Friday, May 15, 2009

Finally.... Nice Weather!

I'm so excited to finally have some nice weather to enjoy!! This constant rain nonsense was really getting old.

This weekend, like every other one lately it seems, will be busy. Tomorrow is Mom's birthday, as well as Sam's first birthday. We are going over to Jeremiah's and Amy's house to celebrate tomorrow afternoon with the whole family. I'm so excited to see him again, and to also see Emma, James, and Mandy!

I've been preparing all week for Mom's birthday. She doesn't really like to celebrate her birthday, but after all of the work she has put in lately to prepare for my graduation birthday, I want to spoil her a little. Nathan and I got her a green iPod, since she is always walking for exercise and can listen to it while she walks. Josh got her a Cabela's lounge chair she's been wanting forever. She's going to love it! Dad got her a laptop a few months ago; she already got to open it though.

I'm planning on getting up really early to decorate the house in the morning; just some fun streamers, a banner, and some balloons. Just because she won't be expecting it in the least. And because its fun!

I'm excited to be able to use my new camera to take pictures of all the fun this weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Land of Aloha

During my graduation party, I spent a fair amount of time opening gifts from people. Most of the gifts were in the form of money or gift cards. There were 3 or 4 actual presents to unwrap, and the rest were cards.

My boss and her husband both attended graduation and my party, and I was so appreciative of that! I have worked for them since October 2004. It's been almost 5 years! They are such caring, supportive individuals, and finding them has been a blessing. Kathy is from Hawaii, and now owns the house there she grew up in. They travel back there several times a year, and every time they go, I joke about sneaking into her suitcase to go with them.

Fast forward to the end of opening my presents. The last card on the table is from Kathy; I could recognize the handwriting on the envelope. Inside the card was this simple message:

"Way to go! We're proud of you! Now you won't have to sneak into our bag - you can bring your own! Aloha!"

Also inside was a single piece of paper, folded into quarters. I opened it up, and this was my reaction:

It was my confirmation for my flight on June 10th from Seattle International Airport to Honolulu, Hawaii, with me turning on June 22nd.

Kathy and her husband are sending me to Hawaii!!

I went over to them and hugged both of them, with tears in my eyes. They then told me I could bring a friend! It was the most incredible gift, from two people who owe nothing to me.

After hugging them, they walked over to Josh with me, and they started talking about when his flight was scheduled for. I was very confused at this point, seeing as how Josh just started a new job and I assumed he couldn't take any time off of work.

Turns out, EVERYBODY was in on the surprise, and Josh already had his ticket booked to come with me!


I am so excited, and excited doesn't even begin to describe it. We have already started making plans for what to do while we are over there, including visiting the Honolulu Zoo, snorkeling, going to a luau, and visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial. This is even talk about flying to Maui for the day!

I am still in shock over all of this, and have started working out like crazy to get ready. I'll be posting more details and updates as I get them!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Present To Myself

I figured after graduating college, I deserved to treat myself to a little present. And that is exactly what I did yesterday.

I went out and bought myself a Nikon D40 camera, with a 18-55mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens. And I am in love.

I have no clue what I am doing for the most part, but I am enjoying learning. I took a bunch of pictures yesterday, of just completely random stuff. I changed settings, edited some of the pictures, and basically just played.

I find it so amazing how much you can change a picture by just adjusting a few settings. It's incredible!

So my next task is to start learning more.... I'm going to find some books, maybe a class, and definitely lots of people to help me.

Here are some of my "playing around" pictures from yesterday:

I began experimenting with aperture, not knowing exactly what I was doing. Or rather, not having a clue as to what I was doing. I took the first photo of these two in color (obviously), and then using the editing functions on the camera itself, changed it to black and white. Kind of fun!
Same thing with these two photos.

All of these were taken at the Rose Garden at Priest Point Park.

Josh's mom's birthday is in June, and her one wish is to have pictures taken at Tumwater Fall's Park of Josh and his sister, Amy, together. My goal is to be able to take those for her! But first, I need more practice.

