Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Grad School: Year 2 Starts Today!

My "last weekend of summer" was pretty good. Spent time with my family, went to the Cards game Sunday (which they lost...), and went to see our new house (which isn't quite ready yet). 

Before I show you pictures of the house, here's a couple of the coffee table Chris made:

Copper wouldn't get out of the picture. 

We also got a brown slip cover for our futon, since we can't
buy a new couch just yet thanks to the dog! 

And now for the house! It's being inspected this week (I think), so hopefully we'll be able to move in a couple weeks. 

Front of the house. Adorable :)

Itty-bitty, teeny-tiny kitchen--with no dishwasher! But it's
so cute :)

Front door/living room

Bathroom (yes, those walls are purple, lol)

Dining room

Copper's big back yard :)

Back of the house: on the right side is the garage, and the
doorway in the middle is the breezeway/mudroom. 

I can't wait to move!! Hopefully we find out this week a set date so we can start planning and packing! 

In other news, I'm on day 8 or 9 of my 30-day squat challenge. It's going pretty well so far. We'll see how I do once school is in full-gear. 

Speaking of which, I have my first class of the semester today. I'm so glad it's not my night class because I didn't get much sleep last night. I woke up around 2am sneezing and coughing. Finally I just got up around 4:30am. Not fun :( So my Tuesday/Thursday afternoon class is Contemporary American Poetry and my Wednesday night class is Advanced Literary Publishing. I'm excited for both classes. I think this is going to be a pretty great (although probably exhausting) semester! 

And just for fun, here are a couple pics of Copper and Cocoa :)

Left this laundry basket out for her all weekend
while we were gone. Both of her toy mice were
in it when we got back lol

Copper had to sit at my feet on our way back
on Sunday. Luckily, she behaved most of the way.
She did not behave herself most of the weekend though :(

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

30-Day Squat Challenge

I saw this on Pinterest and decided to give it a shot. I actually like doing squats, and I definitely need to strengthen and tone my legs, so this sounded like a good idea to me. I started on Sunday, so today is day 3 for me. Here's the link to the 30-Day Squat Challenge if you want to do it too: http://www.fitsugar.com/30-Day-Squat-Challenge-30806625

The first couple days haven't been too difficult so far. The biggest obstacle for me is keeping Copper out of the way! Basically by the end of it, you're doing about 200 squats. And I think that's a pretty awesome thing to be able to say you can do.

Speaking of Copper, she's been super hyper lately. So Sunday I decided to try taking her for a little jog instead of just a walk. I think she had fun and she was tired/well-behaved the rest of the day!

After I did my squats yesterday I decided to try taking her for another jog. Again, she did pretty well, seemed to have fun, and appeared to be really tired once we got back. Granted these were both pretty short jogs as there isn't really a safe place for us to really run anywhere near our house, but after she drank some water and sat around for about 15 minutes or so, she was back to being hyper and obnoxious and chewing on everything in sight! So while I was plenty tired, she was not :( 

And, as far as the chewing goes, well, like I said, she's chewing on everything. She has a couple bones she likes and a ball and a rope...and that's all the toys she has. Every toy we buy her lately gets destroyed within ten minutes--even the Kong toys, which are supposed to last a long time and be "indestructible." I got a few suggestions from people on Facebook and it seemed like the best option was to get her a Nyla bone. Unfortunately for her, she has to wait until the next time we need something from the pet store. Pet toys are so expensive! If you have any other suggestions for toys that she won't immediately destroy, I'd love to hear them! 

Between chewing on our remotes and terrorizing the cat, she's driving me nuts! 

Poor kitty. 

Chris is going out today to get us some pallets to make us a coffee table! I can't wait to see how it turns out! I'm hoping he doesn't get much started today so I can take some before and after pics for you guys :) 

And school starts next week. Yikes. I'm almost ready for it. Almost ready for all the interns and grad students. Almost. I have a few things left to do. I am ready for my classes. Except I still have a book to get. And it'd be really nice if I could order my Kindle now, but I have to wait for my loan money to go through first. It'd be nice if I could use that money to pay for my books too, but that money doesn't go through until like the second week of school. It's a tad irritating. 

We'll be spending our last weekend of summer in St. Louis. No big plans for Saturday, but we're going to the Cardinals game on Sunday. And we're probably going to stop by our house to see how everything's going (I'll take some pics this time!) and measure some things so we have an idea of where to put furniture and what we'll need to buy. I can't wait to move!! 

And don't forget about the 30-Day Squat Challenge!

It's not quite as bad as it looks...yet ;)

I'm still looking for jobs and applying for some here and there. I'm not finding a whole lot right now though. If you guys know of anyone hiring in St. Louis, let me know!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Where Did My Summer Go?

Schools starts in a week. Okay, it's like a week and a day. Whatever. I am both looking forward to the new semester and dreading it. I'm looking forward to the classes I'm taking--Advanced Publishing and Contemporary American Poetry. I'm dreading all the people being back and all the interns I'll have and the fact that I'm so not ready for that. I have a lot to do before the interns and grad assistants get here. And it was one of those things where I kept telling myself I had plenty of time until, all of a sudden, I didn't. Ugh. 

Seriously though, I can't believe summer is already (almost) over. It's been a busy summer. I'm looking forward to what's coming up though. First and foremost, we'll be moving sometime in September and I can't wait to be in our new house (and it's actually a house, not a duplex!). Second, there's the possibility that I'll have a new job at some point. I've been looking and I've applied at a couple places, but I haven't heard anything yet. The hard part is going to be finding a job that I will enjoy and that will also work around my class schedule. Most of the jobs I think I'd really love are full-time 40+ hours a week and not likely to give me the time off I'd need to be in my classes (not to mention the driving to and from part). 

