Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grad School Barbie

I stumbled across this post in my perusal of the internet this afternoon after I got home from school {I was in charge today while my CT was out for a planning event. Hot dang.}. It made me laugh out loud. Almost halfway there! My personal beacon is 8pm on November 13. After that, I think I will be able to make it through.



                                         

A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Barbie (TM).
 
Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master’s Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).

Every Graduate School Barbie comes with these fun-filled features guaranteed to delight and entertain for hours: Grad School Barbie comes out of the box with a big grin on her face that turns into a frown after 2 weeks or her first advisor meeting (whichever comes first). She also has adorable black circles under her delightfully bloodshot eyes.

Comes with two outfits: a grubby pair of blue jeans and 5-year-old gap T-shirt, and a floppy pair of gray sweatpants with a matching “I hate my life” T-shirt. Grad School Barbie talks! Just press the button on her left hand and hear her say such upbeat grad school phrases like, “Yes, Professor, It’ll be done by tomorrow”, “I’d love to rewrite” and “Why didn’t I just get a job, I could have been making $40,000 a year by now if I had just started working with a Bachelor’s. But noooooo, I chose to further my education, I wish somebody would drop a bomb on the school so that I’d have an excuse to stop working on my degree that’s sucking every last drop of life force out of my withered and degraded excuse for a soul…” (9V lithium batteries sold separately)

Grad School Barbie is anatomically correct to teach kids about the exciting changes that come with pursuing a higher education. Removable panels on Barbie’s head and torso allow you to watch as her cerebellum fries to a crispy brown, her heart race 150 beats per minute, and her stomach lining gradually dissolve into nothing. Deluxe Barbie comes with specially designed eye ducts. Just add a little water, and watch Grad School Barbie burst into tears at random intervals. Fun for the whole family!

Other accessories include:
Grad School Barbie’s Fun Fridge (TM) Well stocked with microwave popcorn, Coca-Cola, Healthy Choice Bologna (99% fat free!),and a small bottle of Mattel Brand Rum ™.

Grad School Barbie’s Medicine Cabinet comes in Fabulous (pepto-bismal) pink and contains Barbie sized bottles of Advil, St. Johns Wort, Zantac, and your choice of three fun anti-anxiety drugs! (Barbie Medicine Cabinet not available without a prescription).

Grad School Barbie’s Computer Workstation. Comes with miniature obsolete PC (in pink of course), rickety desk, and over a dozen miniature Mountain Dew cans to decorate your workstation with (Mountain Dew deposit not included in price. Tech support sold separately).

And Grad School Barbie is not alone! Order now and you’ll get two of Barbie’s great friends! GRADUATE ADVISOR KEN, Barbie’s mentor and advisor in her quest for knowledge, higher education and decreased self-esteem.

Grad Advisor Ken ™ comes with a supply of red pens and a permanent frown. Press the button to hear Grad Advisor Ken deliver such wisdom to Barbie as “I need an update on your progress,” “I don’t think you’re ready to defend yet”, and “This is nowhere near ready for publication.”
Buy 3 or more dolls, and you can have Barbie’s Thesis Committee! (Palm Pilot and tenure sold separately.)

REAL JOB SKIPPER, When Barbie needs to talk, she knows that she can always count on her good friend Real Job Skipper ™, who got a job after getting her bachelor degree. Press the button to hear Real Job Skipper say, “Sometimes I wish I went for my masters degree” and “Work is so hard! I had to work a half an hour of overtime!” Real Job Skipper’s Work Wardrobe and Savings account sold separately.

WARNING: Do not place Grad Student Barbie and Real Job Skipper too close to each other, as there have been several cases of children leaving the room and coming back to find Barbie’s hands mysteriously fused to Skipper’s throat.
Author: Unknown

Post found from here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Something to Consider

"In my experience, you'll never feel qualified. But God doesn't call the qualified; God qualifies the called."

Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker






Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Grad School Problems, ep. 4

Today at 5pm marked the start of Fall Break. Yay! By a happy coincidence and smart scheduling, I actually began my break when I walked out of my Monday night class at 8pm.

It hasn't been much of a break so far, just time without class devoted to doing schoolwork. But our Asheville trip is on Friday, which I'm really excited about.

Tonight, I stopped on campus to print out a whole bunch of papers and readings while I was on my way to play some soccer and was in the area (we get a bunch of printing money each semester). The first two printers I tried weren't working - they couldn't connect to the network for some reason? I then walked all the way across campus to go to the two libraries and the student union... And all three were closed. Keep in mind this was at 6:15 pm when fall break "officially began" at 5pm. What about those poor students (ahem, grad students) who have to stay in town and work during fall break? Where are they supposed to work?! WHERE ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO PRINT?!

I take huge issue with this, UNC. This seems like a terrible system. You are not a commuter campus!


Monday, October 14, 2013

We the People....

And so our people spelled it out, the things that we should beeeee... And they put those things down on paper and called it the Constitution.





The kids in my civics classes have a quiz on the Constitution on Friday, and for part of that quiz they each have to individually recite the Preamble in front of the whole class. Ms. T played this video in one of them so they could hear it. Every time I hear a Schoolhouse Rock video, the song is subsequently stuck in my head for DAYS upon end. As expected, I shall be singing this song for the next week or so.

I had forgotten the order of the phrases in the Preamble, so now I remember them again. The funny thing about teaching is that when you teach something, you know it so much better than you did when you learned it. And that, I've concluded, is why teachers know everything.

---

We the People, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Them's powerful words.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Night Terrors

On Thursday night, I had a nightmare (read: nightmare) that I was teaching my civics class
and I was simply horrible and having a terrible time. I woke up to discover that it wasn't real, but unfortunately it is not altogether impossible.

This evening, I was laying in my bed, waiting for sleep, when I heard a little "flop" sound that I have always associated with stink bugs landing on a nearby surface. Stink bugs are one of my nemeses, so I know this sound well. Anyway, they haven't seemed to have fully migrated to the south yet, so this sound is also familiar to me for another reason: it's the sound of roaches, falling from invisible heights. I turned on my bedside light and out of the dimness I saw a blurred shape running across my comforter (I was in my bed. In my comforter. Also please keep in mind we've already had one visit from the exterminator. And our house is very clean). I jumped out of bed like I'd been burned, muttered a few choice colorful words, grabbed a shoe, swiped the creature off my bed and killed him on my bedroom floor. I then stood in the middle of my room, every light turned on, surveying the room to see where his friends could possibly be hiding. Having had no luck, I am now back in bed, but my lights are still on, and I have the crawlies. It seems I sleep in terror tonight, my friends.

Friday, October 11, 2013

"Is that like AP classes?"

...NO SIR, IT MOST DEFINITELY IS NOT.

The horrifyingly accurate portrayal of the IB program. Oh, high school. How I (DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT) miss you.

This is a must-read, all you IBers, you.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/27-sure-signs-you-were-in-the-ib-program

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Revelations, Realizations

1. Graduate school is hard. Like, really, really, overwhelmingly, one-step-from-the-edge hard. This is for several reasons:
  • We have so much work. I can't even begin to describe it to people who aren't me and my 6 social studies MAT classmates. Basically, every time you feel you get one step ahead, you go to class and discover you're actually four steps behind.
  • I have no idea what I'm doing.
  • I still don't know whether teaching is what I want to do, and whether I will/would even be a good teacher.
  • I hate being bad at things, or feeling like I'm bad at things. And since I have no idea what I'm doing, I'm not good at it. And it's frustrating/annoying/overwhelming/stressful/hard to keep things in perspective/etc. etc.
  • Teaching is hard. Shame on you if you've ever thought otherwise.
  • I feel like I haven't talked to my non-school friends or family in weeks and I rarely ever get to hang with WB (or anyone else! Sorry roomie.) without having to do work. What I'm saying is I have less than zero free time, and I'm losing touch with the people and things I find most important.
2.  Fall is the best season. #sofall

3. Having friends in your graduate program is the best thing ever. Coincidentally, they're also some of the best friends ever. Funny how that works.

4. Fake it til you make it. Or something.

5. I'm incredibly grateful I chose a program that is only 1 year, because I wouldn't be able to do any more than that.

6. As much as I love winter, I have never before in my life been so excited for winter break.

7. I'm taking a mini-vacation with WB next weekend for Fall Break, and it is going to be the best weekend ever. Even if it rains, or it's cold, or we don't enjoy the things we choose to do, or don't have fun (none of these are possible), I won't be bringing ANY schoolwork, and that in itself will make it the best weekend ever. Plus, I really love WB. So that's a bonus.

8. Everything will get done, some way, some how.

9. Lots of people love me, support me, and think I'm going to be an awesome teacher. I don't always believe them - it depends on the day - but I sure am grateful that they think that.

10. Malala is amazing, inspiring, and everything I want to convey in my teaching career:


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oh Ma Gah, Shoes

 Today, I made a fashion booboo. I was wearing a white oxford and pink decorated shorts to class, and decided to wear a pair of pretty pink flats to go with my outfit {seriously, they matched my shorts - and nail polish - dead on. And I don't even like the color pink.}. I very much have a love-hate relationship with flats {mostly hate}, because I can never seem to find the right size that will fit my feet without giving me blisters but also without slipping off. These shoes are no exception. But, I've worn this pair several times in the past, and as long as I put a band-aid over the future rubbing area, it's generally fine.

Not today.

After several hours of being on campus {but mostly sitting in class/in the study room!}, my feet looked like this:


I walked barefoot through campus to get to the student stores, so that I could briefly put on my shoes {ouch ouch ouch!!!} to buy some on-sale, $12, almost-too-small sandals for the rest of the evening.


I almost bought a beautiful grey quarter-zip fleece that I've been coveting for some time {and because I'm ever so slightly chilly now that the sun has gone down}, but since it was $45 I decided I had done enough physical and financial damage {stupidity, really} for one day.

The second I make it home, these shoes are going straight into the "give away" pile. Yowza!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

...And Don't Come Back!

Today, September 25, 2013, I was officially released from physical therapy! Woooop woooop! {Phrase said in the camel's voice from the Geico Hump Day commercial}.

{source}
People tend to think that when you get released from PT, you are totally, 100% well. Ahhh, alas. My pain is still frequent, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and at times frustrating and discouraging. However, today we focus on the positive news that is my progress. Let's say it again, woooop woooop!

{source}

I've actually been in physical therapy for ONE YEAR. Yep, you read that right, peoples. I started therapy in the beginning of October 2012. Things eventually led to surgery, which resulted in more PT. Four people who worked at the clinic when I first started going have moved on to other jobs - that's how long I've been going ;)

I know I'm often down & out about my hip {I'm working on it, I promise!}, but it really is truly remarkable to think back on where I was one year ago at this time {in constant, awful, stabbing pain!}, and where I am now. Ohhhhh yeahhhhh {Kool-Aid man voice.}

{source}

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grad School Update, Day 30

This afternoon, after attending a lecture {I actually went to an invited lecture. That wasn't required or talked about in class. Just something from a newsletter. What is happening to me?!} I was sitting in the graduate student lounge in the education building, which is a nice little room with some tables and couches and a microwave and refrigerator. Anyway, as I'm sitting there among several {scary} PhD students, I click on an icon on my phone and music starts playing even though my phone is on SILENT and no sound should be emitting from it and I wasn't even trying to play music. Despite my best efforts to close all the apps on my phone, of course my fingers got all jumbled and it took me a solid 30 seconds to turn off the music, while I whine "sorrryyyy!!!" and try to ignore the PhD students giving me death stares/embarrassed-for-me laughs.

Who's that person who always makes things awkward?

{source}
Guilty as charged.


Ah, school.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First Day of School!

Today was my first day in school!


This fall, we are spending one day per week observing in the classrooms of our mentor teachers, for whom we will be student teaching in the spring. After just one day of observation, I can say that this method of doing things is a fantastic idea. There are so many things NOT related to teaching that you have to master in a school that it is wonderful to be able to get to know how to use the copier, where to send naughty students, where to make coffee, etc., before you're personally responsible for the learning and well-being of 100-some odd children. And, of course, it's a bonus to be able to get to know the students throughout the year before you take over. Of course, when student teaching comes around and I'm teaching 3 US History courses of varying levels and 2 Honors Civics classes, this will still be me {with slightly less flair}:


I'm in a cool, unique situation and have two mentor teachers {one is currently out on maternity leave}, so I'm not going to be teaching all of the kids I saw today, but Teach B is great. Students like her, she has experience, more flexible/easy-going about some things, more strict on others, super friendly, loves her students.

Also of note today:
- I got several keys, a lanyard, parking spot & permit, and key FOB today; and will have an ID, loaner computer, and school e-mail address next week. I'm important.
- Two 10th grade boys asked me to follow them on Instagram.
- I managed to wear my heels all the way through lunch {mostly sitting down all of this time} before I had to change to my flats.
- I had the forethought to bring flats.
- I now have the teacher's version of the Civics textbook, and it is gigantic. And it has all the answers. I am queen of the world.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Grad School Update, Day 25

This morning I woke up with a 100.5 degree fever. That's not that high, mom says. Forced to attend class from 9am-12pm, because if we miss more than one class, we fail. Get home after shivering through 3 hours of class to find that my fever has gone down a little, but I feel worse, and look like I haven't slept in a week.

What I should be doing this afternoon: reading up on privilege in education and the direct instruction technique.

What I will actually be doing: hoarding apple juice, apple sauce, and popcorn in my bed, watching CSI: Miami, Doctor Who, The Wire, or Sherlock.

Hey. You can't be a good student all the time.

**Author's Update**
This 100.5 degree fever that my mom wasn't worried about turned into a 102.9-degree fever that EVERYBODY was worried about. It lasted for one of the most miserable weekends of my life {behind the post-surgery weekend and the weekend I spent in the ER with abdominal pain}, but I have fully recovered.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grad School Update, Day 21

On Monday, as I was walking to the bus stop to get to class, I somehow managed to get a piece of glass stuck between my sandal and my foot. I started to limp and was in serious pain and was bleeding all over my shoe, but I couldn't stop or turn around and go home because I needed to catch that particular bus to be able to make it to class.

Once I got to the bus stop I was finally able to get the glass out, and my friend in class had a bandaid for me because, mom.

So as you can see, things are going quite well in grad school land!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm Baaaack.... Sort of

Hello, long lost bloggy friends! I am writing this little check-in post as I wait for about 20 minutes before I head off to my first official class, because.... grad school.

I spent the past several weeks trying to psych myself up for school, hardly working, attending country concerts, working on a Raleigh bucket list, driving back and forth to Maryland and to Chapel Hill, packing up my life, unpacking my life, attempting to soak up what is was left of summer, and having repeated anxiety attacks. And now we have arrived.

I have a cute apartment in Chapel Hill and I'm waiting on the arrival of my roomie in a couple of days {hi, AK! Just kidding. You don't know I'm writing about you. Mwa ha ha...}. I thankfully live only 1.1 miles from my best friends and boyfriend, so the little free time I will have will not be spent driving all over creation {goodbye, Raleigh --> Chapel Hill commute!}. And I had orientation yesterday, and let me tell you... they didn't mince any words.

I was fully expecting {and mentally prepared for} student teaching to be an immense drain of time, energy, mental capacity, etc... But I guess I wasn't as prepared for them saying that the spring {i.e. student teaching} might be worse than the fall, that maybe we'll be busier when we are full-time teaching. Yikes!! They told us not to make any plans for Thanksgiving and to tell all of our friends, family, and loved ones that we will be unavailable until next June.

Let me tell you. I got home from orientation and sat in complete silence for a few minutes in my apartment as I tried to process this. As I thought about it, I realized that I would rather be worked hard in the fall and prepared to teach, than to breeze through these classes and show up to student teaching overwhelmed, un(der)prepared, and super frazzled. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

Of course, I had the co-requisite panic attack about what if I hate this program, what if I hate teaching, what if I'm rubbish at teaching, what if I fail/drop out/accidentally fall down the school stairs to my untimely death {just kidding about those last three. except the stairs thing. girlfriend is a clumsy creature}.

Thankfully I have the best family and friends in the world and I know they will be a great support system as I navigate the terrible awful world of graduate school and student teaching. WB has already been a huge blessing and I haven't even really started yet. My hope is that I will enjoy my classes and being in the classroom {we will observe in our classrooms one day per week throughout the fall semester} and that therefore the immense amount of work will seem.... slightly less immense. I am also planning to enforce a rule I hope to use now and in the future when I am employed as a teacher: specifically limiting the times when I am allowed to do work, and when I am not {right now I am thinking after 5pm on Friday and after some as-yet undermined time on Saturday afternoon/evening}, in hopes of keeping my sanity and work/life balance.

Thanks for bearing with me, party people. Let the 4-hour class fiesta begin!

When somebody asks me if I'm ready to start class again...

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Break

Hello, minions. Thank you for bearing with me over the past few weeks. My stomach pain and misery went unexplained for two weeks, but I seem to be more or less back to normal now. My only lingering symptoms are still having a small appetite and not feeling totally myself, but compared to the pain I was in, I feel like a million bucks.

While I've been in absentia, I've made the decision to take a hiatus from blogging. A lot of things are happening that are affecting me emotionally and mentally and I think it is in my best interest to focus on regaining my mental health. Without going into too much detail, there are personal/family matters, work matters, hip matters, and the pitiful state of NC public education {as of last week}, all of which have made the past few months - and especially this summer - the most trying and difficult times in recent memory. I start graduate school in a little less than a month, and as such have decided to spend the rest of my 'summer' getting my head on straight in preparation.

Thanks for your patience. I love this little blog, but I'm finding it challenging for the time being. I hope to be back here soon to share with you my journey of becoming a teacher.... which hopefully won't end with me having to move out of North Carolina to be able to support myself {again, see the new NC budget and the utter destruction of the public education system. I really love NC, but in political decisions, I tend to really hate it.}

In parting, here's a video of minions singing the banana song.


Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Favorite Smells

- air conditioning
- the inside of an ice cream store
- gasoline (just in general. not, like, huffing it, people.)
- new books
- new cars
- sleepy puppy smell


I love them all, but the last one's my favorite.

Woof.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Medical Mystery

Like I mentioned yesterday, I went to see my doctor this morning about my stomach pain. After I finished telling her my story and she did a short exam, the conversation went like this:

Doc: Huh.
Me: {Laughs hesitantly}
Doc: Well, I don't know what's wrong, to be honest.
Me: Oh, great.

I'm a medical mystery.

After some more examination/thought-forming, she decided that it is probably a result of my hip. There is a ligament that connects the hip to the stomach, and she said that maybe it was strained, or somehow irritated with the exercises I was doing last week at therapy. The diagnosis is to continue taking Advil, and hopefully I stay ahead of the pain and it goes away.

We'll see. I hate my stupid hip.

If the pain continues, I likely won't be blogging for the near future. The pain is pretty miserable when it's around, and it makes me not want to - and not able to - do much. Hopefully I will be back up and running in no time and able to tell you more about summertime in the South.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Under the Weather

Hi, readers! {I'm looking at you, SRK.} I'm sorry I've been a little bit MIA this week. Since Tuesday evening I have been dealing with some intense stomach pain that I can't seem to kick. Last night I was up from 3:30-5:30am doubled over and misreable. I'm not sure what the cause is, or how to get rid of it, but I have a doctor appointment tomorrow so hopefully we'll be able to get it sorted out and gone. Boo pain!

{source unknown}


In the meantime, here is a video of a baby goat attack. I very much want to be this lady. {Thanks, WB!}


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Big News

Yep, you guessed it. I am the proud new owner of an iPhone! It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks in terms of technology for me. I've always been a little slow on the technology front... but I took several giant leaps in the past couple of weeks. From nothing to a lot of things. Yikes!

So this is where I upload some of the pictures I've been taking with my brand spankin' new phone... but, as expected, I can't figure out how to make that happen.

So you'll have to wait a little longer..... Though I can share this one with you from our mini-friend reunion this past weekend in Chapel Hill, because it was already online. And I am good at the internet.


As a side note, go Andy Murray! I am so ecstatic that he won Wimbledon. Hurrah!

Monday, July 8, 2013

#Natitude

Last Monday night, SRK and I went to Nationals Park to see the Nats take on the Milwaukee Brewers. I grew up an Orioles fan, and Nats Park is still fairly new, so I'd never been to a game there before! I was happy to have SRK there for my first experience.


We got downtown about 1.5 hours before gametime, so we spent some time at the Bullpen, an outdoor area right next to the stadium that has beer, mixed drinks, music, and cornhole {I heard someone call it 'bags.' Shame on northern souls.} It was a neat place!


The weather forecast made us a little leery - okay, a lot leery - predicting scattered storms throughout the evening. The rain was fairly constant during the day, but stopped around mid-afternoon and luckily held off for great weather at the baseball game. Clouds be gone!


