Monday, August 15, 2011

Beginnings and Lists

Yesterday afternoon Big Papa headed out the door and began his life as a law school student! Orientation is all this week which includes a pass/fail introduction to law class. He enjoyed the first meeting, but was mortified when he told me that his phone went off during the President of the Iowa State Bar's remarks. "I can't believe I'm that guy!" he kept saying. Oh well, everyone needs to have an embarrassing moment like that now and again :)

Today was my first day trying out my new life as the wife of a law school student and I have to say, I did pretty well for myself. I've organized my cleaning schedule and set some goals to help myself stay productive and happy. I'm doing things like:

  • Zone cleaning: Everyday I clean a different "zone" in the apartment -- one day is the bathroom, while another is dusting and vacuuming, etc. Rather than cleaning the whole apartment in one day and getting frustrated doing it by myself or feeling guilty when I don't finish it all, I only have to clean one zone each day. Once my chores are done, I'm done! It only takes about 20 minutes each day and the house stays clean and neat = happy me.
  • Menu planning: We've set a goal this year to "Eat in" meaning, we won't be eating out at restaurants for a year. I'll blog about this later (and our reasoning behind it) but it requires me to plan, plan, plan! We brainstormed tons of recipes together last month so I can pick meals off of a spreadsheet each week. So far things are going great and I'm enjoying planning healthy meals for our family (though I did make this brownie thing yesterday with sweetened condensed milk that's already gone, oops)
  • Exercising: Eventually I'm planning on getting a pass to the University gym so that I can go in the evenings while Big Papa does some studying at home, but today I did a yoga video and went on a long walk with Goobie. If I've learned anything about my personality this past year is that if I stay inside all day and don't do much, I get grumpy. I need to exercise for my own sanity and for my husband and daughters sake. Plus, exercising is apparently really good for your body -- what a concept! :)
  • Singing: After my senior recital, I pretty much stopped practicing. We moved cross country, had to get settled in with my folks, then moved again. I kind of lost the motivation to keep trying. Once we got settled here in Iowa, I realized that I was really missing that side of me. Now I've made a goal to sing everyday -- I love doing it, and my sweet Goober loves it to (she particularly loves lip buzzing with me). I feel so much better about myself when I keep music in my life because it is a huge part of who I am.

I know that things will probably need to be tweaked every once in a while since we can't completely plan our future, but so far I am really enjoying the goals that we've set as a family. We love our life here and are so grateful to have the chance to be where we are. We love:
  • Our apartment: not only does the layout and space rock, we have an assigned parking spot, laundry just down the stairs, central air, and in house maintenance that love our cute Goober. Oh and I'm kind of in love with our new shower curtain.
  • Our new ward: In our church the congregation we attend every Sunday is called a "ward". Ours is made up of all the married students going to the University. There are probably about 50 families, most of them with at least one member of their family in grad school. They are some smart cookies! We have felt so welcomed and have already been invited to dinner multiple times. Not only does Big Papa have quite a few built in mentors to guide him through law school, I have quite a few built in friends to do play groups, go shopping, or just spend time with while our hubbies study. Hooray for support groups!
  • The downtown area: Lots of fun shops, a great public library, and a splash pad that Goobie has already really taken too. Who knew Iowa City was such a cool town!
  • The Children's Museum: So stinkin' cute. We'll definitely be back!
  • The parks: It seems like the park district and community take great pride in their public areas because every park we've been to so far has been gorgeous. The playground equipment all looks fresh and new and the landscaping is beautiful and very well cared for. We've gone for quite a few walks around here and still can't get enough of the parks!
  • Hyvee: I worried that I wouldn't find a replacement for my favorite grocery store (what can I say, there really is a family feeling at Macey's), but Hyvee did it! It's pretty old school since all of workers are dressed in black slacks and white shirts with name tags (yes, they kind of look like Mormon missionaries), and everyone is helpful and friendly. It is more pricey so today I went to Walmart for most of my things and then hit up the Hyvee for my produce. I do love Hyvee...
My list of things I'm not loving so far is very short:
  • The flies: They are everywhere. It's gross.
  • Milk: $3.50 for a gallon. Oh 3 for $5 creamery milk, where did you go?!
So yeah, we're happy and alive! Well, we'll see if Big Papa is still alive tomorrow after his first big study session, but I'm pretty sure he'll survive.

More posts to come including:
  • Eating In: brilliant or crazy?
  • Torts: where Big Papa learns lots of new words
  • Apartment Safari: observing the wild Goober in her natural habitat


  1. I love your eating in idea. I definitely suggest having a few meals in the freezer to help on those days that you just don't feel like cooking--because they inevitably come. Enchiladas, Shepherd's pie, lasagna, and homemade pizza can all be frozen and baked later with great success. I especially recommend the pizza, because that's what all of us tend to crave when we're sick of cooking. And you can always give yourself a restaurant "Feel" by going on a picnic!

  2. I'd love your list of meal choices to add to my inventory of meals on my meal calendar!

  3. I'm totally with you on the milk thing. It's around $4.50 here and it kills me every time I realize I could have bought 3 gallons at the Creamery for that. Booo!