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Little Happies: Our Pup and Some Gambling

June 16, 2014

We’ve been in Omaha, NE for the better part of the week and it’s been non-stop since we arrived.

Many things that make us happy have happened over the week but I forgot to take many photos of most of it…and part of my thinks that is how life should be. Lived. Not constantly photographed and “shared.” That is an different blog post though. Of the moments I did manage to capture, they are below:

–one–

paperworkfinal.jpg

It’s The Final Paperwork….duhn duhn duhn duhn…duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn. (The tune of The Final Countdown anybody?)

This leg of the adoption process is DONE!!!

Everything was gathered, triple checked, packaged, and finally mailed off to our agency and the States we’ve lived in. Next on the list, we need to schedule our home visits with a social worker in the upcoming weeks. After that? Hopefully approved to adopt! ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

Please keep your eyes and ears peeled for ANYONE who may be considering adoption for their child and let us know! Thanks!

–two–

mug caminoThis mug.

I leave it at my parent’s house so I can come back and find this gem in the cupboard when I pour my morning cup of joe.

If you haven’t heard about El Camino de Santiago, you need to.¬†During the summer of 2009, I walked The Camino with other FOCUS staff and students and it has and will continue to change my life until the day I die. I am¬†still¬†drawing lessons from that trip. Especially on the road of infertility. I should write a blog post comparing the two journeys and how similar they can be.

Despite the real sufferings experienced on the trip – I overwhelmingly remember all the good things and want to go back and walk The Camino again someday.

–three–

AmeristarAtNight

Wild Pixies at Ameristar Casino.

Friday night we went to the Casinos with my Mother and Grandmother, primarily to watch the fireworks at the College World Series Opening Ceremony….OK and to gamble responsibly.

My mom won some cash off the bat so she gave us a lucky $20 so we didn’t have to cough up our own dough. Thanks mom! From that we ended up nearly tripling her winnings playing Wild Pixies. It was a lot of fun!

By the time we met up with Grandma and Mom later on, everyone had won! A great night overall!

–four–

jonathan bloggingThe World Cup!!!

We’ve been watching the games and will DEFINITELY be watching the USA play Ghana tonight!!

What’s making me happy is seeing Jonathan’s awesome graphics going up on the FOCUS blog breaking down each country complete with stats on what the Church looks like there.

–five–

pupThat guy.

Another FOCUS missionary’s family breeds Labrador Retrievers and we’ve been wanting one FOR-EV-ER but had to wait till we were no longer renters. The pups were born a few weeks ago and our little guy will be set to come home with us later this summer! Can’t wait!!!

–six–

facebook_logoI’m leaving Facebook for a while and feeling HAPPY¬†about it.

Call it cruel fate but Facebook pretty much only shows me pregnancy photos, babies being born, or family photos these days. Seeing these posts one after another sends me into a depressing place I refuse to keep going to. I’m sure one day I will be stronger and better able to handle the bombardment…but that isn’t today and I am happy to finally admit that.

Catch me here on the blog or by phone/email if you want to get a hold of me!

Uncategorized

Little Happies: BY JONATHAN

June 2, 2014

Time for this week’s Little Happies, and I thought I’d take a turn recalling some the things that made me smile this week.

-one-

Memorial Day. We office was closed and we spent the day with another missionary couple.

We spend the day by:
Playing Bocce (lost and then found 2 balls in the last round!)
Grilling burgers and dogs
Playing Dominion.

A good day.

 

-two-

What’s better than a 3-Day Weekend? (thanks Memorial Day!)

A 5-Day Weekend.

Not sure what this smells like, but it smells good.

Not sure what this smells like, but I’m guessing top notes of fresh laundered pillows and maple-topped pancakes, followed by a base of playing cards, with slight under notes of sweaty runs. Mmmmm!

Working at the FOCUS office has some cool advantages. Among those are a chapel, daily Mass, fun coworkers, and days off. We get a certain number of days we can use when we’re sick, vacationing, or just need a day to chill. The policy governing these days states we¬†must use 10 days per year. The FOCUS fiscal year runs June-May (aligned with the academic year), so the year ended this week. Turns out I had only used 7 days so far this year. If I didn’t use 3 more, I’d lose ’em. So, after being at work one day (Tuesday) I took the rest of the week off.

