Thursday, October 20, 2011

Aggie Ring Day!

If you've been keeping up with my blog, then you undoubtedly have heard me mention that I'd be getting my Aggie ring soon (It finally happened!) and you've probably heard it mentioned on more than one occasion.

I've been meaning to type up this post for awhile now. I did, after all, get my ring on September 16th. I know, I'm a tad behind schedule. A lot of this is my fault. I've been so lazy. It's shameful. But, on the other hand, I did leave for a week long trip to Colorado shortly after Ring Day (But that's a post for another time. Honest!) so things did get a bit hectic for awhile there.

Anyway, I've finally got my pictures sorted through, and I'm super excited to share them with you guys!

So, without further ado, my Ring Day!

My parents drove down the morning of, and it was really exciting when they showed up! I wanted to be over to the Alumni Center early, so we headed over shortly after they arrived. And, true to form, the first placed I stopped on the way was Starbucks. Because I don't like to start my day when I'm absent my coffee.

Me and Dad at Starbucks.
Mom's behind the camera. :)
That was our only stop on the way—after Starbucks, we headed straight to the Alumni Center. Well. Straight to the parking garage. Then we walked a few blocks. THEN we were at the Alumni Center. But it was a nice walk; the way was pleasant. Not too hot, which was a miracle—the past several days down here in College Station had been in the upper 90s. And it was fun to walk with my parents on campus. I got to point out some of the places I see all the time.
Like this!
Our usual bookstore is getting a remodel.
So it's taken up residence here in the Coliseum.
Since I managed to score a spot in the first round of ring pick-ups, it wasn't very busy when we got there. We even managed to get a spot indoors, in the air conditioning. Winning! Inside was much more crowded than outside. Full of anxious Aggies eager to finally slip that Aggie Ring on their finger.

Our Yell Leaders (we don't have cheerleaders) up on the balcony.
We had a quick Yell Practice about five minutes before the first pick up!
Pick up areas were split off into three sections, by alphabet. My line happened to be right by the door we walked in. So convenient! We took our place in line—well, I did. And my parents stood with me!—and counted down the minutes. We were only about half an hour early. Just early enough to get a good spot in line without a super long wait.

Right under that maroon and white balloon arch.
That's where my Aggie Ring is. :)
Once they called the first pick up time (2:00, if you were curious!), things actually went surprisingly fast. Props to A&M for figuring out a way to organize such a huge event. Over 3,500 Aggies got their rings on that day, and pick up times were in 15 minute increments; from 2:00 to 7:00. I walked under the arch, and in the room we were again split up by alphabet. I stood in line behind a group of people, not quite sure which line they were in, and then Dad figured out that they were in the line next to where I needed to be—no one was in my line! So I stepped right up, presented my student I.D. and driver's license, and my Ring Day ticket, then signed my name and TA-DA!

I'm presented with my Aggie Ring! WHOOP!

Putting it on for the first time! :D
After finally getting my ring (isn't it GORGEOUS!) we headed outside. I had a coupon for one free professional photograph at my choice of a few 'landmarks' around the Alumni Center. I chose one of my favorite statues; two replica Aggie Rings.

This is the picture Mom took of me getting my picture taken. :)
And that was that! I had my Aggie Ring! FINALLY. And it was so awesome to get to have my parents down, even though they could only stay for one night. We went to dinner at Ninfa's to celebrate. Because their enchiladas are to die for, and they have fantastic margaritas, too!

The professional photo has reached my house—I haven't seen it yet. I haven't had a chance to go home yet! But Mom says it looks good. So here's hopin'!

And I'm already developing a tan-line where I wear my ring. Because I wear it pretty much all the time. I just take it off to sleep. :)

It feels really great to finally have what's come to be, to me at least, a symbol of all I've accomplished. Just looking at it reminds me of all the hard work I've done, and all the hours I've put in, and the effort I've put forth. It's all worth it. So worth it. And I'm so proud! I'm glad I finally got to share this experience with you guys. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Man's Best Friend

There are certain things you learn when you become a dog owner. Not only do you learn a lot more about dogs—the things they eat, the things they chew, how many bottles of Resolve you go through during potty-training—but you also learn a lot about yourself. I know I have.

I wanted to share with you my wisdom. Or, the wisdom I've been granted thanks to my dogs—both past and present.

A few of my lovely dogs.
Top right; Kelsi. Top left; Tucker. Bottom; Cowboy.
Standing around, repeating, "Need to?" and "Go teedle!" will make you humble. So will stooping over to pick up their...leavings...

"Doggie Bags" will no longer bring to mind restaurant leftovers.

You can tell a dog owner by the slobber on the inside of their passenger window.

You are much more capable of baby talk than you ever imagined.

Sometimes a comforting lick is just as good as, if not better than, a hug.

Toys that boast, "Will keep your dog busy for hours!" will probably not live up to that promise.

When puppies are teething, NOTHING is safe.

