“Sweat is like …

“Sweat is like WD–40 for your mind–it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious.” -Christopher Bergland

2013: In Review

Lots and lots of things changed for me in 2013. Heck, I’ve done a lot of moving, friend-making and passport stamping since 2008. Ahhh, the adventures of a college student. Despite this, I want to sum of 2013 for yinz. Pray it’s my last year of a nomadic lifestyle? Pretend this is my Christmas card, will ya?

January

I began freelancing for The Funding Farm in addition to working at the Starbucks on Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls.

My first car, a 1995 Honda Civic died. I used my AAA membership twice within a few hours. The first time to get my car jumped and the second time because my engine was smoking… This was the end result.

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February

The new car I decided on was a 2007 Ford Fusion. Got South Dakota plates and learned how to drive a manual. It’s the dune pearl tan one on the right. I thought the snow would cover up the hail damage nicely. Did I mention this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced?

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March

Zach and I traveled to Kansas City to visit this guy and his lovely wife (not pictured) for a long weekend.

The Twisted Fork for dinner in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Twisted Fork for dinner in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Nelson Atkins Museum

The Nelson Atkins Museum

The Nelson Atkins Museum

The Nelson Atkins Museum

The Nelson Atkins Museum

The Nelson Atkins Museum

Jack Stack Barbecue - VERY good barbecue

Jack Stack Barbecue – VERY good barbecue

Mandatory cupcake stop

Mandatory cupcake stop from Cupcake A La Mode [pictured: Gold Digger]

Zach and Josiah

Zach and Josiah

Antique shopping in St. Joe.

Antique shopping in St. Joe.

My lovely roommates and I read Seven by Jen Hatmaker attempted to eliminate excess from our life.

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My lovely roommates Morgan and Kaia.

My lovely roommates Morgan and Kaia.

April

I had three wedding showers in four weekends. Very thankful for all of the love I received through this time!

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So glad I could travel to Pittsburgh for a shower and impromptu bachelorette party with some of my lifelong friends.

Caught up with some of my fellow PULSE alums at PULSEations 2013.

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All of this despite the massive and devastating ice storm that hit Sioux Falls. Seriously, this was declared a state-wide emergency.

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View from inside the car.

View from inside the car.

Fallen trees EVERYWHERE.

Fallen trees EVERYWHERE.

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A demonstration of how thick the ice was on my car.

A demonstration of how thick the ice was on my car.

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After 40 minutes of scraping.

After 40 minutes of scraping.

The house across the street.

The house across the street.

May

In May, Zach and I drove to Pittsburgh for our wedding.

Friends forever.

Friends forever.

Showing our Midwestern friends The Hofbrauhaus

Showing our Midwestern friends The Hofbrauhaus

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Bonfire after the rehearsal dinner.

Photographer sneak peak!

Photographer sneak peak!

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A wonderful surprise from my aunts.

A wonderful surprise from my aunts.

thank you

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Unfortunately, we had drove back to Sioux Falls the day after our wedding. Zach started his internship at East River Legal Services. I interviewed for a Marketing Coordinator for the Division of Continuing & Distance Education and the Graduate School at the University of South Dakota which I started toward the end of June.

June

We were lucky to find temporary housing in the upstairs apartment of a house.

On June 15, 2013, the Davelaar family added yet another member. Kim and Andy got married.

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We grew a small garden on the only available plot of land, which I blogged about here.

I finished working at Starbucks and wrote about it here. Some memories of my last day:

Mini "Candy Mountain"

Mini “Candy Mountain”

Green Apron cards for my coworkers.

Green Apron cards for my coworkers.

My last free mark out

My last free mark out

Working at the University of South Dakota meant an hour commute to work each direction. We also knew we would be moving to Vermillion in the fall (more on that later). As a result, I commenced working with The Funding Farm.

July

We went camping with some friends in Yankton, South Dakota. It was very hot and humid. It might have ruined me for camping.

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#Nebraska. SMH. [Sorry Nebraska friends]

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For a good portion of the summer, Zach and I played tennis, pick up soccer and sand volleyball in a summer league.

Just for fun, some photos of my in-laws farm.

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We took our honeymoon to Riviera Maya, Mexico.

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August

When we got back from Mexico, we began moving to Vermillion, home of the University of South Dakota. We currently live in Phi Kappa Theta where Zach is a fraternity graduate assistant. It sounds crazy, but we’ve grown to love the guys we live with. (Don’t worry – we have our own personal space and bathroom!) Here is an example of some of the fun we had during RUSH week.

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Zach began his third, and final, year of law school.

September

We discovered “the beach” of Burbank. Can’t complain when you are this landlocked.

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We spent much of the fall busy with school work and I refereed throughout South Dakota. As a result, we drove through Mitchell, South Dakota and visited the one and only Corn Palace.

