I’m sorry for my lack of posts lately, but I’ll chalk it up to a combination of not having internet at home and being busy! The thing is, usually when I have internet access during the week (at school or at church) I am either working on homework or hanging out with friends, so my blog has become slightly neglected as a by-product. And, I have had lots of great times and big things happening during the last two weeks, so get excited about that! Also, get ready for LOTS (and I mean lots) of pictures! (Spoiler alert: Same as last time, I did NOT acquire a boyfriend…or elope…sorry to dash your hopes!!)
Being that it has been long enough, I only remember the highlights from last week, which is probably a good thing because there were really only three-ish items of note from last week, and everything else would have paled in comparison! Last week was Homecoming at OSU, which is a HUGE deal. Our homecoming has been dubbed the “Greatest Homecoming in America”, so I was excited to experience it for myself! Of course, the fountain water in front of Edmon Low was dyed orange. (Fun fact: they dye it more often than during Homecoming, as I have seen it dyed at least three times beforehand since I have started school there…but it still is cool to see it during Homecoming week!)
Last Friday (10/19/13) was walk-around, when all of the Greek houses show off their house decks. Of course, I went with a group from church and we had a great time, minus the fact that it was 40-ish degrees out and drizzling for part of the evening! Originally our group had around ten people, but we ended up losing three by the time it was all said and done, because of how many people were there…needless to say, if you ever plan on going with a large group, have a plan in case you get separated or split up from the get-go, because it is super easy to be separated within mere seconds. All of these details are great, but I think the pictures are better, so here they are!
Theta Pond, all lit up and pretty looking!
Because of the intermittent rain, I didn't get as many pictures of the house decks, but this was one of the more spectacular ones...if you notice in the lower left corner, they made the OK state seal & in the middle is the library..how cool is that!
You can't see the orange fountain water, but you CAN see how the belltower is lit up with orange lights...I thought that part was pretty neat, myself!
After we made it back to church, my friend Rebecca (who lives there, btw) and I decided to make some hot chocolate for everyone so that we could thaw out for a while. After we were nice and warmed up, we (as in Rebecca, me, and a few other church people) went contra dancing. When they invited me to go, I had no idea of what to expect, but they told me that it would be fun, so I took their word for it! They were right, because I had a blast and can’t wait for next month’s dance! Okay, so what’s contra dancing, you ask? Think square dancing, but less corny…LOTS of spinning in circles & getting up close and personal with everyone on the dance floor…and folk music. I’m not sure if you remember me mentioning a while back that I would love to learn how to dance better, but I think that’s why I loved this so much, because I have now fulfilled that life goal! That, and the fact that I was able to dance with guys who were good dancers and were willing to dance, which is incredibly hard to find, if you can believe that…that was also a high point of the evening! :)
The next day (Saturday) was the long-awaited barn-warming/beard shearing party at home. Although the hours leading up to it were mildly stressful, the party was an overall success!!! The biggest highlights were the fireworks show, a slideshow I created, and, of course, my dad being shaved by my mom! Mom got quite a kick out of cutting his hair and was so happy when she finished! It turns out that Mom wasn’t the only person who was ready for the hair to go, because Mimi was ecstatic to see Dad clean-shaven! (Dad claims that she was the reason he decided to shave, which it probably was, to an extent, but I think he was also tired of having his hair blow in his eyes!) When it was over, Mimi cheered and gave Dad a huge hug, and she proceeded to tell him that she was happy that she lived long enough to see that happen!! (Have I mentioned how much I love Mimi? :) ) Okay, here you go…more pictures!!!
If you look closely, you can see my mom smiling as she takes the first cut!
We were tempted to leave it like that! (Not really, but it is a great reference as to how long his beard really was!)
I hope this picture conveys just how happy Mimi was to see Dad clean-shaven!
We managed to get the whole family in a picture...plus a couple of adoptees!
I love this picture of Jake, Liz, Evan, and me soooo much!
