Wednesday, February 1


I have finally realized the purpose of this blog... to read other people's blogs! :0) I honestly think the only reason I leave it up and active is so that I don't feel as creeper-ish when I go on to read friends' blogs from back home.

With that said, even though I haven't blogged since August, I have been keeping up with several friends and the goings-on in their lives. In November, a work colleague announced her pregnancy here. I couldn't be happier to hear the news from her... which brings me to the title of my blog post... I recently offered up baby name advice in response to her blog. I won the name contest. Of course, she and her husband are still working on picking out a name for a girl. If you have an awesome first name for a girl name (middle name: Rose, last name: starts with G), leave a comment on her blog here. She's especially in the market for a name beginning with a G.

Another blog I follow is of a sorority sister from college. I love reading her blog and hearing about her adventures living in D.C.--renivating her house and school stuff. She may not be aware I am such an advid reader, but I love it Kristin!

So anyway, a couple of friends may be slightly weirded out about how often I check on their blogs, but hopefully not... I've always thought about how hard it would be to keep up in the same way without blogs. It's so interesting to read an keep up in such a way. Thank you blogosphere!

Monday, August 29

The Dog Days Are Over... Almost

WARNING: This is a longer than usual post. Since I don't post much, you may want to break it up over a couple days :0)

Whenever I think of this song I think of August... and since August is winding down I thought it an appropriate title for this post.

It has been a busy month! It started, for me, in St. Louis. I was excited to spend some time at 'home' visiting family and friends so I didn't plan too many things in advance. I figured it would easier to see what was going on once I got there. I arrived on a Thursday afternoon and by the time I went to sleep Friday night, I had plans every night... the stars aligned and I got to do nearly everything I wanted to do in nine days! Here are the high lights...

Friday night: I met up with my friend Heather and headed downtown to see the Cards v. Cubs. (This trip was stragetically planned to see at least one game in this series) After dinner and (FREE) drinks at TGIFridays, we headed to the stadium where we had a great view of Matt Holiday from behind the Cubs dugout. Now, every time I watch him bat, I hear the woman behind me screaming "HOLIDAY, I like your socks!" haha!
It was a great night--the Cardinals won and we got to see Albert's 2000th hit... great game!

Saturday: I spent the day with my mom doing nothing really... but we did have lunch at Jilly's Cupcake Bar! I'd been reading about this place in Alyssa's Blog and they WON Cupcake Wars. So there was no way I was going to miss out on this. After our great lunch (egg salad and gazpacho), we took home four cupcakes--all of which were fantastic! I didn't take any pictures of my own, so the photo of my favorite cupcake, Island in the Sun, is courtesy of Jilly's website.

Sunday: The flea market in Wentzville, a summer Sunday tradition growing up. Mom claimed to get the best deal of the day when she picked up a case of strawberries for $5--only to end up with a small tupperwear sandwich container of good ones after cleaning :0) This was followed in the evening with dinner and drinks with the girls (I can't believe I didn't take ANY pictures!) and the Muny's production of Little Shop of Horrors.

Monday: BOGO Margarita's with Truman math friends. So much fun... This was one night, I wish I was back in STL so we could do it every week. One photo from the end of the night... at this point there may have been one too many Margs.

Tuesday: Dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house. She made fried chicken--exactly what I wanted, and I didn't even have to ask! Aren't grandma's wonderful?

Wednesday: Mainstreet St. Charles with my mom and great aunt. I absolutely love it down there... I walked away with lots of coffee and an awesome spider ring to wear on Halloween. For dinner: IMOS!

Thursday: Pasta House! Oh how I miss pasta con broccoli and toasted ravioli... which was followed by SNO-BIZ! I would have this everday if there was one in Lacey... I love it that much. It's almost not summer without sno-biz.

Friday: My mom and I picked up my cousin's son Louie from daycare and the three of us, plus my brother went to lunch at First Watch before taking me to the airport.

This is Louie on the way to the airport... he wanted to get on the plane with me, but we decided his mommy wouldn't like that too much.

In between all those events (and all that food): I also saw my old work buddies, spent time at my aunt's house with baby cousin Tanner (she's just bitten my finger HARD in the picture) and watched a lot of Cardinal baseball. It was a great trip home and a long post... but you were warned.

Tuesday, July 26

Tuesday's Teaching Tidbit

Two posts in one day! I thought of this in the car this afternoon while running errands... I could wait until September (when school actually starts) but I thought I'd take these next few weeks to share some of my favorite moments from my first year.

**Near the end of year, I was a little bit lax in my iPod policy. I found that in certain classes, the students worked better when they only focused on their music and the book in front of them.

One day after the lecture part of class, the students set to work on the assignment and got out their iPods. One student put his large green headphones on and took to work with a couple girls near my desk. He turned to me and asked, "Mrs. Leitman, do you want to be a millionaire?" Without missing a beat, I replied, "So freakin' bad," which ellicited the exact response I wanted... surprise and amazement... Thanks Travie McCoy! One student reacted by saying, "Oh my god, that made my week!"

My students so often forget that I am not that much older than them... I actually know who Katy Perry is and I've seen (and LOVE) The Hangover. I can hear their conversations when I'm not right next to them... and I see their cellphones even when I don't take it from them!

Granny Visited Seattle

About two weeks ago, David's grandma made a stop in Seattle before heading off for an Alaskan cruise with her neighbor. It was great to see her and exciting to show our house off to her.

