Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reviewing 2011's goals

Part of being a good leader is using the SMARTER method when setting goals.

Since the year is approximately 14 hours from being over, I thought it would be a good time to evaluate and revise and possibly set some new goals for next year (which will happen in a new post).

1. Be 50 pounds lighter by December 31, 2011.
I am not 50 pounds lighter. But I am 4-6 pounds lighter. I went into 2011 weighing 242 pounds. I now fluctuate between 236-238. Weight loss has to start somewhere, right? I'm proud of myself for not finishing the year heavier than I was! Perhaps for next year, I need to set smaller, more specific goals a reevaluate more often - perhaps at the end of each month.
One thing that has helped me start on the weight loss journey was telling my family and friends that I can't eat ice cream unless someone else suggests we get it. For the most part it works, because I feel guilty that I would be betraying that "promise" to them.
I joined Planet Fitness as a motivator as well. For $20/mo, I have a (mostly) 24 hour gym and tanning salon. [yes, i realize all of the harms of tabbing, but it makes me feel better about my body and it is a reasonable reward to me to work out]. I went every week day in August and was extremely proud of myself. Unfortunately, when school started, I lost the motivation to keep going, because it was hard to get to bed at a decent hour. I hope to find the motivation I need to get back (like my upcoming wedding!)
I have a few ideas to help me get on track for the new year, but I'm going to save them for the next post.
2. Run Beat Beethoven on April 16, 2011.
I DID IT! I did not beat Beethoven, aka finish the race in less than 30ish minutes, but I finished. My time was 42:43 (or something super close to that), which was faster than my goal of 45 minutes, so I am extremely proud of myself. I think I want to run it again (even though I still don't care for running). On warm days this year, I need to practice running/speed-walking up the initial hill. That hill killed me right away. All I could think about was how my ski coach in high school said I used to have a death glare on hills. I don't think it has changed :)

3. Take more pictures.
I don't think I did. I thought about it, but I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I did several years ago. It's still on my list of things to improve on. Maybe this summer, I'll take that photography class Britton took several summers back and improve my skills some more.
I don't take as many pictures typically because I'm running late and forget the camera. It's either that or the events I bring my camera to are not very picture worthy.
I don't think I could be a sports photographer because for the most part, their pictures look the same all he time. It's rare that the athlete does something awesome and different...

4. Do not post any "dirty laundry" on facebook.

I would say I did pretty well on this. Intended to post more happy news and my complaints were typically general frustrations with patrons or classes or society as a whole. Nothing about specific people that would start more drama, as far as I remember.

5. Take timely action on any drama that needs to be addressed.

Aside from my truck, I don't think I had too much drama in my life in 2011. Nothing that impacted me directly anyway. Yay!

6. Post more to have written memory of my life.
I'm going to say 2010 doesn't count because it wasn't putting my life into writing, it was mostly class notes. But overall, I'd say I did okay! (I've never posted a picture into my blog from he iPad, so if it posts at the bottom, it belongs with this one :) )!.)

7. Graduate
I almost could have graduated this year, but I had the "great" idea of finishing two majors instead of just one, since I wanted to be a full time student for the full year. So, as long as I pass O Chem II, Evolution, Intro to Bio II and Fish and Fisheries of Alaska, I should be good to go for graduating with two majors in May.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A rant on society

It's extremely frustrating to me when people gossip about me or my family. I understand not everyone is making the greatest choices in the world, but do we have to harp on them every single time? And multiple times in one visit?
It kills me when all I hear about my brothers are the bad things they've done. Yes, perhaps they need to make smarter choices, but still. What happened to having the support of your family and friends? Isn't it our job to help them see their wrongs? To help guide them into making more accurate choices? To teach them the laws? Why do we tend to abandon people when they turn 18? How is that supportive?
Is it our own fault? I know when I turned 18 I couldn't wait to move out of my parents house. I was so excited to leave them, but I still call then for advice and support. Are we being taught that once "you become an 'adult '" that's all the help you get? I don't know if that's the way we need to be doing things. I get that young adults need to make their own mistakes, live on their own, pay their own bills etcetera, but what makes us think that we can do all of those things right away?
How do people not learn from their mistakes? One of the things that kept coming up in he conversation that sparked this post is that my brother had 5 pages of tickets printed from the state website. He wanted to know why he hadn't received his permanent fund dividend check yet. It was because he had so many outstanding tickets that the state garnished his PFD. This breaks my heart. Why is it so hard for him to follow the laws? If you can't afford to keep your snow machine registered or you're underage (or were), or you don't have insurance, don't do the things that you can't do!!!
I usually try to give my brothers a few dollars for their birthdays, but I couldn't handle sending them money that they'll just use for drugs or alcohol. The older of the two just turned 21 and the younger is now 18. It breaks my heart to see them spending their money on such useless things.
Yes, I am a hypocrite because I enjoy a good drink about once a week or so, but I typically only have one or two drinks and I never, ever drank until I was 21. And I never, ever drive after drinking.
All in all, I want to know how my brothers are doing, but don't chew them out while they aren't their to take it. There isn't a whole lot I can do because I was the "goody-two-shoes" of the family and they really don't want to listen to me. I'll love them unconditionally, but I won't be bailing them out of jail or letting them move in rent free.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


I finally convinced Britton to exchange stockings with me this year!! Since he doesn't read my blog, I can tell you all about it :)

I bought two different card games - Would you rather! and Scrabble.  Last year, I bought the book with the same title and Britton talked to Rusty on the phone for hours! So, since we'll be in Kenai and actually at Rusty's house, I thought it might be fun to play!  I don't know anything about the Scrabble game, except that it is supposed to be like Scrabble, Word-Up and Word Twist?

I bought a bunch of candy.  Most of his favorites, Snickers, Reese's and Whoppers.  I always remember having the best candy in my stocking, so hopefully this will be just as awesome for him.

I'm giving him new boxers. Just because they're super awesome.  Cookie Monster is on the front and then on the back it says, "Someone say cookie?"

Britton's grandma, Mamas, used to work at the Hallmark store and so she was able to get TY beanie babies on sale. While wandering through the Christmas section, I found a CUTE little reindeer, named Harold.  He was "born" in November 2011.  

While I was in Oregon, I found washcloths that grow in the water.  I love them, and they're kind of insignificant and Britton will probably think I'm lame for putting them in his stocking, but I don't care!

And the last really tangible thing is a little Nerf football, because it will fit in the stocking and to be honest, I love playing with them too. 

And last but not least, I made some coupons that will get him out of doing dishes or some other sweet, sexy things.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fun times at the library...

