Year-end Review

I fell off the blogging wagon...hard.  It's been there in the back of my mind, whispering "go blog.  It'll only take you ten minutes."  Being in college means that sometimes those ten minutes are better spent watching Netflix...and turning into an hour or two of un-productivity.  My mental health and sanity took the front spot these past few months and this blog, well, it was here waiting.

Instead of trying to do a monthly catch-up for October and November, I figured I could just share how the goals turned out.  My birthday is this Thursday, so I have a pretty good idea of what will actually get completed and what will maybe be recycled for next year's list.  So without any more delay, here is how my goals turned out:

1. Etsy shop-vintage
Done (8/6/14)
  • Upon reflection, I'm not sure if I should really count this as done.  I opened the shop and listed two maps, but I never really got into it.  I'm not sure if I'm just not ready to the time to open the shop and stock it (I have to take photos, be ready to ship, etc)...actually, I am sure.  I am not in a place at this point where I can maintain the shop.  School and work are just too much right now.  I don't know if I'll place this on my list for next year, but if I do, I would put a dollar goal on it...what I want to make.
2. Collection of short stories-ready to submit
  • Didn't finish.  I wrote more this past year than the previous year or two.  I realize how lofty and ambitious this goal is and if I have a writing goal for next year, it will be a more concrete and achievable goal.  Again, I need to remember that I'm a full-time student and, starting later this month, a full-time employee.
3. New tattoo
Done (2/21/14)
  • This is maybe my favorite complete goal from this year.  Hell, I'm even tearing up as I write this.  Easily my favorite tattoo.  I didn't want to take and post a photo of it in its entirety because it is so personal to me.  You can see in the picture part of the dark moon.  Use your imagination and just picture how awesome it really is.
4. Finish framing prints
  • I framed about half of what I'd set out to frame.  It's hard because I didn't really have a spot for any of them, framed or unframed.  Luckily, a little more than halfway into the year, my man friend took a couple and hung them in his apartment, so they on display instead of hiding in my closet.
5. Blog redesign
Done (6/20/14)
  • As I shared earlier this year, I hired Kaelah of The Clueless Girl's Guide to redesign this blog and I love it as much today, if not more, than when she finished it in June.  I cannot recommend her highly enough!
6. Buy a nice camera
  • I actually broke my camera two months ago!  I'm getting a new one for Christmas though, so this goal isn't really complete, but it kind of is....I'm chalking it up as a win!
7. Learn how to do my hair
  • This year I dyed it, I cut it, I colored half of it, and used a curl wand.  After chopping off 14 inches, I've just been adapting to the lower maintenance of medium-length hair.  This goal will not be recycled onto the list for next year as it's actually kind of lame.
8. Go on a trip somewhere new
Done (7/24/14)
  • When I made this goal a year ago, I imagined my someplace new would be a new state, or country.  Instead, I went camping in Hoyt Lakes for a softball tournament.  But, a new place is a new place and honestly, I had such a great time that it doesn't even feel like I "cheated" on this goal.
9. Bring Crookston to a dog training class
Done (3/11/14)
  • I don't know if I can say that this is the biggest waste of money, but it's up there.  I love Crookston, but he is, and will always been, a naughty dog.  I probably should have done training with him when he was younger so that it would stick, but I opted for the trying to teach an old dog new tricks.  At least it got us out of the house and set me up with the basic skills to train Crookston should I ever decide to tackle the challenge that is his behavior issues.
10. Figure out Spanish creds
Done (5/23/14)
  • This should have been figured out a lot earlier than it actually was.  I did decided to wait until I officially enrolled in Spanish to mark it complete, which is part of the reason for a May completion date.
11. No credit card debt
  • Credit cards suck.  Especially if you have little to no impulse control.  This goal may be recycled into next year as I will, once again, have a fulltime job so will be able to make larger payments.
12. Send more letters
  • I don't know why I used the word "more" for this goal.  More than what?  More than 1?  10?  100?  1000?  Okay, I'm just being dramatic now, but you get the idea.  Since I didn't have any concrete numbers, I don't know if I really completed this goal.  I do believe that I sent more mail than the previous year.  My final count ended up being:
