Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Break Update

After a long, restful Spring Break, I am finally back into the groove of life and I will regale my stories from the past week!-As many of you know, last Sunday was my beloved Mimi’s 94th birthday. I’ll reiterate that…94!!! Wow! We began the day by joining her at church, which alone brightened her day. At church, I happened to see my old swimming teacher, who couldn’t believe that I was turning nineteen. I had a nice chat with her before we left for home. We ended up having Mimi over for a wonderful lunch of roast and mashed potatoes with cake to top it all off! As a sidenote, I would like to mention that I made my very first angel food cake from scratch, with the egg whites & cream of tartar. I had my parents’ guidance, but I was still excited to add yet another thing to my cooking repertoire!
(Cole & Andy were napping during this picture.)
-Monday was another part of my birthday celebration. Tevis was so sweet as to take me to Stillwater for Eskimo Joe’s. Like I mentioned before, he left for his dad’s on Tuesday morning, so that was the best time for him to celebrate my birthday with me. The whole experience was great, from him driving through the mud in his little car to get me, to the great conversations we had on the way to & from Stillwater. I had a wonderful evening with him. Oh yes, as for what he got me… Personally, I thought that him taking me to Joe’s was gift enough, but as per his mom’s insistence, he got me a nice wall clock for my dorm, because he didn’t know if I had a downstairs clock or not. I loved that he thought of something practical, since I, too, appreciate practicality. Also, while we were at Joe’s, he got his little sister a cute sundress and he got me a shirt. Like I said, I had a great night with him that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

-Of course, Wednesday was my birthday! I was able to spend the day with Cody and Kyle, which was quite nice. They greeted me with pictures that they had drawn for me, multiple “happy birthdays”, and “I love yous”. Nothing beats that! They also helped my mom and I do a little bit of spring cleaning. We had a great day together.
-Wednesday night was my birthday supper, which included my favorites—chicken alfredo, Caesar salad, green beans, garlic bread, and Italian cream cake. Thanks to my mom and Emily who really got it all together at the end, when things got a little bit crazy! As for presents, I got a couple of shirts from my parents, a super-comfy pajama set from Emily’s boys, a pizza cutter & crossword books from Gina’s crew, and, in a surprise twist, I will also be getting an iPod Nano from Gina & Emily in the coming weeks! I am really excited about the iPod, since I love listening to music so much, and I have never owned an mp3 player of any sort! I loved all of my presents, but I loved getting to be with my family the most of all. I am truly blessed!
(Cole & Wyatt were MIA for this picture.)
-Back in November when my family went to the silent auction for Cody & Kyle’s school, my mom happened to win a photography package from Motophoto. She decided to use this package to get pictures of Gina & Emily’s boys. Because it was the easiest time to coordinate it, the pictures were done last Thursday. I just have to say, those photographers really earn their money. All five boys were “spirited”, if you get my drift, but in various ways. The only real snag in their session was the semi-meltdown that Andy had. Thankfully, we got the issue resolved, and their pictures turned out just great! It will be a tough decision to decide which pictures to order when the time comes.
-Friday ended up being a pretty good day. I had received an invitation to join Scotty, Emily, and their crew for a trip to the zoo, but my mom ended up going in my place because I was invited to a movie night at Tonisha's house with her and Mary. Although I know that I missed out on a boatload of fun with the Moody clan, I did have a nice time with my friends.

-I finally got my TOMS on Friday night, and I was SO excited to get to wear them. Well, it turns out that I will have to wait to wear them for just a little while longer because they were too big and I had to send them back to exchange for a smaller size. If I'm lucky, I'll receive them in the next week or two, but until then, I'll live. If I didn't have my heart so set on them and I hadn't spent a bit of money on them, I would've just given them to Gina, because not only did they fit her perfectly, they also looked adorable on her. (Hmm, maybe I have found a gift idea for later!) Oh well, one day I will have my shoes; perhaps this is reminding me to be patient and not so materialistic...just a thought.

