#stadterday GIFs

One time our friend Clif took some engagement photos of us, and I made a GIF.Dandelion-500px


CoMO Spring Break 2013

I’m a little slow updating, but spring break was last week, and I took advantage of my gracious graduate assistantship supervisor and took the week off to head up to Missouri for the first time since I graduated almost 2 years ago!

Absolutely Mizzou-tiful

Absolutely Mizzou-tiful

It was a really lovely time of seeing old stomping grounds and hanging out with dear friends and mentors. It was hard to balance a week of seeing lots of friends, trying to do all of my favorite CoMO things (didn’t make it to the Ragtag… womp womp), eating my favorite CoMO food, trying to be a little productive with job searching and support raising, while also trying to relax during what was likely my last spring break ever. Although it was a busy week, I love every part of it and am so glad I got to visit the Zou! Here’s a little of what I did:

  • Ate delicious Apples & Sausage on a pancake with Samjay at Cafe Berlin, a CoMO brunch MUST.

    Cafe Berlin (photo by Samjay)

    Cafe Berlin (photo by Samjay)

  • Visited with Mariah in Mizzou’s beautifully gothic Memorial Union.

    Memorial Union

    Memorial Union

  • Dined on Addison’s famous Nachos Bianco with my blog friend, Kate, IRL! It was our first time to meet in person after two years of internet friendship!

    Kate & Me

    Kate & Me

  • Hung out in Center Hall and Sporcled with the ladies of Dobbs Canvas Group, aka what my undergrad small group became after they closed Mark Twain Hall for renovations.
  • Applied for some reslife jobs at Mizzou and in Texas, and ended up with a phone interview!
  • Visited the Missourian and caught up with one of my favorite editors, the lovely Liz Brixey.
  • Grabbed some delicious cookies from Ellis Library’s Bookmark Cafe and washed it down with some Kaldi’s coffee before catching up with my favorite eccentric and brilliant professor, Dean Ted Tarkow.

    Bookmark Cafe cookies. Soooo good.

    Bookmark Cafe cookies. Soooo good.

  • Walked across campus to see the newly renovated Pershing Commons and chat with my former Freshman Interest Groups colleague and Director of Mizzou’s ResLife, Frankie.
  • Resisted buying so many glorious black & gold souvenirs, settling instead on a T-shirt for the boyf. He joked that he now has a shirt to mow the lawn in. Jerk. #Aggie
  • Drank some Fitz’s rootbeer in Kaldi’s and worked on support raising.
  • Spent the evening snuggling and giggling with my five hosts (Katie, Elaine, Samjay, Allie, and Michelle) in their adorable house, the Loo (which stands for Land of Oz).

    The Loo gals and me

    The Loo gals and me

  • Grabbed gyros at Casablanca with Pastor Garrett and his lovely pregnant wife Brenna. (Can’t wait to meet baby Eben!)
  • Walked over to Pastor John aka Drage‘s house and hashed out my summer internship job responsibilities for LT and talked recent and upcoming life events.
  • Spooned and took the best nap ever with Samjay.
  • Treated myself to way too much food at Flat Branch with Allie. By far my favorite restaurant in CoMO. Had to get the Flat Branch burger smothered in their ‘Chokes & Cheese for old time’s sake, followed by their cookie sundae with black & gold Tiger Striped ice cream. Also finally got around to trying a sample of six of Flat Branch’s own brews. My favorite was definitely the Oil Change Oatmeal Stout. Dark and chocolaty with some coffee flavors; yum.
  • Craft nighted it up with Mazvita (Mah-‘gee-ta) and made some adorable fabric flower hair clips. Buy one here to support Mazvita and invisible chonic illness awareness!

    Craft night! (photo by Mazvita)

    Craft night! (photo by Mazvita)

  • Enjoyed a famous Rollins Dining Hall omelet with Elaine.
  • Lunched at the Upper Crust with my Walter Williams mentor, Maggie. Although it was a good lunch, I’ll have to remember in the future brunch is the best there.
  • Grabbed some Which Wich with my dear friend Justin who also happened to be in town.
  • Took a walk/hike through Clyde Wilson Memorial Park, tucked in the back of the East Campus neighborhood, with Samjay & Michelle

    Hiking with Michelle and Samjay

    Hiking with Michelle and Samjay

  • Crashed Dobbs’ Canvas Group
  • Watched a terrible movie on Netflix with Michelle.
  • Enjoyed delicious Thai iced tea and peanut phat thai from Bangkok Gardens with my former internship supervisors, Jill & Laura.
  • Toured the under-renovations Mark Twain Hall, my home for 3 years while at Mizzou.
  • Enjoyed the spring weather, the Columns, and Peace Park with Michelle.
  • Crashed a Rollins/Dobbs canvas group video game hangout.
  • Went home early for more snuggling, giggling, and worship with the Loo gals on my last night in CoMO.

