Monday, December 31, 2012

Firsts on the First

In honor of it being the 1st, I thought I would share some firsts with you. My original paln was to dig out some old pictures and somehow make them digital. Yeah, that didn't happen...

My First Car
1983 Toyota Corolla. Mine was cream. With brown interior. His name was Tommy.

My First Cassette Tape
The Bangles "Everything" My parents gave me this for Christmas when I was in first grade. It had such kid friendly tracks as "In Your Room" and "Eternal Flame." I was given this with my first boom box. Before that I had a record player and hit vinyl that included Mickey Mouse.

My First Boyfriend
It was 7th Grade. His name was Dustin and we "went out" for 7 months. Which is like an eternity in middle school time.

My First Job
I worked at a store in the mall that sold fancy clothes for little kids. Christening gowns, tuxedos, flower girl dresses etc.

First Concert
New Kids on The Block. It was on Valentine's day. I think I was in 2nd or 3rd grade maybe. Jordan made my little kid heart swoon.

What are some of your firsts??

Helene in Between

Year End Review: My Favorite Posts of the Year

Dear 2012,
You were not my favorite. But, I do have some highlights. These are my favorite posts from this past year:
I like this one because it gave a nice over view of what I accomplished. However, looking back at it there are a ton of things I still haven't done. (Like all of them that are not crossed out.)

The one where I recap all of the awesome Valentine's Days I have had.
(Yes, that's my bathroom ceiling circa 2007)

I was quite the DIYer in March. I can't pick my favorite...


I also found the Mister's doppleganger. Spoiler alert: its Naomi Campbell

Any post that Tupac makes an appearance in needs to be on a best of list.

In June I recapped our wedding and called it Wedding Week. I love looking back at those posts. My favorite? The one looking at our ceremony.

My Oregon Bucket List
Rustic yurt at Beachside

My Vacation Recap

I'll be honest, I don't love reading about other people's vacations. Mostly I just scroll down and look at the pictures. I don't feel bad if you do that to this post.

My Classroom Tour
When Did I Grow Up and Become Responsible?
September was a rough month for me, but I really do like this post about my classroom. Mostly because it has truly never been this clean since!

The Mister got his own post!

This was a tough one. I actually really like a couple of my posts. So... My top 2 from November
What Would You Do? Parent Teacher Conference Edition
I took a look at my 90's crushes and what they look like today

And honorable mention goes to my love of Bernadette's style

Well, I really like this post. It was fun to go back through the year and look at what I was doing and what I wrote. But, besides for this post:
This was probably the biggest thing I have ever coordinated in my career. I am so proud of my students and what they were able to do.

What are your favorite posts of 2012? I'd love to check them out!

Covered in Grace 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Are you speaking my language??

The other day Ady posted about the 5 Love Languages. When I was in grad school I took a class called Healthy Relationships (trust me, a Masters degree in health education isn't as impressive as it sounds) and I did a project on the 5 Love Languages. It has been a few years since that class, and I was happy to  look at it again, and take a quiz on my love language (again). When you go to determine your love language they first questions they ask are if you are married or single and your role (husband/wife). At the end of 30 questions, you find out what your Love Languge is.

I was really not surprised at my results at all. Neither was the Mister. He then quoted me by saying "say nice things to me." (yes, I say that sometimes...) And my heart swoons a little when he sends me emails in the middle of the day. (it has been a long time since he has done that one...) I made The Mister take it too. Here are his results.

Do you notice something? We are exact opposites! Seeing that was pretty eye opening to me. He usually takes my dishes into the kitchen after dinner. According to this, it is his way of showing me he loves me through his love language: acts of service. What gets tricky is that my love language is last on his list and vice versa. SO... when we are trying to show our feelings the way we would like it, the other person isn't getting the whole picture.

The quiz took about 15 minutes or so to do, and I learned a bunch through it. The Mister grumbled about taking it, but I am glad he did. I am also glad we talked about our answers.

Here is the link to find out your love language!

What's your love language? Do you and your person have different love languages??

I wasn't paid for this post or anything. I just thought it was interesting!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Before I Met My Husband

In Runaway Bride, Ike (Richard Gere) calls out Maggie (Julia Roberts) for not really knowing how she likes her eggs. She just eats them how her current man friend eats them. While that is a bit extreme, I think it is pretty normal to be interested in/like things that you might not have before you were together.

