Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Happy Holidays!

This year we're snowed into our first home. I suppose that's not all bad- although there is something about mom's food, the ambiance of "home" with grandparents, siblings, relatives, mom and dad.....I wish we were there.

The weather is downright crummy for driving. Winds, ice,'s just not good. So we're staying put. Nate and I bought "Rummikub" and "Yahtzee" for our holiday at home. This is Charlie's first Christmas, so we'll celebrate with more dog gifts than he'll ever care about. My brother might brave the roads to come across town tonight or tomorrow. My cousin Clint and his family, and Emily & Brian are also really close, so they might come too. We'll just have a "kids Christmas" here since we can't be home with mom and dad.

I haven't blogged for quite some time. Things have been going fine. Busy, as usual. Today I'm drinking lots of coffee and reading "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett. So far, so good.

And, as my brother says, "There's a storm 'a brewin'".
Games, food and family tonight. Should be pretty great considering the circumstances.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dad's Zucchini soup

We had a few friends over for dinner tonight. It was a cold, blustery October evening and we thought soup sounded delish. So, we made two different kinds. The first was my dad's zucchini soup. I typed up the recipe for our friend, Mike, and I thought I might as well post it for everyone else too! I know zucchini season is ending, but if you've got any leftover, this would be a great way to use it!

Mike Mullen's Zucchini Soup

1 pound Italian Sausage (I used the Johnsonville mild ground sausage)
1/2 pound ground turkey (I used 1.2 pounds from a ground turkey package)
2 c. diced celery
2 pounds sliced zucchini
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2- 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes (don't drain)
1- 14. oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 green pepper chopped
shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

Brown sausage and turkey with onion and celery.
Add remaining ingredients except for green pepper, zucchini and cheese.
Cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Add green pepper and zucchini.
Cover and simmer 10 more minutes.
Garnish with cheese.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary, my Love!!!

This post is dedicated to my incredible husband, Nate.

Today we are celebrating our first anniversary. Our year has gone faster than I ever expected. We've learned to love, we've fallen farther for each other, and we've shared experiences and have memories from our first year of marriage that can never be taken by anyone. That is something special. No one else in this entire world will have our memories, our inside jokes, and the understanding that we have for one another.

Nate has been a great teacher, a wonderful friend, and the best bed-buddy I could have ever asked for. :) This year I've learned more about myself than I thought possible. We agree that we've learned how selfish we really are, that it's hard to love sometimes, but that at the end of the day, crawling into bed with your best friend by your side is one of the greatest joys in life. We've grown in our culinary expertise (!) and experienced a few flops as well... (*cough*zucchinichips*cough*)

We've had a wonderful weekend with family. My parents came down and Nate's parents came up. We spent the day with my family and met up with Nate's side for a spot of shopping and supper at a Habachi grill. Most of us caught the flying shrimp- although, I did get two chances, and that's my only excuse for catching it. Our parents surprised us with a husker stone for our yard and we took some family photos with it. Charlie is especially fond, as you can see. We ate yummy cake- a replicate of our wedding cake by the same wonderful baker- mmmmm! Emily and Brian came over, and the night was a wonderful reminder of how incredibly blessed we are by our families.

Today was a great day. We started it off with pumpkin spice lattes and the Buffalo Run. (We didn't run, especially not after pumpkin spice lattes!) We watched my best friend run and she did great! You can see her waving in one of the photos- mid race. :)

We then stopped at my brother's house to see his newest basement remodeling project, visited with my parents who were still in town, and found ourselves in the Celebrate section of the newspaper! What a great suprise! Our parents are the best!!!

Breakfast at the golf course was next- and the weather couldn't have been better! The company couldn't have been better!!! We so enjoyed each other today- a pure joy and blessing for our hearts. We went to the movie, The Time Traveler's Wife, which wasn't as good as the book, but still pretty good.

So, we're blessed. We're thankful. And we look forward to the life ahead of us- together!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Still storming.

I'm really not trying to be Debbie Downer. But school is really overwhelming me right now. We have what seems like a MILLION meetings- and no time to catch up on classroom stuff. By the time I've sat through a meeting or two, cleaned up the room, and gathered my ducks to sit down to do some planning, it's 5 o'clock and my carpool is ready to roll. Eeesh...

