Sunday, March 26, 2017

Michigan

Little Bit just couldn't wait for me to get to Michigan. Literally. Caroline had her just after I landed in Charlotte and was waiting to get on my next flight to Detroit. Unfortunately, baby Elizabeth was born under less than ideal circumstances and needed a week in the hospital to recuperate from the very traumatic ordeal of being born.
I stayed busy while Caroline was in the hospital with Elizabeth. I spent lots and lots of time with Peter, and successfully began the Aggie indoctrination process (he knows to say gig 'em when I give him a thumbs up). And I cleaned. Lots of cleaning and ordering the kids around making them clean as well. After a week of this, Andrea expressed relief that I would be leaving soon. "You're so demanding," she said. David, on the other hand, showed a little sadness that I would be leaving when he said "I wish you were staying so that you could clean the house more." 
Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot.
I got to see Andrea perform her light jig, which she did perfectly. She knew every single step, because she mouthed every single step throughout the performance. It was very cute :)
White Castle is a must for me when I'm in the north/midwest region. I wish they had White Castle down here. Its so greasy and SO GOOD.

Celebrated the big 24 and a lovely St. Patrick's Day. Caroline made this wonderful Irish meal, bangers and mash, mushy peas and Irish soda bread. YUM.
 St. Patrick's Day certainly was a lucky day for all of us. Little Bit came home!!!
 I was scheduled to leave the next day, the same day she was scheduled to come home. It was unfortunate timing but there was nothing I could do about it. But to my delight, Elizabeth came home a day early! So I got to spend a little extra time with her before I left.



Despite the grumbling I received from the kids, I really had a wonderful visit. I enjoyed cleaning. It's therapeutic for me. I liked playing mom for a week, dropping the kids off at school and playing with Peter during the day, and then picking the kids up again at the end of the day.
I loved spending time with my sister. Caroline is amazing, and I feel inspired and uplifted every time I am with her. It was certainly difficult saying goodbye to her.
It was not hard, however, saying goodbye to 15 degrees. I landed in Austin just before sunset and drove through the 75 degree countryside absolutely exploding with wildflowers and Bluebonnets. It's now reached the 80's, and it's not likely to get any cooler until October. I love Texas. And I will miss it so much when I leave.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It's March!

 Lots of exciting things have happened in the last couple of months. I ordered my Aggie ring (ay whoop!) which I will receive on April 7th. I have not decided what I'm going to dunk it in, but my friends and I have settled on a Harry Potter themed dunk, so maybe... pumpkin juice? Too gross? Okay, Butterbeer?
Chandler got married! I was lucky enough to be asked to do her hair and makeup for the sealing, and her makeup for the reception. I don't have a lot of experience with updo's but I was very pleased with how this turned out. And she seemed pleased as well, which was the only thing that really mattered.


Caroline (of course) flew down for the wedding, so I got to spend a little time with her. Luckily, Little Bit (Caroline's nickname for baby number 4) is expected to arrive during my spring break. So end of next week I fly up to Michigan to be with Caroline again! Can't wait to see her and the kids!
I took a random day trip to Seattle end of January. As I was waiting in the Salt Lake baggage claim for my luggage to arrive, I got a phone call from a friend in Seattle telling me about this crazy dream she had where she introduced me to one of her guy friends. He happened to be flying in that weekend to visit, so she called me and rather jokingly asked if I wanted to fly up to Seattle for a blind date.
I had planned on joining my dad on an epic road trip from Utah to Los Angeles in his vintage VW bus, but Dad decided to tow the bus instead of driving it (which is not NEARLY as epic or exciting). So I took Heidi up on her invitation and I flew to Seattle the next morning. We had a fun time walking around the city which was sunny and clear. I don't know why, but each time I've visited Seattle (which is, granted, only 2 times) it's sunny and beautiful!
Ellenos greek yogurt is a MUST when you visit Seattle. We snacked as we walked around the famous Pike Place Market, we watched the water for bit, we ate at Dick's burgers, and then went back to the apartment to watch a movie.
Nothing came of the introduction, but I am nonetheless very happy I flew up for the day. I really do love the pacific northwest. And it was great to see my friend again!

