Sunday, August 31, 2014

Self Portrait (35/52)

This is about the position I was in tonight while on FaceTime with my family. It was the first time the five of us were "together" since we left two weeks ago! Clearly I am not on FaceTime in this picture, but posed for how I looked when I called my older sister Jenna after the FaceTime to ask her questions about paperwork because, yes, I am going to be working at the Chick-fil-A here in Chicago! I'll start sometime in the next week, so it will be fun to learn how another store works, especially such a unique location!

Today I walked with a group to The Moody Church. We went to the regular service and then the college Bible study. Am I really in college? After lunch in the SDR (student dining room...obvs), I watched August Rush with my friend Ally, who is on the same floor as me, while showing her how to finish off her first knit hat in the round. Then we had a Wal-Mart trip and walked to Papa John's to pick up dinner. We ate in my room while watching Listen to Your Heart, so now my room smells like pizza. No complaints from me, though.

It's time for bed now since tomorrow I have a lot of Old Testament summarizing to do, but if you're interested in a little bit reading, check out my friend Ally's blog post from tonight!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2014 Goals Update: August


So technically this blog post is being written on August 31, but I'm going to make it look as though it was posted August 30. Fancy.

Anyway, yesterday, August 30, I had this view! It was a pretty great day. I woke up about five times, letting my many alarms continue to go off every 15 minutes to help me decide when I wanted to wake up, then finally got out of bed and showered. I went to watch our brother floor win their first intramural football game of the season, then went to lunch. After lunch I sat in the lounge on our floor and finished reading Genesis and figured out the best way to work on my first Old Testament paper, which is due in three weeks. One of my friends on the floor, Ally, made me promise to finish reading it before going out that evening. Don't tell her, but I'm glad I got it done. (;

Once that was completed, another girl from my floor and I went back to the fields and saw our brother floor win their second game, then went to dinner, where we learned some fun facts about the school. Then I joined (read: crashed) the chorale's outing to the jazz festival, which also happened to be my first time on the Chicago public transportation. Way easy. We stayed at the festival through the sunset, which was gorgeous by the way, took a selfie at the Bean, saw the fireworks from Navy Pier, then walked back home. Walking down Chicago I was getting concerned about whether or not my feet would make it. So weak!

I usually try to keep these monthly wrap-up posts all about the goals, but yesterday was a really great day and it had to be documented. Without further ado: how I've done on my goals this month:

1: one self portrait (per week)
week thirty-one | week thirty-two | week thirty-three | week thirty-four | week thirty-five

2: compose photos (every day)
Success, I think. I still haven't gotten all the pictures compiled into one folder on my computer yet, and it's getting a little hazy. I think so, though.
213 | 214 | 217 | 219 | 220 | 221 | 222 | 223 | 227 | 230 | 231 | 232 | 234 | 235 | 237 | 240 | 242 - which is at the top of this post

3: read the Bible (every day)
Nope. The goal now is to have a quiet time every day. I'll definitely be reading the Bible every day, but for academic reasons, which is pretty cool. 

4: journal (daily)
Fail. I've given up for a while, I think. I've got this blog and it will just have to be good enough. Maybe I'll start typing a journal, though...? 

5: blog (daily)
Fail. This blog post is being published on August 31, will say August 30, but really was written August 30. Did you not read what all I did yesterday? I was pooped!! 

6: walk
I think I've walked, like, at least four miles over the last 36 hours. So. 

7: bike
Nope. Which is just fine by me. I'd love to bike along a long path one day here in the city, but that would take some research.

8: 52 projects
Fail! I did so much at the beginning of the year that I'll be fine if I only finish a few more projects this year.

9: 52 books
Success! The recreational reading has definitely already decreased, but I'm pretty close to my goal so it should finally happen this year!! I think I only have seven or so books to read before I hit 52! 
what I read this month

10: experiment with photography
I haven't done much experimenting this month, but I (obviously) want to do some cool stuff while in the city. I'm always a bit hesitant to bring my camera out in public, though, so it will probably take me a little while to get to that stage.

