I'm not sure where you came from, or why you felt the need to crash the springtime party, but I sincerely hope you are gone for good. This whole 70s/80s thing is much better. Much, much better.
Dear Microscopic Scrape On The Back Of My Leg:
It's been a week. You can quit bleeding now.
(Seriously, this happens all the time. I have problems.)
Dear Hannah Guisewite:
I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it was to receive your package full of nommy goodies... or how much I adore your awesome dinosaur card ;) You're the absolute greatest, and I'm so thankful you're in my life! Rawr.
Dear Extreme Makeover Home Edition:
You think you're awesome because you always manage to move in every piece of furniture, paint every wall, and finish building half the house in less than 30 minutes before the family returns home? Please. You did not see what the senior capstone exhibition looked like less than 30 minutes before the opening reception yesterday. We win. We totally win.
Dear Senior Visual Art/VMS Majors:
You're awesome. Period. And it was an honor to be a part of the capstone class/exhibition with you.
I simply love you. And I realize that our relationship isn't exclusive anymore, because everyone and their mother is jumping on the Instagram train, but I'm okay with that. I feel like we'll always have something special, and I promise to not abandon you in the same way I've given up on Pinterest now that everyone else is arriving to the party a year late.
You can follow my Instagram feed at @simplybeffie, or view all my Instagram pics here.
Speaking of Pinterest...
Dear Pinterest-ers Who Are Now Infatuated With Pinterest Even Though I Told You All About It Well Over A Year Ago And Nobody Seemed To Think It Was The Most Awesome Concept Then:
I'm going to say this one time, and then I promise I'll never say it again: Pinterest is not a source, period. Don't credit Pinterest with all of your awesome new crafting/organizing/cooking/decorating ideas. Please, just don't. That's like crediting Google Images. Surely you realize this, right? You didn't get the idea from Pinterest. You got the idea from some other website/source by browsing Pinterest. I die a little inside every time someone says they're trying out new "Pinterest recipes" or "Pinterest crafts." Pinterest doesn't come up with recipes. Or crafts. Or anything, for that matter. They sit there and do nothing all day long except act as a search engine for people to discover all these recipes and crafts from other websites.
(I don't tend to get overly-passionate on this blog about things that drive me crazy, but this actually has to stop. And I like to think that you're all excellent people who simply never realized all of this because everyone else does it. But now you know.)
Dear New Blogger Posting Layout:
I'm not sure how I feel about you at the moment. You look pretty, but I really was fine with the old template. I don't do well with change, but I suppose we have no other choice than to get to know one another.
Dear Lady Who Works At The Little Convenience Store Under The Marketplace:
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for not judging me when I come in to buy some form of chocolate every single day.
It's not you, it's me. I promise. Please know that even when we go for days at a time without seeing one another, you are always on my mind, and I most certainly intend to make it up to you next week. All week long.
"What if I just designed my own graduation announcements?"
I threw out the suggestion partially because I had no desire to hop on a bus and trek all the way across campus to the student center on the day when seniors were placing their orders, partially because the official Duke ones didn't use the Oxford comma on the inside, and partially because I knew they would cost, like, $27 a piece.
But mostly because they looked like this:
Womp. Boring and formal and definitely not worth an entire month's paycheck from the Coffeehouse.
Then there was the whole "designing custom invitations is my dream job" thing. It just made sense.
Fortunately, mom was on board, so I started coming up with an idea of what I wanted my graduation announcements to look like. I recruited Zach to take a million pictures of me one Sunday afternoon (boyfriend of the year -- I interrupted his nap), and I had the entire thing finished by the next day. Why are my projects for school never this fun?
I emailed my parents a proof and they responded immediately with a thumbs up, so I responded immediately with a "how many should I order?"... and thus the immediate responses stopped. Granted, the period of unresponsiveness was only about an hour long, but I was pumped to order these. So pumped, in fact, that I grew impatient and ordered them anyway, even though I had no idea how many to get. I thought 100 sounded like a nice number, and it was cheaper to print 100 of my own than to order 25 of the official Duke ones (completely serious), so away I went. Shortly after I submitted the order for 100 graduation announcements, mom replied and said that I should get between 40 and 50. Whoops.
Once they arrived and I began addressing them, however, I had a moment of panic where I wasn't sure if 100 was going to be enough. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and let me be the first to tell you: I have been blessed with one of the most epic villages of all time. A village full of family-family, church-family, high school-family, college-family, & camp-family. And while I have worked incredibly hard to be able to cross the stage and receive my diploma, I recognize that it took an entire village to get me to this point.
