Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Revolution!

Here I am at the end of 2012, and I have decided think of all of the cool/interesting/noteworthy things that have happened this year...besides surviving the "apocalypse" that we all knew wouldn't happen anyway. As usual, 2012 has had its ups and downs; fortunately, I had more ups than downs! If I had to think of one word to define my year, I think that it would have to be revolution. I feel that it is appropriate using two definitions, as a transformation and as an upheaval, of sorts.

I guess I'll start with the upheaval bit, only because it includes some of the yucky stuff that happened. I found myself in a few situations that really shoved me out of my comfort zone, and made for some trying times. It began in full force back in January, when I took my first, of what would eventually be two Calculus classes via ITV. This was not something I relished from this year at all, as I'm sure you already knew from all of my previous posts. I struggled some, but I am proud to say that I emerged successful, as was the case in my difficult Physics class!

Reality crashed the party this summer in multiple ways, mostly in the fact that I came to the sudden realization that I was actually going to have to make some progress on transferring schools, as much as I really don't want to, if only for convenience's sake. Although I was very perplexed for quite a while, I do believe that I may be starting to see some progress on that front, PTL! I also had to say some goodbyes that I really wasn't ready to say. The obvious explanation there was the loss of my classmate who drowned back in May. The other unwelcome goodbye wasn't necessarily a permanent one, but still, it made me sad. Yes, the goodbye of my awesome roommate from last year, Carissa! I really sound like a love-lorn sap with an unnatural obsession, but I swear that I am not! Really though, she became one of the best friends that I have ever had, and she made the transition to college life so much better than I ever anticipated! I am very grateful to have had the chance to get to know her! (I did get to attend her beautiful wedding in June, though, and we still correspond some, so it's not a total loss :) )

My scholarship, as nice as it is, and as grateful as I am for it, has really not turned out to be all that it was cracked up to be this school year. (Read: since August) Last year, I had no issues with it, but things now definitely aren't what they used to be, and that frustrates me some. Honestly, there isn't much that I can realistically do about it, if only for the fact that I have so much to lose, and now really isn't the time to rock the boat too much. I really could go on about this, but I won't. I'll leave it at the fact that it hasn't provided me with very much joy as of late.

I guess I'll end the depressing portion with the most obvious, and most recent "revolution" in my life:  my infamous break-up with Tevis. Last time I mentioned it, it was literally the day it happened, and I didn't have much to say. Now that I have processed things, I am going to pour my heart out a little bit, if only for personal closure, but this should be the last time I ever mention it; I promise! (Some of this may overlap with what I said last time...bear with me.) Regardless of the fact that most of you probably have never met him, I'm sure you came to be familiar with him. I won't go into damaging detail, because I just don't work that way when it comes to these things, but I should really say that this wasn't something I decided on a whim.  Don't get me wrong, we had lots of great times together and I really did love him. But, as all of my fellow bloggers know, you don't really tend to write about the bad times. Well, you do to an extent, but there is always the part that gets left out, because no one in the public domain wants to, or more importantly, needs to know about it. And you don't like posting negative things constantly. (Okay, well, maybe that's just me, but I think that resonates with many people.) He and I were never a perfect couple, and our relationship had a few sore spots that eventually caused its demise. For whatever reason, there were many people (mostly from high school or church) who were under the impression that we had this idealistic, perfect love affair that would be one for the ages, and they were shocked to find out about the break-up. And that's the thing: from the outside, everything looked great; unfortunately, it wasn't always the same way from the inside. I am a firm believer in letting go of something that no longer suits you, as opposed to holding onto it just to keep up appearances; that was exactly the case this time. You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to make that choice. I spent a lot, and I mean A LOT of time praying about it. I spent almost as much time discussing it with my people. I cried a lot. I was a wreck. (Hence my hiatus from blogging, not to mention stress preceding Finals week.) After a while, I knew that ending things would be the best option for both of us, at least on a long-term scale. Yes, I really was the one to end things, and I hated seeing the look on his face as I told him. Yes, I miss getting to see all of the wonderful people he introduced me to (i.e. his family, friends, etc.) No, I probably wouldn't want to reconcile, at least not right now. I know it hurt him, too, although I don't really know to what extent, seeing as that was the last time we spoke. I do hope that all goes well for him in any of his future ventures, including any future loves he may have, and I really mean that part.

I truly believe that this will prove to be a turning point in my life. I feel like there are some big things waiting for me in the near future. Things that are way bigger than this; things that are literally life-changing; things that I can't experience until I let this go. Maybe this is why I haven't struggled so much post break-up, because I am aware that this is merely a stepping stone in God's ultimate plan for my life.

