A couple of months ago I wrote a blog all about the things I will miss when I graduate, which is actually a pretty awesome list. But this past week we had Alpha Phi Senior Week, which gave me the chance to reminisce a bit about my years in my sorority, and how much I will miss certain things. I’m officially not ready to graduate…mostly because of these things.
Brian & Curtis’s Fabulous Cooking
For the last 3 years, I have had two cooks who make meals for me 3 times a day during the week. This means that I really haven’t tried out the whole cooking thing, and I’m completely unprepared for my future as a real person. It also means that I won’t ever eat as well as I have for the last few years. I don’t like everything that they make…but overall, I really love their cooking. My favorite meals include breakfast/brunch, swedish meatballs, ciabatta sandwiches, orange chicken, pizza (it’s homemade), pasta bar, KFC-ish mash bowls, and anything that he makes with pesto… I’m hungry just thinking about everything!
The Banner Closet
Our banner closet is a closet that holds paint, random things, sheets for banners, and that serves as a place to store banners that have been painted for events as they dry. For me, the banner closet is a crafter’s paradise. It is a great place to store half-finished crafts when there isn’t room in my own room, a great place to go to find that perfect color of paint when I am in the middle of a project and don’t have what I want, and to go to find anything else that I could ever possibly want. Soon, I won’t have a room like this right beside my room, and instead I will have to drive to Wal-Mart or Target every time that I have a crafting need. How inconvenient is that??!! Maybe my apartment complex will open a crafting room that could fill the hole in my life that the banner closet will leave.
I live in a house of 76, and I have 50+ other sisters that don’t live in. Most people couldn’t handle this…but I love it. There are always people around to hang out with or talk to, and life is so much more exciting this way. I love my pledge class and the pledge class below us…and the pledge class below them was the group that I worked with as the pledge educator so they will always hold a special place in my heart. And to top it all off, we got an amazing group of girls this year that I have loved getting to know. Basically, I don’t want to leave them. I wish I could stick around a bit to see how they grow over the next few years and where they take our house. I have full and complete faith in them, but they are just such awesome people that I don’t want to leave them yet! Alpha Phi, you’re great….keep it up…and never change.
My pledge class at an event earlier this year....
This Thanksgiving, I celebrated the holiday in a very different way than I usually do. Usually, I spend my morning being lazy and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then my family and I go to my cousin’s house for a HUGE family gathering. All of my Grandma’s brothers and sisters (she is the oldest of 9) and their families comes to Thanksgiving, so it is usually a pretty crowded get-together with tons of food. This year I was visiting my sister, Natalie, and her husband, John, in Albuquerque over Thanksgiving, so for the first time ever, I got to celebrate with less than 50 people.
This was totally new to me, mostly because for the first time, we had to cook everything. When you are in a big family, one person makes the turkey, one makes ham, one makes potatoes….and so on. We obviously didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of our Thanksgiving meal, or the variety of foods we would have, so we made everything that we wanted….which just took a little bit longer. Some didn’t think that we could pull it off…but we worked ahead (by making pies, rolls, and the turkey the night before) and on the day of we each took a different part of the meal, so it was all ready right on time.
I was really proud of our spread of food…so I took pictures…obviously. Check them out:
- The table setting for our Thanksgiving dinner.
- Our apple pie…
- My personal favorite – the cheesy potatoes
- Baked beans…
- The most delicious turkey…ever.
- Perfect rolls…
Somehow, we finished off the turkey, the baked beans, and the cheesy potatoes all before dinner…and of course it was all delicious. But the real accomplishment of the day was that we made all of this….and my sister and I didn’t hurt each other in any way. Impressive, huh?
I love coming home… a lot. This year, I haven’t been able to come home nearly as much as I would like, so this is only my second time home (the first was Labor Day weekend, and now it is Fall Break). But every time I come home, I do the same things, and the routine comforts me in a way. The routine changes slightly, depending on the time of the year and what I need to do, but these 5 things are the constants for every visit of mine.
- The food. Eating at home is basically the best of both worlds, home cooking and going out to eat. There are several places that we always MUST visit, like Bobe’s Pizza, our favorite Amish restaurant, the BBQ place in town, or Sweet Stuff Cafe, so basically I could eat out for every meal, and be perfectly content. But, since my dad is a farmer, and we always have a pretty impressive stash of beef, I love having a good steak dinner or my dad’s famous Sunday lunch complete with pot roast and homemade mashed potatoes.
- The drive. If you have never driven to southern Indiana, you should. Basically, as soon as you get south of Indianapolis, the landscape turns into beautiful rolling hills with tons of trees…which makes for an absolutely perfect drive on a fall day. My drive home yesterday would have only been better if I could control the weather since driving on a sunny day is so much more pleasant than driving in constant rain for 2.5 hours.
