Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas #2

Darby and I celebrated our Christmas on Thursday night since we're going to be out of town until New Year's. I made dinner for us (Paula Deen's beef bourbon and onion-cheese bread), and we ate on our china. After dinner we opened gifts. I already knew what his gift was to me - staying an extra night in San Antonio when we go for Erin's wedding next weekend. But, we also decided to fill each other's stockings, so that stuff was a surprise. I got him a game he really wanted called Ticket to Ride and some Wii points. Below are some pictures of us with some of our stocking stuff. I guess I didn't realize that my hair was in my face. :)

After opening gifts, we went and looked at Christmas lights and then went to Starbucks for some gingerbread lattes. When we got home, we ate apple pie that we had gotten for free at United with a coupon. Free pie! Woo-hoo! It was a great first Christmas. And it's not over yet!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas #1

Darby and I went to Arkansas this weekend to celebrate Christmas with his mom's side of the family. It was a whirlwind trip. We flew out of Abilene at 8:30 Saturday morning and got back in at 8:30 Sunday night. His parents generously offered to pay for our plane tickets and a hotel in Searcy, so how could we refuse? It was fun getting to spend time with his aunts, uncles, and cousins. We had a big get-together Saturday night. There was so much food; I'm still full! I've only been to Arkansas once before, and that was a long time ago, so it was neat getting to see some of the scenery. We went to Harding on Saturday night; they have a huge Christmas light display every December. It was beautiful; there were lights hanging from the trees, which made it look very magical. I wish ACU would do something like that. This weekend was the kick-off of our many Christmas celebrations to come in the next ten days. Holidays get crazy once you're married!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Now that all my grad. school applications are turned in (finally!), it's really starting to hit me that I'll be going back to school. I'm excited because I'm a nerd who actually likes school, but I will miss my free time in the evenings. I've enjoyed being able to cook more, scrapbook more, and read more. I want to set some goals for the 8 or so months of freedom I have remaining, so I don't look back when I've started school and wish I had gotten more done in my time off.

1. Finish my wedding scrapbook. I got off to a good start this fall, but Christmas gifts kind of derailed me.
2. Continue to stick to my plan of baking at least one batch of bread per month. I am trying to overcome my fear of yeast breads.
3. Read at least 6 books that I owned prior to this year. I keep buying or borrowing new books, and I never get around to reading the ones I already own.
4. Seriously clean out my closet/dresser. I'm pretty good about weeding out clothes that I know don't fit anymore, but I need to take EVERYTHING out and really evaluate which clothes I actually wear. I know I have some things that I haven't worn in at least two years and some things that I probably shouldn't have worn in the last two years :)
5. Invite more people over for dinner. I love to cook, and cooking for a group is usually more fun than cooking for two. But I rarely invite people over - mainly because I don't want to have to clean the house AND cook. I need to stop being so lazy, though.

Well, I think that's a pretty manageable list. It helps me to put my ideas in writing, so maybe I'll actually follow through with them.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I began getting the Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving, but I didn't get everything arranged until this weekend. Here are some pictures:

Here's a wreath that I made. Well, I tied the fabric bows onto a store-bought wreath. This is actually hanging on the inside of our door because I was afraid it might get stolen if we hung it outside. (I might be thinking a little too highly of my handiwork). I realized in looking at this picture that the top of the wreath looked weird; I've fixed that now, so you can all quit making fun of me behind my back. :)

Our cute stockings! We ordered them from Pottery Barn. Since we don't have a mantle, I hung them from the bar.

Our Christmas tree. We don't really have room for it, but I really wanted to put it up. So it's kind of just in the middle of our living room. Oh, well! It's still very festive. And we even have some wrapped gifts under it. I did some wrapping this weekend while I was avoiding finishing my last grad school application.

I also have a little shelf in the dining area that has Christmas stuff on it, but I forgot to take a picture of that. I love decorating for Christmas, and I am so excited about mine and Darby's first Christmas as a married couple!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa Fe, here we come!

Well, in about three months. Darby and I decided we wanted to take a little trip together over Spring Break this year. We had so much fun on our honeymoon and are really wanting to travel a lot together before we have kids (which will hopefully be a very long time). Right now we can't really afford plane tickets, so our destinations were limited. Neither of us has ever been to Santa Fe and we thought it sounded like fun. We'll be staying in a little guest cottage near the Plaza. It's much cheaper than a hotel and is decorated in the "authentic" Santa Fe style. It has a full kitchen which means we can cook our own meals rather than spending tons of money on eating out all the time. I just made the reservation this week, and now I'm getting so excited!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Highlights

- eating a cinnamon crunch bagel at Panera with Darby's parents
- used book shopping at Golden's (even better, we got to use his parents' credit)
- doing all of our laundry for free!
- having my brakes fixed by Darby and his dad
- getting two throw pillows that Darby's mom made out of his grandpa's old ties
- Black Friday shopping with Mom and Hannah ($14.75 jeans at Old Navy!)
- dinner at Cracker Barrel with all 4 of my best high school girlfriends
- many rounds of Outburst with my family
- a visit from my crazy cousins on Saturday night
- having Darby help decorate our Christmas tree for the first time
- eating at Double Dave's with both of our families after church on Sunday

All in all, I thought mine and Darby's first major holiday as a married couple went well. It was a little hard to adjust to not seeing my family on Thanksgiving Day, but I am blessed with great in-laws who make me feel welcome and loved. The difference in our two houses is incredible, though. It's kind of like My Big Fat Greek Wedding (I bet you can't guess which family is which!) We are so lucky to have families that are both wonderful in different ways.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The end of an era...

