9.30.2011

Home, and Home

My visit home was well-needed. I was able to get back into my running routine and I'm feeling the burn! It's hard to get started but once I do I feel good. For the rest of the week, I had lunch with Diana at Red's BBQ (chopped chicken salad, YUM!), visited my friend Liz and her beautiful baby boy Jaxson (seriously one of the CUTEST babies I've ever seen), had yogurt with Diana and Rebecca, lunch with Mom again, and took family photos for Claudia and Laura. The old Santa Susana park is gorgeous with its rocks and trees.

Disneyland was fabulous as usual. Renee enjoyed her birthday weekend and we LOVED the Big Thunder BBQ - all you can eat, live entertainment. Just awesome.


I finished my first week of my after-school job! Yay me! The kids became more rowdy toward the end of the week but that was normal. They enjoy the games, but they get highly competitive and in each other's faces. Luckily I get a new group every 45 minutes so it doesn't heat up too badly. I also got two job callbacks - one is for a substitute position in the Newport-Mesa district, so I was fingerprinted and I'm signed up for an orientation. The other is to be an essay rater for ETS. Originally I applied in spring, but then they filled up after I had completed the application process (which took awhile) but now it looks like I'll get in! I have to wait for more orientation details there as well.

Things are looking up, and I'm getting very busy! I also booked a vow renewal ceremony and reception next January for MBKB. YAY!

Speaking of ceremonies, I am SO excited for my sister-in-law's wedding and reception. From the photo I saw her dress is amazing on her and it should be super fun.

Mike has been working his butt off at work. Since Disney now has shorter winter hours, it limits our fun time :( But we'll still try to go. This past Wednesday we went to a fun trivia night at a local hangout. It was a lot of fun and something we'll do here and there with his work friends. He's relaxing this weekend at the apartment, which he truly deserves. I have to take a TB test this weekend to update my records for work and feed Harley on Monday before I head back. It'll be so nice to stay with my hubby!

Well, it's General Conference Weekend! Woot! You can watch it as much as you'd like on www.byu.tv and after a few days they have the talks typed out for you to read. I'm house-sitting for my parents and hanging out with little Harley and Junior. It's another beautiful, quiet weekend. You can tell it's fall when the sunsets get more and more gorgeous.

Flower from my front yard

9.19.2011

Dogs and Cupcakes.

Another few weeks have gone by and it's time to update. The weekend after the 6th, we went to Knott's Berry Farm with Mom & Dad Burr while they were babysitting some of my nieces Kaleigh and Marley (so far the favorites since they're so fun and cute). It's a bummer that Kaleigh's summer was toned down since she broke her leg, but we had a fun day and she was able to go on several rides. In the saloon show, they picked on Michael to come up with the lady on stage as she sang him a song, it was hilarious. Mike played along very well and we got a lot of questions from the actors during the show to play into their performance :)

Church is going well, though I wish more people would talk to us (and I'm sure they think the same thing). Someone has to break the ice and it'll have to be me :) I also find that the Young Women are more comfortable with me for some reason. I'm just so used to their age group, it's perfect. It also doesn't hurt that I usually have gum or a candy to share :P

I got a call back on a job Michael had sent to me, which was pretty cool considering I've been applying for awhile. Even if I don't get it, it was good experience. As far as I could tell, the environment was very organized and more structured to be supportive, which was an improvement compared to other kids clubs I'd worked in before.

Michael had to stay up working til midnight one or two nights last week because of a huge server issue with one of their most popular games. It might've had something to do with the San Diego power outage, but who knows. He got a lot of pats on the back for his dedication (because it wasn't mandatory that he stay online but he did). It's funny how things have shifted to where he's spending more time with work-related issues and doing very well, but it also limits our time together. I treasure it more and more.

I've gotten into cupcake decorating. There is SO MUCH you can do on one little cupcake, for a variety of occasions. My full photo album of what I've made so far is HERE but here are a few of them! I can't wait to get more frosting tips and unique sprinkles to make different stuff. Christmas is my next design goal.

lips sprinkles

boy baby shower

Cancer Awareness sprinkles

Halloween! pumpkin and ghosts

turkeys!


My new favorite stores to shop at are Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, and Goodwill. They have such great deals there and some awesome decorative stuff. For her birthday, I bought my Mom an indoor/outdoor floral seat cushion so she'll be comfortable everywhere (and doesn't need to sit on folded blankets) and a new silverware drawer since the old one was really beat up. While they seem like odd birthday gifts, I tried to put thought into what she would use and appreciate.