Before I met my husband..
I didn't see a difference in hot sauce.
I also left out the 3 different salsas we have in the fridge...
I pulled all of those out of our cupboards. I know for sure there is some Tabasco somewhere in the house. The Mister uses a different hot sauce depending on what he is eating. Apparently this is a trait shared by his brothers too. At Christmas I was talking to his brother's wife about how the guys put hot sauce on everything. His youngest brother goes through the Costco sized bottles of Tapatio like they are going out of style. (I should have taken a picture of his plate on Christmas Eve. He covered his Turkey in the hot sauce.)

...I never would have watched Buffy.
I have now seen every episode. Plus every episode of the spinoff, Angel. And I liked it. The Mister owned both series on DVD when we met. I kind of made fun of him (in my head of course) for that. He had me watch it after I finished reading the Twilight books. Since then I have expanded my Vampire repertoire to include The Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood) and currently the Betsy Taylor series of books.

Speaking of TV shows, I also would have never enjoyed these before I met my husband

We actually first saw an episode of The Big Bang Theory when we were on a flight from Oregon to Florida, and we hated it. I don't know what made us try it out again, but now we watch it all the time (and the reruns really are on all the time.) I also would have never watched Justified. The previews of it make it seem too much like a Western, and that is a genre I am not a fan of. But The Mister made me watch it, and now I became a fan.

...I would not have the knowledge of outdoor clothing that I have.
Or the closet full of outdoor clothing that I have. My husband has made it his job to keep me warm. Probably my biggest complaint is that I am cold. Like all the time. Every gift giving season, he has gotten me some sort of clothing to keep me warm. This year was a North Face base layer and fleece slippers. Last year he researched the "warmest socks in the world" and bought me these:
...I would have NEVER moved back to the town I live now.
P.S. That's my vet...
I wouldn't have moved back here if we hadn't needed to buy a house in between our two jobs. I already wrote about why I love living here.

Are there things that you do now that you wouldn't have before you met your special someone?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Dates

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. We like to spread out the celebrations, so the Mister and I actually did our Christmas stuff together on the evening of the 22nd. The 23rd we drove up to Portland and hung out with my brother and his family. On Christmas Eve we headed to my in-laws for Christmas Eve dinner and some puzzle making. We spent the night and spent Christmas morning there. The Mister's Grandma made some AMAZING Mexican hot chocolate. Which I had a giant mugful after dinner and another in the morning.The Mister wasn't feeling great so we headed home around 1:00 and spent the rest of the day lounging around in our jammies. A perfect Christmas if you ask me. :) Oh yeah, did I mention that the Mister baked me cupcakes for my birthday? He was so cute to when he was doing it. I am pretty sure this is the first time he has ever baked anything.

Today I am heading out for my annual birthday lunch with the BFF. Bonus, she has a babysitter :) I also have some returns to do. I actually love returning gifts. Is that weird? The Mister thinks it is. I don't know why I like it, but I do.

I wanted to share one more Christmas tradition with you all (and to remember it for my future self). Every year that the Mister and I have been together, we have gone on a Christmas Date.

We drove through a local neighborhood that goes all out for Christmas. They take donations for the food bank. For the life of me I cannot find any pictures.

Our date this year was actually after Christmas. We flew down to Riverside, California for my Grandma's 90th birthday party. Her party was right next to the Mission Inn in Riverside, which is always one of the top 10 places in the US for Christmas light displays. It was awesome.

We went and saw The Nutcracker together. I have always loved this ballet, and I loved seeing it again.

Last year we stayed up in Portland and went and saw Zoolights at the Portland Zoo. It was cold. Like really cold. I think in the 20's or so.

This year I was looking for something to do for our annual Christmas date, when Groupon stepped up. They had a 2 tickets to Magic at the Mill for just $4. Salem was an old wool mill that you can tour and is also used for events like weddings and such. They also do a huge light display. I don't know how long this has been going on, but for $4 we were in.
It was a pretty fun little evening :)

Do you have any Christmas date traditions?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas cards

Here is our 2012 Christmas card. I looked forever for a picture for our card, but gave up. I was already to go buy a couple boxes of cards off the shelf when I decided to check Vistaprint. I found this option to create personalized caricatures of us. The Mister should be a little darker, but other than that, this is pretty much what we look like. I was really happy with the quality of the cards when we got them. It's even printed on both sides.

