Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roses are red...

The roses are in full bloom right now and they are gorgeous! They are everywhere too! So many people have planted rose bushes because they just grow well here. I have been collecting pictures of all the different roses in my neighborhood to post on here. Enjoy!

The roses are massive!

A perfect red, red rose

Mitchell is holding the one rose that has bloomed in our yard

Purple roses - my favorite!

I know roses grow in Texas but I don't think they thrive as well as they do here. I wish you could smell these roses as you see the pictures. It's just magnificent and yes, I did stop to smell the roses...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How I spend my time...

I found a place to volunteer in Sacramento. Here's the story...

The place is called Alternatives and it is a pregnancy resource center for women with unplanned pregnancies. I am a client advocate. We have signs up outside that offer free pregnancy tests so that is what women are coming in for. When they come in, they fill out a paper that gives us all their information including what they would choose to do if they are pregnant: parent, adoption, abortion or undecided.

After they fill out the paper, one of us client advocates brings them back to a counseling room and sits down to chat with them. We have a series of questions we have go through with them that gets some basic information about their cycles, birth control, previous pregnancies, etc. It sound pretty cut and dry so far but while we are going through the questions, we are doing our best to make the woman feel cared for and supported. A lot of times they open up and share information about some of the stress in their life and maybe some past decisions they are still dealing with. We are a Christian organization and we hope/pray that the woman would not choose to abort the baby but we in no way try to manipulate them to keep them from doing that.

After spending some time with the woman, she goes and takes her urine pregnancy test with either a nurse or she does it herself. If she's not pregnant, we have plenty of information to give them/talk through with them about STDs and their sexual choices. If it's positive, we offer free ultrasounds so they can come back and get to see their baby and hear the heartbeat. We also have a parenting class that she can go through if she qualifies. In that parenting class she has the opportunity to earn "mommy money" and shop in our "nook" that has tons of donated baby clothes, blankets, formula, baby food, etc. If the father of the baby is in the picture then they are encouraged to attend all of this with the mom.

I only volunteer once a week right now. I do pregnancy test appointments/walk-ins and am currently going through the parenting class with a girl who has a one month old baby. It is a blast. The other women who work and volunteer there are awesome and we have fun together while we're there. We pray a lot. The clients who come in are precious and I love getting to know them and help them. I love the opportunities we have to talk about God and show the women His love. It's a huge blessing and I am so thankful I found Alternatives!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Big Spill

Ah, my bad luck continues...

On Tuesday afternoon, I went for a run around my neighborhood, something I have done several times since moving here. This time, however, it didn't end well. I had already done my usual lap that is about 1.5 miles and was on my second lap when the sidewalk suddenly reached out and grabbed my foot. At about the time I realized I was falling, I hit the sidewalk. BAM! My first thought after landing was if anyone saw it happen. No one was around... perfect! If I get hurt and people show pity/concern for me, I'm going to cry. If I can just walk it off, I'm fine. I was up on my feet and walking back home before anyone could see me.

The sad thing was, I was literally as far away from home on my route that I could have been so I had about a 20 minute walk ahead of me with a bleeding leg, two bleeding knees and a bleeding hand. Not cool. I kept my eyes down as I passed people and kept on walking. I texted Mitchell to let him know what happened and he received this lovely picture...
And then I took this one once I got home

Now three days later, things are healing well but I'm still not wearing pants because it hurts too bad on my leg. I've never fallen like that before and I am very thankful that it was just my skin that has to heal and not my bones. It could have been a lot worse and it makes a good story!

In other good news, I took and passed the test I have to take to get certified to substitute/teach in California! Whoop!

Easter Weekend

Our first Easter as a married couple was a lot of fun! One of my friends from college, Valerie, came to visit her best friend, Jessica, who lives close to Sacramento. Jessica and I are friends too because we had several classes together so we were all able to hang out together! We spent Friday evening in Cafe Bernardo chatting and catching up for a couple hours. Saturday we went to a place called Petroglyphs where you pick a piece of pottery and paint it. Mitchell was a good friend on Saturday and went to help one of our friends from church move.
Cafe Bernardo with Valerie and Jessica
My creation at Petroglyphs: an olive oil jar

On Sunday, Mitchell and I went to church together and enjoyed the great music that chokes you up on Easter morning (i.e. In Christ Alone) and a great message from our pastor. Afterwards, one of our friends from our Sunday school class invited us to Easter lunch with their family. We were glad to have people to spend Easter with. When we got over there though, there was like 30 family members so it was a bit overwhelming at first. But when we sat down to eat, we met a fun, young couple and had fun conversation with them.
Car washing on Easter!

The only picture I have of our first Easter is us driving through a car wash... lame!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Perplexing weather

I am the biggest ninny about being cold. From now on, anytime we have the opportunity to move to a new place, I am going to do extensive research on the weather before saying yes. It's April 6th and I'm still wearing winter clothes. Something just doesn't seem right about that and my California friends are making fun of me for being perplexed by it.