Every year, sad as this may be, I feel like the Christmas season has begun when Starbucks releases their holiday menu. I know that technically you can get a peppermint mocha any time of the year, but I only like to order it when it's "official." On Saturday, Darby and I went to Starbucks, and it was all decked out for Christmas. Of course, I got really excited. So much red! So much glitter! I noticed they had added a new drink to the Christmas menu...a peppermint WHITE chocolate mocha. Of course I had to try it. However, when I got it, I couldn't even drink all of it because it was SO sweet. My coffee-addict husband has converted me to the dark side! Now I actually prefer regular coffee with just a little milk and sugar. I know it's a good thing nutritionally and monetarily, but what's Christmas without peppermint mocha?

Friday, November 02, 2007

A nerdy Halloween

Darby's friends decided to host a little Halloween party this year. Of course, we had to go all out on our costumes. Darby came up with the idea of being Tetris pieces, since we both really like that game. He worked so hard on our costumes, and they were awesome! They turned out much better than I had imagined. Everyone loved them, but we couldn't keep them on for very long because they restricted our movement and vision so much. Plus they were hot! We had a lot of fun; I'm so lucky to have a husband who's willing to spend hours making crazy costumes for us!

Me and Darby



Monday, October 29, 2007


Friday was Fall Break for ACU students, so I took off work to spend time with Darby. I decided it would be fun to make a "fancy" meal and serve it on our china. I picked a menu from my Rachael Ray cookbook. (It might not meet some people's standards of fine cuisine, but it's definitely more complicated than my normal casseroles).

The menu consisted of:
toasted ravioli with tomato-basil dipping sauce
seared pepper steaks with marsala sauce
roasted asparagus
individual chocolate lava cakes with ice cream

It was delicious, if I do say so myself. Here's our beautiful table:

And here's what the kitchen looked like after I got done cooking:


Needless to say, we spent a lot of time after dinner doing dishes! It was worth it, though. Next time, I won't cook the steaks so long; they were a little overdone. But Darby was such a sweetheart; he insisted they still tasted great.

I did A LOT of cooking Thursday and Friday. Thursday night, we had our friends Laura and Dan over for dinner, and I made fajitas and a fiesta rice dish. Friday, we baked an apple cake to take to our friend in San Antonio and then I made our big dinner and dessert. We have a lot of leftovers for this week, which is a good thing, because I still have to make treats for a Halloween party on Wednesday. I love cooking and baking; if only I could cook without dirtying more dishes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Every Sunday night, I watch Desperate Housewives while Darby works on his homework. Usually, he goes in the other room so he can concentrate. Lately, though, he's been staying in the living room while I watch. Last Sunday, he admitted to me, "You've kind of got me hooked on this show. I really want to find out what the new woman is hiding." Yes! Further proof that this show is irresistible. I had actually planned to stay away this season since my girls that I used to watch it with are gone. But then they had to end last season with a big cliffhanger, so of course I tuned in "just to see what happened." Now, I'm hooked on this season, as well. It's a vicious cycle.

It's actually cold this week! I love fall, and I'm so happy that it's FINALLY here. I love pulling out my jackets and sweaters, sleeping without the air conditioner on, drinking hot chocolate, wearing scarves, eating soup for dinner, and starting to think about Christmas - only 2 months!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I hate Wednesdays

Okay, I need some help. Wednesday is consistently the worst day of the week for me. I wake up dead tired, without even the consolation that the week is almost over. Every other day of the week, I have something to look forward to. Mondays, Darby and I watch Headlines on Jay Leno. Tuesdays, I get to practice the piano. Thursdays is The Office. And Fridays are, of course, Fridays. We do go to church on Wednesday. But it's hard for me to get excited about that. I enjoy seeing everyone at church, but by the time I get home from work, cook dinner, clean up, and make it to church, I'm usually worn out. What's a fun, cheap routine I can have on Wednesdays to make me look forward to the day instead of dreading it? I don't want to hate a whole day every week.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Girls' Weekend

I had a great time hanging out this weekend with my Fat Tuesday girls. We got to Kalyn's house in Frisco about 10 on Friday night, and she had a bunch of yummy snacks waiting for us. We ate and caught up until about 2. Saturday morning, we got up and went to Le Peep for breakfast. I had blueberry pancakes, which were delicious:

These aren't actually my pancakes, but I didn't take a picture, so I found some similar ones online.

After breakfast, we went to a ginormous mall and shopped, shopped, shopped. I didn't purchase much, mainly just drooled over all the clothes I couldn't afford.

Then, we went to the Cheesecake Factory, where I had a slice of my all-time favorite - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake.

Yummy! It doesn't get much richer than that.

We walked off our cheesecake at IKEA, then went over to Carolyn's apartment in Lewisville. After a slight detour through downtown Lewisville (we meant to do that!), we headed back to Frisco for pizza and Wii-playing. Here's a shot of Erin in action. What a bowler!

