Monday, August 16, 2010

My Little Sis is All Grown Up...

Today’s post is in honor or my little sis, Anna-Lee. Anna-Lee is now part of the University of Arkansas Class of 2014. Dad took her up to Fayetteville yesterday and moved her into Reid dorm with her best friend Mary Elizabeth Sixbey. Anna-Lee was sweet enough to Skype with me last night for about two hours so I could see the new dorm, help the girls out with what they’re wearing for Rush this week, and just chit chat about what they can look forward to the next four years.

I didn’t think that Anna-Lee going to college would affect me at all. Boy was I wrong. I found myself very teary eyed and sentimental about my first week at college, when Anna-Lee and I were young, and what is to come in the future for us both. It’s weird to think that my little baby sister, my Christmas present, is growing up so fast. She’s supposed to be that adorable little pipsqueak who didn’t want to talk to anyone but Mom, and whose legs couldn’t have been any bigger than a twig. She was so adorable when she was a little kid, and now she’s grown up into this beautiful young woman who I know will do amazing things in her future.

Anna-Lee, I love you and I hope these next four years are all you’ve ever dreamed of. Make of them what you want, and do all the things you’ve ever wanted to. This is your time. I love you and wish you good luck this week. Love your big sis.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Never Ending Exploration

I’m sitting at work, which probably means I shouldn’t be writing this, but doesn’t writing a blog only foster a better understanding of the English language, and force you to think? I’m sure my eNewsletter I distribute today will be better just because I wrote this blog post.

I hope all of you have something fun to do this weekend. The weatherman is calling for slightly cooler weather. (Anything beats a heat index of 120. Ridiculous.) Tonight, Jeff and I are so excited because we get to baby-sit his one a half-year-old niece Abbie. She is so adorable and we love seeing her because it seems like she’s learned something new since the last time we saw her.

Tomorrow morning we head off to Augusta, MO. Missouri’s wine country. Jeff got me this trip as part of my amazing graduation present000, but we planned it for this weekend because it’s our one and a half year anniversary. Cheesy I know, but we like to celebrate the halves too. We are going to stay in a cute B&B called the Wine Country Inn. Jeff knows me very well and knows how much I love old buildings and furniture. This place absolutely fits the bill. Then, we are going to spend the day visiting some of Augusta’s beautiful wineries, like the Mount Pleasant Winery. Finally, we will end with dinner at Augusta Brewery Company. I’ve heard great things.

Then, Sunday afternoon we will be meeting friends at a St. Louis staple, Fast Eddie’s in Alton, IL. It’s about 5 minutes over the bridge and is the epitome of a dive bar. Who wouldn’t want $1.99 kabobs? Sign me up.

All in all I think it’s going to be a great weekend of continuing our exploration of St. Louis, even though Jeff is from here. I feel like every time we decide to go out, we’re forcing ourselves to try something new, which is good. We don’t have any place that is a staple for us yet, and I sort of like it that way.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and check back on Monday for pictures from the weekend.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Life in St. Louis

Let me just start off by saying, I LOVE ST. LOUIS! I love absolutely everything about it. So far my roommate Jenna and I have moved into our new apartment, we've both started work, we've had friends and family visit, we've explored the city, and so much more.

Here are a few pictures from our apartment. The apartment is called the Embassy. It was built in 1926 and has been a hotel and an apartment building. We have a workout room, theater and pool room, a dog walking park and a pool. It's so cute and the people are so nice. Funny story from move in day: we were just finishing up moving everything from the U-Haul into the apartment. We'd been moving since 9 o'clock that morning and it was 10 PM. LONG DAY to say the least. Then, all of a sudden the fire alarm in the hallway starts going off. The entire building had to be evacuated and three fire trucks come. We're all standing outside mad that it's going off so late, and worrying about what's going on because there are a ton of fire fighters and they all have axes. They eventually let us in and we don't know what happened. We go to our apartment and start to unpack some boxes. Then, at 11:30, the alarm goes off again. And it seems louder. We all re-evacuate the building, but no fire trucks show up. They think it's a prank and don't think it's important to come, so the alarm goes off for the next 30 minutes. The next morning Jeff and I are moving a few more things from the car, and maintenance man, Joe, comes up to us, and says, “You know that you all set the alarm off last night, right?” Oops!! Apparently we knocked the fire alarm with our couch and it fell off the wall causing the entire buildings alarm system to mess up. OOPS!! Not the best foot to get off on with the management.

