Oct 30, 2008

One day we WILL get married

We don't know when that day will be but darn it, one day, we will get married. Two good friends had their reception hall mess up their wedding date request and now their wedding is the day before ours. I chatted with the other bride and we thought we could make it work with some crafty planning. But Ross pointed out how poopy any of our guests will be at our wedding from partying all night at the other wedding.

We're investigating changing the wedding...yes I know, again. I guess when I thought we could do it all in one weekend I didn't realize how many of Ross' friends overlapped with the other wedding. I still think we probably could do it, I mean I know we could, but it all goes back to it being our wedding. And if he thinks its really going to bring down the party, we'll research our options. But word to the wise - after this is researched and decided on I dare you, in fact I double dare you, to mess with our wedding date. Just see how that goes for you.

Oct 26, 2008

The Witch Pumpkin

The Witch Pumpkin
Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
What happens when the only pumpkin carving tool set at HEB is Disney Princess? Ross and Cheryl carve an awesome witch pumpkin (yes, using a pre-printed template but so what. They just drew the picture. We were the ones who carved this bad boy).

I wish we had trick-or-treaters to show this off to. Maybe we'll have to find someone with a house and become squatters on Halloween. I mean someone needs to see our handy work!

Btw, I haven't figured out how to take photos in the dark of something that is illuminated. I had the same problem in Sydney when I wanted to take night pictures of the Opera House. I know a witch pumpkin and the Sydney Opera House are worlds apart (or at least hemispheres) but its the same concept giving me trouble. Advice is much appreciated.

Oct 25, 2008

Russell the Swimming Puppy

Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
He's not really a puppy anymore but you try telling Ross that. It is a beautiful day here so Ross and I picked up "the boys," Russell and Quaid and took them down the lake. Actually to the same place where we took our engagement pictures. Russell had never swam before and Ross was a very proud papa when Russell learned how. If ever a man and a dog were made for each other...

Oct 16, 2008

So much for that blog

Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
Well I was doing a play-by-play of the Sox game (which is now in the bottom of the ninth and tied at 7) but mid-blog, Explorer shut me down. Shut me down I tell you.

And as for the photo, the blog had nothing to do with it. Ross says this is his fav photo from our engagement pics and so I thought it would be nice to include it in the blog. Because what's the fun of engagement photos if not to look at them?

Oct 14, 2008

Good Golly

Today I learned that 10 of AISD's 14 high schools did not meet the No Child Left Behind standards. I'll admit that I don't know a whole lot about No Child Left Behind but from how the Statesman article explains it, this is ridiculous.

It seems that 60% of students must pass the reading section of TAKS and 50% must pass the math section. Ten of 14 schools didn't do that?! Come on! What are we teaching the kids then? I'm sure its not that all the teachers just up and said "eh we don't want to teach this year."

There are a lot of possible problems. The teachers and administrators could be so busy dealing with issues like bullying, violence and teen pregnancy that actual teaching falls to the wayside. Classrooms could be incredibly overcrowded. On the same token, there may not be enough teachers. Resources, even as basic as books, could be lacking. Perhaps there is a large number of non-English speakers in some of these schools. I am sure the problems that exist are many and varied. I am also sure that AISD is aware of many of them and working to address the issues. But we can't address them too soon. These kids will be our employees, neighbors, soccer moms, voters and more soon enough. If we want to keep them off of government services, we need to prepare them with at least basic literacy and math skills. AISD - GET ON IT!

Meanwhile my inner Girl Scout says "THIS is why Girl Scouts is important." We have programs that help girls learn these skills in fun nurturing settings. We can't solve all the world's problems but we're doing our best to help these girls succeed in school and in life.

Oct 13, 2008

Engagement pics

Originally uploaded by cheryl_lynn425.
We got our engagement pics from Jen this morning. You have to love the less than 24 hour turn around when working with family. It's the best.

Oct 12, 2008

Glad THAT'S Over

I don't care to go into detail but suffice it to say, since the wedding switch-a-roo last Friday nothing has been easy. I am so glad the week's over and a new one has started!!

We took our engagement pictures today and I should have them from Jen tomorrow. I'm really excited! From looking just at the tiny camera screen, we seem to have several good ones. I love the 360 bridge as the background. Austin's such a cool town!

