Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy (almost) new year!

Dan and I have been traveling around Westerville, staying with each set of parents during the break. We spent some time with my dad's side of the family, and got to meet our adorable (step-) nephew, Aiden. Pictures will follow at some point, since i forgot to bring my camera cord with me.

We're currently staying with Dan's parents for the last leg of our trip. I can't believe how quickly break goes!

Finally, last night was our ONE YEAR anniversary. Can you believe it?? We went to The Melting Pot at Easton, and had a wonderful time. We pretty much stuffed our faces for a solid two hours, but who can blame you when they are serving scallops, lobster, and filet mignon? We were both really full by the end, but Dan was still forcing himself to shove food in his mouth: "I paid for this, so I will eat it!"

Happy New Year's Eve to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Merry Christmas!

Love,
Dan, Kristi, and Sammie

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Beginning of Christmas Break

We made it to Ohio! No delays, no traffic, no snow...no problems. It was a perfect travel day. We've been staying at my mom's house for the first leg of our trip, and it has been great. My sister and stepbrothers (Julie, Kevin, and Chris) are all here as well. Here is a sampling of what we've been doing:

Playing lots and lots of Guitar Here with Chris. He got the game for Christmas and Dan has pretty much taken it over already. I'm proud to report both Dan and Chris have advanced to the "medium" skill level. (No comment on my own skill level - I'm more of a drums kind of girl.)


Here's Kevin, posing for the camera.


Here are the five of us in our gangsta poses. I'm not really sure why we were posing like this, but we were following Julie and Kevin's instructions on how to look cool. Also, Kevin informed us that every picture taken must have a penguin in it to be "mad gangsta." Who knew?


I hope you're all enjoying the holidays so far!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Almost Christmas!

We are almost packed and Sammie has been dropped off at camp. We are coming back to Ohio tomorrow! We are driving to Dallas in the morning, then flying out of DFW at 1:50 and getting in to Columbus at 5:05. We are really excited to see everyone and get to spend quality time with friends and family. We are a little sad that this year won't be quite as exciting as last year... but I won't lie, it will be so nice not to be completely stressed and frantic like we were last year right up until our wedding. And you know what else that means... we will be celebrating our 1st anniversary on December 30th! 

We decided to keep it low-key since we will be in Columbus, but we just made reservations for a spring break trip that we are going to call our anniversary present to ourselves. We're going to Fredericksburg!  We're going Monday through Thursday, the week of March 9th - we both have off of work and school for spring break. It's going to be awesome. Check out the website and look around at all the wineries, lavender fields, shops and restaurants there...everyone who goes absolutely loves it, so I have high hopes. 

Anyway, I hope everyone else traveling out there has a safe trip and makes it home without incident!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day?

I awoke yesterday to the radio listing the school delays. Waco school district was delayed until 10:00am, most daycares and kindergartens were closed, etc etc etc. The radio DJs kept talking about the snow and ice outside.
What? I thought. Snow, in Texas? I jumped up and went outside to take a look. Keep in mind, this was 7:15am, so nothing had had time to warm up or melt yet.
This is what I saw:
Hmm, I thought. The parking lot looks okay. Maybe the street is just really snowy and icy. I walked out to the street and here's what I saw:
Do you see any reason for school to be closed? Am I the only one who thinks people in Texas get a little crazy when it's winter?

Monday, December 15, 2008

One More Week Til Christmas Break!

Guess what! I'm better. Thanks so much for all your well wishes. And here's the thing...I was sick enough that my statistics professor told me not to come to the final exam. The cumulative final over the whole semester. He said he will just average my other grades instead. This conversation happened the day before the final. I had studied approximately 10 minutes total because of being sick. Hence, it was maybe the best Christmas present I've gotten so far this year. (Besides my Clean House Clean Planet book, that is. And my bike.) Therefore, I'm not exactly regretting that I was sick. Ergo, maybe I need to get sick during finals week more often.

So now I'm done with classes for the semester! I still have work and research to do this week, but that's it. So my review of classes for the semester:

Developmental Psychopathology: I enjoyed this class a lot. I learned a ton and although we tried to cover way too much in one semester, I now have resources about lots of different childhood disorders. I think this class really has helped me shape my understanding of when and how a lot of psychopathology develops. When: during prenatal development and the first couple years of life. How: if anything goes wrong or anything that shouldn't be there exists during pregnancy or during birth; and the relationship with primary caregivers.

Statistical Methods: I was in way over my head in this class. I've realized I like math, but not so much statistics. It's way too much of an art for me - I prefer numbers and calculations to have exact answers, thankyouverymuch. But oh well. I made it through. And I may have learned something in the process.

So we are driving to Dallas, then flying from there to Columbus this Sunday, the 21st. Dan and I both work this whole week so we will be packing and getting all ready to go on Saturday. This Thursday, we have our Bible Study Christmas party, but besides that, it's a light week. Hopefully it will go somewhat quickly because we are both excited to get back to the Buckeye state!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some Savings Tips

As we get closer to Christmas, I know a lot of people are feeling the pinch right now. I have a few new really easy ways I've been saving money recently so I thought I'd share them.

1. Count the number of prescriptions that you have and need to fill before January 10th, 2009. Follow this link and print out the coupon that number of times. The coupon is a Walgreens coupon for a $25 giftcard if you transfer a prescription to Walgreens. (It expires Jan. 10th, so you have plenty of time even if you don't need any refills right now.) I've done it twice in the past week and it worked perfectly both times. I just went in, told them I wanted to transfer a prescription from Walmart to there, came back in 45 minutes, gave them the coupon when I paid for my prescription, and voila! a $25 giftcard. I got two, giving me $50 at Walgreens, which I spent on things such as deoderant, contact juice, and hair gel. I ended up paying about $4 for $54 worth of items. It was seriously the easiest $5o ever.

By the way, our CVS has a sign up that says "We accept all competitor's prescription transfer coupons." I have no idea if that is true everywhere, but pay attention! You could probably use this coupon at the drugstore of your choice.

2. I got the book Clean House, Clean Planet as an early Christmas present from Grandma Ann. This book is amazing. It gives you really easy recipes using baking soda, vinegar, and other cheap and non-toxic ingredients to clean everything in your whole house or apartment. I've already used her solutions to clean the tub, mirrors, and kitchen floors and they've worked great! The best part is that you probably have a lot of these things already around your house. And even if you don't, it's still cheaper to buy them (and far better for your breathing) than to buy the pre-made cleaners. I love this book and it will totally help you save money, plus keep a healthier living space.

I'll just leave you with both of those for now, but as always, feel free to add any new money saving tips you've discovered!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sicko (not the Michael Moore version)

Here's what I have been doing the past 3 days:

1. Watched the Bravo marathon of "Shear Genius"

2. Watched the Bravo marathon of the first season of Top Chef (Katie Lee Joel hosted this season! She went to Miami!)

3. Watched Juno (which was even funnier the second time around).

4. Slept 12 hours each night, plus naps during the day.

"But wait!" You say. "Kristi, isn't this finals week? Don't you have studying to do? Don't you have to go to work? And what about supervision, and the research meeting, and heck, going to the grocery store?!"

Yeah...not happening. I have been sick with some sort of nasty stomach virus since Tuesday...I'll spare you the details even though I know you're all curious. Let's just say this is the first day I've even been able to manage getting on the computer and checking my email. I've spent the last two days completely zoned out on the couch.

Luckily, it seems like it's a pretty standard bug, and I'm feeling much better today. I still get a little dizzy when I stand up, but I've been able to eat a piece of toast and cup of chicken noodle soup, as well as take Sammie out when she rang her bell. Trust me - huge improvements over yesterday!

