Friday, August 27, 2010

A Short Novel from LaurMar

Hi Everyone! I hope this works... I am a blogger virgin as well. Glad to hear that everyone is doing so well! I thought I would share some of what is going on in my neck of the woods.
I really liked Natalie's quote on change, because I have had a LOT of big changes in my life this summer.

Kevin and I moved to NC the morning after we arrived back in the states from our lovely honeymoon in Antigua. If anyone is ever venturing into that part of the world, check out Coco's. We loved it. It is a resort, but it is very small and rather than a massive hotel, everyone has their own little love bungalo with a hammock and outdoor showers facing the beach. It is lush and beautiful and very private. Perfect for a honeymoon where you don't want to do much else than, well... relax. We definitely didn't want to come home!

Our New Homes:
We settled into Kevin's little one bedroom apartment in Raleigh for two months. It didn't take us long to decide that one closet was NOT enough for two grown people. Plus the commute to and from work (30 min in the morning, 1 hour in the evening) in terrible traffic was killing me. We moved to Durham (about the size of Birmingham, 30 minutes outside of Raleigh) at the beginning of the month where we got a fabulous deal on a town home. It is very similar in size and layout to Donahue Crossing town homes in Auburn, but two bedrooms instead of three. Kevin and I have had a lot of fun decorating and playing house.

Being married is lovely ;)

My New Job:
Most of you probably know this already, but I have been working at Duke University as the Program Coordinator for the Department of Anesthesiology. My new job is both challenging and very rewarding. I pretty much work alone with one other woman, Elizabeth. We report directly to the Chairman of the Department. It's kind of hard to explain exactly what I do, but basically we deal with all alumni affairs, both internal and external communications for the department, and are responsible for the department's non-profit organization, the Duke DREAM Campaign, which raises funds for anesthesia research.

It's easier to just tell you about a couple of the things we are working on. Our biggest project at the moment is creating the Blueprint, our annual departmental publication. This year is really the first time that it is an actual 50 page magazine with interesting articles rather than just an annual report. I have been in charge of writing all the articles for the publication, which means that I have been interviewing Doctors and former patients all summer. In addition to the articles, Elizabeth and I are also responsible for all the photography and design. It's a BIG project for two people- especially with such a limited amount of time. It's due to the printers in two weeks and we didn't get started until I started in early June.

Our other big project at the moment is planning the Alumni Reception which will be at this year's ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) conference in San Diego. We are having it on a yacht at the San Deigo Marriott Marina in October. Elizabeth and I are responsible for this entire event as well. We are currently designing invitations, educational material, and a banner to hang on the side of the yacht.

Speaking of which, has anyone ever been to San Diego? I will be there 48 hours and want to make the most of it!

Work has been very very busy lately - and to add injury to insult, my building flooded last week and we all have to relocate for the next 90 days. This is why I am at home on a Friday night at the computer. Trying to catch up..... not doing such a good job! Just writing a novel of a blog instead!

A Final Note:
For those of you who have not heard, Janna King has stage 3 ovarian cancer and recently had to have both of her ovaries removed. Hannah, I am not sure that you have met Janna, but she is a sorority sister of ours, and she is a wonderful person and close friend to many of us. She has 6 chemotherapy treatments to go, but she is currently cancer free. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. AND - don't forget to make regular visits to your lady doctor. Janna is only 22. Sorry, mom moment.

For those of you who are coming to the first game, is anyone interested getting together and getting a bunch of people to sign something for her?

Ok, I gotta run, but I love you girls! Thanks again for making this Hannah!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yoga Glo

Just thought I would share with everyone this super cool website that I have found:

It has videos of yoga classes of all levels, styles, and durations available. I've been trying to find a yoga studio in Birmingham that I like and I've been to a few and can't seem to find the energy to drive across town to them. Yoga classes are also very expensive! On this website it is only $18 a month so if you would want to take two classes a month, it is cheaper than going to a gym or studio. There is a free 15 day trial also.

They also have guided meditation which is very refreshing once in a while. My life is pretty crazy sometimes but meditation clears my mind and rejuvenates my spirit. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I love this.

My turn!

I bet you an incredible teacher! Now that I work in a school, the profession fascinates me. I think I forgot how crazy and fun school can be, and being on the other side is pretty fun. Megann and I talked about making our kids pen-pals, so if you are interested too let me know! Good luck with grad school and all that entails. I can't wait to hear what your life will be like back in Auburn again.

If you put in my own personal "dirt" will that machine tell you my future? Or should I stick to those monthly emails I haven't gotten in a while? (I miss them). It may not be your true love yet, but I'm jealous you get to know Birmingham as a young professional. It seems like the best way. That city has so much potential, and there's a lot of fun stuff to do that I never realized. I'll be back and invading your living room in no time.