When all the students go home for the holidays, the university library is quizzically quite quiet. 
Since classes aren't in session, there are frequently WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE WORKING! Ha! I think our employee to patron ration is 2:1... Okay, maybe 1:2.  or 1:4, based on the employees at the circulation counter and the number of patrons recorded at noon for the entire library.  But, if you were to tally up ALL the employees currently here, I'd say there is a 3:1 ratio!
This leaves the really, really boring tasks, like measuring how much empty space on the shelves there is on a floor, and shelf reading (making sure all of the books are in order.) Oh joy! I'd rather watch ice form or water boil.  That's how boring those tasks are. 
The beginning of the week was not so bad, because there were all of the books that were returned at the end of the semester to take care of, but now, since there have been 4 students on times 8 hours a day, all of those books have been shelved. 
Supposedly there is a new shifting project that the director wants done.  Rumor has it that a new office is going to move into the back area of the 2nd floor.  Or as we call it, Alaska.  Funny tangent: Sometimes when a coworker is down on second floor, or in Alaska, and a friend of their's comes looking for them they ask "Hey do you know where _____ is?" And without thinking about who we are talking to, we'll just say "In Alaska" expecting them to comprehend our thought process.  Most of the time they think we're being sarcastic, and like, "Yea, I know that, but where?!" and then we realize they aren't familiar with the lingo of the library and send them on their merry way to the second floor.  
In other awesomeness of the library, one time the power went out.  The electronic lock system on the doors doesn't work when the power is out, so we have the glorious job of sitting in front of the doors making sure no one comes in.  Apparently, there is a safety issue when there isn't any power in the library.  

I have no other stories off the top of my head.  Perhaps I'll update again later. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stats of my blog posts...

During the summer of 2010, I took Anatomy and Physiology with Dr. Jill Russell.  She was an entirely fabulous teacher and I loved the course.  Since I worked 8a-10a, went to class from 10-12, and then went back to work (unless I had lab) until 9pm.

I decided to type my notes to try to help myself learn the material better.  Since then, more views have been to those entries from the course.  Some day, I hope that people will read my entries for what I have to say instead of the science notes.  But, to all of you who found my blog through searching for mitosis, welcome.  I hope my entry helps you learn it better too.

3/5 posts are strictly related to my class.  The other two, I promoted, either on Facebook or via Google+.  If that's what I need to do to get more views to my blog, I suppose I will do it more.  

I miss living on campus...

I miss staying up late hanging with the people in my dorm. But then, that would specifically be Skarland Hall, since I almost never left my room in Stevens Hall.

I miss buying the vending machine out of energy drinks and stacking our cans into pyramids in the lounge.

I miss removing all of the cushions from all of the furniture and piling it into the elevator and then riding for hours, playing cards and listening to someone play guitar.

I miss someone doing my daily dishes for me and not having to prepare every meal if I didn't want to.

I miss free laundry.

I miss the convenience of being able to just walk to classes, instead of having to wake up and start the car every day.

I miss feeling like I could go to the comedy shows without wasting too much time.

I miss RLC and RHA meetings.

I miss my first year RA's.

I miss free laundry.

I miss the programs the RA's would put on.

I miss knowing all of my neighbors.

I miss working evenings instead of during the day - which allowed me to sleep in a little later.

I miss being so close to the swimming pool.

I miss free laundry.

I miss being able to go back to my room between classes to change out what I need for each class.

I miss having a bed to nap in during the day. 

I miss having somewhere to store my skis and the convenience of being to go skiing during the day without the hassle of bringing everything to campus.

I miss not having to worry about maintaining the structural components of my place.

I miss free laundry.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Case of the lighter fluid

If you're my friend on Facebook, you may have recently found me complaining about the stench of lighter fluid.

Let's go back to Starvation Gulch 2010.  After we were done building fires for the day, we were on pile watch.  Since that gets a little boring, we decided to have a barbecue.  The grill was charcoal, so we opted for a bottle of lighter fluid to help get things rolling.  Of course, with just one grill, there wasn't a need for an entire bottle and since I purchased it, it went into the backseat of my pickup truck.

Where it remained for at least a year and a half. With no problems.

Until recently, when I went to start my truck after our vacation and noticed it reaked like lighter fluid.  Ugh, the smell is terrible.  And I'll never say that I like the scent again! Ever!
I don't know what made this year different from last year, but I accuse Harold and Monica of stepping on it during one of our car rides together.  And thus, the greasy fluid is now all over my truck.

I have a bottle of febreeze that I am spraying on it every time I get in, but I don't know how long I can keep that up.  Oh and by the way, febreeze doesn't burn when it gets in your eye.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New favorite neighbor

Last night, as Britton and I were scrambling to figure out which extension cords to use to plug in my truck across the parking lot, a gentleman came walking through.  He asked, "Which rig are you trying to plug in?" and I pointed to my truck.  He then says, "If you'd like, you can park in spot 66 until the first of the year."  And at this point, I'm squealing, "Are you sure?!?!"  He replies, "Yep, not a problem, I'm headed out of town in the morning and I have a garage space here."

Oh my gosh, he made my night SO MUCH BETTER! It really isn't even that big of a deal since we really only need the extra space when we have three cars at the apartment, but it makes life so much more convenient when you don't have to wind up 50-100 feet of extension cables.  Though, I might use it next week, since Morgan will be here and Britton's car will be on campus.  Our second spot is a few parking spots away from our plug in, and the one that our neighbor is letting us park in is super duper close!

Thank you neighbor of spot 66!  You will have fresh cookies or bread when we return from our respective vacations.  I have no idea where you're going, but you were even kind enough to let us use it while you are back and we are gone for a few days.  That, my friends, is true holiday spirit.

I know I haven't ranted about it on here before, but parking at Jillian Square is rough.  There is only one parking spot, since the complex was built in the 80's, which seem to be a one-car-per-family decade.  The front of the building is technically guest parking, so cars are supposed to be moved every 24-hours, though they don't check it as often as they should, and sometimes if you park in the same spot every time, they'll flag your car :-/ And the "overflow" lot is WAY TOO FAR AWAY to string extension cords to from our parking spot.

So again, neighbor residing in apartment 66, THANK YOU!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Does your jealousy ever get in the way?  I know mine does, and sometimes I fear later that it might hurt my relationships.  I really, really try to avoid getting frustrated over my jealousy, especially when the situation really is better in the long run. 

Here's the most recent situation.  Britton is going to Kenai this weekend to perform with Sonic Karma at a benefit concert.  The original plan was for him to come back on Monday, work the entire week here and then fly back next week to stay for the holidays. However, somehow, he talked his boss into allowing him to work from Kenai for the week!  Which means he'll be in Kenai from 12/16-1/3!  That's an entire week longer than I get to go for, which means that I'm jealous.  I really wish I could go down earlier and spend the entire time with family and friends and doing nothing but relaxing, but alas, the library isn't exactly work I can do "from home." 

It's saving us money though. It's one a whole round-trip ticket that he is saving (whether it's miles or money, it doesn't matter).  Which is a good thing.  More money to put towards the wedding that we are both stressing over.  And maybe a week away will be good for us.  I can finally deep clean my apartment.  I can work on craft projects without interruption. I can work on my year-long distance course that I need to finish up by March-ish (I'm 1/3 done. Totally not worried).  I can study for the two classes I'm retaking next semester to brush up on the material. 

One of the only things I can't do is hang out with my friends, and that's because they're leaving too! Ugh.  Who the heck am I supposed to bake for if everyone is leaving me? I still plan on bringing cookies up to his coworkers, because I'm just that awesome.  And I'll bring cookies to my work. 