Dan and Sammie have both been rock stars the last few days. Dan got me tons of Sprite and soup, and he has been at my service with anything I could need. He hasn't complained about eating Wendy's and pizza for dinner. And so far, he's feeling fine. Sammie has been a little Mini-Me the past few days. She sleeps with me in my bed, then comes and sits on the floor with me in the bathroom, then comes and sleeps with me on the couch. I think she's been a little concerned about what's going on because she won't lay anywhere she's not touching me. This means she was laying her head on my face as I was talking to Dad on the phone; she was laying on my head as I was watching Juno; and currently I have my laptop precariously balanced on her as she sleeps on my lap.

The best part of all of this is how much of a break I've been able to take. I can't believe the world hasn't shut down just because I'm sick...and none of my bosses, supervisors, or professors got mad that I've taken off work and cancelled everything on my schedule! They all just tell me to "get some rest and feel better." Sounds like a plan to me. I'm not gonna lie, if it weren't for the whole being sick part, being sick would be pretty cool.

"But wait!" You say. "Shear Genius? Seriously, Kristi?! You couldn't find anything better on TV than that?" Oh come on! I'm sick!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm In Graduate School...?

Irony:

When I'm trying to write my final about attention, and the section I'm currently working on is all about the decreases in attention that come from having distracting things in the environment

AND

I'm watching the Top Chef marathon on Bravo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap

Whoa! It's been a week since I posted. Sorry to my faithful readers....all three of you.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we had a great time. Julie was the designated picture-taker, so I have to wait for her to e-mail me some pictures, but I'll give you a little preview of what the weekend included:

 - several episodes of Flight of the Conchords
 - a polo shirt and a parka...puppy sized!
 - food...lots of food...
 - sangria in a box!

It was tons of fun and Dan, Sammie, and I were very sad to see everyone go home. 

But it's my last week of class! Then two weeks of finals and work...and then Dan finishes school...and we come back to Ohio!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So it's almost Thanksgiving...

I couldn't decide whether to do a post about things I am thankful for or things I am not thankful for today. I know it's almost Thanksgiving, and everyone is in a thankful mood. But I have to be honest, today was one of the worst days I've had in a long time. Then again, looking back, I realize it could have been a lot worse. So I guess I'll do sort of a hybrid...

Thankful for: Being able to wake up and have nothing to do until 11am this morning since my therapy client cancelled. Therefore, I was able to go the rec and work out before class.

Not Thankful For: When I got to the rec, I realized I'd left my ID in my jacket pocket, and although I begged and pleaded, they wouldn't let me in. I had to walk home and back, cutting about twenty minutes off of my workout time.


Thankful for: Getting my test back in Developmental Class and getting a B+.

Not Thankful for: the fact that there were three questions on the test, each worth equal amounts, and I got two A-'s and one B+....yet somehow these average out to an overall B+. Shady math going on? I think so..


Not Thankful for: Getting in a car accident on my way home because I was still trying to calculate how that grade worked out in my head. I was honestly just zoned out trying to multiply and divide in my head that I just ran right in to the car in front of me. That's right, folks... I just slammed right into a Mustang.

Thankful for: We pulled over, he looked at the new green paint on his car (from me) and the lack of silver paint that should have been there (that was now on my car), and said "Well, I don't really care about how it looks, but why don't you give me your phone number and I'll call you if anything comes up." My car has some new paint on it as well and I think I may have cracked one of the side lights, but I'm not positive - it might have been like that before. And let's be honest, I drive a minivan, I'm not winning any style points anyway.

Extremely thankful for: So far, no call - knock on wood!


Thankful for: Hosting my mom, stepdad, sister, and grandma for Thanksgiving

Not Thankful for: While I was peeling veggies, I broke the disposal and it backed up

Extremely Thankful for: The plumber coming within two hours of our call and fixing it!


Thankful for: Sammie!!

Not Thankful for: The poor girl getting sick all over the floor and guess who cleaned it up...


So I can't lie, today could have been a lot worse. And I'm really excited about people coming for Thanksgiving...and let me just point out that we will be in Ohio a month from now! (Actually, it will be Christmas Eve a month from now which is even cooler...) Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

I just had to share this with y'all before you bought Christmas presents for any kids you know. 


We have these in our playrooms and they are absolutely awesome. (We have the full-body one). It's so cute and the kids love to put the different faces on it! We have some kids make it girls, some make it boys, and I had one little girl call it "that mean old man." It's also great for them to express sadness, happiness, and other moods that they might not be able to describe in words but can express through facial expressions on a toy.

Oh yeah, and it's super soft. Seriously, I'm pretty obsessed. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mutton Bustin'

We have been pretty busy lately with school and getting ready for family coming to visit (!). However, lately I've been really noticing the Texas accent. This may be due to the children I work with who pronounce 9 as "naahhhhhn" and say "fixin' to" all the time. Oh, and the fact they talk about showing their animals at the fair, ranching, and other things that are totally out of my league.

Fact: I have asked questions like "What are your lamb's names?" and "Do you like to brush their wool?" because I have no idea what you ask about ranching and stuff like that! Any suggestions are welcome!

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you an event that definitely does not exist outside of this type of environment. This is called Mutton Busting. What's that, you say? Well, at fairs around the state, people dress up their unsuspecting children (ages 4-7 or so) and then make them ride sheep until they fall off! And if they can last for 10 seconds, they get a prize. If not, they get trampled - not kidding! We watched this at the fair last year and I really haven't found anything better to symbolize the difference between Texas and Ohio...okay, that's a lie, but it's still fun to watch!

I found a video that shows it, but keep in mind that at the fair in Waco, all the little kids dress up like cowboys and cowgirls.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Weekend in the Life...

Some weekends, Dan and I are the epitome of the "boring married couple" stereotype, because we sit around, do nothing, and go to bed at 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday night. But this weekend was different, and it was so much fun!

Friday, I went shopping for Thanksgiving. My mom, stepdad, sister, and grandma are all coming down and we get to host Thanksgiving for them and a few friends! I planned out a shopping list and went grocery shopping for most of it. Dan and I then went to Target and filled a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. It's a great Christmas charity that sends shoeboxes full of gifts to children around the world who otherwise wouldn't get presents. We filled our shoebox for a four year old boy, so we picked out some awesome stuff: Hotwheels, crayons, a stuffed hippo, and then of course a Spiderman toothbrush! We stuffed the box full, and all we have to do is turn it in to church and they take care of the rest. If you click on the link, you can see where you can participate if you're interested.

We also watched another episode in the John Adams HBO miniseries while enjoying a bottle of Blackstone Merlot, one of our favorite inexpensive wines. (We picked that up at Target too at the same time as our shoebox items, and laughed about what the cashier was thinking about us).

On Saturday, Dan and Sammie settled in on the couch for a day of relaxing with college football. Unfortunately, I had homework and studying to do. I worked on that for a little bit until I got a call from my friend Melanie, asking if I wanted to bake cookies with her and a couple other friends. Um, of course! I shut my books and ended up filling my afternoon with Christmas music and cookie baking. We made cocoa fudge cookies, pfefferneuse, french lace cookies, and of course, sugar cookies.*


After several hours of baking, I went back home, cleaned up, and we went out to a local Mexican restaurant with some other friends for dinner before seeing the play Eurydice, a Baylor theater production. I have to say, I loved the play. We all did. It was maybe my favorite non-musical I've ever seen. So if you ever get the chance to check this one out, I'd highly recommend it.

