I guarantee that this will be the most beautiful version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” that you’ve ever heard. It’s sung by a Celtic group, performed in Slane Castle, Ireland. I think I actually stopped breathing while they were singing! So angelic!

Thanksgiving 2009

This year, Jesse and I decided to spend Thanksgiving with his Uncle, Fr. Peter Smith. Normally, it would be an 8 hour drive to Wichita, Kansas, but 7 days ago Fr. Peter, his wonderful wife Collette, and his two kids Maria (10) and Nicholas (4), all moved to a suburb of Austin, TX, to take over a parish that just lost their priest to a car accident. So, as of 7 days ago, we now have wonderful family living only 3 hours away from us!!

Not only was it wonderful getting to meet their family, but have you ever been to Austin?? It’s GORGEOUS. It’s been compared to downtown San Luis Obispo since it has the quaint, quirky and fun college town feel (hello UTexas!) but it’s a big city and the capitol of Texas. As far as the terrain, it’s situated right in the heart of the “rolling hills of Texas”. It actually reminds me a lot of where I grew up, only, much much cheaper, and with a big city attached. Apparently the music scene is pretty thriving there as well- it’s called the “Live Music Capitol of the World”.

Lest you doubt me:

Jesse’s uncle Joel lives near his parish in Dripping Springs, a small town about 20 min. to the West of Austin proper. It’s fantastic country out there, just gorgeous:

I'm not even kidding. This is Dripping Springs. Can you believe this is even Texas?

The hot spring right outside of Austin

Goodbye Anemia!

I know it’s a little early for New Year’s Resolutions, but I have finally decided to conquer my iron deficiency. Instead of just grabbing a once a day vitamin, I took my friend Heather’s advice and went for 65 mg (the amount she used to prescribe to patients). She also suggested taking it with a high dose of Vitamin C since it helps absorption.

What health resolutions are you guys making? Perhaps we can all collaborate and become super-health nuts this year!

UD Update

I don’t know if I mentioned this on here, but the UD Financial Office is AWESOME. Because of Biola and it’s crap-tacular system, I always assumed that the Financial Aid office was the one who took away your scholarships and tried to get you to pay more money. Huh. Doesn’t really make sense, does it?

So when UD asked all of the grad students to turn in Financial Aid forms, regardless of need, I got suspicious. Should I let them know I exist? Isn’t that similar to shouting up at Zeus, “Hey, I’m smokin hot! Just thought I’d let you know, just in case you get bored!” Excuse my analogy- I just got finished reading Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis.

But I did it. And it turned out to be the hugest blessing in disguise, because they not only sought out specific government grants, but they applied for and secured one for me! Without any work on my part! Seriously, the biggest thing I had to do was turn in a form with my signature, stating that I accepted the free money. And, since the grant is retroactively applied to the semester I’d already paid for, they cut me a check. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to walk in to the business office and pick up $1300 of free money.

So, thanks to the UD Financial Aid Office, I am now getting my Masters Degree for roughly $300/semester. ROCK ON!!!

As far as classes go, well, it’s that time of the year. If you remember me in your prayers, I have a paper due on Wednesday for the notorious Dr. Crider. He’s famous for drawing a red line through your paper with a note saying, “This is where I got bored and stopped reading. Try again.” I’ve had many of the PhD students warn me about this class, telling me not to take getting a D on my first paper seriously. “Everyone fails their first paper with him”, they say. “Just work hard on the 2nd and 3rd and he will reward that”. I don’t think I’ve ever received a C since that famous day in Ms. Adam’s 11th grade geometry. This class is going to murder the perfectionist inside my head, then parade around wearing the entrails of my crushed self-esteem.

But I am already looking forward to next semester’s classes. I will have a class over Dante’s Divine Comedy on Monday nights (with my professor from the summer Shakespeare class that I immensely enjoyed), a Shakespeare class on Wednesday nights with the resident Shakespeare God, Dr. Alvis (the one I cited once upon a time in a Torrey paper of mine), and a class on the American Transcendentalists (Hawthorne, Melville, Poe) on Thursday nights.

Now, if I could only figure out how to survive this week….

Free Thanksgiving Food

I was really touched by this Craigslist Post in the Free section. Why don’t more people do this?

Free Thanksgiving Food (NW Fort Worth)

I don’t have a lot but I have enough to provide someone who needs help with a small turkey, some green beans, and maybe some sweet potatoes. Please email me and I would be happy to meet you with food or have you go with me to the store. Again, it won’t be a lot but it will be something.

Scarlet Johansson and Pete Yorn

I am really digging this!

Jesse’s First Article

Jesse’s been published! Well, in a manner of sorts. But it’s a start! He DEFINITELY didn’t want me sharing this with anyone- he said, “Wait until the 2nd or 3rd one or something…there’s even a formatting error…”. Um, not good at taking compliments…anyone??  I argued that my name is mentioned in the italics at the end, so I have the right to do whatever I want with it since he violated my relative obscurity.

Tears of Glee

What’s with Glee being so heartbreaking? This was supposed to be a COMEDY!! Instead, I’ve actually found myself crying profusely the last two episodes,. Last week, it was when the supposedly mean cheerleading coach, Sue, goes to visit her mentally challenged sister in a ward and reads her Little Red Riding Hood after handing her a pom-pom.

This week, the first tear jerker-moment began when the leading male character, Finn, sings a song to his soon to be born baby girl in an effort to express the overwhelming feelings of love he has toward her. He knows that the mother has decided on adoption, but just can’t bear the thought of the baby not knowing just how much he cares. He sings the song while watching a video he saved of the first ultrasound. As this is going on, his mother walks in and finds out about the whole thing. It’s a very touching moment as the mother tries to forgive him and control her own disappointments and fears. (Skip to minute 3-6 of this clip in order to get to this part. Man, I just watched it again, and look! More tears! Wow.)

Also in last night’s episode, Quinn’s parents found out about her impending pregnancy and kicked her out of the house. This scene was especially hard to watch- I’m sure Courtney can back me up on this, but almost every teenager we got in the Whittier Pregnancy Care Clinic was afraid of this same thing happening to them. The terrific acting certainly helps the tear-jerking. It also is a direct contrast to Finn’s song to his unborn girl- he says he will stand by her no matter what, even in her darkest hour, and Quinn’s father says he no longer will call her his child.

This video clip even made national headlines for being the most cringe-tastic moment on television.

But what happens after she’s kicked out? She’s not only loved and accepted by her boyfriend’s mother, but also her friends, who sang her a ballad to show their love and support.

So You Think You Can Dance 11/10

A toxic dating relationship:

An African princess and a frog:

Jazz with a cane:

Update to Shoe Post

Just 4 days later, I’ve received 2 of the pairs I ordered in the mail. So far, so cute!

cute shoes

cute shoes 2