February 22, 2012

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies!!!

Here's the link!

http://bakingbites.com/2009/01/homemade-girl-scout-cookie-recipes/

What about Love?

5 to 40 years. That’s the time George Huguely will spend in prison (assuming he doesn’t get credit for time already served—which I’m sure he will). It doesn’t seem fair considering he took away her whole life. George Huguely killed Yeardley Love and he did so with malice; but the jury decided he did so without premeditation. I’m sorry, but no one walks over to have a conversation/argument with his girlfriend and then just murders her on a whim. Especially after making a comment about killing her during an online chat the week before.

And I don’t care how much alcohol he had to drink. No one drinks enough to just decide to brutally beat his girlfriend/ex-girlfriend/anyone to death. Alcohol continues to be the number one drug involved with domestic violence incidences. But this fact does not excuse the behavior. We prosecute drunk drivers. Why didn’t we prosecute a drunk murderer?

They didn’t allow cameras in the courtroom. And I’ll be honest, I haven’t read every article on the circumstances and evidence surrounding this case. But as someone who has studied violence against women, domestic violence, and healthy relationships, I can tell you that this case is one more example of an abuser (murder!) getting off easy. There are too many grey areas surrounding domestic violence. And unfortunately given the circumstances that generally surround these relationships, there will probably always be grey areas. But grey areas do not make any type of violence…or murder…ever ok or acceptable of any kind.

The commentators think he got off easy because of how he looks, his background and his overall demographic. I agree that all of these factors come into play. They always do. Not just with domestic violence cases, but with all court cases. We are a visual society and we make judgments based on appearances. But in the courtroom we are supposed to make judgments based on the evidence presented.

I’ve always been drawn to this horrific event because Yeardley was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and would have graduated in 2010. And although I never met her, I know what it’s like to be a college senior, and I know how it feels when graduation is just a couple weeks away and the real world is full or possibilities. And having worked in the field of domestic violence I was always interested in what people had to say about this case. Greek life, college athletics, and what the media describes as an ‘on again’ ‘off again’ relationship filled with jealously created a media frenzy where people felt like they could comment on the relationship and the case.

We can all relate to this terrible case in some way. Whether it’s because we’ve been in a sorority, hung out with college athletes, or known someone in an unhealthy relationship. And regardless of what you think about this verdict, we can all be activists and make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.
No one deserves to be abused by his or her partner. No one asks for it. And no one should get away with that kind of abuse.

So what are you going to do to promote healthy relationships?

February 21, 2012

A little quiet around here...

Well Grant's 4 weeks of convalescent leave are over today. The alarms went off nice and early this morning and he was off to profile PT to see how far he can push himself without hopefully damaging his still recovering foot!

It's much much quieter around here and a little lonely...although I do have a little mouse in the kitchen to (UNFORTUNATELY) keep me company. (More to come on that later in this post). It was really nice to have Grant home for those four weeks. Obviously the first couple of weeks he was pretty out of it and we were focused on helping his foot recover. But after that it was nice to just be able to spend time together. Anyone who has known anyone in the Army, knows that schedules can be unpredictable and it is so important to value the time you do get to spend together. We were definitely able to do lots of that! But today I have USO volunteer training so hopefully we'll be able to meet up for lunch today!

Other big news...THERE IS A MOUSE IN THIS HOUSE!!!

Last night I went to grab a pan from underneath the oven for dinner and out popped this little field mouse. I promptly screamed at the top of my lungs and ran and jumped on top of our bed. No, I didn't bother to look and see where the mouse went. I was more concerned with getting as far away as possible from that pesky little rodent. Which unfortunately meant we had absolutely no idea where he went. So as my heart rate skyrocketed, I cooked dinner from sitting on the top of the counter while Grant searched every nook and cranny for the little guy. No luck. Then all of a sudden he ran out from underneath the dishwasher and ran towards the linen closet. Again, there were lots more screams and quite frankly dinner was the last thing on my mind. So Grant with trashcan and oven mitt in hand proceeded to search the linen closet. Everything was going great until I decided to come check out the action. At that exact time the mouse ran out and I screamed bloody murder. Which meant Grant screamed bloody murder. I ran back to our bedroom and jumped on our bed and we lost the guy again. At this point I was seriously debating taking a xanax and booking a hotel room for the night. We knew what we had to do...it was time to call in the big guns.

