August, 2011: I moved to Tallahassee, Florida and started a Social Work PhD program at FSU. The drive across country with my sister and new sister-in-law was fun! I even got to stop by and visit Val and Dax in Texas.
September-November, 2011: The best way I can describe these three months are with four cards from the game Star Munchkins:
Stressed with school. Frustrated with school. Overwhelmed...and ready to kill technology.
I also moved into a tiny on-campus family-housing apartment. My first apartment alone. The kitchen is tiny, the tub is a shower and not a real tub at all, and there aren't any attachments for a washer and dryer. I love it anyways =] It's kind of a two bedroom apartment; there's just no hallway between the bedrooms. I use the middle one as a library. I love buying picture frames, making curtains and tablecloths, and trying to decorate my little apartment. I also love that for the first time in seven years, I don't have to keep a good chunk of my belongings in a storage unit!
Lastly, I got a new calling in my ward: Family History Consultant. It was great, because I've been meaning for forever to learn more about doing my family history. It also provided a much-needed break a couple of times a week to not do things related to school! So, now that I've been doing it for 10 months or so, I'm getting much better at it. If you have any questions about family history, family search, or new family search, it's possible I can help =]
December: I visit my family for Christmas. Yea! I visit my sister and her little family in Utah first, making a green knit cap for my nephew (he chose the fluorescent green--his favorite color). There was a shocking lack of snow while I was there. Then I go home to San Diego for the rest of vacation.
January-March, 2012: I go back to school. Luckily, that semester, I'm taking less credits. I go see Wicked in Jacksonville with some friends. It was still awesome.
March, 2012: Sadly, I get into a car accident and my car is totaled. Yeah, I got it last August. I hate cars.
When the car flipped, but head got all cut up, so I had to get a bunch of stitches. And no, they didn't have to shave my head. The hair that I lost kind of...got ripped out. In case you're wondering, it's a little traumatizing to lose a bunch of hair that way. It's starting to grow back now; kind of funny, I have these little tufts that are about 1 1/2-2 inches long that stand up sometimes. The picture I uploaded is the least graphic one I could find. It think it was taken a little less than a week after the accident. My eye swelling up was actually kind of scary. It didn't start to swell until two days after the accident. Then it started to turn purple, and was almost swollen shut. I had to go back to the doctor to ask them about it, but they said that if my CT scan was clear (which it was), then it was probably just fluid going to fix something wrong with my eye.
The awesome thing about the accident (if there is such a thing): After I got to the hospital, the nurses asked me if there was anyone I wanted to call. I kind of hesitated and told them I'd have to think about it. My home teacher was out of town. I didn't really know who I should call. I was trying to figure that out when my visiting teachers, who had just been assigned to me the month before, were standing in the doorway. Here's the amazing part: no one had called them. They had left their apartment because the people outside their apartment were having a loud pool party (it was on a Sunday afternoon), so they had decided to drive to a lake and have a picnic. They had literally driven by the tiny on-way intersection where my car was sitting upside down, saw my car and wondered if it was mine, then pulled over when they saw my friend Melissa (who I'd been driving home from church) sitting on the grass nearby. Melissa told them the ambulance had just barely left to take me to the hospital, so they jumped in their car and met me there. It's still hard for me to process how lucky I was that they came. They arranged for me to have a blessing, and even called my family to tell them what happened because I didn't feel like I could talk on the phone at the time. Tender mercies, as Elder Bednar would say. They, and one of the guys who came to give me a blessing, stayed with me for six hours while I got stitched up and waited for the doctors to clear my x-rays and let me go home.
April, 2012: I buy a new car. It's bright red. I wouldn't ever have thought of buying a red car, but I really was thinking that maybe people would see me instead of running into me. So far, it's worked. And I don't really speed anyway, so I'm not afraid of being pulled over more frequently.
May, 2012: I turn 31. Kind of hard, not because I was afraid of turning 31, but because I've been going to the YSA ward for the last year, and moving to the family ward made me feel cut off from friends. Luckily, my schedule has lightened up enough (or maybe I've just adjusted to it) so that I can go to more activities and institute classes. I decided that, even though I'm "old" I'll still do weekday activities at the institute.
I take myself to Jacksonville for my birthday to see Les Miserables. I've only ever seen the clips of the songs on youtube, so it was pretty amazing to see the whole performance for the first time.
I also purchase my first major piece of furniture. The apartment I live in is furnished, but the "couch" they have is a disgrace. It's actually painful to sit on. So, I purchased the following (I like the color)...
...and the pillows came with it!
Please feel free to compare the striped monstrosity on the left
with the turquoise couch I purchased on the right.
June, 2012: I find out that a journal article I wrote last semester is going to be published! Excited, but I do feel some pressure because of it. My topic may have been the thing that made my article attractive. Still, I'm optimistic that other projects I have might also be successful.
I also start hiking around the trails in Tallahassee! I love exploring some of the trails that are close by. I even got a group together to go exploring. It's a little awkward, because when I go hiking on my own I can do whatever I want; pause and take in the scenery whenever I want. With a group, there's more pressure to keep going and you miss things. On the plus side, I didn't have to leave a note on my table saying where I went hiking in case I went missing =]
July, 2012: I went kayaking for the first time! It was just on a little "lake" nearby. FSU has a small lake that they call "The Rez." Everyone made it sound like it was really far, so I've never gone out there. Then, I went with a few friends. Yeah, it's a five minute drive from where I live. And it's free for students to get in and check out canoes and kayaks. Welcome to my new hobby.
So, there's your update for what I've been up to the past year! I've kind of felt like there hasn't been anything terribly exciting to report, except maybe the accident (and I didn't really want to go into that). Here's hoping I'll find something to say between now and next year!
Love your guts,