Saturday, August 28, 2010

And then I was a couch potato.

Gracie and Janie were both going out of town this weekend (and Joanna's middle name is super busy), and because I never got to come home on that Tuesday a few weeks ago due to a flat tire, I thought that it would be a splendid opportunity to come back, collect some things I left behind, and hang out with my fam. Also, I had have lots and lots of homework to do. Oh my goodness, Internet. What a wonderful idea it was.

It was a long drive, complete with a shady rest area stop, an hour long thrunderstorm, and construction, but it was worth it fo sho. I went straight to my high school's season opener (we were the reigning state champs for three years, so football is a big deal around here) and then watched a movie with Lori. This morning I slept until 9 (!), and then had a crazy delicious bowl of oatmeal (I was starving after all that sleeping and having Cocoa Krispies [so nutritious, I know] for dinner) an coffee. I really needed to do some reading, but I ended up sitting and watching Property Virgins on TLC for two hours! Then, I came downstairs to try and read biology down here, but I kept getting distracted by the Kardashians that Lori was watching and my family. Whoops. Eventually my family left to go to a birthday party and I got busy and did some biology and French homework. Then, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I took a bath and drank some iced coffee and blogged and wore no make up and it was FABULOUS.

I even walked outside for a whole three minutes to check the mail and considered going for a run because it was a cool 89 degrees in the shade. My better judgement persuaded me not to, though, because my muscles are tired and tomorrow we're starting a new exercise program (p30X, as opposed to p90X). Also, 89 degrees starts feeling hot four minutes into it, so I went back inside for more blogging.

It has been SUCH a perfect Saturday. I really, really needed a bunch of sitting and doing nothing. There's dinner with my family in my future and I am super pumped about that, too. It doesn't take too much to make me happy, I suppose- iced coffee, books, blogs, oatmeal, bananas. Here's to more weekends like this one.

Getting with it

Holy cheese and rice! My apologies for abandoning posting at a time when I'm sure so many are feverishly checking daily to be updated on my scintillating life, but (oh, that's just Gracie? Shucks.) this week has much! It's been challenging and it's been overwhelming, but it's been wonderful and sweet, too. Mostly, it's been busy, and so, at any given time, I've been at the gym or in the kitchen or (only occasionally) in the bed. It's been a week of learning and adapting and figuring out new routines and how exactly to transition back from "I have nothing to do but read Harry Potter" to "I've abadoned Harry Potter, poor Harry Potter!" (I miss Harry Potter.)

You college-y people know what I'm saying when I say that I'm taking 17 hours. To you folks who aren't quite so familar with collegeness, let me just say that it's A LOT of class. More than I anticipated, even. And I am definitely up-to-date on my collegeness. I've never spent this much physical time in class before. Remember the good old days of freshman year? No? Well I do, vividly. My first semester I only had classes on Tuesday and Thursday, for five hours on Tuesday and three on Thursday. Oh, and one on Monday. (And I took 15 hours that semester. I'm still not sure how it came down to that.) This semester, I have class for at least two hours a day, with seven (7!) on Tuesday and five on Thursday. And the studying rule assumes that for every hour you spend in class, you spend two outside of class. Now, we all know math isn't my strong point, but can we just note that I have lots of schoolwork?

I spent this week trying to figure out how to go about making it all work. I shoved Clif bars down my throat for lunch and squeezed in time at the gym every day and drank coffee like it was going out of style. No, really. NO, REALLY. (Come on roommates, back me up here. Tell 'em how much coffee we drink.) And still, I tried to make sure I got at least seven hours of sleep a night because all of that working out and running to and fro to get to class demands sleep. I worked hard to get my body on a schedule this summer, to find out what kinds of foods and exercise and sleep my body needs to be its healthiest, and I refuse to sink back into unhealthy habits. Those habits, I'm learning, are only partially about eating. Sleep is important and sleep is good and I like sleep. I'm making it a priority or, basically, I'll just fall out dead. I haven't tested this theory out yet, but I stand firm in my hypothesis.

