Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anniversary Dates and The Burrito Game

As I was driving to the Elementary School today I was pondering how I wanted to split up my glorious 10 day Boston trip so that I don't have this massive 700+ J.K. Rowling-style blog post (not that I don't love HP, because believe me...I do, I think we could all use a little more magic in our lives)..but I digress.

Here is what I came up with, Let me know whatcha think. 

Boston Weekend 1: Pick up from airport, shop for furniture, explore Lexington and Concord
Boston Week: How I kept busy while the Mr. was at work and the best local coffee shops I scouted out. 
Boston Weekend 2: Our first trip into the city, and all the amazing exploring that ensued. (this may be a long one...just preparing ya)!

So tonight we will tackle Boston Weekend 1, then stay tuned for the rest tomorrow/this weekend!

Annnnnnd Acton (pa-ha...like action...but Acton...MA...where Mr. lives...okay, no, I am lame).

Moving right along....

I had to get up at the bottom-crack-o-dawn in order to ride to the airport with my Daddio. The hospital he works at is pretty close the the airport so we decided it would work out perfectly to have him take me.  I made sure to have everything packed the night before, then just rolled out of bed and slept-walked to the car. 

My flights were pretty un-eventful and I slept most of the trip. When I landed in Manchester I had several hours to kill before Johnny got off work and came to get me. I decided to take the earlier flight even if it meant waiting because the alternative was getting in at 9ish and missing three priceless hours with the fiance!

I kept busy by reading bloggies, planning out our weekend, walking around, people watching and munching on all the snacks I packed!


I made a batch of protein bites to fill me up during my wait. In the mix: almond butter, coconut, almonds, cashews, cocoa powder, coconut oil and rolled in some oats. It was edible, but kinda funky tasting. Then I realized that the cashews that I put in it were mislabeled. They said plain, unsalted...but they were jalapeƱo or something. Interesting combo...not my fave. I definitely would have enjoyed them more if they weren't "chocolate-almond-with-hint-of-pepper"

Bagle Thin with Laughing Cow cheese and Deli Turkey!

I was so excited to see Johnny! He picked me up at the airport and we headed straight to Best Buy to pick up our TV (New Hampshire doesn't have sales tax...Holler!). 

Yay! First big electronics purchase! :) We also picked up the "Back to the Future" trilogy on DVD. I hadn't seen all of them and Johnny insisted they were necessary editions to our collection (which is currently 95% disney movies)

That evening we picked up a pizza and relaxed on the couch with Snuggleupogis while watching the first Back to The Future!


After a pancake breakfast, we set off to explore nearby Concord, MA. This is the area where Henry David Thoreau was born, lived and died. His family owned a pencil factory in Concord, where he worked as a young man. He is probably most known for Civil Disobedience (how many of you had to read that in HS?) and Walden...which was written while he was living in the woods at nearby Walden Pond! There are tons of streets, parks and even an antique store named after Thoreau! He is definitely a local hero!
I really appreciate clever store names, so I had to snap this picture of "the dotted i"

After mosying around the main road and window shopping a bit we decided to head over to the Minute Man National Historic Park. Johnny and I enjoyed the beautiful weather on a long stroll around the park. We stopped to read all the signs and I learned so much more about the history of the battle that took place right where we were standing. Ralph Waldo Emerson later described this clash of the British Soldiers and Colonial Militia in a poem as the "Shot Heard Round The World" I kept turning to Johnny and saying..."Think of what happened right HERE".


Some Pictures of the Minute Man Park



 We were starting to get a bit hungry mungry after our vast history lesson. Johnny only had one place in mind that could satisfy his hunger pains....yep, Chipotle. We plugged it into the gps and it was 30 min away...but, there were some furniture stores around there we wanted to check out soooo, we set off to his all time favorite burrio joint!
My what a nice "grill" you have...Soooo attractive!

Okay so we have no idea if this is a "local" thing or what, but we saw this furniture store up on a hill and it looked huge so we decided to check it out. As we were driving up to it we noticed that within the store there was also an IMAX theatre and a seafood restaurant. Well, naturally that sealed the deal and we had to see what this was about. 