- My couch. Last night I sat down on my couch around 9:30 p.m., and did not leave it until 4:00 p.m. today. Of course I left to eat and to grab a few other things, but other than that….my couch and I have been the best of friends. It is the perfect place to sleep, watch TV, or write blogs, so really, what else do I need on Fall Break?? If only my parents wouldn’t mind if I took this couch with me wherever I go… then I would basically be set for life.
- Seeing my dogs. I have two dogs, Sophie and Stella, who I do not see nearly enough. Stella is a spunky (spunky is an understatement) lab mix, and Sophie is a calm and poised Great Pyrenees. I love them both…especially when they greet me as soon as I pull in the driveway. Unfortunately, Stella’s outrageousness makes playing with them for any length of time completely exhausting… and then I feel bad for Sophie because Stella is a complete attention hog.
- Doing my laundry. The one thing that I like the least about college is doing laundry, or paying to do my own laundry. So I usually bring it home with me….which makes for entirely too much work on the weekend…but at least I don’t have use all of my quarters to pay for it.
The first place that I would suggest for people to go to before/after a campus visit is definitely Broad Ripple. It is a very unique, eclectic, and fun area about 10-15 minutes from campus, and it offers so many different things for college students or families. There is great shopping, great entertainment, and my personal favorite….amazing restaurants. Now some of them are normal chains like Applebee’s, Jimmy John’s, or Subway….but there are also some amazing places to eat there that only exist in Broad Ripple….like…
Broad Ripple Bagel Deli...they basically have every sandwich you could ever want...on a bagel.
Boogie Burger....their burgers are to die for...and they have amazing garlic fries and ice cream too...it just never ends!
Those are two of my personal favorites in Broad Ripple….but there are plenty of other places to eat too. Bagel Deli and Boogie Burger are just places that students seem to love…and that are quick and easy to grab as you are going through Broad Ripple.
Entertainment wise there are always fun things happening in Broad Ripple as well…between Crackers Comedy Club,concerts at the Vogue, and a wide variety of bars. That is what makes Broad Ripple such a young and hip area, all of the different things to do. There is even a dog park that I will definitely take advantage of once I get a dog someday, so that brings an entirely new feel to the area….since people take their dogs everywhere with them.
Crackers Comedy Club....
Try to stop by Broad Ripple the next time you are in town….or better yet…after your tour when you come visit Butler! We Butler kids love it….and tend to congregate there rather often…..so you just might see a bunch of students there if you go!
So for the beginning of my Spring Break this year I decided to go to visit my sister. I felt it was about time that I did this because she has been begging me to come for some time now, and I finally had some free time to go visit her…which hasn’t happened since she moved to Illinois last July. Yeah, my life is outrageously busy, and rather sad. She gave me the tour of Bloomington-Normal, I saw her office, and I saw her apartment, and then…we went walking on Route 66.
Years ago, they stopped using the old stretch of Route 66 near Bloomington, and they made it into a walking trail. They put signs up along the entire section of road that highlight each state that Route 66 cuts through, and that highlight some of the history behind the road itself. It was so riveting that I just had to take photos to share….
This map they had just happens to show how far away my sister will be when she moves to New Mexico in July....
Each state that Route 66 cuts through has a sign like this....
New Mexico...where my sister is moving....
I sure did....
And then....the road ends...literally.
Obviously, Natalie and I had a great time walking on the old Route 66…and we had a great time the rest of the weekend too. Her fiance, John, joined us later, and we spent the weekend watching Basketball, shopping, and just hanging out. Luckily, they took care of me, made me great food, and helped me out with some cover letters….so the weekend was a productive and rejuvenating way to spend the beginning of my Spring Break….and I loved it!
Tagged: basketball, bloomington, cover letters, family, food, illinois, ncaa tournament, new mexico, route 66, shopping, Spring Break, walking trail
Every year during Thanksgiving break, some of my best friends from home and I all get together for a little gathering. We started it my senior year in high school, because while we were talking about our family get-together plans for Thanksgiving, we decided that since we have family Thanksgivings, we should have a friend Thanksgiving too. Makes sense, right? And since my friends and I love to be random, and we love to dress up, we decided to make it a classy Thanksgiving, with a dress code and all. Thus, the Annual Classy Friends Thanksgiving was born.
This year was our 4th year for Classy Friends Thanksgiving, and I am sad to say….I almost forgot about it. Prior to Thanksgiving I was super busy at school, and I would have completely forgotten if I did not get messages on my Facebook (thank you, Allyson) or if people didn’t ask my Mom about it when they saw her at the grocery store (thank you, Braden). Luckily, we found a date that worked for almost everyone, we channeled our classy selves, and we gathered together to celebrate our friendship. Now, you may be wondering about what kind of food we have at Classy Thanksgiving…..and you definitely should be…considering that we are all college students without much money….or cooking ability. Originally we decided to use Classy Thanksgiving as a time to get rid of leftovers from Thanksgiving, which was a pretty successful idea. Somehow we didn’t all show up with cheesy potatoes or green bean casserole, and it was always delicious. But this year, we decided to switch it up, and we decided to all make appetizers. I love appetizers…so much….mostly because of my Dad’s Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. MMMM.
