[year in review: 2011]

December 31, 2011

2011 was quite an odd year for our little household. Here is a look back at what we did:

 Joshua turned 1!
 We missed a lot of school due to the freezing/snowing weather.
 Packing began as soon as the new year began. Jeremy was accepted into NSU for the School Psychology program so we packed up most of the house and I moved my little double antique bed into our room. We had two roommates move in to help with rent. They are nice guys, but after living alone for so long before getting married I am not suited for roommates.
We moved Jeremy into the most run down dorm room ever. Since I couldn't move with him until the summer it was easier to put him on campus. Poor Jeremy.
 I missed more work due to the weather. 
 And held down the fort in my bedroom. I seriously lived in one room for 5 months. 
 I began my last semester of graduate school...which also happend to be my last semester teaching in Morehouse plus the end of my internship with Teach Dealta. 
 We celebrated Pop's birthday with a Caramel Cake gone bad. Well, it was still good, but before the icing was spread it turned into a rock ha! 
I don't have a pic from Jan., but I started trying to memorize 2 new verses every month as part of the Siesta Scripture Memory Team on Beth Moore's blog.
 I entered my 2nd month of eating as little meat as possible. I only broke the meat-free man-free rule when in town with Jeremy. 
 I turned 25 on the 25th and was very surprised by my present. I new I was getting a new Vera Bradley purse, but had no clue Jeremy had bought an iPad for me. People rarely surprise me with gifts, and it seems Jeremy has set out to break that rule...against my wishes:)

I went to visit Jeremy in Thibodaux during my Spring Break with the intent to find a job.
 Lucky for me I got an interview! I was told I wouldn't get a job easily here, so that was a big deal. 
 I completely packed up to go to Thibodaux for my interview only to have my current principal decline to let me take a personal day. She said a lot of nasty stuff on top of that too. Ugh. So I came home and unpacked. Sadly. 
 I assume guilt set in with someone because I was able to leave after Leap testing that day to drive 11 hours total for an interview. It sucked massively. I didn't get home until almost 1am and had to work the next day. But I ended up getting the job!
The Mississippi River flooded much more than usual. It even made national news. However, it didn't crest until May...and everything in that picture above was under some serious river water. 


 I graduated with a Master's of Arts in Teaching. And with KDP honors might I add, I never had honors in undergrad or high school. Lazy much ha!
 I convinced Jeremy to let me toss out couch and we moved to south Louisiana on our 2 year wedding anniversary. 

 We met RJ and J Paul from Swamp People haha!
 & we took little dude to the aquarium in New Orleans. I also managed to talk Jeremy into going to Italy and applied for a new passport:)

Some nut case ran into the back of my car at a red light in Tennessee. It was totalled and forced us to buy new cars {Jeremy's lemon was already in the works of being replaced}. That was totally not in the game plan.
We did a lot of wandering in the country while at James and Sandy's in TN. 
 Mom, Laura, Joshua, and I visited my cousin's new baby. Josh was not a fan of his Mom holding a baby haha!

I started a new job teaching 4th graders and Jeremy began his 2nd semester in the SP program. It was a huge adjustment. 
Mom, Laura, and I went to a Beth Moore Simulcast together. Mom and I had been before, but this was the first time to take Laura with us. 
 Jeremy and I ran in the Jazz Half/5k Marathon. J finished in the time frame he wanted to and I surprised myself with my time finishing dead center of the women's group. I was convinced I would be dead last. 

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and Jeremy studied for finals a lot. Heck he studied a lot the whole semester. 
Jeremy ran his first full Marathon in Baton Rouge. 
The dogs boycotted Christmas pictures this year.
 And we went to Italy. This was neither of our first time to travel overseas, but it was our first time to go together. 

Not a single thing this year went as planned or expected, but it ended on a great note. Well almost ended, we still have a few hours. 
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Italy Day 1 continued...