These are some of my very best friends in College Station. Hannah, the one in the very center, is currently serving in the Salt Lake City East Mission. I went to her endowment in San Antonio a couple weeks ago. What a beautiful temple! Now I just need to visit the Lubbock temple and I'll have been to all the ones in Texas!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"Happy Christmas, Harry"..."Happy Christmas, Ron"

I delved into the world of Harry Potter this Christmas. It's been several years since I read the series, and for some reason Christmastime always reminds of Harry Potter, so I felt it was time to visit my old friends Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Also, I really needed a break from textbooks. The weeks between Thanksgiving and finals were brutal. I'm thankful for Rusty and my friends (especially Christina who stayed up until 1 a.m. editing my behemoth of an anthropology paper the night before the due date) for keeping me sane during those stressful couple of weeks.

I've been in Utah for two weeks now. I haven't had a break this long in YEARS! It has been the most glorious break ever. It has mostly consisted of shoveling snow, unpacking boxes and bringing in new furniture, time with kiddos, many episodes of Fixer Upper, and 5 1/2 Harry Potter books.



We spent a quiet Christmas Eve at the house, and a very white Christmas morning at Gared's parent's cabin in the mountains. We had a delightful time watching everyone open presents. I almost wished Christmas hadn't been on a Sunday this year, with all the snow we got I was so tempted to go sledding!


Thursday after Christmas we went to temple square to take family pictures and watch the Christmas lights come on. It was a bit cold, and everyone could only handle a few minutes outside before we had to escape to the visitors center. Prime lighting though, I was pleased with most of the shots I managed to grab.



William, the little goober, makes the funniest faces. He also snorts. Hahahaha...
I'm very much looking forward to 2017. This is the year I graduate! I'm starting the process of applying for jobs and masters programs. I have zero clue where I'll end up, which is a rather thrilling thought. I could end up anywhere! Utah seems likely for the short term, as that's where a lot of the jobs I'm interested in are located. But grad school and long term...? It's a mystery!

Looking at my goals for 2016, I think I did alright:

1. Read 5 new books: Check. Nicholas Nickelby, Secret Life of Bees, Lady Susan, Mansfield Park, Young Victoria. The Help.
2. Go on double dates with 6-10 dudes: Partial check. I asked 4 guys out on dates.
3. Summit 1 new peak: Check. Forgot the name, it's somewhere in southern Idaho.
5. Run a 5k: Pfffft no. I've had half-marathons and 5k's on the list for like 5 years now. I'm lowering the expectation to just "some kind of race" this year.
6. Cross something off the bucket list: No, but not for lack of trying! This year I wanted to see a Moose. I spent time in a couple states that have plenty of Moose. Never saw a single one.
7. Attend one community cultural event: Check? I went to the community theater? I attended a couple football games. A&M has it's own culture after all...
8. Submit one photo to a photography contest: Nope.
9. Vote: CHECK

New Years goals for 2017:

1. Read the LOTR series
2. Read at least two other pieces of good literature
3. Summit 1 new peak
4. See a moose (THIS IS THE YEAR. I'LL GO TO ALASKA IF I HAVE TO)
5. Ask a guy out on a single date
6. Learn Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on the organ
7. Participate in some kind of race/contest
8. Participate in a cause/movement/service organization

Good luck this year, everyone!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My SUPER AWESOME weekend at home

Let's see, did I do anything fun this week?............no. No, I did not. Was I GOING to do something fun this week? YES, I was! I had plans to go with a group of friends to enchanted rock. I have wanted to go with a group to enchanted rock for 2 YEARS now. I was very excited. But, of course, I woke up Wednesday morning with a massive headache and sandpaper in my throat. Thursday evening, things did not appear to be improving so I backed out of the trip. All my friends said they had a BLAST and they got to explore some SUPER AWESOME CAVES and they ate authentic German food in Fredericksburg and had the BEST TIME.

Whatever. I'm not bitter. 

So this week I did a lot of reading, I cleaned the house, went shopping and bought a ton of healthy stuff like kale and chia seeds and some other herbal concoctions, and I finished a season of Friday Night Lights. I decided if I'm going to continue watching the show, I'm gonna skip all of the dramatic high school crap and just watch the scenes with Coach and Tami. They are L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y the cutest fictional couple in the world–well, modern world. Elizabeth and Darcy take the number one spot. 

