Monday, August 27, 2012

In which I'm reminded just how lucky I am to be married to Dean

So, long time no see.  This isn't actually a catch-up post but I just wanted everyone out there to know how amazing Dean is.  Beginning last year he developed and implemented a special needs week for the phoenix zoo's annual summer camp.  Each week of camp is as inclusive as possible, but some kiddos with mobility or sensory impairments need specialized adaptations.  So, even though the Zoo had never done a camp like this before Dean took the initiative to put one together.  It was very successful last year and they were able to put it on again this year.  One really cool part is that Dean helped write a grant for the camp so that campers who attended during this week didn't have to pay the regular camp fee of $275.  In fact, they were able to attend for free!  Dean put in a lot of extra time and effort to make this camp happen.  Some of the campers this year had never been to the Zoo before.  A family trip to the Zoo can be difficult for children with special needs-it's expensive for families to get into the Zoo, especially when families may only stay for a short time as a result of their child's schedule/needs.  Additionally, getting around the Zoo can be difficult and seeing exhibits in a large crowd can be challenging (or impossible in the case of visually impaired or blind children).  Dean made a conscious effort to change those "norms" and to afford children who are sometimes socially isolated a chance to attend a summer camp just like thousands of more typical kids do every year.  I am so proud of him.  Here's a link to a brief blog post about this year's camp, written by the mother of a camper named Cicily.  Check it out!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Kate, this is for you.  Does anyone else remember when these type of surveys were e-mails that you would forward to all your friends?  Think back to your middle school days people. So in the spirit of my inner 7th grader, I give you, the tag post!

1. Post these rules. 
3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you. 
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag. 
5. Tag 11 people. 

My Answers:
1. What were you doing before this? Dishes (okay that was mostly Dean, I can't lie.)  I was eating (drinking?) a root beer float and reading a few paragraphs of the third Hunger Games book.  It was kind of painful.  The book, not the float.
2. What's your most common grocery item? I'm wishing it was something exotic and wonderful, but even with Dean's allergy, it's still probably milk because I buy it every single week no matter what.  Or watermelon during the summertime (which has already started at our house) because we pretty much eat that every week too.
3. If you could go on any vacation, what/where would it be? Well, the most recent issue of Bon Appetit has made me want to go to Paris now more than ever, but if I had to choose my number one destination it would probably extended tour through Latin America including climbing to Machu Picchu, a lengthy stay in Buenos Aires and most of all a no-hassle trip to Cuba!! Also I get to interview people and spend a lot of time meandering.  There you have it.  As a side note, I interrogated (but in a friendly way) the sealer when we went to do some sealings in the temple on Saturday because he said he had been the cultural attache (can't find the accent on blogger)  in Montevideo, Uruguay as well as in Lima, Peru, Bogota, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala.  Heaven right?  I loved him, not least of which had to do with his referencing Robert Frost.  (The road less traveled bit.)
4. Paper or digital? Paper.  Not opposed to digital, but for making to-do lists, grocery lists etc. I need paper for my brain to work properly.  I also still enjoy curling up with an actual book or magazine.  But, I also don't have a kindle etc. so that might be why.  
5. Favorite pair of shoes? Some black/cork wedges.  I adore wedges.  If I were rich I'd own a million pairs.
6. What instrument do you wish you knew how to play? Any!  I took piano lessons as a child but stopped around 8 for one reason or another.  I plan on living my hopes and dreams out through my children though and will see to it that they are musically inclined. j/k. well sort of- I do want them to play instruments.  
7. Would you rather smell like Limburger cheese all the time or have no teeth (and no way of replacing them)? Smell like cheese.  Only people with a discerning palate would want to hang out with you- what's wrong with that?
8. If you had a $1,000 shopping spree, but could only spend it at one store, what store would it be? Oh please.  Anthropologie.  I'd buy nine things (ten if I hit the sale rack) and be totally obsessed with them.  This was the easiest question by far!
9. City or country? City!  Unless by country you mean a remote beach, which I could also get used to.
10. Movie or song that makes you cry every time? Hmmm..there's a lot to choose from here people. I almost cried in class the other day when I showed my 8th graders 12 Angry Men and Henry Fonda helps the grumpy guy with his jacket at the end.  I'm sort of a wuss. So let's see.  Young Victoria-he loved her so much!! Finding Neverland, Mr. Kruger's Christmas, Rabbit Proof Fence.  Still, if you don't cry during Rabbit Proof Fence I think your heart may be MIA or else you're a soul-less robot or something.
11. Where is your happy place? To paraphrase Edward Sharpe, Home is wherever I'm with Dean.  Sayulita (where we went on our honeymoon nearly 5 years ago!) is pretty hard to beat though...

Sadly friends, I do not have any thought-provoking questions to post at this time, nor do I have enough friends to tag who haven't been already.  On the up side, I do have some lesson planning to get to.  So, without further ado, I bid you adieu.  To you, and you, and you!  Goodniiiight!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A little Radiohead love...

