Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010.

I've noticed a lot of people really seemed to hate this year. My facebook stream was filled with, "2010 was the worst, can't wait for a new year!" or "Good riddance, 2010!" or other not so nice things.

I had a great year. Don't know what was going on with all those other people, but seriously, 2010 is going to be pretty tough to beat for me, what with the whole getting engaged, getting married, going to Hawaii, and getting my very own house. And a whole slew of other things that aren't as huge as all of that, but still matter quite a bit. Friendships, becoming a math teacher, beginning to delve into the business side of photography... 2010 has been a huge jumping board for even more things in the future.

Can't wait to see what 2011 has to offer.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Packing is so overrated.

True that.

But packing means moving, and moving means living in our own little condo, and living in our own little condo means all by ourselves. As husbands and wives should.

We (and by we, I mainly mean Chris) have been lugging boxes down two flights of stairs to the garage all day. Chris also took apart his amazing desk, the one that made me fall in love with him in the first place (petty, yes, but this desk is ginormous). I collected the screws for him, which I hoped might be the extent of my work, but then I had to help lug the big pieces down those two flights of stairs.

Now I'm taking a much-deserved TPA break.

TPA! Blech! What a Christmas vacation downer. I've been working on it in any spare moment I have, including late at night/into the morning, when we're not packing. I am almost done. Just two sections to go. And then I'll have the freedom to start really getting into this moving deal.

We went to the condo today to get the official keys from the seller. We discovered mold while we were there. Yes, mold! In our brand new house! And this is just two weeks after the HOA sent people over to fix the leaky roof, which was causing the ceiling in the entryway to become water damaged. It's pretty obvious it's an exterior problem since that part of the ceiling is directly under an outdoor patio that collects water when it rains, so (fingers crossed) the HOA should be taking the lead on getting it all fixed up. Thank goodness. It'll just be a bummer when they come in and have to re-do the whole entryway- the water is on the ceiling and in the walls.

Not to worry, of course, because I'll spend most of January holed up in our new office working feverishly on my double load of classwork for National. I've got two classes and only one month left before student teaching starts. I seriously did not think this through when I took four months off for the wedding. It's always in retrospect, isn't it?

Anyhows, I've got to get back to that delightful TPA while it's break time. Hopefully I'll be able to post some Christmas-ish goodness. (I say hopefully because clearly I haven't even gotten around to posting about our wedding yet. And that was three months ago.) I will leave you with this Christmas video that Chris took of our present opening extravaganza. He set up his camera on a shelf and clicked pictures with his remote all day to make this awesome stop-motion video.


Trementozzi 2010 Christmas from Christopher Trementozzi on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to make chocolate covered pretzels:

Step one: Develop a craving for chocolate covered pretzels from a co-workers' amazing baking contribution to the staff Christmas party. 

Step two: Decide you cannot live without more chocolate covered pretzels.

Step three: Gather the following: chocolate chips, shortening, and a bowl.

Step four: Mix 1 cup of chips to 2 tablespoons of shortening in bowl.

 Step five: Microwave for one minute and thirty seconds.

Step six: Put away your roommate's dishes (and your own red Mickey Mouse bowl) since you've got the time.

Step six: Mash the remaining chocolate chip lumps to create a nice, soupy texture.

Step seven: Sneak a picture of your hot husband wrapping the last of your Christmas presents.

Step eight: Toss in some pretzels.

Step nine: Drown pretzels.

Step ten: Lay drowned pretzels on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.

 Step eleven: Fill cookie sheet with deliciousness.

Step twelve: Put cookie sheet(s) in fridge to set for about an hour.

Step thirteen: Think you could do the same with the butterscotch chips in your pantry.

Step fourteen: Discover that butterscotch chips do not melt well in the microwave. (In fact, they cause said microwave to smoke, and your condo to smell like burnt toast all night.)
 This is not what deliciousness looks like.

Step fifteen: Go down to the garage and find the cute Christmas tins your sister-in-law left when she moved out last November.

Step sixteen: Still waiting for the deliciousness to set in the fridge? Eat leftover sushi. (Don't worry, it was leftover from like three hours ago.)

 Step seventeen: Try the butterscotch again, just for kicks. This time, use the stovetop and watch to make sure bubbling blackness doesn't happen again.

Step eighteen: Learn butterscotch chips just suck, despite what your husband says, but still make him his own batch of butterscotch pretzels. He's hot, after all, and what can you do?

Step nineteen: (Not pictured.) Fill Christmas tins with deliciousness. Store in fridge until the 25th.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


We got the official word that the bank has given the clear to close. Woo-hoo! Now we just have to wait for them to draw up the loan documents... surely that can't take too long... right?


Anyway, we got the call while we were at Fashion Valley mall (which is pretty much completely flooded-- there's only one entrance that's not under water). To celebrate, we went to Home Depot to get paint and liners for the kitchen cabinets. My husband rocks. :)

Best case scenario: The people at Wells Fargo actually do their jobs the next two days. (This depends on if they don't have Friday off.) We sign the paper work on Friday. We get keys on Tuesday.