Oct 3, 2008


ACL. What's that you say? Only one of the worst possible events to coincide with a wedding in Austin. I'd say the only two that rival ACL are SXSW and UT graduation. Guess what weekend ACL is on for 2009? Yup, the wedding.

Masses take over the city. Loud music loving intoxicated masses. Great fun if you are loud music loving and intoxicated. Not great fun if you are a bride. Folks, I'm talking no hotel rooms, expensive flights (if you buy like now) and no parking at all in town. I looked on Google for a good image to show the crowds but I just can't find anything that does it justice. Suffice it to say, KBR told me changing the wedding was a stroke of genius and my reception hall and photographer didn't even question it as soon as I said "ACL is the original weekend but..." They are Austinites; they get it. During ACL you do one of two things: attend and party all weekend or stay as far away as possible.

All that said, our nuptials are now taking place on October 11, sans ACL.

Oct 2, 2008

Ms. Political Commentator

Ok on the assumption that you are interested, here's my commentary

The Private Sector:
Sarah Palin, we would leave it to the private sector if the private sector was living up to our needs. I agree that its ideal for the private sector to take care of the people but if they aren't doing it, which they aren't, the government needs to step in. But Biden, she made a good point about increasing taxes on households with an income of $250K or more, that's going to hurt small business owners. Tie game on this issue.

Tax Cuts for Oil:
Quit it! They've had record profits and I am over it. I think Joe was on my side here but to be honest, they lost me a little.

Bankruptcy: McCain supported a bill to make it harder for Americans to file for bankruptcy. Good. I may sound cold and mean and hard but I pay my debt, you can pay yours. Folks with luxury items should not be declaring bankruptcy. Sell a car, sell your toys. Biden says bankruptcy courts should be able to adjust interest rates and principals on mortgages. Interest rates but not principals. I think this one goes to Palin.

East Coast Politicians:
Watch what you say Palin; there's a lot of east coasters out there and you don't want to insult them.

Climate Change:
Palin says its not all man made; there are cyclical changes at hand too. She said she doesn't want to argue about causes. I think that's a little thickheaded of her. If we can identify causes we can prevent it from happening again or worsening. However I do agree with her on drilling in Alaska so long as we keep it in check. Biden says climate change is man made and believes knowing the cause is critical for developing a solution. He also wants to create jobs through energy sources like clean coal. Solution and job creation. Point to Biden.

Same-Sex Benefits: Equal treatment for same-sex and heterosexual couples by the Dems. Palin is hesitant as it possibly threatens the definition of marriage as one man and one woman. Yet she is clear that she is tolerant on two adults deciding who their partner is. Some legal concessions could be made for same-sex though marriage will always be, in her mind, one man and one woman. Neither party will redefine marriage. Guys, neither of you are really living up to my standards. A disappointing tie game on that one.

Withdrawal from Iraq:
What Palin says about pulling out early be dangerous makes sense. But I also like the idea of making the Iraqis responsible for themselves. However, this isn't my strong subject so I'm easily lost. We'll call it a tie.

Biden v. Obama:
Palin's wiping the floor with him using quotes from the primaries. Wiping the floor I tell you!

Diplomacy: I feel like I've missed something. Why shouldn't we meet with other world leaders, even ones we adamantly disagree with? Aren't meetings like this good for promoting cooperation and collaboration? We need a few preconditions - your guys won't kill our guys mid-meeting. But I think to be taken seriously and to show that we respect their power, we need to have meetings. Be those meetings of presidents or high level officials, meetings need to happen. Point to Biden.

Israel: I think the other countries in the world need to get off Israel's back. What's the story here anyway? Is it because Isreal is the home of holy lands and everyone wants them? If so, I can see the conflict, but can't we all worship the same holy places regardless of the political lines? Just observations and thoughts. Both candidates are pro-Israel so no real commentary on that.

Nuclear Weapons:
Palin says its ok for us to have them because we use them as a determent. However countries like North Korea can't have them. I agree that Americans are smart enough not to use them because the effects would be astounding. But isn't cocky of us to say what other countries can and cannot have nuclear weapons? A double standard it seems. If there is a solid concrete reason/treaty for this, I'd like to hear about it. But the way its being presented, its presenting us as superior. I certainly don't want terrorists having nuclear weapons but since they are so dangerous, we shouldn't have them either.

Well folks, I hate to admit it but the foreign policy is losing my interest. I know I should pay closer attention but its just not where my interest is. That said, the political commentary of the night is now over. Cheerio