Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tough Week

Greetings from the Tuesday of my completely overbooked week!

We had an amazing weekend complete with two yoga classes (for me), TV watching (Shark Tank) and dinner making, pedicures (for me), lunch with friends and seeing the house (can't wait to share pictures this weekend), dinner (sushi!) and going out for another friend's birthday, and seeing another set of friends for some afternoon tea. It was a really busy and awesome weekend.

However, this work week is the opposite of "fun." We had an out of town trip to Odessa yesterday for a meeting, and I have five meetings on top of my normal schedule this week (it was six, but one was canceled). I'm behind on grading, and the papers and assignments keep pouring in. All in all, it's honestly pretty typical for week six of the semester.

I've somehow managed stay on top of laundry, making healthy dinners, and working out (with help from Brendan, of course), but still I feel behind on everything. We're keeping our spirits up though. After tomorrow, the worst will be over.

Anyone else overbooked to the max this week?

We hope not!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Middle of the Week Happy

Greetings from the end of the Wednesday work day.

Despite being blue on Sunday (probably due, for the most part, to the rainy weather), this week has given me a lot to smile about:

I've been hugely productive at work and have done tons of grading and even some grant writing. When I think of my favorite places to be, the classroom tops the list. I like spending my time and energy teaching everything from grammar to composition to literature, and I love being with the students. For the most part, work is challenging but very rewarding. I'm really focusing on how much there is to be thankful for this week.

On Monday afternoon, Brendan and I tried Your Way Yogurt, which was both delicious and affordable. We will be back!

Last night, I took a break from working out and made this delicious Santa Fe soup. We made it quite spicy, but it was still delightful. I also really, really enjoyed my break from the gym. I can usually tell the difference between when workouts will make me feel better after or just burned out, and I definitely follow my instincts. Sometimes a good break is just what is needed! I was so happy just curling up on the couch and watching some Parenthood on Netflix.

This week, I have been able to see or will see a lot of my friends, so that always puts me in a good mood. 

Also, I get to go to yoga four times this week! I love National Yoga Month! 

And finally, while Thursdays usually end up being meeting days, this one is free, so I can have a much appreciated work from home day tomorrow.

What are you smiling about this week? We hope there's a lot! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Time Flies

This past week month has been super busy, and I'm not sure where it's going. After finishing week four of the semester on Friday, I felt minor panic at the thought that my flex class was halfway over. Lately, it hasn't been easy to find time for laundry, cooking, and grocery shopping, but we're taking it one day at a time. I'm trying to just live in each day and actively not think about all the things that are coming up (a lot of travel and meetings). 

I have managed to keep my workouts up. Monday and Wednesday, I did hour long yoga classes, Tuesday and Friday, I did hour long strength training sessions (Using New Rules of Lifting for Life), and yesterday, I ran/walked a very slow 5K on the treadmill. Speaking of 5K, we're committed to running our fourth this November in Face the Race, supporting a self-esteem building program of the same name for local junior high school girls. It's nice to have something to work towards, even if it is hard getting back into it. I've been pretty exhausted lately, but I'm hoping that once my body adjusts to the workouts, I'll have more energy again. RIGHT?! 

Midland has had TONS OF RAIN this week and lots of flash flooding. This is nothing like our usual Septembers, but we can't complain, since we really need the water. 

On Friday, I got a text from my mother-in-law with this super awesome photo. My father-in-law painted it. I feel like a real Egan now, since I officially have a portrait in the Egan house. 

We had a good weekend: dinner out on Friday night, Farmer's market, breakfast out, and checking on the house yesterday morning, gym in the afternoon, and cooking and dinner with friends last night. Today is mostly a lazy day, but I'm forcing myself to make a trek to the grocery store. At least I have coffee with a friend to look forward to, and maybe I can convince Brendan to finish watching Ghostbusters on Netflix tonight. 

Have a good Sunday Funday everyone! And let me know if you think of anyway to slow down time justttt a little. 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Low Key Weekend

We had no plans this weekend, but loved every second of it. It was cool, with weather in the 50s yesterday and 60s today. On Friday, we both worked out (Brendan played basketball with friends, and I went to yoga), and then Brendan made us dinner. We watched some episodes of Parenthood, which is my new Netflix show since I finished The Tudors. 

Saturday, we went to the farmer's market, ate at Cracker Barrel, and visited the house to see the progress. We were good and went to the gym. It was my fifth workout of the week, so I was super proud of myself. Brendan made dinner again, earning a husband of the weekend award.

We snuggled with the cats and watched a really sad but good movie called What Maisie Knew. Both of us would recommend it.