I love this father-daughter picture! I'm not sure the last time we took a picture like this, but I'm glad we did :)
I’ll keep the momentum up and skip directly to the other huge happening from the last week—Gina gave birth to Baby Jake!!!!!!! She had her c-section and he was born this past Friday, October 25th, at 7:19 AM. He, like his brothers/cousins was healthy-sized, weighing 9 lbs, 11.1 oz, and was 20.5” long!!! After much debate between Gina and Jeremy, they decided to compromise on his middle name and give him two middle names, so his name is Jakub Matthew Allen Mattson! They decided to go with the traditional Czech spelling of Jakub, which is how Liz’s brother Jake spells his name, and how a great-great (I think) grandpa on Mom’s side spelled his name! Gina really wanted Matthew as a middle name, as she has since they started having children, but Jeremy wanted Allen, which is his dad’s middle name. After debating for a few months, they settled on the decision of using both, which I think will suit our little guy perfectly! Apparently, having a baby was the thing to do last week, as Gina was almost sent home due to the fact that there were already nineteen babies in the nursery! Crazy!!! (Or as we put it, there was almost no room at the inn for Baby Jesus...okay, Baby Jakub!) Of course, here's some pictures of my newest nephew! :)
Mimi and Jakub had an instant bond :)
This is really how Andy spent the majority of the last two days...kissing Jakub! So far, big brotherhood is suiting him well, as he is fiercely protective of him! Andy also spent quite a bit of time "wuzzling" Jake. (Dad always did that when he had his beard, which basically entailed rubbing up close to someone with his beard.) We told Andy that he was going to rub all of Jake's hair off if he kept it up!
This little guy has already won my heart!
I sure think he's a cutie pie, but I might be just a little bit partial ;)
(Did you notice how much hair he has?! None of Gina's kids have ever had that much hair!)
Emily is quite the proud aunt, too!!!
Wyatt was VERY excited to see Jakub!
I love the pictures of Dad holding the boys at the hospital!
Minus the fact that Jakub is ticked off, I love this picture of just the three of them!
This could be my favorite picture of my mom with any of the boys so far! I love the wonder you can see in her face of the miracle of life, especially a life that stems from your own life!
Okay, from here on out, the updates will largely pale in comparison, but are just as awesome in my books! For starters, I was finally able to see Tonisha for the first time since August!!!! She was in town this past weekend for her grandma’s 80th birthday party, so we spent Saturday morning catching up over some Schieber’s donuts! (Fun fact: Jakub & Tonisha’s grandma share a birthday! That just makes me all kinds of happy!!) Even though we have stayed in almost constant contact, there is nothing like actually getting to sit and talk to someone face-to-face! She is doing well in Wichita and is plugging along in her new job. I’m not sure when we’ll get to meet up again, so I savored all the time I could spend catching up with her!
I skipped over this to tell you about Jakub, but it is a big deal—I started my urban observations last week. I am already not as excited about this experience for multiple reasons. It’s not that I don’t like it in general, but I just feel a bit out of my element in the urban school. (Maybe that’s how everyone from OKC felt during the rural experience?) I had a mildly traumatic morning before I even entered a classroom, which entailed my first experience driving through the inner OKC area by myself. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I have come to realize that I am not meant to live anywhere that will entail me driving through OKC or other big-city morning traffic …I legitimately thought that I was going to have a panic attack at some point; that’s how stressed I was from it! (I also ended up driving the wrong way on a one-way street…not my finest moment, but everything ended up just fine, and I didn’t get in a wreck!) When I arrived at the school, I was told that I hadn’t been assigned to a teacher because I wasn’t even on their list of observers. REALLY?!? I’m not sure about the particulars of the situation, but it was a slight mix-up on their part and they found a teacher who was willing to let me observe her. Since I can’t give details, I can’t give you my rant about the rest of the day, but I’ll just say that this is turning out to be a learning experience of what NOT to do. I am trying to be objective and to not be too self-righteous, but there are quite a few things I would change in this classroom, if I could. I’ll probably say this again soon, but I am simply not cut out to work at an inner-city school. It is rough on my emotions, and it only leaves me wanting to change lots of things that I can’t necessarily change. This could be a long month for me…
On to happier news, I will be starting my new job this Tuesday!! I am excited to see how this will go for me, and I am even more excited to have an income source again!! I actually don’t have much else to say about my new job, but it is definitely worth mentioning!
