Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Two Months

Hello All!!! I figured it's been long enough for me to write you a book, but I'll do my best to keep it short!

Lets see.... Well September was a good month, mostly because it was my birthday!! WOOT WOOT! Ashleigh came out for my birthday weekend to keep me company and take me on a birthday adventure. We got massages, walked around a sculpture garden and had a big kid dinner. It was the first time I have bought wine and a fancy dinner, I felt really grown up. It was a great weekend! We drove around and I tried to show her sites that I have seen and we went to Minneapolis for the first time since I've been here. On Monday I left her at my house alone hahaha, and went to class. We decided to go to a Twins game before she left and I'm sure I smelled amazing after 3 hours of cadaver lab! Anyways, we took the light rail to Target Field which was really nice, minus the fact that they didn't have Rockie's Dogs :( , oh and the Twins suck!  I dropped Ash off at the airport on Tuesday morning and went back to the daily routine.

I also received some lovely cards and gifts from family. Sienna and Ryder sent me a card with their handprints! My mom and Ron sent me a cake so I could have something to celebrate with. Amy and Vince sent me some cookies and candy! Uncle Gil and Aunt Elaine sent me a card, as well as my Grandma and Grandpa, Lou and Betty, and my awesome little brother!!!!! Always nice to feel missed and thought of!

School has been going pretty well. I just got a test back today and got 100% on it, so I was super excited about that. Already need to start studying for the next one, due to the fact that I have to basically memorize 50 pages of notes and half a book full of insertions, origins and actions of muscles. It's definitely challenging, not only academically but also emotionally and mentally. The work is vigorous and very necessary because of this school's high success rates on board exams.

Emotionally and mentally it has been stressful. It's my first time being away from home and it's beginning to hit my heart. Hard to be away, even though I know that it's something I need to be doing and focusing on. I talked to my mom and told her how hard it is for me to be so selfish with my time. I find myself ignoring more and more calls because I'm in the library or in class. It's hard for me to do that because I care so much about what's going on with my family and friends, but I suppose calling people back when I have more downtime is a bit more thoughtful :)   I miss everyone so much and can't believe I missed Sienna "Munchin's" first steps. She and Ryder "Monster" are just growing up too fast!!! It's also been hard with Lou being in the hospital. I love him and I know it's been stressful for everyone, but I'm glad he's doing better.

Making friends was little harder than I thought it would be. I usually see myself as a very outgoing, friendly individual. A lot of my peers are from Minnesota and have a lot in common, and many of them attended undergrad together. So.... it was hard to break into people's friend circles and step out of my comfort zone. I did make a few new friends and found that studying with them is SOOOOOOO much better than just talking to my spine, "Albert." He's a great listener, but he doesn't say much or laugh very often.

What else can I tell ya? I got my first chiropractic adjustment! The first time I went in, I was seen by a T7 and we just went through a couple tests and patient history mumbo jumbo. When he went to take my blood pressure, I had to roll my eyes. I told him that my BP runs pretty low most of the time (normally), but he read like 130/86 after placing the baby cuff on my arm. I kinda just laughed and shook my head. Hopefully, when we all have to learn how to take BPs I will ace it, after learning that in high school. They were hesitant about adjusting my neck, since I had never been seen, and asked me how I usually handle pain or muscle tension. I told them that I self medicate by popping my neck and back very frequently. The intern just kinda laughed at me and the chiropractor that oversees him shook his head in anger. He told me that he didn't expect me to quit "cold turkey" but to limit my popping to once a day. After they adjusted my neck, they asked me how it felt and I told them "Honestly, I could pop it 30 times more." But, of course we all know that that is bad for you because you have no idea where you are placing those joints after the air has been released from your synovial fluid.

