Wednesday, November 24, 2010


You guys!!

 Actually, I got TWO! Today!

I just checked my email, while I was at Drug Court actually, and the invitations were both there waiting for me. I am so excited. I don't think I am going to post the specific details on here in case anybody is out there Googling me. :) But I will be in Columbus for a whole 48 hours for an interview on December 10th. :) And then I will be traveling to Nebraska in January. And I've been invited to both child sites and counseling centers. Yay. I'm so excited. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Another Update interviews yet. Most other people have gotten at least one. I haven't. It's kind of scary but also a little early still to be worrying...but it's hard not to. It's hard to see everybody all excited for their interviews, because I really want to be excited for them, but also I just want to get one. :(

So there's that. I promise I'll update as soon as I hear anything positive. That just hasn't happened yet.

In other, better, news, we are having Thanksgiving with Camden and Matthew again this year and I am SO excited. Camden and I have it all planned out. Dan gets in at 10:45 Thanksgiving morning, so we will be driving over there right from the airport and beginning the feast.  We're trying some new recipes this year, mainly Cooking Light, so if any of them work out I'll post them here. I will give you a sneak peek at one because I made it this morning and it was amazing:

Cooking Light Chocolate Fudge Pie

And because it's Cooking Light, that means it has no calories. :)

Okay. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! To those of you in Ohio, I miss you and wish that we could be there. To everyone else...Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


You guys. I did it. I turned in all my internship applications. Now it's just a waiting game...scary! But at least it's out of my hands for right now.

So what have I been doing? Well, I was in Dallas this past week for the annual Texas Psychological Association conference. I had a great time. My friend/classmate Kelsie and I were presenting together, so we pricelined a room, and got to stay at Le Meridien for $45 a night! Sweet. On Thursday morning, four of us from the Counseling Center led a workshop called "Coloring Outside the Lines: Innovative Group Therapy Techniques with Millenials."  Well, actually I guess technically it was two psychologists from the Counseling Center and then two past practicum students. Same thing. :) Anyway, Susie and I talked about the grief group that we led last year and how we integrated grief and bereavement within the framework of attachment theory and positive psychology.  (Yes, I quoted that right from the brochure.)

On Friday, while at the conference, I went to an all-day workshop on Parent-Child Relationship Training. It was actually a great experience and I learned a lot. If you're interested, check it out here.   Just a warning, there was obviously not too much money to spend on website development. But anyway, great training, and really glad I went.

Other than that...I've been running!! White Rock half marathon coming up the first weekend in December!! It's going to be scary because this is the first time I'm running a long distance with the goal of not just finishing it, but actually getting somewhat of a decent time. That makes me nervous and I don't really like it. But we'll see how it goes...It's been fun training for it, anyway. We've been doing things like "speed workouts" and "tempo runs" that previously weren't part of my vocabulary. Or my workouts. And I can tell I am getting better so that's kind of cool.

So that's that! I'm slowly recovering from the craziness of October. I don't know what the next few months will be like. In some ways probably just as crazy... but I don't know, it feels so good to have all that over with.  I hope you're all doing well! I'll see most of you next month!

Monday, October 11, 2010


So it's been a month. In the past month, I've pretty much been up to my ears in internship applications, dissertation work, and...well, mostly those. Remember when I thought fourth year was going to be easier? That was hilarious. It reminds me of the little kids who can't wait to be grown-ups because then they can do whatever they want. In some ways, there's a bit of truth in that statement. But in other ways, being a kid is way better.

After typing that, I realize that's debatable and probably not true. But the overall point is that fourth year is hard. And the month of October during the fourth year is the hardest....which is why it has been renamed "Blacktober."

October used to be a great month. When I lived in Ohio, the trees actually changed colors. The weather was cooling off enough for a jacket. I have memories of bonfires, pumpkin patches, and jumping in piles of leaves.  But here in Texas? Well, it still looks like July outside. And it still feels like July as well! Maybe not that bad, but it's been in the high 80s with no signs of dropping. The trees are perfectly green.  I got to wear my jacket for one day but then it warmed right back up. So, not really fall. And all I've been doing is internship stuff.

Well, that's not actually true - there have been some bright spots amidst the constant internship related nervous breakdowns.  So let me share with you some of the fun stuff I've been doing the past month.
1) Leah came to visit! So much fun. We did all the typical Waco things (Spice, Sebas Cocina, Congress Clothing, the bears) and also just spent time hanging out. Seriously, so much fun. We're now trying to scheme and get my internship and her residency in the same location. :)
2) Julie came to visit! Also wonderful. She came during an extremely stressful week so she pretty much took care of me, by cooking, going to the grocery store, and taking Sammie out a bunch. Yeah, probably not what she was hoping for in a vacation.... but oh well. The best part of her visit was when we ran the MudQuest run. It was 7 miles of pure craziness. Actually, I'll put up a separate post for that so I can include all the pictures. But definitely a highlight of her visit and probably a highlight of the year.
3) Dan has been visiting or I've been going up to KC every 2 to 3 weeks. It's made life a little crazy but it's pretty much just non-negotiable for both of us.  But it's already October (Excuse me, Blacktober) so that means there are about two months left of his internship! We are already five months down!

Just as an FYI, my internship applications are all due between October 31st and November 15th. I should start hearing about interviews as soon as I turn in my applications but the latest that I will hear is December 15th. Interviews are in December and January. Based on where I'm applying, next year I (we) could end up in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Minnesota, Colorado, Nebraska, or Oklahoma.

