Monday, December 22, 2008

No cards this year...

I just wanted to let everyone know we will not be sending out Christmas cards this year. Things around our household have been too crazy and I am just too tired to try and get some out. So, please everyone know how much you are loved even though no one is getting a card from us. We do appreciate the cards that we have been sent in the mail and I will try to be more diligent in my Christmas card sending next year. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Twilight viewing

Last week Mr. Rochester took me to see the movie Twilight. I really enjoyed reading the books and was looking forward to seeing how the movie compared to the first book in the series. After seeing the commercials for the movie and hearing different reviews from friends and co-workers, I wasn't really sure if I would like the movie. Most women I know that saw the movie enjoyed it, but I thought the commercials made everything look really cheesy. Sure, books about teenage romances probably are pretty cheesy but at the time you are reading them, they don't seem that way. So, when the movie is made, the people making the movie need to be sure to remove the heavy "cheese" factor and replace it with romance minus the "cheese". Anyway, I did enjoy the movie, and it wasn't as cheesy as I thought it would be (although there were still a few cheesy parts). When I asked Mr. Rochester what he thought of the movie, he said, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."

Monday, December 8, 2008

White Elephant

So, what exactly does the term, "white elephant" mean to you? To me, it involves an exchange of hilarious, second-hand Christmas gifts. You don't go out and buy something new to give to someone at a "white elephant" gift exchange. If you did, then that would just be a plain "gift exchange". At my workplace last Christmas, the administrative support group did a white elephant gift exchange together and by the time the exchange was over, most of us participating were in tears because of some of the hilarious gifts we gave to each other. I honored someone with the gift of a mini "Christ of the Ozarks" statue that someone had given me a long time ago. Because it was such a random thing to give, the gift was a hit, and I'd LOVE to hear if this was re-gifted this year if my old place of employment is doing a white elephant gift exchange.

Anyway, this past week at church, we had our Relief Society Christmas Dinner and the invitation to the dinner said, "White Elephant Gift Exchange (No more than $5). Because of my understanding of the term "White Elephant", I brought this absolutely hideous craft kit that came with the sewing machine my mom gave me a few years ago. It was a kit to help you learn how to sew this dark denim blue shoulder bag that had a big yellow star on it and maybe a red apple...eww. So, I thought this would be really funny to give to someone as a white elephant gift. And I think it did have a funny effect. However, most people gave things like candles or candy for their white elephant gifts...in my opinion, not a true white elephant, people! I think there were only a few true white elephant gifts given that night and mine was definitely one of them. From this experience, I have learned my lesson--when you have a church activity and the invitation says "White Elephant" that really just means gift exchange.

On another note, I wanted to let everyone know that I found out I passed the written Foreign Service Officer Exam! I just found today and I am...dumbfounded, actually. I really didn't expect to pass. Now, some committee will review my application along with my test scores to determine if I qualify to take the next examination, which is an oral examination. I should find out if I qualify sometime in February. Anyway, I'm just happy I passed the written part--it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. hee hee

Sunday, November 30, 2008

$1.59

I saw gas for $1.59 here yesterday. Wow. I can't believe how cheap gas is now. Although I know low gas prices do not reflect a healthy economy, I can't help but be grateful for cheap gas, especially when I still don't have a full-time job.

Mr. Rochester and I had a nice Thanksgiving. For the past few years when we've been out on our own, we've gone to Cracker Barrell and enjoyed their delicious Thanksgiving fixins. We'd kind of made that a tradition and going somewhere else for our meal gave us the rest of the day to enjoy (with no food preparation and clean-up!). However, this year we decided to join my husband's family to celebrate the holiday. Mr. Rochester's parents are really into camping and own a nice, big camper and for the past few years during the Thanksgiving holiday, they have gone camping. So, we joined them at a campsite on the edge of a lake and ate our Thanksgiving dinner on a picnic table. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I was amazed at how my mother and father-in-law could prepare an entire Thanksgiving meal in the woods! That is talent, if you ask me!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Isang Pelikula

