Wednesday, November 28, 2012

To Decorate or Not To Decorate?

I don't know if I should decorate my house for Christmas or not. I don't have many decorations anyway. I have some white lights that I love. And I have a small, pre-lit tree with a couple ornaments. That's it. I won't even be here at Christmas, as I'll be back home in Missouri, but... does my house look weird WITHOUT the decorations? I just find it to be a lot of work (even for just those couple of things - what a joke!), so I don't know if it's worth it. I'll probably come around, and then I'll probably leave it all out far past the Christmas season. Isn't that what normally happens?! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where Is Winter?

Seriously... is winter coming? I know it doesn't technically begin until December 21st, over a month away, but it is extremely unseasonably warm here. I'm not complaining too much. I am enjoying wearing short sleeves still, but this is Colorado, people. It shouldn't be 71 degrees outside after Thanksgiving. THIS IS CRAZY.

The only thing I worry about is having a super late winter and it still being cold when spring starts next year. Eek. I hope we get lots of snow, at least. I've been very disappointed on the snow front since I moved to Colorado. This will be my third winter out here -- bring on the white stuff!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to School

Today was a great first day back at work with the kiddos! They were in a good mood all day, and we were very productive. I was excited to try out a new activity with my language arts classes, and they did really well and had some fun! I'm so glad it went well so I can re-use the activity. :)

We have just 10 more instructional days until the district-wide assessment set. I am so nervous about that, but I know my students will be ready. They are working their butts off to become proficient, and they know what it at stake. Now, all I can do is pray that they demonstrate the knowledge that they DO have on the tests...

I had a great workout after school today, and I'm feeling strong. My legs are still a little sore from skiing on Saturday, but I pushed myself anyway, and that felt GREAT. I am so happy to be back into a healthy routine, and this time, I won't let it slip away when I get "too busy". In fact, I have already gone through my "too busy" phase of the semester, and working out each day kept me sane. It's wonderful. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend in the Mountains

This weekend, Dan and I drove to the mountains and had a lot of fun skiing. I took lessons for the first time, and I did much better than two years ago when I hated it. I'm happy that I'll be able to enjoy skiing now, though, and we can't wait to go again! It will be nice staying in hotels up there occasionally and not having to make the long (2.5 hour) drive each way in one day like we have done in the past. We also were able to find some decent shopping and food up there, so it was an overall good weekend!

I didn't get too many pictures this time. I meant to, but we were busy learning how to ski the proper way, so next time I will make sure to capture more shots!

my skis

panorama view of where I was sitting drinking a peppermint mocha! It was great :) 

Copper Mountain is so beautiful! 

I can't wait to try it out again, and hopefully I will have the same confidence built up! After all, I didn't have such a great time during any of the three previous times I went. Wish me luck this season! 

Thanksgiving in Colorado Springs

This was the first year that I stayed in Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving. Two years ago, Dan and I drove to Las Vegas and spent the holiday there eating at casino buffets. Last year, we drove home to Missouri and had dinner with my family in Kansas City. This year, we decided to just stay put. My brother, Derek, got here a couple days ahead of time, and Dan flew back from his visit to Oregon to see his mom in the afternoon, so I prepared dinner for the guys, and we all enjoyed it with some home-brewed white wine.

the table before we ate

vegetarian stuffing :) 

green bean casserole (double batch!)

garlic and chive creamy mashed potatoes

Dan and Derek's giant turkey legs

creamy corn casserole

cranberries :) 

creamed peas

macaroni and cheese

candied sweet potatoes (marshmallows on top)

pumpkin pie!

the table just before we ate

We had SUCH an amazing dinner. The food was so good, the company was good, the conversation was good, the wine was good... and the movie we watched after dinner was... interesting. (We rented Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.) 

Back to Work

Well, tomorrow is back to work! It's been a nice, relaxing break. I'm looking forward to seeing my kiddos tomorrow and seeing how their breaks were, but I am dreading that alarm clock going off at 5:50 in the morning. That is NEVER fun, no matter what. I slept in a lot over the past few days, though, and I feel rested, which is always a good way to begin a new week! We have just over two weeks before a big district-wide assessment, so I have a lot to teach before then! Wish me luck... and here goes the end of November and beginning of December! :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day that I pick Dan up at the airport, and for that I am thankful! I will be heading out in less than four hours, and I can't wait to see him! :) 

The food is almost all prepared, and when we get back home from the airport, we will throw it all in the oven and devour the yumminess! 

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my dedicated fiancĂ©, my helpful younger brother, the rest of my wonderful family, my adorable, cuddly felines, my intelligent, hard-working students, all of my amazing friends, and the delicious side dishes I can eat as a vegetarian! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blast From the Past: Two Year Anniversary in 2011

In February of 2011, Dan and I celebrated two years of dating. It feels slightly weird writing about it now since we are well on our way to FOUR years, but hey, the weekend of this anniversary was AMAZING, and I want to capture the memories forever.

Dan told me in early February of that year that he had a surprise for me over the weekend of our anniversary (the 25th). I went along with it because he always plans the best surprises! This one did not disappoint. We woke up early on a Saturday morning and started driving... it took two and a half hours to get where we were going, which was Alamosa, Colorado. He wouldn't tell me where we were heading until we got there, though. When we arrived in the tiny town, I was confused... until he took me to the train station. He had booked a "Winter Wonderland" train ride through the gorgeous and snowy mountains! (I love trains, by the way). It was an incredible time because there were so few people that we were able to really see everything. We stopped in La Veta, another tiny town, and had lunch. It was just BEAUTIFUL! When we got back to Alamosa that evening, I thought we were heading home, but Dan drove us to a hotel he had reserved with an indoor water park! Talk about fun! We headed out for Mexican food first (my favorite!) and enjoyed giant margaritas... and then we went back and played in the pool. It was a blast! On Sunday, Dan took me to an alligator/crocodile farm, where all kinds of gators live who have been rescued. It was a REALLY fun experience, and we even got to hold a baby! SO AMAZING. Overall, that was a weekend to remember... and I can't believe almost two years have passed since then! Craziness!

Sorry for the massive amount of photos! Oops! :)