-Speaking of Gina, I also got to do something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. I got to drive her Camaro!!! She hasn't driven it in quite some time, since it really isn't too conducive to carseats and whatnot. Anyway, she finally got it up and running, and she stopped by my house on Saturday night to see if I wanted to take it for a spin, and I naturally agreed. I was very cautious when driving, because I definitely didn't want to do anything to mess up her car. Regardless, I had a great time!!!

-You all know how much I love to read. Lately, my love has been passed on to my parents. In all honesty, my mom enjoys reading probably as much as I do, as she is usually reading something. This love rekindled when Gina got my mom “Heaven Is For Real” for her birthday. (My mom is in love with that book, by the way, and has since purchased copies for Mimi, my Aunt Pat, and a few other people.) Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I read “The Help”, so I decided to buy my mom a copy since she has expressed some interest in the book and I really didn’t get her much of a birthday present. She is about one hundred pages in, and she is hooked. Every once in a while, she asks me questions about the plot line, and I have such a hard time not spilling the beans about everything! I’m so glad that she loves it! In an odd turn of events, my dad has started reading “Heaven Is For Real”. My dad reads some, but he isn’t as avid a reader as my mom or I are. Also, most of his reading was limited to Louis L’Amore books, Patrick McManus books, or random magazines/newspapers. As much as my mom loves this book, she never told him that “he had to read it”. The other day, my mom and I came home from Mimi’s house, and we saw that he had that book setting by his chair with a bookmark in it. Gradually, he has made his way through the book, and I am interested to hear what he thinks about it when he is done.

-Speaking of books, I have had quite the upswing in books that I have read in the past few weeks. Thanks to Tonisha, I have read another Nicholas Sparks book, and she got the other book of his that I haven't read for my birthday. (I should note that she is anxiously waiting for me to finish that book so that she can borrow it.) I also read "Night" by Elie Wiesel. It definitely isn't light reading material, but it was a good, thought-provoking book nonetheless. In a twist of serendipity, when I was at the library checking out "Night", I saw that they have a bookshelf of books that they are selling to raise money for the library. They were all very reasonably priced, with the most expensive book being maybe a dollar, if not less. As I peered through the shelf, I happened upon the only Robert Fulghum book that I haven't read yet. Since it cost only fifty cents, I decided that it would be mine! Hooray for good books!

-As a note on this week, I am slowly getting back into my groove of school. I only have five weeks left, including this week, so I am definitely on the downhill slide! Fall enrollment opened on Monday, so I got into my advisor's office as soon as my schedule allowed, and I am enrolled! I will be in thirteen hours, which isn't too much, but will be somewhat challenging. My hardest classes will be Calc II and Physics I (which has a lab), but I am looking forward to my electives of Late British Literature and Bowling. It should definitely be an interesting semester for me!

I hope that all is well, and that you continue to have a good week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Long Lost Friends

I’ll be back to talk about the events of this past week later, but for now, I thought that I’d share something that had been on my mind through this week.

