I'm sitting in an airport right now, and after grades have come in, I'm finally starting to unwind. I've been working from home as much as I can. I'm fighting off a cold that's been slowly approaching my immune system for what feels like weeks now. And I'm very warm. What I'm telling you is that this is a perfect time for reflection.
This semester started out pretty crazy. Noelle and Lauryn and I moved into our first apartment with our friend Megan, and my momma and Ben came to help with that move in process. We have an ADORABLE apartment, and we're finally settling in and finding perfect decorations and things of that nature. We live in one of the student housing options kind of far from campus, so I've been walking to and from class each day, sometimes more than once a day. Overall, it's a pretty nice setup.
(Click on the photos to see larger, not cut-off versions.)
I think I published a blog post back in September (?) that had pictures of my room, but I'll add some pictures to spice up this post as well. My apologies if they're repeat pictures.
We invested in some very cool wall art, and we're just looking for frames as of late. They're either hometowns or as close as we could get. They'll go above our couch next to the Michael Scott wall.
As a lot of you know, I applied for and was accepted to the Gaines Fellowship of the Humanities at UK, and this semester was our first semester of our seminar. I could go on for days about that, but the gist of it is that twelve intelligent 20-ish year olds sit around a table with a professor and talk about intelligent stuff. We did a unit about Lexington as a city, one on philosophy, one about monuments and memorials, and one on Proust. It's a good amount of work, especially on top of a normal course load. I was taking 17 credit hours this semester, so it was a little bit flustering to have Gaines on top of everything, but it was a really great first semester and start to the program. I've met some really great people because of it, including two of my now very best friends, Andrew and Tori. For them I am grateful.
In October, I manned a Mercersburg table at an event for middle schoolers to check out their private/boarding school options. While there, I was offered a job interview by a man who came to my table to check it out for his daughter, which led to me getting my new job at St. John & Myers Antique and Custom Jewelry. I've been working there since Halloween, and I love it. My title is e-Commerce Inventory Specialist, and I essentially sell our jewelry online. We have many different platforms, all of which I'm either working to perfect or to simply post more. I've also been in charge of social media, and you can follow all of my work on our Facebook. I'm happily handing off that baton to my pal Olivia who just started working with us this past week. I took on a lot when I first started at SJM and it'll be a nice relief to have Olivia take over some of that. She put all of our very cool logos on our photos that you can see on Facebook, and she's going to help me with a lot of that kind of stuff. I really love my job.
Things with Ben are good, and since a lot of people ask about him, it's worth it to include a section. He's graduating in the spring, and I couldn't be more proud of what he's accomplished or where he's headed. We're actually sitting in the airport together as I write this. We found a flight that stops in Denver before heading to Phoenix, so I'll get dropped off with my momma. We spent a few extra days together after the end of the semester, which was very nice. It's great to get to spend a week with him here and there. At the end of the month, I'm flying to Phoenix to visit his family and his friends. I'll also be hanging out with my dad. Since Ben already opened his gift, I can announce it publicly because I'm excited and I nailed it this year: we're going to a Suns game, and we have killer tickets. Also, I got him a Devin Booker jersey, and I won't stop telling him about the time I met Booker my senior year of high school, which was the year he joined the Suns. ANYWAY, I just love spending time with him (Ben, that is), and I'm glad I get to see him so much over break. Here are some pictures of him because I love him and I think he is the sweetest human on the planet.
The semester ended well. I had some trouble with Italian, and I'm really grateful for my Professoressa for helping me so much this semester. I ended with a 4.0 (17 credit hours! Good Lord!), and I worked my ass off for it while working at SJM and doing all the other things it takes to be human (eating right, working out, etc.), so I have earned putting it in my blog post. I've been thinking about doing a blog post about successfully doing college, so let me know if that's something you'd be interested in reading about. I do the most when it comes to school, and I'm always ready to share my tips and tricks.
I got some skin cancer taken out of my leg in August, and just today (I'm writing this post over a few days), I went in and they punched out one on my back. In case that doesn't make sense to you, because "punched out" didn't quite come across well to my dad, they took a knife that's 6mm wide that is basically a hole punch and took a chunk of my skin out. This one was a mole that I'd gotten off in May that had grown back. Hopefully it's gone for good this time. And just to remind everyone to get their full-body checks, here are some photos of my before and after scars from my leg. It's healed even more now, but it will take about a year (August 2019) until it is fully healed and not purple and stuff.
Lauryn, as many of you will find out in her recent Facebook posts, will be going abroad next semester to London. So, basically, what that means is Noelle and I might not leave the house until May. Lauryn left us alone during finals week last fall and we started watching The Secret Life of an American Teenager... it was a dark time.
I'm still on my health kick... because it's just the way I am now. I don't anticipate not being on a health kick for more than a few days ever again. I've let it go a little bit as the semester has come to a close, and I've been relaxing. I've decided that this break will be my opportunity to jump back into it, and I have a decent schedule next semester that will give me some time to squeeze in some extra workouts. I started making this weird stir-fry-esque dish that's become my staple. It's ground turkey, brown rice, a heck ton of veggies, sometimes black beans if there's some in our pantry, and some sour cream. It's very good. I can make more posts out of that if you guys are interested. I'm going to try a new technique with eating and working out that does the muscle-gain/fat-loss thing simultaneously instead of just focusing on fat-loss. It's going to take me some time to get it down and make it a routine, but I'm excited to start on it and get back on track with my eating and exercise.
I have some books on my agenda for over the break. I also have something cool coming up that I put together for Gaines. I've been working for the better part of the semester on it, and I think it's going to turn out really nicely once I put the finishing touches on it.
Next semester is going to be great. I'm focusing on history, Gaines and Italian. No random box-checking classes. Just things I like to do.
I want to say thank you to all the people who have been reading our blog posts for the last (almost) two years. I can't believe it's been that long since we created laurynandcathryn.com at our favorite table at Starbucks in Willy T. I also can't believe that we're halfway done our junior year of college.
For now, though, I'm sitting in the Cincinnati airport. We're at an abandoned gate because ours is crowded, and we have about 40 minutes until we board. There's Christmas music playing quietly and it's way too warm in here. I can smell the Starbucks around the corner, so no complaints out of me. It's been a fine end to 2018, and I'm excited for 2019 and all the things it may bring!