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Archive for December 2008

Goodbye 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm still in Connecticut having a great time with Shawn! We're about to go out for New Year's. I'll have tons of pictures to post when I get back home. In the meantime, I thought I would reflect on the last year:

  • Last Christmas/New Year's Shawn and I went to Nashville.

  • I started this blog in January.

  • In February, Shawn and I had our first Valentine's apart from each other. We gave each other webcams.

  • Also in Febrary, my grandfather passed away.

  • I had my second semester of commercial design classes. My model broke the night before my restaurant project was due, but I survived. I even got an A on the project.

  • In May, Shawn finished Power School in Charleston, and he moved to Ballston Spa, NY. I visited him the day after the Spring 2008 semester ended, and helped him move into his house.

  • In July, Shawn went to Grand Island, NY and met my mom's side of the family during our family reunion. We went to Niagara Falls that weekend.

  • The weekend after that, we went to New York City together. It was amazing.

  • In August I started my senior year of college!

  • In September, Shawn and I celebrated our third anniversary.

  • In October Shawn moved to Connecticut.

  • In December, I finished the semester and got ALL A's!!

  • Christmas break has been great: I've gone to Atlanta, Nashville and now I'm in Connecticut with Shawn!

  • Happy New Year!

    Merry Christmas

    Friday, December 26, 2008

    I returned home from my Atlanta trip on Christmas Eve just in time for dinner reservations at PF Chang's. After dinner, we went to the Christmas Eve service at my dad's church. The church was beautiful. I never get to the see the sanctuary because my dad goes to the contemporary service, which is in another building.

    On Christmas day I got some great presents, including the camera I wanted. Holly, my dad's dog, got me a present too: a memory card for my new camera:) She knows just what I want! Christmas dinner was a little different than usual because the oven has melted/blown up. Don't ask me how; it's very confusing.

    Today we celebrated Christmas with my mom. We had the typical Christmas dinner (ham and various casseroles), since her oven is working.

    Pretty soon I will be on my way to Connecticut to celebrate Christmas with Shawn. I don't know if I'll be posting or commenting much because I have a lot planned for my trip. I'm so excited!

    Merry Christmas blog friends!

    Cookies and waffles and presents

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    I just made some delicious homemade waffles, which is one of my favorite things to make at home. We have a great waffle maker.

    I also made the White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies that so many people had been talking about. Every single person in my family loved them! They were a huge hit. Usually I'll bake something and one person will like it and someone else won't. That was not the case with these cookies. The only problem I had was with the white chocolate I used. I guess it was old and wasn't really melting. My sisters were anxious to try these cookies, so we all hopped in Megan's temporary car and drove to Kroger for more chocolate. It was also pouring rain at the time. Aside from that little mishap, they turned out great!

    My mom is busy wrapping Christmas presents. Only three more days until Christmas. I hope everyone has a great one!

    One more thing, I just updated my header. What do you think? It was made by the wonderful Becca.

    Home for the Holidays

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    On Wednesday I left Mississippi and headed for Alabama. I'm glad to be home! Grades haven't been posted yet, but I already received my grade from the studio apartment project. Guess what amazing grade I got! A 102! I've never had such a high grade. I owe it all to my newly acquired Photoshop skills. It has to mean something when my professor wanted ME to teach her how to do things in Photoshop.

    The kids I babysat over the summer have been anxiously awaiting my return to Alabama. Laura, their mom, told me that Justin (the three year old) has been asking her every single day when I'll be coming over to their house. Yesterday I headed over to their house where I was immediately greeted with hugs from Abigail (six years old) and Jeremy (just turned two). Jeremy can even say my name now. But Justin was nowhere to be found. I finally peeked into the playroom and saw him playing with some cars. "Hi Justin," I said expecting some sort of greeting in return. Nope, not a word. I guess the cars were more interesting than me. Eventually, he warmed up to me again when we played his favorite game. And when it was time to for me to leave, he had a temper tantrum. "NOooooo! I DON'T WANT MISS REBECCA TO LEAVE!!! I guess he likes me again.

    Tomorrow my mom and I are going to Nashville to see Belmont Mansion.

    On Tuesday Abigail, Laura and I are going to the American Girl restaurant and store in Atlanta. I know I'm a little old for American Girl, but I have so many wonderful memories of my two dolls. I had Josephina and Molly. I still have the dolls, but I gave all the clothes to Abigail. I just can't part with my dolls yet. How lame am I?

    On Friday I'm flying to Connecticut to see Shawn!