11: make six new meals for the family

12: learn to play the keyboard

13: at least one photo book

14: travel
Does moving 900 miles away count? 

- rl

Previous 2014 Goals Posts:
Original List
January Update
February Update
March Update
April Update
May Update
June Update
July Update

Friday, August 29, 2014

What I Read This Month

Now is when my reading slows. After reading a solid 30 books over the last few months, it was only inevitable. I was really working hard to get lots of books finished so I could relax about my reading this fall. So, without further ado, the books I read this month:

40. Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
It feels like a lifetime since I read this book. I'm pretty sure I didn't like this book, seeing as how I gave it three stars.
41. Paige Torn (Paige Alder #1) by Erynn Mangum
42. Paige Rewritten (Paige Alder #2) by Erynn Mangum
43. Paige Turned (Paige Alder #3) by Erynn Mangum
This series was different than Mangum's previous two that I have read. She broke away from her regular formula, and I'm not so sure I liked it. It definitely felt too drawn out, and probably could have been just two books. Once again, it's been a little while since I read these, like a lot has happened, so maybe I'm not remembering it correctly...but they definitely weren't my favorite of her series.
44. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Weird name, yes, but excellent book! Oh, man, I already want to reread it. I was pretty skeptical as to how this book could possibly be good since it is so contemporary, but it was so good! It has depth, too, which I love.
45. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I think I liked this book. It picked up pretty quickly, which I liked. I kept forgetting the year it was set, so it threw me off when they mentioned tapes, etc. Both Eleanor and Park seemed a lot younger to me than what they were supposed to be. I know they were supposed to be 16 or so, but they seemed more like 14 or 15. I gave it 4/5 stars, which means I wouldn't mind rereading it, but more than likely won't. I do recommend it, however!
45. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Love. Seriously, how cool of a name is Cricket?!

The books I gave up on this month:
Raging Star (Dust Lands #3) by Moira Young
No. Just no. It was so boring, so I finally had to just look up the spoiler-y reviews on goodreads. I have no regrets.
- Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
I may have gotten 30 pages into this when I realized that yes, really, this book is Just One Day but from his perspective. No. Just no.
- Every Day by David Levithan
Boring. And the reviews on goodreads seem to pretty much say the same thing.
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I was not expecting to dislike this book, but it was just written cooky, which I did not feel like dealing with, so to the spoilers I went. And, honestly, it seemed to be a pretty lame ending, so I'm glad I dodged that bullet.
- Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
This is one I may go back and read eventually, but just wasn't feeling it at the time. This one had to go back with my family when they left Chicago so it could be returned to the library, and it seemed like a read that would require a little bit of thought which I wasn't really up for right around move-in day.
- One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
I finally gave up on this one, which is crazy since it seems as though everyone else loves it, but I just didn't. It got way too wordy and I haven't been able to finish it for months so it had to return to the bookshelf and I'll try again later.

And the book I'm reading going into September:
- A Royal Match by Tyne O'Connell
I was decently excited for this book before I figured out the main character is, like, 15. She's kind of annoying, but I want to know what happens.

Now I'm exhausted and I just want to sleep. But I think my total book count for the summer is 30 or so, depending on when you want to say summer started. It's 30 books in three months, however, which is a pretty good amount, if I do say so myself!

- rl

Previous What I Read This Month posts:
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Getting Into a Routine


Tonight I finally started a new project! I was showing a friend on the floor how to knit in the round last night and it made me anxious to get working on something new, so I set aside my backpack project and started my next project - a shrug - during our floor meeting.

I'm nearly done with my first week of classes, and I'm loving it. Obviously there is already a little bit of homework and a lot of prep to do, but I'm excited to start balancing things out and really setting my priorities.

