Inherited, Interested, Instinct, Imposing, Impressive, & Imagining

Okay, so "I" wasn't as hard as I thought it would be :)

Some people inherit physical objects from their parents: rings, watches, boats. Others inherit physical appearances: nose, hair, coloring... While others inherit abilities: athletic abilities, gardening abilities, make-everyone-in-the-room-know-you're-there abilities.

Although I've inherited plenty of the second: curls, a large second tow, moles and more, & a few of the first, even if at the time these items are mainly stray socks I wasn't supposed to end up with or a favorite pen from the communal family pen cup above the phone, I think the thing I am most thankful for having inherited are the abilities. In the past year I have realized that despite other family members fears, I have inherited a portion of my mother's cooking abilities (and yes, I have probably inherited countless other things- plenty from my dad which we don't need to mention, I'm afraid these are plenty apparent). I am not sure why I never "applied myself" in the kitchen when I was at home. To have a schoon instructor with hands on teaching is something many don't get. I was impatient and mom was a fairly clean-follow- the-recipe-exactly even if it says to crack the egg on your neighbor's porch, than by goll you better crack that egg on your neghbor's porch or the recipe won't turn out right. I wasn't patient enough to read thorugh the entire recipe before beginning, however, which lead to many an argument around the kitchen island...But I suppose I digree...the point is--- I made funeral brownies! (and for those of you that are offended by this, I'll tell the whole story later, and post a picturemaybe!)


Awhile back one of my friends informed me that the number one public speaking that is ignored is the speech that flight attendants give before you take off. Thanks to this friend, and to my inability to ignore those who are being ignored by others, I now HAVE TO not only listen to, but be sure that my eyes are on the attendants during the "you may use your seat cushion as a floating device," and the "the nearest exits are here here and here." Thanks a lot...whoever it was that told me this information!


Friday I was at the airport standing in line to go through security when it hit me that in about 40 seconds I would have to say good bye to Brent. And instantly my insides went funny, maybe a better word would be limp. Yes, they went limp. It was this instinctual limpness that brought back a flood of memories-- of prior goodbyes. So many goodbyes. Too many goodbyes for any sane couple to put themselves through. I know that I will be returning to him shortly, but I had forgotten just how much I hated the word "goodbye." I'm still not quite sure how we did it for 4 years.


While on the flight here I noticed another interesting social phenomenon. Our society can nearly be sitting on top of one other and yet we don't want to say hello, let alone mention our name to the person we are sharing an armrest with. What is this about? Why have we become a society in which we feel like we are imposing if we ask someone next to us how they are doing?

I thought about this the other day when I was in rush hour traffic as well: we are literally not even a foot away from the person in the car next to us, and yet we choose to 1) not even act like they exist and try our hardest not to make eye contact or 2) get so bitterly mad at someone we have not even spoken to because they forgot to turn on their blinker. This reminds me a little of the song "Mayberry" by Rascal Flatts... "I miss Mayberry, sittin' on the porch drinkin' ice cold cherry coke, everything is black and white... strummin' on a 6 string, people pass by and they call you by your first name, watchin' the day go bye...." I think we need to be less afraid of imposing on the people around us and try and get back to knowing each other again.


Before I left my students were wrapping up their speech unit, which ended in the presentation of their speeches. I was so impressed with my pubescent up and comers! Maybe we'll end this year on a good note after all :)


Being home I always feel like I can breath a little deeper. I think this also leads to my creativity being a little stronger. I miss this-- I feel so clausterphobic in the city. Reminds me of the old Dixie Chics song, "Wide Open Spaces"

It's good to be home.


Hiatus, Hilarious, Hankerin', Highlight, Holes & Happiness

First, here are some pictures of spring for those of you who aren't quite there yet. Enjoy:

(H was hard for me for some reason...)


First of all, NO, I did not plan on taking a hiatus from the blogging world, it just happened that way. I had full intentions of writing this last week (I even wrote a sticky note with ideas and have it on my desk), and then everything got busy. So I pushed it back to this weekend, and then we decided to file our taxes (gross). So here I am, a beautiful Monday (I am even wearing a skirt!) finally writing this.
Secondly, I am looking forward to my real hiatus that I get to take next week for Spring break! I fly out Monday for HOME, will spend time with family there, and then drive up to OC to see some other faces I haven't seen in awhile. I have been looking forward to this trip for quite some time!