Bad move in moment behind us, we've had some fun times in the last two months. There have been three Cardinals games, friends visiting, BBQ's, concerts, and much more. One of the most special moments so far has been the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure weekend. Jeff organized a weekend in Mom's honor and friends from Mizzou and Little Rock all came in. Friday night we had a Pink themed party at Jeff's house and Saturday we did the walk. Over 72,000 people walked and raised over $3 million to end breast cancer.

Here are some pictures from that amazing weekend.

As far as work goes, I LOVE it. I am the Coordinator of Strategic Marketing and Partnerships for the Higher Education Channel (HEC-TV). I handle all of the press releases and media relations, maintain our presence on social networks, design advertisements, distribute an eNewsletter, work on the magazine and other communications work for the station. I love having the ability to try out lots of different things and having the station trust me. The environment is really fun and I'm hoping to learn a lot while working at HEC-TV.

Upcoming adventures include a trip to the Augusta winery, girls nights, lake weekend at Lake of the Ozarks, and more. I am so excited about my choice of cities and am looking forward to what it has in store for me.

Here are some more pictures from this summer. And, I promise i'll be better about updating my blog. Promise.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Hey people who read my blog. Or, in other words, Mom. I promise a new blog post is coming. It's actually in a Word document on my computer at home. And, I have a TON of new pictures: apartment, Race for the Cure, St. Louis. I'm at work right now, probably shouldn't be writing this, and I will do it as soon as I get home. I'm going to Best Buy to get a camera connector right after work and then hunkering down on the couch to update you all on my life.

I hope all is well with everyone. And, to those I haven't seen in a while, I miss ya!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The past month

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged last, so here’s an update on the big things that have happened in the past month:


I MADE IT! I actually graduated! Okay, it really wasn’t that big of a surprise, but it was still a pretty strange experience. My graduation weekend was one of the most special weekends of my life. It all started on Thursday when some of my family started coming into Columbia. My Mom, Nanny and Bobbob, cousin Emily, and good family friend Rebecca and her daughter Annie came in town. We, along with my boyfriend Jeff, all went to dinner to celebrate graduation weekend.

Then, Saturday the rest of the family made it to COMO. We all stayed at the Taylor House Bed and Breakfast. We had the entire house rented out so it was more like a mini family reunion than a graduation. Mom and Nanny brought up pictures from home so that it felt more like home. Saturday, Jeff’s parents Don and Darla Wertenberger came in town to celebrate with us. We, along with my roommate Natalie Johnston’s family, celebrated with a delicious meal before graduation.

It was the weirdest feeling walking across that stage. With those few steps I left behind my college self, and turned into an “adult.” While I don’t think much will change in terms of my personality and such, I do know that my focus and time will be spent on things other than hanging out with the girls of 3004 and piddling around Columbia, MO. I am very sad to leave college, but at the same time very excited to start my life in St. Louis. Here are some pictures from that weekend:


In celebration of graduation, my friends from high school rented a house at Miramar Beach, FL. 18 of us headed down to Florida the day after graduation and spent a week relaxing by the water. We ate great food (oysters FOUR times), did a little shopping, spent many hours lounging in the sun and celebrated our time not only in college being over, but the fact that our friendships are still as strong as they were before we went. This trip allowed me to spend time with friends who I have known for many, many years. Some, as long as I can remember. Here are some pictures from that week:


