Fall Break Summary

Just got back from Fall Break! AKA: a crazy insane cultural terrifying whirlwind of a week! Here’s a little daily play by play: Feel free to skip to the summary at the bottom if you don’t want to read all of this haha 

Friday: Italy-wide strike in transportation. Planes, trains, and automobiles. Our flight left the next day! 

Saturday: Because of the strike we get to the airport approximately 6 hours early. The airport was not affected at all and we weren’t even allowed to check in… We slept on the ground of the airport for a few hours but eventually took off! We stay at St. Christopher’s hostel in the heart of Barcelona. (Also next door to a Starby’s). We throw our stuff down and meet a couple KDs (one of which was Malibu Manali my ex roomie) and Amanda’s on/off boyfriend Cici. We meet up at a bar called Chupito’s that was so packed grinding was necessary to get to the bar. They only served shots. Erin and I ordered a tequila, then said “surprise me” in which they lit the bar on fire and pulled our shot glasses from the fire and gave us straws to drink from them….. , then finally a “boy scout” which involved roasting marshmellows. Then we went to a bar where you poured your own drink for 3euro and they gave unlimited popcorn. A french man came to hit on us and went around the table duck-duck-goose style saying “American.. American.. American..” and when he got to me “Spanish!” at which everyone at the table immediately did a spit-take and loled. I also introduced myself to a boy, thinking he was a local spaniard, that actually was a KA at Furman that had come to meet up with us and I just never knew he existed. Woops! After the second bar I went home but Amanda went to make out on the beach with CIci (who knew Barcelona was on a beach?) and had her purse stolen 

Sunday: Went to a park designed by the architect Gaudi (designed most of Barcelona- his stuff is really cool look it up!) and then to a fancy tapas dinner which Sara’s dad paid for and was one of the best meals I’ve ever had! I had flan, stuffed eggplant, crawdads, chorizo sausage, manchega cheese, and sangria! 

Monday: MY BIRTHDAY! We went out to a delicious brunch then did an all-day bike tour and had lunch on the beach. First time I’ve been to the beach for my bday! Then we went back to the hostel where I facetimed my mom and got ready for a fancy rooftop dinner at a place called the Attic. They brought me free bday champagne, sangria, gluten free bread, wine, salmon puffs, and grilled tuna filet! The girls got me a birthday crown at Burger King and we went to another bar with free popcorn. I bought the coolest mug there (It had a sheep on it) to commemorate my 21st but the bouncer at the next bar took it. Then we went to an Ice Bar! You paid 15 euro for a drink and 30 min in the bar (you couldn’t stay any longer or you would get frost bite!) Everything was made of ice: drinks, chairs, floors, wall. The drinks tasted gross but the atmosphere was cool. You also got to wear a puffer coat. Needless to say at this time I was a little tipsy. I stole a pineapple from the middle of a table display and “hid” it up my dress. Don’t worry… I’m sure pictures will hit the world wide web soon. After this event the night got a little scary. Erin and I were waiting at the taxi stand when she says “Alright lets go!” We get in a taxi and both of us fall asleep on the way to the hostel. At a red light Erin just jumps out! So I jump out too and she says its this way…. and starts roaming around the city. It’s about 4 am. It took me approximately 20 minutes to realize that she didn’t know where she was going. Thankfully we ran into another taxi and got in and tried to explain where our hostel was. That took a while…. but eventually we made it home safely! Praise the Lord! 

Tuesday: Today we left Barcelona and went to Paris! I honestly don’t remember anything from today so it must not have been to exciting

Wednesday: Today was our first day in Paris. We woke up early and went to the Orsay! I loved it. Then we got food and went to have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower! It was literally perfect. We sat there for a couple hours just talking and laughing and had so much fun. Then we went to Thai for dinner (the variety of food in Florence is nonexistant so we have to take our opportunities as they come). After thai I started feeling sick… 

Thursday: Got up and went to the Arc de Triumph. I started getting really nauseas so I didn’t climb with everyone but waited at McDonalds. We walked down the Champs Elysees and got the world famous macaroons! Then I felt really sick so I went to bed and slept from 5pm until 8am the next morning only waking up to get cereal for dinner from the grocery store…. 