    Shawn's version, part two

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    “Soon” followed after a two week vacation caused by hurricane Katrina. Luckily Clinton, MS is far enough north not to have any major problems. Katrina did bring a gas shortage, however. What else is there to do then but take a road trip? After some sweet dancing in the rain, I traveled north to Mississippi State’s campus for a week. When I got back it was again time for class.

    The first day of psychology I entered class and sought out a seat. I immediately noticed Rebecca sitting in the front row. I took the seat next to her mostly because the class was filled AND PARTLY BECAUSE SITTING NEXT TO THE PRETTY GIRL IS COOL.
    The first day of class brings significantly less attention to academics than it does sleep deprived, blood shot eyes. Intro to psych brought less out of me. I spent most of it looking at Rebecca, both to ensure she was the same girl I met before and as the cool kids would say to ‘check her out’.

    The freshman classes were always filled with two types of people: freshmen, of course, and Biology majors, so I caught up with a couple of the guys after class. Rebecca passed by like a freshman on a mission, a mission to ignore me.
    For the next few weeks, I saw Rebecca in class and sometimes out on the Quad, a large open park-like area. I never had a reason to stop her, or chase her down from a distance, and say something like “Hi, I am that guy from class.”, because I was not ‘that guy’ from class. Later, Rebecca would tell me one reason she agreed to date me was because I spent time to learn about her before asking her out, so this was a good thing.

    One day, I was sitting on the Quad with a friend as people often do. Restricted to the walkway, Whitney and Rebecca were walking alongside the bench I was sitting on. Whitney made eye contact… Blood in the water!

    “Can you believe these girls?” I said to my friend, “I see them walkin’ around campus and they ignore me. Everyone knows you can’t ignore me.”
    Rebecca made some excuse and Whitney just laughed. My friend rolled her eyes. She was familiar with my hype. In reality, I had not felt ignored and wasn’t even bothered by the prospect of them not recognizing me.
    “What are you doing with the camera?” I asked.
    “Taking pictures for Facebook” they replied.
    Ah yes, Facebook, the newest campus craze. Coincidently, I had just gotten it myself at the begging of everyone I knew and ten people I didn’t. I broke down after I had no remaining friends without Facebook.
    "I'll look you up." I said.
    I did look her up and sent a friend request. Normal people would have just used being in the same class as a way in the door, but I used Facebook.

    Our Story, part two

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    If you haven't done so already, I suggest reading Our Story, Part One (my version) and Shawn's version.

    A couple days after I met Shawn, Hurricane Katrina hit. And life got a little crazy. Eventually students were able to come back to school, and classes resumed. My first class on Tuesdays and Thursday was Intro to Psychology. I arrived early to class because I'm just one of those people. After the professor had already started lecturing, out of the corner of my eye I saw a male student sit in the desk next to mine. I felt his eyes staring at me a couple times during class. When he wasn't looking at me, I was staring at him, trying to figure out why this guy was staring at me.
    "Do I know him?" I asked myself. After staring at him off and on throughout the class, I realized that I did recognize him. The guy sitting next to me was Shawn, who I had met a couple weeks earlier.

    After class was over, Shawn was talking in the hallway with some upperclassmen. I was a lowly freshman, and they looked very tall (I'm only 5 feet tall) and intimidating. I pretended that I didn't see him and walked right past Shawn without saying anything to him. For the next few weeks, I kept pretending to ignore him whenever I saw him in class.

    Around this time, my roommate and I discovered Facebook, and we each set up accounts. Neither of us had profile pictures for our new accounts, so we decided to walk around campus looking for some great picture taking spots. As we were coming around a curve in the sidewalk, I saw HIM sitting on a bench, talking to some girl.

    Internal dialogue: "Uh-oh, I bet that's his girlfriend. I should just pretend to ignore him. That's been working well for me so far. We're getting closer! OMG! I'm going to walk RIGHT BY HIM! Can you really ignore someone, if you walk right in front of them. That's probably rude. Oh look, guys playing football. I'll pretend to focus on those guys and walk really fast."

    I almost made it past Shawn and friend girl (or was it girlfriend?) but then Shawn spoke to me. And I just couldn't ignore him if he was talking to me.

    Shawn: "Hey! Why do you keep ignoring me? Don't you remember me?"
    Rebecca: "Uh...I didn't see you there. I was watching the football players."
    Shawn: " what are you doing out here?" He points to my camera and asks, "Are you taking pictures?"
    Rebecca: I gesture towards my roommate and say, "Yeah, we just joined Facebook and we're taking our profile pictures."
    Shawn: "You just got Facebook? I'll have to look you up."

