31 December 2011

Adios, 2011: Question Style

1. What did you do this year that you've never done before? Spring break road trip to North Carolina with Maggie! The real reason was to look at UNC, but we did make it to the beach! And I learned that North Carolina is one long state to drive through!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I'm not really the resolution type.

3. Any new births this year? Not in the immediate family or circle of friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit this year? Sadly, I spent all of 2011 stateside. But I did make that road trip to North Carolina and spent a week in New Orleans.

6. What would you like to have in the next year that you lacked this year? The means to travel abroad again. I'm so jealous that my sister is going to England!

7. What date from this year will remain etched upon your memory - and why? 15 May -- the day I graduated from Monmouth College.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Surviving my first semester of graduate school? No, in all seriousness, probably getting accepted to graduate school. Or making it through my commencement address without fainting.

9. What was your biggest failure of the year? Putting my ambitions above the people I care about the most. And letting a friendship move beyond repair.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Sick? I never get sick. Sick enough to stay home from school any way. But I had a stress fracture in my foot in August.

11. What was the best thing you bought this year? Hmmm...I would have to say my full size bed in my new apartment. I've been sleeping on a twin for my entire life, and this is a most welcome upgrade!

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Probably the media. Or the GOP...take your pick.

13. Where did most of your money go this year? Tuition. Rent. Gas. Groceries.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about this year? The Women's World Cup soccer games. I literally cried tears of joy on my living room floor. And then went out and ran in 90 degree weather because I was so excited.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Maybe a little of both.
- richer or poorer? Definitely poorer. When it comes to money, that is. But richer in so many other ways.
- thinner or fatter? Thinner -- graduate school will do that to you.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Traveling. Always.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Worrying.

20. How did you spend the holidays? As per usual, at home in Illinois with the family.

21. Did you fall in love this year? This year?

22. How many one-night stands did you have this year?
None, nada, never.

23. What was your favorite TV program for the year? Castle. Hands down. I think I know pretty much every episode by heart. And now that I don't have TV in my apartment, I get up at 6 am on Tuesday mornings to watch it before I go into work. Pathetic, right?

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Hate is a really strong word. I'd use the word upset. Or sad.

25. What was the best book you read this year? So many to choose from. I'm a huge fan of the Mary Russell series by Laurie King. If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, seriously check them out. I re-read them all this past summer.

26. What was your favorite film of the year? Hmmm...The Muppet Movie is definitely up there. But based on the number of times I've watched it, I'm going to have to go with For Lovers Only. I've blogged about it multiple times, I'm sure.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year? Lots of cardigans over t-shirts, skinny jeans, and TOMS. Or button up shirts and sweaters. I let my hair grow out, I cut it off. Now I'm growing out again. I wore my glasses more, I guess.

28. Who did you miss this year? I missed my friends from DC when I was in Monmouth. I missed my Monmouth friends after graduation and I was still there. Then when I moved to Indiana, I missed Monmouth and Green Valley. Right now, I still can't believe its been almost 6 months since I've seen Nora.

29. Who was the best new person you met this year? I've met so many wonderful people this year -- especially all of my IU friends! I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us!

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned for this year. I've learned that I don't have to be perfect all the time. I've learned that my tenacity can be dangerous for my sanity. I've learned that friendships come and go. And I've learned that I'm more of a people-person than I thought.

30 December 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday: New Years Style

1. New Years is about the only day of the year that I can justify sleeping past 9 am. And it's when I watch the most awesome parade ever on TV -- The Tournament of Roses. .

2. One of my New Year's resolutions will be I've never been a resolution person. I'm part of the camp that thinks you can start something on any day of the year. .

3. A New Year's resolution I've made in the past was to I don't know if I've ever really truly made a resolution. Last year I might have coincidentally attempted to eat more vegetables. .

4. The most time consuming resolution I ever made was again, no resolutions for this kid .

5. This year I will be spending New Year's Eve kicking it at home with my family like usual. And praying it doesn't snow...for once. I can't remember the last time we weren't snowed in on New Year's Eve .

6. If I could wish one thing for my new year it would be to make the most of my time in graduate school. And to never forget how great a privilege it truly is .

7. 2012 is going to be filled with a lot of reading, writing, my return to Washington, DC, hopefully a trip to the Kentucky Derby, and my first-ever attempt at summer school .

Hope you have a great New Years!


25 December 2011

Manger Throne

Reflections on the real reason we celebrate...

What thoughts were running through their minds that night? Did Joseph worry about being the earthly father of the Son of God? Just how afraid were those shepherds? Did Mary know that when she kissed her son, she had kissed the face of God? Did that baby know that He was born to be my Savior? I know that He did. Did He know that He would change this world forever? You bet. He left his home in Heaven to dwell among men. To feel pain. He was born to die. And tonight, as I reflect on this holiday season, I remember "that dirty manger is my heart too; I'll make it a royal throne for You."