Back to my cover letters....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Husband Exists!

Just a couple random things to share today...

Dan was just here over Labor Day weekend. We had such a good time. It's really hard when he leaves, for some reason, it's harder right after we see each other than it is after it's been a couple weeks. Not what I would have predicted but I guess it makes sense in some ways.

While he was here, we went to Westfest. I don't really know how to explain Westfest. It's supposed to be a festival about Czechoslovakian heritage, because most of the people who live in West, TX are I guess kind of like Oktoberfest for Germans. But in Texas. With polka. And lots of beer (which they call pivo). And karaoke. And more polka. It's quite the event. We went our first year with Sean and Faith and Lauren, so we all decided we needed to bookend our Waco years by going to Westfest one more time our last year here. (It sounds so weird to say that it's our last year here but it's true!)

We also went out to eat. Like, more times than we would normally go out to eat in a month. Somehow it just feels like a vacation every time we visit each other so we end up eating out a lot. Plus, Dan misses Waco food. So we went to eat at Homestead Heritage (amazing!), Westfest, Denny's... yes, we did go to Denny's. We tried to go to Cafe Cappuccino but they apparently are closed for Labor Day. So we went to Denny's instead...I know my dad is jealous right now. :)

We also just hung out a lot. Went and sat at a coffee shop and talked for a few hours. Took Sammie on a bunch of walks.  It was great.

Oh and the best part of the weekend was Dan cleaned the apartment for me! The worst part was that he told me I'd been doing a horrible job of keeping it clean. I tried to argue but then he showed me the cloth he was using for dusting and there was no arguing. I guess I'm just not meant to be good at cleaning....sigh....

I see him again in two weeks! I head up to KCMO and we will be celebrating Dan's 26th birthday!

Monday, August 30, 2010


What up blog readers!

I have exciting news. I'm signed up for the Mud Quest Adventure Run coming up this October in West, Texas. It's a 6.5 mile run where somehow they fit in 30 obstacles throughout the course, such as...well... I'm not quite sure. From what I can tell, they mostly involve getting muddy in different ways. And some involve trying to slide under barbed wire. And running through creeks or something.  If you are curious what this is, check out the video on the website:

And... I'm running it alone.

Haha, just kidding, that would be really strange. Actually, I'm running it with Julie and about 5 other friends from down here. And it's definitely not too late to sign up so if you have any interest... we are always open to adding more to our group.

Also, I registered for the Match this week. It's official - I'm applying to internships this year!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hola :)

So here's the deal. I got busy, didn't really have anything exciting to say, didn't blog for a while, then it got awkward so I didn't blog for a little longer, then it just got really awkward and I couldn't think of anything important enough to restart with. Also most of you are on Facebook so you kind of knew what was going on. But I'm back. I missed blogging and I didn't want this page to die off.

So, here we are. I never did find that all-important post to start back up again with, but...oh well.

Dan's still in Kansas City. (Dad- until December since I know you have already forgotten again!) It kind of sucks. His internship is going great - they told him they saw a lot of "leadership potential" in him and they've been giving him all sorts of responsibilities which he's handling like a champ. We miss each other though. Long-distance marriage kind of stinks. We've sort of been spending our paychecks like whoa though and seeing each other every 2-3 weeks. I don't think we'll be able to keep that up throughout the fall but it's nice when we can do it.

Umm, my life has changed quite a bit. I've become the most social I've ever been in my life. I don't know what happened. I've had lots of cooking dates, movie dates, and running dates so far and it's been great. My school and work are in a lot of ways the last thing on my mind because I have so many fun things planned. (Although I think that's going to change now that fall semester is starting...) I told Dan that when he comes back we're probably going to have to keep this up to some extent at least and he's excited. I really have no idea how I turned into the biggest extrovert ever but it's fun!

I start class this week: Group Psychotherapy, and Memory and Cognition. Both are classes I'm excited about and I think this semester will be so much less stressful than the spring semester was.

Well...not sure if you guys are still out there, but if you are, "Hi!" and I'm not trying to hide!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I don't know if I'm happy or sad!

It's my last day at the Counseling Center - I'm sad!

Tomorrow I turn 25 - I'm happy but also a little sad!  (I really think that is the official adult age, I can no longer the "just got out of college" phase...even though I'm still in college sort of, sigh)

I go visit Dan tomorrow in Kansas City - I'm happy!

It's my last day of summer session 1 class tomorrow - I'm happy! I have to present three separate times tomorrom - I'm sad!

I'm officially a fourth year because the first years have now started - I'm happy but also still don't feel like this can actually be true! But I have to start doing lots of work on my dissertation - sad. But I get paid to do all that work! Paid more than I have any year before - happy!

I could go on and on but just thought I would inform you of how crazy I'm feeling right now. It's been a good last day at the Counseling Center though. I have said some goodbyes to some great people that I've loved working with. The best part is now we get to be friends rather than coworkers/supervisors/etc...which is really a lot easier and at times more fun. Tonight I have to say goodbye to Sammie as well since I'm leaving her with Matthew and Camden for the week while I go to Kansas City.

Thanks for putting up with me getting out all my feelings here! Here's to a great year of being 24!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The One where the Gang gets Paid to hang out with me

Wow, it's really been almost a month since I last posted! Luckily, it's not because I sunk into a deep depression or died or anything...just that I've been busy.

