Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Goals

It’s almost October….one of the BEST months of the whole year. Why you ask? Pumpkin spice lattes, duh. Well, and it’s that month of school where I finally feel like we’re in a groove and things don’t get too nutty until Halloween. We have fall break ( insert happy dance here), the weather in crisp and cool and the colors of fall got me like Praise the Lord. October seems like it’ll be a busy month for the Steele crew and I plan on making the most of it. Here are some of my goals this month:

image from 

  1. No eating after dinner continued. That’s right, we are still dessert/snacking free after dinner! It’s strange because now dinner lasts till 10 pm. Weird. Just Kidding! We are doing really well at this and while I’d still give my right arm for a fudge brownie at about 9:00, I’ll stick with green tea and honey if I NEED an after dinner something.
  2. Read at least 2 books. See my book list here for ideas. I want to get cozy under a blanket and make a dent in those pages.
  3. Visit a pumpkin patch. Last year we were ambitious and did a regular pumpkin patch AND Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point. I’d like to do both again, but I respect and love my husband and let’s face it girls, there’s only so much fall fun our men can take. Especially when there’s a good game on.
  4. Try something new in the crockpot. We decided chicken stuff doesn’t work as well for us in the crockpot because we both leave for work at around 6:45 and then don’t eat until 6:00 ish, so that’s more than 12 hours of cooking and it can get dry. But crockpot cooking is a beautiful thing for busy nights. TGFP…..Thank God for Pinterest.
  5. Work out 5 days a week. At least. We usually keep up with this for the most part. I want to just keep it going. And a week with more than 5 work out days is of course the ultimate goal.
  6. Let the “house thing” unfold as it should. After our unfortunate offer rejection we are sorta half looking at places but sorta also not. We have faith and trust that it’ll all work out as it should. We have our place through July so clearly no rush here, but if you know me, you know I like to work ahead. of. schedule. as much as humanly possible. So trying to breathe it out and continue “half looking.”
  7. Modge Podge our dresser. So we have these dressers from AJ’s childhood in our guest room. They are cute, but the bright red and blue thang isn’t really our style so  I saw on pinterest that you can modge podge fabric onto laminate furniture?? We are thinking just the drawers. I’m kinda scared so we’ll do a sample one and see how it goes. Then we need to decide on the fabric colors and pattern. Big decisions here people.
  8. Reach out to seasoned bloggers. So obvi I’m new to this blogging thing and the reason I even wanted to blog in the first place is because of all the amazing women I’ve been reading over the years. It’s kinda weird sharing pieces of your story so I want to reach out to connect to others on this blogging journey to a) get advice/tips and b) get my blog out there so I can hopefully gain some new readers.
  9. Revisit these goals in November and see how I did!

What goals do you have this month?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Weekending/What I'm Loving Lately

Hey everyone! Here's a combo post for you: weekending AND What I'm Loving Lately.

 I hope you're enjoying your beautiful weekends! Fall is in the air and we've had a great one over here. Friday evening we ordered Chinese takeout and watched the OSU Beavers game. We went to bed when the beavers started losing badly. Saturday morning I had a hair appointment and got a sassy short new 'do. Then we ran some errands (got my Halloween costume, but it's a surprise), and came home for crockpot chicken tacos (chicken breasts + salsa + crockpot for 8 hours, yum). This morning we did brunch with my parents and this afternoon? Gym, laundry, reading ("Life is Short" by the Little Couple from TLC), and I maaaay have some Lifetime original movies doing their thang on the DVR too.

   Here are some things I've been loving lately:

Yes. It's still September. And I bought my 2016 planner. I know, I know. BUT it was super cute and there are few things in my life I love more than putting in birthdays, anniversaries, and other fun stuff in a fresh new planner. 

Came across this quote on facebook and I want to blow it up into a poster and frame it. It says "Believing we can improve schooling with more tests is like believing you can make yourself taller by measuring height." I don't want to get on my soapbox, but I'll just say this: testing is not teaching. Seeing where students are "at" is necessary BUT not at the expense of spending time teaching them so we can get them where we want them to be. Mic drop. 

I'm a lipgloss gal. Take your lipsticks, I'll be a gloss girl forever. This Burt's Bees kind was an impulse buy and I LOVE it. 

One of our fave Costco buys is this frozen ravioli. Perfect quick, easy, yummy dinner. We can get 4 solid meals outta this bag.  Just forget the fact that it says serving size SIXTEEN. (We discuss this everytime we make it. I think the 16 is referring to 16 people eating one like as an appetizer in a cocktail party type setting. I think. Right?!?). 