Friday: Today we went to Amsterdam! We had to wake up at 4 am to go to the train station…. ick! Erin and I finally got to Amsterdam on a later train than everyone around noon. The city is absolutely gorgeous! The architecture is awesome the restaurants and shops were incredible everyone speaks Dutch and English so it was easy to navigate! We went to a Carnival and the Anne Frank museum. The Anne Frank museum was such a touching experience. Its the office of her father’s jam company and the family’s original hiding space upstairs. The hiding space was bigger than expected but horribly claustrophobic because they could have no exposure to any sunlight or the outside world. The words of Anne were posted all around the house and she is so profound. I also didn’t know that she rewrote her diary before her family was arrested just in case it was found after the war!! She added dates and more details so it could be used (like it is now) as a document on the times. I thought that was amazing! By this time it had been 9 girls together for almost a week…. so needless to say we weren’t 100% lovey dovey and personalities were coming out. The girl here with an eating disorder was really bothering me the most…. at the Anne Frank museum there was a quote about how bad pickled kale smelled after it had been stored for a few years (a statement on how little food and gross food the family had to eat) and the girl goes “mmm! I love pickled kale!” I think I stared at her mouth-agape. After the Anne Frank museum things turned toward the worse… We went to a “coffee shop” which is where they sell weed (it’s legal there). Everyone but Patce and I split weed brownies. After about an hour everyone was obviously high. Their eyes got red and they got super giggly. Patce and I were just laughing at them, but 5 minutes later they started hallucinating and got really nauseas. Patce and I had to get all of them home across this foreign city using public transportation! They were yelling that their eyeballs were being pecked out, their hands were falling off, they couldn’t walk….. It was literally a nightmare. We were supposed to go to a museum together at night but they all went to bed at 7pm…. Patce was so emotionally rattled by the ordeal that she just called her mom and cried and then went to bed. I didn’t want to go to the museum by myself after dark so I went to the grocery store and ate a bag of raw veggies from a bag in the lobby by myself… the girls wouldn’t wake up the next morning so I went to stand in line at the museum by myself and was just so frustrated. Finally Betsy and Erin came and met me and we had a good time but I was just so frustrated with the whole night and wanted to get back to Florence! 

Summary: I had such an amazing week! These girls are so fun and we had such a great time but a week of navigating with just us in foreign cities was stressful and really took it out of all of us! Now were home catching up on homework and sleep. I really miss you all so much. I am so thankful for your friendships and am counting down the days until I see you! Mike comes here Thursday and I am beyond ready to see him:) then 3 days after we get back from Switzerland my mom and grandma come!!! And I am so ready to see them as well! I love ALL OF YOU! 

Fall in Firenze

Hi loves! I’ve been doing a lot of “big thinking” and wanted to share!

NYC this summer came to be SUCH a help for me to prepare physically and emotionally for this fall! I grew so much independently and in my relationships and was less afraid to live in a new city! 

I’ve also learned a lot about myself and my heart and all my relationships! I’ve learned that we all have very mature souls, and beyond that *mushy warning* we really are soul mates. With each passing, no matter where we are, I am appreciating each and every one of you! You are all incredible and inspiring to me! (and most of the world). I found a quote:  “Because of you I can feel myself slowly but surely becoming the me I have always dreamed of being” -Tyler Knott Gregson

I’ve felt this so much in my life! With you all, Michael, my family, and Furman friends. I really am grateful everyday that I wake up in this beautiful city chasing my dreams!

Speaking of which: my dreams! I decided not to work while I’m here but just to enjoy being a student and a “citizen” and a tourist at times🙂 When i get back to Greenville I want to get a job in a gallery downtown and then next summer I want to do what I did this summer but in a smaller city! I loved New York but I want to see what it would be like to work in the arts in another town