So... to sum it all up, school is going pretty well and Minnesota isn't too bad afterall (I bet I'll bite my tongue when it starts snowing). I am learning a lot, although I feel like my brain is swelling out of my skull with information. The teachers are very informative and try to appeal to us on a more personal level, keeping us awake when we have to sit in the auditorium for 9 hours straight. I miss everyone and I heard/saw that it snowed yesterday. I'm a tiny bit jealous because seeing snow on Long's Peak is one of my favorite parts of winter. I am super stoked to come home and eat a lot! I've lost about 30 lbs since this summer and am ready for some chile, stuffing and familiar loving faces!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Hello all! 5 more days until I am up to my neck with 22.6 credit hours. I am very very excited to start school, although with these lovely pink scars on my forehead, I'm not excited about the yearbook picture. We have orientation on Tues and Weds, followed by a "President's Welcome Reception and Dinner". It'll be really exciting to be around people that are walking down the same life path as me. I imagine it'll be much more fun than college. In college, everyone is about the same age and going through similar things, but everyone has different interests. Here, everyone will be working toward the same goal and going through the same training for it! I'm thinking it'll be a breath of fresh air.

This week has been another laid back week. I have taken a couple drives and the green is gorgeous. There are places where the trees just cover the road and everywhere you look there's green. When there's not green, there's marsh or murky water. I have crossed over the Mississippi River like 5 times, which is pretty small here compared to when I was in Louisiana, but still a sight to see. I drove around yesterday, through towns and neighborhoods (instead of all highway). I ended up in St. Paul at St. Thomas University. That area made me feel like I was back in Colorado. There were nice houses and lots of trees, kind of like the neighborhood just east of the Natural History Museum in Denver. I took my time driving by Lake Calhoun, where people had their boats out and everyone was leisurely biking the paths. Sometimes it's nice to just breathe and reflect on where you come from, as well as what lays ahead of you.

I went to sleep at 6 am (today) after what I have come to call "The Battle of the Bugs"!!!! I did some research and the spiders are just hardcore Daddy Longlegs. They are much bigger than the ones in CO, with long spiny legs and they can spin a web like nobody's business. I closed the windows, so I haven't had anymore centipedes (knock on wood). Now, I am mostly battling the rolly polly looking bugs that are called "sow bugs". Even though they aren't harmful to humans, these things are suicidal! They walk along the ceiling and then plunge to the floor, but they don't die. CRAZY bugs!!! I killed 12 of them last night and then gave up on sleeping by my bedroom window. I talked to Lee and Donna, we're gonna see if we can put some caulk around the windows, just incase.

I hope that everyone is doing well. Send me some good ju-ju for the upcoming week and I'll be sure to keep you posted on the lovely cadaver that I will be dissecting! Someone give Ryder and Sienna some big hugs and kisses for me!!! LOVE YOU!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Monday!

Hey everyone- happy Monday! I'm pretty boring and still don't have much to say, sorry hahaha. I spent most of the weekend outside, although the weather has been kinda dreary. I read "The Help" and loved it. If you haven't read it, I recommend it!  Been struggling to get the internet up and running and I'm sure the people I am living with are irritated with me checking up on it everyday, but I needed to get everything functional before school starts next Tuesday. Plus, being here and not knowing anyone, I feel so disconnected. After all that, I finally got it up and running today, WHOOP WHOOP! I took a drive around today just to get out of the house. The area around here reminds me of Brighton, but more green. I stopped at a gas station in Richfield and listened to two people get in a really loud fight. I'm sure you could have heard them down the block. One guy refused to move his car back because he was already out and ready to get gas and the lady that pulled up after him got out of her car to yell at him to move. I just laughed to myself, got in my car and drove off giggling. WOW! Gas prices at home still suck I bet, but here they are like 60 cents worse! I'm super excited for my mom to start her job today! Derek and Vince got promotions! Things are starting to look up!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Construction and War

After a night of fighting some spiders, I sat down and watched the news. I can't believe they named the hurricane after my grandma!!! She's not this destructive! I fell asleep in my room for the first time since I got here last night. One reason for that was because my parents stayed on my bed and I took the futon while they were here. The other reason was the spider war. I think I got em. Lee (one of the people I'm living with) is a gardener during the summer, so all of my windows are surrounded by flowers and plants. Needless to say, the bugs like my windows right now. Thanks to the frigid winter, I won't have to deal with them for very long. They don't wanna mess with me anyways... I'm crazy when it comes to bug spray!

I cannot get over how much construction is going on in this area. Every highway has something going on and every major road is being redone. GRRRRR.... I went to get my brows done (so I didn't have to see the caterpillars on my forehead anymore) and it took like 20 minutes because of road work. Then, I went to the driving range, which was relaxing. I just got a small bucket and used the time to take in my surroundings. I put my ipod on and smacked those balls a lot farther than some of the guys out there. Boosted my self confidence to say the least!