I’m sure that you, like me, have many friends who you don’t talk to on a regular basis, but they still hold a special place in your heart. The best thing about this kind of friend is that you don’t have to be in constant communication, but if you saw each other, you could reconnect with them as if no time has passed.
In the past week, I have corresponded some with an old friend of mine from my Confirmation class, Emily. Right now, she is attending college in Connecticut, so I don’t see her too often. In a random turn of events, she had commented on a picture of Mimi and me from our birthday celebration that I posted to Facebook. Last night, I started thinking about how I really became friends with Emily, and I had an epiphany, of sorts.  I realized that Emily gave me the inspiration to become who I am today. 
It all started about four-and-a-half years ago when I was the new kid in the Confirmation class. I really didn’t know anyone and I was very anxious about the experience that was to come. In my first few weeks of class, I gradually got to know my classmates, but I was still shy around everyone. I remember that Emily was one of the older kids in the class, as she was two years older than me. Also, she was one of the more outgoing people in that class, and I wasn’t. I liked how she wasn’t afraid to assert her opinions about the various topics we discussed. Many times, others in our class didn’t agree with her. She always held true to her convictions and she was a truly genuine person.
At that point in life, I was still living in the shadow of others and trying to really find myself. In Emily, I found not only a friend, but who I truly aspired to be. As our two-year program progressed, she and I became friends and I became who I am today. This is only one half of the story, though. At the beginning of our second year of classes, Emily lent me a book, in which she included a note to me. In this note, Emily told me that she actually looked up to me and was blown away by things that I had said in class. To hear that a senior looked up to a mere sophomore blew my mind. Up to that point in my life, I never realized that I had that kind of an impact on another person, and it changed me for the better. After knowing that, I knew for sure that we would be friends for a long time.
As the years have passed, we have still remained friends. Like I said, I don’t get to see her very often, but we always have a nice chat when we do see each other. We usually pick up right where we left off, and our conversations leave me feeling happy and refreshed. I am truly blessed to have a friend like her!

Emily & I at our Confirmation (2009)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day!

I would venture to say that most of you reading this are familiar with Mole Day, celebrating the Chemistry measurement known as a mole (6.02 x 10^23), which is celebrated on October 23rd.

I recently learned about a new day that I, as a math major, love...Pi Day! Pi is the irrational number that is commonly used with circles and in finding radian measures (mostly with Trig functions). The fun fact about pi is that it never terminates as a decimal; it literally has an infinite amount of decimals, but is commonly rounded off as 3.14, so it would only make sense to celebrate Pi Day on March 14th. In three years, it will be really cool because the two decimals following 14 are 15, making it 3.1415. So yes, on March 14, 2015, it will be the ultimate Pi Day!

Unfortuntately, I don't have a pie plate at school and I don't have adequate time to make a pie or else I would celebrate Pi Day by making a pie. However, I do have a recipe for an easy cheesecake pie floating around in my head, so enjoy!

1 graham cracker crust (store bought or homemade)
8 oz. cream cheese (it doesn't have to be softened, but that might make it easier to beat)
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-8 oz. carton Cool Whip, thawed
Desired toppings (fruit, chocolate chips, etc), optional

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Blend in powdered sugar and vanilla. Fold in Cool Whip just until blended, but not too much, so that it won't lose its fluffy consistency. Spoon cream cheese mixture into graham cracker crust. You can serve it right away, but it might be better if you let it chill for about 30 minutes; either way is just fine.

Recipe Notes:
-In my experience, I have learned that the creaming/mixing process is much easier if you use a hand mixer or a Kitchen-Aid mixer. It isn't impossible otherwise, but it will take much longer.

-Depending on the size of the crust you have, it might be necessary to double the filling. If you buy a crust, the smaller sized crust will be perfect for 1 batch of filling. For the slightly bigger crust, it will probably take 2 batches of filling to get it full, unless you don't mind it being relatively empty.

-Use your imagination on toppings! Also, I have blended in chocolate chips or blueberries into the filling itself to give it a slightly different texture. Also, sometimes it is good to just let it stand alone. Use your judgement!

Happy Pi Day, everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10 On Tuesday

1. Last Saturday, I finished my laundry and the remainder of my Calc homework in record time (so said my mom), so I was able to enjoy myself for the remainder of the weekend. With that being so, I decided that I was going to see if Tevis wanted to hang out for the evening, since he was off. I made a few unsuccessful attempts of getting ahold of him throughout the afternoon, before coming to the realization that he probably didn't have his phone with him, so I resorted to Plan B: I texted his mom. (It sounds petty and pathetic, but it does work. Also, Tevis is not the kind of person who is attached to his phone, so it is common for him to be without it.) Thankfully, Kim had him call me, and we were able to make plans for the evening. After some deliberation, he decided that he wanted to go midnight bowling. We also decided that it would be better if we got a group of people, so he decided to bring his younger brother, Kamen, and I initially decided to invite Tonisha. He invited another friend, who was unable to go, but I was also able to get my friend Mary to join us. In a twist of fate, Tevis and Kamen's cousin, Robert, who I have met at church, happened to be there, so he also joined us. It was a great night, and a great time was had by all. I particularly enjoyed catching up with Mary, who I haven't seen in quite some time. Here are the three of us, reunited at last!

