Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Taken at The University of Notre Dame

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

I spent the past week near South Bend, Indiana to attend my brother's graduation from Notre Dame. It was interesting to observe his congratulations/goodbyes to his friends, because unlike my sister and I, he is one of the cool kids, a social butterfly, a big man on extreme extrovert.

This guy is pretty cool.
It made me reflect on my college experience. While many people state that the college years are "the best years of their life," I'm not sure I could say that about my 5 years (I was in a special 5-year double degree program). I think this is because I didn't actually know that I was really an introvert. Therefore, I didn't really know how to handle various situations/obligations at that stage of my life. This led to social anxiety, academic burnout, and emotional depression. Rather than becoming aware of my personality type and how to effectively use my energy, I began to close myself off from making friends and from trying my hardest in my academic pursuits.

Rather than investing in relationships, I clung to a select few people, and my social identity relied on them. I'd essentially "hide" behind them instead of learning how to utilize my own precious energy wisely. When those select close friendships faded, by proxy, so did all the other friendships/acquaintances I had.
She's the Watson to my Sherlock.

Rather than focusing on areas I was truly passionate about, I spread myself too thin and attempted to just "prove myself" instead of excelling in areas of strength. I hated the idea of academic advising meetings, simply because the thought of conversing with my advisor about my failures was stressful. And to this day, I still don't know what I'm doing with my life.

Over the past year, I've been learning more and more about my personality as an introvert. It doesn't mean I'm shy, quiet, aloof, snobby, anti-social, diva, or many of the other "negative" adjectives I've been labeled over the years. While I haven't taken the official Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, all of the free tests (however accurate/inaccurate they may be) that I have tried consistently say that I am an INTJ. And everything I read about that personality type describes me perfectly.

It was interesting to geek out with my sister about personality profiles this weekend. I think she said she was either an INFP or INFJ. While she's been described as the "shy wallflower," and I've been seen as the "arrogant snob," we both know that it's because our introverted tendencies influence or interactions with others.  If you *really* got to know us, you'd discover that she can be a boisterous and loud fanatic, and I can be an approachable and strong leader. It all depends on how comfortable we are in a given situation. However, we both decided that if we weren't blood related to our extroverted brother, we definitely wouldn't have run in the same circles ;)

I love these kids.
The more I learn about personality types, the more I hope to learn how to better ration my energy supply so that I can invest more in relationships and experiences. I want to be a better friend, a better life-long learner, a better wife, a better disciple...

So forgive me if I've ever seemed cold, uninterested, distant, arrogant, etc. I hope that I can appropriately approach my relationships with greater care and invest the energy into long lost friendships. Because you are awesome and deserve it!


Do you know your personality profile? Any good resources to share?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Best Mario Kart Level Ever

WI license plates on every car....people actually using their turn signals....smooth freeway roads...strategically placed construction cones...

Driving around the Milwaukee area for a bit felt SO good. I can't wait to be back home in a couple more weeks!

I took this photo of of the Marquette interchange a couple years ago.
It really is the best Mario Kart level ever.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Science Saturday 4.5: Breast Cancer, Bees, & More

Today's post is going to be short and sweet, since I am away on little brother is graduating from college this weekend! Yay, family time :)


The big news of the week was Angelina Jolie's op-ed piece about her double mastectomy. In doing so, she has helped open up the dialogue about of the genetic factors contributing to the development of different types of cancer. Here is a great write up about the history of our understanding of the BRCA1 mutation.


Have you heard about the Mars One project? The team plans to send colonization supplies to Mars by 2016, and to have settlers land by 2023. Apparently, over 20,000 people have applied to be part of the crew. The catch? This is a one-way mission.


I've never been a fan of math, even though math and biology run hand in hand. Here is a great write up explaining why bees choose to build their honeycombs in perfectly hexagonal shaped cells (read the linked article first, then watch the video below!).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Get This Look in 5 Easy Steps!

