Sunday, July 13, 2014

The part nobody warns you about

It seems only appropriate to toss some thoughts into the ring on the eve of my departure for Chapel Hill (via a four day trip through Atlanta and Spartanburg, SC), seeing as the night-before-school post seems to have found its way into being some kind of tradition around here (read them all here - freshman year, sophomore year, junior year and senior year).

Here it goes - the Next Big Adventure, as I've taken to referring to the ensuing move to North Carolina and beginning of grad school. The moving part? Yay, decorating. The school part? Actually, seriously can't wait. The moving-on-from-Auburn, starting the next chapter part? NOPE NO.

Maybe it's because I miss my best friends so much - from Santa Fe to Houston, Auburn, and Boston, they're all over the place, and for the first time in forever, none of them are with me. Over the last few months, most everyone I know has spread their wings out and taken their steps into the real world, and now it's my turn, and even though I've spend four years 'training' for it, so to speak, I'm having that moment where you stand on the edge and question if you even know how to fly.

I want to cry tonight, but I'm strangely comforted and disoriented at the same time knowing that, for the first time, those night-before tears aren't coming from a sad-to-leave home place, but a sad-to-be-growing-up one. I've been living in the hallway between undergrad and grad school, and this next step closes that door behind me and open up the shiny new one in front of me. And it's totally scary because closing that door feels a lot like closing the door on myself and life as I know it. Like leaving my friends behind (even though I know it's not true, it's a lot harder to convince your heart than your head), and facing the idea of losing my confidante, my partner in crime and the girls who know me better than I know myself. That right there is enough to send me to tears. I don't want to make new friends, I want mine to come with me or time out or something, anything, but make it stop. Stop moving on with your life without me, I want to yell at them. Include me, need me, call me, but please don't forget about me, because I need you. Stop going out together, stop posting cute pictures, because I'm not there and I'm so, so afraid I'm going to become the one who 'used to be', not on purpose, but because why do you need a best friend 800 miles away when you have one five minutes away?

This is the part about growing up nobody warns you about. How alone you're going to feel, while it seems the entire world around you just keeps going.

I have no idea what I'm going to find in the next month behind that door. What can you do though? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and jump, I guess, because I don't have any other idea (because running backwards and hiding out in your childhood bedroom is only fun until mom asks you to vacuum the living room).

Friday, July 11, 2014

The next apartment

College apartment bedroom
My room in Auburn
My senior year at Auburn was the first year I lived in an apartment, after spending freshman year in a dorm and my sophomore and junior years on the sorority hall. With 40 other girls. In a bedroom the size of a shoebox (no, smaller actually because all my shoes didn't fit inside my room).

Needless to say, apartment 302 was like heaven. A large, suite-like heaven where I shut myself in and occasionally didn't leave the upstairs for like, two days. So while I got all my furniture sorted out (aka I ordered my headboard off of Amazon, the delivery guy got it to the front door and was like "BYE" and I got it up the spiral staircase and assembled myself) and had all the basics down, the place never really got decorated. By the time I was 100% unpacked and sorted out, time got away from me and it didn't seem worth it knowing I would be moving in May. Not to mention, that until, um, April, I had no idea if I was moving to Birmingham, Texas, North Carolina or some other state I had knowingly (or unknowingly) applied to school in.

Getting ready to move into my new apartment in Chapel Hill (that I've never actually seen in person, whoops) has me all excited about decorating though. Knowing this time I have all the furniture purchased and know how it looks actually in my room gives me some freedom to start working on the pretty side of things. Because pretty = priorities

I have a small list of items I want to purchase, although how fast it happens will depend on budgetary and time constraints because I'm still a broke grad student. Although come to think of it, if I spend all my money on furniture and clothes, then I will have no money for food, aka I will be skinny and fit into my clothes. Now that kind of logic is what got me into grad school, people!

Also, as a small, minor detail to add - I don't own living room furniture, so couch & new pillowcases might take a sortof priority. Although I'm totally willing to trade a couch for Louboutins and watch tv on lawn chairs....

Apartment bedroom ideas
All inspiration photos from Pinterest, because, sorority girl

My list is pretty simple for now (keyword: now). I really want a piece of art to hang over my bed, instead of the framed pictures I had last year. I'll definitely re-use those frames, but maybe somewhere else in the apartment or even in my room (read: it will take me until November to decide where, February to print pictures and April to hang them). I'd really love to purchase a piece of original artwork, because I think that's something really special to do at this stage in my life (too bad nothing has changed in the last 45 seconds, because let's see... still broke!) Something to hang over my dresser would be great too - I thought about a big mirror, but right now it looks like my TV is going to sit there, so that might not work out too well. The last thing is super simple, but one of the items that just never got purchased last year - pillows! They're the last touch I need for my bed to feel 'finished'. Simple white European shams, since the matching ones for my specific bedding aren't available anymore, and a couple of cute patterned throw pillows.

Just a few simple things to add, but hopefully enough to make it feel like I'm staying longer than a few weeks and give it a home feeling. All the better to never leave my room, right?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Field Guide to Albuquerque

Albuquerque mountains at sunset

To call Albuquerque quirky might be an understatement. Until you've been to the desert, it's hard to understand this little city that sits perched between mountains and mesa and is home to some of the best sunsets in the world. Also, balloons. Should you find yourself here, for Balloon Fiesta or otherwise, I thought I'd create a list of some of my favorite places. Figure it as a sort of field guide.