    • Packages: 2
    • Postcards: 3
    • Letters: 25
13. Create realistic workout plan
  • Remember when I tried Roller Derby for a hot second?  Then I couldn't sit without horrible pain for two weeks and I decided my fragile body is too wimpy for the cool gals that I met.  My tail bone still gives me trouble, so I think I made the right decision not trying to be Ellen Page.  Honestly though, that was my last real attempt at a workout plan/routine/activity.  I've had a pretty stationary year.  If I recycle this goal for next year, I may need to do something like, "Work out once a month."  Pathetic?  Yes.  Obtainable?  Maybe.
14. Learn to crochet
  • I came so close on this one.  I had a friend who was going to teach me, but then she had an amazing job opportunity and moved away.  I have a co-worker and a former co-worker who know how to crochet, so I'm thinking I may recycle this goal.  2015 could be my crazy crafty year!
15. Grow closer to God
  • I've been listening to strictly Christian radio in my car since October.  I haven't been to church lately, with the exception of going with my Gma this November when I went to visit.  This goal will probably resurrect (get it?  Okay, that was a horrible joke and I apologize) itself on next year's list, but in a more specific way.  I might try to finish reading the bible in its entirety or, like exercise, try to go to church once a month.
16. Complete a 5K.
  • Thanksgiving weekend came and with it came a 5K.  I told myself that this was it, I was going to cross 5K off of my list.  The thing about this race I learned was that you had to guesstimate when you'd finish, and there was a prize for those who came closest.  Because there was a time thing, that meant you couldn't listen to music.  That's when the idea left my head for good.
17. Volunteer
  • I wish I'd volunteered.  I need hours for my program at school, so it's a little disheartening that I couldn't even use that as motivation.
18. Finally go to the drive in theater
Done (8/22/14)
  • This was such a fun goal.  I look forward to future visits, hopefully dragging Mike with me.  After I wrote about completing this goal, I had a lot of people tell me how much they want to go.  Maybe next year I can take a few of my gal pals with me!  It's too bad that drive-ins aren't as popular as they once were because there is something fun about sitting in your car and watching a huge screen.
19. Renaissance Festival
  • One of my good friends went to Ren Fest this year and jealously only begins to cover a little of how that made me feel.  This summer was a crazy one with weddings, and work, and the lake...but I guess that's life and I can't use that as an excuse.  Maybe next year it'll work out that I can finally go to the Renaissance Festival, but I'm not sure if I care enough to recycle this goal.
20. Read 40+ books
Done (9/2014)
  • I read 48 books!  Seeing how close I came to 50 is a little disappointing, as is realizing that I only read 8 books between the middle of September and now.  This goal will reappear next year for sure...if only to justify me enjoying a "fun book" during a busy course load.
21. Print more photos.
  • Again, what is with me and the word "more."  I am fairly certain that I printed more pictures this year than last thanks to Jessica sharing Shutterfly discount codes with me!  I'm going to say this was a success, even though I haven't done very much with the photos that I did print.  I need another photo album.
22. Create more
  • One thing I've obviously learned in terms of goals is to be more specific.  I think I did a mediocre job on this goal.  I made some cool things, but didn't get as into creating as I thought I would.  In my head, once I move into my apartment, I will make a bunch of amazing things because I'll have wall space for them.  Honestly, it probably won't happen.
23. Go camping
Done (7/24/14)
  • This was such a fun goal to complete.  I had an amazing time and am excited to do it again next year.  Once Mike and I got back, we decided to become "camping people" in the commercial sense of the word: we bought ourselves a tent, a camping grill, and a plethora of smaller camping items.
24. Make a quilt
  • Didn't buy material or even do any research (I'm a read-everything before doing anything, sort of gal).  I don't think becoming a quilter is in the cards for me.
25. Get my passport
  • This should have been one of the easiest goals and I only looked it up online...back in the beginning of this year.  Next year.  Next year I will get my passport and go to Canada.  Mark my words!...as long as you see it on the list for my 26 goals before I turn 27.

