Today. (Post-Thanksgiving)

I'm thankful.
Thankful that the DeMarco's took me in for Thanksgiving this year again, and for the fact that home cooked food is amazing.
Thankful for this break. I've been so productive with schoolwork as well as with miscellaneous projects, and have been sleeping 8+ hours a night.
Thankful for all of my wonderful friends. In real life and online.
Thankful for being as privileged as I am, with a great and understanding family who wants me to follow my dreams.
Thank goodness for Black Friday sales.
Thankful that since Thanksgiving is over, I only have 3 weeks until I can go home (and more importantly be done with this semester from hell.)
There are a lot of things to be thankful for in life.
However, since I've been back from Thanksgiving (yesterday afternoon) I've been living off of peanut butter & nutella sandwiches, honey bunches of oats and chai tea. Normally I wouldn't complain but this guy needs his food. So I decided that today I'd venture down into Troy to my favorite coffee shop for lunch. I'm really glad I did because I had an awesome burger. (Coffee shop with burgers are my kind of coffee shops apparently.) I decided to snap some pictures on the way down, but about halfway through it got really windy and blizzard-like so I put my camera away. It was like I was being assaulted by dry leaves for a good ten minutes.
After I ate, and was walking back up to my dorm, I decided to try and take some pictures of me in my new jacket on auto timer. That failed. It decided to get really sunny at that point so I'm either squinting/making awful faces or all you can see is shadow because I'm back-lit. Morals of the story: I'm really bad at taking photos of myself and I like my new jacket a lot.
Look at the pictures and pretend like you were walking with me because it would be nice to have some company.


this crazy thing I call my life

It's hard to believe that it somehow became late November and that I'm now on my Thanksgiving break, but I'm definitely not complaining because I need a few days to recuperate. The past few weeks have been a flurry of ups and downs. As finals rapidly approach (seeing as architecture finals are held before finals for "normal' classes), it's apparent that we had a lot that needed to be done in not a lot of time.

Our design studio has been the most intensive of all my classes. We're currently designing an addition to a preexisting museum, and we've crossed from abstract design to this-needs-to-be-a-functional-structure-where-are-the-doors-and-windows-and-fire-escapes and I most definitely did not know how to go about that. But lately I've felt like a real architect because of it. That and the sleep deprivation. Literally 4 hours a night for the past two weeks. I go to bed around 2 or 2:30 am and get up at 6:14 (yeah, 14) every morning for swim practice. I'm spreading myself rather thin.

BUT. Now I'm on break. I had my structures class today where we tested our final bridge model (which not only was the professors favorite aesthetically, but it also held 480 lbs) and that was it. I've done some laundry, watched some TV shows, went out to dinner, and now I'm listening to Fleet Foxes pandora and drinking caramel hot chocolate that Amy got for me for my birthday.

I wish most of my days were spent like this. Although I would like more sleep a night, since it's obvious my swimming performance has gone down due to it, I'm glad to be burying myself in my work. Whenever I have time alone I think too much and start to feel like I can't keep my life together. There are a few people here that I don't get to see all the time, but when I talk to them my problems are all erased for a little bit and I feel a bit refreshed. I've got to find more of these moments of solitude in the weeks leading up to break.

Lately though, thinking about the holiday season has preoccupied my mind a bit.

More on that soon though! This was just an update on this crazy thing I call my life.

Take These Thoughts

It's too often I find myself lost in my own head and struggling to find a way out. But every so often, there's just a little thing that keeps me going. One of the best feelings is having someone offer to do something for you, or get something for you, just because they can. A lot of people find this senseless - whats the point in doing it if you don't have to? I think we should look at it the other way around - if you can do it then why don't you?

Too often I get the urge to write out what I'm thinking, feeling, remembering, whatever, especially when a new emotion rises up out of casual communication. What triggered this was having my roommate ask if it would be okay if his mom would bring us breakfast tomorrow morning (because his family lives 20 minutes away and we needed to get breakfast before our swim meet but dining halls wont be open). It's just really nice having people who do that. Another one of my friends mom keeps inviting me over for Thanksgiving, which just feels so nice considering I can't go home.