A friend of mine was over the other night and was helping me with supper when I proceeded to pull a chicken breast out of the freezer. It was neatly packaged in a Ziploc baggie. She thought this was hilarious, for some reason. However, I see this as good, common sense. You see, the first thing I do when I come home from the store is separate out my meat. I put one chicken breast in a baggie, and separate my beef my pounds (1 lb. per bag). This way, if I dethaw it, I don't have to dethaw and cook ALL of it at once. This allows me to buy in bulk (cheaper), and cook smaller portions (healthier). I mean, is that so weird?


Speaking of healthy, Brent and I got a hankerin' for some chocolate covered raisins the other night. (I say "Brent and I" when really I mean "I" because if he had had the craving we would not have rushed to Walmart to buy them asap.) Well...........by the next day the bag was empty. It was a pound. There is nothing wrong with that...right?


One highlight of my week last week: my car turned over to 200,000.


Yesterday after church we walked outside to an ABSOLUTELY beautiful day. I knew immediately where Brent's mind went...GOLF. He didn't breath a word of it though so I asked him if he wanted to go. OF COURSE. So after a huge and much needed grocery run, watching the Jayhawks WIN (and Aldrich getting a triple double! what!?), we went to a nearby golf course at 5 (just in time for the Louisville game...we figured the course would be wide open then-- we actually heard shouting from the houses around the course periodically). I don't golf, for those of you that were wondering, so I just walked with him and looked for golf balls in the ditches. It actually was pretty fun.... and believe it or not, I was a little pooped afterward. I'll now admit that golfing is a sport :)
Mom, Brent wanted me to tell you that he really likes his new putter. Here he is with it in action:


The other night Brent and I decided to spiff up a little and go to a cheap-theater movie. We ended up seeing "New in Town," a movie about executive, Renee Zellwigger (sp?), moving from Miami to Minnesota in the winter. I LOVED it. It made me miss the harsh and bitter cold of Iowa. When others in the theater laughed, I could only wonder if they had ever truly experienced cold like that portrayed in the movie. There were a lot of "youbetcha's" and "dontchaknows" and at one point Renee's character brings a cake over as an apology and says, "I have figured out this is how people apologize around here." It was very clever and cute, and for you Minnesotans or northern Iowegians, it may be worth renting sometime. (Brent actually didn't mind it either, although I don't know if he would openly admit this!)

Anyway, it was fun to go out on "a date" again with Brent. We snapped a few shots before we left:

Hopefully I don't wait as long to blog again so that I don't have to write as much :) ("I" may be a toughy too.....)


gouging, gatherings, grades


I think spring fever has hit! This weekend I decided it was time for Brent and I to dig through out clothes and see what could be "ousted." It was a long process...

Here is the pile of clothes that we ended up with!:

We had A LOT of T-shirts that we realized we don't wear anymore. This is Brent's stack, and mine was about half this size. :

We decided to donate the clothes to "Life Bridge," which is at a "Goodwill" type organization operated at our church.

Boy oh boy did it feel good to get rid of excess. I can't believe how much "stuff" we accumulate! I hope to do this with other closets and cabinets in the apartment soon!

On Sunday the guys all got together after church and had fun dunking (for about 4 hours!!) Then they all headed to our apartment to watch the selection show for March Madness. They were all furiously filling in their brackets. Oh the joys of "bracketology"

While they were quietly occupied in the living room, us ladies made a nice Italian supper. Meagan was apparently excited!

As these were winding down, I made italian sodas for everyone! It was a lot of fun. (The guys cannot take a serious picture.)


The bad news is, I did have to re-enter half my grades because they were lost in the system somewhere (luckily/unluckily, it wasn't just me that this happened to). Good news it...grades are OFFICIALLY posted (but are grades really ever complete?!)

first, faculty, and focus

I know it has been a little while since I have written. Grades are entered and done (or so I thought...turns out I entered about 10 for each class wrong and they DISAPPEARED and I may have to redo them...ughhhh...). This will be brief and I hope to post more (with pictures) about the weekend later.


Mondays are never fun. The first day of the week it is simply miserable to drag myself out of bed. It doesn't even matter if I went to bed at 8 oclock the night before!! This morning I laid in bed a little too late and, like a lot of mornings, had to wake Brent up to get my lunch ready and help me out so I wouldn't be late. Man! Some things never change. Good thing Brent is a very patient and good man.


Another reason I hate a lot of Mondays is because we have our faculty meetings on this day throughout the year. Cruel and unsual? I would have to agree. They, like most meetings that people are forced to attend, drag on for about an hour and a half longer than is necessary. I'm sure today will be no different.