So I'm bringing things home every night to work on and the frustration continues to build. I've been challenged by the sermon this last week at Berean- BC talked about how our society "lives for 5 o'clock and weekends". I don't want to do that- my calling is a 24 hour deal- at school, at home, in the car, on Monday morning, and on Saturday night. I don't get to decide when I'm going to live for the Kingdom and when I'm going to complain about "only 3 more hours" or "is it Friday yet?".

So, this post is honest. I'm frustrated and overwhelmed. This post is not written in defeat, however. I know this is my mission field and I'm excited about the challenge. I just hope God makes me a little stronger for this next season and gives me wisdom to work smarter not harder. (And a few more hours of planning time would be nice. :)

Take care, friends!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Storms and flowers

I love rain. Physical rain. Loud, fat, storming rain. Rain that invades my lungs and wakes my imagination. I love the inspiration I get from rain to be better; to love better; to create better.

This year I feel like it's raining in 1st grade. Although, not the wonderful, fresh fall or spring rains that I love. Here's an interesting and great metaphor that I received in an email today.

“little flowers never worry when the wind begins to blow…even little flowers know if it never, ever rains then they’d never, ever grow.” Sometimes as educators we may feel like we are facing storm after storm. As I learn and grow in this position, I am acutely aware storms are part of the job. But not the most important part, the rain is needed to harvest the positive outcomes.

It is ringing so true. I feel like this week has been a storm after storm after storm week. And I never open these "Lincoln educators" emails....but for some reason I did today. I'm glad I did. :) Keep growing, little Heather, keep growing!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Here's a video my friend, Ben Welstead put together from a recent trip to Haiti. It's incredibly beautiful and should be shared with many hearts. Thank God for willing servants and compassionate hearts.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I never put up photos of our basement bathroom. This little half bath is off of the family room with the fireplace. When we moved in, the countertop was green, the floor was a linoleum white with green diamonds, and she had an angel boarder. NOT. OUR. STYLE. Here you can see some before/after shots. I think we've made a good improvement. :)


After (Clearly):


Here’s the old floor with newly painted walls and countertop:


New laminate wood floor. And a soft fluffy rug…


New shelf and things.  :)


We also want to give a shout-out to Papa Eigsti for all his help with the floor. And for Mama Eigsti helping me run to Home Depot for all the man needs. :)  We really appreciate your help!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And I hear the voice of many angels sing...

This summer has NOT turned out to be what I expected. I've found that too much time by myself is not good for me. I become restless. I fail more. I stop digging deeper. I forget to get together with friends. My soul sort of shrivels...and I become an uglier version of me. This is not a "woe-is-me" post. I'm just saying. Heather + lots of time alone = no good.

I'm not created to be by myself. I'm not created to have loads of time on my hands. When life is busy, I'm incredibly productive, organized, and I feel a heck of a lot better about myself.

This summer I have not run. Well, Charlie and I ran ONCE last week....and he tripped me a handful of times. Perhaps that's why we haven't been back out with the Sauconys. :)

The last few messages at church have really hit home for both Nate and I. They've been on worship, affliction, and the vengeance of God. To write a fraction of the movement of my heart on these topics would take hours. (And Nate's parents are on the way over, so I haven't got the time)- However, I can share a tiny bit. I grew up in a very conservative Jesus-loving church. But worship when I was young consisted of pews, hymnals, a pipe organ and verse after verse after verse. The words to these songs hadn't meant much to me until just recently. The idea that these old hymns could speak so loudly to my heart; to my life AT. THIS. VERY. MOMENT, even though they were written hundreds of years ago; that what I'm going through can be expected; that there will be disappointments; that not everyone will have similar convictions; that friends will disappoint and life will seem lonely at times; people will make bad choices; we WILL be persecuted; "Christian" friends will shock me; "secular" friends will shock me.....all these things, I hadn't really considered.

In short, I've found a new freedom in worship. And I'm pretty stinkin' excited about it! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

They exist!!!!

Last week Nate heard lots of buzz at work about the "NEW COCONUT M&M'S!!!" For days we were on a search to find them. Hy-Vee, Super Saver, Target, Wal-Mart....nothing.

Then on Saturday, we stopped into a ghetto Walgreens and THERE THEY WERE!!!! They're pretty good. Nate liked them a lot. I liked them. I'd eat them again- but they're not as good as the Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms.

