Archive | May, 2011

two lists.

31 May
Things I will miss about the Cities [in no particular order]:
1. Fancy bakeries with macarons.  [I finally tried a real one this morning with Joel and Melissa.  “Real” meaning one I didn’t make.  It gives direction to my macaron adventures.]
2. Random adventures with MN friends.  Like the nine of us who saw Bridesmaids last night at 9:45.  
3. Friends who play geeky games with me.  [New Carcassonne game!  New Carcassonne game!]
4. Discovering fun, unique new places in the Cities.  [Gems like the Riverside Theater, Wilde Roast Cafe, and cute stores like Patina.]
5. Museums.
6. Consistent proximity of Target.  Rosedale Mall.  A great JoAnne Fabrics.
7. Walking about campus.

8. Downtowns.
9. Community education courses.

10. Walks around lakes.

11. The seminary neighborhood. [The post office on Como, the Bibilot, Finnish Bistro, and Park Service.]

12. Friends who quote Friends and other movies with familiarity and general awesomeness.

13. Miss M and her family.  Family dinners in Stillwater.

14. to be continued …

Things I will not miss about the Cities [in no particular order]:
1. Children screaming outside my window.
2. An apartment without air conditioning.
3. Traffic.
4. Lack of stars and prevalence of pavement.  
5. um.  um.  [please note which list is longer]

the 411 on 5/29.

30 May
It was a long, wonderful weekend that began on Saturday with the arrival of my mom and sister for a picnic on the lawn of the Bockman dorm on campus.  We ate in the sunshine with my friend, Cassie, and her parents, and then meeted and greeted the CYF staff.  A group photo was taken on the steps of Bockman.  [My sister had my camera and took some great shots.]  Grandma and Grandpa Danielson arrived in time for baccalaureate – a communion service – in a tent as it poured outside and Grandma’s chair got wet. 
After baccalaureate, we ran off to my apartment where my awesome family helped me lift, move, and load boxes and a bed into their vehicles.  Truth is, I haven’t completely moved in the last five years – meaning some of my things had always remained in storage somewhere – and now that I finally have to completely move, I have a lot of stuff.  It’s actually quite frightening.  Between mom’s car, Grandma and Grandpa Danielson’s car, later a car of Aunt Peggy’s and a few bags and boxes into the back of Reilly’s van, a dent was made in getting my things from MN to WI.  [But I still have work to do.  Packing.  Loading.  I procrastinate by blogging.  And by going to the movies later with my friends.  Eh.]  We went to one of my favorite places for dinner – Big Bowl Chinese and Thai – and all settled in for the night with the family staying at a local hotel.  

Sunday was the day!  The family and I – with additions of Karen and Mark from Stillwater, and M. and her parents – had brunch at a local restaurant.  The food was delicious and we were able to entertain ourselves with boots of crayons and the white paper that covered the tables.

From the restaurant, we moved onto Central Lutheran in Minneapolis for the ceremony.  It was a fun service. Clapping, yelling “Amen!” and grinning ear to ear as Joel rapped his speech on behalf of the students.  I couldn’t help but smile after I walked up the steps and across the platform to receive my diploma and master’s hood.  I loved my hood – it felt so great around my neck.  [I think it looked pretty good on me too!]  Four years of class and work completed and symbolized in the master’s hood.  Truth of the matter is that we use the hoods for the ceremony and then must return them after photos.  I wanted to keep the hood and not give it back so I could wear it around the house.  *sad face.*
We took many a photo with the robe, the hood, and the diploma.  It was a mess of searching for family and friends in the chaos outside of the doors of the church, but once we found each other, hugs were given and photographs taken.  Watch the slideshow.  *giddy face.*

My family made off for home right after the ceremony.  I grabbed an ice coffee, stared at my diploma with a goofy grin, and had pizza with pal, James, who was visiting.  More friends and I met at Mannings, the unofficial seminary bar, to celebrate further.  To simply sit at home last night would have seemed far too anti-climatic.
It was a great weekend of celebration with friends and family alike.  With graduation behind me, it’s onto serious packing with hopes of moving home on Wednesday.  Two words: too soon.

master of divinity.

29 May
It happened.  I graduated.
And I just feel giddy about it!
I’ll post more about the day tomorrow – all you could ever want to know about a seminary graduation and more – but for now, a three-photo preview:


28 May
I graduate tomorrow.

I sit at a hotel in Roseville, staying with my mom and sister since my bed is already packed into the back of my mom’s suv.  Three grandparents and an aunt are also here, and we await an aunt, uncle, and two cousins tomorrow morning.

I’ve talked about it before, ad nauseam.  But now it’s so close – within twenty four hours – that I’m really just not sure.  The emotion of graduating, leaving friends, moving home; it’s too much to articulate!  [glass case of emotion!]

