Saturday, May 26, 2012

Babies & Bonfires

Yesterday was LONG. But of course, once the work week ended, time sped up infinitely quicker. Dumb. Why does that even happen.

So after work yesterday, Jess and I went to get frozen yogurt with some of her friends and their babies!

I think babies are fascinating. But I've always been that weird kid that sits in the background and says super nerdy things. Yesterday, these two conversations happened:

Before the frozen yogurt, I called Tom:

Tom: Hello?
Me: Thomas, I'm going to get frozen yogurt with Jess and babies! Well their moms will be there too.
Tom: What? Why?
Me: Because Jess asked and I love frozen yogurt and babies like it too because they can eat it I think. They don't have teeth yet so it's probably good for them to eat.
Tom: (laughs at me.)
...then his friend called and he had to go. 

Then, when we arrived, I was talking to Jess:

Me: I like babies. They are like knowledge sponges because their brains aren't developed yet so they just absorb everything they see.
Jess:...you would say that.

And the longer I sat around these people, I just kept thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't have kids until I'm 27. Or maybe 28. Make that 30."

They're cute, but they take a lot of work! And geez, they require so much stuff. Like, those diaper bags are filled to the brim with baby equipment. How do you shop with such things?!

But I digress.



Cute place, right? Sweet Cece's is the greatest. Especially when it's 90 degrees outside.



Thomas brought out his impressive collection of flannels to disperse among the cold girls. He and his friends played music for us earlier in the night. Which, I guess, makes me a groupie? No. I just sit in the basement and stare at Tom while he plays guitar until he gets nervous.


^That's a s'mores!


Look at how cool we are! Tom's sister Sam, me and Jess. It was Sam's birthday!

Lots of fun.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! It finally officially feels like summer!




Thursday, May 24, 2012

Impromptu evening with the boys of summer

It's hard not having homework and a newspaper to put together.

I come home from work. Go to the gym. Shower. And then sit.

But today! Today, my roommate Jess and I decided to be spontaneous and go to a minor league baseball game with Thomas and his friend, Wes.

None of us are particularly fond of baseball, but the postgame fireworks? YES.

Also, earlier today I had to interview the owners of one of the best bakeries in town. It's a tough life, people.


Aaand the Chief's game!




Ok now look closely at the photos above and below this caption...
Above: Note Wes, photo bombing.
Below: Note the Dip n' Dots, eaten out of a hat.
Jess and I were nearly hit with foul balls three times tonight.


And a firework show to rival the Fourth of July!


Almost Friday, woo!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New girl

The worst part about starting a new job, internship, or class?

Being THAT kid.

Otherwise known as the kid who, among other professional members of the media, can't figure out their microphone and stumbles over the cord. And then can't cut a soundbite correctly.

Today, that was me. And it probably will be me until I get the hang of things.

Also, I have a blister. But it's well worth it because I genuinely enjoy getting up and going to work in the morning. And then later coming home and watching Gypsy weddings for three hours. Not that I do such things.

So, at the end of a long day, I like to curl up on the couch with sugar-free mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Ready for more photobooth magic?


BAM.

Because this is how I want the internet to remember me. My ice cream and me.

Also, other memories I should share.


My other roommates left, so it's just been Jess and me 'round these parts. I like this photo of us. Mostly because we are just so HOT. And I'm in my mom outfit. We will visit our baby chickens this Saturday! Such proud mamas.


Thomas and I are super romantic. We invented this pose, you see. I thought, "What if we were on a boat, and I told him to just trust that if he opened his arms, the magic of the ocean would balance him?" Then I threw his necklace onto the Bass Pro Shop floor and floated away on a broken door.

None of that happened. I confess.

<3






Fail.

Seriously now.

One day into my "photo-a-day" exercise, and I already failed.
Well, looks like I'm doing two to make up for it!

I did take a picture yesterday. It's riveting.


Me at the magazine internship, holding just some of the gadgets I used yesterday. Recorder, cell phone, ipod, camera, notepad, pen, and my laptop, which took this picture.