When the play was over, Dan and I invited everyone back to our apartment to hang out. We all sat around eating, drinking, and talking until late. It was great quality time with friends, even though they did tell us that Sammie appears to be getting a little chubby!**

Sunday, the final day of the weekend, started out normal with going to church. Afterwards, though, we went out to lunch with our pastor and got to really talk with him for about two hours. It was great. We talked about jobs, marriage, and life in general. He had a lot of helpful advice and I also really enjoyed listening to him talk to Dan. Our pastor has thought so highly of Dan ever since they worked together in Mexico, and I loved hearing him say over and over how great of a communicator Dan is, how much integrity he has, how intelligent he is...his only complaint was that Dan sells himself short at times! We both left feeling so blessed to have gotten involved at a church with such a great pastor.

The rest of the afternoon, I actually did have to do the homework that I'd put off the day before. :( Yuck! Dan watched football - and won this round of fantasy football! All in all, a great weekend.

*The cocoa fudge cookies are the ones I was in charge of, so that's the actual recipe for them. The others were family recipes that I don't have copies of, so I tried to find recipes online that looked similar. But I can highly recommend that recipe for cocoa fudge cookies - they were delicious!

**Sammie was so sad that she didn't even eat breakfast the next morning! Her self-esteem is shot!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5 Tips to Help You Be In Fashion (By Being Frugal)

I've been reading a lot lately about how saving money is now "in fashion." Beyond the fact that you can't think about that sentence too much or your head might fall off, I think it's true! People are way more into finding ways to be frugal in their lives lately.

My frugality first took hold when we were planning our wedding. I didn't want to be cheap, but I wanted to be frugal and get the best possible [fill in the blank] for the best price. I really enjoyed the challenge and ended up being very pleased with the results.

So we've been continuing on that frugal path throughout the first year of our marriage. When we buy things, we do a lot of research to get the best product for the best price. I thought it might be fun to share some tips with all of you about ways we save money:

1. Buy online. Dan found our TV online at amazon.com for much cheaper than any retailer was selling it (the exact same model) in town - and it came with free shipping and no sales tax. We also both just got new running shoes online for 20-30 dollars cheaper than they are sold in stores. Seriously, you will be amazed at how much money you can save on so many things by purchasing them online.

2. Sign up for free samples. When I get bored, I will do a Google blog search on "free samples" or "freebies," and then sign up for the ones that we will use. I have gotten samples of dog food and treats, coffee, granola bars, you name it.... Walmart always has at least a few different ones on their website. The best part is that they frequently come with coupons, so if you like the product, you can then get it for a discount!

3. That brings me to my third point - we use coupons! I've talked in previous posts about the CVS and Walgreens games people play. Those are awesome and I still want to begin doing that someday in the future. But for now, I take an easier approach. I still read a lot of those blogs that detail CVS couponing, and I still print out the coupons that I might use. After all, most of the printable coupons are good anywhere, not just at CVS! There are also specific blogs for almost every grocery store that detail out their sales and match coupons with them each week. I use the ones for Walmart but to find ones for your local grocery store, just look here.

You can be as serious or casual about this as you want. For example, last week I just brought three coupons for 1.00 off Starkist tuna (which was priced at 86 cents), 75 cents off Idahoan mashed potatoes (which were priced at 75 cents), and 2.00 off hair ties, which were 2.12. So I was able to get all those items for free, basically! It's really a great idea just to scroll through the websites as you're planning out your shopping trip and print off coupons for items you will use.

4. Use Dry Cleaner's Secret. You can buy it at the grocery store in the laundry aisle, and it dry cleans your clothes in the dryer. I was nervous that it might not actually get my clothes clean, but so far it has and we've saved a ton on dry cleaning bills!

5. Go meatless. Both of us were a little wary about this at first, but we now regularly go meatless at least twice a week. Here are some ideas that we regularly use: omelets or some type of eggs, rice and beans, pizza, soup and cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, or pancakes. Most of these still have plenty of protein - but they are all delicious and save you quite a bit of money!

I hope I can now be considered cool and "in fashion" for sharing these with you all! I'd love to hear your ideas because I'm still constantly searching for ways to get the most out of what we have!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Mouse in the House!

Okay y'all, I need your help.

I know I'm supposed to be the one who analyzes and interprets, but as we all know, it's really hard to do these things for yourself!

So here's my predicament. I don't usually talk or make any sounds while I'm sleeping. But a couple weeks ago, I had a dream in which I was chasing a mouse. Actually, to be specific, I was on a pogo stick trying to squash the mouse. As I was hopping around and shouting in my dream, I was awakened by Dan. Apparently, I was shouting in real life too and had woken him up. We laughed about this for a long time - he thought I was being chased by a murderer or something, and found it ridiculous that it was a mouse. We joked about it for a while and then forgot about it.

Well, last night, I had a similar dream! This was set in our apartment, and the mouse was running around everywhere and I was really freaked out. Dan put his hand on my back to wake me up, because again I was screaming out loud. I thought his hand was the mouse, and screamed even louder as I woke up. I just remember turning over and seeing both my husband and my dog staring at me, wondering what kind of dream would cause me to react like this.

So why am I having these mouse dreams? I don't have a mouse phobia, we don't have one in our apartment, I can't really think of any reason they would have been on my mind lately... Somebody tell me what's going on!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Recipe Round-Up

It's been a while since I've shared with you what I'm cooking, so it's time for another post about it. And although the temperatures are still in the 70s or so here, it's finally starting to feel like fall so all these recipes have a somewhat-loose "fall" theme to them.

Apple Cider Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze
I made this last night for our Bible study. It was a huge success! Everyone really loved the taste of it, even those people who don't normally like cakes. I have to confess that I used a pound cake mix for this rather than baking it from scratch. I just substituted apple cider for the water the mix called for, and added in all the spices as well. It made it much easier and it still tasted great.

Barcelona Hot Chocolate
Confession: I love hot chocolate. I drink it at least a couple times a week, even during the summer. This recipe is one of my favorites. It's got a slight hint of orange in it that somehow just makes it extra-tasty.

Pumpkin Pie Cake
I helped a friend make this for her boyfriend's birthday party. He requested pumpkin pie, but she really wanted to make him a cake, and so she found this! It's absolutely delicious and most people at the party, including her boyfriend, decided they liked it better than actual pumpkin pie. (Note: I don't think we used the pecans that they recommend)

Shrimp Arrabbiata
So most of these recipes I'm giving you are desserts, you say? Well, here's one that's a main dish. It's a spicy twist on spaghetti that is really quick and easy as well. I heart Cooking Light!

Tilapia Parmesan
I don't know why I share so many seafood dishes, we rarely eat it...but when we do, this recipe is something we use all the time! Actually, I've used it with chicken too, and it's also delicious. Also, I realize these last two recipes aren't exactly fall themed, but oh well...they still get to be included.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boom Goes the Dynamite!

This guy is now a newscaster in Waco.


It was fun to watch this and revisit old YouTube video days. 

It made me laugh to watch this one again as well.

Anyone have any other favorites?

Anyone wonder why I work a 10 hour day and still stay up watching pointless YouTube videos? I sure do...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Another Pointless Sammie post?

or is this the post you've been anxiously waiting for all week? (Julie, don't lie....)

Either way, Sammie turned ONE on Saturday! She had a wonderful day even though she didn't receive a single birthday card or gift in the mail from any of her extended family or friends. (**ahem**)
(Just to be clear, I'm totally joking. I mean, she only cried for like...an hour at most.)

