Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Walking on Water (kind of)

On Friday, I arrived in Portland for the first stretch of my two week vacation. From here, I'll travel to northern California for a couple days with my dad and grandparents and from there, I'll head south to visit friends in SoCal. I've been looking forward to this time away and it finally came! :)

Portland Waterfront
Since I'm here for an extended period of time, I get to play tourist. On Sunday, my mom, sister, and I headed to the waterfront. Portland's east and west are separated by the Columbia river and the waterfront provides lots to see and do. The waterfront is one of these attractions providing endless entertainment for both the tourist and the local. You can rent bikes, walk, people watch, play in the Tom McCall fountain, or just sit on a bench and read a book and enjoy the warm summer breeze. We decided to make the most of our trip to the waterfront... we walked.
Although it's rather small, here is a picture of the area we (mostly) walked. I venture it was probably about 7 (ish) miles.

We parked on 13th and Hoyt (which means nothing to you, that's okay) and walked around the Pearl District. The Pearl provides a large shopping venue, museums, and lots of fun restaurants. For a lunch break, I partook of a traditional favorite of my mom and sister by splitting an appetizer and a dessert from PF Changs.
After lunch, we continued toward the water. Many miles later, having crossed many bridges, sat on countless benches and rocks, and having enjoyed the view multiple times, we made our way back toward to Pearl for dinner.
Henry's and Haydn's
Back in the Pearl, we met up with my friend Drew (who I met at Baylor and now lives/works in Portland) at Powells books. If you are ever in Portland you must visit the city of books, it's amazing. I could get lost for hours in there...oh wait, I have. Anyway, the four of us headed to Henry's for dinner and to Papa Haydn's for dessert. Although I have eaten at Henry's before, Papa Haydn's was a new experience for me. Their dessert was ... decadent. I had a chocolate cube (recommended by the server), a fabulous choice, but really, there were no wrong choices to be made at this place.
Drew had a berry cobbler, and he obviously didn't pause for the picture.My mom had a mint chocolate pie/mousse/thing.
My sister, Christa, had a Haydn cake; chocolate cake, raspberry filling, toasted marshmallow for a total of six delicious layers.
Doesn't that chocolate cube look fantastic?! :) It was a bit hard to break into, but the inside of the milk chocolate cube was a chocolate mousse. Yumm!

I would have to add this to the top ten things to do (or at least places to eat) in Portland.

Until the next adventure...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not so typical weekend in Waco!

Last week some friends came into town to play (who will from here on out be referred to as 'the group') . Although none of them were here explicitly to visit me (they were actually all here to visit each other), I was able to join along in much of the fun.

Friday night Sarah and I joined the group at a deep dish pizza place in Hewitt. Yummm. It's definitely a place I will visit again, and, on Thursday nights they have live music. :) From there, we went out to my favorite hide away, Woodway Park. We sat on picnic tables and watched the sunset. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't the best. And actually, it was the most disappointing I had ever seen while at the Lake.
Although the sunset was disappointing, the clouds were in rare form. :)
From there, they humored me on a short walk through the nature trail looking for fireflies. Unfortunately, again, it was quite hot out, and the fireflies were rarely to be seen.

But the night was nice and the company was great!

Saturday afternoon, I went out to the Lake with Megan...again. We stood in the water and memorized words...again. This time, however, we planned ahead and brought our suits! After a few hours of working on words, we headed for a swim. Joking the night before about swimming out to the buoy, I convinced Megan to swim out to the buoy with me. It was a nice little swim...and the water felt fabulous.
Can you see the buoy? I wish I knew how far the swim was exactly. :)
Did I mention when we first got in, we saw a snake in the water?! Yay for adventures!

Saturday night the group had a wedding and I met up with them after. Many, many laughs were shared and some fun memories were made!

Sunday morning was church and in the afternoon I headed to the theatre to see the 3-D movie UP with the group (plus Megan & Sarah)! Although I had heard stories about it being sad, I couldn't believe in the first 5 minutes my eyes began to well up. Don't worry, no tears were actually shed ;). Overall, it was a cute movie and the 3-D adventure was fun. It was my first 3-D movie, and probably not my last ;)
Sunday evening a large group of us celebrated Tiffani's birthday. Tiff is currently pursuing her PhD in Higher Ed at UCLA and has been a great resource and source of encouragement as I've sought to begin this journey into a PhD. After dinner, the group (and Sarah & I) ended up back at the Lake for the sunset and a swim. The second time out to the buoy was a lot easier as the water was calmer than when Megan and I swam out on Saturday afternoon.
Late Sunday night, Sarah and I said our goodbyes to the group as they were heading back to their respective homes the next day.