Now that I got that out of my system, let's proceed with the happy stuff!

I actually accomplished one of my life-long dreams, not once, but FOUR times! I ran four 5K races, and I am in love! I am on the path to changing to natural running, which was a huge game-changer for me, and I am approaching 2013 with some bigger goals that I believe I can accomplish with a little bit of tenacity and motivation! Hopefully, I will be able to see those goals through, we'll see!

I became a student assistant for a teacher, who I deem to be one of my mentors, and I have loved it since day one! She is providing me with great insight into the profession of teaching, and lots of great training. I am very grateful for this opportunity!

I changed quite a bit this year, but I really think that it has been for the better. One of my biggest changes was in my spiritual life, which was largely due to the time I spent at Tevis's church. Before this year, I was feeling very stagnant in my spiritual beliefs, and his church really helped me to go back to the basics. It was completely different than anything I had ever experienced before, but it was probably one of the best things to ever happen to me. I feel like I am more spiritually entuned now, and I am much more aware of what exactly it is I believe. If anything, I believe that I have used this year to become more aware of God's presence in my life, and how richly, deeply, amazingly, undeservingly blessed I am, and how I can continue to work to be the person who He has called me to be.

Of course, I spent loads of time with my amazing family and friends, making wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. I read some amazing books and listened to some wonderful music. I studied hard, but I also made time for fun things, like birthdays and holidays, and any other good reason for celebration! All in all, I can't complain about 2012, because nothing is ever perfect, and that's fine with me! I am very excited to see what 2013 has to offer me...I know that it will be interesting!

As I finish contemplating my internal revolutions for 2012, the Earth is close to completing another revolution around the sun. (Honestly, I didn't consider that connection when the word came to serendipitous!) I hope that 2012 has proven to be a good year for you and yours, and I hope that your 2013 will be even better!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012, Part II

Yesterday was quite the day. I'm fairly certain that my parents were up around 6 or 6:30, like they usually are, to get the meat started and have a cup of coffee. They did a little bit of last-minute decorating when they realized that we had a nativity scene that we somehow forgot to put up. For the record, we have acquired it in recent years, so it hasn't quite become a mainstay in our Christmas decorations. They also put on a Mannheim Steamroller CD, which was how I woke up. If you haven't ever had the pleasure of listening to Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas music, you really should, I think it is quite wonderful, as a twist of modern and classical.

When I finally woke up, I overheard my parents commenting about the snow. Fully expecting to see at least three inches on the ground, I was a little bit surprised to see that there was really only a light dusting on the grass. As much hype as they gave it on the news, I figured we would be snowed in at least for the day, but that wasn't even close to happening. As it turned out, we didn't receive any more snow, but we got the lovely  40 mph north winds that I could really do without. 

When I came into the kitchen, my dad gleefully informed me that he decided to bake some cheese bread and rolls for our lunch. (Yes, my dad does bake, and he really does a good job of it!) Cheese bread is a treat in our family that had its origins with my Grandma Hladik. Sadly, it was one of those traditions that I never got to experience with grandma, since she wasn't always in the best of health while I had any memory of her. (In case you were wondering, cheese bread is basically white bread with a filling made of Cheez-Whiz and onion soup mix. This year my dad added his new favorite seasonings, Dill Mix and Tomato Powder, from our good friends at the Savory Spice Shop in OKC!) With a some help from my mom, the bread turned out beautifully!

My parents and I spent the better part of our morning doing some last-minute baking and present-wrapping. Around 12:30 or so, my sisters and their families made it over. Emily's crew was first, and Cody & Kyle wasted no time telling us about their new BB guns. After a while, Gina's family made it over. Wyatt also got a BB gun and a remote-control helicopter. Andy's big toy was a remote-control monster truck. I believe that Cole's big toy of the year was a drum. Between BB guns, RC toys and a drum, it could be quite interesting to babysit these boys anytime in the near future!

Our lunch spread was awesome, and fairly low-stress. We reheated and added some to our turkey/chicken noodle from the day before, so there wasn't much work in that. Gina brought over scalloped potatoes, Emily brought sweet potatoes; we pulled out the salad (also from the day before), and heated up some green beans. We ended up taking the easy way out on our meat, and defrosted some brisket and pork loin from our "4th of July" party. At the time, we had more meat than we knew what to do with, so we popped it in the freezer. I am happy to say that it tasted just as good as it did the day my dad made it! Truth be told, even though we didn't have that much food yesterday, we still probably could have got by with just soup and bread, because that's really what we ate the most of. Oh yeah, and I made a cheesecake for dessert, but I'm sure you could have guessed that. 