The difference between acceptable behavior and unsocialized behavior is the difference between "your dog" or "their dog."

Dogs can totally laugh at you. Also, they do totally laugh at you.

Dogs are way more loyal than people. They always listen, they love to be around you, they don't care what you look like with no make-up on, they'll never stab you in the back, they'll forgive you for anything, and they would lay down their life for you without a second thought.

Feeding your dog table scraps can backfire. Big time.

You will become that person who always brings a conversation back to your dog.

You will find reasons to show everyone pictures of your dog, whether they want to see them or not.

My dog has made me a much more patient person.

It is almost impossible to disappoint a dog.

The entire world obviously smells much more interesting than you will ever know.

Dog hair gets on EVERYTHING. Even places that your dog has NEVER BEEN.

Every dog has a different personality.

My dog is probably smarter than me. That would not surprise me at all.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Attack of the Lazy

As you may have noticed, it's been quite some time since my last update!

For this, I am truly sorry.

I wish I could give some sort of long-winded but legitimate excuse about being super busy with countless important things... Alas, I cannot. I did get busy a couple of weeks ago—I spent about a week in Colorado visiting family!—but after getting back, I haven't really been doing anything important.

So long story short, I have no excuse.

Can you ever forgive me?

I hope so.

Anyway, moving on! I have a couple of things I want to share with you guys, but they both deserve their own posts. So I'll just allude to them here, and let you get excited to read them when they come up. It WILL be soon, I promise.

First is Aggie Ring Day. If you've noticed my Ring Day Countdown Clock on my blog, then you've likely also noticed that Ring Day came and went, and without any blog post about it. That is soon to change, my friends. On top of my admitted laziness, while I was away from my desktop I was unable to go through the pictures I took that day. Now that I'm back home with my beloved iMac, I can finally sift through the pictures and find the best of the best to include in my post. So pictures and paragraphs praising my lovely new Aggie Ring are soon to come. I can't wait to show you guys!

Here's a sneak peak! ;)
Secondly, I wanted to blog about my trip to Colorado. It's always a lot of fun seeing family, especially when story swapping happens. I spent several evenings sitting with my parents and my uncles talking about family history, their childhood, anything and everything. It's such a treat to get to listen to these slice-of-life anecdotes. One, in fact, I'm attempting to write. Bits of it are fictionalized, of course—it's one of those tales where 'nobody knows the whole story'. But still, I just thought it was interesting. One of these days, maybe I'll post an excerpt. Anyway, the problem with getting the Colorado post up and running is this—for once, I didn't take many pictures myself. I come from a family of photographers, so Dad took a bunch of pictures, not to mention video, and my Mom took the other half of the pictures. As soon as I get copies from my parents, I'll be going through them and picking some out for the CO blog post.

But listen, I know it's kind of a cop-out to write a blog post about upcoming blog posts, so let's talk about something else now.

I've been thinking lately (I know, it's dangerous.) about life and how it's going and what I'm doing and where I want to be and what I want to do. I know, a mouthful, right? The thing is, I've always been a homebody. I like being around my family and I like being in my comfort zone. But then again, every time I visit another state, I think about how cool it would be to live there. Or how interesting it would be to live somewhere else, even if just for a year or two. And then my cousin (who you'll hear more about in my Colorado post), she got married in Hawaii and looking at her pictures made me think, how cool would it be to live in Hawaii?

Seriously. What's wrong with this picture?
Okay, so that's kind of a no-brainer, I guess.

But the point is, I'm starting to wonder if maybe the reason I get so excited at the thought of moving is because I'm secretly desperate for a change of scenery. Vacations are great, don't get me wrong. But honestly, they're usually just long enough that I wish I could stay longer. My trip to New York, for instance. Amazing. Action packed. And we definitely did a million and one things. But I was only there for a week, and you just can't do New York in a week. Just about the time things get comfortable and familiar enough to really relax, I had to leave. And then this trip to Colorado. Another week long trip, and I wasn't ready to leave at all.

Don't get me wrong, I do love Texas. I mean, I was born and raised here. I feel like, at least for me personally, you can't grow up in a place and not feel at least a little bit at home there.

But you know, the older I get, the more I realize that moving doesn't have to be forever. If I decided to move out of state, or even out of country, it's not like I'm committing to living there forever, whether I end up liking it or not.

It's sort of a weird thing that's happened, now that I'm older. When you're young, home is where your parents are. You live where they live. If they move, you move. If they don't, you don't. But then, you grow up. And you realize you have all of this freedom. You get to make choices yourself, and suddenly you don't have to be where your parents are if you don't want to.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud, really. Food for thought, and all that.

What do you guys think? About relocating. Sometimes I think I need to just get out of my comfort zone. A sure-fire way to do that is to pick up and move. But it could be a little drastic. Anyway, I'm just babbling at this point.

So I'll wrap it up.

And go back to looking at pictures of tropical islands.

Oh, and writing. I'll be doing that, too.