And here's all the gals (minus Em).

Here's how Em spent most of Saturday evening.

And they make fun of me for going to bed early! Ha!

On Sunday morning, Kalyn got up and cooked us a big breakfast (That girl is quite a hostess!), and then we headed back. It was a great weekend to catch up with my girls, but I sure was glad to come home to my wonderful husband!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fat Tuesday Reunion!

It's Friday! Yay! And I am super-excited about this weekend because we are having our Fat Tuesday reunion. Brittany's coming down to Abilene today, and she, Erin, Em, and I are going to drive to Kalyn's house in Frisco, where Carolyn will also meet us. It'll be the first time we've all been together since my wedding, which didn't really count because it's not like we spent much time together. We're going to spend the whole weekend shopping, chatting, playing games, and, of course, eating. (We call it FAT Tuesday for a reason). I'm so excited to catch up with everyone. I've missed our weekly meals so much. I'll post some pictures of the mayhem when I return.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lately, I have become obsessed with cooking blogs. Why did I not discover these before? They combine my two favorite pastimes - cooking and reading blogs. Two I really enjoy are The Pioneer Woman Cooks and Smitten Kitchen. Both are very entertaining, in addition to having great recipes and photos. If you like cooking, go check them out. You'll be hooked. Every time I read them, I want to go cook something right then. Of course, I'm also the type of person who could flip through a cookbook for hours without getting bored.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy Fall!

I know the beginning of fall was really Sept. 22nd or something, but I think fall officially begins October 1. I got out my Halloween decorations this weekend, and they make me so happy! Here are my favorite things about fall:

Candy corn! This stuff is awesome! It looks cute, and it tastes even better.

Caramel apples...yummy! The perfect combination of sweet and tart, and so deliciously messy.

Friendly ghosts...they look so cute and not scary at all.

Pumpkin pie with whipped cream...there's nothing more to say.

Is it sad that most of my favorite fall things are food? Probably so.

There is one thing I really DON'T like about fall - allergies. Mine are horrible right now as are pretty much everyone else's in Abilene. If those will clear up and the temperature will drop about twenty degrees, fall will be pretty much perfect.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What I did this weekend...

Yes, it's a puzzle. Jealous? Darby and I are such nerds. We love puzzles, but we have a hard time finding ones that we like. We only like ones that have lots of distinct sections, not 200 pieces of sky. We went to Frontier Texas a couple of weeks ago and spotted this one in the gift shop. We've been waiting for a free night to put it together. Usually we work them straight through, but this one took both Friday and Saturday. So that was pretty much our whole weekend. Yeah, we're that cool.

On a different subject, Darby made a 1400 on his GRE!!! He would never announce it to anyone like that, but I figure I'm allowed to brag on my husband. So our grad. school prospects are looking pretty good. Yay!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Discovering Grandpa

I just recently got to know my Grandpa Rod. He is my mom's stepdad and was married to my Grandma Trish before I was born, but I never really knew him until a few years ago. Growing up, we didn't spend much more than one day a year with him and Grandma Trish because my grandma had a somewhat strained relationship with my mom and her sisters. I have to confess, I never really thought much about Grandpa Rod. He seemed nice enough and collected model trains, which was cool, but I didn't mind that I knew so little about my own grandpa.

About six(?) years ago, Grandma Trish and Grandpa Rod moved from Dallas to Eddy, a small town about 15 minutes away from Waco. Our family all wondered how that proximity would change our relationship with them. We started spending more time together, and all of us grew closer to them, but I think the focus was more on Grandma than Grandpa. In January of 2005, Grandma Trish passed away after battling lung cancer. Shortly after that, Grandpa Rod discovered that he had cancer, too. My mom quickly assumed the role of his primary caregiver, driving him to appointments, making sure his house was clean, etc. All this meant that we started seeing a lot more of him. And without my grandma around, things were more pleasant. Sometimes it was awkward, having this grandpa we barely knew, but it was also really nice, since our other two grandpas died when we were all little kids.

Grandpa Rod had fascinating stories about his time in the military and other adventures. He was extremely smart, having worked as an engineer most of his life. Besides his love of trains, he also was an avid star-gazer. His declining hearing made it somewhat difficult to carry on a conversation with him, but I enjoyed listening to him tell stories. Like me, he was a reader and always had a recommendation for me. When I visited him in August, he loaned me Water for Elephants, which a friend of his had just sent him. He really liked talking with Darby, a fellow scientist, and when he found out Darby was wanting to buy some tools, he gladly gave us a bunch of his.

Grandpa Rod died on Saturday morning, the cancer finally taking its toll. My mom and his daughter Tracy were with him. I'm glad God gave me the opportunity to get to know him better before he died. Grandparents are a true blessing, and I have been blessed abundantly.

Friday, August 24, 2007

True Confession...