2. Because we went midnight bowling, I didn't get home until early Sunday morning. However, the time change threw everything off, and I was still exhausted when 6:40 AM rolled around and my mom was waking me up for church. I decided that I was going to pass on 7:45 Mass & hit the 9:30 Mass at Hennessey with Mimi. I should mention that we got a decent amount of rain through the night, which made our dirt roads quite muddy. Since I drive a pickup with 4-wheel-drive, usually I can make it through the mud without much trouble. The drive to church went just fine, but I hit a snag on the way home. I was going just fine down the road when suddenly, my pickup began fish-tailing ever so slightly. I was only going about 20-25 mph, but I slowed down just a little bit more. The next thing I know, I was drawn over into the ditch, and I was stuck. I made a few attempts at getting out, but those were in vain. I got out and assessed the situation, just to see that my tires were packed with mud, giving me basically no traction, even if I have four-wheel-drive. So, I called home to have my dad come and pull me out. I hoped against all hope that some random farmer with a big Ford pickup would drive by and oblige to help me, but (another instance of Murphy's Law) none did. They all probably had the foresight to avoid that road...or they were still at home snoozing...or they were at church. (My money is on the first one.) Eventually, my parents arrived and they freed me from the ditch. I really have to count my blessings, because there was no damage done to me, my vehicle, or the fence by the ditch. Also, this happened about 200 feet from a large culvert pipe, so I was VERY lucky that it happened where it did. My guardian angel was working overtime on Sunday!

3. I absolutely LOVE this spring weather! This is what I have waited for ever so patiently! I can finally wear shorts, capris, and light jackets, or, even better, no jackets! I love it! Even better, there is the occasional thunderstorm, which is my next favorite, so I am a happy girl!

4. I had an interesting afternoon yesterday. It began with a routine visit to the eye doctor, which ended with me making the frightful realization that I forgot my wallet in my backpack, which was in my dorm. This meant that I had driven to the eye doctor without my license, and then meant that I had to drive all the way back without it; to say the least, I was hesitant to go back. I had to drop by Emily's work to give a thank-you note to the lady who let me interview her, so I was telling Emily about my predicament. She happened to be leaving in about five minutes, so she told me that she would take me by my dorm to get my wallet. On our way there, she picked up Cole from his babysitter, and I got to get some snuggles in with my little man, who was all smiles for me! After getting my wallet, she then invited me to go to her in-laws' house with her for supper and to see Cody & Kyle before getting my pickup. Naturally, I obliged, and I got to spend a couple of hours with the boys! After enjoying a nice supper, Emily had to take Cody to his Cub Scout meeting, so I got to sit in on that, which was interesting for me. After the meeting, she took me by her work, I got my pickup, and I went back to my room. Quite the night, and it wouldn't have happened if I remembered my wallet!

5. I've mentioned my recent distaste for my Calc class. Well, not so much distaste, as irritation, or just feeling burnt out. I think that my teacher is feeling the same way too, because today, she decided that we wouldn't go over the other two sections (which were short anyway) and would spend the entire class period going over homework questions. It was also a day that my class was happy that we have the capability of muting our room so that Tonkawa can't hear us, because we were all pretty ornery today. No one wants to be in that class; we all want spring break! On a happy note, we got out of class thirty minutes early, sans homework! Because of this, I was able to wash my pickup and run a couple of other errands. YAY!