Most likely scenario: The people at Wells Fargo are already checked out for Christmas. We'll be lucky to get in before New Year's.

Seriously, I think I'm a pretty calm person most of the time, but it irks me to no end when someone doesn't do their job (or does it incorrectly) and it directly affects other people. Come on, people. Do your jobs.

Week before Christmas update

Things that are happening:

- We're on Christmas break. Chris' last day until after New Year's was today. Mine was Friday.
- We were hoping to move into our new condo this past weekend.
- That did not happen.
- We are learning that banks just suck. And the people signing your loan documents won't give you their names and locations, because people like me will use their vacation time to sit at said loan officer's desk and stare at them until they sign the paperwork.
- My goal for the first half of break is to finish the first two TPA's for my credential. They're due January 3, but I'd like to enjoy some of my vacation.
- We're going shopping for a bed frame and bedroom furniture tomorrow. We bought a real mattress last weekend- the first real mattress for both of us.
- It's raining like crazy here in San Diego.
- Braved the rain to go to the post office and DMV. One thing rain is good for: it keeps people away from the post office and DMV.
- One point for rain.
- I'm trying to convince Chris to sneak over to the new condo and start painting the inside of the cabinets. I really want to be able to put the kitchen stuff away as soon as we move in. And I can't do this without freshly painted and lined cabinets.
- We wrapped most of our presents on Saturday. Took lots of pictures. Made tags with the Slice.
- Got Chris some awesome Christmas presents.
- I'm writing this blog in bed. Chris is annoying me while I'm writing this blog in bed. He wants to know what I got him for Christmas.
- He's so cute.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To Faithful Readers:

If you're seeing wacky things happening on my blog, maybe posts that seem to be not quite up to date or topical... I'm in the middle of transferring my other two blogs in so I have everything in one place. It's supposed to seamlessly fit in all posts in date order, but something went terribly wrong with a few. They're fixed (for now), but if you're viewing in Google Reader who knows what crazy things are happening?  So, just an FYI.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good grief. Eleventh graders are ridiculous.

We've begun packing.

While packing, I pulled out a stack of papers. Black papers. With ping gel ink writing. 

I am giving this stack of untitled papers the following name:

Letters to My Future Husband: An Eleventh Grader's Really Pathetic Life of Longing for a Boyfriend (Right Now). 

Yes, I did write letters to my future husband when I was sixteen. And yes, I saved them. And yes, I found them just before the wedding and stuck them in a schoolbook to give to Chris later so we could both have a laugh. 

He's already laughing. I'm glad he's amused. (No, really, I am.)

But seriously? Eleventh graders are soooooo ridiculous.

So we read a few of them together, and I will say this: my inner sixteen-year-old found it extremely satisfying to read those letters with my wonderful, long waited for, real-life husband. Very satisfying indeed. So keep writing your ridiculous letters, eleventh grade girls. It'll be worth it in ten years when you read them while cuddled in bed with the one you've been waiting for. 

(Just know that neither of you will take the contents of those letters at all seriously. Because, let's face it: they're pretty ridiculous.)

Reverb 10 | December 7 | Community

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

This one's easy. My discovered "community" is my beautiful new family! Growing up with zilch extended family and but one grandmother, I always wanted cousins and aunts and uncles and the whole shebang. Well, Chris has them in spades and he's so nice to share them with me. :) 

For those of you wondering, what the heck is this Reverb 10 you keep posting, here are the details:
2) You get a prompt each day (one word)
3) You do what you want with said prompt (write, take a picture, watercolor a Thomas Kinkade replica... etc.)
4) In doing so, you reflect on your year and have something to look back on that sums things up.
5) That's pretty much it!

CSET: Mission Accomplished

Thank goodness.

And that's all I have to say on the matter.

Someone today said, "great! Now all the hard stuff's done!"

Except for TPA 1. And TPA 2. And two classes crammed into one month in January. If I want to student teach in the spring anyway. Oh, credential, you are such a pest.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reverb 10 | December 6 | Make

I know I skipped number five. It's okay. (Says me to my inner OCD psycho.) I don't have to do every one. I even checked the rules. Look:

What happens if I don’t answer EVERY prompt?
You are turned into a pumpkin. (Kidding. Answer as many as you want.)

See, OCD. It's okay. It's all going to be okay.
You guys, having OCD is sad. 
Moving on!
Today's prompt:
December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
The last thing I made were the tags for the candy bar jars at our wedding. I used my awesome Making Memories Slice (which sometimes does not like to do what I want it to do, but was working splendidly that day), some yellow digital paper I designed, and a Fiskar's circle whole punch. It was so close to the wedding at that point, that I so did not want to sit down and do more work. I almost scrapped the idea. People could figure out for themselves that lemon jelly bellies were in one bowl and vanilla jelly bellies in the other. But in the end, I sat down to do it one day while Chris was at his bachelor party. And you know what? I loved the way they turned out. It added such a nice touch to the candy bar.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reverb 10 | December 4 | Wonder

The Prompt:

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

This is a tough one. And I really don't have an answer yet, but I don't want to get too far behind with the prompts. So... here goes... on the fly writing.

