"No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy. A motto of the
British Special Air Force is: 'Those who risk, win.' "

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November: A Recap in Pictures

One of my FAV pics of Maddie-- modelling her skinny jeans and Chucks

Turning another year older

Eating food for the first time

Reunited with my girls

Completed my first cake decorating class

Maddie working in her "office"

1st Thanksgiving for Maddie (& the hubby!)

I love this cutie!

Maddie models the outfit her Daddy bought her

Ready for December!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Club 2010: Vol. 8

Wow... I seriously haven't updated this in a LONG time! Oh well-- I **have** been a little busy!  ;-)

1. Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs

2. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (audiobook)

3. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (audiobook)

4. The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (audiobook)

6. The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy (2nd Edition) by Vicki Iovine

7. Holes by Louis Sachar (school)

8. Four to Score by Janet Evanovich (audiobook)

9. Real Murders by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

10. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (audiobook)

11. Key Lime Murders by Joanne Fluke (audiobook)

13. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

14. Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt? by Gare Thompson (school)

15. The Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke

16. Dare to Dream: Coretta Scott King & the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Shelf Medaris

17. A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

18. Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

19. In the Woods by Tana French

20. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs (audiobook)

21. The Lighthouse by PD James

22. Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert

23. The Likeness by Tana French (audiobook)

**I also relistened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to prepare for the movie release.

Currently Reading:

* Ghost Soldier by Elaine Marie Alphine
(Reading it to the kids at school)

Next up is The Help-- which someone has loaned me-- though I may have to audiobook this one too, as it takes me AGES to read things now... (The audiobook is 18+ hrs!)

I have also had the Black Dagger Brotherhood series recommended to me. If only I didn't have to teach and could just READ all day... (sigh)

Currently Listening to:
*Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs 

Started this one today. I needed something I didn't have to think so much about after listening to The Likeness by Tana French.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Got this from Life in a Small Town...

1. Do you think you're more like your mom or your dad?

Mom... DEFINITELY my mom! (Thank goodness!) That's not to say that I haven't picked some things up from my dad-- especially in the area of music appreciation... But as I get older, I find myself more and more like my mom.
2. Do you like roller coasters?

Yes. But I hate sitting in the car as it click-click-clicks up the hill... that moment of dread-- wishing I could get off and walk back down... but once the excitement starts-- I LOVE it!
3. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you'd thought about it maybe another five minutes before you hit publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? (French makes everything sound a little nicer doesn't it?)

Nah, it's ok... I created this blog when I was applying to teach in England. I created it to correspond with other expat teachers. That goal has long since passed-- instead I imported an Englishman!  :)  I guess the title is somewhat misleading, as my blog no longer really pertains exclusively to school or my job-- but it still describes me, so I'm fine with it.

4. What is the best wedding gift you received? Not married? Didn't get any gifts? Then what is the best wedding gift you've given?

Wow, this is a toughie! I received so many wonderful things... but have since received so many baby gifts that I can't even think... I'm a huge fan of gift cards-- I know they seem impersonal and "the easy way out"... but I like to view them as practical-- allowing people to get what they REALLY want or need.
5. What is the one bill you most hate to pay?

Right now the damn internet bill... for some reason I CANNOT log on to AT&T's website and pay online. And of course, I no longer receive a paper bill (though I have hopefully remedied this tonight)... thus I have to call. Mr. Automated Man often cannot seem to understand when I key things in on my phone ("BIGBOY!")... thus it is a collosal pain in the ass. And did you know if you have a HUMAN BEING process your payment on the phone it is an extra $5? WTF?!!
6. Is the glass half full or half empty?

I really try to keep it half full... but usually at school it is half-empty. (I'm really burnt out, can you tell?)

7. What is your favorite word? Okay okay. Calm down. How about one of your favorite words?

I have a lot of favorite words... (not all "appropriate")   ;-)

Dude has consistently been one of my favorites... I once over heard some students at school arguing over who had the coolest teacher (a high honor, let me tell ya!)... the kid in my class said, "My teacher is the coolest because she says 'dude' and 'yo'."  So there it is.

8. Something random...

Maddie models her new Madonna shirt-- I love my little retro baby!

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old...

Had a FANTASTIC time last night at dinner with some former co-workers. This is the first time we have gotten the WHOLE group together in years! Man I miss these people! It was great to reminisce and laugh about the past. It was also cool that they have now ALL met Miss Priss-- she was GREAT at the restaurant, and got MANY compliments.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Bucket List

I never saw the movie... nor have I actually taken time to WRITE my list out... but I did finally do something I have WANTED to do for awhile now-- I enrolled in a cake decorating class.

Hubby's mom sent me $$ for my b-day-- and this is how I chose to spend it. A good friend of mine is going with me-- which makes it that much more fun. Tonight was our first class and I LOVED IT! We didn't do much-- but just seeing what all we will be learning is SO exciting!

I love to bake-- I find it relaxing-- especially when I can do it uninterrupted. (Not that that happens much now-- not so much baby's fault as much as hubby asking me questions or trying to get me to do something else right that minute).

My mom taught be some cake decorating basics... and I have always loved it. Mom made my cakes growing up-- And I want to be able to share that special skill with Maddie as she grows.

I would LOVE to be able to just bake all the time... I know NOTHING about running a bakery-- and it today's shaky economy I know a business venture like that would be risky at best... but perhaps that will be another item on my Bucket List.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

34-- The Year of the Purge

Another year, another candle... And man-- What a year it has been!! I think I might FINALLY be a real adult! HAHAHAHAHHA...

In the past year I have conquered the frustrating world of US Immigration, survived one of the worst school years of my career, made it through 8 mo. of pregnancy on my own, given birth to the most beautiful girl in the world, refinanced my mortgage, cleared all debt, and have now filed my first claim on my homeowner's insurance...

Every year on my birthday I make a plan for the upcoming year-- the way people do on New Year's. This birthday "Yearlong Theme" then ties in with any resolutions I make 2 months later... A few years ago I decided to stop being afraid of everything-- to live fearlessly... This was the year I got engaged and married-- after a crazy, wild 2 years of transatlantic communication. Last year I vowed to take better care of myself. This worked out well as I was constantly at various Drs during the pregnancy. I certainly overcame many of my medical fears during the past year!

This year is going to be about organization. Pardon my french, but I have GOT to get my shit together! When I moved to the house I am in now, I had to go through and purge a LOT! However, I was still very emotional about my mom's passing and all of her belongings... So I really brought a BUNCH of stuff I don't need, will never use, and don't really even know what it is. I have purged a lot during the last 7 years of being here... but I still have TOO MUCH STUFF! And in addition to that-- the stuff I have is NOT well organized.

(**Note: I am NOT a hoarder-- please no one recommend me for the show on A&E**)

NOW you add on all the baby paraphenelia-- oy! Plus Hubby, of course, brought stuff with him. (Luckily it wasn't a LOT as he was moving across the Atlantic... but still...)

I've always had a lot of STUFF... My bedroom growing up was super cluttered-- but it was my prized possessions! Being surrounded by these treasures made me feel safe and secure. (This is probably why I clung to my mom's things for so long...) But now I feel suffocated by these things... Drowning.

I'm not saying I want to get rid of EVERYTHING... But the purge will continue-- and with greater intensity this time!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pet Peeve of the Day

People that pronounce "Tennessee" as though it ended with an "ay"

i.e. TennessAY