Phoenix, baby!! I am heading here Friday to visit my little sis! I haven't been back since we moved to Utah when I was ten. So excited for a weekend getaway. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Save the Best for Last, or "The Week the Steeles Almost Bought a House"

I believe firmly in signs. The way certain things, moments, feelings can send a message to us for better or worse. All signs pointed to yes for a certain townhome AJ and I spent the past week or so dealing with. The story begins last week as I did a quick Zillow search the other night while watching “Little Women: LA” (I love me some little lady drama but it doesn’t require my full attention. If it does, I have problems). I found a cute place and showed it to AJ. He is used to me showing him cute things of many varieties online but he seemed excited about this place too. Last Friday after going out to dinner, I suggested we drive by. We did and as I popped out of the car to grab a flier, the couple who owned the house came out and offered us a tour. Well…..that did it. We loved the layout, one of the walls was painted chevron (!!!), the neighborhood was perfect, and the icing on the cake was when the couple said “You remind us of us when we bought our first home! We want you to live here!” We are still in a lease on our current townhome but thought about it all weekend. 
On Saturday I called the owner and we discussed some more details about the home. I looked at AJ and we both just knew and decided, ok, let’s do this. The owner texted us smiley and heart emojis expressing how happy she was we would take good care of their home. We called our realtor pal who is a total rockstar, by the way. By Monday morning we had the financial details worked out with the lender (we had received a pre-approval a few months ago) and were all set up to tour it again Monday evening with our realtor. I picked up AJ at his school because we wanted to drive the distance from his school to “our house” together to see how long it was. The whole way there we discussed important matters like where the TV would go, what our first meal in the house would be, good walking paths nearby, etc. Once we entered the home we fell in love all over again. The owner even left us a COLDSTONE GIFT CARD and was all smiles and excited for us. We went back to the realtor’s office and drafted up an offer. A great offer. We were thrilled, a little scared, but mostly excited. I texted a few pals pics of the place and we both called our families. Then we went to Cafe Rio (because hello, too excited to cook is a real thing). We both went to bed that night dreaming of mantle decoration ideas and cute throw rugs (well, maybe that was just me). The next day when my class was at morning recess I texted our realtor, “Any news?” She said she was on it and had been in contact with the sellers but we didn’t have an official yes yet. More waiting. That afternoon I stopped by the car dealership to get an oil change and right there in Karl Malone Toyota the call came......

They rejected our offer. WHAT?!?? Our realtor was completely shocked and we were too. Our best guess is that the other offer came in just after ours and didn’t include a clause about paying the fee to get us out of our current lease. I was flabbergasted. I called AJ and we gave each other the pep talk that it “wasn’t meant to be.” But it had a LOFT, and CUTE STAIRS (yes, stairs can be cute and these ones were). I maintained my composure even after the oil change guy came out to deliver the news that I needed a new “cabin filter” whatever the F that is. I met some friends for dinner that night and it was a delight to catch up and get my mind off our real estate fumble. But when I got home the tears fell. We had so many signs!! It was perfect! But once I stopped the drama queen act  I realized how many things in my life had seemed so perfect and then fell apart. My plans have not worked out. Nope, they’ve fallen apart. BUT beautiful things were created with the pieces. There was that one time I entered grad school on a mission to teach high school history and ended up in 1st grade. And I love it. There were past relationships I was convinced were “the one” and they were hardly that. Not even close. Now I’m married to a better man than I could have ever imagined.  There was my first car that I loved but that died on me not once but twice on Chicago roads. So I sold it and felt like I got to experience the city in a much cooler way without it. There was the cross country college road trip my family went on so I could look at schools in Boston and I ended up loving Gonzaga  in Spokane, Washington and decided to go there.  And then there’s the house. Maybe real estate, like cars, careers,education and relationships is something where things not meant for us fall by the wayside so better, much better, things can come together. If I had to predict what my life would look like, I never, ever, in a million years thought I’d be where I am, with who I am, doing what I am, living where I am, loving what I do. But I do love it. All of it. Maybe the signs aren’t as obvious as I once thought. Maybe the signs are woven deeper, hidden beneath the surface, and are just part of a larger narrative. God sees the whole quilt and I am focused on just a tiny little stitch. Yeah, I think that’s it. And in the meantime, when the timing is just right, we will find a place with a mantle and cute stairs. I have big plans, you know.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekending: It feels like fall edition

