Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I have been on my vacation since Monday and I still feel like I should be doing something. Not that I'm just sitting around, I've had plenty to do. But this break feels a lot more like an actual break than some of the ones in the past. I don't go back to work until the 5th (followed by jury duty on the 6th), and school doesn't start up again until the 20th! WOW!

It's the morning of Christmas Eve, and the festivities are starting. I am headed out to buy A LOT of seafood for Cioppino, our meal for tomorrow. Every year we try to do something different and this year is no different. It's a Sicilian seafood soup that has had RAVING reviews. It only takes about an hour, prep and everything. I'm excited to try it. You can check out the recipe most similar to ours (we've made it our own) here. For some reason I can only get that to link to the Food Network homepage, but if you look up Giada De Laurentiis and Cioppino, that's the recipe.

I have to go find or make a dessert for my potluck/gift exchange with my "sisters" and their family. I'm thinking that there is a reason the stores overstock on desserts on Christmas that people like me can continue to procrastinate!

Around 5 we're going to hop on the New Mexico Railrunner, a train system that runs North to South and that has just opened its route to Santa Fe. We will head into Santa Fe and stroll through Canyon Road. This has become a Christmas Eve tradition for us (my sisters and me) and if you're ever in NM for Christmas Eve you should try to make it there. It is the quintessencial Christmas scene; shops with lights, carolers, hot cider, bon fires, snow(!), it doesn't really get any better!

We'll be back in town in time for me to go to 11:00 service and then head to bed and get ready to spend Christmas day with my family.

I hope you all have a safe and blessed Christmas and that you find many things to be thankful for!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I HATE drama!

Why did God wire women to create or insinuate drama?? I don't understand it, but I truly loathe it. I'm not saying that I've never been guilty of it, but do people not realize that it's only hurtful in the long run. Eventually someone will have to deal with the repercussions of the drama and that's NEVER fun. Ok...done with the soapbox for the evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Totally cute aprons...check 'em out!

One of my fellow "Bods" has a friend who is starting to sell the adorable aprons that she makes. She's kicking off her new business with a giveaway...check them out here!

Enjoy enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel...

Well, I have to say that taking 3 classes while working and living is suddenly much harder than it has been in the past. I'm trying to figure out if it's the classes, the promotion, or just me getting older! I'm pretty sure it's the promotion. Although I was doing a lorge part of this job before the promotion, there have definitely been added responsibilities. Not to mention the fact that I have been out of town for at least part of 8 of the last 10 weekends...there went my school catch up time!

So, I have completed one of my two final papers, just finished one of my three final exams, and am off to finish the second paper now. I wish I knew why I insist on procrastinating until the very last minute to write. It's obvious by the length of my posts that writing, and especially BSing, is certainly a strength of mine! And yet here I am...24 hours away from turning in a 7-10 pager, and I'm posting instead of writing my paper. Could someone please play psychoanalyst and tell me what the heck is wrong with me?!?

OK, I'll stop wasting time and get to the nitty gritty.

Point of this post...2 classes will be my maximum load from here on out. And I need to light a fire under my butt when it comes to large assignments. One of these days my gift for BS isn't going to cut it and I will pay for the procrastination!

Hope you are all doing well!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A new venture...and a healthy one at that!

I have joined an online community called The Bod Squad. I am so excited about this group. There are 12 ladies who have made a commitment to change their lives to be healthier, and often thinner and more toned. There is so much more to it than that though...this is truly an emotional journey. Anyone who has ever struggled with weight loss can attest to that. Having 11 accountability partners, strong women who aren't afraid to tell you to get your act together, will be an incredible asset to my journey. And I hope that I can be just as helpful and encouraging to them. Although The Bod Squad is at it's capacity of "original" members, this community is an incredible way to gain encouragement on your own journey. Check it out!