We had a really good weekend. Nate and I are finding in our first year of marriage that it's easy to get so wrapped up in home projects that we forget to spend time together- just the two of us- no projects. This weekend we didn't work on anything. We went to our friend, Mike's on Friday night for pizza and the movie, "Grand Torrino", which is a must-see. We shopped leisurely Saturday afternoon, enjoyed a fantastic service at Berean Saturday night, and had our slow Sunday morning with coffee, the newspaper, PJs, and french toast. We ended the weekend with "Big Brother" and the season finale of "America's Next Top Chef", and found ourselves under the moonlit sky on the deck last night with Charlie romping about in the yard. Life is good.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Girl Thomas!!!!!

My great friend, Martha, is having a baby girl!! She and Ryan already have twin boys- two years old in December, and she's due with her first little lady in November. Yesterday I bought some onesies and got my stitch on! Here's what we've got so far! The black heart is the only one that I've stitched over...but I kind of like them just plain. I might embroider some stems to the flowers...cutesie them up a little. I'll keep you posted!!

Marth, you're getting all of them!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Is it Tuesday? No..maybe it's Wednesday. Good grief. I seriously don't know.

Summer is quickly coming to an end....I go back to school in 2 weeks! I'm actually very excited to be back in a routine with my teacher friends and all the little people I love so much (students). I do NOT look forward to leaving poor Charlie at home for hours while we're at work. Nate does get lunch breaks and always comes home to eat, so he'll be able to let the pup out. But then back to the kennel until I come home. I've heard that dogs actually like their kennels because they feel safe and secure. He's a dog, he'll be fine, right? That's just until we can trust him enough to leave him out in the house while we're gone.

Anyway, my classroom is taking shape. I spent several hours there yesterday getting things ready, hanging posters and the alphabet, etc. I should go back in the next couple of days to keep hammering away...

Yesterday I made some pickles. Mom bought the cutest little cucumbers at the farmers' market on Saturday and forgot them in Lincoln. So I made them instead. I hope they turn out OK....

And I've been trying to finish the movie Mama Mia for 3 days now. I'm not an appreciator of musicals unless they're live on Broadway or the VHS of Annie, which I watched over and over and over as a small child. Dirty Dancing? Forget it. Footloose? Never gave it a chance. That movie Melissa H. loves....about the family and they sing and dance through the whole thing....what is it? SOUND OF MUSIC! I don't think I've ever gotten through the whole thing. I just don't like them. Mama Mia...I have to find out who her real dad is, so I'm making myself finish. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The last couple of weeks

A lot has happened since I posted last! Here's a quick rundown!

We had a Murder Mystery Dinner with a 50's theme on Friday night. Here we are in our costumes- thanks Molly for the awesome glasses! Uhhh....CANDY cigarettes, for your information. They just completed the gettup!

Nate was in Oklahoma for work last week so his mom and I drove down to visit her sister and niece in Tulsa. We spent a couple of days there shopping and doing girl stuff. :) We ate at a really cute restaurant called "Nibbles". Here we are: Judy, Linda, Molly, and me

When I dropped Charlie off at my parents' house, I found this beautiful flower in their yard. It's got some crazy name that I can't remember. Mom knows what it is. Starts with an M I think.....

Here I am with both dogs- Maddie from Norfolk and Charlie. It was HARD trying to get them both to look at the camera and sit. This was a failed attempt. :)

Speaking of failed attempts, for those of you who think everything I cook turns out, here's some proof that it doesn't always end up pretty. I tried a "Parmesan baked zucchini" recipe. They were supposed to be like zucchini chips.....but they got a little too toasty. I cut them too thin. Our house had a cloud of smoke for hours- and I even set the alarms off. AND I burned my beautiful baking sheets. Nice. :) Nate was a trooper though and still tried them. We both decided that they weren't my best dish. Oh well. Live and learn and continue to be a culinary adventurer!!

For those of you who have seen our basement half bath, the angel wallpaper is coming down TODAY! We've got paint and laminate wood floor we're going to try to figure out. I'll have before and after pictures for sure! TTYL!

Oh, and check out Charlie's blog. He did some posting today. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fail blog

Poor birds...

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Fresh from the farm

Yesterday I made raspberry lemonade with some raspberries we picked from the farm. Did I tell you about that? We picked all kinds of stuff- zucchini, apricots, beans, peas, raspberries, and I already have more strawberries than I know what to do with in my freezer. It was AWESOME! Thanks mama and papa Eigsti!