This is what we saw when we walked in the door. It looked like a cross between Disneyland and Branson, MO. Each room had a different theme on the outside but on the inside it was completely normal and actually had some pretty nice and affordable furniture. It was a pretty fun/random outing!

Next Up was Bob's Furniture!

Lets talk for a moment about the epitome of American Laziness. This is a coffee table which folds out and extends into a table so that fatso Americans can eat without missing a moment of their favorite television shows...sick. What is this world coming to. 



We didn't end up getting any furniture, just pricing some mattresses and tables...but we had fun just browsing!

Sunday was Johnny and I's FIVE year anniversary. Wowza. It has been a long road. I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with such an incredible team mate for me to live life with. Sometime soon I would love to do a "how we met"/ "our story" post! Oh! That would be a blast! Anyway, We celebrated the last five years of dating with a lazy morning of watching the final two Back to the Future movies before heading over to Lexington for a late lunch of Italian food and more history exploration! 


The little Italian Place was so fun. It was definitely a "local" joint and it was fun watching these adorable 5th-6th grade boys try to figure out how much to tip the waitress. They must have lived in the neighborhood, because they rode their bikes there. About halfway through our meal Johnny told me that this place reminded him of the cute Italian restaurant in "Return To Me" once he said that---I could not agree more! So fun!

Edit: I forgot to tell you about the adorable bookstore, "The Elephants Trunk", It was a children's bookstore and I feel in love at first sight. It is probably a good thing it was closed for the day or I may have spent too much of Mr.'s money buying books for my future classroom!


Lexington was BEAUTIFUL. I wish I knew more about history and could give you all the facts and figures. Touring these towns has definitely made me want to dig into history a bit more and dust the cobwebs off of all the stories and events I learned back in elementary school!

The Yellow-ish house above is Buckman Tavern. It was built in 1709 and was the gathering place of the Lexington Militia. Pretty cool stuff...eh?

                                           

This was inscribed on the monument. If you have a spare moment it is really worth reading. It is so beautifully written and really evokes a patriotic spirit  of American unity!

We rounded out our anniversary with milk and cookies, the movie Fireproof and acting like five year olds playing the "burrito" game...well I always called it burrito, apparently Johnny's siblings referred to it as taco. What are the details of the game you ask? Pretty simple...you wrap them up like a Mexican food of choice and then tickle them then unroll them really fast. I know, super complex and cognitively demanding!

                       

It was a very fun first weekend in Boston!

Today was another good day in the schools, we are getting the kiddos ready for State Assessments next week in Math! Today we practiced a ton of function tables, and played several rounds of "guess my rule" to help tune up their algebra skills!

Also, here was my "teacher outfit" of the day. 
Purple/grayish tweed skirt (Gap), Cream sweater (Old Navy) Charcol tights (Target), Maroon flats (Target)

So tell me...

How many of you played some version of the burrito game with your siblings or friends when you were younger?

What are your favorite airport snacks?

See you tomorrow!

Love and Prayers, 
Court

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Midnight Snack and Eavesdropping

I briefly wanted to interrupt the previously scheduled Boston tour/update to tell you a bit about today's events!

I got a great night's sleep yesterday. I fully attribute this to the delicious midnight snack I had of animal crackers dipped in White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter & Co. MMMMmmm! This was a match made in heaven!

I woke up this morning with the first day of school butterflies in my tummy! It is my first day being in the schools for my block C practicum. In elementary education at K-State our professional classes are arranged in blocks. I am in my last block before student teaching and have been working so hard in the K-State classroom doing tons of lesson planning, unit planning, research and preparation and now FINALLY I get to be with the kiddos and see all my hard work pay off.

It has been a real struggle this semester to hang in there through all the "methods" part of teaching. I have been itching to get into the schools--my heart is those kids and it was hard not getting to be around them until now.


