Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last Day Excitement!

Tomorrow is FINALLY the last day of school! I am more excited than anyone could ever imagine. It seems like all of my friends in Missouri have been finished for well over two weeks now, and even most of the other districts in Colorado have been out for almost a week. This race to the finish line has been tough, but it is all over tomorrow.

Friday is a teacher work day to clean out classrooms and whatnot, so technically I still have to go then, but my room is 90% finished and cleared out already. (Can you sense my enthusiasm?) I will miss some of those kids and many of the people I have worked with all year, but my summer could not get started soon enough.

I need to get some sleep, though. It was a long day with field day this afternoon, and I am exhausted from coming home and running after that.

OH! But before I rush off to bed, I need to point out that today is our wedding date... two years in the future. Yes, that's right: exactly two years from today, I will finally marry my best friend! I absolutely cannot wait! Hurry up, 2014! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 21 of 30

It's been a while since I've completed one of my blog challenges, so tonight I am going to answer number 21 of 30 from my 30 Day Blog Challenge. You can read more about it by clicking here. Hopefully I will finish this soon!

Today's Challenge: 21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be, and what would you do with it first?

Another easy one! I'm starting to like these questions...

Anyway, the best superpower EVER would be to be able to teleport... you know, like the Power Rangers did. I wish there was a machine I could go into and just transport to wherever I wanted to be, and I'd be there within a matter of seconds without EVER stepping foot on a dreaded airplane. As someone whose fiancé travels a lot AND as someone who hates to fly (me, not him, obviously), it would be perfect. If I could turn into a Power Ranger and all of a sudden be in Beijing, China right now, I wouldn't complain. That would be the best superpower. Of course, being invisible would be pretty fun too...

In other news, Dan and I got to Skype for almost an entire hour today, and it was spectacular seeing him again! It was 7:00AM Wednesday for him and 5:00PM Tuesday for me. This 14 hour time difference is crazy, but we'll get through it just fine. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

One More Week!

The long weekend is almost over, as it is now after 9:00., and I will be in bed within the next hour. I can't complain too much, though; I only have four more days of work left for the school-year! I teach Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then Friday is a work day, and I will be bringing everything else home that I haven't already! I brought home two big boxes of books last Monday just so Dan could carry them up the stairs at my apartment for me before leaving town -- hey, they were HEAVY!

so many young adult books!

Today, I went to the pool at my apartment complex for the first time. It was nice, but there were WAY too many kids out there running around and screaming for my taste. I'm sure I'll go back so I don't continue looking like Casper, but I am REALLY looking forward to a peaceful summer, not one with screaming children. I deal with kids all day, every day, and I need some time off. The clouds did look especially cool today, though, so I took a picture. 

I think it kind of looks like a heart! 

And just because I am the very definition of the crazy cat lady, here are some pictures of Gilligan and then Stormy. They had a lazy weekend in the apartment, and I know they will be so happy when they have a bigger space to run around and play in. 



Tomorrow, I have a track pizza party after school, and it will be nice to spend some time with those kids one last time before school gets out. Then, I will be rushing home because I have a Skype date with my handsome fiancé at 5:30PM my time, which means it is 7:30AM (the next day) his time (in Beijing, China). I cannot even SAY how excited this makes me! We have been emailing each other back and forth since he arrived there, but it's just not the same. Since phone calls are out of the question (too expensive), I would hug every single person who makes Skype possible if I could (and that says a lot -- I HATE hugs!) Well, I am going to go read my new book now, as I finished The Kite Runner already (I bought it 48 hours ago... oops!). I am moving on to Flowers For Algernon now; I hope it's just as good! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

