Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Liebster Award

Holy crap- Someone actually reads my blog!?!

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email this morning to find that I had a comment. Then I logged in (I havent been on in the last two weeks since ive been so crazy busy) and saw this liebster nomination, and that a whole 10 people had viewed my last post!! So exciting.

First I would like to say thank you so much to Manisha one of my lovely Alpha Gam sisters at Hokie, ESQ. for nominating me! Check out her blog- its full of real life insights on Adult life, Being a lawyer and Running, not to mention filled with adorable puppy pictures!

So.... On with the show.

The Liebster award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.


1. Each person posts 11 things about themselves
2. Answer the questions the nominator made for you, and create 10 more questions for the blogs you nominate.
3. Choose nominations and link them to your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them. 

.... (Considering the only people I have on my blog have already done it or been nominated by someone else- 2.B, 3&4 may not get done).

11 facts about me:

1. I am the first person in my family to go to college. (I may have taken this a bit overboard with the two grad school degrees lol).

2. I may be the biggest nerd you know (but i try to hide it somewhat). Im a scientist- with three degrees, who loves science fiction and fantasy more than anything- except maybe science books (I even read Darwin's Origin of Species while on vacation one year for fun). Im incredibly introverted, love helping people understand science and medicine and really do get probably 90% of the technical jokes on Big Bang Theory.

3. I love photography. Its one of very few creative outlets I have. Jess at Being Mrs. Beer even gave me her fancy new DSLR to play with at her recent baby shower because she said I was the one she trusted to get some good shots with it. (Which made me incredibly happy for the trust- and honored to capture the fun!).

4. I lived on a farm until I was 6. Yep- I had every little girls dream- a pasture full of ponies!

5. I am 1/4 Greek and 1/4 Native American and you'd never be able to guess it because I'm pale with blue eyes and don't tan well at all. I even have a separate greek name from my baptism, which is Calliope. 

6. I am absolutely obsessed with black and white. Stripes, Houndstooth, Polka dots, Abstract designs, Clean lines, Lace- doesn't matter. Clothing, Accessories, Decoration, Photography- I love it all.

7. I have a multitude of tattoos. My entire left leg from ankle to knee is covered and I have a large sun on my back. I have one more idea that I really want, but im still figuring out exactly how I want it to look and where to put it.

8. Im a big fan of sportscars and motorcycles. I have one of each- a Volkswagen Eos and a Kawasaki Ninja.

9. I used to bite my nails incessantly. I was always jealous of girls with nice long fingernails. After two years during college of having fake nails- I finally managed to quit and now have real nails! Still can't paint them though because wearing gloves at work makes the polish peel off.

10. I think my brother and I are backwards from the stereotype. He drinks Liquor and Cider, and I drink Beer. (We both love wine).

11. Im someone who always has too many things going on. In high school I was in band and played varsity tennis and ran indoor track, in college I had alpha gam and circle K, I started my job and did two grad school degrees while working, and now Im working and have the long distance relationship thing going on. Ive realized over the years that being so busy has kept me from staying in close contact with friends- yet im still frightened of not having enough stuff to keep me busy all the time especially with the hopefully quickly approaching end to the long distance... It makes me constantly consider doing more schooling- which yes I know is insane.

10 Qs for me:

1. What is your favorite tv show (past or present) and why? My favorite current TV show is Game of Thrones. Ive read the books (well all of the ones that have been written so far) and theyre a perfect fit with my fantasy genre nerdiness. Murder and treachery and Dragons- what could be better? My fav reality show though is Say yes to the dress. I can't help it- so many pretty things (and some ugly ones to make fun of too!). Although I have to say I think I like Bridals by Lori more than Kleinfelds- something about that Southern Charm.

2. What is your ideal/dream vacation spot, expenses be damned? My boyfriend and I keep talking about Singapore. Its absolutely beautiful and clean/safe, not your typical travel destination, a mix of asian cultures and cuisines. Singapore Tourism. I'd also love to go to Greece. The beaches are so beautiful, it looks like the perfect place to relax. Plus considering my family is greek, id love to take in some of the history and culture.

3. Why did you start blogging? I had alot of trouble getting over being robbed, and I felt like no one I knew understood, so I couldnt talk to them about how I was feeling. I assumed that people were just going to tell me- 'its done with and you cant do anything about it, get over it already'. So I decided to write about it. I decided- whether or not anyone ever read my fears, it helped me think about it rationally. Helped me overcome my concerns- as if putting them down on paper made them real so that I could move on to the constructive 'getting over it' phase. I also hoped that other young women might take some of my lessons and learn from them, or that just maybe, other young people dealing with similar circumstances would come across my babbling and it would help them to know theyre not alone.

4. How many different countries have you been to and which was your favorite? Believe it or not- I've never been outside of the country- not even to Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas- or even out into 'international waters'. Sad right!? I know. Its certainly on my list of things to do, hopefully in the near future.

5. What was your favorite part about college/grad school? In college it was football. Whether it was sitting out in a hurricane to watch the Hokies beat up on Texas A&M, Partying with my friends in New Orleans for the sugar bowl (and road tripping down there with Jeserca), Playing football on the drill field in the snow or mud, or taking over Charlottesville last year and teaching those cocky Wahoos a lesson- not to mention the fact that I my boyfriend there, all of my fondest memories at Tech revolve around football.

6. What is #1 on your life bucket list? A family. Im not in a rush to be there my any means, but more than anything I want a happy little family. A house in the country somewhere with a huge porch for BBQing and cocktails when guests come by, and a couple of cute little kids running around and getting into trouble.

