Sunday, September 25, 2011

I forgot the coolest thing!!

Yeah, it is so exciting I am not only going to update my other post, it deserves a whole new post!! We were sharing with our friend Heather who works in Campus Life at AQ about our apartment and where it was at and such. Suddenly, she asked "is it blue?" We were like, yeah. She said, "I think I had friends who used to live there." She went on to describe the apartment to a T, and when I said that the kitchen floors are black and white tiles, we were sold. The power of social media meant she wrote on her friends Facebook wall about their apartment they used to live in. Earlier this afternoon, she had texted me saying that her friends did indeed live in this apartment between 1995 and 1999. Can we say CRAZY! Heather said that they had the apartment in the "newlywed" style, and was really cute. This world is just too small I think. Another example that this is probably exactly where I am supposed to be right now :)

Alive and Well!

Grand Rapids is alive and well! We have art bursting from all seams and people about taking it all in! It's been a pretty good weekend around here. Friday night, Lydia and I kicked off our alumni careers with an AQ + Art reception at the Catholic Information Center next to the cathedral. While we were the youngest alums in attendance, we also got to kick off our ArtPrize experience. For those unaware, ArtPrize is just that that, Art and Prizes. But the prizes are awarded based on public vote, and it is completely free. For three weeks museums, galleries, restaurants, tattoo parlors, bars, missions/social services, basically any building downtown comes alive with art from all over the world you get to walk around town and see art everywhere. I am so looking forward to using my lunch break at work to get outside and see things.

Back to Friday night, Lydia and I walked Division--as cupcakes, not ho-hos--and visited many spots. Including the gay bar and a tattoo parlor. Clearly neither location expected us to frequent often, but there is really no other time we can just walk into these places and stay 5 minutes. Our night ended with a beer from HopCat, including their Crack Fries, and the long walk back up Division.On a related note, U of M is offering a $10 ticket for a bus to Grand Rapids for ArtPrize--here's to hoping that Hollie (or any U of M person) takes advantage of this to see ArtPrize. I'll also be willing to pal around with anyone who wants to come into town (with at least some notice) for it. I have a pretty good parking spot from work and there are several sites we can walk to from our apartment.

Saturday allowed for round two of us being alums. AQ Homecoming! Yes, while we did not Stomp, we did enjoy the beer tent, and a trip to Queens. Our quest for much of this year is for new experiences, and we are working hard at it! Being back on campus felt great, there is a total new relationship I have with it, but the sights are just as pretty as ever. I love knowing that God did put me there for four years and let it help define me, only to allow that place to have warm open arms the moment I walked back in. It's cool to hear people thank us for the "ground work" we set for great new things! I don't know it's deserved, but it's exciting.

Sunday has been getting life back together. Made some chili earlier today, and then did some fall cleaning. I read Martha Stewart's tips for preparing for fall, and I taking some into consideration. Mostly I just swept and cleaned the floor as well as washed the linens and packed up summer clothing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Different Perspective

Good evening ladies and gents-

I was finally able to catch up on all of Leah's blog posts tonight and I am so glad I did! It is wonderful knowing the struggles first hand and then reading them and imagining all of Leah's facial expressions and hand motions. EPIC

This was a busy and exciting week for the graduate student. Monday brought paperwork and a TB test so I am authorized to start my job at Kenowa Hills. Wednesday included finger printing with the police department-I even got to wear a little Visitor Pass and see the interrogation rooms. Certainly not as glamorous as in the movies I might add.

In social policy we discussed the implications of universal healthcare and the lack of socialized medicine in America. If you are interested in the issue at all, check out "Sicko" by Michael Moore. I wouldn't say his portrayal of the system is completely unbiased but it certainly gets the critical thinking skills in motion. Wednesday morning I attended an in-service on Human Trafficking. I won't get into the devastating details, but I will say this: human trafficking is the result of a cycle of falsely established trust, manipulation, and abuse. The next time you find yourself saying "she (or he) chose that life", think again. Many people are prayed upon at a very young age and are forced to make choices to survive while at this very vulnerable age.

Thursday evening brought another orientation (number 3 for the program thus far) on the intricacies of field practicum. This means an exciting and challenging first summer in Grand Rapids! Friday was spent talking with people that work and live in the South End community of Grand Rapids. Between community gardens, male mentors in the school systems to help with the Believe 2 Become effort, job skills training, and great people at SECA, Abby and I went back to our own communities invigorated.
And of course stressed out about how we are going to possibly write a five page paper on this community when easily it could be fifteen pages!