One emotion I can articulate – nervous!  I’m not even speaking [as my rapping friend, Joel, is] but I do need to walk across a stage and lean down to be hooded.  [so not a big deal really but I’ll make it into a big deal]  Smile pretty for pictures.  Hug people.  Say goodbye?!

And then it will be over.  My family leaves for home tomorrow night; what my celebration will look like is questionable.  I’m not quite sure what  I’ll do with myself when the hype of the day is complete.

Even the gnomes are being worn by all this transition.  Just look at them –


why not.

27 May
A cute photo of a baby in a gnome costume and a thank you to my readers today!  It’s official – the month of May has been the month with the most blog reads here at there’s no place like gnome.  And the month isn’t even over yet!  Thanks for tuning in and validating my rambling by reading!  

Source: via Lindsay on Pinterest

pinch me.

26 May
Is it real?  Seriously.  Am I really supposed to walk across a stage in three days to receive a master’s hood? 
It doesn’t seem possible.  Classes just ended and it has been nearly two weeks of playing, sleeping, and repeat.  It’s been a fun two weeks of avoiding the inevitable reality that I will be moving in less than a week.  That I will no longer be a student.  That I will no longer call the Twin Cities my current home.  That I will be in a continuous state of transition.  Again.
yes.  those are the christmas cards I received still hanging
on my closet door.  I like the photos of people I love displayed,
even if it isn’t seasonally appropriate.
My family begins to arrive on Saturday and on Sunday morning I have a party of 18 dear-to-me people who will celebrate my graduation with me during a brunch before the commencement ceremony.  I will walk in my robe [picked up ominously yesterday afternoon – robe with wonky sleeves] across the front of Central Lutheran Church and complete this four year journey.  
[enter cliche line about looking to the bright future]

senior awards.

26 May
My sister and I are both seniors and graduating, me from seminary and her from high school.  Last night was the senior awards night at Edgerton High and my sister not only received scholarship awards, she also gave one.
You see, my family presents a scholarship to a graduating FFA [Future Farmers of America … oh yeah] senior each year in memory of my dad.  In the years past, my mom has presented the award at the banquet night.  Last night, with my sister already sitting on stage as a senior, she presented the award to one of her fellow classmates.  I love that she did this and wish I could have been home to see her both give and receive scholarships. 

She sent her little speech to me to proof and I couldn’t even read it without crying.  I think she did an awesome job.  Here is what she said:

“Good evening everyone,
My name is Emma S– and I am a senior here at Edgerton High School and I’m here to present the John S– Memorial Scholarship in memory of my dad, John.
Growing up, I lived on a farm with my three older siblings, Matt Ben and Lindsay, my mom Leanne, and my dad John. On the farm we raised cattle and grew corn, soybeans, and tobacco. My dad learned to work hard from his upbringing on a local farm. I remember helping my dad with chores around the farm. My dad was a hardworking farmer who taught my siblings and I responsibility and hard work. There was always the time of year when the whole family and friends helped plan and harvest tobacco in the fields. Sure there were those times when my siblings and I didn’t always feel like helping out; but it was those experiences that have helped shape who we are today. I will always remember harvesting the crops with my dad. We would go out in the fields in the combines to harvest the crops. He would let me ride along inside and sit on his lap.
When I was in sixth grade, my dad suddenly passed away. He was the hardest working person I knew. He was funny, considerate, and the greatest dad I could ask for.
My dad was a member of the FFA at high school here in Edgerton. He continued his involvement with FFA by being an active member of the FFA Alumni. One of the primary purposes of that group is to provide financial support to current FFA members.
To remember my dad for who he was as a farmer and friend, and on behalf of the S– family and Edgerton FFA Alumni, I would like to present the John S– Memorial Scholarship, in the amount of $500, to my fellow classmate …”

the latest.

24 May
Sleep is low.  Stress of moving increasing.  Emotions are draining.

Creativity for the blog is pretty low.  Please accept another stories-told-through-my-iphone-camera post.

Here’s what’s been going down:

Friday night was scheduled to be drive-in on campus night.  We hired a projectionist to show a movie on the backside of our library building while we sat on blankets, enjoyed the spring weather, and ate cotton candy.  That, unfortunately, so did not happen.  Weather forced us to move the movie inside but we still ate cotton candy, made ourselves in a rented cotton candy machine that sat on the table next to the root beer keg.  Paige and I [in matching yellow] show off our sugar-twirling skills above [in matching blue].