If you get to this RIGHT AWAY...I'm not yet up there. Give me until the 7th to get everything to them so they can post it online. But I'm certainly not the only fact, if you already know me, you probably already know my story. Check out everyone else's. Have a great day!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My new Advent tradition

Yesterday I was given an Advent calendar. I had never really had one, but had always enjoyed the thought of the tradition. As I was driving home with the piece I started to think. I certainly didn't need a piece of candy every day, and I didn't think grapes would last. Suddenly something popped into my head. It's entirely possible that this is not an original idea at all, but I'm really excited about it and I wanted to share. If you are looking for a way to celebrate the season other than empty calories...give this a try!

I ripped up 25 pieces of paper and wrote the names of people in my life on each. I folded each of them up, and tossed them into a hat. Then I pulled them out randomly and without peeking I put one in each of the 25 days of the Advent calendar. Each morning I pull one out and say a special holiday prayer for the person or people listed on the paper.

Like I said, no guarantees on the originality, but if anyone is interested in joining me in this new tradition of mine, you are SO welcome to!

Thanksgiving Update

Just wanted to let you all know, because I know you're on pins and needles, Thanksgiving went great! My greatest accomplishment was my shoo fly pie...I haven't had a good one since I was in Pennsylvania. I was SO excited when it came out right! I also did quite a bit of baking...Pannetone, Challah, and Tomato Herb Rolls. The succotash was great, and the salads were tasty tasty. The turkey brine did just what Alton Brown said it would...even the white meat was moist! The only thing that didn't exactly turn out right was the Herb Stuffed Artichokes. The artichokes were great, but the stuffing can be best compared to sand. I guess that's what you get when Weight Watchers tries to turn something sumptuous into something healthy... In all fairness, many of the other recipes were Weight Watchers, and they turned out great. I hope you all enjoyed a feast and a time of Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast

Just a quickie...

I am so excited for my Thanksgiving meal. I am doing all of the cooking, which is not necessarily new. What IS new, is the fact that I have incorporated at least 7 pretty ambitious dishes/items into my menu. For those of you who understand my love of the culinary arts, you will understand why this is so exciting for me!

My kitchen has been temporarily transformed into a truly efficient work space (as close as I could get with what I have at least...) and I am ready to get started first thing tomorrow. Actually, the whole process will start tonight.

I hope you are all in a place where you are able to look forward to the holidays and not dread them. I think you would agree this is one of the biggest disservices that our society is doing to our children...the holidays have turned into a commercial rat race, rather than a time to be thankful and reverent.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving...and if anyone is without a table to sit at, my door is open! :-)

Give Thanks

At this time of year, I am reminded of how many things I truly have to be thankful for. Here is a short laundry list just to get me started!

my faithful Father

My friends:
All those who I haven't seen or spoken to in a long time, but you are always on my mind!
(I know I run the HORRIBLE risk of missing someone here, but if I did, please know it's only because I'm rushing through this because I should really be working...)

appropriately, my job

my family

my church

30 Rock

book club

school - being able to attend and excel


my animals

my abilities

my weaknesses

my health

There are SO many more, but I have one more post to make before I am done, and I would like to keep my job...seeing as I am so thankful for it, so I should close up for now.

I really encourage anyone, regardless of how silly it may feel, to initiate the roundtable naming of things you are thankful for at your Thanksgiving meal. You will truly be humbled and blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

A dating story

So I had a bit of an ego boost on a date last night and I thought I would share...

As you should know (if not, you need to read further!) I am partaking in a dating service. I had a date last night and it was obvious within the first couple minutes that there was no romantic chemistry. But one thing that I have made a point to do is have fun at each date regardless of long term potential. So we just talked and laughed and said goodnight.

Well, at one point during the conversation we started talking about the actual service. Come to find out he has had a less than incredible experience with this company. So as we continue talking I learn that I am his 2nd date in 3 months (that's NOT a lot). I also learned that a couple weeks ago he talked to the manager of the company and basically told her to put her best people on this, and that he better get someone who would "knock his socks off," (his phrase, which he happened to use about 23 times in the conversation, not mine) or he would make his opinion of the service known to everyone he knows.

