Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Week

Today was a hectic Monday. The kids were really riled up at school because of an awful, tragic accident that happened over the weekend that seriously injured two of our students (who are lucky to be alive!).

Other than that, our research project is going sort of well, I guess. I had about a third of my students come prepared with a completed rough draft today. That was their homework over the weekend, so I guess I should count myself as lucky to have received a third of them! I can't wait until this project is finally over, though. It's taken up so much time, and the kids are extremely burnt out. So am I.

Track is over next week. I cannot believe it. It feels like we just started. We only have practices this week. Our two biggest meets are next Monday and Wednesday, though, and I absolutely can't wait to see how our kids run! Wish the team luck, as our numbers are small, but our passion is deep.

We have 21 days of school left, not that I'm counting or anything. I can't wait for summer to be here, but I will miss Dan dearly during that time. I guess it'll be nice to finally have some me time to focus on myself. I plan on getting many pedicures and massages this summer, as well as taking plenty of time to scrapbook on my own. I'm also really looking forward to my roadtrip home to Kansas City in June to begin wedding planning with my Maid of Honor and best friend, Megan!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 14 of 30

Today is Day 14 of 30 on the 30 Day Blog Challenge (click here to learn more). This morning, though, Dan and I spent a wonderful time with Ellie & Joe and Emily & Stephen. We had brunch at the Broadmoor, which is something that Dan and I had been wanting to do since moving to Colorado. It was well worth it. We had a blast... great food, beautiful scenery, and an awesome time with friends! I will post more about that when I get the pictures from Joe's camera, though (mine died! :( go figure).

Today's Challenge: 14. Describe 5 strengths you have. 

1. I'm dedicated. When I say I'm going to do something, I finish. Always. I hate people who quit half way through things, and I never want to leave people hanging. Even if it's tough, I will get it done. Eventually.

2. I'm happy. Although I have had my ups and downs over the past year because of work stress, I have always been a very cheerful person. I love everything about life and being able to experience it to the fullest. There are so many opportunities out there...

3. I'm supportive. Much like a cheerleader, I can give you a boost if you need it. Just tell me what you're stressed out about, and I will be your personal pep talker. Dan says I'm great at it!

4. I'm punctual. I know, I know. I just wrote about this as one of my weaknesses. It's also a strength, though, because I am always where I say I will be at the time I said. In fact, I'm usually pretty accurate about showing up with five minutes to spare. You can count on me.

5. I'm passionate. I don't mean this in a weird way. It's just that I get overly excited about some things that others may find small or trivial. If it's something I'm interested in, though, I am ecstatic and can't wait to share!

Have a wonderful Sunday night and week!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 13 of 30

Today is Day 13 of 30 in my 30 Day Blog Challenge. Sound like something you'd like to do? CLICK HERE to learn more about it! :)

Today's Challenge: 13: Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

Easy peasy. I'm very confident, but I am also a perfectionist; thus, I am very good at pointing out my flaws simply because they irritate me so much. In no particular order, my top five weaknesses are:

1. I talk too much. I've been told that my entire life. People don't like it. I can understand why, but I just have so much to say. I'm not one who enjoys hearing my own voice, though. In fact, I don't even LIKE my own voice. It's just that I always have something to say no matter where I am. It's difficult to keep me quiet for five minutes. I apologize to anyone who has been a victim of this.

2. I'm a people pleaser. While this doesn't sound bad on the outside (and really it isn't to the people around me), it always leaves me feeling like I don't value MYSELF first. If I want something but someone around me wants something else, I cave (unless your name is Dan, in which case I make puppy dog eyes until I get my own way). I always want others to be happy, which again is not a problem in itself. I just wish that sometimes I had the nerve to stand up for what I want instead of giving in.

3. I'm too concerned with time. Fact: I was born on my due date. I've always been punctual. I was even voted Miss Punctuality of my high school by the TEACHERS. I never received a tardy in all of my years of school. I own at least four different watches, and I'm constantly checking the time everywhere I go. It's not that I am always in a hurry or that I always have somewhere I need to be. I can't help it. I have no idea where I inherited this from, but it makes me mad when people are late because I am ALWAYS left waiting for them. The rest of society just isn't on the same page.

4. I try to rush the present time. I know my life is great right now. I'm enjoying it, and I love where I live. It's just that I can't wait for Dan's time at the Air Force Academy to be over with so we can finally get married. By that point, we will have been together for over five years, which is far too long to wait, but we have no choice. I want to start OUR life together... you know, get married, move away, the whole nine yards. I know it'll be here before we know it, but waiting around isn't any fun either. I do enjoy life, and I always try to make the most of it.