I have considered creating a photography blog in the distant future, to keep all of my photo posts in one place, but that is just an idea for now.

I love photography!


Graduation was amazing. Awesome. Spectacular. And I loved every minute of it. There was one hour of lining up on the Main Staircase of Old Main, 2 hours of ceremony, and many more hours of celebrating afterwards!!

These pictures are of me and the family before graduation, in front of our house.

This picture is of all the seniors, lining up on the Main Staircase of Old Main, before walking over to the Pavilion.

Next, pictures from right after graduation.

I will have to post pictures from during graduation later, they aren't on this thumb drive, and I am posting from work. I will also include pictures from the graduation party later.


This is the first of three posts I will be doing today; I have way too many pictures and much too much information to fit into just one post!

Friday night was my Baccalaureate and Hooding Ceremony. It took place in the Abbey Church at Saint Martin's, and parents were invited. The Abbey has become such a special place to me; it is a sanctuary, where I spend most of my time praying, and where I most often hear God's voice speaking back to me. I was so glad that Baccalaureate was held there, for those reasons. Mom, Dad, and Josh all attended.

The ceremony entailed prayer, singing, and graduates receiving their hoods. These hoods, worn over graduation gowns, signify which subject your degree was in. My hood is outlined in a bright golden yellow, with red and white on the inside, and a black bottom. The yellow is for biology, the red and white are for SMU, and the black is just the bottom color. Everyone had the black and red and white; the other color was what was different.

Here are some pictures from afterwards:

Me, on the backside of Old Main

Kathleen and I right afterwards. We've been in the Biology program together for the whole 3 years I've been at the Saint.

Josh and I afterwards. I was so excited he was there!

Mom, Dad, and I. Nathan was at a birthday party, and would have been bored out of his mind!

Myself and Father Benedict. I had to have one last picture of us!

The whole ceremony was very special, and it got me really excited for Saturday's graduation.

Next is a post all about graduation!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Coming Soon!

Look for a very lengthy post tomorrow with BIG news from this weekend, plus tons of pictures!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Little Quarter-Life Crisis

I'm done. Finished. Complete.

My Bachelor degree is all wrapped up with a little bow on top. I have taken my last final, submitted my last papers, and paid my University parking ticket. The only thing left is to walk across that stage, and pick up my diploma holder (our actual diplomas will be mailed next week).

Now that all that is over and done with, I'm struck with a sense of crisis. What will I do with my life now?!
  • Graduate school? (Maybe.... that is yet to be decided)
  • Work? (Most definitely. But where?)
  • Time off? (Probably not.... I love working too much. Plus, I'd feel guilty leaving my patients.)
  • Move out of my parents' house? (That is a BIG goal of mine.... I'm ready to move out. I think they are ready too.)
  • Buy a new car? (I'd love too. But don't know what I want, or how much I should really spend.)
  • Volunteer? (This is a priority of mine... but there are too many places to choose from! I need to whittle down my choices into a select few.)
  • Dedicate more time to my faith and God? (This is #1 for me. I feel like I finally will have the time to pray, read my Bible, and attend Bible study like I have wanted to.)
But I feel like I still need to do more. Like just doing all those things isn't enough. I'm so used to spending all my time occupied with doing things, that just working alone isn't enough to satisfy me. I need to stay busy.

So, I've decided, after much thought (okay, not much really; more like just a whim), that I want to take up a new hobby.

Several people I know are into this hobby, and I respect the work, time, and effort they put into it so much. They are able to create beautiful art; art that inspires me to want to do the same. I know it will take a lot of work, but I feel like now is the perfect time for me to start.

So, for a graduation present to myself, I am purchasing the first major tool need for this hobby. It's a big commitment, but one that I am so excited to play with, learn about, and experiment on.

So, look for a post very soon regarding my purchase and all the fun I plan to have with it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Start of Summer

Just a quick post of some of the fun things I've done lately.

