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Lately: The Turning 25 Edition

Oh heyyy….

Long time no talk, eh?  I know that’s on me.  You can blame the finals gods.

A lot has happened over the past week or so, so here’s a recap of my life lately.

~25th Birthday~

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After classes last Friday, I had to finish up some work in the lab and then went back to my apartment to get ready for dinner.  My best guy friend (whose name is also Alex), my sister and her boyfriend, my parents, and some family friends I’ve known since I was 5 all joined me for dinner at my favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot.

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We ordered drinks as soon as we were seated while we waited for everyone else to arrive.  I got an amaretto sour and it was delicious and sufficiently relaxing :)  That’s also the reason I don’t have a ton of pictures to share from the evening…and also because it is really hard to take pictures while also enjoying a four course fondue dinner.  I took one picture of the bread dippers that came with the cheese course and then decided having my camera out near melted cheese wasn’t the best idea.

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Since we had a fairly big party, we had three burners, which meant lots of options! We started with cheese course with Fiesta Cheese, the Wisconsin Trio, and the classic Swiss, and that came with chips, bread, apples, and veggies to dip, followed by the salad course, and the main course (I did the vegetarian option with various raviolis, tofu, and veggies). They serve dinner with lots of sauces–like a teriyaki, a cocktail sauce (if you have fish), a curry sauce, and my favorite, the green goddess (a sour cream/cream cheese chive dip).  I think polished off a whole one of those by myself.

And last but not least…dessert. We did a white chocolate amaretto (because my sister can’t have chocolate), a flaming turtle (caramel, pecans, and chocolate), and an original with chocolate and peanut butter. And the dessert came with cheesecake, brownie bits, rice crispies, graham cracker marshmallows, oreo marshmallows, red velvet poundcake, strawberries and bananas. So yeah…heavenly.

The food was amazing.  The company was even better and I was spoiled with lots of amazing and thoughtful presents. What really meant the most to me though was being happy and healthy on my birthday and spending it with people who I love and care about and vice versa.

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I spent my 22nd and 23rd birthdays in a treatment center for my eating disorder, so I am really extra grateful and cognizant of how lucky I am and how much I have going for me in my life right now.  It was awesome to enjoy both my loved one’s company and the food on my birthday.

Right after we finished dessert, our lovely waitress brought me a surprise birthday drink…

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It had creme de cacao, Stoli vanilla, maybe something else, and whipped cream.  It tasted like a melted ice cream sundae but I was so full I couldn’t even finish half of it! [Sorry for the background clutter...as you can tell, we had a full table!]

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I didn’t have a crazy rager of a party for my 25th, but I spent it in a way that was really reflective of where I’m at in life right now and I didn’t want the night to end.  Sadly, it had to, especially since I had my first final the next day!

Saturday also happened to be Alex’s birthday.  The fact that he’s my best guy friend and we share the same name and our birthdays are a day a part is just a little too much for most people to handle.  I was sad that I couldn’t spend most of the day with him because I had to study before my exam.  However, I finished my exam around 6:30 pm and then drove to his house to celebrate with his family for a bit before we met some friends at the Yardhouse for late night happy hour.  We snacked on spinach dip and hummus (and chicken nachos for everyone else) and enjoyed a few drinks.  It was a nice way to end the shortened weekend of celebration!

~End of the Semester~

Sunday through Wednesday was spent doing nothing but studying and driving back and forth to and from school to take exams.  To say I was stressed is putting it mildly.  I finished my last final at 9:30 pm Wednesday night and have no desire whatsoever to take 5 exams in 5 days ever again as long as I live.  As it turns out, I may have underestimated how crazy insane ambitious 20 credits + a roughly 2 1/2 hour commute every day would be and I’m never doing it again.  Thankfully I don’t have to because I moved yesterday!

~Finally Home~

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I didn’t talk about it much on the blog, but I grew very uncomfortable and frustrated with my last living situation.  I had some pretty inconsiderate (to put it nicely) neighbors and I dreaded going home every day.  I was very, very excited when I found out an apartment had opened up in the area I wanted to be in and finally, I moved in yesterday! Everything about my new place is perfect and I feel lucky and grateful to have found it and be living here.  It also cuts down my commute by 2 hours every day.

I’ve moved a lot over the last few years, since I’ve gone back and forth between Colorado and Pennsylvania and moved several times within each state.  I miss the East Coast terribly and know I’ll be moving back there within the next few years, but right now, this is where I need to be and I finally, finally feel at home.  Everything is how I want it and words can’t express how grateful I am for that!

