Tuesday, June 30, 2009


To my few, but awesome followers and those of you who stalk. I am taking a little vacation from blogging. I am bit overwhelmed with work, a million house projects, and my grad class right now. I need a few days/weeks to get my loose ends tied. I'll be back soon and hopefully with pictures.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Light at the end of tunnel.

We have only about one day's work left of shoveling stones to be finished with the puppy park. We then need to install the sod and rip up the horrible outdoor carpet. I see the to-do list dwindling and this is actually giving me hope and determination to finish strong. I am equating this to the last 1/4 mile in a race. When I finally see the finish line I almost sprint to the end using every last bit of energy to finish as fast as I can.

Friday, June 26, 2009


My mom always said that God did not grant us two days of rest. She used this as a way to make me stop complaining when I needed to do chores on Saturdays.

For the past few weekends I have been complaining about the amount of time Mr. R and I have spent cleaning, shoveling, hauling, and making trips back & forth to Home Depot. I kept saying Saturdays are supposed to be fun days! (I, of course, was imaging trips to the beach, the river, and days reading by the pool.) As I look around my house and the ever growing to do list, I need to get used to home imporvement saturdays and be thankful that I do get one day of rest. If you need me on Sunday you will find me by the pool.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3 year ago today...

I was getting my hair done, putting on a long white dress, rehearsing my hand written vows, checking and rechecking to make sure I had the ring, putting on the last touch of lip gloss, walking barefoot down a sand covered aisle, carrying a bouquet of brightly colored calla lilies, and was so excited to be marrying my best friend.

I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

I love you Babe!
Happy Anniversay!

Monday, June 22, 2009

3.1 miles in 30 minutes!

Finally! I am a hot mess and I am exhausted. I know a ran too hard, too fast. And I know I will pay for this later in the week, but you can't even imagine the smile I am wearing on my face :)

Weekend Update!

In the summer I only work 4 days a week! If you can call Marine Science work. Last week I almost felt guilty collecting a pay check the kids were fantastic and I spent my days kayaking (next to dolphins!) and body surfing at the beach.

Thursday: Had a fun dinner with Mr. R at an outdoor restaurant downtown. I decided to be adventurous and tried crawfish etouffee. It was fantastic! We listened to free music at the plaza and shared gelato on the walk home. Have I mentioned how much I love summer?

Friday: Since I am on the get fit train, I spent Friday at the gym and shoveling stones at the puppy park. It was incredibly hot and I was incredibly sweaty. I think I managed to slip a nap in there too.

Saturday: I was glutton for more punishment! Back to the gym for a 5 mile run and more shoveling rocks. The puppy park is 1/2 finished. We only have a bout 25 more loads to move. That is if I can even move my arms again. I feel like the little brother in the Christmas story, except he couldn't put his arms down and I can't lift mine up!

Sunday: Father's Day is always a rough day for me. It's been 9 years since my dad passed and I miss him so much. Some days are worse than others and I know that I will see him again someday in heaven. I spent the day visiting my grandfather and remembering that I have been blessed with great father figures throughout my life and with a heavenly father who continues to provide for me when I don't deserve his grace, forgiveness, or everlasting love.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Artie Pants

While I am on the home renovation kick here are a few ideas I have been kicking around to add some art to our dining room. True formal dining does not happen in Casa Republican. We usually invite too many people so the dining room table becomes a buffet that stretches into the living room and soon to be den. I would like the art to blend in with the current pictures we have to make the dining room and living room flow together seemlessly.

FYI: The KIDD photo is from an etsy seller that will feature your last name on an 8x10 poster.
I need to stop spending time on Etsy!
I keep finding too many things I can't live without.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Living room makeover OR make under?

Our little house was in major need of a paint makeover. When we bought it our living room was a mess of white paint, brown wall border, and oatmeal colored carpet. As a girl who loves color and could not wait to breakout the paint cans and make my mark. I painted the living room a china blue that looks like the jersey sea shore during the summer and then stenciled the living room walls with a Jan Dressler fluer de leis stencil. I wanted to have beachy elements, but not have the whole house scream "I live at the beach!". I figure Jeff and I are people who really love the beach, but also like to travel, read, and cook so why can't the house reflect all of these things.