    Worship time!

    Worship time!

Overall a beautiful week in Missouri!

Willamette Wednesday: Hitting my stride

Welcome back for another weekly edition of Willamette Wednesday! Here’s what’s been going on up in Oregon.

Work has picked up pace considerably, and I finally feel like I have at least a few things to show for from my summer here. I’ve started writing assessments for orientation, which has been more challenging than I had anticipated. Sure, I took an entire class on assessment and even did an entire assessment project from start to finish, but y’all, writing questions to prove learning outcomes were met for orientation is hard. That being said, I don’t think I want to be the next Sandi Osters*. Don’t get me wrong; doing all this assessment this summer is a really great chance to practice and get more experience in something that will undoubtably be a part of whatever job I go into. I just don’t want it to be my entire job.

*Sandi Osters was our assessment professor and is the director of Student Life Studies, the student affairs assessment office, at Texas A&M.

Free Time
More of the same! This past weekend I finally stayed in Salem for the weekend, saw Brave, and ate the most delicious berries from the Salem Farmer’s Market. (Side note: Oregon has delicious, fresh berries all the time everywhere, and I’m kind of addicted to them.) I should have spent a good chunk of my Saturday designing the program for my cousin’s wedding next week… but I just watched Felicity instead. Oops. Sounds like I know what I’m doing tonight! I finally got a bike, but I haven’t been able to ride it yet due to a few busy nights and rain

It’s cold.
Speaking of rain… and I know I sound like a huge spoiled jerk here to my friends watching wildfires in Colorado and my melting friends in Texas… BUT IT IS TOO COLD HERE. I can’t move to Oregon long-term. If this is summer, I don’t want to see the other seasons. I don’t really remember what the other side of 65 looks like. It’s been days since I’ve seen the sun in its full glory. I want to wear shorts and Chacos. I miss my hammock. Ok, complaining over. I’m going back to Texas for a few days next week, so I’m sure I’ll get blasted with sweltering heat and humidity then and appreciate the dampness and grey skies when I get back to Oregon… maybe…

I have committed to going to Outward Church for the summer! It was the second church I tried, and though I was skeptical of Acts 29‘s ties to Mark Driscoll (the jury of my mind is still out on him), I’m liking Outward a lot. The atmosphere reminds me a lot of The Rock and Fellowship, and it has a similar demographic of people, though there are a lot more young married people than I’m used to. That’s cool, though, because I get to be in a community group of mostly 20-somethings from all parts of life: in school, working, single, married… it’s nice to hear from so many perspectives in discussion! It’s also pretty cool to see this community group in action because it is allowing me to live out a book my homegroup in College Station is reading this summer. This summer, the leadership team for our group plus a few other people (like me!) are reading Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support by Brad House with hopes to apply some of its theory to Shockwave this fall. Because Brad House is a member of Mars Hill (Mark Driscoll’s church, which is a part of the Acts 29 network), my community group at Outward seems to be modeled off a lot of this book’s principles. It’s nice to have our group in Texas read about it, and then I can report on how it looks in practice! It’s also neat because our friend Dale is currently interning in Seattle and is attending Mars Hill this summer, so he gives us another perspective on the book’s advice!

This summer is going by so fast
I can’t believe July starts next week. This summer is flying by. I made a calendar at work to map out the projects I’m working on, and I can see all the weeks I have left on one page. Less than six weeks left! Six weeks is still sort of a long time, but I need to make sure I’m making the most of the glorious free time I have left!

Well, that’s all for now. Until next week, much love from the Pacific Northwest!

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!

Well hello again, blog. Sorry it’s been a while… again. This seems to happen a lot, these blog hiatuses.

But May was a little crazy, I promise. There was my finishing up my first year of grad school, then a two-week trip to Italy (reflection to follow), then mass chaos as we discovered bed bugs in our CStat apartment (story to follow), then a few days at home in Arlington, then a trip to Oregon for my summer internship. So yeah. I have a ton of stuff to blog about… I just haven’t really had time! Don’t worry though. I plan on filling you all in and blogging more regularly this summer. Anyway, I just wanted to pop in, let you know I’m all still alive, and give you a preview of some posts to come. Stay tuned! I won’t desert you again… at least not for a few weeks hopefully. 😉

It could be worse

I got a little story secret for you, Ags friends. (Haha! Secret! Get it?!)