Life goes on.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dinner Plans

  My mom never seemed to struggle with what to make for dinner or not having the right ingredients. Even my dad can make meals out of nothing.  
  I try to follow my mom's footsteps by making a list of dinners we'll eat for the week (or two, since most meals make an extra meal or two), write out all of the ingredients I'll need to make these meals, go to the store, purchase said ingredients and put them away when I get home.  Yet, when it actually comes time to make a recipe, I never seem to have everything I need!  How is this possible?
  Right now we're broke, so I am trying to use the foods we already have.  This means, we have food that Britton doesn't really care for - like rice and pasta and vegetables.  I guess I'll be making a list of ingredients that we do have and trying to come up with good ideas for that.  Luckily we're leaving for 10 days next week, so it'll be a little while between when we get paid and when I have to buy groceries.  So, this means I just have to find 11 days worth of meals in what we've got.  Fun times. 
If you have any meals/recipes that your family loves, please feel free to share them with me, especially ones that please picky eaters.
  I know I have a steak, chicken breasts, hamburger (ground and in patties), taco meat, salmon and halibut. But I don't seem to have anything to go with these.  If it were up to Britton, he'd just eat meat.  Perhaps we'll have burgers again, we could do that for a few days, until we get sick of them again (like we did when we first moved in together).  But my momma taught me right, and a complete meal needs to have a starch and a veggie to go with it.  Or at least the veggies.  (No, Britton, potatoes do NOT count as a veggie... They are a starch.)  And what if my dinner plans don't have enough for lunch?  Then what? I don't have any more bread for sandwiches. 
  Most the $58.75 in my checking account will need to go to gasoline if my truck ever starts again.  Otherwise, I would buy more potatoes and fruits and bread and eggs and bacon.

  I hope my single steak and the two chicken breasts I pulled out are defrosted. I also hope that the tortillas in the cupboard are still good.  I think I want fajitas tonight.  I know I have diced green peppers and onions in the freezer, which will have to make due (we prefer our fajitas with sliced peppers and onions).  And maybe we'll just have to have leftover mashed potatoes with it!
  I just don't understand how I can buy EVERYTHING on my shopping list (which I make based on the recipes I have planned) and still not have the right ingredients for dinner.  le sigh.  Some day I'll be just like you, Mom!
  And another rant for another day - why I miss paying for a meal plan. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Graduation fears.

I've applied for probably a dozen jobs or internships since I've been in college and haven't received so much as an interview for a single one of them.  Okay - that's not quite true.  The interviews I have done though have been for entry level jobs - customer service, housekeeping, food service.  Not the atmosphere I plan to work in after I graduate.
As the end of my penultimate (thanks Mrs. Sounart for teaching me that word, by the way) semester approaches, I'm starting to realize that I have approximately 6 months to find "a real job."  This job hunt is in addition to a full course load of intense classes and wedding planning.  What exactly do I do after graduation if I can't find a "real job"? What am I looking for in this "real job?"
Ultimately, I know I would like to use both degrees.  Britton's coworker's wife works with Fish and Game traveling to rural parts of Alaska and checking gaming permits and such.  This type of profession would mean that I get to use my biology degree as well as using my sociology degree.  There really aren't that many jobs that utilize both sociology and biology.
Seriously. What the eff was I thinking?  I know, I know, I said my goal is to take it into nursing.  And I still plan to.  But I don't really want to do the associates program here in Fairbanks right now.  It just doesn't feel up my ally.  And Britton isn't comfortable moving somewhere if I managed to get accepted into a non RN-Master's program, because of the whole economy situation everywhere else.  And most of the programs say you should expect not to work.  How am I supposed to NOT work?! That's just not feasible.  I need food too, ya know.  So if Britton were to stay here, and I were to go elsewhere, it'd be doable (with another bajillion dollars in student loans), but that just doesn't seem like it's going to work.
I would really like to apply for the Disney program again, but chances are, I'd be rejected there too. Again.  And this would also mean that I would move across the country from my then husband.  I would have to decide to apply soon if I really wanted to do that.  I have to apply while I'm still in college.  ugh. Plus the cost of moving to Florida or California would probably not be doable.  And Britton would have a hard time paying all of his utilities/rent without me.
I really wish I had been interviewed for the admissions position.  I really love my school and I think I would have enjoyed recruiting and helping people through the application process.  Perhaps it will open again at the end of the spring semester.
I will keep my eyes glued to, you can bet your bottom dollar I will be applying for every position I might barely be qualified for.  I'll also be staring down craigslist and Alexsys for opportunities too.  I get emails from the State of Alaska notifying me for positions that are open throughout the state.
Is it wrong that I would love to go into education, but choose not to because of all of the governmental crap? Could I survive a master's program in education?  Would being a teacher make me not want children?
I fear being unemployed.  I fear paying back the 60,000+ I have in student loans because I chose to live somewhat comfortably instead of working my ass off to avoid them.  I fear failing.  I fear being a crappy communicator and interviewer.  I fear not knowing.

On 2011's holiday plans

About a month ago, I thought I had decided that I would do the financially responsible thing and stay in Fairbanks for the entirety of winter break.  Well, I'm still a little homesick but can't afford a $1000 ticket to my parents house, so I decided to do the next best thing.  I'm headed back to Kenai! Oh boy, I'm so excited.  We'll be having Christmas dinner with my grandma and grandpa and cousin, Samantha and my middle brother, John and whoever else happens to be there.  I'll also get to see my aunt Misty and Uncle Mark and my cousins, Jamies and Blake.  And maybe I'll even get the chance to see my half-brothers Anthony and Kelly and my nieces and nephew! Wouldn't that be delightful?

We haven't purchased our tickets yet, but the plan is to leave on the evening of the 23rd and come back to Fairbanks on the 3rd!  10 days in Kenai! Yippee!  I plan to visit with as many people as possible, so if you'd like to hang out, please let me know.  I don't think I'll have a car, so we'll have to coordinate rides somehow.

I would like to bring my skis down, but only if it isn't going to cost me $100 in oversized luggage fees.  I just can't afford that :(

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Growing up, my family always did some of the same things each and every year.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving, my mom would start to put up the Christmas decorations around the house.  Garland, lights, Nativity scene, various Christmas quilts.  Then, about 2 weeks before Christmas, we would go to Kenai River Nursery and pick out the perfect tree.  Of course, we'd never know exactly what it looked like, since it would be wrapped up, but that was part of the surprise!  We would wrap it in an old sheet, bring it home and put it in the garage overnight with a 5 gallon bucket of water, after Dad chopped off a few dried inches from the trunk.  The next night, we would bring it upstairs, set it up, make sure it was straight and my dad would put the Christmas lights on it.

Mom and Dad would do all of the Christmas shopping months early to avoid going to the stores during this deathly time of year.  But, they would still take me and the boys out to shop for the other parent.  I loved trying to find the things that would fill the line on my parents' wish list.