I love this campus. I don't just love this school for it's campus, but it's a huge benefit. I love that it's so close to things that making a few stops at a few places isn't a big deal because Wal-Mart Express isn't even a full block away. I love that there are so many places to go where you can read or study and it's just a place to relax.

I've got lots of the Old Testament to read to make sure I stay ahead, which I'm decently excited for, but we'll see how I'm feeling when I get to Numbers...

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WIP Wednesday

So it feels like an eternity since my last WIP Wednesday. Two eternity...practically the same thing, right? And, believe it or not, in those two weeks I only did two rows. Yes, seriously. This project is officially going into hibernating. I like it, but it's going to have to wait. I'm itching to get started on a shrug, so that's what I'll do. Not that I'll have large chunks of time to work on, what with me starting a Bible reading plan tomorrow (Old Testament in 90 days...for school purposes, obviously). I have been waking up early, though, so I'll get into a good morning routine before long and I will make sure to include at least a tiny bit of fiber time in there...

- rl

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Textbooks - Fall 2014


Say hello to my best friends for the next 16 (is that correct? more? less?) weeks. I got all (except for Walk Thru) at the book sale today, with huge help from my friend Ally! It would have taken me, like, five times longer if it was just me, so I am grateful. I'm pretty excited for this semester. I think I've got an idea for how I would like to take notes, and I started that tonight while reading for Speech Communication.

After dinner tonight I sat in the plaza and worked on something similar to this for the assignments I have so far. I did it a little differently to where it has everything I need to do, including passages to read before class, so that's really going to help with seeing what needs to get done. I'm excited to figure out the best way to study for me.

Tonight we had All Hall, which is when all the girls get together in Torrey-Gray for a mass meeting and the guys have two different sessions in Alumni Auditorium. It was really great to hear the RSs and other ResLife faculty talk about how this is something they truly love, and not just a way to pay the bills. They really care about each of us and that's why I'm so thankful to be here. And hearing the guys chant for their floors on their way to their session was a tad amusing as well. That 'vator situation has got to get fixed, however.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of Classes


Today I had my first few college classes! It's weird because, at my high school, they purposely made our schedules so that it would prepare for college, in that we had the same four classes for the entire semester, and each class was about an hour and a half long. Here, four of my classes last 50 minutes, while the other one is 110 minutes. I'm thankful my high school was set up that way because now these 50 minute classes just fly by.

I only had two of my five classes today (both of which I feel pretty good about) which meant I spent a majority of the day twiddling my thumbs (not really...I also waited in a long line for my UPASS, then had to go back later because it wasn't working, and talked about whether or not soulmates are a real thing at the bro/sis dinner table).

Moody is a unique place. Tonight there was a prayer on our dorm about spiders. I love it.

Eventually I'll get comfortable enough to take my camera out more often, but for a while, as I get settled in, it pretty much stays on it's shelf and doesn't get much use. *shrug* In this picture you can see how I have my strand of Christmas lights - only half of which work - sprawled out on my floor, and my blinds all the way up, which is how they stay all night long.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Self Portrait (34/52)

A few days in the dorm and this has already become a regular spot for me. I'm sure a lot of things will change as classes start up (tomorrow! ah!), but I hope this is still the spot I sit in while reading my Bible in the mornings. It's also the spot I sit in when I'm ready to do something social, which works out quite well.

Classes start tomorrow and I'm nervous, but getting less so as it gets closer, which is awesome! If I get to bed soon, which I'm practically ready for as it is, I just may be able to wake up early enough tomorrow to go to breakfast for the first time! Crazy concept, I know. I'm not a breakfast person, but I figure an appearance once or twice a week would be a good idea so I can utilize that meal plan I'm paying for! (;

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

First Saturday in the City


"(...) and I felt as if Christ was the only friend I had in Chicago. But since then I have found some nice people..." - The Shorter Life of D.L. Moody by Paul D. Moody and A. P. Fitt

It's strange, because I'm an old soul, and part of that means I think about things a lot. I thought a lot - like, a lot - about what life at Moody would be like, and while I didn't think I would get here and magically make a million friends, I kind of did expect that. It's not as though I haven't made any friends, because I have made so many! Not all of the returning students are back yet, but I think even then it will still continue to be this friendly environment where I feel perfectly comfortable sitting next to almost anybody and at least starting a simple conversation - What's your name? What year are you? What's your major? Where are you from? - and so on. 

