December 30, 2010

A Look Back on 2010

What a year this has been... Wow.
Last new year, I was in Vail with Jackson celebrating a new year. I had gotten into Cornell University with a Navy ROTC scholarship, and was enjoying senior year while he was happily halfway through his sophomore year at Cornell. We talked of the coming years finally together at school - a new, exciting stage of our relationship. Once he went back to school, I got back into the second half of my senior year.

In February, I performed in my last show at Vail Mountain School. I played Beth March in "Little Women." After so many theatrical productions, it was really nice to be in such a well run show. It went off without a hitch and all our voices sound beautiful. It was my favorite show and I will always treasure that experience. I have the poster with everyone's signatures framed which is so special to me.

Then third trimester began. It was a crazy semester. I finished out my AP courses - got a 5 on BC Calculus and Physics - and wrote a historical fiction novella. I enjoyed studying about Meriwether Lewis's death on the Natchez Trace. It took me back to my Southern roots and my childhood trips up and down the Trace with my grandparents, Bill and Barbara. I have always loved historical fiction so it was really fun to do. I was proud of my final product, and hopefully will get a copy published, just for my own sake one day.

April 4th marked two years for Jackson and me. I am hoping for so many more. Although we couldn't be together, it was a great day. I'm really lucky to have such a great guy in my life.

At the end of May, it was time for graduation! We had a mother-daughter brunch the Sunday beforehand. Then Wednesday brought Class Night which brought me a Presidential Scholarship Award which was a pleasant surprise. Thursday was Senior Dinner Dance which was absolutely wonderful. It was such a great night with my high school class. We were all really close which made the night fantastic. Friday brought Field Day (Team America! 2nd Place!) and then Graduation. I had a really pretty white dress with blue flowers. Graduation went very well and I got to give two speeches. One to award the 2010 Alumni Scholarship Award to JC and one about Mr. Aldrich as a recognition from our graduation class. He was always been one of my favorite teachers which made speaking an honor.

In June, the Domke family moved on down to good old Mississippi. It was a long drive, but made for a relaxing, pleasant summer. I loved being in the south with family and having no commitments before heading to school. We ended the summer in Missouri to pick Emily up from Kanakuk, then my mom, my grandma, and I packed up the car and drove North to Ithaca.

Then came one of the hardest weeks of my life. NROTC Orientation. I guess I should have expected it to be difficult, but it was much more mental than physical which I was not expected. The whole point was show us what Basic Training is like for our enlisted, but I was almost not tough enough. There was a lot of stress, a lot of yelling, and very little sleep. My feet and ankles were raw and I had never been so scared in my life. In short, I'd say that when Friday's graduation came, I was really proud of myself for pushing through, and I was REALLY looking forward to some sleep. My dad was there on Friday which made everything easier. What kept me going were the friends. I have made the most wonderful friends with my4/C buddies. I am so grateful for them. Beth and Steven especially.

I met Lisa and Paige, my roommates, and thus began my college orientation week! We have been a great set of roommates, and I am so grateful for their friendship and support and understanding (especially with my 5 AM mornings with NROTC...). Lisa was always there with thoughtful advice or a pep talk, and Paige always had something fun to say and a smile on her face. I doubt I would have gotten through without them.

Then came a crazy semester. I took Naval Science: Fundamentals of the Navy, Multivariable Calculus, Applications of Operations Research, Introduction to Computer Programming Using Java, Sailing, The Great Pleasures of Short Fiction, and of course NROTC Drill Lab. Beyond that, I became part of the Society of Women Engineers (I was awarded a Chair Position in the Outreach Directorship), as well as the Cornell Synchronized Skating Team. Between those, classes, NROTC, and friends/Jackson, I was busy constantly. It was a hard semester but it was worth it in the end. I passed all my classes despite some scares, and I feel proud of coming away from my first semester successfully.

I had a few little health scares, including a stress-induced heat rash on my feet, a boil on my leg, and then bronchitis which resulted in a diagnosis of asthma. Hard to believe but knowing that has cleared up a lot regarding my chest injuries. I hope next year has less doctor visits. You know it's bad when the pharmacists start recognizing you.

I went home with Lisa over Thanksgiving which was fun (even though I'd have loved to be home). I got to meet her wonderful family and get off campus.

I am now home. I love being here and seeing my family again. I am gearing up for 2011, feeling stronger from this year. I'd attribute that largely to NROTC. It still terrifies me, but I feel a little bit more capable of doing it. I have always had a fear of the unknown, so I doubt the worry will ever completely go away, but I hope that I can get through it. I will come out a better person and will always be proud of myself if I can.

Next year brings sorority rush, Synchro competitions, an even heavier courseload, and CORTRAMID. Should be quite a year. I'm excited, nervous, anxious, and happy all at once. But 2010? Will always be one for my memory. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Tomorrow? New Years Resolutions. Goodbye, 2010. Thank you for everything.