I think that I have always contained within me a sense of wonder larger than most people. I don't know how to explain this. All I know is that sometimes I see so much beauty in the world that I can't stand it. I sometimes see it in relationships between people or beautiful scenery... but more often than not I see it in something as simple as overgrown grass blowing in the wind along the side of the highway. I'm not sure what it is, but something about the picture just screams life! and beauty! and Creator! to me. And I get the warm fuzzies. :)

How have I cultivated this? I really don't have an answer here. Maybe through being out in the world with my camera and trying to capture the wonder? Looking to the side and seeing my husband, camera around his neck, appreciating the wonder of it all too? I don't think it's something we do purposefully; it just comes naturally.

Hmmmm... not bad for on the fly. Maybe I should write without an agenda more often....

Creative Geniuses... Unite!

But seriously, guys, we need some help.

We need a cool photography business name. 

Our criteria:
1) No use of our own names, first or last.
2) This includes our initials. (No C&J Photography.)
3) We'd like to include the word 'studio.' As in, "Studio (fill-in-the-blank)" or "(fill-in-the-blank) Studio".
4) We'd like the name to relate to us somehow. Either something about us or something we share or something that comes from some story of ours. (Sorry, this might limit people who don't know us or haven't been reading our blogs for long.)

And... go!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reverb 10 | December 3 | Moment

Today's Reverb 10 prompt: 

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

This was an easy one. I actually came up with it late at night on December 2.  (The prompts come the night before, so I had already started mulling it over for the next day.) The moments I feel most alive are those when I suddenly step out of the moment and realize where I am in my life. I'm married. To an amazing man. A few years ago, I was waiting for God to introduce some guy into my life, and it seems like just yesterday. Now, all of a sudden, I've got a ring on my finger and the best guy I could ever imagine sharing life with me. 

I realized this moment late at night on December 2, when Chris and I were trying to fall asleep, and we somehow gave that up and started talking about our new place. Things we needed to get.... decorations we wanted to put up... but the majority of the conversation was spent talking about what options we had for a home network so we could go back and forth between our laptops and a server for when we have gazillions of RAW files from our many photo shoots as professional photographers.

That's a moment right there. And some of you may think I'm totally joking (and I don't blame you, because my husband and I are quite possibly psycho nerds), but that really was a moment, as I was snuggling up to him and talking this over, that I thought, this is what I waited for. Conversations like this with a guy who understands my passions and wants to fulfill my dreams, because they're his dreams too. 

PS- Oh yeah, our new place! The appraisal went through last week, so things are looking really good! We actually have to get a second appraisal because of the way our loan is structured, but we're optimistic since the first went so well. If all falls nicely into place, we should be moving in over Christmas break!)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reverb 10 | December 2 | Writing

Today's Prompt:

December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

Oh, boy. How did they know?! Or is it not just me, and everyone secretly dreams of being a published writer someday? 

I want to write books. Badly. Have since I was a wee thing. Spent hours on a type writer late at night when I was ten working on my first novel. It stunk. But it was better than most ten-year-olds first attempts at a novel, so I kept at it.

I have an almost-novel. It's around 80,000 words, typical novel size, but it's nowhere near done. I have a lot of editing and paring down and, you know, writing the ending. It's really hard. 

I was pulled to Karen Kingsbury's site the other night. (KK is my hero, PS. She writes entire novels in weeks.) She's started a new series. Looks awesome. And I remembered, hey, I wanted to do that writing thing too....

So what's been keeping me from it this year? Time. Homework takes up time. Getting married took up a lot of time. And it was easy to stay up writing until 3am when I didn't have to be at work until noon. I just had to go and be a more productive member of society and start work at 8. Shoot.

So... no plan of attack on getting back on board with writing yet. But it's always there, in the back of my mind.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This and That: December 1

Still eating wedding candy.

Speaking of wedding candy, guess what we got today? Our wedding pictures! Woot! Chris and I spent forever (definitely my whole allotted study time for today) looking through the 895 photos Rico and Rachel sent us.

They're so amazing (photos and Rico and Rachel). Seeing the picture's from the day brought so many memories back, as well as showed us some things we'd totally missed. For now, we've got a link that won't let us save as and password to view them online, but we'll be getting the CD in the mail shortly and then... watch out, blog. You will be overrun with yellow and gray loveliness.

You know... more than you already are.

(Chris is going through the photos again, and he just started laughing. I asked what was so funny. He said: "This picture of you getting squirted in the face with hair spray just cracks me up!" Cute, babe.)

Oh! Just figured out how to sneak them from the online gallery. You know, sometimes I am very pleased with my knowledge of computer work arounds. It comes in handy in times like this. Also, when we want to listen to Christmas music online in the classroom and everything's been firewalled... or so they think. ;)

Here's just a few I'm pulling off randomly. I don't have the time right now to go through all 895 and find my favorites again. So maybe just one or two...

... or seven... or twelve...

I just can't stop!

Also, is anyone else doing this REVERB10 thingamajig. Sounds pretty cool. First prompt is a word that sums up your year. Mine is grace. I'll have to explain it later, but I think I'm on board for this month long project. Let me know if you're participating too. :)