Tonight I was feeling pretty down because my window faces the plaza, which means you can almost here conversations as they float up and bounce off the walls. It's hard to not feel at least a  little bit lonely hearing everyone holler (mostly returning students greeting the friends they haven't seen for a while) and head out into the city for the evening while you're watching from nine stories up. I somehow ended up taking a walk around campus and then sitting in the plaza chatting with a girl on my floor who I have every class with this semester, then when we got back to our floor I moved my orientation reading (which is where that excerpt came from) to the lounge with my nighttime snack. I sat there on my own for a while, people passing by to go to the bathroom, etc., when another girl from my floor asked me about Doctor Who, while led to talk about other TV shows and fandoms and college life. A third girl joined during that time and we all chatted for a little bit, then one went to bed and I was still chatting with the other...and it's just nice that the simple act of moving your loneliness to the lounge can spur conversations and relationships and ideas on what to do for dinner tomorrow.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Busy Days


While I knew they would keep us busy for orientation, I did not expect to be this busy. I have basically been MIA from anything that's not the Moody bubble the last two and a half days and I'm ready to have some down time this weekend to work on the orientation assignments. I'm having a fantastic time so far and am looking forward to seeing how different the environment is as the returning students start making their way on campus the next two days.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dorm Room - Fall 2014

When I checked my room assignment in June, I knew I had my preference of what floor I wanted to be on, but I was in overflow. This did not mean I did not have a room on campus, it just meant that room could turn out to be a room intended for double occupancy to have to be triple occupancy, unless enough people dropped out and made room for me. When I checked one night in late July I saw that I had a room! I had the double occupancy charge, but no roommates, so I was a bit confused by that.

It wasn't until I got on campus yesterday and got on the floor and realized I am in a single room! They're just nice enough to not charge me for a single when I didn't request it.

But this is my dorm. It's small, and I had to rearrange it with my little sister to get it to a more efficient layout, but I'm liking it so far. I know a lot of things will be added and moved around as the semester goes on, which is why I plan on taking a few more pictures in the spring. I don't have all my framed pictures out yet, but I'll get to that eventually.

I'm in the west wing of my floor, and there is also a north wing. The two wings share a community bathroom and kitchen. We had our first floor meeting tonight with (mostly) new students, and I'm looking forward to this year and the years to come, because I know I'm way too OCD, so I'll always stay on 9W!

- rl

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Move-In Day


Well, the day has finally come! Move-in day! It has been an incredible long day, and I am completely exhausted and ready to sleep, but this is my check-in to the world that, yes, I am alive and yes, I am moved in. It is extremely surreal and saying goodbye to my family was the hardest thing ever (for both parties), but I'm confident it will only get easier as the years go on. Moody did a great job soothing the minds of parents that their children are safe here. Dr. Nyquist (the Moody President) has such a great way of speaking, and I am looking forward to hearing more as the years go on. I feel more pressure than ever, but I'll expand on that another time. I have lots of feels right now that I would love to share, but very little time left before I fall asleep.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Family Day in the City

Today we explored Chicago as a family - minus Jenna, of course. 

First we went to the outreach I will be helping out at for my PCM (read about what PCM is here), but we couldn't find anywhere to park, so we only drove by. 

Then we went down to Moody's campus, and I went on a little adventure around campus (my first time walking on the grounds!) to find someone to ask about parking our van there. Once we got it parked, we went inside the ASC (Alumni Student Center...kinda the hub on campus?) to use the bathroom and explore a bit (including a little walk around the museum), but we weren't able to do much with just our visitor passes. It's all about having a key fob, which I'll get when I check in tomorrow. 