This weekend has been really great! I love hanging out with my parents. We celebrated Mom's birthday with cake and ice cream and ate at Viva La Pasta (we also ate there for the wedding rehearsal dinner). They have a beautiful courtyard in the back. Brad and Janeya drove through Simi with baby Noelle to drop of the bike I had lent them a few years back (haha) and we had lunch at The Hat before taking some family photos. Then Sarah Hays came over to give me a haircut and chit chat. Today (Monday) I had lunch with Mom at a park near her work, then visited Laura and Cameron and baby Evelyn. It's been a very social weekend!

I'm staying in Simi until Friday to keep my Mom and the dogs company while Dad is on a business trip in Michigan. Then I go back with Renee when we go to Disneyland! I miss Mike a ton already, this is our first few days away from each other since before we were married :(

Harley relentlessly steals Ozzy's toys and gets in his face. One of these days Ozzy will get tired of it!

Harley

Ozzy

9.06.2011

Fingers Crossed

Here I am, trying to stay productive. There's lots I could do, I just need the motivation!

The weekend before last, Mike and I visited Simi again to help my parents with chores while they were gone. They went to visit my sister in NorCal and use their wine train present from Christmas. We really enjoyed having Junior around to meow and pet and cuddle with, and a house with air conditioning! It was a relaxing weekend and a nice, close getaway from the hot apartment. I dropped off a few freebies I had gotten from couponing that I had collected.

The following Monday I was fingerprinted for the Literacy Project work I'll be doing and also had an evening meeting. I'm still waiting to hear who my site coordinator will be so we can set the days I'll be teaching. I look forward to meeting with the kids and having something schedule-wise to stick to. I feel better when my schedule is set with things to do - I'm working on making myself do things daily so I don't waste time and feel productive.

Tuesday I got a pedicure and lunch with my Aunt Pam, and we drove around Lake Forest condos. So far nothing promising, but today I got in touch with a nice Realtor and he found a few properties we may love that aren't short sales. I'm hoping and crossing my fingers that we get a place we love by the end of the year close to them.

On Thursday I hung out with Vasty, Joseph and Jayden at Ruby's Diner and then saw "Mr. Popper's Penguins" at the local discount theater. I had low expectations, but it was surprisingly good! Super cute. Then we went shopping at nearby 99 cent stores - if those things smelled better, I might enjoy the hunt for bargains. haha.

Labor Day weekend, Mike and I drove up for our promised visit to see my sis and her husband in NorCal. We wanted to go the previous weekend, but it didn't make much sense to drive up one day and leave the next with such a long commute. Traffic was horrendous on the way home (stupid CalTrans), but we had a nice adventure. On Saturday we had lunch at In-N-Out just past the Grapevine and arrived in Fairfield around 5ish. Allyson took us to a nearby outlet center where we got some cheap clothes that we really liked - finally. Sometimes we go to the mall and like absolutely nothing. More and more we're happier with Ross and TJ Maxx.

mmm Fenton's home-made caramel

Cookie Sundae - heaven or death, can't decide


After making ourselves sick with dinner and an amazing ice cream experience (my first) at Fenton's, we went home and I nearly puked from a combination of girl pain (women understand this) and a bad food combination. It's my first girl week since being off of birth control and I've never hurt so much, yuck. Normally I catch it, but this time it came on out of nowhere. Anyways, we just relaxed on the couch the rest of the evening.

The next day we went for a morning bike ride along a nearby road. It is so beautiful up there! No wonder Peter and Allyson are so happy. They have picturesque landscape and greenery all around. Mike loved the windy nights. Then when Allyson had to work for a few hours, Peter took us mini-golfing and we had fun skipping around the slow line and getting re-dos over and over. If I wasn't on steroids (according to Peter) I would hit the ball softer and make it in! Silly. We then visited Allyson towards the end of her shift. Apparently you get a free bag of coffee or box of tea every week for working at Starbucks, pretty cool. She got a box of decaffeinated Vanilla Rooibos for us! Can't wait to try it.

When we got home it was nap time! We mostly lazed around, read, watched tv, and then had a great meal: steak, corn on the cob, garlic potato, and one of the best salads I've ever had with fresh banana peppers, mushrooms, tomato, feta cheese, onion, whatever else. So good. I'm going to imitate it as soon as possible. After watching the movie "Rio" (pretty cute) we went to bed.

On Monday we headed out to Bethel Island for wakeboarding. I didn't get on the water, but Mike did and he did awesome. Peter and his dad are so tan because they're out there every day they can be. We left around 1:30, which is good because it took us 8.5 hours to drive home and traffic was a big pain. We're back in our hot apartment, and condo hunting every chance we get!


Trying new tricks


Cold on the boat