Saturday, February 28, 2015

Resolutions Checkpoint: February 2015

February certainly felt shorter than other months, but that's because I basically only ended up having half the month.

I was in Mexico from February 12-19, and then got really sick upon my return, which kept me in bed for another week. Seriously—I was living from my bed, and only just took my second shower since Mexico on Friday.

And now here we are, at the end of the month, and I have so many unfinished tasks it's kind of embarrassing. But here we go!

Let's start with the progress I made towards each of my three 2015 resolutions, based on the tasks I gave myself last month. Completed tasks are in bold.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snail mail race: Germany ↔ USA

While chatting with my German friend Max the other week (yes, the one who visited me in Madison two summers ago), after explaining the English term "snail mail," he proposed we have a race.

A snail mail race.

We'd both send each other a piece of mail on the same day, and see whose letter arrived first.

Heck yes! Why had I never done this before? (And how do I have the coolest friends?!) Especially while living abroad, I'd often figure out how long it took things to get to/from wherever I was living and various locations where I sent/received snail mail to/from.

But it had never occurred to me to actually race someone.

We both got to work preparing something to send:

And then the next day, we sent them off:

I'm curious what the results will even tell us, because each piece of mail will be handled by both countries.

Update: 2/19/15 - I got home from Mexico to find Max's postcard on my desk. Mom thinks it got here on Tuesday or Wednesday. Meanwhile my letter hasn't gotten to Max yet.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday: 2/12/15

Thankful Thursday is a weekly segment that began 1/10/13—read why here
I invite you to join me in practicing gratitude!

Today, as I make my way to Mexico for a week in the sun, I am ever so thankful for the friend who invited me there. 

Cathleen and I met back in 2007 when I was a little student hourly worker in her office, and she was one of three financial specialists with whom I worked—and part of the original Fab Four crew. We're going to Cabo—Cabo San Lucas—whose name I only know from watching "Laguna Beach" back in high school. But before Cabo was a college spring break-y place, it had nothing built there. 

In the late '70s, architect Edward Paul Giddings had fallen in love with the area and began building his vision: Club Cascadas de Baja. A few years later, Cathleen's mother, though a series of events including a terrible accident and settlement money, found herself staying at the club.

And after her mother's death last spring, Cathleen had inherited the last two years of one of her mom's units: Week 7 in a Perlita. Due to some more events and circumstances, a few weeks ago she invited me to go along with! I'm thankful to have had (and still have) Cathleen as such a good friend all these years, and lucky that she even considered—and then asked!—me to join her.

Here we are at our layover in Dallas—be back in a week!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Long weekend in Chicago: Study abroad returnee conference

This past weekend I was in Chicago from Friday to Monday to attend a daylong study abroad returnee conference on Saturday: Lessons from Abroad. I'd found out about the conference sometime in December from a study abroad alumni email I get monthly from UW-Madison. They were offering free admission to the first 15 people to reply to the email with a brief answer to their question (Why do you want to attend, or something like that).

I thought about hitting reply to win that admission (which was only $15, by the way), just as I'd won an admission scholarship to the 23rd Annual Conference of Office Professional in 2012. But then I started thinking of the hassle of getting to Chicago—how would I get to the bus stop in Madison during the day to catch the bus, where would I stay, is this even going to be worth it, won't it just be a bunch of undergrads who just got back from study abroad?

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