So that's what these announcements were really about to me. Not as much "hey, come to Durham and sit through an incredibly boring commencement ceremony with an incredibly boring speaker that I have absolutely no desire to sit through myself except it's Mother's Day and my mom says I have to." But a lot more "hey, YOU mean something to me, and I just wanted to say thanks for your love and support and encouragement throughout my life, particularly the past four years."
While I wanted to be creative, I also wanted the announcements to reflect Duke. I used the official Duke typeface (Garamond) and the official Duke color (PMS 288). You mean to tell me that you don't know your college's official Pantone Matching System color? I'm appalled.
I also used the same inside text as the official Duke announcements, but I included the Oxford comma. You're welcome.
Only a million people have asked me so far if I actually kept track of how many cups of coffee I have consumed or how many papers I have written during my undergraduate career, so I'll assume you're currently wondering the same thing. The number of days is completely accurate, as is the number of courses and professors (and basketball national championships). Everything else is estimated, but it's fairly accurate... if anything, it's underestimated.
And that, my friends, is the story of how I designed my own graduation announcements :)
Keep me in mind if you're having any type of event requiring invitations & I'm still unemployed in a few months.
• • • • •
Lastly, because it's Friday...
Row 1 [FAMILY]: newest cousin addition; more cousin time; sister's soccer game; sister & my kitty
You can follow my Instagram feed at @simplybeffie, or view all my Instagram pics here.
• • • • •
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have 45 pages left to write, two more class periods, two independent projects, two group projects, a group presentation, a final critique, an exhibition, and an art department exit interview in the next ten days... or else I will get to send out "just kidding: I'm not actually graduating" announcements. Let the games begin :)
"Long distance." I'm fairly certain the only two words in the English language that I despise more are "group project." Or perhaps "dentist appointment." Some days, "Marine Corps" or "gas prices" make the list, but nonetheless, "long distance" always ranks right up there near the top.
When Zach and I started dating, we knew we were going to be in a long distance relationship for an indefinite amount of time. I'm not going to pretend like we thought it'd be fun or ideal, because I promise you there is nothing fun or ideal about waking up each morning and knowing that you get to go through the entire day without seeing your best friend. But overall, we've been rather fortunate. Apart from Mojave Viper training out in California and... you know... the whole deployment to Afghanistan thing, Zach has always been stationed/conducted training somewhere on the East Coast (Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Fort Pickett, Camp Lejeune, Camp Geiger, & Parris Island, whew!). Most of the time, we're able to see each other at least one weekend a month. Sometimes, we have to go two or three months straight without being together, but then sometimes life gets crazy awesome and we get to see each other like, three Saturdays in a row :)
This time last year, Zach and I were less than a month away from the beginning of his deployment to Afghanistan... and although neither of us realized it, there was a lot of emotional/mental prep that led up to spending the majority of the year apart. Truthfully, I think we handled ourselves pretty well. No, it wasn't the most fun thing I've ever done, and no, it's not something that I'd want to do again. However, there weren't any full-fledged breakdowns or sob sessions. We knew exactly how long we had to be apart and exactly how many days until we'd be together again. We had spent a long time psyching ourselves up for life until that glorious homecoming date... and we most definitely made it...
...but we weren't together again.
At least, not for good. Oh, yes, there was a glorious homecoming with lots of pictures and hugs and smiles and all-is-finally-right-with-the-world feelings. But three days later, we were back to being in a long distance relationship... and that's something that neither of us were prepared for.
It seems rather obvious, now: of course we would still be in a long distance relationship -- he was still in the Marine Corps and I was still in school. But I'm serious: the thought had never crossed our minds. We had both been so focused on just making it through the deployment that neither of us stopped to consider what our lives would be like after he got back... or how insanely hard it would be to continue being in a long distance relationship, even if there was no longer an entire ocean factored into things.
I promise we really took three separate photos. We'll work harder to switch up the poses & expressions.
It's crazy, right? We did the whole "long distance" thing for nearly three years before he deployed; it should be easy to do it for another year after he gets back, no?