After I post my blog entries, I always go back and re-read them. A lot. I guess I just find myself fascinating :)

In other news, I have my first modeling gig tonight. That's right. My friend Em works for a bridal boutique, and they have a bunch of older dresses they are trying to sell on eBay. So I get to model them for the pictures. After people see how great the dresses look on me, I bet those babies will sell like hotcakes! Haha!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Home Sweet Home

As promised, here are the pictures of our apartment (finally!) I've been meaning to post some for a while, but I kept waiting until we were done decorating. Well, we're still not totally done, but I decided we're close enough, so here goes:

Half of our living room. It usually doesn't look this dark, but I took the picture in the evening when it was raining. We got the slipcover as a wedding gift, and it fits much better with our stuff than the blue and white stripes did.

The other half of our living room. Sadly, we have nowhere to put our desk, so it has to go in the living room. We're hoping to get a nicer desk at some point, but we got that one for $10, so you can't beat that. We bought the TV stand at Target with our gift cards. It was hard to let go of the old Wal-Mart entertainment center, but we managed :) Please notice the long antenna ears. I meant to put them down for the picture, but I forgot. That is definitely one of the downsides of not having cable; those things are tacky!

This is our little dining area. We can't fit all four chairs, so we keep the other one at the desk and just pull out the table if we have people over. And yes, I actually use my placemats. Aren't you proud?

Darby and I bought these shelves and cabinet at IKEA. Even though Darby nearly killed himself hanging those shelves, we've really enjoyed having the extra storage space near the kitchen.

Part of the kitchen. I LOVE my Kitchen Aid mixer! And Darby and I are pretty happy with the way our mugs look hanging from the cabinet. I like how the kitchen has a bar area that looks into the living room. Even though the kitchen is tiny, I don't feel closed in.

Our bedroom. The shelves are another IKEA purchase. Also, notice the dirty clothes peeking out of the hamper...I guess I should do some laundry :)

Our bed. I absolutely love our bedding! We made the headboard out of plywood, batting, and fabric. I think we're going to recover the middle panel, though. We tried to tie in the fabric from the curtains and pillows, but I think it looks a little out of place.

The awesome curtains Darby's mom made for us. They look much better in real life than they do in the picture. And when they are loose, they block out tons of light, so we can sleep late on Saturdays. Yay!

I tried to get a picture of the bathroom, but there was no where I could stand and get a good picture. It is blue and brown, just like the rest of the house. We reeealllly like blue and brown!

Well, hopefully that gives you some idea of where we live. It's not much, but we really enjoy it. Of course, if you really want to see what it looks like, you could always come visit us. But, you'll have to find somewhere else to sleep, because obviously we don't have room :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Isn't it ironic?

Yesterday at work we had an all-staff meeting. It was supposed to last from 2 to 4:30, but it ended at 4. The president of the university told us that we could all go home, and that hourly-paid employees could still enter that they worked until 5. I was so excited. I NEVER get to go home early. So I went back to the office, gathered up my stuff, and shut down my computer. As I'm walking out the door, a co-worker walks in. I had been helping him with his department's website and there was a page we had to get up that day. He was supposed to give me the corrections earlier in the day, but he and I had both forgotten. So I ended up having to stay, not just until 5, until 5:20! Grrrrr.... Actually, I wasn't that mad; he was very grateful and apologetic. But I just found it funny that usually I have nothing to do at work and have to wait around until 5, but the one day I could leave before 5, I had too much to do. Crazy.

**Disclaimer: I do know that this story doesn't fit the strict definition of irony; however, it does fit Alanis Morisette's definition, hence the title.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Go to this site and make a word cloud of your blog. The program scans your blog for the most commonly used words and creates a word cloud for you. The more common the word, the larger it appears on the cloud. Here's mine:

Sorry it's not very big. I couldn't make it any bigger without it getting blurry. I like how a lot of my friends' names are on it and the words books and reading. I also like that yay made the list. Yay! :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One Month...

At this time last month, I was standing in the bride's room, waiting eagerly for 2 p.m. It's hard to believe we've only been married a month. Don't get me wrong, it's been a great month, better than I could have imagined. But, in some ways, it seems like the wedding was so long ago. Has it really only been five weeks since we counted down the days, willing them to go faster? Now that we are married, all the years we waited and worried seem like a different life. I've never been happier, never more at peace.

The best thing about living together (besides the unspoken given) is having the opportunity to express our love and care for each other in numerous small ways every day. Even after 6 years of dating, Darby still has a few sweet surprises up his sleeve! In honor of our first "monthiversary" on the 7th of August, I've come up with a list of 7 new things I love about Darby:

1. Every morning while I'm in the shower, he makes the bed and ties back the curtains.
2. He is crazy-good at loading the dishwasher.
3. He is always up for a game of Dr. Mario, even though I beat him (nearly) every time :)
4. He cooks fun things, like English muffin pizzas and hamburgers, for me.
5. He willingly puts together anything we buy and hangs up all our pictures and decorations.
6. He forces me to go lie on the couch while he does the dishes after dinner.
7. He still sleeps in the same bed as me, despite my nighttime "episodes" (talking to the closet door, jumping at the sound of a page turning, accusing him of murder, you know, the usual).

D, I love you much more than I could have even imagined a month ago. Life is good.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


John tagged me to share 8 random facts about myself, so here goes:

1. I get nauseated when I have to do repetitive tasks, especially ones that involve fine motor skills. Cross-stitch? Forget it!

