Day 768–Blogging From Class

That’s right ladies and gentlemen…I’m back in Abilene for my weekend class.  A mere 28 hours from now I will leave a classroom for the last time as a student.

Let that soak in: I AM ALMOST DONE.

I’m coming up with fun ways to mark the countdown.  Graduation is in three months, I’ve got six papers left, I’ll never “have” to come to Abilene again, etc.  The problem is, this class just moves so. so. slllllloooooooowwwwwwwly.  So rather than dwell on that, let me tell you all about how awesome my Thursday was.

(Side note:  Yes, Thursday was also Valentine’s Day.  However, my valentine is in Houston and I am not, so it was just Thursday for me.)

Breakfast:  Gramps made me a breakfast fit for a king.  Sausage patties, toast, scrambled eggs, juice, and hot tea.  I was very well fed for…

Comps:  My oral comprehensive exam for my Masters degree.  One hour, two professors, copies of my transcript and…go.  Kind of an intense hour, even though Drs. Foster and Sensing did an amazing job and made me feel quite at ease.  I decided early on to be very honest and not throw on the academic/Bible filter, and it suited me well.  I passed, with no conditions, paving the way to my degree.

Lunch:  LOS. ARCOS. Yeah baby.  One beef fajita burrito, chips and salsa (also known as the nectar of the gods), and great conversation with one Tyler Barnett, whom I haven’t seen since my wedding because I’m a crappy friend.  It’s great to catch up with good friends; its even better to hear how God is working in their lives and see them genuinely happy in His presence.

Class: Yesterday’s class wasn’t half bad.  It moved at a lively pace (which apparently we’re making up for today…) and we got to watch the 1957 version of 12 Angry Men, which is a classic.  It’s also BEAUTIFUL in Abilene, so…

Dinner: I decided to grab some fast food (Arby’s) and eat outside on the steps of the Bible building.  The sunset, the flags blowing in the breeze, stained glass behind me, windmills in the distance…this is a happy, happy place. I’m glad I’m about to be done with it in an academic sense, but some great things have happened here in my life.

Payton: While leaving to go back to class, I ran into Payton Giacomarro, whom I also haven’t seen since my wedding except for getting Los Arcos (shocking) with him a couple years back.  Hearing about his life and his passion for ministry–which he will absolutely rock at–was great for my soul.  The best part of the day though, with all due respect for everyone I got to see, was…

VICTORY: Westbury’s 3-2 victory over FBCA.  It sounds like for 75 of the 80 minutes we dominated, and then at the end we lost a little focus (shocking).  But Euntaek scored, which is awesome, and we got the W.  It made the end of the class fly by getting updates about our win.  And my kids made a video doing the Harlem Shake after the game.  Can’t wait to get back and go for two!

So…amazing day.  Start to finish, the only problem was being apart from Abby, but even then I got to talk to her multiple times throughout the day.  I hope your Thursday was as incredible as mine…tonight the youth group gets here and then the party REALLY begins.

Have a good one.

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Day 763–The ‘Rents Came to Visit

Sorry for the lack of blogging.  The last four days have consisted of eating too much, coming home, sitting on the couch until I could properly move, going to bed, and then repeating.  Most of our food choices were old standbys (old to us, new to my parents!) like Lupe Tortilla, Red River Barbecue, Ruggles Green, and Escalantes, but we also tried something new: Haven.

Before I dive into the Haven review, I have to give honorable mention to Escalantes and Ruggles.  Escalantes was our backup choice for lunch today, but unbeknownst to me, they have a brunch menu as well.  Sweet. Mercy.  Best french toast I’ve ever had. No lie.  Ruggles, on the other hand, served my dad the best soup he’s ever had in their corn chowder.  Not the best corn chowder he’s ever had, but he said THE BEST SOUP EVER.  Which is kind of awesome.  So well done you two…take a bow.

