Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday's Letters


Dear Steve & Beth, Thanks for letting me join your family for my first-ever-away-from-home Thanksgiving. So thankful for you two! Dear Blue Skies and Sunshine, Loving this weather. Way to be awesome, Denver. Dear Ladies Ski Trip, Can't wait for next weekend!!! Even though I may have to limit my skiing to one day, it's going to be an amazing ladies weekend in the mountains. Dear Swim Suit, How awesome is it to be perfectly comfortable slipping into a bikini in the middle of the winter? Bring on the hot tub next weekend! Dear CrossFit, Two things: if you're in Appleton and considering CF, now is the time to do it. Josh is offering On Ramp for HALF PRICE. Seriously, CF Vanguard is top notch. Second: Only three more weeks in the squat cycle and then it's time crush some PRs. CANNOT WAIT. Dear Frontier, I hope I'm able to change my flight around so I can be in Oshkosh for the Placement Exchange... 300+ higher ed/res life/student affairs positions in 33 states? Yup. I need to be there. Dear December, I'm not one to wish days away, but if December 24 could just get here, I would be ok with that. I'm ready to be on a plane to see my family. Dear Self, It's ok to be stressed, just keep a positive attitude. Not all seasons of life are going to be easy or comfortable, but you have to keep going forward and working towards your goals. The hard work will pay off in the end.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Taking Stock

Saw this on a few other blogs and thought it would be a creative way to organize my thankful-thoughts. Plus, I love lists.

Making: my dreams come true.
Cooking: sweet potatoes and bacon. err'day.
Drinking: almond milk egg nog. oh yes. i went there.
Reading: all the deets for my action research project. time to earn this masters degree.
Wanting: christmas with my fam.
Looking: at the mountains. every day.
Playing: scategories to pass time at the salon.
Wasting: the last few sips of coffee in my mug.
Sewing: *crickets* ...someday.
Wishing: on the stars.
Enjoying: every day life.
Waiting: for my ladies ski trip weekend.
Liking: my life.
Wondering: what my future holds.
Loving: my tripod gang & watching baby schuler kick. 
Hoping: for continued happiness.
Marveling: denver weather - blue skies, sunshine, 60 degrees. mountains in the background. breathtaking.
Needing: to slow down.
Smelling: bacon.
Wearing: spandex & fleece.
Following: my dreams.
Noticing: little details.
Knowing: i'm loved.
Thinking: about food. lots of food.
Feeling: just a little bit giddy.
Bookmarking: recipes.
Opening: papers & group presentations.
Giggling: with the tripod gang over nonsensical messages.
feeling: abundantly thankful.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday's Letters

This might be a little true. -High Fidelity
Dear Snowy Weather, I am really excited to see the snow, but I'm already missing the blue skies and sunshine. Dear Thanksgiving, Next week! Already! Whoa. I'm especially thankful that I have somewhere to eat turkey and be around good people (Thanks, Steve & Beth). Dear Bank Account, I'm basically a  poor college student again. I bet you didn't miss these days. Sorry. I'm working on remedying this situation, I promise. Dear Job Search, It's not too early to start looking, right? I'll have a masters degree in just about two months! Dear Denver Ladies, Between Friday happy hours and midweek breakfasts, I'm feeling pretty darn lucky to have such great friends here! Dear Roommate, I sent you text that said "She fell off the couch, but she's fine!" without attaching the video of Gemma chasing a light on the wall and losing her footing on the back of the couch. Sorry for the mini heart attack. Dear CrossFit Colfax Friendsgiving, The box Halloween party apparently got a little crazy, I'm excited to see if turkey and stuffing has the same effect. Dear Self, Always remember that happiness is a journey, not a destination. If you're happy today, nothing else  matters. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

{Music Video} Aaron Espe - Hanging by a Thread


This song plays on my Ben Howard Pandora station. I dig it.

A Season of Growth



I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately on my two months in Denver- on my reasons for coming out here, my reasons for staying, and how both of those thoughts make me feel. 

I am the first to admit that my first few years out of college were full of life lessons for me, many of which I learned the hard way. Luckily, I had some of the very best friends by my side as I learned, and made mistakes, and re-learned lessons. And even more lucky is that those ladies are still by my side. 

But time changes people. And after learning and re-learning life lessons, you really have no choice but to change...unless you actually enjoy learning the same lessons over and over. I didn't. I was ready to change, and ready to be the girl I really wanted to be. But I knew I had a few lessons to learn still, and they were lessons I couldn't learn if I stayed in my comfort zone in Appleton. So I packed up my car and moved to Denver.

I talked a bit about why I left in this post. Now that I have been here for two months, I can say with confidence that I did the right thing. I left my comfort zone and feel like this is provided the perfect opportunity for me to learn even more about myself than I have in the last three years. And the best part is that these life lessons were not learned the hard way - they were learned my way.