And I’m glad I did, because we have a MOUNTAIN of paperwork to do as part of our adoption process. Thanks to the time off, we have most of it done. I also had a great time hanging out with Amanda a ton. A lot of our adventures lately have been related to Happy #4.

 

-three-

Running again.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKRHW-6M3zQ

I love running. I was a sprinter in High School, but got lured onto the cross country team with the offer of delicious brownies after practice every Friday. To this day, Coach Berkowitz’ wife’s brownies are the best I’ve ever tasted. By a long shot. Anyway, that turned me into a runner. The weather started getting nice around my birthday at the beginning of May, but then I got sick for 2 weeks, then it snowed, but now it’s sunny and I feel great, so I laced up my shoes (a great pair courtesy of our mission partners at Greg Baum’s Flying Feet) and hit the road. I downloaded a new running app, Zombies, Run! which is an audio story that unfolds between songs. I am “Runner 5” and I go get supplies for our base. Of course, throughout the missions, I encounter “Zombs” and have to increase my pace 20% for a minute or so to outrun them. It’s really fun, AND it can run at the same time as Nike+ (which I’ve been using for years to track my runs) and Stitcher, which I use to stream podcasts.

 

-four-

SWIMMING!

The complex in which we currently live HAS A POOL. We finally¬†took the¬†plunge and visited the pool. You might think we were hesitant, but regarding this decision, we¬†jumped in with both feet. Aaaaaaaand that’s all the pool puns I have.

Anyway, it’s been really hot this week in Denver, and it was quite refreshing to take a dip in the pool. Our friend Lindsay came over so Amanda, Lindsay and I hit the pool. We hung out at poolside, swam around a bit, and then when the girls went back to lay poolside, I grabbed my kindle in it’s waterproof case (A.K.A. a ziplock bag) and read IN THE POOL. I started reading¬†Zero to Maker, a book that chronicles a man’s journey from passive consumer of technology to active maker and co-creator of openROV, an open-source underwater robot project. After that, I paged through an Arduino project book, Make: Simple Arduino Projects to get some ideas for my next project.

Pool Books:

-five-

DEAL CITY.

As you may have seen in some of our other posts, we bought a townhouse and will be moving in about a month. As of late, we’ve been doing our best to sniff out deals for furnishing the new house. Hunting for these deals has been a lot of fun and the bulk of our fun adventures lately. I’ll hold off on most of the¬†details because we’ve got a full post coming up explaining¬†“How We Furnished Our New Home for Only 1/X the Cost!” It’s felt like a game¬†trying to get that fraction as small as possible. Each little success there has certainly been a happy, but I won’t share them all and ruin the upcoming post.

But, since you asked nicely, here’s one (very) small preview:

We wanted a sectional for the basement. We found one on Craigslist that would perfectly fit our smaller space down there, so we jumped at it. Here’s what it looked like on Craigslist:

couchclist

And here’s what it looked like when we finally got it in the small SUV we borrowed from friends to haul it home:

couchcar

It fit! Kind of…

We made it safely home and the couch is chilling in our garage (along with a number of other sweet deals waiting until they move into their (and our) new home.

 

Thanks for checking out my week! How was yours? Leave it in the comments below.

Adoption, Uncategorized

Little Happies: Adoption Meeting and Tornadoes!

May 26, 2014

If you’ve kept up with the home-buying posts, you know what’s consumed our week!

I have two happies I want to share here though.

–one–

adoption happy pic

That’s us at our Adoption Agency! ūüôā

We had our first Q&A Session followed by receiving a big fat binder with LOTS of paperwork and forms.

The step that will take the longest will be getting fingerprints ordered from the Feds. Could take 4-6 weeks. We plan to blaze through all the other forms, autobiographies, and documents in the meantime.

We walked outside with the binder and…

DSC03059

As I was trying to hold the binder in front of the sign, all the papers fell out. This was just the beginning. Jonathan happened to take this photo at the right second. I was in too good a mood to even get upset though. Thanks Jesus!