Maybe it's just me, and the distance that has separated me from those who were closest, but an outstretched hand causes my heart to swell up just a little, and it puts a smile on my face.
There was one time Adam left me Vitamin Water and a note saying how much he appreciated our friendship. It was sitting on my desk as I get back from a late night in studio, and he will probably never know how much it meant to me. The card Kelsey gave me for my Birthday giving similar sentiments and a copy of The Great Gatsby was fantastic. I hope she reads this because I love her to death. My future roomates surprised me with a peppermint mocha and a chocolate croissant last weekend, just because they were out and had thought of me.

There is a theory that states birthday presents were given as a method to ward off evil spirits on the day of ones birth, and although these undertones are gone, the tradition continues. Sometimes I feel like gifts, whether on your birthday or not can ward off the evil spirits that inhabit your soul, and those that lurk in the back of your mind. How arbitrary a thought can be to one, and so significant to another.
Make it a goal this week to do at least one nice thing, just because you can, to someone you care about. It's easy for you, and will make a world of difference to them.


[hal-uh-week] (noun) - The week surrounding the holiday of Halloween. This includes the weekend before and after, especially when the holiday falls on a Wednesday, because that's when all the best costume parties are.
And I never turn down an opportunity to put on a costume.

The weekend before Halloween it was the birthday of one of my upperclassman architecture friends (who also happens to be on the swim team, and from Seattle) as well as the birthday of another architecture student - so they threw a masquerade. Being the crafty architecture students that we are, of course we made our own masks. (Yes, mine does have a beak.)
This past weekend was the annual "Creepy Crawl" which is a costume party for architecture students. We had a couple of hippies, Barbie and Ken, and some of the cast from Peter Pan (Tiger Lily, John, Tinker Bell, and of course me, as Peter Pan.)
I always have fun with these guys. And because the main portion of these themed parties involved architecture students - a lot of the masks and costumes were very innovative. We're just awesome like that.
You see, I've been spending the majority of the time talking about my enjoyable weekends and not about my Birthday, which is, in fact, on Halloween. This is because my birthday itself wasn't all that great. The night between the 30th and 31st I spent doing work, as did I on the 31st, and well into the 1st, because we had a midterm for design studio on the 1st. I hardly slept, let alone was able to open a birthday card.
However, as soon as that was over, I enjoyed the cards I received, and the package Amy sent me, and everything else that would comprise a good birthday. Better celebrated late than never at all. I think I'll purchase myself a new pair of boots soon. Happy Birthday to me!

Day 20: 21 Things to do before 21

Unfortunately, I bit off more than I could chew for my goal in posts. Attempting to do 20 posts, each with 20 things on the 20 days before my 20th birthday sounded like a great idea to me at the time... back when I had time. In those 20 days I wrote a 2500 word sociology essay, had 2 swim meets, had several architecture design studio midterms (yes, several, which was unnecessary), amongst other things. Not that I'm making excuses for myself (I am) but attempting to figure out that much content, especially when its all a reflection done by me.
So although I'm missing a few days, and now that I'm a few days late, here is the last list I wanted to post. I made one for turning 20 but most of the objectives were left unfulfilled. Here are 21 things I want to do before I turn 21 - and I really want to do them all.

- Take more photographs
- Go to the Seattle Public Library & Art Museum
- Read more books
- Take a yoga class
- Record a song (informally)
- See a musical
- Run a half marathon
- Grow a mustache
- Go to Beth's Cafe & get a 12 egg omelet
- Go to New York City
- Get a set of wine glasses/tumblers
- Go paddle boarding
- Start regularly recording my outfits
- Go to Austin for the blogger family meet up
- Use and develop at least 1 disposable camera
- Finish my resume and electronic portfolio
- Invest in a new suit
- Re-furbish a  piece of furniture
- Move into an apartment
- Get something pierced
- Get my motorcycle drivers licence

Are there any things you guys want to do in the next year?
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