Thursday, March 31, 2011

things i love thursday.

Realizing that some things are far more important than schoolwork. Like going out on Wednesday nights, even though I have a test and ten pages of a paper due on Friday. Tonight might be rough, but I have no regrets about this precious time spent with my friends. As Tom Petty once said, "The work never ends, but college does."

This quote & pondering the true meaning of accompaniment: "If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." (attributed to Lila Watson)

Late night talks with my roomies. Because they're the best. Especially at 2am.

Discovering that Taco Bell will replace meat with beans in their tacos. Genius. I wish my vegetarian self had known this years ago.

April. One of my favorite months of the year, even though it has notoriously fickle weather (not as fickle as March, however).

Redbox. Become a fan on Facebook & get a free movie rental!

Spring Cleaning. I gave away two cardigans from my collection the other day. While I still have way too many clothes, it's a baby step in the right direction. I hope to pare everything down a lot more in the coming months.

Pintrest. I just discovered this two days ago, and I'm already addicted.

Hummus. I used to think I hated hummus. Now I can't stop eating it, especially the roasted red pepper variety. I bought a container on Saturday at Trader Joe's, and it may already be 90% gone.

What do you love this week?

photo via we heart it

Sunday, March 27, 2011

jvc: the why.

I already know the who (me, obviously), the what (Jesuit Volunteer Corps Domestic), the when (August 2011 - August 2012), the where (Boston), and now all that's left to tell people is the why

Why, as in, why do I want to spend a year of my life making basically no money in exchange for incredibly hard work when I could get a real job or go on to grad school? Why do I want to move to a city where I don't know anyone to live with a group of people I've never met?

This is a meaningful question, and one that I have been asked and have been asking myself for quite some time now. 

Why JVC?

Because at some point over the past year, the idea of doing anything else stopped being enough. 

I considered doing a lot of other things: grad school, traveling, getting a "real" job, etc. But the more time when on, when I thought of passing up this opportunity, I began to question myself. I spent a lot of time discerning if this was the right thing for me to do, and eventually I just had a moment where I realized that it would be stupid to pass up this opportunity. I knew I would wonder, and I wondered if I'd regret. There's nothing wrong with these other options, but that just wasn't the right path for me, at least at this time.

Because it's time to give back. 

To those whom much is given, much is expected. And boy, have I been given a lot. SLU has given be a new conception of the meaning of service and of social justice. I've been born into a life of privilege; I've been blessed. The word "privilege" has a lot of connotations that I'm only now beginning to unpack, but I know for certain that it's a label I fit into.

Because I need to do something different. 

I need to do something that's not school. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I enjoy school; I like learning and I love the challenge of academia. However, I will be the first to admit that college has taught me that there is so much more to life than just school. I have let far too much of my identity be dictated by what I do in the classroom and not enough be dictated by who I am and what I value. Rome taught me a lot about what real learning meant, and perhaps the most important lesson was that very little true learning takes place in a classroom.

Because it's a calling.

Simply put, I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. And my heart has never led me wrong before... and I'm trusting that that will pull me through.

living in the in between.

I wrote this a few weeks ago, and while I now do know what I will be doing next year (more about that soon!!!), much of it is still applicable to how I'm feeling and where I am at the current moment.

The final semester of college is a strange place to live. All of us seniors are still here, but at the same time, we're not. My friends are either trying to find jobs or making decisions about grad/med/law schools, and I'm really proud of them. When I say I have accomplished friends, I mean it. And I mean it in ways that go just beyond acceptance letters from Ivy League schools (even though some of them are getting those too!). My friends really are intelligent, talented, caring, beautiful people. I feel proud to know them and to be a part of their lives.

However, while some of us know where we will be next year already, most of us (myself included) are still playing the waiting game. The ball's out of our court, as we check our emails and phones every half hour, anxiously awaiting news.

I think what I am learning these days, however, is to embrace this time of in-between, where I'm still in college, but I'm also getting closer and closer to knowing what form the next step will mean for me. I'm still at SLU, but my heart is slowly starting to prepare itself to move on. I have never loved being here more, but I'm also aware that those feelings are partly because I know I have to leave.

However, even though I'm getting ready to leave, I haven't left yet. And I'm determined to make the most of what time I do have left.

