Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Second Semester Fun!

Wow, what a crazy last few weeks it has been!!! So many things have happened and I have no clue where to start!

I guess I’ll start with my new classes, because I have been pretty involved with them so far! I am in Intro to Modern Algebra, Methods of Teaching Secondary Mathematics, Combinatorial Math, Statistical Methods I, and History of Math. I am enjoying all of them for the most part, but they are a little bit more time-intensive than I thought they would be. I really love my Math History class…I never knew how interesting it would be to know about how ancient cultures did not have the mathematical capabilities we have today, but still managed to create amazing things! Regardless, it will be interesting to see what else I will learn this semester…hopefully I can keep my sanity in the process!

I realize that in posting about what I gave everyone else for Christmas, I never really posted about what I received, which is a bummer because everyone gave me some AMAZING gifts! I got some new, fun, and super warm scarves and an awesome gray cardigan that I wear with almost everything! I also received some delightful smelling lotions, a roasting pan, a baking dish,  and some Pyrex mixing bowls! While Emily was out shopping, she happened to find a copy of my favorite childhood book, “Sheep in a Jeep”. I was super excited to get that blast from the past!!! I also received some things that have been especially useful in the past week that I’ve started back to school. My parents gave me a new backpack because my old one was on its last leg. To be fair, I got it in the 6th grade, but really couldn’t use it in HS because they were banned, so it was in decent condition but was becoming very uncomfortable on my back. My new backpack is super comfy to carry and even has a laptop pocket in it! I love it! Also, since I always take my lunch, I finally got a lunchbox of my own! I am in love with it; it has a built-in icepack and it collapses once you’re done with it! Even better, I also got some nifty contraptions called Lunch Pouches, which are like Ziplocs, but are reusable, which I love, because I always ended up using a Ziploc for a sandwich just to toss it right as I was done with it. So far, I have used them for holding grapes & baby carrots, and they were awesome! I highly recommend them if you or anyone else in your life packs a lunch often!

Of course, I’ve spent loads of time around St. John’s, catching up with all of my awesome friends. Many of my friends went on a mission trip to Jamaica over break, and I have really loved getting to hear their various accounts of their experiences working as missionaries. All of these things were great, but I think the best thing I did over the past few weeks happened this past weekend. I went on a retreat with a few friends from church & some students from TU’s Newman Center, and I absolutely LOVED it! I haven’t been on a retreat in at least three years, but I’ve always loved them, so I was excited to go! This retreat had lots of levels to it, that can really only be understood if you were there, but it was definitely what I needed! My favorite part of the whole retreat was the fact that I was able to meet all of the awesome TU people who were there and grow even closer with everyone from St. John’s!

Unfortunately, on the last day of the retreat (Monday), I started to feel a bit off and my voice sounded pretty ragged. I assumed that it was an allergic reaction from spending lots of time outside and the constant contrast between hot and cold weather. Well, by the time we made it back to Stillwater, I felt like death, but decided to go home, take some Advil, and get some sleep so I could go to class in the morning. I must’ve had a fever that broke through the night, because I woke up sweating and felt really weak. I really didn’t want to, but I decided to go to class. I have three classes on Tuesdays, and they are at 9:00, 10:30, and 2:00. I suffered through the first two classes then decided to throw in the towel and go to the Minor Emergency Clinic. I thought that I’d be able to get back to class in time, but by the time I got there and saw the huge line I knew that that wasn’t happening. I could have just gone back to class, but I felt even worse than I did the day before, and I couldn’t imagine walking across campus and being coherent enough to make it through my last class. I waited about three hours to be seen, but I was too tired and weak to be upset. As it turns out, I have Influenza, Type A and have to be quarantined until next Monday. Blech. I mean, I wasn’t ready to go back to class, but I didn’t really want to go about it this way!! On the upside, I came in soon enough that I was still able to start the Tamiflu regimen, so hopefully I’ll get over everything much sooner!