With all of that being said, the past few months haven't been easy. Don't get me wrong: I'd rather be in a long distance relationship with Zach than be in a normal relationship with anyone else. But at the same time, we're both so beyond ready for our turn at a non-long distance relationship, and the deployment seems to have intensified these sentiments. It's just not as much fun living completely separate lives and filling each other in right before we pass out every night.
So, yes. I would love nothing more than to have the number of "wanna meet up for lunch?" texts in my inbox exceed the number of "I miss you"s. (Let's be honest: I would pee my pants if we were ever able to just meet up for lunch, period). But until that glorious day decides to roll around, Zach and I have been left with the seemingly impossible task of coming up with some solution to the whole "we-are-so-over-being-apart-all-the-fruit-looping-time" issue.
It's a good thing we're pretty creative :)
I mentioned in a previous post that Zach and I were working on some sort of a collaborative project, and we're super excited to share it with you today. Granted, it's not that big of a deal and it's probably not nearly as exciting to other people as it is to us. But still. It's ours & it's something that we have begun to look forward to doing "together, but not here" (Camp Bethel shoutout, yeah) each day :)
We've titled it the "xxxx days & counting" project, with "xxxx" representing the exorbitant amount of days we've been doing the whole long distance thing. Currently, we're on day 1390, but that is neither here nor there.
Together, we've set up a Tumblr account and we've been following the whole #photoaday Instagram fad. (Absolutely no part of that sentence could have existed five years ago. #mindblown). Basically, we have a different word each day that we try to capture using our cell phone cameras. We don't upload our pictures onto Instagram, however; we upload them to the little blog that we've created. Zach's pictures go on the left, and my pictures go on the right:
Oh my goodness, I can't even begin to explain what a fun little game this has become for us. First of all, it gives us a window into each other's lives and makes it feel like we're a bit more connected, even when we're apart all the time. Secondly, it's actually rather exciting to wake up and look at the new word for the day. I'm not even kidding. It's exciting to figure out what picture I am going to take, and it's exciting to think about what picture Zach might take. Sometimes, I know him well enough that I know exactly what his picture will look like before he uploads it. Sometimes, he completely surprises me.
Thirdly, it's fascinating (and sometimes hysterical... refer to the March 28th photos) to see our pictures, our worlds, juxtaposed side by side. Sometimes, they're very "typically military" and "typically college." Sometimes, they're much more indicative of our personalities or interests. Sometimes, they're eerily similar, and sometimes... they couldn't be more different.
As a little side note, it's also become a little game between the two of us as far as "whose picture of the day is better?" Gotta love anything that can be turned into a competition ;) If you were curious, I clearly won yesterday's "flower" photo, while Zach took home the gold the day before with "sunset."
And that, my friends, is how Zach and I are currently beating the long distance relationship blues :) Like I said, it's not really that big of a deal, but it has been pretty fun for both of us. If you wanna check out all of our pics so far, you can click HERE (just be aware that the whole side-by-side, two-column thing doesn't work on mobile devices).
If you do take the time to scroll through them, I'm super curious to know the following (just leave a comment on this post):
1. Which day is your favorite?
I personally have a seven-way tie for every day between March 27th & April 2nd. Just call me Miss Decisive :)
2. Do you have any ideas for a "word of the day?"
We typically follow the Instagram-inspired list, but every once in a while, we mix it up and throw in our own.
(You have to admit, "freckles" was too good to pass up!)
Happy Tuesday! If you get to see your best friend today, give them an extra hug!
And if you don't... well, the photo for today just so happens to be "something you don't like." :)
This post was originally a firm "10 Things" that make me happy. But then I got carried away. I'd like to point out that I'm a visual arts major, not a math major, so you really can't blame me if my counting skills are a little sketch, hence how ten turns into thirteen...ish.
Current Life Happiness #1: Packages!
Ignore the fact that the bag of trail mix is, like, half-eaten. Also ignore the fact that you don't see a king-size Hershey bar in the photo. It's in my belly. Sorry I'm not sorry.
Current Life Happiness #2: Wedding Invitations
More specifically, wedding invitations featuring my photography -- how crazy is that?! I've gotten the pleasure to open a Christmas card & a "Save the Date" card with photos that I have taken, and now I get to add wedding invitation to the list. It's an incredible feeling, knowing that hundreds of other people are opening these same cards/invitations and seeing a picture that I took. Definitely something I never imagined happening, nor something I ever aspired to, really, but it's all kinds of crazy fun.