Since I have been venting, I thought I should also share something that helped remind me of my focus and why I entered teaching. This morning I came into my room and there was a journal on my desk with the verse "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," on the front. I had no idea where it came from so I opened it up and read: "To Mrs. Irwin-- You're the best teacher I've had. You've inspired me, and taught me so much. Thank you."

What was a horrible Monday is now a blessed day. For those of you who are teachers, you know how important words like this can be. That should get me through the end of the year :)

--more later.



(Creative, I know)


Grades are due. I may be MIA until Friday.


drinks, daylight savings, and drives

(Yep, I'm still on the letter kick...hang with me, I am waiting to see what letter will throw me off, or when I will get tired of it, or when someone else will complain :)

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous! I could not believe how nice the weather was. Brent woke up early saturday to go to work, and this particular day was a "work day" on the outside fields, so he spent all morning in the high 70s weather. He came home tired, but I hadn't even been OUTSIDE, so while trying to decide what to do we walked to the mailbox, got one to many bills, and then headed back to the apartment. I really wanted to go somewhere: walk, play catch, have a picnic...whatever?! Eventually I decided that I wanted to go to Starbucks (which is always such a treat, and I still had a partial giftcard) and sit outside there and enjoy the drink and the day. But then the truth came out of Brent's mouth: "Well, KU plays at 2."

So we compromised, without a fight I might add (we are getting good at this business), and this is what we came up with: I mixed up some great orange julius' (a recipe from one of my freshman that I student taught!), and we sat on our own porch, and instead of facing out, turned our chairs in. Yep, we watched the game whilst we sipped our tasty drinks on the porch and enjoying the sun! :) I snapped a few shots:

Daylight Savings:

Does anyone know why this is still a part of our year to year culture? Every year I absolutely hate switching back the clocks. Not only do I lose a precious hour of sleep, but it feels like I am losing an hour of my life (which I know technically is not true). I also loathe waking up now (and before, let's be honest with ourselves), because it is so incredibly dark out still. UGH...Dang Benjamin Franklin, why did you have to invent such a thing?!


Brent and I have been slowly saving up in the hopes of finding a new set of wheels! We're planning on cracking down and buying a new car when the school year is over, unless we find a great deal before then. Although our budget is low, we know the end result will HAVE to be better than what we are currently driving. In case my car overhears me typing and feels insulted, I must add however that my car and Brent's, for all practical purposes have been incredible cars. Yes, we have both had our fair share of maintences, check engine lights ( Brent is premanently on, and mine randomly comes on and goes off), mufflers falling off etc. But all in all we felt lucky to find the cars we found at the prices we did when we both needed them (oddly enough we both bought our Grand Ams the same year, and they are a year a part (96 and 97). They saw us through many LONG trips to northern Iowa and Southern Missouri.

We are not looking for a car because we feel we need the biggest and best, we are looking for a car because we feel ours may completely fall off the hinges at any given moment (There have seriously been times that I have hit a bump and cringed, thinking that the body would just fall of the wheels, or that I would see a wheel rolling past me, or that I would look in the review mirror and see my engine). We are not looking for a NEW car, but one we can pay in full and feel at peace driving on a day to day basis. I will keep you updated. And in the meantime: does anyone want to buy a grand am? :)


cheesecake, cheers, and change

(I decided that I would stick with the labeling thing, and move on to the next letter in the alphabet)


I finally did it... I finally attempted to make my mom's oh-so-famous cheesecake. For those of you who are unaware of how delicious and desirable my mom's cheesecake is, you could ask any of the guests that attended my graduation ceremony back in the day (or Kali's graduation from college), because she made...and made...and made cheesecakes for both of these occasions and the critics loved it! After said graduation ceremony one of my friends called me up and said, "Kelsey, if you have cheesecake left we want to come hang out with you; if you don't, you're welcome to come hang out with us." Yes, it had this much of a draw on people.

So the other night I broke down and bought a spring form pan and the necessary ingredients and began my work. We were having some friends over this evening, but I wasn't planning on serving it until Thursday night when we were all getting together again (much better if it has a long time to chill). Brent came home from work and I told him to look in the oven. He did, and said, "This is 35% of the reason I married you: because I know you had your mom's baking skills in you somewhere!" Ha! Funny thing is, I believed him!