After Scotty got Cole down for a much-needed nap, we got the boys ready to open presents. By that, I mean that we tried our best to contain their excitement, but really, they were so wound up that there wasn't much we could realistically do to thwart that. Oddly enough though, the three older boys still begged to pass out presents to everyone instead of sitting and opening their own. I'll go through some of the highlights of everyone's presents.

All five boys got "cowboy" shirts, jeans, and boots. (Cole didn't get boots though, because he just got a new pair, and his feet grow really fast.) They also got a race track set, that really enthralled the three older boys. Gina & Jeremy got a patio glider set that they wanted. Scotty got tools and Emily got a bagel-sized toaster and an electric roaster. Dad got identical chimineas from both Gina and my mom. My mom got books, perfume, and a shirt. My parents got six tickets to the Gaslight Theater, and my sisters and I got tickets to a Mannheim Steamroller concert this Saturday! (Actually, I knew about the tickets about a month ago, but now I can talk about them on here! :) ) We will also be accompanied to the concert by my parents, two of my cousins, and two of my cousins' will definitely be a blast!

As for me, I received some wonderful gifts from my family. I got running clothes from Emily's family, a wireless printer from Gina's family, a knitted scarf and crocheted headbands from Gina's in-laws, and a Garmin running watch from my parents! The theme this year was running, and I think that this may help me to  gain that motivation I have been so desperately seeking, if nothing more than for the fact that I will feel bad that my parents shelled out the money to buy a fancy watch if I don't use it! I am very, very excited!

At some point in the craziness, Cole woke up and opened his presents, largely with Scotty's help. I believe that his favorite was a blanket that Gina made him, because his face really lit up when he saw it! The three older boys went out to play with their track that my dad already had set up for them. The rest of us napped and examined each other's new treasures. Little Andy was on a roll yesterday, providing us all with lots of laughs. He is three-and-a-half, and is VERY expressive. He began by putting on his new stocking cap from me, which is the red bird from Angry Birds, and he "pecked" everyone...aka he headbutted everyone. It was much funnier than it sounds, I promise! Then, he had a catchphrase for a while, "It's okay!" It started when Cole picked up one of Andy's presents and was chewing on it. We told him that Cole had it, and he told us, "It's okay!"...Cole started crawling over a semi-napping Gina..."It's okay!"...Cole got out his new blankie..."It's okay!"...Cole started crying when Scotty took presents to the car..."It's not okay!" I think that that one was the funniest!

Shortly after, everyone went their separate ways, and my parents and I enjoyed an uneventful evening at home watching my dad's new movies. It was just what we all needed! I hope that you all had a great day, and a Merry Christmas, wherever you were!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012, Part I

Like every other year, our family Christmas celebration began on Christmas Eve. We had Mimi over for a lunch of homemade turkey noodle soup, roasted chicken, stuffing, and salad. (Notice the flip-flop between the turkey and parents sort of did that on purpose!) Lunch was absolutely great, as usual, if not better since Mimi was there. After we finished eating, my mom and I had to go pull ourselves together so that we could make it to the 5:00 Mass on time. (I originally thought that 5:00 was way too early for a Christmas service, but it turned out to not be the worst thing in the world...more on that in a sec...) After we were all ready, we let Mimi open her presents, which were a new cordless telephone set, some tea, a can of peach pie filling, and a bag of my dad's homemade noodles. Yes, it sounds random, but Mimi has told us quite often that because she is the age she is, she really just wants stuff that she can use. With that in mind, she was over the moon about all of her gifts, although she said that just being with us was present enough. This is why I love my Mimi. 

Before we left for Mass, I remembered to have my mom take a picture of us in front of the tree.
It is one of my favorite pictures of us together, and definitely one I will cherish later on in life. 

Due to circumstances beyond our control, my mom had to stop in at work before church, so my dad dropped her off, dropped Mimi and me off at church, then returned to get my mom. Lots of running around, but it was actually the most efficient plan, and it wasn't that far between any of the places. When we got to church, it turned out that we had hospitality (or we were greeters, if you aren't familiar with my church), so I sat in the back and greeted solo, while Mimi gladly held our pew for us. After a while, a cousin of ours, who is recently widowed, decided that he would stand back there with me, just because. I enjoyed that, and it made the time go much faster. I always enjoy getting to greet people at Christmas Eve Mass, because there is such an assortment of people coming in, looking fancy and excited. 