On to other things, our flag football season is over, after we thought that we were on the verge of a comeback, of movie-worthy proportion. As you knew from my other posts, we had lost the majority of our games, but had somehow won enough to qualify for playoffs. We ended up winning our first playoff game, thanks to a great 4th down interception/touchdown from our star freshman player! We rode that wave of confidence on to the next game, which was more of what we were used to…losing. I’d like to think that we had a moral victory in the fact that we were the classier of the two teams from a sportsmanship standpoint, but the fact is that the team we played crushed us. They were really cocky and I think we all wished that it was real football, not flag football, so that we could have just tackled them and released our aggressions. But it wasn’t, and we had to keep our cool enough that we wouldn’t be penalized. I’m aware that I’m profiling, but it helped nothing that the team we played was a sorority/fraternity team…I think that had a lot to do with their overall attitude, just saying! But the game/season is over, and at the end of the day, it’s just a game, and, honestly, it was just co-ed intramurals, not the NFL, so we’re okay! Soccer is going much better, and we have also made the playoffs in that sport! I think they start next week, but I’m not sure. I have a better idea of how the game works, but I still spend an inordinate amount of time aimlessly running across the field. I haven’t incurred any other injuries, but my soccer ball bruise is still there, lines and all. (It is almost gone, but it has also been three weeks! Sheesh!) I’ll give you a more definitive update after the season is complete!
In the last bit of randomness, I just remembered a couple of fun times from Homecoming week, both of which include pictures!
One of my good church friends, whose name is Mari, studies architecture, and I have come to learn over the past few months that that major is not for the faint of heart or anyone who is remotely interested in an active out-of-school social life…or a full night of sleep. She works really hard at her major and has a true passion for it, which is why I know that she will be successful once she graduates and enters the work force. We have a long-running joke at church about how the architecture students practically live at the studio, and have even gone so far as to call it Narnia, because they spend inordinate amounts of time there and usually emerge looking frazzled beyond all measure! Well, Mari and I had some time a couple of weeks ago, so she decided to take me on a tour of the architecture building! I had a blast and loved getting to admire their work!
These are some of the design projects that they have created, which mostly entailed recreating other famous architectural works.
This is Mari and her work space in the studio...did you know that they have to purchase their own computer when they enter the upper levels of their studies?
Many of the other work spaces include mini fridges and microwaves. Apparently, students have also been known to bring pillows to stay the night there, too. (I told you it was like Narnia!)
This is an overview of the other work spaces within Mari's studio...let's just say that I felt out of my element in there!
I was amazed by this contraption...I'll explain what it is: When they build their models, they often need to know how light will hit it at various times of the year, in order to design them to be more energy efficient and make best use of natural light. This machine has a compass on the gray plate, and there are dials on the side that can be used to simulate the sunlight at specific times during specific months. I think you can fine-tune it a little bit more, but I think it's awesome, nonetheless!
That night at church, we decided to have some fall fun and carve pumpkins! Surprisingly enough, I had never carved a pumpkin until then, so my friend William teamed up with me and showed me what to do! Everyone had a great time, and after we finished, we sat the pumpkins on top of one of the awnings and lit candles inside of them! I didn’t have my camera with me that night, but I remembered to snap a picture before the pumpkins started looking gross and wilted, so enjoy!
My pumpkin is the fifth from the right...not bad for a first-time pumpkin carving, right? William actually did most of it, but I think I did a good job on my part! :)
Now, you're all caught up on my life, and all of the great times I'm having! Here's hoping everyone has a great week!! (PS--I now realize how crazy I sounded when I was worried about finding friends and enjoying life outside of school! :) God is good!)