It's true! I've been busy - I have friends! It has been so great since Dan left. Even though I knew that I had friends beforehand, I have had SO many people ask me to hang out with them since he left. I don't know if he's paying them to do this or what, but it's just great. And my sister, mom, and grandma visited last week too, so between spending time with them and all my other activities, I have actually been doing okay rather than just sitting around alone being sad.

So I'm doing okay. I really miss Dan and I really don't want to do this until December. I think he feels the same way. But on the other hand, we are surviving and I know we will survive until then even though it's not that fun. And in the meantime, I'll try to see the positives in this situation, such as finding out how many friends I really have down here. :)

Dan's job is going well, and I don't know, I feel like he should be the one to tell you about it but he claims he's too busy to post on the blog. Sigh... Oh well. So, he's basically going to be the project manager for two small medical clinics that his company owns. As far as I can tell, he's doing great so far and has already been nicknamed "Doogie Howser" by the people he works with, so that's kind of cool. (Or not cool, depending on your opinion of NPH...)

In other extremely exciting news, I will be defending my dissertation proposal on Tuesday, July 13th. This is a big deal and I'm so excited to be at this point in my dissertation. Actually, most of the work is still ahead of me, but defending my proposal means that I can get started on all that work rather than just sitting around worrying about it.

So in a nutshell: yay for family visits, yay for friends, yay for proposing, boo for living in a different city than Dan.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Fogles do KC

We made it to Kansas City!

Monday morning at 7:30am, we left Waco with the Civic packed to the brim.  We drove through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and then Missouri before finally reaching KC at about 5:30pm.  The trip went well, although it took us about an hour and a half longer than we thought it would, so we were getting a little nervous that we weren't going to make it to the apartment before the office closed at 6pm. Luckily, though, we made it no problem.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of trips to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Goodwill, and random people's apartments to get stuff that they advertised on Craig's List. I'll have to post more details sometime about how we went about getting Dan's apartment ready for as cheap as we could...but for today, I'll just show you some pictures of his bachelor pad that he'll be living in for the next seven months.

Oh by the way...I didn't clean up at all before taking ignore all the extraneous random stuff such as suitcases and vacuums!

Here's the living room, which is where you come into when you walk in the front door. The couch is from Craig's List and was a great deal! It's really nice and comfortable.

Here's the kitchen (and front door) if you are standing in the middle of the living room. 

You also go to the bedroom through the living room.  Here's a picture of half of it.  Obviously, Dan was unpacked within a half hour of arriving. Also, have you noticed the decoration theme for his bachelor pad? Apparently it's "flags." I can't make fun; I was with him when he bought them and helped put them all up.

And the other half. Notice the nice futon he's laying on as he talks on the phone (Hi Mom!).

We've been doing a lot of shopping, and I'm pretty sure this was Dan's favorite purchase so far. Can you tell what it is? 

Did you guess.... a shower curtain? That's right! Admittedly, we bought it since it was on clearance, but so far it's made me smile every time I've walked into the bathroom!

And finally, here's the view out the back door (in the living room; you couldn't see it from where I took the picture of the living room but it's there.) Yes, he has a back door and a patio. It's amazing. I'm really jealous and I'm not even going to show Sammie these pictures because I know she'll be completely jealous and want to move in with her dad - which we all know is NOT going to happen.

So that's it! It's so nice. Small but perfect for Dan for the rest of the year.  And if you're wondering how we got all the furniture's a clue:

Oh yeah, we totally rented a big van. I got a lot of honks as I drove this guy, that's for sure. 

I fly back to Waco on Saturday, so we are hoping to just spend the next few days hanging out and maybe exploring the city a little more. Dan starts work on Tuesday, so wish him luck! We'll keep you posted. :) 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fish Biscuits!

So we're moving Dan to Kansas City tomorrow morning. Sammie is being dropped off at our friends' house in a few hours, we packed up the car, and Dan is on Craig's List searching for furniture right now.



First, the LOST finale is tonight. The series finale. The one we've been waiting for ever since we got sucked into this little show.

We actually did move our moving date back a few days in order to be able to watch this here.

And Sean and Faith bought their honeymoon tickets for tomorrow rather than this weekend, as originally planned.

As you can see, this is a big deal. However, it's also a four and a half hour long show. So from 6:00 to 10:30 tonight, seven of us will be glued to the TV at Sean and Faith's apartment. Naturally, we are going to need some sustenance to keep us going for that amount of time. So we decided to have a Lost-themed potluck. Also naturally, I volunteered to bring dessert. But what to bring? For an event that is this important, dessert can't just be any old thing. We thought about some sort of tropical fruit crisp, but someone else is bringing fruit salad, so that idea was out. We also talked about rice krispie treats in the shape of the statue or just trying to make cute cupcakes or an awesome cake. But the thing is, my decorating skills are really not up to making any of those. If this was going to be a success, I knew it needed to be simple.

And then came the idea.

Fish biscuits!

If you haven't seen Lost, watch this clip (even just the first minute) to see what a fish biscuit is. It was part of the show during the first season, when Sawyer ate them.

So I decided I had to copy them. First, I went to the store and bought a fish cookie cutter. The woman working there asked me why I was buying an icthmus, and I had to explain that no, actually, it wasn't for religious use, but because of a TV show. With that embarrassment behind me, I then set out to make the cookies.

First, I made these citrus flavored sugar cookies. Thanks to this inspiration, I added equal parts yellow and red food coloring to the dough in order to get the lovely salmon color of the actual fish biscuits. I then cut them out with my new cookie cutter. Dan came into the kitchen at this point and couldn't stop laughing. He thought the color made them look like real fish. I had to reassure him with a taste that they actually tasted okay, and that accuracy is important goshdarnit and we want them to look real.