Are you wondering how it all works? I'm learning that this year (and subsequent years, probably) is going to look a lot different because of the classes I'm taking and life choices I'm making (i.e. what's important to me now that hasn't been in the past. Read: sleep.) and overall growing up I must do. And because this is not only an outlet now but a record for later, I think I may want to know how I swung it all. And slept. So, I picked a day to give you- and 45-year-old me- an idea. Also, this week had some added kinks of the functioning car kind, and that sort of threw me for a loop at times. Hopefully such things will not repeat.

 (This particular Wednesday was August 25, 2010, but other Wednesdays are likely to look like this, I would imagine. Minues the aforementioned car issues which went on Monday and Tuesday, too.)
8:00 a.m.: Wake (without an alarm! Snaps for body adjusments!)
8:30.: COFFEE. NEED COFFEE.  (Have a cup + put a cup into freezer for iced coffee later.)
9:00.: Oatmeal + brown sugar + yogurt + a whole glass of water
8:30- 9:45: Blogging, email, Live with Regis and Kelly (in place of TLC because I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant creeps us out at 9 in the morning. Or any time, really. Listening, TLC?) roommate bonding (my favorite part of the day!)
9:45-10:15: Shower, get dressed, listen to music, get ready for day mentally (read: plan until you can plan no more, and then formulate a plan b)
10:15: Realize I'm almost late, make iced coffee (coffee, milk, splenda), grab lunch, keys, sunglasses
10:20: Head to school (on this particular day, I rode with Janie because I thought I had flat tires. I had over inflated tires.)
10:30: Arrive in parking lot (also known as EGYPT.) Stalk walkers to their cars. Vicously steal their parking spots. (Another option is to circle the parking lot 48 times, find no spots, and head to one in West Egypt.)
10:37-10:53: Power walk the mile to class; arrive sweating, breathing heavily, and appearing frazzled. (I like to smile at people here so they know that while I may be frazzled, I've had six cups of coffee already and am in a downright terrific mood, generally spekaing.)
11:00- 11:50: Speak, write, curse, pray in French.
12:00 p.m.-1: Speak, write, curse, pray in English (albeit Old English/ Anglo-Saxon)
1:10-1:35: Lunch at dining hall: turkey, lettuce, provolone, tomato, pickles, mustard on wheat + salad + apple
1:40: Library (this includes Facebook, Google Reader, AND homework, I swear.)
2:00: Janie: "Let's go home and do a p90X workout! No gym!" Lindsey; "Super idea!"
2:30: Arrive home, sit on couch, watch TLC
3:30: Take car to have deflated and faith in said car reinstated
4:30: KenpoX
5:30:  Begin dinner preparations (chicken noodle soup + french bread + brie + salad w/ onion, tomato, celery, & cucumber. We later added blueberries and grapes.)
6:30- 7:10: Eat, drink, be merry with friends
7:10: Shower, scrunch, smooth, etc.
8:00: The Well (for you non-Tuscaloosians, this is a gigantic college worship service)
10:00: TCBY: The Wednesday Night Social Scene (actually, we hit up Starbucks for some decaf instead and then went to TCBY) (We also invited a friend, switched venues, showed up late, and forgot to tell him. So then we took him some yogurt because we felt bad.)
11:15: Arrive home, have frozen Yoplait on the couch, watch a little Remember the Titans
12:15 a.m.: Bed, bed, bed

So that's a typical day. Honestly, that down time from 3-5 happened only on that day, and by Thursday night I was so exhausted that I couldn't even attend any social going ons that night, ones I had really planned on going to. Instead, I stayed home, washed clothes, did homework, and ate a sweet potato. I am the poster child for a rowdy college student, I'll tell you.

Happy 19th Birthday, Joanna!

My bff, fellow Coke Scholar, devoted blog-reader, rommate, etc.