Hi There!
       We are on the tail end of this delightful weekend and we plan on savoring it: we've got chili simmering in the crockpot and are headed out for a little hike this afternoon. What's been going on? Friday afternoon I ran some errands after school and came home and picked up AJ and we headed to my school's annual carnival. We walked around, said hello to some families and teachers, bought some pumpkin bread from the bake sale, got some dinner, and in all honesty, watched Dateline and were in bed by 10. Isn't it mind boggling how your idea of a fun night evolves as you get older? Saturday we were pretty gosh darned lazy and I spent the morning in my pjs cleaning the house and tackling the laundry. Saturday evening was my 10 year high school reunion. It was nice to see some familiar faces. And get back the letter I wrote myself TEN years ago. I sure had high hopes for myself and hope I'm doing 18 year old me justice. Here's some pics from the weekend and the Chili Recipe we love! It's AJ's mom's recipe and our absolute fave. Happy Sunday! May it be filled with some nature, worship, and of course some football.

Steele Family Chili

2 lbs ground beef browned 
1 bottle tomato juice (we buy a big can of it) 
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
2 can kidney beans drained 
2 cans pinto beans drained
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin 
1 tsp. garlic powder 
optional: a few dashes hot sauce

Mix in crockpot and cook on low all day. We do ours for about 8 hours. Enjoy! It makes a TON. 

We saw this beaver on our walk the other night. I excitedly texted my father in law "Go beavs!!" I was informed it was a muskrat. You learn something new every day. 

sterotypical blogger shot. This new iced coffee is YUM. I slip one into my cart each week. 

10 years later....Juan Diego class of 2005 

AJ and I Saturday night 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

little hearts, big burdens

Being a teacher really touches your heart and soul. It's like this little glimpse of the world when you have children in your class that come from all sorts of different families. I will never forget when I taught summer camp during college and a parent came up to me so upset that his sons were being made fun of for being Asian. I tossed and turned that whole night wondering 1) what I should do and 2) how hate invades little hearts at all. I'd like to say this was the last time I was confronted with the harsh realities of the world making their way into the peaceful world of an elementary classroom. But the truth is I've heard stories from the mouths of my students of parents fighting, job loss, horrific divorces and bitter custody battles, hunger, and even one of my 1st graders who told me, "I'm afraid of getting kidnapped. You know there's rapists out there, teacher." She was 6. Not long ago I was approached by another parent whose child had not been made fun of but was so worried about eating food from his culture at lunch that he just wasn't eating lunch at all and confessed to me tearfully that he "didn't feel American." Oh boy. Dr. Phil says all the time, "Do not ask children to deal with adult issues." I agree. But so many of these heavy burdens children carry come from a deep place of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety that invade their families so naturally they weave their way into the hearts of children. On days when I fret that my students will never know the difference between a noun and an adjective or that the addition sentence stays the same whether it's written up and down or side to side, I force myself to remember that I do not know all of what's behind the faces of my students. I won't let them off easy or keep them from holding themselves to a high standard but the fact is simple, some children at 6 and 7 are dealing with more than I have ever been asked to deal with. I too easily forget that. I hope and pray that when children do have to deal with adult issues that it doesn't scar their hearts and that I am graced with the right responses and that maybe, just maybe, from 8:00 to 3:00 each day they can be a child. A silly, smart, playful, goofy child. As it should be.

image from 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Give me all the reads

Remember in the summer when I read all the time and was averaging a book a week? It is but a distant memory. While my reading accomplishments have slowed lately (see: full time job), there are still lots of books on my "want to read" list. I want to cuddle up with one (or all) of these this fall.

1. A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet This book is by one of my all time fave bloggers Boo Mama. She is a genuinely hilarious gal who I am certain would be my best pal if we met in "real life." She is a southern mama of faith and all of her writing makes you want to shout "ME TOO!" The longer title of this book is "A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon." Now that's what I'm talking about. 

2. The Big Disconnect I am fascinated by how the internet is changing brains in young people and changing family life. It's kind of daunting to think about how the world is transforming due to media and what this means for the family and all of our lifestyles. This book delves into "protecting childhood and family relationships in the digital age." Might be helpful to learn how to connect to young people without using a screen.

