Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cheers All Around!

In recent weeks, my friends and I have been going through a whole bunch of new experiences. Of course, you already know that I bought my very own new house, but congratulations are also in order for many of my friends. Hopefully I don't leave anything out. Please forgive me if I do! As I've already mentioned on here, two of my kickball friends, Cattina and Allen, are expecting their first baby in January. Yesterday, they found out that they are having a girl! This is very exciting news! I know the whole Crazy Kicker family is anxious to meet her (and to shop for her)! Closely connected to this are Preston and Karen, who will become first-time grandparents when the little one arrives at the beginning of next year! They will be fabulous at it, too! Another Crazy Kicker, Kellie, was recently hired to teach art, photography, and graphic design at Norview High, which is right by her house. She is going to be a fabulous teacher because she has a passion for the subject matter and for the kids! I certainly look forward to sharing and comparing stories with her in the upcoming year! On to Ben, yet another Crazy Kicker with something big going on. In fact, Ben is about to take the huge step into wedded bliss! In just two short weeks, Ben will be marrying his long-time girlfriend in Florida. While I will miss Ben and his extreme speed on the kickball field, I wish him every happiness with Patrice! Leaving the kickball team behind, more congratulations must be extended to my friend, Triva, who is one of my best friends from my time at Wesleyan! She and her husband, Chad, recently welcomed their second son, Noah, into the world. Noah joins older brother Logan in completing this family of four. Both of the boys are just adorable! Well, that is all I can think of right now. I am sure to have further updates soon, seeing as how we are all at that age when weddings and babies (anytime now, Sarah) are running rampant! I am so glad to get to share in all of these special times!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

DANG, It's HOT!!