This is what the living room looks like now.
If you squint and stare at the walls you might just be able to see the stenciling.

Right now our living room is set up like a den with a reading nook, a giant TV (Mr. R's choice), and our comfy IKEA couch and chair. I would like to pull a little "this young house" design change and convert my living room into formal living room & dining room combo. This means our living room needs to grow up a little, lose the TV, and add a little stuffyness to its bohemian indie side. Here's the plan.

Dining room details to come soon.

Darling Dachshund Den Design

Don't you just love my alliteration?
See I did pay attention in English class.

To buy your own dachshund art: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25606368&ref=sr_gallery_3&&ga_search_query=wall+art+dachshund&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=date_desc&includes%5b%5d=tags&includes%5b%5d=title

Puppy Park Inspiration

These are my ideas for the porch/front of our house & the pup's park.

navy shutters
red front door
faux entryway painted rug
wooden bench/glider
new lanterns and/or porch light
patio table and chairs (painted pink) ala Nicole Bach
& a few hanging plants.
fix & paint puppy park wooden gates
add new top soil
install sod
find/make cute yard sign for pup park
buy new mailbox

Friday, June 19, 2009

Things I used to care about that I have let slip through the cracks...

I was one of those girls who swore she would never get married. And then I did.
I was also one of those girls that said I didn't believe in two souls becoming one. And then I fell madly in love with married life and was willing to let go of some of things I loved when I was single.
I was one of those girls who swore I wouldn't give up my "me time" and "my girls". And yet now I have moved away from my high school and college friends and spend many nights hanging out at home with my husband.

Normally, I relish in married life. Having someone to share my days with, having someone to sleep with and cuddle next to. I love spending time together learning new things or exploring new places.

But.. I am starting to miss the old Hilary. The girl who backpacked across the Northwest, moved to New Orleans knowing no one, the girl who thought nothing of protesting for things she thought were wrong, and was brash and brazen at all times.

Is it possible that I lost her in the shuffle of marriage, moving, and new jobs? Is she just hiding under the cover of dutiful wife and mother to two adorable dogs?

Puppy Park

As you know the love of my life is Mr. R. However, he shares this title with two other members of our little family. Simon & Sophie are our two ornery dachshunds who don't listen, sleep in our bed, and steal our hearts every day.
When we first bought Casa Republican in September, we had every intention of turning the front patio into an enclosed puppy park. It's a gravel covered, weed infested mess right now, but I have big dreams and a design in my head that I am sure we can pull off.
This is what the park looks like currently.
Don't you just love the gravel and weeds?
Look at these faces, don't they deserve their own park?

Time to grab the shovels, rakes and wheel barrow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Fellow bloggers I must admit that I am a censorer. I censor what I say, the way I portray myself, and I definitely censor the pictures I post of myself. (In fact, I have a running conversation with a my work BFF about how we only post pictures where we look good and heck with everyone else.)
I recently have been struggling with my workouts and instead of using this blog as a way to air my frustrations with running, my endurance, my body, and my life in general. I have been censoring myself only posting the positive and refusing to admit to the world that I am having a hard time doing something.

This is really hard for me to admit because it really messes with my open book image. I try to live life as free and un-bothered as I can; and yet I can't be honest enough with myself to admit that running is hard, training is hard, and I am scared to death about running this marathon in October.

I had two really great runs this week. Both were incredibly short only 2 miles, but they were steady pace 11 minute miles. I wasn't sore or incredibly winded. I am no where near as fit and I would like or need to be, but I am happy with this little milestone I made this week. I am slotted to run 9 miles this weekend, but I am breaking it up into a 4mile and 5mile run in a 24 hour period. Mr. R. & I have some major chores this weekend and a 9 mile run just doesn't seem to fit in the schedule. I'll let you know how I make out. (And I promise to be honest in all its sweaty, tired, and out of breath glory!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer time and the livin's easy...

