Monday, October 29, 2012

Bestfriends Make the Best Weekends Happen

For the millionth time, I apologize for the amount of time between posts. Since I don't have homework I've been filling every moment of my schedule and trying to enjoy the fun part of my Senior year. Can you hear how excited I am to work on my capstone next semester? So not looking forward to being cooped up all Spring. I've always thought homework should be illegal.

Three weekends ago I went home to spend some time with my family since I neglected them all summer. Eats included dinner with my brothers at the Harp and lunch with C at the Flying Fig near the West Side Market. (I owe my expensive taste in unique restaurants to Emily S.) My dad took me to MOCA's new location in the developing Uptown district of Cleveland. I loved the prismatic building and all the new architecture around CASE's campus. Go Cleveland! We also finally watched the Ides of March so I could point out all the Cincinnati landmarks. Is it possible to be in love two cities at once?

enthusiastically being welcomed home by Logan /
crazy beautiful pyramid / C taking in the Uptown view

My grandparents treated me to dinner at Night Town so I could observe the secret social circles of Cleveland's musically talented. As part of my "grandparent sleepover," my grandma really wanted to watch Bill Cunningham New York again since she had bought the DVD. After the film we made sure to go through every single extra feature. So glad someone else can relate to how adorable I think he is. Before I left, they also took me to the Cleveland Art Museum to see some of the new interior work and an amazing glass exhibit.

 the inside that feels like it's outside at CAM / driving home to Cinci

Good dining experiences, great movies, and almost enough art. My family knows me so well! And they even succeeded in making me miss Cleveland a little bit. Just more options to add to the ever-growing "After College" plan...

Two weekends ago was Encounter 2012 (better known as the Navigators' fall conference). I drove up early to help with registration for the fourth year in a row. I really love to serve people administratively but this year I ended up doing more than I anticipated. The role of being a 5th year in the Navigators is a confusing one...most of the time I feel like everyone is mentally placing me on the fast track to go on Staff next year. I have to keep reminding myself that just because I'm organized and a planner doesn't mean that's all I have to offer.

Based on Fay's brilliant idea, Carri, Emily C, Emily K, Hannah F, Mandie, Sarah, and I met for three weeks to plan intentional activities for the girls at night, after all the scheduled conference stuff ended. You see, we've always been jealous of the bonding activities that the guys take part in when we split up. I'll leave the specific details undisclosed, but the boys are always a lot closer as a group when we return from Fall Conference. So this year we planned activities for, enouragement-bombed, and asked hard questions of all the UC girls in attendance. We've only talked about it a little since then, but I have a feeling God worked in lots of unknown ways both nights. And whether we ever find out what those ways were or not, that was the plan!

However, with all the responsibility and planning that I carried out over the weekend, I came back from the retreat pretty overwhelmed and confused. I'm still working through a lot of that, but I think it's important that these things are on my mind. I have so many decisions ahead of me and I'm not setting myself up for success if I ignore them.

 who's idea was it to leave dry erase markers in the bathroom? /
Psalm 129 reminder / Andrew and Josh being twins /
Danielle, Beth, Fay, and me cheering on the Olympic competition

This past weekend Mack, Logan, and Christie visited me! I took Friday off of work because as usual before an epic weekend I had too much to do. Somehow I cleaned my entire apartment, did five loads of laundry, grocery shopped, finished my Halloween outfit, and decorated for the dance party in eight hours flat. Okay, okay you figured out my supersecret alias: I'm Wonder Woman. Actually, I have no idea how I got all those things done and still had energy to dance the night away at the Navs' Monster Bash hosted by the 86 Club. But it happened and it was really fun! I think I may have even gained some real ninja skills/dance moves thanks to my costume.

 dance party decorations / Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Rafael

On Saturday C and I met Emily S for lunch at Pho Lang Thang. (I think the only type of food Adam and I ever agreed on was Vietnamese, and it's still one of my favorites.) I was pretty excited to get lunch with my best friend from Cleveland and Cincinnati at the same time. It's like worlds colliding and only good things happening because of it. Christie got her hair did at the ever fabulous High Five Salon (Holla if you're on the ombré train! I'm still convinced it started back in 2010 with this girl.) while I changed back into my Wonder Woman costume to bake a cake, round up my brothers from the various corners of Clifton, and shower. It was Sarah's and my turn to make the Flora boys dinner on Saturday so Christie helped a little. It wasn't as good as theirs but it was okay for a chaotic weekend. In the usual tradition we played a few terrifying games of Slender Man and then argued about what movie to watch for over an hour. Ohh how I love my friends. I also learned how to play darts and that Matt's team wins EVERYTHING EVERYTIME.

 perfectly subtle ombré

My brothers left early on Sunday but C and I made it to Iron's Fruit Farm with Navs for some action-packed maze navigation. Let me just say, if you don't like running through 20 acres of corn, deciphering maps of corn, tripping over corn, getting ditched in corn, or only conversing through hollering, don't go to a corn maze with my friends. Personally, I rather enjoyed it.

 so glad she was here this weekend!

I feel like I skipped a lot of really fun things from October, but since I only use my iPhone camera as my long-term memory, they will have to remain forever forgotten. Coming soon: November adventures!

(If you are in my life, I'm pretty fond of you right now.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Discovering I'm an Extrovert

Lately I've been realizing that I'm probably an extrovert. For some reason when I tell this to people they just laugh and say "I could have told you that." Why is this new to only me? Well I'm pretty good at entertaining myself and I like spending time alone. But I definitely feel more energized and engaged when I am around a lot of people. I'm not outgoing and crazy all the time, but when I can read a social situation well I love to make people laugh and have the atmosphere be fun. This new discovery has taken me from zero to sixty when it comes to spending time with people. Being at home by myself has just been less and less appealing as I get accustomed to my new work/life style. Hopefully God shows me more about my future now that I understand I am an extrovert—I feel like this is one of the many keys to figuring out The Plan for next year.

