is keeping me so un-motivated and blah.  Can’t wait for the recharge to begin!