About Me

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I am a twenty-something second year teacher living in the midwest. I am a Christian woman and proud of it! I am the middle child of three girls. I am the proud aunt of the very beautiful Lil E and Lil C!! I love TV, movies, reading, and baseball. I am in my second year of teaching , but my first year teaching kindergarten. It has been quite the journey!

31 December 2011

Crossed

Beware, many spoilers lie ahead :)

I have been reading soooooo much lately and I love it. School had gotten me so busy (which I'm not complaining about :) But I hadn't had much chance to read and my life was missing some good, solid reading time :)

After finishing The Power of Six I read a few books that I bought at the Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale (Prom and Prejudice, Julia Gillian and Gregor the Overlander).

Then I got Matched and Crossed for Christmas and they were the next on my to read/re-read list. I read Matched awhile ago and loved it. I loved it again re-reading. I read most of it on the car ride to visit Big Sis, Bro-in-Law and Lil E. Lil Sis wants to read them after I'm done and I made some comment about how I hadn't chosen a team yet. I remember reading it the first time and liking Xander, but I hadn't committed yet. I think part of it was that I felt I was being led to believe she would end up with Ky, and after having my heart broken by Cassandra Clare enough times, I didn't want to chose the "wrong" guy.

Upon second reading, I still wasn't sure, but was leaning towards Xander. After reading Crossed, I'm pretty firmly entrenched on Team Xander, though I did come to appreciate both guys more while reading Crossed.

I didn't mind the alternating perspectives of Crossed. I liked getting insight into Ky and his feelings for Cassia. I liked getting more of his history and knowing where he was coming from. Although I agree with some reviewers that at times I would be reading and couldn't remember which character was narrating. Especially when they were together, I'd have to check to see if the narrator was mentioning Cassia or Ky, so know that the other one was speaking.

I worry that The Rising is going to be like District 13 from the Hunger Games. The people of the Rising seem to be as controlling as the Society members. After arriving they immediately decide where Ky, Indie and Cassia will be most useful and send them there. Sounds a lot like the Society deciding careers for the citizens. I have a feeling that the Rising is not going to be the happy solution Cassia hopes it will be.

For some reason, I didn't that Xander's secret, that he was part of the Rising, was that shocking. Maybe because I love Xander, I always expected him to be on the "right" side, but it wasn't surprising to me. It made me love him more, though.

I hated how Ky was so easily going to leave Cassia and let her go off to the Rising without him. I understand that he couldn't trust the Rising and he had past dealings with them that were catastrophic. But this girl has just left civilization, risked everything in her life, her family, her friends, Xander, her career, her civilian status, her life!! to find you and be with you. And after being reunited for only days (weeks? I lost track of time) you're willing to give her up? I couldn't believe that he would separate from her so willingly after she sacrificed everything for him? Sign me up for Team Xander. I know that he ended up following her, but that hesitation too much for me to overlook.

Plus, I loved what Xander has risked for her and that he was still supporting and loving her even after she'd turned her affections to Ky. He saved the compass, even though it wasn't even hers, but Ky's. He somehow managed to get her blue tablets and put messages in them for her. He convinced the Officials to let him visit her while she was at the work camp, he sent her messages even when she'd chosen Ky, he chatted up the officer so she could make a trade with the Archivist. Basically I love me some Xander, but I understand the love for Ky, but I can't get over his momentary abandonment.

Major Questions I have left: Who was the last chapter about? Ky or Xander? Upon first reading I assumed it was Ky she was going to meet. But then I thought about it and wondered if it might be Xander. I re-read it and it doesn't mention a name or any info that would give it away. It seems more plausible that Xander would be able to meet her, since they're both in Central. Both of them are in the Rising, so really it could be either...

Who is the Enemy? Is it the Rising? I hope not, since they've killed so many innocent civilians. Is it some entity we don't know about yet? Society killing off those they deem undesirable? The farmers?

Who put Ky's name in the Matching system? I'm leaning towards either Ky or Xander, but there seem to be more clues pointing to Ky.

Memorable Quotations:
"Because in the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go."

"If you love someone, if someone loved you, if they taught you to write and made it so you could speak, how can you do nothing at all? You might as well take their words out of the dirt and try to snatch them from the wind.

Because once you love, it is gone. You love and you cannot call it back.

Ky is heavy in my mind, deep in my heart, his palms warm on my empty hands. I have to try to find him. Loving him gave me wings and all my work has given me the strength to move them."

"I don't fool myself that I hold her together-- she does that on her own-- but holding her keeps me from flying apart."

"Does loving someone mean you want them to be safe? Or that you want them to be able to choose?"

"I love Ky. But I don't understand him. He won't let me reach him. I have made mistakes, too, I know it, but I am tired of chasing him through canyons and out onto plains and stretching out my hand only to have him take it some times and not others."

"Love changes what is probable and makes unlikely things possible."

"When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as whys--why he walk like this, why he closes his eyes like that-- you can love those parts, too, and it's a love at once more complicated and more complete."

17 December 2011

The Power of Six

Wow, has it really been since September 26 since I've posted? Life (i.e. teaching) has been crazy busy!! But I'm going to try to make some more time to post.

Last night around 2:00am I finished The Power of Six, the sequel to I Am Number Four. I bought this book months ago and just now got around to reading it. I knew that I needed to re-read I am Number Four before reading it and I just didn't have the motivation. I contemplated just watching the movie, but I wasn't too enthusiastic. I think I was remembering the movie and not the book.

Because when I re-read #4 I couldn't put it down! It is such, such, such a good book! I'm glad I didn't just watch the movie.

I started The Power of Six maybe three days ago. Even after a long week at school and it being a Friday night, I just had to finish last night, I couldn't put it down. Ir was sooooooooo good. I laughed and cried and wanted to beat people up. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't keep reading.

At first I wasn't sure I liked switching between 4 and 6 together and 7(?) off in Spain. But after some time to get to know Marina I really liked her. When her Cepan died, I bawled. I really did come to care about them.

Let's talk about when 4 went to meet Sarah. First of all bad idea, how can you leave 6 fighting Mogs and just decide to go see Sarah. I was kind of bummed when all book 4 was thinking about 6 and wanting to be with her. In the first book, he was totally in love with Sarah and I didn't like that as soon as they were apart, he basically forgot about her.

But, then she was being a complete jerk. First I was super mad at her for pressuring him to turn himself in and be with her. I thought it was totally out of character for her to care more about getting what she wanted instead of him saving the world...

And then she went and turned him in. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I was shocked and appalled and freaking out at her. I could not believe it.

As I'm typing I'm considering that maybe she was trying to convince him to turn himself in, so she didn't have to do it, but still? Not OK. If she really loves him like she did in the first book, she wouldn't have done that. period.

I also couldn't believe that 4 left Sam behind in the Mogs' cave. He's basically a helpless human and you are an extremely powerful alien, just grab him and drag him out of there! I was not happy with 4.

Despite all of that, I thought it was an awesome book!! I loved meeting more of the Lorian and finding out about what happened to the second ship. I loved the emotions and even that it made me mad, because that means I was emotionally invested :)

26 September 2011

Teacher Fashion

A few more teacher fashion shots :)
Brown and white dress from Fashion Bug. Magenta tank from Target. Brown wedges from Payless. A gold treble clef necklace with gold hoop earrings.