December 29, 2011

Yesterday we left off eating pizza across from the Trevi Fountain. 
After visiting Barberini, the Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain our group began walking towards the Victor Emmanuael II Monument. 
 This is the first of many pictures of the Colosseum and the Victor Emmanuel Monument. Above is the VEM. It is absolutely massive. I thought it was huge on the outside, once I got inside I quite literally got lost.  But that is a story for another post.
 I can't remember what this is called. It is across from Il Vittoriano, but is not considered the Forum. But then again we zipped past the "unimportant" landmarks and hit all the major ones. I was very surprised to find out Ancient Rome was smack dab in the middle of town. Busy streets surround it. While walking down the sidewalk it is a very odd feeling to be standing next to something so ancient on the right while Fiats drive by amongst hundreds of motorcycles to the left. 

 I just couldn't get over the detail here. Even the broken buildings and columns are still beautiful. It is very strange to touch marble and stone sculptures from the 1st century AD and even further back.

 Looking down into the Forum. 
 This column just amazed me, along with many others throughout this trip. The idea that details could stand the test of time...and a bunch of Italians burying the city just blows my mind. 
 Jeremy in front of the Il Vittoriano (Victor Emmanuel Monument) which was built to honor the first king of unified Italy. Supposedly the Italians hate this building, it is too Western. Our tour guide Christina called it the Wedding Cake, which after that I was unable to think of its real name. 
 Walking across the road to this was where Elle threw out there that we should "walk with conviction". Which even though I continued to walk like a scared American who was taught to look both ways, I can say I tried my hardest. I is just so hard to step out into fast Roman traffic without looking. When we did look the cars would rev their engines and kind of jump forward letting us know we were about to be squashed. My apprehension to step out in front of cars is what led to my unfortunate incident in Napoli a few days later.
 Wandering towards the Forum and Colosseum.
 The streets look oddly clear here. I promise you it was crazy 90% of the time.
 First sight of the Colosseum! I was stunned to see it smack dab in the middle of a busy street with Italians walking by paying it no mind. What was ancient and stunning to me was apparently everyday and mundane to them. I promise though, one day in Louisiana and they would be begging for something from even the 1800's.
 This was about as Christmas-y as Rome got.

Today I will leave you here, almost through day one with our group waiting outside the Colosseum to meet Christina. I thought we would finish Day 1 today, but the pictures seem to be too much for the blogger uploader all at once. Next we will hopefully finish up Ancient Rome with the Forum, Colosseum, dispel a myth about Christians in the Colosseum, and why an excavation of Ancient Rome was needed in the first place. 

Post catch up:
Italy Day 1: Barberini
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{2012 New Year's Resolution}

I decided today to flip back through my failed attempt at Project 365 that only lasted until we moved. Something about moving down south, and moving back in with my husband, ruined my ability to eat healthy all the time. I also noticed I gave up dressing even slightly cute. There just doesn't seem to be the same amount of care put into how people look down there. Heck, I have barely seen people using fancy plates for food. It is almost like I have moved to another country. A really bizarre lazy country. So below I have compiled a list of things I will work on this year, starting the minute I am back down in bayou country. 

{12 Resolutions for 2012}
1. Walk the dogs every, run, or do some sort of outdoor physical activity. I have got to get in workout mode again, 26 is creeping up quick. 

2. Eat less meat. I went meat free for nearly 5 months. I need to work more veggies and white meat into my diet and cut the processed foods way way out.

3. Make an effort to dress nice for work everyday. Wear more makeup. Care what I look like. And last but not least use the ironing board everyday without fear of the mice that have been brought in doors due to the sugar cane harvesting. {I am about to buy a gun and start shooting them, we have tried everything!} The school I am at now lets the teachers dress a bit more casual than I did in North LA. I need to care what I look like, because when I do I feel better about myself. 

4. Read at least one new book a month. 

5. Blog more. 

6. Spend more quality time with the husband that does not include both of us side by side watching TV with the computer and an iPad in front of us. We need to eat dinner together at the table. It has been easy to act lazy since he does not get out of class until after 8pm several nights a week. We also try to start a devotional time together that never makes it past a day or so due to our schedule, that needs to change. 

7. Be more proactive in making friends. I am the type who can easily come home after work and do what I need to do, cook dinner, and go to bed without ever contacting anyone from the outside world. I need to put time aside to have friends over for dinner and hang out like we did more of in Monroe. I know for sure I will sink quick if I don't find a good friend {not an acquaintance} soon.  

8. Put up laundry when it is done and don't let my lack of energy keep me from doing it. Because the good Lord knows how much I hate hanging up clothes. I am also going to do what I saw another blogger mention where I put my hangers on backwards and as I wear things turn them around. Whatever is left after a certain amount of time will be donated. 