I told him I would do my best...

So what did I, the eternal optimist, glass half full girl take from this? My dating service thinks I'm the creme de la creme!! And I'm going to keep that oh so positive thought in my mind 'cause it makes me happy!

Something fun!

I figured if I was going to spend the time filling this out, it might as well be a "get to know me more..." tool. So here's Kristin in a nutshell...I guess...


2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Don't remember...
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I would certainly hope so...but I can see how I would drive myself a wee bit nutty
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No no and another no. I have no fear of being called a ninny in this situation.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ben and Jerry's mint chocolate cookie
15. RED OR PINK? Couldn't care less
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU? lack of motivation during those rare moments of down time
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST ? friends
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? kind of a mute point considering the fashion in which I'm completing it. But it would be cool if I learned that others thought this was such an neat, original, fantastically desirable way of completing a survey that it ended up on other blogs (because I'm sure NO ONE has ever done this on their blog before...)
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I wore brown to work, but I have my black slippers on under my desk! :-)
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? desert rain, lillies, any many others that would occur to me if I were smelling them right now
27. HAIR COLOR? blonde
28. EYE COLOR? blue
really anything
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? not necessarily happy endings, but no scary movies
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? does 24 Redemption count? If not, Quantum Solice
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? fall, winter or spring
35. HUGS OR KISSES? both please
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? creme brulee
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? refer to #18
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? refer to #18 and #38
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? a text book...but no fear, I am picking up Marlee and Me tonight...
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? just the lone critter
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Redemption 24, Dancing with the Stars, and Chuck
42. FAVORITE SOUND? laughter
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? probably a couple...
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? LA...New Mexico
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Could they ask this question in any other form?

Thursday, October 23, 2008 update on an old subject...

I got caught up in reading my own blogs (is there something egocentric about that?) and realized that I hadn't given you the most recent and assuredly the last update on a certain subject. Remember the fraudulent address issue? If not, flip back through my of my finer moments if you ask me. Well, the issue never resolved...we stopped getting stuff from Wells Fargo, but continued to get stuff from matter what we did. I can't lie, I was incredibly frustrated, but I finally figured it was just something that I couldn't do anything about and would have to deal with.

I was SO wrong! One day I got home from work to 2 packages on my porch. I wasn't expecting anything, but was still incredibly excited! I got to the packages and saw that they were from Sprint. "You have got to be kidding me..." I started to feel that familiar feeling of anger, but it was quickly replaced by a rush of horribly devious pleasure. I hurried into the house and opened the packages (I stopped worrying about opening stuff with this person's name on it a long time ago). Lo and behold, each box contained a brand new phone. I couldn't believe it!

It's not like I could use the phones, or pass them on to someone who had Sprint...I'm sure the phones could be tracked once activated. However, I was bubbling with excitement at the realization that Monica had finally been beat at her own game. Bills and statements are one did she expect, for me to drive across town and drop the phones off at her house with a little note on flowered stationary saying "Here's the phones that sent to my house because you're fraudulently using my address to get your kids in a different school even thought I explicitly told you you couldn't. Hope you enjoy!"? I think not!

So, after playing around with the phones for a while because they were a new model that looked like fun, they were shipped back to the recycling plant. I will admit, I pocketed the chargers because they fit my phone...I'm so bad. However, the beauty of this...all phones sent to the recycling plant get checked for damage, paired with a charger, and sent off to be used by either the military, battered women, or someone else who needs them.

This was the best poetic justice I could ever hope for, and you shouldn't be surprised to know that I haven't received ANYTHING else for Monica since that day. I wish I had been able to listen to the phone call she made to Sprint.

