Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hello from Colorado!

I've been keeping secrets again. The biggest one I showed off on Instagram this week -- did you see?

Yup, I've moved to Colorado!

If you've been around a little while, you probably know I graduated in May with my Masters of Higher Education Administration -- a degree that prepares you to work in college administration. My people are called Student Affairs Professionals, and we do things like work with student activities, advise students academically and on career development, and provide educational and safe on-campus living.

Anyway. I got a new job in Colorado and just a short month later, here I am! (Today is actually my first day at the new job -- wish me luck!)

I am TERRIBLY behind with you all, seeing as I've spent the last month apartment hunting, wrapping up my old job and moving, so I may be posting about some things that happened forever ago (like graduation!) but that I want to document here. Bear with me!

This move also means the start of mine and Pat's last stint of having a long-distance relationship -- he's still in Kansas getting his masters and he'll join me here in Colorado in May when he finishes.

Anyway. I hope to be back here more regularly, perhaps with a few retrospective posts, but hopefully updating you all on current happenings!

Love from Colorado!

PS -- Who wants to come visit???


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We're getting married!

First things first: in case you missed it:





So, there's that. And now for the story....


I've been keeping a secret from you guys. A secret that started when I visited Pat in Denver at the beginning of March. And it wasn't really a secret like, ohmygosh something is happening -- but more like, this is a gushy boyfriend thing that I would typically keep to myself.

[Sometimes, as much as I love my life with Pat and want to tell everyone how great he is, there are certain things I think are just for us, you know? And I thought this would be one of those things.]

But now that I know how the story ends, it's not really something I can keep to myself.

So. Back to the beginning of March. I visited Pat in Denver, where he was seven weeks into a 12-week internship. We hiked, ate some good food, watched the Jayhawks lose a basketball game, and just enjoyed being together. And I also pestered him a little bit about my upcoming birthday on March 22.

But he said he already had a present for me and that I would get it Monday morning before I flew back to Kansas. (!!!)

I'm not good at waiting, so I'm sure I asked him just a few times if I could have it early. And he said no. But Monday morning, he retrieved a box.

I could tell he'd made the box himself. It was about three inches tall, eight inches square, and not very heavy. And he told me I couldn't open it till my birthday.



Remember that whole not good at waiting thing?

Yeah.

So, I flew back to Kansas, really only knowing that whatever was in the box, it would withstand the rigors of air travel and wouldn't get me in trouble going through security.

In the next few weeks, I pestered Pat about what was in the box and asked for hints. I learned enough to know it would be several things and that I wasn't allowed to open them all at once. [This kid and all his rules.] I started to think it would be something to open each day until he got back [still another two weeks or so away].

And then he told me it had to do with a shape used in the Olympics.

RINGS. duh.

I told him, "You're trying to make me think it's something that it's not." But I got no further clues.

Three weeks later, I was home in Missouri for my birthday and I finally got to open my box. Inside, I found a chain link of a bajillion papers, like the kind you make at Christmas. The instructions said that each day, I was allowed to open one ring by separating it from the chain and unfolding it. And there were WAY more than just for two weeks until he got back.

I was kind of pissed because all the first one said was Happy Birthday. REALLY? I WAITED THREE WEEKS FOR THAT? and then I had to wait a whole day more to open the next. Silly rules.

But I played by the rules and for two months, I opened a note from my favorite human every morning.

And many nights I asked him if I could just open the rest, but he never let me. Rude.

Here are some we selected to share with you all. :)




The very last ring on the chain was dated May 22 -- and on the outside it said, "Open me on top of a volcano."

See, we had plans to climb Mt. St. Helens in Washington -- our graduation gift from Pat's dad. We had been planning on this trip forever, and Pat bought the climbing permits way back in February, so he knew what day the trip would be.

I brought the last few rings in the change with me to Oregon after graduation. [I actually forgot them and had to turn around on the way to the airport and go back for them...]

And I carried the last ring all the way to the flippin top of Mt. St. Helens. [YOU GUYS. that climb was so hard. I'll try to write another post about it.]

And we got to the top and I didn't want to bring it up. I wanted him to bring it up.

But I'm bad at waiting. So I asked him if I could open my last note yet.

I opened it..........



and it was blank.

So I said, "It's blank!"

And he said, "Oh. Shoot. I gave you the wrong ring -- I had two, I must have put the wrong one on. Here..."

and he dug around in his giant backpack for a minute and then pulled out a pretty, sparkly, perfect engagement ring.

:)


We're getting married!



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life lately [brain + photo dump]

Hello loves!

I keep telling myself I'll keep up with blogging better once my comprehensive exam is done, once classes are done, once I graduate... but the fact is, life is BUSY. I finished my comprehensive exam over FOUR weeks ago, and classes ended Monday...