A week or so before Christmas, my mom would have a baking storm.  We would make candies and peanut brittle and cookies galore!  It was always so much fun to deliver cookies to our families and friends.  This is one tradition I'm going to be doing this year.  I won't be making all of the same cookies or candies that my mom previously made, but I have a list I think will suffice.  Maybe I'll post about it a little later.

When I was really young, we used to do THREE Christmases on Christmas day. Eventually everyone started to feel that was hectic and we moved to a two-day system.  My mom's side of the family would gather on Christmas Eve.  We'd have delicious foods, including my favorite, king crab!  We would share presents with each other and overall just enjoy the evening.  Our parents would always get us new pajamas.

On Christmas morning, Santa came and filled our stockings as well as leaving us lots and lots of presents under the tree.  (I know it's just my mom and dad, but it's more fun to say it was Santa).  My brothers and I would always wake up super early!  4:30 or 5:00 am!  We weren't ever allowed to wake our parents up.  But, we were allowed to open our stockings and all the trinkets that were wrapped inside.  I love stockings.  Candies and nuts and oranges and soaps and toys, what is not to love?  If we were really thinking, we would make a pot of coffee - presents could never be opened until my parents had a cup of coffee and brushed their teeth.

Often, presents were completely opened before the sun rose.  My mom would then make something amazing for breakfast - like cinnamon rolls.  And we would spend the daytime playing with our new toys and presents.  There would be new clothes too.

In the afternoon, we would gather up all of the presents for my dad's side of the family and go to my Grandma Becky's house for a similar ritual as to my mom's side of the family.  Presents would be opened and laughter shared.  Then we enjoyed dinner and pies.

Oh how I miss my mother's pies.  I can bake, but there is something about her food that I absolutely miss.  I hope with more and more practice I will learn to love mine more than her's (sorry mom!)

and since I don't have any pictures with me of Christmas, here is a picture from the 2008 Christmas comes to Kenai parade. 

Bed time usually came early due to exhaustion, but on the morning of December 26, there was always one more present to open.  My brother John's birthday gift!

Sad Emails

I got the email last week that I, unfortunately, did not get the Admissions Counselor position I applied for. I wasn't even considered for an interview.  Sad day.  However, in hind sight, it's probably for the better.  As you read in my last post, next semester is going to be rough.  But I'll get through it somehow, and life will go on.

Things on my mind this week

  • Not passing evolution this semester and thoughts about next semester
I don't think I'm going to pass my evolution course this semester.  I've been studying and reviewing all semester long.  It makes sense in class. But for some reason, I can't put on the tests the knowledge I've been learning.  It's incredibly frustrating to have to retake this course.  Fortunately, I suppose, it is offered next semester.  And it fits in my schedule with the other 3 sciences courses I need to finish the second major. 

Next semester is looking to be rough.  I have to retake Bio 116x: Principles of Biology.  My very first semester (when the course was F105x) I got a C-.  It didn't matter for my minor, but now it does for my major.  How depressing.
It looks like I'll be retaking Bio 481: Evolution.  The professor for the spring semester is not posted yet.  I don't know if I would prefer the same teacher or if a new teacher with new perspectives and style would be better.
I also have to take the second semester of Organic Chemistry: Chem 322.  I already told my friend Micah, who is a chem tutor, that I will be spending plenty of time there.  I barely passed the first semester of O Chem and that was Spring 2009, so it's been quite awhile since I had to do it.
The last course I have to take is a biology elective.  I am opting for Bio 288: Fish and Fisheries of Alaska.  I don't expect it to be a cake-walk, but I'm hoping 22 years of living in Alaska will help me succeed.
It's also my last semester of campus involvement.  This both saddens and delights me.  While I wish I was able to stay involved forever, the people who I know who currently won't leave, drive me crazy.  I don't want to be that person in other person's life.  I will dearly miss being an orientation leader, a student ambassador, in the Pep Band (though that I might continue, so I can get into hockey games for free) and an active brother of Alpha Phi Omega. 
  • Wedding plans
Planning has been going fantastically.  We have booked and placed deposits on our venue, catering and our photographer.  My dress has been ordered.  Centerpieces are coming together nicely.  Save-the-dates have been sent. Invites are in the works.  I'm so excited to be married with the love of my life. 
  • Honeymoon plans
Will it be a cruise? A trip to Maui? Who knows! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Do you ever get that feeling of knowing just how much you have to do and just how little time you have to do it, but you still can't seem to find the motivation to do it with?  That's me right now.

List of things to do before the semester ends:

  • Finish 4-5,000 word essay (due 12/2)
    • I have approximately 2,200 words done so far
  • Present said paper (12/7 or 12/9)
  • Write three short essays for Evolution (Due 11/29, 12/1 and 12/8)
    • no word range, just have to justify my responses
  • Experimental Exercise #5 (Due 11/28)
  • Final for Social Psychology (due 12/5)
  • Stats project? 
    • supposedly we have a project, but no information has been presented to my knowledge
  • Exam #3 for Evolution (taking it late on 11/29)
  • Final exams for Stats/Language and Gender/Evolution (12/15 and 12/16)

My goal for many of these was to be done today... but that didn't happen.  I had absolutely NO motivation! ugh. Well, hopefully I can get some of it done while I'm in Oregon, but I don't have a lot of hope for that....

Friday, November 11, 2011

New Future Plans?

Oh the joys of plans... I am slowly learning to learn that they are typically temporary and you should really just go with the flow!

I applied for a staff position at my university.  It doesn't close til Tuesday, and they'd really, really have to think I'm awesome enough in order to get it and still be able to finish my degree next spring.

With the wedding plans, and Britton applying for a new job, it looks like my Master's plans are really on hold for now.  It's fine. If I can't get a good employment spot when I graduate, my application for nursing school be going in.  It'll just be the associates program here in town, but it'll get my foot in the door.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Things to think about...

I've been a bit blue this week. 

Here are some possible reasons why:
  • I'm homesick.  As much as I don't like to admit it, it has happened about this time year every year since I've been in school.  I don't think seeing my mom for 30 hours and then knowing that I'm not able to afford to visit for Christmas helps me at all.  I'm really trying to cook at home more often and make some of her recipes, but it's the little things I miss, like just hanging out and all of her decorations.  Time zones make this difficult as well because when I get home, it's typically too late to call her.  
  • School.  I picked up the biology degree this summer and added it to my program.  Now I'm double majoring in sociology and biology.  And I only have evolution, biochem or o. chem 2, a bio elective and I have to retake the 2nd semester of intro left to finish.  But right now, I'm really questioning whether or not I can handle it.  Evolution is killing me, biochem may not be offered in the spring and I haven't taken any chemistry in like 5 semesters.  And the fact that I really, really make an effort in my classes and still don't pass kills my self-esteem and motivation. 
  • Money. Like always, I work my 20 hours and I just barely make it.  I'm really, really trying to pay off my credit card debt so that will be one thing less I have to worry about next summer when I graduate, but when I'm only bringing in 800/month, and I have a $200 phone bill (which let's face it. I could theoretically get rid of, but it's my main source of organization.)  Britton pays ALL of my other bills except rent.  I buy the groceries.  
  • Lack of time.  I really try to manage my time well.  I spend my out-of-class time on TR reading for classes.  I go home and cook dinner and do the laundry while reading for classes.  I watch maybe 3 hours of TV a week.  But I HAVE TO SLEEP FOR 7-8 HOURS.  My body just doesn't do well with days and days of <7 hours.  This is why I don't pick up a second job or try to get more hours. Granted, I could drop all of my extracurricular activities: pep band, jazz band, student ambassador, APO, but isn't that what college is all about?
  • Unknown wedding stress.  I've put aside most of the wedding planning until breaks, and I know this.  I've talked about it with myself - we know it'll all work out and all the projects I want to do just cost money and may or may not be noticed anyway and thus it's not necessary to stress over.  
  • Fear my truck isn't going to survive winter. I think this one explains it all.  Also, see point 3. 

