Big Changes Ahead

The last couple weeks have been a roller coaster of feelings ranging from excitement and joy to stress and exhaustion. Funny thing is that all of these emotions come from the same two occurrences: getting a puppy and graduating college. Yikes. Not to complain…I mean, I knew the whole puppy thing would be a bit of a stresser, which is why I decided to get her now so that I have the summer to train her before I start my full time job in September. I won’t get into it any further than that (I’m sure you can imagine all of the fun and not-so-fun things I’m experiencing with Miss Riley). I’ll keep my head up and post an update on our progress at some point.

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As for this whole graduating college thing, however, it isn’t as easy to just push aside the bad stuff and move on with the challenges. I honestly don’t think that it has actually “hit me” yet that I’m done with school, but I’ve already started to see changes taking place. It’s particularly noticeable since I’m still in my college town for the summer. Since graduation a little over a week ago, I’ve watched the majority of my friends move away – some have moved on to their new life with their new big kid jobs and others went back home until they are able to figure out what comes next. I’ve also had to start dealing with things that my parents always took care of for me during college, like figuring out how to move all my crap across the country to Colorado and buying new furniture on a new budget. But more important than figuring out the intricacies of coordinating a new “grown-up” lifestyle after college is the realization that my life, as a whole, is about to change. Big time.

Yes, gone are the days of drinking our faces off until the sunrise on a Wednesday night and sleeping off the hangover until 2pm the following day. Gone are the days of skipping a class just because I didn’t feel like going and choosing to take a nap in the student center instead. I can no longer show up to my morning classes in yoga pants and my boyfriend’s sweatshirt with my hair on top of my head and sit in the back row so I don’t have to deal with answering questions in class if I don’t feel like it. And at some point, I’ve got to admit that gone, too, are the days of eating El Rancho after bars on a Thursday night with the intentions of having a kick-ass workout on Friday since I don’t have classes to deal with. No more awesome student discounts, choosing a laid back class schedule, workouts at 10am, or study sessions at Pershing until 7 in the morning.

More than all of these things, though, is the essence of who I am and what my purpose is in the world. No longer under the guidance of teachers and classmates, organizations and tons of close friends, I want to find what I really want to do with my life. Yes, I have an awesome job starting in a couple of months and it happens to be in one of my dream locations. That itself is an accomplishment on its own. I realize that. But what about the changes I want to make in the world and the things I want to see happening 10, 20, 50 years from now?

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I want to find a way to make a difference in the world. I want to be passionate about what I end up doing with my life, and I want it to make a difference. Whether that comes through my career, volunteer opportunities, or simply sharing my thoughts on my silly little blog, I want to live my life with a specific purpose in mind. I’ve been praying that I might discover that purpose someday soon. Until then, I guess I’ll continue to focus on being a puppy momma and preparing for my big move to CO. The rest will fall into place. It has to, right?

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Miss Riley Mae <3

My apologies for being MIA for the last couple weeks. I’ve been wrapping up the end of my senior year in college and it’s been a little crazy! I officially finished my last college project on Tuesday and it’s been a wonderful two days of watching Netflix and relaxing since then. Well…relaxing besides this new little cutie that I adopted last Thursday. I present to you my new sweet (but sassy) puppy friend, miss Riley Mae.

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I know. She’s probably the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. At least that’s how I feel about her. Riley was at the mall a couple weeks ago with an organization called Second Chance, a pet adoption organization that uses what they call foster homes for cats and dogs until they find their “forever home”. Second Chance was at the mall with a bunch of dogs and cats and, after months of looking online for a puppy to adopt or rescue, I saw little miss Riley. She was the only pup of the bunch and was only 8 weeks old when I met her. Three hours later I found myself rolling around on the floor with her and rubbing her belly, only to be told that she had to leave to go back to her foster home. Something drew me to her immediately, so I filled out the adoption paperwork. Two weeks later, I picked her up from her adorable foster mommy’s home and she’s been with me since! :) I quickly realized that having a puppy is a LOT like having a little toddler but I couldn’t be happier with her. I’m interested to see how she interacts with my pup that lives back home with my parents, Mr. Nugget.

Besides introducing Riley into my life, everything else is on the verge of change as well. Graduation is this weekend and I move across the country to Denver in less than three months to start my big girl job. AH! It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years already, but I’m just as excited to see what the future holds as I am scared of leaving all that I know behind. More on that when I’ve had a chance to wrap my head around it :)

In other news, I’ve posted a new stuffed chicken recipe on my recipe page – basil pesto & mozzarella stuffed chicken. It was delicious!

One Year Older

Well, I must say I had a wonderful birthday/Easter weekend back home with my parents and hometown friends. As much as I love being away at school, it’s always nice to go back home. I went out for a delicious birthday dinner with my parents and had some extra time on my birthday to take Mr. Nugget (my adorable little cocker spaniel, pictured below) to the dog park. He was in doggy-heaven-on-earth, let me tell ya! Little Nuggers made so many friends and was exhausted by the time we left…not to mention covered in mud all over his paws (which I miraculously was able to keep from getting ALL OVER my car)! He happily sat with his face in the air conditioner vents the whole way home.

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I ended my awesome birthday/Easter weekend with good company and a birthday strawberry martini up on the new rooftop bar in town at school. So perfect :) 22 feels a lot better than I thought it would. It’s about time to leave behind the good ole days of college life and look forward to my future, grown-up life. It’s coming MUCH faster than I thought it would, but I can’t help but think I’ve got a beautiful life ahead of me.

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