For Memorial Day

As everyone who reads this knows, I am in a relationship with the United States military, the Air Force to be exact. No, I am not serving our great nation, and I make no claims to be doing so. However, my handsome fiancé, the one I love more than anything in the world, is serving. While he may simply be a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for the time being, he will be in the military for years to come. He hopes to make a career in the Air Force. He joined the Army National Guard before graduating from high school and switched to the Air Force during civilian college in Missouri. He lucked out getting a spot at one of the most prestigious schools in the country, but it comes with a price. He sometimes has to miss important events because of military commitments (such as birthdays, graduations, and holidays with family), but he does so because he serves our nation, the best one in the world: the United States of America. If he receives a pilot slot, he will then commit a minimum of TEN YEARS of his life to the US Air Force upon graduating from the Academy. Did that scare the hell out of me at first? You bet it did! But now that I am accustomed to the military lifestyle, one that often leaves spouses (or spouses-to-be, like I am now) behind, forgotten, alone… I see past the sadness and recognize that what he is doing not only for himself and for our future together but for his NATION, full of people who complain about everything and take things for granted is well worth it. People like him, everyone who serves, help keep us free. What kind of person makes so many personal sacrifices? I can answer that one; it’s easy: someone who cares about others more than himself… someone who gives all he can for people he doesn’t even know… someone who will make the PERFECT husband, despite all of his military duties and commitments.

Now, I realize that Memorial Day serves as a day to REMEMBER people… people who have given the ULTIMATE sacrifice for their nation… people who have DIED for others in battle trying to make this nation a better place to live. However, I am extremely fortunate to not know a SINGLE PERSON who has passed away due to war. Where I’m from, not many people are in the military. I grew up thinking nothing of it, not understanding what it was all about, and promising myself that I would NEVER, under any circumstances, date someone in the military. And then I met Dan, and that all fell to the wayside. Despite what I know about what our future may hold, all of the ups and all of the downs, and despite everything that could possibly happen, I wouldn’t trade this kind of love for anything.

Although I do not know anyone personally who has been affected by the horrors of war, I do know that it happens on a daily basis. Death is not something that should be taken lightly, especially the deaths of many brave young (and older) men and women who are fighting for the country they love, the people they want to stand up for. This Memorial Day, please remember the victims of war: the warriors in the United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Don’t forget about their families, either, because they are the ones left behind to make sense of everything. Keep them all in your prayers as you go to bed knowing that you are safe. And that reminds me of one of the greatest quotes, penned by a fantastic author, George Orwell:
“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” -George Orwell
On that note, I feel the need to share pictures of my military man, the man I couldn’t be more excited to marry, the one who I am so incredibly proud of for always sticking up for what is right… 

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him but because he loves what is behind him" -G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Okay, so I know it's been a while since I've reviewed a book on here. Don't let that fool you into thinking I haven't been reading, though. I have. In fact, I've read three books since finishing the one I'm about to write about. That said, I've been struggling with the thought of writing about this one because it was so awful. Yes, it really was that bad. I persevered anyway, though, because I hate reading only part of a book.

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver sounds like a wonderful book. The reviews led me to believe that it was about a boy in high school who went on a rampage and killed his peers and a teacher. That sounds interesting, right? I thought so too. However, the ENTIRE novel was a series of letters from Kevin's mother to her ex-husband, and never once did it get interesting. I was bored out of my mind for the entire 400some pages. I would not recommend this book to anyone that I know. That says a lot for someone like me. I apologize if anyone reading this just absolutely loved the book, but I really don't understand why.

It took me so long to get through this book that I was behind by two books for my reading goal for the year, which is to read 24 books by December 31st. Since finishing this disaster, I have read three other books at a rapid pace to make up for that, and I am now ahead. Expect much better, more detailed reviews of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Two Kisses For Maddy by Matthew Logelin and A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard in the near future. I enjoyed all three of those for different reasons, so I will have more to share.

Friday, May 25, 2012

USAFA Graduation 2012

On Wednesday, I had the amazing opportunity to go to the graduation at the United States Air Force Academy. Since Dan is a cadet there, he was able to get me (and my friend Eryn) extra tickets, and it was surreal to see. President Obama was the speaker, and it was wonderful to be able to see/hear him in person. The Thunderbirds put on a great show afterward, too. Overall, it was a day to remember, which is why I'm sharing these pictures. The first one shows President Obama speaking, but you can barely see him since I was so far away. The second one is my favorite shot of the Thunderbirds, and the third one is a collage of photos from the day.