This past Saturday, Mr. Rochester and I made a trip to the movies! Yes, we actually went to the movie theater. The last movie we went to see at the theater was the new Batman movie in the summer. We usually just rent movies from Red Box and watch them at home on the weekends. I like doing this because it is cheaper, I can stop the movie to get a drink or use the bathroom, and I can watch the movie in my pajamas. Win-win-win. However, it is nice to actually go out sometimes too, especially to see a good action movie or one we've been looking forward to for awhile. What movie did we see this time? Well, I wanted to see if we could make it to see a showing of Twilight (Mr. Rochester was ecstatic), but I was not so naive to expect that we could actually get tickets or a decent seat to see the movie since it just came out. So we made a pretty good back-up plan to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, that was playing about the same time. Of course, Twilight, was sold out so we did end up seeing the James Bond movie and I absolutely loved it. Mr. Rochester and I have really enjoyed the new James Bond movies--James Bond's character is played by Daniel Craig. Both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace have more action and less womanizing than the traditional James Bond movies. The plots in both movies are complicated but keep you engaged in wondering what is going to happen next. I can definitely say that I was not disappointed in the movie and it was worth going to the theater to see.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nice weather



I took these pictures a week or so ago. We have had the most beautiful fall here and the most beautiful weather! I can't believe how warm it has been up until the last few days. I just love all the colors of fall. It is one of my favorite seasons. Next year I'm going to make sure and take more than just two pictures of the beautiful colors.



The last few days have given us some cold and rainy weather. Although I loved the warm weather, I am glad it is starting to get cooler because, hello, it's NOVEMBER. Finally, it is starting to be "steamer" weather. You may be asking yourself, what is a steamer? Well, I will tell you. If you like milk, a steamer is the most delicious concoction that you can drink during the cold winter months. It is basically just hot milk, steamed and frothed, with some sort of flavoring in it, topped with whipped cream. I know it sounds gross--ew, hot milk, right? But seriously, steamers are so yummy. Just get the picture out of your head of an elderly person drinking a glass of hot milk before retiring to bed because really, it's not like that...steamers are tasty and frothy.

During the past few winters, Mr. Rochester and I used to go to the Starbucks in Barnes & Noble and get steamers to drink. We both love to read, so somehow most weekends we'd end up at Barnes & Noble and peruse the books there. After awhile, we thought it would be nice (and cheaper) to find a machine that could make steamers in the comfort of our own home because sometimes you really want a steamy, hot, delicious drink but you don't want to go anywhere to get it. Hot chocolate gets boring and can be really sweet and Mr. Rochester and I are both non-coffee/tea drinkers. So, to us, a steamer is sort of like a luxury-type drink. Anyway, we searched high and low last year for something to make steamers with and finally came across the Cocoa Latte machine. Mr. Rochester purchased the Cocoa Latte for me last Christmas and it has worked beautifully since. After you pour the milk in the Cocoa Latte, you add a small amount of syrup (we like to use the Torani syrups when we can find them -- you can find many of them on Amazon but we have yet to order a great variety of them) and, voila, you have a hot, steamy, tasty steamer. Our favorite flavors right now are Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint (as separate drinks, of course). Anyway, steamers are something we really enjoy during the winter and we are always glad to share them with friends when we see them...I think I'll go enjoy a steamer right now.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Two Firsts...

Last Thursday, Mr. Rochester needed a haircut and he kept asking me to do it for him. I've never cut anyone's hair in my entire life and I certainly didn't want create any marital strife by giving my husband a bad haircut. After making sure my husband understood that I knew absolutely nothing about cutting hair, he said, "Oh, you'll do fine" and went to class. I had about an hour to browse the internet on how to cut men's hair before he returned from class expecting to get his hair cut. The internet did not teach me a whole lot and in the end, I just said a little prayer and had Mr. Rochester hold up a mirror so he could see what I was doing. Basically, I just gave him a trim on the sides and in the back and although I know this is such a little thing, I was proud of myself for not butchering his hair. That's not to say I won't butcher it next time when he wants another haircut but I'll do my best. I would have posted a picture but it really was just a trim and it doesn't look that much different.