The day started out when Dan woke up and sang "Happy birthday" to her. Next, she got to go on a morning walk!

Then a lovely breakfast, consisting of...well, dog food, but she seemed to enjoy it.

The thing is, I really wanted to take Sammie to Dogtopia for her birthday. But, well, we never quite got around to it. All the other birthday festivities got in the way, I guess. But we are going to take her sometime, and when we do I will let you know because they have a webcam and you'll be able to watch her play all day online!

So for most of the afternoon she just napped on the couch. Oh, and we gave her a birthday present of a rope wrapped into a ball. She played with that for a long time.

That night, we went over to Matthew's house with several friends for dinner, wine, and the OSU game. The dinner was Stouffer's Lasagna (Dan's favorite, as you know) and then we sampled some of the wine that Dan and Matthew had liked from their wine class.
In case you're interested, here were our favorites:

Greg Norman Cabernet Merlot - everyone liked
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Savignoun - Dan's favorite
DaVinci Chianti - my favorite

Anyway, back to the Samster. Three dogs came over to Matthew's to help celebrate her birthday. (Okay, actually two of them already live there, but whatever...details details). Sammie loved them and played all night! She was so exhausted she slept the whole car ride home.
We had one last treat for her before bed. We put our down comforter back on for the winter! It's finally getting cool enough where we can appreciate it (read: 60 degrees). Sammie was so excited.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz....

And there you have it, another post in the series of "Random and Pointless Posts about Sammie," dedicated to Julie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Silver Lining

The crazy financial things that have been going on in our country lately have caused some concern for all of us. Luckily, Dan and I don't have any stocks (or retirement money saved or anything of that matter) so it wasn't that big of a deal, but I know it is for so many of you. I also know the $700 billion rescue plan has affected all of us. Did you know the Times Square National Debt clock has run out of digits to keep track of our debt? Wow...

Anyway, in light of all that, there is some good news! With the bill, the Mental Health Parity Act also passed.

This article explains it better than I can:

"When Congress approved the $700 billion rescue plan, it also passed one of the most significant mental-health bills in U.S. history — the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. It requires group insurance plans to cover mental illnesses the same way as physical ones (no more higher co-pays, deductibles and limits on hospital stays). For more than a decade, Senator Peter Domenici pioneered the fight for such legislation. Last year, the 76-year-old Republican announced he suffers from a degenerative brain disease and would not seek another term. One of his final votes led to the bill's long-awaited passing. "

This is good news for me, as a future psychologist. And it's good news for all you, because you get mental health services if you need them!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Too Good of a Deal NOT to Blog About It...

Some of you may know that I follow grocery shopping and coupon blogs pretty carefully. There are many people out there who write exclusively about ways to save money and search out coupons that will work at your local stores. People are especially big on CVS and Walgreens right now because you can get lots of stuff for free if you sign up for their extra care bucks and then go shopping a lot with coupons.


And here are some other blogs that I regularly use to find coupons good at Walmart and HEB, the grocery stores around here:


I do my grocery shopping by first checking all the blogs and finding the sales and printing off coupons. I know not everyone likes to shop like this, but hey whatever helps you stay on budget, right?
::UPDATE:: I got an email today saying you couldn't combine two offers. So, the $25 off is still a good deal but you can't use it as well as the free burgers...so not as good of a deal as it was...
Anyway, I want to share with you a deal I just completed (i.e. it's not a scam because it works!) with Omaha Steaks. Basically, you can get 12 Omaha Steaks burgers for free, plus $25 off whatever you purchase. (Since shipping is $13, you want to aim for something just a little over $12 so that you can literally get this all for free - it will apply the discount to shipping).

The only bummer about this is it's not available to Ohio residents. I have no idea why. But if you don't live in Ohio, continue reading!

First, go to this page and sign up for Geico Privileges. It's completely free, no strings attached. You don't have to even get an insurance quote or anything like that, it's just like signing up for their website basically. They will then send you an email with a code for $25 off any purchase at Omaha Steaks. It took me almost 8 hours to get my email so don't get discouraged when you don't get it right away.

Second, go here and type in your email address. They will send you a confirmation email that includes 12 free burgers from Omaha Steaks with any purchase, and you just have to go to the website through that link and make your purchase.

So when you get both emails, just go to the website through the second link, pick out whatever you want and order! Your 12 free burgers will be automatically applied at checkout, and checkout is also where you type in your code. It's awesome!! If you get more burgers you can literally get 24 burgers for about $2.00. I upgraded and got some sirloin steaks but it was still only $15 total (including shipping).

Anyway, this was just a really cool thing and I'm really excited about getting some red meat when we usually don't spend money on it! So I wanted to share it with you because I know all of you could use this.

*One small picky note: When you click on the link from the GEICO email, it might just go to the main page rather than your gift code number. If that happens, sign in using your name and password. Then leave that window open and click on the link from the email again in a different window. It seems like you must have to be signed in on the computer you're on for the link to work.

Yum yum... today is just my lucky day I think. First zoo tickets, and now this!

I Won Something!

Check out this email I just got:

Congratulations! Your name was drawn from the Urinetown the Musical prize drawing. We have two passes to Waco's Cameron Park Zoo waiting for you here at the box office. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 to 5. Please come by at your earliest convenience to pick up your tickets. We look forward to seeing you at the theatre.

I'm so excited! I don't think I've ever won anything in my life. I just looked up the price of tickets and they are $7 each for adults, so I basically just won $14! I just saved us $14 that can now go toward something more important. Maybe I'll buy some new shoes with all that money I just saved us.

Please don't correct me on any of my logic here... :-) I'm just excited that I won something!

Monday, October 20, 2008

How I Know It's Monday

1. My key to my office didn't work. Just...did not open the door. I tried other people's keys (there's one master key for all the offices), and no one's worked. So we called the help line, and a strange man came and took the doorknob off my door with a screwdriver. I am currently sitting in an office with no doorknob.

I mean seriously, when else would that happen besides a Monday morning??

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The 10K That Wasn't

The Advocacy Center is an organization in Waco that serves crime victims, with a focus on children who have been abused. We have one of our practicum sites there, so there is always one person from my program who works out there each year. So the Advocacy Center decided to have a run today to raise money for their programs, and a group of us got together and decided to be on a team. Some of us were running the 5k, and some were running the 10k.

Here we all are before the race: (I realize this is an awful picture but it's all I have)

Well, the race started off okay. Dan and I ran with our friend Aaron, who is currently a fourth year in the program.

We were laughing about the differences between this course and the marathon. The main one turned out to be a lack of signs telling you where to go. At some points, there were chalk arrows on the ground, but they were easily missed unless you were staring at the ground.

We kept running and then started wondering where the 10k split off from the 5k. And then we kept running...and wondering...and wondering....until we came to the finish line! Dan and I were so confused and trying to figure out what to do as we crossed. I'm sure we looked completely insane. We kept asking and asking until finally we found someone who'd seen the 10k turn-off. Apparently it was written in chalk on the ground right by the only water station of the race. So I'm thinking we were both looking up to get water and just didn't even see it.

I was disappointed! I was looking forward to a long run today - it would have been the longest I'd run since the marathon. Plus, we totally would have gotten medals since barely anyone ran the 10k - there were quite a few people who complained about missing the turn-off!

But we had fun and helped some kids. Plus they had free Snickers bars, Starburst, and Dr. Pepper at the finish line - all Waco made. (Fun fact: every Starburst you eat has been made in Waco.)

