A bunch of little blog posts mushed into one.

1. Back in Missouri

Drove back to Columbia last Saturday after another tearful goodbye. My brother rode with me to keep me sane. It was dark by the time we pulled into town and still dark when I said goodbye to him at the airport the next morning. The darkness somehow exacerbated by sadness, and I was a mess until I got to church and remembered why I had loved this city. "I'm so happy you're back!" were literally the first words that greeted me when I walked in the door. And then I got a hug, and, oh, I could've just crumbled into it.

Skyping with (most of) the fam on my first day back in Como.

Skyping with (most of) the fam on my first day back in Como.

The back-and-forth-ness of graduate school has done such a number on my heart. Being away from my family and Kentucky friends weighs on me so heavily, and so much of me just wants this semester to fly by. But I know that when it comes time to leave my Missouri friends in May, I will be an absolute wreck — a giant tear duct in human form.

2. Semester shock

Classes are over, so this semester I'll be occupied with my professional project (which is like a big internship, but we're not supposed to call it an internship) + my assistantship + my master's research. I would be excited if I weren't so anxious. I love my professional project so far. It's really the prospect of doing my research on top of it that sounds impossible. Let's not talk about it.

3. Sabbath

Speaking of not talking about it, my roommate, Bekah and I are taking Sundays off this semester. Shocker, right? I read this book over Christmas break, and it made me want to cry. Not because it is sad — it isn't — but because it reminded me of how tired I am and have been throughout my entire college and grad school career. The main reason I dreaded this semester was that I was so beyond worn out and beaten down last semester. I just couldn't do it any more. So, despite my uncertainty about how all my work will get done in the next few months, I've decided that none of it will get done on Sundays.

Oh, and I bought a "luxury sleep mask" at Walmart for $4. It is hot pink — fuzzy on one side and satiny on the other. It makes me feel very restful. And luxurious, duh.

4. Reading

Speaking of books, I have a problem, y'all. I have a problem with starting books before I finished my last one and then not finishing them. My bedside table is now host to nine books that I'm "in the middle of." A few of them are even from interlibrary loan, which means I went out of my way made a librarian go out of her (his?) way to get them for me.

Screen+Shot+2013-01-24+at+9.48.04+PM.png

Maybe thinking I can finish non-school-related books in grad school is setting my hopes too high.

4. Smoothies

In the same way that I am the type of person to start a book and never finish it, I am the type of person who pins a lot of things to Pinterest and then never makes said things. But I saw this green monster smoothie pin last Tuesday, and I went out later that day to get the ingredients. I have made it three times since. I have a feeling it is going to be my new go-to meal. It feels indulgent, but it's oh-so-easy to make and oh-so-good* for you. The perfect combination!

2A3B8E02-80D8-43CB-A656-1D1B15B9C65C.jpeg

*What is the correct way to punctuate that? "It's, oh, so easy..." "It's oh, so easy..." Set off interjections with commas, right? But that looks so weird. Sticking with hyphens...

4. Running

Speaking of things that are good for you but also wonderful, I have been running more and more lately!

Er ... I wrote that sentence last week when I was all excited to tell y'all how much better my legs have been doing. Today I sat back down to work on the blog post I left unfinished, and that sentence is mocking me. My left knee has been hurting again. Aching hips are keeping me awake at night. Before this week, I was running great, and now I'm in pain again and trying not to be discouraged.

Here's to hoping this setback won't last long. I'd had at least two months of doing really well before this. Boo, you know? BOO AT PAIN.

14E7CBE3-5CBB-48FD-8150-0C16725EF4B4.jpeg

Apparently retailers think that people have already given up on their new year's resolutions, so they have discounted workout wear. Snatched up this cute pink running jacket for TEN DOLLA NO HOLLA last week. Talk about a score. Pictured right before I hit the pavement in 19-degree weather. I told you I love running.

5. Pop culture

Screen+Shot+2013-01-24+at+7.55.35+PM.png

So much good stuff going on in pop culture lately, you guys. I have thoroughly enjoyed the return of Downton Abbey and The Bachelor, and I want to see Les Miserables approximately a thousand more times.

In related news, I want to marry a barricade boy. They're just so studious and masculine. I know Les Mis isn't primarily a love story, but the scene in which Jean Valjean basically passes the torch of protecting Cosette on to Marius made me swoon and long for times past. You know, times in which men were men and women were women.