So, I sound pretty pessimistic about everything, but really, I am so incredibly blessed right now! I have the most amazing people in my life who have done so much for me, and I really couldn’t ask for more! You see, one of my friends who went on the retreat with me wasn’t feeling up to par, and she felt responsible for getting me sick. (I honestly think it was going to happen regardless and don’t hold anything against her!) Last night, she brought over a care package of flowers, cough drops, Day-Quil, Advil, Kleenex, and chicken noodle soup! How sweet it that!! My friend Lisa told me that if I needed any groceries while I’m stuck at home that she’d be more than happy to wrangle some people to help her get that together and out to me! My friend Janey offered to take notes for me in our classes, and Anna was sweet enough to turn in some homework to my professors’ mailboxes last night! Being that Gina works in Perry and was relatively nearby, she made a Wal-Mart run for me and brought back a horde of supplies for me. Even more, I also received lots of calls, texts, and well wishes from Emily, my parents, and my church friends. Very, very, very blessed indeed!!!!! Here’s hoping I’ll be able to keep up with everything and be on the fast road to recovery!

On a last note, I want to wish my best friend in the whole wide world, Tonisha a very, very, very Happy 21st Birthday!!!! I hope that she has had an amazing day, and I am REALLY hoping that I’ll be in much better condition two months from now so that we can celebrate together!!! Love ya, Tonisha!!!

Hope everyone has a great, healthy week! Love you guys!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Last Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas gifts ended on Sunday. I really loved doing my gift-giving this way and might just continue doing this for the foreseeable future, just because I can! I think each person liked having a day to themselves, especially the kiddos! I did run into a couple of problems towards the end, but I'll explain those as I go!

Scotty was supposed to be in my last installment, but didn't feel like being photographed at the time. When I went over to watch the OSU/Mizzou game on Friday, he was feeling much better, so I snapped a picture of him then!
If you couldn't tell, Scotty received some of his favorite coffee-infused cigars from me. He has become quite the cigar connoisseur as of late, and being that I struggle to decide on a gift for any of the men in my family, I decided that that would be a great choice for him. 

The next day was for none other than my dear ol' dad! Growing up, my dad has been markedly against big universities and has never cared to watch any sort of athletic events or wear any team clothing. With that in mind, imagine my surprise when he mentioned that he wanted a hoodie with Pistol Pete on it! (I also never thought that my dad would be a hoodie type of guy, but it turns out he loves wearing them on his mail route because they keep him warm, but are easy to move in.) With that in mind, he received...
His orange Pistol Pete hoodie!!! I think he was surprised that I remembered him mentioning it! We were disappointed that it didn't fit him, but I was able to exchange it for one that fits him much better! Hooray!

After waiting "forever" for his gift, Kyle was the last of the Moody clan to get his gift! He really hammed it up when I brought the gift over by insisting that Scotty pause the Cotton Bowl game and Emily step away from cooking supper to watch him open his gifts! (I think he was just a little bit excited!) 

I'm not really sure what look he was going for in this picture, but he managed to successfully display all of his new treasures! He is a chocolate lover, so I decided to get him a giant Hershey's bar and some mini Santas (I'm sure Scotty & Emily LOVE me for that one!!). After Cody received some ear-buds for his birthday, Kyle decided that it was high time for him to have some, too. I think the real measure of his excitement was the fact that he immediately changed out of the clothes he was wearing to put on the Duck Dynasty pajamas I gave him! (That was probably the first time any of the nephews have ever been excited about receiving clothes from me!! Actually, Cody is usually pretty excited about the OSU shirts I give him for birthdays, but still..) 

I ran into a slight problem on Saturday, which was when I was supposed to give Wyatt his presents. You see, I had to go into work at the quilt store early, because we had our Saturday Sampler classes going on. In a stroke of luck, I was able to take off early so that I could join my sisters on our road trip to Edmond for the annual Christmas Tea! Unfortunately, by the time we made it home, I knew that Wyatt would already be asleep, and even if he wasn't, I was beyond exhausted and desperately needed sleep. (The late-night OSU game, the early morning at work, and our road trip had all done me in!) I decided to bend my rules out of necessity, and give Wyatt and Jeremy their gifts on Sunday. 

Wyatt and Jeremy finished out the twelve days! I really had no clue of what to get Wyatt, but I was pretty successful! Jeremy's gift has a slightly more interesting story...

You probably wouldn't have guessed it, but Wyatt is also wearing part of his gift. I think I really hit the ball out of the park with my clothing choices this year, because I only gave him a plain green long-sleeved t-shirt and some Skylanders pajama pants. As he saw the shirt, the first thing he told me was that he "LOVED the color of his shirt" and was impressed he could admire the Swap-Force Skylanders on his pants! It's the little things in life, I guess! I also gave him another Skylander to add to his collection, which was where this round of gift-giving turned rough. Andy had a sudden meltdown over Wyatt's new Skylander acquisition, but I was told that it was short-lived. Regardless, Wyatt loved his gift and thanked me multiple times!! 