My second first is that last week I registered to take the U.S. Foreign Service Officer Test and I am taking it this Wednesday. This is something I've always wanted to do but I've just never done it. The test is free and I think working for the Foreign Service could possibly be my dream job. The test is supposed to be really hard to pass and although I hope to pass it, I don't expect to pass it (especially the first time I take it) but it will definitely give me a good idea of what to expect the next time I take it (if I decide to take it again). Anyone who is curious about becoming a Foreign Service Officer or about the test can find out about it here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween! Mr. Rochester and I don't really have any plans for tonight. We have candy to give out to trick-or-treaters and in the event that no trick-or-treaters show up, we have a disposal plan for the candy (that involves expanding waistlines for us both). We plan on watching Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas at some point this evening and other than that we will probably just end up relaxing.

This morning we did our civic duty at the county clerk's office and I just wanted to remind everyone to make sure to go out and VOTE. It is so exciting to think that in less than a week, we will know who the new U.S. President will be!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not just any potato


This past weekend, Mr. Rochester and I paid a visit to his hometown to visit family and friends. Every time we visit Arkadelphia, I make it a point to stop at this little barbeque stand called Allens. I absolutely love their "Ultimate Potato". They call it their "Ultimate Potato" because it is an enormous potato topped with their baked beans, coleslaw, cheddar cheese, barbeque meat (I always choose pork) and barbeque sauce. It is amazing. Not only is their barbeque sauce and meat to die for, but so is their coleslaw and baked beans which makes their potato so good it's worth singing about--maybe someday I will write a potato song! This potato is probably one of my most favorite things to eat and although I have searched high and low for its duplicate, I have been unable to find (or create one) as good as Allens. So here is a picture of me about to enjoy my Ultimate Potato.

(If you ever happen to be anywhere in the near vicinity of Arkadelphia, I highly suggest stopping by Allens--it is definitely worth going out of your way for.)

Food all aside, we had a wonderful time visiting with Mr. Rochester's family and friends and especially enjoyed celebrating M.T.'s birthday with him and his family. While at Mr. Rochester's parent's house, we found a VHS copy of Mr. Boogedy and started watching it. We did not get to finish it and wanted to try to copy it to a DVD but we ran out of time. One of these days, I'm going to relive some of my "Disney Sunday Movie" days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No dice

Well, I did not get the job that I recently interviewed for with the Corporate Giving Office of that big corporation in this area. I have to say I am so tired of applying for jobs now! We just moved here in July but I have been looking for a job in this area since May and I have had only had one interview (this recent one) and did not get that job. I bet I have applied for over 100 jobs now since May. I seriously never thought it would be this difficult to get a job. While working in the University's HR office as a temporary employee, there were two jobs I could have applied for and probably would have been offered one (since I was already doing the job) but I didn't want to work in HR so I did not apply. I actually felt like something better was going to come along for me that I would enjoy and thought that it could have been the corporate giving job. Now I am almost kicking myself for not applying for the HR positions! Working in HR would have been better than no job which is what I will have after Friday because the position that I have been working in as a temp has been filled. I feel like the only job anyone will possibly consider me for right now is a secretarial job and I do NOT want to do that anymore.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Genealogy, I am doing it!

Okay, for all of you LDS people out there, the Church has a really cool, new family search website. You can find it here. To register, you have to enter your membership number and your confirmation date which will create your account. This is an awesome website and it has made doing genealogy and temple work so much easier--instead of the 15 or so steps it took to get names temple ready, there are only three, yes, three steps now! For anyone curious about LDS temples and temple work, you can read about it here. I've been playing around on the website for the last five hours adding and finding relatives that are in my PAF file and combining duplicate files. Combining the duplicate names is work that really needs to get done since so many duplicates have been submitted for temple work. If you spend some time on this new website, you can really help get rid of the duplicates--just make sure when you combine names that you are combining duplicates. When you search for one of your ancestors, you can only find deceased ancestors which means you have to manually enter in any of your living relatives. If any of my siblings or family members want to link into what I've already done you'll have to add me as a sibling and then add a child for me. Do a search for our deceased daughter (enter her first, middle, and last name) and that will link you up to me and Mr. Rochester and should link you up to our living relatives that I have already entered. Anyway, it's a really great tool and I just wanted everyone to know how easy it is to use.