Speaking other towns….: Update on Florence: It’s crazy! Typical day: make breakfast, then walk to class (I only have M-W) around 9 am and literalllllllly nothing is open. Want to stop and get a coffee before class? You have two options: cappuccino, or espresso shot! No brewed coffees, no macchiatos, a latte literally just means a glass of milk, NO CHAI TEA LATTES, its insane. But the cappuccinos are really good I must say. I either pack my lunch or got to this fancy smoothie place that serves like a 500 calorie protein smoothie that I can have as a meal! Its bananas, coffee, cashews, and almond milk. Its so good! The classes here are 2.5 hours….. but we get a break in the middle! I am still on the hunt for a “bar” with wifi where I can sit and do homework and keep the cappuccinos coming. PS bars are cafes, and cafes are bars. Weird right? Every store shuts down from like 330-7pm. No one eats dinner until 8pm! So I always try to cook to save money but sometimes the 9 of us go out as a group! Eating in a restaurant is a little difficult for me and very expensive. All places have very yummy GF appetizers, most places do not have a salad that you can eat as a meal plus they have arugala in them which I’m pretty sure is the Devil’s lettuce- its disgusting, most all of them have some form or risotto (rice, cheese, cream, and a fleck of vegetable) but its so rich I can only have like 3 bites, and then only some places serve like chicken or fish and you have to buy your sides extra!! Ahh! I’ve been cooking a lot and really enjoyed it! And I’ve learned how to navigate the menu if necessary. Sometimes before bed we go out to this bar (real bar this time) called Volume that’s in our square. It gets bumping at night and has wifi and live music and snacks and is so fun to sit around and chat! I’m going to try it out as my study spot because the girls went there today in the afternoon and said they served smoothies and hot and cold tea! 

It’s also weird being able to legally drink here… I like wine a lot but when we go to Volume and are like ordering cocktails I literally don’t know what to say….. I’ve gotten mojitos, amoretta sours, and Pimm’s cups! If anyone knows something else to try it would be much appreciated

Sorry to overload  with info!! 

Also- a lot of nights if we “go out” “go out,” the girls won’t come back until like 4am because that’s what everyone does here. And you can’t leave by yourself if you’re tired because you will get attacked. So most of the times I’ve been going to Volume and having a drink and then peacing out before they go across the river to get shwasty. I just don’t like alcohol that much and if you’re not drunkdrunk then you’re just exhausted and want to go home… But i love going to Volume! 

My mom told me that she’s looking for a job in another city….. so that was a big surprise but I’ve just decided to put it in God’s hands and wait to see what happens. I want her and my dad to be happy and if they can’t be happy together I guess separating is the only way. 

No matter what happens I do really miss my fam🙂 Tmom and Mom just booked a flight for November and I am so excited to have them here and show them the city! Another person I’m excited to show the city to is Mike! He’s studying about 2.5 hours north of me in a teeny tiny town. Our relationship has grown so much as we’ve both grown independently. When I don’t have wifi and can’t talk to him for a few days I don’t stress, when I need to tell him something but he doesn’t have wifi I send a FB message, when we have time we Viber! But we’re always supporting each other and excited to hear about the other’s adventures. 

Plus he told me that he wants me to clear the weekend of Oct 31-Nov 2 and he’s going to plan a trip but make it a surprise for me!! So I’m really excited about that :) 

Body issues have been kind of rough here with 9 girls having pastries for breakfast, pasta for every meal, and drinking at night. I downloaded an app that sort of tracks what I eat and how much I exercise and I just chose that I wanted to maintain my weight because I just don’t want it to be something I worry about! I’m sure you all know from living in sorority houses/being a girl/having a body… but body issues are toxic and easy to fall into! 

So far I’ve been to Cinque Terre, Maremma and the islands of Tuscany, Bologna, and Pisa! This weekend I go to Dublin (super stoked), next weekend I go to Venice and maybe Milan, then its fall break! We’re going to Barcelona, Paris, and Amsterdam! I’ll be in Barcelona on my 21st birthday! And then make a return trip to Paris, and then Amsterdam to see pot brownies, and the red lights districts, and the sex museum, and…. the giant Amsterdam sign!

I cannot wait to see you all🙂 My hearts not whole until I’m with you! Dang I’m so mushy. I’m on my P. xoxoxo KEEP BLOGGING! 

RACH THAT MEANS YOU NEXT ! THEN EVERYONE AGAIN! 