September Goal Review

*October has been such a crazy and hectic month.  Believe it or not, I had this post ready to go for the very first, but decided to wait to add some photos.  Evidently, this was a mistake as it is now the end of October and my next post will most likely be an October Goal Review.  I figured I toss this one out there though, because I'm hoping that November will be a little calmer, school and life wise, and that I'll be able to post more than October.

September seems to have been the deadline, and tipping point, for many of the items on my 25 Before 26 list.  I'm actually pretty happy (and proud) of how much success I had this month considering I was a full-time student and put in quite a few hours at my job.

1.  Etsy shop- vintage
Done! (8/6/14)

2.  Collection of short stories- ready to submit
I've been writing a lot more than usual, believe it or not.  Nothing huge or amazing, but I've put more words to paper than any of my previous month.

3.  New tattoo
Done (2/21/14)
 
4.  Finish framing prints
I wrote last month about how September was the month for this...didn't think twice after I posted the recap.

5.  Blog redesign
Done (6/20/14)

6.  Buy nice camera
I used my camera so much more than usual...and ended up breaking it just a day ago (*September 29th).  I had it propped up on some random item and the wind blew it over while I was trying to take some outfit photos.  Now this goal is more necessity than want.  I have my eye on the Go Pro 3, Black Edition as a weird alternative/photo-taking device...mostly because I think it'd expand my capabilities.  At this point, I'm thinking I'll just use my older camera until the holidays (read: until I get some holiday cash).

7.  Learn how to do my hair
Nope.  No new color or style or cut.  Didn't learn any techniques other than wearing a beanie.

8.  Go on a trip somewhere new
Done (7/24/14)

9.  Bring Crookston to dog training class
Done (3/11/14)

10.  Figure out Spanish creds
Done (5/23/14)

11.  No credit card debt 
...next goal, please.

12.  Send more letters
*Okay, evidently I forgot to update this when I originally penned this post.  I'm leaving this spot "blank" because I've sent quite a bit of mail in October, and those results will be shared probably within the week.

13.  Create realistic workout plan
I think I worked out a total of 1 time in September.

14.  Learn to crochet
No progress but I found out my friend, Vanessa knows how to crochet!  Also, A Beautiful Mess has a tutorial series going on this exact topic.

15.  Grow closer to God 
For the entire month of September, I listened to Christian radio in my car.  It was such a small change, but I find myself humming and singing the songs when I'm alone at home.

16.  Complete a 5K
I don't even know when the next one is in my area.  Maybe I should look it up.

17.  Volunteer 
I've accepted that I'm not as good of a person as I want to be....

18.  Finally go to the drive in theater
Done (8/22/14)

19.  Renaissance Festival 
Officially impossible.  This past weekend  (*at the time this was written) was the last weekend.

20.  Read 40+ books
Just hit 40 today.  Thanks to my mom for getting me addicted to Gillian Flynn's novels.

21.  Print more photos 
I printed photos thanks to my friend, Jessica telling me about when Shutterfly did another 101 Free Prints promotion.  One is in a frame, three are taped to my closet, the rest are waiting for an album or inspiration.

22.  Create more
Made a cool "S" sign here.

23.  Go camping 
Done (7/24/14)

24.  Make a quilt
My grandma got rid of her quilt and I took it and am going to maybe attempt a "cheater quilt."

25.  Get my passport
No progress.  This is probably one of the easier goals that I have left, but here I sit.  Passport-less.

*Scrolling through this quickly, I've decided not to go to the effort of adding photos.  Obviously this means I should have just shared this post immediately, but...oh, well.

Fall Favorites

It's officially fall...that line seems about as cliche as white girls in ugg boots with pumpkin spice lattes who "can't even."  Since we've already embraced the ridiculousness, I might as well run with it and share a few of the things I've enjoyed about the two days of cooler weather we've had and a few things I anticipate enjoying.


Things I've enjoyed so far: cooler weather, having a legitimate reason, and self-proclaimed obligation, to wear "fall colors," pumpkin-flavored everything, Crookston shedding puff balls (he does this in fall and spring), getting to wear light jackets.



Things I intend to enjoy (my Fall Festivities wish list): carving pumpkins, leaves changing colors, crunchy leaves, cardigan weather, all warm beverages, "sharp" air, watching non-creepy Halloween movies, candy going on sale after Halloween, themed socks also going on sale after Halloween, my favorite holiday Thanksgiving.



Fall is, and always has been, my favorite season.  I'm excited to layer my clothing for both warmth and visual appeal.  I need to embrace the weather though, because as everyone in "these here parts" knows, fall is the shortest season.  Good things end far too quickly.


Dating Another Human Being

Dating someone new is weird.  After being in a long-term relationship with a pretty amazing person, it's been hard to adjust to a new person.  Sometimes I find myself frustrated that he can't read my mind, or just do what I want without my having to ask.  I have to remind myself that I'm dating a human being, not a robot or mind-reader.

