Ten Thursday Thoughts

1. I have been baking again! Two weekends ago I made double pumpkin muffins (my first pumpkin baking experience of the season – sad I know). I actually have the recipe from Women’s Health but found the blog linked above with the recipe all laid out. Then, on Tuesday night, I made super easy chocolate cookies: one box of devil’s food cake mix, two eggs, a third cup of oil, and any chips (I used mini Reese’s Pieces). Sugar…mmm.

2. Speaking of cookies and sugar, a few friends and I are doing a cookie exchange Sunday morning. We each come with one cookie done and bake the other together. Cookie suggestions?

3. On the cooking front, I made Brody’s favorite dish that I make: baked ziti with Italian sausage in mornay sauce. It makes great leftovers, so Brody is bringing over a container of it to Barret and Kelly (parents of the adorable Owen).

4. I love how these thoughts are like a chain and not totally random – do not expect that to continue for the entire post. Anyways, this past weekend we had our annual Friendsgiving. Erin and Tom hosted, and unlike last year’s wine-filled celebration, we were all pretty tame. The reason? Babies!

20121206-070951.jpg
Left to right: Avalyn (6 months), Owen (6 weeks), and Reed (2.5 weeks)

20121206-071226.jpg
The boys holding babies and watching football

5. Bret Bielema left the Badgers. I don’t really care but do think it’s odd he didn’t wait until after the Rose Bowl. Montee Ball, James White, Melvin Gordon, and Bielema made an appearance at the UW basketball game we were at Sunday afternoon with the Big Ten Champion trophy, which was cool but now he seems like a phony.

6. Costco, which is a half mile from our house, has been open for over three weeks and I haven’t been once. I am embarrassed.

7. Although I have no races planned for a while, I have still been running three miles a few times a week, often with Brody and the dogs. Ya for family exercise time!

8. It is so sad how early the sun sets at night. I have been trying to go to the dog park at least three times a week but have been avoiding going alone when it’s going to be pitch black.

9. Our house is semi-ready for the holidays: the tree and the outside lights are up and some decorations are out.

20121206-175732.jpg
Tonight Brody and I decorate the tree, and tonight St. Nick comes (or maybe he was supposed to come last night – whatever).

10. Last but definitely not least, I am pregnant!

20121206-160259.jpg
Stay tuned for more details.

Have a great night!

Thankful Thursday

I remembered! Starting this morning as I wrote with my students (my writing classes begin with ten silent minutes of “free writing”), I began thinking of what I am thankful for. Now that the day is over and I am reflecting, I realize I had a freaking awesome day.

Driving Alone into Beautiful Sunrises
I drove alone this morning; while it saves lots of money carpooling and allows me to be productive (e.g. take pictures of my hair in the backseat), I miss driving myself also. Because of coaching, I used to drive alone three to four times a week for about seven months of the school year. The quiet time with my iced coffee and terrible (but amazing) rap and hip hop music or talk radio got me ready for the day. I had no option to grade quizzes or essays like I do now, or even the ability to feel guilty for not grading. Anyways, I felt happy driving into the sun this morning.

20120322-212312.jpg

Craigslist
Every so often, I decide we have too much stuff that we don’t need or use and that we need to sell all of it on Craigslist. In the past I have sold a bookcase, an iTouch, a Sam Adams beer mirror, and a car. And today I sold two camera lenses! I had only gotten a couple interested emails, including one that was obviously a scam, but this one was legit. The girl and I chatted and texted to exchange information about the lenses and met at Target. She was a girl (Brody said that even though she sounded like a girl on the phone, she might not be one), she was alone (Brody was worried she’d bring someone and they would kidnap me and he’d have no one to do his laundry…jk), and she was normal (don’t we all fear that the people selling and buying on Craiglist are creepy?). If anyone wants a flat iron, I still have that available on Craigslist for $15.

Babies
A couple who Brody and I met a few years ago just had a baby. I called and offered to bring dinner over for them, assuming they hadn’t had much time for cooking or eating “real” meals. Rachel asked if I wanted to stay over to enjoy the dinner with them and Baby Jordan and watch the Badger game, so I did. I made Spicy Thai Beef from Skinny Taste and brought Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns ice cream (new pint, not Brody’s).

20120322-213542.jpg
source

20120322-213737.jpg

Jordan’s parents were sweet enough to let me hold him for about half an hour. He just slept and sucked on his pacifier. I wanted to bring my camera to take a picture, but I forgot. If I only had an iPhone…
Here’s a picture of him from Facebook; check out all of those skin folds!

20120322-214244.jpg

Jordan is not even three weeks old and he is still a little guy. He was 6 lbs. 10 oz., lost a few when he got home, and is now getting close to 7 lbs. It is just insane how little everything is – their nails always blow me away!

The Badgers
Yes, they lost, and that is sad, but it also meant my principal declared today a spirit day. This means that we are allowed to wear jeans, but we had to wear either Wisconsin or Marquette gear. My unprofessional attire for the day included jeans, short sleeve red Sconnie shirt, and black Havianna flip flops. I looked at myself in the mirror around 10am and realized I looked like a twelve year old. My Wisconsin shirt did serve as a “teachable moment” though, as many of my students did not understand the term Sconnie.

To end this day, I will leave you with a quote I found this morning said by Fitzhugh Dodsen:
“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”

Question:
What are thankful for today?