Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm famous!

Ok, not really... but I sent in my favorite ring picture to my cheesy wedding blog and they published it!! I took it with my little point and shoot camera and sent it in on a whim and they picked MY picture! I'm so excited you would think there was a cash prize or something. Geoff just reminded me to "thank the little people".
I've always wanted to be a photographer, so I think this is a sign that it's time to follow my dreams. Check out the link!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Aunt Jo rolls.... by popular demand

Dough will keep in fridge 5 days, yield 40 - 45 muffins.

10c flour
1 handful sugar (Aunt Jo size hands... my mom uses 2 handful, I use 1!)
2T (heaping) salt
1c warm milk
1/4 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 pkg yeast
1/3c vegetable oil
5c warm water

Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder together in a large bowl. Mix dry yeast and 1/4c warm water (not too warm - don't kill the yeast!) together in a small bowl and stir to mix. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Mix milk, water and oil together in another bowl so that they are luke warm combined. Add liquids, including yeast mixture, to dry ingredients and mix with hands until wet. Dough will be lumpy. Cover loosely and store in fridge at least overnight or until ready to use.
Spray muffin tins, add dough till about 3/4 full. Bake in pre-heated oven at 400' for about 20 minutes. Broil till more brown on top of desired - watch carefully so they don't burn.

Enjoy and be sure to thank Aunt Jo! Also, by family tradition we serve our rolls with butter in the shape of something festive. I bought these this year to keep up with the cheesy tradition.

Christmas break!

I am loving this time off right now... it is much needed after a pretty hectic last few weeks at work. It's nice to have a break from my students and have time to get some things ready for Christmas. On Friday we had a party with our friends at our apartment and we celebrated over Holiday Punch and Mulled Wine. (See a fab recipe here... it was a hit!) It's nice to have a decent spaced apartment so we can entertain, and we also were able to show off our first Christmas tree!
Today we've spent the day getting ourselves organized for Christmas and doing some food prep. Santa delivered a special bowl for my "Aunt Jo Rolls" so I can do the whole recipe in one bowl instead of spit it into two. (And I got to wear my new Christmas apron that Laurie made for me!)

Geoff was busy with his first attempt at my mom's famous carrot cake that he absolutely loves (and one of the MANY perks of marrying into my family!). We won't know until Christmas, but it seemed to have turned out really good.

In the meantime, I did a photo shoot with my ring (my wedding blogs told me to do it!).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Picture of our tree!

Geoff's sister Monica came over and took a HDR picture (you'll have to ask her what that means!) of our tree so you could see the lit present. It turned out nice so I thought I'd share. Thanks Mo!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wedding registry.... yikes!

For some reason I was SO overwhelmed with the idea of registering for our wedding and pretty much put if off as long as I was "supposed" to (according to all my ridiculous wedding blogs, you're supposed to register about 8 months before your wedding!). I'm not really sure what I was worried about... I'm not great about making big decisions when I know it's something that I'll have for a long, long time (such as dishes and bedding)... silly, I know. Anyways, we decided to register at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy's and Crate and Barrel. It ended up being a lot of fun and we actually did most of the registering online when we got home, after we had a minute to digest it all. We both keep going in and changing things around, which I guess is the fun of it, and have also been kind of obsessing about it, which is more pathetic than fun. I took some pictures... as you can see Geoff was really into it. He went into the whole thing mostly uninterested, but was quickly excited once he could use the scanner.

Looking for our everyday dishes... probably one of the bigger decisions.

Taking a break on the massage chair. He wanted to scan this too.

The bride and groom!

He comes with a lifetime warranty.

All I want for Christmas is....

Christmas decorations!

I took out my Christmas decorations the other day and here is what I had....

Pathetic, right? So, we did some shopping and now the place looks better....

It's our first very own Christmas tree and decorations so it was really fun collecting things. Being the cheap-o that I am, I didn't want to buy too much stuff because I know that after Christmas we can hit up some fab sales and get Christmas decorations atleast 50% off. But, our collection was pathetic and we are hosting Christmas dinner at our place, so we knew we needed to get some things. And yes, the tree is a little off, but I figure someone had to buy the special one!