The last person I saw, you could call it a long term relationship.  She and I had spent a few years (off and on) with other people, but after my previous relationship didn't work out, I found myself being comforted by her again.  There's something nice about being with someone who completely and 100% gets you without words needed.  One of the best people that I've ever dated was myself.

Now after two years of mostly just dating me, I'm in a relationship with a human being.  He doesn't enjoy junking the way that Single Sara did.  He doesn't always like the food that I've created because it generally contains mushrooms (and he'll comment on it while Single Sara would quietly and happily shovel them into her mouth).  And he doesn't buy me nearly as much as Single Sara did (she was my sugar mama...still is).  But I'm getting used to this person. 

Don't get me wrong, though.  He does some pretty great thing that my ex, Single Sara, was and never would be capable of doing.  I enjoy the occasional surprise.  I get sweet, and funny, and weird text messages.  Best of all, I get someone to talk with, who responds with new ideas and is impressively able to talk me off of the cliff whenever I'm feeling stressed.

Dating someone who isn't me is weird.  But it's kind of awesome, too.

Source

Halfway Crafty

The great thing about friends is that sometimes they text you with a craft idea that you never would have come up with.  That's what happened the other day when Vanessa (her last name starts with a J which is why there's a giant metal one at our crafting station) text me with an idea and a few pictures from the internet.


We went to Hobby Lobby with one idea in mind, but after seeing all the store had to offer, tweaked our plans a little bit.  I picked up the wood thing for 50% off (because evidently that's what they do, overprice stuff so they can constantly have sales to create impulse purchases).  I hated what it said: I'm a fool for you.  Gross.  I'm not a fool for anyone.  Plus, hearts are stupid.


So the first thing I did was paint over the stupid saying with this fabulous paint color.


Another great thing about when a friend invites you over to craft is that it will occasionally, usually, involve food.  I am fortunate enough to not only have crafty friends, but crafty friends who are also amazing cooks.


We ate while my paint dried.  Once our bellies were full I began to roll and glue paper down in the shape of an "S".



I listened to Vanessa to learn all about this rolled paper art style (she did a fair amount of internet research) and fell a little bit in love with it.  It's super easy and I can imagine watching hours of Netflix as I roll sheet after sheet of colored paper.


The original "S" was a little too plain, so I added some yellows and a light brown.  I have a mini "gallery wall" in my bedroom and all the colors I used fit with the color scheme so it made a fantastic addition.




Thanks for letting my share the world's easiest halfway craft.  I always hear about halfway homemade recipes and I think that they/we/I should start a movement of halfway homemade crafts.  It's amazing how a little paint and paper can change a piece.  I'm thrilled with the results to say the very least.  If you have any questions about this craft, feel free to ask!

Little Things


Tonight I spent about half an hour talking with my friend Katrina on the phone.  I haven't talked to her on the phone, or even seen her in person, for about a year now, and the last time I attempted to be any kind of decent friend was back in March when I sent her a letter.  After a half hour of laughing and yelling at each other (because after a year of silence you don't just talk, your excitement raises your voice several decimals.)


So I got to thinking about the little things that make me happy.  School, despite being only in its third week, is intense and I can feel the stress slowly building a home between my shoulders.  Tonight was a nice little refresher and I wanted to list a few things that make me happy.  Easy things.  Little things.


Phone calls.  Today it was Katrina, yesterday is was Sara, the day before that I think I tricked Mike into a phone call.  There's something about hearing the voice of people you love but don't see nearly enough that can brighten even the darkest mood.  It's because of that easy path to happiness that Sara and I decided to try to have weekly phone convos because sometimes a girl just needs one of her besties to listen to you say that "nothing is new" on a weekly basis.


The moon is a pretty big source of happiness for me.  Whenever I leave work and see it shining bright, or not so bright, it always gives me pause.  Seeing the moon makes me feel not so alone and because of what it signifies to me, it always makes me reflect and remember that life is short and to keep on, keeping on.


Hot coffee.  Cold coffee.  Coffee coffee.  Man, that last sentence has me really craving some right now.  There's nothing like curling up with a good book and a steamy cup o' joe that just sets things right.  Can I just roll reading a good book into this "little thing?"


Naps!  I am the queen of napping.  Sure, I wake up feeling half-dead and my pillow is usually covered in drool, but an hour to two after getting out of my cocoon, I'm ready to get out and conquer the world!