Like I said earlier, I originally thought that 5:00 was way too early, and somewhat inconvenient in timing, but it beat the alternative of going to Hennessey at 10:00, when everyone is sleepy and the kids are up way too late and are horribly grumpy, and not to mention it is very cold and very dark. (I would honestly like to know who comes up with these times for anything, because I am not really sure who it is. Maybe the times are handed down on stone tablets? Who knows...I'm rambling now.) Maybe lots of people shared my logic, maybe it was the impending "snow storm of the century" that the weather was forecasting, maybe it was fate. I'm not entirely sure what it was, but everyone, and I mean everyone, came out of the woodwork to attend Christmas Eve Mass. It has been quite some time since I have seen the church as densely packed as it was, although I can't say that it was tip-top full. There were still about 4 or 5 pews empty...those of you who are familiar with the church will know exactly where they were empty...right in the front, behind the Markes clan. There were many families who sat separately, just so they could find a spot, which lead to a great intermingling, which isn't the worst thing in the world. After a while, the crowd and resulting body heat proved to be too much for Mimi, so she and my parents trekked over to the chapel area, where it was much cooler and considerably less crowded.

Mass went off without too many hitches. Of course, it was long; much to long for any of the kids in there who were already antsy about Santa Claus and presents. The singing was wonderful, though. Maybe that was because my pew was surrounded by lots of great singers, including my nephews. And everyone knows the songs that you sing at Christmas time, so there isn't much room for guesswork there. We had an added treat this year, with the children of the church. As I may or may not have mentioned, we have finally succeeded in returning Sunday school to our church, since we have more than enough children to constitute a program of our own. One of the biggest things that we wanted to accomplish this year was having the children sing for Christmas. Thankfully, everyone, including the children, was cooperative and that went well. No, I didn't bring my camera in or a recording device, and I forgot my phone at home, so I couldn't have even snapped a grainy phone picture. It was truly a sight to be beheld. After communion, the children were gathered in front of the altar and sang three songs: "Children, Run Joyfully", "Away in A Manger", and "Silent Night". The first song, although it wasn't traditional, was a nice change of pace, and the kiddos thoroughly enjoyed it, as far as I could tell. It was a little bit of a bummer, because we didn't pull out the candles for "Silent Night" like we have every other year. It really adds a certain amount of ambiance, but no one asked me. They did turn the lights down, though, and I liked that. I won't lie, that song made me tear up, as it always does. It is very intense, especially with little voices singing it, and it brought to mind the recent tragedy in CT, and all of the parents who face silent nights without their little ones. 

After Mass was over, it was the usual milling about of people who haven't seen each other for years being reunited, children excitedly pulling their parents out the door so that they can go home and expedite the arrival of Santa, and farmers talking about "the big one" that's supposedly coming for us, making their own predictions. After all of the boys and my sisters talked to Mimi a little bit, we all went home. Well, we dropped Mimi off first, then we went home. My parents and I enjoyed a slice of peach pie, that we had originally intended to eat with lunch, but just didn't get around to. Mom and I got a few things together to make the next day easier, and then we all went to sleep at varying times. For whatever reason, I watched some of the Mass from St. Peter's with the Pope, like I always do. It's the exact same thing that I just came from, and it takes an eternity for them to do anything, and it's all translated by some dry priest, but I still find myself enchanted with it. And I never make it through the whole thing, either. I always check out sometime around the Gospel reading or the pope's homily, although this year, I think it was the 2nd reading. Oh well, such is life. 

All in all, it was a great day, and it really doesn't matter what gifts I may get today, because I am already richly blessed by the presence of everyone in my life. (I'm not saying I'm forfeiting my presents, though! I still would like those! :) )  I'm not sure what the rest of today will hold, although I'm sure it will be very interesting with all five boys, especially Cole! They say that we could get anywhere from four to ten inches of snow, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see how that pans out. Regardless, I hope that everyone has a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. I am in the midst of my first week of my three week Christmas break. I am loving this break so much! I love not having to constantly do homework or shuffle my schedule to accommodate my various obligations, I love not really having much of an agenda for my days. I'm just generally in love with break, if you couldn't tell! I know that this time will go much faster than I wish, and that I won't get this luxury forever, but I am soaking it in for the moment, and that's all that really matters!

