Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bonjour!

Hello from Paris!

This is going to be short and sweet, but I thought I would say hello from Paris and let everyone know I made it safe and I am having the time of my life.  I had the MOST AMAZING birthday ever yesterday.  I walked through Notre Dame and lit a candle for my grandma, walk along the Siene river and climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night.  Amazing. 

Hopefully, when I get to Angers I can write more.  Tomorrow we are going to Versailles and heading towards Angers, then I meet my family on Monday.  I am very excited.  I think I will be blogging as often as I can then.  Until then, I am having the best time in France.  I could do this for a living...if anyone knows a job with this type of description, please let me know!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wild at Heart

Don't worry...we made sure to live up our last weekend together!  Check out the "country girls" photo shoot below! :)






Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking Back & Moving Forward

Here is the truth--I shouldn't be blogging right now.  I have a million things to do, a final tomorrow, a room to pack and a million more things to do.  But a friend got me thinking and I started this blog so I could write down my thoughts, so here I go.

Today, I got a good reminder of how far I have come in the last year and how different my life will be in the next 365 days.  This is a sad week for me because I have to say goodbye to my best friends.  My country girls are leaving me.  They are entering the real world and leaving me at NDSU and as much as I know my decision to stay one extra semester for judging will be worth it, I still wish I was leaving with them.  I hate knowing that I only have three more days with the luxury of my best friends in the same building.  I hate thinking about how I will only see my best Montana friend when we get married or have babies.  I hate thinking how I can't go vent to Mary or drink some wine with Waugh.  It's hard knowing it will be all gone...but it is part of growing up and trust me I am ready to do that.

Last year, ironically, I was in the same position as I am today.  I was frantically calculating what grade I needed on my finals, planning my last few days with friends and packing to go home and start a new adventure, but last year that adventure was in St. Joe.  Today, the new junior intern started at American Angus Association and I couldn't help but think about last summer when I packed my car for Missouri.  I got in my car and left to go six hours away for three whole months to a place where I didn't know a soul.  And I loved it.  I met so many new people, made many new connections and had the opportunity to see cattle I could only wish would reside at my farm.  I couldn't ask for a better internship and I am glad to see two new excited faces at St. Joe this year that will fill mine and Mel's shoes.

I also managed to spend another year with Mark, which chalks us up to year six pretty soon.  I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't showed against him that year, but I promise you it wouldn't have been nearly as great.  I managed to strengthen relationships this year that I know were the ones I needed to rejuvenate.  I have had "epic" nights with an amazing group of friends, had motivating conversations, and been constantly proud of the people I surround myself with. My friends now have real jobs that are perfect for them, have won awards that are nothing short of impressive and have relationships that will last for many anniversaries.  They inspire me to be my best every day.  Lucky for me, I have also had the opportunity to make some new best friends, most importantly my roommate who is now a strong and beautiful young lady. 

I have somehow made a name for myself and convinced employers to want to hire me and because of that have had crazy internship opportunities that I could only normally dream of.  I have designed things I was proud of and learned lessons that I am ashamed to admit.  This year has been full of stress and dreams and failures and achievements, but thankfully, it has also been full of friends, family and loved ones that make it all worth it.

When I say goodbye to my best friends on Sunday, it's not only them starting a new adventure; I do too and that adventure doesn't even start until I come home from France.   I am going to have huge decisions to make about jobs and careers and where I am going to end up and somehow still be a successful livestock judge for NDSU...and somehow I have to do it without them to run down the hall too.

It's overwhelming.

And exciting.

I know it will all work out.  Why?

Because I have faith.
Because I don't except average.
Because my best friends are only a phone call away.
Because looking back it somehow all worked out this year.

And most of all...because I am lucky.
I did win a $1,000 because a cow pooped on my square didn't I? :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

T-Minus 17 Days

So I don't know if you have heard, but I am going to France.

I am going to France!  I am going to France!  I am going to France!  I am going to France!

Wait, have you heard?  I am going to France! :)

I am getting a little nervous and very EXCITED!

Here are the details:
  • I am going with NDSU as a summer study abroad program.  There are eight students going along with our two advisers.   It is an agriculture-based program titled: From Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Culture and we will focus on France's food industry, sustainable farming practices, and the best of all, wine and cheese production!  We will also take some French classes and do a lot of field trips!  (You can start being jealous at this point!)
  • NDSU isn't the only University sending students on this trip, so I will get to make some new friends from other land-grant colleges.  Texas A&M, UW-Madison and more!
  • I don't know a soul I am going with.  Good or bad thing?!?  I don't know!
  •  I will be gone for only a month, so not too long but not too short.  We leave on May 25th and I will return on June 24th.  I spend the first five days in Paris and then we will spend the rest of our time at the University in Angers, France.
  • The Deckard's (our faculty advisers) say Angers is comparable to the rural lifestyle we are used to living.  However, when I googled my address, I am pretty sure I am living in the city.  We stay with host families when in Angers and in hostels the rest of the trip.
  • This is my first trip abroad, so I am very excited to experience a new culture but I am also a little nervous about this flight!
  • Oh and to wrap this all up, I am flying home one day early in order to drive to Dickinson, ND to go to be my friend, Megan's wedding.  I am determined I will not be tired? :)
I think this is going to be an amazing trip and I am getting extremely excited!  I will be home just in time to enjoy some of my favorite cattle shows and spend time with friends, but I will also have a crazy adventure under my belt by July 1! :)  

However, as the day is quickly approaching, I need your help!  Do you have any advice for me?  Is there anything I have to see while in France?  Do you have any tips for my first flight abroad (by myself even)?   Any good ideas on what clothes I need to bring?  General tips on studying abroad?  Financial tips while there-do I buy everything on credit cards, should I bring traveler checks?


Any advice you have would be great!  I can't wait to hear from you!  And in return for your help, I promise I will keep my blog updated during my trip to France!  Bonjour!