    Wrapping up the semester

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Photos number five (stained glass) and nine (tree and tombstone) got the same number of votes, so I decided to print and mat both photos. I'll turn them both in and let my professor decide which one to keep.

    The semester is almost over! I'm going home either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. I have two exams tomorrow, on a Saturday! Yuck! That means I have to get up early on a Saturday for my 8:00 exam. I'm not happy about that. Tomorrow I have my Spanish exam and my Photography presentation.

    On Tuesday I turn in part of my Interior Design Portfolio, and I get my evaluation for my Studio Apartment project. I hope I got an A! Tuesday night I turn in my business plan for my Business Principles for Interior Design class. I'm already done with my portfolio layout and business plan, all I have to do is turn in everything. The end is very near! It's such a relief to be finished with everything early.

    I see Shawn in 13 days! Part two, my version and Shawn's, will be coming soon.

    I need your help!

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    For my Photography class we have to get our one best photograph printed and matted, but for the life of me (or, rather, my grade) I cannot pick my best photograph. I can't even narrow it down to my top five.

    That's why I need your help. I'm going to list some choices. Some are photographs that I like, and some are photographs that I got really high grades. I think that my favorite is the one with the pumpkins, but I didn't score very high on that photograph. I think my highest grades were the tombstone picture and the cross. The teacher is taking everyone's best photograph and putting them on display in the library. Please, please help me and tell me which one is your favorite.

    #1 Tombstone

    #2 cross

    #3 courthouse

    #4 berries

    #5 stained glass

    #6 church tower

    #7 sepia column

    #8 columns

    #9 tombstone and tree

    #10 pumpkin

    Shawn's version

    Monday, December 8, 2008

    During a recent phone conversation, I told Shawn that I was writing our story on my blog. He seemed interested in what I wrote, so he actually stopped my blog to read the post. Shawn knows about my blog, but he doesn't ever read it. After reading the post, he said that he liked it, except for the part where I was wrong. This evening, I received an email from him with his version of our story.

    Here is Shawn's version of Our Story, Part One.

    Ever been the biggest man on campus? Me either. But junior year 2005 was pretty sweet because I met Rebecca that year. She was and still is smart, beautiful, funny, and short. She was also sitting at my table in Hampstead’s. Hampstead’s was a campus restaurant capable of fulfilling a desire for a chicken sandwich, as well as other things less deserving of attention.

    Early campus life at school is a fun time. Most people arrive early to either take care of last minute affairs or meet up with classmates not seen since the summer break began. Being a social individual, I found myself again making the calls and hook ups, but on this day luck had conspired, as it often does, against me…. well for me actually.

    My plans to eat with a couple of friends fell through as they were miles off campus by the time my hunger hit. Not much of a problem for me because Hampstead’s was open and the beginning of a new year means a renewal of the meal points.

    Chicken sandwich, a drink and a seat. Three things needed, two attained. Now for the seat, which was currently occupied by two female students I didn’t recognize. The college is small so that meant they were freshman.

    “I don’t eat alone and you look interesting enough.” I said. “Mind if I sit with y'all?”

    Nods meant sure so I sat. We began talking about the topics of all freshman students: what’s your major? where are you from? and do you drive fast. The last one was my question. Several hours passed since the two girls were fairly interesting. The roommate was a talkative brunette ready to respond while Rebecca was a quiet redhead who required more effort to bring out her opinions. She didn’t even divulge her lack of a driver’s license when I asked about the need for speed.

    Rebecca was very nice and extremely pretty. I could definitely stand to learn more about her at this point, but I knew I would see her again. I saw everyone again at school. I just didn’t expect it would be so soon.

    Pet Peeve

    When I tell people that I'm an interior design major, these are the responses that I usually get:
    Response #1: "How fun!"
    Response #2: "You should come design my house."
    Response #3: "Are you going to be on TV someday?"

    HGTV has shaped America's idea of what an interior designer is. And I find that a little annoying. In my opinion HGTV designers aren't designers at all. I would call them decorators.