As you probably read in Leah's post the three of us, along with another AQ girl helped out at Bethany Christian Service's Family Fun Day for foster parents and families in Newaygo on Saturday. Though the day was long it was rewarding and nothing beats having a little kid sit on your lap and share his cheerios with you.

Today brought the mass commemorating Aquinas College's 125th anniversary at St. Andrew's Cathedral. It was great to say hello to past residents, previous co-workers, and friends and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.

My friends, exhaustion has begun to set in and my first day at work begins tomorrow morning at 6:30 am. Hopefully listening to the rain and drifting off to sleep will prepare me for my morning with two to five year olds.

As always-thank you for reading :-)

Kudos to Leah for tackling the Secret Garden, it looks less like a jungle and more like the perfect place for a late night soiree.

MRS much?

Welcome to my first blog post from our kitchen table. It's not that we just got a kitchen table, or that I have never sat here before, but this is the first time that I have been able to get the wireless to connect to my computer!! Passengers, you are now free to move about the cabin--oops, the apartment (guess I forget that I am not on a Delta jet). While I am sitting here enjoying my tortilla pizza, one of my favorite creations that is not all that creative, and I am sure that others have used tortillas to make a thin crust pizza, it still makes me pretty happy and feel pretty savvy--here's an exciting blog post!!

I know you really are just checking in to see about an update for the apartment. Well, after an exciting day of hanging out of 20 children under the age of 5 yesterday, I checked out the Eastown Street Fair (got a great smoothie from Maui Wowi, those are just too few and far between). BTW, the street fair had so many cute things that I just wanted, but I am pretty sure I can get even more savvy and make them myself. Oh well, one day! The night ended with baking Applesauce Bread. The recipe is from a bag of Kroger Brown Sugar. Today was a day that ended up being rededicated to the rags portion of this blog. I got to know the secret garden pretty well. Cleaned up the pavers, swept up some leaves and just let them chill in the corner of the backyard. It looks pretty different, it just needs a few finishing touches and we will be good to go!

Today I also took some time to work on the curtains for the kitchen. I got the first set all ready to go,  and pulled out my sewing machine. I'm pretty honored to use my Grandma's sewing machine. The last time she used it was years ago I am sure. She left aqua thread on top, and khaki on the bottom. I wonder what she was working on? I got all excited and got the bobbin in. (BTW Mom, she does not have the same machine you do, I had to pull out the manual to figure this out!) Tried to get it ready to go, and I broke the needle!! Just my luck! It just means a trip out to JoAnn's this week and we'll see how it goes! No finished product, but the side hems are all pined and ready to go for the future!

Well this long weekend is coming to a close, it's 8:30 and I am pretty sure I feel like going to bed pretty soon. No curtains complete, but my laundry is done. The secret garden is in order, and I baked a loaf of bread. I am going to say that this year of living is really just my opportunity to get my MRS degree started. One requirement for males seeking me to obtain their MR degree, they have to be able to iron their own shirts. That just ain't happening (yeah, I know ain't ain't a word, I'm just starting my MRS degree, give it time!).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Toilet: 5 Leah: 1

This toilet is a never ending battle. At least we don't pay for water. I've had victories, but very few. While I do believe that it is the handle that has caused most of the problem. I have a sneaking suspicion that it might have more to do with the black rubber bubble thingamajig (that word is actually in spell-check, imagine that!). Actually it is probably a combination of the two. Let's face it, the toilet is just going to keep winning. But we are the rockstars (we being my roommates and I).

On a more exciting note, the kitchen curtains are on their way! I have one ready to be sewed, and will keep working towards the rest this week. The new rugs coordinate perfectly with the red of the curtains. Get Excited! Also, my headboard has been spray painted and attached to the bed. I am a huge fan of Rustoleum Hammered Paint in Brown! I might even spray paint the rod for the curtains in my bedroom to match--it's all about coordination here! And my new love for spray paint fumes (jk peeps, I always spray paint in a well-ventilated area!) I also strongly recommend the use of the fancy trigger you can attach to the can, covers evenly and your finger doesn't get tired!

Other than that, hmm, I am excited to bake Blueberry Muffins soon. I have to come up with some muffin tins though. They will come. That's all for now folks.