And finally, the biggest, most exciting change thus far. I MOVED TO ST. LOUIS!! When Jeff and I got back from the beach we immediately drove to Columbia. Three hours, and many sore muscles later, we were all packed into the biggest UHAUL I have ever seen. We made my final drive from Columbia to St. Louis and drove straight to 530 Union Boulevard (my new apartment). My friend Jenna and I are living in an old hotel called the Embassy. It has even completely refurbished into an apartment building and it is amazing! We have the old architectural features of a 1920’s hotel, a free workout room, a theater, a pool and a dog-walking park just for residents. The apartment is in the Central West End part of St. Louis city. It’s city living, but very safe. The area is a very fun place to go out, and only 10 minutes from work. I am so excited about the new home and to see what it has in store for me.

So, there’s a rundown of what has been going on over the past month. Check back for more updates as I start my life in St. Louis.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

#6: New Home

This post is going to be kind of weird for me to write because it will lead me to finally explain why I am moving to St. Louis. So, here it goes:

When I first decided to go to Mizzou I had no idea what or where Columbi, MO was. I remember driving to campus for my first tour. Mom and I flew into St. Louis, rented a car and started our drive to Columbia. As anyone who has ever taken the drive from St. Louis to Columbia knows, it is the most boring drive ever. You leave the outskirts of St. Louis and see farmland until you hit the outskirts of Columbia. Driving at night is never advised considering Highway lights are far and few between on 70. I remember thinking “Where are you taking me? This looks miserable.” But, as you all know, when I got to Mizzou, I fell in love with it.

I spent the first few years living in the Mizzou bubble. I went to St. Louis maybe two or three times and thought it was cool, but really thought nothing of it. Then, I met this guy. I know that sounds cheesy, and it sort of is, but it is one of the major reasons I have fallen in love with St. Louis and have chosen to move there upon graduation.

My Junior year I met my boyfriend, Jeff. (He's that goofy guy to the left with all of my roommates) He was in his graduate year getting his Masters in Accounting. Four months after meeting, Jeff graduated and it was time for him to move back to St. Louis. We decided to keep hanging out and as you do in relationships, seeing each other became a compromise for both of us. 10 months, and many, many hours on the road later, St. Louis has become my second home.

While Jeff does spend many weekends hanging out with me and the girls, much to his dismay, I spend quite a bit of time in St. Louis with he and his family. It's gotten to the point where driving into St. Louis sometimes leads to a breath of relief for me as it has become my place to relax away from school. I have spent countless weekends exploring St. Louis attractions such as the Arch (Maybe not the best idea for someone with slight claustrophobia), St. Louis Cardinals games (My Dad would be proud!), St. Louis Blues games, the Budweiser Brewery, the Hill and every where in between.

For those of you who have not visited St. Louis, or for who it might have been a while, come. St. Louis is an amazing place to live and explore. There are so many different suburbs with such different personalities. My personal favorite, Clayton, has streets of old apartments which I love, placed among huge, beautiful homes. It has become one of our favorite Saturday afternoon past times to drive up and down the streets checking out what houses are around.

St. Louis has a very strong Italian influence, which I love because pasta is one of my favorite foods. I feel like I never heard a cool last name until I came to St. Louis and have met people with the oddest last names I've ever heard. I feel like every where I turn there is something new to see, some new facet of the city that elicits a new feeling and new people to meet and learn from.

St. Louis, and the people I have come to appreciate there, has become my second home. I am happy to say that Mizzou provided me with this amazing opportunity, because I think had I gone to school any where else I would not have chosen to move to St. Louis.

So, I would like to say thank you Mizzou. Thank you for introducing me to an amazing person, who would introduce me to an equally amazing place that I would love and choose to call home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

#5 Family Time

I would like to preface this post with a warning: This will be the longest post I have written yet. But once you read it, you will understand.

