Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adventures in MidMO

I was hoping for and expecting a relatively easy week this week, school-wise, since the last few weeks have been so stinking busy.  Instead, I find myself with too much to do and too little time to do it in, just like last week, and the week before that, and so on and so on.  I don't have a lot of time to share all of my deepest thoughts with you today, but even in spite of the busyness, I want to take a few minutes to tell you about the last week or so and share a few pictures with you, as well.

Last week, my mom came to visit for a few days.  We did plenty of shopping (and I spent plenty of money - but, to be fair, most of it was on much needed decorative attire for my apartment) and plenty of eating, and it just so happened that the Husker volleyball team was in town to play (and beat to a pulp, I might add) Mizzou.

We also did a little exploring outside of Columbia.  Imagine, if you will, the hilliest, winding-est road you've ever seen.  Now, picture me driving on it, screaming at the crest of every hill, SURE I'm driving us right off a cliff.  It was fun.  And I really could have used a drink, but I settled for a cheeseburger, fries, and a peanut butter cookie.  The drive was well worth my several near heart attacks, though, because the town of Rocheport, MO is quaint, cozy, and charming (which is why I took so many pictures), filled with B&B's, and with a scenic cross-state bike path passing through the edge of town.

We had planned to have dinner at Abigail's, but found out they're closed on Tuesdays, so we "settled" for the aforementioned comfort food at the trail side cafe in town.  It was pretty darn good.

Lucky for me, Aaron came into town the following weekend.  First order of business:  Abigail's!  The food was pretty darn good (especially the pumpkin cake with caramel drizzled over the top); the company was better.  Although, that company is hard to beat.

All in all, I've been having a fair amount of fun - probably more fun than a graduate student should be having...  And now, it's time to get down to business.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Surprises and Birthday Cake

Last Monday night, my birthday eve, I was sitting at home buckling down on some homework when my phone rang.  I had a brief conversation with Aaron, the boyfriend, which he ended sort of abruptly.  It seemed strange, but he said he was coming back from the grocery store, so I didn't think too much of it.  Thirty seconds later, my doorbell rang.  Guess who it was????
This guy!!!
That's right!  He drove 5 hours after work on Monday to come down and spend my birthday with me!  I'm a lucky gal, I tell you.  

I was really bracing myself for a crappy day on Tuesday.  It's not that I'm such a non-adult that I can't handle spending my birthday alone (maybe).  It was more a combination of homesickness and that feeling of just not fitting here yet (which you all read about last Sunday).  I had all sorts of homework this week, including a take-home midterm that was due Tuesday afternoon, so we spent a good portion of my birthday working across the table from one another.  But, I didn't care one bit.  It was one of the best birthdays I've ever had.  I think the ONLY thing that could have made it better would have been one of my mom's famous cat cakes.  (When I was younger, my mom made me a birthday cake in the shape of a cat every year.  I picked marigolds from the front yard to put around it.  It was awesome.)

Fortunately, my lovely family ordered a mini-cake for me to pick up from Hy-Vee.  Aaron and I broke into that baby at 4:00.  We very nearly ruined our dinners...  

I'll say it again.  I am seriously lucky.  Along with my surprise visit and the awesome cake from the fam, I received happy birthday wishes from, like, 80 friends!

Sometimes all it takes is one good day to propel you forward.  I'm already feeling better than I did last week.  I had a successful week school-wise, I have taken some time to start organizing things in my home office and hope to have that all set up soon, and in general, I've felt happier.  I got a lot of great advice from you all last week when I asked you how you deal with tough times.  You told me to not deny my feelings, but also not dwell on the negative.  You also told me to tackle the small things one at a time because they'll add up.  And my very wise mother told me it's time to set some goals.  Thanks to all of you that took the time to offer your two cents.  Things are looking up!

... and it doesn't hurt that I had such a fan-freakin-tastic birthday ...

Have a great Sunday!  We're cold down here...  : )