Monday, December 24, 2007

By "We", Meredith Meant her. Now its my turn.

It is Christmas time, and I haven't posted since oh mid September after a hokie football game. This fall and early winter(now what officially two days old) have been up and down for me much like it has for the Hokie Football Team this season. After getting blown out by LSU to open the season the team was able to fight until our O-line was back together. Then Matt Ryan who I am pretty sure like little boys dashed dour hopes of possibly making it to the National Championship. The team finished strong though and won the ACC championship, and meets Kansas, lead by a man who needs to diet even more than me, in the Orange BOwl.

After getting pretty bored with my job at American Funds I got a promotion, and I am now the Area Sales Representative for NYC and West Chester County, NY. It is different, and in my opinion not really sales but no complaints. The biggest impact though from all of this has been a new TV. Shortly after my promotion was announced Meredith and I spent many hrs arguing over size, type, picture quality, flat screen or flat panel, and price, and by price I mean that is all we argued about. Who knew that "Cheapskate" Meredith thought $300 was enough to buy a flat panel TV. AFter hours of deliberation we settled on a nice 32" LCD TV. It is marvelous. The Hokies only look better in person.

Other big news that we announced was coming in our last blog is the introduction of RITA's to our local Norfolk scene. Meredith is so happy to have this piece of home so close to us now. She spends more than what we spent on a TV there every month.

Lastly Meredith and I are now beginning to examine, pray, and think about our future and where we want to spend it and what we want to be doing. My position at work pays well, and has the possibility to lead to a career that would be very profitable but also unfulfilling. We have started to think of moving and taking up teaching, which she already does but I do not. I have bugged the Virginia Department of Education to death the last few weeks trying to determine what I need to do to get a license. Other options include a new company, a new role, and possibly a new state to call home. Virginia has been good to me as my only state of residence during my lifetime, but it may be time to give another of the 50 a try at things.

From our family to yours thanks for reading and Merry Hanukkah. J/K we aren't Jewish though many of our neighbors are. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Things to look forward to in 2008. MORE BLOGS. Weekly or Bi-Weekly Updates on how Fat I still am. One of our goals for 2008 is to make me skinny. I plan to at least give a half hearted try at doing it the healthy way.

We are back!!!

It has been way too long without updating you on our lives. As you can guess our fall and early winter have been super busy. I am in the midst of first year teaching, Marty started a new position in his company and is helping with the middle schoolers at our church. We hope to keep y'all updated more regularly throughout 2008, which is coming so soon.

So many have asked how the first year of teaching is going, so below I have listed some of the things I have learned so far...

Thoughts from a first year, first grade teacher (quick and brief)
- Planning is a lot easier than I thought it would be, yet behavior management is a lot harder than I thought it would be
- As a first grade teacher sometimes you play many different roles such as: zoo keeper, detective, social worker, mommy, director, chef, exterminator, explorer, secretary... the list goes on and on
- Decorations for every holiday are essential
- Who knew you could create so many things with popsicle sticks?
- Pencils, stickers, and erasers are like gold!
- You must repeat anything that is important 10,000 times for it to stick
More thoughts from a first year, first grade teacher to come.

Here are a couple of my favorite thoughts from a first grader-
- "Mrs. Cates, I really think that we live in water, but just nobody can see it around us."

- While doing a math lesson on subtraction, Emily is examining her pencil very carefully. She then raises her hand, appearing to know the answer. I call on her to answer the subtraction problem and she says... " Mrs. Cates, do erasers grow back?"

Merry Christmas Eve friends. More updates to come :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

At last!

As we arrived in Blacksburg this weekend, it felt like I was going back to school, yet sadly we were just visiting. As Marty described we had a wonderful weekend in good ole' hokie land. The football game was fun, but we have now graduated up to the season ticket section where you sit down for most of the game. We are used to standing and cheering the whole game, yet this way to can actually see the whole game and pay attention better.
I enjoyed seeing good friends the most. I was able to see Caroline and Hannah, who were two girls I led a BHS, and they are now all grown and college girls themselves. I also saw old roomates, cuddled with them, and saw my old residence- Hassel House- which looks great! We spent Sat. night with fellow graduates and some older hokies and reminisced about spring break trips.
Overall, it was a wonderful trip! Tonight I am going to bed before 9 because tomorrow is my first day of school!!! Wish me luck!

First Football Game

Welcome, all who have stumbled across our little corner of the blogiverse (blog+universe=blogiverse) it has come time for another entry about the lives of the Cates. Meredith has FINALLY given me (marty) access to the blog. Let the sarcasm rain down from the heavans.

This past weekend Meredith and I journeyed 5 long hours back to the hallowed campus of Virginia Tech to partake in the time honored tradition of tailgating and footballin. Tech won which was a relief, ECU was surprisingly tougher than our normal season opening oppopent.