If I had to pick the top five things I have learned since moving, I would say:
  • I have it in me to move to a new city, alone, and make it. This has been amazing for my sense of independence. 
  • I can make friends if I put the effort in to get out of my house. Yes, I really did worry about this before I left. I know I can be a bit of a homebody, but I also knew that I needed girlfriends here or I would never survive. I am so happy to have found some really great girlfriends who have helped make Denver feel like home.
  • My faith is a lot stronger than I realized. Especially in the first few weeks, my mom told me to "let go and let God" multiple times. And, guess what? I did it. Some things are out of my control, and I'm finally learning to be ok with that. 
  • I am comfortable in my skin, I know who I am as a person, and while I appreciate what others think...it doesn't change who I am. 
  • I feel like a damn rock star when I accomplish a goal I set for myself. 
Now, a few people have asked if I'm planning to stay out here, or if I have plans to move back to Wisconsin... Well, those are difficult questions for me to answer right now. My easiest answer is to say that I'm waiting to see what February brings. I'll be done with Masters and can start my job search. Yes, I will likely look at jobs in Wisconsin. Yes, I will be looking at jobs in Denver. And yes, my job search may even reach other cities and states.

This adventure has brought every bit of confidence and excitement that I wanted it to. And it was just enough change for me to re-energize my soul and refocus my goals. That doesn't necessarily mean that I'm ready for it to be over. But there are also other goals I have for myself and for my life. So, for now, I am going to enjoy the adventure I am in. Come February, I plan to be in a season of discernment as I search for my next adventure.  


Monday, November 18, 2013

A Blast From the Past

Our mind does funny things with memories. Mostly in the way memories come back with just the slightest provocation. Some are more obvious- a liked photo on Facebook which spurs a conversation. Some less so- a quote on an assignment sheet. I'm a very emotional person; I don't think anyone who knows me will deny that. As such, every little memory I have draws emotion from me.

The Facebook photo, and subsequent conversation, flooded my mind with the feelings surrounding the thought of what could have been...and maybe what still could be. Only time will tell. 

The quote reminded me how I got to where I am, where my confidence to make a life-changing decision came from. It reminded me of the person who saw through my game, saw the fear inside, and told me I could be better. 

Not all memories are good, and they don't all bring forth good feelings. But today, today I am focusing on these two memories which have sparked conversations with people from different, yet not so distant, times in my life. My present life is fantastic. And these additions from the past are more than welcome. 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday's Letters

 A few favorites from a recent hike near Gray's Peak...no filter on any of them!

Dear Colorado, You.Are.So.Beautiful. Seriously, it should be illegal. Also, high 60s/low 70s...in November? With abundant sunshine? I knew I moved here for a reason. There are still a few stubborn trees with bright leaves, but neighborhoods are also starting to decorate for Christmas. I'm loving it. Dear Grad School, Holy moly. Second to last class. I am almost done. Eeeek...am I excited? Or terrified? BOTH. Dear Wisco Friends, You really can start visiting whenever you want... :) Dear Family, While I am already anticipating how much I will miss seeing you on Thanksgiving, I am really looking forward to a fantastic Christmas with you in Arizona! Dear Tripod Gang & JB, Missing you three like crazy. That's all. Dear Self, "Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly." -Franz Kafka

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Eleven Things

There is a little game is going around Facebook right now. But I hate being one of those people with an annoyingly long status. So, I'm going to do my eleven random facts here instead, post it on my wall, and see if I can get out of continuing the cycle (not likely...)

1. I just started my second to last graduate course, which means I am officially done in 10 weeks.
2. Tomorrow marks my eighth week in Denver.
3. Last week Tuesday marked my sixth month of CrossFit. I have never been so comfortable in my own skin. I love everything I get out of CrossFit, much of which cannot even be seen.
4. I could talk about CrossFit all day, tend to bring it up in every conversation I have, and don't care if it annoys you.
5. I have mostly eliminated all dairy and gluten from my diet. Not just because it's the "paleo" thing to do, but because I was sick of feeling sick every time I ate. You can tease me about it as much as you want, I don't care. Because a happy gut = a happy Crystal.
6. I am in the process of finishing the last two chocolate chip pancakes (yes, they are gluten, dairy, soy free) from the batch of 8 I made this morning. Hormones do crazy things to me, and I don't always have the self control to stop it.
7. I eat bacon at least 5 days a week. Sometimes I feel bad having a vegetarian roommate, but she doesn't seem to mind.
8. I am terrified of graduating and not being able to find a job in my field.
9. I am seriously considering going on for my PhD right away, but would rather wait until I have some amount of experience in my field.
10. I still stop dead in my tracks at least once a day in awe of the fact that I get to live in this city, that I made this dream come true, that I have made it this far.
11. My faith, in God and humanity, grows every Sunday when I spend time with the littles at my church.

What I get from CrossFit...and then some.