I actually wore this outfit to church, not school, but that's OK. It is just a plain light blue cami, gray dress from I think T.J. Maxx and a purple cardigan. In the pic I'm wearing two different shoes because I was trying to decide which ones to wear. I went with the blue ones, because I don't get to wear them as often... I wore a silver heart and cool stone pendant together on one silver chain. The heart is from Big Sis's wedding and I got the stone pendant from an etsy shop.




This was a really cute outfit, but I couldn't get a good pic. It was already too dark outside and the lighting wasn't right. It was a purple button-up shirt from some outlet mall. Brown suit pants. Brown plaid shoes. A Bronzey long necklace and this really cute purple and brown plaid flower headband that I just bought this weekend.





I wasn't so jazzed about this outfit when I put it on, but it grew on me. The plaid pants are from Steve and Barry's. The top is from Kohl's (Thanks to the former resident of my apartment who has Kohl's ads/$10 off cards sent in the mail...)I love the way it's tucked and woven and stuff. Hence the shot of that part. The gray tank is from Target. I wore it with some little gray peep-toe shoes. I had a silver and gold flower necklace and some silver hoop earrings.

23 September 2011

Grateful for... My Job

I am hoping to get back into the swing of doing an "I'm Grateful for..." post every Friday. I am so incredibly blessed in my life and I think it's so important to always remember that! Plus they're fun.

This week I am so fantastically grateful for my job. I am truly, truly blessed to be in the position that I am. The teaching market is so tough right now and I am incredibly grateful that I got this job. God definitely had a plan for me and wanted me in this job and he made it happen. I am so thankful that God has a plan for my life and that he is guiding me to where he wants me to be!

I am so grateful that I applied for a 1/2 time preschool teaching job in the district I'm working now. I'm grateful that I got called for my very first teaching interview for that job. I am grateful that my friend D drove over here with me the night before, stayed in a hotel and went to the beach with me after the interview. I am grateful that the interview went well and they were impressed with me. I am grateful that I didn't get the job because I didn't have my ZA endorsement.

I am grateful that they passed my name on to a principal with a third grade opening. I am grateful that I got called for an interview for that job as well. I am grateful that I was pulled out of the pile because of my previous interview. I am grateful that I traveled back over here for a second interview. I am grateful my second interview went well.

I am grateful for the craziness that ensued when they tried to contact my reference who was just arriving home from Alaska. I am grateful that they offered me the position. I am grateful that I accepted.

I am so grateful for this amazing journey the last month and a half has been! I am grateful for my co-workers who have been so incredibly supportive and helpful during my first few weeks. I am grateful for my students and the smiles and notes they give me. I am grateful every time I want to complain, I am grateful for every paper I correct, every student I ask to stop talking, for every smile, every tear (mine and theirs :), every Band-Aid I hand out, I am grateful for every bulletin board I put up, every poster I tape and re-tape a million times, because I am so so grateful for this opportunity.

But most of all I am grateful for God's plan for my life.

22 September 2011

The Sing-Off

I'm excited that the Sing-Off is on as a regular fall show instead of a month-long special around Christmas. I'm bummed that it is on at the same time as Dancing with the Stars. However, I'm DVRing it and catching up on Wednesdays when nothing else is on :)

I love the Sing-Off; it's so much fun. I love, love, love how all of the groups have color-coordinating outfits, but they don't match, it's not like they're wearing the exact same thing, but they all wear the same color in different styles. I love seeing how everyone wears the colors in different ways.



I also love the judges and host. Nich Lachey can be awkward and super cheesy with the musical puns, but he's infinitely likeable despite that :) I've already confessed my nerd love for Ben Folds And I like the guy from Boys to Men too. I am sooooooooooo glad that Nicole Scherziwhatshername decided to defect to the X-Factor for two reasons. 1) I'm not watching the X-Factor 2)Now she can't be on the Sing-Off. I like Sara Bareilles much, much more. She seems so fun and real, at least through the first episode. I like how she made comments about how bad her note-taking was (when one of her notes was, You're all so good-looking.) Hopefully she keeps it up the whole season.

Umm I also love their names. They are so clever. My fav. name this season was The Cat's Pajamas. I was very sad when they got kicked out the first week :( In fact there were four groups I really liked and two were the two that got kicked off (The Cat's Pajamas and the one with the 8 siblings).

So my two favs are Vocal Point the Mormon guys group (please love with me the fact that they changed it from "looking for a can of ale" to "looking for a can of ginger ale" :) and the Yellow Jackets. Although there are still another whole group of eight that haven't sung yet.

I'm looking forward to a season full of color coordinated, high energy fun!

21 September 2011

It Makes My Heart Happy



Darren Criss (aka Blaine from Glee) is pretty much the best ever. I love his dancing and his cute cute face. Also his singing talent. And how awesome he and the Warblers (who happen to be voice by the Bubs of season one of the sing-off) were. Any song the Warblers sang was pretty much guaranteed to be better than the original.Also he went to U of M. Also that he was in a Very Harry Potter Musical.

If you start watching this make sure you have a couple of hours available to view the whole thing, plus the sequel, which I have yet to watch...)

18 September 2011

Celebrate Good Times!

As I had company after the game ended putting the Tigers into the playoffs, I didn't watch much of the postgame celebration. We had it on, but I wasn't really focused on it. So the next night after we had a lovely day at the beach, I cuddled up on the couch with a perfect bag of popcorn to watch the coverage I had DVRed.

Here are some of my favorite moments:
-Inge trying to give someone a fist bump, but they went in for a high five.
- Porch was so smiley during his interview. He's so much cuter when he smiles :)
-Can we discuss how ugly the Tigers postseason hats are?
Yeah pretty ugly. Pretty much only Maggs and Papa Grande looked good in them...
-I think it was Santiago with some crazy dance moves! Andy Dirks and Boesch were also putting down some crazy moves.
- There were quite a few awkward hugs during the postgame interviews, including Inge and John Keating, Dave Dombrowski and Ryan Fields and Avila and Rod Allen. Brennan Boesch and Rod Allen actually had a real, nonawkward looking hug.
-In the background during someone else's interview you could see Porch say something that made Avila laugh, I wish I knew what he said.
-Mario looked ridiculous. The collar of his dress shirt was sticking out of his playoff shirt. He looked ridonkulous in his ugly playoff hat (see above)... It was just bad.
- When Donnie Kelly was being interviewed his smile was soooooooooooooooo big. It was so adorable.
- Jim Leyland's postgame interview was amazing. It started with Mario awkwardly leaning against the wall/sitting on Leyland's desk/ resting his hand on the wall. Then Jimmy started talking about the Detroit fans and how the Tigers know that they're going through tough times and hope the Tigers can do them proud. He was all choked up and crying. He can be so tough, but he's such a sweetie at heart. It was cute seeing Mario try to comfort him, patting him on the back a couple of times. (This interview may or may not have made me cry both times I watched it...)
-Someone should have told Ryan Fields that he had a zit on the side of his neck, it kept distracting/grossing me out.
- After Guillen's interview he smiled and it looked just like his Tiger stock photos always do. Apparently it's not that he's not photogenic, his smile is just super awkward...
-I liked how they referred to Ryan Perry as a male model. They were talking about when the Playoff gear would go on sale and said that they were using Ry Ry Jr. as a male model.
-I could identify Magglio when I saw just the back of his neck in the corner of the TV:) and he doesn't have curly locks cascading down his neck to make it easy anymore.
-Phil Coke was such a cutie in his postgame interview. He's a weirdo, but a nice weirdo to have around.
- Some of the plastic that was dividing the locker room into two sections fell down and it looked like Inge was bursting through it from behind.
- Can we also discuss the fact that the last time the Tigers won a division, Porch wasn't even born!!!!!!!!!!!! That is crazy.
Overall the Tigers had a blast dousing each other with champagne and beer and smoking cigars (sad point of the night, seeing Porch smoking....) Everyone was soaked and smiling :)

