Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gator Bait

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is always reserved for the UF vs. FSU game! It's a huge rivalry filled with lots of heckling, tailgating, and for the gators... celebrating! This year, my best friend Megan (sadly, a Nole), her boyfriend, Danny (possibly the biggest FSU fan.. still extremely dedicated even though FSU has been unranked the past 2 seasons!) and his two best friends came down to Gvegas to stay with me and cheer for the losing team as the Gators beat the Seminoles for the fourth year in a row... 45-12. GATOR BAIT!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Would you light my candle?

From now on, we are living by candle light and sponge baths... After 3 months of getting power for what we thought was "free" we have now been appropriately billed for our energy usages and now owe $832.54. The good news is the total is perfectly divisible by 4 ($208.14 for each roommate).. the bad news is it's due tomorrow. I had honestly convinced myself that when our neighbors (3 guys who don't have a hot tub, take long showers, blow dry their hair or get scared being home alone in the dark) kept getting $500 monthly bills somehow our power usage was connected to theirs and that's why we hadn't received a bill .. turns out Gainesville Regional Utilities system just got overloaded and now we're paying for it... literally. Would you light my candle?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Annual Patricio Fall Festival

This weekend was the First Annual Patricio Fall Festival! Amber and DJ put together a fabulous fall celebration for all their friends and family at their beautiful home in Land O' Lakes! Complete with your choice of caramel or candy apples (homemade by Amber), hay rides, potato sack races, a bonfire and smores for roasting, good food and even greater company.. this is the start of a family tradition I'm glad I was able to be a part of!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Every Baby Has A Story

In honor of National Prematurity Awareness Day, I created a special page for Christopher to share his special story! Everyday I am reminded of his strength and smiles and I can't wait to become a neonatal nurse! =)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Micanopy Half Marathon

Today Jess and I completed our first half marathon!! We ran today in honor of Catherine Barclift and wore pink ribbons to remember her as she was also training for a marathon when her life was suddenly taken from her while running last Monday! Our goal was to finish the run in 2 hours and we crossed the finish line in 1:59:45... goal accomplished!! It was an awesome achievement! With our full marathon just 8 weeks away, our training is getting more intense but we're really excited!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

La Chua Trail

Today Kate and I took advantage of the amazing weather we've had lately and went on a hike down the La Chua trail. The trail leads into Paynes Prairie, a state park just South of Gainesville with a lot of camping, trails and wildlife! At the end of the trail was a giant sink hole filled with huge alligators. There were sunbathing all along the banks of the sinkhole and a lake nearby. We spread out a blanket by the gators and enjoyed a fabulous picnic before making the two mile hike back!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Auntie Paul!!

Happy Birthday, Auntie Paul!! I hope you had a wonderful birthday.. Can't wait to see you in December!! =)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Devil's Millhopper

The weather has been wonderful this past week so Kate and I spent the day outside on a "nature walk" around Devil's Millhopper, a sinkhole in Northwest Gainesville. This sinkhole is a miniature rainforest 120 feet deep made of limestone. It was formed when an underground cavern's roof collapsed. There is lots of lush vegetation and a couple of waterfalls that line the boardwalk that leads down to the bottom. Once upon a time grain farmers found bones and teeth buried in the bottom of the funnel-shaped sinkhole. Legend has it the Devil once fell in love with an Indian princess and captured her near here. Her fellow braves tried to rescue her, but the Devil created the sinkhole. The Indians fell in one by one and were turned to stone if they tried to climb out. The water filling Devil's Millhopper is said to be the collection of tears from weeping braves who could not rescue their princess.

Low Carb HeadQuarters

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An Old Dutch Surprise

I got so excited when I received this fabulous surprise in the mail last week... an entire box of ketchup chips!!! Belated birthday celebrations are the best because you do not expect them in the least bit so it's even more exciting!!
Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness Lori, Keith and Roxi! You are the greatest!! =)

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Way I See it # 282

*I took this picture of Jess this summer when I had an outrageous aspiration to become a magnificent photographer and suddenly made everything my subject.. the dream quickly died when I realize I would need a camera with an adjustable lens but none-the-less I thought this photog was representative of Reflection.