6. Spring Break is approaching ever so soon, and I, for one, am excited. (As if you couldn't tell.) I don't really have any immediate plans, but I am ready to roll with whatever happens! To make things even better, I have the real possibility of having no classes on Friday, so I may just be done on Thursday! However, I might just go home early on Friday...we'll see.

7. I said that I might go home early on Friday for the fact that Thursday is shaping up to be incredibly busy. I don't have anything too big going on in Speech class, but I also have a Lit Club meeting, a Calc Test, and a PLC meeting all in about a four-hour timespan. Yikes! I will be absolutely drained by Thursday night, I can already feel it. Hopefully, all will go well, and I will be able to go into Spring Break with a peaceful mind!

8. Why am I so excited about Spring Break? Oh, I don't know, maybe it has something to do with a big event for me like...what's that? Ah, yes! My birthday!!!!! My birthday is one of my favorite days of the year, as it always has been, and I can't wait. Even better, I get to share my birthday week with my favorite person in the world, Mimi! Her birthday is next Sunday, and mine is on Wednesday, so we usually have a somewhat celebration together. The only bummer about my birthday this year is the fact that Tevis won't be here for it. (Very sad face) Apparently, last week, his dad, who lives in Colorado as you might remember, informed him that he had purchased a plane ticket for Tevis to come spend Spring Break with him. In Colorado. During my birthday. I really shouldn't be a baby about it, because I spend time with him at least once a week, and he'll be back in no time at all, and he hasn't seen his dad since last summer. I will survive, and it won't be that bad. Also, Tevis has promised to take me out before he leaves, so I can't be too upset. Regardless, life goes on, and my birthday is next week! Hooray for me and Mimi!!!

9. This is very random, but then again, so is everything on this list. One of my favorite TV shows is Saturday Night Live. This show isn't so popular with most of my family, but we don't always have to like the same things, I suppose. I have enjoyed most of the episodes this season, but what I really haven't enjoyed is the musical guests from the last few shows. They used to feature many prominent bands/singers or an up-and-coming musician who has an interesting sound. Like I said though, I really haven't been impressed with the acts that they have come up with recently. Truth be told, I haven't even heard of most of them, which doesn't say much, but still, I hope that they pull it together pretty soon, because that was one of my favorite parts of the show. Just a thought...

10. On a last note, I think that I just might get myself a birthday present. I have mentioned my love for TOMS shoes before, and I have grown quite fond of the pair I have now. I have already decided to purchase a new pair for my birthday. Instead of the usual canvas TOMS, I am going to get myself a pair of their new style, the crocheted TOMS in silver, as can be seen here. They cost a little bit more than the original pair I bought, but I will probably get quite a bit of wear out of them this summer, and I absolutely love the pair I have now, so I think that it will be money well spent. Happy Birthday to Me!!! :)

I hope that everyone has a great week, and enjoys some of this lovely weather!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ten on Thursday

1. It has been a LONG week. Has it been that way for everyone else? Obligations and tests galore this week, and next week isn't seeming to slow down much more. I suppose that I will hang on as tight as I can and hopefully I can make it to Spring Break! With any hope I will make it to next Friday at 10 no worse for wear, so that I can happily celebrate my Spring Break birthday! Only eight days until spring break!!!

2. I've been enjoying attending church with Tevis, and it is probably one of my favorite things that we have ever done together. Last week was great because they had a "Red Carpet" theme night, so everyone dressed up and had a great time! Thankfully, Tevis gave me a heads up or else I would've forgot about dressing up. Also, I am glad that I still had my dress from the banquet/PTK initiation and that it was still clean so that I had something to wear or else I would've been sunk! Tevis was also dressed to the nines, as he wore his tux from prom. I think that we looked quite smashing together, even if my hair didn't look the best!