7. With which family member are you closest and why? Im actually pretty close with both my parents. My dad wasnt around much when I was a kid, so he seems to see me more as an adult- we can talk about politics and current events and real life practical concerns. My mother on the other hand is the compassionate one. Shes the one who always wants to give me whatever I need, and who I can to about emotional issues. Im sad to say my brother and I are not very close. Hes more introverted than me, and just doesnt share his thoughts or feelings. The only thing we do together is drink and play video games.

8. What food item could you eat for the rest of your life and never get tired of it?? Prosciutto. Smokey, Salty, Hammy goodness. It goes with everything- pizza, vegetables, chicken, steak, potatoes, pasta. Its like Bacon- without the greasyness. Also- Blackberries. Just a handful covered with sugar, in jams, or theyre also amazing in salad with a good balsamic vinegar.

9. What is your favorite movie that you could watch over and over? Pride and Prejudice or Little Women. *cue romantic sigh. The honor, the sacrifice.... The clothes. lol. I love the classics. (My boyfriend also just bought me the whole Jane Austin collection- looking forward to actually reading the stories!).

10. What is your favorite cereal? Crispix! With just a little bit of sugar and milk. Plus you can use it to make puppy chow or christmas trash (or whatever name call it by instead). 

10 Qs for Nominees.... 
OK heres how Im gonna work this.... since I dont have people to nominate. If you come across this and think it would be fun to do- follow my blog and comment on this and Ill follow you and update and link it to your blog here in the nominees category.

1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
2. What do you think is the best part about blogging?
3. What is your favorite place in the US to visit and Why?
4. How did you decide to follow your current career path?
5. If you could get paid to do anything- what would it be and why?
6. What is your signature dish to cook? What makes it so good?
7. What little irrational things worry you most?
8. What is your ultimate dream?
9. What is your favorite book and why?
10. What is your biggest Pet Peeve?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving (2 weeks early)

What Im Thankful for- 2012 version

Last year I did a post for Thanksgiving about all of the good things in my life because I was too focused on the bad. I was stuck in a rut of focusing on my hurt, pain and fear from the robbery. Ive come  a long way since then, but stress still gets to all of us, and especially around the holidays, I think its a fantastic time to put some serious thought into what we are all thankful for.

Its been a year and a half. Im still nervous when Im home alone, I cant walk through dark places by myself and I only go into DC if Im with people, and usually then only for dinner or hockey games. BUT Im getting better. I sleep through the night and dont jolt at every noise, Im not so skittish when strangers approach me and I can think and talk about it without getting upset.

My family is always there for me still, through everything I know I will always have their support. My cousins wedding was a beautiful success and my little cousin graduated from high school and is going to become a police officer! Grandma turned 80 this year- and although she seems to be picking up a bit of dementia, she is still as kinda and thoughtful as ever.

Work is stressful. But I have a job, and my boss cannot be beat. Im thankful for the opportunity and trust he has given me. For my lovely coworkers who keep me sane, and keep me laughing. And for my passion for learning and science, a field where I will constantly learn new things as they are developing (and actually be one of the people helping to develop those things!).

I have the best friends a girl could ask for. And my holidays will be full of special events and visits with them. Last weekend was a housewarming and deployment party for one of my college roommates and her husband. I also got the see additional college roommates and friends there, as well one of those other college roommate's adorable 2 year old. This weekend is one of my sorority sister's/ former roommate's baby shower! Her and her husband are going to be terrific parents and I am so unbelievably excited about the present I have put together for them and the little one!! (seriously- so excited its killing me that the shower isnt here yet!!).
My holiday schedule is so full Im not sure when Im going to have any down time, but Im so thankful for the good people in my life who want to share these events with me.  The following weekend after the shower is my little 'Nephew's' 3rd Birthday, and then comes and extended weekend for Thanksgiving. Following that I have my roommate's Birthday, then my X-mas party for work, A Free Weekend to rest before Christmas and then New Years! WOW! Its going to be an amazing 2 months.

I wrote the 2011 version of this the day before Thanksgiving. I never could have guessed that my world would be completely turned on its head (in a good way) only 5 days later. That was the day of the VT v. UVA football game. I was invited to go by a friend from college- Who would have guessed that many drinks, a successful skunking of the Cavaliers, a trip over a decorative wall/ almost broken hand later that I would be completely caught up in his older brother. On that Monday before, I would have laughed at the idea of a long distance relationship, but the 26th will be a year since we met and the 29th will be a year since we started talking on the phone every single night. And in that time we will have spent more than 530 hours talking on the phone and skype- when you total everything up thats over 3 full weeks! I am so thankful for him. Hes turned my life around. Im happier than Ive been since.... Ever? Well maybe not- but at least since I was a child and my life was free of the stress of relationships, and I reveled in the love of my family alone. Hell be here for Thanksgiving, My Christmas party, and Christmas, and is looking for jobs here in VA now. I couldnt be happier or more thankful.

Lastly, but certainly not least. I am so thankful for my entry into the Catholic Church. Now I dont want to become one of those crazy religious people- who is constantly quoting scripture and talking to people about God. Thats just not me. But the Church has really gotten me back on track, and being a part of it is thanks to my lovely nagging boyfriend lol. I had alot of baggage from life and relationships, but through the Church, I have found forgiveness. And not just- the priest says your forgiven so you are, But the Real reflection on my mistakes and the true ability through this and confession with a priest to actually forgive myself for those things as well.

Its amazing when you sit there and actually think about it, how much there is to be thankful for. So many things, and not a single one of them is an object. Its all about people and feelings. Sometimes I worry younger generations more and more are not focusing on this, but Im thankful that I can see and experience the beauty in a life lived for people and events instead of for money and goods.