Today my school day will start at 9:00 AM and end at 12:00 PM.
This afteroon I will set up my classroom at Marine Science. Wander over to whitney lab to check out the new animals and seafind my kiddies will see on Monday. Visit Target and find a watch that is water proof. Make final plans for date night... and then hit the YMCA for my first triathalon training. Summer is here & life is fantastic.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Free Night!

Tonight I had a date with my husband and was ditched in favor of fellow republicans. I am trying to be the cool wife that is fine with the fact her husband would rather hang out with guys at a cigar bar then spend time with his wife. (The cool factor is not working very well for me)As I type this I am fuming.

While I was home alone with the pups I took the time to explore an awesome new blog, making it lovely. From the first post I read I was in love. The author is a quirkly boho girl that mixes Ikea, pink, brown, and vintages peices into every room and her clothing. I still have a crush on Katie from Bower Power, but I think Nicole of Pink loves brown is my new fave. What makes her even cooler is that she makes cards for every occasion that mimic the periodic table. (Yes, I am a science nerd).

My husband should be sending me this #18 card.

She makes me want to paint my whole house tan, pink, and brown. I also now really want an Emes chair! If Mr. R and I actually ever get around to having a little republican I am demanding an Emes rocker for the nursey or maybe the living room.
Check out her blog and vote for her awesome porch makeover.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday's Clues...

Mr. R is convinced we are going to Tokyo on Friday. I have been trying to remind him the ye old Republican budget is not up for plane tickets to Japan for a weekend adventure. Here are the clues he's collected so far.

Southern Hospitality

There is just something about the summer months that makes me want to play hostess. The long days make a perfect setting to backyard BBQs, s'more dessert nights, and crab boils complete with newspaper table cloths. The latest RR magazine was filled with glossy pictures of summer fare and all of these really cute summer party ideas that make me want to bust out my inner Martha.

Summer Party Idea #1: New England Clambake
The magazine featured a recipe for a shrimp roll, similar to the lobster rolls you would eat in Maine. One look at the delicious creation had me breaking out my seersucker and Pepperidge Farm accent. I decided to host a pre-4th of July party featuring foods from my summer vacations in the land of LL Bean.

Invitation: www.invitingco.com
3. Mini crab cakes with mango salsa - http://www.chef-menus.com/crab-cakes-recipe.html
4. Strawberry shortcake trifle*
5. And for the non-seafood eaters a platter of sliders with tomato, mayo, romaine & bacon. (This is the way you eat them in the vacation state.)
Shortcake Trifle*
Layer slices of pound cake, sugared strawberries, and real whipped cream in a trifle bowl. End with a final layer of sliced strawberries. My trifle bowl fits two layers of each.
Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Here are the clues Mr. R found today. Can you guess where we are going?

On a completely separate note:
I think a little bit of the south is rubbing off on me. I just finished reading my new Rachael Ray magazine and I am feeling the need to host a few dinner parties, game nights, and cookouts. Those glossy pictures and weekly menus get me everytime. More party ideas to come...

Can you believe it? I have one day of school left!

When I was younger I loved summer. It signaled long days at the beach. Nights spent roaming the boardwalk eating Mac & Manco pizza and riding roller coasters in the warm salt air. Summer meant weeks spent in sunny Florida visiting my grandparents and endless car trips up and down the east coast (seeing every historical town and battlefield I-95 had to offer).

This year my summer officially starts on Friday June 12th. My days will be filled with afternoons at the beach (making sure 18 middle schoolers remain safely above the water), nature hikes and cast net fishing, and early morning training runs. (Let's cross our fingers and say a prayer that I actually manage to get my lazy butt out of bed early enough to run!) I cannot wait!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marriage: figuring out a way to spend time together even when you have no time to spare.

Today signals the start of my last week of school! YAY! I honestly believe I am more excited than the children. Grades are in, report cards are sorted, and my classroom still looks like a tornado hit it.