2. I have become quite the professional babysitter as of late. I spent the better part of this weekend with the Moody/Mattson boys, due to work Christmas parties and such. I also spent today with a family friend's two y/o daughter. All around, it went quite well, so it was a win-win! Gotta love these times!

3. My heart breaks for everyone in Newtown, CT. There are no words for this tragedy, just lots of tears and prayers. I spent Friday night watching the Moody boys and Wyatt, and it was a little bit rough for me from an emotional standpoint. I showered them all with lots of affection and kind words, and said a prayer of gratitude for my nephews. I ended up covering Emily's Sunday school class this week, and it made me glad that she ended up with the 3rd/4th/5th grade group. (Actually, the group is comprised of 3 kids, one from each grade, and two of them are siblings. It is a great group of kids.) I really didn't know what we were going to do, so we freelanced. After going through an obligatory chapter from the book, we decided to bask in the beautiful morning sunlight and go on a "Christmas" scavenger hunt, which entailed finding church-related things starting with the letters in Christmas. By some sort of fate, we ended up in the shrine for our last "S" item. I didn't plan on mentioning it, but the kids mentioned the CT shooting, and seemed a bit troubled by it. We decided to light some candles, and we had a nice open-ended group prayer. (Which is a great exercise with their age group, fyi) Afterwards, we went in so that they could practice the carols that they will be singing at Christmas Eve Mass. One of the songs will be "Silent Night". For whatever reason, that song reminded me of the tragedy, and I felt quite overwhelmed with sadness. Lots of rambling thoughts about it, I know, but still...

4. On to much happier news! Tomorrow is Mr. Cole's first birthday!!! I can't believe how fast this year has flown! Cole is quite the happy boy, always having a bright smile on his face. He is very mobile and very drawn to the happenings of his siblings/cousins. He still doesn't seem like a one y/o, but then again, he never really seemed that much like a baby. I love you, Cole!!! Have a wonderful day!!! :)

5. I mentioned that I am essentially done shopping, but now I am essentially done wrapping my Christmas presents! Woo-hoo! I still have about four more gifts to wrap, but two of those are pending the arrival of my last Amazon order. (Thank heavens for has accounted for a good amount of my shopping this year!)

6. I'm pumped about tomorrow, because it's a big day for me, event-wise. I believe that I will be gathering with my "besties" to have a great lunch at Katy's Pantry in celebration of Shea's birthday (which was yesterday). Then, my even bigger plans are to go with some of my cousins to see the Christmas lights in Kingfisher! Yes, I've seen the lights lots of times, and they really don't change much, but I still think it will be a blast, especially with my cousins! I am in desperate need of some socialization, so that should fit the bill! I can't wait!!! :)

7. After having the book for about three months, I finally got around to reading my natural running book a couple of weeks ago. It had lots of great information, even if it dragged on forever. It was a real game-changer for me. I started out a few weeks ago doing the workout program that accompanied the change to natural running, but then finals week and the great break-up debacle and colder temps and a general lack of motivation hit me. Ugh. I'm sick of starting over, but I always seems to find some sort of rationalization to quit, just when I'm gaining momentum. I think it is high time that I find an accountability partner, so that I can hang on to my goals for longer than a week or two. I would love any and all suggestions on gaining motivation that anyone might have to offer, because I really am at a loss right now.

8. I can't remember if I ever mentioned it or not, but I think that I will be making myself a t-shirt quilt out of some of my old high school t-shirts that I love, but don't want to keep in my drawers for all eternity. I have a cousin (actually, it's my cousin's wife) who is extraordinarily talented at quilting. She will be teaching a class at the local quilt shop, so I think that it would be well worth my time and money to capitalize on this great opportunity!

9. I have really been dragging my feet on my OSU admissions. I know, I know, I shouldn't be, but I did. That has been one of my aims over this break, to get all of that stuff rounded up before I go back to school in January.  Truth be told, I had everything but the scholarship essays completed. The other night, I finally made time to earnestly work on these, and I made great progress. I completed two of the three, and I have made some definite progress on the remaining one. I never realized how difficult it is to stay within a 250-word limit, but then again, I knock out thousand-word blogs like it's nothing. Hopefully all will go well with that venture!

10. I really don't know what to put on this one, so I guess I'll just end by reminding everyone to slow down and remember the real reason for the season. Give your loved ones an extra hug and kiss, and don't procrastinate so much. Don't become so caught up in the worries of the future that you forget that you have the gift of today. Lots of cheesy cliches, but they are worthy of repeating often! Have a great week! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reunited at Last!