Monica: Hello, my name is Monica and I haven't received my phones
Sprint: What is the address ma'am?
Monica: (ACTUAL address)
Sprint: I'm sorry ma'am that's not the address that we have on file. Can you verify your account some other way?
Five minutes later...
Sprint: Thank you for that verification. Now, what is the correct address for the account?
Monica: (ACTUAL address again)
Sprint: Ma'am, the address that I have on file has been being used for over 3 years. You said that you have been receiving your bills and statements, how is this the case?
Monica: uh...well...I...nevermind, it's just wrong, can we change it?
Sprint: Well sure, but I want to make sure that nothing else will be sent to the other address. Are you familiar with that address? How did it get onto your account?

You can see how I would have been thrilled to formulate this exchange in my mind and imagin Monica with her stomach in her throat.

Ah well...This, unlike the detective work from the beginning of the saga, is NOT my finest moment. But I really think that it worked for everyone...

I'm no longer receiving a stranger's mail
Monica learned a valuable lesson
Two people are getting to talk to their loved ones on brand new phones that were donated to them

I can't feel too bad!

Hope you enjoyed. I'm not REALLY this devious, I promise, but I have to admit, it was fun to see play out!


Kristin Quarterly

I just read my last post and realized that I am a horrible liar! I said I would keep you updated, and I haven't said ANYTHING...and there's definitely stuff to say. So here goes...

I accepted the job and I LOVE it. I have been traveling all over the place, learning new things everyday, and taking advantage of the opportunities to make positive changes for the students of New Mexico. I started the job with a month worth of traveling within the state. I went to Carlsbad for the Rodeo finals, Ruidoso for some meetings, Alamogordo for the Athletic Training Challenge, Las Cruces for was a CRAZY month. But it was a great way to decide whether I knew what I was getting into, and if I was making the right decision. Obviously I was pleased with what I saw! I continued my travel by going to Washington DC for our Summer meeting, Indianapolis for a Spirit Committee meeting, and OKC for our Section meeting.

Somewhere in all of that, I managed to pull off the reunion...which I was pretty pleased with! It was a great time, we had a great turnout, and from what I've heard, people had a lot of fun. Of course this probably means that I suckered myself into being the reunion planner for years to come, but only time will tell.

Sorry, that was a tangent, back to work. I am now 6 months into my position and I really feel that I am where I am supposed to be. I have already had many opportunities to address issues that I have struggled with for years. I have also had the opportunity to learn lessons about being in a position with that much is definitely a much more precarious place to be. But as I learn more and more, I realize that I like the precarious!

My actual job is overseeing the 22 "non-athletic" activities in the state of New Mexico. Now that I've called them non-athletic once, I won't any more! It's the easiest way to explain what I am talking about, but the prefix "non" implies a negative, or what they are not rather than what they are. So here's a list of those activities in case you are interested.

Athletic Training Challenge
Business Pros of America
Concert Band
DECA Marketing Education
Drama / One Act Play
English Expo
FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America)
FFA Agriculture Education
HOSA (Health Occupations Student Assoc)
Mock Trial
Scholastic Publications
Science Fair
Science Olympiad
Skills USA
Speech and Debate
Student Council
TSA (Technology Student Assoc)

I completely run some, have a hand in the day to day operations of others, and simply oversee the rest. It makes for a busy 6-7 day week, but I really have loved every minute of it!

So, where does school fit into all of this? Well, my boss was incredible and willing to bend over backwards to allow me to finish my Elementary Education degree. He was going to allow me to take off 3 months during the summer to student teach, and 2 days a week during the Fall Semester. I don't have to tell you that that is an INCREDIBLE offer when I am a full time salaried employee. So I put together a proposal to UNM asking them to allow me to student teach at a year round school so that I could complete my student teaching during the summer, our least busy time. The plan was to complete the first semester of student teaching this fall (that's the 2 days a week) and complete it next summer student teaching full time. I would complete the course work that is required as well; attending class regularly while student teaching in the Fall, and attending the Spring semester class drawing on my experience from the Fall semester to complete assignments. I also ensured that I would have access to a class so that if I needed to complete an in class assignment throughout the Spring course I would be able to do so. Knowing that I was asking for an exception, I also took the additional steps to find a year round school, meet with the principal, get approved as a student teacher, and arrange a tentative schedule with my mentor teacher. This is normally the responsibility of the university faculty who does placement. I submitted the proposal and was turned down...rather bluntly at the end! I did appeal the decision, was lead to believe that it would be overturned, and was then turned down again.