So, I hope you'll just be happy to see me when I'm here and not miss me too much when I'm gone. Like your favorite flaky friend who is oh-so-hard to make plans with but whom you love dearly. :)

Here's a glimpse at my life lately. (that is, the part of my life that wasn't work + papers + presentations + job applications...)

I attempted for a while to walk or run a mile a day in May. That fell apart pretty quickly (#postmarathonslump), but I did manage to convince Pat to take a walk with me on campus one evening!



He took this sneaky picture of me while I was taking the first picture. (#bloggerproblems)
I celebrated my last Capstone class on a patio with my lovely friend Ashley.
 I ran a 5k that was 19 seconds away from my best time ever. (I'll take it!)
My wonderful friend Sam visited, and we went disc golfing! (aka the boys golfed and I walked around and talked at them :)

 This is what a disc-golf walk ends up looking like:

And finally, I had my last college class this Monday. These lovely ladies and I started together and now we're finishing together. (also, you can see in this picture that I chopped my hair off :)


Upcoming in my life: Me and Pat are both graduating this weekend!! Which means -- The Meeting Of The Families. My little sister, Anna, has met Pat's dad and aunt, but they're the only ones who have met. So my parents will be meeting his dad and aunt and everyone will be meeting Pat's sister. It should be exciting!

We also each have three ceremonies!! Luckily, two of them overlap for both of us. Pat and I will each miss one of the others' ceremonies (does that make sense? his business ceremony is at the same time as my hooding ceremony. booo).

And we're also having a graduation party Saturday! SO MANY THINGS.

And then next week, we're taking offffff on a trip to Oregon and Washington. I'm SO excited. We're going to hike Mt. St. Helens, meet Shauna and Tim and see my friend Jacque and do lots of cool things.

I am not sure when I'll be posting again. :( If you want to keep up with me, I'll be on Twitter and Instagram -- find me there!!!

Lots of love,


Friday, May 9, 2014

Book review: Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Add me on Goodreads!

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


I think I am way behind everyone else in the world to read this book. And that's mostly because I didn't want to read this book. But I ended up really, really liking it and definitely recommend it!

I think what threw me off before was the fact that Cinder, the main character, is a cyborg. I didn't know what that meant for her characterization and wasn't interested in reading in robot-thoughts.

It's kind of funny that those were my thoughts, as negative impressions of cyborgs are a huge element in the book! In reality, Cinder thinks and feels just like a "normal" person -- she just has some extra features, like an internal system that tells her when her adrenaline is high and  light only she can see that flashes when someone is lying. She also has some bionic body parts.

People in Cinders world don't treat cyborgs as humans, though, so my initial prejudice fit right in with the plot!

I really enjoyed the plot and characters in Cinder. Although I guessed some of the "twists" way before I think I was supposed to (and you probably will too) it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book! It was definitely one I thought all the time when I wasn't reading it! It also helped me get through the first half of my marathon. :)

Cinder turned out to be a really fun re-imagining of Cinderella, and I've put the next book on hold already!

Have any of you read Cinder? What did you think?



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Past or Present: Where do you live?

Hello, friends!

How's your Wednesday going? I did a big thing yesterday and cut my hair off! It's super super short now. No non-awkward selfie pictures yet, but as soon as I get a good pic, I will be sure to share!

I fell off the bandwagon a bit recently, but I'm back today to real talk with my blogging bff Tamara, who is hosting a thought provoking link up for the next forever -- 30 topics in 30 weeks, inspired by these two articles about things to do for yourself and things to stop doing to yourself.

Lehmann Laughter

Today's Topic:

Past or present: where do you live?

This one doesn't quite speak to me. Except for when I've just gone through a big change -- graduation, a break up, a death, etc -- I'm pretty good at not living in the past. Or if I do something stupid, I typically dwell on it a bit. The real question for me right now...

Present or Future

I am about to graduate. (again.) I don't have a job yet and don't know in what city or state I will get a job. I don't know how long I'll keep working where I'm working -- technically I have till the beginning of August, but I may leave before then if I get a job. So I'm spending a lot of time applying to jobs, worrying thinking about the future, and planning all of my tomorrows.

Also, I have an awesome trip coming up, and one of my bffffffs is getting married in November and I get to be her Maid of Honor. So I'm also really looking forward to both of those things and spending a lot of mental/thinking time there, too.

I know that when I move to the next thing, whatever that may be, it will be hard. Even if I love it, it will be a challenge. (Or at least, it better be. How else am I supposed to learn?) And I know that I'll look back at this position and remember how confident I was in my abilities. Remember how much I love living in this house with Pat. Remember my classmates and the security of being one of a cohort all learning together. So I should enjoy it while I'm here.

The real battle is to stay here.

In my last capstone class, with all of my cohort meeting for the last time before we graduate, our professors asked us each to give our classmates some advice for going forward. One of my classmates said,

"Be where you are, when you are, where you are."

So I'm going to try to do just that.

Where do you "live" -- Past, Present or Future?


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