Whew. Long day of post-Christmas shopping done and gone, thank the Lord. My Mom and I decided that 10:30am was soon enough to get to OakBrook mall; good thing, too, since the mall was a complete madhouse when we left at 2:30pm. Moral of story: never go to the mall on the day after Christmas after 2pm. You won't come out alive.
Recap of Christmas Eve/Christmas Day:
--Enjoyed a long day of cleaning and cooking to prepare for dinner with the cousins and Uncle Jack (Dad's uncle).
--Ran random errands for Mom at the last minute.
--Feasted on peppercorn beef tenderloin and mashed potatoes (among many other delicious dishes) for Christmas Eve dinner, served by Mother L. Job well done.
--Went to church with the cousins and Jack.
--Opened presents the next morning with immediate family.
--Saw "Marley and Me" with the Jaderholms, cried like a baby.
--Went to sleep happy to have a young and healthy puppy.
Needless to say, it was a great couple of days. I've actually really enjoyed having Uncle Jack around, too--not that I wasn't looking forward to having him, I just wasn't sure how I'd feel about having a guest in our house for two weeks. His jokes and snacks around the house have been quite fun. :) I exchanged some stuff I got yesterday morning for some really great "layering pieces" (as my Mom loves to say), and I'm feeling very lucky that I found so many good deals today. Best deal of the day:
The bridesmaid dress for my roommate Lama's wedding. Ralph Lauren, bought at Macy's. Down almost 60% of the original price. I was seriously wondering if God sent me to find that deal today. It's possible.
Favorite (can I actually choose one?) thing I received on Christmas morning:
Funny thing is, I've been trying to wear my hair like hers for weeks. Can't manage to get it to obey like that. Sweater's cute though, even if my hair has major static issues.
I can't believe that the first semester of my senior year in college is already over! These last couple months brought a lot of fun into the lives of the 24/7 residents (nicknamed because of our address, 247 13th Street): off-campus parties, dressing up in costumes (our favorite pastime), and spending lots of quality time doing crazy things together.
On the other hand, it was also a very challenging and time consuming semester in regards to schoolwork. All of the roommates seemed to be overwhelmed around Thanksgiving break, especially since we all sat around during the Norovirus epidemic. Whoops. Nevertheless, we all finished the semester with heads held high and with senioritis in our hearts.
Here are just a couple pictures (ok, maybe 8) of my favorite moments from this semester:
The first week of school: classic picture of the roommates in action.
Out at the Curragh with the music kids!
Our first Toga party.
Our first rager (just kidding, only a small *cough* house party).
Thanks to Mrs. Leman, I am now obsessed with DIY blogs. Seriously, check some of them out (links on the right). I have found myself dreaming of color schemes, wall-paper and resale treasures in the last few days, and my creative side is bursting to try something neat.
Take "make something", for example (the first picture). I recently came across Nicole Hill's blog and fell in love with her photography. Cool, right? I'd love to try something like this, though I'm sure it's more complicated than it looks.
Thanks to Black*Eiffel, I've also fell in love with some amazing clothes. Not to mention this beautiful table and chairs.
How much do you adore the different chair styles all around one table? Gah. I'm drooling.
ESPN's GREATEST COLLEGE RIVALRIES: #1 - Duke vs. North Carolina #2 - Connecticut vs. Tennessee (women) #3 - Louisville vs. Kentucky #4 - HOPE vs. CALVIN #5 - Xavier vs. Cincinnati #6 - Indiana vs. Purdue #7 - Philadelphia's "Big 5" #8 - Illinois vs. Missouri #9 - Penn vs. Princeton #10 - Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
Hope College has been infected with the norovirus! Sadly (...), all classes and events are cancelled through Tuesday morning. According to the email we received from Hope, "The Holland Police Department or campus safety will immediately disperse any large gatherings of students."
Therefore, 24/7 will be holding a norovirus theme party! Please come dressed as your favorite biohazard material.
