Sunday, September 23, 2012

The man, the myth, the science guy

Guys.

Guys. I got to see Bill Nye the Science Guy this weekend!



He gave a lecture at Iowa State University, which is about 45 minutes north of us. We drove up there on Friday evening. The lines before the door opened were stretching out in every direction around the building. People were wearing lab coats and goggles, and the guys standing in line behind us were making signs professing their nerdy love for him.

When they finally opened the doors, it was madness. People were running to get to their seats and everybody was swarming the hallways. We ended up on the 3rd level but we really couldn't complain because it was BILL NYE!!! He walked out in a signature bow tie and the crowd went crazy. Some guys on the first level stripped off their shirts and their chests/backs spelled out SCIENCE. The energy was awesome, and Bill handled it like a seasoned pro.


That's the best picture I have... thanks to Jason's [crappy] cellphone. Bill was showing us a picture of him with a sun dial that was afterwards sent to live on Mars.

It was such a circular moment in life for me. Here I felt like this man was a part of my childhood and I grew up learning from him. Now, I'm an adult and listening to him in the flesh, speaking about time and energy and Earth and space. It was just an awesome moment. At the end, he opened it up for questions and so many students shared how he was the reason they decided to pursue a career in science. I knew that I had always loved him, but it was rather astounding to see how many people he really did impact.

I could go on and on. His lecture was elegant and full of knowledge and most of it didn't feel over my head because he explained it in typical Science Guy fashion. It's incredibly inspiring to see someone with so much passion and it was a reminder of how important that passion is in life.

I still can't believe it. Bill Nye. Weren't the 90s just so great?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The state fair

Another round of photos that happened, ohh, a month ago now?

We went to the Iowa State Fair! Obviously it was something we had to see because we are new in town. And according to Iowa Girl Eats, the fair was listed in the top 1000 places to see before you die book. So I saw that and maybe my expectations were too high?

Cause well, it was a fair. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but I think once you see one fair, you have seen them all. People had been raving about the food at the fair. Again, high expectations. Unfortunately the food was about one step up from the gas station. Sure it was fried, and I have enjoyed my share of fried food, but mehhh.

So all in all, it was a fair. Nothing amazing, but still a fun sight to see. Like the GIANT veggies.  

Just a squash taller than my husband, nbd.

And so much corn. So much.

Now this is one of the parts of the fair that is particularly famous. People wait in a line just to see the butter carvings. Sculptures made entirely of butter. Now, I have made it known that I am a butter advocate, but this is just out of my league. The sevens dwarves, all in butter.

Ad what are the dwarves without Snow White. The pictures are terrible,  I know.

The butter cow. Literally.

With veins on its udder. Obvi.

I think the cutest thing at the fair was this skyride that would take you around the whole park. Too bad we spent all our money on mediocre fried food.

The best part of the fair was by far, Dia Frampton! I had heard of her before The Voice, fell in love with her during the show, and then got to see her in person!! While we waited, we took a picture. And a mother did her daughter's hair.

She was adorable and has a beautiful live voice. Loved it! Check out her song, Don't Kick the Chair. It's so catchy you'll be singing it for a week straight.

And that wraps up our first Iowa State Fair. Rocky beginnings but a good, good ending.

Also, a very happy birthday to my dad who is my most faithful blog reader, and to my nephew Hayden is 4 years old today. Two of the coolest guys in my life!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicago: Final Edition

Remember that one time we went to Chicago? Ohh, only a month and a half ago.

I am FINALLY posting the rest of the pictures!! I promise this is the last post about our trip.

After our second day in the city, we headed to see our friends Brady, Mandi, and Millie who live in the burbs. It's so good to have friends out in the midwest, helps us feel a little less alone. They were incredibly gracious and let us stay with them while little Millie entertained us endlessly. Doesn't she look like Boo from Monsters Inc?

They took us on a nice afternoon stroll.It was hot and humid but thankfully the view was awesome.


We stopped at this cute little shop and marveled at the greatness of ice cream topped with cookie dough. Delish! And the cashier gave us some great advice, "Be careful if you take the ice cream outside. It'll melt!" Golden.

We tried to take a group picture. Not a complete failure I guess?

Jason, per usual, was out making new friends.

Thank you Jones family for hosting us! Let's do it again, okay? :)

And the best part about our trip was that when we got back into Iowa, it actually felt kinda sorta like home for the first time.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Theo

In happier news, we got a kitten. Who happens to be the cutest kitten on the block.

His name is Theo and we adore him.

He has the brightest blue eyes and the spunkiest personality.


Taking pictures of kittens is HARD. Theo always is a blur of constant motion in my lens. But sleeping pictures I can do. He's just so fuzzy and perfect.

Crotch pictures happen when a cute kitten is involved.


As for hows Lars is doing? I had about a day where I wondered if maybe we had made a mistake. What if we ruined this good thing we had going, and now Lars will hate us forever?! Lars was not happy at first. He was on edge all the time, would hardly let us pet him, and was NOT a fan of that little bundle of orange fluff.

But now? It's the best toy he's ever gotten.

Lars is such a mischievous rascal, but now he has something to distract him from naughtier pursuits. The two are constantly wrestling and chasing each around across the house. I hardly scold Lars anymore. THIS is a miracle. 

And seeing this?

(Okay, okay maybe we had to encourage it a little bit) But still adorable!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Endurance

Life has been strange lately.

This adjustment phase, if you will. That stereotypical post-graduation, "what in the world am I doing with my life?" phase. Of course I hoped to skip right over this into gainful employment. To be a "career woman," for a few years at least. To be doing what I love in an awesome, creative environment.

And yet, as life goes, things haven't worked out as planned. I have become a statistic that is pandered around frequently in politics these days: unemployed. An unemployed, college graduate.

I have found myself wondering, why here? Why Iowa? Why me?

So many selfish question have been raised to God. Clearly he wanted us in Iowa, so why isn't he providing for me? Sometimes these frustrations weren't even voiced in my head; they just remained in the depths of my heart, simmering in bitterness.

Wouldn't it be nice if this post had a happy ending? I kept wanting to write one. One where I talked about my struggles but finally landed that awesome job and it was all worth it in the end.

Well folks, I'm still unemployed. There's a few freelance jobs I have on the side, but no job security, benefits, or steady income. I've had my ups and downs post graduation. Interviews and raised hopes, but I continue to get the same answer from God: "Not yet." After another no, feelings of disappointment and failure. Being either under-qualified or over-qualified. Embarrassment at checking another "currently unemployed" box in a job application.

I have so many questions about my future. I am searching for other avenues and have a few things in mind for alternative employment. I'm trying to keep my mind open to whatever comes my way. But right now, I really just don't know.

Slowly, painfully, God is getting through to me. Loud and clear today, both in my quiet time and at church, the message was that God will not save me from suffering, but he will be along side me the whole time. Romans 5:3-5 says, "...we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

Endurance is my new goal. This is simply a phase, only a small blip in the span of my life. And my suffering is so slight, so insignificant to someone who is facing a life-threatening disease, or the loss of a loved one, or no access to clean drinking water... That list could go on and on. I truly do have joy in my life, and Jason and I have everything we need. Things could be so very much worse and I praise God for what we do have.

I don't write this for your pity. I certainly don't want that. I just want to share what's been on my heart. My blog starts to feel less like me when I have several happy posts in a row and none expressing my less-than-happy days.

I don't know what my future holds, but I know that I have a God who loves me. Not a small love, but a love that is poured out on me. A God who wants to teach me to endure not in my failure (or my strength!) but in his glory. Who gives me hope even in my disappointment.

And hope, hope is a beautiful thing.