Archive for the ‘home sweet home’ Category

Well, it’s been nearly a month since I posted last. It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been back in the states for barely 3 weeks. Now that I’m back, it feels like I never left. I jumped right back into “life”… moving to school, summer classes, an internship and a part-time job. Plus catching up with my friends and family on the weekends. I feel like I’ve been going non-stop since I’ve gotten back!

I’m not sure what to do with this blog now that I’m back. I didn’t realize that so many people kept up with it while I was gone [why didn’t you leave comments?!]. I was really touched to have so many people tell me they enjoyed reading it or loved going through the pictures from my trip. Really, it means a lot a lot lot lot a lot!

I guess I’ll keep posting whenever I think of anything worth posting about… Feel free to unsubscribe from my blog if you’ve been getting the email notifications. I doubt my exciting life will rival my experiences abroad but you’re welcome to keep reading my stories as I post them =)

Happy summer!


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Well, my bags are packed. Airports are open. Lunch is nearly on the table. First flight is in a few hours. Eeeeeeeeeek.

I stayed at Alex’s for my last weekend in Northern Ireland [and saw Sex and the City 2 (rubbish!) and a Miss Northern Ireland pageant (haha!)] and she’ll be taking me to the airport in about an hour and a half… Weird to think I’m leaving because I feel like ‘going home’ has been dragging on for days now. I packed on Friday to come to Alex’s, repacked today to fly to London and stay overnight, so I’ll be repacking for the third and final time in London to finally go HOME… well, after 2 more flights anyway. I sort of wish I had just paid a bit more for a more direct flight or something. Oh well, it will be nice when I’m finally HOME =)

Happy birthday to my sister, Brandi! Can’t wait to see all my family =)) 

USA, here I come!

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I made my running debut in the Emerald Isle on Saturday, February 13th. It was the Irish University Indoor Championships at the Nenagh Olympic Stadium down in the Republic. Obviously, “olympic” is a bit misleading, but it was a great experience anyway!

First off, it felt so GOOD to go on a team trip. I’m so accustomed to going on trips every weekend with my team at home, and I think I was missing it a little bit. It definitely wasn’t the same as home, though. For one, we drove in cars down and had to pay for everything on our own (worth it, of course!). We drove down (~4 hours) on Friday night and had dinner and stayed in a hotel down there, then got up Saturday to compete.

You can see a picture of the inside of the facility. It’s the only indoor facility on the entire island of Ireland, and it made me feel guilty about calling facilities in the state “bad.” The track surface itself wasn’t so bad, but the banked track was really steep and I’ve never run on one before so I wasn’t really ready for it. Also, the place wasn’t heated. at. all. It was actually colder inside than it was outside, so I had on about 4 layers plus two jackets and gloves; it was common to see people in winter coats with gloves and scarves, and I could actually see my breath!

My race was okay… Only 8 or 9 girls in the race, and I finished 6th so I got ONE POINT for the University of Ulster, yay! I actually felt okay running even though I’ve only been running about 4 days a week and haven’t done any speedwork. I figured out what my lap splits were supposed to be, but it was too hard to focus on racing and try to keep track of my watch at the same time (so, Hanna/Mikey/other SHU runners: thanks for always helping with splits and keeping us on track, it’s so hard to try to do it while you’re running!). Still, I was on pace at my mile split but then fell off a little, even though I passed someone during that time!

Oh, and then I ran the 4×200 at the end…ha! Athletics is really relaxed, and a few athletes drove themselves and left after their events, so by the time the 4×200 came around (it was the last event), there were only 4 girls left at the meet, including myself. There were only 6 teams in the relay, though, so we automatically would score if we ran so I was a team player and agreed to run it. I tried warning the other girls, but I still don’t think they were prepared for how truly bad I am at sprinting.

So… one meet down, cross country championships in a month or so! Apparently we have a chance to get some medals there, so it would be cool to bring some hardware back to the states =)

Oh, and on the way back, it was dark and in the country so you could see all the stars. I found Orion’s Belt and the Big Dipper… thought it was super cool that I could see the same stars at home that I can here =) Perfect ending to the trip!

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This is my current packing situation. Piles of clothes in one of my suitcases, piles of random things on my bed, and an empty suitcase. I leave in a week. Yikes.

I went through all my clothes and pulled out the things that I wear ALL the time. Still, I feel like I don’t really have enough. I mean, I am there for four and a half months. I know that I can buy more clothes there but really I’m just shocked that these are the only clothes that I feel I cannot “live without”. If that’s the case, why do I still have a closet, dresser, and laundry basket full of clothes?!

I spent the past week or so at school and in Columbus visiting friends, and I’m going to be doing that again later this week. It was great being at school with everyone, and leaving really didn’t cause any problems because I knew I was going to see them this week. Saying bye to my friends in Columbus was a little harder… how can you easily say, “Bye, see you in June!” No tears yet. Actually, I was really happy driving back home. Like, happiest I’ve felt in a long time. Just completely content and so thankful for all of my friends. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them for so long, but I’m sure I’ll meet some amazing people in Northern Ireland. I mean, I’ve made good friends in less than 5 months, so why would this be any different?

Aww… I’m gonna miss my friends =(

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home sweet snow…

Two clippers and three lake effect snow bands later, here is my current situation. As snow goes in the snow belt, this really isn’t so bad. They estimated up to 16 inches and we didn’t even get a foot. Still, roads were crappy and still aren’t in shape enough that I would want to go out and run on them (you’re welcome, angry winter drivers).

Another reason I am posting today is because it is THREE WEEKS until I leave. This time in three weeks, I’ll be… sitting on an airplane, probably. 16 hours of travel time? Sounds excellent.

My friend Alex in NI is being so so so soooo amazing in all of this though. Anytime I start getting nervous or think I’m making a huge mistake, she unknowingly calms my fears by popping into my life with some words of wisdom or to offer some help to make the whole experience easier on me. For example, today she e-mailed me to let me know that she is going to get in touch with the Accommodation Office at UUJ to make sure that my key will be ready to pick up when I get off the airplane and all of that =) She is too sweet, I don’t know what I would do without her in all of this.

My room is still a wreck from UNpacking a couple weeks back… I suppose I should get that under control before I start REpacking to leave. I feel like it’s about time to get my suitcase out and start throwing things in it as I find them. One thing I know: I’ll take the perpetual rain and cool temperatures over this stupid snow, that’s for sure.

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Today marks the one month countdown to when I am outta heeeere! Starting to get excited =) Things have been up and down emotionally for me as of late… Hopefully once I get over the NI and settle in a little bit things will be better! New place, new people, new experienced, new mindset =)

Today also marks the first bad snow around here… I hate driving in the snow, especially when the roads are as slushy and slippy as they have been today. As long as I stay inside, the snow looks beautiful, though! And all of our Christmas decorations are finally up so it all looks great like it’s all coming together =) Yayyyy now if I could just finish my Christmas shopping… yikes.

Running in the snow is NO fun. I’m kicking myself now because I didn’t get a run in earlier this week (sorry Coach!) and now I’m not sure how great of a workout I’ll be able to get in tomorrow if the roads are bad. Oh the joys of distance running…

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