I wasn't sure what to do with the raspberries and there weren't really enough to freeze for a batch of something later. I saw a crazy idea in the newspaper for raspberry lemonade and gave it a whirl. It turned out pretty good- and you can see in the picture how delighted (or scary) I look to be drinking it!

I've got a skype date with my girl, Martha, in Michigan in a couple of minutes. Woo hoo!!!

I found out this morning that I get to move classrooms. I was crammed into a tiny little room for next year that is actually supposed to be used for reading recovery or some other small specialized classes. But since our numbers are so big, they're putting a 1st grade class in there. Well, one of the other teachers moved up to 4th grade, so now I get to have her full-sized classroom in the 1st grade pod. It's kind of confusing, but it's a good thing. I went in this morning and moved all my stuff to a corner in the new room. The old teacher isn't completely out yet, so I'm going to wait until she's ready for me to set up shop.

Next week Nate's mom and I are driving to Tulsa for a couple of days. He's going to be traveling for work and we have relatives there. I've never been to Tulsa, so it'll be a fun little getaway. We're only going for 3 days, so it'll be nice and short. Charlie is going to go visit Grandma and Grandpa Mullen up north. He LOVES them and I have a feeling he's going to have so much fun he won't even know we're not there!

Must go- Martha will be calling soon. Oh, and you can thank my awesome man for jazzing up my blog page. He's the best!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Coooookin' up a storm!

One of the many things I love about Nate is his adventurous spirit in the kitchen. He LOVES to try new foods, and I LOVE to cook them! We had some leftover steak from the 4th of July celebration at Mike's house- so we cut up some fresh onion and peppers and made some yummy fajitas. I had to take a picture because of all the fantastic colors. It was beautiful!

We also brought in a load of parsley to freeze ( I don't know what to do with it yet).

And some beautiful basil from the garden that turned into peso for dinner a couple of days ago. It was pretty good- pretty basil-y though. :) All it had was olive oil, garlic, basil and lemon juice. I've had some before that were more of a creamed basil...and that might be better. Although, not better for your midsection, or your arteries, for that matter. :)

Tonight I'm making a lemon butter chicken over bow tie pasta- recipe courtesy of my good friend, Amber, who lives in NYC. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009



Today's post is dedicated to my BFF forever! Rissa and I met in Kindergarten and have been friends ever since! Nate and I were able to take her with us to Mason's wedding over the weekend which lended lots of quality car time!

We asked Nate to take a photo of us. He did.

And then we got a real one. :) In addition to turning 25 today, she and her fiance' are getting the keys to their new house! They're getting married October 3rd. Tony will move in now and she'll join him in a few months. We're pumped for them! She's a GEM and he's one lucky man to have snagged her!!!
Love you, Rissa! Happy birthday!

Monday, June 29, 2009

New addition!

We've added someone new to the family! On Sunday morning, Nate and I drove down to pick up Charlie at HUA. You can visit his blog for photos, stories, etc. He's a sweet little guy and loves EVERYONE! If you're in town, stop by to meet the little fellow! He's as sweet as they come!

Friday, June 26, 2009


I thought I'd be better about blogging this summer!

Things are going really well here at the Eigsti house...we're getting more and more comfortable with the idea of this being our home. It feels like home. We love it. :)

Last weekend we went to Auburn to a rescue shelter for dogs. There were SO MANY there! :( HUA is a no-kill shelter and they bring in dogs from puppy mills, auctions, and sides of the highway, among other places, I'm sure.

The dog hunt has been an interesting one. Initially, Nate and I disagreed very much on what our family dog would look like. I grew up with a dog in our house since I was 3 years old. Nate grew up with zero dogs in the house. There was an occasional farm dog to help chase out tom cats, but no canines sleeping in his bed! Needless to say, the hunt for a happy medium was interesting, to say the least.

We both compromised and came up with a pretty good solution: a smaller-non-shedding-easy-to-be-around-kind-of-dog. (A dog in the house!) We went to HUA on Saturday after looking online at pups for weeks. A few times, we'd thought that we'd found the perfect little puppy in the classified ads, on craigslist or online- but then we'd realize they were heavy shedders or something else would fall through. So, off to HUA!

While we were there, we saw hundreds of dogs- young, old, fierce, timid, sad, shy, yippy, yappy, and beaten. We looked and looked. We walked through multiple complexes full of dogs waiting for their forever home. We'd found a few dogs that we thought might work, a few that were a little older, but who deserved a soft bed for the last remaining years. Then, there was one last stop. And that is where we found him.