5. I don't adapt well to change. This will be a fun thing to overcome in the future. Dan and I will be moving... a lot. We'll be meeting new people and making new friends frequently. My job will change. I like routine, and change is not a part of that. It's something I am looking forward to, though, so here's to hoping that I'll adapt quickly, as all military wives need to be able to.

Gosh. What a downer kind of post. Oh well. The next one is the exact opposite, so it won't be as bad! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Review: The Giver

I finished reading The Giver by Lois Lowry about a month ago, but I never got around to posting a review of it. However, don't let the wait fool you. This book is phenomenal, and I believe it will make a big comeback with all of the dystopian YA (young adult) literature that is so popular right now. In fact, for as long as I'd wanted to read The Giver, I never knew there were sequels. Gathering Blue is #2 in the quartet, Messenger is #3, and Son is #4, but it does not come out until later this year. Can you believe that the first one was published in 1993, and the fourth one will come out in 2012? That's crazy to me, but I'm glad I won't have to wait long to read it.

Lois Lowry centers The Giver around a boy named Jonas, who is 11 years old at the beginning of the novel. He is anticipating his 12th birthday because that is when he will receive his job that he will train for and begin. When all of his friends receive normal jobs that they knew they'd be getting based on their aptitudes, he is unsure of what career path he will be chosen to follow. When Jonas finds out that he will be training with the Giver, he doesn't know what to expect.

On his first day, he finds out that he will be receiving memories from the man who has been keeping the memories for far too long. One other person had been selected years before but failed at the job. Jonas knows he has to prove that he is capable, even though it will be tough. He is warned that there will be excruciating pain involved, and he is nervous, as his twelve years of life have been close to perfect so far. 

Once Jonas begins receiving memories, he starts seeing all of the things around them for what they really are. Not everything is actually perfect, is it? He sees that what he has always taken for granted actually is not how things have always been. He now knows secrets of the past that others have never heard of. He knows there are other ways, but he has been trained  to believe that the way his family and community lives is the only way out there. Now that his mind is becoming full, now that he is learning from the past, will he be able to continue living following the same old rules? 

I don't want to ruin anything else for anyone who may be interested in reading The Giver. I highly recommend it to people of all ages, and I wish I had time left in the school year to read this novel to my students. It's captivating, enthralling, and tough to put down. 

Overall, The Giver earns five out of five stars in my opinion. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read the sequels! Lois Lowry does not disappoint. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dinner and Storms

Sorry, the book review will have to wait for tomorrow. I've been saying that a lot lately about certain posts, and I do apologize, but I am just so tired some nights. This week has been a busy one. Tonight was my one free night, and I was so happy and lucky to be able to spend a couple hours of it with my fantastic fiancé! I made dinner for him (chile rellenos, fiesta corn, and mango-peach tea). Then, we stopped for ice cream on the way back to the Academy because Dan was craving a blizzard from Dairy Queen. Yum, yum! :)

It is storming for the first time this year, and I love it! There was so much hail at one point that the ground looked like it had just snowed even though it's 75 degrees out. The lightning is SUPER bright, and the thunder is loud. No, it's not the same as awesome Midwest storms. I do miss that about Missouri! But the smell out mountain rain is INCREDIBLE, so I'll trade for that for the time being.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY, Friday, Friday! Yay! I can't wait to relax this weekend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tired But Excited

Tonight was our fourth track meet, and now we are done until the big "City" meet in a couple weeks. It's so much fun coaching and being a cheerleader to the kids, but man am I exhausted. I keep getting home later and later each time, and I am just worn out.

In other news, I got my contract for next year today!! I am so excited, and I can't wait for my new staff orientation to get everything prepared for next year. I guess I need to make it through the rest of THIS school year first, though. I can't get ahead of myself. We still have about five weeks remaining, and I need to stay on top of it. This year was SO difficult for me, but it really did fly by. You wouldn't hear me saying that one some of my rougher days, but overall, the time passed quickly. I am ready to move on, though. Life works in mysterious ways.

Hopefully I can remember to post a book review soon. I finished The Giver weeks ago and forgot to write one up. I'm now in the middle of We Need to Talk About Kevin, which is a SLOW read for me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 12 of 30

Once again, it is time to answer a challenge prompt. This one is simple, so I definitely have time for it tonight. If you'd like to read more about the 30 Day Blog Challenge, CLICK HERE to read more. It's been fun so far, and I am not even half way finished!