As for Jeremy's gift, it has been a long time coming! For his birthday (which was in July, in case you were wondering) he requested an OU quilt. Obviously, I couldn't belt out a quilt in that timeframe, so I bought the fabric & told him that I'd make the quilt before Christmas, because "I was going to have tons of time on my hands once I moved to Stillwater!". Famous last words, because I didn't sew a stitch between August and December! Whoops! I guess I was too busy having tons of time on my hands...or not! Needless to say, I forgot about this promise until about Thanksgiving time, when I asked Jeremy what he wanted for Christmas. He promptly responded that he wanted an OU quilt for his birthday, but would still be happy to get it for Christmas. Yikes! I hadn't even starting cutting out the material or anything, so I had my work cut out for me, literally. Thanks to a couple of snow days, I was able to belt it out and finish the quilt top to give to Jeremy! As you can tell, he loves it, and is excited for me to have it quilted and bound...maybe by his next birthday! 

So, there you have it, my 12 days of Christmas from start to finish! I loved that I was able to slow down and celebrate the entire Christmas season instead of cramming it into one day. Maybe I won't do this in future years because I'll have more obligations than I have at the present time, but I can always look fondly on the year that I made everyone wait for their gifts!!! Merry Christmas everyone, and to all a good night :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Things I Did in 2013, and Things I Want to Do in 2014!

As I’m sure you know by now, I love lists! They are definitely a part of my OCD tendencies, mostly because they help me to see objectives that I need/want to accomplish and give me a sense of completion when I’m done with them. With that being said, I’m going to switch things up and give a list of cool/interesting/noteworthy things I did in 2013, instead of beating a dead horse and re-writing my feelings about them…if you want to read about most of them, you can look through the archives, this is just a highlight reel :) I happened to make a goal list at this time last year, so as I go through my list, I’ll highlight everything I've accomplished!
-I made my first quilt
-I started a real workout regimen with Liz and Evan
-I started the much-needed process of reconnecting with Liz
-I began the application process to OSU
-I began my challenging, but enjoyable Differential Equations course!

-I had the pleasure of watching Cody and Wyatt compete in their annual pinewood derby
-Mimi took a nasty spill and began a month-long stint in the hospital
-I reconnected myself to Michelle’s life, and started to consider ways to serve as an advocate for her cause

-I went on a fun shopping trip to OKC with Liz
-I received my Coca-Cola Scholarship, which was a huge relief/surprise for me :)
-I turned 20 and had multiple awesome celebrations with my friends/family
-We found out that Gina was expecting her third child!!!!!
-Mimi turned 95!!! (But I missed her party because I was suffering from a stomach bug :(  )

-I enrolled at OSU and began to delve into my new life there
-My parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary!
-I met Kelly Ogle, and discovered that we have a shared love for flashy tennis shoes!
-I visited the Murrah Bombing museum for the first time
-I attended my first Redhawks game
-I had my first professional manicure
-I took the OGET
-I graduated from NOC as a math major, with a 4.0 GPA!!!!!
-I ended my beloved tutoring/student assistant job

-I bought my trailer and secured living arrangements for myself!
-I started my job at the quilt store :)
-I ran my only 5K of the year and set a course PR!!! (In a related incident, I also lost my big toenail and fell off the fitness wagon for the rest of the year…oops!)
-Tonisha moved to Wichita :(

-I sort-of celebrated Liz’s 21st Birthday with her
-Our beloved bottle calf, Buckles, was put down because he was rabid
-Harvest was a short-lived affair
-Lots and lots of rain fell!!!
-I really grew to love my job at the quilt store!

-I made my 2nd quilt, for what I found out would be my 6th nephew!
-I did lots of quilty-crafty things, mostly out of inspiration from my job
-I had lots of mini freak-outs due to my impending move to OSU

-Mimi had a stroke that we legitimately thought she would not survive, but did! (Praise GOD!!!)
-Scotty and Emily celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary!
-I started at OSU and LOVED it!!!
-I started going to St. John’s
-I made tons of friends :)
-I started attending Bible Study with my awesome missionary, Heather!

-I began my first observation experience!
-I attended my first OSU football game/tailgating party
-I played flag football and soccer for the first time on the church intramural teams
-I made even more friends!!!