December 26, 2010

There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays

Funny enough, this is my first ever post from our Mississippi home. I've been home for a week and a half now. It has been wonderful - I have caught up on sleep (I woke up on my own!), visited with my family, relaxed, celebrated (a surprisingly white!) Christmas, and read some. Christmas was wonderful. Mama kept going on and on about not getting to excited, but I thought it was a very good year. I got some cold-weather running gear (which was put to good use this morning running with my parents and Nigel as it snowed lightly), lots of new shoes, a purse, some Navy ornaments for the tree, a beautiful Vera Bradley garment bag, a Ralph Lauren robe, along with a few other things. Christmas Eve we went to the candlelight ceremony at the church which was really nice (despite Pearson sleeping in my lap through the whole thing, haha). We all enjoyed each other's company and Genie and JJ's as well Christmas morning. We had wonderful family dinner Christmas Day with everyone over at our house. I was sad to go to bed that night since Christmas is my favorite time of the year.

I've started to overlap with my grandma a little bit - and I am hoping that my mom was right... that I don't seem grandmotherly, I just have personality. I mean, I am who I am, but sometimes I worry that I am too worrisome (ironic, isn't it?) and quirky.

We took some beautiful photos for Daddy for Christmas. One of his residents's husband took them in the park and at Aunt B's house.

Three Generations

Daddy's Women

I have to say, I have only really lived in Mississippi for a summer, but it feels like home. It really does. I was telling Emily the other night that somehow this house feels like my childhood home, it's a place I look forward to bringing my kids to one day. I have learned a lot about what kind of parent I hope to be just from the past few months. I know that sounds vague - when I figure out a way to word it I'll write up a post with my thoughts.

I am not very excited about Emily going back to school and everyone getting back into work mode and Genie and JJ leaving because when I'm alone I think too much. I miss Jackson because I feel like we were together constantly at school and I could just pour out my thoughts. I mean, I still can, but it's not quite the same over text. I worry about the upcoming semester and I worry about distant-but-not-really-that-distant Navy life. Sometimes I really wish I was stupid and my brain didn't run around so frantically. Perhaps I will find nerdy occupation for myself working on a Google or iPhone App (yes, just for fun). I also better start working out a little harder so that my inventory PFA when I get back to school doesn't quite kick my butt.

I plan to be pretty regular blogging so that I have a record of college life and so I get into the habit for when I go into the "Big Navy" and want to let everyone know how that is going. In the meantime, I suppose my posts will be relatively boring and insignificant, but it always makes me feel better to write even if it doesn't really go anywhere.

First Semester GPA: 2.843. Not great, but definitely not awful!

Maybe I'll write a few more thoughts before the close of 2010. Actually, I will for sure. A recap of sorts, if you will. After all, it's been quite a year.

Until then, lots of love from my red checkered chair. Xox.

December 9, 2010

Chip On My Shoulder

Earlier, Nina Simone was belting it through the room: "Birds flying high / You know how I feel / Sun in the sky / You know how I feel / Breeze drifting on by / You know how I feel / It's a new dawn / It's a new day / It's a new life for me / AND I'M FEELING GOOD." That's always one way to kick my mopey butt into gear!

So I'm studying for CS/procrastinating by buying Christmas presents and listening to music. I was suddenly motivated to buckle down when Legally Blonde (the musical)'s song, "Chip on my Shoulder," came on. Even if its goofy and Broadway-y, it is a good outlook: "I got a chip on my shoulder / and it's as big as a boulder / with this chance I've been given / I've gotta be driven as hell." I'm gonna do great on CS and I'm gonna pass math. I'm gonna make people proud of me. I'm gonna be proud of myself.

A few things grazed my conscience today. Another song-inspired moment: Charlotte Martin's "Beautiful Life": "The sun may come up / the sun may go down again / I still swear its a beautiful life" after and up and down crazy emotional day. And after commenting to my dad that Ithaca is like Alaska. Also, while in the doctor's office to get a prescription renewal, all I could think about was going home. I was having all these moments of remembering past doctor visits - from my embarrassing H1N1 puking episode, to knee appointments which involved coloring on the protective paper with my wonderful mama.

Ah, and now the Beatles's "Here Comes the Sun." Sometimes I think that my iTunes can read my mood. Exam tomorrow? Bring it. I'm happy and I'm keeping it that way.


December 3, 2010

Blue skies smilin' at me! Nothing but blue skies do I see!

I will be leaving in 20 or so minutes for my LAST class of my first semester of college. Golly gosh gee! Even though I can't say "I MADE IT!" just yet, it feels so much closer.

Today has been good. I woke up for Rainbow PT and we went for a beautiful run up to the water tower as the sun rose. There is still a small crunchy layer of snow on the ground which made it surreal. The sky is beautiful blue today, and even though it's cold, it was a perfect day. It reminds me of the best days in Vail. Who knew that I, of all people, would miss Ski Friday. Oy.

In the most recent Glee they sang "The Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine. It was the most perfect representation of my mood, and was therefore stuck in my head all day. It is perfect and I was bouncing and singing to myself all day.
At least it kicked out the Harry Potter Literal Parody trailer, haha. But that is for another post. For when I'm feeling silly and it's stuck in my head.

I don't have any life-observations today, unfortunately, but I am just in a generally good mood which feel so fantastic since it contrasts so sharply with the last few weeks. I'm not completely done with work, but this weekend will bring everything to a close.

Oh, and just as a reminder, 12 days until home! Hot coco, snuggling, Christmas... Everything good :-)