Today's Challenge: 12. Describe a typical day in your current lift. 

Most of you will probably be bored with this, so I apologize in advance.

6:20AM: I wake up, take my allergy pills, brush my teeth, get dressed, put on my make-up, make my smoothie for breakfast, pack my teacher bag for the day, and check Facebook.

6:50AM: I leave my apartment in Colorado Springs and head to Pueblo; it's about a 45 minute drive.

7:35AM: I pull in to the parking lot at the school I teach at. I prep my boards, make copies I need for the day, eat/drink my smoothie, and relax in the peace and quiet before the sixth graders barge in.

8:30AM: School starts. However, I have plan first period, so my prep time lasts until 9:17.

9:17AM: I head to my PLC (Professional Learning Community) meeting with my fabulous teammates.

10:06AM: Third period begins, and I welcome my students. They stay through fourth period because I teach block classes. I teach them reading and writing.

11:45AM: LUNCH!!! (aka my only break during the day)

12:15PM: Fifth period begins. They stay through sixth period. I teach them reading and writing.

2:06PM: Seventh period begins. They stay through eight period and then go home. I teach them reading and writing.

3:45PM: FREEDOM! I chill for five minutes before heading out.

3:50PM: I change my clothes and walk to the gym to begin track practice. We head outside to run after that.

5:15PM: Track is over, so I drive the 45 minutes home.

6:00PM: I go for my run. I run outside if it is nice, on the treadmill if it isn't.

7:00PM: I start dinner, and shower while it cooks (I love multi-tasking, although Dan tells me it's impossible. What does he know? He's never been a tired, hungry woman!)

7:30PM: I eat dinner, play on my MacBook Pro, watch TV mindlessly, grade papers, enter said grades, reply to important e-mails, etc. It's basically "do whatever you want" time where I play on Facebook and blog instead of doing the work I actually wrote about. ;-)

9:30PM: I brush my teeth, wash my face, lay out my clothes for the following day, rinse my sinuses (yay!), and grab my Nook. I lay in bed reading for about a half hour each night.

10:00PM: I call Dan, or he calls me... whichever happens first. We talk for approximately two to five minutes each night, and then I hang up the phone, turn off the lights, and make myself comfortable for a wonderful night of sleep... until the alarm clock goes off at 6:20AM again!

Have a good one! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012


This evening was our third track meet. We have another one this week (Wednesday) and then a week with no meets! After that, we have the city meet and the city/county meet, which should be big and a lot of fun! I can't believe track is already half way over. I'm really enjoying being a coach, but I'm also excited to have my evenings back. :)

My lack of sunscreen yesterday and today equals a lobster Janelle. My face hurts, and my arms aren't far behind. Hopefully it'll at least turn into a tan. Yeah, right. Who am I kidding?

Well, I am going to end this early and head to bed. My book is sounding pretty good right now, as is snuggling with my kitties before going to sleep!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Urban Beer Scavenger Hunt

Today, Dan and Aaron participated in a scavenger hunt all over downtown Colorado Springs. I tagged along as a sober driver and photographer, and we all had a blast together! They paid and signed up last week, and the clues came through text messages all afternoon. It was SO MUCH FUN, and I had a great time taking pictures of these two gentlemen. After the hunt was over, we went back to one of the bars to have some beer and appetizers, and while we were there, Dan asked Aaron to be his Best Man, and he said yes! I'm so excited, even though we both assumed he'd say yes. It's great to have it official! Now, we have a Maid of Honor (Megan) and a Best Man (Aaron). We just need to figure out the others. I think we have it pretty much planned out but need to ask the people soon. :)

I'll describe the clues and they are seen in the pictures below. I participated in some of them because they needed me, but most of them are just of the guys!

This picture was taken right before the hunt began.

This picture is at Jose Muldones. They had to toast the bar with the beers they got there. The clue gave two jumbled up words that I figured out for them, leading us to the Mexican restaurant / bar. 

This picture is supposed to spell out their favorite beer. Obviously, no one's favorite is really PBR, but it was short, and it needed to be spelled out on a sidewalk, so we scrounged around and came up with this set-up.

For this one, the team (and strangers) had to perform a field sobriety test with one leg in the air and their fingers on their noses. 