One more fun fact: I was talking to Julie today and told her it felt nice outside because it was really chilly. She asked what the temperature was, so I looked it up. It said 74! Haha. I don't know what we're going to do when we come back to Ohio for Christmas - I'm pretty sure we have fully acclimated to this weather.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

*Breaking News!*

Well, sort of breaking news...

To begin this story, we have to back up in time to, oh, around Dan's birth. He was born with a severe aversion to tuna fish. Dan cannot remember when this began or ever even trying tuna, but he has always known that he absolutely hated it.

When we were in college, sometimes we would eat lunch together. If I got a tuna salad sandwich, he would refuse to come near me until I a. threw it away, b. brushed my teeth, and c. it had been about 5 hours since I'd been near it. (He claimed he could still smell it)

When Dan was rushing his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, he honestly said that if they had told him that he had to eat tuna in order to join, he wouldn't do it.

He just hates tuna that much.

Well, this weekend we went to a friend's birthday party. We knew that there was a chicken dish being served there, but what we didn't know was there was also a tuna and rice dish served that resembled the chicken dish very closely.

You can see where this is going, I'm sure...

Dan loaded up his plate and took a few big bites. Now this is the part I think is the funniest. He didn't even realize he was eating tuna! Apparently the part he got was mostly rice, but still! He was eating his most hated enemy of the food world, and he didn't even know it!

After eating it, he overheard someone explaining the different dishes and found out that unbeknownst to him, there was a tuna casserole at this party, and indeed that had been what he'd eaten.

I was outside with a friend so Dan just lived with this "horror and distress" (his words) for a few minutes, holding his empty plate in front of him, still not believing what had just happened. When I came back in, he grabbed my arm and said "DEAR GOD I JUST ATE TUNA AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT!!!" in the same voice that someone might use if they were telling you their firstborn daughter (or Sammie) just got kidnapped.

I burst out laughing. And ever since we have been "healthily debating" about whether tuna is actually that bad...in my opinion, if he ate it without even realizing it, it can't be as bad as he thinks! However, Dan still sticks to his argument that it was mostly rice.

I think he's just in denial. 

So there's the breaking news in the world of Dan. Now we just need to figure out how to scheme more tuna into his life until he admits he likes it... :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Attempt at Homework

I was really trying to study today....see my statistics book underneath the puppy? Every time I tried to read she would just crawl on top of it and plop down.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hypnosis and Hot Flashes

So that may have been the least-expected title for a blog entry in recent history, right? But I promise, it's relevant! Dr. Gary Elkins is the head of the Clinical Psychology program that I'm in. He taught my Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy class last year, and I'm actually working with him to TA the lab for that class this year.

He has been doing a lot of work with breast cancer and hypnosis for the past few years, and all my classmates who are in his lab have been as well. He recently got a $2.6 million grant from the National Institute of Health — the largest ever awarded by the NIH for this type of research! So far, he has found that hypnotic relaxation therapy can decrease both the frequency and severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Basically, they take women going through menopause and induce relaxation through hypnosis. It sounds a little out there, but what do you know - it's working, and it's producing some pretty groundbreaking findings! The grant is to extend this research because it's pretty much sweet.

Here are some articles talking more in detail about his research and the grant:

U.S. News and World Report

Reuters

Yahoo News

So if you're planning on going through menopause anytime soon, book a flight down to Waco and get in on the trials!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm the next Mike Tyson

So I just finished taking a Statistics test. Remember at the beginning of the semester when I said I thought I would be okay in Statistics since I did well in undergrad?

Excuse me while I laugh my head off. (and then go cry a little!)

I just finished taking an ESSAY test in said class, and that sort of threw me for a loop. I understand the concepts reasonably well, but when you start asking me to compare and contrast and explain the advantages of different ones, I don't really think I did so hot.

To make myself feel better, I'm going to tell you about my boxing class! Since the beginning of the semester, my friend Christianna and I have been taking Boxing together at the Baylor rec center. It's an hour and a half long course, and although we spend most of the time just doing conditioning, we're working our way up to doing actual boxing. It's awesome.

Last week, we had our benchmark tests. The instructors want to show us how much better we're getting, so I think twice a semester we're going to be doing these benchmarks to see where we are. Here is what I scored in order from least exciting to most exciting:

4. Sit-ups - I did 58 in 2 minutes. I don't think this is very good; most people in my class beat me. But oh well.

3. Pullups - Okay, so I still can't do an actual pullup. BUT I held myself up in the flex position (so like at the top of a pullup) for 36 seconds!! At the beginning of the semester, I could do 18 so I am very proud of this. My goal is by the end of the semester to be able to do a real pull up. (Please don't laugh at me - I've never been able to do one before!)

2. Pushups - I did 42! Yeah! And they were full ones - the instructor watches you and only counts if you go down far enough and up all the way.

1. Mile run - This is my proudest accomplishment. I ran a mile in.... 6 minutes and 32 seconds! Woohoo!! Of course my lungs were burning afterward and I developed a cough that didn't go away for the next week...but still, I was so happy about this. I never thought I could run fast so this was huge. (Now of course, I think that my one mile time is somewhere around Scott's marathon pace time, so this is all relative...but I'm still happy!)

I've been learning some basic punches too, so next time you see me, watch out!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

On the Spot

Update: Dan found my keys. I won't tell you where they were, because it's just way too embarrassing. Or on second thought...I'm supposed to really be revealing myself on this blog, right? Okay. They were on my desk, underneath a piece of paper. 

Josh suggested that I buy the FOFA.  I love it! Christmas idea, anyone?


The vice presidential debates are tonight. I can't lie, I really want to watch them because there seems to be the possibility of some pretty good lines. We'll have to see...

But I don't know why I feel like I can make fun of other people for mixing up things during interviews. When I'm put on the spot, I'm awful at answering questions!! 

Dan and I have these friends, who we actually hang out with quite a bit. They are very scholarly and so we can have some pretty intense conversations with them. Usually, I can hold my own as long as we are just skating along the surface of a topic. There have been a few times, however, when one of them asked me a question and I felt like a complete idiot.  Observe:

::We are talking about our favorite authors and books::

R: I love CS Lewis! 
Kristi: Oh me too! I loved The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity.
R: Oh those were good; of course they're some of his more popular works. What else have you read of his?
Kristi: Umm..uhhh....
Dan: Well, we've read the Chronicles of Narnia.

::It gets even worse::

R: Well, uh, that's great...what are some of your other favorite works of literature?
Kristi (searching frantically in my mind for something, anything, but all I can think of this book I'm currently reading, which is The Nanny Diaries!)

::dead silence::

Dan: Um, well, I really like Spanish books, you probably wouldn't know any of them.
Kristi: Uhh... Pride and Prejudice? (The only remotely "literary" novel that I can think of)
R: Oh, okay...(awkward)...well, if you ever want to borrow any of CS Lewis's other books sometime, just let me know.

We are awful. The sad part is, we both love to read. It's just something about being put on the spot like that which turns people into complete idiots! Anyone have any of your own good stories?



Monday, September 29, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday

I love Monday mornings that start out by waking up late, still hungover from a Nyquil coma, and still feeling like I might be developing bronchitis....

Taking the puppy out for about 15 minutes only to have her not do a thing except sniff around...

And then not being able to find my keys when it's time for work.

Like, really not being able to find them - to the point that I call my husband and he has to drive home from school, give me the spare key he has for my car, and lock the apartment behind me.

Sometimes Monday mornings are just too cliche to even be worth being upset about!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sammers

A certain someone has decided that I post too much about Sammie here on this blog. Now normally, I would try to prove that person wrong. But seeing as she's my little sister, I would feel way too bad if I did something that mean. Of course, I would never want to do anything to make her feel silly, I will just go ahead and try to prove her... RIGHT!