Haven was, not to put too fine a point on it, ridiculous.   It’s a sustainable restaurant right off of Kirby, just north of 59.  It’s disturbingly close to where we used to live…if it had been open then, we wouldn’t have any money.  My meal started off with a pork belly al pastor sope…flavorful braised pork belly, pineapple, white onion, cilantro, all on top of a freshly fried masa disc of happiness.  My entree was grilled free range chicken, bacon spaetzle, and crispy fried brussels sprouts with a side of sweet potato pecan hash.  My only complaints: not enough of the sprouts (it was like half a sprout fried and sprinkled over the top) and the sweet potatoes were cut “rustically” and therefore some were undercooked.  Other than that, it was absolutely fantastic.  I wanted to keep eating and keep eating…phenomenal meal.  I’ll go back tomorrow if you want to pay for it.

We had a great time with my parents.  I know some people enjoy company, especially parental company, for a few days and then everyone’s ready to go back home, but it was truly a joy to have them here.  I’m lucky in the relationship we have, and it was sad to see them go.  Abby and I are blessed to have them so close and to have such a great time with them when we can.  Love you, Mom and Dad.

Breakfast–Pillsbury cinnamon rolls.  I didn’t go completely overboard with the hospitality thing, although I did make beer bread for Friday and scones for Saturday morning.  But with church and class prep and whatnot, popping a can in the oven was the best option.

Lunch–The aforementioned french toast, with breakfast potatoes and a side of bacon.  The french toast was, I kid you not, the consistency of a sopapilla. Light, fluffy (it deflated a bit when I cut into it) with a crunchy/sugary outside (it was deep fried…yep) and what I believe was an apple-maple syrup…so freaking good.

Dinner–In fact, I wasn’t even close to hungry by dinner.  I had two pieces of bread, and I still feel like I want to roll over and explode.

Game tomorrow up here in my neck of the woods, a paper to finish, and class in Abilene to prepare for.  Going to be a fun week!

Have a good one.

Day 757–I Saw Leah Bouteller At School Today

I got in trouble a few days ago because I had not one but two meals with the lovely and talented Leah Bouteller and failed to mention her in the blog.  Hell hath no fury like a middle school language arts teacher scorned.  So I’m alerting the masses that today when I went up to school for practice, I saw Leah in the halls.  We talked. She offered to go to McDonalds to lunch with me.

It was intense.

In somewhat related news, practice today was awesome.  The 30% chance of rain in the forecast turned into a small shower right at the start of practice, so I decided to bypass all the usual drills we do and went straight into the moneymaker: full field scrimmage. In the rain. Booyah. Unfortunately, I am (not surprisingly) out of shape and I didn’t wear the right shoes, so any attempt to keep up with the whippersnappers or even cut on wet grass was bad news.  But man I had a lot of fun. Even pulled off a couple of assists too.  I’ll take the win.

Breakfast–Nope.  After the Super Bowl last night, apparently I was so distraught over the 49ers complete play-calling fail that I couldn’t get to sleep.  I was up until around 3 am and then woke up early with Abby.  I felt so crummy that I didn’t eat breakfast.  Probably not the best choice, but whats done is done.

Lunch–CHINA STIX.  Westbury had early release so we had practice at 1:15 instead of the usual 3:45.  Therefore I left here nice and early, drove in near Rice Village, and indulged in my favorite Chinese food in the world.  Chicken and rice vegetable bowl.  Awesome.

Dinner–Shell pasta with cannelini beans. Mango-jalapeno sausage, roasted broccoli and peppers, garlic, and a splash of lemon juice.  It was really really good.  And to make it even better, the new Whole Foods near our house allowed me a few moments of peace and relaxation, as well as the ingredients for our meal. Having one that close to us is going to be fantastic. And dangerous.

Dessert–A cup of chocolate drizzled kettle corn while watching Biggest Loser.

Great Monday…lets make Tuesday even better.

And Happy Birthday Joel!

Have a good one.