In just TWO SHORT YEARS, my fiancé will be graduating, and I will be even more ecstatic. Seeing the emotions of everyone who waited so long for that moment makes everything worth it, and I can't wait for our turn. :)

Overall, I had a lot of fun, but my shoulders are still bright red to show for it. Colorado sunlight sure sneaks up on me sometimes! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hello Again

Well, today was the day that Dan left for China (as you well know from my previous post). I've reacted much better than I thought I would so far, but the whole day has been a kind of haze. I'm so tired because I slept for a total of two hours last night, got up at 4:15, and was on an adrenaline rush all morning. I do go in to work tomorrow, so I will be getting up at my normal time of 6:20. It's now 9:10PM, and I am EXHAUSTED. I forced myself to stay awake all day so that I'll be able to sleep tonight. I can't nap anymore because when I do, I find that I can't sleep as well. I planned on an early night, so I am about to hit the pillow and read for 20 minutes or so and then pass out.

It's good knowing that I just need to make it through tomorrow because then I have a three day weekend (although, I wish that Dan were here for the three day weekend. Oh well). He gave me a letter before he left (we exchange letters every time), and I am saving it to open tomorrow evening when I get home because I know I'll need it more then.

In other news, I can finally post about Dan's truck! He's allowed to have it now, and it's beautiful! No, it's not new or perfect, but it's everything we were looking for for the duration of our time in Colorado. It's got four wheel drive and towing capabilities. I'm looking forward to camping under the stars in the bed of it later this summer! :) I posted a picture below...

Our letters to each other before we exchanged them

I made this last weekend and snuck it into his envelope... it's the key to my heart so he has it all the way in Beijing! (Cheesy, I know)

Finally, Dan is allowed to own a vehicle again! He couldn't at the Prep School or the first two years of USAFA, so finding this great deal was AMAZING, and it's just what we were looking for! :)

Well, that's all I've got time for. Enjoy. 

A Little Satire

Getting to China Ineffectively: A Traveler's How-To Guide

Step One: Promise friends you'll give them a ride for their flights (that leave later than yours). Assume they will be on time.

Step Two: Wake up at 4:15AM, shower, and get ready. Receive text message from said friends saying, "We are going to be late."

Step Three: Assume the best, and wait it out. Have fiancée drive you and two friends to airport six miles away for a quick drop off.

Step Four: Say goodbye to fiancée for a month. Send her home to sleep.

Step Five: Call fiancée after she has gotten home and into bed. Tell her to come back because you missed your flight. (Thank United Airlines for their INCREDIBLE customer service, the SUPER short line, and their POSITIVE attitude... because after all, you were still there over an hour early, and your ticket was printed wrong from them, saying you were flying United when really the flight was through Frontier, which you would have made had you not stood in the long line at United for an hour straight).

Step Six: Rush to airport 75 miles away, trying to make it in under an hour and a half to catch the connecting flight out.

Step Seven: Battle rush hour traffic on a busy interstate while talking on the phone with United Airline representatives and having your fiancée write everything down.

Step Eight: Miss the connecting flight due to traffic. Should have stolen a plane to fly yourself there.

Step Nine: Find an alternative flight, notify everyone important in Colorado and in China so everyone knows what's going on. Forward new itinerary to fiancée, host, driver, travel-mate, and the entire office of important people sending you on this trip.

Step Ten: Arrive at airport 75 miles away, and say goodbye to loving fiancée AGAIN, apologizing for the inconvenience.

In all honesty, though, this worked out better for me. I was a mess after taking Dan to the Colorado Springs airport the first time this morning, and after going into adrenaline mode and helping him figure everything out to make it still work for today, I felt accomplished and proud sending him off from Denver. He was highly stressed, though, but I do have to say that we make a great team and always get things done.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I can't believe how quickly this week is going. I'm happy, of course, to know that it means it's closer to the end of the school-year. I am dreading Thursday morning, though, and it's only 31 hours away that I drop Dan off at the airport to head to China.

Tomorrow morning, I will be going to the United States Air Force Academy's class of 2012 graduation. I am excited for that, but it's going to be a long day that starts incredibly early. Since it's nearly 11:00, I better get some sleep. I promise to catch up more with real posts of substance this weekend when I have time. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Roller Coaster Week

Ah, we meet again. This time I am writing my REAL post for the day, not just catching up. I can't believe I am such a scatter-brained freak lately. I am under a tremendous amount of stress right now, so I'm sure that adds to it.

