Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sorry, Not Sorry

Ahh, that confused look a student gives you when they've had spotty attendance for the last few days the whole quarter and walk in late during a test...


Yep...sorry, not sorry. Come to class!

In other news, found out one of my early ancestors (1670s in Massachusetts) got in trouble and was put in the stocks for bringing his horse "uncivilly...into the parlor" of another man's home. Totally made my morning!

This is what I picture in my mind...completely historically inaccurate, but amusing nonetheless:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Big 3-0!

As of 11:17 on Sunday night, I am officially 30. I'm still a little on the fence about it, but 30 doesn't seem so bad.

Even though I was a little unsure of the age I was turning, I still had a great birthday weekend.

On Saturday night, after church, we went out for dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant - El Toro's. They have the best chicken fajitas ever! If you're from the Tacoma area, be sure to check out the new one of Canyon Road - by far the best in my opinion. Our friends Matthew and Janine, and Crickett and Holly came with us to celebrate, and I had my last drink of my 20's. I also finished this scarf made from this pattern once we got home that night:

**Side note on the scarf - I did not do the last pattern repeat because I ran out of yarn - still stash busting over here! **

On Sunday, I took my sweet time getting ready while James got up with Elijah, and we headed out to Panera for a cinnamon crunch bagel. After opening my gift from Elijah, this sweet bracelet, we  dropped Elijah off at my mom and step-dad's house and headed up to Seattle. We started at Uwajimaya, or more specifically the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Uwajimaya where I picked up this book:

Then we headed to Westlake Center, and got some cookies from Mrs. Field's (milk chocolate chip walnut and milk chocolate, caramel and sea salt - yum!). We walked around the shopping district downtown and I ended up buying this "way more than I should spend but I really love this" belt at Anthropologie. I also picked up these Toms shoes (currently on my feet):

We grabbed an early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, wandered around Seattle a while longer, picked up Elijah, and headed home. All and all, it wasn't a terribly exciting birthday, but it was filled with the things and people I love, so that made it a great birthday!

Then, on Monday, some of my students surprised me with a mini-surprise party in class - cake balloons, sandwiches. It was very sweet and much appreciated, but it threw me a little off my teaching game, and I kind of feel like it was simply a ploy to trick me into letting them have a party in class :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Tale of Four Phones

Technology-wise, this week has been weird.

On Monday, Elijah dropped my phone as he was getting out of the car - screen cracked. Ugh. Okay, I have a Windows phone and James works at Microsoft, so surely he can fix this. After a visit to the Verizon store on campus, James calls and says that we apparently had insurance on the phone (that we didn't know about) and a new one was going to arrive the next day at the cost of $100. Not bad.

Tuesday, UPS brings me a new phone. Only, it's not new - it's remanufactured. I get it all set up, and then answer a call from James. He can't hear me. We try lots of things, and eventually figure out that I can only talk using speakerphone. Well, that's not going to work. We call the insurance company, get hung up on (we prefer to think accidentally), and finally get a second replacement sent, due to arrive on Thursday.

Wednesday, I use the first replacement phone. Needing to use speakerphone is better than getting mini cuts on my fingers from the broken glass on my original phone.

Thursday, UPS arrived too early, and didn't leave the package (even though we specifically asked to not have to sign for the package). I switch the package to Will-Call and plan to pick it up the next day.
Friday, I head down to the UPS Customer Service Center and pick up my new (remanufactured) phone. I get home and try to call James. He can't hear me. You've got to be kidding me! After lots of back and forth, we finally decided that it would be best to return the two replacement phones and go to Verizon and just pony up the money for a new one. Happy (early) birthday to me!

I go to the Verizon store, and am helped by a very nice guy named Justin. I decide which phone I want (Nokia 928B, if you're curious) and he figures out a way for my to not have to pay the full no-contract price for the phone. He saved me $150. Awesome!

That's when it got weird. He pulled me over to the accessories wall, and told me that when they do this special plan he was doing they like to include some accessories - phone chargers, headphones, headsets, etc. - with the phone...for free. Wait, what? So, you're saving me $150 and giving me things for free? "I like to think of it as included," he said. Whatever, same difference. I picked out a pair of Beats ear buds for James (the headphone junkie). I thought it was a pretty sweet deal, they're expensive. Then it got better. When Justin brings out my phone and ear buds, he also brings out a battery pack (it's a little box that you charge, and then can use to charge your phone or other USB device) and includes that in my package as well, "just because". Seriously, what is Verizon getting out of this deal? At this point, I was seriously confused and wondered what my bill was really going to look like.