I'm reading The Young Victoria by Alison Plowden. I've seen the movie several times (in fact, I remember the last time I watched it was with Mom at 2 a.m. in London when we hadn't adjusted to the time zone yet), but the book goes so much more in depth and really shows more of Victoria's character. I really enjoy learning more about the lives of the people who were close to her. It's very well written and I recommend it. 

On Saturday I watched a painful game against Alabama. There is a reason they are the number one team right now. Their defense is too good. And poor Trevor Knight just cannot get that ball into his receiver's hands fast enough. I've never seen so many sacks in one game. Saturday night I also went to a baptism and played the piano. It was a nice way to end a rather depressing day. 

Today I went to sacrament meeting and had the worst coughing fit of my life right as the sacrament was being blessed. I had to leave the chapel it was so bad. I stayed to accompany one of my friends for a musical number and then went home after the meeting was over. 

I don't have any pictures showing what I did this week, but I did take a couple of Rusty. 

 He is so handsome. Just look at that snout. So refined.
 His "eyebrows" too just kill me.
I shed real tears this week as I thought about my parents taking him away to Utah. I know it'll just be one semester without him, and I've already spent many other semesters without him, but I just love having Rusty here with me. He's such a good companion :) 



Friday, October 14, 2016

RIP Car

I'm struggling to remember everything that has happened in the last couple weeks, so here are some pictures:

Cadets march through Downtown Fort Worth morning of the Arkansas game at AT&T stadium. We don't really have a mascot, but we have Reveille, who is the most pampered dog in all the world. 
Dad reps the best school in this flat-billed cap that he would never wear in real life. Aggies commit.
I may have suffered permanent hearing loss from this game, but it was all worth it. I love this stadium. I love my team. I love football. 
Poor St. John. He's been towed twice in the last month. He's getting replaced with the tan Yukon in a couple weeks. Now I have to think of another car name, and it has to begin with a "T". 
Midnight yell before we BTHO Tennessee. I was surrounded by cadets and they are loud as all get out. But I was really close to the field which was cool!
Gig 'em! I'm working on a project with these guys (and girl) for one of my classes. We drove out to Huntsville to meet with the executive director of a christian camp and retreat, and ask him all about his life and work. We had a BLAST. I love my major. 

Nothing major to report. This semester is flying by. It honestly feels like October just got here, but it's already halfway over. Time needs to slow down! I love this school too much to be ready to leave in May. 










Sunday, September 18, 2016

"I was RUNNING".


2nd week of school went really well, and was rather uneventful. I started work again, our team of stylists has grown a lot. This industry always has people coming in and out so frequently, it keeps things exciting.
I went to my first home game against Prairie View A&M. They are just an hour or so outside of town. Small school with a biiiiig personality. Their band was hysterical. They were pretty small compared to our band, but they were so loud! Every time our band started playing they would start playing trying to compete. It was very entertaining. 
Our seats were probably the best I've ever had. 2nd deck, 8 rows back, 35 yard line. Not too shabby. The student section is a ton of fun if you don't mind the noise and having to stand theeeeee entirrrrrrre tiiiiiiime. But we beat 'em big time. 67-0. Poor guys. 
I did a little crafting last week. I just was not satisfied with the way my walls were arranged, so I made these cute hanging wall shelves that I saw on Pinterest.
This week was much more interesting.

Monday and Tuesday flew by without any unusual incidences. I went to FHE and of my own free will decided to join the new "advanced FHE group". They don't have specific characteristics outlining what "advanced" means, but as a Senior in college and 23 years old I feel that I qualify. Most other group members were grad students or professionals. Perfect.

Tuesdays are my long days. I have class at 8 a.m., another class at 11 and work from 3-9.

Wednesday I had one job: get football tickets for the Arkansas game. I was planning on using a friend's sports pass which was in someone else's hands at the time. We coordinated how we would exchange the sports pass and of course he forgot all about it, so I spent a good amount of time tracking him down and eventually got the sports pass. Then I went to the stadium and had a lovely time trying to find the ticket office. Then my brakes suddenly broke. I completely ditched trying to find the ticket office outside the stadium at that point.