3. Missoula: Rape and Justice in a College Town Krakaeur is a brilliant writer and this book looks at the ever-growing horror of sexual violence in college towns. I want to learn why this happens and what we can all do about it. Not a light read by any means but I believe a very important one. 

4. If I Could Turn Back Time Beth Harbison books caught my eye in 2010 and I've been loving her witty chick lit ever since. This book will probably be fairly typical: a relatable charming protagonist who finds her way back to life and love after a jaded period of young adulthood. Some girly inspiration? Sign me up please. 

5. Life is Short I LOVE TLC's "The Little Couple!" Bill and Jen Arnold are an inspiring couple who have journeyed through adoption, cancer, and being little in a tall world. I am looking forward to this interesting read about their life. They are a super cute couple too. 

6. In The Unlikely Event Guys, Judy. Bloom. She's a classic! I want to read this book because a) Bloom's a pro storyteller b) it covers a multi-generation tale (love that) c) there's a love story and d) I wish I lived in the time when airline travel was glamorous. I can't wait to pick up this book. 

7. The Organic God  The author of this book is a speaker sometimes at our church and I always love her messages. I have heard from multiple people that this book is magnificent. According to Amazon: In The Organic God, Margaret explores breathtaking glimpses of God's character-- His big-heartedness, kindness, beauty, mystery, and more-- inviting you to discover God in a healthy, refreshing way. 

8. It's You A woman finding herself by learning about the Greatest Generation's triumphs? Hand me the kleenix and an endless coffee mug! I can't wait to dive into this novel. 

9. Paper Towns Yes, yes, this is a young adult read, but who cares? I loved "The Fault in Our Stars." I vowed to read this book before seeing the movie. It looks like an interesting quick read. 

I wanted to make it to 10 books, but I think this list will keep me busy for a while, don't you? What are you reading lately? Share your recommendations in the comments. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

Hey everyone!
    Just a random mid-week update around here. 

School is going well and it’s happening just as my hubby predicted: these kids are growing on me. I can’t wait to see what they can do in May. That incredible amount of growth and progress is why I love 1st grade! It rained a bit this week and love that fall feeling in the air. What I don't love is indoor recess. That is some teacher torture right there. I almost put on my boots this week but thought, no, that’s too much. I will get boot over-load in the fall and winter so I think I’ll hold off for a bit. I put on my plum colored chevron Jamberries tonight. Aren't they fun?

I am still reading “Southern as a Second Language” and am enjoying it. I am planning a post soon about all the books I want to read. Is there a way I can lay in bed with a cup of tea and read all the live long day? Is there??? Until then, I’ll just squeeze in reading when I can. Any book recommendations I should add to the list I’m compiling?

The hubby and I made a list of Christmas gifts we want to get for our friends and family and guess what? I bought my first Christmas gift today! I know it’s way early but our goal is one gift per paycheck so by the time December rolls around it’ll be no stress and our gifts for loved ones will be all bought (and hopefully wrapped up cutely). That’s the plan at least. 

The “no food after dinner” rule is still rolling! We are about a week in and it’s hard...last night I wanted just a handful of gummy bears but….. we had. no. treats. in. the. house. That sure helps things. I’m not about to get in the car and buy a dessert item. I might need a sweets fix but you’re mistaken if you think I’m changing out of pjs and fixing my raccoon eyes after 15 hours in mascara and leaving the house for about 20 gummy bears. It’s not a huge change and I’m not expecting to be a bodybuilder or anything from it, but it’s a healthy choice and a good challenge for me.

Speaking of healthy choices, AJ and I tried the new burger joint right down the street from us tonight. It was a delicious cheeseburger and fries treat on a rainy evening. We tried to take a selfie but we were thwarted by our short arms. The struggle is real. May your Wednesday be filled with joy, pumpkin flavored something, and if you're a teacher: no hoodies left in your room after the bell rings.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I'll still love you in orthopedic shoes.....

Something about my type A personality is that I don't like things I can't understand. I will learn and read and question until I "get it." I've felt so confused and lost about insurance. Anyone else feel me on this one? I never know what copays I should pay, if I'll get a bill after a doctor visit, what's covered, what's not, the whole shebang. AJ and I got on the same insurance last year and in a cleaning spree I came across this guide book. So Saturday morning I curled up with this fun (note sarcarm) read and highlighter in an attempt to understand our insurance benefits.

