Packed up and put away

I just finished putting up all our Christmas decorations and the tree. I know its so much more fun to put up the tree than it is to take it town, but I always like to think about where we were last year when the tree was up. What will we be doing next year when all the decorations come out? Will we still be living in this house? Will Jon still be working for Dell? Will I be on my way to supervising? I know I will have just finished grad school which will be great! I guess on everything else I will just have to wait and find out what God has planned for us this coming year.

Its almost over

My 2 week vacation is coming to an end very soon. :(

It has been a great 2 weeks. Jon and I had a great time in South Lake Tahoe and seeing all our family this week. It has been nice having him home for 2 straight weeks and not having to worry about school or work. I have been scrapbooking and catching up on some TV watching. We have a cool program called Hulu. You can watch a bunch of shows and movies on your computer for free (check it out here). Jon has it hooked up to his Xbox which lets us watch it on the TV as well. I started watching Friday Night Lights on Thursday and I am totally addicted! I am about to go watch another episode (I am on #19 already). I'm sure I will finish up the seasons by tomorrow. It is a good show and it is filmed all around Austin.

Tonight we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was a very cool story and a good movie, but is it super long! We left Hiro out side thinking we would only be gone a little while. He was pretty upset when we got back.

Tomorrow night Jon has to head down to Corpus for a job (hopefully it will go fast and he will be able to come home Monday night). I don't have to go back to work until Tuesday and even then I only have 1 session. It's going to be a nice slow week since most of my kids are still out of town. Such a great way to step back into the read world.

Wednesday my best friend Amanda is coming down to celebrate New Years Eve with us. I think we are going to go see one of Jon's friend perform and then watch fire works from our roof. Jon and I did it last year and it was so fun! We climbed up on the roof (Jon better than me since I am scared of heights). We wrapped up in blankets and enjoyed the show together. Then on Friday I am going to drive back to Plano with Amanda. Unfortunately Jon has to work, but it will be nice for me to see everyone back in Plano for a weekend. Then January 5th work officially starts back in full swing. Luckily I don't start classes until January 20th so I still have a few weeks to relax before the projects start up again.

Fun and Family

Monday night Jon and I headed over to his grandparents' house for our first of 3 Christmas celebrations. It was great to see everyone including some super cute second cousins.

Last night we went to my grandparents' house for our 2nd Christmas celebration. Although we were missing a couple of my cousins it was still lots of fun to see everyone. After dinner we went around the room and shared our favorite Christmas memories. It was so great to laugh at old stories. We do a gift exchange were everyone draws numbers and then we either choose to unwrap a gift or steal someone's gift. It is always so much fun and this year Jon and I both did great! I got 2 cute picture frames which is perfect because I want to frame some pictures from out trip. Jon got his gift stolen and got to pick a new one...he walked away with a gift set from La Madeline's (which we brought). We love their tomato basil soup!

Last night my sister spent the night and we stayed up super late exploring digital scrapbooking. I think I have her hooked, we even set her up with a blog and made a cute header for her to get started. I made a new background for my computer.My parents came over this afternoon and Jon and I were able to show them all 371 pictures from our trip. Now everyone is laying down for a small nap before we go to church tonight. After church I am cooking chili and corn bread for everyone tonight. My parents and sister have to get back to Plano early tomorrow so we are opening gifts tonight which will be a little different for us, but still fun! My sister, Jon and I went in an got my parents something very cool (I can't say what it is right now on the off chance they read this). I'll be sure to post more pictures tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!!!

A few pictures from our trip









We're back

We got back in town last night. We had a great vacation but it is always nice to come home. I am going through our pictures right now and I will post some of my favorites later today.

I am so excited that I still have a week off of work! We have tons going on this week. In fact Jon's parents and nephew meet us at the airport last night and followed us home. They stayed with us last night (even though we had no food since we had been gone all week). This morning I woke up early and managed to stock up on food for the week. I am planning on making some sugar cookies today and chili on Christmas Eve when my parents come stay with us.

