Texas, Day 4

Lunch at Stubb’s, sunbathing at Barton Springs, happening upon an Austin summer concert at Zilker Park, and sushi takeout and drinks to finish up the day. Oh, and lots of Studio App love. 😉
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Texas, Day 3

Still in Austin. Today we did lunch at Hillside Farmacy, went to the LBJ Museum and the Capitol Building, and watched the bats fly from the South Congress bridge, and finished the night off with Thai from a food truck circle.

Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas

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Where did my week off go?

I had such plans for this week off. This is our “summer break” right now, a week off over the Fourth of July week. Working at a year-round school ain’t all it’s cracked up to be sometimes.

What was I going to do this week? Well, I had a great list:
1. Organize our whole house
2. Organize the photos on my phone and laptop and update our backup drive
3. Scrapbook
4. Finish editing Melody and Chris Holz’ baby gender reveal photos
5. Finish populating a book for Glen’s company
6. Get my work pants hemmed.
7. Watch lots of NCIS. 
And somehow it’s Friday, and I really can’t say I could scratch more than watching NCIS off this list. And that’s only because I finally found a great website to watch episodes for free (one that actually works consistently). I did a bang up job getting started on the house cleaning on Monday, but that fizzled out as soon as the house heated up. I did do an iphone dump of photos that hopefully I’ll be sharing soon (and should have been sharing over the week). Did not scrapbook. Not even digitally. Though I’ve worked on both the Holz photos and Glen’s book, neither is as far along as I’d hoped. 
I did drop off my pants at the tailor’s. Score one for me, though I still haven’t technically completed the task and picked them up yet.
So what did I do all week long? I have been asking myself this same question. With the exception of Wednesday, when we went up to Matt and Donna’s party in Ramona, I’ve pretty much been home all day by myself. I even woke up and started my day when Chris got up for work a couple times (though more often I slept in for a couple more hours). I couldn’t fathom where all my time has gone. Yes, I’ve run errands that took about half the day. Yes, I did start a massive filing cabinet re-organization project which took awhile. But seriously? What have I been doing with myself? 
Well, let me tell you. I’ve been researching up to wazoo all the things I need to know before starting my first year as a new teacher. Yep, it looks like I’ll have my very own teaching position soon. Not at the school where I work currently, which is a big bummer for me (I hate leaving people!), but at the school where Chris Holz has taught for the past few years. It’s not official yet, but it’s in the works. I’ve been getting emails from the eighth grade lead, meaning I’ll be working at the middle school– very exciting because I love that age group. So that’s where all my time has gone. Researching online gradebooks and management systems like Schoology and Edmodo, reading tips for new teachers, trying to figure out the school’s curriculum, going through old lesson plans I’ve used before and seeing what can transfer over. I have almost no details to go off as to what I’ll be teaching, so I’m trying to just learn as much general stuff as possible. It’s fun and exciting and super duper scary.
So that’s why I didn’t get to organize the house or scrapbook or finish editing projects or even update my blog. Not a terrible reason, I suppose. 🙂
In other news, just before my break started, I also finished my final Master’s course. The Capstone was hell. Let me tell you, I earned that A. I don’t always put a lot of effort into earning those A’s, but this one was deserved. So happy to be finished. For a yeah-you-finished-your-masters! present, Chris bought us tickets for Les Miserables in September. Good seats, too, not our normal back-of-the-theater $30 tickets. We’re in the loge, baby!

Fun with apps

Did you know there’s a gif app? So easy, too! Here’s a gif of my lovely husband shooting at our LA County Museum of Art trip over Memorial weekend.

Wish I had more time to update about life and projects, and about the fact that my first group of students graduated today (I’ve had them since they were little tenth graders!), but too much is going on right now. I even had to send my husband to dinner with Kris and Becky without me. (Sad face.)

On the third day of spring break…

Yes, I am finally getting back around to blogging. Man, I wish I could blog more often. I hate not being able to look back and see what was going on. For the month of March, I had a whopping two posts! Two! Who the heck knows what we did in March of 2012 now?
Actually, I’ve come to realize that with Facebook and Twitter, I can easily tell what was going on, albeit in smaller increments. Too bad I can’t just link everything into one feed! That would make life easy and keep the blogging guilt at bay.
So here’s the haps for spring break:
I have four main goals this week. One, purge the house of stuff we don’t need, and organize the stuff that stays. So far, I have done the bathroom cabinets (almost completely) and the spice rack and a few cabinets in the kitchen. Threw out an entire garbage bag of unnecessary junk yesterday, and it. felt. good. (Even though doing it at the time is painful- what if we did want the probably-long-expired bottle of nutmeg?) 

