Tuesday, October 27, 2009

feeling like poo

Ughhh. I'm a sick Lexi. When I am sick, I get a bit whiny (ask Steve!), and I am a bit of a baby about it too. I don't mean to be, but I am. I stayed home today, as I was up all night, not feeling well. I'm a bit better now, though my head still hurts, a lot. I actually slept from 8am until almost 2pm and am still exhausted, but if I sleep more, I'll never fall asleep tonight. I hate that too, that is the worst, when you can't fall asleep at night. I have trouble sleeping enough as it is, so I don't want to make it worse.

This isn't good, as I have a lot going on this week. Last night I was supposed to go the the info session for the teaching fellows program that I mentioned, but I didn't go. I just didn't feel like metroing all the way to Hyattsville and then finding their library. There will be others, I will go to another one. I have dinner plans tomorrow night with some of my favorite girls and then an old friend from home is in DC on business, so I am supposed to see her later in the week. I haven't seen her in years, so it will be nice to catch up. Oh, and I decided not to go to Iowa this weekend for the pirate wedding. I'll be there for Thanksgiving, which will be fine, but this weekend, I really just need a quiet weekend to myself. I have several things to do, so I'll be busy.

This past weekend I went to the used book sale at the Arlington Library that I'm sure I've mentioned before. We went Sunday afternoon, and on Sunday, everything is half-price. I bought 19 books for a whopping $25. I found two great quilting books and several Christmas-y books about holiday recipes, crafts, etc, so those will be nice. I also found a few children's books and two different copies of A Christmas Carol by Dickens, which is something I collect, along with 'Twas The Night Before Christmas. They are both on my favorites list and of course, supporting the library is fun. Funny though, when I was packing up my books, I had brought along a canvas tote bag from my library at home in NH. The girl ringing me up saw it, and asked if I was from NH...I said yes, and turned out, she is from a town about five towns away! Small world, this city sure is.

I bought a super cute pair of shoe from Target too. I will have to post a picture, but I am waiting, because I may have ordered a pair of boots from there too, so I will post them all at once. I am really hard on shoes. I don't know why, but I end up destroying them, so I find myself often needing shoes. It's an actual legitimate need too; not just me saying how much I need a puppy (which I do too!) My mother even notices and tells me to go shoe shopping, haha.

I need to do some quilting over the weekend too. I have several quilt tops that are finished, but I need to finish them! I've still been finding some great fabrics from etsy and have been reading many quilting blogs for ideas. Several people post patterns and tutorials, which is nice, since most of the time, I don't know what I am doing :) When I finish some things, I will post pictures, though right now, I don't have too much to show for myself. I did organize my fabric last weekend, and I found a great basket in my closet that is perfect for scraps, so that was an excellent thing.

Oh yes, and I have a new World Vision baby! She's a two-year old from South Africa called Boikokobetso and she's just the sweetest thing you've ever seen. I know a bit about South Africa and their educational system. They have 11 national languages (!!!), so I wondered which one she speaks. I wrote to WV and they responded and said that she speaks Northern Sotho, so I will need to find some books written in N.S. to send to her! She lives with her single mother, three sisters and one brother. I don't know the ages of her siblings, I hope to find out. I'm excited to get to know my new family member! Does anyone have any insight about South Africa that they could share?

How was your weekend? What did you do? Are you doing anything for Halloween? Want to bring over some ginger ale and rye toast for me?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

you are an obsession, you're my obsession

I find that I often get addicted to certain things and am a bit obsessed with them for a while, then moving on without looking back. Strange? Yes. It has often been that way, I think, though some obsessions are carried on.

Here is what I am currently loving.