A few of the reasons I chose to go to Mizzou were these:

1.It's not in Arkansas. I needed something new.
2.I didn't know anyone going so I would be forced to meet all new people.
3.It was far enough away where I could have my own stuff going on, but close enough that I could drive home or hop on a plane if I really missed home.

Out of these three reasons, #3 has proved to be the most valuable reason I chose Mizzou. I have really appreciated my experience of choosing a school where I knew no one. It forced me out of my comfort zone and tested my ability to make new friends and make lasting relationships without the help of any sort of connections. I surprised myself with my success at this, and in my staying at Mizzou. There were most definitely times where I wanted to leave. When the feeling that I was all alone at a big school got to me. But then I realized that there were people supporting me and encouraging me to do it.

I don't think that I would be writing this blog at all had it not been for my family. When these moments of thinking that I would transfer to a school closer to home started creeping up on me, they reminded me of what I was at Mizzou to do; get the best Journalism education I could. To these people, I would like to say Thank You. Thank you for 1) letting me go to this amazing school, but 2) encouraging me to stay and finish my time here. It was the best advice i'd ever received.

Within my third reason to go to Mizzou is the ability to still see my family. My family has come up for every Parents Weekend, every Chi O Mom and Dad's weekend and a few other weekends in between. These trips allow me to show off my school, my friends and the life I have created up here. Some times they have gotten me from month to month because I miss my family so much. As most of you know, my family is extremely close. I've never lived more than 10 minutes from my grandparents, and talk to them just as much as I talk to Mom. Anna-Lee and I tend to hang out like friends when we're at home, and not two sisters who occasionally do “sister outings.” Dad is always there providing me with fun things to do and great bonding time. And Mom, well she and I are closer than sometimes is healthy, considering we are pretty much the same person and can sometimes come to a head over things. But if there is one person I talk to the most in my life, other than my boyfriend, it's Mom. Every decision I make, every piece of advice that I need, it all goes through her.

I think that if I had gone to a school any further, I for sure would have left. But Mizzou has allowed these very important relationships to stay the same, and to even grow stronger.

Here are some of those amazing weekends I have talked about:

This first picture is from Sophomore year Parent's Weekend. Mom, Anna-Lee, Nanny and Bobbob all came up to visit me, and we had the best time. Football game, eating at my favorite Columbia restaurants that call for a parent footing the bill, and just hanging out with the family made this weekend amazing. Anna-Lee and I have had so much fun during her visit at Mizzou. I've introduced her to new people, shown her what college is all about, and shown her a few tailgates her so. Missing out on her time in High School has been hard, but being able to stay close with her has been great for our relationship.

This is from my freshman year Chi Omega Mom's Weekend. Mom and I went to the Winery with some of my sorority sisters and spent the weekend exploring Columbia; Devil's Ice Box, Cooper's Landing and Chim's Thai Kitchen. Mom's Weekend is one of my favorite weekends because it's girl time all weekend, but includes our Mommas. We've gone to comedy shows at Deja Vu, the Winery for brunch and ginormous Bloody Mary's and maybe a song or two at the Piano Bar.

And finally, this is a picture from senior year Chi Omega Dad's Weekend. Dad's Weekend always falls on a football weekend, which calls for some good ol' Tiger fun. We tailgate with the best of them and celebrate after our wins at some of Columbia's best patios. Dad's Weekend is always a time of “Daddy Daddy bonding time” like we were told this year. I've loved having my Dad up here because it's a time for us to hang out and for me to show him everything about Columbia.

These next pictures are just a few more from some of the fun weekends i've had when my family came to visit. Also, some pictures from St. Louis when Anna-Lee came for Christmas and at home in Little Rock since I'm close enough to visit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

#4: Mizzou-Rah! Mizzou-Rah! Mizzou-Rah! Tigers!

This next thing that I love most about Mizzou will probably come as a surprise to most people. Me loving football games? Right. But, seriously, I do. One of the most fun parts about going to Mizzou is an early fall football game.

