Wednesday, December 21

More Festivities!

Every year my family makes a point to drive up to Lexington and see the Southern Lights. The Horse Park sets up this giant light show all around their grounds, and at the end they have Santa, a horse museum, train sets, kettle corn, and an exotic petting zoo! 

This is the "Three French Hens" segment of the Twelve Days of Christmas! So clever!

And the "Four Calling Birds"...

None of my photos came out from the petting zoo- I didn't want to use my flash and startle the zebras or mini-cows. They were super precious, though, I promise you that. Imagine a place where, for a dollar, you can feed a two foot tall kangaroo an ice cream cone filled with oats and pet their furry little ears at the same time. The true beauty of Christmas, folks. 

And today, Sadie and I took up another holiday tradition. Ever since I was a little girl, I would make up a special Christmas list of family members who I wanted to buy presents for. There was always a special "Rudi's List Time" segment of Christmas, and due to my young age and nickle-and-dime piggy bank budget, the gifts were always silly and from dollar stores. I remember one year in particular giving an aunt fake eyelashes, and an uncle an ugly figurine.

When Sadie was born we decided to keep the tradition alive, and I'm pleased to say that she's done a great job of keeping the gifts spontanious and hilarious. I can't tell you who was lucky enough to be on the list this year, or what silly things Sadie decided they "needed" for Christmas because I don't want to spoil any surprises, but I will do my best to show off her finds after we open presents. 

And another tradition? Sadie's got to pay for it all herself- she's gotta learn responsibility somehow!

Do you all have any unique Christmas traditions? We're always on the lookout for new ideas! 

love, rudi

Christmas Time!

Every day since coming home for Christmas break has been filled with some sort of Christmas activity. I've been baking cookies, wrapping presents, buying presents, decorating, making ornaments for the tree-- you name it! This year feels especially full of holiday spirit, but that might be because I've been given more responsibility for helping out this year. My mom just started working at the hospital with Labor & Delivery again (I'm so proud of her!) so I've been handed the hot-chocolate, present wrapping torch. Needless to say, this year's presents aren't going to be nearly as attractive as last year's. 

This is Sadie's special little tree- she gets to decorate it all by herself!

Hope you all are having a great time prepping for the holidays, too!!!

love, rudi

Friday, December 16

Open House with President Lynch

Last week the historic President's home was opened up for display! 
For those of you who aren't familiar with the situation, the President's home has been on campus since the beginning, but had recently fallen to ruin and extreme disrepair. The roof was caving in, the walls were rotten-- all sorts of bad stuff. President Dianne Lynch initiated the Home Again campaign to save the building, to preserve the integrity and history of the school and recreate the space to the beauty it once had. 

After lots of fundraising and hard work, significant changes have finally been made, and the house is almost completely livable again! 

Dianne (who, with her family, live in a small portion of the upstairs) decorated the house up in holiday cheer and invited campus to come have a look-see! The house was beautiful, the snacks delicious, and the experience heartwarming. It stirred up a lot of school pride to see that Stephen's is working hard to bring back the hospitable traditions that go along with the President's home. I hope the house is finished soon, so I can be a part of them before I graduate next year.

Also, the old-lady nerdy part of me appreciated how much the reconstruction focused on being historic and keeping the old charm of the building. I die for a good hard wood floor or an adorable nook-and-cranny. 

Plus, a big kudos to Dianne Lynch for owning Florence and the Machine in vinyl. 
Super hipster points, P-Lynch. Super.

love, rudi

Tuesday, December 13

Midnight Breakfast!

Stephens has this *awesome* tradition when finals week comes around.
Oh, yeah, by the way, it's finals week. That's why I'm fighting to keep my eyes open while typing this.

Anyway, the tradition is called Midnight Breakfast. It's not only the gift of a midnight snack of bacon and fluffy pancakes, but the gift of having that snack served to you by your teachers, admissions counselors, and even President Dianne Lynch herself! 
Oh, and also? We have a DJ, and everyone dances until their footy pajamas are threadbare.

 credit: Ericka Burse

credit: Halea Boulter

Yvonne, one of my teachers and the Director of Leadership and Diversity, with a group of students.
credit: Mariah Overstreet

credit: Mariah Overstreet

credit: Mariah Overstreet

 credit: Meghan Copler

Recognize these faces? That's Rachel, Rikki, Andrew, and Jamie from the admissions department! 
credit: Stephens Dining

And of course- lovely Margaret who edits our papers, Corrie from the library, and President Dianne Lynch! Serving bacon like a pro, despite being a vegetarian.

credit: Stephens Dining

Last night was a total hit! The cafeteria was full of people dancing and enjoying themselves, laughing and temporarily forgetting the terrors of finals week. I love that Stephens shows so much support during these terrible times, from Midnight Breakfast to the library staying open extra late and serving coffee and sprinkled donuts (!!!). 

So thanks, Stephens. We sure appreciate it.

love, rudi

Sunday, December 11

Coffe, Carolyn, Pie.

Meet Carolyn.

The first time I had a legitimate conversation with Carolyn, she told me that my blog was the reason she came to Stephens.
That blew my mind!!!! 

Besides my mom and friend George from home (miss you, George!), I didn't think anyone read my blog regularly, but now I have proof that at least one smiling girl benefited from me documenting my usually boring and somewhat goofy life. And now that girl has become a part of it. 

So I had to play paparazzi with her a little, and give her her very own blog post. Dedicated just to her.

