Tuesday, July 29, 2008

another national title.



It was no surprise to me when Princeton Review named the University of Florida the #1 party school in the nation giving UF it's fourth national title in 3 years! Pictured here celebrating our first basketball championship in a crowded street with about 12,000 other students, my roommates and I had no problem finding the party in our four years in G-vegas!

Monday, July 28, 2008

advisable?


I'm not sure at what point it is advisable to admit to liking you a great deal more than I planned.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Just Friends"


I saw them standing there pretending to be just friends, when all the time in the world could not pry them apart.

undercover angels.

















The beautiful Duffley Family on a recent vacation to New Jersey!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Green Goblin

Yesterday, we set out on a short road trip to visit my cousin (Kevin) who is currently drilling about two and a half hours from here, here being Dauphin, MB (my current place of residence). Kev told us "you can't miss it, you won't need directions" so when we arrived to the edge of town we simply starting looking for his truck in the town of Melville. There appeared to be a fence between us and what looked like a camp site with a black Ford F150 (how many of those exist?) that could possibly be his parked outside. So we followed the little road we were on entirely around the small town to enter from the other side before looping back through a provincial baseball tournament only to end up back where we started from but this time on the right side of the fence. My cousin is currently working the night shift on the rig so we were instructed to come at 5:00 ("and don't come at 4:30!") for supper so upon our arrival ( at 4:57) we woke him up from his deep sleep where he quickly made us feel right at home. He gave us a grand tour of The Green Goblin- his $850 purchase that he has made into a home for the next four months. We even got the royal treatment when he uncovered the tarp on his living room and set out 2 recliners and a couch for us to visit on, around his camp fire of course. Because of the baseball tournament, the campgrounds were packed and Kevin had lots of little neighbors that kept running through his living room. With only beer, bologna and Gatorade we decided to go out to eat before visiting Champion 47- the rig that Kevin works on. It's quite an impressive set up.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Grams

I thought it would be a rather tough adjustment getting used to not seeing my roommates (or what I have considered my other 3/4s) everyday. After all, we have lived together for four incredible years and going on without them just didn't seem possible, let alone requitable. I mean where could I find someone that would be equally fabulous to live with (by putting up with my inevitable mess)? Who would I stay up late with ruminating about how to save the world (or at least conjure up a few bright ideas about what to in the immediate future with our lives)? Who would be there to advise me from an unjaded perception (by reassuring me that kissing a lot of frogs will eventually elicit the revelation of a prince!)? Who would accompany me on all my wild adventures (carpeing the sh*t out of all our days, as my roommates and i would say!)? Who would be willing to drive long distances to reach a decent mall (I'm so glad I'm moving to a city that has adequate shopping!)? Who would I have dance parties with (*Caution: They leave scars!)?... Somehow I managed to find someone who just might reciprocate the fabulousness of all three combined... Grams! Pictured here chipping and chatting at the same time, (this photog was not staged!) Grams and I have been thoroughly enjoying her retirement. There is no place like home and returning to the cabin one last summer before I start my career has been nothing but fabulous! Reminded of a youth filled with catching frogs and kick-the-can games, nothing makes me happier than days by the lake golfing, getting lost in books, playing incessant amounts of games and staying up all night talking about life.

Monday, July 07, 2008

organic.

Finally out of school (although I have found I'm still spending everyday studying for what might be the biggest test of them all -my nursing boards!), I'm making a list of all the things they forgot to teach us in sixteen years of schooling. I'm finding the greatest lessons learned weren't arithmetic or biology, but lessons learned through the trials and tribulations of life. I'm learning that you cannot expect people to be who they are not. You will only get hurt. 1. Expect nothing of anyone but yourself; for yourself, expect only the best. By the age of fifteen, i had undeniably been stripped of a mother, a best friend, a youth, an innocence - normalcy in any aspect of my life. I found it shockingly convincing to hide a scared little girl behind a cute outfit, good grades, and a reflexive smile. 2. Perservere. I've been wondering if my love for photography is really only a superficial vice to portraying a picture perfect life, an outlet to single out a glorified smile from a war ground. You have the choice to succumb to the negative forces or redirect your focus on the positive and use it to empower you. 3. Find the pathological optimist in you. I'm learning that it really isn't about what you know but who you know that gets you ahead in life. 4. Surround yourself with incredible people. I've learned all guys are disappointing, some are just less disappointing versions of others. but they will probably disappoint you too. unrequited love hurts. 5. Never make someone a priority that keeps you as an option. I'm learning broken hearts mend but leave pretty significant scars leaving you rather cautious and over protective to let love in... somewhat unfair to anyone who tugs at your heartstrings. 6. Love like you've never been hurt. I've learned parenting, to some, is supposedly an option. Family isn't always defined by blood lines; it's a delicate relationship of unconditional love and support, a vested interest in something you consider worthwhile. 7. Be the change you wish to see in your world. Negativity harbors. 8. Just let it go. You'll inevitably come across small minds. You'll undoubtedly encounter ignorance, prejudism, hate. You'll unavoidably face pain, abandonment and fear. You'll question your purpose. your strength. your capability. your integrity. You'll be let down. You'll be challenged. You'll learn the power of tears, friendships, karma and hope. 9. Smile. You'll wonder if you could do it all again, would it be the same? You'll wonder if you'll ever find true love? You'll wonder if you will ever feel accomplished enough? I wonder if the the suburb of utopia really exists where 10. Everyone is the hero of their own story.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Omaha, Nebraska

I'm not much for sporting events if it's not the Gators playing and even then, I have an incredibly hard time paying attention. I normally manage to redirect my focus on the people in the crowd or cheer for the team with the cuter uniforms completely clueless as to what is actually going on in the game. but... Kara is (apparently) Fresno State's #1 fan so after an incredible night out and morning shopping in Kansas City, we headed to Omaha, Nebraska to catch Game #14 of the College World Series. There were tons of people tailgating outside the stadium I forget the name of...just like Gameday at UF. I would have thrown down my delicious ice cream swirl and joined in if I would have known they were not going to serve beer inside. The only sporting events I have attended this year have been soothed with a $10 Bud Light to take my eyes off my watch (if I wore one) and my mind off the fact that underneath all those pads is a handsome man whose teeth are currently all intact. I wasn't aware that people survived sporting events without the consumption of alcohol but somehow I made it through 9 entire innings and 4 whole hours watching men in tight pants run in circles. I even consumed my first hotdog in 4 years...


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

out of gas

When Kara and I recently cruised across the country (vertically), we saw lots of fabulous places! We enjoyed a breathtaking sunset over Birmingham, AL. We were pleasantly surprised in Metropolis, IL where we happened upon the birthplace of Superman. We traveled to the top of the St. Louis Arch. She... I mean we... enjoyed a college world series game in Omaha, Nebraska. We made a lot of great memories but quite possibly the happiest place we came to along the way was Christine, South Dakota. While cruising for 700 miles on a straight shot north from Omaha to Canada, Kara forgot to pay attention to the gas gauge and with nothing but fields and tractors for as long as we could see, we came incredibly close to running out of gas. With no other option but to drive until we ran out of gas and me practically having an anxiety attack in the passenger seat, I noticed a sign for a gas pump (NOT STATION!) so we turned off. That's where we came to a place called Christine where we stopped at the mall for a tank of gas. This was no ordinary mall. It came complete with a kitchen, a grocery store, a post office, a bathroom, a hair cutting place, a taxes office and most importantly, a single gas pump. Across the street was a fire department, a liquor store and a park. That pretty much accounts for the entire municipal of Christine...