I drove the car about 5 mph with hazards on just a quarter of a mile down the road to the institute and parked it. Called Dad. Then called the car repair place. Then called the insurance. Then waited for 2 hours for the tow truck. Luckily I was already at the institute, so I went to New Testament class and had choir practice afterward. 2 hours later, still no tow man so I got a ride home with a friend.

I laid in bed on Wednesday night running through my schedule for the following day.
Class at 8 a.m.
Homework in between class from 9-11. Call car repair place, tell them why my car never showed up last night.
11 a.m. class.
Walk to the institute, get there by 1 pm. Call insurance.
Wait for tow truck from 1-2:30.
Walk back to campus at 2:30, take bus to work.

I had it all mapped out perfectly. I woke up at 6 a.m., took Rusty for a quick walk around the block and then took a shower and got dressed for work. I clearly remember looking between my bag full of shears and clippers and hair stuff, and my backpack, already stuffed with folders and a laptop. I wanted to cram everything in one, but I didn't think I had the space. Oh well, bring the backpack AND the hair bag. Off to the bus I go!

On bus 35, I listened to music, thinking over my schedule again for the day. I got dropped off on west campus and walked across the street to another bus stop to wait for bus 05 to take me to west-west campus (it's a big campus). Then I realized that I left my bag with $350 worth of hair cutting supplies on the previous bus. Knowing that bus 35 was going to stop on main campus and wait for 5 minutes before pressing on, I literally started running for main campus. RUNNING. With a full backpack and sandals in my nice work clothes. I ran under the tunnel that connects west and main campus, and on the other side, just 100 yards or so away from me is the bus. It's still waiting there, so I keep running, praying that it won't move. I'm almost there when the door closes and it starts driving away. That's when I realize....it's on a loop. Eventually, the dang bus will be in the exact same spot that it just dropped me off at. WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST WAIT THERE FOR IT?
So I start running again. Down the hill, under the tunnel, up the hill, across the parking lot, across two streets, and I get to the bus stop right as 35 stops and opens the door. My bag is still there on the seat.


By this time, I am a sweaty mess. My hair was nicely done for work this morning, but it's still 94 degrees with 80% humidity down here. At this point, I'm late for class and there is no way I'm going to class or work like this. I won't let anyone sit down in my chair with their nose in my armpit for 14 minutes while I cut their hair.
So I walked to the institute, called the insurance, they arranged for a different tow company to come get my car. The tow truck was there in 20 minutes. I'm still sweaty and exhausted, so I just walk back to campus, get on a bus and go home.
It actually turned out to be a very productive morning. I got all the home work done that I needed to and got cleaned up again for work. I tried out Uber for the first time, which was a success. I was busy at work and made good tips, and the next day my car was all better.

I'm not sure if there was a particular reason why everything seemed to be going wrong for me on Wednesday and Thursday, but just in case there was, I finally called the stake secretary and set up my interview with the Stake Pres. to renew my temple recommend. It expired last month and my Bishop gave me a lecture last week about how I shouldn't ever be in a situation where I didn't have access to the temple. I totally agree. But I justified my reasons for letting it expire by telling myself that I was gone all summer and couldn't get it renewed, and the Houston temple was closed for cleaning anyway, so what does it matter if my recommend is expired? The temple being closed is why it took me several days after my initial interview with the bishop to finish the process and set something up with the stake. I just didn't feel the need to rush.
Anyway, I have my interview tomorrow. Things did finally calm down after I got that all finalized.

On Friday I went to a friend's Aggie Ring ceremony. I was hoping to get mine this fall, but the hours from my internship don't kick in until next semester (urrrgh). So I'll get it sometime in February instead.

Yesterday I cleaned the apartment. Every Saturday is deep clean day. I vacuum floors and furniture, sweep and mop the kitchen, dust everything and wipe the baseboards. Then I spent the next 6 hours doing homework. I have never spent so much time doing homework on a Saturday. 16 credits is kicking my butt.

My reward for finishing homework was watching the A&M game. We beat Auburn (WHOOP!).