  • zinnias--- so bright and fun and colorful, they brighten up a room with just a glance. there is a flower stand at Eastern Market and I often stop and buy myself a bunch (or two!)
  • Red Velvet cupcakes--- no explanation necessary :)
  • English muffin pizzas--- last week, I bought a package of English muffins while grocery shopping, mostly on a whim. the next day at work, I couldn't stop thinking about them, and suddenly had a craving for English muffin pizzas. so, I stopped at Trader Joe's on my way home for some pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese and was so happy at dinnertime. there is something that is just so nostalgic and so good about English muffin pizzas!
  • dark chocolate covered blueberries from Trader Joe's--- just delish!
  • Victoria Magazine--- it is so classic, elegant and lovely and makes me yearn for a home of my own to decorate any way I wish. I've also been loving Southern Living magazine. NH isn't exactly the south, but this northerner is a bit enamored by all things sweet tea and southern. I really want to go to Charleston too! I think I need a subscription to both magazines....
  • making baby quilts--- I have about four in the works right now, since I find myself constantly making quilt tops before binding them! (this is an obsession that I hope doesn't go away anytime soon!)
  • notecards from English Tea Paperie--- Chloe, the owner and designer, is SO talented. I hosted a giveaway from here earlier this summer and have bought a few sets of note cards for myself since. they can be personalized however you like and are absolutely lovely, and I plan to order some for Christmas presents too, I think! if you are a stationary lover, go check them out!
  • red beaded necklaces--- I am on the hunt for one or two. I am IN LOVE with this one (feel free to buy it for me for Christmas or my birthday!) and might like another more casual one. I saw a woman on the metro the other day in a white button down blouse, black dress pants and a simple red beaded necklace. she looked gorgeous.
  • thimbles--- there is just something so lovely and adorable about thimbles, in my opinion. I have a few, one that I especially love that is shaped like a little babushka! I am thinking of collecting antique thimbles and pin cushions, because I love them both so much. I actually saw a really cute photo of a sewing room where there was a shelf on the wall with three large jars; one filled with thimbles, one with those pin cushions shaped like a tomato and one filled with spools of thread. it looked so pretty, I am thinking of trying something similar!

What are you loving right now?

do you praxis?

Have you taken the praxis? I know some of you are teachers, and I'd like to hear more about the praxis, if you can offer any advice.

I just signed up to attend an info session for the PG County Teaching Fellows program and am reading the requirements. If I am reading it correctly, I may not have to take the first part of the praxis, because my SAT scores are high enough that I can opt out (ha, funny, since they weren't even that high, from how it appeared then!) (maybe that was because I had friends who scored a 1510 and a 1490...). Also, I have two Master's, and they may allow me to not have to do the GRE, which was the case before.

I'm not sure about the details, hence the reason to go to the info session. Still though...as I've said, teaching has always been in the back of my mind, so I am excited about learning more about this opportunity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

arrivederci Inaete

Last week, I posted about my learning that Inaete left the World Vision program. At the end of last week, I spoke to someone in the Seattle office about the situation and yesterday's mail brought a letter from them as well. It seems that Inaete and her family has left Albania and moved to Italy. The Italy part surprised me, because, as I mentioned, her grandparents live in Greece, so I would assume they'd go there. At the same time though, it is easier to get to Italy from Albania, as the Albanian-Greek border is tough, from what I understand.

As I said, I'm sad to lose my sponsorship with her, but I am looking at it in a way that it is partly because of my sponsorship that her family was able to move. They'll have new and better opportunities in Italy and Inaete will have new experiences that will only better her later in life. She'll continue to be in my thoughts and prayers and I'm thankful that I had her in my life for this short time.

Now, the question remains is what to do next. I will continue my relationship with World Vision (I still have Majlinda, after all!), but I am debating where to sponsor this time. I could, of course, continue with Albania. Or, maybe I should sponsor a child in a new country? If I sponsored someone in Latin America, I could practice my Spanish when writing, and that would be a good thing. In case you are curious, here is a list of the countries that World Vision serves. As you can see, there are quite a few to chose from.

What would you do? Stick with Albania, or branch out into the world a bit?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

top heavy!

Apparently my blog is over the top, so says Lacey! So, she gave me this lovely award!


