Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What We've been Eating

Ryan informed me around 10:30 p.m. tonight that he "just wants to eat."

A few minutes later, I found him in the kitchen consuming this triple-decker PB&J:

Less than half an hour later, he wandered into the bedroom eating a pork taco:

What has gotten into this man?????

I, for one, have been digging late-night hot chocolate lately.  The weather has turned cool here in Buffalo.  I hope snow is still far in the distance, but I do love breaking out my comfy sweaters and watching the leaves change colors.

I plan to bake pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for my students to celebrate October 1.  I will also decorate my classroom with spooky ghost decor.

Autumn is wonderful.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cookie Dough Sales

Meet Ebony:

Ebony is my neighbor.  She rang the doorbell today and asked me to buy some cookie dough for her school fundraiser.  How could I say no to that cute face?

So I started perusing the brochure, and my mouth immediately started watering.  In my mind, I was saying (imagine a Homer Simpson voiceover), "Chocolate Chunk...White Chocolate Macadamia Nut...Double Chocolate Chip...Snickerdoodle...Peanut Butter Cup..."

Here, I better give you some visuals, so you can experience what I did:

Okay, I'll stop now.

As I was hearing Homer Simpson's voice in my head, drooling over the cookies, I suddenly saw a vision into the future:  It was me, in the middle of the night, grading papers at the kitchen table with a spoon in one hand and a tub of cookie dough in the other.

Uh, was that a vision of the future or a vision of the recent past?

Anyway, I snapped out of my dream-like state (Ebony was probably starting to question my sanity), and I went ahead and placed my order:

Chocolate Chip Walnut.

I gave her the money and closed the door feeling very proud of myself.  You see, I am allergic to walnuts.  But guess who isn't?

Sorry, Ry, but I just had to use this pic--my cute little Eagle Scout.

O.F.U.R is back with a vengeance!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Women's Retreat

This past weekend, I went on a Women's Retreat for church.  It was a great time.

I was lucky enough to drive to and from the Retreat with none other than Miss Deb and Miss Ziggy!  These are two of the most famous members of our church congregation.  Any reader of my blog is probably familiar with Deb (she should have her own topics label), and Ziggy is equally hilarious and unpredictable.  (Some of you may have heard the story about her shoe in testimony meeting.)  I honestly love these two ladies!  It was a tight fit with all of our stuff, but Deb and Zig were troopers:

And what's that at Ziggy's feet?

Yes, it's a dog.  (We watched a seeing-eye dog for the afternoon while her owner went to the temple.)

Laney rode with us on the way up to the Retreat.  Here she is enjoying a marshmallow with Deb:

Natalie rode with us on the way home from the Retreat.  Here she is going into the temple with Deb:

The Retreat itself was a wonderful experience.  We had a talent show, a speaker, workshops (I taught one on journaling), and plenty of time to chat.

We stayed up too late and had too much fun:

I love girl time!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I have been feeling a little sorry for myself the past few days.  Ridiculous, I know, but it happens to everyone, right?

I just can't stop thinking about the fact that I "should" be eight months pregnant.  (I guess that's debatable--if I was supposed to still be pregnant, I would be.)  I know that if I was eight months pregnant, I would probably be very large and uncomfortable--but at least I would be quite close to having a little SnugBug of my own.

As it is, I'm back to teaching.

I'd prefer to have a SnugBug.

I thought that getting approved for adoption would make the wait for a baby seem easier.  One step closer, right?  Well, I have to say that it hasn't made it easier.  It has made me more impatient.  When will we hear something from a birth mother?  When will we get picked?  It could be next month.  It could be a year from now.  It could be never.

It's like not knowing if you're one month pregnant, eight months pregnant, or not pregnant at all.


I waited a long time to tell my friends about our struggle with infertility because I didn't want to be defined by my circumstances.  When people saw me, I didn't want them to automatically think, "That's so sad that Rachel can't get pregnant."  I didn't want them to pity me or think that my life must feel so empty without a child--because my life didn't and doesn't feel empty.  I am happy.

So why am I feeling sorry for myself this week?  It makes me mad, especially when I think about all of the situations in the world that are about a gazillion trillion times worse than mine.

I am going to go make myself a mug of hot cocoa with a giant marshmallow in it.  I think that will make me feel better.