Merry Christmas!

Do you do personalized cards? What company did you use?

Vistaprint gave me nothing for this post.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Christmas Decorations 2012

I am taking a quick break from all the last minute stuff... I'll be honest with y'all, I just did my shopping yesterday (besides for my online stuff) and I started wrapping it yesterday. I always want to be one of those ladies that have it all together and all done by October. Sigh. Maybe someday. I did want to give you a little tour of our Christmas decorations. Those have pretty much been up since the end of November.
First up... The mantle

Not much has changed since last year. I did add my glitter canvas. I have a quick tutorial up here. (There is also a Pinterest fail, and those are always entertaining.) I also added those yarn trees.
Do you see Santa's boot? So cute!
I am pretty happy with those. I used this tutorial, and let me tell you, those were super messy to make.

Here is my card holder. I love Christmas cards. We never really sent them out as a family, so its all kind of new to me.

This is a frame without the glass. I wrapped the cardboard backing with wrapping paper and I hot glued ribbon. I use the cutest little clothes pins to hang my cards with.

Our tree:

This is our newest ornament. We got it in Kauai this summer.

This is the first Christmas since my mom passed. It also makes this the 19th Christmas without my dad. After mom passed away I went through my childhood decorations and took the most important ones to me. The first was the angel tree topper.

The Mister and I have used a star for the last couple of years, but he said we should use the angel from now on.

Another thing I took were two of my mom's Christmas bears... er mouses.

I made those pillows last year and the blanket a few years ago.

I also set up a small tree in our kitchen with these other decorations.

Every year my mom would get the M&Ms with the little plastic toppers that made a train. I took a small set of them to remind me of her. I also took the set of small wooden ornaments that I used to LOVE putting on the tree. These things are at least 30 years old. The little drummer monkey is even missing an arm. The story behind the wise man is one that we would tell every year. Before I was born, my dad was out shopping for Christmas stuff and he came home with this. My mom asked him where the rest of the wise men were. He said "it's a wise man? I thought he was just a cool looking hippie dude."

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas/holiday. This year is going to be a tough one, but having my mom's decorations up makes me smile.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

FInd me at..

Today you will find me over at Kristin's kNook posting about a Christmas Pinterest Fail and a Christmas Pinterest success. Check it out!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We Reached

Today is the first day of our Winter Break. Due to budget cuts and furlough days, we get 3 whole weeks off. To be honest, I need them. This is one of the busiest times of year for me at work. At my school I am the student activities coordinator. I plan dances, assemblies and other school wide events. This year I decided to resurrect an old tradition at my school known as Waldo Reaches Out. (Waldo is the name of my school. Please don't stalk me or be a creeper.) Basically I coordinated 6 or so different service projects for all 930+ of my little babies.

My students are awesome. I mean yes, they are in middle school, so they have that going against them, but overall I really like them. My students/school kind of has a reputation of being rough or a bunch of little gangsters. Yes, we have some punks, and yes most of my students are low income, but overall they are awesome.  I have found that they really like to give and help others. They just need the opportunity to help. Waldo Reaches Out gives them that opportunity and also helps to show the community a different side than what our reputation is.

We did a number of service projects for WRO.
Annual Food Drive
We collected about 1000 pounds of food.
Dog Biscuits for the Humane Society
The cooking classes baked up 18 batches of dog treats that will be given to the Humane Society.

Alphabet and Number Books for local Head Start classrooms
These are some of the pages the students made today. I think in total we had 50 completed number books and at least that many alphabet books!

Holiday Cards and ornaments for Seniors
The sewing classes made the ornaments. The cards were made in several classes as well.
Toothbrush Kits
The special ed class did a hygiene unit and then collected money and created these dental hygiene kits that will be given out at homeless outreach events.

Cards and Letters for the troops
We created a ton of Thank You cards that will be sent to soldiers stationed overseas. Some of them were really good. I should have gotten a picture! Some were also really funny :) I encouraged them to write jokes inside to help bring a smile to our soldiers. Earlier this year my leadership class ran candy donation drive after Halloween and we sent 50 pounds of Halloween candy to one of our teachers who is currently deployed.

Also our wood shop classes made and donated around 400 wooden toys, we put together 300 journals for Headstart, sorted 1200 books and so much more. My students are amazing!

Newlywed Moments