Tonight we have Jon's family Christmas at his grandparents house, then tomorrow night we have my family Christmas at my grandparents house. Then we are going to have a small Christmas at our house with my parents and sister. We are so lucky that everyone decided to come to Austin this year. I think both Jon and I are done traveling for a little while. Although I am going to Plano the weekend after New Years to see my other grandparents and great aunt. I am also going to see Steven and Ally and their new baby! I haven't seen them since their wedding (which was at least 3 years ago) so it will be a great visit.

Oh...listen to my new Christmas time track...this is my favorite Christmas CD. My mom has been playing it every Christmas since I can remember. We would always listen to it on our drive from Plano to Austin every Christmas. It always felt like it was really Christmas when my mom would play this CD. I hope to carry on the tradition!

Vacation pictures so far

Check out our vacation pictures so far...http://picasaweb.google.com/laurenelissa/TahoeVacation2008?feat=directlink

We are having a great time! So far we have enjoyed 2 days of down hill skiing, a day of cross country skiing and a day of snow shoeing (my favorite). Tomorrow we have opted to do something less active (ok I decided we should do something less active). We are going to drive into Sacramento and check out some museums and shopping!

Frustrated

Jon and I are having a blast on vacation...I will post more about that later this week. Right now I need to vent.

I got an email last night from one of my professors. She had gotten an email that indicated that I had concerns about the grad program and that I thought that I had learned more at a conference than I did in school. Ugh, I absolutely hate drama!

First I have never said that I have concerns about the grad program I am in...I mean seriously I am paying about $1000 per class...if I didn't think it was a good program I probably won't be there. Second most of my classes this semester were entry level courses geared at people without a lot of ABA background. I have been doing this for going on 3 years. There is not a whole lot of new information being taught in my classes yet...next semester I will be in more advanced classes where I will get more in depth information. This semester I was able to go to a 3 day conference and I did learn a lot of new information (completely unrelated to what I was learning in my classes). I am so frustrated because any comment that I made was just how I enjoyed learning new information to apply to my current job (nothing to do with class). The person that emailed my professor appears to quote me yet they name a conference I have never heard of.

I was able to clear things up with my professor but the fact that I had to take care of it of it in the first place and while on vacation non the less is just ridiculous. I am not sure who would email her but apparently someone has it out for me...not sure why. Ugh.

Vacation days 1 and 2

I just wanted to send an update about our vacation so far. We landed yesterday afternoon in Reno and after picking up some water and other much needed winter wear we began the 1 hour drive to South Lake Tahoe. It began to snow about 10 minutes into our drive, and there were even parts where we couldn't see the cars in front of us. Thankfully we made it here safely and enjoyed dinner at a local pub.

Today was our first day of down hill skiing. It snowed all night (and all day, in fact it has not stopped snowing yet). When we started skiing this morning it was only 10 degrees at the top of the mountain. It warmed up to a cozy 14 degrees before we rode the Gondola back down to the base of the mountain this afternoon.

Tomorrow our plan is to do some cross country skiing by the lake. Hopefully I will be able to take some great pictures.

I started a web album with some pictures from today, check it out here.

We're off

Jon and I are about to head to the airport. By 4:00 today we will be in South Lake Tahoe!! Hopefully I will manage to take some good pictures this week and post them.

cookies

A few months ago I went on a cookies making spree. I was on a quest to find my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I tried a bunch of recipes and I came up with a couple that I think are really good. Last night I decided to use my new free time (now that I am done with school) to make some cookies for the families that I work for.

Here is what you need:
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 teaspoons of vanilla (the recipe only calls for 2, but I like to throw one more in)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 package of chocolate chips

Directions:
Blend the sugar and butter until fluffy
Add the egg and vanilla and blend until smooth
Add in dry ingredients
Stir in chocolate chips
Bake at 300 for 20 minutes.
And the enjoy a couple of cookies with a tall glass of milk. :)

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? I would love to try it out.

Done with school!

I took my last exam this afternoon and came straight home to give my blog a make-over. How do you like my new header? I am getting so much faster at making them. :) I am officially done with school until January 20th! After work tomorrow I will be on vacation until December 28th, I can't wait!

