Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Other Life...

Have you ever taken a moment and dreamed
of what your life would be like if you had chosen a different path--
a different major, a different zip code, a different way of life?

As I sit here surrounded by the pages of my Biochemistry notes--
surrounded by confusing symbols, diving into this completely foreign language,
my own personal oblivion, really--
I can't help but wonder how my life could be different at this point in time.

When I was growing up,
I was drawn to journalism and writing.
While most students at school hated all of the technical rules
of the English language,
I loved taking my English and Literature classes.
Perhaps it doesn't shine in my blog posts,
(you'll have to forgive me, it has been a couple years since I've taken an English course)
but I really do enjoy reading and writing.
Whenever I watched movies growing up,
I aspired to be that polished, independent woman,
gracing the streets of a big city.
In these fantasies,
I attended an Ivy League, preferably Yale,
where all of the teachers adored me.
I dressed in pleated skirts and argyle sweaters,
always a non-fat latte in hand.

In my free time,
I leisurely flipped through the pages of my favorites like
The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.

I pictured myself confidently walking into
the office,
where I was the most elite writer.
my boss loved me just as much as my teachers at Yale.

How perfect!
This is about the time where I am brought back to reality.
What is that reality again?
The reality is that my Biochemistry book
is still sitting here...
staring at me...
taunting me...
making me feel inferior.

Did I mention that I have my first Biochemistry test this Friday?
Did I also mention that I couldn't tell you the difference between a phi or psi angle?
Now is probably not the time to be daydreaming about the life I didn't chose.
However it does sure seem like the perfect opportunity to be envious of all of
you out there living my former dream.

While science classes tend to discourage me,
I just need to keep trusting that I have chosen the right path.
So dietetics school it is...
Oh and if you have some free time,
say a little prayer for my Biochem test this week...
or at least my sanity.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Week without a coffee shop stop...

As I have mentioned,
this is my first year living off_campus.
I must say,
it blows the dorms out of the waters.
I have been loving the extra space, time with new roommates,
the ability to have alone time in my own room, cooking my own meals,
and naps.
Well, as far as those naps go, they may be a con to living off-campus.
Naps and I have been meeting a tad bit too frequently for the likes of my productivity.
Let's just say, if I were a full-fledged textile factory,
the CEO would not be too impressed with my output.
Which leads me to my desperate need for coffee lately.

Mmm coffee.

This is the part of my post where I may admit
to missing my flex-dollars for the school eating facilities.
Ohh Java City,
you and I had some good times.
Your smoothies and chai lattes never disappointed.
I never even had to think about how expensive you were.
I just pulled out that magical pre-paid meal plan card
and BAM!
You were in my hands.
There was no guilt of spending 4 bucks on coffee.

Living off-campus,
I am starting to realize how much I took that convenience for granted.
Sure, I can make my own coffee at home,
but there is something about having someone prepare a chai latte for me
that is more appealing.
my debit card has been getting too much of a workout from this habit.
I have found myself at every coffee shop in this town over the course of just a few short
weeks of school.
Sure, a treat is good every now and then,
but those 4 dollar drinks add up.
So this week,
I set a lofty goal for myself:
No coffee purchases.
That's right,
I have to make my own coffee all week long.
It's a hard knock life,
I know, I know.
While I have been tempted to stop at the Mission Coffee House on
my bike rides home,
I have actually found that I don't need those specialty coffee stops so frequently.
I think this week will show me that lattes should only be an occasional treat,
instead of an everyday routine.

How are you cutting back or saving in your daily life?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Will Never Be Too Old for...

While college is a time of transition--
a time of growing and maturing--
it is also a reminder to enjoy the simple things in life
and not always take life too seriously.

While I may have outgrown some things...
like this Halloween bear costume...
I'm the chub-ster on the right
There are other things that I will never get too old for...

Here are just a few things that come to mind...

Crunching through the leaves on a crisp Fall day...

Splashing through the puddles after a pouring rain...

Spending the best of days with my mom...

Making a fool of myself...
(this one is not really by choice...
I just can't seem to avoid it)

Rough housing with my family...
My brother, Erik and cousin, Jonathan and I at Christmas

Anticipating an event with pure excitement...
(more excitement than socially acceptable, rather)

Feeling satisfaction when that event is crossed off my bucket list...

Feeling like a sophisticated "grown-up" when drinking anything from a wine glass...
Sparkling grapefruit juice anyone?