There was a time during my junior year of college where I was probably more stressed out than I’ve ever been in my life. I say “probably” only because I think I repressed a lot of the memories in order to cope with the insanity that was my life, and I can’t be sure it was the absolute most stressed out I’ve ever been.

At the time, I was taking only 12 hours of class, but that included Magazine Editing (fun but super time consuming), Infographics (fun but ALSO super time consuming with an 8-hour newspaper shift each week), an honors humanities class (not fun and super time consuming), and an honors-by-contract 20th Century American history class (a sad attempt to get rid of an upper-division social science requirement). On top of this I was working four jobs: I was a peer advisor in Mark Twain Hall (10-20 hours a week depending), the front desk supervisor (10 hours a week), a marketing intern for ResLife (10 hours a week), and a journalism school tour guide (4-6 hours a month, thank goodness).

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much, and you can bet I didn’t get around to all my reading. (This resulted in my first ever C’s. Two glaring C+’s next to two gleaming A’s. I cared about journalism; I did not care about Beowulf or the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.)

During this time, my life was sometimes pretty darn pathetic. There was the time my friend Katie and I stayed up into the wee hours of the night studying literature and art of Early Modern World (think Augustine, Beowulf, and Canterbury Tales) when Katie dumped an entire bowl of ramen on my dorm room floor because I tripped on stray papers. There was the fact that I frequently went to 1:1 meetings with my boss in my pajamas (perks of having a resLife). And then there was the time I did my entire Infographics final project in one night, moving into the basement computer lab of Twain at 6 p.m. and coming out at 6 a.m, bleary-eyed from staring at a giant Mac screen all night. And then there were the deodorant tissues. But we’ll get back to those.

Katie and the ramen

As this semester starts careening toward the end, the stress has risen to new levels. I don’t even want to list off the number of presentations and papers I have. Not to mention stresses unrelated to school, i.e. friends, prepping for the summer, work, roommates, the fact that my room flooded last week, the fact that I still don’t know what’s been making me itchy for the past 3 months, the fact that I haven’t signed my lease for the fall, the fact that I have to transition out of my current work position and prep it for someone else to take over in two months, etc. It’s starting to take a toll on my sanity.

Ah, but I bet you are thinking, “Tell me about the deoderant tissues! What are deoderant tissues?!” We’re getting there. Deoderant tissues are the benchmark on the scale of Pathetic that says, “THIS IS ROCK BOTTOM.”

You see, my junior year I was so busy and stressed out, I couldn’t even find the time to go buy basic necessities I had run out of, like deodorant and toothpaste. At one point during the middle of the spring semester, I remember lamenting with my co-peer advisor Amy that neither of us had been to the grocery store in weeks and that we were staring to run out of essentials. At one point, I was working my way through several travel-sized tubes of toothpaste because that’s all I had. And the only deodorant I had access to was the remnants of a semi-exploded gel stick. The gel wasn’t even in the stick of the deodorant anymore. It was all in the lid. And you better believe I used a tissue to wipe some of that gel deodorant from the lid to my armpits.

Like I said: rock bottom.

Thankfully, once my mom heard of my pathetic state she sent my a care package with toothpaste and deodorant. My boss and hall director also was horrified at my sad existence and offered to pick whatever I needed up on her next grocery run. I probably wouldn’t have survived that spring without both those marvelous ladies.

Thankfully Spring 2012 hasn’t quite hit the level of Spring 2010. It’s vying for that spot, but I’m managing for now. And I have extra toothpaste and deodorant in my bathroom cabinet, don’t you worry.

Willamette Wednesday: I’m crazy!

This is the first post of a weekly (?… maybe just when I have relevant things to post?) series about Willamette University, the school where I will be doing my internship this summer.

Let me start off by saying that I realize I am a crazy person. I realize I probably put myself through unneeded stress. But that’s just who I am, okay?

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about how I picked Willamette. Let’s go through this whole summer internship process through the numbers:

2: Internship programs I applied through (NODA & ACUHO-I)
8: NODA schools I was allowed to/did apply to
24: ACUHO-I schools I applied to (all you have to do is press the “apply” button, okay?!)
32: Total schools I applied to
16: Schools I applied to that offered me interviews
5: Schools I didn’t apply to that offered me interviews
1: Interview offers I turned down
19: First-round interviews I did (I AM CRAZY.)
1: Second-round interviews I did
3.5: Weeks during which these interviews took place
2: Days during which I received offers
7: Schools that offered me summer positions
1: Schools I ended up choosing!