So here is a completely unimportant and pointless video of Sammie and Dan playing... be sure to have your volume on so you can hear her talking...it's just so CUTE!!


video

Be on the lookout for more completely pointless Sammie posts coming up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Willkommen, Y'all!


I wanted to do something special for Dan's birthday, so I looked up events around Texas that fell somewhere close to the actual date of September 27th. So, last weekend, I surprised Dan with a weekend trip up to Dallas!

Dan and I along with our friends Faith and Sean went to Dallas to celebrate Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest, as you may not know, has been taking place in Munich, Germany since 1810. (It began to celebrate the marriage of some Prince and Princess). Although it originally started out in the month of October, they later moved the annual celebration back to September "because the weather was more pleasant." (No, I'm not kidding! Those crazy Germans!)

So, the Oktoberfest we attended in Dallas is modeled after the original Munich event and is one of the largest Oktoberfests outside of Munich. This is what it says on the website: "For over two decades, Addison has extended a heart-felt "Willkommen, Y’all!" to visitors eager to experience a little "Gem├╝tlichkeit’ and learn about traditional music, costumes, dances, activities, foods and beverages of Germany, served up with a slightly "Texas twist."
Oh, Texas...

All four of us have some sort of German blood running through us (or close enough) so we took it to heart and celebrated Saturday afternoon and evening. We sat out on the grass and listened to bands such as Accordian Fusion, and watched people try to bowl with beer kegs. This lady was the MC of it all:
I have no idea what's going on here, but apparently the Germans have some unique instruments.

She looks sort of strange, you say? Here are some other pictures from the weekend:


Yeah, I don't really know what's going on there either. However, I do know that it was a lot of fun! I also know that you can get an awesome hat just like the one above by going here.
We also made Dan's weekend extra special by stopping at Jimmy John's on the way back to the hotel for subs and cookies. Neither of us has been there since college and it was the perfect, delicious way to end the evening.
"Auf Wiedersehen, Y'all!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Daydreaming...






"Just thinking about how to create world peace...or maybe deciding who I want to be president..."






"Hey Mom, why are you bothering me by taking pictures? You're interrupting my deep thoughts!"

"All right, fine...I guess I'll just take a nap instead!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Underlying Messages

I have been thinking about something a lot since yesterday. In Developmental Psych, we were discussing the best way to deal with babies who have less than ideal temperaments. This means that they cry a lot, are fussy, or may not enjoy being picked up. We were all trying to think about how you could teach a baby to act better, but my professor stopped us. It turns out that one of the best things that you can do is work with the parents to help change their parenting style to better fit their child's needs. Even more specifically, teach the parents to correctly identify and respond to their child's underlying message.

For example, when a baby cries, he might be crying because he is hungry or tired or something else is wrong. Most parents try to figure out what their baby wants, and hopefully they can discern their needs most of the time. However, a lot of times, parents cannot. And this can cause frustration, anger or annoyance in that parent, who then displays that toward their child. Not only are they not meeting the child's needs but they are actually causing the child to become even more upset, thus perpetuating the cycle.

Fast forward a couple years. Children by now can talk and act much more than when they were infants, so parents expect them to be able to voice their needs accurately. However, they aren't capable of doing this. For example, a little 3 year old girl I've done testing with freaked out when a stranger came in a room. She gathered up all her toys next to her and started throwing them at the stranger. Her mother was horrified when she watched the videotape - she couldn't believe how awful and mean her daughter was acting! In reality, though, the little girl was just scared to death of this stranger and was protecting herself in the only way she knew how. She would have gotten calmed down and eventually learned to respond better to strangers if her mother had recognized and acknowledged this fear. However, if her mother had yelled at her and punished her, the cycle would continue. The mother needed to pay attention to her underlying message, rather than her behavior, in order to begin the process of change.


I keep thinking about how this applies to our daily lives. How many times have I snapped at someone for something they did, when in reality it was really because I was tired and stressed out? Or in reverse - how many times have I perpetuated a negative cycle by responding to someone's words and actions, rather than their true needs?

I just wonder what it would be like if we all looked for other people's underlying messages, rather than just taking them at their surface level behaviors.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah vs. Hillary

Completely regardless of your political affiliation, this SNL sketch was hilarious!

Monday Morning and Movies

So I didn't update yesterday as promised, due to the fact that Ike...did not really affect us at all. It ended up going more east than they thought it would, and therefore Saturday was just a really rainy and humid day...but nowhere near what we were told to expect. And from what I hear, it sounds like Ohio actually has gotten it much worse than Waco!

Dan and I watched "The Other Boleyn Girl" this weekend. It was actually really good. I'd heard mixed reviews on it, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but we both really liked it. It makes me want to watch more historical movies because there are so many parts of history I know nothing about.

Other movies we've watched recently:

"Bella": Wonderful independent movie. Unique and a great story.
"Lars and the Real Girl": Watch this! I don't care that the description looks weird, watch it!
"Atonement": Decent, I really liked the book and I'm not sure if I would have liked the movie if I hadn't read the book. Dan felt sort of mediocre about it.


"21": I'd recommend the book over the movie on this one as well, but it's still worth watching. It's neat knowing it's a (sort of) true story and it makes you feel like you too could count cards in Vegas!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Seriously

Hi all,

I just want you to know that we really are expecting to be fine here in Waco. We are going to get quite a bit of wind and rain, but it really shouldn't be anything to worry about. A lot of evacuees fled TO Waco, meaning that it is a supposed to be a good place to be during the storm!

As far as we know right now, Galveston etc. has pretty much been ravaged. In Houston, 911 operators have received about 1250 calls since last night. About 140,000 people ignored the mandatory evacuation orders, and only 300 people or so of these people were able to be rescued at the last minute - hanging from telephone poles and wading through knee high water.

Of course, hopefully most people were able to remain alive, and all these numbers will change as it gets later in the day and the data gets more clear, but I guess I just want to ask for your prayers for these people and the state of Texas.

Right now, our skies are grey and cloudy, and it's sprinkling a little bit. We're supposed to get rain (up to 6 in) and winds (up to 50 mph) throughout the day, and it will be over by tomorrow mid-morning. I'll definitely continue updating if anything interesting happens (and assuming we still have power). I will for sure update tomorrow as well!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Apparently, we're supposed to get a lot of rain tomorrow. Apparently, lots of people are coming here to Waco to stay while their homes get all wet and blown away.


This is the first hurricane that's really affecting us. They rescheduled all the weekend football games, including the Baylor game, for yesterday and today. Most things this weekend have already been cancelled. Not that we're actually going to get a hurricane here in Waco, but I guess the amount of rain and the high winds will be enough to cause some flash flooding and stuff.


The saddest thing is that tomorrow is supposed to be "Puppy Plunge Day" at the Waco Waterpark. Sammie has been looking forward to it for weeks, and now it's not going to happen.

I'm so sad..Daddy was going to take me off the high dive!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Top 6 Pictures

Leah and Matt's wedding photographer put their pictures online, and they are absolutely amazing. (His name is Reece Booth, and his website is http://www.reecephotography.com/.) I thought I'd share a few of my favorites...there are of course hundreds of others that might be a little more representative of the entire event...but this is my blog, and therefore, I pick and choose as I like.

So here are the Top 6 Photos of the Event:

#6. Yay for a good picture of me with the bride!