One quick phone call to Ryan and he was on his way over to our apartment with Lexi and Lily (2 of their 3 cats) in tow. They enjoyed exploring the apartment and before long Lily was chasing after the little guy. She and the boys found him hiding behind one of the pillows on our couch in the guest room. She chased him all the way back under the dishwasher and sat there waiting for him to come back out. Ryan could only have been prouder had she actually caught the mouse. After waiting 20 minutes, starting the dishwasher and shining a flashlight, we gave up on our search. Ryan and the kitties went home. And Grant went out and bought 5 mouse traps. 3 different kinds. Our kitchen looks like a minefield and we are all set for his next appearance. Until then I'm on the mouse diet. Only eating when Grant is home to get things from the kitchen for me. :)

February 19, 2012

SMC vs. MSU

One night my sister texted me and said that Saint Mary's basketball team was going to be playing in Murray, KY and we should go watch. It seemed like a long shot that it would be within driving distance. After a little research and a quick trip to mapquest.com, I discovered that Murray was just a quick 90 minute drive away from us. Kenton, our favorite Gael player and friend, was nice enough to get us tickets so we could come watch the game!


Alexa texted us to let us know that she could see us on TV we looked very Southern on ESPN.
There is absolutely nothing in Murray. And quite frankly there was pretty much nothing to be seen along the drive there. So much poverty, lots of empty storefronts, and very very few markets for the amount of homes we passed. I'm still trying to figure out how the people who live there eat. Once we finally arrived in Murray, very little changed. There were a few chain places to eat and shop, but nothing that would draw me to ever consider going to school there. We did drive past some Greek houses while entering campus so I guess maybe you can hide out inside your sorority house and pop over to the closest fraternity house from time to time.

Inside the stadium was packed, it was definitely a sell out game and honestly I don't think there is much else to do in the town. But their gym is a far cry from the intimacy and comfort of McKeon Pavillion. It's massive, loud, and the fans look like bumble bees. Their mascot is the Racers (but when they chant it sounds like Racists)...

Unfortunately, SMC lost, but we did get to see Kenton play and we were excited to be two of about ten people in the whole gym cheering for Saint Marys!!!

After the game things got hectic, and a little claustrophobic so we didn't get to see Kenton afterwards, but I had to include my favorite photo of Grant and I with him. This photo was taken at our engagement party in March 2011.
We did make it home safely after our GPS took us home the long way. Lucky for Grant I had brought my iPod and was prepared to sing us the whole way home. I don't think he was nearly as excited as I was, but I was able to keep us entertained the whole way home!

It was so nice to have the Gaels in town for the night to make Moraga not feel so far away!

February 18, 2012

Fort Campbell Bucket List: #6 and #18

Yesterday we decided to be adventurous and branch out of our Clarksville bubble and start working on our bucket list (see post: Fort Campbell Bucket List). And I had a Theta meeting so we were already going to be in Nashville anyway. The weather was fabulous (a little spring teaser!) and we could even drive with the windows rolled down without freezing to death.

First stop, #6 on our list...visiting the TN State Capitol Building. It's a beautiful building, but I still love the CA capitol much more. The room we loved the most was the law library with the spiral staircase. And I love how much detail and time was put into the ceilings of old buildings.



Second stop, #18 on our list...touring the TN State Museum. We had been in this building before when we went to see Wicked (see post: Doctors...Halloween...Wicked...Gordie's Birthday!). However, we had no idea how large this museum would be. There are 3, maybe even 4 levels. I lost track after a while, and all the levels have these mini levels built within them. We had a good time walking around, but what we discovered is that people in TN are OBSESSED with the Civil War and the War of 1812. Like hard core. There was very little focus on anything that happened after the Civil War. oo yeah, and they LOVE Andrew Jackson. I took this picture for Allison...the first time she saw this flag she goes "Wow, the confederates really like bowling around here..." I then had to explain it was actually the state flag :)


Both of these stops were free so all we had to pay for was parking! I think I pushed my body a little too far with all the walking and by the time I was finished with my Theta meeting and we were home, I was suffering from all the symptoms of a POTS episode. Thankfully, I was able to lay down for the rest of the evening and Grant took great care of me.

A little TLC and lots of sleep, plus a Zyrtec for these crazy winter allergies, and I'm feeling much better today. I was able to get up and go VOTE early (the TN primary isn't until March 6th).

Today we're off to Murray, KY to watch the Saint Mary's Gaels beat Murray State. Kenton was nice enough to get us tickets and we can't wait to watch him play. Look for us on TV. I'll be the one so, so happy to have a little bit of Moraga much MUCH closer than usual. Grant will probably be the embarrassed one cheering in a very masculine way :)

PS...less than 3 weeks until Gordie arrives!!!