Did you all enjoy that exploration of how positively scatter-brained the human brian can be?  I obviously should try to post more so I could go with like a central topic…. you might enjoy that. I love you all! 

Hi it’s me.

My life. The question every day is “what is my life?” This year has been so crazy already; I feel like I can see real life over the edge of this hill I’m climbing. And I’m so excited for it, but at the same time I know that I am in Stillwater for a reason, and I don’t want to take these last two years for granted! So my daily prayer has been for contentment and patience (which is usually not something I struggle with!). 

So here’s what’s new:

-I have a babysitting job with the cutest Asian baby ever (I can’t remember if I sent y’all pics or videos….)

-2:30 am has become the new normal bedtime (so many tests and projects)

-I’m trying to find a CNA job, and while I’m figuring that out I’m looking for some job shadowing/volunteer opportunities! 

-Oh yeah, and my love life🙂

———> So two weekends ago, Will and I went to the Oklahoma State Fair to see Eli Young Band (my fave country band everrr). It was so great, and we got to spend some time at the fair with his friends before the concert. Then we went back to his house and hung out with his roommates and their girlfriends, all of them have girlfriends, and I was officially welcomed into the girlfriend club LOL! Then Will and I just hung out in his room for a while talking and such, and somehow it ended up being 3am. And he goes, “Hey do you wanna go on an adventure??”. So I say of course! And we leave his house and he takes me to this building on campus, and we climb up the fire escape (sketch) to the roof. It was so beautiful and peaceful standing up there. The only thing you could hear was the train in the distance. So we were up there hugging, and I looked up at him, and he had this really weird expression on his face. I asked him if he was okay, and he started to say something and then stopped, but still had that look on his face. So again I asked if something was wrong…same thing. Finally I was like alright you need to tell me what is going on. And he said, “I don’t really know how this is supposed to go, and I know we’ve only been dating for three months, so this might sound crazy, but I love you, Kelsey, and I can’t hold it in anymore.” [I DIED] And I told him, “I don’t think it’s about a certain amount of time. I think it’s about how you feel, and I love you too”.

Here’s something crazy and cool: the idea of being in love with him has been circulating my head and heart for a little while, but I hadn’t actually said it out loud to anyone. A few hours earlier that night I texted Lindsey and Kelsey that I was so in love with him it’s not even funny. That was the first time I actually acknowledged it, and then a few hours later he confirmed it :) 

I felt like I was in a movie or a dream, and when we climbed back down and drove back to his house, he prayed for us and for our future, and it made me want to cry because it was so sweet and sincere. 

Y’all may think I’m crazy, but I swear I’ve never felt this way in my whole life. If I made a list of everything I want in a man, it would equal Will plus some extra. I truly sense God’s hand in our relationship, and I feel like God is using him to show me that He knows my heart better than I do. It just feels so right in every aspect. Will does and says things that I’ve never had to ask for, and I finally know what it means to have a spiritual leader. I could give y’all a million examples of how wonderful he is, but he just makes me feel like I am and can be who God made me to be.

Sorry if that was the mushiest thing you’ve ever read in your life! But I just wanted y’all to be in the loop since you’re my BESTEST FRIENDS EVER! I really cannot wait for Christmas break when we’ll all be reunited again. This friendship that we share is truly unique and hard to find, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I’m so thankful for each of your encouragement and love. You all are an incredible example of God’s love to me and to this world. 

I LOVE Y’ALL SO MUCH❤

xoxo,

Kelsey 

Cutting Open Humans…

Loves— 

The title of my post sums up my life currently in 3 words. cutting. open. humans. I wish i could take a video camera into the lab room and show you everything we are doing! It is by far the most amazing experience of my life and i love it so much. Yes, it is a little gross, scary, and straight up weird at times, but seeing how perfectly God made us and how each part of our body from our nerves, arteries, and veins to our main muscles have such a powerful purpose is the craziest thing. These last 2 weeks I have been studying 500 nerves, veins, arteries, ligaments, muscles, and tendons in our arms, hands, feet, and legs and I have a practical in lab on Tuesday and a test in lecture on Friday… so pray for me… It is intense. Our class averages for everything is around a 58… and there is no curve in the class. Passing is a success… so let’s all start sending up prayers that I pass! But as frustrating as it is I know that this is a once in a lifetime experience so I am embracing all of the studying and really trying to enjoy everyday!! 