After waiting for the rain to pass in the Commons (the dining area on campus that is mainly used by faculty), we walked over to Portillo's, which is where my first picture comes in! I only had the chicken noodle soup, because my stomach was hurting a little bit (I'm fine! Promise!).

Then we walked down to Michigan Avenue, but couldn't quite figure out what to do, until we saw a sign for a trolley to Navy Pier. We found the trolley and ended up walking down to the end of the pier, but only after a lot of stops. 

Today was this lovely couple's 25th wedding anniversary! They've been together over 31, though!

Then pater wanted a picture with me, except I haven't quite figured out how to smile.

The flag of my new city!
View of my side of town from the end of Navy Pier.

Then, tired and just wanting to get things seen, we took a taxi to Buckingham Fountain, which was much larger than I imagined.

The place in Grant Park we paid way too much at for only three drinks...but oh well.
Mom made a friend.
The Art Institute of Chicago. We went there four years ago, the last time we were in Chicago, and I'm looking forward to the day I'm able to go again!
The bean, of course!

Then we knew we wanted to finish the day at Giordano's, but definitely did not have the energy to walk to the one by Moody. After a little Googling, we found out there is one just a block from Millennium Park, so we walked over there and had this view from our table:

Now we're back at the hotel and everyone else is asleep, and I CANNOT BELIEVE I MOVE IN TOMORROW. I have not just been looking forward to this day since my acceptance letter this year, or my acceptance letter last year, but more like a year before that, so you can understand why I say I can't believe it's finally here. While on campus today I started to get worried about how maybe I just won't fit in and maybe I shouldn't go here, but
a) it's a tad too late for that!
b) I chose this school, having never been to the campus, but I still love it and love the heart I've seen through people's posts online that are attending Moody, and I'm with them on that, so I think I'll be fine.

Maybe none of that made sense, but it's just what I'm feeling, ten hours shy of moving into my dorm!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Glance


After driving for eight hours, checking into the hotel, hopping into Costco, and eating our first deep dish pizza (of this trip), we drove into downtown and made our way to LaSalle and Chicago: my school. We only drove around it, but I'm eagerly awaiting when we're dragging all my stuff across this plaza Wednesday morning. We have a good amount of things we want to go and see tomorrow, so I am going to try my best to enjoy the moment, but my OCD will only be calmed when all my things are moved into my dorm room on Wednesday.

(It still doesn't feel real.)

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Self Portrait (33/52)

"For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways."
Psalm 91:11, NASB

This is my stuff packed into the back of our van before heading out this morning. I didn't know what kind of expression to make, so I just smiled. It's always hard to take a self portrait when someone is watching! *cough* Jenna *cough*

We are currently in Springfield, Missouri. After having a very late breakfast at Waffle House (our traditional pre-roadtrip stop), we headed out around 12:30. We only stopped for gas and bathroom breaks. Tomorrow we'll drive on to Chicago and stay outside the city. So far the ride hasn't been too bad, just really, really cramped. I don't think I overpacked...but we'll see when we get there. Thankfully, my family will be able to take back anything I don't need.

Today was hard because I had to say goodbye to Mr. Bojangles, my precious beagle, and Jenna, my beloved sister. I may not see either one for four months, although I'm hoping Jenna and our coworker/friend will be able to visit some time this semester. I'm getting a little ahead of myself, though.

I cannot believe today was the day I've been looking forward to for so long. Not in the way of wanting to move out of my parent's house, which I haven't really done because I still have stuff there, but in the way that my wanderlust is getting fulfilled - finally! It's just all very surreal.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

In Memory Of

My Great Aunt Jeanne, me, and my Papa on August 3, 2014.

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, my great aunt Jeanne passed away, six months after her 76th birthday. You can read her full obituary here.