Landor: We got the new window display up! We're cheekily calling it "Peep Show" because it's showcasing photography of and by Landorians (or "our peeps"). The windows are covered head to toe in black and "neon" clings. There is a small circle cut into each separate frame so that passers-by can peek in and view a unique take on photography. The windows are in honor of FotoFocus, a month-long celebration of lens-based art in Cincinnati. On the day we revealed the windows I distributed lollypops with "a sucker for a good time" written on the label to all the employees. If you desire to participate in our display, tag your Instagram with #landorpeep.

suckers / peep hole / a few of the frames

Landor had two parties in on week! On Thursday we celebrated Docktoberfest on our truck dock with some Landor-brewed beer. The people at our office are so talented. On Saturday, I took Fay as my date to the Lowdown Hoedown. The party was at an authentic farm in KY. Amusements included a petting zoo, pottery lessons, face painting, hay rides, a corn maze, and pumpkin picking. Fay was obsessed with the folk band and I thought the food was pretty amazing. It was great getting to share the fun party with someone who could appreciate it!

Docktoberfest lights / Fay was really excited about the animals /
my new friend / someone saying HI / picking our mini pumpkins

Babysitting: I've been watching Will and Andrew a lot lately but I don't think any of us mind. Will has been asking me when I will be coming next when I put him to bed at night. I love being their favorite babysitter :) Last week when I donned their Batman mask, Andrew informed me that I couldn't be the Caped Crusader because 1. I was a girl and 2. I had a PONYTAIL. I nearly died laughing because it reminded me of the "Can I Have Yo Numba?" skit Ryan and I did this summer. It also reminded me of the only pick up line that will ever work on me, coined by myself (how ironic): "Hey girl. I'm the Batman." SOLD.

Andrew likes to give me a hard time during dinner /
but he always wants to snuggle when we watch a movie /
Will sneaking bunny ears / and rocking the mohawk

Navs: I forgot how much fun bonding with Freshman is—they're up for anything! A lot of the girls in my small group went over to Hannah F's house to hangout last Friday. We sipped tea, talked about our weeks, and pulled blankets up to our noses because the apartment was COLD. I can't wait to get to know these girls better and better.

The event planning committee had a meeting this week. We're prepping for our giant Halloween dance party. (Wait til you see what I'm going as!) I've been brainstorming on a theme and decoration style for the event with Lizz—we really want to go all out this year since it will be at a concert venue. I will share more after the fact!

 Hannah G, me, Emily K, and Amanda / Toppers at the EPiC meeting

Friends: Andrew S wanted to show off his cooking skills so Sarah and I came over for dinner last Sunday. The meal was pretty elaborate: penne vodka (one of my favorites), salad, homemade bread, and pies from an apple orchard. Justin S, Matt, and Ryan all pitched in to help so the kitchen was a little like a three-ring circus. I felt a little strange being the guest for once—I'm so used to cooking for my friends all the time! But I'll take relaxing and hanging out with friends over slaving in a kitchen anytime they want to volunteer.

Another night we ventured out to explore Mt. Adams. I had been to a few random places around the beautiful neighborhood (picture a crazy hill dotted with beautiful houses and churches) but I'd never spent an entire evening there. We stopped by Longworth's, Pavilion, Monk's Cove, and the Blind Lemon. My favorite has always been Longworth's because there's dancing on the weekends, plenty of room to find a corner to hangout, and 50 cleverly named shots. I would recommend the Batman, it's the one I got for Justin T and it might have been a car bomb...oops. Anyway, it's so picturesque and interesting there—hopefully we go back again.

all the boys trying to cook for us at once / magical Mt. Adams

Emily F likes downtown / OTR as much as I do so we decided to do brunch as often as possible. Brunch makes the list for Ten Things I Miss About NYC. Well, it's probably more than ten...I miss everything every day. But Take the Cake is my favorite Cincinnati brunch place so far. I do keep dreaming that my favorite restaurant Senate will bring back their brunch menu one day and make my life complete. Fingers crossed.

Taste of Belgium chicken n' waffles /
Take the Cake wildberry french toast pudding

Even though Emily S and I both work downtown I feel like we never see each other. Last Friday I picked her up for an extended lunch. I had to grab some wine at Party Source for a work get-together that afternoon so we decided to eat at Strong's Pizzeria while we were in KY. They had vodka pasta pizza! (I told you I'm obsessed with it.) We ordered it and it was soooo good. GO THERE. Emily and I also loved the vibrant mural of the river and downtown in their back patio. Colors always fascinate me.

Yesterday we got manis at Nailtiques. I always ask for something that I can't do on myself, like a reverse French. I get weird looks, no matter where I go. But my nail technician said she could do it and she did an excellent job for free-handing it! Definitely going back there again.

Emily & the mural / navy with gold detailing

Other stuff:
I got my hair cut! Everytime I go back to High Five Salon I get more attached to Sam and his great staff. They are so nice and ask me a million questions about my life like we're old friends. And since Sam is friends with all my friends, I plan on being besties with him one day. Hope he's okay with that. This time he cut my hair into a blunt version of my original lob. My bangs are long and sweeping so it's a perfect look for fall. He mentioned he wants to play with my hair color so I will be back in early December. It's okay to justify it as a Christmas present for myself, right?

xoxo Kendrasity