Carolyn. This one's for you.

Two nights ago Courtney (that blondie you see everywhere) and I took Carolyn out for coffee and pie at our favorite diner, the Broadway Diner downtown. Unfortunately, because we were there an hour before the diner opened, we were forced to get lost on Mizzou's campus and cat call at boys. 
But eventually eleven arrived, and we un-lost ourselves with watering mouths to the diner. Not only does it have the most amazing coffee in town, but they also happen to have the cheapest. The same formula works with their pie. I highly recommend the banana cream pie, and the chocolate peanut butter. Or any of their cobblers...or their cheeseburgers or biscuits and gravy...

You get the picture.

Thanks for the fun night, girls. 

love, rudi

Design Holiday Open House

Friday was a special day for the design, art, and fashion departments here on campus. We had a holiday party where students displayed their work and delicious little meatballs and yummy punch were served. It was a healthy little party, and it was great to see how we've all been working so hard.

Two of my pieces were displayed. In the main room, the Davis Art Gallery, we hung my inspiration chandellier. I made it for my final project in my Principles of Design class. My original project looked quite different, but I got a big dose of drama when I realized that my plan wasn't working two days before it was due. Special thanks goes out to my Momma, who not only talked me down from a panicky ledge, but also gave me the idea to use a hula hoop instead of a paper mache spiral (long story). After making a few last minute edits (barely in time, by the way) I finally hung the piece up, and minutes later the crowd arrived.

( The Regina Spektor poster at the top is mine)

It was really satisfying to see everyone's great pieces and to see mine nestled in with them. 
Just when I thought I was getting tired of working every day, I got another burst of energy that's gotten me excited all over again.

love, rudi

Saturday, December 3

Kitty Cat Kitty!

This is Penny, our new kitty! She's got a little kitty cast on because she just got declawed this week.

I told you in my last post how my mom surprised me with my boyfriend and this sweet little girl when she picked me up for Thanksgiving Break. My first day home was Penny's first day with our family, too, and she blended right in! Our previous kitty friends have always been shy or nervous being in a new place with new smells and people for the first couple of days, but the minute she was out of her little cat-to-go box she was snuggling and loving all over.

It's been a while since my family has had a good cat around. When our first cat Ollie died a few years ago, we tried finding another cat that could be half as amazing as him (he was seriously the most amazing pet in the world) but nothing really worked out. Last year we got Mac Gatsby and Deek Estella, but after tearing mom's curtains to shreds they ran away together, like a little cat rascal gang.

Then last summer I fell in love with a teeny tiny girl while volunteering at the animal shelter. You might remember my posts about Bing Bing Fing. She was just a week old (sad things happened to momma cat) so I bottle fed her and kept her by my side 24 hours a day. Eventually her littleness got the best of her, and she just slipped away.

But it seems that we've finally struck gold! There's nothing like going home to a loving pet. They're the bets cuddlers, and don't wake you up by licking your face like my little sister does.

love, rudi

Thursday, December 1

Thanksgiving Break!

As finals are starting gear up, it's been a great coping mechanism to reflect on what a great relaxing week I had during Thanksgiving break. 

I rode with a friend to Louisville, Kentucky, where my mom was supposed to meet me and take me further south to my hometown. But who showed up to pick me up? My mom, and my baby sister, and my boyfriend who surprised me by hiding in the trunk, and a new kitty!!
It was just like Christmas! It was the perfect start to what ended up being a really great week. I'll have a picture of our new kitty up later. For some ridiculous reason, I shirked my nerdy responsibilities and didn't totally geek out by taking 1,000,000,000 pictures of an adorable new cat. That's so unlike me...

I spent a lot of time playing around and snuggling with Sadie, who's gotten even cuter by the way, and snuggling with Penny the cat, and doing the usual lounging-about-home activities. And, for those of you who have seen my poor computer's cracked screen, got my computer repaired!! It's so nice to type and browse the web without looking past big scary broken glass pieces.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, was especially quirky and full of fun. My boyfriend's family had invited my family to celebrate with them this year, which was super scary because our families have barely met each other before. It was one of those situations that could have ended up like a sitcom with turkey flying through the air, slap-stick arguments, and at least one giant trip up involving spilling something or ruining something else, but it didn't! We all had a great time and enjoyed delicious food, and everything went off without a hitch! I can't tell you how anxious I was- that whole "meeting the parents" thing was easy, but parents meeting parents? It was a big step.

It probably helped that I baked a bunch of carrot cake cupcakes, brought a Derby pie, and some of my dad's homemade apple wine to dinner. 

Below is me playing around with some coloring books, and below that is my boyfriend and his fancy beard. Unfortunately that beautiful beard has been trimmed way down since that picture was taken last week. Also, thanks to his brother Mario who flew in, he has a mohawk now. He's such a trendsetter!

So that just about sums up my Thanksgiving holiday!

Oh, wait. One more thing. 

...I bought some dishes. Sort of a lot of dishes. See, I have this quirk where I'm sort of a middle aged woman, and I have a fascination for dishes and quilts and linens. This past summer I spent a good portion of my savings on Fiestaware (there's an outlet on the way to Pittsburg!) and once again I spent some of my hard-earned and earnestly saved money on beautiful yet currently useless dishes.

It's like I'm making my own dowry or something. Judge all you like, but my dinner parties are going to be way fancier than yours.

love, rudi