Want to know what it looked like? $250 - the exact price he quoted me on the phone. That's what I paid for my new Nokia phone, Beats ear buds and a battery back. Crazy! Then Justin introduced me to someone else. The Nokia Rep just so happened to be in the store, and he was very excited that I was buying another Nokia phone. He went out to his car and got some swag - lip balm/mints, a puzzle ball, and a stylus/pen - for me. He was very apologetic about not having any coffee mugs or T-shirts. He also talked a lot about some new awesome update that's coming this summer, but to this non-techie it sounded a lot like the adults in Charlie Brown. I smiled and nodded...much like what I do when James talks about the details of what he does at work. No disrespect, I just have no idea of what he's talking about.

There was some time in this whole exchange when Justin and I were just chatting about kids and what not. We discussed my husband's job (working on the Kinect) and how he used to bring XBOX games and accessories home before we had an XBOX. I mentioned having three Kinects sitting in the closet at one point, and Justin asked if we still had any. I didn't know, but once James got home and said we still had one, I knew exactly how to thank Justin for his excellent customer service.

He was shocked when I showed up with the Kinect in a bag for him this evening. He offered me a pen (umm...thanks...?), said we were awesome, and if we ever needed anything, he would make it happen! Sweet deal! Remember that in a few months when my husband wants to upgrade to some ridiculously expensive phone that I think is completely unnecessary :)

All and all, the situation turned out awesome! Thank you, Lord, for taking a frustrating situation and turning it into one that truly makes me smile every time I think about it. And thank you for giving us the opportunity to bless someone for doing a job well done.

Now, to make sure we get the refund from the insurance company...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April: Monthly Update

I guess I really wasn't around the blog much last month. Here's what I was up to in the month of April.

This little piece is destined to become a bookmark - once I sew some elastic to the ends. This pattern is from a Japanese crochet book I picked up at Uwajimaya a year or so ago.

I made a whale for Elijah just because. I used this pattern, but didn't add the flippers. Note: It's a Japanese pattern, but it's pretty easy to figure out what to do if you can read crochet charts.

Here is a pattern swatch I made using this pattern. I believe the pattern is also called Apache Tears. I love the way it looks, and am currently deciding what would be the best way to frame it so I can hang it on the wall.

I decided to try making some African Flower Hexagons. I've seen all the cute animals made from them, and thought the pattern was pretty. I made 7 and sewed them together. I'm now trying to decide if I should make it into a cushion, or frame it for my creative space.

 A little cozy for my work in progress bowl. Okay - honestly, it started out as a hat, but the crown looked funny (too flat, and a little too wide) . It just so happened to fit the bowl that I use for my work in progress.

Elijah has been waking up at the crack of dawn, and we thought it was his new lighter curtains. So I  upcycled his old dark curtain to make a black out shade. I cut it to about the size of his window, folded the top down and sewed it - creating a casing - and put it on a tension rod. It did not help. :)

I read probably 15 books this month. I've read all the books on my list available in my county's library system, and the next county's library system. I have one more at the city library to pick up, and I've ordered one from Amazon (it was a penny). I just have the most current releases to get now, and I'm trying to get them through Inter Library Loan. Either way, I only have 9 books left to read before the end of the year - and it's only May! I'd say I've got this goal mostly in the bag :)

New things:
We spend a weekend up in Birch Bay with some friends at the beginning of the month. We went to Canada and visited a Thomas the Train store in Burnaby and Stanley Park - both new places!

We also went to dinner at a new restaurant called Crockett's with some friends after church one night. It had been featured on Dinners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We had some delicious food - and butterscotch bourbon pudding for dessert. Yum!

Here are a couple of things I picked up for myself this month that make me happy:
Check out this print - sea turtles, florals, and turquoise - could it get much more me? Only if it had sparkles! This is the print of a new Cynthia Rowley cooler basket I picked up at TJMaxx the other day. I don't need a cooler basket, but I couldn't resist the print. I'm going to try to use it as a new crochet basket.

I also found this journal. I love the saying on the front Live Everyday with Intention. I want to be more intentional with the way I spend my time, and how I express gratitude. (The picture makes it look a little funny - it's really just white with gold lettering.)

In other news:
My 30th birthday is in 3 days. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it. Am I embracing 30? Or am I having a second annual 29th birthday? Mostly, I think I'm embracing it, but I'll let you know next week :)