And today? Internship number two, the radio station! I'm heading out on my own today to cover a story. Here's to hoping I don't suck.

ALSO...

The boyfriend saw an owl sitting on his basketball hoop the other night. I'm so jealous I wasn't there.


Happy Tuesday! Er...Wednesday? When'd that happen?


Monday, May 21, 2012

Photo a day

So it's summer now, and I'm already busy working two internships, following up on things for the newspaper, trying to write a book and still making time to see my friends and boyfriend (and make it home to see the family every now and again.)

As such, I have neglected this blog for a few weeks, and so I feel I need to make up for it. So every day for the next week, I will post (at least one) photo of what I did that day, because so far, every day this summer has been fairly eventful! And then I can get back in the swing of things of posting like someone who likes to blog.

And if it's boring, well, you get to see a picture of me at the grocery store. So be it. 

Today's story:

We had chickens, my roommate and I. Precious little fluffballs. And today, we had to give our babies up after four blissful days. They grew up too fast.




Their new, cute little farm home.



The pig and I were best friends.

And I feel okay letting our babies roam free.

Have a good week!



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Picnic in the park


So last week was one year for my boyfriend and me, and we decided to have a picnic!

And by "we decided," I mean that I said "I want to have a picnic, Thomas! You are in charge of finding the spot and bringing the blanket."
He's a good sport.


And as you can see, he chose a lovely spot with a very picnic-esque blanket.






Things to note:

-Those are, in fact, Halloween plates.
-Homemade strawberry lemonade is seriously delicious, but I won't be going through all that effort again anytime soon.
-Yes, that's an owl dress.
-Potato pizza is wonderful. Next time we're going to concoct some type of baked-potato-with-chives-and-cheese type thing.

And this pie...


...SO good, SO easy, and obviously very pretty. I was pleased. I felt like Martha Stewart, minus the prison stint.

He's wonderful. We had the perfect picnicking day, too. I'll post about our love story soon.

Also fun? These girls nights with the roommates:


Ahh, to be twelve again.

Happy Saturday!!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

R & R

As I write this, I am curled up in bed in a cozy woodland town home, drinking some pumpkin spice tea.

Heaven.

I had some time between my last two finals, one being yesterday afternoon, and my next one being Monday night. Therefore, I was able to get away for a weekend in Galena, IL with my mom, aunt and their friend from college.






This was, without a doubt, the most wonderful dinner I have ever had. Because one, the food was phenomenal. It was also a teeny, tiny place, and because of that, the chef sat down and talked to us for awhile. He said he was from England, and he has lived all over the world. So there was a wide variety of food available that he's picked up from his travels. To get an idea of how much we actually ate–we got there at 7:15, and didn't leave until after 10. 




The most delicious desserts ever. 


Where we're staying. Quiet, pretty and relaxing. 





This is a cabin where a few generations of people lived, including six kids. We thought it was pretty neat.



Cinnamon rolls the size of your head? Necessary. 


The greatest tea shop I have ever stepped foot in.




And tomorrow? Massages and shopping. I have been so, so looking forward to this weekend.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What I've learned, one year later.

It's that time again, everyone.

FINAL EXAMS WEEK.



I can't even complain. In reality, I have two finals and one paper to write. I got off way easier than most. But it's still not easy to focus.

Case in point? I've got an exam in half an hour. A test later tonight. And what am I doing? Well, this, of course!

Side note: If anyone wants a procrastination tool, check out "Idiot Abroad." It's this hilarious show about a rather gloomy man who is sent off to achieve the goals commonly found on bucket lists. HILARIOUS. Find it here.

Also, I mentioned in an earlier post that this year has been a particularly monumental one for me. I took on a major role running my college newspaper, moved into my first apartment and embarked on love for the first time, and I have learned some important life lessons. Here's a rundown of my top 10:

1. All news becomes old news.
This is something I have learned from the world of journalism, and it seems to apply pretty well to everyday life. All things move on. The top story this week will be replaced with a new headline next week. It's the same thing with life. Today and all of its happenings will be a memory by tomorrow, by next week. And whether or not you recall it and let it linger, that's your call. But there will new stories to take its place, new memories to be made. New stories to write.