I over slept and didn't make it to class this morning. I literally cried over spilled milk when I dumped an entire cup of milk down my pants and onto the bathroom floor attempting to drag myself to class. When I got to class, I met Jess (who had attempted to make it to class on time) who proceeded to tell me about the morning she had witnessing a girl out for a morning run get hit by a car going 45 MPH. She was the first one on the scene and stayed with her until the ambulance came only to find out later that the victim was a law student at UF and was brain dead and not going to make it. After a long day of class and even longer evening at work we both got home at 10:00 and decided to go to Starbucks to think about all the good things we have in our life. It's sad that it takes life-altering situations to remind you of all there is to be thankful for in your life, that whole live each day as if it was your last, don't take a single breath for granted, don't waste a single second being unhappy, fix the things you can change and let go of things you cannot, don't sweat the small stuff, Carpe Diem. It's days like today I am content just being and consider myself lucky just to be alive. At Starbucks, their cups are decorated with opinions, thoughts and expressions to spark "coffee talk" and to support a good, healthy discussion called "The Way I See It".

The Way I See It # 282: Childhood is a strange country. It's a place you come from or go to - at least in your mind. For me it has an endless, spellbound something in it that feels remote. It's like a little sealed-vault country of cake breath and grass stains where what you do instead of work is spin until you're dizzy
Today has been a day where I would have loved to lock myself in a seal-vault childhood country and could of really benefited from spinning until I was dizzy...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Memoir of a Gator

Saturday was our Homecoming football game against V
anderbilt. We made it back in time from Tallahassee to watch the Gators win (although I have no idea what the final score was) but I had to laugh because I made Jess an hour and a half late to the game to get our hair cut and buy a purse because we both forgot one (pictured here in store buying purse). She is a die-hard football fan and wouldn't be caught dead in a salon and shopping ESPECIALLY while a game was going on.. unless, of course, she was hanging out with me! =) Jess would kill me if she knew I was posting this but lucky for me, she doesn't read my blog and therefore she will never know...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

12th Annual Wine & Food Festival

Friday night Jess and I went to Tallahassee to attend the 12th Annual Wine & Food Festival in Tallahassee. The charity event benefits the March of Dimes and last year's event raised over $500,000 to save the babies! We attended last year and had such a fabulous evening, we decided to miss "Gator Growl of our Senior Year" to go again this year! The food is phenomenal, the wine is wonderful but most of all the Gallos are awesome! Getting to spend the evening with them is my favorite part of the festival! =)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gator Gallop

To kick off UF's 84th Homecoming, we participated in the Gator Gallop- the 2 mile-run that immediately precedes our Homecoming Parade. Tonight is Gator Growl- the nation's largest student run pep rally! The stars of this year's show are Frank Caliendo, Lynyrd Skynyrd and our very own Carly Hallam, who has a cameo in one of the rally's hilarious skits!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Day of the Dead

Today is November 1st and not only does that mean that rent is due but it also means that today is the Mexican Holiday- Day of the Dead, emphasizing on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, and celebrating the continuation of life; the belief is not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life. Some Mexicans feel that death is a special occasion, but with elements of celebration, because the soul is passing into another life. Plans for the festival are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. On November 1st (All Saint's Day) and 2nd (All Soul's Day) families usually clean and decorate the graves and visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas, or offerings, which often include orange marigold called "cempasuchil," in modern Mexico this name is often replaced with the term "Flor de Muerto", Spanish for "Flower of the Dead". These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. Some families build altars or small shrines in their homes which usually have pictures of deceased relatives and other persons, and scores of candles. Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased. A common symbol of the holiday is the skull which are often made of sugar and can be gifts of both the living and the dead. Last year, we celebrated Day of the Dead ourselves at Aunt Travis' house (Carly's aunt who has adopted all of us). We had a sugar skull decorating contest and even made our own shrine where we told stories and brought pictures of loved ones that have passed (i.e. the 13 pet goldfish Carly and Megan killed last year). The best part was the costume contest in which we were told to dress up like Mexicans... Jordan and I won best costume!

Halloween Highlights

David and Victoria Beckham
Marie Antoinette
Peter Pan and Tinker Bell
Disney Sidekicks - Flounder and Abu