First day of classes/ rommate bonding

Hey, see all those smiles? You can't argue with them. It may be busy and challenging and crazy, but it's so very rewarding I'll take it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

School 101

Whoa whoa whoa. I'd forgotten everything. I'd forgotten about buying books, how it feels to actually go to class, how much sweating is involved with walking around in Alabama August heat all day long, how to grab lunch in 20 minutes and run off somewhere else, how your shoulders feel after lugging around a back pack for three hours. Moreover, I'd forgotten how wonderful it feels to "get it," how gorgeous our campus is no matter what time of year, how incredible it is to be able to hang out with your friends any old time you want.

I started school on Wednesday and whoa: I'd forgotten. It took me a few days to adjust. I'm allergic to change, and August always, always forces me to do tons of it, but this has been welcome, happy (albeit occasionally stressful) change. Still, I had to learn how to work commuter parking, which involves stalking walkers to their cars and then edging forward as they reverse so the guy on the other side knows I STALKED THIS WALKER, IT'S MINE, BUCK-O. I had to spend approximately $73,409 on books, which means I'll never, ever eat again. I got lost! (I found it, but really, isn't that more of a 2009 sort of thing?)

But people, I fell back in love. I get to learn, see. That sounds cheesy, sure, but I'm a first generation student, and when they asked me in an interview for a FG scholarship what it meant to be able to go to college, I said, "I feel really, really privileged to be the one who gets to keep learning." And I still feel that way. I'm still getting used to walking down the street and running into people who spent the last three months light years away from me, but isn't that a splendid change? Uh, yeah!

It's been a week packed full of new routines and old friends, carefree lunches and stressful parking lot circling, feeling at home and...loving it. 


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sweet settlement

Hey, it's starting to feel like home. The town fell right back over me as I rolled down 82, but the apartment, with its loud air conditioning and creaky floor and odd smell was different and new and not home at all. But oh people, that's changing. We've been hard at work trying to make this place home, what with carpet cleaning and painting and making spaghetti. There have been other firsts, like:
our first load of laundry,

our first house guest,

our first meal together where we defrosted sauce cooked,

the first time we made a sign to welcome our fourth roommate (probably the last, too),

and our first day back at church (also, our first picture on the balcony! too many firsts for one picture, I'd say.)

Other than obliterating all of these milestones, I've just been taking it easy, enjoying the few slow days before the crazy busy of the next weeks. Trust me, crazy busy they will be, but I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to them, with classes starting and friends reuniting and dinner being cooked nightly.

It's a lot. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The best, the most, the first.

It's been one year (+ two days) since I left my hometown, my family, my best friends. It's been one year (+one day) since I met Janie and Gracie and Joanna, since I made up my mind to love it and then figured out that it would take care of making me love it all on its own. It's been one incredibly breathtaking, challenging, surprising, amazing year.

So much changed, so much transpired. There was so much fun, so much growth, so much learning. There was losing, but there was so much gaining. There was struggle, but there was so much joy. Things were taken, but blessings were so rampant that even now, I have to stop and catch my breath and pray, "It's too much." And it is.

I don't know if the girl up there would recognize the girl sitting here now. There was just no way I could stay the same, no way I couldn't grow up and become more than I was. There was no way my heart couldn't become bigger when I have all of these incredible people to love, no way that I couldn't draw closer to the Lord in the face of everything He's giving me and teaching me, in the way that He leads me as we walk. I do know one thing, though: That girl up there would be proud of this girl. She'd smile at me, laugh with me. Love me. She wouldn't think of what wasn't accomplished, what didn't go right; no, she'd be over the moon for everything that is so perfectly complete. That girl would want to know this girl.


It has been such a blessed year that I can't even find the words to get it across to you, even if I go to I've got tons of growing and learning and transforming to do, that's for sure. But this year, these people, this place- it has been everything I never could imagine. It's been perfectly imperfect.

My life is stressful, my life is fast, my life is gorgeous. I can't wait for the second year. 

Bring it, life.

First things first: AFTER pictures!
My favorite part, for sure!