Friday, October 17, 2008

B is for...


...Banjo! Yes, Mr. Rochester and I finally bought a banjo! We've been talking about buying one for years and well, a few weeks ago, we decided to just go ahead and do it. Mr. Rochester had a gift card to Guitar Center that was about to expire and we had several rebate Visa cards that we got from opening up new cell phone accounts, buying a washer & dryer, etc. We only spent about $40 of our own money on the banjo. We thought it was a steal. Of course, we probably should have been responsible and used the rebate cards on food, etc. but we decided to go ahead and get the banjo instead. And it has been so much fun! I just love the sound of the banjo--it's so bluegrass! My fingers are sore from practicing because I'm out of practice playing the guitar and my callouses are all gone. I also think it would be fun to play the fiddle although I'm not sure if I'll ever take that one up but...who knows!?

I still haven't heard back about my second interview. I am thinking that I did not get the job since it's been a week and a half and I haven't heard anything. Some people have been telling me that this organization just takes a long time to hire, etc. but I think if they really needed someone, they would have decided shortly after the second interview and called to make the offer. In the meantime, I continue the job search!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hallo-weenies

Halloween is one of Mr. Rochester's favorite holidays. I like it too, but he really likes Halloween. Since Mr. Rochester and I have been married, we've tried to start creating our own little family traditions. Around Halloween time we've decided to watch our favorite Halloween movies, especially those scary kid-type movies we liked when we were younger. One of my favorites was Disney's Escape to Witch Mountain made back in 1975. And believe it or not, I actually found (and purchased) this movie on DVD at Best Buy the other day! The movie really has nothing to do with Halloween, it just feels like one of those movies you should watch around Halloween. Other movies we liked as kids that we want to acquire someday include Hocus Pocus, Mr. Boogedy, Bride of Boogedy, & Bedknobs & Broomsticks. I also used to love that series Are You Afraid of the Dark that was shown on Nickelodean in the 90s--I wonder if I watched it today if I would think it was any good...

When we were dating I found out that Mr. Rochester really liked Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. After we were married, I thought I'd surprise him with the DVD for Christmas one year. Much to my dismay, at the time I tried to purchase this movie, it happened to be one that Disney had locked away in their secret vault of movies. You could buy the DVD online but only from Amazon or Ebay for a ridiculous price. One day I found it on Ebay for only $10 and I thought, "Ooh, what a steal!" So, I quickly purchased the DVD and congratulated myself on having found such a great bargain. Then I waited for it to arrive...and waited...and waited some more. It seemed the DVD was taking an unnaturally long time to get to our home. During this waiting period I found out that I'd purchased the movie from someone in China and they were no longer a seller on Ebay. After learning that, I pretty much gave up on ever seeing the DVD from China. However, much to my surprise, after about 3 weeks the DVD did show up in the mail. Unfortunately, it was a ripped of copy of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the DVD format wouldn't work in our DVD player (although we have recently discovered it will play on our laptop). I have since learned my lesson and become more cautious of who I buy from on Ebay. With the help of a friend, I recently found a legitimate copy of the DVD on Amazon. Ironically, two months after I purchased that DVD, the digitally remastered version of The Nightmare Before Christmas was released from the Disney vault.

Interview update--On Tuesday, I had a second interview for the corporate giving job. I think it went okay and they said I should find out something in the next two weeks. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed and just trying to have faith that if this doesn't work out then something else will!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Whew!

We did get to watch the Office! Thank you NBC for putting the Office episodes online for those of us who cannot get NBC on our television sets due to NBC's lack of a strong signal!