Friday, August 12, 2011


I am pro-choice.  It is the parents decision (although typically the mother's) to decide if they are ready to support a baby. 

My reasoning?  Did the prohibition make people stop drinking? Nope.  Will a law making abortions illegal make women stop having them? Nope. 

I'm not saying I promote unprotected sex, because that's just dumb (unless you are trying to have a baby).  Use protection, get on birth control (which is now included in health care plans as far as I know), don't be stupid about your decisions.

I can't support the no premarital sex rule because I broke it.  I do, however, support that abstinence is the only for sure way to not have a baby.  That being said, kids are like cats.  They're curious and they're likely to experiment.  We see it every day - even if parents make a conscious effort to hide their kids from it.  Movies, tv shows, magazines, books, billboards, people in the store, internet... it's impossible for people not to know. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

School decisions are forever

I know I just wrote on this a few weeks ago, but it's still on my mind and I can't make a decision. 

I'm graduating in May with my BA in sociology and biological sciences!! I'm super excited and I don't even care that my family may not come up to see me.  They'll be up 6 weeks later for my wedding and that's just fine. 

I have a few more options for my education (all of which mean I should really be studying for the GRE soon). 

1. Apply to OHSU for the Accelerated Master's Nursing Program. It's a 3 year program that would get me a second bachelor degree and a master's degree. 

2.  Apply to UAF for grad school and postpone/forget about nursing school.  I think I would apply for the Northern Studies program.  I would want to do my thesis on a tourism related subject (I think). 

3.  Apply for the BSN program at UAA and then apply for the Master's program at UAA.  The biggest problem is that this is UAA.  The best part is that tuition would be free.  The second biggest problem is that it would take the longest. 

4.  Graduate in May and get a job. This would be nice, because I'm a little burnt out on school. 

Any advice?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love = Trust + Compromise.

Part of loving anyone - your mother, brother, cousin, best friend, husband or wife is dependent on trust and compromise.  If any part of the equation is missing, the solution often turns to at least one person involved being hurt or hated.  Usually, it is all parties involved. 

It is so difficult to fix a broken equation.  Sometimes, it may be easier to give up and try to find another equation to work on.  It is easier because it is new to us.  Repeating the same mistakes over and over on the old equation leads us further and further into frustration and denial.  We like new equations because we feel they will be different than the old equation and will lead us somewhere new. 

We see these equations all around us being broken and found and solved.    If there is legal involvement, we're talking about marriage and divorce.  If we're looking at middle school or high school again, it's the vicious dating cycle.  It doesn't always have to be a romantic relationship though, we see it happen between friends, coworkers and every day people on the street. 

While perusing facebook this morning, a friend posted the quote:

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. 
But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, 
that's true strength.” 
- Unknown
We are not built the same.  I do not expect everyone to hold it together 100% of the time. But sometimes holding it together makes us feel better than losing it, especially in situations that we feel that we have no control.  
Trust forms like ice: one tiny layer at a time.  In the beginning of a relationship and during hard times, the ice fragile, like a puddle I used to jump on as a child. 

 As the relationship grows stronger, the ice builds. One might compare this to a lake that isn't quite strong enough to go skating or ice fishing.  Perhaps it still has holes in it.  

And then there is when trust is at its strongest point when it is able to hold most of the challenges that come at it. Even strong enough to be run over by a truck. 
 Compromise, whether we like it or not, is often a huge part of relationships as well.  We learned as a child as well as through an episode of Glee from the first season, we can't always get what we want, but if we try sometimes, we'll get what we need.  So often, we head into situations that we high expectations for, but something bad happens.  This negative event marks our day or our week.  A positive attitude and the willingness to compromise with the situation can often make us and those around us feel much, much better.  
If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm in a rough situation that I can't fix.  It isn't my situation to fix, but it's killing me to watch.  Perhaps if we all send positive ju-ju to those who need it, we can press forward and these people in my life will pick the equation of life that they feel will best benefit them.   

Monday, May 16, 2011

Using more than 4 years

I didn't walk yesterday.  I feel that I have failed.  College degrees are "supposed" to be finished in 4 years.  I know the majority of people at UAF don't finish in four years.  Something almost always happens.  But I know of at least two people who finished in three years!  It is demoralizing to think that I didn't.  Many people that I graduated high school with or lived with in my freshman dorm are posting pictures of graduation on facebook.  And I put on a happy face and reply "one more semester" when they ask how much longer I have.

But will it only be one more semester?  When I switched degrees to sociology from chemistry, I planned on going to nursing school.  I applied that summer to the UAA in Fairbanks program and was 19th on the wait-list, but I hadn't even finished all of the pre-req's and didn't have any other experience to help my application.  I didn't give up then.  I just decided to keep going with my sociology degree with a minor in biology.  Then I would apply again.

Later, I realized I didn't want to get my bachelor of arts in sociology and then have an associate's nursing degree.  So, I decided that I would do a bachelor of science in nursing.  It made more sense than the associate degree.  Then after talking with many, many people, I learned/discovered that there are Master's programs where you don't need to already hold an RN license.  I could finish my sociology degree and apply to these programs!

I have two schools picked out for this plan: Oregon Health and Sciences University and Marquette University.  Both would require a 1-year RN program followed by the 2-year master's program.  OHSU would give me a second bachelor's degree and the master's degree, whereas Marquette would only get me the Master's degree.

But, to throw another wrench into the plan, I just learned that I should have been getting free tuition when Britton and I became financially interdependent.  So, I figured, hey, I might as well use this and get a second degree - why not make my biology minor into a major.

Before Britton proposed to me and I learned about the free tuition, I was going to apply to the Master's programs in the fall and go in the spring.  I was going to walk at graduation in the spring, but I can't ask my parents to come to Alaska twice in one summer (the second time is for my wedding) and have all my family go to New Mexico for Michael's graduation; that's not fair to them.

I also take Britton in consideration.  He's getting into something he really likes - hockey.  He has an amazing job that he enjoys too.  He is nervous about moving away, especially if he doesn't already have a job lined up.  I don't know that I want to live away from him, although I think I could really focus on nursing school if I did live in a different state.  It would only make our relationship stronger.  We have enough trust in each other.