The purple blanket is not an accessory/decorative feature, but my lovey. There, I said it. Blanka ftw every time.

Bright + cheery= a great reason to hop in the shower at 8 a.m.

I got this nightstand at an antique store. I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on it and Mrs. Parker was right- it is SO worth the $50 I spent. (I also only spent $20 on that chair up by my desk, which I love equal amounts.)

So ta da! There are still a few finishing touches that I'm sure will come in the next few weeks/months- you know, clothes hanging on most furniture and coffee mugs on every flat surface and Cocoa Krispies stored under the bed for late night snacks. I mean, then it will be MY room, right? Nothing like hidden cereal to make you feel at home, I'll tell ya! (Full disclosure: I am open about my cereal addiction and I keep all 8 boxes in the pantry.)

Now, let me fill you in on my last three days (including the two hours I've been awake today, which have, in themselves, been no cake walk.) I'm not quite sure who signed me up for Most Frustrating (Not Really but Man it Seems That Way) Week Ever, but if I find out, I'm throwing tomatoes at them. Squishy tomatoes. (If it was you, look out!) I KNEW Monday was going to be a long day, and I knew that so much that I couldn't sleep Sunday night. Someone like me, who tends to worry and plan and obsess, can attest to all of you carefree, easygoing blokes that when stress seems imminent, the best thing to do is to lie awake at night and try to plan it out. (More full disclosure: This is probably the worst thing to do, but it's kind of a hard habit to kick.) So my point? I started Monday with less sleep than I should have. But honestly, there was nothing I could do about it. I accompanied Lori to drop the kids off at school (FIRST GRADE and EIGHTH GRADE. My head was spinning.) 

After that, I spent three (yes, three!) Monday morning hours trying to sort out and pick up a car to bring to Tuscaloosa. Lightning-fast hours flew by after that as I packed and showered, and then got on with the coming to Tuscaloosa. After grocery shopping and inhaling copious amounts of hummus, I got down and dirty and got my room put together, which only took, you know, six hours (yes, six!). Clearly, I'm not a good worker or SOMETHING. I don't know, but I was extremely proud of the results, even if I was about to fall out from exhaustion. And then, after the excitement and anxiety, I laid awake in bed listening to all of the strange noises and trying to block out the weird street lamp glow. Or maybe I was overtired. It was ridiculous, really, because I had to be UP on Tuesday to volunteer. I showed up Tuesday with a huge smile because I'd gotten to walk around campus that morning- it was SO FRIGGIN' AWESOME! (And hot.) 

Tuesday was a long day of interviewing + sitting in the lobby making small talk with nervous freshmen going up for the Coke Scholarship. I have to say, I felt a bit smug, knowing what they were about to get themselves into with this whole coming-to college deal. Ha! But really, they're about to start what could possibly (and probably will) be one of the best chunks of their lives. Go them! Them ftw! Suckerssss! Anyway, I left campus with a stinking flat tire. I'm starting to think there's an organization out there called Cars United Against Lindsey (CUAL). Honestly. And because it was sort of late in the afternoon, we drove from place to place to place (two and a half hours we drove! two! and a half!), only to eventually be told there wasn't anything wrong with it. Hm...

This morning was supposed to be a doctor's visit in Birmingham, but that's been a nightmare, and basically, I sit by the phone, waiting to see if I'll be called to go or not. Not a planner's idea of the best way to spend a morning! STILL, there has been so much of the last few days that has been insanely awesome (including the fact that we can laugh about the insane obstacles!): a 3-mile walk around the lighted track with my best friend, Gracie's arrival, MORE grocery shopping, Jason's Deli, iced coffee, great new shampoo, Chick Fil A, Say Yes to the Dress, Mario at the Northport Wal-Mart who decided that even though I arrived at 6:47 and they stop taking cars at 6:45, he would take a look at my tire (no doubt because there were tears welling up in my eyes that were seriously threatening to overflow), new photos, the arrival of Janie (that's coming today!), plus a million other things that I took for granted.