So, here's to living in the present and enjoying the in between. 

 picture via PostSecret [a very long time ago]

Friday, March 25, 2011

spring break '11 recap.

Four girls. Seven days. 1460 miles. One senior year Spring Break.
Way too much fun.
Lazy beach days, hiking, shopping, dolphin tours, and so much eating.
Sunsets, southern accents, sandcastles, St. Paddy's Day, and sunburns.
Let's meet back in Orange Beach in four more years, okay, girls?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

things i love thursday.

The first week back from any break is always a little bit rough, but here's a few things that have brightened up my days.


Spring Break memories: I'm already missing this view and the beach. More pictures from Spring Break to come soon!

Retreats: Yesterday I was able to go a brief, overnight retreat for graduating seniors. It was a really wonderful group of people, and it was so nice to have time to reflect on the past four years at SLU and what they have meant to me. I will be forever grateful for the experiences I have had and the people I've met here over the past four years, and last night was a great reminder of why I love this place so dearly.

Finding out that an assignment is due later than originally thought: I thought I had ten pages of a paper due on Monday. Turns out, it's actually due next Friday. Win.

Remaking favorite recipes: I always like trying new things, so I rarely remake recipes unless I really love them (ie. chocolate chip cookies). This week, I remade a previous recipe, and it was even better than I remembered.

 Jean jacket-dress-bare legs-flats kind of weather: The temperature dipped back down to the 30's and 40's today, but the beginning of this week was perfect. St. Louis weather is notoriously fickle, so I'm hoping our warm temperatures come back again soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

happy spring.

I'm back from spring break, and while the adjustment from lazy afternoons at the beach to days full of activities and studying has been a bit rough so far, the great weather in St. Louis is making it a little bit easier to deal with (currently 78 degrees!).

Also, I had my first SLU tulip sighting today! This picture was taken this morning as I left the business school after my marketing class, and it instantly put a little bit more of a spring in my step (pun not intended).

Happy second day of spring!

Friday, March 11, 2011

spring break 2011 playlist.

Bright and early tomorrow morning, I'm heading south for Spring Break! I'm driving from St. Louis to Orange Beach, Alabama to spend the week at the beach with three of my friends, and I'm so excited.  Here's a few of the songs from my playlist for the 12 hour drive.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet Home Alabama
  • Old Crow Medicine Show: Wagon Wheel
  • Lonestar: Song of the South
  • Benjy Davis Project: Sweet Southern Moon
  • Alabama: Walkin' in Memphis
  • Johnny and June Carter Cash: Jackson
  • Rascal Flatts: Life is a Highway
  • The Beatles: With a Little Help From My Friends
  • Jackson Browne: Runnin' on Empty
  • John Denver: Country Roads, Take Me Home
  • Amos Lee: Southern Girl
  • Dierks Bentley: Sideways

Thursday, March 10, 2011

things i love thursday.

I firmly believe life is too short to not celebrate the things that make you happy, both big and small. Here's a few things I'm loving this week.

Homemade soup: Especially when it's as good and easy as this Tortellini Soup from Annie's Eats.

Rimmel London's Steel Grey nail polish: Seriously, I love this this nail polish. It doesn't clash with anything, is just different enough to make a subtle statement, and the $3.99 price tag isn't bad at all. I have gotten so many compliments about it, too, from really random people.

Studying in coffee shops: Last week, I tried to study at the library. It was horrible, and I'm never deserting my coffee shops again.

Fro Yo: Especially when shared with good friends.

King Cake + Fat Tuesday diner food: Pre-Lenten food is the best.

Lenten Reflections from SLU Campus Ministry: And actually just SLU Campus Ministry in general. I feel so privileged to be a part of this community. And on a similar note, Lent. These next 39 days are going to be good for me. I can already feel it.

The start of Spring Break: The only class I was planning to attend tomorrow just got canceled, so now I am officially on Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

rainy day playlist.

It's midterm week, it's raining, and I just spent almost three hours straight working on Accounting homework. While there's basically no way to make that a fun situation, it was made much more bearable by the fact that I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop, drinking chai tea, and there was great music playing. All it took was one listen to Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" for me to start thinking about my favorite rainy day music.