I don't blog about fashion or style or trendiness because that just isn't who am I as a person. But because the blogoshpere lends itself to these types of categories, I still am aware of the current trends and often get inspired by other people's cute looks.  And this is what usually happens when I try to follow the style trends. So here it is, my very own Fashion How-To:

Step 1: Be inspired by all the adorable ladies online who wear their hair in a cute messy top knot bun.
Step 2: Try it on your hair and fail.
Step 3: Watch YouTube videos demonstrating the "easy style".
Step 4: Get annoyed at some of the girls with WAY too much makeup and annoying personalities.
Step 5: Still fail at doing the top knot even after watching several tutorials.

What is this?!?!

I find it ridiculous that I can mess up a "messy look" hairstyle. Let's not even talk about how I don't know how to do makeup either :D

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Wordless" Wednesday

Notes from Sunday, May 5th @ Clear Branch Baptist Church
Sermon Series "The Importance of Obedience - The 10 Commandments"
Pastor Jonathan Sherwin

Monday, May 6, 2013

What's Your List?

My lovely friend Valerie and I have teamed up to write a new blog designed for all you people who love to write LISTS!  We plan to update it every Monday and Thursday with a topical list subject & our answer. Our hope is that YOU will all join in the fun and comment with your lists!

Check it out here!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Music Inspiration: Josh Garrels

If you are a fan of music good music GREAT music and you haven't heard of Josh Garrels, then something is wrong with you.  He is the definition of indie artist: recording all of his music at home, hand pressing artwork onto CD sleeves, and making beautiful art that reaches the depths of the soul.

He teamed up with Mason Jar Music to record and film a bunch of music on location at Mayne Island, and the results are breathtaking. We just received our copy of the documentary film The Sea In Between and after watching it, I feel all kinds of inspiration...not just to be a better musician, but to be a better person (as cheesy as that sounds).  His lyrics speak so much truth about letting your faith be ever present in your life, and that the goodness of the Creator will be reflected in his creation if you let him in.

Check out a clip of one of the songs from the film here:

To hear more of Josh's music, check out his Bandcamp page, where you can listen online and then download (with all proceeds going directly to the artist)!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Merry Month of May

It's now officially 39 days until we move back home to Wisconsin! I am preeeeeetty excited about it :D While we will definitely miss our church family and friends that we've built relationships with, the past two years here in Mississippi have just never felt "right."  Both Matt and I feel like we were definitely led here for some sort of purpose (me getting my degree & lots of great job experience, Matt learning to be a leader in a growing a church), but it's clear that our time is ended and God has other plans in store for us.

Photo taken by my dad (stole it from his FB) / Edited by me
I'm all done with giving lectures, and it's just smooth sailing from here on out...a couple review sessions and exams to administer, and then my first semester as a biology instructor will be finished.  It has been a great experience and I've learned a lot about myself in the process.  While some of my students definitely frustrated me, a lot of them were really encouraging.  Many of them were sad that I wouldn't be around next semester, because they wanted to take another course from me! That definitely reaffirms my belief that I am called to a future academic career.

Matt has been extremely proactive about getting ready for the move, so now that the majority of my teaching duties is over with, I'll be able to contribute to the great purge & pack.  It's ridiculous how much junk we've carried with us from apartment to apartment, in addition to NEW junk that we've acquired.  We will be moving into Matt's parents' newly remodeled basement, so we really need to get rid of a lot of junk so that it isn't taking up storage space.  Easier said than done.  (*Because I totally NEED to keep this file cabinet filled with old notes and papers*)

This spring has been killer on my allergies, and also McGhee's.  He acquired a flea allergy and has been suffering for the past couple weeks. None of the flea meds really seem to be working, and he started gnawing himself raw.  He's wearing the cone of shame and we just gave him a medicated shampoo bath, so hopefully he will feel better.  Here's a couple funny videos of him "scooting" on the carpet trying to itch his sores.  I feel so bad for him, but it's pretty funny :P