HERE'S THE DEAL WITH THE BLOGGING...
I thought I got better after I moved to Utah to go to school at BYU. I should give myself some credit... I really do feel like I improved somewhat.
But there always seems to be that occasional person I unintentionally leave out of the loop (lately it happens to be my brother, who I have made a very serious promise to - first knowledge of pregnancy when that occurs - in an effort to fix my delay in notifying him about kind of important events in my life such as getting engaged and moving to Houston... no big deal. Thank goodness he is very forgiving)
That is all to say this blog is not intended as a replacement for calling all my friends and family about what is going on, but just to keep you updated on fun stories and events as they happen. It is also just going to be a place where I can practice writing, which is important for a Language Arts teacher... (don't judge my grammar and thank goodness for spell check). (When I say writing, don't expect essays and poetry and short stories - unless those short stories are true and have to do with crazy 13 year-olds)
Notification 1: I will not do this regularly
Notification 2: I am not much of a blogger and so this will probably never look very cute
Notification 3: Sometimes I can get wordy when I start typing. I like the quote from the movie Lincoln, "I'd give shorter sermons, but once I start I'm too lazy to stop." Feel free to skim or just lie and write "I loved your post!" in the comments to make me feel better :)
Notification 4: When I share stories from school all names will be changed to protect the innocent, and my job. Plus, you should probably just know I'm going to be overly optimistic about my job on here out of fear from news stories where teachers lose their jobs over a FaceBook status where they complained about something with the school/district. Plus, why would I complain anyways, I am teaching at the BEST school, in the BEST district, in the most wonderful and perfect state in the union.... how could I ever complain?
WE MADE IT TO HOUSTON!(This actually happened about six weeks ago, I apologize for the late notice. Please see paragraphs 1-3 above for explanation)
And all the people said, "You will love it!" "Houston is great!" "You are going to fall in love with Texas!" "You are going to have huge Texas pride, just you wait!" "We moved down there and never wanted to leave!" "Everyone is so nice down there!" "Even the water tastes like sweet nectar!"
(No one ever told us that last one, but that's just to bring up the point that the water here is seriously really nasty and we are very grateful for our Brita filter)
I guess I will have to wait to see if all of those statements come true. Right now I'm a little bitter about Texas... its actually (kind of) funny... but before I complain, I should make the following note:
TO TEXAS' CREDIT: The people down here are very nice. I cannot rave enough about the amazing people I work with. They are incredibly helpful and kind. We love the people we go to church with, they are FABULOUS! We have already made friends down here.
Now that is out of the way, if you ever move to Texas, please bookmark this page for the best reference you will found on what NOT to do. Learn from my mistakes and you will have no bitter feelings in your heart :)
IF YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR NAME: Be sure to spell your new name correctly and DON'T FORGET TO ASK FOR THE ADDITIONAL PAGE! They will automatically give you a paper that says your card is on the way. However, this is actually not enough and will do you very little good. Apparently there is a secret second page they won't give you unless you ask for it (my employer kept telling my about this secret second page... I didn't ask for it, who would think to ask for that?). ALSO, they will rip up your social security card BUT you need it to get a Driver's License... I think the secret second page is supposed to cover you for that. Also, be sure to spell your new name correctly! Did I already say that? (Side note, if your card takes longer than 2 weeks to get to you, you are supposed to call. They will tell you your expected wait time is 24 minutes, really it is about 40. I still haven't received my CORRECT card after 5 weeks and am technically a MacKey right now, not a MacKay... I'm praying I don't have to make a third trip to the Social Security office... but 3 seems to be the trending number in my life right now)
REGISTERING YOUR CAR IN TEXAS: They only take cash or check. (I learned that my first visit) They also don't like Utah car insurance. (I learned that my second visit) The website says to just bring proof of insurance, but there are a handful of states whose car insurance Texas doesn't like. We found that Geico was the cheapest here right now, FYI. Also, you must register your car in Texas if you would like to get a Driver's License... Don't worry, my car is officially registered in Texas after trip #3.
GETTING A TEXAS DRIVER'S LICENSE: You need to register your car in Texas before they will give you a license (I learned that my first visit). You also need something with your Social Security number on it (I learned that my second visit), they ripped up my Social Security card while I was at the Social Security office and I didn't think to ask for the secret page and so I was left high and dry. The website says they are open on Saturdays, but don't get too excited thinking you will be able to not have to rush after work to get this done, they are only open for election IDs (thankfully I noticed the fine print before I made a third trip. We will save that trip #3 for Monday after school, the day before my license expires... hopefully the third time is the charm or I am SOL).
Seriously though, I wish I had someone to prevent all those mistakes, so if ever you move to any new state, especially Texas, check the state websites carefully, read the fine print, and ask people.
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS PLACE
- The people (please see above for explanation about the awesomeness that is the people we are surrounded by)
- Our jobs (even thought we have different challenges, Garrett is enjoying the projects he is working on and I really love the students I get to spend time with every day)
- Our ward (it is such a blessing to be a member of the Mormon church. The temporal perks alone should probably convince everyone they should join, ha. It has made all the difference in helping us to get adjusted to life in this new place)
- The food (O.MY.GOODNESS GRACIOUS it is most delicious and I am experiencing new food from all around the world. Houston is famous for its diversity, its food, and (by default) its diverse food. We really love the Phoenicia Cafe - it was great to eat really good shawarma again.)
- The rain (I love thunderstorms)
- Seeing all the green trees once you get out of the city limits
- The museum district in downtown Houston is really beautiful
- There are a lot of free things to do if you are willing to drive...
- We (meaning really just I...) are looking forward to a warmer winter :)
- Last but not least... The fact that technology makes it so easy for us to stay connected to those we love in Utah, Tennessee, and all over the world really...
Our overall impression of Houston... It is very different and just really, really, really, really, BIG. Like I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around it BIG.
OUR GARDEN! (It looks horrible right now)
These books were generously donated to our classroom! I am so excited to start reading these with the students Monday!
We went to a Skeeters game (baseball) and this slightly smelly mascot sang "happy first game to you!" while poking my face repeatedly... It was a overall a wonderful experience.
I just really like this picture, it's from our (short) honeymoon in Park City. Goodbye Utah! We will visit you again soon :)