2. Appreciate the bad days.
There have been some truly bad days this year, days that left me totally defeated. I thought I wouldn't be able to face another day. But no matter how bad something is, I never stop feeling utterly blessed. Because honestly, even the really bad days have some shred of good. Nothing makes you appreciate a perfect day quite like the seriously crappy ones.

3. That Sheryl Crow song really was right.
You know the one. "The first cut is the deepest." Good words there, Sheryl. Good words. The key to many things, I have learned, is to prioritize. You can't make everyone happy. And after awhile of trying to (and failing), I have learned those first few times feel awful. That falling short of someone else's expectations is not something I'm happy to do. But I learned that you need to do things for you, whatever is in your gut. Anything beyond that, things you do against your better judgment because other people tell you to, won't pay off.

4. The media doesn't do women justice.
Due to my various media classes, we talked a lot about the portrayal of women in the media. Last year, I was part of a group on campus that worked to emphasize the strength of a woman's body, rather than the objectification of it. It's a little scary to listen to my friends, family and even very young girls talk about their body images. It's almost a bonding experience; you see a group of girls together talking about how fat they are, how much less they need to eat to prepare for bikini season, how much they dread bikini season in general. Look, I get it. Looking at those tiny stringed-things could incite the fear in any woman (except maybe Miranda Kerr.) But in many cultures, the female body is revered, regardless of shape or size. As it should be. After all, it's pretty useful, what with continuing the species and all that. So my goal, and hopefully others will join me, is to actually enjoy myself at the beach next time I go, rather than worry about how I look. Oh, and I plan on not getting a single sunburn this summer!

5. Talent is useless without pursuit.
After hiring my own employees, I have learned that passion and drive is (almost) everything. Yes, talent is crucial, too. But I would rather have an entire staff of dedicated people willing to learn instead of the most talented, brilliant, laziest people around. That has definitely helped me in my own job interviews, too.

6. Everyone has a story.
I remember thinking this as a little girl, and it has never changed. Everybody, if they have lived a single day on this planet, has a story to tell. That's why I've learned not to judge anyone too harshly. And interviewing people every week has taught me that most people have at least one story they want to tell. Look for it; people can be pretty interesting.

7. Love is both the easiest and most daunting thing I have ever attempted.
There are many things I love. Pumpkin spice lattes, for one thing. And puppies. But I also love my time, and honestly, I tend to be pretty selfish with it. I've got things planned down to the hour, every day, and if things don't go according to plan, I get antsy. Well, meeting my boyfriend Tom (again, but more on that next week) last year was not planned. In fact, it was completely out of the blue. But since then, I have learned to share my time, my heart, and occasionally my food, with someone else. And it has been wonderful. I truly credit my sanity, as well as my general feeling of utter bliss, to him. (It's funny to write about him when he's sitting right next to me. I gave him hot cocoa to keep him occupied.)

8. Being a control freak is vastly overrated.
Again, I love lists and planning and all that. But the very best college experiences I've had have been from spur-of-the-moment field trips with my friends to Walmart at midnight, for example. The sleep deprivation was worth it every time.

9. Life is short. Eat the ice cream.
Once spring hits, I tend to buy flowers every other week. I also like to buy some red wine every now and again. I believe firmly in doing little things you enjoy all the time. Blowing $100 a week on wardrobe updates may not be the most practical of things, but if you can spare a couple bucks each week for a latte at your favorite coffee shop or fro yo, it's a worthwhile investment.

10. Nothing matters more than people and nature.
I am what some would call a workaholic. Part of that is just because I have to be, but I also genuinely love what I do. However, at the end of the day, all I want is to plop down on the couch and be with my boyfriend and my roommates. And my pet fish. Whether I grow up to become a baker or an author or a CNN Correspondent (or all of the above), family will always come before work. And I tossed the nature part in there because I think we should protect the earth. It's also a shout-out for my roommate Katie, who has actively been trying to get me to go green. (One day, Katie! One day.)

-H