Thursday, November 27, 2014


Greetings from South Dakota!

Just stopping in to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you take the time to recognize all the blessings in your life, not just today, but every day.

"Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you."
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, November 3, 2014

Life in the Prairie State

Ahh the Prairie State. I heard Illinois referred to as the Prairie State while I was watching the movie Message in a Bottle the other night and my first thought was: "Excuuuuse me! South Dakota takes the cake in terms of prairie land." But hey, a girl's gotta stand up for her home state. ;)

Anyway, back to the point of this post. Since moving from my home state of South Dakota to Illinois in August, I haven't taken the time to do a quick recap of this new chapter in my life. So I thought I would do just that with a combination of words and pictures. The OCD in me is not overly impressed with the quality and flip-flopping between portrait and landscape pictures in this post. But what's a girl to do when she has a billion photos from both her phone and actual camera?!?

-Said goodbye to friends and family
My last time hanging out with my friends from Taiwan and Morgan
We visited Minneapolis, MN
It is hard to believe this was the last time I was together with these three beauties!

-Mom and I journeyed to IL. We broke the trip into two days and stayed in Iowa overnight. We also had Mexican, complete with margaritas after a long day of driving

Grungy after a long day in the car!

-On August 12, my mom and I were greeted by my roommate and friend from undergrad, Abby

-After a tearful goodbye to my mom, Abby and I were on our own. The idle days of summer quickly came to an end as we attended our graduate school/dietetic internship orientation.

-While it was difficult to leave my South Dakota friends behind, I am so blessed to have made even more friends here in Illinois

--I wasn't even in Illinois an entire week before the "wanderlust" in my soul was able to be fulfilled--off to St. Louis I went for the very first time! Abby had won tickets for two to the Katy Perry concert in St. Louis. It was amazing!
Pit stop at the Arch

-Only in our Illinois community do they give out free corn on the cob to welcome back students.
Gina, Abby and I endured the pouring rain for some delicious free corn

-Even though I am far from home, I was able to go to the SDSU vs. Mizzou game and cheer on my Alma Mater 
There were over 60,000 people at this game! 

-The same weekend as the Mizzou game, I was also in St Louis for the second time, where I was able to attend a Cardinals vs. Cubs game...I got my fair share of sports in that weekend!

-Girl time! Some of us dietetics interns spent an evening at a local vineyard. Wine and friends? What more can a girl ask for?!?

Carly's Creations!
Isn't she just the cutest thing you ever did see?!

-Speaking of wine...Abby and I have had to learn ways of being resourceful when we discovered that neither of us owns a corkscrew. 
No graduate students were harmed in the opening of this wine
-Though I don't have any photos to prove it, September marked the start of my role as "lunch lady" for two school districts in the area. (Let's just say, I don't think I will be adding "dish washer" to my list of skills for fear that I will never be allowed to leave that dish room again!!) 

-September also brought nights out with friends.

-I ended the month by crossing "run a half-marathon" off my bucket list  

-Homecoming versus my undergraduate college! What are the odds of that happening? It was difficult to decide which school colors to wear, so I decided to wear both!

-When a dietetics student has a craving, they make it themselves! Abby and I perfected the art of the homemade Crunch Wrap out, Taco Bell!

-By the time October rolled around, it was time to start Skyping with everyone back home...including Bela.

-Since I tend to find myself antsy staying in one place too long, I made time to escape to visit a friend in Indianapolis  

-As with every female blogger, I also found time to soak up the beauty of the season by taking a million and one pictures.

-Volunteering for the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables distribution organized by a couple of my classmates

-Halloween. We were a conglomeration of everything from robbers to a boy scout.

-And here we are at my favorite month of them all--November! Since the month just kicked off, I haven't had many adventures yet. However, I did help my friend, Des, buy her first winter coat EVER! (Apparently you don't need winter gear in Southern California.) This milestone was definitely blog-worthy!

So far, Illinois has been too kind to me! I look forward to adding even more memories to this timeline as I continue my journey here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A World with Octobers

In the book, Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley exclaims, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Not only do I love these novels and movies, but I also could not agree more with this memorable quote.

There is something special about October. The changing colors...the cooler weather...the pumpkin patches...the falling leaves....I love it all! At times, it is almost difficult to feel forlorn or frustrated when you look outside and see the beautiful trees overflowing with orange, rusty reds, and yellows.

At the beginning of the month, I walked around and took some pictures along the trail that is located next to my apartment complex here in Illinois. It had been a rainy, gloomy morning and so the scenes weren't as bright as the typical fall scene. Here are some of the scenes I captured.

In contrast, my roommate and I went for a walk and captured more recent fall photos this past weekend. This time, there were more warm colors. We also ventured on to our campus to explore. When I did my undergraduate studies in South Dakota, I swear I knew every crevice of that campus. However, as a graduate student, I really only have classes in one building, so I am less familiar with the campus layout. That beautiful fall afternoon was the perfect day to explore.

Taylor Swift Keds in honor of her new album release..
Yup, I'm a die hard fan :)

Struggling to self-time our "Leaf tossing" picture
Monkeyin' around

The other morning, my daily devotional read: "Lie down in green pastures of peace. Learn to unwind whenever possible, resting in the presence of your Shepherd." With the business of our daily life, it is easy to become discouraged and view the world around us in a negative light. However, it is in those moments where we take a step away from the craziness of our schedules and social media, and find time to soak in the world around us that we appreciate the beauty of this life. 

Happy last couple days of October!