Today was super low key. Brendan went to pick up a few things at the store, and I cooked dinner for us and made muffins for our breakfasts next week.

We cleaned up the kitchen and did some laundry. And I watched a lot of Parenthood. I feel a bit bad about not reading or writing in my spare time, but sometimes I just need a total down day, and that day was today.

In other news, September is almost half done. Where is the time going?!

We hope you're able to treasure every last minute of your weekend.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday, Friday, Friday!

Ohhhh yeah. It's Friday. Here's what I loved about my week:

In a quest to incorporate more protein into my diet, I made this Quinoa Breakfast Bake on Sunday night. All week, I simply microwaved a slice for 30-45 seconds, and I had an instant healthy and hot meal. Brendan wasn't as big of a fan (he found it a little bit bland), but I would definitely make the breakfast bake again. I love having breakfast ready to go. The less I have to think before coffee, the better. On Wednesday, I made a protein smoothie by combining 2 cups milk, 1/4 cup peanut butter, a squeeze of honey, and 1 frozen banana. I shared it with Brendan. Each serving had 16 grams of protein; not bad!

I ate several tasty salads this week, but this one was my favorite: spring mix, strawberries, raspberries, goat cheese, mint, and 2 tablespoons of my favorite dressing. Yum. 

On Wednesday, my new running shoes arrived. I've worn them twice, and I love them. Speaking of running shoes, I squeezed in four workouts this week with plans to go to the gym tomorrow. Yeah!

Also on Wednesday, I got to hang out with two of my girlfriends after yoga. Grilled cheese, tomato soup, red wine, and staying up too late talking was just what I needed.

Today, we had rain and cooler weather (I could wear pants and a sweatshirt to yoga), and the cleaning service came, so our apartment is nice and neat for our weekend. I always feel more relaxed in a clean space.

The week wasn't perfect, but there were certainly many things to love about it.

And now? I'm looking forward to a quiet night in with Brendan, Lola and Zoe.

I'm ready for highs of 69 and 79 this weekend. Perfect cuddling weather. :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Thought for Today

This photo is from the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which I visited this summer on my own while Brendan attended a friend's bachelor party. Visiting is, of course, a very emotional experience, and one that I didn't mind having solitude for. I was reflecting today about a specific quote from a movie I watched at the museum that has stayed with me since. It was a woman who lost her husband that day. She said something to the effect of (I'm paraphrasing here), "My whole life was ruined that day, but the years kept passing, and one day I had a new life." I see this quote as incredibly powerful; I think because it speaks so poignantly about a very real fear that I have: the fear that I will lose someone close to me unexpectedly.

For as long as I can remember, I've had some degree of anxiety about losing people I love. I often have catastrophic visions of what my life would be like in these imagined worst case scenarios. Maybe it's a form of self-protection: by imagining the worst, I am ultimately forced to mentally prepare for it. Of course, it's no way to spend life, so I do try to stop these thoughts whenever they occur. However, this quote reminded me of the strength that the human spirit is capable of. Even when encountering the worst, we can rebuild our lives if we have to. They say about life that no one makes it out alive. I'd add to that that no one makes it out without encountering a major loss. At 28, I've already lived through a few. Perhaps when I have anxiety, I'm internally doubting my ability to cope with a loss, but I think the 9/11 memorial is one visual example I have that from disaster comes eventual healing and a literal new horizon:

When I look at that photo, it inspires me to have more faith in myself. I'm a very tiny part of a very large world, which is a small part of a big galaxy, but I have more strength than I give myself credit for. I can use my life to listen to, love, and empathize with fellow humans instead of worrying about what I have no control over.

My love goes out to those who lost on 9/11, on the off chance that any of them read this blog. I don't have the right words, but I have the hope that all found strength.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Building a House, Month 5: Foundation and Framing

Time flies! We bought our lot exactly 5 months ago today.

When we left off last month, our lot was still awaiting an all important foundation. On August 16th, much to our delight, it was there!

August 16th 

August 16th 

It had just rained in Midland, so the concrete was wet from the rain, not from being newly poured.

The foundation was a really significant step, because it meant that our 150 day countdown until completion could begin. We now had an official estimate of mid-January completion. Later that week, we signed our final (we hope) lease on the apartment, which ends on March 5th, 2015. We hope this will give us plenty of leeway for closing and moving, even if the process does get behind.

The next weekend, we returned to find things looking almost the same. Though the forms around the foundation had been moved. I found this handy article which explains the construction process of building a house and also the correct terminology. I'm enjoying comparing what is happening with our house to their step by step guide. So far, it seems to match.