In order to accept this award I have to answer the following questions and then pass the love onto six other bloggers, so here goes:
1.Where is your cell phone: in my purse on the floor, because I don't get reception in my new building...boooo! send me emails!
2.Your hair: is a bit crazy today, because of the rain
3.Your mother: is so amazing and encouraging
4.Your father: is so supportive and wise
5.Your favorite food: clam chowdah, deviled eggs (I will so serve them at my wedding!) and snowballs from the William Tell
6.Your dream from last night: I can't remember one
7.Your favorite drink: orange juice, Earl Grey tea
8.Your dream/goal: publish a book or two, live abroad again for an extended time (with my children, so they experience it too), adopt internationally, and have a corgi and a Polish puppy that I am obsessed with, called owczarek podhalanski (they are HUGE dogs!)
9.What room are you in: my little cubicle, three stories underground
10.What is your hobby: cooking/baking, visiting wineries, quilting
11.What is your fear: moth and dragonflies. they freak me out. a lot. silly, I know.
12.Where do you want to be in 6 years: married, baby or two, corgi (or two!), house, career, book in the works!
13.Where were you last night: dinner at Uno's with Steve and his parents who are visiting. Steve and I tried their new lobster blt pizza. it sounds bizarre, I know, but it was very good!
14.Something you are not: fearless
15.Muffins: lemon poppyseed
16.Wish list items: puppy, engagement, salary increase, Martha's Encyclopedia of Crafts, a new pair of Uggs
17.Where did you grow up: Lakes Region of NH...so, so lovely!
18.Last thing you did: chatted with my boss about a reception Monday night that I am volunteering at
20.Your TV: I got rid of cable a year ago and I don't use the tv at all. I should get rid of it.
21.Your pets: I want a corgi. we know this :)
22.Your friends: so wonderful
23.Your life: is a bit crazy sometimes
24.Your mood: not feeling too hot right now
25.Missing someone: always
26.Vehicle: I take the metro
27.Something you're not wearing: sweater, but wishing I had one! it's cold!
28.Your favorite store: Williams Sonoma, Barnes and Noble, Target, Gap
29.Your favorite color: red
30.When's the last time you laughed: earlier, during a staff meeting
31.When's the last time you cried: a couple days ago
32.Your best friend: She's too far away (distance-wise) :(
33.One place you go over and over: Target, Borders
34.One person who emails me regularly: my mum, a few friends, my sister, my dad
35.Favorite place to eat: the William Tell, Elephant & Castle, Matchbox
I am supposed to tag six of you, but I'd rather you all do it, so I can see your answers :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I lied

Apparently I was wrong. Wedding season is not over. I have one more to attend. In Iowa. On Halloween.

Sigh. Just when I thought I was done...

It's not a real wedding...it's a vow renewal ceremony. The kicker? It is Halloween themed and I am supposed to dress like a pirate. For a wedding.


I have no idea how I get myself into these things.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

and it's over!

I'm sitting at my new desk, feeling a bit unsure of myself. No, I don't have a new job, just a new office in a new building. My department moved to a new building on the other side of town. I now have another 15 minutes on the metro. Booooo. I'm also now in a cubicle, where I wasn't before, so I am hearing a whole lot of background noise that I'm not used to. It takes some time to get settled, so I'm sure everything will be fine in a week or so!

The weekend went really well, but I am exhausted! We drove to NH on Friday, leaving about 2pm. We were making great time until NJ. I hate the dirty jerz and this was no exception! We ended up getting lost in New Brunswick and hit major traffic. It took us three hours from there to get through the Cross Bronx Expressway into CT. I like NY, I don't like NJ. We finally rolled into my parents driveway just before 2am. Ugh. I had breakfast plans Saturday morning with my best friend, her husband and son (my godson), and my Pepe, aunt and uncle, so that was really nice. My godson is as adorable as ever and is now talking up a storm. The best? He told me that he loves me and gave me several big kisses :)

Both weddings were really very nice. I will post pictures later, once they are uploaded from my camera. For the second wedding, where I was a bridesmaid, my hair was straight! It's naturally curly, as you've seen, and I did straighten it for a few years, but have kept it curly lately. The hair stylist straightened my hair, and it was long (for me!), hitting me a few inches past my shoulders! I was pleased. I was not pleased, however, with the dress. It was still too big. The alterations didn't come out too well, which is disappointing, since they were rather costly. I spent far too much time tugging at the dress, keeping it up. Grrr. We left CT around 6:30 yesterday and made amazing time back. Once we got into DC, we stopped at the grocery store to grab a few things, and I was in my apartment by 12:30pm. Also, I fell asleep and snoozed for a while, missing Jersey entirely :)