February 15, 2012

Fort Campbell Bucket List

With the way the Army is set-up, the likelihood of us being in one location for longer than a few years is slim to none. And given the current status of Grant's foot, who knows how long we will be here and what our time here will look like. So Grant and I have been making a Fort Campbell Bucket List...

1. Go to the Kentucky Derby

2. See a show at the Grand Ole Opry (completed 9/15/12: see post)

3. Visit Dollywood

4. Visit Graceland (completed 7/21/12: see post)

5. Explore Memphis (completed 7/22/12: see post)

6. Go see the TN Capitol Building in Nashville (completed 2/17/12: see post)

7. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame (completed 6/17/12: see post)

8. Spend a weekend in New Orleans

9. Have dinner at the Harper House (completed 7/20/12: see post)

10. Wander around the Vanderbilt Campus (completed 6/10/12: see post)

11. See the Smoky Mountains (saw another mountain instead on 1/26/13: see post)

12. Go to the TN Aquarium (completed 1/27/13: see post)

13. See a NASCAR Race and pretend to like it (sort of completed 5/27/12: see post)

14. Have a BBQ with our friends by the pool (completed 5/20/12: see post)

15. Picnic at the Parthenon (completed 6/17/12: see post)

16. Go to the TN State Fair (completed 9/8/12: see post)

17. Visit Cheekwood (completed 6/17/12: see post)

18. Tour the TN State Museum (completed 2/17/12: see post)

19. Wander around the Fontanel Mansion and Farm (completed 6/10/12: see post)

20. Go to a Nashville Predators Game (completed 1/21/13: see post)

PS 3 weeks until Gordie arrives!!!

February 14, 2012

Brrr...missing the warmth!



If we can't be in California, I'm at least going to listen to music made by people from the Bay Area. Heard this song "Drive By" by Train on the radio the other day and it's been stuck in my head since then.

Clarksville has been playing a sick joke on me lately. The weather will look cold outside, maybe even a little rainy;
however, as soon as I get in the car to go to work, it starts to snow. Doesn't Clarksville know that I don't deal well with snow. Sure it's fun to look at from the warmth of our apartment. Or to read about it in the forecast while I'm snuggled under the covers drinking peppermint tea. But actually dressing for cold weather is an entirely different story...

Grant and I actually got to celebrate Valentine's Day together this year! We decided to stay in, make dinner, and try out our new electric fondue pot for dessert. It was AMAZING. Everyone should have a fondue pot.


Tomorrow we're going to start crossing items off our Fort Campbell Bucket List so stay tuned for a blog post with that list!

February 13, 2012

February 9, 2012

February 8, 2012

Allison's Visit!

This past weekend Allison came to visit! It was exactly what I needed to cure my bout of California homesickness. Unfortunately for Grant, he had to deal with the two of us instead of just me. :)

The weekend included sushi, disco bowling, shopping, baking, pizza making, reality tv, the Brandy version of Cinderella, lots of wine, taboo, couples cards, shooting, naps, a super bowl party, and lots and lots of laughter!

Obligatory kite photo. Not sure if the theta magazine would publish a kite photo from the shooting range, but at least we can add it to our ever growing collection.


Allison and Haley got to shoot for the first time!



Last photo before we had to drop her off at the airport! This weekend flew by way too fast. But I have my fingers crossed that Pixar will decide to open an office in Clarksville...


The new piece of artwork we found at Artifacts!

Grant is continuing to heal, but he tends to push himself a little too far and then needs to recover the next time. And I am recovering from a badly sprained wrist caused by one of my students at work. Needless to say we look like quite the broken pair right now...

Next visitor...GORDON!!!

February 7, 2012

GRIKI Wedding: Music!

Compared to moving across the country, leaving my dream job, and saying goodbye to my family and friends...planning our wedding was a piece of cake! One of the first vendors I knew I wanted to share our day with was Niall Stevenson, owner of Four Leaf Entertainment. I was lucky enough to meet Niall when our friend Thomas and Erin got married in July of 2010. Thankfully Niall was available for our special day. If you are ever looking for a DJ, check him out at https://www.facebook.com/FourLeafEntertainment.

Songs of the reception...

Reception Entrance Song



First Dance


Father Daughter Dance


Cake Cutting


Bouquet Toss


Garter Toss


Last Song


We decided to stick with traditional selections for the ceremony: "Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring," "Pachelbel Canon in D," and then "Joy to the World."
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