Any other ideas?

Friday, September 3, 2010

What should I wear on the first day of school?

Teenagers are harsh fashion critics, and I am trying to find just the right outfit to impress them on the first day of school.  I stopped at my local teacher consignment shop today to get a few supplies; little did I know that I would walk out of the store holding a few excellent options for my first-day-of-school ensemble. Both are so lovely that I am having a hard time choosing.

Please vote.

Option 1:

I would like to point out that this sweater has shoulder pads.

Option 2:
Though not as obviously "teacher-ish," this option features a memorable print with small, plastic strawberry buttons.  I think it would be especially effective if I walked into class carrying my books in my watermelon picnic basket.
Try not to be jealous of my awesome sweaters.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Weekend Away

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Ryan and I decided to have one final "weekend away" before my school year starts.

Friday night, some friends from church/dental school invited us to Seneca Lake, one of the "Finger Lakes" about two hours away from Buffalo, for an overnight of bonding, games, eating, and chatting.  It was a great time!  They reserved the use of a house on a beautiful campground, and we all shared the cost.

We chowed on pizza for dinner, walked down to the dock at sunset, played lawn games, chatted around the fire, played board games, and talked until 4 a.m.  It's been a while since I've been up that late!  It's wonderful to be able to relax with friends.

The next day, we did some tame kayaking (I just sat in my kayak and let the wind take me about 20 feet away and then I came back...I am a true athlete), and we went to one of the historical sites of our church, the Peter Whitmer Farm where the LDS Church was officially organized in 1830.  I love going to the church historical sights.  I feel a special reverence and gratitude as I remember the sacrifices that were made so that I can be part of a religion that I love and that brings me incalculable strength and joy.

Outside the Peter Whitmer home

From there, Ryan and I parted from our friends and journeyed to Watkins Glen State Park.  We had heard about this place from friends, and it did not disappoint.  The "hike" (it was more of a walk...I did it in flip flops) into the gorge was breathtaking with 17 waterfalls along the route.  Of course our camera died mid-way through the adventure, but here are a few shots that we managed to get:

It was romantic to walk holding hands through the craggy gorge past rumbling waterfalls.  At one point in the hike, you actually go behind a waterfall, and it's possible that I pulled Ryan into a dark nook and gave him a kiss.

Watkins Glen also has a free, Olympic size swimming pool, and we enjoyed a brief dip.  (We actually did this before the hike, so we could be walking at dusk.)  This sign cracked me up--I mean honestly, who swims when they have diarrhea?  (I guess enough people that they had to make a sign...Gross!  And please notice the second plea on the list.  Okay, now I'm going to throw up.)

That night, we camped and stayed nice and cozy in our tent.

The next morning, I had my run-in with Officer A. Madaffari.

I was reading my citation today, and it has this part at the bottom that says, "Please take notice that pursuant to section 71030(1)(A) of the criminal procedure law,  the people intend to offer at a trial of the above entitled action evidence of a statement made by you on 8/29/2010 at 11:00 a.m. to Officer A. Madaffari, a public servant, in which you substantially stated as follows: "Was I speeding?"

Oh man--"Was I speeding?"  Do I sound lame or what?  I hate it when they ask you if you know why you were pulled over!  (Not that I would know from past experience because I have never been pulled over before...wink wink.)

After attending the last hour of church (remember, we arrived there late, thanks to our friend the public servant), we spent the afternoon exploring Ithaca, New York.  The lake-front Farmers Market is funky and fun; the nearby state parks are filled with incredible gorges and waterfalls.  AMAZING.   We waded around in the water and climbed on to some waterfalls.  (Wish I had our own photos to prove it, but due to our dead camera battery, I'll have to rely on an image from yahoo.)

Pretty stunning, yes?
We drove home that evening and saw the sun set, and then there was glowing mist on all of the farmland.  I've never seen that before.  It reminded us of a Civil War movie.

I am going to miss the beauty of Western New York when we leave this place at the end of the school year.  But hey, we could end up living somewhere equally beautiful or perhaps more beautiful.  Ryan got his first interview offer for pediatric residencies today, and you'll never guess where:


I think I could handle living there for two years.  

(But the final decision on that is still months in the future.  Who knows where else he will interview and where he will get accepted.  Still, it's exciting.)