Awkward Mirror Pic
Here was my first day of school professional ensemble. I decided it would be fun to try to take a picture of my "teacher outfits"--perhaps it will be inspiration to me to put together different combinations outside of my "go to" numbers! 

Well, I was only in the fourth grade for three minutes before my "teacher ears" turned on and I began to pick up on all the little superflous conversations going on in the classroom. I always find these conversations so amusing, sometimes I have to bite my lip to keep from laughing when I should be implementing my classroom management strategies to get them back on track! 

Anywho, I am starting a new "segment" on the good old bloggie blog entitled... *drumroll*

Student's Say the Darndest Things (yes, original...I know)

Here are the top four conversations that I heard while in the fourth grade classroom today:

At recess, two girls are standing in line and this is how the convo goes down:

S-You are a friend. Not a best friend. Well, actually, now that I think about it I have an opening for my third best friend. Do you want to be my third best friend?

A-Okay!

If that doesn't bring you back to the good old days of elementary school I don't know what will...Remember the whole "you're not invited to my birthday party" saga when your friend was mean. Ah, those were the days!

Next convo. During class. Out of the blue, no context to speak of...

B- Rivers are like interstate highways for fishies...*VA-ROOM*

Random. 

This next little gem was said by an adorable girl who came and tapped the teacher on his hand and said...

We were perfectly quiet. I just can't seem to understand why we did not get a star point.

She was just so polite about it!

And today in the classroom there was a birthday, so naturally we stuffed our faces with sugary-sweet-make-your-teeth-hurt-store-bought-florescent -cupcakes. 

In typical fourth grade boy fashion there was a huge discussion that went something like this.

F- I will eat your cupcake if you don't want it
T- You can't have it, I already licked it
F-I don't care, I would eat anything
T (and at least 2 other boys simultaneously)- Would you eat POOP?!
F-Ya, if it was from a chocolate cow...cause then it would be chocolate poop. ( I am missing the logic here but, alas!)

Several moments later...

F-This frosting tastes like bologna 

And that, my friends is just a little glimpse of my day! I have some major tidying up and regrouping to do tonight, so I will probably continue the chronicles of my spring break trip to Boston sometime tomorrow. I am also back in the schools again tomorrow (and every T, W, TH for the next 5 weeks) so prepare yourself for some more enriching fourth grade eavesdropping adventures!

Love and Prayers,
Court

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Town Forest and Pizza Picnic

Sorry to leave you hanging. I tried to start this post a trillion times but kept getting distracted for one reason or another. I am going to try to finish up my recap, update posts, so that we can be back to real life. *insert adorable flash back to David after Dentist* Is this real life? 

Not to mention now things are going to get really confusing because I will be going straight from moving Johnny to Boston to ----> Fast forward 2 weeks and BAM I am back. Oh well, You are all smart cookies. I am sure you will be able to follow!

(setting the stage: we just arrived in Acton, MA after 20+ hours of being on the road)




Johnny did an excellent job backing his car off of the "car-attachment-thingy-ma-jig"My detailed "a-little to-the-right/left" directions weren't too shabby either! 

We got a little tour of the complex from a sweet leasing agent. She was so kind and helpful, bubbly and excited! She was doing a walk through of the apartment and took the time to show us every little thing, even how the water faucet was extendable and turned from stream to sprinkle. (Johnny and I played along like it was such an special amenity--"Oh WOW, that is great"--She was just too cute).

After the tour I snapped some before pics (which you will see later) and prepared my muscles for some heavy lifting with a little pep talk! I bragged  told Mr. I had been working out hardcore with ChaLEAN and was definitely up for the challenge!


Unloaded Chaos! 

I was immediately impressed with the apartment complex because the people were so kind. At least three new neighbors asked if we needed  help unpacking the UHaul! It was very nice of them to offer but we were finishing up and only had a few more things to carry in! It wasn't too bad because Johnny lives on the first floor and has these beautiful french doors that opened right up to the outside. We backed the truck in and got everything in lickety-split! 


Quick run to HomeGoods for some essentials that couldn't wait for registering. We are trying to be really smart and strategic about getting things for the apartment with the wedding round the corner! We did however need to pick up a few cooking necessities so Johnny can eat the next 9ish months.