Once we're moved in to our new house there are quite a few projects Chris and I want to do (and most of the work will be done by Chris. Probably. ;) ). I think we're going to paint the refrigerator with black chalkboard paint. And Chris wants to build a coffee table. And a desk. I'm most excited about the desk. It'll give me a place to actually do my homework and stuff for work. Right now my "desk" is either the kitchen table or a tv tray. Not ideal. Plus it means leaving most of my stuff in the kitchen. Not a fan of that. 

I also really can't wait to live in a bug-free home. Or at least I'm hoping and praying it will be bug-free. I'm mostly worried about the possibility of bringing the ones we have now with us to the new house. Having bugs has made me more OCD than I already was. Oh and paranoid. It'd be nice to move into our new house and just relax and not be freaked out all the time about the possibility of bugs. In addition to the cockroaches, we also have spiders now too. Spiders are freaky little things and used to scare the crap out of me. After dealing with roaches for the past few months though, spiders are a lot less scary and slightly more tolerable. At least they aren't dirty and carrying God-knows what kinds of diseases. Ick. And most have been fairly small. 

In addition to not getting rid of all of the bugs in my house, there are a few other things I didn't accomplish this summer: 
Reading a lot of books. I finished one (American Psycho) and started another (The Great Gatsby) and that's it. Fail. 
Running a lot. Sure, I ran, but not nearly enough as I should have. 
Eating healthy. After months of eating Walmart's horrendous produce, I've sort of given up. I'm eating applesauce now instead of apples. We keep buying/eating banana's even though they're awful. I buy pre-cut baby carrots in a bag rather than fresh carrots. We buy frozen broccoli and cauliflower. I gave up on buying stuff like grapes or peaches because they rarely looked good in store and when they did, by the time I ate them, they were practically rotten. Such a waste of money. So I'm excited that once we move I'll be able to eat as much fresh produce as we can afford to buy. And when we run out of money I can always steal some from my mom ;)

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now. There's a lot I'm looking forward to this fall though, so although I'm going to miss working from home on Fridays and how quiet and empty campus is during the summer, I'm ready some changes! :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013


This past Saturday we had my dad's 50th birthday party. It was a lot of fun! Here's a couple pics from the day:

My sister, my dad, and me :)

Just me and dad :)
He got about 8 or 9 bottles of crown!
Definitely enough for another party! ;)

This is my Aunt Rose. She's the best.
But she lives in NC, so I don't get to see
her much :( 

So while we were drinking and eating and having a good time, Chris and I were talking to my cousins about this house they're fixing up. It's a 2-bedroom, 1-bath in Florissant and they said they'd rent it to us. We kind of laughed about it and let it go since we had never even considered living in Florissant. 

Well come Sunday we were driving back to Farmington and thinking, depending on what the house is like and how much they'd charge us for rent, it could be worth looking into at the very least. So we drove all the way back to Florissant just to go look at the house. And we loved it. The back yard is huge and has a nice patio. It has a one-car garage, a breezeway/mudroom type thing, and a good-sized basement. The only downside is that there's no dishwasher (but we generally eat off of paper plates most of the time anyway...) and there isn't a ton of storage in the bathroom. The closets are also a little small, but we figure with the basement and garage, that should give us plenty of extra storage for all the stuff we don't use on a regular basis. 

I called them on Tuesday to tell them that we officially want to rent it so it should be ready for us sometime in September. For those of you who are wondering, yes, this adds another half hour or so to my drive. Which will suck. But I have a couple options. 

I can always stay in Cape a couple nights if I really have to. And I'm hoping I'll be able to keep working from home at least one day a week. But I've also decided to start looking for jobs in St. Louis, even if they're just part time. I've got a few reasons for this. 

First, I'm already exhausted and I'm not even in school right now. So adding more time to my drive, plus classes is gonna make that worse. Second, because I'm doing so much driving, I'm spending a ton on gas and car maintenance. Yes, working for the university means I only pay 30% of my tuition, but it also means that I get almost none of the loan money I get approved for (I don't understand why this is but I guess they figure if most of my tuition is covered I don't need the extra money). So this semester--before we even decided to move to Florissant--I decided I wasn't going to take the tuition discount, because I get all of my loan money that way, which I need. So whether I continue working for the university or not, I'm not using that discount anymore, so I figured I might as well start looking in St. Louis. I'll just have to find a place that's willing to work around my class schedule. 

There's too much math involved to really get into the details. But basically if Chris and I are living and working in St. Louis and I'm only driving to school a couple days a week (instead of 5), we'll save a ton on gas and all that. 

And we get to switch our internet to AT&T! Unfortunately that means paying HughesNet's outrageous cancellation fees. But once that's done, we'll be paying about the same amount for cable and internet as what we're paying for internet alone now. So we'll be saving a lot of money as far as stuff like that goes once we move. 

We're super excited about the house and can't wait to move. The fact that we're so close to moving makes our current house seem that much more unbearable. 

Things will definitely suck for a while with all the driving and possible staying in Cape that I will have to do. But when we talked about it and whether we thought it was a good idea or not, we had to think long-term. I'll be starting my last semester of school this time next year. And we had plans of moving back to St. Louis after I finished school anyway regardless of where we were living at the time. Plus, my cousin said if we want to buy the house from him in a couple years, he'd sell it to us for pretty dang cheap. And we already know we like the city and the area and want to stay there, so if we end up loving the house too, why not buy it? So, thinking long-term, we just couldn't pass this up. 

Plus Copper is going to love that back yard! 

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