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October

October was full of intramural sports [flag football, soccer and coed basketball]

Some random photos from October.

Dakota Days football game [Homecoming]

Dakota Days football game [Homecoming]

A weekend of combining.

A weekend of combining.

And our first canning experience! Bring on 12 pints of homemade salsa.

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Notes from TedXOmaha.

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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

November

I took a side trip to visit my friend Joey in Denver, Colorado.

Sushi

Sushi

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Hiking with Joey

Hiking with Joey

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

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Pierogi manufacturing

Pierogi manufacturing

Pierogi manufacturing

Pierogi manufacturing

Highland Cork and Coffee

Highland Cork and Coffee

Shameless Selfi

Shameless Selfi

Brewery Tour at Great Divide

Brewery Tour at Great Divide

Zach and I drove to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and family friends.

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December

I turned 25.

And…. Christmas decorations!

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Handmade stockings

Handmade stockings

Nativity

Nativity

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Christmas cards in the shape of a tree!

Christmas cards in the shape of a tree!

It’s been a busy, busy year! I relearned the importance of reflecting. If I don’t take the time to think about what happened, it’s easy to forget what I learned. And, I learned the importance of rest.

Happy New Year!

Tiny Plants

This garden is the result of several unexpected events.

My husband and I moved into an upstairs apartment of a house, a dwelling only intended for two-and-a-half short months. We found it by accident. Thank you, craigslist-style Facebook groups. 

A corner plot in an urban setting means concrete every direction you look. But alas, a six-by-six foot square of land is hidden between a driveway of motor vehicles and the neighbors siding.

Back up though, isn’t planting the first week of June a bit too late to actually reap any harvest? I thought so. In my mind, that ship had sailed.

One lazy day after work, the husband and I accidentally walked into a garage sale of clothes and other trinkets in which we found quickly that we were not interested. 

Then we spotted the box of seed packets. The possibilities became real. The seed packets then sat on our kitchen counter for nearly a week. According to the farmers almanac, if you soak the seeds in water with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide (or something like that), germination happens more quickly. We tried it.

I am the skeptic. My husband is the farmer. What do you know, the little green plants popped their leaves through the soil shortly thereafter? [pictured below: tomatoes, dill, spinach, lettuce, fennel]

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Plants really do grow from seeds! *Cue (former farmer) husband shaking his head. At least I admit my doubts!

I promptly purchased basil seeds in hopes of pesto all fall and winter long. It’s a little baby miracle too.

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Alas, our tiny plants. Who doesn’t like things that are mini?

The End of a Journey

Today is the end of a journey. I managed my last shift at Starbucks in Sioux Falls and made sure to fill all of the boxes of my last partner beverage. (Thanks Emily).

ImageJust like the journey of coffee, from the farms and the roasting plants to the grinders in stores and homes, we are all on a journey. A journey because it moves from one place to another and often takes a lot of time. We could sit back and say, it’s just coffee. However, it’s usually more than what it seems. Simple, yet intricate and intentional. I am thankful for what Starbucks provided me as part of this journey.

Today was bittersweet [like my espresso].

Shout out to Starbucks partners, who caffeinate the world as we know it.

The Third Day of Spring

I’m lost in my 13 inch MacBook Pro screen. I now have nine tabs open, if you must know. Looking away to gain perspective, clarity, and observe so that I can live in this moment, I notice the blonde hair and blue eyes are normal here. The mismatched chairs and tables. The dead of winter outside the window, simply waiting to change colors and grow into new life and provide that necessary breath of fresh air. The smells of roasting coffee beans sends me to a familiar but unidentified memory. 

We are three-fourths of the way through March. My calculations tell me I’ve been a resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota for seven months. Seven months today. Or yesterday, or something like that. The season is changing. Hello, spring. We might have fired Punxsutawney Phil, but we are still anxiously awaiting your arrival. With the new season, brings new life outside and in.

Bring on my first spring in South Dakota. I am ready. I am also ready to share the swirling thoughts that cloud my brain. Apologies for the, “I’m going to start blogging again” post, which I might consequently forget about until June when summer officially begins.

Until then, did you know that Sioux Falls is the eighth coldest city in the United States? [Sorry friends, I couldn't help myself.] At least that’s what they tell me.

That’s my view from here.

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Look forward.

Be where you are. Not where you think you are supposed to be.

It’s tempting to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Whether it’s the achievement of a classmate/co-worker/friend or the desire move on to the next step of your life, it seems that someone we know is always more successful than we. As we close out April, remember to look forward. Resist the temptation to look side-to-side as those around you. And most of all, don’t look back to feel regret. Look back only to learn. Be where you are. Look forward.