2. I am obsessed with adjusting the volume on the television, especially during movies. I hate how music on movies will be really loud, but then characters will talk in a whisper and you can barely hear it. Darby sometimes takes the remote away from me because he gets so annoyed with my constant adjusting.

3. Any time I go up stairs, I automatically count them in my head. I've tried to stop, but I can't. Even if I force myself to think about something else, I seem to always know how many stairs there were once I get to the top.

4. I have ADD when it comes to projects. I find it really hard to complete one task before starting another. When I had several papers due in college, I would pull them all up and switch from one to another every fifteen minutes or so. I know it's not the most efficient way to work, but it works for me.

5. I am a serious blog stalker. I love finding blogs of people who I kind of knew in school or even people who I didn't know at all. Recently, I stumbled across the blogs of some of my second (or third?) cousins. I will follow their lives for months or even years. I am a sucker for people who post a lot of pictures of their kids. I never posts comments, though; I'm usually too embarrassed to let them know I've been reading their blog. Does this mean I have no life? Maybe, but I don't care.

6. Even though they are probably the worst things in the world for you to eat, I really like Sonic's extra-long chili cheese coneys.

7. I am a homebody. It seems like everyone I know is constantly going to Dallas or Austin on the weekends to see friends or just to shop. Call me boring, but I'd much rather stay in Abilene. I love just staying at home and working around the house, reading or scrapbooking. Plus, I really dislike staying at other people's houses. They could be the best hosts in the world, and I would still prefer to stay in a hotel. I'm just not a go with the flow type of person, so I like to set my own schedule. This kind of makes me seem like a grouchy old woman; I really do love spending time with friends and family, just not every weekend.

8. Although I'm an avid book reader, I secretly prefer magazines. There's just something about the glossy pages and snappy writing that I find irresistible. I'm not allowing myself to subscribe to any magazines, so that I'll spend more time reading books. But I love reading the subscriptions we have at work or sitting down at Barnes and Noble with a stack of celebrity gossip magazines.

Well, that's probably much more information than anyone wanted to know, but when you're tagged, you've gotta do it, right? John already tagged some of the people I would have, but I'll tag Brittany and Carolyn because they both really need to update (Brittany more than Carolyn!)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Happy belated birthday to me and Darby!

D and I decided back in December that we would get each other a Nintendo Wii for our birthdays. However, when we started looking for one in June, everywhere was sold out. We figured we'd just have to wait it out. On Saturday, we were at the mall, and we decided to go to Best Buy on the small chance that they might have one. Of course they didn't, but while we were looking at the games, an employee told us that they would be getting a shipment of 10 in on Sunday. They open at 11 on Sundays, so Darb and I went over right after church and grabbed one! (It was so tempting to skip church to get there right at 11, but we decided to be a little more mature than that).

Darby was so sweet and bought me a game I had been eying (that spelling looks weird, but Blogger says it's right). It's called "Cooking Mama Cook-Off." If you're not familiar with the Wii, the controller looks like a remote control; it's wireless, and you can move it in any direction and the movement registers on screen. So, in Cooking Mama, you use the controller to stir, chop, peel, etc. You can compete against another person or just against the clock to make recipes from different countries. It is so fun! Here's some screen shots, in case my description wasn't clear:

This is chopping an onion: You shake the controller up and down to chop.

This is piping out cream puffs. You press the B button to squeeze the dough out, but you have to stop before it goes over the guidelines.

It's a pretty silly game, made even sillier by the slightly broken English comments. (It's a Japanese game). You make recipes from all different countries, so for France, you make cream puffs, for Italy, lasagna, etc. Guess what you make for the U.S.? Popcorn and hot dogs! Wow, I guess we're not know worldwide for our gourmet cuisine =) Anyway, I love the game, even though Darby beats me every time. That's okay, we still know who's the better cook in the real world!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The wait is over...

My wedding pictures are up online! Actually, it wasn't a very long wait, but I'm an impatient person. Emerald is a saint for not getting angry at my constant pestering. To view the pictures go to Em's blog. She did a great job (as usual). It is such a blessing to have talented friends! It was so special to have someone I know and love take the pictures, not just a random photographer. If you are in the Abilene area, I highly recommend Emerald. She can do family portraits, engagements, weddings, whatever!

Speaking of talented friends, I need to mention my friend Kalyn. She just moved to Frisco this week :( But it's exciting because her husband got a good job, and she is starting an art school from her home. It's called Ms. Kalyn's art school, and you can see her website here. So, if you're in the Frisco or McKinney area and are interested in art or piano lessons or know someone who is, check out Ms. Kalyn's art school!

Now, if only I had a talent that could make me some money! =)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's official!

2 weeks after the wedding, I am officially Kayla Anderson Hewitt. We got our signed marriage license back in the mail today, and I went to the Social Security office at lunch to get my name changed. I still have to go to the DPS, bank, etc, but I'm going to go ahead and call the change official. I debated whether or not I should keep my middle name. It was my grandma's name, so I wanted to keep it, but I also wanted to keep Anderson. I didn't like the thought of being Kayla Jean Anderson Hewitt - too bulky. In the end, I decided to drop Jean. Grandma Jean dropped her middle name when she got married, so I guess I can still remember her that way. Plus, it's not like I'll forget that my middle name was Jean for 22 years. And this is nice, because if I forget and sign my name Kayla Anderson, I can just add Hewitt to the end!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Only 30 more minutes of work! Yay! This week has gone soo slowly. It's so hard to get back into the swing of things after a break.