We traveled out to Jacksonville/Tyler as soon as I got off work Friday, then came back today. We are so thankful we had just been down there the first weekend of August, which is when I got this picture with my Aunt Jeanne and Papa.

While the circumstances were far from ideal, it brought a lot of family together. I was able to have multiple conversations with my grandpa, Papa, that I will cherish forever.

It's been a little crazy since we got home eight or so hours ago, unpacking from the short trip to east Texas then repacking for the trip to Chicago, which starts in the morning.


- rl

Friday, August 15, 2014

Last Day At Work (For a While)

Last week I ordered a DSLR insert for my purse that will keep my camera safe. I got it in the mail this morning, so I decided to take it to work to document my last day (for a while!). It is as followed:

I drove myself to work, so I stopped at another Chick-fil-A first for breakfast (we don't serve breakfast). I always get to work early, so I ate my breakfast and read before I had to clock on.


My view for the last 10.5 months. Oh, man, I'm going to miss it. 

The cookie cake they got for the three people that were leaving today!

And my view looking back on the mall as I was leaving. 

So what are my thoughts on my time at Chick-fil-A? Every place has it's flaws, but I love this place. It was my first job, and I did not think I would do well. I ended up learning a ton. Everything from interaction with guests, learning to manage people, and just common social skills that, honestly, I don't feel like I had before. I definitely plan on returning during Christmas break in December, but for now I'm going to miss all the friends and general antics not only with my coworkers, but the mall employees.

What next? I can't recall if I've already mentioned it, but I applied for an on-campus job a few days ago, and my Operator at "my" Chick-fil-A has already told me multiple times that he will help me get a position at the Chick-fil-A in Chicago when I'm ready. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I have to work while I go to school, it's just a matter of where.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Farewell to My Purse

Is this weird? Maybe just the title? "Tours" of purses and bags are pretty common in the blogging world, I think, so I wanted to do one before I switched to my new purse.

The history of my purse:
I bought it...three years ago about this time! I think I had busted my previous purse, so I was contemplating getting a new one, but didn't actually do anything about it until my mom was saying how she would need a crossbody for my parent's trip to NYC. So I went on Vera Bradley's website and ordered myself this purse (Hipster in Versailles). It has served me well these last three years. It expands to hold a couple books, if need be, as well as all the other little things I keep on me. These days, my purse contains:
- receipts, which are organized into a little notecard organizer at the end of the day
- my wallet, which contains coins, cash, and any and all cards, including my business cards
- car key, which totally looks like Batman
- work keys/name badge/my box cutter, Hercules
- gum
- hand sanitizer
- house key
- book I'm currently reading

I'm a simple gal. I moved everything over to my new purse after I took these pictures, and will hopefully add a few more things tomorrow. Things have been switched around a little bit, so tomorrow is my last day of working at (my) Chick-fil-A for a while. I'm not going to lie, I am pretty sad. But more on that tomorrow...maybe.

- rl

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I suppose I made a little bit of progress this week, but not enough to be proud of. *sigh* I am just feeling so incredibly exhausted this week, which is a bummer because it will be a long while before I'll feel rested again, I think.

- rl

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Current Situation: One Year Later

It has been a year since this blog post, which is my most viewed post so far. It's been 364 days and eight hours (give or take) since I wrote that post, so here's what this year's situation is:

I am going to college this fall! While I have not technically paid my school bill yet, I have the money for it. I haven't paid it because I have to change my insurance plan or something on it, and I'm honestly just too tired to deal with that right now. I'm fairly certain we can do that when we get there, so that's when it will happen.

So am I glad I stayed home for a year and just worked? Yes. The introvert in me is about full, I think, so now I'm ready to get moving and see things. There have been so many little things I would not have been able to experience if I had gone to school. I have grown exponentially from working. I've made some fantastic friends through work. I regret not getting a second job, but I can't change that now.