Just to give everyone an update, my interview last week went okay. I didn't feel like I "wow"ed them so I wasn't expecting a call back or anything. However, yesterday I did get a call for a second interview. This time I will be doing a phone interview with some executive on the east coast somewhere. That takes place next Tuesday afternoon. I'm excited about that but I've decided that I'm not going to get too excited because I don't want to be super disappointed if I don't get the job. In the meantime, I'm continuing to apply for other opportunities and I have faith that the right job will come along at some point.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Anyone else excited?

Is anyone else excited about the new season of the Office? Although Mr. Rochester and I are thrilled to see how this next season will start, we are not exactly sure how or where we will be watching it. Because of the added expense, we have decided not to get cable. Even with a handy dandy homemade antenna, our TV only picks up about 6 or 7 stations, NBC not being one of them (4 of them are PBS stations--go figure). So we are crossing our fingers that the Office episodes will be put online again on nbc.com to watch for free. I hear that NBC and ITunes are teaming up again and you'll be able to purchase episodes of the Office on ITunes for $2 a piece. Personally, I would rather watch them (for free) online and then purchase the entire season next year when it comes out. Maybe we'll do some strategic planning here to make some friends who have cable and enjoy the Office.

Another show we really like is 30 Rock but that doesn't start again until the end of October. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin star in the show and I think Tina Fey does a lot of the writing. It is h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. Someday we will get those episodes on DVD as well.

On another note, I just thought everyone might like to know that I have a job interview tomorrow with a big corporation for a position in their giving department. With this job, I'd be able to help manage how the corporation's "extra" money is given away. I'm really excited and hope that the interview goes well. I think I could learn a lot in that type of an environment and that it would be some really good work experience. If I don't get the job, I'm sure something else will come along that suits me better. I've been keeping up the job search and have been putting in applications all over the place. When applying for jobs, I've really only been applying for jobs where I feel like I could use my master's degree--I guess I'm being a job snob but I'd really like to start some sort of a career! Currently, I'm just working a temp job at the University and it's okay for the meantime.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rainbow Chip vs. Funfetti

Why is Betty Crocker's Party Rainbow Chip cake so delicious? I'm not sure, but for some reason, this is one treat that I have a tough time resisting (especially when the cake is frosted with the party rainbow chip frosting). This is so silly too because I rarely buy cake or brownie mixes. I like to make things from scratch and I'm convinced that you should be able to make a cake as good from scratch (and BETTER) than a cake mix. Anyway, several months ago, I just craved this cake for some reason. I thought it was the same thing as Pilsbury's Funfetti cake mix and so I kept looking in the Pilsbury section for the Rainbow Chip cake and frosting (made by Betty Crocker) but I couldn't find the frosting with the right kind of sprinkles in it (because I was only searching in the Pilsbury section). The Rainbow Chip frosting already has the round, colored sprinkles in the frosting while the Pilsbury Funfetti frosting has the sprinkles in a clear, plastic container on top of the frosting container. After coming to the conclusion that the cake mix I was looking for did not exist anymore, I discussed my dilemma with a friend who corrected my wayward thinking that Rainbow Chip was made by Pilsbury. I have since happily been restored to the Rainbow Chip cake mix and have ceased purchasing the Pilsbury Funfetti cake mix...because really, Rainbow Chip is better.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Whistle Dixie

A few weeks ago Mr. Rochester and I visited a Confederate Cemetery. Some of you may think this is kind of weird and that's okay. Maybe a few years ago, I would've thought it was weird but since marrying Mr. Rochester, I've come to better appreciate the "historical-ness" of the South. I remember the summer Mr. Rochester and I started dating, we passed a sign about 2 miles from my parents house that said "Confederate Cemetery." I'd lived in that town for 15 years and passed it every day on the way to and from school. Never once did I seriously consider visiting the Confederate Cemetery just down the street from my house. Of course, while we were dating we visited that cemetery and now that we are back in the South, we visited another one. The one we recently visited is very nicely kempt and it was just a neat experience to visit it. In the middle of the cemetery, there was a huge monumnet dedicated to the soldiers from the surrounding states who died in a nearby battle. Before visiting the cemetery, we went to our town's historical society's ice cream social. It was held at the former Union headquarters for this area during the Civil War. There were actual bullet holes still in the door of the house where the event was held. The volunteers all dressed up in period costumes And we at some yummy southern cake and drank lemonade


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Best Lentil Soup EVER!