Dogs.  Puppies.  Playing with them.  Watching videos of God's greatest creature on YouTube...or just watching the clips my mom puts on my Facebook wall.  Luckily, I live with the best dog in the entire world who is anything but stingy when it comes to giving kisses.


Family.  I have an amazing sister who's responsible for the second half of these photos.  A brother who would drop everything to come and help me out.  A dad who creates spray-painting stations and gives unwanted (but usually needed) advice.  A mom who posts dog videos on my Facebook wall, but also videos and news articles about texting and driving because she cares a lot about me.  My family is the single biggest "little thing" that gets me through times of stress.

Trying New Things


Hey friends.  I was recently cruising through my camera and realized I had some outfit pictures from awhile ago and wanted to make sure I got them up on the blog before we receive our first snow.


I even decided, as usual, to throw in the weird and awkward ones.  Nothing like adjusting the bottom of your shorts to get the guys running over and asking for your phone number.  Unfortunately, dudes, I do have a man friend.  Though who knows how much longer he'll stick around after seeing pictures of me essentially pulling my shorts out of my butt.


Do you know what I love about blogging?  That I can do/write whatever I want and whatever weird and funky format I want.  So I could pretend that these pictures have something to do with this post, but I'm going to cut through the crap and just say that these pictures are to break up text.  Or maybe the text is here to break up photos.  Tomato, tomato--wow, that saying does not really make sense in print.


I was originally going to blog about trying new things.  Technically that can tie into these pictures because "me wearing shorts" is a new thing.  I stumbled upon this blog of a girl who tries something new every week.  Let that sink it...EVERY STINKING WEEK.  Who has that much time?  Who wants to grow that much as a person?


What was I saying again?  Oh yeah, new things.  How often do you break out of your comfort zone?  Your shell?  For me, the answer is not very often.  I'm comfortable with being comfortable.  I like what I like.  Sometimes it gets me in a rut.  Being comfortable isn't exciting and I never walk away from it thinking, "What a great time!"


Recently, my man friend got into Stand-up Comedy (I have no idea if that's how you're supposed to phrase that).  Trying Stand-up is something that Mike has been interested in for quite awhile and now he's done it both in Fargo and Grand Forks.  That's a really cool thing to me...especially when it's been a "dream" (as if the word "dream" doesn't sound pretentious enough, I threw the quotation marks there to really douche it up). 


Once Mike started talking, and then doing, Stand-up, I started to think about how often I do something new.  I thought about maybe going to Open Mic and trying Stand-up (with my friend, Scott--look, Scott, I gave you a shout out because we're real life friends!), but I'm pretty concerned  that my weird brand of humor wouldn't work with strangers.  Plus all five minutes of my set would probably be about my thighs and no guy wants to hear that.


Trying new things is partially why I made my 25 before 26 list.  But I want to do more new things.


Blogging consistently would be a new thing (hardy-har-har).  Keeping my room clean for more than two days.  Blue hair (I'm dreaming of blue hair lately).  Skydiving.  Learning to drive a stick shift.  Trying calligraphy.  Meeting new people.  Doing cool things with old friends (one time my friend Rhiannon had everyone over and tried to teach us to draw and it was a lot of fun).  Crocheting.  Trying new and foreign foods.  Traveling to new places.  Learning to braid my leg hair because "Winter is coming."  Going to shows of people I've never heard of (art, music, mime, living statues).  Making stuff with people.  Helping strangers (or friends or acquaintances).  Living life more fully.


What I've loved about my short time in blogging is how supportive everyone is.  People are constantly commenting, sending me helpful links, or saying "I want to do that, let's do it together!"  If anything in the above word-vomit paragraph appeals to you and you want a partner in crime, let me know.  Heck, I'm down for anything, so message me with your weird dreams, goals, leg-hair braiding techniques and I'm sure we can make something neat happen.


August Goal Review

Another month gone and with it, my determination and ability to complete items on my 25 Before 26 list.  I honestly thought I had such a handle on my goals and went as far to brag about how well I'm doing, with the "exception of two or three items."  When you actually get down to it and look though, I haven't even accomplished half of my goals!  There was some progress in August though, so I can't be too terribly upset.

1.  Etsy shop- vintage
Done! (8/6/14)
Technically, this goal is completed.  I finished it right away in August when I put two maps for sale.  I haven't listed all of the vintage clothes that I have, but opened is completed.  