-I attended my first Walk-Around
-I learned how to Contra dance :)
-Dad had his long-awaited shed warming and beard-shearing party!
-Jakub was born!!!!!!!! :)
-I began my second, and less exciting, observation experience

-I started and quit my first Stillwater job in about two weeks’ time…not everything works like you think it will!
-I convinced my friend Haley to visit OSU and hopefully consider a future here!!
-I attended the huge OSU/Baylor game!!!
-I made my first YouTube video, thanks to my St. John’s friends!

-I experienced my first snowstorm in the trailer
-I attended my first Bedlam game, which we lost :(
-I completed my first semester at OSU AND I kept my 4.0 GPA for one more semester!!!!!!!
-I hosted a dinner party!
-I celebrated another amazing Christmas with my family!
-I started my brief return to the quilt store
-I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my family by falling asleep before midnight…what can I say, I was exhausted from all of the cool stuff I did this year!! ;)

Needless to say, I had a great year, even when you consider the not-so-great things, which is why I can’t say that I’m too disappointed in the fact that I didn't’t complete everything on my list. If you’re curious about what I didn't do but wanted to, here are the things that I wasn't able to cross off of last year’s goal list:
-Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes
-Start attending Yoga classes/running groups
-Run a 10K
-Go on at least 1 date with a different guy

So, obviously I didn't complete any of my fitness goals, but I did manage to steadily work out for 4 months, so that’s a huge deal to me! Truth be told, losing my toenail set me back much more than it realistically should have. Also, I think that all of my life changes weren't conducive to working on any of these things.

As far as the dating thing goes, it was probably a good thing that that did not happen, because I really needed this year of alone time to help re-center myself and figure out more of who I am, what type of person I really want to date, and how I need to improve myself before investing any time in a new relationship. I am happy to say that I have made lots of headway in all of those areas, and I am starting 2014 with a clean slate!

Now for the million-dollar question: What do I want to accomplish in 2014? Thanks to some inspiration from my awesome quilt store boss, Randa, I decided to compile a list of things I want to do! After some serious contemplating, this is what I decided I want to attempt to do this year!

-Run a 10K, or at least a sub-30 5K…I put something similar to this on my list every year and I’ve never done it, but it is high time I did…I’m only getting older!
-Sleep more by going to bed at a decent time!
-Read all 4 Gospels and Acts of the Apostles…I think it would help me better understand the roots of my faith!
-Spend more time on schoolwork than on social media…surprisingly, my social media struggle is Pinterest, because I start out using it for education assignments, then get distracted and end up looking at wedding boards or funny pictures…oops!
-Learn how to dance better…I’m thinking that a ballroom dancing class is in my future; surely they offer something like that at the Colvin, or even as an actual class!
-Learn how to cook 1 new meal every month! I’d also like to try to make these meals to share with people, but we’ll see how that part goes! It’s time to shake things up!
-Start dating!!! :)

I’m probably starting to sound like I’m super preoccupied with dating and relationships, which I’m really not, but then again sometimes I feel like I am. I’m at a weird point in my life, because there is a part of me that greatly wants to be in love and look towards marriage. (Not just a pretty wedding, a marriage) Then, there’s the part of me that says that I’m only 21-ish, and I have my whole life to be married, and I have lots of things I want to do that would be easier to do as a single person, and I’m still working on my first degree. The struggle is real, just saying! My current hang-up is determining whether I should wait for a guy to pursue me, or if I should summon some kind of crazy courage and ask a guy out. Honestly, neither is extremely enticing right now because I often struggle with patience and courage. I really have no idea where this area of my life will go this year, which means that all I really can do is lift it up to God and see what He wants me to do! (If you think about it, you could also say a small prayer for me to understand God’s plan for this area of my life…I’d sure appreciate it!!)

With all of that being said, here’s to a 2014 that is as good to me as 2013 was!!! Happy New Year! :)

P.S.: I'd love to hear some of your goals for 2014! :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Second through Eighth Days of Christmas!

I realize that I left my last post hanging after talking about how I was giving my gifts throughout the 12 Days of Christmas, and then didn't post anything else after the first day…oops! I have stayed true to my plan and I have had a blast! Not only have I enjoyed it, I think/hope that everyone else has enjoyed this idea, as well. Like I said, I didn't go in any real order, so I have managed to keep everyone guessing just a little bit, which isn't a big deal, but I feel like it adds to the excitement! With that being said, I’ll pick up where I left off, and showcase my gifts to everyone!