This one (and the next one) show the teammates pouring the beer into each others' mouths in a different bar. 

This one (and the previous one) show the teammates pouring the beer into each others' mouths in a different bar. 

This shows the game of leap frog we had to play. They needed me to be involved here.

This shows the game of leap frog we had to play. They needed me to be involved here.

Another clue told them to lock arms and drink their beer. This is their wedding pose! :)

They needed a picture of someone with a blue shirt! Luckily for them, I was wearing one! :)

In another bar, they had to propose to someone holding two drinks. 

After finding Cheetah Printing (from the clue that said it was a print shop named after a spotted feline who can run 70mph), the guys had to pose like animals!

At the home brew shop, they had to hold up a cardboard sign that said something. You can't read it, but it says: "Will work for beer!"

This one might be my favorite from all day! They had to drink their beer creatively without using their hands. We saw other people using straws, so I think this one wins! :)

At the Antique Store, they had to pose with their heels off the ground. I like this one a lot, too. 

The very last clue was to find the first stake driven into the city in 1871, and it was right across the street from Phantom Canyon Brewery! :) 

After that, we kept getting more clues about where to find the trophy. We walked even more and ended up at a park off of Corona (because the text clue said it was at a city park near a street named after a popular beer). We were in the wrong park (with a ton of other participants). There's another park off of Corona. Oops! Dan and Aaron didn't win any prizes, but it was a FANTASTIC day. We got lots of exercise (four to five miles total) and some nice sunburns. :) 

I made a little collage out of my favorite four pictures:

Well, it was a wonderful Sunday! I hope that carries over into the work week.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 11 of 30

I promised I would answer a writing prompt today, so here goes! It's day 11 of 30 in my 30 Day Blog Challenge. You can read more about the challenge by clicking here.

Today's Challenge: 11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

I put this one off the other night because I hate going to bed after thinking of things I dislike. It always leads to weird dreams. I knew that writing about this during the day would be much better.

1. Tapping. This one really includes any kind of obnoxious noise-making that sixth graders partake in. Also included: knocking, drumming, clicking your pen, smacking your gum, making fart noises, etc.

2. Bad drivers. See that weird looking lever near your steering wheel? Yeah, it's called a turn signal. Use it when turning, changing lanes, cutting people off on the interstate, etc.

3. Bad grammar. Really, it's not that difficult to use the proper your / you're or there / their / they're. If your age is in the double digits, you have no business writing for the public if you cannot master these simple tasks.

4. Germs. I guess it's not really the germs that bother me so much. I can't do anything about those. However, when someone grabs a Kleenex and procede to blow his/her nose right in front of me, it makes me mad. No, the Kleenex doesn't catch all of your germs. Yes, I am still less than a foot away. Take care of your business, but don't get me sick.

5. Excuses. Now, I am guilty of this one as well, but it really irritates me when my students (and people in general) do this, so I am working on it. If you did something, own up to it. Take responsibility for your own actions. Don't blame someone else. No one opened your mouth, grabbed your vocal chords, and yanked them until you said what they wanted you to. YOU chose to say it. Now live up to the consequences.

6. Chewing. I'm talking about the obnoxiously loud people (like my brother) who make every weird sound known to man while eating something that should be silent and easy. I'll never understand it, though I do now know that he does it on purpose to get on my nerves.

7. Smoking. I'm not a fan of ANYTHING that can be smoked (for personal reasons), but cigarettes bother me the most for obvious reasons. They are LEGAL, and people smoke them in public around everyone else, even if those people hate the smell and don't want the disgusting side effects that come along with cigarette smoke. If you want to smoke, fine. Damage your own lungs. But please leave mine alone. I already have asthma and wheeze for hours after smelling cigarette smoke. Keep it in your own home, and don't blow it all over me at a sporting event.

8. Nonvoters. You know those people who LOVE to complain about politicians, yet they never voted in the first place? Yep, those are the people I'm talking about. If you don't make it out on election day, you have NO right to complain about anything.

9. Bad students. I'm not talking about the ones who don't understand things. I'm also not talking about the people who put all of their effort into their work and still don't do well. No, I am talking about the people who DON'T TRY. These people often think they're better than everyone else and that they don't need to do the same amount of work. It doesn't matter if the work won't affect your grade. Don't be lazy. You're not superior to anyone. I WILL lower your grade if you choose not to complete an assignment.

