February 23, 2018

5 Friday Favorites

1. I was going to come up with a few Bachelor things, as usual, but this is getting ridiculously boring. Honestly, the Winter Games broke it up a bit...But all the Ashley I. was unappealing. As much as I do enjoy Ben Higgins, I can't listen to his podcast because of her. Unfortunate. Someone should really make him aware of how many people probably don't listen because of her. Also, my faith in Dean/Lesley is zero because he's a moron. Someone told me they were always rooting for Dean because he went to the local branch of the University of Colorado (UCCS). ...that's not a sticking point. Anyone can go there.

And we can't even talk about Arie because HOLY boring. In two weeks, we'll talk. #justwaitingformarch5th

2. I got the dogs all to myself this week. I decided that, after a stressful weekend for Scott, the best thing I could do for him would be to give him a week off from walking, feeding, petting, and pushing Jett to the floor while he (Scott) is trying to study.
I will say that I haven't had them here during a school week by myself in months and I forgot how much work they are. They make the week go more quickly though.

I told Scott about some upcoming dog birthday plans...

I think I mentioned before that Jett does this thing where he gets up at night, barks at you to wake you up, and insists you invite him (nicely) back up into bed. I have not gotten much sleep this week. 

I can't...
These kids are OBSESSED with unicorns. I don't remember another school year like this. 

4. This IG account is funny to follow. 

5. The ceremonial Iditarod start is tomorrow. I oddly came across a snippet about it in this past week's reading curriculum, so I took my Iditarod pictures in to show the kids. I think maybe we'll track it this year, the way I did when I taught in Missouri. They loved seeing the standings each day.


February 22, 2018

Confessions 2/22

Just a few things I've been thinking over the last week or so....

+I'm quite curious about how NBC can tout Shaun White on the Olympics when he's likely in the same camp as Matt Lauer, when it comes down to it. Matt Lauer was fired overnight. Shaun White gets commercials and interviews and whatnot.  Also, Savannah Guthrie sounds like she's asking him about what he had for breakfast in that clip I linked, not why he was being sued for sexual harassment.

+I wear the same shoes (brown boots) almost every day. It's just easier.

+When adults spell "fave" as "fav", my eye starts to twitch. Magic "e"s cause vowels to say their name, guys.

+I would never go to see The Greatest Showman just based on the fact that they've glorified (through song!) a verrrrry sketchy individual.  Even if half the stuff in that article is true, it's enough to show he's awful.

+I stopped listening to Happier with Gretchen Rubin and Happier in Hollywood with Liz and Sarah last fall. I just can't take the ridiculousness of their first-world whining anymore. They just started getting...dumb? If I want to listen to meaningless rambling, I'll listen to Bachelor recaps.

+Season 9 of The Office is a million times better than season 8. The reason why I never watched season 9 in real time was because I hated season 8 so much (I think it's because I don't like James Spader).

+I'm honestly thrilled to give Jett a human sibling. He adores babies and toddlers so much. He knows they're perfect petting height and he really just wants to be petted and hugged all day long. My precious Scout is a one-man dog and is into hunting and pretending he doesn't like to sleep next to me in the middle of the night (when he thinks I won't notice). But Jett will be so excited. I can already tell he'll be the best big brother (I would also love to get him a puppy but maybe next year...).

February 20, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day to Us: My car broke down

Sometimes, I feel like we're in a replay of the awfulness of August. 

I tried to drive to work on Valentine's Day and the coolant exploded in my RAV4. I was only a couple of miles from home and I didn't know what had happened, only that lights were coming on all over the place, so I drove slowly home just because I didn't want to leave the car sit on the side of the road and then have to have Scott tow it this weekend. Plus, how would I get home? Nothing was smoking or burning so I kept going. My neighbor saw me as she was driving back from dropping her kid off at school and followed me home (so that should make my parents feel better). 

Scott was four hours away in Laramie. 

We are lucky that it never occurred to me how much this would cost to fix or who would fix it: Scott would fix it. It just takes time. Everything takes time.

Anyway, I had to call work to tell them I wouldn't be there right away (and I sent a few instructions to my teammate for the sub), and then I spent the next hour on the phone with Scott while he told me what to check and what to take pictures of...

He was able to diagnosis the problem over the phone and he always asks so many questions in these situations...I could hear him watching Youtube videos about RAV4s and coolant leaks in the background...and it's honestly like I witnessed a crime: What happened before that? When did you see the lights? Did the red light come on before or AFTER the orange ones? Was there smoke? How long were the lights on for? I literally have to remember every detail on command.

Using the code scanner to figure out if there's a deeper issue other than the coolant sprayed around under the hood. (Scott wanted pictures so I happen to have them...I wasn't consciously thinking of documenting this.)