This week Mr. R and I seem to be running in completely opposite directions. Mr. R has meetings on Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday of this week. I have meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We are having dinner together tonight (Monday), but I think that is the only time we will have together (besides the 7 hours we sleep) until Friday. To help keep us connected and up the romance factor I am planning a little surprise getaway for Mr. R and me. We leave Friday! For awesome ideas for the couple on a budget check out Cher's blog Love, Actually.

I made a few clues for Mr. R with details and pictures describing our trip. I hid the clues around our house (in a few places he visits frequently). And I plan to hide a few more throughout the week. I would love to post more info, but Mr. R reads this blog too. Check back on Saturday for the final reveal!

If you want to play along with Mr R.
Clue #1: We are traveling to a city
Clue #2: See the opening picture puzzle piece.
Have you figured it out yet?

Weekend Update!

Friday: 12 hours in Sea World. Rode Manta, got turned upside down and then backwards while screaming my lungs out and praying to God I would not have a heart attack. Had fun girl time with Danielle followed by an uneventful bus ride home. New iphone is now up and running (to be honest I still have no idea how to use it).

Saturday: Kayaking with friends while getting paid. (I know, I live a charmed life!) Learned how to hook up a trailer to an SUV, figured out how to tie kayaks to said trailer, became a master at boy scout sailing knots.

Saturday Night: Dinner in Orlando, Drinks @ Hard Rock Cafe, and Jim Gaffigan! Hot pockets, bacon, sea cow, bed... I love him!

Sunday: The alarm went off for 7am church too soon and was quickly followed by the snooze button. Second day of kayaking, today we actually made it to the inter coastal. The weather cooperated! (Don't you love how we say that. As if the climate and humidity should accommodate my plans instead of nature's). Early bird dinner with the hubs at Carrabbas. (What can I say I was hungry at 4:00pm)

It was a fantastic weekend with hours of quality time with Mr. R. I know this sounds very unliberated of me but the time I get to spend with my husband is the highlight of my week. This coming week is my last week teaching the 2008 - 2009 school year and I am ecstatic!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Amazingly blessed!

So much has changed in one day... I went to work yesterday planning to spend my summer taking courses and pinching pennies. I didn't check my email yesterday morning and by lunch when I dared to open it I had 23 messages. Hidden in between notes from parents, staff notices, and junk mail was a letter from the marine science director asking me back! So it turns I am a workin' girl this summer. This means instead of having to "make it work", to quote Tim Gunn, with the funds we have. We will be a little more comfortable and be able to do a few of the house projects we have been planning.

Today I will be chaperoning my class on a field trip to Sea World. I almost think I am more excited than the kids! I have wonderful students this year who I can honestly say I will miss as this year comes to an end. I hope the rain holds off until tonight so we can all have a fantastic, sunny, rollercoaster ride filled day. I'll let you know how I make out on manta. (I am trying to be brave, but the idea of being strapped on my stomach while going through corkscrews scares me to DEATH!)

Tomorrow is still to be decided, than announced.

I was given the opportunity to take a certification class in gifted ed. (I teach so MANY gifted students in the advanced classes and I am without the necessary classes) The class runs from 10am to 4pm. At the same time I need to practice setting up and loading the kayaks for marine science (my summer job). I will be taking the kids kayaking twice a week to a new location that I am unfamiliar with. This means I need to step it up and be prepared. I am hoping there is some way I can to accomplish both tasks. (Cross your fingers).

And tomorrow night is GAFFIGAN! A few months ago Mr. R surprised me with tickets to see our favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan. (Bacon!) Mr. R has been watching him since his Conan days and I discovered him on the TV show My Boys (which I love and watch religiously!). He is playing (is that the appropriate word for a comedian?) in Orlando and I am super excited for some quality time with Mr. R and a great date night. (I am hoping we can get drinks at Margaritaville before hand!). Hint! Hint! Mr. R! (if you are reading this.)

