The Great Christmas Exchange

Hello from an Arkansas winter wonderland!

I’m currently sitting on my couch, wrapped up in my favorite fuzzy green blanket looking at the fluffy white blanket of snow that fell outside last night and this morning. It looks like we got about eight inches. I haven’t gone outside yet to verify (it’s too stinkin’ cold!) but it looks beautiful.

Maybe when I go outside I’ll take some real pictures, too. I refuse to do the “here’s the snow through my window blinds” photo. Sorry ’bout ya.

Anyway, all this snow has finally got me in a Christmas mood. I’ve been listening to Christmas music since December 1st and have even done a little gift shopping, but for some reason, it just didn’t feel like Christmas yet. Maybe because it was 70 degrees here on Tuesday. No lie.

Now I’m all holly and jolly, and merry and bright, and ready to dance the jingle bell rock!

Who’s with me?

Another thing I’m excited about now that it feels like Christmas is The Great Christmas Exchange!

Elah Tree

The fun idea was baked up by my blogger friend, Elizabeth, at Oak + Oats and her blogger friend, Samantha, at Elah Tree. Anyone who wanted to could sign up and was emailed an partner a few weeks ago.

I was super excited to receive my partner email. I love meeting new people in real life and now that I’m trying to get back into the blogging world, I’m looking forward to meeting new people digitally. (What great things we can do with the Internet nowadays. 😉 ) New friends are fun.

I’ve enjoyed learning about my partner via his/her blog and social media channels, albeit it does make me feel a bit like a stalker. I can’t wait to send my gift and read about its recipient’s reaction!

Stay tuned for my gift post in a few weeks.

Have you ever participated in a secret gift exchange? What was your experience like?

Monthly roundup

I told myself that this would never happen. I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those bloggers that fell off the face of the earth for indefinite periods of time only to resurface and say, “Oh I’m so sorry! But my life got busy and this and that and blah, blah, blah.” But it’s happened… again.

Here’s the deal.

I graduate in less than two months. And while I am ready to be done with school and homework, I am definitely nowhere near ready to leave the friends family I’ve made over these past four years. I am determined to soak up every minute I have left with the absolutely wonderful people in my life. And if my blog posts have to come less frequently in order for me to do that, then so be it.

I still love y’all. Promise. But y’all are just gonna have to hold yer horses for a while.

So, as is (somewhat) usual for me, here’s the monthly roundup of the last month of my life. It has been full of adventure!


My friend and I went to the historic district of a nearby town last month and explored. It was so fun! The area was beautiful and charming and there were advertisements painted on the sides of buildings. I’m a sucker for old advertisements painted on the sides of buildings. Just to let y’all know.

It snowed. Once. And it melted the same afternoon it came down. That’s been the only sign of winter we’ve seen all year. And as much as I like snow, I ain’t complaining. Bring on summer! I’m ready for warmth and sunshine!

The sunsets have been beautiful! This is good for my soul. (But let it be known that sunsets in Kansas are still 4597230958 times better than they are in Arkansas.)

I’ve been learning lots of useful things in school. This is from my freshman-level art history class. It’s my favorite. Can’t ya tell?

And even though I’m totally slacking off in class (and not ashamed of it), I’m still keeping up my grades (see, Momma?). In fact, this was the highest grade I’ve ever made on a test in college. Thank you freshman-level art class that takes almost no effort to pass.

I went skeet shooting last weekend with some friends. It was a blast! I’ve shot trap before (once) but this was my first time shooting skeet. I was terrible. But it was great fun. It’s my goal in life to be a good shot someday. Then I won’t feel like such a poser. I swear, what kind of country girl can’t shoot a gun? Oh right, me. Farm girl fail.

That’s about all for now. I’ll do my best to keep y’all updated as much as possible, but like I said, I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of every last minute I have until graduation! I only have 79,719 minutes left. That’s 55 days.

That’s too soon.

Recaps, reviews and resolutions

Everybody’s doing it. You know, writing a “Here’s-what-I-did-in-2011-and-here’s-what-I’m-going-to-do-in-2012” blog post. And I’m finally jumping on that bandwagon. I’m only four days late.

I run on my own schedule.


2011 was a fun year! And because I’m sure y’all have already read a bunch of these kinds of lists and I don’t want to bore you, I’ll just rattle off a few quick highlights. I’m sure this is probably more for my benefit/nostalgia/enjoyment than yours anyway.

–2011 saw more snow days for my little Arkansas university than it had seen in 30+ years.