Italian Lentil and Barley Soup

1 Cup Dried Lentils
1/3 Cup Pearled Barley (sometimes I have a hard time finding this -- it's often in the health food section of the grocery store)
1-2 Cups Carrots, chopped
1-2 Cups Celery, chopped
1 Cup Onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
3 1/2 Cups Broth (I use Better Than Boullion vegetable base)
2 1/2 cups water
14.5 oz. can Italian-Style Diced Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped (optional)
2 Tbs. Cider Vinegar (optional)
Italian Sausage (I buy the Italian Sausage links that come in packs of five links and then break open the sausage casing and put the chopped up or broken up sausage in the soup--I normally put in most of the links)

Sort and rinse lentils. Add all ingredients to crockpot in order listed (except parsley and vinegar). Cook on Low 12-14 hours or High 5-6 hours. Discard bay leaf and add vinegar and parsley if desired.

I have been looking for a good lentil soup recipe for years and I got this from a neighbor a few months ago. It is absolutely delicious and goes great with homemade bread! If you try making it, I'd love to know what you think.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Happy Couple!

Last weekend we were able to go the wedding reception of a good friend of mine. It was so much fun to see her and I'm so glad she married a guy whose parents live so close to us (only a little over an hour away!). It's only been a month since I've seen her or any of our other friends out west but I already miss them all so much. It was so much fun to see you, M! Congrats on your marriage and good luck!
I heard the bride and groom did not dance at their reception out west. For those of you who are eager to see dancing pictures, they actually did dance to one song at the reception we attended. I believe it was a tradition among the groom and his friends. If I remember correctly, the line dance was referred to as the John Deere and was elegantly performed by the bride and groom, as you can see below.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Refinishing

The weekend after we moved into our new place Mr. Rochester's parents came up for a visit. Well, it wasn't actually a let's-have-fun-and-do-things type visit but more of a let's-help-the-kids-unpack-and-get-their-new-house-in-order visit. Mr. Rochester's dad brought all of his tools to help fix things that had broken in the move (he also brought us two new bookshelves he'd made for us!). Mr. Rochester's dad is a genius with wood and was really able to help us with so much. Yes, for anyone who is curious, he actually fixed our entertainment center that has been falling apart for the last few years. I think the entertainment center is now on its last leg but the doors have been put back on and hopefully they will stay that way for at least another two years! While Mr. Rochester and his dad were busy working on furniture items, Mr. Rochester's mom and I were hard at work unpacking and organizing things. We all worked hard the entire weekend to get things unpacked. By the end of the weekend, we were all exhausted.
A few years ago we bought a second-hand solid wood desk for about $20 that needed a little love. With the help of his dad and his dad's tools, Mr. Rochester refinished the desk. It sure was a dusty job -- check out all the dust in the air in our kitchen from where he sanded it down! We should have taken a picture of the actual finished product but it looks really good. No more scratches or dings and he stained the desk from a dark walnut to a dark mahogany. It's beautiful and he did a great job!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Superfriends: B.B. & Willie

Mr. Rochester recently had a birthday. For his birthday, I wanted to surprise him because he is always so good at surprising me. So a few months ago I got a tip from a friend that Willie Nelson and B.B King were going to be doing a concert together in the state we were moving to. I bought some general admission tickets and made reservations at a neat old bed & breakfast for us. Although it was ridiculously hot and humid outside (yes, the concert was outside in the middle of the hot summer!), we had a lot of fun. Mr. Rochester was very surprised. We took the picture above of B.B. & Willie -- it was a low light situation but despite the noise in the picture, I thought it turned out well. The next day the birthday festivities continued as we went to see The Dark Knight and spent the evening with friends (eating ribs, I might add). The ribs were fantastic too (and I don't normally eat ribs)! I've decided that someday we will get a grill and Mr. Rochester must learn how to cook ribs the way his best friend did because they were GOOD.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Big Move!