Except Cabrera. After a couple of well publicized incidents involving alcohol, Cabrera kept himself removed from the celebration. I read that the Tigers had non-alcoholic champagne for him to use, but he chose not to be anywhere near it. He started out hanging out in Jim Leyland's office and then sat at the other end of the clubhouse with a bottle of water. He earned an ounce of respect from me for that. I still don't like him and still won't cheer when he comes up to bat, but I respect that he didn't to be anywhere near the alcohol or even use the non-alcoholic stuff. Kudos to him

I can't wait to see the Tigers celebrate some more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

17 September 2011

Waiting to Clinch...

On the start of the day Thursday, the Tigers Magic Number to clinch a playoff berth was 2, which meant any combo of 2 Tigers wins and Indians losses would guarantee the Tigers the AL Central Championship and a place in the playoffs.

The Tigers were playing in Cali, which meant a 10:00 start, but this was a game I had to see as it was a possible clinching game. So I headed to bed for a late nap at 8 and set my alarm for 10. At ten I got up to watch the game. Midway through the game we found out that Cleveland had lost, dropping the Tigers magic number to 1. Meaning if the Tigers won their game they were in the playoffs!

So up we stayed, hoping to celebrate with champagne showers. However, the Tigers lost (breaking a 12-game winning streak). We went to bed late (1 am) and disappointed. But not too disappointed, because with 12 games left to play and a magic number of one a postseason for the Tigers was highly likely. In order to miss the playoffs, the Tigers would have had to lose every remaining game, with the Indians winning every remaining games.

Friday dawned a new day. In my mind it was crucial to clinch Friday. Saturday's game wasn't originally scheduled to be broadcast on TV. The four o'clock start put it in FOX's national window, which means nobody else can broadcast games then. Fox Sports Detroit bargained that the game needed to be shown in case we clinched. FOX granted them rights to show the game on FOX in local markets, Michigan and Toledo, which was exciting. Except that, although I'm a Michigan resident, my FOX station is out of Indiana... So I wouldn't be able to watch because the Indiana markets were getting a different game...

So Friday was important or I was going to be driving to GR to watch the game at an Applebee's... But Friday, my friend Holly and her bf Noe were coming to visit. They were aiming to arrive around 11:00pm Friday night. I was hoping not to have to awkwardly celebrate with them around, but I would deal with it. They ended up leaving late and getting lost, which meant there was hope for the Tigs to win before they arrived.

Then the lights went out. Literally, almost all of the lights at Oakland's stadium went out for 16 minutes and they had to delay the game. For awhile the game was tied 1-1. Dougie Fister was pitching awesome for the Tigers. We had lots of chances to score, but couldn't get the runs across.

Finally in I think the sixth, we managed to score a run on a Betemit triple! If we could hold on to the lead we'd be AL Central Champs! Later, Donnie Kelly hit a home run to give us an insurance run. We were ready to celebrate.

Dougie pitched through the eighth, then they put in Papa Grande. If you had been peeking into my window around 12:30 Saturday morning (creeper...) you would have seen a 23-year old woman clutching a giant stuffed monkey, pacing around her living room, quietly urging the Big Potato to do this thing. I was so nervous/excited!

After giving up a lead-off double, Papa Grande struck out the next batter. Then he got Hideki Matsuit to pop out to Inge. At this point my heart was pounding. I looked up at the TV and saw Jim Leyland doing that awkward pose where he sticks his hands into his pants. It's like putting your hands in your front or back pockets, but his baseball pants don't have pockets. So instead of looping his thumbs through his belt loops or something, he just sticks half his hand between his pants and jersey... it is very awkward, but at this tense moment it caused me to burst out laughing :) which broke the tension nicely.

After Inge through to first to get the last out of the game, the creeper peering in my window would have seen me silently cheering and trying not to jump up and down so as not to bother my downstairs neighbor who probably wasn't up that late... and would have seen a few tear slipping down my cheeks.

The Tigers rushed out on to the field in a fun celebration before heading into the clubhouse to douse each other in champagne. As the on-field celebration was winding down, my phone rang. It was Holly and Noe, they had arrived, with perfect timing, so that I could see the end of the game. With their arrival, I didn't get to watch much of the postgame celebration (we had it on, but I was trying to make polite conversation :)

Since I've been alive the Tigers have not won a division title, and they've never been Central Division champs, so this was a very exciting time! Plus making the playoff is always super exciting!!!! And very worth the wait!

15 September 2011

Pure Joy



This is one of my very favorite pictures ever. I could watch this moment over and over and over and over and it would still make me smile.

It's Placido Polanco, former Tiger, rounding the bases after Magglio's game-winning walk-off homerun, which put the Tigers in the 2006 World Series. I love how you can see his pure, uninhibited joy. Here he is a grown man, skipping and leaping around the bases, arms thrown in the air. Clearly just joyful. Love it.

Also, it makes my heart happy because Pollie is an amazing player, hardworking, fabulously dependable, kind and adorable. I also love the ridiculous hood he is wearing. I mean, yes I know it is cold in Detroit in December, but.... it just makes me love him all the much more.

Anyway, here's hoping that we get to see this type of pure joy in celebrations the Tigers hope to have this postseason! Good luck boys!

Here's a video of Maggs' homerun. Not the best shots of Pollie jumping, but it just gave me chills...

Please also watch this video, which is of Tigers closer Todd Jones, impersonating Magglio's home run trot during a rain delay.

13 September 2011

First Week's Fashion

Several people have found my blog by searching "Young Teachers Wardrobe" in the past few weeks. So I figured I should do a post about my young teacher's wardrobe...

Here are a couple of pics from my first few weeks of teaching. (Please forgive the very poor quality of these pics. It's hard to take pictures of myself...)

I'm pretty pleased with this outfit :)


The blue top is from Kohl's. I love it; it's so fun! I wore it over a plain brown tank from Kohl's. The blue/brown/white tweed skirt is thrifted (i.e. I got it at Goodwill) The brown wedges are from Payless.

This is another outfit I wore last week.


The gray skirt is from Target. I wore it with a blue, short-sleeved button up over a magenta tank top, also from target. The silver bow headband was a gift from LH and I wore some dark gray peep toe shoes with it.

I wore this outfit yesterday.



I love, love, love this dress. It is very cute, plus I love the pockets! The dress is from Target. I wore some black Mary Jane's from Payless and silver hoop earrings. With this fun patterned dress you don't need many accessories!

