Tuesday, May 31, 2011

19 Reasons Why I Love Christina

1. She was born today!

2. We have similar tastes in music. Like this.

3. Same with our addiction to Disney Channel shows.

4. Our obsession with our boys.

5. And volleyball.

6. She's my Asian.

7. Her fascination with blue and white.

8. Her amazing fashion sense!

9. Her creativity.

10. The passion she demonstrates in whatever she does

11. Her ability to love

12. The way we crack each other up.

13. "The look" with one eyebrow raised.

15. All of our fantastical trips together: Appalachia, Disney, Clelian.

16. Our adventures with Burt.



19. She's my third.

Love you dollface. Less than three. Less than three.

Reliving My Childhood

The past few days I've been reliving my childhood. Once we get older, many of us get nostalgic and try to capture something that made our childhood so fun and exciting. To the tune of "Dance of the Cucumber" I realized how much I had missed being a kid. I know for myself during the academic year I try to watch Disney movies with my friend Allyson to take a break from the monotony that is college life.

Another part of my college life is with my faith family, a program with Campus Ministry . From the website:

"This program provides a chance for students and permanent community members to get to know one another, share a meal or activity, and build relationships. We hope that this program will strengthen our connection between our permanent community members that worship at Saint Michael's Chapel and students. We also want to offer students the opportunity to enjoy a home environment while they are away from their families."

I have been so lucky to my paired with my faith family! They welcomed me into their lives with open arms. It really is wonderful to have a place to get off campus for a while and have a home-cooked meal!

This past weekend YaYa moved to Vermont from Illinois! I helped set up her apartment a little bit; This mainly consisted of my IT abilities setting up the phone and internet. Just call me part of the Nerd Herd!

I also helped tape up pieces of artwork done by the kids including this welcome sign. Seeing all the handprints and footprints made me reminisce about my own finger-painting experiences and how I would love to do that again! I live vicarously through these girls.

It was also Bridget's birthday! I offered another pair of hands to help wrangle kids during the day as well as prepping cupcakes using my baking skills. I love love LOVE to bake and these cupcakes came out perfectly!

Pouring the batter:

Such a nice golden brown!

Finally frosted!

Sleeping over also meant helping out at the party! Of course gotta check out the presents. My 2-year-old self would have been ECSTATIC to get this cool racer ramp! I helped pick this out and going through Toys "R" Us made me realize how much fun I'm going to have picking out gifts for future kids - clearly I'm just going to pick out the toys that I think are cool and want to play with!

Also part of the birthday girl swag was this cool Calico Critter playhouse. It brings me back to my Barbie-playing days and how I loved all the furniture, clothes, and accessories that Barbie had. I wished they were life-size most of the time!

I simply adore this picture! Capturing the two sisters playing with the house is just too cute. I remember playing with my brother and how much fun we had. Granted we still have fun but in different ways. I love that kid to death.

As the party continued, there was a range of kids from 1 to 7. It's been a while since I was around so many kids but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was given books to read, bubbles to blow, swings to push, and even used my old soccer skills to do a one-on-one pick-up game. I'm lucky because I get to play with the kids when they're fun but not deal with any of the hard stuff.

I was so tired from running around that I took a nap - only to be woken up by the girls an hour later. This was for going hiking in the woods. I was so impressed by girls trekking through the underbush - and in dresses no less! After that a trip to the playground was in order - and boy this playground was top notch. I loved getting to play on it myself... and also helping the girls climb, slide, and swing everywhere.

This fun-filled weekend got my fix for kids and helped me cherish all the childhood memories I have with my family. Especially trips to Disney - where I will be traveling later this summer! It's the happiest place on earth where you can be a kid at any age! I'm so excited it's not even funny. Forever on the quest for reliving my childhood!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day: Time for Remembering

The past few Memorial Days I have spent walking in a Memorial Day Parade with the Edson Division of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps based out of New Haven, CT. I had volunteered there since my junior year of high school where I have encountered many different branches of the military. From the Seals, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy, I have been privileged to meet many of those who serve our nation. They love what they do and wouldn't want to do anything else. My experience with the military has been a roller coaster, regardless I support them in what they stand for and protect.

Out of these many, I am lucky to call some of them my friends. Much like the families and friends of those who currently serve and those who have lost someone while deployed, I will worry should they be called upon to serve. Each Memorial Day means something different to all of these people. Perhaps remembering family members, friends, co-workers, who have given their lives for their country or celebrating the successful return of a parent, spouse, or friend.