Although we have yet to unpack the final box (oh, far from it!), tonight I feel like we are finally beginning to settle into our new, little rental house, so far from where we used to live. The move went...okay. It could have been much worse. Like a crazy person, I decided to work the last week we were moving. Don't ever do that. Despite my being at work 8 hours a day that week, we got everything done with the help of my brother and some dear friends of ours. We couldn't have done it without them! Thanks to you all!!
To move all of our stuff, we rented 12 ft. of space in an ABF truck and it was packed!
We loaded our allotted space, put a partition up and then ABF picked up the truck and loaded it with commercial items. It took about four business days for our stuff to reach our destination. Once it arrived, the big semi-truck had to find a place to park because unfortunately for us, we didn't realize we had some low-hanging tree branches at the end of our driveway that prevented the truck from dropping off the cargo part into our driveway. After about an hour of trying to figure out with the ABF driver (he was great! how many people would actually help us try to figure this out for an hour when all they were supposed to do is drop off some cargo!) how we could unload our belongings from the truck, the truck driver left us to go find a pole saw to rent to saw off the tree branches in the way. Our options for getting our stuff included seeing if one of our neighbors would allow us to drop the truck off in their driveway (we tried knocking on all of their doors but no one was home), dropping it off in the middle of the street (that was a no go because it was a busy street and ABF did not want to do that), dropping it off up another street that wasn't so busy, or getting a pole saw to get rid of the branches. We were about to leave to go find a saw when our nearest neighbor came home. We ran up to introduce ourselves and asked her if she could help us with our dilemma. Like a saint, she obliged us with our request and we were able to call the truck driver who came back lickety split to drop off our stuff. We were so grateful for the kindness of our neighbor and the truck driver. We are also very grateful for the young men from our local LDS ward that helped us unload. I also had two good friends from high school that came to help us unload and it was so fun to see them! We unloaded everything into the house in under two hours and the ABF people picked up their cargo holder shortly after that. We are so thankful for all the people that helped us unload our stuff in the awful heat and humidity.
Me and my brother before we moved. Thanks for all your help, goob!
Mr. Rochester with our friend and HD repairman during the big move. Thanks for all your help, B. Deep down, we're all Dodgers fans. Mr. Rochester and I were completely exhausted by the end of the week and I can truly say I am glad we probably won't be be moving again for another two years.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Go Bees!

Yesterday, Mr. Rochester and I attended a Bees game. We have been wanting to go to one of the games since we've been here and I got some free game and meal tickets through work. So we had a splendid evening of hot dog eating and watching baseball. It was actually very fun. The game started at 7 p.m. so after about an hour, it started to get cooler. We stayed until the beginning of the 9th inning and I actually enjoyed myself! When we left, the Bees were about 5 runs ahead so I'm guessing they won. During the game, Mr. Rochester and I would cheer when the Bees scored. Sometime during our game cheering, Mr. Rochester, a huge Dodgers fan, remembered that the Bees were actually a minor league team for the LA Angels. After that recollection, he toned down his cheering. Apparently there is a bit of a sore spot between LA Dodger fans and LA Angels fans. The LA Angels are actually the LA Angels of Anaheim...I know, doesn't make much sense to me either.
Today was also Mr. Rochester's last day at work. While I will continue to work hard at my job next week, he will be working hard to finish up our packing and load our moving truck. Friday is the day for our big move. I'm planning on going to work until about 2 p.m. that day. At that point Mr. Rochester will pick me up and whisk us away on our cross country journey!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nike + Ipod

About a year and a half ago, Mr. Rochester gave me an Ipod Nano for Christmas almost exactly like this one, except it was an older model (but still RED). A short time before that, someone in the Nike or Ipod business had come up with this genius idea to market Nike shoes and Ipods together. Thus, the Nike + Ipod microchip was born. The Nike+ shoes specifically are made to fit the microchip under the sole of one of the shoes. The microchip you put in your shoe has a wireless connection to the part that you plug into your Ipod. So, in order to use the Nike+Ipod chip you have to own an Ipod and a pair of Nike+ shoes (not just any Nike shoes).

