The good, the bad and the beautiful

Welp... It's been a year and a half since I last posted. As you can tell I'm really great at this writing on a daily basis thing ;) I've never really been good at keeping a journal (though that doesn't stop me from buying every pretty journal that I come across! ... which is all of them, by the way) or even doing mundane tasks such as remembering to take my medicine daily. So why did I think a daily blog would be a good thing?

Probably because I see the many bloggers out there, that share their lives full of crafts, recipes, reviews and rants and I want to be like them. Also, because I like to (over)commit myself to challenges and keep myself busy. So here I am, after applying to at least another ten jobs today, bored out of my mind... why not give this blog thing another shot?

I can't promise that I will remember to post everyday, or that I will be able to stick with the blog much once I graduate in August - but you guys wouldn't believe me anyways would you? I wouldn't expect you to with how many times I've started and stopped this roller coaster of a blog. But here's to hoping that I can use this extra free time between my internship and applying to be a part of the real world (and summer school when it starts) that I can keep up with this better than I have in the past!

So, what have I been up to lately that has been keeping me from this blog, you might find yourself asking.

Well, in the past year and a half I have:

Finished my senior year of college - then I headed into my super senior year! (aka 4th actual year of school at Purdue, fifth year of school total)

Went on vacation with my family to Cancun - which was FANTASTIC! We stayed at the Moon Palace Resort and I would do unspeakable things to have the chance to go back with my family! (The pools! The views! The food! The drinks!)

Interned at RCI as their graphic designer, it gave me the lovely opportunity to find my passion in event design. I was fortunate enough to help plan / design for their summer staff appreciation day - which was camp themed. I had a blast designing around the camp theme and it really sparked my desire to work on event design in the future.

Lived another year at Shoemaker Cooperative, with the amazing young women that I proudly call sisters. One of the best parts of doing a victory lap in college is that you get to spend more time with the people you love, and living at Shoemaker for a third year was beyond special. I got to be a social chair which was a great opportunity for me to work on organizing more social events!

As well as social chair, I had the honor of helping plan Shoemaker's 75th Anniversary Celebration. If you know me, you probably know my crazy obsession with Shoemaker Cooperative, but you've also probably heard me speak about how our alumnae relations aren't the strongest. Since this was our 75th year of sisterhood, four of us got together and had the hair brained idea that we could pull off the reunion while balancing school, work, social lives and other Shoemaker obligations. Luckily for us, all the hard work payed off! We sent out over 700 invitations, had over 100 Shoemaker alumnae attend, raised over $2,500 (yes, I sobbed when I found out how much the alumnae raised for us) and we made bonds with our alumnae that I don't think will ever be broken. All of that in five months! That was the longest I have ever worked on a project and it has inspired me even more to want to work in the field of event design.

Continued to date Clayton (Clay, Claytertots, Clay Pay). We are at four years together now! I'm lucky to have such a wonderful man in my life. :)

I've crafted a ton. Like... a lot. I've made... eight paddles now? I'm kind of obsessed with paddle making. If I could, I would maybe pursue making paddles for a living. There is just something so fun about decorating that boring piece of odd shaped wood and making it into a beautiful, unique, personal gift. I seriously will probably never be done helping others decorate paddles. I'll make a post soon enough showing all of the different ones (that I have photos of) that I've made. I've also really gotten into making hair bows. Personally, I like making them out of felt, it's easy enough and comes in almost any color. My dear friend Caitlin and I decorated coolers for our boyfriends this past spring (in a week! in. a. WEEK!), but we of course also made ourselves drink jugs as well.

Speaking of Caitlin, I was lucky enough to go on spring break with her and Clay and a bunch of our other friends, including Caitlin's boyfriend -  Kyle. Caitlin and I are both in Shoemaker, and Kyle is actually in Gemini Cooperative (just like Caitlin's brother!), so it was neat having a little collection of co-op kids. We went to the Gulf Shores and stayed at the nicest condo that one of our family friend's owns. It was a very relaxing trip, which is just what Caitlin and I needed considering it was our final chance to have a college spring break.