12 September 2011

Star Wars Night at the Ball Park








p.s. they forgot to give us the straws for our tumblers :(

11 September 2011

Never Forget

On this tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001, my thoughts and prayers remain with those who lost their lives, their families and friends, those heroes who rushed into danger to save the lives of others and those who are suffering ill effects from their efforts that day. I am so proud of the way our country was able to come together after these tragic events and the way we continue to remember them after ten years.

This morning while reading and watching coverage, I was struck with how amazing what the passengers of Flight 93 did. It was such an incredibly noble act, such a willing sacrifice. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. They saved countless lives and we should all be thanking God every day for their bravery.

On 9-11-01, I was thirteen years old and an eighth grader. At 8:46 am, I was sitting unaware in my first hour Social Studies class. I didn't hear anything out of the ordinary until my third hour Geometry class. The teacher next door to ours popped his head in and asked out teacher if she had heard what was happening. She replied that she did and was trying to keep it together. He left. And the classroom of eighth graders was left wondering what the heck was going on. At least I was. It was such a strange exchange with no explanation from our teacher. Now, years later, I can understand what it must have been like for her and that she probably would not have been able to explain it to us with out losing it, but at the time I was a scared and confused student.

After third hour, I still had no idea what was happening and headed to the lunch room. The middle school lunch room was awash with rumors. Some students had been told what had happened, some just made things up. I heard we had been bombed, planes had crashed and about a million other variations of truth and lies. It was incredibly scary to be in the dark, to not know what was true and what was fiction.

I headed to band class, where our band director was also fairly cryptic. Before we began practicing the National Anthem in anticipation of an upcoming football game he said, "This may be the most important time you'll ever play this song." I know it gave me goose bumps, even though I still wasn't sure what was going on in the world around us. (A few days later we had the privilege of playing the National Anthem at "Meet You at the Flagpole" a morning of prayer and remembrance, which was also a very meaningful experience.)

I arrived at my fifth hour, Language Arts. Our teacher asked if people knew what was going on and proceeded to explain all that had transpired each day. Even though it was horrifying, it was a relief to be able to know what what really happened. Our teacher wisely gave us the day to read or write, whatever felt comfortable to us. I remember I was reading the book Armaggedon Summer, which wasn't a very comforting read, but it was nice to have a chance to have to think about learning and escape into a good book. I will always be grateful to Mrs. C. for explaining the situation to us. It was much needed and I'm sure took much effort on her part to remain composed. Besides the fact that she was a wonderful teacher and had a book club class and let us read or write to our hearts' desires every day, I think one of the reasons I really bonded with Mrs. C. was because she was the one who gave me that information I so desired, she was the person to finally explain what was going on and let me be able to process it all.

Partway through class, a note was delivered for me. It said, "Grandma and Grandpa are safe and well." Until that moment I had completely forgotten that my grandparents were on a senior trip to Washington D.C. that day. I was so thankful that I had not been worrying all day as the rest of my family was and that I knew they were safe. Although I do remember feeling dread as the note was delivered to me, fearing it held bad news. I still have that note.

After school, I met up with Lil Sis, as tennis practice had been canceled. We had heard that high school sports were cancelled as well and went to wait for Big Sis to pick us up. I knew something horrible had happened, but I remember thinking that if the high school tennis coach, Mr. M, had cancelled tennis practice it must be really bad (as he never cancelled practice.)

We went home to find my Dad had left home early. We watched TV coverage for most of the night. Only pausing to turn off the TV, while my dad opened his birthday presents and blew out 40 birthday candles. (In the days that followed I remember my Dad wishing they would come up with some other way to refer to the tragic events. He wished that his birth date wouldn't become synonymous with tragedy.) Then the TV went right back on so we could watch the harrowing images for the umpteenth time.

The people of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, those in our military and the victims and all of those affected by this tragedy will be constantly in my thoughts and prayers today. #GodBlessAmerica

09 September 2011

I am Grateful for... Pure Michigan

I am so grateful to live the in the Great State of Michigan. I mean who else can point out where they live using their hand as a map. We drink pop and measure distances in time (it's half an hour away). I am grateful for the lakes and beaches and forests. I am grateful for Pure Michigan.

The last few years Michigan has run an ad campaign about the wonderfulness that is Michigan, dubbed Pure Michigan. These are some of the best commercials ever. The slow, relaxing music begins and a smile is immediately on my face. And if you try to talk to me during it, I will get angry. I love these commercials.

They feature the voice of Tim Allen, a Michigander. His voice is so soothing, it makes you feel like you're lounging on a beach off Lake Michigan or riding in a horse drawn carriage on Mackinac Island :)

They are such great commercials. Here are just a few.











*sigh* That music gets me every time, seriously I get goosebumps. I could watch every video on the puremichigan youtube channel and not get tired of it.

I live in such a fabulous state and I am a proud Michigander. We are surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful beaches, fabulous lakes, sand dunes, cities, farmland, such beauty. :) Such an amazing state. If you haven't been here, book a trip to visit Pure Michigan at michigan.org

08 September 2011

Ice Cream on the Lake

Remember that time that I thought it would be a good idea to eat ice cream


and walk along the lake
(I love, love, love these swings overlooking the lake. They are delightful to read in!)


(See people were sailing. It couldn't have been that cold...)





(Yes, I was wearing my Lake Michigan, Unsalted hoodie :)


at 7:00 at night when it was fifty degrees out. It was delicious! and freezing... but well worth it :)

07 September 2011

Times Like These

As I was writing this post about the Tigers amazing comeback Saturday, it made me think about how that game really represents what Detroit and the state of Michigan are about.

The Tigers represent so much about what the people of Detroit (and Michigan) stand for. We are so often the butt of people's jokes, the stat that is trotted out, the only riots anyone seems to remember. We are always counted out, underestimated and treated like dirt, just as the Tigers were during some of their rougher years.

Sure, we're going through terrible times. Sure, this is not the booming economic time we once had. Maybe our major economic source, the car industry, is outdated.

But we're people, with families and dreams and feelings. And we are not giving up. No one is rolling over, or accepting defeat. We aren't going anywhere. The car industry repaid their loans (I don't think the financial industry repaid the very large amounts of money they were given by the government...) and is bouncing back. We are fighters and when hard work is needed we will buckle down and do it. When hard times are upon us, we buckle down and fight twice as hard. We are not giving up, and neither are the Tigers.

It may be why we love them so much, even when they're losing 119 games. They work hard, they play hard for nine innings. They don't give up at-bats (or when they do, they hear it from the fans), they don't give up on games, they don't give up on losing seasons. The 2003 Tigers team won several games at the end of the season to avoid the most losses in mlb history. Mike Maroth continued to take the ball every five days despite losing 20 games. He actually pitched his 20th loss the day after his grandmother died. But they didn't give up, and neither do we.


We love our Michigan celebrities, especially when they love Michigan. I absolutely love this song from Kid Rock. It embodies everything I feel about Detroit and Michigan in general.

I am proud to be from Michigan and am so glad I didn't have to leave to find a job.

04 September 2011

Oh What a Night!

Last night, Momma, Daddy and I went to the Tigers game against the White Sox. We got their early to get our Going, Going Green hats! They're basically green Tigers hats with a recycling symbol on them, but we love our giveaways! Daddy even left and re-entered with our extra ticket to get Lil Sis a hat, even though she couldn't come to the game.