3. I was pretty irritated about my speech class last week, but it has slowly improved. I ended up interviewing a community planner from Emily's work, who was very interesting. She taught me much about her profession, and I am grateful for her help. Also, my presentation that I gave over my interview with her went just great! On a high note, my teacher has decided that she would cancel class this morning, which I am currently loving. I thought that I would be able to sleep in, but Murphy's Law of college states that anytime a class is cancelled and you can sleep in, you will be up at 7:15, EVERY time. Even so, I love hearing the rain pattering on my window and knowing that I don't have to get out in the yuckiness just yet!

4. Racquetball is going pretty well for Tonisha and me. If you remember how well we were doing in the first weeks of it, you will be happy to know that we are having much better luck and our skill has improved immensely! We are finally able to return each other's passes at a decent speed. Now, if someone was to walk by the court and watch us through the window, they would think that we have some decent skills! I'm proud of us, and I can't wait to see how far we will come by the end of the semester!

5. I am really getting burnt out in my Calc class. Every day we have a long homework assignment, and I am starting to get spring fever, so said homework is steadily losing its appeal. We are currently working on integration, which isn't so much hard as it is tedious. I told my dad this weekend that I would have no problem going back to fourth grade when we were learning long division. That was a cake walk compared to this stuff! Oh well, I shall persevere and hopefully make it through the semester otherwise unscathed. Eight days...Eight days...Eight days!

6. I enjoyed a trip with my parents and Jeremy to go look for a new bull on Sunday afternoon. We visited with a nice family from the Dover area, from whom my dad ultimately decided to buy a bull. The family was very nice, and it was interesting to talk with another farming family, to know that things are the same on most farms. I also loved getting to see the different scenery, so it was a win-win for me.

7. Last Thursday was the last home basketball game for the NOC teams. They did a great job, and they swept our opponent! Sadly, now Tonisha and I have a Thursday night void, since we have loyally attended every Thursday night home game this semester. However, I think we have found a temporary filler, because we have plans to get Papa Murphy's tonight and rent "The Help". I am super-duper excited to finally watch that movie, so I can't wait for tonight!!!

8. Today will be the second day of PLC interviews. Yesterday, I and some of my fellow PLC'ers helped with tours for the candidates. We found a few people who made a very good impression, and also a few who left much to be desired. It was interesting to compare our opinions with those of the interview committee, as there were a couple of cases when the tours really gave more insight into the candidate than the interview itself did. Also, you would be amazed at how many people brought their parents along, and wanted them to attend the interview with them. Although I see the purpose of this to an extent, I know that my parents didn't go with me, because they knew that I needed to be responsible and do this for myself. (They would've gone had I wanted them to, but even so...) Not only was this the case for me, but also for two of my other PLC friends. Quite the phenomenon, if you ask me. Also, I am scouting for a future roommate, because I want to be in the best position possible, since I will be the only sophomore girl next year. I still have one more tour to give today, so we will see how that goes!

9. I am enjoying a quiet morning in my dorm, while Carissa is with friends on a day trip. I like being around people and being social (to an extent), but then again, sometimes I like to just be by myself. I don't do anything crazy in my solitude, but it is definitely a release, of sorts, to be able to move at my own pace and not worry about being disruptive to anyone. Of course, if I had to be alone all the time, I would lose my mind, but like I said, it's a temporary release.

10. On Tuesday, I fulfilled my duty as an American citizen and I voted in the Super Tuesday primaries. It was my first time to vote, so it was a bit of a monumental occasion for me! I decided that it would be easiest if I went home just after speech to go vote. A fringe benefit of it was getting to talk to and eat lunch with my mom while I was there. It was nice, even if I only had one question to vote on and I had to leave home no sooner than I arrived. (Sad face) Even so, I got a picture to commemorate the event, with my first "I Voted" sticker!

As an added bonus, I'll show you an adorable picture of baby Cole, who you haven't seen too much of in a while. Also, I love this picture, so here he is as a final happy thought for the week, with my mom and Wyatt!