Hopefully, I will have functional internet by the end of the day. I sure miss Sienna and Ryder already, especially when I hear Ryder yelling "Love you Shrray!!" I saw Sienna standing up on her own yesterday and got to hear her laugh for a few minutes. I think she just really wanted to play with Grandma Ann's computer!

For the rest of the day, I'm going to make some dinner and sit down to a book, probably one I have already read. I love you all! Hope all is well!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It is now day 2 on my own

Ok!!! So we left on Friday morning, after having a lovely breakfast of Santiago's breakfast burritos! We were going to have Santi's for dinner the night before but my favorite is the breakfast burritos,... plus it would have interrupted all the fun we were having trying to load all of my stuff into the trailer and car. We hit the road and saw hot air balloons flying high on the way out of good 'ol CO. I got some pictures of the buffalo on the rocks in WY that everyone has to double take, thinking that it's real. Then... everything looked the same... I mean, come on, it's Wyoming!

We hit South Dakota and stopped to take pictures at the state sign. Getting out of the car, I was already ready to run back to CO. There were hundreds of grasshoppers flying around, so I used my mom as a shield as we ran down the side of the highway, back to the sign. We drove up to Mount Rushmore, which was not what I expected. They call that a mountain?!?! haha It was like a hill with faces. Pretty cool how detailed that artist was, even getting G. Washington's coat and collar in the details. My poor mom didn't get a good view of it since the driver's side of my car was packed full. We had to drive back around it and got a little but of a better view coming back around, but I got kind of distracted by the goats walking down the road (immediately thinking of Amy, Vince and Ryder). We stopped for lunch as we were coming down the "mountain" and got some pictures from the President's Hotel (very poetic with the flag in plain sight).

After hitting the road again, we drove to Chamberlain, SD and called it a night. I decided I'm not a big fan of driving with a compartment on top of my car and a trailer hooked to the back, down a highway where the speed limit is 75 mph (oofda). We got off the highway, looking for the hotel we were going to stay at, but this dumb GPS took us through some random neighborhoods and got us lost (how convenient). We got back on the highway, found the RIGHT way, and ended up passing over the Missouri river a few time, which was pretty big, kind of cool. We were going to head down to the hot tub to relieve some stress and just relax, but instead we sat down on the beds for a break and passed out! LONG DAY! (On top of this, I still hadn't heard from the people I was moving in with... making me very nervous about the next day)

Day two, we woke up to rain, showered, had breakfast, got gas (where super unleaded was cheaper than regular) and hit the road. We didn't even make it out of SD on that tank of gas the the "check engine" light came on, causing some frustration in the car. Then, inevitably, we missed our exit to stop for gas. Turning around a few times, we got to Sioux Falls, SD and stopped at Auto Zone to get things checked out. I guess that Super unleaded wasn't so super after all. Ron bought some fuel injector and we refueled, got some lunch, and crossed out fingers that we would get better than 10 mpg on this tank of gas.

About 15 minutes later, we got to the Minnesota state line. We couldn't just bypass it, so we stopped to take pictures, where I saw some huge spiders and got hit with more humidity. When people say "it's like hitting a wall of water" they aren't kidding! You could take a breath and rehydrate yourself haha. We got to the house around 4 pm and got everything out of the car.

The couple I'm living with are probably in their early 60's, Donna and Lee. Donna is an acupuncturist and a retired pharmacist. Lee has a gardening business in the summer and from what I understand he drives the bus in the winter. They are very nice people and very accommodating. We walked into the house and the smell reminded me of Grandma Confe's house, kind of. I smelled beans, which I think was a mixture of cooking and house... Before we headed out here, Donna and I had been exchanging emails so we could kind of get a background on each other. I don't think she knew what I meant when I said that I'm very OCD.  First thing we did was head to target for cleaning supplies. I think Ron and I vacuumed for over an hour, not that it was a super dirty living area, but I always need a clean and fresh start.

