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Friday, July 31, 2009

I have not felt like blogging since I got back from Spain. To blog about Spain would be pretty time consuming. There are only two ways to answer "how was your trip?" One: "Awesome! Really awesome!" The other is to launch into a 2 hour long powerpoint presentation full of pictures and reactions. To do any less would be an injustice to the awesomeness of the trip. So, for now, let's stick with "awesome". You can see some pictures on Facebook, but not the Valencia ones yet, and I'll have an album of pics you can flip through in person should you so desire.

A person wiser than me explained that my recent depression may be caused or intensified by having just returned from Spain. I thought she was only talking about something she had experienced herself, but turns out post-vacation blues are not at all uncommon. I don't think I'd be so susceptible to it, or that it'd be this bad, if I weren't already cliff-hanging on Mount Depression before the trip. I know that life won't or can't continue like this forever, but since that fact doesn't change anything, I know I need to be patient and trudge through.

Just because I FEEL like I've been lying in bed for days on end, I haven't. Here is the rundown of interesting or exciting things in my life lately:

Ate at Cristinas with Tom after I got home. We saw Harry Potter the next day.
Bought Spanish cookbooks and began planning my wonderful Spanish food themed graduation party in my head (or I may just get a few buckets of KFC - plans aren't so easy to execute after a week of finals.)
Went to dinner with my sister and attended Heather's first Mary Kay event the next day.
Ate at Taco Diner and saw/LOVED 500 Days of Summer at the Angelika in Plano with Brenda and Co.
Made this and this (not together though), which were delicious.
Got a big fat data file formatted properly at work.
Jessica invited me along on her senior portrait extravaganza with her hubbie/photographer (this is probably at the top of the list.)
Going to see Funny People tonight with Brenda and Co.
Got our bills/medical stuff reorganized (a huge accomplishment)
Going to make homemade mayo this weekend.

What I haven't done:

Put up my suitcases
Clean my house
Put away my laundry

But that's on the agenda for this weekend. It's my first free weekend since I've been back, and my last one for a while. We are headed to Beavers Bend with the family August 20th. School starts the following week. Seriously.

Next semester, I'm taking psychological measurement, psychophysiology, and two special problems (independent study) courses about math instruction and inclusion/co-teaching. I'll be actively seeking my alternative certification to teach math, and I'll be applying to grad school. This is a much bigger task for most of my McNair peers - I am only applying to UNT for a master's degree, so it should be pretty simple and I can't imagine being denied acceptance. Most importantly, next semester, I'm graduating! And full-time income is my light at the end of the tunnel.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Friday, July 10, 2009

There are no words to describe how awesome it is here! So I'll use pictures.

View of the castle from our friend's hotel. We met 4 other UNT students who are helping with this conference at the airport, and their view is even better than ours!

Our hotel from their hotel.

Marina next to our hotel.

The flight was long, but I slept for at least a few hours. The first flight was delayed, naturally, and we only made our connection because we ran. Our bags didn't arrive in Alicante with us, though. We went to lunch (paella and sangria), walked around some shops downtown scoping out other restaurants. You wouldn't believe the SHOPPING here. We spent some of yesterday (Thursday) figuring out when/if our bags had arrived, and heading back to the airport to pick them up. We headed out for tapas at about 9:00pm. We had green olives, fried potatoes, calamari, tuna salad, & croquettes (and sangria, of course. I liked this batch better than what we had at lunch.) It was so relaxed - eat at a slow pace, sip the sangria, and talk. Everyone seems like they're on vacation here. Another thing that struck me was all the KIDS out! I love that "going out" doesn't mean finding a babysitter.

Me & Natalie (one of the UNT students from the other group) after tapas/sangria.

Then, we went shopping at an outdoor market where I'll pick up a few souvenirs before we go. Our last stop was a coffee shop, where I got a cafe bombon, which is espresso to which you add that packet of sweetened condensed milk. It was delicious.

Then I found PROFITEROLES on the menu! It's a property on the Monopoly dessert board, and I didn't know what it was, but I always love to say it. So, I had to order it. It was like fried vanilla ice cream balls sitting in chocolate sauce with whipped cream. Wonderful!

Then we picked up some bottled water at the supermercado and Brenda and I headed back to our hotel. There is a casino right here, we may go in one night.

The castle at night!

Today, we are planning to visit the castle, relax at the beach, and have a siesta before another fun night out!

The castle

Sunday, July 5, 2009

If you've known me for a reeeeally long time, you probably know that seeing a castle is going to be one of, if not THE highlight of my trip. I can't wait to go to Germany someday and check out their castles. I have a thing for castles.

Check out the castle in Alicante. Isn't it SWEET? I want to go the first full day we're there. I don't want to put it off and end up not going!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

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1. From Tammy: You didn't hit Target???? That day doesn't sound complete without a stop at Target too!