–Said snow days occurred as a result of one heck of a crazy snowstorm everyone dubbed, “The Snowpocalypse.”

–Then came, “The Rainpocalypse.”

–I failed at baking brownies, coloring, cards, and drawing the state of Kansas.

–The highlight of the year was definitely completing an internship in Spain!

–I decided to take the LSAT and possibly apply to law school.

–I started my senior year of college.

–I got to TP a basketball court.

–2011 closed out with a (semi)-winter storm and plenty of Christmas and New Year’s parties.


Now… for 2012.

I’m not much for resolutions. It’s not something I’ve ever really done and I’m much more of a go-with-the-flow person as opposed to making a plan and sticking to it tooth and nail.

I jokingly told a friend that I had made a one-day resolution to cheer for the Denver Broncos when they played the Kansas City Chiefs even though I am a huge Chiefs fan. I only did it because I didn’t want the Oakland Raiders to go to the playoffs, which they would have if Kansas City won. A few minutes after the game started though, I figured out that if Oakland lost their game to the San Diego Chargers, it didn’t matter if Denver won or lost; Oakland would be denied a playoff berth. (If you’re unfamiliar with the NFL playoff system, let me tell you, it can get a little crazy!)

So I said heck with the Donkeys, uhh… Broncos, and cheered all-out for my Chiefs!

And it all ended up working out ok. The Chiefs won and Oakland lost! Yay!

But, I digress.

Back to New Year’s resolutions.

Which I don’t really make.

With the exception of sarcastic one-day resolutions pertaining to football games that I actually make for selfish reasons.

And then break ten minutes into them.

I have problems. I know this.

But for real. A couple days before the new year, I downloaded a year in photos app for my iPhone. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Take one picture a day, every day, for 365 days.

Now, I’m really not a fan of such long-term commitments, mostly because I don’t like planning and being tied down, but also because I’m pretty sure I’ll break them. Nevertheless, I’m attempting this one. And by attempting, I mean keeping up with it as long as I can and not caring too much when I miss a day.

I’ve kept up with it so far though! Four days… impressive, I know.

Here are the first three photos and captions. (I haven’t uploaded the fourth to my computer yet. It and subsequent photos will hopefully follow.)


New Year’s Cookies! This is a family tradition. Every year my aunt makes these delicious German treats. This year I had at least six of them. I lost count after that, so the final tally isn’t exactly known. Oh well, it’s better that way. I’d probably rather not know how many I ate. I tend to overindulge a bit during all the holiday parties.

I have problems. I know this.

Being a cat is rough. Just ask my cat, Turvy, and he’ll tell you all about it. He gets to spend all day inside and stick his head in the bag of cat food and eat whenever he wants. And he’s supposed to be an outside cat. Pshhh. My mother spoils him.

Family Christmas supper at the local restaurant. This was like the twelfth (and final… thank goodness) family Christmas we’ve had this year. I love my family. I really, really do. And I love get-togethers and parties! But we like to eat in my family, so there is always tons of food at our get-togethers and my stomach has finally said enough.

The flip side is that in a week, I know I’ll be back at school dying to have a home-cooked meal again, so I really shouldn’t complain.

And that’s all for now, folks!

I hope y’all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year’s with your friends and families and that you can approach each day in 2012 as it comes, with a smile on your face!

Rain and sleet and snow, oh my!

I’m back in Kansas! (And all the people said, “Amen!”)

My last fall semester of college is over and I’m spending my last Christmas break at home in Kansas. (And all the people said, “Amen!”)

I’m sorry. I’m just a little excited to be home. I’ll get down from my pulpit.

Yesterday was my second day in Kansas, (and all the people said… never mind) and I woke up to the sound of rain and this view outside my window.

Now, if any of y’all know anything about Kansas, you know this is a rare sight. And when any little bit of rain comes along you do a little dance and jump up and down and shout thank you at the sky.

Not really.

But for real, rain is a good thing (Luke Bryan, anyone?) and we are always thankful for the moisture.

However… yesterday I was not so happy with the rain.

I was being selfish and I wanted snow. Lots of snow. I mean, it was snowing an hour north of where I live, so why couldn’t I have snow too?

Life is so unfair.

I’m totally kidding.

It rained and rained all day long and we got over an inch! (That’s a big deal.) But let me put it in perspective. If it had snowed all day instead of rained, we would have had a foot of snow on the ground.

Boo. I wanted snow.

Sorry. I’ll stop whining too.