A little shout-out to Laurie, a staff member from my old class, who gave me that cute "present" under the tree. You can see it in the first picture and then lit up under the tree in the last picture. It's hard to tell in this picture, but it is SO cute and looks great under the tree. This year she gave me a hand-made apron... she is so handy and creative!

The other gift is from Santa! I was out shopping with a friend yesterday and came home and some how Santa found me and left me a gift!

As you can see, it was a very productive weekend for us. We also registered for our wedding so I'll post a few pics of that. I hope everyone is enjoying getting ready for Christmas - it's a fun time of year!

PS- Feel free to comment on the chair in the first picture... I've been working on getting rid of it for 2+ years, but Geoff won't budge.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aunt Jo rolls - success!

The rolls turned out delicious and for some ridiculous reason I was totally stressed that I'd botched the recipe and they'd be gross!

They were a little blackened... Geoff put them on broil for the last few minutes, went to the bathroom, and came back to find some crispy ones. He told me I can blame it on him, but since I put them in I probably should have been in charge of taking them out. Instead, I was outside doing a photo shoot with my sis, Shawn and Ziggy. Aren't they cute?!

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for and being able to spend the holiday with Geoff's family was just one of them!

Email from my parents

I wanted to share this with everyone. Geoff and I are going home on Thursday and we can't wait to give them a BIG hug!


Hi all!
We arrived in Mumbai last night and have spent the day wandering the streets with no particular plan in place. Heightened security everywhere but the streets seem to be returning to normalcy. Arriving from the airport last night, we drove past the sea wall where uncountable numbers of people were out lighting candles along the wall in memory of lost lives - very sad and uncharacteristically quiet. One of the art galleries we visited today had an exhibit where multiple artists have decided to donate any sales made to aid the cause.
Our plane is on schedule and we'll leave late tonight.
Love to you all,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My parents in India

A few of you have asked about my parents so I thought I'd post real quick. They are safe and thankfully were not in Mumbai during the terrorist attacks. They did fly through Mumbia the day after the attacks started, but were only in the airport. They were supposed to spend one day in another town and then fly back to Mumbai to spend their last 3 days there. Those plans changed and now they are spending extra time in the other town and then flying to Mumbai to spend just one night there before flying home. They are staying north of the financial district (where the attacks took place) and in their last email said they feel safe and have no reason to worry right now. I can imagine the security level being extremely high so possibly it's one of the safer places to be right now. Thanks for your concerns.

More posts to come later today inbetween writing my LAST few papers for my masters program!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aunt Jo rolls

This year I won't be going home to Seattle for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, so I'm pretty sad about that. I love sharing holidays with Geoff's family, but it also means less time with my family and missing out on Abo traditions. I know it's just a new normal to get used to, but it's not all that easy for me. I feel SO grateful to be welcomed into Geoff's amazing family and I'm looking forward to the holidays with them this year, but I knew I'd have to bring a bit of home to our dinners. So, tonight I attempted to make Aunt Jo Rolls to bring to Barbara's house for Thanksgiving. We have these rolls every holiday at the Abo house. One batch makes 40 rolls and we usually only have leftovers for a day or two! Keep in mind, this is probably the easiest Abodeely traditional recipe but given my cooking history it's quite the challenge. I thought I'd take some pictures to share with my parents, who are in India. I probably would have called my mom atleast 5 times to ask her questions about the recipe, so it was sad to not be able to talk to her!

The mess

The dough is done!

In the fridge for a few days! I hope they turn out okay!