I took this candid shot on a trip with the division to Washington, D.C. in 2009 for the 4th of July holiday. We made the visit to Arlington National Cemetery where we saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and visited the graves of the Kennedys. This is one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken. It combines what we celebrate and how remember those who serve and have served.

"When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today." The Kohima Epitaph

Thank you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memory Lane

Almost a year ago today I graduated my all-girls Catholic high school. It's so weird to look back and remember all the anticipation and anxiety I was facing last summer. Leaving my friends, family, and my comfortable snuggly bed seemed weird but exciting and new. I believed I was ready to start my new independent life and see what school brought. Before that though, I had a little fun my senior year. Okay, more than just a little. Here are some throwbacks of senior year.

My Trip Down Memory Lane: Senior Year

First Senior event of the year: 80's Mixer!
The entire Senior class had to show up in order to get senior privileges...pretty awesome.

The activity that took up most of my time first semester was the annual SHAMusical! This year Fiddler On the Roof was chosen. Being the techie that I am, I was on sound crew. We were so awesome; we had our own chairs and nametags!

Also around the time of our Musical was Fall Formal. I took one of my friends Aaron and we had such a blast! When one goes to dances, I recommend taking friends - guaranteed a good time.
<--Classic display of our friendship...suggested by crazy parents! Got any good poses recommended by your parents? At least you can laugh at them later!

Not entirely school related, my friend Jenna won tickets on our local radio station to meet Kris Allen, the winner of American Idol! Luckily for us it was right down the street from our school and we got to listen to a short set and take pictures. I got up the nerve to say to him that we have the same birthday! It was so exciting!

Also a key part of senior year: SENIOR SWEATSHIRTS! Because we are the Class of 2010, we put on our sweatshirts "SEN10RS". Pretty clever right? Embroidered on the front pocket were our names opposite a heart. On the back we had wordled our names. I still wear it to this day!

Every year we're required by our school to go to a retreat. One weekend in January about 60 of my fellow classmates and I traveled to Garrison, New York for a retreat with the Capuchin Franciscan Friars. No, not the monkey. There we had team-building exercises, time for reflection, faith talks, and experiencing Mass and Adoration. Here is the entire group of us that we crammed into a coach bus!

During my February break, I was privileged to go to Brenton, WV with a group of 20 girls from my school and assorted chaperones to work with the Appalachian Service Project. There our five groups worked in different parts of the holler repairing homes. Soon I will have a more detailed blog post about my experience there. This is me and my team with our typical attire for the week.

Time for SPIRIT WEEK! Basically we prepare the entire year for this week for the events and dress-up days such as Lip Sync, SHAmerica's Best Dance Crew, Class Color Day, Decades Day, etc. It is always a lot of fun and it really unites the class. After all, it is all about school spirit! Fun Fact: This Santa hat has made it to 3/4 of Red and White days. I like to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well all year round!

I was also involved in our Spring production: Godspell. Also a sound techie in this one, but no pictures. Just going to have to believe me!

And of course, the moment you've all been waiting for: PROM. I generally like to think that I have good experiences with prom, probably because I try to keep out of the promma drama that tends to happen. I was the coordinator for dates this year...I got five girls including myself dates. Talk about networking... I owe so much to my friends Ian and Aaron, who are brothers, for being such amazing troopers as I've persuaded them to attend at least one of my dressy events with me. I took Ian to prom junior year and took Aaron to senior year. Of course senior prom was a reunion for most of us, seeing as Ian, Aaron, my brother and I all attended. It was quite enjoyable!

After one of the final hurdles of senior year, we get to 'destroy' our uniforms and run through the halls screaming and yelling on our last day of school! The freshmen never know what hit them.




As a school we always celebrate the end of the year with a relaxing day at Holiday Hill. Here we can pig out, go swimming, play sports, go kayaking/paddleboating, rock climb, get airbrush tattoos, and have a pick-up talent show! It's a good time to have fun with friends and enjoy the wonderful weather.

Senior Week had begun!
Filled with the Honors Colloquium, Yearbook Supper, Graduation practice, Baccalaureate, and finally: GRADUATION!

All the hard work during the past four years lead to our commencement. With all the mixed feelings about the future, I knew for certain that the girls I had spent my high school years with would be my friends for life. So much has happened since that day, and I believe that this landmark in my life has given me the determination and desire to succeed in life and to ultimately be happy with whatever I do.