Our tickets cost $2. Yep, two bucks. The service charge for ordering online cost more than the actual tickets. Our seats weren't bad, and it was a beautiful day. Definitely worth it! I was surprised at how empty the ballpark was. Maybe because it was a Monday night, or because it was a holiday week?

obligatory selfie


Bryce Harper - the 20-year old phenom - just returned from the DL, and this was his first game back. He is a fan favorite, so it was fun to see his return to the lineup! He didn't disappoint the crowd - he bats third, and on his first pitch in the first inning, he hit a solo home run. Bryce is back!


The game wound up as a 10-5 Nationals win. There was a lot of action and scoring to keep it interesting, so it was a great game to be at! It was also Dollar Dog night, so SRK took advantage of the $1 hot dogs. The beer was pretty good, too. :)


I will always be an Orioles fan, simply because I'm from Maryland and grew up with the O's {and Cal Ripken!} and the Nationals didn't exist until I was in high school. But, I could totally get on board with the Natitude movement. The stadium is beautiful, the fans seem loyal and fun {despite the shallow turnout}, and I love that the team continues to grow and improve. Plus, Natitude is a pretty super pun. And I am a big supporter of puns.


I see a Nationals t-shirt in my future!

Questions of the day:
Have you ever been to an MLB game?
Do you root for your hometown team?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Five Thumbs Up Friday

I have some exciting technology news that I want to share with you guys... but it's going to have to wait until next week {I'll try not to forget!}.

In the meantime, I've rounded up five fantastically patriotic pooches to celebrate today's five thumbs paws up Friday. Have a great rest of the holiday weekend!

{source}

{source}

{source}

{source}

{source}

Now please excuse me while I go play some more Candy Crush... {hint!}

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July! I hope you are all taking time off work, celebrating, and enjoying this day {preferably with barbeque and beer in hand!}

{source}

I know that politics and personal feelings often get in the way, but despite everything I am always proud to be an American. I love this country and am proud to be a part of it! Thank you to everyone who works hard to protect these freedoms that we hold so dear.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Life, Lately

Hello people! I've been in Maryland for about a week now, and some exciting and fun things have been happening.

Georgetown Cupcakes awaiting my arrival

Dog man, also... awaiting my arrival

Complimentary dessert at mom's birthday lunch

Working in mom's office & feeling important for an afternoon

Dinner at O'Donnells for the last time before they close
Rum buns to-go, also from O'Donnells

Playing with this adorable fuzz ball

Transferring data from my old computer to the new one

Babysitting these two munchkins

Visiting with our psuedo-grandmother
I hope you're all having a wonderful short week! Work has been extremely slow lately so I'm looking for some different ways to keep myself busy. So far... no ideas. Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday! Happy birthday, 'Murica!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Touring Around Chapel Hill

On SRK's second day in North Carolina, I wanted to show her my favorite place on earth - Chapel Hill. The day started out pretty rainy, but it stopped by mid-afternoon {sort of} so I took her over to Chapel Hill for the grand tour of UNC's campus. Turns out... the rain hadn't stopped. We took our tour in the rain and got caught in a downpour on the way to dinner, so it's a good thing my campus is always beautiful!


I showed her some of the places I frequented while I was in school, and made sure to take her by the landmarks for which we are famous: our bell tower and the beautiful Old Well. In the springtime, the Old Well is surrounded by scores of pink flowers and it is one of the most gorgeous sights! The legend goes that if you drink from the Old Well {the fountain actually works} on the first day of class, you'll have good luck for the rest of the year.


I treated SRK to dinner at Top Of the Hill, a Chapel Hill staple and a town landmark. It's both restaurant and brewery, so both the beer and food are great. The restaurant is on the third floor of a building overlooking the center of downtown Chapel Hill, so it really is at the top of the hill. {Chapel Hill itself, including the campus, is on a hill. If that wasn't obvious....}

#twinsies
 After dinner, we headed over the boys' house to get ready for the evening. Several of our friends met us there, and we had a lovely group head out to Franklin Street to Goodfellows. Goodefellows is our favorite go-to bar, and I figured if I was going to show SRK Chapel Hill, we might as well do it right.

waiting in line
We ended up having to wait for about 20 minutes to be let into the bar - they have a one-in-one-out policy - which was annoying, but worth it once we got inside. We had a great time! {Though we're always really bitter, because when we went to Goodfellows during college, there was never a line. We loved it, but I guess it wasn't that popular yet or something. So basically what I'm saying is that we are cool and started a trend.}

SRK left on Sunday afternoon after a fantastic breakfast at the Flying Biscuit {raspberry french toast, anyone?}. It was so wonderful that she came down for the concert and for a visit to my adoptive state. We never got a chance to exchange visits while we were in college, so I was so happy to still be able to show her my beloved Chapel Hill - and introduce her to all of my friends!