And then, I had to figure out how to charge the battery on the Nissan truck that we haven't driven since fall. I followed a lot of instructions. The battery was not charging quickly enough for me to make it to work, even for a half day. I had to call again and ask for an afternoon sub...I texted some plans to my teammate. (Later, I was told the students told others that it was an "awful" Valentine's Day because I wasn't there, which pretty much thrills me...these kids like me and I was so used to being despised by all...kids, parents, etc... last year.)

Scott walked me through how to jump the truck. My car would start just fine, so I used it to charge the truck battery and then the truck worked. It was too late to make it to work at this point.  If you don't get there by 11:30, they charge you for a whole day of leave and I wasn't working for free.  But the truck had to run for awhile to keep charging and it was low on gas. So I drove to the gas station and then to Target (with smeared mascara and a blotchy face...God bless that cashier for not saying anything about that), then Panda Express, and this is how I ended up on the couch by 2pm, watching Bachelor Winter Games.


And honestly, this is why I'm not working next year. I know we made the decision to hold onto this place for a year while we were also going to "be" in Wyoming. I also figured that, since it was here and remodeled, I might as well work one more year. We'd be paying the mortgage anyway. PLUS, we didn't close on the Wyoming house until the end of September so we would've been virtually homeless had we tried to move in August when we were originally looking for a house.

Scott has spent a lot of our marriage away and I've had to take care of so much on my own. This idea that I'd be in Colorado during the weeks and he'd be four hours away (with traffic) and the problems it can cause seemed self-inflicted, however. But, if I didn't have a job that was so demanding, it legitimately wouldn't have been as big of a deal. I could've not been in panic mode over making sure the Nissan worked assoonaspossible because I could've stayed home for two days until he came back from Wyoming. It wouldn't be such a stressor to know I have a 40 minute, one way, commute and no vehicle.

I haven't even handed in my letter of resignation yet, and people are already asking when I'm going to go back to work. That's funny, right? They keep asking me what I'm "going to do next". Um, I'm going to be an army wife.  We'll move 2-3 times in the next 5 years. Being an army wife is a legitimate full-time job anyway with the constant inconveniences and necessities that must be taken care of...the mandatory fun events, the volu-told activities, the paperwork, the appointments, the moving, etc.
I've just made the CHOICE to work for the last EIGHT years because I enjoyed it. I don't have TIME to teach after this year.

Normally, I'm not one who believes I need to be overly feminist in my speech or writing because I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT and I don't need to announce it to the world because seriously icandowhateveriwant. But WHY do I have to have "something to do" next fall? I'll HAVE something to do (a baby plus two dogs) and if I want to stay home for a few years, I shouldn't have to act like that's a concession. I've done the teaching thing and now I'm getting to do what I actually want to do for awhile, instead.

I'll go back to education in some form at some point, but I don't even know what state we'll be in a year from now so I really want to encourage these question-askers to not try to make me explain myself. This is especially prevalent to the people who have never lived a military lifestyle and keep asking me what I'm going to do next. When you move somewhere new, you have no help with anything. You are on your own. People who've done the military thing never ask this question because they know what it's like.
Another HUUUUUUGE factor in me not attempting to work for a couple of years is that childcare is too expensive. Paying for that in Colorado Springs would be over 3/4 of my paycheck each month.

Anyway...I was forced to reflect on this:

It was my go-to during all deployments and it's still always in the back of my mind. It was one of the first thoughts I had last week when I realized my car would not be driveable, I was stuck at home, and Scott was four hours away.

Whether you are a Christian or not, it just makes sense. Of course, suffering produces perseverance. Of course, perseverance will help to shape our character. And, of course, having a well-shaped character will lead us to hope that things will get better.


In the end, Scott was able to fix my car in 20 minutes, on Friday night, at 10pm, in the dark. A pressurized tube had popped apart because the gasket had come loose.

Still, it made for an uncertain few days because something usually (always) goes wrong for us.

Here's hoping the rest of this week flies by. 

February 19, 2018

Monday Motivation...

I spent the weekend evenings watching the Olympics...mostly skiing and ice-dancing. I did some schoolwork. I walked the dogs a lot. We were coming off of a semi-rough week and hopefully this one will be better, but right now I have a very disgruntled Scout in front of me: Scott left for Laramie without him because this seemed like a good week to leave the pups in Colorado with me.

Anyway. If you need some motivation, here's something I find popping up again and again on my Pinterest homepage. Maybe it's on everyone's. Or maybe this graphic just seeks me out.

Tonight is going to be a dilemma: ice-dancing finals or The Bachelor? Ice-dancing will probably win. I became mildly obsessed with it after Vancouver in 2010. I had nothing to do that winter as I waited for deployment #1 to end (this week, 8 years ago) and watched the Olympics about 20 hours a day. I adore Tanith Belbin (uh, White).

Hope you have today off as well! (because how else would I be blogging at 8:20am?)