10. Belief-Pushers. You know those people who believe in something SO much (whether it's a religion or a personal belief)? I HATE WHEN PEOPLE DO THAT TO ME. Nothing pushes me away quicker. They make me want to run in the other direction -- fast! It's great when people stand for something, but when they are rude about it, I can't handle it. I hope I've never been that way.

Phew! It was exhausting thinking of all of those.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Hello! Happy Friday (and weekend!) to everyone. :)

This evening, Dan texted me and told me to pick him up earlier than I thought I'd be able to, so I don't have a challenge written for today, and now it's almost time for bed. Oops. I promise I'll get to that tomorrow while he's at Flying Team practice...

We had a fun, spontaneous date, and I absolutely loved it! We had a blast. We had a Groupon deal to Smashburger, so we went there for the first time and loved it. We'll definitely be going back. We then went to Cold Stone and shared a big ice cream because Dan had a gift card for it. When I thought we were simply driving home, we happened to see a carnival off the road! I squealed (naturally), and Dan turned in so we could go. We went on the ferris wheel together and had a lot of fun. Overall, it's been a great night. I really do miss him during the week and feel like we're still in a long distance relationship... just because we never get to see each other anymore. It sucks being so busy sometimes, but we're both achieving our goals and working hard, so there's nothing wrong with it.

Sorry the pictures are blurry; they're from my iPhone. I am getting a new one soon, and hopefully that will have a better quality camera! :) 

Good night, everyone! :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getting Late

Just like last week, I will complete the writing prompt promised for Thursday tomorrow instead. I apologize. I have had a busy evening. When I got home from track practice, I met my friend Michele for dinner at Salsa Brava, and we had a great time catching up. I really enjoyed it, and we stayed longer than I assumed (and I didn't even check my watch to realize! Oops!) ...and now I sound like a grandma. It was only 8:30 when I left the restaurant, but old ladies need a lot of rest.

Then I remembered that Dan sent me an 8+ page paper about whether or not the War in Afghanistan is just or not... oh, and it is due at midnight. Gah. I just edited that for him. Usually I love reading his papers, but I am so tired and uninterested in the subject that I had to MAKE myself finish it. (Sorry Dan.)

Now it's after 10:00 (oh no!) and I NEED some sleep. I will complete writing prompts on Friday AND Saturday to make up for the lack of one today. Watch out, world; they're going to be good ones. I'll answer one challenge day and then write a post about a random memory from the past. Have a great Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Looking Ahead

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today was our second track meet of the season, and it was just as successful as the first one. We have TWO next week, which will be kind of exhausting, but I'm looking forward to them!

There are only 29 days of school left. That's school days, not including weekends, but still. I couldn't be more excited!

I am looking forward to the summer so much, but at the same time I'm dreading it. Dan will be out of the country for most of the summer, so I'll be hanging out in Colorado all alone. I plan on getting SEVERAL projects done, though, and I have a trip to Kansas City planned for June! I have a lot of scrapbooking I want to do, and I hope to be able to start on some DIY things for the wedding. I also will spend my time getting EXTRA prepared for next year, as I already have the curriculum map. I wish Colorado Springs had a better teacher supply store, but I guess I'll just have to stock up while I'm in Missouri. I already saw my soon-to-be classroom, and it's beautiful. I have so many ideas already, and I'm so happy to have the whole summer to get it ready.

Well, there are two more work days left this week. I am ready to make it through them and have the weekend with my fiancé... finally! We have been pretty disconnected this week because we've both been SO busy... so I can't wait to make dinner with him and just hang out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Gilligan!

Well, I got the job!!! I am so excited and ready to begin, but I can't get ahead of myself. I need to finish up this school year first. Let's just say that I couldn't be more ready, though. :)

ALSO, today is my wonderful little fur-baby Gilligan's birthday! He turns FIVE today, and I can't believe it. He still sleeps on my pillow each and every night, just like he has since he was a little kitten when I adopted him.

I can't believe that it's been nearly five years since I met this sweet little guy. I first met him while I was working at Lakewood Animal Health Center in Lee's Summit, MO. He was a fun and fiesty little guy, and I taught him how to jump while he was there. I was in the market for a cat, since I was moving into my first apartment (from the college dorms). I couldn't have one until closer to the end of the summer, though, so when I found him in June, I was upset that I wouldn't be able to have him. Little did I know that he would still be around come July. 