It was super duper hot out, 95 degrees!! And very sunny. But luckily our seats went into the shade pretty quickly...

After four and a half innings, we were down 8-1 after Brad Penny had a tough outing with little help from the defense (four runs were unearned...) We scored a couple of runs in the bottom of the fifth and kept battling back, scoring another run on a solo homerun.

Around the 8th inning, the sky started looking ominous, very cloudy. We could see lightning in the distance. It started getting windy and trash was flying all around the stadium.

The Tigers came up to bat and got a double. Just as the rain started to fall, they posted a message on the scoreboard saying those in the upper sections needed to evacuate and go to the lower level! But the players were still on the field. Yikes.

We went into the tunnel just behind our seats as they pulled the players off the field. It was raining pretty hard and lots of people were leaving. About half an hour after the rain started, the rain stopped and an usher told us we could go back to our seats. There were probably a couple of thousand fans left.

The Tigers got a hit to score the runner at second in the rest of the eighth, so it was 8-6.

Then came the ninth. Austin Jackson got a triple (his second of the game and his fourth hit of the night). Ryan Raburn followed with a two-run homer!!!!!!!! So the game was tied. The small crowd that was left was going crazy.

Delmon Young struck out.

Migel Cabrera was up with two outs. On the first pitch, he hit a walk-off homerun!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was crazy awesome. Although, I saw the left fielder walking forwards and I thought he was coming in to catch it because I had no idea where the ball was. Really he was coming off the field because the game was over :)

It was sooooooooooooo exciting. We were sooooooooooooo glad that we stayed. This is the reason that we never leave until the last out, you never know when your team will come back from 8-1, come back from a rain delay and win the game in the most dramatic fashion!!!!!!!! Such a fantastic game, that I will never forget.

03 September 2011

Getting to Know Me from A to Z

I stole this from the lovely B from With Love From Michigan.

A-Z About Me!
* Age: Twenty-Three
* Bed Size: Twin
* Chore (least-fav): Laundry
* Dog(s): None, don't like 'em
* Essential to start the day: Milk or juice
* Favorite Color: Purple
* Gold or Silver: Silver
* Height: 5'4"
* Instruments: I played clarinet through high school.
* Job: Teacher!!
* Kids: 26, my students that it :), plus one beautiful niece.
* Live: Pure Michigan
* Maiden Name: My current last name
* Nicknames: Jill (I prefer Jillian), Jillibean
* Overnight hospital stay?: Not since I was born.
* Pet-Peeve: ATM Machine, PIN number, GPS system...
* Quote: So many, I love writing down my favorite quotes in a journal.
* Righty or Lefty: Righty
* Siblings: The middle of three sisters
* Time to wake up: 6:00
* University: GVSU
* Vegetables you dislike: cooked carrots, cooked broccoli, celery, cauliflower
* What makes you run late: Getting distracted by the internet
* X-rays you've had: Lots at the dentist and on my arm when I was 1
* Yummy Food: Chocolate!
* Zoo Animal (favorite): Dolphins

29 August 2011

Linky Round-Up

I saw two videos online today that I just had to share :)

The first is pretty much the best video ever. As I wrote about here I loved watching the Glee Project. Cameron ended up winning the Bing Fan Favorite (I hate Bing, btw). Apparently, Cameron decided include his BFF and Glee Project winner Damian in this video (I think he got to do this video because he was the fan favorite...) Which I think is super sweet. Anyway, they are singing Haven't Met You Yet, which is one of my very favoritest songs Enjoy!



Clip #2 aired during the VMA's last night. I did not watch, there was a How I Met Your Mother Marathon on... It is a teaser trailer for Hunger Games!!!!!!! Yay! Don't get too excited, it is very short as they are still filming the movie, but it is nice to see anway. There is some debate about whether the male voice is Peeta or Gale. Listen for yourself and post your thoughts in the comments. Personally I think either guy would give Katniss that type of speech, but I think the voice sounds more like Liam Hemsworth (Gale), but I'm not certain.

28 August 2011

The Perfect Beach Day

Friday night one of my BFFs from college, LH, came to visit! I was so excited to see a familiar face! She got in town late Friday night, so we could start off Saturday bright and early.

We decided to check out a local breakfast place. The food was really good, but LH's coffee left much to be desired. She couldn't even drink the first cup it was so yucky, but she got a new cup and she could at least drink it. We decided it would be a great place to take non-coffee drinkers, but if you like coffee I will not take you there!

After breakfast, we got ready to head to the beach. On our way we stopped at the local Farmer's Market. It was like a Farmer's Market/Pet Expo. Half the booths were about pets (veterinarians, pet stores, etc.) and the rest was food. Weird. Once we navigated away from the pet venues, we enjoyed it. LH bought some dried tomato chip things.

Next we wandered around downtown, popping into a few shops, before hitting the beach. LH walked way far down the beach, which was a long walk, but it got us away from the crazy weekend crowds. We enjoyed alternating between laying out and going in the water for a couple of hours. It was so relaxing!

We were going to get lunch, but the cafe we stopped in was expensive and since it was already mid-afternoon and we were planning to eat dinner out, so we just got ice cream :) Neither of us see anything wrong with having ice cream for lunch now and again, this is why we are friends.

After "lunch" we decided to walk along the lake, stopping at some historical type markers. Then we hit the beach, walking with our feet in the water, enjoying good conversation.

We got some yummy dinner at a local restaurant and went back to the beach for a little bit more relaxation before LH had to hit the road.

It was sooooooooo nice to spend the day with LH and to enjoy the Gorgeous weather! It was the perfect beach day!!

(LH took some photos, if she posts them, I'll add them to the post, hopefully I'll fix my camera soon.)

26 August 2011

Red Skirt

A couple of days ago I was walking around my cute little downtown, getting a lay of the land. I snuck into an adorable little bookstore. I could have spent forever in there! Plus they have a wall where authors sign their name/do an illustration. The best one was the author of Amelia's Notebook, who drew a sketch of Amelia. So cute!

While I was there I saw a sign for a book talk and signing to be held the next night. Not having anything to do and looking for a little culture, I signed up. I also bought the author's book and Thirteen Reasons Why (which the lovely Busy Bee Lauren highly recommended.)

So last night I went back, not having read the book, to hear the book talk, because I love to read and I love to meet authors. I don't usually pass up the chance to get a book signed either. (My sophomore year at Grand Valley I went to the Community Reading Project Author talk and signing without having read the book because I heard about it just the day before. I was one of like two people there who hadn't read it, but I'm still glad I went...)

I decided to dress up a little bit, well, dressed up compared to the shorts and tees I've been wearing to work in my classroom. I wore a cute purple plaid dress that Momma altered so it's not so low cut, a black and white polka dot headband, some cute gray peeptoe shoes and a fun beachy, wicker bag. (My camera is still out of commission, sorry for all of the pictureless blogs!)

I walked into the bookstore, with my book clutched in my hand (actually it was in my purse) and I was seriously the youngest person there by probably at least 20 years. Now, the author is a Michiganian. Her book is called The Red Skirt and is about her life as a nun and her decision to leave the convent. So I guess I should have figured that most of the audience would be older women, but it was still weird. Another young woman about my age did come in, albeit with her mother. It turns out she was a former student of the author!