So do I?:

#1: Get the sociology degree in December and apply to Nursing School.
Pros: It's the original plan.  I'd complete my nursing goals. not the shortest plan, but gets me the most for my time.  
Cons: nursing school is expensive. moving is expensive. 

#2: Stick around UAF for another year and double major and then go to nursing school
Pros: double majoring in biology and sociology may make me a stronger candidate.  the next year or two at UAF would be free.  it allows Britton to stay in Fairbanks without worry of moving for another 2 years. 
Cons: it's the longest option. nursing school is expensive. moving is expensive. my current loans will continue to build interest until I'm done

#3: Stick around UAF for another year and double major and get the hell out of school
Pros: I'd be done with school in 6 years with 2 degrees.  
Cons:  nursing school goal is incomplete.  don't know if I could get a job doing something I like.  I'm stuck in Fairbanks for an unknown amount of time.  

#4: Get the sociology degree in December and get the hell out of school
Pros: no more school!  Allows Britton to stay in Fairbanks without worry of moving.  
Cons: have to pay back loans sooner, don't know if I could get a job doing something I like.  I'm stuck in Fairbanks for an unknown amount of time.  

Friday, May 6, 2011


Last night, on my 22nd birthday, Britton asked me to marry him!!

We went to dinner at Boston's because I really wanted the steak skewers they serve as an appetizer.  Since it was my birthday, I had a huge mango margarita!  For dinner I had the twisted mac and cheese with italian sausage and he had the pepperoni supreme pizza.   They brought us brownies and ice cream and sang to me :)  the German guys who were sitting at the table near us clapped really loud and yelled at the end; it was great!  Britton said the guys were eyeing my drink, but I didn't hand it over.

After dinner, it was too late to stop at his favorite car wash, so we just headed home.  I kept saying that I needed to use the bathroom and to go finish my paper, but didn't feel like getting out of the car.  He decided to just do it there.  He pulled the ring out of the center console of his car.  As he was untying the ribbon, he said "wanna spend the rest our lives together?" and I was just grinning ear to ear.  He finished pulling the ring out of the boxes and then asked the big question.  I shook my head yes and and I think I squealed.  :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Today is my birthday.  I turned 22.  But having a birthday the week before finals week sucks because no one really wants to celebrate with you.  I wanted to plan something big - like going out to dinner with a bunch of friends and having quality time with them.  A birthday card in the mail today would be nice.  When I was little, my great aunt Arlene sent me a card every year and always enclosed a check, which was just for like $5.  But she was amazing, it always arrived on my birthday.

I miss having birthday parties where all of my family would come.  I guess that's one of the greatest joys of having 2/3 sets of grandparents, 2 of my dad's 4 siblings and all of my mom's siblings at one point or another living in the same vicinity.

On my 6th birthday, my mom made pink vests for each of my guests.  We got to decorate them with beads, lace and ribbon.  That was my first slumber-party.  My dad took John camping and Michael stayed with us because he was too little to go camping.  

When I was 16, I planned a Mexican food themed party and the only people that were able to come were the grandparents.  And at the time, I hated listening to them talk about RV-ing and gold mining.  I was so excited to leave and pick up my brothers from their sports practice/working for Mr. Beeson, but today, I'd love to listen to that.

This summer, I have decided that I would like to make homemade birthday cards and envelopes and send them all of my family and friends who would like one.  What is better than receiving (non-bill-related) mail on your birthday?  In my honest opinion, absolutely nothing!  If all 63 people who wrote "happy birthday" on my facebook wall thus far sent me a birthday card, I would be ecstatic.  So, I propose, instead of (or in addition to) use the USPS and send old fashioned birthday cards (homemade are preferable and a little cheaper) to those you love.  Handmade, I estimate you can make and send them for about a $1, especially if you are reusing materials that had another purpose - old calendars, old birthday cards, magazines etc.

So, if you would like a birthday card from me in the next year, send me your address and birth date, and I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

perfectly content

  Have you ever been perfectly content with your life, even though there are a half dozen things that should be stressing you out?
  That's how I feel right now.  And, I'm pretty sure it has to do with the attitude change I've been working on for the last 3 or so years.  Three and a half years ago, you would find me stressed about every little detail in my life, and likely you'd know every single thing that was stressing me out. College and living on my own has made me realize that life is full of stress, but most likely it's nothing to get worked up about.
A year or so ago, I was stressed about a relationship.  I was talking with someone I consider an extra mom.  She asked me, "Will it matter in 25 years?"  Now, I ask myself that about almost everything.  Will it matter in 25 years??  I doubt it, so why stress over it.  Now, obviously this can't account for every situation, but for the little things, like the guy who called me a bitch, it likely won't matter. 
  For other situations that aren't as applicable to mattering in 25 years, I choose to adapt.  For many situations, exist in an imaginary room.  There is a wall of hell with no doors or windows.  And there is a wall with many doors and windows that you can go through with a change in attitude or adapting to make the best of the situation.  This is often the method I use when doing something I don't really want to do.  Usually it has to be done, like attending class or meetings, and you might at well enjoy it. 
  One other change that I've been working on is my attitude when I'm hungry.  Most people, I treat just fine, but there are a few people that get snapped at when I'm hungry and that just isn't fair to them.  I don't want to be snapped at either.  So, I try to notice when I'm getting hungry and if I can, eat something.  If there are other plans ahead of eating, I remind myself that sudden changes may occur in the plan that will prevent me from eating, but it isn't the end of the world. 
  It really seems to be working.  I'm not sure if people around me notice, but that doesn't matter, because I know that I'm happier.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

School since 1/21

School is finally starting to show me how busy its going to be.  I already know about all of the projects in my two sociology classes, have a lab report assigned, a band concert scheduled, and a lot of busy work for Art 200x. APO wants to do tons of things and I say lets do it!
I think I mentioned it last time, but my two sociology classes that I was dreading are looking a lot more interesting than anticipated. Early sociological thought is going to kick my ass, because I have an extremely difficult time reading the old lit the first sociologist published in, but it's extremely helpful that she is leading that class in a seminar style instead of lecturing the whole time.  It makes me want to pay attention more.  We don't have class today because she's out of town I guess (or something).  Instead we have the opportunity to start on a project she is calling "Life after Death" which includes documenting how often a sociologist has been cited since 1980. Today's project part is on Mary Wollstonecraft.  I'll probably start while I'm at work :)
I still need to do the readings for seminar tomorrow night.  Dr. Titus missed the first day of class! haha :) it was crazy.  I think wrapping everything up that we've learned in our sociology career at uaf in this seminar class is really important.  Tomorrow's readings are about the sociology of liberation, which is kind of weird to me.  but I'm excited to go talk about it. 
Ecology lab last week was pretty fun.  We got to come up with our own experiment specifics instead of just having them given to us.  I have a great TA, which I'm totally thankful for.  Lecture isn't too bad, she definitely talks really fast, which doesn't leave a lot of time for notes. 
I'm still a week ahead in Art 200x, and hope to get a few more assignments done this week, to stay that way.  I don't like feeling rushed, but that's usually what happens.  The history in art is a lot more interesting than I had anticipated, so I don't mind doing the assignments so much. 
Playing bari sax in wind symphony is a lot harder than tenor sax.  I almost don't really like bari, but I enjoy playing a part that no one else is.  I most definitely need to talk to Linda about getting access to a practice room and to the locker room, because I need to practice!
We've started planning for the dance, spring youth service day and several other big projects we want to do this semester.  This week is RUSH week and I really hope we come up with a good batch of pledges! Quite a few brothers are graduating this semester or next and it scares me that the chapter might fade away. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

School has begun

The rest of my trip went rather smoothly! I kept LiLi happy so Jessi could sleep; she definitely needed it.  I really did enjoy the warmth and comfort of a baby, but it was a reminder of, hey - you don't have time for a baby right now!  So, it was a nice kick in the butt that I should still wait.  Although, I'll keep hinting at Britton to get married :)  I want to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary in my 40's like my parents! I think that is pretty special and I can't wait to celebrate it with them.