Here is my updated internship map:

Yellow: Applied
Blue: Interviewed
Purple: Offered
Pink: Accepted

So there you have it. That’s how I got from 30+ schools to 1. You should see my Google spreadsheet. It is insane. Tune in next week for the conclusion of the story and how I picked Willamette!


So during the first major snow storm this semester, Breezy and I went out to play after midnight. Breezy was experimenting with her digital SLR camera’s ability to shoot HD video, so I spent a lot of the night either being quiet while she filmed things or breathing into the air so she could film it. Two months later, here is the result!

I thought it was really cool, and she captured a lot of really great expressions from me. Breezy is a really talented photographer and is learning more about video, so I’m really excited to see more of her work!

(“Snowplay” is the name of a track from to one of my favorite movies, Little Women. The soundtrack by Thomas Newman is definitely one of my favorite albums on all time.)

Two ships

This story might be kind of weird/creepy, but I actually think it’s really cool. Just keep an open mind, okay?

Several weeks ago, I posted my talk from PWC about how I wanted to go to A&M and how I needed to trust God in that part of my life. About a month ago, a girl I didn’t know named Kate commented on the post:

I found this blog after Googling “Mizzou grad school blogs,” and it’s amazing how much it was exactly what I needed to hear.

I’ve been freaking out for like a month about whether or not I’ll get into Mizzou’s graduate journalism program, and I keep Twitter-, Facebook-, and Google-searching to see if I can find any other applicants online! I just need to trust God with all of it!

P.S. We have so much in common.
21 and still haven’t dated? Check.
Best friend getting married? Check.
Want to be a stay-at-home mom? Check.
Love for Jon Foreman? Check. Check. Check. (I held his hand once!)

I really hope everything works out with you and Texas A&M!

I definitely identified with Googling A&M things, and I was pretty touched that my blog could affect a random stranger, so I clicked on her name and checked out her blog. I skimmed it for a while and agreed that we did have a lot in common. I thanked her for her comment and subscribed to her blog, just because I like to read random people’s blog sometimes. We would randomly comment back and forth on entries, and eventually we started following each other on Twitter.

Two weeks ago, I found out I got into A&M, which was a huge relief for me. Kate, on the other hand, was still waiting, and I found myself asking my Mizzou friends who were also applying to the J-School’s master’s program if they had heard. I wanted Kate to get in because I knew how much she wanted it! (As badly as I wanted A&M!)

Friday afternoon, I logged onto Facebook and saw that my friend Kathryn had gotten in to the master’s program at Mizzou. I immediately frantically checked Twitter and Kate’s blog to see if she had posted anything. Nothing. I texted my friend Theresa who had also applied. She was in, too! Both of them had applied as 4+1 candidates, which means they’ll only be in school for a year, as opposed to two, since they did their undergrad here. I thought maybe only 4+1 students found out that day. I finally just tweeted at Kate and asked if she had heard anything. She hadn’t, but was going to try to enjoy her spring break anyway.

Later that night, I checked my phone and saw she had tweeted at me:

I was so weirdly happy for this complete stranger. I felt kind of creepy, but it was so cool that God delivered on our prayers with big YES’s!

It’s so funny that Kate will be here at Mizzou in the fall, just after I leave. As I told some girls from my canvas group, it’s like two ships passing in the night…
They made fun of me for that line, but I think it’s applicable. We’ll probably never actually meet in person, but we’ll have walked the same J-School halls by this time next year.

Like I said, it’s weird, but cool.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
(Sam Johnson, that line was for you. Consider this my blog “about you.”)

It’s a marshmallow world

This is one of my favorite “Christmas” songs, but it really has nothing to do with Christmas; It’s about winter and snow, and I think it’s quite fitting for today’s BLIZZARD.

As much as I want this snow to be fun, the song may be a little too chipper/silly for today’s serious snow. We’re expected to get more than 20 inches with a lot of danger on the roads and potential for water and power outages. It’s hard to tell from my basement windows, but apparently visibility is atrocious. And though I really enjoyed seeing the snow two weeks ago, after about a week of stuffing jeans into my boots and slipping through the back courtyard of my apartment building, I was a little tired of the white fluffy stuff.

But we’ll see how today goes. The weatherman promises it to be more than the last snow, which once again means more snow than I have ever seen in my life. Wish me luck and pray the power doesn’t go out!

Blog Attempt No. 64872

Well, we’re going to give this another shot.

I feel like once or twice a year I feel really inspired to blog, and I start and write a post or two, and then I’m done.

This time is going to be different.

Anyway, I’ll keep it short for now because it’s 1 a.m., and I have a two-page paper to write, but I really want to blog for real this time.
We’ll see what happens…