See, Gilligan (who was then named Skittles... what the heck?! He's not purple and orange, people!) has a problem. It's not such a big deal to me, but I guess it's quite the deal breaker for others. Gilligan has a hernia near his umbilical cord, and that makes him throw up. A lot. He throws up almost every day at least once. Yes, it's a pain in the butt, but it's nothing he can help. I love him just the same, and yes, I adopted him knowing full well that he would be like that. 

He's the most lovable little fellow, and I am so thankful that he is a part of my life. Now, I probably sound like a crazy cat lady here, but I don't care. He's the best animal I could have ever asked for, and I don't know what I'll do without him one day. He's fantastic, and he meets me at the door every day when I get home from work. I think he thinks he's a dog. Gilligan is the first cat that is ALL MINE, and he definitely knows who his owner is. While he's sweet to everyone, he loves me the best, and it's obvious. I am so incredibly lucky to have him in my life.

Happy fifth birthday, Gilligan! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Short and Sweet

I need to update because it's my goal to write every single day this year. I don't have time for a big update, though, as I am preparing a lesson to teach tomorrow morning for a second interview with the same school I interviewed with last Friday! I am so excited but still have a lot of work to do.

If you're reading, wish me luck!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 10 of 30

Today is the end of the weekend, which is sad, but it brings us all one day closer to the end of the school year, which is something to be excited about! This summer should be a great one, and I'm really looking forward to it. Today, I'm going to answer what is proving to be the most difficult prompt of this entire 30 Day Blog Challenge. Before we get started, make sure you click here to see what this challenge is all about!

Today's Challenge: 10. Describe your most embarrassing moment. 

This one was tough for me to think of. I can think of two other moments that are definitely worse / more embarrassing, but they're not moments I'm willing to share on here. They have both taken place in the past five years, though. This is the most recent overly embarrassing moment, but some may not find it embarrassing at all.

Last winter, Dan convinced me that I would love to go skiing. I agreed because it sounded fun and was something I'd always wanted to try. After all, it was my first winter in Colorado, so how could I turn it down? Plus, he promised me some awesome food on the drive home (and don't even get me started on the fact that by the time we got anywhere with food selections, everything was closed and we ended up eating at Wendy's, which I also hate!) What an experience.

Dan and I woke up really early one Saturday morning (think 6:00!) and drove from Colorado Springs to Keystone Ski Resort, which is a couple hours away. On the drive there, I was excited and anxious, ready to see what this was all about! When we parked, it took me a good 20 minutes to even get the ski boots on. It was rough, and I had several sizes too large just so they would snap shut over my calf muscles (don't ask -- they're big). After hobbling around and some much needed assistance from Dan, I was ready to go. We trekked all the way to the opening, where we paid and went inside. My legs were KILLING ME after just the walk. I'm not out of shape by any means, so this was surprising to me. EVERYTHING was burning, and I was ready to call it a day before we even began.

Dan insisted that I wasn't in as much pain as I was claiming. (On another note, why do people always insist that? You have NO IDEA how much pain I am in.) We headed to the top of the mountain in a gondola (CRAZY SCARY) and got out. I could barely move, so Dan took me to the bunny slopes to practice. Let me just point out that he is not the best ski instructor, and I am still mad at Aaron for not going with us to teach me. I learned, and I didn't fall. I thought I was getting the hang of it. Dan said I was a natural and that he had fallen 30 times on his first day, and I only fell twice. I told him it's because I'm more athletic than him, blah blah blah. I should have kept my mouth shut.

We went to a scarier part of the practice area, and we were getting skiied around by all kinds of people under four feet tall (aka kids who were far better than both of us). Finally, I decided to brave a pretty intense hill (that is probably nothing, really). I did it several times, and I was feeling confident. I couldn't turn very well, and I had NO control over how to stop. Each time, though, I seemed to make it to the bottom and was ready to take the lift back up to try again. One time, though, I freaked out. I wanted to stop, but I couldn't. My legs wouldn't move in because I was going so fast. I had too much momentum. While that may sound fun in theory, picture yourself flying down a mountain and full speed and being unable to stop. Terrifying. In order to sto myself, I leaned over and fell.

