Bacon Spinach Quiche Recipe

For the longest time I’ve thought that quiche was something that was really hard to make. I mean that’s why it was so delicious right? Because it took a long time and was complicated and there was no way I could figure it out. So I enjoyed quiche that other people made, or from patisseries in France, and fulfilled my quiche cravings that way.

This last week I really wanted a quiche. And I wanted to choose what went in my quiche and when and where I could eat it (aka I didn’t want to have to leave the apartment). So I did a few Pinterest searches. And didn’t really find anything that caught my attention. But I did learn some of the basics of quiche, and decided to try to make my own recipe.

I realize its pretty ballsy to choose to make your own recipe for something that you’ve literally never made before, but it didn’t look too hard and I thought as long as I made sure the eggs cooked there was no way it could taste that bad.

And boy oh boy, it was FAR from tasting bad. In fact, my husband proclaimed it the best quiche he has ever eaten, and one of his new favorite recipes that I make. Suffice it to say, it was a hit. So here’s the recipe for our Bacon Spinach Quiche:

Bacon Spinach Quiche


The truth is that you can choose to put anything you want in quiche. I chose this mixture because quite frankly it sounded like the most delicious. That being said, for this recipe you will need:

~ 1/2 lb. of bacon 

1/2 bag of spinach

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened according to package directions (I prefer the pillsbury pie crust, or off brand equivalent, that come rolled up in a box over the ones that are already shaped like pie. I think its way better quality, but its really personal preference. You can also choose a homemade pie crust if you’re feeling ambitious)

4 eggs 

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped onion (more or less to taste)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Cut up the bacon into small, bite-sized pieces and fry. Remove from pan and let cool on a paper towel. Set aside.

2. Stir fry spinach in a little bit of olive oil until limp. Remove from pan. Chop coarsely and remove excess water by squeezing/patting dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

3. Chop about 1/4 cup’s worth of onions. Set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 375°.  You can choose to do this at the very beginning if you want, but you’ll be spending a lot of time with a hot oven that has nothing inside it.

5.  Stretch pie crust over a standard pie dish. I prefer a glass dish, but you can use any standard sized dish.

6. Spread cheese and bacon evenly in the pie crust.

7. Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl.

8. Add salt and pepper to mixture, along with spinach and onions.

9. Pour egg mixture evenly over fillings in pie crust.

10. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the quiche is set in the middle.

 And that’s all there is to it, other than enjoying!! I hope you like it as much as we did. Please let me know what you think in the comments!

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Sun, Sand, Sea

As I’m sure you’ve noticed based on the past couple of posts, our lives have been pretty crazy lately. With the move, starting law school, Kevin starting a new job, etc. we’ve had a lot on our plates. Which made our beach vacation that much sweeter.

To be honest, I have been looking forward to this vacation since the moment we left the resort after our honeymoon last year. To say that I’m obsessed with this vacation spot would quite accurately summarize my feelings. I mean, what’s not to love? Beautiful white beaches, the Caribbean Sea with its perfect temperatures and lack of any crazy currents or surf, comfortable rooms, so many delicious food options, drinks galore, awesome pools, great evening shows, the list goes on and on.

So early this year Kevin and I decided that we would plan a summer vacation back to the resort as a pre-law school hurrah/anniversary trip/birthday gift to ourselves. That’s when serendipity stepped in. My parents were looking to go on a beach vacation, and they ended up being able to come with us. Kevin’s aunt and uncle were looking to go on a vacation to Mexico but had no idea where to even start, and I suggested this resort. We ended up booking a vacation one day apart. All of a sudden our little vacation for two fortuitously became a vacation for nine!

My parents, my brother, Kevin and I all arrived on Tuesday the 16th and settled in for a week of fun in the sun. The California Meyer’s followed suit the next day. We piled in everything we possibly could. There was tanning, swimming, dancing, drinking, eating, nice dinners at diverse restaurants, laying on hammocks, sailing, kayaking, a mini water park, a flow rider surfing simulator, father’s day celebration with our goofy wonderful dads, incredible evening shows that ranged from beautiful traditional Mexican dances to a battle of the sexes where we conga lined on stage to a mini circus with unreal contortionists and acrobats.