I found this as I was cleaning up. Look carefully under the Joy Of Cooking. It's a blob of dough. Not sure how that got there!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hey friends. Happy Friday to you and I hope you have a great weekend. So, I'm considering going private on my blog. I really don't want to because it's kinda a pain for readers and I honestly don't mind random bloggers reading my posts. I'm the queen of blog stalking, so I can't hate on others for doing it! I'm just a little concerned about the creepers out their and who knows when they might find my blog and do something... well... creepy, for lack of a better word. Also, I REALLY want to do some venting about some stuff that's going down at work, but without knowing who my audience is it's probably not wise. Thoughts? Should I go private?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Operation Bus Sting: Failed

I talked to the police officer assigned to our case early this morning and unfortunately there were no under cover cops available. We decided to take this matter into our own hands and her and I worked what we thought would be the best sting ever. She gave me her personal cell # and I gave her my personal cell # and we decided that I'd get on the bus with my students, acting like I didn't know them. (Try telling a person with autism to pretend like they don't know their teacher... ha!!) So I sat on one side of the bus and my students sat on the other side and I kept a close eye on them, mostly D. I was supposed to text the police officer a description of the guy and a blow by blow of what was going down on the bus. Meanwhile, she was following the bus and would get this man when we got off. I got on the bus and waited, and waited, and turned my head to every man that came close to D's description.... but it was a no-go. The man never got on the bus and I'm thinking it was because D's mom canceled the debit card so the man probably figured out that we were on to him. I'm so bummed that we didn't catch him and the police officer was also thoroughly disappointed. She (the police officer) was fabulous and I'm so glad she was assigned to this case because she really honestly wanted to catch the guy and saw the importance of what this means for our community, especially our disabled community. The officer and I will keep in touch and we'll try another sting operation next week, but I doubt the guy will come around again.
I was INTO it though... I think I've missed my calling as an under-cover cop.

Back at the classroom our afternoon meeting was an hour long role play about bus safety and stranger awareness. I've learned that it can never be over tought and that our students need continious reminders that there are evil people out there that will take advantage of them. During the role playing D would say things like "leave me alone, please" instead of "LEAVE ME ALONE" like we tought him. It's still a long road and I'm grateful that this experience will teach us a lesson.

Thanks for all the concerns and comments and let's hope this doesn't happen again, EVER!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A life skills teacher worst nightmare

For those of you who don't know, I teach a program for students with moderate disabilities that focuses on independent living skills, community skills and vocational skills. This year I have some of the highest functioning kids that I've ever taught before, however my students are still vulnerable and easy to prey on.... and it has happened. It just eats me up and I can't stop thinking about it, so I thought I'd share what happened.
Yesterday one of my students with autism got off the bus at the wrong stop and my classroom aide asked him what he was doing at that bus stop. It turns out that the last few weeks D (we'll call him that) has been getting coerced by a man on the bus. D is on the same bus every Tuesday and Thursday after he leaves his job site and travels back to our class site for lunch and our afternoon meeting. This man is also on that same bus and has obviously worked D for awhile now to get money out of him. So, on Tuesdays he takes D's debit card (and any money that he has that day) and tells him he'll bring the card back to him on Thursdays. And he does. And D trusts him each week because the man tells D that he is "friendly" and that D can "trust" him. So the last 3 weeks this man has become D's "friend" and D even goes into the local liquor store with the stranger to get money out of the ATM for his new "friend".
Basically his man has totally coerced my student and has been working him the last 3 weeks. The man told D that he'd meet him back on the bus tomorrow (just as he has the last few weeks) to give back the debit card (and to probably take whatever money he has on him). I spent all morning with D and the police officer to get all the details that we could get. The problem is that it is SO hard to figure out exactly what D is saying and the difference between fact, and him saying what he thinks we want to hear. It's amazing what details D remembers such as what the man's shoes and jacket look like - but it's still hard to get all the details straight. It is shocking to me that D would do this, and even more shocking that there are evil people out there that would prey on a young adult with a disability. We are constantly teaching these skills and it's a lesson for me that the teaching is never over, no matter what you think is already learned.
I'll keep you posted as to what goes down tomorrow, but the police are planning a little sting on the bus to hopefully catch this asshole. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Erica's baby shower