Since I fell on purpose, I don't count that as one of my true falls. However, there was one issue with this fall. I couldn't get back up. Oops. Dan caught up with me (remember: I was going so fast that I couldn't stop, so naturally I was ahead of him, with much less technique!) and tried to help me up. It wasn't working. He couldn't pull me up from the angle I was at. He suggested that I take the skis off and climb up in just the boots. I did. It worked. But then I couldn't get the skis attached back to the boots. He was doing his very best trying to hold me upright so I could position my feet correctly into the skis. It was frustrating, and I literally could not get into them. I tried and tried and didn't want to give up. I had only one option: make it down the steep hill. That, or as Dan said, I'd be stuck sitting there in the snow forever. It was impossible to walk back up or walk down the mountain. I wanted to give up. I started crying because nothing was working, and I was miserable.

I was so mad. I kept crying and started getting mad at Dan because he couldn't help me up AND he was laughing at me. I was frustrated and humiliated as people kept skiing by us, looking pathetically at me. There is nothing I hate more than not being able to do what others can. This fueled my fire even more, and I started yelling out. Dan was still laughing at me, but he was also starting to get embarrassed because people were now looking at him apologetically. Poor guy. It must suck to be with a girl who can't ski in Colorado, right? I don't feel sorry for him one bit. As I started REALLY getting ticked off, my face was burning red. It was one of the most awful feelings in the world. And then it got worse: I realized that we were directly below the ski lift, and people had been watching us from just a few feet above, laughing and pointing all the way. I FELT LIKE A TOOL.

Hands down, that is a moment I will never forget. I have never felt so low, and I was embarrassed for myself and for Dan. I just wanted out of there. But in true Janelle fashion, I did what I thought was impossible. I got on my skis and made it all the way down, tears streaming down my face all the way. I wanted out of there, but it was too early. Dan skiied some more while I sat inside Starbucks reading a book from my iPhone. Loser award for the year? Me. I tried to brave the slopes two more times that season. Both attempts were pathetic, and I hated every bit of it. This year, we couldn't afford passes to Keystone, so we didn't go at all. Dan says that we'll try again next year, but I'm really not certain I want to give it another try. I do know one thing, though. This girl does NOT give up. If I do have to go again, I hope I will be able to figure it all out right away. That, or I will at least take REAL lessons. We'll see. Enjoy these pictures from BEFORE the incident, where I still look happy.

Alright, well that was interesting to think about once again. It reconfirms that skiing just isn't for me. I wish it was because I love sports, I love snow, and I love the cold. It seems like it'd be the perfect activity, but... well... it sucks.

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blast From the Past: Before Dan Left for USAFA

Remember, I am trying to catch up on old memories that I want to keep forever. I decided that it's a great idea to write them down (and include pictures, of course!) so that when I'm old and forgetful (because I do turn 25 this summer, after all), I will be able to look back and smile. :)

Today, I'm going to write about the couple of months leading up to Dan leaving for the United states Air Force Academy Preparatory School in the summer of 2009. He had to report on July 14th, 2009, and following that, he had a three week basic training (which was nothing for him after going through the nine week Army basic training). I was dreading the thought of not being able to talk to him, and it was an emotional roller coaster as we spent so much time together in May and June, doing all of the things we said we wanted to before he left. It was a good time, but the thought of him leaving was constantly in the back of my mind.

The next post I make in this series (Blast From the Past) will be about taking him to the airport for USAFA and the weeks where we couldn't talk. Just know that we made it through beautifully (but with some complications, of course) and are now nearly 60% through this crazy journey.

During those months, we ate. A lot. We cooked together, and we tried all kinds of restaurants. We watched movies, and we hung out with friends. We drank and played beer pong (he sucks; don't have him as a partner!), and we enjoyed each other's company. We went to a couple of Royals games with Missy and Sam, and we sang karaoke. Overall, cramming so much fun into just a couple of months was great, but it did lead to some disappointment after he left and my life went back to revolving around dog-walking and sleeping.

I know you want pictures. And you know I take a lot. Enjoy!

during a Phi Sigma Pi event!

on our way to a party with friends!

on our way to ANOTHER party with friends!

before a Royals game at the K

during a Royals game at the K

before going in to Worlds of Fun -- we didn't take any pictures inside because we left the camera in the car so it wouldn't get lost, fall out, or wet!

at Olly's apartment

at Olly's apartment

Dan sang "You Are So Beautiful To Me" to me at Olly's apartment.

before another Royals game

kissing at the top of Kauffman Stadium! :)

Sam, Missy, Me, and Dan at a Royals game!

at a Royals game

obviously the Royals lost, and Dan didn't care! :(

Okay, well that was fun to re-live through telling the story and finding the old pictures! I can't believe that was nearly three years ago. Time really does fly...