this past weekend kirk and i gave ourselves the gift of a clean house. remember my new year's resolution to clean for 20 minutes a day in order to keep my house a happy clean house? well, that lasted about 2 months. and i'm pretty sure i haven't cleaned my house since. i do plan to re-instate the resolution as soon as summer (aka free time) begins. anyway, i really enjoy my house, especially clean. it's very comforting. i opened up the windows and let the breeze circle through the house while i planted myself in my bed and read books for most of the weekend... other than the bit when i was cleaning. i decided to take a picture of my clean room to show you so that you can understand why that was just about the perfect weekend for me...
...isn't it so comfy looking??? natural light, breezy, dark walls making it small and cozy, fluffy pillows, wrinkly-looking duvet, piles of antique quilts from my grandmothers and great-aunt stacked in the armoire, clothes and clutter put away, the smell of lemon-y furniture polish, the sound of my wind chime drifting in through the open window, and plenty of books waiting to be read... perfect.

then, i realized that i probably never showed you my new bed.
you'll remember that i ordered it back in november. unfortunately it was delivered minus a few key parts so we ended up having to return the ENTIRE bed so they could send us a new bed (exactly the same bed, mind you) but with all the appropriate bits and bobs so that we could actually put it together and use it for sleeping! this delivery-return-redelivery process took many months and resulted in a $100 gift card and free delivery after i very nicely told restoration hardware that i was less than satisfied with the experience. but, in the end, i received the bed and i'm very happy with it and my room looks like an adult bedroom and not a college dorm.

i also never showed you the great dresser i found on craigslist! you know i have a problem with dressers. can't seem to get enough.
ok, back to my original topic: i find it rather strange that i equally (but for entirely DIFFERENT reasons) enjoy being at school with loads of noisy, energetic students, and all of my exceptional co-workers, AND being at home alone in my room with a stack of books, napping cats, and a pleasant-y breeze. seems a little bipolar, yes? anyway, this got me thinking: what is the most comfortable room in your house and what makes it so comfortable?


a little self-admiration, if i may

earlier this month i completed my final paper, typed my last words, wrote the last sentence of many to complete my masters degree! yay! i finished my last assignment on the same day as kirk and my anniversary and it was also the busiest week of the school year, so it was a bit overlooked. but now i would like to take this moment to congratulate myself. i am asking that you now address me as "master." ok, not really, i just wanted to bask in the light of being DONE for a minute. i also found out that i finished in the top 10% of graduate students at Emporia State University. i don't know if that is very prestigious or not, since it's a rather small university. well, thanks for allowing me a braggart-y moment. it will never happen again. unless i get another masters. or a doctorate. then i'll be insufferable!


how to have fun in kansas city

last weekend, kirk and i had a mini-getaway to kansas city (ok, not really a getaway, considering i work in the metro area every day and it's really only 40 minutes from home, but still "away") for our anniversary. we stayed downtown and tried to participate in as many local fun activities as we possibly could in less than 24 hours. here's some shots to tell the story...

on friday we went to the west bottoms to check out the antique shops and flea market area that occupy the first floors of several old warehouse buildings. not only is this a perfect use of old buildings and a fun area to explore, but the shops had a lot of great finds and they seemed to be reasonably priced. we bought an old pull-down map of kansas that we plan to hang in our living room. i'll post pictures of it once i have it up.
friday night we went out to the "K" to watch the Royals. here's alex gordon running the bases after his home run. it was also "fireworks friday." good times.
so, after the game we were hungry and the only places open near our hotel were QUITE expensive...not exactly in our plan for the weekend, but what were we to do?? so, we splurged on a very tasty dinner of mahi tuna, potato gnocci, and fried zucchini. as fate would have it, we also managed to get a hotel room with a view of a brick wall, located directly below the massively loud air conditioning unit for the entire hotel, and directly between the rooms reserved for a wedding party (bachelor party on the left and bachelorette party on the right). after being awoken several times in the night and early morning with the plethora of sounds, we decided we would not be paying full price for this room. at check out, we politely mentioned the variety of issues and the very nice lady at the desk sympathetically discounted our room and took off the parking charge. she wondered why we were not given a better room considering we had made our reservations over a month before...i wondered the same, but appreciated that the discounted hotel room helped me to feel better about the very expensive mahi tuna.

after this, we walked down to the city market for breakfast. we enjoyed the scents of the spice market, the pastries from Bloom Bakery, the view of the city, and coffee before we headed for home.


learning our history

if you want to know more about one of my favorite topics in U.S. history, or if you, like myself, enjoy being a lifelong learner, i just have to tell you to please, please, if you do nothing else this week, watch Oprah on wednesday, may 4. if you're not an Oprah-watcher, i apologize for being cliche, or pop-culture, or whatever, but on wednesday, she will be reuniting the Freedom Riders, civil rights activists that were the heart of the non-violence movements in the south in the 1960's. one of my favorite heroes in history, Congressman John Lewis, will be on the show to talk about that time in his life as he marched along MLK, Jr and many others. i hope that it will be a show that demonstrates hope, reconciliation, and redemption. i plan to watch it by myself and cry until i am satisfied that all the tears are out. then, i plan to show it to my students since we studied non-violence movements and John Lewis earlier this year. but, first i have to get the crying out of the way! please watch this very important show with me!

and, if you would enjoy fictional reading that shines a light on that same era in history, you should definitely read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, one of my favorite reads of 2010, if not ever!