Current Life Happiness #3: Easter Baskets
There are three "kids" in my family (soon to be only one teenager left - I'm not really sure if we still count as kids), but this past Easter morning brought FOUR Easter baskets :) Yep, Zach spent Easter with my family... the first time in all four years that we've gotten to spend a major holiday together! That in and of itself should count for like, 1000 of my current life happinesses.
Current Life Happiness #4: Graduation Announcements
Oh, come on... as if you really thought I'd let you see the finished product! ;) I was able to convince my mom that the university-issued announcements were incredibly boring & that I should just design my own - success :) Mom was busy when I texted her to find out how many I should order, and she responded hours later with "40-50." By then, however, I had grown impatient and already placed the order. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm really proud of the fact that I'm graduating from Duke, and I'm really proud of the way these invitations turned out... so 100 announcements should be arriving at my door within the next few days. You may all have one :)
Current Life Happiness #5: "Good Luck on Your Job Interview" Texts
If only the cat could text, we'd have all the females in the house represented :)
Current Life Happiness #6: The Complete Ninth and Final Season of One Tree Hill is in Stores!
It hit shelves today, folks. I'm kinda expecting someone who loves me to pick up a copy for my graduation present. (Corrie Haynes, I'm looking at you.)
Current Life Happiness #7: Graphic Design
I recently re-designed the "About Me" section of my blog. If you haven't checked it out, you probably should :)
Current Life Happiness #8: Anything & Everthing James Lafferty Tweets
You know that moment when you discover that your celeb crush is also one of the funniest/most sarcastic human beings on the planet and you are more than certain that you would be the best of friends if he only knew you existed? Swoon.
Current Life Happiness #9: Draw Something v. My Sisters
Sometimes, my sisters and I are a lot a like. Sometimes... not so much. Case in point: the drawing on the left is what I sent. The drawing on the right is what I received in return. (The answer is "socks," in case you were wondering.)
We're also not so much alike when it comes to music knowledge, apparently. Draw Something can get awfully heated in this family:
The "Backstreet Boys on a stage" were actually "four stick figures crossing a road at a crosswalk." (Abbey Road, people?)
Current Life Happiness #10: My Boyfriend has Freckles on his Eyelids
That's not a new discovery, but something that makes me incredibly happy nonetheless.
Current Life Happiness #11: My almost-10 year old cousin now thinks I'm a pro skateboarder. She received a skateboard as an early birthday present & I worked with her at our grandparents' house on Easter to begin learning how to ride it. In case you were wondering, the fact that I can stand on the skateboard without holding onto anything is what caused her to exclaim, "Dad, Beth is like, a professional skateboarder!" I'll take what I can get, people.
Current Life Happiness #12: The high school class that I intern with is on spring break! Don't get me wrong: I love working with those students. But high schools should not start at 7:30. Especially when college nights don't end until 4AM. True happiness is a couple of extra hours in my bed each morning.
Current Life Happiness #13: I wrote a 4 page paper in 45 minutes today. (4 page papers typically take me dayssss. This is unreal. And it was actually one of my better papers, believe it or not. 'Tis a shame I'm finally getting the hang of this now that I'm about to graduate...)
I could keep going, but I promised you thirteen(ish) happinesses, and after breaking my initial declaration of ten(ish) happinesses, I think it's best to stick to my word. However, I'd love to hear what some of your current life happinesses are... particularly if they involve celeb crushes or chocolate or a deep-rooted passion for quality drawings on a touch screen :)
Less than three weeks. Less than three weeks until I am done with college classes forever. (Please just let that sink in... it feels SO good. It still feels so far away, simply because there's an endless amount of work left to be done, but it feels SO good). Lest anyone believe that my life is nothing but a string of glamorous weekend outings to fictional television towns and historical battleships, I assure you that I am, believe it or not, a full-time student.
I also assure you that my days without blog posts are incredibly unglamorous.
It's true. Blogging has a way of forever memorializing the beautifully poignant moments in life - moments chalked full of wonderful memories captured through rich stories and luscious photographs. I love that. I love savoring the good and sucking the marrow out of the high-on-life moments. I love creating a memoir to look back on someday in which I will be reminded of the best of the best - time spent with people I love doing things that I love.
But that's no reason to throw out the seemingly mundane every day, right?