As I was going to bed last night, the rain had changed over to a sleet-y snow something but I had little hope left at that point. But when I woke up this morning, I saw this!

And this!

And this!

Now let me explain something to y’all. Snow never comes straight down in Kansas. It’s never soft and pretty like you see in the movies. It always blows in sideways.

What the heck does that mean, you ask?


Lots of wind.

It seems like we can never get any snow in Kansas without a gusty north wind. Yesterday was no exception. We were in a blizzard warning all day and we might not have gotten a lot of snow, but we got all the wind. Thank you Kansas, very much.

If you look at the last photo, you can see how the wind blew across my driveway and created a little ripple effect in the snow. It sure looks pretty, but it’s a pain if you actually have to be outside in it.

But I got to stay inside all day yesterday and I was a happy camper.

Now I just hope this snow will stick around until Sunday so we can have a white Christmas!

Here today…

…and gone tomorrow.

This area, known as “The Quad” at my small university is a large grassy area in the middle of campus. In the fall and spring, students love to hang out on The Quad: playing frisbee, doing homework, napping.

Just a mere three weeks ago, students flocked to The Quad on an unusually warm day in late January.

Then last Tuesday night and Wednesday, a snowstorm the likes of which Arkansas has never seen before dumped 20 inches of snow on our campus and cancelled classes for only the fourth time since the 1970s.

This was Thursday, February 10.

So much snow! Most students here didn’t know what to do with themselves. Not many of them had ever seen that much snow in their lives. But I can promise you this: nobody was napping on The Quad that day!

After a couple days of temperatures in the low teens, the weather went schizo and skyrocketed into the 60s.

And this is all that was left of the snow by Monday, February 14.

What a difference a few days makes.

The snow has melted even further today and The Quad now looks like a swamp.

Oh, how I love Arkansas.

Much love,


The Snowpocalypse

Ok, I just couldn’t stay away from y’all. My Mac is still in the shop (can you say “in the shop” when referring to computer repair? Or does it sound too much like auto mechanics? Whatever..either way I’m still without my computer) but I have been dying to share some photos with you.

In the past two weeks, my little college campus has survived what is being dubbed as “The Snowpocalypse.” We’ve had over 25 inches of snow in two weeks. Growing up in Kansas has exposed me to my fair share of blizzards and snowstorms, but this is absolutely unheard of for Arkansas.

Last Wednesday morning, I woke up at 6:30 in the morning to my phone ringing and girls shrieking in the room next door. The phone call was from our campus alert system notifying me that campus would be closed for the day and all classes were cancelled.

I had received the same phone call a week earlier during the first round of this “Snowpocalypse” and was amused to find that hardly any snow was on the ground outside. Arkansans will cancel school for a snowflake, it’s a little ridiculous.

So naturally, I expected to see a similar dusting of snow when I looked out my window Wednesday morning.

I think I may have even shrieked myself when I saw this…

There are cars out there somewhere in that parking lot, I promise!

Needless to say, I felt like the class cancellation was justified this time.

Look at that drift. The snow is up to the windows! I was impressed. It’s been a while since I’ve seen snow like this.

My friends and I enjoyed staying inside that day (because with the beautiful snow also came nasty cold temperatures) doing nothing. The next day though, classes were cancelled again but the sun was out and shining so we decided to go have some fun in the snow.

I have beautiful friends.

During our winter wonderland excursion, I found out a fascinating fact about myself.

Apparently, I’ve got hops like Air Jordan.

What the heck?

I’m pretty sure that person is not me. I’ve never been able to jump that high.

I did have a lot of pent up energy from being inside for two straight days… maybe that explains it?

I have no idea.

I just wish I could have had hops like that in high school. My athletic career would have been way more stellar than it actually was.

Anyway… as beautiful as this snow is, I don’t think it’s going to stick around for long. Temperatures are forecasted to hit the 60s by the middle of next week.

In Kansas we have a saying to describe this: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.” And let me tell you, that is an absolutely true statement. But I’ve never experienced it anywhere but home.

Since when did Arkansas turn into Kansas?

Whatever. I like the craziness and unpredictability. It keeps life interesting.

Much love,


When it snows in Arkansas…

…the whole world goes crazy.

Or at least it seems to.

I woke up yesterday morning to this view outside my window.

Now in Kansas, this is no big deal.

Actually, I take that back. It is sort of a big deal. See that picture? There are no drifts. Where I come from, that’s rare. When it snows in Kansas, the wind always blows. A lot. So we always have snow drifts. Big ones.