Dean and I at the concert last week!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's official!

You're now reading the blog of a Wildcat grad student. 
In case you were wondering. 
In May of 2012 I'll begin my first classes in the 
Send your library questions this way people! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!

Or, how to throw a stellar mardi gras fete in nine easy steps!!
Step One: Find some inspiration at the best store ever.
Step Two: Create some killer invitations.
Step Three: Collaborate with this party-goddess.
Step Four: Decide upon a delectable menu of red beans and rice, New Orleans style bbq shrimp, baguette slices, a cheese plate, grapes, olives, cheese sticks, mini lemon ice box pies, and of course homemade King Cake!
 Step Five: Create a photo booth by setting up a sheet as a backdrop, placing the camera on a tripod in timer mode and providing a basket with plenty of mardi gras themed props.
Step Six: Borrow a white board and play mardi gras themed pictionary with large mardi gras beads for prizes. Terms should be a mix of easy and challenging with words like parade or French quarter followed by zydeco, hurricane, or beignets.
Step Seven: Set the stage. Blast some great blues, jazz, or zydeco music via Pandora or your own itunes mix. Use mardi gras themes picks in everything. When in doubt, add a pick. Set up a welcome station where guests can grab a mask and some beads, as well as use this key to find their very own blues name. Provide nametags and purple, green and gold sharpies to write the names on.

Step Eight: Wrap homemade pecan pralines in purple cellophane, tie a mardi gras ring to the package with goldeny yellow ribbon, and give away as party favors when guests leave at the end of the night.

Step Nine: Let the good times roll at your very own mardi gras celebration!
What are your plans for Mardi Gras? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Best Birthday Ever

So my family is basically amazing.  Not to sound like the kind of blogger that Seriously So Blessed makes fun of or anything, but yesterday I totally had the best birthday ever.  My sister Lacey threw me a surprise party for my 25th birthday!  Not only was I COMPLETELY surprised...shocked would be more accurate...the party was mucho fun as they say.  Luckily Lacey and I are basically the same person so she knew exactly what I would like.  I should add that she collaborated a great deal with the rest of my familia and even her best friend Alisha who is equally adept at throwing fantastic parties.  (Check out her son's recent Lego party- so fun right?!) I'm still not sure how she and Dean were able to keep the secret, but much thanks to them and to Bille and Logyhn for all their hard work and clean-up support, as well as everyone who showed up to help celebrate. And now on to my sister's amazing talents!  Check out all this cuteness!!  (Sorry for the pic quality, these were all taken on my phone as I didn't think I had any reason to bring my camera!)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Well it has been a very busy end to the Summer and start of the school year at our house, which is why we haven't posted in so long!  After July 4th we were able to go to Newport Beach, CA with my Dad's family and spend time relaxing and enjoying the beach.  It was very fun and a much needed vacation.  Then I was able to stay a little longer and spend time with my sweet mamacita which was also so fun!  We ate delectable ice cream treats, cooked breakfast together, went to the beach, went to some excellent book stores and had an all around good time.  After getting home from that, we were able to spend some time with Dean's parents and sister Lynne.  It was way fun!  Lynne and I were able to go see a fun movie and also eat some delectable ice cream and sorbet from the best place ever. We were sad to see Lynne go but excited for her because a sweet vacay in the Bahamas was in her near future!  Later that week Diana came down to take the AZ bar.  We are sure she aced it, and after she took it Rod also flew down for a few days of birthday fun.  We were happy to get to see John and Haley at their reception down here in AZ.  Do you see what I mean by busy now?  And I'm not even through yet! :)  At the end of July we found out that my grandpa is not doing so well and doctors discovered that he has a tumor in his brain.  I feel lucky to live so close because I've been able to drive down to Tucson a few times to see him.  My mom, little brother and sisters have also been able to go down and it was neat to spend this time with my grandparents. One fun thing we got to do was have dinner at Lerua's for my grandma's 80th birthday.  My sister surprised her by ordering a tres leches cake, which we all devoured despite being full of guacamole, green corn tamales, beans and horchata.   Then we went to a football scrimmage at the UofA with my grandparents.  My grandpa was able to tell me about a time when he played in that stadium during his high school days at Tucson High.  It was a fun evening and great to spend time with family.  Finally school started and Camp Zoo ended for Dean.  Dean was called into jury service but was released after a few days which he was grateful for.  School has been going well, I'm co-teaching this year which means my classroom has two teachers in it all day except for one period.  It has been a really good experience so far.  My partner teacher had a staph infection and was out all last week though :( and I can't wait to have her back!!  I thought handling 39 kids by myself all day would be fine, but I was so wrong! lol- Never before have I looked forward to a Monday, but this week I definitely am!  Sorry no pictures but I will post some picture-heavy posts soon!!