On another note I am still working for Coast to Coast and I absolutely LOVE it!!! I am planning an event for November 13 called “The Darling Party”! My vision is to allow this project as an opportunity to remind Greek-affiliated women that even though we all belong to different organizations, we can band together, as women, in order to create change in the lives of women around the globe. The Darling Party would provide us, as Greek women, the opportunity to put aside our differences in the letters that we wear and enjoy each other as a community, because we all have one thing in common: we are women. By uniting together as one, we can fight on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves. I am so excited because I just got a call last week that the venue I have been praying for is letting us use their space for free for the night!! And I have had two business already agree to donating raffle items! I am working with a company to give a discount at their store for the house in highest attendance! It’s been the coolest opportunity to really pull out my event planning and people skills! God is so good. And I work with nine women in coast to coast and we have a group text and every morning someone sends us an encouraging quote, scripture, or thought which has been helpful in this stressful semester!! I am basically in love! 

Last thing, be praying because I was referred to an event planner to possibly intern under her this summer. Her business is located in Tulsa, but last week she did an event in New York and last month she did one in California. She normally does wedding and large events and I emailed her this week my resume and she emailed me back and said she was blown away by my resume and is very interested in hiring me as an intern and is wanting to interview me over thanksgiving break!!!! PRAISE JESUS!!!! So, be praying if this is in His will it will happen!!! 

I am amazed by all of us and how much we have all accomplished in our 3 years of college. I couldn’t be more proud to call you all my best friends! I love you more than words can express!! 

xoxo,

Alex 

Wow. My life as of lately…

TORNADOOOO. That’s what I feel like almost every day… but it’s a good kind of tornado. Like I’m doing things that I absolutely love! My classes are perfect and I actually enjoy going to them every day. I love being new member director of Theta. And so many other awesome things are going on!!

I could go on and on about having 60 babies of my own because I love each and every one of them so much. They made me realize why I love Theta with my whole heart. People used to tell us, “You get out of Theta as much as you put into it,” and now I realize how true that statement is. In the past two months, I’ve laughed, cried, loved, stressed out, and gained love for 60 girls. Who would’ve know that would have happened when I came to college? Anyways, our mom/dot reveal was last night and it went SO well and I feel like everyone is happy with who they got. This lifts off a huge weight off my shoulders too! I started crying when I looked around at everyone so happy last night. (This is not the only time I’ve cried recently… just wait.)

Also, I officially became a Maid of Honor this week. Like what in the world? Is this real life? I am beyond excited and incredibly honored to have the opportunity to help Shelby plan her wedding, pick out her dress, plan fun parties, and celebrate her and Pete’s love for each other! It seems crazy, but I couldn’t be more happy for them!

I’m sure you all know from my (already) obnoxious social media postings about my brother’s new album coming out on October 8th! Saying I’m a proud sister would be an understatement. When I watched his first promo video, I started crying (time #2 for the week!)… of course I’m going to rave on and on about how good the album is, but it really is awesome and I hope you all pre-order it, buy it on October 8th, or get a hard copy from me! Or all 3! 

So things are going really well, but I’ve been having this problem where I keep focusing on making it to a certain point in my life and things will calm down. If that makes sense… it’s like I’m always waiting for something that’s in the future. For example, my thoughts are always, “Once I make it to mom/dot, I can breathe.” Or, “I can’t wait for the weekend because I can actually relax.” When I was at my LifeGroup this week, we talked about how we are always living in a “Waiting Room.” No matter where we are in our lives, people are always waiting for something (marriage, children, retirement, etc.). Since then, I’ve been praying and focusing on submitting to the Lord and just living each day! It sounds so cliché, but it’s so true. 

I am so thankful for each of you. At the beginning of the week, I had a friend talking to Shelby and me about how she was mad at another girl and saying things that I could never imagine saying about each of you. I cried (yet again…) because it made me so sad to hear those things. My life wouldn’t be the same without you guys! I don’t know what I’d do without each of you. So let’s get this bloggin’ thing started again so I can hear about your lives!🙂

P.S. I just told one of my roomies about our blog and she says we are “The Sisterhood of Cyber-pants” hehe. I love it.

