March 29, 2011


Cooper met his first horse over the weekend. He was pretty afraid and just barked at the horse the whole time. If he's going to be my dog, he has some learning to do about horses! Thought it was pretty cute!

March 28, 2011

Day One of Spring Break '11

Today was my first official day of spring break! And what a great day it was! I began the day by sleeping in, which has a whole new meaning now that we have a puppy, it means still getting up at 6:30 to let Cooper out (on the mornings that he is my responsibility, which today was) and then basically laying in bed for over an hour, then eventually falling asleep until 9:30. It was so great, not having to get out of bed to begin a day of homework! I had a manicure and pedicure scheduled which was left-over from the wedding festivities that I bought back in April of '10. Then I had lunch at Panera where I was able to enjoy some time reading more of my book. After lunch, I went to get a facial from Ulta (thanks Carli for sharing the great deal -- Two for the price of one!). I came home and planned the dinner menu for the week and went grocery shopping. Jason grilled out tonight so I didn't even need to cook -- thanks Jason! After dinner, we brought Cooper to the dog park. Man, was it cold! The past 3 days have been miserable with the winds! But with the amount of energy Cooper has, it's not really a choice anymore so we have to take him out. Plus, he loves, loves, loves it! He met a female goldendoodle puppy, Abby, who is just a month older than him. He was in love and played with her until she had to leave. As cold and miserable as I was, it was so much fun to see Cooper loving life! I finished the night off by ordering my textbooks that I'll need just one week from today. So very thankful for the awesome day of downtime and pampering! I guess the work-out routine will have to begin tomorrow...or the day-after??

I tried taking a pic of my fingers and toes but my toes just aren't all that pretty unless it has the ocean or palm trees behinds it! Plus, how cute is this picture of Sam in the background in the box we got from CostCo. He's just so cute...and so are Cooper's toys laying all over! :) Life is good!

March 26, 2011

First Trip to the Dog Park

Today was a big day for Cooper, we brought him to the dog park for the first time! He sniffed approximately 18 different butts of dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors. He held his own with all the dogs which I thought was really impressive. He was also the cutest dog far! (except Lauran's dog, of course! :) He's growing up so fast!
Cooper and his new friend, Kahlua (my friend Lauran's dog)
I loved this pic..thought it captured just how excited Cooper was to be there!
He's jumping for joy and smiling!

March 24, 2011

Spring Break!!!!

I made it! Spring break is here and I have passed 4 more classes of the 16 total classes that I need for my masters. I only have 6 more left (plus student teaching)!! About a month ago, I wasn't sure I was going to make it; this has been a really long 11 weeks. As with any class you take, the beginning of a quarter is usually pretty slow, it takes a couple weeks before anything is due and then all of a sudden everything seems to be due at the same time. (and then we get a puppy in the heat of it all!) But the cool thing about school is that you know it's only temporary and if you just keep pressing through, you will make it! And I did, I did, I did! Now I get to enjoy a full week off and have already made a list of some fun things I will do to reward myself for getting through.
For the next 10 days I will:
  • Clean my very, very, very, very messy bedroom
  • Spring clean my closet (Winter clothes OUT, Spring/Summer clothes IN - WOO HOO!)
  • Remember the closet Jason assembled a couple months ago? Its now time to arrange everything inside and get it organized
  • Get my car detailed (a Christmas present from Jason, how awesome is that?! Gotta love groupon!)
  • Get a manicure and pedicure (I love youswoop!)
  • Meet my mom and Sophie in the burbs with Cooper for a puppy playdate for them and a little shopping for me (Jason and I want curtains for in front of the dog crate and in our bedroom)
  • Begin a new work-out routine (again.)
  • Finish The Help which I started the first week of school and haven't been able to read ever since
  • Spoil our puppy
  • Clean out our front hall closet
  • Begin a new devotional
  • Watch a couple chic flicks
  • Clean our refrigerator
  • Catch up with a few friends I haven't seen in a while
  • Print out some wedding pictures
I'm so excited to do all this! Nothing like jam packing my week off. It's just such a great feeling to go to bed tonight and not have a million papers and assignments hovering over my head. Now if I could just get Cooper to let me sleep in tomorrow, I'd be all set!

Happy Spring Break to me!!

March 17, 2011

Shamrocks and Leprechauns

I learned early on in life that March in the Chicago suburbs brought two holidays: Cashmir Pulaski Day and St. Patrick's Day. Cashmir Pulaski Day meant a day off from school. No one really knew anything more about that guy named Cashmir except that he was Polish and did something worthy enough to give us a day off from school. St. Patrick's Day was had something to do with a Saint from Ireland and gave us an excuse to wear green to school, paste little green shamrocks to our cheeks and color pictures of leprechauns jumping out of big pots of gold.