After baking them and letting them cool, I made the frosting for them. I left it white and then thinned part of it with extra milk to make it possible to glaze the cookies with the frosting. Again, accuracy is very important and we can't have frosting taking away from the color of our fish. Also, the real fish biscuits didn't have frosting so it had to blend in. I brushed both sides of the fish with the a pastry brush dipped in the glaze and let that dry. Again, Dan came in and freaked out because he said that they now looked like dead fish. Another cookie was stuck in his mouth and he left the room happy again.

Finally, I added the "Dharma" on each fish with the rest of the frosting that I didn't use for glaze. I dyed it brown (equal parts red, blue, and yellow) to be authentic (obvi) but couldn't get it as dark as I wanted. Oh well, close enough. I then painstakingly wrote Dharma on each fish. If I messed up, it was easy to redo because the glaze underneath allowed the writing to be wiped off easily.

Here they are drying:

And here are the finished products!

At this point, you're probably thinking...Wait, aren't you leaving for Kansas City early tomorrow morning? Don't you have better things to be doing?
Answer: Probably.

You're probably also thinking... You take awful photographs.
Answer: Sorry, deal with it. I don't know how to take pictures well to begin with, and I was taking those photos at night.

You're probably also thinking...Wow, Kristi, that seems like a lot of effort to make sort of ugly and unappetizing cookies.
Answer: People! It's about authenticity here!

Everyone enjoy the finale tonight!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Waco Love

We couldn't let David's visit pass without taking some pictures on some bulls...or cows...actually, I'm not really sure what to call these animals. But they were some sweet metal cow statues...

On second thought, I have no idea why this was important in David's visit. But it was fun! So after visiting the Dr. Pepper museum, we walked over toward the Brazos River and climbed up some cow statues.

David was brave and climbed up first.

He's a natural cowboy!

We finally convinced Dan to climb up as well. Here they are riding together...awwwww
David had a good time bonding with the cow.

Yep...that's what we do when you visit!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Done with the Semester!

Friends! It's been a while. I hope you haven't abandoned me.

The semester is OVER! I officially am done with the hardest semester of my grad school program. And I survived (with an A and a B when all the grades were put in).

Dan is done too, and although he doesn't have all his grades back yet, he is confident he passed all his classes and earned mostly A's. So we are celebrating the end of the semester.

Well, actually I celebrated by picking up my 3rd year comprehensive exams. It's a big paper I have to do and I now have two weeks to write it. But you know what? That's okay.  Because I'm done with the semester! Honestly, this paper feels like a breeze after trying to study for that Molecular Neuropharmacology class for the last four months.

We've had a visitor for the last few days! David - Dan's younger brother - is in town for an inaugural visit to the great state of Texas. We've had so much fun showing him around and I'm pretty sure Sammie has never been happier.  She has snuggled up with him every minute possible, well when she's not trying to get him to play with her and her dinosaur.

I've had to work still so I haven't gotten to spend as much time showing Dave around, but he and Dan have been having a lot of fun spending brother time together, playing racquetball, ping-pong, and going to see Ironman 2. Of course we've taken him out for some good food - Tony De Maria's barbeque, Vitek's barbeque, Dubl-R Burgers, and Papa Rollo's pizza. None of those names sound familiar? That's because they're all local Waco joints. We've also been trying to convince him he needs a pair of cowboy boots but so far he's refused. He did buy a Waco t-shirt, though, so we're slowly winning him over!

Anyway, that's what we're up to...hope you're all doing well!  Happy beginning of summer!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


We have some really big news that I haven't shared on here yet.  I think I've alluded to it, but I haven't actually stated it out loud in black and white. Why not? Denial, I guess. But the time has come. 

And no, I'm not pregnant - haha.

Dan is required to do an internship for the summer and fall semesters of this year. This means, starting June 1st and continuing through December, he won't be taking classes but instead will be working in a real live hospital.  He'll then come back next spring and take classes for one more semester. He'll then graduate and there is a high probability that he will get a job from his internship site - of course, this depends on a lot of external factors, though.

There is one internship in Waco but the rest are all in other locations around the country. So when he started the program, we had to make the decision about where he was going to do his internship.  His advisor helped us figure out which internships were the best match for Dan personality-wise, and out of those, we tried to pick the one that would have the most long-term opportunities for both of us.  We ended up agreeing that the internship at a hospital system in Kansas City, Missouri would be a great opportunity for Dan and a place that both of us could potentially get jobs after graduation. 

So, Dan had a phone interview, and we went out there over spring break and he had a real interview, and all went well (of course!). So that means that next month, we are packing up some of our stuff and moving Dan to Kansas City! He will be living in a small apartment with furniture that the good people of Kansas City have donated to garage sales or Goodwill. I'll help him move, stay there a week or so, and then fly back to Waco. And then...that's it. He starts up there and I continue down here. For seven months. 

I'm not really sure how I feel about this yet. Or rather, there are a lot of mixed emotions going on. We are both excited for this opportunity. Everything I hear about these hospitals suggest that they are a great company to work for, and what a great place for Dan to get started. Also, there are a lot of psychology internships around Kansas City, or at least within driving distance, and so if he were to get a job there after he graduates I could hopefully get an internship there as well. It's definitely not guaranteed though, for either of us, so there is a lot left up in the air.  We are both praying that we are making the right choices and that it will all work out well in the end. But it could work out totally wrong and we could end up being apart for way longer if things go wrong, like if I don't get an internship the first year. 