Second goal is to pad my portfolio with tons of stuff to show on my official, final interview next week. I’m excited to show off all the stuff I’ve been doing, and so nervous that I won’t have enough time in the interview to get to show it off. 😦 I’m also going through all the lynda.com tutorials for Adobe Captivate, which is a presentation software that pretty much is like PowerPoint on steroids. You can actually create flash files that are interactive for the viewer. Love it! Totally want to make quizzes and tests with it! (Yes, I am a nerd.)
Third goal is to get us eating some good, healthy foods. Chris and I decided to try to start going casual vegan/vegetarian. Casual as in, we’re laying off the meats and dairy, but not to the point that we’re cutting out completely. As Chris notes, we both love Mexican food too much to cut out cheese. Milk, sure, but not the cheese. Unfortunately for this goal, we’ve been having either lunch or dinner with friends the last three days, so I haven’t been able to actually put any recipes to use. Hopefully today I’ll make a trip over to Sprouts for some quinoa. I’m also trying to only buy what we need as we need it (even if it means more trips to the store), because we throw a lot of produce away before we get to it. And this makes me sad. I threw out an entire head of broccoli yesterday; we hadn’t chopped off one little stalk. 😦 Sprouts is right down the street anyway, so it’s not too big of a deal. So we’re pretty psyched about eating healthier and cutting out the junk that’s in processed foods. 
Fourth goal is editing. I’ve got a spring portrait session with our favorite (five-year-old) client Adalyn and her baby sister, then a six month shoot from the Santone twins! Super cute shots for both, and I’m excited to get to that part of my week.
So those are my goals! I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday though. Why do breaks go by so fast? If this were a regular week it would be dragging on. I would be saying, “Geez, it’s only Wednesday,” instead of, “Ah! It’s already Wednesday! I’m running out of time!” I was kind of freaking out on Monday with all the stuff I had to do, so I decided to make smaller daily lists to check off, too, which has helped.
Today’s list:
Finish the bathroom organization
Organize the office (specifically my craft space)
Update the blog (check!)
Decide on a recipe for dinner tonight
Go to Sprouts (get a 69 cent coke on the way)
Finish our voter registration cards (we hadn’t re-registered after we moved)
Watch two more chapters of the lynda Captivate videos
Vaccuum bathroom (per Chris’ request)
Do Chris’ laundry (per Chris’ request)
Make my daily green smoothie (and check again!)
Let’s talk about the smoothie thing. We’ve been doing green smoothies for awhile around here, and I’m super lucky that Chris got me the Ninja blender for finishing my credential program. That thing is amazing! I read somewhere that daily green smoothies can do wonders for energy, not to mention you get about six servings of fruits and vegetables from one smoothie (and even more, depending on what you put in it). 
Today I kept things simple:
1 cup of strawberries
1 banana
3 cups of spinach
2 cups of kale
I was trying to really pack the greens in there, as you can see from the photo. Spinach and kale are perfect for this, because they really don’t have any taste, whereas strawberries and bananas are perfect in the opposite way for masking out any other flavors. I was also trying to make a Jordan-sized smoothie, not a Chris-and-Jordan-and-some-extra sized smoothie, but I got a little more than I bargained for with this one, about one and a half full glasses. Took a while to drink the whole thing. 

And we can’t have a post without these little stinkers. They had just finished up their breakfast and were waiting for me to toss a hair tie out in the hall for them to chase. They have quite a routine in the morning.

Palm Springs.

So we had a splendid Thanksgiving break. We shot a wedding in Palm Springs last Saturday, then we both had the whole week off for the holiday. Since we were already in Palm Springs, we decided to make a real vacation out of it, especially considering we hadn’t really done much for our one year anniversary in September.
This first day we didn’t do much but relocate from Palm Desert (where the wedding had been the day before) to actual Palm Springs, about a half hour drive down Highway 111, have lunch at the Fisherman’s Grill with Chris’ parents who came down from Redlands to meet us, and have a dinner of appetizers at Morton’s with Kris and Becky, who also came from Redlands to meet us. 
The next day, Monday, we toured downtown Palm Springs and discovered there really isn’t much to do there anymore. Apparently it was hopping in the 50’s and prior. Not so much now. But we made do with the quaint town. We ate lunch at Lulu’s, then set out down Palm Canyon (aka Highway 111) in search of a Christmas ornament to commemorate our trip. Unfortunately, no non-gaudy ornament could be found, so I’ll be looking online for a cool ornament to remind us of our trip. We decided while at the Palm Desert Target the day before, in the Christmas aisles, we would try to get an ornament any time we went to a new place. (This idea may or may not have sparked from a tradition Kris and Becky currently have…)
Mostly we just took pictures in cool places when we could find them. Once it got dark, we tried to find fun things to do, but like I said, Palm Springs just ain’t what it used to be. We tried to be the cool green smoothie drinking hipsters that we are and tried to check out this juice bar down the street from our hotel… but it was completely closed down. As were many other things we tried to check out. Closed down or closed on Mondays. Almost always one or the other. But we had fun just being with each other,  not working, relaxing, not working, enjoying the sunshine, and most importantly not working
Did I mention that I had put Chris on a strict no-working regimen for our week off?
And did I also mention that I woke up one morning to find him typing up a new blog post for Next to Me Studios? He even had the audacity to brag that he was working while I was asleep.

Chris thinks the bird above is a roadrunner. I had no idea roadrunners just ran around posing for pictures!

This is the time Chris stuck his hand right into my picture.