As we grew up and "matured," the tradition became spending the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day bar hopping all over Chicago while still wearing our green shirts and little green shamrocks on our cheeks but instead of coloring pictures of green leprechauns, we drink green beer. I never realized that this wasn't the norm everywhere until 2004 when I was in Arizona for Spring Training and no one celebrated! It gave me a deepened appreciation for the city I call home. Did you know that Irish is the largest reported ethnic group in Chicago? If you've ever attended the Southside Irish parade (that has since been canceled because it had become too much of a drunken fest...shocker!) you would probably have guessed that.

Last year I tried to be all domestic and attempted to make Jason and I a traditional Irish meal consisting of a shepherds pie that I'd hope to never have to taste again and a green mint chocolate cake which I accidently used unsweetened chocolate. It was the most disgusting cake I've ever tasted in my life. This year, I decided to forgo the kitchen and stick with the traditions. Jason's mom and step-dad were here so on Saturday we went and saw the Chicago River after it had been dyed green. Truly a sight to see if you haven't already. (And I can assure you, it's a great place to people watch as well!) Tonight we're headed out for date night at the new Irish pub down the street for some good 'ole Irish grub and green beer. Nothing like extending the holiday and celebrating twice!

May the luck of the Irish be with each of you today and the rest of this green month!

March 15, 2011

And if Our God is For Us

A few weeks ago, Jason and I went to Big Willow for church because I had to do some schoolwork out in the burbs. While there, we heard that Chris Tomlin was going to be on his "And if Our God is For Us" Tour at church on Friday, March 11. When I heard that they were selling tickets in the bookstore immediately following the service I was practically trampling people trying to get upstairs to buy tickets. I knew that Jason's mom and stepdad really enjoy Louie Giglio (who does the message during the concert) and since we only had a couple minutes to decide how many tickets we wanted, we went ahead and got them tickets and hoped they'd be able to come. In that same second we decided to get my parents tickets and in the rare chance, they'd also be able to make it. As it turned out, both families said they could join us!

The concert was amazing, even better than I expected...and I had high expectations because of past shows I've been to. It was such a powerful night complete with fellowship with our families and more importantly time to worship our amazing Lord. God has given Chris such an amazing gift and its incredible to see how he's transforming lives through his music. Christian or not, I highly recommend hitting up a Chris Tomlin concert, your life may forever be changed!

Close your eyes and take a listen...see if you feel anything. :)

March 14, 2011

I passed!

Woohoo, some super exciting news to share! I passed the LBS1 test! This is the test that I took over Valentines Day weekend. Everyone told me it's a simple test and almost everyone passes it. I wasn't that worried until I took the test and was completely split on how I did. I felt like I knew with 100% certainty about half the questions and the other half I wasn't that sure. What I was most concerned about if I didn't pass it was how I would ever study for it. I'm so excited to have one more test completed and only have 2 more left (and 6 more classes and student teaching) before I am a certified teacher! Now I'm off to finish my research project that is due in 4.5 hours!

March 10, 2011

Bedding Pillows and More Pillows!!

When I was little, I remember many morning when my mom would have me help her make her bed. One of us on one side, pulling up the covers and the other on the other side. I remember us laughing and saying we were the best bed makers and should go into business making beds for people because we did it so well together. Well besides those bed-making days with my mom, I've hated making my own bed. I despised it. I remember (wonderful mom that she is ;-) she always made me make my bed but it was a constant struggle. She probably gave up by the time I was in middle school realizing I was a lost cause.

When I lived in a studio apartment in Boystown I had to make my bed on a daily basis because anytime anyone would come into my apartment, they'd (obviously) see my bed. I'm sure you can imagine the excitement when I moved to Southport which had a door attached to my bedroom! I probably only made my bed a total of 4 times when I lived there. (the four times my mom visited!)

Well, as luck would have it, I married a man who makes their bed every day. Seriously, what guy makes his bed every day? Yep, I found the only one, my husband makes his bed. Every Day. So part of being married means meeting his expectations. One of them is that I'm expected to make the bed every day. Awesome. It's a constant struggle every morning. And the best part is that back when we created our wedding registry, the girly side of me got this great idea to buy all these matching pillows for our bed. Seven of them. Three Euro shams, two shams and two throw pillows. Are you kidding me?! We all know how much I love sleep so of course I'm the last to rise and while he makes his side of the bed, I'm still stuck making mine and throwing all (seven!!) pillows on. One thing is for sure. I will never ever buy more than 2 pillows for our future bedding set. At least he's super understanding for my need to have a very messy room and lets me stash just about everything you can think of on my side of the bed where no one can ever see! :)

March 7, 2011

Greener Grass

I saw this on a friends facebook last week...LOVED it and thought I'd share...