Jon and I pretty much finished up our Christmas shopping and last night I wrapped presents instead of studying..which was way more fun. Tonight Jon is having a "boys night" with his best friend...they are playing some new Xbox 360 game...yay (can you hear my sarcasm?). I am about to head out for a "girls night"! I have been so busy with school and work that I have not been able to go to my weekly small group in about a month. We all decided to get together for dinner tonight since everyone has been so busy. I can't wait!

Tomorrow Jon and I are going to 2 Christmas parties that are back to back. One is a dinner my professor is throwing for all the people in the autism concentration. Then the other is for all the therapist I work with. Luckily the parties are literally going to be walking distance from each other. In fact it is possible that the 2 houses share a back fence. I think it is going to be the perfect way to begin my 2 weeks off.

Some pictures

Here are some pictures from my new camera. I haven't figured out all the editing tricks but I am working on it. These are just a few that I thought looked ok on their own. :) I'll get better.























Living with a boy

It is amazing how fast the house gets dirty as soon as Jon gets home. He has been gone a lot over the last couple of weeks and my house-work to do list seemed to have shrank. I only used a few dishes and would put them in the dishwasher right after using them. I only had to run the dishwasher once and it was unloaded as soon as it was done. I made up the bed and straightened up the house every morning before work so that I could come home to a clean house in the evenings. I could lay my jeans on the floor in the closet and not have to worry about dirty soccer clothes being thrown on top, making them unfit to wear the next day. No one was around to play Xbox so I didn't have to come home to world war 3 in my living room.

Jon got home late last night and today when I got home from work at 12 the house was a mess! As I was making up the bed (which took twice as long because my husband insists on wrapping up like a burrito causes sheets and blankets to go everywhere), doing a sink load of dishes, and sweeping up the mounds of dirt Hiro brought in last night (that has nothing to do with Jon coming home, it just rained last night which leads to very messy floors at our house) I was gently reminded that while living with a boy is totally different than living with roommates or by myself, I am so lucky to have married my best friend, who loves me despite my borderline OCD cleaning nature among my many other flaws. I am so blessed that he is home safe and sound and that thanks to his wise financial decisions and hard work ethic we are doing fine despite the economy. I will do dishes, laundry and deal with a messy house any day to have the life I have with the man I love.

Another Monday come and gone

Whenever Jon goes out of town Hiro gets the special treat of sleeping on the bed with me. Jon would totally let Hiro sleep in the bed with us every night, but an 85 pound dog is just too much for us in our queen size bed. Anyway, Hiro loved it and I think it makes us both feel more safe and comfortable when Jon is out of town. Unfortunately Jon didn't get to come home tonight, and now it is looking like he may not even be able to come home tomorrow night. :(

Jon has been traveling a lot lately, but we are both looking forward to a week long vacation next week in Tahoe. We are even planning on taking a day to drive up to Napa. We may even get to stay at the Napa Valley Lodge for a night. We stayed there during our honeymoon and it was amazing. Here is the view from our room. Can you imagine living somewhere like this? I remember driving from a winery one day and we pasted a school where kids were outside practicing soccer with the mountains in the background. Amazing! I am looking forward to our second vacation as a married couple. :)


I had my last night of class tonight. In my first class we had our final. It was fairly easy but I didn't agree with all my professors questions/answers. Luckily she is always willing to hear our opinions and she even changed 2 of her answers. In my second class we turned in our huge FBA group project...I am so glad it is over! My teacher's assistant came and told us my professor had jury duty today and will be at least an hour late, maybe more. Ugh...seriously, just cancel class. My friend and I decided to turn in our project to her mail box and skip out on class. All I have left is to take my last final on Thursday! I am so ready to be done with this semester.

This week I have to finish my Christmas shopping, wrap all the gifts, study for my final and make sure we have everything we need for our trip. I am thinking it is going to be a busy week...

Weekend update

I had a great birthday weekend.

Friday I got off work at noon and Jon and I took Hiro out to Auditorium Shores to play. I got to take a short walk around Town Lake - I love where I live! We also played with our favorite outdoor toy the aerobie. We also got a little Christmas shopping done - we are almost done! My camera came Friday night and I had a blast trying everything out.