~Body, Fitness, Other~

The week before my birthday I came down with some sort of pseudo-flu.  I think it was exhaustion induced more than anything else, but it got bad enough that I ended up taking Day Quil for a few days in a row.  Those who know me well know that I don’t ever take any OTC or other medications unless absolutely necessary.  I also took almost a whole week off of working out because I just didn’t have the energy or strength to keep up with my usual routine.

A quick thought about that: I know there’s a lot of advice about when to work out when you’re sick and when you should rest.  I personally feel like listening to your body is always your best bet.  I really enjoy working out, but as soon as it started to feel miserable, I realized I needed to take a break.  In the end, I’m glad I did.  It was mentally challenging to not be able to keep up with my usual self, but my body desperately needed the rest.

This week I started to get some energy back and felt like going back to Pure Barre would help me more than not going and I was right.  It gave me some physical energy to get through a few more hours of studying as well as some mental motivation because I felt great about doing so well after taking a week off.  I’m still not feeling 100% but I think that’s to be expected at this point in the semester.

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My other newest fitness love is Soli Beat, by Gina. I love to dance but could never find a dance workout DVD that was actually accessible enough for someone with no high-level dance experience/training.  This DVD is TOTALLY different! It’s fun, it’s accessible (they have a teaching section where they break down the moves), and it is a fantastic workout! I did it before I came down with the pseudo-flu and it was so much fun! I can’t wait to do it again!

~Last But Not Least~

This semester was important for me in a lot of ways.  I learned a lot and really identified what area of psychology I want to specialize in.  When I started the post-bacc, I was almost certain I didn’t want to do clinical work and was focused on research/getting a PhD.  Having gotten a chance to see what research entails and thinking about what I really wanted to do, I owned up to the fact that a PhD isn’t really the road I want to go down.

The road I do want to go down is the one towards a PsyD, so I can focus on clinical work and treating patients rather than research and working towards tenure as a professor.  I want to work in hospitals and treatment centers, and maybe even have my own one day.  We’ll see.  But at least I’ve discovered that this is what I really want to do and it feels right and it feels good!

Wow, so that was a lot! If you made it this far, thank you! I hope you all have had a wonderful December thus far and have a fun weekend in store! As for me, I’m going to return my textbooks, do some Christmas shopping, and get ready to see Cirque du Soleil tonight!

Have a great weekend!

Fun weekend plans?

Good workouts lately? 

Anything else you want to share? :) 

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities December 20, 2013, 12:11 pm

    HAPPY QUARTER CENTURYY!!!!!!!!! Looks like you had a fabulous time :D And your home looks wonderful! I would have too much fun decorating!!! :D
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Check Out My Meat… Loaf That Is!My Profile

    • Alex December 22, 2013, 11:03 am

      Thank you so much! I did have a great birthday and it was a lot of fun. I’m definitely looking forward to decorating my new place! It’s going to be my winter project :)

  • Miss Polkadot December 20, 2013, 4:00 pm

    Talk about a major catch-up – you’ve seriously been up to a lot lately! It’s nice to see you back again and I’m glad you made it through your finals. They are a lot different over here and I can’t imagine writing five on five consecutive days – kudos to you.
    The story of you and your best guy friend is so cute: same name and almost same day of birth – clearly a friendship that was meant to be. Happy belated Birthday to both of you! Oh, and you look gorgeous in the pictures – glowing and happy.
    Sorry to hear about your far from stellar past living situation but congrats on the new apartment! I’ve been lucky with neighbours so far but my sister can tell quite a share of horror stories.
    I’m happy to hear you figured out where you want to go with your studies. That can be so tough and weigh on one’s mind heavily so it must feel relieving to know where you’re headed now.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Thinking out loud #2My Profile

    • Alex December 22, 2013, 11:02 am

      Thank you so much, Miss Polkadot–for all the well wishes and compliments! I feel very lucky and grateful that things in my life are where I want them to be and just glad to be done with finals so I can focus on having some fun with family and friends over the next few weeks. I hope you had a great weekend!

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy December 20, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Happy birthday!

    • Alex December 22, 2013, 11:01 am

      Thanks Matt!

  • Melanie @ HappyBeingHealthy December 23, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Happy Birthday!! It looks like you had a wonderful day. I love the Melting Pot too. YUM!

    I’m happy to hear you’re feeling better and I’m sure you’re happy to have finals over as well. I also LOVE your new place. It is beautiful! I hope you have better neighbors. ;-)

    • Alex December 26, 2013, 11:26 am

      Thanks so much, Melanie! I’m happy and lucky to say I did have a wonderful birthday :) And thank you–I’m glad I’m feeling better and am done with finals as well. Such a relief! And thanks once again for the compliments on my new place. I really love it so far and think it will be the perfect living situation :)

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