9. Get more involved in church. Jeremy has always been really good at this, as soon as he found a church he got plugged in and is now the youth pastor. I admire his ability to sacrifice time, it is something I struggle with. I was involved with the women's bible study, but the time issue let that crumble for the whole crowd. I need to give up more of "my" time, and get over losing it. 

10. Give the pups more attention and teach them a new trick. Poor Ellie has been pushed to #2 since I got married. I definitely need to spend more quality time training the pups, especially Maddie. Since we moved Maddie's ability to go outside has slacked. Without a doggie door she won't ask to go out, she just goes. Yuck!

11. Try new recipes and ingredients!

12. Make a photo book of our Italy trip. 
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Italy Day 1 - Barberini

December 28, 2011

Without further picture editing I bring to you the insane amount of pictures from our Italy trip last week. I have realized upon editing 670 pictures that my initial idea of blogging by day is just not going to work. Instead I will break in down into manageable bites. But be prepared...it is still picture overload.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We landed in Rome's FCO airport. This should have been the foreshadowing of how the trip would pan out. Jeremy and I met up with Velma and Monroe, easily passed through customs (or whatever the heck that was), and wandered out to the front door where we were to meet our group. 

But they weren't there. 

I remembered something about taking a train, so we then lugged our bagage (or should I go ahead and point out that I had only a backpack to carry while the whole group lugged bagage, but more on that later) to the train terminal...but changed our minds. Monroe called Elle, but the number didn't work. We called again...didn't work. After a bit more phone fun we decided to go back where we started and just wait. Well by that time they were all there...and we hopped in our private death mobile to our hotel. 

 When we got to the hotel we were early and a few of the rooms weren't ready. I was dying for a shower and the girls let me take a shower in their room. I now regret not washing my hair, by the end of the day I felt like a death trap. Once everyone's luggage was shoved into someone's room, since we didn't have all our own, we trekked out into the streets of Rome for the beginning of our adventure.

 No one warned me ahead of time about just how intense the streets of Rome are. We weren't riding around on this trip except to take trains to other cities. I seriously walked up hill or down hill on old cobblestone in Nikes and was in big time pain all the time.

 The picture above and below are of the Four Fountains. This is at a 4 way stop in Barberini, if you can call it that. Good Lord Italians freak me out with their driving. Anyway, all of the fountains in Rome are potable, unless stated otherwise. So we all made sure to have water bottles and just refilled them up as we progressed through the city. I drank out of a lot of fountains!

 Spanish Steps. Somehow we got started off at the top of them. We were already exhausted, remember we had all just gotten off of about 13 hours of flying and from what I hear no one slept worth a crap. We slowly made our way down the steps. Slowly.

 Almost there.
 I should rename every post "Jeremy Goes to Italy", because from the looks of it I was barely there. I need to hire a photographer to follow me around ha!

 Finally...the Spanish Steps!
 The opposite view. All of my blog friends would appreciate this view. Prada. Missoni.

 Had I had 3G I would have tweeted this pic right on the spot. Oh I so wanted to go into those stores but we were on such time crunch. I told you this was an educational trip and not so much of a holiday.
 We then continued our walking towards the Trevi Fountain...all on our way to Ancient Rome.

 Trevi Fountain
 It was beautiful. Since it is tradition to throw a coin into it to wish that you will one day return to Rome I tossed a penny. I was not about to chunk a Euro, 1.44 American is a little steep to throw away. Ha!
 By this point our group was starving. Well, some of us. Across the street was a cute little pizza shop so we stopped in, grabbed some grub and went to the first Italian potty of the trip. Oh was it a site to see. Luckily this one had toilet seats, most didn't. The sink was cool though, instead of hand handles you had to operate it with foot peddles. I kind of want those for my home now.
We will end today with my greasy makeup free jet lagged self eating pizza across from the Trevi Fountain. Oh how excited I was to see pizza, who knew that by the end of the trip I would be searching for anything leafy green and meat. It was carb overload for real!

Next post will finish up Day 1 with Ancient Rome, the Colosseum, and walking with conviction.

(We've only made it about 5 hours into the trip!)
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