D and I have a fun weekend planned. Tonight we're going to see Measure for Measure. It's part of the Shakespeare Festival at ACU, and it's FREE. Tomorrow, I'm going to be reading Harry Potter 7, of course! And tomorrow night, we're going over to my friend Shalis's house for homemade pizza and game night. I met Shalis through a book club I'm in, and she seems really sweet. We haven't hung out much, so I'm excited to get to know her better. Should be a busy weekend, especially since we also need to clean up our apartment and do TONS of laundry! Yay for our first real weekend as a married couple!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


All right, here are some honeymoon pictures as promised. Darby and I had such a great time. Niagara Falls was amazing; everyone should go there at least once in their lives. The first night we were there, they had fireworks! Canada's independence day is in July, also, so they have fireworks all month long. So I got two fireworks shows in one week! Darby and I ate so much good food. I'm still stuffed. My favorite places were Coco's in Niagara Falls, where they have brick oven pizzas, and The Old Spaghetti Factory in Toronto, which is similar to the Spaghetti Warehouse in the West End in Dallas, but better because ice cream is included with every meal! We justified our eating with the fact that we were walking several miles each day, but I still think, in the end, the food won. Darby and I are perfect travel partners, and I'm looking forward to the many, many fun trips we will take in our lifetime. Here's the pics:

This was our hotel room in Niagara. We stayed at the Doubletree, which was amazing. You'll notice there is no picture of our hotel room in Toronto. It didn't merit a picture =)

The Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls. Beautiful.

Me and Darby on the Maid of the Mist boat ride where you go right next to the falls. I'm looking pretty hot! No wonder he married me!

This is the Maid of the Mist boat. From the picture, it looks scary, but it really wasn't.

The butterfly conservatory! Probably my favorite attraction. There were hundreds of butterflies of all different varieties flying everywhere. I took a ton of pictures but had to delete most of them because my memory card was getting full. I just posted my favorite one here.

Me and Darby at the Botanical Gardens in Niagara. This is about the only decent picture I got of the two of us on the trip, although I do wish we had taken our sunglasses off.

Casa Loma in Toronto, a mansion built in the early 1900s by a businessman and his wife. They went bankrupt 10 years later, so the city bought the house. A nice reminder that pride goes before the fall, I guess.

I don't have many pictures from Toronto. My camera started acting a little funny, and I was tired of photo-taking by that point. I really have to force myself to take pictures. I hate having to stop all the fun just to take a picture. Seems to defeat the purpose. Darby came up with the idea of having a vacation photographer. You could just hire someone to come with you on your family vacation and follow you around taking pictures. You wouldn't have to pay them too much as long as you paid for their airfare, hotel room, meals, etc. What do you think, Em? Could you get into that biz? Anyway, my favorite thing in Toronto was probably the zoo. They have a huge zoo with tons of animals. We had a lot of fun, even though most of the animals were sleeping when we walked through. We did get to see a monkey swinging around with a tiny baby monkey hanging on to its stomach! So cute!

Now we're just getting settled in to our apartment in Abilene. We've had some maintenance issues, but we're working them out. Living together is so fun! It's hard to imagine when we didn't live together. It just feels so natural. The honeymoon was great, but I think I like "real" life even better.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The BIG Day!

Well, the next time I blog I'll be married! Crazy! The wedding starts in 6 1/2 hours. I'm not really nervous, just excited. I guess I don't have much else to say besides the standard "Yay! I'm getting married!" I think my brain has been fried from wedding details. But I wanted to update for my Aunt Katina =) I'll be heading to Niagara Falls and Toronto tomorrow for my honeymoon, but I'll be posting pictures of the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and honeymoon when I get back.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Baby face

I know I look younger than I am. Everyone who happens to find out I've graduated from college feels it necessary to inform me that I look like I'm still in high school. I even had a man at an antiques store seem shocked that I was old enough to drive. (That was a couple of years ago, but still...)

However, I did not realize how completely I look like a child until last night. I teach the 3, 4, and 5 year olds on Wednesday nights. Somehow, we got on the topic of growing up. One boy pointed at me and said, "You're a teenager." I said, "Actually, I'm not a teenager; I'm 22." Another girl said, "You're in college then." I said, "No, actually I'm done with college." At this point, the other teacher (who probably isn't more than 5 years older than me) said, "She's a real grown-up." The first little boy then said, "You don't look like a grown-up." And all the other kids nodded in agreement. Sigh. Not even five year olds think I look my age. After class, a middle school girl came by the room to see if we had any food. She looked at me in surprise and said, "Are you the teacher?" When I said that I was, she said, "You don't look old enough to be a teacher."