The talk was very interesting, mostly about how she decided to write, her writing process, trying to find a publisher. Which was nice, especially since I hadn't read the book yet. She was very careful not to give too much about the book away, which I appreciated.

Then I waited rather impatiently in the book signing line. Lots of the people actually knew the author, which led to some lengthy conversations. Luckily Big Sis was texting me to keep me from being too bored (Sidenote: Can we discuss the fact that Google Chrome does not recognize texting as a word...)

When I was second in line, Patricia, the author, looked at me and said, "Oh, I know you. What's your name? I know you, right?" Cue me being awkward and saying I didn't think we knew each other and no I was not a former student. I'm just a twentysomething to enjoys going to book talks on books she's never read to get an autograph from an author I've never read, for fun! :)

We were chatting when it was my turn and I mentioned that I had just moved to town. She said, "You are going to make great friends here. It just takes time." It was so sweet. She didn't know me at all, but she really lifted my spirits with her comments. She also wrote a lovely note in my book about the adventures I'll have and wishing me luck.

I haven't read the book yet, but from what everyone around me was saying it's excellent!

25 August 2011

Glee Project


The night before we saw Glee Live! we were looking for something to get us in the Glee spirit (not that it takes much...) It just happened to be the night of the Glee Project premiere. So we watched and Momma, Daddy and I were hooked :)

My favorites were Damian
He's a cute Irishman with a rockin' accent. He's not the best singer or dancer, but he's such a sweetie and definitely grew a lot duirng the competition.

Cameron
The adorable, lovable dork. He ended up quitting the competition because he felt that some of the things the show asked him to do conflicted with his Christian values. When he left, he saved his best bro Damian who would have been going home... Such a cute bromance.

And Hannah
Hannah is so awesome. She is so pretty and a fabulous rapper. Who knew? I wish she had made it further (if she'd gotten to the next week she would have made the finals and got a 2-episode role on Glee.)

I didn't get to watch the finale live because my cable wasn't hooked up yet. I made the mistake of going on Twitter Monday morning before watching the finale. I was careful to avoid Cameron and Damian's tweets, but Kevin McHale (Artie) posted something congratulating the winners :(

In the finale, all of the old contestants came back. When Damian saw Cameron and Hannah he said, "The Threesome's back together!" and they all hugged. It was so sweet! Then when it was his final performance he dedicated it to them. This is why I love him!

The final four (Lindsay, Alex, Samuel and Damian!!!) were on stage ready to have the winner announced. Ryan Murphy told Lindsay and Alex that they did not win the Glee Project. Then he told Samuel that he had won the Glee Project. He was all excited and Damian was all sweet and understanding. Then Ryan said, "Damian, you have also won the Glee Project." They both got 7-episode arcs on Glee. Yay for Damian. He was so cute freaking out when he found out he won too! Adorable. They talked about him playing a foreign exchange student that Brittany can never understand :)

Another thing I loved about the Glee Project: Zach Woodlee, the choreographer of Glee and The Glee Project.
He is so adorable. He has the best smile and laugh ever and he is so excitable! I just love him! And when we watched the special features on Lil Sis's Glee DVDs, he was on some of the features. I am sad I won't get to see him every week...

But I'm glad I'll get to see Damian for at least 7 episodes!

24 August 2011

Alone, But Not Lonely

I think one of the things that has definitely helped me make this transition, is that I don't mind being alone sometimes. Of course I miss my friends and family and would rather be able to spend more time with them, but I don't mind having time to myself.

Even when I lived with roommates, I enjoyed the evenings I was alone in the apartment (not as much as the evenings I spent out with them). When I lived at home, I found myself craving some alone time because someone was always around :)

This part of my personality has made it easier for me to do things alone here. I've been to the beach by myself twice and have plans to attend a book talk tomorrow night, solo. While it's sometimes awkward to be hanging out at the beach alone (and a bit dangerous. After relaxing in the waves for awhile, the waves got bigger and I wasn't comfortable staying in the water, since no one around was paying attention to me. I didn't want a wave to knock me under and have no one know I was in trouble!) But I really don't mind reading and relaxing on the beach by myself. Or walking around downtown (which is what I did this afternoon). I didn't have to worry that I was going to slow or fast for anyone else. No one was bothered by how long I spent in the bookstore. I didn't have to go in stores I didn't want to or skip stores I really wanted to stop in.

I always enjoy doing these things with friends and family, but I don't mind doing them on my own either... I was even planning on going to the movies alone this weekend, but now Laura's coming out. Yay!! I can't wait to see a friendly face :)

23 August 2011

My Classroom!!

Today I finally got to see my classroom! It is so nice to know what it looks like and where all (well at least some...) of my stuff will go! I can't wait until it is all cutsied up.

I met with my mentor teacher this morning. JP is the other third grade teacher at my school. He's very nice and super helpful, but it was tough because I didn't really even know where to start or what questions to ask. He helped me arrange my students' desks into tables and turn my teacher desk around (why the previous teacher had the her desk facing a wall I'm not sure...)

Then we went over some curriculum stuff and the programs that they teach. This part was pretty stressful and overwhelming, but I've decided to take one teacher's manual home a night and just get familiar with them. Tonight was our reading book. I've already taught their math program, which is nice. It's one subject area I won't have to stress over, at least for the first semester, since I've already taught all of those lessons in student teaching.

Finally, he helped me plan out my supply order. No one ordered any supplies for my room yet, so I got to do that today. It sounded like a lot of money, but it was tough just spending that!

I stopped home for lunch and went back to school to meet with my principal. She said to just work in my room and she's stop in to talk. I rearranged a lot of the stuff that was in the room, putting it where I wanted it. This included lugging six class sets of textbooks from one side of the room to the other. After about three of the sets, I decided to put the books on a chair and drag the chair across the room. It saved many trips and my arms! I cleaned out the supply closet and hung up some bulletin board boarders. Fun times :) It is so nice to think that this is MY classroom. I'm not sharing or borrowing, this is mine and I can arrange it however I want!

Just as I was getting ready to leave, the principal popped in and asked how it was going. She told me to go home and think about something else. So I came home, watched an episode of Everwood and did lots of school stuff while I watched the Tigers. But I did give myself an hour to read and didn't do anything during dinner :)

Today I was a bit homesick and upset, most of which I attribute to how overwhelmed I was. I got to talk to Momma and Lil Sis and just keeping busy and being productive cheered me up!

I'm back to school in the morning for a day of working in my room.

22 August 2011

This is where I live

Yesterday I made the journey across the state to my new apartment. There were many tears as I gave Momma and Daddy hugs and hopped into the car. Momma said it was nice that she and Daddy didn't have to leave me crying at my new place. It was like I was leaving, instead of them leaving me. Maybe for you Momma, but I had to drive for three hours away from you!

Actually it wasn't too bad. The Tigers were on the radio, which kept my mind off leaving home. It was a crazy game(The Tigs went up 7-0 in the 3rd. Porch let 5 runs score in the 4th, he got taken out. Then we scored, then they scored twice, so it was 8-7. In the bottom of the ninth, the Indians had men on 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. They hit a long fly ball, which Apple Jax caught and threw out the guy at third who was heading home. Tigers win!)

Then I had to carry all my stuff and all my groceries to my apartment. It took probs 7 trips! My arms are very sore today.