August 23rd

We also noticed that our brick had arrived. We thought it was pretty early for that, but we were excited because we really liked the color in person. We picked from a sample and had about fifty choices, definitely the most options we had for anything in the process.

Santa Fe Trail 
I didn't know what to expect the next week, but I was so excited when we pulled up to this:

August 30th

We had framing! The room to the left is our dining room, and the space to the right is the garage. For the first time, we could walk inside and see where the rooms would be.

Entry/Front Door 
Breakfast area/back door to porch 

Master Bath and Closet 

Master Bedroom
One of the other bedrooms 
When we went back today, there were some more developments. 

September 6th 
 Mainly, that the house is completely "wrapped," which is good because we got rain today.

September 6th 
 Also, our front and back door are here. Woo-hoo!

View from entryway
 The builders were out today making progress on the community pool area. To the left is a parking lot, which we saw them do a few weeks ago. The structure to the right is new as of this week. We believe it might be bathrooms and changing area, but we're not 100% positive.

After waiting four months, it is so exciting that our construction really began last month. When you drive into the neighborhood, the first view you get is of houses that are all complete, so it really looks like an actual neighborhood (I'll have to photograph this). That's crazy to us, because we remember driving in and having nothing but the model homes there. I'm really starting to dream about what living in our new house will be like. It's definitely starting to feel a little more like a reality, and I'm loving that!

Here's some more things I love:
My cousin Amanda is one of my best friends, and she also was an AMAZING bridesmaid.

Now, I get to return to the favor. I got this sweet note and gift in the mail last night, and I thought it was so cute. My fourth bridesmaid gig, and more importantly, Amanda and Matt's wedding, is coming October 2015!

The next thing I love is that we've had a super rainy weekend, and it's currently 66 degrees outside. My major weekend complaint has been that it is too hot to do anything, so I'm pretty darn happy about the fall weather. We did farmer's market and grocery store runs today, so our fridge is stocked and those tasks are checked off the to-do list. Plus, we even mustered the energy to do an hour long workout today. I did weights and interval training, and it was so exhausting. This was only my 2nd workout of the week (I did an hour of yoga on Wednesday), so I'll probably try to squeeze in a run/walk tomorrow, as our gym is closed. Apparently, the high tomorrow will be 82, so I'm definitely taking advantage of that!

How's your weekend going? We hope it's filled with just what you need.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Stay

Ahhh, do you hear that? It's the sound of our perfectly relaxed long weekend.

Brendan and I debated, briefly, over whether or not to go camping this Labor Day like we did last year. Ultimately, we decided we were tired from our ten weeks of travel this summer and just needed some time at home, and it was a good decision.

Friday after work, we went out to lunch and then back to school for a workout (my 4th of the week!). We came home to a sparkling clean apartment, as the cleaning service had come for the first time since we returned to Midland, and that was very nice. I love the feeling of a clean place! Brendan made us a delicious and spicy curry, and we watched Shark Tank and more of The Tudors on Netflix.

Saturday, we went to the farmers market and found lots of good stuff, including tomatoes! We ate breakfast at a place we've never been to before called Casa Lopez Cafe. I had migas and Brendan had asado. We both felt like the restaurant was good, not the best breakfast spot in town, but definitely somewhere we'd return. Afterwards, we dropped off some things at Goodwill. We've been trying to slowly part with what we know we won't need at the new house. No reason to pack it and move it, and we're definitely pro others getting some use out things. We also checked on the house on Saturday...I can't wait to share photos with you guys next Saturday, which will officially mark the 5th month since we purchased our lot. Now things are really starting to come together. It's pretty exciting!

Saturday night, we met this cutie for the first time:

Miss Violet was born on June 5th and is the daughter of friends Dagan and Stephanie, who married just a few weeks after us. It was so fun to finally meet their newest edition. We made dinner and visited and just enjoyed being low key. 

Yesterday, I made this excellent dinner. I used the leftovers from three bags of pasta we had sitting around. Then I made a sauce using some of the heirloom tomatoes and the basil from the farmer's market. I topped the pasta with farmer's market goat cheese and the sauce, and a beautiful dinner was the result! 

We caught Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy at the drive in last night. The first, I really cannot recommend, despite being a fan of the cartoon as a child. The latter was a much better summer blockbuster. As always, I enjoyed the atmosphere of the drive in, and I ate way too many sour gummi worms (they are my Achilles heel to an otherwise healthy diet!)

Today, I got lunch and drinks with friends from work, and other than that, I just stayed in. It is way too hot outside for my September standards (104 right now). I am desperate for some cooler fall temperatures, but Brendan reminds me that I'll have to wait an entire month for that.

We hope your Labor Day was just what you needed, whatever you did!


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