Life in Chile
I have my own blog, if you haven't noticed. It's linked to my Facebook page. I'm not the best at keeping it updated because it takes so much time and effort to retell stories that happen so quickly and often. Life is crazy here in Puerto Natales, aka "the end of the world." No doubt. I am a co-teacher at an all girls catholic school called Liceo Maria Auxiliadora for Kinder through 8th grade. The girls are wild, things are so unorganized, and every week is special with some sort of celebration or event, etc. I live with a family of mom, dad, two daughters and aunt. We are about 3 blocks from the school. It snowed yesterday and the sidewalks are all frozen over, so I have to almost skate to school. This town is absolutely beautiful and I have been so blessed with my school and family here. Things are still tough. Studying abroad was easy, but this is real culture shock. All the time. Differences that seem so insignificant but really develop meaning over time. Also, by being here I have realized how affected I am by the seasons. Sometimes when the sun hits my face I just stop and soak every bit of it in that I can. I am so happy for days when I can wear one jacket instead of two. It may sound strange, but fortunately I am so far south that the houses have gas heat. Otherwise, the people wouldn't be able to make it through winter. I have a friend that lives a few hours north that spends many hours of her day lighting fires and maintaining them. I just turn a little button and the calentador comes on.

I went on a vacation for a month with the new BOYFRIEND! We had winter vacation, which should have lasted 3 weeks but we got stuck (so sad, right?). Greg is his name. We met at orientation in Santiago. He lives in a town called Punta Arenas, which is 3 hours away by bus. It's sounds far, but that is the closest city to us! (the bus ride is cheap and easy, too). So, Greg and I went to Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Mendoza, and some other places along the way. It was incredible.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Life is interesting way down south, and through all of the craziness I'm always learning, learning, learning. I miss you all so much. I am so happy that we can stay in touch this way!

Love you all.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Losing my blogger-virginity

This is my first blog post ever in my entire life.... craziness! Good to hear that everyone is doing well. Hannah-- I think it is awesome that you are teaching. In grade school I took creative writing classes and after-school type programs with my favorite teacher and believe it or not, you remind me a lot of her! I know that one day someone else will be writing and reflect upon the days of their first writing projects and think fondly of Ms. Hammmmmmmm. And yes, they will draw out the mmmm's until their lips tickle, just like I am doing right now while I type away. :)

Leslie: AFRICA! WOW! Based on the facebook message I got today though I have a feeling you won't be heading there until January? And can you believe we live in the same city? I'm still trying to "discover" Birminghammmmmmm (hehehe). It has yet to win my heart over. I guess I just need to give it some more timmmmme. Do you like it? Where are the secret hide-outs that all of the open-minded non-boring liberal people hang out? I must find themmmmm!

So how long are Blog posts "allowed" to be? I have never done this! I'm going to go ahead and put this out there: I will probably post often. And more times than not the posts will be long and lacking point or direction....

Marla, I am reading "The Botany of Desire" by Michael Pollan-- the same person who wrote "The Omnivore's Dilemma" which is another great book. If you are interested in non-fiction, food-type books then I recommend him. I am also reading "Gone with the Wind"-- however, I started reading this way back in December and can't seem to get past page 353.

All in all my daytime life is pretty boring. I analyze dirt all day then input my "dirty" data into some computer program then it cranks out more numbers that more or less determine whether a power plant can be built on that dirt. My night time and weekend life is totally fascinating though. I am going through some crrrrazy personal transformations! I'm realizing more and more everyday how much I changed when I moved to Auburn. And now I feel like I am rediscovering my old self again. I will share my most recent major epiphanies in future blogs. For now, I must illegally watch free ghetto versions of True Blood on the internet because I am too cheap to pay for HBO.

Some parting words of wisdom from the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors newsletter:
"Brilliant minds throughout history from Heraclitus to Isaac Asimov, have echoed the expression "change is constant." Whether change is good or bad is always a point of view. Experience change as good and you are in heaven; perceive change as bad and you are in a realm of hell. Change can be intimidating -- fear of the unknown. The comfort of predictability, however can lure us into complacent stuckness. To embrace change is to maintain the vibrancy in our lives."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

hello gorgeous ladies!

how is everyone? life in good old montgomery, alabama is pretty decent at the moment. it's back-to-school time! i start back to work on tuesday and the students start thursday. i can't wait! i get to teach a creative writing elective this year along with my four regular english classes, which makes me super-duper excited! as of right now, my plan is to teach this school year and then hopefully start grad school in the fall. i'll hopefully be back in auburn--they have a pretty sweet GTA situation that would be pretty much the best possible scenario i've found so far for getting my master's. i'm just praying that if that really is what i'm supposed to do then everything will work out.
i got a roommate, catelyn, two weeks ago, and it's working out really well. she's super sweet and fun. she's in graduate school for psychology.
hmm, what else? oh, i got a new puppy about 6 weeks ago, and he is perfect! his name is jake and he is unbelievably sweet and snuggly and wonderful and adorable. i love him so much!
i got to see leslie and alex this weekend, which completely rocked my world! and i made some new friends by extension. good times! well, i think that pretty much sums up my life at the moment. i can't wait to see some of you at the first football game! i love you guys and miss you all so much!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hello friends! I still love this picture. I hope we will have a chance to take another like it some time in the future! I will me missing the entire season of football for the first time in my life, so I will be looking at pictures like this a lot to make my self feel at home. Love you all so much, and I hope your lives are going well!