23 December 2011

Christmas-themed Blanks

1. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is well, Buddy the Elf would say "singing loud for all to hear." But I don't think my singing would spread cheer...at all. Christmas cookies, however, are also a good way. .

2. The thing I love most about Christmas is the music. I love Christmas carols. My favorites are O Come O Come Emmanuel, We Three Kings, and Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming. I also love all the family traditions .

3. The holiday season is a time for taking time to relax, spend time with family, and remember why we celebrate .

4. My favorite thing to eat at the holidays is hmmm...roasted almonds are my new favorite. Homemade caramels and Christmas cookies are up there too. And anything peppermint flavored. .

5. I will be spending Christmas with my family. Christmas Eve at my grandparents' house. Then it's off to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church (again, deathly afraid of fire). We open one present on Christmas Eve. Then my grandparents come back to our house on Christmas morning for breakfast .

6. Tis better to (give or receive?) give. Definitely. .

7. I'm dreaming of a relaxing and completely non-academic Christmas.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas!


22 December 2011

Thursday's Thoughts

Sherlock Holmes 2 is even better than the first. Maybe I'm biased due to my slight obsession with Conan Doyle's most famous character, but seeing this film in the theater was well worth the $4 I paid to see it at 12:45 pm on a Tuesday afternoon. First showing of the day...that's how I roll. Great special effects and Robert Downey, Jr...need I say more?

I should be banned from the kitchen. This afternoon, my mom called and asked me to put the meatloaf in the oven (she was with my sister who had four screws taken out of her jaw this afternoon). So, of course I preheated the oven, put the meatloaf in, set the timer, and walked away. Probably to watch TV (which I've been doing way to much of, by the way). I came upstairs half an hour later to check on the meatloaf only to find the oven was cold and the meatloaf colder still. Seriously, Grebner? Do I not know how to operate an oven? I swear I'm a capable adult who cooks for herself every night. Just yesterday, I made some pretty impressive (if I do say so myself) roasted almonds. Apparently, I'm getting a little too cocky.

I miss playing basketball. A lot. I've gone to two games at my high school this past week and now I find myself with a longing to hit the hardwood again. There's no place that feels more like home to me than that 84' x 50' rectangle court. I miss the feel of the leather ball in my hands (and sleeping with it at night). The high fives and the hugs. The turn around jumpers and the offensive rebounds. I miss the bruises and the blood -- badges of honor that we wore proudly to class the next day (or maybe even to the Homecoming dance). The aching feeling in your side when you felt like giving up, but you push through anyway. Pain is weakness leaving the body, that's what we always said. I miss the plays I still know by heart. Saying a prayer during the National Anthem. Having the number 32 on my back and Lady Raiders across my chest. My coaches. My teammates. We became a family. I miss living my life on a scoreboard for 32 minutes every night. On the court, with a ball in my hand, I controlled my own destiny. The rest of the world seemed to fade away...

19 December 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday: Tardy.

1. My most favorite "little thing" is homemade breakfast, a good cup of coffee, and a book on a Saturday morning .

2. I give anything to be able to spend a year traveling .

3. I can't believe how fast this semester went by! I can't believe I'm 1/4 of the way through my masters degrees already! .

4. The one thing I'd like to achieve today is set up my Christmas tree in my bedroom. The one with the ornaments I've gotten every year since my first Christmas .

5. The last thing I want to do today is work. Good thing I'm on break, eh? .

6. If I were writing my own blank today, it would say: The best gift I've ever received is... .

7. My favorite candle scent is well, since I'm deathly afraid of fire (no seriously I am...ask me why sometime. it's a pretty good story), I'm not really a big candle person, but I am a fan of Woodwick's pumpkin butter. Or anything autumn-y in general .

13 December 2011

Tuesday Tune-Day

I missed my cue for yesterday's Music Monday, so you're getting some tunes today instead.

The Civil Wars are one of my favorite duos. And their version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel is hauntingly beautiful. Enjoy, y'all!

11 December 2011

Sweet Procrastination...

So I only have one more paragraph of a paper to write and I'm done for the semester. So instead of finishing that paper, I've cleaned my room, taken a trip to Starbucks and the grocery store, and watched a movie. And now, let the procrastination continue...

As if you've ever wanted to know the answers to all these questions (that I stole from another blog)...

