Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Colorful Colorado

It's weird how things work out sometimes.

For example: Earlier this year, I devised a grand plan to sneak Dillon and Natalie into Shelby and Sam's wedding. The way I imagined it, Shelby and Sam wouldn't have known they were there until they walked down the aisle and looked into the crowd. It would have been the best surprise, but that didn't work out in our favor. I had accepted I would only get to see Shelby at her wedding this summer, and that I wouldn't get to see anyone else until the next meet-up.

Then Dillon, who is from Seattle and goes to school in upstate New York (a.k.a. Very Far Away), got an internship in Colorado (a.k.a. Way Closer Than Seattle and New York). Just like that, Shelby and I had planned to each make the drive to Colorado Springs to hang out for the weekend.

Dillon provided scones and coffee each morning, of course. We spent our two days driving to cities nearby for shopping, eating, and general wandering. Food and drink standouts include Snooze in Boulder and the Parked Pierogi in Palmer Lake, if you're ever in the area.

We also spent a lot of time talking about plans for Portland, future meet-ups, possible collaborations–you know, the family business. I'm so happy that we all met, and that we're all able to take these trips to see each other. I can't wait for Portland next summer and everything that comes after.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Monthly Mix: July 2014

"Rest stops have always made him strangely happy. He couldn't say why. Just the idea of everyone on their way somewhere, united by wanderlust, no one belonging more than anyone else."

The quote above is from Jonathan Tropper's One Last Thing Before I Go, which I finished reading while at home a week or so ago. As someone who has taken her fair share of long drives (here's looking at you, six-hour drive to Austin), these lines made me smile. There is a weird sort of camaraderie among people on the highway, isn't there? Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, this particular mix was largely inspired by that quote and my impending seven-hour drive to Colorado Springs next weekend to see Dillon and Shelby. I suppose us bloggers are united by wanderlust, too.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Focus? What?

While still in school, I started a mental list of all the things I wanted to do once I had some free time. The list was pretty long. By the first of June, I was completely finished with school and back in Lubbock after two weeks of traveling. I had a lot of free time in June. How many things did I cross off my list? One.

This doesn't mean I haven't done anything else. I just haven't finished anything else. There are just so many things that I want to accomplish, am really excited to accomplish that I want them all done right now. I've found it incredibly difficult to focus on one thing at a time because I want to be doing all of the other things too.

It doesn't help that several of these projects need to be finished as soon as possible–like my résumé and job applications. Then there are the things that I just want finished as soon as possible–like working through Blog Life (which I'm really enjoying, by the way) and redesigning my blog. Then there is everything else.

I'm working on my focus though. I have to. I'm not ever going to get anything done if I can't make myself do one thing at a time. Wish me luck, guys!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shelby and Sam

At the end of May, Melany and I were lucky enough to attend Shelby and Sam's wedding. Shelby is one of the first people I met through blogging, and is now one of my closest friends. I remember when she first mentioned Sam on her blog, back when they were just friends, and now they're married!

During the first Blogger Family meet-up in Seattle, we were able to meet Sam and talk for a few minutes. He was on his way back from Alaska with his parents at the time, and the layover just happened to be in Seattle, so the eight of us sat on the floor of the airport (talking, laughing, bursting into song) and waited for him to arrive. Shelby was beside herself with excitement–pacing back and forth, jumping every time her phone buzzed. You would think that it had been weeks since they had seen each other, maybe months, but when asked how long it had been, she said: "Maybe, like, eight days."

The ceremony was at Sam's grandparents' house in Rudy, Arkansas at 9:30 in the morning, and it was the most chill wedding I have ever or will ever attend. When we arrived, we went inside to see Shelby (who was stunning, poison ivy and all). Sam was outside, talking with the few other guests, and eventually we walked down to the spot they'd chosen, followed by Benny.

After everyone had taken their seats, Shelby yelled, "START THE MUSIC!" from down the aisle. She picked something from Sam's teeth before her brother (who officiated) started speaking. Their vows included Harry Potter references and at one point, when they were repeating them to each other, they completely messed up and Shelby laughed and said, "It's okay. Let's try it again." Afterwards, we made our way back to the house (which was BEAUTIFUL, by the way) for breakfast and mimosas. It was just so very them. 

The reception was that evening at Foolish Things Coffee Co., a lovely little coffee shop in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. Everyone mingled, eating cupcakes and sipping coffee–both of which were divine. (Later, I leaned over to Melany and quietly/jokingly said, "Maybe we could steal a box of those cupcakes." Then Shelby's brother appeared with one of the boxes and said, "You have to take these now." Which is how I ended up with, like, thirty cupcakes, but I'm not complaining.) I explained to many confused people how I came to know Shelby and Sam, and was introduced to an English lady also named Maggie.

After the reception, Shelby and Sam decided to come eat dinner with us, and I have honestly never felt more loved. I'm a sap, but whatever. I mean, who is like, "No, we want to hang out with you guys!" on their wedding night? They paid for dinner too, and when I tried to protest Shelby just said, "I'M THE BRIDE."

It was such a fun weekend, and I'm so happy that I was able to go. I'm so happy that I started blogging, and met all these wonderful people and get to celebrate their wonderful lives with them.


Monday, May 26, 2014

On college

Photo by Mary Boyden
It's been nearly two months since I last blogged, and I hate that, but I'm completely serious when I say that I simply had no time to do so. After my birthday, I was focused solely on just making it through the last bit of undergrad. After finishing my last final on the thirteenth, I worked, went home for my graduation dinner, worked some more, and drove to Arkansas for the Rauh wedding then to Austin (but more on that later). It's only now, sitting in Melany's apartment, that I've been able to really breathe.

But I did it! I have a degree now, and let me tell you, it was not easy. It's no secret that I did not enjoy college, but those last few weeks of school were especially terrible. I'm not exaggerating when I say they were the worst weeks of my life–full of panic attacks, emotional breakdowns, and self-loathing. I have never felt worse in my entire life (and while I do plan to go to graduate school someday, I think you can understand why I'm not quite ready to throw myself back in there yet).

Don't get me wrong–I did have some great classes and professors that I will remember for the rest of my life. But overall? It was hard–really, really hard. Not just mentally, but physically and emotionally. I learned a lot though. Some of which I've already forgotten (like Spanish), but what can you do? I've retained the important things though, and am here to offer my sage advice to those still toiling away. After all, since I am officially a graduate, I can now look back on the last four years with more clarity and candor than I could two weeks ago.

I think the most important thing I learned is that these past four years do not define me. It's okay that I didn't have the proper "college experience," that I hated it most of the time. It's okay that I struggled with classes and didn't come out with a 4.0 GPA. It's okay for you, too. It seems that for most people, college is a pretty crappy time. Don't feel bad if it's not everything you think it should be. Just do the best you can, and try to focus on the good.

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