This summer, the time finally came for me to get my wisdom teeth out. I had been putting it off for far too long, and unfortunately I realized that this summer might be the only logical time for me to get it done. Thankfully I was able to twist my friend Megan's arm into doing it with me!
The procedure went very well, thanks to my beautiful new best friend Valium. I took two pills a few hours before the surgery for my nerves and was happy as ever when they stuck the IV in my arm. Megan and I decided to wear matching tshirts to the doctor's office too, just to give the Doc a laugh (it worked). Sadly I was not very funny when I woke up, but Megan definitely made up for it. Here is a video she made documenting our morning at the dentist:
Wow, it's been awhile! It's about time I update with pictures from the end of my wonderful trip to Vienna. First things first--hiking the Rax Alps in Austria!
Beautiful, isn't it?
The little house in the distance is where we ate lunch!
Hiking in the Alps was probably one of my favorite weekend trips while in Europe. Although I wasn't excited about the 5-hour trek beforehand, it ended up being a lot of fun. Michael really helped keep my spirits up too, which was very kind of him. :) The only downside of the trip--the thunderstorm we hit for 2 hours on the way down.
This weekend, our group had the opportunity to decide for ourselves what we wanted to do. Instead of going away to different countries like many of our fellow friends did, the four of us (Mike, Brent, Lama and I) decided to stick around Vienna.
On Saturday, we took Edith's advice and went to Baden, a small town right outside the Vienna city limits. We had a picnic lunch by the train station, and then wandered into town. The town area was decorated to look like Wien's Graben, with Eurocup flags and soccer statues. It was so cute!
The decorated "Graben".
We then found these great hiking paths, and walked up the mountain until we found a gazebo with a great overlook of the city. We spent about an hour there taking pictures of ourselves jumping off the railings. :)
For dinner, we ate at another heuligen and had some great new wine. Our dinner was excellent and also very cheap! We Euchre for awhile, too, which was interesting since I'm not too familiar with the game.
Our dinner: pork, corn salad, mediterranean salad, bread, and wine!
The heuligen sign from the outside.
We decided to head back into Vienna around 8pm so we could go out for Sarah Fetter's birthday. Unfortunately, I was very tired, so we actually ended up just sitting around. No big deal though, it was a perfect day--very relaxing and lots of fun with our friends!
Today (Sunday), Michael and I decided to just sit around downtown Vienna and do some homework. Right now we are sitting at Coffee Day, sipping on a melange and writing our mini papers. We're both taking the class "Senior Seminar--Values in Transit", which is a seminar course about people's values and their philosophies about life. We're reading a book called "This I Believe"--a collection of personal philosophies and things people believe in. It's a very eye-opening and intruiging read; I would definitely suggest it! Check out the website if you're interested in learning more or reading this week's featured essay. It's a great one.
Well, back to our homework. I hope everyone is doing well at home! I'm looking forward to coming back to American culture, but I'm also excited to live it up in Europe for the last 11 days we have here! Enjoy your Sunday, and Happy Father's Day! :)
Yesterday (Wednesday), we took a day trip to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Even though we only spent a little bit of time there, I enjoyed the city very much.
Of course, our first activity after arriving was a city tour. Woohoo. We got to see a couple of great overlooks of the city though, which were cool. When the tour was finished, we had about 30 minutes of free time before our dinner. We ate at a hotel restaurant, and had chicken...for the first time since May 13th!!! It was amazing.
Their new (and ugly) bridge.
The main square downtown.
It's Old Greg!
After dinner, our entire group went to the new State Opera House to see Tosca, an opera by Puccini. Sadly, the Italian was translated into Slovakian, so we had a hard time understanding what was going on. The singers, in my opinion, were decent, but I was expecting more. I shouldn't say that though, it really was great. :)
Waiting for the opera to begin.
Luckily, Bratislava is only one hour away from Vienna, so we arrived home just in time to take the last train back.