I learned a few valuable things. Like how rehab for major drug addiction is like whoa expensive (I wasn't looking for me, no worries, but I'm genuinely concerned about the finances of the Lohan family. That junk is not cheap). I also learned what doctor visits are covered under the Affordable Care Act, what our deductibles are, and best of all, that in old age, bed pans are not covered but bed rails are. This led to a heartfelt and silly convo between AJ and I about our life together in 70 + years. We might be young and in love now. But I can't wait to be old and in love then. Life is messy. If I didn't already know this, learning about home IV stands, shower chairs, and special canes while going over the benefits guide proves this fact. But in the mess, there's no one I'd rather get old with. And prosthetic limbs are even covered too, so even when we're literally falling apart, we're covered. But no amount of insurance benefits can trump the real life coverage of a loving heart beating next to mine and going through this crazy life with my husband holding my hand through all of it.

photo from 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What I'm loving lately....

I hope to make this post a regular one here at Sunday Kinda Love.....things/people/places/topics that I'm loving these days. 

1. Kaboom. Ok, I'm a cleaning nerd and I've tried every variety of bathroom cleaner but this one is the best. It goes on purple and then turns white when it's ready to wipe off. I'll be honest, this cool color changing feature may have been the reason I originally put it in my cart (I'm a 1st grader at heart, what can I say?) but it legit works. Cleaning bathrooms with this stuff is on my agenda today. This is real life, people. 

2. Please refer to my pumpkin post last week, but of course Pumpkin Spice Lattes are on the list. I had my first one on Wednesday. Heaven I tell you. 

3. Dave Ramsey Podcasts. I got into podcasts this past summer with the Big Boo Cast by two of my fave bloggers. Plus our church puts sermons out in podcast form so if you miss a Sunday you can keep up with the current message series. Love that. I discovered Dave Ramsey's podcast this week. I love financial advice like whoa and he has such a great message and attitude. I listen while at the gym, folding laundry, making dinner and sometimes in the car. I feel like an old grandma with my talk radio, but it keeps my brain busy while doing simple tasks and I can learn new stuff. Win-win.

image from 

4. Seasonal days teaching. This week was Apple Day and it was. so. fun. We tasted different apple varieties, did an apple type word search, a mini apple report, graphed our apple types, and read apple books. It was the first time I really felt I could loosen up a bit with this bunch of kids and have less-structured fun. These seasonal days are a fun way to mix up the norm and incorporate lots of subject areas under one theme. And Lord knows I love a good theme. Bring on pumpkin day and gingerbread day.....

5. Unexpected Sequels. This summer I read the adorable book "Whistlin Dixie in a Nor'easter" and while browsing at the library yesterday I discovered it has a sequel: "Southern as a Second Language." I see lazy times in our big comfy chair with a mug of tea and this read. 

Image from 
6. Cupcakes. This is on the list not because I've had one lately but because they are near and dear to my heart. This week AJ and I decided to give up desserts for a while. We both have a bad habit of snacking an hour or two after dinner and that's not good. So we have been dessert free for 5 days and it's not so bad but I still love cupcakes and didn't want them feeling all bad so I included them here. Oh, and please refrain from telling me to "have some berries" to cure my sweet tooth because I WILL find a way to add some brown sugar and nuts to said berries and produce a cobbler, which newsflash: dessert. I don't trust myself with any after dinner anything. I'll keep you posted on this daring new world. 

image from
7. These yoga pants. About 5 or so years ago I purchased a pair of these from TJ Maxx and loved them so much I went online to find them. I probably order 3-4 pairs a year and they are the best. Comfy for home days but perfect for the gym too. They are a great length and are one of the only pairs I've found that fit well on the hips. Check 'em out if you're a yoga pant fiend like myself. 

Image from The Girls Apparel 

That's all for today, folks! Have a glorious weekend!! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Inspiration for your Thursday

Hi everyone!
   I haven't forgotten about the blog! It's been a busy (but good) week in teacher land. I wanted to pop in and share this song with you. I heard it a few weeks ago and it has been dancing around in my head ever since. Such a beautiful message. "Life's been a journey, I've seen joy, I've seen regret and you have been my God through all of it." Nothing is a a constant.....except our faith. How do you see God's handiwork woven through your story? Have a beautiful day!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekending: Labor Day Weekend!

Hi Everyone,
   First of all I want to give a big giant thank you to those of you who have been reading on this blog of mine It's been two months since I began and I have had the most fun creating it and it means the world to me that people actually read it. Thank you! xoxoxo

This weekend was a MUCH needed 3 day weekend. Friday I work up with the sniffles and the feeling of a little bug coming on. I laid around for most of the day Saturday and so needed it to give my body a break. I am feeling better now and am thankful for this bonus soul and my sanity needed it.