It's not about the destination, but the journey.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Summer Job!

This is my first summer away from home after moving away from college. My first summer away from my family, friends, and even the beach. I miss the ocean so much.

A picture of me and my friend Ian last summer at the beach!

I've got this summer job at the Saint Michael's College Information Technology Helpdesk. Basically my first real '9 to 5' job where I get to unleash my inner nerd.

At the Helpdesk, we're responsible for helping all those associated with Saint Mike's with their computer queries and problems. Sounds pretty simple right?

Coming from someone who knows little about computers, sometimes it gets pretty hectic. It's a definite learning environment. I've learned to reset passwords, establish internet connectivity, change hard drives, and trying to generally figure out why someone's computer isn't working the way it should. OH and I have one of THE best bosses in the entire world. I kinda love my job.

Not gonna lie, my job is pretty easy most of the time. Until something crazy happens. Like today we had to do some hot swaps of computers that had gotten fried by the weather last night. It was a bit crazy - tornado warnings and all!

Anyways, within this time I can make a dent in my long list of things I want to accomplish this summer. For instance, check out my Summer Bucket List for a clue.

So far my summer has been really relaxing and I get to focus on what I want to do and reflect on the direction my life is going. It's a wild ride but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Keep checking back for more!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

130 Books...97 Days

The epic list of books I will attempt to read over the course of this summer in no particular order:

  1. The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  2. Oresteia by Aeschylus

  3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

  4. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  6. Emma by Jane Austen

  7. Persuasion by Jane Austen

  8. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

  9. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster

  10. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

  11. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett

  12. The Farway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton

  13. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  14. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

  15. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

  16. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

  17. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

  18. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

  19. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

  20. Black Hole by Charles Burns

  21. Possession by AS Byatt

  22. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain

  23. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

  24. Nox by Anne Carson

  25. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

  26. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  27. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins May 25

  28. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins May 29

  29. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

  30. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conard

  31. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

  32. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

  33. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres

  34. The Little Prince Antoine De Saint-Exupery

  35. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

  36. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

  37. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

  38. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  39. Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt

  40. Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas

  41. You Shall Know our Velocity! by Dave Eggers

  42. Middlemarch by George Eliot

  43. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

  44. Hippolytus by Eurpides

  45. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk

  46. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

  47. Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

  48. Madame Bouvary by Gustave Flaubert

  49. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

  50. Watchmen by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore

  51. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

  52. Collected Poems by Alice Ginsberg

  53. The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick

  54. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

  55. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

  56. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

  57. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

  58. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

  59. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

  60. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

  61. A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway

  62. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

  63. Dune by Frank Herbert

  64. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

  65. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  66. Next by James Hynes

  67. A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving

  68. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

  69. Dubliners by James Joyce

  70. Ulysses by James Joyce

  71. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

  72. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

  73. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

  74. The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

  75. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  76. Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  77. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

  78. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

  79. Atonement by Ian McEwan

  80. Billy Budd by Herman Melville

  81. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

  82. New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales

  83. A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry

  84. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

  85. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

  86. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

  87. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

  88. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

  89. Envy by Yuri Olesha

  90. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

  91. 1984 by George Orwell

  92. Animal Farm by George Orwell

  93. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

  94. Swallows and Amazons by Ransome

  95. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

  96. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

  97. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

  98. King Lear by Shakespeare

  99. Twelfth Night By Shakespeare

  100. As You Like It by Shakespeare

  101. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

  102. Philoctetes by Sophocles

  103. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

  104. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

  105. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

  106. Dracula by Bram Stoker

  107. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

  108. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

  109. Blankets by Craig Thompson

  110. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

  111. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

  112. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

  113. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

  114. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

  115. Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain

  116. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

  117. Rabbit Redux by John Updike

  118. Rabbit is Rich by John Updike

  119. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

  120. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

  121. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

  122. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

  123. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisburger

  124. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

  125. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams

  126. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

  127. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  128. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

  129. Germinal by Emile Zola

  130. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Summer Bucket List

Goals to accomplish this summer:

  • Read 130 books

  • Teach myself Spanish

  • Go to Taylor Swift!

  • Go bike riding

  • Go to a play...or a few

  • Have visits from friends!

  • Go to the Farmer's Market


  • Make smores over a bonfire

  • Repaint my nails every week...

  • Keep up this blog!

More to come later: