Sunday, February 21, 2010

So much for resolutions

Well it looks like I've failed on my resolution to update my blog more regularly. I don't even have a good excuse as to why I don't. I think about it while I'm sitting on the couch watching TV, but I always fail to follow through with my thoughts/good intentions. I'm going to try and do better I promise! So now for the regular update on what I've been up to lately. I last left you with pictures from Thanksgiving and Christmas. I rang in the New Year with some of my favorite girls: my 4H House family. We all met up at Cory's house in Dixon, IL. We had 7 generations of our family there. I love that we're all so close. There aren't many familes that keep in touch that much after graduation, and to get 7 of us together at the same time is really awesome. Our theme for the weekend was "Wiggin Out", mostly we picked this for the photo opportunities that would come with wearing wigs. With an assortment of mullets, rockers, and afros - we were quite the sight! We spent probably a good hour just laughing at each other! We spent the night playing Rock Band on the Wii and games like Catch Phrase and Guesstures. There's never a dull moment when we're all together. We're so fun! :)

I kept pretty busy during January. I made a trip to Rochelle, IL for work and luckily avoided getting stuck there in a snow storm. I spent most of my weekends here in Austin. One weekend a group of us went skiing. We went to a place called Welch Village. I hadn't been skiing in probably 2 years, but I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it all came back. The place had a lot of trails, and makes Paoli Peaks in Indiana look like a little hill. We had a great time, and hopefully will be going back before winter is over.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. At the end of January I was able to make a trip to Champaign for the annual Judging Reunion and Dr. Carr's retirement party. Dr. Carr is sadly retiring this summer after 30+ years at the University of Illinois. He had a great turnout. I would guess there were around 300 people in attendance. All the girls from my team were there, and it was so much fun to catch up with all of them. They had a slideshow covering his time at the university and some of his past graduate students shared their memories of working with Dr. Carr. There were a lot of laughs and some tears. The university is losing one of its greatest professors. Dr. Carr has had such an influence on my life and I wish him all the best in retirement!
*Dr. Tom Carr, Candice, Stephanie, Dallas, and I*

Mom and Dad then came up the following weekend. It was so great to just hang out with them and relax all weekend. I found out that there was the World's Toughest Cowboy Rodeo was in Minneapolis that Saturday. So after Dad was a good sport for putting up with Mom and I at the Mall of America all day, we treated him to the rodeo. It was a lot of fun.

And then there was the second trip to Champaign. My friend, Leah, from Iowa is looking at U of I for a possible PhD. Our friend Mallory, who lives in Milwaukee now decided that she needed to check out the town before Leah could move there, and they asked me to be their guide. Of course, I couldn't turn down the chance to be in Champaign and combine my Iowa friends with my Illinois world! The weekend was epic to say the least. I was able to meet up with some of my wonderful 09 pledge class for dinner on Friday night. The weather was less than cooperative and I drove from Peoria to Champaign on a really snowy interstate so I was a little late for dinner. And then later that night I managed to get my car stuck in a snow drift. This story might deserve an entire blog post dedicated to it. Sadly, we didn't think to take pictures of us being stuck or of the handfull of people that showed up determined to push us out. To make a long story short, Leah, Mallory, and I are very grateful to Mallory's dad who pays for her AAA and to the very nice tow truck guy that pulled us out. To top the weekend off I was able to get us tickets to the Illinois - Michigan State game. The Illini pulled off an awesome upset, and it was so great to be back in Assembly Hall!! I think I've almost converted Leah and Mal to be Illinois fans! Lol!
*Me, Leah, and Mallory

The last few weeks I've been happy to not have to be traveling much. I love Illinois, but two trips in three weeks is pretty tiring! It's been great to be able to catch up with everyone though. While my weekends have been epic, my weeks continue to be fairly normal. I'm still playing volleyball, and I think I'm actually starting to get a little better much to the relief of my teammates I'm sure! Cory, Tiedemann, and I have booked our Cancun trip for the first week of May. I absolutely can't wait to lay on the beach and do nothing! This week I'm traveling to a Jennie-O Plant for work, and I'm back on the road this weekend to visit Rachel and David in Nebraska. Maybe I'll have some blog worthy stories to share and it won't be a month until my next post!

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