#5. Yes, the photographer thought this was worthy of putting on his website, so I figured I'd immortalize it on mine as well. If you can't tell, this is my thigh with the bruise from my fall two nights before. He has a picture of Frank (the arm slice) up as well, but I figured you've all seen enough of that...

#4. I have no idea what is going on in this picture, but it makes me laugh every time I look at it. I need to find out what song was playing at this moment, because we all seem to be really enjoying it

#3. I love this picture because Dan is giving his toast, and you can see how much everyone is enjoying it/ captivated by it. I guess all those days he spends trying to hold high school students' attention have paid off in some great public speaking skills!

#2. This is during my toast - and look they were laughing at what I was saying! Woohoo!

And finally, the number one picture of the evening.... This picture is amazing on several accounts. First of all, Dan is apparently practicing his modeling career. Secondly, I think I must be confused by the fact that Dan is practicing his modeling... Leah is the only one of us who is aware of the photographer. And Matt, well, he's just chillin'. Dan said that Matt's just sitting there thinking to himself "Hey! I'm married!" over and over again. Either way...this is priceless.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Day In the Life

It's September, football season has started, and the temperature is no longer consistently hitting 100 in Waco.

With these changes, fall has slowly but surely come for us, and with it the typical school year busy-ness.  The other day, the Dean of Students at Dan's high school pointed out to Dan that he has quite a few responsibilities. Dan responded that yes, that was true. At this point he was the proud sponser of the (now defunct) Frisbee Golf Team, the leader of Community Service Club, and the potential Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponser. All this in addition to, you know, teaching Spanish...

The Dean told Dan that he was going to make him a t-shirt that says "Fogle of all Trades." I told him that the t-shirt should actually just say "NO!" 

As I write this, Dan's playing soccer with a community league that he just joined. Last night, he met with the youth leader of our church to talk about the possibility of getting involved with youth ministry. Is my husband great or what? He is so interested and passionate about all these things that although he knows he has to turn down something, he still can't decide which! 

As for me, I am nowhere near as involved in the extra-curriculars as Dan as, but I have my hands full with school and work. The one exception to my no extras rule is that we are helping to begin a young couple's Bible study at our church, and I will be attending that.

To give you an idea of what a typical Tuesday or Thursday looks like, I'll tell you my day today.  I began at 10am with a child therapy appointment. I have two clients, one child and one adult, who I see weekly that are extra - that is, not part of work. They are both clients I had last year and didn't want to stop seeing, so I just see them now on my own time. 

Then at 11, I had class - Developmental Psychology. Today, I finished up a presentation on Autism. We each present three times throughout the semester on a different topic, and lucky me, I got to go first!

At 12:30, I heated up my Lean Cuisine lunch and then presented a case at our Clinic Staffing, eating bites in between talking. We have a clinic staffing once a month, where one person presents a case - meaning they present someone they are seeing for therapy or an assessment to the rest of the program. Usually these are unusual cases or there is some reason that they deserve to be highlighted. I had an interesting case last year that my supervisor had wanted me to present for awhile, so today was my turn. (Unfortunately I wish I could share more but confidentiality rules are rather strict in these kind of situations)

I ran from there to the science building across campus, to my 2:00 class: Statistics. Turned in my homework and  listened to a lecture for an hour and 15 minutes. Then, back to the clinic again, where I had my adult client at 4:00. Think about what you feel like at 4:00 if you've had a really busy day, then think about trying to listen to someone pouring out their life story to you at this time.  Although I'm definitely interested and don't usually have a lot of trouble paying attention, I sure have trouble wording eloquent responses! I feel like by this point in the day my mind has just been bomboarded with information and I have so much trouble synthesizing it and analyzing it in any meaningful way.

I drove straight to the rec after this and worked out for a little bit while reading a magazine. Ahh yes, this is why I love my magazine subscriptions so much - relaxation time! And working out helps me relieve my stress from the day so much.

So there you have it...another day in the life of Kristi and Dan. I admit that I don't typically have such a starring role in everything throughout the day, but that's a pretty similar schedule to my normal Tuesdays and Thursdays. (MWF I'm at work).  I am sure that most of you reading this probably have much harder days than me - I mean hey, I didn't even start until 10am!! But I will tell you, both Dan and I come home completely exhausted every single day! I guess that's what school does to you...and why summer exists....!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our Award

Dan and I went to a young couple's Barbeque this weekend, hosted by a couple from our church. They gave out prizes to couples for different things, such as "Who woke up earliest this morning?" The couple that won that one got up at 5:00am. The couple that won "Who woke up latest?" woke up at 9:30am. We are so pathetic! Since when did we become old enough that no one gets up past 9:30?! Dan and I had gotten up at 7:30, so it's not like we can even talk, but it just makes me so sad...I remember the days of sleeping in until 11:00am.

Anyway, guess what we won?

Drumroll please....

"Longest married couple!"
Haha, it's true. Except that, when they got to this category, out of 8 couples there (and 8 prizes to be given out), 6 had already won prizes. So even though they had all been married longer than us, they didn't count in this category. We were up against one other couple, and lo and behold, they got married in March!

So, you may now refer to us as the couple with the title of "Longest Married Couple" at Fellowship Bible Church.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Entrepreneurs in Dominica

So most of you have probably met or heard me talk about my friend Andrea. About a year ago, she visited Dan and I out in Waco and we had our first trip to Rudy's BBQ together... this is a picture of us being really nervous about eating in a restaurant that has picnic tables and serves you a loaf of white bread with your meat!

Don't worry, we've since adjusted, and now Dan and I routinely take visitors to get a taste of Texas BBQ.

Well, I think the experience helped Andrea realize how important bread is to people, no matter where you live. Andrea moved to Dominica so her husband, Kyle, could go to medical school there. While they were there, she started up a bread baking business with another girl, Ashley. They were a big hit on the island. Although she and Kyle are back in the United States now, their fame lives on. Ashley's newspaper published a feature article about their business!
(Yes I know, I still can't figure out how to put links in that are just links and don't look like this. Hey Josh, wanna help me out??)
The article tells their story and also includes some of their recipes. Enjoy! I have more if you're interested, and they actually have a cookbook they made as well if you like them.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Saminator Strikes Again

Yesterday I came home from class and made the mistake of setting my bag on the floor when I got inside. A little while later, I was in the kitchen making dinner, and all of a sudden it occurred to me that I hadn't seen Sammie in a while. I walked out to the living room to investigate, and there I found...
She was eating an apple that she'd taken out of my bag! She'd already eaten over half of it by the time I noticed.
The funny thing was, apparently it tasted so good that she didn't even stop once I saw her. She kept chowing down, trying to get as much in as possible before I stole it away!
Yum, yum, yum... :-)
Yes, I did take it away, but don't worry - she gets plenty of other exciting treats such as ice cubes and the ends of carrots I'm chopping. She's gotten to the point where she runs to the kitchen every time she hears one of us start to get out ice cubes...but you can't beat the cost and nutrition of that treat, so we do give her one almost every time!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend


This weekend, I:

- Got everything done on my to-do list, except for finishing my presentation, but that's okay because it's not due until Thursday. And it was an ambitious to-do list.
- Wore my CONTACTS for TWO WHOLE DAYS in a row!
-Baked pita bread, that actually came out just like regular bread (i.e. no pocket), but I sneakily sliced them down the middle with a knife and no one was the wiser, and we had delicious pita pockets every day for lunch.
- Wore white pants and white shoes for two and a half days in a row to celebrate the end of being allowed to wear them (I know my etiquette), until this had to be cut short because I spilled on my pants. [Insert absolutely no one being surprised here]
- Went to my favorite restaurant in Waco to celebrate my 8-monthiversary with my husband.
- Watched Youtube videos on Autism for almost three hours
-Updated the background on my blog. Thoughts? I'll change it back if you hate it.