February 16, 2018

Febru-ARIE, Week 7

1. Somewhere between Paris and Tuscany, Lauren had a personality transplant because I saw her smile. But she's still barely trying...like half-awake, instead of half-asleep (if there's a difference).

When she told him she was falling in love with him (puhlease), I think Arie had to leave so he could go high-five himself and tell himself to calm down. He literally just wants a blonde a la Emily Maynard.

2. Jacqueline has no idea how right she is to just leave. Plus she's a brunette. She's at an automatic disadvantage.

3. Why is Seinne wearing a lacy napkin? And Arie should admit that he used to work at Pizza Hut, not just a pizza place. Also, on their night portion of the date, he literally looked like a grandpa and she looked like she was going to an awards show, clothes-wise. It was definitely time for her to leave.

I really don't have anything else to say at this point. This season should shake up in a few weeks but right now it's like white bread, oatmeal, and Lauren B. 

February 15, 2018

Pinned/Did/Done 2/15

We normally don't do much for Valentine's Day, but yesterday was an exhausting and headache-inducing day (car trouble...), so me Facetiming with Jett was the highlight of my day (Scout wasn't super interested). 

But today, let's celebrate some Pinterest success. This is for you if you need recipe inspiration!

To see my Pinterest board where I keep track of everything I've tried, click here.

Parmesan Tomato Basil Soup. I liked the fact that this incorporated so many vegetables. I didn't puree it, but I might at some point in the future just to try it because I've done that with tomato soups in the past. I didn't mind the chunks of vegetables. Scott really liked this and I did too, but thought it didn't have as much flavor as it could have?

Sausage Orzo Soup. This was amazing. Like, I will make it once a month from here on out. Scott appreciate that it did not incorporate my only meat of choice lately (chicken sausage) and had pork sausage in it instead. The flavor with the tomato was excellent. It was incredibly easy to throw together. Next time, I will make a big batch without the pasta and add that into each portion later, as pasta doesn't freeze well.

8-Minute Pantry Dal. Let's be clear: the "8 minute" part is clickbait. It's referring to prep time, not cook time. However, this didn't take long and it was good. We love dal, and I plan on experimenting with different types at some point.

Marbled Banana Bread. This was really good. It's a bit more involved than my usual recipe, but worth the effort once in awhile.

Quinoa Corn Chowder. Again, Scott loved this. I thought it was just fine. I could see it being a quick go-to on a weeknight. Oddly, I always like making soups more than I actually like eating them.

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Edamame. I had a bag of frozen edamame taking up freezer space and all the rest of the ingredients on hand. This was interesting and actually really flavorful. If you like edamame, I'd try it.

Bacon-Wrapped Pheasant. Scott made this a few weeks ago. I did not partake, but it smelled good.

February 13, 2018

January Books 2018

Always You by Denise Grover Swank B-
I read this in one night because it's an easy read with a rom-com plot.

This was the 3rd book in the Bachelor Brotherhood series. I adored the first book, the second was meh-ish, and this was just okay as well. I appreciated the chick-flickness of it, because it was obviously predictable, but it wasn't as good as that first book: Only You. Also, I've always been a fan of this author's covers.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie DNF for now
I added this to my Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge for the year and I will read it. I got like 40% in and then the library snatched it back.

Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman DNF
I'd been eyeing this up for months, and it was like 98 cents on Daily Deals, so I grabbed it back in January. I was expecting something similar to Teacher Man by Frank McCourt but it is not like that. It's a fictional account based off of the author's real life but I think I would've enjoyed memoir-style much more. This didn't captivate me.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng A
I wrote a separate review of this with a few spoilers. I really enjoyed it.

Deadly Summer by Denise Grover Swank ....TBD
Meh. It hasn't pulled me in and I'm not even done with it. It's getting better (doesn't it always take time for a series to get off the ground a bit?). I'll finish it but this isn't boding well for a great reading month because all that. I should probably cut my losses and move on, but it's on my Kindle, so I will eventually finish it.


What I'm doing, regarding reading, is NOT working for me these days. I've been craving more, without having to sit and read because I'm not patient enough for that. While I currently have four actual books I'm in the middle of, I also downloaded Audible again because they offered me a deal of $9 a month for 3 months. I'll re-evaluate again after that.

I'm currently working on...

Britt-Marie is a library book so I need to get on with that, Deadly Summer was included on this link-up because I've been in the middle of it for two weeks and fully expected to be done with it by now, Prairie Fires is non-fiction and I read a bit at a time, and Sworn to Silence is the book I actually want to sit and read but I feel like I need to finish the others first.

If only my reading game was as strong as my TV-watching one.

I'll definitely read at least 30 books this year, because that's the slightly lower goal I've set on Goodreads so as not to stress myself out, but I'm off to a pitiful start.

How's your reading year going so far???

