Monday, September 27, 2010


Wow, I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I last posted. The great thing about being in school is that the weeks really fly by. The semester is already a third over---crazy! Here's a little update on what I've been doing for the past few weeks:
  • Taking a Spanish class through the adult education center. It's so fun! The teacher is a middle-school Spanish teacher and has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I haven't seriously practiced my Spanish in years, so this has been great.
  • Meeting with my conversation partner. She's a Korean woman who has three teenage children. We get together every Wednesday at a coffee shop to chat for an hour. It's been very fun to get to know her, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how her English improves throughout the semester.
  • Not cooking. :( Having class until 6:30 on Tuesday and Thursday, and events on Monday and Wednesday evenings has really cut into my cooking time. We've been eating out a little more, and I've been making a lot of easy stuff like sandwiches, pasta, salads, pancakes, etc. I miss cooking nice meals, but this is just the way it has to be right now.
  • Eating my candy corn and drinking my pumpkin spice lattes. Mmmm...fall!
  • Watching 30 Rock. On a recommendation from my friend Erin, Darby and I decided to rent the first season. We had occasionally caught parts of episodes on TV and always found it kind of annoying. I'm so glad we decided to give it a chance. It's hilarious! I laugh out loud multiple times per episode. We're almost done with Season 2 now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Last weekend I went to Kentucky for my friend Kalyn's baby shower. She's expecting a little boy on October 20th. This was the first time I had seen her during her pregnancy. She was adorable! I'm so excited for her and her husband, BJ.

Even 8 months pregnant, Kalyn was the perfect hostess. She fixed 3 delicious meals and a great apple dessert. We spent hours and hours talking, which is always fun.

She got a lot of great gifts at the shower---lots of little boy clothes. So cute! I can't wait to meet the little guy and hold him. Darby and I are going to try to see them on our way south for Christmas. I'm glad we live within driving distance of each other, so that I can experience this exciting time with her.

Isn't she precious? Still so little except for the belly.

The cake at Kalyn's shower was so cute! It was made by an amateur baker. Wow.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

26 before 26

So, ever since my birthday, I've been trying to come up with my goals for my next birthday. Obviously, I had to do a lot of thinking. :) I was determined this time to actually come up with 26. That was kind of difficult. I don't know that I'll be able to match my number of goals to my age for many more years. I've started on some of the goals already, but I waited to post until I had them all in mind. So, in no particular order, here are my goals for the next 10 or so months:
  1. Finish couch-to-5K. I'm up to running an 8-1/2 minute mile continuously, and then another mile broken up with brief intervals of walking.
  2. Take and pass at least one of my seven comprehensive exams.
  3. Finish my shelf of unread books. I'm down to 12!
  4. Lose 5 lbs. and maintain it. I am not unhappy with my weight, but I do keep gradually putting on a few pounds each year. I'm trying to combat that.
  5. Take at least 100 pictures.
  6. Finish my one-year Bible. This is actually a two-year Bible for me. :)
  7. Make it through my housecleaning checklist. I made a list of things to do around the house when I thought I wasn't going to be working this summer. I ended up working full-time or being gone most of the summer, so I didn't get around to all of them.
  8. Make cheese. I just think this would be cool to say I did.
  9. Come up with at least 2 healthy vegetarian meals that Darby and I actually enjoy. I try to limit our meat intake to save money, but my vegetarian repertoire is limited to unhealthy things like pasta and quesadillas.
  10. Start my personal Happiness Project.
  11. Go to three events at the U of I.
  12. Make crepes. Darby loves them, and I've promised him I'll learn how to make them.
  13. Reduce our monthly gift budget. I don't want to buy fewer gifts or lower-quality gifts, but I want to think ahead so I can make more gifts or find them on sale rather than paying full price at the last minute.
  14. Go to St. Louis (for real this time).
  15. Save an average of 25% on every grocery shopping trip.
  16. Take a Spanish class. I'm starting in a week!
  17. Make homemade tortillas. I tried this once a couple of months ago, and it was a complete disaster. I will not be defeated!
  18. Initiate plans with friends twice per month.
  19. Whittle "to try" recipes saved online to 200 (currently at 272).
  20. Redesign my blog.
  21. Read 3 faith-related books.
  22. Plan an event for our college group.
  23. Stay in better touch with my sister and brother.
  24. Watch at least 4 football games on TV. Darby thinks this is ridiculous, but I'm trying to make myself a football fan. I feel like sports fans always have something to talk about with other people. And there's something so appealing to me about being able to lay on the couch and watch TV every weekend without feeling guilty b/c you're supporting your team.
  25. Become a Conversation Partner. This is a program at the university where you're paired with an international student to get together and talk for an hour a week. I've actually already signed up for this, but I had to include some things I've already done to get to 26!
  26. Spend no more than 1 hour per day on the Internet (unless it's for work, school, or personal finance reasons). This will be necessary if I plan to accomplish all of the above!