It was a wonderful weekend full of fun and friends. When people ask me what I'll miss about Waco when I leave, the list isn't that long, but the people are definitely at the top of it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

GRE Results

It's done. Or at least I hope so. :) I took the test at 5pm today (17:00) and at 8 something received my combined score of 1070. Although I was hoping for a 1200, I'm just glad it's over.

It's hard to combat the multiple feelings rushing over me. On one hand, I'm a bit disappointed that my score wasn't higher. On the other hand, I'm elated that it's over!!!!

I don't do well on standardized tests, I panic about the time, the questions, and everything else in between.

But it went okay, I got essays about topics I knew..and hey, I got a 1070. Phew!

God is good.

Hopefully, this is the last time in my life I will EVER post about the GRE! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Starbucks is calling...no not literally!

It's Monday night, approximately 10 minutes til 8pm and I'm heading off to Starbucks to study for what will hopefully be my last night of studying for the GRE.

I've worn out my friends with words, and I am not sure my brain can hold much more information pertaining to this test.

But I'm off for one last time to visit my friends Nick, Matt, and blondie (I don't know her name and they don't wear name tags) who work at Starbucks. I'm just going to refresh my mind of these words I've spent so long memorizing.

For now I'll leave you with this, it was my fortune cookie from lunch today with my math tutor (a former CL who is getting her PhD is statistics).
So I'm going to begin visualizing a perfect score, after all, nothing is impossible with God...or according to this fortune cookie. ;)

On a side note, this weekend was great! I had a wonderful time visiting with friends from afar, playing in the lake, and many more oddities which I will gladly post about later this week.

Starbucks, here I come. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Week Left

I will be happy to stop posting about the GRE, and I'm sure you will be happy to stop reading about it.

In one week, at this very time, I will be taking the GRE. And hopefully, 7 days and 3.5 hours from now I will be receiving a score with which I will be pleased. (5pm on the 23rd, Central Time)

Just wanted to update you on the madness. One week left, woohoo!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Creative Studying

It's sad when the baristas at Starbucks recognize you. Clearly, I have spent way to much time at the Starbucks in Bellmead. However, it's a great place to study. It's clean, there are little to no distractions (like a house that needs cleaning, or students parading in the lobby), and with my iPod I can escape to the world of memorization.

Well, not wanting to appear a bigger nerd than I already am, I try not to spend too many nights in a row, nor too many weekend nights at Starbucks. Yet with many words left unknown, I decided to change up the routine.

Megan (who is also studying for the GRE) and I went to Lake Waco on Satuday for some fun in the sun with our vocab words. It was 102 degrees outside, yet with the breeze from the lake and the chilled water on our feet, the heat was more than bearable.
We litterally stood kneed deep in the water with our flash cards. The only regret was that we didn't bring/wear our suits, the water was too enticing and on more than one occasion we joked about getting in our full clothing. We learned our lession...next time, wear the suits. :)

What a nice change to the mundane task of memorization...and I'm sure the baristas didn't miss me.

Friday, June 12, 2009


The Waco Sailing Club and Providence Hospice came together last weekend to hold the 10th annual sailing day for the Waco community in order to raise money for the Providence Hospice.

Meredith saw information for this event on the local news channel. So last Sunday we packed up and headed to the lake for a day of sailing.

After waiting in the hot sun for an hour or more, we finally received our life jackets and were headed to a sail boat. We were greeted by a fabulous couple who live between Waco and Austin and sail every weekend they possibly can. They were hilarious and taught us all sorts of randomness about sailing. It was amazing how cool it was sailing on the water (felt 15 degrees cooler when the wind was blowing toward us). Here are a couple pictures from the trip. I was a bit nervous to try and take too many pictures. I can swim, but my camera cannot. ;)
(From left to right: Megan, Meredith, Jennifer, me)
Jennifer and Megan liked to to hang their feet off the front of the boat (bow). During our little excursion, the boat would heel (tip on its side), which they said was completely normal. However, a bit disconcerting because it felt as though we might tip all the way. At which point, I'm not sure if my life preserver would have been a help or hinderance. :)
(From left to right: Meg's friend Lacey, me, Jennifer) We had a great time sailing, but I was happy to be on land, hydrated, and heading home to have dinner. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spring 2009

I have lived in Waco for almost four complete years now and I cannot remember a spring like this one. It is June 4th and we have yet to see a day over the low 90's. I know they are coming. But I am choosing to live in denial.

Stay spring...please.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 23rd 17:00

There is no turning back. This is my official confirmation. I am taking the GRE General Test (not to be confused with the subject specific test) on June 23rd at 17:00 (5pm, ha!). I covet all the prayers I can get. Three weeks from tomorrow (Tuesday) and counting.