So there's our news. We're currently in the process of trying to divide up our stuff such as kitchen items, sheets, and stuff like that so Dan has to buy as little as possible when he moves. We're also trying to figure out the logistics of visiting each other as much as possible - how do people do that with full time jobs?! 

Dan has offered to contribute to the blog when he moves under the heading "Adventures in Kansas City." I really hope he does, so you guys have to encourage him and tell him that you want to hear from him, too! I have been encouraging him to post on the blog from day one of starting this thing and so far I have only succeeded in my efforts one time.  (I'm not complaining though - he does way more important and helpful things for me and I'll pick my battles!) We are both getting nervous about having to do chores that we've been able to give up for the past two years and four months - me: laundry, vacuuming, and taking Sammie out early in the morning, and Dan: cooking and mopping. We will have to see how all that goes. 

So yeah. We are sort of excited and sort of sad. I guess you'll see how this goes for both of us for the rest of the year. The official move date is May 24th. We picked that day because it's the day after the season finale of Lost. Sean and Faith scheduled their honeymoon to start the 24th, too, so it's good to see we all have our priorities straight even though there are all these crazy changes going on!

Monday, April 12, 2010

'Tis Wedding Season - With Working Pictures :)

I'm reposting this because some of the pictures weren't working in the last post - sorry about that!

Last weekend, Dan and I headed down to San Antonio to see two of our good friends, Sean and Faith, get married. San Antonio is normally about three hours away from Waco, and we got stuck in traffic on the way down, so it took us about four hours or so to get down there. We were planning on spending Saturday afternoon walking around, but instead we had to hurry up and grab something to eat and head to the wedding. All in all, we were only there for about twenty-four hours so it was an exhausting weekend, but so much fun!
We stayed in the St. Anthony Hotel. Of course, we booked it through Priceline, and we were so happy with it. It was a really unique older hotel - it's actually a historical landmark. I tried to take a few pictures but it's hard to capture the feel of a place with a camera.
Or maybe that's just me. But oh's our room. Notice the antique wooden bed and dresser...

And here's the lobby of the hotel. I know! Can you believe this place?
Then we were off to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens for the wedding! It was a gorgeous day and all the flowers were in full bloom. I didn't have a lot of time to look around or take pictures because we were running a little late. We did get one picture of us in front of some of the greenery:

And I did get a picture of this guy:
He was playing bagpipes for their wedding! Sean is Irish and Faith is Mexican, and they incorporated a lot of their heritages into the ceremony and reception. The bagpiper played all the music for the ceremony.
And then for the reception....mariachi!

Yes, an all-female mariachi group. They were great. They actually only played during cocktail hour and then a DJ took over. So we mingled with friends for the cocktail hour and listened to the great music. Next, we sat down at our table to cute little menu cards and tile place settings. If you can't tell, the food was Mexican/Southwestern themed.

Here's a picture of me, Faith and Jenny at the reception.

And here Dan and I are with Sean (the groom), Camden, and Matthew.

So much fun! Eleven of us went out to brunch the next day at the Guenther House and then we came home. I honestly wanted to go to bed around 7:00 pm that night, and I was definitely sound asleep by 9:00. So, moral of the story: San Antonio is fun, weddings are great, and check the traffic before you go.


Easter was two weeks ago. If we were home with our families in Ohio, we would have celebrated with them, but we weren't, so we didn't. But we still enjoyed ourselves - we went to church and then spent the day with friends and had a great time. We also did a few other activities to celebrate the holiday.

Here is Dan the day before at Tehaucana Creek Winery. Actually, this had nothing to do with Easter, but it was just a really nice day so we went out there and sat outside for a couple hours while enjoying some Mulsum wine. He was having trouble when I was trying to take pictures of him because he was staring into the sun...
Here's me:
Then, we had an Easter Egg hunt! Dan and I each hid eggs for each other with candy in them. We also hid a few with dog treats for Sammie. Here's Dan helping Sammie find one of her eggs:
Found it!
Then it was my turn. I went through the entire downstairs of our apartment without finding a single egg until Dan started giving me hints. It was not because I am that awful at egg finding - he just hid them in really hard places! Exhibit A: He hid one in a box that holds my brand new ravioli cutter.
Dan then went through the upstairs and found his. He did a much better job finding them than I did, although he still needed a few hints! Here he is pulling one out of my boot:
So, now you know what went on in our household for Easter! Maybe next year we will even do baskets!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Money Saving Websites

I've already educated you about Priceline, which is kind of cool because this is the most popular post I've ever written. I've also told you about how to use drugstores to your advantage.

Well, today, we're going to talk about ways to save money again. But this time, it's simpler. All we're going to do is look at some websites that can help you save money in your daily life. All you have to do is either add some blogs to your RSS feed, or mark some websites as favorites and check them occasionally.

So are you ready?

Money Saving Mom
I'm not a mom, and most of you aren't either. But this blog is great. I rely on her for keeping me aware of all the hot deals going on. She posts some free samples, where you just go type in your name and address and get mailed samples of food, toiletries, and even dog food. (Toiletries are great for travel!) She also posts restaurant deals - for example, did you know last Tuesday, Starbucks had a Free Pastry day? True fact. Finally, she posts grocery coupons - often these are printable, and sometimes they mail them to you.
If you go to this part of her webpage, you will see a list of about every grocery store that exists. You can sign up specifically for store deals from whichever store(s) you shop at. For example, I'm only signed up for Walmart because...well...I live in Waco. Each week, she posts the weekly store deals and ways you can combine those deals with coupons to save the most money.