Today I went to REI with one of my mom's coworkers who lived in Chicago during college, and she gave me fantastic tips on layering for the weather. It's going to involve lots of online sale stalking, but I have a few months before I really need the gear. While we were out she also gave me solid tips on using the el and general safety tips.

Regarding a job once I'm there, I have already applied for one on-campus job, and if I don't get that then I'll apply for more once I get there. I have also spoken to the operator of the Chick-fil-A I work out and he is going to help me connect with the store near Moody when I'm ready.

What am I most nervous about? It's not my safety or the cold, but the academics. I did not ever really care about my grades in high school, but I think, after some adjustment time, I should be able to get a good routine down that works for me.

We leave in 4.5 days. It has not sunk in yet. While my closet is packed up and my room is in disarray, it still does not feel real. I have thought about this school every day for a solid three years now - that's over 1,000 days! I have not visited the campus, so I'm eagerly awaiting my first sight of it. I have the maps almost memorized, so I don't think I'll be too confused, at least not regarding which building is which.

Please pray for us during this time. I say "us" because it's an adjustment for a lot of people. First and foremost, the health for everyone. Then for our vehicle, which is our van, nearing the 200,000 mile mark. Stan (our name for the van) will need lots of prayer to make it there and back! And, of course, for my classmates. I believe most international students have either started their journey to Moody, or will be in a few short days. (They move in before the regular new student orientation). Then for everyone else as we flock to the great city of Chicago next week.

- rl

Monday, August 11, 2014

Full Circle Friendship


After work today, my best friend, Diana, picked me up so we could hang out one final time before I leave. We may be able to see each other before I leave, but it won't be a true hanging out time like we did today.

Diana gave me a birthday present first, which is one she has been looking for since 2010 or so. We first just drove around, because it's insanely hot and we couldn't think of anything to do. We eventually decided on IKEA, which seems to be where we end up at least once a year. This time we sat on a few couches for extended periods of time, discussing things like fridges in the dorm to our favorite Harry Potter characters.

On our way to my house I asked if we could stop by Sonic because I was feeling ravenous. I guess I eat a tad early, so by 6PM each day I feel like I'm going to pass out if I don't eat anything. A tad dramatic, maybe, but I do have a history of dehydration.

When we got to my house, Diana waited patiently to start the Twilight movies while I took pictures of multiple things, including my latest thredUP order that came in today!

Then we watched our movies! I'm not sure whether or not I've mentioned it before, but Twilight was my first fandom. It definitely helped Diana and I become such close friends. We love our Twilight. Rewatching the first two movies made me want to reread the books, except for the fact that they're so heavy. I'm just not sure whether it's worth it or not to drag them all the way to school...but I'm really leaning towards taking them.

After she left - halfway through New Moon, and after we accidentally let a gecko in which she had to kill while I stood far away - I was able to get some more cleaning/decluttering done. There's a lot more to go and I'm not sure how it will get done in time, but for now I will sleep.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Self Portrait (32/52)


I packed up my closet today. Woah. I separated my t-shirts a few weeks ago between those I want to take with me and those I want to leave here, but just had them sitting out until I got around to packing them up. Today was that day. I loaded up a suitcase with t-shirts, blouses, jeans, socks, and sweaters/winter-y clothes that have been put into a space bag until it gets cold. I also put my few dresses and skirts into a garment bag with hangers for all my clothes. My caring mother spent most of yesterday cleaning all my bedding. It's been sitting in a big box in our dining room since last June, so it all needed a good clean.

I didn't spend all day doing this, though. Today we went to the church of my choosing, seeing as how it was my last Sunday before we left. I chose Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton because that's the church my parents were saved and baptized at. Pete Briscoe gave a fascinating sermon that made me rethink, and change, the little description I have on my social media sites. I'm not a "sinner saved by grace". I mean, I am, but I'm more of a "saint who sometimes sins". I know it sounds a little weird at first, but you'll have to just listen to the sermon for yourself to understand.

