Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moving On: A reflection on the past 4 years

Last month I graduated college from Texas A&M. The last 4 years of my life were spent there, and I am not the same person I was when I left High School because of my experiences and friends. While I am excited to be moving on to the next phase of my life, it's always fun to reminisce and remember the memories that were created during my time spent in College Station. Here is a look into my life the last four years:

Freshman Year:

Went to every Aggie Football Game (and basketball and soccer and baseball...). I was no 2%er that year.

Got involved in Upstream (which changed my life)

Became a counselor for Impact

Turned 19 :)

Sophomore Year:

Went to Impact, had some great girls in my group, learned a lot, and had a great time with friends :)

Became an Upstream leader (and met the best friends I've ever had)

Went to China for the 1st time (another life changing experience!)

Turned 20 (complete with pinata)

Went to China again

Junior Year:

Celebrated E-Walk and took a picture with an elephant

Lived with some of the best roommates ever (well, maybe with the exception of Chelsea...lol. Only joking I promise =] )

Celebrated my best friend's 22nd birthday (the age I am now...weird)

Went to a Celine Dion concert. Life goal accomplished!

Got my Aggie Ring!!!!!!!!!!!! (12 exclamation points, because I'm an Aggie)

Turned 21

Went to China a 3rd time

Senior Year (a very busy one I might add...):

Dyed my hair for the 1st time ever (and discovered Martini Street - a great place to dance)

Went to my last football games as a student.

Brushed up on my Chinese food making skills.

Spiced up peoples' lives for Halloween (and added another awesome roommate to the house)

Celebrated Elephant Walk

Went to Las Vegas with the Fam over the Christmas Break.

Toured the Dallas Cowboy Stadium.

My roommate got a dog and it snowed!

Ran a marathon.

Went to Mexico.

Met some great new people.

Turned 22.

Graduated from college.

Then I packed up the house I lived in for the last 2 years and moved back home for a month to prepare to move overseas for a year. Change is tough, but I'm excited about what's coming next. The Lord has blessed me immensely through the past 4 years, and I'm excited to see what this next year has in store.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Overseas Must-Haves

So Julie did this, and I figured I would copy her. As I'm preparing to move overseas, I'm been making lists and buying everything that I will need this next year. Here are a few of the things I'll be taking with me:


I finally did it and joined the Christian movement of buying Chacos. I got them in the mail 2 days ago, and tested them out yesterday, and so far so good. I think they'll be much better than the flip-flops I've used in the past. We have to walk a lot (no car to drive around everywhere) and these will definitely give me more support than my old navy flip flops.


My favorite breakfast item. Some time yogurt and croissants from Eanins just don't cut it.

The Office on DVD

For whenever I need a fix...

Flip Video Camera

I haven't gotten a chance to test it out yet, but I've heard good things. I'm excited to be able to capture all of my overseas adventures

My French Press

The only way to get good coffee (feel free to send some care packages with some coffee in them :) )

Travel Hammock

Two years ago I invested in a hammock and loved it! It's just so relaxing and I love to lay out in it and read/drink some coffee. Unfortunately I wasn't going to be able to take it with me because it's too bulky, but luckily my friend bought me a travel size one so I'll still be able to sit out and enjoy my books and coffee :)

So that's several of the essential things I'm taking with me. If you have any suggestions please let me know! (but remember I only have 2 suitcases to take with me...)

My Summer Reading List

So, I have a lot of free time this June (and I mean a lot) and in order to prevent myself from becoming a total Law & Order SVU junkie, I have a long list of books that I'm planning to read before I head off to go overseas.

A special thanks to all of you who commented on my Facebook status to help me out :)

Here they are in no specific order:

I actually already finished this one. It's an excellent book and in my opinion everyone should read it. While it is a great book, it's also hard to read. It was very convicting for me about my way of thinking and how I live. This is specifically written for Americans and how our culture and the idea of the "American Dream" has deceived and distracted us. Again, I highly recommend it.

Sharing your Faith with a Buddhist

I am reading this one right now. It's very informative on what Buddhism is, what they believe and the rituals and traditions they practice and I'm sure what I learn will come in handy this next year when it comes to relating to people and knowing where they are coming from.

C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy

Thanks to SEB and Jonathan for recommending this one to me. I actually already owned this set and it has been at my parents' house, but I have never read it. I love C.S. Lewis and am looking forward to it :)

A Traveler's History of China

Pretty self-explanatory I'm sure. I thought it would be good to brush up on my Chinese history. This book should also prove helpful for this next year.

Crazy Love
I am excited about starting this one. I've heard nothing but good things.

The Pillars of the Earth
I remember seeing this book a lot when I worked at B&N. It's supposed to be really good. I've already read the first few chapters and it seems interesting so far. It's kind of a historical fiction, so if you're into that stuff you should look into it.

The Normal Christian Life
A man in one of the Sunday School classes Julie and I spoke with sent us each a copy. Watchman Nee is a well known Christian who was imprisoned and died during his imprisonment. I don't know much about the book or him but I'm looking forward to reading it.

So that's all I've got planned. Depending on how long it takes me to get through all these I may add some more. I'll keep you posted. Also if you have any recommendations let me know!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Something I've never done before: graduate from college

I am now a college graduate. I am also 22 (I had my birthday this past month) and those two things combined are weird. I feel so old. Being out in the real world hasn't been all that exciting yet. I moved out of my house in CS and moved back to my parents house for the next month until I move to China. While it is nice to no longer pull all nighters, write 12 page papers, or work on group projects, it is sad to not be in a place I love and see all of the people that have been my closest friends. I don't necessarily mind the fact that I have graduated and moving to China, I just wish it could all be the same when I come back, but I know that it will not be. However, I am comforted in the fact that I know this is not really goodbye, and that I will see them all again, if not in this life, then in Heaven.

My graduation weekend was a lot of fun. My whole family came, (I guess technically that's not true considering that my family is huge, but my parents, sister, and both sets of grandparents were there) and we celebrated with a huge barbecue (with more food than we could eat) with my roommates and all of our family and some friends. Here are a few pictures capturing the events:

the day before (commencement) our speaker was General Petraeus


at dinner afterwards at Jose's Mexican Restaurant

my sister and I

the big day

the stage with a lot of important people

reed arena

so many seats. it was a long graduation ceremony

me with my family


with one of my roommates Jessica

other grandparents

the whole group

opening gifts at the house

hanging out waiting for the food

my dad, one of the chefs

my roommates and I...

take 2...