After eating dinner I decided to take a walk. I knew there was a nice path by the lake downtown, so I drove downtown. When I got there I decided I wanted to read on the beach as the sun set :) Luckily the beach is within walking distance of downtown!!

As I was walking out to the beach, I just kept thinking, "This is where I live." It felt like a vacation or something, but I kept reminding myself this is where I live. I'm not here with a definitive end point, like when I went to college. I live here now. It was actually a pretty good revelation. I think somehow it helped me feel less homesick, though I'm not sure why.

So I sad on the beach (with no towel or blanket, gotta put one in my car for trips like this :) reading, watching the sunset and talking with Big Sis on the phone. It was wonderful. I feel so blessed to not only have this job, but to get to live in this nice small town, right on Lake Michigan. Sadly my phone was having issues, so I couldn't take any picures :( But I reminded myself I can come back down any day I want, because this is where I live.

21 August 2011

Getting Back Into This Blogging Thing

Soooooooooooo... It's been a long time :) I haven't posted since April! Crazy, but I started a new long-term job in April and it was very stressful and kept me very busy, with little time for blogging. Sorry!

However, I am going to try to jump back into the blogging world. I am about (i.e. today) to move across state for a new job. I got a job teaching third grade on the west side of Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited and grateful for this job. There are so many amazing teachers out there who haven't found jobs and I feel so blessed to have found one. And I feel very blessed that I didn't have to go out of state.

But my new school and apartment are about 3 hours away from home, which is going to be rough. There is a group of teachers from my school who live nearby, one even lives in my building. But it's going to be rough being so far away from my family, especially after living at home for a year. I love my family so so so much and I am going to miss them like crazy!!

It is nice because I'm only about three hours away from Big Sis, too! I'm halfway between home and Big Sis, so trips out to see her and Lil E will be just as convenient as going home.

I'm hoping that blogging will help me feel a little less homesick and fill some of my down time (although as a first year teacher, I'm not sure how much downtime I'll have...) But I will try to post as often as I can.

10 April 2011

Sorry!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I spent my second spring break visiting with family and friends around the midwest and then hosting a visit from Big Sis and Lil E. Today, instead of writing a fabulously interesting post about these happenings for you I spent the day doing two things.

1) Reading City of Fallen Angels. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Craziness. Will discuss in depth later. Also, I found a typo, it is on page 422. Look for it.

2) Reading Mark Reads the Hunger Games Basically, I feel as if I just re-read the whole series in the span of about one week. Be warned, he uses lots of bad language, but I loved his responses to each chapter.

So later this week I should have some lovely posts about the last week of my life, but today I enjoyed good books and beautiful sunshine!!

29 March 2011

Fly Away Home

Last night I was flipping through the guide on our TV and saw that the movie "Fly Away Home" was on. I was so excited!! Lil Sis was very jealous when I texted her about it :)

If you haven't seen this movie you must! It came out in 1996, so it has lots of awesome fashion :)

It is the story of a girl who moves in with her dad after her mom dies. Anna Paquin plays the little girl, Amy.


Jeff Daniels plays her dad. I love Jeff Daniels: he's from Michigan, he wrote a song about the Tigers, enough said.


She rescues some goose eggs and raises the baby goslings.


The geese imprint on Amy, so she has to teach them to fly and migrate south for the winter. Her dad creates these two planes that look like geese, so the two of them can fly the birds south to a preserve.


It's a pretty legit movie. Also it's based on a true story.

Right after the movie came out, Lil Sis and I saw a book at the library called Fly Away Home. We figured it was a story about the movie, so we checked it out.

Boy were we in for a shock. It is the story of a boy and his father who live in an airport because they have no place else to live. It is an excellent story, very touching, but not when you are 6 and 8 and thinking you are checking out a feel good story about a girl and some geese...

28 March 2011

Let's Dance!

I love picking winners the first week of DWTS and seeing if they end up the winners. Often they do win (i.e. Drew Lachey, Apolo Ohno, Helio Castroneves, Kristi Yamaguchi, Brooke Burke). I've had a bit of a dry spell the last few seasons, but Jennifer Grey and Donny Osmond were my second place predictions... Last season my top three- Jennifer, Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin were the top three! I have some mad predicting skillz.

Here are my Top 5 for Season 12-

5) Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke- I wasn't that impressed with him last week, but this week he was cute, funny and a good dancer. Plus I love Cheryl!



4) Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas- Gotta love the Disney Channel Star! I loved her last week, but this week I wasn't lovin' her jive... Also they're adorablespice together.



3) Kirstie Alley and Maks- She floored me last week with her cha-cha. I mean she's sixty years old and she rocked it! Her quickstep wasn't quite as good, but still very impressive. I'm not really sure why I like Kirstie Alley so much, the only thing I really know her from is Toothless, one of those Sunday Night Disney movies where Alley is the tooth fairy... But I do like her and Maks of course :)


2)Hines Ward and Kym Johnson- He is adorable!!! and a great dancer. I was very impressed with him. Plus him teaching Kym his "lingo" this week- hilarious!


1)Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff- I cannot believe that this dude is almost fifty- he looks so young! He is a cutie and a really great dancer! He seems very classy and fun and he's very well-spoken. I hope he keeps getting better and wins the whole thing. Also, Karina is engaged to Brad Penny who is a pitcher for the Tigers, so I've got to root for her :)

27 March 2011

Hunger Games Casting

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss from the Hunger Games.
Some people were unhappy that she was cast, that she was too blonde, too beautiful, not tough enough, etc. They were picturing her looking phenomenal at the Oscars. I understand people's hesitation, I mean, this is Katniss, she kind of makes or breaks the movie...

However, I'm pretty happy actually for a couple of reasons. 1)They can definitely dye her hair and make her look more rough/tough/starved, etc.
This is her in Winter's Bone.


2) A friend of mine saw Winter's Bone (which I didn't) and she thinks that Jennifer will be excellent as Katniss and that she will be able to pull of tough and edgy with no problem.

3)She was nominated for an Oscar!!! This makes me happy and hopeful that the Hunger Games movies will be of higher quality than say, Twilight. They are hiring quality actors.

4)Suzanne Collins has seen her as Katniss and approves.

5)She loves Peeta.

Busy Bee Lauren posted this morning about a list of guys under consideration for the roles of Peeta and Gale. Check out the list here.

Here are my two cents on those under consideration:
Gale

Liam Hemsworth-
He is very, very attractive. He was in The Last Song with Miley Cyrus and that was a pretty great movie in my opinion. He's kind of a blondie, but that could be easily taken care of.


Robbie Amell-
Definitely looks like he's been climbing trees and could take some people down. Also he's pretty darn attractive. He was in Cheaper by the Dozen Two, I think he was the oldest brother in the rival family.


Drew Roy-
He was on Hannah Montana the show (lots of Miley Cyrus connections in this casting list...) as her bf Jesse. I can definitely see him as Gale.


David Henrie-
Let me preface this by saying that I love David Henrie. I love his adorkableness as Justin Russo. I love Wizards and I love Justin and I love his nerdiness. However, that is not Gale. Gale is not a dork; he is not nerdy. I think that I would find it very hard to believe him as Gale even if he did an awesome acting job....