Thursday night AJ was at a Utah State football game with some pals so I took a long bubble bath, lit the cinnamon bun candle, had some adult beverages and watched Teen about my happy place! 

Friday morning coffee treat 

Our first spelling test was happening Friday morning and I see a kiddo struggling to write. He's trying to use this. I laughed, gave him a legit pencil, and stored this bad boy in my desk drawer. Crazy huh? 

Addition game fun on Friday
Friday night AJ suggested we try a new place for dinner, Hu Hot a Mongolian grill. We are both fans of noodles in any form so we were pretty pumped about it. We were not pleased. It was not cheap and the buffet of frozen beef chips and sketch looking chicken grossed me out. I have been to places like Benihana before and was sorta expecting a show. The people grilling our bowls of veggies and noodles (the raw meat turned my stomach so I went vegetarian for the evening) looked SO bored and were just chopping and tossing noddles like they were chained to the damn table. I couldn't put my finger on what it tasted like, but I think the closest I can get is that it tasted like the Asian variety of Lean Cuisines. We went to Scheel's after dinner because I was so jealous of my husband's Hydroflask water bottle I needed one of my own. Scheel's is my husband's playground so he made a beeline for the golf area. I was cracking up because someone put little Happy Meal Barbies in all the holes. AJ didn't even notice till I pointed it out!

Barbie in the hole! 

Sunday we had my family over for dinner (we made crockpot Italian Beef, one of our most favorite dinners) and today (Monday) we slept in, stopped for Starbucks, and went walking all around Memory Grove where we got married. I used to live in a tiny apartment just a block from there so it was great memories exploring my old hood. And now? Catching up on "I am Cait" and curling up with the new Harper Lee. And maybe a nap thrown in too. Tomorrow I go from Leslie to Mrs. Steele again and I am thankful for the breathing room before 1st grade fun begins again. Hope you had a great weekend!

That building there is where we said "I do" 

I've been on the library wait list for months. Finally got this in my hot little hand. Only about 30 pages in, hoping to finish it this week. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Football and I: It's Complicated

I don't come from a real sports-centered family. I never really understood how football worked (well, I still don't really) and I looked forward to the Super Bowl for only 2 reasons: Half time show and Rotel and Velveeta dip. Even in high school, when my classmates were all excited for championship games and Friday nights at the field I just couldn't care less. Organizing my class binders was more exciting to me than donning a school pride sweatshirt and cheering on the guys (seriously, though, my class binders were a thing of beauty, I think God knew all along I'd be a teacher, my love for school supplies runs deep). In college, Gonzaga was all about basketball. I love Gonzaga and of course I always wished for victories, but again: I could really care less (please don't stone me, Gonzaga alumni). I remember freshman year people camped out for tickets and I couldn't think of anything more horrendous. Leave my bed and go sleep outside to wait in a line for tickets? No way, no how. I know my pals liked the camaraderie maybe even more than the basketball and chalked it up to an experience, but again, I could care less. I love that Gonzaga basketball put our school on the map and I always hope the Bulldogs win, but to sit down and actively watch a game? No thanks, I'll pass. I moved through my college and grad school years without a team to root for and I was as happy as can be. Can't we all just get along? Also could college athletic gear be any pricier? Rip to the off. I'm pretty sure no percentage of my brain space was spent on sports and I was happy that way. And then I met AJ in 2012.
Visiting the Home of the Beavers, Reser Stadium the day we got engaged. Praise the Lord he didn't propose right then and there. I'm all about embracing his passions, but awww hayl no. 
   My husband DOES come from a sports-centered family. He DOES understand how football works and he loves it (maybe more than I love school supplies, crazy huh?!). Once the first fall rolled around during our first year dating, I wondered how this would go. I explained to my new beau that football just wasn't my scene. Well, it was more than just "not my scene" I explained that I'd rather lose my beloved red polka dot day planner than even watch a game. We had been dating about 5 months at this point so I'm not sure he really understood the gravity of that statement. He was a HUGE fan of the Oregon State Beavers and I saw how much joy watching games and getting pumped up for them brought him. I gave it a try and watched some games with him. He was patient with me and even calmly explained that the words "Washington Punts" on the screen were not the name of a player as I originally thought. I want to tell you I am now a die-hard "can't miss a second of a game" fan. But spoiler alert: Ummm, no.
Cake my mom made for my OSU-loving hubby on his birthday 
Here's the thing: I don't like sports (please don't disown me, Steele fam) and I don't think I ever will. HOWEVER, I love seeing my husband's passion when it's game day. I love some of my new OSU  gear I will wear in solidarity with the Steeles. I love fall afternoons on the coach with my babe while he gets pumped for kick off and I browse on Pinterest or flip though People magazine and cheer right along when he does. I love that anytime I meet someone from Oregon, I ask if they are a beaver or a duck. If they say duck I am immediately distrustful.