2.  Collection of short stories- ready to submit
I've started jotting down story ideas, which is progress.  Other than that...nada.

3.  New tattoo
Done (2/21/14)

4.  Finish framing prints
September is the month for this.  If not finish, then do a few more.  One is a super weird shape, so I'm sure I'll have to special order a frame or matte it myself.  I matted a boyfriend's print years ago and I'm pretty sure the stress from it caused our eventual breakup.  Okay, that's a little melodramatic but I sincerely hate matte-ing pictures/prints.  The one thing I hate more than matte-ing a picture though is paying someone else to do it.

5.  Blog redesign
Done (6/20/14)

6.  Buy nice camera
Making use of the camera that I have to see if a new one is needed/deserved/in order.

7.  Learn how to do my hair
Now that my hair is shorter (I've finally realized a long bob is shorter, not short) all I want to do is color it.  I saw the picture below of Keiko on her instagram and decided that maybe I'm more of a hair color-er than a hair do-er.  Needless to say, I want that hair color.

8.  Go on a trip somewhere new
Done (7/24/14)

9.  Bring Crookston to dog training class
Done (3/11/14)

10.  Figure out Spanish creds
Done (5/23/14)

11.  No credit card debt 
...next goal, please.

12.  Send more letters
No progress in August.  I actually received more mail this month that usual, so that was exciting.  I bought some new cards and will be doing a few this week or next though.  The total still stands at: 2 packages, 3 postcards, and 20 letters.

13.  Create realistic workout plan
I talk about this more than any other goal.  Those who can, do; those who can't, blog about it.

14.  Learn to crochet
No progress.  Still looking (not actively) for a teacher.

15.  Grow closer to God 
Having a Catholic book constantly in my "reading" pile makes me feel like I'm not a complete failure at this goal.

16.  Complete a 5K
No progress.  There is still time.

17.  Volunteer 
I have to volunteer for my program at school, so this one is becoming more important...and a little less about actually helping people.

18.  Finally go to the drive in theater
DONE! (8/22/14)
Read about what I great time I had...here.

19.  Renaissance Festival 
Not going to happen.  I might as well strike this through...actually, I'll do that once the Ren Fest officially closes for the season.

20.  Read 40+ books
Guess what, suckers?  I'm at 37 and will crush this goal by the end of September.

21.  Print more photos 
Who prints pictures anymore?  No one.  This was a stupid goal.

22.  Create more
Does homework count?  Creating magic on papers?  No?  Okay, then no progress.

23.  Go camping 
Done (7/24/14)

24.  Make a quilt
I think every month I say that I'm going to start my quilt.  And every month passes with me never thinking about it again.  It's okay, I won't lie to us both and say September is my quilt month.

25.  Get my passport
No progress.  This is probably one of the easier goals that I have left, but here I sit.  Passport-less.

10 Books

Facebook is pretty infamous for the weird trends that leap from one person's page to the next...10,000 pages.  Just last week, the ALS Ice Bucket challenge was blowing up everyone's feeds, this week, along with the Ice Bucket stragglers, I've noticed people posting the 10 books that have "stuck" with them.  This is a band wagon I was more than happy to jump on.

Quick disclaimers before viewing the video:

  1.  I say "um" a lot.
  2.  I didn't edit anything.  Those "ums" are all me, baby.  Plus the sniffles.  And the rambling.  And the moment where I get distracted by my computer screen.
  3. My turban is awesome.
  4. This was literally filmed in one-take on a computer before bed.  I'm not going for an academy award here.  I told my dad about a month ago that I wanted to occasionally vlog, so here it is.  The first is always the worst, but better done now than waiting for perfection.
  5. Enjoy it.  Can that be a disclaimer?  The disclaimer should actually probably read more like "Enjoy it or suffer the consequences."  What consequences you ask?  Well, when people are dumping ice on their head for fun (read: charity), the possibilities really are endless. 

video

Delayed Dreams

Today marked my first, full day in college in nearly four years.  In the past, I've worked full-time and would do my best to work a class or two into my schedule...some years I'd forget about taking a class altogether.  Last year I attempted to balance school and work as I spent most of my time at my dream job (though I had no idea it would turn out to be that when I first applied and accepted the position at a local alternative high school).


I worked for a year as a paraprofessional in the library and after seeing how hard the kids worked (or in some cases didn't work), I realized that it was because of students like them that no education position has ever 100% seemed right for me.  I'm supposed to work with the kids that cannot succeed in a typical high school setting.