We called in and ordered a pizza on the way home because we were STARVING. We settled on Sorrento's because it is close to the new place and wanted to scout out the good local pizza.


It certainly didn't disappoint and our picnic on the floor was a great first meal in the new apartment!
 Now we were fueled up and ready to stay up late unpacking all of those loverly boxes laying around.

The next morning we slept in a tad bit then went and ran more errands and unpacked more. Nothing picture-worthy. That afternoon we decided to go mattress shopping before we had to take the UHaul back. Talk about surreal. I can't believe that we are getting married in a little over nine months and are "shopping around" for such serious things as a marriage bed! Whoa. Weird. We ended up checking a few places and liking a couple, but decided to hold off. Most places have cheap or free delivery and the reason we felt in a "rush" at first was because we still had the UHaul. Anywho, that was a fun/strange/i-can't-believe-we-are-this-close-to-marriage-finally- Moment!

                                 

It is so hard to capture how an area "feels" in pictures and words. I wish I could pack all of you up and send you on a little visit to experience the town first hand--buuuut postage may be a teensy-bit expensive and I am not sure how well-ventilated those cargo-mail planes are, so I will do my best with what I've got. 

In a word, the area is quaint. Perfectly, beautifully, winding roads-front porches-wooden shutters-type of quaint. There is a town forest right behind the apartment building. The Acton Town Forest. There is an apple orchard up the road, a pond down the street and a zillion colonial style cottages, farms and stables scattered about---are we getting the cute-ness here?

                                  
Ahhh! I just stinkin' love it! There is a huge monument in the middle of town, adorable shops, cafes and farm-stands. It is even a bit reminiscent of Star's Hollow! (gasp! LOVE IT). 

Not to mention there is a cute little red building as you enter the apartment complex that is the school bus waiting area...and it looks like a little red school. Naturally, I had to have my picture next to it. Adorable. 

                                            

I will leave you with some pictures I snapped while we were driving around exploring. None of them are amazing photography wise, but I think they give you an idea of the area. 




The moving trip went by quickly, but definitely left us with some great memories. I still can't believe what a whirl-wind it was--everything happened so fast. We learned some great lessons about trusting in the Lord and not being afraid to take some leaps of faith!

Thanks for joining us on the move adventure!

Love and Prayers, 
Court

I am posting this without re-reading (never a good idea) because I am late to life group so please ignore all spelling errors and sentences that only make sense in my mind!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Zillion Questions and Oreo Twists





Details from Leg 2, as promised! ( I wanna crank out these "recap" posts so I can get to all the "present day" fun and what we have been up to this week!)


Alrighty, where were we? Kansas City.

Johnny was in desperate need of a good night sleep after covering 1,612 miles and a few hours of sleep. Thursday morning I woke up and packed up as much of the junk I have accumulated to decorate our apartment/home  my dowry :) as I could.  We decided to take advantage of having the UHaul so that we have less "big stuff" to pack 9 months from now when we get married and I move. Really, as much as Mr. teases, It wasn't too much stuff, annnnd I just kept telling him that it was saving us money because I had "garage sale-ed" for most of the decorations and a beautiful antiques.

We packed up the treasures and headed out for what we know would be quite the adventure!









I was so excited to have this extra time with Johnny. Living so far away from one another has been challenging, we have to really work hard to carve out time each day to talk on the phone or skype--and make the effort to invest in strong communication. Having this built in quality time during the road trip felt like such a treat! We were excited to plan, talk, listen, dream, and of course share some great laughs and memories! 

Knowing we had roughly 27 hours to spend in the truck together, I decided it would be fun to find and print off a list of questions to ask one another. The list was quite expansive and often hilarious. It covered everything from the most basic "what's your favorite food" to "what did you find attractive about me when we met" and "what is your favorite childhood memory"? You would think after five years of dating and almost six years of friendship we would pretty much know everything there is to know about each other, but we had fun discovering new things about one another and trying to see if we could answer each other's questions. 