Peeta

Josh Hutcherson
I have a hard time picturing him as Peeta because of the hair color difference. However, I liked him in the Kids are All Right and I think he's a good quality actor. Also he was in Bridge to Teribithia-
I'd really have to see him with blonde hair before I can adequately judge, but I'd be OK with him as Peeta.


Alexander Ludwig-
At first I was seeing all these pics of him that looked like this one above and I thought, no he looks about twelve and kind of feminine or something, not like my Peeta. But those shots were mostly from 2009. However then I found this shot
which is from 2010, and I thought maybe... Sidenote- he was also in movie with Ana Sophia Rob, just like Josh Hutcherson...



Hunter Parrish-
Oh hi, you can be my Peeta.
I think he really looks the part...


Lucas Till-
Can't you just see him as Peeta, he's got a great smile! And yes, he was in the Hannah Montana Movie, but we won't hold that against him.

Swoon.


Evan Peters-
At first I saw this...
and I thought heck to the no. There is no way that this bum can be Peeta.

Then I found this pic
and I felt a lot better. This I could work with. He still wouldn't be my first choice, but he doesn't look like a bum...

Overall I'd be OK with pretty much any of the guys for Gale (David Henrie excepted). My top choice for Peeta would probably be Lucas Till, Alexander Ludwig, maybe if that second shot is really what he looks like now, maybe Josh Hutcherson if he's believable as a blonde... I don't know, I'll probably have changed my mind by tomorrow...

Well that was more like 46.5 cents, but there you go. Who do you think should play Peeta and Gale?

24 March 2011

Boo Yah!

When we were planning our epic Florida trip (chronicled here, here here and here)we discovered that renting a car when you are 21-24 is annoying. It said online that there would be a fee because I was so young, then we found out that it would double the price of the car! Yikes! We weren't so happy about that, but we were OK with it, there wasn't really anything we could do about it.

Renting the car was the part I was most nervous about. I've flown without my parents, stayed at hotels, gone to baseball games, etc. But I'd never rented a car without them and I didn't really know what I was doing. When we got to the rental counter (after a super duper duper long wait) everything was going well, we even got a free upgrade because they didn't have the right kind of car :)

Then the agent noticed that I was under 25, mentioned the extra fee and asked for my proof of insurance. I am thinking, 'what?!?!?!?!?!' I said I didn't have it and she said that then I would have to buy insurance through the rental company... I told her that wasn't posted anywhere online when I was going about renting the car. She said, "It's not on the website, it's just one of those things you have to know."

Excuse me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! How can you have a policy that is not posted on your website???? So I asked if this was just the case that I needed insurance because I was under 25 and told yes. The woman tried to "get me a good deal" and just make me pay for the absolute essentials instead of a complete plan for the "low, low" price of $45 A DAY!!!!! which basically doubled the price of the car again... What?

But I didn't have a choice, so I paid it and decided to not worry about it until we got home. I got the car and we left.

We, obviously, had a fantastic trip and tried not to worry our pretty little heads about the extra costs.

This weekend I received an e-mail asking me to take their customer service survey. I practically rubbed my hands in glee! The actual survey didn't leave much room for me to complain, but I rated their agents badly and said that I would never rent from them again.

At the end of the survey it told me that if I needed a response for a rep. to contact them via e-mail, which I did. I send them this awesome, strongly-worded e-mail

As a driver aged 21-14 I knew when I picked up my car that I would be charged an additional $27 a day due to my age. However, when I was at the counter, I was informed that if I didn't have my proof of insurance I would have to purchase insurance through Thrifty. As I had not seen this anywhere on *******'s website when researching car rentals, I was shocked. Especially since this insurance would be $45 per day, essentially doubling the cost of renting a car. When I informed the worker that I didn't know this policy because I hadn't read it anywhere on the website, she responded, that it isn't on the website, "it's just one of those things that you have to know."It is completely unacceptable to have a policy that your customers are supposed to "just know." My father has rented plenty of cars and has never heard of this policy. If this policy had been displayed on your website when it discusses extra fees for underage drivers, I would have brought my insurance and avoided this problem. I was appalled with this exorbitant extra fee and will never book with ******* again unless this problem is resolved to my satisfaction.

I felt pretty awesome and pumped after I wrote it. I'm not generally confrontational and it felt super to write this.

I got an e-mail back the next business day, saying that they apologized for the customer service I received (and that lady's blatant rudeness and scheminess) and basically that I could have signed a waiver and not had to pay any insurance... and that they would refund all of the money we paid for insurance! Victory!!

But super annoyed that the agent tried to make it seem like she was doing me a service by picking and choosing the coverage I needed and really she was scamming me...

But all's well that ends well. I guess.

(I think this is the last Florida post... :)

23 March 2011

Dr. Seussical

Islands of Adventure, where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter also houses a Dr. Seuss Island. After exhausting all of the adventures of Harry Potter World we headed to check out the Dr. Seussville.

It was so cute and fun! Plus we got 85 cent pop refills in our butterbeer mugs! It was much less crowded than the Harry Potter Island. Here are some of my favorite shots of the afternoon:










Such a fun time! I can't wait to share these pictures with my future students on Dr. Seuss' birthday. We went on two rides in Seussville- A spinny Cat in the Hat ride and a Seuss creature Merry-Go-Round.

22 March 2011

The Rest of the Delightful WWoHP

After the rides, we lunched at the Three Broomsticks...



There are some really attractive pics of us chowing down on our enormous turkey legs, but I will spare you those beauties....

After lunch we hit the shops along Diagon Alley. There was a line to get into the wand demonstration, but we didn't mind a wait in the sunshine as we finished our butterbeers. Lil Sis and I split a regular, cold butterbeer and a frozen butterbeer. I didn't care terribly for either of them, but we both preferred the frozen. Poor Lil Sis had to drink 1 1/2 of our two butterbeers, because I just couldn't drink anymore... But it's not so bad waiting in line, when you've got a gorgeous view of Hogwarts behind you!!


This lucky girl got to take part in a wand demonstration. When she swished and flicked her wand around, things fell off shelves and when the right wand found her a cool glowy light came on. It was legit.

Then we wandered around the other shops in Diagon Alley- The Owl Post-



Honeydukes-


I love love love the cute pink staircase and the candy jars on it. The $10 price of chocolate frogs, not so much. I ended up buying a sugar quill.

Zonko's Joke Shop-



Real Extendable Ears!!
The shops were super crowded and made me claustrophobic, but they were so cute and fun!

Some more shop windows-
A Quidditch Supply Shop


A Book Shop full of Gilderoy Lockhart's books






Me next to some random cauldrons


An adorablespice snowman with a festive Gryffindor scarf


After the shops, we watched the Triwizard Spirit Rally Show. It was basically the Strong Sons of Durmstrang and the Beautiful Daughters of Beauxbatons performing.


We never got to see the Frog Choir before, which was kind of a bummer...


Lil Sis and I were getting ready to have our picture taken by the Hogwarts Express, when all of the sudden a conductor pops up to join our picture :)


Some views of the beautiful scenes of Hogwarts/ Hogsmeade-



Doesn't Hogsmeade just look perfect?? *sigh* Hogwarts too :)





We had such a fantabulous day!!!!!!!!!!! We ended up going on all of the rides twice :) It was one of the best days ever!!! We also spent some time on the Dr. Seussland Island, but that's the makings of another post...