And because this is bordering on short story (fine, novel) length, I'm going to stop now and say that I have HIGH hopes for the rest of today. Who couldn't? The three of us reunited in our own house, eating Oatmeal Squares, drinking coffee, and watching TLC. That's the kind of moment that makes me close my eyes and thank my God. It's right up there with sitting down with a big bowl of cereal. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm a grown up now...

I don't know if I've ever explained the name of this blog. I sort of assumed everyone would figure it out, which I I kind of am sure you did. But anyway, it's a spin off of "I'm a big kid now," which is the ad campaign for Pull-Ups. (Now that I write that out, I'm not sure if that was a very worthy inspiration...) And let me tell you, Internet. If I have ever felt like a grown up (which, honestly, isn't often), it was today. It's right now!

Today has been SO MUCH SO MUCH SO MUCH, but soooooo good. There were two-hour delays for cars and two-hour drives and lots of loading and unloading, and all on my own, but that's sort of what is making all of this so remarkable: Me? An adult? A real, live, honest-to-goodness adult? Independence? You're kidding me.

But along with the fun and pride that is being an adult, comes the stress and anxiety that is getting things done on your own. Like taking this:


And making this:
( felt like WAY more when I was paying for it!)

After I waited around for a car (mine's still acting wonky and Dad didn't deem it safe for travel), made the drive, and unloaded, I got to GROCERY SHOP! It's one of my favorite activities, and this was the very first time I got to do it for my very own fully-equipped kitchen! I'm not sure how high I rise on the Dork Scale for this one, but whatever. I love to grocery shop. Sadly, some of the joy was sort of sucked out because I really wasn't feeling good the entire time. I realize now that it's because I was SUPER hungry (I didn't feel hungry, but I think that's probably because of all of the heat). I've been up since 6, and I'd eaten a granola bar, a bowl of oatmeal, and two Larabars. (The Larabars did nothing to stave off my hunger, really, OBVIOUSLY, since I had to eat BOTH of the ones that I bought. And honestly, I wasn't too impressed with the taste, anyway.) So I went through Wal-Mart both high on the joys of grocery shopping and struggling with feeling lightheaded and sick. Sheesh! When i got home, I attacked some food: I had a ton of hummus, celery & wheat thins + a big salad+ yogurt and fruit (Dad would be so happy with the yogurt and fruit...he is forever feeding me that when I visit.) I'm feeling much, much better now, which is excellent because I get to do this now:

Yeah, it's going to be a long night, but organizing things is one of my strong points, so I think it will be fun. Just REALLY exhausting. Here's to being a grown up, right?

Friday, August 6, 2010

The last week.

This was the last week. THE LAST WEEK. This was week 13, the week to which I've counted down, the week that always seemed like a too-far-away landmark, something hazy in the distance that I wouldn't ever reach. And so, so quickly, I cam upon its shore, and I'm here to tell you, this summer has made me a better person. But that's for another post. Let me tell you about week 13.

I gave you an after-the-move spiel, so I'll pick up with watching the kiddos. We had one last day together, and then that was that. We went to lunch on Wednesday and I stood lingering in the kitchen for a long time, chatting about nothing because I knew that I wouldn't be back on Sunday, and that seemed so weird and so final and walking out of the door was proving hard to do. So hard, in fact, that I decided to plant my laptop on the couch and leave without it so I could have an excuse to come back once I was half an hour down the road. (I'm kidding. About the planting part. Really I just forgot it.) I finally made it home- wait, no! I took a detour to the lake and it was sweller than swell. We went to church and went to Panera and watched The Matrix and ate popcorn. Thursday morning we scoured an antique mall and I am very happy with my purchases- I'll show you pictures soon. And after lunch I gathered my bags and put them (and a whole lot of furniture) in the car, figuring I'd be home in an hour.