Hot Coupon World
This is a website basically full of message boards where everyone posts all the latest deals and coupons they have found. The most valuable part of this site (I think) are the forums. There are forums for each store, as well as for free samples, and other topics. The other extremely helpful tool on this site is called the "Coupon Database." You can search for coupons for anything on your grocery list either by type of item, by brand, or whatever you want! It's so helpful if you have the time to do this before you go shopping.

A Full Cup
This is similar to Hot Coupon World - it's just another good resource. Sometimes if there isn't something you need on one website, you can go to the other one and find it.

This is like the coolest website ever! You go here and type in the ingredients you have and want to use. As you add ingredients, different recipes from sites all over the internet come up using those ingredients. It also lists what other ingredients you would need to make that recipe, so you can check at a glance if it's something you're able to do. This is a great way to make sure nothing goes bad in your kitchen - it's so easy to find a use for all your random ingredients through this site.

Hillbilly Housewife
I don't use this site as much, but it's very helpful for making your groceries stretch out as much as possible. I have used a lot of tips from the articles from her site. For example, in one article, she shares how to buy regular ground beef and make it low fat just by cooking it a little differently. (And regular ground meat is way cheaper than the low-fat kind, so it saves a bunch of money!) She also has an emergency $45 menu for a week, and recipes for homemade convenience foods such as homemade biscuit mix, salad dressings, and beverage mixes.

Are there any websites you use to help you save money?

Reason #151 Why We Need A Queen Size Bed

(Reasons #1-150 are all Sammie, of course. That girl somehow stretches out enough at night that neither Dan nor I can roll over without falling out of bed.)

So the night before last night.

I'm dreaming away.

Dan's dreaming away.

Then, out of nowhere, I wake up to being punched in the chin!

Unfortunately, this is not a joke. Although Dan disagrees with my use of the word "punch," (his actual response to that was "Although technically it may have been a punch, that's not really what happened," which really does not help him much), either way we still had a violent incident at around 2:00am.

Apparently, Dan was dreaming of something - he can't remember what. All I know is that I woke up to being punched in the chin, hard enough that I bit my lip and made it bleed!

I remember that it really hurt and I had no idea what was going on. I remember Dan apologizing and then rolling over to go back to sleep. I remember thinking, "This really hurts, I think I'm bleeding," and then rolling over to go back to sleep as well.

But when I woke up in the morning, there was the proof! Blood caked all over my lips! And even today, FORTY EIGHT HOURS LATER, there is still a mark there. And it still stings when I eat certain foods. I've reminded Dan of this approximately 214 times so far. For some reason, he objects when I call it "spouse abuse."

Am I overreacting? Possibly.

Am I going to milk this for all it's worth? You betcha.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Authentic Happiness

I've been reading the book "Authentic Happiness" by Martin Seligman this week. Well, I actually started it last week but then the whole Breaking Dawn weekend marathon got in the way. So I started it again Monday, and I've really, really been enjoying it. It's all about why some people are happier than others, and how to become happier yourself.

One of the main concepts that stuck out to me is the differentiation between "pleasures" and "gratifications." Seligman calls pleasures things such as a bite of ice cream, a back rub, smelling a nice perfume..anything that is a sensory and emotional experience.

Gratifications, on the other hand, don't necessarily have an accompanying emotion. Think about things where you get "in the zone" and almost lose track of time - things that you get completely absorbed in. This might be rock climbing, scrapbooking, volunteering, gardening...when you really get into them, you're not thinking about how much you enjoy this activity, you're just thinking about the activity. Gratifications take more work and effort - but they end up making you a happier person in the end. The more time people spend in these kinds of activities, the better off they are.

The other thing that I have been interested in so far is the concept of "strengths." Seligman notes that we spend most of our effort trying to correct things that are wrong with us, but we would be much better off if we spent our efforts developing our strengths and figuring out ways to use them every day.

He has a website - If you go there, you can take a Strengths quiz for free. (You do have to register at the website, which means putting in your name and email address.) The quiz is sort of long, it took me about 25 minutes. But then it lists your strengths and in the book talks about ways to best utilize them!

So here are my top 5 strengths:

1. Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

2. Perspective (wisdom): Although you may not think of yourself as wise, your friends hold this view of you. They value your perspective on matters and turn to you for advice. You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and to yourself.

3. Social intelligence: You are aware of the motives and feelings of other people. You know what to do to fit in to different social situations, and you know what to do to put others at ease.

4. Gratitude: You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

5. Love of learning: You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

What's neat is that I use four out of the five of these every day right now. Gratitude...well, I'll be honest, I was surprised to see that on there. But I am really thankful for everything I have... so I guess it's up to me to figure out how to incorporate that more in to my daily life.

Thanks everyone, for reading my blog!

What activities do you consider "gratifications?" Mine would be reading novels, scrapbooking, sometimes cooking, sometimes running, and sometimes therapy sessions with clients. (But sometimes those things are just chores, too - I think only the first two are always gratifications.)

What are your strengths? Go take the test! Or just read about the strengths and guess! I'm curious!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Website for Couples

ItalicSo it's Monday, yuck. Supposedly it's supposed to get warm again today - I hope so! It has been nasty, cold, and rainy here all weekend long. (Which was maybe why I was able to read all 769 pages of Breaking Dawn in one weekend? Wow, I'm lame.)