It was exhausting and fun and my most favorite vacation in a long time. You know those weird people that cry at the end of a vacation because it’s over? I’m not even ashamed to admit that was me. This vacation was everything I had been needing for the last year. A happy fulfilling routine surrounded by people I love and that love me. A place with no stress, no to-do’s, no packing, no emails to read and respond to, no school applications or summer reading lists, no phone calls to make or utilities to set up or apartment worries. Never in my life have I been more thankful for a vacation. (I guess that’s called being an adult, huh?)

Now that we’re back in the States, I’m feeling refreshed and renewed and ready to tackle all of these major life changes that are headed my way.

… Oh yeah, and I’m also feeling ready to go back to the beach ;).

          

              

Our very-soon-to-be new home will be…

Chicago!! I have officially accepted a spot in Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s class of 2018 (now there’s a mouthful!).

To be honest, I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was to pick the school I wanted to attend in the fall. I took the LSAT twice, which tells you that my first score was not awesome. My second score was sufficient to get into good schools when paired with a good application, but it was still not one that I was super excited about. I was skeptical that I wouldn’t get in to any great schools but determined to bust my butt putting out the best application I possibly could. So I applied to every school I felt excited and passionate about, regardless of rank or what I thought my chances were of getting in. This the part where I brag a little about myself, because I am immensely proud of the work I put into my application. I spent a couple of months writing and re-writing and re-writing personal statements and diversity statements that demonstrated not only what a great student I am, but the person that I am as well. I applied to 8 different schools before Thanksgiving (and 1 in December that I still haven’t heard back from, which at this point is irrelevant). I was accepted into 6 of them, all with scholarships ranging from “that barely counts!” to a full ride, and wait listed at 2. That’s right, not a single rejection!

I have a bad habit of doubting myself when it comes to my academic abilities. Ask my parents, my best friends, my husband, or any old study buddy. I’ve always been the girl who stresses like crazy over tests, studies as hard as possible, and is still convinced that she’s going to “fail this one, I just know it, my first F ever!” Then I go and take the test…. and ace it. That was kind of what this was like, all of these positive responses from schools when I was so sure I would be lucky if I even got into one school! Suddenly I had 6 schools to choose from, all so enticing, which made for a tougher decision than I was expecting.

Ultimately Chicago had everything we wanted and needed, and after visiting Loyola in late March I knew that that’s where I am meant to be. The facilities are spectacular, their curriculum and access to clinics, internships/externships, and solid summer jobs that can lead to full-time jobs upon graduation are fabulous, the faculty is top-notch. More importantly though, students there are genuinely happy and thriving. There is a strong sense of community and purpose. Their Jesuit background supports my desire to pursue public interest work, pairing strong academics and legal expertise with compassion and empathy. You can tell that its more than just a law school but a place where everyone, students and teachers alike, wants to help each other succeed both in law and in life. Obviously your main priority while in school is the study of the law, but professors and students visibly value a work-life balance and a healthy lifestyle outside of the building. These were all important aspects of a legal education that I was looking for and am so happy to have found them at Loyola.

Beyond the school, Chicago is perfect for our young little family of 2. It’s the third biggest city in the United States and, in my opinion, the best city for a young couple looking to experience big city living without paying and arm and a leg for a shoebox-sized apartment in a sketchy part of town (no offense NYC and LA…). Its busy and thriving, has SO many food options that extend far beyond the sorry choices we have in Fort Collins, is filled with museums and other cultural experiences, has that big city lifestyle while incorporating midwestern values and attitudes, and honestly its just the bomb.com. Yes, we know the winters suck, but lets not pretend the freezing grey winters in Kansas are a walk in the park either. We couldn’t be happier to have picked such a great city to live out our 20s.

Chicago also provides incredible career opportunities for both of us, which was a big part of our decision-making process. There are so many incredible law firms and legal jobs in general that are available to Chicago law students-turned-graduates, and the Loyola alumni network is vast, involved, and readily available for networking opportunities. Chicago also offers extensive options in the design field for Kevin to really thrive. Otterbox has been a wonderful learning experience for him but we’re excited to see what other avenues of design he will be able to pursue. I know he’s going to excel and be able to accomplish so many incredible things in his career, and being in Chicago opens up so many doors for him to do so.