The young man we were with walked up to the fenced in yard and hollered for "Dunston". He walked into the complex and came out with a happy little blond and white cocker spaniel on a blue leash with a big old smile on his face, tongue hanging and feet hopping out to meet us. Nate and I squatted down to greet him. He walked right up to Nate, stepped his big fat paws gently up Nate's lap and gave him a friendly sniff and, I'm pretty sure, a smile.

We've got a HUA volunteer coming today to talk with us about the breed and to do a home inspection. If everything goes as planned, we should be able to pick up our little guy on Sunday. I'm beyond excited. We did some "new pet" shopping last night, and I'll show you pictures as soon as I know it's a for-sure thing. I don't want to get TOO excited before we have the go-ahead.

We will be changing his name to Charles Widmore. For those of you who know who that is, congratulations! For the rest of you, Charlie will be what we call him. I hope that very soon I get to show you pictures of our new little prince. He might even have his own blog. And it may or may not already be created. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, my love!

Today is Nate's 29th birthday. It's appropriate for me to recap the last few years with my sweetheart. Here are a few photos I found from our journey.
Our first camping trip together- Beaver Creek, Colorado with some amazing friends.

I left to do my student teaching in Milwaukee in 2007. Those 5 months apart brought us a lot closer and gave us a little push to make things work.
This photo was taken with our first purchase together: a digital camera.

Nate has been an incredible example, encourager, and friend. His God-given patience surpasses my human mind. I am continually inspired and challenged by him. He encourages me to BLOOM and create. He pushes me to do the things I love, and never judges or berates. I have learned to love myself, my heart, and have seen, by his example, how to love others unconditionally with intention.

One of the first things I loved about him was how intentional he is. He seeks people. He pushes after them and strives to encourage in the midst of adversary. Together we've grown closer to the Lord, we've purchased our first house, and have definitely built a home in which we feel an immeasurable peace that can only be of the Lord. I look forward to the road ahead. I expect trials and hardships. I hope for joys and abundant blessings. I know that standing side by side, keeping our eyes focused on the Father, our future will be a beautifully written story; one to share, encourage, and inspire.

Nate, thank you for loving me. You are a blessing! There could never be a more beautiful you!

Here's to the next 70 years, my sweet. I love you!

By Your Side

Here's another one. Our church's youth worship team played this on Sunday. This one also hits home. Enjoy!

I will Rise- Chris Tomlin

I thought everyone listens to K-love (89.9 FM). I was surprised to find out a couple of months ago that a lot of my friends do not. There's nothing wrong with that, I just expected everyone to be listening to the same great music I do. (They're just listening to other great music that I don't know about!) Sometimes the music on K-love is cheesy, and some songs are great. Nate and I know that filling our heads and hearts with positive and encouraging music and news is something that sits high on our priority lists. In any case, I'm posting this song because some of you may not know it yet. It's beautiful. And I chose the clip that has just lyrics so you can really meditate on them and think about what this song is about.

Have a blessed day, my friends!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In a cloud

It's foggy. Our house is sitting in a cloud. ....

It's a rainy Sunday morning and we're doing what any normal home-owning couple would do. We went to church last night, slept in this morning, made a pot of coffee, sat down and read the paper together. Now Nate's working on switching out an ugly cannon light above the shower for a more modern $10 upgrade we found at Menard's. I'm still in my PJ's waiting for my turn in the bathroom, dreaming of the pancakes and coffee we'll have in an hour or so. I hope it rains all day. My garden could use it, and my father-in-law is a farmer. I have a new-found appreciation for rain since being introduced to the agriculture world.

Here are some things I love about being a homeowner: (in no particular order)

* turning the music up as LOUD as I want- which creates an excellent ambiance for my culinary adventures, sewing projects, and cleaning extravaganzas.

* hearing my doorbell ring

* wearing my garden clogs out to OUR garden to check on the progress of our produce

* talking through the fence at the neighbor's elderly beagle. He sticks his long nose as far as he can through the posts and just looks at me.

* sitting on the front porch with a glass of sun tea freshly brewed that afternoon

* knowing that when we hang photos or art, it'll stay there for a long time!