Taking advantage of free stuff...
(Catch me NOW over at Chasing Birdies for a Giveaway)

Feeling loved when people comment/read/follow my blog...
That's YOU, yes YOU!!
Whoever is reading this,
you truly make my day!

What are some things that you will never be too old for?
I would love to hear from you in the comments, Twitter,
or email (

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just a Rubber Ducky...lost at sea

Did you know that a horrific event happened back in 1992?
No that was not the year I was born...
1991 was that glorious year.
Rather, in 1992, a shipping crate full of 28,000 rubber bath toys--
rubber duckies--
crashed on its journey from Hong Kong to the U.S.
Can you imagine?
My baths must have been so lonely--
no rubber ducky.
I would have sang,
"Wash cloth, you're the one!
You make bath time so much fun."
It just really does not have the same ring to it.

The funny thing about this rubber ducky story is that years later
people have been finding these toys washed on shore.
They have been found in the likes of Hawaii, Alaska, South America, Australia,
the Pacific Northwest, the Arctic, Scotland, and Newfoundland.
Let's be honest,
those duckies had other plans when they got on that boat in Hong Kong back in 1992.
A map of the destinations of the rubber duckies

I had never heard of this rubber ducky tale
until I went to church at the University Lutheran Center this morning.
Pastor Bob reminded us of how we are not much different than these unfortunate duckies at sea.
No matter how long we are lost at sea,
we eventually find our path, with a little help,
and make it home,
wherever that may be.

this passage couldn't have come at a more appropriate time in my life.
Have you ever had those moments where you feel so lost?
You feel lonely, but don't feel like socializing.
You feel anxious and stressed, but have no motivation.
You feel so tired, but you can't sleep.
That has been me lately.
I'm that ducky lost at sea.
Fortunately for me,
God has a way of reaching out to us when we need Him most.
While I'm still not quite myself and haven't fallen into my routine at school,
I have found much comfort, especially today.
Church has a way of comforting me.
While I went to church this morning as usual,
I also attended a more contemporary service, Oasis, this evening
with a roommate and some friends.
I felt so at home at that service.
The slogan on the card I received for Oasis stated
"rest. renew. redemption."
That's exactly how I felt afterwards:
rested, renewed, and redeemed.
Each day, I am amazed at how God mysteriously works
to make us whole again,
and today was no exception.
As we enter another week,
I hope you are feeling as rested, renewed and redeemed as I now feel.
If not,
I pray that you allow God to reach out to you.
I promise,
you will feel a million times lighter.
And if you are that rubber ducky lost at see,
like myself,
isn't it time we come to shore?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Transition from Summer Rays to Falling Leaves

Up here in good ol' South Dakota,
we finally had some cooler weather today--
the kind of weather that makes an Autumn lover,
like myself,
very anxious for the approaching season change.
I realize that we have only used a few days of
September thus far,
but I can't help but giddily anticipate the crisp, fall days to come.
I must still face many hot September days,
but a girl needs to have something
to look forward to, right?

Tonight, as I sat with friends around a campfire at church,
it felt like the perfect transition from basking in the summer sun
to crunching through the falling leaves with a
Starbucks pumpkin spice latte in hand

and warm boots on feet.
boots boots boots boots boots boots boots boots boots

While procrastinating taking a break from writing my
Food Science lab report today,
I wandered over to Pinterest to find some Autumn inspiration.
I found this pin and it couldn't have summed up my excitement more...

I love summer as much as the next student,
but it just does not quite compare to Autumn,
in my humble opinion.

So bring on the cool weather,
oh and bring on a few extra paychecks for all of the new clothes
I am drooling over.
Speaking of drooling,
I should probably amp up my workout routine for all of the
fall foods and drinks I am actually drooling over.
Have I ever told you how much I love Thanksgiving?
Well I'm tellin' ya now!
That is the day I bring shame to my dietetics education.
I will be dreaming of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes,
and pumpkin pie tonight.
Sweet, sweet dreams.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Flavor This, Food Industry

The past couple of years, I haven't had many classes
where I have felt the need to regurgitate what I learn to you all.
(If that isn't a pretty picture,
I'm not sure what is)

