Dec 28, 2008

post Christmas ramblings

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I have some more free time on my hands to catch up on reading blogs and writing thank-you notes to family and friends for birthday presents.
Everyone always asks me if I get less attention at my birthday because Christmas comes in the same week as my birthday, but I really don't mind it that much. I actually find the season of Christmas to be even better because I have more reasons to celebrate!
Speaking of my birthday, I can't believe I am 20 years old. 20... weird.
I think what is most weird about being 20 is that I am, A. no longer a "teenager" and B. a year away from 21. My mom claims that it is worse for her to think about me being 20 than for her to think about turning 60 in July. (I disagree.) I am excited to see how the 20th year of my life pans out and what adventures and challenges it brings.
This semester seemed to go by pretty quickly, (they always do) and I am pleased with the way my grades turned out and anxious to get started with the Spring semester. I am pursuing a minor in mass communications starting this coming semester, and I am pretty pumped! I was talking to a family friend about my minor this morning and she jokingly said, "are you becoming catholic?!" Get it? MASS communications... haha. I thought it was clever.

I must also add before I close, that I have thoroughly enjoyed my 80 degree Christmas. I know there is some belief in the western/ northern region that Christmas isn't complete without snow... but I love Florida. I love the idea of going to the beach and celebrating Christmas, why not combine two great seasons into one? Summer and Christmas? I will just stay here making sand angels while all of my Colorado friends and northern family members play in that cold white stuff. =)

Oct 27, 2008

my life in pictures...

Here are some pictures from this semester...

post summer and into my Fall semester

I've been a sophomore for about 2 and a half months now and I'm enjoying it for the most part.
I think this quote from Sex and the City sums up alot of how what I have REALLY been learning..
“But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”
Learning to love myself and be myself around people that accept and love me is just about as good as it gets. I am learning to be a better friend, daughter, sister, aunt and person because of it. I have learned so many life skills.. and I'm not talking about cooking my own dinner or doing laundry, I mean the important stuff like learning how to really listen when people talk to me about their life, learning to help them walk through things and to live each day for that moment not worrying about what tomorrow may bring because tomorrow isn't even promised to us. I have to take my own advice alot of time when I find myself worrying about how I will manage to get everything on my to-do list done by Friday. I need to take things as they come, a day at a time.
It's a struggle because alot of time experience really is the best teacher. Learning from everything and having no regrets is something I am really trying to embrace. I don't mind change or even being busy but sometimes I do worry about regretting what I have done.. which is a waste of time frankly. Everything happens for a reason and if I don't learn from everything then what I am doing with my life? Life is about learning and living.
This I'm sure will be a constant theme in life as I assume that no one really comes to a final level of understanding themselves and how to live life to the fullest each day. It is not measured by success or failure.
It is helpful to note that I have really begun to be immersed in the sociology research and ideology that comes with my major and am loving every minute of it. I am fascinated by human activity and how we relate to our world and to each other. I am surprisingly enjoying writing a 10 page narrative on theories of children at play... it is just interesting to learn about perspectives on development and how theorists came to believe certain things to be true about our lives.
Anyhow, this is a way more interesting semester academically than prior ones because I got all of that biology and chemistry out of the way! Phew!

Good news is.. it can only get better!

Apr 27, 2008

Stick a fork in me- I'm done! (With freshman year!)

I'm done!
After finishing my last final yesterday morning around 10:30 a feeling of relief set in knowing that I was done with all my tests and papers and could finally relax!
One of our bible study leaders just graduated from Colorado State Univ this semester so we threw her a little grad party at the park and played some games and ate cake... She moved here to Gainesville to work with the Navigators while finishing up her senior year of college online.
Congrats to Melissa!
And besides congratulating Melissa yesterday, I helped Nikki pack up for going home. Melissa and I also set out for some treasure hunting around the dorms since people were packing up to go home and often they leave behind things they don't want to take home or don't like anymore.. And we came across two beauties of a chair. Pink/ Magenta fold up chairs for the floor that spin as well. Try and tell me those aren't a treasure...
On the note of packing and moving- my roommate Steph moved out yesterday morning, so our room is now a barren land. It's strange to think two semesters have come and gone! It feels so empty and lonely but I won't have to worry about it much longer because I'm headed home tomorrow!
I can't wait to sit around and do nothing... for a couple of weeks. Then it's off to Colorado!

Something I also wanted to mention... My friend Marianne and some other great photographers teamed up to create this group called Twenty-Eight Nineteen that sells photography of theirs and all benefits from the sales go to funding missionaries. (Matthew 28:19- Great commission) Check out their website... their photos are AWESOME and the sales all go to a great cause! (I thought it would be a good place to buy gifts for people.. and it's awesome to know that it is really giving a gift to more than one person.)