* talking about a good day to "bug-bomb" our house. Not because of the bugs, but because having to figure out the day to do it means that WE own the house and it's our responsibility. :)

Oh yeah, I'm officially done with school for this year. Additionally, I'll be teaching 1st grade next year at the same school. I'm excited- and just maybe I'll get a few of the same little friends that I had this year. We'll see. I will tell you that I've had dreams about the size of my new classroom. No joke, it's about 1/4 the size of my current room. Eek! I'll just have to be really creative with my space!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Settling in

Well, we're nesting. We're loving our new place and spending a ton of time working on different projects. It's a lot of fun- but a lot of work! Here's the house:

Mom and dad painted our master bedroom. One wall is chocolate- or hot fudge, as mom liked to call it.

This is our green kitchen (complete with power tools and stuff that still needs a home). I love how the color turned out.

These are my herbs that sit in the kitchen window. There are six: cilantro, oregano, basil, parsley, mint, and rosemary.

This was part of the wonderful moving crew that helped out on Saturday morning. And, of course, my new piano. (!!!)

More photos to come as we continue completing projects! :) Come visit soon!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We're IN!!!

We're officially moved into our new house! It started Friday afternoon with both sets of parents and a lot of scrubbing and rolling. We painted 3 rooms- AWESOME colors (pictures to come), and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I felt completely inept as I watched both moms going nuts with cleaning. I have a lot to learn! Dads worked on things like installing new (curved) shower curtains, fixing little glitches in the systems, rearranging pipes and vents for my new washer and dryer, etc. Later that night, my brother, Renae, Emily and Brian came to help. We shampooed carpets, painted second coats, and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned! It was a lot of fun to have everyone there.

Saturday morning, our wonderful crew showed up. All together we had 15 people helping us that morning with the big move. What a blessing! I've got to give props to my man- he worked his butt off! That man didn't stop, not even to eat, until it was done. I'm not surprised- he's wonderful. And I. LOVE. HIM. The rest of the day was spent unpacking boxes and trying to decide where things go. Nate and I feel so fortunate to be in this house and we can't wait to share it with the people we love. So, if you're in the area, stop by. I love to hear the doorbell ring. And if you're not in the area, then make plans because we love having people over. And we have a guest room already set up and ready to go. So now, you have no reason to stay away.

We're getting internet on Tuesday, so until then we're making the .51 mile ( trek to Mike's house to check our mail and get our facebook fix. More, my fix, I think. I don't know that Nate will even log in. Anyway, we love our house, we're ridiculously thankful for it, and we want to share it with you- so come over!

Friday, May 22, 2009


We're closing on our house this afternoon. (!!!) It seems like we've been waiting for a REALLY long time to move in. People kept telling us, "It'll be here before you know it..." in an attempt to make us feel better about the length of time we were waiting. Nate and I decided today, awake and still laying in bed, that it wasn't, in fact, "here before we knew it", but that the day seemed to take a really long time to finally arrive. :) I know in the past I've told people that same thing, "Don't worry, it'll be here before you know it..." From now on, I'm going to keep that saying to myself. :)

We thought my dad would have to work over the weekend and wouldn't be able to make it down for all the fun of cleaning, painting, etc. But turns out, he worked his butt of last night to get a large part of a major project done at work- so now they're able to join us. I can't tell you how much it means to have them here. I felt really selfish for wanting so badly for them to be here- but this is an exciting weekend for us. You know how you daydream about things and the way they'll pan out... and my mind's picture has them here. So, I feel completely fortunate that now they are able to come..... THANK. YOU. GOD!

I cannot wait for our doorbell to ring. I want ya'll to stop over and visit. We both love having people over to our home and it would do my heart good for you to pop in every once in a while.

I've got to get going. We've got a breakfast date this morning!

Ta-ta for now!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

tickling the ivories

I almost forgot- We're buying a piano!!!!

I took the advice of some of you and sold my guitar. The next day, I found a Wurlitzer piano on Craigs List. We'll move it the weekend of our move into the house. CAN'T WAIT!!!!

May Miy Muy Moy Mey

I have so much to write about. It kind of seems overwhelming, which may be why it's taken me so long to get a post going. I'm not at home, so I'll have to upload photos later.

Here's the last few weeks:

Nate and I ran our first race together. It was the "Novartis Run" that was either a 2 mile or 10k. We chose the 2 mile. :)

Nate's cousin was in town from Minnesota and came to cheer us on that morning.

Afterwords, we went to Las Margaritas for lunch and headed back to his parents' farm for the weekend. We did some 4-wheeling, ran around the farm and played croquet in the front yard. It was really great- my new family, great food, beautiful Nebraska spring days, and lots of relaxing!