OSU swag on game day. Clothes and wreaths, and stickers oh my 
 I love that my family has become honorary Beavers and cheer right along with AJ. I love that college football brings people together. I love the snacks (Of course). I love that football season marks the start of fall and that there's always a game on. I love that I now have a "team" to root for and I never really did before. And most of all I love that my husband loves me even though I will never love football. How can I when there are binders to organize and day planners to write in?
The garter toss at our wedding was done to the Oregon State fight song and I surprised AJ with an OSU garter that we put on a football. The wedding can't be alllll details for just the bride, right? 
 In the meantime, here's wishing the Beavers a successful season and Godspeed to your team, whoever they are, wherever they play.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

25 Thoughts when everything pumpkin comes out....

1. Fall is here!!!
2. I am ready for boots, people! And infinity scarves, and crispy leaves, and cozy evenings and drinking a mug of something warm while wearing mittens like I always see on pinterest.
3. It's still sorta hot out...and the pool is open. I wore flip flops today but never mind, FALLLLLLLLL

I bought this. And it was gross. 

4. A chocolate chip bagel with pumpkin shmear from Einstein's is my true one and only love language
5. "I'll take a Pumpkin spice latte please" 7 best words in the English language
6. I was never this excited about pumpkins when I was younger. Because pumpkins used to mean Halloween, which meant candy, and now I'm much more sophisticated and pumpkins represent fall.
7. But I wonder if they make pumpkin pumpkin M &M's could be a thing? Thoughts?
8. I really need a cute flannel plaid button up to go with my skinny jeans (which might not fit after the aforementioned bagel binge, see number 4) and boooooots. This will be my uniform for all hayrides.
9. I don't know where I'll be going on said hayrides but it'll happen. Oh yes it will.

I'm not Southern. And I probably wrote this around August sometime. Just keepin it real. 

10. I really need to get planning my "Pumpkin Day" for my 1st graders. It's never too early to teach the joy of FALLLLLL.
11. I taught my class that a pumpkin is like a squash/gourd thing.
12. I am getting excited eating a stinky sticky squash, wait...letting that sink in for a sec
13. NEVERMIND, PSL's for everyone! I wish Starbucks was like a bar where I could say, "A round on me, good sir!" I've never said that in a bar, but that's how it goes in my fantasy of buying PSL's for everyone in the south valley.
14. Husband reminds me that we have pumpkin flavored everything in the house but no actual pumpkins. Must remedy.
15. Visit pumpkin patch where I wish I was wearing flip flops instead of my fall uniform because it's 85 degrees out.
16. We don't have kids. Make husband pose on tractor and pushing wheeelbarrow of enormous pumpkins.
17. OBVI we need something pumpkin flavored after the pumpkin patch. Themed Saturday, yay!
Move over, kid. I get that you're all dressed up in your "I'm the cutest little pumpkin" get-up from Old Navy but we would like a photo op by the truck with pumpkins too, ahem. 

18. Pumpkins make me think of cozy fall mornings so I should bake and make the house smell amazing and all fall-ish.
19. No pinterest I will not get my own pumpkin puree straught from the pumpkin. #slimey. Hand me that can of Libby's.
20. Hold up. I can actually make dinner INSIDE a pumpkin instead of a pan. SIGN ME UP! Dinner in a pumpkin
21. Yes, you're right, honey, it does look like poo. Let's grill instead because it's still hot out and not at all fall-ish.
22. Did you know that pumpkins have health benefits? This is very good to know. Sips on a 8458 calorie pumpkin spice latte with a side of a pumpkin muffin.
23. Pumpkins mean fall, fall means October, October means pre-Christmas, pre-Christmas means......
24. !!!!!!!!!!
25. It's the most wonderful time of the YEEEEEEEEARRRRRR.......time to go Christmas shopping!