It's getting close to 6:00 am and I need to hit the showers and prepare for a 13 hour day in the land of Disney. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another wedding?

Three years ago this month I was busy counting response cards, finalizing wedding details, picking out dance music, and praying my dress still fit. I loved every second of planning our wedding from designing our invitations, to dress shopping, cake tasting, and organizing the welcome bags and favors.

I discovered how much I loved to plan events and from then on I have relished every party, family dinner, and game night we have thrown. I love writing the invitations, selecting the perfect graphics, creating menus, and arranging the house to create cozy seating areas.

Mr. R recently decided to host a large even this fall for Marco Rubio our new Young Republican senatorial candidate. (He is running against the incompetent education shunning Charlie Crist, so you know who I am rooting for!) He will be speaking here in Saint Augustine and we are hoping to host around 250 people. Mr. R, not being a details man, asked me to help in the planning and of course I said YES! (Another wedding! Well, almost). I may not be saying "I do.", but I still get to select a venue, dinner menu, dessert selection (almost a cake), music, and invitations.

I made a quick to do list tonight with a few things I need to nail down before the end of the month:
1. Find venue (needs to seat at least 150 -250)
2. Find caterer for venue (if necessary)
3. Come up with theme that is not too election-ish
4. Create mock invitation/ticket to present to fellow YRs at June 8th meeting
If you have any ideas you want to share my ears are open!

***Photo taken from Rubio for Senate 2010***

Trust, faith, comfort, STRESS!

My attitude always matched my state of mind. Unfortunately I am not the type of person who can still look cheery or sunny when her house, life, or work life is in shambles. I have never been good at hiding my feelings and to be honest my poker face is horrible. Mr. R swears anyone who has known me for more than 5 mins can read me like a book.

For the past week I have been stressed about school ending (only 6 more days!), grades due (I still have a few tests to grade), our summer plans (we need to visit family and squeeze in a vacation), money (I am always worried about money), and our home renovations plans (which suck up large amounts of both time and money). I also haven't been feeling so hot (mostly due to stress) and I haven't been holding up my share of household duties (which means our house may look clean, but please don't look in any closets or under our bed!).

I find that when I am most stressed, I end up harboring my worries until they overtake me and manifest themselves in the form of a migraine, cold, or stress eating. As a Christian this approach to stress is crazy and yet I do it time and time again.

A few months ago I subscribed to a daily devotional blog. I read it every morning with my coffee as I am getting dressed for work. While I read the passages and message daily, they have never spoke to me like they have today.

Today's post centered around Psalm 23, which I could quote since the age of four. It's one of the first scriptures they teach up pentecostal kids in Sunday school. As many times as I have read and said the words "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." I still doubt that I can rely on God for my prosperity, my comfort, and needs. God is constantly providing for me even as I stumble around looking for ways to take care of myself.

Today and for rest of this crazy week I am going to remind myself that it is not my job to fix and change my circumstances. It is my job to rely and trust my Shepherd to guide me, comfort me, and take care of my household. After all, its much easier to be faithful then to be stressed!

Monday, June 1, 2009


I have been trying to make a few personal changes lately.
1. Eat more fruits and veggies
2. Cut out soda (even my precious coke zero)
3. Work out daily
4. Save $
5. Keep house clean

While I am constantly trying to do all of these things I am failing miserably.

Today I actually ate Doritos for dinner? Who does that? My fridge is stocked full of delicious fruit, fresh cut vegetables, and all the fixings for a healthy dinner and I choose Doritos?

I plan my daily workout for the afternoon, lay out my workout clothes, and upload a playlist on my ipod and I find myself here on my couch at 7:30.

Mr. R and I are trying to save up money for a kitchen remodel and yet I find myself getting annoyed with him when he asks if I really need a new dress for school. (Yes, I do realize we only have 6 days left).

And while I am very conscious of how great my house looks when everything is put away, I choose to be a slacker and postpone most of the pick up and cleaning for the weekend.

What is wrong with me?