As it was cooling one of our friends that was here that evening said he would probably just stay until 1 a.m. when it was sufficiently cooled so he could try it! Well, last night I "unveiled" my first attempt at cheesecake, and although there were some minor setbacks along the way, the end result was delicious...and Brent confirmed it tasted basically the same as mom's! Whew. What a compliment. Everyone else was complimentary as well. Just one more draw to try to get you all to come to Louisville for a visit:

The other day we were hanging out with a group of friends and the theme song from Cheers popped into my head...ya know, the part that goes, "Isn't it nice to go where everybody knows your name?" It was just a passing moment, but I realized that it was significant. I remember my first year of college and this constant need to just feel like I was known. Eventually that need was met with such wonderful people, and I now see that happening here. The only downfall here, much like in college, is that most of these people will be leaving next year. Although we don't plan on staying here long ourselves, it will be difficult to say goodbye and start the long process of making friends over again. But for the time being, it's nice to be with a group "where everybody knows your name..."


I can't believe the change in the weather here! Today it up in the 70s!! I told one of our friends the other day when he mentioned that he was glad that spring was finally on its way that I am pretty sure my body is still preparing for "winter" to hit. Even though we had a few days of ice in January, I really don't feel like winter has come to visit. After living in the Arctic for 4 years during the winter (see this post), it is quite the change. Although I thought I hated it with every fiber in me, it is strange what you actually miss when you leave a place, isn't it? Well, since it is so very nice out today I am going to get off the computer now and go enjoy it!


stealing thunder?

Okay, in case you haven't headed over to my sister's blog, you should do so... I think this is her best post ever since she entered the blogging world.


breaks, benjamin, basketball, baking and bothers

It has been way too long once again and so I am forced to consolidate and label... here we go:


Although this school year we have had our fair share of unexpected breaks (a week in the fall for a wind storm that knocked out power, and then an ice storm that did the same in January), I have realized how necessary small breaks, even a day!, are for the ordinary teacher. We are now officially scheduled to go to school until June 5th (teachers last day will be after that). Gross. OH! And they plan on bumping up the start of the school year next year so that we don't have this problem again...which only means that this summer will be WAY too short. Okay, enough complaining, I know most of the "real world" works during the summer, and I should consider myself blessed----but STILL!! Can I complain a little? Also, Spring Break is coming up in FOUR weeks. I will be flying home for a few days and then driving up to good ole O.C. for some much needed visiting with family and friends and professors and the likes that I miss so much!


Last night Brent and I randomly decided that we wanted to go "do something" which led us to the movie theater. We still get in with a student discount because we have "student I.D.s" If, however, they ever ask for "current student I.D.s" then we pay full price because I cannot lie, even if it will save me 5 dollars. Wow...I digress. Back to it. There have been a couple of movies we have wanted to see, and we decided on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I had heard mostly positive things about this movie and thought it would be alright...... fast forward almost THREE hours later... I wouldn't say it was a bad movie, but I wouldn't say it was a great movie either. It's not one I would tell a friend they had to see, but might say, "Yeah, you could maybe rent it sometime down the road." It was very slow paced. For those of you that have NO CLUE what I'm talking about, this movie, starring Brad Pitt, is about a man who ages backwards. Although it is a unique and fresh idea for a movie, it was drawn out, and the overall message was somewhat disappointing. It really reminded me of the book of Ecclesiastes-- throughout his life Benjamin is searching for purpose and pleasure and he tries finding it mainly in sexual relationships (never within the context of marriage, of course), and many other adventures...and I think he, like the mystified movie-goers, find that everything is meaningless. Have any of you seen this? What did you think?


KU: 90

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!


Last week I FINALLY attempted making my mom's wonderful cinnamon rolls (if you have never had these, put in your order and I'm sure she won't charge you much :). It always looked too complicated for me, but I was very pleased with the result. Not only did they look like hers, but they tasted the same and got rave reviews too! I tried to take a picture but my camera didn't have enough juice. Next time. This week I will be attempting her infamous cheesecake... and I just don't know if I can do as well on this, as it is a little bit more finicky. I'll keep you updated.


Mondays + 8th Graders. But the school day is over, the worst feat of monday has been accomplished (that is actually pulling my body out of bed), and my feet only mildly hurt (I suppose that is a perk that Friday doesn't have! By then I'm totally SPENT!)

Well I guess that just brings me to bye bye. I'll try to do a better job this week. Last week I felt like Brent and I were playing catch up as we both were sick, and on top of that I had all his gross Ethiopia laundry to do :) But I, ever-the grateful-and-always-seeing-the-positive-wife, was simply glad he was home...right?!

More next time.