Day three was a matter of getting settled and getting everything out of boxes. We went around to a couple of stores, getting the little things that we noticed were necessary, as well as groceries. We looked for a cheap little dinner table just so that I could have a little place to eat, not in front of the TV. My mom and I cooked dinner and the three of us sat and had dinner together. Frankly we were shot! Ron fell asleep half way through a movie, while we were trying to bake a pie in my toaster oven (btw a whole pie fits in that thing!).

Day four, we woke up and went on an 8 hour long adventure. We hit Burnsville, Edina, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington,....etc. It was rough. The GPS sent us to at least two places that didn't exist. We stopped at a mattress store to ask for some thrift stores (or SOMETHING). They gave us directions to a store that was closed. All of our nerves were on edge by this time... then, we get into St. Paul and there was construction being done on one of their main roads. Stop and go traffic just to get to the wrong Goodwill, super fun to say the least. FINALLY, we got to the right place and found the table right away! Like Ron said "It's always the last place you look," to which I raised my eyebrow at! We got it back to the house and went to Red Lobster for appetizers and drinks, much needed after the day.

In this middle of all this craziness, we stopped at my school to meet with an advisor. I just wanted to make sure everything was in line and ready to go before my parents left. It eased our minds after the trip and the stress filled day.

Tuesday I dropped Mom and Ron off at the airport, where Mom's waterworks began. I think Ron might have even teared up a little bit too :)   I was going to cry too, but instead I took a deep breath and hugged my mom for a while. I could be sad and let the tears fall, or I could be positive and show her that I'm not scared! I am very excited for this adventure ahead of me and everything that I will be doing. I could dwell on the fact that I'm not at home and I'm missing out on so much, but I know that this is such a huge step for me and will benefit me immensely. I'm looking at it as a new chapter in my life. It doesn't have to last forever, but it will influence who I am and what I can be. I am looking forward to school and I just want to get it going! I can hardly wait until Thanksgiving, to see everyone again!

After dropping them off, I took a nap and I went on a drive. I had to see "New Brighton" haha, turned my GPS off and tried to get home on my own (crossing over the Mississippi River), which I did successfully! I stopped at a gas station where I heard "Colorado huh?" I turned around and said "You betcha!" This guy started telling me how he lived in CO for 3 years in the 70's. I asked him how he liked it and he said "I hated it! You look one way and see blue skies for miles, you turn the other way and you see mountains. It was terrible." I was flabbergasted.... who could hate seeing the mountains. I said "Interesting, I went to school in Boulder and my favorite part was waking up to the flatirons every day! Come sun, rain, clouds or snow the mountains always look gorgeous!" He called me crazy and I just smiled and told him to have a wonderful day. Gotta kill 'em with kindness! Although this is not my home, it's very similar to CO. It's green and even if there were mountains, you wouldn't be able to see them because every direction you look, you're surrounded by trees. Other than swallowing water that fills the air, Minnesota summers seem very similar to good 'ol Colorado.

I promise my posts won't always be this long, I just don't have internet at my house right now so I had to come to a coffee shop to try to get this all out and let you all know what's going on. I have to say thank you to all of you for supporting me and motivating me to make this huge step. I have a wonderful family. Mostly I have to say thank you to Ron and Mom, I couldn't have done it without you. I love you both very very much and I am so privileged to have such wonderful parents. Even though Ron doesn't verbalize his feelings much, I know that he's very proud of me and will miss me. I could see it in his face when they left. Mom- you're my anchor... you keep me sane and grounded, supporting me and motivating me to do things I never thought I could! Derek sent me a text, telling me how I'm his hero and how he is so proud to call me his sister and of course I cried. I am so proud of you Derek! You are a wonderful brother, son and dad! I couldn't be prouder of you! Vince, Amy, Veronica and Jered- you guys are always in my thoughts and I love you all very much. I am lucky to be able to call you my brothers and sisters and I couldn't have done this without you either. I can't imagine my life without you! Grandma and Grandpa- Words can't explain how much I love you and how much your support means to me. I don't know where I would be without you and I appreciate everything you have done for me! I love all of you, what a wonderful family I have. I miss you all and like I said, I can't wait to see everyone for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!! Feel free to skype, chat, mail or call me... keep me in the loop and I'll try not to type too much next time :)   I LOVE YOU!