I'm currently interning at Ag Printers, a seed catalog company. I'm one of the two graphic design interns for the summer, and I am loving having the opportunity to work in print design. It almost feels like I am returning to my high school yearbook roots, I spend most of my time working in InDesign and Photoshop, and its a very similar process - starting the design with the cover and then utilizing the themes throughout the catalog. Working here is an amazing opportunity and I'm so glad I was able to find a job that's letting me practice graphic design as I take my final summer course.

I'm trying to think of other things that have happened... I turned 22! Which was cool and all but I'm just ready for 23 to get here. My birthday actually is the day after graduation so I think my college tuition being paid by my (very, very kind) parents will probably end up being my birthday present this year :P

I've also had some not so good times in the past year and a half. Two August's ago I lost a very special friend of mine in a tragic accident. I grew up all around the United States but for a good chunk of my childhood, I lived in Maryland and was neighbors with Elizabeth Nass. She was my very best friend from first grade (when I first met her, upon the first time I ever visited my old house) up until I moved away after fifth grade. Even then, Liz and I still stayed in touch - in fact just a week or so before she passed away she had wished me a happy 21st birthday. To this day I still struggle with her death, partly because I always believed that when I have the opportunity to move back to the East Coast, she and I could have been friends, or at least acquaintances again.

I think its partly due to me moving around so much, but I struggle with feeling so close to people that I have not seen in years. I still consider my two best friends from Ohio, Taylor and Lizzie, to be best friends of mine. We haven't had the chance to see each other in at least seven years, one is married now and they have both moved across the country - but I still love them and still consider them friends. Recently, I was discussing graduation announcements with my mom and I was surprised when she told me that we would probably be only ordering about ten. Ten?! That seems far too few - what about the Ufers - family friends that we have known since I was born? Or Elizabeth's family? I want them to know that I've (finally) graduated! My mom informed me that graduation announcements implied that you expected gifts in return. Color me naive because I really only thought they existed to show you had graduated from high school or college. I thought they were an opportunity to stay close to friends and family.

I guess I mention all of this because sometimes I stress over how upset I still am about Liz's passing. Is it justifiable that I am so saddened by her death - when I had not seen her for ten years? I've come to terms with the fact that it's just who I am as a person. I'm fiercely loyal, to the point of absurdity. I cling on to the memories and people of my past because that's all I have left of the six different states I've lived in. I've never had one home, that's always been there. Gretna Glen (church camp) is my home, as its been a place I've returned to more times than any actual home I've lived in. I still wear my high school class ring - despite graduating five years ago now - and I don't intend on taking it off until I have my Purdue class ring in hand this summer. It's the little things that matter to me a lot, my class ring shows that I've had the opportunity to belong somewhere long enough to be a part of it. My relationships, even with friends or classmates that I haven't seen in five, ten, twelve years mean more to me than I could describe. In my opinion I am still incredibly close to my high school group of friends from Zionsville, despite most of us having graduated college, moved around the country (or the world) and even having started careers. I'm not sure if I will ever stop considering my group of friends (whom I dubbed "DJ and the Friday Night Gang"), my group of friends.

So that's how I've explained my devastation at losing Elizabeth. I lost a part of me that I will never get back, and while the memories are not gone - there will never be an opportunity to create more memories with her. I took off a semester from Purdue to stay at home with my parents, because I needed time to heal. I still feel raw about her death today and I'm not sure if I have even truly accepted it yet. Little by little, it sinks in more and more. If I pull off my dream of returning to the DC area, I'm sure it will finally set in.

Well, now that I've written a short novel about the past year and a half, I think I have everyone (mostly) up to date. I'm sure I have missed some big, important things that I will remember as I try to fall asleep tonight - but I will save those for later. Next time I hope to actually start sharing some photos of the crafts I've been up to!

Thanks for sticking with this post, if you made it this far. And even if you didn't (which you wouldn't be reading this part anyways), thanks for stopping by!

I leave you with a song that makes me cry tears of joy and sadness at the same time, as I think that is exactly what this blog post has been about. The good, the bad and the beautiful.

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