Sunday, October 23, 2016

My SUPER AWESOME weekend at home

Let's see, did I do anything fun this week? 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


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'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!).

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Senior Year

 AY WHOOP! That's my wildcat yell, because I'm a senior now! I went to my "last first" midnight yell on Friday night in preparation to BTHO UCLA. That's "Beat The H*** Outta" incase you were wondering. I don't make this stuff up, it's just tradition. Anyway, we beat 'em yesterday.
 Pretty much the whole ward went to midnight yell. The ward is huge now. We can't fit inside the Institute for church anymore so they are moving us into the stake center next week. 1:30 p.m. church time. Yayyyy...
 Here is my newly arranged bedroom. I am quite proud of myself for managing to cram that crate in there.
 Rusty is for the most part a very mellow dog. He still hasn't figured out that the barks from the neighbor's yappy dog are coming from upstairs, and so he runs from one end of the house to the other looking out the windows convinced he'll find the dog there.
I think he's rather unimpressed with the backyard. It makes sense, I guess. My backyard isn't 2 acres. I take him on a walk through the neighborhood park most mornings. Somedays we go the dog park that's just a quick 5 minute drive away. He loves it there because it's nice and big and I can throw the ball for him. Each night he either sleeps at the foot of my bed or inside his crate. When I am home he follows me around everywhere. He's my buddy and I really like having him around :) 

This semester I am taking 6 classes: Anthropology for my minor, three RPTS classes, one calculus, and an ecology lab. I have an awesome work schedule that gets me all the hours I need but I only work 2 days a week. It's my senior year and I am planning on going to as many games as I can. It's going to be a good year :) 


Once again, I have a lot of catching up to do. I will try to sum up my summer as briefly as possible:

I worked for a wilderness therapy program in southern Idaho. I worked with teenage girls struggling with suicidal ideation, eating disorders and self harm. Many of them had also been through physical abuse at the hands of family members and close friends. Most came from privileged yet broken families.
It was one of the most rewarding summers of my life. The environment was brutal. Southern Idaho is basically rocky hills, sage brush, rattlesnakes, and sunny skies with 100 degree heat. Occasionally we found pockets of beauty, like this natural spring pictured above. The girls taught me a lot, and changed my perspective on a lot of things. Hopefully I taught them a little, too.
During my off shift I spent a lot of time with Holly and the kiddos. They are balls of sunshine that made my summer really special.
I visited my first national park this summer. I scared Mom to pieces and decided to go to Glacier alone. But I was just fine.
I saw a deer and one black bear. And no Moose.
Montana is beautiful. I could see myself living here but only for the summers.
The best part of this trip was all the alone time. After 2 weeks of maintaining constant supervision of high risk teenage girls, I needed some time to be by myself. I was never really by myself in Glacier, I was surrounded by other hikers and tourists, but I didn't need to talk or interact with anyone else. It was just me and my thoughts. 
Mom graduated from BYU-I (wahoo!) and we all went to Idaho to watch her walk.
We stayed in a lovely cabin in Driggs, backyard facing the Grand Tetons.
I took lots and lots of pictures of the kiddos.
When my internship ended I picked up Matt in Pasco, WA and we drove to Mt. Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. 
We saw the famous town of Forks and La Push beach (but no Edward or Jacob).
We had lots of good talks and learned a lot about each other. I am happy we are friends. Yep. Just friends.
We ended our trip together in Seattle. He flew back to Indiana and I stayed with an old hair school friend and explored the city a little more. Lovely place. Good seafood, very crowded.
I went to Portland for a couple nights and then made the long drive back to Fort Worth, stopping in Boise, Salt Lake and Albuquerque along the way. 
Now I am back in College Station, this time with a dog. There's only been one casualty so far. 
Taking care of a dog is a bit like taking care of a reasonably capable hairy baby. He drools as much as a baby, pees just as often, and whines about everything too. He wakes up promptly at 6:30 every morning, which is perfect because now I am forced to wake up early. I like having him around :) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

That's a wrap!

And just like that my junior year is over! I took my last final at 8 a.m. this morning. To celebrate the end of the semester my friends and I had a little photoshoot at the park this weekend.

We are all very excited for our various summer internships and jobs, and even more excited by the prospect of being SENIORS in the fall. "AY WHOOP!" 

We should be receiving our Aggie rings in the fall. Christina beat us all to the punch and got hers this semester. A&M makes a big deal out of getting your ring and even designates 2 weekends out of the semester for "Ring Day" where students go through an entire ceremony to receive their ring. 

Not at all associated with the university but still practiced by all the students is the ring dunk. Students drop their ring into a pitcher of some kind of liquid (typically beer, but gatorade if you don't drink alcohol) and then chug the whole thing until they reach the ring at the bottom. You may get your ring on Ring Day, but you haven't earned it until you've dunked it. We've already started planning the theme for our own ring dunk! 

This semester was also my last to work at Bovay. I have enjoyed running the canoe station and working with younger kiddos since I have not had much experience with that in the past. I'm glad I did it, but I'm looking forward to gaining some more experience in another setting next semester. 

This summer I will be working for BlueFire wilderness therapy in Idaho. This is the field I have wanted to work in for a long time, and I am excited and ready to jump in and learn all I can about wilderness therapy. I had a great time in Idaho last March with these other interviewees. We came from all over the place with different backgrounds and training and it was really fun getting to know everyone and what brought them to this point. 

I got to spend a couple days with Holly while I was going to and from Idaho for my interview. I'm super excited about living so close to Holly and the kiddos this summer. I'll be seeing them quite a bit!

I finished up with the interview around the same time that my A&M friends Haley and Christina were flying up to Salt Lake for General Conference. I somehow lost all the photos we took that weekend, but I was their chauffeur for a day and showed them all the essential Salt Lake/Provo sites. We walked around temple square, toured BYU campus, saw the Y on the mountain, ate Cafe Rio outside the new Provo tabernacle, met Holly for ice cream in downtown Provo, drove up the canyon to Bridal Veil, and then finished up the day by watching some skiers at Sundance.

That night was a rough one, I must have caught a bug or something earlier that week. I was up most of the night, and not ready to jump on a plane back home the next morning. Dad flew up to meet me, and I slept in the back of Mom's car (which she brought to Utah during her internship) while Dad drove us back to Texas. I felt much better Sunday evening, enough to sit up and enjoy some of the beautiful Colorado scenery.

It wouldn't be a proper road trip unless Dad got pulled over for speeding. He got away with a warning ;) road trips with Dad are fun, and I'm looking forward road tripping back up to Utah in a couple weeks for my internship! 

Before then, though, I'll be going to California to visit family, and then seeing this guy! Matt visited Fort Worth 2 weekends ago, and I had a lovely time showing him around Fort Worth. 

We went all over the place but somehow I only have pictures from the zoo and the cowboys stadium. Matt is a football fanatic (well, all sports in general) but he doesn't like the cowboys. Real shocker, since half of America hates them. But I forced him through a tour anyway, and in the end he asked me to take a picture of him in front of Jason Witten's locker (the one player I think he actually likes). It's quite the brainwashing process. 

In addition to the zoo and cowboys stadium, we went to the JFK museum in Dallas, we went to a Ranger's game, walked around downtown Fort Worth and the stockyards, and also the botanical gardens. 

I've got nothing else to add, except that my Dad is super goofy and this picture should be preserved so here it is.