My second day of gift-giving brought me to Emily, who I might mention is about to embark on a new life journey! Tomorrow she will be starting a new job as a church secretary after an emotionally taxing past year at her now old job! I won’t go into specifics, but the whole ordeal was much more than any sane person should ever have to endure. As fate would have it, her co-workers/friends mentioned that their church was looking for a new secretary, and they thought that it would be a perfect fit for Emily. She and I sat down on a Sunday afternoon to fix up her resume, and about two (maybe three?) weeks later, she interviewed and accepted the position!!! I am immensely excited for her as she begins this new journey, and I know that all will be well because she has lifted the entire process up to God. He led her to this opportunity, and I am certain that He will guide her through anything else that comes her way! Okay, back to her present!!

This year, Emily has really started tapping into her inner Cowboy, and I decided that she needed more orange in her wardrobe to help her! I think she loves her new orange shirt and infinity scarf!

The third day of gift-giving was for Gina, who is sadly nearing the end of her wonderful maternity leave. She goes back to work this coming Monday, much to her chagrin. Well, she isn’t totally opposed to returning, but I think that she would much rather stay home with sweet little Jakub! (I don’t blame her, but that’s just me, and I’m pretty biased on the matter!)

As you can see, Gina received a NOW CD, a Hobby Lobby gift card to help her build up her cake-decorating arsenal, and an infinity scarf! (Yes, that was one of my DIY gifts this year, in case you were curious. They have kits at the store, and if you like to sew, I highly recommend buying this kit from the Prairie Quilt online store!) She was delighted with her gifts, which makes me happy to see!

The fourth day brought me to Andy, who still loves big brotherhood. His gift was slightly random, but was much enjoyed by him! I really didn’t know what I was going to give him, but I settled on his hula hoop and “Despicable Me 2” after some well-placed hints by him and Gina. For a short while, I was convinced that I was not going to be able to find a hula hoop in the middle of December, but good ol’ K-Mart pulled through, and he loved it more than I ever thought he would! Hooray!

Andy's pal, Jayden, stepped in to help him showcase his gifts :)
The fifth day of gift-giving was for Cody, who is growing up more and more before my eyes! In the last month or so, he has started learning how to play basketball, and I couldn’t be more excited for him! He, like the rest of his family, is in love with OSU, so I combined his interests and gave him some OSU-themed athletic gear that he can wear to basketball practice, or just around the house on adventures. He (and Kyle) also received a DVD player for their room, so I decided to give him a movie for the two of them (or the entire family) to enjoy, and I got him a copy of “Planes”. He seemed to really enjoy his gifts, which delights me to no end!

I initially planned to use the sixth day to give Cole his presents, but he had other plans by falling asleep before I made it over to his house. I had no intention of waking up the child at night just to give him a present, so I decided to give little Jakub his presents instead! He was also asleep, but since he is 2 months old, it isn’t the end of the world. (He’s still in the ESP phase, if you catch my drift!) As you can see, he received some diapers & wipes (as a belated gift from when he was born), a baby book, and a couple of outfits. Obviously my favorite of the two is the blue onesie that says, “My Aunt Rocks!” :) I love this sweet boy, who is starting to get more of his own look!

Scotty was the seventh day gift recipient, but he didn’t feel up to being photographed because of some allergy problems, so I’ll talk about his gift when I start my next installment!

Today was my eighth day of gift-giving, and I used it to give the very awake Cole his gifts! I struggled to decide what to get him, which is the biggest downside of him having a December birthday. Also, he is happy with almost anything, so I struggled even more! There is nothing like seeing a two-year-old open presents, and such was the case for Cole! I got him some Play-Doh, a Color Wonder book, and a Cars picture book. Cole was overjoyed to see his present, and thanked me repeatedly! How cute!!

Like I said at the beginning, I love this strategy, and I am fairly certain that my family loves it too! Everyone is able to experience the excitement of receiving a gift, but not all in one swoop. This could be the best for the little boys, who are always inundated with gifts on Christmas day, but are able to slow down and really feel the excitement of receiving their gifts! I think that that could be the best part of this, along with reminding everyone that Christmas isn't really over after Christmas! I hope that this finds everyone well and recovered from whatever your Christmas festivities may have been! :)