We've seen my parents a number of times as well- Easter was spent with them. It's always SO fun to go back home. Especially when my brother makes it the same weekend- it's a blast to have all of us together. Look at mom's giantic carrots!

We're closing on our house in 2 1/2 weeks. (!) We're so excited and have been picking out paint colors for a few rooms we're going to try to get done Friday. We've got some people volunteering to help- which is a great blessing. We're SO excited!

My best friend, Rissa, is getting married!! Tony flew up to Oregon to drive her back to NE and proposed by a waterfall on the way. From what I hear, it was pretty incredible. I was able to see her twice this last week- for her hooding ceremony from UNMC and her graduation party. I'm SO proud of her! Ann went with me to keep me company Thursday night so I wouldn't have to drive there by myself. What a pal!
School is winding down. I think we have 23-ish days left....which seems really crazy. It's been such a great year. My kids have p-u-s-h-e-d me! It's been a wonderful learning experience and I've fallen in love with every single one of them. They're funny! I have one little girl who waits in the office every day after school for her ride. I stepped into an administrators office which has glass windows facing the main office where the kids wait. My little girl was sitting in one of the chairs right next to the windows and was waving and smiling at me. Just when I said to Julie, "Isn't she cute!" I turned around and saw her little nose smashed up on the class leaving smears trailing as she dragged her nose down the window. THAT is an image I will have frozen in my mind for quite a while. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Muffin Man

Another day off from school.... woo-hoo!!!! Don't get me wrong, I love my job. It's just nice to have a break from the busyness every once in a while.

This morning, I slept in. It. Was. Wonderful!! Nate came home from lunch and helped me finish up these Pumpkin Muffins. I found a new lady, Ellie Krieger a couple of weeks ago. I ran across her on the Food Network one day and did some research. She's a registered dietitian and makes really great food. We've tried two recipes of hers and so far, she's 2 for 2! I like her because she doesn't completely eliminate all fats and sugars from her recipes. She's good at cutting back on the things that won't completely change the taste or texture of a great meal.

The other recipe I've tried of hers was her Chinese Chicken Salad. It took a while to get everything cut up, but we put it in a veggie-saver Tupperware and it kept for over a week. Of course, we kept all the toppings and dressing separate and added them as we ate. I rented her book from the library, and I think I'm going to try to keep my eyes open to find it on sale. It's got some really yummy looking things and the photos are beautiful! I'll let you know when I try another recipe. I'm sure it'll be delish!

We're headed to mom and dad's for Easter. My brother is going with us this evening. Mom's rented movies and we'll spend a lot of tomorrow helping her cook for Sunday. We usually meet Grandma and Grandpa at the mall for coffee in the mornings, too. I just can't wait! Next weekend, Nate's grandparents will be in from Washington, so we'll be with his family for that.

We've also registered for our first race together! We're running the Novartis fun-run on Saturday, the 18th. It's a short 2-mile run, and a fun place to start. We both used Christmas money to get a good pair of running shoes from the Running Company in January. We've been trying to rack up the miles on them for the past few months. We've bounced in and out of a routine since then, but the last few weeks have been really good. I made a personal break-through last week and have been feeling great running ever since. Nate's always running faster and farther than me, but we use the treadmills at the club house, so we can still run together. When we move into the house, we'll have to learn to run at the same pace. He said I can keep the pace, but I have a feeling I'll still need to pick it up a bit to give him a good work-out. :)

Well, I'm off to pack. I'm meeting Crystal and Addison in a half-hour for some afternoon shopping. Better get a move-on!

Happy Easter, everyone! Try to find some time to reflect on the holiday and the events that took place. Don't let it just pass by!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Also, our closing date on the house is May 22nd. If any of you are wanting to help us move, it'll be Saturday morning, the 23rd. We'd love to see you and use your muscles!

Eigsti corners

I woke up this morning to my husband, dressed and ready for work- leaning over me saying, "Babe, it's really cold in here. Do you want me to turn the heater on?" "No, I like it...", I mumbled from my warm cave of covers. He left for work and I snoozed on. Hours later, when I flopped out of bed and wandered into the living room in my undies and t-shirt, I felt a surge of bone-chilling air wrap around my bare legs. Through squinted, sleepy eyes, I realized it was 55 degrees in our "cozy" little apartment. If only I had listened to him... :)

Here are some corners of our world in apartment 315. I'm no photographer, but there's something in the reality of life that is just tugging today. Images from our world that I must share with you., a brief look:


Nate's side of the bed:
Heather's side of the bed:

This is one of my favorite images ever. I keep this one tucked in my memory and find myself standing in the closet every once in a while when he isn't home. Work shirts. His work shirts. They smell of the man I love and bring great comfort for some reason.