Since you can’t really get the full effect of how legit Classy Friends Thanksgiving is without truly being there….here are some photos from over the years…to show you how classy we are.
For the first celebration, Tyler brought sparkling grape juice. You know, to up the classiness factor. So, we decided that it needed to be chilled, and since we couldn't find an ice bucket...we made due.
The following year, Classy Thanksgiving landed on my dear friend Taryn's birthday. So, we decided to celebrate, but since we only had pie, we let her blow out just a candle.
This is the traditional piano photo that we get each year...from last year's Thanksgiving.
This year, since none of my family was home, we had to make due with only a camera timer...so this is our new traditional group photo.
So as always, it has been a very busy & exciting week in the life of Stephanie. This past weekend I got to do almost all of my favorite things….shop, watch movies,dance, drive, and visit cool people. (Thats a lot of favorite things isn’t it??) I went shopping at Castleton with my best friend from high school who is here at Butler too, Taryn…and we had a great time as always. (She understands how I shop….which is a very complex concept) Then we came back just in time to see SGA’s showing of Wanted….which is an AMAZING movie that I highly recommend. I’m not going to lie, after I watch it I want to go to a shooting range so I can try to curve a bullet like they do….they just act so cool in that movie…it makes me want to be as cool as them. Haha. Then on Saturday I got to dance at my first football game…YAY!! it was so much fun. I really hadn’t realized how much I have missed performing, but it was nice to get to be in front of a big crowd again. We will be dancing at Homecoming in a few weeks….so you should come out and watch if you can! After I was done at the game, I decided to go visit my boyfriend at his school…which was fun because as you may have read in previous blogs, I love to drive, and I guess he’s pretty cool too. I really like just singing like I’m a crazy person, and not even stopping when someone passes me…even though they probably think I’m a freak. I used to have a serious lead foot…and I still somewhat do, but since I got my first speeding ticket EVER a few weeks ago….I have been obeying traffic laws. Overall, I had a wonderful weekend filled with very festive activities…and here is a video of the dance team dancing pregame…:) You probably won’t see us…but the other freshman blogger Liz and I are both in it!
So right now in a town close to my hometown they are having the Fall Festival… Which is this huge street festival where they block of a whole bunch of downtown Evansville and every club or organization you can think of has a booth, and every one sells different kinds of food. If you even enjoy food in the slightest bit, it would be heaven for you. Last year was my maiden voyage to the Fall Festival….and my favorite thing that I bought was actually on my way out….there was a church selling Apple Kuchen (Apple Cake in German) and I thought that I would be nice and buy one for my mom and dad. But I got it….and I ended up eating like 75% of it because it was so delicious. I have been dreaming of that Apple Kuchen ever since that fateful day one year ago….and I just might get to go there this weekend.
So yesterday I had the privilege of not having any afternoon classes….so I got to go to the Obama rally at the State Fairgrounds! I had seen Obama once before during the primaries….but I just can’t get enough of political rallies…they rank up there with that Apple Kuchen. haha. Obama was great as always I thought, but what I enjoyed even more was just all of the people there. I did go with a pretty fun group of girls…:) But it was so amazing just to be in one place with so many people who believe in something just like you do. I’ve had a rough week or so dealing with my beliefs and just trying to remember that it’s ok if we don’t always agree…our differences are what make us each so unique and amazing. But like I said, being able to see thousands and thousands of people who care about a cause…or who believe in a person just like I do was the most comforting feeling I’ve had in a long time. And it was just sweet to see everyone saying to complete strangers, “Can you see him? Here, this is where you should look.” And then they would give up their spot to let that person see. It’s small actions like this that I think mean the absolute most to people. So there are now only 25 days until the election….and I am ecstatic because for the first time in my lifetime, and in even some of our parent’s lifetimes….Indiana is a swing state! Indiana hasn’t been won by a democrat since 1964….which is a really long time. Haha. But I’ve been so ready and psyched to vote for so long, that this is the perfect situation for me to be casting my first vote for president in. And I love that people can’t say, “Oh my vote doesn’t matter, I don’t need to vote”….because this year, it obviously does. Something else that I keep thinking about is how this year’s elections are making history in every way. No matter what, when we have grandkids, we are going to be able to tell them about how we voted in this election…and how intense everything was. I love that I will be able to tell them that I got to see Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton all speak…which ony happened because Indiana is such a battleground this year! Yeah I know…I am a major dork. I love this stuff though!
So here is a video from the rally….hope you enjoy it!!
Tagged: Apple Kuchen, Barack Obama, Dance Team, dancing, Fall Festival, food, football game, Indianapolis, politics, State Fairgrounds, voting, Wanted