Here is what our forecast in Sacramento is:

Here is what I think I should be experiencing for this time of year:

My southern girl mind can't wrap itself around the fact that I am still wearing long sleeves, pants and a jacket at this time of year! I have realized the amount of winter clothes I have only allows for about 2 months of winter, not the 5 months of winter we have here. Solution: beef up my winter wardrobe for next year. :D 

I realize that most of you probably think our forecast in Sac looks pretty good but like I said, I'm a baby about being cold. I also realize that considering today is Good Friday, there are things significantly more important than the weather and me being cold, but I just had to share...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Revenge of the Scooter

Please refer to my earlier post about the Scooter Experience. Things were looking up for me and the scooter but after yesterday, we are done.

Yesterday, I needed to make a run to the DMV to finish up registering our CR-V in California now that we own the car (yay!). We have not yet begun to register the scooter (shh!) but first will need to pass the driving test to get motorcycle licenses. There is a course at the DMV that you have to successfully drive to obtain your license. Since I need practice, I decided to drive the scooter to the DMV. The night before Mitchell forgot to put the scooter on the charger so it was dead in the morning. My appointment wasn't until the afternoon so Mitchell said if I put it on the charger now, then it would be charged by the time I needed to go. It was. I started it on the first try and was on my way.
The course at the DMV. You must keep your front tire in between these two lines the entire way. It's about a foot wide.

I had a great trip to the DMV and parked the scooter next to the bike rack in front of the DMV. I was in and out really quickly and was ready to head home. I got set up on the scooter and went to start it and the battery made the sound it makes when it's dead. Great. I tried it a few times with no luck. I cranked on the gas and tried the starter and the scooter roared to life and lurched forward. Before I could react, the scooter was out of my control and fell to the ground. Well now I am in front of the DMV with a dead scooter on the ground and no idea what to do. So I wheeled it around back so I could work with it while no one was staring at me. There was nothing I could do. The battery was dead.

My first thought was to call Mitchell but then I realized, what can he do? He's at work with no vehicle because he walked that day. Even if he borrowed someone's car to get to me, what could he do? Only way to move the scooter is a truck or trailer which we do not have access to out here. So my decision: push the scooter home. I am a little over 2 miles away.

An hour later, I made it home. The whole time I was thinking how I was going to tell Mitchell that the scooter and I are officially done. It's safer for me if I don't mess with it. It's better for the scooter if I stay away from it (I have now knocked it over twice, once with the car, second trying to start it). Sadly, the scooter and I just did not work out. Mitchell and the scooter work together greatly and I am glad for that. Here's Mitchell's reaction when I told him:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

1st Pancake Sunday in Sacramento

We used to have pancakes for dinner almost every Sunday night for awhile with our friends in Texas. Now, we are bringing it to Sacramento! Here was our very first one!

Mill Valley trip

Last weekend, Mitchell and I got away for the night! We bought a Living Social deal for a one night stay at a hotel in Mill Valley (north of San Francisco) a while ago and finally used our coupon. As soon as Mitchell got off work on Friday, we got in the car and headed west. The weather was beautiful and springy in Sacramento so we felt on top of the world! We got to our hotel in about an hour and a half and checked into our room! Mitchell photo bombed this pic I was trying to get of him relaxing on the bed...

After dropping things off at the room, we did a little googling to find a fun place to eat in Sausalito. We drove down to a place called Saulito and got the best seat in the restaurant. The restaurant overlooked the marina and bay that was right outside. Our seats were a little elevated and we could see right out and watch the sun set. Dinner was delicious!

We woke up on Saturday morning to pouring rain. :( But no worries, we had a plan. San Francisco has a newly remodeled science museum called Academy of the Sciences. It was awesome! The best science museum I have ever been to. I was in science nerd heaven. Check out some pics from the day...
 Every science museum needs a T.rex skeleton!
 Penguins! We got to watch the biologist feed them.
 Hissing cockroaches from Madagascar. I've held them before, nbd.
 In the rainforest!
 Mitchell really wanted a butterfly to land on him in the rainforest!
Swimming in the aquarium 
 Touching a live starfish!
OMG - an albino alligator!

When we left around 3:30pm, we walked out to a beautiful gorgeous, clear skies day! We did some scoping out of new areas in the city that we'll have to remember for the future. We found one spot that had a great view of the Golden Gate bridge.
 The Shakespeare Garden
The Legion of Honor Thinking Man... and Mitchell!

We hopped back in the car and drove to the little spot I know well for taking a great picture with the bridge behind you. I have yet to walk across the bridge but I will soon! It was a bit windy that day. After we took this great picture, we got in the car and drove back to Sacramento!

It was a 24 hour get-away and super fun!