2016 Update

Hi all!

So after enjoying many happy years of pleasant relationships with my technology, it appears that a new era has arrived, starting with the death of my phone over thanksgiving, the death of my computer charger right before Christmas, and then, while in Spain, the death of my charger/computer charging port (accidentally fried oops).

I did intend to get a lot of work done on many things while in Sevilla, including a blog post or two, but with a dead computer that’s a little hard. I’m using my mom’s computer for the moment while mine is in the shop. A blog post (or two because we all know me) is coming as soon as my computer gets back and I can upload pictures.

But the short story for now is that I spent the happiest of happy two weeks back in my favorite city with my favorite person. It was incredibly difficult coming back but we both agreed that at least this time we are more secure in our relationship and have a better handle on how to deal with long distance.

In addition, I have graduation to look forward to and starting a new adult chapter in my life come May so this semester holds a lot of excitement for me.

I hope you all had a restful and peaceful Christmas vacation. Stay warm :)

Christmas and The Art of Looking Forward (but not too far)

Merry (early) Christmas everyone!

Hopefully you have all survived this semester. While one of the most challenging ones for me to date (in many ways), my GPA survived, my sparkling personality survived, and my heart survived all the lows and highs the last few months have brought.

This semester has been all about trying to live in the moment and enjoy senior year while missing a certain person terribly. If I had to self-evaluate, I’d say I’ve done some pretty on-point B+/A- work on it.

This Christmas and holiday season is one I have been looking forward to for awhile. I’ve been glad to rest and spend time with family. For example, my mom and I got to have a girls’ night out to see “Spotlight” (highly recommended for mature audiences. Definitely not a light happy movie but an important one and well-made). And my dad, brothers, a friend and I got to go laser tag and thus, release some semester frustrations by shooting 100% safe fake lasers at each other.

I’m excited for church tonight (my favorite of the entire church year), the good food and more time with family tomorrow, and this weekend, the fact that I’ll be on a plane headed back to Spain to see my favorite person. So needless to say, my Christmas is shaping up to be a very happy one.

I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases and let your hearts be bright etc etc etc. :)

London: Day 3

Jess left the night before because of an unexpected work meeting Monday morning, but I still had one more day left.

I got quite a late start due to an unfortunately timed migraine and a poor night’s sleep. The day before I had bought a ticket to see “Miss Saigon” on the West End on impulse. In my defense, it’s a better impulse buy than most things. As such, I didn’t want to push myself to leave super early with a headache and make it worse.

I walked across London Bridge and down along the Thames to the Tower of London. I got fish and chips for lunch (finally. Fish+Chips make the world go round and if you don’t believe me, you’re wrong) and then joined a tour of the tower. At the start, a very nice young guy introduced himself and became was my attachment the entire time. Which was cool, I guess, if you like guys who think the Tower of London is a good place to pick up girls (I mean. Historically speaking people get rid of women there…). He disappeared after the tour and walk through the Crown Jewels building so I hope he made it out.

I wandered my way through the metros and various shops without actually buying anything (so proud of myself). I tried to find a Pret a Manger that wasn’t busy (haha. ha) but ended up somewhat lost in London’s chinatown and got food from a street vendor. Yes I’m surprised I was never sick. I finally went to the theatre an outrageous hour and a half early considering I was already in the area but hey. I got a drink and sat at the theatre balcony bar so all’s well that ends well.

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“Miss Saigon” was a dream. I saw almost the original cast (one main character was different). However the lead actress playing Kim was the original actress in the revival and she was incredible. Only 18 and her only theatre credits before this one were high school productions and one win at a national competition. What am I even doing with my life?

I’d never seen the musical before but loved the music so it was difficult to not hum along. The staging and lighting were amazing, the actors wonderful, and the story moving as always.

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It was an amazing last night in London and I easily could’ve spent another week there if not for the astronomically high costs (sorry London I still love ya). But the next day I was off to Madrid again to say goodbye to Spain and the boy (Post HERE from forever ago as this blog is 110% out of chronological order).

What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Finals

So hey guys it’s been almost another month since I blogged!

This is due to

  1. Senioritis and not really caring about much of anything
  2. Being overly involved which is the only way I can do life

And thus having no time to do things like blog.

But!

It’s been a super exciting month full of fun things!

So without further ado, my month in picture format in chronological order (as best I can remember):

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Lauren and Michelle have been my pseudo-big sisters since I was little and at the beginning of the month, Lauren got married! So I got to have a nice weekend in Austin, TX (minus some weather delays) and celebrate with them. Check out the gorgeous view in the background!

 

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I competed in IUPUI’s Dancing With the Stars for the third time as a “pro” to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital. Prof. Anliker and I raised over $1,000 to win the fundraising award. This is always my favorite event of hte semester

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I went ice skating! I can’t do any fancy tricks but I do love to skate. It’s fun and good exercise and helps me gauge just how strong my ankles still are for dance.

 

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IUPUI’s international culture show! This was my first time attending and I loved it. We heard girls since traditional Indiana bollywood, saw traditional Philippine dances, and tai chi. All in all a night well spent.
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Finally there was Thanksgiving. I was super blessed to have my cousins from Minnesota visiting as well as my friend from Michigan for the weekend. We ate even more good food, celebrated an early Christmas with that side of the family and played a new game that involved whipped cream thrown in the face. Good times.

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A Camping Trip Where It Didn’t Rain (What?)

So growing up myself, my adopted grandmother, my brothers, and her actual grandchildren would go on a camping trip every summer. And every summer, it would rain the exact days we’d be out in the wilderness. It didn’t matter if it was a weekend, the middle of the week, two days, three days, northern Indiana, western Indiana, central Indiana…it rained. Always.

So when I had the opportunity to go on a camping trip disguised as a women’s retreat part of me was like, oh yay strong female relationships! and the other part of me was like damn it I know it’s going to rain I just know it plus, you know, spiders and dirt.

But I did go in the end. I knew two people on the trip (Liv and Nina you guys are my rocks and among the greatest human beings I know) and precisely no one else out of the 11 others who went.

That weekend was so good for everything. As you all know from my post earlier in the semester, I’d been struggling a lot with being home, but also being away from home, trying to stay in the moment my senior year, but also being in a long distance relationship (Side note: 47 more days!!). This retreat was all about being “Unedited.” About not hiding the struggles, asking for help and advice and guidance from God, yes, but also strong women who are also going through their own struggles. It was about lifting each other up in prayer and with being social and meeting new people and also fireside worship complete with Famous Amos cookies and s’mores (never underestimate those).

Also it was in a beautiful location (Brown County State Park!):

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This retreat was a great decision and I loved every minute of it (even that moment when Nina told me she almost didn’t move a spider that was about to crawl into my mouth while I was sleeping but then did it anyway. You’re a true friend).

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