We came home and ate lunch, then my mom and I headed out to use up some gift cards and get a few things. While I hate spending money, it had to be done. It was convenient that this was tax free weekend, though!

I only have one week left until I fly the nest. (Although I definitely wouldn't say I'm really leaving the nest, seeing as how I will still have a lot of things here.) It does not feel real yet. I have something to do every single night. I think I have almost everything either packed up or ready to be packed up. The main concern for us is that our van can make the trek. The poor thing is 13 years old and has already made many long trips. Please pray that it will get us all there safely, and last even past the trip! Talk about a ride of faith.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Escape from the Chaos


The chaos of my mind, that is. I have 6.5 library books to finish before I say "Adios!" to my family next Wednesday. That's only 11 days!! Oi.

I finished packing my first box tonight, I think. I'm taking a variety of fiction and non-fiction books, as well as some DVDs and all my yarn. I think my biggest fear is overpacking, but I think I'll be ok...maybe. I'm definitely seeing some movies and more decluttering in my future.

I'm also beginning to regret not taking a day off this next week. I work every day until I leave. I have, like, five things to attend this week. I'm not as stressed as I should be, but I'm getting there. It will all work out, obviously, but getting to that point is a little terrifying, to say the least.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, August 08, 2014

19 Years


Today I turned 19, and I have a few goals for this next year that I'd like to share:
- No more buying books. 
That's right, I don't plan on buying any books for the next year. Exclusions: school books, gifts for people, or books I've wanted for a while that are under $2. (Can you tell I decided on this one a few weeks back?) I've just decided that I have more than enough books to keep me entertained for the next year, and I need to save money anyway.
- Only check social media 3 times a day. 
I've been doing this for about a week and a half now and it's not too bad. This may still sound excessive to some people, but I used to check it way more often. I doubt I'll have much time to check it once I get to school, so I've been getting used to this concept and unfollowing people whose posts I usually scrolled past anyway. Does that sound cruel? I hope not...
- Take more pictures and video. 
You may think I take a lot of pictures, but I really don't. I always hesitate to take pictures when other people are around because I don't want to make them feel awkward, so I'm hoping to relax some more in situations like that and just snap away. I won't post a picture if someone doesn't want me to, so there's not really a problem with it, right?

I think that's it. Obviously there are little things like "ACTUALLY READ MY BIBLE" and "JOURNAL", which I'll probably fail at. I guess you could say that I'm sick of putting those on my goals lists and failing each time.

I definitely do not feel 19. It feels like a short year. Don't ask me why. It's midnight and I'm tired and there are only nine days before we leave yet I haven't really packed. So there's that.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Stash Building


This isn't my entire yarn stash. I've got an even bigger basket with yarn, plus a few yarn cakes off to the side. I planned on taking all my yarn with me, but I think I'll have to first grab a box from work for easy transportation and storage. It's a funny thing, this fiber life. It's a part of my life now, just like books and social media. They are part of how I am. I will not part with these activities. They bring me joy and inspiration, and they will stay.

That sounds a little defensive, which is probably just because I love knitting (and now crocheting) so much that it's almost annoying when I can't get projects done fast enough. Truly a first world problem, no?

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Lots of progress on my backpack this week! Not enough to keep me on track to have it done before move-in day, but still a good amount. I finished about one and half repeats. I love the colors! And I think I'll have plenty of yarn after the fact to make a couple hats.

- rl

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Feasts of Israel


Tonight we joined a small group of people to experience and learn about the Feasts of Israel. It opened my eyes to things I had no clue about, and which I think will be beneficial as a Bible student. If you ever have the opportunity to learn more about the Jewish culture and history, I would recommend doing so. I still have lots more to learn about it all, and I think it's a topic I'll blog about again one day when I understand things better.

Thank you to Mike and Michelle for their hospitality, knowledge, and hearts for such a memorable evening.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)