Saturday we slept in super late and went out for breakfast at El Chilito. They have awesome food and a patio. In the winter they have heaters and blankets at every chair. It is great to drink Mexican hot chocolate with a breakfast taco and wrap up in a warm blanket. From there we headed to Petsmart to get the Furminator (it is supposed to work wonders with shedding). We had Hiro with us and as we walked down the toy isle. Hiro got so excited when he saw all the stuffed animals. One feel on the floor and he immediately picked it up. We could not resist and let him take one home. When we got home I decided I wanted to clean out our extra bedroom closet. Its a pretty big walk-in closet and we could barely open the door. Well one thing lead to another and not only did we clean out the closet, but the room and we reorganized Jon's office so we both have a work place. It looks great and it will be nice for us to be able to work in the same room. Saturday night we went out to dinner and to Barnes and Noble to get some helpful photography books.

Today we slept in again (amazing). After breakfast we headed to Jon's soccer game. Unfortunately they didn't do to well, but the weather was amazing so it was nice to be outside. We had lunch at Texidelphia and headed home for a relaxing afternoon in our nice clean house. Jon had to leave for a business trip tonight :( but he comes home on Tuesday.

I promise I will post some pictures later this week. I just need to practice a little with my photo shopping took (GIMP).

I am so looking forward to get my 2 exams this week over with and head to Lake Tahoe next Sunday!!

It's here!

The UPS man dropped off my birthday present! I am now the proud owner of a Cannon EOS Rebel XS! I have been taking pictures all around the house this evening. Tomorrow Jon and I are heading out to take some cool outdoor shots. I can't wait to come home and try out my photo editing program. I will try to post some pictures later this weekend. :)

I should be...

doing laundry...the dishes...studying for my finals...reading for class...cleaning my house....working out...Christmas shopping...and so many other things

Instead I am sitting on my couch watching Lipstick Jungle. Jon got us this new program Hulu (because he canceled our cable). I was upset at first but I am starting to like this Hulu business. It has a bunch of different shows and movies that you can basically watch on demand. I saw a preview for this weeks Lipstick Jungle and thought I would see what they show is about. I was able to watch the pilot and 2 other episodes last night...I am on number 5 now...good grief.

I have a presentation tonight followed by a final...after tonight 1 class will be done!!

Count Down:
3 days until my birthday
8 days until my last final for the semester
9 days until work Christmas party
11 days until we leave for vacation!!

Oh goodness...I have so much to get done in 11 days!! I have to be completely done with my Christmas shopping...I am usually a wait until the week before to buy kind of girl....yikes!

It's only Tuesday...

I am hoping the rest of this week goes by faster than yesterday and today. Not that I have too much to complain about...

On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings I spend my morning shadowing a first grader in a private school. I have been working with this little girl (I'll call her S) for 3 years now. Some days are harder than others but today she was great!! It was nice to have an easy morning finally.

Jon is out of town until Friday :( And my birthday is on Saturday...I'm ready for it to be the end of the week already. My new camera is in the mail and should be delivered on Friday! My plan is to play with it around the house Friday and then Jon and I are going to head out to Mount Bonnell on Saturday to start taking pictures. We haven't been out there in awhile...we had a date there when I was still living in Dallas, its were Jon proposed and were we had our engagement pictures made. There is a saying that if a couple walks up the 100 stairs once they will fall in love (worked for us), if they go up twice they will get engaged (on the second time there Jon proposed), and if they go up a third time it is inevitable they'll get married (we had our engagement pictures made there). And look at us now...married for almost 2 years! Before we go up there we pick up lunch from Kneaded Pleasures. They have wonderful sandwiches and a cute atmosphere. I can't wait for Saturday...a cute picnic lunch with my great husband while playing with my new camera. :)

Monday, Monday

Ugh, I always hate the first day back after a break. At least there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I only have 2 weeks left of school!! Then Jon and I are headed to Tahoe for a week long vacation followed by another week off to enjoy Christmas with our family and friends.

Here is the break down for school (more for me to see it visually, you probably don't care).
  • Monday (today) - I have a research paper due, and handouts for our presentation - both of which I completed last week.
  • Wednesday - I have a research presentation and a final exam
  • Next Monday - I have my second final exam
  • Next Thursday - I have my last final exam...then I am done with school until January 20th!!!