Aaahhhh! What can I do? I've tried wearing make-up; it doesn't make a difference. I was even dressed fairly nicely last night because I was still wearing my work clothes. For some reason, I seem to be stuck with the face of a 16-year-old (and that's on a good day). I know I'll appreciate my youthful look when I'm older, but right now it's getting annoying.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Highlights from my 22nd birthday:

- an early morning birthday call from Carolyn
- being serenaded by my sister's KidQuest campers
- a birthday text message from the brother
- Double Chocolate Decadence cake from McKay's at work (Yummy!)
- 4 cards in the mailbox (I love it when birthday cards come on the actual day).
- eating at Cracker Barrel and Cold Stone with Darby

I also taught my first Wednesday night Bible class at Westgate last night. I was a little nervous, because I think the curriculum is silly, so I was kind of winging it. And when 18 3-and-4-year-olds showed up, I got really nervous. But I had a helper, and the kids were actually pretty well-behaved. It should be a fun summer.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Showers!

Sunday was my shower at my home church. It was awesome! Darby and I got so much great stuff. My favorite gift was probably the vacuum cleaner. It's an actual, grown-up vacuum, not a stupid stick vac like I had before. I'll actually be able to suck up dirt rather than just kind of spreading it around the floor. We got a lot of our dishes and towels, too, which was awesome. So this week we've been busy putting all our new stuff up. The apartment's getting pretty full, but I'm not complaining =)

Here are some pictures from Sunday:

Me, my bridesmaid Whitney, and my good friend from high school Desiree. I'm so glad they could be there!

My mom, me, and Darby's mom

Me and all the hostesses. 10 in all! Wow!

And here's some belated pictures from my lingerie shower. I've been delinquent in posting them:


Me holding up a not-too-scandalous gift

Em gave me my wedding gift, as well as my lingerie gift. It was pretty funny when I pulled a laser level out of the bag. I was really excited about getting one, because they look so cool on TV.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Happy "negative 1 month" anniversary to me!

I borrowed that terminology from Kalyn =) Do you like my new smiley face? I stole that from my friend Desiree. I used to do them like :) But I think =) is better.

Darby took me to Olive Garden last night to celebrate that we only have one month until our wedding. Yummy! We even got dessert. I love their white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. I must learn how to make it.

I'm rereading Harry Potter 4, 5, and 6 in preparation for the 7th book coming out on July 21. I'm about halfway through book 4 right now. I'm still amazed by how incredible those books are. J.K. Rowling really makes you feel Harry's emotions. It's almost painful to reread them because you know all of the terrible things that are about to happen to him. I cannot wait for the 7th one to come out! Although, after I'm through reading it, I'll probably be thoroughly depressed.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wow! I haven't updated in a while. The days are just flying by. I can't believe it's only about a month till my wedding!! This is such a fun time, but it's also a crazy time. I'm staying at my sister's house until the wedding, but most of my stuff is at Darby's apartment because I didn't want to move it twice. So, the past few weeks have consisted of going back and forth between the two countless times. It seems like the stuff I need is always in the wrong house. I've never been a forgetful person, but lately I've been so scattered. It's frustrating. But it's also really fun setting up things in the new apartment with Darby. It's actually becoming real. After six years, we're really going to get married. I was talking to him the other night, and I said, "It's hard for me to believe that I am the same person I am going to be when I'm married." Always, when I've pictured being married, I've seen myself as much older and more mature. Even a few months ago, I don't think it had dawned on me that I wasn't going to magically grow up before my wedding day. It's crazy; this is really it; it's really here. I'm definitely ready, but it's a strange feeling. Okay, enough wedding talk. I promise this blog won't turn into a blow-by-blow of wedding details. (Although I probably will post pictures of my upcoming showers and parties).

Monday, May 21, 2007


Darby and I went home to Waco this weekend. We decided to drive to the IKEA in Round Rock while we were there, since it's only about an hour away from my house. (Yet another reason why Waco is way better than Abilene: NOTHING is only an hour away from Abilene). We got a lot of good stuff: two nightstands, an end table, a cart for our printer, a storage cabinet to go outside our kitchen, and some shelving. Woo-hoo! Darby stayed up until 2 a.m. putting some of it together! We're still not totally done, but the apartment is looking good. I'll post some pictures once we get everything put away. IKEA has got to be the most awesome store ever. I hope there's one near wherever we move for grad. school.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Goals, goals, goals

As I mentioned in my last post, John tagged me to make a list of 10 life goals. Kalyn posted her list on her blog and said that it was hard for her to come up with 10. I can relate. I have never been very career-driven, so I often don't think about goals. However, I think personal goals are just as important and perhaps more valuable than career goals. It was good for me to actually sit down and think about the person I would like to be in ten or twenty years. So here are 10 of my life goals, in no particular order:

1. Become truly fluent in Spanish. I went to Mexico two summers ago for six weeks, and my Spanish improved greatly. But when I came back, I didn't practice, and now I've lost a good deal of it. I love Spanish, and I am so close to fluency; I just need the motivation to practice. Maybe having it in writing will help.

2. Be a great mom who isn't totally defined by motherhood. Lately, I've thought a lot about motherhood. I participated in a women's Bible study at church, and the majority of the other women were young moms. I didn't enjoy some of the discussions because they seemed to all center around children and how busy their lives were. I know having children changes you, but I'd like to still retain my own identity. I don't want my kids to be my excuse for not getting things done, and I want to be able to talk about topics besides my kids in large groups. This one is probably much easier said than done, but it's my goal, nonetheless.