I got back late Friday night.  Britton picked me up :)  The strangest thing happened, there were three flights landing at the Fairbanks airport.  That was most definitely the most people I have ever seen in there.  We got home to find 5 fire trucks in our parking lot.  Fortunately, it had nothing to do with our specific apartment.  While we were getting my luggage out of the trunk, we heard sirens of another fire truck.  And then we saw the fire truck... but they missed the turn into our parking lot! Haha.. then we heard the screech of breaks and they turned around and made it into where they needed to be.  There isn't anything in the Newsminer, so it must not be too important.

Over the weekend, I started this quilt project: Roll Roll Cotton Boll.  I'm not allowed to buy new fabric, but I don't have enough scraps, so I've requested some from friends.  If anyone has fabric they don't know that they'll ever use - the amount doesn't really matter - send it my way and I'll work it into my quilt :)

I started my tomato plant in my aerogarden.  I was a little disappointed to learn that I only get to grow one plant in my little garden, but I can't wait til it has fruit! I think we're on day 6.  I need to order a new bulb though because they need to be replaced every 6 months or so to keep the best quality light on the plants.  I kind of want to buy a new garden too - one of the bigger ones and do starter plants for the garden out at Kenny and Jamie's place.

Spring New Student Orientation was on Wednesday!  It was super laid back and really easy!  I met some cool people and there weren't really any freak accidents.

This semester is off to a pretty good start.
Ecology shouldn't be as bad as I was anticipating.  The teacher seems pretty neat and gave the first lecture in a way that I was actually interested in the subject.  I've read the first chapter for the book and the case studies they talk about are also really neat!
Art/Mus/Thr 200x also should be a lot better than I was anticipating.  It's gonna be a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to it.  I've already completed the first 3 lessons!  But I've only submitted two, because that's the limit.  My plan is to get another assignment done this weekend, and another next week.  Then I'll be very far ahead and if I can keep up with that pattern, I'll be done early!  But some of my assignments depend on my classmates submitting their work.  But I can do all of my assignments that don't depend on them.
Early Sociological Thought is going to be just as dry and boring as I could imagine.  It's my least favorite teacher on my least favorite subject.  She did make a good point though, this class will tie in the works of every other class and it would have been helpful to take at the beginning.
I have yet to go to Capstone Seminar, since classes started on a Thursday and that class is only on Tuesdays.
I was talking to some music majors yesterday and found out that there is a seating audition for Wind Symphony and we'll not be having class until next Friday!  I was kind of surprised by the audition.  I haven't played anything except pep band music since the last time I was in wind symphony in Fall 2007. I brought my sax home from the pep band game last night and plan to practice this weekend.

I didn't make it to the gym today because I left my clothes at home :(  but I am going swimming with my little tonight! So, I decided that should make up for it.  Hooray swimming! I might go skiing this week with one of my brothers who transferred here this semester.  We'll see how cold it is.

My car is broken at the moment.  I didn't have Britton start it over break and now she is angry.  Hopefully the weather does what it says it will and gets above zero this weekend.  Then I'll go get her jumped and drive her around a whole bunch.  And I'll drive her every other day at least!

Monday, January 10, 2011


So far I have had a wonderful vacation.  In addition to going to Atlanta, I hit up my parents in New Mexico!  Note to self: flying out of Atlanta (or probably any big city for that matter,) at 6 am on New Year's Day morning is a terrible idea.  It was extremely difficult to get a taxi.  I am however thankful that I didn't have to take the taxi to the airport by myself.  I had two other passengers, which made it about $15/person.   As soon as I got in line to check-in, I overheard that our flight was already being delayed by two hours! Apparently the pilots had to take mandated time off to sleep because they had been delayed so much the day before.  So of course this led me to miss my connection in Denver.  I got rebooked for the same day (thank goodness, because when Britton called the airline, they told him the afternoon flight was completely booked.)  I got on my flight at 3:30? but half way to Durango, we got turned around because of a non-hazardous mechanical error.  At this point, I just started crying.  I was extremely sleep deprived and I  just wanted to relax.  Airport floors don't make good beds.   Fortunately they had another plane that we were basically able to just change over too. And I made it to Durango about 10 hours after expected.

My parents had made me an air mattress to sleep on, but their two adorable kittens popped it! haha.  So, instead I slept in the living room, either on my dad's chair and the couch.  On Sunday, my mom and I went to Durango to check out the mall there, because neither of had been there.  We wandered through Bed, Bath and Beyond but didn't get anything there.  We went to all of the other stores, including a shop that was really cute, but didn't have anything in exactly my size.  However, it was pretty awesome because their plus sizes were 0, 1, 2, and 3. :) that was fun.  Then we drove back to Farmington to go buy new bras! I finally found one that is super cute! :) We went to a few other stores and then decided that we needed dinner.

On Monday, I woke up feeling pretty stiff, so Dad and I spent the whole day shopping for a bed.  We finally found one at the end of the day.  It was a lot of fun wandering around and testing out beds.  Dad almost bought a new Temperpedic, but they are REALLY expensive.  So, we just got a cheap mattress.

We didn't do a whole lot the rest of the week.  I lost some money at the casinos (though, I really lost Dad's money).  Those things seem like they'll just ruin your life.  On Friday, we bought the new table my mom has been looking at for so long! It's really pretty and I can't wait to go back and use it.

Saturday was filled with flying.  Uncle Rick and Aunt Cindy picked me up and took me out to lunch.  We ate at a pizza place called the Rock.  mmmm that was delicious.  I went back to their cute little house and while I waited for Kim to come pick me up.  After that, I went with Kim and Tim to 5 Guys and hung out.  

Yesterday, we went to the World Forestry Museum.  It was a lot of fun to look at all the different trees and foresting techniques that exist.  We had dinner at an amazing Indian place.  I really liked it and I really want to try more things in that cuisine.

Today we went to the Oregon Zoo.  The African Safari was mostly closed down, but overall it was still fun.  I forgot how much I love sea otters!  They are soooooooo cute!  We ended the zoo by buying some fudge and taking another trip to 5 Guys, since I wasn't able to have a burger last time.

That's up to where I am in my trip.  It's been super relaxing so far and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, January 3, 2011

APO Convention 2010

I can't believe the 2010 Convention went by so quickly.  Here's what I can tell you! 