Erica and Hector are expecting their baby boy mid February and me and 3 of my friends threw Erica a shower this last weekend. My friend Mitch did an incredible job with the Martha Stewart like decorations (I'm trying to hire him for our wedding favors) and everyone, including the mother-to-be seemed to have a good time. The games were fun, the food was delicious and people were able to catch up with old friends and family. Erica and Hector came over for dinner a few nights before the shower and Geoff and I gave them these cute little outfits for their little guy. The one we gave Hector said "daddy's little hero" with a firetruck on it and the onesie we gave Erica said "mommy's new man". Sooooo cute! I have to say though that the baby girl clothes out there are WAY cuter than the boy stuff and I can see why little girls get so spoiled. Don't tell anyone, but I'm starting to get a little tiny teeny itsy-bitsee twinge of the I-want-a-baby bug!

Update - I just read my friend Meghan's blog about how little sleep she's getting with her little girl's latest sleeping habits. Phewwwww, the I-want-a-baby bug went away. :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My new nephew

As I've blogged about before, my parents really need a grandchild around and our one dog in the family (Lola) is spoiled just like a baby. The good news is that we have another puppy to spoil! My sister and Shawn just got a 7 week old puppy and he is quite possibly the cutest little thing ever. Geoff and I spent the day in Santa Cruz with the three of them and he's already spoiled and just completely adorable. He's really smart and is learning so much - I am such a proud Aunt! My sis is so happy to have a new addition and having this little guy is literally a dream come true for her.

Here is a picture of me and Ziggy! (He's so dark and this is from my phone, so it didn't come out well - but atleast you can see his adorable-ness!)

Stay tuned for even more exciting Abodeely addition news :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can


We celebrated Obama's victory at our place last night with some friends. More pictures coming soon. An unbelievable night and I'm so proud to be a part of history.

I'm off to Pigeon Point with my students for 3 days - hopefully I make it back in one piece. Either way, I'll be FULLY ready for the weekend.

I have an Obama hang-over, and I love it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Dress!

Those smiles mean one thing - wedding dress shopping is officially DONE and I have picked THE dress! I cannot believe I have to wait 9 months to wear it! Yesterday was a great day - My mom, sister, and Geoff's mom came to Gabrielle's Bridal Boutique with me to make the final decision. I was picking between two dresses that I found the last time I went shopping. My mom flew in at 2:30 yesterday afternoon, we bought a dress, and she flew out at 8 this morning! Whoooah! (And to think she has to do it two more times this year!) I was really nervous about having to make a decision between the two dresses but the minute I put THE dress on I knew it was the one, and the other one paled in comparison. I highly recommend Gabrielle and her boutique - she was honest, knowledgeable, straight forward and did a great job making me into a real girl (not always easy!).

The bride, mother of the groom, mother of the bride, and maid-of-honor with a bottle of champagne to celebrate!

Other good news on the wedding front: Save the Dates went out this week, we found the girl's bridesmaid dresses, and the best news - I get to marry GEOFF! :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy times!

There is all sorts of happy news these days. Obama is in the leads at the polls and it looks like Proposition 8 is not going to pass. (Who wouldn't agree that ALL people deserve the SAME fundamental rights?? For more info on Prop 8, click here.) There's also happy news on the family front... My sister Michelle and her love Shawn got engaged AND my brother Paul and his love Tamara got engaged! Yup, three Abo kids all engaged! It's so nice to share in such an exciting time with my siblings and to continue to build our family - the more love the better. Congrats Paul and Tamara and Michelle and Shawn - I know you'll enjoy this beautiful, love filled time as much as we are!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm in love

Throw in a little green.... yummmmy! These colors make me happy and in love - perfect for my wedding! I feel so relieved to have picked colors (oh, I hope Geoff likes em too!?!?!) and now let the planning REALLY begin!