6. Dating

Speaking of men and women being men and women, this article, "The End of Courtship" that ran in the NYT recently was totally singing my life with its words and killing me softly with its song.

"Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of 'asynchronous communication,' as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.

'I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out,' said Anna Goldfarb, 34, an author and blogger in Moorestown, N.J."

I thought this was a problem unique to Christian culture, but apparently I was wrong. Read the article, marvel at its accuracy, and weep for our future.

7. Blogging

Look whose blog hit 50,000 views this week! Little old me. Thanks, everyone! Thanks for reading and putting up with the fact that I began four paragraphs in this post with the words "speaking of." You are all the best.

Screen+Shot+2013-01-24+at+10.20.20+PM.png

Eight Mini-Posts

One: 

I first heard of Audrey Assad like two and half weeks ago, and her music has basically been keeping me sane ever since. Some mornings I literally listen to "Sparrow" on repeat from the time I leave my apartment to the time I get to campus.

Screen+Shot+2012-10-08+at+10.10.14+PM.png

If you don't have Spotify, that playlist won't work, so you can hear her on YouTube.

Two:

I went to Kansas City last weekend with Melissa, Hayley, and Bekah, and it was such a wonderful little brain break for me.

Screen+Shot+2012-10-08+at+10.30.41+PM.png

Bekah and I met some men while we were there. By which I mean, Bekah took a picture with a statue, and I took a picture with a headless Gap mannequin. I have a stronger than reasonable appreciation for the Gap menswear mannequins. They just dress like they could hold down jobs, okay?

Three:

As evidenced by the aforementioned photo of Mr. Mannequin and me (look closely), I have recently/rapidly developed an overwhelming love for iced coffee. This may or may not be the result of an overwhelming workload. I've always hated coffee, but now all of a sudden I can't get enough of it. If it is icy and creamy and sweetened, OBVS.

GET IN MY LIFE,  ICED COFFEE.

Autumn is an inopportune time to realize that you love an iced drink.

Four:

My parents came to visit me a few weeks ago, and it was just the best. My dad and I got to go to the Mizzou vs. Georgia game, and now just looking at the pictures makes me miss them so much it hurts. I can't wait to see them next month.

Screen+Shot+2012-10-08+at+10.57.05+PM1.png

AREN'T THEY THE CUTEST!?

Five:

Speaking of cute people whom I love and miss, I GET TO SEE THESE GIRLS THIS WEEKEND. Pardon me while my heart explodes.

See how I was all puffy-eyed in that last pic? That was our last school day at Asbury. My heart was being ripped into a billion pieces. Saturday — for the first time since graduation — we will all be back together, and we will be celebrating sweet Katelyn's wedding. I cannot wait.

I cannot wait. I cannot wait. I cannot wait.

I think being at Mizzou has given me an even stronger appreciation for the time I spent at Asbury. I love Mizzou, but sometimes when I talk to undergrads, I get almost overwhelmed with sadness about the fact that they're all missing out on the small college experience that I had. Getting to go to Asbury was — and will always be, I'm sure — one of the biggest blessings I've ever been given. These girls are such a huge part of that blessing.

Six: 

Speaking of going to Katelyn's wedding, I am going in an AIRPLANE. I have not been on an airplane since 1999. NINETEEN NINETY-NINE, Y'ALL. That was like the olden days.

RetroAirplanOutfits_14.jpg

Seven: 

The girlies and I went to an advanced showing of Pitch Perfect a couple of weeks ago, and it was hilar. I can't wait to see it again now that it is in theaters for reals. It was basically everything that Glee should have been. And now I have a crush on the main guy, which should come as a surprise to no one.

Eight:

I have used various forms of the word "overwhelmed" far too many times for a single blog post. Sometimes I feel the need to go back and carefully edit my blog posts and make myself sound more articulate and less like a 15-year-old girl. But sometimes I am like, "WHATEVS. I SPEND SO MUCH TIME EDITING STUFF THAT GETS GRADED THAT I AM NOT GOING TO SCRUTINIZE WHAT ISN'T GETTING GRADED." And, yes, I do think in all caps. That, too, should come as a surprise to no one.

Panera

My apartment-mate Lola went to Panera last night and came home with bags of free bread that they were about to throw away!

next-69-panerabread2.jpg

via

This much bread in our kitchen = dangerous + delicious.