This week is a roller coaster for sure. Yesterday, Dan got back in town after ten days away (I know, not long at all, but still). I hung out with him and had a great time. Then today I had an AWFUL day at work. Afterward, though, I got to see my fiancé again and look at a house for me to rent (from his AOC), which I will be doing! It's really nice and in a great location in downtown Colorado Springs near the Olympic Complex. He had to be back because the whole cadet wing is in trouble for people fainting during a parade today. How lame. I plan on heading up there tomorrow (yes, I took three days off this week) to help him pack for his big month-long trip, and then we are meeting a few friends for a nice dinner out! Wednesday, I am picking up Eryn really early, and we're going to the Air Force Academy graduation in Falcon Stadium... we're pretty excited, but only because President Obama is the speaker! I am stoked and can't believe I have the opportunity to see the president speak in person! :) And then the rest of Wednesday is for Dan and me. We plan on having a picnic dinner at Garden of the Gods because it's our "summer" thing to do, and he leaves super early Thursday morning. I'm not looking forward to dropping him off at the airport, but I'm excited for him to experience China for a month. Hopefully we'll be able to explore it together someday. :)

That's enough for now. I'm tired! Good night...

I'm So Awful

Goodness. I forgot to post AGAIN yesterday! What is happening? I was doing SO well at remembering to post a blog every single day, but the past couple weeks of craziness have caught up to me, I guess.

I will blame yesterday's lack of post from Dan getting home from Nationals (finally!)... so we spent all afternoon and evening together, and when I got home from taking him back to the Academy, I was SO tired because it was already 11:00. Oops.

Well, I'll post another with more substance in just a little while to make up for the missed one... eek!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 20 of 30

Again, since I have the time, I am completing another blog challenge post. Today marks day 20! To read more about the challenge, click here.

Today's Challenge: 20. Describe three significant memories from your childhood.

Well, this will be fun. These are in no particular order.

1. My brother was born, stealing my thunder. No, I don't hate him, but I really should be an only child. Seriously. We have never really gotten along or been close, although everyone told us we would be some day. Somehow, I doubt that. He was born just six days before I turned four, and I immediately knew that it was no longer all about me.

(I'm carrying him like a football!)

2. Tailgating in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot before and after Chiefs games. This may seem like a strange memory to most, but I practically grew up at that place. While many might think I'd remember the actual games better, the most fun part for me as a kid was hanging out in the parking lot before and after the games playing catch with the other kids, eating all the delicious grilled tailgate food, an sneaking the occasional sips of beer.

(not in the parking lot, but still... major Chiefs fan here!)

3. Tearing my MCL (or something) in my knee. I was in sixth grade, and I had been competing in power tumbling for years. I loved it, and I was good at it. It is probably the only thing I've ever been truly and naturally GOOD at in my entire life. Just after qualifying for Nationals, and on the very last night of winter break, I landed on my toe and felt the most excruciating pain ever. My leg was stuck in position, partially bent, and a trip to the emergency room commenced around 9:00 that night. After some time on crutches, lots of ice and pain pills, and a few MRIs, I was running all over the place again but too nervous to go back to acrobats, which is the only thing I have ever regretted in my entire life.

(right after qualifying for Nationals)

There are, of course, many other significant memories from my childhood. Since this was for a blog challenge, though, I decided to go with the first three that popped into my head, as they naturally came to me, and what you see is what you get!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 19 of 30

Tonight, since I have some time, I will be completing blog challenge 19 of 30. If you'd like to know more about this challenge, check out my post about it by clicking here.

Today's Challenge: 19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

This is the easiest one yet! I would choose where I currently live, Colorado Springs.

It is absolutely beautiful here, and I dreamed of living here for 14 years before it became a reality. I first visited this wonderful city with my family when I was only eight years old. Then, I came back out each summer during high school to run with my cross country team. And then I met Dan, who just so happened to be accepted to the Air Force Academy three months after we started dating. Bad news? Long distance for one year so I could finish my degree. Good news? I got to move to Colorado Springs, and I'll be here for four years total! (Although, as sad as it is, it's already been two years, so half of my time here is done.)

Here are just a FEW pictures of what I love about Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas. All pictures were taken within a 90 minute drive from where I live. It's amazing having so many awesome things so close by!

See all those great places? They're mine all mine for the next two years! I absolutely love it here and dread the day we move away.