First off, Josh and I went camping last weekend with Jess and Tyler at Ike Kinswa on Mayfield. Here are a few pictures:

Me in front of our GIANT tent.

Tyler and Josh looking for any other Sea-Doo's on the lake.

Josh playing on the water on the Sea-Doo. It was freezing cold!!

Josh came over to the campsite on the Sea-Doo.

Mason playing in the water. He wanted to ride with Josh!

Mason, all wet, trying to escape out of the car.

Josh's cold weather Sea-Doo wear.

Then, last Saturday, I surprised Josh with tickets to the Mariner's game against Oakland. It was "old school" night, and they wore old Rainier's uniforms, and Oakland wore old Oak's uniforms. It was so neat!! Here is a picture from our original seats:

That's Griffey!

And the view after we were able to move down a few levels.

It's been a busy and fun past couple of weeks.... and I'm really getting excited for summer to officially get here!!

Not Me! Monday

I am currently addicted to the blog of a lady known as MckMama. Her stories are hilarious, and touching as well. She has a baby named Stellan, who suffers from heart problems. They just returned home after a long stay in Boston at Children's Hospital. Check her out - she's worth following! (You can also follow her on Twitter!)

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. This weekly feature is where she shares funny and embarrassing confessions of things she has "not" done recently. She also invites readers to share their stories.

As a personal commitment to start blogging more, I have decided to try to mimic her weekly feature. Here goes my first shot!

First of all, I certainly did not exaggerate my cold symptoms on Friday so I could get off work early.

Secondly, I did not bribe Josh into watching "Bride Wars" with me Friday night, and while not watching it, I did not fall asleep due to the large dose of Nyquil I did not take.

Also, I do not follow a certain blogger on Twitter, which does "not" make me feel like a stalker.

And, I most definitely did not skip writing a paper last night in order to go watch "Obsessed" with Josh. No way. Which means I can't tell you that it is AWESOME, because I didn't see it, right? Thought so.

So that's it! My first Not Me! Monday post! Nothing too terribly exciting, but hey, it's a start, right?

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's The Final Countdown....

This is it. The end of college. Maybe just for now, maybe forever.

Yesterday was my last day of class at Saint Martin's University. I have two finals next week, and then graduation on May 9th.

It's strange how I've gone from being so excited about being done, to be very sad about it. Saint Martin's is a large part of my life, and the thought of no longer walking those creaking, uneven halls everyday, or sitting at my desk in the T.U.B. working on paperwork for A.S.S.M.U., or checking my email a million times a day, bothers me a little bit. That university is my home away from home.

In fact, my responsibilities there are what made me decide to get a Blackberry. Instead of having to get on the computer several times a day to check my Saint Martin's email, I simply get my email delivered to my phone. I can then read and respond to emails as soon as they come in, which is all hours of the day (and night). This means I am (almost) literally attached to my phone at all times. It never leaves me. We are a team, so to speak. This is also the reason why I am unable to "turn off" my brain when it comes to school. Even last weekend camping, I needed to check my phone for emails that needed my attention. Since everyone knows I have my Blackberry and check it like an addiction, they automatically assume I will respond immediately. This problem is only increased by the fact that I do, in fact, respond immediately. Emails that used to sit in my inbox until I had access to my computer, now follow me around wherever I am. But I like that.

I like feeling important; like I am a vital part of the functionality of the Associated Students of Saint Martin's University, and the Student Health Center.

And I think one reason I am so sad about graduating is, I won't be important to that school anymore. The university will go on just fine without me, as will ASSMU. New Senate members have been elected, I have appointed my replacement, and they have held their first meeting. But I have not yet cleaned out my desk, or taken all my documents off of my office computer, or handed over my precious binders that I have so meticulously kept organized for the last two years. More importantly, I am not ready to hand over my responsibilities. I feel as though they are mine, not anybody else's.

This is something I need to work on. And soon. Because come next Saturday, I am completing my journey at Saint Martin's University.