I was in bed by 9:30 last night and I am still exhausted. I am just so glad that wedding season is over for the year! Actually, I don't have any weddings on the agenda (so far!) for 2010 either, so this is a good thing. Of course, I wouldn't mind there being one wedding in 2010, mainly my wedding, but we'll see about that ;)

Steve's parents are in town this weekend and also this Saturday night is one of the Room to Read events, which I am very much looking forward to. How is it already halfway through October? I am so confused about that :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

swapping fun!

So I am currently involved with three swaps and have just signed up for another one! They are a lot of fun, wouldn't you agree?

I will post about two of them at the end of the week. One was a crafty swap and the other, a fall swap. The third one, relates to quilting, where we swap fabric squares!

Here is the link for the last one, as this one is still open to signups. It's a Spooky Sugar Swap, hosted by Beantown Prepster. How can you not love a Halloween themed swap?! Sign up by this Friday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


One day last week, I came home to find three letters from World Vision Albania in my mailbox, which of course, thrilled me to pieces. One was from Majlinda, two were from Inaete. In the letters from Inaete, her mother wrote how happy her birthday celebration was last month and how much she was looking forward to beginning school on September 15. I was amazed at how fast these letters arrived, as her birthday was September 8, and they had already celebrated with cake and singing. Less than a month for the letters to find their way to me!

The next day, when I got home, I found yet another letter from Inaete in my mailbox, this one, very different from the other two.

My dear friend,

This is Inaete's mother Enkeleda writing you. This is a thank you letter that I am writing on behalf of Inaete and all of the family, because we are leaving Albania. All our family is moving to another country. It is hard for me to write this letter, as we became good friends. You gave us the joy of a new friendship and we really appreciate the support that you have given us, as well as the community. Inaete has kept all the presents, the letters and the cards you sent her and will take them all with herself. She is going to keep them as something very precious for the rest of her life. The house we have bought will be preserved with much love as a bridge of our friendship. I hope you are well. May God bless you in every step of your life.

With love and respect,

Inaete and family

I didn't know what to think when I read this letter. It just seemed to sudden, since the previous letters were talking about the new school year and all! Of course, I knew that something like this could happen. One of World Vision's goal is to help each family become self-sufficient, which is a really wonderful thing, but I assumed that if this were the case, I would first be contacted by the World Vision office itself. When I got this letter, I called them to find out what was happening, but they didn't have record of Inaete's family moving. They said that the family hadn't notified them of this change. They are looking into it for me and will let me know when they find out.

I know that Inaete's grandparents live in Greece, so I assume this is where they are moving to, but of course, I could be wrong. I am so happy for them; that they can sustain themselves and will be closer to their family, but I can't help being a bit wistful too, because now, I will no longer have any contact with Inaete and I won't be able to watch her grow up and hear her stories. I know how wonderful this is, and how many new and wonderful opportunities that Inaete and her family will have. Greece is a member of the European Union, whereas Albania has a long way to go before that might happen. She will likely learn Greek now too, and probably English later and will have new experiences that she may not have been able to have in Albania. I just wish that there was still a way that I could keep in touch with Inaete and her family.

I'll miss her.

Monday, October 5, 2009


This coming weekend should be interesting.

Two weddings, two states, one weekend. One Lexi as a bridesmaid.

Saturday is a wedding in NH, Sunday in CT. Roughly three hours between the two. The wedding on Sunday isn't until 5pm, which is nice!

I had figured we'd fly to Boston, rent a car, drive to NH, drive to CT, drive back to Boston to fly back here. Of course, because I am an idiot sometimes, I failed to look for flights until this past weekend and they were literally about $600 to fly from here to Boston! Looks like we'll be driving. Friday is a busy day at work, so I can't leave early, so we will be leaving DC Friday afternoon during rush hour on a holiday weekend. Awesome. It's a good nine hour drive to NH from DC too. At least Monday is the holiday, so we can drive back then, and since we'll be coming from CT, it will be shorter. Plus, Steve is excited because there are a few White Castles in NJ that we will stop at. His favorite, not mine...I think they are kinda gross!