It was with the heaviest of hearts that I left those kids and my position after only a year.  I left because I want nothing more than to work with them.  I want to teach them.  I want to let them know that they can succeed and English can be awesome...or at least not terrible.


So I find myself enrolled in school full-time this year and it's slightly overwhelming.  I'm taking the heaviest class load I've ever attempted and keep telling myself that it'll be worth it to be in a classroom sooner rather than later.  The homework I have after only a day of class is impressive to say the least, but I'm not going to let it get me down.


They say you have to work for your dreams and with being that awkward, older-than-average student, I can definitely attest to that.  I'm going to be busting my butt so that I can bust the butts of high schoolers in a few short years.


This outfit post is what I wore on the first day to try and fit in with all the young-ins because you never know when you're going to need a study buddy (and I don't want to be the creepy, mom-type student that everyone avoids).  Today a boy in my Creative Nonfiction class, upon learning we both have birthdays in December, asked if I was also turning 21 this year.  Bless his poor, naive heart.

Sandy and Danny at the Drive In-Without the Awkward Boob Grab

Sure the title of this post might be confusing, or misleading, but I was finally able to go to the drive in theater about 40 miles from town and the one thing that kept repeating in my head was the movie, Grease.  My experience was, fortunately, nothing like the hormone-pumped scene that replayed in my mind over, and over again.

They say blogging connects you to people.  In the short period of time that I've made my blog "public" to friends and family via Facebook, I can definitely agree with that statement.  It is because of connections made that I was able to cross "Finally go to the drive in theater" off of my 25 list.

Working in the mall, you form unique friendships with employees in stores around you.  Maybe it's because you see each other almost every day, or maybe it's because you see the life and joy drain out of each other's eyes every day.  Whatever the reason, I became conversation pals with this gal, Caitlin, who works next door to us at the coffee shop.  We'd share snippets about our lives as I made uncreative beverage choices (Diet Coke...I always get a Diet Coke).  We exchanged phone numbers and half-hearted, "We should hang out!"s.  Nothing much developed from this until she read my blog.

I was making yet another Diet Coke purchase when she told me that for the past two summers her goal has been to go to the drive-in theater.  I was ecstatic.  It's always easier to plan something with someone who wants to do said activity instead of harassing other people and trying to convince them that they'd enjoy it.  We made a plan.

We asked a few other mutual, and not so mutual, friends if they'd like to join, but Caitlin and I were committed.  I didn't care if it was just me and the coffee shop girl traveling in silence, I was going to cross the drive-in off of my list, awkward experience or not.

Our third ended up being a gal I know from many things, but not one thing.  I cannot even venture to guess when I first met Hannah, but I do know that she and I have exchanged many short conversations over the years, so I was thrilled to be adding her to the Sandy and Danny date adventure!

Had to bring a blanket, because I get cold more easily than most human beings
The three of us met up in a parking lot, as all shady and wonderful adventures begin this way.  We grabbed coffee where I made a teenage boy uncomfortable and then we hit the road.

Coffee, coffee, coffee!
Luckily, there was nothing awkward or weird as far as the other two girls were concerned.  We all kind of clicked in an easy sort of way.  Before I knew it, we were at the drive-in.

The man who greeted us and took my hard-earned garage sale money from my hand informed us that the only rule was to have fun and if we didn't have fun, he didn't want us back.  Okay, that actually makes him seem like a jerk as I read it, but he was super friendly and helpful and he made me even more excited for the show.

Obviously no movie experience is complete without a trip to the snack bar.
Despite the mist and Caitlin's broken windshield wiper.  Despite the fact that I smuggled in about $20 worth of snacks (I didn't know if they were allowed or not) and no one ate much of them except for me.  Despite the movie being horribly cheesy and ridiculous, it was the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flick.  Despite all of these little things, I had a blast.  I had so much fun and know that I will be back, hopefully, before the "season" ends.

This iPhone pic does not do the view justice.  We actually had a great spot and everything was easily visible.
I told the man friend about it and how the next time I go, we need to bring his truck and fill the back with blankets and pillows, and make the experience even lazier and more comfortable.  I would recommend to everyone in the local area to try and make the trip out to Sky Vu if they have an opportunity this year.  If we don't patronize this amazing place, eventually, it will go extinct, and that will just make me sad.