December 25, 2010: 
My roommate Morgan takes me to the airport to start my trip.

December 26, 2010: 
My flights both go smoothly. In fact, I managed to sleep for most of them.  I arrived into Atlanta just after 3pm local time.   I was able to claim my bags no issues.  The M.A.R.T.A. wasn't bad.  The workers were super helpful in figuring out how to get a card.  I didn't have to wait at all in the station and the ride to the hotel was easy.  On my last flight, I sat with this nice lady who has family in Atlanta, but now lives in Seattle.  I saw her again waiting for baggage, and then again getting our M.A.R.T.A. tickets and for the last time on train.  

Jesse met me at the hotel and I got checked in.  The check-in kiosks are pretty awesome and they even have desk attendants to assist with going through all the screens.  I took my bags upstairs and then went back down to the hotel restaurant for a chicken quesadilla.  Jesse and I met up with brothers from other chapters as we saw them.  

I got registered for the convention and got my gear for the week.  I spent some time wandering around the area near the hotel with Lisa and Cynthia from Gamma Alpha.  We didn't do much because it was about 9:30 pm on a Sunday night.  I know I was up for a few more hours, but I can't remember with who I was with or what I did lol.  

December 27, 2010:
I woke up early so I could get some breakfast - at the cafe across the street from the hotel - and go register for APO LEADS.  It turns out that APO LEADS was a first come first serve deal this convention.  So, I hung around for an hour and went to the Achieve course.  Despite not having all of the materials needed, we had a wonderful time and I learned a lot about team work.  
I'm pretty sure I had lunch before the voting delegates meeting at 1pm, but I can't remember what I had.  
The voting delegates meeting was a little helpful because it provided more insight on what was going to happen during legislation.  After that meeting, the reference committee members had a meeting.  This one was kind of pointless because at this point I felt that I knew pretty much everything I needed to.  But that's okay.  After that meeting, I met with Stella, my lead advisor and Tony, one of the "lesser" (though equally as awesome) advisors.  We talked about what I should expect and gave me some help deciding what needed to happen during each of the meetings.  
At this point, I was pretty hungry so I headed over to the food court and found Dairy Queen.  I ordered food for myself and Staci, because I knew she was due to get to the hotel any minute.  She called me in somewhat of a frantic state and I knew that I needed to go "rescue" her.  I asked Hollis to pick up our food and she graciously accepted.  Staci had accidentally gotten off at the wrong station, but after 20 minutes of searching, I found her!  We made it back to the hotel and got our food.  
At this point, we were ready to go to the Opening Ceremony.  It was fun to meet more brothers and get some insight for the week.  It was amazing how many people were in the ballroom at this point.  
After the ceremony, reference committees were dismissed and set to their quarters.  
I met 10 of the most amazing people in my committee.  Rachel, Tyler, Niki, Michelle, Jude, JD, Lawyrn, Janae, Kelly, Becky and I are now a pretty close group! We decided on questions to ask candidates, set up an interview schedule and talked to some of the then current board of directors to learn more about the positions we were seeking to fill.  This is the only night that we managed to get out close to on time... At 12:30am. I must have stayed up finalizing things because I only slept for 4 hours. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010:
There was breakfast available in the region suite, so after a quick shower, I grabbed some food.  Then I had to find Jeremy Bingham to figure out what was going on with a request that I had had.  Our committee regrouped at 8 am.  I gave a quick schpeal about wanting to be there and understanding how important the job we were doing is to the fraternity.  Then we answered some questions.  Then the interviews started.  *note to self: ALWAYS HAVE MORE TIME THAN NECESSARY WHEN INTERVIEWING!!!!* We got behind with the first interview.  And only continued to fall behind with each one.  But, we were able to get everyone in in the morning that we needed to.  We had a quick discussion before we had to go to region meetings, this was just a quick talk to our respective regions to talk about what was going on in reference committees.  After the meeting it was back to the grind for awhile.  We had more interviews, this time, mostly with references.  This time we fell so far behind, we had to reschedule some to the night hours.  Some people told us things we really didn't want to hear.  I'm so not used to that.  We had an hour break before the fellowship banquet, but I used that to write subpoenas and other random tasks.  This left me with maybe 20 minutes to prepare for the banquet.  
The banquet was fun, there were lots of people and yummy food and fun entertainment.  But after every party, one has to get back to the grind.  
We got back into committee and started interviews again.  These seemed to go on for forever! We finally finished, just to realize that we needed to interview a few more people.  We sent subpoenas at 1 am. Got donuts at 2 am. And evacuated at 3 am!! That was hectic.  But once we got back into the grind, we were good to go.  Maggie brought us more food and coffee and we sent more subpoenas at 5 am. I think it was here that we had to establish that it was in fact Wednesday, December 29th.  We established our slate just before 7am and dismissed to get ready for legislation.  But of course being the chair, I didn't get done til 7:45.  I managed to get showered and to legislation on time at 8am.  Some of the legislation was really controversial, but we got through enough to be dismissed early.  I'm thankful for the floor services folks to be able to send/receive messages from the floor and others.  
We were dismissed for lunch in the middle of the legislation and I had lunch with the section 8 chair, Linda and a couple of my section/region brothers.  
I stayed awake for just a little longer and then went to sleep for 4 hours.  I woke up for maybe 2 hours to attend some of the Make-a-Wish fundraising carnival.  I didn't actually participate in anything, but was happy to attend something fun!  I went back to sleep after writing my nominations speech for the presidential position.  It was between 2 and 3am when I fell asleep.  

Thursday, December 30, 2010:
I got up just before 7 so that my committee and I could practice our speeches and get some feedback.  We went to legislation, and I was somewhat surprised that the NomComm had to present to the legislation first! Ahhh! INSERT MINOR PANIC ATTACK! haha.  I'd say we presented extremely well and a few surprises were tossed in to make for a good morning.  Our ENTIRE slate passed! Apparently this hasn't happened in an extremely long time, so, we were thrilled that the legislation accepted and trusted our decision.  There were a handful of other pieces of legislation, but we got out early :).  
Thursday afternoon, we had another region meeting to elect our region director.  That went smoothly.  We also selected the location for our next "local" conference.  That also went smoothly.  We had a little fun and then dismissed.  Staci, Jesse, Brittany, Louie and I went to the mall for just over an hour so we could escape the hotel.  We bought some shoes and things and then went back to the final banquet, the awards banquet.  I got to meet even more amazing people that have led the fraternity in the past.  That was awesome!  After the awards banquet, I went to the pajama party twice.  In between the first and second times, I had some champagne with my committee! haha.  I hung out with Tyler and the Delta chapter for a few more hours and then went to sleep. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Goals for 2011

Goals for 2011

1. Be 50 pounds lighter by December 31, 2011.
2. Run Beat Beethoven on April 16, 2011.
3. Take more pictures.
4. Do not post any "dirty laundry" on facebook.
5. Take timely action on any drama that needs to be addressed.
6. Post more to have written memory of my life.
7. Graduate!