So...obviously this caused more than a handful of problems. The most difficult were these;
1. After being told by University faculty in the VERY beginning that this wouldn't be a problem, I had already accepted the position at work.
2. I had fallen in love with the job and wouldn't have attempted to withdraw my acceptance
3. When I had accepted the position, salary negotiations had included the assumption that I would procure my Master's degree in the near future
4. I was 85% done with a Master's degree that I now wouldn't be able to complete
5. If I loved this job so much, how much do I really want to be in the classroom?

This lead to some serious soul searching, a lot of unsolicited advice that eventually helped me reach my final decision (but in general, not the desired decision of those offering the advice!), and a more decisive plan for the future of Kristin!

I chose to not complete the Master's in Elementary Education and instead have begun the process of transferring all eligible credits to my Masters in Educational Psychology. I am already very pleased with my decision. Many people have come to me stating that I "belong in the classroom," I "have a talent and I shouldn't waste it behind a desk," and "don't give up on your dreams." As much as I appreciate their compliments of my abilities with children, I have come to some realizations throughout this soul searching process that have helped me realize that my place is NOT in the classroom.
1. I am also an organized leader who possesses the talent and intelligence to positively impact even more students from "behind a desk."
2. Just because I am not in the classroom does not mean that I will not have the opportunity to work with children. I still have the undying desire to be a mother, and I truly feel that maybe that is where my talent with children will be best utilized. I have already proven to be more successful on an individual or small group level than with a large group.
3. I have always struggled to balance my characteristics/hobbies/desires that seem to come from polar opposite ends of the spectrum. I don't know how to best explain that, but I can try to give an example. I have always pictured myself as a city girl: suit, heels, business portfolio, etc. I put that aside for so long because I was training to be a teacher. This job combines the two. I still get to interact with and benefit the students, while dressing up, clip clopping down the hall, and looking "put together" in the business world. I hope that makes SOME kind of sense.

So, there's that. If you were one of the advisors, thank you for your concern, and thank you for trying to keep me from making a rash decision. But please realize that I am very please with where I am and I don't feel like I have given up on my dreams...I feel like I'm realizing them!

I am submitting my application to the Ed Psych program within the next week or so...wish me luck!

This semester I am taking Qualitative Research in Education, Intro to Gifted Ed, and Intro to Human Development. I am enjoying all of the material, and two of the instructors! The gifted education class has been an eye opener to an interest area that fits into the Ed Psych line of study. I think my thesis will be centralized around gifted students who participate in extracurricular activities. Does this help them cope with their giftedness and are they more successful at the High School level when gifted programs no longer exist then their counterparts who do NOT participate in extracurricular activities? Can you see how everything is fitting together like a puzzle?

So do I still have a life? Well I try! Like I said, I did the reunion this summer, took an extra day in OKC to visit Lisa, and just returned from a trip to AZ to see a So You Think You Can Dance tour stop. Something I haven't had the time (or desire) to do is tackle the non-existent dating scene in Albuquerque. So, I have joined It's Just Lunch. It is basically a matchmaking service for busy professionals. I haven't made any connections yet, but I've met some pretty cool people!

I have also found a church that I am happy at...FINALLY! It combines fellowship, traditional service, church activities, small groups, people of my age, and most importantly the love of God! It took me a while, but I am very happy there as well.

I am still at the same place in Albuquerque. The house is on the market, but we are not desperate to sell. When it happens it happens! I am planning on buying a house in the fairly near future, but there will most likely be a transitional rental in between this home and my first. My mom is living with me a couple days a week and in Los Alamos the rest of the time. She has a job here in Albuquerque as a PA and is really happy there, so she's down here generally Wednesday through Saturday. We drive eachother appropriately nuts the way mothers and daughters should, but I'm luckier than most in that I get to see her as often as I do. She doesn't like to cater to my anal-retentive neuroticism, and of course that's driving me to drink, but not excessively! :-) Happy BDay mom!