3. Live below my means. I don't want to fall into the trap of constantly buying new cars or bigger houses just because I can. And I don't want to consider myself fiscally responsible just because I give 10% and save for my kids' college. I want to give generously to all sorts of people and causes. I want to live in a house that's comfortable but not bigger than I need. And I want to live more simply with fewer possessions. That being said, I don't want to develop a holier-than-thou attitude towards people who do own nice houses and cars. I realize that financial decisions are extremely personal, and people who have a lot of possessions are often still very generous.

4. Adopt older children. For about 5 years, I've felt like God was calling me to adopt. I have a lot of compassion for older children who get put in foster care because most families only want to adopt infants. I want to make a home for those children, and if possible, keep siblings from being separated.

5. Learn to cook a gourmet meal. I love cooking and baking, but I would like to expand my knowledge. Cooking lessons would be great! I would especially like to work on my food presentation. I want my dishes to look as good as they taste.

6. Read more than I watch television. Already, I own 60+ books that I haven't read. That is shameful. I spend way too much time watching mindless TV. Darby and I are working towards this goal together by not having cable in our apartment.

7. Teach a sex class to teenage girls. This may sound like a weird goal, but I've been thinking about it for some time. I think the idea of "True Love Waits" is good, but the execution is terrible. I want to develop a curriculum that encourages teenagers to wait for marriage out of love and respect for God, not out of fear of pregnancy or STDs. I want to teach girls that they are not freaks for having a sex drive. I want to be someone girls feel like they could actually come and talk to without being judged.

8. Continue working out regularly. Darby and I have been working out regularly in some form for about 2 years. Besides the health benefits, I just feel better about myself when I work out. I want to keep this up for the rest of my life.

9. Maintain a garden. I think my life would be greatly improved if I could eat homegrown tomatoes and look at pretty flowers every day. Plus, this would force me to spend more time outside and enjoy nature, which I definitely need to do.

10. Be a thoughtful friend. I want to be the type of friend who remembers birthdays and gives thoughtful gifts. I want to fix meals for my friends when they're sick, support their activities, and encourage them when they're having bad days. I want to actively choose to be a good friend all of the time, not just when it's convenient for me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The joys of working in a boys' dorm

The Campus Life Office is conveniently located in the lower level of McKinzie, a freshman boys' dorm (oops...I mean "residence hall"). Of course, the walls in dorms are notoriously thin, so I often hear what's going on in the room directly above my office. Usually, the guys are pretty quiet, but I guess they're excited about the end of school approaching, because they have their music blaring. I think they are using their computer to play songs randomly because the selection this morning has been quite eclectic: "Let's Get It On," "Barbie Girl," "Pretty Woman," "Kissed by a Rose," "White and Nerdy," "I Like Big Bibles," the "Numa, Numa" song, etc. I actually haven't minded too much. I've been entering a huge list of Banner numbers, so the break in monotony is welcome. I'm just glad no one official has been in my office today. It would be pretty hard to act professionally with "Let's Get It On" playing in the background.

I just read John's blog and saw that he had tagged me to post a list of goals. Hmmmm...I will have to think about that one for a while. I'll post that by the end of the week.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Moving Out

Darby and I get to move into our new apartment Friday! Well, we're basically just moving some of our stuff in, but it's still exciting. I love moving to a new place. The possibilities seem endless. Before I've moved in, I can imagine how great it will look and how clean I will keep it. Once I've lived there a couple months, reality sets in. A new house does not a new person make. But it's fun to dream. Plus, I get to move all of the wedding gifts out of my room!

But, I will miss mine and Brittany's little house. It's been a good house for us.

10 things I love about our house:
1. the fact that it's two-story
2. the huge closets
3. the big kitchen
4. all the natural light the windows let in
5. the pretty antique doorknobs
6. the trees in front
7. the crazy sidewalk chalk drawings our landlords and their kids create on the driveway
8. the old-fashioned mailbox
9. its quirkiness: the light switches that do nothing, the three sets of front doors, the upsidedown-ness of it
10. and, of course, my lovely roommate, Brittany

10 things I won't miss:
1. parking on the curved street
2. my unpainted doorframe (a constant reminder of my unfulfilled dreams for the house)
3. the loud furnace and air conditioner in my closet
4. the ancient oven that bakes unevenly
5. the mold on my ceiling (it's baaaaack!!)
6. the scary rumbling of the water heater after my shower
7. the not-quite-cold-enough refrigerator
8. not having a dishwasher or disposal
9. the narrowness of my bedroom
10. how HOT it gets in the summer

Monday, April 23, 2007

Senior Portraits (college seniors, that is)

On Saturday, all of the Fat Tuesday girls went out to take pictures in the bluebonnets. We found a really pretty field in front of someone's house. We asked the owner if we could use his yard, and he said yes. I'm sure he was envisioning a few snapshots, not the all-out photo session which ensued. Emerald does NOT take snapshots! It was a lot of fun, even though the wind was blowing at least 30 mph, and we all got stickers in our "tookus" as Kalyn calls it. Here's a couple. You can see some more on Emerald's blog. I would highly recommend making friends with a photographer. It definitely pays off (not that that's the only reason I'm friends with you, Em :) )