I have loved tailgating at Mizzou since Freshman year. However, when I moved to East Campus with 4 friends, and next door to our 5 other best friends, it got even better. This past year I think I probably went to 1 game, much to the dismay of my boyfriend, Jeff. But, I had the most fun football season ever.

Most days we spent hanging out with alumni like Mr. And Mrs. Price, MJ's parents, Micaela's parents who came in from Kansas City, or our Dad's who came in for Chi Omega Dad's Weekend. We had a lot of grill outs, lots of fun tailgating games, and lots of bonding on the 1501 front porch.

Since I will be moving to St. Louis, which is only two hours away from Columbia, I am happy to say that this part of college will never die for me. I have a few friends who will be here for one more semester, and luckily for the rest of us, it's during football season. That means a free place to stay when we come in town for these amazing weekends, and a guaranteed tailgate full of familiar faces. Knowing this is yet another reminder that I have absolutely made the best decision by staying in Missouri.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from some of those fun fall afternoons.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

#3: Amigas

Happy Thursday everyone!! I thought I would share with you all my next favorite thing about Mizzou: the friends I have made. Like I said in my previous posts, my friends at Mizzou have become my family. These girls have become my mother figure helping me when I don't feel good, my sister figure listening to my darkest secrets and the best party buddies a girl could ask for after a long week of work.

When I came to Mizzou I knew I was going to miss my group of girls back home. There were 11 of us who did absolutely everything together and I worried that I would never find anything like that here. But, I am lucky. My girl friends here are so much like my friends back home it's amazing.

So here are my friends. The girls that have help me make it through these past four crazy years.

This first picture shows the amazing girls of 1503 Wilson; my roommates. These are the girls I have lived with for the past year and who I spend absolutely all of my time with. This picture is from our Christmas card that we sent to our friends and families. From left; top row: Natalie, Kate, bottom row: Rosie, Me and Steph.

Let me introduce them:

Natalie is a Biology major from Plano, TX. She and I were roommates sophomore year when we lived in Chi Omega. She loves Hot Tamales, Charleston Chews (sick!), making her poofy hair face that I love so much and anything and everything Tiger Woods or Harry Potter. Don't be surprised if you're sitting around with Natalie and you randomly just hear her snicker to herself. She's probably just on one of her many websites reading some hilariously funny comic. After graduation Nat plans on going to Pharmacy school.

Kate is a Convergence Journalism major from Springfield, MO. She is a Theta, making her the only non-Chi Omega in the house, but we forgive her. She loves gummy bears, but only the Target brand, has the most beautiful hair I have ever seen and eats her sandwiches with only one piece of bread which I always find so amusing. After graduation Kate is going to law school and is going to become the best lawyer Missouri has ever seen.

Rosie is a Latin major also from Springfield, MO. She is one of the most traveled young adults I know; having lived on the side of a volcano for a summer, moved to Northern Ireland by herself and worked at a hotel for a summer and studied abroad for a semester our Junior year. Rosie is one of the funniest people to watch romantic comedies with because like a little girl she cannot watch people kiss. It makes her squeal. After graduation Rosie is going to law school.

And last, but not least, Stephanie. Steph is a Respiratory Therapy major from St. Louis, MO. She is the Mom of the group, always taking care of all of us from health issues to making sure we get home safely on a late night out. She takes years to put pictures on Facebook (sorry Steph), is the resident hair dresser and may or may not someday end up on Hoarders. After graduation Steph is going to go to work at one of the amazing hospitals in St. Louis and “save lives.” Because that's what she does.

The next pictures are of the rest of my girlfriends. This one is of 3004 (the group of 10 of us who live next door to each other on Wilson street; 1503 + 1501 = 3004. Get it?) And the rest, are just a few of the amazing memories we have made over the last four years.

Check back in a few days for more of my favorite parts of Mizzou.