Ha! I did go to Target the day before. It was successful. I got a really cute turquoise wrap dress with cap sleeves for $25.

2. From Heather: The only thing I can think of is whether or not Spain has the same power outlet plugs as us for electronics.

Luckily, my roomie just got back from Turkey/Greece in May, and she offered to share her converter, so we'll be rotating our devices out. :-) Those converters can cost $50 for a good one.

3. From Adam: "Pack light on the clothes, you can wash them at your hotel. By packing 3 or 4 days worth of clothes you free up enough space for everything else you need!what do you do? what conference are you attending?"

See, I thought about packing lighter, but I can't find anything that mentions laundry in this hotel. I'm sure they have a laundry service since it's a resort-type hotel, and who knows how much that costs? I think I'll opt for packing enough - I can usually rewear dresses & shorts if I need to! I'll grab some Shout wipes or something and just make what I have work.

I'm attending the International Association of Special Education conference. I work as a research assistant at UNT. And my boss loves to travel! :-) I have had a great job there not counting travel, so the travel is like icing on the cake. The conference is every two years, and in 2011, it'll be in Iceland. How SWEET would that be?? I don't know if I'll be working there then - I eventually have to work full time as a teacher for 3 years, but I'm definitely going to try to stay involved if possible.

4. From Tammy: You'd think I had figured out a way to sneak in your suitcase without my 2 monkeys screaming "Mommy!"

Everyone keeps talking about sneaking into my suitcase, and I wish someone would figure out how to do it! I would love to have someone else go. I just don't know anyone who weighs less than 100 lbs! Except Miranda....

I can feel the tropical breeze....

Only in my imagination, though. It is STIFFLING here.

But check out the 10-day Spain forecast.


The 1st of July

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Today was nutty.

Found out yesterday the Star Telegram was coming to work to talk about this research project we're doing. My boss wants us there at 10am today, looking snazzy. The interview thing was OK, but the hilarious thing is when the photographer showed up, they stuck me in front of a computer and he took a ton of pictures of me working on the computer. Shouldn't we have stood in a row in front of a UNT logo looking professional and intelligent?! There is NO way I have any kind of normal looking face in those pictures. I didn't see any of the pictures, but I guarantee that I look like I'm thinking, "OMG, how should I look? Deep in thought? Perplexed? Smiling? Should I look at the camera or pretend he isn't here??" I know the result will be a silly looking trying-not-to-burst-out-laughing look. I'll get a laugh out of it, anyway. Hopefully it's only funny looking to me and those who know me well!

So, after surviving what was one of the most uncomfortable hours of my life, I did something that comes totally natural to me: ate enchiladas. I met Jessica for lunch at Cristina's in Frisco. I haven't been to Frisco since they put the 121 tollway in - well, once with Tom driving at night at Christmas time. I can't believe what a difference that road makes in the Preston Rd @ 121 intersection. You can't see the mall anymore after you exit! I can't wait til the new Lewisville Toll Bridge opens.

I went to Old Navy looking for the $9 capris advertised, but remembered that the sale starts tomorrow. If I were smart, I would've tried some on so I can just run in and grab them tomorrow. Hit Ross, JCPenney, and strolled around the mall. Didn't buy a whole lot, still I really enjoyed fartin' around with no time frame. I feel old at the mall, especially during summertime. I couldn't make myself go into Charlotte Russe, which used to be one of my favorite stores in high school. I have found a few things there that I don't feel totally silly wearing as an adult. Too many teeny boppers were in there today, and I couldn't make myself go in and try to figure out what size I wear in juniors sizes...ew.

Hot Topic...well, I never "fit in" at that store, but it's getting worse with every passing year. I never go in unless I'm looking for a gift for someone else, but I always window shop, and today, the window was full of Twilight paraphernalia. Haha! Man, do I ever miss the days when I would've been totally fanatical about Twilight! I'm kinda embarassed to read/buy the Twilight books, but I read em anyway, thanks to Twila who brought me the first book when Tom was in the hospital. They are a guilty pleasure. But when I was 14? I would've been daydreaming about sexy dark misunderstood vampires all the freakin' time. That's if I could've smuggled the books into my house at all - parents weren't too keen on the preternatural.

But I can't be shopping at the Dress Barn! I ended up buying a dress at Penneys and some stuff at Bath & Body Works. LOL

So, in my car on the way home, I turn onto 35 in Lewisville and notice that my air conditioner in my car isn't cooling. I'm on my way to Wal-Mart to pick up some contacts. How sweaty can 1 person get in a 10 minute drive? Soaked the bone. Literally, the back half of my dress was soaked, and I am not a big sweater. Eeewwwww! How embarassing! I did run into the vision center trying to keep my back from everyone, but I didn't get any food. It didn't work again on the way home, but naturally, it worked fine when Tom tested it. *sigh*

The evening has been uneventful. I am trying to get to sleep early tonight. Thrilling!

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