With that a side lets talk what happened on the weekend. I took the day off to get the car inspected and to just putt around the house. Meredith left me a honey doo list. Gentleman that are not married this is the reason to stay unmarried. For those of us that are married this is one of the pains of marriage that we must deal with. I got quite the taste of what Meredith's entire summer was like, granted she had a car most days while I did not so her days were probably not nearly as boring as mine was. My day was crazy boring. Boring enough that I took to baking cookies for the car ride.

After my terribly boring day Meredith got off from school and we left for Colonial Heights. We picked my parents up for the ride to Blacksburg. Note to self and anyone else reading, riding with your parents for 3.5 hrs seems like a good idea, it may not be as good of an idea as it seems. We had a wonderful time in blacksburg, catching up with friends, hearing stacy dooley tell the story of her dad's uber excitement when the puppet guy won America's got Talent. That moment or the moment I spilled beer on Colt were the highlights of the weekend for me (not really but I had to figure out a way to incorporate the fact that I purposely spilled beer on Colt into the Blog).

We stayed at Dr. Lucian Robinson's wonderful home and it was great. Dr. R has a great place and it was nice to have a free room for the weekend really helped cut back on expenses.

Biggest disappointment of the weekend... No CABO. We didnt take the time to eat at CABO the single greatest restraunt in BBurg in my opinion, which matters because I am fat and know good food.

I really do love my parents and all kidding a side the trip to and from bburg was great to talk and catch up with them.

That is all for now, but I promise in the next blog big news from the Cates family....:)

Also we have realized that our last name Cates, sounds a lot like Cakes. So for now on our blogs will end with a pun such as TastyCates, or Carrot Cates.

So Long.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Classroom...

I start new teacher orientation on Monday, Aug. 20, so I have been working hard to get my classroom ready for my little first graders. I have been so blessed to have a been left so many things from the old teacher who used to have my room. She has also been so great by helping me set up the tables and decorations around the room. While organizing, all the teachers have come to help me and introduce themselves. I am so excited to be making new teacher friends and to feel supported by all the staff in the school. There are also some other new teachers in the school I have bonded with as well. I am really excited to begin, yet nervous for the work that lies ahead. Here is a little glimpse into where I will be spending most of my time this year!

This is my favorite part of the room, the reading nook. Hopefully my students will find reading fun, or at least like to reading in this corner.

For all my teacher friends, here is my word wall :)

Keely and Kevins Wedding...

Right after our trip to the beach, we traveled up to PA to see one of my best high school girlfriends get married. Keely was a beautiful bride, completely calm and collected before the wedding and all smiles. We had a great time visiting with my friends from high school and seeing old friends.

Marty got a new seersucker suit for the wedding and looked like a little southern gentleman.

The newlyweds!!!! Mr and Mrs. Norman :)

High school girlfriends are the best!

They are next in line :)

The Beach...

Marty and I, my family and Aunt, Uncle and cousins vacationed at Sandbridge Beach in July. We had beautiful weather and a great week of visiting one another. Marty and I got hooked on Harry Potter earlier this summer, so this gave us a great time to catch up on reading. I also enjoyed tanning with the girls, while Marty and cousin Matt playing in the ocean!

Tanning Babes...aka my sister and cousin and I!

Marty and Matt boogie boarding in the ocean!

Marty and I reading Harry Potter on the beach, how romantic!
Our lovely friend, the sand crab!

That is how close we got to the sand crab, and he didn't try to pinch us!Relaxing :)

Home Sweet Home...

Marty and I are almost done decorating our new home. Our last project is the second bedroom which is going to be our Hokie bedroom/office. We have bought all the paint and hope to finish this weekend :) Here are some pics of the rest of our place...

This is our eating area

This is our living area

This is our first piece of furniture we bought as a married couple. We got it at an antique store in downtown Petersburg, it is a great place to store all our china and large serving dished we got from the wedding.

This is our tiny tiny kitchen, but it works for two people.

This is our bedroom

It has great big closets :)

This is the second bedroom, I promise it is almost done. It will soon be hokiefied :)

This is our bathroom. We didn't plan on having a purple bathroom, yet it matches our shower curtain great, and

Friday, July 20, 2007

First Blog

In hopes of staying in contact with the family and friends that live far away from Norfolk, Va, we have created this blog to keep all posted on the happenings in our lives. We are enjoying our first summer together going to the beach, making new friends, and keeping the old :) We have gotten more involved in our church that Marty has been attending since he moved here, and we are blessed to have old friends like Amanda, Stacy and Jake that live close by. I (Meredith) got a job as a first grade teacher at Portlock Primary School in Chesapeake...sounds a lot like Potluck (I wonder if they enjoy potlucks at that school?!?!). I start orientation in the beginning of August, and I am excited to get started.