The Grove Cafe, Albuquerque, NM
The Grove Cafe & Market
The Grove Cafe: Always a favorite and top choice for brunch/lunch. Great ingredients, wonderful atmosphere. Go when it's nice outside and sit on the porch.
Tractor Brewing Co: A favorite hangout last summer (when I had friends who actually lived in the same state), great atmosphere with the local food trucks parked outside. Bring your dog and sit on the porch.
Satellite Coffee: My favorite coffee shop of all time. Also the location where approximately 75% of my senior thesis was written. Favorites include caramel dulce and the dirty chai.
Dion's Pizza: The classic. The only place I eat my pizza with ranch because their's is just that good. I may or may not crave this incessantly when I'm at school.
Corrales Growers' Market: Fresh, home grown fruit, five minutes from my house, I never quite know what I'm going to find, but it never disappoints. We definitely wish we got out here more weekends.
Corrales Bistro Brewery: If you're a beer drinker, this should be an obvious go, but even if you're not, it's still great. Casual and classic, their burgers are great, as is most everything.
Relish: Hands down, the best sandwich in the city. My life mission is to recreate their honey roast turkey so I can eat it every day for the rest of my life.

Elsa Ross: Cutest boutique in Albuquerque, carrying brands you can't find anywhere else. Where I purchased my senior formal dress (a gorgeous tibi I want 100 excuses to wear again).
ABQ Uptown: Mostly chains, but in a fun outdoor setting. Plus, MAC and the Apple store are next to each other... making it MAC².
2 Time Couture: Great consignment shop next to The Grove. I've sold quite a bit here and I'm always happily surprised at the selection when I stop by.

Central Park Hair Salon: Laura's been doing my hair since I was in 7th grade, so if that doesn't say something, I'm not sure what else to do.

There are so many more places I'm sure, but not being a year-round resident of the city limits my ability to explore. Guess I'll just have to start a Chapel Hill list pretty soon...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Current riding situation

If you are one of my friends who thinks I talk incessantly about horses (not true completely true) and don't want to hear about Lucy-the-horse, Lane-the-horse, saddles, strides or stirrups, then you should skip this. Just FYI.

Lucy the horse
Mostly interested in the fact that there is a rabbit outside the arena... Is that edible?
The best part about being home for the summer is the ability to ride as much as I want. Lucy's 89% retired at this point, not really for any reason other than the fact that I don't live here, mom's not riding and refuses to sell/lease her because, um, she's Lucy. So I have a fat, retired Paint wannabe-Quarter Horse mare who thinks loping is like, so hard, and God, why can't you just let me eat?. Super fun. I love this mare dearly, I do, but being home for a little over a month isn't enough time to get her in shape enough to do anything, so we end up jogging circles and doing fun things like not riding with reins.

It seriously kills me to see her just sitting - she's sound, she still has the best mind I've ever found and she's still got it in her (under seven layers of fat) to be a nice show horse. But she's not moving to North Carolina with me, so I have no say and nothing I can actually do about it. Which sucks.

In the meantime, I also acquired a ride on a family friend's OTTB (off the track Thoroughbred, for anyone unfamiliar). He's eight years old, came off the track sound, has a mind as good or better than every stock horse I've ever been on - and knows next to nothing. Sure, we walk, trot and canter, but leads? LOLNOPE. Steering? Highly questionable. Sitting trot? Why are you doing that, it's weird, please stop. He tries though (except for the left lead, which just, doesn't happen) and he's a quick learner. Ground poles ain't no thang.

Our motto

Hi, I currently have the equitation of an octopus on drugs, so that's awesome
Plus, he's like really cute. And I need shorter stirrups, for the third time this summer (I think I'm shrinking).

And I'm actually having to ride, instead of bumming around on Lucy, doing pretend horsemanship patterns and coming home to cry myself to sleep that I'll never haul to majors again and I should just give up now and bye square corners and bye showmanship legs and bye lope overs good bye sweet dreams. I'm not dramatic ever. Lane's been so much fun and after I leave for school (on... Sunday), he'll go to one of my best friends to start over fences. Which could be a circus, a rodeo, or the freakin' Devon Horse Show.

It's definitely made me aware how much I miss riding consistently. The last time was (aside from last summer's whatever-that-was) fall of my sophomore year, taking h/j lessons, which I loved. I'm hoping to get to NC, figure out my life and time and money and at the least, get back in the saddle once a week, just taking lessons.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cutest phone case on the block

LucyCelebrates Vivi iPhone 5 case

Three or so weeks ago, my hardy iPhone met its demise in a glass of iced tea, an end to the same phone that somehow managed to survive four years of college without so much as a scratch. Due to my membership in the millennial generation, going without said phone for longer than approximately six hours was just not an option, and so, I became the owner of a new iPhone 5. Which is wholly unremarkable except for the fact that I finally (!) had an excuse to order the case I'd been drooling over for the last six months with no practical reason to order thanks to my sturdy boring black case. It's the Vivi case from LucyCelebrates, in navy and gold.

Yes, that's the Auburn creed

Needless to say - I'm obsessed. Other pros: I no longer confuse my phone for another member of the family's, my phone is safe and happy and secure (knock on wood) and um, it's really cute? Lucy was wonderful to work with since I have commitment issues and changed colors on her multiple times. Some shops will charge you for proofs, but she willingly changed mine and sent along copies within hours of my requests. I can't recommend her enough!

I was not compensated in any way for this post, just wanted to show off my new case. Lucy has no idea who I am, other than a happy customer!
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