I wanted to share with you guys an article in the local paper today (the very well-known Waco paper, haha). There's an article about my research advisor and the website that we just put up! It's a really cool website if I do say so myself, so you all should check it out:

And here's the article about it from the Waco Trib:
Baylor Professor Develops Couple Conflict Website

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Day in the Life of Sammie

Remember when you guys asked for this, like, 6 months ago? Well, your wish is my command - and my apologies for the lateness! But here it is, a day in the life of Sammie.

Sammie usually sleeps under the covers in between her mom and dad. When we wake up and get out of bed, she stays under the covers and somehow is able to wrap them all around her so that you have no idea she's even under there.

Then she slowly peeks her head out from under the covers and waits for a while until she decides she's ready to get up...

See, here she is!
Because Dan doesn't have class until 9:30, he usually goes into the office and reads his email and Bible for a while after he wakes up. Sammie has her own special chair that she sits in while he does this.
Then she goes to the kitchen for a few hours while we're at work and/or school. When we get back, Sammie goes right to the couch and stretches out...she sure was cramped being forced to stay in the kitchen all day!
If she gets cold, she wraps herself up in a blanket. Dan guessed that Sammie spends approximately 50% of her time curled up in blankets.
The other 50%? Somehow squished in a small space as close as possible to her mommy or daddy.

If we go upstairs to the office to do homework or check email, Sammie comes up too. She likes to keep watch over the neighborhood while we're working.

Of course, if you try to sit in her chair and do your studying, she'll be sure to let you know that it's her domain.
If it's a weeknight, Sammie then gets to eat dinner, go on a walk, and then snuggle some more with her daddy.
If it's a weekend night, however, she goes out on the town! Sometimes she gets to play her favorite card game, Euchre.
And then it's back to bed and the whole cycle starts over again...I know, she has a hard life. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Homemade Pasta

What have you been cooking and eating lately? It's been a while since I shared with you what I've been making so I thought it might be fun to share my latest adventure...

First of all, I took a pasta making class a couple weeks ago at a place in Waco called Gourmet Gallery. It's a cute little kitchen store and they also hold lots of classes where they teach you how to make things such as pasta, tamales, bread, Mediterranean food, Easter desserts...I mean it's quite the range of classes. It's amazing. The only negative thing is that it costs money to take these classes. (Shocking, I know!) And often more money than I have.

However, this class only cost $35 so Camden and I decided to take it together! We learned how to make homemade spaghetti with marinara sauce and butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage sauce. Amazing. So we decided to try it at home.

Here I am rolling out the dough:

Here are our noodles waiting to be cooked:

And here they are after they were cooked!

Those noodles are definitely much thicker than any of the ones we made at our class, but we were working without the help of a pasta roller. They still tasted great.

Here's the recipe we used for the dough. This recipe is from our class we took and courtesy of chef Juanita Barrientos, who taught the class:
2 cups flour (we did half whole wheat and half all-purpose)
1 t. kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 T extra virgin olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting

On a flat, clean surface make a mound of flour. Add salt and make a well in the center. Crack all the eggs inside the well, add olive oil, and scramble them with a fork until combined, gathering some flour from the walls in the process. When dough is dry enough to handle, begin to knead dough until elastic in texture. This process should take at least ten minutes - even longer with whole wheat dough! You will notice a huge change in the way the dough feels after it has been kneaded long enough. It will be so soft compared to when you started.

Next, divide the dough in half, rub each half with olive oil, wrap them with plastic, and let them rest before it's rolled out. Or don't, whatever. Then roll out the dough by hand until it's 1/8 an inch thick, if you do it the way we did. Or do it the way the chef recommended, and the way we did it in class, and use this amazing pasta roller Kitchen Aid attachment that I really really really want...(Hint hint, to those of you who sometimes buy me really expensive presents...) But anyway.

It's so good! It tasted delicious! And you can buy spaghetti sauce if you want, or you can make it! Camden and I made our own vodka cream sauce from a cookbook I have to go with it, and it was delicious. If you go to the cookbook on Amazon and click "search inside this book" and then search for vodka cream sauce, you can get that recipe too. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but oh well.

So that's my latest cooking accomplishment! We haven't been brave enough to try the ravioli yet, but I will eventually. And hopefully I'll even branch out further. Seriously, this stuff was good. And extremely cheap to make. That's a winner in our house every time!

Have you had any cooking adventures lately?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Here I am!

I'm alive!

Where have I been for the last month, you ask?

Well, first of all, I have been sick with some sort of nasty combination of an upper respiratory infection and a sinus literally put me out of commission for about 2 weeks. I went to the doctor twice - the first time he told me to take over the counter cold medicine and drink hot tea. The second time, about a week and a half later, when I went again because I was getting worse and worse, he finally gave me antibiotics. I started feeling better within a day or two but then felt nauseous for the next few days due to the antibiotics. Now I'm finally feeling better and no longer feel like I'm going to faint while trying to work, which is always nice.

In other news, Dan is in Austin this week playing soccer with other guys from his MBA program. There's some big soccer tournament for MBA students. They play soccer during the day and then have a party/network with each other at night. So, that's cool. Sammie is freaking out without him here and won't settle down. I'm not sure what's going to happen with her when he leaves for longer periods of will be interesting. And by interesting, I mean extremely annoying.