Two decades years old

It’s official friends. I’m twenty. I feel so old… but I like it!!! Sorry Alex. You’ll be there soon.

Anyways, it has been an INCREDIBLE week! I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday and celebrations. My brother and his girlfriend came in town so that was just great. And we had family over Monday night, had breakfast with you chickadees the morning of my birthday, spent the day with my fam and then we went to dinner at Dilly Deli and had yolotti for dessert! Then last night was a blast with you all! Thank you guys for everything! I just wanted to share some pictures.

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Birthday outfit: the perfect mix of summer fun! I’m obsessed with this skirt and my sweater is perfect for summer because it’s so light.

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Ty’s girlfriend, Kim, got me this watch and I LOVE it. I was a bit hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure what I could wear it with, but it literally could go with anything! It’s the perfect color! And the chain adds the perfect touch to make it more my style. PS. Kim is the best. I’m already ready for her to be my sister. hehe😉 And I’m wearing Urban Outfitters Hangover on my nails (obviously because I got so hungover after my birthday… lolz jk)

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Does it get any cuter than this? He is so happy and I love it. Sorry I’m so obsessed, I just had to share this adorable picture even though I already posted it on facebook.

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Lastly, I just wanted to tell you guys how much I love you!!! I’m so blessed by having each of you in my life!

Aubs

Alex, Never Give Up

Darlings- 

I wanted to share with you all a cool story that happened to me last night. As you all know my search for what to do with my life has been one of my main focuses this summer. I know that I want to do something in the fashion world to inspire women to be an individual and love who God made them to be. I have been looking high and low for what to switch my major to (still searching not quite set on what I want just yet) and how to get plugged in doing what I am truly passionate about. Lately I have been really praying that God will just place people in my life to encourage me and open doors for me. After emailing a million companies and not hearing back from close to any I began to really become discouraged. But let me tell you God is faithful. Right when I thought he had stopped listening he sent something my way to just push me a little. Last night I was working at the 81 and yale shack. We were crazy busy as usual and I was working Ice, so I see this family of probably 12 people approach the window… always a great feeling. The mom stepped up and began to tell me the sizes of all of her sno cones and on her wrist was the cutest bracelet! It was a thick strip of brown leather and imprinted into it were the round block letter monogram. So of course I told her wow I really love your bracelet! And she said thanks and we moved on. I kept thinking about how cute it was so after I made all of her sno cones I asked her where she had purchased it and she told me that she made it! So I asked if she had a business and she said she owned the Rustic Cuff a bracelet company. She asked my name and we made small talk for a little while. I finished her order and got her money and when I handed her back the change she handed me the cutest blue leather bracelet and said here is my tip to you, take it I want you to have one of my bracelets! I was floored! Sweetest thing and completely made my night (she also gave us a $5 tip! Hollaa). So after my shift I got home and immediately looked up her website to find out that the bracelet she gave me is $82.00! Holy guacamole. So I read about how she started the company and watched her video on her website (rusticcuff.com) which was all about leaving a lasting impression. I found her contact info and immediately emailed her and told her thank you so much and that I was so grateful for her small gesture and explained to her what I am about to tell you! 

God is so good. He knows exactly when we need a little pick me up. After continuous prayer this summer he completely floored me with his way of speaking to me. Jill Donovan is the name of the lady from the Rustic Cuff, she started her business on her bedroom floor staying up in the wee hours of the night while her little girls were asleep trying to pursue her passion. She started wearing her cuffs and God prevailed. Now her cuffs are on the Today show and worn by all of the Hollywood stars. She sells them in 15 different states and many different stores. Her story reminded me that God is bigger than our biggest dream. Her simple gesture last night was the encouragement I needed to never give up on my passion. She left a lasting impression on me and the cuff she gave me is so much more than just a bracelet, it is a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness and desire for us to pursue our dreams. I just wanted to share this with you all because you never know when God is going to speak to you and you never know when He will use you to leave a lasting impression on someone. He is faithful. 

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xoxo

Alex