Monday, January 7, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Well, bad me.  I was on a roll back in November and then I apparently forgot I had a blog and just didn't do anything.

Quick recap of the rest of 2012:

Thanksgiving I spent at Nathan's in North Dakota.  We ate food, hung out, vegged, played Cards Against Humanity, etc and so on.  We took my car because Nathan's heat didn't work and I wasn't about to drive 4.5 hours each way freezing my butt off!

Mid December I was busy cramming for my finals.  Microbiology wasn't so bad - it wasn't cumulative just the last of 4 exams.  I did have to finish our "Skim vs. Whole Milk" project (more bacteria in skim, who'd have thought?) and give a presentation on it, but it wasn't bad.  Plus we got to use a notecard for the exam.  Case in point, aced that class.  Physiology was another can of worms entirely. 50% of my grade for the class depended on that last test, which was 2/3 new material and 1/3 review of the entire semester.  Not to mention the fact that the questions were terrifyingly specific details - no overarching themes or general topics.   I pretty much bombed it, at least by my standards.  I got a 76% on the final exam - but here's the good news.  Apparently everyone did poorly because with the curve, my 76% translated into an A-, bringing my final overall grade to an A.  I feel like I dodged a bullet, but that class was terrifyingly intense.

Also in December my grandma down in Florida had been stuck in the hospital for weeks and my parents decided to fly down to see what the situation was.  Well it wasn't good, so my mom took charge, packed them up, and flew them up to Minnesota.  I met them at the airport and helped keep company and load things into the car.  They drove back down to Rochester and got grandma settled in at the Charter house and my grandpa took over my childhood bedroom.

The week before Christmas Nathan went back to ND to celebrate with his family - but I didn't trust his car to make it there and back (it had been to the mechanic and needed thousand dollar repairs made).  So I did the crazy thing and offered to trade cars with him for a few days.  Driving his car just through the neighborhood or the few blocks to the post office was a terrifying experience.  When he finally got back the weekend before Christmas he came to my apartment to swap back and his car died for real.  There was no saving it.  Luckily his insurance covered a tow so he got it back to his garage.  That weekend he and I celebrated a mini Christmas.  He got me a board game (Mice & Mystics), a wonderful new office chair (it's seriously awesome), and the third QC book (he's gotten me the 1st two previously).

On Christmas Eve we drove down to Mankato and celebrated Christmas with the Koenigs/Kehoe clan.  We had done a "draw a name" gift exchange this year with the caveat that the gift had to be homemade.  Well Nathan, myself, and a few other people took this to heart but the rest of them threw in gift cards and other store bought items!  Even my mom, who's the craftiest of us all!  We ate appetizers all day, played with the puppies (Ben's beagle puppy Penny and Travis' chocolate lab Bauer plus the two shih tzus), played pool, and just hung out until it was time to drive back to Rochester.  Drove back, parents picked up grandpa, and we headed out to late mass at Holy Spirit.  We arrived far earlier than we needed to (apparently the 9pm Christmas Eve mass isn't nearly as crowded as the 4:30 or the 7), so my sisters and I took the boys on a tour of our elementary school.  My 8th grade class picture is still hanging up in the hallway outside the library, oh the good old days!  After mass we went home, put on PJ's, and of course watched White Christmas.

Christmas morning dawned and we all hung around and ate some of mom's humongous breakfast - waffles, eggs, quiche, bacon, ham, hashbrowns, cinnamon rolls, the list goes on. Finally we got to pick up grandma and then the real fun began!  PRESENTS!  I won't go into the details with the list (how selfish am I?) but the major things were a bike rack for my car, a video camera, a hand made apron, and a few other awesome things.  Hung out the rest of the day, ate breakfast all day, we were going to go see a movie (Les Mis) but everyone wussed out on me when they discovered how long it was.  At one point my uncle Jeff and aunt Gail showed up from Des Moines as a surprise for my grandparents, so that was nice. We also played Wii Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune - that was pretty fun

The day after Christmas (mom's birthday), Nathan and I went and looked at new cars for him in Rochester.  We checked out a Honda Fit and a Toyota Fiesta.  While the name, color, price, and overall look of the Fiesta were more my style, the interior of the Fit won Nathan over. We didn't test drive any of them there and he didn't buy anything but it was a good learning experience. After that we headed to Culver's (had a nice little chat with Steve - owner) and had lunch with Hannah.  Got caught up on a lot of stuff and she got to meet Nathan so that was fun.  After that we went back to the parent's house, hung out for a bit, and eventually headed back up to the cities.  Had to drop off Addy first and and then drove over to Chanhassen Dinner Theater to meet up with Nathan's parents and see Bye Bye Birdie.  The show was pretty fun, the food was good, and it was a decent night.

Back to work on Thursday and Friday - although the lab was like a ghost town.  I basically just did what I needed to do and then went back home.  On Thursday Nathan and I went to a Honda dealer and he test drove a Fit - he liked it but the dealership wasn't nearly as friendly as the one in Rochester. That weekend I drove back down to Rochester for the Coughlin family Christmas.  I spent most of Friday night hanging out with Jackie which was exceptionally nice.  Saturday was the big event, house jam packed full of people.  It was nice seeing the whole family together.  We ate Mr. Pizza, did the gag gifts (I got a very nice light up Santa picture - I gave outhouse salt and pepper shakers), the boys played poker, and we all played the Wii. On Sunday I went and saw Skyfall with Jackie and then drove back home to the cities.

New Year's Eve day I went in to work, but that night Nathan and I drove down in his new Fit (he bought one over the weekend) to Kyle's house.  We hung out with a bunch of people (some drunk and annoying, others sober and annoying) and ate Buca di Peppo's and other appetizers, played Cards Against Humanity and WiiU games, and watched the ball drop.  Not the best night ever, but it was nice to get out a be a bit more social.

New Year's Day I went in to work again, along with the rest of the week.  Was rough getting back into the swing of things, but I did receive some excellent news!  I heard back from Oregon State (I'm still under consideration) and the U of MN (they want to interview me)!  So that was exciting.  I also acquired a spare cat.  Sybylla's neighborhood cat dubbed "Thomas O'Malley" - super friendly, was pretty much abandoned when his rightful owner moved out.  He seemed to be in rough shape so we flea collared him for a few days and then captured him and moved him in with me.  Addy's not thrilled about it but she seems to be getting used to the idea.  He's very nice and friendly and ignores her hissing and growling.  I managed to get the rescue Secondhand Hounds (where I got Addy) to host him while I foster him, so hopefully he'll get fixed soon and then adopted.  He's super sweet but I don't really have the room for two kitties.  I'll attach a picture of him to the end of this, tell your friends! (see here)

Here's what I'm hopeful for 2013:

1.  To be at a healthier weight than I've been in recent memory
2.  To travel across Europe this summer on the road trip of a lifetime
3.  To begin veterinary school and the start of the rest of my life

Lofty aspirations, but we'll see how it goes!

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