What else have we been doing? Well, school, school and more school. This is the hardest semester for both of us, so we are just bogged down with work. It kind of stinks, honestly. But! Spring break is only two weeks away and that's the halfway point of the semester! So hopefully we can make it. Seriously though, this semester is ridiculous.

However, in more positive news, I've started working on my DISSERTATION!! Yeah!! Actually, it's just my proposal, which is when you...well...propose your dissertation. But it's basically the introduction and methods section of my dissertation, so by working on my proposal, I'm effectively working on my dissertation. Which makes me so excited.

Most importantly, it's the final season of LOST. If you haven't started watching it yet, start now. Or don't, but just know that I may not have anything to talk about with you ever again. This show is full of so much symbolism...every phrase uttered on it is so rich with layers of meaning. If I was a couple years farther behind in my schooling, I would write my dissertation on this show. Actually, maybe I still will. Or a book. Because, it's just that good.

So I may or may not update more often now. But I'm just saying hi. I hope you all are doing well.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Semester's Classes

Okay, now that classes have started, I can give you a quick rundown on what they are. My first class of the day is Psychopharmacology, which is basically a class where you learn about every little receptor on every little neuron in your brain and their infinite variations, and then about every drug that affects them which is usually referred to by a title such as RK10293 or something like that, and then you apparently have to memorize all this information for the test.

Yeah. That's that class. Luckily, it's actually entertaining and interesting during class...but when I'm tested on this, there's a high chance I'm going to fail.

My other class is Measurement, which is another statistics class (third in grad school, 6th in my college career if you're keeping track). We get to do a real research project, so hopefully that will be interesting and I can somewhat relate it to my upcoming dissertation research.

Dan is taking Accounting, Econ, Operations, Statistics, Finance, IT, Healthcare finance, Healthcare Econ, Strategy, and Public Health. That's all!

The first six classes are his "core" classes, which means he takes them every semester but they are only one credit hour. He thinks the rest of them are going to be pretty interesting - his professors really know their stuff. Although he will have a ton of work, but I guess that's what you get with 17 credit hours.

Sammie is taking Sleeping, Eating, Going Outside, Playing with Toys, and Learning to Ride in the Car. They are her "core" classes too, and she has done pretty well in all of them in previous semesters - except Learning to Ride in the Car. We're hoping this will be her year for mastering that. No Obedience Class yet for her...we don't want to risk her self-esteem by putting her in a class she might not be the best at.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Cooked a Chicken!

You guys! I did it! I cooked a chicken! Not just a chicken breast or thighs...but a whole darn chicken! It was so freaking cool.

The best part was, it was really easy. I followed the directions from this blog to do it in the crockpot. And I didn't even know where to buy a whole chicken at the grocery store, but it was right with the divided up chicken that I normally that was easy. And it was way cheaper to buy it this way so I bought organic chicken, so that was nice too. The whole prepping part took me about oh...five minutes. I just put it in the crockpot and it was all ready at dinner time! I thought I would have to carve it like a turkey or something, but I didn't - the meat just came right off the bone using tongs. We just ate it with some roasted veggies and it was delicious, although next time I might try some sort of sauce. And there was a TON left over, so we froze some of it to use in the future and I'm going to make soup from some of it too.

So the point is, you should do it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I just read "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. It's a novel and so good. I wanted to mention it because if you have the chance to read it, you should.

Dan just read "Jesus Wants to Save Christians" by Rob Bell. I think he has a few questions about Rob Bell's theology, but regardless, he really liked the book and felt it was very challenging.

If you have some time to do some reading but don't know what to get, check out one of these!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Blogger is acting really funny. I uploaded a whole bunch of pictures and it won't let me move them around at all. I've been playing with it for a while, and I'm sure there's probably some way to get it to work right, but instead you're just going to get to see the pictures in random order! Think of it as Memento for blogs...minus the whole plot thing...

Here's Dan on Friday night. We went to Diamondback's, a fancy steakhouse in Waco, to celebrate our 2 year anniversary! It was a little late since Dan had been sick, but it was worth the wait. We had a great evening out and had amazing food. I'm actually sort of glad we didn't end up doing anything when we were in Columbus, because otherwise I don't think we would have been eating at Diamondback's anytime soon!

Okay, this is Camden and I last night. Camden had the great idea to start a new tradition in 2010 where we cooked dinner together the first weekend of every month. We're going to try to learn new techniques or try new types of dishes. Last night, Dan and Sammie and I went over to their house and Camden and I cooked an entire Indian meal! We made chicken, a vegetable curry, turmeric rice, and then the boys picked out wine to go with it. The evening was a complete success.
I really don't understand how these are this out of order, and why I can't fix it! Grr!! Anyway, this is from Christmas break when I was sick...
Here's Dan with his steak filet at Diamondback's:
Here's me...I got salmon but this picture is before the food came.
Here are Julie and I on Christmas Eve:
And Dan and I the same night:
And the best for last! Dan and Sammie snuggling. Isn't she just the most adorable dog you have ever seen. All together now: Awwwwwww...

Today is the last Sunday before classes start...Dan has class tomorrow straight from 9:30am to 5:00pm with no breaks! Luckily, Mondays are his only day like that. He'll have 2 or 3 classes on Tuesday - Thursday, and none on Friday. I still work MWF and I'll have class from 8:00-11:00am on Tuesday and Thursday. I'll tell you more about our classes once we actually have them.

One last picture - I know you are jealous of my family! :)