After getting my Ipod Nano, we found some affordable Nike+ shoes at a discount store. Then we purchased the microchip which is about $30. Recently, I started attempting to run again and dug up my Nike+ shoes and the microchip. I really like running with the microchip. You can set your workout to a certain time or distance limit and as you progress through your workout, a voice will come on over the music and tell you things like how far you've gone or how far you have left to go. You can program a "Power Song" to come on to pump you up when your speed starts dragging. It really is a helpful little tool to have when jogging and I find myself always looking at my statistics after I run to see the difference in my workouts. You can also upload all your workout information online and keep track of how many miles you go, etc. Anyway, it's just a really neat and useful thing to have if you are trying to get in shape through jogging.

I've never been very good at jogging and whenever I try to start jogging again, I always use this 10 Week Training Plan to build up my endurance. As long as I stick to it, I have been able to build up the endurance I need to run 30 minutes without stopping, which for me is always an accomplishment! Here is the plan I use for anyone who is interested:
Suggested workout days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; Rest days: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Week 1: Run 2 Minutes, Walk 4 Minutes - Repeat 5 times
Week 2: Run 3 Minutes, Walk 3 Minutes - Repeat 5 times
Week 3: Run 5 Minutes, Walk 2.5 Minutes - Repeat 4 times
Week 4: Run 7 Minutes, Walk 3 Minutes - Repeat 3 times
Week 5: Run 8 Minutes, Walk 2 Minutes - Repeat 3 times
Week 6: Run 9 Minutes, Walk 2 Minutes - Repeat twice, then run 8 minutes
Week 7: Run 9 Minutes, Walk 1 Minute - Repeat 3 times
Week 8: Run 13 Minutes, Walk 2 Minutes - Repeat 2 times
Week 9: Run 14 Minutes, Walk 1 Minute - Repeat 2 times
Week 10: Run 30 Minutes
If you feel tired after Week 9, repeat this week of training before moving onto Week 10. Also, if you have been sedentary before starting this program, walking 20 minutes for four days and then 30 minutes for the next four days is suggested to help get your legs ready.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Factual Evidence

For those of our friends who have questioned its existence (you know who you are)...the mythical place truly does exist. Behold! In all its glory -- Arkadelphia!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Happy Hollow

In a few weeks, Mr. Rochester and I will be moving across the country to a little place we'd like to call "The Happy Hollow". We found this little rental house online and have been communicating with the owner about moving in. As you can see from the picture, it is nothing particularly special to look at, but we are so happy to be moving into a house! Look! It has a yard and, from the picture, you can't even see the other houses next to it! How nice it will be to be gone from married student housing apartments where the pungent smell of other people's food becomes an unwelcome presence in your apartment at all hours of the day and babies living in apartments above and beside your own break the silence of a peaceful night with their wails and screams through the walls! We will be able to pull up into our own carport and just walk right into the house. No more long hikes from the parking lot to the apartment with heavy groceries! Okay, so I believe I've made my point - we are ecstatic about our move. The house is 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths with almost double the square footage of our current apartment, which isn't saying that much since we currently reside in about 650 sq. ft.

We spent most of this weekend packing things up and getting ready for the move. Mr. Rochester put in his two weeks notice with his employer last Friday and I will be quitting my job in about three weeks. Mr. Rochester quit a week earlier than me so he could be available to pack our moving truck during my last week of work. I will be very sad to leave my current job as I work with a whole lot of fabulous people. I still do not have employment in the town we are moving to and only hope I can find a place to work half as wonderful as the place I have worked for the past 18 months.