Breaking a sweat

I wasn't in the mood for the gym today. For the most part, I love working out. Exercising revs up my energy level, makes me feel peaceful and happy (thanks endorphins!), keeps me calm and relaxed, helps me decompress from the day, gives me a sense of accomplishment.... I could go on and on. But there are days when I just don't feel like going to the stinky gym! It's a cycle though... if I don't go to the gym I waste my afternoon away by sitting on the couch, watching trash TV, surfing the net and eating snacks that I don't need.
Today, when I was watching my trash TV I came upon Exercise TV on my Comcast On Demand. You can choose a variety of exercise shows from AbBlaster to Den Yoga - what a brilliant idea! I chose the Cardio Mix Biggest Loser and was fully motivated by past Biggest Loser contestants getting pushed around by their trainer, Bob. My heart was pounding and I was sweating by the end, so now I feel better about skipping the gym!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wish us luck

Geoff is trying out for a rugby team this week and next week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. If he makes the team, he gets to play on a San Francisco team that will compete against a team from New Zealand. Meanwhile, I'll be in charge of making dinner. So, we both need some luck!! I successfully made a Taco Salad tonight, but that's an easy one, so we'll see how Thursday goes.

On another note, at the gym today on the TV they were airing an eating contest.
Ugh, it's the last thing you want to watch while working out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Save The Dates

Our Save The Dates (STD's as they call them in the wedding blogging world that I've become a big fan of!) were brought down last weekend by my parents. Ma and Pa put a ton of time into them and made them just as perfect as Geoff and I had hoped for. We've been busy cutting, stringing, whole-ing, and preparing our cute Save the Dates for send off in a few weeks. Oh, and I love our stamp! My parents found them at their local post office and I think it summarizes our wedding perfectly. I'll leave you with an image of the stamp, but you'll have to wait until after delivery to see the whole shabang!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wedding dress shopping round 2, and 3

My parents are in town for the weekend and I'm loving it! Yesterday I took the day off and went with my sister and my mom up to the city for a day of dress shopping. We went to three places, and it felt like they day lasted FOREVER! I have never been much of a shopper, but my mom is the best around, so she usually has to drag me from place to place. Don't get me wrong, I had a GREAT time and it's super fun feeling like a princess all day, but it's hard work! Here is a pic of the dress that is top pick right now. How could Geoff not love it?!

Round 3 is today where we'll hit up places around the south bay and I'm so excited to have Barbara (my soon to be mother-in-law) come with us.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our weekend

This is how we spent most of our weekend! Geoff sprained his ankle at basketball on Friday morning so it left him disabled for the rest of the weekend. As you can see, we borrowed the schools projector and had a movie marathon on our wall while Geoff iced his ankle (see the cooler served as his ice bath!) on and off all weekend. I wish I could say I utilized this time and got a lot done on my masters class work, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Atleast we got plenty of rest!
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

T minus 10 months!

Guess what! I get to marry my LOVE in 10 months from today. Infact, it will probably be 10 months from RIGHT NOW (4pm) that Geoff and I kiss for the first time as husband and wife. We both have dreams and fantasies about the day and we know it's going to live up to every expectation!

Friday, September 26, 2008

New post

I'm sick of looking at that depressing post! I thought I'd share some good news. My dearest friends Erica and Hector found out that they are having a baby boy! Also, my co-teacher and his wife (Trip and Joy) are also pregnant and due just a few weeks after Erica and Hector. It's great to share in these happy times with my friends. Big changes, but all for the better of course!
Enjoy your weekend friends... as for me, I'm going to focus on fighting this annoying little illness that I caught from a student this week!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm so glad it's Monday.

It's not very often that you look forward to a Monday, but by Sunday night I was really looking forward to the start of the week. It was a crappy weekend here and, although no need to go into detail, I realized this weekend how precious life is and how important it is to work out problems right away. I also felt how amazing family can be and how at your saddest times a sister's chuckle from the other room can brighten your day. It feels good to hear a laugh, get a hug from a 2 year old and have a bowl of soup prepared for you. These are the things that make you smile, even when you feel like you want to curl up into a little ball and not leave the couch for days. My eyes are swollen and I'm glad it's just about bed time. Good night. XO.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Reunion planning, DONE!