This is not an attempt to idealize my day-to-day life in any way. This is simply a girl and her cell phone camera, snapping a pic every hour... no fancy high-res settings, no editing, no perfect script to narrate the images. I called this post "Life on the 22s" because for one day, I took a picture every hour at the :22 mark. A picture of my surroundings, my environment, my life... a picture of the seemingly mundane. And as mundane as it is, I kinda really like how it turned out :)
• • • • •
Believe it or not, I'm already up & ready for the day. I leave my dorm and begin my drive to Jordan High School, where I am co-teaching a course in a 1st period ESL class as part of my minor in Education. About this time, I begin to question how I went to school this early for 13 years...
My eighteen students are from all over the world: Vietnam, Congo, Yemen, El Salvador, Mexico, etc. They make me laugh every day, without fail. Of the six classes I've taught in during my time at Duke, this one is easily my favorite. These students respond to every question, they're not afraid to try, and they genuinely want to learn. Did I mention how much they make me laugh?
Just enough time to swing by the campus post office and pick up some Starbucks: two things that always seem to make my day :) I definitely venture out to the post office more frequently than the average student. For that matter, I might consume more frappuccinos than the average student as well...
Class time. All of my classes this semester have less than 16 people, which isn't that unusual, actually. The majority of my classes during my time at Duke have been small. We all fit around a table in a little 2nd story room with a balcony, and we have two and a half hour long group discussions.
Still in class. Attempting to take a cell phone picture without anyone noticing can be challenging. Sneaky, sneaky.
Also challenging? Finding three different angles to take three different pictures from the exact same seat. Still in class, obviously. Check out my creativity.
Lunch! After class ends, I grab something to eat, typically from Trinity Cafe. This day, however, I'm seriously craving some Panda Express. It's actually the first time I've gotten Panda all year, but now it's forever memorialized so you can think of me as a not-so-healthy food junkie. Awesome.
Quick round of Draw Something with my sister. At this point, the majority of you are thinking, "ahh, she plays Draw Something with me, too!" True life: I have an on-going game of Draw Something with almost everyone I know. What can I say -- I'm just drawsome like that ;)
Andddd the job search continues. Applications. Cover letters. Being more-than-slightly nervous about upcoming interviews, but also being grateful for interviews. A ray of hope that someone sees something in me is always a great thing... as is the possibility that I might not be homeless and unemployed for the rest of my life.
This is my "I-love-writing-papers-every-week" face. 'Nuff said.
Again with the whole "finding different angles to take different pictures from the exact same spot" thing. My poor laptop takes a beating when I do design work.
A shot of Lilly Library from the steps of the East Campus Union, where I take a quick trip to the store under the Marketplace to grab some groceries/dinner. I love my East Campus home :)
I can't mention my East Campus home without including my Smith Arts Warehouse home. Spending some time in the printmaking studio beveling my copper plate for this semester's final project.
Off to Perkins Library to meet up for a group project. Oh heyy, gothic architecture.
Still working on the group project in von der Heyden. Don't get me started on my love for group projects. And by love, I mean absolute detestation. Three more weeks, right?
The only perk of spending way too many nights in the library this semester working on aforementioned group project? I get to walk past the Chapel when I leave. Four years & this view still hasn't gotten old; it's almost magical.
I do laundry out of absolute necessity, so you know that I'm down to my last clean item of clothing if I'm spending my night in here. You also know that you're really missing the whole "dorm laundry room" experience right about now. You also know that statement couldn't be further from the truth.
Snuggled in bed (on a good night). Let's be honest, I tend to go days at a time without sleep. The popular slogan "Nobody ever wishes they'd slept more during college"...? False. So false. This girl right here would love the opportunity to sleep more. At most, I have a month left of homework-filled all-nighters. Then I can officially become an old lady and go to bed before 9, if I want. #gloriousday
And there you have my "life on the 22s" :) If you've been in a blog slump lately, or just wanna showcase your day-to-day happenings in a more creative way, you're more than welcome to do your own version! I used the "22s" simply because I'm 22 years old, but feel free to change it up. If you do, make sure you link up in the comments so others can check it out :)
• • • • •
With all of that being said, I promise to return next week with a much more "memorializing-the-beautifully-poignant-moments-in-life" post: I'm going to the Outer Banks of North Carolina this afternoon for a wedding (eek!), and then I'm spending Easter in Winston with my family :) ALSO, I'll be unveiling a collaboration project that Zach & I have been working on over the past couple of weeks. Not gonna lie: I've been so stoked to share it! How's that for a huge tease to start off your weekend?