The Living Desert is a small zoo in Palm Desert. We hung out here for a couple of hours on Tuesday before our drive back home. It was pretty cool to see leopards and bald eagles and giraffes for just $14!

The Living Desert also had this crazy huge train set. It was bigger than our house and had a replica of the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, among other little scenes of small town Americana. I think Chris is hailing the train in the pic above.

Welcome, 2011.

First picture of the new year.

Sometimes the change from one year to another really doesn’t bring all that much change. 
This is not one of those years.
1) We moved into our wonderful and splendid condo the day before New Year’s Eve. This is easily the biggest change for our new year. We’ve got a whole huge place to ourselves, where we can put our things anywhere we want! It’s like a dream! And no roommates! It’s taking some time getting used to the fact that we can now make out in the living room. (What? Who said that?)
2) Along with moving houses, I’m also moving along in my teaching credential program. The end of this month will mark my halfway point and that start of my student teaching semester. As I put on my facebook status today, I feel both accomplished and overwhelmed right now. Accomplished because some of the hardest parts are behind me: the CSET, TPA 1 & 2, and the majority of my core classes. Overwhelmed because I just finished TPA 2 today (and still haven’t gotten over it just yet) and am starting a month of double classes. Let me tell you something: It is very hard to sit here at my desk, in our not-put-together office, and look out into our not-put-together-living room, and not go crazy with wanting to unpack some more boxes. But such is my life this month. 
3) We also got a new bed. This is the first real, grown up bed and mattress for both of us. It’s a little hard to get the hang of awesomeness, when you’re so used to sleeping like a college student for so many years. I feel very… formal when I go to bed at night. Yes, formal’s the right word. 
4) I’m also looking forward this year to getting back in shape. Yes, I know everyone’s probably blogging this exact same thing. But I really am tired of feeling tired and some of my clothes not fitting anymore. Also, it’s not cool when you get invited to play indoor soccer but say no because you know five minutes of running will render you helpless for the next week. (Seriously.) For Christmas, Ryan got Chris and I some cool workout equipment… including the big blue ball of awesome! I’m really looking forward to using that thing for crunches. Along with exercise, I’m thinking of doing the Master Cleanse at some point. Part of me thinks I could totally handle it. (The more sensible part of me thinks I like food too much and have no self control.) But not quite so soon. I don’t think I could handle a double load of classes, a house of boxes, and no food, without snapping. Maybe in February.
All righty, break’s over. Gotta get back to those dual classes now. 
Happy New Year!

Goodbye, 2010.

I’ve noticed a lot of people really seemed to hate this year. My facebook stream was filled with, “2010 was the worst, can’t wait for a new year!” or “Good riddance, 2010!” or other not so nice things.

I had a great year. Don’t know what was going on with all those other people, but seriously, 2010 is going to be pretty tough to beat for me, what with the whole getting engaged, getting married, going to Hawaii, and getting my very own house. And a whole slew of other things that aren’t as huge as all of that, but still matter quite a bit. Friendships, becoming a math teacher, beginning to delve into the business side of photography… 2010 has been a huge jumping board for even more things in the future.

Can’t wait to see what 2011 has to offer.

Packing is so overrated.

True that.

But packing means moving, and moving means living in our own little condo, and living in our own little condo means all by ourselves. As husbands and wives should.

We (and by we, I mainly mean Chris) have been lugging boxes down two flights of stairs to the garage all day. Chris also took apart his amazing desk, the one that made me fall in love with him in the first place (petty, yes, but this desk is ginormous). I collected the screws for him, which I hoped might be the extent of my work, but then I had to help lug the big pieces down those two flights of stairs.

Now I’m taking a much-deserved TPA break.

TPA! Blech! What a Christmas vacation downer. I’ve been working on it in any spare moment I have, including late at night/into the morning, when we’re not packing. I am almost done. Just two sections to go. And then I’ll have the freedom to start really getting into this moving deal.

We went to the condo today to get the official keys from the seller. We discovered mold while we were there. Yes, mold! In our brand new house! And this is just two weeks after the HOA sent people over to fix the leaky roof, which was causing the ceiling in the entryway to become water damaged. It’s pretty obvious it’s an exterior problem since that part of the ceiling is directly under an outdoor patio that collects water when it rains, so (fingers crossed) the HOA should be taking the lead on getting it all fixed up. Thank goodness. It’ll just be a bummer when they come in and have to re-do the whole entryway- the water is on the ceiling and in the walls.

Not to worry, of course, because I’ll spend most of January holed up in our new office working feverishly on my double load of classwork for National. I’ve got two classes and only one month left before student teaching starts. I seriously did not think this through when I took four months off for the wedding. It’s always in retrospect, isn’t it?

Anyhows, I’ve got to get back to that delightful TPA while it’s break time. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some Christmas-ish goodness. (I say hopefully because clearly I haven’t even gotten around to posting about our wedding yet. And that was three months ago.) I will leave you with this Christmas video that Chris took of our present opening extravaganza. He set up his camera on a shelf and clicked pictures with his remote all day to make this awesome stop-motion video.


Trementozzi 2010 Christmas from Christopher Trementozzi on Vimeo.