I still don't know what to wear to the Saturday wedding. I am still totally and utterly in love with this dress and reallyreallyreally want it, but since the bridesmaid dress will cost at least $75 in alterations, that is a priority, right? I have several dresses I could wear, of course, but I feel like I wear the same three dresses to all the weddings I go to, and I want a pretty new one! Blargh.

Anyone want to buy me the dreamy dress for Saturday? I'll wear it to your wedding too :)

After this weekend, no more weddings. I think I am going to put a freeze on all things wedding until my own comes along. Am I wrong in feeling this way? :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Room to Read in DC events!

I've mentioned my recent involvement with Room to Read before and am so excited that things are getting off the ground. There are three upcoming events here in DC and I'd love it if you came to one! I'll be at two of them, the second and third dates.

For some reason, blogger won't let me place the actual invitation into this post, so I can't link to it. If you are interested in attending, please let me know and I will email it to you, as you do need to register for the events. There will be wine and hors d'oeurves served and space is limited. There are some really exciting things happening and you may love being involved! There are many ways to be a part of it, so come and check things out!

Join the DC Chapter of Room to Read for a 90-minute event to learn more about Room to Read's recent accomplishments, future expansion plans, and how you can be a part of this worldwide movement.

ARLINGTON, VA \ OCTOBER 10TH \ 7:00 PMNRECA Conference Center, 4301 Wilson Boulevard

BETHESDA, MD \ OCTOBER 17TH \ 7:00 PM Sharon Fine Gallery, 5504 Cornish Road

WASHINGTON, DC \ OCTOBER 22ND \ 6:00 PMThe Law Offices of Seyfarth Shaw, 975 F Street NW

Thursday, October 1, 2009

what book got you hooked?

There was an interesting article in the New York Times recently, called "Where Does a Love of Reading Come From?" I saw the link on Mel's blog and wanted to share it, as I agreed with many of the points that were brought up. The article discusses responses to another article, called "A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like," where a seventh and eighth grade teacher outside of Atlanta, GA didn't assign books as usual, but instead, let her students pick what they'd like to read. This approach is "part of a movement to revolutionize the way literature is taught in America’s schools." There are similar workshops going on in other schools across the country, of varying degrees. Many say that having the entire class all read the same book, can bore students, some being unable to understand the theme, etc. Instead, if they can choose what they'd like to read, it can help them to build a lifetime love of reading, something that is very important, in my humble opinion!

Of course, critics argue that students are unlikely to pick the classics, and are more likely to gravitate towards the trendy books, such as the Twilight series (which I have avoided, for the record!). In high school, I remember assigned reading lists for the summer. I can't recall everything that I had to read, though I can remember a few of them. I know I had to read 1984 for freshman year and I hated it. I had to read The Scarlett Letter at one point too. At the moment, the others are escaping me, but there were at least three books each summer. I liked some and disliked others, which is common, I would think.

I can certainly see both sides of this article. I think that it is important to find a balance. Reading can be fun, but should also be a challenge. I feel as though I read a fairly wide range of things, but still try to look outside of my normal finds, in order to read something new, something I don't know much about. I have a few books by Carl Sagan, one of my heroes, and though I don't understand much about cosmology and astronomy, I find his work fascinating and try to interpret what I can. Side note- I cried when I learned that he had passed away. It was my junior year of high school and I remember running into my chemistry teacher's classroom to tell him the news. My point here is, that reading can be enjoyable, when the effort is made.

I do think that it is so, so important to encourage children to read and to develop a love for books and reading. Related to this, one of my favorite shows, Reading Rainbow, went off the air recently, which I find to be tragic. Too many children will miss the opportunity to watch this amazing show.

I will be following this story, to see where it goes and if many other schools try this approach. It could have some really positive results, if implemented properly, and I hope that teachers can pull it off.

What did you have to read for summer reading? Did you enjoy the books or not? If you had a choice, what would you have read? Where did you get your love of reading and what was your favorite book growing up?