Needless to say, it was a fantastic weekend. So much so that I have a serious case of the Mondays and spaced out and missed my work conference call with my boss today. Luckily she wasn't mad and it got rectified quickly. Whoops...


In closing: Go Heels, Go America.

window of the UNC student stores

Questions of the Day:

Do you still visit your college town?
Have you ever been to Chapel Hill, NC?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Life Is Good Today: Zac Brown Band Recap

Good morning! Happy short week!

A few months ago, a big group of my friends bought tickets to see Zac Brown Band, and the night finally arrived last Friday! SRK drove down from Maryland to join us, and my friends were all able to get off work early to meet at my apartment around 3:30pm. We got over to the venue a little after 4, and got our tailgating area all set up!

me & SRK
One of our friends has a portable grill, so we grilled burgers, dogs, and chicken for dinner. We set up cornhole as well as table games, so there was plenty of opportunity for activities for all! This was truly tailgating done right.

my favorite people
We got into the concert a little after 8:00, which turned out to be perfect timing. The opening acts had finished {we'd heard they weren't worth seeing, and it took a while to gather our group and put away all of our stuff} and it was only 10-15 minutes or so before ZBB came on.


And, as usual, they were fantastic. Ever since I first saw them, I have not been able to get over how truly talented the band members are as musicians. When they play instrumental solos, especially my favorite of their covers - The Devil Went Down to Georgia - it is just unreal.

fiddler/violinist
Their concerts are always so fun because they play a wide selection of their own songs, but they also do several covers. They regularly play the aforementioned Devil Went Down to Georgia, as well as Sweet Emotion, but on Friday they also did a couple of metal songs. The crowd went nuts for these songs {and it was cool to see how versatile they are!}, though I didn't appreciate them as much as most everyone else. {Apparently one of the songs was Enter Sandman by Metallica. Whatever.}

during The Devil Went Down to Georgia
I love Zac Brown's beanie. Absolutely love it. My most favorite man with a beanie in the whole world.

After the concert, several of my friends came back to my house to spend the night. It was fun to have a little sleepover! The concert was amazing and I would recommend that even if you are only a casual ZBB fan to go see them live. It is so so worth it. Our group has gone two years in a row, so it looks like it's going to be an annual tradition as long as ZBB keeps coming here - and I am very, very excited about that!

Question of the Day:

Have you ever seen ZBB in concert? 
Who is your favorite act to see live?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five Thumbs Up Friday

Happy Friday! It seemed like this week went by with lightning speed. I think it has something to do with having had such a busy weekend last weekend, followed by two full, busy days in NC before making the drive to MD. Coming to Maryland always makes me feel like I'm on vacation!

Things making me happy this week...


Thumbs Up: I did some work at my mom's office yesterday afternoon, on my new Mac (!), accompanied by a delicious dessert. I felt really important and cool. My new computer is awesome, by the way.


Thumbs Up: I'm in Maryland.

{source}
Thumbs Up: These beauties were waiting for me when I arrived on Wednesday. It was my mom's birthday on Tuesday - mom's birthday = my cupcakes!


Thumbs Up: These two cuties were waiting for me, just like this, when I woke up this morning.


Thumbs Up: And best of all, Tuesday was the day I have been waiting for for many long, dark, months. I ran. My therapist let me do about 5 minutes of intervals: walk for 30-45 seconds, run for 30 seconds, repeat. I ran a total of 2.5 minutes, and was incredibly sore the next day, but it didn't hurt. I could tell that my hip was reacting to the running - I was very conscious of it being there - but it wasn't a painful feeling, necessarily. Thus, as promised:


Enjoy your final weekend of June! I cannot believe how quickly this month has flown by. I'm not complaining!