Lastly, being close to family was huge for us. We’ve been pretty isolated from family out here in Colorado and wanted to be as close, if not closer, to our immediate families. Fortunately, driving from Topeka to Chicago takes just as long as driving from Topeka to Fort Collins. And Chicago is a much cooler place for our parents to visit us in! Chicago also has the added benefit of having a whole network of aunts, uncles and cousins nearby. We are so psyched to be able to see the extended Meyer family on a more regular basis and no longer be so isolated.

Now its apartment hunting time! Kevin is working on his portfolio and sending out job apps and we’re hoping to move early summer. The sooner the better! So if you know of any great apartments, or websites to help with the hunt, please send them our way! So excited to be Chicago residents soon! Keep checking in, we’ll be keeping you posted as things get moving!

My new favorite recipe — aka the easiest Pad Thai ever!

Hi friends!

Its been a while since I’ve posted anything, as I’ve felt like I don’t have much to write lately. Life has been much of the same old same old, which doesn’t make for anything all that great to read. I’m working on journaling more often, on doing some more reading, and on finding some easy and delicious new recipes to add to our dinner repertoire. One of our absolute favorite foods is Thai food, specifically Pad Thai. There’s a restaurant here in town that we love to visit, we know the owner and the food is amazing. But it’s not very practical (or healthy!) to eat out frequently, so I’ve been looking for recipes to make Pad Thai at home.

Any of you that have tried to make any kind of Asian food at home know that most recipes require a slew of very specific (and oftentimes expensive) Asian ingredients that you’re not likely to use again until you decide to make that recipe again. After a lot of research and reading a lot of different recipes I was finally able to put together the Mili Pad Thai Recipe with ingredients that most have at home, or are incredibly easy and inexpensive to get! So without further ado, here’s my first recipe on this blog!

I only have a picture that I took with my phone (gotta get better at pictures for this blog!), it’s a little blurry but still so delicious!!

(serves 2) 

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons lime juice

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon of crushed red pepper (1/2 a Tablespoon if you prefer a milder Pad Thai)

6 oz. linguine (or spaghetti, or fettuccine, whatever pasta you have on hand. You can also use traditional rice noodles found in the “ethnic” aisle at your local grocery store. Kevin and I really love the Italian pasta in this dish (less expensive and doesn’t require an extra grocery trip!) but it’s obviously delicious with rice noodles too).

1 Tablespoon of oil (we use vegetable oil, you can also use corn oil or peanut oil)

12 oz. chicken, or meat of your choice, cut up into bite size pieces

About one slice of onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

peanuts, chopped or crushed

cilantro

lime wedges

1. Cook meat in a pan with a little bit of salt and pepper and set aside

2. Cook noodles. Drain and set aside. While water boils and noodles cook, begin next step.

3. Heat the lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper until the sugar is dissolved (usually right after it starts boiling). Remove from heat and strain out the crushed red pepper flakes (trust me, otherwise your sauce is going to be way too spicy and you won’t even be able to enjoy it. And this is coming from someone who loves super spicy food). Set strained sauce aside.

4. In a large pan (since everything will come together in this pan), heat oil and add onion and garlic. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the noodles, sauce and meat to the pan. Cook for a minute or two so that the meat and noodles absorb the flavor.

6. Serve. Garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and squeeze lime over it all.

7. Enjoy!!

And that’s all there is to it! Try it for yourself, pin the recipe on your Pinterest board, and come back and comment with what you think!

Paris when it drizzles — Happy 2015!

Happy 2015 friends! I know that we’re right about halfway through January by this point, but it has been a crazy beginning of the year for us. We flew back from Paris on the 3rd, ended up staying in Topeka on the 4th due to lost baggage issues, and drove back to Colorado on the 5th. Somewhere in there I caught one of those terrible colds that you only get from multiple days of traveling, and I spent all of last week in bed getting better. Now that I can finally breathe through my nose again and no longer feel like there’s an elephant sitting on my face and chest, I can finally get to wishing you all a happy new year and share our holiday adventures!