Linking up with Jana and Steph!

February 12, 2018

5 Weekend Bulletpoints

1. We watched almost two entire seasons of Fresh Off the Boat on Hulu. It's hilarious, if you haven't seen it. The best part I noticed was when the kid, Eddie, wanted to tutor someone and the mom, control-freak Jessica, said Tutoring is a step away from being a teacher and being a teacher is one missed paycheck away from homeless. Looking at my tax return, there's nothing more true.

Scott said I'm not like Jessica but I was skeptical because I do micromanage everything. This was evident later when, knowing how messy and snowy it was outside, Scott asked me if it was "okay" if the dogs went out (because he knows how I am about floors). Sure, I don't micromanage at all.

2. I made this soup and started this book. Both are fantastic.

3. I did a lot of laundry and cleaning.

4. I got all my schoolwork done on Friday because it was a workday, which means I did nothing this weekend. I didn't even check my email so we'll see what that looks like today.

5. Oh, and Facebook (I reconnected for a bit) started showing me Nordstrom ads and I ended up finding three things I really want and I can't quite justify buying them. Unfortunate, right? 1, 2, and 3.

Here's to a (sigh) 5-day week...this is where I'm at right now.

Linking up with Biana!

February 9, 2018

"The worst show ever", Week 6

Let's be clear: I really don't like myself for watching this show when there's so much bad happening in the world.

However, it passes the time. It's gotten me through deployments. It's a window to nothingness and sometimes that's what a person needs.

Even if it's the worst.

I'm not invested. I don't care. I don't follow anyone on Instagram, and just a couple on Twitter. It's kind of fun to read the spoilers and see how the puzzle pieces of the franchise fit together.

Everyone needs a hobby.

1. I think Bekah M. looks good as a blonde. She's just painfully young.  Too bad she ran away to a pot farm. The re-cappers keep getting this one wrong too. Reality Steve has the timeline that makes sense, and everyone else is just conjecturizing (a word?) and filling in blanks that don't make sense. If you read the spoilers, if makes perfect sense, but most re-cappers do not read spoilers.


2. What is Krystal wearing?

Crushed velvet, no bra, and newscaster pants from 1983. That's what I saw here.

3. Why is Lauren B. so boring? Is every Lauren B. this boring?

I even tried to find a picture by specifically searching "lauren b arie bachelor" and alllll the Laurens from this season came up, as well as Lauren Bushnell. They are literally indistinguishable.
Her shoes for walking around Paris? 4 inch heels? No wonder she was so quiet. I'm always quiet when I'm annoyed at myself and in pain because of shoe choices.

4. Jacqueline...


Doesn't every girl say "I'm so bad at shopping for myself"?  Maybe Arie took her shopping because he would prefer something else to the handkerchief she'd been wearing?

She does seem so genuine though.


I listen to A LOT of recap podcasts. This one drives me slightly insane but it passes the time in a quiet house. 
What I despise about these podcasts is that they all go unspoiled, so they say really dumb things and I'm always thinking Ohmygoshno, please just read something on the internet before you start talking. Like, get Seinne and Bekah M. out of your top four because anybody with a brain realizes they will not be in the top four (for different reasons), whether you've read the spoilers or not. Just because you want it to happen, doesn't mean it will. 
I legitimately cannot wait for this to all blow up in a few weeks because these podcasters will be like We never saw it coming and, really, it's pretty easy to see coming if you have the internet.

February 7, 2018

Currently (a link-up)

Finishing...putting together my Valentines. This is what I did while I watched The Bachelor. Things that I've not been finishing? Books and paper grading.

This may be the second year in a row I've done Star Wars ones. I'm not allowed to give them candy (sigh), so they get a mechanical pencil.

Subscribing...I don't actually subscribe to much that I have to pay for, unless you count being a Patreon supporter of The Popcast.  I will say that subscribing to The Balanced Life (Pilates) and Sarah Beth Yoga on Youtube is a game-changer though. When it comes right to your inbox, you don't have an excuse to not check out a new workout. It's FREE. The new Mind, Body, Pilates series starts on the 19th.  (I splurged on this Pilates series yesterday...calling it a birthday present because I had planned to buy it for awhile).

Wish-listing...oh so much. I am tossing around the idea of setting up a baby registry. I am also thinking about what we need to make this move to Wyoming easy. Essentially I'm just bookmarking things I like and sorting out the details later.

Watching...I've been re-watching the entirety of The Office. It's oddly comforting and great background noise. I'm on season 8-ish now, so I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm done.

Hearting...yesterday being a snow day. Of course, by the time my district decided to cancel (the onlyyyy one on the city that did), I was wide awake.

Also, hearting your sweet responses to yesterday's announcement.

Linking up with Anne in Residence for a Currently Link-up. She has a theme each month, which gives this some fun direction.