About Me Questions:
1.Do you have a middle name? Sure do...Elizabeth.
2. What was your favorite subject in school? Was? More like is. History...at least I sure hope its my favorite.
3. What's your favorite drink? Hmm...this is a tough one. Three way tie -- Milk, Coffee, Sweet Tea.
4. Favorite song at the moment? Any song by The Mostar Diving Club. Listen for yourself.
5. What would you name your children? Another tough one, but I won't pretend like I haven't thought about it. Definitely Amelia. Greyson or Isaac. I'd have to see them first.
6. Do you participate in any sports? I played basketball through my freshman year of college. And I ran track in high school. But now, I'm getting pumped for the HGSA intramural basketball team.
7. Favorite Book? A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Van Auken. If you haven't read it -- do yourself a favor and click that link to order it. Now.
8. Favorite Color? Yellow.
9. Favorite Animal? Hippos! Or flamingos.
10. Favorite perfume? Strange question, but I'd have to go with Donna Karan's Be Delicious...I mean who doesn't want to smell like an apple?
11. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. It doesn't get much better than spending time with family and kicking off the holiday season. Although, I'm also a sucker for the 4th of July.
12. Have you graduated High School? Yes...and it seems so long ago now.
13. Have you been out of the Country? Yes, Grenada (not Granada), Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
14. Do you speak any other Languages? Spanish...very poorly. But I would love to learn German and Haitian Creole (random, I know).
15. Do you have any siblings? One younger sister...who has the same initials as I do.
16. What's your favorite store? Well, based on my closet I would have to say Gap. But I wish I had the financial means to say J. Crew.
17. Favorite Restaurant? Here in Bloomington? Probably Scholar's Inn...or Farm...or Upland Brewery. Too many choices! But in general, any Italian restaurant will do just fine.
18. Do you like school? I sure hope so! Or I'm some kind of masochist.
19. Favorite Movie? Of all time? Hoosiers. I watched every year on the first day of basketball season.
20. Favorite TV show? Castle. I have a theme for crime shows and mystery novels. And this show gives me both.
21. PC or Mac? Mac. All. The. Way.
22. What phone do you have? An enV Touch? It's so old, I don't even know what it is. But I'll have a smartphone in a couple months (fingers crossed)!
23. How tall are you? 5'8"

12 Personal Questions:
1. What do you order at Starbucks? Well, today I got a Peppermint Mocha. In the fall, I get a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and in the summer I go for a plain old iced coffee (sweetened with milk of course).
2. One thing in your closet you cannot live without? My running shoes.
3. What's one thing most people probably don't know about you? I've never eaten ketchup. In my entire life. I say I don't like it, but I actually don't know because I've never tried it. That's how revolting it is to me.
4. Name one thing you want to do before you die. Easy -- ride a camel.
5. What's one food you cannot live without? Cereal.
6. What quote/phrase do you live by? For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
7. What's your most listened to song on itunes? "I Hope This Gets To You" by The Daylights. Click here to listen to an awesome song with an awesome video.
8. What kind of style would you define yourself as having? Comfortably classic with an infusion of athletic.
9. Favorite number? 32...like Magic Johnson.
10. Two Hobbies? Photography and Scrapbook/Card-making
11. Two Pet Peeves? Poor grammar and people who drive under the speed limit.
12. Guilty Pleasures? Cadbury chocolate, Diet Coke, and horrible TV.

Now I've succeeded in reaching another level in procrastination and wasted your time...

09 December 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. Love is real .

2. Being in love feels like you can't eat, can't sleep, but you can reach the stars .

3. My favorite quote about love is "

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

" C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves .

4. The most important thing in a relationship is trust .

5. A "deal breaker" for me in a relationship is when he doesn't respect me as an individual or what I want to do with my life .

6. The way I show love in my relationships is by doing. I will drop anything to help someone I love .

7. I love loving and being loved in return .

05 December 2011

Music Monday/My Finals Manifesto

Break out the Gatorade and sweat bands...it's that time of year. It's the Superbowl of school. Also known as finals week. Personally, I loved finals as an undergraduate. I lived for them. Yes, I know I am a sick and twisted individual. I psyched myself up for them like I did when I played basketball. For three hours, you put it all on the line. Everything you've learned for the semester in a blue book. Or three. Or four. Then when you're done, you feel so free. Like you just won the championship game and you're going to Disney Land. Or if not, at least you know that you left it all at your desk.

Now, I'm a grad student. We don't have finals. But as I stare my final papers in the face, Scandal featuring Patty Smyth will be my theme song. I would much rather be held captive in a classroom for three hours taking an exam, but it's the fourth quarter and I'm not about to lose.

02 December 2011

{December's First} Fill in the Blank Friday

1. The holiday season is a time to spend at home with friends and family. And to remember the real reason we celebrate .

2. Snow makes me excited up until New Years. Then it can go away. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely something magical about a white Christmas and I love to go sledding, but I HATE driving in snow .

3. The best comfort food to eat when it's cold out is my grandma's potato soup. Hands down .

4. Winter is the best time for reading (and hopefully I'll have time to read books I actually want to read) .

5. I can hardly wait for Christmas Eve at my grandparents' .

6. When it comes to holiday gifts I prefer to buy online. I hate going shopping during the holiday season...unless it's at an outdoor mall .

7. If I were to rate my excitement about the holiday season on a scale from 1-10, I would say I am at about a 7 or 8. I'm actually getting into Christmas music this year. And my Christmas cards are done and waiting to be mailed .