Kevin and I had a wonderful holiday season that started off with spending the week of Christmas in Topeka with my family. 2014 was a long and crazy year full of lots of change and new things, so it felt particularly wonderful to be able to be home for the holidays. We were able to see some of our closest friends and spend the whole week with my parents and my brother. I can’t even tell you how happy it made me to be able to spend that much time with them, especially after my first full year of living so far away from them. We opened gifts on Christmas eve, had the most delicious Christmas eve dinner, and then spent a lazy Christmas day in pajamas watching movies, eating Christmas cookies, drinking mimosas, and just enjoying time spent together. I can’t think up a more perfect Christmas than the one we had in Topeka!

The following week we got to spend in PARIS! Kevin’s sister Gretchen works as a teacher in France and his parents offered to take us with them to go visit her. The five of us spent the week of New Years in Paris! It was a jam-packed, exhausting, awesome week of sightseeing in the cold. And while I loved our trip, and loved being in Paris (what’s not to love about a trip to Europe?!) I will say that next time we head across the pond it will not be in the winter! Regardless, we had a lot of fun packing in almost everything we wanted to see in one week. This is also probably a good time to apologize for how long this post is about to get! Keep in mind its really hard to summarize a whole week in Paris!

We landed in Paris Sunday morning around 8:30 am and took the train and then the metro into the neighborhood where our rental apartment was located only to have our first experience with a Parisian, aka no real regard for timeliness or previously set agreements. Fortunately the woman cleaning the apartment was able to let us in to the apartment at the previously arranged noon timeline to drop off our bags, even if we almost immediately had to go back out in the cold with no key and wait until after 2 pm to receive keys. We waited for Gretchen to join us in the city, had lunch at a cafe below our apartment, and then Gretchen and Kevin’s parents left to catch a train to spend a couple of nights in Lille (a northern French town where Gretchen has been staying with a friend’s parents). Kevin and I finally received the keys to the apartment, took long hot showers for the first time in over 24 hours, and got dressed to go adventure and find some dinner (even though at that point all we wanted was sleep!). We took the metro to the Eiffel tower, took some pictures, found a cafe for dinner, and returned to the apartment promptly after dinner to pass out. Of course, thanks to jet lag we didn’t get much sleep!

Monday we spent a lazy day walking around Paris, learning the metro system, and exploring together. We went to Notre Dame, which was one of the first moments where it hit me that I would finally be able to see so many of the architecture and pieces of art that I learned about in my Humanities and Art History classes in high school. That may have been one of my favorite parts of the trip, getting to see things that I’d previously only been able to geek out about over textbooks and other people’s pictures. The cathedral was beautiful, although I found myself frustrated by how many tourists inside were so incredibly rude and disrespectful. Many forget that although these places are beautiful architectural tourists sites, they’re first and foremost places of worship. Simply because you don’t believe or practice the religion (or any religion for that matter) does not mean that you shouldn’t respect the sanctity of a worship space. Anyways, I digress. After exploring the area on the Isle de la Cite where Notre Dame is located, we unknowingly explored the Latin Quarter, found a place to eat, and walked around town until we ate dinner and headed home to bed.

Tuesday Gretchen, Ed and Cindy came back into Paris and we all met up at the apartment at noon where we had lunch. After lunch we headed to the Musee d’Orsay. It’s an art museum located in what used to be the train station. Saying its an absolutely gorgeous building is an understatement. The art was wonderful, and you know I love art, but for the most part it was a lot of relatively unknown and unexciting paintings by artists who are known for bigger and better. Not that the art wasn’t gorgeous, or that I didn’t totally fall in love with a Degas ballerina painting in their Impressionist section, or that I wasn’t super excited to see some really great Van Gogh. Because all of those things did happen. However I think that the standout aspect of the museum lies in its roots as a train station. I found myself wishing that they had devoted a room or two, or maybe even just a few plaques, giving background info on the train station, its history, and maybe showing pictures of what it used to look like. Regardless, we had a wonderful experience and it was my first Paris museum!