"I don't wanna get up! It's so hard to get out of bed after a long weekend!"

Tomorrow is going to be such a rude awakening....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Harvest

One of our first memories from Waco is the afternoon I decided to surprise Dan with a trip to Waco's local winery. Neither one of us had ever heard of it before, but I found it online and thought that the free tasting it promoted would be a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

When we first pulled in the driveway, we were a little nervous. There were no real buildings, only trailors. But there were plenty of vineyards and when we got the tour, we could see that the four trailors they have (plus a giant shed) are more than enough to make their wines.

We got to know the owners, who are a Swedish couple named Ulf and Inga. One of the most interesting things about them is that Ulf is the Chief Medical Director at the VA here in Waco (which is a really, really big deal) and he was actually a doctor in Sweden, then had to complete his residency, etc. all over again when he moved to the United States! So this guy is a doctor. With a successful winery on the side. Wow...and I think I feel busy?



So anyway, Dan and Matthew took wine tasting classes there last year and we've gone to several events they've hosted. Last Saturday, they invited us to help them harvest the grapes! We got there bright and early and went to work.

First, we had to remove all the nets covering the grapes. If they don't put nets over them, the birds will come and nest in the branches and eat all the grapes.
Then, the beautiful grapes were exposed and we worked our way down the rows cutting them off! The variety we harvested is called Norton grapes, and used to make ...um... some kind of wine. (Okay, so I'm going off memory here, and I totally forget what kind of wine they are used for.)

Of course, we happened to get stuck with the most dense row of grapes. Even with five of us working on it, it still took us about twice as long to do one row as everyone else! And we really were working hard!

Well, Dan was working hard at least... (see next picture) :-)

Just kidding, I was working hard too! Here's a picture of both of us, laboring away.
Finally, around noon, we were all done! All the volunteers brought the grapes into the shed and then Inga served us an amazing home cooked lunch, with homemade meatballs, bread, hummus, salads... and of course, plenty of wine. All of the grapes we collected went into buckets and they processed them in the afternoon. Look at all the grapes we harvested!

Anyway, it was a wonderful time overall, and I can also now say with complete confidence that I never want to be a migrant worker.

Here's the link to Tehaucana Creek's website if you're interested: http://www.wacowinery.com/

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fall Semester Begins...

On Tuesday, I started my new classes for the fall. I am taking "Developmental Psychology" and "Psychological Statistics."

I'm really excited about the Developmental Psych class. We get to learn about childhood basically! It's focused on both general development (parenting, self-esteem, peers, etc) and childhood disorders (autism, ADHD, ODD, etc). Because right now I'm thinking I want to work with kids, this will be really relevant toward my work - and even if I don't end up going into it, it is still helpful for now with my work at the Speech Clinic and still very interesting!

The Statistics class should be fine...we'll see...I'm reserving judgment on this one for now. :-)

I'm also TAing a class for the first-year graduate students! The class is called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and it's basically learning one approach to therapy. That starts this morning, in about a half hour actually. I'm leading the Lab portion of the class. I'm a little nervous about it - an hour and a half is a long time! What are we going to do for that long?!

Dan is chugging away at his second week of teaching. I can't believe how hard he's working - he's been going in at 7 and getting home after 5 every day! He's taking it like a champ though and this year has been going well so far. He's got 5 classes and about 50 kids total (they have small classes at his school) and he's teaching Spanish 1, 2, and 3. So far so good but I'm so glad it's a 3 day weekend coming up because he (and I) can really use one!

You'll also be glad to know our air conditioner is finally fixed. It broke last Thursday and the maintenence man tried to fix it pretty much every day through Monday and somehow never succeeded. Finally, Monday night, he got it working, but the thermostat was disconnected from our wall and he couldn't fix that until Tuesday. (Yeah, can you tell we live in a cheap apartment?) So our apartment went from sweltering to FREEZING - on Monday night we were both shivering all night long with blankets over our bed!! Haha, but I can't complain, because at least we have air conditioning again and now it's finally fixed for real.

The best part of the whole ordeal is that our maintenence guy was in our apartment on his phone with we think his girlfriend, or baby momma, or something, and fighting with her in Spanish the whole time! He even had her on speaker phone! I know for a fact he has no idea we know Spanish so I'm pretty sure that was why he had such a lax attitude, but basically Dan and I just sat there pretending to be on the computer and instead listened the whole time. Dan understood about a thousand times more than I did but it was still fun. :-)

Time to go "teach!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In Memory...


My maternal grandpa, "Nandy," died three years ago today. This picture of me, Julie, Nandy and the cleaning lady snowwoman brings back memories of the fun times we shared. We miss you Nandy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Presidential Elections

(While cleaning up after dinner....and no, we didn't have any alcohol with dinner!)

Kristi: So, if you had to pick between me and you for President of the US, who would you pick?

Dan: Oh, me probably.

Kristi: Well, I'd pick me.

Dan: Based on your personality or your issues?

Kristi: I just don't want you to be president. You're way too hot-tempered for that gig.

Dan: Me?? Hot tempered??? You really think I'm that hot tempered that you wouldn't elect me president?

Kristi: Yeah! You get all yelly for no reason, like today you got all mad at me just because you were cleaning the bathroom.

Dan: GAARRHH!! (pause) I really don't think I'm that bad. You're acting like I beat you or something.

Kristi: I think you would if it was socially acceptable.

Dan: (very offended) What?? Are you serious!? You are being so dumb. I'm gonna punch you in the (almost says face, then realizes what he's saying) I mean, uh, oh crap!

Me: Haha!! See?? I win, I'm going to be the next president if it ever comes down to choosing between the two of us!

Dan: ::grumble grumble::

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Belated (Posting About My) Birthday

Dan had his first week of school this week, and he's exhausted. Although it went well, the move to blocked scheduling has really shaken up his planning he did for this year. Instead of 45 minutes every day per class, he's now spending an hour and 20 minutes every other day with each class. Yikes! I don't really know a whole lot about the logic of blocked scheduling, but it seems like for 9th graders in Spanish 1 that's a pretty long period of time to pay attention...

So tonight we're just relaxing at home and watching There Will Be Blood. I'm not into it at all, but Dan likes it so far...which is why I'm blogging. :)

I thought I'd post a few pictures from my Waco birthday party, since somehow I forgot to do that in the craziness of July. Camden, Lauren, and Cassie organized it for me and invited our whole program out to dinner! There ended up being about 20 people...and of course, no birthday party would be complete without embarrassing the birthday girl. Here's my awesome outfit:



Do I look uncomfortable? Haha...maybe a little. Ever since my elementary school birthday at Chi-Chi's - where I had to count to three to start off the Happy Birthday song- out loud! and standing on a chair! - I've been sort of nervous (petrified?) about these types of things. But luckily everyone was a good sport and no one made fun of me too much!

Here's a picture of Dan and I, just for fun. And the below is a picture of the beautiful flowers Camden got for me that were the table decoration! They were awesome and sat on our kitchen table for a couple weeks afterward...well beyond their actual life, but I just couldn't throw them away. It's so much fun to walk in the door and have fresh flowers waiting to greet you every day.
I'll end with something new I learned at work today! Here it is, Fortune Cookie style:
Your hours of practice writing bubble letters in middle school will pay off when you are trying to impress an 8 year old girl during her ADHD assessment.