Apr 17, 2008

a dancin' gator

So I decided after watching my friend Lauren at her dance show Friday night, that I wanted to return to the stage. I checked out some alternative dance groups last semester, but this group sounded more appealing. No one that auditions is turned away- instead, the girls in charge place people in levels based on technique and experience. I auditioned last night, and after much proding I wasn't able to get my roommate-who spent last than 2 years in a dance class when she was younger- to audition with me. They accept all levels of experience, and were very friendly to people who had little to no idea what they were doing at the audition.
Late last night I got my e-mail that said I made level B (which is the second highest level) and I am excited to get back to dancing. I am not looking to spend more than two nights a week on this, as I will be busy with bible study and being an RA. Besides being sore and tired today, I am looking forward to next semester!
Above ^ is the link to their website.... if anyone wants to check them out.
I'll definitely be inviting you all to my end of the year show next Spring! So keep your eyes peeled for the date. =)

Apr 14, 2008

Pictures from the banquet..

Water Slides and Awards..

This weekend I, and the rest of Broward Area Council planned and put on an event outside of my dorm called, "Broward Beach BBQ Bash." I spent a majority of last week calling companies to reserve an inflatable water slide and spending money to provide the residents with hamburgers and hotdogs. (All the money we use is accumulated from year to year from the sale of 'activity cards' that residents buy to be able to participate in events and rent vaccuums throughout the year.) Anyways, I spent 10 hours on Saturday outside setting up and sliding down our 13 foot water slide with 100 other Broward Hall residents. I got a good tan and ate a couple good hot dogs. With the Orange and Blue game going on, we had a major turnout of people wanting to come and celebrate gator football with us.
I've posted a picture of the water slide to the left.

On Sunday I went to the awards ceremony/ end of year banquet for the Inter-Residence Hall Association.. the one I am involved in (Broward Area Council) won a couple of awards, including Most Improved Area Government. We wrote a 10 page bid and did a presentation to the directors of Housing on why we should win... turns out they agreed with us! And our President, Esther, won President of the Year. This award wasn't something we presented or wrote something on.. so it was such a big honor for Esther to be picked from all 12 different candidates. I was proud! All in all I am really glad I was involved with this organization this year. I made some amazing friendships, had good laughs, and got lots of opportunities for leadership experience. As a Resident Assistant next year I will work a little with Broward Area Council again and hopefully attend some of their events with my residents. =)

Apr 13, 2008

Spring Semester

As this semester comes to a close, I am feeling that I should do a re-cap just so I don't forget anything important that happened!
The weekend before classes started I walked down the aisle.. no, not as a bride. I was a brides maid in my friend Kendra's wedding. She looked gorgeous and I am SO happy for her and Scott! I got to hang out with alot of people from dance (Kendra was first my dance teacher, and then one of my best friends!) and it was good to see all of them!
As soon as classes started it was back to getting into the swing of studying and working. I had a job as a Desk assistant this year, working in the dorms. It hasn't been the most fun job, but it isn't bad.
I am looking forward to be an RA and not having to work at the desk overnight anymore!
In February I went to a Spring Conference for Navigators (a collegiate ministry I'm involved in).
It was really great to meet and hang out with the Navigators from other schools in Florida. We had workshops on things like Mission work, Relationships, Life in your 20s, etc. I enjoyed going to the one about Missions where we heard from a girl who is from University of South Florida, that will be returning to East Asia for two years this August. It was amazing hearing her story about how she felt called to mission work there. We also helped raise money for her expenses in traveling and living there for two years. I even got dressed in neon and had crazy 80s hair for our 80s night party on Saturday.
My roommate and I spent one weekend in February in Tallahassee seeing some friends from high school. We enjoyed our mini road trip!
This whole time, I was anxiously waiting to hear if my new little cousin was born yet, as her momma was due to have her in mid- February. She was born on February 20th and is SO adorable. I can't wait to meet her!
The second weekend of March I left for New Orleans with Navigators for Spring Break! We did mission work and enjoyed seeing the city. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my spring break! (My last blog has some pictures... I might put up some more later)
This month I have been looking forward to classes being done and getting to go home for a while to relax and rejuvenate before leaving for Colorado. I will be done with classes and finals by the 27th and headed home! I leave for Colorado May 21st and return home on August 9th. I have to hurry back to Gainesville by August 11th because I have to start RA training! Then classes start the 25th of August! I'm looking forward to meeting my residents and getting to know all of them!
I am also looking forward to hanging out with the campers in Colorado and spending time outdoors in the beautiful mountains. The camp I will be working for is located near Colorado Springs and includes a zipline, a huge lake (with this thing called "the blob" that you jump off into the lake) and I'm sure tons of hiking. I will be leading my campers in bible studies, and spending time in worship services and eating with them. I really can't wait to tell everyone about my experience. On the weekends I have some time off so I'll try to update this with pictures and stories or ways you can be praying for my campers. :)

Apr 4, 2008

New Orleans!

These are just two pictures (of many) from my trip to New Orleans for Spring Break! We worked on that white house in the back ground of the group picture. Mr Marshall, the homeowner, experienced so much damage that we had to tear down all of the interior dry wall and the ceiling. He had so much to tell us about his life including the fact that he had been in jail, gotten married in Las Vegas, shot 5 times and has a metal plate in his head.
To the right are two ladies I have gotten to know really well this year, Nikki and Brittney. They are both working at Eagle Lake Camp in Colorado this summer, just like me! I look forward to spending time with them in the midst of the beauty of Colorado!