After the weather moved us inside on Friday night for that senior week movie event, we were thwarted by the weather again on Sunday.  We planned a Run Away 5k for seniors – a run/walk at a park just a few blocks from campus followed by a cookout.  The threat of more rain and thunder [and it turns out – tornado watches] caused us to reschedule.  That, however, did not mean we didn’t raise our heartbeats.  A bunch of us gathered at our school’s gym for a group work-out session.  As the tornado sirens went off, it was fortunate that the gym was in the basement.  We were also fortunate ‘toys’ were found for entertainment. Like workout apparatus turned into catapult.  [It takes little to entertain us, folks.] [The group workout was followed by a cotton candy party in my apartment.  We had lots of floss sugar to use before I had to return the rented machine on Monday.]

Melissa has a sewing machine.  I know enough about sewing to throw a few pieces of fabric together.  Lessons ensued.  By the end of the night, we had figured out how to wind a bobbin, how to use the knee-thinga-ma-gig to raise the presser foot, and how to sew an infinity scarf.  [It’s harder than one would think.  Really.]  Sewing success.  
Not photographed but please include the following activities to the list of reasons why I have not been an attentive blogger of late: lunch at ikea.  moa trip.  mannings.  wine tasting at a professor’s house.  [won by friends and I at a silent auction]  movie/snl viewing.  savoy inn pizza for the first time.  debating of graduation attire.  rhubarb sauce.  not packing.

I’ll miss you.

23 May
I’ve been absent.  Don’t hate me.
Senior week has thrown me for a loop.  A loop of lots of fun, an odd schedule, and an inability to ever remember what day it actually is.  Monday, right?  Right.
As graduation looms less than one week away, I fear I’m becoming more sad than anything.  I’m trying to squeeze everything in before that day comes, but I know I’m missing things.  And as soon as I move, I’ll miss people.
I’ve been seeing friends nearly every day of the past week and a half.  As we depart at the end of the nights, I’ve gotten into the habit of saying, in a funny way, “I’ll miss you,” knowing that the chances of me seeing them within the next twenty-four hours are pretty good.  It’s my version of a sentimental silly joke.  But soon it will be reality.
I said another goodbye today.  I drove to Stillwater for lunch with Denise, my BFF from my Trinity days.  Denise is one of my Stillwater ‘moms,’ a former coworker who calls me “Linnie” and spoils me with lunch and awesome cookie pans at my birthday.  Here we are, full of sweat and concrete dust as we put roofs on houses with 90 Trinity youth in Mexico in 2008, the trip when we became official BFFs:

We went out to The Green Room in downtown Stillwater to catch up and talk about what’s next for both of us.  Denise is moving to southern IL in a matter of months to join her husband who recently moved there for work.  It’s her last week at Trinity, but I hope not our last chance to see each other.  With her moving to southern IL and me moving to who knows where after a few months in WI, the chances of us catching up again in person may be slim.  I’ll miss her.
Luckily, we have facebook.  And pinterest.  We will send each other messages.  But still this move seems so much more final than other ones I’ve made.  In the past, I’d always known I was coming back to somewhere.  I’m not coming back to the Cities in the near future, and Denise is leaving too.
I’m not sure how else to sum up this blog post and these feelings but with an ‘ugh.’

photos from last night.

20 May
It’s like the website ‘texts from last night’ but these are my photos and they are most likely much less offensive.  Here’s my Thursday, as told through my Instagram photo app:

I completed The Hunger Games series on the patio at Starbucks over a grande-iced-white-chocolate-non-fat-no-whip-mocha yesterday.  I wasn’t overly impressed with the last half of the last book, but I will say that I was content with the very end.  I will also say that it’s a good thing I was outside and wearing sunglasses because there were a few tears shed.  If this ever blows up like Twilight [casting for the movies has already begun], I’m totally Team Peeta.  I want a Peeta.  I mourned the ending of the series yesterday; it’s sad to know that something that has become a part of me in the last week is over.  The grief has happened and I think I’m ready to move on.  Time for a new book!  *claps hands*

Library game night was last night as a part of the senior week festivities.  The library was opened for us and we played games in the reference room for four hours, using our outside voices, eating sandwiches, and ignoring the books that surrounded us.  Four of us began a game of Settlers that consumed our entire time at game night.  Wooten to another three hour game of cities, settlements, and roads!

Game night ended and I offered Sarah and Paige a ride down the hill to our apartment buildings.  We got in the car – it’s 10pm at this point – and we realize it’s too early for bed.  We car dance for a few minutes and then text jD to tell him we’re coming to get him and Lauren, our former competition in Settlers at the library.  He invited us up to their apartment where we waited outside of their door in folding chairs in a row.  It was hilarious at the time; I think we were quite slap happy.  It’s also difficult to take a self-photo with an iphone – evidence above.

Once inside, we learned how to tie a bowtie [above], watched an episode of Friends [Paige had never seen a full episode before!], and ate ice cream sandwiches.  We left around 1:30, making it another 2am night for this girl.  I think that’s just becoming my new schedule for the next week; it’s starting to feel natural to stay up so late.  The minute I have to start getting up before 9 it’s going to bite me in the butt …

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