Wednesday had to have been my favorite day in France. I say France because technically we weren’t in Paris. We spent the whole day in Versailles and I was in heaven! I love history (are you starting to find the nerdy pattern here?) and for as long as I can remember have been so incredibly interested in the history of Versailles and particularly Marie Antoinette. I’m not gonna get too much into it, because this post is already long enough, but I’m definitely one of those Marie Antoinette sympathizers who thinks she was misunderstood and her naivety and very closed understanding of the world around her (not to mention her age!) is often overlooked. Needless to say, I was out of my mind excited to be there. We walked through the open areas of the palace (because something is always closed for renovations!) in awe of that fact that this was a home!! The over the top size of it all, not to mention the lavishness, is breathtaking. My favorite parts were, of course, the hall of mirrors and Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. We got outside to the gardens rather late and I was determined to get to see Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon and her little hamlet where she pretended to be a peasant girl, so Kevin and I literally ran for a big chunk of the way through the massive gardens and, what had to be a couple of miles of walking and running later, arrived at her Petit Trianon. This was by far my favorite part of Versailles! At some point during our Versailles trip I looked at Kevin and said “This is as cool as Disney World!! Almost!”. If you know me very well at all, you know what a big deal that is.

Wednesday night was New Years Eve, but after a full day of walking through Versailles, the grounds and gardens, the Petit Trianon, etc. we were an exhausted bunch. We ate dinner at the apartment, spent a really nice evening sharing stories and enjoying each other’s company, and definitely all went to bed before midnight. The next day, since almost everything is closed on New Years day, we went up to Sacre Coeur and Montmartre to check out the cathedral and the artists selling their work in looked to me like piazzas (did I mention being back in Europe made me so Italy-nostalgic!). The cathedral was gorgeous, and people were a bit more respectful here. Gretchen purchased a portrait a street artist drew of her, and the rest of us all bought very unique and beautiful original art by Parisian artists. We spent the rest of the day walking around the streets of Paris, visiting Shakespeare and Company, and had the most delicious dinner of the whole entire trip at a little tiny restaurant in an incredibly old building in the Latin Quarter. Unanimously impressed and satisfied with our food went home to bed.

Friday was mine and Kevin’s last day in Paris. We split up as a group because Kevin and I wanted to spend a huge amount of time at the Louvre and Gretchen, Ed and Cindy wanted to use part of the day exploring other sites. We managed to find the entrance by the gate of Lyon, stood in line for a maximum of 5 minutes and were in the building in no time. Suffice it to say, the Louvre was my second favorite day of the trip. I saw David (the artist, not the statue of course)! I saw Delacroix! I saw Ingres! I saw the Code of Hammurabi! I stood in front of the Nike of Samothrace! I stood in front of some of my favorite paintings of all times (The Coronation of Josephine!!!!! The Raft of the Medusa!! The Oath of the Horatii!!) I geeked out so hard, and loved every minute of it despite how absolutely exhausted we were. Kevin and I spent most of the day in the Louvre, and saw almost everything we wanted to see in that museum. So. Much. Walking. (But isn’t that always true in Europe?). We walked along the Champs Elysees (something we’d done a couple of times on the trip but was still always fun) and then went home and cooked dinner for the whole group.

So as you can see, Kevin and I had an incredible holiday break. We saw great friends, spent time with our families, were international travelers, crossed off bucket list items, saw things we didn’t think we’d get to see for years to come, and got bit by the travel bug. We are so excited to get to do more traveling together over the rest of our lives and continue to share so many wonderful experiences. Hopefully next time we travel I won’t get sick immediately afterwards and I can do a day-by-day synopsis of our trips with a little bit more detail. Live and learn right? 🙂

Keep on scrolling for some pictures I took on our trip (even though they’re a little out of order.. still trying to figure out this whole blogging thing when it comes to the best way to add pictures).

And now we’re back to the real world! Stay tuned for shorter (and more than likely less exciting) posts and news on law schools and moves, along with tidbits of our lives. I’m loving getting to share with you all, and am so thankful that you all take the time to read!

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The view from our apartment windows

 

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Notre Dame

 

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The back of Notre Dame, which I think its even more beautiful than the facade.

 

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Versailles Hall of Mirrors selfie!