I haven't forsaken my blog. I swear. Here's the deal: My life has been in a state of entropy since my last post, but much more so than usual. They say that when God tests you, he either lets everything happen at once, or nothing happen at all. Obviously, it has proved to be the latter of the two. (I think I worded that right? I don't know.) 

Let's take it from the top, why don't we?

I'll begin by discussing my classes. Physics was a bear and a half in the last three weeks. We started new material that I really wasn't comfortable with, and we didn't have much time to go over it. We also were given the task of constructing an egg drop carrier for our lab final. That endeavor didn't quite go as well as my group had intended, because our egg broke, but we still ended up getting a good grade overall. (I think our awesome force diagram and explanatory paper sealed that deal.) During this time, I also came to the realization that I had to get at least an 85 (I think) on my final to keep my A, which I was barely clinging to. I started freaking out about it until I realized that I couldn't get below an 81 in the class, so I calmed down some. Also, Emily told me that she thought that I "over-studied", which was the reason I hadn't done as well on my other tests. I held tight to that mentality over this past weekend, when I had zero motivation to study. Yes, I did still study some, but I didn't spend every waking moment on it. Guess what? It worked. I rocked the final, and I retained my precious 4.0 for yet another semester! (I know that that won't last much longer, but I'm loving it as much as possible!) 

Calculus wasn't too bad in the midst of this. We were learning about infinite series and convergence, which is totally foreign from what we were doing. (Iterated integrals) It started out being a royal pain in the rear, but ended up not being too bad. Well, actually, I ended up watching youtube videos of a guy from MIT showing how to do some of those problems, and that helped me more than my professor ever could have. Because of that, I rocked my chapter test! At the beginning of the semester, our professor told the class that if we made it through all of the material and didn't have new material on our final, and if we had at least a 95 average in the class, she would exempt us from the final. I kinda forgot about that until last week. I'm not really sure how, but I did. (Yes, Emily, I forgot something for once!) Needless to say, because I aced the series test, I ended up with an average above a 95 & I got out of the Calc final!!!!!!!!!! I was very excited about that, since this hasn't been the easiest semester for me, especially with that class! I am done learning actual calculus, and now I will mostly learn applications! Praise the Lord!!!

Literature never has been an issue. It is a breath of fresh air to not have to stress about this one class. I love my professor, and she does a great job of making dry literature come to life. The final for that class is tomorrow, and I'm not too terribly concerned about it.

What else has been happening in my life? Hmm...let's see. 

I ended up rearranging my dorm room, and it really seems to flow much better than before. The feng shui is finally right, and it makes me happy! (It's the little things in life, I tell you.) I also hung up some Christmas lights, and it has really spruced the room up. I will probably end up keeping the lights up until I move out, only because I'm terribly proud of the job I did hanging them up, and I hate to see it go to waste!

I am done Christmas shopping! I didn't think that I would be able to, but I finished it mostly last night. I spent a little more, okay, a LOT more than I originally intended to, but I feel like now is as good a time as any to go all out on gifts, seeing as I have a virtually dispensable income with very few financial obligations, and I know that it won't be that way forever. Also, my family is very much worthy of it, because they have been amazingly supportive of me this year! 'Tis the season! :)

So, I'm not quite sure if you've noticed that I don't ever have much to say about my roommate. Well, for the better part of this semester, I haven't ever really felt connected to her. Last week, that finally changed. We had a little bonding moment, and now, I feel much more comfortable with her. Okay, so it still isn't the same as last year, but things are going much better between us, and I am very grateful for that! 

So, one of the last lingering questions you might have...where is Tevis in all of this hubbub? Good question.

Here's the deal: We broke up. Today. I can't really say that I am utterly devastated about this, although I am sad. Truth be told, it was inevitable. Without saying too much, I will leave it at the fact that we were growing in separate directions, and we were beginning to change. Both of us have important things that we need to direct our attention towards, and I think we can do that better apart than together. As much as I love him, I know that it is infinitely better to do this now than three years down the road when we have even more time invested. I have spent lots of time soul searching and praying about it, and I believe that God has lead me to this decision. Honestly, I am coping with it pretty well, so I think that everything will be just fine. I do believe that I will be spending much more time focusing on myself and my relationships with my friends and family, because I feel that that is all I really need right now. 

I am ready for this Christmas break, and to have some time to physically and mentally recharge for the next three weeks. I have a few plans over break, but they are nothing too terribly exciting. 

I hope that all is well with everyone else, wherever you may be, and that your Christmas preparations are going smoothly!