But then we jump in our Chevy’s and bust right through them.

So it’s not a big deal after all.

Anyway… this meager dusting of snow was enough to cause an uproar with all my southern friends (and my Californian roommate).

Facebook was overrun with status updates begging for professors to cancel classes. The roads were surely impassable.

And I’m sure most Arkansans thought they were. There are no such things as snow plows down here.

But that’s where these guys came to the rescue.

Our maintenance crew works so hard. I appreciate that they stood out in the cold and the snow and shoveled that sand. You can’t see it from this angle, but the road they are on has a pretty significant slope to it. Without that sand, the snow probably would have been packed down in no time by professors driving to class and who knows what could have happened on that hill.

Thank you maintenance crew!

But… this is a university full of junk food-loving college kids and so rain or shine, snow or ice, the Coke man always makes his delivery.

I personally don’t like pop all that much, but I’m sure half of the students at this university are relieved to know they won’t have to make it through the weekend without their beloved carbonated sugar. Thank you Mr. Coke man.

After snapping these photos, I put on a pot of coffee and pulled out the box of leftover pizza from my fridge.

Welcome to the life of a college student.

Does anyone remember the promotion Domino’s Pizza had going a few months back where they encouraged people to send in their self-shot photos of the pizzas they ordered?

I’m seriously considering sending this one in.

If that doesn’t say delicious and nutritious, I don’t know what does.

Personally, I think the grease stains make the photo.

Please don’t judge me when I tell you I ate this whole thing.


And I may or may not have enjoyed it.

But, of course I ate it like everybody should eat a piece of Domino’s pizza.

Crust first.

Ever since Domino’s remade their crust I have been on cloud nine.

I mean, who doesn’t love garlic and butter smeared all over a chunk of fatty baked dough?

Sign me up for that.

Or a psych ward.

Just kidding, sort of.

And did you know that Dominos now prints instructional sayings on their pizza boxes. They call them pizza proverbs.

That’s alliteration at it’s finest, people.

And that’s wisdom at it’s finest.

Or maybe not.

But while we are on the subject of wisdom and pizza and the finer things in life, let me just say that I also have a theory about coffee. I believe coffee tastes good all the time, but I think it tastes even better when it’s in a cute mug.

Look at this.

Now that looks fine, but wait until you see the entire mug.

Isn’t that happy?

My wonderful Californian roommate gave me that mug for Christmas and it has become one of my favorite mugs.

Thank you sweet Roommate!

Eventually I had to go to class yesterday. I even drove my car to Walmart and back without incident (thank you, Lord) and thoroughly enjoyed the snow even though I almost slipped and busted my face in the parking lot last night.

This afternoon the maintenance crew was hard at work again… clearing the parking lot.

Thank you again, maintenance crew!

The funny thins is that the forecast is calling for another round snow on Sunday.

Here we go again…

Oh give me a home…

Hello from Arkansas!

I made it back to college on Tuesday and have been loving every minute of it! These first few days of the semester are always fun. Everybody is excited to see each other and hang out after a month of being gone and nobody has a lot homework yet so it’s kind of like one big party!

Wait, isn’t college like that all the time?

It is for me. Homework? What’s that? How have I survived three years of classes again?

Never mind…

I was skimming through some photos today that I shot over Christmas break and I got a little nostalgic for my beloved Kansas.

I love the “big sky country” and I already miss my big Kansas sunsets.

You can’t see this in Arkansas. At least not on campus. Too many trees.

I even miss the ice and snow.

The weatherman was calling for a big snowstorm in our area of Kansas a couple days before I was supposed to leave for Arkansas and I got so excited. I was actually going to have a chance to play in the snow! I haven’t played in snow for years.

Well, a quarter inch of ice, half an inch of snow and two days later and I was headed down the highway.

Old man winter may have missed my house with his buckets full of snow, but the road department definitely did not forget to ice the roads. Six hours of slush and dirt and salt later, I arrived in Arkansas.

Anyway, the dusting of ice and snow made for some nice pictures from my last day at home.

I’ll especially miss the deer that came to graze in our field every night. There were usually at least 10 of them out there during the evening and sometimes I would just stand at my window and watch them. What beautiful creatures they are!

Seeing them always reminded me of the Kansas state song.

Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play…

But.. just fyi: we don’t like antelope in Kansas. They tear up our fences.

So we’ll just keep the deer. I think they’re prettier anyway.

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