And I often wake to things like this: Nate's handy-work with my jewelry. It's the little things in life, you know? :)

I am faced with a mild dilemma. I think I want to sell my guitar. I bought it with my graduation money after high school and took lessons for a semester. I cannot play. I play the piano- quite well, sometimes...and would love to have a piano in our home some day. I have someone who is willing to buy my guitar. I do not know her. I want to know that it will be well-loved. I want it to be taken care of. But it's a "thing"; an object and is of no value here if I don't learn to play it. So, I should sell, right? I should take advantage of someone who is interested....someone who will make the music that I'll never make with little Alvarez. If I do sell it, I'm saving the money to put toward the top seven keys of a used piano in years to come. What do you think I should do?

Monday, March 23, 2009

God blesses our home.

I haven't blogged for a long time. Let me rephrase: I haven't blogged consistently for a long time. My first year of teaching has definitely been an adventure. People say that your first year is the hardest year of teaching you'll ever have. If that's the case, then I'm in for a treat. It wasn't easy by any means- but it wasn't anything that completely shook my ground. It was hard. I've been tired for 8 months. And I've done more coloring and cutting this year than my entire 24 years prior combined. But I'm stronger for it. I have 22 little people that I simply adore and incredible coworkers to boot. I can grasp the idea of 5 year old children. I have the school year mapped out in my head and quite frankly, feel like I could do a heck of a lot better next time around. How was your first year, Heather? Fantastic. Outstanding. A true blessing.

In other news, we're still waiting to hear the closing date on our house. Latest will be the end of May. There's a slight, very slight chance that we could move end of April. We told ourselves we wouldn't get excited for April; that it wouldn't even be an option until we heard for sure from them. Well, I've failed. I've completely set my heart on April and can't wait to move into our new home. I may be sorely disappointed this week, or I may be on my knees packing books and extra kitchen accessories in last Sunday's Celebrate section of the Journal Star. I'm hoping for the latter. I'll let you know.

My good friend, Brook, is staying here for a few days this week. I'm pumped, to say the least. I love having people here. I love washing the sheets and stretching them over the guest room bed for a friend. I don't know about you, but I simply fall apart when I slide my legs under freshly laundered sheets. My husband still can't decide if he can tell the difference. Maybe it's the combination of fresh sheets and smooth legs. I'm not sure. Either way, clean sheets= euphoric wiggling. I love it.

Did I mention I'm on spring break this week? That's why I have time to blog. FYI.

I'm off for now. The windows are open, we're expecting thunderstorms today- and my man will be home for lunch. This is a great way to live!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

His dying breath has brought me life.

Today I sat with my husband.
We drank a new smoky coffee from my brother.
It rained outside.
We opened the windows.
Spring came in.
We read the paper.
We listened to music.
We cooked together.
We laughed together.
We dreamed of our new house and how we will decorate.
We live life together.
Every day.
What a blessing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The sold sign is up!!!

OK, anyone else having trouble with posting photos on blogger? I can't rearrange them EVER.....

Anyway, these are out of order but I'm just going to go with it.

Last weekend, my brother, Nate and I drove back to see our parents. There's an annual pancake feed that I hate to miss, so it was a must that we went that weekend. These photos are sideways, but can you guess whose is whose? It's not a "Z" and an "I"....but rather, an "N" and an "H". I guess one of the perks of knowing a pancake flipper is getting sweet personalized pancakes. :) Thanks Bill!!!! (Of Nancy & Bill, for those of you who know them)

Here's a photo of my sweet grandfather. We were giving him a hard time because his pancakes were HUGE! He was laden with guilt for not finishing both of them....a curse from growing up in the depression! What a sweetie- he's one of my all-time favorite people

Some of you may have heard- we're buying a house! The sold sign is UP!!!!! We're really excited. It's got so many things we were looking for. I love the front porch, the huge window in the front is in the living room, so the house is really bright. I'll have more photos later- we're looking at a closing date in late May, but are hoping to get moving sooner than that. There's a chance we can close in April for a few different reasons, so we're praying for both patience and speed in the closing process!