Geoff and I just got home from a whirlwind of a weekend! The purpose of the trip was my 10 year high school reunion, but it also became a wedding planning weekend. It was such a wonderful weekend- the weather was perfect, we got a ton of things done, the reunion was a hit and I think I found my wedding dress (enough about that, who knows when Geoff will read my blog!).
I could not be happier with the way the reunion turned out. Everybody seemed to have a great time and there really weren't any complaints. I haven't got my security deposit back yet, but I don't foresee any problems with that! It was so nice seeing old friends and people that I have not seen or heard from in 10 years. Everyone looked happy and healthy and I'm so happy Geoff was able to meet some old friends.
The view from the site of the wedding!

The groom in deep thought. There are definitely some things to troubleshoot in order to have the perfect back yard wedding!

Our Costco trip... all stocked up for the reunion!

Me and Patrice, 10 years later!

I deserved it! (Thanks Brian!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ta-Da! The big day!

Mark your calendar for our wedding (unless you are a random blogger, you probably aren't invited!)

AUGUST 1, 2009!
Whidbey Island, Washington

We are moving along with the plans and things are really coming together. We can't wait to continue the planning and like I said before, we are so thankful for all the hard work my parents have already done. I thought I'd post some pictures of my parents house where the whole evening will take place. It's going be a fun (maybe even a little stressful) year of planning and I'm already wishing the wedding could be tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Birthday pics

A few birthday pictures to share!

Check out the cute earings that my lovely fiance gave me for my birthday. They go great with my ring!! :-)

Jill had an evening off from being mom and danced the night away with us!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Remember me?!

Oh my goodness.... where has the time gone!??! Since my last post we have finished up our amazing summer, started work, lost many hours of sleep and got back into the routine of the school year. Our summer was so incredible that I really never wanted it to end! Alas, here we are back into the swing of things and planning a wedding! Thank god for ma and pa Abo! My parents have come out of retirement and made the wedding their full time job, so I'm totally pumped about that (as long as they don't sign on the dotted line without me with our vendors!). Meanwhile, Geoff and I have totally hunkered down and are right back into work, the gym and homemade dinners. Not a bad life at all! I love my new class and could not have asked for a better group of students. It's a refreshing change from last year, although I do miss the old crew dearly. I have a fabulous co-teacher and we have realized this week that our philosophies are aligned, which is key. Oh, and how could I forget... We celebrated my 28th birthday last week!! (And yes, I recently got my first wrinkle. Ugh.)
I'll post pictures soon but for now we just got home from Batman so I'm recovering from the scary faces and guns. (I'm a bit of a wimp!) Have a great 3 day weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Family Camp

Geoff and I spent last week up at YMCA Family Camp near Kings Canyon National Park. This was my 3rd year at camp, and Geoff's 25th year! Geoff's family goes every year and all of the campers are like family to him as well. It was fun to be up there and celebrate our engagement with everyone, and to enjoy the peacefulness and love of family camp.

Geoff snapped a picture of me and Barbara (his mom) looking at a wedding magazine! The planning has begun!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Our last stop in Greece was the island of Crete. It was an Amazing Race like experience in order to catch the last bus to Chania (ha-na), but of course we loved the thrill. Chania was one of our favorite stops during our trip and we were in awe of the architect which was a blend of modern, Venetian, Turkish and traditional styles.

We had a very early (DeeDee was thrilled) start to the morning to hike the 18km Samarian Gorge through the White Mountains.

The views were incredible and it was so refreshing to be away in the woods. Although the path was quite stony, the terrain and scenery were awe-inspiring and it was a beautiful day.

The day ended with a giant gyros (yummmmm) and a swim (ahhhh)!

Our last day in Greece was spent in the city of Iraklion where we visited the palace of Knossos. Geoff was in history heaven, and DeeDee survived!