I am sure most would agree with me that it is just tooooo hot outside. I hate opening the door and feeling like I have walked into a brick wall. It is unbelievable that it is so hot outside that I start to sweat in the 20 or so steps that I have to take to my car. Then, the car offers no relief. I get inside and feel as though I have entered a sauna. Turning on the air conditioner offers very little relief (at first, anyway). It just blows a whole bunch of hot air when first turned on. Sheesh, it is just so much more comfortable to stay inside. I, for one, am very glad that I was born in a time with the convenience of air conditioning and ice machines. I don't really consider myself a pampered girly-girl, but I certainly am not a person that thrives in this kind of weather. I'll just consider myself lucky that I don't have a job that requires that I work outside (Allen and Preston) because I surely wouldn't make it through a single day. The funny thing is that I don't remember the heat bothering me so much as a kid. I was always outside, and it never bothered me! I guess a person's tolerance for heat is one thing that diminishes with age. Either that or we just can't get away with the cooling activities that we relied on as kids. After all, my neighbors may start to talk if I started running through a sprinkler or flying down a "Slip-n-Slide." I'll save myself that embarrassment and just stay inside.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Okay, I am finally going to fill you in on how I am doing with completing my alphabet tasks. The progress is slow, but I have a lot planned for my last few weeks of vacation. Starting with the letter "A," I have been to an amusement park. I went to Busch Gardens with, Jodi, one of my best friends from teaching. Jodi and I met my first year teaching, when we were both working on the third grade hall. Since then, Jodi has moved to our middle school, but we keep in touch since I spend two afternoons a week working at her school. Anyway, Jodi and I decided to go to Busch Gardens on a day when her kids were with other family members. She was especially excited about this because it was the first time she'd been to BG without children. In the end, we had a blast. The weather was perfect, not as hot as it had been on other days. Because we didn't go until early afternoon, we got premiere parking and didn't have to wait in any terribly long lines. Plus, we only rode the rides we really wanted to go on, and we got to take our time and see as many of the shows as we wanted to see. My personal favorite was the "More Pet Shenanigans" show, which displays adopted cats and dogs doing the cutest tricks! I wanted to bring them all home with me! I also enjoyed riding the new "Griffon" roller coaster. Jodi wanted to ride in the front row, but since I am not the biggest roller coaster fan, I convinced her to ride in the second row. After the ride, I had to admit that it was really fun and a very smooth ride. It is definitely one of the best there, right up there with "Apollo's Chariot." When all was said and done, it was an extremely fun day spent with a really great friend! On to the letter "B." I listed "backyard barbecue" as my task for this letter. I actually completed this task way back on the 4th of July, when some of the members of my kickball team got together to celebrate the holiday. Considering that this was a gathering of some of my favorite people, I knew that it would be a blast, but it far exceeded my expectations. I spent the beginning of the party playing basketball in the pool with some of the boys. Of course, the problem with this was that I didn't have my bathing suit with me, so I ended up soaked and had to borrow clothes from Karen so that I could comfortably enjoy the rest of the party. Still, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I love basketball, but hadn't really played at all in years. A little water wasn't going to keep me from having some fun! Also at the party, we had some delicious food and great conversations. At one point, I was playing air hockey with Cattina, but the results of that were so embarrassing that I don't care to share them on here! Let's just say I scored more than she did, but she won in the end.....argh!!! Skipping down to the letter "K," I have spent a little time sharpening my kickball skills this summer. To start with, there was one Sunday in particular when I raced from church to kickball practice. While I had fun that day, I must admit that it was incredibly hot and uncomfortable outside. On top of that, we got kicked off of the field we were originally supposed to practice/play on and then had trouble finding a new field to use. In the end, I played in a game and scored a run, so I considered it a successful day. Since then, I have been doing a little bit of practice, especially with Sampras. In fact, I even bought a huge kickball to use in the backyard, but since Sampras had it popped in less than a minute, that didn't really help very much. I must say that the MVP training isn't really going as planned. Looks like Kellie is a shoe-in for this season!!! "Q" is for "quiet time," which I thankfully have had a good amount of this summer. When I wake up in the morning (at whatever time....haha), I usually spend a couple of hours relaxing. It is soooo nice not to have anywhere where I have to be right away in the mornings. Most days, I spend a little time playing with Sampras and reading books or the newspaper. It is wonderful to start the days so calmly, especially since I know I'll be rushing to get to work in just a few weeks. I can't even tell you how nice it has been to relax! I have done a little bit of "Running" this summer, but not nearly as much as I would have liked. Because I have a difficult time being in the sun (due to my light sensitivity and the fact that I just don't like the heat), I usually find excuses not to run on the days that I plan to. I will say that I have taken Sampras for quite a few walks, so it isn't like I haven't gotten any exercise this summer. To tell the truth, I should have known when adding that letter to my list that I would be too lazy to actually stick to that plan. Who did I think I was kidding? Last week, I completed my letter "T" task by attending a Tides' game. That night, the Tides were playing the Louisville Bats. I went to the game with my best friend from college, Sarah. Sarah and I have attended at least one game for the last few summers, but this one was by far the worst. The Tides lost 11-0, and they basically couldn't do anything right the entire game. In fact, I think they only got two men on base the entire night. It was a sad showing, making the highlight of the game the extremely cute guy that played for the other team. Of course, Sarah and I weren't about to let some disappointing play by the home team ruin our night. We ended up laughing late into the night about professors and experiences that we had had in college. I certainly don't regret attending the game, seeing as how I don't think a summer can be complete without at least one live baseball game. The last letter that I have completed thus far is the letter "Y." After moving into my new house, I went to the Yankee Candle Store with my mom, my sister, and one of my best friends, Ann. It made for a very fun day. After spending the first part of our trip smelling every scent of candle known to man, our fun foursome then wandered through the other stores within the candle castle. My favorite store continues to be the one where snow falls year-round. I always hope for snow here, so I don't think you can beat a place where it snows all the time. It is just magical!! While I have been to the Yankee Candle Store several times at this point, this was the first time I ever participated in the candle-dipping process. Well, I actually just watched Ann dip a candle, but it was fun none-the-less. Ann ended up dipping a wax sunshine into red, orange, and yellow coloring, and it came out looking really cool. At the end of the trip, I walked away with about ten candle tarts, which I have been using to keep my house smelling wonderful. It was another fun day with great people, and I don't think you can ask for much more!