–two–

twister

We had three Tornado warnings in Denver this week, which has to be a record high. I never associate  Colorado and Tornadoes.

While hunkered down on our bathroom (no windows) floor while sirens wailed in the distance, Jonathan and I rented Twister on Amazon Instant Video.

Great flick! Reminds me of growing up in Nebraska, which always makes me happy!

Have a blessed week yall!

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Little Happies: All About Jack Bauer

May 12, 2014

This week’s Little Happies is officially brought to you by the best show ever…

24-return-img

 Jack is officially BACK!!! As of this past Monday, a brand-new season of 24 began. Jonathan and I have watched all 8 seasons prior to this, so we were more than a little bit excited.

Below is how we rang in the event:

jack cheese wrapersIn honor of Jack Bauer, we bought three jack cheeses – pepper, monterey, and colby.

cheese trayThis, paired with crackers, was dinner. Yup, all we ate was cheese and crackers and I am not one bit ashamed. We sat down in the living room and watched highlight videos from every other 24 season to pump ourselves up for the viewing. It was a lot of fun remembering old episodes and all the great characters. The season premiere finally came on and it was AWESOME. I was afraid it would disappoint, since it’s been so long since the last season. Nope – still the same ole 24 and Jack Bauer.

Without further ado, I present you with some of our Little Happies from the show 24:

–one–

chloe-jackJack and Chloe. Perhaps the most dynamic duo in television history. Whenever Jack is in a pinch and needs anything, somehow Chloe can pull it off instantly…usually by decrypting, hacking into, or analyzing databases.

–two–

david palmer

President David Palmer. If he were alive and running for President of the USA, he’d likely have my vote. Best Jack and President Palmer interaction? Season 4, when Jack had to fake his own death to prevent the Chinese from taking him into custody…

David Palmer:¬†This is probably the last time we’ll ever speak. Jack, you do understand – when you hang up, for all intents and purposes, Jack Bauer is dead.
Jack Bauer:¬†I understand that, sir. Mr. President, it’s been an honor.
David Palmer: Same for me my friend. 

–three–

cordelia virusSeason 3 and the Cordelia Virus.

This reason I remember and love this season so much was that it was perfectly timed with another virus I am sure you’ve heard of – Swine Flu. The very weekend that a friend lent me Season 3 of 24 is the same weekend that I came down with the Swine Flu. All my roommates were out of town. I sat in bed with a bag of Tostitos and a box of Alka-Selzter cold & flu pills while watching the entire season in a span of three days.

Let’s just say the Cordelia Virus I was seeing attack people made my 104 degree fever seem like nothing. I did have occasional panic attacks that my Swine Flu was turning into this made up (or perhaps real?!?) Cordelia Virus. Discerning reality with a fever is hard work.

–four–

kim bauerMost annoying character in all of 24: Kim Bauer – Jack’s daughter.

You wouldn’t have many reasons to believe she is actually related to Jack based on her lack of decision-making ability. Many seasons involve Kim making the worst decisions possible – like getting kidnapped, driving a car off a cliff, and nearly getting eaten by a mountain lion.

But as annoying as she is…her character provides some much needed comedic relief in a show that could cause a heart-attack due to sheer stress.

–five–

collage

The villains of 24! Every season there are numerous bad guys that Jack Bauer hunts down. Every now and again there would be a villain who carried through multiple seasons like those above. Of course – these villains were introduced as the good guys but their malice was discovered over time, usually by Jack.

–six–

jack meme

Last but certainly not least – Jack Bauer himself. Jonathan and I declared a few years ago that Jack has a lot of natural virtue. Yup, Jack needs to meet Jesus and he needs some lessons on how the ends don’t justify the means. But for what he does know…he’s incredibly sacrificial and always willing to put himself in danger to protect and save others, even when they don’t ask or even want his help.

We leave this Little Happies post with a montage of the best Jack Bauer “Where is ______?” moments in 24 history:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9DijlVkIGA

 

 

Uncategorized

Little Happies: Easter Octave Celebrations

April 28, 2014

This week’s Little Happy link-up is brought to you by….THE EASTER TRIUDUUM!!! WOOT!!!

