Friendship

Thankful for Friends.

First, I’m just going to put this here…

“23 Greatest Thanksgiving Moments From “Friends”

thanksgiving GIF

…please ignore the fact that this post is more than a week late…

I might have a pretty strong argument for Manhattan, KS being the happiest place there is, but I’ve also always said that I truly believe that you can and will find great people wherever you go if you are open to it. Over the past two weeks though, those people have just so happened to be from that happy place and for that I am extra thankful.

At the end of November I made the trek in holiday traffic down to Raleigh, NC (a 6.5 hour drive that should have only been 4.5) hours to spend Thanksgiving with a group of Oregonians transplanted on the East Coast. I originally met Jake and Nicole back as Oregon FFA members and eventually played a role helping recruit them out to K-State. Now Jake is wrapping his first semester of grad school at NC State and Nicole will be joining him in NC after she graduates from K-State (holla to a fellow ACJ grad!) this month. We enjoyed a relaxing weekend with great food ( I’m mean REALLY great food) and even better company.

Thanks for the invite!

friendsgiving 1
With Jake and Nicole.
friendsgiving 5
Friendsgiving 2015 Group

This past weekend I enjoyed a visit from another Kansas favorite. My friend Chelsea is one of the first friends I made when I first moved to Kansas. She was a year ahead of me living in Smurthwaite Scholarship House and became my official “Big Sis.” Many times those pairings don’t turn into friendships or only last during your time in Smurthwaite, but Chelsea was the perfect match for me and I am thankful that we are still friends today. Chelsea is currently working toward getting her PhD at Virginia Tech and was able to get a weekend off to visit and join me for the last K-State football watch party of the season!

We enjoyed a pretty laid back weekend and of course a WILDCAT VICTORY! Saturday was beautiful with sunshine and temps hanging around in the upper 50’s so we also detoured for a walk by the White House Eclipse to see the national Christmas tree and holiday decorations.

 IMG_3293

IMG_3286

IMG_3291

IMG_3287

 Each state and U.S. territory had its own little tree. I thought it really strange that every single tree was decorated with big glass balls filled with things representative of the state… EXCEPT for Oregon, which had a bunch of additional, and in my opinion, weird decorations. #KeepOregonWeird?

IMG_3297

IMG_3296

Thanks for a great weekend Chelsea! It was great getting to catch up!

Cheers.

Family

A Spoo Kind of Love

Tomorrow people are either going to be full of sugar, rainbows and butterflies — or they are going to be hosting their own pity party. Then of course there are those people who will laugh it off because “it’s not even a real holiday.”

My view on Valentine’s Day is a little bit different though. Sure, I agree that it is a holiday about celebrating love, but for me it will always be about my family. Growing up in a family floral business means that every memory that I have of this holiday is at our shop, working alongside each other on our single most busy business day of the year. So tomorrow while I’m in class, I’ll be thinking about them, how crazy the store is, what ridiculous orders they got in and wondering how many times my ornery grandpa has made my mom and grandma want to throw something at him.

When it comes to other people I meet and the process in which you share about each other’s families, I always get the sense that mine is just a little bit different, a slight bit less than average. I come from a young family, which means that I am blessed to have relationships with my grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and have known almost all of my great grandparents. We are relatively small, even when you start extending, but in many ways I think that makes us closer. My family is very creative, hard-working and values the time that we invest in each other. Growing up in a family business has taught me a lot about communication, trust and teamwork. Sometimes that lifestyle was challenging, but many of my best memories growing up revolve around the flower shop. From the outside looking in one might call us a little crazy. Being teased is a sign of affection and a good dose of sarcasm and wit is a must have on the resume. To say we are stubborn is an understatement, but to me that translates into a strength that often puts me in awe of many members of my family. They are by far my favorite subject to talk about.

This last Christmas my intermediate family had family pictures taken for the first time since 1997.

That was then.

I keep it in my planner so I that I can see their faces everyday.

I keep it in my planner so I that I can see their faces everyday.

This is now.

familypics12

This is my baby sister Janci, 18 and our favorite pup Jack.

familypics4

These are my adorable rock star parents, Tom and Julie. He’s my hero and she’s my Gilmore Girl. Their example of love is what makes me a believer in it.

familypics5

My best friends.

familypics8

We are definitely daddy’s girls.

familypics3

familypics18

I’m so lucky that they are all mine. I wish I could hug them everyday.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

– Amanda