Oh people. I was so wrong. See, my car's been doing something weird but it's sort of been off my radar, because, well, I have a lot of other things on my mind and on my to-do list. So, as I left, my car started acting up again, and I just forged ahead, figuring it would stop and making a mental note to tell Dad. It didn't stop. No, in fact it got worse, making all sorts of noises that sounded like BUBDGKHBFKD I'M BROKEN KDGBKFDBG and overheating. I prayed to the Lord to please, please let me get home, and when I saw that wasn't going to happen, to please give me a place to stop on the seemingly deserted country road. Around the next bend there was a church. I pulled over there.

And then I sat (and consequently, sweated.) I sat for an hour and 45 minutes as I waited for someone to come retrieve me. And I was grateful! Grateful that the Lord had been so wonderfully protective and that Dad was available and willing to come get me and that nothing had blown up, but uh...I sat in a parking lot with my car off in August for almost two hours. I mean, I wasn't thrilled, you know? Mostly, it's the timing that stinks: I'm set to be in Tuscaloosa Monday and volunteering Tuesday and in Prattville and Birmingham and Tuscaloosa Wednesday- lots of driving, no? (Clearly my very favorite thing!) But alas, it's a wait-and-see game as I hold my breath and pack my suitcases and pray that things get sorted out.

Tomorrow we're heading to Tuscaloosa with some of my furniture and I move for keeps Monday afternoon.

This has been a beautiful summer, no? 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shake and bake, baby.

I should start off by saying that Sunday was a dream. I say this because I know you've all been checking daily, wondering just how many plates got broken and punches got thrown and tears got shed and did I crack under the stress, because I am quite crackable when it comes to stress? Gracie broke ONE bowl, but luckily, we donated that set of dishes away anyway, and not one person left with a black eye or clutching a Kleenex. Pretty amazing, huh? And I didn't crack at all! (Though I did come close, around the 4 o'clock hour, when I hadn't eaten since half a protein bar at 10:30, and I further attribute that to the Fiber One bar I had right before the P90X workout, instead of my usual oatmeal. What can I say? I was hungry. And I wasn't the only one. We dropped what we were doing and ate.) Otherwise, though, everything went more smoothly than I could have imagined. Things from the storage unit were collected in one trip, things were lugged up the stairs with minimal complaint, and before you knew it, there were couches where there before had only been a brown spot on the carpet and four toasters (I kid you not) sitting on the counter. The power of teamwork, Internet.

I daresay I might feel this way because when it came time to unload the cars from the storage unit, I happened to be at Wal-Mart buying a vacuum cleaner... though it should be stated that buying a vacuum cleaner isn't the easiest thing to do, and it was further complicated by the fact that I hadn't had any coffee or sleep and had been sweating profusely continuously for about six hours. Also, Janie kept saying things that made me laugh, which is not the best thing to do when you're carrying vacuum-cleaner-laden boxes around very crowded stores. Still, when we left, we were really, really happy with our progress, and really, really excited to get back, because it was already starting to feel like home.

I got home Sunday night just in time to shove animal crackers and frozen yogurt down my throat and collapse into bed, and I woke up Monday morning at 6 a.m. Sadly, my muscles weren't feeling me and my bright hours (literally) and so I was dragging in a pretty rough manner. Still, I arrived in the ATL by lunch their time to find NO KIDS. So, what's a girl to do? I had lunch of course. Then, after reuniting and all of that, I found out that today would be my last babysitting day, as Aunt Jane is taking tomorrow off of work. That means that as of right now, I'm done. Isn't your head spinning? Where did the time go? WHERE, WHERE, WHERE? It's all bittersweet; I'm very excited to have a week to rest with absolutely no driving (!) and to get myself back to Tuscaloosa, but the idea of not seeing these people next week is kind of startling. It just doesn't feel right. But this is life, I suppose: the come and the go, the stay-a-whiles and the goodbyes, the always changing and the forever adapting and the getting ready for somethings new. You would think I might be used to it, but here it is, taking my breath away again.

In other news, today is Uncle Darrell's 30th Birthday. I made him a cake with two flavors of homemade frosting. If that's not leaving with a bang, I don't know what is.