The Broncos aren't making me incredibly proud, but the Phillies are on a roll!

My animals are the same wonderful companions they have been for years.

I still have an addiction to shoes.

I still love to cook and have recently added to my semi-professional should come for dinner sometime!

I'm pretty sure that I have sufficiently updated you on anything and everything you ever wanted to know, and probably stuff you didn't want to know! But since I figured this one may be the last post for months (as that has been my recent pattern) I didn't want to leave anything out!

I love you all and hope everything is going equally well for you. Email me at any time, or call me. I'd love to talk to you...I'm just really bad at making the first call recently! Not an excuse, but I'm sorry anyway!

Love you love you! Have a fun Halloween, a fruitful Thanksgiving, and a blessed Christmas!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wow...what a difference a day can make!

Hello again! So, yesterday I was considering a position in Artesia, and today I as offered an Assitant Director position at the NMAA. I have been gunning for this position for 4 years...and here its become a possibility! I still have to make sure that student teaching is going to work before I accept the job. I really want to take it, but I won't sacrifice my degree for it. So...just thought I'd let you know what's going on. Short and sweet, but it's here! I'll keep you updated as decisions are made.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A bit of catching up to do...

Hello devoted blog readers! Just thought I would do a bit more catch up than last time, which was a bit of a cop out! So, being the overly organized (ok, anal retentive) woman that I am, I'll break it down by category!

School - I am currently taking my last two classes before I begin my studet teaching. I'm struggling through stats, which is odd because I've already aced a stats class. I'm certainly having a difficult time with the teaching style of my professor. Oh well, I'll make it through. The other class is supposed to be integrating technology in the classroom, but instead it has turned into a royal waste of time and money. Not the first I'll get through that too!

Work - Here is the big update. I am applying for an Assistant Choir Director position with the Artesia School District. This is a huge opportunity, but there are some obstacles in the way. UNM doesn't want to allow me to complete my student teaching requirements in Artesia due to the distance from Albuquerque. It seems that I have the support of the Artesia schools, and if they choose to offer me the position I think they will help me appeal UNM's initial decision. I am submitting my application tomorrow or Thursday, so I should have a better idea of what to expect by the end of next week. I'll keep you updated!

Aside from that, I have been receiving some incredible kudos from my colleages in regards to the impact I have had over the past 5 years. Apparently, my attitude has made a very positive change over the last 6 months. I haven't noticed a difference, and I don't remember making any changes, but something's hitting the right note! I was recognized during the State Spirit Competition which was incredibly unexpected, and very touching.

Reunion - I am having a blast planning the reunion! I'm having some difficulty securing financial sponsorships from Los Alamos businesses. Thankfully I have some help "on the hill," and she is approaching businesses in person.

Life is good. I am healthy, happy, motivated, loved, blessed and looking forward to whatever changes may come. If I am not offered the Artesia position, I will remain in Albquerque for the next year and complete my student teaching. The NMAA has offered to extend my full time contract throughout the summer and then keep me on as a part time employee throughout the fall semester. They have also assured me that there will be no penalty for breaking this contract if I do end up taking a teaching position.

I think that's about it for now...I'm exhausted and it's time to get some sleep. Hope everything is going well, and I love you all!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm alive!

Hey everyone! If anyone is even taking the time to check this blog anymore, just wanted to let you know I'm here. State Basketball ended yesterday, and my Spring Break has officialy begun...WOO HOO!!!! I have about a week and a half to get caught up on the doings of life, then it's back into the swing of everything.

School's going well

Work is insane

Reunion planning is frustrating at times, but a lot of fun

And the future is so incredibly up in the air, I can't even begin to tell you

Hope all is going well, you are all in my thoughts and prayers!