Some days just call for certain types of music, and today is one of those days. It's rainy and chilly outside, and all I want to do is curl up in bed and either take a nap, watch a movie, or listen to music. (Or all of the above.)  Rainy days are perfect for quiet, dreamy music with a healthy dose of nostalgia. Here's the playlist that will be playing on my iTunes for the rest of the evening.
  • Jack Johnson: "Banana Pancakes" | The song that inspired the idea of this playlist. One of my personal favorite Jack Johnson songs.
  • Maroon 5: "Sunday Morning" | "But things just get so crazy, living life gets hard to do. And I would gladly hit the road get up and go if I knew that someday it would lead me back to you."
  • Copeland: "Coffee" | This is one of my all time favorite songs. Listen to it if nothing else on this list.
  • The Postal Service: "Sleeping In" | Appropriate for days that aren't in November too.
  • James Taylor: "Fire & Rain" | A classic.
  • Jewel: "You Were Meant For Me" | 90's flashback.
  • William Fitzsimmons: "They'll Never Take the Good Years" | The entire CD is great. Listen to it.
  • John Mayer: "St. Patrick's Day" | Old school John Mayer. Also in honor of the upcoming holiday. "Everybody, it seems to me, wants to be just like you & me."
  • Taylor Swift: "Come In With the Rain" | T-Swift b-side. Can't beat it.
  • The Bens: "Bruised" | A few of my favorite artists singing one of my favorite songs.
  • Third Eye Blind: "Deep Inside of You" | 90's flashback, take two.
  • Mat Kearney: "Fire & Rain" | Different song from the James Taylor version. Also great.
  • Something Corporate: "She Paints Me Blue" | So dreamy.
  • The Beatles: "Blackbird" | Because I can't make a playlist without a Beatles song.
    I feel like I used to make a lot more playlists, but ever since I discovered Pandora, that habit has gone out the window.  Maybe this will be inspiration to get back to it; I'm seeing at least one spring break trip playlist in my future!

    photo via we heart it

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    a sunday at home + georgetown cupcakes.

    After an action-packed day on Saturday at Mardi Gras, I headed home on Sunday to spend the day with my extended family. It was wonderful and relaxing--exactly what the doctor ordered before a stressful midterms week.

    My aunt was also visiting town from Washington, DC, and she brought us some of the famous Georgetown Cupcakes! I tried several flavors:  Red Velvet, Irish Cream, and Cookies & Cream with Mint icing. My favorite was by far the Irish Cream. They got a little squished in transport, but still tasted wonderful.

    As much as I love SLU and St. Louis, home is always such a nice change. The drive home is one of my favorite parts. As I begin to leave the city, I always switch my radio station or iPod to country music (if it's not already there). The further south I drive, the highway gradually gets narrower and less crowded, and I start to see more and more trees and rolling hills. And part of me can just feel that I'm getting closer to home. And sometimes there is no place in the world that I would rather be.

    mardi gras.

    When a weekend includes this many good friends, it just can't go wrong. From planned reunions to surprise, last minute meet-ups, celebrating Mardi Gras on Saturday was the best. Not only did I get to spend my last college Mardi Gras with some of my oldest and dearest SLU friends, I was also able to spend some time with my friends from studying abroad in Rome.


    Also, did I mention that I took the best nap ever Saturday afternoon after getting up early for the parade? So fantastic. Forget New Orleans; I'll take Mardi Gras in St. Louis any day.

    p.s. J-Force for life.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    new beginnings.

    Spring is my favorite time of the year at SLU. While fall is nice, winter is only okay with me until the end of February. After that, I'm done. I want spring, and I want it now.

    There's something exhilarating about the first day it's nice enough to walk outside without a heavy coat, wearing flats instead of boots, and with the sun shining down on me on the way to class. I always know that spring is really here the first time I spot the famous SLU tulips (or SLUlips as they are sometimes known).

    I'm at the point in the semester where I'm just counting down until Spring Break, when I can enjoy time away from schoolwork spent at the (hopefully warm) beaches of Alabama with my friends. After Mardi Gras this weekend, only one more week of classes, one paper prospectus, one Marketing assignment, and one Accounting test stand in my way.

     I can't wait. Both for warm weather to be here for good and for Spring Break.

    (Pictures from spring 2009--it doesn't look like this here yet!)