    Here's a great explanation of a designer vs. a decorator:
    "While interior decorating is an important aspect of interior design, interior design encompasses a much greater scope of practice and professionalism. Interior decorating is the application of finishes, i.e., wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, etc. An interior designer is a professional who identifies, researches and creatively solves problems to interpret the function and quality of the interior environment. A designer is responsible for performing services relative to interior spaces, including programming, design analysis, space planning and aesthetics, using specialized knowledge of interior construction, building codes, equipment, materials and furnishings. Designers are formally trained to prepare drawings and documents relative to the design of interior spaces in order to enhance and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public." (found on this website)

    Here's Rebecca's explanation:
    Decorators spend their time matching paint colors, throw pillows, and fabric. Designers learn much more technical information. We learn all sorts of building codes and fire codes, and how many inches a toilet can be from a wall. Lots of boring stuff. Instead of learning which carpet looks good in a room, we learn which flooring choices inhibit bacteria growth and are slip resistant.

    Sure, interior design can be fun, but it's a lot more than paint and fabric. It involves a lot of research and work. For my studio apartment project I spent weeks researching sustainable counter tops. For my restaurant project, I spent hours rearranging the restaurant kitchen, trying to find the most functional floor plan.

    And interior designers don't just design houses. What's the last building you walked into? Church, school, shopping center, hotel, or office building? Chances are that an interior designer worked with the architect to create the space.

    Choosing paint, and fabric and flooring is only about 10% of what a designer does. There's so much more to it than that.

    Our Story, Part One

    Saturday, December 6, 2008

    I've been thinking about doing this for several months, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Shawn has been on my mind a lot lately, since I'll be visiting him soon. So here is our story.

    It all began in August 2005. I had just started my freshman year of college. Actually, classes hasn't started yet, but I had moved in to my dorm room and met my roommate and participated in all the welcome week activities with her. Day three at college we decided to check out a restaurant on campus called Hampstead's. Being brand new freshmen, we had never eaten there, but we had heard that it was good. We ordered our food and found a table. Not long after we sat down, this guy walked over to our table and said, "I don't have anywhere to sit, and you guys look interesting. Can I sit with y'all?" He told us that his name was Shawn and that he was a junior biology major. The three of us spent the next two and half hours talking. I don't even remember what we talked about, but I do remember being surprised that so much time had passed.

    When my roommate and I were leaving the restaurant, I remember thinking, "Wow, people sure are nice at this school. I definitely made the right choice when I picked my college." There weren't any sparks, and it definitely wasn't love at first sight. I thought he was nice and then I forgot about him. But it wasn't long before we met each other again...


    Thursday, December 4, 2008

    The end of the semester is here, as so many others have blogged about lately. Here are some updates in my life.

  • Yesterday we had our ASID (American Society for Interior Designers) Christmas party. The vice-president really didn't want to have the party in the interior design building and kept trying to convince me to have the party in a restaurant. I tried explaining that it wasn't in the budget to have the party at a restaurant, but she kept complaining that the Annex wasn't festive. So I decorated it. I brought my Christmas tree over to the Annex and decorated it using leftover ornaments that ASID had made as a fundraiser. I also used some garland and ribbon throughout the building and it looks SO cute! The best part: I got paid to decorate for Christmas, since I work in the building.

  • If you couldn't tell, I really like my job because I can basically do whatever I want and get paid for it. I get to do what I especially love to do (organize) and it's always great to get paid to do something that you like. I went to a Christmas party today for my other job, and we got Christmas bonuses added to our checks. Yay! I've never gotten a bonus before.

  • I'm still working on my Connecticut itinerary. I have Saturday-Tuesday planned, but it's hard to find things to do during the holidays when places are closed. I'll keep working on this.

  • My studio apartment project was supposed to be due on Wednesday, but it was pushed back to Monday. And I'm already finished! I'm not completely DONE, but everything's finished. Did that make sense? Not really. OK, all I have to do is print out my boards, but the plotter ran out of paper. It took 30 minutes to print ONE board! (My board is 20" x 30") So I have seven left to print. And that's it, then I will be completely done.

  • I watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes today on TCM, and I have the song Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend stuck in my head. Does anyone else like watching old movies?

  • Now that I'm done with my project I feel so free. I really don't have too much going on in my other classes. I have to finish my Powerpoint for Photography class, I have to create a layout for my portfolio, I need to write my business plan for my Business Principles class, practice my presentation for my studio apartment and study for my Spanish exam. But that stuff is all so easy compared to my interior design project. I'm so glad I'm almost done!

  • Connecticut here I come

    Monday, December 1, 2008

    Going to Connecticut is no longer just wishful thinking. I am officially going! I bought my plane ticket, and I will be in Connecticut from December 26-January 4. I'm so excited to see Shawn! Now I have to get my itinerary together, and figure out on what days I want to do things.