Unless you really would like me to explain
the physiology behind why we breathe,
then I guess I could take the time to fill you in.
However, I'm guessing at the end of the day,
you don't log onto your computer to unwind by
reading about pressure changes in the lungs.
I may lose a few of my precious followers.
But this year,
I am finally in my core classes.
This means,
I am learning about subjects that I actually care about.
Thank heavens!
In fact, the day I am finished with chemistry forever
is likely the day I take a victory lab around my college campus.
Goodbye, chemistry...You will not be missed.
Before I jump the gun,
I do need to finish that course first...
but in the meantime,
I thought I would share some information with you all from
my Food Science class.
To give you a little introduction to this class,
here is my teacher:

I did not snap a picture of him and
edit it this way.
He actually included this picture with his biographical information.
(I like this guy already.)
He even insisted on taking a class picture for  the first day of class.
I walked in, expecting him to whip out any ordinary digital camera.
Boy was I wrong!
The man had the flashing lights with the umbrellas set-up
(I realize they have a proper name,
but I don't know the lingo)

and he had a fancy Nikon camera with all kinds of lenses.
So we all said "Cheese.."
I am on the far left.
I can't remember the last time I took a class picture.
Probably second grade.

We have only had two class sessions and lab,
but my professor emails incessantly.
Here is a video we were asked to watch for class discussion tomorrow:;storyMediaBox

I love 60-minutes!
Although I must say, I miss the Dan Rather days.
If you watched the video,
it really did provide some food for thought.
(Ohh I'm so punny!)
Those flavorists are hijacking our brains, folks.
So the next time I consume an entire bag of chips,
I guess I can just blame it on those darn flavorists.
Or that 5-lbs I gained from random stress eating last week,
(I wish I were kidding)
yeah, I'm blaming that on the flavorists too.
Here's an idea for you flavorists out there,
make chocolate taste like dirt.
The current flavor has been seducing me a bit too much lately.

While the food industry may not change
and neither will my cravings for sugar,
I guess we will all just have to learn good portion control
and self-control.
This girl could definitely use a lecture on self-control some most days.
In the meantime,
I guess I will go indulge in some fresh carrots
and really stick it to those flavorists.
Take that!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Places You have Come to Fear the Most

When asked what our biggest fear may be,
we often answer objects or things...
Spiders, snakes, and heights are
just a few that may jump into your mind.

But at the end of the day,
are these things truly what keep you awake at night?
Do you lay in bed thinking,
"Oh my goodness!
What if a Gardner snake is slithering in the grass of my neighbors' yard?"
Probably not.
If those are your thoughts in the middle of the night,
then I am truly sorry for doubting your fear.
(Take a Tylenol PM, my friend.)

On the other hand,
have you ever lay awake thinking,
"What if I fail that exam tomorrow?!"
"Wow! I really screwed up at work today.
I don't know how I will ever repay my boss
for that mistake."
I would guess that these thoughts are more likely to be floating through your head.
I have been struggling to face my fears.
In fact,
after just a few days of school,
I already have thoughts of failure in Biochemistry
consuming me.
It doesn't matter that we have only had one
true lecture,
or that my first test is over a month away--
I have already set myself up for failure.
(Those thoughts are resilient...
I tell ya.)
In fact,
in general,
has become the place I have come to fear the most.
This past month,
I have been pushing my doubts about school to the back of my mind--
I can deal with them later.
But the thing about putting things off
is that you will eventually have to face what is on your plate--
whether you want to or not.

So as I put on a smiling, excited face for my first day of classes--
the real me could hardly breathe.
After a long summer,
I had forgotten how much my last year of school
(what I like to call "hell year")
had affected me.

It seems silly,
doesn't it?

try telling that to my anxious,
panicky feelings when they enter my life.
They tend to brush it off
and say
"better luck next time,

All last week,
I felt like this line from the Dashboard Confessional song
"Laced with brilliant smiles and shining eyes
Perfect make-up, but you're barely scraping by
But you're barely scraping by..."

Perhaps a bit melodramatic,
but sadly, quite accurate.
I went home over the long, Labor Day weekend
and as soon as I got in the door,
I collapsed in my bed and burst into tears.
Those emotions sneak up on ya when you least expect it.

While I may be a bit anxious about school,
I need to remind myself that it really is just school.
You can try your best each day,
and in the end,
what else really matters?
I've found that prayer and
"time with God"
has helped me through struggles.
It is always better to face fears with a trusty friend
by your side--
why not let God be that friend?

So as you begin your fresh school year,
I hope that you are able to find peace each day.
Believe me,
I know school is stressful,
but never forget to make time for yourself.