There are many many things I love about our Catholic faith…but the celebrations and feast days are simply the best. Little glimpses of what is yet to come, forever!!!¬†The Teixeiras take celebrating pretty seriously, so every single day of the Easter Octave brought with it some celebratory activity.

–one–

photo 1

Easter Monday

Jamba Juice. Even had two $2.00 off coupons. Booya! This night we also went to ¬†The Wizard’s Chest to grab a Settler’s of Catan expansion. Wahoo!

–two–

16-bocce-ball-lg

Easter Tuesday

We had the Digital Campus team over for dinner and after enjoying Huevos Rancheros we played a round of Bocce Ball. If you haven’t played this intense and fun game…you NEED to as soon as possible. I haven’t had this much fun with a yard game since the good old days of Kuub.

–three–

photo 2

Easter Wednesday

Remember when I told yall I got the America’s Test Kitchen gluten free cookbook?¬†Well it’s turned out to be worth it’s weight in gold. NOTHING tastes or feels like it’s gluten free. In some cases, the recipes are actually far better than it’s gluten cousin. Above are the brownies we made and served on top of vanilla bean ice cream. It was quite the indulgence.

We ate these while watching Captain America…in preparation for the next Little Happy.

–four–

Captain-America-2-PosterEaster Thursday

We went to see Captain America – The Winter Soldier and were very pleased! What’s funny is that I never used to be a comic-movie type of gal until I was taken on a date to see Iron Man 2 several years back. Since then, I have seen pretty much every Marvel movie that’s been made. Call me nerdy but they are just so entertaining!

What made this night extra special? We bought movie theater popcorn! The Teixeiras usually don’t opt for this artery-clogging snack¬†luxury…but hey, it’s Easter!

–five–

100

Easter Friday

I saved the best eMeals recipe on our weekly menu for Friday – Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus. We ate on the back porch underneath our strings of lights. It was possibly the best dinner I’ve ever made.

–six–

photo 3Easter Saturday

Apparently all we do is eat when we are celebrating. Hmmm.

We went and got our free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches with gift cards received at the new one in our neighborhood’s opening day celebrations. Since it’s Easter, we added fries and one of those delicious lemonades. Afterwards we went to Costco and continued eating by trying all the free samples.

I guess we are easy to please! ūüôā

–seven–

collage 1

Divine Mercy Sunday

POPE SAINT JOHN PAUL II canonization day!!! AGGGHHHH! We were married on his first feast day, so we’ve claimed him our dude in heaven to pray for our family.

We were so excited that we decided to celebrate this final day in the Easter Octave in the Polish spirit. We listened to Polish radio all day long and had no idea what they were saying but it was great music. We also set out our JPII photos, statue, and 3rd-class relic (aka something touched to something JPII touched).

We made stuffed cabbage for dinner followed with sugar cookies (again from America’s Test Kitchen). Our neighbors joined us for dinner and we all watched a John Paul II documentary together to end out the celebrations.

Now I am resolved to read Witness to Hope. I think JPII knew a LOT about suffering and I need to become his student because I don’t suffer so well let alone redemptively! Pope St. JPII, pray for us!!!

Marriage, Money, Uncategorized

How to Avoid a Christmas Budget Blowout!

December 7, 2013

The Christmas Season….Family memories, special liturgies, beautiful decorations, delicious food, and the gifts. Sometimes these wonderful things can cloud one’s judgement financially and lead to regrets, stress, and a blown budget. Half of Americans are estimated to put Christmas on a credit card this year. Half of those are not planning to pay more than the minimum payments. Sounds like a set-up for a serious Holiday Hangover.

christmas_stress_shopping

I don’t want you to end up looking like this guy at the end of Christmas. Or ever really.

buyers-remorse

I never told my money where to go…now I wonder where it all went!!!

 

What if you set aside a pre-determined amount of money for Christmas spending and then only spent that amount? You would have a Christmas budget.

You are in luck, friends.

This year, we found an awesome tool created by the Dave Ramsey team that will help us plan our Christmas budget and keep track of all expenses associated with each person on our list! That means we will have confidence and peace knowing that we’re buying things already budgeted for and working our way down the list without regrets! Ahhhh, freedom.

Please download it for free and let us know how it works for you!

christmas budget