David had to work both days so I was the entertainment... She arrived on Thursday afternoon, and I picked her up at the hotel. We had lunch and headed south toward the house we made a stop in Olympia at the Capital Building. Next we headed to the house... she was very impressed. She couldn't get over the ceiling in the great room. We waited for David to get home so she could see the second floor. We went to dinner and just enjoyed our visit.

Friday, I met up with Granny and Mona Lou for a bus tour of Seattle... According to them, I was the only reason they were allowed to go without one of Mona Lou's daughters... meaning I was the 'babysitter'. As you'd expect, the bus passengers were mostly comprised of the older generations. Although I've lived her over a year and visited the city several times, I learned some stuff and tried to look and listen for interesting things to share with future visitors... For example, the outside of the hospital in Grey's Anatomy is an insurance building across the street from the Space Needle. Pretty cool! Here's some pictures I took from west Seattle and Queen Anne Hill.
After the bus tour, Mona Lou went on a second tour (without a 'babysitter') and Granny and I sat in traffic on the way to meet David. The most annoying things about Seattle vs. St. Louis: the traffic! With one highway, it's horrible.

Not the most exciting post, but that's what we've been up to lately... I'll be back in STL at the end of the week. Looking forward to seeing the Cubs play the Cardinals, spending time with my friends and family, and experiencing actual summer... Some days I miss the heat.

Tuesday, July 19

Training Update

For the past 8 weeks David and I have each been working with a personal trainer. We've talked about how happy we are with our choice to hire personal trainers. I actually use more than the treadmill and elliptical with confidence now. I'm feeling better and stronger even if I don't feel like my clothes fit differently. The scale at home hasn't shown any change, so I wasn't too excited for my first re-evaluation on Saturday.

SURPRISE! When I stepped on the scale, I lost 3.5 pounds! Success... sure it took eight weeks, but like I said I was at peace with the fact that I was starting and maintaining a healthy routine. I nearly doubled the number of sit-ups I was able to do the first time and my seated leg press went from 165 pounds to 225! The best part of it all was the inches lost... 2 inches on my hips, 2.5 inches on my thighs. And I gained an inch on each bicep!

So now the focus in our house has shifted to our diet... A few months ago, my friend Denise told me about an iPhone app called my fitness pal where you can record calories, water consumption and workouts (both cardio and strength). My goal over the next four weeks is to really focus on my calories, especially when I go home next week. I know it's going to be super hard at home so I'm mentally preparing myself... and planning to take time to workout while I'm away.

So all in all, I love my trainer! Never doing the same thing from week to week is great. After yesterday's workout, muscles in my arms and lower legs are sore for the first time. Here's to another good 8 weeks ahead.

Monday, May 16

Last Resort...

...okay, not my LAST last resort, but close enough. If you are a follower of my blog (Alyssa) I apoligize to you for the repeatitive nature of my blog since moving. David and I have decided to hire personal. Over the last year, I have gained enough weight that I can no longer fit into my size four jeans I so happily purchased but could only wear for such a short time. I'd like to blame the stress of moving across the country, and then the stress of looking for a job, and then keeping up with my job... but to honest, I have nothing to blame it on. Instead of heading to the gym after work or after dinner, I watched TV for an hour... justifying it by saying I deserved 20 minutes to relax. The problem is that it was never 20 minutes... it was more like 2 hours.

Today I had my first workout with my trainer... and I will from here on out be doing cardio 5x per week and strength training 3x per week.

My workout this week:
-bicep curl/press
-in and outs

Pretty basic and easily handled. Goodbye lemon loaf and chocolate chip cookies... eye on the prize: 130lbs by September 1.


Monday, May 2

Easter, Eh?

Two weeks ago for Easter, David and I took off on a weekend getaway to Vancouver, Canada. After boarding the pup at the farm, we drove for about 3.5 hours to the Canadian border.

With passports in hand we braced ourselves for a lengthy wait at immigration. (Since neither of us had even driven across the border, we weren't sure how long it would take.) To our pleasant surprise we only had to wait with about 7 cars for about 5 minutes. Once we crossed into Canada, I was able to see the line the other direction. This traffic was bumper to bumper across three lanes of highway for about 3 miles. Mental note... stop at the last bathroom bathroom in Canada.

Once arriving in Vancouver, we spent the day in Stanley Park. It reminded me of Forest Park... with an aqaurium, lots of walking/bikeriding/roller-blading paths, and artists and vendors dispersed around. One distinct difference...
... the view of the city skyline from the sea wall. We spent the majority of our day enjoying the lovely weather in a very pretty park.

On Saturday after breakfast we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park. This I was dreading... Last year I went ziplining in Jamaicaand had to cross a suspension bridge and that was the most terrifying part of the whole trip. Not hanging from a cable over an enormous jungle, but the dinky suspension bridge between two tree tops. This bridge was not at all. It was huge and beautiful.

Then it was off to Light House Park... more pretty Vancouver skyline, a beach, and you guessed it... A LIGHT HOUSE!

Once we finished there we decided to have lunch, pack up our stuff and head home a day early. We had done what we planned to do... and didn't see any reason to stay another night.

Which brings me to the cross back over the border... only 30 minutes and five lanes of traffic. SCORE! I did have some time to get out of the car and take a few pictures.
The Peace Arch at the United States/Candian Border (on the Canadian side).
Again, but this time looking from U.S. soil.

We spent Easter at home with Mogley... it rained and we stayed in, satisfied with our decision to end the trip on sunny weather.