We also got to listen to some Tommy Nelson podcasts that I had loaded onto my iPhone before the trip. They were such a blessing to us, we felt like we learned a ton, it made the time pass quickly, and provoked some amazing conversations! 

On a more goofy note...



Allow me to sum up our road trip in four pictures:

#1. Toot Factory....That is all. 
#2. Oreo Twist Competitions ( I won)
#3. Bug Juice Washing
#4. UHauls are not highly fuel efficient...no surprise here. 





The Honda was attached to the back of the UHaul and after it's very long trip it was looking a tad bit dingy. Ick! Couldn't resist writing in the grime :) 

Johnny did all of the driving, I wasn't too confident in my driving skills when it came to the big of vehicle. I was worried I would go flying off the road. I was taking a little morning nap somewhere in New York and woke up to this...


Yet another thing I did not know about my fiance, he knows every word to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". I could NOT have been more proud in that moment. Be still my heart.  I have definitely found my soul mate. Poor Johnny, he was so tired. Note the huge yawn in the middle of the chorus! :)

(I may be in big trouble for posting that video, but I find with things of this nature--it is often best to go for it and ask for forgiveness later...plus as I type this there is a full cookie jar of homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting in the kitchen, yep, that should do the trick!)



 Beautiful Open Road---Such a Fun Adventure!


We look so tired! But happy and excited!





 Coming up next (after I force myself to finish a dreaded English paper--I am in total Spring Break mode): The Move In/ Unpacking!

Love and Prayers,

Court




Thursday, March 24, 2011

BIG Announcement and Daisies in the Sun

Holy Update Batman! I have a LOT to report! I don't really know what to say to transition this one, I have been a busy little bee, and can't WAIT to share all I have been up to. 

First of all, a little over a month ago, Johnny was given the opportunity to take a promotion, start off on a new adventure, and leave the sunny skies of California for a beautiful place with four seasons, tons of history and lots to explore. After lots of talking it over, pro/con lists and prayers...we decided to go for it! 

Where did Johnny move.....?

Boston!

(Actually, if you want to get technical, he is moving to Acton, MA...but it is in the Boston Metro Area)

These were probably the most crazy-busy two weeks of my life! There were only 15 days between Johnny heard about this job opportunity and when he packed up the U-Haul for the cross country road trip of a lifetime!

The Journey began in Anaheim, CA. Johnny flew two of his best guy friends out to California for the first leg of the trip. They packed it in, slept in the back of the truck on the side of the road, and bee-lined it to Manhattan by Wednesday afternoon. They made it just in time for....

My Candelighting! 



In Kappa when someone gets engaged their husband-to-be is invited to come and share the story of how they met and how they got engaged with the rest of the chapter. A lot of times this is the time when the kappa announces her engagement but I went ahead and told everyone back in November because I didn't think I would get the chance to have this ceremony because Johnny lived so far away and it wouldn't be practical to have him fly out in the middle of the work week. 

When Johnny called and told me that he figured out the milage/distance/driving and he would definitely be able to make it to chapter Wednesday I nearly jumped for joy! Even though everyone knew I was engaged I decided to still keep it secret because it would be a good surprise to have Johnny there and no one would be expecting it at all!

It was so fun to ask my dear kappa sisters to stand up alongside me and read snippets that reflect Johnny and I's relationship! My amazing friend Ashley took these stunning pics (visit her website) and Sarah took a video of Johnny talking about our story (which I would totally upload, but I'm not sure Johnny would be a fan of that). 

After the candlelighting, Johnny got to catch up with friends of his that still live in Manhattan and we went to our favorite date night restaurant, La Fiesta (best cheap Mexican food and QUESO!!) All in all, it was a very special night and I was so thankful that Johnny worked so hard to make it happen for me!

We continued on to Kansas City, dropped off Timmy and Kyle and spent the night at our parents houses. Then we were on the road again, Boston Bound!












Coming up next: Road Trip Leg 2!

Love and Prayers, 
Court