 

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Clock at the Musee d’Orsay — an art museum that used to be a train station. Gorgeous architecture.

 

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Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. Love her.

 

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One of the rooms in Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon.

 

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Sacre Coeur on New Years day. Because nothing else is really open!

 

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This art history buff finally got to go to the Louvre and see some of her favorite pieces!

 

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Thoughts thus far on my last semester of undergrad

By the end of this week I will have completed five of my last 16 weeks of undergrad at the University of Kansas. In 16 days I will be on my way to Colorado for Fall Break. In 16 days I will be halfway done with my last semester. And this should probably all be some shade of terrifying for me. My peers who are graduating at the same time as I am (and even those who have another semester, or another year, or another two years left) are freaking out about how quickly the half way point of the semester is coming up; how quickly the end of the semester (and for some, their college careers) are coming up. Soon our lives are going to be filled not only with evenings of homework and readings and writing papers, but also with filling out job applications, looking for new places to live, planning moves and trips and careers and life changing events. It would be natural to be freaked out by how quickly time is passing by…. by how soon this semester is going to be over… by how much we have left to do in terms of school work and in terms of figuring out our next steps in our lives.

And yet…. I simply cannot relate with my peers. As they look at me with expressions of concern and distress over how quickly time is passing by, I feel a sense of impatience and elation with each passing day (although, don’t get me wrong, I do indeed also feel the stresses of looming deadlines and huge papers that make up what my friends and I have dubbed the “senior life”). You see, I’m excited to be done with school. I am excited to be graduating and moving on to what life has in store for me next. No, you didn’t read that wrong, let me repeat it for you: I am excited to be finishing up and leaving college.

Which, apparently, makes me part of a very small minority. Don’t get me wrong, I love my school. The University Kansas is an amazing institution, I have met some of the most wonderful people here, I have learned so much here, have been given so many opportunities here. But I feel that this is no longer the place for me. My friends and peers dread the countdown, and get stressed out as Fall Break quickly approaches, whereas the days cannot go by quickly enough for me.

For three years, the University of Kansas was not only fulfilling, but also very obviously the place where I was meant to be. I felt that, on a daily basis. This last semester however, has been radically different. Opposite in fact. I walk around campus and feel like I no longer belong. I feel like an outsider looking in — somebody who no longer is part of (nor wants to be a part of) the college life style of parties and mid-week bar visits and tailgates and sporting events. Someone who would rather be spending time at home with the people I love, getting a decent amount of sleep by going to bed early. And more importantly, someone who is adding genuine value to the world and contributing to society in whatever way I feel that I am being called to do so.

Some of my peers give me a hard time about my excitement for the upcoming end to our college career. I get a variation of passive aggressive comments: “That’s just because you already know what you’re doing after graduation” (not entirely true), “You’re only excited because you’re moving” (sorry I’m not sorry for being excited) and my personal favorite “Well I’m glad YOUR life is easy and stress free — some of us actually still have to figure out what we’re gonna do after graduation” (really just generally rude and presumptuous to make those assumptions). But the truth is, I don’t have it all figured out. Yes — I do know where I am moving after I graduate. Do I have a living situation all squared away? No. Do I have a job lined up? No. Do I know what I want to do with my life? No. Do I have a career path planned out? I have some ideas, but no, not entirely.

My impatience with finishing up college and moving on really has very little to do with my immediate plans after graduation. I have been blessed with an amazing college experience, and I am so grateful and thankful for all of those opportunities. I have been given the gift of expanding my knowledge base, learning new skills, experiencing new things, meeting new people, and the opportunity to absorb as much knowledge as possible to have to apply to future jobs and my life in general. Essentially, I have been able to enrich myself — my life, my brain, my potential for future opportunities. And like I said, I am so grateful for that experience. But I feel so ready to get to be a point in my life where I can start adding value to the world, to society, to contribute by making something of all of this knowledge and these experiences. I feel so ready to start doing something with the things that I have learned, to start exploring what I am passionate about, to find out what I am being called to do, to find the company or job or career that I can add value to and benefit and learn and grow from in a very different manner and environment. 

And now I feel that I have ranted long enough. That being said, 16 days until Fall Break y’all! We’re almost halfway done!