"When the grass looks greener on the other side, water your OWN yard."

How awesome is that?!

Monday Randomness

It appears that the only way I'm able to stay afloat via the blog is to just ramble because I don't have time to sit and write all the individual posts about awesome things that are going on and want to share. Instead I'll have another rambling post to catch up until we meet again which will probably have to wait until next week.

Life is just flying by with a lot of great thing!! However, as I've stated in many past posts, school is really kicking my butt. In a big way. In addition to school, everything seems to be happening at once. Love our little puppy but the timing of bringing him home has been a huge distraction in more than a few ways. He requires a lot of work and just like a newborn baby, everyone wants to see him (okay, so honestly it's more like I am so proud to show him off to EVERYONE) that we have all these dates to meet up with friends/family or setting up playdates with anyone and everyone who has a dog for Cooper to play with. So with schoolwork accumulating, and then having the responsibility of the puppy and wanting everyone to meet him before he's too big (he is growing like a weed, a few inches per week!) Then with leading our small group once a week, which kicked in around the same time that school started to get crazy and when we got Mr. Cooper, I think I may have just a little too much on my plate. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective, not allowing the amount of work I have to do take away from the joys in life. In 3 weeks, school will be out and I'll have so much more time to relax and enjoy Cooper, but at the same time he'll be 13 weeks old and I'll never be able to get back all the days that have past when he was just 10 weeks or 11 week, etc. I know looking back, this will be one of the happiest times that i wish I could get back with Cooper, so I'm determined to enjoy it while it's here. He seriously is such a sweet, loving and CUTE puppy. He's been such a joy to have around and I am confident he is also strengthening our marriage.

The really fabulous part of all this though is that there are only 3 more weeks and I get a break for a full week! Two of my classes are done in two weeks, the other two go an additional week. I have so many big projects due by then so the anxiety and racing heart rate kick in.

We did have a wonderful weekend with family and friends. Thursday we were able to meet my parents for dinner to celebrate my birthday (which is a post I wanted to write about but couldn't make the time.) Cooper got to meet my parents dog, Sophie. Cooper LOVES his cousin Sophie...Sophie can't wait to show Cooper how to swim this summer! Saturday we had Brandon's 1st birthday party and then my great friend Stacy and her husband come down with their puppy/dog. Cooper barked the entire time they were here and had a blast. It was good to see both Stacy and her husband. (and the pizza was delicious too!) Sunday was church then I went to go to the burbs to do more schoolwork on my cousins kids. (that specific schoolwork is the source of much of my frustration this quarter) While we were out there we brought Cooper over to meet my grandma and then we also went out to dinner with her. My brother happened to be in the area so he stopped in to meet Cooper. (and I got to see Kaylee!!) It was a jam packed weekend of wonderful memories with family and friends and I am forever grateful.

One last rambling for the day, I definitely am only taking 3 courses next semester which will push back my graduation from Dec '11 to June '12. Long story short, 3 classes/quarter is considered full time and you must get approval to take anymore that that and I can't get approved, even though I am taking 4 this quarter. (maybe the director has been reading my blog and knows how stressed I am?! LOL) I've been pretty discouraged knowing it's going to push back all my classes by a whole quarter and then pushing graduation back by 2 quarters (they don't have a March graduation) but I am confident that God has a hand in all this and though I may be discouraged now, I am sure He sees the big picture and has it all worked out for me. Already since the day I found that out, I have already realized some major perks to this situation. I now will be student teaching and attending job fairs when schools are hiring. Plus with my course load being lowered, I will hopefully not be feeling the pressures that I am this quarter to which I can only say YAHOO!!!!

March 2, 2011

Bones and Hooves

So am I seriously the only person who didn't know or realize that the dog bones that dogs chew on are actual bones!? Jason and I took Cooper to his first puppy class last night and he ended up being the only one at the class so we got an hour of private time with the trainer and will begin with a full class in a few weeks. During that time she brought out a bunch of dog toys and treats and Cooper's favorite ended up being a hoof. Jason made some comment about it being real and I didn't pay much attention until I picked it up after Cooper had been chewing on it and realized how it smelled like a farm. That is just gross! Not only is it disgusting that my dog is happier than he's ever been when he's chewing on a deceased animals hoof but also at the idea that I am paying for the poor animal to be slaughtered for my dogs pleasure. I'm not joining PETA or anything like that. After-all, I do love my morning milk and cheese and and when I don't take the time to think about it, I also love a steak or hamburger every once in a while! It was just a crazy revelation that I realized this has been going on my whole life and naive me thought they were just some fake bones that looked like real bones. This will forever change the way I think when I read my kids books such as Clifford and he's carrying some big bone!